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Patrick Hepburn, 1st Earl of Bothwell (died 18 October 1508) was Lord High Admiral of Scotland. Under his territorial designation of Sir Patrick Hepburne of Dunsyre, Knt., he was Sheriff of Berwickshire, 15 June 1480. He was the son of Adam Hepburn, Master of Hailes, and succeeded his grandfather Sir Patrick Hepburn as the 2nd Lord Hailes in (1482/1483).

Sir Patrick Hepburn of Hailes was one of the Conservators of a truce with England on 20 September 1484, but was one of the leaders of the Confederate Lords who rebelled against King James III of Scotland, and he led the van against the Royal array at the battle of Sauchieburn, 11 July 1488. Birrel seems to have believed that he was one of those responsible for the murder of the king after the battle.

In the new reign of James IV he rose to great power and held many offices: included Master of the King's Household, custodian of Edinburgh Castle and Sheriff Principal of Edinburgh and Haddington, whilst his son and heir Adam was made Master of the Royal Stables. Patrick Hepburn was further appointed Lord High Admiral of Scotland on 10 September 1488.

On 13 October 1488, he had a Crown charter of the feudal lordships of Crichtoun (see Crichton Castle) and Bothwell, in the King's hands following the forfeiture of John Ramsay, Lord Bothwell. On the 17 October the lordship of Bothwell was erected into an Earldom in his favour, and he was belted Earl of Bothwell in full Parliament.

On 6 March 1492, he had a charter of the lands and lordship of Liddesdale, with Hermitage Castle, etc., upon the resignation of the same by Archibald Douglas, Earl of Angus, the latter getting the lordship of Bothwell [but not the Earldom] which Patrick in turn resigned.

Patrick Hepburn, 1st Earl of Bothwell, was Captain of Dumbarton castle on 1 April 1495.

He was one of the plenipotentiaries sent to conclude the treaty for the marriage of King James IV with Princess Margaret Tudor of England in October 1501, and he stood proxy for the King at the ceremony of betrothal on 25 January 1502.

He married twice: (1) before February 1481, Janet or Joanna (d. before 21 February 1491) daughter of James Douglas, 1st Earl of Morton by his spouse, Princess Joanna Stewart. They had one daughter, Joanna Hepburn, married to George Seton, 3rd Lord Seton (who fell at Flodden).(2)by contract dated 21 February 1491, Margaret Gordon, daughter of George Gordon, 2nd Earl of Huntly. They had four notable sons and a daughter.

Bothwell's eldest son by his second marriage, Adam succeeded him.


  • The Royal Families of England, Scotland, and Wales, with their Descendants, &c., by Messrs, John and John Bernard Burke, London, volume 1 (1848) pedigree CXXXIX, and vol.2 (1851) pedigree CLXXXVI.
  • Calendar of the Laing Charters, AD854-1837 edited by the Rev.John Anderson, Edinburgh, 1889, number 140.
  • The Scots Peerage by Sir James Balfour Paul, Edinburgh, 1905, 'Bothwell' p.151/2.
Military offices
Preceded by
Alexander Stewart
Lord High Admiral of Scotland
1502 –
Succeeded by
James Hamilton
Peerage of Scotland
New creation Earl of Bothwell
1488 – 1508
Succeeded by
Adam Hepburn
Preceded by
Patrick Hepburn
Lord Hailes
1483 – 1508


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