Hollywood history is served to the gullible, as pig-swill to pigs, who, so gorged, are ready recipients of more.; dished out by propagandists disguised as historians.

Consider the anguish that Queen Elizabeth is portrayed as feeling when she sanctioned her cousin’s judicial murder.

(Secretary of State) Davison was leaving the apartment, when she (Queen Elizabeth) began a complaint against Sir Amyas Pawlet and others, who, as she said, might have rendered the signing the warrant (to execute her cousin, Mary) unnecessary; and she expressed a wish or a hint that Davison or Walsingham might yet write both to Sir Amyas and Sir Drew Drury (Mary’s goalers), in order to sound their disposition as to privately dispatching the Queen of Scots! Davison, who had always shrunk from the secret murder, assured her that it would be merely labour lost; but, finding her extremely desirous to have such a letter written to the two gaolers, he says that, to satisfy her, he promised to signify her pleasure, and then took his leave …

Later in the day he called upon Walsingham, showed the warrant, and arranged with him the matter of a letter to Sir Amyas Pawlet and Sir Drew Drury … They told Sir Amyas Pawlet that they found by speech lately uttered by her majesty, that she doth note in them both (Pawlet and Drury) a lack of that care and zeal that she looked for at their hands, in that they had not in all this time, of themselves, without other provocation, found out some way to shorten the life of that Queen.

Davison knew his mistress … and he asked whether, having proceeded so far, she had not a resolute intention to execute the sentence. She answered yes, and swore a great oath, but that she thought it might have been done in another way; and she asked him whether he had not heard from Sir Amyas Pawlet. Hereupon Davison produced Pawlet’s answer to the infamous epistle which he and Walsingham had written. It appeared that Pawlet, though an unfeeling bigot, had some conscience, which was, however, no doubt quickened by his fear of consequences in this world. In great grief and bitterness of mind he deplored being so unhappy as to have lived to see this unhappy day, in which he was required, by direction from his most gracious sovereign, to do an act which God and the law forbade. His goods, his life, were at her majesty’s disposal; he was ready to lose them the next morrow if it should so please her, “but God forbid that he should make so foul a shipwreck of his conscience”, or leave so great a blot to his posterity, as to shed blood without law and warrant. Elizabeth then called Pawlet, lately her “dear and faithful Pawlet,”a “precise and dainty fellow” (effeminate); and … she accused him and others, who had taken the oath of association, of perjury and breach of faith, they having all promised and vowed great things for her, and performing nothing. She said, however, that there were some who would do the thing for her sake, and she named one Wingfield, who with some others would have done it. Upon which Davison once more insisted on the injustice and dishonour of secret assassination, and upon the great danger which would have been brought upon Pawlet and Drury if they had consented. On the 1th of February, at the very moment when the walls of Fotheringay Castle were echoing with the noise made by the workmen in erecting Mary’s scaffold, Elizabeth began an earnest conversation with Davison, on the danger in which she lived, telling him that it was more than time that the affair was concluded, swearing a great oath, and commanding him to write a sharp letter to Sir Amyas Pawlet.

(From: George L. Craik, The Pictorial History of England, pp. 668-9, 1839).

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