© Lennoxlove House Ltd
Formerly in Hamilton Palace, South Lanarkshire, now
in Lennoxlove, East Lothian
A small piece of paper was placed in the casket
in the 17th century describing its history. Some time after 1632,
it had been bought by the Marchioness of Douglas, mother of the
3rd Duke of Hamilton, 'from a papist'. The man told her that it
had belonged to Mary, Queen of Scots.
He said that it had been used it to carry letters
between Mary and her alleged lover, James,
4th Earl of Bothwell. The queen's coat of arms was engraved
on the front, but the marchioness had it replaced with her own.
After her death in 1674, her executors sold the casket to a goldsmith.
Duchess Anne had heard
the story of the casket from her mother-in-law and she decided to
buy it back. At her husband's suggestion, she had the Douglas coat
of arms erased and her own were put on instead.