The rivalry between the French and English factions in Scotland was complicated by private feuds of the Hamiltons and Douglases, the respective heads of which houses, Arran and Angus, were contending for the supreme power in the absence of Albany in France, where at the instance of Henry VIII.
This must be so, for Lennox's letters of the 11th of June were intercepted by his foes, the Hamiltons, and were found in the Hamilton Muniment Room.
Here Murray, with 4500 men, under leaders of high distinction, met the 6000 of the queen's army, whose ablest man, Herries, was as much distrusted by Mary as by every one else, while the Hamiltons could only be trusted to think of their own interests, and were suspected of treasonable designs on all who stood between their house and the monarchy.
The enemies of the Boyds instantly overthrew them, and the Hamiltons, a race of English origin, arose on their ruins to their perilous place of possible heirs to the crown.
The Hamiltons saw their Stuart enemies in power and favour.