James Stuart 1st earl of Murray

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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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