Mar, John Erskine, earl of

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Mar, John Erskine, earl of [S] (c.1510–72). Mar's grandfather died at Flodden. Mar commenced a clerical career but abandoned it when his two elder brothers died. He succeeded his father as Lord Erskine in 1555 and was recognized as the rightful earl of Mar in 1565. A member of the reforming party, he had custody of the infant James VI and was active against Mary. In 1571–2 he was regent, though real power was in the hands of Morton, and after his death his widow remained governess of the king until 1578. His son John was one of the leaders of the Ruthven raid in 1582 in which the young king was kidnapped, and was disgraced in 1584. But, unlike Gowrie, he worked his way back into favour and became one of James's closest friends. He followed the king to England in 1603 and was given the Garter. From 1616 to 1630 he was treasurer [S].

J. A. Cannon

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John Erskine 2d (or 7th) earl of Mar

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