concern for the safety of the prince and the honour of
their country. But the spirit which some of them dis-
covered during the subsequent revolutions leaves little
m Anders, vol. i. 128. 134. Melv. 163. See Appendix, No. XXI.
Melv. 161. " Keith, 304.
344 THE HISTORY BOOK iv.
1567. room to doubt, that ambition or resentment were the
~~ real motives of their conduct ; and that, on many occa-
sions, while they were pursuing ends just and neces-
sary, they were actuated by principles and passions
The first accounts of this league filled the queen
and Bothwell with great consternation. They were no
strangers to the sentiments of the nation with respect
to their conduct; and though their marriage had not
met with public opposition, they knew that it had not
been carried on without the secret disgust and mur-
murings of all ranks of men. They foresaw the vio-
lence with which this indignation would burst out,
May 28. after having been so long suppressed ; and, in order
to prepare for the storm, Mary issued a proclamation,
requiring her subjects to take arms, and to attend her
husband by a day appointed. At the same time she
published a sort of manifesto, in which she laboured to
vindicate her government from those imputations with
which it had been loaded, and employed the strongest
terms to express her concern for the safety and wel-
fare of the prince her son. Neither of these pro-
duced any considerable effect. Her proclamation was
ill obeyed, and her manifesto met with little credit p .
The queen The confederate lords carried on their preparations
w ll^tf with no less activity, and with much more success.
to Dunbar. Among a warlike people, men of so much power and
popularity found it an easy matter to raise an army.
They were ready to march, before the queen and Both-
well were in a condition,to resist them. The castle of
Edinburgh was the place whither the queen ought
naturally to have retired, and there her person might
have been perfectly safe. But the confederates had
fallen on means to shake or corrupt the fidelity of sir
James Balfour, the deputy governor, and Bothwell
June 6. durst not commit to him such an important trust. He
v Keith, 387. 395, 396.
BOOK iv. OF SCOTLAND. 345
conducted the queen to the castle of Borthwick ; and 1567.
on the appearance of lord Home, with a body of his ~~
followers, before that place, he fled with precipitation
to Dunbar, and was followed by the queen disguised
in men's clothes. The confederates advanced towards
Edinburgh, where Huntly endeavoured, in vain, to ani-
mate the inhabitants to defend the town against them.
They entered without opposition, and were instantly
joined by many of the citizens, whose zeal became the
firmest support of their cause q .
In order to set their own conduct in the most fa-
vourable light, and to rouse the public indignation
against Bothwell, the nobles published a declaration
of the motives which had induced them to take arms.
All Bothwell's past crimes were enumerated, all his
wicked intentions displayed and aggravated, and every
true Scotchman was called upon to join them in aveng-
ing the one and in preventing the other r .
Meanwhile, Bothwell assembled his forces at Dun-
bar; and as he had many dependents in that corner,
he soon gathered such strength, that he ventured to
advance towards the confederates. Their troops were
not numerous ; the suddenness and secrecy of their
enterprise gave their friends at a distance no time to
join them ; and, as it does not appear that they were
supported either with money, or fed with hopes, by
the queen of England, they could not have kept long
in a body. But, on the other hand, Bothwell durst
not risk a delay s . His army followed him with reluct-
ance in this quarrel, and served him with no cordial
affection ; so that his only hope of success was in sur-
prising the enemy, or in striking the blow before his
own troops had leisure to recollect themselves, or to
imbibe the same unfavourable opinion of his actions,
which had spread over the rest of the nation. These
i Keith, 398. r Anders, vol. i. 128. Keith, 401.
346 THE HISTORY BOOK iv.
1567. motives determined the queen to march forward with
~ an inconsiderate and fatal speed.
The nobles On the first intelligence of her approach, the con-
against federates advanced to meet her. They found her
them. forces drawn up almost on the same ground which the
English had occupied before the "battle of Pinkie.
The numbers on both sides were nearly equal; but
there was no equality in point of discipline. The
queen's army consisted chiefly of a multitude, hastily
assembled, without courage or experience in war. The
troops of the confederates were composed of gentlemen
of rank and reputation, followed by their most trusty
dependents, who were no less brave than zealous *.
