1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Gray, Patrick Gray

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GRAY, PATRICK GRAY, 6th Baron (d. 1612), was descended from Sir Andrew Gray (c. 1390–1469) of Broxmouth and Foulis, who was created a Scottish peer as Lord Gray, probably in 1445. Andrew was a leading figure in Scottish politics during the reigns of James I. and his two successors, and visited England as a hostage, a diplomatist and a pilgrim. The 2nd Lord Gray was his grandson Andrew (d. 1514), and the 4th lord was the latter’s grandson Patrick (d. 1582), a participant in Scottish politics during the stormy time of Mary, queen of Scots. Patrick’s son, Patrick, the 5th lord (d. 1609), married Barbara, daughter of William, 2nd Lord Ruthven, and their son Patrick, known as the “Master of Gray,” is the subject of this article. Educated at Glasgow University and brought up as a Protestant, young Patrick was married early in life to Elizabeth Lyon, daughter of Lord Glamis, whom he repudiated almost directly; and afterwards went to France, where he joined the friends of Mary, queen of Scots, became a Roman Catholic, and assisted the French policy of the Guises in Scotland. He returned and took up his residence again in Scotland in 1583, and immediately began a career of treachery and intrigue, gaining James’s favour by disclosing to him his mother’s secrets, and acting in agreement with James Stewart, earl of Arran, in order to keep Mary a prisoner in England. In 1584 he was sent as ambassador to England, to effect a treaty between James and Elizabeth and to exclude Mary. His ambition incited him at the same time to promote a plot to secure the downfall of Arran. This was supported by Elizabeth, and was finally accomplished by letting loose the lords banished from Scotland for their participation in the rebellion called the Raid of Ruthven, who, joining Gray, took possession of the king’s person at Stirling in 1585, the league with England being ratified by the parliament in December. Gray now became the intermediary between the English government and James on the great question of Mary’s execution, and in 1587 he was despatched on an embassy to Elizabeth, ostensibly to save Mary’s life. Gray had, however, previously advised her secret assassination and had endeavoured to overcome all James’s scruples; and though he does not appear to have carried treachery so far as to advise her death on this occasion, no representations made by him could have had any force or weight. The execution of Mary caused his own downfall and loss of political power in Scotland; and after his return he was imprisoned on charges of plots against Protestantism, of endeavouring to prevent the king’s marriage, and of having been bribed to consent to Mary’s death. He pleaded guilty of sedition and of having obstructed the king’s marriage, and was declared a traitor; but his life was spared by James and he was banished from the country, but permitted to return in 1589, when he was restored to his office of master of the wardrobe to which he had been appointed in 1585. His further career was marked by lawlessness and misconduct. In 1592, together with the 5th Lord Bothwell, he made an unsuccessful attempt to seize the king at Falkland, and the same year earned considerable discredit by bringing groundless accusations against the Presbyterian minister, Robert Bruce; while after the king’s accession to the English throne he was frequently summoned before the authorities on account of his conduct. Notwithstanding, he never lost James’s favour. In 1609 he succeeded his father as 6th Baron Gray, and died in 1612.

Gray was an intimate friend of Sir Philip Sidney, but, if one of the ablest, handsomest and most fascinating, he was beyond doubt one of the most unscrupulous men of his day. He married as his second wife in 1585 Mary Stewart, daughter of Robert, earl of Orkney, and had by her, besides six daughters, a son, Andrew (d. 1663), who succeeded him as 7th Baron Gray. Andrew, who served for a long time in the French army, was a supporter, although not a very prominent one, of Charles I. and afterwards of Charles II. He was succeeded as 8th Lord Gray by Patrick (d. 1711), a son of his daughter Anne, and Patrick’s successor was his kinsman and son-in-law John (d. 1724). On the extinction of John’s direct line in 1878 the title of Lord Gray, passed to George Stuart, earl of Moray. In 1606 Gray had been ranked sixth among the Scottish baronies.

Bibliography.—Article in Dict. of Nat. Biog., and authorities there quoted; Gray’s relation concerning the surprise at Stirling (Bannatyne Club Publns. i. 131, 1827); Andrew Lang, History of Scotland, vol. ii. (1902); Peter Gray, The Descent and Kinship of Patrick, Master of Gray (1903); Gray Papers (Bannatyne Club, 1835); Hist. MSS. Comm., Marq. of Salisbury’s MSS.