George Gordon, 5th Earl of Huntly


George Gordon, 5th Earl of Huntly

George Gordon, 5th Earl of Huntly (d. 19 October 1576, Strathbogie), was Lord Chancellor of Scotland and major conspirator of his time.

Second son of the 4th Earl, he was Sheriff of Inverness from 1556. He was, however, attainted and sentenced to death for treason in 1563. He was imprisoned at Dunbar castle until the marriage of Mary Queen of Scots to Darnley in 1565, when his lands and dignities were nominally restored.

He allied himself with James Hepburn, 4th Earl of Bothwell and joined Queen Mary at Dunbar after Rizzio's murder in 1566. He became Lord Chancellor of Scotland in 1567, and joined Bothwell in the plot to murder the Regent Moray at Jedburgh. He signed the bond at Craigmillar Castle for Darnley's murder, and accompanied Bothwell and Mary on the visit to Darnley before his murder.

His estates were fully restored after Bothwell's acquittal in 1567. Bothwell's divorce from his sister was facilitated by his influence over her, and he witnessed the marriage contract between Mary and Bothwell. He connived at the capture of the Queen, and accompanied her to Edinburgh, escaping to the north after her flight. He joined the partisans at Dumbarton Castle, and after a temporary agreement with Moray he conspired for her deliverance from Loch Leven castle in 1567. After the Queen's escape to England in 1568, he held all the north in alliance with Argyll, but received Mary's order to disperse. After a temporary submission he gained possession of Edinburgh Castle, held a parliament, captured the Regent Lennox at Stirling and, in 1572, came to terms with the Regent Morton.

He married Anne, daughter of James, Duke of Chatelherault and had a daughter Jean, and his successor, George Gordon, 6th Earl of Huntly.

ource

* "Dictionary of National Biography", Concise Edition.


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