Robert Boyd was a son of Sir Thomas Boyd (d. 1439), and belonged to an old and distinguished family, one member of which, Sir Robert Boyd, had fought with Wallace and Robert Bruce. Boyd, who was created a peer about 1454, was one of the regents of Scotland during the minority of James III, but in 1466, with some associates he secured the person of the young king and was appointed his sole governor. As ruler of Scotland he was instrumental in reforming some religious foundations; he arranged the marriage between James III and Margaret, daughter of Christian I, king of Denmark and Norway, and secured the cession of the Orkney Islands by Norway. However, when in 1467 he obtained the offices of chamberlain and justiciary for himself, and the hand of the king's sister Mary, with the title of Earl of Arran for his eldest son Thomas, his enemies became too strong for him, and he was found guilty of treason and sentenced to death. He escaped to England, and the date of his death is unknown. His brother and assistant, Sir Alexander Boyd, was beheaded on the 22nd of November 1469.
Boyd's son Thomas, earl of Arran, was in Denmark when his father was overthrown. However, he fulfilled his mission, that of bringing the king's bride, Margaret, to Scotland, and then, warned by his wife, escaped to the continent of Europe. He is mentioned very eulogistically in one of the Paston Letters, but practically nothing is known of his subsequent history.
Extracted from the entry for BOYD, ROBERT, LORD BOYD in the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica, the text of which lies within the public domain.