Robert Boyd, 1st Lord Boyd of Kilmarnock

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Robert Boyd

Birthplace: Kilmarnock, Renfrewshire, Scotland
Death: Died in Alnwick, Northumberland, Scotland, United Kingdom
Cause of death: Died in exile.
Place of Burial: Alnwick, Northumberland, England, United Kingdom
Immediate Family:

Son of Thomas Boyd, 5th Baron of Kilmarnock; Sir Thomas Boyd (5th of Kilmarnock); Isabell Boyd and Unknown
Husband of Mariota Maxwell of Calderwood
Father of Thomas Boyd, 1st Earl of Arran; Alexander Boyd, 3rd Lord Boyd of Kilmarnock; Archibald Boyd of Bonshaw; John Boyd; Elizabeth Boyd and 3 others
Brother of Janet Boyd
Half brother of Boyd; Sir Alexander Boyd of Drumcol; Marion Boyd of Kilmarnock; Archibald Boyd of Narston and Bonshaw and Thomas Lord Boyd, Earl of Arran

Occupation: Regent of Scotland 1466
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Robert Boyd, 1st Lord Boyd of Kilmarnock

Robert Boyd (d. c1470) Lord Boyd, was a Scottish statesman.

A son of Sir Thomas Boyd (d. 1439), Robert Boyd belonged to an old and distinguished family, of which one earlier Sir Robert Boyd, had fought with Sir William Wallace and Robert The Bruce.

Created Lord Boyd in 1454 by James II, he was one of the Regents during the minority of King James III, in 1460. He conspired with his brother, Sir Alexander Boyd, and obtained possession of the King's person in 1466 and was made by Act of Parliament sole Governor of the Realm.

He negotiated the marriage between James and Margaret of Norway in 1469 and secured with it the cession of the Orkney Islands by Norway. He was appointed Great Chamberlain for life, and Lord Justice General in 1467.

Conflict broke out between the King and the Boyd family. Robert, and his son Thomas Boyd, 1st Earl of Arran (who was married to Princess Mary), were out of the country involved in diplomatic activities when their regime was overthrown. Robert, 1st Lord Boyd was pronounced guilty of treason and fled firstly to Alnwick, Northumberland. His brother and assistant, Sir Alexander Boyd, was captured and beheaded on 22 November 1469.

Robert 1st Lord Boyd fought in the English service in the French wars, and died in exile.

He married Mariotta, daughter of Sir John Maxwell of Calderwood, and had numerous issue. One of his daughters, Elizabeth, married Archibald Douglas, 5th Earl of Angus.


  • This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.
  • Townend, Peter, editor, Burke's Peerage, Baronetage, & Knightage, 105th edition, London, 1970, p.1486.

Robert Boyd, 1st Lord Boyd, so created between 1451 and 18 July 1454; knighted c1451; a Regent for the infant James III 1460; took custody of James III 1466 and got an Act of Parliament passed making himself sole Governor of Scotland, also Great Chamberlain 1467; attainted (and his peerage forfeited) 1469 while away from court negotiating the transfer of Orkney to Scotland as a dowry for the King of Norway's daughter, whose marriage with James III he had arranged. [Burke's Peerage]

Robert Boyd, 1st Lord Boyd, Great Chamberlain of Scotland , and Marlot, daughter of Sir Robert Maxwell of Calderwood . [Magna Charta Sureties]

Granted the title Lord Boyd prior to 13 July 1459 by James II, and was one of the commissioners sent to prolong the truce with England, which continued for nine years. In 1468 he was granted full power to visit the courts of England, Spain, France, Denmark, Burgundy, Savoy, and others to find a wife for King James III. A marriage treaty was concluded with King Christian I of Denmark, who agreed to give his daughter to James III, along with the islands of Orkney and Shetland as dowry.

Boyd was later accused of treason and fled to England under sentence of death.

Notes from Sally Walmsley []:

Baron Boyd, Robert Boyd, son and heir of Thomas Boyd of Kilmarnock (who died 9 July 1439). He was knighted, and was created a Peer of Parliament (LORD BOYD [SCT]) by James II at some date between 1451 and 18 July 1454 when he took his seat, as such, in Parliament. In 1460 he was one of the REGENTS [SCT] during the King's minority. In 1464 he was one of the commissioners for a truce with Edward IV. Having obtained possession of the person of the young King (for which, as hereafter mentioned, he was eventually condemned for high treason), he was by Act of of Parliament 25 October 1466, made sole GOVERNOR OF THE REALM [SCT]: GREAT CHAMBERLAIN [SCT] 1467. Early in this year he procured the marriage of his eldest son Thomas, (created Earl of Arran [SCT] for that occasion) with Mary, elder sister of the King, which aroused the jealousy of the other nobles. He obtained the cession of Orkney to Scotland, 8 September 1468, from Christian, King of Norway, for whose daughter Margaret, he negotiated a marriage with the King. While absent for that purpose he and his said son (the Earl of Arran) and his brother (and coadjutor) Sir Alexander Boyd, were attainted for high treason, as stated above, whereby his Peerage became forfeited. He married Mariot (or Janet), daughter of Sir Robert Maxwell, of Calderwood. She died after 2 June 1472, apparently early in 1473. He was living Easter 1480/1, and died before 1482, it is said at Alnwick, where he fled in 1469 . (taken from Gen-medieval - 13/Mar/2000),_1st_Lord_Boyd

SIR ROBERT BOYD, THE GREAT LORD KILMARNOCK, was a man of great parts, and eminent as a statesman. He was in such great favor with King James II, that he created him Lord of Parliament in 1459.

The eminent abilities of this distinguished nobleman claim a more extended notice, as they raised him to the highest pinnacle of grandeur. Historians have thought it sufficient honour to record of his father that he had for his son THE GREAT ROBERT BOYD. In what manner the early years of his life were passed, or of what age he was when deprived of theguidance and instruction of his father, we are uninformed.

Towards the end of the reign of King James II, he began to make a considerable figure, and to attract much attention. His great penetration and sound judgement rendered him useful at court. His knowledge of mankind was unsurpassed by any of his time. His courtesy and affability made him a universal favorite, so that he acquired the esteem and confidence ofall classes of people, as well as the favor of his Prince, by whom he was created a Baron, and called to Parliament by the

name and title of LORD BOYD OF KILMARNOCK. He added to his grandeur by alliances made with many great and noble families, and by the large additions which he made to his paternal inheritance.

The first time we find his Lordship engaged in any public employment was in the year 1459, when he was one of several Lords, Barons, and Prelates, who were sent to England in the character of Plenipotentiaries to renew the truce with that country, just then expired. They prolonged it at Newcastle, for seven years. Upon the unhappy death, in 1460, of James II Lord Boyd was made Justiciary, and was named one of the Lords

of Regency, in whose hands was lodged the administrations of affairs during the young kings minority. Buchanan speaks of him as Lord Chancellor, but this is a mistake, witness a charter of James II (date Jan 23,1461) under the Great Seal, in which Lord Evandale is named as a witness, as "ANDREA,


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Robert Boyd, 1st Lord Boyd of Kilmarnock's Timeline

Kilmarnock, Renfrewshire, Scotland
Age 21
Ayrshire, Scotland
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Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, Scotland
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Kilmarnock, Renfrewshire, Scotland
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Kilmarnock, Renfrew, Scotland
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Kilmarnock, Aryshire, Scotland
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Kilmarnock, Renfrewshire, Scotland
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Kilmarnock, Renfrew, Scotland