He himself superintended all the preparations, visiting Darnley with Mary on the night of the crime, Sunday, 9th of February 1567, attending the queen on her return to Holyrood for the ball, and riding back to Kirk o' Field to carry out the crime.
After the explosion he hurried back to Holyrood and feigned surprise at the receipt of the news half an hour later, ascribing the catastrophe to "the strangest accident that ever chancit, to wit, the fouder (lightning) came out of the luft (sky) and had burnt the king's house."
In June Mary and Bothwell fled from Holyrood to Borthwick Castle, whence Bothwell, on the place being surrounded by Morton and his followers, escaped to Dunbar, Mary subsequently joining him.
In 1591 he attempted to seize Holyrood palace, and in 1593 he captured the king, forcing from him a promise of pardon.
Holyrood Palace was originally an abbey of canons regular of the rule of St Augustine, founded by David I.