An exciting event ahead
On Friday 5th.June at 7 p.m. as part of this year’s West End Festival, Mackintosh Queen’s Cross, Glasgow is hosting the premiere of new works by Judith Bingham, Dee Isaacs and Eddie McGuire, performed with Schumann’s “Maria Stuart Leider”.
This will take a close look at the letters and poetry of Mary. Fear and intrigue at Court, religious rivalry, feuding families, and tender and dignified heart.
Co-commissioned with the Oxford Lieder Festival with Louise MacDonald (contralto) and Ingrid Sawers (piano).
For additional information on Louise MacDonald please visit; http://www.louisemacdonaldcontralto.com/
A number of Society members will be attending and if you would be interested in joing the party (also a pre concert meal) get in touch with Society Secretary Catherine Vost
Tickets cost £12 (£10 concession)
A splendid day at Linlithgow last Saturday. A record turn-out of Society members and a good support from the public to see the unveiling of the statue.
As the day dawned looked as though it might be as miserable a one as greeted Mary’s arrival in Leith in 1561 when Knox lamented recorded ‘that the very heavens mourned’. However not to be and just on cue the storm passed and the sun broke through.
Of course many photographs of the day and we are in process of compiling an album of these which we hope to make available on line.
My favourite though perhaps the above of the Linlithgow Gala Queen as she lithesomely frolics round the statue after the crowds have dispersed.
A splendid effort by the Society to raise in excess of £60,000 in such a short time. Our most sincere thanks to all who contributed.
Another most interesting outing in prospect this coming Saturday 11th. October with a full day visit to Linlithgow, birthplace of course of Mary in 1542.
It is not proposed to visit the Palace where Mary was born leaving that for next April with the Society Annual Gathering and hopefully the unveiling of the Mary Statue, fund raising for which is coming along quite nicely but still a balance still required and donations most welcome.
On Saturday we shall start of the day by enjoying a walk through the back streets of this historic market town with so many associations with Mary and also where the Regent Moray was murdered in 1570. The tour will be under the auspices of ‘Mary’s Meanders’ a team, all experts in their fields who lead daily walks around this historic town. Almost certainly we shall learn much.
After lunch a visit to the highly acclaimed Annet House Museum where there is an existing statue to Mary in the grounds and thence to the historic St. Michael’s Church which can trace its history back to at least to 1138 and where Mary was baptized.
A very full day in prospect
The date of the English Branch outing to Peterborough Cathedral and Fotheringhay has been changed and will now take place over the week-end of Saturday 4th. and Sunday 5th.October.
Meeting at the Cathedral entrance at 1.30pm. on the Saturday the tour will include the location of Mary’s first burial (above) and also a chance to see various documents associated with both the internment and the subsequent start of her transfer to Westminster.
Apart from the Mary connection there is of course Katherine of Aragon’s tomb as well as a wonderful building to explore.
Afterwards a meal at the ‘Premier Inn’ at Norman Cross
On Sunday morning coffee at the Talbot Inn in Oundle with all its Marian connections and in the afternoon to Fotheringhay to visit the site of the castle.
Also hopefully, if timing permits, a visit to the Collegiate church with its associations with Richard 111 as well as of course with Mary.
Anyone interested in coming along (either or both days) or wishing further details please get in touch – http://www.mariestuartsociety.org/contact.php
A most interesting week-end in prospect
English Branch Summer outing
21st June 2014
On a beautiful summers afternoon a small but stalwart band of members met at the gateway of Kenilworth Castle. We were led around this huge site by Chairman Roger Joy who has immense knowledge of the castle and its occupants from John of Gaunt through to Robert Dudley the Earl of Leicester.
As an example of this he issued all those attending with a copy of his booklet covering ‘Kenilworth Castle in the Late 14th. century’. Of course the Marian connection is with Leicester, his possibility of marriage to Mary and the well know stories of Leicester and Elizabeth. Since the branch last visited a large Elizabethan knot garden has been recreated and this was a particular delight to see, smell and wander through. The massive buildings are impressive even in their ‘slighted’ state and the ability to visit the exhibitions in the tearoom building [once the stables] and the Gatehouse was most interesting, although the time in the Gatehouse was constrained by the several weddings held in there during the late afternoon!
The vast strength of the large keep and the huge span of the Great Hall all attest to the importance and wealth of the successive owners. After enjoying clambering about the site for some time we eventually returned to the tearoom for refreshments before thanking Roger and dispersing homewards looking forward to the next branch meeting at Peterborough/Oundle/Fotheringhay now re-arranged for 4th. October
Mary arrived in Leith on return from France on 19th. August 1661 to commence her personal reign in Scotland. A dense mist or haar enveloped the harbour when she arrived and arriving early because of favourable winds she was not expected.
By most accounts she spent at most but a few hours in Leith before moving on to Holyrood House. There is no other record of her having been in Leith during the whole of her lifetime.
Nevertheless Leith played a most important role in Scotland’s history during the period of her lifetime not least the siege of 1560 and the resultant Treaty of Leith (or Edinburgh) which secured the withdrawal of both French and English troops from Scotland and effectively dissolved the Auld Alliance.
The Scottish Branch Chairman Joan Brodie has arranged a most interesting visit to the Port on 7th. August and if the above is correct we shall most certainly spend more time there on the day than Mary did in her lifetime.
We meet at South Leith Parish Church, (above) itself with many connections to the period, a church where John Wishart preached and Mary of Guise worshiped and whose arms are still displayed in the entranceway.
There follows a visit to Trinity House for centuries a focus for the seafaring community and where we can look at a portrait of Mary, not contemporary but commissioned by Mary’s grandson, Charles 1 in 1627 and painted by the Dutch artist Daniel Mytens.
In the afternoon a visit to Lamb’s House where Mary is supposed to have dined immediately on her arrival. The house is one of the finest surviving examples of a Hanseatic merchant’s house in Scotland and the most significant building of its age in Leith. Completed around 1610 it is impressive both in scale and architectural style.
Finally to have a look at the Memorial Plaque which the Society donataed some years ago to mark the spot (as accurately as can be known) where Mary would have landed.
If anyone is interested in coming along (priority though to members) get in touch with Joan