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to Errol to join the Congregation. The writers announce that they have sought
English aid : solely in the interest of Liberty and pure Religion. The first name
among those who sign is "James" (a royal signature), indicating Lord James
Stewart, Mary's natural brother.

There follows the record of a curious kind of trial of the r^els, held at Holy-
rood (?) in February 1560. The first witness is James Beaton, Archbishop of
Glasfjow. Another witness is Lord Robert Stewart, Mary's natural brother.
A third is James, Earl of Bothwell, "aged twenty-four years, or thereabout," so
that Bothwell was a man of thirty or thirty-one when he married the queen.
The seal-maker appeared, and told how he was compelled to make a counterfeit
seal, which Arran at once used to seal two letters in his presence.

For the rest, the record rather corroborates than adds to our information.
(Affaires Etrangeres. Angleterre, xv. 131 -153, MS.)





The Peace of Edinburgh brought no peace but a sword. The
reason is that the treaty was never ratified by Francis and Mary. In
their refusal, implying the persistence of Mary's claim to the English
throne, began the deadly feud with Elizabeth which only closed
when the axe fell at Fotheringay. It has been said, perhaps with
truth, that the ratification was denied on account of the clause
requiring the utter renunciation of the style and arms of England.
" Yet it was necessary that this reason should not be uttered by
Mary, and that procrastinations, devices, and casual excuses should
be found for withholding the ratification which had been emphati-
cally promised to whatever terms the representatives of France
would conclude." ^ We have already seen that their powers were
absolute, but that the French envoys had instructions not to submit
to any claim, on Elizabeth's part, to interfere with Mary's rebels.
But such claim had been passed, or been insinuated into clause vi.
(p. 68) of the treaty with England.^ How far this contravention of
private instructions invalidated the public commission to the envoys,
diplomatists must decide. But, that question apart, the ratification
of the concessions to the Lords depended on their fulfilment of cer-
tain clauses in the arrangement with them. These conditions they
broke — "impudently violated," says M. Philippson, the biographer
of Mary, who does not think that this affected the English treaty.^
Francis and Mary had thus a right not to ratify the Scottish agree-
ment, with which, however, the English treaty, by clause vi. {supra),
seemed to them to be linked. Mr Hume Brown remarks that, while
" there has been much discussion as to the legality of the meeting of


the Scottish Estates," — which followed the treaty, — " the question
is set at rest by certain letters of Francis II. himself. From these
letters it distinctly appears that Francis regarded the treaty of Edin-
burgh as perfectly valid."* He did, — until the conditions of the
treaty were broken by the Estates, before it was submitted to him for
ratification. His letter to the Bishop of Limoges, his ambassador
in Spain, is of July 28. Despite the injustice of the terms, he says,
he puts up with them, je me suis accomode. But when even the
hard conditions were infringed, the whole case was altered. Mr
Tytler says, " We cannot blame either Mary or the Guises for their
steady refusal to ratify the treaty." ^ In what manner the Estates
broke the conditions will appear in the course of the narrative.

The first important step of the Lords was taken on July 19. A
public thanksgiving was held, Knox officiating, at St Giles'. There-
after the Commissioners of the Burghs, with certain nobles and
barons, appointed districts to preachers. All such religious matters,
it may be argued, had been explicitly omitted by the negotiators of
the arrangement (clause xvii.) It was there provided that the
" Convention of Estates " shall send " some persons of quality " to
Francis and Mary, " and remonstrate to them the state of their
affairs," especially as to religion. Religion, said the treaty, is of
such importance that these and other questions are judged proper
"to be remitted to the king and queen." But no "persons of
quality " were ever sent, either to " remonstrate " or to carry the
ratification. One man only was sent, much later, Sandilands,
second son of Sandilands of Calder, and he of quality deemed not
" sufficient." «

In the distribution of districts, Knox took St Giles' in Edinburgh ;
Methven, " to whom was no iniquity then known," got Jedburgh.
Aberdeen, Perth, Leith, Dundee, and Dunfermline were also pro-
vided for. As " Superintendents," Lothian received John Spottis-
woode, of an old house, later Cavalier ; Willock took Glasgow ;
Erskiije of Dun (a layman) Angus and the Mearns ; Carswall saw to
Argyll and the Isles ; and Fife was committed to the versatile
Wynram, sub-prior of St Andrews, who had sat at the trial of George
Wishart. Many of the clergy of St Andrews were, like him, brands
plucked from the burning. The Reformation was, in great part, the
work of the " advanced " clergy, but Wynram came in late.

