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Fleming's work, pp. 379, 380.

^ Stevenson, Selections, pp. 153-159. ^" Froude, vii. 369.

■^^ Papal Negotiations, xxxviii-xliii.

"'•' Knox, ii. 520. ^ Keith, iii. 260.

^® Goodall, i. 274. ^'' Bain's Calendar, ii. 255.

^ See Papal Negotiations with Queen Mary, section vii., and the Lennox
Papers (MS.) in 'The Mystery of Mary Stuart.'

■*^ This letter was in Mr Dawson Turner's Collection : was printed (twenty
copies) by him in ' Maitland's Narrative,' a very rare book, and is cited by Tytler,
vii. 23.

^ Drury to Cecil, February 16, 1565 ; Keith, iii. 403-405.

^^ Keith, ii. 261-264. Murray and the exiles signed in England. The MS
" band " with their signatures is at Melville House, in Fife.

^- Calendar, ii. 261. ^'^ Privy Council Register, i. 437.

5* Teulet, ii. 120.

■^5 Calendar, ii. 258. ^ Calendar, ii. 260. ^" Calendar, ii. 265.

^^ Froude, vii. 384 ; Knox, ii. 520.

^^ Bedford and Randolph, in Wright's Elizabeth, i. 226. Ruthven, in various
editions. Mary to Beaton, Keith, ii. 411-423. In Keith Ruthven is somewhat
abridged, iii, 260-278. See bibliography in Hay Fleming, pp. 387-390.

NOTES. 179

*"* It was expected that Dainley and Mary should pass the night together. But
Damley could not be roused ; he may have been drunk. Compare Bedford
and Randolph in Wright's 'Elizabeth,' i. 229, with Ruthven, Keith, iii. 274,
275. Randolph and Bedford have confused the story.

'^^ For. Cal. Eliz., 1566, p. 45. s- Calendar, ii. 273.

^^ See a curious little proof of Lethington's complicity, Calendar, ii. 26S. 269.
It is only "case" spelled "caas," but confirms Randolph's evidence.

^^ Calendar, ii. 269, 270. ^ Privy Council Register, i. 452-454.

66 Randolph, For. Cal. Eliz., May 2, 1566, 59.

^ Calendar, ii. 277. ^8 Calendar, ii. 278.

63 Hume Brown. Knox, ii. 310.

^" The Inventory was admirably edited by Joseph Robertson, for the Panna-
tyne Club.

"' Calendar, ii. 278. "'- Calendar, ii. 296.

'^ Mystery of Mary Stuart, pp. 73-79, with the authorities.

^^ Calendar, ii. 288, 289. "^ Laing's Knox, ii. 532.

^^ Lennox MSS. in Cambridge University Library.

^^ Privy Council Register, i. 475, 476. ''^ For. Cal. Eliz., 1566, p. 118.

"9 For. Cal. Eliz., 1566, pp. 128, 129. s" For. Cal. Eliz., 1566, p. 132.

*i Laing, History of Scotland, ii. 85, ^2 p^i^vy Council Register, i. 480.

^3 Teulet, ii. 139-146.

*^ Laing. ii. 331, 334; Xau, p. 35 ; Bain, Calendar, ii. 599, 600; Randolph,
October 15, 1570, For. Cal. Eliz., ix. 354, 355 ; Mysteiy of Mary Stuart, pp. 87-93.

^ Keith, ii. 449. ^6 Teulet, ii. 150.

^ Knox, ii. 533, 534. Compare Hay Fleming, p. 415, note 63.

*^ Laing, ii. 25. ^^ Labanoff, i. 369.

^ Diurnal, p. 100. -'^ See Hay Fleming, p. 416.

^ Keith, iii. 2S5, 2S6 ; Papal Negotiations, p. 306 and note i.

^^ Diurnal, pp. loi, 102. "■* Detection. In Anderson, ii. 10-12.

3^ Keith, i. xcvi, December 2.

"6 Hay Fleming, p. 422 ; Anderson, iv. pt. ii. p. 186.

