James Stuart, regent of Scotland is the older and illegitimate brother of Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots. He is the son of James V and his mistress, Margaret Erskine.
James is a bastard member of the House of Stuart by birth.
He was portrayed by English actor, Joe Doyle in Season One and the character was later recast in Season Three, being played by Canadian actor, Dan Jeannotte.
James was born to James V and Margaret Erksine, thus making him illegitimate. Despite being a bastard, he was given a title and place in the royal household.
Throughout the Series
In No Exit, James arrives at the French Court to inform his half-sister, Mary, of Scotland's situation. Marie is in trouble and he needs her to come help. He says her mother is French and many of her advisors are but the Scots demand Scottish leadership. She asks if it’s Marie’s rule he’s challenging or her own. He tells her Scotland needs to see their Queen and bow before her with pride and duty. He pleads with her to come home.
In Intruders, James holds a meeting with his lords to discuss a shipwreck that happened near the coast of Fife, which was carrying his sister, Mary, and French mercenaries. James is cautious, but is first skeptical of the fact that the ship was carrying Mary, suggesting that if she really was coming, she would've sent word. He starts to believe that his sister is dead before Mary storms the room, and reclaims her throne, with James, and all lords behind him, kneeling in front of their long-lost queen.
In Spiders in a Jar, James meets with Mary and warns her of Elizabeth's growing aggressiveness, before discussing John Knox and advising Mary regarding Father Ashbay. Later , Bash informs the assassination attempt against Queen Elizabeth and Lola's execution to a heartbroken Mary and a shocked James, before eventually learning from John Knox that this was his doing. Knox advises him not to pick sides, and warns him that Mary's days are numbered and her rule won't last long.
In With Friends Like These, James spars with his sister, Mary, before he wins and unswords her. They take a break and discuss the situation Mary finds herself in, seeking to defeat her cousin, Elizabeth. Mary decides to marry, and presents Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, her cousin, who also has a claim to the English throne. James advises her otherwise citing that this will greatly deteriorate the fragile peace between England and Scotland, and upset the Protestants who don't want a Catholic as their king. James instead suggests a husband from one of Scotland's powerful clans, who have already sent marriage proposals, but Mary decides to keep entertaining the offers to ensure their loyalty although she insists on taking Darnley as her husband to strengthen her claim on the English throne and get support from within England, much to the disagreement of James.
Mary attends Lola's funeral, but she is suddenly very tired and returns to the carriage. Much to her shock the carriage turns in the opposite direction, and Mary realizes something is wrong, before she passes out, obviously drugged. A shocked and worried Greer, rushes to James's room to inform her Mary has been kidnapped only to catch James in a threesome. James realizes that clan Gordon, the rulers of the north, have abducted her to force Mary into a marriage with their young son. James discusses Mary's abduction with John Knox, who proposes to help Mary return to safety, he tells James that the fastest way north is through a bridge controlled by a Protestant clan, who would gladly allow James, and John, safe passage. James doesn't believe Knox would try to help Mary, a queen Knox has preached against and wants gone, but Knox says that it's to prevent her from marrying into a powerful Catholic. In return Knox asks a shocked James to wipe out the entire clan after Mary is rescued.
Whatever the next day, James, who has prepared a riding party composed of a hundred men to be sent to rescue Mary, and Knox, are surprised to see Mary returning. James proposes escorting Mary back to Edinburgh Castle to ensure her safety, whatsoever, Mary is suspicious why James insists on returning her to the castle, and how he managed to rise a hundred men in little less than a day. She is immediately suspicious of Knox, and realizes that Knox is after the slaughter of the entire Gordon clan, Mary's most powerful Catholic supporters, so she insists to ride with James so she can prevent it from happening and handle the situation carefully. Now in the North, Mary makes the Earl of Gordon kneel, offering him mercy in return of his allegiance. The Earl, too proud to beg, refuses Mary's offer, citing that she has betrayed her religion, surrounding herself with Protestants. The Earl offers to aid her against her Protestant enemies. James advises Mary against it, saying the Earl is filling her head with lies, and ensures her that she can trust the Protestants, and trust him as well. Mary is suspicious of James, so to prove his loyalty, she commands him to execute the Earl of Gordon. She spares the rest of the clan whatsoever and they give her their allegiance. Foiling Knox's plan and ensuring the Gordons' loyalty.
Knox is angered with James, and threatens Mary and James. James is extremely angered by Knox, pushing him to a wall, and warning him of the consequences of his actions, saying that his ture loyalties lie with Mary, his sister and his queen. Whatsoever, when Mary learns that James has known all along of Knox's involvement in the assasination attempt against Elizabeth and Lola's subsequent execution, she is very upset, and angered with him, and although he ensures him that she can trust him and that he no longer doubts her judgement and has broken off all his connections with Knox, she insists it's a long way before she can trust him again.
In Grains of Deception, Mary starts trusting James less. However she gives him a chance to prove his loyalty by seducing Emily Knox to spy and get information on John Knox, her husband.
In Leaps of Faith, Gideon Blackburn proposes to Mary, and suggests she give rule in Scotland to her brother, James, and names the successor to both England and Scotland, her son with Blackburn. The idea excites Mary, but she remains cautious, requesting James's advice. He advises her against the idea, citing Scotland's mistrust of England and the consequences of such action, leaving Mary torn between two decisions.
In A Better Man the 10th episode of the fourth season Emily Knox tricks James into thinking there will be an assassination attempt on Mary’s life by Lord Hamilton and her husband only to figure out that it was a plan all along to turn Lord Hamilton’s Protestant supporters against her when he dies. James takes the blame to secure Mary’s rule and is stripped of his title, lands and banished from Scotland although Mary promises to send for him later when the dust settles.
James is very passionate and cares a lot about his country. He is also very decisive and exact in what he wants.
James is a man in his early to mid twenties. He has medium black hair and a small beard. He has brown eyes and pale skin. Despite being a bastard, he still holds a title and therefore dresses as a member of nobility in detailed clothing.
- Mary Stuart: Mary is James's half-sister, and he is her chief advisor. James cares for Mary deeply and he served as regent during her absence in France. Mary turns for him to comfort when she's worried, afraid or in need for advise, and he always aided her and stood by her side, even going as far as supporting Mary and Bothwell's plan to murder Lord Darnley, Mary's husband and king-consort of Scotland.
- John Knox: Knox is James's main adviser, and a fellow Protestant. Although James's true loyalties lie with Mary, he kept Knox at his side to ensure the support from the Protestants and so he can play both sides to ensure order and stability in Scotland, yet James is getting fed up with Knox's radicalism and his countless plots against Mary and his hatred of him is constantly growing.