Patrick Gray, 6th Lord Gray
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Patrick Gray, the son of Patrick, 5th Lord Gray, and of his wife Barbara (a daughter of William Ruthven, 2nd Lord Ruthven) grew up as a Protestant and attended the University of Glasgow. In 1575 he married to Elizabeth Lyon, daughter of John Lyon, 8th Lord Glamis, a marriage that failed shortly afterwards. Patrick traveled to France, converted to Roman Catholicism and became a supporter of Mary, Queen of Scots (died 1587).
On his return to Scotland in 1583 Patrick gained notability as a political schemer and diplomat, endearing himself to the young King James whilst he plotted with James Stewart, Earl of Arran to keep Mary in prison. In October 1584 he was appointed a Gentleman of the Privy Chamber and made Master of the King's wardrobe and menagerie, in charge of the king's jewels, clothing and tapestry, and the employment of tailors and shoemakers. He was sent by James VI as Scottish Ambassador to England in 1584 to broker with Elizabeth I over the fate of Mary. On his return to Scotland, after the execution of Mary, Patrick was declared a traitor, jailed and later banished from Scotland. James VI forgave Patrick and allowed him to return to Scotland in 1589, restoring his offices to him, although the Master of Gray continued his scheming career implicating himself in a number of intrigues and plots.
The Master of Gray married again in 1585 to Lady Mary Stewart, daughter of Robert Stewart, 1st Earl of Orkney and cousin to King James. In 1584 he was sent to England with William Keith and the Robert Melville to intercede for the life of Mary, Queen of Scots. Their speeches and manner of mediation were said to have been counter-productive.
In November 1598, he was travelling in Picardy then visited the Earl of Gowrie at Orléans. Then he spoke to Esmé Stewart's widow, Catherine de Balsac, at Aubigny-sur-Nère, who feared her son, Ludovic Stewart, 2nd Duke of Lennox was plotting with Henry Kier, (a Catholic agent). Gray was trying to secure Lennox's inheritance. Then he had an audience with the King of France who was waiting for James VI to send him Scottish hunting hounds.
In May 1601, the John Erskine, Earl of Mar and Edward Bruce, Commendator of Kinloss returned from an embassy to London. Although they had reached an understanding on the succession of James VI to the throne of England, it was kept secret. The apparent lack of achievement was seen as an opportunity for Mar's political opponents to supplant him, and the Master of Grey attempted, without success, to gain the confidence of Robert Cecil in England. Cecil however did not even tell Gray of his secret correspondence with the Scottish King. In the domestic arena, Gray also was involved in a coalition of Anne of Denmark and the Duke of Lennox against Mar.
The author Nigel Tranter wrote the historical novels The Master of Gray trilogy Lord and Master, The Courtesan and Past Master about Patrick, 6th Lord Gray.
- "Overview of Patrick Gray". The Gazetteer for Scotland. 1995–2009. Retrieved 2009-09-20.
- "About Lord Gray". Tailored Tours. Archived from the original on 2009-03-23. Retrieved 2009-09-20.
- Register of the Privy Seal, vol. 8, (1982), 434 no. 2478; 436, no. 2486.
- Calendar State Papers Scotland, vol. ix, (1915), 564
- HMC, 6th Report: Earl of Moray, (1877), pp. 659-660
- Mackie, J.D., ed., Calendar State Papers Scotland, vol.13 part 1 (1969), preface; pp.xxxi, xxxxiv, xxxviii.
- Letters and Papers relating to Patrick, Master of Gray, Bannatyne Club, Edinburgh, (1835)
- Gazetteer for Scotland
Patrick Gray, 5th Lord Gray
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Andrew Gray, 7th Lord Gray