Andrew Lang.

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

. (page 26 of 60)
Online LibraryAndrew LangA history of Scotland from the Roman occupation (Volume 2) → online text (page 26 of 60)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

when King James overcomes the preachers, and, as minister of
Liberton, has personal wrangles with the encroaching king.

Having introduced these new persons in the drama, we return
to the siege of Edinburgh Castle. Lennox with his party lay at
Leith, but held within the bounds of Edinburgh a Parliament
in which they forfeited Lethington and others of their foes.
Kirkcaldy fired on them from the castle, and held a Parliament
in Mary's interests.^^ The Kirk showed her political tendencies.


Craig and other ministers visited Kirkcaldy and Lethington in
the hope of proving peacemakers.*^^ Nothing was to be got from
Lethington. Neither he nor any one, he told the clergy, had
originally dreamed of discrowning Mary, or crowning James. " For
my own part, plainly I confess that I did very evil and ungodly."
Mary's rebels in 1567 had found themselves in a quandary; "the
setting up of the king's authority was but a shift or fetch to save
us from great inconveniences." Craig apparently told Lethington
that God had only used him and his fetches as an instrument,
"Are you of the Deity's Privy Council?" asked Lethington. He
had never believed in the pretensions of the preachers ; now he
spoke out.

Elizabeth now sent Drury as an envoy to both factions, but
chiefly to encourage Lennox, who with his party was occupying
Stirling. He was hated by his own side as " an Englishman, cruel
and extreme where he has the upper hand, nothing liberal ;
suspicious, and nothing affable," says Drury.^^ Lennox's days
were numbered. He asked Elizabeth for artillery, men, and money
to reduce the castle. This Elizabeth could have done at any
moment : she dallied for two years longer, and we may hasten over
a wretched period of civil war. Lethington told Elizabeth that
when James came of age he would find "a confused chaos, and the
country divided into two or three hundred petty kingdoms, like
Shan O'Neil's in Ireland."^* Elizabeth returned to her old proposal
of a truce, and consideration of the treaty of Chatsworth (June 7).
Now, in answer to Kirkcaldy's queen's Parliament, Lennox held
another at Stirling, that of which little James, pointing to a flaw in
the roof, said, "There is a hole in this Parliament" (August 20).
Argyll, who had long been wavering, now deserted Mary and made
terms with Lennox (August 13). Cassilis, Eglintoun, and Boyd
also turned their coats. Morton, who had wavered on the other
side, received a bribe from Elizabeth, and was on better terms with
Lennox. He "turned over the leaf" not a day too soon. On
September 4 Kirkcaldy, on information from Archibald Douglas,
sent Buccleuch, Ferniehirst, and Huntly with a force of Border
mosstroopers, who surprised Stirling, and seized all the nobles
before dawn. But Morton held out bravely in his house, and
caused such delay that the soldiers of Stirling Castle and the
burgesses came on the scene, rescued the prisoners, and drove out
the mosstroopers, who, of course, were busy plundering. Lennox


was shot when a rescue seemed inevitable, despite the chivalrous
attempts of Spens of Wormiston, his captor, who was slain in
defending him. Calder, who fired the shot, confessed that Lord
Claude Hamilton had bidden him avenge the Archbishop, but this
was said under torture.^'^

Few tears were shed for Lennox, a mean-souled man in all his
conduct from the first. He had begun by betraying the party of
Mary of Guise, and stealing money which France had sent to Scot-
land. In the Riccio affair he and Darnley had aimed at Mary's
crown, and, as Randolph heard, at her life. His one desire was to
put the Lennox Stewarts in the place of the Hamiltons. His
religion depended on circumstances. He, a Regent of Scotland,
was a subject of England. "The sillie Regent was slane," says
Bannatyne, and the king's lords elected Mar, who, as commander of
Edinburgh and Stirling Castles, had played an honest part.

The murder of Lennox was, as usual, a blunder, and, for Mary's
party, a misfortune.

