Francis Hay, 9th Earl of Erroll
Francis Hay, 9th Earl of Erroll (30 April 1564 – 16 July 1631), Scottish
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

 nobleman, was the son of Andrew, 8th earl, and of Lady Jean Hay, daughter of William, 6th earl. The date of his birth is unrecorded, but he succeeded to the earldom (created 1453) in 1585, was early converted to Roman Catholicism, and as the associate of Huntly
George Gordon, 1st Marquess of Huntly
George Gordon, 1st Marquess of Huntly was a Scottish nobleman who took a leading role in the political and military life of Scotland in the late 16th century and around the time of the Union of the Crowns.-Biography:...

 joined in the Spanish
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

Conspiracy (political)
In a political sense, conspiracy refers to a group of persons united in the goal of usurping or overthrowing an established political power. Typically, the final goal is to gain power through a revolutionary coup d'état or through assassination....

 against the throne of Elizabeth I of England
Elizabeth I of England
Elizabeth I was queen regnant of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death. Sometimes called The Virgin Queen, Gloriana, or Good Queen Bess, Elizabeth was the fifth and last monarch of the Tudor dynasty...


A letter written by him, declaring his allegiance to the king of Spain, having been intercepted and sent by Elizabeth to James VI in February 1589, he was declared a rebel by the council. He engaged with Huntly and Crawford in a rebellion in the north of Scotland, but their forces surrendered at Aberdeen
Aberdeen is Scotland's third most populous city, one of Scotland's 32 local government council areas and the United Kingdom's 25th most populous city, with an official population estimate of ....

 on the arrival of the king in April; and in July Erroll gave himself up to James, who leniently refrained from exacting any penalty. In September of the same year he entered into a personal bond with Huntly for mutual assistance; and in 1590 displeased the king by marrying, in spite of his prohibition, Lady Elizabeth Douglas, daughter of the 6th Earl of Morton
William Douglas, 6th Earl of Morton
William Douglas, 6th Earl of Morton was the son of Sir Robert Douglas of Lochleven and Margaret Erskine, a former mistress of James V of Scotland. Sir William's half-brother from his mother's liaison with the king was James Stewart, Earl of Moray, Regent of Scotland from 1567 until his...


He was imprisoned on suspicion of complicity in the attempt made by James Hepburn, 4th Earl of Bothwell
James Hepburn, 4th Earl of Bothwell
James Hepburn, 1st Duke of Orkney , better known by his inherited title as 4th Earl of Bothwell, was hereditary Lord High Admiral of Scotland. He is best known for his association with and subsequent marriage to Mary, Queen of Scots, as her third husband...

 and Patrick Gray, 6th Lord Gray
Patrick Gray, 6th Lord Gray
Patrick Gray, 6th Lord Gray , known most of his life as Patrick, Master of Gray, was a Scottish nobleman and politician during the reigns of James VI of Scotland and Mary, Queen of Scots.-Early life:...

 to surprise the king at Falkland
-Places:*Falkland, British Columbia, Canada*Falkland, Nova Scotia, Canada*Falkland Ridge, Nova Scotia, Canada*Falkland, Newbury, a ward of Newbury, Berkshire, England.*Falkland, Fife, a burgh in Fife, Scotland....

 in June 1592; and though he obtained his release, he was again proclaimed a rebel on account of the discovery of his signature to two of the Spanish Blanks, unwritten sheets subscribed with the names of the chief conspirators in a plot for a Spanish invasion of Scotland, to be filled up later with the terms of the projected treaty. After a failure to apprehend him in March 1593, Erroll and his companions were sentenced to abjure Roman Catholicism or leave the kingdom; and on their non-compliance were in 1594 declared traitors.

On 3 October they defeated at Glenlivet
Battle of Glenlivet
The Battle of Glenlivet was fought on 3 October 1594 near Allanreid and Morinsh in Scotland.-Background:This battle is often seen as a religious conflict, and was fought by the Catholic forces of the George Gordon, 1st Marquess of Huntly and Francis Hay, 9th Earl of Erroll, who were victorious over...

 a force sent against them under Argyll; though Erroll himself was severely wounded, and Slains Castle
Slains Castle
New Slains Castle is a ruined castle near Cruden Bay in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, overlooking the North Sea.The remains stand perched atop tall, sea-facing cliffs, constructed around an existing tower house built in 1597 by the 9th Earl of Erroll. Significant reconstruction of the castle has been...