^ Keith, iii. 290-294 ; Goodall, ii. 359.

3* Keith, iii. 294. 99 Diurnal, pp. 127, 12S.

^"^ See Hay Fleming, p. 420; Froude, vii. 491.

^"1 For. Cal. KHz., 1567, p. 164; Bain, Calendar, ii. 310.

^''- Keith, i. xcix, ci. ^"^ Birrel's and the 'Diurnal.'

'"•' Mystery of Mary Stuart, pp. xiii-xviii.

^"^ Lennox MSS. ; Diurnal ; Birrel's Detectio ; Actio ; Buchanan's Historia ;
Labanoff, vii. 108, 109 (version of Moretta, the Ambassador of Savoy); Sir James
Melville, p. 174.

1*6 Laing, ii. 320.

1*7 See also (Septeml)er 5, 1567) Bedford to Cecil, on Talla's declarations.

^"8 The depositions and confessions in Laing may be compared with ^L Phillip-
son's curious and ingenious criticism in ' Revue Historique,' xxxv-xxxvii. Want
of local knowledge led M, Philippson into an error about the House of Callendar,
Lord Livingstone's place, which he confused with the town of Callendar. Mr
Hosack's criticisms, in his ' Mary, Queen of Scots,' i. 239-266, are also valuable.
New material, from Lennox's MS.S., is given in the autiior's 'Mysteiy of Mary





An affair so important as the murder of the queen's husband was
certain to leak out before its execution. INIurray probably knew
what was being conspired. Morton, before his execution in 1581,
admitted that Bothwell had tried to enlist him ; but he would not
join without Mary's signed warrant, which Bothwell could not pro-
cure. Overtures were again made to him by Archibald Douglas,
his cousin, who was with him later, when the famous silver casket
with Mary's letters was broken open and inspected. Morton
admitted that he did not try to dissuade his cousin from the
deed, nor cease to associate with him, though Archibald was con-
fessedly present on the scene of the crime of Kirk-o'-Field. Yet
Morton it was who led the prosecution of Mary.-^ Morton con-
fessedly signed a band to aid Bothwell if he were charged with
the murder. On the scaffold he exclaimed, " I testify before God I
have professed the evangel." Another of the murderers, Ormiston,
a man of abominable Ufe, thanked God, for, said he, " I am
assured that I am one of His Elect." ^ Clearly these men ex-
pected to be saved by faith, not by works. Such were the con-
spirators, active or passive. Mary's attitude appears from her
letter, or the letter written for her by Lethington, to her ambas-
sador in France on February 11. Beaton had warned her to look
closely to her safety, and, taking the cue, she thanked him for
the advice, and said that the suspected plot had partially failed.
She had lately slept in Kirk-o'-Field : the criminals expected her
^ to do so again on that Sunday night, but she " of very chance
tarried not all night, by reason of some masque at Holyrood ;


but we believe that it was not chance, but that God put it in
our head." Persons of both religions make very free with that
awful name.^

Probably gunpowder was used for the very purpose of the pre-
tence that Mary and the lords were aimed at as well as Darnley.
Beaton replied that it were better for her to lose " life and all " than
not to punish the crime. Men averred that " all was done by her
command." She was now the common talk of Europe.^ Mary did
not — in her position she could not — take the advice of her faithful
servant. Even if innocent, what could she do, with Bothwell,
Argyll, Huntly, and Lethington all concerned in the plot? As
Beaton predicted, all went from bad to worse. The inquiry which
was begun ceased as soon as it became dangerous. No man durst
earn the reward which was offered for a discovery.^ Caricatures of
Bothwell and the queen were posted on the walls, and (March 13)
James Murray of Tullibardine was denounced as the artist and fled.^
Nocturnal voices denounced the guilty. Mary's mourning was
regarded as a farce. James Murray of Tullibardine in vain offered
to denounce and fight the culprits. Lennox, granted a trial, accused
Bothwell, who overawed justice as the friends of the preachers had
done, as everybody did, by a display of force. Lennox, on the other
hand, was not allowed to bring in his own following. Yet even here
Mr Hosack makes out a fair forensic defence of the queen.'^

Lennox asked Elizabeth to back his petition for the adjourn-
ment of the trial. Elizabeth's messenger reached Holyrood on
the morning of the " day of law." He was not allowed to enter
Holyrood, and was insulted. Finally, Bothwell took the letter of
Elizabeth in, but returned and said that Mary was asleep. His
horse (once Darnley's) was brought, he mounted, and glanced back
at the palace ; the messenger saw Mary nod to him from her
window.^ At the trial a friend of Lennox, Cunningham, entered
a protest, behaving with great courage. After long debate the
jury, for fear or favour, and helped by a technical error in the
pleas, acquitted Bothwell in the lack of evidence, some giving
no vote.^ Parliament met (April 14-19), and an attempt was
made to conciliate all parties. The spiritual members sat, and
some of them acted as Lords of the Articles. All old laws against
Protestantism were annulled, and holders were secured in their
possession of Church lands. The General Assembly " obtained
for every borough " the altarages and obits, for the maintenance


of ministers, schools, and the poor.^*^ Edinburgh Castle had been
taken from Mar, who received Stirling Castle, where he protected
the infant prince as honourably as he had acted in his tenure of
Edinburgh Castle. Bothwell got Dunbar Castle, a strong place
of retreat, with power of escape by sea. The placarding of charges
against Mary was denounced under severe penalties. As Kirk-
caldy avers, in a letter to Bedford, that the queen "caused ratify
the cleansing of Bothwell," it is difficult to doubt a fact not
chronicled in the public records.^^ Many lords, including Huntly,
were confirmed in their estates, some of which Mary might have
legally resumed. -^^ Among the names of the nobles present in
Parliament that of Murray does not appear ; Lethington and his
kinsman, Atholl, are also absent, which is strange. On March
13 Murray had asked Cecil, in haste, for a safe-conduct. Arch-
bishop Beaton, in Paris, was just then warning Mary that the
Spanish Ambassador knew of, but would not reveal, another plot
against her.^^ Murray had a remarkable knack of keeping out of
the way when conspiracies were about to come to a head. Just
before asking Cecil for a safe-conduct, Murray had entertained the
new English envoy, Killigrew, at dinner (March 8). The other
guests, Argyll, Huntly, Bothwell, and Lethington, were all in the
band to murder Darnley.^* Is it not clear that Murray had no
suspicions as to the character of these designing men ? The
ardent advocates of Mary will urge that she was as guileless as
her brother. Bothwell had, indeed, been placarded as the chief
assassin ; but Murray was not the man to be moved by anonymous
accusations. Things had even been said against himself. Of Mary
his generous nature entertained no suspicion. Just as he chose a
select party of murderers to meet the English envoy, so, before
leaving Scotland, he made his will, leaving Mary guardian to his
infant daughter (April 3, 1567).^^ Then Murray departed on a
visit to France, taking England on the way.

By making this opportune jaunt Murray missed a singular event
— the signing, by many nobles, of the Ainslie band advising Mary to
marry Bothwell. To this band the signatures were placed, after a
supper given by Bothwell at Ainslie's Tavern, on the night of April
19. In December 1568, when the Commission on Mary met at
Westminster, a copy of this band was given to Cecil by John Read,
a clerk of George Buchanan, The signatures were not appended,
and Cecil himself has written them as supplied by Read from

"AINSLIE'S band" (APRIL 19, 1567). 183

memory. Murray, we are certain, was not present at the supper, yet
Read heads the list with his name.^^ Nothing is much darker in
these intrigues than the truth about Ainslie's band, an association
for supporting Bothwell, and recommending him as a husband to
Mary. When Murray, Morton, and Lethington prosecuted Mary
before the Enghsh commission in 1568 they do not appear, as a
body, to have put in an official copy of this band, at least not of the
signatures. Murray's name, as we saw, is in the list supplied by the
memory of Read, but Murray was not even in the country on April
19. Mary's confessor told the Spanish Ambassador, in London, in
July 1567, that Murray did not sign.^'^ There was for long a copy
of the band in the Scots College at Paris, attested by Sir James
Balfour as authentic. The signatures differ from those in Read's
list, and include Archbishop Hamilton, the Bishop of Orkney, and
Lesley, Bishop of Ross. The second of these performed in May the
marriage service between Mary and Bothwell, yet he was one of the
Scottish commissioners who prosecuted the queen, Lesley avers that
he cannot account (unless by art magic) for Mary's conduct in wedding
Bothwell. According to a MS. of Lethington's son (16 16), Lesley
was a hanger-on at this time of the Hepburns.

It is to be remarked that Lethington did not sign, nor did his
kinsman, AthoU, though Nau, Mary's secretary, avers that Lething-
ton urged her to the marriage. He cannot have approved of it ;
he was now on the worst terms with Bothwell. The lords later
averred that they had Mary's warrant for signing ; they showed it
at the York meeting, October 1568, but it is not mentioned in
the subsequent proceedings at Westminster.^^ Thus we know
not exactly what lords signed (Morton certainly did) or why.
" Ainslie's band " was clearly a subject on which the God-fearing
men who later prosecuted Mary wished to say as little as possible.
Later they denounced her for wedding Bothwell, though in Ainslie's
band they had urged her to marry him. Their excuses were,
now that they were frightened into signing by the musketeers
of the guards, now that they had a warrant for signing from Mary.
Neither apology, nor both combined, seems worthy of high-
spirited, sagacious, and deeply religious men. A more valuable, if
more subtle, apology is that of modern admirers of the lords. They
had advised Mary to marry Bothwell, but that did not imply that
Bothwell was licensed to carry her off by force. However, they still
publicly maintained that he had carried her off by force, after they


had professed privately that they knew her to be in collusion with
him (June 30, 1567).^^ Thus Ainslie's band remained a stone of
stumbling to the men who first signed it, and then prosecuted the
queen. On April 20 Kirkcaldy, giving a fresh account of the doings
of the previous day, told Bedford that Bothwell, "the night Parlia-
ment was dissolved, called most of the noblemen to supper, to desire
their promise in writing and consent to the queen's marriage, which
he will obtain, — for she has said she cares not to lose France, Eng-
land, and her own country for him, and shall go with him to the
world's end in a white petticoat ere she leave him." ~^ Kirkcaldy
probably did not hear her say so, but her behaviour made the report
credible to him. He says nothing here about the employment of
force and terror at Ainslie's tavern. He asked whether Elizabeth
would aid his allies in avenging Darnley's murder. Drury reports
that, on the night after Ainslie's supper, Bothwell's men mutinied for
pay in the queen's presence, and were pacified by her with 400
crowns. On the 21st (Monday) she went to Stirling to see her
child, and Kirkcaldy reported that she meant to place him in Both-
well's hands. jNIar was not the man to permit this, if intended.
Drury tells an absurd tale, that Mary offered her child an apple, a
natural dainty for a child of nine months. The young Solomon
declined the fruit, so tempting to a toothless nursling ; but it was
thankfully shared by a greyhound and her puppies, which all in-
continently expired. Greyhounds are not usually fond of raw apples.
Such are the legends of Drury to Mary's disadvantage.

The next event was the abduction of Mary by Bothwell on her
way from Stirling to Edinburgh. Was she in collusion ? Mr Hosack,
in his defence, does not remark on the circumstance that, if Mary
was ignorant of the enterprise, many of her subjects were not. In-
telligence of the scheme is given in a letter of the day of the deed
(April 24), signed "by him that is yours, who took you by the hand.
At midnight." * Drury knew the purpose on the same day.-^ As
early as April 23, Lennox, in the west, knew, determined to fly, and
wrote about the plot from his ship to Lady Lennox.-^ Bothwell
apparently did not rely on the Ainslie band, and he, or Mary, was
in a hurry. Mr Froude prints, and dates "April 23," one of the

* Kirkcaldy seems to write on April 24, " at midnight," and m&xt\y foretells the
seizure of Mary. By midnight of April 24 he must have known the fact. He must
have written, then, at midnight of April 23. See Calendar, ii. 324. Drury,
writing from Berwick on April 24, had certainly read Kirkcaldy's letter.


disputed casket letters, alleged to have been written at this time by
Mary from Stirling (letter vii.) There are, in fact, three letters on
this subject of the abduction — iii. (viii.), vi., vii. They express
distrust of Huntly, the brother of that wife whom Bothwell was about
to divorce. There are difficulties concerning these letters. In vii.
Mary says that Sutherland is with her at Stirling, and many who
would rather die than let her be taken. We have no proof or hint
that Sutherland was at Stirling. Moreover, as Lethington was
apparently with Mary, why does she bid Bothwell say " many fair
words to Lethington"? Again, letter viii. is clearly not third in
order, as is alleged in "Murray's Diary" of dates supplied to Cecil,
but, if genuine, was written at Linlithgow the night before the
abduction. This extraordinary piece of euphuistic jargon is dis-
cussed in the author's ' Mystery of Mary Stuart.'

On April 24, at some undetermined spot near Edinburgh, Mary
was abducted by Bothwell with a large force, and carried to Dun-
bar. Huntly (in collusion), Sir James Melville, and Lethington
were taken with her. Had Lethington been aware of the scheme
he would not have been there. Did Mary know more than Leth-
ington ? Drury reports that he would have been slain on the first
night " if the queen had not hindered Huntly, and said that if
a hair of Lethington's head perished, she would cause him to forfeit
lands, goods, and life."^" Sir James Melville says that Lethington
was in danger from Bothwell, not Huntly, and Lethington's son
{MS. of 1 616) gives a minute account of how Mary bravely rescued
her secretary. Mary implies, in a letter to the French Court, that
Buthwell actually violated her person — this as an excuse for her
consent to marry him.^* All this line of defence is inconsistent
with Mary's determined courage, as just proved by her rescue of
Lethington. It is the natural inference that she, like many other
women, was not proof against the charms of Bothwell, who, more-
over, had practically saved her after Riccio's murder.

No man can record this opinion without regret. Charm, courage,
kindness, loyalty to friends and servants, all were Mary's. But she
fell ; and passion overcame her, who to other hostile influences
presented a heart of diamond. They who have followed her
fortunes, cruel in every change, must feel, if convinced of her
passion, an inextinguishable regret, a kind of vicarious remorse, a
blot, as it were, on their personal honour. Not all earth's rivers
iiowing in one channel can wash the stain away. As in the tragedy


of yEschylus, the heroic queen has sacrificed herself, and the noble
nature that was born with her, to the love of the basest of mankind.
" Strange tragedies," Lethington had predicted, would follow her
coming to Scotland, as if foreseeing not only her, but his own,

Events hurried on : two days after the elopement Kirkcaldy told
Bedford that he must avenge Darnley's death or leave the country.^^
Many would aid him, but they fear Elizabeth. Mary remained with
Bothwell at Dunbar till May 6. A double process of divorce be-
tween Bothwell and his wife, in Catholic and Protestant courts, was
shuffled through. The Protestants found Bothwell guilty of adultery
with a maid-servant ; the Catholics declared that the marriage had
always been null for lack of a dispensation, which, none the lesS)
existed, and has been found by Dr Stewart, but which contains an
extraordinary error in the dating.-*^ The decisions which set Both-
well free to marry were on May 3 and May 7. On the 6th Bothwell
and Mary entered Edinburgh in state. On May 9 their banns of
marriage were read, Craig, the preacher, publicly proclaiming his
horror at the task which he could not legally decline. Craig
throughout displayed extraordinary courage : not many men dared
to beard Bothwell in that hour. In Craig we see the best aspect of
the Reformation, austere and dauntless virtue. Mary now created
Bothwell Duke of Orkney ; she safeguarded her exclusive regal
rights in a way impossible to a helpless victim. The Protestant
Bishop of Orkney married the pair by the Protestant ceremony
on May 15. For Bothwell Mary temporarily deserted even her
Church. But few nobles were present ; du Croc, representing
France, declined to attend. Already was Mary's a life of tears
and bitterness. Bothwell was brutally jealous of her, saying that he
thoroughly understood her love of licence ; she was still jealous of
Lady Bothwell. On her wedding-day she told du Croc that she
longed to die. Later, being alone with Bothwell, she was heard,
says du Croc, to call for a knife to slay herself 2'' These facts may
be regarded as presumptions in favour of her reluctance to marry
Bothwell, but they admit of another explanation — wretchedness,
caused by jealousy on both sides.