The late Regent had become a source o< weakness to his own
faction. In the Parliament of Stirling he seems to have been willing,
but unable, to conciliate the preachers. The overbearing ISIorton
was already treating them as impertinent knaves^ merely because they
demanded that provision which was their legal right. He and his
fellows were reintroducing the odious names of bishops, deans,
chapters, abbots, and so forth. Morton had even secured the par-
sonage of Glasgow for his kinsman, Archibald Douglas, of the House
of Whittingham, a man notorious for his share not only in the Riccio
but in the Darnley murder, and for treachery to Morton, to Mary,
to all who trusted him. This wretch made a mockery of the ex-
amination for the place of a minister, owned that he " was not used
to pray," declined to adventure himself in the Greek Testament, and,
instead of preaching, read portions of the Bible. The Kirk tried to
dismiss him, but the Privy Council supported him against the Kirk.^^
He was also, though a murderer, forger, and traitor, a judge, or Lord
of Session, thanks to Morton, whose spadassiti he was. Such pro-
ceedings caused many of the barons, or lairds, to separate from the
king's lords ; and they were soon to be more severely tried by the
appointment of another Douglas, John, a pluralist, to the nominal
archbishopric of St Andrews. Not being made an archbishop
(which was probably his ambition), Archibald Douglas now began
to betray Morton. The new simoniacal arrangements recalled the


worst features of corruption in the ancient Church. The tend-
ency of things was in favour of the more austere and sincere
adversaries of Mary, the lairds, burgesses, and preachers, but
for the moment they were alienated from Morton, and even
from ^Mar.^^ The Kirk was pressing its claims to do justice on
homicide, adultery, witchcraft, and incest,*" with which the land
was replenished," and preachers, as usual, made the pulpit the
source of political harangues. But in the din of civil war the
Kirk received comparatively slight attention.

Worse than the death of Lennox, for the queen's party, was the
discovery of Mary's and Norfolk's intrigue, through Ridolphi, with
the Pope, Alva, and Spain. This plot was the result of Mary's
despair of the treaty of Chatsworth. It had promising elements :
Spanish forces from the Netherlands, money from the Pope, a rising
ot Catholic nobles, would perhaps not only liberate Mary, but set
her on the throne of England. But in April, Lesley's messenger,
Charles Bailey, had been arrested at Dover, ciphers had been seized,
the legerdemain of Lesley, in substituting one packet for another,
had failed : the rack and a 7nouton, or prison spy, named Herle, had
extracted much of the truth from Bailey. On May 13 Lesley was
examined by Cecil (now Burghley, but the old name may be re-
tained), Sussex, and others, "to whom I answered as seemed most
reasonable and convenient to me." Lesley was handed over to the
custody of the Bishop of Ely, with whom he hunted. Greek and
Hebrew he studied under Ninian Winzet, the honest adversary of
Knox, a man not compromised, as far as we know, in these trans-
actions. But in October, when Cecil began to rack the secretaries
and servants of Norfolk, the truth came out. On October 16
Lesley was removed to the Tower. Legists were found to assure
Cecil that Lesley, though Mary's ambassador, was subject to English
law. De Guereau, the Spanish ambassador, was merely sent home,
as Randolph had been by Mary, in 1566. But Lesley, threatened
with the rack, revealed not only the truth, but perhaps more than
the truth, as to the intrigues at York in October 1568. His " anguish
of mind," and casuistical attempts at self-defence, are clearly to be
read in his letters to Cecil. Between Lesley and the earlier revela-
tions of Murray, Norfolk was betrayed ; his trial and execution were
postponed. But Mary was strictly secluded ; her correspondence for
some time is a blank. ^^

Thus the great affair, which seems to have involved the assassina-


tion of Elizabeth, was overthrown, while the Anjou marriage and the
league of England with France were still being negotiated. Cecil
now arranged to damn Mary's reputation by the publication of
Buchanan's * Detection,' with the casket papers. To the English
edition was added an Oration, probably by Dr Thomas Wilson,
who had examined Lesley, and learned from him that Mary had
poisoned Francis II., murdered Darnley, taken Bothwell to Car-
berry that he might perish there, and so forth. " Lord, what a
people are these, what a queen, and what an ambassador ! " cries
Wilson. ^^ That Lesley was wont to speak very ill of Mary in
private we learn from Lethington's son in his MS. of 1616.

