Walter Scott, 4th Baron of Buccleuch

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Walter Scott, 4th Baron of Buccleuch (1549–1574) was head of the Border family of Scott and, despite his youth, played a prominent part in the turbulent politics of 16th century Scotland.


Scott was the eldest son of Sir William Scott of Kirkurd, Younger of Buccleuch (died 1552), who was himself the son of Walter Scott, 3rd of Buccleuch (who was murdered on 4 October 1552, having been pre-deceased by his son). His mother was Grisel, second daughter of John Betoun of Creich.[1]


Scott succeeded his grandfather at the age of only three. His uncle, Walter Scott of Goldielands, a natural half-brother of his father, led the Scotts during his minority.[1]

On 24 March 1566, Queen Mary appointed him captain of Newark Castle, Selkirkshire, whereupon he supported her with a force of over 3,000 men.[1] In January 1570 (in reliance upon the distraction likely to be caused by the assassination of the Regent Moray, of which he had advance knowledge), he engaged in depredations on the English side of the Border. By way of retaliation the English, under the Earl of Sussex and Lord Scrope, destroyed his stronghold at Branxholme Castle.[2] Scott rebuilt the castle in the following year.[1]

He was a principal leader of the raid to Stirling on 4 September 1571, when an attempt was made to seize the Regent Lennox, who was slain by one of the Hamiltons during the mêlée. Buccleuch, who had interposed to save the Regent Morton, his kinsman, whom the Hamiltons intended also to have slain, was during the retreat taken prisoner by Morton, and was for some time confined in Doune Castle in Menteith.[2]

Scott died at Branxholme on 17 April 1574.[1]


Scott married Margaret Douglas, daughter of David Douglas, 7th Earl of Angus. (She survived him and married secondly Francis Stewart, 5th Earl of Bothwell.) They had three children:[1]

  • Walter Scott, later 1st Lord Scott of Buccleuch
  • Margaret (sometimes, though doubtfully, said to be married to Robert Scott of Thirlestane)
  • Mary, who married William Elliott of Lariston


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Sir James Balfour Paul, The Scots Peerage, volume II (David Douglas, Edinburgh, 1905), at pages 231-232
  2. 2.0 2.1  Henderson, Thomas Finlayson (1897). [ "Scott, Walter (1565-1611)" ] Check |ws link in chapter= value (help). In Lee, Sidney (ed.). Dictionary of National Biography. 51. London: Smith, Elder & Co.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>