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* This document has been published by Mr Hosack from a manuscript at one
time in the possession of Lord Hopetoun, and now in the British Museum (Add.
MSB., 35,531). Mr Bain, in his Calendar (ii. 555-559), says that, in his opinion,
the MS. is in the hand of Alexander Hay, the Clerk of the Privy Council. A
writer in the ' Quarterly Review," January 1902, p. 240, says that it bears no
indorsement or authentication of any kind to indicate that it was ever adoj^ted or
approved by the Scottish commissioners who went to York and Westminster, or
by any other body, or that it was ever laid before a court or conference of any
description. We know that "articles" against Mary were put in, and this docu-
ment, apparently in the hand of the Clerk of Council, is the most elaborate form
of such articles now known. Others e.xist in the Cambridge MSS. with the papers
of Lennox. The articles bear traces of the influence of the never-produced letter
which Murray in 1567, and Lennox in 156S, quoted from, as if it were by Mary,
though the writer of the articles also knows our casket letter ii. It will be seen
that the lords have no established official connection either with Cecil's copy of
the Ainslie band, or with this document published by Mr Hosack as the "Book
of Articles," or with the chronological list of events called "Cecil's Journal," or
"Murray's Diary." Thus, by way of representing their charges against Mary, we
have nothing indorsed as official, nothing to which we can pin them down. It is
always possible, and, in the lords' interest, it is highly desirable, lo disconnect them
from "Cecil's Journal" and the " Book of Articles." Both, like Buchanan's 'De-
tection,' are open to destructive criticism ; indeed Buchanan's ' Detection ' now
agrees with, now varies from, the "Book of Articles." As to that document,
Mr Hill Burton writes : " If this paper really was the one tabled by Murray's
party, it does little credit either to their honesty or their skill."' Meanwhile we
shall not criticise the thing ; but the lords prosecutors have left nothing better by
way of an accusation of Mary. If they ever "found a set of articles to satisfy
them" (in the words of the ' Quarterly' reviewer), they have not bequeathed that
valuable document to us ; and if they were content with the ' Articles ' and
' Diary ' that have reached us, they were very easily satisfied. The papers are
worthless, and, if put forward by the lords (as I do not doubt that they were), are
fatal to their case.


at demonstration. What they did rely on, of this kind, must re-
main a mystery.

On December 7 the English Commissioners, in answer to a
question of Murray's, declined to say whether they were satisfied by
the arguments in the Articles or not. The casket was then pro-
duced, and Morton swore to the veracity of his account of its
discovery. Two contracts of marriage between Mary and Bothwell,
found in the casket, were then produced, and casket letters i. and ii.
in French, On December 8 the other six casket letters and the
" sonnets " were shown, copied, and collated. Next came the
depositions, under examination, of Bothwell's accomplices, — Talla,
Powrie, Dalgleish, and Bowton. The deposition of Bowton was
mutilated, to shield Murray's associates.^^^ On December 9 the Com-
missioners read the casket letters, " duly translated into English."
They were very badly translated, in two cases not from the French ;
the Scots translations were merely anglicised.

On December 9 a written deposition by Nelson, a servant who
escaped unhurt from Kirk-o'- Field, was put in. Then came a
written deposition by a retainer of Lennox, Crawford, who had
been with Darnley when Mary visited him at Glasgow in January
1567. Crawford's business was to corroborate the account of a
conversation between Mary and Darnley which Mary is made to
describe in the second casket letter. His deposition rather in-
validates the authenticity of the letter than otherwise. ■"*■*

Finally, at Hampton Court, on December 14, six great peers
being added to the commissioners, a summary was given of the
proceedings at York and Westminster, and the originals of the
casket letters were compared with genuine letters by Mary. " No
difference was found," says Cecil. ^''^ We hear of no other examina-
tion of handwriting, nothing but this scrutiny on almost the shortest
day. We shall later find that in another case (1609) letters, con-
fessedly and undeniably forged, deceived seven honest witnesses,
familiar with the hand of the alleged writer, and bringing into court
genuine letters of his for comparison (see Appendix B., " Logan of
Restalrig and the Gowrie Conspiracy "). On the following day
(December 15) the Articles (whatever they may have been) were
read, "a writing in manner of Articles." Whether they were Mr
Hosack's published " Book of Articles," or a set more logical, lucid,
and accurate but no longer to be found, we do not know, thouhg
the present writer has no doubt that the Articles read were the


Articles published. Some other papers, and a new statement by
Crawford, followed. Crawford reported that Bowton and Talla, on
the scaffold, confessed to Aim that Mary urged Bothwell to slay
Darnley.^*^^ This special confession, to a friend of Darnley, is not
referred to elsewhere. It may have been noted that Lennox, by
aid of Crawford, and certainly of Buchanan (who undeniably had
access to Lennox's papers), played a great part in the prosecution.
After these two days spent in the rapid investigation (too rapid,
for who could criticise a set of Articles merely read aloud?) the
nobles were told that Elizabeth, in the painful circumstances, could
not admit Mary to her presence. The lords agreed, " as the case
now did stand," the rather as " they had seen such foul matters."
And that was alL^*^^

An inquiry more disgraceful was never conducted on an absent
prisoner. Guilty or not guilty, Mary was foully wronged. Without
dwelling further on meetings, discussions, and equivocations, it must
suffice to say that efforts were then made to frighten Mary into
resigning her crown. Of the means to this end a list, in Cecil's
hand, is extant. ^''^ Mary was not to be terrified ; her last words,
she said, would be the words of a Scottish queen. On January lo,
1569, Murray and his allies were told by Elizabeth that, while
nothing to their discredit was proved, they had produced no evidence
" whereby the Queen of England should conceive or take any evil
opinion of the queen, her good sister, for anything yet seen." ^'^^ As
Murray construed all this: EHzabeth "allowed their doings, with
promise to maintain the king's government, and our regiment." So
he wrote to the laird of Craigmillan^^** That was practically the
result. It was the fate of Elizabeth and of Murray to make
Mary's appear the better cause by the incredible dishonesty and
hypocritical futility with which they handled her case. Murray
was to resume his regency : Mary was to be a prisoner, — a dis-
credited prisoner, as Elizabeth hoped. Then began new scenes
of intrigue.




^ Laiiig, ii. 325. Henderson, Casket Letters, p. 115; Morton's account of the
discovery of the casket.

^ Laing, ii. 295, 296. ^ Labanoff, ii. 3, 4.

* Stevenson, pp. 173, 176. * Privy Council Register, i. 498.

^ Privy Council Register, i. 500. ' Hosack, i. 282-286.

^ Cf. Drury to Cecil, April 15, 1567, Cal. For. Eliz., viii. 207.

® Drury to Cecil, Border MS., Tytler, vi. 99 ; Calendar, ii. 319, 320.

^^ Knox, ii. 539. " For. Cal. Eliz., 1566, p. 212.

^' Act Pari., ii. 546 et seq. ■'^ Stevenson, p. 175.

•^* Calendar, ii. 317.

^* ISIorton Papers, Bannatyne Club, i. 19 ; Hosack, i. 293.

'^ Keith, ii. 562-569 ; Hay Fleming (on the whole subject), pp. 446, 447.

^" Spanish Calendar, i. 662.

^8 Anderson, i. 112; Calendar, ii. 322; Keith, ii. 562-569; Goodall, ii. 87,
where the production of the warrant at Westminster seems to be asserted by the
Scottish commissioners.

^^ Calendar, ii. 341. -" Calendar, ii. 322.

^ For. Cal. Eliz., 1566, pp. 213, 214. ^^ Calendar, ii. 323.

^' For. Cal. Eliz., 1566, p. 224. -■• Labanoff, ii. 41.

26 For. Cal. Eliz., 1566, p. 215.

^ Lost Chapter in the History of Mary Queen of Scots discovered.

^ Teulet, ii. 155. *^ For. Cal. Eliz., viii. 223-225.

^ Privy Council Register, i. 520. ^° Teulet, ii. 1 52-1 82.

2^ Laing, ii. 113 et seq. 32 -peulet, ii. 244.

33 Melville, pp. 183, 184, 1827.

3^ Teulet, ii. 169. Lethington said that Mary spoke to him from her window.
This, on June 17, he told to du Croc. Compare Claude Nau, pp. 46-4S. See
also ' Mystery of Mary Stuart,' p. 382.

33 Teulet, ii. 170. The references to the various documents may be found in
'The Mystery of Mary Stuart,' pp. 188-192, 360, 362.

3^ Laing, ii. 114, 115. 37 ggg Morton in Calendar, ii. 730.

3* Laing, ii. 249-251.

3^ Spanish Calendar, i. 657-659; Bain, Calendar, ii. 336; For. Cal. Eliz., ix.

354. 355-

■»o Privy Council Register, i. 530. '•^ StevensoH, p. 220 ; Calendar, ii. 355.

*2 For. Cal. Eliz., 1566, pp. 297, 298. « Calendar, ii. 368.

" Diurnal, p. 119.

••■^ August 9, Calendar, ii. 374, 375. Mr Hosack disbelieves these statements.

'^ Calendar, ii. 380. «" See Appendix A. , The Casket Letters.

*8 Keith, ii. 734-739 ; Hosack, i. 367-370. ^^ Keith, ii. 739.

^^ Froude, viii. 250. ^i Keith, ii. 742-744.

*- See Anderson, ii. 206-230 ; " Collections relating to the History of Mary,"

*3 For. Cal. Eliz., 1567, pp. 366, 367, " Diurnal, pp. 127, 128.

^ Anderson, ii. 253. ^ Teulet, ii. 941. ^^ Teulet, ii. 214.


NOTES. 211

88 Teulet, ii. 204. *^ Hay Fleming, pp. 4S6-488, 512-514.

^^ This account follows Mr A. M. Scott's ' Battle of Langside ' (Glasgow, 1885).
Mr Scott has local knowledge, and supplies a useful map.

*' Calendar, ii. 411. May 19. ^ Calendar, ii. 439.

"* Calendar, ii. 414-426.

^■* Calendar, ii. 429. June 12, Herries to Leicester.

®* Calendar, ii. 433-435. '''' Calendar, ii. 441, 442.

^ Teulet, ii. 227, 22S. '^^ Teulet, ii. 237.

*" Drury to Cecil, July 10, For. Cal. Eliz., viii. 496, 497.

^° Labanoff, ii. 166-1SS; Calendar, ii. 464-4S0.

^^ Calendar, ii. 479. '- Calendar, ii. 457.

" Froude, viii. 382, 383. ^* Calendar, ii. 510.

^■5 Calendar, ii. 511. '^ Goodall, ii. 337-343.

"'' British Museum, Titus, c. 12, fol. 157.

"* British Museum, Additional MS., 33,531, fol. 119 ei seq,

"** Goodall, ii. 14S-153 ; Haynes, pp. 4S0, 481.

^" Calendar, ii. 526-52S ; Hosack, ii. 496-501, with the original text restored.

^' Goodall, ii. 162-170; Mystery of Mary Stuart, p. 258, note 2; Camden,
Annals, pp. 143-145 ; Laing, i. 226; Mystery of Mary Stuart, pp. 357, 358.

^'- Bain, Calendar, ii. 693. ^^ Hosack, i. 518-522.

*^ Hosack, i. 250, noted ; Laing, ii. 269.

'^^ Froude, viii. 406, citing Simancas MSS. 8® Calendar, ii. 533.

*'^ Labanoff, ii. 219 et seq. ^ Calendar, ii. 541.

*9 Goodall, ii, 179-182. 9" Fenelon, i. 51. »^ Goodall, ii. 183, 184.

"'- Froude, viii. 453. "^ Knollys to Cecil, Calendar, ii. 551.

^^ Goodall, ii. 1S7-1S9. ^^ Goodall, ii. 201, 202.

■'® Goodall, ii. 206, 207. *'' Alelville, pp. 210-212.

"* Goodall, ii. 218-221. ^^ Goodall, ii. 221-223.

""* Goodall, ii. 222-226. ^"^ Hosack, i. 424-426.

192 Goodall, ii. 228-231.

103 Mystery of Mary Stuart, pp. xiii-xviii, citing the Cambridge MS.

"■* Appendix A., The Casket Letters. ^"^ Bain, ii. 579, 580.

1"® Calendar, Bain, ii. 581. The matter of Crawford's deposition I take from
the papers of Lennox in the Cambridge Library, unpublished. See ' Mystery of
Mary Stuart,' p. 280, and note.

107 Goodall, ii. 257-260 ; Bain, ii. 5S0, 581.

108 Goodall, ii. 274-277, 295-297. "* Goodall, ii. 305.
"0 Goodall, ii. 306.




The only point of national importance in the murderous intrigues
between the death of Riccio and Mary's flight to England was,
that Protestantism in Scotland now breathed more freely. The
incubus of a Catholic queen was removed from Presbyterianism.
But while the evolution of Presbyterianism towards a theocracy
was the trend of the current of national life, the deep main stream
was broken, thwarted, and parcelled by the obstacles of new
personal and party intrigues. These have no historical interest
except as illustrations of the treachery and ferocity which, here as
in the Corcyra of Thucydides, were bred by revolution. A creed,
an order of society, had been overthrown : the men who survived
among its ruins were, whatever their nominal shade of theological
opinion, selfish, false, bloodthirsty, desperate, almost beyond par-
allel. The only partisans who held a straight course were men
like Craig and Knox, and the other leaders among the Presbyterian
clergy. They knew what they wanted, and what they did not want :
their motives were national and theological, not merely personal or
dynastic. The triumph of the Kirk and of a severe morality they
desired : as to Mary, the stake or the block were all that they would
consent to grant her ; though, perhaps, some of them wavered at
one juncture.

Mary was now an exile, a prisoner, and discredited, Elizabeth
hoped, by the public inspection at Hampton Court of the casket
letters. But not even yet could Presbyterianism, still less could
Elizabeth, feel secure. The scene at Hampton Court had been
but a shadowy triumph. We do not know what the assembled


English nobles really thought as to the genuineness of the casket
letters. They pronounced no opinions.^ Mary persisted in asking
for a view of the letters : her entreaties were backed by those of the
French Ambassador. At one moment he thought that Elizabeth
had consented ; but no, the Scottish queen was denied the right of
the humblest accused person.^ In these circumstances, no just
man could conclude, on the evidence of the letters shown at
Hampton Court, that she was guilty. As we show later, in another
case, the forgers were too skilful for the experts of that age, or
at least for persons perfectly familiar with the handwriting of an
accused man whom forgers implicated in crime.^ On the other
hand, the actions of Mary's agents, Lesley and Herries, provoked
suspicion. They were obviously unconvinced of her innocence.
They misread or did not choose to act on her instructions. She
said that she would accuse her accusers after she had once seen the
originals of the papers on which they based their charge. Herries
at once brought a vague accusation against the accusers ; this led
to those offers to settle the question by single combat, which
then were frequently exchanged, but almost never acted upon.*
There was a deadlock. Mary would take no steps without seeing
the pieces de conviction^ and these she never saw.

The problem of the disposal of Mary was as threatening as ever.
She had assuredly not been found guilty, and the cloud under
which she lay was so thin and fleeting that the old question of the
succession to Elizabeth was already being complicated with Mary's
existence and her claims. No one knew this better than Cecil.
On December 22, a week after the scene at Hampton Court, he
set down his projects and his perplexities on paper. Mary was, he
said, " a lawful prisoner." She must repair her wrongs to Elizabeth
(her pretensions to the English crown) before she could be allowed
to depart. Elizabeth has " just claim to superiority over Scotland."
Mary " is bound to answer her subjects' petitions," those of Murray
and his accomplices. Mary's guilt will be published to the world :
if she proves that Murray, or his party, are also guilty, that will not
clear her. These and other threats are to be used for the purpose
of driving Mary into a compromise. She must, under these menaces,
assent to certain propositions : " the child " (James VI.) " being for
education brought to England." ^

The threats were hinted to Mary, by Elizabeth, in a letter of
December 21. Lesley, Bishop of Ross, was highly praised, the


idea being that Lesley and KnoUys, Mary's jailor, would induce
her to accept Cecil's propositions.^ These were —

1. That Mary should ask leave to stay in England ; that her son,

though remaining king, should be educated in England ;
that Murray should remain Regent.

2. Or, Mary shall remain titular queen : if James dies young,

"then the Government shall be in her name"; if she dies
first, James and " her issue " shall retain the crown.

3. Or, Mary shall be titular and actual queen, joined with James

in the title ; Murray continuing Regent till James is eighteen.

Mary is to be removed to Tutbury and more closely guarded :
Lesley is to be secretly informed, and urged to persuade Mary to

Mary's commissioners on January 7 declined to carry any such
terms to their mistress."

Mary, between the York and Westminster Conferences, had con-
sented to a similar compromise, which she abandoned at the
suggestion of Norfolk. But now she had been disgraced by the
exhibition of her real or alleged casket letters. Therefore the worst
was over. Without an ally, a counsellor, or a friend, Mary stood at
bay. She would never yield her crown, " and my last word in life
shall be that of a Queen of Scotland."

Lesley, a creeping thing who had never believed in her cause,
and whose shufflings had severely damaged it, was employed to
whisper assent. On February 10, from her new prison, Tutbury,
in the jailorship of Lord Shrewsbury, Mary wrote to Elizabeth : " I
pray you never again to permit propositions so disadvantageous
and dishonourable for me as those to which the Bishop of Ross
has been persuaded to listen. As I have bidden Mr KnoUys tell
you, I have made a solemn vow to God never to retreat from the
place to which God has called me."^

To this end had the intrigues of Murray, Cecil, and Elizabeth
come. Mary stood on her innocence and her right, and hence-
forth there would be a queen's party, a king's party, and civil war
more or less open in Scotland. Mary, or her agent, despatched
letters warning her adherents (with gross exaggerations) that
Elizabeth meant to do what Henry VIIL had aimed at while she
was a baby, to seize the child prince and the fortresses. The
Hamiltons, Argyll, and Huntly were in arms, and though Chatel-
herault and Herries were still detained in England, Murray would


find the Border beacons lighted as he returned, and ambush laid
for him on the English Border by Westmoreland and the Nortons.

This posture of affairs alarmed Murray, who in January still hung,
much in debt, about the English Court. From his situation arose a
new intrigue. England was seething with plots. Leicester, Throck-
morton, and other Protestants were anxious about the succession,
and jealous of Cecil. The Northern nobles, no less anxious, but
more Catholic, and jealous of Norfolk, worked for a marriage be-
tween Mary and Don John of Austria, which could only be secured
by open civil war. Norfolk himself was still anxious to wed Mary
(though to Elizabeth he denied it), and had a foot in each camp.
Elizabeth was being pressed by Spain for restitution of spoils
piratically taken by Hawkins. Meanwhile Scotland might be in
a flame if Murray did not return, and if he tried to return, his throat
would probably be cut on the Border.

In these circumstances Murray approached Norfolk. They had
been in touch before at York, when Norfolk distantly hinted at his
desire to marry Mary. Murray now proposed to secure his own safe
return by reviving the subject, and gaining Norfolk to secure Mary's
assent to peace on the Border and to his own safety from West-
moreland. The man who, in company with some of Darnley's
murderers, had just accused his sister of Darnley's murder, now
sought the grace of the man who had admitted his strong belief
in her guilt, and who desired to take her for his bedfellow ! The
Norfolk marriage could not conceivably be approved of by Murray.
Whatever strengthened Mary weakened him, whatever helped her
cause threatened Presbyterianism, and Murray was godly. But the
danger from the marriage was remote ; Elizabeth assuredly would
not consent to it : the danger in Scotland, and to Murray's own
throat, was imminent. He therefore sought an interview with
Norfolk, of which, when Norfolk was under suspicion, Murray
later made his own report to Elizabeth (October 29, 1569).

He says that in his private discourse with Norfolk, at York in
October 1568, he did not "smell" what the Duke intended; he
partly smelt it from the Duke's language, but now he understands.
Before leaving England he met Norfolk in the park at Hampton
Court, told him that his sister's marriage to a " godly personage "
would reconcile him to her, and that, of all godly and honourable
personages, he preferred Norfolk. Murray also sent in a letter of
Norfolk's, which was produced against the Duke later, at his trial.'


Lesley, Bishop of Ross, professing to set forth what Norfolk told
him, represents Murray as pressing the marriage on the Duke with
great fervour. ^ It is, unhappily, impossible to believe any of the
three, when not corroborated. In any case, Murray certainly led
Norfolk to believe that he approved of the nuptials, and afterwards
revealed the whole (or as much of it as he pleased) to Elizabeth.
Among the Lennox MSS. at Cambridge is a curious account of
a statement which Murray desired Leicester to impart orally to
Elizabeth. It was sharpening the axe for the Duke's neck.

As a consequence of Murray's conversations with him at Hampton
Court in the park, Norfolk induced Mary to quiet her own party,
sending to her Robert Melville. On January 30 she certainly wrote
to Hamilton, Archbishop of St Andrews, bidding her party hold
together closely, and watch Murray well, " who, as I hope, will not
use extremity so hastily." " Probably her hope was based on
Murray's conversation with Norfolk. Murray (by February 8) was
safely back in Stirling Castle, and if he had any debt of grat-
itude to his sister, paid it by sending to Cecil a letter from'^her
to Mar of a kind which she could not wish Elizabeth to see. 12 This
letter Cecil was to return, as Mar (a man of honour) would not
have her letter exposed to her injury. In a week Murray con-
vened the forces of the realm south of Tay to meet at Glasgow,
where, in Lennox's absence, Argyll was apt to be powerful:
Mary's party, indeed, was attacking Lennox's retainers, especially
the laird of Minto, a Stewart, and an active agent for Darnley's
father. Murray was also trying to obtain the extradition of
Bothwell from Denmark, where, so far, he had been brag-
ging and promising to secure the Orkneys for the Danish crown.
By March 11, for which day he had summoned his levies, Murray
had to tell Elizabeth of his failures, and of the excesses of Mary's
friends. Chatelherault held her commission : the queen's and king's
parties were at strife, and Murray was at Stirling. He offered, if the
queen's men would acknowledge the king's (that is, his own) auth-
ority, to submit all to an assembly of the whole nobility. He uttered
a proclamation to the effect that "Satan had persuaded the king's
mother to enter England," where he and his party had been honour-
ably acquitted of all wrong, in consequence of their accusing her of
murder, a. fact proved by her letters. All this proclamation is put
mto the mouth of her innocent child.^^ Thus disinterestedly had
Satan worked for the triumph of the godly.


Articles of compromise were drawn up, but never agreed upon, by
the queen's lords at Glasgow (March 13).-^* But at Stirling Cassilis,
Harries, and the Archbishop of St Andrews entered themselves as
hostages to Murray (March 14), so says the 'Diurnal'; but Murray
names Chatelherault in place of the prelate. A convention of the
nobles was fixed for April i o at Edinburgh.^^ Murray then executed
justice on robbers on the lower Tweed, and released Lord Seton,
who had been his prisoner. At the Edinburgh Convention of April
10 Herries was seized and imprisoned in Edinburgh Castle; Chatel-
herault followed him thither, and Murray had thus executed a coup
d'etat}^ His excuse was that they declined to sign a paper acknow-
ledging the king. Murray had just sent his favourite agent. Wood,
to Elizabeth, who doubtless " allowed " his new proceedings. Mary
deeply regretted the events. She had hopes from France, however

Online LibraryAndrew LangA history of Scotland from the Roman occupation (Volume 2) → online text (page 23 of 60)