Charles IX., through La Mothe Fenelon, vainly protested against
the publication of the ' Detection.' Fenelon thought the sonnets the
worst things in the book. The tone of Charles and his ambassador
by no means implies that they thought the casket papers forged or
contaminated. ^"^

In Scotland, meanwhile, the castle was besieged in a desultory
way, and the people of Edinburgh were distressed, or driven out.
In the North, Adam Gordon, commanding for Huntly, defeated
the Forbeses, and, himself or by an agent, burned the House of
Towey, famous in the ballad " Edom o' Gordon," Hunsdon
negotiated with Lethington and Kirkcaldy for a peace, but their
terms were too high, and their tone arrogant. Mar wished an end
of the troubles ; "but Morton," says Drury, "who rules all, unless
he and his friends might still enjoy all they have gotten of the
other party" (the forfeited lands of the Hamiltons, Lethington,
Kirkcaldy, and the rest), "allows not thereof" (October 29).^°^

There were two insuperable causes of strife : Morton's avarice,
and Lethington's certainty that peace meant his own execution
for Darnley's murder. " Being already forfeited," writes Hunsdon
to Cecil, "Lethington knows that there will be no pardon, but
that that" {Darnley's murder) "will be excepted, and so he can have
no surety, and therefore causes all these troubles" (November 25).
For nearly a year this deadlock continued. Drury and du Croc,
once more sent over by France, negotiated between the Castilians
and the king's party throughout the summer of 1572. But there
could be no advance. Morton and his hungry allies would not
resign the forfeited lands of their opponents. The Castilians would
not make peace till their lands and lives were assured, and an
amnesty passed. Lethington especially saw that to acknowledge


" the king's authority " meant death to himself and ruin to his
adherents. The country, he said, was divided into factions : there
could be no peace or safety if, on surrendering the castle, one of
these factions, " the king's," was to govern all. He therefore pro-
posed various kinds of coalitions, or Governments of all the Talents,
by a commission chosen from both parties. But he was told that
he aimed "at an aristocracy, or rather an oligarchy," as if Scotland,
during a minority, had ever been ruled by any other means.

While time was thus passed, the king's party could scarcely pay
their troops, Elizabeth providing a poor thousand pounds. The
result was renewed inroads by Morton and Mar on the stipends of
the preachers. Mar actually ventured to inform them that "the
policie of the Kirk of Scotland is not perfite." Now the policie
of the Kirk was a sacred thing, beyond the range of discussion. ^^^
Morton caused the ministers to elect, or rather accept, John
Douglas as Archbishop of St Andrews in February 1572, to the
vexation of Knox.^*^^ It was plain that there would be collisions
between the authority of the prelates and the superintendents. It
became one of the chief duties and pleasures of the Kirk to make
the archbishops' lives a burden to them : the true origin of these
brawls was partly Morton's avarice, but more, perhaps, the im-
perative need of money for the king's party, who therefore set up
tulchan bishops, so called from the mock calf or tulchan used to
make cows yield milk. These bishops, without consecration or
episcopal functions, merely drew the Church revenues and handed
them in, minus their commission, to Morton.

For money the Castilians depended on Mary's dowry in France,
and on such French or Spanish supplies as Lord Seton could get
from Alva, or James Kirkcaldy from France. Seton was driven to
land at Harwich, and went through England disguised as a beggar.
He received an alms of two shillings from Sir Ralph Sadleyr, who,
of course, did not recognise him. His ciphered papers, however,
fell into Cecil's hands. Much of the money was apt to be appro-
priated en route, as by Archibald Douglas, minister and Lord of
Session, who was at once acting as a spy for Drury, as Morton's
man, as an agent for the Castilians, and, it was said, as manager
of a plot to assassinate Morton. This combination of industries
being discovered, Archibald was imprisoned by Morton in Loch-
leven Castle. Later, he was warded in Stirling, and (Nov. 25,
1572) was to be tried, but he knew too much, and was re-



leased. ^*^* We have, in MS., an astonishing list of charges against
him. Lochleven now yielded up the fugitive Northumberland,
whom William Douglas sold to Lord Hunsdon for ;^2ooo in gold;
though even Morton was outraged by the infamous treachery —
" was utterly against it," writes Lord Hunsdon. Lochleven had
previously bargained with Lady Northumberland for the same
sum. Northumberland was decapitated, and part of the ^2000
went to pay the troops of the king's party.^^^

