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Mary, Queen of Scots being led to execution

Mary, Queen of Scots being led to execution, by William Luson Thomas, published by  Illustrated London News, after  Scipione Vannutelli, published 3 January 1863 - NPG D13135 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

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Mary, Queen of Scots being led to execution

by William Luson Thomas, published by Illustrated London News, after Scipione Vannutelli
wood engraving, published 3 January 1863
9 7/8 in. x 6 7/8 in. (250 mm x 176 mm) paper size
Given by Marion Harry Spielmann, 1893
Reference Collection
NPG D13135

Sitterback to top

Artistsback to top

  • Illustrated London News (active 1884-1938), Publisher. Artist associated with 82 portraits.
  • William Luson Thomas (1830-1900), Engraver and founder of the Graphic and the Daily Graphic. Artist associated with 2 portraits, Sitter in 2 portraits.
  • Scipione Vannutelli (1834-1894). Artist associated with 1 portrait.

This portraitback to top

Following the defeat of her forces at Langside in 1568, Mary fled to England to seek the protection of Elizabeth I. This disastrous decision led to her imprisonment for eighteen years in a series of English Castles. As a focus for Catholic rebellion in England, with a claim to the English throne, she eventually became too great a threat for Elizabeth to tolerate. After a trial at Fotheringhay Castle she was executed on 8 February 1587. Although found guilty of complicity in plots to assassinate Elizabeth, Mary saw herself as dying for her faith rather than politics. This print, like most scenes of her progress towards her execution, shows Mary serene in the expectation of her martyrdom.

Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top

Events of 1863back to top

Current affairs

The opening of the world's first underground railway, with the Metropolitan Railway running trains between Bishop's Street, Padington and Farringdon. Work had begun in 1860, using the 'cut-and-cover' method of construction. The Metropolitan line inspired the construction of other underground railways - the Parisian 'Metro' took its name from the line.
The Football Association is founded.

Art and science

Julia Margaret Cameron takes up photography, taking portraits of some of the most celebrated figures of the day, with her romantic style capturing the sense of nostalgia and longing that characterised the age.
Kingsley's Water Babies; A Fairy Tale for Children is published, the hugely popular tale of drowned chimney sweep Tom's moral education in the river world of the water babies. It inspired the 1978 film starring James Mason.

International

At an international conference, the Geneva Public Welfare Society calls on the sixteen nations present to form voluntary units to help the wartime wounded. The society, comprised of five Swiss citizens and led by Henri Dunant, who had been deeply affected by the casualties he had witnessed at the Battle of Solferino, became the National Red Cross Societies, adopting the emblem of a red cross on white background.

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