Thursday, March 30, 2017

'Queen' James I of England's Lovers----

James I of England
Anne of Denmark, c1612
Husband ofAnne of Denmark (1574-1619), mar 1589

Friend vs. favourite.
"In regards to the centre, Huntly's personal relationship with James provided him and his friendship with distinct advantage over other nobles at court. Historians readily refer to men such as Esme and Ludovic Stewart, first and second Dukes of Lennox, John Erskine, second Earl of Mar, Captain James Stewart of Ochiltree (elevated to Earl of Arran in 1581), Alexander, Lord Spynie and, of course, Huntly himself as James VI's 'favourites'. But were they? What defines a royal favourite, and what discerns a favourite from a friend? This then invites the question as to whether favouritism necessarily denoted friendship: could favouritism be employed as a tool, if an underlying friendship did not exist? Arran, for example, was arguably more of a political instrument than a personal friend. The assumption that favour, even disproportionate favour, bestowed upon a magnate connoted a personal relationship is debatable." (James VI and Noble Power in Scotland 1578-1603: 57)

The King's men and minions.

"James's love for men aroused gossip from an early date. He fell in love with the French courtier Esme Stuart, Seigneur d'Aubigny, at the age of 14, and raised him to a position of wealth and power. Later, contemporaries said that 'the King's best loved minion' was Alexander Lindsay, Lord Spynie, whom James appointed as his Vice-Chamberlain. Another minion of the early 1580s was Francis Stewart Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell, whom James nonchalantly kissed and embraced in public, causing great scandal. Perhaps, his most devoted lover was Robert Carr, a handsome Scots lad who came to England in 1603 to run beside the royal coach as a page-boy. (Carr eventually became the Earl of Somerset but was disgraced when he married Lady Frances Howard in 1613 and became implicated in the murder of Sir Francis Overbury.) James's most passionate and longest affair began in 1613 with George Villiers, who in ten years rose to become the Duke of Buckingham. Their relationship provoked censure in 1617 in the Privy Council, where Sir James Oglander said, 'I never yet saw any fond husband make so much or so great dalliance over his beautiful spouse as I have seen King James over his favourites, especially Buckingham.'. . . ." (Who's Who in Gay and Lesbian History: From Antiquity to World War II: 227)

Now aged thirteen, James was completely star-struck by these new arrivals. After being brought up by dour Presbyterians and a rough-hewn bunch of nobles, he was suddenly in the company of a group of charming, well-travelled, well-educated and attractive men. He was fascinated by them and welcomed being released from the stranglehold of the Reformist nobility. . . As atypical thirteen year-old schoolboy, he was bored with being preached at. These personable and worldly 'favourites' provided a breadth of fresh air and they were quick to play on his sensibilities, providing the key for his release from the shackles of the Kirk and his schoolroom. Within a month of Esme's arrival, James agreed to leave Stirling for Holyrood, Esme reorganised the Court and his household of the French model. There was more to James's relationship with his favourites than kicking against his religious upbringing. Their charisma provided a sensual stimulus for him that he was never to share with his interfering and insensitive wife, Anne of Denmark, when they married in 1589. They provided the glamour that he himself lacked, and there can be little doubt that his latent homosexuality was welcomed by his early attraction to the androgynous Esme, whom he described as 'this Phoenix' in one of his poems. With all his experience of Court circles in France, Esme took advantage of the sexual overtures of this vulnerable adolescent, twenty-four years his junior. James would openly clasp Esme in his arms to kiss him, shocking Reformist ministers, who saw that Esme 'went about to draw the King to carnal lust', while James showered him with offices and presents.

The King's Favourites.

"James I became well known for having favourites and he met his first, Philip Herbert, 4th Earl of Pembroke, while hunting in 1603. But Herbert was a heavy gambler and James had to pay off his debts when he got into financial difficulties. He also paid the debts of another favourite, James Hay, 1st Earl of Carlisle, and secured him a rich bride, Honoria, heir of Edward Denny. The next favourite was Robert Carr, who James helped nurse back to health after he broke his leg at a tilting match in 1607. He was given estates, made a Privy Councillor, and Secretary of State. Hames even wanted him to be his secretary when he tried to act as the Chief Minister of State. The government was controlled by the Howards: Henry Howard, 1st Earl of Northampton; Thomas Howard, 1st Earl of Suffolk; his son-in-law William Knollys, 1st Earl of Banbury; Charles Howard, 1st Earl of Nottingham; and Sir Thomas Lake. They objected to Carr's interference and they saw their opportunity to replace him when James took a shine to 21-year-old George Villiers while out hunting in 1614." (Treachery and Retribution: England's Dukes, Marquesses and Earls: 1066–1707: 134)

Favourites Esme Stuart & James Stewart.
"All changed, however, as James grew into adolescence and demonstrated that he had a mind of his own that did not always accord with English interests. In March 1578, three months before his twelfth birthday, the king ended the regency of Morton and assumed the government himself. Although the ex-regent initially retained some influence, James soon came under the sway of two other men who were thought to be a danger to England. The first was James's French cousin, the charming and sophisticated Esme Stuart, the lord of Aubigny. Attracting the king's attention on his arrival from France in September 1579, he was created earl of Lennox in March 1580 and duke of Lennox the next year. The second important figure was the one-time mercenary Captain James Stewart, who was appointed a gentleman of the king's chamber during 1580 and elevated to the earldom of Arran in 1581. With the support of these two men, and possibly under their influence, James was prompted to take revenge on the Scottish nobles whom he held responsible for the murders of his kinsmen before his birth and during his minority---his father (Lord Darnley) in 1567, his uncle (the earl of Moray) in 1570, and his grandfather (the earl of Lennox) in 1571. Some of these lords had taken refuge in England, and James demanded in vain their return from Elizabeth. Another guilty party was Morton, who on the last day of 1580 was accused of being an accessory to Darnley's murder." (Elizabeth I and Her Circle)

Royal bedchamber guests.

" . . . His reign was remarkable for the . . . number of men who were welcomed into the royal bedchamber. These included Esme Stewart (1579-1624); Alexander Lindsay; Francis Stewart Hepburn (1562-1612); James Hay (1590-1636); Robert Carr (1587-1645), whom he made Earl of Somerset; and George Villiers (1592-1628), whom he made the Earl of Buckingham. . . ." (Queers in History: 239)

"Queen Anne and King James came to live more or less separate lives, and certainly the homosexual inclinations of the King contributed to this marital arrangement. Anne had been well aware of the king's interest in the male sex for years. About 1593 James had written 'A Satire Against Woemen (sic),' which described the fair sex as vain, unable to keep secrets and being full of 'talke and clatters.' When James left Scotland in 1603 to claim his new throne in England, he brought James Hay (--1636) with him and made him master of the royal wardrobe. In time, Hay was made a baron, viscount Doncaster and Earl of Carlisle. When the King tired of James Hay, he replaced him with Philip Herbert (1584-1650), Earl of Montgomery and Earl of Pembroke. Queen Anne also had to endure the king's relationship with a more serious rival for his affections, Robert Carr (--1645). This favorite of the King was also given titles of nobility. In due course he became viscount Rochester and Earl of Somerset. Queen Anne developed a warm hatred for Robert Carr and, to displace him, she took the extraordinary measure of encouraging the King to become attached to a different homosexual lover. He was George Villiers (152-1628), who acquired titles of nobility (Duke of Buckingham, among them) and real power in the administration of King James I. It is not surprising, then, that Queen Anne enjoyed her separate residence from the king's and that she also took pleasure in traveling around England." (The Royal Family of America, from Jamestown to the American Revolution: 16)

James's minions.

"Despite James's latent homosexuality, he became attentive to Anne's charms after their marriage in 1589. Although he was still rumoured to be 'too much carried by young men that lie in his chamber and are his minions' and was known to have taken Anne Murray as a mistress at about 1592, he and the Queen maintained an affectionate relationship. Yet he always considered women to be intellectually inferior and preferred the company of attractive men. Esme was the precursor to Robert Carr, Earl of Somerset, and George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, after James took the English throne. It should not be assumed that all his favourites had homosexual inclinations. Captain James Stewart bedded Atholl's daughter, Elizabeth Stewart, while she was still married to the elderly Lennox, and produced a child by her before she could divorce the old many to marry him. They then produced another four children. In 1585, Gray remarried Mary, daughter of Lord Robert Stewart, and she provided him with eight children." (The Survival of the Crown: 173)

A succession of male favourites.

"When Queen Elizabeth died in 1603 she was succeeded by James I, whose court was particularly known for its moral laxity. There is little dispute that James I himself was primarily homosexual. Though he married Anne of Denmark and fathered seven children, he seldom saw the queen after the last was born. Throughout his life James was linked with a succession of male favorites, all of whom benefited---some spectacularly---from his affection. When James was 14 ears old and reigning as King James VI of Scotland, he fell in love with Esme Stewart, his father's French-born cousin and a handsome, elegant and charming man. In 1581 James made Stewart Earl of Lennox, and a year later Duke of Lennox Because of the religious animosities at the time, the young king's making his French Catholic cousin the only duke in Scotland raised the ire of the Calvinist Scottish nobility, and within a year Stewart had been exiled to France. A few years later James shrewdly arranged the marriage of Lennox's sister to another companion, George Gordon, Earl of Huntley. The marriage provided justification for James to elevate Gordon to the position of Captain of the Guards, which allowed Huntley to station himself in the young king's bed at night as 'body guard.' In addition to Huntley, James had affairs with several other youthful nobles, including Alexander Lindsay, Lord Spynie, whom James nicknamed 'Sandie' and appointed vice-chamberlain, and Francis Stewart Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell. On one occasion James caused a minor scandal when he casually kissed and embraced Bothwell in full view of the public." (The Origins and Role of Same-Sex Relations in Human Societies: 400)

Most significant male courtier.
"During this period the king's own views were clearly established but the influence of certain maile courtiers on court style was still important. Most significant were the royal favourites, perhaps most notably George Gordon, 1st marquis and later earl of Huntly (1562-1636). Educated in France, Gordon was a Catholic, and while he signed the Scottish Presbyterian Confession of Faith (1560) in 1588, he supported a Spanoish invasion of Scotland. Even so, James paid for Huntly's marriage to Henriette Stuart the same year, which cost 5 per cent of the royal annual household's expenditure. Talented and handsome, Gordon was described by James as his 'good sonne', one of the early instances of the king using his role as father figure to frame personal and political relationships, even when the individual in question was older than him. The same was true of his friendship with George Home, earl of Dunbar (c1556-1611; also known as George Hume), who James met when he was 16 and the earl was 26. Home travelled with James to Denmark, and his portraits suggest that he was very interested in his appearance. Equally important was Ludovic Stuart, 2nd Duke of Lennox (1574-1624), who had lived at court since his father's death in 1583. James demonstrated their friendship with small gifts of clothing, including a velvet-lined black castor hat with a hatband and a pair of long Naples silk hose in October 1590 and another pair of these hose on 25 February 1591. Two years later Ludovic and 15 friends swore and oath not to wear gold and silver trimmings for a year, which is suggestive of how highly rich clothing was valued at James's court." (Stuart Style: Monarchy, Dress and the Scottish Male Elite: 49)