By mid-April the Castilians lost the support of Argyll, Cassilis,
Eglinton, Crawford, and Herries. A war of skirmishes and house-
burning raged between the castle and the Regent's troops at Leith :
prisoners were hanged on both sides. In June the noted Thomas
Crawford had a success near Glasgow, but " Gauntlets," as he was
nicknamed, soon suffered defeat at the hands of the Hamiltons.^^
In July the English negotiators succeeded in bringing about a
truce, which was fatal to the Castilians. Edinburgh town was
to be open ; but the king's party, unfairly, garrisoned it, so that
Knox returned from St Andrews, and, dying as he was, preached
political sermons, declaring that Kirkcaldy would come to be
hanged. His prophecy, ridiculed by Lethington, was sacred, and
had to be fulfilled.

At this time the English Parliament and bishops were urging
Elizabeth to despatch Mary. But Elizabeth was now in league
with France, which still, from sentiment, would not wholly abandon
Mary : moreover, Elizabeth's belief in the sacredness of the
anointed, and a grain of conscience as to her kinswoman and
suppliant, held her hands.

But the news of the Bartholomew massacre came (August 24),
and with it horror of France, and terror among the Protestants.
Cecil, Leicester, and Elizabeth held a secret conclave, and sent
Killigrew to Scotland. His instructions were to lead Morton and
Mar to propose the surrender of Mary for execution. Scottish
hostages were to be given to ensure the certainty of her death. ^^^^
This was arranged on September 10. Killigrew negotiated through
Nicholas Elphinstone, a favourite agent of the late Regent Murray.
" As for John Knox, that thing, you may see by my despatch to Mr
Secretary, is done," writes Killigrew (October 6).^°^ But there
were difficulties. Morton's terms were high, and he stickled for
some kind of secret process, and military aid ; even, perhaps, for a
meeting of Parliament. But Elizabeth did not wish her hand to


be seen, and of course, when the thing was done, would have
disavowed, as usual, her instruments. The negotiation fell through,
as it was plainly impracticable. Elizabeth, if she was to make
Morton and Mar her assassins, must pay them, and avow them.
She must send troops to protect the doers of the deed, must make
a defensive league with the king's party, take James under her
protection, and promise that what befell his mother should not
affect his English claims. She must help Mar to reduce the castle,
and pay the arrears of his troops. Cecil saw that these articles
could not be accepted, and on November 3 announced to Leicester
the failure of his plot. The death of Mar at Stirling on October
28 would probably, in any case, have put an end to the scheme. ^''^

The effect of the Bartholomew massacre on the Kirk was to
make it clamour for the execution of all Scottish Catholics who
did not recant their belief. Fortunately the ministers and com-
missioners of the Kirk were never permitted to have a Bartholomew
of their own, and "proceed against" their fellow-Christians, "even
to the death." 110

The first step was to be excommunication, then confiscation
and exile. If they remain in the country, " it shall be lawful for
all the subjects of this realm to invade them, and every one of
them, to the death." To the General Assembly which made these
proposals "never one great man or lord came, except the Laird of
Lundie, and some, but few, lairds of Lothian." The articles
expressed only the Christianity of the preachers.-*^^^


1 Froude, viii. 464 ; Lingard, vi. 94, note 2 C, 1855.

2 La Mothe Fcnelon, i. 133-162.

* See Appendix B., " Logan of Restalrig and tlie Gowrie Conspiracy."

* Bain, Calendar, ii. 583, 585 ; Goodall, ii. 200, 201, 272, 273, 281, 307, 309;
La Mothe Fenelon, i. 82 ; Mystery of Mary Stuart, pp. 283-286.

^ Memoranda by Cecil, December 22, Bain, Calendar, ii. 589.

* Bain, Calendar, ii. 588. '^ Goodall, ii. 300. * Fenelon, i. 208.

* Hosack, i. 480-499; For. Cal. Eliz., 1569, ix. 131-138.
^^ Anderson, iii. 35-39. ^^ Labanoff, ii. 295.

^- For. Cal. Eliz., ix. 28. " For. Cal. Eliz., ix. 44; Fenelon, i. 343.

" For. Cal. Eliz., ix. 45,46. -"^ Diurnal, p. 142; For. Cal. Eliz., ix. 46, 47.

" Herries to Elizabeth, July 5, For. Cal. Eliz., ix. 93 ; Diurnal, p. 45.

