There followed rapidly the murders of Rizzio and Darnley, the Bothwell marriage, Marys defeat, captivity, and flight into England (1568).
He believed that Mary's relations with David Rizzio injured him as a husband, and was easily persuaded to assent to the murder of the Italian, a crime in which he took part.
He was doubtless concerned in the conspiracy against David Rizzio, and after the favourite's murder he was obliged to leave the court and was himself in danger of assassination.
Mary had wearied of her guiding statesmen, Moray and the more pliant Maitland; the Italian secretary David Rizzio, through whom she had corresponded with the pope, now more and more usurped their place; and a weak fancy for her handsome cousin, Henry Darnley, brought about a sudden marriage in 1565 and swept the opposing Protestant lords into exile.
Mary and the lords still in her council ordered Knox not to preach while she was in Edinburgh, and he was absent or silent during the weeks in which the queen's growing distaste for her husband, and advancement of Rizzio over the nobility remaining in Edinburgh, brought about the conspiracy by Darnley, Morton and Ruthven.