Page last updated at 21:33 GMT, Wednesday, 9 April 2008 22:33 UK

Queen's death warrant copy shown

Warrant
The document had faced being taken overseas but was saved

A copy of the warrant for the execution of Mary Queen of Scots is to go on show after being saved for the UK.

The document had faced being taken overseas by a private buyer but it was recently acquired by the library of the Archbishop of Canterbury.

It is soon to be made available for viewing at Blairs Museum on the outskirts of Aberdeen.

The Catholic Queen was executed on 8 February, 1587 at Fotheringhay Castle in Northamptonshire.

The leader of Scotland's Roman Catholic Church, Cardinal Keith O'Brien, made the announcement about the Blairs display after talks with the Archbishop of Canterbury and First Minister Alex Salmond.

'A misfortune'

The document was acquired by the library of the Archbishop of Canterbury at Lambeth Palace for 72,485, with the help of heritage bodies' donations.

The purchase came after a temporary export ban was put in place last November by the government after a private owner applied for a licence to take it overseas.

Mary Queen of Scots
Mary Queen of Scots was executed in 1587

The reviewing committee on the export of works of art and objects of cultural interest, administered by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council, (MLA), had recommended that the manuscript was "so closely connected with our history and national life that its departure would be a misfortune".

Blairs Museum houses the famous Mary Queen of Scots Memorial Portrait.

Her cousin, Elizabeth I, signed the warrant but later claimed she had given no instruction for its enactment.

The original warrant disappeared in the recriminations which followed.




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The death warrant will be displayed at Blairs Museum



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