(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
See other formats

Full text of "Scotland"






Scotland, vol. two 

Worlti's Best histories 




With Frontispiece 





Scotland. Vol. II. — i 



Disadvantages of the Protestants — They receive Supplies of Treasure 
from England: a large Sum of which is intercepted by the Earl 
of Both well — The Protestants are repulsed from Leith, and re- 
tire to Stirling much discouraged — They recover Courage at the 
Exhortation of John Knox; and send Lethington to the Court 
of England — Aid is granted to the Reformers by Elizabeth— A 
Detachment of the French ravage the Coast of Fife — The Prot- 
estant Gentlemen skirmish with them — Critical Arrival of the 
English Fleet— The French retreat lf> 


Petition to the Scottish Parliament on the Part of the Reformers — 
The Parliament abolish the Roman Catholic Form of Worship, 
and prohibit the Celebration of the Mass under severe Penalties 
—The Change of Religion meets no Opposition from the Catho- 
lic Bishops and Prelates; but gives great Offence to Francis 
and Mary, who receive an Envoy from Parliament very coldly 
— The Church Government of Scotland is arranged on a Cal- 
vinistic and Presbyterian Model — The Clergy are meanly pro- 
vided for, the Nobles retaining the greater Part of the Spoils of 
the Catholic Church — Debates on this Subject — Character of the 
Presbyterian Church of Scotland — Destruction of the Ecclesias- 
tical Buildings — Queen Mary returns to Scotland; her Recep- 
tion at Edinburgh — Intolerant Zeal of the Reformers, expressed 
in Pageants and by Riots, and by the vehement Exhortations of 
John Knox — These Disturbances appeased by the Moderation 
of Lord James Stewart, Prior of Saint Andrew's — Transactions 
with England — Correspondence between the Queens .... 22 



Insanity of the Earl of Arran — Lord James Stewai't created Ear! oi 
Mar — The Grant offends the Earl of Huntley — Breach of the 
Peace by his Son Sir John Gordon— The Queen makes a Prog- 
ress to the North, where she is coldly received, and Inverness 
Castle is held out against her — The Earldom of Murray is con- 
ferred on Lord James, instead of that of Mar — Huntley rebels- 
Battle of Corrichie — Suitors for Mary's Hand — She determines 
to consult Elizabeth— The Queen of England behaves with In- 
sincerity; recommends the Earl of Leicester — The Scots cast 
their eyes on Henry Darnley— His Mother's Claims on the Suc- 
cession of England — Henry Darnley comes to Scotland, and 
renders himself personally agreeable to Queen Mary — Her Char- 
acter at this Period of her Life — Her Love of more private 
Society — The Rise of Rizzio at the Scottish Court — He becomes 
French Secretary to the Queen, and a Favorite — Elizabeth's 
Displeasure at the proposed Match of Mary and Darnley— She 
intrigues with the Protestant Party in Scotland — The Earl of 
Murray leaves the Party of the Queen, and joins that of the 
Reformed Nobles and Clergymen — Desperate Plots of the Earls 
of Darnley and Murray against eacli other: both fail — The 
Queen and Darnley are Married — Murray and the Duke of 
Chatelherault take up Arms — The Queen gathers an Army, 
drives the Insurgents from Place to Place, and finally compels 
them to retreat into England — They are ill received by Eliz- 
abeth, who disowns them and their Cause — Mary endeavors 
to obtain some Toleration for the persecuted Catholics —She 
accedes to the Catholic League of Bayonne 3? 


Character of Henry Darnley — He quarrels with Mary — Conceives 
Hatred against Rizzio, who is Murdered — The King forsakes 
and disowns the Conspirators, who fly to England — Murray re- 
turns from Exile, and is reconciled to the Queen — Question as 
to the Guilt or Innocence of Mary — Her continued Quarrel with 
Darnley, who threatens to go abroad, and gives his Wife other 
Subjects of Complaint — Bothwell rises in the Queen's Favor — 
His History — He is restored upon his Enemy Murray's Exile, 
and reconciled to him on his Return — Elizabeth exasperated 
against Mary on her bearing a Son — Bothwell is made Keeper 
of Liddisdale — Is wounded — Mary visits him at the Hermitage 


Castle — Apparent Reconciliation between Mary and Darnley — 
Darnley is Murdered — Consequences of that Atrocity — Ac- 
quittal of Bothwell — The Marriage of the Queen — Insurrection 
— The Queen flies to Dunbar — Advances with an Army to Car- 
berry Hill — Bothwell flies — The Queen surrenders — She is car- 
ried to Edinburgh — Insulted by the Populace — Sent Prisoner 
to Lochleven — She resigns her Crown — The Earl of Murray is 
declared Regent 57 


Mary's Escape from Lochleven — The Battle of Langside — The 
Queen's Flight into England— Mary offers to vindicate herself 
to Elizabeth — Advantage taken of that Offer — Commission at 
York — Question of Supremacy revived and abandoned — Pro- 
posal of a Marriage between Mary and the Duke of Norfolk — 
Sittings of the Commission removed to Westminster — Murray 
lodges his Accusation against Mary — Elizabeth decliues pro- 
nouncing a decision, but detains Mary a Prisoner — Question of 
her Guilt and Innocence — Morton's Confession — Proofs by the 
Sonnets and Letters — Deemed inconclusive, and why — Confes- 
sion of Paris — Elizabeth's Conduct toward Mary — A Party is 
formed in Scotlaud for the Queen — It is joined by Kirkcaldy 
of Grainge and Lethington — Murray betrays Norfolk to Eliza- 
beth — Th* Duke is imprisoned — Murray assassinated by Both- 
wellhaugh — Inroads on the Borders 81 


: ommencement of the Civil War — English Invasion — The Borderers 
chastised — The House of Hamilton almost ruined — Dumbarton 
Castle taken — Scotland divided between King's Men and Queen's 
Men — Cruel Character of the War — State of Parties — Raid of 
Stirling— Death of the Regent Lennox — Mar succeeds, and la- 
bors for Peace, but shortly after dies — Morton chosen Regent — 
His C laracter — Mary corresponds with Spain — Duke of Norfolk 
behea ed — Queen Elizabeth publicly owns the Right of James 
— The Civil Wars still rage; but the Party of the Queen declines 
everywhere save in the North, where it is supported by the 
Gordc ns — The Queen's Adherents capitulate, excepting Grainge, 
who holds out Edinburgh Castle — He is besieged by an English 
Force, and compelled to surrender — He is executed — Death of 
Maitland of Lethington 97 



Oppressive Regency of Morton — He sets the Example of the Tulchan 
Bishops, and thereby offends the Church — Tyrannizes over the 
Nobility — Disobliges the young King — Battle of Reedsquair — 
The King desires to assume the Government — Morton offers no 
Opposition, but resigns the Regency, receiving in return an Act 
of Indemnity — He surrenders the Castle of Edinburgh — Retires 
to Dalkeith, and builds a Castle at Droich-holes in Tweedale — 
Meditates, however, the Resumption of his Power — Instigates 
the Earl of Mar to take Stirling Castle from his Uncle, and thus 
acquires Possession of the King's Person and the supreme Place 
in the Privy Council — Argyle and Athole levy Forces against 
Morton, but an Accommodation is agreed upon — Two Favorites 
arise at Court — The Character of the Duke of Lennox — That of 
Stewart, afterward Earl of Arran — Morton's invidious Perse- 
cution of the Hamiltons — Morton is impeached by Stewart — 
Tried, condemned, and executed 10? 


Character of James — Greatly influenced by personal Timidity — His 
Irresolution — His high Opinion of Royal Prerogative — Con- 
trolled by the Opinions of his Subjects, and the Nature of his 
Right to the Crown — Saved from many Dangers by his Flexi- 
bility of Temper — His Attachment to Favorites — He throws 
the Government into the Hands of Lennox and Arran — Infa- 
mous Character of the latter — His profligate Marriage and 
general Unpopularity — He misleads Lennox, and seeks to un- 
dermine his Influence — A Conspiracy to reform the State — The 
Earl of Gowrie is induced to join it— His Character — The King 
is seized at the Raid of Ruthven, and detained a Prisoner — 
He dissembles with Gowrie and his Associates — Arran is made 
Prisoner — Lennox is banished, and dies in Fiance — The King 
ostensibly ratifies the Raid of Ruthven, which is approved of 
also by the General Assembly of the Church — Meantime J imes 
entertains deep Discontent for the Restraint inflicted on 1 im — 
He lets Elizabeth know his real Sentiments — The Lords p irmit 
him more personal Liberty — He escapes to St. Andrew's- -The 
Lords concerned in the Raid of Ruthven are overpower id at 
Court — James rules at first with Moderation, but Arran re- 
covers his Influence, and impels the King to vindictive Meas- 
ures — Queen Elizabeth expostulates with James without Effect 
— Walsingham visits the Scottish Court, and forms ahighOpin- 


ion of the King — The Scottish Clergy interfere on behalf of the 
Lords connected with the Ruthven Conspiracy — These Lords 
take Arms — Gowrie is taken at Dundee — Angus and Mar take 
Stirling, which is promptly retaken — Gowrie tried and executed 
— Violence of Arran — Now uncontrolled Minister 125 


The Minister's Arrogance — The King disgusted with Business — 
Arran pretends an Attachment to the Prerogative — The 
banished Lords— Their Influence with their Vassals, Clans, 
and Tenantry — Argaty and his Brother tried and executed for 
holding Correspondence with the Exiles — Information against 
Mains and Drumquhassel for a similar Crime — Suborned Evi- 
dence against the Accused — They are condemned and executed 
— Arran's Attack on the Immunities claimed by the Church — 
Privileges of the Kirk — Their extreme Apprehensions of Popery 
—The Clergy usually in opposition to, and therefore become 
unpopular with, the King — Arran, having courted them to no 
Purpose, resolves to break their Power by a Series of new Reg- 
ulations — Nature of the political Influence of the Clergy — A 
Minister is imprisoned for petitioning to be heard on the Part 
of the Church, and declared Rebel and Outlaw for protesting 
against the obnoxious Laws — Arran's Ministry begin to desert 
him and set up for themselves, particularly Maitland the Secre- 
tary and the Master of Gray — Arran becomes a Creature of 
Elizabeth — His Meeting with Hunsdon — His Quarrels with the 
Scottish Nobility, particularly with Lord Maxwell— He engages 
Lord Maxwell in a Civil War with the Johnstones, in which the 
former is victorious — Embassy of Wotton — Death of Sir Francis 
Russell on the Borders — Disgrace of Kerr of Farniherst and of 
Arran — The exiled Lords return to Scotland, march to Stirling, 
and obtain Possession of the King's Person — The King aban- 
dons Arran, who retires from Court in Disgrace — James re- 
ceives the associated Nobles into his Favor, and establishes a 
Government on a moderate and popular Model 155 


Queen Mary in Prison — Becomes the Object of Interest to all who 
conspire against Queen Elizabeth — Elizabeth's Anxiety on her 
Account — Her Removal from Carlisle to Bolton — From Bolton 
to Tutbury, to Wingfield, to Coventry, to Chatsworth — Her 


visit to Buxton — Account of her by Nicolas White — Her Amuse- 
ments — Is more strictly guarded — And the Marks of Respect 
shown to her diminished — Injustice of her Treatment — Causes 
of Queen Elizabeth's Exasperation against her — The proposed 
Match with Norfolk unpleasing to her — The English war 
against the Queen's Party in Scotland — Attempt at a Treaty 
with Mary broken off by the Scottish Commissioners — Norfolk 
sent to the Tower — Mary desirous of an Interview with Eliza- 
beth — Elizabeth incites the Feelings of her Subjects against 
Mary, and endeavors to disgrace her in the Eyes of the Public 
— Works against her circulated — Proceedings against her in 
Parliament — Rigor of her Captivity increased , „ . c . c e 183 


Interference of Foreign Princes in behalf of Mary — Her Intercourse 
with her Son — Her Presents to him rejected — Nevertheless she 
interferes with Elizabeth in his Behalf at the Period of the Raid 
of Ruthven — He disclaims her Title and Cause — Her Sentiments 
on that Occasion — The Catholics of England continue to make 
her the"*chief Object of their Regard, and involve her Name in 
their Conspiracies — The Plot of Throgmorton — Association of 
English Subjects, chiefly directed against Mary — She is alarmed, 
and willing to submit to severer Terms of Liberation — Elizabeth 
cultivates an Interest with James and his Ministers; her Alarm 
for Queen Mary in a public and national Point of View — Mary's 
imprudent and offensive Letter — Sadler intrusted for a Time 
with the Custody of the Scottish Queen — His Discontent with 
the Duty imposed — Parry's Conspiracy — Severe Act of Parlia- 
ment passed in consequence » . . . „ „ . a 300 


Enthusiasm of the Age— Projects of the Catholics against the Life 
of Elizabeth — Plot of Ballard— He communicates with Babing- 
ton — They have a Picture of their Associates— Contrive the Lib- 
eration of Mary — They are betrayed by the Spies of Walsing- 
ham — The English resent the Conspiracy as a Plot of Mary — 
The Ministers of Elizabeth press the taking of her Life — She is 
committed to the Charge of Sir Amias Paulet — Her Health be- 
comes more feeble — Her Wants and Complaints — It is resolved 
to bring her to Trial— Mary's Papers are seized; her Secretaries 


made Prisoners; and her Cabinets broken open — She is trans- 
ported to Fotheringay — A Commission appointed to try her— 
She refuses to plead before it, but at length submits — Her Ac- 
cusation and Defence — The Commissioners Remove to London- 
Objections to the Evidence — The Commissioners, however, pro- 
nounce Sentence of Death — The Parliament press for the Publi- 
cation and Execution of the Sentence — Elizabeth's hypocritical 
Answer — Mary writes to Elizabeth; but receives no Answer — 
James interferes, first by his Ambassador Keith, and after by 
the Master of Gray and Sir James Melville — His Ambassador ill 
received by Elizabeth — James sends more spirited Instructions 
to his Envoys — The Master of Gray betrays the Cause of Queen 
Mary, and the Purpose of his Embassy — James requires the 
Scottish Church to pray for his Mother: they decline the 
Office — Elizabeth's Uncertainty — She contrives to throw the is- 
suing of the Death Warrant upon her Secretary and Council, 
after some attempts to instigate Mary's Keepers to put her to 
Death in Private — Mary resigns herself to her Fate — She is 


Queen Mary's Death the Subject of Rejoicings in England — But of 
affected Surprise and Sorrow to Elizabeth — She sends Carey 
to apologize to James — He is not received, but forwards the 
Queen's Excuses — She throws the Blame on Davidson, who is 
ruined — James harbors Thoughts of Vengeance; but is soon led 
to abandon them — Sir William Stewart impeaches Gray, who 
is convicted and banished — Scotland distracted with deadly 
Feuds — James endeavors to reconcile them — An Entertain- 
ment given by the City of Edinburgh on the Occasion — His 
Purpose in a great Measure fails — Feud of Mar with the Bruces 
and other Gentlemen of the Carse of Stirling — Statute respect- 
ing Church Lands, and concerning the Representation of the 
Barons in Parliament — Spanish Armada — Offers from Spain — 
Advice of Maitland — Fate of the Armada — Embassy of Sir 
Henry Sidney — Insurrection of the Catholic Lords in Scotland- 
Embassy from Denmark insulted by the Earl of Arran, and the 
Envoys pacified by the Wisdom of Sir James Melville — A Treaty 
of Marriage between James and a Princess of Denmark — It is 
traversed by Elizabeth, but in vain — Finally concluded — James 
sails for Denmark — Justifies his doing so by a singular Proc- 
lamation — Is married at Upsal, and returns to Scotland with 
his Bride . , 9 .... 253 



Anne of Denmark — Her Family — Her Coronation — Her Clergy in 
Favor with the King — Bothwell consults with Magicians — Is 
imprisoned — Breaks his Word — Attacks Holyrood Palace, but 
is beaten off — Huntley burns the House of Dunnibirsel, and kills 
the Earl of Murray — General Dissatisfaction — Bothwell attacks 
Falkland, but is beaten off — Escape of Wemyss of Logie — Prog- 
ress of Catholicism — Affair of the Spanish Blanks — Clergy in- 
terpose, and urge the King to more severe Prosecution of the 
Catholics — Bothwell surprises the King, who is obliged to sub- 
scribe Articles— The Convention declare they are not binding — 
Bothwell again discharged the King's Presence — The Catholic 
Lords are excommunicated, and James is reduced to great Anx- 
iety — Bothwell advances on Edinburgh — He retires before the 
King — Defeats the Earl of Home — Compelled to retreat to the 
Borders — Feuds of the Johnstones and Maxwells — Battle of the 
Dryffe Sands — The Charge of pursuing the Catholic Lords is 
committed to Argyle — He is defeated at Glenlivet by Huntley 
and Errol — The King suppresses the Catholic Lords — Bothwell 
goes abroad, and dies in Misery — Death of Captain James 
Stewart — The King devolves the Management of his Revenue 
upon the Ministers called Octavians — The3' enforce general Re- 
trenchment — Popular Clamor against them — They incur the 
King's Displeasure, and resign 280 


Kinmont Willie made Prisoner by the English — The Scottish 
Warden attacks Carlisle Castle, and liberates him — Elizabeth 
demands that Buccleuch should be delivered up, which is re- 
fused by the Scottish Parliament — He visits England of his own 
Accord, and is honorably received — The Catholic Lords give 
new trouble — James proposes that they shall be reconciled to 
the Church — the Scottish Clergy take alarm, and establish a 
Standing Committee of the Church at Edinburgh — Black 
preaches a Sermon highly disrespectful to the King — He is 
called before the Privy Council — The Clergy encourage him to 
disown the jurisdiction of the Judges — He is found guilty, and 
banished to the North — Misunderstanding between the King 
and Church — Great Tumult in Edinburgh— The King leaves the 
City, and removes the Courts of Justice — The Clergy apply to 
the Lord Hamilton to support them, but in vain — He returns 
to Edinburgh, attended by the Border Clans and others — The 


Citizens are alarmed for fear of being Plundered — James makes 
a Composition and pardons them — He becomes desirous to new 
model the Church of Scotland, by introducing Episcopacy; but 
is obliged to proceed with great Caution — The Order of Bishops 
is established under strict Limitations 312 


Gowne Conspiracy — Character of Gowrie and his Brother — Alex- 
ander Ruthven tells the King a singular Story to induce him 
to come to his Brother's Castle at Perth — James goes thither, 
and is coldly received — Alexander decoys him into a Cabinet 
and there assaults him — The King alarms his Retinue with his 
Cries — The Two Brothers are slain — The King is in Danger from 
the incensed Populace — He cannot convince the Clergy of the 
Reality of his Danger, and has great Difficulty in prevailing on 
them to return Thanks to Heaven for protecting him — Dif- 
ferent Theories on the Subject, and that which acquits the 
Brothers Ruthven, or the elder of them, is shown to be at- 
tended with far more Improbability — Sprot's Letters — The His- 
tory of that Discover}'— They afford a consistent Clew for con- 
jecturing the Purpose of the Conspiracy — Trial of Logan after 
Death — Execution of Sprot the Notary — An Attempt to civilize 
the Hebrides — It is unsuccessful 882 


King James's Claim of Succession to the English Crown — Is agree- 
able to both Countries — And why the Prospect of a masculine 
Reign was acceptable — James's personal Character favorably 
estimated — More extensive national Views arise out of the 
Union of the Crowns — The Catholics of England are favorable 
to James — Mysterious Intercourse between James's Secretary, 
Balmerino, and the Pope — Claims of Spain, of France, and Lady 
Arabella Stewart, are postponed to those of the King of Scot- 
land, even by the Catholics — He maintains a Scottish Faction 
at the Court of Elizabeth — The Queen's Failings become more 
visible in age — Chivalrous Character of Essex, her Favorite — He 
is at the Head of the Swordsmen in her Court — Robert Cecil at 
the Head of an opposite Faction, consisting chiefly of Civilians 
— He shuns connecting himself with James, but refuses to enter 
into any other Interest — The Quarrel with Essex — Essex's Mis- 
carriage in Ireland — He is disgraced — Enters into a rash In- 


surrection — Fails — Is made Prisoner, tried, condemned, and 
executed — Anecdote of Lady Nottingham — The Earl of Mar and 
Bruce of Kinloss sent by James to London with private In- 
structions to advance his Interest — The Earl of Northumberland 
and the Catholics propose violent Measures, which James de- 
clines — Cecil joins his Party, but with much Precaution — His 
Intercourse with Scotland is nearly detected — Opponents of 
James's Claim few and disunited — Scotland exhibits a tranquil 
Appearance — The Queen discovers the Fraud of the Countess 
of Nottingham, and falls into a mortal Malady — Dies — Carey 
bears the News to Scotland, which is confirmed by authentic 
Intelligence — James takes Leave of his ancient Subjects, and 
sets out for England — Meets the Funeral of Lord Seton — One 
Gentleman attends the King's Progress — His Reason — James 
is received in Berwick triumphantly; and the History of Scot- 
land concludes 859 

Supplementary Chapter 385 



Disadvantages of the Protestants — They receive Supplies of Treasure 
from England: a large Sum of which is intercepted by the Earl 
of Bothwell — The Protestants are repulsed from Leith, and re- 
tire to Stirling much discouraged — They recover Courage at the 
Exhortation of John Knox; and send Lethington to the Court 
of England — Aid is granted to the Reformers by Elizabeth — A 
Detachment of the French ravage the Coast of Fife — The Prot- 
estant Gentlemen skirmish with them — Critical Arrival of the 
English Fleet — The French retreat 

THE lords of the congregation were not long in discov, 
ering that in the task of besieging a fortified town 
like Leith, defended by veteran and disciplined 
troops, they had greatly overrated their own strength. 
The town, being open to the sea, could not easily be re- 
duced by famine; and the insurgents, however brave in 
the battlefield, were far inferior to the French in the attack 
and defence of fortified places. Brantome gives us reason 
to believe that the talents of the general of the French were 
of the first order, and affirms that it was sufficient to gain a 
high name in arms to have assisted at the siege of Leith. 

But the Scottish nobles labored under other disadvantages 
besides inferiority in military skill. A still greater difficulty 
arose from the want of money to pay and maintain an army 
in the field, without which the feudal array of the reformed 
chiefs was sure to crumble to pieces anew in the space of a 
month or two. Meantime the necessary suspension of hos- 
tilities gave the queen an opportunity of disuniting the league 
of the reformed party by tampering with its leaders individ- 



ually, and several who had been proof against the regent's 
threats were found not inaccessible to her promises. To 
guard against such pressing evils, the lords of the congre- 
gation resolved upon invoking the assistance of England, 
the only neighbor of power and wealth whose alliance or 
countenance could counterpoise that of France. 

The cause of the reformation had been espoused and 
defended by Queen Elizabeth, whose right to the crown 
and whose title to legitimacy depended upon her father 
Henry's having disowned the authority of the Church of 
Rome. Indeed, if she herself had not seen her danger from 
the queen of Scots' title being set up in preference to her 
own, the princes of Lorraine had, with arrogance peculiar 
to their house, called her attention to the subject by making 
open pretence to the throne of England in behalf of their 
niece, Mary of Scotland. Money had been struck in France 
bearing the arms of England ; proclamations had been made 
in the names of Francis and Mary, as king and queen of that 
country, as well as of France and Scotland; and an open 
and avowed claim to the crown of England was brought 
forward in Queen Mary's behalf by every mode short of a 
direct challenge of Elizabeth's title. The English Catholics 
were known to be favorable to these views. It was natural, 
therefore, that Elizabeth, whose birth and title of succession 
were thus openly impugned by the princes of Lorraine, 
should foster and encourage those Scottish insurgents who 
were in arms to dispossess their sister, the queen -regent, of 
the government of Scotland. Accordingly, though accus- 
tomed to act with great economy, she was readily induced 
to advance considerable sums to the lords of the congre- 
gation, by which assistance, in 1559, they were enabled to 
form the siege of Leith. 

Their undertaking was, at first, very unfortunate. A 
large sum of the subsidy furnished by Queen Elizabeth fell 
into the hands of the Earl of Bothwell, whose ill-omened 
name now first appears in history, and who had adopted the 
faction of the queen-mother. Two skirmishes, in which 


the Protestants were defeated, filled the besiegers with con- 
sternation : they renounced their enterprise precipitately, and 
retreated from Edinburgh to Stirling with fallen hopes and 
an army diminished by desertion. But Knox encouraged 
them by his fulminations from the pulpit: he sternly up- 
braided the hearers with their confidence in the arm of flesh, 
and promised them victory as soon as they should humble 
themselves to acknowledge the power of the Divine Disposer 
of events. The severe minister reminded them of the former 
errors of some among them, of the selfish views of others, 
of the want of concord among their leaders, the deficiency of 
zeal among the followers, and charged on their own faults 
and follies those losses which men of more timorous spirit 
ascribed to the superiority of the enemy. The eloquence of 
this extraordinary and undaunted preacher was calculated 
to work on the stubborn and rough men to whom it was 
addressed. The lords of the congregation resumed their 
purpose of resistance to the last, and resolved to despatch 
William Maitland of Lethington, one of the most distin- 
guished statesmen of his time, to show the queen of England 
the pressure of the circumstances under which the} 7 labored, 
and to demonstrate the necessity of assisting them in their 
defence, unless she would be content to see the Protestant 
party in Scotland utterly destroyed. The negotiator selected 
an this occasion had recently held the office of secretary to 
the queen ; but as he dissented from the counsels which were 
transmitted to her from Paris, and had remonstrated with 
firmness against the measures to which she was instigated 
by attachment to her faith and family, he incurred the 
oatred and suspicion of the French to such a degree that 
he considered his life in danger from their resentment. 
Under such personal apprehension he fled from Leith to join 
ihe lords of the congregation at Stirling; for although he 
professed the reformed faith, he was never believed to be 
ieeply animated with religious zeal. The great reputation 
which Lethington enjoyed as a statesman did not exceed his 
peal abilities; and his judicious remonstrances easily per- 


suaded the sagacious Elizabeth to grant the succors required 
by his constituents. 

It was the marked attribute of this great princess's ad- 
ministration, that, slow and cautious in adopting steps of 
importance, she was equally prompt and determined in the 
execution of them; and she took her measures on this occa- 
sion with her characteristic wisdom and activity. 

In the meantime the queen-regent of Scotland, who had 
received some additional assistance from France, and was 
in expectation of a much larger force, resolved to press the 
moment of advantage before the power of England could 
be put in motion. A body of French infantry, and a con- 
siderable party of horse, amounting altogether to about four 
thousand men, were sent into Fife, the most civilized part 
of Scotland, and where the inhabitants were most devoted 
to the Protestant faith, to punish the rebellious, and to de- 
stroy the power of the barons of that district. The invaders 
passed by the bridge of Stirling, and then marched eastward 
along the coast of the Firth of Forth, burning and wasting 
the villages and gentlemen's houses with which the shores 
were thickly studded. This was not done without much 
resistance and retaliation. The prior of Saint Andrew's, 
Lord Ruthven, Kirkcaldy of Grainge, a gentleman of Fife 
distinguished for his pre-eminent courage in an age when 
courage was a universal attribute, with other active leaders 
of the congregation, attended upon the motions of the French 
detachment, limited their forays, skirmished with them on 
every occasion, and conducted their resistance with such 
zeal and activity that though in number only five or six 
hundred men, they gained occasional advantages, and main- 
tained by their zeal and courage, even in these arduous cir- 
cumstances, the character of their country and the spirit 
of their part}'. The two armies continued for several days 
to move along the coast ; the flames of towns and villages 
marking the progress of the French, and the sudden and 
vigorous charges of the Protestants interrupting from time 
to time the work of devastation, when the sight of a gallant 


navy of ships of war sailing up the Firth of Forth attracted 
the attention of both parties. D'Oysel, the French general, 
concluded that they were the fleet expected from France, 
and in that belief made his soldiers fire a general salute. 
But he was soon painfully undeceived by the capture of two 
of his own transports, which sailed along the shore to supply 
his men with provisions, and presently after this act of deci- 
sive violence the fleet showed English colors. 

It was now the turn of the French to fly, as the invading 
detachment must otherwise have stood in considerable dan- 
ger of being cut off from their friends on the southern side 
of the Forth. So that, instead of marching onward to Saint 
Andrew's and Dundee, both which towns had been especially 
devoted to plunder and destruction, d'Oysel attempted a re- 
treat to Stirling, by a dangerous march in the opposite direc- 
tion. The Scots had broken down a bridge over the Devon, 
hoping to intercept the enemy's return; but the French, well 
acquainted with the duties of the engineer, threw over a 
temporary bridge, composed of the roof or timbers of a 
church, which afforded them the means of passage. They 
effected with difficulty their retreat to Stirling, and from 
thence to Lothian. The critical arrival of the English fleet 
being considered as an especial interference of Providence 
in the Protestant cause, gave new courage to the lords of 
the congregation, who assembled forces on every side. The 
English land army, amounting to six thousand men, under 
Lord Grey de Wilton, now entered Scotland, agreeably to 
the engagement of Elizabeth, and united their forces with 
those of the Protestants. The French troops retired into 
Leith, and prepared to make good their defence, in hopes 
of receiving succor from France. The town was instantly 
blockaded by the English fleet on the side of the sea, and 
beleaguered on the landward side by the united armies of 
Scotland and England. 

In 1560, the eyes of all Britain were bent on this siege 
of Leith, which the English and Scottish, now for the first 
time united in a common cause carried on with the utmost 


perseverance, while the French defended themselves with 
such skill and determination as was worthy the character 
they bore of being the best troops in Europe. They were, 
indeed, defeated at the Hawkhill, near Loch End, where 
the Scottish cavalry charged them with great fury, and 
gained considerable advantage; but the garrison of Leith 
shortly after avenged themselves by a successful sally, in 
which they killed double the number they had lost at the 
Hawkhill. On this occasion it became evident that the En- 
glish, who had not lately been engaged in any great national 
war, had in some degree lost the habit of discipline. The 
attack on the besiegers found their lines carelessly watched; 
and the ground where they opened their trenches being 
unfit for the purpose, argued inexperience on the part of 
the engineers. 

The loss which they had sustained taught the English 
greater vigilance and caution; but so intimately were the 
French acquainted with defensive war that the siege ad» 
vanced very slowly. At length a breach was effected and an 
assault both terrible and persevering was made on the town. 
The ladders, however, which were prepared for the occasion 
proved too short for the purpose, and the besiegers were 
finally repulsed with great loss. The English were at first 
depressed by this repulse ; but they were encouraged to con- 
tinue the siege by the Duke of Norfolk, commanding in the 
northern counties of England with the title of lieutenant. 
He sent a reinforcement of two thousand men, with an as- 
surance that the besiegers should not lack men so long 
as there were any remaining between Tweed and Trent. 
The siege was renewed more closely than ever, with reli- 
ance rather on famine than force for reducing the place. 
But the garrison endured without murmur the extremity 
of privation to which they were reduced, and continued to 
maintain the defence of Leith with the most undaunted 

While the affairs of Scotland were in this unpropitious 
condition, Mary of Guise, whose misrule had been the cause 


of these civil hostilities, died in the castle of Edinburgh, 
That strong fortress had remained during the civil war 
under the charge of the Lord Erskine, who remained neu- 
tral between the parties, and would admit neither of them 
in any numbers into the important national citadel. But 
when the siege of Leith was about to commence, the queen- 
regent, weak in health and broken in spirits, and unable to 
partake in the dangers and hardships to which the town 
was about to be exposed, requested to be received into the 
castle of Edinburgh for the safety of her person. This was 
readily granted by the Lord Erskine, on condition that she 
should be attended by a train so limited as to excite no ap- 
prehension for the security of the place. Here her disease, 
which was of a dropsical nature, gradually increased, aggra- 
vated, no doubt, by mental distress, arising out of the diffi- 
culties which multiplied around her. 

On her death-bed she desired an interview with the prior 
of Saint Andrew's and some of the lords of the congrega- 
tion, and expressed her sorrow for having listened to the 
councils which had brought the country to the pass in which 
it now stood. Having thus confessed her own errors, she 
pressed on them the necessity of keeping in view their duty 
to their infant sovereign. She heard with respect the ad- 
monitions of "Willox, a Protestant divine of eminence, not, 
as we may suppose, with any idea of renouncing her own 
faith, but to give a sign of the candor toward those of a 
different persuasion, from which, in her life, she had too 
often departed. In these melancholy circumstances died 
Mary of Guise, of whom it was justly said that her talents 
and virtues were her own ; her errors and faults the effect 
of her deference to the advice of others, and especially of 
her aspiring brothers. 

Her death was speedily followed by proposals of peace 
from France. The ambitious views of the House of Lorraine 
had engaged France in a war not only with Scotland but 
with all Britain; and their sister's death deprived them of 
that interest in the Scottish government which Bothwell, 


Seton, and a very few other Scotsmen of influence hitherto 
acknowledged. Leith was now reduced to the last extremity, 
and must be either effectually reinforced or surrendered. 
The position of affairs in France afforded strong reasons 
against detaching any considerable force for relief of the 

The enterprise of Amboise had opened to view a deep 
and extended conspiracy against the power of the House ®f 
Lorraine; and though it was discovered and prevented for 
the time, yet its elements existed all over France, and a 
single spark might unexpectedly extend a conflagration over 
the whole. It was, therefore, a point not of prudence only 
but necessity on the part of the French government, instead 
of sending fresh troops to Scotland, to make such an accom- 
modation with the nobles of the kingdom as would permit 
them to withdraw the veteran troops who were cooped up 
in Leith, in order to their being employed in more pressing 
service at home. 

In managing a difficult negotiation, where France was 
confessedly the weaker party, the princess of Lorraine em- 
ployed Monluc, bishop of Valence, and the Sieur de Randan, 
men of consummate talent. Cecil, and Wotton, dean of 
Canterbury, were present at the conferences, on the part 
of England. The removal of the foreign troops was quickly 
agreed on; for the French government now desired their 
presence at home as much as the Scots wished their absence. 
The fortified places of Leith, Dunbar and Inch Keith were 
to be surrendered, and the fortifications destroyed. It was 
made a condition that no foreign forces should be introduced 
into Scotland without consent of parliament. The adminis- 
tration of government was vested in a council of twelve per- 
sons, of whom seven were to be named by the king and 
queen, and the other five by parliament. An indemnity 
was stipulated for whatever violences had been committed 
by either party during the civil war. On the matter of re- 
ligion, it was declared that the estates should report to the 
king and queen their opinion on that matter; and it was 


agreed that the parliament should be convoked without 
further summons. 

A treaty was at the same time made between France 
and England, by which Francis and Mary recognized in the 
fullest manner the claim of Elizabeth to the English crown, 
and agreed that Mary, in time to come, should neither as- 
sume the title nor bear the arms of England. By this pacifi- 
cation, which was called the Treaty of Edinburgh, the civil 
wars of Scotland were conducted to a termination highly 
favorable to the cause of the Protestant religion, and very 
different from what seemed at first probable. 



Petition to the Scottish Parliament on the Part of the Reformers— 
The Parliament abolish the Roman Catholic Form of Worship, 
and prohibit the Celebration of the Mass under severe Penalties 
— The Change of Religion meets no Opposition from the Catho- 
lic Bishops and Prelates; but gives great Offence to Francis 
and Mary, who receive an Envoy from Parliament very coldly 
— The Church Government of Scotland is arranged on a Cal- 
vinistic and Presbyterian Model — The Clergy are meanly pro- 
vided for, the Nobles retaining the greater Part of the Spoils of 
the Catholic Church — Debates on this Subject — Character of the 
Presbyterian Church of Scotland — Destruction of the Ecclesias- 
tical Buildings — Queen Mary returns to Scotland; her Recep- 
tion at Edinburgh — Intolerant Zeal of the Reformers, expressed 
in Pageants and by Riots, and by the vehement Exhortations of 
John Knox — These Disturbances appeased by the Moderation 
of Lord James Stewart, Prior of Saint Andrew's — Transactions 
with England — Correspondence between the Queens 

THE Scottish parliament met on August 1, 1560. They 
had never assembled in such numbers, or had affairs 
of such weight before them; but the most pressing 
and important business was a petition from the principal 
Protestants, comprehending the chief lords of the congrega- 
tion, desiring and urging the parliament to adopt a formal 
manifesto against the errors and corruptions of the Church 
of Rome, the exorbitance of its power and wealth, and its 
oppressive restrictions on the liberty of conscience. The 
parliament, with little hesitation, adopted the declaration, 
that the domination of the Church of Rome was a usurpa- 
tion over the liberties and consciences of Christian men; and 
to make their grounds of dissent from his doctrines still more 
evident, they promulgated a confession of faith, in which 
they renounced, in the most express terms, all the tenets 


by which the Church of Rome is distinguished from other 
Christian churches, and disowned the whole authority of 
the Roman pontiffs and the hierarchy of their church. The 
entire system of ecclesiastical government, both in doctrine 
and practice, which had existed for so many centuries, and 
been held inviolably sacred, was by these enactments utterly 
overthrown, and one altogether new adopted in its stead. 
The worship of Rome, so long that of the kingdom and of all 
Europe, was at once denounced as idolatrous ; and, following 
one of Rome's worst tenets, secular punishments were men- 
aced against those who continued to worship according to 
the manner of their fathers. The celebration of mass was 
punished in the first instance by banishment, in the second 
by a forfeiture of goods and corporal punishment, in the 
third by death itself. 

It is remarkable that the acts of parliament authorizing 
these great and radical changes in the religion and church 
government of the country passed without the slightest op- 
position on the part of the Roman Catholic churchmen, 
bishops, and mitred abbots, who had still retained seats in 
the Scottish parliament. They were confounded and over- 
awed by the unanimity with which the nobility, gentry, and 
burgesses united in these innovations. As their zeal for the 
peculiarities of their faith certainly assumed no self-denying 
form, it is probable no one ecclesiastic might care to draw 
upon himself, as an individual, the popular hatred, and per- 
haps the popular vengeance, likely to attend on any one who 
opposed the general demand for reform ; and all might hope 
that the propositions approved in parliament had every 
chance of falling to the ground by the king and queen re- 
fusing their consent. 

Neither did they in that respect calculate falsely. Sir 
James Sandilands, Lord Saint John, being sent to announce 
the proceedings of this reforming parliament to Francis and 
Mary, was very coldly received at the court of France, and 
the ratification of its statutes which he sought to obtain was 
positively refused. The princes of Lorraine, on the other 


hand, by their insolent carriage toward the envoy, by their 
general expressions of resentment, by the levy of troops, and 
their employing Lord Seton and other active agents in Scot- 
land to draw together those who still favored the Catholio 
cause, intimated their purpose that the war should be re- 
kindled in Scotland in the next spring, by the invasion of a 
French fleet and army. But these intentions were cut short 
by the sudden death of Francis II., who had acted as much 
under the influence of his beautiful wife as she herself, their 
niece, had under that of the princes of Lorraine* Charles 
IX,, the brother and successor of Francis, was entirely gov- 
erned by the councils of his mother, who, jealous of the 
ascendency which Mary had acquired over her deceased 
husband, avenged herself, now that she had the power in 
her hands, by so many marks of slight and contempt, that 
the younger queen-dowager, overwhelmed with the reverse 
of fortune, retired entirely from the court, and took up her 
residence in solitude at Rheims, 

The Scottish Protestants were rejoiced at the timely 
change which destroyed all possibility of their plans of 
reformation being disturbed by the power of France, and 
proceeded with full assurance of success to complete the 
model of their church government. The tenets of the cele- 
brated Calvin, respecting ecclesiastical rule, were selected, 
probably because they were considered most diametrically 
opposite to those of Rome, This form of church govern- 
ment had been established in the city of Geneva, where 
John Knox and other reformed teachers pursued their theo- 
logical studies, and it was earnestly recommended by them 
to the imitation of their countrymen 

This modification of the reformed religion differed in its 
religious tenets but little from that of the Lutherans, and 
still less from that which was finally adopted in England. 

But the Presbyterian system was, in its church govern- 
ment, widely distinguished from that of all countries which, 
renouncing the religious doctrines of the Roman clergy, had 
retained their hierarchy, whether in whole or in part. In- 


vented in a republican country, the Presbyterian government 
was entirely unconnected with and independent of the civil 
government of the State, and owned no earthly head. The 
Church was governed in the extreme resort by the general 
assembly of the Church, being a convocation of the clergy 
by representation, together with a certain number of the 
laity, admitted to sit and vote with them, as representing 
the Christian community, under the name of lay elders. In 
the original sketch of the Scottish Church discipline, provision 
was made for certain persons named superintendents, who 
were intrusted, as their name implies, with the spiritual 
power of bishopSc A digest of the forms of the Church, 
called the Book of Discipline, was willingly received and 
subscribed to by the leaders of the congregation, the lay 
reformers offering no objection to anything which the 
preachers proposed, whether respecting the doctrines of 
the Church or the forms by which it was to be governed. 
But though the clergy and laity went thus far hand in 
hand, there was a point at which their views and interests 
parted This was upon the mode in which the revenue of 
the Church of Rome should be disposed of, No less than 
one-half of the land in the kingdom of Scotland, and that 
by much the more valuable, had, one way or other, been 
engrossed by the popish clergy; and the lay nobles, out- 
stripped by them in wealth, and often in court favor, envied 
their large revenues at least as much as they abhorred their 
doctrines and disliked their persons. The hope of engrossing 
the principal share in so rich a plunder was probably looked 
forward to by the nobles as a compensation for the destruc- 
tion of the old form of church government, which presented 
so many good places of retreat for sons, legitimate or nat- 
ural, and near relations otherwise not easily provided for in 
so poor a country. Having seen this source of influence 
destroyed, they were desirous in exchange to secure the 
funds out of which it had arisen; and their surprise and 
displeasure were great when the Presbyterian clergy pre- 
ferred their claim for a share. Many of the aristocracy had 
Scotland. Vol, II.— 2 


already secured portions of the patrimony of the Church by 
feus, leases, and other modes of alienation exercised by the 
Catholic clergy, who, being still in lawful possession of the 
lands, were easily induced to sell or otherwise dispose of 
them to their lay friends; and without meaning to bring 
a charge of self-intended greediness against the whole body 
of Scottish laymen, distinguished as promoters of the refor- 
mation, we may fairly say that there was a large majority 
whose zeal for their own interest equalled at least that which 
they felt for the Protestant doctrines. 

Thus determined on their own private views, it was with 
the utmost reluctance the Scottish statesmen were induced 
to listen to a proposal, framed on a report of the reformed 
clergy, that the church revenues should be divided into three 
shares or portions, to be applied: 1. To the decent support 
of the clergy ; 2, to the encouragement of learning, by the 
foundation of schools and colleges; and, 3, to the support 
of the poor of the realm. Maitland of Lethington asked, 
with a sneer, whether the nobility of Scotland were now to 
turn hod-bearers, to toil at the building of the kirk. Knox 
answered, with his characteristic determination, that he who 
felt dishonored in aiding to build the house of God would 
do well to look to the security of the foundations of his own. 
But the nobles finally voted the plan to be a "devout imag- 
ination, a well-meant but visionary system, which could not 
possibly be carried into execution." At a later period the 
parliament were in a manner shamed into making some 
appointment for the clergy, payable out of the tithes which 
either remained in the hands of the bishops and abbots of 
the Scottish Church, or had fallen into the hands of lay 

By this arrangement the bishops, abbots, etc., were 
allowed to subsist as an order of proprietors, although 
deprived of all ecclesiastical dignity or office in the re- 
formed church; and their possession of the church reve- 
nues afforded the means by which the ecclesiastical posses- 
sions were transmitted to the lay nobility by sale, lease, 


and other modes of alienation. The general regulation of 
parliament bore, that the church property, whether in the 
hands of the bishops or of lay titulars, as the lay impropri- 
ators were called, should be liable to be taxed to th:> extent 
of one-third of their amount, for the support of the Protes- 
tant clergy ; and a committee was appointed to modify, as it 
was called, the especial stipends payable in every individual 
case, reserving by far the greater proportion of the fund in 
reversion to the prelatic possessor or lay titular. The obvious 
selfishness of these enactments gave just offence to the clergy. 
John Knox, deeply incensed at the avarice of the nobility, 
pronounced from the pulpit of Edinburgh, that two parts 
of the church revenue were bestowed on the devil, and a 
third divided between God and the devil. A hundred marks 
Scottish (not six pounds sterling) was the usual allowance 
modified to the minister of a parish: some parishes were 
endowed with a stipend of thrice that amount; and the 
whole sum allowed for the maintenance of the national 
Church, consisting of a thousand parishes, was about three 
thousand five hundred pounds a year, which paltry endow- 
ments were besides irregularly paid, and very much be- 
grudged. When it is considered how liberal the ancient 
kings and governors of Scotland had been to the Church 
of Rome, it appears that in this point, as in all others of 
doctrine and discipline, the Scottish reformers had held a 
line of conduct diametrically opposite to that pursued by 
their Catholic ancestors. 

This unkindly parsimony toward themselves was the 
more acutely felt by the Protestant preachers, as the prin- 
cipal lords of the congregation, and the Lord James of Saint 
Andrew's himself, were the persons by whom these miser- 
able stipends were modified. "Who would have thought," 
said the ardent Knox, "that when Joseph ruled in Egypt, 
his brethren would have come down thither for corn, and 
returned with their sacks empty? Men would have thought 
that Pharaoh's storehouse would have been emptied ere the 
sons of Jacob were placed in risk of starving for hunger." 


Wiskeart of Pittarrow, a zealous reformer, was appointed 
comptroller, to levy and pay the allotted stipends; but as 
the poor ministers complained to heaven and earth that they 
were not able to obtain payment even of the small pittance 
allowed them, it became a common phrase to bless the good 
laird of Pittarrow as a sincere professor, but bid the devil 
receive the comptroller as a greedy extortioner. 

Such were the original regulations of the Presbyterian 
Church of Scotland, which has now subsisted, with short 
interruptions, for more than three centuries, and set an ex- 
ample, with few exceptions, of zealous good men actually 
submitting to that indigence which had been only talked of 
by the monks and friars, and laboring in their important 
duties for conscience' sake, not for gain. Their morals are 
equal to those of any church in the world, and superior to 
most. As in the usual course of their studies they are early 
transferred from the university to the pulpit, the Scottish 
Church has not produced so many deep scholars or profound 
divines as those of the sister kingdom, whose colleges and 
fellowships afford room and opportunity for study till the 
years of full intellect are attained. On the other hand, few 
instances occur in which a Scottish minister does not possess 
a scholar-like portion both of profane learning and theologi- 
cal science. In the earlier days of the Church the Presby- 
terian clergy were hurried into some extremes, from their 
ardent desire to oppose diametrically their doctrines and 
practice to those of Rome, when it had been better to have 
conformed to the ancient practices. Because the Catholic 
Church demanded a splendid ritual, prescribed special forms 
of prayer, and occupied superb temples, the Scottish kirk 
neglected the decencies of worship, and the solemn attitude 
of devotion which all men assume in the closet ; and the vul- 
gar audience reprobated the preachers who showed so much 
anxiety to discharge their office as to commit their discourses 
to writing previous to delivering them. Because the Catho- 
lic priests easily granted absolution for such offences as their 
hearers brought in secret to the confessional, the kirk insisted 


upon performance of public and personal penance, even in 
cases which were liable to harden the feelings of the crimi- 
nal, to offend the delicacy of the congregation, and to lead 
to worse consequences. Instead of the worldly pomp and 
circumstance which the Church of Rome assembled around 
her, the reformed preachers could only obtain eminence by 
observing an austere system of morals themselves, and ex- 
acting the same from others — a practice which in extreme 
cases might occasionally lead to hypocrisy and spiritual 
tyranny. Lastly, as they disclaimed all connection with 
the State, the Scottish divines could not be charged, like 
the papist clergymen, with seeking the applause of mon- 
archs, and a high place in courts; but they cannot in the 
early ages of the Church be acquitted of interfering with 
the civil government in cases where they pretended that 
religion was connected with it (a connection easily discov- 
ered, if the preacher desired to find it), and so dedicating to 
politics the time and reasoning which were due to religion. 
The current of ages, however, and the general change of 
manners, have in a great measure removed those errors, 
imputable to the Scottish Church, and incidental to every 
human institution, which arose from superabundant zeal; 
and it is hoped and believed that, while some excesses have 
been corrected and restrained, it is, as a national church 
establishment, still animated by the more refined and purer 
qualities of fervid devotion. 

The fabric of the Roman Church having now been de- 
stroyed, unless in so far as its ruins afforded refuge to abbots 
in commendam, lay impropriators, and other titles given to 
such nobles as had enriched themselves at the expense of the 
establishment, the reformers were resolved to destroy those 
splendid monuments of ancient devotion, which, in their 
eyes, had incurred condemnation from having been the 
scene of a false or idolatrous worship. The work was in- 
trusted to the agents of the zealots among the party, who 
found ready assistance everywhere from a disorderly rabble, 
to whom devastation was in itself a pleasure. The basest 


covetousness actuated their superiors, who frequently lent 
their countenance to the destructive proceedings for the sake 
of the paltry gain which could be derived from the sale of 
the sacred vessels, bells, lead, timber, and whatever of the 
other materials could be turned to profit. Thus, by the blind 
fury of the poor, and the sordid avarice of the higher classes, 
"abbeys, cathedrals, churches, libraries, records, and even 
the sepulchres of the dead," says the eloquent Robertson, 
"perished in one common ruin." It is said John Knox him- 
self justified this unlimited destruction by the noted saying, 
"Pull down the nests, and the rooks will fly off!" an ex- 
pression, the politic meaning of which could only apply to 
the cloisters of the monks and friars. Other ill-instructed 
preachers gave encouragement to devastation, by quoting 
the examples afforded in the Old Testament of the destruc- 
tion of places in which idolatrous rites had been used: a 
manifest misapplication of Scripture, and one which, pushed 
to its conclusion, would have seemed to warrant an exter- 
minating war against those who adhered to the old religion, 
as well as against the destruction of sacred buildings. 

The only rational cause assigned for this havoc was, that 
so long as ancient shrines, images long venerated, relics 
averred to have wrought miracles, and similar objects of 
superstitious worship, were left in the eyes of the people, 
they might have proved the means of occasioning a relapse 
to the ancient faith. But thus far the object might have 
been obtained by following the example of the reformers in 
England, who defaced altars, removed images, and burned 
the relics of popery, to show that there was no power in 
them to help themselves, but spared for a better and more 
mtional course of worship the noble edifices in which they 
were installed. In scourging the buyers and sellers out of 
the temple, no violence was menaced against the sacred 
edifice itself, though it had incurred profanation. 

The ruin of the Scottish ecclesiastical buildings was, how- 
ever, almost universal. The citizens of Glasgow alone set 
an example of rational moderation in Scotland. The me- 


chanics of that city, under command of their deacon, took 
arms to resist the destruction of their venerable cathedral, 
at the same time offering their permission and assistance to 
destroy whatever could be made the object of idolatrous 
worship, but insisting that the edifice itself should be left 
uninjured; and, notwithstanding their having succeeded in 
saving this ancient fabric, we have never heard that pop- 
ery has regained its footing in the ancient diocese of Saint 

Having thus entirely new-modelled the system of church 
government and of national worship, the parliament of Scot- 
land resolved to recall from France the descendant of their 
monarchs, whose connection with that country was broken 
off by the death of her husband; naturally supposing that 
Mary, alone, and unsupported b} r French power, could not 
be suspected of meditating any interruption to the new order 
of religious affairs so unanimously adopted by her subjects. 

With this view, the lord prior of St. Andrew's, the queen's 
illegitimate brother, and a principal agent in all the great 
changes which had taken place since the commencement 
of the regency of Mary of Guise, was despatched to Paris 
to negotiate the return of his royal sister. The Catholics of 
Scotland sent an ambassador on their own part: this was 
Lesley, bishop of Ross, celebrated for his fidelity to Mary 
during her afflictions, and known as a historian of credit 
and eminence. He made a secret proposal, on the part of 
the Catholics, that the young queen should land in the north 
of Scotland, and place herself under the guardianship of the 
Earl of Huntley, who, it was boasted, would conduct her in 
triumph to the capital at the head of an army of twenty 
thousand men, and restore, by force of arms, the ancient 
form of religion. Mary refused to listen to advice which 
must have made her return to her kingdom a signal for civil 
war, and acquiesced in the proposals delivered by the prior 
of St. Andrew's, on the part of the parliament. The young 
queen took this prudent step with the advice of her uncles 
of Guise, who, fallen from the towering hopes they had 


formerly entertained, were now chiefly desirous to place 
her in her native kingdom, without opposition or civil war, 
in which the proposals of the bishop of Ross must have 
immediately plunged her. 

In 1561, Mary set sail for the country in which she was 
to assume a crown entwined with many thorns. Elizabeth 
had refused her a safe-conduct ; and it is said that the En- 
glish ships of war had orders to intercept her. The wid- 
owed queen of France took a lingering and painful farewell 
of the fair country over which she had so lately reigned, 
with expressions of the deepest sorrow. A mist hid her 
galleys from the English fleet; and she arrived safely at 
Leith on the 19th of August, in the aforesaid year. 

Her subjects crowded to the beach to welcome her with 
acclamations; but the preparations made for her reception 
had been too hasty to cover over the nakedness and poverty 
of the land. The queen, scarcely nineteen years old, wept 
when she saw the wretched hackneys, still more miserably 
accoutred, which were provided to carry her and her ladies 
to Hplyrood, and compared them in her thoughts to the fair 
palfreys with brilliant housings which had waited her com- 
mands in France. Upon her landing, her subjects, softened 
with the recollection of her early misfortunes, charmed with 
the excellence of her mien, the delicacy of her unrivalled 
beauty, the vigor of her blooming years, and the acuteness 
of her wit, were almost enraptured with joy. Some part of 
the reception afforded by their loyal zeal was well meant, 
but certainly ill chosen. Two or three hundred violinists, 
apparently amateur performers, held a concert all night be- 
low her windows, and prevented her getting an hour's sleep 
after the fatigues of the sea. Mary, though suffering under 
the effects of this dire serenade, professed to receive the com- 
pliment of these "honest men of the town of Edinburgh" as 
it was intended, and even ventured to hint a wish that the 
concert might be repeated. 

The circumstance of the queen differing from the greater 
part of her subjects in religion was not, however, forgotten ^ 


and it seems very early to have been considered as a crime 
on the part of Queen Mary, by the more zealous of her Prot- 
estant subjects, that she did not at once, and forever, relin- 
quish the Catholic religion, in which she had been bred up, 
and against which, in all probability, she had never heard a 
single word of argument till the first moment she touched 
Scottish ground. It seems to have occurred to no one that 
a sincere conversion could only be the result of argument 
and instruction, and that a hasty change of her early faith 
could only have indicated that the young queen was alto- 
gether indifferent on a subjest so serious. 

Her zealous subjects, whose hatred to popery had become 
a passion, tried the effect of reproaches and menaces upon 
the young queen, without waiting for the slower course of 
argument and persuasion. Pageants were presented before 
her, calculated to throw dishonor and reproach on the relig- 
ion which she professed ; and shows, made for the ostensible 
purpose of honoring the queen, were so conducted as to cast 
derision on the Catholic worship. As Mary made her sol- 
emn entry into Edinburgh, she was conducted under a tri- 
umphal arch, when a boy came out of a hole, as it were 
from heaven, and presented to her a Bible, a psalter, and 
the keys of the gates, with some verses, now lost, but 
which we may be sure were of a Protestant tendency. The 
rest of the pageant exhibited a terrible personification of the 
vengeance of God upon idolaters; and Kbrah, Dathan, and 
Abiram, were represented as destroyed in the time of their 
idolatrous sacrifice. The devisers of this expressive and 
well-chosen emblem, intended to have had a priest burned 
on the altar (in effigy, it is to be hoped), in the act of ele- 
vating the Host; but the Earl of Huntley prevented that 
completion of the pageant. These are the reports of Ran- 
dolph, envoy of England, who was present on the occasion, 
and who seems to have felt that by such proceedings the 
Protestants were acting too precipitately and overshooting 
their own purpose. 

These were but innuendoes of the dislike felt toward the 


queen's religion : the following incidents showed plainly that 
the niore violent reformers were determined that their sover- 
eign should not enjoy that toleration for which they them- 
selves had, not many years since, been humble petitioners. 
The prior of St. Andrew's, when he went over to France, 
had been warned by the preachers that to permit the im- 
portation of one mass into the kingdom of Scotland would 
be more fatal than an army of ten thousand men. It is 
probable, however, that he did not hesitate to promise that 
the queen should have the free exercise of her religion, 
and she prepared accordingly to take advantage of the 

But when, on the Sunday after Mary's landing, prepara- 
tions were made to say mass in the royal chapel, the reform- 
ers said to each other, "Shall that idol the mass again take 
place within this kingdom? — it shall not." The young mas- 
ter of Lindsey, showing in youth the fierceness of spirit 
which animated him in after life, called out, in the court- 
yard of the royal palace, that "the idolatrous priest should 
die the death according to God's law." The prior of St. 
Andrew's with great difficulty appeased the tumult, and 
protected the priests, whose blood would otherwise have 
been mingled with their sacrifice. But unwilling to avow 
an intention so unpopular he was obliged to dissemble with 
the reformers ; and while he allowed that he stood with his 
sword drawn at the door of the chapel, he pretended that 
he did not do so to protect the priest, but to prevent any 
Scottish man from entering to witness or partake in the 
idolatrous ceremony. 

It was immediately after this riot, and the display of the 
insulting anjl offensive pageant before mentioned, that the 
young queen had the first of her celebrated interviews with 
John Knox, in which he knocked at her heart so rudely as 
to cause her to shed tears. The stern apostle of presbytery 
was indeed unsparing of rebuke, without sufficiently recol- 
lecting that previous conviction is necessary before reproof 
can work repentance ; and that, unless he had possessed pow- 


ers of inspiration, or the gift of working miracles, he could 
not have, by mere assertion, converted a Catholic from the 
doctrines, however false, which she had believed in from 
her earliest childhood. Even Randolph, the English envoy, 
says of him, "I commend better the success of his doctrine 
and preachings than the manner of them, though I ac- 
knowledge his doctrine to be sound. His daily prayer for 
her is, that God will turn her heart, now obstinate against 
God and his truth ; and if his holy will be otherwise that he 
will strengthen the hearts and hands of the chosen and elect 
stoutly to withstand the rage of tyrants." Such orisons 
were little likely to conciliate the sovereign who was the 
object of them. Yet Knox afterward expressed remorse 
that he had dealt too favorably with the queen, and had 
not been more vehement in opposing the mass at its first 
setting up; according to the opinion of those who thought 
that a sovereign may and ought to be resisted in an idola- 
trous form of worship, or, in other words, excluded from the 
tolerance which her subjects claim as their dearest privilege. 

Tumults arose at Stirling on the same score of the queen's 
private worship: but though Mary felt the injury, and ex- 
pressed her sense of it by weeping and sorrowing, yet she 
wisely passed it over, and trusted to the influence of the prior, 
her brother, who, by his great interest among the wiser sort 
of the reformers, by proclamations banishing the monks and 
friars, and other popular steps in favor of the reformed re- 
ligion, procured a reluctant connivance at the celebration 
of the Catholic rites in the chapel royal. Mary, indeed, 
employed her brother as her first minister in all affairs, 
and especially in restoring quiet on the borders, where he 
executed many freebooters, and left England no cause of 

The intercourse of Mary with that country had always 
stood upon a delicate and doubtful footing. Elizabeth was 
desirous that the Treaty of Edinburgh, in 1560, which ended 
the war of the reformation, should be formally ratified, 
particularly in respect of that article by which the queen <i 


Scotland and her late husband had agreed to lay down, and 
never again to assume, the royal titles or arms of England. 
If Mary had complied with this clause without restriction, 
it would have been a virtual resignation of her right of 
succession to England through her grandmother, Margaret, 
daughter of Henry VII. ; a sacrifice which Queen Elizabeth 
was in no respect entitled to demand, nor Queen Mary dis- 
posed to grant. Lethington offered to ratify the clause of 
renunciation, if it were limited to Elizabeth's lifetime, which 
was all that was or could have been intended by the original 
treaty. But on the point of her successor Elizabeth was 
always desirous to preserve an affected obscurity; and to 
insist on entertaining any discussion involving that topic 
was to give her at all times the highest offence. Her min- 
isters, therefore, were pertinacious in demanding that Queen 
Mary should resign, in general terms, all right whatever to 
the crown of England, without restriction either as to time 
or circumstances. "While their envoys were engaged in these 
discussions, the two queens preserved a personal correspond- 
ence, in which high-flown and flighty professions of friend- 
ship and sisterly affection served to cloak, as is usual in 
such cases, the want of cordial it}' and sincerity which per- 
vaded the intercourse of two jealous females, each suspicious 
of the other. 



Insanity of the Earl of Arran — Lord James Stewart created Earl of 
Mar — The Grant offends the Earl of Huntley — Breach of the 
Peace by his Son Sir John Gordon — The Queen makes a Prog- 
ress to the North, where she is coldly received, and Inverness 
Castle is held out against her — The Earldom of Murray is con- 
ferred on Lord James, instead of that of Mar — Huntley rebels — 
Battle of Corrichie — Suitors for Mary's Hand — She determines 
to consult Elizabeth — The Queen of England behaves with In- 
sincerity; recommends the Earl of Leicester — The Scots cast 
their eyes on Henry Darnley — His Mother's Claims on the Suc- 
cession of England — Henry Darnley comes to Scotland, and 
renders himself personally agreeable to Queen Mary — Her Char- 
acter at this Period of her Life — Her Love of more private 
Society — The Rise of Rizzio at the Scottish Court — He becomes 
French Secretary to the Queen, and a Favorite — Elizabeth's 
Displeasure at the proposed Match of Mary and Darnley — She 
intrigues with the Protestant Party in Scotland — The Earl of 
Murray leaves the Party of the Queen, and joins that of the 
Reformed Nobles and Clergymen — Desperate Plots of the Earls 
of Darnley and Murray against each other: both fail — The 
Queen and Darnley are Married — Murray and the Duke of 
Chatelherault take up Arms — The Queen gathers an Army, 
drives the Insurgents from Place to Place, and finally compels 
them to retreat into England — They are ill received by Eliz- 
abeth, who disowns them and their Cause — Mary endeavors 
to obtain some Toleration for the persecuted Catholics —She 
accedes to the Catholic League of Bayonne 

THE young queen of Scotland conducted herself with 
great wisdom and popularity in the management 
of public business. She treated gravely of affairs 
of State with her council, with whom she held frequent 
sittings. Hunting, hawking, and other sports, filled up the 
day; and music and dancing were the usual amusements 
of the evening. These sports, however, gave additional 


offence and scandal to the Protestant preachers, men of 
ascetic and self-denying habits, who accounted such pleas- 
ures, if not positively sinful in themselves, as at least the 
ready inlets to sin, and who did not, in writing or preach- 
ing on such vanities, altogether place their pens or tongues 
under the guidance of that charity which thinketh no evil. 
Still the majority of her subjects made allowance for their 
queen's youth, gayety, and beauty, and, so long as she dis- 
charged her duty to her subjects in a grave and princely 
manner, did not blame her for endeavoring to enliven the 
court of her native kingdom with some shadow of the fes- 
tivities which had surrounded her while on the throne of 

In 1562 the young Earl of Arran, son of the Duke of 
Chatelherault, formerly governor of the kingdom, lodged 
an account of a plot, whereby the Earl of Bothwell and 
the Hamiltons had resolved to change the administration, 
by murdering the prior of St. Andrew's and Lethington. 
But this information was attended with no important con- 
sequences, the poor young nobleman who made it having 
shown symptoms of lunacy. He was afterward placed 
under confinement in the castle of Edinburgh, and, as will 
presently appear, was finally made the victim of unjust and 
cruel confiscation and oppression. 

A more serious convulsion took place in the same year. 
The Earl of Huntley has been mentioned as one of the few 
Scottish nobles who still professed the Catholic religion. 
The family, having been always loyal, had been liberally 
remunerated for their fidelity by former monarchs, and 
their estates, jurisdictions, and superiorities in the north 
of Scotland were almost as extensive as those which the 
great Earls of Douglas had possessed in the south. Their 
power, however, was less influential, its sources being more 
distant from the court. The present earl had expected, from 
similarity of faith, to have an especial share in the favor of 
Queen Mary ; and, disappointed to find her regard engrossed 
by her brother, Lord James the Prior, he viewed that states* 


man with jealous and envious eyes. About this time it 
happened that the queen conferred upon her brother the 
earldom of Mar and the lands belonging to it. This very 
natural liberality toward so near a relative increased the 
resentment of Huntley, who had occupied some possessions 
belonging to this estate without challenge, and now foresaw 
that the Lord James, in virtue of the royal grant, would 
insist on resuming them. Moreover, considering his high 
court favor, the new Earl of Mar's settlement in the north 
was likely to diminish Huntley's importance, and innovate 
upon his supremacy in these provinces. In the earldom of 
Mar the lord prior of St. Andrew's had gained a great point, 
though it was only a part of what his ambition aimed at; 
for he raised his hopes to the far more wealthy earldom 
of Murray, also possessed by Huntley, since the year 1548, 
in virtue of a grant from the crown. Thus Huntley was ex- 
posed, in fact, to the hazard of a much greater patrimonial 
loss than he at first apprehended. 

"While such causes of discontent occurred between these 
two powerful nobles, one of those instances of feudal vio- 
lence took place which are so frequent in Scottish history, 
and so often the prelude to acts of open rebellion. In 1562, 
Sir John Gordon, the third son of the Earl of Huntley, 
engaged in a fray with Lord Ogilvy in the streets of Edin- 
burgh, and dangerously wounded him. The queen caused 
both the offenders to be strictly confined, and was supposed, 
at the instigation of her brother Mar, to have been peculiarly 
rigorous in the case of young Gordon. This was a new sub- 
ject of offence ; and Sir John Gordon, escaping out of prison, 
hastened to his father's domains with loud complaints of ill 
usage and threats of revenge. 

During this altercation the queen had determined on a 
royal progress to the north. It has been strongly averred 
that the new Earl of Mar had proposed this expedition for 
his own purposes. If by this it be only meant that he de- 
sired the benefit of the royal presence and countenance to 
enable him to enter on the estate of Mar, or, if possible, on 


the earldom of Murray in lieu of it, the suspicion may be 
very just. But there is room for positively denying that 
he had any thoughts of using violence against Huntley, 
since he brought with him, into the province where his 
enemy was all-powerful, only a very moderate body of 
southland forces. 

The queen made a fatiguing, cold, and laborious journey, 
and was received with little courtesy in the north, where the 
effects of Huntley's displeasure against her brother and min- 
ister were sufficiently visible. Instead of being hailed with 
dutiful acclamations by crowds of submissive and faithful 
subjects, the aspect of the inhabitants was doubtful if not 
absolutely hostile, and her little troop of attendants were 
fain to observe the regular duties cf watch and ward against 
surprise. Her retinue of soldiers was indeed so small that 
it became necessary every man in her train, ambassadors 
and others, should keep watch in succession ; and the queen, 
instead of showing female affright at the grim front of war, 
lamented, with the spirit of her warlike fathers, that her sex 
prevented her mounting guard in turn, and forbade her to 
parade with jack and steel-cap, a broadsword and a Glas- 
gow buckler. When she arrived at Inverness, the castle 
was held out against her by the Gordons. But the garrison, 
proving inadequate to defend it, were forced to surrender, 
and the captain who had refused admission to his sovereign 
deservedly suffered the pains of death. 

In the meantime, Mar had accomplished the point which 
he had long struggled for, and prevailed upon the queen to 
grant him the earldom of Murray instead of that of Mar, 
to which it was now said to be discovered that Lord Erskine 
possessed a legal right, prior to that granted to Lord James 
Stewart. This new arrangement in favor of the queen's 
brother was the signal for open hostility. 

The Earl of Huntley, incensed at the recall of the royal 
gift of 1548 in his favor, now conceived that the ruin of his 
house was resolved upon, and determined to take up arms. 
He summoned together his vassals, and menaced an attack 


upon the new Earl of Murray and the forces who escorted 
the sovereign's person. 

The queen, in the meantime, proceeded to Darnoway, the 
principal messuage of the earldom of Murray; and having 
put her brother in possession of the honors and estates be- 
longing to that great lordship, she summoned the neighbor- 
ing barons and clans to join her array, and protect her 
against Huntley and his army. They brought their men 
to the queen accordingly, and the Earl of Murray led them 
against the Gordons, who were posted near Corrichie. Hunt- 
ley had but seven or eight hundred men, but reckoned on 
his interest among the northern barons, who had ostensibly 
joined Murray, but who, in reality, neither loved his person 
nor were willing to endure his power. 

The Earl of Murray drew up on a rising ground the 
small phalanx of southland men in whom he could confide, 
and commanded the northern clans, whose faith he doubted, 
to commence the attack on the Gordons, October 28, 1562, 
They did so, but with no desire of making a serious impres- 
sion ; and recoiling from the charge came running back with 
their antagonist close behind them on Murray's band of 
spearmen, who received both fliers and pursuers with lev- 
elled lances. The onset of the Gordons, made in the High- 
land fashion, with drawn swords and disordered ranks, was 
unequal to the task of breaking so firm a battalion. The 
assailants retired in disorder; and the instant they did so 
the neighboring clans, who had begun the fight, anxious 
to secure the favor of the victors, turned their swords upon 
the repulsed party, and endeavored to atone for their former 
flight by making slaughter among those before whom they 
had just retreated. 

The consequences of the loss of this battle of Corrichie 
were most disastrous to the family of Huntley. The earl 
himself, thrown from his horse, and too unwieldy to rise 
from the ground, was smothered in the retreat. His body, 
brought to town on a pair of panniers, was afterward pro- 
duced in parliament, where a doom of forfeiture was pro- 


nounced against him. His son, Sir John Gordon, condemned 
to be beheaded, was butchered at Aberdeen by an unskilful 
executioner. The doom of forfeiture was pronounced against 
this powerful family, and was not reversed until the 19th 
of April, 1567. It was supposed that the Earl of Huntley's 
purpose, had he possessed himself of the queen's person, was 
to have united her in marriage with one of his sons; but 
as there is no evidence to prove such a charge, we cannot 
extend his guilt beyond his avowed designs against Murray, 
his feudal enemy. 

Excepting the battle of Corrichie, the reign of Queen 
Mary had hitherto passed with great tranquillity, and, setting 
aside the suspicions of the clergy and their more zealous fol- 
lowers, with great contentment to her subjects. The Scots 
became naturally desirous that the race of their monarchs 
should be prolonged by their young queen forming a suit- 
able match. This being generally promulgated, a beauty 
with a kingdom for her dower was not likely to want wooers. 
The Archduke Charles, third son of the emperor, the infant 
Don Carlos, then heir of the Spanish monarchy, and the Duke 
of Anjou, brother of her late husband, preferred suit for 
Mary's hand; but as all these princes were Catholics and 
foreigners, the alliances they proposed would have once 
more revived the jealousies for her freedom in Church and 
State which Scotland had entertained, and would probably 
have again involved the country in an intestine war, as well 
as in a quarrel with England. 

This event was the more to be dreaded, because the clergy 
and the more zealous among the reformers had pressed upon 
the government the necessity of demanding the queen's 
assent to the alterations in the Church, and the modern 
institutions which had supplanted the ancient ecclesiastical 
system. The Earl of Murray (by which title we must here- 
after term the Lord James Stewart, hitherto called the prior 
of St. Andrew's), was, on the contrary, of opinion that the 
Protestants ought to temporize with the queen, allow for 
the prejudices of her education, and wait until further con- 


viction should open her eyes to the excellence of the reformed 
religion; and so warni grew the discussion between John 
Knox and the earl on this subject that the former renounced 
Murray's friendship, and a coldness between them ensued 
which continued for two years. 

In these delicate circumstances Mary saw the necessity 
of paying attention, in her choice of a husband, to the opin- 
ions and even to the prejudices of the reformers, and per- 
ceived no mode of doing this so certain as by consulting 
Queen Elizabeth, whose opinions were not likely to be dis- 
puted by the Scottish Protestants. Another powerful reason 
of state strongly recommended that Elizabeth should be 
advised with upon this occasion. The right which Mary 
possessed to the English succession was of a kind which Eliz- 
abeth, if she pleased, might find means of setting aside by 
assent of her parliament ; and she might probably do so, 
should her kinswoman form a union with a foreign or Cath- 
olic prince. On the contrary, there were hopes that, if Mary 
should agree to be guided by her advice, Elizabeth might 
acknowledge the queen of Scotland, allied to a husband of 
her own choosing, as the lawful heir of the English throne. 
Sir James Melville, an accomplished diplomatist, was sent 
to procure, if possible, some information upon Elizabeth's 
intentions in this important affair. 

It may be said of Elizabeth, that if ever there was a 
monarch whose conduct seemed, according to the speech 
of the old heathen, to be governed alternately by two souls 
of a very different disposition and character, the supposition 
might be applied to her. Possessing more than masculine 
wisdom, magnanimity, and fortitude on most occasions, she 
betrayed, at some unhappy moments, even more than female 
weakness and malignity. Happy would it have been for 
both queens had Mary's request for counsel and assistance 
reached Elizabeth while she was under the influence of her 
better planet. The English sovereign might then, with 
candor and good faith, have availed herself of the opportu- 
nity to conciliate the genuine friendship and to acquire the 


gratitude of her youthful relation, by guiding her to such 
a match as would have best suited the interests and assured 
the amity of the sister nations. Unfortunately, Elizabeth 
remembered with too much acuteness Mary's offensive 
pretensions to the crown of England, pretensions which 
were founded on the defect of her own title and the illegiti- 
macy of her birth, and she already regarded the queen of 
Scotland rather as a rival to be subdued than a friend to be 
conciliated. Besides, as a votaress of celibacy, Queen Eliza- 
beth was not greatly disposed to forward any marriage, 
more especially that of a princess who stood to her in the 
painful relation of a kinswoman possessing a claim to her 
throne, and a neighbor of her own sex and rank, between 
whom and herself comparisons must needs be frequently 
drawn with respect to wit, beauty, and accomplishments. 
The line of conduct prompted by these jealous feelings im- 
pelled Qu3en Elizabeth to embrace the opportunity, afforded 
by Mary's desiring her opinion upon her marriage, to cross, 
baffle, and disconcert any negotiations which might be en- 
tered into on that topic. For this purpose, after observing a 
great deal of oracular mystery, in order to protract matters, 
Elizabeth gave it as her advice that \Iary would do well to 
choose for her husband the Earl of Leicester, as a person on 
whom she herself would willingly have conferred her own 
hand, but for her resolution to live and die a maiden queen. 
The Earl of Leicester, as is vzell known, stood toward 
Elizabeth in the relation of a handsome and aspiring fav- 
orite. His claims, those of personal appearance excepted, 
were of a very ordinary character, yet the queen had con- 
ferred upon him the highest offices of the state, and it was 
shrewdly suspected had favored hicn. with a larger share of 
her own affections than she woi,a willingly have acknowl- 
edged. It is evident that by proposing this nobleman as a 
husband for Mary, Elizabeth could have no other view than 
to involve the queen of Scotland in a matrimonial treaty, 
which, while it might divert her mind from any other match, 
could never be brought to a satisfactory conclusion. 


The queen of Scots listened with approbation to Eliza- 
beth's advice, as far as it recommended to her to honor with 
her choice a subject and a native of Britain, so as neither 
to excite the resentment of England nor the suspicions of 
her own subjects, by again engaging in a foreign connec- 
tion. But many very reasonable considerations directed her 
thoughts to a person different from Leicester, a subject of 
her own, and a near relation to Queen Elizabeth. There 
were circumstances in the favored party's connection and 
descent which rendered the selection highly expedient. 

The person on whom the choice of Mary fell was Henry 
Stewart, Lord Darnley, eldest son of the Earl of Lennox, 
at this time an exile in England. Matthew, the father of 
Darnley, was himself the son and successor of that Lennox 
who was slain fighting against the allied forces of Hamilton 
and Douglas, near Kirkliston, on the 4th of September, 1526. 
Earl Matthew had been devotedly desirous of forwarding 
the proposed match between Edward VI. and Mary, while 
the latter was yet in infancy; and when the rest of the 
nobility entirely deserted what was called the English party 
he continued attached to his engagements with Henry VIII., 
and rather than renounce them fled to England, under a cer- 
tainty of being attainted, and placed himself under that 
monarch's protection. Henry was grateful, and did what 
he could to compensate Lennox for the evils of banishment 
and the loss of his Scottish estates. He bestowed on the 
exiled earl the fine manor of Temple Newsonie, near Leeds, 
and the hand of his own niece. This lady was daughter 
of King Henry's sister Margaret, queen-dowager of Scot- 
land, by her second husband, the Earl of Angus, and was 
mother of the reigning Queen Mary. It will be remem- 
bered that the queen-dowager was delivered of Lady Mar- 
garet Douglas during the time that her husband and she 
were expelled from Scotland. Lady Margaret was, there- 
fore, a native Englishwoman. 

Now, on the failure of Henry VIII. 's issue, those circum- 
stances of genealogy and birth tended to establish in Lady 


Margaret Douglas a claim to the English throne, which, 
according to the notion of the times, was capable of being 
placed in competition with those of the queen of Scotland. 
This will appear more plainly from the following considera- 

Queen Mary claimed the throne of England, failing Queen 
Elizabeth and her heirs, as grand-niece of Henry VIII., by 
her mother, the same Queen Margaret. Lady Lennox was 
that queen's full niece, and one degree nearer in blood to the 
reigning queeta than was Mary herself. Besides, the Coun- 
tess of Lennox had the great advantage over the queen of 
Scotland that she was a native Englishwoman, and it was 
at least possible that the English lawyers, in case of a con- 
test for the crown, might give the native of the soil a prefer- 
ence over the alien. This rendered the getting rid of Lady 
Margaret Lennox's pretensions of the greatest importance 
to Queen Mary, considering her prospects of the English 
succession; and it seemed so obviously desirable to unite 
both these titles by a marriage between Henry Darnley and 
the young queen of Scots, that a suspicion of it appears to 
have flashed across the mind of Elizabeth herself. After 
pointing out to Melville the various excellences which dis- 
tinguished her favorite Leicester, whom she pretended to 
recommend to Mary's choice, she added, pointing to Henry 
Darnley, "Yet you prefer to him that long lad yonder.'* 
This betrayed a suspicion which Elizabeth was little disposed 
to see realized, that there were, even thus early, thoughts 
of a match between Mary and Henry Darnley. It does not, 
however, appear to have been deep-rooted; for, upon Lennox 
applying to the queen of England for leave to go to Scotland 
under pretence of his wife having a claim as heir female on 
the earldom of Angus, her royal license for the journey seems 
to have been willingly granted. The truth, probably, was, 
that Elizabeth was too confident of her power to perplex any 
negotiation for marriage which Mary might enter into, both 
by her influence over the queen of Scotland herself, which 
she probably overestimated, and by the interest which her 


intrigues had maintained among the nobility of that king- 
dom. In this view, her permitting Darnley to appear as a 
suitor might serve only to embroil a transaction which she 
did not desire to terminate. 

Receiving the permission of Elizabeth, the Earl of Len- 
nox returned to Scotland after twenty years' absence, where 
he was most favorably received, He did not indeed succeed 
in making good his wife's claims on the earldom of Angus, 
which as a male fief was in the grasp of the Earl of Morton, 
who managed it in behalf of his nephew Archibald Douglas; 
but great favor was shown him by the queen, his claims on 
Angus were compensated by gifts from the crown, and he 
himself was restored in blood and estate against the forfeiture 
by which he was attainted. 

In a few months afterward Henry, Lord Darnley, the 
earl's only son, set sail for Scotland, with Elizabeth's per- 
mission, and about the 16th February, 1564-5, he waited 
upon Queen Mary, at "Wemys Castle; a most unfortunate 
meeting, as it proved, both for Mary and himself. There 
was nothing in Darnley's appearance which could raise any 
personal objection on the queen's part to weigh the policy 
which strongly recommended to her as a husband the high- 
born young nobleman who possessed, through his mother, 
a title to the succession of England which might stand in 
competition with her own. On the contrary, Henry, Lord 
Darnley, though of uncommon stature, was well made in 
proportion, possessed courteous manners and a noble mien, 
gained the eye and the heart of the queen by the showy 
accomplishments of dancing, tilting, hunting, and the like, 
and won the goodwill of her retinue by liberality, which 
large remittances received from his mother enabled him to 
maintain. He was at length emboldened by Mary's own 
smiles, and the general favor with which he had been re- 
ceived at court, to propose love to his sovereign; aud though 
he at first received a modest repulse, he came in course of a 
liitle time to be favorably listened to. 

With the purpose better to judge of the events which 


follow, we must take here a short review of the queen's 
personal character and behavior, adopting for our guide Sir 
James Melville, one who had the best opportunities of know- 
ing her, who was himself at once a sound Protestant and an 
accomplished courtier, and whose memoirs, now freed from 
all suspicion of interpolation, may be justly compared with 
the most valuable materials which British history affords. 1 

Queen Mary, since her arrival from France, had behaved 
herself after a manner so princely, honorably, and discreetly, 
that her reputation was spread abroad in all countries ; and 
she was at the same time so courteous and affable, that, 
excepting the Protestant preachers, whose judgment con- 
cerning a papist sovereign cannot be supposed unprejudiced, 
she had gained the universal love and approbation of her 
subjects. Unimpeachable in her public conduct, this accom- 
plished princess loved to retire into something like private 
society, but always with the honorable attendance of her 
ladies, and accessible to the ambassadors who resided at 
her court. When Randolph, the English envoy, pressed 
matters of state upon her at such a moment, "I see," she 
said, "you are weary of this reception. You had better 
preserve your diplomatic gravity, and return to Edinburgh, 
and keep all your weighty conversation till the queen return 
there ; for I promise you I do not know myself what is now 
become of her, or when she will return to her throne and 
canopy of state." 

It would seem that Mary herself was conscious of her 
tendency to this easy pleasantry, and had an apprehension 
that it might, in an unguarded moment, be carried too far. 
Indeed, something of this kind occurred in the case of one 
Chastellar, a French cavalier, half poet, half courtier, and 
entire madman. The queen used to amuse herself with this 
adventurer's eccentricity, by which ill-judged familiarity he 
was encouraged to conceal himself one night in her apart- 

1 See the late x>eautiful and correct edition printed from the original 
by the Bannatyne Club. 


ment. Being detected, he was dismissed with severe cen- 
sure, which did not hinder a man of such ill-regulated under- 
standing from renewing his attempt, for which he was tried 
and executed. His death suited his extravagant character. 
He refused ghostly consolation, prepared himself for his end 
with the verses of Ronsard, a French poet ; and as he knelt 
down to the block exclaimed, as his last words, "Farewell 
to the most beautiful and most cruel queen that ever lived. ' ' 

While Mary was in prosperity, nothing discreditable to 
her arose from Chastellar's insane conduct, yet, considering 
the fatal issue, it must have given her much pain, and may 
have been the cause of the injunction which she laid upon 
Melville. Under this anxiety, she amiably represented to 
him her youth and turn to cheerfulness, and imposed upon 
him the delicate task, that should she at any time forget 
herself, and be hurried into any impropriety of speech or 
behavior, he must interpose his admonition to reform the 
same. Melville would willingly have shifted this office upon 
the Earl of Murray and Lethington, by whom Mary's state 
affairs were managed; but the queen compelled him to 
accept the office of her monitor, as she could, she said, 
endure rebuke more willingly from a disinterested friend 
than from her immediate ministers. 

There was at this time in the court of Mary a man named 
David Rizzio, or Riccio, a native of Turin, a person of poor 
parentage, who had been, however, well educated, and, 
among other accomplishments, was an excellent musician. 
He came to Scotland in the train of an ambassador from 
Savoy; but his assistance being found useful to fill a part 
in the queen's private concerts, he left the envoy's service 
for that of Mary. Rizzio's knowledge of languages recom- 
mended him to the queen, who employed him in conducting 
her foreign correspondence ; and finding him apt, intelligent, 
and useful, upon the departure of her French secretary she 
promoted the Piedmontese to that confidential office. This 
situation, of course, procured him easy and frequent access 

to her presence and to her ear. The familiarity with which 
Scotland. Vol. II.— 3 


the queen naturally received him, as a man of little conse- 
quence, whose talents served, and whose accomplishments 
amused her, excited the resentment of the fierce nobility of 
Scotland. They observed with indignation that the foreign 
secretary, in virtue of his office, presented all papers to be 
signed b}^ her majesty ; and some of them would shoulder 
him, and frown on him, when they met him in the presence 
chamber. Others who had suits at court made the same 
observations, but, acting upon different principles, addressed 
themselves to the secretary for the furtherance of their busi- 
ness ; and Rizzio became rich from the gifts that flowed in 
upon him. 

Yet the poor secretary felt himself surrounded by ene- 
mies, and bewailed his condition to Melville as one of envy 
and danger. Melville, with his usual good sense, counselled 
him to decline making any ostentation of his credit with the 
queen, and to avoid showing any possession of her ear by 
forbearing to speak with her apart in the presence of her 
nobility. But Rizzio afterward told Melville that the queen 
desired him to wait upon her with his usual freedom. The 
sensible and faithful Melville then mentioned to the queen 
herself the conversation which had taken place, and the 
envy which her favor to Rizzio was drawing upon a man 
whose understanding was not very well able to endure it. 
The queen took no offence at the rebuke, but said she had 
used Rizzio no otherwise than his predecessor in office ; nor 
would she be controlled in the management of her private 

However imprudent Mary's conduct might be, there is no 
reason to believe that her intercourse with her secretary 
excited at this period of her life any further censure than 
that she allowed too much influence in affairs of business 
to a low-born foreigner raised from a mean condition. It 
has been since used as affording a pretext for charges of a 
grosser nature. 

The influence of Signor David, as he was termed, was 
accounted so powerful that Henry Darnley, in his suit to 


Mary, conceived it prudent to secure the countenance of 
Kizzio, whose vanity became more highly elevated by his 
being supposed to possess influence on such an occasion. 

Meantime Elizabeth, to her astonishment and mortifica- 
tion, learned that the queen of Scotland had formed an en- 
gagement with young Darnley, which was about to end 
in marriage. That sovereign had, no doubt, hoped that, in 
permitting Darnley to go down to Scotland, she was only 
putting another puppet on the stage, whom she could with- 
draw at pleasure, since, having all the Earl of Lennox's 
English property in her power, she might conceive that she 
possessed the regulation of his motions and those of his son, 
She was highly irritated at her disappointment. Her privy 
council echoed back a list, which she herself had suggested, 
of imaginary dangers attending Mary's match with Darnley, 
and an ambassador extraordinary was sent to enforce at the 
Scottish court the representations of Elizabeth and her coun- 
cil against the choice of an independent sovereign. Mary 
would certainly have acted as a weak queen, and an unusu- 
ally tame-spirited person, if she had submitted to this insult. 
She avowed her intention of marrying Darnley, justified her- 
self with dignity for so doing, affected at the same time a 
great desire to reconcile her sister sovereign to the match, 
and succeeded in adducing plausible arguments to prove that 
her choice possessed those recommendations which Elizabeth 
had in the commencement of their negotiation so pointedly 
demanded. She even offered to delay the actual marriage, 
if she could by that sacrifice obtain the approbation of her 
good sister and ally. 

From the firm tone of Mary's reply it was evident that 
she had determined on the match ; and Elizabeth saw it could 
only be broken off by some domestic opposition among the 
Scottish subjects, for exciting which the English queen pos- 
sessed ample means. The most formidable of these was her 
influence with the whole body of zealous Protestants, who, 
since the wars with the French in 1560, looked upon Eliza- 
beth as their especial friend, and the surest protectress of 


their faith. This influence was much increased at the crisis 
we speak of, from the Earl of Murray having withdrawn 
himself from the court, and placed himself in opposition to 
the queen's intended marriage with Darnley. 

The Earl of Murray had hitherto been the queen's prin- 
cipal minister, and had managed the affairs of the kingdom 
with equal skill and good fortune. But in this proposed 
match he foresaw the loss of his power. He was besides 
especially offended that the Earl of Bothwell, his personal 
enemy, was suffered to return to court, having been ban- 
ished from thence for an alleged conspiracy against his life. 
To remove this cause of complaint, Bothwell was again 
driven into exile; yet no persuasion could make Murray 
give consent to the proposed marriage. Darnley, with the 
rash folly and impetuosity of youth, had shown himself 
unfriendly to his bride's brother, jealous of his power, and 
envious of the large estates which that power had been the 
means of accumulating. On such topics he dwelt in the 
hearing even of those who were sure to report what he said 
to the jealous minister, whom it chiefly interested. Foresee- 
ing, therefore, an enemy to his own person and authority in 
the queen's proposed husband, Murray's eyes at the same 
time became rather suddenly opened to the great dangers 
which this match was likely to bring upon the Protestant 
religion. Hitherto his zeal had not been alarmed at the 
exercise of the Catholic superstition in the queen's house- 
hold; we have even seen him in person, with his drawn 
sword in his hand, defend the entrance of her private chapel 
during the celebration of the mass. But now that Mary was 
about to take a husband of her own persuasion, though by 
no means a bigoted papist, he joined the opinion of those 
who held one mass to be more dangerous to the common- 
wealth than an invasion of ten thousand men. A reconcilia- 
tion was effected between the Earl of Murray and John Knox, 
between whom a quarrel had previously arisen, on account 
of the indulgence of the earl to Queen Mary; and as the 
same difference of opinion no longer existed between them, 


they once more thought with the same heart, and saw with 
the same eye, on the affairs of Church and State. 

Murray, therefore, now countenanced the ministers of 
the reformed religion, who demanded, by a formal act 
of the national assembly of the Church, that the celebration 
of the mass should in all cases be restrained, as well before 
the queen's person as in view of the subject. This extrava- 
gant proposal was followed by the more reasonable request 
that some means of subsistence, out of the revenues and 
domains of the Catholic Church, should be assigned to the 
clergy. Then came a condition that the remainder of the 
church property, after deducting the stipends of the clergy, 
should be applied to the maintenance of the poor, and the 
support of schools and places of education. That this last 
stipulation should be granted, considering it must have 
greatly impoverished the nobles who had possessed them- 
selves of these religious revenues, was very improbable; but 
it was followed by one which, in the present state of the 
world, was totally impossible, since it prayed for the entire 
suppression of vice and immorality. To these demands the 
queen mildly replied that she was not yet satisfied of the 
idolatry of the mass, and pleaded with much gentleness for 
the enjoyment of that liberty of conscience for herself which 
she was willing to allow to others. She promised relief to 
the complaints of the preachers, and regular payment of their 
salaries. The other demands she passed over in prudent 

The queen's proposals and exertions gained a consider- 
able majority of the nobility to assent to her marriage ; but 
Murray remained irreconcilable. The Duke of Chatelherault 
joined his party, in apprehension that the exaltation of the 
Lennox family would prove the destruction of his own, con- 
sidering the deadly feud that existed between the House of 
Hamilton and that of Lennox, and not forgetful, probably, 
of his own claims to the throne, in case the queen died with- 
out issue. 

The discord between the two parties, according to the 


genius of the time, first broke out in secret conspiracies ct 
the most deadly kind. Darnley engaged in a plot to assassi- 
nate Murray; and Murray laid an ambush for the purpose 
of making Darnley and the queen prisoners, with the inten- 
tion of delivering up the proposed bridegroom to Elizabeth, 
and placing Mary in some place of secure confinement. 
Both plots were doomed to succeed, but not at the time or 
by the means now resorted to. They failed for the present 
on either side. 

