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Character Scottish Male Noble Lord Married Season Four
Lord Bothwell
Lord Bothwell
Biographical Information
In History: History's Lord Bothwell
Family Name: James Hepburn
Title: 4th Earl of Bothwell
Born: 1534
Age: 31
Height: 5'10
Gender: Male Male
Status: Alive
Religion: Roman Catholic
Originally From: Edinburgh, Scotland
Affiliations: Kingdom of Scotland

Bothwell and Mary

Relationship Information
Parents: Patrick Hepburn † (Father)

Agnes Sinclair † (Mother)

Interests: Mary Stuart
Character Information
First Appearance: Hanging Swords
Portrayed By: Adam Croasdell

"Lie to me again, and I will open you up right here, in your own house."
Lord Bothwell

Lord Bothwell is a prominent Scottish nobleman with an infatuation for Mary Stuart.

In Reign[]

Early Life[]

Lord Bothwell used to work closely with Marie de Guise, during which he made a lot of enemies. When Marie died and James assumed the regency, he became unwelcome at court.

Season 4[]

Highland Games - (Mentioned)
Mary Stuart and James Stuart recieved another letter from the Loyal Watchman warning of Lord Darnley's. Mary told her brother to find out who he was, and start with John Knox. He had schemed with letters before, and the outcome cost Lola her life. James agrees to being up the matter with Emily Knox.

Uncharted Waters
Of the arriving guest to witness Mary and Darnley's Catholic wedding, few are as important as Lucrezia de' Medici. She lends legitimacy and strength both to Queen Mary's Scottish rule and Queen Mary and Lord Darnley's joint claims to the English Throne. However, after Lord Darnley jokingly insulted King Francis, Lucrezia withdrew her support and set sail for the following day back to Florence. Lucrezia agreed to reconsider if she was given the lands belonging to Lord Theodore Davies. The lands were quite valuable, and come with a title, The Earldom of Menteith. After a day of misadventures, Queen Mary and Lord Bothwell were able to acquiring the Davies Estate' papers. With that, Lucrezia was pleased to continue the alliance between Florence and Scotland.

Lord Bothwell insured the papers by offering Lord Theodore Davies his choice of five of Bothwell's favourite horses, on top of Queen Mary's offer.

While out with Mary Stuart they were hit with flash floods. When traveling back through the forest they ran into David Rizzio who delivered a message to Mary from her old friend Sebastian.

Dead of Night
Bothwell arrives at court after Mary sent for him weeks ago. Darnley is mad at Mary for having summoned him, but he is even more eager for Bothwell to leave. The two get into an argument that nearly ends in bloodshed, but Mary puts an end to it by sending Bothwell away.

Later that night, Mary's carriage pulls up to a tavern where she asks to speak to Bothwell. She pleads with him to find Darnley's ally, Lord Barrett, and retrieve the seal. She advises him to enlist Gideon's help, as he is likely to help. Bothwell tells her that he would do anything for her, including risk his life on such a mission.

"With or without your crown, I would do anything for you."
Lord Bothwell

He and David Rizzio arrive in England very soon and ask to speak with Gideon. They ask Gideon to help them find Lord Barrett because he poses danger to both Mary and Elizabeth, without specifying what it is.

While Lord Barrett and his men are assembled in his house waiting for Darnley's instructions, Rizzio and Bothwell enter and tell them that the mission is aborted. When Barrett refuses to listen, Bothwell pins him to the wall and forces him to divulge the location of Mary's seal.

Outside, the guards find Gideon spying on them. Bothwell is ready to kill Gideon, but Rizzio feels it should be Mary's call, so Bothwell knocks Gideon out and he and Rizzio take him back to Scotland, along with Mary's gold and seal.

Mary and Bothwell are at his side when wakes up in Scotland, Mary makes him promise that he will not report her plan to take over England to Elizabeth, while he makes her swear that she will not move on England anymore. Once they reach a mutual understanding, Mary lets Gideon return to England.

The next day, Mary summons Darnley to the throne room and shows him her seal, safely retrieved. He asks to speak to her in private, away from the penetrating gazes of both Bothwell and Rizzio, but Mary is done speaking to him. Mary tells him that they are finished, earning herself a repulsive reaction from Darnley. He even goes as far as to threaten to say that the child in her belly isn't his, which would most likely be believed by most men, and would have the potential to ruin her.

Coup de Grace
Lord Ruthven and King Darnley were both involved, and Ruthven even lead the murder of David Rizzio in place of the missing Lord Bothwell in front of the very pregnant Queen Mary.

A Bride. A Box. A Body. - (Mentioned)
Mary Stuart tells Lord Bothwell she wants all the remaining members of the privy council rounded up. Bothwell assure her they've searched for them in every possible manner. Even her brother James Stuart was on the lookout in the western region, which was a likely hideout.

The next morning, Lord Bothwell and his men took back the castle from Lord Ruthven and his army. For the crimes of high treason and insurrection against the crown, and the murder of David Rizzio, Lord Ruthven was sentenced to death by Queen Mary.

All It Cost Her
Mary is waiting for her son to be found. Bothwell assures her that they are looking everywhere, but Mary is afraid Darnley will hurt their son because he isn't thinking clearly.

James soon returns to court with Mary's child, and Mary is so overwhelmed with gratitude that she decides to name her baby 'James'. When Bothwell comes to Mary later, she is caressing her son in the crib. Mary is now receptive to the idea of killing Darnley and after little persuasion, she gives Bothwell her consent to do it, as long as she isn't implicated.

Later that night, Bothwell and another noble try to light Darnley's house on fire. Bothwell notices that something is wrong and runs inside. Darnley wakes up when he hears his dog barking and just as he steps outside and recognizes the other noble, Bothwell knocks Darnley to the ground and chokes him to death.

The following morning, Bothwell returns to Mary, Greer, and James and apprises them of his plan going awry. He killed Darnley, but he has a bad feeling about it, and suggests that they flee. Just as he is saying all of that, Knox and countless privy council members enter, including the noble that was present when Darnley was killed, and Knox commands that Mary and Bothwell be arrested and tried for the crime of regicide.


  • Was secretly the Loyal Watchman. [1][2]

Historical Notes[]

  • The real Bothwell was named James Hepburn, 4th Earl of Bothwell, born in 1534.
  • Mary Beaton's aunt, Janet Beaton was mistress to Lord Bothwell, who become Mary Stuart's 3rd husband.
  • There was another Lord Bothwell but his name was John Ramsay, 1st Lord Bothwell and he died in 1513, at age 51. 48 years earlier. John Ramsay has a 'friendly' relationship with King James III of Scotland, his son King James IV and Henry VII of England


Season Four
With Friends Like These A Grain of Deception Leaps of Faith Playing With Fire Highland Games Love & Death Hanging Swords Uncharted Waters
Pulling Strings A Better Man Dead of Night The Shakedown Coup de Grace A Bride. A Box. A Body. Blood in the Water All It Cost Her