[S] (1558–1611). Known for most of his life as the master of Gray (he did not inherit the barony until he was 50), he was an adroit politician. The family estates were in Forfarshire and Gray's wife was from the house of Ruthven. He spent much of the early 1580s in France amid pro-Mary catholic groups. On his return to Scotland, personable and polished, he became a favourite of James VI, who appointed him gentleman of the bedchamber and master of the wardrobe in 1584. Sent to England as ambassador by Arran, he plotted to overthrow him. He betrayed Mary to Elizabeth and his protests against her execution were muted. From 1587 to 1589 he was in exile but remained a favourite with James on his return, though with diminished influence. Camden thought him ‘a quaint young gentleman, and one that thought himself able for the weightiest business’. But he seems at times to have lost himself in meaningless treachery.
From The Oxford Companion to British History in Oxford Reference.
Subjects: British History.