On this day: the first assassination by a firearm

James Stewart, 1st Earl of Moray. 1561.

A detail of a 1561 painting of the Regent.

The first recorded assassination by firearm happened in Scotland on the 23rd of January, 1570. James Stewart, 1st Earl of Moray and Regent of Scotland was killed at Linlithgow Palace.

Miles Birket Foster painting Linlithgow Palace Victorian era

Miles Birket Foster’s 19th century painting of Linlithgow Palace

The assassin was James Hamilton of Bothwellhaugh, a supporter of Mary, Queen of Scots.

James Hamilton of Bothwellhaugh and Woodhouselee (died 1581) was a Scottish supporter of Mary, Queen of Scots, who assassinated James Stewart, 1st Earl of Moray, Regent of Scotland, in January 1570.

A nineteenth century depiction of the killing.

Some accounts of the execution were recorded centuries after it happened, making some facts a little bit unclear.

One version states that Lady Mondegreen was killed by a second shot, but this is a myth.

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