An accom- Le Croc, the French ambassador, who was in the
field laboured, by negotiating both with the queen
and the nobles, to put an end to the quarrel without
the effusion of blood. He represented to the confe-
derates the queen's inclinations towards peace, and her
willingness to pardon the offences which they had com-
mitted. Morton replied with warmth, that they had
taken arms not against the queen, but against the mur-
derer of her husband ; and if he were given up to jus-
tice, or banished from her presence, she should find
them ready to yield the obedience which is due from
subjects to their sovereign. Glencairn added, that
they did not come to ask pardon for any offence, but
to punish those who had offended. Such haughty
answers convinced the ambassador that his mediation
would be ineffectual, and that their passions were too
high to allow them to listen to any pacific proposi-
tions, or to think of retreating after having* proceeded
so far u .
The queen's army was posted to advantage on a ri-
sing ground. The confederates advanced to the attack
resolutely, but slowly, and with the caution which was
Cald. vol. ii. 48, 49. " Keith, 401.
BOOK iv. OF SCOTLAND. 347
natural on that unhappy field. Her troops were 1367.
alarmed at their approach, and discovered no inclina-~~
tion to fight. Mary endeavoured to animate them;
she wept, she threatened, she reproached them with
cowardice, but all in vain. A few of Bothwell's imme-
diate attendants were eager for the encounter; the
rest stood wavering and irresolute, and some began
to steal out of the field. Bothwell attempted to in-
spirit them, by offering to decide the quarrel, and to
vindicate his own innocence, in single combat with
any of his adversaries. Kirkaldy of Grange, Murray
of Tullibardin, and lord Lindsay, contended for the
honour of entering the lists against him. But this
challenge proved to be a mere bravado. Either the
consciousness of guilt deprived Bothwell of his wonted
courage, or the queen, by her authority, forbade the
After the symptoms of fear discovered by her fol-
lowers, Mary would have been inexcusable had she
hazarded a battle. To have retreated in the face of
an enemy who had already surrounded the hill on
which she stood, with part of their cavalry, was utterly
impracticable. In this situation, she was under the
cruel necessity of putting herself into the hands of
those subjects who had taken arms against her. She
demanded an interview with Kirkaldy, a brave and
generous man, who commanded an advanced body of
the enemy. He, with the consent and in the name of
the leaders of the party, promised that, on condition
she would dismiss Bothwell from her presence, and
govern the kingdom by the advice of her nobles, they
would honour and obey her as their sovereign y .
During this parley, Bothwell took his last farewell Bothwell
of the queen, and rode off the field with a few follow- bll ed to
ers. This dismal reverse happened exactly one month
after that marriage which had cost him so many crimes
* Cald. vol. ii. 50. 1 Good. vol. ii. 164. Melv. 165.
348 THE HISTORY BOOK iv.
1567. to accomplish, and which leaves so foul a stain on
Marysur- As soon as Bothwell retired, Mary surrendered to
the noble" Kirkaldy , who conducted her toward the confederate
army, the leaders of which received her with much
respect; and Morton, in their name, made ample pro-
fessions of their future loyalty and obedience 2 . But
she was treated by the common soldiers with the ut-
most insolence and indignity. As she marched along,
they poured upon her all the opprobrious names which
are bestowed only on the lowest and most infamous
criminals. Wherever she turned her eyes, they held
up before her a standard, on which was painted the
dead body of the late king, stretched on the ground,
and the young prince kneeling before it, and uttering
these words, " Judge and revenge my cause, O Lord!"
Mary turned with horrour from such a shocking sight.
She began already to feel the wretched condition to
which a captive prince is reduced. She uttered the
most bitter complaints, she melted into tears, and
could hardly be kept from sinking to the ground. The
confederates conducted her towards Edinburgh ; and,
in spite of many delays, and after looking, with the
fondness and credulity natural to the unfortunate, for
some extraordinary relief, she arrived there. The
streets were covered with multitudes, whom zeal or
curiosity had drawn together, to behold such an un-
usual scene. The queen, worn out with fatigue,
covered with dust, and bedewed with tears, was ex-
posed as a spectacle to her own subjects, and led to
the provost's house. Notwithstanding all her argu-
ments and entreaties, the same standard was carried
before her, and the same insults and reproaches re-
peated". A woman, young, beautiful, and in distress,
is naturally the object of compassion. The comparison
of their present misery with their former splendour,
1 Good. vol. ii. 165. * Melv. 166. Buch. 364.
BOOK iv. OF SCOTLAND. 349
usually softens us in favour of illustrious sufferers. 1567.
