A Brief History
On January 23, 1570, history of the infamous type was made when James Stewart, the Earl of Moray, was murdered by an assassin using a firearm. Stewart was acting as regent for the young King James VI of Scotland.
James VI became King of Scotland at the age of 1 year old when his mother, Mary, Queen of Scots, abdicated the throne. James Stewart was himself the illegitimate son of King James V of Scotland. Ongoing resentment of Mary’s supporters bode ill for her successors.
At the town of Linlithgow, the Earl was passing in a public cavalcade down the street when James Hamilton of Bothwellhaugh fired a single shot from a carbine, striking the Earl a fatal blow in the gut. The shot had been fired from a window in the home of Archbishop Hamilton.
The Earl was succeeded by his eldest daughter, Elizabeth Stewart, 2nd Countess of Moray. James Stewart has the sad distinction of being the first head of state of any country known to have been assassinated by firearm. His assassin escaped to France and was tried and convicted in absentia 9 years later!
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For more information, please see…
Simmons, Michael. Mary, Queen Of Scots: White Queen, Red Queen. Make Profits Easy, 2017.
Tudor Times. James V: Scotland’s Renaissance King. Tudor Times Ltd, 2015.
The featured image in this article, a photograph by Kim Traynor of a stained-glass window depicting the assassination of the Regent Moray in Linlithgow High Street in 1570, believed to be the earliest recorded assassination involving a firearm, is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.
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