Henry Stewart Darnley, Lord

(1545—1567) Lord, Scottish nobleman

Show Summary Details

Quick Reference


The son of Matthew Stewart, 4th earl of Lennox, and grandson of Margaret Tudor, Darnley's place in the English succession was second only to that of Mary Stuart. Darnley was born and brought up in England. His arrival in Scotland in 1565 was swiftly followed by their marriage by catholic rite on 29 July 1565. The marriage incensed Elizabeth but provoked in Scotland only a minor rebellion. But Darnley's good looks masked a meretricious personality and his relations with the queen soon soured. Mary's refusal to grant him the crown matrimonial drove him to ally with disaffected nobles who carefully implicated him in the Rizzio murder of March 1566. The future James VI was born on 19 June. It remains unclear who murdered Darnley at Kirk o' Field, Edinburgh, on 10 February 1567, and whether Mary was party to the deed. Her precipitate marriage to Bothwell, however, handed the Lennox Stewarts a gift‐wrapped opportunity to gild Darnley's memory at Mary's expense.

Subjects: British History.

Reference entries

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.