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sent by the Congregation to Elizabeth (November 10).''^

Hitherto the Congregation had been, they declared, innocent as
doves. The cry had been "The Word ! " "Suppression of Idolatry !"
But at this juncture the wisdom of the serpent is more manifest. We


might attribute the change, the diplomatic action, to the counsels of
Lethington, were it not conspicuous in the document suppressing
the Regent (October 21). Here is no unction, no godliness. The
Regent is arraigned for secular offences, and the document ends
with a bold falsehood — " the hardy affirmation," as Mr Hume Brown
says, " that the step had been taken in the name and authority of
their two sovereigns now in France." '^^ A secular spirit dominates,
probably before Lethington came in, the appeal of the Lords to the
princes of Christendom.'^^ That statement is a history, and aims at
proving a long French conspiracy (which doubtless existed) to make
Scotland a French province. Even the tolerance of the Regent is
made a charge against her. Tolerance had been granted to Prot-
estant rites, if conducted privately in certain places. The purpose,
it is urged, was to induce the nobles to incur the cruel penalties of
ecclesiastical law ! The document is a patriotic appeal against
French machinations. The old tirades against idolatry are absent.
The precise date of this appeal, conciliatory to Scottish Catholics, is
unknown. It is more like the work of Lethington than of Knox.
Elizabeth at this time was herself no better than an idolater. She
was restoring the crucifix to her altar, vestments to her chaplains
(October 9-27).^^ Elizabeth must be propitiated, hence the caution
of the Brethren. Knox himself suggested to Croft the very trick
which he denounces when practised by Pedro Strozzi for France in
1548. The French expedition of that year sailed under the Red
Lyon of Scotland ; " as rebels unto France, such policy is no falsett
in princes." ''° Knox now asked for an English contingent ; " ye
may declare them rebels to your realm." ^^ Croft was not sorry to
point out the dishonour and futility of the stratagem.'^'' Li truth,
the assumption of the English arms by Mary and Francis might have
been taken by Elizabeth as a breach of the peace. But this line she
did not openly pursue. She did aid the Reformers, being won over
by Lethington.

On November 12 Cecil sent instructions to Croft and Sadleyr.
It is clear, he says, that France means to make Scotland a base as
against England. To avoid open breach of treaty a few English gun-
ners and engineers, in disguise, may be lent to the Brethren, feigning to
be mere soldiers of fortune. Guns may be secretly sent. The Lords
should address Elizabeth, inveighing against French atrocities done
under sanction of the Regent. They must say that they took up
arms to defend the rightful heirs of the Crown — the Hamiltons —


while they remain loyal to Queen Mary. They must say that the
French aim is to conquer England and Ireland. They must urge
that their assemblage was solely designed to defend their country
from conquest. Most of this was untrue. Religion was the primary
cause of the Rising. Knox, however, bowed down in the house of
this political Rimmon.'^ By December 2 1 Sadleyr could let Arran
and Lord James know that the English fleet was coming to their
aid.'^^ In the interval the Lords had been sacking Paisley Abbey
and denouncing idolaters, under the pretended authority of Francis
and Mary. Their proclamations were forgeries. ^° Meanwhile the
French had occupied Stirling, and were invading Fife, where both
Arran and Lord James rebuffed them with skill and courage.
Huntly was pretending that he would aid the Lords with the
forces of the North : Lennox, to vex Chatelherault, was urging
his own claims to the heirship of the Crown. The French schemes
were defeated by the arrival of Winter, with an English fleet, in
the Firth. At first the French took the vessels to be d'Elboeuf's
reinforcements ; on discovering the truth they retreated, in distress,
to Leith.^^ The condition of the Queen-Regent was now all but
desperate. A French force under d'Elboeuf, for the assistance of
the Regent, had been destroyed, as so often was to occur, by "a
Protestant wind." The Regent's remonstrances to Elizabeth were
answered by cynical prevarications. Winter lied boldly when she
censured his action. The Regent herself, within the walls of the
castle, was slowly dying. Meanwhile the French provisioned Leith,
wasting the country as far as Glasgow, and behaving, says Knox,
with horrid cruelty. One poor woman, however, tipped a French
soldier into her tub of salted beef, where he died ingloriously.

