Scotland : Huntly's Revolt, 1562

A.) Prehistory

In Scotland John Knox worked to spread the Calvinist reformation. In 1561, Mary Queen of Scots had returned from France and assumed the rule of the country. Before, Scotland had experienced the difficult regency of Marie de Guise, in which the country fought a long war with England (Anglo-Scottish War 1542-1549), in which a considerable party within Scotland resisted the rule of the regent.
George Gordon Earl of Huntly was Scotland's foremost Catholic lord, a cousin of Mary Queen of Scots, since 1549 his son, John Gordon, was recipient of the revenues of the Earldom of Moray. In January 1562, Mary Queen of Scots granted the Earldom to Lord James Ogilvie, without informing John Gordon. Ogilvie then was arrested, but managed to escape. In an attempt to demonstrate her authority, Mary Queen of Scots lead an expedition into the Highlands (to punish the Ogilvies) in August 1562. John Gordon surrendered to the Queen, but soon left her entourage.
The complex system of animosities between Scotland's rival clans plays a role - John Gordon is said to have left the Queen's entourage, because he refused to spend the night in a castle belonging to his enemy.

B.) The Revolt

John Gordon assembled an armed force of 1000 men; he later confessed having planned to abduct the Queen and force her to marry him. Queen Mary now officially declared James Ogilvie Earl of Moray. At Aberdeen the Queen assembled an army to fight John Gordon, and ordered George Gordon, Earl of Huntley (father of John Gordon) to join her force. Huntly refused; on September 16th father and son were declared outlaws. Earl Huntly took his armed force and marched toward Aberdeen, where the Gordons suffered defeat October 28th in the BATTLE OF CORRICHIE; Earl Huntly died falling from his horse.

C.) The Legacy

The event strengthened the position of Scotland's protestant lords.

The Fall of Huntly, from Lord Bothwell
Earldom and Earls of Huntly, from Electric Scotland
The Battle of Corrichie, from Clan Cameron
Huntly Castle, from Mary Queen of Scots Home Page

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on February 21st 2004, lst revised on November 17th 2004

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