William Kirkcaldy of Grange (c.1520 – August 3, 1573), was the eldest
son of Sir James Kirkcaldy of Grange (died 1556).
a proponent of the Reformation, he was one of the leaders of the Lords
of the Congregation in their opposition to the Regent, Mary of Guise,
and involved with assaults on French troops in Fife.
Following the murder of Moray, Kirkcaldy distanced himself from his former allies and took up the cause of the imprisoned Queen. His political tactics at this time, which included releasing one of his own supporters from imprisonment, earned him the scorn of his former friend John Knox who openly regarded him as a murderous thug.
Following Mary’s abdication, Kirkcaldy began to strengthen the fortifications of Edinburgh Castle, of which he was governor, and in 1573 he opposed regent Morton on a peace agreement, because the terms did not favour a section of his supporters and friends.
In May that year the English came to the assistance of the Scots and forced the Castle to surrender. Kirkcaldy was taken prisoner and despite strenuous efforts to save him from the retribution of his enemies, was publicly hung on 3rd August 1573.