Jedburgh | Scottish Borders | Attractions
Jedburgh is one of the larger towns in the Scottish Borders and is on the shortest route to Edinburgh. This was a town that was invaded on over 10 occasions and occupied not just by the English but by the French also. Jedburgh is one of the four towns in the Scottish Borders with an Abbey.
Sir David Brewster K.R.
David Brewster was born in Jedburgh in 1781 and died in Edinburgh in 1868. David Brewster was one of the most important inventors of our time inventing the kaleidoscope, lenticular stereoscope, binocular camera, polyzonal lens, lighthouse illuminator, polarimeter. He also was instrumental in the development of fibre optics and lasers. His statue can be found in the King’s Buildings, one of the University of Edinburgh campus.
Mary Queen of Scots House |Visitors Centre
Queen Street Jedburgh ,TD8 6EN
The tower house where Mary Queen of Scots lived in 1566. with many artefacts of here life. Mary stayed here for over one month when recuperating from an illness.
Inside Mary Queen of Scots House
The people that were part of Mary Queen of Scots Life
Jedburgh’s Rock of Ages
The Rock stands in the gardens of Mary Queen of Scots visitor Centre named the Jedburgh’s Rock of Ages is an Anglo Saxon carved stone from circa 600 A.D.
The rock stands in the gardens of Mary Queen of Scots House Museum.
Mary Queen of Scots last letter.
It explains to the King of France, brother of her beloved first husband, that her Catholicism would not allow her to accept the stay of execution offered by Elizabeth if she agreed to renounce her faith.
Translation of Mary’s last letter from French
Queen of Scotland
8 Feb 1587
Royal brother, having by God’s will, for my sins I think, thrown myself into the power of the Queen my cousin, at whose hands I have suffered much for almost twenty years. I have finally been condemned to death by her and her Estates, I have asked for papers, which they have taken away, in order that I might make my will, bit I have been unable to recover anything of use to me, or even get leave either to make my will freely or to have my body conveyed after my death, as I would wish, to your kingdom where I had the honour to be queen, your sister and former ally.
Tonight, after dining, I was advised of my sentence: I am to be executed like a criminal at eight in the morning. I have not had time to give you a full account of everything that has happened, but if you will listen to my doctor and my other unfortunate servants, you will learn the truth, and how, thanks to God, I scorn death and vow that I meet it innocent of any crime, even if I were their subject. The Catholic faith and the assertion of my God given right to the English crown are the two issues on which I am condemned and yet I am not allowed to say that it is for my Catholic religion that I die, but for fear of interference with theirs. The proof of this is that they have taken away my chaplain and, although he is in the castle, I have not been able to get permission for him to come and hear my confession and give me the Last Sacrament, while they have been most insistent that I receive the consolation and instruction of their minister, brought here for that purpose. The bearer of this letter and his companions, most of them your subjects, will testify to my conduct at my hour. It remains for me to beg Your Most Christian Majesty, my brother-in-law and former ally, who has always protested your love for me, to give proof now of your goodness on all these points: firstly by charity, in paying my unfortunate servants the wages due them – this is a burden on my conscience that only you can relieve: further, by having prayer offered to God for a queen that has borne the title Most Christian, and who dies a Catholic, stripped of all her possessions. As for my son, I commend him to you in so far as he deserves, for I cannot answer for him. I have taken the liberty of sending you two precious stones, talismans against illness, trusting that you will enjoy good health and a long and happy life. Accept them from your loving sister-in-law, who, as she dies, bears witness of her warm feeling for you. Again I commend my servants to you. Give instructions, if it please you, that for my soul’s sake part of what you owe me shall be paid, and that for the sake of Jesus Christ, to whom I shall pray for you tomorrow as I die. I be left enough to found a memorial mass and give the customary alms.
Your most loving and most true sister,
To the Most Christian King and brother and former ally.
Mary Queen of Scots Life
Mary Queen of Scots was born in Linlithgow Palace on the 8 December 1542. James V her father was to survive only 6 days after her birth. Leaving Mary and her mother Mary of Guise, who was part of the next most powerful family in France to the King. At the age of 5 years on 29 July 1548 Mary was sent to France where she was brought up with Henry II family.