"Queen Anne and King James came to live more or less separate lives, and certainly the homosexual inclinations of the King contributed to this marital arrangement. Anne had been well aware of the King's interest in the male sex for years. . . When James left Scotland in 1603 to claim his new throne in England, he brought James Hay (-1636) with him and made him master of the royal wardrobe. In time, Hay was made a baron, viscount Doncaster and Earl of Carlisle. When the King tired of James Hay, he replaced him with Philip Herbert (1584-1650), Earl of Montgomery and Earl of Pembroke. Queen Anne also had to endure the king's relationship with a more serious rival for his affections, Robert Carr (-1645). This favorite of the King was also given titles of nobility. In due course he became viscount Rochester and Earl of Somerset. Queen Anne developed a warm hatred for Robert Carr and, to displace him, she took the extraordinary measure of encouraging the King to become attached to a different homosexual lover. He was George Villiers (1592-1628), who acquired titles of nobility (Duke of Buckingham, among them) and real power in the administration of King James I. It is not surprising then, that Queen Anne enjoyed her separate residence from the king's and that she also took pleasure in traveling around England." (The English Royal Family of America, from Jamestown to the American Revolution: 16)

Summary list of James I's favourites:
1) 1578-1585: James Stewart, Earl of Arran (1545-1595)
2) 1579-1582: Esme Stewart, 1st Duke of Lennox (1542–1583)
3) 1580s: Francis Stewart, 5th Earl of Bothwell (1562-1612)
4) 1582: George Gordon, 1st Marquess of Huntly (1562-1636)
5) 1584: Patrick Gray, 6th Lord Gray (1559?-1612)
6) 1589-1590?: Alexander Lindsay, 1st Lord Spynie (d.1607)
7) 1593-1595: Anne Murray, Countess of Kinghorne (1579-1618)
8) 1603: James Hay, 1st Earl of Carlisle (1580-1636)
9) 1603-1611: Philip Herbert, 1st Earl of Montgomery (1584-1650)
10) 1611-1615: Robert Carr, Earl of Somerset (1586-1645)
11) 1616-1625: George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham  (1592-1628)
12) ?-?: John Erskine, 2nd Earl of Mar (1558-1634).
13) ?-?: Ludovic Stewart, 2nd Duke of Lennox (1574-1624)

James I's lovers were.

Lover in 1578-1585.
Scottish aristocrat & royal favourite.

Gentleman of the Bedchamber 1578; Earl of Arran 1581-1585 Lord Chancellor of Scotland 1584-86; Captain of the Royal Guard of James James I of England

Husband of: Elizabeth Stewart (1549-?), daughter of John Stewart, 4th Earl of Erroll.

" . . . He spent most of his life on the Continent, but returned to Scotland 1577 and won the favour of James VI, who created him earl in 1581. After James escaped from the extreme Protestant Ruthven raiders 1583, Arran became his closest adviser.His power collapsed, however, on the return of extreme Protestant leaders from exile in 1585, and James deserted him." (The Hutchinson Illustrated Encyclopedia of British History: 22)

An officer of courage.
"Second son of Andrew Stewart, Lord Ochiltree. Being a younger son, he went abroad and entered into the service of the states of Holland against the king of Spain, in which was promoted to be a captain, and acquired the reputation of an officer of courage. On his return to Scotland, which appears to have taken place in 1578, he became a favourite of King James VI who, in course of a few days, appointed him a gentleman of his bed-chamber, a knight, a rivy councillor, and tutor or guardian to the Earl of Arran, who was insane. He was the principal instrument employed in procuring the downfall of Morton, whom he accused, on the 31st December 1580, of high treason, in conspiring the death of Darnley. . . ." (A Historical Account of the Senators of the College of Justice: 181)

" . . . Others were recruited from among the younger sons of the peerage. James Stewart of Bothwellhaugh, a younger son of the second lord Ochiltree, used his position in the king's guard to gain the juvenile king's confidence, rising to become earl of Arran and chancellor in 1584. . . ." (Noble Power iin scotland from the Reformation to the Revolution: 191)

"By chance, another young, charismatic, but unscrupulous new courtier also returned to Scotland in 1579. He was Captain James Stewart, Ochiltree's second son, who had been a mercenary for the Dutch in the Netherlands. In 1580, James appointed him as a Gentleman of the Bedchamber and Captain of the Guard. It was said of him that 'for impudent audacity he probably had no equal.' His sister Margaret Stewart had married Knox, and he tried to follow in his father's footsteps by building his power base through the Kirk." (The Survival of the Crown: 172)

"Captain Stewart, Earl of Arran, was second son of Andrew, Lord Ochiltree, a zealous promoter of the Reformation. He was an unworthy favourite of James VI, who gave him all the power of the Government; in 1584 he was constituted chancellor and lieutenant of the kingdom. In 1585 he was degraded from his honours and banished from court. In 1596 he was encountered and slain by James Douglas of Parkhead, nephew of the Regent Norton, in revenge for his having cause the regent's death, by accusing him of being accessory to the murder of Darnley. . . ." (Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, Vol 1: 310)

" . . . Even from his infancy he was passionately addicted to favourites, and already, in his thirteenth or fourteenth year, there were two persons so high in his good graces that they could bring him to do any thing they pleased. . . Very different was the character of the other favourite of James VI. This was Captain James Stewart, a second son of the family of Ochiltree. He was an unprincipled, abandoned man, without any wisdom except cunning, and only distinguished by the audacity of his ambition and the boldness of his character. The counsels of these two favourites increased the King's natural desire to put an end to the sway of Morton, and Stewart resolved that the pretext for his removal should also be one which should bring him to the block. The grounds of accusation were artfully chosen. The Earl of Morton, when he resigned the regency, had obtained a pardon under the great seal for all crimes and offences which he had or might have committed against the King; but there was no mention, in that pardon, of the murder of Henry Darnley, the King's father; and in counselling, if not committing that murder, the Earl of Morton had certainly participated. The favourite Stewart took the office of accuser upon himself; and entering the King's chamber suddenly when the Privy Council were assembled, he dropped on his knees before James, and accused the Earl of Morton of having been concerned in the murder of the King's father. To this Morton, with a haughty smile, replied, that he had prosecuted the perpetrators of that offence too severely to make it probable that he himself was one of them. All he demanded was a fair enquiry. . . Stewart was promoted to the earldom of Arran, vacant by the forfeiture of the Hamiltons. . . ." (The History of Scotland, Vol 1: 311)

Adultery with his eventual wife, Elizabeth Stewart.

" . . . Shortly afterwards he consummated a criminal intrigue [that is, adultery], which he had for some time carried on with Elizabeth Stewart, wife of Robert Earl of March, formerly his benefactor, by marrying her on 6th of July 1581; she having been previously divorced from March for a reason which, as has been elegantly expressed by Robertson, 'no modest woman will ever plead.' She was, according to Spotswood, 'a woman, intolerable in all the imperfections incident to that sex." (A Historical Account of the Senators of the College of Justice: 182)

Seduction of Elizabeth Stewart.

"Soon after being created earl Arran married, on 6 July 1581, Elizabeth, eldest daughter of John Stewart, fourth earl of Atholl. Arran was her third husband. Her first husband was Hugh, sixth lord Lovat, on whose death she became the wife of Robert Stewart, earl of Lennox and March. Subsequently Arran seduced her, and after she was with child by him she obtained a divorce from the Earl of Lennox on account of his impotency. Her child by Arran, according to Calderwood, was' born a quarter of a year before' he married her; and before baptism could be granted 'he and his lady had to underlie the discipline of the kirk.'. . . ." (Wikisource)
Francis Stewart
5th Earl of Bothwell

Francis Stewart 
5th Earl of Bothwell
Lover in 1580s.

Lord Badenoch & Enzie 1564

Earl of Bothwell 1577

Commendator of Kelso Abbey; Commendator of Coldingham Priory; Privy Counsellor; Lord High Admiral of Scotland.
Privy Counsellor of Scotland 1587
Lord High Admiral of Scotland 1577
Keeper of Liddesdale 1587. 

Commendator of Kelso Abbey c1568
Commendator of Coldingham Priory
Commendator of Culross Abbey

Son ofJohn Stewart, Lord Darnley (d.1563), Prior of Coldingham, natural child of James V of Scotland, & Elizabeth Carmichael, & Jane Hepburn (d.1599), Mistress of Caithness & Lady Morham. [Ref1:Clan Macfarlane]

Husband ofMargaret Douglas (d.1640), mar 1577, daughter of David Douglas7th Earl of Angus (d.1558) & Margaret Hamilton

". . . Another to whom he was attracted, Francis Stewart, Earl of Bothwell, the nephew of the infamous Bothwell, was also his first cousin. To this extraordinarily handsome young man, an unscrupulous character, James displayed his customary affection, hanging about his neck and embracing him tenderly. But the the young man attempted to kidnap him, James sought companionship elsewhere from another close kinsman George Gordon, Earl of Huntly. . . . " (Royal Sex.)

" . . . Another minion of the early 1580s was Francis Stewart Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell, whom James nonchalantly kissed and embraced in public, causing great scandal. . . .(Queen James and His Courtiers)

Earl of Bothwell's other lover was:

1) Jean HepburnLady Darnley (1542-1599)
Lady of Morham, 1573 (from mother's)

Daughter of James Hepburn, 3rd Earl of Bothwell & Lady Agnes Sinclair.

Wife of:
1. John Stewart, 1st Lord Darnley (1531-1563), an illegitimate son of James V of Scotland & half-brother of Mary, Queen of Scots, mar 1562
2. John Sinclair, Master of Caithness (1543-1575), mar 1565. div 1575
3. Archibald Douglas, Parson of Douglas (1540-1587), a Senator of the College of Justice, and Ambassador to Queen Elizabeth I of England, mar 1578.

Patrick Gray, 6th Lord Gray (1559?-1612)
Lover in 1584.

Scottish aristocrat, diplomat, politician & royal favourite.

6th Lord Gray 1609; Gentleman of the Privy Chamber 1584; Master of King's Wardrobe & Menagerie 1584; Ambassador to England 1584. [Gazetteer for Scotland]

Son ofPatrick Gray, 5th Lord Gray & Barbara Ruthven.

Husband of

1. Elizabeth Lyon, daughter of John Lyon, 8th Lord Glamis, mar 1575. 

2. Mary Stewart, daughter of Robert Stewart, 1st Earl of Orkney, mar 1585

"Esme almost certainly arrived from France with Patrick, Master of Gray. Gray had been educated at St. Andrews, but had left for France after deserting Elisabeth Lyon, the young Glamis's sister, after less than a year of marriage. He was witty, able and exceptionally, if effeminately, good-looking, with fascinating manners. In Paris, he had been introduced to Archbishop Bethune, who took him into his employment on Mary's behalf to promote a scheme for the 'Association', a plan for Scotland to be ruled jointly by Mary and James." (The Survival of the Crown: Volume II: 170)

"The most notorious was the 6th Baron, Patrick, who as Master of Gray was known for his political intrigues.

