English secretary. Keith, 229. 232.
II. To suppose that the earl of Huntly had laid any plan for seizing the
queen and her ministers, seems to be no less improbable. 1. On the
queen's arrival in the north, he laboured, in good earnest, to gain her fa-
vour, and to obtain a pardon for his son. Knox, 318. 2. He met the
queen, first at Aberdeen, and then at Rothemay, whither he would not
have ventured to come, had he harboured any sucli treasonable resolution.
Knox, 318. 3. His conduct was irresolute and wavering, like that of a
man disconcerted by an unforeseen danger, not like one executing a con-
certed plan. 4. The most considerable persons of his clan submitted to the
queen, and found surety to obey her commands. Keith, 226. Had the
earl been previously determined to rise in arms against the queen, or to
seize her ministers, it is probable he would have imparted it to his principal
followers, nor would they have deserted him in this manner.
For these reasons I have, on the one hand, vindicated the earl of Murray
from any deliberate intention of ruining the family of Gordon ; and on the
other hand, I have imputed the violent conduct of the earl of Huntly to a
sudden start of resentment, without charging him with any premeditated
purpose of rebellion.
BOOK in. OF SCOTLAND.
tence of being confined to London, by the attention 1562.
which she was obliged to give to the civil wars in~
France, she put off the interview for that season 1 , and
prevented her subjects from seeing the Scottish queen,
the charms of whose appearance and behaviour she
envied, and had some reason to dread.
During this year, the assembly of the church met June 2.
twice. In both these meetings were exhibited many 25>
complaints of the poverty and dependence of the
church ; and many murmurs against the negligence or
avarice of those who had been appointed to collect and
to distribute the small fund appropriated for the main-
tenance of preachers m . A petition, craving redress of
their grievances, was presented to the queen; but with-
out any effect. There was no reason to expect that
Mary would discover any forwardness to grant the re-
quests of such supplicants. As her ministers, though
all most zealous protestants, were themselves growing
rich on the inheritance of the church, they were equally
regardless of the indigence and demands of their bre-
Mary had now continued above two years in a state Negotia-
of widowhood. Her gentle administration had secured r^^ 11
the hearts of her subjects, who were impatient for her the queen's
marriage, and wished the crown to descend in the right mt
line from their ancient monarchs. She herself was the
most amiable woman of the age ; and the fame of her
accomplishments, together with the favourable circum-
stance of her having one kingdom already in her pos-
session, and the prospect of mounting the throne of
another, prompted many different princes to solicit an
alliance so illustrious. Scotland, by its situation, threw
so much weight and power into whatever scale it fell,
that all Europe waited with solicitude for Mary's de-
termination ; and no event in that age excited stronger
political fears and jealousies; none interested more
'Keith, 216. "' Knox, 311. 323.
She is soli-
By the duke
deeply the passions of several princes, or gave rise to
more contradictory intrigues, than the marriage of the
The princes of the house of Austria remembered
what vast projects the French had founded on their
former alliance with the queen of Scots; and though
the unexpected death, first of Henry and then of Fran-
cis, had hindered these froni taking effect, yet if Mary
should again make choice of a husband, among the
French princes, the same designs might be revived and
prosecuted with better success.
In order to prevent this, the emperor entered into a
negotiation with the cardinal of Lorrain, who had pro-
posed to marry the Scottish queen to the archduke
Charles, Ferdinand's third son. The matter was com-
municated to Mary ; and Melvil, who, at that time, at-
tended the elector palatine, was commanded to inquire
into the character and situation of the archduke n .
Philip the second, though no less apprehensive of
Mary's falling once more into the hands of France,
envied his uncle Ferdinand the acquisition of so im-
portant a prize; and, as his own insatiable ambition
grasped at all the kingdoms of Europe, he employed
his ambassador at the French court to solicit the princes
of Lorrain in behalf of his son don Carlos, at that time
the heir of all the extensive dominions which belonged
to the Spanish monarchy .
Catherine of Medicis, on the other hand, dreaded
the marriage of the Scottish queen with any of the
Austrian princes, which would have added so much to
the power and pretensions of that ambitious race. Her
jealousy of the princes of Lorrain rendered her no less
averse from an alliance which, by securing to them the
protection of the emperor or king of Spain, would give
new boldness to their enterprising spirit, and enable
" Melv. 63. 65. Keith, 239. See Append. No. VII.
Casteln. 46f Addit. a Labour. 501. 503.
BOOK in. OF SCOTLAND. 241
them to set the power of the crown, which they already 1563.
rivalled, at open defiance : and, as she was afraid that ~~
these splendid proposals of the Austrian family would
dazzle the young queen, she instantly despatched Cas-
telnau into Scotland, to offer her in marriage the duke
of Anjou, the brother of her former husband, who soon
after mounted the throne of France p .
Mary attentively weighed the pretensions of so many Mary's de-
rivals. The archduke had little to recommend him
but his high birth. The example of Henry the eighth it.
was a warning against contracting a marriage with the
brother of her former husband ; and she could not bear
the thoughts of appearing in France, in a rank inferior
to that which she had formerly held in that kingdom.
She listened, therefore, with partiality, to the Spanish
propositions, and the prospect of such vast power and
dominions flattered the ambition of a young and as-
Three several circumstances, however, concurred to
divert Mary from any thoughts of a foreign alliance.
The first of these was the murder of her uncle, the
duke of Guise. The violence and ambition of that no-
bleman had involved his country in a civil war ; which
was conducted with furious animosity and various suc-
cess. At last the duke laid siege to Orleans, the bul-
wark of the protestant cause ; and he had reduced that
city to the last extremity, when he was assassinated by
the frantic zeal of Poltrot. This blow proved fatal to
the queen of Scots. The young duke was a minor;
and the cardinal of Lorrain, though subtle and in-
triguing, wanted that undaunted and enterprising cou-
rage, which rendered the ambition of his brother so
formidable. Catherine, instead of encouraging the am-
bition or furthering the pretensions of her daughter-in-
law, took pleasure in mortifying the one, and in disap-
pointing the other. In this situation, and without such
P Casteln. 461. -" ;
VOL. I. R
THE HISTORY BOOK HI.
1563. a protector, it became necessary for Mary to contract
her views, and to proceed with caution ; and, whatever
prospect of advantage might allure her, she could ven-
ture upon no dangerous or doubtful measure.
Theviewsof The second circumstance which weighed with Mary,
' was the opinion of the queen of England. The mar-
riage of the Scottish queen interested Elizabeth more
deeply than any other prince; and she observed all
her deliberations concerning it with the most anxious
attention. She herself seems early to have formed a
resolution of living unmarried, and she discovered no
small inclination to impose the same law on the queen
of Scots. She had already experienced what use might
be made of Mary's power and pretensions to invade her
dominions, and to disturb her possession of the crown.
The death of Francis the second had happily delivered
her from this danger, which she determined to guard
against for the future with the utmost care. As the
restless ambition of the Austrian princes, the avowed
and bigoted patrons of the catholic superstition, made
her, in a particular manner, dread their neighbour-
hood, she instructed Randolph to remonstrate, in the
strongest terms, against any alliance with them; and to
acquaint Mary, that, as she herself would consider such
a match to be a breach of the personal friendship in
which they were so happily united ; so the English na-
tion would regard it as the dissolution of that confe-
deracy which now subsisted between the two kingdoms ;
that, in order to preserve their own religion and liber-
ties, they would; in all probability, take some step pre-
judicial to her right of succession, which, as she well
knew, they neither wanted power nor pretences to in-
validate and set aside. This threatening was accom-
panied with a promise, but expressed in very ambigu-
ous terms, that if Mary's choice of a husband should
prove agreeable to the English nation, Elizabeth would
appoint proper persons to examine her title to the suc-
cession, and, if well founded, command it to be pub-
BOOK in. OF SCOTLAND. 243
licly recognised. She observed, however, a mysterious 1563.
silence concerning the person on whom she wished the ~
choice of the Scottish queen to fall. The revealing of
this secret was reserved for some future negotiation.
Meanwhile, she threw out some obscure hints, that a
native of Britain, or one not of princely rank, would be
her safest and most inoffensive choice q . An advice,
offered with such an air of superiority and command,
mortified, no doubt, the pride of the Scottish queen.
