Codebreakers Finally Decipher Mary Queen of Scots’ Letters From 1580s

  • Codebreakers are finally revealing the secrets of Mary Queen of Scots’ lost letters — over 430 years after she wrote them in captivity.
  • An international team found this treasure trove in a French library, allowing them to crack the coded letters, penned by Mary while she was imprisoned by her cousin Queen Elizabeth I and believed for centuries to have been lost.
  • Using computerized and manual techniques, the research team decoded the letters which show the challenges Mary faced maintaining links with the outside world, how the letters were carried and by whom.
  • Key themes in Mary’s letters include complaints about her poor health and conditions in captivity, and her negotiations with Queen Elizabeth I for her release — which she believes were not conducted in good faith.