Initially in high favour with Mary Queen of Scots and then with her son James VI (to whom he was Gentleman of the Bedchamber and Master of the Wardrobe), he earned a reputation for treachery, especially as he was generally supposed to have connived at the execution of Mary in 1587 while Ambassador to England." (The Telegraph)

" . . . 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." (Encyclopedia)

" . . . He was well educated, probably with the intention of entering the church, but, preferring an adventurous life, he became a soldier of fortune, and for some time served in the army of the states of Holland against the Spaniards. Plausible, able, and accomplished, he was at the same time quite unscrupulous in the choice of methods to attain his ambitious hopes, while in impudent audacity he probably had no equal even among the Scottish courtiers. Returning to Scotland in 1579, he was on 15 Oct 1580 appointed a gentleman of the bedchamber . . . He was also made captain of the guard and tutor to his cousin, the insane Earl of Arran. . . In December 1580 he was made use of by Esme Stuart, duke of Lennox to accuse Morton before the council of the murder of Darnley. . . On 7 Feb 1580-1 he was admitted a member of the privy council. The reward for his bold and dangerous coup against Morton was his recognition as the legitimate head of the Hamiltons. On 22 April 1581 he obtained a grant of the earldom of Arran in Bute, of the lands and barony of Hamilton in Lanark, and of other lands in Lanark, Berwickshire, and Linlithgow. . .  and under the pretence tht he was the lawful heir of the family (his father's mother being only child of the first Earl of Arran by his first wife), he had, on 28 Oct., a letter of confirmation under the great seal, ratifying anew the old erection of the earldom of Arran, and creating him and his heirs male earls of Arran and lords of Avane and Hamilton. . . ." (Wikisource)

"Esme had died in France, but Arran was soon reinstated as a member of the King's council. In 1585, he was replaced by a new favourite, charming Patrick of Gray. He had been sent to England to negotiate an alliance. . . ." (Mad Monarchs)

"After Esme's death James cast his eye elsewhere in his search for another companion. His choice of Patrick, Master of Gray, was singularly unfortunate as he was an 'idle and extravagant young man, who had accompanied Esme from France but who later was instrumental in persuading the latter's widow to send her eldest son to Scotland in order to inherit his father's titles and estates. Gray had first met Esme whilst a young man during a visit to France and could speak fluent French. He's also a kinsman of James and Esme." (
Royal Sex

"Gray was an intimate friend of Sir Philip Sidney, but, if one of the ablest, handsomest and most fascinating, he was beyond doubt one of the most unscrupulous men of his day. . . ." (Wikisource)

"Patrick gray, eldest son of Patrick, sixth Lord Gray of Scotland, by Barbara, daughter of Patrick Lord Ruthven. James, always attached to some unworthy object, chose this man of his Privy Council, appointed him Chief gentleman of his Bedchamber, Master of his Wardrobe, and Commendator of the Monastery of Dumfernlne. Having undermined the Earl of Arran, a man of equal profligacy but meaner parts, the Master of Gray rose to a degree of favour and confidence greater than that nobleman had ever enjoyed, and repaid it with the most detestable treachery. When Ambassador to Elizabeth, an office in which he was frequently employed, he became a conspirator with her against his country; and when at home, was busily engaged in executing her schemes, and thwarting those of his Prince the character of his chief minister. This is the general account which we have of him; the particular charge insinuated by most historians, that he advised the execution of the Queen of Scots at the very time when he was directed by James to use his utmost efforts to prevent it, is fully prived by one of his own letters in this collection, and it is almost certain that his intrigues on that occasion determined Elizabeth to put her to death. He was accused of high treason soon after that wretched event, his deceit with regard to which made a part of the impeachment, but as he was only sentenced to banishment, we may reasonably suppose it was not proved. He now retired to Italy, and indulged his natural inclination to treachery by condescending to become a spy on the Court of Rome, and transmitting intelligence of its policies to Elizabeth, who, to her eternal dishonour, countenanced him to the last. The Master of gray succeeded to the Barony in 1609, and died in 1612, having been twice married: first, to Elizabeth, daughter of John Lord Glamis, Chancellor of Scotland; secondly, to Mary, daughter of Robert Stuart Earl of Orkney; and by the last had numerous issue." (Illustrations of British History, Biography, and Manners: 310)

Esme Stewart.
1st Duke of Lennox

Lover in 1579-1582.

Scottish aristocrat & courtier.

Regent of Scotland 1578-1582

6th Seigneur d'Aubigny 1567
1st Earl of Lennox 1580
1st Duke of Lennox 1581
1st Earl of Darnley 1581
Lord Aubigny, Tarboulton & Dalkeith 1581.

Privy Councillor

Captain of the Scottish Guards

Also known as:
Esme Stuart
Esme Stuart d'Aubigny

Son of John Stewart, 5th Lord of Aubigny & Anne de La Queuille.

Husband of Catherine de Balsac, daughter of Guillaume de Balsac, Sieur d'Entragues, & Louise d'Humieres, mar 1572.

First great favourite & first love.

"James's first great favorite and arguably his first love was Esme Stuart, whom he created duke of Lennox. Stuart came to the Scottish court in 1579, was thrown out of Scotland by outraged nobles, and died in France i 1583. . . ." (Love, Lust, and License in Early Modern England: Illicit Sex and the Nobility)

James's first male favourite.
"The King's preference for the company of his own sex was the source of much comment in Scotland and amongst the Royal Courts of Europe. His first male favourite, his cousin Esme Stewart, Seigneur d'Aubigny, was old enough to be his father and this perhaps is the key to understanding why James welcomed and embraced him. Esme was the father figure that James never had. He was according to one contemporary 'of comedy proportions, civil behaviour, red-headed' and 'honest in conversation' but his appearance at the Scottish court in 1579 caused much speculation and gossip because he came France as an agent for the Guise family. The Duc de Guise, the uncle of James's mother, wished to promote the cause of his niece and believed that Esme could bring about a new Franco-Scottish Alliance. According to Sir James Melville he 'came in simplicity as if he could meddle with nothings but events were to prove otherwise. Although not a handsome man by modern standards, he possessed great charm, a sharp brain and a talent for political intrigue which he used to considerable effect in the King's cause." (Royal Sex: The Scandalous Love Lives of the British Royal Family)

James I's first affair.
"Apart from being the most important influence in his personal life, James's extra-marital relations affected his reign as King of Great Britain in three significant ways. His first affair, with Esme Stuart, Duke of Lennox, made him an even more canny person, determined to be master of Scotland. (Royal Mistresses: 43)

Drew the king to carnal lust.

"When Jamie was a lean and lanky Scots lad of fourteen, he fell in love with the elegant French courtier Esmé Stuart—Seigneur d'Aubigny, Earl of Lennox. Or, as the Scots chronicler Moysie would delicately put it, "he conceived an inward affection to the Lord d'Aubigne, and entered in great familiarity and quiet purposes with him." A more fervid clergyman put the matter more bluntly: "the Duke of Lennox went about to draw the King to carnal lust." As with the less royal class of men and boys, I suspect that the princely lad seduced the courtier." (Queen James and His Courtiers)

First encounter.

" . . . When James was 14 years old and reigning as King James VI of Scotland, he fell in love with Esme Stewart, his father's French-born cousin and a handsome, elegant and charming man. . . ."

"Though there was the strongest affection between John Erskine and the young king, without doubt the troubles which marked the youth of James VI suggested the idea that his head would lie easier if he had some one of his own kindred in whose fidelity he could rely, to be about him, and to afford him disinterested support. In September 1579, at the express invitation of James, his cousin Esme Stuart, Lord d'Aubigny, came over from France on a visit to the king. Nominally his visit was for the purpose of enabling him to look after certain property belonging to the Lenox family, in which he was interested. It was, however, suspected that he came as an emissary of the Guise party, to attempt a movement in their favour." (The Honourable Henry Erskine: Lord Advocate for Scotland: 5)

" . . . In 1579, the thirty-seven-year-old Frenchman Esme Stuart d'Aubigny entered for the first time into the Presence Chamber at Stirling Castle where he immediately prostrated himself before his cousin, the thirteen-year-old James, who embrace him and received him graciously.  Thus began the intense relationship between the two: the love-starved adolescent king and the sophisticated French courtier.  In ways probably unexpected for both, they developed an intense and ever-deepening love, documented in numerous letters and reports from nervous observers both in Scotland and England, most of whom feared that Esme intended to lead the king and Scotland into the unwelcome embrace of Catholicism.  Esme had left behind in France a wife and children; they never joined him in Scotland, although occasional discussion hinted that his wife might arrive.  James saw to it that she did not."  (Royal Subjects: Essays on the Writings of James VI and I: 345)

"In the summer of 1579 the king's cousin, Esme Stewart, arrived in Scotland from his family estates in France and began to exert a steadily expanding dominance over James VI.  Esme was the son of John Stewart, fifth Lord of Aubigny, and was born in 1542 in France, In 1567 his father died and Esme inherited this titles and lordship of Aubigny.  Her became a prominent member of the Valois court and was sent to Scotland by the Guise faction to improve French influence with the Stewarts. The two cousins soon developed a close friendship and through his relationship with the sovereign, Esme was appointed to the council.  He was showered with gifts, honors and in 1580 named to the vacant earldom of Lennox.  Using his association with the king, the Lennox earl seized control of the crown to rule the kingdom.  However, as a foreigner and Catholic, he had few friends of defenders in the nobility and lacked a political base of support, as opposition forces quickly rallied against his regime. . . ." (Monarchs of the Renaissance: The Lives and Reigns of 42 European Kings and Queens: 156)

" . . . Even from his infancy he was passionately addicted to favourites, and already, in his thirteenth or fourteenth year, there were two persons so high in his good graces that they could bring him to do any thing they pleased. The first was Esme Stewart of Aubigny, a nephew of the late Earl of Lennox, and his heir, The King not only restored this young man to the honours of his family, but created him Duke of Lennox, and raised him with too prodigal generosity t a high situation in the state. There was nothing in the character of this favourite, either to deserve such extreme preferment, or to make him unworthy of it. He was a gallant young gentleman, who was deeply grateful to the King for his bounty, and appears to bave been disposed to enjoy it without injuring anyone." (The History of Scotland, Volume 1: 310)

"Long before he was married to Anne of Denmark, James's favorites were men. When he was thirteen years old he fell madly in love with the 6th Seigneur d'Aubigny, his cousin Esme Stuart, a dashing, worldly older man, whom he openly (and frequently) kissed. He also appointed him to the highest position of honor and prestige, creating him Duke of Lennox and First Gentleman of the Bedchamber---the position given to each of James's subsequent favorites. The First Gentleman slept in the same room as the king, and more importantly, controlled all access to the monarch. However, the duke's greatest claim may be that he taught his young cousin how to drink---a pastime which the king would excel for the remainder of his life, to the immense consternation and embarrassment of his queen. 'The King drinks so much, and conducts himself so ill in every respect that I expect an early and evil result,' she laments." (Royal Affairs: 179)

Affair's benefits.

" . . . In 1581 James made Stewart Earl of Lennox, and a year later Duke of Lennox.  Because of the religious animosities at the time, the young king's making his French Catholic cousin the only duke in Scotland raised the ire of the Calvinist Scottish nobility, and within a year Stewart had been exiled to France. . . ." (The Origins and Role of Same-Sex Relations in Human Societies: 400)

Affair's end & aftermath.