The Parliament, opened on July 10, met and began business on
August I. The treaty was infringed at once, in a point of great


constitutional interest. It had been provided (clause ix.) that " it
shall be lawful for all those to be present at that meeting who are in
use to be present : tons ceux qui ont accoustumes de s''y trouver." ^
But crowds of persons not " accustomed to be there " appeared and
claimed seats. This was " an unusual element," says Mr Hume
Brown, and, as being unusual, it was forbidden by the treaty. The
treaty did not say, " All may appear who by an ancient and disused
custom or Act have a right to appear." The right was strictly limited
by customary usage. " In a space of seventy-three years scarcely had
one of the inferior gentry appeared in Parliament. And therefore
I know not but it may be deemed somewhat unusual for a hundred
of them to jump all at once into Parhament," says Bishop Keith,
perhaps especially as the treaty had prohibited the "jump."^ " Jt
had to be pointed out to the House that their claim went so far
back as the reign of James I." (in 1427). The Act of James I.*
said that the " small barons need not come to Parliament," and
that consequently representatives were to be chosen on the English
system. This never held, and the claim of small barons rested on
an ancient and an unrepealed but disused Act, or on obsolete
custom. It was an infringement of centuries of usage, unless the
barons were duly elected on James's plan. Their plea was referred
to the Lords of the Articles, and they seem to have sat and voted/'*^
Six were added to the Lords of the Articles ; if the practice worked
well it was to be ratified as a perpetual law.^^

Another point arose. Between July 10 and August i the treaty
provided that " the Lords Deputies " shall send envoys to Francis
and Mary, reporting the permission to hold a Parliament (or Con-
vention), "and supplicate them most humbly that they would be
pleased to agree." ^^ Was any such deputation, ever sent ? Had
Francis and Mary been " pleased to agree " ? Certainly not before
August 10, as we learn from Randolph, writing to Cecil on that
date. "Their first sitting will be on Thursday," the 15th. "They
intend shordy to send Dingwall, the Herald, to France with the
names they choose " (for the Council), " attd for the king's and
queen^s consent to this Parliaments^ '^'^ Between the loth and the
17th August, when the Confession of Faith was passed en bloc,
Dingwall could not go to France and return with the royal consent.
Mr Hume Brown writes: "The treaty had been signed on July 6,
and since that date there had been time for a royal commissioner
to arrive in Scotland." Yes, but nobody had been sent by the
Lords, as under treaty, to ask for a royal commissioner. " But by


the very fixing of the meeting of Estates at so early a date it had
been implied that no commissioner was needed to constitute the
meeting a legal assembly." ^^ Three \Yeeks had been granted by the
treaty for the very purpose of enabling the Estates to legalise their
meeting. They did not adopt the necessary means.

The Arrangement of Edinburgh was torn to rags by the Estates.
The Convention which established the new Creed was absolutely
illegal. This, however, is a matter of mere academic interest. The
Convention was revolutionary, and revolutions are laws to them-
selves. The assemblage of the " small barons " to consult on the
public affairs would have marked, if continued in practice, a benef-
icent advance in the national and political education of Scotland.
In older Parliaments from ten to twenty greater barons would
gather. In 1560 we count one hundred and six small barons, all
of noble names, including Sandilands of Calder, whose quality was
insufficient. It is curious to observe how many of the names are
still attached to the old lands. -^^ There are only five Celtic names,
and these from the low countries, with one Campbell of Glen-
urquhard. There is not a single " Mac." In the Regent Moray's
Parliament of 1567 the crowd of small barons is conspicuously
absent : so far from the " custom " insisted on by the treaty was
this revolutionary assembly. Meanwhile "the bishops dare not
come out of the castle for hatred of the common people," wrote
Cecil on June 21.^^ Apparently it was the crowd of new-comers,
with the burgesses, who now put in a petition to the Estates. They
asked for condemnation of the " pestiferous errors " of the Church.
The clergy " live in whoredom and adultery, deflowering virgins
and corrupting matrons." Remedy is invited. As the Pope " takes
upon him the distribution and possession of the whole patrimony
of the Church" (which, really, had in Scotland long been seized
by the nobles for their cadets), the Word is neglected, learning
despised, schools not provided for, and the poor "not only de-
frauded of their portion, but scandalously oppressed." This must
be remedied. The Pope, in fact, was not evicting poor cottars,
and the remedy, in some ways, proved no better than the disease.
The petitioners offer to prove that " there is not one lawful minister
in all the rabble of the clergy." They are all " thieves, murderers,
rebels, and traitors." Let them answer to the charge, or be rend-
ered incapable of a voice in Parliament. ^"^