On February 27, 1560, at Berwick, the Duke of Norfolk and
deputies from the Congregation entered into a league against Mary
of Guise. Elizabeth " accepted the realm of Scotland " while the
marriage of Mary and Francis should last, and for a year later;
Chatelherault being recognised as next heir to the Crown, and the
old freedom and liberty being safeguarded. As Protector, Elizabeth
was to send forces to aid the Congregation. Hostages were to be
given. But no due obedience was to be withdrawn from Mary
and Francis ! ^^ (In INIay, later, this document was signed by the
nobles, including Huntly, Morton, and the Hamiltons.)^^ To the
castle and the protection of Lord Erskine the Regent now retired.

In March diplomacy was busy, while an English army was prepar-


ing to enter Scotland. Elizabeth's position was insecure. Philip of
Spain might strike in, as he threatened ; and her love of Dudley,
with its many scandals and offences, weakened her at home. Chatel-
herault was said to have written a letter submitting to PVancis and
Mary : the letter was discovered, and he had to deny what was pro-
duced as his own handwriting.^'* But, on the other hand, France
was in no posture to succour the Regent. The Huguenot con-
spiracy of Amboise, fostered by Elizabeth, aimed at killing the
Guises and bringing up Francis II. under Protestant rulers ; so
the Cardinal of Lorraine informed Mary of Guise on March 12.^^
The French Government "knew not where to turn." The Bishop
of Valence was sent to London to treat : the French would be
content with but a handful of men in Scottish sea-forts. This was
wisely refused. On April 4 the reforming Scots and English, now
allies, met at Prestonpans. The temporary and fugitive character of
Scottish feudal levies on their three weeks' service, and want of
money, hampered the English operations. They had the better of a
preliminary skirmish against the garrison of Leith ; but days of
negotiation followed, then came a successful sortie. On April 17
the English silenced, or destroyed, the French guns on the steeple of
St Anthony's Hospital. The Scottish Lords assured the Regent
that they were the most loyal of subjects, asking no more than
the withdrawal of the French. Lord Ogilvy came in from the North,
Lochinvar and Garlics from Galloway ; but Morton, the son of the
foxlike traitor. Sir George Douglas, still wavered, and Huntly prom-
ised, but waited on events, exactly as Lovat was to do in far later
times. Soon after the Bishop of Valence arrived, and diplomacy
hampered the operations. The Regent, as Norfolk wrote, could not
easily make terms with subjects who had contracted themselves with,
and given hostages to, a foreign prince. She had hopes from Philip
of Spain, which came to nothing — a fact foreseen by Lethington.
" The mark I always shoot at," wrote Lethington, " is the union
of England and Scotland in perpetual friendship," — a noble aim,
but not possible while Mary Stuart was Queen of Scotland. The
Lords, with their perpetual protest of loyalty, and in face of
Elizabeth's ideas of right divine, could not take the one step
which might have prevented the coming tragedies. They could
not simply break the succession and place Chatelherault on the
throne. Internal jealousies also barred the way, as far as either the
House of Hamilton or Lord James (who had been legitimated) was


concerned. Francis II. was assuring the Regent that she would
be reinforced by a day she never saw, in the middle of July.
The dallying negotiations kept Morton and Huntly hanging off;
English batteries were damaging the Leith earthworks, but the
French had much the better of it in a sortie. On April 27, the
Regent having refused the Lords' terms, they again put their
names to a band binding themselves to final perseverance. The
French must be expelled, and the offices of State must be held
by " born men of the land." Huntly and Morton now at last
entered on the enterprise. Huntly had stated his position thus :
The nobles of the North, with the Highlanders and Islesmen,
were in a pact with the French to defend " the auld manner of
religion," and he dreaded an attack from them. He wished also
to be confirmed in his local authority, almost that of a viceroy.
The Lords reassured him, and the Catholic Cock of the North
joined the Congregation !