"Be this as it may, Lennox, who according to a contemporary description was a man "of comely proportion, civil behaviour, red-bearded, and honest in conversation," brought charming French manners, music, and gaiety into James's austere Highland surroundings. Whether Lennox loved James for himself or for his royal patronage we do not know, though inevitably there is some fawning in all regal love affairs. Like Sir Francis Bacon much later, Lennox rose to wealth and power and nobility, and inevitably aroused the jealousy of others who coveted his position. A conspiracy of nobles was formed against him, and in 1582 James was abducted by his would-be protectors, Lennox was ordered to leave the country on pain of death, and the two lovers never saw each other again.(Queen James and His Courtiers)

Affair's end & aftermath.
"Esme's good fortune, however did not last and within a few years he fell victim to a conspiracy organised by the Earl of Gowrie and was unceremoniously exiled to France, where he died in Paris after a series of strokes. On his deathbed he recommended his children to the care of James and also declared his love and devotion to his sovereign. To his credit James did not forget him or his orphaned children. The eldest Ludovic was immediately given his deceased father's titles and estates and invited to come to Scotland." (Royal Sex)

Lover in 1589-1590?
Scottish nobleman
1st Lord Spynie 1590
Vice-Chamberlain to James VI

Son of the 10th Earl of Crawford

"Spynie, Baron, a title (dormant since 1671) in the peerage of Scotland, conferred in 1590, on Alexander Lindsay, fourth son of the tenth earl of Crawford. This personage was vice-chamberlain of James VI, whom he accompanied on his matrimonial expedition to Denmark in October 1589. He lent the king ten thousand gold crowns towards the expenses of the expedition, and in the following characteristic letter James promises to raise him to the peerage on his return. . .  In fulfillment of this promise, and in acquittance of the 10,000 gold crowns lent to him, the king granted a charter of the lordship of Spynie, Kinnedder, Rafford, and other lands in the counties of Elgin, Banff, and Inverness, formerly belonging to the see of Moray, united into the free barony of Spynie, with the title of Baron Spynie, to Alexander Lindsay and his heirs and assignees, dated 6th May 1590. . . ."  (The Scottish Nation: Or, The Surnames, Families, Literature, Honours, and Biographical History of the People of Scotland, Volume 3: 502)

The King's best loved minion.
"James was not particularly monogamous, and Fowler adds that 'the King's best loved minion' was Alexander Lindsay, Lord Spynie, the boy nicknamed 'Sandie' whom James appointed as his Vice-Chamberlain. . . ."  (Long Live Queen James)

" . . . Later, contemporaries said that 'the King's best loved minion' was Alexander Lindsay, Lord Spynie, whom James appointed as his Vice-Chamberlain. . . ." (Who's who in Gay and Lesbian History: 226)

" . . . Alexander Lindsay,the younger son of the tenth earl of Crawford, seemed likely to become a great courtier but by 1590 was undermined by more powerful nobles who dominated the court throughout the remainder of the decade. . . " (Noble Power in Scotland: 191)

The King's only minion and conceit.

"After Lennox, in the late 1580s Thomas Fowler reported from Scotland: 'It is thought that this King is too much carried by young men that lies [sic] in his chamber and is [sic] his minions.' One of these was Alexander Lindsay, whom James elevated to the peerage at Lord Spynie and nick named Sandie. Lindsay was described by Fowler as 'the King's best beloved minion'. He was described by another observer as 'the King's only minion and conceit' and 'his nightly bed-fellow'. Yet another remarked that Lindsay was envied because he 'was in great favour with his Majesty and sometimes his bedfellow'. . . ." (King James and History of Homosexuality: n.p.)

Anne Murray (1579-1618)

Countess of Kinghorne
Lover in 1593-1595.

Baroness Glamis, 1595-1606

Daughter ofJohn Murray, 1st Earl of Tullibardine & Catherine Drummond.
Wife ofPatrick Lyon, 1st Earl of Kinghorne, mar 1595

"Initially, however, the king did not return to other men for solace.  There is some evidence that during the 1590s he had an affair with Anne Murray of Tallbardine, who was married to Patrick Lyon, Lord Glamis. A diplomat described her as 'the king's mistress', while James, with his characteristic sense of discretion wrote a poem, ' A dream on his mistress, my Ladie Glammes', in which he described how 'the god Morpheus brought Anne to his bed whilst he was sleeping'."  (Carlton, 1990, p. 51)

"Anne Lyon, Countess of Kinghorn was the daughter of John Murray, 1st Earl of Tullibardine and Catherine Drummond.  Originally called Lady Anne Murray, she was the mistress of James VI of Scotland from 1593 until her marriage to Patrick Lyon in 1595.  Patrick Lyon, 1st Earl of Kinghorne, was the son of John Lyon, 8th Lord Glamis, and Elizabeth Abernethy.  Upon marriage, Anne took the name of Lyon. . . ."  (Ovguide)
James Hay
1st Earl of Carlisle

James Hay (1580-1636)

1st Earl of Carlisle

Lover in 1603.

Scottish aristocrat & royal lover.

Baron for life 1606

Lord Hay of Sawley, 1615
Viscount of Doncaster 1618
Earl of Carlisle 1622.

Gentleman of the Bedchamber 1603

Knight of the Order of the Bath 1610
Master of the Wardrobe 1613
Privy Councillor 1618

Also known as:
the Scottish Heliogabalus.

Son ofSir James Hay of Fingask & Margaret Murray.

Husband of:

1. Honoria (d.1614), mar 1607, daughter of Edward, Lord Denny

2. Lucy Percy (1559- 1660), daughter of Henry Percy, 9th Earl of Northumberland & Dorothy Devereux.

A favourite who proved his worth.

"At the death of Elizabeth I in 1603 James was proclaimed king and was crowned King James I of England. The next major love of the king's life was another Scot, James Hay, a young man of noble birth who had spent time at the French court which gave him the grace and refinement in manners that James admired. Hay was quickly promoted, becoming first Viscount Doncaster and then Earl of Carlisle in short order. He proved his worth, though, by leading several successful diplomatic missions for James which he conducted with a high degree of skill and tact. Aside from his charm, his popularity in the court was assured by the extravagant feasts and entertainments he would stage---funded by the king. Desirous of marital unions to ease relations between his Scottish retainers and the English, in 1607, James arranged an English bride for Hay, and to overcome resistance by the lady's father, who didn't care for Scots, James gave the father a barony." (The Origins and Role of Same-Sex Relations in Human Societies: 400)

"Among the lesser luminaries at Court, Buckingham was on friendly terms with James Hay, one of the King's Scottish favourites, who had been created Viscount Doncaster. The King had despatched him to the continent in 1619 on a diplomatic mission, but Doncaster kept in touch with the favourite and assured him, in the conventional language of the time, that 'this poor servant of yours doth respect you with the best wishes of his souls'. Buckingham returned the compliment. 'There is none living more your faithful and humble servant,' he assured him. . . ." (Buckingham: The Life and Political Career of George Villiers, First Duke of Buckingham, 1592-1628: 67)

A very fine gentleman, and a most accomplished courtier.
"How well he kept his word may be inferred from the riches which were obtained and lavished by Sir James Hay, who was afterwards created Viscount Doncaster, and Earl of Carlisle. This new favourite was called the Scottish Heliogabalus, and first won the king's favour by giving him 'a most strange and costly feast.' Clarendon, who was not likely to speak with exaggeration in such a case, has left this character of Hay:---' He was surely a man of the greatest expense in his own person of any in the age he lived, and introduced more of that expense in the excess of clothes and diet than any other man; and he was indeed the original of all those inventions from which others did but transcribe copies. He had a great universal understanding, and could have taken as much delight in any other way, if he had thought any other as pleasant and worth his care. But he found business was attended with more rivals and vexations; and he thought, with much less pleasure, and not more innocence. He left behind him a reputation of a very fine gentleman, and a most accomplished courtier; and after having spent, in a very jovial life, above four hundred thousand pounds, which, upon a strict computation, he received from the crown, he left not a house not an acre of land to be remembered by.' The sumptuous ride to the Louver, when Hay repaired to the French court on an embassy to Marie de' Medici, and acted the magnifico, regardless of the cost, is quaintly described by Arthur Wilson. . . . (Royal Favourites, Volume I: 396)

Physical appearance and personal qualities.

"Just what drew the king's attention to this young Scot remains uncertain. The surviving pictures of Hay come from a much later stage of his life and show a man of elegant bearing with a broad forehead and soft, doe-like eyes that tended to narrow as he grew older. His nose was wide and straight with flared nostrils, all psof which tended to intensify the essentially triangular shape of his face. Perhaps James's daughter, Elizabeth, summed up Hay best. She addressed him in her letters as 'Camel-face.' Judging from later royal choices of favorites, the king inclined to men of grace and agility, a clear case of opposites attracting. From all reports Hay possessed these qualities in ample measure, plus a special kind of charm that comes from the enjoyment of life while not taking it too seriously." (First Carlisle: Sir James Hay, First Earl of Carlisle: 8)

Character or Persona.
". . .  He was:  'truly a most compleat and well accomplished gentleman, modest and court like and of so fair a demeanour, as made him be generally beloved; and for his wisdom. . . he was ever great with all the favourites of his time, and although the King did often change, yet he did not'. In addition it was noted that he was 'made for a courtier, who wholly studied his master, and understood him better than any other.'." (Royal Sex: The Scandalous Love Lives of the British Royal Family)

First encounter in 1603.

"The next, James Hay, was the younger son of a minor Scottish family of no great distinction and surprisingly unrelated to the King. This gentleman had spent some years serving in the Scots Guards at the court of the King of France and was introduced to James by the French Ambassador in 1603 in London after James had travelled south to claim the crown of England. . . . " (Royal Sex)

Affair's benefits to James Hay.

In 1603, he was made a Gentleman of the Bedchamber (1603); Created by patent a baron for life (1606); Knight of the Order of the Bath (1610); Master of the Wardrobe (1613); Created Lord Hay of Sawley, and took his seat in the House of Lords (1615); Privy Councillor (1618); Created Viscount of Doncaster (1618); In 1622, Created Earl of Carlisle (1622); Lord Carlisle obtained from the king a grant of all the Caribbean Islands, including Barbados (1627). "The second creation came in 1622 when James Hay, 1st Viscount Doncaster, was made Earl of Carlisle. He was a great favourite of King James I and had already been created Lord Hay in the Peerage of Scotland in 1606 and Baron Hay, of Sawley in the County of York and Viscount Doncaster in 1618. The latter titles were in the Peerage of England. . . ."

A brief fling resulting in English riches and titles.

" . . . He may possibly have had a brief fling with James Hay, a Scottish favourite, whom he rewarded with English riches and titles, including the viscounty of Doncaster. . . ." (Royal Mistresses: 51)

Philip Herbert
4th Earl of Montgomery
Philip Herbert, 1st Earl of Montgomery (1584-1650)
Lover in 1603-1611.

English aristocrat, courtier & politician

Baron Herbert of Shurland 1605

1st Earl of Montgomery 1605
4th Earl of Pembroke 1630

Gentleman of the Privy Chamber 1603

Knight of the Bath 1603
Gentleman of the Bedchamber 1605
Knight of the Garter 1608
High Steward of Oxford 1615
Keeper of the Palace of Westminster & St. James's Part 1617
Lord Lieutenant of Kent 1624
Privy Councillor 1624
Lord Chamberlain 1626
Lord Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire 1628
Lord Lieutenant of Somerset & Cornwall 1630
High Steward of Duchy of Cornwall 1630
Lord Warden of the Stannaries 1630.

Son ofHenry Herbert2nd Earl of Pembroke Mary Sidney.

Husband of:

1. Susan de Vere(1587-1629), daughter of Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, mar 1604.
2. Lady Anne Clifford, Baroness de Clifford (1590-1676), daughter of George Clifford, 3rd Earl of Cumberland, mar 1630.

