Editors. "Elizabeth I signs the death warrant against Mary Queen of Scots". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 01 February 2011
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=15347, accessed 20 April 2014.]
Elizabeth I finally signs a warrant for the execution of Mary Queen of Scots. This sentence is carried out on 8th February at Fotheringhay Castle. Almost as soon as she has sent off the warrant, however, Elizabeth creates the impression of having regretted the decision, either the result of a real change of heart or in an attempt to salvage her reputation over the affair. As a result, she inflicts a heavy fine on William Davidson, Secretary of State, for sending the death warrant to Fotheringhay, and berates William Cecil, Lord Burghley, for his part in carrying out the execution.