Donations allow valuable artifact to remain in English hands

Published April 1, 2008

The British government has placed an export ban on artifacts like the warrant for the execution of Mary Queen of Scots in 1587.

The library at Lambeth Palace, the official London residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury, has acquired a copy of the warrant for the execution of Mary Queen of Scots, one of the best-known and dramatic events in British history, thanks to benefactors who donated funds to purchase the document.

Last November, the British minister of state for culture Margaret Hodge placed a temporary export ban on the document, following a recommendation by a review committee on the export of works of art and objects of cultural interest, administered by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council. The government export ban came after a private owner applied for an export licence to take it overseas.

Lambeth Palace Library was able to purchase the document for £72,485.50 ($143,296) with funding help from various heritage groups.

Mary Queen of Scots, who claimed the crowns of England and Scotland, was one of the most popular and controversial monarchs of 16th century Europe. She was executed in 1587 at the age of 44.

Lambeth Palace Library,, is open to the public for research. The copy of the warrant is now available for research and exhibition.

With files from Episcopal Life


Keep on reading

Skip to content