A teen catching the royal eye.

"In 1600 the 16-year-old Philip made his first appearance at court, and on the accession of James I in 1603 he soon caught the king's eye. According to both Edward Hyde, 1st Earl of Clarendon, and John Aubrey, Philip's major interests at this time were hunting and hawking and it was in this capacity that he first attracted the king's attention. In May 1603, James made Philip a gentleman of the privy chamber; he made him a Knight of the Bath in July of the same year. In 1604, with James I's enthusiastic urging (he played a prominent role in the ceremony and provided generous financial gifts for the bride), Philip married Susan de Vere, daughter of Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford." (Wikipedia)

James I's first English favourite.

" . . . The poltroon who tamely submitted to this gross insult without retaliation was James's first English favourite, Philip Herbert, created Earl of Montgomery---the youngest son of that illustrious lady, 'Sidney's sister, Pembroke's mother.' "The Earl of Montgomery,' says Clarendon, 'being a young man scarce of age at the entrance of King James, had the good fortune, by the comeliness of his person, his skill and indefatigable industry in hunting, to be the first to draw the
king's eye towards him with affection.  . . Before the end of the first or second year he was made a gentleman of the king's bedchamber and Earl of Montgomery . . . He pretended to no other qualifications than to understand horses and dogs very well; which his master loved him the better for, being, at his first reputation of great parts.' It is rather curious that James, th emost slovenly of men in his own person, shoud have been as fastidious as even Elizabeth touching the looks and dress of those who were about him. Of this scion of the noble Signeys, contemporary writers speak with contempt, as possessing none of the chivalric qualities of his famous uncle, but more resembling the monarch whose favour showered honours upon him at the expense of his reputation. He seems to have been a sort of Squire Wester---choleric, boisterous, illiterate, selfish, absurd, and cowardly. . . ."  (Royal Favourites, Volume 1: 397)

Philip's physical appearance & personal qualities.

"Philip is said to have been a handsome young man, and in the early years of James's reign was acknowledged to be the chief of the royal favourites. ‘The comeliness of his person’ and his passion for hunting and field-sports, writes Clarendon, rendered him ‘the first who drew the king's eyes towards him with affection.’ ‘He pretended to no other qualifications than to understand dogs and horses very well.’ . . . ." (Wikisource)

Handsome but quarrelsome.

" . . . Although like his brother in his good looks and love of jousting, he was different in all other respects. Philip was violent and quarrelsome, had no intellectual interests, but loved sport and gambling. He was at Court from the age of fifteen or sixteen and became the favourite of James I from 1603-1611. . . ." (Who's Who in Shakespeare's England: 188)

Successor-lover to James Hay.

" . . . When the King tired of James Hay, he replaced him with Philip Herbert (1584-1650), Earl of Montgomery and Earl of Pembroke. . . ." (The Royal Family of America, from Jamestown to the American Revolution: 16)

Royal favours given to the Earl of Montgomery.

"James continued bestowing favours throughout 1605, first making Philip a gentleman of the bedchamber and then creating him Baron Herbert of Shurland and Earl of Montgomery. In addition, James had Montgomery created MA during a visit of Oxford. In addition to hunting and hawking, during this period Montgomery regularly participated in tournaments and court masques. He also took an interest in gambling and amassed considerable debts which James paid off for him in 1606/07. In 1608, James made him a Knight of the Garter; and had him appointed high steward of Oxford in 1615." (Wikipedia)

" . . . In May 1603 he became a gentleman of the privy chamber, on 23 July was appointed a knight of the Bath, and from 1605 to the end of the reign was a gentleman of the bedchamber. He was member for Glamorganshire in the parliament of 1604, and on 4 May 1605 was created Baron Herbert of Shurland in the Isle of Sheppey, Kent, and Earl of Montgomery. On 9 Feb. 1606-7 James I bestowed on his favourite the castle of Montgomery, which he took from its rightful owner, Edward Herbert, lord Herbert of Cherbury, but in July 1613 the new earl restored it to his kinsman on payment of 500l. From 1608 onwards he received lavish grants of land from James. Montgomery accompanied the king to Oxford in August 1605, and was created M.A. In 1606 it was rumoured that he was deep in debt, and that the king was compounding with his creditors (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1603-10, pp. 334, 348). In court-tournaments and in masques he was always a prominent figure (cf. ib. 1611-18, pp. 428, 512). The distinction which he gained when accompanying the king in the hunting-field or in the pursuit of other outdoor sports gave new currency to the old lines:The Herberts every Cockepitt day, Doe carry away, The gold and glory of the day. . . ." (Wikisource)

Affair's effect on others.

" . . . The Scottish favourite, Haddington, having become jealous at being supplanted by Montgomery, struck the English favourite across the face with his whip on the Croydon racecourse; an insult which the English took up as offered not merely to the spiritless minion, who had not the courage to resent it, but to the whole nation. . . ." (Royal Favourites, Volume 1: 398)

Earl of Pembroke's other lover was:
Mrs. May.
"Pembroke's domestic arrangements were much complicated by his immorality. In 1622 a daughter of the Earl of Berkshire lived with him as his mistress, and caused him annoyance by suddenly running away (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1619-23, p. 366). In his last years the royalist pamphleteers constantly made offensive references to his mistress Mrs. May. . . ." (Wikisource)

Philip Herbert's portrait gallery.
Portraits of Philip Herbert, 4th Earl of Pembroke. @ Humphrey's Family Tree.
Robert Carr
1st Earl of Somerset

Robert Carr 
Earl of Somerset
Lover in 1611-1615.

Viscount Rochester 1611
Earl of Somerset 1613
Privy Councilor.

Son ofSir Thomas Kerr & Janet Scott, sister of Walter Scott of Buccleuch.

Husband of
Frances Howard (1590-1632), Countess of Somerset, mar 1613

Marriage as a heartless policy.

"About eight years had elapsed since the representation of the 'Masque of Hymen,' when there was another masque in honour of the marriage of the same Lady Frances with Robert Carr, then created Earl of Somerset. The two noble Howards, the Earl of Suffolk, and the Earl of Northampton, seeing that there was no possibility of checking the mighty rise of Rochester, sought to bind him to their family, and so share the better in the good things which the king continued to lavish on his Favourite. Suffolk's daughter, the most beautiful, the most witty, and the most fascinating young woman at the English court, was made the means of this heartless policy, and eventually the downfall of him whom the king had so delighted to honour. . . ." (Royal Favourites, Volume 1: 405)
Frances Howard
Countess of Somerset
by William Larkin, c1615
" . . . The reigning one in 1614 was Robert Carr, a Scot by birth, who had accompanied James to England as a page and had then spent some time in France before returning to court. Good looks and fine French manners were, after D'Aubigny, sure keys to James's favour, and by 1612 Carr was Viscount Rochester, a Privy Councillor and a Knight of the Garter. Carr's rapid rise to wealth and influence aroused envy among those who had not been so lucky, but his enemies also included a number of people who detested him so much for his person as for the company he kept and the causes he espoused. . . ." (Buckingham: The Life and Political Career of George Villiers, First Duke of Buckingham)
Robert Carr, 1st Earl of Somerset
Robert the Stallion, a jolly Sire.
"After James's marriage in 1589 we do not have comparable testimony about the physical closeness between James and his favourites until the spectacular rise of Robert Carr that began in 1607. The attraction between James and Carr was definitely physical. A ballad of the period compared Carr to a stallion, ' a jolly Sire' who set James's 'good grace a fire'. Carr was a handsome young man about twenty years old described as 'straight-limbed, well-favourede, strong-shouldered, and smooth-faced'. He enhanced these natural attractions by wearing clothes that appealed to James, having 'changed his tailors and tiremen many times, and all to please' the king. Lord Thomas Howard, who wrote these descriptions, was astonished at Carr's ability to 'win the Prince's affection . . . wondrously in a little time'. As Howard observed James 'leaneth on his arm, pinches his cheek, smoothes his ruffled garment'. Like Lennox, Carr had acquired a smattering of continental sophistication in France, and James tried to further his education by teaching him Latin. . . Carr eventually acquired the title of Earl of Somerset and office of Lord Chamberlain. He wa the most powerful man in England next to the king." (King James and History of Homosexuality)

An ex-page boy's 15 minutes of fame.

"With Hay married off, King James was in need of another companion and found one in Robert Carr, a handsome son of minor Scottish nobility who had started in the royal service at the age of 16 as a running-page, a boy who would run alongside the royal carriage. When James decided footmen were more dignified, Carr was sent back to Scotland. He soon returned to London, though, and in 1607 while the 20-year-old Carr was participating in a game of tilt, a kind of jousting match on horseback, he fell off his horse---some say conveniently--- directly in front of the king's box, leaving him with a broken leg. Recognizing his good-looking former page, the king rushed on to the field, and to the astonishment of the assembled crowd cradled the young Carr in his arms. King James, then personally supervised the young man's recovery, and visited his hospital room frequently. . . ." (The Origins and Role of Same-Sex Relations in Human Societies: 400)

Carr's rapid rise --- and sudden downfall.

"A great love that seems to have been genuine developed between the two, and Carr was appointed gentleman of the Royal Bedchamber, later served as confidential secretary to the king, and eventually was made th earl of Somerset. Despite his rapid rise, Carr's devotion appeared to be genuine, and he never seems to have abused his influence with the king. When the king was afflicted with gout, Carr tended to his every need and stayed with him as he was nursed back to health. The king returned the devotion, and when Carr fell in love with Lady Frances Howard, the king arranged a munificent wedding for the couple and personally presided over it. Unfortunately, Lady Howard became implicated in the mysterious death of Sir Charles Overbury, an intimate friend of Carr's, and while Carr was never directly implicated other than as an unwitting accomplice, his career was nevertheless finished, and he ended his days banished to the countryside where he died in near poverty." (The Origins and Role of Same-Sex Relations in Human Societies: 400)

