Mary, Queen of Scots (1542–1587), at Fotheringhay

Image credit: Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery

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This painting illustrates a poignant moment in Scottish history. Mary, Queen of Scots, wearing black, with a Bible and rosary in her lap, waits for her death warrant. She was executed at Fotheringhay Castle, Northamptonshire on 8th February 1587. Jane Kennedy, the Queen's attendant, kneels in anguish on the left. Her green coloured dress symbolises grief. Elizabeth Curle, a noblewoman, approaches on the right. The inscription at the top of the painting 'In my end is my beginning' was embroidered on Mary, Queen of Scots' canopy above her throne, called her 'cloth of estate'.

Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery



Mary, Queen of Scots (1542–1587), at Fotheringhay




tempera on board


H 29.4 x W 24.2 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

bequeathed by Emily and Gordon Bottomley, 1949

Work type


Inscription description



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Normally on display at

Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery

Castle Street, Carlisle, Cumbria CA3 8TP England

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