Mary married the Dauphin Francis on the 24 April 1558 age 15 years. The French pushed for Mary as the rightful Queen of England, with her cousin Elizabeth being considered illegitimate in Catholic eyes. Mary was rightfully next in line to the English throne after Elizabeth. (Mary’s grandmother Margaret was sister to King Henry the VIII therefor giving Mary a Tudor bloodline). Which would change with a catholic reformation in England.
On 30 June 1559, Mary became Queen Consort of France in June 1559 on the death of Henry II. Two further deaths would effect the young Mary first her mother died of an illness on 11 June 1560 and her husband Francis II died in December of the same year.
Mary returned to Scotland 19 August 1561 landing at Leith, now aged 18 years. Her return as a catholic Queen was not liked. She then married Lord Henry Darnley the next heir to the English throne July 1565. at 24 years of age. Mary was to give birth to a son James at Edinburgh Castle on the 19 June 1566. James was baptism at Stirling Castle.
In February 1567 Mary’s husband Lord Darnley was murdered by a group of noblemen. Mary to protect her position and the throne was to marry Bothwell. After many trials and rejections Mary finally married Bothwell on the 15 May 1566.
The nobles led by Morton and his army took Mary prisoner at Carberry on the 15 June 1566. She was taken to Edinburgh and then imprisoned at Loch Leven. While a prisoner she miscarried and was forced to abdicate in favour of her son James. Morton taking the position of regent.
Mary escaped joining her supporters only later to be defeated at Langside on 13 May 1568. Mary escaped after Langside and made her way to seek mercy from her cousin Elizabeth I. A letter written by Elizabeth I in September, 1569 to Moray assured him that she had no intention of restoring Mary to the Scottish throne. She was held prisoner at Carlisle Castle and then Bolton Castle by Ninth Baron Scrope, where she remained for 6 months. In January 1569 Mary was moved from Bolton to Tutbury Castle in Staffordshire.
Mary was moved regularly to ensure no plots could be construed to rescue her. In June 1569 she was taken to Wingfield Manor and returned to Tutbury. Then in November 1569 she was moved to Coventry, and yet again returned to Tutbury on 2nd January, 1570, remaining there until May the same year. For the next few years she was moved to other premises being returned to Tutbury for the final time on 14th January 1585. Later that year in December 1585 Mary was moved to nearby Chartley Castle. She was then finally moved to Fotheringay, where on the morning of Wednesday, 8th February 1587, she was executed by beheading at the age of 44 years.
Mary Queen of Scots Statue
This Statue of Mary Queen of Scots can be found on the outside of the National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh on Queen Street.
Mary Queen of Scots Death Mask
See a true likeness of Mary Queen of Scots in her death mask which is on display in the Jedburgh House Museum where Mary once lived.
Mary Queen of Scots Arrest Warrant
In the House in Jedburgh you can see the original warrant for the arrest of Mary which took place at Carberry in East Lothian.
Jedburgh Abbey 5 Abbey Place TD8 6BE Jedburgh 01835 863925
One of the four Abbey towns with Dryburgh, Kelso and Melrose. Jedburgh has been around since the 9th century and the Abbey was built circa 1148 and has been a ruin for over 450 years.
Jedburgh Mercat Cross
Jedburgh has played a game like Hand Ba’ (known as Jethart Ba’) annually between the Uppies living south above the town’s Mercat Cross, and the Doonies north born below it since circa 1700, originally played with the head of an Englishman. The Uppies goal is outside the Castle Jail and the Doonies goal is at the Pleasance. The game starts at the Mercat Cross which would have been at the centre of the town.
Jedburgh Castle Jail and Museum
Jedburgh Castle Jail Museum Castlegate TD8 6BD Jedburgh 01835 864750
Jedburgh Castle was built by David I and was destroyed in 1409 and the present Jail, constructed circa 1823. As many castles in the borders with invading English forces they were continually attacked and many were destroyed or burnt down. Jedburgh was destroyed by the Scots to stop the English from using it.
The Jail was constructed on the site of the old Jedburgh castle and the construction took on the look of an ancient castle. The jail is as it was in the 1820’s and walking around in and out the cells gives you a fell of how people were imprisoned. Jedburgh Castle Jail is now a visitor attraction and museum telling the story of the people and town of Jedburgh’s history.