Mary Queen of Scots 'sick note' beats estimate by 66.6%

A "sick note" letter penned by Mary Queen of Scots auctioned for £5,000 ($7,835) in Edinburgh yesterday (March 15), 66.6% over its £3,000 expected sale value.

The historic manuscript was one of a number of 16th century collectibles originally from Blair Castle, Ayrshire (understood to be the oldest continually lived-in mansion in Scotland).



Penned by Mary's own fair
hand sold for £5,000

A painting by James Howe, The Last of the Leith Races, led the sale at £36,000.

All of the lots were sold by Luke and Caroline Borwick. The couple have sold the property after living there for 11 years.

The Mary Queen of Scots note dates to March 14, 1554, and is believed to have been written to the castle's Laird of Blair. The note relieves Blair of his duties because of gout.

We commented prior to the sale that the Mary Queen of Scots letter would likely exceed its pre-sale estimate, given the market values of other historic monarchs' letters.

Rare examples we currently have for sale include a King Henry VII autographed historical document.

Signed by Henry, the first monarch of the House of Tudor, this is one of the few documents to have survived the 500-plus years since his reign.

The letter is in especially good condition - click here to find out more.

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