JAMES HEPBURN,
FOURTH EARL OF BOTHWELL



James Hepburn
"He is very wise, and not the man he was reported to be." - Sir Henry Percy to William Cecil

So why do historians come down so hard on this guy?

OK, so he was a womaniser, he was ambitious, and he had his own way of going about things - none of which is a crime. He was also loyal to a fault, honest and un-bribable. All of which meant that he was a thorn in the side of the Scottish nobles of the day. Which is probably why history has judged him so harshly - the words of said nobles have been taken at face value, without a lot of thought on the facts. Did Bothwell kill Darnley? NO. Did he rape Mary Stuart? NO. Was he a coward, who fled from battle at Carberry Hill? NO!

Read on, and find out the truth.


Early Years
Birth, parents, upbringing.

1556-1559
Earl at age 21, first love, first allegiences, first enemies.

1559-1560
Events towards the end of the regency of Mary of Guise, how Bothwell ended up in denmark.

The Anna Throndsen Affair
His entanglements with her begin.....

Meeting with Mary Queen of France and Scots
Bothwell meets Mary, her husband dies, she comes to Scotland

Reversals of Fortune
Bothwell's problems with the Earls of Arran and Moray

The Stupidity of Mary Queen of Scots
How Mary allowed her most loyal supporter to be imprisoned

From one Imprisonment to Another
Escape from Edinburgh castle, capture by the English.

English Machinations
Randolph and Moray plot against Bothwell. Bothwell works secretly in England?

Between France and Scotland...
Assassination attempt against Bothwell, the return to Scotland, Bothwell betrayed, the flight to France.

1565
Bothwell returns to Scotland. The Chase-about Raid.

Peace and Marriage
His wedding, the fall of Randolph.

The Murder of Riccio
The treachery of Darnley and how Bothwell helped the Queen regain control

A Position of Influence
Mary begins to rely on Bothwell. She gives birth. Moray and Darnley are plotting.

Deteriorating Relationships
Bothwell and Mary, Bothwell and Maitland, Bothwell and Moray, Mary and Darnley

Two Brushes With Death
The Jedburgh Court of Justice. Bothwell and Mary almost die.

The 'Calm' Before the Storm
Prince James' christening, Darnley sulks and plots.

Kirk o' Field
The 'tragedy'.

Kirk o' Field - Moray's Propaganda Victory
How Moray supressed the truth by inventing a lie

The Aftermath
The days immediately following Kirk o' Field

And Certain Stars Shot Madly From Their Spheres....
Bothwell rises at court yet sinks into Moray's mire

"I Will Marry the Queen"
The ravishing

'Mense malas maio nubere vulgus ait'
Bothwell marries Mary

Bothwell Today
My visit to Faarevejle and Dragsholm. Bothwell's final resting place.

Bibliography
Where I got my information


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