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Posthumous portrait of Mary Queen of Scots

The chambers at Holyrood are filled with items associated with Mary


Tester bed late seventeenth-century

Carved wood covered in crimson foliate silk damask | 333.0 x 200.0 x 200.0 cm | RCIN 27918

King's Bedchamber, Palace of Holyroodhouse

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By 1854, the Office of Works in Scotland had taken over the care of the Historical Apartments at Holyroodhouse. At this time, this crimson damask bed was moved to Mary, Queen of Scots' Bedchamber. As a result, the bed lost all association with its original owners, the Dukes of Hamilton. Instead, it became known, romantically and erroneously, as Queen Mary’s bed. It was described by Sir Walter Scott as, ‘the couch of the rose of Scotland’. However, this bed is much more elaborate than the one that Mary would have used. The ornamental top, for example, is particular to the late seventeenth century.

  • Creator(s)

    English (nationality)

  • 333.0 x 200.0 x 200.0 cm (whole object)

  • Probably originally supplied to Anne, Duchess of Hamilton (in her own right) before 1684 for the Dukes of Hamilton apartments at the Palace of Holyroodhouse.