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Escape of Mary Queen of Scots

About seven days previous to Mary Queen of Scots
ultimate escape from imprisonment in Loch Leven Castle, she had made an attempt which was almost successful.
Disguised as a laundress, with a bundle of clothes in her band, and a muffler on her face, she stepped from tlse castle quite fearlessly, and entered the boat in waiting to reconvey the real laundress to Kinross. The boatmen proposed to pull down her muffler, saying, ‘‘ Let us
see what manner of dame this is.”

The queen, to protect her face, unwittingly put up her hand, whose remarkable whiteness caused her to be at once recognised, and, despite her commands and entreaties alike, the boatmen returned to the castle, promising forever to keep the adventure a secret.

Undeterred by the failure of this enterprise, Mary renewed her plans and prevailed upon William Douglas
(called the Little Douglas) to assist in her escape. On the memorable evening of Sunday, the 2nd of May 1568,
at seven o’clock, taking an opportunity, while his lord was at supper, to steal the keys of the castle from the table on which they lay, he let the queen and her maid of honour out of the apartment in which they were secured. Unlocking the doors of the castle, and afterwards
locking the iron-grated door of the tower, they then embarked in a small skiff, which had been moored at the appproaches of the castle, and which, after the keys bad been thrown intn the loch, was rowed towards the shore. Douglas, not being accustomed to handle the oar, made very little progress ; but, Mary taking one in her own fair hands, they ultimately landed in safety.

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