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By Geoffrey Abbott, G. (Geoffrey) Abbott, Jeremy Beadle

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In the Tower, Essex, it seems, intended to take advantage of this royal concession for he gave the ring to the Countess of Nottingham with instructions to pass it to the Queen, but the vengeful Countess deliberately failed to do so. It was not until she lay dying that she confessed to Elizabeth what she had done – alas, too late for Essex. Consort of Henry VIII, Queen Katherine Howard was found guilty of treason because of her allegedly adulterous life, and sentenced to death. ”’ Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots Executioner Simon Bull was definitely not looking forward to his next assignment, the execution of Queen Elizabeth’s cousin, Mary, Queen of Scots who was accused of plotting to assassinate Elizabeth.

According to a well-established story, Elizabeth had impatiently awaited the return of a ring which she had once bestowed on him with the assurance that if he were ever in danger and sent it to her, she would interpret it as a plea for pardon which she would assuredly grant. In the Tower, Essex, it seems, intended to take advantage of this royal concession for he gave the ring to the Countess of Nottingham with instructions to pass it to the Queen, but the vengeful Countess deliberately failed to do so.

When the clerk came to the penalties her rage exploded into uncontrollable violence, a protracted struggle ensuing between her and her escorts. Eventually overpowered, she was then tied up and carried down to the public courtyard where the scaffold awaited. Despite it being only six o’clock in the morning, a crowd of hundreds had gathered, and as her bonds were loosened, she ran towards the edge of the scaffold, a further frantic struggle taking place as, with an effort, they managed to strip the clothing from her and force her to lie down on the bench so that Charles-Henri could administer the beating.

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