Carr's rapid rise.
"Robert Carr succeeded Cecil, not as prime minister, but became all-powerful as prime favourite. Before the death of Cecil, the king's minions had not ostensibly influenced public affairs. Carr owed his brilliant fortune to accident. But his fall was as rapid as his rise; for after several years' exercise of all the insolence of power, he fell into disgrace on conviction of his concern in an infamous murder. In the autumn of 1607 there appeared at court in the suite of Lord Hay, a youth of 'comely visage and proportionable presence, mixed with courtly grace,' being 'straight-limbed, well-favoured, strong-shouldered, and smooth-faced, with some sort of cunning and show of modesty.' He was of the border family of the Carrs of Fernieherst, who had suffered severely in the cause of Mary Stuart, the king's mother, and his father was Sir Robert Carr, ancestor of the noble house of Lothian. When a lad he had been page to James, but on growing to manhood had gone over to Paris, according to the custom of Scottish gentlemen, in order to acquire in that centre of European fashion all courtly graces and accomplishments. He had just returned thence when Lord Hay, having a part to perform in a tilting match, sent his shield and device to the king, pursuant to the ceremonial of those pastimes, by Carr, who acted as his quire. In dismounting from his horse to perform this duty, the animal, being 'full of fire and heat,' started, threw him to the ground, and his leg was broken by the fall. 'This accident, being no less strange than sudden in such a place, caused the king to demand who it was; answer was made that his name was Carr. He taking notice of his name and calling to remembrance that such an one was his page, caused him to be had in the court.' That breaking of a leg, therefore, proved the making of a fortune. James, affected by his youth and beauty, had him tenderly carried into Master Rider's house at Charing Cross, sent his own surgeon to him, and visited him after the tilt. These visits were daily renewed; the youth gradually won the heart of the king, who resolved to make of him a scholar, a statesman, and a man of rank and wealth. The last was easy; to effect the former, he himself became his tutor in Latin and his lecturer in politics. 'I think some one should teach him English, too.' sneers Lord Thomas Howard, in a letter to Sir John Harrington (then a young courtier, in whose advancement he was interested)---'for, as he is a Scottish lad, he hath much need of a better language. As the king anxiously watched his recovery---'Lord!' exlclaims Weldon, 'how the great men flocked there to see him and to offer at his shrine in such abundance, that the king was forced to lay a restraint, lest it might retard his recovery by spending his spirits! And, to facilitate the cure, care was taken for a choice diet for himself and surgeons, with his attendants, and no sooner recovered but a proclaimed favourite.' Thus solicitously tended by his kingly nurse, and consoled by rich presents and court appointments, Carr's recovery was rapid; so much so, that in the month of December, the chrysalis, casting off the grubby form of a page, which till then he had borned, burst forth in all the butterfly glory of a Royal Favourite. On Christmas Eve he was sworn gentleman of the bedchamber, and knighted. No suit, petition, letter, or grant from this time either reached or departed from the royal hand except through Sir Robert Carr; by which means, and the lavish gifts of his master, who bestowed upon him forfeited manors and broad lands, he had become so enriched in a short time, that early in 1611 he was created Baron Brancepeth, and then Viscount Rochester, and made a Knight of the Garter." (Royal Favourites, Volume 1: 400)

Robert Carr's physical appearance & personal qualities.
"Paramount amongst his paramours was Robert Carr, a young Scots lad, whose looks greatly exceeded both his modesty and intelligence. In 1603 Carr had been a pageboy who ran alongside the royal coach during James's triumphant ride south from Edinburgh to claim the English throne. James never appeared to notice the runner, who on arriving in London was discharged from his service." (Carlton, 1990, p. 51)

First encounter in 1607.
"Robert Carr, a kinsman of the Earl of Lothian, caught the King's attention in 1607 when he fell off his horse and injured himself during a tournament. Struck by the young man's good looks, one contemporary described him as 'straight limbed, strong shouldered and smooth faced', James offered to teach him Latin and soon they became inseparable, one courtier noting that he 'leaneth on his arm, pinches his cheek, smooths his ruffled garment, and when he looketh on Carr, directeth discourse to divers other. . .'." (Powell, 2013, n.p.)

"In 1607, at a royal jousting contest, seventeen-year-old Robert Carr . . . was knocked from a horse and broke his leg . . . James fell in love with the young man, and as the years progresses showered Carr with gifts. . . . "

Affair's end: " . . .His (James I of Great Britain) second liaison, with Robert Carr, ended in a nasty scandal which helped widen the gulf between court and county.  (Carlton, 1990, p. 43).

Robert Carr's personal & family background.

"It is supposed to have been during the year 1608, that James first adopted into his favour Robert Car (sic), afterwards Earl of Somerset. Carr was the third son of Sir Thomas Ker of Ferniehirst, chieftain of a sept of one of the best families on the Scottish Border, and who had been a faithful friend to the King when in Scotland.  He was thus, whatever the English pamphleteers have said of him, a youth of good birth.  When a boy, he became one of twelve pages who waited upon the King towards the close of his Scottish reign; a situation them and for many years after, deemed, even where a peer was to be served instead of a king, advantageous for the education and fortune of a gentleman.  When James removed to England, he changed his pages for footmen, that he might make his personal attendance resemble that of Elizabeth; and Car went to France in quest of other employment.  Returning afterwards, when grown to manhood, he condescended to appear as squire to a Scottish nobleman, at a court tilting-match; when, being employed to present his principal's ensign to the King, his horse happened to rear, and threw him, with a broken leg, at James's feet.  The good-natured King, interested in the misfortune, and also in the good looks of the squire, thought proper to get him deposited in the palace, and afterwards visited him in his confinement.  This gave him an opportunity of ascertaining that Car had formerly been in his own service, and also to observe the handsome features and gentle innocent demeanour of the youth; all of which causes combined, caused him to conceive a fondness for him, of that anomalous king which has already been alluded to.  During the progress of Car's convalescence, James applied himself to the task of cultivating his mind; acting personally, it would appear, as his instructor in the Latin tongue!  When once fully ingratiated with the King, it required only a moderate share of tact to preserve his favour.  Car, though possessed of nothing like talent, had at least enough of penetration to observe the King's foibles; having also enough of servility to accommodate himself to them, he might be considered as fully accomplished for his situation. Knowing that James liked to see men well dressed, and in new fashions, he took care to appear every day in attire at once novel and beautiful.  In every particular as to person, he studied the royal taste.  Above all things, he took care never to appear disgusted by the unseemly fondness which James was in the habit of bestowing upon all whom he loved. . . ." (The Life of King James the First, Volume 2: 175)

" . . . But Robert Carr, a Scot who traveled with James's entourage to London in 1603, became the first serious claimant to James's mature love.  He came to the king's attention as the result of a fall from his horse in the accession day tilt in 1607.  James liked his handsome appearance and insisted that Carr be given appropriate medical care.  James, ever the pedant, even attempted to teach Carr Latin.  In any event, by the end of 1607, the letter-writer John Chamberlain can casually write that Carr reigns as the new favorite, having recently also been made a gentleman of the bedchamber, a position of increasing importance.  From this important political position Carr, through James's unstinting generosity, began to accumulate other titles and properties, which culminated in 1613 with his becoming earl of Somerset.  Increasing political power followed in the wake of such success, to the consternation of Queen Anne, Prince Henry, and Robert Cecil."  (Monarchs of the Renaissance: 345)

"...Robert Carr dominated from 1611-1615."  (Houghton Miflin Co., p.97)

Benefits to Robert Carr

"The rise of the favourite was not so rapid as is generally represented. He was fully in possession of the King's favour in February 1609; during which year James gave him a grant of the forfeited estate of Sir Walter Raleigh, replying to all the remonstrances of that person's friends, 'I maun hae the land---I maun hae't for Car.' But it was not till upwards of two years after, namely, in March 1611, that he conferred upon his favourite the title of Viscount Rochester.Neither can the King be said to have bestowed money upon him with needless or extraordinary profusion. The first free gift we find to have been given to him, was one of 500 pounds, in the early part of the year 1611; the second, one of 5000 pounds, towards the end of the same year; and a third of 15,000 pounds appears in the roll of 1612; but after that there is no other. Car's chief emoluments arose from sums which were given to him by applicants for the royal favour; and by that oblique method, he is said to have raised a great deal of money.  It should be told, however, in his favour, that, on a particular occasion, when the managers of the royal Exchequer were driven almost to desperation for want of supplies, Car gave them the key of his strong box, and told them to take from it what they pleased. It was found to contain twenty-five thousand pounds, all of which they took." (The Life of King James the First, Vol. 2: 183)

" . . . Robert Carr, afterwards Earl of Somerset, was another of the brothers of Joseph, whom Joseph did not forget. Osborn tells us a curious story of the ignorant lavishness of James. He had given Carr an order upon the lord high treasurer for twenty thousand pounds; but the treasurer apprehended 'that the king was as ignorant of the worth of what was demanded as of the desert of the person who had begged it;' and knew 'that a pound, upon the Scottish accompt, would not pay for the shoeing of a horse, by which his master might be farther led out of the way of thrift than in his nature he was willing to go.' The wise Cecil, according to the story, placed the twenty thousand pounds in specie upon the floor of a room to which the king was coming. Whose money is this?' said James. It was your majesty's before you gave it away.' The king threw himself upon the heap, and scratching out two or three  hundred pounds, sweote tht Carr should have no more; but Cecil, not caring to incense the minion too far, gave him the moiety of the sum originally intended. (The Royal Favourites, Vol. 1: 399)

" . . . Carr's rise was rapid. On 23 December James knighted him and the following March made him Viscount Rochester. . . ." (Royal Mistresses: 51)

Affair's end & aftermath.
" . . .  Frances Howard, the daughter of the Earl of Suffolk, the Lord Treasurer, had married the King's favourite, Robert Carr, Earl of Somerset, in December, 1613. However, there were signs by 1615 that James's relationship with Somerset was under some strain. Somerset had begun to act increasingly high-handedly towards James, and now that he was married he found James's affections tiresome. He was also alarmed by the opposition which his marriage into the Howard family had aroused in some sections of the Court. When Somerset saw James's liking for Villiers he tried to stop Villiers's advancement. At first he had some success. In November 1614 James acceded to Somerset's request not to appoint Villiers to a post in the Bedchamber. Instead, Villiers had to make do with an inferior position as a cupbearer." (Statesmen and Politicians of the Stuart Age: 39)
George Villiers at 33
1st Duke of Buckingham
by Workshop of Rubens, 1625
@Pitti Palace
1st Duke of Buckingham
Lover in 1616-1625.

Viscount Buckingham 1615

Earl of Buckingham 1616;
Marquess of Buckingham 1618
1st Duke of Buckingham 1623

Royal Cup-bearer 1614
Gentleman of the Bedchamber 1615
Master of the Horse 1615
Master of the Wardrobe 1616
Lord High Admiral 1619

Also known as:

Sir George Villiers
One of the Handsomest Men in the Whole World
The Handsomest-bodied Man in All of England.

Son ofGeorge Villiers Mary BeaumontCountess of Buckingham 1618.

Husband ofKatherine Manners19th Baroness de Ros of Helmsley (1600-1649), mar 1620, daughter of Francis Manners, 6th Earl of Rutland & Frances Knyvet.
The Duke of Buckingham & his family
by After Gerard van Honthorst, 1628
@ National Portrait Gallery
Discovery & rapid rise of the new favourite.
"Not long after Carr ws married off to Lady Howard, James found another companion in George Villiers, the son of penniless rural gentry whom many called the most beautiful man in Europe. Introduced to the king in 1614 when Villiers was 22 years old, he was knighted the next year and made a gentleman of the Royal Bedchamber, a time when their first sexual encounter took place, according to love letters between the two. From that point his rapid rise through the peerage was spectacular. He was created baron Whaddon and viscount Villiers in 1616, earl of Buckingham in 1617 and then marquess of Buckingham in 1618. The attention and benefits bestowed on Villiers was so great that it became a cause of concern in the king's government, and in 1617 James found himself forced to defend his right to love men before the Privy Council. In the debate before the council, Sir John Oglander stated that 'The King is wondrous passionate, a lover of his favourites beyond the love of men to women . . . I never yet saw any fond husband make so much or so great dalliance over his beautiful spouse as I have seen King James over his favourites, especially Buckingham with the love of Jesus for hus disciple John: 'I, James, am neither god nor an angel, but a man like any other. Therefor I act like a man and confess to loving those dear to me more than other men. You may be sure that I love the Earl of Buckingham more than anyone else, and more than you who are here assembled. I wish to speak in my own behalf and not to have it thought to be a defect, for Jesus Christ did the same, and therefore I cannot be blamed. Christ had John, and I have George.' The king's homosexual love life was so well known in England at that time tha a witty epigram making the rounds of London society went, 'Rex fuit Elizabeth; nunc est regina Jacobus, 'Elizabeth was King, now James is Queen.'" (The Origins and Role of Same-Sex Relations in Human Societies: 401)

Villiers's introduction to the king.
"It's time to introduce to the king another fair-haired minion. In the summer of 1614 a young man of twenty-two was presented to James. George Villiers, the son of a knight, had already been trained as a courtier; he had become practised in the arts of dancing and of fencing. He had also spent three years in France, where he had acquired a good manner further to adorn what was called 'the handsomest-bodied man in all of England'. He also had powerful allies, among them Archbishop Abbot and the queen. Abbot supported him in the hope of diminishing the influence of Somerset and the Howards, who favoured Catholic Spain. The queen, influenced bu Abbot, pressed her husband to show favour to the young man. Villiers was accordingly appointed to be the royal cup-bearer, in constant attendance upon his sovereign, and in the spring of 1615 was knighted as a gentleman of the bedchamber." (Rebellion: the History of England from James I to the Glorious Revolution: 44)

When Villiers caught the King's eye.

