He was followed by the 1st Earl of Mar, who fell sick and died in 1572. Last came the 4th Earl of Morton, who finally managed to end the civil war with Mary Stuart’s supporters. Ironically, he introduced an early form of guillotine called a maiden to Scotland, and was eventually executed by it when he fell from favour.
Although he was now free from regents, James remained under the influence of a Frenchman called Esmé Stewart, the cousin of James’ father Lord Darnley. Esmé was the first of James’ powerful male favourites, and was made Duke of Lennox. James’ followers distrusted Esmé, and in 1582 the earls of Gowrie and Angus imprisoned James and forced Esmé to flee Scotland. James was released, and from that point on took more control of his kingdom.