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Sir James Melville - Diplomat

Sir James Melville was a noted Scottish diplomat who served kings and queens at a crucial time in Scotland's history. The son of Sir John Melville, laird of Raith (executed for treason in 1548), he went to France the following year to become page to Mary Queen of Scots. He carried out a number of diplomatic missions for Henry II of France. On Mary's return to Scotland in 1561 she gave Melville a pension and an appointment in her household, and employed him as special emissary to reconcile Queen Elizabeth to her marriage with Darnley.

After the murder of Darnley in 1567, Melville warned Mary of the danger of marrying Bothwell and, during the troubled times following Mary's imprisonment and abdication, he conducted several diplomatic missions of importance, and won the confidence of James VI.

When James succeeded to the English throne Melville declined an invitation to join him, but retired to his estate at Halhill, where he wrote his memoirs and died in 1617.

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