Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury 1563–1612

Note: This summary deals only with Robert Cecil’s Relationship with James VI of Scotland, before he also became King of England in 1603. Robert Cecil was the son of William Cecil, Lord Burghley, by his second wife Mildred Cooke. He was not a healthy child, being a slight hunch back. He was educated at home […]

Sir Francis Walsingham, English Secretary of State 1532-1590

Sir Francis Walsingham was born into a well-connected family in 1532. When his father died two years later, his mother Joyce Denny, remarried Sir John Carey, brother-in-law of Mary Boleyn, who was Elizabeth I’s aunt. He studied at King’s College, Cambridge. After travelling in Europe, he decided to become a lawyer and, in 1552, enrolled […]

Bess of Hardwick, Countess of Shrewsbury 1521-1608

Bess of Hardwick was one of five surviving children of a family of minor gentry, but was a lady of unfailing personal ambition and undoubted charisma. She had been brought up at Hardwick Hall, although her father died within a year of her birth, and the family were impoverished. In accordance with normal practice for […]

Feuding of the Scottish Nobility in the 16th Century

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During the Sixteenth Century feuding between rival Scottish clans caused catastrophic problems between them, generally resulting in the Crown having to step in to settle matters. In researching The Challenge to the Crown and The Survival of the Crown, I followed the feud between the Kennedys of Cassillis (pronounced Cassells) and the Kennedys of Bargany. […]

Esmé Stuart, 1st Duke of Lennox

Esmé Stuart was born in France, the son of John Stuart, younger brother of Matthew Stuart, 4th Earl of Lennox. For several generations the junior branch of the Lennox Stuarts had lived in France, where they fulfilled illustrious careers as mercenaries and were the traditional captains of the Scottish Gens d’Armes. The title of Seigneur […]

Anne of Denmark, Queen Consort of Scotland & England 1574-1619

Anne of Denmark was the second daughter of Frederick II by his wife, Sophie Mecklenburg-Güstrow, daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Mecklenburg. Anne and her sister, Elisabeth, spent their early years with their maternal grandparents, but returned to join their mother for most of their upbringing at the Danish Court. In 1585, Frederick II […]

Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk 1536-1572

Thomas Howard was born at Kenninghall, the family home in Norfolk, on 10 March 1536, but his father was executed in 1547, after a paranoiac Henry VIII believed that he was trying to usurp the succession from Edward VI to maintain Catholicism. Thomas was brought up as a Protestant under the care of his aunt […]

John Erskine, 2nd and 23rd Earl of Mar (18th Earl) 1558-1634

Note: The numbering of the Earls of Mar causes confusion. There were two titles, the ancient earldom of Mar, which passed through the female line, and  a title originally created for Lord James Stewart on his marriage. When Lord James became Earl of Moray, the new Mar Earldom was granted to John Lord Erskine (this John’s […]

John Erskine, 1st and 22nd Earl of Mar (17th Earl) d. 1572

Note: The numbering of the Earls of Mar causes confusion. There were two titles, the ancient earldom of Mar, which passed through the female line, and a title originally created for Lord James Stewart on his marriage. When Lord James became Earl of Moray, John Erskine received the new Mar Earldom, but it passed only […]

James VI of Scotland & I of England 1566-1625

Note: This article deals with the period of James VI’s life until he also became King of England in 1603. James was born at Edinburgh Castle on 19 June 1566 after a difficult birth for his mother, Mary Queen of Scots. He was soon placed in the care of the Earl of Mar and his wife Annabella […]