After a harangue by the Speaker, Lethington, and preliminaries,
the petition was read, and certain ministers were asked to draw up


a Confession of the Faith of Scotland for the future. This was
done in four days. The Lords of the Articles had been chosen,
the Spiritual by the Temporal, the burgesses by themselves. " The
two old bishops are none of the [Lords of the] Articles." ^^ In
fact, the " Spiritual " Lords now included laymen, like Lord James
and others, holders of Church lands and titles. The Confession
seems to have been ready about August 15, and the Archbishop of
St Andrews was permitted to have a copy. The document had
been first submitted to Lethington and Wynram, men of this world.
Randolph says that they " mitigated the austerity of many words
and sentences, which sounded to proceed rather of some evil-
conceived opinion than of any sound judgment. The m/t/ior"
(observe the singular) " of this work had also put in this treaty a
title or chapter of the obedience that subjects owe unto their
magistrates." Lethington and Wynram " gave their advice to leave
it out."^^ Knox prints this chapter (xxiv.) While acknowledging
the civil rulers as of divine institution, it is announced to be their
duty to put down the old Church, " suppressing of idolatry and
superstition." To resist the Supreme Power ("when doing that
which appertains to his charge ") is to resist God's ordinance. It
follows, apparently, that to resist a ruler who does ^wt put down
idolatry, is legitimate enough. The consequence, for Mary Stuart,
is obvious. -''

Randolph's remark on this important point is perplexing. By
Knox's account, Wynram was one of the makers of the Con-
fession ; why, then, should he help Lethington to amend it ? ^^
Again, the chapter on the Magistrate still stands in Knox's
published Confession. Dr Mitchell suggested that the draft of the
chapter may have contained something as to the limits of obedience ;
as, practically, it still does. In a Genevan formula we are not to
obey the ruler if he commands what God forbids — that is, of
course, whatever we please to say that God forbids. " God is to be
obeyed rather than men." In practice this meant that the preachers
were to be obeyed rather than the magistrate. Now, though Dr
Mitchell does not remark it, this theory of his tallies with Ran-
dolph's words as to the peccant chapter : it " contained little less
matter in few words than hath been otherwise written more at
large." -"- Randolph may here refer to one of the Genevan books.
Knox, of course, acted later, in opposition to Mary, on the Genevan
maxim. The articles on Baptism and the Sacrament, as Mr Tytler


remarks, closely follow the Articles of Edward VI. The general
complexion, as Dr Mitchell shows, is of the purest Geneva. Into
the theology we cannot enter deeply. "We utterly abhor the
blasphemy of those that affirm that men who live according to
equity and justice shall be saved, what religion so ever they have
professed," is one sweeping statement. The old Church is " that
horrible harlot, the Kirk Malignant."

As to the interpretation of Scripture, the article is a reasoning
in a circle. "We dare not receive and admit any interpretation
which directly repugneth to any principal point of our faith," for
our faith is based on our own interpretation of the Scripture.
Interpretation " appertaineth to the Spirit of God," who, we pre-
sume, has officially guided Knox and Calvin and other framers
of our faith, — a fact which, of course, needed to be proved.
On this point hinged the later troubles of James VI. with the
preachers, who claimed to interpret by direct inspiration. As
to ceremonies ; such as men have devised " are but temporal, so
may and ought they to be changed, when they rather foster super-
stition than that they edify the Kirk using the same." On the
article as to the Holy Sacrament it were unbecoming to enter, but
it certainly bears the impress of a lofty mysticism. The sacrament
is no mere commemoration. " The bread which we break is the
communion of Christ's body, and the cup which we bless is the
communion of his blood." The Confession, according to the
learned Dr Mitchell of St Andrews, an admirable and amiable
example of the Kirk of the last generation, displays "a liberal and
manly, yet reverent and cautious spirit." The liberalism, to a
liberal age, seems dubious ; and, if the Scots are really a logical
people, they may think the logic of chapter xviii. rather womanly
than " manly." The authors, indeed, protested that if any man
noted anything " contrary to the Scriptures," they were ready to
offer him " satisfaction fra the mouth of God, that is, from His
Holy Scriptures," or else emendation. But the Parliament
swallowed the whole Confession — only some five laymen and
three bishops dissenting. With an irony too fine for the oc-
casion, which Lethington reported, and no doubt appreciated, the
prelates of St Andrews, Dunkeld, and Dunblane, with two peers,
said that they "were not ready to speak their judgment, for that
they were not sufficiently acquainted with the book." ^^ Indeed, if
Hamilton, still an "idolater," had read the book to the end, he