A letter from the Regent discountenances a boasted prophecy of
Knox. On April 29 she writes that "one of her legs begins to
swell." "You know there are but three days for the dropsy in this
country." ^^ A fire had broken out in Leith, but on May i the gay
defenders crowned the walls with May-poles and May garlands.
On May 7 the besiegers gave the assault. They found no practical
breach, and the scaling-ladders (having been impiously made to the
disturbance of preaching) were six feet too short. The gallant
Scottish leaguer-lassies in Leith, true to the Auld Alliance, loaded
the muskets for the French, and poured all that was hot and heavy
on the heads of the assailants. According to Sir George Howard
(May 7), the assailants lost 1000 men, and the survivors were utterly
disheartened. Moreover, " the union of hearts " of Scots and English
was a failure. "We are so well esteemed here that all our poor
hurt men are fain to lie in the streets, and can get no house-room
for money." This fact, with the jeers of the inhabitants when the
Brethren fled in November, proves that the English alliance, and
perhaps Protestantism, were unpopular. The sackings and sermons
must have been due to an energetic minority ; the majority being
"respectables," unarmed, timid, and unorganised. Norfolk now
sent to England for money and reinforcements. The English were
deserting : even money brought in very few Scots. Famine was the
hope of the besiegers. Knox says that the Regent beheld the battle
of May 7 from the castle, and laughed, and went to mass when she



saw the Lilies float victorious on the walls of Leith. The French
having stripped the dead, and left the white bodies below the wall,
the Regent said, " Yonder are the fairest tapestry that ever I saw,"
and wished that the whole interjacent fields were in like wise carpeted.
In those days there were green fields between Edinburgh Castle and
Leith, and no smoke. Conceivably the Regent, if long-sighted,
may have seen a line of corpses. Knox replied from the pulpit,
and prophesised " that God should revenge that contumely done
to his image, . . . even in such as rejoiced themselves." "And
the very experience declared that he was not deceived, for within few
days thereafter (yea, some say that same day) began her belly and
loathsome legs to swell." S'' But, as the Regent's letter of April 29,
already quoted, shows, her dropsy began before that day, and she
expected death. If Knox knew this (and the Regent's letter as to
her dropsy had been intercepted by his party), he prophesied on a
certainty and after the event : in any case, the premonitions on
which he plumes himself were erroneous. His inspirations made
part of his influence, or he tried to use them in that way, so the
facts are worth noting.

On May 10 the Regent proposed a conference "to save Christian
blood." Lord James, Ruthven, Lethington, and the Master of
Maxwell were sent to her. She had asked for Huntly and Glencairn.
Mary said that she was desirous to " remove the French." The
envoys, however, found, as Lethington reports, that she could not
" digest " their compact with England. She asked leave to see
d'Oysel and another Frenchman (indeed how could she treat with-
out them ?), but this was refused. Probably she wept. " Her
blubbering is not for nothing," Norfolk said. " Few days in the
week does she otherwise," wrote Grey. The Regent died after
midnight on June 10. She had seen Chatelherault, the Earl
Marischal, and Lord James, with whom she spoke for an hour.
These critics " found her mind well disposed to God, and willing
to hear anything that is well spoken." With a supreme courtesy
she listened to Willock the preacher.^ Knox must have heard
what passed from Willock, perhaps also from Lord James. He
declares that Mary repented of her policy, and blamed Huntly and
her " friends " — the Guises, as in Scots " friend " means " relation."
The Lords wished her to send for " some godly learned man, for
these ignorant Papists that were about her understood nothing
of the mystery of our Redemption." She admitted to Willock


