Feuds, Power and Peace

After the sharp rise and tragic downfall of the Boyds in the mid-15th century due to Sir Robert Boyd's poisoned Regency, the following decades were also tumultuous for the fortunes of the family, as they encountered disputes, brokered peace, and rebuilt their national influence.  

Of these clashes and quarrels, their feud with local family the Montgtomeries produced several high-profile casualities on both sides. In 1484, James, the 2nd Lord Boyd was killed alongside Hugh Montgomerie, allegedly so the Boyds would never come to rule Scotland. Some 40 years later, revenge was served after the 4th Lord Boyd slew Patrick Montgomerie in 1523. Thereafter a tenuous peace bond was reached in 1530, with the Montgomeries paying 2000 marks in restitution to the Boyds for the original murder of James, the 2ndLord Boyd. However, this peace did not last, despite the 4th Lord Boyds daughter, Margaret, being married to a Montgomery. The Montgomery feud was restarted in 1547 after Sir Neil Montgomerie was killed on the streets of Irvine, and was ended when the 4th Lord Boyd was himself slain by Hugh Montgomeries and his son, another Robert, ascended to become the 5th Lord Boyd. On ascension to his title, the 5th Lord Boyd again brokered peace with the Montgomeries. His daughter Helen married Hugh Montgomerie c. 1560 and peace was finally reached in 1561.


Later, on succession of his title, his son, the 5th Lord Boyd gained prominence for his support of John Knox and religious reform. However, not forgetting the service done in reinstating Boyd estates, the Boyds changed sides to support Mary Queen of Scots. The 5thLord Boyd became her trusted advisor and accompanied her at the Battle of Langside. He also managed her affairs while imprisoned by Elizabeth I of England.  


In the middle of this feud, the tenure of Dean Castle was also changing hands. Following the exile and execution of Boyd members after the Regency, the lands and property of the family were confiscated by the Crown. On the marriage of James IV to Margaret Tudor, older sister to Henry VIII of England, the new Queen was gifted lands in Kilmarnock, including Dean Castle. However, she rented the Castle and estate back to the Boyds for 600 marks a year, and after her death in 1541, the estates and honours that were stripped from his grandfather, the 1st Lord Boyd, were reinstated sometimes after by regents for the infant Queen Mary.


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