"Buckingham first caught the eye of James while performing in the play of 'Ignoramus,' on an occasion of its being acted before his Majesty by the students of Cambridge. Struck with the eminent grace and beauty of his person, the King expressed his admiration so warmly, as to give the first idea to the enemies of Somerset, that it might be possible to supersede him by a new candidate for royal favour. . . ." (Memoirs of the Court of England: 65-66)


" . . . Villiers was not known to his sovereign as 'Steenie', a babyish rendition of St. Stephen; the reference was to the fact that those who upon the face of the saint declared it to be the countenance of an angel. The angel would soon be in charge." (Rebellion: 47)

Physical appearance and personal qualities.

" . . . The complexion of George Villiers was singularly clear and beautiful, his forehead high and smooth, his eyes dark and full of intelligence and sweetness, whilst the perfect oval of his face, and delicate turn of features, fine, yet noble, and the air of refinement which characterised both his countenance and his bearing, rendered him one of the most attractive of human beings. As he attained to maturity, a peculiar courtesy of manner, a frankness and merriment which diverged at times into a total forgetfulness of forms, a power of throwing off the appearance of all oppressing business and secret cares, although of these he had his share, and of assuming "a very pleasant and vacant face," a love of social life, and certain traits of character, half folly, half romance, won upon everyone that approached him before prosperity had changed courtesy into arrogance, or political intrigues marred the open expression of a physiognomy on which none could look without admiration....." (Life & Times of George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, Volume 1: 25)

The handsomest bodied man of England.

" . . . Bishop Goodman, who was well acquainted with him, draws the following sketch of his person and character:---'Buckingham,' he says,' of all others was most active; he had a very lovely complexion; he was the handsomest bodied man of England; his limbs so well compacted, and his conversation so pleasing, and of so sweet a disposition. And truly his intellectuals were very great; he had a sound judgment, and was of a quick apprehension, insomuch that I have heard it from two men, and very great men (neither of them had gotten so little as 3600 pounds per annum by the court), whom of all men in the world Buckingham had most wronged---yet I heard both these men say and give him this testimony, and that the world had not a more ingenious gentleman.' (Royal Favourites, Volume 2: 22)

Buckingham's persona or character.

" . .  Buckingham was not deficient in the better qualities of the heart. It his nature was imperious, it was at least his equals, and not his inferiors, whom he insulted by his haughtiness or crushed by his power. His disposition was generous; he was a considerate master; he despised the common arts of dissimulation; and if violent, he was at least an open enemy. His accomplishments both of mind and body, the eminent grace and elegance of his person, the refinement of his manners, his chivalrous courage, and the magnificence and refinement of his taste, have never been called in question. His character appears to have been a strange mixture of generous qualities and unruly passions. After perusing the history of his dazzling career, we doubt whether there is most ground for envy or commiseration, for censure or applause." (Memoirs of the Court of England: 64)

George Villiers' personal & family background.

"George was born in 1592, the second son of a second marriage of Leicestershire gentry of the second rank. His mother sent her good-looking and exceedingly charming boy to France, where he learned the sophisticated arts of riding, dancing, fencing, and conversation that James found so appealing in both Esme Stuart and Robert Carr... They first became intimate in August 1615 at Farnham. . . ."

First Encounter.

" . . . In August 1614, Villiers, reputedly 'the handsomest-bodied man in all of England,' was brought before the king, in the hope that the king would take a fancy to him, diminishing the power at court of then-favourite Robert Carr, 1st Earl of Somerset. . . Following Villiers' introduction to James during the king's progress of that year, the king developed a strong affection for Villiers, calling him his 'sweet child and wife'...." (Wikipedia)

"Villiers became firstly established as James's favourite and homosexual lover during 1615. Much of the time of their relationship was akin to that of doting father and surrogate son, with Villiers spending much more time in James's company that Charles and referring to him as his 'Dear Dad'. . . ."  (Charles I: 4)

" . . . In 1614, George Villiers, a country gentleman, just twenty-one, came to London to seek his fortune. He had the good looks and the courtly skills to recommend him to the king's service. James first saw Villiers on his summer progress and within a month gossip was circulating about the king's growing attention, despite the ascendancy of Robert Carr. Villiers was made a royal cup-bearer, and, as Sir Anthony Weldon reported, the king began 'to eat abroad' to be in the company of this young man. . . ." (Memegalos, 2007, pp. 8-9)

" . . .James I's third menage, with George Villiers, permitted an ambitious favourite to monopolize royal power with disastrous consequences." (Carlton, p. 43)

Effects on the lover's families.

" . . . The young prince found this extremely hurtful, and an incident in 1616 when, in the presence of the court, he turned a water fountain on Villiers and soaked him to the skin, was perhaps indicative of his frustration. . . At first Villiers (from 1617, earl, then later marquis and duke of Buckingham) made little effort to soothe Charles's feelings, but he was sufficiently astute to recognise the dangers of alienating the future king and eventually set about cultivating his friendship. The breakthrough came in the summer of 1618 when the favourite provided an elaborate banquet for the king at his house in Wanstead, without inviting the prince who was staying nearby. . . ."  (Charles I: 4)

Affair's benefits to Buckingham.
" . . . Buckingham certainly profited greatly from the King's generosity and favour, as if James were merely a suga daddy to the favourite. As Clarendon remarked, Villiers's 'ascent was so quick that it seemed rather a flight than a growth'. Offices, titles, wealth and influence all accrued to him. On 4 January 1616 he was appointed Master of the Horse. It was a sign of Villiers's favour that Somerset had never managed to acquire the office despite considerable attempts to do so. In April 1616 Villiers became knight of hte Order of the Garter, while in July he became Viscount Villiers. In January 1617 he was elevated to the title of Earl of Buckingham. A month later he was appointed to the Privy Council, and at the beginning of 1618 was made Marquis of Buckingham. Therafter, his acquisition of titles and offices was a little more restrained. He became Lord High Admiral in January 1619, in succession to the Earl of Nottingham. While he was in Madrid in 1623 he became the Duke of Buckingham, England's first duke of non-royal bllod for nearly a century. In the following year Buckingham purchased the Lord Wardenship of the Cinque Ports from its previous imcumbert, Lord Zouch." (Statesmen and Politicians of the Stuart Age: 43)

Lucrative income from the king's royal favours.
"Titles and offices alone did not provide their holdrs with much wealth. For instance, the official fee of the Master of the Horse was only 66 pounds 4 pence per annum. However, the office could produce for its holders about 1500 pounds annually when its perquisites were explouted, and the Master of the Horse could also keep horses he judged no longer fit for the King's stables." (Statesmen and Politicians of the Stuart Age: 43)

"Gifts of land were especially important in imploving Buckingham's financial position. In 1616 and 1617 he was given about 30,000 pounds worth of lands by James. Large gifts were given to him at other times, especially in 1623 when James tried to help him escape from his burgeoning debts. Sales of titles also produced income for Buckingham. Between 1615 and 1628, about 350,000 pounds was made from sales of peerages. The Crown obtained about 150,000 pounds of this sum; much of the rest went to Buckingham. Exact calculation of Buckingham's income is impossible, but by 1620, and for the rest of his life, it cannot have been less than 20,000 pounds annually. . . ." (Statesmen and Politicians of the Stuart Age: 43)

"James, however, was too impatient to wait the progress of his own arrangement. He commanded that Villiers should be sworn his servant, and gave him the office of Cupbearer; within a few weeks after, on the twenty-third of April, 1615, appointed him a Gentleman of the Bedchamber, and settled on him an annual pension of one thousand pounds out of the Court of Wards; and, on the fourth of the following January, made him Master of the Horse, an office, before and since his time, always held by one of the prime nobility, and which the Earl of Worcester then resigned, at the King's instance, to make room for him. Such was the fortune of his first year. On the twenty-third of April, in the second, 1616, he was elected a Knight of the Garter, and the next day named Justice of the Forests north of Trent; on the twenty-seventh of August created Baron Whaddon, at which time the King gave him the rich Lordship of that name in the county of Buckingham, and, very shortly after, Viscount Villiers; on the fifth of January, 1617, N. S. Earl, and on the first of the next January Marquis, of Buckingham. In the course of the same month, in the succeeding year, he was appointed Lord High Admiral of England, Ireland, and Wales, and immediately after sworn of the Privy Council, and made Chief Justice in Eyre of the Forests south of Trent, Master of the King's Bench office, High Steward of Westminster, and Constable of Windsor Castle; and business all this before he had reached the twenty-sixth year of his age...." (Portraits of Illustrious Personages of Great Britain: 3-4)

" . . . The election of Villiers into the order of the Garter took place on St. George's Day, 1616; and on the morrow, suitably to provide the favourite with the means of supporting the dignities required by the articles of that illustrious order of chivalry, he was named Justice of the Forests north of Trent, and other 'lands and means' were bestowed by the king, together with a promise of the reversion of certain estates then possessed by the imprisoned Somerset, provided the accused earl should 'sink under his preent trial.' . . ." (Royal Favourites, Volume 2: 23)

The merit of his beauty and prostitution.