"that there was no salvation but in and by the death of Jesus
Christ," as surely any orthodox Catholic might do. Some said
that she was "anointed of the Papistical manner." It is prob-
able that she was. The apostle least loved of Knox, St James,
was her warrant.^^ The same author writes, " The wisdom that is
from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be
entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and with-
out hypocrisy." Little, indeed, of this wisdom prevailed in either
party at this period. In the Regent at her death we see this spirit,
and almost in her alone. " She embraced, and with a smiling
countenance kissed the nobles, one by one, and to those of inferior
rank who stood by she gave her hand to kiss, as a token of her
kindness and dying charity." "^

Knox shows his charity, after his narrative of her death, by a
sneer at the legitimacy of her child. Queen Mary. She has no
spark of any virtue of King James V., " whose daughter she is
called." ^^ Perhaps Knox owed his life to the Regent. Throck-
morton reports, on the evidence of the official of the Archbishop
of St Andrews, that Mary of Guise was advised, by the Bishop
of Amiens and others, to call a full Parliament and turn it inco a
Bartholomew massacre. D'Oysel would not permit the massacre,
and the Regent's good-nature could not agree with such extremity
and cruelty.^^ Before the Regent's death Cecil and other com-
missioners had been negotiating with French envoys for peace
at Newcastle. On June 16 they moved to Edinburgh, and long
negotiations ensued. A week's armistice permitted French and
English to lunch on Leith roads : the French brought a capon,
roasted rats, and horse-pie ; the English contributed better pro-
vender. Randolph was struck by certain of the godly, who publicly
confessed their sins after sermon, a practice more entertaining than
edifying. He hoped to see the Archbishop's mistress do penance,
but probably he was disappointed (June 22).^^

The treaties, which were at length concluded on July 6, were a
fertile source of mischief. Francis and Mary had given their repre-
sentatives the fullest powers conceivable, "even though something
should fall out which might appear to require a more copious in-
struction."^* Yet, on a point concerning the usurpation of the
English arms and title by Mary and Francis, the French emissaries
denied that they had authority to treat or conclude " concerning
these particulars." ^^ The treaty with England confirmed that of


Cateau Cambresis (which Elizabeth had broken). It then pro-
vided for —

(i.) The removal of French and English forces, except 120

French in Dunbar and Inchkeith.
(ii.) All warlike preparations were to cease,
(iii.) Eyemouth was to be dismantled, a Berwickshire sea citadel,
(iv.) Mary and Francis were to disuse the English title and

(v.) On certain points connected with this, Philip of Spain was

to arbitrate, if necessary.
(vi.) By a vague and shuffling clause Elizabeth was recognised as
having not wrongfully contracted her engagement with the
Lords. That Elizabeth had any kind of right to Scottish
allegiance (as under the treaty of Berwick, February 27),
the French envoys had determined to deny.^*^ The French
had " special instructions which they could not disobey,
. . . not to dishonour their master with noting that he
was forced by the Queen of England to observe anything
towards his own subjects." ^'^
Now, if the shuffling clause (see Keith, i. 294) admitted the
right of the Lords to contract with Elizabeth, Mary and Francis
had also a right to refuse to ratify a clause concluded against their
precise orders. And if the clause meant mere compliment, as, on
the face of it, it does, for the purposes of the Lords and Elizabeth
it was valueless. The clause asserted that Mary and Francis desired
to have their benignity to their subjects attributed to the good offices
of Elizabeth, and therefore Mary and Francis shall fulfil all the con-
cessions now granted to their subjects. If this means anything, it
means that Elizabeth exercised interference between the Scots and
their king and queen. Mary and Francis could not ratify that.
Meanwhile, what were the terms arranged on July 6 between Mary
Stuart and her rebels ? —

(i.) No foreign soldiers were henceforth to be introduced without
the consent of the Estates, and only 120 French were to
remain in Inchkeith and Dunbar,
(ii.) The works at Leith were to be demolished,
(iii.) Mary and Francis were to pay the arrears of the French

(iv.) A Parliament might be called on July 10, and adjourned
till August I, if Francis and Mary consent ; business not


to be done till August i. The Parliament is to be as
valid as if called by command of Mary and Francis,
(v.) War and peace shall not be made without consent of the

(vi.) The Estates shall select twenty-four persons, out of whom
jNIary shall choose seven, the Estates five, to be a
Council of twelve.

