Casket Letters

views updated May 23 2018

Casket Letters. The contents of a small silver casket, uncovered in 1567, allegedly incriminating Mary Stuart and her lover Bothwell in the murder of her second husband Lord Darnley. The papers consist of eight letters from Mary to Bothwell, a sequence of ‘sonnets’ (totalling 158 lines), and two contracts for the marriage of Mary to Bothwell. The authenticity of the material cannot now be certainly established as the originals vanished in 1584. However, surviving copies suggest that, while not outright forgeries, the material was clumsily doctored by Mary's opponents at the York–Westminster conference in 1568–9.

Roger A. Mason

Casket Letters

views updated May 09 2018

Casket Letters letters, establishing her complicity in the murder of Darnley, supposed to have been passed between Mary Queen of Scots and Bothwell. They were repudiated by the queen as forgeries, but it was threatened that they would be used as evidence against her. They disappeared before the end of the 16th century.