But, under her present circumstances, she was obliged
to bear this indignity. Destitute of all foreign assist-
ance, and intent upon the English succession, the great
object of her wishes and ambition, it became necessary
to court a rival, whom, without manifest imprudence,
she could not venture to offend.
The inclination of her own subjects was another, and The send-
not the least considerable circumstance, which called
for Mary's attention at this conjuncture. They hadjects.
been taught, by the fatal experiment of her former mar-
riage, to dread an union with any great prince, whose
power might be employed to oppress their religion and
liberties. They trembled at the thoughts of a match
with a foreigner; and, if the crown should be strength-
ened by new dominions or alliances, they foresaw that
the royal prerogative would soon be stretched beyond
its ancient and legal limits. Their eagerness to prevent
this could hardly fail of throwing them once more into
the arms of England. Elizabeth would be ready to af-
ford them her aid towards obstructing a measure so dis-
agreeable to herself. It was easy for them to seize the
person of the sovereign. By the assistance of the Eng-
lish fleet, they could render it difficult for any foreign
prince to land in Scotland. The Roman catholics,
now an inconsiderable party in the kingdom, and dispi-
rited by the loss of the earl of Huntly, could give no
obstruction to their designs. To what violent extremes
n Keith, 242. 245.
244 THE HISTORY BOOK m.
1563. the national abhorrence of a foreign yoke might have
~been carried, is manifest from what she had already
seen and experienced.
For these reasons Mary laid aside, at that time, all
thoughts of foreign alliance, and seemed willing to sa-
crifice her own ambition, in order to remove the jea-
lousies of Elizabeth, and to quiet the fears of her own
A parlia- The parliament met this year, for the first time since
May 26. ' tne queen's return into Scotland. Mary's administra-
tion had hitherto been extremely popular. Her mi-
nisters possessed the confidence of the nation ; and, by
consequence, the proceedings of that assembly were
conducted with perfect unanimity. The grant of the
earldom of Murray to the prior of St. Andrew's was
confirmed : the earl of Huntly, and several of his vas-
sals and dependents, were attainted : the attainder
against Kirkaldy of Grange, and some of his accom-
plices in the murder of cardinal Beatoun, was reversed r :
the act of oblivion, mentioned in the treaty of Edin-
burgh, received the royal sanction. But Mary, who
had determined never to ratify that treaty, took care
that this sanction should not be deemed any acknow-
ledgment of its validity ; she granted her consent merely
in condescension to the lords in parliament, who, on
their knees, besought her to allay the jealousies and
apprehensions of her subjects by such a gracious law s .
Nothing No attempt was made, in this parliament, to procure
determined ^ ' . . r . .. . . .
with regard the queen s assent to the laws establishing the protes-
to religion ; f an (; religion. Her ministers, though zealous protestants
themselves, were aware that this could not be urged
without manifest danger and imprudence. She had
consented, through their influence, to tolerate and pro-
tect the reformed doctrine. They had even prevailed
on her to imprison and prosecute the archbishop of St.
Andrew's, and prior of Whithorn, for celebrating mass
T Knot, 330. Parl. 9. Q. Mary, c. 67. Spotsw. 188.
BOOK in. OF SCOTLAND. 245
contrary to her proclamation'. Mary, however, was 1563.
still passionately devoted to the Romish church ; and ~
though, from political motives, she had granted a tem-
porary protection of opinions which she disapproved,
there were no grounds to hope that she would agree
to establish them for perpetuity. The moderation of
those who professed it, was the best method for recon-
ciling the queen to the protestant religion. Time might
abate her bigotry. Her prejudices might wear off gra-
dually, and at last she might yield to the wishes of her
people, what their importunity or their violence could
never have extorted. Many laws of importance were
to be proposed in parliament ; and to defeat all these,
by such a fruitless and ill-timed application to the
queen, would have been equally injurious to individuals
and detrimental to the public.
The zeal of the protestant clergy was deaf to all these which of-
considerations of prudence or policy. Eager and i
patient, it brooked no delay : severe and inflexible, it
would condescend to no compliances. The leading
men of that order insisted, that this opportunity of esta-
blishing religion by law was not to be neglected. They
pronounced the moderation of the courtiers, apostacy ;
and their endeavours to gain the queen, they reckoned
criminal and servile. Knox solemnly renounced the
friendship of the earl of Murray, as a man devoted to
Mary, and so blindly zealous for her service, as to be-
come regardless of those objects which he had hitherto
esteemed most sadred. This rupture, which is a strong
proof of Murray's sincere attachment to the queen at
that period, continued above a year and an half".