(vii.) No strangers nor clergy shall occupy high offices.

(viii.) Proclaims a general amnesty, except to persons whom the
Estates deem unworthy.

(ix.) Parliament shall be summoned according to custom, and

those shall appear who have been wont to appear,
(x.) Old scores between the Congregation and persons not of
the Congregation shall be forgotten.

(xi.) This also applies to the French,

(xii.) All armed gatherings not by order of Council shall be held

(xiii.) Complaints of aggrieved clerics shall be considered by the
Estates, and reasonable reparation made. The property
and persons of the clergy shall not be disturbed, and dis-
turbers shall be pursued by the nobility,

(xiv.) The nobles are to bind themselves to keep these terms.

(xv.) Deprived Scots, as Chatelherault, are to be restored to their
French properties, and the third son of Chatelherault re-
leased from prison at Vincennes.

(xvi.) Relates to the artillery in the country : what is to be restored

to France, what left,
(xvii.) As to matters of religion, the nobles shall send representatives
to Francis and Mary ; these men shall carry the ratifica-
tion of the treaty by the Estates, and receive the ratifica-
tion by the king and queen. ^^
Peace was now proclaimed, but it was no peace.



* Knox, i. 276-290.

- Knox dates this on April 28, after the Remonstrance of the Lords of the Con-
gregation to the Regent. But the Remonstrances were apparently made in July
and in November 1558 (Knox, i. 302-309; Keith, i. 181, note i).

^ Act. Pari., ii. 505. •• Pitscottie, xxii. 23.

^ Buchanan, fol. 189 ; Lesley, 496. * Knox, i. 257-261.

' Buchanan, fol. 190; Keith, i. 179, 180. ^ Knox, i. 307.

^ Act. Pari., ii. 502, 504. ^^ Knox, i. 309-314.

^^ Kennedy in Miscellany of Wodrow Society, i, 97-174.

^2 Miscellany, Wodrow Society, i. 261-277. '^ Knox, i. 315.

^^ Knox, i. 315, 316. Buchanan here reads like a translation of Knox.

^^ Robertson, Statut. Eccles. Scot., i. civ, clxiii.

16 Wodrow Miscellany, i. 55, 56. " Knox, i. 317-319.

18 Hill Burton, iv. 65. ^^ Tytler, vi. 98 (vi. 114, 115. 1S37).

2'' M'Crie, Life of Knox, i. 257. 1831.

^1 Froude, vi. 227 (1898), note i, citing Croft's letter of May 19.

^2 Knox, i. 318, 319. ^^ Knox, vi. 21-27.

-* The proceedings are published by Dr M'Crie from the Treasurer's Accounts.

-^ Wodrow Miscellany, i. 57. ^ Hume Brown, Knox, ii. 4, note i.

^ Calendar, i. 212, 213. Croft's actual words are less explicit than the version
in the Calendar.

2^ Buchanan, fol. igo. ^'* Knox, i. 322, 323. ^'^ Knox, vi. 23.

"^1 Knox, i. 324 ; Keith, i. 193 ; Froude, vi. 229.

^^ Knox, i. 326, 327. ^^ Knox, i. 329-336.

34 Lesley, p. 497. ^^ Knox, i. 339, 345.

^ Wodrow Miscellany, i. 58. The band pledging the godly to these acts, and
signed by Lord James and Argyll, is in Knox, i. 344, 345.

•*'' Archives des Affaires Etrangeres. Angleterre, xv. foil. 24, 25, 26, 27, MS.

^* Knox, i. 345 ; Wodrow Miscellany, i. 59. '^^ Knox, i. 346, note i.

*" See Hume Brown, Knox, i. 345, note 2. ^^ Sadleyr, i. 84.

42 Knox, i. 383. 4^ Knox, i. 343.

** Knox is the authority for this measure, in his letter to Mrs Locke (Knox, vi.
23). Dr Hay Fleming observes that death was also denounced, by Scots law,
against poachers who shot "at" wild fowls, and, by Mary of Guise, against eaters
of flesh in Lent (Mary Stuart, p. 219).

