The houses of Hepburn of Hailes, ancestor of Queen Mary's Bothwell; of the Huntly Gordons; and of the Kers of Ferniehirst and Cessford, rose into new importance; while the Huntlys and Argylls were entrusted with the maintenance of order among the fighting clans of the west and north.
On the Sunday following, Mary left Edinburgh for Seton Palace, 12 miles from the capital, where scandal asserted that she passed the time merrily in shooting-matches with Bothwell for her partner against Lords Seton and Huntly; other accounts represent Huntly and Bothwell as left at Holyrood in charge of the infant prince.
In 1452 the earl of Huntly crushed the insurrection led by the earl of Crawford at the battle of Brechin Muir, and in 1645 the town and castle were harried by the marquis of Montrose.
An insurrection in the north, headed by the earl of Huntly under pretext of rescuing from justice the life which his son had forfeited by his share in a homicidal brawl, was crushed at a blow by the Lord James against whose life, as well as against his sister's liberty, the conspiracy of the Gordons had been aimed, and on whom, after the father had fallen in fight and the son had expiated his double offence on the scaffold, the leading rebel's earldom of Murray was conferred by the gratitude of the queen.
Already the report was abroad that the queen was bent on marriage with Bothwell, whose last year's marriage with the sister of Huntly would be dissolved, and the assent of his wife's brother purchased by the restitution of his forfeited estates.
In Scotland the cardinal; Arran, who was next heir to the throne; Huntly and Murray were proclaimed regents.