This chapter outlines the Strachan of Thornton family’s networks with ties of loyalty and religion to Mary Queen of Scots. George’s early education at home and subsequent training at Jesuit colleges in France is explained along with the difficulties that following a Catholic education abroad caused his family.The Strachan family’s involvement in the affair of the ‘Spanish Blanks’ and the threat of financial ruin which this caused, forced them to convert to Calvinism. This incident is used to exemplify the political dangers faced by noble families in late 16th-century Scotland. George Strachan’s options of jeopardising the family fortunes or adhering to Catholicism shows the problems of the divided loyalties in Scottish society of the time.
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