might look on with security, while a storm which she
had raised, wasted the only kingdom which could pos-
sibly disturb its peace.
Mayi. In prosecution of this scheme, she laid before her
P Even the historians of that age acknowledge, that the marriage of the
Scottish queen with a subject was far from being disagreeable to Elizabeth.
Knox, 369. 373. Buchan. 339. Castelnau, who at that time was well
acquainted with the intrigues of both the British courts, asserts, upon
grounds -of great probability, that the match was wholly Elizabeth's own
work ; Casteln. 462. ; and that she rejoiced at the accomplishment of it,
appears from the letters of her own ambassadors. Keith, 280. 288.
BOOK in. OF SCOTLAND. 2G3
privy council the message from the Scottish queen, and 1 565.
consulted them with regard to the answer she should ~
return. Their determination, it is easy to conceive,
was perfectly conformable to her secret views. They
drew up a remonstrance against the intended match,
full of the imaginary dangers with which that event
threatened the kingdom q . Nor did she think it enough Sends
to signify her disapprobation of the measure, either by mo ~ to
Maitland, Mary's ambassador, or by Randolph, her obstruct it.
own resident in Scotland ; in order to add more dignity
to the farce which she chose to act, she appointed sir
Nicholas Throkmorton her ambassador extraordinary.
She commanded him to declare, in the strongest terms,
her dissatisfaction with the step which Mary proposed
to take ; and, at the same time, to produce the deter-
mination of the privy council as an evidence that the
sentiments of the nation were not different from her
own. Not long after, she confined the countess of
Lennox as a prisoner, first in her own house, and then
sent her to the tower r .
Intelligence of all this reached Scotland before the
arrival of the English ambassador. In the first trans-
ports of her indignation, Mary resolved no longer to
keep any measures with Elizabeth ; and sent orders to
Maitland, who accompanied Throkmorton, to return
instantly to the English court, and, in her name, to
declare to Elizabeth that, after having been amused so
long to so little purpose ; after having been fooled and
imposed on so grossly by her artifices; she was now
resolved to gratify her own inclination, and to ask no
other consent but that of her own subjects, in the
choice of an husband. Maitland, with his usual sa-
gacity, foresaw all the effects of such a rash and angry
message, and ventured rather to incur the displeasure
of his mistress, by disobeying her commands, than to
be made the instrument of tearing asunder so violently
J Keith, 274. Sec Append. No. X. r Keith, Append. 161.
264 THE HISTORY BOOK in.
1565. the few remaining ties which still linked together the
two queens s .
Mary herself soon became sensible of her errour.
She received the English ambassador with respect;
justified her own conduct with decency ; and, though
unalterable in her resolution, she affected a wonderful
solicitude to reconcile Elizabeth to the measure ; and
even pretended, out of complaisance towards her, to put
off the consummation of the marriage for some months*.
It is probable, however, that the want of the pope's
dispensation, and the prospect of gaining the consent of
her own subjects, were the real motives of this delay.
Murray's This consent Mary laboured with the utmost industry
Darnly? tO * obtain. The earl of Murray was the person in the
kingdom, whose concurrence was of the greatest im-
portance ; but she had reason to fear that it would not
be procured without extreme difficulty. From the time
of Lennox's return into Scotland, Murray perceived that
the queen's affections began gradually to be estranged
from him. Darnly, Athol, Rizio, all the court favou-
rites, combined against him. His ambitious spirit could
not brook this diminution of his power, which his for-
mer services had so little merited. He retired into the
country, and gave way to rivals with whom he was un-
able to contend u . The return of the earl of Bothwell,
his avowed enemy, who had been accused of a design
upon his life, and who had resided for some tune in
foreign countries, obliged him to attend to his own
safety. No entreaty of the queen could persuade him
to a reconcilement with that nobleman. He insisted on
having him brought to a public trial, and prevailed, by
his importunity, to have a day fixed for it. Bothwell
durst not appear in opposition to a man, who came to
the place of trial attended by five thousand of his fol-
lowers on horseback. He was once more constrained
Keith, 160. ' Keith, 278.
" Ibid. 272. 274. Append. 159.
BOOK in. OF SCOTLAND. 265
to leave the kingdom; but, by the queen's command, 1566.
the sentence of outlawry, which is incurred by non-~
appearance, was not pronounced against him x .