244 NOTES.

^^ Anderson, iii. 36-39. ^^ Labanoff, ii. 339-341.

^ For. Cal. Eliz., ix. 73. The terms suggested for the arrangement are in For.
Cal. Eliz., ix. 74.

20 For. Cal. Eliz., ix. 84. -^ Labanoff, ii. 36S.

^ Haynes, Burleigh Papers, p. 520. ^ Anderson, iii. 70.

^ Bain, ii. 661. -^ Bain, Calendar, ii. 663, 664. 666.

^* Anderson, iii. 70, 71. ^ Privy Council Register, ii. 1-9.

^^ Hunsdon to Cecil, Berwick, August 5, Bain, ii. 666, 667.

^ Lennox MSS. ; Hosack, i. 250, 251 ; Schiern's Bothwell.

3" Bain, ii. 697, 698.

^^ Declarations of Paris, Laing, ii. 270-290. ^' Bain, ii. 668.

^^ Diurnal, 147, 148 ; Hunsdon to Cecil, September 8, Bain, ii. 674.

^ Bain, ii. 691. '^ Bain, ii. 677.

^^ Chalmers, ii. 486, 487, Note A. ^ Haynes, p. 522.

3^ Haynes, p. 525. ^ Murray to Cecil, October 29, 1569 ; Bain, ii. 698.

^^ Bain, ii. 699, 700. ^ Bannatyne's Journal, p. 481.

*- For. Cal. Eliz., ix. 152. « For. Cal. Eliz., ix. 155.

** Diurnal, p. 154.

^ Anderson, iii. 84 ; Fenelon, iv. 6-9 (?) ; Labanoff, iii. 16.

■'^ Froude, iii. 165, 1866. *'' Spanish Calendar, i. 665.

^ Froude, iii. 1866, 200, 201 ; Goodall, ii. 90.

49 For. Cal. Eliz., ix. 185, 186. ^o Yot. Cal. Eliz., ix. 177, 178.

^1 Haynes, pp. 576, 577. ^'- Knox, vi. 569, 570. ^^ For. Cal. Eliz., ix. 1S8.

*^ For. Cal. Eliz., ix. 176, 177. ^' Diurnal, p. 158.

^^ Diurnal, pp. 160, 161. ^'' For. Cal. Eliz., ix. 196.

*s For. Cal. Eliz., ix. 226. ^^ For. Cal. Eliz., ix. 230.

^ For. Cal. Eliz., ix. 230, 231. *^ For. Cal. Eliz., ix. 233, 234.

"- For. Cal. Eliz., ix. 252. ®^ For. Cal. Eliz., ix. 269.

^ Strype, Annals, ii. Appendix ix. *' Tytler, 332-334, July 29, 1570.

^® For. Cal. Eliz., ix. 343. ^' For. Cal. Eliz., ix. 33S, September 16.

®* Randolph to Cecil, October 2 ; For. Cal. Eliz., ix. 348.

*9 For. Cal. Eliz., ix. 351 ; Haynes, p. 60S. The terms proposed by Cecil to
Mary, October 5.

^" Sussex to Cecil, October 9. For. Cal. Eliz., ix. 352.

'^ Randolph to Cecil, October 15 ; For. Cal. Eliz., ix. 354, 355. Archibald
Douglas to Mary, April 1583 (?) ; Laing, ii. 331-336. Compare, in a form prob-
ably exaggerateil, Claude Nau (Stevenson), pp. 35, 243.

" For. Cal. Eliz., ix. 356. 7* For. Cal. Eliz., ix. 359.

^•^ Span. Cal., ii. 282. ^' La Mothe Fenelon, iii. 358. November 9, 1570.

'® Diurnal, pp. 194, 195. "^ Bannatyne, pp. 67-89.

'^ Fenelon, iii. 403. December iS, 1570. '^ Diurnal, p. 196.

^ Labanoff, iii. 174-176.

81 Mary to Lesley, February 8, 1571 ; Labanoff, iii. 1S0-187.

^- For. Cal. Eliz., ix. 392.

**^ Froude, iv. 145 ; Hosack, ii. 38 ; Fenelon, iv. 20, 21.

'^ Fenelon, iv. 1-20. ^^ Labanoff, iii. 222 ei seg.

*® Labanoff, ui snpra, p. 231. ^ Labanoff, iii. 260.

®* Diurnal, pp. 204, 205 ; Bannatyne, p. 121.

8* Compare Buchanan, fol. 215 and fol. 243. In the 'Detection' and 'Book of
Articles' (156S) Buchanan does not accuse Hamilton : the plan then was to repre-
sent only Bothwell and Mary as guilty.

NOTES. 245

^ James Melville, Diary, p. 22.

"^ Diurnal, pp. 214-217 ; For. Cal. Eliz. , ix. 447.

®'- May 20, Drury to Privy Council, For. Cal. Eliz., ix. 44S ; Bannatyne, 156
et seq.

83 For. Cal. Eliz., ix. 45 1. May 23. ^^ For. Cal. Eliz., ix. 460.

8^ For. Cal. Eliz., ix. 526. Kirkcaldy and Lcthington to Drury, September 6.
Also p. 532.

96 Pri\-y Council Register, ii. 79, 80, 114, 115.

8^ Book of the Universal Kirk, pp. 120-128, 250, 257, 285.

^^ Lesley's Diary, Bannatyne Miscellany, iii. 117-156; Murdin, pp. I-150;
Froude, iii. 210-299. 1866.

88 Murdin, p. 57. November 8, 157 1.

'^'^ La Mothe, vii. 275, iv. 301 ct seq. "^ For. Cal. Eliz., ix. 555.

^°^ Bannatyne, p. 292. ^"^ Bannatyne, p. 323.

104 Prjyy Council Register, ii. 171.

'"= For. Cal. Eliz., x. 61, 76, 94, 99, no, 119, 124. For Archibald Douglas,
of. pp. 52, 56, 83, 89, 91, 100, 106.

"« For. Cal. Eliz., x. 127, 147.

^"^ Murdin, pp. 224, 225. ""^^ Tytier, vii. 384.

^"8 The best account of these intrigues is in Tytier, vii. ch. iv. and Appendix xi.
with letters. The * Foreign Calendar ' of Elizabeth (x. ) is singularly inadequate
at this point.

"" For. Cal. Eliz., x. 195. ^ Bannatyne, pp. 406-411.





The death of the Regent Mar was naturally followed by the Regency
of Morton. Few stranger souls than Morton existed even in the
Scotland of the Reformation. The open licentiousness of his
private life is, comparatively speaking, a high light on the darkness
of his character, and proves that, in hypocrisy, he was not absolutely
consistent. Double murderer as he was, he talked the speech of the
godly with skill and freedom. His avarice may have been over-
stated : he needed money for the king's government : he really
had a care for the public weal, and his fall was partly due, like
the unpopularity of Murray, to his salutary severities. He had
the merit of detesting the interference of preachers with politics.
Attached to his family, the Douglases, he appointed nonentities,
murderers, and forgers of the name to bishoprics, minor livings, and
seats on the bench of justice. He robbed rich and poor with
equal ruthlessness. But he had the virtue of personal courage
and stedfast resolution. No man did more to keep the preachers
within bounds. By a system of fines he discouraged disorder.
When the end came, and he followed others among Darnley's
murderers to the scaffold, the ministers were sincerely sorry, for he
was as stout a Protestant as Bothwell himself.

The Regency of Morton meant the ruin of the Castilians and of
Mary's cause in Scotland. He let Elizabeth know, in short, that
she must make up her mind. She must aid him with money, a
pension, and artillery, or he would look elsewhere for assistance.

On the day after Morton's election Knox expired (November
24, 1572). He had asked Morton if he had any knowledge of
Darnley's murder, and Morton had lied.

DEATH OF KNOX (NOV. 24, 1572). 247

Of Knox we may cite two contemporary opinions. The first is
that of his secretary, Bannatyne : " This man of God, the light of
Scotland, the comfort of the Kirk within the same, the mirror of
godliness and pattern and example to all true ministers, in purity
of life, soundness in doctrine, and in boldness in reproving of
wickedness, and one that cared not the favour of men (how great
soever they were) to reprove their abuses and sins." ^ The other
verdict is from the hand of the author of the ' Diurnal of Occurrents ' :
"John Knox, minister, deceased in Edinburgh, who had, as was

Online LibraryAndrew LangA history of Scotland from the Roman occupation (Volume 2) → online text (page 26 of 60)