Matters being come to this crisis, the queen resolved to 
complete, without delay, the purpose which she meditated ; 
and which, recommended first by considerations of policy, 
had now become an affair in which her heart was deeply 
though hastily interested. On the 29th of July, 1565, she 
married Darnley, a dispensation by the pope having been 
previously obtained, and the ceremonial being performed 
after the forms of the Catholic ritual. At their union he 
was declared king of Scotland. 

Murray and the Duke of Chatelherault, together with 
Argyle, Glencairn, and Rothes, took arms, all, the duke ex- 
cepted, zealous professors of the Protestant religion. But, 
ere they could assemble two thousand horse, they were 
attacked by the queen's army, the royal vassals having on 
Mary's summons appeared with good will and in great num- 
bers. She herself, arrayed in light armor, and wearing 
pistols at the saddle-bow, rode at the head of her troops. 
The insurgents were obliged to retreat before the queen from 
one place to another, apparently without any aim or object 
save to escape her pursuit, from which circumstance their 
war was remembered by the name of the Roundabout Raid. 
The insurgent nobles were at length pressed so hard that 
they were compelled to disband their forces, and retreat into 
England, where, as they had taken arms in consequence of 
Elizabeth's instigation, they hoped for relief and protection. 
Murray and the abbot of Kilwinning, one on the part of the 
reformers, the other as representing his kinsmen the Ham- 
iltons, were despatched by their associates to represent their 


necessities, and to crave the aid and support which they 
thought themselves entitled to expect from the English queen. 

But their reception was very different from their expec- 
tations. Elizabeth now beheld in them persons who could 
render her no immediate services; and she was anxious to 
escape from the reproaches of the ambassadors of the prin- 
cipal European powers, who accused her of betraying the 
cause of sovereigns in general by the encouragement she 
had afforded to the rebels of Scotland. 

Galled at finding herself exposed to reproaches to which 
her own notions of royal authority made her peculiarly sen- 
sitive, Elizabeth resolved so to deal with the envoys of the 
banished lords as should make them the means of clearing 
her from such a scandal at the expense of their own honor. 

With this view she caused it to be secretly intimated to 
the Earl of Murray and his associate that they would lose 
Queen Elizabeth's favor and protection at once and forever, 
if they presumed to bring forward claims in virtue of any 
understanding between her and them previous to their insur- 
rection. The envoys were forced to consent to this humili- 
ating compromise, expecting, no doubt, that the queen would 
of herself recollect the promises which they, in obedience to 
her command, abstained from insisting upon. 

Accordingly when Murray and the abbot of Kilwinning, 
in presence of the French and Spanish ambassadors, ap- 
peared before Elizabeth, she extorted from the . fugitive 
Scots an avowal that she had not encouraged them in their 
rebellion, and, having thus secured her own exculpation, 
she turned short on them, saying, "You have now spoken 
truth, for neither I nor any in my name has instigated your 
revolt from your sovereign. Begone, like traitors as you 
are!" Notwithstanding this seemingly severe reception, the 
exiles were permitted to skulk about on the southern side of 
the border, and were secretly supplied with money by Eliz- 
abeth. The Hamiltons had co-operated but not coalesced 
with Murray and his associates. The insurrection of the 
former was on different principles from that of the latter. 


The Duke of Chatelherault negotiated for himself and his 
party independently of Murray, and with much difficulty 
obtained on submission a separate pardon from the Scottish 

Mary was now at the summit of her wishes. She was 
wedded to the choice of her he^rt: all opposition to her will 
lay prostrate at her feet; and by pressing a prosecution 
against Murray and his associates, it was in her power to 
have their estates forfeited, and their persons banished from 
Scotland forever. 

In a parliament which was convoked for this purpose, 
the queen entertained a hope that she might procure for 
those of her own communion at least some degree of tol- 
eration and some relief from the persecution of the other 
party. It was but a short time before that a Catholic 
priest had been seized in the act of saying mass at Easter. 
Invested in his garments, and with the chalice bound to his 
hand, he was tied to the market cross of Edinburgh, - and 
there pelted with filth and mud, which the historian of the 
kirk calls serving him with his Easter eggs. "Where such 
disgraceful violence could be permitted, the queen might be 
pardoned, when she desired that those who followed the 
same religion with herself might be sheltered at least from 
violence and indignity. 

But we must record in far different terms Mary's acces- 
sion to the League of Bayonne, the object of which, on the 
part of France, Spain, and the other contracting powers, 
was the utter destruction and deletion of the Protestant re- 
ligion, by the means of fraud or force, as opportunity should 
most readily present itself. In becoming a member of this 
league, Mary assumed the right of lording it over the con- 
sciences of others, in the unjust and violent manner which 
she felt so oppressive when exercised toward herself and the 
Catholics. But, whatever the queen meant to do in behalf 
of those of her own religion, a course of events was now to 
take place which was doomed to end in depriving Mary of 
all power as a sovereign, whether for good or for evil. 



Character of Henry Darnley — He quarrels with Mary — Conceives 
Hatred against Rizzio, who is Murdered — The King- forsakes 
and disowns the Conspirators, who fly to England — Murray re- 
turns from Exile, and is reconciled to the Queen — Question as 
to the Guilt or Innocence of Mary — Her continued Quarrel with 
Darnley, who threatens to go abi'oad, and gives his Wife other 
Subjects of Complaint — Bothwell rises in the Queen's Favor— 
His History — He is restored upon his Enemy Murray's Exile, 
and reconciled to him on his Return — Elizabeth exasperated 
against Mary on her bearing a Son — Bothwell is made Keeper 
of Liddisdaie — Is wounded — Mary visits him at the Hermitage 
Castle — Apparent Reconciliation between Mary and Darnley — 
Darnley is Murdered — Consequences of that Atrocity — Ac- 
quittal of Bothwell — The Marriage of the Queen — Insurrection 
— The Queen flies to Dunbar — Advances with an Army to Car- 
berry Hill — Bothwell flies — The Queen surrenders — She is car- 
ried to Edinburgh — Insulted by the Populace — Sent Prisoner 
to Lochleven — She resigns her Crown — The Earl of Murray is 
declared Regent 

THE feeble yet violent character of Darnley was the 
primary cause of Mary's niisf ortunes ; for, until 
her marriage with that unhappy prince, her life 
had flowed in a free and even channel, and her govern- 
ment for the last two years had been on the whole happy 
and prosperous. From that unhappy era it was almost an 
uninterrupted succession of misfortunes. 

Yet in a superficial view the match had much to recom- 
mend it. It absorbed in that of the queen another claim of 
succession to the English throne which might have been 
preferred to hers. Her husband was handsome, lively, and 
possessed of external accomplishments; while Mary, esti- 
mating his intellectual qualities with the fondness which 
is entertained toward a beloved object, gave him credit at 
least for common sense and common gratitude, 


Unhappily the husband whom she had chosen was four 
years younger than herself, and, still more unluckily, he 
was an impatient and presumptuous fool, of violent passions 
and weak judgment, who could never have written himself 
man in the true sense of the word, had he lived to an ante- 
diluvian age. He was ungrateful to the queen, though she 
from attachment had shared her rank with him ; and, with- 
out being thankful for the favors which her affection had 
heaped upon him, he was peevish and splenetic when any- 
thing was withheld. His father's authority he set at naught; 
so that the Earl of Lennox left the court in disgust, sick of 
beholding his son indulge himself not merely in youthful 
pleasures, but in youthful vices, with a disregard to decency 
which made Mary blush for her unhappy choice of a disso- 
lute, disrespectful boy, of loose habits and ungovernable 
temper, to be her partner on such a throne as that of Scot- 
land. Insolent and imperious in his temper, Darnley en- 
dured no check, however kindly given, and sought the crown 
matrimonial (implying an equal share with the queen in the 
sovereignty) with so much eagerness and impatience as 
greatly disgusted Mary. In fine, she became weary of the 
society of a man who could not govern himself, and would 
not be ruled by his benefactress or any one else. How can 
this be wonderful! since, while Mary did everything to 
please him, Darnley could not be prevailed on to yield to 
her in the smallest point, either to show his affection as a 
husband or his duty as a subject. 

Darnley, finding that he lost ground in the queen's affec- 
tions, was disposed, as is usually the case with persons of his 
temper, rather to impute this growing dislike to the sugges- 
tions of some private enemy than to his own demerits. The 
person who chiefly incurred his suspicion was Rizzio. This 
foreigner had been his friend before his marriage, and fa- 
vored his suit to the utmost of his power, but since that 
event had taken the freedom to offer some remonstrances 
which were unacceptable. This increased the king's resent- 
ment ; and when he began to impute to the Italian secretary* 


the delay in bestowing on him the crown matrimonial, he 
hesitated not to seek revenge for the supposed offence by the 
most deadly means. 

"With this purpose the young king applied to the Earl of 
Morton and the rest of the Douglases, who, being related 
to his mother on the side of her father Angus, had seen his 
preferment with much interest. They had looked with pride 
upon their kinsman's advancement to a share of sovereign 
power, and in a country where human life was held cheap 
they were sufficiently ready to gratify him by ridding him 
of a wretched musician, who had intruded himself upon the 
affairs of state, and ventured to propose himself as a patron 
or an opposer of nobles. They were the more willing to ren- 
der the young king this service, because they considered 
Rizzio as chief instigator of the severe measures menaced 
against the Earl of Murray and the exiled lords, and a great 
eneourager of the Catholic religion. 

"When it was settled that Rizzio should die, the manner 
of his murder was next debated. Morton, Ruthven, and 
others of their party, proposed that the secretary should be 
seized as he crossed the court of the palace, or in his own 
lodgings, and then destined to the fate which Cochrane un- 
derwent, when the chief of the Douglas family acquired 
the title of Bell-the-Cat. But nothing would satisfy Darnley 
save that the victim should be seized in the presence of the 
queen herself, that she might share the alarm, and hear 
the taunts with which it was his purpose to upbraid her 
favorite. Considering that the queen was seven months ad- 
vanced in her pregnancy when such a scene of violence and 
horror was to be acted in her presence, we recoil from the 
brutality alike of him who planned and of those who calmly 
undertook to execute an action so brutal and unmanly. 

On the 9th of March, 1566, this bloody and extraordinary 
scene was acted. The queen was seated at supper in a 
small cabinet adjoining to her bedroom, with the Countess 
of Argyle, Rizzio, and one or two other persons. Darnley 
suddenly entered the apartment, and, without addressing or 


saluting the company, gazed on Rizzio with a sullen and 
vindictive look. After him followed Lord Ruthven, pale 
and ghastly, having risen from a bed of long sickness to be 
chief actor in this savage deed : other armed men appeared 
behind. Ruthven called upon Rizzio to come forth from a 
place which he was unworthy to hold. The miserable Ital- 
ian, perceiving he was the destined victim of this violent 
intrusion, started up, and seizing the queen by the skirts 
of her gown, implored her protection. Mary was speedily 
forced by the king from his hold. George Douglas, a bas- 
tard of the Angus family, snatched the king's own dag- 
ger from his side, and struck Rizzio a blow; he was then 
dragged into the outer apartment, and slain with fifty- six 
wounds. The queen exhausted herself in prayers and en- 
treaties for the wretched man's life; but when she was at 
length informed that her servant was slain, she said, "I will 
then dry my tears, and study revenge." During the per- 
petration of this murder, Morton, the chancellor of the king- 
dom, whose duty it was to enforce the laws of the realm, 
kept the doors of the palace with one hundred and sixty 
armed men, to insure the perpetration of the murder. 

Darnley, as soon as this abominable crime was com- 
mitted, was seized with the irresolution and fear which, in 
minds like his, often follow acts of extravagant violence. 
He would now have been well pleased to have been free 
from the guilt which had originated with him ; and to atone 
in part for the violence which the queen had suffered, he 
aided and accompanied her in her flight from Edinburgh 
to the castle of Dunbar, where she was instantly joined by 
Huntley, Bothwell, and others, her most faithful nobles. 
She was soon at the head of an army of eight thousand 
men, a force against which the murderers of Rizzio could 
not hope to make a stand. Indeed, all the plans which 
were to have followed this atrocious action were discon- 
certed by the defection of Darnley and his unexpected 
reconciliation with the queen. 

In the meanwhile the exiled Earls of Murray and Argyle, 


having learned the success of the conspiracy against Rizzio, 
left England, hoping to find Morton and Ruthven at the 
head of affairs : instead of which, they met them reduced 
to extremity, and on the point of flying to that kingdom. 
Murray and his companions, however, reaped this advantage 
from the misfortune of their friends, that the queen, all re- 
sentment against their rebellion being lost in the sense of 
this later and deadlier insult, showed herself sufficiently 
willing to grant remission of their treasons provided they 
would detach themselves from Morton and his accomplices. 
To this Murray did not hesitate to agree; and thus was 
admitted to the queen's favor, while Morton and his asso- 
ciates went to occupy those quarters in Northumberland 
which had been lately tenanted by the lords concerned in 
the Roundabout Raid. 

"When Mary and Murray met together, the queen wept : 
she probably felt at the moment how much she had suffered 
by indulging a precipitate passion for Darnley contrary to 
her brother's advice. The earl was also moved; and could 
confidence have been restored between them even then, it is 
possible that neither might have filled a bloody grave. The 
fame of Mary was as yet untinged by scandal ; for we may 
treat as a fiction of later date the gross impeachment of a 
criminal intrigue with Rizzio, -which, indeed, must be re- 
garded as totally impossible, unless by those who conceive 
her, contrary to the report of all who approached her person, 
to have been a monster of unlimited depravity. ' The Earl 

1 Dr. Robertson, no partial judge of Mary's conduct, makes this 
clear. Rizzio's advancement to the post of secretary, which first gave 
him access to the queen's person, took place only two months before 
the arrival of Darnley at the court of Scotland. Darnley was early dis- 
tinguished by the queen with regard, which terminated in strong affec- 
tion. Rizzio was the confidant of the lover, and forwarded a suit which 
would have been fatal to his own influence if he had been the queen's 
paramour. For several months the queen's passion for Darnley con- 
tinued unabated, and she proved with child soon after the marriage. 
"From these circumstances," says the historian, "it seems almost im- 
possible that the queen, unless we suppose her a woman utterly aban- 
doned, could carry on any criminal intrigue with Rizzio." — History of 
Scotland, book iv. 


of Murray had as yet formed no connections so indissoluble 
as must have necessarily engaged him in a war against his 
sister's person and authority. But a deep jealousy had taken 
possession of both, and neither, it is probable, felt disposed 
to trust the other. 

We have now arrived at a point of our history where we 
must either add another volume to a controversy which has 
produced so many, or by compressing into a concise form 
the events of the mournful tale, and expressing our own 
general opinion as it arises out of them, refer the readers 
who may doubt our conclusions, and desire means by which 
to form their own, to the works in which the charge has 
been urged and the defence maintained. Indeed, no inquiry 
or research has ever been able to bring us either to that clear 
opinion upon the guilt of Mary which is expressed by many 
authors, or guide us to that triumphant conclusion in favor 
of her innocence of all accession, direct or tacit, to the death 
of her husband, which others have maintained with the 
same obstinacy. Arguing from probabilities, where there 
are but few ascertained facts to guide us, we have been led 
to adopt the opinion expressed by Scottish juries, in a verdict 
of Not Proven, when they are disposed to say that there is 
an insufficiency of proof to ascertain the guilt of an accused 
person, while there yet exist such shades of suspicion as do 
not warrant his discharge without some formal expression 
of the doubts which the inquest entertain of his guilt or 
innocence. These things premised, we proceed in our nar- 

Henry Darnley was induced by the queen to publish a 
declaration, in which he boldly denied all accession to the 
act of violence which had been committed under his express 
instigation. But this mean step only brought upon him 
hatred and contempt. The queen prosecuted seven of the 
murderers of Rizzio ; and it is certainly to the praise of her 
clemency that only two mean men were executed for a con- 
spiracy of an odious character, in which so many persons 
of influence had been implicated. If Mary acted thus mod- 


erately in order to prevent the scandal which would have 
been caused by any of the superior conspirators alleging 
in defence the command of the king, she was ill requited 
by her husband for having sacrificed her own resentment 
to cover his honor. He resumed his vicious and offensive 
habits, indulged without restraint his propensity to low com- 
pany and vulgar debauchery, and by his starts of arrogance 
and disrespect often, even in public, forced tears from the 
queen's eyes. 

The birth of a son, afterward James VI., of whom Mary 
was" delivered, June 19, 1566, created no reconciliation be- 
tween his parents. Darnley's selfish and wayward temper 
was not capable of such restraint as to forbear repeated 
occasions of offence ; and Mary, a queen and a woman, was 
receiving new insults, ere yet she had forgotten that the 
man whom she had raised up from comparative obscurity 
had so lately ushered a band of armed murderers into her 
bedroom to assassinate in her presence a favorite domestic. 
The consequence was a breach between them, which was 
every day more apparent. 

Discountenanced by the queen, Darnley was equally dis- 
regarded by the nobility, and not only by such of them as 
were guided by her influence, but by others, who, allied 
to Morton and his associates, banished on account of 
Rizzio's murder, now resented Darnley's desertion of their 
cause. In one of those fits of impatience which he felt at 
the general neglect and insignificance to which he saw him- 
self reduced, this silly and petulant boy thought of leaving 
the kingdom. His father, the Earl of Lennox, made the 
queen acquainted with this resolution, and in vain endeav- 
ored to bring him to renounce it. The queen had recourse 
to argument and even entreaty, to induce her wayward hus- 
band to explain the motive of his intended journey, which 
must be prejudicial to the honor of both. He was sullen, 
and finding that he had means of giving her pain, was proof 
even against her caresses, and no less against the arguments 
of the privy council. 


During all this interval, the cause of the domestic quar« 
rel, at least the scandal of its being made public, seems to 
rest on Damley's side exclusively. He repined that he was 
not promoted to higher power or authority, although he 
was incapable of managing, and had most grossly abused, 
the portion which he already enjoyed. He complained he 
had not waiting and attendance suitable to his rank. Mary 
refuted the objection, by replying that her own servants 
were always ordered to attend on her husband, and that she 
could not compel the nobility to wait upon him, since it was 
only his own courtesy and urbanity which could bind them 
to his person. Historians have added to Darnley's com- 
plaints of ill usage one which he himself did not make, 
namely, that he was left unfurnished with money and nec- 
essaries. The books of the treasury state, in contradiction 
of this, that payments in money and furnishings had been 
made on Darnley's account, within three weeks, to a greater 
extent than the queen had drawn for six months. Le Crocq, 
the French ambassador; informs us, that at this period, 
when the queen has been certainly grossly misrepresented 
by those who labor to make her appear as culpable as pos- 
sible, he never saw her majesty so much beloved, esteemed, 
and honored, nor had so great harmony ever prevailed at 
court; an effect to be entirely ascribed to Mary's own pru- 
dent conduct. This was also to be speedily changed by an 
unhappy alteration in those measures which produced it. 

A favorite was now arising at court, to whose malign 
influence are to be imputed the principal errors of Mary's 
life and the greatest misfortunes of her reign. James, earl 
of Bothwell, was born of a powerful family, and was Lord 
High Admiral of Scotland. He professed the old religion; 
and was the only nobleman, except the Lord Seton, who had 
adhered to Mary of Guise during the war of 1559-60. In 
subsequent state commotions he had uniformly taken the 
part which was most in accordance with the queen's wishes. 
In other respects a bold ambitious man, of an impetuous 
temper, he was repeatedly engaged in feuds which he was 


often unable to support. The latest quarrel of this kind 
was with the powerful Earl of Murray, who accused him 
of an attempt to assassinate him. Both well, unable to de- 
fend himself, fled to France. He returned in 1564-5; but 
Murray still insisted on his being brought to trial; and 
as the accuser proposed to attend the justice-court with an 
army of five thousand men, the accused party, unable to 
face an opponent so powerful, withdrew a second time from 
the country. When Murray fell into disgrace for opposing 
the queen's marriage with Darnley, his enemies naturally 
regained Mary's favor. Thus Lord Gordon, whose father 
had fallen in battle with Murray at Corrichie, was restored 
to his honors and estates, and Bothwell was recalled from 
France. Their feud with Murray, then in his turn a ban- 
ished man, was a recommendation to the queen ; and Both- 
well obtained the important charge of warden and lieu- 
tenant-general of all the marches. At the time of Rizzio's 
murder Bothwell attempted to resist the conspirators ; and al- 
though he failed in that effort he afterward materially aided 
Mary's escape from Edinburgh to Dunbar; and furnished 
a part of the army with which she marched back to Edin- 
burgh and drove Morton into exile. He was rewarded with 
the office of keeper of Dunbar Castle. As this strong fort- 
ress is situated in East Lothian, where the possessions of his 
clan lay, the office was of considerable importance to him. 
Lastly, when the queen was reconciled to Murray and 
Argyle, she made it a condition that these lords should 
become friends with Bothwell and Huntley. 

All these instances of distinction conferred on Bothwell 
were thus far very natural, as the queen might be disposed 
to favor a subject of his high rank, who had remained uni- 
formly steady to her cause, when others had been engaged 
in actions of outrage and violence against her authority. 
But, previous to the queen's confinement in June, 1566, Both- 
well had not acquired any remarkable ascendency in the 
queen's counsels. For at that interesting period, when he 
and Huntley desired to be permitted to lodge in the castle 


of Edinburgh, they were denied admittance by Murray, 
without the queen's expressing any displeasure at the re- 
fusal of their request. There can be no doubt, however, 
that Bothwell soon after this date rose into eminent personal 
favor with his sovereign. As he was of an insolent and 
profligate character, he is said to have been generally hated. 
It seems probable that the reconciliation between Murray 
and this new favorite was deceitful on both sides, and that 
the former only gave way to the queen's pleasure, in hopes 
that the presumption of Bothwell would speedily engage 
him in some new trouble, and afford ground for a fresh 
charge against him. From July 19, 1566, when the queen's 
month of confinement ended, till the beginning of October 
in the same year, is the space allowed to be filled up by the 
accusers of Mary with the queen's growing passion for Both- 
well, and its termination, as they allege, in a guilty intrigue. 
The time seems very short for the purpose, although, con- 
sidering the situation of Mary and her husband, and the 
terms on which they stood, the space might be sufficient for 
Bothwell to climb to such a degree of favor as should en- 
courage the daring ambition of a presumptuous man, and 
stir him to the boldest measures in order to its gratification. 
Meanwhile other and different actors were becoming daily 
more interested in hastening the fate of the unfortunate 

Elizabeth, her powerful neighbor, had never looked on 
the queen of Scotland save with an evil eye ; but the birth 
of the infant prince gave her rival such a decisive superi- 
ority, that on hearing of the event the queen of England 
could not conceal her mortification. She was in great mirth 
and engaged in dancing when the news reached her. But 
on hearing it the scene was changed. Elizabeth left the 
dance, and sat down, reclining her head upon her hand, and 
bursting out to her ladies with the melancholy exclamation, 
that the queen of Scots was mother of a fair son, while she 
herself remained but a barren stock. On the next morning 
she indeed recovered that command of herself which was 


habitual to her, and pretending the greatest joy at the news 
of her good sister's delivery, said that *he pleasure she 
received from the intelligence had chased away a sickness 
which had before oppressed her. She accepted with ap- 
parent willingness the honor of being god-mother to the 
infant, and locking her discontent within her breast, strove 
to appear the kind kinswoman and friendly ally. 

Elizabeth's private mortification at this event did not 
arise exclusively from female envy. The birth of an heir 
to the Scottish queen's pretensions gave them a popularity 
in England which they did not before possess; and Mary's 
ambassadors by their communication with persons of conse- 
quence in England, both Catholics and Protestants, success- 
fully endeavored to form a faction in favor of their mistress 
who might combine to obtain from Elizabeth, what she was 
equally loth and fearful to grant, a recognition of her Scot- 
tish kinswoman as successor to her throne. A party began 
to appear even in the English parliament, who proposed to 
appease the general anxiety about the uncertainty of the 
succession after the demise of the reigning queen by such 
a declaration. And in these pressing circumstances Queen 
Elizabeth found additional reasons for disliking Mary, and 
for being heartily desirous to embroil her kinswoman's 
affairs at home, so as effectually to prevent her urging 
claims of succession in England. Fate and Mary's misfort- 
unes or misconduct were not long in affording the English 
queen a more ample opportunity for this purpose than her 
most sanguine hopes could have augured. 

Among other preferments which had been showered on 
the new favorite, Bothwell had received the important charge 
of keeper of the castle of Hermitage, and of the valley of 
Liddisdale. In the beginning of October, 1566, he set out 
for Liddisdale, to execute his charge as keeper of that dis- 
orderly country. On the 7th of the same month he was 
wounded by an outlawed borderer whom he attempted to 
make prisoner with his own hand. These tidings and the 
outlaw's head were instantly sent to Queen Mary, who was 


then at no great distance from the disorderly district where 
the accident happened., having arrived at Jedburgh about 
the 8th of the month, with the purpose, according to a pre- 
vious arrangement of the privy council, of residing there for 
eight days, to superintend the proceedings of the circuit 
courts held for the despatch of justice. On the 16th she 
went from Jedburgh to Hermitage Castle, to visit Bothwell, 
a distance of twenty statute miles, and returned, a circum- 
stance to be specially noted, the same day. Her accusers 
represent this as the visit of an anxious and fond woman to 
a wounded lover ; while those who favor Mary's cause attrib- 
ute the step to a sense of consideration for a supposed well- 
deserving subject, and to a desire personally to investigate 
the cause of an outrage which was a high insult to her royal 
authority. It is certainly a favorable circumstance, over- 
looked or misrepresented by the enemies of Mary's reputa- 
tion, that her visit was not nearly so precipitate as has been 
represented, but that eight days, at least, must have inter- 
vened between her hearing of Bothwell's wound and her 
visit to the castle of Hermitage. A journey undertaken 
after such an interval has not the appearance of being per- 
formed at the impulse of passion, but seems rather to have 
flowed from some political motive; and the queen's readi- 
ness to take arms in person both previously to the battle of 
Corriehie and at the Koundabout Eaid may account for her 
dauntlessly approaching a disturbed district in her domin- 
ions, without supposing her to be acting upon the impulse 
of a guilty passion, or even an inordinate favor for her 
wounded officer. That the queen had much regard for 
Bothwell cannot be doubted. The question is, whether she 
carried it to a guilty extent; and in candor we cannot say 
that this brief visit at Hermitage, undertaken eight days at 
the least, after she had heard that Bothwell was wounded 
in the hand (for it is material to remark that the hurt was 
not dangerous), carries to us the conviction which others 
have derived from it. After her fatiguing journey, for she 
rode to Hermitage and returned on the same day, a circum- 


stance also material, Mary was seized with an illness which 
brought her to the point of death, and detained her for a 
month in the little town of Jedburgh, ere she was strong 
enough to prosecute her journey. 

During all the period of the queen's illness Darnley came 
not near his wife ; and it is little wonder that when he did 
appear at Jedburgh, on the 28th of October, he was so coldly 
received that, finding himself lightly regarded, he returned 
the next day. Everything argued a continuance of discord 
in the royal family; and the nobles around the queen were 
now engaged in intrigues which turned upon the dissolving 
of the ill-assorted marriage by some mode or other. Mait- 
land of Lethington, Huntley, Argyle, Bothwell, and others, 
were accessory to these dark consultations, and we cannot 
suppose Murray wholly ignorant of them. It was resolved 
among them that a divorce between Darnley and the queen 
should be effected, and that the price paid by Mary for her 
emancipation from that yoke should be a free pardon to 
Morton and the exiles guilty of the conspiracy against Rizzio. 

This, as the advice of a great part of her counsellors, was 
suggested to Mary, then resident at the castle of Craigmillar. 
She peremptorily refused her consent to the proposal of 
divorce, as a measure which could not be adopted without 
throwing discredit on her own reputation, and some doubt 
on the legitimacy of her child. But during the festivities 
of the christening of James, at Stirling, Mary lent an ear to 
the various intercessions urged in behalf of Morton and his 
accomplices, and granted them a free pardon excepting only 
George Douglas, the portulate, as he was termed, of Aber- 
brothock, who struck the first blow at Rizzio ; and she pur- 
posed, according to Melville's account, to return to the mild 
and gracious kind of government which had distinguished 
her first arrival. "But, alas!" said that faithful servant, 
"she had too many evil counsellors about her." It was de- 
termined among them, that, instead of the proposed divorce, 
Darnley should be assassinated. "With Morton, Bothwell 
united himself in apparent friendship ; and we have the tes- 


timony of the former earl to prove that he was privy to 
the desperate deed which Bothwell meditated, although 
he alleges he yielded no consent to it. 

Darnley attended the splendid christening of his son, but 
without meeting either notice or distinction. After lingering 
for about a week amid festivities of which he was no par- 
taker, he went to join his father at Glasgow, where he too> 
the smallpox. The queen despatched her physician to attend 
him, but went not to him herself; for which the health of 
her son was alleged as a reason. At length, about the 24th 
of January, Mary went from Edinburgh to Glasgow, and 
had a friendly interview with Darnley, with whom she after- 
ward lived upon apparently good terms. If this was a con- 
straint put on the queen, she had not long to endure it. 

Mary and Darnley left Glasgow in company, and reached 
Edinburgh Jon the 31st of January. The king's illness was 
assigned as a reason for quartering him apart from the palace 
where his wife and child resided. A solitary house, called 
the Kirk of Field, in the suburbs of the city, where the col- 
lege is now situated, was appointed for his reception. Mary 
regularly visited him, and sometimes slept in the same house. 
On the Monday before his murder, she passed the evening 
with him until it was time to attend a masque which was 
to be given in the palace, on the occasion of a wedding in 
the royal household. About two in the morning of Tuesday, 
Bothwell, with a selected party of desperate men, opened the 
under apartments of the Kirk of Field by means of false 
keys, and laid a lighted match to a quantity of powder 
which had been previously placed beneath the king's apart- 
ment. After a few anxious moments had passed, Bothwell 
became impatient, and despatched one of the ruffians who 
was present to see whether the match was still burning. 
The accomplice did not hesitate to obey the commission, 
and returned with information that the light was still burn- 
ing and the fire would presently reach the powder. After 
this the party waited calmly till the house blew up, when 
Bothwell retired, satisfied that, as the price of this enormous 


crime, he had purchased a title to the hand of a queen. 
There is reason to believe that several of the principal nobles 
and statesmen were previously acquainted with the bloody 
purpose. The Earl of Morton confessed at his death that 
he knew of such an intention; and his cousin, the notorious 
Archibald Douglas, parson titular of Glasgow, was present 
at the execution. "Whether Mary herself was conscious of 
this great crime is a question which has long been a con 
troversial passage of Scottish history, to which we shall 
hereafter turn the reader's attention. 

The energetic character of the queen, the activity with 
which she had hitherto suppressed all opposition to her will 
as soon as such was manifested, and the impulse which she 
had given to the machine of her government, prevented 
for a time the effect of the terrible shock communicated by 
this abominable murder, which made, nevertheless, a deep 
impression on the public mind. Compassion for the young 
king's fate gave Darnley, who enjoyed little love or respect 
while he lived, a degree of posthumous popularity ; and the 
desire of seeing his murder revenged was soon a general 
sentiment. Placards appeared in the most public places in 
the city, and voices were heard in streets at dead of night, 
charging the murder on Bothwell, toward whom universal 
suspicion was directed, and insinuating that the queen had 
been privy to the conspiracy against her husband's life. 
The terms of discord on which she had lived with Darnlej r , 
and the high favor to which Bothwell had risen, combined 
to create such a rumor. 

Lennox, the father of the deceased Darnley, had natur- 
ally shared his son's disgrace, though not his demerits. He 
now pressed the queen for vengeance, and declared his own 
suspicion of Bothwell. In answer to his importunity, a 
meeting of the privy council, held on the 28th day of March, 
named the 13th of April as the day of trying Bothwell for 
the murder of the king. Lennox the accuser complained 
of the precipitancy with which the trial was forced forward. 
He required that the person accused of such a crime should 


be secured in prison, and, for decency's sake at least, ex< 
eluded from the presence of the widowed queen. 

The trial was nevertheless brought on at the appointed 
period with most indecorous precipitation. Bothwell ap- 
peared at the bar surrounded by armed friends and backed 
by mercenary soldiers. The Earl of Morton on the on** 
hand, and Lethington on the other, supported the prisoner 
as he entered the court of justiciary. Lennox, unable to 
face such a confederacy, protested by one of his retainers 
against any further procedure in the trial, as carried on 
against law. It was determined, however, that the trial 
should proceed without respect to the remonstrance of Len- 
nox; and as no prosecutor appeared, and no evidence was 
adduced in support of the charge, Bothwell was of course 
acquitted. Lennox fled precipitately to England doubting 
of his personal safety when a man of a character so violent 
and profligate as Bothwell was possessed of the power of 
triumphing over the laws. 

The queen continued to treat Bothwell as if he had been 
acquitted in the most ample and honorable manner. In a 
parliament which was held two days after the trial, he car- 
ried the sceptre before the queen's person, and received a full 
confirmation from that assembly of all the gifts and honors 
which Mary had lavished on him, not forgetting the keep- 
ing of Edinburgh Castle, the most important fortress in 
the kingdom. At the same time ratifications were made of 
various grants to other nobles, so many in number that they 
3eem to be the division of the kingdom between her favorite 
Bothwell and the great men who had thus far lent their 
arms to aid him in his ascent, while, in fact, they watched 
for the moment when his fall should be precipitate in pro- 
portion to the height to which he had risen. 

Under the influence of this aspiring statesman the queen 
was induced to take a step which she had hitherto delayed 
and evaded, and which was totally inconsistent with hei 
accession to the Treaty of Bayonne, made for the express 
support of the Catholic faith. An act of parliament was 


passed and received the royal assent confirming and ratify- 
ing in the most express terms the Protestant doctrines and 
church government. This important concession, which no 
representation of the Protestants had been able even in the 
most critical circumstances to extract from the queen, the 
influence of her ambitious lover had induced Mary at once 
to consent to. Bothwell, no doubt, expected that the legal 
security thus unexpectedly given to the reformed faith -would 
silence the clamors of the churchmen, and give him, as the 
author of that security so long sought and vainly petitioned 
for, popularity with their hearers. Having paved the way, 
as he supposed, for his final advancement being received 
with general good will, this ambitious man ventured a more 
direct stride toward accomplishing his object. 

For this purpose, immediately after the rising of parlia- 
ment, Bothw r ell invited the principal members of that body 
to an entertainment in a tavern. There he plainly intimated 
to them his purpose of marrying the queen, and her consent 
to honor him with her hand ; and proposed to all present to 
subscribe a bond, which he drew out of his pocket ready 
drawn up, in which, after Bothwell himself was recognized 
as totally free of the foul charge of having been accessory to 
the late king's murder, he, the same Bothwell, was warmly 
recommended to her majesty as a suitable match, in case 
she should humble herself so far as to think of sharing her 
bed with a subject, and the subscribers agreed to advance 
the said marriage at the risk of life and goods. It is prob- 
able that the principal persons present expected these pro- 
posals, and were prepared for them. Those of minor impor- 
tance were compelled to follow their example, since neither 
the time nor place allowed much exercise of free choice. At 
a house usually called Ainslie's Supper, from the name of the 
publican by whom it was held, the bond was subscribed by 
eight bishops, nine earls, and seven lords : Morton and Mait- 
land of Lethington are among the number. And thus forti- 
fied, as he imagined, by so strong a party, Bothwell proceeded 

to take the last step in his extraordinary advance to greatness. 
Scotland. Vol. II. — 4 


Assembling about one thousand horse, under pretext of 
border service, Bothwell at the head of this company lay in 
wait for the queen as she came from Stirling, at a place 
called Fountain Bridge, near Edinburgh, and taking her 
horse by the bridle, appeared to render himself director of 
her motions and master of her person. His followers spared 
not to say, that this seeming violence was offered by the 
queen's own consent, and would be received as good service. 
The subjects appeared to suppose the same, for, ready upon 
former occasions to rise to protect their queen's person when 
in danger, they beheld her on the present occasion led pris- 
oner through the richest and most populous part of her 
dominions, while they looked on in silent astonishment. 
In this manner Bothwell conducted Mary to the castle of 
Dunbar, unopposed and unpursued, and made it his boast 
that gainsay who would, and even against her own consent, 
he would marry the queen. 

To add another disgusting feature to this enormous con- 
duct, the reader must be informed that Bothwell was at this 
very moment the husband of Lady Jane Gordon, sister to 
the Earl of Huntley, and was pursuer of a process of divorce, 
on account of consanguinity, before the consistorial court. 
The countess, on her part, with every appearance of conni- 
vance and collusion, prosecuted a separate action of divorce, 
on the score of adultery, against her husband ; and sentence 
of divorce was pronounced in both suits within a few days 
of each other. 

In silence and amazement the nation waited the end of 
this extraordinary course of events; and if Mary had been 
in reality a queen subjected by an audacious subject to the 
utmost limits of personal insult and violence, she was singu- 
larly unhappy in finding none among her subjects who were 
induced to believe that the compulsion which she seemed to 
sustain was a restraint imposed on her against her own will. 
Her friends looked on with deep affliction : those who judged 
most favorably concluding she was led astray by such pas- 
sionate dotage as sometimes characterizes female affection: 


while the powerful and numerous party who suspected 
Mary's morals because they doubted her religion carefully 
gathered up every levity of which she had been guilty since 
her return to Scotland, and cited them as instances of de- 
pravity, on which they alleged they were warranted, by the 
queen's present conduct to put the worst interpretation. 

At the end of twelve days Mary was liberated from Dun- 
bar, conveyed to Edinburgh Castle, and apparently placed at 
liberty by the Earl of Bothwell; and the first use she made 
of her freedom was to utter a declaration that, though she 
had been displeased with the restraint lately put upon her 
by the Earl of Bothwell, yet, considering his former services, 
and what might be expected from him in future, she was not 
only disposed freely to forgive him, but also to exalt him to 
higher honors. And she kept her word: for after procla- 
mation of bans, and after the earl had been elevated to the 
rank of Duke of Orkney, she conferred upon him her hand 
in marriage on the loth of May, 1567: — a match which 
might be concluded every way ominous and unfortunate, 
without having recourse to the popular superstition derived 
by the Scots from the classic authors who attach bad luck 
to marriages in the month of May. 

The only apology which the defenders of the unfortunate 
queen have made for this fatal and irretrievable error is, that 
her reputation having suffered from being for several days 
in the hands of a man so audacious and uncontrollable aa 
Bothwell, she was placed in a position which rendered her 
marrying him an act of necessity rather than choice. On 
the other hand, those who assert the queen's guilt rest upon 
this unhappy, unseemly, and ill-chosen union as the most 
convincing proof of her being privy to the death of her 
husband, and all the consequences of the murder. 1 

1 The acute David Hume being told of a new work which appeared, 
in which the author had made a well-argued defence of Queen Mary, 
"Has he shown," said the historian, "that the queen did not marry Both- 
well?" he was answered of course in the negative; "then," replied Mr. 
Hume, "in admitting that fact, he resigns the whole question." 


On the other hand, strong suspicions arose, out of their 
own conduct on the occasion, that Morton, Lethington, and 
others of Mary's counsellors, were treacherously and un- 
gratefully concerned in the plot, which was at once to de- 
stroy their sovereign's fame and power. "When pardoned 
by the queen for their share in the Rizzio conspiracy, which 
had been the fruitful parent of so many crimes, several of 
them had become privy to Bothwell's designs on the queen's 
hand, and formed a bond to favor his views as well in annul- 
ling the marriage with Darnley as in marrying the queen. 
These objects they had advanced by every argument in their 
power ; and when death was substituted for the original in- 
tention of divorce, it does not seem to have alarmed these 
sturdy associates. They supported the murderer after the 
fact, and lent him their countenance upon his trial. They 
subscribed the bond at Ainslie's Supper. Not one of them 
joined in a spirited remonstrance which the gallant Lord 
Herries offered to the queen against her marriage with 
Bothwell. Not a spear was lifted, not a sword drawn, to 
rescue Mary from the power of that atrocious ruffian. She 
was suffered, without either warning or opposition, to unite 
herself with this worthless man; and it was not until her 
honor became inseparable from his that the same advisers 
changed their note, sounded an alarm to the nation, and 
called on all true subjects to rescue the queen from the 
control of Bothwell. 

We cannot but suspect that these ambitious men, observ- 
ing how readily the queen had been supported by the nation 
on former occasions, had determined not to interrupt her in- 
fatuated career till she had linked her fate to Bothwell so 
inseparably that she must needs share his ruin. Morton 
was aware that he should, by getting rid of Queen Mary, 
gratify his patroness Queen Elizabeth in the most sensible 
manner, and raise his own party, and eventually perhaps 
himself, to the prime management of Scottish affairs. 

These considerations show why Morton and Lethington 
did not make the least effort to save the queen by prevent- 


ing or at least remonstrating against her marriage. In the 
meantime Bothwell plainly showed both his grasping ambi- 
tion and his gross ingratitude to the queen. His behavior 
in the palace, where he had so unworthily risen to so high 
a place, was like that of a debauched soldier unbounded in 
his dissolute discourse either by topics or terms, and totally 
neglectful of his duty and respect for the queen. He 
schemed and plotted to get into his hands the person of 
the young prince, with a view probably on his life or lib- 
erty; and because the queen, amid the dotage of her pas- 
sion, opposed him in his purpose, he treated her with such 
reproachful language that she was heard in the height of 
her grief and indignation threatening to stab or drown 

The Earl of Mar, who had lodged the young prince in 
Edinburgh Castle, took care to keep both James's person 
and that important place out of the hands of Bothwell, 
though he had been constituted governor. Meantime the 
public indignation began to show itself more boidly. It was 
easy to find specious pretexts for raising in arms so warlike 
a nation as the Scots — the liberation of the queen from the 
control of Bothwell, and freeing the young prince from 
the restraint and danger attending his continuing under the 
guardianship of his father's murderer, were sufficient cause 
for calling the people to arms. Morton and most of the 
Protestant lords soon assembled a force and marched to 
Edinburgh. Bothwell and the queen were wellnigh sur- 
prised as they were banqueting at Borthwick Castle, in 
the vicinity of the metropolis, and escaped with difficulty 
to the strong fortress of Dunbar, where Mary summoned 
her subjects around her as on former occasions: they came, 
but it was with a total disinclination to the service. 

The confederated lords marched eastward against Dun- 
bar, but the queen, with her usual alacrity, assembled forces 
equal to theirs in number, and met them on Carberry Hill. 
"When the two armies came in sight of each other, the 
French ambassador, called Le Crocq, endeavored to mediate 


between the parties, and succeeded in preventing hostilities. 
In the conferences which followed, Bothwell made a bra- 
vadoing offer to vindicate her innocence by single combat; 
but chicaned and retracted when several among the confed- 
erates offered to accept the challenge. In the meantime the 
queen's spirits failed her when she beheld the reluctance 
with which her own troops prepared for the combat, and 
heard Kirkcaldy of Grainge, on the part of the confederates, 
profess their willingness to respect and obey her as their sov- 
ereign, providing she would remove Bothwell from her pres- 
ence and counsels. She dimissed Bothwell accordingly, who 
retreated to the Orkneys, and, driven from thence, committed 
some outrages on the trade of Denmark. He was finally 
taken, and immured in the castle of Malmoe, in Norway, 
where he died, after ten years' confinement. 

Meantime the queen, who had surrendered herself upon 
terms to her insurgent subjects, was far from experiencing 
the reception of homage and respect on their part which 
Kirkcaldy had promised. The armed ranks closed around 
her with menacing gestures and expressions, which even the 
authority of their leaders could not restrain. When she 
reached Edinburgh the multitude became still more unruly; 
and the streets of her capital resounded with abusive ex- 
clamations against her. Some, to show their disrespectful 
feelings, did not hesitate to display before her eyes a ban- 
ner, on which was represented the murdered Darnley with 
the person of the young prince kneeling beside it, and pray- 
ing to Heaven for vengeance. "While Mary sustained this 
degrading treatment from the commonalty ^ the confederated 
lords formed themselves into a committee of government, 
and ordered the queen to be conveyed under strong guard 
to the castle of Lochleven, situated on an islet, in the large 
lake so named, and placed under the custody of Sir William 
Douglas, a kinsman of Morton, lord of the castle, and his 
wife, the mother of the Earl of Murray, who pretended to 
have been lawfully wedded to James V», though, in fact, 
Dnly his concubine, and was. therefore, hostile to the de- 


3cendent of his actual marriage with Mary of Guise. This 
usage of the queen was contrary to the conditions which the 
associated lords had granted to her when she surrendered 
herself to Kirkcaldy of Grainge at Carberry Hill ; and that 
gallant knight upbraided them severely with having broken 
their word to Mary, and made him the means of deceiving 
her. But to this they answered that the favorable terms 
alluded to had been granted to Mary on condition that she 
would break off al-1 intercourse with Both well; notwith- 
standing which, they affirmed, she had afterward written 
to him in affectionate terms, agreeing to adhere to his fort- 
unes, and had thereby forfeited the favorable terms which 
they had been willing to grant on condition of her positively 
renouncing him. 

This state of things could not long endure. The Hamil- 
tons, and many other nobles of great power, without chal- 
lenging the propriety of the proceedings of the insurgents 
as far as the expulsion of Bothwell was concerned, were of 
opinion that, he being banished from the kingdom, Queen 
Mary should be restored to her sovereign authority. But 
the lords of the confederation, who had every reason to 
think that her talents, and the interest which she inspired 
in her kingdom, might soon enable her, if set at liberty, to 
revenge herself on those by whom she had been confined, 
determined that she should be dethroned on account of mal- 
administration, and compelled to resign her crown to her 
son, while the government during his minority should be 
conducted by a regent. 

This important office was reserved for James, earl of 
Murray. The reason of our late silence respecting this in- 
fluential nobleman is his absence from the scene of action. 
Murray had remained in Scotland until he saw the termina- 
tion of the conjugal disputes between Darnley and Mary, by 
the murder of the former. He then asked and obtained 
license to go to England, and from thence to France, where 
he remained during the insurrection, of which, however, he 
received the principal reward, being, as we have said, des- 


tined by the confederate lords to hold the place of supreme 
governor in the name of the infant prince. He was less ob- 
jectionable to the queen than any other who could have been 
proposed, since his absence from the kingdom had separated 
him from the Carberry lords, at the time when their insur- 
rection was most offensive to the queen. She might also 
hope something from affection, and much from gratitude 
for benefits received by her brother. 

The Earl of Murray, summoned to Scotland to fulfil such 
high destinies, returned to his native country with all de- 
spatch, and took on him, though manifesting a decent reluc- 
tance, the office of regent. The queen had expected a good 
deal from the affection and gratitude of Murray; but at 
their very first interview he reproved her with so much 
severity for her errors that all ties of family affection or 
friendship between them were broken off forever. The un- 
fortunate queen had been already compelled, not without 
circumstances of violence, to subscribe a resignation of her 
kingdom, and to sign a commission to her brother in the 
capacity of regent. Murray, by his skill and talent, speed- 
ily overturned the plans of the nobles who were favorable to 
the queen, obtained possession of the castle of Edinburgh, 
and placed himself as regent in full execution of the gov- 
ernment throughout Scotland. Parliament sanctioned the 
change of rulers which had taken place, ratified the acces- 
sion of the infant son, instead of the captive mother, and the 
authority of Murray as regent in the name of the king. 



Mary's Escape from Lochleven — The Battle of Langside — The 
Queen's Flight into England— Mary offers to vindicate herself 
to Elizabeth — Advantage taken of that Offer — Commission at 
York — Question of Supremacy revived and abandoned — Pro- 
posal of a Marriage between Mary and the Duke of Norfolk — 
Sittings of the Commission removed to Westminster — Murray 
lodges his Accusation against Mary — Elizabeth declines pro- 
nouncing a decision, but detains Mary a Prisoner — Question of 
her Guilt and Innocence — Morton's Confession — Proofs by the 
Sonnets and Letters — Deemed inconclusive, and why — Confes- 
sion of Paris — Elizabeth's Conduct toward Mary — A Party is 
formed in Scotland for the Queen — It is joined by Kirkcaldy 
of Grainge and Lethington — Murray betrays Norfolk to Eliza- 
beth — The Duke is imprisoned — Murray assassinated by Both- 
well haugh — Inroads on the Borders 

FATE bad reserved to Queen Mary an additional chance 
for repairing her broken fortunes. In Lochleven 
Castle she was surrounded by those most deeply 
interested for the Earls of Murray and of Morton; and 
most inclined to support the power to which they had been 
raised. But there was one person among them who beheld 
her confinement and her distresses with an eye of compas- 
sion. This was a youth named George Douglas, brother of 
the Lord of Lochleven, who, captivated by her beauty, 
touched by her sorrow, and seduced by her promises, laid a 
plan for her escape. This was discovered by his brother, Sir 
James, who expelled the plotter from the castle. 

Undismayed by this miscarriage, George Douglas lingered 
on the shores of Lochleven, to assist the queen in any subse- 
quent effort. Mary was not long in making such an attempt. 
She entered a boat disguised in the attire of a laundress, but 


was discovered, from her repelling the endeavors by the 
rude boatmen to pull off her veil with arms and hands far 
too white to belong to one of her assumed character. 

Again the queen was replaced in her island prison, but 
about the same time a second ally in the garrison was won 
over to assist her escape. This was a lad of seventeen or 
eighteen, called "William Douglas, otherwise the Little 
Douglas, a relative, probably, of the Lord of Lochleven. 

This little Douglas, so named from his tender years or 
low stature, gave her his assistance to escape by night from 
the castle and island in which she was immured. He stole 
the keys for this purpose, set the royal prisoner at liberty in 
the middle of the night : to prevent pursuit, locked the iron 
gates of the town upon its inmates, and flung the keys into 
the lake as he rowed her to land. George Douglas, already 
mentioned, Lord Seton, and a party of the Hamiltons, re- 
ceived the queen on the shores of the lake, and conveyed 
her in triumph to Hamilton, where her friends hastened to 
assemble an army, and form an association for her defence. 
The engagement was subscribed by nine earls, as many 
lords, and a great many persons of consequence. 

Placing the queen in the centre of their numerous bat- 
talions, they moved from Hamilton toward Dumbarton. It 
was their intention to deposit the person of the sovereign in 
that impregnable castle, and then to seek out the regent 
and give him battle. But his rapid movements anticipated 
their more tardy measures. Murray was at this time lying 
at Glasgow; and at the head of an army inferior in num- 
bers marched to intercept the progress of the enemy toward 
the north. The vanguard of each army hastened forward, 
contending which should obtain possession of the village of 
Langside. They met with equal courage, and encountered 
with levelled lances, striving, like contending bulls, which 
should bear the other down. The spears of the front ranks 
were so fastened into each other's armor, that the staves 
crossed like a sort of grating, on which lay daggers, pistols, 
and other weapons used as missiles, which the contending 


parties had thrown at each other. While they were thus 
locked together, Morton led a detachment against the flank 
of the Hamiltons, and decided the day. Mary's army was 
broken and routed. The queen herself fled sixty miles with- 
out drawing bridle, when she arrived at Dundrennan Abbey, 
in Galloway. 

Here, against the opinion of her wisest counsellors, Mary 
exercised her last act of free agency, by determining on the 
perilous step of taking refuge in England, the realm of 
Elizabeth, her sister and her foe. 

That remarkable princess was not a woman to be de- 
terred, by scruples respecting public faith or private honor, 
from benefiting by the advantages which occasion had thus 
thrown into her lap. Mary was received by the English 
officers on the borders with the greatest appearance of re- 
spect; nor was Elizabeth sparing of kind expressions of 
*comfort and friendship toward her ill-fated sister. 

But when the unfortunate queen of Scotland pressed for 
an interview with Elizabeth, she was informed that an ob- 
jection to this arose from the accusations which some of her 
subjects had preferred against her. Mary naturally and 
eagerly offered to justify herself against such charges, 
whatever was their character; meaning no more than to 
offer such explanations to the queen of England as friend 
gives to friend, in justifying herself from any sinister re- 
port, but certainly not intending to constitute Elizabeth her 
judge, or to descend from her state, and reply before the 
queen of England to the accusations of her subjects at 
the bar of her equal. Elizabeth, however, had obtained an 
advantage which she determined to keep; and by means 
of this she had an apology, such as it was, for assuming, 
in her own person, the power of deciding upon Mary's guilt 
or innocence. The point of justice was, indeed, untenable ; 
for the queen of England, on all occasions of rebellion against 
her neighbor Queen Mary, had received the fugitive insur- 
gents into her kingdom, supplied their wants, and lent them 
countenance and succor, declining either to deliver them up, 


or enter into cognizance of their offences. "Whereas, when 
the queen of Scotland was compelled to take refuge in her 
kind sister's kingdom, the worst construction was put upon 
the cause of her retreat, and Elizabeth, the loving ally, in- 
stantly assumed the character of the strict and awful judge. 

By command of Elizabeth a commission was appointed 
to sit at York, having the Duke of Norfolk at its head, de- 
signed to inquire into the guilt or innocence of Queen Mary. 
Before this board, composed of English commissioners, ap- 
peared the regent, with Morton, Lindsay, the bishop of Ork- 
ney, and above all, with Secretary Maitland, the Machiavel 
of Scotland. The bishop of Ross, Lord Herries, Lord Boyd, 
and others, the most distinguished of Mary's friends, at- 
tended on her behalf. 

The first demand of Norfolk was, that the Regent Murray 
should do homage to the queen of England, as queen para- 
mount of Scotland, seeing he had come voluntarily to pleadf 
as a suitor before Elizabeth's commissioners. This acknowl- 
edgment of the right of supremacy, resisted in so many cent- 
uries of bloody war, would have simplified the task of afford- 
ing a foundation for Elizabeth's jurisdiction, since, if it had 
been admitted, she might have taken up the settlement of 
the disputes between the queen and subjects of Scotland, in 
the legitimate exercise of her power, as paramount superior, 
in which capacity Edward I. had decided the controversy 
between Bruce and Baliol. At the unexpected demand of 
homage, the blood rushed to Regent Murray's countenance, 
and he remained uncertain what to answer; but the ready 
wit of Lethington took up the debate. "Let England," he 
said, "restore to Scotland Cumberland, Northumberland, 
and the town of Berwick, and homage shall be done for 
these possessions as of old; but for the kingdom and crown 
of Scotland," he continued, "it is more free of dependence 
than England herself has been of late, while she paid Saint 
Peter's pence to Rome." 

The sittings of the commissioners were resumed without 
more debate on the subject of supremacy, which the English 


tacitly abandoned. It might be observed, however, that 
there was a reluctance on the part of the regent and his 
associates to bring forward their defence to the accusation 
of rebellion against Mary, by retorting upon her the alleged 
offences of incontinence, and accession to the assassination 
of Henry Darnley. The fact was, that the fertile brain of 
Lethington had already devised a scheme by which the pro- 
ceedings on both sides were to be guided, and which he 
proposed should put an end to the commission, in a manner 
which Elizabeth, under whose warrant it held its sittings, 
very little dreamed of. This project was to effect a match 
between Mary, her divorce from Bothwell being effected, 
and the Duke of Norfolk, wealthy, brave, accomplished, 
and at the head of a strong party among the English no- 
bility, composed partly of Catholics and partly of Protes- 
tants, who were, for various reasons, hostile to the govern- 
ment and schemes of Cecil. Of this number the two great 
northern Earls of Westmoreland and Northumberland were 
particularly formidable. 

The Regent Murray having in his eye the prospect of 
such a union must naturally have reflected that Mary, re- 
stored to her crown with increased security and strength, 
would be utterly implacable toward him, if he should render 
himself guilty in her eyes of having been her accuser before 
Elizabeth's commission at this peculiar crisis of her fate. 
He therefore temporized ; and instead of pressing his charges 
against Mary, capitulated with Queen Elizabeth about the 
terms on which the accusation was to be brought forward ; 
and that queen had the mortification to perceive that the 
regent, instead of persisting in the charge, showed some 
inclination to make peace with his sister, whom he had 
lately accused of such enormities. 

Embarrassed at perceiving that Murray hesitated, Eliza- 
beth resolved to change the scene of action, and appointed 
the conference of the commissioners to be removed to West- 
minster, that the business might be carried on under her 
own eye and that of Cecil. For the same purpose, without 


regard to Mary's requests or entreaties, she removed her 
from Bolton to Tutbury, that she might be more remote 
from her own dominions and the frontiers of England, in 
which districts she had many friends. She was hitherto 
treated honorably, but with the most secure attention to 
her safety. 

The wily Cecil was not long in obtaining a perfect ac 
quaintance with the negotiation between Norfolk and the 
regent; and he gave Murray to understand that should he 
continue to shrink from the task of accusation, or pursue 
further a line of hopeless hesitation, he would totally alien- 
ate his protectress Elizabeth, without having the effect of 
conciliating Mary, whom he had offended beyond reach of 
pardon. Intimidated by his threats, the regent at length 
preferred his charge against the queen, in the broadest 
terms. He accused Mary as an accessory to the murder 
of her husband, and as plotting the destruction of the young 
prince, her own son. The queen's commissioners expressed 
the utmost surprise and resentment at these unqualified 
charges. They demanded an interview of Elizabeth, and 
they protested against all further proceedings of the con- 
ference. The regent, in reply, was called upon to produce 
his proofs. This brought forward an incident famous in the 
controversy. In corroboration of. his accusation, the Earl 
of Murray produced and deposited a silver box, or casket, 
full of love-letters, sonnets, and contracts, alleged to have 
passed between Mary and Bothwell during the life of her 
murdered husband, Henry Darnley, and contended that, with 
the decree of the Scottish parliament, these documents were 
sufficient to establish Queen Mary's guilt, and to vindicate 
the conduct of those who, having risen in arms against her 
government, now opposed her restoration. 

By forcing Murray to these decisive steps, Elizabeth at- 
tained the principal object of her wishes. She had, as far 
as a foul charge could have such an effect, destroyed the 
good fame of Queen Mary, and obtained the privilege of 
dealing with her as one lying under the most odious sus- 


picions, and unworthy the protection of the law of nations. 
This point gained, she resolved to avoid taking on herself 
the delicate task of declaring Mary guilty or innocent. She 
informed Murray, therefore, that, on the one hand, she ac- 
quitted him of all charges against his loyalty and honor; 
and that, on the other, she could not bring herself to be 
of opinion that he had produced any proofs of the charge 
against Mary sufficiently decisive to prejudice her sister in 
her good opinion; on which account she had determined to 
leave the affairs of Scotland as she had found them. It will 
be observed that this decision, while in words it placed neither 
party in the wrong, gave Mary the same disadvantages which 
would have followed from an express condemnation of the 
queen. She remained a prisoner, although found guilty of 
no crime; and Murray, the accuser, though unacquitted of 
the charge of rebellion and calumnious slander against his 
sovereign, left England, after having received a consider- 
able sum of money, with an assurance that his party in Scot- 
land should have the support of the English government. 

But it may be asked what conclusion are readers of the 
present day to draw from these proceedings? and are we, 
with one class of writers, to conceive Queen Mary an injured 
saint, or with another the most profligate of women? "We 
confess that, without more light than we at present possess, 
or ever hope to see thrown on a subject of so mysterious a 
character, we incline to think that on both sides this memo- 
rable case has been pleaded to extremity. 

The beauty, the wit, and, in general, the amiable char- 
acter of Mary, has raised up for her memory defenders of 
equal talents and zeal. But if we review the queen's con- 
duct from the debate at Craigmillar, concerning the pro- 
posed divorce between her and Darnley, it is difficult to 
believe that she must not have entertained suspicions that 
many persons of an unscrupulous character were not indis- 
posed, when that measure was rejected, to remove the un- 
fortunate prince from his share of the throne by the readiest 
and most violent means, if legal and justifiable expedients 


would not serve the turn. The reconciliation between the 
husband and wife, after their long estrangement, which was 
patched up so suddenly and immediately before the murder, 
the violence offered to the queen's person by Bothwell, and 
so tamely acquiesced in by a female of such high rank and 
energetic character, are to us irresistible evidence that Mary, 
deeply injured by her ungrateful husband, and engaged by 
an unhappy attachment to one of the most wicked of men, 
suffered Darnley, without warning or succor, to fall into the 
conspirators' snares, if, indeed, she did not herself entice 
him into the toils. Revenge and love are great casuists; 
and supposing Mary so far concerned in Darnley's death 
as to foresee its approach without endeavoring to prevent 
it, she might endeavor to justify her conduct to herself, by 
considering that by his accession to the murder of her ser- 
vant in her own presence her ungrateful husband deserved 
death, and that she at least was not obliged to give the 
alarm when a deserved punishment seemed about to over- 
whelm him. The evident favor shown to Bothwell on his 
sham trial, the too obvious farce of the seizure of the queen 
at Fountain Bridge, and her subsequent marriage with Both- 
well, all lead to the same melancholy conclusion. And when 
we recollect that Mary had been educated in the profligate 
court of Catherine of Medicis, and was surrounded in her 
own by some of the worst and most wicked men who ever 
lived, he who can suppose that, tempted by love and revenge, 
she walked through the maze of iniquity occurring between 
Rizzio's death and her marriage with Bothwell without soil- 
ing the purity of her mind with the guilt which was so thick 
around her path, must have unusual confidence in human 

But though we are compelled to admit that a long train 
of coherent circumstances seems to evince that Mary was at 
least by tacit acquiescence an accomplice in Darnley's fate, 
we are not much moved by what has been termed the actual 
proof of her guilt and which was produced as such before 
the commission. 


The documents contained in the silver box are the only 
direct testimony tending to involve Mary in Darnley's mur- 
der; and setting these aside for the present, there remains 
little which can directly implicate the queen. 

At a later period, indeed, Morton, an unprincipled and 
fierce man, who, according to his own account on the scaf- 
fold, was privy to the whole bloody scene, says, that being 
invited to join Both well and Lethington in a scheme against 
Darnley's life, he refused to engage in the plot unless Both- 
well would obtain an injunction upon him to that effect from 
the queen herself. But he proceeds to declare that Both- 
well never was able to produce such a warrant. Here, 
therefore, the chain of direct evidence is broken, and the 
positive proof of Mary's guilt is not to be found. Laying 
Morton's direct oral testimony aside as being inconclusive, 
we come next to the celebrated casket and papers. 

These letters and writings produced would indeed prove 
a great deal more than enough for conviction if they stood 
unimpeached as authentic documents. But great and serious 
suspicions attach to their authenticity. The internal evi- 
dence is unfavorable according to our ideas of the style of 
a sovereign expressing her attachment. They are described 
with suspicious variations, sometimes as being written by 
the queen's own hand, sometimes as being only subscribed 
by her. Above all, though their authenticity was chal- 
lenged, and though the regent and his associates had in 
their power the persons through whose hands they were said 
to have passed, yet no care whatever was taken, by exami- 
nation of any of these persons, to ascertain or corroborate 
the faith of documents so important to the cause of the 
accusers. The obvious and legal inference is, that where 
that is not proved which ought to have been verified, it 
must have been for want of the means of probation. It is 
notorious that these letters and papers had been long enough 
in the hands of the queen's enemies to have been tampered 
with to any extent ; and the productions of copies and trans- 
lations, instead of originals, is totally foreign to our ideas 


of judicial proceedings. Nay, there was so little attention 
to authenticate the casket or the documents contained, that 
although Dalgleish, the messenger from whose person they 
were alleged to be taken, was tried and executed for acces- 
sion to Darnley's murder, not a single question was put to 
him either at his trial, or at his death, which could tend 
to prove he had e r er seen them. His confession, also, whicl 
candidly admits his share in Darnley's murder, contains not 
a word respecting these papers. The only evidence of their 
having been taken on the person of this man was the declara- 
tion of Morton, who, if they were forged, was undoubtedly 
a person most deeply interested in the fabrication. 

The queen, also, when she alleged that these manuscripts 
were forgeries, observed that there were many in her king- 
dom who could imitate her handwriting ; and it was believed 
that Maitland possessed that accomplishment in a supreme 

Another document of direct evidence preferred against 
the queen was the confession of Paris, a Frenchman, and 
a servant of her household, who is represented as having 
given testimony respecting the circumstances of a conference 
with Bothwell, which, compared with the subsequent direc- 
tions received by Paris from Mary regarding the delivery 
of the keys of the king's lodgings at the Kirk of Field, 
seems distinctly probative of the queen's knowledge of the 
murder before the fact. But to this also lies the same ob- 
jection of a strong suspicion of forgery; and there arises the 
greater doubt on the subject, that certainly if Paris had been 
actually disposed to make such an important confession, his 
life ought to have been preserved, that he might deliver 
his evidence before parliament or in an unprejudiced court, 
allowing every chance to the royal person accused of so 
hideous a crime of disproving it by cross-examination or 
otherwise. The death of a miserable domestic, whose life 
was at all times in their hands, ought to have been deferred 
until his testimony had been publicly given, carefully inves- 
tigated, and formally recorded. The fact of having put 


Paris instantly to death, with every other person connected 
with the murder, resembles the art of the usurper in the 
play who stabs the warders of Duncan lest a public exami- 
nation should produce other sentiments in the minds of the 
judges than those which he who really committed the crime 
desired should be inferred. 

On the whole, the direct evidence produced in suppoi 
of Mary's alleged guilt was liable to such important objec- 
tions that it could not now be admitted to convict a felon 
for the most petty crime; and there is surely no equity in 
receiving it as absolutely conclusive against a queen. We 
have already stated our opinion of the moral proof of deep 
delusion, or perhaps actual guilt, arising from Mary's own 
conduct; but we own that our strong suspicions, arising from 
her favor to Bothwell, her union with that profligate man, 
and the time and circumstances of the marriage, are rather 
weakened than confirmed by the attempts to corroborate 
it by positive evidence of so very suspicious a description. 
When original documents are suppressed, and alleged copies 
only produced, when minutes of confessions privately ob- 
tained under threats of torture are urged as proofs, and the 
witnesses themselves, who might have given open testi- 
mony, removed by precipitate execution, the loose and im- 
probable character of the evidence throws a suspicion over 
the whole proceeding, which goes far to neutralize the pre- 
sumption of guilt arising out of the circumstances; and 
as it evinces foul practices used in order to convict the 
queen, it must necessarily induce us to lean to the side of 
acquittal. Queen Elizabeth was probably sensible of this 
when, by the result of the investigation, she saw herself 
obliged to acknowledge that the Scottish queen had come 
off guiltless from the charge brought by Murray and her 
rebel subjects; and the number and character of those who 
asserted Mary's cause in Scotland plainly intimates that a 
great part of her subjects were in no respect disposed to be 
considered as having faith in the evidence which later his- 
torians have received as conclusive against her. 


The inquiry had terminated favorably for Mary, in so 
far that Elizabeth confessed by her own answer to both par- 
ties that she saw no grounds for the charges with which the 
Scottish queen had been loaded. It seemed to follow that 
a queen now pronounced to be guiltless, who had taken ref- 
uge in the dominions of a sister and ally in a moment of ex- 
treme necessity, should have been either received with honor 
or dismissed with safety. But, contrary to the laws of hos- 
pitality observed in the most barbarous nations, contrary to 
the tenor of a thousand declarations of friendship and even 
sisterly fondness, the queen of England determined not to 
enfranchise her prisoner, though she had dismissed the ac- 
cusation under pretext of which she had at first refused to 
admit her to her presence. She was indeed so bold in avail- 
ing herself of the advantage she had gained as to seem little 
anxious to justify the right to detain her captive, being fully 
possessed of the power. 

Mary, therefore, was sent from Bolton Castle to Tutbury; 
and that no circumstance of meanness might be omitted, the 
royal captive had reason to complain even of the niggard 
temper of Elizabeth, which hardly allowed her prisoner fit- 
ting means of transport or adequate support, while she 
dragged her from one prison to another in inclement 
weather, and through the most rugged roads. 

Leaving Mary to her melancholy fate, our narrative must 
follow Murray to Scotland. His presence there had become 
needful to the support of his own party; for the lords who 
were attached to Queen Mary having recovered from the 
terrors inspired by the battle of Langside were threatening 
again to take up arms. Murray averted the immediate 
danger by seizing on the Duke of Chatelherault and Lord 
Herries, and sending them prisoners to Edinburgh Castle. 
But the queen's party continued to assume a menacing 
appearance. Their leaders were much encouraged by the 
intrigues carried on by the Duke of Norfolk for the pur- 
pose of obtaining Mary's hand. Two men of eminence, 
who had been Murray's especial friends, were deeply en- 


gaged in this plot. The first was Maitland of Lethington, 
who was the original inventor of the scheme ; the other, Sir 
William Kirkcaldy of Grainge, famed for his military talent, 
and not less so for a generosity of disposition which was by 
no means a characteristic of the period. He had been dis- 
pleased at the severe conduct of the lords toward the queen, 
after she surrendered to him at Carberry Hill, and dismissed 
her army upon his warrant of respectful treatment and good 
usage. And although he afterward fought against her at 
the battle of Langside, yet, unconvinced of Mary's guilt, or 
supposing that it had been expiated by her sufferings, or 
yielding, perhaps, to the wonderful influence which the in- 
genuity of Lethington possessed over the minds of all to 
whom he found access, he was now disposed to join in any 
honorable expedient which might obtain Mary's liberty and 
forward her restoration. Grainge, being governor of Edin- 
burgh Castle, wherein were detained the noblemen whom 
Murray had lately made prisoners of state, his friendship 
was, at such a crisis, of the last consequence to the party 
to which he should finally attach himself. He declared him- 
self the protector of these captives as well as of Maitland of 
Lethington, whom he received into the castle, and who be- 
came, as usual, the soul of all the intrigues which were 
carried on between the parties. 

The arrival of the regent in Scotland disconcerted these 
counsels. Murray had been made privy to the proposed 
marriage between Norfolk and Mary, and had given his 
assent to it while at York. But since that period he had 
openly stood forward as the accuser of his sister, and could 
no longer hope either safety for the future or indemnity for 
the past should she ever again ascend the throne. He there- 
fore dishonorably betrayed to Elizabeth the whole treaty as 
it had been communicated to him by Norfolk, and thus fur- 
nished the English queen with proofs on which the duke was 
arrested and detained a prisoner. Immediately upon this 
arrest, which was regarded as inferring Elizabeth's perfect 
knowledge of the various plans which had been agitated 


among the malcontent lords, the Earls of "Westmoreland 
and Northumberland, Catholics, and friends, of course, to 
the Scottish queen, arose in open rebellion, with the avowed 
purpose of liberating Mary and restoring the popish relig- 
ion. But this insurrection, though in the outset extremely 
formidable, sunk and died away like a fire of straw before 
the active and vigorous measures of Queen Elizabeth. The 
two leaders fled to Scotland, where Northumberland fell 
into the power of the regent, by whom he was imprisoned 
in Lochlever Castle. The Earl of "Westmoreland escaped 
abroad, and died beyond seas. This unsuccessful attempt 
at rebellion greatly broke the power of the Catholics in Eng- 
land, and confirmed the sway of Elizabeth, as the bursting 
of an imposthume often restores the vigor of the human 

Murray, strengthened by Elizabeth's arms, and bold in 
her protection, was taking measures to complete the subju- 
gation of the queen's party, and negotiating to have Mary's 
own person delivered into his hands by the queen of Eng- 
land, when he lost his life by the vengeance of an individual. 
Hamilton of Bothwellhaugh, a man distinguished for a vin- 
dictive disposition in an age when revenge was accounted a 
virtue and a duty, had with many of that name been made 
prisoner at the battle of Langside. With the other captives 
he had been doomed to death after the battle, and, like oth- 
ers, he had received pardon from the regent. But though 
Bothwellhaugh had been thus far favorably treated, a sepa- 
rate property belonging to him had been declared forfeited, 
and was conferred by Murray upon one of his favorites, who, 
brutally eager to obtain possession, drove the wife of Both- 
wellhaugh, then recently delivered of a child, half naked 
into the fields, where she became ere morning furiously 
mad. Her husband vowed vengeance on the regent as the 
original author of the injury ; and the Hamiltons, his kins- 
men, who had so much reason to hate and fear the present 
ruler of Scotland, encouraged him by applauding and abet- 
ting his design. Having taken singularly accurate meas- 


ures for effecting his purpose and his escape, he lurked in 
an empty lodging in the street of Linlithgow, mortally 
wounded the Earl of Murray by a shot from a carabine 
as he rode through the town, and, though closely pursued, 
got in safety to France. 

There is every reason to suppose that the crime of an 
individual had been countenanced and prompted by the 
spirit of a faction as well as of a powerful family. On the 
very night when the murder was committed, Buccleuch and 
Farniherst, chiefs of the names of Scott and Kerr, border- 
ers, of the queen's party, invaded England with unusual 
fury, with the purpose, doubtless, of producing a breach 
between the two nations. One of the depredators showed 
that the party were conscious of the act which had taken 
place; for being asked by an Englishman how he would 
answer that night's work to the regent, who was wont to 
be a terror to the border plunderers, he replied, "Tush, man! 
your regent is cold as the iron bit in my horse's mouth." 

Thus died the Earl of Murray, still remembered by the 
commons of Scotland as the good regent, and not undeserv- 
ing of the epithet; for making allowance for the stormy 
times in which he lived, his general character will bear 
comparison with most statesmen of the period. He was 
wise, brave, and successful in his enterprises; but his un- 
certain and insecure state led him into intrigues from which 
he could not honorably extricate himself; and Elizabeth did 
not hesitate, both in the affair of the Roundabout Raid and 
in extorting a confession of his intrigues with Norfolk, to 
subject him to a just charge of meanness and treachery. 
Sir James Melville blames rather the avarice of Morton 
and others than that of the regent himself for the acts 
of severity and rapacity which hastened his death; and 
although it was he who chiefly profited by the murder of 
Darnley and the ill-concocted intrigues of Bothwell, there 
is no proof that he was conscious of or accessory to those 
dark and treacherous transactions, further than the sus- 
picion which must attach to a man of his consequence, 


who could scarcely be ignorant of important events when 
they were passing around him. There is something like 
coldness and ingratitude in his harsh conduct to a sister 
who had favored and promoted him, and who is said to 
have shed tears over his death. But the steadiness with 
which he prosecuted and established the work of the Ref- 
ormation seems to have arisen from sincere conviction, and 
constitutes Regent Murray's best title to a place among the 
benefactors of his country. 



Commencement of the Civil War— English Invasion — The Borderers 
chastised — The House of Hamilton almost ruined — Dumbarton 
Castle taken — Scotland divided between King's Men and Queen's 
Men — Cruel Character of the War — State of Parties — Raid of 
Stirling — Death of the Regent Lennox — Mar succeeds, and la- 
bors for Peace, but shortly after dies — Morton chosen Regent — 
His Character — Mary corresponds with Spain — Duke of Norfolk 
beheaded — Queen Elizabeth publicly owns the Right of James 
— The Civil Wars still rage; but the Party of the Queen declines 
everywhere save in the North, where it is supported by the 
Gordons — The Queen's Adherents capitulate, excepting Grainge, 
who holds out Edinburgh Castle — He is besieged by an English 
Force, and compelled to surrender — He is executed — Death of 
Maitland of Lethington 

ON the death of the Earl of Murray, both parties in 
Scotland prepared for war. The faction adhering 
to the infant monarch chose for regent, instead of 
Murray, the Earl of Lennox, father of the murdered Darn- 
ley, and grandfather of James himself. His authority was 
strongly supported by Elizabeth, who despatched two flying 
armies into Scotland to avenge the mischief done upon the 
frontiers, and to co-operate with the forces of the regent. 
One of these, under the Earl of Sussex, severely chastised 
the border clans of Scott and Kerr by ravaging their lands 
and burning their houses. The other army was commanded 
by Lord Scroope of Bolton. A third body of English, led 
by Sir "William Drury, assisted Lennox in laying waste the 
vale of Clyde, and desolating the mansions of Hamilton, 
rendered obnoxious to the king's party by the murder of 
the late regent, and to Lennox himself, whose father had 
been slain by one of that clan, by the bitterness of feudal 
hatred. Their vengeance was urged with such unrelenting 
Scotland. Vol. II.— 5 


fury that the great family, whom it affected, was in all its 
branches brought to the verge of ruin. 

In 1571 another advantage was obtained by the king's 
party by an extraordinary feat of courage and dexterity. 
Crawford of Jordanhall, an enterprising officer, undertook 
the venturous exploit of storming the almost impregnable 
castle of Dumbarton, which had hitherto, during the varia- 
tion of the civil war, remained in possession of the queen's 
partisan, the Lord Fleming. A handful of soldiers ad- 
vanced to the foot of the rock on a misty evening. By 
means of ladders they ascended to a ledge of rock where 
they were able to keep their footing till they could draw up 
and replace the ladders so as to attain the bottom of the wall. 
In the second ascent, a soldier, when half way up the ladder, 
was seized with a fit of epilepsy. Crawford caused the man 
to be bound to the steps ; then commanding the ladder to be 
turned, they mounted over the indisposed person's belly. 
Surmounting the wall, the assailants surprised the ill- 
watched garrison, who were too confident in the strength 
of the castle to keep a due guard, and carried the place by 
an attempt, the boldness of which was unequalled by the 
siege of the Numidian fortress mentioned by Sallust, or the 
more modern surprise of Fecamp, on the coast of Normandy, 
by Bois-Rose during the wars of the League. 

The archbishop of St. Andrew's, natural brother of the 
Duke of Chatelherault, was taken in the castle of Dumbar- 
ton, to which he had retreated for safety as to an impreg- 
nable place of refuge. This prelate was highly obnoxious 
to the king's party from his profession, his talents, and his 
family; and being already attainted by parliament, lay open 
to their severity, which was carried to the uttermost. They 
conveyed the archbishop to Stirling, where he was publicly 
hanged without trial or ceremony. That he deserved this 
fate is highly probable. He was proprietor of the fatal man- 
sion called the Kirk of Field, in which Darnley was blown 
up, and of the no less fatal lodging at Linlithgow, from 
which the Regent Murray received his death-wound; and 


there was little doubt of his being on both occasions aware 
of the purpose which the lodgings were to be put to. But 
his execution, without even a semblance of trial, in the heat 
of a civil war, was calculated to add fuel to its fury, and be- 
came the example and justification of numerous atrocities 
practiced by way of retaliation. 

The civil war was now widely kindled, and raged in 
every province ; and the fatal distinction into king's men 
and queen's men divided even private families. The king's 
adherents held a parliament at Stirling. The queen's lords 
assumed the same title at Edinburgh; and these assemblies 
fulminated decrees of forfeiture against each other. Skir- 
mishes were fought in every part of the kingdom ; and as 
the parties threw on each other the imputation of rebellion, 
those taken in battle were only spared by the sword to per- 
ish by the gibbet ; for each party in these desolating hostili- 
ties relentlessly executed their captives as traitors. 

The historian, Hume of Godscroft, has left us a species 
of parallel, showing how the great peers and families in the 
different parts of Scotland were divided between the two 
factions. By this it appears that the preponderance of the 
feudal nobility was on the side of Queen Mary, though the 
strength which the king's men obtained from the support 
of the reformed party decided the civil war in favor of her 
son. First, there were of the queen's side the Duke of 
Chatelherault, the Earls of Argyle, Athole, Huntley, al- 
most all petty princes in their several countries and shires; 
also the Earls of Crawford, Rothes, Eglinton, Cassilis, the 
Lord Herries, with all the Maxwells, Lochinvar, Johnstone, 
the Lords Seton, Boyd, Gray, Ogilvy, Livingston, Fleming, 
Oliphant, the sheriff of Ayr and Linlithgow, Buccleuch, 
Farniherst, and Tulliebardine. "The Lord Hume did also 
countenance them, though few of his friends or name were 
with him, save one mean man, Ferdinando of Broomhouse; 
Maitland, the secretary, a great politician, and Grainge, an 
approved soldier, who was captain of the castle, and provost 
of the town of Edinburgh, embraced Mary's party. They 


had the chief castles and places of strength in their hands — ■ 
Edinburgh, Dumbarton, and Lochmaben. France did assist 
them ; Spain did favor them, and so did the pope, together 
with all the Roman Catholics everywhere. The same fac- 
tion in England was great : all the Duke of Norfolk's party, 
papists and malcontents, had their eye upon Queen Mary. 
Neither was she, though in prison, altogether unuseful to 
her side ; for besides her countenance, and color of her au- 
thority, which prevailed with some, she had her rents in 
France, and her jewels, wherewith she both supported the 
common cause and rewarded her private servants and fol- 
lowers. Especially these resources served her to furnish 
agents and ambassadors to plead her cause, and importune 
her friends at the courts of France and England, who were 
helped by the banished lords, Dacres and Westmoreland, to 
stir up foreign princes all they could. Thus was that party 
now grown great, so that it might seem both safe and most 
advantageous to follow it. The other was almost abandoned. 
There were but three earls that took part with Morton at first 
— Lennox, Mar, and Glencairn ; neither were these compara- 
ble to any of the foremost four. In Fife there was the Lord 
Lindsay, and Glammis in Angus — no very powerful men, and 
no ways equal to Crawford and Rothes. The Lord Semple 
was but a simple one in respect of Cassilis, Maxwell, Lochin- 
var, and others ; Methven in Strathern, a very mean lord ; 
Ochiltree among the meanest that bare the title of a lord ; 
and yet Cathcart was meaner than he, both in men and 
means. Neither was Ruthven so great but that Tulliebar- 
dine and Oliphant were able to overmatch him. They had 
no castles but Stirling and Tantallon, which belonged to 
Morton. The commons, indeed, were very forwardly set that 
way; but how uncertain and unsure a prop is the vulgar? 
England did befriend them sometimes, but not so fully as 
they needed, and even so far as did concern their own 
safety." * 

1 Hume of Godscroft's History of Douglas, Edinburgh, 1743, vol. II4, 


In this view of parties, the historian, desirous to rate the 
strength of the king's faction as low as possible, in order 
the more to exalt the talents and worth of those who gained 
the superiority against such odds, considerably undervalues 
the assistance afforded to the king's lords by the burghs and 
commons. Nor does he give due weight to the countenance 
of England, which ministered to the assistance of the regent 
by effectual supplies of troops and money ; whereas the courts 
of France and Spain and other Catholic powers supported 
Queen Mary by little more than splendid promises. Never- 
theless, Godscroft justly says that the factions were so bal- 
anced as to make success dubious and the bloodshed and 
strife great and universal. The whole inland country was 
agitated through every province by the contests of king's 
men and queen's men; and, to use an expression of the 
period, in the wild borders and savage Highlands, the Clan 
Gregor and the Clan Chattan in the north, Buccleuch and 
Farniherst in the south, were bounded out to ravage the 
neighboring country with the full fury of predatory war. 

Amid this scene of slaughter and confusion, a military 
movement, contrived by the talent of Grainge, had nearly 
brought the war to an unexpected termination. A body of 
five hundred men were privately assembled at Edinburgh, 
under the command of the Earl of Huntley, Lord Claud 
Hamilton, younger son of the Duke of Chatelherault, and 
Scott of Buccleuch. They made a night march to Stirling, 
occupied the town without opposition, and breaking into the 
lodgings of the principal lords of the king's faction, as well 
as the regent himself, made them prisoners, and were about 
to conduct them to Edinburgh. The obstinacy of Morton, 
who defended his house till it was set on fire, and the rapac- 
ity and want of discipline of the soldiers, who broke their 
ranks for the purpose of plunder, gave the king's party an 
opportunity of rallying. The garrison marched out of the 
castle, and fired upon the invaders from some half-built 
houses which still stand in the same unfinished state across 
the top of the main street : the inhabitants of Stirling imme- 


diately joined in the attack, and the assailants, taken by 
surprise in their turn, began to fly. In the scuffle, a man, 
by command it is said of Lord Claud Hamilton, shot the 
Regent Lennox with a carabine, in revenge of the death of 
the archbishop of St. Andrew's. The queen's party fled, 
nor could the others pursue them, the border men, followers 
of Buccleuch, having carried off all the horses they could 
find in Stirling. Morton, who had previously surrendered 
to Buccleuch, now took his captor, who was related to him, 
under his protection as his prisoner, and dismissed him unin- 
jured. If Grainge himself had led the assailants on this oc- 
casion, the enterprise, so successful in the commencement, 
might probably have terminated in the entire ruin of the 
king's party. 

As it was, the loss of the Regent Lennox was a disad- 
vantage which the king's nobles hastened to repair, by plac- 
ing in the vacant situation John, earl of Mar. Just, mod- 
erate, and patriotic, this estimable nobleman endeavored 
to establish peace between the contending parties in the 
State ; and it is said the deep regret which he felt at being 
impeded by Morton, and others of his own party, in the 
work of reconciliation, brought on the disease of which he 
died, 29th October, 1572. 

The Earl of Mar's successor in the regency was the old 
friend of the Regent Murray, James, earl of Morton; and 
no election could have been made more dangerous to those 
who followed the cause of Mary. Morton possessed all 
Murray's faults in an exaggerated degree, many of his 
talents, but few or none of his virtues. He was ambitious, 
but his ambition was of that sordid kind that is sullied by 
avarice; and he was willing to stoop yet lower to win the 
favor of Elizabeth than Murray himself would have bowed. 
As a judge, he was accessible to bribery; as a soldier, he 
was a stranger to mercy; and it was from his name that 
those skirmishes, in which prisoners were regularly executed 
on both sides, were called the Douglas wars. If we compare 
the two regents in other respects, the religion of Murray 


seems to have been sincere, while Morton's pretension to it 
was that of a hypocritical profligate. As a partisan, Morton 
was so deeply implicated in the dark secrets of Queen Mary's 
reign that he must have regarded her return to the throne as 
an era to be followed by his own total ruin. It was his in- 
terest to prevent this, by a complete and abject dependence 
on Queen Elizabeth. In his personal deportment he dis- 
played many of the qualities of the great House of Douglas, 
from which he was descended, being brave, proud, politic, 
and haughty; generally feared, and little loved, through a 
long and despotic administration. 

While Morton held the ostensible government of Scot- 
land, he steered his course almost entirely by the sugges- 
tions of the queen of England ; and that princess was now 
more than ever desirous that the affairs of Scotland should 
either continue in an embroiled state, or remain under the 
management of a statesman who was sure to govern them 
in all respects according to her interests, and diametrically 
opposite to those of Queen Mary, to whom she was more 
hostile than ever. 

The causes for Elizabeth's additional resentment against 
her unfortunate prisoner arose out of circumstances which 
were the natural consequences of the injustice which had 
made her captive. Anxious to obtain the liberty of which 
she was unjustly deprived, Mary naturally turned her eyes 
to the princes of her own faith for support. France, divided 
by civil and religious quarrels, no longer listened to her 
complaints with interest; but Philip II. of Spain willingly 
agreed to send troops and money to invade England, assist 
the distressed English Catholics, and avow the quarrel of 
Queen Mary. His agent Ridolphi found a vigorous second 
in the bishop of Ross, the able defender of Queen Maiy, and 
was listened to, at least, by the Duke of Norfolk. 

This last nobleman had been just released from prison, 
upon pledging his solemn word never to renew his project 
of marriage with Queen Mary. But on obtaining his free- 
dom he immediately resumed the perilous intrigues which 


his imprisonment had interrupted: letters and love tokens 
passed between him and the captive queen of Scotland. 
The intercourse between Norfolk and Mary, thus renewed 
on the duke's part, seems fatal to an argument in proof of 
Queen Mary's guilt, much relied upon by Dr. Robertson 
and others. The letters and proofs produced before the com- 
mission must, they said, have been genuine, since Norfolk 
expressed his belief in them. That he expressed something 
approaching to such an opinion is unquestionable. But, 
first, he had an obvious motive for deceiving Queen Eliza- 
beth on the nature of his sentiments toward Mary ; secondly, 
if we are to decide anything on Norfolk's opinion, it must 
be upon that opinion which he finally entertained at the 
period when he sought her hand; an overture which he 
would hardly have resumed, if he had credited or continued 
to believe in the authenticity of documents which accused 
her of adultery and murder. 1 This intercourse did not long 
escape the eager eyes of Elizabeth and Cecil. Norfolk was 
again arrested, tried, condemned, and executed for high 
treason. That Mary was the motive and mainspring of this 
conspiracy was undeniable ; and Elizabeth was not generous 
enough to see that it resulted entirely from her own conduct, 
and the situation to which she had reduced her kinswoman. 
The queen of England now threw off all mask and disguise; 
and announcing to the world that Mary had held criminal 
correspondence with her subjects, she declared she would 
never consent to her release, and that she would lend avowed 
and direct aid to maintain King James on the throne. 

Possessing the regency of Scotland, Morton speedily 
showed how much he was the devoted servant of England, 
by delivering up to Elizabeth the banished Earl of Northum- 
berland, a nobleman to whom he had been personally obliged 

1 After all, the question is less whether the commissioners of Queen 
Elizabeth believed, or pretended to believe, the authenticity of these 
documents, as whether the documents were themselves worthy of belief 
— a question which the present age is more competent to decide than 
one in which the law of evidence was so ill understood. 


during his residence in England, and who was beheaded at 
York, in 1572, for his rebellion in 1569. What rendered the 
regent's treachery more infamous was his acceptance of a 
reward in money for this service, which was shared between 
him and his cousin, the Laird of Lochleven, in whose island 
fortress Northumberland had been imprisoned. The regent's 
base compliance in this respect was humiliating, as compared 
with his predecessor, Murray, who, although he consented to 
detain Northumberland a captive, had resisted all Queen 
Elizabeth's requests for having him delivered up to her 

In the meantime Scotland bled at every vein. In the 
west, Lord Claud Hamilton with infinite courage and zeal 
continued to uphold the sinking cause of Queen Mary. In 
the south, Buccleuch and Farniherst maintained the same 
side. In the north, Sir Adam Gordon, a son of that earl of 
Huntley who was killed in the battle of Corrichie, made war 
in the queen's behalf with distinguished success. Grainge 
defended the castle of Edinburgh with his characteristic 
intrepiditj\ But notwithstanding the efforts of her adher- 
ents, the queen's cause declined in Scotland in every quarter, 
save Aberdeenshire. At length Huntley and the Duke of 
Chatelherault consented to a treaty of peace, concluded 
at Perth the 23d of February, 1573. By this treaty they 
agreed to acknowledge the authority of the king and the 
regent, and confessed the illegal character of all that they 
had done in the name of the queen. On the other hand, 
they and their followers were promised indemnity and remis- 
sion of such dooms of forfeiture as had been launched against 
them. The adherents of the queen in other parts of Scot- 
land acceded to this capitulation; and thus the banner of 
Mary sunk on all sides, save where it continued to float over 
Edinburgh Castle. 

The dauntless intrepidity of Kirkcaldy of Grainge might 
have held out that strong fortress against nil the force which 
the regent could muster within Scotland, ill supplied as it 
was with the means and skill necessary to carry on sieges. 


But, in conformity with her proclamation, Elizabeth sent 
Sir William Drury with a formidable train of artillery to 
assist in reducing the castle. Kirkcaldy held out with firm- 
ness worthy of his high military reputation, till his walls 
were breached and shattered, his provisions expended, the 
well choked with ruins and inaccessible, and the artillery 
silenced. At the last extremity he surrendered the place 
to Sir William Drury, on a general promise of favorable 
terms. In this the English general had undertaken for 
more than he could make good. By Elizabeth's orders Sir 
William Drury saw himself obliged to surrender, his pris- 
oners to the vindictive regent. Morton caused the gallant 
Kirkcaldy and his brother to be executed at the cross of 
Edinburgh ; and Lethington, so long the sharer of his coun- 
sels, would have experienced as little mercy had not he taken 
poison- and died, according to the expression of a contempo- 
rar} r , a Roman death. 

With the melancholy fate of Kirkcaldy, one of the bold- 
est and most generous warriors, and Maitland, perhaps the 
most subtle and accomplished politician in Europe, we may 
conclude the history of Queen Mary's reign, since from that 
period no subject acknowledged her as sovereign. 



