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Boyd, Robert Boyd

BOYD, ROBERT BOYD, Lord (d.c. 1470), Scottish statesman, was a son of Sir Thomas Boyd (d. 1439), and belonged to an old and distinguished family, one member of which, Sir Robert Boyd, had fought with Wallace and Robert Bruce. Boyd, who was created a peer about 1454, was one of the regents of Scotland during the minority of James III., but, in 1466, with some associates he secured the person of the young king and was appointed his sole governor. As ruler of Scotland he was instrumental in reforming some religious foundations; he arranged the marriage between James III. and Margaret, daughter of Christian I., king of Denmark and Norway, and secured the cession of the Orkney Islands by Norway. However, when in 1467 he obtained the offices of chamberlain and justiciary for himself, and the hand of the king's sister Mary, with the title of earl of Arran for his eldest son Thomas, his enemies became too strong for him, and he was found guilty of treason and sentenced to death. He escaped to England, and the date of his death is unknown. His brother and assistant, Sir Alexander Boyd, was beheaded on the 22nd of November 1469.

Boyd's son Thomas, earl of Arran, was in Denmark when his father was overthrown. However, he fulfilled his mission, that of bringing the king's bride, Margaret, to Scotland, and then, warned by his wife, escaped to the continent of Europe. He is mentioned very eulogistically in one of the Paston Letters, but practically nothing is known of his subsequent history.

Lord Boyd's grandson Robert (d. c. 1550), a son of Alexander Boyd, was confirmed in the possession of the estates and honours of his grandfather in 1549, and is generally regarded as the 3rd Lord Boyd. His son Robert, 4th Lord Boyd (d. 1590), took a prominent part in Scottish politics during the troubled time which followed the death of James V. in 1542. At first he favoured the reformed religion, but afterwards his views changed and he became one of the most trusted advisers of Mary, queen of Scots, whom he accompanied to the battle of Langside in 1568. During the queen's captivity he was often employed on diplomatic errands; he tried to stir up insurrections in her favour, and he was suspected of participation in the murder of the regent Murray. He enjoyed a high and influential position under the regent James Douglas, earl of Morton, but was banished in 1583 for his share in the seizure of King James VI., a plot known as the Raid of Ruthven. He retired to France, but was soon allowed to return to Scotland. He died on the 3rd of January 1590.

William, 8th or 9th Lord Boyd (d. 1692), was created earl of Kilmarnock in 1661, and this nobleman's grandson William, the 3rd earl (d. 1717), was a partisan of the Hanoverian kings and fought for George I. during the rising of 1715. His son William, the 4th earl (1704-1746), was educated in the same principles, but in 1745, owing either to a personal affront or to the influence of his wife or to his straitened circumstances he deserted George II. and joined Charles Edward, the Young Pretender. The 4th earl fought at Falkirk and Culloden, where he was made prisoner, and was beheaded on the 18th of August 1746. The title of earl of Kilmarnock is now merged in that of earl of Erroll.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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