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William Kirkcaldy - Warrior

One of the most valiant men of our age. So said Henry II of France of Sir William Kirkcaldy of Grange (1530-1573), one of the leading players in the Scottish Reformation and the power struggles surrounding Mary Queen of Scots.

In 1546 he was one of the Fife lairds involved in the murder of Cardinal Beaton and was imprisoned in France. He managed to escape, but instead of fleeing France, itself deeply divided at that time, he served with great distinction as commander in the French lion against Mary Queen of Scots, and it was to him the queen surrendered. But he felt the rebels went too far and switched sides and strengthened the defences
of Edinburgh Castle, of which he had been made Captain, but after holding out for three years, in 1573 the castle finally fell and he and his brother James were hanged.

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