" . . . Rumours of the king's homosexual passions also circulated throughout the nation. At the beginning of 1617 George Villiers, now Viscount Villiers, was created earl of Buckingham and appointed Master of the Horse. His lands were extensive, his income immense, but he had also acquired a monopoly of patronage. Any aspirant for office had to transact his business with the earl, and Buckingham insisted that all his clients acknowledged him as their only patron. Lucy Hutchinson, a memoirist of puritan persuasion, wrote that he had risen 'upon no merit but that of his beauty or prostitution." (Rebellion: 57)

George's rise in royal favour . . . The king made him Master of the Horse and a Viscount in 1615, Master of the Wardrobe and Earl of Buckingham in 1616, a marquis in 1618, and ultimately a duke in 1623. . . ." (Royal Mistresses: 53-55)

Affair's benefits to his family, relatives & friends.
 . . . In the mean time dignities and wealth were showered with a most unexampled wantonness and profusion on all his kindred. His mother was created Countess of Buckingham; one of his two brothers Viscount Purbeck, and the other Earl of Anglesey; and Sir William Fielding, who had married his only sister, Earl of Denbigh. His brothers and sisters of the half blood were also ennobled or enriched; and even his most distant relations were provided for by advantageous marriages, or lucrative appointments. . . ." (Portraits of Illustrious Personages of Great Britain: Vol 3: 4)

"Buckingham was exceptionally keen to seen tha this family was well provided for. His mother, brothers acquired titles. Close and distant relatives were provided with marriage partners of high social status. Buckingham himselef married Katherine Manners, the daughter of the Earl of Rutland, and an heiress of considerable wealth. His sister, Susan, married the Earl of Denbigh. A cousin, Anne Brett, of no fortune and little beauty, was made the price of Lionel Cranfield's further political promotion. But mariage-broking was not without its problems. John Villiers, Buckingham's half-witted brother, was married to Frances Coke, the daughter of Sir Edward Coke, despite Frances's and her mother's objections to the match. Frances later had an adulterous relationship which produced a child, a case before the Court of High Commission, and much embarrassment for the Duke of Buckingham, and, no doubt, poor John Villiers.": (Statesmen and Politicians of the Stuart Age: 43)

"The King was as good as his word, for in 1619 Buckingham's elder brother, John, was raised to the peerage as Viscount Purbeck, and four years later his young brother, Christopher, was made Earl of Anglesey. His mother was also honoured, in 1618, by being created Countess of Buckingham in her own right. The royal bounty did not fall only on Buckingham's immediate kindred. Half-brothers and sisters, cousins, aunts, and connexions by marriage could all count upon some mark of favour -- a title perhaps, or an office or pension. . . ." (Buckingham: The Life and Political Career of George Villiers, First Duke of Buckingham, 1592-1628: 34)

George, 1st Duke of Buckingham Gallery
George Villiers
1st Duke of Buckingham
George Villiers
1st Duke of Buckingham
George Villiers
Duke of Buckingham
by Michiel van Mierevelt, 1625/26
@ Art Gallery of South Australia
George Villiers
1st Duke of Buckingham

George Gordon
1st Marquess of Huntly
@ Alamy
Lover in 1582.

Scottish nobleman.
1st Marquess of Huntly 1599
6th Earl of Huntly
Lieutenant of the North 1599
Son ofGeorge Gordon5th Earl of Huntly Anne Hamilton.

Husband of:
1. Lady Henrietta Stewart.
2. Lady Mary Gordon.

"In the meantime, James at least had been able to arrange for George Gordon, sixth Earl of Huntley to marry Lennox's sister Lady Henrietta Stuart in 1588. This marriage of convenience was convenient because it made it easier for Huntley to be elevated to the rank of Captain of the Guard, and he proceeded to lodge himself in the King's own chamber (as bodyguard, of course). Another Scots chronicler, Fowler, commenting on this irregular barracking, concluded that 'it is thought that this King is too much carried by young men that lie in his chamber and are his minions.'" (Queen James and His Courtiers)
George Gordon, 1st Marquess of Huntly
& his wife Lady Henrietta Stewart
@ National Galleries Scotland
Bewitched king
" . . . A more formidable companion was George Gordon, the Earl of Huntly. We have already seen how reluctant James was to dissociate himself from Huntly during the Earl's allegedly treasonous dealings with Spain in early 1589. At one point James arrested Huntly but then dined with him and, in Fowler's words 'yea he kissed him at times to the amazement of many'. A few days later Huntly was freed 'and lodged that night in the King's chamber'. James's wavering, his obvious reluctance to take action against Huntly, was attributed to his excessive affection which made James want 'to have him his familiar in court'. Another observer said that the world thought James was 'bewitched' by Huntly. As pressure mounted to take decisive action, the king was described as being in 'a great brangle [confusion], for he had great love to Huntly'.(King James and History of Homosecuality: n.p.)

Trouble-maker favourite

" . . . On the other hand, George Gordon, the Earl of Huntly, whom James appointed captain of the guard, should not be dismissed so casually. Huntly was a Catholic who generated the some sort of suspicion and hostility Lennox had. Indeed, James arranged for Huntly to marry Lennox's eldest daughter. There were good reasons to ally with Huntly. It gave James a strong arm in the north of Scotland and a friendship with Catholics that could serve as leverage in his diplomatic dealings abroad and with the Scottish clergy at home. But Huntly was an impulsive and violent man who literally kept bringing Scotland to the brink of rebellion. To restore order, James repeatedly moved against Huntly, then just as often relented. . . ." (King James and History of Homosecuality)

James I's other royal favourites.

John Erskine, 2nd Earl of Mar (1558-1634).
Scottish aristocrat & politician.
2nd Earl of Mar, 1572.
Regent of Scotland, 1571
Treasurer of Scotland 1616-1630.
Son of John Erskine, 1st Earl of Mar

Ludovic Stewart, 2nd Duke of Lennox (1574-1624)

Anne of Denmark's lovers were:
1. Alexander Gowrie.
" . . . His early favourites were needy Scotsmen who had followed the court to England. Among these, a former page of the king, Sir John Ramsay, was most endeared to him by his services in the stabbing of the Earl of Gowrie, and thus saving his master's life, as he chose to assert at the time of the alleged conspiracy. The mysterious tragedy of Gowrie was a question very much agitated amongst the inquiring spirits of the day, and the general conclusion come to seems to have been expressed that Sir Henry Neville, in a letter to Secretary Winwood, in which he says, 'Many are of the opinion that the discovery of some affection between her [Anne of Denmark] and the Earl of Gowrie's brother, who was killed with him, was the truest cause and motive of all that tragedy.' This was a natural conclusion, for Anne of Denmark's gallantries were well known; and Sir Edward Peyton speaks plainly of Gowrie's brother, Alexander, as one of her lovers; while the murder of Moray by Huntley some years before, with the king's cognizance, if not by his command, had not yet been forgotten. The late John Pinkerton wrote a dissertation to prove that Alexander Ruthven was the sole author of the attempt, which, he says, in itself, was foolish and weakly conducted, but was designed to accomplish some object which he and the queen, whose favourite he was, had in view---most probably an abdication of the government by James in favour of Prince Henry, and the queen's appointment to the regency.'" (Royal Favourites, Vol 1: 394)

2) Alexander Ruthven.
"The anecdote of the loves of Alexander Ruthven and Anne of Denmark is said to have been preserved by popular tradition. Learned, handsome, young, and active, Alexander had been made a gentleman of the bedchamber, and one of his sisters advanced to be a chief attendant upon the queen. One summer afternoon, it is told, James, strolling in the garden of the palace of Falkland, came upon Ruthven stretched asleep on the grass; when his eye was immediately attracted by a rich ribbon about the young man's neck, a small portion of which glanced from under his ruff. It was one which his majesty had lately made as a present of to the queen. He hurried off to find Anne, but one of her ladies who had observed what had passed, and whose eye, hand, and foot must have been as nimble as her invention, running up to the sleeping youth, in an instant possessed herself of the ribbon  and taking a nearer was of access, had the luck to get with it to her majesty's apartment before the king. She found Anne in her toilet, and had just time earnestly to entreat her to put the ribbon in a drawer, and slip away before James made his appearance. When, on his demanding to see the ribbon, the drawer was opened, and it was put into his hands, he looked at it with considerable surprise as well as attention for some moments, and then fave it back to Anne without a word of remark; but as he staggered out of the room he was overheard muttering to himself, 'Deil tak' me, but like is an ill mark!'. . . ." (Royal Favourites, Vol 1: 394)
The Bonnie Earl of Moray, the anonymous 
"vendetta portrait" of the murdered earl, 1592
3. James Stewart. (1565–1591)
Scottish aristocrat
2nd Earl of Moray (in right of his wife)[ 2nd Lord Doune

Son of James Stewart, 1st Lord Doune

Husband of Elizabeth Stuart, 2nd Countess of Moray (1565–1591), mar 1580

"Clearly Doune was an aggressive and ambitious man, an extremely active councillor to the King, and, recognizing that his son's new eminence considerably augmented his own, he was to put a great deal of energy over the next decade into attempting to direct and control the young Earl's activities. But the young Earl seems to have had ideas --- not very surprising ones -- of his own. All chroniclers agree that he was extremely well-favored, one contemporary speaking of him as 'the lustiest youth' and another going well beyond that, claiming that 'Moray was the most warlike man both in courage and person, for he was a comely personage, of great stature and strong of body line a kemp (i.e., champion)'. There are, to be sure, descriptions of a man at the time of his death, but even a more contemporary account describes him as 'a young man of xvii years of age; of a very tall stature but', it adds by way of qualification, 'of little proof,' and a 1582 survey of those who stood for or against the Duke of Lennox simply dismisses him as 'very young'. I don't think it is stretching matters to see him in his late teens as a young buck, the world in his pocket, flexing his considerable muscles and wanting to be where the fun and action were while not being particularly interested in the humdrum aspects of lordship or even of being a husband -- those very things his father was of course deeply concerned about. At any rate, although the details are not always entirely clear, that is how I read a rather remarkable series of letters from Lord Doune to his son in March of 1582." (The Bonny Earl of Murray: The Man, the Murder, the Ballad: 13)

"The killing of James Stewart is remembered in the ballad ‘The Bonny Earl o’ Moray’ with that epithet being significant on two counts. The Stewart Earl was reputed to be quite handsome and deserving of the appellation, but he was also romantically linked with the Queen, Anne of Denmark, the wife of James VI, as this bit verse signifies:

“He was a braw gallant,

And he play’d at the glove;
And the bonny Earl o’ Murray,
Oh he was the Queen’s love!”
(On this day in Scotland)

".Moray's mutilated body was left on the beach and Donibristle House was abandoned to its fiery fate. Gordon of Buckie brought the news of Moray's death to Edinburgh. where it provoked the rage of the citizens. There was some ambiguity about the reaction of James VI to the outrage and there were nor lacking those who accused him of conniving at the murder. One line in the old ballad suggests a possible reason for this - that the Queen had been in love with Moray. This theory seems to rest only on the flimsy foundation of a tale that, one day.James found the Earl asleep in an arbour with a ribbon round his neck which the King himself had given to the Queen; that James sought out his wife. hut was reassured to find her wearing his riband, so believed he had made a mistake, while in fact a friend had warned Moray, who returned the token to the Queen just in time."(Clan MacFarlane Genealogy)

" . . . The first victim of her coquetry, if not to a worse passion, was the brave, handsome, and unfortunate Earl of Moray. The 'bonnie earl' of the Scottish ballad was assassinated by his hereditary and deadly enemy, the Earl of Huntley (sic)---his life being sacrificed, it is believed, out of James's jealousy of the queen. The earl was commissioned by the king, on some absurd plea, to bring Moray into his presence. Moray was not exactly the man to submit tamely to be made prisoner by his feudal foe. A shot from his castle of Dumbrissel, kin Fifeshire, killed on of Huntley's followers. The storming party became furious, and succeeded in burning the fortress. Moray, finding further opposition hopeless, tried to effect his escape by rushing through the flames; but, unfortunately, his long hair catching fire, it enabled his enemies to track him in the darkness to the rocks by the sea-shore, amongst which he had hoped to find a hiding-place. He defended himself as long as he was able, but fell at last covered with wounds. Huntley, on the invitation of one Gordon of Buckie, joined in the bloody work, and, before their victim expired, stabbed Moray in the face, alighting from his horse to perform the dastardly act. The dying earl fixed his eyes on his hereditary foe: 'You have spoiled, he said, 'a better face than your won.'" (Royal Favourites, Vol 1: 392)

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