Oppressive Regency of Morton — He sets the Example of the Tulchan 
Bishops, and thereby offends the Church — Tyrannizes over the 
Nobility — Disobliges the young - King — Battle of Reedsquair — 
The King desires to assume the Government — Morton offers no 
Opposition, but resigns the Regency, receiving in return an Act 
of Indemnity — He surrenders the Castle of Edinbui'gh — Retires 
to Dalkeith, and builds a Castle at Droich-holes in Tweedale — 
Meditates, however, the Resumption of his Power — Instigates 
the Earl of Mar to take Stirling Castle from his Uncle, and thus 
acquires Possession of the King's Person and the supreme Place 
in the Privy Council — Argvle and Athole levy Forces against 
Morton, but an Accommodation is agreed upon — Two Favorites 
arise at Court — The Character of the Duke of Lennox — That of 
Stewart, afterward Earl of Arran — Morton's invidious Perse- 
cution of the Hamiltons — Morton is impeached by Stewart — 
Tried, condemned, and executed 

THE kingdom of Scotland, exhausted both in property 
and population, might have enjoyed a state of repose 
similar to the stupefaction of an exhausted patient, 
had it not been disturbed by the arbitrary and oppressive 
actions of the regent. Though affecting zeal for the Protes- 
tant doctrines, he disobliged the Church of Scotland by a 
device which he had invented to secure in the hands of the 
secular nobility the lands and revenues of the Catholic 
clergy. For this purpose he nominated to the archbishopric 
of St. Andrew's a poor clergyman named Douglas, taking 
his obligation to rest satisfied with a very small annuity out 
of the revenues of the see, and to account for the residue 
to his patron, the regent himself. This class of bishops, in- 
stituted for the purpose of cloaking some powerful lay lord 
in the enjoyment of the emoluments of the see, was face- 


tiously called Tulckan 1 prelates; and both the clergy and 
their hearers execrated Morton's avarice, which had intro- 
duced the simoniacal practice. 

The nobility were no less irritated against the regent and 
his authority. The Earls of Argyle and Athole having quar- 
relled with each other, and arming on both sides, the regent, 
by a ver3 T judicious exercise of the royal power, compelled 
them to disband their forces. But while Morton meditated 
how he might render their discord profitable to himself, by 
bringing a charge of treason against two such powerful 
potentates, they discovered his purpose, and, reconciled by 
mutual danger, united their interest against the regent and 
his power. In short, Morton, confident in the support of 
Queen Elizabeth, became careless of maintaining favor with 
the youthful king, or popularity with the Scottish nation; 
and he had not held the regency for five years when a 
scheme was laid to deprive him of it. A chance rendered 
doubtful his receiving aid even from England. 

The long slumbering spirit of hostility between the king- 
doms broke out during his regenc} 7- with an explosion so sud- 
den that it had wellnigh cost Morton, the most devoted of 
Elizabeth's partisans, the forfeiture of her protection. On 
the 3d of May, 1575, a march meeting for the redress of 
mutual grievances was held between Sir John Foster, 
warden of the west marches of England, a particular fa- 
vorite of Elizabeth, and Sir John Carmichael, an esteemed 
follower of the Regent Morton, whom he had named keeper 
of the middle marches of Scotland. The wardens, each sup- 
ported by the most warlike clans of their districts, met at 
a place called the Reedsquair, on the frontier between the 
kingdoms, and near the source of the water of Reed. The 
persons against whom the English had made complaints 
had been delivered up according to custom ; but when the 

1 "When a cow had lost her calf it was customary to flay the calf 
and stuff its skin with straw, that, being placed before the mother, it 
might induce her to part freely with her milk. This was called a Tul- 
chan, and its resemblance to the stipendiary bishops introduced by 
Morton is sufficiently evident. 


same justice was demanded on the Scottish part, there was 
an individual malefactor missing. Carmichael demanded 
delivery of the man with some warmth. Foster answered 
haughtily, and bid him match himself with his equals. This 
spark was enough to produce a blaze in an atmosphere so 
inflammable. The men of Tynedale, the fiercest of the En- 
glish borderers, shot off a volley of arrows among the Scot- 
tish, who, surprised and greatly inferior in numbers, began 
to retreat. At this moment the array of the citizens of Jed- 
burgh was discovered advancing to the place of conflict: 
the ranks of the Scots were restored; and the parties joined 
battle with the slogan, or war-cry, of "To it, Tynedale!" 
answered by that of " Jeddart's here!" The English arrows 
were requited by a volley of bullets, the Scots being superior 
in firearms. The fortune of the day was effectually turned : 
the English retired, rallied, and finally fled, leaving their 
leader, Sir John Foster, with Sir Cuthbert Collingwood, and 
other gentlemen of distinction, prisoners. Sir George Heron 
of Chipchase, with several other Englishmen, were slain. 

The prisoners were sent to the regent at his castle of 
Dalkeith. Morton immediately set himself to anticipate the 
consequences of Elizabeth's resentment. He loaded the En- 
glish captives with attention and kindness, and dismissed 
them with honor and without ransom. Gifts, too, were also 
bestowed, to assuage their angry feelings; but as Scottish 
falcons were among the presents bestowed on them, a fa- 
cetious Scottish borderer could not help asking them the 
insulting question, whether they did hold themselves kindly 
treated since they got live haivks for dead Herons? 

Elizabeth was incensed, but saw the right was with the 
Scottish ; and was besides aware that it was not her interest 
to break terms with her friend and faithful vassal, the re- 
gent. Sir John Carmichael was despatched to England, 
to make his own defence, where he was honorably received 
and safely dismissed. This skirmish was the last of any 
note between the nations of England and Scotland. 

Meantime the intrigues against Morton, at the Scottish 


court, continued to proceed. James VI., now twelve years 
of age, March 4, 1578, was easily inspired with the idea 
that he was fit to take the sceptre into his own custody; 
and, encouraged by the suggestions of those around him, 
resolved to summon a general council of his nobles to put 
an end, by their sanction, to Morton's regency. The nobil- 
ity attended the king's summons with such readiness as to 
show they were both numerous and powerful enough to sec- 
ond the wishes of the sovereign. Morton, surprised at the 
explosion of this confederacy, made far less resistance to it 
than could have been expected either from a statesman of his 
experience or from a warrior of his talents and resources. 
It seems that he thought it most prudent to give way to the 
first impulse of his enemies; and keeping upon his guard, 
and attending to the safety of his person, was determined to 
wait until opportunity should offer of recovering his power 
by some revolution as secret and sudden as that which had 
deprived him of it. 

With this view, he retired into the castle of Lochleven, 
choosing that strength for his safety which had lately been 
the prison of Queen Mary : here he was visited by his own 
allies of the Douglas family and others who had remained 
attached to his government. In the meantime the king 
summoned a parliament, or rather a council of his nobles, 
to which those who were opposed in politics to Morton, with 
an equally great number who conceived they had reason to 
complain of his personal severity or injustice to them, re- 
sorted, in hopes of redress or revenge. On this assembly 
many of Morton's friends also gave attendance, and, in 
appearance at least, deserted the sinking cause of their old 

The young king's government being thus apparently 
strong, he caused it to be intimated to Morton that it was 
his purpose to deprive him of his regency, and call him to 
account for his conduct while he held the office. Intimi- 
dated by these threatened measures of severity, Morton car- 
ried his submission to this new party in the State further 


perhaps than he had himself originally intended. On March 
12, 1578, he went to Dalkeith, and thence to Edinburgh, in 
company with the Lord Glammis, the new chancellor, and 
Lord Herries, the peers by whom the king had intimated 
his unfavorable intentions ; and rendered himself a personal 
witness of the proclamation of the king's acceptance of the 
government into his own hands. Morton conducted himself, 
apparently, in the most dutiful manner: perceiving, as he 
said, "that wisdom and goodness which did perpetually in- 
crease in the king, and fully supplied the defect of years," 
he voluntarily resigned to him his full power and authority 
as regent. By this submissive conduct the earl obtained 
one advantage which he probably considered as of great 
consequence. An act of indemnity was passed in his favor, 
which, in the fullest and most ample form, pardoned the 
Earl of Morton whatever acts of illegal violence he had 
committed in the exercise of his authority, and ratified in 
the king's name his whole conduct as regent. No precau- 
tion was omitted which could render this act of indemnity 
so ample and explicit as hereafter to afford the late regent 
an effectual protection against any future accusation founded 
upon delicts committed during his government or in ascend- 
ing to it. Nevertheless, we shall find that the intended se- 
curitj- was not fully obtained. 

The castle of Edinburgh was still in the hands of the 
regent, who was well inclined to have kept that fortress 
under his own power, and would willingly have had the 
king take up his lodgings within its ramparts. As this, 
however, would have been voluntarily to continue under 
the tutelage of the Earl of Morton, James would not give 
ear to the proposal unless the castle should be surrendered 
to such keeper as he should himself appoint; and Morton 
found it necessary, after some show of defence, to yield up 
that key of the metropolis to the lawful, sovereign. 

The late regent, thus reduced to the state of a private 
nobleman, took up his residence at his strong castle of Dal- 
keith, within about six miles of Edinburgh; where he ap- 


parently busied himself with his private affairs, and the 
management of his extensive estates. About this time, too, 
he constructed amid the mountains of Tweedale a house 
of strength or of retreat, called Droich-holes. It is a large 
and massive building, strongly situated, and so fortified that 
the regent might have defended it with safety, in case of 
emergency, until he should receive relief from his friends in 
England; he did not, however, live to complete this edifice, 
of which the frowning ruins still remain, the singular relics 
of a castle which was never completed or inhabited. 

The general opinion of the mode in which the late regent 
passed his time was expressed by the name of The Lion's 
Den, which the common people bestowed upon the castle of 
Dalkeith. The lords who had succeeded to the management 
of the State entertained the same terror of Morton's secret in- 
tentions as was expressed by the common people in the name 
which they gave to his habitation : all expected the moment 
when the old lion should again burst from his retirement 
and make the kingdom tremble at his roar. 

Accordingly it appears that Morton secretly engaged a 
part of the family of Mar and their dependents to resume 
forcible possession of the king's person. This was to be 
accomplished in an enterprise which Morton so conducted 
that it opened the way to the restoration of his own power, 
although at first it had the appearance only of a feud be- 
tween the young earl and his uncle, Alexander Erskine. 
The Countess of Mar and the young earl had seen with 
impatience Alexander, called the Master of Mar, act as 
governor of the castle and guardian of the king's person, 
and they were easily instigated to an attempt to deprive 
their relative of the power of exercising those honorable 
offices which belonged to the nephew by hereditary right. 
Their suspicions were grossly unjust ; for there is no reason 
to believe that Alexander Erskine was moved by other than 
the fairest motives in acting in behalf of his nephew, a youth 
who was not twenty. They found ready acceptance, how- 
ever, with an ambitious woman and a petulant youth. But 


Morton, it has been supposed, persuaded the Earl of Mar to 
seize upon Stirling, that he himself might find the opportu- 
nity once more to obtain possession of the king's person. 
He proposed to remove James, it was said, from Stirling to 
his own family stronghold of Lochleven Castle, the jail suc- 
cessively of the dethroned Mary and the betrayed North- 
umberland, where Morton might hope to detain the king's 
person in honorable captivity until he should attain to per- 
fect age, or for as much longer a space as he himself should 
be disposed to rule in his name. In this plot Morton engaged 
the Earl of Mar and his mother; and so far as the seizure of 
Stirling Castle the enterprise succeeded with perfect ease. 
The uncle had no suspicion of his nephew or sister-in-law, 
who found, therefore, little difficulty in gaining possession 
of a fortress garrisoned by their own followers, who yielded 
ready obedience to their young lord and his mother. Thus 
the insurgents, or rather Morton, by whose counsel they 
acted, made themselves again masters of the king's person, 
expelling from the fortress the Earl of Argyle, Alexander 
Erskine, called the Master of Mar, and others who had been 
active in the measures against Morton. And thus this wily 
politician, having resumed his seat in the privy council, soon 
obtained the complete ascendency in that body, and was 
again placed at the head of affairs in Scotland. 

But the Earl of Morton's power was too generally dreaded 
to enable him with ease to re-establish the fabric which had 
been already so sorely shaken. He felt that the parliament 
which had been summoned would not be satisfied without 
the king's presence, and that any attempt to remove James's 
person to the lake-surrounded tower of Lochleven must nec- 
essarily be regarded as an act of open rebellion. On the 
other hand, to trust James in the metropolis, where Morton 
was conscious of his own unpopularity, was to give the king 
an opportunity, supported as he was sure to be by the citi- 
zens, to throw off his yoke and destroy his authority forever. 

The Earl of Morton endeavored to compromise these dif- 
ficulties by a proclamation changing the place of convening 


the parliament from Edinburgh to Stirling, where th.0 pos- 
session of the castle gave him the means of detaining the 
king within Lis power. Athole, Argyle, and the other ene- 
mies of Morton, arose in arms against this proposal. "The 
king," they said, "was once more the prisoner of a Douglas, 
who meant to seclude him from the rest of the nobility, and 
detain him in captivity, while he ruled under his name." 

They speedily raised about four thousand men, at the 
head of whom they asserted that they meant to fight for 
the liberty of the sovereign. The king, like his grandfather 
James V. in tho same circumstances, was obliged to lend his 
name to proclamations, and troops marched, as if by his au- 
thority, against the noblemen to whom in his heart he wished 
success, and whose insurrection he considered as good service. 
The Earl of Angus, Morton's nephew, advanced against Ar- 
gyle and Athole, at the head of forces equal to their own. A 
bloody battle and the renewal of the civil wars seemed to be 

Both parties were, however, unwilling to plunge once 
more into the state of civil confusion, war, and bloodshed, 
from which the country had so lately emerged. They made 
an agreement upon the field of expected battle, by which the 
enterprise of Argyle and Athole was acknowledged as good 
service : the earls were themselves received into the king's 
presence, and some alterations were made in the privy coun- 
cil, by which an accommodation of parties seemed for the 
time to have taken place. 

By this coalition, Morton's scheme of retaining the king 
under his separate and sole guardianship was rendered alto- 
gether abortive. James was, it is true, still hampered and 
limited by the influence of Morton in his councils; but after 
this union of parties the earl was no longer possessed of his 
former despotic authority. 

The king himself had tasted the sweets of independence, 
and longed to regain it. If he himself had been indifferent 
upon so interesting a subject, there were two persons who 
shared his secret thoughts, upon whom he had conferred a 


species of unlimited confidence, and who, for the preserva- 
tion of their own power and court interest, lost no opportu- 
nity to animate his displeasure against the veteran statesman 
who had twice reduced his sovereign to a species of nullity. 
These were men of very different talents and character, agree- 
ing only in their apparent attachment to the person of the 
sovereign and their enmity to the Earl of Morton. 

The first of them in rank was Esme Stewart, termed the 
Lord d'Aubigne. He was the son of a second brother of 
Matthew, earl of Lennox, and consequently near cousin to 
the king by his father, Lord Darnley. Lord Esme was a 
graceful, well-accomplished gentleman, and had been edu- 
cated in France, where he professed the Catholic religion, 
which, however, when he came to Scotland, he exchanged 
for the Protestant faith. Notwithstanding his conversion 
he had never the good fortune to obtain the belief of the 
Scottish churchmen in his sincerity. They considered him 
as having professed himself a Protestant rather from tem- 
poral policy than religious motives, and they dreaded his 
intimacy with, and influence over, the king, as likely to be 
secretly employed in behalf of the court of France and the 
Church of Rome. In temper the young favorite was candid, 
liberal, generous and well-disposed, but he was entirely igno- 
rant of Scottish affairs, and unable to decide as a statesman 
in public business of any kind. This young nobleman the 
king raised by hasty steps to the highest pinnacle of promo- 
tion, until he became Duke of Lennox, captain of the royal 
guard, first lord of James's bedchamber, and lord high cham- 
berlain; offices which required his constant attendance on 
the king, and invested him in a great measure with the 
protection of the royal person. 

The Duke of Lennox's associate in the king's favor was 
a man of meaner birth and pretensions, yet by no means, 
as has been surmised, of ignoble lineage: he was James 
Stewart, usually called Captain Stewart, the second son of 
Lord Ochiltree, a family of some distinction among the nu- 
merous branches which claimed alliance with the royal house. 


Stewart had those talents which are generally supposed to 
make way for their possessors at a court. He was ambi- 
tious to the highest degree, yet capable of stooping in order 
to catch an opportunity to rise : he was bold, daring, profli- 
gate, and unscrupulous, and possessed the art of making his 
own insinuations, however wicked and unprincipled, accept- 
able to men of better minds and morals than himself; and 
among such were to be reckoned the king and the Duke 
of Lennox. No religious feelings of any kind shackled the 
boldness of this adventurer's attempts; and he was equally 
devoid of that steady sagacity and respect for general opin- 
ion which often serves instead of a conscience to such poli- 
ticians as are not fortunate enough to have any. It was he 
who animated both the king and Lennox to the violent pro- 
ceedings against Morton, and promoted other steps which 
were less justifiable, either upon the score of justice or ex- 

It cannot be supposed that a statesman so sagacious as 
Morton was unaware of the peril to his own power attending 
the rise of these two young men, who must necessarily have 
felt the existence of his authority as tending to eclipse that 
of the monarch and their own. But he no longer possessed 
that unlimited ascendency by which he had the power of 
excluding from the king's company and intimacy any per- 
son whose favor might awaken his jealousy. He was 
obliged to keep measures with the monarch and with his 
favorites, the rather that he knew himself obnoxious to the 
courtiers in general, and especially to some of his own for- 
mer friends. He was compelled, therefore, to witness the 
growth of a party who he was conscious looked upon him 
with jealous hatred, and loaded him with odious imputations. 

A circumstance, probably casual, afforded ground in that 
suspicious age for much clamor against him — this was the 
death of the Earl of Athole, the chancellor, appointed to that 
high office upon the slaughter of Lord Glammis, who was 
slain in a fray between his domestics and those of the Earl 
of Crawford. Athole's decease took place shortly after a 


banquet given by Mar and Morton, chiefly to the statesmen 
of the opposite faction, and was, therefore, almost of course 
ascribed to poison. No inquiry was made; but the belief 
that Athole had died by Morton's crime was generally en- 

It was not less unfavorable to the safety of the late regent 
that he was supposed to lend himself to the aid of Elizabeth 
in a species of policy of which she was believed very capa- 
ble. The purpose of securing James, the heir of her king- 
dom, in her own strong possession, and of governing Scot- 
land by Morton, or by some other satellite of the English 
interest, was regarded as a course of policy which she was 
inclined to follow, and in which Morton, it was supposed, 
would have been a ready instrument of her pleasure. Meas- 
ures were hastily taken to secure the king against the danger 
of his person being seized and sent to England by the con- 
trivance of his too powerful minister, alleged to be the 
willing tool of so dangerous an ally. The office of lord 
high chamberlain, as the immediate guardian of the king's 
person, was revived, as we have seen, in the person of the 
Duke of Lennox ; that of deputy chamberlain was granted 
to Alexander Erskine, the Master of Mar, and the command 
of the king's guard, reinforced and carefully cleared of all 
suspicious persons, was intrusted to Captain James Stewart, 
all of them enemies to the Earl of Morton. 

Fortified by these circumstances the cabal of Morton's 
foes, for public and private reasons, became so strong that 
little was wanting save a plausible point of accusation upon 
which the late regent might be brought to capital trial. 

The veteran statesman's own avarice and overweening 
arrogance had excited new odium ever since his accommo- 
dation with Argyle and Athole. The cause was as follows : 
Morton's ancient hereditary enemies of the House of Hamil- 
ton had begun once again to raise their heads, notwithstand- 
ing the severity with which they had been treated by the 
Regent Lennox, assisted by the forces of Elizabeth in the 
year 1575. The Duke of Chatelherault had been several 


years dead; his eldest son, the Earl of Arran, had showed 
symptoms of derangement early in Queen Mary's time, and 
had never since recovered from his mental disease ; but the 
duke had two younger sons, John, who was in possession 
of the family property, and Claud, titular abbot of Paisley. 
Both, but especially the latter, had made a distinguished 
figure in the support of Queen Mary's cause during the civil 
wars ; and Morton, whose revenge as well as avarice were 
insatiable, directed the most vindictive measures. Specious 
pretexts were found in their accession, which was more than 
suspected, to the murder of Regent Murray, who was shot 
by Hamilton of Bothwellhaugh, one of their kinsmen, and 
to that of Lennox at the raid of Stirling, where Lord Claud 
himself had been present, and which was said to be done by 
his express command. The deeds were no doubt culpable 
in proportion to the dignity of the high persons that were 
slain. Yet if such facts, occurring in the heat of so bloody 
a civil war, were allowed as fair subjects of prosecution after 
arms had been laid down on mutual agreement, it was clear 
that the wounds of internal discord could never have been 
stanched. Morton, however, having determined to avenge 
himself upon the devoted Hamiltons, proceeded against them 
as outlawed traitors, ravaging their estates, which he after- 
ward caused to be formally confiscated by parliament. The 
Lords John and Claud Hamilton escaped to England; and 
the alleged crime, of which they had neither been tried nor 
found guilty, was, with equal injustice and cruelty, visited 
upon their insane brother, the Earl of Arran, who had been 
all along in confinement, and had no accession to their guilt, 
even if in his disturbed state of mind he could have been 
made legally responsible for his actions. Doom of forfeiture 
was, nevertheless, pronounced against him; and this irregu- 
lar and rapacious proceeding stirred up new enemies against 
Morton, who had already upon his hands a faction much 
stronger than he was able to contend with. All these lay 
waiting for a day of vindictive retaliation, which failed not 
at length to arrive. 


We have said that Morton was covered, as if with a coat 
of mail, by the act of parliament which ratified the acts of 
his regency, and authenticated and pardoned all such 
breaches of law as he might have committed in the course 
of his government. But the ingenious hatred of Captain 
James Stewart discovered a flaw in this panoply. That 
Morton was in some degree associated with Bothwell in the 
murder of Henry Darnley had always been alleged; and it 
was positively given in evidence by those subaltern agents 
of Bothwell who died for the crime that Archibald Doug- 
las, titular parson of Glasgow, the earl's relative and con- 
fidant, and a busy agent in many of the dark and bloody 
transactions of the time, was present at the guilty act. 
This was averred, with the addition of a precise circum- 
stance, that Douglas, in his hurry to effect his escape, had 
left one of his slippers behind him. From this had been 
deduced as a consequence that Archibald's friend, relative, 
and patron, Morton, must have been a member of the con- 
spiracy, the more especially as he continued to favor and 
protect his kinsman Douglas. Now the act of ratification 
and indemnity in favor of the Earl of Morton, while it con- 
tained the most copious remission of almost every other spe- 
cies of state crime, could not with decency have included a 
pardon, on the part of James, for the murder of his own 
father, and on this point, therefore, the late regent remained 
open to accusation and trial. 

So very execrable were the politics of that time that even 
the process instituted by a son for obtaining the punishment 
of his father's murderer was conducted in a manner which 
allied it to the vulgar proverb— that it was a staff discovered 
for the express purpose of beating a dog, or in plain English, 
that the charge was insisted upon not out of regard for 
Darnley 's memory, or the lawful and natural desire of pun- 
ishing his violent and cruel murder, but for the purpose of 
depriving the hated Earl of Morton of his estate, honors, 
and life. 

The ready agent in this tragedy was Captain James 


Stewart, a man whom we have already described as being 
equally bold, profligate, and unconscientious. "When the 
king was seated in full council he appeared before them, 
and, falling upon his knees, impeached the Earl of Morton 
as being art and part of (that is, accessory to) the murder 
of the late king, Henry Darnley, and offered to make good 
the charge, under the usual penalties if he should fail in his 
proof. Morton, with a disdainful smile, referred to the ser- 
vices which he had done the crown, and the severity with 
which he had prosecuted the murderers of Darnley, and 
offered to stand to his defence on that charge in any com- 
petent court. Stewart was about to reply, when the king 
imposed silence on both, and commanded Morton to be put 
into custody until an opportunity of trial should be given in 
due and lawful form. At the same time he directed a war- 
rant to be issued for the apprehension of Archibald Douglas, 
who fled into England, and thus escaped prosecution. 

The Earl of Angus, Morton's nephew, seeing the violent 
course which was pursued against his uncle, offered to raise 
the forces of his family, and make a desperate attempt for 
his rescue. Morton, however, proudly forbade all armed 
interference, saying, he would perish a thousand times ra- 
ther than it should be supposed he was unwilling to face a 
fair trial. 

Elizabeth, also, who foresaw the loss she must sustain 
in a Scottish minister so accommodating and deferential to 
her will as the Earl of Morton, sent a threatening message 
to the king, by an ambassador of the name of Randolph. 
She remonstrated against the favor conferred upon young 
Lennox, desiring that he might be expelled from Scotland 
as an enemy to both countries. She demanded that Morton, 
Angus, and their followers, should be restored to honor and 
favor, and adopted, on the whole, a menacing tone of lan- 
guage, which she supported by a display of troops at Ber- 
wick and Northumberland, under the command of the Earl 
of Huntingdon and Lord Hunsdon. 

These menaces were ill qualified to serve their purpose : 


they awakened the indignation of James, and roused the 
spirit of the Scottish nation. The king instantly assembled 
forces in his turn, and sent a messenger demanding to know 
explicitly whether the queen of England desired to have 
peace or war. Elizabeth, long accustomed to dictate in 
Scottish affairs, and to be obeyed without remonstrance, 
was not prepared for so spirited and independent an an- 
swer : she withdrew her troops from the frontiers, and left 
Morton to the fate which her interference had probably 

The earl was brought to trial, under circumstances in- 
dicating an unusual contempt of the established forms of 
justice. During the proceedings against him, his accuser, 
James Stewart, by an act of royal favor, which seemed to 
prejudge the question between them, was advanced to the 
honor and estates of the Earl of Arran. There was some- 
thing very iniquitous in the manner by which he attained 
this dignity. The spoils in which the minion of James VI. 
thus dressed himself were the property and title of that un- 
fortunate Earl of Arran, the custody of whom had been 
granted to the same James Stewart, with the burden of 
maintaining the insane earl out of his own estate ; a burden 
which he had discharged in a manner scandalously parsi- 
monious. By the oppressive proceedings of Morton himself 
against the whole family of Hamilton lately narrated, which 
extended as well against the lunatic earl as his brothers John 
and Claud, this earldom of Arran had become forfeited to 
the crown, although its possessor, even if he had been guilty 
of a crime, of which there was no proof attempted, could 
tot in his state of mind have been a proper subject of pun- 
ishment. And now, his title and fortune, of which he had 
been deprived by one rapacious minister, became the prey 
of another equally unjust and profligate. 

It is remarked by historians that Morton, with the credu- 
lity of that age, had an anxious recollection of an ancient 
prophecy, which declared "that the bloody heart should fall 

by the mouth of Arran." This the regent interpreted to 

Scotland. Vol. II.— 6 


mean the downfall of the Douglases, designed, as was usual 
in such vaticinations, by their well-known cognizance, and 
that by means of an Earl of Arran. This, it is said, was 
the reason for his pressing the unfortunate family of Ham- 
ilton, who were the legitimate proprietors of that title, almost 
to their total destruction. "When, therefore, he heard that 
the earldom of Arran was conferred upon his accuser, Stew- 
art, he replied, with a surprised and desponding expression, 
"Is it even so? Then I know what I must expect." 

When Morton was brought to his trial at Edinburgh, 
large bodies of men were drawn up in different parts of the 
city to overawe the friends of the accused. The records of 
the trial are lost, but there is evidence that the assize con- 
sisted in many instances of the earl's personal enemies ; and 
that, although he challenged them on that score, his remon- 
strances were not attended to. His servants were also put 
to the torture in no common manner; for Arran thought it 
necessary, after the earl's execution, to sue out an immunity 
for the violence to which they had been subjected. 

When Morton heard the indictment read he did not show 
surprise or emotion ; but when the verdict of the jury brought 
him in guilty of concealing, or being art and part in the 
murder of Henry Darnley, he repeated, with considerable 
vehemence, ' ' Art and part ! art and part ! God knows it is 
not so." 

In his conferences with the clergy he more fully explained 
what he meant by this exclamation. He confessed to them 
that upon his (Morton's) return from England after his exile, 
for accession to Rizzio's death, the Earl of Both well had pro- 
posed to him, both personally and through the medium of 
his kinsman Archibald Douglas, to be concerned in the death 
of Darnley, assuring him it was a deed which had the queen's 
approbation. Morton stated that he had replied to this pro- 
posal, "that having so lately been released from a state of 
exile, he would not be implicated in such an important mat- 
ter unless Bothwell would produce to him the queen's sign- 
manual in warrant of the deed." — "The Earl of Bothwell," 


he said, "promised to produce him such an assurance, but 
never did so, and therefore he remained a stranger to the 
conspiracy; excepting that he knew generally that such an 
action was meditated by Both well and others." 

The condemned earl was naturally asked by his reverend 
visitors why, having become privy to so horrible a conspir- 
acy, he did not take measures for unfolding the plot and 
preventing its execution. "To whom," replied the earl, 
"should I have made the discovery? If to the queen, she 
was herself at the bottom of the deadly plot; if to Lething- 
ton, or other statesmen of the time, they were accomplices 
to the execution ; if to Darnley, he was a creature of so weak 
and fickle a temper that he would have communicated it to 
his wife, and in any case I should have been inevitably 
ruined." Thus far the apology seems reasonable, though 
it gives us a horrible idea of the court and councils of Scot- 
land at the time. 

But Morton had less to answer when his ghostly assist- 
ants demanded of him why he continued to show friendship 
and favor to Archibald Douglas, who had acted on this 
occasion as the confidant of Bothwell, and was generally 
averred to have been personally present at the murder, and 
whom, notwithstanding, he created a judge of the court 
of session? Nor was any satisfactory reply, which could be 
consistent with Morton's pretended abhorrence of the trag- 
edy of the Kirk of Field, ever returned to this question. 

Sentence of death immediately followed upon the Earl 
of Morton's being found guilty. He slept soundly on the 
night previous to his execution, and went through the ser- 
vices of religion with apparent devotion. On the morning, 
having received intimation that all things were ready for the 
execution, "I praise God," said he, "I am ready likewise." 

As the fallen statesman who had once been so pre-emi- 
nent was conducted to the cross of Edinbugh, which was the 
place of execution, the mendicants craved alms of him; and 
he was compelled to borrow the sum of twenty shillings Scots 
to obtain the means of bestowing it, so low were reduced 


those hoards of wealth, the amassing of which had been one 
of the principal causes of this great noble's catastrophe. He 
met his death with the same determined courage that he had 
often displayed in battle ; and it was remarked with interest 
by the common people that he suffered decapitation by a 
rude guillotine of the period which he himself during his 
administration had introduced into Scotland from Halifax: 
it was called The Maiden. 

It was never known in what way Morton's treasure had 
been disposed of : some traditions report it to be still in exist- 
ence concealed among the vaults of the castle of Dalkeith; 
but a more probable rumor states it to have been delivered 
over to his nephew Angus, and by him expended in the sup- 
port of those who, after the Raid of Ruthven, shared his exile 
in England. To this the earl is supposed to have alluded, 
June 2, 1581, when, paying out a final sum of money for the 
behoof of those distressed persons, he observed, "It was all 
gone at last; and that, considering by what means it had 
been amassed, he had never expected to see it produce so 
much good." 

The character of Morton shows dark even among the 
gloomy portraits of the period. When we have said that he 
was undauntedly brave and acutely sagacious, almost all his 
great qualities are set forth. His ambition could hardly 
be gratified with power, nor his avarice with money; and 
he united a degree of selfish profligacy with great preten- 
sions to religious zeal. Yet his death was so conducted as 
to resemble a judicial murder; and the ministers who suc- 
ceeded to James's favor made Morton's sway regretted, 
since, with all his looseness of principle, they wanted his 
good sense and political talent. 



Character of James — Greatly influenced by personal Timidity — His 
Irresolution — His high Opinion of Royal Prerogative — Con- 
trolled by the Opinions of his Subjects, and the Nature of his 
Right to the Crown — Saved from many Dangers by his Flexi- 
bility of Temper — His Attachment to Favorites — He throws 
the Government into the Hands of Lennox and Arran — Infa- 
mous Character of the latter — His profligate Marriage and 
general Unpopularity — He misleads Lennox, and seeks to un- 
dermine his Influence — A Conspiracy to reform the State — The 
Earl of Gowrie is induced to join it— His Character — The King 
is seized at the Raid of Ruthven, and detained a Prisoner — 
He dissembles with Gowrie and his Associates — Arran is made 
Prisoner — Lennox is banished, and dies in France — The King 
ostensibly ratifies the Raid of Ruthven, which is approved of 
also by the General Assembly of the Church — Meantime James 
entertains deep Discontent for the Restraint inflicted on him — 
He lets Elizabeth know his real Sentiments — The Lords permit 
him more personal Liberty — He escapes to St. Andrew's — The 
Lords concerned in the Raid of Ruthven are overpowered at 
Court — James rules at first with Moderation, but Arran re- 
covers his Influence, and impels the King to vindictive Meas- 
ures — Queen Elizabeth expostulates with James without Effect 
— Walsingham visits the Scottish Court, and forms a high Opin- 
ion of the King — The Scottish Clergy interfere on behalf of the 
Lords connected with the Ruthven Conspiracy — These Lords 
take Arms — Gowrie is taken at Dundee — Angus and Mar take 
Stirling, which is promptly retaken — Gowrie tried and executed 
— Violence of Arran — Now uncontrolled Minister 

THE death of the Earl of Morton restored the king in 
the full sense of the word to the management of his 
own affairs, in which it was his pleasure to use almost 
exclusively the advice and ministry of the Duke of Lennox 
and James Stewart, the new Earl of Arran. It is, therefore, 
now a proper time to make some observations upon the char- 
acter of James VI., who, though in genius and disposition 


inferior to many of his long line of ancestors, was destined, 
by uniting in his person the crowns of England and Scotland, 
to attain a pitch of power which none of them before his 
mother's accession could have been entitled even to dream of. 
It happens, in general, at least among civilized people, 
that accidents connected with the corporeal and outward 
frame alone seldom produce much influence upon the mind : 
nothing can be more common than to see a vigorous mind 
in a feeble frame, and a gallant resolution ill seconded by a 
puny person. In the case of James VI., however, this was 
extremely different ; for a considerable part of that prince's 
habits and tone of thought and feeling may be traced to the 
consequences of the brutal assault upon Rizzio, committed 
in his mother's presence two months ere yet he beheld the 
light. A weakness in his limbs, which he never entirely re- 
covered, gave him a singular, odd, ungainly, and circuitous 
mode of walking, diametrically opposite to that which we 
connect with the movements of majesty. The same shock- 
ing scene, probably, gave rise to a nervous timidity, by 
which James was affected to a ludicrous degree. It was 
remarked of him, that different not only from the disposi- 
tion of his fathers, but from that of his mother Mary, who 
could look with an unshrinking eye upon all the array of 
war, James wanted the most ordinary personal courage, a 
virtue, and one is sometimes tempted to suppose the only 
one, of that age. The king could never behold a naked 
sword without shrinking, and he turned away his head 
even from that very pacific weapon which he was obliged 
to draw for the purpose of bestowing the accolade on a 
knight dubbed with unhacked rapier and from carpet-con- 
sideration. The same species of timidity ran through his 
whole mind and actions, like an extensive flaw in a rich 
piece of tapestry, defacing and rendering of little value that 
which would have otherwise been rare and precious. Thus, 
while nature had given him a sound and ready judgment, 
and a wit which was sometimes even brilliant, she withheld 
from him that accurate knowledge of propriety which is 


manifested in applying to its proper plaoe, or using in its 
fit time, either what is serious or what is humorous, without 
which tact or sense of propriety wisdom sinks into a vender 
of proverbs, and wit into a mere buffoon. To remedy, if 
possible, these natural defects, James's education had been 
seduluously cared for; his tutor, George Buchanan, being 
not only one of the best scholars of the age, but capable of 
rivalling the purest classics in the composition of their own 
beautiful language. In this art he accomplished his pupil 
James, just up to that point where strength and vigor of 
thought is demanded to give animation to language, but 
unfortunately he could conduct the royal student no further. 
The ordinary subtleties of scholastic teaming were easily 
comprehended by a mind which delighted in ingenious tri- 
fling; but a timorous disposition cannot form ideas of dig- 
nity and resolution, nor, of course, can a timorous mind 
frame, or a hesitating tongue give utterance to, a daring 

Yet it must be owned there were periods of James's life 
in which awakened pride and natural talent assumed the 
appearance of firmness and presence of mind, authorizing 
us, perhaps, to suppose that his want of courage arose from 
the defects of his nerves, which upon great occasions might 
be supplied by the energies of his mind, rather than from 
actual cowardice ; which intellectual failing must always be 
most predominant when the danger is greatest. 

In his ideas of government it naturally followed that 
James was influenced by his own situation; by his con- 
sciousness that his elevation to the crown had taken place 
neither from affection or respect to his person, but from 
the desire to obtain under the shadow of his authority an 
opportunity of dethroning his mother. This consciousness 
generated an apprehension, lest, through means of some 
conspiracy among his subjects, he should, in his turn, be 
overtaken by a fate similar to that which had banished his 
mother from Scotland, and occasioned her being confined as 
a prisoner in a foreign land. His fears on this score had 


been increased during the stern rule of Morton, who had, 
with singular imprudence, neglected the obvious means by 
which the pride and vanity of the youthful monarch might 
have been reconciled to his condition, through an ostensible 
show of respect and deference. 

It may be added, that James, both from situation and 
taste, was very much disposed to study and to acquiesce in 
the numerous works at this time current in Europe, which 
argued in behalf of the despotic and unimpeachable au- 
thority of monarchs, as the direct delegates of Heaven, and 
as accountable for the use of their power to that divine 
authority alone by whom that power was conferred. 

But though this species of reasoning in one point of view 
led James to a conclusion which was doubtless highly agree- 
able to him, yet in another, and that one of great impor- 
tance, it might have been fatal to his right of immediate 
possession of the crown of Scotland. In the first place, his 
right had been, during his infancy, set up and maintained 
by a party who had assumed the government, issued laws, 
and even struck money in his name, expressing, as a fixed 
principle, that the control of the sovereign lay with the sub- 
jects ; and that he might be resisted by them so soon as he 
ceased to use his authority for the public good. His own 
right resting on such a foundation, it could not escape so 
acute an observer as James that, in assuming and defending 
an opposite doctrine, he ran the risk of provoking that large 
and strong body of his subjects who had placed him on the 
throne, together with the whole clergy of Scotland, upon 
whose suffrages his right had been established, and by 
whose exertions it had been maintained. 

But, secondly, if James had adopted in action, as he 
probably did in theory, the doctrines of arbitrary power 
and unchallengeable authority, however flattering in the 
abstract, he might incur not only the probability of alien- 
ating the affections and loyalty of the nobles and clergy by 
whom his government had been established, and by whose 
internal strength, as well as their close connection with Eng- 


land, it had been originally supported, but the certainty of 
losing the favor and support of those among his subjects 
who from interest or conviction might, like himself, rely 
upon hereditary right. It could not escape him that such 
right was not in himself, but that the doctrine which pro- 
claimed it indefeasible must pronounce that it was still 
vested in the person of his unfortunate mother Mary. 

Thus the theoretical pretensions of James to rule by 
divine right were at absolute variance with the mode in 
which he ascended, and the title by which he held the 
throne; and his natural indecision of temper was aug- 
mented by the difficulty of reconciling his own ideas of 
the right of a king de jure to his real condition of a mon- 
arch de facto. The consequence of such a collision hap- 
pening in the person of a prince of an irresolute temper 
necessarily produced a vacillating and indefinite species of 
conduct, which led each faction in turn to suppose that the 
king was of their party. And although the indecision and 
inconsistency arising from this cause rendered James's con- 
duct less respectable than that of a more daring and deter- 
mined prince, yet it must be owned that this system of ac- 
tion, cloaked by bold words, and occasionally evincing some 
firmness, seemed rather the fruit of policy than timidity, 
and had the effect of excluding neither party from hope of 
his favor, and inducing all to abstain from violent measures 
against a prince whom none could regard as their declared 
enemy, though at the same time no one was entitled to con- 
sider him as their exclusive head and protector. The same 
uncertainty of conduct, the same good-natured pliability , 
rendered James, at a later part of his reign, disposed, as 
we shall see, to cultivate the good opinion of the various 
factions in England, in order to unite in his own behalf 
their different votes for the succession. 

Thus the first monarch of Britain may be said to have 
reaped from his flexibility of temper the advantage claimed 
by the versatile Earl of Pembroke, when he accounted for 
his being a favorite through various mutations of Church 


and State during four reigns, from Henry VIII. downward, 
by confessing that he was born of the willow, not of the oak, 
or, in other words, that he had been a dexterous and unblush- 
ing time-server. 

The same want of manly firmness in James VI. is to be 
discovered in his habits of favoritism. "Wherever such at- 
tachment exists, it resembles some creeping plant striving to 
support itself by that firmness on the part of another which 
it does not find within itself; and like such parasite plants, 
also, James was not very nice in selecting the prop by help 
of which he proposed to raise and sustain his own resolution. 

Another quality of James's mind was gratified by this 
tendency to rule by the means of favorites. Without appar- 
ently any strong sense of pleasure or disposition to unlimited 
indulgence in his own person, James was addicted to occupy 
his time in frivolous pursuits, or consume it in the languor 
of indolence. This last habit of inaction induced him to 
trust the execution of the necessary but troublesome parts 
of his kingly duty to favorites, who secured their master's 
good opinion by an affectation of extreme regard for his 
person, which the good-natured king appears never to have 
suspected of being counterfeit. Encouraged by such persons 
as had gained his ear, he readily adopted the belief in his 
own supreme wisdom, which was echoed and re-echoed by 
all around him ; and he was unbounded in his reliance upon 
those who enjoyed his favor, because it never occurred to 
him that he could have been mistaken in choosing proper 
objects of affection and confidence, or that men so correct in 
admiring his wisdom might probably be themselves rather 
deficient in that attribute. "With still more culpable negli- 
gence he was careless of the faults of those who had his 
favor : thus he often overlooked, if he did not actually en- 
courage in their persons, a tone of vice and profligacy which 
did not apparently belong to his own character. 

"We have already shown reasons why as a king James 
was jealously attached to his privileges, yet cautious of ex- 
erting his power in such a manner as to provoke resistance. 


In this case, perhaps, his constitutional timidity was of ad- 
vantage to his subjects and himself, since it was the means 
of adjourning to another generation the contention between 
the prerogative of the king and those rights which began to 
be claimed on behalf of the people. 

We must remark, in the last place, that James's attach- 
ments to his favorites, though inordinate while they con- 
tinued, were in fact far from being deep-rooted; and there 
is reason to think that in many cases the usurpation over 
him, which his supine indolence permitted them to assume, 
was in the long run felt as a slavery, which, though he 
himself had not energy to throw off, he was not averse to 
see destroyed by any other means; at least it is certain that 
most of his favorites had become distasteful to him before 
their fall. 

In a word, James VI. was an example that neither high 
rank, nor shrewd sense, nor ready wit, nor a deep acquaint- 
ance with the learning of the age, can acquire respectability 
for a man timid both by moral and physical causes, and in- 
capable of acting, upon suiting occasion, with total careless- 
ness to his own comforts, his own safety, or, if the case calls 
for it, his own life. With these remarks on the character 
of a monarch called to perform one of the most interesting 
parts in British histoiy, and to close a long train of useless 
and unnatural wars between the divided portions of the 
island, we will close what we have to say on the subject, 
and return to the prosecution of Scottish history. 

Such as he was, King James now threw the government 
of Scotland so exclusively into the hands of Lennox and 
Arran, that the nation at large were extremely disgusted 
with his conduct. Arran, in particular, had the rapacity 
of Morton, without either his wisdom or his experience ; and 
in private life he set decency and morality alike at defiance. 
He had carried on a criminal intrigue with the wife of the 
Earl of March, a woman young and handsome, but in other 
respects infamously profligate. To make way for a union 
between her and her lover, the countess pleaded for divorce 


from her husband upon the same scandalous reason which 
was afterward alleged by the Countess of Essex; and hav- 
ing thus obtained her liberation from the band of matri- 
mony, she conferred her hand in shameless triumph upon 
her paramour Arran. This gave the highest offence to a 
nation which boasted of having reformed their moral sys- 
tem upon the pure lessons of the Gospel, and whose creed, 
though sometimes strained to the toleration of acts of rapine 
and violence in the ambitious and vindictive, was specially 
adverse to the licentious excesses of a voluptuary. 

For some time the two favorites who held an undivided 
sway over James's affections pursued their course hand in 
hand, or rather Stewart suffered the Duke of Lennox to ap- 
pear the ostensible superior, and was contented to rank in 
the capacity of his assistant and dependent. "When raised, 
however, to the rank of nobility, and wedded to a woman 
of ambition as irregular as his own, the new Earl of Arran 
became impatient of the duke's precedence and superiority 
in a degree which had never occurred to him when Captain 
James Stewart. He endeavored, by various means, to rival 
his credit with the king, and inspired the people with jeal- 
ousy of his favor. Under pretence of friendship he found 
little difficulty in instigating the inexperienced Duke of Len- 
nox to quarrel with several of his soundest friends and best 
advisers; and was thus the means of stirring up dissension 
between the duke and the Master of Mar, Sir "William Stew- 
art, captain of Dumbarton, Alexander Clark, provost of 
Edinburgh, and, above all, the Earl of Gowrie, treasurer 
of Scotland, persons of considerable influence, and all well 
inclined to the Duke of Lennox till estranged from him by 
the intrigues of Arran and his lady. 

This was not all, nor even the worst part of the evil ren- 
dered by Stewart to the young nobleman who had first raised 
his influence at court. He never failed, upon every possible 
opportunity, to breathe into the minds of the clergy and 
people that Lennox, whatever might be now his pretences, 
was still at heart a devoted servant of the Duke of Guise, 


a favorer of the Catholic religion, a tool of the court of 
France, and a dangerous person to retain any share in the 
king's affections. Now, although these insinuations, con- 
sidering the quarter from which they came, might have 
been more than suspected, yet as they fell upon the ears of 
persons who were very much disposed to receive them as 
true, the circumstance of deriving their origin from the false 
and profligate Arran did not operate, as it would otherwise 
have done, to deprive them of credit. Strong jealousy, there- 
fore, prevailed among the envoys and partisans of England, 
as also the clergy and reformed part of Scotland, all of which 
parties regarded the duke, being a stranger and a converted 
Catholic, as still retaining a dangerous partiality for the 
country and the religion in which he had been educated. 

But these suspicions excited against Lennox did not at 
all raise in the public estimation the character of the Earl 
of Arran, by whom they had been infused into the mind of 
the people. On the contrary, whatever might be his success 
in representing his rival Lennox as the friend of France and 
Rome, he himself continued to be esteemed, by almost all 
except the deceived king and a few dependents who hoped 
to rise by his favors, a bold, bloody, and ambitious min- 
ister, regardless both of law and justice, and only intent 
upon amassing power and wealth by the wreck and ruin 
of others. 

Scotland had been long accustomed to the use of violent 
remedies in state diseases, so that the apprehension of Len- 
nox's partiality for France, and of Arran's general profligacy 
and oppression, soon excited a party among the nobles to 
remove these obnoxious favorites from the king's presence 
by force itself, if force should be found necessary. The 
members of this conspiracy were chiefly such nobles as had 
been attached to the king's party during the civil wars, most 
of whom considered the execution of Morton as a violent 
precedent, tending to place the lives and fortunes of other 
nobles at the discretion of the crown ; since in the course of 
the late tempestuous times there were few or none who had 


not been at one period or another privy to, if not aiding in, 
matters which might be construed into high treason. 

The principal conspirators were the Earl of Mar, the 
Master of GUammis, the Lords Oliphant, Boyd, and Lindsay, 
the abbot of Dunfermline, secretary of state, and others who 
had been formerly allied with Morton and the English fac- 
tion. They were very desirous to draw to their party the 
Earl of Gowrie, a man so generally esteemed for courage 
and hardihood that he was known among his intimates by 
the name of Greysteel, being that of a champion in Scottish 
romance, bestowed at the time upon such as were held to 
excel in chivalry. But although the Earl of Gowrie was 
even by direct descent connected with those who drove mat- 
ters on most severely against Queen Mary, 1 he does not 
appear to have been himself of a turbulent disposition, or 
much disposed to enter into the conspiracy, of which he 
afterward bore the chief blame, and for which he suffered 
the chief punishment. An agent, named Cunningham of 
Drumquhassel, was employed to persuade him that the 
Duke of Lennox had an intention to slay him at their first 
meeting. The belief of this false report induced the credu- 
lous earl to engage himself with the lords who were associ- 
ated for displacing the king's favorite ministers, or, as they 
termed it, for reformation in the state. Their avowed pur- 
pose was to cause both Lennox and Arran to be removed 
from the king's presence by exiling the former to his native 
country of France, and imprisoning the more obnoxious 
minion, or putting him to death, should no less effectua? 
mode of destroying his influence over the king be fallen 

The time selected for executing this scheme was that 
which the king had chosen to enjoy the amusement of hunt- 
ing in the country of Athole, so well suited for that sport. 

1 He was son of that Lord Ruthven who played the principal part 
in Rizzio's murder, and who was so little affected with remorse for his 
share in that tragedy, that on his death-bed he spoke with great cool- 
ness of "the slaughter of David." 


His favorite ministers did not attend him on this occasion. 
Lennox remained at Dalkeith, and the Earl of Arran at 
Kinneil, which had fallen to him as the principal mansion 
of the unfortunate earl whose title and property became his 
spoil. When, therefore, James returned from A thole toward 
the low country, with a small train of his household ser- 
vants, it was natural that Gowrie should invite him to his 
castle of Ruthven, which lay in the king's road, and that 
the king should accept the invitation of a great officer of the 
court against whom he had no ground for apprehension. 
James had no sooner arrived at Ruthven than his reasonable 
suspicions were awakened by the concourse of armed men 
who surrounded the castle, and the arrival of guests aug- 
menting the number of those formerly assembled, all known 
to belong to one faction in the state, and wearing not the 
thoughtless air of persons about to engage in sylvan sports, 
but the anxious and severe aspect of such as were bound 
on some perilous enterprise. He took care, however, not to 
let these suspicions transpire, and endeavored to act as if he 
apprehended nothing. 

Next morning the king appeared early, dressed and ready 
to set out upon his journey; but the associated lords had no 
mind to lose an opportunity which might not have again 
returned. The principal persons concerned in the enterprise 
entered James's bedroom in a body, and delivered to him a 
petition or remonstrance, setting forth that they, the king's 
faithful subjects, had for the space of two years suffered 
such false accusations, calumnies, oppressions, and persecu- 
tions, by means of the Duke of Lennox and of the person 
who assumed the title of Earl of Arran, that like insolence 
and enormities had never been heard of in Scotland. Their 
manifesto further stated that their persecution was felt by 
the whole body of the commonwealth, but chiefly by the 
ministers of the Gospel, and the true professors thereof; 
and that while men who had been attached to his majesty's 
service during his youth were, though the king's best sub- 
jects, driven into banishment, and many of those who re- 


mained were subjected to partial prosecutions and oppres- 
sions, and while all of them were- grossly calumniated, and 
violent!)' excluded from the presence of the sovereign, they 
saw with indignation that papists and notable murderers 
were, on the other hand, daily called home from deserved 
exile, and either restored to such property as they had be- 
fore enjoyed, or compensated by gifts out of the estates of 
the king's faithful subjects. 

The same remonstrance charged Lennox and Arran with 
involving the king in plots and confederacies with the pope, 
the king of Spain, and the French papists, and with the 
bishops of Glasgow and Ross, the adherents of his mother, 
Queen Mary, by whom he was urged to effect her freedom 
from imprisonment, and associate her with himself in the 
royal authority. 

However disagreeable this rough remonstrance might be 
to the king, the time and place rendered it dangerous to 
express his displeasure; so James received it, as prudence 
recommended, with complaisance. But upon his attempt- 
ing to leave the chamber, with a general promise to give 
all due consideration to the petition of his beloved subjects, 
the Master of Glammis interposed between him and the door 
of the apartment, and gave him bluntly to understand he 
would not be permitted to leave the castle. After vain 
expostulation, the king burst into tears. "Let him weep," 
said Glammis fiercely: "better children weep than bearded 
men." These words sunk deep into the king's heart; and 
though generally of a placable disposition, the insult which 
they contained was never forgotten or forgiven. 

For the present, however, James was compelled to sub- 
mit to his fate, and to subscribe and issue a proclamation, 
declaring his purpose, by his own free consent, to remain 
for some time in the province of Stratherne, with such lords 
as were then around him. 

When the news of this change of ministry, as it may be 
called, for such rude violence was in Scotland the frequent 
mode for transferring political power, reached the two fa- 


vorites against whom it was chiefly levelled, each of them 
behaved in a manner indicative of his character. The Earl 
of Arran, as daringly rash as he was unprincipled and am- 
bitious, rode headlong toward Ruthven Castle, at the head 
of a handful of armed followers, with whom he boasted "to 
drive the conspirators into mouse-holes." Had he encoun- 
tered a considerable force under the Earl of Mar, which was 
lying in wait on purpose to intercept him, there is little doubt 
he would have been slain with his whole party; but the 
same rashness which endangered his life was, in fact, the 
means of saving it ; for receiving some intimation of the am- 
bush he separated himself from his own troop of horse, and 
fetching a circuit around the squadron of Mar, he rode 
to Ruthven Castle with two attendants only. What his 
purpose could have been in so rash a proceeding we are left 
to conjecture; but the result was more favorable to him 
than could have been anticipated. Arran was not permitted, 
of course, to approach the person of the king, but, on the 
contrary, made prisoner, and thrown into a dungeon. He 
was soon after transferred to Stirling Castle; and a strong 
inclination was exhibited on the part of the associated lords 
to have taken his life, for which specious pretexts could not 
have been wanting. But unwillingness, perhaps, to provoke 
James by an action so violent, and the protection of the 
Earl of Gowrie, who was destined, it would seem, to save 
the life of him who finally brought his head to the block, 
occasioned the favorite to be detained prisoner, and his life 
preserved, to be a principal author of future state commo- 

The Duke of Lennox, who seems to have rested his only 
hopes of power upon the favor of his sovereign, was no 
sooner given to understand that James was debarred of his 
liberty on account of the favor which he had shown to him 
than he generously resolved, by withdrawing himself from 
Scotland, to remove at least that pretext for continuing the 
captivity of his sovereign. "Without making any attempt 
to restore the state of administration which had been altered 


by the enterprise now popularly called the Raid of Ruthven,* 
he capitulated with the lords who were concerned in the 
enterprise, and endeavored to obtain liberty to return to 
court. This license was sternly refused; and a proclama- 
tion was issued, by which he was commanded to leave 
Scotland. Lennox offered no resistance; but after some 
procrastination, in which he perhaps hoped that the ruling 
faction might relent, or the king regain some share of free- 
dom and power, he at length retreated to Dumbarton Castle, 
and from thence returned to France by the way of London. 
There is every reason to think that this young nobleman, 
who showed few bad inclinations and many gentle and gen- 
erous qualities, returned the king's preference by a personal 
attachment to James more deep and sincere than that with 
which monarchs are usually repaid by their favorite min- 
ions. His melancholy at separating from Scotland was of 
so deep a kind that we can hardly assign disappointed am- 
bition for its sole source, and willingly suppose that attach- 
ment to the sovereign who had so highly graced and favored 
him was a principal cause of Lennox's disease. Trouble of 
mind brought on a fever, which terminated his life at Paris. 
He died, declaring his sincere adherence to the Protestant 
faith, and refusing the succors of the Catholic Church, in 
contradiction to the calumnies which had such general cir- 
culation in Scotland. 

James, who had been early imbued with the principle 
that the power of dissembling was essential to the art of 
reigning, now steered his course in conformity to the direc- 
tions of the lords who had assumed the management of State 
,ffairs, and published a declaration, in which he acknowl- 
edged the Raid of Ruthven, with all its circumstances of 
violence toward his person and injury toward his feelings, 
to be laudable and good service, and prohibited any of his 
subjects to attempt a rising or assembling in arms under 

1 Raid signifies properly an inroad of a predatory character. But 
the Scottish applied it generally to any multitude assembled in arms 
for a violent purpose. 


pretence of setting hini free from the counsellors who had 
been then intruded upon him. 

The conspirators themselves also published a long decla- 
ration, exaggerating the crimes and the presumption of the 
fallen favorites, and vindicating their violent removal as 
good service done to God, to the State, and to the king. 
The assembly of the Church, prejudiced against Lennox 
for his supposed attachment to the Catholic faith, and more 
justly abhorring the profligate life and tyrannic ministry of 
Stewart, earl of Arran, readily sanctioned the Raid of Ruth- 
ven, and required all sincere Protestants to combine with 
the lords by whom the enterprise was carried into effect. 
This act was appointed to be read by every minister to his 
congregation. The king also granted, what he had it not 
in his power safely to withhold, a remission, namely, to 
those concerned in the restraint of his person; and the con- 
vention of estates passed an act of ample indemnity on the 
same occasion. 

Meanwhile James suffered in private all that could be 
endured by a young sovereign whose opinion of his prerog- 
ative was so lofty, and who felt that not his authority only 
but even his person had been grossly violated and insulted 
in the course of an action which he was now compelled to 
acknowledge to be good service, and not only to be par- 
doned, but to be rewarded as such. From some of those 
who immediately approached his person he did not attempt 
to conceal his internal feelings of being held under restraint 
by his present self-constituted counsellors. 

To foreigners he was more reserved. Both the queen of 
England and the king of France had sent special ambassa- 
dors to inquire into the nature of the last revolution in Scot- 
land, and, ostensibly at least, to offer the young king assist- 
ance, if he should complain of being placed under restraint 
by his subjects. To the French ambassador, Monsieur De 
la Mothe Fenelon, and to Bowes, one of those who were sent 
by Queen Elizabeth, the king made general replies, in the 
same tenor with his public declarations; namely, that he 


was well contented with the lords who were now about him, 
who conducted themselves as faithful subjects, although 
they had, perhaps, been rash in adopting some prejudices 
against Lennox and others by whom he had formerly been 
counselled. "With De la Mothe the king did not think it 
safe to be more frank, because the clergy and the more 
severe disciples of the reformation regarded that nobleman 
as an ambassador of the bloody murderer, by which name 
they distinguished the Duke of Guise, and they somewhat 
indecently termed the white cross, which, as a knight of the 
Order of St. Esprit, De la Mothe wore upon his shoulder, 
the badge of antichrist. With a person so unpopular the 
king dared not exchange any confidence ; and for reasons of 
a different kind he did not choose to communicate his real 
sentiments to Bowes, one of the English ambassadors. 

But while he amused these individuals in terms express- 
ing a general contentment with his condition, the king was 
more confidentially explicit to others. Hoping, perhaps, to 
interest Elizabeth in his favor, on account of her well- 
known general sentiments of respect to royal authority in 
the abstract, he privately declared to Sir George Carey, 
son of Lord Hunsdon, and kinsman to Queen Elizabeth, 
that he was in reality highly dissatisfied with the violence 
which had been put upon him, and displeased with the 
counsellors who had thrust themselves into the manage- 
ment of his affairs. Sir George Carey undertook to keep 
this communication secret from his colleague Bowes and 
all others save his mistress herself. 

"Whether he communicated James's private message to 
Queen Elizabeth or not is not known, and is of very little 
consequence, since that sovereign could hardly require ex- 
press information to make her fully aware that James could 
not possibly look upon the Raid of Ruthven in a milder light 
than as an act of rebellion. Indeed, from her conduct she 
must be esteemed totally indifferent to the king's opinions 
and feelings on 'the subject, so long as the conspiracy had 
raised into power in Scotland a party disposed, like the lords 


in question, to act as the friends and partisans of England. 
She was, therefore, careful not to use any interference in 
her godson's behalf, if his complaints to Carey were actually 
transmitted to her, and left the affairs of Scotland to hold 
their own natural course. 

The revolution in time began to take a turn in favor of 
James. By dint of the king's successful dissimulation, and 
confiding in the variety of pardons, remissions, and ratifica- 
tions which they had accumulated for their protection, if 
necessary, the Earl of Gowrie and his party began to relax 
in the severity which they had at first exercised in watching 
the king's person, and permitted him to follow his hunting 
parties and journeys of pleasure without interruption. He 
failed not to take advantage of the freedom thus afforded 
him to draw gradually around him such other nobles and 
counsellors as were unconnected with or inimical to those 
who were presently in power ; and opening his mind to them 
privately, he expressed his resolution either to free himself 
from his present restraint, or to die in the attempt to acquire 
his liberty. At the same time he promised, in secret to Mel- 
ville and other wise and judicious statesmen, who shared his 
confidence, and recommended to him moderate counsel, that 
should he succeed in his attempt to regain his liberty, he 
would nevertheless abstain from pursuing any passionate or 
vindictive course against those concerned in the conspiracy 
of Ruthven. Fay, he even professed that he would not ox- 
clude them from his favor, so as to drive them to despera- 
tion. In a word, he affirmed it to be his intention to rule 
with an equal hand among his nobility of all factions, to 
discourage the party spirit, which, being the natural con- 
sequence of the long civil wars, had been so great an evil 
to the country, and, disowning all distinction of king's men 
and queen's men, he professed his purpose to use the talents 
indifferently of all whom he should find capable to render 
him service. These dispositions of the king, which were 
privately whispered abroad, not only awakened the hopes 
of such of the peers as were excluded from administration 


to look for a speedy change, but even inclined some of the 
statesmen then in power, and the Earl of Gowrie himself, 
to become fearful of the consequences of governing by a 
faction, and rendered them desirous that the king should be 
admitted to his liberty, and that the system of administra- 
tion should be remodelled on a less exclusive footing, pro- 
viding these points could be conceded to James withou, 
incurring the terrors of reaction and retaliation on the part 
of the faction readmitted to power. 

While matters were in this state, James devised meas- 
ures for his own escape from the lords who since the Raid 
of Ruthven had exercised the supreme power of the State, 
and retained possession of his person. In summer, 1583, 
while the king was residing at his hunting-seat of Falkland, 
a convention was appointed to be held at St. Andrew's for 
the purpose of settling some disputed affairs between Eng- 
land and Scotland. The king conceived that he saw in this 
appointment some means of acquiring his freedom. His 
plan was to send letters to the Earl of March, the Earl of 
Montrose, Marischal, Argyle, and Rothes, all enemies of the 
faction of Ruthven, appointing them to come to St. Andrew's 
on a certain day; and as he did not send intimation of the 
time or purpose of meeting to the other noblemen connected 
with the Raid of Ruthven, he concluded it likely they would 
not appear. The faithful Melville endeavored to dissuade 
his majesty from the above, as a precarious and hazardous 
course : he represented that as the meeting of a convention 
was a matter which could not be well kept secret, the lordg 
of the Ruthven Raid were likely to take the alarm from the 
very circumstance of their not having received the usual 
summons; and as their estates lay chiefly in Fife and 
Stratherne, they might assemble in force sufficient to out- 
number those opposite peers, upon whose support the king 
relied, and who had to bring their followers from a greater 

Notwithstanding this representation, James, with more 
spirit than belonged to his character, resolved to proceed 


in the enterprise. For this purpose he determined to be at 
St. Andrew's two or three days before the tinie appointed 
for the convention, and consulted with Colonel "William 
Stewart, the commander of the guard, how he might place 
his royal person in security, when he should take up his 
quarters in that town. Accordingly, unsuspected, as it 
appeared, by his ministers, whose want of intelligence or 
dulness of apprehension seems to have been rather surpris- 
ing, he set out upon his journey for St. Andrew's, as if he 
had been riding a-hawking; having at that time no attend- 
ant of the Ruthven faction near his person excepting the 
Earl of Mar. The king came to St. Andrew's "as blythe," 
says Melville, "as a bird escaped from the cage." The arch- 
bishop, in the meantime, held the castle of that place in 
readiness for the service of his sovereign, A proposal of 
taking a view of the fine old fortress was acted upon by 
the king merely as if it had been an accidental suggestion 
of the moment, which had no deeper motive than curiosity. 
But he and his retinue had no sooner entered the castle gates 
than they were shut and barred by Colonel "William Stewart, 
the drawbridges raised, and the gentlemen of the guard placed 
on duty in defence of the walls. 

The next day the nobles of both parties entered the town : 
the discontented barons in greater number, better supplied 
with arms than the opposite party, and with the intention, 
it seemed, as well as the power, again to seize upon his maj- 
esty's person. A day of strife and battle seemed impending, 
in which the person of the king should be the prize of the 
victor, like that of his grandfather at the battles of Melrose 
and Kirkliston. But the exertions of James's friends, who 
brought a body of royalists into the castle from the town 
and neighborhood, made the malcontent lords unwilling 
to come to violence; while Gowrie, obtaining admittance 
to the king's presence, renounced as treasonable his share 
in the Raid of Ruthven, disclaimed all future proceeding of 
so unlawful a character, and after a grave admonition from 
James was once more admitted to the king's favor. 


The principal accomplices in the late conspiracy, finding 
themselves too weak to dispute the matter in arms, and 
being thus deserted by the chief member of their party, 
took the course of peaceful submission, and coming one by 
one before the king, acknowledged their offence, and ob- 
tained his majesty's pardon, under condition, however, that 
they should submit to such temporary exile as James should 
please to inflict upon them. The language of the king, as 
well as his proclamations, was of a merciful and moderate 
character ; and he appeared little elated at the victory which 
he had gained in a struggle that seemed at first so doubtful. 
He intimated, that although he had been for some time de- 
tained against his consent, in consequence of the Raid of 
Ruthven, yet it was not his intention to prosecute as a crime 
that or anything else done in his minority ; but that he was, 
on the contrary, resolved to consider all offences which had 
occurred as arising rather out of the troublesome character 
of the times than owing to the criminal intention of the 
actors. He appointed two principal nobles of each faction 
— Angus and Mar on the one side, and Huntley and Craw- 
ford on the other — to withdraw from court for a season, as 
being in some sort the representatives of the contending par- 
ties, whose absence might prevent the renewal of factious 
debates. The king, in the interim, proposed to guide his 
affairs by the less violent partisans, selected indifferently 
from both sides, from those nobles whom he meant to retain 
about his person. 

There can be little doubt that had King James pursued 
the wise and moderate course announced by these temperate 
proposals, in which he was sincere at the time, he could not 
have failed to have brought to good order the councils of his 
kingdom. But his propensity to favoritism, which so often 
interfered with his better thoughts, was destined on the 
present occasion to disturb his more deliberate, wise, and 
clement measures. 

The Earl of Arran had, by favor of Gowrie, been lately 
freed from his prison in Stirling, having obtained permission 


to reside at his own house of Kinneil, upon his parole not to 
leave it, and particularly not to approach the court. Imme- 
diately upon hearing of the revolution which had taken place 
at St. Andrew's, he proposed to come to court and pay his 
duty to his majesty. By the advice of his present council, 
who were all aware of the favorite's deserved unpopularity, 
and apprehensive of his influence over the king's mind 
James was induced flatly to refuse the permission requested. 
But some time afterward, under the specious pretence of 
paying his respects to the king upon one single occasion, 
he was admitted to James's presence, when, resuming that 
personal influence over his master which had been suspended 
by his absence, he became as great or a greater favorite than 
ever: the rather that Lennox, who had more than rivalled 
him in the king's favor, was now deceased. 

The known want of faith of this wicked man prevented 
the persons who had been concerned in the last troubles, and 
particularly the agents in the Raid of Ruthven, from relying 
upon the word of the king, though repeatedly pledged, for 
their safety and indemnity. James, they thought, might 
in his person forgive the restraint inflicted on him, but his 
more vindictive favorite would be sure both to remember 
and revenge his own imprisonment at Ruthven and Stirling, 
his threatened estrangement from court, and the yet more 
hostile intentions, which had even menaced his life. 

Accordingly, it was soon made evident that it was the 
avowed policy of this ambitious and rapacious counsellor to 
prosecute a violent course against those concerned in the 
Raid of Ruthven. A menacing proclamation was issued, 
in which the offenders on this occasion were treated as 
persons still lying under the lash of the law, and which 
summoned each of them to take out formal remissions or 
pardons for their several offences. This proclamation plainly 
intimated that conditions of a penal kind, but chiefly pecu- 
niary mulcts, would be imposed on the persons who should 
apply for the offered pardons, and likewise implied that the 

criminal fact was considered as yet obnoxious to prosecu- 
Scotland. Vol. II.— 7 


tions, notwithstanding the several occasions on which the 
offenders had already obtained the royal pardon, both by 
express grant aud by general proclamation. 

This unwise and threatening manifesto struck terror into 
all those who had been accessory to this crime Many of 
them withdrew from court, the more prudent actually left 
the country, and others prepared to follow the same example. 
Gowrie, himself, who had acknowledged his guilt, and re- 
ceived an explicit pardon, was driven from the court by the 
coldness of the king, and the insolence of Arran, whose evil 
nature was in this particularly apparent, since Gowrie had 
not only been the means of preserving his life when made 
prisoner at Ruthven Castle, but also, by warmly urging his 
being again permitted to see the king after the revolution 
of St. Andrew's, had laid the foundation for his restoration 
to power. Forgetful of these causes for gratitude to Gowrie, 
Arran pressed the unfortunate earl so hard that, despairing, 
as it afterward appeared, of regaining the king's favor, he 
remained uncertain whether he should fly from the country, 
or renew his engagements with other lords in the same sit- 
uation, who meditated some violent mode of defence and 
retaliation. The further consequences of this will appear 

Queen Elizabeth, seeing in the severity menaced against 
the lords of the Raid of Ruthven the probable extinction of 
the party in Scotland most attached to the English interest, 
seems to have resolved to try what impression could be made 
on James, a young, and, she might suppose, an ignorant 
person, by a letter of a character more magisterial and men- 
acing than usually occurs in the correspondence of sovereigns 
while friendly relations exist between them. She reminded 
him of the noble lesson of Isocrates that a sovereign should 
hold his words to be of more account than the oaths of other 
men. She bemoaned him, she said, for permitting evil 
spirits to distract his mind, and lead him to think an hon- 
orable answer could be returned to her when all his actions 
gainsaid his former words. "You deal not with one," pro- 


ceeded Elizabeth, "whose experience can take dross for good 
payment, nor with one that will be easily beguiled; no, I 
moan to set to school your craftiest counsellors." She was 
sorry, she continues, to see him bent to wrong himself in 
thinking to wrong others. She called upon him to remember 
what he had written to her with his own hand concerning 
the dangerous courses the Duke of Lennox was entered into; 
in contradiction of which, she alleges, that he now seemed 
to give the reproach of guilt} r folks to those who had pre- 
served him from rushing upon that acknowledged hazard. 
"I hope you more esteem your honor," she adds, "than to 
give it such a stain, since you protested so often to have 
taken these lords" (meaning the lords concerned in the Raid 
of Ruthven) "for your most affectionate subjects, who had 
acted all for your best advantage." She concluded this 
magisterial expostulation, by beseeching him to pass no 
further on the course he was pursuing (that of severity, 
namely, against Gowrie and his friends) till he should con- 
sult with an ambassador extraordinary, whom she proposed 
to despatch toward him, and from whom he might receive 
better and more fruitful counsel than from all the dissem- 
blers of his own court. 

This singular epistle was written in Elizabeth's own 
hand, and that in which James replied is no less worthy 
of notice. James was at home when a dispute was to be 
maintained by classical quotation. He answered his god- 
mother's quotation from Isocrates, by taking notice of an- 
other maxim of the same author, which directs us to esteem 
those less our friends who continually praise us than such 
as use timely reproof, in which kind view of her sharp 
admonition he is determined, he adds, to consider it as the 
fruit of sisterly love, although acting upon misinformation. 
It is true, he says, that he was compelled at the moment, 
when he was in the power of those noblemen, to publish 
such proclamations and subscribe such pardons as were pre- 
sented to him in their favor. The circumstances of the times 
did not admit his disputing their pleasure. It was also true, 


he acknowledged, that while under the same restraint of a 
predominant faction he intimated in public to the French and 
English ambassadors that he was contented with his condi- 
tion, and had none save friends about him ; but he reminds 
Elizabeth that at the very time while he made this compul- 
sory answer to De la Mothe Fenelon and Bowes, he commi 
nicated to Sir George Carey, her kinsman, his real feelings 
of his situation, and his determination rather to hazard dying 
honestly than to reign shamefully. He imputes the severe 
language used by Queen Elizabeth to the suggestions of par- 
tial counsellors, and declares that he will rather keep in 
memory her former effectual friendship than start at any 
wrong-placed syllable or sour sentence placed in her late 
paper at the instance of others. Respecting Elizabeth's de- 
sire that he will proceed no further against the Ruthven fac- 
tion until a special ambassador should arrive on her part, 
he declares that, although Isocrates (whose maxims he has 
again at her service) advises princes to execute with speed 
that which is fitting to be done, yet he intends to abstain 
from doing anything which can justly offend Elizabeth until 
the arrival of her envoy, hoping and desiring that this per- 
son so trusted may be as willing to promote the effects of 
true love and friendship between them as he was assured 
was the desire and intention of Elizabeth as well as his own. 
The ambassador whose wisdom was thus praised, and 
whose arrival at the court of James was so formally an- 
nounced, was no less a person than the celebrated Walsing- 
ham. second to Burleigh alone as the favorite counsellor of 
Elizabeth, and one of the most accomplished statesmen in 
Europe. He was sent by Elizabeth, thinking, probably, 
that his gravity and learning might have some effect upon 
James, and obtain so much ascendency as might check his 
purpose of altogether destroying the Ruthven conspirators, 
and for the more general purpose of obtaining, by means of 
a statesman so well acquainted with mankind, an accurate 
idea of the character of the Scottish sovereign, with whom 
Elkabeth must necessarily have so many important affairs 


to transact, and of whom she was the more likely to receive 
different reports, as, in fact, James's character appeared 
very different to those who looked upon it in different points 
of view. 

"Walsingham, otherwise excellently qualified for his mis- 
tress's purpose, was aged and infirm, and the necessity of 
his using a wheel-carriage rendered his progress extremely 
slow; the rather as, being magnificently attended, the old 
statesman travelled with a train of eight-score of horse. At 
his first audience of James, Walsingham required to know 
why his majesty had changed the counsels and company of 
the noblemen lately around him, they being the best and 
most religious of his peers, and those of whom the queen of 
England had the highest opinion, and with whom she most 
willingly held intercourse. James made an immediate and 
well-turned answer, indicating, it may be supposed, his free- 
dom as an independent prince to use what counsellors he 
pleased, and the reasonable expectation that those whom 
he trusted ought to receive the confidence of his allies. This 
reply was so grave and pointed as struck wonder into the 
queen's old statesman, which he did not hesitate to express. 

"Walsingham had another audience with James, no other 
person being present; after which, the Englishman, taking 
Sir James Melville by the hand, declared his entire content- 
ment with the Scottish sovereign. "I have spoken," said 
he, "with an excellent young prince, ignorant of nothing; 
and of such happy expectation that I think my heavy travel 
in coming hither is well bestowed in having but seen him." 

The Earl of Arran desired to enter into conversation with 
this celebrated statesman, who haughtily refused either to 
see him or to abide longer at the court, where it is probable, 
however well he was received hiniself, he found no token of 
lis intercession being available in favor of the Ruthven party. 
This he imputed to the influence of Arran, whom he termed 
a scorner of religion, a sower of discord, and an enemy of 
true and honest men. 

In revenge of the contempt with which he was treated by 


Walsingham, Arran took a course of expressing his feelings 
more dishonorable to himself and to his master than to the 
English envoy. He intercepted a diamond ring, designed 
for Walsingham by James, valued at seven hundred crowns, 
and presented in its stead one which enclosed a piece of ordi- 
nary rock crystal. The knights and gentlemen of quality 
who attended in Walsingham's retinue were also discourte- 
ously treated in being excluded from permission to wait upon 
the king when receiving his court. 

Walsingham passed over these petty expressions of spleen 
with the contempt which they deserved from a statesman of 
his wisdom and experience. On his return home, the report 
of this distinguished minister, concerning the wisdom and 
learning of James, was of high advantage to the king, espe- 
cially among those of the English people who began to look 
forward to the days which should follow Queen Elizabeth's 
death, and were, therefore, disposed to inquire into the char- 
acter of her presumptive successor. James's natural parts 
and acquired information qualified him to make a good fig- 
ure in conversation, while his indecision of disposition, and 
his being so unhappily subject to the influence of unworthy 
counsellors, often prevented the maxims which he knew how 
to use in counsel from being seconded by actions conforming 
to them. Walsingham's high opinion of James was so boldly 
expressed as for a time to draw down on her ancient states- 
man some shadow of that jealousy with which Queen Eliza- 
beth was apt to visit those who expressed a good opinion of 
any one near in her succession. On the whole, however, 
the queen was disposed to treat James in future with more 
respect than hitherto. 

In November of this year Ludovic Stewart, eldest son 
to the late Duke of Lennox, arrived in Scotland, invited 
over by James, who took this mode of showing his kind 
recollection of his banished and deceased favorite. He was 
promoted to his uncle's dignity and dukedom, and in due 
time, for he was but very young at his arrival in Scotland, 
was promoted to considerable offices of dignity. By this 


kindness James evinced an amiable disposition, inclined to 
carry friendship beyond the grave. 

In the meantime the troubles of Scotland daily increased. 
The conspirators of Ruthven sued out their pardons, which 
were not granted but upon condition that they should de- 
part the kingdom. Gowrie himself obtained license to go 
into France ; but delaying his purpose, became involved in 
more dangerous counsels, which terminated in his violent 
death. The clergymen had also mingled in the troubles of 
the community ; for having long since declared, by an act 
of general assembly, that the Raid of Ruthven was good ser- 
vice, individual preachers were from time to time induced 
to dilate upon the legality of the measure. When called to 
account for such political sermons, they pleaded the privi- 
lege of the pulpit as an ample apology for expressing their 
opinion upon State affairs ; and contended that though they 
might from thence utter treason, or what was liable to be 
punished as such, they were not amenable to the king's privy 
council, or any secular judge, but must always be tried and 
judged by the church judicatories, at least in the first in- 
stance. Andrew Melvin, a preacher of talents and learning, 
set a bad example on this occasion to his brethren, accusing 
the king by the undutiful assertion that he perverted the 
laws of both God and man, and flying to England when he 
was commanded to enter into prison. 

From all these subjects of complaint the disaffection grew 
so general that the Earls of Angus and Mar, conspirators in 
the exploit of Ruthven, united to seize the town and castle 
of Stirling, intending to render it the headquarters of their 
party, and expecting to be joined by the Earl of Gowrie, 
who had a part in their plot. This was on the 19th of April, 
1584; but the king, who was at Edinburgh, was so well sec- 
onded by the zeal of his subjects, and particularly by the 
citizens of the metropolis, that on the 24th James was ready 
to advance toward Stirling with such a powerful army that 
the Earls of Angus and Mar did not choose to wait his ar- 
rival. They had learned that the Earl of Gowrie had suf- 


fered himself to be surprised and taken by Sir William 
Stewart, the captain of the king's guard, at Dundee; and 
despairing of success in their enterprise fled to England, 
leaving a few followers in the castle, by whom it was sur- 
rendered to the king, and placed under custody of the all- 
grasping Earl of Arran. 

In the meantime the Earl of Gowrie was brought to his 
fate. He had hired a vessel to leave Scotland for France; 
but delayed his departure, as the commotions had begun to 
take place which appeared to promise a general insurrection. 
Some communication he appears himself to have had with 
Angus and Mar in their attempt to surprise Stirling; how- 
ever, he declared at his death that he was engaged in no 
plot against the king's person, crown, or estate, but only 
moved by the hopes of saving his own family and fortune 
from ruin. He had remained for days and weeks uncertain 
what course he should adopt: want of decision, which was 
always his chief fault, and now proved his ruin, induced him 
to linger, until Colonel William Stewart, commander of the 
royal guard, arrived to apprehend him. The Earl of Gowrie 
defended his lodgings by force, and called upon the people of 
Dundee to join with him as a faithful Protestant pursued for 
his religion. Tho citizens, however, took part with the royal 
guard, and the earl was compelled to surrender himself. He 
was first taken to Kinneil, the abode of his enemy Arrac, 
and afterward brought to Stirling, and tried with the usual 
irregularity of proceeding then used by the Scottish courts 
in cases of high treason. One point of the charge was sin- 
gular: Gowrie had from his prison petitioned for an inter- 
view with James, for the purpose, he stated, of disclosing 
a secret which might have endangered the king's life and 
estate, if he himself had not stayed and impeded the same. 
The use made of this petition was to frame, out of the ac- 
knowledgments which it contained, a fourth article of indict- 
ment, which was added to three already charged in the earl's 
accusation. This additional charge bore that the accused 
earl, having intelligence of a weighty purpose concerning, 


the life and estate of the king and of the queen, his mother, 
did treasonably conceal the same, and does as yet conceal 
the particulars thereof. 

The inquest upon this unfortunate earl had no hesitation 
to find him guilty of high treason. He was executed with 
that declaration in his mouth, which has been ascribed t 
many great men in misfortune, that "if he had served Goa 
as faithfully as he had done his king, he had not come to 
an end so disastrous." Gowrie's death was the subject of 
general censure and regret. Whatever had been his acces- 
sion to the Raid of Ruthven, he had been one of the first to 
desert the conspirators, implore the king's pardon, and lend 
his assistance to restore the liberty of his sovereign. It was 
not until he found that the pardon which had been so re- 
peatedly and formally granted was not likely to protect him 
that he was induced to take measures for the safety of his 
life and fortune, by uniting himself with those who stood in 
the same peril. There was, therefore, injustice in imputing 
to the earl as voluntary guilt a line of conduct which was 
the natural consequence of a breach of public faith toward 
him ; and the iniquity was more flagrant that the schemes 
of which he was accused seem rather to have been some- 
thing which he thought of than what he had actually de- 
termined upon, so that they could be hardly termed even 
crimes of intention, far less offences actually perpetrated. 
At least, if Gowrie in strict law merited death, all men exe- 
crated the ungrateful rapacity of Arran, who drove matter? 
to extremity against the very person without whose inter- 
vention he would have lost his life shortly after the Raid of 
Ruthven. Nor did the evil consequences of Gowrie's death 
expire with the earl himself, but will be found to furnish 
occasion to a future dark and bloody chapter in this history. 

By this vindictive and cruel execution the king of Scot- 
land, or rather his unpopular and profligate minister, was 
for the time placed beyond dread of attack by that party of 
nobles who, supported by England, and formidable in their 
own strength, had endeavored to establish a reformation, as 


they termed it, in the administration of Scotland, by banish- 
ing Arran, and establishing a control over the person of the 
king and government of the State. 

But in gaining this victory Arran himself, daring as he 
was, must have been sensible that he exposed himself to an 
additional load of unpopularity. This event not only excited 
the hostility of that class of persons, few, perhaps, in num- 
ber, but respectable from their reputation for wisdom, who, 
though sincere friends of the monarchy, were desirous of see- 
ing its legal powers exerted with prudence and moderation, 
but at the same time animated against him the deep and de- 
termined enmity of a large party, the friends, kinsmen, and 
adherents of the nobles who had been driven into exile. And 
what was at least equally formidable, it exasperated against 
the governing favorite the Church of Scotland in general, 
and all those numerous congregations who, in zeal for their 
religion, and love and reverence for their preachers, were 
disposed to adopt the political sentiments which they heard 
delivered from the pulpit, as authorized by the Holy 

The measures which the minister adopted to quell the 
opposition which his severity had excited will be the proper 
subject of the next chapter. 



The Minister's Arrogance — The King- disgusted with Business — 
Arran pretends an Attachment to the Prerogative — The 
banished Lords — Their Influence with their Vassals, Clans, 
and Tenantry — Argaty and his Brother tried and executed for 
holding Correspondence with the Exiles — Information against 
Mains and Drumquhassel for a similar Crime — Suborned Evi- 
dence against the Accused — They are condemned and executed 
— Arran's Attack on the Immunities claimed by the Church — 
Privileges of the Kirk — Their exti'eme Apprehensions of Popery 
— The Clergy usually in opposition to, and therefore become 
unpopular with, the King — Arran, having courted them to no 
Purpose, resolves to break their Power by a Series of new Reg- 
ulations — Nature of the political Influence of the Clergy — A 
Minister is imprisoned for petitioning to be heard on the Part 
of the Church, and declared Rebel and Outlaw for protesting 
against the obnoxious Laws — Arran's Ministry begin to desert 
him and set up for themselves, particularly Maitland the Secre- 
tary and the Master of Gray — Arran becomes a Creature of 
Elizabeth — His Meeting with Hunsdon — His Quarrels with the 
Scottish Nobility, particularly with Lord Maxwell — He engages 
Lord Maxwell in a Civil War with the Johnstones, in which the 
former is victorious — Embassy of Wotton — Death of Sir Francis 
Russell on the Borders — Disgrace of Kerr of Farniherst and of 
Arran — The exiled Lords return to Scotland, march to Stirling, 
and obtain Possession of the King's Person — The King aban- 
dons Arran, who retires from Court in Disgrace — James re- 
ceives the associated Nobles into his Favor, and establishes a 
Government on a moderate and popular Model 

THE youth and inexperience of James VI. may at this 
period be admitted as a sufficient excuse for his giv- 
ing way to the insidious counsels of a favorite who 
was unworthy of the trust reposed in him. We learn from 
the valuable memoirs of Sir James Melville that Arran, who 
had usurped in his own person, or distributed among his own 
creatures, all the great offices in the government, used the 



common arts of those in his situation to discourage the king 
from attention to the business of the State and deliberations 
of the council, and to engage him continually in those pur- 
suits of sylvan sport to which he was naturally addicted. 
The designing favorite also availed himself of his numerous 
opportunities- not only to exclude from the royal counsels 
Melville and other courtiers whom he could not rely upon as 
favorers of his schemes, but also to impose upon the young 
monarch, as unanimous resolutions of his council of State, 
violent measures which were framed and forwarded by him- 
self alone. The affectation of extreme zeal in supporting the 
royal authority, and the unbounded attachment which he 
pretended to entertain for James's person, were, doubtless, 
the further apologies by which Arran colored over a course 
of despotic measures, designed to eradicate whatever influ- 
ence the banished lords might retain in Scotland, and dimin- 
ish or destroy the power which the Reformed Church had by 
various means obtained in the political affairs of the State. 
Of these sources of influence so obnoxious to the favorite we 
are now to give the reader some account. 

The banished lords formed a considerable part of the aris- 
tocracy of Scotland, which depended for its importance not 
merely on the consequence and influence which its members 
possessed, arising from their immediate power and wealth, 
but also, and more especially, upon the attachment of vassals 
and kinsfolk, a species of loyalty to their chief which these 
followers displayed at every personal risk, even when those 
who might claim it were expelled from their estates and re- 
mained banished men in a foreign country. The power of 
the Scottish nobles became in this manner, in some respects, 
indestructible. Thus the unusually severe measures by which 
James Y. had endeavored to destroy the House of Douglas 
did not prevent that long exiled family from resuming a great 
part of their feudal power as soon as the death of that mon- 
arch permitted them to return to Scotland, when they repos- 
sessed themselves of their estates without even awaiting the 
recall of their forfeiture. Numerous instances during the 


reign of Queen Mary and the minority of James had fos- 
tered the same principle. By far the greater part, if not the 
whole, of the nobility of Scotland had, at one time or other, 
and for various causes, been banished from the kingdom, 
and yet had successively returned to it and reassumed their 
hereditary influence. "While, therefore, their lords were ab- 
sent on these unpleasant occasions, the vassals retained their 
faith and attachment unaltered, not only from love, affection, 
and gratitude, but from a reasonable expectation of the re- 
turn of their chiefs as an event connected with their own 
interest. The friends and vassals of exiled nobles preserved 
the attachment to them in which they had been born and 
bred, and considered that their adherence during what they 
regarded as a temporary eclipse was likely to be remuner- 
ated when the cloud which obscured the fortunes of their 
masters should pass away. 

From this it followed that the lords exiled on account of 
the Raid of Ruthven still possessed numerous friends and 
extensive correspondence in Scotland ; and supported as they 
were by the power of Elizabeth, and residing within the En- 
glish frontier, were at all times ready to re-enter Scotland 
with the certainty of being backed by a considerable force. 
It now became the business of Arran to destroy, if possible, 
the ramifications by which those exiles, against whom he 
had procured the doom of treason to be denounced, continued 
to maintain a correspondence and interest within the Scotti.-h 
realm. For this purpose he procured denunciations to be 
made against all such as held correspondence, or, as it was 
called, traffic, with the exiles, and took all precaution to 
bring within the range of punishment such persons of infe- 
rior rank as should appear to be the correspondents or con- 
fidants of the banished lords. In 1584, in order to strike 
terror on this subject, David Home of Argaty, and Patrick 
Home, his brother, gentlemen of birth and fortune, were 
brought to trial for holding communication with the com- 
mendator of Dryburgh, who was banished on account of his 
accession to the Raid of Ruthven. The accused persons were 


confessedly adherents of the same party, but covered by a 
general pardon from being charged as accomplices to that 
conspiracy. The correspondence for which they were tried 
consisted of one or two short letters which had no reference 
whatever to State affairs, but related entirely to some private 
business left undischarged when the commendator was ex- 
pelled from Scotland; yet both the gentlemen were con- 
demned to death, and executed on the afternoon of the 
same day on which they were tried — a severity universally 
reprobated by common sense and common feeling. 

To spread still further the terror inspired by this execu- 
tion, a proclamation was made, that whoever should dis- 
cover and make known any person corresponding on what- 
soever subject with the exiled lords should, besides his own 
pardon, receive an especial reward. In consequence of this 
invitation and premium to traitors and informers, a man was 
found base enough to avail himself of this offer, who was 
generally believed to have added to the meanness of treach- 
ery the guilt of perjury. One Hamilton of Eglismachan 
lodged an information against Malcolm Douglas of Mains, 
and John Cunningham of Drumquhassel, stating them to 
have conspired to seize the person of the king at a hunting- 
match, for the purpose of detaining him in some stronghold 
until the banished noblemen should enter Scotland with 
forces and take possession of his person. The accusation 
was generally considered as a forgery, yet willingly enter- 
tained by Arran, because both the accused gentlemen were 
suspected by him ; and Douglas of Mains, in particular, was 
regarded as what was called in these times a man of valor 
and action. To add probability to the accusation of Hamil- 
ton, which would otherwise have been supported by only one 
evidence, being also that of an informer, held suspicious in 
all countries, Sir James Edmonstone of Duntreath, a person 
who had lived in great intimacy with the accused parties, 
was included in the indictment, it being understood that he 
was to plead guilty to the accusation, and to be remunerated 
with a pardon on account of his candid confession. To this 


arrangement the unhappy gentleman, to his great discredit, 
was, by Arran's threats, induced to consent. 

