King James VI ruled Scotland from the age of one when his mother Mary Queen of Scots was overthrown and forced out of Scotland. With the new King coming to the throne at such a young age the country was ruled by regents until he came of age.
After the murder of Regent Moray in 1570 at the hands of James Hamilton, a supporter of the former Queen, Scotland could not decide who to appoint to succeed Moray and so turned to Queen Elizabeth I in England to help make the decision. Elizabeth selected the Earl of Lennox to succeed Moray and rule the country, Lennox was the father of Lord Darnley and James grandfather. Lennox took the role at a time when Scotland was highly divided and this was not helped when Lennox reopened the investigation into his son’s murder, who many believed was at the hands of Mary herself and her future husband, the Earl of Bothwell.
On 14th May 1571 Lennox held a parliament at Edinburgh in the Cannongate that would become known as the creeping parliament. It earned this name as many attendants had to creep past supporters of the Queen who had captured the castle and were shooting at anyone who attempted to attend.
At the same time as the creeping parliament was being held, Mary’s supporters were holding their own parliament in Edinburgh tollbooth where they attempted to restore Mary to the Scottish throne.
Both parliaments were adjourned until a later date and the fight for the throne continued.