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Murray, James Stuart, 1st earl of

James Stuart Murray, 1st earl of (both: mûr´ē), 1531?–1570, Scottish nobleman. An illegitimate son of James V by a daughter of the earl of Mar, he was, therefore, half-brother of Mary Queen of Scots. Early a Protestant sympathizer, he joined the lords of the congregation in 1559 and was a leader of the opposition to the regent, Mary of Guise. After the return to Scotland of the young queen Mary (1561), he was her adviser, always favoring friendship with England and advocating religious reform. He opposed Mary's marriage (1565) to Lord Darnley and, after an abortive rebellion, fled to England. He returned (1566) immediately after the murder of David Rizzio and was reconciled with Mary, who did not know that he had been involved in the murder conspiracy. When Mary was forced to abdicate in 1567, Murray was the only feasible candidate for regent. He made every effort to perpetuate Mary's incarceration and worked in the interests of the young king James VI, the English, and Protestantism. He was assassinated by a member of the Hamilton family. With John Knox, who wrote a panegyric on him, Murray was largely responsible for the success of the Scottish Reformation.

See biography by M. Lee (1953, repr. 1971).

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Moray, James Stewart, 1st earl of

Moray, James Stewart, 1st earl of [S] (1531–70). Illegitimate son of James V and thus half-brother of Mary Stuart. As Lord James Stewart, he played a key role in the protestant rebellion of 1559–60, subsequently dominating the provisional government which negotiated Mary's peaceful return to Scotland in 1561. Rewarded in 1562 with the earldom of Moray, his policy of ‘amity’ with England was destroyed by Mary's marriage to Darnley in 1565, which pushed Moray into rebellion and temporary exile in England. Restored to favour the following year, he was judiciously absent abroad during the crisis triggered by Mary's marriage to Bothwell. On his return in August 1567, he was made regent for the infant James VI. His defeat of Mary at Langside in May 1568 lent his regime some credibility, but support for the Marian cause remained strong. In January 1570 he was assassinated by the Hamiltons, staunch supporters of the exiled queen.

Roger A. Mason

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