An example of letter locking – where people lined letters in envelopes to ensure the security of a document – the fallen monarch used a spiral locking process to seal a message that was “a last will and a testament.” and an offer for martyrdom, âresearch released Friday said.
“Powerful and moving”
She used a series of intricate folding and slitting techniques to close the letter, which the researchers describe as “one of the most spectacular examples of spiral locking” in the article.
A “powerful and moving” testimony, the letter was probably folded by the monarch herself while she was in her prison cell. There are also stains on the letter, which some historians believe could be evidence that Mary’s tears stained the paper, research has found.
Mary became a political target during the reign of Elizabeth I and was executed at the age of 44. Credit: Archives of Universal History / Getty Images
“I asked for my papers, which they took away from me, so that I could make my will, but I could not recover anything useful to me, nor even obtain the authorization to make my will freely. or to have my body transported after my death, as I would like, to your kingdom where I had the honor of being queen, your sister and former ally, “says the letter.
“I must be executed like a criminal at eight in the morning,” the letter adds.
Since Mary did not have access to most of her possessions at the time, including her letter writing utensils, she should have cut the letter using another blade – and may have been helped by his ladies-in-waiting Jane Kennedy and Elizabeth. Curle.
Mary used a spiral locking technique to seal the last letter she wrote before her execution. Credit: National Library of Scotland / Unlocking History / British Library Journal
It played a crucial role in “the history of secrecy systems,” enabling “global correspondence in the early modern period as fundamentally as computer coding underpins digital communication today,” according to the research paper. .