would have learned that such as he were to be " tormented for
ever, as well in their bodies as in their souls." But perhaps he
had not reached this appalling passage. According to Knox, who
varies from Randolph, among laymen only Atholl, Somerville, and
Borthwick dissented from the expeditious compendium of the
counsels of Eternity. They " produced no better reason but
' we will believe as our fathers believed ' " : not a bad reason for
laymen. " The bishops, papistical we mean, spoke nothing." Does
this imply that there were other than papistical bishops, or are
converted bishops the subject?

The attitude of the prelates and priors was imbecile. If the
Convention was legal, they should have attended in force and voted.
If it was illegal, they should have protested and withdrawn. It is
said that Chatelherault menaced his brother, the Archbishop, with
death if he spoke out. The tale is improbable. Nobody could be
afraid of Chatelherault, and Randolph represents the brothers as on
the most convivial of terms.

On August 24 three Acts were passed. One abolished the Pope's
authority, and all jurisdiction by Catholic prelates ; another repealed
the old statutes in favour of the old Church ; the third denounced
against celebrants or attendants of the mass, for the first offence,
confiscation and corporal punishment ; for the second, exile ; for
the third — death. All magistrates, in town or country, were to be
inquisitors of this wicked heresy.^* The tables were turned. Per-
secution was nominally direr than it had commonly been in the
days of the Regent. But in practice things moved otherwise. The
Catholic rites were but rarely practised, and then secretly, as a
rule. The preachers, Lesley says, urged the enforcement of the
penal statutes later ; but " the humanity of the nobles must not be
passed over in silence, for at this time few Catholics were banished,
fewer were imprisoned, none was executed." ^^ Secular sense and
mercy resisted the furious theocrats. From at least one contem-
porary monarch Knox and his faction might have learned Christian
justice and mercy. That monarch was the Sultan. In a paper of
foreign intelligence of November 1561 we read "the Grand Turk
commanded " a Christian prisoner " to be let alone, not wishing to
bring any from his religion by force." "^

Apparently more Acts were passed in August 1560 than are set
down. Bishop Keith, who died in 1756, a prelate of the suffering
Church Episcopal in Scotland in Hanoverian days, was naturally a


Jacobite. From another Jacobite, Father Thomas Innes, of the
Scots College in Paris, he received transcripts of certain documents
of this period. They were preserved by James Beaton, Archbishop
of Glasgow, who left Scotland with the French forces in July, and,
later, was Ambassador at Paris for Mary and James VI. An article
of the Arrangement of July 6 (xiii.) had ordered that the complaints
of injured ecclesiastics were to be heard by Parliament, and that
none should disturb them in the enjoyment of their property. Now,
from a paper of Beaton's it appears that the churchmen " gave in
their bills " for redress, but did not appear to defend and urge their
cases. Meanwhile the leases let off collusively by the Archbishop of
St Andrews, the Bishops of Dunkeld and Dunblane, the Priors of
Whithern and Pluscarden, and the Abbot of Crossraguel were to be
nullified, with all such leases granted since March 6, 1 558.2*^ As
to clerical property, we have other evidence. Archbishop Hamilton,
writing on August 18 to Beaton in Paris, says, "All the bills they
keep them as yet, and no man's livings or houses restored, and
yours and mine in special. I cannot say what they will do after
this." He adds, " All their new preachers persuade openly the
nobility, in the pulpit, to . . . slay all kirkmen that will not concur
and take their opinion." They especially urge Chatelherault to
slay his brother or imprison him for life. In the same spirit did
Goodman, an English preacher in Scotland, urge Cecil " not to
suffer the bloody bishops in England to live." ^^ Fortunately the
State was not utterly in the hands of the preachers.

