Cover Image: Imprisoning Mary Queen of Scots

Imprisoning Mary Queen of Scots

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Member Reviews

Having recently read Mayhew's House of Tudor: A Grisly History, I was looking forward to reading more of Mayhew's work. 

Most know the story of Mary Queen of Scots, that she was imprisoned until her eventual execution, but what about those entrusted to keep her secure and away from the many plots to free her? 

Mayhew gives a detailed insight into the men chosen for this task, their personalities and their lives. Keeping Mary secure can't have been an easy task and as Mayhew explains the impact keeping Mary secure on her jailers including the financial implications which they paid from their own funds in the hopes they would be reimbursed. 

Readers are given fascinating details of the castles and manors where Mary was held along with her trips to Buxton waters.
Reading the stories of these men and their families really made me understand how difficult their task was and how little recognition they received for not only maintaining Mary and her household but also fending off plots whilst trying to continue with their own lives and occupations.
Being chosen for this task really was a double edged sword, it showed Elizabeth I had faith in them and trusted them implicitly but it cost them a fortune and sometimes more than just money. 

Mayhew goes on to give an overview of how each jailer has been portrayed on TV as well as what happened to them following the death of Mary. 

For me, George Talbot, 6th Earl of Shrewsbury was the most intriguing as we learn how his marriage to the infamous Bess of Hardwick was affected by holding Mary prisoner. Whilst not the sole cause, it certainly formed part of the destruction of their marriage and the fall out that followed. 

For anyone interested in an alternative view of Mary Queen of Scots I would highly recommend this and I'm looking forward to reading more of Mayhew's work in the future. 

Thank you to NetGalley and Pen and Sword for the opportunity to read this in exchange for an honest review.
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This book was so well researched!!!
I had no idea that so many people were there with Mary Queen of Scots while she was imprisoned. 

This was so fascinating to join and learn all about those historical figures throughout Scotland and England proper. 

So well done.
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For Elizabeth, Mary was now no longer her ‘dear cousin’ but was instead a ‘wicked murderess’, one who would soon feel the full weight of Elizabethan justice bearing down upon her.

I really enjoyed learning more on Mary Queen Of Scots and her imprisonment.

The perfect read for historical lovers.
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The heroes of this book are usually only supporting characters in books concentrating on Mary, Queen of Scots & Co. 

The book is well-structured. With a short introduction to why Mary is imprisoned, then follows her story in the plenty of prisons from her jailors' point of view.

I can see only one drawback in this book concerning the dates. The author predominantly says - this event happened in the year YYYY without mentioning the month. It would help the narration to imagine the part of a year about which we are speaking.

I'm super excited with the last chapter that describes the movies about the life of Mary, Queen of Scots, in which the characters from this book appeared.

Thank you to NetGalley and Pen and Swords History for a free digital review copy. This is my honest review.
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Imprisoning Mary Queen of Scots by Mickey Mayhew is an informative and detailed book which is principally focused on those who were given the unenviable task of acting as Mary’s goalers. 

Being forced to spend almost half her life as a prisoner Mary had been in the custody of a variety of keepers whose lives were directly affected, often negatively, by her detention. It was interesting to read of the personal and financial costs incurred by her custodians and the fascinating tour of the locations of her imprisonment with many evocative household descriptions. 

Having a particular interest in Ralph Sadler I was pleased to read the background details of his life, the irony of his encounters with Mary, first as a baby and later as her goaler. The descriptions of the conditions under which Mary was housed while under Ralph’s charge at Tutbury Castle were repugnant.
I enjoyed Mayhew’s book and found it an engaging and thoroughly researched read which covers a lot of ground in examining the political machinations and drama of the Tudor court and of the conflict between Mary Queen of Scots and Elizabeth I. 

I would recommend it to others. 

Thank you NetGalley  and Pen & Sword for an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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I was so excited for this book because I love love love all things Mary Queen of Scots! But I’m super sad and disappointed in the way that this was written. No joke, I fell asleep over 10 times while trying to read it. The run-on sentences that entirely filled this book made it so hard to keep reading. I honestly couldn’t take it anymore! I kid you not, sometimes an entire page was one damn sentence. 

