Bothwell, James Hepburn, 4th earl of


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Bothwell, James Hepburn, 4th earl of

(hĕ`bərn, bŏth`wəl), 1536?–1578, Scottish nobleman; third husband of Mary Queen of ScotsMary Queen of Scots
(Mary Stuart), 1542–87, only child of James V of Scotland and Mary of Guise. Through her grandmother Margaret Tudor, Mary had the strongest claim to the throne of England after the children of Henry VIII.
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. Though a Protestant, he was a strong partisan of the Catholic regent, Mary of Guise, mother of Mary Queen of Scots. In 1562, Bothwell's old enemy, James Hamilton, earl of Arran, accused Bothwell of proposing to kidnap the queen, and Bothwell was imprisoned. He escaped and started for France, but was imprisoned for a year by the English before he reached it. Mary recalled him in 1565 to help her put down the rebellion by the earl of Murray, her half-brother. In 1566, Mary's secretary, David Rizzio, was murdered by conspirators, among them her second husband, Lord DarnleyDarnley, Henry Stuart or Stewart, Lord,
1545–67, second husband of Mary Queen of Scots and father of James I of England (James VI of Scotland).
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. Thereafter she trusted only Bothwell and was with him constantly. In Feb., 1567, Darnley was murdered. Bothwell was undoubtedly responsible, but he was acquitted in a trial that was a judicial mockery. Shortly after the trial, Bothwell abducted Mary and, having divorced his wife, married the queen. The Scottish nobles now rose against Bothwell and forced Mary to give him up (June, 1567). He fled to Denmark, where he was imprisoned and died insane.