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James Stewart
History's James Stuart.png
Biographical Information
Real Name: James Stewart
Title: James Stewart, 1st Earl of Moray
Born: 1531
Death: 23 January 1570
Age: 39
Religion: Church of Scotland
House: House of Stuart
Gender: Male Male.png
Parents: King James V (Father)

Lady Margaret Erskine (Mother)

Wife: Agnes Keith
Family: Queen Mary (Sister)

King James VI (Nephew)
Queen Elizabeth (2nd Cousin) Queen Mary (2nd Cousin)
King Edward VI (2nd Cousin)
Lady Jane Grey‏‎ (2nd Cousin)
King Henry VIII (Great Uncle)

Children: Elizabeth Stewart

Annabel Stewart
Margaret Stewart

COD: Assassination by a firearm
Burial: Linlithgow, Scotland
TV Character Information
First appearance: No Exit
Portrays: James Stuart
Portrayed by: Joe Doyle

Historical Figure.png

James Stewart was named after his father, King James V of Scotland. He was the older brother, and 2nd in line to the throne of Scotland, behind his half-sister Mary, Queen of Scots.


James Stewart was born in 1531 and was the most notable of the illegitimate children of his father. His mother was Lady Margaret Erskine, the King's favourite mistress.

James was appointed Prior of St Andrews in 1538, and this position supplied his income. As early as May 1553, Mary de Guise planned to make him Regent of Scotland in place of James Hamilton.

On 5 August 1557, James and his half-brother Lord Robert led a raiding party from Edinburgh, Scotland towards Ford Castle in Northumbria before retreating on the approach of an English force. James attended the wedding of his half-sister, Mary, Queen of Scots in Paris.


James became a supporter of the Scottish Reformation. At Perth on June 1559 he plucked down the images in various churches. An English commentator praised James for his virtue, manhood, valiantness and stoutness as a leader of the Protestant Lords of the Congregation.

Despite their religious differences, in 1561 after Mary, Queen of Scots return from France he became her chief advisor. Mary was the only surviving child of their father's King James V. And in September 1561, Mary made him Earl of Moray and Earl of Mar the following year.

In October 1562, he defeated a rebellion by George Gordon, at the Battle of Corrichie. In 1565, James opposed the marriage of Mary, Queen of Scots and Lord Darnley. Then he embarked upon the unsuccessful Chaseabout Raid, together with the Earl of Argyll and Clan Hamilton. He was subsequently declared an outlaw and took refuge in England. the next year James returning to Scotland and was pardoned by the Queen. He contrived to be away at the time of Darnley's assassination and avoided the tangles of the marriage by going to France.

Reagent King

His sister abdicated her crown in July 1567. James returned to Edinburgh from France on 11 August 1567, and was appointed Regent of Scotland on 22 August.

The appointment was confirmed by Parliament in December. When Mary escaped from Loch Leven on 2 May 1568 nobles rallied to her standard, but James defeated her forces at the Battle of Langside close to Glasgow on 13 May 1568 and Mary was compelled to flee to England and James gained the title "The Gude Regent".

In September 1568, James chose commissioners and went to York to discuss a treaty with England. During this conference, he produced the casket letters which were supposed to incriminate his sister, Queen Mary, and justify his rule in Scotland. Rumor has it, a plan to assassinate him on his way back was called off.

Scotland was now in a state of civil war. James moved against the supporters of Mary, Queen of Scots in their southwest homelands with a military expedition in June 1568. His army and the royal artillery was taken to Biggar, where his allies were commanded to muster on to Dumfries.

Along the way James' captured houses belonging to supporters of Queen Mary.One of whom estimated the army to number 6,000 men, then returned to Carlisle where he saw Queen Mary's servants play football in the middle of June. James took Lochmaben Castle, then captured Lochwood and Lochhouse before returning to Edinburgh via Peebles. James 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.


Thursday 19 January 1570 James was at Stirling Castle where he had invited the English diplomat Sir Henry Gate, and soldier Sir William Drury for dinner in the Great Hall. Later in his bedchamber he told the English visitors he would meet with them and certain Scottish nobles at Edinburgh early next week to discuss the rendition of English rebels. James was troubled by the problem of Dumbarton Castle, which was held against him by supporters of his sister. A couple days later he sent letters to summon Morton, Lindsay and Home to the meeting in Edinburgh.

James was assassinated in Linlithgow on 23 January 1570 by James Hamilton, a supporter of Mary Stuart. As James was passing the main street, Hamilton fatally wounded him with a carbine shot from a window of his uncle Archbishop's house. It was the first recorded assassination by a firearm.

His's body was shipped to Leith then taken to Holyrood Abbey. James was buried on 14 February 1570 in St. Anthony's aisle at St. Giles, Edinburgh. Seven earls and lords carried his body. James' tomb was carved by John Roytell and Murdoch Walker, with a brass engraved by James Gray. His wife, Agnes Keith, was buried inside his tomb when she died 18 years later. James was succeeded by his eldest daughter and heir, Elizabeth Stewart.


Family Tree

Henry Tudor
Elizabeth of York
Catherine of Aragon
King Henry Tudor
Anne Boleyn
Margaret Tudor
James Stuart IV
Queen Mary
Queen Elizabeth
Lady Margaret Erskine
King James Stuart V
Mary of Guise
James Stuart
Qyeen Mary
King Francis
King James Stuart VI

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