Skip to main content

Mar, John Erskine, 1st (or 6th) earl of

John Erskine Mar, 1st (or 6th) earl of, d. 1572, regent of Scotland. As Lord Erskine he was keeper of Edinburgh and Stirling castles, a source of much political strength. In the struggle between the regent Mary of Guise and the Protestant nobles, Erskine intervened to a limited degree on both sides, and on the approach of the English (1559) he received the regent into Edinburgh Castle. When Mary Queen of Scots returned from France in 1561 he was made a member of her privy council, and in 1565 he was created earl of Mar. (There is still dispute as to whether this constituted a restoration of the earldom of Mar, as Erskine claimed, or a new creation; hence the alternative numbering.) In 1567, Mar was given custody of Mary's young son, later James VI. The earl of Bothwell tried to gain control of the prince, but Mar evaded him and joined the revolt of the nobles. He was one of the council to whom Mary signed (1567) over the government. Although Mar was chosen regent after the earl of Lennox's death in 1571, James Douglas, the earl of Morton, held the real power. Mar's death forestalled a proposal by Elizabeth I of England that Mary, a prisoner in England, be turned over to the Scots for execution. His wife continued as a guardian of James.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Mar, John Erskine, 1st (or 6th) earl of." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . 10 Dec. 2018 <>.

"Mar, John Erskine, 1st (or 6th) earl of." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . (December 10, 2018).

"Mar, John Erskine, 1st (or 6th) earl of." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved December 10, 2018 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.