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The Return of Mary Queen of Scots to Edinburgh

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The Return of Mary Queen of Scots to Edinburgh 1870

Not on display

  • Scottish Art
The present-day title would suggest that this picture shows Mary's return to Edinburgh after her defeat at Carberry Hill, but Drummond actually portrayed Mary’s subsequent departure from Edinburgh at sunset on 17 June 1567 to be incarcerated in the island fortress of Lochleven Castle. She is shown encountering the banner with its hostile slogan, accusing her of Darnley's murder. The character of Mary fascinated many nineteenth-century writers and painters, and different views as to her guilt or misfortune were put forward. Drummond does not reveal his own attitude, but suggests by means of Mary's fallen glove (a glove or gage required a champion to pick it up and fight in its defence) the enigma and challenge which her story still poses.


  • Acc. No. NG 625
  • Medium Oil on canvas
  • Size 86.40 x 125.10 cm (framed: 108.50 x 147.50 x 7.50 cm)
  • Credit Bequest of the artist 1877