Matthew Stewart, 4th Earl of Lennox and Regent of Scotland
On September 4, 1571, Matthew Stewart, 4th Earl of Lennox and Regent of Scotland was assassinated. Stewart was the leader of the Catholic nobility in Scotland and was the grandson of James VI of Scotland. He spent most of his youth in exile in England, but returned to Scotland to assert his claims to the line of succession when James V died in 1542. At the time of the king's death in 1542, Lennox possessed a strong claim to the throne of Scotland should Mary, Queen of Scots, an infant, pass away childless.
Although Lennox had come to Scotland lured by the prospect of marriage to Mary of Guise, he was soon offered the chance to marry Margaret Douglas, the daughter of Margaret Tudor and half-sister of the deceased James V. In 1544, he married Lady Margaret Douglas, who had a claim to the English throne. Their son was Henry Stewart, Lord Darnley, born 1545, who eventually married Mary, Queen of Scots. After the murder of his son, Lord Darnley in 1567, Lennox was the most ardent pursuant of justice against the lords who had conspired in the murder. He also became the main witness against Mary, though her involvement in the murder is controversial. In 1570, Lennox became Regent for his grandson, James VI, but the queen's party declared war against him. He was assassinated on September 4, 1571, when the queen's party attacked Stirling Castle.
Michael Thomas Barry is the author of Murder & Mayhem 52 Crimes that Shocked Early California 1849-1949 and Great Britain's Royal Tombs: A Guide to the Lives & Burial Places of British Monarchs. These books can be purchased from Amazon through the following links: