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A history of Scotland from the Roman occupation (Volume 2) online

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thoughts then turned to his profession, and he marvelled that,
in many towns, there was not so much as a schoolhouse, while,
in the general cry for reformation, so few children were even
taught grammar. Here was a point on which Knox and Winzet
were at one. Winzet now remembered the themes for Latin
prose which in his happy days as a dominie he had set to boys



WINZET NOT ANSWERED, BUT EXILED. 91

"more able to learn than I was to teach." "Sedition," he thought,
would have been a capital subject for his pupils, and on this, to
beguile his melancholy, he composed an essay. This manuscript
was copied, and handed about among Catholics, and at last Winzet
had it printed (May 24, 1562). Winzet's appeal to the magistrates,
however, was earlier than the printing of his treatise, being of
March 31. He reminded the bailies how Solon denounced all
neutrals in civil strife. On this matter of the Easter hubbub he
must not be neutral. Therefore, after praying for "peace among
all professing our Lord Jesus," he looked into the history of the
prohibited Easter festival. He found St Augustine testifying to the
antiquity of the practice even in his own day, and since our Saviour's
day. So he " began to marvel at the arrogant temerity of your
holy prophet, John Knox, who commands to abolish these solemnities
as Popery" — that is, "idolatry." Easter rests on the tradition of
the Church. Knox denounces it. But on what does Sunday rest?
Merely on the same tradition. Why, then, does Knox pick and
choose, retaining Sunday and abolishing Easter and Christmas ?
The magistrates are invited to induce Knox to answer these argu-
ments in wriftng.

For all reply Knox gives only "waste wind," sermons. The
magistrates did not induce Knox to answer. Winzet therefore
began to print a treatise of some eighty-three controversial questions.
The magistrates seized the book before it was printed, imprisoned
and fined John Scott, the printer, and nearly caught Winzet,
who slipped out of the printer's house and escaped.''® Winzet
published his book at Antwerp in October 1573. It remains
unanswered until this day. The author denounces the secular
abuses of the Church as vigorously as Knox himself. The treatment
which he received, the refusal or indefinite postponement of any
reply, except "waste wind," and the seizure of the book, and per-
secution of the printer, are highly characteristic. Presbyter, as
Milton says, was but priest " writ large." Catholic books were
forbidden to enter Scotland, just as Lutheran books had been
prohibited. In 1578 Winzet became Abbot of the Scots monastery
at Ratisbon. There Mr Laing found his monument, in his canonical
dress. " It represents a placid, round, and intelligent countenance,
such as we might imagine of a person who had for years enjoyed
the ease and retirement of a monastic life."^® If we believe a
MS. Memoir by the son of Lethington, Winzet wrote most of



92 KNOX'S MEASURE OF SUCCESS.

Bishop Lesley's ' History of Scotland.' The affair of the brave,
gentle, usually courteous, and pacific schoolmaster has been dwelt
on at length, because it is hardly noticed by Knox's biographers.
Even Mr Hume Brown gives it only a footnote of three lines.^"
Nowhere do we find clearer information as to that interesting
topic, the position of intelligent and learned Catholics, who wished
to reform the Church from within, and without " the mervellis of
weltering of Realmes to ungodly seditioun and discorde." In
Winzet, then, we find one sympathetic figure, and truly Christian
man. For the rest, we know but little about the persecuted
Catholics, deserted as they were by the time-serving bishops.
Winzet was "shot out of" his ill-paid office and "dear home"
because he would not conform. The bishops did conform
enough to save most of their wealth. For the rest, we are left
to the guidance of fancy.

Scott, in ' The Abbot,' has tried to imagine the condition of the
Catholics at this moment. It appears that, like his hero Glendinning,
Scotland had never been very devoted to Rome, and readily turned
to " more reasonable views of religion." There was no Pilgrimage
of Grace. There was as yet no spirit of martyrdom ; and there were
practically no martyrs. Of all European countries touched by the
Reformation, Scotland accepted the new faith at least expense of
bloodshed. The very vices and weakness of the Church in Scotland
had prepared the way for the least contested of religious revolutions.
Again, the thorough-going Puritanism of the Kirk left no grounds for
internal quarrels over surplices and altars, vestments, crucifixes, and
candles. Had not James VI. succeeded to the English throne;
had not he and his son tried to bring in the English or a similar
prayer-book and the Order of Bishops, it would have been hard for
Scottish theologians to find anything to quarrel about — except so
far as their rights to dictate on secular affairs were concerned, for
the heresies of the early eighteenth century were still remote. The
success of the moment was due to Knox, above all men. At Perth,
at St Andrews, at Stirling, he had raised the temper of his followers
almost to his own level. He screwed their courage to the sticking-
point ; he insisted on extreme measures ; and he only failed when
he tried to carry out his social reforms, to persecute Catholics to
the death, and to save the wealth of the Church for the poor, for
the new clergy, and the cause of education. To Knox's efforts in
these directions we return later.



ARRAN, ELIZABETH, AND AMY ROBSART (1560). 93

Meanwhile politics and diplomacy resumed their reign. The
Estates had two things to do : first, to secure Elizabeth's consent
to a marriage with Arran. They had confirmed the treaty of
Berwick, but they would feel more certain of the English alliance
when a descendant of Bruce shared the throne of the Plantagenets.
Secondly, they had to legalise their proceedings by sending " persons
of quality " to visit France, and secure the approval of Francis and
Mary, and the ratification of the treaty. As to the second point
they cared very little. Lethington declined to visit France, and,
against his desire (for he had tact and sense), accompanied the
envoys with the proposal of Arran's hand to Elizabeth. Having
resided much in England, Lethington knew the open scandals of
the Court, and the flagrant conduct of Elizabeth while the Scots
were claiming her as the bride of the heir-presumptive to their
crown. Elizabeth's favourite, Dudley, was involved, and was in-
volving his mistress, in the disgrace of his wife's murder.
Elizabeth's flirtation with Dudley had long been a cause of anxiety.
On September 3 (or August 3, according as we follow the interpreta-
tion of Mr Froude or of Mr Gairdner) Elizabeth told de Quadra, the
Spanish Ambassador, that she would marry the Archduke. On or
about September 7, 8 (the dates are matter of dispute), Cecil told
de Quadra that there was a conspiracy to kill Dudley's wife. Amy
Robsart, who seemed to stand between her husband and Elizabeth.
'■ On the day following this conversation " Elizabeth told de Quadra
" that Lord Robert's wife was dead, or nearly so," and, in fact, Amy
Robsart was found dead, at the foot of a staircase in Cumnor Hall,
on the night of September 8.

Much has been written on this affair, and on the question as
to whether Elizabeth had any guilty foreknowledge of Amy's
death. Mr Froude says, "That there should be an universal im-
pression that a particular person was to be done away with, that
this person should die in a mysterious violent manner, and
yet that there should have been no foul play after all, would
have been a combination of coincidences which would not easily
find credence in a well-constituted court of justice." ^^ Whatever
the actual truth, ^^ these events occurred while the Scottish am-
bassadors were on their way to ask for Elizabeth's hand. Arran,
despite his defects, was a very brave man. Knox was his
most intimate adviser on his love-affairs. Neither seems to have
blenched at the idea of wedding a lady whose favourite had just



94 MISSIONS TO MARY AND ELIZABETH.

lost his wife in the most suspicious circumstances. Not even
EUzabeth's "idolatry'' stood in the way. But Lethington did not
like the embassy. Morton and Glencairn were his companions.
To France only the second son of Sandilands of Calder was sent,
a married man, yet Prior or Preceptor of the celibate order of
Knights of St John. This messenger was not "persons of suffi-
cient quality" (as stipulated in the compact of July 6), and his
mission was a failure. Neither to Sandilands, for Scotland, would
Francis ratify the Edinburgh compact; nor to Throckmorton, for
England, the treaty of July 6. The reasons for refusal have been
indicated already. ^^ The manner even of the Scottish ratification
was also informal and not duly attested. The bishops were "dis-
possessed or fugitive." The Scottish embassy to Elizabeth was
unauthorised and illegal. Again, the promises of Francis to
Elizabeth, in the English treaty, were taken to be dependent on
the performance of the stipulated conditions by the Scots. The
conditions had been broken. Francis could not, then, at present
ratify the English treaty.^* Elizabeth was very angry, but consented
to await the results of the mission of Sandilands (September 24).^*
Throckmorton flatly denied Elizabeth's part in the conspiracy of
Amboise, yet "Throckmorton had been the very focus of the plot."°^
Mary received Throckmorton seated, and gave him a low stool. She
said that she could as ill bear injury as her cousin Elizabeth, "and
therefore I pray her to judge me by herself, for I am sure she could
ill bear the usage and disobedience of her subjects which she knows
mine have showed unto me." Then she made friendly protesta-
tions, promised her portrait, and asked for that of a lady so fair
as Elizabeth. At the age of eighteen Mary was already obliged
to dissemble ; for, of course, Elizabeth had given her cause of deadly
feud, and Throckmorton and Elizabeth knew it well. Sandilands
sped no better than Throckmorton. He was told (November 14)
that the Scots were setting up a repubUc ; and that to send him,
"by post," to his queen, and a great embassy with seventy horses
to Elizabeth, was discourteous. By November 16, Francis, at
Orleans, declared his displeasure with the Scots, but promised
forgiveness on better behaviour. He would send commissioners to
open Parliament legally,"^ Throckmorton now marked French pre-
parations for war, and was told that Francis would quarter the arms
of England (as Elizabeth quartered those of France) till the treaty
was ratified. To Throckmorton Mary denounced with passion the



DEATH OF FRANCIS II. WOOINGS OF ARRAN. 95

behaviour of her subjects. He warned Cecil (November 17) that
France would take advantage of English weakness and of the
discontents about Dudley. Conde was in prison as a Huguenot
conspirator ; the King of Navarre was held tanquam captivtis ; the
stormy petrel, Bothwell, was off to Scotland, boasting he would live
there in spite of all men. " He is a glorious, rash, and hazardous
young man," said Throckmorton, and needs watching.

To secure Scotland, in case of a French war backed by the Pope,
it seemed that Elizabeth must marry Arran. In Scotland were
many dangerous neutrals : Huntly was upholding the mass in
the North ; Bothwell might trouble the Border. France was
destroying her Protestants, and would be unhampered. But on
November 28 Throckmorton reported the illness of Francis.^*
Already men spoke of a new marriage for Mary ! Francis died
at Orleans on December 5, " leaving as heavy and dolorous a
wife, as of right she had good cause to be," for Mary had watched
by his bed to the danger of her health. Thus " the potent hand
of God from above sent unto us a wonderful and most joyful
deliverance ; for unhappy Francis, husband to our Sovereign,
suddenly perisheth of a rotten ear, . . . that deaf ear that
never would hear the truth of God." So writes Knox.^^ The
dread of the Guises was thus appeased ; but Elizabeth now, out
of fear, declined to marry Arran (December 8). " What niotive
she had in this refusal we omit," says Knox, probably with Dudley
in his mind. The Scots were ill content, and Parliament was
summoned for January 15, 1561. Meanwhile "divers conceits
have troubled Arran's mind," writes Randolph. In earlier de-
spatches and letters are hints of Arran's ill-health, probably
cerebral. People spoke to him of a marriage with Mary Stuart.
" Of all these matters there is no man privy except Knox, and
he whom he trusteth with the whole" (January 3, 1561).^*^ Arran,
says Knox, " was not altogether without hope that the Queen
of Scotland bore unto him some favour." This was fatuous.
Mary deemed him " an arrant traitor." However, he sent the
new-made widow a letter and a ring. The reply " he bare
heavily in his heart, and more heavily than many would have
wotted." Knox as the recipient of love-lorn confidences appears
in a new attitude.^^

The Parhament of January 1561 did very little. The Lord
James was appointed to go to France and see Mary, but he did



96 MARY A WIDOW. LORD TAMES STEWART.

not leave Edinburgh till the middle of March. He was " fore-
warned of the Queen's craft," says Knox, " not that we then
suspected her nature, but that we understood the mahce of her
friends" — that is, kindred — "the Guises." Lord James "was
plainly premonished that if ever he condescended that she should
have the mass privately or publicly within the realm of Scotland,
that then betrayed he the cause of God." He said that he saw
not who could stop her, if she had the mass "secretly in her
chamber." Knox and the Kirk could have stopped her in due
course of law, first by confiscation and corporal punishment, next
by exile, lastly by death ; or an opportune Jehu might have been
raised up. These were not Lord James's ideas. From Edinburgh
Lethington, returned from the futile embassy to Elizabeth, kept
Cecil well informed. The Estates on February 6 had been sitting
for a fortnight. The " Polecie of the Kirk," the Book of Discipline,
was being passed, a policy " something more vehement than at
another time he would have allowed." Lord James's embassy to
Mary was tentative : the Scots did not wish her to return escorted
by a French force. Lord James would tell Elizabeth "what he
minds to do." Nothing will be settled by Scotland, as regards
Mary, till Lord James " has fully groped her mind." There was
talk of renewing the French league, but Maitland had staved off
the question. Mary's name and cause are beginning to awake
devotion in her subjects. On February 6 Maitland announced
the arrival from France of commissioners from Mary to assemble
the Estates, and induce them to send some peers to advise Mary
" anent her home-coming " and the renewal of the French league.
Maitland himself was in danger on account of his " familiarity
with England." ""'^ On February i6 Mary, at Fontainebleau, received
Elizabeth's envoys, Bedford and Throckmorton. As to the treaty
of Edinburgh, Mary said that she might answer, after seeing envoys
from Scotland, Lord James and others. She spoke amiably of
Elizabeth, and desired to see her. In fact she was minded to send
over De Noailles for the renewal of the old league with France :
this was attempted later, but failed.

Mary, her mourning relaxed, soon began to move about the
country, to Paris, Rheims, and Nancy. While she was in Lorraine
her hand was being sought by as many princes as ever wooed a
princess in a fairy tale. By the treaty of Haddington, made before
she left France as a child, Mary could only marry, if Francis died,



THE QUEEN OF MANY WOOERS (1561), 97

by the advice of the Estates. The King of Denmark, the King of
Sweden (who later, like Arran, went mad), a son of the Emperor,
and Don Carlos, who also, by a strange coincidence, followed the
way of Arran and the Swedish king, were all suitors, or spoken
of as suitors. Fate brooded blackly over every pretender to the
fairest of queens. The Guises preferred, Elizabeth of course
opposed, the Spanish marriage. Already Lennox, who had a son,
Darnley, worth entering for the prize of Mary's hand, had been
begging leave to visit Scotland, and to sue Mary for restoration of
his lands, forfeited for treachery long ago. Elizabeth tartly answered
that this was "colour for a higher feather," and that Lennox and
his wife were practising as her enemies. "^^ Lennox had been arguing
that Chatelherault was illegitimate ; whence it followed that he him-
self was next heir to the Scottish throne. His wife, again, was a
niece of Henry VHL Their young son, Darnley, was thus near to
both thrones, and " the higher feather " was the desire to marry
Darnley to Mary. As in the fairy tales, the humblest wooer was
to win, with worse results than if any of the princes damaged in
their wits had succeeded. Catherine de' Medici opposed the
cause of Don Carlos : Elizabeth opposed any foreign marriage.

Any Scottish marriage would have seen the bridegroom a corpse
in a few weeks, such was the jealousy of the nobles. Mary was a
doomed woman. While she was near Nancy, envoys from the two
Scottish parties met her. Huntly, Atholl, Crawford, the Bishops of
Murray and Ross, and others had sent John Lesley, the historian, to
warn Mary against her brother. Lord James, they said, only wanted
the Crown. He ought to be detained in France, or Mary ought
to land at Aberdeen, and move south with the loyal and Catholic
levies of the North, under the banner of the shifting and faithless
Huntly. This policy might have been better than trusting the
Protestants, and appearing as a queen among men who daily in-
sulted and persecuted her faith. But Mary doubtless knew that
no man could rely on Huntly.^'* She therefore leaned to Lord
James, coming, as he did, straight from interviews with Cecil and
Elizabeth. Unhappy queen : betwixt the faithless friends of her
own creed and the allies of her natural enemy and cousin ! Mr
Tytler explains that Lord James met Throckmorton secretly in
Paris, and " betrayed to him everything that had passed between
his sister and himself." ^^ On this crucial point. Was Mary's
brother a deliberate traitor to Mary ? there is a dispute among

VOL. II. G



98 A COMPROMISE SUGGESTED.

the learned, which may be discussed in a note.* In any case,
Throckmorton keeps insisting that Lord James should be well
"entertained" and "contented." He thought that ^^20,000 would
not be too much to spend on buying the Scots.^*^ On May 4
Lord James set out for London, whither Mary had tried to per-
suade him not to go.^'^ In England (if we may believe Camden,
who is not the best of authorities), Lord James tried to induce
Elizabeth to capture Mary on her way to Scotland. On May 29
he was again in his native land. On June 26 Throckmorton
congratulated him on having "stayed many things that might
have been to the unquiet of the country." ^ Parliament was
meeting, and the Catholics appeared in some force. The Brethren
presented a petition to the Council, urging more destruction of
" idols " and the enforcement of the persecuting laws. By the
" Brethren " are meant the General Assembly. ^^ The Lords dis-
missed Noailles without renewing the old league with France, and
he left Edinburgh (June 7). The Brethren next ravaged a number
of monasteries in the west and north ; at Paisley the Archbishop
of St Andrews "narrowly escaped," says Knox. They meant to
kill or capture him, it appears.'*^'