The trial accordingly proceeded; and Sir James Edmon- 
stone pleaded guilty to the indictment of having conspired, 
with Mains and Drumquhassel, to the plot as expressed in 
the charge. The scheme, he said, had been originally con- 
cocted by the Earl of Angus, and was communicated to him 
and the other two parties accused by John Home, commonly 
called Black John. Drumquhassel and Mains were next 
arraigned for the same criminal intercourse with Angus, 
and further with having been partakers of the Raid of 
Ruthven, an offence which must have been supposed to 
be incapable of pardon, since, after so many remissions, it 
was once more revived against the subordinate persons con- 
cerned. Drumquhassel 's defence does not appear upon the 
record, but that of Mains was manly and firm: he placed 
the improbability, nay, impossibility, of such a conspiracy 
on the part of himself and his companion in misfortune so 
fully in view, that "all in court," says the historian Spot- 
tiswoode, though favorable, in general, to the measures of 
James, "in their hearts acquitted him." But the doom 
of the accused had been decided ere the accusation was 
brought. Cunningham and Douglas were both condemned ; 
and, with a speed which argued terror in the government, 
were executed in the public street of Edinburgh, before the 
sun had set, on their day of trial. The informer Hamilton 
was generally execrated, and lived from that time in fear 
for his life, endeavoring to protect himself from the ven- 
geance of the friends of the deceased, by keeping constantly 
near the person of Arran till the hour came, as the reader 
will hereafter be informed, in which the presence of him, at 
whose instigation he had committed the foul act, could no 
longer avail as his protection. These cruel and rigorous 
proceedings, says the historian we have just quoted, caused 
such general terror that all familiar society and intercourse 
of humanity was in a manner disused, no man knowing to 
whom with safety he could speak his thoughts, or open his 


mind. But the Scots, fierce by nature, were a people as 
unable to endure a despotic government, as to bear the 
foreign yoke, the imposition of which in the former part 
of their history they had opposed with such obstinacy. 

Arran's attacks on the liberties and immunities claimed 
by the Church were not less violent, and were even more 
unpopular, than those with which he assailed the civil rights 
of his fellow-subjects. 

The Church of Scotland, it must be remembered, had 
been founded and perfected in the midst of civil tumults. 
Its preachers had been accustomed, from the time of Knox 
downward, to regard themselves less as an ecclesiastic body, 
sequestered from lay business to teach the doctrines and 
duties of religion, than as a church militant, called upon to 
protect themselves and the Christian community over which 
they presided from the political attacks directed against 
them, not only by their direct and immediate enemies, the 
Roman Catholics, whom they regarded with that mixture 
of hatred, abhorrence, and fear with which the peasants, 
described by Spenser, looked upon the dead dragon, 1 but 
also by the king, ministers, and courtiers, whom they re- 
garded, if not as absolute foes, yet as very cold friends 
to their spiritual establishment. This suspicion was suf- 
ficiently natural on the part of the ministers, when it is 
recollected that the Scottish aristocracy, though feeling or 
affecting the most vehement zeal for the doctrines of the 

1 The quotation, though long, is an animated picture of the jealous 
and sometimes fantastic apprehensions entertained of the outrages of 
the Church of Rome, which, in Scotland at least, had made no remark- 
able stand against the effects of sense and reason: 

"Some fear'd, and fledd; some fear'd and well it fayn'd; 
One, that would wiser seeme than all the rest, 
Warn'd him not touch, for yet perhaps remayn'd 
Some ling'ring life within his hollow brest, 
Or in his wombe might lurke some hidden nest 
Of many dragonettes, his fruitfull seede; 
Another saide, that in his eyes did rest 
Yet sparkling fyre, and badd thereof take heed; 
Another said, he saw him move his eyes indeed." 

—Spenser's "Faerie Queene," book i., canto xii. 


reformation, had, in the first place, usurped the lion's share 
of the spoils of the popish hierarchy, and were now inclined, 
as the clergy supposed, to abridge the privileges of the 
Church, whose prerogative constituted all that was left to 
console an active, energetic, and influential body of men for 
the want, not only of opulence, but even of the means of 
decent subsistence. The preachers claimed for their order, 
as has been often hinted, the extensive privilege of canvass- 
ing public affairs in their sermons, acknowledging no respon- 
sibility, at least in the first instance, save to the judicatories 
of their own body, by whom they were not likely to be con- 
demned for any exercise of their Christian privilege. Dur- 
ing the whole of the actual reign of Queen Mary they had 
been repeatedly placed in direct opposition to the powers 
that wielded the State, and had even been at variance with 
the regents who severally succeeded that unfortunate queen, 
although men of their own persuasion. This constant oppo- 
sition had become, in a certain degree, a habit; and spread- 
ing through so large a body of men, many of whom were 
doubtless desirous of distinguishing themselves, and attract- 
ing, by the boldness of their doctrine, the admiration of their 
congregations, there can be little doubt that the extensive 
privileges which they claimed were liable to frequent abuse. 
But this was an evil only to be cured by time, which modifies 
the violence of parties whether in politics or religion, added 
to much patience and much firmness on the part of the gov- 
ernors. Meanwhile these prerogatives, boldly claimed and 
acted zealously upon, gave great alarm to the sovereign. 
King James, although a Protestant in principle, had been 
bred in such dislike and terror of those more violent individ- 
uals among the churchmen, who were termed fanatics, that 
in his Basilicon Doron he has left it as a legacy to his son 
rather to trust a savage Highlander, or an outlawed borderer, 
than a hypocritical puritan. 

To increase the monarch's early dislike to this party 
among his subjects, which was constantly kept up by the 
imprudent, indecent, and impertinent censures of individual 


preachers, it so chanced that James almost always found the 
opinions of the popular churchmen in diametrical opposition 
to his own authority and the measures of his ministers. 
There was, therefore, an almost continued dissension be- 
tween the king and the most popular and authoritative part 
of the clergy, which lasted, with little intermission, during 
his whole reign, and in which one is sometimes called upon 
to censure the unreasonable, irreverent, and irritating con- 
duct of those who ought to have been the messengers of 
peace, but oftener to admire the courage with which they 
defended the liberties which had been handed down to them 
by their predecessors, and the firmness with which they sub- 
mitted voluntarily to poverty, banishment, and proscription, 
rather than resign an iota of what they conceived to be their 
lawful privileges as the servants of Heaven. 

At the period which we treat of, the greater part of the 
clergy were connected by opinion and principle with the 
lords who were in exile on account of the Raid of Ruthven. 
Arran had at different times made advances to gain the 
favor of the Church; but even the occasional advantages 
which the clergy obtained by means of the minister had been 
received like the more important benefits which Bothwell 
had procured for the Church from Queen Mary during the 
brief time of his guilty prosperity. Both these worthless 
and wicked men were total disbelievers in public principle 
or private honor, and, conscious of the total absence of both 
in their own persons, had hoped by what might be called 
bribery to secure the attachment of a class of persons who, 
by principle and profession, were votaries and teachers of 
religion and morality almost to the verge of bigotry. Their 
advances were, therefore, spurned in consequence of the 
hatred inspired by their vices; and the ministers of the 
Church of Scotland continued not the less their enemies 
that they had endeavored to secure their goodwill by ben- 
efits to their order. 

Convinced at last that the Church could not be concili- 
ated by fair means, Arran, having the court at his disposal, 


determined on carrying through such a series of restrictive 
laws as should debar the clergy in future from intermeddling 
with the affairs of State, under the penalty of answering to 
the temporal jurisdictions, which he hoped to retain under 
the management of the king, that is, under his own. 

For this purpose, in the year 1584, the parliament was 
declared current, and convened on the 22d of May, in order 
to confirm the king's declaration respecting the Raid of Ruth- 
ven ; pronouncing the doom of forfeiture against Angus and 
others, and the establishment of such a code of regulations 
as might in future intimidate the ministers of the Church of 
Scotland from exercising their wonted interference in civil 
affairs. Unusual pains were taken to prevent any rumors 
going abroad of the nature or extent of the intended meas- 
ures. The lords of the articles, to whom was intrusted 
the concoction of all business to be brought before parlia- 
ment, were sworn to secrecy concerning the subjects to be 
submitted to them. All access to the king's person was 
denied to persons suspected to be hostile to the administra- 
tion; and under these precautions the following severe laws 
were passed for the purpose of restraining the privileges of 
the Church, real and assumed. 

The king's authority over all persons, and in all cases 
whatsoever, was formally confirmed. "The declining his 
majesty's judgment and that of the council, in whatsoever 
matter, was," says Spottiswoode, "declared to be treason. 
The impugning the authority of the three estates, or procur- 
ing the innovation or diminution of the power of any of 
them, was inhibited under the same pain. All jurisdictions 
and judicatures, spiritual or temporal, not approved of by 
his highness and the three estates, were discharged, and an 
ordinance made, that none of whatsoever function, quality, 
or degree, should presume privately or publicly, in ser- 
mons, declamations, or familiar conferences, to utter any 
false, untrue, or slanderous speeches, to the reproach of 
his majesty, his council, and proceedings, or to the dis- 
honor, hurt, or prejudice of his highness, his parents, and 


progenitors, or to meddle with the affairs of his highness 
and estate, under the pains contained in the acts of parlia- 
ment made against the makers and reporters of lies. ' ' The 
Church of Scotland was by these sweeping enactments to- 
tally altered in its constitution and privileges. A change 
which we must regard in a very different light, if we con- 
sider the privileges which they claimed theoretically, or look 
at their practical effects. 

In the first point of view there appears no political wis- 
dom in rendering a body like the clergy, set apart for duties 
inconsistent with the bustle of active life, the depositaries of 
a nation's liberty, otherwise than in matters of religious doc- 
trine and conscience. But though such a charge was an 
anomaly, it was still more essential to the liberties of the 
nation that a power of reminding the subjects of their rights, 
and the rulers of their duty, should exist somewhere, than 
that it should be lodged in those hands which might be 
theoretically preferred as the most expedient and best. 

The Scottish parliament were, indeed, in theory, the- nat- 
ural and proper guardians of the people's freedom; but the 
institution of the committee, called lords of the articles, 
who had the previous privilege of arranging and garbing 
the business which was to come before parliament, prevented 
the efficacy of the national representatives in their proper 
sphere. Besides, the warm and precipitate discord of Scot- 
tish factions was not of a nature which could abide the cold 
decision of a parliamentary debate, or be decided by the or- 
derly and peaceful vote of a deliberative assembly. When 
a party was triumphant they held a parliament of their 
own, at which those opposed to them took special care not 
to give attendance; or if a statute was accounted injuri- 
ous to the subject, they showed their sense of its injustice 
not by opposing the bill in its progress through parliament, 
but by disregarding and disobeying it after it had passed 
into a law. It followed, therefore, that in most cases, as 
during the administration of Arran, the parliament was 
formed of persons chosen as being friendly to the prime 


minister, and under control of a close committee of lords 
of the articles selected by himself, who were more likely to 
be the organs of the royal or ministerial pleasure than the 
means of controlling it. 

The voice of the national representation being thus mute, 
it was highly essential that there should exist somewhere a 
privilege of reprehension and remonstrance against the in- 
roads of power upon popular rights ; and the Church of Scot- 
land, from circumstances and habit, had obtained possession 
of a privilege, the existence of which was of vital importance 
to the welfare of the community. That this zealous and 
hardy class of men, little accustomed to carry moderation 
into their opinions or temper into their debates, should have 
exercised their right with uniform moderation and judg- 
ment, could hardly be expected of so large a body composed 
of persons so various in temper and talents; but that they 
uniformly exerted it with courage, and endured with pa- 
tience and resolution the personal penalties which ensued, 
must be admitted as a compensation for much petulance and 
ill-timed interference on the part of the preachers. In a 
word, this peculiarity in the Scottish constitution resembled 
a case in architecture, easily conceived, and frequently oc- 
curring. An architect would be justly censured, who, in 
contriving a house, should make a window the ordinary vent 
for the smoke; but if by any accident the chimney is ob- 
structed, an attempt to shut up some aperture, because 
anomalous, must have the effect to stifle the inhabitants. 
The destruction, therefore, of this privilege of the clergy, 
hough rather of an inconsistent character, considering their 
sacred function, was a bold step toward the establishment 
of despotism in Scotland. 

While the obnoxious measures were yet depending, the 
ministers of the Church sent one of their number to the 
king, with a petition that no act affecting the Church should 
be permitted to pass through parliament until the brethren 
should be heard upon its tenor. But mystery and precipita- 
tion are the usual attendants of arbitrary resolutions, while 


those of a different character are uniformly distinguished by 
calm deliberation and free discussion. Lindsay, the bearer 
of this moderate petition, was not permitted to approach the 
king's presence, but was arrested at the gate of the palace, 
and sent prisoner to the State fortress of Blackness. Another 
clergyman of Edinburgh, named Pont, who was also a sen- 
ator of the college of justice, took a protest against the 
measures understood to be passing through parliament, on 
the ground that they had been adopted without consent or 
knowledge of the Church. In reward of what was termed 
his contumacy, Pont was declared a rebel, degraded from 
his condition as a judge, and forced to fly into England. 

These violent measures raised universal terror. The 
most learned and conscientious of the clergy saw no rem- 
edy, save resigning their charges, or submitting tamely to 
be deprived of their privileges of freely expressing their sen- 
timents. The ministers of Edinburgh set an example of the 
sacrifice. They adopted in a body the resolution of volun- 
tary exile; and from the borders of England the devoted 
band wrote a letter to the provost and magistrates of Edin- 
burgh, declaring that they left their charge, after a long 
wrestling, with the purpose of reserving themselves for bet- 
ter times, and of flying for the present from the death with 
which they were menaced, should they remain, for the pur- 
pose of bearing testimony against the iniquitous encroach- 
ments on the privileges of their order. 

The pulpits in the metropolis being thus silenced, a 
gloomy discontent overwhelmed all ranks of men, but es- 
pecially those who had most zealously professed the reformed 
doctrines; and James himself did not escape the suspicion 
of being inclined to bring Scotland back to the superstitious 
yoke of Rome. In many more instances than we have space 
to notice, the strife was maintained between the Church and 
the civil power by individual ministers, who plainly saw that 
by renouncing their claim to interfere in temporal politics 
they would deprive their doctrine of its savor, and render 
themselves as insignificant as they were already indigent. 


Meantime Arran, the great mover of these perilous inno- 
vations in Church and State, neglected not to advance his 
own interest by means as unjustifiable as those which reg- 
ulated his general government. The death of Argyle gave 
him opportunity to seize the office of chancellor. Thus he 
engrossed offices of rank and authority one after another, 
without considering that his power, like an ill-constructed 
building, rested on an imperfect foundation, and that every 
increase of height must only give it additional insecurity. 
His inordinate rapacity and vanity gave birth to a report 
that he meant to lay claim to the throne, which was founded 
on his having had the affectation to lodge in parliament a 
deed, on his part formally disclaiming the purpose of insist- 
ing on any right competent to him to claim the crown as a 
successor of Murdach, duke of Albany. The intimating the 
existence of such a right was considered as high presump- 
tion, and in secret could not but be deeply offensive to 
James himself. 

The favorite's overgrown fortunes were thus evidently 
tottering to a fall; and it was a sure proof that the time 
was not far distant, when even the individuals who were 
raised into power by his own recommendations sought to 
advance themselves by separating their interests from his. 
He had raised to the office of secretary, John Maitland, the 
brother of the celebrated Lethington, and possessor of the 
family talents. This statesman, who afterward rose to great 
eminence, continued for a certain time to regard Arran as 
his patron, and therefore ruled his actions by that favorite's 
inclination ; but perceiving that the headlong course which 
the earl pursued could not lead to permanent greatness or 
safety, he by degrees drew off from his party, and began 
to establish a separate interest of his own. 

This was the case also with a young man of extraordi- 
nary talents, but unhappily of equal duplicity, who began at 
this time to be distinguished at first as a friend and after- 
ward as a rival of Arran in the king's favor. This was the 
Master of Gray, personally handsome, witty, and accom- 


plished in those exercises which gained James's eye and 
affection, but totally destitute of principle, whether moral 
or political. He concealed for a long time his private views 
of entering into competition with the ruling favorite, and 
seemed, on the contrary, to devote himself to the augmen- 
tation of Arran's greatness. This artful and rising young 
man, having considerable acquaintance with England, is 
supposed to have first impressed upon Arran the necessity 
of cultivating the friendship of Elizabeth. 

This was, indeed, no easy matter ; for the efforts of the 
English ambassadors had been hitherto systematically and 
uniformly directed to the destruction of Arran's power, 
either by secretly undermining it, or by openly accusing 
him of unfitness to be the minister. But Burleigh, deeply 
read in the politics of Machiavel, had disapproved of the 
open dislike avowed by Walsingham to the person of Arran, 
and held it better and more politic to dissemble with him 
while he remained in James's favor. Elizabeth, therefore, 
and her ministers, though entertaining no better opinion of 
Arran than before, yet were willing to adopt the policy of 
availing themselves of his present credit, by obtaining such 
advantages as could be derived from an intimate league with 
the prime minister of Scotland. 

For cementing such an agreement, which, it is probable, 
neither party had the intention of keeping longer than served 
their own interest, Arran, with great splendor of attendance, 
and in capacity of royal lord lieutenant, held a confidential 
meeting upon the borders with Lord Hunsdon, the relation 
of Queen Elizabeth. Here Arran is said to have devoted 
himself to the interests of England, engaging, for the sat- 
isfaction of Queen Elizabeth's anxieties concerning the suc- 
cession to the English crown, to keep the king unmarried 
for three years, by thwarting and disconcerting any match 
which might be proposed during that period. On the part 
of Hunsdon an elusory promise was said to have been 
made that, the three years being expired, James should be 
wedded to an unmarried princess of the blood of England, 


who would then be marriageable, and invested by Elizabeth 
with the title of second person in the English kingdom. 
There is little doubt that this was one of those vague pro- 
posals by which Elizabeth hoped to stave off James's mar- 
riage to an indefinite period, as she had attempted in respect 
to that of his mother. Upon the whole, the English cour 
sellors deemed Arran far too flighty, vain, and unsettled, 
to be much relied on ; and although apparently engaging to 
support Arran's interest with James, and avail herself in 
return of that favorite's good offices, Queen Elizabeth was, 
in fact, corresponding with those who had Arran's destruc- 
tion at heart, and was privately determined to assist them 
by every means in her power. 

In the meantime, however, it was necessary to pay some 
apparent attention to his remonstrances, made in the name 
of his master, on account of the shelter afforded to the exiles 
of Scotland. Angus and his companions were ordered to 
London; and there was an affectation on the part of Eng- 
land of restraining their intercourse and their intrigues with 
their own country. 

Arran, confiding in his supposed friendship with England, 
proceeded in the pursuit of his own interest with the direct 
and disgusting rapacity which aims only at instant gratifica- 
tion without caring for consequences. The Earl of Athole, 
the Lord Home, and the Master of Cassilis, great names, 
and implying both rank and power, were severally impris- 
oned at his instance, for singular and very tyrannical rea- 
sons. The first, because he refused to divorce his wife, a 
daughter of the deceased Earl of Gowrie, and entail his 
estate upon Arran. The second, because he declined to con- 
vey to the tyrannical minister a portion of the lands of Dirle- 
ton. The third, because he had refused to lend Arran money 
when it was supposed he had some to spare — a species of 
offence which can be comprehended in all stages of society, 
though, happily for moneyed men, those disposed to be their 
debtors have seldom the means of avenging themselves for 
a repulse. Besides the enmity thus excited, Arran, in for- 

Scotland. Vol. II.— 8 


•warding oertain partial views of his own, awakened a deadly 
feud on the western borders of Scotland, so important as to 
assume the character of a civil war. 

The county of Dumfries had been long agitated by the 
disagreement of the ancient and powerful clans of Johnstone 
and Maxwell, who contended for the supreme influence. Of 
these the family of Maxwell was by far the richer, the more 
numerous, the more powerful, and possessed in the dale of 
the Nith the more extensive and wealthy territory. The 
Johnstones, on the contrary, were thorough-paced borderers, 
living in the fastnesses of Annandale, a country nearly in- 
accessible, constantly engaged in war and depredation, and 
possessed of equal readiness to take arms and skill to use 
them. Their want of numbers or strength was made up by 
an inveterate love of war and the most determined courage. 
They were thus enabled to wage war with equal auspices 
against a feudal enemy more powerful than themselves; 
and it now suited the Earl of Arran to make them minis- 
ters of his vengeance upon the clan of Maxwell, against 
whose chieftain he harbored a personal cause of complaint. 
Arran had become desirous to exchange the barony of Kin- 
neil, which he had succeeded to in the manner already men- 
tioned, as a part of the insane Earl of Arran's most unjust 
forfeiture, for the lands of Maxwellheugh, an ancient pos- 
session of the Lord Maxwell. The proposed exchange was 
declined by Maxwell, who saw no reason to part with his 
ancient patrimony, and had, perhaps, little confidence in 
the security of the title by which he was to hold the new 
acquisition offered to him in lieu of it. Indignant at this 
opposition to his will and convenience, Arran resolved to 
avenge himself by stirring up again the Lord Maxwell his 
hereditary enemies the Johnstones. In order to attain this 
point, by awakening the ancient rivalry between the houses, 
he prevailed upon the chief of the Johnstones to accept of 
the office of provost of Dumfries, now and for years past 
held by the rival chief. Maxwell, understanding that the 
citizens had received a letter from the king, directing them 


to elect Johnstone for the provost, naturally interpreted this 
as done in scorn of his prior right, and resolved to occupy 
the town forcibly, and put Johnstone to death in case he at- 
tempted to stand the election. Changing his purpose, how- 
ever, he contented himself with obstructing Johnstone's 
entrance into Dumfries, while he procured himself to be 
continued in the disputed office. To further his revenge, 
which had hitherto miscarried, Arran caused Maxwell to be 
denounced a rebel, for his obstruction of the king's pleasure 
in the matter of the provostry, and on account of certain 
border irregularities, of which pretexts were never wanting 
against the great men, who, like Maxwell, had rule in that 
disturbed country. 

Commission was given to Johnstone to pursue and ap- 
prehend his rival ; and two bands of mercenary soldiers were 
despatched to render him assistance in that enterprise. These 
hired soldiers, as they marched through Crawford Moor tc 
join with their allies the Johnstones, were surrounded; 
defeated, and slain, or made prisoners by the Maxwells 
Johnstone, smarting under this discomfiture, raised his 
banner, and invaded Nithsdale, burning and taking spoil 
with the usual border ferocity. Maxwell retaliated; and 
the clans, so long opposed to each other, having met in 
pitched battle, Johnstone was defeated and made prisoner— 
an affront which afflicted his proud spirit so severely that 
he died of grief shortly after he was liberated. The feud 
continued violent between the two great families: incur- 
sions, depredations, and skirmishes took place on either side, 
and all through the fault of the unscrupulous minister, who, 
in his desire to avenge a private grudge against Maxwell, 
had totalty destroyed the peace of the country, where it was 
his duty as chancellor to see the laws equally administered, 
and tranquillity preserved among the subjects. 

isor had Arran's individual impolicy been less evident 
in fomenting this civil war than the neglect of his public 
duty. In Maxwell he had added to his own personal ene- 
mies a powerful and warlike chieftain, the head of a military 


clan, and situated so near the border that he might make 
common cause with the Scottish exiles, the incensed clergy- 
men, and the minister's other enemies. Accordingly Arran 
was sensible of the danger too late. A convention of the 
estates was called, money was voted, and levies were set on 
foot for a royal expedition to suppress Maxwell; but the 
severe pestilence that broke out in Edinburgh occasioned 
the delay of the projected expedition. 

In the meantime Elizabeth, relying little or nothing on 
the faith of Arran, who showed himself as devoid of wisdom 
as he was of popularity, was desirous, if possible, to rest her 
friendship with Scotland upon a more secure basis than that 
on which it had been placed by Arran's interview with 

For this purpose she chose to enter into a new negotia- 
tion, founded on the habits and character of James himself. 
The reports of Walsingham may be supposed to have pro- 
duced some effect in favor of the Scottish monarch, at least 
so far as to make it appear politic to study his disposition 
more closely, and gain the personal favor less of his ministers 
than of the king himself. The queen selected for this pur- 
pose an envoy to reside at the Scottish court, singularly well 
adapted to further her views, whether he should find the 
Scottish prince of that character, at once solid and ingenious, 
which Walsingham ascribed to him, or whether James should 
be found, according to common repute, influenced by the 
silly habit of favoritism and overweening attachment to 
juvenile sports. This envoy was called Wotton. He was 
sent, according to the Master of Gray, not to tease his maj- 
esty with politics, or troublesome and thorny matters of 
business, but to partake with him in the honest pastimes 
of hunting, hawking, and riding, and entertain him with 
friendly and merry discourses ; having been a great traveller, 
and seen various courts. 

Above all, Wotton was recommended by Gray as a sin- 
cere friend and favorer of his majesty's title and succession 
to the throne of England. 


Under this gay and gilded exterior, which was calculated 
to advance him in the opinion of James, the English envoy 
added the dangerous qualities of an experienced spy and 
bold intriguer ; and had from his mistress the delicate charge 
of combining together and bringing to union all the discon- 
tented spirits whom he should find willing to engage in 
opposition to Arran. The moment the experienced Melville 
set his eyes upon the new envoy of England at the Scottish 
court, he recognized the person of a young man whom he 
had known at Paris acting the part of a spy in the disguise 
of an Irish page, and forming the channel through which 
some treacherous proposals were made to the constable of 
France for the surprisal of Calais. This important discovery 
he communicated to James; leaving it to the king to judge 
how "Wotton's former occupation agreed with the character 
of a frank, jovial, light-hearted sportsman, assigned to him 
by the Master of Gray. Although James was thus warned 
of Wotton's real character, he could not resist being capti- 
vated with his accomplishments in hunting and hawking 
and other sylvan pastimes, and admitted him far more into 
his society than was either prudent or proper. 

The matter of State on which Wotton was chiefly directed 
to insist was one of the utmost importance to both parts of 
Britain, being the formation of a league, offensive and de- 
fensive, among all Protestant sovereigns, to counterbalance 
that which had been formed between the pope, the Spanish 
king, the brethren of the House of Guise, and other Catholic 
princes, having for its object the extirpation of the reformed 
religion. Such a league was assented to with great' formality 
by the king in parliament, being offensive and defensive in 
all matters which should affect the cause of religion. In 
return for his brotherly zeal, Elizabeth settled on James the 
solid benefit of a pension of four thousand pounds sterling, 
which was highly acceptable to the Scottish sovereign, whose 
revenue was in a most dilapidated condition. "When this 
ostensible purpose of his embassy was accomplished, it was 
supposed that Sir Edward Wotton, the envoy extraordinary, 


would have returned to the English court ; but he had yet 
a deeper and darker intrigue to conduct, in the destruction 
of the power of the favorite Arran. 

This had been considerably shaken : Gray and Maitland, 
though they had risen under his favor, as we have seen, 
were secretly his enemies ; the king was in some late instances 
known to express himself dissatisfied with his violence ; and 
a misfortune had of late happened on the border of a char- 
acter which endangered the peace between the kingdoms, 
which, if not directly imputable to his agency, was yet such 
as he was considered liable to be made responsible for, 

Sir John Foster, warden of the eastern marches of Eng- 
land, had held one of the usual meetings of truce with Sir 
Thomas Kerr of Farniherst, warden of the middle marches 
of Scotland, when a question of dispute arose concerning the 
satisfaction claimed for certain cattle said to have been stolen 
out of Scotland : the dispute waxed warm ; and each warden 
being surrounded by the usual number of armed borderers- 
delinquents who found their own account in war and dis- 
turbance — they came very soon from words to blows. The 
Scottish poured a volley of their firearms upon the English, 
by which Sir Francis Russell, eldest son of the Earl of Bed 
ford, was mortally wounded, and died, bequeathing to the 
fatal spot, which is on the farm of Auldton Burn, and exactly 
on the march between England and Scotland, the name of 
Russell's Cairn, 

Queen Elizabeth was highly offended when she received 
this information 5 and although such accidents were fre» 
quent, considering tbe inflammable temper of the clans who 
usually attended on these occasions, it was her pleasure in 
this case to impute the death of Russell to the special malice 
of Farniherst, instigated by his patron Arran to take such 
violent measures for breaking the peace with England, There 
is no possibility of judging with certainty what might or 
might not be true respecting a person of Arran 's rash and 
fickle temper. But considering that he had been so lately 
courting the friendship of Elizabeth, as essential to his own 


interest, it seems improbable that he should suddenly break 
it off in so violent a manner ; and it is much more likely that 
Elizabeth, perceiving his credit at James's court beginning 
to fail, availed herself of this pretext of assisting to over- 
throw it entirely, with the hope of filling up his place in 
James's counsels by men upon whose principles she could 
better rely than on a favorite intoxicated with his unde- 
served advancement and devoid at once of faith and of 
sagacity. The remonstrance of his allies, skilfully enforced 
by the art of Wotton, had, no doubt, considerable effect 
upon James. He appointed Sir Thomas Kerr to enter into 
ward, that is, to remain a prisoner on parole in the town of 
Aberdeen, and commanded Arran to restrain himself to his 
mansion of Kinneil. Farniherst died in his imprisonment; 
for, being a man of a haughty spirit, and conscious of hav- 
ing rendered many services to Mary in her distresses, he 
resented the usage which he received from the son of his 
old mistress, and is said to have died of mortification. 

Other agents were strangely intermingled in the dark 

About this time a judicial proceeding took place of a very 
peculiar character, which indicated the boldness with which 
the Scottish ministers pursued their criminal intrigues, their 
contempt of public opinion, and their reliance upon the ex- 
treme docility of King James. 

It has been already mentioned that when Morton was 
accused of the murder of Darnley, on the last day of Decem- 
ber, 1580, his cousin, Archibald Douglas, titular parson of 
Glasgow, was involved in the same charge; nay, a great 
part of the accusation against Morton rested upon his having 
favored and preferred this Archibald Douglas, although by 
the testimony of those persons who suffered for the murder 
Archibald had been himself present at the deed, and although 
by Morton's own confession the same person had proposed 
the crime to him on the part of Both well, and urged him to 
take part in the execution. Being thus involved in the 
alleged guilt of his patron Morton, even more deeply than 


the earl himself, Douglas was deprived of his office of a 
judge of the Court of Session, which he held by the favor 
of the late regent, and was obliged to fly to England. He 
was subjected to a doom of forfeiture in the month of No- 
vember, 1581; and the king made repeated demands to Eliz- 
abeth that he should be delivered up to him for trial and 

Douglas was a man of that species of talents which suited 
the time ; able, intriguing, bold, and audacious, unscrupulous 
enough to act with any party in any kingdom, and shrewd 
enough to take the full advantage of any circumstance which 
might occur in his favor. During his banishment in England 
he had intimately connected himself with Elizabeth's min- 
ister, Randolph, and others, whom she considered as most 
proper to maintain the oblique and indirect connections 
which her policy disposed her to entertain with the various 
malcontents in Scotland. The intrigues of the Master of 
Gray were closely connected with the same class of minis- 
ters; and it appears that he held, in consequence, an inti- 
mate intercourse with the banished Archibald Douglas. 
When Arran's influence at court began to fail, an act was 
passed under the great seal, releasing Douglas from the 
decree of forfeiture pronounced against him as both acces- 
sor}' and principal in Darnley's murder: it contained the 
extraordinary clause, that if, notwithstanding, Douglas on 
a fair trial should be found guilty of accession to the king's 
murder, the act of rehabilitation should lose its force. Un- 
der this species of assurance, limited as it was, Douglas had 
the audacity to return to his native country. For decency's 
sake he was subjected to a trial, which appears to have been 
in every respect collusive, and so managed as to insure the 
escape of the prisoner : it was so conducted as to place his 
fate in the hands of jurymen selected by the prisoner him- 
self ; others who were cited, having refused to attend, were 
supplied from a list summoned by an order of the king pro- 
duced by the accused, and consisting, as far as can now be 
discovered, of jurors fully disposed for his acquittal; by jury- 


men thus packed, having the Master of Gray as their chan- 
cellor, in May, 1586, he was acquitted of the crime. It also 
occurred, as a singular feature on the trial, that the confes- 
sion of Morton, who stated that Douglas, now accused, had 
been the person through whom Bothwell communicated with 
him upon the deed, was withdrawn from the record, and 
could not be produced against the accused. Thus collusively 
acquitted from an accession to the murder of the king's 
father, of which he was unquestionably guilty, Archibald 
Douglas continued to be a favorite channel of communica- 
tion between the English intriguers in Scotland and Gray, 
and other favorers of their interest at James's court : and he 
appears shortly after this narrow escape from a trial for the 
crime of which he was certainly guilty, the murder, namely, 
of the king's father, to have been designed as ambassador 
for England. Unquestionably the object of this most inde- 
cent proceeding was to insure to the Master of Gray a safe, 
secret, and subtile agent, with whom he might communicate 
with his friends in England upon the measures to be adopted 
for accomplishing the downfall of Arran. A singular letter 
of Thomas Randolph, the most active agent in these dark 
and iniquitous transactions, is still preserved: 1 it is written 
in a strain of drollery not uncharacteristic of wicked men, 
who often concert and carry on their villanies in a tone of 
jest which renders them, perhaps, more indifferent in their 
own eyes than if they used the ordinary language of com- 
mon life. He seems to consider Douglas as not quite re- 
stored in character, as we may infer from his tone of salu- 
tation, in which he addresses him as domine non adhuc 
sacrosancte: he talks of the Carrs as probably fled to the 
hills, in consequence of Elizabeth's resentment for the death 
of Russell, and alludes to tumults shortly to ensue in Scot- 
land. "Look to your own person," he proceeds, "that you 
bring it shortly sacro-sanctified into England. Beware of 
the crafts of the Arranses, and hatred of the Carrs; for 

1 See State Papers of Murdin and Haynes, vol. ii., p. 558. 


hereupon dependeth the state of your welfare, sanctifica- 
tion, or reprobation." He proceeds, alluding possibly to 
some libel or attack upon himself as well as Douglas: "As 
notable a peece of knavery hath been of late wrote agaynst 
my sanctitie in esse, and yours in propinquo, as any cun- 
ninge knave in Scotland could ever have wrought." The 
concluding paragraph of this remarkable letter not only 
affords peculiar evidence of James's ruling taste, but serves 
to show that the means by which Randolph studied to gratify 
them were transmitted through hands so imperfectly cleansed 
from his father's blood : " I have sent the kynge two hunting 
men, verie good and skilfull, with one footman, that can 
hoop, hollow, and crye, that all the trees in Fawkland will 
quake for fear: pray the kynge's majestie to be mercifull 
to poor bucks; but let him spare and look well to himself." 
Within a few weeks Douglas, replaced in the secular posses- 
sion of the benefice of Glasgow, which was, probably, great 
part of the sacro-sanctification alluded to by Randolph, was 
sent to England as the ordinary ambassador of King James; 
and there can be little doubt that to him and to the Master 
of Gray are to be imputed not only the fall of Arran, which 
was in itself a deliverance to Scotland, but the death of 
Queen Mary, which was accelerated by their nefarious 

Arran was soon relieved from his confinement on account 
of Russell's death; but cannot have been restored to the con- 
fidence of his sovereign, since intrigues were now carried 
forward almost openly for the object of removing him from 
power. "With this view Sir Edward Wotton held secret com- 
munication with Maitland, Gray, and other counsellors in 
Scotland hostile to Arran's interest, and no less with Angus 
and the other exiles, on account of the Raid of Ruthven, 
whom he encouraged to approach once more to the border 
to unite with Lord Maxwell, the capital enemy of Arran ; 
and then advancing into the interior, to achieve by force of 
arms a purpose which was scarcely now likely to be seriously 
opposed, so numerous were the enemies of the favorite, and 


so far had he declined in his master's opinion.. For the 
same reason, the exiles of Ruthven, laying aside considera- 
tion of the ancient feud between the Hamiltons and Doug- 
lases, resolved to make one cause with Lords John and Claud 
Hamilton, disinherited by the oppression of Morton, and enter 
Scotland in the same company with them. 

In autumn, 1585, Arran became aware of the intended 
invasion, and appointed a levy of the array of Scotland to 
join the king at the castle of Crawford on the 22d day of 
October, in order to meet and repel it. But the statesmen 
whom he himself had introduced into power now openly 
deserted his falling authority: Gray and Maitland, who 
were concerned in "Wotton's intrigue, prevented the sum- 
monses from being circulated or attended to. The banished 
lords hastened to prevent the king's levies, and assembled a 
body of about a thousand men at the town of Linton, where 
they were joined by Maxwell with seven or eight hundred 
horse and three hundred infantry — a force almost equal to 
the united strength which his new associates could muster. 
They immediately set in motion toward Stirling, where the 
king and Arran lay, proclaiming the said earl and Colonel 
William Stewart abusers of the king's favor, for whose re- 
moval from the public councils and for the preserving of 
peace with England they declared themselves to be in arms. 

The Earl of Bothwell and others hastened to join with 
them. Indeed, the avowal of such motives was so gen- 
erally accepted that before they reached St. Ninian's their 
numbers were increased to nearly ten thousand men in arms. 
In the meantime the alarm at Stirling was great. Wotton, 
the English ambassador, who had been so busy in all these 
intrigues, thought it safe to withdraw from Scotland with- 
out taking farewell, when he perceived an explosion unavoid- 
able. Some imputed this unusually precipitate departure to 
his having trafficked in some scheme for the delivery of the 
king's person into the hands of the discontented nobles ; oth- 
ers supposed he was unwilling to be within the power of Arran 
when he should find himself overreached. He himself im- 


puted his haste to his mistress's resentment of the delay in 
delivering up Farniherst, which is the least probable cause 
which could have been assigned, since a mortal malady had 
already arrested that unfortunate chief. 

Arran, cooped up in Stirling, made some pretence of de- 
fending himself, although such had been his supineness or 
the treachery of those whom he had intrusted with the 
charge of affairs at this crisis, that neither arms, men, nor 
provisions were in readiness for the emergency. The night 
passed in fruitless debates. Ere the break of day a cry arose 
that the town was taken. The invaders, having obtained 
entrance by the connivance of some friends, were, in fact, 
in possession of the town. Arran fled ; and having the key 
of Stirling Bridge about his person, was enabled to make 
his escape, locking the gates behind him to prevent pursuit. 
James remained in Stirling Castle with some courtiers about 
his person, but without garrison or provisions. 

Deserted by his favorite, he opened a communication with 
the armed lords, and it appears they soon came to understand 
each other. The lords protested that their approach in that 
warlike manner was not meant to put any compulsion upon 
the king, but merely to obtain permission to reside on their 
estates, and to serve their country. James, on his part, 
manifested much moderation : he had never liked, he said, 
the violence of Arran ; and was content to admit the noble- 
men to his presence and favor, provided he was assured of 
safety to those who had been his friends and active in his 
service. . 

Moderation being promised, on the part of the victorious 
insurgents, the king received the armed petitioners with a 
considerable degree of dignity. To Lord Hamilton, who, 
in precedence of blood, was the first to offer his homage, 
he replied, "My lord, I never before saw you; and I must 
confess, of all that are here, you have been most wronged, 
having been a faithful servant to the queen, my mother, 
during my minority, and subject to ill usage, when I under- 
stood not matters as I now do.— Others of you," he said. 


looking to the lords concerned in the Raid of Ruthven, "can- 
not but say that you have had your deserts, and suffered no 
more than your misdemeanors merited. For thee, Francis," 
he continued, addressing the Earl of Bothwell, who had 
joined the invaders since their entrance into Scotland, "what 
could move thee to come in arms against a sovereign who 
never offended thee? I wish thee a more quiet spirit and 
knowledge how to live as a subject, as otherwise thou wilt 
fall into much trouble." This Earl of Bothwell, whom 
James so apostrophized, was Francis Stewart, grandson of 
King James V., by his natural son, and, consequently, a 
cousin-german of the reigning monarch. The estates and 
honors of Bothwell and lordship of Liddisdale had been 
conferred upon him after the forfeiture of the infamous 
James Hepburn; but it seems as if the very title was 

doomed to infect those who bore it with a strain of in- 
ordinate and turbulent ambition. For this nobleman be- 
came a principal source of disorder during King James's 
reign, as he who had formerly borne the title was the pest 
and shame of Queen Mary's, so that the speech addressed 
to him by the king at the Raid of Stirling seemed, in some 
degree, prophetic. 

The king's cordial reception of the lords seemed the 
preface to an amicable settlement. Some changes were 
made in order to give offices to the new-comers. Arran, 
deprived of his titles and offices, was suffered to reside in 
neglect and safety among his kinsmen, in the district of 
Kyle, where he lived obscurely, under his original name 
of Captain James Stewart. The contempt indicated by this 
neglect shows that there was no longer any reason to dread 

is influence over the king's mind, and that his hour of 
favor had passed away. 

The blood of only one individual stained this remarkable 
revolution; and its effusion was lamented by no one. The 
slain man was Hamilton of Eglismachan, the person upon 
whose information Douglas of Mains and Cunningham of 
Drumquhassel were condemned and executed. Johnstone 


of Westerkirk, a brave and determined borderer, had made 
a vow to avenge the death of Mains, who had been his 
fellow-soldier. At his approach to Stirling in the van of 
the insurgent forces, as soon as he could set eyes upon 
Hamilton, he rushed to attack him. The informer, who 
had long lived in terror of such a fate, fled into the king's 
park, where he was followed and slain by the self-elected 
avenger of blood. Another incident, occasioned, it would 
seem, by remorse of conscience, threw light upon the unde- 
served fate of these two innocent gentlemen. Edmonstone 
of Duntreath, as the reader will remember, had been brought 
to trial along with them in the capacity of an associate, and 
had pleaded guilty, alleging that the plot for seizing the 
king's person had been concerted by himself and the gen- 
tlemen accused, on the instigation of Black John Home, a 
follower of the Earl of Angus. This confession, on the 
part of a supposed associate, was urged against Argaty 
and Drumquhassel. This same Edmonstone now came 
forward before the privy council, voluntarily and unsum- 
moned, to acknowledge that his former confession was a 
tissue of falsehoods, which he had been compelled to utter 
by the menaces of James Stewart, the late earl of Arran. 
This contradiction of his former testimony was, probably, 
brought forward to obtain favor, or immunity, at least, from 
the Earl of Angus, whose name had been introduced as the 
original instigator of the conspiracy imputed to Mains and 

Upon the whole, this revolution of affairs, as it was exe- 
cuted with moderation and without bloodshed, was of great 
advantage to the kingdom, by removing from the helm a 
steersman like Arran, at once shortsighted and reckless, 
interested and impetuous. 



Queen Mary in Prison — Becomes the Object of Interest to all who 
conspire against Queeu Elizabeth — Elizabeth's Anxiety on her 
Account — Her Removal from Carlisle to Bolton — From Bolton 
to Tutbury, to Wingfield, to Coventry, to Chatsworth — Her 
visit to Buxton — Account of her by Nicolas White — Her Amuse- 
ments — Is more strictly guarded — And the Marks of Respect 
shown to her diminished — Injustice of her Treatment — Causes 
of Queen Elizabeth's Exasperation against her — The proposed 
Match with Norfolk unpleasing to her — The English war 
against the Queen's Party in Scotland — Attempt at a Treaty 
with Mary broken off by the Scottish Commissioners — Norfolk 
sent to the Tower — Mary desirous of an Interview with Eliza- 
beth — Elizabeth incites the Feelings of her Subjects against 
Mary, and endeavors to disgrace her in the Eyes of the Public 
— Works against her circulated — Proceedings against her in 
Parliament — Rigor of her Captivity increased 

WHILE James VI. travelled through the slippery- 
arid dangerous course of a Scottish minority, his 
mother, though without any reason assigned other 
than the will of Queen Elizabeth, remained an unpitied pris- 
oner, sometimes in the house of one nobleman, sometimes in 
that of another; all sensible that they offended the queen if 
they treated the royal captive with anything approaching 
to indulgence; and under the necessity, besides, of incurring 
considerable personal expense, which their sovereign Eliza- 
beth seldom dreamed of reimbursing in an adequate degree. 
An active mind, and an early practice of feminine pursuits, 
a turn toward religion, for which she was, perhaps, indebted 
to adversity, with the power of studying and writing in va- 
rious languages, enabled Mary to endure, with more than 
female constancy, the long succeeding 3-ears of her weary 


imprisonment. Hope, originally her frequent visitor, began 
to be less frequent in his attendance. As her places of resi- 
dence were changed, her train was abated, the marks of 
honor rendered to her former rank were abridged, and her 
apartments, defended with bolts and filled with armed 
warders, bore more and more the undisguised air of a 
prison-house; and the question was not, as at first, how 
long her confinement should last, but merged in the darker 
inquiry, how or when she was to be relieved by death. 

In the meantime, the fate of the Scottish queen, as it was 
sometimes the object of censure, and often of regret, among 
the most attached subjects of Elizabeth, stimulated to hopes 
and to enterprise the Roman Catholics of England, a numer- 
ous party, who could not be insensible to the sufferings of a 
princess of their own religion, even if she had not, in their 
opinion, possessed a title to their allegiance better than any 
which existed in the person of her oppressor. Repeated 
plots, discovered by the wisdom of Elizabeth's counsellors, 
had almost always for their object the liberation of Queen 
Mary, and were usually connected with some scheme for 
placing her on the British throne. The anxieties and per- 
plexities in which Elizabeth was thus involved were not the 
more easily endured that they might be considered as the 
consequences of her own injustice. 

In former days Mary, living in freedom and happiness in 
her own kingdom, might be to Elizabeth an object of incon- 
venient yet only occasional rivalry ; but, captive and forlorn, 
she was now perpetually brought before her in every form 
which could render the contrast painful : to speak fancifully, 
the queen of England was somewhat in the situation of one 
who, having murdered his enemy, is ever after haunted by 
his spectre. The reflections upon her own injustice, and 
upon the effect which it was likely to produce, made her 
entertain the most fantastic apprehensions of the extent of 
Queen Mary's faculty of seducing, and the apprehensions 
of her rival's powers over her own most chosen favorites. 
She had seen Norfolk and other nobles of undoubted faith 


shoot madly from their spheres, as the poet expresses it, 
attracted by the charms of a suffering queen and a captive 
beauty. Shrewsbury, on whom she long imposed the un- 
welcome office of Mary's keeper, at his several castles of 
Tutbury, Chatsworth, Wingfield, and others, could not, 
though old and faithful, escape the suspicions of his royal 
mistress any more than those of his jealous countess : both 
suspected him of too much favor for the royal prisoner; 
and reproaches from court and domestic ill-humor was the 
consequence of the slightest indulgence extended to his 

Thus all that was dangerous, distasteful, and prejudicial 
to Elizabeth, came by degrees to be mixed up with her idea 
of her prisoner Mary, until dislike increased into hatred, and 
hatred joined with fear became fierce enough, like the Indian 
snake-god in Madoc, to demand a victim. 

These considerations may account, though they cannot 
apologize, for the principles on which Elizabeth acted to- 
ward Mary, and in which the greatest queen that ever sat 
upon the throne of England, or, perhaps, upon that of any 
other country, seems to have been actuated at once by the 
jealousy of power incidental to the most ambitious mind, 
and by the peevish envy of disposition proper to the lowest 
female. It was not the least part of the distress and incon- 
venience inflicted upon Queen Mary that her place of con- 
finement was repeatedly changed, upon the slightest suspi- 
cion that the neighborhood was friendly to her; and that 
some cause of alarm was always arising, and to such Eliza- 
beth was sensibly accessible. 

Mary had fled to Carlisle without either money or even a 
fitting change of clothes. Her attendants then consisted of 
about thirty, four or five of them being persons of conse- 
quence attached to her party, and as many ladies of rank, 
the rest menials of various degrees attendant upon the royal 
person. She was first removed from Carlisle, where her 
person was conceived to be in danger of rescue, especially 
when she followed, within sight of the hills of her own king- 


dom, the pastimes of hunting, and others from which it was 
not thought decent as yet to debar her. Her removal took 
place on the lGth of July, 1568, when her person was com- 
mitted to the charge of Lord Scroope and Sir Francis Knollis, 
the former being the lord of the castle ; and Mary remained 
at Bolton till the 26th of January, 1568-9. During the dead 
of winter, in a state of health which was always precarious, 
owing to an old hurt received in the bosom, through a cold 
country and during a rigorous season, she was transported 
to Tutbury. This journey was made with so little precau- 
tion that the captive queen suffered all the inconveniences 
of the most ordinary pauper in the present day. Tutbury 
was an ancient castle belonging to the Earl of Shrewsbury, 
who now became the guardian of the unfortunate queen. 
"We have already said that this nobleman was married to 
a jealous and passionate woman, who mistook and misinter- 
preted the most ordinary marks of attention on the part of 
her husband to his royal prisoner. It is, perhaps, the strong- 
est instance of despotism exercised by the imperious House 
of Tudor, that Elizabeth, by her royal authority, should for 
so many years compel a nobleman of the first rank to con- 
tinue in a charge, the effect of which converted his house 
into a prison, his servants into jailers, involved him in a 
large expenditure, of which the queen hesitated to relieve 
him, and totally destroyed the peace of his domestic life 
by sowing discord between him and his lady, the most vio- 
lent woman in England ; and all this notwithstanding that 
the misery which Lord Shrewsbury suffered was so great 
as to affect his health and even his understanding. Prom 
Tutbury, Mary was sent for a season to "Wingfield, another 
house of Shrewsbury ; but the rebellion of the Earls of West- 
moreland and Northumberland threw the north of England 
into such confusion that Elizabeth became doubly anxious 
for the security of her unhappy prisoner. Mary was, there- 
fore, removed on short notice from Wingfield to Tutbury, 
and from Tutbury to Coventry, and back again, and 
dragged in bad weather through wretched roads from 


one place of confinement to another, until, on the 4th 
of August, 1570, she was suffered to repose in the manor 
of Chatsworth. 

From Chatsworth Mar} r was once more removed to Shef- 
field, where there was then a strong castle, in which she con- 
tinued to abide for a considerable time, with the variety of 
one or two visits to Buxton for her health, leave for which 
was reluctantly granted as an indulgence, all other patients 
being excluded from the healing baths during the presence 
of the suspected queen in their vicinity. In July, 1582, she 
took leave of Buxton, to which she applied the following 
Latin distich in bidding its baths adieu, perhaps, forever: 

"Buxtona quae calidse celebrabere nomine lymphae, 
Forte mini posthac non adeunda vale!" 

In the course of these weary years of confinement, varied 
by nothing save the change of prison, the reader may be 
tempted to ask in what manner Mary, the queen of two 
kingdoms, and accustomed to the exercise of her sovereign 
will both in France and Scotland, contrived to support a 
severe state of restraint, the more intolerable from the rank 
and habits of her upon whom it was inflicted? "We can 
hardly give a more striking picture of the patience of the 
unfortunate queen under her misfortunes than is contained 
in a letter of Nicolas White, sent on purpose by Cecil as a 
spy upon Mary's conduct and that of her keeper. The let- 
ter is dated 26th April, 1568. 

White had asked whether she liked her change of air, in 
allusion to her removal from Bolton to Tutbury "in the 
depth of winter": to which she mildly replied, "that had it 
consisted with her good sister's pleasure she would not have 
removed for change of air at this season of the year ; but 
that she was so far contented with her removal from Bolton, 
that she was so much the nearer her loving sister, into whose 
presence she hoped soon to be admitted." To this White 
answered, with the effrontery of an accomplished hypocrite, 
"that although Queen Mary did not enjoy the actual pres- 


ence of Elizabeth, yet it appeared to those who, Jike himself, 
viewed the matter from a distance, that she had always the 
virtual presence of the queen's majesty, who did in every 
respect perform to her the office of a gracious prince, a natu- 
ral kinswoman, a loving sister, and a most faithful friend." 
This emissary of Cecil wound up his advice, by recommend- 
ing to the unfortunate prisoner to "thank God that after so 
many perils she had arrived in a realm where, through the 
goodness of Queen Elizabeth's majesty, she had rather cause 
to regard herself as receiving prince-like entertainment than 
as suffering the slightest restraint." The poor queen an- 
swered meekly, "that indeed she had great cause to be 
thankful to Heaven and to her sister for such ease as she 
enjoyed; and that though she would not pretend to ask of 
God contentment in a state of captivity, she made it her 
daily petition that he would endow her with patience to 
endure it." In reporting this singular interview, White 
proceeds thus: "I asked her grace, since the weather did 
cutt of all exercises abroad, howe she passed the time within. 
She sayd, that all the day she wrought with hir needle, and 
that the diversitie of the colors made the worke somewhat 
lesse tedious, and that she contynued at it till very pain 
made her to give over : and with that laid hir hand upon hir 
left syde, and complayned of an old grief newely increased 
there. Upon this occasion she (the Scottish queen), with the 
agreeable and lively wit natural to her, entered into a prety 
disputable comparison betweene carving, painting, and work- 
ing with the needle, affirming painting, in hir own opinion, 
for the moste commendable quality. I annswered hir 
grace I coulde skill of neither of them; but that I have 
redd pictura to be Veritas falsa: with this she closed up 
hir talk, and bydding me farewell, retyred into her privy- 

The fact that Queen Mary solaced the hours of imprison- 
ment by the practice of those elegant arts of female work- 
manship, in which she excelled, is ascertained by the preser- 
vation of a quantity of pieces of embroidery, tapestry, anc 


other labors of the needle and loom, still preserved and ex- 
hibited in different scenes of her captivity, where they had 
soothed the hours of imprisonment. The general effect of 
Queen Mary's manners and sentiments appear to have had 
an impression even upon the hypocritical agent of Cecil, at 
which he is himself surprised. He acknowledges the effect 
of her presence in the most striking manner, by desiring that 
if he might advise, few persons should be permitted to have 
access to the same seduction of which he had himself ex- 
perienced the fascination. "But if," continues White, "I 
(whiche in the sight of God beare the queens majestie a 
naturall love, besyde my bounden dutie), might give advise, 
there should very few subjects in this land have access to, 
or conference with, this lady. For besid that she is a goodly 
personage (and yet, in truth, not comparable to our souver- 
ain), she hathe withall an alluring grace, a pretty Scottish 
speche, and a serening wit, clouded with myldnes. Fame 
might move some to releve her, and glory joyned to gain 
might stir others to adventure much for her sake. Sight, 
they say, is a lively infective sence, and cariethe many per- 
swasions to the hart, which rulethe all the rest : myn own 
affection, by seeing the quenes majestie our souverain is 
dowbled, and thereby I gesse what the sight might worke 
in others. Hir hair of it self is black, and yett Mr. Knolls 
told me, that she weares heare of sundry colors." 

While such were the queen's amusements during her 
melancholy imprisonment, and such the gentleness of de- 
portment, which affected even the cold-blooded agent of 
Cecil, every other means allowed her for her greater con- 
venience or more respectable accommodation was gradually 
restrained more and more. 

At first, as we have just seen, her abode at Bolton and 
Tutbury was represented by this man White as bemg some- 
thing almost voluntary, and for which she was told she ought 
to be thankful to Heaven. It is true that when she removed 
from place to place she was under guard of a stout band of 
soldiers. No consent of her own was asked when a journey 


was proposed, nor did her dissent when she desired to remain 
at Bolton prevent her being transported to Tutbury. It is no 
less true that she was not permitted to ride out for health 
or pleasure, although she was so much accustomed to the 
exercise that her health sunk under the confinement. It 
is true also that if, at any time, she was permitted to accom- 
pany her keepers upon the parties of hawking and hunting, 
which they practiced for their own amusement and not fc 
hers, bands of armed men were in attendance, provided witn 
swords and firearms, and having orders to put to death the 
captive princess, in case any attempt at escape or rescue 
should seem likely to prove successful. But these circum- 
stances, while they convey to modern readers a strong idea 
of restraint, did not, in the opinion of Mr. White, partake of 
the character of imprisonment, or form an alloy to the sis- 
terly reception on the part of Elizabeth. 

In what, then, it may be said, was the queen of Eng- 
land's goodness manifested toward her prisoner? We can 
only answer that for a certain time the vain forms of royalty 
were practiced toward a sovereign who had less command 
over her own motions than the meanest peasant; and the 
empty form of a canopy of state was indulged to one whose 
life depended upon her abstaining from every attempt to as- 
sert the meanest and most ordinary privilege of a free person 
— that of going where she would. We shall see in the prog- 
ress of her sad history that Mary was by degrees deprived 
even of the delusive tokens of respect, which were only at 
first conceded to her, to be gradually withdrawn, as she 
drew nearer to her fatal doom. 

We have already mentioned the issue of the commission, 
the members of which, without any legal authority that can 
be imagined, took upon themselves the task of entering into 
and examining the accusations brought against the queen of 
Scotland by her insurgent subjects. Queen Elizabeth had 
declined to decide between the parties: "she had not seen 
ground enough," she said, "to declare the queen guilty of 
the horrid charges brought against her; nor, on the con- 


trary, to find the regent and the rest of the Scottish lords 
of the king's part3 T guilty of rebellion against the royal au- 
thority of Mary" — and such was the declaration of her sov- 
ereign pleasure. But while Elizabeth nominally abstained 
from judging in a cause which, indeed, she had no title to 
take under her consideration, her conduct was effectually 
the same as if she had found Queen Mary guilty and Mur- 
ray and the king's lords totally innocent of the respective 
charges brought against them. The queen of Scotland was 
detained prisoner as a guilty person, while the regent was 
dismissed with a subsidy of five thousand pounds, enabling 
him to continue those military measures by which he had 
placed himself at the head of the Scottish government. 

Queen Mary remonstrated strongly against a course of 
proceeding which, while it apparently acquitted her of all 
guilt, left her the inmate of a jail, and subjected her at the 
same time to the worst consequences of punishment. But 
the prejudices of Queen Elizabeth against her rival were so 
deeply rooted that no sense of justice could induce her to 
forego the advantages which she had received from Queen 
Mary's imprudent surrender of herself into her unfriendly 

It must be owned that circumstances occurred during the 
investigation at York which tended still further to increase 
her excessive jealousy of her sister-queen. 

It was Mary's misfortune upon this occasion to give way 
t ; the suggestions of Maitland of Lethington, whose plots, 
.hough they indicated the extreme subtlety of his own 
genius, were often too much refined in their texture, and 
too complicated in their ramifications, for a period of vio- 
lence, where the knot of every intrigue was liable to bs 
severed by the sword of the soldier or by the axe of the 
executioner. The intrigue by which he involved Norfolk 
in a project of marriage with Mary was probably of the 
most fatal consequences to both. If he had, in fact, the 
welfare of his unhappy mistress in his view, Maitland ought 
to have seen that in her present condition she was entirely 


dependent upon Queen Elizabeth, and that any offensive 
course toward the latter sovereign must necessarily end in 
the ruin of the former. In this respect the proposed mar- 
riage of Mary with the Duke of Norfolk was sure to gall 
the English queen upon almost every point where she was 
most sensitive. Matrimony of any kind, where she was not 
herself the object, was never found a matter more agree- 
able to her than it usually is to the votaresses of celibacy ; 
and that of Mary involved a prospect peculiarly disagreeable 
to her. The marriage of Mary promised to extend those 
claims of succession of which Elizabeth was sufficiently jeal- 
ous even when they were now limited to a single youth ; and 
she who could oppose by the most violent measures the union 
of Darnley and the Scottish queen was not likely to be scrupu- 
lous when this proposed alliance with one of the most power- 
ful nobles of England seemed to renew all the fears which 
another marriage was sure to awaken. It was well known, 
also, that the duke in strengthening his party had cultivated 
the favor of the Catholic Earls of Northumberland and West- 
moreland, who, from motives of religion as well as policy, 
were sufficiently disposed to prefer the title of Queen Mary 
to that of Elizabeth. 

However prudent, therefore, a match between Norfolk 
and the Scottish queen might have been considered in the 
abstract, supposing Mary at liberty and in a capacity to 
make a free choice, the very surmise of such a connection 
was fraught with danger while she was in the power of 
Elizabeth ; and that it should have been suggested by Mait- 
land is only an additional instance how men of great parts 
can overreach themselves in matters of State policy, their 
very ingenuity and extreme subtlety becoming the means 
of blinding them to consequences which are obvious to those 
of duller capacity. It appears equally difficult to justify the 
conduct of Maitland, if we suppose that he believed it pos- 
sible to carry on an intrigue of such importance without its 
coming to the knowledge of Elizabeth herself, a jealous and 
sagacious princess, and served by Cecil, Burleigh, and Wal- 


singham, the most subtle ministers known in Europe 
at the period. He might also have well foreseen the 
inevitable defection of Murray from the project, when- 
ever it should become known to Queen Elizabeth, upon 
cultivating whose favor the regent's power absolutely de- 

The match with Norfolk naturally connected itself with 
the dangerous insurrection of Westmoreland and Nor- 
thumberland; and Elizabeth, not without good reason, 
entertained suspicion of Mary as the hidden cause of 
both, and of all the danger which they implied. Then 
there is little doubt that they greatly prejudiced the queen 
of Scots in her opinion, and furnished her with a specious 
reason, founded upon State necessity, for detaining her a 
prisoner. The English sovereign was indeed about to 
have taken a more desperate step, by delivering up the 
royal fugitive to the custody of the Regent Murray, had 
not the sudden death of that nobleman prevented the 
scheme from taking place. 

After the death of Murray, the queen of England engaged 
personally in the war, and, as we have seen, sent an English 
army into Scotland. Out of this arose new arguments of 
State for refusing the Scottish queen her liberty, however 
unlaw fulh' she had been deprived of it. It was not to be 
supposed, said the English counsellors, that while Elizabeth 
was making war against a faction in Scotland, she either 
would or ought to set at liberty the captive who was at 
the head of that faction. Yet it appears that the English 
queen had some intention of freeing herself of the queen 
of Scots, although she never took any effectual step to that 

In the meantime, the alleged attempts of the northern 
rebels to effect Mary's escape, together with that queen's 
supposed interest with these insurgents, formed an excuse 
for confining her more closely than formerly. Her minis- 
ter, the bishop of Ross, complained that his mistress was 
not permitted to take exercise on horseback, by which her 

Scotland. Vol. II.— 9 


health was much prejudiced; and it was granted, ob- 
viously as a considerable boon, that the Scottish queen 
might ride forth to take the air, so that it were in com- 
pany with the Earl of Shrewsbury. In the meantime, 
as if to realize the thoughts which the English queen en- 
tertained of parting with her Scottish hostage, two of 
her ministers, Cecil and Mildmay, were sent, November, 
1570, to endeavor to settle some terms on which Mary 
might be liberated. 

The principal proposals were that Mary should renounce 
any pretensions to the English crown; that she should ad- 
here to the alliance between the kingdoms; grant pardon 
to the subjects who had been in arms against her during 
the civil war, and put into the queen of England's hands 
hostages of high rank, and some castles in Scotland, by 
way of guarantee. 

It is plain that Elizabeth's only pretensions to obtain 
such articles arose from her having in possession the person 
of the queen of Scots, committed to her in a moment of un- 
wary confidence; yet hard as these conditions were, Mary 
was in such a state as might have compelled her to subscribe 
to them or to worse. But no security could possibly have 
been granted adequate to soothe the real apprehensions of 
Elizabeth, and the affected scruples of her counsellors. The 
treaty was therefore disturbed, and finally broken off, by 
the introduction of commissioners in the name of the youth- 
ful king of Scotland, ivhose interests Elizabeth pretended she 
was bound to consult : these were the Earl of Morton and 
two other persons of his party, who interrupted the whole 
proceedings by maintaining the high Calvinistic principle of 
lawful resistance, on the part of the subject, even to sover- 
eign authority. In such principles it was impossible that 
those acting for Elizabeth should dare to acquiesce; and 
though there can be no doubt that Elizabeth, upon this as 
well as upon former occasions, might have dictated to the 
Scottish commissioners how they were to limit their plead- 
ings, yet she rather chose to consider the mode in which they 


had been entered as a total bar to further proceedings in the 
treaty, which was thus broken off. 

In the meantime Norfolk, having been liberated after his 
first arrest, was again thrown into the Tower, and his in- 
trigues and ambitious views finally closed by his public trial 
and execution. Mary appears to have taken the misfortunes 
of this nobleman severely to heart : she was confined to her 
chamber for ten days ; and probably employed her leisure 
hours in deploring the fate of one who had adventured and 
lost rank, fortune, and life in her service. She expresses 
herself on the subject to her faithful counsellor, the bishop 
of Ross, then imprisoned in the Tower, as having had some 
accession to the intrigues of Norfolk ; and her letter, express- 
ing a singular mixture of despondency and firmness, has 
been published by Mr. Chalmers. 

"While her health was declining, and her comforts dimin- 
ished, Mary still clung to one hope, which she nourished 
with uncommon tenacity, although it is difficult to conceive 
what she could have expected from it. From the moment 
she set foot on English ground the queen of Scots had reck- 
oned a great deal upon the effect to be wrought on Eliza- 
beth's mind in the personal interview which she never failed 
to demand. Yet what could it have availed the unfortunate 
queen to have had the means of convincing Elizabeth by 
ocular demonstration that she, so long hated as a rival, did 
in fact possess more beauty, equal sense, as much accom- 
plishment, and wit and grace superior to her own? The 
suspicion that such was the case was what had originally 
excited Elizabeth's hatred to Mary; and everything which 
led to convince her of the truth of what she suspected could 
only enhance that evil feeling. It would also have been very 
difficult to have chosen and supported in such an interview a 
character which would have left her at liberty to act against 
Queen Mary the severe conduct correspondent to the part by 
which she might have already meditated closing the scene. 
Elizabeth might think there was less difficulty in executing 
a defamed and neglected prisoner than in taking the life of 


one whom she had admitted to her presence as a sister sov* 
ereign. She might hold with her father, Henry VIII., the 
truth of the popular adage, that 

A king's face 
Should give grace, 

and therefore determine not to admit to her presence the 
victim whom she was resolved not to pardon. At any rate, 
she was determined in postponing and declining all Mary's 
pleadings for an interview, and at length hardly deigned 
to return any answer to her solicitations upon that subject. 
This period of their intercourse was strangely contrasted 
with that in which Sir James Melville, then the Scottish 
ambassador at the court of London, proposed, in a tone of 
jocose raillery, that Elizabeth should disguise herself as his 
page, and ride down to Scotland merely to see his mistress; 
to which, willingly accepting the compliment, she replied 
with a sigh, "Would to Heaven she might do so!" It is 
curious to compare the behavior of individuals to each other 
in sunshine and shower, in good fortune and adversity. 

Meantime Queen Elizabeth called in to the aid of her 
policy the passions and feelings of those subjects who had 
so much reason to look up to her with gratitude as the 
mother of her people. Two points she, in particular, strug- 
gled to attain, if possible. The first was that of establish- 
ing to the public conviction the proposition that the safety 
of Queen Elizabeth was inconsistent with the life of Mary; 
of which, she herself being the judge, no doubt could be 
entertained. If we can believe a copy of doggerel verses, 
which we are surprised that Elizabeth's taste could permit 
her to be guilty of, the Scottish queen was the foundation 
of all the dissatisfaction and danger which threatened her 
government. 1 The editor of these verses has acquainted 

' That doubt of future foes exiles my present joy; 
And wit me warns to shun such snares as threaten mine annoy: 
For falsehood now doth flow, and subjects* faith doth ebb, 
Which would not be, if reason rul'd, or wisdom weav'd the web: 


us that those sweet and sententious rhymes, those sugared 
samples, as he calls this trash, were written to express the 
queen's conviction of the extreme danger in which she was 
placed through the influence of a party among the nobility 
and Catholic gentry devoted to the interests of the queen of 
Scots; and Elizabeth seems to have deemed it necessary to 
impress the same terror, which she herself entertained to- 
ward Mary and her party, upon the people of England, 
to whose regard she had so many just claims that she 
might well call upon them to protect her against the alleged 
plots of a foreigner and papist. 

This was not all, however : the queen of Scotland was not 
only to be represented as a person formidable to Queen Eliz- 
abeth, but also as one worthless and base in herself, and un- 
worthy of claiming the ordinary compassion due to strangers 
and exiles. Sir Francis Knollis, in a letter from Bolton, of 
January 1, 1568, seems very early desirous to warn Queen 
Elizabeth against her own gentleness of temper, which might 
withhold her from openly disgracing Queen Mary, and main- 
taining the insurgents in Scotland against her, even although 
the queen of Scotland should refuse to be conformable in the 
matters required of her by the English sovereign. This inti- 
mates an intention of permitting such accusations to be cir- 
culated against Queen Mary as might best counteract the 
prepossessions excited in her favor by her grace and beauty, 

But clouds of toys untry'd do cloak aspiring minds, 

"Which turn to rain, of late repent, by course of changed winds. 

The top of hope suppos'd the root of ruth will be, 

And fruitless all their graffed guiles, as shortly ye shall see: 

Those dazzel'd eyes with pride, which great ambition blinds, 

Shall be unsealed, by worthy wights, whose foresight falsehood 

The daughter of debate, that eke discord doth sow, 
Shall reap no gain, where former rule hath taught still peace to 

No foreign banish'd wight shall anchor in this port: 
Our realm it brooks no stranger's force; let them elsewhere 

Our rusty sword with rest, shall first the edge employ, 
To poll their topps, that seek such change, and gape for joy. 

—Chalmers' Life of Mary Queen of Scots, vol. i., p. 344. 


as well as by the generous sympathy of the English nation 
for the condition of a forlorn princess, who had thrown her- 
self upon their compassion and that of their queen. 

This design was prosecuted by suffering the works of 
Buchanan and others, directed against Queen Mary's repu- 
tation, to be introduced and distributed through the realm, 
while those composed in her defence were treated as contra- 
band and prohibited publications. The accusations against 
Queen Mary were thus left to make their way without an- 
swer or reply; and connected with the undeniable fact of 
her having united herself with Bothwell so shortly after the 
murder of Darnley, of which all recognized him as the 
author, seemed to take from the unfortunate queen not 
only the right to demand justice, but even that of request- 
ing compassion. Her name was publicly soiled with the 
foul charges of murder and adultery : the proofs which had 
been rejected as informal and incomplete, even by Elizabeth 
herself, were found far more than sufficient to gratify the 
vulgar appetite for scandal accustomed to little nicety in 
selecting its grounds of belief. Thus it remained no ques- 
tion with by far the greater part of the English people that 
the safety of Elizabeth could only be insured by Mary's 
death, or in what measure justice or injustice should be 
dealt toward one whom they accounted so infamous as this 
dethroned queen. 

Acting under these impressions, the English house of 
commons meditated a resolution, the effect of which must 
have been to palsy the exertions of the queen of Scotland and 
all who might be disposed to take her part. They sent a bill 
to the house of lords, by which it was declared that the very 
act of claiming any right to the crown was in itself high 
treason ; that it was equally so to affirm that the right of 
any other was better than that of Elizabeth, or that the 
parliament had not power to settle and limit the order 
of succession. These enactments greatly abridged Queen 
Mary's influence upon the public mind in England, and 
afforded such an assurance of safety to the existing sover- 


eign that Queen Elizabeth, deeming further procedure for 
the time unnecessary, ventured to adjourn the parliament. 
After these proceedings, and, perhaps, as a natural con- 
sequence of them, the severities of Queen Mary's imprison- 
ment were considerably increased : her most faithful agent, 
the bishop of Ross, as already hinted, was thrown into 
prison on account of his implication in the fatal intrigues 
of Norfolk; the queen's retinue was diminished; her means 
of taking exercise restrained; the expense of maintaining 
the necessary guards and attendants diminished; and 
Shrewsbuiy, after all his toil to accomplish his trouble- 
some duty to Elizabeth's satisfaction, found he was the 
subject of her jealousy, and scarce less so of her proverbial 
economy, which left him even the honor, at his own ex- 
pense, of providing the costly wine-baths which Queen 
Mary's infirmity compelled her to make use of. 



Interference of Foreign Princes in behalf of Mary— Her Intercourse 
with her Son — Her Presents to him rejected— Nevertheless she 
interferes with Elizabeth in his Behalf at the Period of the Raid 
of Ruthven— He disclaims her Title and Cause— Her Sentiments 
on that Occasion— The Catholics of England continue to make 
her the |chief Object of their Regard, and involve her Name in 
their Conspiracies— The Plot of Throgmorton— Association of 
English Subjects, chiefly directed against Mary— She is alarmed, 
and willing to submit to severer Terms of Liberation — Elizabeth 
cultivates an Interest with James and his Ministers; her Alarm 
for Queen Mary in a public and national Point of View — Mary's 
imprudent and offensive Letter — Sadler intrusted for a Time 
with the Custody of the Scottish Queen — His Discontent with 
the Duty imposed — Parry's Conspiracy — Severe Act of Parlia- 
ment passed in consequence 

WE have attended the changes of Queen Mary's 
imprisonment, and pointed out some of its most 
remarkable incidents. A more weary and dis- 
tressing course of oppression, mingled, from time to time, 
with deceitful glimmerings of delusive hope, is hardly to 
be found in history. 

But the reader may ask, with some surprise, since Mary 
was queen-dowager of France, and an ally of the king of 
Spain, whether no efforts were made in her favor by either 
of these two powerful monarchs, who, for decency's sake 
at least, were imperatively called upon to interfere in her 
behalf? That such interference took place is undoubted, but 
on the part of France it was of a cold and feeble character; 
for the king was not of a temper to regard any one's interest 
save his own, which at that period recommended friendship 
with England. The Spanish ambassador, on the other side, 
had in some respects lost his right to be listened to in the 


affairs of Queen Mary, since he had mixed himself with the 
intrigues of Norfolk; and although his rank was too high 
to be arrested like the bishop of Ross, he at length received 
Elizabeth's commands to quit England. 

"With still more reason might it be demanded, what 
James VI., the only child of the unfortunate Mary, was 
doing in her behalf? He was not a twelvemonth old when 
he succeeded to her crown, and the years which had since 
passed, which had filled up to him a term of sovereignty, 
had been to his ill-fated mother, with the intermission of 
only a few days, a period of rigorous captivity. 

Mary at least had not, in the meantime, forgotten the sole 
tie of affection which continued to bind her to this life. As 
soon as James had personally assumed the government, the 
imprisoned queen hastened to send him a present of a gar- 
ment, embroidered by her own hands, with some jewels, 
such as her misfortunes had left in her possession. They 
were, however, addressed not to the king, but to the prince, 
of Scotland; as indeed it could hardly be supposed that 
Queen Mary was to acknowledge a title in her son, the 
existence of which was inconsistent with her reputation as 
well as her rights. On that account the gift was refused, 
under pretence of its being misdirected; nor was the bearer 
permitted to come into the royal presence. 

We would gladly hope that James was no party to this 
undutiful proceeding; nor shall we attempt to estimate the 
distress of the unfortunate mother, when she received again 
the gift of maternal affection, ornamented by her hands, 
and probably stained by her tears, rejected as it was in this 
unfilial manner through a cold-blooded and insulting scruple 
of etiquette. "Wherever she might cast the blame, maternal 
partiality prevented her from throwing it upon her son ; for 
when he had soon after fallen into the power of the insur- 
gent nobles at the Raid of Ruthven, her maternal anxiety 
broke forth in an epistle to Elizabeth, in which, throwing 
aside the humble tone in which she had pleaded her own 
sorrows, she remonstrated with warmth and dignity upon 


the injustice which had deprived her son of his liberty. She 
in that letter declares herself, with all her heart, willing to 
gratify her son, by resigning the throne. She desired only 
that the queen of England would protect him from practices 
at the hands of his rebellious subjects, such as she had been 
exposed to herself, and declared that she desired no kindnes*" 
of her for herself beyond the company of two waiting gentle 
wi anen, and the means of performing the duties of her re- 
ligion. In reply to this intercession, Robert Beale, a rude 
and morose man, and clerk of Elizabeth's council, was sent 
to expostulate with the captive princess, for the freedom 
which she had thought proper to assume; nor was Queen 
Elizabeth affected otherwise than with anger by the tenor 
of the letter which she received. 

It is probable that, while the unfortunate Mary indulged 
herself in all the tenderness of a mother toward the young 
king of Scotland, the feelings which he cultivated in return 
were of a cold and unresponsive character, for which, per- 
haps, his education is more to be blamed than his heart. 
He had doubtless been carefully trained in the opinion that 
his right to the throne depended upon the truth of those 
charges on account of which his mother had been precipi- 
tated from the royal dignity. He must have regarded her, 
therefore, with more aversion than affection, and was prob- 
ably little anxious to obtain the freedom of one whose liberty 
might impair his own right to the kingdom of Scotland. To 
pursue, therefore, the course of James's rare and infrequent 
intercourse with his mother, we may observe that in 1585, 
under the direction and by the advice of the Master of Gray, 
of whom we have said something, and shall have occasion 
to say more in the sequel, James wrote to his unfortunate 
mother a harsh and highly undutiful letter ; in the course 
of which he disowned her right to the throne, and expressed 
himself determined in no respect whatever to connect his 
own interest or title with hers. Mary felt the ingratitude 
of this insulting epistle, and expressed her indignation 
warmly in a letter to the French ambassador. "Am I 


thus," she said, "requited for all I have done, and all I 
have suffered, for this ungrateful boy? God knows I en- 
vied him not the kingdom which he possesses, nor did I 
ever wish to visit Scotland more, unless for the purpose of 
seeing him and blessing him. But let him beware how he 
prosecutes the ungenerous and ungrateful course upon which 
he has entered. Without my consent he cannot justly hold 
the regal dignity ; and unless he amends his fault by repent- 
ance, I will bestow on him a parent's curse, and bequeath 
my kingdom to one who will know both how to occupy and 
how to defend it." This letter, no doubt, was dictated by a 
passing flash of irritation; but it shows a new instance in 
which it was Mary's misfortune to be afflicted through those 
channels of feeling which are usually, to others, the source 
of the purest happiness. The queen's greatest misfortunes 
had arisen out of her conjugal connections, and she was now 
doomed to see them augmented by the ungrateful scorn and 
negligence of her only child. 

Other circumstances, which might in the general case bo 
termed advantageous, were in like manner destined to prove 
fatal to this unhappy queen. She was, we have seen, the 
object of fear and suspicion, and even of the hatred natu- 
rally connected with these feelings, to the greatly more nu- 
merous body of the English, consisting of those who had 
embraced the Protestant faith, and were loyal subjects of 
Queen Elizabeth. It was the natural consequence that those 
of her own religion, who regarded the reign of the existing 
sovereign as the usurpation of an adulterous bastard, and 
cruel and heretical persecutor of the Catholic faith, should 
regard Mary as an innocent and holy sufferer, deprived of 
her native kingdom by heretical rebels, and most unjustly 
detained prisoner in that to which she had a better right 
than her persecuting relative who held the throne. As the 
English Catholics were zealous, as usual, in proportion to 
the disqualifications which they were subjected to and the 
persecution which they underwent, and as they were still 
numerous and powerful, they failed not to match the ruling 


party in enthusiasm, and to form many schemes to bring 
England once more within the limits of what, in their idea, 
was lawful succession, and the pale of the only Catholic 
faith. With all these plots the name and cause of Mary 
was naturally connected. Nor was her name always used 
without her consent. Some of the plots were undoubtedly 
communicated to her ; nor can we suppose it likely that she 
should express resolute disapprobation of schemes which 
tended to accomplish her own liberty, and the dethrone- 
ment of her own rival, at whose hand she could expect 
nothing but a continuance of the same malevolent severity 
which had characterized Elizabeth's conduct toward her 
since she took refuge in England. It is also plausibly re- 
ported that her name was used in intrigues of which she 
never heard, but the managers of which conceived they 
were calculated for her advantage, and therefore held them- 
selves secure of her approbation, without her consent being 
previously obtained. Thus there was an action and reaction 
in the public mind; and the more the Protestants persisted 
in regarding Mary as the enemy of their faith and govern- 
ment, the more the Catholics endeavored to fix the same 
character upon her, by making use of her name and author- 
ity in their most violent conspiracies. 

In 1584 a conspiracy of this nature was discovered of a 
very extensive and dangerous character. One Francis Throg- 
morton, a Catholic gentleman of Cheshire, after undergoing 
the torture, in consequence of some suspicious documents 
found upon him, was unable to sustain a second interroga- 
tion of the same nature, and confessed a private correspond- 
ence with the Queen of Scots, and a projected design to 
invade England on the part of Spain, where most of the 
English Catholics were alleged to be ready to join them in 
arms. Arrangements to this effect, he stated, were made 
with the approbation of the Spanish ambassadoi. The 
House of Guise, the near relatives of Mary, were alleged 
to be in preparation for the same purpose, and the Duke 
of Guise was to be leader of the enterprise. The alarm 


through England was extreme; and the discovery was of 
a nature which touched the main fear of all true Protes- 
tants. The immense power of Spain had been much in- 
creased by the late acquisition of Portugal ; and the bigotry 
of Philip to the Catholic religion was well known to be 
sufficiently vehement to lead him to exertions in proportion 
to his immense means. The Duke of Guise was regarded 
justly as one of the chief defenders of the Catholic faith; 
and arguing upon Queen Mary's natural desire of freedom, 
and attachment to her relations, there was no reason to doubt 
the truth of Throgmorton's confession, when he accused her 
of being an accomplice in the conspiracy. 

Queen Elizabeth, acting upon Throgmorton's confession, 
instantly, as already hinted, dismissed the Spanish ambas- 
sador from England. Throgmorton himself was tried and 
executed as a traitor. His behavior was such as to leave 
his guilt doubtful. He retracted his confession when placed 
upon trial, again confirmed it after sentence had been pro- 
nounced, and retracted it a second time when brought to the 
scaffold for execution, alleging that it was extorted at first 
by torture, and afterward adhered to from the fear of death. 

A singular circumstance in Scotland augmented the gen- 
eral alarm excited by Throgmorton's plot. 

One Crichton, a Jesuit, chanced to be on board of a vessel 
sailing from Flanders toward Scotland, of which last coun- 
try he was a native: being chased by a corsair or pirate, 
Crichton tore to pieces and threw away certain papers, 
which an extraordinary eddy of wind brought back into 
the vessel. The fragments were picked up from the deck 
by some of the passengers; and being industriously pieced 
together, were found to contain the model of a plot for the 
invasion of England, upon the same footing with that which 
Throgmorton had confessed. 

This reiterated alarm greatly affected the party in the 
kingdom of England who accounted that the peace and 
honor of the country depended upon the continuance of its 
present form of government in Church and in State. To 


counteract by a public declaration any attempt to disturb 
the present government, an association was formed, and a 
document generally signed, by which the subscribers ''bound 
themselves to defend Queen Elizabeth against all her ene- 
mies, foreign or domestic; engaging, moreover, if violence 
should be offered to the queen's life, in order to favor the 
title of any one pretending a claim to the crown, they the 
parties subscribing not only engaged, in such case, never to 
acknowledge the title of the person in whose behalf so foul 
a crime had been committed, but, moreover, to pursue such 
person or persons to the death, and to her or their utter over- 
throw and extirpation." This association was obviously di- 
rected against the rights of Queen Mary, who was thus 
unjustly rendered accountable not only for such connivance 
at treasonable practices against Elizabeth as she might ab- 
solutely encourage, but for whatever schemes the fanatics of 
her religion might form, without her consent, or which might 
perhaps receive birth from the treacherous insinuations of the 
spies of the English ministry. 

This association had such an awful appearance that Mary 
seems to have become intimidated by the danger to her per- 
son and right of succession which it inferred. She pressed 
for permission to sign the association herself, and at the same 
time offered more full concessions than Elizabeth had been 
yet able to extort from her. She was, indeed, so humbled 
in spirit that Walsingham gave it earnestly as his opinion 
that her terms ought to be complied with, and she should be 
admitted to her freedom. 

But another effect of these discoveries was their recom- 
mending to Queen Elizabeth the cultivation of a closer inter- 
course between King James than she had of late entertained. 
The reader will recollect that the queen of England had of 
late been disposed to support against the temper of the king 
those nobles who had been engaged in the Raid of Ruthven, 
and mixed reproof with requests in her application to James 
on this subject. Under this interference the king of Scots 
had repeatedly winced and shown signs of impatience, as 


when he retorted upon Elizabeth the aphorisms of Isocrates. 
She became now apprehensive that this exertion of authority 
might prove a doubtful, and, perhaps, an ineffectual road to 
the influence which she desired to acquire in the affairs of 
Scotland. She resolved, therefore, to move by gentler 
methods; and instead of attempting to dictate to James 
the choice of his ministers, she resolved to rest satisfied 
with gaining over to the English interest those Scottish 
statesmen, who, being already the favorites of the king, 
were in possession of their master's ear, as well as possess- 
ing the direction of the government. For this purpose she 
spared no pains to bring over to her views the Master of 
Gray, in which she perfectly succeeded, and to form an alli- 
ance, even though it should prove merely temporary, with 
the usurping Earl of Arran. 

These political considerations lead to another view of the 
question between Elizabeth and Mary. It would be injustice 
to the former to suppose that her personal interest and preju- 
dices were the sole motives by which she was guided in her 
conduct toward her prisoner. It is no doubt true that from 
an early period the two queens had been rivals in the points 
in which women, from the princess to the peasant girl, de- 
sire to excel. They had been also rivals in power, for the 
premature usurpation of the title and armorial bearings of 
England was never forgotten by Elizabeth; yet that sover- 
eign, patriotic as she certainly was, might justify her fear 
and hatred of Mary upon principles of a public and more 
generous nature, applicable to her country as well as to 

Elizabeth was well entitled to suppose herself able to 
maintain a contest with all her powerful antagonists abroad, 
though in the holy league which was adopted at Bayonne, 
and which united all the Catholic powers in Europe, they 
must necessarily have had the destruction of her power in 
view as their principal object. Even amid their wildest 
expressions of hatred and denunciations of vengeance, the 
queen of England had the noble confidence that with a 


united kingdom she might resist them with perfect secur- 
ity of the event. The state of Scotland was no doubt less 
secure than it had been during the regency of Murray and 
Morton. It was now under a separate prince, who, if he 
were hostile to English interests, must at all times be en- 
abled, by a seacoast abounding in harbors, and an extensive 
southern frontier, to have opened an easy access to foreign- 
ers proposing to invade South Britain. But the character 
of James and the influence of Elizabeth in his court was 
such as might secure her on the part of that monarch. He 
was in no respect likely to prefer the sounding promises of 
France and Spain to the prospects of real and solid advan- 
tage presented to him by the friendship of Elizabeth; and 
the forfeiture of the succession of England would have been 
a sacrifice which could not possibly have been compensated 
by any indemnification which the monarchs of the holy 
league could bestow. James was also a Protestant prince, 
at the head of a people zealously Protestant, and therefore 
must be held upon principle to have viewed the prime object 
of the holy league with alarm and detestation. 

Besides the security which James's circumstances and 
personal interests afforded to Queen Elizabeth, the meas- 
ures by which she had insured a predominating influence 
in his court in almost any political change seemed to insure 
for her the zealous support of either party which might be 
predominant in the Scottish counsels. If Arran should re- 
main the favorite of James, he had, since the meeting with 
Lord Hunsdon, become her instrument and pensioner; and 
though she must have contemned and despised his parts, he 
was not the less likely to be useful while his interest with 
the king remained unabated; nor was Elizabeth, however 
much she might wish his interest diminished or destroyed, 
the less willing to avail herself of it while it still existed. 
If, on the other hand, the restoration of the Scottish nobles 
engaged in the Raid of Ruthven should put the king once 
more into the hands of a party more zealously Protestant, 
they who had been lately the guests of Elizabeth must have 


been still more docile and attentive to her interests than the 
minion Arran, upon whom there could be no reliance, except 
through a direct appeal to his vanity or avarice. 

Thus, in almost every supposable circumstance, Britain 
was invulnerable to Queen Elizabeth's enemies, excepting 
only through the charm which they possessed in the person 
and title of Queen Mary. To her the Catholic princes were 
most of them allied by birth or affinity, and all of them by 
similarity of religion, so that her name and title afforded the 
only plausible pretext under which they might urge even 
those Englishmen that were of their own persuasion to join 
the invaders of their native country. 

From all this it follows that Mary was not only feared 
and hated by Elizabeth from the common motives of female 
rivalry, but that she was also dreaded by her as a patriotic 
princess, conscious of the baneful effects which the preten- 
sions of the Scottish queen were qualified to produce upon 
the independence of England, and the institutions of the 
Protestant Church. So deceitful is the human heart, and so 
ingenious are mortals in imposing upon themselves a false 
view of the motives under which they act, that it may be 
doubted whether Elizabeth, conjured by high and low, ex- 
horted by her prelates, her lords, and commons, to take 
measures for the protection of her own life, by suffering 
what they called the law to take place on her prisoner, 
might not have conceived that she was yielding to the 
voice of her people, and consulting their interest, rather 
than her own will, in conceding to their importunity what 
she might suppose she would have refused to her own irri- 
tated feelings. It is true that, justly considered, the danger 
arising from Mary Stuart lay not in her power but in her 
weakness. She had not the slightest show of a party left 
in her native kingdom. In England she was a close prisoner, 
attainted by parliament, and excluded from all intercourse 
with the world beyond her prison-house. The Catholics 
were more affected by knowing that she was suffering such 
grievous usage in their immediate vicinity than they could 


have been by learning that, liberated by Queen Elisabeth, 
she was living upon her dowry, at ease and at freedom, 
either in France or any other distant country. In their ex- 
treme jealousy for their own interest or for their sovereign's 
safety, the ministers of Elizabeth overacted their part, and 
were guilty of instigating conspiracies by the very mode 
which they took to discover them. Camden informs us 
"that there were at this time some subtle ways taken to 
try how men stood affected. Counterfeit letters were pri- 
vately sent in the name of the queen of Scots and the per- 
sons concerned in Throgmorton's treason to the houses of 
Catholics. Spies were dispersed through the country to 
make remarks, and to report them to the government ; and 
many individuals of rank were imprisoned and narrowly 

The Catholics, finding themselves thus in danger of being 
inveigled into imaginary plots, endeavored to obviate the 
danger by plunging into real ones; and thus the excessive 
precaution of Burleigh and Walsingham, and the unjustifi- 
able mode in which it was manifested, increased the danger 
which it was intended to cure. 

Neither was Mary herself, although, as we have seen, 
patient to a degree of unexpected self-possession, at all times 
able to forbear retaliation upon her good sister Elizabeth. 
Upon one occasion she took a female revenge, which, how- 
ever much it might be justified by the ill-usage she had re- 
ceived, was, in point of prudence, the most impolitic course 
she could have pursued. Under pretence of writing to Queen 
Elizabeth the manner in which the Countess of Shrewsbury 
spoke of her, she transmitted (always professing to disbe- 
lieve them) a long train of charges equally dishonorable to 
Elizabeth as a queen, and highly offensive to female delicacy, 
and even disgraceful to her as a woman. Mary affirmed, in 
this imprudent letter, that the countess accused her sover- 
eign of practicing the grossest indecencies, not only with the 
Duke of Anjou, who pretended to her hand, but with his 
favorite Simier; that she was so extravagantly attached to 


Hatton that she hunted him as a hound pursues a stag ; that 
having quarrelled with Hatton on account of some buttons 
of gold which he had upon his dress, and the latter having 
in disgust retired from the court, she had boxed the ears of 
Killigrew because he had not been able to prevail on Hatton 
to return ; and that she gave three hundred pounds a year 
to a gentleman of her chamber who had been more success- 
ful on the same occasion; although she was so meanly nar- 
row on other occasions that she had never made the fortune 
of more than one or two persons in her dominions. This 
cutting epistle, always under pretence of reporting Lady 
Shrewsbury's words, accused Elizabeth of entertaining as 
high an opinion of her beauty as if she had been a heavenly 
goddess, and that her maids of honor used the most extrava- 
gant praises to soothe her childish vanity, while they turned 
about and laughed behind her back at her excess of credulity. 
There were yet more degrading circumstances alleged by Mary 
to have been stated by the Countess of Shrewsbury concern- 
ing the person and habits of the queen of England ; and, upon 
the whole, the letter contained an imputation of almost every 
vice which could affect the queen's reputation, and every foi- 
ble which could wound her vanity. There is much reason 
to believe that this imprudent communication, while it gave 
Elizabeth great pain, and so far satisfied the purpose of the 
writer, was at the same time accounte an inexpiable offence, 
never to be pardoned or forgiven. 

