Sir William Kirkaldy of Grange

Kirkaldy of Grange, Sir William (kərkôlˈdē) [key], d. 1573, Scottish soldier and politician. Associated with his father in the murder of Cardinal Beaton in 1546, he was captured by the French in 1547 and held prisoner in France until 1550, when he escaped to become a secret agent of England in France. On the accession of Mary I to the English throne in 1553 he entered the service of the king of France. Pardoned for his part in the murder of Beaton, he returned to Scotland in 1557 and became a prominent Protestant leader. He opposed the marriage of Mary Queen of Scots to Lord Darnley and was implicated in the assassination of Rizzio. After Mary's marriage to Lord Bothwell, Kirkaldy was the leader to whom the queen surrendered at Carberry Hill in 1567. While she was a prisoner in England, Kirkaldy shifted his allegiance to Mary's supporters and held Edinburgh castle for her, bringing upon himself the denunciation of his former friend, John Knox, and of other Presbyterian leaders. In 1573 he was forced to surrender the castle to an Anglo-Scottish force and was hanged.

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