Meanwhile Mary, in France, had been in bad health, and had
been evading Throckmorton's demands for the ratification of the
treaty of Edinburgh. He reasoned with her at Paris, about
June 23, to no avail. She was sending d'Oysel to ask Elizabeth
for her safe-conduct. Elizabeth, in public, and in passionate terms,
refused, and (July i) wrote to the Estates insisting on the ratifica-
tion. Later, she spoke more placidly : if Mary would ratify, she
would be ready to meet her in a friendly way.*^^ Mary threw
away this admirable chance of settling the feud. Many a time,
later, was she to pray for a meeting that was never granted. Eliza-
beth was now clearly in the right. If the obstacle to the ratification
was the conduct of the Scots, that had been practically condoned.
Mary could not fairly expect to be allowed to travel through
England, rousing Catholic hopes, while she did not formally recog-
nise Elizabeth as England's rightful queen. At this moment
(July 14) a compromise was invented. Cecil tells Throckmorton
that there is "a matter secretly thought of." Mary might acknow-
ledge Elizabeth as Queen of England, might recognise the right
of Elizabeth's issue, if she had any, and might herself be recognised
* See "The Lord James," at end of chapter, p. 102.



DECLINED BY ELIZABETH (1561). . 99

as heir, failing her own issue, by EHzabeth. " The queen knoweth
of it." But Elizabeth declined this arrangement, urged on August 6
by Lord James. The day she acknowledged Mary as heir might
be a day near her own death by assassination.'''- Elizabeth
may have calculated rightly. She would not make her own recog-
nition as Queen of England a matter of bargain. Perhaps she
dared not recognise Mary as her successor for fear of being
murdered. Hence arose the endless feud of the two queens.

Throckmorton (July 26) wrote a long account of his interview
with Mary, after she heard of Elizabeth's refusal.'^^ The diplomatist
was married, and was a hardened example of " an honest man sent
to lie abroad for the good of his country," to use Sir Henry Wotton's
definition of an ambassador. But it is clear that the girlish and
queenly charm and courage of Mary, so young, so fair, so well
acquainted with sorrow, standing in the perilous path, and in the
clash of contending forces, moved his admiration. She dismissed
the courtiers : " she liked not to have so many witnesses of her
passion, as his mistress had when she talked with Monsieur
d'Oysel." She was sorry that she had asked Elizabeth for a favour,
passage to Scotland, that she needed not to beg. " The late king
'your master' had vainly tried to stop her on her way to France.""'*
She declined to be brow-beaten, as if she were too young for affairs.
In the past she had acted as her husband desired (of course it must
have been herself who swayed the boy-king); now she had no French
counsel, and must consult her lords at home. In brief, with feminine
ingenuity, Mary threw the blame on Elizabeth. Mary knew very
well that the Estates approved of the ratification of the Edinburgh
treaty ; there was no need to consult them, but, once among them,
she might make them change their minds. She insisted that, since
her husband's death, she had disused the English arms. Throck-
morton laid the strength of his case before Catherine de Medicis,
who approved of Mary's reply. Later, Mary told Throckmorton
that, her preparations being advanced, she meant to sail ; had she
not been in readiness, Elizabeth's unkindness might have delayed
her voyage. If EHzabeth captured her and made sacrifice of her,
so be it. " Perad venture that casualty might be better for her
than to live." Better, indeed, it would have been.

Elizabeth and Cecil knew Mary's purposes. On June 29 she
had written to Lethington, who was trying to make himself secure
with her. She said that it would be better for him to drop his



lOO MARY LEAVES FRANCE (1561).

correspondence with England, and bade him try to have the Scots
hostages for the treaty of Berwick withdrawn. " Busy yourself in
undoing what you have brought about " — that is, the league between
England and the Congregation.'^^ Lethington predicted " strange
tragedies" if Mary returned to Scotland (August lo).^^ Perhaps
he wished to insinuate that Mary should be trapped at sea, like
James I. On July 25 she left St Germain, later to be the unhappy
palace of her exiled race. The port from which she should sail was
kept secret. On August 1 1 Throckmorton wrote to Cecil and to
Elizabeth. Mary had wished to see him again, and he had pre-
sented himself before her at Abbeville (August 7 and 8). She was
sending the lay Prior of St Colm (Stewart of Doune) and her
loyal friend Arthur Erskine to Elizabeth with a friendly letter.
Elizabeth (August 1 6) replied. She accepts Mary's assurances that
on her arrival in Scotland she means to be guided by her Council.
She " suspends her conceit of all unkindness." It is untrue that
her fleet is at sea to intercept Mary ; she has only two or three
barques out to watch Scottish pirates.'^'' As late as August 12,



Online LibraryAndrew LangA history of Scotland from the Roman occupation (Volume 2) → online text (page 11 of 60)