Mary, sensible, at the same time, of how much im- May 8.
portance it was to gain a subject so powerful, and so
popular as the earl of Murray, invited him back to
court, and received him with many demonstrations of
respect and confidence. At last she desired him to
set an example to her other subjects by subscribing a
paper, containing a formal approbation of her marriage
with Darnly. Murray had many reasons to hesitate,
and even to withhold his assent. Darnly had not only
undermined his credit with the queen, but discovered,
on every occasion, a rooted aversion to his person. By
consenting to his elevation to the throne, he would give
him such an accession of dignity and power, as no man
willingly bestows on an enemy; The unhappy conse-
quences which might follow upon a breach with Eng-
land, were likewise of considerable weight with Murray.
He had always openly preferred a confederacy with
England, before the ancient alliance with France. By
his means, chiefly, this change in the system of national
politics had been brought about. A league with Eng-
land had been established; and he could not think of
sacrificing, to a rash and youthful passion, an alliance
of so much utility to the kingdom ; and which he and
the other nobles were bound, by every obligation, to
maintain y . Nor was the interest of religion forgotten
on this occasion. Mary, though surrounded by pro-
testant counsellors, had found means to hold a danger-
ous correspondence with foreign catholics. She had
even courted the pope's protection, who had sent her a
subsidy of eight thousand crowns z . Though Murray
had hitherto endeavoured to bridle the zeal of the re-
formed clergy, and to set the queen's conduct in the
most favourable light, yet her obstinate adherence to
Keith, Append. 160. i Ibid. 169. Ibid. 295. Melv. 114.
266 THE HISTORY BOOK HI.
1565. her own religion could not fail of alarming him ; and
~by her resolution to marry a papist, the hope of re-
claiming her, by an union with a protestant, was for
ever cut off a . Each of these considerations had its in-
fluence on Murray, and all of them determined him to
decline complying, at that time, with the queen's request.
May 14. The convention of nobles, which was assembled a
UonofThe ^ ew ^ avs a ^ ter ' discovered a greater disposition to gra-
nobles ap- tify the queen. Many of them, without hesitation, ex-
the V mar- pressed their approbation of the intended match ; but
ria e - as others were startled at the same dangers which had
alarmed Murray, or were influenced by his example to
refuse their consent, another convention was appointed
at Perth, in order to deliberate more fully concerning
this matter 6 .
Meanwhile, Mary gave a public evidence of her own
inclination, by conferring upon Darnly titles of honour
peculiar to the royal family. The opposition she had
hitherto met with, and the many contrivances employed
to thwart and disappoint her inclination, produced their
usual effect on her heart, they confirmed her passion,
and increased its violence. The simplicity of that age
imputed an affection so excessive to the influence of
witchcraft c . It was owing, however, to no other charm
than the irresistible power of youth and beauty over a
young and tender heart. Darnly grew giddy with his
prosperity. Flattered by the love of a queen, and the
applause of many among her subjects, his natural
haughtiness and insolence became insupportable, and
he could no longer bear advice, far less contradiction.
Lord Ruthven happening to be the first person who
informed him that Mary, in order to sooth Elizabeth,
had delayed for some time creating him duke of Al-
bany, he, in a phrensy of rage, drew his dagger, and
attempted to stab him d . It required all Mary's atten-
Keith, Append. 160. b Keith, 283. Knox, 373.
Keith, 283. .- d Ibid. Append. 160.
BOOK in. OF SCOTLAND. 267
tion, to prevent his falling under that contempt to which 1665.
such behaviour deservedly exposed him.
In no scene of her life was ever Mary's own address Mary's
more remarkably displayed. Love sharpened her in- gafnTng h
vention, and made her study every method of gaining subjects.
her subjects. Many of the nobles she won by her ad-
dress, and more by her promises. On some she be-
stowed lands, to others she gave new titles of honour e .