As to the non-appearance of the Scottish bishops to urge before
Parliament their claims to their property, on August 28 the Arch-
bishop's factor, Archibald, wrote to say that, on the last day of the
Parliament, the Lords of the Articles called on the bishops, who
had all gone away " because they would not subscribe with the
Lords of the Articles, and therefore they were called because of
their departure." Keith remarks that Knox and Buchanan leave
this vague because they had not the skill " to varnish over this
dirty job with any appearance of equity." ^^ Francis II. regarded
the " dirty job " as another infringement of the compact of July 6.

Here we may approach the famous Book of Discipline, though it
does not seem yet to have been presented to the Estates. This
book, drawn up by Knox and other preachers, must have been
finished by August 25, 1560, when Randolph says that it was being
translated for Calvin, Beza, BuUinger, and others in Geneva and


Zurich. Randolph saw that the authors would not accept the
Anglican prayer-book, which had for a while been used in Scottish
churches, though they did not refuse to consult the English doctors.^*'
Randolph's opinion was correct. We are now to consider the new
model of the Church, or Kirk, in Scotland. The nature of the Kirk
is but little understood in England, yet an organisation which still
endures, whether in the Established or the other Churches, successors
of that of Knox, deserves attention. We have seen that for a while
the Prayer-Book of Edward VI. was used, possibly with modifica-
tions, in Scotland. But Knox's revised opinion of that work is
expressed in a letter of April 6, 1559, to Mrs Locke. He says that
he will never counsel any man to use the English Prayer-Book. It
is vitiated by " diabolical inventions," such as crossing at baptism,
kneeling at the communion, " mummelling," or singing the Litany,
and a relative neglect of preaching. Mr Parson patters his " con-
strained prayers," and Mr Vicar, " with his wicked companions,"
is a "mass-monger."^^ In place of the prayer-book, the Book of
Discipline of 1560-61 preferred what is often called 'The Book
of Common Order,' which was used by Knox's congregation at
Geneva, was based, apparently, on the ' Liturgia Sacra ' of Pollanus
(itself founded on Calvin's service), and was accepted by the
General Assembly of 1564.^^ The Order lasted till 1637, when
the effort was made to introduce Laud's Liturgy.

As to what has been called " Knox's Liturgy," the Book of
Common Order, it is confessedly not a set of " constrained
prayers " to be used without deviation, but merely a model or
guide. The minister may repeat the prayers, but he may vary at
will, saying something "like in effect." Before the sermon he
" prayeth for the assistance of God's Holy Spirit, as the same shall
move his heart." ^^ The doctrine appears to have been that the
minister was directly inspired. We read of ministers with " a great
gale on them," like the disciples at Pentecost. The writer is in-
formed, by a modern Cameronian, that he has been present when an
aged Cameronian preacher seemed to be under this "gale," — in the
psychological phrase his was " automatic speaking."

If I correctly understand Knox's doctrine, the enormous in-
fluence in politics which he claimed for the preachers was based
on their direct inspiration by the Spirit. A Scottish service
then proceeded thus : First, the minister read aloud one of two
Confessions, or spoke words " like in effect." No directions are


given as to the posture of the people, but probably they stood
up at prayer. The Confessions are backed by a long array of
marginal texts, and the first refers to the "shame" of "our
miserable country of England," for it was used at Geneva by an
English congregation. A psalm is then sung, " in a plain tune " ;
then the minister prays as the Spirit moves him ; then follows the
sermon, usually political or doctrinal, and of great length. Then
followed, with such variations as the minister preferred, a prayer
for "the whole estate of Christ's Church," directed against "the
furious uproar of that Romish idol," but including a petition "for
such as yet be ignorant." Next came the Lord's Prayer, then the
Creed, then a psalm, and last, one of two benedictions. But " it is
not necessary for the minister daily to repeat all these things, but,
beginning with some matter of confession, to proceed to the sermon "
(always the main business), " which ended, he either useth the prayer
for all estates before mentioned, or else prayeth as the Spirit of God

Online LibraryAndrew LangA history of Scotland from the Roman occupation (Volume 2) → online text (page 9 of 60)