On January 23, 1570 James Stewart, 1st Earl of Moray, and regent for the infant King James VI of Scotland (future James I of England), was fatally shot by James Hamilton, a supporter of Mary Queen of Scots. It was the first recorded assassination by a firearm. Moray was born in about 1531, the most notable of the many illegitimate children of King James V of Scotland. His mother was the King's favorite mistress, Lady Margaret Erskine, and wife of Sir Robert Douglas of Lochleven. James became a supporter of the Scottish Reformation. But despite their religious differences, Moray became the chief advisor to his sister, Mary, Queen of Scots, after her return from France in 1561. She was the only surviving child of his father's marriage to Mary of Guise. When Mary abdicated the throne on July 24, 1567 in favor of her infant son, Moray was appointed regent. He was assassinated in Linlithgow on January 23, 1570 by James Hamilton of Bothwellhaugh, a supporter of Mary. As Moray was passing in a cavalcade in the main street below the castle, Hamilton fatally wounded him with a carbine shot from a window of his Uncle Archbishop Hamilton’s house. The Regent's body was buried in St. Anthony's aisle at St. Giles Church in Edinburgh.
Michael Thomas Barry is the author of Great Britain’s Royal Tombs. The book can be purchased from Amazon and the following links.
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