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The Gowrie Conspiracy

August 5th, 1600

Ungainly, slobbering, a physical coward but highly intelligent, James VI of Scots, the future James I of England, was at Falkland that Tuesday morning when he informed his courtiers that Alexander Ruthven, younger brother of John Ruthven, Earl of Gowrie, had come with a curious tale of seizing a strange dark man in the fields outside Perth, who was carrying a pot stuffed with gold coins. To everyone’s surprise, around eleven in the morning, the thirty-four year-old King announced his intention to ride the twenty miles to Perth at once, to see this strange dark man and his pot of coins for himself. Off the royal party set and when they arrived at Gowrie House in Perth, a meal was served about two o’clock and then the younger Ruthven took the King up the main staircase to a small turret room. The other courtiers went out into the garden to nibble cherries and wait.

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