The History of Leith

December 10, 2011

Alexander Duke of Albany, and John Earl of Mar

AFTER the royal marriage and coronation of James III. with Margaret of Oldenburg—both of which ceremonies took place with great pomp at Edinburgh in 1476, he unfortunately contrived to Jisgust his-proud nobility by receiving into favour many persons of inferior rank. Thus, deep and dangerous intrigues were formed against him, and by those minions he was soon made aware that his brothers—Alexander Duke of Albany, and John Earl of Mar—were forming a conspiracy against him, and that the former aimed at nothing less than wresting the sceptre from his hand, and getting himself, with English aid, crowned as Alexander IV., King of Scotland and the Isles—a fact since proved by authentic documents.
Instead of employing his authority as Warden of the Marches in the repression of outrage, Albany broke the truce and burst into England more than once; he slew John of Scougal in East Lothian; and surrounded himself with a band of desperadoes, who at his behest executed the most nefarious crimes.
The dark accusations under which he lay roused at length the suspicions of the king, who ordered the arrest of both him and Mar. Over the latter’s fate there hangs a strange mystery. One historian
declares that he died of fever in the Canongate, under the spells of witches who were burned therefor. Another records that he was bled to death in Craigmillar Castle; and the singular discovery
there in 1818 of a man’s skeleton built erect into the north wall was thought to warrant the adoption of the last account.
In 1482 Albany was committed to the Castle of Edinburgh from where he later escaped.

Source-Old and New Edinburgh

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