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Mar, John Erskine, 1st Or 6th Earl Of

MAR, JOHN ERSKINE, 1ST OR 6TH EARL OF (d. 1572), regent of Scotland, was a son of John, 5th Lord Erskine (d. 1552), who was guardian of King James V., and afterwards of Mary Queen of Scots. The younger John, who succeeded his father as 6th Lord Erskine in 1552, joined the religious reformers, but he was never very ardent in the cause, although he subscribed the letter asking Knox to return to Scotland in 1557. The custody of Edinburgh Castle was in his hands, and during the struggle between the regent, Mary of Lorraine, and the lords of the Congregation he appears to have acted consistently in the interests of peace. When Mary Stuart returned to Scotland in 1561 Lord Erskine was a member of her council, he favoured her marriage with Lord Darnley, and his wife, Annabella Murray, called by Knox a " verray Jesabell," was a frequent companion of the queen. In 1565 Erskine was granted the earldom of Mar (see above). As guardian of James, afterwards King James VI., he prevented the young prince from falling into the hands of Bothwell, and when the Scottish nobles rose against Mary and Bothwell, Mar was one of their leaders; he took part in the government of Scotland during Mary's imprisonment at Lochleven, and also after her subsequent abdication. In September 1571 he was chosen regent of Scotland, but he was overshadowed and perhaps slighted by the earl of Morton, and he died at Stirling on the 2gth of October 1572.

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

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