Both before and after the marriage he seems to have been a libertine as unblushing though not so fastidious as Charles himself.
The favour shown to Bothwell had not yet given occasion for scandal, though his character as an adventurous libertine was as notable as his reputation for military hardihood; but as the summer advanced his insolence increased with his influence at court and the general aversion of his rivals.
He was badly brought up by a feeble father, a mother who combined immorality with religion, and a libertine abbe.
In addition to these controversies on points of faith, he was for many years greatly disquieted, and sometimes even endangered, by the opposition offered by the libertine party in Geneva to the ecclesiastical discipline which he had established there.
Though a libertine and a free-thinker, he had championed the most bigoted and tyrannical high-church measures.