It was a natural consequence of the increasing discord 
between the queens that the imprisonment of Queen Mary 
should be rendered yet more rigorous than formerly. The 
Earl of Shrewsbury, who had been so long, to his great in- 
convenience, loss, and mortification, charged with the care 
of this unfortunate queen, was at length released and Sir 
Ralph Sadler was for a time intrusted in his place. 

This ancient statesman, having been a servant of Henry 
VIII., was now advanced in life, and altogether unable to 
endure the restraints which Elizabeth's jealousy imposed 
upon those to whom Mary's custody was intrusted. His 


answer upon receiving an angry expostulation concerning his 
having carried out Queen Mary a-hawking, although he was 
attended by a strong guard, furnished with firearms, and 
having orders to put the queen to death should any danger, 
or suspicion of danger, have offered, is remarkable, and 
worthy of being quoted. In a letter to "VValsingham he in- 
formed that statesman that having sent for his hawks and 
falconers, the better to pass the miserable life he led at 
Tutbury, he had been unable to resist the entreaties of his 
charge that she might be permitted the recreation of seeing 
his hawks fly, a sport in which she greatly delighted. In 
this he had three or four times indulged her, but under a 
sufficient guard, and never at more than three miles from 
the castle. "In this," Sir Ralph Sadler concludes, "he used 
his discretion, and he thought he did well; but," he adds, 
"since it is not well taken, I would to God some other had 
the charge, who would use it with more discretion than 
I can ; for, I assure you, I am so weary of it, that if it were 
not more for that I would do nothing that should offend her 
majesty than for fear of any punishment, I would come 
home, and yield myself to be a prisoner in the Tower all the 
days of my life, rather than I would attend any longer here 
upon this charge. And if I had known, when I came from 
home, I should have tarried here so long, contrary to all the 
promises which were made to me, I would have refused, 
as others do, and have yielded to any punishment rather 
than I would have accepted of this charge; for a greater 
punishment cannot be ministered unto me than to force me 
to remain here in this sort ; since, as it appears, things well 
meant, by me, are not ivell taken." ' One is here tempted 
to ask what must have been the feelings of the prisoner, 
when even her jailers felt their duty so intolerably irksome. 
While Mary was restrained with this severity, those changes 
took place in Scotland which removed Arran forever from 
the king's ear, and induced James to put the management 

1 Chalmers' Life of Mary Queen of Scots, vol. i., p. 418. 


of his affairs under the guidance of statesmen of better 
morals and more judgment. It was by the advice of Mait- 
land and others, that, taking his part between the great con- 
tending factions of Catholic and Protestant, which divided 
the civilized world, the king of Scots formed an alliance 
offensive and defensive with Elizabeth, in which there was 
no mention made of Mary's name and title. She might thus 
be considered as abandoned by her son, whom it would have 
well become to have mingled some stipulations for his moth- 
er's freedom, or her safety at least, with his laudable anxiety 
for the defence of his own rights. Meantime events rolled 
on, and the spirit of the times again gave rise to a conspiracy 
which was the more immediate pretence of Mary's fatal 

"While Elizabeth was fortifying herself by a more inti- 
mate alliance with Scotland, her life was again threatened 
by a Roman Catholic zealot. This was one Parry, a doctor 
of laws, who had a seat in parliament, and some reputation 
as a man of talents ; but he had lately become a convert to 
popery, and, with the zeal of a new convert, had taken upon 
him the assassination of Elizabeth. Such a crime could only 
be committed by observing the most absolute silence upon 
his purpose, and exhibiting a total disregard for his own life 
while he attempted that of the queen. Upon such terms the 
life of the most powerful and best defended sovereign is at 
the mercy of one determined individual. Fortunately the 
mixture of desperate courage and resolved taciturnity is sel- 
dom met with. Parry possessed neither in the requisite 
degree. He was encouraged in his purpose by the pope's 
nuncio at Venice, the pope himself, and the Cardinal de 
Como. Yet, though he repeatedly obtained access to Eliza- 
beth's person, his heart failed him when he should have 
struck the blow. In the dubious state of mind which his 
irresolution indicated, the secret grew too burdensome to be 
locked within his own bosom. He committed it to one 
Neville, by whom it was betrayed to the ministers of Eliza- 
beth. The alarm was extreme, when the risk incurred from 


this desperate purpose was made public. Parry was arrested; 
confessed his nefarious purpose, and suffered the just punish- 
ment attached to it. 

This meditated treason induced the English parliament, 
upon the 2d of March, 1585, to pass an act; the plain object 
of which was to make the queen of Scots, in her own person, 
responsible, with her rights and her life, for any attempt 
which might be made on the person or government of Eliza- 
beth. It is thus abridged by Dr. Robertson, the elegant 
historian of this interesting period. 

This remarkable statute confirmed, with the plenary 
power of parliament, the association already mentioned, 
which had been subscribed by so many of her subjects; and 
it was further enacted, "That if any rebellion shall be ex- 
cited in the kingdom, or anything attempted, to the hurt 
of her majesty's person, by or for any person pretending a 
title to the crown, the queen shall empower twenty-four 
persons by a commission under the great seal to examine 
into and pass sentence upon such offences; and after judg- 
ment given, a proclamation shall be issued, declaring the 
persons whom they find guilty excluded from any right 
to the crown; and her majesty's subjects may lawfully 
pursue every one of them to the death, with all their aiders 
and abettors. And if any design against the life of the 
queen take effect, the persons by or for whom such a detest- 
able act is executed, and their issues, being anywise assent- 
ing or privy to the same, shall be disabled forever from pre- 
tending to the crown, and be pursued to death in the like 
manner." ' 

1 Robertson's History of Scotland, 4to ed., vol. ii., p. 106. 



Enthusiasm of the Age— Projects of the Catholics against the Life 
of Elizabeth — Plot of Ballard — He communicates with Babing- 
ton — They have a Picture of their Associates— Contrive the Lib- 
eration of Mary — They are betrayed by the Spies of Walsing- 
ham — The English resent the Conspiracy as a Plot of Mary — 
The Ministers of Elizabeth press the taking of her Life— She is 
committed to the Charge of Sir Amias Paulet — Her Health be- 
comes more feeble — Her Wants and Complaints — It is resolved 
to bring her to Trial — Mary's Papers are seized; her Secretaries 
made Prisoners; and her Cabinets broken open — She is trans- 
ported to Fotheringay — A Commission appointed to try her — 
She refuses to plead before it, but at length submits — Her Ac- 
cusation and Defence — The Commissioners Remove to London — 
Objections to the Evidence — The Commissioners, however, pro- 
nounce Sentence of Death — The Parliament press for the Publi- 
cation and Execution of the Sentence — Elizabeth's hypocritical 
Answer — Mary writes to Elizabeth; but receives no Answer — 
James interferes, first by his Ambassador Keith, and after by 
the Master of Gray and Sir James Melville — His Ambassador ill 
received by Elizabeth — James sends more spirited Instructions 
to his Envoys — The Master of Gray betrays the Cause of Queen 
Mary, and the Purpose of his Embassy — James requires the 
Scottish Church to pray for his Mother: they decline the 
Office — Elizabeth's Uncertainty— She contrives to throw the is- 
suing of the Death Warrant upon her Secretary and Council, 
after some attempts to instigate Mary's Keepers to put her to 
Death in Private— Mary resigns herself to her Fate— She is 

IT was the age of enthusiasm throughout Europe: those 
of the ancient religion gloried in exerting themselves for 
the creed of their fathers, at whatever risk of sharing 
the fate of confessors or of martyrs; and those who adopted 
the modern doctrines were equally proud of extending, at all 
personal hazards, that liberty of conscience to others by 
which they themselves had profited. In the present times 


men do not inquire particularly into the religion of those 
with whom they have to transact affairs, unless their general 
business be otherwise connected with matters of the con- 
science. In the less fortunate age of which we are treating, 
the fact of belonging to a particular communion gave even 
to the most liberal minds a general disposition favorable or 
unfavorable to an individual, as his faith in religious matters 
differed from or agreed with theirs. These strong opinions, 
which had an influence upon the dullest and most moderate 
minds, excited the bold and enthusiastic to a species of frenzy, 
which must account for men, otherwise humane and gener- 
ous, giving way, in the supposed cause of religion, to acts 
of deceit and violence which they would otherwise have ab- 
horred and condemned, soothing themselves with the apology 
that they might serve the cause of Heaven meritoriously and 
conscientiously by engaging in enterprises which the spirit 
of the Gospel as well as its precepts do most emphatically 
condemn. Upon this principle we are to account for the 
many melancholy instances which occurred during the six- 
teenth century of men, otherwise wise, moderate, and virtu- 
ous, engaging in plots and conspiracies inconsistent with 
every idea of law, justice, and humanity. 

The Catholic princes, by their engagement in that hor- 
rible conspiracy which gave rise to the massacre of St. Bar- 
tholomew, had done much to set an execrable example to 
those of their own profession; and it is not surprising that 
so general and fearful an example of the grossest perfidy and 
most unrelenting cruelty, practiced on a scale of such extent, 
avowed by the Roman primate, and seconded by those poten- 
tates most attached to the See of Rome, should have been 
received with enthusiasm among the Catholics of Protestant 
countries, who felt themselves oppressed by governors inim- 
ical to their religion, and imagined that they served Heaven 
by endeavoring to get rid of their Protestant rulers by the 
most desperate and unjustifiable means. On the other hand, 
it must be admitted that the Protestants partook, to a cer- 
tain degree, of the same spirit, and were disposed to retaliate 


severely upon those in whom they thought they could place 
no faith, and whose religion they considered as hateful to 
the great Being whom both worshipped under different 

The extirpation of the great northern heresy was sup- 
posed to be chiefly dependent upon the destruction of the 
power of Queen Elizabeth in England. King James, from 
his quarrels with the Presbyterian clergy, and other circum- 
stances of his conduct, was supposed to be not altogether 
unfavorable to the Roman faith; and the power of Scotland, 
even admitting him to be so, was not deemed such as could 
render his enmity very formidable, supposing England to be 
reconverted to the Catholic faith and placed under the domin- 
ion of his mother Mary, whom all of that persuasion held to 
be the legal heir of the crown. 

Pope Pius V. had given the full authority of Rome to any 
enterprise by which the heretic Elizabeth could be deprived 
of her kingdom and life, by his famous bull of excommuni- 
cation, which warranted all true Catholics to cany on the 
most violent proceedings against her as an enemy of God, 
and of the only religion by which, in Catholic estimation, 
her subjects could obtain salvation. This had been insisted 
upon and followed up by some enthusiastic Catholic priests, 
who had even called upon Elizabeth's attendants and the 
females of her train to put their sovereign to death with 
their own hands, and thus merit the praises bestowed on 
Judith, for her dauntless sacrifice of the Gentile commander 
who came to oppress her country. 

"When so much fire was scattered among matters pecul- 
iarly inflammable, there was little doubt that it would excite 
a conflagration. 

Three priests, named Gifford, Gilbert Gifford, and Hodg- 
son, feeling an extravagant impulse to act upon the principles 
we have stated, had associated themselves with Savage, an 
English Catholic and an officer in the Spanish service, dar- 
ing and extravagant enough to propose the assassination of 

Elizabeth with his own hand. 

Scotland. Vol. II. — 10 


Such a scheme was only feasible, if confined to very few; 
but another priest, named Ballard, was intrusted with it, 
for the sake of negotiating with the Spanish ambassador 
at Paris, that the conspirators might procure the assistance 
of an army of invaders, in order to take advantage of the 
confusion which must arise when the blow should be struck. 
Ballard was assured of strong support on the part of Spain, 
providing Elizabeth's death could be achieved ; and was sent 
over to England to concert the means by which this main 
blow might be struck, which was considered as indispensable 
to the success of the conspiracy. 

Returning to England on this commission, Ballard en- 
tered into communication on the subject of his treasonable 
purpose with a young gentleman, named Anthony Babing- 
ton, of good parts, large fortune, and an amiable disposition, 
but addicted to romantic ideas on the subject of love and 
friendship, and an unhesitating zealot in the cause of the 
Catholic religion. It was agreed that it was rash to trust 
an action so important to the single arm of Savage, and 
that Babington himself, with a band of ten gentlemen, with 
whom he was connected by the closest bonds of community 
in studies and amusements, and by the ties of extravagant 
zeal for the Catholic religion, should be sharers in the glory 
and the merits as well as in the dangers of this desperate 
enterprise. The names of these gentlemen were, Windsor, 
Salisbury, Tilney, Tichbourne, Gage, Travers, Barnwell, 
Charnock, Dun, and Jones. The number was more than 
double that which had been judged requisite by Ballard 
and the friends of Queen Mary, with whom he had con- 
sulted both in France and England. But Babington reck- 
oned himself assured of them all, from the close ties of 
familiarity in which they had long lived together, and even 
permitted a person of the name of Polly, a man of inferior 
rank, recommended only by a busy and bustling, and, as 
it proved, an affected zeal for the Catholic cause, to be ad- 
mitted into the fatal conspiracy, and the conduct of the 
subsequent revolution. 


The rash and romantic confidence of Babington made 
itself evident by another feature of his conduct, which in- 
dicated in an unusual manner an excited imagination. This 
was nothing less than the causing to be painted a picture 
containing the portraits of six of the principal associates, 
with Babington's own representation in the centre; the 
whole bearing a motto expressive of some hazardous pur- 
pose in which they were engaged. This childish, absurd, 
and unnecessary piece of vanity of itself indicated the total 
incapacity of the principal conspirators for the execution of 
the desperate task they were engaged in, which, to have a 
chance of success, ought to have been obscured in the deep- 
est secrecy. 

The conspirators continued, however, to prosecute their 
plot, arranging among themselves the special part which 
each was to perform. Babington, as might have been ex- 
pected, assumed for his own share the most romantic and 
least guilty part of the enterprise, by undertaking the liber- 
ation of Mary from her place of confinement. "What a man 
of such romantic character might hope from the gratitude 
of a queen released from prison, raised, as his extravagant 
plan inferred, to a crown far richer than that which she had 
lost, besides the great chance of recovering the government 
of her native kingdom, we can only guess at. Thus far is 
known, that Queen Mary, exhausted by imprisonment, dis- 
ease, and suffering, no longer possessed those personal 
charms which might once have inflamed to feats of the 
most ardent and extravagant valor in her cause the sons 
of that chivalry which was not yet quite extinguished. 
When she was permitted to repair for the advantage of 
her health to the hot baths of Buxton, she is described as 
an elderly, lame, and bloated woman, altogether deprived, 
by long years of restraint and misery, mental and bodily, of 
those personal attractions which she once possessed in such 
an eminent degree. She was, however, sequestered from 
public view ; and a warm imagination, like that of Babing- 
ton, might figure her in his idea as still possessed of her 


unrivalled charms; or, perhaps, her high rank as a queen 
might, in his opinion, compensate for advanced age and 
personal deficiencies. Salisbury, with others, were to as- 
semble forces in the neighboring counties, while Tichbourne, 
Savage, and four associates, undertook the assassination of 
Elizabeth. The portraits of the atrocious persons were there 
represented in the picture already mentioned, having that of 
Babington in the centre, who, though not to be the sharer 
of their deed, claimed the glory of being principal in the 

While the heedless and presumptuous conspirators were 
thus pluming themselves upon the success of a yet unexecuted 
plot, Elizabeth and her counsellors were in full possession of 
all its details, and watched their machinations with earnest 
attention, yet without intimating the least alarm. Polly, 
already mentioned, as one who, by affectation of extraordi- 
nary zeal, had thrust himself into such intimacy with Bab- 
ington that the whole circumstances of the conspiracy were 
intrusted to him, was in reality one of the spies of Walsing- 
ham, and one of the two Giffords had also become informer. 
The conspirators caught the first alarm from the arrest of 
Ballard, August 4, 1586; they took refuge in flight; but, 
with the exception of Salisbury, who escaped abroad, were 
severally arrested, and lodged in the Tower of London. 
Being separately examined, they confessed their guilt, were 
tried, condemned, and suffered the punishment which such 
a conspiracy had well deserved. 

The people of England, with just gratitude to a sovereign 
who had conferred upon them so many benefits, and with 
general love to the religion professed by her and by them- 
selves, which was aimed at through the person of the sover- 
eign, were justly indignant at the atrocious plot by which a 
few romantic young men had undertaken to overthrow the 
government and religion of their country, murder a sover- 
eign whom her people accounted the benefactress and mother 
of the State, and raise to the throne the native of a foreign 
country and the professor of a hated religion. In the tumult 


of their zeal, their ideas of vengeance, unsatisfied by the ex- 
ecution of the conspirators, went back to the imprisoned 
queen of Scots, with whom they conceived the plot must 
have originated, since its purport was directed for her bene- 
fit. There was a general clamor in England, that the queen 
of Scots, in whose favor the conspiracy was meditated, ought 
to be brought to trial, and on conviction should suffer death 
as its author and contriver, in the manner already provided 
for by parliament. In such bursts of popular feeling, the 
abstract dictates of justice are forgotten ; and it did not occur 
to many who were clamorous for prosecution and punish- 
ment, that Mary, unjustly detained a prisoner, had a natu- 
ral right to liberty, by whatever means she could acquire it, 
and that criminality could only attach to her in the event of 
her being legally proved accessory to the conspiracy against 
Queen Elizabeth's life. 

The public clamor, however unjust, well suited the pri- 
vate views of Elizabeth and her ministers, disposed, for 
obvious reasons, to take any proffered opportunity to rid 
themselves of a prisoner personally detested, and whom it 
was supposed equally troublesome to keep and dangerous to 

Yet it appears to us, remote as we are from the scene 
of action, and unagitated by the passions which blinded the 
agents, that Elizabeth might even yet have rid herself of 
her dangerous prisoner without committing the great crime 
which has stained a life and reign otherwise so illustrious. 
Mary might, for example, have been safely surrendered to 
the custody of her son, who had shown no such warmth of 
filial affection as to make it likely that he would afford his 
mother the power of disturbing either his own title or that of 
Elizabeth, which he hoped to inherit. France, also, would 
have been willing to receive her as the dowager of a de- 
ceased sovereign; and with the Huguenots of that country 
Elizabeth possessed so strong an interest as to render it im- 
probable that Mary, so surrendered, would have been suf- 
fered to gain any opportunity of disturbing her sister sover- 


eign. Either of these courses was doubtless attended by 
certain risks ; but it was surely better that such should be 
incurred, than that the sceptre of Elizabeth should be stained 
with blood and her reign with injustice. Unhappily for 
Mary, if that can be accounted unhappy which put a close 
to a long train of captivity and sorrow, and most unhappily, 
certainly, for Elizabeth herself, it was determined in the 
councils of the latter that the present opportunity should 
be taken to remove by a violent death one who had been 
so long the secret object of fears and apprehensions. 

It is probable that the female jealousies and rivalry, 
which had gradually grown iuto hatred in the mind of 
Elizabeth, would not have brought her to assent to so bloody 
a purpose, had she not been urged on by statesmen, who 
veiled their selfish hatred and fear under pretended appre- 
hensions for the life of their sovereign. Burleigh and Wal- 
singham, the principal counsellors of Elizabeth, were sensi- 
ble that their own counsels had prompted all the former 
rigorous proceedings against the queen of Scots, and that 
if, by Elizabeth's death or any other contingency, Mary 
might chance, as was at least possible, to be preferred as 
next heir to the English throne, the account which, in such 
a case, they would have to settle with her must have been 
of an alarming description. It was therefore determined, 
that, founded on the singular act of parliament which we 
have detailed, passed in consequence of the machinations 
of Parry, a commission should be appointed for the public 
trial of Queen Mary, under the provisions of that extraordi- 
nary and severe statute, made unquestionably for the very 
purpose to which it was now to be applied. 

Sir Ralph Sadler, whose age entitled him to evince pee- 
vishness even to the despotic Elizabeth, had been released 
from his disgusting charge, which was now delivered up 
to Sir Amias Paulet, a gentleman severe and harsh in his 
temper, and attached to puritanical tenets, and, therefore, 
although otherwise an honest and upright mau, not un- 
willing to be the instrument of Elizabeth's strict orders for 


the custody of this perilous captive, however far they might 
exceed the rules of courtesy and generosity, so long as they 
were within those of moral and religious duty. He viewed 
his task in so severe a light that he rejoiced when the in- 
firmities of Mary rendered her a cripple incapable of moving 
from her bed ; and the account which he gives of her state 
of confinement is thus quoted by Mr. Chalmers : ' ' Through- 
out January, 1586, the queen enjoyed somewhat better health : 
she could use her limbs, but not without halting; and the 
defluxion had fallen into one of her hands." — June 3, 158G, 
he writes, "The Scottish queen is getting a little strength, 
and has been out in her coach; and is sometimes carried 
in a chair to one of the adjoining ponds to see the diversion 
of duck-hunting, but she is not able to walk without support 
on either side." 

Even this state of convalescence did not last long. Soon 
afterward, Paulet represented the Scottish queen as being 
much worse, sleeping little, and eating less: the painful 
disease flying about her system, and showing itself in many 
places at once. She continued very ill , could not turn in her 
bed without help, and was in excessive pain. To this state 
of suffering and disease, we must add, that the economy of 
Elizabeth did not permit to her who had once been a queen 
the accommodations which are furnished in modern hospitals 
to invalids of the meanest order. We will use the words of 
her last and sternest warder, to show how far this miserable 
penury was carried. By quoting it more generally, we might 
well lay ourselves under the suspicion of exaggeration. 

"Last year," said Paulet, writing to Walsingham, "when 
she came to Tutbury, she complained that her bed was 
stained, and ill flavored; and Mr. Somer, to accommodate 
her, gave her his own bed, which was only a plain ordinary 
feather-bed ; and now, by her long lying in it, the feathers 
came through the tick, and its hardness caused her great 
pain : she begged to have a down bed ; and Sir Amias said, 
'he could not, in honesty and charity, refuse to mention her 
request to "Walsingham, and desires it may be sent for her.' 


The Scottish queen still continued very ill ; and on the 1 7th 
of February was taken with a defluxion in the side, in so 
dangerous a manner that her recovery was despaired of." 
It is remarkable that some of the letters to Babington, pre- 
tended to be Mary's own composition, represent her as gal- 
loping through the park and shooting deer, when her utmost 
sport was to see a duck-hunt from her chair, and as taking 
active exercise, when she was in danger of her life. Mary 
was not, however, doomed to pass from the world in so easy 
or natural a manner. 

After considerable debates in the council of Elizabeth, it 
had been resolved to proceed against the queen of Scots, 
under the terms of the act passed March 2, 1585, which 
ratified the association for the protection of Elizabeth's per- 
son, and directed, in certain events, the trial, under a com- 
mission, of any pretender to the crown, or the inheritance 
thereof, in whose behalf Elizabeth's person should be endan- 
gered by open rebellion or treasonable conspiracy. 

The language of the statute places the life of such pre- 
tender to the crown in equal danger of attainder, whether 
the party shall or shall not be acquainted with and partici- 
pant of the treasonable purpose. It was, nevertheless, ex- 
tremely desirable to show that Mary was personally ac- 
cessory to the schemes of Babington ; and the most violent 
measures were resorted to in order to secure the necessary 
evidence to that effect. 

Sir Thomas Gorges was despatched from the court with 
a special warrant for the purpose ; and it was managed that 
he should arrive at Chartley, where Mary was then confined, 
at the moment when the royal prisoner was going out on 
horseback, for the purpose, it was alleged, of amusing her 
with the view of some gentlemen's seats in the neighbor- 
hood. During her absence, Naue and Curl, the French and 
Scottish secretaries of the queen, were separately arrested, 
and committed to different keepers : her money was seized 
upon, her cabinets forced open, her papers and correspond- 
ence, and all she could desire to keep most private, were 


made prize of and sent to Elizabeth. In her presence the 
whole writings were perused : among the mass of which, it 
is said, there were found sundry letters from English noble- 
men to Mary expressive of regard and attachment. On see- 
ing these, Elizabeth, according to her favorite motto, Video 
et taceo — i.e., "I hear and am silent" — laid them aside, with- 
out making any observation. The effect was that the wri' 
ers of those letters, conscious of the degree of suspicion in 
which they were placed, took every opportunity, during the 
after proceedings, to escape from it, by showing themselves 
inimical to Mary, lest Elizabeth should have adopted an 
opinion that they had expressed themselves hitherto too 
much her friends. 

The grief and mortification of Queen Mary, when she 
returned to Chartley, where the seizure of her papers had 
taken place, is, in some degree, intimated by the expressions 
which she made use of. "Alas!" she said to the poor per- 
sons who crowded round her, expecting an alms as usual, ' ' I 
can no longer relieve your wants : I am a beggar as you are" ; 
and when she found the extent to which she had been plun- 
dered, she indignantly remarked, "Of two things they can- 
not deprive me — my English blood, and my Catholic faith." 
After this outrage, Mary was divested of those poor insignia 
of royalty which she had been hitherto allowed to retain : 
the canopy of state was removed ; the regal title was with- 
drawn ; her keepers remained covered in her presence ; and 
in speaking of her no longer designated her as the queen, 
but simply as the lady. 

A final change of residence was now destined to her. 
The castle of Fotheringay, in Northamptonshire, was her 
last place of confinement. She was conveyed thither on the 
25th of September, 1586. All was made ready for her trial. 
The judges, to whom the extraordinary act of jurisdiction 
was to be committed, were nominated by a commission un- 
der the great seal, according to the provisions of the statute. 
The list contained no less than forty persons, the most illus- 
trious in the kingdom by birth or office, to whom were added 


five of the principal judges. , Before these men the inde- 
pendent queen of Scotland was to be tried upon the late- 
made law as a person claiming the succession of the crown, 
in whose behalf a conspiracy had been attempted against 
the life of Queen Elizabeth, and who had become accessory 
to their traitorous purpose. To such a jurisdiction Mary 
refused to submit herself; and when called before a meet- 
ing of the commission held in the hall of Fotheringay, she 
refused to acknowledge the right of those persons to proceed 
in taking cognizance of the charge made against her. "I 
am," she said, "no subject of the crown of England, and 
sovereign princes alone can be the peers entitled to try me. 
I am queen of Scotland, and queen-dowager of France. I 
came into England seeking the queen's hospitality, but with- 
out the slightest purpose of subjecting myself to her sover- 
eignty. I have been unjustly imprisoned during the space 
of nineteen years : the laws of England have never protected 
me; do not, therefore, let them be perverted into snares 
against my life." Nevertheless, she owned she was not 
unwilling to justify herself before a free and full English 
parliament, but not before a commission deriving its power 
from a law which seemed framed expressly to give a pre- 
tence of taking away her life. 

In this resolution of declining the jurisdiction of the com- 
mission, Queen Mary remained for some time fixed, till it 
was subtly urged by Hatton, the vice-chamberlain, that, by 
avoiding an investigation, she might seem to shroud a guilty 
cause; whereas, by entering upon her defence, she might 
clear her innocence in the eyes of the commissioners, and 
enable them to report to Elizabeth and to the English nation 
that she was guiltless. This argument prevailed ; but it was 
only under a solemn protest against the validity of the com- 
mission that Mary condescended to plead before it. The 
parties being thus come to an issue, the attorney and so- 
licitor of Queen Elizabeth enforced the particulars of their 
charge with the legal skill of their profession, and all their 
personal ingenuity; and the queen's sergeant-at-law openedj 


in a historical discourse, the conspiracy of Babington, and 
concluded that Mary, who stood accused before the commis- 
Bion, knew of it, approved of it, promised her assistance, and 
gave counsel for the means of effecting it. 

Mary answered, with unabated courage, that she knew 
neither Babington nor Ballard ; that she had, indeed, heard 
from various quarters that the English Roman Catholics 
were severely treated, and that she had written to Queen 
Elizabeth in their behalf. She added that divers persons 
utterly unknown to her had at different times written sug- 
gesting plans of escape; but that she had never returned 
answers to them, nor encouraged any man to attempts in 
her behalf which might incur punishment by the English 
law : other schemes might have existence without her knowl- 
edge, because, being closely shut up in prison, she had no 
means of knowing or preventing plots or conspiracies which 
might be entered into without her knowledge. 

Copies of letters from Babington were then read, appar- 
ently addressed to Queen Mary, in which the whole con- 
spiracy was detailed. 

To this evidence she replied that it might be true that 
Babington wrote these letters; but it was false that she had 
received them. Various letters she had indeed received, but 
by whom sent she did not know. 

To prove, on the part of the prosecution, that she had 
received the letters of Babington, notwithstanding her de- 
nial, there were read from his confession the contents of cer- 
tain letters which he there stated himself to have received 
from her in answer to those which he wrote to her. Scrolls 
of letters, in her own cipher, were also produced, seeming to 
refer to the same correspondence. When in this part of the 
debate mention was made of the Earl of Arundel and his 
brothers, the queen burst into tears, and exclaimed, "Alas! 
wliat hath the noble House of Howard endured for my 
sake!" She then reassumed her composure; and pleaded 
with truth and firmness that the confessions of Babington 
could be no proof against her, and that such scrolls as seemed 


to be written in her cipher might easily have been forged. 
Finally, she protested that, although she had used her best 
endeavors to obtain her liberty, and to mitigate the persecu- 
tion of those of her own communion, she would not have 
purchased the kingdom with the death of the least ordinary 
man, much less with that of Queen Elizabeth. 

The testimonies of her secretaries, Naue and Curl, were 
then pressed against her ; but this she refused to admit, con- 
tending that to make good witnesses they, being alive and 
within the kingdom, ought to have been produced face to 
face against her. Curl she described as an honest man, but 
completely under the influence of Naue, a wily politician, 
and whose integrity or superiority to the seduction of bribes 
she did not pretend to assert; neither was she able to say 
what effect the force of promises or fear of torture may have 
had upon him. She protested, once more, that she knew 
neither Babington nor Ballard. 

"But you know Morgan well enough," answered the lord 
treasurer; "and this Morgan, to whom you have assigned 
a yearly pension, is the person who despatched Parry to 
England to murder Queen Elizabeth." To this charge, 
which was totally distinct from that relating to the con- 
spiracy of Babington, Mary replied: 

"I know not, save from what you tell me, whether Mor- 
gan is guilty of your charge or no ; but I know well that he 
has served me to the loss of his whole fortune ; and in that 
point of view I am bound to give him indemnification and 
support: if he be the enemy of Queen Elizabeth, let it be 
remembered that she has pensioned the Master of Gray and 
others, my bitter personal enemies, whose hatred to me has, 
perhaps, formed their best pretension to my sister's favor." 

Thus through the whole sitting of the court, unaided by 
counsel or legal advice of any kind, she sustained and re- 
pelled the accusations brought against her by professional 
persons of eminence, with an ingenuity and address which 
could hardly have been expected from a person of her rank, 
sex, and education. Her defences were naturally framed 


upon the general reasons of justice and good sense; but 
with legal advice to assist her, she would have known that 
in failing to bring in the witnesses on whose evidence she 
was to be convicted, Elizabeth's commission broke the ex- 
press statute law of England, as well as the great rules of 
equity. The statute 1 & 2 Ph. <& Mary, chap, x., sect. 11, 
declares, "That the two witnesses whose evidence is neces- 
sary to convict any one accused of high treason shall be 
confronted with the party accused, and shall in his presence 
make good their testimony ; nor is this dispensed with unless 
in the case where the witnesses are dead or beyond seas, or 
the accused party shall confess the treason." But this most 
equitable and just statute, calculated to afford protection to 
the subject even against the grasp of the highest authority, 
was denied to a crowned head, whom chance only placed 
under the disposal of those who had no native superiority 
over her. 

On the concluding day, Mary again insisted upon her 
former protestation, and lamented that the proposals she 
had made to Elizabeth had been rejected, when she prom- 
ised to give her own son and the Duke of Guise's son as 
hostages, that England and its queen should not come 
through her to any harm or detriment: "Instead of which," 
continued she, "I am now most dishonorably dealt by and 
my regal honor and reputation called in question before or- 
dinary lawyers, who by wresting conclusions can draw the 
most harmless circumstance into a criminal consequence." 
She added, once more, "that her making a voluntary ap- 
pearance in such a court was only lest she should seem to 
neglect the justification of her own honor, which was dearer 
to her than any privilege of her dignity, or her life itself." 
After some further arguing, the sitting of the court, if it 
could be called so, was adjourned from Fotheringay, and 
the commissioners departed on their return to London. 

On the 25th of October the commissioners held a meeting 
in the Star Chamber, where Naue and Curl, the two secre- 
taries, examined upon oath, avowed, affirmed, and justified 


the letters and copies of letters formerly produced at Fother- 
ingay as true and real. It is scarcely necessary to observe 
that on this occasion the most ordinary rules of evidence 
were violated, and the witnesses, whose testimony alone 
could give these documents the least weight in evidence, 
were examined at a distance from the party against whom 
they were produced, and without affording her the oppor- 
tunity of cross-examination. The confessions of executed 
traitors were not more effectual to support the truth of 
what they affirmed : no one did or could know under what 
circumstances Babington, Ballard, and the others, made their 
final confessions, or whether they had made such or not. The 
papers produced as such might either be altogether forged, 
or they might be garbled and interpolated, or they might 
have been extorted by torture, or granted under a promise 
of life and favorable treatment. Some of the alleged letters 
were made to show things altogether inconsistent with truth, 
of which we have already shown an example. 

Nor were the prosecutors entitled to complain, if they had 
been deprived of the benefit of the evidence of Babington 
and his companions, since it rested only with themselves to 
have brought it forward in an unexceptionable form. The 
lives of these unhappy persons being spared, nothing would 
have been more easy than to have brought to Fotheringay 
the persons of Ballard and Babington, while yet alive ; and 
the importance of doing justice to the cause of an independ- 
ent sovereign must be certainly admitted as matter of more 
weight than the instantly depriving of life a few youthful 

Notwithstanding these considerations, the commissioners 
subscribed, by unanimous assent, a sentence, declaring that 
since the 1st day of June, in the twenty-seventh year of 
Queen Elizabeth, and before the date of their commission, 
"divers matters have been compassed and imagined, within 
this realm of England, by Anthony Babington and others, 
with the privity of the said Mary, pretending a title to the 
crown of this realm of England, tending to the hurt, death, 


and destruction of the royal person of our said lady, the 
queen. And also, that since the aforesaid 1st day of June, 
in the twenty-seventh year aforesaid, and before the date of 
the commission aforesaid, the aforesaid Mary, pretending a 
title to the crown of this realm of England, has compassed 
and imagined, within this realm of England, divers matters 
tending to the hurt, death, and destruction of the royal per- 
son of our sovereign lady, the queen, contrary to the form 
of the statute in the commission aforesaid specified." 

A declaration was at the same time published by the 
commissioners and judges, declaring that nothing in the 
sentence should affect King James's title of accession to 
the crown, but that the same should remain as effectual as 
if the proceedings at Fotheringay had never taken place. 
The parliament was soon after convoked, in which they, 
with unanimous consent, petitioned the queen that, for the 
preservation of Christ's true religion, the quiet and security 
of the realm, the safety of themselves and their posterity, 
the sentence against Mary Queen of Scots might be pub- 
lished. They reminded her that the said queen was a mem- 
ber of the Catholic league made for the destruction of the 
Protestant religion. Moreover, that she had formerly as- 
sumed the royal title and royal arms of England ; Elizabeth 
was affectionately conjured to remember the examples of 
Heaven's vengeance narrated in Scripture upon King Saul 
for failing to slay Agag, and upon King Ahab for sparing 
the life of Benhadad ; and the chancellor and speaker added, 
finally, that they would not think themselves discharged of 
the engagements which they had come under by their loyal 
association without proceeding to the execution of this sen- 

The queen failed not to make a long and grateful speech, 
in which she expressed her thanks for the zeal of her sub- 
jects, lamented the extremities to which she was reduced by 
the machinations of one of her own sex, of the like quality 
and degree with herself, of the same race and stock, and so 
nearly related to her in blood. She had written, she said, 


privately, to her kinswoman, that if she would confess the 
treasonable practices in which she was involved, in a letter 
to be private between herself and Elizabeth, she would not 
permit the discovery to be further pressed against her. Even 
yet, far as the matter had now gone, if she could be assured 
her kinswoman would forbear such practices, and that no 
one would make use of her name for stirring up treasonable 
attempts, she, for her part, could willingly pardon what had 
passed. As to herself, she proceeded, if by her death could 
be obtained a more flourishing condition and a better prince, 
she would willingly lay down her life ; for whether she looked 
to things past, to things present, or to futurity, she counted 
them happiest who went first from the stage. After these 
rhetorical flourishes, she spoke more directly to the point, 
but still in an enigmatical manner, the sum of what she said 
pointing to the necessity of proceeding with severity, while 
the phrases she made use of insinuated a desire to act with 
lenity. Their petition, she said, had reduced her to great 
straits and perplexities, as pressing upon her the punishment 
of a princess so near in blood to herself, yet, indeed, she must 
needs confess to them a further secret, though not as one 
who usually blabbed forth her knowledge of such matters ; 
namely, that she had lately seen with her own eyes a bond 
subscribed by twelve persons, binding themselves to put her 
to death within a month. Having thus introduced a topic 
well calculated to continue the general ferment on account 
of her personal safety, Elizabeth expressed herself confident 
that her good subjects would not press her to an immediate 
decision on an affair of such uncommon weight and interest, 
and promised to announce to them her resolution as soon as 
she should be able to form one. 

Continuing the same train of deception and hypocrisy, 
Elizabeth sent the lord chancellor to the house of lords, and 
the speaker to the commons, praying these honorable assem- 
blies to consider whether some alternative could not be found, 
by following which her own personal safety might be rec- 
onciled with pardon to Queen Mary. A more unaccepta- 


ble proposal, nevertheless, could hardly have been made 
to Queen Elizabeth than one which should seem to unite 
Mary's life with her own safety, and thereby impose upon 
her the necessity of sparing her kinswoman. Accordingly, 
neither lord nor member of the lower house presumed to 
vary from their former opinion, but were careful to adapt 
their reply to the hidden meaning, not the affected tenor of 
her majesty's letter. They could not, they said, reconcile 
the queen's safety with the life of the queen of Scots, unless, 
first, the latter should repent and acknowledge her offence, 
or, secondly, were kept under a closer guard, and sufficient 
security given for her good demeanor, or, finally, that she 
should be banished from the land. Of her repentance, they 
charitably declared they had no hope; a closer ward, stricter 
custody, or the security of oaths and hostages, they accounted 
as ineffectual, because Elizabeth's death, the mark at which 
Mary was esteemed constantly to aim, would, if achieved, 
cast all such obligations loose ; and if they sent the queen of 
Scotland out of the realm, they declared they should expect 
nothing less than her return at the head of an army. 

The lord chancellor and the speaker of the lower house 
added their exhortations to those of parliament, and re- 
minded the queen that her high office obliged her to render 
justice to every individual who sued for it, and that she 
ought not to deny it when it was demanded by the general 
voice of the English nation. Thus these illustrious assem- 
blies gave one instance of what has been sometimes re- 
marked — that their votes are never so likely to be erroneous 
as when they are unanimous. Reasoning, however strong 
or irrefutable, seldom has the same effect of conviction on 
all minds; and unanimity, in many cases, infers that one 
common strain of passion or prejudice, as remote as pos- 
sible from calm deliberation, has led or misled the general 
acquiescence. The queen continued to maintain an affecta- 
tion of extreme embarrassment : she expressed herself sur- 
prised, yet not offended, at the unusual pertinacity with 
which her lords and commons pressed an execution which 


gave her mind so much pain. She gently chid them for 
their extreme anxiety on her account; and expressed her 
feelings that, since her security was desperate without the 
death of her relation, she found, nevertheless, in her own 
bosom, great reluctance to exercise that severity against a 
great princess which she had studiously forborne in the case 
of persons of inferior rank. She concluded a long harangue 
with this indecisive answer: "If I should say I will not do 
what you request, I might say, perhaps, more than I intend; 
and if I should say I will do it, I might plunge myself into 
as bad inconveniences as you endeavor to preserve me from ; 
which I am confident your wisdoms and discretions would 
not desire that I should, if ye consider the circumstances 
of place, time, and the manners and conditions of men." 
Nevertheless, this train of hypocritical dissimulation, meant 
to express the exceeding grief of Elizabeth's mind at being, 
in a manner compelled by authority of parliament to pro- 
claim the sentence, did not escape the malign construction 
that the queen had acted in this instance like a true woman, 
who will seem to reject and disapprove of that which she 
most desires, in order that it may be forced upon her. The 
proclamation of the sentence contained similar expressions 
of the queen's reluctance, which met with the same degree 
of credulity. 

When Mary heard that this final step toward her execu- 
tion had been taken, she received the intelligence with a 
steady and composed countenance, and raising her eyes and 
hands to Heaven, thanked God she now saw the conclusion 
of her sufferings. 

She wrote a remarkable letter to Elizabeth, dated on the 
19th of December: in this she disavowed all hostile feelings, 
and thanked God for the sentence which promised a period 
to her lamentable captivity. The doomed princess then 
made, in gentle yet solicitous terms, one or two requests, - 
which she entreated Elizabeth to take into her private and 
personal consideration, as she expected little favor, she said, 
from the zealous puritans with whom the English council 


was filled. First, she desired her body might be transported 
to France, where her mother's soul rested in peace. In Scot- 
land, she said, the sepulchres of her ancestors were over- 
thrown and violated : in England, she could not have the 
advantage of the ceremonies of her religion ; and she desired 
to be laid where her spirit might be propitiated with Catholic 
rites, and her body might have that repose which, when 
living, it never enjoyed. 

Secondly, she besought that she might not be put to 
death by any private means, or without Queen Elizabeth's 
knowledge ; and that her servants might have an opportu- 
nity of observing her final departure. This fear of private 
murder she was observed to entertain, since all looked so 
black and menacing around her; and the mind shrinks 
from a fate which has so much uncertainty in time, place, 
and circumstance. It afterward appears that her fears were 
far from unreasonable. 

Lastly, Mary desired her servants might be permitted to 
depart in peace and freedom, and with permission to enjoy 
those legacies which she should bequeath them by her latest 
will. These things she entreated of her kinswoman, in the 
name of their Redeemer, by their near kindred, by the soul 
and memory of Henry VII., their common progenitor, and 
in the name of those common decencies which even persons 
of the most ordinary rank generally observe toward each 
other. She complained that she had been despoiled of all 
her regal ornaments; alleged that, if her papers had been 
fairly produced, it would have appeared that her only cause 
of condemnation had been the overcarefulness and solicitude 
of some persons for Queen Elizabeth's safety. Lastly, she 
entreated a line or two of answer in the hand of Elizabeth 
herself. If Elizabeth received this affecting letter, she made 
no reply to it, even to assure her kinswoman that her life 
was safe, but from the meditated stroke of the law. 

The news was soon general that the axe was suspended 
over the head of Queen Mary, and its fall only depended on 
the will of Queen Elizabeth. The king of Scots, whatever 


might be his feeling toward his mother, was called upon by 
every tie of nature, by respect for himself, and for his char- 
acter in the world, and no doubt by a certain degree of natu- 
ral affection, which we cannot, however, suppose to have 
been of a "singularly ardent quality," although so termed 
by Camden, could now no longer dispense with making such 
remonstrances as were most likely to shake the purpose of 
Elizabeth. He complained with spirit of the indignity and 
n justice attending a trial of the queen of Scotland, a prin- 
cess also descended of the blood-royal of England, by a 
commission of English subjects. 

James's ordinary minister at the court of Elizabeth was 
the notorious Archibald Douglas, already noticed, who after 
his collusive acquittal was, with much disregard to decency, 
sent to England as James's resident ambassador. 

But James saw the scandal which must attend in trusting 
the necessary interference on behalf of his mother to the care 
of a dependent of Morton, Mary's most ruthless enemy, and 
chose an agent more like to be zealous in his mother's cause. 
His remonstrances in her behalf were at first uttered through 
the medium of William Keith, an envoy extraordinary, sent 
for the purpose of remonstrating against Mary's trial, with 
instructions to add that, however new such proceeding was, 
it would be still more extraordinary if his mother, an inde- 
pendent princess, should be put to death under a sentence 
so pronounced. As this remonstrance produced no effect, 
James wrote again to Keith, to state how unjust he held 
the prosecution against his mother, with a charge to remind 
Elizabeth, that if such a crime should be committed, it con- 
erned him, both in respect of nature and honor, to be re- 
venged ; since remaining passive under such an injury with- 
out requiring the most ample anends, he must lose credit 
both at home and abroad. Keiih therefore entreated at 
least for delay, till James should send an ambassador with 
proposals which might give satisfaction to Elizabeth, and at 
the same time save the life of his parent. When an applica- 
tion, couched in these terms of menace, was made to Eliza- 


beth, she was at first so indignant that she had wellnigh 
driven Keith from her presence : on taking time to consider, 
however, she agreed to wait to hear any ambassador who 
should come from King James within a few days; and 
condescended to add, that she would suspend the execu- 
tion of his mother's sentence until that period should have 

The stern tone of irritation in which Queen Elizabeth 
expressed herself seems to have daunted the spirit of King 
James. In a subsequent letter to William Keith, he dis- 
owned any attempt to influence Queen Elizabeth by threats, 
and intimated that he did not mean to plead his cause with 
anything short of due respect to her individual feelings. 
He declared himself satisfied that she was not a free agent 
in the matter, nor at liberty to act upon her own clement 
and generous disposition ; but that, on the contrary, he knew 
that she was pressed forward by those who urged to her the 
peril of her own life. James declared, therefore, that he did 
not impute to Elizabeth, personally or directly, the blame of 
anything that had been done, and only required her to sus- 
pend any proceedings against his mother until the arrival 
of the Master of Gray, through whom, as specially com- 
missioned for that purpose, he meant to suggest such con- 
ditions as appeared to him sufficient for saving the life of 
his mother. 

The terms of this mitigated letter relieved Elizabeth from 
what she might naturally have esteemed a very considerable 
embarrassment ; for an instant breach with Scotland, while 
she was involved in so many dangers from the continent, 
'oined to the existence of a Catholic party in her own do- 
minions, could not have been a subject of indifference to 
her, upon reflection, how much soever she might be disposed 
by nature and habit to answer threats with defiance. The 
flexible tone, also, of James's last letter seemed to intimate 
that he desired but to play the part of a dutiful son in the 
eye of the world, and to the vindication of his honor in 
the opinion of his subjects, without meditating any active 


measures, if he could discharge what was due to decency. 
This point once gained by him, Elizabeth probably conjec- 
tured that the resentment of the king of Scotland, in case 
of his mother's execution, would be neither violent nor last- 
ing ; and she might consider the appointment of Gray, whose 
interest she had long secured, was no trifling assurance that 
in case of the sentence being executed against Mary, the 
resentment of her son would neither assume a very ardent 
or fatal character. Gray was accordingly despatched to 
England; but the suggestions of the council of Scotland, 
rather than any feeling of the king himself, laid James 
under the necessity of conjoining with the Master in his 
commission a colleague likely to be more active in the dis- 
charge of it. This was Sir Robert Melville, an old and 
faithful servant of the crown, whose exertions in the queen's 
favor might be relied upon much more than those of the 
venal Gray. The ambassadors extraordinary accordingly 
set out for England, charged with James's proposals for 
his mother's life; Melville filled with anxiety to discharge 
his duty so as might best advantage a mistress who had 
favored him formerly, and to whom he was sincerely grate- 
ful ; the Master of Gray, as afterward appeared, with a very 
different purpose. 

At their first audience with Queen Elizabeth, which they 
obtained with some difficulty, she expressed herself with her 
usual decision. She had been threatened, she said, by the 
king of Scots in his letter sent to William Keith, and de- 
manded to know if they were charged with remonstrances 
of the like nature. Gray replied that an apology had been 
made for the terms of that letter, by one of a subsequent 
date couched in less offensive terms. The queen at once 
entered upon the business of the audience in a manner cal- 
culated to silence discussion, saying, briefly and fiercely, "I 
am unmeasurably sorry that there can be no means found 
to save the life of your king's mother with assurance of my 
own. I have labored to preserve the life of both, but it 
cannot be done." As she appeared to speak in pas- 


#on, the ambassadors were silent, and withdrew for the 

At a second audience the queen demanded of them what 
they had to propose on the part of James, adding, disdain- 
fully, that a thing long looked for should be good when it 
comes. The Master of Gray then requested to know if 
Queen Mary was still alive, for a rumor of her death was 
even already current. "As yet," replied the queen, "I be- 
lieve she lives; but I will not promise an hour." Gray 
replied, that his master's propositions were calculated to 
pledge his credit in behalf of his mother, to that effect in- 
terposing the chief of his nobility as hostages, that no plot 
or enterprise against Queen Elizabeth should be undertaken 
with the knowledge or countenance of Mary. Or, if it 
pleased Elizabeth to send Queen Mary into Scotland, King 
James would engage that the English realm should be safe 
from all interference on her part. Queen Elizabeth called 
to the Earl of Leicester, with other lords of her council who 
were in the chamber, and repeated to them the proposals of 
the king of Scots, in a tone of scorn, as totally inadequate 
to the occasion. Gray took the opportunity to ask why the 
queen of Scots should be esteemed so dangerous to her maj- 
esty? "Because," answered Elizabeth hastily, "she is a 
papist, and they say she shall succeed to my throne." Gray 
replied, that Mary would divest herself of such a right in 
favor of her son. The speaking of Queen Mary's claim of 
succession as real gave fresh offence. "She hath no such 
right," answered the queen hastily: "she is declared in- 
capable of succession." — "Supposing that to be the case," 
replied the Scottish ambassador, "there is an end of danger 
from the papists, since they can trust nothing to a claim of 
succession which has been annulled, and therefore the rea- 
son fails which renders your kinswoman's life dangerous 
to your majesty." — Elizabeth replied, that "though Mary's 
right was indeed annulled, the papists would not allow that 
it had ceased to exist." — "If so," replied the Master of 
Grav, "the queen of Scots having demitted, with consent 


of her friends, all right of succession in favor of her son, 
could no longer pretend to exercise it in her own right, nor 
could she find support in so doing." The queen at first pre- 
tended not to understand the measure which was proposed : 
the Earl of Leicester explained it, by stating the proposal 
of Gray to be that the king of Scots should be placed in the 
rights of his mother. Elizabeth then burst into one of her 
characteristic passions. "Is that your meaning?" said she; 
"then I should put myself in worse case than before! By 
God's passion!" she exclaimed with much vehemence, "this 
were to cut mine own throat : he shall never come into that 
place or be party with me" (possess, that is, a share in her 
succession). — "Yet the king of Scots," answered Gray, 
"must become party with your majesty, when he succeeds, 
by his mother's death, to her claims of every kind. Thus 
the act which we now deprecate will only accelerate a posi- 
tion in respect to Queen Mary's son, of which your majesty 
is pleased to entertain an apprehension." 

Sensible that in this logical discussion she was losing 
ground, Elizabeth waived further argument in a debate 
where reason obviously failed her, and took leave of the 
ambassadors with these words: "Let your king recollect 
what I have done for him, and how long I have main- 
tained the crown upon his head, even since the hour of 
his birth. For my part, I am determined to keep the league 
between the kingdoms. If the king of Scots shall break it, 
he commits a double fault. ' ' With these words, as the last 
intimation of her pleasure, she was about to leave the apart- 
ment, when Sir Robert Melville followed her, beseeching for 
some delay of the execution; to which she replied, in the 
tone of authority which had distinguished her deportment 
during the whole conference, "No, not an hour!" 

It is scarcely necessary to point out to the reader the dif- 
ferent manner in which Elizabeth received the addresses of 
the houses of peers and commons, pressing her for Mary's 
immediate execution, and the Scottish ambassadors entreat- 
ing for delay of the same. To the first she replied with 


an affectation of feminine hesitation, and prayed her sub- 
jects would not press her too hard on a subject so painful. 
To the second she answered, in the tone of a lioness who has 
grasped her prey, "No, not an hour!" 

It is probable that in this interview Gray expressed truly 
the proposals of his master James, and he certainly reasoned 
on the question logically and firmly; but by turning the 
point upon the claims of succession, which must descend 
to his master by the death of his mother, he obviously and 
probably designedly brought into the discussion the subject 
which was most disagreeable to Queen Elizabeth, and which 
was sure to incense her in the most sensible manner. So 
acute a diplomatist as Gray could not have fallen into so 
great an error by mere accident; and the necessary infer- 
ence is, that he had no wish that his mission should be 

When the report of this angry conference had reached 
James he assumed a tone more becoming an independent 
prince pleading in behalf of a mother than he had hitherto 
ventured to use. In a letter written with his own hand he 
uses these strong and becoming expressions: "Be no longer 
reserved in dealing for my mother, for you have been so too 
long; and think not that anything will do good, if her life 
be lost, for then adieu to further dealing with that state. 
Therefore, as you look for my continued favor, spare no 
pains nor plainness in this case ; but read my letter written 
to William Keith (alluding to that which Elizabeth had re- 
sented as containing threats), and conform yourself wholly 
to the contents thereof; and in this let me see the fruits of 
your great credit there (that is, at the English court), either 
now or never. Farewell." 

But ere this mandate reached the Master of Gray he had 
adopted a very different course of proceeding : his interest 
at the English court alluded to by King James rested on a 
very different foundation tnan that of his fidelity to his mas- 
ter or his attachment to the honor and interests of his coun- 
try. In order that a foreigner should have interest with 

Scotland. Vol. II.— II 


Queen Elizabeth and her counsellors, it was necessary that 
they should conform themselves implicitly to the wishes and 
dictates of that lofty princess. Gray was of that flexible 
character which is very docile upon such occasions. He 
listened complacently to the insinuations of Leicester and 
other English counsellors, who suggested, that although the 
king's interference in behalf of his mother was natural and 
laudable, yet it should not be urged to such a point as might 
endanger the favor of Elizabeth, nor, in short, carried further 
than was necessary to secure for his master the character of 
a dutiful and affectionate son ; while it left him at liberty, 
whatever should happen, to preserve the love and friendship 
of Elizabeth, who, whether she put to death his mother or 
not, was still the ally whose countenance or enmity might 
most befriend, or in the highest degree injure his interest. 
The Scottish envoy speedily learned the lesson thus taught 
him; and conscious, perhaps, that his master wanted that 
fiery spirit of resolution characteristic of most of his prede- 
cessors, he gave explicit hints to the English ministers that 
by executing the sentence against Mary without delay they 
would not incur any formidable intensity of enmity on the 
part of his master. He repeated the Latin phrase, Mortua 
7ioii mordet, "A dead woman bites not," and made no 
scruple to assure those with whom he had intercourse that, 
were the deed once done, his master was likely speedily to 
pardon what could neither be remedied nor revenged. He 
even undertook to be himself a mediator, and take care 
to disarm James's displeasure of all tendency to vengeance. 
It is, of course, to be understood that in all this ambiguous 
dealing, which went directly to defeat the main purpose of 
his embassy, Gray concealed from his colleague Melville the 
double-dealing intrigues which he held with the English 

Other measures were employed to deprecate the threat- 
ened hostilities of the king of Scots. Walsingham, famed 
for his policy and his prudence, wrote to the king of Scots 
to express his surprise at the stand which he had made in 


behalf of his mother, seeing that the honest and religious 
Protestants in England were unanimously agreed that her 
life was inconsistent with the safety of the Protestant faith 
in both divisions of Britain, and conjuring him not to wreck 
the public peace, or disturb the prosperity of the reformed 
churches of England and Scotland, by taking to heart too 
anxiously the death of a parent whose life was forfeited to 
the laws and to an unavoidable necessity. 

From all the preceding indications King James was made 
aware that the fate of his mother was decided ; nor is it likely 
that any measure on his part, unless of a character far more 
energetic than was usual in his councils, could be of the slight- 
est avail in saving her life. He preserved, however, the de- 
cencies of his situation ; and, recalling his ambassadors from 
the court of England, commanded his clergy at home to re- 
member his mother in the public prayers, under a form to 
which certainly there was nothing to which charity could 
object, since the tenor ran that it might please God to illu- 
minate her with the light of his truth, and save her from 
the apparent danger wherein she was cast. The clergymen, 
however, remembering the Catholic tenets of Mary, and that 
aversion entertained to her by the original fathers of the 
Scottish Church, which had so large a share in her down- 
fall, refused to comply even with this moderate request of 
their sovereign. In the capital, particularly, the refusal was 
wellnigh general, so that the king was obliged to appoint the 
archbishop of St. Andrew's to preach before him on a cer- 
tain day, in order that he might hear the safety of his mother 
recommended in the prayers of his subjects. In this, how- 
ever, he was disappointed. An enthusiastic j'oung man 
named Cooper, who though not yet himself called to the 
ministry, intruded himself into the pulpit by the encourage- 
ment, it is said, of his brethren, and excluded the prelate. 

The king arriving at the time appointed, and seeing the 
pulpit already occupied, addressed the intrusive preacher 
from his seat in these temperate words: "That seat, Mr. 
John, was destined for another; but if you mean to obey 


the charge which we have sent forth, and remember our 
mother in j T our prayers, you are at liberty to proceed." To 
this Cooper replied he would do as the Spirit of God directed 
him. Upon this, being commanded to come from that place, 
and refusing to obey, the captain of the guard was ordered 
to pull him from the pulpit. On hearing these orders issued, 
the hot-headed young man exclaimed that the violence which 
he sustained should be a witness against the king at the day 
of judgment. 

If we can trust a current tradition, such contests between 
the pulpit and the throne occurred more than once in the face 
of the congregation. It is said a young preacher, dilating 
before James's face on some matter highly offensive to him, 
the monarch lost patience, and said aloud, "I tell thee, man, 
either to speak sense or come down." To which reasonable 
request, as it might be thought, the preacher stoutly replied, 
"And I tell thee, man, I will neither speak sense nor come 

The archbishop of St. Andrew's then succeeded to the 
pulpit ; and by the eloquence of a sermon, in which he in- 
sisted on the duty of praying for all men, pacified the tumult 
which so extraordinary a scene had excited among the con- 

It is not improbable that, instead of entering into squab- 
bles with his clergy on the mode of petitioning Heaven in 
his mother's behalf, had King James descended to look for 
earthly succors, and appealed to his subjects on so national 
an occasion, he might, on wonderfully short notice, have 
assembled upon the borders an army of forty thousand men, 
who would not willingly have seen the blood of their sover- 
eign's mother shed upon a scaffold by command of a foreign 

"We have detailed at length the nature of James's inter- 
cession for his mother's life as an interesting part of Scottish 
history : the intervention of other powers for the same pur- 
pose may be briefly noticed. The king of France, though 
an enemy to the House of Guise, could not, were it only for 


decency's sake, avoid an application on the same occasion ; 
but the arguments of his ambassador, Bellievre, were not 
so urged as to make much impression upon Elizabeth, who, 
aware, besides, of Henry III. 's dislike to the House of Guise, 
paid no attention to the arguments from that quarter. 

Nevertheless Queen Elizabeth, though uninfluenced by the 
remonstrances of foreign courts, seemed, when the moment 
for decision was arrived, to hesitate upon striking the fatal 
blow. "With whatever color she might cloak it to her own 
conscience, or represent it to the English nation, she could 
not be indifferent to the manner in which the death of Mary 
was likely to affect her fame through Europe at large. 
Neither was she entirely secure of Scotland; for although 
the Master of Gray pretended that the resentment which 
James might entertain for his mother's execution should 
be of no permanent duration, yet Melville, whose honor 
was known to her, had held different language; and the 
recall of the Scottish ambassadors seemed to announce a 
war, for which the queen of England, beset as she was by 
continental enemies, could not be supposed to be perfectly 

But although no such pressing cause for hesitation had 
exhibited itself, Elizabeth, like many others in a similar 
situation, seems to have found her courage fail when she 
approached close to the perpetration of the crime she had so 
long meditated. The sense that, though she might delude 
her own people by fantastic fears and jealousies, the rest of 
Europe would not be so easily gulled, must have made her 
reluctant to strike the final blow; and with her fears for 
her own reputation there doubtless was mingled some touch 
of womanhood, some feeling of female reluctance to shed 
the blood of her captive kinswoman. Although she could 
refuse Melville even the delay of an hour in the height of 
an angry debate, yet upon reflection she was unwilling to 
decide upon the execution, nor was she perhaps displeased 
to gain the credit of sustaining a struggle between her hu- 
manity and what she called her sense of justice. She ex- 


hibited every symptom of disquietude and abstraction, wan- 
dered through her palace with unequal steps, or was found 
alone musing, or heard uttering in a broken voice enigmati- 
cal expressions of doubt and irresolution. Aut fer aut feri, 
lie feriare feri, were words frequent in her mouth. They 
were taken from the quibbling mottoes and devices which 
were then favorite subjects of study, and served to express 
the uncertainty of Elizabeth's mind. Meantime various re- 
ports were dispersed to keep up the alarm, and persuade the 
people of England that the death of Mary was the life of 
Elizabeth, and the life of M.slyj was the death of her sister 
sovereign. Bravos were said to be hired by the French 
ambassador to assassinate the queen ; the Spanish fleet was 
said, one day, to have arrived at Milford Haven; on an- 
other, the Duke of Guise was said to have landed in Sussex; 
a third rumor stated an invasion of the Scots ; a fourth, an 
insurrection of the northern counties ; a fifth proclaimed the 
city to be on fire; a sixth announced the death of Elizabeth. 
The people, distracted by these varying reports, grew almost 
frantic, and called loudly for the death of Mary, as the only 
remedy for the convulsions with which the nation was 

It was therefore with the unanimous consent of her own 
subjects, or rather in compliance with their demands, that 
Elizabeth resolved to sign the fatal death-warrant against 
her sister. 

The preparing of this deed fell officially to the charge of 
"William Davidson, one of the principal secretaries of state, 
who was doomed, by a stroke of political management, to 
be the victim of Elizabeth's duplicity upon this occasion. 
Davidson received instructions from the lord admiral to 
prepare the death-warrant for the queen's signature. He 
did so, and laid it before her with other papers. She im- 
mediately entered upon the subject. After she had looked 
it over, she signed it, and laying it from her asked the sec- 
retary, jocularly, whether he was not heartily sorry that it 
was done. His answer was as might be expected, that "since 


Mary's life was inconsistent with Elizabeth's safety, he pre- 
ferred the death of the guilty to that of the innocent. ' ' She 
then commanded him to append the seal to the warrant, and 
to give it so ratified to the lord chancellor, with directions to 
use it as secretly as might be. "On the way," said she, 
jocularly, "you may show it to Walsingham, who will die 
of grief at the news.'" She expressed her desire that the 
execution should take place neither in the open court nor in 
the green of the castle, but in the great hall of Fotheringay ; 
and being thus particular in her directions, left Davidson in 
no doubt that she was seriously determined on the bloody 
scene which she had thus contemplated, with every circum- 
stance of time and place. 

When Davidson was ready to depart with these instruc- 
tions, the queen again called him, and entered into some 
complaint of Sir Amias Paulet, who, she alleged, might 
have eased her of this burden, commanding him and Wal- 
singham to sound the dispositions of Queen Mary's keepers, 
and to hint to them the good service which they might do 
her by anticipating the execution of the warrant. 

Such a letter as the queen desired, subscribed by Wal- 
singham and Davidson, was written to Sir Amias Paulet 
and Sir Drew Drury, who were now conjoined in the cus- 
tody of the unfortunate Mary. 

It is of a tenor as extraordinary as any missive which can 
be pointed out in the ample portfolio of political profligacy. 
"The queen," says this choice epistle, "appears, by some 
speeches lately uttered, to note in you a lack of care and 
zeal of her service, in respect you have not all this time of 
yourselves, without other intimation, found out some way 
to shorten the life of that queen, In neglecting to do so, 
besides a kind of lack of love to Elizabeth, she observed that 
the keepers of Mary had not that care of the preservation of 
religion and the public good they would be thought to have, 
more especially having a ground of warrant for the satisfac- 
tion of their conscience, their oath of association, by which 
they had both solemnly pledged themselves, binding them 


to prosecute Mary to the death in event of the guilt being 
proved against her. The queen, " continues the letter, "takes 
it most unkindly that men professing the love to their sover- 
eign asserted by you should yet, for lack of discharge of their 
duty [that is, for not murdering by their private act their 
royal prisoner], suffer the burden of taking her life to fall 
upon Elizabeth herself, whose aversion to shed blood was 
so well known, and whom they might well suppose was still 
more reluctant to shed that of her relation and sister sover- 
eign." This singular letter, in which two men of quality and 
honor are advised to commit an assassination out of mere 
loyalty and deference to the feelings of Queen Elizabeth, 
produced no effect upon those to whom it was addressed. 
Paulet, in his own name, though the letter was also sub- 
scribed by Drury, laments that he should have lived to see 
the unhappy day in which he is required by his sovereign to 
do an act forbidden by the laws of God and man. His liv- 
ings and life he declared to be at her majesty's disposition, 
nor did he wish to enjoy them but with her good favor; 
"but God forbid," he continues, "that I should make so 
foul a shipwreck of my conscience, or leave so great a blot 
to my posterity, or shed blood without law or warrant." 
Elizabeth was greatly disappointed at finding this scrupu- 
lous temper where she did not conceive any such was to be 
expected. Paulet used to be termed her "faithful Amias," 
"her most careful servant," whose double labors and faith- 
ful actions, whose wise orders and safe conduct in so dan- 
gerous and crafty a charge as that of the imprisoned Mary, 
her grateful heart accepted with an overflowing sense of 
kindness. When, however, he was found scrupulous in so 
slight a matter as making away with his prisoner, he became 
a "dainty and precise fellow, who would promise much but 
perform nothing." And she called it perjury in him and 
others, who, contrary to the oath of association, were de- 
sirous to throw upon their queen the whole odium of an 
unpleasant transaction. She still proposed, however, to have 
the business done by private violence, and spoke to David- 


son of one Wingfield who was willing to undertake it. The 
secretary was at some pains to show that, by such a violent 
and secret course to rid herself of her prisoner, she could 
not hope to escape the general suspicion and obloquy which 
must attend upon such an action. 

The by-ways of private assassination being thus inter- 
rupted, Elizabeth resolved to follow the broad and formal 
course which was already chalked out by the proceedings 
of the commission, taking care, at the same time, so to order 
the execution of the warrant that it should, as much as pos- 
sible, appear to be the voluntary act of her ministers, with 
as little accession on her own part as could be avoided. At 
Davidson's next audience of Elizabeth she entered volunta- 
rily into the subject of the danger in which she daily lived, 
and how it was more than time this matter was despatched, 
and, swearing a great oath, added, that it was a shame for 
them all that it was not done, directing Davidson to write a 
letter to Paulet, for the despatch of the execution. Davidson 
answered, that such a letter was unnecessary, the warrant 
being general and sufficient. 

The secretary being thus, as he conceived, pretty well 
apprised of what would be accounted good service, laid the 
warrant before the privy council, who, instigated by zeal, as 
they pretended, for the queen's safety, or, more probably, 
by a desire to gratify her wishes, drew up a letter, under 
their hands as privy councillors, empowering the Earls of 
Shrewsbury and Kent, together with the high sheriff of the 
county of Northampton, to see the warrant for putting 
Queen Mary to death put in force, as the sentence war- 
ranted execution. This final authority was despatched by 
the hands of Beale, clerk of the privy council, a man always 
noted for harsh manners, puritanical zeal, and a bitter 
enmity to Queen Mary. 

"While Elizabeth thus fluctuated, not between remorse 
and desire of committing the crime, but concerning the 
mode in which it should be accomplished, Mary prepared 
herself for death with all the dignity of a queen and the 


firmness of a martyr. To her affecting letter to Elizabeth, 
already quoted, no answer had been returned, nor did the 
queen ever acknowledge having received it. The assistance 
of a confessor or priest of her own religion, though deemed 
essential by Catholics to salvation, was withheld from her 
by the stern puritanism of the times. The assistance of a 
Protestant bishop and a dean were indeed offered to her, but 
with these her communion forbade her to join in devotion. 

"With no aid, therefore, saving her own unbroken spirit, 
she prepared for death, as she had formerly done for trial. 
She received with the most dignified composure the Earls 
of Kent and Shrewsbury, who came to announce that she 
was to die on the next day. "I did not," answered Mary, 
"think that the queen, my sister, would have commanded 
my death by the hands of the executioner; but the soul is 
not worthy of Heaven which shrinks from the pang of 
death." The evening was employed in writing her testa- 
ment, settling her worldly affairs, and comforting the out- 
rageous sorrows of her female attendants. 

The last night she slept soundly, and rising early in the 
morning, busied herself with her private devotions. At 
eight o'clock the high sheriff found her still kneeling be- 
fore the crucifix. She came forth with her countenance 
and presence majestically composed, dressed in a mourning 
habit adorned with some few ornaments. As she descended 
to the fatal place of execution, her house-steward, named 
Melville, fell on his knees before her, and bewailed with 
loud lamentations that it should be his fortune to carry 
the tidings of her fate to Scotland. "Lament not, good 
Melville," said the queen, "but rather rejoice, since thou 
shalt see this day Mary Stuart released from her earthly 
miseries. Bear witness, I die constant in my religion, and 
faithful in my affection to Scotland and France." She then 
charged him to be loyal to her son, and to advise him to 
maintain friendship with the queen of England. She ob- 
tained the promise of the attendant earls that the distribu- 
tion of her effects among her attendants should be attended 


to according to her wish. It was with greater difficulty that 
she obtained permission for one or two of her servants to 
attend at her execution; but the sad boon was at length 
granted, upon her undertaking that her maidens should not 
disturb the awful scene with their cries. The great hall of 
the castle of Fotheringay, hung with black for the occasion, 
was assigned as the fatal spot. A low scaffold placed in the 
centre of the hall exhibited the block and axe, together with 
''he headsman and his assistant, the implements and agents 
of the bloody tragedy which was to follow. 

Mary ascended the scaffold ; and sitting down on a chair, 
placed for her accommodation, heard with indifference the 
death-warrant read over. Once more she refused the assist- 
ance of the clergymen, who with well-meaning officiousness 
pressed upon her the difference between the churches, and 
the preference due to the Protestant creed. She then prayed 
in Latin out of the Catholic manual of devotion, called the 
Office of the Virgin Mary, and then rose to prepare for death . 
One of the executioners having offered his service, she gently 
repulsed him, saying she was not accustomed to the service 
of such grooms, or to perform her toilet before so large a 
company. A low wailing took place among the female at- 
tendants : Mary quietly reminded them that she had prom- 
ised that they should keep silence. Being divested of her 
cloak and upper garments, she knelt to the block, with de- 
vout expressions of resignation, and her head was struck 
from her body at two blows. A favorite lap-dog could not 
be separated from the corpse of his mistress. When the 
fatal blow was struck, the dean pronounced the usual form, 
"So perish Queen Elizabeth's enemies!" To which the 
i£arl of Kent could alone muster voice to answer, "Amen"; 
all other persons present being drowned in sighs and lamen- 
tations. Thus died Mary Queen of Scots — many parts of 
whose earlier life remain an unexplained riddle to posterity, 
which men have construed, and will construe, more accord- 
ing to their own feelings and passions than with the calm 
sentiments of impartial judges. The great error of marry- 


ing Botlivvell, stained as he was by universal suspicion of 
Darnley's murder, is a spot upon her character for which 
we in vain seek an apology. Certainly the poor trick of the 
bond subscribed at Ainslie's Supper cannot greatly mitigate 
our censure, which is still less evaded by the pretended com- 
pulsion exercised toward the queen, when she was trans- 
ported by Bothwell to Dunbar. "What excuse she is to de- 
rive from the brutal ingratitude of Darnley ; what from the 
perfidy and cruelty of the fiercest set of nobles who existed 
in any age ; what from the manners of a time in which as- 
sassination was often esteemed a virtue, and revenge the 
discharge of a debt of honor, must be left to the charity of 
the reader. This may be truly said, that if a life of exile 
and misery, endured with almost saintly patience, from the 
15th of June, 1567, until the day of her death, upon the 8th 
of February, 1586, could atone the crimes and errors of the 
class imputed to her, no such penalty was ever more fully 
discharged than by Mary Stua,rt. 



Queen Mary's Death the Subject of Rejoicing England — But of 

affected Surprise and Sorrow to Elizabeth — She sends Carey 
to apologize to James — He is not received, but forwards the 
Queen's Excuses — She throws the Blame on Davidson, who is 
ruined — James harbors Thoughts of Vengeance; but is soon led 
to abandon them — Sir William Stewart impeaches Gray, who 
is convicted and banished — Scotland distracted with deadly 
Feuds — James endeavors to reconcile them — An Entei'tain- 
ment given by the City of Edinburgh on the Occasion — His 
Purpose in a great Measure fails — Feud of Mar with the Bruces 
and other Gentlemen of the Carse of Stirling — Statute respect- 
ing Church Lands, and concerning the Representation of the 
Barons in Parliament — Spanish Armada — Offers from Spain — 
Advice of Maitland — Fate of the Armada — Embassy of Sir 
Henry Sidney — Insurrection of the Catholic Lords in Scotland — 
Embassy from Denmark insulted by the Earl of Arran, and the 
Envoys pacified by the Wisdom of Sir James Melville — A Treaty 
of Marriage between James and a Princess of Denmark — It is 
traversed by Elizabeth, but in vain — Finally concluded — James 
sails for Denmark — Justifies his doing so by a singular Proc- 
lamation — Is married at Upsal, and returns to Scotland with 
his Bride 

ELIZABETH was no sooner made acquainted with the 
death of Mary than it seemed that the life or non- 
existence of that unfortunate lady was alike to be 
the subject of distress and anxiety to her sister sovereign. 
The people of England, indeed, received the tidings with 
the acclamations usually attendant upon some event inti- 
mating great national prosperity. Bonfires and illumina- 
tions, and other demonstrations of joy, attended the news 
that Mary, nineteen years a prisoner, was now a corpse. 

But the queen was aware that these appearances of joy 
were delusive; and that, besides, she had Europe to answer 


to as well as England. She had no sooner received the re- 
port of the execution than she evinced every symptom of the 
greatest surprise and indignation, pausing, faltering, and 
bursting into exclamations of regret and astonishment. l~or 
did she confine herself to these expressions of grief : she put 
herself into mourning; and denying all accession to or 
knowledge of the execution, rebuked her privy council, and 
dismissed them, in wrath, from her sight. She wrote to the 
king of Scots a letter with her own hand, in which, forget- 
ting that she had refused, at the intercession of his envoy, 
to delay the execution even an hour, she affected the most 
inconsolable grief for the lamentable accident, as she termed 
it, which had happened contrary to her meaning and inten- 
tion. This letter was despatched by Sir Robert Carey, a 
kinsman of Queen Elizabeth, who was understood to be 
personally acceptable to King James. 

In this posture of affairs, Paulet and Drury had reason 
to rejoice that they had not been induced by the sugared 
ivords of Elizabeth to embark in the dark project of assas- 
sinating their prisoner, either for the purpose of sparing the 
queen's feelings, or displaying the fulness of zeal for her 
person ; for the hard measure which the queen dealt toward 
Burleigh, and especially toward Davidson, who had author- 
ized the execution in a legal manner, and by a formal war- 
rant, plainly showed that had they fallen into the trap laid 
for them, or taken their prisoner's life by any secret practice, 
she would have disavowed the action to which she had her- 
self instigated them, and left them to atone for their credulity 
with the loss of their heads. 

James, incensed himself, and inflamed by the passions 
of all around him, breathed at first nothing save war and 
vengeance. Carey was not permitted to cross the boundary 
of the kingdoms, nor would the king of Scots admit him to 
his presence. This affront Queen Elizabeth was obliged 
to digest. By her order, Carey sent to the Scottish council 
the letters designed for the king, with a statement of what 
she was pleased to represent as the real circumstances of the 


case. Carey protested in her name that it never once entered 
into her thoughts to put the queen of Scots to death, not- 
withstanding the daily persuasions of her council, her houses 
of parliament, and the almost hourly outcries of her whole 
people. Nevertheless, as daily reports were abroad of the 
landing of foreign armies, the escape of Mary from Fother- 
ingay, and similar occurrences of an alarming nature, the 
queen, merely by way of precaution, thought it best to de- 
liver a signed warrant to her secretary Davidson, not intend- 
ing that it should go out of his hands except in case of inva- 
sion from abroad or insurrection at home. Such being her 
purpose, Davidson having, nevertheless, contrary to her in- 
tention, shown to one or two of her statesmen the warrant 
for Mary's execution, the privy council thereupon held a 
meeting, and sent a mandate for putting the warrant in 
force, which "she protests to God," says Carey, "was done 
before she knew of it. The secretary, however, ' ' he added, 
"was committed to prison, and would not escape his sover- 
eign's high displeasure. This is the tenor of my mistress's 
message," concluded Carey, "which if I could express as it 
was delivered to me, with a heavy heart and a sorrowful 
countenance, I think the king of Scots would rather pity the 
grief which she endures than in any respect blame her for a 
fact in which she had no share." 

To suit the queen of England's actions to her professions, 
Davidson was brought to trial in the Star Chamber, where 
it was agreed to lay upon him the fault of the whole proceed- 
ing. Burleigh, who was indispensable to her majesty's coun- 
cils, had insinuated something as if what Davidson reported 
of her majesty's wishes and intentions had induced him and 
the rest of the council to despatch the warrant. The unfort- 
unate secretary was therefore accounted guilty of a high mis- 
demeanor, as having misrepresented the queen's intentions, 
and misled the privy council in a matter of so much impor- 
tance, and was therefore fined in ten thousand pounds, and 
•imprisoned during the queen's pleasure. Even Burleigh 
himself became uncertain how far his own ruin might not 


be determined by Elizabeth, in order to convince James of 
the reality of his mistress's pretended innocence. He was, 
however, restored to favor; and the total ruin of Davidson 
was held a sufficient atonement for the death of Mary. 

The king of Scots was for some time unwilling and prob- 
ably ashamed to accept the patched and fabricated account 
presented by Carey, irreconcilable as it was with truth and 
with itself, as an apology for the death of his mother. He 
held a parliament, the members of. which unanimously pro- 
fessed their readiness to support him in revenging the death 
of their late queen, an injury which they justly regarded as 
affecting the people of Scotland as well as their king. But 
time brought calmer counsels ; and a number of prudential 
motives reconciled James to remaining at peace, where war, 
always a destructive, might actually prove a ruinous, expe- 
dient. The perilous state of the Protestant religion to which 
he professed himself sincerely attached peremptorily forbade 
a breach with Queen Elizabeth. The difference of force be- 
tween the two countries was greatly in favor of England ; 
and such aid as he might procure from France or Spain was 
neither of a certain nor of a safe description. The holy league 
was directed against Scotland as well as against other heret- 
ical nations ; and, however ready the Catholic princes might 
be to avenge the death of the Catholic Mary, they could not 
be supposed to entertain much zeal in the cause of the Prot- 
estant James. A high sense of filial affection and regal dig- 
nity would not indeed have stopped to weigh these circum- 
stances with accuracy, and was likely to have impelled a 
son and a sovereign prince, whose mother had been thus 
cruelly murdered, into a conflict, in which, at every risk, he 
might secure either vengeance or death. But such an affec- 
tion James had never entertained toward Mary. He had 
never known his mother : he had been placed upon her throne 
while a child, and when grown up to youth, he had, with 
cold prudence, declined to interfere in her behalf; his grief 
and resentment for her death were not likely, therefore, to 
be of an ardent character. 


At any rate, the grand excuse for inactivity in such cases 
was open to James. The evil was done, and could not be 
repaired; and the question only remained whether it was 
wise to run the risk of ruin in endeavoring to avenge it. In 
the annual pension allowed him, which was almost the only 
fund he could dedicate to the necessary maintenance of his 
royal state, Queen Elizabeth had shown herself a generous 
godmother ; and now, when he was deprived of a mother by 
her means, she might, probably, feel a disposition to supply, 
by even augmented liberality, the place of the parent of 
whom he had been deprived by her means. Above all, a 
war between Scotland and England was likely to become 
fatal to the hopes of the rich English succession, the right 
of which, by the death of his mother, had now devolved 
upon him, and no possible success in war could have made 
up to James so great a loss. These considerations acted 
powerfully upon cold feelings and a spirit naturally averse 
from warfare, and induced the king of Scots, after a decent 
time, to dissemble his resentment of his mother's death, to 
receive the exculpations of Elizabeth as if he gave credit to 
a story in itself so improbable, and to permit the amicable 
relations between the countries gradually to resume their 
ordinary course. 

Some subjects of Scotland were impatient of their sover- 
eign's inactivity and tameness, and declared fiercely for war. 
The Earl of Argyle, when the court were commanded to as- 
sume mourning for Queen Mary, intimated his sense of the 
ordinance by appearing in full armor, as the dress which 
best suited the occasion; but this and other hints to arms 
were suffered to pass unnoticed, and Mary occupied her 
grave in the cathedral of Peterborough forgotten and un- 

One victim, however, besides the scapegoat Davidson, 
paid the debt due to his perfidy upon this occasion. The 
versatile Master of Gray, who, charged with the task of 
negotiating for Queen Mary's safety, had encouraged and 
hastened her execution, was now called to account for his 


perfidy. Gray was even at this time plotting a change of 
court, to be effected by putting to death some of the persons 
who then stood highest in the king's council ; but his schemes 
were interrupted by his own dependent, Sir "William Stewart, 
a brother of the upstart Earl of Arran, whom Gray had for- 
merly deserted and betrayed. By this gentleman the Master 
was bluntly impeached of having betrayed and abused the 
confidence reposed in him as a public ambassador, by writ- 
ing, while on his embassy in England, a letter, in which he 
encouraged the English ministry in the execution of the 
king's mother: it was further added by the accuser that 
he had privately corresponded with the king of France and 
the Duke of Guise, for the purpose of obtaining toleration to 
Catholics in Scotland; a species of machination accounted 
by the age as being equally treasonable with his breach of 
public faith and abuse of his power as an ambassador. 
Lastly, he was charged with the purpose of assassinating 
some of James's present ministers. 

Gray made no defence, but submitted to the king's mercy; 
confessing that he had trafficked for toleration of Catholics 
further than he had license to do ; and admitting that he en- 
tertained resentment against some of the persons in office, 
but denying that he nourished any thoughts of violence 
against them. Lastly, he confessed that having, when am- 
bassador in England, perceived Queen Elizabeth determined 
to take Queen Mary's life, he had given his advice, with a 
view to the prevention of war between the countries, that 
she had better be put to death by private jjractice than by 
public execution ; and he admitted having used the phrase, 
Mortui non mordent, though in a different sense from that 
which the accuser put upon it. 

For these misdemeanors the Master of Gray was banished 
from Scotland, and resided in Italy for several years } though 
he afterward returned to his native country. 

Captain James Stewart, formerly the Earl of Arran, the 
brother of Gray's accuser, Sir William, had expected that 
upon these changes in the Scottish court he himself might 


recover some favor : he was disappointed, however, for Mait- 
land, now Lord Thirlstane, was declared chancellor, a title 
which the fallen statesman had hitherto retained, though 
without exercising the office. 

The kingdom of Scotland about this period enjoyed some 
temporary repose ; and a parliament was appointed to be held 
at Edinburgh upon the 29th of July, 1586, the king having 
now attained the years of majority. It is to the credit of 
James that he endeavored to solemnize his accession to 
manhood by what would have, indeed, proved the greatest 
boon which could be bestowed on the country over which he 
was called to reign. Not only the nobility of Scotland, but 
their gentry and barons, claimed and exercised, in the most 
frightful extent, the privilege of making war upon each other 
for the slightest causes, and with the most fatal and deadly 
effects. What greatly augmented this national evil was that 
whatever injury had been received by either party in those 
domestic quarrels, or in the skirmishes to which they gave 
rise, was handed down as a debt of vengeance, for which 
the family who sustained the loss were bound to exact ven- 
geance to the latest period of time. It frequently happened 
that persons of consequence were reciprocally slain on the 
side of both contending parties, and it was then held indis- 
pensable to the honor of those tribes concerned that the re- 
taliation on each side should be full and complete; for which 
purpose the feuds, as they were termed, were transmitted 
from father to son, and, in spite of the denunciations of re- 
ligion and law, were, by the the obstinacy of popular preju- 
dice, accounted inexpiable. Thus neighboring families and 
clans throughout the greater part of Scotland, but particu- 
larly in the highlands and borders, were engaged in endless 
and multiplied wars, of which the custom was so inveterate 
that it seemed as if no interposition of the civil authority, 
though repeatedly and anxiously attempted, had power to 
preserve the peace of the kingdom. This had been from all 
generations the prevailing evil in Scotland, even in the reign 
of firm and powerful princes, such as Robert I., James I., 


II., IV., and V. The practice had been somewhat checked 
by the severe exertion of royal authority, when cases of pe- 
culiar importance compelled its interference ; nor was this 
done without such an effusion of blood as to leave a stigma 
of severity at least, if not of cruelty, upon monarchs who 
were otherwise accounted the benefactors of their country, 
and were, perhaps, chiefly so in the strictness with which 
they repressed breaches of the general peace. 

But the civil wars in Queen Mary's time had given more 
ample scope to the currency of general violence than during 
the more severe administration of her father, James V. ; the 
habits of war were become general through Scotland ; the 
farmer left the cultivation of the ground to follow his land- 
lord, sometimes to wars of a public, sometimes to those of 
a private, character; bondmen and cottagers were the only 
laborers who were expected to toil for raising the food by 
which the population was to be supported. By every man 
superior to a mere serf or bondager defensive armor was 
worn as a part of his ordinary attire, and offensive weapons 
as a protection, without which it was unsafe to stir abroad. 
Every province of Scotland, every neighborhood, was dis- 
tracted by the quarrels of the nobles and gentry, which broke 
out from time to time when they were least expected, and 
frequently in retaliation of injuries which had been long ago 

No time, place, or circumstance could limit the exercise 
of a deadly feud, or restrict the evils which its recollection 
excited. The streets of the metropolis resounded with quar- 
rels fought out by armed men, which, though they some- 
times lasted for hours together, the utmost exertions of the 
civil power were unequal either to put an end to or to pun- 
ish. In the ante-chamber of the court, and even in the 
presence of the king himself, defiances were exchanged and 
insults given in the most brutal language; and the parties 
hardly gave themselves the trouble to go further than the 
palace-yard to bring the matter to deadly arbitrament. 

To give one instance out of many, Sir William Stewart, 


the brother of the Earl of Arran, whom we have just men- 
tioned as the accuser of the Master of Gray, happened to 
revive in the presence-chamber some ancient dispute with 
Francis Stewart, earl of Both well, a man as choleric as 
himself. In the process of their quarrel receiving a contra- 
diction from the earl, he replied in such affronting language 
as the lowest of the rabble in the present day might bestow 
on his opponent in a drunken quarrel. Shortly after, Both- 
well, a haughty and choleric man, encountered Stewart in 
the public street, and repeating the words which had been 
applied to him, killed him dead on the spot at a single 
thrust. The earl left the town for a few days, but soon 
returning, was never questioned for the action. 

These bloody brawls took place without the delicacies of 
formal challenges, equal arms, impartial witnesses, or the 
other requisites with which the modern code of honor lim- 
its, or endeavors to limit, the indulgence of private revenge. 
On the contrary, if the barons of the sixteenth century did 
not, as was frequently the case, absolutely lie in wait for 
their enemies, and assail them with every advantage of 
numbers, their factions at least fought where they met, 
without regarding which was best armed, or backed by 
most friends or retainers; and the stronger party thought 
no more of laying aside any part of his superiority than a 
modern general would dream of equalizing his army with 
the weaker battalions of an adversary. They accounted 
feud to be equivalent to a state of open war, which each 
party endeavors to prosecute by every advantage in his 

The legislature had done their part to restrain an evil so 
intolerable, in which public peace gave little breathing space 
to the country, since violence and slaughter continued yet to 
ravage Scotland under the pretence of private war. The 
temper and habits of James, naturally averse to blood and 
violence, and disposed to the extension of lawful rule and 
royal supremacy, was peculiarly dissatisfied with this grow- 
ing and continued national evil; but though his tempera- 


nient inclined the sovereign to be sensible of the mischief, 
both that and his circumstances deprived him of the power 
of curing it. A just and strict administration of the laws, 
begun at first with a certain degree of lenity, but maintained 
more severely when the nation had become accustomed to 
such wholesome restraint, would have been the natural and 
evident course of remedy for this wasting pest. However, 
the king had not strength to enforce a remedy, far more ob- 
vious to be discovered than easy to be pursued. The royal 
domains, wasted and dilapidated during the civil wars, were 
so little able to maintain a force sufficient to assert the royal 
authority, even in the comparatively civilized parts of Scot- 
land, that, with the help of James's pension of five thousand 
pounds from Elizabeth, he had hardly the funds necessary 
for maintaining his household; and in his disposition pos- 
sessed neither the turn for economy nor the audacity of en- 
terprise, which render small means adequate to achieving 
great purposes. On the other hand, the same good-natured 
indolence which rendered James improvident in money con- 
cerns, and unwilling to lead troops, made him also incapable 
of the power of refusing the petitions for pardon and remis- 
sion which thronged upon him when crimes of slighter or 
deadlier dye were committed, so that a perpetual impunity 
encouraged the repetition of these constant offences. 

Yet James had the sincere desire to put an end to this 
general rage for war and slaughter, and attempted it by a 
species of reconciliation to be accomplished under his own 
eye, and to be sanctioned by his own authority, which was 
meant to close at once and forever the deadly feuds which 
existed among the Scottish nobles. 

For this purpose the king invited to a public banquet the 
Scottish nobility, and, in particular, all those who were 
known to nourish deadly feud against each other. Pre- 
vious to this banquet he read them a lecture upon the dis- 
loyalty to himself, and public danger to the country, in- 
curred by their taking into their own hands the decision of 
their controversies, and persuaded them to consent to remit 


their differences to his decision. This could not, in words, 
or appearance at least, be decently refused. They consented, 
accordingly ; and James, having made them take hands, each 
with his mortal enemy, led them himself in procession from 
the palace of Holyrood House to the Cross of Edinburgh, 
where they were regaled with a splendid collation at the 
expense of the city, the magistrates and citizens looking on 
with great joy, while the lords, who had lately been in dis- 
cord, drank pledges to each other, and his majesty quaffed 
peace and happiness to them all. It is remarkable that the 
Lord Yester, the ancestor of the family of Tweedale, more 
vindictive or less complaisant than the rest, refused to be 
reconciled with the Earl of Traquair, and was sent prisoner 
to the castle of Edinburgh. It was obvious, indeed, that 
this apparent reconciliation was only the closing by emol- 
ients an unhealed abscess, which required the severer treat- 
ment of steel and cautery; yet it evinced the king's goodwill 
to his subjects, and might perhaps have the effect of furnish- 
ing an honorable opportunity of dropping feuds among such 
of the nobles as had maintained them solely because a point 
of honor prevented their suffering them to fall asleep. If to 
the arguments with which he had recommended peace to his 
nobles he had or could have added a strict and severe exe- 
cution of justice toward those who infringed the laws and 
disturbed the peace of the country, James would have 
conferred a real benefit on his subjects. As it was, the 
reconciliation feast passed off as a piece of theatrical effect; 
and most of the nobles who had joined hands at the king's 
command drew their swords upon each other shortly after- 
ward, as if it had never taken place. 

Of this we shall quote an individual instance, which hap- 
pened a few years after this supposed reconciliation, and 
which may give the reader some idea of the extent of this 
complicated pest, by which the nobility were not only obliged 
to engage in wars with each other, but were involved in 
every dispute and affray among their vassals, whose quar- 
rels they were obliged to maintain upon all occasions, how- 


ever unreasonable or however trifling; thus it frequently 
happened that an idle brawl between two persons of no 
distinction or consequence involved a considerable province 
in all the horrors of a civil war. 