She even condescended to court the protestant clergy ;
and having invited three of their superintendents to
Stirling, she declared, in strong terms, her resolution
to protect their religion, expressed her willingness to
be present at a conference upon the points in doctrine,
which were disputed between the protestants and pa-
pists, and went so far as to show some desire to hear
such of their preachers as were most remarkable for
their moderation f . By these arts the queen gained
wonderfully upon the people, who, unless then* jea-
lousy be raised by repeated injuries, are always ready
to view the actions of their sovereign with an indulgent
On the other hand, Murray and his associates were
plainly the dupes of Elizabeth's policy. She talked in
so high a strain of her displeasure at the intended
match ; she treated lady Lennox with so much rigour ;
she wrote to the Scottish queen in such high terms;
she recalled the earl of Lennox and his son in such
a peremptory manner, and with such severe denuncia-
tions of her vengeance if they should presume to dis-
obey g ; that all these expressions of aversion fully per-
suaded them of her sincerity. This belief fortified
their scruples with respect to the match, and encou-
raged them to oppose it. They began with forming
among themselves bonds of confederacy and mutual de-
fence ; they entered into a secret correspondence with
the English resident, in order to secure Elizabeth's as-
* Keith, 283. f Knox, 373. f Keith, 285, 286.
268 THE HISTORY BOOK in.
1565. sistance, when it should become needful h ; they endea-
~~voured to fill the nation with such apprehensions of
danger, as might counterbalance the influence of those
arts which the queen had employed.
Schemes of Besides these intrigues, there were secretly carried
Darnly and Qn ^ ^y jjQfjj parties, dark designs of a more criminal na-
against ture, and more suited to the spirit of the age. Darnly,
er< impatient of that opposition, which he imputed wholly
to Murray, and resolving, at any rate, to get rid of such
a powerful enemy, formed a plot to assassinate him,
during the meeting of the convention at Perth. Mur-
ray, on his part, despairing of preventing the marriage
by any other means, had, together with the duke of
Chatelherault and the earl of Argyll, concerted mea-
sures for seizing Darnly, and carrying him a prisoner
If either of these conspiracies had taken effect, this
convention might have been attended with consequences
extremely tragical; but both were rendered abortive,
by the vigilance or good fortune of those against whom
they were formed. Murray, being warned of his danger
by some retainers to the court, who still favoured his
interest, avoided the blow by not going to Perth. Mary,
receiving intelligence of Murray's enterprise, retired
with the utmost expedition, along with Darnly, to the
other side of Forth. Conscious, on both sides, of guilt,
- and inflamed with resentment, it was impossible they
could either forget the violence which themselves had
meditated, or forgive the injuries intended against them.
From that moment all hope of reconcilement was at an
end, and their mutual enmity burst out with every
symptom of implacable hatred '.
Keith, 289. 292. 298.
' The reality of these two opposite conspiracies has given occasion to
many disputes and much contradiction. Some deny that any design was
formed against the life of Murray ; others call in question the truth of the
conspiracy against Darnly. There seem, however, to be plausible reasons
for believing that there is some foundation for what has been asserted with
BOOK in. OF SCOTLAND. 269
On Mary's return to Edinburgh, she summoned her 1565.
vassals by proclamation, and solicited them by her let- ~
regard to both ; though the zeal and credulity of party-writers have added
to each many exaggerated circumstances. The following arguments render
it probsrble that some violence was intended against Murray :
I. 1. This is positively asserted by Buchanan, 341. 2. The English re-
sident writes to Cecil, that Murray was assuredly informed that a design
was formed of murdering him at Perth, and mentions various circumstances
concerning the manner in which the crime was to be committed. If the
whole had been a fiction of his own, or of Murray, it is impossible that he
could have written in this strain to such a discerning minister. Keith, 287.
3. Murray himself constantly and publicly persisted in affirming that such
a design was formed against his life. Keith, App. 108. He was required
by the queen to transmit in writing an account of the conspiracy, which he
pretended had been formed against his life. This he did accordingly ; but,
" when it was brought to her majesty by her servants sent for that purpose,
it appears be her highness and her council, that his purgation in that behalf
was not so sufficient as the matter required." Keith, App. 109. He was,
therefore, summoned to appear within three days before the queen in Holy-
rood-house ; and, in order to encourage him to do so, a safe-conduct was
offered to him. Ibid. Though he had once consented to appear, he after-
wards declined to do so. But whoever considers Murray's situation, and
the character of those who directed Mary's councils at that time, will hardly
deem it a decisive proof of his guilt, that he did not choose to risk his per-
son on such security. 4. The furious passions of Darnly, the fierceness of
his resentment, which scrupled at no violence, and the manners of the age,
render the imputation of such a crime less improbable.
