Time and History 8:00 P.M. David Rizzio is Murdered

About major and minor historical events around the clock such as the murder of David Rizzio, secretary to Mary, Queen of Scots at eight o'clock in the evening.


8:00 in the Evening

Mar. 9, 1566, David Rizzio, secretary to Mary, Queen of Scots, was hacked to pieces in the most sensational political murder in British history.

Twenty-three-year-old Mary Queen of Scots was six months pregnant and the birth of her child would have dashed the hopes of her husband, Henry Lord Darnley, to become the crown matrimonial of Scotland. With ruthless cunning, he planned to force Mary into having a miscarriage by watching her favorite, the Italian secretary. David Rizzio, brutally murdered.

Under the pretense that Rizzio was Mary's lover, an armed party of six Scottish noblemen with swords and daggers went to the palace of Holyrood in Edinburgh and made their way to where the queen was having supper with her half brother, her half sister, and Rizzio. The men rushed into the room and dragged Rizzio, who was clinging to Mary's skirts, to the door. There he was stabbed with 56 dagger thrusts, the first being with Darnley's own weapon, which was left in his heart. But the conspirators had failed to allow for Mary's resilience. She cunningly organized a formal reconciliation with Darnley and later gave birth to a child who afterward became James I of Great Britain. On Feb. 9, 1567, Darnley was murdered, almost certainly with Mary's knowledge.

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