Thus, in the month of July, 1595, a person named For- 
rester, and another called Bruce, both families residing in 
the Carse of Stirling, and what were then called clanned 
men, paid their addresses to the same lady, and quarrelling 
together, Bruce received a hurt — a sufficient injury to pro- 
voke that spirit of revenge which was then the most active 
passion in the bosom of the natives of Scotland. The Bruces 
could not, it seems, obtain an opportunity of discharging 
their rage on the person who had wronged their kinsman; 
but as they understood that another person of the same 
name, a magistrate in Stirling, was to travel from thence 
to Edinburgh on a particular day, they waylaid and slew 
him, although he was no way connected with the original 
quarrel. The slain man being a retainer of the Earl of Mar, 
that nobleman next took up the quarrel : he caused the 
corpse of Forrester to be brought from Linlithgow to Stir- 
ling in solemn procession: he himself attended with his 
banner displayed, and a great body of horse; a flag was 
also borne in the procession, on which was represented the 
picture of the deceased mangled and bloody, with the wounds 
which he had received. In this guise the body of the mur- 
dered man was conveyed through the territory of the Bruces 
and the Livingstons, and so to Stirling, where he was finally 
buried. The contemporary historian adds, that he inserts 
this form of defiance for the rarity thereof, and because 
he expects that some signal revenge is likely to ensue. 

The parliament of 1587 passed some acts against mis- 
sionary Jesuits and seminary priests, who at this time 
visited Scotland in numbers, with the view of making 

Two other remarkable laws were passed: the first an- 
nexed to the crown such lands of the Church as had not 
been inalienably bestowed upon the nobles or landed gentry j 


these were still considerable, and were held either by the 
titular bishops who possessed the benefices, or were granted 
to laymen by rights merely temporary. The only fund re- 
served for the clergy who were to serve the cure was the 
principal mansion-house, with a few acres of glebe land. 
The fund from which their stipends were to be paid was 
limited to the tithes. By this sweeping enactment all the 
former alienations of Church benefices acquired by the laity 
received a parliamentary ratification, and the king was put 
in possession of what, prudently managed, would have been 
the source of an adequate royal income. But James, though, 
like misers of a particular temper, he was unwilling to part 
with money which was actually realized and in his power, 
was improvidently lavish of such funds as were only ex- 
pected to become valuable in course of time. It cost his 
greedy courtiers scarce more than the trouble of asking to 
obtain from the thoughtless king the reversion of property, 
which, although, for the present life, rented by annuitants, 
was sure upon their death to have added largely to the royal 
income. The crown, therefore, was little benefited by an 
enactment which, detaching the Church lands from all con- 
nection with ecclesiastical persons, totally ruined the order 
of bishops, for the restoration of whom, with some dignity 
and authority, King James, and his successor afterward, 
expressed considerable anxiety. 

Another institution of the parliament, 1587, respected the 
representation of the people in parliament. James VI. per- 
ceived the superiority which the nobles had obtained in the 
national councils by the non-attendance of the lesser barons 
or freeholders. He endeavored, with considerable ingenuity, 
to balance this, by reviving the ancient statute of 1427, by 
which the lesser freeholders, or minor barons, as they were 
called, had a dispensation from giving personal attendance 
on parliament, where, properly, they were all entitled, or 
rather obliged, to give attendance, on condition of sending 
two freeholders from each county to represent them in par- 
liament. The policy of King James's addition was to ren- 

Scotland. Vol. II. — iz 


der the attendance of such representatives compulsory, and 
thereby to secure their presence in parliament, which had 
hitherto been precarious and uncertain, thus establishing a 
regular and constant barrier against the power of the nobil- 
ity. This was a great step to diminish the authority of the 
aristocracy. It could not, however, be opposed by the nobles, 
because, by the constitution of the nation, the king had the 
right to call to the great council of the people the whole or 
any number ot the lesser barons whom he might choose to 
summon ; and, in limiting this power to a representation of 
two from each county, he seemed to lessen the importance 
of these smaller freeholders, while he was in fact enlarging 
it. Left to their own choice, and considering their duty in 
parliament as a burden rather than a privilege, they had 
seldom chosen to give attendance; whereas, by this edict 
of the king, a considerable number were positively required 
to be present. This in some degree replaced an equipon- 
derance between the king and his peers when convened in 
parliament, which had been much destroyed since the fall 
of the spiritual estate, by which the Scottish crown had 
been usually supported before the reformation. 

A great national crisis now approached. The Catholic 
sovereigns, who had united in the holy league, had obtained 
eminent success in France, and driven Henry III. from his 
own capital. The utmost exertions were made by Philip II., 
a prince equally ambitious and bigoted, to assemble the most 
powerful fleet and army which the world had yet seen, for 
the purpose of accomplishing the conquest of England. To 
the throne of that kingdom he raised a claim upon two pre- 
tences, of which it is impossible to tell which was the more 
frivolous — the first being his descent from the House of Lan- 
caster, and the second, a liberal donation from Pope Pius V. 
With this view the celebrated armada, called the Invincible, 
was assembled at Lisbon. The object of this tremendous 
expedition was not made public, but no one doubted its 
destination. The soldiers of England had supported the 
quarrel of the insurgents in the Netherlands; the navy of 


England had insulted the coasts of Spanish South America ; 
above all, Elizabeth was the principal support of the Protes- 
tant religion in Europe, and the object at whose life and 
power the purposes of the holy league induced them to aim 
their most formidable blows. No one questioned that the 
present was intended for a mortal one. 

The accession of James was, in case it could be gained, 
of the utmost consequence to the Spanish enterprise; and 
Philip sought it with more anxiety than consisted with the 
haughty superiority which the House of Austria usually 
assumed over less powerful sovereigns. He applied for 
James's friendship with the most flattering assiduity; he 
reminded him of his mother's wrongs, and urged him to 
seize an opportunity so favorable for vengeance; and he 
offered him, in token of intimate alliance, the hand of his 
daughter Isabella in marriage. Queen Elizabeth was no less 
anxious than Philip to secure the friendship of James, who, 
by his power to open or close the ports of Scotland, might 
so greatly facilitate or impede the invasion of England. 
She could not feel at ease when reflecting upon the execu- 
tion of Mary, nor did she know what spirit of vengeance, 
suppressed by a sense of inferiority, might be yet slumbering 
in the bosom of the Scottish monarch. She sent an ambas- 
sador, named Ashby, to labor by every means in his power 
to attach King James to her interests at the present crisis. 
He appears to have been a plausible man, insinuating in his 
manners, and in no degree sparing of the most liberal prom- 
ises. He undertook that James's succession to the English 
crown should be formally acknowledged in parliament ; that 
an English dukedom, with a competent revenue, should be 
conferred upon him, and that he should even be admitted 
into some share of the English government. 

On such promises made in Elizabeth's name, at such a 
period, James did not probably greatly rely. He himself 
described an ambassador as an honorable person sent abroad 
to tell lies for the benefit of his country; but sounder views 
led him to the conclusions which Ashby's flattering proposals 


were qualified to recommend. He consulted his statesmen 
and the parliament of his kingdom ; and fortunate it was 
for Britain and for the Protestant religion that James's mind 
was not then under the dominion of any of those extrava- 
gant partialities which formerly, in the case of Arran and 
Gray, and afterward in that of similar rash, giddy, and 
profligate young men, subjected his counsels to their wild 
and often interested pilotage. Maitland the chancellor, with 
whom he chiefly consulted, was a man of mature sense and 
steady character, who, with a mind as acute as that of his 
brother, the celebrated secretary, possessed more practical 
judgment and more sound moral principle. He was, accord- 
ing to Spottiswoode, a man of rare parts, deep wit, learned, 
full of courage, and most faithful to the king. In the pres- 
ent crisis, the most important, perhaps, which the world had 
for a long time seen, James acquainted his parliament with 
his sentiments. "The intention of Spain," he said, "is for 
the present against England alone. To England I am law- 
ful heir; and should I now suffer the Spaniard to possess 
himself of that kingdom, what likelihood is there that he 
would afterward give place to my right, when he is settled 
in possession of a conquered province? The pretext of relig- 
ion which the Spaniard uses to justify his invasion would 
turn him as naturally against Scotland as against England ; 
nor do I desire to enjoy either regal right or life itself sepa- 
rated from the cause of the Protestant faith. I am not ig- 
norant that many persons are of opinion that this would be 
a proper opportunity to revenge myself for the unkind and 
unfriendly treatment which I received in my mother's death. 
But whatever resentment I may feel upon that account, or 
whatever I may think of the excuses which have been made 
upon the subject, I do not incline for such personal cause 
of resentment to put in peril the fate of my kingdom, my 
country, and my religion." 

The wise and patriotic views of the king were almost 
unanimously felt, applauded, and adopted by his parliament; 
and universal preparations were made for resistance, in case 


the Spaniards should attempt to land in Scotland. There 
was a general muster through the realm. "Watches were 
placed at all the seaports; beacons erected; and every 
means taken to prepare the most effectual defence against 
the apprehended invasion. In the meantime, love of the old 
religion, or desire for new changes by which they might 
profit, had associated a few of the Scottish lords into a fac- 
tion favorable to Spain, and formidable from the rank and 
power of those whom it included. The Earls of Huntley, 
Errol, and Crawford, were all Catholics ; the first by heredi- 
tary descent, the two last by recent conversion from the faith 
of their fathers. Lord Maxwell, also, whom we have already 
seen make an important figure at the Raid of Stirling, held 
the same faith. He had been subsequently discontented on 
account of his losing the title of Morton, to which, on the 
attainder and execution of the regent, he made pretence in 
right of his mother. 

Maxwell had retreated to Spain in discontent ; and at this 
crisis returned with the purpose of assisting the Spanish 
king's enterprise, by making an insurrection in Scotland. 
He went suddenly, therefore, to the west border, and began 
to assemble his forces; but James, placing himself at the 
head of a body of troops, made a rapid movement into Niths- 
dale, where he dispersed the forces of Maxwell, took him 
prisoner, and seized upon his castles. 

With the exception of these popish nobles, Scotland in 
general showed the firmest determination to support the 
king. A bond of association was entered into for the main- 
tenance of true religion and defence of their lawful sover- 
eign. This association was signed with emulous alacrity 
by subjects of every rank, and was the model upon which 
the celebrated League and Covenant in the reign of Charles 
I. was afterward founded, though for very different purposes. 

The fate of the Invincible Armada, in 1588, as it was 
proudly termed, is generally known. Persecuted by the 
fury of the elements, and annoyed by the adventurous gal- 
lantry of the English seamen, it was driven around the 


island of Britain, meeting great loss upon every quarter, 
and strewing the wild shores of the Scottish highlands and 
isles with wreck and spoil. James, though in arms to resist 
the Spaniards, had such resistance been necessary, behaved 
generously to considerable numbers whom their misfortunes 
threw upon his shores. Their wants were relieved, and they 
were safely restored to their own country. The fate of one 
body of these unfortunate men is strikingly told by the Rev. 
James Melville, whose diary has been lately published. (He 
was a clergyman, and must be carefully distinguished from 
Sir James Melville, the statesman often quoted. His diary 
has been published by the Bannatyne Club of Edinburgh.) 
He describes at some length the alarm caused by the threat- 
ened invasion, and its effects. "Terrible," he says, "was 
the fear, piercing were the preachings, earnest, zealous, and 
fervent were the prayers, sounding were the sighs and sobs, 
and abounding were the tears at the fast and general assem- 
bly at Edinburgh, where we were credibly told sometimes 
of their landing at Dunbar, sometimes at St. Andrew's, and 
again at Aberdeen and Cromarty." On a sudden these 
rumors were dispelled by the account that a shipful of Span- 
iards were arrived in Melville's own harbor of Anstruther. 
The minister hastened to meet them, and found himself in 
presence of Don Juan de Medina, a commodore of twenty 
vessels. He was a reverend man of tall stature, a grave 
and silent countenance, great beard, and so humbled by his 
condition, that in bowing to the clergyman he swept his shoe 
with his sleeve. His tale was most melancholy. They had 
been shipwrecked upon the Fair Isle between Orkney and 
Zetland, had experienced the utmost extremity of hunger 
and cold, had, after some weeks of misery, hired a bark 
from Orkney, and were now come to entreat protection from 
the king of Scotland. Melville replied that, though there 
could exist but small friendship between them, considering 
their being at war with their friends and neighbors of Eng- 
land, yet he and the townsmen were determined to show 
that they were men moved with compassion for the distress 


of men, and were Christians of a better persuasion than their 
own. Juan Gomez de Medina and his men were accordingly 
treated with honorable kindness by the people of Anstruther. 
Melville procured for the Spaniard's information a printed 
account of the dispersion of the armada, and their numerous 
losses in the North Seas. He burst into tears and wept bit- 
terly. Having set forth on his return to his own country, 
the noble Castilian found a ship belonging to the town of 
Anstruther under arrest at Cadiz. He instantly undertook 
a journey to court to labor for her discharge, and reported 
to his monarch his high sense of the Scottish hospitality. 
The vessel being liberated, he showed great kindness to the 
crew, and dismissed them with many commendations to 
the good peoj>le of Anstruther. "But," concludes Melville, 
very naturally, "we thanked God with our hearts that we 
had seen them among us in that form." 

Thus passed over in Britain that dreadful period of 1588, 
which the astrologers, whom chance had for once guided to 
a veracious prediction, had distinguished as the "marvellous 

When the danger was over, Elizabeth no longer evinced 
any thought of making good the liberal promises made to 
the king of Scots by her envoy while matters were yet doubt- 
ful. Ashby, conscious of having exceeded his commission 
in the hopes which he had excited, or commanded to act as 
if he were so, left Scotland privately, and without taking 
leave. Sir Robert Sidney, an ambassador of higher rank 
and greater responsibility, was sent instead, to congratulate 
King James on the issue of the great naval struggle, and on 
his firm and steadfast good offices in behalf of England, and 
to get clear of Ashby's engagements as well as he could. 

Sidney was well received by the king, who frankly as- 
sured him that he regarded the fair language and profuse 
offers of Philip in the light of the promise of the Cyclops, 
that Outis should be the last devoured. At the same time, 
he mentioned the liberal promises of Ashby. Sidney replied 
generally that nothing could be so dear to the queen as the 


welfare and honor of her beloved James, whom she regarded 
as her own son. Nevertheless, he disclaimed the explicit 
offers made by Ashby as relating to matters exceeding that 
person's commission, who by secretly leaving Scotland had 
shown a consciousness that he stood engaged for more than 
was likely to be made good. Sidney also pressed King 
James, on the part of his ally, to seize the present favorable 
opportunity to subdue and punish those Catholic nobles who 
were well known to have held themselves in readiness to 
have abetted the attempt of Philip had his forces come to a 
landing in Scotland. 

James permitted the proposals of Ashby to pass out of 
memory without further notice, persuaded, doubtless, that 
there would be more loss than gain in putting Elizabeth in 
remembrance of that which she desired to forget. The 
Catholic lords themselves, though much disconcerted by 
the failure of the armada, continued to negotiate with the 
Prince of Parma, soliciting him for a body of six thousand 
auxiliaries, by means of whom, added to their own followers, 
they proposed to make him master of Scotland, and enable 
him to enter England with a triumphant army. Huntley, 
Crawford, and Errol were the chief persons in this con- 
spiracy ; but they were joined by Francis, earl of Both well, 
a turbulent and ambitious man, who alone of the Scotch 
Protestant nobility had advised a war with England, and 
even engaged soldiers to follow him in it at his own expense. 
Their correspondence with the Prince of Parma being discov- 
ered to Elizabeth, she commanded Sidney to lay the letters 
before the king of Scotland. The guilty noblemen were con- 
demned to imprisonment; but King James, who was not 
willing to encounter the odium of the Catholic party lest it 
should interfere with his claim of succession to the throne 
of England, and who might in his heart desire to reserve 
some power in Scotland itself to balance the violent Protes- 
tant party acting under the instigation of preachers always 
unfavorable to him and his family, released the rebellious 
earls after a short confinement. 


They testified their thankfulness for his clemency, first, 
by an attempt to seize his person, which was disconcerted 
by the precautions of the chancellor; secondly, by an open 
rebellion in the north of Scotland. The king marched 
against them with an army hastily collected ; and the reb- 
els, unable to withstand the royal forces, dispersed their 
troops, and submitted to James's clemency. Once more 
they were committed to prison, once more to experience the 
lenity of their sovereign, who took an opportunity again to 
release them, in consequence of a joyful event which shortly 
after took place at the court, and which we are next to 

James was now of full age, the last of his race ; and his 
subjects, who had more frequently than any other nation 
in Europe suffered from disputed claims to the kingdom, 
and from long minorities, were naturally desirous to see the 
royal family free from the uncertainty which attended its 
dependence upon the life of one man. Yet the choice of 
a royal bride was attended with much embarrassment. 

A Catholic princess would have increased the dread 
which, not without reason, was entertained for the predom- 
inance of that communion. A Protestant bride might have 
been found in England; but this would have thrown into 
the management of Queen Elizabeth the power of complet- 
ing or disconcerting a match which she of all persons in the 
world least desired to see accomplished. It remained only 
to seek in the northern courts a princess of the Protestant 
religion, fit, by birth and manners, to wed with the young 
king of Scotland. 

So early as 1584 ambassadors came from the king of Den- 
mark for the avowed purpose of treating for the redemption 
of the Orkney Islands, which, as formerly mentioned, were 
pledged to Scotland in security of a sum of money which 
Christian of Denmark was bound to pay as the dowry of his 
daughter, espoused to James III. of Scotland. The ambas- 
sadors had, however, a more private commission, the union, 
namely, of the young king of Scots to the eldest daughter 


of Frederick 11. of Denmark, being esteemed a fitting mode 
of accommodating the question between the kingdoms. 
Stewart, earl of Arran, was at this time in full favor; and 
he had recently pledged himself to Queen Elizabeth that 
King James should not be married for the space of three 
years. To break, therefore, the purpose of the Danish 
match, in all other respects fit and desirable, the ambassa- 
dors, through the influence of the insolent favorite, had been 
treated with every species of neglect and insult, until they 
were obliged to leave the court, in high indignation at the 
treatment they had met with. As a parting insult, they 
were informed that the king was to send them horses to 
convey them from Dunfermline to St. Andrew's, at which 
last place they were appointed to receive their despatches. 
The ambassadors accordingly booted themselves for the 
occasion, and waited long for the palfreys which were never 
to arrive. Concluding themselves laughed at and insulted, 
they took their departure on foot, with such feelings, respect- 
ing the hospitality of James, as this treatment was like to 
occasion. James, informed by Sir James Melville, imme- 
diately despatched horses for their use, which only overtook 
them after they had made a considerable part of their jour- 
ney, high booted as they were, and in mortal indignation at 
such usage. 

But Arran continued his intrigues to disgust them further. 
In St. Andrew's they were treated with the like insolence ; 
and the populace, always uncivil to strangers, were encour- 
aged to offer them every species of mockery and ridicule. 
The wisdom of Sir James Melville found a partial remedy 
for these evils. He was able to make the angry ambassa- 
dors sensible that the insults of which they complained were 
not to be imputed to the king himself, but to the insolence 
of his arrogant favorite. It was time there should be some 
interposition or explanation. The gravest of the embassy 
already threatened war; and Dr. Theophilus, a dignitary, 
declared that their king was insulted, and would be re- 
venged. They were, at length, with difficulty persuaded 


to make such a report as should not breed debate between 
the two countries, who had many reasons for remaining 
friends, and none which should make them enemies to each 
other. Negotiations were accordingly entered into for a 
marriage between James and one of the Danish princesses. 
But powerful efforts continued to be made to thwart, dis- 
concert, and interrupt the treaty. 

Queen Elizabeth was earnest in disconcerting a match 
which was likely to prolong for another generation the claim 
of succession to the English crown, which she had hopedj 
perhaps, to bury in Mary's bloody grave, so that by the 
influence she used with Arran, Gray, and the other Scottish 
ministers with whom she had interest, so many delays and 
obstacles were thrown in the way of the match, that Fred- 
erick, conceiving himself trifled with, gave his eldest daugh» 
ter, who had been the object of James's suit, in marriage 
to the Duke of Brunswick. 

James's pride and his passions were now seriously roused. 
He plainly saw that unless he made some decisive advances 
on his own part, Queen Elizabeth, directly or indirectly, 
would be able to baffle every attempt he might make toward 
marriage, and condemn him for life to a state of barren 

No sooner, therefore, was the match proposed with the 
eldest daughter of Denmark rendered impossible by her 
espousals, than King James, now freed from the baleful 
influence of Arran and Gray, and guided by the wise and 
sound counsels of his chancellor, Maitland, paid his addresses 
to Anne, the second daughter of the king of Denmark. Here 
again the malign influence of Elizabeth interfered: she rec« 
ommended to James, in preference, a match with Catherine, 
sister of the king of Navarre; and she prevailed, by the 
secret agency which she still retained among the Scottish 
statesmen, upon the privy council of Scotland to enter into 
a resolution disapproving of the Danish match. But the 
populace of Edinburgh had caught an opinion, which seemed 
warranted by what had happened, that Elizabeth, through 


whose practices Queen Mary had lost her life, was now labor- 
ing to prevent all succession in the royal family of Scotland, 
and was like to be again successful in her views. They 
became furious, as is usual with a multitude under the influ- 
ence of such feelings ; and their violence was adopted by the 
king as an excuse for hastening the match, which some of 
his counsellors would have still delayed. 

The earl mareschal, with a splendid retinue and full 
powers, was sent over to Denmark to conclude the mar- 
riage definitively; and the terms being accepted by her father 
Frederick, the princess embarked, with the purpose of repair- 
ing to Scotland. The weather being stormy, and the winds 
adverse, the royal bride was encountered by a storm which 
drove her back to Norway, and so much damaged the vessels 
which conveyed her with her suite, that there remained no 
hopes of their being repaired and made once more fit for the 
voyage before the next spring. 

King James must have felt deep disappointment upon 
this occasion, since it led him to a feat of chivalrous adven- 
ture rather inconsistent with his pedantic habits and cold 
passions. He determined, suddenly, that, since his bride 
could not come to Scotland, he would, in person, repair to 
the northern regions to seek her. The winds which were 
contrary to her voyage must necessarily be favorable to his ; 
and he no doubt possessed an inward fear that any interval 
which might be interposed between the contract and the 
nuptials would give Elizabeth an opportunity to abrogate 
the former, and to prevent the latter. He vindicated his 
resolutions in a proclamation addressed to his subjects, which 
is too characteristic to be suppressed, although it is difficult 
to forbear smiling at some parts of it. 

It sets forth, on James's part, that, being king of Scot- 
land and heir-apparent of England, he was blamed by all 
men for the delay of his marriage, because a single man was 
as no man, and that the want of succession bred contempt, 
"as if he were a barren stock": these and other important 
causes moved him, he said, to hasten the treaty of his mar- 


riage: for without urgent reasons of state, he assured his 
subjects that his personal temperance could have delayed 
the union for any length of time that the welfare of the 
country permitted. When he had heard of the impossibility 
of the princess's pursuing her voyage, although neither rash, 
passionate, nor unreasonable in the decision of weighty af- 
fairs, he became strongly, he says, impressed with the idea 
of going to Denmark, since the princess of Denmark could 
not come to Scotland. This resolution, he solemnly protests, 
was formed upon his own meditation, and without the sug- 
gestion of others, by the same token that Craigmillar Castle 
was the place in which he first adopted the resolution. He 
appears very jealous that his people would scarcely give him 
credit for exerting so much will of his own; and reiterates, 
at considerable length, "I took this resolution only of myself, 
as I am a true prince ; and with myself only I consulted 
which way to follow forth the same." He intended at first 
to have gone privately in a squadron of ships, commanded 
by the Earl of Both well, lord high admiral ; but the expense 
which Bothwell had already bestowed in preparation for 
James's approaching marriage had been so great as to ren- 
der it impossible for him to rig out a royal navy for the 
proposed expedition. The difficulty of finding funds for this 
equipment obliged the king on this proclamation to admit 
the whole council into his secret ; and in order to make them 
earnest in aiding his purpose he was compelled to threaten 
them, with great vehemency, that if no man of rank could 
be found to accompany him he would himself, nevertheless, 
go, were it but in a single ship. On this the chancellor 
offered his person to attend him, and that, says the king, 
upon three respects, first, to remove the general suspicion 
which upbraided him with a desire to postpone the royal 
nuptials; secondly, out of zeal to the royal service; and, 
lastly, from his extreme frar that the king might make 
good his threat of going alone. "These things," says King 
James, "I had hitherto concealed from the chancellor, until 
they were laid before the whole council, lest he should 


undergo the odium of putting such a hazardous enterprise 
into my head, which had not been his duty, since it becomes 
not subjects to give princes advice in such high matters. 
Therefore, remembering what envious and unjust burden 
he daily bears for leading me by the nose, as it were, to all 
his humors, as if I were a creature without reason, or a help- 
less infant, that could do nothing for myself, I was unwill- 
ing to be the occasion at this time of heaping further unjust 
scandal on his head. These truths, ' ' continues his majesty, 
"I speak in behalf of the chancellor, as also for my own 
honor's sake, that I may not be unjustly slandered as an 
irresolute ass, who can do nothing of his own motion." 

Having thus afforded to the nation an admirable example 
of a man who knew his own frailty, and was afraid of being 
upbraided with it, James, by another proclamation, recom- 
mended to all authorities the regular discharge of their duties 
during his absence, with special appointments of guardians 
or governors for particular provinces. He required the min- 
isters to remember him and his estate in their prayers, and 
to exhort the people to peace and loyalty during his absence. 

Having made these arrangements, James sailed north- 
ward in person, attended by the chancellor, some nobles, 
and a retinue of three hundred men. The king was re- 
ceived in Denmark with all the hospitality which the frank 
confidence of his visit merited : the severity of the northern 
winter rendered his immediate return a matter of some dan- 
ger ; therefore, when his marriage was solemnized at Upsal, 
in Norway, where he found his bride residing, James ac- 
cepted an invitation from his father-in-law to Copenhagen ; 
and repairing to the Danish court with his new married wife, 
spent the remainder of the winter season in mirth and fes- 
tivity with the royal family, and then returned to his native 

The time spent in this expedition, which lasted from the 
22d of October, 1589, till the 1st of May, 1590, was a period 
of unusual tranquillity in Scotland. The people appeared to 
have felt as if the absence of James was, in fact, a commit- 


ting of the royal authority to the loyalty of the subject, 
which they should dishonor themselves in misusing. Each 
order of men in their rank strove to show themselves worthy 
of trust. The great abstained from their factions, the popu- 
lace from their tumults, the clergy desisted from the habit, 
which some had contracted, of hatching jealousies of the 
king's motives, and infusing them into the minds of their 
hearers; and answered the king's hopes so well in aiding 
the preservation of peace and good order as to merit, on his 
return, his peculiar thanks and gratitude. In a word, there 
was no era of Scottish history more orderly and peaceful 
than this short period. 



Anne of Denmark — Her Family — Her Coronation — Her Clergy in 
Favor with the King — Bothwell consults with Magicians — Is 
imprisoned — Breaks his Word — Attacks Holyrood Palace, but 
is beaten off — Huntley burns the House of Dunnibirsel, and kills 
the Earl of Murray — General Dissatisfaction — Bothwell attacks 
Falkland, but is beaten off — Escape of Wemyss of Logie — Prog- 
ress of Catholicism — Affair of the Spanish Blanks — Clergy in- 
terpose, and urge the King to more severe Prosecution of the 
Catholics — Bothwell surprises the King, who is obliged to sub- 
scribe Articles — The Convention declare they are not binding — 
Bothwell again discharged the King's Presence — The Catholic 
Lords are excommunicated, and James is reduced to great Anx- 
iety — Bothwell advances on Edinburgh — He retires before the 
King — Defeats the Earl of Home — Compelled to retreat to the 
Borders — Feuds of the Johnstones and Maxwells — Battle of the 
Dryffe Sands — The Charge of pursuing the Catholic Lords is 
committed to Argyle — He is defeated at Glenlivet by Huntley 
and Errol — The King suppresses the Catholic Lords — Bothwell 
goes abroad, and dies in Misery — Death of Captain James 
Stewart — The King devolves the Management of his Revenue 
upon the Ministers called Octavians — They enforce general Re- 
trenchment — Popular Clamor against them — They incur the 
King's Displeasure, and resign 

THE wife with whom King James allied himself ap- 
pears to have been one of those females whose 
character is not very strongly marked. Anne of 
Denmark was fair in complexion, comely, of good aspect, 
and pleasing manners. She loved festivity and gayety, and 
was rather an encouragement than a restraint to the king's 
extravagance. The coldness of his temper prevented his 
regarding her with uxorious fondness; but he was good- 
natured and civil, and the queen was satisfied with the 
external show of attention. In her .younger days she mixed 


in the stormy politics of the Scottish court, and her name 
was to be found in the intrigues of that period. Little credit 
is due to the scandalous authors who have assailed her char- 
acter as a private individual ; nor has she left such traces in 
history as call either for much censure or high praise. She 
was the mother of a fair family, and excited the hopes of 
James, as well as of his party in England, by speedily mak- 
ing him the father of two sons, Henry and Charles. 

The first died early, and was lamented accordingly, 
though, perhaps, upon no better grounds than was inspired 
by the disappointment of those hopes usually fixed upon the 
opening virtues of most princes who have died without en- 
joying the power to which they were born. Charles, the 
younger of the princes, was doomed to carry into England 
that same train of misfortunes which had persecuted the 
Stuarts since their first accession to the throne of Scotland, 
and to perish like his grandmother Mary by the blow of a 
public executioner. A princess Elizabeth was married to 
the prince palatine, and had her share of misfortunes. 

King James and his new spouse were received with all 
the splendor which the means of the country could achieve. 
The queen was inaugurated with solemnity ; but so low was 
the order of bishops now held, that the ministry of a Pres- 
byterian clergyman was used upon this ceremony. Nor was 
the zeal of the clergy altogether satisfied with some points of 
the ceremonial. Scruples were entertained at the anointing 
of the queen, as a Jewish ceremonial abrogated by the Chris- 
tian dispensation. Mr. Robert Bruce, however, a man of 
great repute among the Scottish clergy, performed the cer- 
emony at the queen's coronation after the ancient form. 
James and the Presbyterian clergy had never been upon 
such good terms as they were at present. He was sensible 
that the order and regularity which prevailed during his 
absence was in a great measure owing to the anxious care 
of the clergy to restrain the people within the bounds of law 
and authority. This inclined James to express himself very 
favorably on the discipline and doctrine of the Church, and 


to clear the way, as speedily as could be conveniently done, 
for recalling those restraints upon the Presbyterian Church 
which had been imposed by the Earl of Arran in 1584, and 
of which, though little acted upon, the clergy still highly 
complained. Accordingly, in the year 1592, a parliament 
was held, in which the acts of 1584 were explained or re- 
called, and the discipline of the Presbyterian government, 
in its general assemblies, synods, presbyteries, and kirk ses- 
sions, was fully and amply established. The king and 
Church of Scotland appeared now to have lived together 
on a footing of mutual confidence and regard; but the 
storms of hatred and jealousy, by which this unhappy 
country was harassed, did not suffer its atmosphere to 
remain long in serenity. 

The Earl of Bothwell, already often mentioned, was the 
king's near relation, and an example of his lenity, not only 
on account of James having pardoned the slaughter of Sir 
William Stewart, and other violences of the like nature ; not 
only on account of his having forgiven the earl for having 
urged and endeavored to precipitate a war with England; 
but also from his forgiving Bothwell 's participation in the 
rebellion of the Catholic lords, without having to plead even 
the excuse of religion. 

A matter now occurred in which it was the pleasure of 
the king to see more guilt than in any of BothwelPs former 

The occult arts, as they were called, were then in the 
highest credit. The mummery of astrologers was mingled 
with the political counsels of princes; and the belief was 
universal alike in soothsayers, who could foretell the future, 
and witches and wizards who could operate strange cures, 
and inflict as wonderful diseases, by their intelligence with 
the infernal powers. The king, who was passionately ad- 
dicted to the searching out and punishing these imaginary 
crimes, soon discovered that some political intrigues were 
connected with them, and became much alarmed in con- 
sequence. Two soothsayers, or wizards rather, above the 


miserable caste who usually bore that character, had con- 
fessed having been the cause, by magical rites, of raising 
the storm by which the queen's fleet had been driven back 
to Norway; and that they had also consulted about doing 
harm to the fleet or person of the king. To which their 
infernal master had replied, hiding, we may suppose, in 
the obscurity of a foreign language, a want of power which 
he was ashamed to acknowledge, II est homme de Dieu. 
Thus far the king was flattered; and Agnes Simpson and 
Richard Graham might have been quietly burned alive 
without much stir about the matter. Unhappily, they had 
also to confess that Francis Stewart, earl of Bothwell, 
had submitted for their consideration certain very suspi- 
cious questions concerning the duration of the king's life. 
Considering that these persons usually practiced the art of 
poisoning as well as bewitching, King James might be ex- 
cused for entertaining apprehension from such interrogato- 
ries being put to such personages by a daring, turbulent, 
and ambitious man, possessed of the power to do much mis- 
chief, and not likely to want the will to exert it. Bothwell 
was committed to prison, or as the phrase then went, was 
put in ward in the castle of Edinburgh. Impatient of re- 
straint, he made his escape by bribing his jailers, and fled 
to the borders, where he had personal friends and followers 
of great influence, and where there were always enough of 
desperate and disorderly men to follow any banner which 
should lead to bloodshed and to spoil. 

The king took measures of severity against his unquiet 
relation; and as Bothwell still lay under the forfeiture of 
treason pronounced against him for his association with 
Huntley, he caused the doom which hitherto only hung 
over his head in the way of intimidation to be proclaimed, 
in consideration of these new offences. Upon publication 
of his sentence of forfeiture, several of BothwelPs friends 
upon the border forsook him. Buccleuch, who was his son- 
in-law, had submitted to an order of the king which had 
sent him abroad for some time, and was thus out of the 


road of temptation. The Earl of Home, who, as a Catholic, 
had been Bothwell's friend on former occasions, withdrew 
from him when he engaged in open rebellion. 

Nevertheless, some persons in court, from dislike to the 
chancellor, upon whom Bothwell threw the blame of his 
forfeiture, invited the insurgent earl and his followers to 
attend at a back passage to the palace of Holyrood, which 
gave entrance through the Duke of Lennox's stables, and 
thus obtain the means of seizing upon his majesty's person 
and the gates of the palace. James Douglas of Spot was 
engaged in this conspiracy, by the following concurrence 
of circumstances : His father-in-law, George Home of Spot, 
had been recently slain by certain borderers of the name of 
Home and Craw. Sir George Home, nephew to the slain 
gentleman, conceived that Douglas was at the bottom of 
this murder, instigated by a jealousy that the deceased in- 
tended to transfer to his nephew some of the estate which 
Douglas claimed as husband of his only daughter. On this 
suspicion three of Douglas's servants were seized upon, im- 
prisoned in Holyrood, and appointed to be examined by tort- 
ure. Douglas made every exertion to obtain his servants' 
freedom, either out of regard for them or fear of what they 
might confess; and finding it impossible to procure their 
deliverance by entreaty, he thrust himself into this con- 
spiracy that he might liberate them by main force. Both- 
well appeared at the appointed time, and was admitted ; but 
James Douglas made the plot public prematurely by an at- 
tempt to break open the prison in which his servants lay. 
The noise occasioned the discovery that strangers had broken 
into the palace : the uproar became general ; the king betook 
himself to the defence of a strong tower; and the chancellor, 
whose life was aimed at, defended himself in his chamber. 
The citizens of Edinburgh, hearing the tumult, rushed to 
the palace in arms and drove out the assailants. Bothwell 
and his party fled, eight of their number being either taken 
or slain. 

It was subsequently learned that Bothwell had betaken 


himself to the west part of Scotland, where he was nearly 
apprehended. Letters were directed to several nobles for 
pursuing the refractory earl and his followers with fire and 
sword. But this led unhappily to a new catastrophe. 

A report had been spread that the Earl of Murray was 
seen with Bothwell's party in the night of the tumult, and 
it was deemed the more probable as Bothwell and he were 
cousins-german. The king placed in the hands of the Earl 
of Huntley a commission to bring Murray presently before 
him. To the tenor of the order there could be no objection; 
but there was the highest reason for having lodged the 
commission in other hands. 

The houses of Huntley and Murray were mortal enemies. 
The fatal battle of Corrichie was an event not to be forgotten 
nor forgiven ; and even very lately a Gordon of some conse- 
quence in the family had been killed by a shot from one of 
the houses of the Earl of Murray. Their rivalry for obtain- 
ing a predominance in the north was constant and unremit- 
ting; and there, probably, was not a more fatal or decided 
feud through the whole disunited kingdom of Scotland than 
existed between these two families. 

In the present circumstances, Murray, with the most 
peaceable intentions, so far as can be known, was residing 
at his house of Dunnibirsel, having with him only Dunbar, 
the sheriff of Murray, and a small retinue. Huntley, who 
had crossed the firth with a body of a hundred horse and 
upward, surrounded the castle, which was not very defen- 
sible, with the purpose of executing the arrest enjoined by 
the king. Murray refused to surrender to his feudal enemy; 
a shot was fired from the house of Dunnibirsel, by which a 
Gordon was killed. The Earl of Huntley then forced the 
castle by using fire. The situation of the besieged became 
desperate. "Let me sally forth," said the sheriff, with the 
devotion of a friend of these days, when friendship was as 
devoted and disinterested as their hatred was relentless and 
enduring; "I will be taken for you and slain, and thus 
you may escape." The gates were thrown open; Dunbar 


rushed forth and was slain, as he anticipated. But the Earl 
of Murray did not profit by the sacrifice : the attention of the 
assailants, now in their most savage mood, was arrested by 
his superior stature; and the sparkles which had set fire 
to his streaming locks, and the silk tassels upon his head- 
piece, enabled the Gordons to trace him in his flight to a 
cavern on the sea-shore, where Gordon of Buckie inflicted 
upon the earl a mortal wound. Partly alarmed at what 
he had done, partly, perhaps, out of native ferocity, Buckie 
insisted that Huntley should also become a participant of 
the deed; and the chief with an ill-assured hand struck the 
dying earl in the face with his dagger. Even in the agony 
of death, Murray had not forgotten the symmetry of coun- 
tenance and person which procured him the popular surname 
of the "bonny" (or handsome) Earl of Murray. With his 
latest breath he said to Huntley, "You have spoiled a better 
face than your own." 

"When this tragedy had been acted, Huntley felt no 
inclination to return to the king, conscious of the degree 
in which he had exceeded his commission. He hastened 
to the castle of Ravensheuch, belonging to Lord Sinclair, 
who gave him admission with an expression of doubtful 
welcome. "You are welcome here, my lord," he said; "but 
should have been more welcome to have ridden past my 
gates." Huntley proceeded northward in the morning to 
his own dominions, plainly showing his sense of danger from 
the act he had committed. In his haste he left upon the 
field Innes of Invermarkie, one of his followers, a man of 
some distinction, who was wounded, and unable to accom- 
pany his chief in his retreat. Being sent to Edinburgh, 
where the story had excited general horror, the wounded 
gentleman was tried and executed. 

Nothing could have happened more likely to trouble the 
king's affairs than this unhappy act of violence. Huntley 
was a Catholic, who had been lately in rebellion for his 
league with the king of Spain. Murray was a Protestant, 
a favorite of the common people, on account of his youth, 


beauty, and persona) accomplishments, and dear to the 
Church as the representative of the Regent Murray, who 
had done so much toward the foundation of the Protestant 
faith and the Presbyterian system. The outcry against 
Huntley was universal, and the desire of revenge general. 
In the north the Lord Forbes, a hereditary enemy of Hunt- 
ley, hung the bloody shirt of Murray upon a spear, and 
under this banner levied a band of men to avenge the earl's 
death. In imitation of a practice before noticed, the picture 
of the earl's body, having the hair on fire, and margled with 
many wounds, was also publicly shown to excite general re- 
sentment. Popular scandal, which is always willing to adopt 
the grossest calumnies, accused the king of being conscious 
of the slaughter, and alleged as the cause an ideal jealousy, 
on James's part, of the bonny earl's supposed favor with the 

The bodies of the deceased Murray and Dunbar were 
brought to Leith; but their friends refused to commit them 
to the earth until the slaughter should be avenged. The 
clamor of the metropolis was universal, so that the king, not 
esteeming it safe to remain in Edinburgh, betook himself to 
Glasgow, where he held his court ; until Huntley, in obedi- 
ence to the royal charge, surrendered himself a prisoner in 
the fortress of Blackness. The resentment of this slaughter, 
which had so strong an effect upon the common people, gave 
the greatest encouragement to Bothwell in his desperate at- 
tempts; especially when the people found that Huntley, in- 
stead of being brought to trial, was dismissed, upon giving 
security for his appearance to answer for the crime. 

The numbers who now joined Bothwell encouraged him 
to a new attempt upon the king's person, which took place 
upon the 28th of June, 1592, while James was residing at 
his hunting palace of Falkland. Early in the morning 
Bothwell appeared at the head of three hundred horse, 
chiefly, as usual, borderers and broken men; but relying, 
it was supposed, upon some friends within the palace. The 
king, however, had enough of faithful followers to make 


good the donjon, or great tower of the palace. From this, 
as from a citadel, they maintained a fire which rendered it 
impossible for the assailants to approach the palace gate; 
and Both well, finding no assistance from within, and that 
the people of the neighborhood were assembling in great 
force, was obliged once more to retreat. The king, forti- 
fied by the assistance of the men of Fife, gave chase to the 
assailants in their retreat, and took some of them in the 
moors, so overcome with sleep as to be unable to prosecute 
their flight on horseback. Bothwell, therefore, fled once 
more to the borders, and found harbor either in Scotland 
or England at his pleasure; for Queen Elizabeth, although 
she had complimented King James upon his marriage, pur- 
sued her ancient policy of maintaining such disorders in 
Scotland as might keep the king as much as possible under 
her tutelage. Several persons were prosecuted in conse- 
quence of this last attempt of Bothwell, especially one gen- 
tleman named Wemyss of Logie, a gentleman of the king's 
bed-chamber ; the means of whose escape rendered his im- 
prisonment remarkable. He had paid his addresses to one 
of the queen's Danish maids of honor, Margaret Twinlace 
by name, who, considering her lover's extremity, and his 
life in danger, pretended a commission from the queen. 
Obtaining admittance to the prisoner under this pretext, 
she gave him a ladder of ropes, which afforded him the 
means of escaping from the window. Logie was pardoned 
on account of the lady's generosity, who hazarded her repu- 
tation for his safety, and they were married. 

Shortly afterward an affair broke out which placed in its 
issue new dissensions between the king and the Church, and 
bred at the same time much alarm in the country, on account 
of the machinations of Spain with the Scottish papists which 
it manifestly implied. The affair had also that mysterious 
cast which is sure to awaken and excite the feelings of the 
public. Those of the Catholic persuasion were now of the 
suffering, and, considering the severity of the penal laws, 
we may say, the oppressed religion; and the persecution 


which they underwent had its usual effect in riveting their 
attachment to their own faith, and kindling the enthusiasm 
of the missionary priests and Jesuits, who had dedicated 
themselves to the cause of extending the doctrines of Rome. 
These zealots, instigated by Spain, and supplied with money 
from the same source, haunted various parts of Scotland, 
and were frequently successful in making converts to their 
religion even among the great and powerful; while, unit- 
ing politics with theology, they pressed their converts into 
a union with Spain, for the purpose of a new invasion of 
Britain ; the principal object of which was to be the relief 
of the Catholic community. There was one George Ker, 
brother of the Lord Newbattle, who being called upon to 
make declaration concerning his faith before the Church, 
and conscious of having' relapsed to the Catholic faith, fled 
to the small islands in the mouth of the Clyde, called the 
Cumrays, and took a passage on board a vessel bound for 

The minister of Paisley, learning this circumstance, came 
suddenly with a body of twenty-four armed men, boarded 
the vessel, took Ker prisoner, and with him seized on a 
large parcel of letters from seminary priests and Jesuits, 
together with a number of blanks in the form of missives 
or letters, containing no writing, but subscribed by the Earl 
of Huntley, the Earl of Errol, and Patrick Gordon of Au- 
chindoun, Huntley's uncle. These blanks were, in some 
instances, addressed to the Spanish monarch, and others 
were drawn up in the form of contracts, signed and sealed. 
Ker was sent prisoner to Edinburgh. It was Sunday when 
the mysterious circumstances of the discovery reached the 
capital. A great tumult arose. The clergy, contrary to 
their wont, made a short sermon, and the king being then 
absent at Alloway, the preachers held meetings with the 
lords of the privy council, and spread the alarm through 
the country at large, inviting the different presbyteries in 
the kingdom to send representatives to Edinburgh, to con- 
sider what should be done in a case so dangerous to the 

Scotland. Vol. II.— 13 


Church. The engagement of Angus in such a treason was 
the more strange, as he came of an old Protestant stock, 
and had been very lately employed in settling some dis- 
cords between Huntley and the Mackintoshes ; and, having 
succeeded in his errand, was expected immediately in Edin- 
burgh, to report his services to the king. His father was 
the nephew of the famous Earl of Morton, and a man of 
sense and talent. His death, according to the apprehension 
of the vulgar, and even the more learned, was caused by 
witchcraft; and when he was advised to use some counter 
spells, to destroy the effect of the sorcery under which he 
was supposed to labor, he protested he would rather die than 
do aught to obtain life contrary to the dictates of religion. 
The relapse of the present earl, the son of a Protestant 
father, was the more unexpected. He no sooner reached 
Edinburgh than he was arrested, at the instigation of the 
ministers, by the provost and bailies of the city. 

The king, alarmed at this discovery, hastened to his me- 
tropolis, of which the churchmen appeared disposed to take 
the command. Ker being examined, confessed that Crichton, 
Gordon, and Abercrombie, three Jesuits, had devised this 
contrivance of the blanks, as the safest mode for opening a 
communication between the king of Spain and the Scottish 
Catholics. They were to be filled up in Spain, with the stip- 
ulations of the subscribers ; of which the principal was, that 
the king of Spain should send an army of thirty thousand 
men to Scotland, half of which were to remain in the king- 
dom, for the purpose of establishing the ancient faith, or, at 
least, securing an absolute toleration, while the other fifteen 
thousand men should invade England. 

Angus, being examined upon these matters, denied all 
knowledge of the blanks, and affirmed his subscription to be 
a forgery ; but he presently afterward showed a sense of his 
guilt, by making his escape out of the castle of Edinburgh. 
David Graham of Fintry, who was apprehended on suspi- 
cion, corroborated the declaration of Ker, and being found 
guilty, in terms of his own confession, was presently exe- 


exited. The king once more marched with an army into 
the territories of the Catholic lords, who withdrew them- 
selves to the mountains, and lay concealed, while their vas- 
sals were obliged to avow their loyalty to the king and firm 
adhesion to the Protestant faith. 

Notwithstanding all which James could do in the way 
of prudent precaution, his subjects retained a provoking 
degree of incredulity on the subject of his real desire to sub- 
due the insurgent Catholics. Nothing less than the most 
extreme degree of rigor could have satisfied the Church ; and 
Queen Elizabeth adopted the same tone, insisting, by her 
ambassadors, that the utmost severity should be used against 
persons whose designs were equally dangerous to both king- 
doms. In the meantime the queen of England, negligent 
of no means by which her neighbor could be harassed, and 
his councils distracted, was pleased, as we have before stated, 
to take Bothwell under her protection, and receive him and 
his followers in her kingdom, when obliged to retreat to the 
borders. This was, in the particular instance, inconsistent 
with the general policy of Elizabeth, since Bothwell, in the 
year 1588, had been decidedly averse to the continuance of 
peace with England, and had then leagued himself with the 
Catholic lords who were disposed to encourage the Spanish 
invasion. Being, however, a man of no religious principle 
of any kind, and finding that the general temper of the peo- 
ple was moved by the ministers against the king, on account 
of his supposed favor to Catholics, the earl now adopted the 
popular tone, and alleged the danger of the Protestant cause 
as a principal reason for pursuing his tumultuary attacks upon 
the king's person. He had, probably, the most total indiffer- 
ence as to the further consequences of his attempt, providing 
only it succeeded in raising him to the authority he desired. 
Neither is it likely he had any enmity against King James's 
person, which he only wished to be possessed of, as he would 
have desired to hold a seal, or other symbol of authority, 
which should give him the pre-eminent command in the 
government. The annals of Scotland afforded many in- 


stances of the same ambitious purpose being successfully 
pursued by means equally violent. Angus, during the mi- 
nority of James V., had long exercised the principal au- 
thority, by such means as Both well now meditated; and 
the Earl of Morton, and, subsequently, the Earl of Gowrie, 
had for a time succeeded in similar attempts in the present 

The time began to seem auspicious to BothwelPs purpose. 
The young queen had taken some distaste at the chancellor, 
which had been fostered by the king's relations, Lennox, 
Athole, Ochiltree, and others, who were of opinion that the 
chancellor's influence intercepted the favor which the king 
would otherwise have shown to his own friends of the name 
of Stuart. By their connivance Bothwell, with Douglas 
of Spot and others, the boldest of his followers, forced their 
way into the royal presence, well provided with pistols and 
drawn swords. Archbishop Spottiswoode says, that when 
Bothwell saw the king, he threw himself on his knees and 
asked forgiveness, and that the king with dignity replied, 
"Strike, traitor, for you have dishonored me"; and placing 
himself in his chair of state, repeated the expression, "Strike, 
and end thy work, for I desire to live no longer. ' ' A worthy 
citizen of Edinburgh, a faithful journalist of the times, re- 
ports James's demeanor in less royal fashion. "The king's 
majesty," he says, "coming from the back stair with his 
breeches in his hand, in a fear; howbeit it needed not." By 
the entreaties of the queen's faction, and the intervention 
of the English ambassador, the king was persuaded to sign 
articles of agreement with the insurgents. The first stipu- 
lated the pardon of Bothwell for his past offences, and like- 
wise for his recent violence. The second provided that Lord 
Home, who, from being the ally of Bothwell, had of late 
become his bitter foe, should with his friends and kinsmen 
be banished from the court. The third article stipulated 
that a parliament should be called in November next. And 
it was lastly concerted that Earl Bothwell and his followers 
should be considered as good subjects. 


It cannot be denied that in such an emergency the king 
must have conducted himself both with prudence and spirit 
to obtain such favorable resolutions, which, though they 
imposed upon him for the time the necessity of receiving 
Bothwell with apparent favor, yet left him a prospect of 
getting free of his turbulent kinsman. 

For this purpose James appointed a convention at Stir- 
ling, in the beginning of September, which was well attended. 
Bothwell, on his part, had little sagacity to guide his ambi- 
tion : he appears to have been unequal to the task of securing 
a superiority in the convention, though it was generally easy 
for such as were in possession of the king's person to carry 
that material point. His enemies were predominant there, 
as appeared from their very first proceedings. The king laid 
before the convention his agreement with Bothwell; and 
having narrated the indignities and offences repeatedly prac- 
ticed against him by that nobleman, he required the opinion 
of his parliament, that they would take into consideration 
the conditions which he had been compelled to subscribe, 
and decide how far he was bound by them in honor or con- 
science. The reply of the convention was, that the attempt 
of Bothwell to intrude himself upon the king's presence was 
in itself treasonable, and that the king was in no respect 
bound by the articles which had been imposed on him in 
consequence of that armed intrusion. In respect to Both- 
well's pardon, they declared it a matter at his majesty's 

The king cannot be said to have abused this victory, 
when, after having thus obtained liberation from the articles 
which had been extorted from him, he tendered to the Earl 
of Bothwell a free pardon, on condition that he should depart 
from court, and not presume to approach the royal person 
unless summoned by the king. It was added that the king 
expected he should retire abroad for some time. Bothwell 
appeared at first satisfied with the conditions imposed on 
him; but presently returning to his old practices, he made 
an appointment with Athole, one of his courtier allies, to 


meet him at Stirling with all his forces, and disperse the 
convention. Their meeting was disconcerted by the alacrity 
of the king's party; and Both well, cited to the privy council, 
and not appearing, was of new denounced a rebel. 

In the meantime the affair of the Spanish blanks, and the 
impunity of the Catholic lords concerned, continued to agi- 
tate the minds of the clergy: there was, they thought, an 
obvious intention on the part of the king to pass slightly 
over a matter which, when first heard of by Mr. Ker's con- 
fession, he had declared beyond the reach of his power to 
pardon. Since that time Ker had escaped, or, as the min- 
isters supposed, had been permitted to leave prison, and the 
Catholic nobles were no longer afraid that his testimony 
would be brought against them. Confident in this hope, 
and in the lenity which King James was disposed to extend 
to them, the Catholic Earls of Huntley, Errol, and Angus, 
appeared suddenly before the king, during a journey to the 
south, and offered to submit themselves to a fair trial ; and 
James, without causing them to be arrested on the spot, 
appointed a day for their appearance, and suffered them 
to depart in freedom. This interview between James and 
the accused nobles augmented the worst suspicions of the 
clergy respecting the king's motives, and the utmost anxiety 
was expressed for the event. 

The nobles had accepted a day of trial, and were prepar- 
ing themselves to appear at the bar, with large bands of their 
friends and followers, whom they accounted strong enough 
to protect them. 

The ministers expressed the greatest alarm at this con- 
juncture, and proposed, by their own authority, to levy such 
bodies of Protestants as might enable the prosecution to pro- 
ceed. That they might not spare their own exertions on the 
occasion, they directed the curse of excommunication to be 
fulminated against the Catholic lords. 

A single synod took upon themselves to pronounce this 
sentence, which carried with it the civil pains of treason 
against Errol, Huntley, and Angus, and also against the 


Earl of Home, who was a Catholic, though not involved 
in the Spanish negotiations. The body of the Church seemed 
determined to take the conduct of this important case into 
their own management. They demanded of the king that 
the Church of Scotland should be permitted to appear by her 
representatives in the character of prosecutor, while they 
offered that their hearers should supply the place of guards 
and lictors. The king, by this warm proceeding, was placed 
in a delicate situation. He had determined to avoid extreme 
procedure against the Catholic lords, as he was willing to 
hope that, by toleration and gentle usage, they might be 
restrained from their dangerous intercourse with foreign 
powers. On the other hand, while he adopted such policy, 
it was imputed to him, not without an appearance of reality, 
that he was indifferent concerning the form of religion which 
should predominate in Scotland, and was only desirous of 
the security and augmentation of his own regal power. The 
misunderstanding between the king and the Church was in- 
flamed by Lord Zouche, the English ambassador, who, hav- 
ing been sent to Scotland for that purpose, privately insti- 
gated the ministers to persist in their claims, and more 
openly importune James to show the utmost severity against 
the Catholic conspirators. 

On November 26, 1593, the king, with sound policy, 
referred matters to the convention of estates, who came 
to this formal agreement : That the three earls of Huntley, 
Angus and Errol should be exempted from all further in- 
quiry on account of their correspondence with Spain; that 
the first day of February should be fixed as a day before 
which they should either renounce the errors of popery, or 
remove out of the kingdom; that they should signify their 
choice against the first of January. But by the moderate 
measures which he pursued the king made no impression 
upon any party. The Catholic earls continued their com- 
munication with Spain, and their measures to support each 
other ; the Church and anxious Protestants remained as jeal- 
ous as ever of the king's sincerity; Zouche, the English 


ambassador, continued to worry James with remonstrances 
on the part of Elizabeth; and Bothwell, under the almost 
avowed protection of the queen of England, prepared new 
aggressions upon his sovereign. 

On the second of April, 1594, this restless earl, at the 
head of about four hundred horsemen, arrived at Leith, 
at three in the morning, in the expectation of forming a 
junction with Athole and others, who favored him, and who 
were levying forces in the north, with the intention of mov- 
ing upon the same point. The king, hearing of this alarm- 
ing incident, went in person to the church, the day being 
Sunday ; and having but few nobility and gentry in attend- 
ance upon him he reminded his lieges of the congregation 
of their duty to protect their sovereign, and requested them 
to consider whether the superiority of Bothwell and his bor- 
derers, men given to theft and robbery, was consistent with 
the safety of their families and property. The preacher did 
not fail to throw in a word of advice on so tempting an 
occasion. "God," he said, "would raise up against the king 
more Both wells than one, and each a worse enemy than he, 
if James did not showthe same zeal in the cause of Heaven 
(meaning against the popish lords), which he now exhibited 
in his own private quarrel. " He gave, however, his sanc- 
tion to the congregation arming and following their sover- 
eign. The sermon was no sooner over than Bothwell learned 
that the king with a strong body of infantry, consisting of 
the citizens of Edinburgh, and a party of cavalry, composed 
of such noblemen and gentlemen as were at present attend- 
ing the court, was moving against him. He drew up his 
cavalry upon an eminence called the Hawkhill, near Restal 
Rig; and from thence, on the king's approach, he held south- 
eastward around the hill called Arthur's Seat, as if about 
to return to Dalkeith. He made this retreat slowly and in 
good order, followed and observed by the Lord Home, who 
commanded the king's cavalry. James himself, apprehen- 
sive that it was the purpose of Bothwell to make a circuit 
around Arthur's Seat, and attack Edinburgh upon the south- 


era side, returned from Leith, and, marching through Edin- 
burgh, drew up his forces on the Borough Moor, to be ready- 
to receive the enemy, should he approach in that direction. 

Home, in the meantime, pressed upon BothwelPs retreat 
with such incautious vehemence that Bothwell, indulging 
his antipathy to him as a personal enemy, charged him so 
suddenly with a superior body of horse as compelled Home 
to fly. The skirmish took place near Woolmet; and Home's 
discomfited cavalry ran back in confusion upon the body 
of infantry commanded by the king. Here again occurs a 
difference between the courtly Archbishop Spottiswoode and 
the journalist Birrel. The former says, that on beholding 
the rout of the royal cavalry, those around the king conjured 
him to return into the town, which he refused, saying, "He 
would never quit the field to a traitor." Birrel plainly says, 
"The king's majesty fled himself upon beholding the chase." 
His infantry stood firm, however; nor was Bothwell in a 
condition to attack them. His own horse had fallen in the 
chase, and he was severely bruised. A retreat to Dalkeith, 
and from thence to the borders, was the necessary conse- 
quence of his inability to obtain a complete victory. After 
escaping this danger, which was sufficiently imminent, the 
king sent ambassadors to Elizabeth, to complain of the con- 
duct of her envoy Zouche, and of the reception and shelter 
which Bothwell met with on the English border, where he 
had not only occupied fortresses belonging to the queen, but 
had also received a considerable sum of money, with which 
he had hired soldiers, both English and Scottish, for his last 
treasonable attempt. The ambassadors had commission to 
promise a severe prosecution of the popish lords, in case 
they should not embrace the terms of submission which had 
been offered to them. 

The queen promised fairly, and henceforth seems to have 
discontinued the encouragement which she had previously 
given to Bothwell. 

Meantime, in 1593, the violence of feudal quarrels, which 
so nearly approached the presence of the king, spread blood 


and devastation through every part of the country. The 
deadly feud already noticed between the Johnstones and the 
Maxwells broke forth again in this year, with the violence 
of tho most savage times. When we last mentioned this 
dispute, Maxwell, then in arms against the king, had ob- 
tained a superiority over Johnstone, James s lieutenant, 
who was made prisoner, and died of grief. Maxwell, after 
several changes of fortune, had been in his turn received 
into court favor, and enjoyed the office of warden of the 
western marches. The Laird of Johnstone, on the contrary, 
had given King James much offence, by uniting with Both- 
well in some of his unlawful attempts, and affording him 
the assistance of individuals of his clan. For this he had 
been declared a rebel ; and being imprisoned in the castle 
of Edinburgh had broken out of it on the 4th of last June. 
Such was the situation of the two chiefs with respect to the 
government ; in relation to each other they had, by as formal 
a league of pacification as could be devised, put an end to 
the feudal quarrel which had so long subsisted between their 
houses. In consequence of this recent alliance, the John- 
stones, therefore, according to their way of thinking, es- 
teemed that Lord Maxwell's promotion to the wardenry 
inferred a mutual compact, that while they on their part 
should do nothing to injure or harm one of their new ally's 
clan, Maxwell, on the other hand, should overlook what loss 
other families might sustain through the depredations of the 
Johnstones. Thus fortified, as they conceived themselves, 
by their alliance with Maxwell, the Johnstones made their 
inroads upon the low country of Nithsdale with more fury 
than ever, and drove large preys of cattle from the estates 
of the Crichtons, the Douglases, the Griersons, Kirkpatricks, 
and other families of distinction in that neighborhood. 

Those who had sustained injury by their incursions to a 
very considerable amount repaired to Maxwell to request his 
interference as warden. They found that he entertained 
their complaints coldly, and that his disinclination again to 
awaken the old feud with the Johnstones rendered him re- 


miss in executing his duty to the country. The Lords 
Sanquhar, Drumlanrigg, and others interested, finding him 
thus indifferent, proposed to him that they would agree to 
grant him bonds of man-rent, and engage to follow him in 
his quarrels, provided he would effectually protect them by 
discharging his duty as warden, and thereby suppressing 
the power of the Johnstones. This temptation, which prom- 
ised to place him at the head of many warlike and powerful 
families, and thus greatly increase what the Scots nobles 
called "his following," was irresistible; and Lord Maxwell, 
with the gentlemen of Nithsdale, entered into a bond in the 
terms proposed. Johnstone, obtaining information of this 
league, which seemed to be formed for his destruction and 
that of his clan, demanded an explanation from his ancient 
foe and recent ally. Maxwell at first denied the existence 
of the bond in question, and then explained it by the plausi- 
ble apology of the public service, and the necessity of doing 
his duty as warden without respect of persons. Johnstone 
was not to be satisfied by these reasons, and the chieftains 
stood once more on terms of defiance. 

Both clans upon this prepared for war with the solem- 
nity of separate nations. The Johnstones, far inferior in 
numbers, summoned to their aid the Scots of Eskdale and 
Teviotdale. Five hundred of this clan came, not led by the 
chieftain, who was then abroad by the king's command, but 
by Sir Gideon Murray of Elibank, to whom he had intrusted 
the management of his affairs, and who bore upon this occa- 
sion Buccleuch's banner. The Elliots of Liddisdale, the 
Grahams of the debatable land, and other western border- 
ers, came also to Johnstone's assistance; sharing general 
habits of depredation, and unwilling to give free passage to 
the warden's jurisdiction. 

Maxwell, on the other hand, levied a powerful army, 
consisting not only of his own numerous followers, but of 
all the families and clans which we have mentioned as hav- 
ing engaged in the bond. They entered Annandale with 
displayed banner and the avowed intention of destroying the 


houses of Lochwood and Lockerbie, strong castles belonging 
to the Laird of Johnstone. Maxwell had besieged the latter 
fortress when the Johnstones came upon him, and, profiting 
by some advantage obtained by their prickers or skirmishers, 
charged Maxwell's main body suddenly, and totally defeated 
them. Maxwell, it is said, had his hand cut off, and was 
struck from his horse before he was slain; and tradition 
avers that he received the last deadly blow from the hand 
of a female, daughter of the late Lord Johnstone, who had 
died his prisoner. 

The king was much affected by this fatal violence; but 
the state of his affairs did not permit him to avenge it in 
person, nor were there any who had power enough to ac- 
complish such an object by royal commission. Johnstone, 
therefore, remained unpunished ; and was shortly after him- 
self appointed warden of the west marches: this was in 1596. 
The unhappy tale may be concluded by saying, that on the 
6th of April, 1608, he was treacherously murdered at a meet- 
ing with Lord Maxwell, the son of him who was slain at the 
battle of Dryffe Sands, who took this dishonorable but not 
infrequent mode of revenging his father's death. Polity 
was now grown more strong; and the murderer, being ap- 
prehended, was beheaded at the cross of Edinburgh ; and 
thus terminated the long feud between the Johnstones and 
Maxwells, having cost each house the lives of two chieftains. 
The battle of Dryffe Sands has a claim to be noticed, as the 
terminating action of that long series which had been fought 
upon the border during so many centuries. The fate of the 
Lord Maxwell was much lamented: "he was a nobleman," 
says Spottiswoode, "of great spirit, courteous, humane, and 
more learned than men of his rank usually are ; but aspiring 
and ambitious of rule. His fall was lamented by many ; he 
being considered as one who did little wrong to any one 
excepting to himself." 

In the year 1594, the momentous affair of the Catholic 
lords was brought to a head. Huntley, Angus, and Errol, 
confident in the numbers of their followers, and the inac- 


cessible nature of their country, had rejected with scorn the 
alternative of the king to change their religion or retire into 
exile. They renewed their correspondence with Spain ; from 
which court they received a considerable sum of money to 
enable them to take the field. 

The king, now for his own sake, as well as to redeem the 
pledges which he had repeatedly given to the Protestant 
party, saw the necessity of acting with vigor : this was the 
more difficult, as he was in great distress for money, the 
expenses of a royal baptism (though the cause may appear 
inadequate) having recently exhausted the coffers of the 
king. He held a convention on the 8th of June, 1594, to 
obtain their counsel in so important a case. The accusa- 
tion of the Catholic lords being read, the authenticity of 
the Spanish blanks was proved, and a sentence of high 
treason, in its most rigorous form, pronounced against the 
Earls of Huntley, of Angus, and of Errol. Thus, at length, 
the Protestants were gratified, and the Catholic lords sub- 
jected to a doom of forfeiture : but the manner of enforcing 
it was a consideration of more difficulty. Queen Elizabeth, 
though she had remonstrated so much against the indul- 
gence shown to these popish lords, and although their de- 
sign was as much directed against her as against James, 
refused to contribute anything to the expense of suppressing 
three powerful peers, in the remote provinces, the only place 
in which they possessed extensive interest, and where it was 
equally difficult to introduce troops or subsist them when in 
the field. It was evident that the king could not creditably 
go himself upon an expedition unprovided with the most 
ordinary means of expense. It remained only possible to 
induce some nobleman to act as his representative upon 
the occasion. No one was thought more suitable for the 
office than the young Earl of Argyle, both from the situa- 
tion of his estates and the number of Highlanders whom, 
by his authority and their natural love of spoil, he was sure 
to draw to his standard. He was propitiated with a promise 
of Huntley's rights and possessions in Lochaber, which stood 


forfeited to the crown, and lay peculiarly convenient for 
augmentation of the Earl of Argyle's family possessions 
and feudal power. The young earl had spirit and ambi- 
tion, and did not decline the trust reposed in him. Lord 
Forbes, the hereditary enemy of Huntley, was united in the 
same commission. 

Meantime the Catholic lords used their utmost influence 
to provide the means of defence. They sought out connec- 
tions with such disaffected courtiers as they hoped might 
assist their cause ; and under this hope formed a conspiracy 
to seize the person of the king, who was to be confined in 
the fortress of Blackness, the commander of which they had 
corrupted. The ministry of the Earl of Bothwell was to be 
used upon this occasion. This versatile and turbulent man 
had been already an accomplice of the Catholic lords in the 
year 1588; but in his later incursions had stated the immu- 
nities and impunity afforded them as a principal cause of his 
being in arms. In his last proclamation, distributed at the 
Raid of Leith, the Catholic lords were designed as enemies 
"to the true religion, and friendship of both crowns, and the 
practicers for inbringing of strangers ; a company of lewd, 
pernicious persons crept into the state, to the high contempt 
of God and dishonor of the king, who authorized mass in 
several of the countries, permitted seminary priests to travel 
with impunity, and labored for bringing in the cruel Span- 
iard." Yet now he felt himself at liberty to throw off all 
regard to the true religion, as he formerly styled it, and 
engaged with those whose object it was to subvert it, un- 
dertaking to assist them in their plot against the king's 
person and liberty. 

The activity of James's measures, however, prevented 
the plot being carried into effect. Argyle, by means of his 
own extensive jurisdictions and clanship, and by the pros- 
pect of plunder which his enterprise afforded, drew together 
six or seven thousand Highlanders, including the Clan of 
Maclean and others from the western islands. Of this army 
of mountaineers v fifteen hundred men carried firearms, and 


the rest were armed, after the Highland fashion, with bows 
and arrows, two-handed swords, Lochaber axes, and parti- 
sans. The purpose of Argyle, their commander, was to de- 
scend from the hills upon Huntley's principal castle, then 
called Strathbogie, with the purpose of occupying that fort- 
ress, and also of joining his force to those which the Lord 
Forbes was raising in Aberdeenshire. 

The suddenness of the attack permitted Huntley no time 
to receive aid from the Earl of Angus, whose forces lay at 
a considerable distance. The Earl of Errol, who was his 
nearer neighbor, joined him upon the alarm of the danger 
with two or three hundred of the clan of Hay, of which he 
was chief. The smallness of their number was made up by 
their character, which was that of gentlemen, with their per- 
sonal followers, men of high birth and ready courage; all 
serving on horseback, and well mounted and armed. Hunt- 
ley himself assembled about a thousand men, who were 
chiefly gentlemen of the name of Gordon, and provided and 
armed like those of Hay. He had, however, a train of six 
field-pieces, to the use of which the Highlanders were un- 
accustomed. These were under the management of an 
expert soldier named Captain Ker, by birth a borderer, but 
for many years a follower of Huntley, in whose service, 
during the civil wars of Queen Mary's reign, he had been 
distinguished by his military skill as well as by his cruelty. 
The expected encounter came thus to resemble that of Har- 
law, where the force of the ancient Gael had been tried in 
mortal contest with that of the low-country Saxons. 

Each party was confident of success. The Lowland men 
were of opinion that the multitude of Argyle 's tumultuary 
forces would be ill matched with their own completely 
equipped and high-spirited cavaliers; and the Highlanders 
entertained no idea that an army could be embodied in the 
low countries before whom their own fiery courage would 
give way. 

Huntley used the politic precaution to lay the country 
waste, to render the support of Argyle and his army a mat- 


ter of difficulty ; but as the want of provisions equally affected 
the subsistence of his own levies, he found himself compelled 
to risk an action, which perhaps he would have otherwise 
willingly avoided. Argyle, having now arrived at the head 
of Strathdon, sent a herald to Huntley and Errol to announce 
that he came as the king's lieutenant, and to charge them 
to withdraw their forces and give him open passage to the 
castle of Strathbogie. Huntley replied that, since such was 
his purpose, he would himself be porter, and welcome him 
upon the road to his castle, as courtesy required. He then 
convened his own people, and exhorted them to defend them- 
selves for the glory of God and the liberty of their con- 
sciences. He protested, that although the king was ani- 
mated against him by the instigation of his enemies, he 
loved and reverenced him with such true devotion that even 
in the best cause he would never lift a weapon against him. 
But now, since they were exposed to a barbarous enemy, 
who had neither fear of God nor obedience to the king, nor 
the most ordinary habits of civilization, he exhorted his fol- 
lowers to act valiantly, as men who, if vanquished, must be 
subject to the pleasure of the most savage conquerors. 

The armies met in a district called Glenlivet, at a place 
named Belrinnes. Argyle 's numerous army were stationed 
on the side of a mountain, which, far from being easily 
accessible by horsemen, had so steep an ascent in front that 
even footmen could hardly keep their feet upon it. Never- 
theless, Captain Ker, who was appointed to survey the 
ground, reported to the earls that a brisk attack upon their 
barbarous enemy would quickly disperse men, who, like the 
Highlanders, had no knowledge of war as practiced by civil- 
ized people. Huntley then arranged his men in this man- 
ner : Errol was appointed to lead the van, accompanied by 
Sir Partick Gordon of Auchindoun. Huntley himself com- 
manded the rearguard, designed for their support, with a 
Btrong body of cavalry. 

Errol, with his vanguard, began to ascend the hill in the 
very front of the Highland line of battle; and between the 


roughness of the heather and steepness of the ascent his 
horsemen were compelled to advance at a very slow pace. 
But, masked for a time under cover of the movement of the 
vanguard, four pieces of artillery had been brought into a 
position to annoy Argyle's line of battle, without the possi- 
bility of the Highlanders observing it. The sudden dis- 
charge of this battery spread dismay through the High- 
landers, who were unaccustomed either to the noise of fche 
cannon or to the operation of shot so far beyond the range 
of the missiles with which they were acquainted. Some 
fled, all were confused, and Errol, with the Hays, continued 
to advance uninterrupted. The ascent, however, became so 
steep, that to make their way directly upward was almost 
impossible: the horsemen were compelled to wheel to the 
right and form a column, which, in order to gain the hill 
by an oblique movement, obliged them to expose their flank 
to the enemy. The Highlanders ' perceived this advantage, 
and showered on them a tremendous volley of bullets and 
arrows, hurting many horse and men. The Hays were, 
however, valiantly seconded by Huntley, who, coming up 
to their aid, made so fierce an attack upon the centre of 
Argyle's army, where his standard was displayed, that the 
banner was borne down, and Campbell of Lochinzell and 
his brother slain in its defence. When the horsemen attained 
the more even ground, where their horses could gallop, the 
resistance of the Highlanders, who had no lances to defend 
them from the shock, became impossible. They were hur- 
ried down the opposite side of the hill on which they had 
been drawn up, and their pursuers mingled with them, doing 
much execution. The chief of Maclean alone, a man of un- 
common strength and courage, dressed in a shirt of mail, 
and armed with a double-edged battle-axe, defied the efforts 
of the assailants for some time, but was at length compelled 
to flight. The battle lasted for about two hours. Argyle 
himself was forced off the field, weeping with anger and 
shame, and imploring his men to return to the charge. The 
loss of the vanquished was not great ; for the roughness of 


the ground, which rendered the victory difficult, made the 
pursuit impossible. Little quarter, however, was given to 
the Highlanders, which is chiefly imputed to the difference 
of language between the victors and vanquished. The battle 
of Glenlivet, chiefly remarkable as being fought between the 
two races which divided Scotland, took place upon the third 
day of October, 1594. Sir Patrick Gordon of Auchindoun, 
an uncle of Huntley, was slain, with only twelve others, on 
the side of the victors. Huntley had his own horse killed 
under him, and many of his followers were wounded and 
dismounted. Argyle lost some chiefs and men of note, and 
about seven hundred common soldiers. The issue of the 
battle was fortunate for the country, which would have 
been pitifully plundered had the victory remained with the 
barbarous Highlanders. 

The Lord Forbes, with an army hastily assembled of 
such clans as were hostile to the Gordons, put himself in 
motion to form a junction with Argyle, and persuade him 
to resume his enterprise. But a gentleman of the name 
of Irvine being, in the darkness of the night, slain by the 
shot of a pistol, the accident spread such general distrust 
in an army composed of various clans, among whom there 
lurked reasons of feud, that the host dispersed itself, and 
could not be again assembled. 

James VI. was disturbed, in the hour of midnight, at 
Dundee, to which he had then advanced, by news of the 
defeat of Argyle, and the victory of Huntley and Errol. 
He showed that he felt the force of the emergency, by the 
energy with which he prepared to meet it. Animated with 
an unusual spirit of promptitude, he hastened, by pawning 
the crown jewels, to raise a sum of money sufficient to sup- 
port a small army, with which he marched into Aberdeen- 
shire against the Catholic lords. The king was there joined 
by various clans, the feudal enemies of Huntley and Errol. 
But either weakened by the effects of their own victory, or 
faithful to the principles of loyalty expressed by Huntley 
on the eve of the battle of Glenlivet, the Catholic earls 


offered no opposition. The king marched through the coun- 
try, casting down and dismantling the fortresses of Strath- 
bogie and Glaimis, and returned home with the honor of 
having suppressed, by his personal exertions, a threatening 
and triumphant rebellion. He left behind him the Duke 
of Lennox, who, under the title of lieutenant, hanged many 
of the poorer sort, and inflicted heavy fines upon the wealthier 
persons who had borne arms under Huntley and Errol. 

The time was now come when BothwelPs ferocity, cun- 
ning, and versatility, could avail him no longer. His last 
change to the popish and Spanish faction had offended Queen 
Elizabeth beyond forgiveness, nor was there any mercy to 
be looked for at the hand of his natural sovereign, whom 
he had so often and grievously offended. Unable to obtain 
shelter in Scotland, where the king caused him to be dili- 
gently sought after, and obtaining no harbor, as formerly, 
upon the English borders, he fled to France. Here also 
James's resentment followed him, and demanded of Henry 
IV. that he should be delivered up to punishment, or at least 
banished from France. The generous Henry answered that 
he would give no encouragement to a person so obnoxious to 
his ally, but that he could not refuse a miserable exile the 
free air of his kingdom. Even this retreat Bothwell for- 
feited by his turbulent temper, which induced him to trans- 
gress that wise monarch's edict against sending challenges. 
Banished from France, Bothwell went successively to Spain 
and Naples, and purchased his bread meanly and miserably 
by abjuring the Protestant religion. His principal posses- 
sions were bestowed upon Scott of Buccleuch and Ker of 
Cessford, in return, as may be supposed, for their having 
given up his friendship and alliance at a time when their 
adhesion might have been dangerous to the state. 

King James, placable and easy to be entreated in favor 
of other offenders, would never listen to any petition in 
favor of this arch-traitor; he died at Naples, in poverty and 
infamy. Such was the end of unprincipled ambition, which, 
supported only by reckless courage, had disturbed the state 


by so many conspiracies. About this time also fate finished 
the career of another guilty votary of unscrupulous ambition. 
Captain James Stewart, for some time prime minister 
and chosen favorite of the king, expelled from court, as we 
have already stated, at the Raid of Stirling, in 1585, had 
never since made his appearance there ; but at this time the 
death of the wise and excellent Chancellor Maitland took 
place. This great statesman had been for some time in a 
species of disgrace with King James, from the dislike which 
Queen Anne had expressed toward him, for no better reason, 
probably, than that he was the favorite of her husband. 
James, however, retained his affection for him, and honored 
his memory with an epitaph couched in tolerable poetry. 
Captain James Stewart, although, indeed, he was neither 
beloved nor befriended by any who were not as profligate 
as himself, had always conceived this statesman, who was 
his successor as chancellor, to be his greatest enemy. He 
appeared at court accordingly, in hopes that the king's favor 
might again prefer him to the same eminent situation, now 
vacant by the demise of Maitland. The king received him 
so well as to induce him to lend belief to a soothsayer, who 
had told him that his head should presently stand higher 
than ever. But the general alarm and disgust was so great 
at the reappearance of this ill-omened and wicked man, 
that he was counselled in all haste to withdraw himself from 
court and return to his place of residence in Ayrshire, where 
he had been permitted to remain unnoticed and in obscurity. 
As he rode back to his dwelling, by the way of Symington, 
with only one or two attendants, he was cautioned not to 
travel openly through the country, for fear of the vengeance 
of the Douglases, to whom he had given mortal offence, as 
the author of Morton's impeachment and death. Stewart 
answered, with his usual rash courage, that the Douglas 
lived not for fear of whom he would screen himself or quit 
his road. One of those tale-bearers, who are always at hand 
where mischief is to be disseminated, carried this expres- 
sion to Douglas of Torthorwold, a near relation of the Regent 


Morton, who conceiving himself defied, presently got upon 
horseback, with three or four followers, and pursuing Stew- 
art, overtook him in a pass of the mountains called the Gate- 
slack, ran him through with his lance, and cut off his head, 
which he set upon his castle of Torthorwald, and thus in one 
sense realized the prophecy of the soothsayer, by placing it 
higher than it had yet been raised. The body of this man, 
once so proud and powerful, is said to have been neglected 
in the waste road until it was mangled by swine. 

Neither did Torthorwald, who had been, unlawfully on 
his part, the means of executing deserved vengeance on this 
wicked man, escape without his reward. It was not very 
long after this bloody exploit, when he was accidentally met 
in the street of Edinburgh by Sir William Stewart, the 
nephew of the deceased, who, in revenge of his uncle's 
death, drew his sword without speaking a word, and passed 
it through Torthorwald's body, who fell dead on the spot, 
thus making good the expression of Scripture, that "mis- 
chief shall hunt the violent man." 

The death of Lord Chancellor Maitland threw the king's 
affairs in a great measure into his own hands. As is usual 
in a disturbed state, the principal difficulty lay in the finances, 
which were reduced to a very low ebb. The aid of Elizabeth 
was applied for in vain. She had promised her assistance 
when the king should seriously set himself to destroy the 
force of the Catholic lords. But, economical even in her 
youthful years, the queen had reached that period of life 
when the love of money becomes a passion, nor was it pos- 
sible for James to extract any assistance from her. This 
induced him to apply to a better resource than all the treas- 
ures of England could have afforded him. He resolved 
manfully, by practicing strict economy, to render his own 
revenue equal to his own wants; and for that purpose de- 
termined it should be collected with more accuracy, and 
expended with more frugality. For this purpose, he made 
a remarkable change in his administration, equivalent to 
what in a private case is called executing a deed of trust, 


transferring to others the management of the grantor's own 

James committed the care of his finances to eight persons 
belonging to the profession of the law, upon whom the whole 
duty of receipt and expenditure, settling accounts, and expe- 
diting grants, in a word, every article of national expense, 
should be devolved ; so that the whole duties of the exchequer 
were destined to be performed through the means of these 
eight persons, or at least of a quorum of five of them. The 
king, conscious of his own facility of temper, bound himself 
upon the word of a prince that he would not subscribe any 
letter or deed of gift unless it was previously approved by 
this board, who were, from their number, termed the Octa- 
vians: he agreed, also, not to add to the number of these 
eight comptrollers; and that in case of a vacancy in their 
number by death that it should not be filled up without the 
consent of the survivors. The eight commissioners, on their 
side, made oath that, next to God and a good conscience, 
they should in all things respect his majesty's weal and 
honor, and fhe advancement of his revenue; and neither 
for tenderness of blood, advantage to themselves, nor awe 
or fear of any one, agree to the disposition of any part of 
the patrimony of the crown : also, that they would not give 
their consent to any proposed measure separately, but would 
deliberate and act together as a body, holding their meetings 
in exchequer, and five being a quorum. 

This singular devolution of these general powers was such 
an unusual trust that it was generally said that the king 
had resigned his royal authority to commissioners of no high 
rank, and had not left himself the means either of cherish- 
ing the attachment of his subjects, or of rewarding their 
services by the slightest boon from government. This clamor 
was especially raised by the greedy courtiers, to whom the 
king's facility of disposition had afforded undue opportu- 
nities of enriching themselves under the ordinary system. 
The Octavians used the trust reposed in them with as much 
moderation, perhaps, as could possibly have been expected ; 


and by their knowledge of business, and the exercise of a 
rigid economy, they brought the affairs into much better 
order than they had ever been during James's reign. 

It would have been too much, however, to have expected 
that men intrusted with so much power were altogether to 
abstain from using it to their personal advantage. The 
authority of the Octavians over all the officers of state 
entitled them to call them to the closest accounting; and 
as few of them were prepared for rendering such a strict 
reckoning, several chose to resign lucrative situations, which 
were filled up by the Octavians out of their own number. 
In this manner a great popular clamor was excited against 
the new managers, much increased by the clergy, who were 
not satisfied with the soundness of doctrine entertained by 
some of the Octavians. The king himself also became tired 
of the restraint under which he lay; and after enduring 
public odium, and, finally, the displeasure of their sover- 
eign, from the 12th of January, 1595, the Octavians resigned 
their commission into his majesty's hands in the parliament, 
in 1596. 



Kinmont Willie made Prisoner by the English — The Scottish 

Warden attacks Carlisle Castle, and liberates him — Elizabeth 
demands that^Buccleuch should be delivered up, which is re- 
fused by the Scottish Parliament — He visits England of his own 
Accord, and is honorably received — The Catholic Lords give 
new Trouble — James proposes that they shall be reconciled to 
the Church — The Scottish Clergy take Alarm, and establish a 
Standing Committee of the Church at Edinburgh — Black 
preaches a Sermon highly disrespectful to the King — He is 
called before the Privy Council — The Clergy encourage him to 
disown the Jurisdiction of the Judges — He is found guilty, and 
banished to the North — Misunderstanding between the King 
and Church — Great Tumult in Edinburgh — The King leaves the 
City, and removes the Courts of Justice — The Clergy apply to 
the Lord Hamilton to support them, but in vain — He returns 
to Edinburgh, attended by the Border Clans and others — The 
Citizens are alarmed for fear of being Plundered — James makes 
a Composition and pardons them — He becomes desirous to new 
model the Church of Scotland, by introducing Episcopacy; but 
is obliged to proceed with great Caution — The Order of Bishops 
is established under strict Limitations 

AN" incident took place in the beginning of the year 1596, 
which had almost renewed the long discontinued wars 
upon the border. Excepting by the rash enterprises 
of Bothwell, these disorderly districts had remained undis- 
turbed by any violence worthy of note since the battle of 
the Reedsquair. Upon the fall of Bothwell, his son-in-law, 
Sir Walter Scott of Buccleuch, had obtained the important 
office of keeper of Liddisdale, and warden of the Scottish 
borders upon that unsettled frontier. According to the cus- 
tom of the marches, Buccleuch's deputy held a day of truce 
for meeting with the deputy of the Lord Scroope, governor 


of Carlisle Castle, and keeper of the west marches on the 
English side. The meeting was, as usual, attended on both 
sides by the most warlike of the borderers upon faith of the 
usual truce, which allowed twenty-four hours to come and 
go from such meetings, without any individual being, dur- 
ing that short space, liable to challenge on account of 
offences given to either kingdom. Among others who at- 
tended Buccleuch's deputy was one Armstrong, commonly 
called Kinmont Willie, remarkable for his exploits as a 
depredator upon England. After the business of the meeting 
had been peaceably transacted the parties separated. But 
the English, being on their return homeward, at the south 
side of the River Liddle, which is in that place the boundary 
of the kingdoms, beheld this Kinmont Willie riding upon 
the Scottish bank of the river alone and in absolute securitv. 
They were unable to resist the tempting opportunity of seiz- 
ing a man who had done them much injury; and, without 
regarding the sanctity of the truce, a strong party crossed the 
river into Scotland, chased Kinmont Willie for more than a 
mile, and by dint of numbers made him at length their pris- 
oner. He was carried to the castle of Carlisle and brought 
before Lord Scroope, where he boasted proudly of the breach 
of the immunities of the day of truce in his person, and de- 
manded his liberty, as unlawfully taken from him. The 
English warden paid little attention to his threats, as in- 
deed the ascendency of Elizabeth in James's councils made 
her officers infringe the rights of Scottish subjects with little 
ceremony ; and on the score of his liberty, he assured Kin- 
mont Willie, scornfully, that he should take a formal fare- 
well of him before he left Carlisle Castle. 

The Lord of Buccleuch was bj r no means of a humor 
to submit to an infraction of the national rights, and a per- 
sonal insult to himself. On this occasion he acted with 
equal prudence and spirit. The Scottish warden first made 
a regular application to Lord Scroope for delivery of the 
prisoner, and redress of the wrong sustained in his capture. 

To this no satisfactory answer was returned. Buccleuch 

Scotland. Vol. II. — 14 


next applied to Bowes, the English ambassador, who inter- 
fered so far as to advise Lord Scroope to surrender the pris- 
oner without bringing the matter to further question. Time 
was given to advertise Elizabeth ; but she, being in this as 
in other cases disposed to bear the matter out by her great 
superiority of power, returned no satisfactory answer. The 
intercourse between the wardens became then of a more 
personal character ; and Buccleuch sent a challenge to Lord 
Scroope, as having offered him a personal affront in the dis- 
charge of his office. Scroope returned for answer that the 
commands of the queen engaged him in more important 
matters than the chastisement of the Scottish warden, and 
left him not at liberty to accept his challenge. Being thus 
refused alike public and private satisfaction, Buccleuch 
resolved to resort to measures of extremity, and obtain by 
means of his own force that redress which was otherwise 
denied him. Being the chief of a numerous clan, he had 
no difficulty in assembling three hundred chosen horsemen 
at Woodhouselee upon the Esk, the nearest point to the 
castle of Carlisle upon the Scottish marches, and not above 
ten or twelve miles' distance from that fortress. The hour 
of rendezvous was after sunset; and the night, dark and 
misty, concealed their march through the English frontier. 
They arrived without being perceived under the castle of 
Carlisle, where the Scottish warden, taking post opposite 
to the northern gate of the town, ordered a party of fifty 
of his followers to dismount and attempt to scale the walls 
of the castle with ladders which had been provided for the 
purpose. The ladders being found too short, the assailants 
attacked a small postern-gate with iron instruments and 
mining tools, which they had also in readiness: the door 
giving way, the Scots forced their way into the castle, 
repulsing and bearing down such of the English guards 
as pressed forward to the defence of the place. The alarm 
was now given. The beacon on the castle was lighted, the 
drums beat, and the bell of the cathedral church and watch- 
bell of the mote-hall were rung, as in cases of utmost alarm. 


To this din the Scots without the castle added their wild 
shouts; and the sound of their trumpets increased the con- 
fusion, of which none of the sleepers so unseasonably awak- 
ened could conceive the cause. In the meanwhile the assail- 
ants of the castle had delivered their countryman, Will of 
Kinmont. In passing through the courtyard he failed not 
to call out a lusty good -night at Lord Scroope's window, 
and another under that of Salkeld, the constable of the cas- 
tle. The assailants then made their retreat, abstaining 
strictly, for such was their charge, from taking any booty, 
or doing any violence which was not absolutely necessary 
for executing the purpose for which they came. Some pris- 
oners were taken and brought before Buccleuch, who dis- 
missed them courteously, charging the most considerable 
among them with a message to the constable of the castle, 
whom, he said, he accounted a more honorable man than 
Lord Scroope, who had declined his challenge ; telling him 
what had been done was acted by the command of him the 
Lord of Liddisdale; and that if, as a man of honor, he 
sought a gallant revenge, he had only to come forth and 
encounter with those who were willing to maintain what 
they had dared to do. He then retreated into Scotland with 
his banner displayed and his trumpets sounding, and reached 
his domains with the delivered man in perfect safety. 

The general spirit of the people of Scotland received the 
account of this stratagem of war with the highest applause. 
It seemed a revival of the ancient spirit which had so long 
enabled Scotland to protect her independence against a 
superior enemy; and the common saying among the people 
was that such an act of vassalage had not been performed 
in Scotland since the time of Sir "William Wallace. Eliza- 
beth, on the contrary, was highly offended ; and either could 
not perceive, or would not acknowledge, that the fault of 
her own officer had given occasion to a retaliation which, 
everything considered, had been conducted with extreme 
moderation. By the queen's directions her ambassador 
lodged a violent complaint before the Scottish parliament, 


setting forth that the Lord of Liddisdale had invaded the 
queen of England's castle, wounded her subjects, done vio- 
lence, and offered dishonor to her county, and to her war- 
den; and as these insults had been offered during the time 
of profound peace, she required that the person of Buccleuch 
should be surrendered to England, to be treated according 
to his demerits. The matter was conducted with great 
solemnity; the king himself urging to the parliament the 
necessity of giving satisfaction to Elizabeth, and the secre- 
tary arguing the question in behalf of Buccleuch. The 
parliament came to a decision that the recovery of a prisoner 
unlawfully taken, achieved with such circumstances of mod- 
eration, was in itself lawful ; and that to deliver Buccleuch 
to be punished for such an action would be totally unreason- 
able, and tend to the degradation of the king and whole 
realm of Scotland. The matter was summed up by the 
secretary, who said with a loud voice that Sir Walter Scott 
of Buccleuch should pass into England when it should please 
the king himself to go thither, and not sooner. To escape 
the risk of displeasing Elizabeth, James, notwithstanding 
this spirited decision, personally requested of Buccleuch that 
he would present himself of his own free will before the 
queen of England, under the assurance that he should be 
permitted to return in honor and safety. Buccleuch readily 
agreed to a compromise which was to satisfy Elizabeth's 
point of honor, and relieve James from a serious difficulty. 
It is said, by tradition, that when he presented himself before 
Elizabeth, the queen asked him, with the air of imposing 
dignity, which she knew so well how to assume, how he 
had dared to commit so great an outrage in her dominions? 
— ' ' May it please you, madam, ' ' answered the border chief, 
"I know not the thing that a man dares not do." Elizabeth 
was pleased with his spirit; and having detained him for 
some time at her court, dismissed him with tokens of honor 
and regard, thus extinguishing the last spark of that confla- 
gration of hostility which had raged between England and 
Scotland for perhaps twenty centuries. 


