KIRK O’ FIELD
The place where Darnley died. His death remains one of the great unsolved historical mysteries.*
THE OFFICIAL STORY
The official story, vouched for by the Commission held in England, and still accepted by some, is that on the night of Sunday, Feb 9, 1567, when Darnley was asleep in the house at Kirk o’ Field, gunpowder was poured into the Queen’s chamber (the room below his own) and exploded there about two o’clock in the morning. His body and that of his servant were flung out by the explosion, and came to rest at a point about forty feet from the house. The conspirators were few in number, and Bothwell was their leader.
*In an attempt to find a solution to this mystery many have put forth opinions as to what factions were behind the murderous deed and as to how it was actually accomplished; following is one of those opinions.
AN OPINION ON WHO WAS BEHIND THE MURDER OF DARNLEY AT KIRK O’ FIELD
The man who had the most to gain from the death of Henry Stuart, was James Stuart, Earl of Moray, Mary’s half brother. He may not have physically committed the murder but he was the one behind the scenes pulling the strings and orchestrating the development of the plan.
Hugh R. Williamson wrote:
“Whoever the actual murderers were and however the crime was accomplished, and the mystery is never likely to be solved, there is no reasonable doubt that the man behind it all was Moray.
After he was pardoned and recalled from England, he was never absent – except when it was dangerous to be present – from his sister’s side.
He pretended to befriend both Darnley and Bothwell, playing on Darnley’s jealousy and on Bothwell’s growing affection for the queen.
He had to accomplish an even more sensational coup before the end of that year 1567. In December, Mary would be twenty-five, and on her twenty-fifth birthday she would, by Scottish custom, have the right to annul or confirm all grants made during her minority.
Moray knew well that at that moment his power and his wealth would be taken from him.
But in any event, Mary on her twenty-fifth birthday was his prisoner in Lochleven Castle and he was Regent of Scotland, ruling in the name of the baby prince.”