Sir Simon Preston

Born 1504, Craigmillar Castle, Edenburg, Scottland
Marrage 1: Elizabeth Monteith
Marrage 2: Janet Beaton in 1540

Simon's father was Knight William Preston b. 1474

Simon had 2 son's, William Preston and Sir George Preston

"Sir Walter’s third wife was Janet Beaton, ‘of Bethune’s high line of Picardy,’ a relative of Cardinal Beaton, whom she seems to have a good deal resembled in her character. Like Sir Walter, she had been twice previously married, and was divorced from her second husband, Simon Preston of Craigmillar. She was the daughter of Sir John Beaton of Creich, in Fife, and was first married to Sir James Crichton of Cranston Riddell. Having been left a widow, in 1539, she soon afterwards married Simon Preston, the Laird of Craigmillar. In 1543 she instituted a suit of divorce against him, and set forth as the ground of her suit that before her marriage to her present husband she had illicit intercourse with Sir Walter Scott of Buccleuch, and that he and Preston were within the prohibited degrees, as the one was the great-grandson and the other the great-great-grandson of a common ancestor. On that plea the marriage was declared null and void; and the motive of the suit immediately became manifest, for on the 2nd of December, 1544, she was married to Sir Walter Scott.

Many historians believe that two passages from the official "Acts of the Lords of Council in Public Affairs" imply that the lost crown jewels and the Holy Rood of Scotland were entrusted to William St. Clair and were never recovered. These pre-date the letter that Marie de Guise wrote to Lord William in 1546 (as above), so this may well have been what she was shown. These passages are dated 21 march 1545:

The lords ordain William St. Clair of Roslin to produce within three days all jewels, vestments and ornaments of 'the abby and place of Holyrood that the Cardinal and administrator may see them and that they may be 'usit in the solempnyt tyme not approchand, to the honour of God...[and]....The laird of Craigmillar protested by his procurator thathe should be assoilzied in the matter against the laird of Roslin for detaining the Holyrood jewels'.

Darnley had become a real problem, and how to solve this problem was the object of the discussion which took place between the Lords coalition and Mary at Craigmillar.

Mary, who had been very ill some time before, was recovering at Craigmillar. During an ambiguous conversation which was reported two years after the event, the Lords suggested "removing" Darnley. Mary was concerned about the effect a divorce would have on the legitimacy of her son, but declared that nothing should be done to taint her honour. It is generally deduced from those words that she meant that she knew that the Lords's intention was to assassinate Darnley and that it was fine as long as it could not be traced to her. The most that can be concluded though is that Mary did have foreknowledge of the plot against Darnley. Shortly after, the Lords signed a bond in which they undertook to prevent further harm from being committed by Darnley. On 12 December 1566, James was baptized in a lavish Catholic ceremony at Stirling Castle which Darnley, although on site, did not attend presumably to avoid the humiliation of being ignored by Elizabeth's representatives, who still refused to recognise him as King. On 24 December, Mary pardoned the remainder of the Rizzio murderers (except for Ker of Fawdonside and George Douglas) allowing them to return to Scotland, as part of the bargain struck at Craigmillar. Darnley was not going to hang around to face those he had betrayed and took off to Glasgow to see his father. En route he fell ill and it was assumed that he had been poisoned. A later diagnosis however confirmed that he had small pox, which we now know was the later stages of syphilis.

On 9th January 1567, Mary sent her physician to Glasgow to report on Darnley's health. By mid-January, Mary had removed her son from Stirling to the palace of Holyrood house, still fearing a plot by Darnley to seize him. The following week she set off for Glasgow to visit Darnley who received her in his sick bed full of repentance for his past behaviour, and pleading that they restore conjugal relations. Mary agreed in principle but on condition that he return to Edinburgh with her. Darnley told her of the rumors he had heard concerning a plot to harm him and refused to be moved to Craigmillar Castle.

Those Lords who had signed the Craigmillar Bond (which later conveniently disappeared) most probably instigated the plot which was then discovered by Bothwell. Mary had Darnley's body embalmed and buried in the Abbey of Holyrood in the royal vault of James V.

June 15 1567 - Mary Queen of Scots' last night in Edinburgh, at the house of Sir Simon Preston, the Lord Provost, on the Royal Mile, prior to her imprisonment at Loch Leven castle.

Thu 2 Dec 1999
Craigmillar Castle Open Sept to Apr, 9.30am-6.30pm. Oct-Mar 9.30am-4.30pm (closed Thurs pm, Fri and Sun am) THIS delightful, partly-ruined castle dating from the 15th century oozes history from every niche of its thick walls. It’s set on one of Edinburgh’s many hills at Little France, just two miles from the city center at Craigmillar. Mary Queen of Scots left the confines of the Old Town somewhat sharpish in March 1566 and fled to the castle after the killing of her secretary, David Rizzio, by a group of conspirators with whom her husband, Lord Darnley, was involved. An account of the times said: "She withdrew from bloodstained Holyrood" and, "grievously disturbed in mind and body", left for Craigmillar’s peace and quiet. Not so quiet today: The new Edinburgh Royal Infirmary is taking shape below it. Book in: Hire the castle for weddings or parties. Call Historic Scotland on 0131-668 8686.

This article:

Simon married Elizabeth Monteith. (Elizabeth Monteith was born in 1509 in Kerse, S., Scottland.)

Simon next married Janet Beaton, daughter of John Beaton Of Creich and Unknown, in 1540. (Janet Beaton was born in 1519 and died in 1569.)