Bothwell, James Hepburn, Fourth Earl of (1536?–1578), a Scottish noble and the third husband of Mary, Queen of Scots. He was a Protestant but held office under Mary, a Catholic, and became her close companion. In 1567 Bothwell planned the murder of Lord Darnley, Mary's unscrupulous second husband. Bothwell was accused of the murder by Darnley's father, but was acquitted by a court deliberately chosen to favor his case. He then abducted Mary, with her consent, and after divorcing his wife and being made Duke of Orkney and Shetland, married the queen. The Scottish people were outraged at their conduct. Bothwell had to flee, and soon after Mary was imprisoned and forced to abdicate. Bothwell escaped to Denmark, where he, too, was imprisoned. He died insane.
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