Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Livingstone, William

LIVINGSTONE, WILLIAM, sixth Lord Livingstone (d. 1592), partisan of Queen Mary, was the second son of Alexander, fifth lord Livingstone, by Lady Agnes Douglas, daughter of John, second earl of Morton. He succeeded to the peerage on the death of his father in 1553. Although a protestant he became a strong supporter of the queen, probably through the influence of his sister, Mary Livingstone, one of her ladies. Mary frequently stayed at his house at Callendar, and shortly before her marriage to Darnley rode thence from Perth, to be present at the christening of his child (Knox, ii. 490), according to rumour narrowly escaping capture by the Earl of Moray and his confederates on the way. Livingstone after the marriage accompanied the queen in the roundabout raid against Moray (Reg. P. C. Scotl. i. 379). He was one of those who on 7 Feb. 1566 refused the queen's order to attend mass (Illustrations of the Reign of Queen Mary, Bannatyne Club, p. 153). At the time of the murder of Rizzio on 9 March he was in attendance on the queen in Holyrood, but succeeded in making his escape from the palace. Mary, on her journey from Edinburgh to Glasgow to visit Darnley in his sickness, stayed a night at Callendar, and in one of the casket letters is represented as recording an allusion made by Lord Livingstone to Bothwell's passion for her. There is no evidence that Livingstone was concerned in the murder of Darnley, although he was in Edinburgh when it happened (Calderwood, ii. 343). He was in attendance on the queen at Seton, whither she went shortly after the murder (Cal. State Papers, For. Ser. 1566–1568, entry 977), but after her marriage to Bothwell he seems to have held aloof from her, and was not present when she surrendered at Carberry. He, however, signed the bond to deliver her from Lochleven, fought for her at Langside, and accompanied her in her flight from the battle. On 18 May 1568, after crossing the Solway, he arrived with her at Workington in Cumberland (ib. entry 2199). On the 24th of the same month he was charged to render up his castle of Callendar (Reg. P. C. Scotl. i. 626).

Queen Mary appointed him one of her commission to York, and he was again in England as Mary's agent in the summer of 1570. He returned to Scotland in July (Cal. State Papers, For. Ser. 1569–71, entry 1062), and in August he sent to his servant, George Livingstone, for delivery on his behalf to the Earl of Sussex an explanation of the motives which had induced the lords of the queen's party to take up arms (ib. Scott. Ser. p. 299). During the hostilities in Scotland he remained abroad. On 4 July 1572 sureties appeared for him to give security that his castle of Callendar would be delivered up to the regent on fifteen days' warning, and on this condition his wife and household servants were permitted to remain in it (Reg. P. C. Scotl. ii. 130). On 7 April 1573 the Regent Morton wrote to Burghley, asking that Lord Livingstone, who was on his way from France to England, should be prevented from coming to Scotland (Cal. State Papers, Scott. Ser. p. 372). On 14 April Livingstone appealed to Morton from London to procure a license from Elizabeth for his return (ib. p. 373), and ultimately he obtained leave from the regent on 13 June to return (ib. p. 850). On the 22nd of the following March he was declared to have made due obedience to the government, and was relieved of his bonds and cautions (Reg. P. C. Scotl. ii. 351).

Livingstone was one of the nobles who in 1577 advised the king to abolish the regency and take the government into his own hands, and when Morton retook possession of Stirling Castle joined the lords who assembled against him at Falkirk. His hostility to Morton was probably in part due to the fact that the revocation of grants of domains of the crown affected an estate which had been bestowed by Queen Mary on his sister, Mary Livingstone. He became a supporter of the Duke of Lennox, and ultimately was supposed to incline to the catholic religion, although his action was less pronounced than that of his son Alexander, seventh lord. Robert Bruce, in a letter to the Duke of Parma on 24 July 1589, stated that one portion of the money sent from Spain was ‘in the principal house of my Lord Livingstone, a very Catholic lord’ (Calderwood, v. 22); but those subsequently sent by King James to search for the money ‘returned without it, and the Lord Livingstone came in to the king’ (ib. p. 36). On 6 March 1589–90 he was appointed one of a commission for enforcing the laws against the jesuits (Reg. P. C. Scotl. iv. 464). He walked in procession at the coronation of Queen Anne in the following May ({{sc|Calderwood}, v. 96). He died in 1592.

By his wife Agnes Fleming, second daughter of the third Lord Fleming, he had four sons—Alexander, seventh lord Livingstone, and first earl of Linlithgow [q. v.]; Henry, who died young; Sir George Livingstone of Ogilface, Linlithgowshire; and Sir William Livingstone of West Quarter—and two daughters: Jean, married to Alexander, fourth lord Elphinstone, and Margaret, to Sir Lewis Bellenden of Auchinoul.

[Histories of Knox, Leslie, Calderwood, and Spotiswood; Hist. of James the Sext; Cal. State Papers, Scott. Ser., and also For. Ser.; Reg. P. C. Scotl. vols. i–v.; Douglas's Scottish Peerage (Wood), ii. 126.]

T. F. H.