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Mary Queen of Scots

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The Earl of Moray
Fact Files | Biographies | The Earl of Moray

The Earl of Moray

Born c. 1531 and murdered 1570. Moray, born James Stewart, was the illegitimate half-brother of Mary Queen of Scots.

Moray was a ruthless, and clever politician who always seemed to be in the right place at the right time. Ambitious and power-hungry, he was the most powerful nobleman of his age. He played a major part in driving Mary from Scotland.

Moray and the Lords of the Congregation

Desperate to increase his power and influence, Moray, (then just James Stewart,) sided with other Protestant noblemen to form a force called the Lords of the Congregation. Together they fought the French-backed Mary of Guise for control of Scotland.

After the death of Mary of Guise, and the end of the Auld Alliance with France, Moray was the leading nobleman in Scotland.

Moray persuaded his half-sister to return from France and take her throne in Scotland - making sure HE was her personal advisor.

Moray and Mary

Moray became wealthy from being Mary's closest advisor, but it wasn't enough - he wanted power.

Moray was implicated in the murder of Mary's closest friend, David Riccio.

Moray led the rebellion against Mary after she married Lord Darnley.

Moray was instrumental in forcing Mary to abdicate.

Moray defeated Mary's army at the battle of Langside. After the battle, Mary fled to England.

After Mary abdicated, Moray made sure he became regent - ruling Scotland while Mary's son, James, was too young to do it himself.

As well as having powerful friends he also had powerful enemies. In January 1570 he was shot and killed while riding through Linlithgow.

The Earl of Moray

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