James Stewart,1st Earl of Moray

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About James Stewart,1st Earl of Moray

James Stewart, 1st Earl of Moray (c. 1531 – 11 January 1570)[1], a member of the House of Stewart, was Regent of Scotland from 1567 until his assassination in 1570.

Moray was the illegitimate son of King James V of Scotland and Lady Margaret Erskine, daughter of John Erskine, 5th Lord Erskine.

After the return of his half-sister Queen Mary I in 1561, he became her chief adviser, and was created Earl of Moray by her the following year. In 1562 he defeated a rebellion by George Gordon, 4th Earl of Huntly, at the Battle of Corrichie near Aberdeen. About this time Moray married Agnes (d. 1588), daughter of William Keith, 4th Earl Marischal.

After Moray opposed Mary's marriage to Lord Darnley in 1565, he embarked upon the unsuccessful 'Chaseabout Raid', together with the Earl of Argyll, and the Hamiltons. He was subsequently declared an outlaw and took refuge in England. Returning to Scotland after the murder of David Rizzio, he was pardoned by the Queen. He contrived, however, to be away at the time of Darnley's assassination, and avoided the tangles of the marriage with Bothwell by going to France. After the abdication of Queen Mary at Loch Leven, in July 1567, he was appointed regent of Scotland. When Mary escaped from Loch Leven (May 2, 1568), the Duke of Chatelherault and other nobles rallied to her standard, but Moray gathered his allies and defeated her forces at the Battle of Langside, near Glasgow (May 13, 1568), and compelled her to flee to England. For this and the subsequent management of the kingdom he secured both civil and ecclesiastical peace, and earned the title of "The Good Regent." Moray was responsible for the destruction of Rutherglen castle which he burned to the ground in 1569, in retribution against the Hamiltons for having supported Mary, at the Battle of Langside.

Moray was assassinated in Linlithgow in January 1570 by James Hamilton of Bothwellhaugh, a supporter of Mary. The assassin, using a pistol, fired at Moray from a window as the latter was passing in a cavalcade in the main street below, fatally wounding him.[2]His was the first ever recorded assassination by a firearm.[3] He was buried on 14 February 1570 at St. Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh. His wife, Agnes was buried inside his tomb when she died in 1588.


1st Earl of Moray;

Regent of Scotland


Alt death dates: 1/23/1570, 1/21/1569 -------------------- James Stuart, 1st Earl of Moray was born illegitimately in 1531.1 He married Lady Anne Keith, daughter of William Keith, 3rd Earl Marischal and Margaret Keith, on 8 February 1561/62.3 He died on 20 January 1569/70 at Linlithgow, West Lothian, Scotland, shot by James Hamilton of Bothwellhaugh.4

    He was the son of James V Stewart, King of Scotland and Margaret Erskine.1 He gained the title of 1st Earl of Moray.1 He gained the title of Earl of Mar.1 On 31 August 1536 he had a charter of the lands of Tantallon and others.4 He was the Prior in 1538 at St. Andrews, Fife, Scotland.4 He held the office of Regent of Scotland on 22 August 1567.4

Children of James Stuart, 1st Earl of Moray and Lady Anne Keith

   Elizabeth Stuart, Countess of Moray+ d. 18 Nov 1591
   Annabel Stuart d. b 1572
   Lady Margaret Stuart5 d. 1586


   [S11] Alison Weir, Britain's Royal Family: A Complete Genealogy (London, U.K.: The Bodley Head, 1999), page 242. Hereinafter cited as Britain's Royal Family.
   [S3409] Caroline Maubois, "re: Penancoet Family," e-mail message to Darryl Roger Lundy, 2 December 2008. Hereinafter cited as "re: Penancoet Family."
   [S6] G.E. Cokayne; with Vicary Gibbs, H.A. Doubleday, Geoffrey H. White, Duncan Warrand and Lord Howard de Walden, editors, The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, Extant, Extinct or Dormant, new ed., 13 volumes in 14 (1910-1959; reprint in 6 volumes, Gloucester, U.K.: Alan Sutton Publishing, 2000), volume IX, page 183. Hereinafter cited as The Complete Peerage.
   [S323] Sir James Balfour Paul, The Scots Peerage: founded on Wood's edition of Sir Robert Douglas's The Peerage of Scotland (Edinburgh, Scotland: David Douglas, 1904), volume I, page 23. Hereinafter cited as The Scots Peerage.
   [S37] Charles Mosley, editor, Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage, 107th edition, 3 volumes (Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.A.: Burke's Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd, 2003), volume 1, page 1336. Hereinafter cited as Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 107th edition.
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James Stewart,1st Earl of Moray's Timeline

May 22, 1533
Edinburgh, Midlothian, , Scotland
February 8, 1561
Age 27
August 1565
Age 32
Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland
Age 31
Lanarkshire, UK
April 18, 1569
Age 35
Scotland, United Kingdom
Age 35
January 11, 1570
Age 36
Linlithgow, West Lothian, , Scotland
February 1570
Age 36
St. Giles