II. That Murray and his associates had resolved to seize Darnly in his
return from Perth, appears with still greater certainty ; 1. From the express
testimony of Melvil, 112; although Buchanan, p. 341, and Knox, p. 377,
affect, without reason, to represent this as an idle rumour. 2. The question
was put to Randolph, Whether the governor of Berwick would receive
Lennox and his son, if they were delivered at that place. His answer was,
" that they would not refuse their own, i. e. their own subjects, in whatso-
ever sort they came unto us, i. e. whether they returned to England volun-
tarily, as they had been required, or were brought thither by force." This
plainly shows, that some such design was in hand, and Randolph did not
discourage it by the answer which he gave. Keith, 290. 3. The precipita-
tion with which the queen retired, and the reason she gave for this sudden
flight, are mentioned by Randolph. Keith, 291. 4. A great part of the
Scottish nobles, and among these the earls of Argyll and Rothes, who were
themselves privy to the design, assert the reality of the conspiracy. Good,
vol. ii. 358.
All these circumstances render the truth of both conspiracies probable.
But we may observe how far this proof, though drawn from public records,
falls short, on both sides, of legal and formal evidence. Buchanan and
1565. ters to repair thither in arms, for the protection of her
Mar sum- P erson against her foreign and domestic enemies k . She
mons her was obeyed with all the promptness and alacrity with
take arms which subjects run to defend a mild and popular ad-
ministration. This popularity, however, she owed, in
a great measure, to Murray, who had directed her ad-
ministration with great prudence. But the crime of
opposing her marriage obliterated the memory of his
former services ; and Mary, impatient of contradiction,
and apt to consider those who disputed her will, as
enemies to her person, determined to let him feel the
whole weight of her vengeance. For this purpose she
summoned him to appear before her upon a short warn-
ing, to answer to such things as should be laid to his
charge 1 . At this very time, Murray and the lords who
adhered to him, were assembled at Stirling, to delibe-
rate what course they should hold in such a difficult
conjuncture. But the current of popular favour ran so
Randolph, in their accounts of the conspiracy against Murray, differ widely
in almost every circumstance. The accounts of the attempt upon Darnly
are not more consistent. Melvil alleges, that the design of the conspirators
was to carry Darnly a prisoner into England ; the proposal made to Ran-
dolph agrees with this. Randolph says, that they intended to carry the
queen to St. Andrew's, and Darnly to Castle Campbell. The lords, in their
declaration, affirm the design of the conspirators to have been to murder
Darnly and his father, to confine the queen in Lochleven during life, and
to usurp the government. To believe implicitly whatever they find in an
ancient paper, is a folly to which, in every age, antiquaries are extremely
prone. Ancient papers, however, often contain no more than the slanders
of a party, and the lie of the day. The declaration of the nobles referred
to, is of this kind ; it is plainly rancorous, and written in the very heat of
faction. Many things asserted in it, are evidently false or exaggerated.
Let Murray and his confederates be as ambitious as we can suppose, they
must have had some pretences, and plausible ones too, before they could
venture to imprison their sovereign for life, and to seize the reins of govern-
ment ; but, at that time, the queen's conduct had afforded no colourable
excuse for proceeding to such extremities. It is likewise remarkable, that
in all the proclamations against Murray, of which so many are published
in Keith, Appendix, 108, etc. neither the violent attempt upon Darnly, nor
that which he is alleged to have formed against the queen herself, are ever
k Keith, 298. ' Ibid. Append. 108.
BOOK in. OF SCOTLAND. 271
strongly against them, and, notwithstanding some fears 1565.
and jealousies, there prevailed in the nation such a ge- ~~
neral disposition to gratify the queen in a matter which
so nearly concerned her, that, without coming to any
other conclusion than to implore the queen of Eng-
land's protection, they put an end to their ineffectual
consultations, and returned every man to his own
Together with this discovery of the weakness of her
enemies, the confluence of her subjects from all corners
of the kingdom afforded Mary an agreeable proof of
her own strength. While the queen was in this pros-
perous situation, she determined to bring to a period
an affair which had so long engrossed her heart and
occupied her attention. On the twenty-ninth of July, Celebrates
she married lord Darnly. The ceremony was performed ^""ith
in the queen's chapel, according to the rites of the Ro- l>arnly.