, his seat, razed to the ground. The rebel lords left Scotland in 1595, and Erroll, on report of his further conspiracies abroad, was arrested by the states of Zealand, but was afterwards allowed to escape. He returned to Scotland secretly in 1596, and on 20 June 1597 abjured Roman Catholicism and made his peace with the Kirk
Church of Scotland
The Church of Scotland, known informally by its Scots language name, the Kirk, is a Presbyterian church, decisively shaped by the Scottish Reformation....

. He enjoyed the favor of the king, and in 1602 was appointed a commissioner to negotiate the union with England.

His relations with the Kirk, however, were not so amicable. The reality of his conversion was disputed, and on 21 May 1608 he was confined to the city of Perth
Perth, Scotland
Perth is a town and former city and royal burgh in central Scotland. Located on the banks of the River Tay, it is the administrative centre of Perth and Kinross council area and the historic county town of Perthshire...

 for the better resolution of his doubts, being subsequently declared an obstinate "papist
Papist is a term or an anti-Catholic slur, referring to the Roman Catholic Church, its teachings, practices, or adherents. The term was coined during the English Reformation to denote a person whose loyalties were to the Pope, rather than to the Church of England...

", excommunicated, deprived of his estate, and imprisoned at Dumbarton; and after some further vacillation was finally released in May 1611. Lord Erroll died on 16 July 1631, and was buried in the church of Slains. He married
  1. Anne, daughter of John Stewart, 4th Earl of Atholl
    John Stewart, 4th Earl of Atholl
    -Biography:He was the son of John Stewart, 3rd Earl of Atholl and Grizel Rattray. He supported the government of the queen dowager, and in 1560 was one of the three nobles who voted in Parliament against the Reformation and the confession of faith, and declared their adherence to Roman Catholicism...

  2. Margaret, daughter of James Stewart, Earl of Moray
    James Stewart, 1st Earl of Moray
    James Stewart, 1st Earl of Moray , a member of the House of Stewart as the illegitimate son of King James V, was Regent of Scotland for his nephew, the infant King James VI of Scotland, from 1567 until his assassination in 1570...

  3. Elizabeth, daughter of William Douglas, 6th Earl of Morton
    William Douglas, 6th Earl of Morton
    William Douglas, 6th Earl of Morton was the son of Sir Robert Douglas of Lochleven and Margaret Erskine, a former mistress of James V of Scotland. Sir William's half-brother from his mother's liaison with the king was James Stewart, Earl of Moray, Regent of Scotland from 1567 until his...

By his third wife he had several children, of whom his eldest son, William, succeeded him.

The dispute which began in his lifetime concerning the hereditary office of Lord High Constable
Lord High Constable
There are two current and one former royal offices in the United Kingdom of Lord High Constable:* The Lord High Constable of England, the seventh of the Great Officers of State, ranking beneath the Lord Great Chamberlain and above the Earl Marshal...

 between the families of Erroll and of the Earl Marischal
Earl Marischal
The title of Earl Marischal was created in the peerage of Scotland for William Keith, the Great Marischal of Scotland.The office of "Marischal of Scotland" had been held heritably by the senior member of the Keith family since Hervey de Keith, who held the office of Marischal under Malcolm IV and...

 was settled finally in favour of the former; thus establishing the precedence
Order of precedence in Scotland
The order of precedence in Scotland was fixed by Royal Warrant in 1905. Amendments were made by further Warrants in 1952, 1958 and most recently in 1999 to coincide with the establishment of the Scottish Parliament and Scottish Government....

 enjoyed by the earls of Erroll next after the royal family over all other subjects in Scotland.

See The Erroll Papers (Spalding Club Miscellany, vol. ii. 211); Andrew Lang
Andrew Lang
Andrew Lang was a Scots poet, novelist, literary critic, and contributor to the field of anthropology. He is best known as a collector of folk and fairy tales. The Andrew Lang lectures at the University of St Andrews are named after him.- Biography :Lang was born in Selkirk...

, Hist. of Scotland, vol. ii.; Hist. MSS. Comm. MSS. of Earl of Mar and Kellie; David Calderwood
David Calderwood
David Calderwood was a Scottish divine and historian.-Early life:Calderwood was educated at Edinburgh, where he took the degree of MA in 1593. In about 1604, he became minister of Crailing, near Jedburgh in Roxburghshire, where he became conspicuous for his resolute opposition to the introduction...

's Hist. of the Church of Scotland; John Spalding's Memorials (Spalding Club, 1850); Collected Essays of TG Law, ed. by PH Brown
Peter Hume Brown
Peter Hume Brown was a Scottish historian and professor who played an important part in establishing Scottish history as a significant academic discipline...

(1904); Treason and Plot, by MAS Hume (1901).
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