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Adam Bothwell


c.1530 - 1593

Bishop of Orkney and political survivor. The son of a Law Lord, Bothwell was the first post-Reformation Bishop of Orkney. He had a very limited role in this position and eventually made over the lands attached to his charge to various people including the tyrannical Robert Stewart, Earl of Orkney (1533 - 93), from whom he received the properties of Holyrood Abbey in exchange. As Commendator of Holyrood, Bothwell was responsible for running the Abbey and estates of Holyrood after the Reformation, and more importantly benefitting from their income. Bothwell successfully navigated his way through the political intrigue of the 16th C. For example, he was responsible for conducting the unpopular marriage of Mary, Queen of Scots (1542 - 87) to James Hepburn, the 4th Earl of Bothwell (1536 - 1578), yet after Mary's fall, at least in part due to this marriage, it was also Bothwell who, the following year, crowned the young James VI (1566 - 1625) in her place.

Adam Bothwell's House (in Edinburgh's Advocate's Close) was not actually built until c.1630.


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