What was intriguing about this book is that it’s about her captor’s lives more that it is about Mary, which I thought was a new take and interesting. There were many known names in this book and I found it very informative nonetheless. 

Sad to have to give this 2.5 stars (which is solely for the good points I listed) because I had really high hopes for it, but the grammar just threw me overboard. 

Thank you to Pen & Sword and NetGalley for an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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This was a fascinating look at a subject that isn't really talked about a lot.  We all know how Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned in England after fleeing her own country, but it really isn't talked about who or how she was jailed.  I really felt bad for everyone involved, the men and women sacrificing their own lives because they could not say no to Queen Elizabeth!  Mayhew does a good job chronicaling Mary's time in confinement, her desperation, "friendships", and the feelings and acts that the aristocrats put in charge of confining her had to go through.  Poor Bess of Hardwick and her husband, this whole "job" became a life work and utterly thankless!
This was a good book to read if you are like me and fascinated with the Tudor time and don't know much beyond the Tudor kings and queens.  I'd recommend reading, or having this on audiobook!
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Mary Queen of Scots has been an enigma in history. As a monarch was sentenced to death by another monarch, the relationship between the two women has long been debated and studied.

This book was fascinating in the many details shared and the depth in which this knowledge was laid out. From the start to the end, this book kept me engaged and interested. I felt sorry for the men who were tasked in keeping her, the financial burdens, and the sometimes pull of not sure who to trust. 

For those interested in Elizabeth and Mary's relationship, the factors that led to Mary's death, those who kept her imprisoned, and the tidbits in between, this is the perfect book for you!
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I want to thank Netgalley and the author for gifting me the ebook. Fashinating read! Highly recommend for history nuts out there that enough this time period.
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Throughout history, there have been a select number of cases of monarchs becoming prisoners either in war or in times of peace. One of the most famous cases of a monarch’s imprisonment during the 16th century was the case of Mary Queen of Scots. While there have been many tales of her infamous imprisonment and execution, there has not been much attention to the men and woman who acted as Mary Queen of Scots’ jailers. Who were the men and woman Elizabeth I put in charge of guarding the Scottish queen while she was in England? What were the conditions of her imprisonment, and what were the castles and manors like when the queen arrived? Mickey Mayhew explores these questions in his book, “Imprisoning Mary Queen of Scots: The Men Who Kept the Stuart Queen.”

I want to thank Pen and Sword Books and NetGalley for sending me a copy of this book. I have heard good things about Mickey Mayhew’s previous books that Pen and Sword Books have published, so when I saw this title, I wanted to read it. I have not read many books about Mary Queen of Scots’ imprisonment in England, so I was looking forward to learning something new.

Mayhew begins his nonfiction book by exploring Mary Queen of Scots’ origins and how she ended up being a prisoner in England. Next, he looks at the jailers in charge of Mary’s well-being while she was in England. Mayhew focuses on jailers in this book: Sir William Douglas, Henry 9th Lord Scrope, Sir Francis Knollys, Thomas Howard 4th Duke of Norfolk, Bess of Hardwick, Ralph Sadler, Sir Amyas Paulet, and Sir Drue Drury. Remarkably, we as readers get background information about every jailer and how their time with the prisoner queen affected them differently. For example, the imprisonment was so much of a strain that it tore the marriage between Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk, and Bess of Hardwick apart. We also see how the conditions of the castles and manors that Mary was housed in affected her mentally and physically. Some places that Mary was housed in included Carlisle Castle, Bolton Castle, Tutbury Castle, Sheffield Manor Lodge, and the infamous Fotheringhay Castle.

Like any prisoner, there are always escape attempts and plots afoot, and Mary Queen of Scots was no exception. Mayhew explores the famous schemes like Ridolfi and Babington and more minor attempts by Mary and those loyal to her. He also explores how jailers lived their lives after Mary Queen of Scots died. He concludes by examining how each jailer has been portrayed in literature and film/TV shows.

