In 1571 Edinburgh was at the center of a bloody three-year siege in which many men sacrificed their lives in support of the dethroned Queen Mary. William Kirkcaldy, as keeper of the ancient fort and regal palace, with his allies defiantly held the castle against a succession of regents. In despair Regent James Douglas, the Earl of Morton, turned to Scotland’s oldest enemy, the English, to overthrow the Castle rebels. Within 10 days the English cannons and a thousand men brought the rebels to their knees and the majestic towers of the citadel crumbling around them. The siege was an embodiment of the hatred and rivalry between Mary Queen of Scots and Elizabeth I.