James Hepburn (in or before 1535-14 April 1578), 4. Earl of Bothwell

Same as
Additional names
Parents
Father1Patrick Hepburn (around 1512-September 1556), 3. Earl of Bothwell
Mother2Agnes Sinclair (-1572)
Spouses and relationship events
married3in or before 1559Jonet Beaton (-)
It's unclear whether they properly married or only were betrothed.
betrothal4around 1560Anna Tronds 'skottefruen' (-)
married524 February 1565-6Jane Gordon (1546-14 May 1629)
Contract dated 9 February 1565-66.
dissolved67 May 1567Jane Gordon (1546-14 May 1629)
On 26 April 1567, a week after the Earl of Bothwell's project of marrying the Queen had been made public, and two days after he carried her off to Dunbar, a suit was begun in the Commissariot Court of Edinburgh, at the instance of Lady Jane Gordon, his spouse, for the dissolution of their marriage, on tlie ground of his adultery with one of her maidservants ; and proof having been led, the Court pronounced sentence of divorce on 3 May. On 27 April a suit was instituted on the part of the Earl before the Court of the Archbishop of St. Andrews for a declaration of nullity of marriage ; the dispensation which legalised the union was withheld ; and on 7 May sentence was given that the marriage was and had been null from the beginning in respect of the contiugence in blood of the parties, which liiudered their lawful marriage without a dispensation obtained of befoir.
married715 May 1567Mary (7 or 8 December 1542-8 February 1586-7), Queen of ScotsHolyrood [district], Edinburgh [city/town], Edinburghshire (Midlothian) [county], Scotland [country], United Kingdom [country]
Children
Children with :
William Hepburn (-)8
Attributes
Occupation9from 12 May 1567Duke of Orkney
Occupation10from 1556Hereditary Sheriff of Edinburgh and of Berwick, Bailie of Lauderdale, and Great Admiral of Scotland
Occupation114. Earl of Bothwell
Events
Born:12in or before 1535
Died:1314 April 1578Dragsholm Castle [building], Dragsholm [Unknown/Unspecified], Fårevejle [parish], Odsherred [municipality], Sjælland [Unknown/Unspecified], Denmark [country]
Personal Info
He seems to have been of age at his father's death. There is no mention of any dispensation on account of nonage when he had sasine of the earldom of Bothwell, etc., on 9 November 1556. He was undoubtedly of age on 17 March 1557-58, as on that date he entered into a contract without the consent of curators. He is said to have been brought up at Spynie Castle, the residence of his kinsman, Patrick, Bishop of Moray, perhaps in consequence of his father's divorce, banishment, and frequent imprisonments. The Bishop's notoriously irregular life must have been of bad example to the youth. He succeeded his father in the mouth of September 1556, and was served heir to him on 3 November following. On 12 November he took the oaths de pdeli administrotione as Hereditary Sheriff of Edinburgh and of Berwick, Bailie of Lauderdale, and Great Admiral of Scotland.14
On 25 March 1558 Earl James executed a charter entailing the earldom of Bothwell, his baronies, and his heritable offices, on his well-beloved cousin William Hepburne, brother-german of Patrick Hepburne of Wauchtoun, and the heirs-male of his body, and the following substitutes : 1. Alexander Hepburne of Whitsonie ; 2. Patrick Hepburne of Kirklandhill ; 3. James Hepburne, son and heir of umquhile William Hepburne of Rollanstoun ; 4. Henry Hepburne of Portoun ; and the heirs-male of their bodies respectively : reserving his own liferent of the same. Sasine to William Hepburne followed on 28 March 1558 ; and on the same date he executed a charter of reversion of the whole, on payment of a nominal sum by the Earl or his heirs-male. This William was afterwards designate of Gilmerton, and sometimes of Crashaws or Cracho. He married, contract dated 24 January 1561, Margaret Home, daughter of George Home of Broxmouth, and was by her ancestor of the family of Hepburne of Newton of Whitsome. This is a very incomprehensible transaction. It seems possible that Earl James's object may have been to prefer another to his probable successor James Hepburne (afterwards of Rollanstoun), a peaceful burgess of Perth, with whom he perhaps had small sympathy. But the prescribed line of succession seems entirely arbitrary and capricious ; and there is no trace of any attempt to get the charter confirmed by royal authority, without which it would have been of no effect. At the date of the charter the next heir to the honours was Patrick Hepburne of Bolton, grand-uncle of the granter, who is passed over altogether, perhaps as being then about 64, and without surviving male issue. Next to him in the line of succession seems to have been James Hepburne, the third substitute, who was eldest son of a grand-uncle of the granter. Alexander Hepburne of Whitsome, the first substitute, was, as shown above, the heir-male of a great-greatgreat-grand-uncle of the granter, but he may have been next in succession to James Hepburne the third substitute. On the other hand, William Hepburne the grantee was no relation to Earl James on his father's side so far as is known ; but his mother, Helen Hepburne, was daughter of Sir Adam Hepburne of Oraggis, great-grand-uncle of the granter. Again, Patrick Hepburne of Kirklandhill, the second substitute, who was son and heir of John Hepburne, first of Kirklandhill (brother of Sir Patrick Hepburne of Waughton, the husband of Helen), and thus first cousin of the grantee, seems to have been no relation whatever of Earl James. But it is possible that consanguinity, corresponding to that alleged in 1510 (vide supra) to exist between Patrick Hepburne of Waughton and Helen Hepburne his intended spouse, may have been traceable between the Waughton family and Earl James.15
On 26 April 1559 it was alleged, in the course of an action at law, that the Earl of Botliwell was ' quyetlie marreit or handfast ' to Jonet Betoun, widow of Sir Walter Scott of Buccleuch ; and the Lords admitted the statement. This connection does not seem to have lasted long. In December 1559 Mary of Lorraine, the Queen Regent, gave the Earl command of a body of French auxiliaries, and six months afterwards she sent him on a mission to the Court of France. He travelled thither via Denmark. While at Copenhagen, he is said to have plighted his troth to Anna Throndsson (daughter of Christopher Throndsson, a Norwegian nobleman, Admiral in the service of Denmark), whom he promised in writing to marry. This lady accompanied him to the Netherlands, where, according to her account, be deserted her, after she had pledged and spent clothes, valuables, and other property for the use of his people. She was afterwards in Scotland, and on 17 February 1562-63 had a permit to reside in or quit the kingdom at her pleasure. She was alive in 1607. While in France in 1560 the Earl was made gcntllhomme de la chamhre to King Francis II He returned to Scotland when Queen Mary finally left France in August 1561. In the spring of 1562 he was accused of participation in a treasonable conspiracy, and was immured in Edinburgh Castle, but escaped from custody on 28 August. He took ship some months later for France, where he received an appointment in the Scottish Guard. On venturing back to Scotland after an absence of two years, he was again summoned to stand his trial, and once more took refuge in France, where he remained until recalled by the Queen after the banishment of her half-brother James, Earl of Moray. He landed on 17 September 1565, was restored to his former offices, and married soon afterwards. He was thenceforth in great and increasing favour with Queen Mary. The murder of the King Consort, in which tlie Earl was the principal actor, took place on 10 February 1566-67, and after a time the Earl of Lennox represented to the Queen that he suspected Earl Bothwell, who accordingly was sent before an assize, charged with the murder, on 12 April 1567 ; but the trial was collusive. No evidence was adduced ; and the jury caused the fact to be entered on the record as the reason for their verdict of acquittal, which it necessarily entailed. On 19 April a former appointment of the Earl as hereditary captain of the Castle of Dunbar, and a grant to him of certain lands, were confirmed in Parliament, and on the evening of that day the project for his marriage to the Queen was first publicly mooted. On 24 April he carried her off to Dunbar. His legal separation from his wife quickly followed. On 12 May the Earl of Bothwell was created DUKE OF ORKNEY, and his marriage to the Queen took place on May 15. But a hostile confederation of nobles had been formed against which he could not make head; and after having, according to Du Oroc the French Ambassador, displayed at Carbery Hill the qualities of a great captain in his preparations for the conflict he expected, he there parted for ever from his bride on 15 June 1567. Shortly afterwards he found his way to Shetland, and setting sail thence was driven by a storm on to the coast of Norway, where he was arrested, and detained as a state prisoner. He remained in confinement until his death, which took place on 14 April 1578 at Dragsholm Castle in Zealand. On 20 December 1567 he was forfeited by the Scottish Parliament, and condemned to lose arms, honours, offices and dignities, and to underlie the pain of treason.16
Issues

