Marriage to Bothwell

 James Hepburn, 4th Earl of Bothwell
James Hepburn, 4th Earl of Bothwell

Within three months of Darnley’s murder, the Earl of Bothwell had married Mary in a Protestant ceremony in Edinburgh. The marriage was largely unpopular with the nobles.

Many reports say Mary was kidnapped and forced to marry Bothwell. Others said that she pretended to be kidnapped.

Mary’s apparent closeness to Bothwell before the murder of Darnley heightened suspicion of her involvement in Darnley’s murder.

Although a Protestant, Bothwell was not popular with many of the nobles who agreed that Bothwell should be put on trial for Lord Darnley’s murder. However, after Bothwell’s supporters intimidated the prosecution in Edinburgh, Bothwell was acquitted.

Catholics within the country and overseas were concerned about Mary’s apparent lack of commitment to her faith. The speed with which the marriage had occurred and the unpopularity of Bothwell amongst the nobles, led to Mary being accused of being part of the conspiracy to murder her husband.