Even before the marriage (April 27) the lords of the North,
from Aberdeen, had offered to rescue Mary. By May 5 Drury
announced that the lords, including Morton, AthoU, and Both-
well's accomplices, were banded at Stirling in a scheme to crown


little James VI. Robert Melville added that France had offered
to aid them (for the purpose of renewing the old alliance), but that
they preferred help from Elizabeth.-^ Kirkcaldy announced their
purpose, to rescue Mary, guard the child prince, and avenge
Darnley. He indicated the danger of a French alliance, and
wished Murray to be in readiness on the coast of Normandy.
Mary knew her peril: by May 31 Drury reports that she has
coined Elizabeth's beautiful golden font and much of her plate.
Ballads and caricatures against the queen were circulated. Mary
hastened a Border expedition for the purpose of levying men :
she and Bothwell were now deserted by Lethington (June 7).
He joined Atholl, and with him entered Edinburgh. Mary and
Bothwell moved to Borthwick Castle, tending towards a Border
tour, while Lethington had a long interview with Balfour in the castle,
and detached him from Bothwell. On the night of June 10- 11
the hostile lords surrounded Borthwick. Bothwell slipped away,
Mary issued a proclamation ; but on the night of June 1 1 rode
to join him on the road to Dunbar, in male attire. From Edin-
burgh the lords issued their proclamation ; they would rescue' Mary,
guard James, and avenge Darnley. They accused Bothwell of the
murder, many of them, as accomplices, knowing the truth. He had
bewitched Mary, they said, "by unlawful ways"; had hypnotised
her, as it were. Her own innocence of the murder was not dis-
puted. ^^ The best account of what followed is in papers sent
to France by du Croc, the French Ambassador.^^ Mary was clad
in a short red petticoat, kilted to the knee. She marched on Edin-
burgh with Bothwell's retainers ; the lords, in about equal force,
some 1000 men, manoeuvred on the old cock-pit of Scotland, the
banks of Esk, near the scenes of Pinkie fight and Prestonpans.
Mary occupied Carberry Hill (June 15). Du Croc tried to nego-
tiate, but failed, and retired to Edinburgh. The hostile armies
watched each other, but gradually Mary's men slipped away to
look for provender. The lords knew that Mary's force must
retreat for want of supplies. Bothwell now sent a challenge to
single combat : Tullibardine took up the gage ; Mary denied his
quality. Lindsay offered himself, but Mary could not be per-
suaded to let her lover hazard his life. The lords' army now
advanced under a banner painted with Darnley dead, and little
James praying to heaven for vengeance. The captain of Inchkeith,
a French officer whose report du Croc sent to his Government,


says that Mary offered to surrender herself if Bothwell was not
pursued. James Beaton, writing to the Archbishop of Glasgow,
rather gives the idea that Mary " drove time " till Bothwell had a
start of two miles.^^ Mary herself alleged that the lords promised
loyalty if she joined them.^^ But to what extent the lords made
promises, which, if made, were broken, remains uncertain.^^ It
certainly seems that, as regards Bothwell, the lords were glad to be
rid of so compromising a captive. Mary, in her red petticoat, rode
into Edinburgh, threatened and threatening. She was lodged in
the house of Henderson of Fordel, a Fifeshire laird of her ac-
quaintance, the house being then occupied by the Provost. The
rabble howled at her: she appeared at the window dishevelled

Online LibraryAndrew LangA history of Scotland from the Roman occupation (Volume 2) → online text (page 20 of 60)