The preachers being disappointed by the men in
whom they placed the greatest confidence, gave vent to
their indignation in their pulpits. These echoed more
loudly than ever with declamations against idolatry;
with dismal presages concerning the queen's marriage
1 Keith, 239. " Knox, 331.
THE HISTORY BOOK in.
1563. with a foreigner; and with bitter reproaches against
~~ those who, from interested motives, had deserted that
cause which they once reckoned it their honour to sup-
and occa- port. The people, inflamed by such vehement de-
sions a tu- c i ama (;i ons which were dictated by a zeal more sincere
mult among *
the people, than prudent, proceeded to rash and unjustifiable acts
of violence. During the queen's absence, on a progress
into the west, mass continued to be celebrated in her
August, chapel at Holyrood house. The multitude of those
who openly resorted thither, gave great offence to the
citizens of Edinburgh, who, being free from the re-
straint which the royal presence imposed, assembled in
a riotous manner, interrupted the service, and filled
such as were present with the utmost consternation.
Two of the ringleaders in this tumult were seized, and
a day appointed for their trial x .
Knox tried Knox, who deemed the zeal of these persons laud-
on that ac- gjjie an( j their conduct meritorious, considered them
acquitted, as sufferers in a good cause; and in order to screen
r ' them from danger, he issued circular letters, requiring
all who professed the true religion, or were concerned
for the preservation of it, to assemble at Edinburgh,
on the day of trial, that by their presence they might
comfort and assist their distressed brethren y . One of
these letters fell into the queen's hands. To assemble
the subjects without the authority of the sovereign, was
construed to be treason, and a resolution was taken to
Dec. 15. prosecute Knox for that crime, before the privy council.
Happily for him, his judges were not only zealous pro-
testants, but the very men who, during the late com-
motions, had openly resisted and set at defiance the
queen's authority. It was under precedents drawn
from their own conduct that Knox endeavoured to
shelter himself. Nor would it have been an easy mat-
ter for these counsellors to have found out a distinction,
by which they could censure him without condemning
* Knox, 335. i Ibid. 336.
BOOK HI. OF SCOTLAND. 247
themselves. After a long hearing, to the astonishment 1563.
of Lethington and the other courtiers z , he was unani-
mously acquitted. Sinclair, bishop of Ross, and presi-
dent of the court of session, a zealous papist, heartily
concurred with the other counsellors in this decision a ;
a remarkable fact, which shows the unsettled state of
government in that age; the low condition to which
regal authority was then sunk ; and the impunity with
which subjects might invade those rights of the crown
which are now held sacred. 1564
The marriage of the Scottish queen continued still Negotia-
te be the object of attention and intrigue. Though j^ "*^
Elizabeth, even while she wished to direct Mary, treated the queen's
her with a disgustful reserve; though she kept her, m<
without necessity, in a state of suspense; and hinted
often at the person whom she destined to be her hus-
band, without directly mentioning his name ; yet Mary
framed all her actions to express such a prudent re-
spect for the English queen, that foreign princes began
to imagine she had given herself up implicitly to her
direction 1 *. The prospect of this union alarmed Ca-
therine of Medicis. Though Catherine had taken plea-
sure all along in doing ill offices to the queen of Scots ;
though, soon after the duke of Guise's death, she had
put upon her a most mortifying indignity, by stopping
the payment of her dowry, by depriving her subject,
the duke of Chatelherault, of his pension, and by be-
stowing the command of the Scottish guards on a French-
man e ; she resolved, however, to prevent this dangerous
conjunction of the British queens. For this purpose
she now employed all her art to appease Mary' 1 , to
whom she had given so many causes of offence. The
arrears of her dowry were instantly paid ; more punc-
tual remittances were promised for the future; and
1 Caldeiw. Manuscript Hist. i. 832. a Knox, 343.
Keith, 248. c Ibid. 244.
d See Append. No. VIII.