The one thing I wish Mayhew had not done in this book would have been to call Mary I “Bloody Mary” and Elizabeth I “Elizabeth Tudor.” Elizabeth I and Mary I were queens like Mary Queen of Scots, and their nicknames, especially Mary I, should not define who they were as rulers.

Overall, I think Mayhew did an excellent job making the topic of Mary Queen of Scots’ jailers exciting for his audience. It was a well-researched book that allows you to view Mary’s imprisonment and jailers differently. If you want to learn more about Mary Queen of Scots and her jailers, I recommend reading “Imprisoning Mary Queen of Scots: The Men Who Kept the Stuart Queen” by Mickey Mayhew.
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Mary, Queen of Scots has fascinated people from the days of her youth. That fascination only increased over the last 400+ years. I have read many books on her life, including a previous one  by this author. I can say with confidence that this book is a worthy addition to the vast library about her life. Mayhew focuses solely on the various people that served as jailers of Mary, giving in depth details about their everyday circumstances 'guarding' Mary. He also discusses the political climate of the time, particularly the various plots that were hatched to free Mary. We all know how those turned out, but reading about the machinations of her life and those responsible for 'guarding' her never gets old. Definitely a  worthwhile read, especially if you're a history buff like me.
Thanks to NetGalley and publisher Pen & Sword for this advanced copy, which I voluntarily read and reviewed. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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It was the second Mickey Mayhew book I've read. And I enjoyed reading it just like any other book. They immediately sent me ARC at my request via NetGalley. I started reading right away without wasting any time.

Mary Queen of Scots was a historical figure that intrigued me a lot. I received satisfying and direct information about Mary Queen of Scots.

General Information:

This book examines the lives and careers of the men and women who 'kept' Mary Queen of Scots as a political prisoner in England from 1568/9 to 1587. Mary's troubled claim to the English throne, much to the chagrin of her 'dear cousin' Elizabeth I, turned her into a mortal foe of the aforementioned Virgin Queen, setting them on a collision course from which only one would walk away. Mary's disastrous personal life, which included assassinations, kidnaps, and abdications, propelled her into England and right into the lap of Henry VIII's astute but insecure daughter. Having no choice but to keep Mary under lock and key, Elizabeth entrusted the task to some of England's most capable - not to mention richest - men and women: Sir Francis Knollys, Rafe Sadler (of Wolf Hall fame), the Earl of Shrewsbury and his wife, Bess of Hardwick, and, finally, the puritanical nit-picker Sir Amyas Paulet. Until now, these nobles were only minor characters in Mary's story; now, their own lives, loves, and fortunes are on display for all to see.

From Carlisle Castle to Fotheringay, these men and women nearly bankrupted themselves in order to keep the deposed Scots queen in the style she was accustomed to, while fending off countless escape plots, many of which Mary herself was often the author. It was a honeytrap escape plot set up by Elizabeth's ministers that eventually saw Mary brought to the executioner's block, but what about the lives of the gaolers who had previously acted as her guardians? This book explains how Mary's legendary charms destroyed Shrewsbury and Bess' marriage, and how Sir Amyas Paulet ended up making a guest appearance on 'Most Haunted' several hundred years after his death. The book also covers the appearances of these men and women in film and television, novels, and the various other Mary-related media that help keep the legend of this most misunderstood of monarchs simmering.

