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James Hepburn, Lord Bothwell
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Royalty
    (circa 1535-April 14, 1578)
    Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
    4th Earl of Bothwell and 1st Duke of Orkney
    Lord High Admiral of Scotland (1556-57)
    Third and final husband of Mary, Queen of Scots
    During his first marriage, to Anna Throndsen, he forced her to sell all her possessions, then sent her to her family in Denmark to ask for more money.
    His second marriage, to Lady Jean Gordon, ended after little more than a year due to his adultery with one of her servants.
    He was widely suspected of planning the murder of Mary's second husband, Lord Darnley.
    He may have kidnapped and raped Mary prior to their marriage.
    The marriage triggered a revolt by Scottish nobles.
    After Mary's forces refused to fight the rebels, he fled to Scandinavia.
    He was found not guilty of Darnley's murder. (Granted, the trial had pretty much been set up with the outcome pre-determined.)
    Mary may have been his willing accomplice instead of his victim.
    Mary's one condition before surrendering was that he be allowed to escape into exile.
    In a classic bit of karma, his ship landed in Bergen, Norway, where his first wife had settled; she sued him for return of her dowry and he was jailed until he could pony up the money.
    Just as Anna was about to agree to his release in return for being given his ship as compensation for the dowry, Denmark's King Frederick II intervened and ordered Bothwell sent to Copenhagen as a potential bargaining chip in his relations with England and Scotland.
    When it became clear that Mary had no chance of returning to the throne, Frederick lost interest and left Bothwell to rot in jail.
    He spent the last decade of his life chained to a pillar, wearing a circular groove into the floor.

Credit: C. Fishel


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