But the people beheld the deplorable situation of their ~
sovereign with insensibility ; and so strong was their
persuasion of her guilt, and so great the violence of
their indignation, that the sufferings of their queen did
not, in any degree, mitigate their resentment, or pro-
cure her that sympathy which is seldom denied to un-
HISTORY OF SCOTLAND.
THE FIFTH BOOK.
1567. THE confederate lords had proceeded to such ex-
Delibera- tremities against their sovereign, that it now became
turns of the a l mos t impossible for them either to stop short, or to
nobles con- .
ceming the pursue a course less violent. Many of the nobles had
refused to concur with them in their enterprise ; others
openly condemned it. A small circumstance might
abate that indignation with which the multitude were
at present animated against the queen, and deprive
them of that popular applause which was the chief
foundation of their power. These considerations in-
clined some of them to treat the queen with great
But, on the other hand, Mary's affection for Both-
well continued as violent as ever; she obstinately re-
fused to hearken to any proposal for dissolving their
marriage, and determined not to abandon a man, for
whose love she had already sacrificed so much a . If
they should allow her to recover the supreme power,
the first exertion of it would be to recall Bothwell ; and
they had reason, both from his resentment, from her
conduct, and from their own, to expect the severest
effects of her vengeance. These considerations sur-
mounted every other motive ; and, reckoning themselves
absolved by Mary's incurable attachment to Bothwell,
from the engagements which they had come under,
a Keith, 419. 446. 449. Melv. 167. See Appendix, No. XXII.
BOOK v. OF SCOTLAND. 351
when she yielded herself a prisoner, they, without re- 157.
garding the duty which they owed her as their queen, ~
and without consulting the rest of the nobles, carried
her next evening, under a strong guard, to the castle
of Lochlevin, and signed a warrant to William Douglas, They im
the owner of it, to detain her as a prisoner. Thisjj
castle is situated in a small island in the middle of a
lake. Douglas, to whom it belonged, was a near rela-
tion of Morton's, and had married the earl of Murray's
mother. In this place, under strict custody, with a few
attendants, and subjected to the insults of a haughty
woman, who boasted daily of being the lawful wife of
James the fifth, Mary suffered all the rigour and
miseries of captivity 11 .
Immediately after the queen's imprisonment the con-
federates were at the utmost pains to strengthen their
party; they entered into new bonds of association;
they assumed the title of ' lords of the secret council,'
and, without any other right, arrogated to them-
selves the whole regal authority. One of their first
acts of power was to search the city of Edinburgh
for such as had been concerned in the murder of the
king. This show of zeal gained reputation to them-
selves, and threw an oblique reflection on the queen
for her remissness. Several suspected persons were
seized. Captain Blackadder and three others were
condemned and executed. But no discovery of import-
ance was made. If we believe some historians, they
were convicted by sufficient evidence. If we give credit
to others, their sentence was unjust, and they denied,
with their last breath, any knowledge of the crime for
which they suffered .
An unexpected accident, however, put into the hands
of Mary's enemies what they deemed the fullest evi-
dence of her guilt. Bothwell having left in the castle
of Edinburgh a casket, containing several sonnets and
b , Keith, 403. note (b). ' Cald. vol. ii. 53. Crawf. Mem. 35.
1567. letters written with the queen's own hand ; he now sent
"~ one of his confidents to bring to him this precious de-
posite. But as his messenger returned, he was inter-
cepted, and the casket seized by Morton d . The con-
tents of it were always produced by the party, as the
most ample justification of their own conduct; and to
these they continually appealed, as the most unanswer-
able proof of their not having loaded their sovereign
with the imputation of imaginary crimes*.
Some of the But the confederates, notwithstanding their extraor-
dinary success, were still far from being perfectly at
ease. That so small a part of the nobles should pre-
tend to dispose of the person of their sovereign, or to
assume the authority which belonged to her, without
the concurrence of the rest, was deemed by many of
that body to be unprecedented and presumptuous.