It would have been an ill time for Elizabeth and James 
to have harbored any discord which might be forborne, since 
Philip of Spain was again agitating the most gigantic schemes 
for the conquest of Britain. This occasioned the deepest 
anxiety on the part of King James, embarrassed as he was 
by the difficulty of dealing between the Catholic lords so late- 
ly in rebellion and the ministers of the Church. Huntley, 
Angus, and Errol had wandered in foreign parts since the 
king's march into the north and the end of their rebellion. 
Finding their reception and entertainment colder than they 
expected, they began to cast their eye back to their own 
country, aware that they would find little opposition on the 
part of the king if they could only evade or satisfy the sus- 
picions of the churchmen. The banished earls returned 
secretly into Scotland, and soon after sent a petition to the 
king and convention, praying for permission to reside in 
their own country, under security for their good behavior. 
The king laid this petition before a convention which met 
at Falkland upon August 12, together with these sensible 
observations: only one of two courses, he said, could be 
pursued toward these unfortunate noblemen; either they 
must be utterly destroyed and exterminated with their whole 
race and family, a task of some difficulty, and of a most 
vindictive and unchristian character, or else they must be 
admitted to pardon upon expressing a humble acknowledg- 
ment of their offence, and finding security for the safety 
of the Church. It was therefore agreed by the convention 
that the petition of the earls should be granted upon such 
conditions as the king in council should attach to the boon 
so conferred. 

When this news transpired, the jealousy of the Church 
was excited to the most violent and unreasonable degree. 
The ministers held meetings, wrote circular letters, com- 
manded the churchmen to read from every pulpit the ex- 
communication of the Catholic lords, and enjoined them 
to impose the same sentence on all those who should show 
the least attachment to the popish religion, or disposition 


to favor the Catholic earls. They summoned a committee 
of the most eminent clergymen, and enjoined them to come 
to Edinburgh, where, with the ministers of that city, they 
were to form a permanent committee, called the Standing 
Council of the Church, with power to exert the supreme 
authority of the whole body in case of any apparent danger 
to the ecclesiastical establishment. These violent measures 
greatly offended the king, who was desirous that his sub- 
jects, both Catholics and Presbyterians, should live peace- 
ably together, attach themselves to his government, and ab- 
stain from domestic quarrels. For this purpose, he pleaded 
for some terms of reconciliation with Mr. Robert Bruce, a 
minister of talents and respectability, with whom he had 
hitherto been on good terms. With difficulty Bruce was 
brought to allow that Angus and Errol might be admitted 
to remission on the part of the Church ; but sternly insisted 
that Huntley, the most able as well as most powerful of 
the three, should be declared incapable of pardon. "Your 
grace," said the preacher, with an unusual degree of inso- 
lence, "may make your choice between Huntley and me; 
but you cannot have the friendship of both." 

"While the king and the Church were on these evil terms 
with each other, slight causes, arising from the want of 
sense and temperance of individuals, occurred every moment 
to add fuel to the flame. One Black, a clergyman of warm 
passions and contemptible understanding, had, in a sermon 
at St. Andrew's, cast forth the most bitter and despiteful 
reproaches against the king and queen, the judges, and ser- 
vants of the crown, and Elizabeth herself. The king took 
this opportunity to act upon the resolution formed to check 
the insolence of the ministers, and he caused Mr. Black to 
be cited to appear before the privy council. The charges 
contained in the summons against this turbulent clergyman 
accused him, first, of having affirmed in the pulpit that the 
popish lords had returned into the country with his majesty's 
knowledge, and upon his assurance; and of having said that, 
in so doing, James had discovered the treachery of his heart. 


Secondly, he was charged with having called all kings the 
devil's bairns; adding that the devil was in the court, and 
in the guiders of it. Thirdly, in his prayer for the queen 
he was charged with having used these words : ' ' "We must 
pray for her, for the fashion; but we have no cause; she 
will never do us good." Fourthly, that he had called the 
queen of England an atheist. Fifthly, that he had discussed 
a suspension, granted by the lords of session, in the pulpit, 
and called them miscreants and bribers. Sixthly, that, 
speaking of the nobility, he said they were degenerated, 
godless dissemblers, and enemies to the Church; likewise, 
speaking of the council, that he had called them holliglasses, 
cormorants, and men of no religion. Lastly, that he had 
convocated divers noblemen, barons, and others, within St. 
Andrew's, in the month of June, 1594, caused them to take 
arms, and divide themselves in troops of horse and foot, and 
had thereby usurped the power of the king and civil mag- 

It would have been more than could have been expected, 
at this unenlightened and fanatical period, that the Church 
of Scotland, though containing many learned and wise men, 
should have viewed the polemical disputes between the two 
religions with the liberality that did not belong to the time : 
they would, in that case, have seen that pressing the king 
to the destruction and extermination of three great and 
powerful barons was involving him in a task neither easily 
accomplished nor suitable to his means, since James had 
neither a standing army nor revenues capable of keeping 
one on foot. They would also have seen that the earls 
themselves could have no interest to assist the oppressive 
and ambitious designs of Philip II., unless they were driven 
to these extremities by exile from their country, plunder of 
their estates, and oppression of their consciences. This was 
not, however, the reasoning of the times; and the Roman 
Church was in fact scarcely more intolerant than the Kirk 
of Scotland, except that the latter was content to limit the 
rigor of their opinions to this world, and to allow that, in 


the next, a Catholic might be capable of salvation. During 
their stay in this world, the Protestants alike invoked against 
those who dissented from them the censures of the Church 
and the sword of the temporal power. There was no room, 
they contended, for toleration to papists, either on the part 
of the king or on the part of the Church. 

But although this severe doctrine was so deeply entwined 
with their notions of church government, it might have been 
expected that the wise and discreet among the ministers 
would have discerned the danger of useless and unneces- 
sary quarrels with James, by such scandalous imputations as 
those for which Black was called before the council. It was 
the business and interest of the Church to have instantly 
disavowed this rash man ; and by imposing upon him the 
censure and punishment of his own order, his spiritual 
superiors would have taken away from the king all the 
jealousy which he might otherwise have retained of the 
irresponsibility of the clergymen to the temporal power. 
They ought to have recollected, with some feeling of grati- 
tude, that King James had abolished those acts of parlia- 
ment passed in the year 1584, by which the clergy had been 
declared liable to censure and punishment in lay courts for 
offences committed in the pulpit. Besides this, the position 
of James rendered it every year more politic to secure his 
power and favor. The prospects of King James's succession 
to the English throne became yearly nearer; and as he must 
be then invested with the power of a large and wealthy 
kingdom, it would have been of importance to have pre- 
served his affection and good opinion while he was in the 
less powerful condition of a mere king of Scotland. 

But these reflections had no weight : the clergy made the 
cause of Black that of the order at large : they again revived 
the dispute concerning the ecclesiastical immunities, pretend- 
ing that the clergymen in the exercise of their office were 
only subject to the general assembly, and their other spirit- 
ual superiors. For such doctrine as he had promulgated 
from the pulpit the council of the Church, therefore, enjoined 


Black to refuse to plead before the privy council, or answer 
any questions which might be there put to him; and they 
ordered then* resolutions on this head to be circulated through 
every presbytery in the kingdom, and subscribed by every 
minister. It was now impossible for the king to give way ; 
and he must have either persevered in his purpose of pun- 
ishing Black, or lost all estimation as a king who could not 
avenge the most flagrant and injurious insults of the clergy. 
He published a proclamation for dissolving the committee 
of ministers called the Council of the Church: it set forth 
that certain ministers residing in Edinburgh, and assuming 
authority over their brethren, had presumed to publish a 
paper declining the regal jurisdiction, and calling on others 
to subscribe the same. The king, therefore, charged them 
by name to depart from the town, and return to their charges 
within twenty-four hours, under pain of treason. The com- 
mission, thus in danger of being dissolved, applied first to 
the Octavians, who returned them a short answer, saying 
that as these controversies were begun without their advice 
they should end without their interference. The commis- 
sioners next applied to the king himself, who seemed very 
willing to accommodate the affair. If they would pass, he 
said, from the objections to the jurisdiction of the privy 
council, or would declare that they only used them in a par- 
ticular case, he would on his part desist from the prosecu- 
tion of Black, notwithstanding the high indecency of his 
behavior. As this accommodation did not suit the clergy, 
although a considerable portion voted for accepting it, they 
resolved to stand by their proposed immunity. 

The king, highly displeased, caused the proclamation to 
be issued, dissolving the commission of the Church; and 
though some attempts were made to accommodate the mat- 
ter with Mr. Black, it ended in the privy council proceeding 
against him, notwithstanding his claim of privilege. Hav- 
ing adduced proof of the offensive expressions which he had 
used, they declared him guilty of the scandalous charges 
brought against him, and referred his punishment to the 


king. James, though sufficiently jealous of his own au- 
thority, was not unreasonably severe in the punishment. 
He appointed Black to be sent to the north for some time; 
and at the same time he required from the ministers that a 
bond of obedience to the king should be subscribed by each 
of them, under pain of their stipends and means of living 
being sequestrated; at the same time, Black was ordered 
to depart upon his banishment. The clergy and their con- 
gregations were alarmed at these proceedings. Other re- 
ports, as is usual in such cases, augmented the fears and 
anxieties of men's minds. The king was, on his part, in- 
formed that a nightly watch was kept in Edinburgh around 
the ministers* houses, as if to defend them from some appre- 
hended danger. James was so far moved by this intelli- 
gence that he was induced to command about twenty-four 
of the burgesses, most zealous in the cause of the clergy, to 
absent themselves from the town. 

This increased the general suspicion of the Church, which 
was brought to a crisis by a letter received by Robert Bruce, 
and by him communicated to Mr. "Walter Balcanqual, who 
was to preach at the hour of sermon. The paper stated 
(falsely) that the ministers ought to look to themselves; 
for Huntley had been with the king last night, and was 
the author of the proclamation against the ministers and 
citizens. The preacher, inflamed by this report, pronounced 
a fiery discourse, in which he cast gross reflections upon such 
statesmen as he concluded had given the king their advice 
in the late disputes with the Church. Turning then to the 
nobles and barons who were present, he reminded them of 
the zeal shown by their forefathers in establishing the re- 
formed religion, called upon them to follow the example 
of their predecessors, and for that purpose conjured them 
to assemble after the sermon should be ended in a neigh- 
boring place of worship, called the Little Kirk. While the 
clergy and the congregation, already much irritated, were 
heating themselves and exasperating their mutual passions, 
the king came to attend the sitting of the court of session, 


which was then held in the Tolbooth, close to St. Giles'3 
Church, in which these tumultuary scenes were exhibited. 
This vicinity made it an easy matter for the meeting which 
had been held in the Little Kirk to send a committee of their 
number to wait upon the king. They were admitted to his 
presence, and declared that they were sent by the meeting 
convened in the Little Kirk, to bemoan the danger which 
was threatened to religion. "What danger does your wis- 
dom apprehend?" said the king, angrily. The committee 
replied, that the ministers and best affected people were 
banished from town; that the Lady Huntley was received 
at court; and that it was shrewdly suspected her husband 
himself was not far distant. "And who are you," said the 
king, "who dare assemble contrary to my proclamation?" 
"We are such as dare do more," said the Lord Lindsay, 
who was one of the deputies from the Little Kirk; "we are 
those who will not see religion pulled down." At this time 
numbers of people thronged boldly into the room ; observing 
which, the king arose, and leaving the apartment in which 
he was sitting, retreated to a lower one, and commanded the 
doors to be shut. The committee gave to the crowd who 
were waiting in the Little Kirk an alarming account of their 
want of success. "There is but one course to be taken," 
said Lindsay, fiercely: "let us stay together, such as are 
here, and stand by each other; let us send for our friends 
and those who favor religion, and let the day be either theirs 
or ours." This extravagant proposition was received by 
minds in a highly excited state; for during the absence of 
the committee, a clergyman named Cranstoun had been 
reading to the multitude the story of Haman, as a lesson 
appropriate to the subject. A great alarm then arose, some 
crying, "God and the king!" others, "God and the kirk!" 
until the whole people of Edinburgh rose in arms, and none 
knew for what purpose. Some also called out, "The sword 
of the Lord and of Gideon!" others shouted, "Bring forth 
the wicked Haman!" Mischief of some kind would cer- 
tainly have been done had it not been for the sense and 


courage of a stout citizen named John "Watt, smith, who 
was principal deacon of the craftsmen of Edinburgh. He 
caused the artisans of the several incorporations to take 
arms, and coming at their head, demanded to see his maj- 
esty. The king showed himself from the window, and re- 
ceived the loyal proffer of the citizens to live or die with 
him. The tumult being in some degree composed, John 
Watt, with the trades as they are called, escorted the king 
safely to the abbey of Holyrood, and the night ended peace- 
ably. In the meantime the clergy, and such barons, gentry 
and citizens as adhered to them, drew up a petition to the 
following purpose: They prayed that professed papists 
should be sent from court; that the president, the lord 
advocate, and Mr. Elphinstone should be discharged from 
the council, as enemies to religion ; that all the acts of coun- 
cil, proclamations and others unfavorable to religion, passed 
within the last five weeks, should be repealed ; that the com- 
missioners of the Church, and the burgesses who were ban- 
ished, should be recalled by proclamation; that the order 
for subscribing the bond of obedience should be discharged 
as prejudicial to the Gospel; lastly, that an act of council 
should be made, recognizing as lawful whatever had been 
done by the actors in that day's disturbance. By the pro- 
posal of such high terms, which, indeed, comprehended 
everything which was in question between the crown and 
the Church, and decided all in favor of the latter, it is evi- 
dent that the ministers entertained a mistaken belief that 
the victory was their own, if they could only maintain firm- 
ness enough to take advantage of the tumult, which, it was 
supposed, must have made a deep impression upon the king's 
mind. The petition was committed to the charge of a select 
party of the assembled clergy and gentry; and though the 
hour was late and the night dark they were required to pro- 
ceed to the palace without loss of time, to deliver it to James 
in person. As they left the town of Edinburgh, however, 
and entered the more courtly suburb of the Canongate, the 
news which they received was unfavorable to their mission. 


The Laird of Bargany, the principal person among them, 
was taken aside by a friend, who informed him that the 
king was irritated to the highest degree at the proceedings 
of the day, and that whoever should apply to him with such 
proposals as he and his companions were intrusted with must 
necessarily be in danger of incurring his severe displeasure. 
On receiving this intimation, Bargany excused himself from 
proceeding further upon the embassy ; and those who were 
conjoined with him in the commission declined interfering 
in a business from which the principal commissioner with- 
drew himself. So the purpose of the petition was no further 
insisted on that night. 

On the next morning a new scene opened. The king and 
council had left Holyrood early in the morning ; and a proc- 
lamation was published at the cross of Edinburgh, stating 
that the seditious and armed tumult of the preceding day, 
the irreverence used toward his majesty's person, and the 
audacity of the clergymen, by whom the citizens had been 
encouraged to put themselves in arms, had rendered the 
capital an unfit place for the administration of justice. 
Therefore the courts of session, the sheriffs, and other 
judicial persons of every sort, connected with the courts 
of justice, were commanded to withdraw themselves from 
the said town of Edinburgh, and hold themselves in readi- 
ness to repair to such place as his majesty should assign; 
and a strict prohibition was laid on all nobles, barons, and 
others, discharging them from assembling either in Edin- 
burgh or elsewhere without his majesty's license, under 
pain of his severe displeasure. 

The trade in the metropolis at that time greatly depended 
upon the residence of the nobility, gentry, and others who 
attended the court, and that of the great number of residents 
brought thither to attend the courts of law. On such seri- 
ous intimation of the king's displeasure, the citizens began 
to consider the necessary consequences to themselves and to 
the city, and looking sadly upon each other, seemed gen- 
erally to desire that some accommodation might be resorted 


to. The ministers evinced greater courage, and used their 
utmost endeavors to induce the laity to join them, and to 
subscribe a bond, which they drew up, binding themselves 
to abide by the defence of the Protestant religion in those 
points in which it was now assailed. They applied, espe- 
cially, to the Lord Hamilton and to the Lord of Buccleuch, 
inviting them to repair to Edinburgh and countenance the 
cause of religion. They resolved to excommunicate the lord 
president and the advocate, and only postponed doing so 
that the ceremony might be perfected with more solemnity 
at the next general assembly. Meanwhile they appointed 
fasts and sermons, in order to maintain and encourage the 
spirit of the people. The tenor of these discourses might be 
conceived from one preached by John "Welsh in the High 
Church, in which he said the king was possessed with a 
devil, and that one devil being driven out of him, seven 
worse were entered in the room thereof; so that the subjects 
were legally entitled to arise and take the sword out of his 
hand, as in the case of the father of a family seized with a 
frenzy, whose children and servants are in these circum- 
stances entitled to disarm and to bind him. They also 
spread reports that the Earl of Errol had come as far as 
the Queen's Ferry with five hundred horse, and had only 
returned on hearing of the tumult at Edinburgh. By thus 
taking upon themselves the odium of being the causers of 
the sedition, the ministers evidently showed that they re- 
membered how Knox, in the days of Queen Mary, had, by 
the energy of his preaching, animated the multitude, given 
courage to the nobility, kept alive hope when it was well- 
nigh extinct, and remained victorious in the end. But they 
forgot that John Knox advocated the general cause of refor- 
mation of the Church and liberty of conscience, while they 
only wished to interest the feelings of others in defence of 
immunities claimed by the clergy, the propriety of which 
was extremely dubious: they had also forgotten that the 
nobles and barons who stood so firmly by the first Scottish 
reformers had in their view the private advantages which 


might arise to them from the occupation of the property be- 
longing to the Catholic Church. The ministers on the pres- 
ent occasion had no such bribe to offer; and they might have 
remembered the proverb then current, that "Men cannot 
lure hawks with empty hands." 

It proved as might have been expected : Lord Hamilton 
carried to the king the letter which invited him to put him- 
self at the head of the godly barons, who by the word and 
motion of the blessed Spirit had gone to arms, and invited 
him to Edinburgh for that purpose. King James was ex- 
tremely offended by this epistle, addressed to one so near to 
him in blood. It does not appear what answer was made 
by Buccleuch, to whom a similar invitation was made ; but 
he was certainly no way disposed to avail himself of it, 

The first vindictive movement of the king was a letter 
commanding the magistrates of Edinburgh to imprison the 
ministers. They received timely information, however ; and 
finding their hopes of obtaining the support which they had 
expected altogether vain, they fled to England, to escape the 
displeasure of the king. Deputations were in vain sent by 
the town of Edinburgh ; for although the sturdy John "Watt 
was of the number, to whom, probably, James owed his life, 
by his firmness during the tumult, they could not obtain an 
audience of James. He said that "fair and humble words 
could not . excuse so gross a fault ; and that ere long he 
should come to Edinburgh in person, and let them know 
that he was their king." The tumult was by the council 
declared to have been treason; and all who were accom- 
plices or maintainors in the same were declared liable to 
the doom of traitors. Language was even held at court 
which authorized more terrible suspicions; for it had been 
said that the destruction of the city was the only punish- 
ment which could atone for their sacrilegious insurrection. 

It was, however, James's secret intention not to injure, 
but only to intimidate and humble his capital. For this 
purpose he summoned the attendants of Highland nobles 
and the chiefs of border clans with their followers, wild in 


speech, aspect, habit, and manners, formidable from their 
renown as lawless depredators, and most likely to strike ter- 
ror into the inhabitants of a peaceful metropolis, possessed 
of a comparative degree of wealth. Attended by such an 
ominous retinue, James prepared to return to his capital, 
in all the terrors of offended majesty surrounded by the 
means of vengeance. 

The alarm in the capital was great ; and is best described 
by the burgher journalist Birrel, who witnessed the scene 
and shared in the alarm: "On the last day of December, 
1596, the king came to Holyrood House; and command was 
given, by open proclamation, that on the morrow the Earl 
of Mar should keep the West Port, while Lord Livingstone, 
Buccleuch, Cessford, and sundry others, should guard the 
High Street. At this time, and before, there was a great 
rumor among the townsmen that the king designed to send 
in Will of Kinmont, the common thief, with as many South- 
land men as should plunder the town of Edinburgh. Upon 
this rumor the merchants took their merchandise out of their 
booths or shops, and transported the same to the strongest 
houses that were in the town, where they remained with 
their servants, looking for nothing but a general scene of 
plunder. In like manner the craftsmen and ordinary citi- 
zens removed themselves with their best goods, as it were 
ten or twelve households, into one which, was the strongest 
house, and might be best defended from being spoiled or 
burned, and there watched, armed with hackbut, pistol, and 
such other weapons as might best defend them. Judge, gen- 
tle reader," says the honest annalist, "if this were play!" 
On the morning the streets and points of strength of the 
city were occupied by the lords and clans appointed for that 
purpose, and the capital was thus placed at the absolute dis- 
posal of the sovereign. The king, attended by a great ret- 
inue of his nobility, entered the city, and rode up the High 
Street, through the ranks of these unwonted guards. The 
provost and magistrates made the submission on their knees, 
and underwent a long harangue upon the character of their 


offence. A large sum of money, the best mediator upon the 
occasion, was disbursed by the city to propitiate their sover- 
eign ; and Edinburgh was deprived for a time of several of 
its most honorable privileges. Notwithstanding there was 
among the citizens general congratulation and rejoicing at 
their escape, even on these hard terms, from Will Kinmont, 
the Southland men, and the fear of universal plunder. The 
effect of suppressed insurrection, especially if the explosion 
has been in no degree formidable, and if the extinction has 
been decisive, is always that of strengthening the party 
against whom it has been raised. This proved eminently 
the case with the tumults of Edinburgh. The king availed 
himself of them to control the power of the Church, as well 
in the violence used in their sermons as in several of their 
rights of jurisdiction and discipline. But the dispute be- 
tween James and the Church of Scotland upon this occa- 
sion was productive of more lasting effects, nor were the 
mortal offence and aversion which James entertained upon 
this occasion forgotten or forgiven during his whole reign. 
It was a sense of the violence displayed by the churchmen, 
not so much in inciting a meditated insurrection, for the 
tumult appears to have been entirely accidental, as the de- 
sire they showed to avail themselves of the popular discon- 
tent to raise a civil war, which rendered James from that 
period desirous once more to introduce into the Scottish dis- 
cipline the institution of bishops, by which, in the English 
and most Lutheran churches, the republican system of Cal- 
vin was tempered with a hierarchy of priesthood; which 
united the whole order, to a certain degree, with the crown. 
It is easy to see how, at an earlier period, the Scottish 
clergy, by using their privileges moderately, might have 
insured a longer possession of them. For at the period of 
the king's return from Denmark he was favorably disposed 
to their measures, system, and authority; and, naturally 
inclined to peace, would have been little disposed to seek 
a quarrel with so powerful a party, if they had shown the 
least disposition to abstain from an actual collision with hisi 


authority. As it was, the gauntlet was thrown down; nor 
was the contest desisted from until dissension and blood of 
a whole century had at length brought the dispute to a 

James had, indeed, reinstated the lay jurisdiction in all 
the powers of controlling the Church judicatories, or the 
clergy at large, in the full force in which the restraint had 
existed by the act of 1584. But he was shrewd enough to 
perceive that this could only lead to a perpetual contest of 
dubious issue, arising from collisions between the civil and 
ecclesiastical jurisdiction, which the former might not be 
always willing to enforce, and which the clergy, in every 
instance, would be certain to resist. By introducing into 
the Church a superior body of clergy, having a higher rank 
in the State and a place in the legislature, he hoped he might 
be able to give the crown, with whom the promotion must 
necessarily rest, an influence among the clergy in general, 
and the power of securing a party of supporters in church 
assemblies and church judicatories. But in this he was 
compelled to act with extreme caution. 

"We have already mentioned that the ancient order of 
bishops had fallen into general contempt with the clergy 
and people, their funds being seized on by the crown and 
their persons held in contempt by the people at large. The 
king of Scots prevailed upon a commission of assembly to 
petition the parliament, that, as the clergy had during 
former ages been entitled to representation in that body, 
which had lately been entirely discontinued, a certain num- 
ber of the most qualified of the clergy should again be en- 
titled to a seat there. The parliament, in compliance with 
this request, enacted, that those ministers upon whom the 
king might confer vacant bishoprics or abbacies, should have 
the right of sitting in parliament ; but it was remitted to the 
general assembly of the Church to declare what degree of 
authority the members possessing this privilege should hold 
over their brethren in the Church. This scheme was most 
fiercely opposed by the severe Calvinists, with whom the 


general quality of churchmen and its pure republican form 
was a principal recommendation of the Presbyterian system. 
They were not deceived by the fair pretexts held out by the 
present scheme, in which they saw at bottom the provision 
for an order of clergy privileged above their brethren by the 
enjoyment of political power and superior right. "Cover it 
as you list," said an old Calvinist leader, "busk it as bonnily 
as you will, I see the horns of the mitre." But notwith- 
standing a determined opposition, the general assembly at 
length, by the exertion of much influence over individuals, 
and the hopes of preferment held out to many, was prevailed 
upon to declare the lawfulness of ministers sitting in parlia- 
ment, and the expediency of the Church having a represen- 
tation there. These representatives, however, were to be 
Dhosen in the following manner: A general assembly of the 
Church was to present a list of six persons to any benefice 
having title to a seat in parliament, out of which list the 
king should choose one for holding the same. All jurisdic- 
tion and authority over their brethren was strictly renounced 
and prohibited by the persons so chosen ; and although they 
were to be considered as the representatives of the ecclesias- 
tical body in parliament, strict precautions were taken that, 
except in that body, the person promoted to a privileged 
benefice should be merely an ordinary pastor, bound to do 
iiis duty like others in his cure, and asserting no superiority 
>ver his brethren. This was only a step, in the purpose of 
Fames VI., to introduce the hierarchy of bishops into the 
Scottish Church. But he was content with what he had 
gained, reckoning upon the power of making further ad- 
ranees by degrees; and the Calvinists, on their part, thought 
ihis innovation dangerous less for its present extent than the 
)robability of its leading to further alterations. 



Gowrie Conspiracy — Character of Gowrie and his Brother — Alex- 
ander Ruthven tells the King a singular Story to induce him 
to come to his Brother's Castle at Perth — James goes thither, 
and is coldly received — Alexander decoys him into a Cabinet 
and there assaults him — The King alarms his Retinue with his 
Cries — The Two Brothers are slain — The King is in Danger from 
the incensed Populace — He cannot convince the Clergy of the 
Reality of his Danger, and has great Difficulty in prevailing on 
them to return Thanks to Heaven for protecting him — Dif- 
ferent Theories on the Subject, and that which acquits the 
Brothers Ruthven, or the elder of them, is shown to be at- 
tended with far more Improbability — Sprot's Letters — The His- 
tory of that Discovery — They afford a consistent Clew for con- 
jecturing the Purpose of the Conspiracy — Trial of Logan after 
Death — Execution of Sprot the Notary — An Attempt to civilize 
the Hebrides — It is unsuccessful 

SINCE the king had attained a decisive victory over the 
discontented churchmen, Scotland had enjoyed, for so 
disorderly a country, an unusual degree of serenity. 
But an event was now to take place, most singular in all 
its circumstances, which, in the first place, placed James's 
life in extreme hazard, and has since, even down to the 
present day, entailed upon his memory, though most un- 
justly, a degree of doubt, as if some point of policy or pur- 
pose of revenge had induced him to hazard a very desper- 
ate crime for the purpose of destrojang two persons of noble 
birth. In fact, the celebrated Gowrie conspiracy, which we 
are now approaching, is one of those mysterious transactions 
of which we can never expect a complete explanation ; since 
those who calmly investigate or peruse history can never 
conceive the power of false views and erroneous motives 
acting on the minds of men who, from strong and peculiar 


excitement, engage in dangerous, secret, and criminal ad- 
ventures. They are generally undertaken b}- persons whose 
minds are so much warped at the moment from the natural 
and moral bias, that the actors cannot be properly termed 
sane, nor are the principles upon which they act such as can 
be estimated by men who, undisturbed by passion or preju- 
dice, are in the ordinary possession of their reasoning powers. 
The reader must turn his recollection back to the Raid of 
Ruthven, a treasonable violence committed upon the king's 
person while he was yet a boy. The Earl of Gowrie, who 
lent his house for the purposes of the conspiracy, was con- 
sidered as its principal conductor, and in the end became its 
victim, being executed at Dundee in the manner already re- 
lated. He left a large family of sons and daughters, who, 
by their father's death and confiscation, were reduced to 
considerable necessity. The eldest son was, by the king's 
humanity, restored to the family estate and honors, in the 
year 1586, and died two years afterward, in 1588: he was 
succeeded by his second brother, John, the third earl of 
Gowrie, who went abroad in August, 1594. This noble- 
man was a youth of quick parts and fine accomplishments, 
and made great proficiency in all the graceful and manly 
exercises, which were supposed to be best taught in France 
and Italy. Neither did the young earl neglect the pursuits 
of learning and science, though, it may be observed, those 
which he most eagerly followed were such as promised to 
extend the knowledge of man beyond its natural sphere, 
and to engage those who persevere in them in difficult and 
mysterious undertakings of precarious success. This may be 
gathered from some indications which appear in the proof 
concerning the earl's character. It was said, that a party 
with which he was hunting having found and slain an adder 
In the moors, the Earl of Gowrie told his companions that, 
had they not killed the reptile, he would have shown them 
the power of the cabala of the Jews, by pronouncing such a 
charm as should have arrested the adder and made it inca- 
pable of leaving the spot. He was known, besides, to carry 


upon him papers inscribed with spells and characters, con- 
taining, perhaps, the horoscope of his nativity, and was 
angry when they were meddled with, or questions asked 
concerning them. His conversation, at times, turned upon 
the subject of conspiracies against princes; upon which he 
was known to observe, that all such plots as were upon rec- 
ord were foolishly devised, too many people being admitted 
into a secret which can only be safe and successful while 
concealed within the breast of the deviser. The clergyman 
to whom he used this language advised him to lay aside 
such speculations, and betake himself to safer studies ; but 
the discourse was not of a kind to attract much attention 
at the time. These things were considered as indicative 
of a turn to secrecy, and to machinations of a dangerous 
character. In the present age they can only be considered 
as traits of character. 

The Earl of Gowrie's younger brother, Alexander Euth- 
ven, was a young man of great hopes, and both were con- 
sidered as possessing a share of the king's favor. Learned, 
handsome, young, and active, they belonged to the class of 
men which most readily attracted the king's notice; and 
generous, brave, and religious to a degree not common with 
men so young, they were the darlings of the people. Alex- 
ander Ruthven was made a gentleman of the bed-chamber ; 
one of his sisters advanced to be a chief attendant upon the 
queen ; a considerable post in the government was designed 
for Gowrie himself; and no house in the kingdom appeared 
more flourishing, at the very time when a number of violent 
and mysterious circumstances brought on its total ruin. 

On the 5th of August, 1600, as the king, then residing at 
Falkland, had taken horse at daybreak to follow his favorite 
exercise of stag-hunting, he was joined by Alexander Ruth- 
ven, who requested a private audience, and communicated 
to James, as they rode together, apart from the other hunts- 
men, a story of a most extraordinary kind. He had been, 
he said, walking near his brother's house at Perth, when, 
in a retired spot, he encountered a fellow of a down-looking 


aspect, and altogether suspicious in his appearance, who was 
wrapped in a cloak, and seemed desirous to escape observa- 
tion. Ruthven continued that, conceiving it his duty to lay 
hands on this man, he had, in so doing, discovered on his 
person a large pot full of gold pieces of foreign coinage. He 
then deemed it his duty, he said, to carry the stranger to his 
brother's castle, and privately imprison him, in a remote 
apartment, in order that his majesty might have the earliest 
information upon a subject so extraordinary ; he urged the 
king, therefore, to ride with him instantly to his brother, 
the Earl of Gowrie's castle, in the town of Perth, examine 
the captive himself, and secure the treasure for his own royal 
use. The king replied that he saw no reason why the man 
should not be regularly examined by the magistrates of Perth, 
of whom the Earl of Gowrie was provost. This proceeding 
young Ruthven eagerly opposed ; alleging the necessity that 
a matter so mysterious should be subjected to the king's own 
scrutiny, so much deeper than that of any subject, and stat- 
ing eagerly the risk of the treasure being embezzled, if any 
inferior person was to be trusted with the examination. He, 
therefore, repeatedly urged James instantly to ride with him 
to Perth ; and this in a manner so hurried and vehement .that 
the king was induced to ask some of his attendants whether 
Ruthven had ever been known to be affected with fits of in- 
sanity : they replied that they had never known him, save 
as a sober and sensible young man. Reassured by this in- 
formation, feeling, it may be supposed, the compliment paid 
bo his superior wisdom, and desirous to secure a windfall 
wrhich did not often come in his way, James agreed that 
is soon as he had seen the buck killed he would accompany 
Mexander Ruthven to Perth, and examine the prisoner. 

During the whole chase, which was a short one, Ruthven 
aung upon the king, and at every opportunity which it 
afforded plied him with earnest importunity to set out upon 
lis journey. It must be observed that a person named An- 
Irew Henderson, a dependent upon the Earl of Gowrie, and 
tvhose part in this affair is not the least extraordinary in the 


whole mystery, was then at a distance in attendance upon 
Alexander Ruthven, who, after his conferences with the king, 
ordered Henderson to ride back with the utmost speed to 
Perth, and announce to the Earl of Gowrie that the king 
was coming immediately to Gowrie House with a small 
company. Henderson reached Perth about ten o'clock in 
the morning. So soon as ever the earl saw him, he came 
apart from the persons with whom he was speaking, and 
inquired secretly what tidings he had brought him from his 
brother Alexander. Henderson delivered the message which 
he had received from Mr. Ruthven ; adding, he had no letter 
to his brother, which the Earl of Gowrie seemed to have ex- 
pected. Henderson then asked what service his lordship had 
for him to do, who, within an hour afterward, bid him put 
on his armor, as he had a Highlander to take prisoner in the 
town of Perth. It does not appear that the Earl of Gowrie 
at this time made any preparation to receive the king, al- 
though apprised of his approach, nor did he even put off the 
service of his own dinner until that of his majesty should be 
provided. On the contrary, he proceeded to his own meal, 
with one or two chance guests who happened to be in the 
castle, at the usual hour of half -past twelve o'clock. Their 
dinner was scarcely finished when notice was given of the 
king's near approach. 

Upon the death of the stag, the king fulfilled his promise 
of riding to Perth with Mr. Ruthven ; but before this, which 
is material, by the by, to the evidence of the case, he com- 
municated to the Duke of Lennox the story of the treasure 
which had been found. The duke replied he did not think 
the tale a likely one. In consequence, perhaps, of this com- 
munication, the duke, the Earl of Mar, and a small train of 
gentlemen followed the king to Perth. They were met by 
the Earl of Gowrie, who, although he appeared surprised 
at the visit, conducted him to his mansion, a large Gothic 
building, walled in and defended by towers, and having a 
garden or pleasure-ground which extended straight down to 
the river Tay. The king, according to etiquette, dined by 


himself. Lord Lennox, the Earl of Mar, and his rain, had 
their repast served in another apartment. The dinner was 
cold and ill -arranged; and everything had the air of haste 
and precipitation, which need not have existed had the Earl 
of Gowrie been disposed to avail himself of the timely in- 
formation which he had received from Henderson. The 
conduct of the entertainer himself was cold, a6stracted, and 
unequal, unlike to that expected from a subject who is hon- 
ored with the presence of his sovereign as a guest. When 
the king had dined, he good-humoredly reminded the Earl 
of Gowrie that he ought to go into the next room and drink 
a cup of welcome to the lords and gentlemen of his train. 
Gowrie did so; and upon his leaving the room, his brother 
Alexander whispered to the king that this was the fitting 
time to inquire into the business of the prisoner and the 
money pot. The king was, apparently, not altogether void 
of suspicion, though probably it extended no further than a 
floating idea that Ruthven, whose tale and conduct were so 
extraordinary, might possibly, after all, be distracted. He 
had, therefore, in the course of their journey to Perth, pri- 
vately desired the Duke of Lennox to take notice where he 
should pass with Alexander Ruthven, and to follow him. 
But as they were in separate chambers, the duke had no 
opportunity to observe the charge given to him. 

Alexander Ruthven conducted the king from chamber 
to chamber, until he introduced him into a large gallery, at 
the angles of which were two rounds or turrets, which gave 
room, as is usual in such buildings, the one to a small closet 
or cabinet, the other to a private passage called a turnpike 
stair. On Ruthven's opening that which constituted a cab- 
inet, the king discovered, to his surprise, a man not bound 
or captive, but armed and at liberty. 

This was Henderson, already mentioned, whom the broth- 
ers had employed in their plan, though they had not deemed 
it safe to trust him with its purpose. His deposition bore, 
that after his return from Falkland, and his assuming his 
armor by the earl's orders, Gowrie had asked him for the 

Scotland. Vol. II.— 15 


key of the gallery chamber. It was not at first to be found, 
so little were things prepared for an attempt so dangerous. 
Being at length found, the earl commanded Henderson to 
go there, and to act as he should be directed by his brother 
Alexander. Henderson obeyed with the unresisting and 
ready submission of a vassal of the time; and Ruthven 
planted him in the little cabinet in which he was found, 
and locked him in. These preparations made, the man be- 
came afraid where all this might end. Left alone in the 
cabinet, he prayed to God to guard him from approaching 
evil ; and after waiting about half an hour, Ruthven and the 
king appeared. The account of the extraordinary scene which 
followed rests upon the evidence of the king and Henderson. 
They agree in the main, but differ in several minute particu- 
lars. This is in no way surprising. Upon scarce any occa- 
sion do the witnesses of a perturbed, violent, and agitating 
scene agree minutely in narrating what has passed before 
their eyes; and there often exist circumstances of discrepancy 
much more remarkable than any that occur in the present 
case, which, nevertheless, are not considered as affecting the 
general truth and consistency of the evidence. The truth is, 
that the surprise or shock which the mind receives when 
an individual witnesses anything very extraordinary has an 
operation in preventing exact circumstantial recollection of 
what has passed, and the witness, insensibly on his own part, 
is, in the detail of minute particulars, extremely apt to sub- 
stitute the suggestions of imagination for those of recollec- 
tion. There may be also seen, in the varieties of the king's 
declaration and the evidence of Henderson, a desire on the 
part of each to set his own conduct in the best point of view ; 
Henderson taking the merit of assisting the king in one or 
two instances, where James ascribes his safety to his own 
personal exertions. 

The outline of the fact is this : So soon as Ruthven and 
the king entered the cabinet, the former exchanged the def- 
erence of a subject for the demeanor of an assassin : he threw 
his hat upon his head, snatched a dagger from the side of 


Andrew Henderson, and placing the point to the king's 
breast, said, "Sir, you must be my prisoner. Think on my 
father's death." Henderson pushed the weapon aside. As 
the king attempted to speak, Ruthven replied, "Hold your 
tongue, or, by Heaven, you shall die!" — "Alexander," re- 
plied the king, "think upon our intimacy, and remember 
that at the time of your father's death I was but a minor, 
and the council might have done anything they pleased. 
Even should you slay me you cannot possess the crown ; for 
I have both sons and daughters, and friends, and faithful 
subjects, who will not leave my death unavenged." — Ruth- 
ven replied by swearing that he neither sought the king's 
life nor blood. — ""What, then, is it you demand?" said the 
king. — "It is but a promise," answered the conspirator, who 
seems to have been irresolute, or intimidated. — "What prom- 
ise?" demanded James; and added, with becoming spirit, 
"What though you were to take off your hat." — "My 
brother will tell you," replied Ruthven, uncovering, in 
obedience to the king's command. — "Fetch him hither," 
said the king. And Ruthven, having first taken James's 
word that he would not open the window or raise any alarm, 
left him, in order, as he pretended, to seek his brother, al- 
though, as Henderson says, he thinks that Ruthven never 
stirred from the gallery. He retired, most probably, only 
with the purpose of fortifying his own failing resolution, or 
preparing the means of binding the king. During his ab- 
sence, the king demanded of Henderson how he came there. 
"As I live," answered the poor man, much alarmed by all 
that had passed in his presence, "I was shut up here like a 
dog." The king then asked if the Ruthvens would do him 
any injury. "As I live," answered Henderson, "I will die 
ere I witness it." The king, finding this person at his com- 
mand, desired him to open the window of the turret. It 
had two, one of which looked down toward the castle gar- 
den and the river side, the other to the courtyard in front 
of the castle. The king, with the presence of mind which he 
seems to have maintained during the whole transaction, see- 


ing that Henderson opened the former of those windows, 
from which no alarm could be given, called out that he un- 
did the wrong window. Henderson was going to the other, 
when Ruthven again entered, with a garter in his hand, and 
laid violent hands upon his majesty, declaring there was no 
remedy. James, replying with indignation that he was a 
free prince, and would not be bound, resisted Ruthven man- 
fully, and, though much inferior to him in strength and 
stature, had rather the better of the struggle. Henderson, 
who appears to have been confounded with terror, and di- 
vided between his respect for the king and for his feudal 
lord, took no part in the struggle, otherwise than by snatch- 
ing the garter from Ruthven's hand, and, as he says, Alex- 
ander's hand from the king's mouth. Ruthven had expected 
his co-operation ; for he exclaimed, "Woe worth thee! is there 
no help in thee?" Meantime the king, by violent exertion, 
dragged the conspirator as far as the second window, which 
Henderson opened. The king then, still struggling with 
Ruthven, called out "Treason!" and "Help!" and was 
heard by his followers in the courtyard below. 

We must here give some account how the royal train 
came to be so opportunely within hearing of their master's 
cries. After drinking the pledge which had been recom- 
mended by the king, the Duke of Lennox and the rest of 
the royal retinue arose from table; the former recollecting 
the charge which he had to follow his majesty, when he 
should see him go out with Ruthven. The Earl of Gowrie, 
however, alleged that the king desired to be private for a 
few minutes ; and calling for the key of his garden, carried 
his visitors to walk there until James should descend. They 
had stayed there but a few minutes when John Cranstoun, 
a retainer or friend of the earl, came into the garden, and 
said that the king was on horseback, and already past the 
middle of the South Inch, upon his return to Falkland. The 
Duke of Lennox and the other attendants of James, conceiv- 
ing them failing in their duty, instantly hastened out of the 
garden toward the courtyard, and called to horse. The 


porter at the gate informed them the king had not passed. 
As they stood in surprise, the Earl of Gowrie entreated 
them to stay till he should obtain sure information concern- 
ing the king's motions. He entered the house, and returning 
almost immediately, declared that the king was actually set 

The porter still contradicted the report of. his master, 
replying to the royal attendants that the king must be still 
in the mansion, since he could not have gone out without 
his having seen him. "Thou liest, knave!" exclaimed the 
earl ; and to reconcile his own account with that of his ser- 
vant, Gowrie alleged that the king was gone forth at a pos- 
tern-gate. "It is impossible, my lord," answered the porter, 
"for I am in possession of the key of that postern." During 
this dispute cries of treason and help were heard from the 
turret. "That is the king's voice," said the Duke of Len- 
nox, "be he where he will." James's attendants looked 
up to the window from whence the noise was heard, and 
perceived the head of the king partly thrust out at the win- 
dow, inflamed by struggling, and a hand grasping him by 
the throat. 

The greater part of the king's attendants reentered 
the mansion by the principal gate to hasten to their 
master's assistance, while Sir Thomas Erskine and others 
threw themselves upon the Earl of Gowrie, accusing him 
of treason. Gowrie, with the assistance of Thomas Cran- 
stoun and others his retainers and servants, extricated him- 
self from their grasp, and at first fled a little way up the 
street ; then halted, and drew two swords, which, according 
to a fashion of the time practiced in Italy, he carried in the 
same scabbard. "What will you do, my lord?" said Cran- 
stoun, who attended with the purpose of seconding him. 
"I will either make my waj r to my own house," said the 
earl, adopting, it would seem, a desperate resolution, "or I 
will die for it." He rushed on, followed by Cranstoun and 
other friends and domestics, who also drew their swords. 
A lackey, named Crooshanks, threw a steel head-piece upon 


the earl's bead as he passed. Cranstoun, for the least cir- 
cumstance is of importance in a case of minute evidence, 
called to one Craigengelt to keep the back yett, meaning 
a postern giving exit to a secret staircase which descended 
from the gallery into the court. Craigengelt, accordingly, 
seconded by others, defended that door, which had already, 
however, given access to some of the king's retinue. 

A dreadful scene in the meanwhile was taking place in 
Gowrie House. Lennox, Mar, and by far the greater part 
of the king's attendants, endeavored to find their way to the 
place of the king's confinement by the public staircase of 
the castle; but this only conducted them to the outer door 
of the gallery, within which, and from one of its extremities, 
opened the fatal cabinet in which the king and AlexandeT 
Ruthven were still grappling with each other. 

It must be remembered that a scene, the details of which 
take some time in narrating, passed in the course of two 
or three minutes. Sir John Ramsay, a page of James, who 
had in keeping his majesty's hawk, had heard James's cry 
of distress; and while the other attendants of the king ran 
up the main staircase, he lighted by accident upon a small 
turnpike or winding stair which led to the cabinet in which 
the struggle was still taking place. Alarmed by the noise 
and shuffling of feet, he exerted his whole strength in such 
a manner as to force open the door at the head of that turn- 
pike, which introduced him into the fatal cabinet. The king 
and Ruthven were still wrestling together; and although 
James had forced his antagonist almost upon his knees, 
Ruthven had still his hand upon James's face and mouth. 
He also saw another form, that of the passive Andrew Hen- 
derson, who left the closet almost the instant he saw Ramsay 

The page, at the sight of his master's danger, cast the 
king's hawk from his hand, and drew his whinger, or hunt- 
ing sword. The king, at that moment of emergency, called 
out, "Fie! strike him low, for he has a pine doublet" — mean- 
ing a secret shirt of mail under his garments. Ramsay 


stabbed Ruthven accordingly ; and James lending his assist- 
ance, they thrust the wounded man down the turnpike by 
which Ramsay had ascended. Voices and steps were now 
heard advancing upward ; and Ramsay knowing the accents 
called out to Sir Thomas Erskine to come up the turnpike 
stair, even to the head. Sir Thomas Erskine was accom- 
panied by Sir Hugh Harris, the king's physician, a lame 
man, and unfit for fighting. Near the bottom of the turn- 
pike Sir Thomas Erskine in his ascent met Ruthven, bleed- 
ing in the face and neck, and called out, "Fie ! strike ! this 
is the traitor" ; on which Alexander Ruthven was run 
through the body, having only breath remaining to say, 
"Alas! I had no blame of it" 

Sir Thomas Erskine pressed to the head of the staircase, 
where he found the king and Ramsay alone. "I thought/' 
said Erskine, "your majesty would have trusted me so much 
as at least to have commanded me to await at the door for 
your protection, if you had not thought it meet to take me 
with you." James replied, and the words first spoken in 
such a moment of agitation are always worthy of notice, 
"Alas ! the traitor deceived me in that as he did in the rest ; 
for I commanded him to bring you to me, but he only went 
out and locked the door." 

At this point of the extraordinary transaction the Earl 
of Gowrie entered with a drawn sword in each hand, a steel 
bonnet on his head, and six servants following him in arms. 
In the chamber there were only three of the king's retinue, 
Sir Hugh Harris, Sir John Ramsay, and Sir Thomas Ers- 
kine, with one Wilson^ a servant. Of these, Sir Hugh Harris 
might be considered as unfit for combat. They thrust the 
king back into the turret closet, and turned to encounter 
Gowrie and his servants, exasperated as they were by the 
death of Alexander Ruthven, whose body (hoy had found 
at the bottom of the turnpike stair. The battle was for a 
short time fierce and unequal on the part of the king's ret- 
inue; but Erskine having exclaimed to the Earl of Gowrie, 
"Traitor, you have slain our master, and now you would 


murder us!" the earl, as if astonished, dropped the point 
of his sword, and Erskine in the same moment ran him 
through the body. The thrust was fatal, and the earl fell 
dead, without a single word. His servants and assistants 

The king's composure during this dangerous tumult was 
marked by a singular circumstance. The hawk which Ram- 
say had, in the first moment of alarm, flung from his hand, 
was flying at large through the apartment; and the king, 
either from instinctive habit, which will sometimes govern 
men's motions in moments of great danger, or else from a 
presence of mind little consistent with his general character, 
put his foot upon the leash, and so kept the bird safe during 
the mortal scuffle. 

The uproar was not yet over : a dreadful noise was heard 
at the door of the gallery. This proved to be the Duke of 
Lennox, the Earl of Mar, and the greater part of the king's 
attendants, who had come up the main stair of the castle, 
found the door of the gallery locked, and, hearing the 
clashing of swords and tumult within, were endeavoring 
to force their entrance by violence. Those within having 
learned who they were undid the door to admit them, and 
thus the king's retinue was assembled around him in the 

But the adventures of the day were not yet closed, nor 
its dangers ended. The deceased Earl of Gowrie had been 
exceedingly beloved in the town of Perth, of which he was 
provost. His retainers, who had seen him fall, and probably 
knew nothing more than that he had been slain by the king's 
attendants, spread a wild alarm through the town, calling 
out, Murder and revenge ! A furious multitude was speedily 
assembled, who ran headlong to Gowrie House ; some carry- 
ing a large beam to be used as a battering-ram, others call- 
ing for powder to blow up the mansion; and all declaring 
that if their provost was not delivered to them in safety the 
king and his green-coats should smoke for it. The domestics 
of Gowrie were among the populace, calling loudly that they 


were all unworthy of such a provost who would not fight 
in revenge of his death. The moment seemed extremely 
critical ; for the king's retinue had no weapons but hunting- 
knives, and especially had no firearms. The magistrates 
of the town, however, threw themselves among the rioters, 
and by their remonstrances assuaged their fury. The king 
himself spoke to them from the window — gave some informa- 
tion of the circumstances in which he was placed, and sue* 
ceeded in pacifying the tumult and dispersing the rioters, 
After all was quiet he returned to Falkland, having passed 
through a day of great peril and violent excitation. 

The scene which had passed was of a most unintelligible 
description, and for a length of time nothing seemed to ren* 
der it explicable. Henderson, who had played so strange 
and passive a part, surrendered on promise of pardon, but 
his evidence threw very little light upon the extraordinary 
transaction. According to his own account, he knew noth- 
ing earthly about the traitorous transaction to which he had 
so strangely been a witness. Three friends and servants of 
the Earl of Gowrie who had assisted him in his battles with 
the king's retinue, and were afterward officious and active 
in the tumult, were tried, condemned, and executed, pro- 
testing with their last breath they knew nothing about 
the transactions of the day further than that they took 
part with their master. 

Viewed in every light, the conspiracy seemed to the 
public one of the darkest and most extraordinary which 
ever agitated the general mind; and it cannot be wondered 
that very different conclusions were formed concerning it. 
The king was particularly touched in point of honor in mak- 
ing good his own story ; but experienced no small difficulty 
from the mystery which hung over the bloody incident. 
Faction and religious prejudice lent their aid to disturb 
men's comprehension of what was in itself so mystical. 
Many doubted the king's report altogether, and conceived 
it more likely that the brothers should have fallen by some 
deceit on the part of the king and court, than that they 


should have attempted treason against the life or liberty of 
the sovereign in circumstances so very improbable. Many 
of the clergymen, particularly, continued to retain most 
absolute incredulity upon the subject; and he was thought 
no bad politician who found an evasion by saying that 
he believed the story because the king told it; but that 
he would not have given credit to his own eyes had he 
seen it. 

The ministers of Edinburgh were peculiarly resolute in 
refusing to give avowed credit to the king's account of the 
conspiracy, and took the most public measures to show their 
incredulity. The council having required them to return 
solemn thanks from their pulpits for the deliverance of 
James, they excused themselves, saying that they had no 
acquaintance with the particulars of the danger which the 
king was said to have escaped. It was replied to them that 
their minute acquaintance with the affair was not necessary j 
it was enough for them to know that the king had been 
delivered from a great danger. They answered, with imper- 
turbable pertinacity, that the pulpit being the chair of truth, 
nothing ought to be said from thence of which the speaker 
was not himself perfectly convinced. This mode of appeal- 
ing to his subjects being intercepted, the king caused the 
privy council to appear in public at the market-cross, where 
the bishop of Ross, after a narrative of the king's danger 
and deliverance, expressed a public thanksgiving, in which 
the populace seemed frankly to join. On the Monday fol- 
lowing, the king attended in person at the market-cross, 
where a sermon was preached by his own minister, Mr. 
Patrick Galloway, in which he dilated on all the particulars 
of the conspiracy. An order for a solemn and public thanks- 
giving on a day fixed was then sent forth, and the divines 
who should scruple to perform the duty of the day were 
threatened with banishment. Most of the recusants sub- 
mitted, after some altercation. "You have heard me, you 
have heard my minister; what assurance can you desire 
more?" said the king. 


"Your majesty," said one of these reverend men, "ought 
not to have been so hasty as to have slain the master of 
Ruthven upon the spot: you should have had the fear of 
Heaven before your eyes." 

The king, irritated beyond patience, replied, "I tell thee, 
man, I had neither heaven nor hell before my eyes : I was 
in mortal fear of my life." 

All the clergy at length submitted to the king's pleasure, 
except the Reverend Robert Bruce, who could be brought no 
further than to say he would reverence his majesty's reports 
of the accident ; but could not say he was persuaded of the 
truth of it. He was banished for his incredulity, and re- 
paired to France. 

The parliament, by giving the fullest credit to the king's 
account of the accident, may be supposed to have designed 
to console him for the incredulity of the clergy. They heard 
the witnesses upon the trial, and not only pronounced sen- 
tence of forfeiture against the deceased brothers, but disin- 
herited their whole posterity, and proscribed the very name 
of Ruthven. Honorable rewards and titles were bestowed 
on Sir Thomas Erskine, Sir John Ramsay, and Sir Hugh 
Harris, who had been the instruments of James's preserva- 
tion. Alms were dispersed, and every other means adopted 
which could impress upon the people the reality of the king's 
danger and the sincerity of his gratitude to Heaven for a 
providential deliverance. But it is an observation of Taci- 
tus that one of the misfortunes of princes is that conspiracies 
against them are not believed until they are carried into fatal 

A considerable party in James's kingdom, thinking, per- 
haps, better of his audacity and worse of his morals than 
either the one or the other deserved, still refused to believe 
that the king's danger had been real, or the death of Gowrie 
and his brother on the memorable 5th of August excusable. 
Their arguments rested upon the string of improbabilities of 
which it is impossible to divest the story, and which, indeed, 
can only be refuted by opposing to them the greater difficul- 


ties which attend the embracing a different solution. It was 
said to be grossly improbable that, meditating so violent an 
action, a principal part should have been intrusted to a man 
like Henderson, totally unacquainted with the deep purpose 
in which he was engaged, and, as it appeared, of too vacil- 
lating and hesitating a character to give the support required 
and expected; it was noticed that his evidence, though in 
general it agreed with the narrative of James himself, dif- 
fered, as we have already observed, in some more minute 

It was also remarked that, supposing the conspiracy to 
be real, every circumstance necessary to carry it into effect 
was left unprovided till the very last moment. The key of 
the gallery chamber, the designed place of the attack on the 
king's person, had to be sought for only an hour or two be- 
fore James's arrival at Perth ; and so little preparation seemed 
to be made for any deed of violence that, when Ruthven 
wanted to intimidate James into submission, he was obliged 
to snatch out Henderson's dagger, having no weapon of his 
own but a walking rapier. Their train were no less unpro- 
vided. Craigengelt, Lord Gowrie's steward, sought his own 
room and his master's ere he could light on the two-handed 
sword which he used in the fray. In short, all was so ill 
prepared that huntsmen might be said to take more pre- 
caution and make greater preparation for destroying a 
stag than these men thought necessary to the murder of 
a king. 

Others have been disposed to allow a hypothesis, infer- 
ring that Alexander Ruthven, actuated by some wild passion 
of his own, was actually guilty of the attack upon the king's 
person, but that his brother was not conscious of it, nor ac- 
cessory to it. They who hold this opinion insist that the 
earl's own conduct is to be very naturally explained by the 
circumstances as they arose. "When Sir Thomas Erskine, 
say they, assailed the Earl of Gowrie before the gate of his 
house, nothing was so natural as that he should shake him 
off, or that, having freed himself from Erskine's gripe, he 


should attempt to regain his own castle ; or, finally, that, find- 
ing his brother's dead body lying across the threshold, the 
earl should have attempted to revenge it upon those of the 
king's retinue whom he found with hands and swords bloody 
from the recent slaughter. They found, too, on these the 
minute circumstance of Gowrie's death ; and remark, that 
when he was charged with the king's murder he sunk his 
sword's point in astonishment, and omitted to parry the 
fatal thrust which was in that moment dealt to him. 

"We shall mention what occurs in confutation of this last 
hypothesis, before noticing the opinion of those who deem 
both brothers alike innocent. 

The conduct of Alexander Ruthven, mysterious enough 
under any circumstances, approaches the verge of madness, 
if we suppose him acting without instructions and the co- 
operation of Gowrie. What end could his conspiracy in such 
a case have aimed at? If merely to the king's death, many 
modes of effecting it would have been preferable to doing the 
deed in a house not his own, and where the only servant 
whom he could get to assist him in the execution was of 
such a complexion as Henderson, alike ignorant of the con- 
spiracy and without the will to assist him in it. 

If it was Alexander Ruthven's only object to deprive the 
king of his liberty, what benefit could he have derived, or 
by what force have executed such a purpose? If we suppose 
him to have acted alone in the affair, we can only suppose 
his motive to have been some sudden fit of insanity; a sup- 
position not to be resorted to when any less violent mode of 
solution remains. 

But ceasing to argue upon presumptions, there is positive 
evidence enough in the case to show that the Earl of Gowrie 
was acquainted with, and consequently the principal con- 
ductor of, the whole of the enterprise. This appears from 
the following circumstances of real evidence: First, when 
Henderson brought word to the Earl of Gowrie that the 
king was coming with a small train to dine with him, he 
told him nothing but what Gowrie seemed to expect. He 


questioned Henderson how the king received Alexander, and 
seemed well acquainted with his brother's morning expedi- 
tion to Falkland. Yet, instead of making provision to re- 
ceive the intended honor, he commanded his own dinner to 
be served up, and made no preparations for that of the king; 
evidently to impress upon all who should witness this event 
the idea that the king arrived at Gowrie House totally unex- 
pected by the owner. Secondly, it was Gowrie himself who 
commanded the key of the gallery chamber to be produced; 
and it was he, no less, by whose orders Henderson put on 
his armor, and attended upon the commands of Alexander 
Ruthven, by whom he was placed in the fatal closet ; he 
was, therefore, active in preparing the scene, and disposing 
the actors in the drama which followed. Lastly, the con- 
duct of the Earl of Gowrie, at the moment when Lennox 
and the other lords arose from table, was decisive, as to his 
acquaintance with and accession to the conspiracy. He im- 
posed upon them a story that the king had withdrawn for 
an interval, and led them into the garden, where presently 
afterward a cry arose that the king was already on horse- 
back, and half way through the Inch on his return to Falk- 

It is remarkable that Mr. Thomas Cranstoun was the 
most active in propagating this false report. On his exam- 
ination he stated that he caught it up from some persons 
who were buzzing such a rumor around him ; but it is more 
probable he received it from the earl himself. At least it is 
certain that when Gowrie 's porter contradicted the report of 
the king having gone off, the earl was very angry with his 
servant, and continued to assert that the king was gone, 
having passed through a small postern-gate. Contradicted 
in this circumstantial falsehood, also, the Earl of Gowrio 
undertook to procure the lords genuine information of the 
king's motions, and ran, under that pretext, into the castle; 
and although he neither did nor could have seen the king, 
who was at that moment grappling with his brother, he re- 
turned to his guests, who were becoming anxious, with the 


positive assurance that James had actually left the castle. 
This chain of real evidence plainly evinces that the Earl of 
Gowrie was apprised of his brother's conspiracy, and took 
measures, in turn, for disguising its commencement, and for 
carrying through the perpetration. If he had succeeded in 
his last attempt, to get rid, namely, of the king's retinue, the 
coast would have been clear, for an hour at least; and that 
space would have been time enough to dispose of his maj* 
esty's person in the manner which it is most probable the 
conspirators had in view. 

More generally, if we incline to disbelieve King James's 
account of the Gowrie conspiracy, we shall find ourselves 
obliged to adopt a system beset by more and greater improb- 
abilities, and far less supported by anything like evidence, 
Some scraps of tradition are indeed quoted as contradictory 
of the king's report, and there are two or three incoherences 
in the evidence, as we have endeavored to show is often the 
case where various eye-witnesses give an account of the same 
agitating scene; but what species of suppositions are we to 
receive if we are to adopt the idea that the king was laying 
a snare for Gowrie and Alexander Ruthven, instead of his 
being exposed to one at their hands? "We must suppose that 
a monarch remarkable for timidity, and by no means thirsty 
of blood, had devised a scheme for murdering two noble in- 
dividuals to whose whole family, and especially to them- 
selves personally, he had shown great marks of favor. For 
the execution of this purpose, we must hold James to have 
repaired suddenly to Gowrie House, a strong building, 
filled with the servants of the earl, and situated in a town 
where he was provost, and greatly beloved by the citizens. 
Far from selecting any part of his train, a few attendants 
follow him at random, with their hunting equipage and 
armed only with hangers for hunting. "Was this a retinue 
with which James, or a much more valiant man, would have 
thought of attempting the slaughter of two noblemen? Such 
an idea cannot be entertained without reversing every notion 
which we have, not only of James's constitutional timidity 


and the natural lenity and humanity of his disposition, but 

of his common sense and share in the instinct of self-pres- 

The argument founded on the absurdity of the accusa- 
tion might be carried still further ; for how is it possible to 
account for the king's going apart, without an attendant, 
into the recesses of an unknown house, himself the sole com- 
panion of one of the men whom he meant to murder, who, 
as it is proved, was supported by a retainer in complete 
armor, the king himself not having even a sword at his side? 
These are suppositions too gross to be admitted. Again, if 
we admit the conspiracy to have been the king's stratagem, 
we must suppose the Earl of Gowrie to have been the object 
of the royal hatred in the principal degree, and his death 
chiefly intended. Yet the earl's death happened only inci- 
dentally, in the course of a general brawl, which might either 
never have happened or have terminated in a very different 
manner ; and he must resign the Gowrie conspiracy as totally 
inexplicable who shall decline to receive the account given 
by the king himself. 

Nine years after the death of the two brethren, a discov- 
ery was made which seemed tolerably to prove the general 
scope and tendency of the plot, though it leaves in uncer- 
tainty the nature of those machinations by which it was to 
be accomplished. 

One Sprot, a notary, who appears to have been a busy, 
intermeddling man, suffered it to be understood through 
some oblique hints, by which persons of his character love 
to indicate that they are wiser than their neighbors, that he 
was acquainted with matters relating to the Gowrie conspir- 
acy. Being seized and examined before the privy council, 
he made the following deposition, which was partly volun- 
tary, partly extorted by torture. Logan of Restal Rig, a 
person of a wild, fierce, turbulent disposition and dissolute 
morals, had, according to Sprot, been in correspondence 
and intimacy with Gowrie during the whole concoction of 
the conspiracy, and had been privy to it in every stage. 


The fortress called Fastcastle is a strength which then be- 
longed to Logan, and overhangs the German Ocean, occupy- 
ing almost the whole projecting cliff on which it stands ; con- 
nected with the land by a very narrow path, and of such 
security that, manned with a score of desperate men, it 
must in those days have been impregnable, save by famine. 
Logan, who had squandered away a large estate, designed, 
by means of this fortress, to recover his wealth, or obtain 
an ample indemnification; he was, therefore, according to 
Sprot's account, deeply engaged in desperate schemes. He 
wrote five letters, three of them without any direction, one 
to Gowrie, and one to an old man called Laird Bour, who 
was trusted with this dangerous secret: Being ignorant 
himself of the art of writing and reading, this Bour was 
in the custom of carrying to Sprot such letters and papers 
as he was charged with, for the sake of learning the con- 
tents ; and the busy notary was unable to resist the tempta- 
tion of stealing from the laird the five letters which concerned 
the conspiracy. They are written half in an earnest and pas- 
sionate, half in a species of satirical or drolling style. Men- 
tion is made of revenge to be had for the death of Graysteel, 
a name given to the Earl of Gowrie's father, beheaded at 
Stirling in 1584: the strength of Fastcastle is commended; 
"in which," says Logan, whose principles we may estimate 
by his friendships, (i I have sheltered the Earl of Both well 
in his greatest necessities, let the king and council say what 
they would." Allusion is made to an important captive ; to 
a signal to be made by a vessel and answered from the castle, 
with several other hints, which were, doubtless, distinctly un- 
derstood between the parties , Above all, secrecy was recom- 
mended, and the burning of such letters as should pass on 
the subject. It is singular to remark that, in spite of Lo- 
gan's repeated cautions on this subject, and no less in spite 
of the closeness and reserve of the Earl of Gowrie, who 
thoight most conspiracies failed by being intrusted to con- 
fidants, the impertinent curiosity of a newsmonger like 
Sprot, and the stupid carelessness of an old fool like 


Bour, were the means of preserving these letters of such 
deadly import. 

According to the tenor of the correspondence, and the ex- 
planations of Sprot, the king, being secured in Gowrie Castle, 
was to be embarked upon the Tay, and the vessel which bore 
him, standing out of that estuary, was to make Fastcastle, 
on the coast of Berwickshire, and there to land the king as 
in a place of safe custody. The eventual intention, no doubt, 
must have been to have delivered him into the hands of Eliza- 
beth, who had always been desirous of exercising sovereignty 
in Scotland. Perhaps she desired little more than that the 
brothers, attached by principles and family descent to the 
English interest, should renew the attempt to secure the king's 
person, and conduct his administration thereafter according 
to their own pleasure, always subservient to her interest. 
This was the part which their father endeavored to act, en- 
couraged also by the queen of England ; and although he had 
failed in it, Elizabeth still continued to regard his memory 
with respect, to protect his accomplices, and to be generous 
to his family. If we look at the attempt of the brethren as 
connected with some such issue as we have stated, it removes 
a great part of the difficulty and obscurity attending the con- 
spiracy. If the king was only to be secured, not slain, the 
brothers might have the better reason to rely upon the as- 
sistance of Henderson. He does not appear to have been, in 
ordinary circumstances, a man of irresolution, having been 
in the habit of being employed by Gowrie in arrests and 
other 'dangerous services. Little more seems to have been 
expected of him than that he should have looked bold, and 
by the terrors of his armed presence should have intimidated 
the king into silence. "We can easily conceive that the broth- 
ers, judging from James's ordinary character, might have 
expected that the king would have been browbeaten into 
submission more easily than they found to be the case; and 
that the courage with which James behaved himself was as 
unexpected as the extremity of Henderson's consternation 
and hesitation. Alexander Ruthven seems, from the ex- 


pressions he used, to have reckoned on this man's assistance 
in the moment of the struggle. If James had come, as Ruth- 
ven desired, altogether without followers, or if Gowrie had 
succeeded in dismissing the royal retinue, there could have 
been little difficulty in executing the rest of the plot : the 
condemned turnpike, or secret stair, so often mentioned, 
would have given access to the gardens of the castle stretch- 
ing down to the river Tay ; the king might have been con- 
veyed to the water's edge without difficulty, and placed in 
a well-manned boat. "With wind and tide to favor her voy- 
age, the vessel in which he was embarked might have soon 
left the Tay and reached the fortress of Fastcastle, engrafted, 
as it were, upon the precipitous rocks which stretch north- 
ward from St. Abb's Head. The issue of the enterprise 
must have been under the management of Elizabeth. 

But ere this explanation of their mysterious schemes had 
been afforded, the two brethren had been slain, and Logan, 
and Bour, his messenger, had been long dead. The discov- 
ery of these letters, however, occasioned some singular law 
proceedings; nor did the memory of Logan escape prosecu- 
tion for treason, as if even the grave could not protect those 
who were liable to be charged with this state crime. A pe- 
culiar process, borrowed from the civil code, was used on 
such occasions. In order to satisfy the letter of the law, 
ordaining that each party accused of high treason should be 
present upon his trial and conviction, a legal fiction intro- 
duced the production in open court of the dead body, or the 
bones of the accused person, in order to obtain conviction 
against him. Under these ghastly circumstances, the mem- 
ory of Logan was attainted of treason. His estate was for- 
feited ; and as some property near Edinburgh, which formerly 
had belonged to him, was afterward found in possession of 
the Earl of Murray, a cry has been raised, as if Logan's let- 
ters, found in Sprot's possession, must have been forged, in 
order to procure the means of enriching a favorite courtier. 
Later researches have proved this to be wellnigh impossible; 
for the operations of the law, enforcing the demands of credit- 


ors, had stripped Logan of his large possessions before his 
death, and left none to tempt the cupidity of the crown; 
there is little room, therefore, to challenge the authenticity 
of these letters, though the circumstances of their preserva- 
tion are so singular and extraordinary. 

Sprot's idle curiosity proved fatal to himself: he was 
brought to trial upon a charge of having concealed the 
treasonable enterprise, the knowledge of which he had so 
strangely become possessed of. He was condemned to die 
for this misprision of treason, and was executed. He ad- 
hered to his confession to the last; and to give the people a 
sign that it was true, he even in his mortal agony clapped 
his hands three times, after he was thrown off, on the gibbet. 
This last circumstance is attested by the historian Spottis- 
woode, who, nevertheless, seems very sceptical upon the 
subject of Sprot and his discoveries. However, as the rev- 
erend historian chiefly rests his incredulity on the improb- 
ability that a youth of Gowrie's character would unite with 
such a man as Logan was known to be, his argument would 
carry him further than he intended. Having admitted that 
Gowrie was actually engaged in a conspiracy, the inference 
must be that he was necessarily obliged to stoop to communi- 
cate with the desperate or depraved characters whose agency 
was necessary to carry it on. Treason, like misery, makes a 
man acquainted with strange companions. Leaving this dark 
matter to time and the further researches of antiquaries, we 
return to what remains to be said of the history of Scotland. 

King James, about the commencement of the seventeenth 
century, undertook an object of considerable policy, which 
would have rendered great honor to his memory had he been 
able to achieve it. The Highlands, torn to pieces during the 
civil war by domestic feuds, were become as lawless as they 
had been for many ages ; and to add to the confusion which 
their wildness occasioned, the state of the Hebrides was still 
more savage than that of the mainland. James VI., as a 
wise prince, was desirous of finding a remedy for this in- 
creasing evil ; but a better did not occur to the king and his 


counsellors than to commit the task of civilizing the islands 
to associations of gentlemen, chiefly proprietors in Fife, with 
their friends and kinsfolk, who undertook to settle in the 
Lewis, Uist, and other isles convenient for the fisheries, 
where these gentlemen, called the Undertakers, proposed 
to expel or subdue the natives, to build towns, to cultivate 
manufactories, and to do all that could have the effect of 
introducing civilization into these wild regions. Amid all 
this, it was never asked who were the patriarchal chiefs to 
w T hom the country belonged, or by what authority the king 
gave away, or the Fife undertakers accepted, the settlements 
of the Hebrides? Most of them, no doubt, might be liable 
to a doom of forfeiture ; but it was for transgressing laws 
of which they had never known the tenor or experienced the 
benefit, and of which, therefore, they ought not to have ex- 
perienced the rigor. But the rights of the natives were as 
little thought of as if the settlement intended had been in 
India or America, and the persons who were to be dispos- 
sessed had been savage heathens. The undertakers, there- 
fore, proceeded on their adventure, without troubling them- 
selves with any doubt upon the subject of the real right of 

They commenced with the Isle of Lewis, where Mur- 
doch M'Leod, a natural son of the old chieftain, at that time 
commanded. After some struggle he was driven by the 
undertakers out of the island. The colonists sent home 
Learmouth of Balcomie to intimate their success; but ere 
he had left the shores of Lewis, the ship, being becalmed, 
was assaulted by MurdochiM'Leod, with a number of boats: 
he killed many of the mariners, and took Balcomie prisoner, 
who, having been ransomed by his friends, died afterward 
in the Orkney Isles. In revenge of this injury, the under- 
takers caused Murdoch M'Leod to be betrayed by one of his 
brothers, and delivered into their hands. They finally sent 
him to St. Andrew's, and he was there executed. The un- 
dertakers continued their proceedings, being now secure, 
as they thought, of their possessions; but, when they least 


expected it, their settlement was invaded by Norman M'Leod, 
another son of the old chief. He stormed their village, set 
fire to the houses, and compelled the colonists to surrender 
on the following conditions : first, that they should procure 
for Norman a full pardon of all irregularities which he might 
have committed ; secondly, that they should surrender their 
right to the isle to their aforesaid conqueror, Norman M'Leod ; 
and, thirdly, that they should deliver hostages for obtaining 
the pardon, and resigning the right, in terms of the two first 
stipulations. An attempt was made about three years after 
this period to renew the settlement, but without better success. 



King James's Claim of Succession to the English Crown — Is agree- 
able to both Countries — And why the Prospect of a masculine 
Reign was acceptable — James's personal Character favorably 
estimated — More extensive national Views arise out of the 
Union of the Crowns — The Catholics of England are favorable 
to James — Mysterious Intercourse between James's Secretary, 
Balmerino, and the Pope — Claims of Spain, of France, and Lady 
Arabella Stewart, are [postponed to those of the King of Scot- 
land, even by the Catholics — He maintains a Scottish Faction 
at the Court of Elizabeth — The Queen's Failings become more 
visible in age — Chivalrous Character of Essex, her Favorite — He 
is at the Head of the Swordsmen in her Court — Robert Cecil at 
the Head of an opposite Faction, consisting chiefly of Civilians 
—He shuns connecting himself with James, but refuses to enter 
into any other Interest — The Quarrel with Essex — Essex's Mis- 
carriage in Ireland — He is disgraced — Enters into a rash In- 
surrection — Fails — Is made Prisoner, tried, condemned, and 
executed — Anecdote of Lady Nottingham — The Earl of Mar and 
Bruce of Kinloss sent by James to London with private In- 
structions to advance his Interest — The Earl of Northumberland 
and the Catholics propose violent Measures, which James de- 
clines — Cecil joins his Party, but with much Precaution — His 
Intercourse with Scotland is nearly detected — Opponents of 
James's Claim few and disunited — Scotland exhibits a tranquil 
Appearance — The Queen discovers the Fraud of the Countess 
of Nottingham, and falls into a mortal Malady — Dies — Carey 
bears the News to Scotland, which is confirmed by authentic 
Intelligence — James takes Leave of his ancient Subjects, and 
sets out for England — Meets the Funeral of Lord Seton — One 
Gentleman attends the King's Progress — His Reason — James 
is received in Berwick triumphantly; and the History of Scot- 
land concludes 

A MOST critical period for Britain was now approaching, 
not only on account of James's personal interest but 
in a much more extended view. Both parts of the 
island, which, after so long a separation, if indeed they 
could ever be said to have formed the same country, were 


now advancing to that happy state which was destined to 
put the whole island under the government of a single mon- 
arch. Providence had by a singular course of events removed 
the objections upon either side, which, at an earlier period, 
bade fair to impede forever this happy consummation. 

The national pride of each country found in the prospect 
of the union of the crowns something to soothe its vanity. 
The English people had now for many years preserved a 
degree of political ascendency in Scotland, which removed 
the feelings of former rivalry. No renewal of the fierce and 
bloody contests between the two nations had, since the battle 
of Pinkie, and the subsequent war, exasperated the feelings 
of the English against the Scots. Those wars which had 
taken place during the reign of Mary, or shortly after her 
deposition, had been waged by the co-operation of the En- 
glish forces with the Scots of the king's party, and had been 
uniformly successful; so that the personal recollections of 
the existing generation were of a description flattering to the 
prejudices of the more powerful nation, which had been 
engaged rather as an auxiliary than as a principal in such 
contests as had taken place. Since James had been in un- 
disputed possession of the Scottish throne the actions which 
had occurred were generally mere border brawls, unpremed- 
itated on either side, and which, though evincing to Eng- 
land that the Scottish spirit was unbroken, and their cour- 
age the same as their own, had upon each occasion been 
disowned by the Scottish government; the head of which, 
King James, had shown that, so far from being desirous 
to take exceptions, he was even anxious to concede more 
than could have been in justice demanded. It might be 
reasoning too finely to say that it was even happy that 
in these petty affairs, such as the battle of the Reedsquair, 
or the Raid of Carlisle, the advantage lying on the side of 
the Scots, gratified the pride of a nation peculiarly sensible 
to military fame, while the concessions made to England by 
the Scottish government argued an admission of the superior 
force of England. Each nation, therefore, retained a flat- 


tering sense of its own power. The Scots felt themselves 
in possession of the same determination and prowess which 
they had exercised in former days, while the English re- 
garded with like complacency the unusual disposition of the 
Scots to remedy by excuses and concessions any casual 
breach of truce, paying thus a tribute to the national superi- 
ority of their neighbors in wealth, discipline, and numbers. 

A contest, however long and inveterate, is at no period 
so likely to be brought to an amicable adjustment as when 
both parties are satisfied that they have maintained bravely 
their part of the quarrel, while each, at the same time, feels 
respect for the courage and force of their enemy. 

The manner in which the mutual union was likely to be 
formed had also points in it agreeable to the feelings of both 
nations. If James, on the decease of Elizabeth, should suc- 
ceed to her vacant throne, the Scottish nation must needs 
entertain a feeling of triumph for having on their part given 
a king of their ancient royal stock to the nation who, during 
so many centuries, had proposed to themselves to place over 
them an alien and a conqueror. The feelings of the English 
were also of a conciliatory nature, since, if they should ac- 
cept the government of the Scottish king, it could not, in 
common sense, ^e regarded but as an act of their own free 
choice: James was the natural heir of Henry VII., their 
own king, who had succeeded to the throne by the unani- 
mous consent of parliament and people, upon the extinction 
of the long and illustrious race of Plantagenets. It was 
easily to be understood that he was to reign over them as 
a natural English prince, fixing his seat of government in 
London, henceforth to be the metropolis of Britain, govern- 
ing them by the direction of an English parliament and 
English laws, and acting in every respect as king of the 
whole island, but first and especially as monarch of England. 

To the loss of their monarch, as a resident among them, 
the Scots might reconcile themselves, especially those who 
had some claim to James's favor, by the natural expectation 

that their prince's power of bestowing benefits upon his ser- 

Scotland. Vol. II.— 16 


vants and countrymen would be more widely extended; and 
that, when he was himself promoted to a far more opulent 
and important dominion, they might naturally hope to benefit 
by the kind recollections which he must be supposed to enter- 
tain toward his native land, and the friends to whom he had 
been attached during his earlier and more limited sway. To 
this disposition of conciliation on both sides were added, on 
the part of the English, many hopes and expectations which 
the character of James, seen from a distance, were not ill 
qualified to inspire, although it might be that some of them 
were balanced by defects which were not obvious without 
closer scrutiny. The advantages possessed by James stood 
forth in broad light : his defects were thrown into shadow, 
or, to speak without a simile, he had only had an opportu- 
nity of displaying them in a very limited sphere. 

The points in favor of the king of Scots, personally, we 
shall shortly notice. 

In succeeding to a long female reign, the accession of a 
king was in itself desirable. While exhibiting the most- 
brilliant success which could be recorded in history, the 
reign of Elizabeth was still that of a woman, and was 
marked in her domestic management with traits of unrea- 
sonable severity and arrogance of command, which men 
endure with more difficulty at the hand of a female, and 
which they are disposed to think would not be so apt to take 
place under a masculine ruler. But, in addition to this pref- 
erence of the male sex in government, there appeared to be 
in James's personal character many advantageous circum- 
stances upon which his future subjects might reckon with 

He had shown himself in his government of Scotland a 
merciful and mild prince, ready to forgive injuries, and will- 
ing to remember benefits and services. In his personal con- 
test with the Ruthvens he had displayed flashes of courage 
becoming his high descent ; and upon other occasions, if he 
had not conducted armies, he had at least marched at their 
head ; and though he might add little to it by his personal 


efforts, success has usually crowned his endeavors. The 
fidgeting and paltry instances of irresolution arising from 
the infirmity of his nerves were little seen, save by those 
who approached closely to his person ; and during the reign 
of the Chancellor Maitland, and of Home, who succeeded 
him in favor, the steadiness of the ministers had supported 
what vacillation might be visible in the character of the 
prince. The spirit of profusion arising from good nature 
and indolence to which James was liable was a fault not 
likely to be discovered while the sovereign, having little 
revenue and no credit ? possessed, in fact, nothing of which 
to be ostentatiously profuse. His spirit of favoritism, the 
principal blot of his character, was little seen in his Scottish 
reign after the fall of Arran; and his relaxing the reins 
to that profligate and arrogant minister might, therefore, be 
well considered as a failing of youth. His learning, though 
it would in the present day have been qualified as pedantry, 
approached too near the taste of the times to receive so harsh 
a denomination. He had composed a work upon the educa- 
tion of his son, termed the Basilicon Boron; in which he 
argues with considerable ability upon the principles of gov- 
ernment, and describes the duties by which a young prince 
ought to guide his reign. It was read in England with 
avidity ; and the public in general received from the perusal 
of that work the same favorable sentiments with which 
Walsingham had been impressed by the conversation of 
James while yet a youth. 

The religion of James was knoivn to be steadily Protes- 
tant; and he had even drawn his pen in defence of the 
reformed religion, with the purpose of proving from the 
Book of Revelation that the Eoman pontiff was the anti- 
christ whose arrival is there denounced. 

These various reasons were sufficient to gain the king 
of Scots a strong interest in England, certain to operate in 
Lis favor so soon as the throne should become vacant by the 
death of Elizabeth. 

Enlightened men, and those gifted with powers of rcflec- 


tion, looked far more to the ultimate advantage which Brit- 
ain must attain by the consolidation of its separate divisions 
than to the character of the existing king. It was enough 
on the latter point to know that he was no tyrant, was clem- 
ent in his nature, inclined to peace and rational government, 
and likely to prove a good if not a heroic monarch. 

But they considered with more interest the immense ad- 
vantages likely to accrue to the island of Britain from the 
union of the two countries : they looked to the extensive and 
fertile countries on either side the border, long existing as 
a seat of constant war, and inhabited only by clans whose 
habits approached to those of banditti, and saw the proba- 
bility of its being converted from a seat of eternal strife and 
rapine into the centre of a single kingdom, the habitation of 
peace and honorable industry. In the chronicles of ancient 
times they might read, that if England had been often the 
oppressor and the scourge of her northern neighbors, the 
vindictive retaliation of Scotland had been not less frequently 
or deeply felt. They might learn, that if France had been 
successful in many of her wars with England, it was gen- 
erally owing to her being able to interest Scotland in her 
quarrel, and keep her frontiers open as a gate which the 
English must either guard at great expense, or expect sud- 
den and dangerous invasion. They might remember, that 
of the numerous and bloody battles gained over their north- 
ern neighbors not one had been followed by a permanent 
result of conquest and humiliation. They might, therefore, 
from the most patriotic reasons, hail an event which prom- 
ised, by a safe and easy remedy, to accomplish the cure of 
an ulcer which had for so many hundred, nay, thousand 
years, gnawed into the very vitals of the island. 

The persons who may thus be supposed to take more 
general and enlightened views of the state of the country 
would not fail to remember the crisis in which Britain stood 
in the memorable year 1588. If Scotland had then, from a 
difference in religion or policy, or from national prejudice, 
favored the efforts of the ambitious Spaniard, he might, 


without hazarding his invincible armada, have wafted his 
troops from the Netherlands to the coast of Scotland by a 
short and easy passage, and laid England under the perilous 
necessity of contending for English liberty upon English 
ground. All these reflections could not fail, in the minds 
of reflecting persons, to give the utmost weight to the title 
of James, in his claim upon the English succession. 

There was in England an oppressed yet powerful faction, 
to whom many of the reasons influencing other classes in 
England must rather have operated as disadvantageous in 
their eyes to the claims of the king of Scots. These were 
the Catholics of England, energetic in their zeal for relig- 
ion, and, though sorely oppressed by the laws, still a body 
that was to be respected and feared. These, however, had 
their own hopes and expectations, separate, and in some 
points diametrically opposite, to those of the Protestants. 
King James, it was true, was a Protestant monarch ; but it 
seemed evident that the bulk of the English nation had 
united to recognize his claim to the crown, and would un- 
questionably be still more unanimous in his favor against 
any Catholic candidate who could be proposed to them. 
The ambitious Philip had, by his vain pretensions of de- 
scent from the House of Lancaster, provoked the anger of 
the English nation, who bore him little goodwill for his 
conduct during the short time that he reigned over them 
by his marriage with Mary. His threats had roused gen- 
eral hatred, his defeat had occasioned that hatred to be 
changed into contempt. These angry feelings had extended 
to those of his own persuasion, for a body of Catholics were 
in arms to resist the armada. 

Lastly, the claim of James seemed far preferable to any 
which could be stated in opposition. The king of France 
had made some vague pretence to the English crown, and 
in private had spoken of giving them a second conqueror 
from Normandy ; but his pretensions were not of a kind to 
be acceptable by the English people. The Lady Arabella 
Stewart's hereditary claims were not superior to those of 


James, and her power of making them good was incalcu- 
lably less. 

James, on the other hand, was likely to unite all votes 
in his favor, nor did policy recommend to the Catholics to 
make any general stand against his interest. On the con- 
trary, his claim had, in their eyes, much to recommend it. 
He was son of that Mary whom, living, they acknowledged 
as the just heir of England, whose memory, when dead, they 
reverenced as that of a martyr in the Catholic cause. In 
consistence, therefore, with their general feelings, they were 
called upon to avow the right of King James, as lineal suc- 
cessor to the claims of his mother. Although of a different 
persuasion, strong hopes were entertained among them that 
he was at heart favorable to the Catholic religion. His con- 
duct toward the Lords of Huntley, Angus, and Errol, who 
had embraced the Catholic faith and disturbed his kingdom 
with civil war, had been remarkably forbearing and merci- 
ful ; that as his lenity had inflamed against him the resent- 
ment of the violent Protestants to a degree certainly un- 
merited, so in the like proportion it excited unfounded hopes 
in the minds of the Catholic party both in England and 
Scotland. That James would have adopted the religion 
in its present depressed state they did not and could not 
hope; but that he might and would considerably mitigate 
the heavy penalties under which they labored, was a 
point generally expected by the Roman Catholics of both 

A singular incident which took place about this time, 
and which is not, perhaps, fully explained, confirmed the 
Catholics in their most extravagant hopes of receiving favor 
at James's hand. A dark story reached Queen Elizabeth, 
transmitted, as it was believed, by the banished Master of 
Gray, then residing in Italy, that her kinsman and ally, 
James, had been in actual correspondence of a friendly 
character with that pope of Rome whom he himself had 
endeavored to identify with antichrist. This produced an 
anxious and irritated remonstrance on the part of Elizabeth, 


to which James replied by an explicit denial of the fact. 
Gray, however, had been true in his report, although James 
was, apparently, no less sincere in his denial. The cause 
had arisen out of a voluntary but unauthorized measure 
which Elphinstone, Lord Bal merino, secretary of state to 
James, had taken in his master's name, but without his 

It afterward appeared, by Elphinstone's confession, that 
he had drawn up a letter from James to Pope Clement VIII., 
containing various expressions of regard for his holiness, and 
declaring his intention to treat the Roman Catholics with in- 
dulgence. The letter even went so far as to entreat a cardi- 
nal's cap for a Scotsman named Drummond, the bishop of 
Vaizon, in order to facilitate future communications between 
King James and the Holy See. This paper Elphinstone de- 
clared that he had shuffled in among other deeds to be signed, 
so that King James subscribed it in total ignorance of its 
contents. The secretary stated himself to have committed 
this unwarrantable action merely out of zeal for the king's 
welfare, and in order to secure to him an advantageous in- 
terest with the pope and the Catholics, by a mode which he 
knew his master would not have taken unless he had been 
deceived into it. This fraud was attended with evil con- 
sequences both to the king and to the secretary : the latter 
was tried for high treason and found guilt}', but obtained a 
pardon. The former was accused of having induced Elphin- 
stone to take upon himself the guilt of a measure in which 
he himself had been participant; and the confession of 
Elphinstone was looked upon only as an honorable artifice 
to save the character of the king. Some light might be 
gathered on the subject, if Drummond's relation to Elphin- 
stone were known. His promotion is warmly recommended; 
and the Scottish men of that age were wont to go extraordi- 
nary lengths in behalf of those whom they called kith, kin, 
and ally. 

"Whether accessory to the device of his secretary or not 
James unquestionably courted the Catholics, and obtained 


the suffrage of the pope, and of many of the great English 
families of that persuasion. 

Elizabeth, in the meantime, rendered by old age and dis- 
content more irritable than she had yet been, watched the 
intrigues of James with the most jealous observation; al- 
though arrived at a period when neither health, spirits, nor 
the prospect of a much longer continuance in power, or in 
life, gave her the means of counteracting them. 

The case, indeed, was strangely altered between Eliza- 
beth and James. During his earlier reign, the English 
queen had been the chief means of supporting him upon 
the throne^ and at a later period had alternately contrib- 
uted to his comfort by increasing his revenue, or to his 
plague by stirring up intrigues in his court, and protecting 
the rebels who escaped to her frontiers. But she was now 
in the wane of human existence, and was doomed to feel 
those evils of foreign intrigue which she had formerly car- 
ried into the councils of Scotland now retaliated upon her 
own. They were, indeed, carried on by the Scottish mon- 
arch with a degree of moderation suited to his views and 
to his character. He had no purpose whatever of a violent 
nature, tending to disturb the queen's immediate govern- 
ment, or to shorten the period of a reign which was almost 
exhausted in the course of nature. His efforts were»limited 
to the very natural object of establishing such an interest 
in the bosom of the people of England as might induce all 
parties to be disposed to recognize his right of succession, 
whenever that right should open by nature. For this pur- 
pose he took occasion (using the phrase of the poet) to pro- 
cure golden opinions from all sorts of men, and the state of 
the fluctuating parties of the English court were highly fa- 
vorable to him in acquiring them. Events, which tended to 
overwhelm with clouds of despondency the setting beams 
of Queen Elizabeth's illustrious reign, served to prepare the 
way for the rise of her successor. These must be shortly 

Through the whole of her reign Queen Elizabeth, pre- 


eminent as a sovereign, had never been able to forbear the 
exertion of her claims as a wit and a beauty. "When verg- 
ing to the extremity of life her mirror presented her with 
hair too gray and features too withered to reflect even in 
her own opinion the features of that Fairy Queen, of im- 
mortal youth and beauty, in which she had been painted 
by one of the most beautiful poets of that poetic age. She 
avenged herself by discontinuing the consultation of her 
looking-glass, which no longer flattered her principal fail- 
ing of personal vanity, and exchanged that monitor of the 
toilet, which cannot flatter, for the more false, favorable, 
and pleasing, though less accurate, reports of the ladies 
who attended her. This indulgence of vanity brought, as 
usual, its own punishment. The young females who waited 
on the queen turned her pretensions into ridicule ; and if the 
report of the times is true, ventured even to personal ridicule, 
by misplacing the cosmetics which she used for the repair 
of her faded charms. — In a report, or copy, by Sir Robert 
Sibbald, of the famous interview between Ben Jonson and 
Drummond of Hawthornden, the former is stated to have 
mentioned the fact of Queen Elizabeth renouncing the use 
of the looking-glass; and adds, that the tire-women, confi- 
dent in their mistress's prejudice against a looking-glass s 
sometimes ventured to lay upon the royal nose the carmine 
which ought to have embellished the cheeks. 