248 THE HISTORY BOOK HI.
1564. offers made, not only to restore but to extend the pri-
~ vileges of the Scottish nation in France. It was easy
for Mary to penetrate into the motives of this sudden
change ; she well knew the character of her mother-in-
law, and laid little stress upon professions of friendship,
which came from a princess of such a false and unfeel-
The negotiation with England, relative to the mar-
riage, suffered no interruption from this application of
the French queen. As Mary, in compliance with the
wishes of her subjects, and pressed by the strongest
motives of interest, determined speedily to marry, Eli-
zabeth was obliged to break that unaccountable silence
w hi cn s h e had hitherto affected. The secret was dis-
closed, and her favourite lord Robert Dudley, after-
mends Lei- war j s ear ] o f Leicester, was declared to be the happy
cester to ri J
her for a man whom she had chosen to be the husband of a
queen courted by so many princes .
Elizabeth's wisdom and penetration were remarkable
in the choice of her ministers ; in distinguishing her fa-
vourites, those great qualities were less conspicuous.
She was influenced in two cases so opposite, by merit
of very different kinds. Their capacity for business,
their knowledge, their prudence, were the talents to
which alone she attended in choosing her ministers ;
whereas beauty and gracefulness of person, polished
manners, and courtly address, were the accomplishments
on which she bestowed her favour. She acted in the
one case with the wisdom of a queen, in the other she
discovered the weakness of a woman. To this Leicester
owed his grandeur. Though remarkable neither for
eminence in virtue, nor superiority of abilities, the queen's
partiality distinguished him on every occasion. She
raised him to the highest honours, she bestowed on
him the most important employments, and manifested
e Keith, 251.
BOOK in. OF SCOTLAND. 249
an affection so disproportionate to his merit, that, in the 1564.
opinion of that age, it could be accounted for only by ~
the power of planetary influence f .
The high spirit of the Scottish queen could not well Mary of-
bear the first overture of a match with a subject. Her t j," s ec
own rank, the splendour of her former marriage, and
the solicitations at this time of so many powerful princes,
crowded into her thoughts, and made her sensibly feel
how humbling and disrespectful Elizabeth's proposal
was. She dissembled, however, with the English resi-
dent ; and, though she declared, in strong terms, what
a degradation she would deem this alliance, which
brought along with it no advantage that could justify
such neglect of her own dignity, she mentioned the earl
of Leicester, notwithstanding, in terms full of respect 8 .
Elizabeth, we may presume, did not wish that the Elizabeth's
proposal should be received in any other manner. After commend- 6
the extraordinary marks she had given of her own at- in g him -
tachment to Leicester, and while he was still in the very
height of favour, it is not probable she could think seri-
ously of bestowing him upon another. It was not her
aim to persuade, but only to amuse Mary h . Almost
three years were elapsed since her return into Scotland ;
and, though solicited by her subjects, and courted by
the greatest princes in Europe, she had hitherto been
prevented from marrying, chiefly by the artifices of
Elizabeth. If at this time the English queen could
have engaged Mary to listen to her proposal in favour
of Leicester, her power over this creature of her own
would have enabled her to protract the negotiation at
pleasure ; and, by keeping her rival unmarried, she
would have rendered the prospect of her succession less
acceptable to the English.
Leicester's own situation was extremely delicate and
embarrassing. To gain possession of the most amiable
woman of the age, to carry away this prize from so
' Camden, 549. Keith, 252. h Melv. 104, 105.
250 THE HISTORY BOOK in.
1564. many contending princes, to mount the throne of an
~~ ancient kingdom, might have flattered the ambition of
a subject much more considerable than him. He saw
all these advantages, no doubt; and, in secret, they
made their full impression on him. But, without offend-
ing Elizabeth, he durst not venture on the most distant
discovery of his sentiments, or take any step towards
facilitating his acquisition of objects so worthy of desire.
On the other hand, Elizabeth's partiality towards
him, which she was at no pains to conceal 1 , might in-
spire him with hopes of attaining the supreme rank in a
kingdom more illustrious than Scotland. Elizabeth had
often declared that nothing but her resolution to lead a
single life, and his being born her own subject, would
have hindered her from choosing the earl of Leicester
for a husband. Such considerations of prudence are,
however, often surmounted by love ; and Leicester
might flatter himself, that the violence of her affection
would, at length, triumph both over the maxims of