Sources

1 Sir James Balfour Paul, Lord Lyon King of Arms, The Scots Peerage Founded on Wood's Edition of Sir Robert Douglas's Peerage of Scotland Containing an Historical and Genealogical Account of the Nobility of that Kingdom, Volume II: (Edinburgh: David Douglas, 1905), Bothwell, p. 157-61, IV Patrick Hepburn.
2 Ibid
3 Sir James Balfour Paul, Lord Lyon King of Arms, The Scots Peerage Founded on Wood's Edition of Sir Robert Douglas's Peerage of Scotland Containing an Historical and Genealogical Account of the Nobility of that Kingdom, Volume II: (Edinburgh: David Douglas, 1905), Bothwell, p. 161-67, V James Hepburn.
4 Ibid
5 Ibid
6 Ibid
7 Sir James Balfour Paul, Lord Lyon King of Arms, The Scots Peerage Founded on Wood's Edition of Sir Robert Douglas's Peerage of Scotland Containing an Historical and Genealogical Account of the Nobility of that Kingdom, Volume I: (: David Douglas, 1904), Scotland, p. 25-26, Mary.
8 Sir James Balfour Paul, Lord Lyon King of Arms, The Scots Peerage Founded on Wood's Edition of Sir Robert Douglas's Peerage of Scotland Containing an Historical and Genealogical Account of the Nobility of that Kingdom, Volume II: (Edinburgh: David Douglas, 1905), Bothwell, p. 161-67, V James Hepburn.
9 Ibid
10 Ibid
11 Sir James Balfour Paul, Lord Lyon King of Arms, The Scots Peerage Founded on Wood's Edition of Sir Robert Douglas's Peerage of Scotland Containing an Historical and Genealogical Account of the Nobility of that Kingdom, Volume I: (: David Douglas, 1904), Scotland, p. 25-26, Mary.
12 Sir James Balfour Paul, Lord Lyon King of Arms, The Scots Peerage Founded on Wood's Edition of Sir Robert Douglas's Peerage of Scotland Containing an Historical and Genealogical Account of the Nobility of that Kingdom, Volume II: (Edinburgh: David Douglas, 1905), Bothwell, p. 161-67, V James Hepburn.
13 Ibid
14 Ibid
15 Ibid
16 Ibid
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