The video helps explain how it all came unraveled for Mary, Queen of Scots:

She’s unaware at the time that the English state, particularly Francis Walsingham, the secretary of state, has employed a man named Thomas Phelippes, who’s a brilliant cryptographer who has what to the English is a new method of cracking these codes.

It’s known as frequency analysis and works by studying how commonly used letters appear when enciphered.

Mary, Queen of Scots has gotten extra attention lately thanks to a new Hollywood blockbuster that comes out today. Admittedly, I haven’t seen the movie yet, so I don’t even know how the story of Mary’s cipher is covered.

Did you catch a screening yet? How did they cover the cipher in the film? Sound off in the comments.


Correction: An earlier version of this post said that “England wasn’t too happy with the fact that she was a Protestant.” I, of course, meant to type “wasn’t” a Protestant. I apologize for the error. I also wrote “thrown” instead of “throne.” Again, I apologize for being an idiot.