*^ Knox, i. 347.

^ Knox, i. 347, 349 : the dates are rather confused. *^ Knox, i. 353, 354.

^ Knox, i. 365 ; For. Cal. Eliz., i. 337. ^^ Knox, ii. 22.

^^ Teulet, Documents Relatifs i I'Histoire d'Ecosse, i. 312, June 21. Paris, 1862.

51 For. Cal. Eliz., i. 316. ^^ ^ox. Cal. Eliz., i. 340, 341.

^^ For. Cal. Eliz., i. 349, 350. *^ Knox, i. 366. ^^ Knox, i. 369.

56 For. Cal. Eliz., i. 208. " ^ox. Cal. Eliz., i. 313.

58 For. Cal. Eliz., i. 357. ^9 Yox. Cal. Eliz., i. 365.

60 For. Cal. Eliz,, i. 389. ^^ For. CaL Eliz., i. 406, 407.

62 Knox, i. 376-381. 63 Calendar, Bain, i. 231-234.

^* Knox, i. 392, 393. Cf. ii. 32. 65 Knox, ii. 33, note I.

66 For. Cal. Eliz., i. 459, 460. 67 Teulet, i. 340, 341.


*^ Knox to Croft, St Andrews, Sept. 21. Works, vi. 79-81.

^^ Knox, i. 444-449. '"'* Knox, i. 465. ''■ Calendar, i. 263.

^- Hume Brown, Knox, ii. 52. ^^ Teulet, ii. i et seq.

"^^ De Quadra to the Bishop of Arras. Froude, vi. 268, note.

"'^ Knox, i. 216. ''^ Calendar, i. 256, October 25.

"" Sadleyr, i. 524. ^^ Sadleyr, i. 570-573.

''^ Sadleyr, i. 649. ^^ Keith, i. 246-248.

^^ For. Cal., ii. 329-334. For the general affairs of the war, Knox to Railton,
January 29, 1560, p. 344.

8- Keith, i. 25S-260. ^^ Knox, ii. 53.

^ March 21. Calendar, i. 335. ^^ Calendar, i. 331.

*^ Calendar, i. 389. ^ Knox, ii. 68.

^* Randolph, June 8. Calendar, i. 422. ^ James v. 14. ^^ Keith, i. 279.

®^ Knox, ii. 72. The account of the siege of Leith, and of the Regent's death,
is mainly from Mr Bain's Calendar, vol. i., and from Knox. Mr Froude gives a
full and lucid account of the diplomatic embroilments with France and Spain at
this moment, but these are parts of English rather than of Scottish history. There
is a MS. diary of the siege in the French Foreign Office archives, which I have
consulted ; and there are letters on the Regent's death from Captain CuUen
(Affaires Etrangeres. Angleterre, xv. foil. I13-119).

"- For. Cal. Eliz., iii. 344. October 10, 1560. ^^ Calendar, i. 430.

®^ Keith, i. 308. "* Keith, i. 293.

^^ Froude, vi. 377, De Quadra to Philip, June 7.

"'' Froude, vi. 394. Cecil to Elizabeth, July 2. '* Keith, i. 298-306.


The archives of the French Foreign Office contain a hitherto unpublished
report from d'Oysel to Francis and Mary. They had asked in November 1559
for full information, and d'Oysel had consulted "black Mr John Spens," later
accused of a share in Darnley's murder. Spens then e.^amined a cloud of
witnesses as to the rebellion of Chatelherault and Arran, and their deposition of
the Regent. We learn that they compelled James Cortry, or Cokky, to engrave a
counterfeit seal of Mary and Francis, which they used on their various proclama-
tions and public letters. The same artist was employed to make new dies for
fresh coinage. Of the letters an example is given (January 24, 1560), an appeal

Online LibraryAndrew LangA history of Scotland from the Roman occupation (Volume 2) → online text (page 8 of 60)