Several of these were now assembled at Hamilton, in
order to deliberate what course they should hold in
this difficult conjuncture. The confederates made
some attempts towards a coalition with them, but with-
out effect. They employed the mediation of the as-
sembly of the church, to draw them to a personal inter-
view at Edinburgh, but with no better success. That
party, however, though its numbers were formidable,
and the power of its leaders great, soon lost reputation
by the want of unanimity and vigour ; all its consulta-
tions evaporated in murmurs and complaints, and no
scheme was concerted for obstructing the progress of
the confederates f .
There appeared some prospect of danger from an-
other quarter. This great revolution in Scotland had
been carried on without any aid from Elizabeth, and
even without her knowledge 6 . Though she was far
from being displeased at seeing the affairs of that king-
in her be-
d Anders, vol. ii. 92. Good. vol. ii. 90.
e See Dissertation at the end of the History.
f Keith, 407. r Ibid. 415.
BOOK v. OF SCOTLAND. 353
dom embroiled, or a rival, whom she hated, reduced to 1567 -
distress; she neither wished that it should be in the
power of the one faction entirely to suppress the other,
nor could she view the steps taken by the confederates
without great offence. Notwithstanding the popular
maxims by which she governed her own subjects, her
notions of royal prerogative were very exalted. The
confederates had, in her opinion, encroached on the
authority of their sovereign, which they had no right
to control, and had offered violence to her person,
which it was their duty to esteem sacred. They had
set a dangerous example to other subjects, and Mary's
cause became the common cause of princes' 1 . If ever
Elizabeth was influenced with regard to the affairs of
Scotland by the feelings of her heart, rather than by
considerations of interest, it was on this occasion. Mary,
in her present condition, degraded from her throne,
and covered with the infamy attending an accusation of
such atrocious crimes, could be no longer the object of
Elizabeth's jealousy, either as a woman or as a queen.
Sympathy with a sovereign in distress seems, for a mo-
ment, to have touched a heart not very susceptible of
tender sentiments; and, while these were yet warm,
she despatched Throkmorton into Scotland, with power June 30.
to negotiate both with the queen and with the confede-
rates. In his instructions there appears a remarkable
solicitude for Mary's liberty, and even for her reputa-
tion; and the terms upon which she proposed to re-
establish concord between the queen and her subjects,
appear to be so reasonable and well-digested, as might
have ensured the safety and happiness of both. Zea-
lous as Throkmorton was to accomplish this, all his
endeavours and address proved ineffectual. He found
not only the confederate nobles, but the nation in
general, so far alienated from the queen, and so much
offended with the indecent precipitancy of her marriage
" Keith, 412. 415.
VOL. I. A a
354 THE HISTORY BOOK v.
1567: with the reputed murderer of her former husband, as
to be incapable of listening to any proposition in her
During the state of anarchy occasioned by the im-
prisonment of the queen, and the dissolution of the
established government, which afforded such ample
scope for political speculation, four different schemes
had been proposed for the settlement of the nation.
One, that Mary should be replaced upon the throne,
but under various and strict limitations. The second,
that she should resign the crown to her son, and, re-
tiring out of the kingdom, should reside, during the
remainder of her days, either in England or in France.
The third, that Mary should be brought to public
trial for her crimes, and, after conviction, of which
no doubt was entertained, should be kept in perpetual
imprisonment. The fourth, that after trial and con-
demnation, capital punishment should be inflicted upon
her. Throkmorton, though disposed, as well by his
own inclination as in conformity to the spirit of his in-
structions, to view matters in the light most favourable
to Mary, informed his court, that the milder schemes,
recommended by Maitland alone, would undoubtedly
be reprobated, and one of the more rigorous carried
In justification of this rigour, the confederates main-
tained that Mary's affection for Bothwell was still un-
abated, and openly avowed by her; that she rejected
with disdain every proposal for dissolving their mar-
riage ; and declared, that she would forego every conir
fort, and endure any extremity, rather than give her
consent to that measure. While these were her senti-
ments, they contended, that concern for the public
welfare, as well as attention to their own safety, ren-
dered it necessary to put it out of the queen's power to
restore a daring man, exasperated by recent injuries, to
his former station, which must needs prove fatal to
both. Notwithstanding their solicitude to conciliate the
BOOK v. OF SCOTLAND. 355
good-will of Elizabeth, they foresaw clearly what would [567.
be the effect, at this juncture, of Throkmorton's inter- "~
position in behalf of the queen, and that she, elated
with the prospect of protection, would refuse to listen
to the overtures which they were about to make to her.
