The Controversial Regency

In 1454, Sir Robert Boyd (d. 1482), the great-great-great grandson of the Robert Boyd who built Dean Castle, was made Lord Judiciary of Scotland. In celebration of his new rank, he added the Palace on to the Dean Castle.   Six years later in 1460, James III ascended to the Scottish throne after the death of his father, King James II, who fell during a seige at Roxburgh Castle. The new King was only a young boy, and so Sir Alexander Boyd, who was Lord Boyd's brother and the Governor of Edinburgh Castle, became his tutor. This closeness to the new King afforded Boyd with the chance to take a big risk, and six years into the young King's rule in 1466, Sir Robert took a gamble that saw the Boyds ascend in power to one of the highest positions in the Kingdom.  

While out hunting, young James was seized by men led by Boyd, and he was taken to Edinburgh where Sir Robert assumed command of the entire Realm, with the initial support of the Queen Mother.  This resulted in Boyd becoming the enemy of many Scottish nobles who he had previously made bonds with, including Darnley, Montgomery and Hamilton. These actions also made a victim out of his brother Sir Alexander. In support of Sir Robert, Sir Alexander broke all of his bonds. However, soon after Sir Robert's rise to power he rejected his brother and relieved him of his custody of Edinburgh Castle.


Nevertheless, Sir Robert did take part in some wise governmental arrangements. During his regency, Denmark pawned the Orkney and Shetland islands to Scotland in lieu of a royal dowry for his daughter Margaret's marriage to James III in 1469. Yet, in the eyes of the Scottish nobility, he was an upstart, and suspicions rose high about his motives due to his quickness to shirk bonds and to repudiate his own brother. Misgivings grew further when Boyd embarked on a policy of aggrandisement for himself and those close to him, including his son Thomas, who was created Earl of Arran and married to the King's sister, Princess Mary.


With the Boyds now in a position where they could inherit the throne, the nobility as well as the young King grew restless and were prompted to rise against the Regency of Sir Robert. In the Summer of 1469, Sir Robert, his son Thomas, and his brother Sir Alexander were left to face charges of treason for the kidnap of the King and misgovernance thereafter. Sir Robert and Sir Thomas escaped execution by fleeing to the continent. Only Sir Alexander was left to face the charges, and for his brother's ambition he was beheaded at Castle Hill before the decade was out.


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