My Review:

It was written very very neatly and objectively, also he discussed and deal all the things very professionally and undauntedly. I think it’s not going to be the last Mickey Mayhew book for me, I will read all of his books which he wrote.
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Highly insightful. Really fascinating. As a big fan of Tudor history I really enjoyed reading this book.
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This book mainly covers Mary’s imprisonment in England and her troubled relationship with her cousin Queen Elizabeth. Have no fear though it covers much much more with great pictures, and index on the novels movies in place about queen Mary the actors that played the queen and her supporters and the tractors. It is all together A great reference and not just a very entertaining read. I think Mickey Mayhew went above and beyond in writing this book. I have read many books about queen Mary’s imprisonment And I can honestly say none were as detailed when it comes to the people she spoke to day today in those who talked about her behind her back. This is a great book and I highly recommend it. If you love royal history like I do you’ll love this book. I learned so much I didn’t know already and I have read a lot on queen Mary. Please forgive any errors as I am blind and dictate my review. All opinions are definitely my own I was given this book by Nick Galli NM leaving this review voluntarily.
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224 pages

5 stars

This book is a comprehensive study of Queen Mary of Scotland’s life and death. It begins at her birth with the death of her father only days later. When her life became threatened by the religious situation in Scotland, her mother, Mary of Guise, sent her to  France for her safety. At that time, France was an ally of Scotland. 

While in France, she was married to the Dauphin. He was sickly and died soon after taking the throne. Her husband’s mother was a controlling woman and left no doubt that Mary was no longer welcome. While she was a surviving Queen, she had no influence or power. 

Mary headed back to Scotland, which was by now a very Protestant country. She was held in suspicion since she was a Catholic. Mary, as Queen, was ahead of her time in declaring that she would not interfere with Protestantism as long as she could worship her own faith. 

Mary went on to make some very bad decisions as far as men were concerned. Unfaithful husbands, their betrayals, even murderous behavior was the norm for these men. (I had to shake my head and wonder how she concluded that she was in “love” with these rascals.) 

When she fled Scotland for England, she was imprisoned for nineteen years. Mary firmly believed that she had a right to the British throne, more so than Elizabeth I. Thus she was a threat to Elizabeth’s reign. She wasn’t, however, thrown into the Tower of London, she was held by various noble families. This was a great burden on the families and often impoverished them. She was a demanding prisoner who expected to be kept in the style to which she was accustomed. 

She was implicated in several plots against the English crown. 

This book is well written and very interesting. I especially liked the parts about the families with which Mary stayed. I did not know this and was fascinated by their tales. 

The book also contains a lengthy bibliography for those who would like to further explore Mary’s life. 

I want to thank NetGalley and Pen & Sword/Pen & Sword History for forwarding to me a copy of this wonderful book for me to read, enjoy and  review. The opinions  expressed here are solely my own.
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I have read the author's "The Little Book of Mary Queen of Scots" before and thoroughly enjoyed the accessibility, simplicity and organisation of it. This book was to prove no less of a disappointment.

The men who were placed in charge of Queen Mary are often sidelined in books due to the magnetic charm that Mary brings, however Mayhew successfully manages to pull these men (and woman) to the forefront in a refreshing angle on a well-known piece of history.

Along with breathing life into the stories of these individuals, I found the background on the residences that Mary was kept in was fascinating and added to the flow of information.

This is an incredibly readable book and one that I think will be essential for all those interested in the Stuart or Tudor Era.

Thank you so much to @penswordbooks for letting me read an advanced copy of this fascinating book on @netgalley
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Imprisoning Mary Queen of Scots: The Men Who Kept the Stuart Queen by Mickey Mayhew is an excellent nonfiction/history that delves into the fascinating and intricate lives of the many that took on the task of keeping watch over the infamous Mary Queen of Scots during her many years of imprisonment in England. 

This is such an amazing book that tells the background, history, and story of each of the individuals that housed Mary, their families, and even a little about the residences themselves. The author does an amazing job fitting it all in within Mary’s life and timeframe, and the reader even gets a better understanding and glimpse into her life as well. 

Well-researched, paced moderately, and felt effortless and more like fiction than nonfiction.

5/5 stars 

Thank you NG and Pen & Sword for this wonderful arc and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion.

I am posting this review to my GR and Bookbub accounts immediately and will post it to my Amazon, Instagram, and B&N accounts upon publication on 8/30/22.
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Another great nonfiction book by Pen&Sword! It’s great to learn more about the people and personalities surrounding Mary Stuart during her captivities. So many books care more about Mary and the people around her tend to become background or villains.
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