For this reason they peremptorily denied Throkmor-
ton access to their prisoner; and what propositions
he made to them in her behalf they either refused or
Meanwhile, they deliberated with the utmost anxiety Schemes of
concerning the settlement of the nation, and the future
disposal of the queen's person. Elizabeth, observing
that Throkmorton made no progress in his negotiations
with them, and that they would listen to none of his
demands in Mary's favour, turned towards that party
of the nobles who were assembled at Hamilton, incited
them to take arms in order to restore their queen to
liberty, and promised to assist them in such an attempt
to the utmost of her power k . But they discovered no
greater union and vigour than formerly, and, behaving
like men who had given up all concern either for their
queen or their country, tamely allowed an inconsider-
able part of their body, whether we consider it with
respect to numbers or to power, to settle the govern-
ment of the kingdom, and to dispose of the queen's
person at pleasure. Many consultations were held,
and various opinions arose with regard to each of these.
Some seemed desirous of adhering to the plan, on which
the confederacy was at first formed ; and after punish-
ing the murderers of the king, and dissolving the mar-
riage with Bothwell; after providing for the safety of
the young prince, and the security of the protestant
religion ; they proposed to reestablish the queen in the
possession of her legal authority. The success with
which their arms had been accompanied, inspired
others with bolder and more desperate thoughts, and
1 Keith, 417. 427. " See Appendix, No. XXIII.
356 THE HISTORY BOOK v.
1567. nothing less would satisfy them than the trial, the con-
demnation, and punishment of the queen herself, as the
principal conspirator against the life of her husband
and the safety of her son 1 : the former was Maitland's
system, and breathed too much of a pacific and mode-
rate spirit, to be agreeable to the temper or wishes of
the party. The latter was recommended by the clergy,
and warmly adopted by many laics; but the nobles
durst not, or would not, venture on such an unprece-
dented and audacious deed 1 ".
They oblige Both parties agreed at last upon a scheme, neither so
the queen to m0( j erat;e ag fa e Q nor so daring a s the other. Mary
resign the ' J
govern- was to be persuaded or forced to resign the crown ; the
young prince was to be proclaimed king ; and the earl
of Murray was to be appointed to govern the kingdom,
during his minority, with the name and authority of re-
gent. With regard to the queen's own person, nothing
was determined. It seems to have been the intention
of the confederates to keep her in perpetual imprison-
ment ; but, in order to intimidate herself, and to over-
awe her partisans, they still reserved to themselves the
power of proceeding to more violent extremes.
It was obvious to foresee difficulties in the execu-
tion of this plan. Mary was young, ambitious, high-
spirited, and accustomed to command. To induce her
to acknowledge her own incapacity for governing, to
renounce the dignity and power which she was born to
enjoy, to become dependent on her own subjects, to
consent to her own bondage, and to invest those persons
whom she considered as the authors of all her calamities,
with that honour and authority of which she herself
was stripped, were points hard to be gained. These,
however, the confederates attempted, and they did not
Keith, 420, 421, 422. 582.
m The intention of putting the queen to death seems to have been carried
on by some of her subjects : at this time we often find Elizabeth boasting
that Mary owed her life to her interposition, pigges's Compl. Amb. 14,
etc. See Appendix, No. XVIII.
BOOK v. OF SCOTLAND. 357
want means to ensure success. Mary had endured, for 1567.
several weeks, all the hardships and terrour of a prison; ~
no prospect of liberty appeared ; none of her subjects
had either taken arms, or so much as solicited her
relief ; no person, in whom she could confide, was
admitted into her presence ; even the ambassadors of
the French king, and queen of England, were refused
access to her. In this solitary state, without a counsel-
lor, or a friend, under the pressure of distress and the
apprehension of danger, it was natural for a woman to
hearken almost to any overtures. The confederates
took advantage of her condition and of her fears.