Elizabeth R

Season 1 Episode 4

Horrible Conspiracies

Aired Unknown Mar 10, 1971 on BBC Two

Episode Recap

More years have passed, and attention turns to Elizabeth's closest relative and greatest enemy, Mary, Queen of Scots. Imprisoned by Elizabeth for many years, Mary is a focal point for Catholic unrest in England. Walsingham is concerned for Elizabeth's security but knows that the queen will never consent to Mary's execution without incontrovertible proof of her treachery. He engineers a meeting between the Scottish queen and Sir Anthony Babington, a leading Catholic aristocrat. A plot develops to overthrow Elizabeth and seize the throne, a plot followed step by step by Walsingham. Its revelation leads to Queen Mary's trial and conviction, but Elizabeth cannot bring herself to order the execution of an anointed queen. Ultimately, she signs the death warrant, only to disavow it later. But her recantation is too late; the Queen of Scots is executed.
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