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Mar, John Erskine, 2nd Or 7th Earl Of

MAR, JOHN ERSKINE, 2ND OR 7TH EARL OF (c. 1558-1634), Scottish politician, was the only son of the preceding. Together with King James VI. he was educated by George Buchanan. After attaining his majority he was nominally the guardian of the young king, who was about seven years his junior, and who lived with him at Stirling; but he was in reality a puppet in the hands of the regent, the earl of Morton; and he lost power and position when Morton was imprisoned. He was concerned in the seizure of James VI. in 1582 (a plot known as the raid of Ruthven) ; but when James escaped from his new custodians the earl fled into the west of Scotland. Then leaving his hiding-place Mar seized Stirling Castle, whereupon James marched against him, and he took refuge in England. Queen Elizabeth interceded for him, but in vain, and after some futile communications between the governments of England and Scotland Mar and his friends gathered an army, entered the presence of the king at Stirling, and were soon in supreme authority (1585). Mar was restored to his lands and titles. Henceforward he stood high in the royal favour; he became governor of Edinburgh Castle and was made tutor to James's son, Prince Henry, and for his second wife he married Mary, daughter of Esme Stewart, duke of Lennox. In 1 60 1 the earl was sent as envoy to London; here Elizabeth assured him that James should be her successor, and his mission was conducted with tact and prudence. Having joined the English privy council Mar was created Lord Cardross in 1610; he was a member of the Court of High Commission and was lord high treasurer of Scotland from 1615 to 1630. He died at Stirling on the 14th of December 1634. John (c. 1585-1654), his only son by his first wife, succeeded to his earldom; by his second wife he had five sons, among them being James (d. 1640), earl of Buchan; Henry (d. 1628), whose son David (d. 1671) succeeded to the barony of Cardross; and Charles, the ancestor of the earls of Rosslyn.

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

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