Yet in this state of old age Elizabeth's attention was stiD 
bent on attracting youthful admiration; and by a singular 
chancetthe person whom she fixed upon as the male favor- 
ite of ^the period held, in a remarkable degree, in spirit and 
action, the real character of a hero of chivalry, to which 
Leicester and Hatton, her former minions, had no other 
pretence than that of personal beauty, or accomplishment 
in the most trifling exercises. The former noble, even if 
we do not incline to credit the reports of enemies, who 
loaded him with the foulest crimes, was certainly a man 
of ambition, which he scrupled not to gratify by the most 
indirect means. Hatton raised himself to be keeper of the 


great seal principally by his grace in dancing; and neither 
the one nor the other had qualities, independently of a 
graceful form and presence, which ought to have attracted 
the favor of so wise a princess as Elizabeth. 

But the Earl of Essex, who filled in her latter days the 
dubious situation of her favorite, was altogether of a differ- 
ent character. Brave as the bravest paladin of romance, he 
sought glory wherever it was to be found, and generous as 
brave, he was beloved by his followers for his frankness, 
liberality, and benevolence. The men of the sword, as they 
were then termed, those who had distinguished themselves 
by their feats in arms, were all strongly attached to his 
interest, and to his party. 

Essex, from a love of justice, mingled, perhaps, with a 
regard to his own interest, in case of Elizabeth's death, early 
entered into communication with the king of Scotland, and, 
with his natural frankness, pledged himself to support 
James's claim as rightful heir of the English throne, when 
death should remove from it its benefactress, Elizabeth. But 
in all her attachments of this nature, however she might 
show the frailties of a woman, Queen Elizabeth maintained 
the wisdom of a queen; and while she on one hand lavished 
benefits, and conferred high power, upon those whom she 
thus favored, she failed not, upon the other, to maintain 
an intimate communication with those statesmen whose 
advice had led to the distinguished glories of her reign. 
Most of those were now, indeed, deceased; but the wisdom 
and experience of the celebrated Burleigh still survived in 
his son Robert Cecil, who headed in the court a party con- 
sisting of those who had risen to eminence by their wise 
conduct in civil affairs, and were, in the phrase of the times, 
termed gownsmen, in contradistinction to the men of the 

Cecil was in person ungraceful, and even deformed ; but 
nature had implanted within a misshaped form a mind of 
the most profound capacity. It cannot be doubted that 
he had been- deeply imbued with all the knowledge of state 


affairs which the experience of his father, Lord Burleigh, 
could teach a mind so peculiarly adapted to receive them. 
Cecil shunned any connection with the king of Scots, per- 
haps because he reserved himself to watch an opportunity 
in which he might charge such intercourse with James 
against Essex as a crime which, of all others, Elizabeth 
would be less likely to pardon. Cecil was followed and 
looked up to by the numerous party which, bred in the 
court, expected to rise by talents for civil business; and as 
the frequent starts of Essex's hasty and ill-governed temper 
brought him into a transient disgrace with the queen, Cecil, 
who governed every thought and expression so as best to 
suit her pleasure, was able to gain a steady and increasing 
advantage over his less cautious rival. It is also to be 
remembered that Cecil had not, like Essex, to support the 
difficult character of the respectful and devoted admirer 
of a capricious old woman, a character which the generous 
and open disposition of Essex often rendered it difficult for 
him to sustain. Thus, without pretending to any share in 
Elizabeth's affections, Cecil retained possession of a high 
share of her esteem, as a servant devoted to her interests, 
and without whom she could not hope to support that char- 
acter for political sagacity which had raised her government 
so high in the general estimation of Europe. 

But although Cecil did not acknowledge King James's 
title, he took especial heed not to involve himself with any 
other pretender to the crown. The king of France caused 
him to be sounded by an ambassador of great experience, 
who kindly pointed out to him the troubles to which he 
might be exposed, if King James's pretensions to the En- 
glish throne should ever be realized. He represented that 
all the offences imputed to Lord Burleigh in the matter 
of Queen Mary were likely to be then remembered upon 
Sir Robert Cecil as his son, and that his condition could not 
in that case be either honorable or safe. In such an event 
he offered the protection of his master. Cecil lent a cold 
ear to this, replying that he was determined to do his duty 


in the service of his sovereign, whatever might be the event 
in a future reign, though, if he saw himself in peril of life, 
he might flee to another city, and take the advantage of the 
king of France's protection. The Frenchman answered, 
with great address, that he entirely agreed with Cecil's 
principles, and that his master did not intend to interfere 
with the king of Scotland's interest. Cecil so far waived 
his scruples as to send James notice of this dialogue, ac- 
quainting him, at the same time, that though he did not 
choose to engage his reputation and his fortune before the 
fitting time, yet in due season James should command his 
active services. 

Thus stood the contending parties in the court of Eliza- 
beth; herself, probably, little displeased with their disunion, 
which left her the mediator and arbitress between both. Of 
all the military men the only eminent person who adhered 
to Cecil was the celebrated Sir Walter Raleigh. He shone 
distinguished as a soldier, a statesman, and a man of litera- 
ture. But moving with too hasty steps toward advancement 
he had already more than once incurred the displeasure of 
the queen, to whom his admirable qualities had highly 
recommended him. He was in a bitter degree the enemy 
of Essex, both from private and public reasons; of which, 
perhaps, not the least was that he himself, by Elizabeth's 
encouragement, made pretension to the kind of favor which 
Essex enjoyed. They were rivals, therefore, in power, 
though certainly not in love. 

While the parties were thus balanced in the court of Eng- 
land, the ill fate of Essex engaged him in irremediable mis- 
fortune. The Irish war had been the plague of Elizabeth's 
reign; occasioning a perpetual drain of men and money, 
by the expenditure of which no adequate benefit had been 
attained. Confident in his own courage and conduct, Essex 
rashly undertook to terminate that lingering warfare, and 
obtained from his mistress the almost absolute command of 
the army engaged against Tyrone, the principal rebel, as he 
was termed, in that country. His success did not corre- 


spond with the hopes he had held out ; and he patched up a 
convention with the rebel general, whom he was sent to sub- 
due. To add to the jealousy of a princess so sensitive as 
Queen Elizabeth where her authority was concerned, Essex, 
during the celebrated expedition, made knights, and exer- 
cised other privileges of royalty, with wn>h the queen was 
highly offended. The rest of his story is well known : he re- 
turned hastily to throw himself at the queen's feet, but was 
coldly received, and commanded for a time to retire to his 
own house. Commissioners were appointed to try him; and 
he was suspended from all his offices. Moderation and tem- 
per would have in time softened Elizabeth's displeasure ; but 
Essex, having only violent men around him, listened to their 
rash counsels. He endeavored to spur the king of Scots 
to an invasion of England, which he promised should be 
seconded by the Irish army : he then advised him to insist 
upon a declaration of his right of succession, and assured 
him of his full support. 

The pacific and prudent disposition of James resisted 
these temptations: he saw that the fruit which he aimed 
at, when come to maturity, must fall in his lap, and he 
declined the perilous enterprise of hastening the possession 
by shaking the tree. Essex, impelled by fate and bad coun- 
sellors, rushed into a wild species of rebellion, and was 
taken prisoner in a frantic attempt to raise an insurrection 
in the city of London. The queen of England hovered 
between her deep feelings of resentment as a jealous sover- 
eign, and those of a softer character, which, as a woman, 
tempted her to spare the favorite, perhaps we may say the 
beloved, object of her affection. It is well known how a 
trifle turned the scale between these contending sensations. 
In the days of Essex's favor Elizabeth had bestowed upon the 
earl a ring, and desired him, upon-any occasion of extremity, 
to forward it to her as a pledge under which he claimed her 
protection. The ring claiming her promise never appeared ; 
and the queen regarded this circumstance as a proof of the 
inflexible and ungrateful obstinacy of her late favorite, who 


would not claim safety itself at the price of humbling him- 
self to ask it at his mistress's hands. She was mistaken : 
the ling had been sent, with a submissive letter, but, by mis- 
chance, it was delivered to the Countess of Nottingham, who 
suppressed both the letter and token. Elizabeth, therefore, 
gave way, late ai A reluctantly, to the execution of the sen- 
tence, which had been too justly pronounced upon the un- 
fortunate earl. From this time a deep and profound melan- 
choly sunk more fatally upon Elizabeth's constitution, and 
invaded the springs of life. 

It had been part of Essex's plan to assert the right of 
succession in James's person. The king of Scots was grate- 
ful: he despatched two ambassadors, men of sagacity and 
talent, the Earl of Mar, and Bruce, abbot of Kinloss, to 
intercede in behalf of the unfortunate criminal. Ere they 
could reach London, Essex had suffered his doom, so that, 
with no hopes left of acting in his favor, the ambassadors 
confined themselves to a general compliment, addressed to 
the queen, on the suppression of Essex's sudden rebellion. 
The queen received the Scottish ambassadors well ; and was 
glad to have it in her power to contradict, upon their au- 
thority, the rumors, industriously spread, that Essex had 
been condemned less on account of his rebellion than that 
he was supposed to be a favorer of the Scottish title of suc- 
cession, which it was the object of Queen Elizabeth to cut 
off and destroy. She even listened to them upon a subject 
which, though often stated in the course of James's negotia- 
tions, had not as yet met with any attention on the part of 
Elizabeth. This respected the succession of James to the 
English estates of his grandmother Margaret, countess of 
Lennox, niece of Henry VIII., and mother of the unfort- 
unate Darnley. Even now Elizabeth could not bring her 
mind to yield to the king of Scots the possession of lands 
in England, even as private property, but she consented to 
add two thousand pounds a year to the pension of her god- 
son, in lieu of his grandmother's estates. 

Since 1 599, at least, the king of Scotland had maintained 


James Sempill of Belltrees as a private agent for his affairs 
in London ; in which, though his friends could be but scanty, 
it appears he did not neglect to distribute secret service 
money among his partisans. But he must have gained more 
by future promises than by immediate gifts. Agents of 
higher rank were now to enter the field. 

Mar and Bruce, highly trusted by James, had a species 
of general commission (guarded by conditions which exacted 
the strictest prudence), to extend, as widely as possible, and 
to secure, by every means in their power, his majesty's in- 
terest among all the leaders of parties in England, and 
through the people in general. The tone to be adopted in 
such negotiations was in general that of the most sincere 
gratitude and respect, on the part of James, toward Eliza- 
beth ; they were to disclaim, on the part of King James, the 
slightest idea of interfering with or disturbing the govern- 
ment of the queen during her life, while, at the same time, 
they were to represent him as desirous to secure to himself, 
on her demise, the fulfilment of hopes which naturally arose 
out of his lawful right of succession. They were commis- 
sioned to say that those who might now contribute toward 
paving the way for his peaceful succession to the throne of 
England, upon the death of its present occupant, and those 
also who might throw obstacles in the way of his just pre- 
tensions, might reckon securely upon their good or evil will 
toward him being rewarded accordingly, should he ever 
reign in that country. 

The Scottish ambassadors conducted this delicate nego- 
tiation with every attention to secrecy, and with the most 
consummate dexterity. They opened communications with 
various parties, each hating the other, and detested in their 
turn, and united the principal factions among them in the 
resolution to support the king of Scotland's title. These 
parties we shall briefly notice. 

That of the late unhappy Essex, now without a leader, 
and thrown back from all hopes of preferment, were natur- 
ally soothed and consoled by the assurances which the am- 


bassadors of King James transmitted to them, of the regret 
he had felt for the death of their chief, and the sense he 
expressed that the fatal catastrophe had taken place in a 
hasty attempt to be of service to his claims. The party 
likely to be affected by these protestations was formidable 
in its character, including Lord Mount joy, the principal 
officers of the Irish army, and most of the distinguished 
military men in England. It is but justice to say that 
James kept his promise toward this class of men ; and was 
observed, during his whole reign, to show friendship to the 
friends of Essex, and a prejudice, to say the least, against 
the marked enemies of that gallant nobleman. 

After these we must mention the Catholics of England, 
still a numerous and respectable party, though oppressed by 
penal laws and disqualifications. "We have already men- 
tioned that James was recommended to them by birth and 
character, and by their inclination to hope, upon his acces- 
sion to the throne, considerable relaxation in the penal code, 
under which they now suffered. Their hopes on this subject 
were so high that their disappointments in the succeeding 
reign are supposed to have given rise to the gunpowder trea- 
son, At the period we treat of, these hopes were in full blos- 
som ; and the Earl of Northumberland, regarded as chief of 
the Catholics, a nobleman of a high spirit and romantic 
character, not only avowed himself a determined asserter 
of King James's succession, but exhorted him to claim, as 
a right, the instant acknowledgment of the title of succes- 
sion even during Elizabeth's life, and boasted, should it be 
necessary, to bring him in by the sword. James, in his an- 
swer to these violent proposals, calmly explained his deter- 
mination to wait till the road should open through natural 
means to the English throne. In the meanwhile, he was 
assured of the whole party of Catholics, so soon as he should 
desire their aid. 

But a far more important accession to James's partisans 
was that of Cecil himself. This sagacious statesman wit- 
nessed with anxious eyes the decay of Queen Elizabeth's 


health, the extreme probability of James's succession, and 
the policy of acquiring the favor of the new monarch, and 
thus sheltering himself from the hatred which, like every 
prime minister, he was conscious he must have acquired 
while conducting the administration of his predecessor. He 
therefore, the master-key of Queen Elizabeth's cabinet, and 
who possessed the knowledge of its most secret recesses, en- 
gaged in intimate and secret correspondence with Mar and 
Bruce, in which he assured them of his devoted attachment 
to the rights of their master. At the same time, conscious 
of the delicate ground on which he stood, and that the least 
circumstance which would lead to discovery might cost him 
both his offices and his life, he endeavored to impress upon 
James and upon his ambassadors the absolute necessity of 
the strictest secrecy to be observed in their communication. 
The advice, which no one knew so well as Cecil how to give 
— the opportunities of assistance, which no one could use 
with such dexterity as this crafty politician — could only, he 
stated, be afforded under the strictest condition of secrecy. 
Like what is said of favors conferred by the fairy tribe, the 
disclosure of the source from whence they come would, he 
was careful to affirm, render those which were received of 
no value, and totally intercept the means of obtaining oth- 
ers. Lord Henry Howard, a person who had made himself 
distinguished by a book against pretended prophecies, was 
much employed by Cecil in the correspondence with the 
Scottish agents. The letters of this nobleman, and of Cecil 
himself (notwithstanding the importunity of the writers that 
they should be destroyed), still exist, and throw a curious 
light on these intrigues, imperfect, however, in particulars, 
owing to the enigmatical style in which they are written. 

In one epistle (to give a specimen of this important corre- 
spondence) Lord Henry Howard boasts, on the part of Cecil, 
that he has saved the life of Southampton, and the reputa- 
tion and credit of Lord Mount] oy (both adherents of Essex), 
on account of their professed affection to King James: "but 
this was not done," it is added, "without risk to himself; 


for the queen hath passions against which whoever strives 
above the measure and proportion of state (i.e., who exceeds 
in his remonstrances the limited bounds of a subject) shall 
be reputed a participant" (viz., in the offence of those for 
whom he pleads). A following sentence strongly expresses 
his desire that his services in such cases may be strictly kept 
silent, especially from the adherents of Essex. "Your maj- 
esty's rare virtue, wisdom, secrecy, and constancy, first war= 
ranted by those whom he (Cecil) durst credit, and after tasted 
from yourself, have moved him to give into adventures which 
neither this world nor any other world than eternity can make 
him do. So long as he is covered from these whose states, 
though safe, yet not fully satisfied, may press upon advan- 
tage by necessity, his plow shall walk as well to sow corn 
as to pluck up weeds ; but from the time that either of these 
shall be able, out of knowledge, to conclude him to be your 
friend, he shall forever afterward prove a dumb oracle. It 
may be that either one or both may, before it be long, for 
the sounding of this passage, crave your letter, for their sat- 
isfaction in some degree ; but whether the demand be great 
or small, avoid the motive as Chary bdis; for one leak, upon 
the like occasion, might hazard as fair a vessel under sail as 
ever the winds blew upon." Sir Robert Cecil, in conducting 
this delicate correspondence, seems to have been principally 
afraid of some imprudence at the Scottish court, betraying 
the secret to one Nicolson, an agent whom Elizabeth had 
sent to reside there, and one of those characters whom she 
selected for such offices, prying, bustling, and intermeddling, 
all eyes, all ears, and to whom the discovery of a state secret, 
like that of Cecil's correspondence with James, would have 
appeared the foundation of a fortune. The secret, however, 
was carefully kept, although at one moment it was upon the 
verge of transpiring. 

Queen Elizabeth was taking the air in a carriage where 
Cecil occupied a seat, when one of the royal posts passed 
them. "From whence?" the queen demanded ; and the an- 
swer was, "From Scotland." — "Give me your packet," said 


the queen. It was delivered accordingly. — "Open it," said 
she to Cecil, "and show me the contents." As the packet 
contained some part of Cecil's correspondence with the king 
of Scots, the command placed the crafty statesman within 
view of ruin and of the scaffold. To have attempted to sup- 
press or subtract any of the papers which the packet contained 
would have been a hazardous experiment in the presence of 
the most sharp-sighted and jealous of sovereigns. Cecil's 
presence of mind found an expedient. "This packet," said 
he, as he pulled his knife out to cut the strings with which 
it was secured, "has an uncommon odor, and must have 
been in some filthy budgets." The queen was alarmed. 
She had been all her life delicate in the sense of smelling, 
and was apprehensive of poison, which the age believed 
could be communicated by that organ. "Take it," she 
said to Cecil, "and let it be aired before the contents are 
presented to us." The wily secretary obeyed her com- 
mands, and obtained the desired opportunity to withdraw 
such papers as he deemed it important to conceal. 

We have, lastly, to mention those at Elizabeth's court 
and kingdom who were decided opponents to the accession 
of James. They were neither numerous nor powerful ; for 
they could not easily form themselves into an ostensible 
party or agree upon a principle of union. The chief among 
them, a person of the highest ability, deep learning, fame 
in war, and renown in peace, was Sir Walter Raleigh, 
already mentioned. But his connection with the military 
men, with whom he ought naturally to have had most in- 
fluence, was broken off by his deadly quarrel with Essex, 
the darling of the army. He had done all in his power to 
aid the prosecution of that earl to the death, and was said 
to have disgusted the people in general by witnessing the 
execution of his generous rival, and smoking tobacco (which 
herb he had introduced into England) during the time of the 
melancholy solemnity. Cecil, to whom Raleigh had attached 
himself, did not think it fit to intrust him with his own secret 
designs in favor of James; and Sir Walter, left to his own 


devices, employed bis speculative imagination of an English 
commonwealth, with the exclusion of the Scottish king, or, 
failing that, upon some agreement with James which should 
place the regal authority upon a footing less absolute than it 
had been exercised by the race of Tudor. These were plans 
too vague and imaginative to suit the views of Cecil ; nor 
had the wily statesman any intention to introduce into the 
king's good graces a rival who might prove an obstruction 
to his views of holding the same supreme authority under 
James which he had enjoyed under Elizabeth. 

Excepting, therefore, Raleigh, and individuals like him, 
who might have their own separate political views, the par- 
ties in England, like rivers running to unite in the same 
channels, were all bending their course toward a joint object 
— the succession of King James to the throne of Britain. All 
this was afterward remembered to the advancement of Cecil, 
who became Earl of Salisbury, and prime minister under 
James's reign, and to the prejudice of Sir Walter Raleigh. 
In the meantime, the prospect that King James would soon 
be called to an increase of wealth and power had its usual 
effect in strengthening his sovereignty at .home. He was 
yet under the management of statesmen of sagacity and 
experience, nor had he received into favor any of those 
beardless boys, to please whose perverse and peevish humors 
he was in the latter part -of his reign too apt to sacrifice his 
dignity as a sovereign. The halcyon period of tranquillity 
in Scotland was usefully employed. The Catholic lords, so 
long restive under the authority of James, were compelled 
to submit to such terms of reconciliation with the Church as 
insured their remaining quiet subjects in future. Angus, 
who alone declined compliance with the conditions exacted, 
retired to Paris, to enjoy his religion in security, and there 
died. James's disputes with the clergy were also amicably 
terminated. The ministers of Edinburgh, who had been 
banished, were restored to their pulpits and congregations, 
and an unusual degree of union seemed to subsist between 
them and the crown. 


While Scotland was enjoying an unwonted interval of 
tranquillity, England was in expectation of a great change. 
The life of Elizabeth was fast drawing to a close : the heavy 
melancholy which clogged the current of Elizabeth's blood, 
ever since the death of Essex, had assumed a deeper and 
darker hue. She ceased to smile, to talk cheerfully, to enjoy 
any species of diversion, or make use of any of her usual 
exercises or amusements. 

The imputed cause is a remarkable one. The reader 
cannot have forgotten that the Countess of Nottingham 
had intercepted the delivery of a letter and ring sent to 
Elizabeth by Essex in extremity; and that the queen was 
chiefly induced to permit his execution under the idea that 
he was too obstinate to appeal to her favor. The truth was 
now to be discovered. The Countess of Nottingham, on her 
death-bed, felt herself no longer able to support the burden 
of the guilt}" secret, and confessed to Elizabeth in person her 
having retained the fatal token. The queen, in great agita- 
tion, replied, "God may forgive you, but I never will." The 
countess died a few days after she had made the fatal con- 
fession, and from that time the hand of death was on the 
queen, whose melancholy was changed into despair. She 
tasted no food ; she took no medicines ; she refused to go to 
bed, but remained upon a pile of cushions, with her eyes 
fixed on the ground. This could not last long. Her strength 
visibly declined, from lack of nourishment and total exhaus- 
tion. Her godsoo, Sir Robert Carey, who watched her dy- 
ing moments with the purpose of being the first to carry 
the news to King James, describes her, in this state of 
stupor, as being only able to wring his hand, and repeat 
his name with a heavy sigh. 

She is said to have replied to those statesmen who de- 
manded her will concerning the succession, ' ' That she would 
be succeeded by none but a king ; and that the king of Scots, 
her cousin, should enjoy her throne." She died on the 24th 
of March, 1603, in the seventieth year of her age, and the 
forty-fourth year of her reign. On the third day after her 


death, Sir Robert Carey, travelling on horseback, with speed 
which was then accounted most extraordinary, arrived at 
Holyrood; obtained admission to the king's bed-chamber, 
and, kneeling by his bedside, hailed him King of England 
and Ireland, as well as Scotland. Sir Robert brought a 
token from a lady of quality, one of James's correspondents, 
in the form of a ring, which was to attest the truth of his 
message. As the information, however, was of a private 
nature, the subject of Carey's news was not made public 
till the arrival of Sir Charles Percy, brother of the Earl of 
Northumberland, and Thomas Somerset, son to the Earl 
of "Worcester, with letters from the English privy council, ac- 
knowledging his right in its fullest extent, and acquainting 
him of their having caused his accession to be instantly 
proclaimed, and that* the news had been received with the 
unanimous applause of the people. 

James was now arrived at the pinnacle of his hopes, and 
seems to have enjoyed them with a good-natured compla- 
cency, which overflowed to all around him. He attended 
service in St. Giles's Church, and heard a sermon by Mr. 
Hall, upon the great mercy of Heaven in having thus ac- 
complished his peaceable accession to a kingdom so long 
hostile to his own, without the stroke of sword or shedding 
of a drop of blood. He exhorted the sovereign to show his 
gratitude by his attention to the cause of religion, and his 
care for the people committed to his charge. After the 
exhortation, which the king took in very gracious part, he 
himself addressed the people, of whom he was now to take 
leave, in a warm and affectionate strain. He bid them adieu 
with much tenderness, promised to have them in his view 
and recollections during his absence, and often to visit them 
and communicate to them marks of his bounty when in for- 
eign parts, as ample as any which he had been used to be- 
stow when present with them. A mixture of approbation 
and weeping followed this speech; and the good-natured 
king wept plentifully himself at taking leave of his native 


"Wednesday, the 4th of April, 1603, James set forward to 
occupy*the new kingdom, which after so many years of ex- 
pectation had, like ripe fruit, dropped thus quietly into his 
lap. His train, from taste as well as policy, was rather gay 
and splendid than numerous and imposing. Two circum- 
stances occurred on the morning of his departure, either of 
which would have seemed ominous to an ancient Roman. 

As the king and his train approached the house of Seton 
the solemn funeral of a man of high rank, adorned witk 
all the gloomy emblems of mortality, interrupted his pas- 
sage : it was that of Lord Seton, who had been one of the 
best, most disinterested, and most faithful adherents among 
those who held up the banner of James's mother. The de- 
ceased lord had sustained a full share in Mary's misfortunes, 
being obliged to retire to Flanders, where he was reduced to 
subsist himself by driving a wagon, in which character and 
occupation he had himself painted on his restoration to his 
rank and fortune. The king halted his retinue and sat 
down upon a stone, long afterward shown, while the fune- 
ral of this faithful adherent of his family moved past. The 
sight was strikingly well qualified to impress upon James, 
in the moment that he was taking possession of such a high 
addition to his power, the recollection of the mutability of 
human affairs. 

The other is a Jacobite tradition, but has been generally 
received as a real one. It is said that as the gentry and 
freeholders of the country came to wait upon the king 
on his departure toward England, and escort him a few 
miles upon his way, there was one aged gentleman, who, 
very different from the gay array and festival habits of 
those around him, appeared attired in the deepest mourn- 
ing. Being asked the meaning of so unbecoming a dress 
on so happy an occasion: "I have known this road," he 
said, "to England ; and have [travelled it in my former 
days, as we now do, under the royal banner: I was then 
as well mounted and armed as became my fortune and 
quality; but we were then bent upon honorable war with 


our national enemies: at present, when we come to trans- 
fer our king to the English, and yield up to a people who 
could never conquer us in war the power of lording it over 
us as a province, I come in sorrow for my country's lost 
independence in a dress becoming one who waits upon the 
funeral of a mother." 

The speech was certainly rash and prejudiced, yet it was 
not the less, in some sort, true; for many were the evils 
which attended the first junction of the kingdoms into one, 
and scarcely fewer those which attended the incorporating 
union which followed at the interval of a century. These 
disadvantages, indeed, were finally incalculably overbal- 
anced by the subsequent benefits of these important events ; 
but the consideration would lead us much further than the 
limits of this work permit. We shall, therefore, only say, 
that King James entered the town of Berwick amid the 
thunder of the cannon planted to defend that town against 
his ancestors, and was received in the principal church by 
the bishop of Durham, who performed a thanksgiving ser- 
vice upon the occasion; and with the sovereign's occupation 
of a more wide dominion over a wealthier people, naturally 
closes the history of Scotland as a free and independent 




IT will be observed that Sir Walter Scott's History of 
Scotland ends with the year 1603, when James VI. 
of that kingdom became James I. of England. No 
doubt a reader of the present day will expect to find added 
a summary of the more important events that have marked 
the ensuing three hundred years. The first consequence of 
the union of the two crowns upon one head was the cessa- 
tion of the age-long border wars and of the English and 
French intrigues for ascendency at Edinburgh. On the 
other hand, Scotland ceased to have a court of its own, a 
loss not without some counterbalancing advantages, for it 
tended to promote the independence of the northern king- 
dom. It is, of course, well understood that the mere acces- 
sion of James VI. of Scotland to the English throne did not 
bring about any change in the constitution, laws or National 
Church of North Britain. Although the Reformation had 
begotten a multitude of sects, Scotland, at this time, may 
be fairly described as Presbyterian, England as Episcopal, 
and Ireland as Papal. James himself desired to see his 
native land united with England, not only by a junction 
of the crowns, but also by a fusion of parliaments, and, 
at all events, by an ultimate, if not immediate consociation 
of the national churches. The latter desire could not be 
fulfilled, except by force, so deeply planted in Scotland was 
the love of the Presbyterian system of church government. 
Scarcely was James seated, however, upon the English 
throne before he began endeavors to this end. The first 

English parliament which convened under his reign ap- 
Scotland. Vol. II.— 17 


pointed commissioners to treat with Scottish commission- 
ers for an accommodation of religious, political, and legal 
differences. The commissioners met, but they could not 
agree, the English being determined not to permit freedom 
of trade, and the Scots being equally opposed to an accept- 
ance of the laws of England. The only points upon which 
the commissioners could concur were that subjects of the 
common king, born in either country after the accession of 
James VI. to the English throne, should have in both king- 
doms the privileges of subjects, and that those born before 
the accession should be capable of inheriting and acquiring 
land in England; though not of acquiring political rights 
or offices. The English parliament, however, refused to 
sanction the agreement, so far as those born after the ac- 
cession of the Scottish king to the English throne were con- 
cerned, though it agreed not to treat Scotland as a foreign 
country, and to assent to covenants for the mutual extradi- 
tion of criminals. Meanwhile, King James persisted in his 
determination to reintroduce episcopacy into Scotland, and 
the Scottish parliament of 1612 passed a law re-establishing 
episcopacy in the northern kingdom. At first, however, the 
bishops were not successful in introducing the same services 
which were followed in England, but, after the visit of 
James I. to his native country in 1617, the Scottish parlia- 
ment tried to assure the desired conformity by enacting the 
so-called Five Articles of Perth. Three years later, these 
articles were confirmed by another parliament on the prom- 
ise given by the royal commissioner that no further ecclesi- 
astical innovations should be proposed. It was this parlia- 
ment of 1621 which introduced a new mode of electing the 
so-called Lords of Articles, a species of committee by which 
all parliamentary business was initiated, and all power of 
introducing bills was taken away from private members. 
This law, practically, vested in the king the dual powers 
of initiative and of the veto. Other incidents in the reign 
of James I., which should be chronicled, were the ineffec- 
tive attempt to colonize the Hebrides and the temporarily 


successful plantation of Ulster by Scottish farmers, the an- 
cestors of the so-called Scotch-Irish. His efforts to colonize 
Nova Scotia, though they seemed almost abortive at the 
time, were to have, in the future, important consequences. 
The sovereign who was known as James VI. in Scotland 
and James I. in England, died in 1625, and was succeeded 
by his son Charles I. During the subsequent eight years, 
no Scottish parliament did any business, though one was 
convoked in 1628, and adjourned annually without action 
until 1633. Neither was there, during this period, any gen- 
eral assembly of the Presbyterian Church; on the contrary, 
the restoration of episcopacy was steadily pressed by the 
exercise of the royal prerogative. Charles I. succeeded at 
this time in bringing about the resumption of tithes, for the 
benefit of the clergy, from the laymen who had appropriated 
them. In 1633 the Scottish parliament distinctly formulated 
the terms on which the tithes might be acquired by the paro- 
chial clergy, and, thereby, arrayed against the crown the 
nobles and landed gentry, who saw themselves threatened 
with the loss of all the gains they had derived from the 
Protestant reformation. Nevertheless, when Charles I. 
came to Edinburgh in 1633, there were no open signs of 
insubordination. On the contrary, the Scottish parliament 
passed thirty-one acts, almost all of which were regarded 
by contemporary Scotchmen as hurtful to the liberty of the 
subject. It was not until a twelvemonth after the departure 
of Charles from Scotland that the first impulse may be said 
to have been given to the Scottish revolution. In 1635, Lord 
Balmerino was tried on the charge of possessing a copy of a 
petition protesting against the acts carried in the parliament 
over which Charles had presided. Condemned to death, he 
was respited by the king, but the people of Scotland deeply 
resented the treatment of the possession of a petition for the 
redress of grievances as if it were a capital crime. In 1636, 
the Book of Canons, ratified by the king, was published, and, 
in the following year, the Liturgy enjoined by the said book 
was introduced in the service of St. Giles's Cathedral, Edin- 


burgh. This was the beginning of a popular agitation 
which, in the end, proved fatal to Charles I. The vital 
difference between his situation and his father's was this, 
that James I. was so intimately acquainted with the temper 
of the Scottish people that he knew precisely when to stop 
short, and even to retrace his steps; his son, on the other 
hand, from a lack of similar experience, plunged headlong 
on a path which led him to a precipice. The riots which 
occurred all over Scotland in 1637 should have convinced 
him that he had gone too far. Instead of accepting the 
warning, however, he announced in the following year by 
a proclamation that he assumed the whole responsibility for 
the introduction of the hated Liturgy. Thereupon, the op- 
ponents of the innovations formed a powerful organization, 
in which not only the nobles and clergy, but the towns also, 
were represented, and a so-called Covenant was drawn up 
by several eminent ministers, and very generally signed. 
This covenant, while professing respect for the royal office, 
bound the subscribers to co-operate for the defence of the 
true reformed religion, and for the liberties and laws of 
the northern kingdom. Recognizing his inability to subdue 
by force the Covenanters, Charles I. now endeavored to 
arrive at a compromise with them. But the effort was a 
half-hearted one, and, evidently, came too late. An assem- 
bly which met at Glasgow failed to effect an accommoda- 
tion, and it was, accordingly, dissolved by the king's com- 
missioner. Notwithstanding its dissolution, it persisted in 
sitting, and proceeded to condemn the service-book, or so- 
called Book of Canons, ratified in 1G36; it deposed the bish- 
ops, declared episcopacy illegal, and restored Presbyterian 
church government. 

The lines were now sharply drawn between the king and 
the Scottish people. An appeal to arms was inevitable. On 
June 7, 1639, the Covenanters, under Alexander Leslie, who 
had been in the service of Gustavus Adolphus, confronted 
the royal troops at Dunse Law, and were so manifestly 
superior in quality that Charles gave way, and, by the 


pacification of Berwick, agreed that all ecclesiastical mat- 
ters should be thenceforth regulated by assemblies, and 
all civil affairs by the Scottish parliament and other 
courts of law. In conformity with this agreement, an 
assembly was held which re-enacted the resolutions of 
the Glasgow assembly, above referred to, and ordered 
every one in authority to subscribe to the Covenant. The 
Scottish parliament also met and abolished episcopacy. 
This act of the Edinburgh parliament, however, was not 
approved by Charles I., who endeavored to secure from the 
English parliament sufficient funds for the coercion of Scot- 
land. Once more the Scots appealed to arms, and a strong 
force under Leslie advanced southward and occupied New- 
castle. Unable to obtain the money necessary for resisting 
the invasion, Charles was forced to accept a truce, and the 
English parliament, after impeaching the Earl of Strafford, 
the king's ablest supporter, not only refused to raise forces 
to be employed against the Scots, but actually voted three 
hundred thousand pounds by way of friendly assistance and 
relief for "our brethren in Scotland." In the following 
year, 1641, Charles I. came to Edinburgh, in the hope of 
creating by his personal influence a party favorable to his 
views. In the Scottish parliament which he summoned, he 
made large concessions, ratifying an act which substituted 
the Presbyterian for the Episcopal form of church gov- 
ernment, and agreeing that the national' legislature should 
be convoked every third year. These concessions failed to 
satisfy the Scots, who had no confidence in the king's sin- 
cerity, and, in November, Charles I. returned to London, 
where he had to face that opposition of the Long Parliament 
which, ultimately, brought him to the scaffold. 

The part taken by the Scotch in the civil war can be 
quickly outlined. Toward the close of 1643, the English 
parliament sent to Edinburgh commissioners, who formally 
accepted the "Solemn League and Covenant," in considera- 
tion of which act they secured the alliance of the Scottish 
Covenanters. In the next year, 1644, while a Scotch force 


lay in the north of England, the Marquis of Montrose, who 
had accepted a commission from King Charles, made a di- 
version in the Highlands which was, at first, remarkably 
successful, but which, in September, was brought to naught 
by his defeat at the hands of Leslie. In 1645 Charles, whose 
cause was now ruined in England, ordered Montrose to lay 
down his arms, and himself took refuge with Leslie, whom 
he had created Earl of Leven. For some eight months Charles 
remained with the Scottish army, by the leaders of which an 
earnest but ineffectual attempt was made to induce him to 
accept the Covenant. His refusal destroyed his last chance 
of safety. On January 30, 1646, he was surrendered to the 
English commissioners by the Scots, who had received a few 
days previously two hundred thousand pounds sterling, and 
to whom an equal sum was paid a few days afterward. This 
transaction gave rise to the reproach, which royalists have 
never wearied of repeating, that the Scots, like Judas, sold 
their king for a certain number of pieces of silver. 

By the execution of Charles I. the relations between Eng- 
land and Scotland were profoundly modified. In the former 
kingdom, the so-called Independents, headed by Cromwell, 
were now all-powerful, and, by a natural reaction against 
them, the majority of the Scottish Presbyterians decided 
to proclaim Charles II., and sent a mission to The Hague to 
invite the young king to assume the Scottish throne, on con- 
dition, however, that he should accept the Covenant and the 
Presbyterian system of church government. These terms 
being agreed upon, Charles II. landed in Scotland on June 
23, 1650, but, within a month afterward, Cromwell had in- 
vaded Scotland, and on September 3 gained a victory over 
David Leslie at Dunbar, whereby the southern part of the 
Scottish kingdom fell into his hands. He was unable, how- 
ever, to intercept the Scottish force under Charles II., which 
entered England and advanced as far as "Worcester before 
Cromwell could overtake it. It is well known that the com- 
plete defeat of the royalists at "Worcester was described by 
Cromwell as his "crowning mercy." General Monk, who 


had been left by Cromwell in Scotland, succeeded within 
three years in subjugating that kingdom, which, in 1654, 
was, practically, united with England. To the so-called 
Barebones Parliament, 1653, five Scottish members were 
summoned, and, in the parliament of 1654, twenty Scotch- 
men took part. On the death of Cromwell and the procla- 
mation of his son Richard as his successor in both kingdoms, 
thirty Scotch members were returned to the new parliament, 
which, however, was presently dissolved. Before the Res- 
toration was effected in England, Charles II. had already 
been proclaimed king in Scotland. 

It might have been supposed that the deeply-rooted desire 
of Scotchmen for an independent Presbyterian Church would 
have found favor in the sight of Charles II., when he recalled 
their fidelity to him in the hour of his adversity. Such, 
however, was not the case. All he remembered was that 
Cromwell had succeeded in conquering Scotland, and in 
effecting a temporary union of that kingdom with the rest 
of Britain. The whole power of his government was, from 
the outset, concentrated on the task of suppressing the relig- 
ious and civil liberties of Scotland. Argyle, who, in Jan- 
uary, 1651, had placed the crown on the head of Charles II., 
was now tried and beheaded on a charge of treason, and 
leading clerical representatives of the more stalwart Presby- 
terians were hanged. A docile Scottish parliament annulled 
the acts passed by all preceding parliaments since 1640, and 
declared the Covenant no longer binding. In 1662, Charles 
announced his intention of restoring episcopacy, and the 
execution of this project provoked an insurrection, which, 
however, for a time, was quelled. In the next ten years, 
it is estimated that seventeen thousand persons suffered fines 
or imprisonment for attending conventicles, and not a few 
were put to death on the same charge. The retaliatory 
murder of Sharp, archbishop of St. Andrew's, by a small 
band of Covenanters in May, 1679, was followed by a new 
rebellion, which, after some successes, was put down, though 
only with extreme difficulty, The Cameronians, as the in- 


surgents were called, were treated with the utmost cruelty. 
The last six years of the reign of Charles II. came to be 
known in Scotland as the "Killing Time." The accession 
of James II., in 1685, led to a still more rigorous enforce- 
ment of the law against conventicles, which was now ex- 
tended to meetings held in private houses, provided five 
persons outside of the family attended domestic worship. 
A number of the Scottish nobles now became converts to the 
Catholic faith, and James II. offered to give Scotland free 
trade with England and an indemnity for political offences 
on condition that Catholics should be released from the test 
and penal laws. Then came the revolution of 1688, which 
had the effect of splitting Scotland into two divisions, the 
Catholics and Episcopalians clinging to James II. , and form- 
ing the Jacobite party, while "William and Mary were sup- 
ported by the Presbyterians. Graham of Claverhouse, who 
commanded in Scotland for James II., beat William's gen- 
eral at Killiecrankie, on July 29, 1689, but his death at the 
moment of victory rendered it impossible to hold the Jaco- 
bites together, and the surrender of the principal fortresses 
kept Scotland quiet for the next two reigns. A convention 
parliament called at Edinburgh declared that James II. had 
forfeited the crown, and recognized William and Mary as 
king and queen of Scotland, providing, also, that, after 
Mary's death, the royal power should be exercised by Wil- 
liam alone, and, in the event of his decease, by Anne of 
Denmark and her heirs. The Scottish parliament of 1690 
put an end to the so-called Committee of Articles, which 
had monopolized the power of initiative in legislation, ap- 
proved the Westminster Confession, re-established the Pres- 
byterian Church, and restored all surviving Presbyterian 
ministers that had been deposed since 1661. In matters 
of free trade and navigation, however, the government of 
William and Mary discriminated against the Scots, believing 
that such discrimination was needed to persuade them to 
consent to a union with England. It was during this reign 
that the attempt of Scotchmen to find on the Isthmus of 


Darien an independent outlet for colonization and invest* 
ment ended in overwhelming disaster. The great achieve- 
ment of the reign of Anne, so far as Scotland was concerned, 
was the final accomplishment of the union of that kingdom 
with England. Many obstacles had to be surmounted before 
the arrangement was effected. At one time, the Scottish 
parliament went so far as to exclude from the throne of 
Scotland, after the death of Anne, the successor to the En- 
glish throne, except upon such conditions as would assure 
freedom of trade to Scotland. The refusal to grant this 
boon caused the failure of the joint commission, which sat 
from November, 1702, to February, 1705, for the purpose 
of bringing about a union. In the course of the last-named 
year, however, a new joint commission was appointed, which 
sat for some three months at "Whitehall and framed a treaty 
of union, the chief articles of which were as follows : Both 
crowns were settled on Anne and her descendants, and, fail- 
ing these, on the electress Sophia and the Hanoverian line; 
free trade was to exist between England and Scotland, and 
the Scotch were to have equal privileges, as regarded trade 
with other countries; the national debt and taxation were 
adjusted by imposing upon Scotland less than one-fifth of 
the land tax, and there was to be a uniform rate of customs 
and excise duties; finally, Scotland was to send forty-five 
members to the House of Commons and to elect from its 
peerage for each parliament sixteen representatives to the 
House of Lords. Considerable as were the concessions to 
Scotland, the treaty of union was, upon the whole, received 
with dissatisfaction in that country, and it was only with 
difficulty that it was ratified by the Edinburgh parliament. 
The act of union took effect on May 1, 1707, having received 
the royal assent on the preceding 6th of March. It is, of 
course, understood that, although, by this measure, Scot- 
land lost its legislative independence, its Presbyterian church 
establishment was guaranteed, and it also retained its own 
system of judicature and laws. It also kept its national 
system of parish schools, burgh schools and universities. 


We should further note that, up to 1746, the management 
of Scottish affairs in London was intrusted to a Secretary 
of State for Scotland, an office which has been revived in 
our own day. 

It was late in the eighteenth century, however, before 
Scotland became reconciled to its loss of legislative independ- 
ence. The people, moreover, felt themselves to be distinct 
from the English, and two rebellions attested their lingering 
devotion to the House of Stuart. Many of the Highland 
clans, the Catholics, and some of the Episcopalians, long 
considered that, after the death of Anne, their allegiance 
was due to the heirs male of James II. In 1715 they pro- 
tested, in the name of James III., against the accession of 
the House of Brunswick, but their insurrection under the 
Earl of Mar was speedily quelled. Very different was the 
temporary outcome of their uprising, in 1745, on behalf of 
Charles, the son of the titular James III., and best known 
as the Young Pretender. An English force was defeated 
at Prestonpans, and, for a time, it looked as if the whole of 
Scotland would fall into Jacobite hands. At the head of a 
small army, largely composed of Highlanders, the Young 
Pretender advanced into England as far as Derby, and, for 
a moment, caused a species of panic in London. The High- 
landers, however, refused to second Charles in his project 
of moving quickly on the British metropolis, and, a retreat 
being ordered, they managed to reach Glasgow within about 
two months after their southward departure from Edin- 
burgh. They defeated at Falkirk an English force under 
General Hawley, which was attempting to raise the Jacobite 
siege of Stirling, but this was their last success. Driven 
back to Inverness, the supporters of Charles were utterly 
beaten by the Duke of Cumberland at Culloden in April, 
1746, and the Pretender was compelled to seek safety in 
flight. After prolonged and romantic wanderings, which 
have been repeatedly depicted in verse and prose, he man- 
aged to escape to France, from which country, being event- 
ually banished, he took refuge in Italy, After his death 


and that of his brother, Cardinal York, the direct male line 
of the House of Stuart became extinct. The suppression 
of this rebellion was followed by an act abolishing the use 
of the Highland dress and the right to carry arms, and the 
extinction of military tenures dealt a final blow to the feudal 
power of the northern chieftains. Within fifteen years, the 
Highlanders were induced to enlist in large numbers under 
the British colors, and, from that day to this, have rendered 
inestimable services to the English Crown in both hemi- 
spheres. After the accession of George III., the Scottish 
people gradually became reconciled to the new dynasty. 

The intellectual development of Scotland began in the 
last half of the last century, and is memorable for the num- 
ber of names eminent in literature, among which those of 
Adam Smith, David Hume, Robert Burns, Sir "Walter Scott, 
Thomas Campbell, Dugald Stewart, and Sir William Hamil- 
ton may be particularly mentioned. Remarkable, also, has 
been the increase of capital, of commerce and of manufact- 
ures in the last hundred years. Scottish men of science 
were among the first to make practical applications of steam 
as a motive power. Skilful engineering has made the Clyde 
a competitor of the Thames and Glasgow one of the most 
populous cities in Great Britain. The population of Scot* 
land, which, in 1801, barely exceeded one million six hun- 
dred thousand, is now upward of four million. It is note- 
worthy that the females considerably exceed the males, a 
result due to emigration, for the proportion of female births 
is smaller than that of male births. The percentage of ille- 
gitimate births is large, having amounted, in 1885, to nearly 
eight and a half per cent. Crime and pauperism have stead- 
ily declined during the last half century, not only in propor- 
tion to the population, but absolutely. From an agricultural 
viewpoint, Scotland is still a country of large proprietors. It 
is computed that, on an average, each landowner possesses 
in Scotland one hundred and forty-three acres against thirty- 
three acres owned by each landowner in England. Less than 
four per cent of the inhabitants of Scotland share in the own- 


ership of the soil. The wholesale clearances of tenants car- 
ried out in many districts during the present century gave 
rise to the grievances of the so-called crofters, which have, 
in recent years, been the subject of remedial legislation. The 
skill with which farming is prosecuted in Scotland may be 
inferred from the fact that the average yield of wheat and 
barley is higher than it is in England. On the other hand, 
the yield of oats and potatoes is lower. The number of cat- 
tle and sheep per one thousand acres of cultivated land is 
much larger in Scotland than in England. According to the 
report of the crofters' commission, appointed in 1883, the area 
under deer forest in Scotland is nearly two million acres, or 
about one-fifth of the whole country. The grouse moors oc- 
cupy a still more extensive superficies. Half a century ago 
the herring and deep-sea fisheries employed only about thirty 
thousand persons, but the number has been since more than 
trebled. The output of coal in Scotland has also trebled in 
forty years. On the other hand, the delivery of iron ore is 
now less than it was forty years ago. The woollen industry 
has rapidly expanded since 1850; on the other hand, the 
manufacture of linen has materially declined since 1867. 
The number of cotton factories is also smaller than it was 
fifty years ago. The number of gallons of whiskey produced 
In Scotland in 1824 was only about five million; sixty years 
later, it had risen to upward of twenty million. Of especial 
interest are the statistics relating to the shipping owned in 
Scotland. At the time of the union with England, in 1707, 
the number of vessels was two hundred and fifteen, having 
an aggregate capacity of less than fifteen thousand tons. In 
1884, the number of vessels owned in Scotland was three 
thousand four hundred and sixty-eight, with a total tonnage 
>f nearly one million seven hundred thousand. The tonnage 
of the coasting and foreign trade nearly trebled in the thirty 
years succeeding 1855. The value of the traffic increased 
during the same period from about thirty-six million dollars 
to one hundred and fifty-three million. It is true that, even 
now, the value of imports into Scotland is only about a tenth 


as great as that of the imports into England, but it should 
be remembered that large quantities of foreign products find 
their way into Scotland from England by rail. 

"We have seen that, by the act of union in 1707, Scotland 
was to be represented at Westminster by sixteen peers, to be 
chosen by the Scottish peerage for each parliament, and by 
forty-five members of the House of Commons. By the Re- 
form act of 1832, the number of Scottish members in the 
Commons was raised to fifty -three; by the Reform act of 
1868, to sixty; and by the Seats act of 1885, to seventy-five. 
It is since 1885, too, that the management of Scottish busi- 
ness in the British parliament has been confided to a Secre- 
tary for Scotland. 

We have seen also, that, by the Act of Union, Presby- 
terianism, which was professed by a large majority of the 
Scottish people, was recognized as established in the northern 
kingdom under the name of the Church of Scotland. There 
were secessions from the Established Kirk in 1733 and 1751, 
but these were insignificant compared with the great schism 
which began in 1833 and ended ten years later with the ex- 
odus which organized the so-called Free Church of Scotland. 
The Free Church had, in 1885, two-thirds as many congre- 
gations as did the Established Church. Since 1874, patron- 
age has been abolished even in the Established Church, and 
the right of choosing parish ministers has been conferred 
upon the congregations. We should add that, in 1885, the 
Roman Catholic Church had three hundred and twenty- 
seven churches or chapels, and that the population affiliated 
to it was computed at over three hundred and forty thou- 
sand. The Episcopal Church in Scotland is still very weak, 
possessing at the date last mentioned only about two hun- 
dred and fifty churches, and eighty thousand members of 
all ages. Of Baptists and Methodists in Scotland there ar6 
very few. 



Malcolm HI. 

Donald Bane 
Duncan II. 

Alexander I. 
David I. 
Malcolm IVo 

William the 

Alexander II. 

Alexander III. 

John Baliol 
Robert Bruce 

David IL 

Robert IL 

Robert III. 
James I. 

James n. 
James III. 

James IV. 
James V. 

James VI. , and 
I. of England 



Malcolm III. 

Grandson of 
David L 

William the 

Alexander II. 


of Bruce, 




Robert II. 
Robert HI. 

James I. 
James II. 

James III. 
James IV. 
James V. 






















































v. 1. 











v. ii. 




Philip L 

Lewis VI. 
Lewis VII. 

Philip n. 

Lewis VIII. 

Philip HI. 

Lewis X. 
Philip V. 
Charles IV. 
Philip VI. 

John II. 
Charles V. 

Charles VI. 

Charles VII 

Lewis XI. 
Charles VHI 

Lewis XII. 

Francis I. 
Henry II. 
Francis IX. 
Charles IX. 
Henry III. 
Henry IV. 


Harold IL 
Wil. Couq. 
Wil. Rufus 

Henry I. 

Henry II. 

Richard L 

Henry HI. 

Edward I. 



Richard II. 
Henry IV. 


Edw. IV. 


Rich. IH. 
Henry VH. 

Hen. VHI. 

Edw. VI. 




Aberbrothock, battle of, i. 306. 

Aberdeen University, foundation of, i. 853. 

Abernethy, Sir Laurence, i. 136. 

Adrian, Emperor, Wall of, i. 15. 

Agnes, denominated Black, her defence of the Castle of Dunbar, i. 90*. 

Agricola, invasion of, i. 14. 

Alan, Lord of Galloway, death of, i. 57. 

Alan de Vipont, defence of Lochleven Castle, i. 200. 

Albany, Earl of Fife, i. 249; breach of faith with Earl of March, 251; 

challenge to Henry IV. of England, 253; regency of, 260; negotia- 
tion of, with Henry IV., 266; siege of Roxburgh Castle and Berwick, 

270; death and character of, 271. 
Albany, John, Duke of, regency of, i. 376; unpopularity of, 378; visit of, 

to France, 379; return of, 381; retirement to France, 382; return of, 

and final retreat to France, 383. 
Alexander I., called The Fierce, i. 40. 
Alexander IL, i. 56. 
Alexander III., marriage of, i. 60; treaty of, with Norway, 62; death 

of, 64. 
Alexander Stewart, of Bonkill, i. 117. 
Alexander, Duke of Albany, i. 329, 337; escape of, from prison, 338; 

junction of, with Edward IV. of England, to invade Scotland, 339; 

reception of, into favor, by James III., 343; banishment of, ib. 
Alpine, King of Scots, i. 23. 
Andrew, Saint, University of, i. 266. 
Andrew, Saint, Order of, i. 354. 

Angus, Earl of, apostate Scottish noble, treachery of, i. 89. 
Angus, Lord of the Isles, i. 108. 
Angus, brother-in-law of Henry VIII., i. 411-21. 
Anne of Denmark, Queen of James VI., ii; 280; coronation of, 281. 
Antonine, Emperor, Wall of, i. 16. 
Aodh, i. 26. 
Archibald, Earl of Angus, marriage of, i. 376; elevation of, 381; chosen 

administrator of royal authority,|385; divorce of, ib.; retirement to 

England, 390. 
Argyle, Earl of, appointed by James VI. to lead an army against the 

Catholic insurgents, ii. 301; defeat of, 305. 
Armada, the Spanish, ii. 266. 
Arran, Earl of, i. 332-3. 


40* INDEX 

Arran, Earl of, made Regent, i. 409; resignation of the Regency bf 9 

418; junction of, with the Lords of the Congregation, 431. 
Ashby, Ambassador from Elizabeth to James VI., ii. 267. 
Athelstane, i. 26. 

Athol, Earl of, execution of, i. 109. 
Athol, regency of, under Baliol, i. 202; death of, 208. 
Athole, Earl of, imprisonment of, ii. 169. 
Attacotti, i. 20. 
Aumori, i. 146. 

Aycha IV., King of Scots, i. 23. 
Aymer de Valence, Earl of Pembroke, i. 104, 132. 

Babington, conspiracy of, ii. 218-19. 

Baliol, Edward, invasion of, i. 190; coronation of, 193; junction of, with 
Edward III. of England, ib.\ flight of, to England, 199; resignation 
of the sovereignty of Scotland to Edward of England, 223. 

Baliol, John, i. 75; treaty of alliance with France, 79; surrender of, to 
Edward of England, 81. 

Ballard, ii. 218. 

Balmerino, Lord, secretary to James VI., intercourse of, with the Pope, 
ii. 367. 

Bannockburn, battle of, i. 128-36. 

Bartons, affair of the, i. 358. 

Battle of Brunnanburgh, i. 26; Loncarty, 27; Northallerton, or Cuton 
Moor, 44; Stirling, 88; Falkirk, 90; Methven Park, 105; Bannock- 
burn, 128; Dundalk, 142; Linthaughlee, 143; Mitton, 152; Dupplin 
Moor, 191; Halidon Hill, 196; Durham, 215; Nesbit Moor, 221; Otter- 
bourne, 244; Bourtree Church, 249; Clan Chattan and Kay or 
Quhele, ib.; Homildon, 255; Harlavv, 265; Sark, 307; Sauchie Burn, 
346; Flodden, 362; Cleanse the Causeway, 381; Melrose, 387; Kirk- 
liston, ib.\ Haddon Rig, 403; Ancram Moor, 412; Pinkie, 416; Cor- 
richie, ii. 41; Roundabout Raid, 54; Langside, 82; Reedsquair, 108; 
Dryffe Sands, 300; Glenlivet, 304. 

Beaton, David, i. 397-8; claims a right to the government of Scotland, 
408; intrigues of, 410; death of, 414. 

Beaumont, Earl of Buchan, i. 178; invasion of, 189. 

Bernard de Baliol, i. 43, 51. 

Binnock, or Binning, surprise of Linlithgow Castle, i. 122. 

Black, trial of, ii. 318; banishment of, 322. 

Bohun, Sir Henry, death of, i. 131-2. 

Boniface VIII.'s publication of a Bull claiming Scotland as a dependency 
on the See of Rome, i. 92. 

Bothwell, Earl of, intercepts the relief sent by Elizabeth to the Scottish 
reformers, ii. 14; driven into exile, 52; rise of, in court, 64; keeper 
of Liddisdale, 67; wounded and visited by Queen Mary, 68; con- 
spiracy of, against Darnley, 69-70; publicly accused of Darnley's 
murder, 71; trial of, 72; surprisal of Queen Mary by, 74; marriage 
of, with Mary, 75; unpopularity of, 77; imprisonment and death 
of, 78. 

Bothwell, Earl of, grandson of James V., his opposition to Arran, ii. 
179; meeting in arms James VI. at the Raid of Stirling, 181; impris- 
onment and escape of, 283; plot of, against James VI., 284; second 
attempt of, to capture the person of James VI., 287; surprises King 
James, and obliges him to sign certain articles, 292; denouncement 

INDEX 403 

of, as a rebel, 293; defeats the Earl of Home, 397; retirement of, to 
France, 307; death of, ib. 

Bruce, Edward, i. 117; heir to the crown, 140; crowned King of Ire- 
land, 141; death of, 142. 

Bruce, Nigel, i. 107; execution of, 109. 

Bruce, Robert, i. 75; junctiou of, with Edward of England, against 
Baliol, 80. 

Bruce, Robert, Earl of Carrick, L 96-101; retreat of, to the wilds of Niths- 
dale, 103; coronation of, at Scone, 104; retreat of, to the island of 
Rachrin, 108; excommunication of, 110; dismission of the Pope's 
nuncios bearing commands for peace, 146-7; illness of, 171; retire* 
ment of, 179; death of, 180. 

Bruce, quarrel of, with Forrester, ii. 264. 

Buchan, Countess of, i. 104; imprisonment of, 108. 

Buchan, Earl of. See Stewart, John. 

Bull, Stephen, i. 851. 

Bullock, William, i. 207; death of, 210. 


GfflSAK, Julius, invasion of, i. 14. 

Caledonians, defeat of, by the Romans, on the Grampian Hills, i. 15; 

war of, with Severus, 17. 
Camelodunum, i. 16. 
Campbell, Sir Neil, i. 106. 

Cameron Clan, desertion of the Lord of the Isles, i. 284. 
Carey, Sir Robert, Ambassador from Elizabeth to James VI., ii. 254. 
Carmichael, Sir John, ii. 108. 

Cassilis, Master of, imprisonment of, by Arran, ii. 169. 
Cecil, presence of, at the treaty of Edinburgh, ii. 20; activity of, in the 

trial of Mary, .85-86. 
Cecil, Robert, son of Burleigh, ii. 870; secretly advances James VL'8 

interest, 377. 
Chalmers of Gadgirth, i. 424. 
Charles VII. of France, i. 275. 
Chastellar, ii. 48; death of, 49. 

Chattan Clan, i. 249; desertion of the Lord of the Isles, 284. 
Christian of Denmark, i. 332. 
Christina, sister of Bruce, i. 194. 
Clifford, Lord, i. 104. 

Clifford, Sir Robert, defeat of, 1. 130-1; death of, 135. 
Cobham, Sir Ralph, i. 165. 
Cochrane, the mason, i. 840; purchase of the Earldom of Mar, to.; 

death of, 341-2. 
Comyn, Sir John, called the Red, chosen guardian of Scotland, i. 92; 

death of, 102. 
Constantine, son of Kenneth, L 26; Constantine III., to. 
Corbeil, Bishop of, i. 146. 
Conichie, battle of, ii. £1. 
Crab, John, destruction of the English sow, i. 151; attack of the 

enemy's fleet, 192. 
Crawford, Earl of, adherence of, to the Douglas interest, i. 818; sub»: 

mission of, to James, 319. 
Cressingham, English treasurer, i. 88. 
Crichton, Sir William, i. 296; -removal of, from the government, 304; 

recovery of the Bang's confidence, 308; escape of, from the Douglas 

ambuscade, 811; death of, 821. 

404 INDEX 

Culen, i. 27. 

Cunningham, John, of Drumquhassel, trial of, ii. 158-9. 
Currie, John, and the taking of Edinburgh Castle, i. 208. 
Cuton Moor, battle of, i. 44. 

Dalriads, or Dalreudini, i. 19. 

Danes, defeat of, i. 27-28. 

Darnley, visit of, to Mary, ii. 47; courts the influence of Rizzio, 50-1; 
marriage of, with Mary, 54; character of, 57; quarrel of, with Mary, 
and suspicion of Rizzio, 58; plot for the murder of Rizzio, 59; deser- 
tion of his colleagues in Rizzio's murder, 60; declaration of, denying 
any knowledge of the conspiracy, 62; discountenanced by Mary, 63; 
attacked with small-pox, and murder of, 70. 

David I., i. 40; death of, 45. 

David II., i. 178; coronation of, 188; removal of, to France, 194; return 
of, to Scotland, 208; invasion of England by, 213-14; defeat of, 216; 
imprisonment of, ib.; ransom and liberation of, 226; marriage of, 
with Catherine Logie, 230; divorce of, 233; death of, ib.; reflections 
on the character and reign of, ib. 

David, son of Robert III., i. 248; made Duke of Rothsay, 250; marriage 
of, 251; defence of Edinburgh, 253; imprisonment and death of, 254. 

David de Strathbogie, i. 200. 

De Argentine, Sir Giles, i. 133; death of, 135. 

De Brechin, Sir David, i. 159; execution of, ib. 

De Caillou, Edmund, death of, i. 144. 

D'Esse, Monsieur, arrival of, in Scotland, with six thousand troops, 
i. 417. 

De Garencieres, arrival of, in Scotland, i. 221. 

De Graham, Sir John, i. 215. 

De Lambyrton, William, i. 100. 

De Rokeby, Thomas, discovers the position of the Scottish array, i. 173. 

De Soulis, William, conspiracy of, i. 158. 

Despenser, Hugh, i. 161. 

De Umfraville, Sir Ingram, and the exchange of allegiance, i. 160. 

De Vienne, John, i. 240, 243. 

Donald, Lord of the Isles, i. 262, 266. 

Donald, Earl of Mar, regency of, i. 190. 

Donald, Ballach, i. 285; death of, ib. 

Donald, brother of Kenneth, i. 26. 

Donald Bane, accession of, to the crown of Scotland, i. 38. 

Douglas, Archibald, regency of, i. 194. 

Douglas, Sir James, i. 103; night of, with Bruce, 106; return of, to Scot- 
land, 112; capture of the Castle of Roxburgh, 121; pursuit of King 
Edward, 136; attack of, on the English by night, 175; retreat of, 
176; expedition of, to Palestine, 187; death of, u>. 

Douglas, Sir William, i. 87. 

Douglas, James, Earl of, defeat of Hotspur, i. 245; death of, 246. 

Douglas, nicknamed Tyne-man, i. 255; acceptance of the Duchy of Tou* 
raine, 275; death of, 276. 

Douglas, William, i. 300; death of, 301. 

Douglas, Earl of, Lieutenant-General of Scotland, i. 805; pilgrimage of, 
to Rome, 310; submission of, to James II., ib.; retirement of, from 
court, 311; visit of, to James, 315; death of, 316. 

Douglas, Earl, the last of the title, i. 317; retreat of, to England, 320; 

INDEX 405 

refusal of, to appear before the King's privy-council, 321; flight of, 

to England, 323; death of, 325. 
Douglas, Archibald, parson titular of Glasgow, ii. 71; presence of, at 

the murder of Darnley, 119; return of, to Scotland, and trial, 176; 

replacement of, in the benefice of Glasgow, 178. 
Douglas, George, unsuccessful attempt of, to assist Mary, ii. 81. 
Douglas, James, of Spot, in league with Bothwell against James VI., 

ii. 284. 
Douglas, Malcolm, of Mains, trial of, ii. 159. 

Douglas, William, assistance of, to Mary's escape from Lochleven, ii. 82. 
Drummond, Annabella, wife of Robert III., i. 247. 
Dryffe Sands, battle of, ii. 300. 
Dudley, Earl of Warwick, i. 416. 
Duff, i. 27. 

Dunbar, battle of, i. 80-1. 

Dunbar, Earl of, apostate Scottish noble, treachery of, i. 89. 
Dunbar, the Scottish Chaucer, i. 353. 
Duncan, Earl of Fife, case of, i. 78. 

Duncan, the Gracious, i. 29; and Macbeth, 29-31; death of, 31. 
Dundalk, battle of, i. 143. 
Durham, peace of, i. 45. 


Eadulf-Cudel, cedes Lothian to the Scottish King, i. 29. 

Edgar, third son of Malcolm, imprisons Donald Bane, and becomes 
King, i. 39; death of, 40. 

Edinburgh, foundation of, i. 22. 

Edward I. of England, i. 74; demand of the right of arbitration between 
the competitors for the Scottish crown, 76; declaration of his right 
to the Scottish crown, but a waiving of claim, 77; preferment of 
John Baliol to the throne, ib.: junction of, with Bruce, 80; removal 
of the coronation stone to England, 82; confirmation of Magna 
Charta, 89; vow of, 104; death of, 114-15. 
ward II. of England, i. 115; invasion of, 119; escape of, in a fishing- 
skiff, 136; seeking of a peace through the intervention of Pope John 
XXII., 145; preparation of, for invading Scotland, 163; escape of, to 
Bridlington, 165; death of, 169. 

Edward III. of England, i. 169; command of an'army against Douglas 
and Randolph, 171; dismission of the army, 177; convocation of a 
parliament at York, ib. ; stipulation of, with Baliol, for the subju- 
gation of Scotland, 193; return of, to England, 202; invasion of, to 
avenge the death of Athol, 203; war of, with France, 205; abuse 
of victory by cruelty, 217; invasion of, with eighty thousand men, 
222; retreat of, 225. 

Edward rv. of England, i. 334. 

Elizabeth, Queen of England, i. 423; recommendation of the Earl of 
Leicester to Marj' of Scotland, ii. 44; offence at Mary's intended 
union with Darnley, 51; exasperation of, at Mary's being delivered 
of James VI., 66; treatment of Mary, being her prisoner, 83 et seq.; 
threatening message to James in behalf of the Regent Morton, 120; 
letter of> to James, in behalf of the Raid of Ruthven conspirators, 
146; negotiation of, with Arran, concerning James's marriage and 
right to the English crown, 167-9; offence of, at the death of Sir 
John Russell, 174; exertions of, with James, against Arran, 174-5; 
negotiation of, for the liberation of Mary, 194; life of, considered 

406 INDEX 

endangered by Mary's existence, 197; an association formed in Eng- 
land for the defence of, 206; conspiracies against, 216 et seq.; answer 
of, to parliament, concerning the sentence of Mary, 231; answer of, 
to the ambassadors from James VI. in behalf of Mary, 238-40; letter 
of, desiring the private murder of Mary, 247; refusal of, to assist 
James in quelling the insurrection of Huntley, Angus and Errol, 
301; demand of Scott of Buccleuch, for daring to rescue Will of 
Kinmont, 316; displeasure of, with Essex, 373; effects of Essex's 
death on, 374; death of, 381. 

Elphinstone, Bishop of Aberdeen, i. 353. 

Eocha, i. 26. 

Eric, King of Norway, marriage of, with Margaret, daughter of Alex 
auder, III., i. 62. 


Falaise, treaty of, i. 53; abrogation of by Richard Coeur de Lion, 54 

Falkirk, battle of, i. 90. 

Farniherst suspected by Elizabeth of being instrumental to the death 

of Sir John Russell, ii. 174; death of, 175. 
Fenella. i. 28. 
Flodden, battle of, i. 362. 
Forrester, quarrel of, with Bruce, ii. 264. 

Foster, John, Warden of the West Marches of England, ii. 108L 
Frank, William, i. 121. 
Fraser, Simon, execution of, i. 109. 


Galwegians, i. 22, 44. 

Gaveston, Piers, i. 161. 

George, Earl of March, i. 251; junction of, with Henry IV. of England, 

252; return of, to Scotland, 261; death of, 273. 
Glamis, Lady, death of, i. 397. 
Glasgow University, foundation of, i. 353. 
Glenlivet, battle of, ii. 304-6. 
Gloucester, Earl of, i. 133; death of, 135. 
Gordon, Sir John, ii. 39; death of, 42. 
Gowrie, Earl of, detains James VI. at his castle of Ruthven, ii. 135*, 

proposed retirement to France of, 151; trial of, 152; death of, 158. 
Gowrie, Earl of.-second son of Gowrie of the Raid of Ruthven, ii. 833', 

death of, 344. 
Graham, David, of Fintry, execution of, ii. 290. 
Grahame, Sir Robert, banishment of, i. 290; death of, 293. 
Graoch, Lady of Macbeth, i. 30. 
Gray, Sir Patrick, i. 312-13. 
Gray. Master of, ii. 167; intrigue of, with Archibald Douglas, 176; made 

Chancellor of, 177; Ambassador from James VI. to Elizabeth, tO 

intercede for Mary, 238; duplicity of, 242; banishment of, 258. 
Grig, i. 26. 
Guy, Count of Namur, commands the Flemish auxiliaries, i. 201. 


Haco, King of Norway, invasion of, i. 61. 
Haddon Rig, battle of*, i. 403. 

INDEX 407 

Halidon Hill, battle of, i. 196. 

Hamilton, Sir James the bastard, i. 388; death of, 401. 

Hamilton, Sir Patrick, efforts for peace, i. 380; death of, 381. 

Hamilton, faction, i. 379. 

Hamilton, John, of Paisley, i. 415. 

Hamilton of Bothwellhaugh, ii. 94. 

Harlaw, battle of, i. 265. 

Hartcla, Sir Andrew, execution of, i. 166. 

Henry II. of England, i. 49; Lord Paramount of Scotland, 52. 

Henry III. of England, i. 59. 

Henry IV. of England, i. 250; claim of the right of supremacy, 252; 
return of, to England, 253; death of, 270. 

Henry V. of England, i. 270; death of, 273. 

Henry VIII. of England, i. 357; answer to the manifesto of James IV. 
of Scotland, 359-60; sends an army to the Scottish borders, 382; 
intercession of, for the Earl of Angus, 391; endeavor of, to induce 
James V. of Scotland to renounce papacy, 395; personal offence of, 
with James, 403; desire of, to obtain possession of Mary, 410; inva- 
sion of Scotland, 411. 

Hereford, Earl of, i. 133. 

Herries, John, i. 312; execution of, ib. 

Holyrood, Abbey of, founded by David I., i. 47. 

Home, Lord, i. 378; death of, 379. 

Home, of Wedderburn, i. 381. 

Home, David, of Argaty, execution of, ii. 157-8. 

Home, Lord, imprisonment of, ii. 169. 

Homildon, battle of, i. 255. 

Hotspur, See Percy. 

Huntley, Earl of, i. 318; defeat of, 320; conducts the army at Haddon 
Rig, 403; offence of, at Murray's being created Earl of Mar, ii. 38-9; 
death of, 41. 

Huntley, Earl of, commissioned by James VI. to seize the Earl of Mur- 
ray, ii. 285; surrender, imprisonment, and dismissal of, 287; offer of 
submission of, to James VI., 294; ordered either to renounce popery 
or leave Scotland, 295; correspondence of, with Spain, 301. 

Ida, founder of Northumberland, i. 21-22. 

Indulf, i. 27. 

Interregnum, i. 83. 

Ireland, invasion of, by Edward Bruce, i. 141. 

Isabella, Countess of Buchan, i. 104; imprisonment of, 108. 

James I. of Scotland, birth of, i. 248; capture of, by an English corsair, 
258; liberation, marriage, and character of, 277; treatment of Alex- 
ander, Lord of the Isles, 284; diminution of the power of the nobility, 
286; marriage of his daughter with the Dauphin of France, 287; 
declaration of war with England, 289; death of, 292. 

James II. of Scotland, removal of, from Edinburgh to Stirling by his 
mother, i. 298; assumption of supreme authority, 304; marriage of, 
308; intercession of, for Herries with Douglas, 312; invasion of Eng- 
land, 327; death of, 328. 

408 INDEX 

James III. of Scotland, i. 332; imprisonment of, 342; death of, 346. 

James IV. of Scotland, i. 347; espousal of the cause of Perkin Warbeck, 
352; character of, 353-4; marriage of, 355; manifesto of, to Henry 
VIII. of England, 359; invasion of England of, 361; death of, 364. 

James V. of Scotland, i. 384; appoints Angus to the administration of 
royal authority, 385; escape of, to Stirling, 389; possessed of un- 
limited royal authority, 390; chastisement of the borderers, 393; 
reception of the Order of the Garter from Henry VIII., 395; mar- 
riage of, 396; circumnavigation of, 400; family affliction of, 401; 
war of, with Henry VIII., 403; death of, 406. 

James VI. of Scotland, birth of, ii. 63; summons a general council to 
deprive Morton of the regency, 110; under the care of Morton, 113; 
exclusively directed by Lennox and Arran, 125; detainment of, by 
the Ruthven conspirators, 135; forgives the conspirators of Ruth- 
ven, 144; answer of, to Elizabeth's letter, 147; high opinion of, by 
Walsingham, 149; refusal of an embroidered garment from Mary, 
201; letter to Mary, denying her right to the throne, 202; inter- 
ference of, with Elizabeth, in behalf of Mary, 236; endeavor of, to 
reconcile the different factions and enemies, 262; opposition of, to 
Philip II. 's invasion of England, 268; public declaration of his in- 
tention to go for his intended bride, daughter of the King of Den- 
mark, 276; return of, 278; leads an army against Bothwell, 296; 
appoints the Earl of Argyle his representative against the Catholic 
insurgents, 301; pawns his crown jewels to support an army against 
the Catholic lords, 306; appointment of eight persons for the man- 
agement of his expenditure, 310; disagreement of, with the Church, 
317-18; orders the ministers to be imprisoned, 327; conspiracy of 
Gowrie against, 334-44; public incredulity respecting the statement 
of, with respect to the Gowrie plot, 345; claims of accession to the 
English crown, 359; popularity of, in England, 362; popularity of, 
with the Roman Catholics, 366; departure from Scotland fQ'v Eng- 
land, 383; King of England, 384; death of, 386. 

Joanna, Queen, widow of James I., i. 292; marriage of, 2Sfr* iiSrprison- 
ment of, 299; death of, 306. 

John of Lorn, or Macdougal, i. 106. 

John de Bretagne, guardian of Scotland, i. 115. 

John of England, i. 55. 

John XXII., Pope, command of a two years' peace between England 
and Scotland, i. 145; renewal of excommunication against Bruce, 

John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, i. 239; shelter of, in Edinburgh 
Castle, ib. ; war of, with Scotland, 240. 

John, Duke of Bedford, protector of England, i. 273; message of, tfe, 
Douglas, 276. 

John, Earl of Carrick, accession of, to the Scottish throne, i. 247. 

John of the Isles, i. 326; submission of, to James, 335. 

John, Earl of Mar, i. 829; imprisonment and death of, 338. 


Kay, or Quhele, Clan of, i. 249. 

Kenneth Macalpine, i. 23. 

Kenneth III., son of Malcolm I., i. 27; his death, 28. 

Kennedy, James, Archbishop of Saint Andrew's, i. 321; death of, 381* 

Ker, George, plan of, for the invasion of Scotland, i. 289. 

Kerr, Sir Thomas, of Farniherst, ii. 95; death of, 175. 

INDEX 409 

Kirkcaldy of Grainge, promise of obedience to Mary, in the name of the 
confederated lords, provided she would dismiss Bothwell, ii. 78; 
intrigues of, in favor of Mary, 93; execution of, 106. 

Kirkpatrick of Closebourne, i. 102. 

Knox, John, animates the assembly at Perth, i. 426; vehemence against 
the Queen Regent's duplicity, 427; preaching of, at St. Andrew's, 
forbidden by the Primate, 428; dissatisfaction of the provision made 
for the clergy, ii. 27; interview of, with Mary, 34. 

Lamp of Lothian, the abbey church at Haddington, consumption of by 

fire, i. 225. 
Langside, battle of, ii. 82. 
Lauder, conspiracy of, i. 341. 

Leith, siege of, ii. 17; surrender of, 20; raid of, 296. 
Lennox, Earl of, meeting of, with Bruce in his flight, i. 107; death of, 

Lennox, father of Darnley, presses Queen Mary to punish his son's 

murderers, ii. 71; protests against the precipitancy of Bothwell's 

trial, ib.; made Regent, 97; death of, 102. 
Lesley, Bishop of Ross, mission of, to Mary, ii. 31. 
Lethington. See Maitland. 
Lindesay, Lord of the Byres, trial of, i. 349. 
Linlithgow, surprise of the fort at, i. 122. 
Linthaughlee, battle of, i. 143. 
Livingston, Sir Alexander, i. 296; dismission of, from government, 304; 

imprisonment of, 305. 
Logan of Restalrig, concerned (in the Gowrie conspiracy, ii. 352; the 

memory of, tried for treason, 355. 
Logie, Catherine, marriage of, i. 230; divorce of, 233; appeal of, to the 

Pope, ib.; death of, ib. 
Lords of the Articles, i. 235. 
Louis XL of France, i. 334. 
Luach (the Simple), son of Macbeth, i. 32. 


Macbeth, i. 29; vision of, 30. 

Macdougal, or John of Lorn, i. 106; defeat of, by Bruce, at Cruachan- 
Ben, 118; death of, 142. 

Macduff, i. 78; and Baliol, 79. 

Magdalen, wife of James V., death of, i. 396. 

Magna Charta, i. 89. 

Maitland of Lethington, mission of, to Elizabeth, in behalf of the re- 
formers, ii. 15, 26; appearance of, as Mary's accuser, 84; intriguery 
of, for Norfolk and Mary, 93; death of, 106. 

Malcolm I., i. 27; acquires the kingdom of Reged from Edmund of Eng- 
land, ib. 

Malcolm II., i. 28; defeats the Danes, ib.; death of, 29. 

Malcolm III., called Cean-mohr, i. 33; death of, 37. 

Malcolm IV., i. 48; death of, 50. 

Malise, Earl of Stratherne, i. 43. 

Mar, Earl of, regency of, ii. 102; death of, ib. 

Mar. Earl of. See John, Earl of Mar. 
Scotland. Vol. II. — z8 

410 INDEX 

March, Countess of, i. 80. 

March, Earl of, called Gosspatrick, i. 35. 

Margaret s daughter of Alexander III., weds Eric, King of Norway, i. 62; 
mother of the Maid of Norway, ib. 

Margaret, Maid of Norway, i. 62; death of, 75. 

Margaret, Queen of Alexander III., i. 60; death of, 63. 

Margaret, Queen-Dowager of Scotland, marriage of, i. 376; announce- 
ment of her son James as sovereign, 384; divorce and marriage of, 

Margaret, sister of Edgar Atheling, i. 34; death of, 37. 

Margaret, wife to Earl of Arran, sister to James III., i. 332. 

Mary of Guelders, bride of James II., i. 308. 

Mary of Guise, Queen of James V., i. 396; duplicity of, to the reformers, 
427 c , hostile proceedings of, toward the reformers, 428; retreat of, 
to Dunbar, 429; fortification of, and retirement to, Leith, 430; 
further proceedings against the reformers, ii. 16; death of, 19. 

Mary, Queen of Scots, birth of, i. 396; marriage of, with Francis, 418; 
arrival of, in Scotland, ii. 32; interview with Knox, 34; expedition 
of, to the north, 39; asks the opinion of Elizabeth on her choice of 
a husband, 43; chooses Darnley, 45; appoints Rizzio to the office of 
French secretary, 49; marriage with Darnley, 54; accession of, to 
the league of Bayonne, 56; flight of, from Edinburgh to Dunbar, 60; 
delivered of James VI., 63; breach of, with Darnley, ib.; visit of, to 
Bothwell, being wounded, 68; treats Bothwell as if he were honor- 
ably acquitted, 72; assents to an act ratifying the Protestant doc- 
trines in Church and State, 72-3; made prisoner by Bothwell, 74; 
marriage with Bothwell, 75; separation from Bothwell, 78; impris- 
onment of, in Lochleven, ib.; resignation of the kingdom in favor of 
Murray, 80; escape of, 82; defeat of, 83; refuge of, in England, i&.; 
trial of, 84-6; summary of the evidence, 87-91; acquittal of, 92; con- 
spiracies in favor of, ib.; excites general sympathy, 184; removal 
of, to Tutbury, 186; to Chatsworth, 187; White's character of, ib,\ 
employment of, in captivity, 188; imprudence of Maitland's plots 
in favor of, 191; negotiation for the liberation of, 194; grief of, at 
the death of Norfolk, 195; unpopularity of, in England, 198; inter- 
ference of foreign princes in behalf of, 200; desire of, to sign the 
association formed for the protection of Elizabeth, 206; unpopu- 
larity of, in consequence of Babington's conspiracy, 221; trial de- 
termined on, ib.; papers and documents of, seized, 224; removal 
of, to Fotheringay*, and trial of, ib.; letter of, to Elizabeth, 234; 
death of, 251. 

Maule, Sir Thomas, i. 93. 

Maupas, John, slayer of Edward Bruce, death of, i. 142. 

Melrose, battle of, i. 387. 

Melville, Sir James, ii. 48. 

Melville, Rev. James, account of the Spanish Armada, ii. 270. 

Methven Park, battle of, i. 105. 

Michael the Great, an immense galleon, i. 357. 

Mitton, Chapter of, or white battle, i. 152. 

Monluc, Bishop of Valence, presence of, at the treaty of Edinburgh- 
ii. 20. 

Monteith, Sir John, betrayer of "Wallace, i. 94. 

Moot Hill of Scone, Mons placiti, omnis terra, i. 38. 

Moray, Sir Andrew, of Bothwell, i. 194; capture of, ib.; liberation of, 
199; presence of mind of, 204; death of, 206. 

Morton, Earl of, engaged in the conspiracy against Rizzio, ii. 59; flight 

INDEX 411 

of, to Northumberland, 61; appearance of, as Mary's accuser, 84; 
regency of, 102; delivery of the Earl of Northumberland to Eliza- 
beth, 104; oppressive regency of, 107; unpopularity of, 108; treat- 
ment of the prisoners taken at Reedsquair, 109; retirement to 
Lochleven Castle, 110; resignation of, 111; intrigues of, during his 
retirement in the "Lion's Den," 112; return of, to power, 118; 
authority of, limited, 114; unpopularity of, 117; trial of, 121; con- 
fession of, 122; execution of, 124. 

Murdach, Earl of Fife, accession of, to the regency, i. 272; negotiation 
of, for the liberation of James, 273; trial and execution of, 281. 

Murray, Prior of St. Andrew's, i. 428; opposition of, to the Queen- 
Regent, 430; attendance on the death-bed of the Queen, ii. 19; mod- 
ification of the stipends to the Church, 27; visit of, to his sister 
Mary, 31; made Earl of Mar, 39; Earl of Murray in lieu of Mar, 40; 
opposition of, to the Queen's union with Darnley, 52; reconciliation 
of, with Knox, ib.; insurrection of, 54; reconciliation of, with Mary, 
61; regency of, 79; appearance of, as Mary's accuser, 84; produces 
the silver box containing the alleged correspondence between Mary 
and Bothwell, 86; return of, to Scotland, 93; death of, 95. 


Neville, Sir Robert, death of, i. 144. 

Newton, Adam, attempt of, to publish the Pope's Bulls against Bruce, 

i. 147. 
Norfolk, Duke of, directed by Elizabeth to look into evidences of Mary's 

guilt or innocence, ii. 84; imprisonment of, 93; liberation of, 103; 

trial and execution of, 195. 
Northallerton, battle of, i. 43. 
Northampton peace, articles of, i. 178. 


Octavians, created by James VI., ii. 310; resignation of, 311. 

Ogle, Sir Robert, i. 289. 

Olifaunt, Sir William, governor of Stirling Castle, i. 94. 

Orleans, Maid of, i. 288. 

Otterbourne, battle of, i. 244. 

Owen Glendower, rebellion of, i. 253. 

Parry, plot of, against Queen Elizabeth, ii. 213. 

Paulet, Amias, intrusted with the care of Mary Queen of Scots, Ii. 222; 

a letter sent to, by Elizabeth, hinting to the private assassination 

of Mary, 247. 
Pembroke, Earl of, defeats Robert Bruce, i. 105; his defeat by Bruce at 

Loudoun Hill, 118; abandonment of Ayrshire to the Bruce, lb. 
Percy, Henry, nicknamed Hotspur, encounter of, with James, Earl of 

Douglas, i. 244; defeat of, 245; death of, 258. 
Perkin Warbeck, i. 352; invasion and death of, ib. 
Perth, siege of, i. 207; treaty of, 427; violation, 428. 
Philip II. of Spain, plan for an invasion of England, and pretensions to 

the English throne, ii. 266. 

412 INDEX 

Picts, tribe of, i. 19. 

Pinkie, battle of, i. 416. 

Pope Alexander III., opposed by William, King of Scotland, i. 58. 

Pope Clement, grants privileges to the Church of Scotland, i. 63. 

Presbyterian svstem, ii. 24; superiority of, 28. 

Protestants called "Lords of the Congregation," i. 425; citation before 
the Queen and Bishops, 426; forcibly occupy Perth, 429; junction 
of, with the Duke of Chatelherault, 431; reception of money from 
Queen Elizabeth, ii. 14; want of skill and discipline of, 18; provision 
for the clergy, 26; annihilation of the Catholic chapels, 29; treat- 
ment of Mary on her arrival, 32; dispute of, with the civil power, 
166; disagreement of, with James VI., 320; petition of, to James 
VI., 324. 

Ragman's Roll given up to the Scots, i. 178. 

Raid of Ruthven, ii. 138. 

Ramsay, Sir Alexander, i. 208; takes the castle of Roxburgh, 209; death 

of, ib. 
Randolph, Thomas, i. 103; capture of the Castle of Edinburgh, 181; 

engagement of, with the English at Stirling, 130-1; nomination of, 

to the regency, 186; death of, 190. 
Reedsquair, battle of, ii. 108-9. 
Reformation. See Protestants. 
Reginald, or Ranald of the Isles, death of, i. 213. 
Resby, a Lollard, execution of, for heresy, i. 261. 
Richard Coeur de Lion, his abrogation of the treaty of Falaise, i. 64; 

liberation of, by William of Scotland, 55. 
Richard II. of England, invasion of, i. 241; return of, to England, 848; 

dethronement of, 250; legend of, 268. 
Richard III. of England, i. 339. 
Rizzio, or Riccio, David, ii. 49; suspected by Darnley, 58; murder of, 

Robert I. of Scotland. See Bruce. 

Robert II., inauguration of, at Scone, i. 238; death of, 246. 
Robert III., i. 247; death of, 259. 

Robert, Earl of Fife, second son of Robert II., chosen regent, i. 846. 
Romans, walls of defence, i. 15-16; evacuation of Britain, 18. 
Ruthven, Alexander, brother of the Earl of Gowrie, conspiracy of, ii. 

334; death of, 343. 

Sadler, Sir Ralph, i. 398; intrusted with the care of Mary, ii. 811. 

Sandilands, James, Lord St. John, sent to Francis and Mary, ii. 23. 

Sark, battle of, i. 307. 

Sauchie-Burn, battle of, i. 346. 

Saxons, i. 21. 

Scott, Walter, of Buccleuch, i. 387; defeat of the English near Melrose, 

413; rescue of Will of Kinmont, 314-15; appearance of, before 

Elizabeth, 316. 
Scots, tribe of, i. 19. 

Seaton, Christopher, brother-in-law of Bruce, i= 108; death of, 110. 
Selby, Walter, death of, i. 214, 

Semple, Sir Robert, in charge of Dumbarton Castle, i. 304; death of, xb. 
Severus, invasion of the Caledonian territories, i. 17. 

INDEX 413 

Seward, Sir John, general of Edward I., i. 93; defeated by Comyn and 
Fraser, #>. 

Shaw of Sauchie, i. 345; refusal of, to admit James to Stirling Castle, 

Shrewsbury, Earl of, intrusted with the care of Mary Queen of Scots, 
ii. 186. 

Sidney, Sir Robert, ii. 271. 

Sinclair, William, Bishop of Dunkeld, i. 145; officiation of, at the coro- 
nation of Edward Baliol, 193. 

Somerled, Lord of the Isles, i. 49. 

Sow, construction of, to shelter the English miners, i. 150. 

Spalding, a burgess, betrays Berwick to Bruce, i. 148. 

Sprot. evidence of, concerning the Go wrie conspiracy, ii. 352; execution 
of, 356. 

Stephen, King of England, i. 40. 

Stewart, Alexander, Earl of Mar, memoir of, i. 263-4. 

Stewart, Arabella, right of, to the English throne, ii. 365-6. 

Stewart, John, Earl of Buchan, assistance of, to tbe Dauphin of France, 
i. 270; defeat of the Duke of Clarence, 274-5; creation of, as High 
Constable of France, 275; death of, 276. 

Stewart, James, called Captain, ii. 115; intrusted with the command of 
the King's guard, 117; the accuser of Morton for Darnley's murder, 
120; made Earl of Arran, 121; unpopularity of, 132; imprisonment 
of, 137; liberation of, 144; taken into favor, 145; vindictive meas- 
ures against the Raid of Ruthven conspirators, ib.; interception of 
a diamond ring to Walsingham, 150; unpopularity of, 155-6; meas- 
ures of, for restricting the power of the clergy, 162-3; becomes 
Chancellor, 167; awakens a feud between the Johnstones and Max- 
wells, 170; ordered to restrain himself, 175; measures for the ruin 
of, 178; retreat of, from Stirling, 180; retirement of, 181; return of, 
to favor, 274; death of, 309. 

Stewart, Sir William, accusation of, against the Master of Gray, ii. 258; 
death of, 261. 

Stirling, battle of, i. 88. 

Stuart, Esme, Lord D'Aubigne, Duke of Lennox, ii. 115; made Lord 
High Chamberlain, 117; unpopularity of, 132-3; return to France, 
and death of, 138. 

Sueno, King of Denmark, invasion of Scotland in the name of, by 
Camus, i. 29. 

Surrey, Earl of, defeated by Wallace, i. 87-88. 

Thomas, the Rhymer, prediction of, i. 63. 

Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, i. 161; conspiracy and death of, 162. 

Throgmorton, Francis, plot of, for Mary's liberation, ii. 204. 

Thurstan, Archbishop of York, i. 42. 

Tribes or Clans, i. 19. 

Tulchan Prelates, explanation of, ii. 108. 

Turnbull, Bishop of Glasgow, and the University of, i. 353. 

Tyler, Wat, insurrection of, i. 239. 


Uohtred, Sir Thomas, i. 165. 

Ungus, king of Picts, i. 23. 

Urgaria, wife of Aycha IV., and mother of Alpine, i. 23. 

414 INDEX 


Vipont, Sir "William, death of, i. 136. 


Wake, Lord Thomas, of Liddel, i. 178; invasion of, 189. 

Wallace, Sir William, i. 86; Guardian of Scotland, 88; resignation of tho 

guardianship, 91; death of, 94-5. 
Walsingham, visit of, to James VI., ii. 148-9; hostility of, to Arrao, 

149; high opinion of James, 150. 
Walter L'Espec, i. 42. 

Walter, Earl of Athol, conspiracy of, i. 291. 
Warrene, Earl of Surrey, i. 81. 
William the Conqueror, league against, i. 34. 
William Rufus, i. 36. 
William the Lion, i. 50. 

Wisheart, execution of. for heresy, i. 413-14. 
Wood, Sir Andrew, of Largo, Scottish seaman, i. 851. 
Wotton, Dean of Canterbury, ii. 20. 


Zouche, English Ambassador to James VL, ii. S95-& 


Santa Barbara 


Series 9482 


AA 000 238 425 3