Just back from a week-end break in
North Yorkshire. A revisit to was very much on the agenda but as rather feared closed for the winter until 11th. February next year. Bolton Castle
Mary was of course a prisoner at
from 16th. July 1568 until 26th of January of the following year. Bolton Castle
Mary arrived at Bolton with little but the attire in which she had escaped from
Scotland and was ill fitted and ill furnished to house a regal visitor. Bolton Castle
All sorts of furnishings were apparently hurriedly borrowed from neighbouring gentry and Elizabeth would seem to have ordered provision to be made ‘for pewter vessels, brasspots and pans, racks and spits and a copper kettle for the boiling of beef as well as garden sauces and other necessities incident to dinners” It is also recorded that Sir George Bowes sent her tapestries and turkey rugs to make her stay more comfortable and that the Earl of Northumberland sent venison
Possibly Mary would be more pleased to receive five cart loads of her personal luggage which the castle owner Lord Scrope had persuaded the Earl of Moray to send from
. These included the Cloth of State which Mary set up in the Great Hall. Scotland
With Mary at
Bolton were Leslie, Herries, the Livingstons, the Flemings, Gavin Hamilton, John Beaton, Bastian Pages and his wife, Mary Seton and Willy Douglas as well as a corps of loyal supporters.
Initially Mary would seem to have been granted a certain degree of freedom and certainly visited Nappa Hall about five miles away the home of the Metcalfes. A few years back we had the hapchance of spending a night at Nappa Hall which at that time did bed and breakfast – not sure if it now does.
It was perhaps at
Bolton that Mary’s religious conviction may just have wavered although she later denied it vehemently. Her gaoler Sir Francis Knollys who was the husband of ’s first husband Catherine Gray tried hard to convert Mary to Protestantism and boasted of some success claiming that “Mary was growing to a liking of English Common prayer”. If there was indeed any such waiver on Mary’s part it may of course not been not religiously driven but was rather an attempt by Mary to seek the better to ingratiate herself to Elizabeth ’s eyes. Elizabeth
Mary was an accomplished horsewomen and there was one report that when out riding she galloped so far ahead of the party as to raise fears of an escape attempt. There was also a report of a suggested escape organized (as at Lochleven) by Willy Douglas whereby Mary was lowered from a window but the attempt was discovered it might appear by Lord Scrope himself.
Whatever. whether because of the above escape attempts Bolton was judged just too close to the Scottish Borders and the following January in the depth of winter Mary and her train were forcibly moved to Tutbury. It would appear that at the time of the journey both Mary and Lady Livingston were ill and had to be placed on a litter for the journey.
We enjoy breaks in North Yorkshire and hopefully can visit again next year.