Blood of Kings(2010)
The Stuarts, the Ruthvens and the 'Gowrie Conspiracy'
A non fiction book by J D Davies
"Blood of Kings" is a story of murder, lust for power and revenge. Of a plot to kill King James Stuart that proved far more dangerous to his life than the nearly contemporary Gunpowder Plot. Of a plot so devilish that Shakespeare used it as the basis for Macbeth. Of a mighty dynasty humiliated during the posthumous trial of two decomposing corpses propped up in a courtroom. Of lords who dabbled in black magic and were immortalised as warlocks and vampires. Of noblemen who deposed a queen and kidnapped a king. Of the dark conspiracies that formed during the dying days of Queen Elizabeth the First. "Blood of Kings" also reveals startling evidence that links the 'Gowrie Conspiracy' of 1600 to an assassination that changed the course of European history, and considers the possibility that the bloodline of Mary Queen of Scots - down to and including the present royal family - might have no legitimate right to the throne. The book focuses on the 'Gowrie conspiracy' of 1600. On 5 August of that year, John Ruthven, third Earl of Gowrie, and his brother Alexander, were killed in mysterious circumstances in front of King James VI of Scots, soon to be James I of England, at Gowrie House in Perth. King James alleged that he had been lured there under false pretences, which centred on a tale of a mysterious stranger carrying a pot of gold, and that the Ruthven brothers had then attempted to assassinate him. Apologists for the Ruthvens claimed that the family had been wiped out in a cynical royal pogrom, inspired perhaps by fear, jealousy or thwarted homosexual lust, which was then systematically covered up by the state. Shakespeare subsequently used the 'official' version of the events at Gowrie House as one of the principal inspirations for the plot of 'Macbeth'. The book focuses primarily on what actually happened on 5 August 1600, and why it happened. "Blood of Kings" provides the most detailed account of the 'Gowrie Conspiracy' for over a century. The subject has not been touched on at length in any book since George Malcolm Thomson's superficial A Kind of Justice (1970), and apart from Lee's essay, there has been no properly referenced study of the subject since 1957. Blood of Kings is the first work ever to set the story of the 'Gowrie conspiracy' fully in the contexts of the relationship between the Stuart and Ruthven families over a 50-year period, and of European and Anglo-Scots power politics during an age that many contemporaries regarded as the apocalyptic final conflict between Protestantism and Catholicism.
Used availability for J D Davies's Blood of Kings
October 2010 : UK Hardback