mish church ; the pope's bull dispensing with their mar-
riage having been previously obtained" 1 . She issued
at the same time proclamations, conferring the title of
king of Scots upon her husband, and commanding that
henceforth all writs at law should run in the joint names
of king and queen ". Nothing can be a stronger proof
of the violence of Mary's love, or the weakness of her
councils, than this last step. Whether she had any
right to choose a husband without consent of parlia-
ment, was, in that age, a matter of some dispute ; that
she had no right to confer upon him, by her private
authority, the title and dignity of king, or by a simple
proclamation to raise her husband to be the master of
her people, seems to be beyond all doubt. Francis the
second, indeed, bore the same title. It was not, how-
ever, the gift of the queen, but of the nation ; and the
consent of parliament was obtained, before he ventured
to assume it. Darnly's condition, as a subject, rendered
"' Keith, 307. n Anderson, i. 33. See Append. No. XI.
272 THE HISTORY BOOK in.
1565. it still more necessary to have the concurrence of the
supreme council in his favour. Such a violent and un-
precedented stretch of prerogative, as the substituting
a proclamation in place of an act of parliament, might
have justly alarmed the nation. But at that time the
queen possessed so entirely the confidence of her sub-
jects, that, notwithstanding all the clamours of the
malecontents, no symptoms of general discontent ap-
peared on that account.
Even amidst that scene of joy which always accom-
panies successful love, Mary did not suffer the course
of her vengeance against the malecontent nobles to be
interrupted. Three days after the marriage, Murray
was again summoned to court, under the severest pe-
nalties, and, upon his non-appearance, the rigour of
justice took place, and he was declared an outlaw?. At
the same time the queen set at liberty lord Gordon,
who, ever since his father's insurrection, in the year one
thousand five hundred and sixty-two, had been detained
a prisoner ; she recalled the earl of Sutherland, who,
on account of his concern in that conspiracy, had fled
into Flanders; and she permitted Bothwell to return
again into Scotland. The first and last of these were
among the most powerful subjects in the kingdom, and
all of them animated with implacable hatred to Murray,
whom they deemed the enemy of their families and the
author of their own sufferings. This common hatred
became the foundation of the strictest union with the
queen, and gained them an ascendant over all her coun-
cils. Murray himself considered this confederacy with
his avowed enemies, as a more certain indication than
any measure she had yet taken, of her inexorable re-
against The malecontents had not yet openly taken up arms' 1 .
P Keith, 309, 310.
i After their fruitless consultation in Stirling, the lords retired to their
own houses. Keith, 304. Murray was still at St. Andrew's on July 22.
Keith, 306. By the places of rendezvous, appointed for the inhabitants of
BOOK in. OF SCOTLAND. 273
But the queen having ordered her subjects to march 1565.
against them, they were driven to the last extremity. 7.
They found themselves unable to make head against his asso-
the numerous forces which Mary had assembled ; and ciates -
fled into Argyleshire, in expectation of aid from Eliza-
beth, to whom they had secretly despatched a messen-
ger, in order to implore her immediate assistance r .
Meanwhile, Elizabeth endeavoured to embarrass Elizabeth
Mary, by a new declaration of disgust at her conduct. ? nte ^ p r ses
She blamed both her choice of lord Darnly, and the favour.
precipitation with which she had concluded the mar-
riage. She required Lennox and Darnly, whom she
still called her subjects, to return into England ; and,
at the same time, she warmly interceded in behalf of
Murray, whose behaviour she represented to be not
only innocent but laudable. This message, so mortify-
ing to the pride of the queen, and so full of contempt
for her husband, was rendered still more insupportable
by the petulant and saucy demeanour of Tamworth, the
person who delivered it 3 . Mary vindicated her own
conduct with warmth, but with great strength of rea-
son ; and rejected the intercession in behalf of Murray,
not without signs of resentment at Elizabeth's pretend-
ing to intermeddle in the internal government of her
kingdom 4 .
She did not, on that account, intermit in the least
the ardour with which she pursued Murray and his
adherents u . They now appeared openly in arms ; and,
the different counties, August 4, it appears that the queen's intention was
to march into Fife, the county in which Murray, Rothes, Kirkaldy, and
other chiefs of the malecontents, resided. Keith, 310. Their flight into the