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variously stated) from Sadleir. "He saith, whatever pretence they make,
the principal mark they shoot at is to make an alteration of the State
and authority." This at least is explicit enough. The Reformers were
actually renewing the civil war on charges so stale and so false. The
Duke had possibly promised to desert her if she broke the truce, and now
he seized on the flimsy pretence, because the Congregation, as the
leaders said, had "tempted him" sufficiently. They had come up to his
price. Arran, the hoped-for Hamilton king, the hoped-for husband of the
Queen of England, had arrived, and with Arran the Duke joined the
Reformers. About September 20 they forbade the Regent to fortify Leith.

The brethren say that they have given no "provocation." Six weeks
earlier they had requested England to help them to seize and hold
Broughty Castle, though the Regent may not have known that detail.

The Regent replied as became her, and Glencairn, with Erskine of Dun,
wrecked the rich abbey of Paisley. The brethren now broke the truce with
a vengeance.


Though the Regent was now to be deposed and attacked by armed force, Knox
tells us that there were dissensions among her enemies. Some held "that
the Queen was heavily done to," and that the leaders "sought another end
than religion." Consequently, when the Lords with their forces arrived
at Edinburgh on October 16, the local brethren showed a want of
enthusiasm. The Congregation nevertheless summoned the Regent to depart
from Leith, and on October 21 met at the Tolbooth to discuss her formal
deposition from office. Willock moved that this might lawfully be done.
Knox added, with more reserve than usual, that their hearts must not be
withdrawn from their King and Queen, Mary and Francis. The Regent, too,
ought to be restored when she openly repented and submitted. Willock
dragged Jehu into his sermon, but Knox does not appear to have remarked
that Francis and Mary were Ahab and Jezebel, idolaters. He was now in a
position of less freedom and more responsibility than while he was a
wandering prophet at large.

On October 24 the Congregation summoned Leith, having deposed the Regent
_in the name of the King and Queen, Francis and Mary_, and of themselves
as Privy Council! They did more. They caused one James Cocky, a gold
worker, to forge the great seal of Francis and Mary, "wherewith they
sealed their pretended laws and ordinances, tending to constrain the
subjects of the kingdom to rebel and favour their usurpations." Their
proclamations with the forged seal they issued at St. Andrews, Glasgow,
Linlithgow, Perth, and elsewhere; using this seal in their letters to
noblemen, who were ordered to obey Arran. The gold worker, whose name is
variously spelled in the French record, says that the device for the
coins which the Congregation meant to issue and ordered him to execute
was on one side a cross with a crown of thorns, on the other the words
VERBUM DEI. The artist, Cocky, was dilatory, and when the brethren were
driven out of Edinburgh he gave the dies, unfinished, to John Achison,
the chief official of the Mint, who often executed coins of Queen Mary.
{158a} As Professor Hume Brown says of the audacious statement of the
brethren, that they acted in the name of their King and Queen, their use
of the forged Royal seal, "as covering their action with an appearance of
law, served its purpose in their appeals to the people." Cocky and
Kirkcaldy were hanged by Morton in 1573.

The idea of forging the great seal may have arisen in the fertile brain
of Lethington, who about October 25 had at last deserted the Regent, and
now took Knox's place as secretary of the Congregation. Henceforth their
manifestoes say little about religion, and a great deal about the French
design to conquer Scotland. {158b}

To the wit of Lethington we may plausibly attribute a proposal which, on
October 25, Knox submitted to Croft. {159} It was that England should
lend 1000 men for the attack on the Regent in Leith. Peace with France
need not be broken, for the men may come as private adventurers, and
England may denounce them as rebels. Croft declined this proposal as
dishonourable, and as too clearly a breach of treaty. Knox replied that
he had communicated Croft's letter "to such as partly induced me before
to write" (October 29). Very probably Lethington suggested the idea,
leaving the burden of its proposal on Knox. Dr. M'Crie says that it is a
solitary case of the Reformer's recommending dissimulation; but the
proceeding was in keeping with Knox's previous statements about the
nature of the terms made in July; with the protestations of loyalty; with
the lie given to Mary of Guise when she spoke, on the whole, the plain
truth; and generally with the entire conduct of the prophet and of the
Congregation. Dr. M'Crie justly remarks that Knox "found it difficult to
preserve integrity and Christian simplicity amidst the crooked wiles of
political intrigue."

On the behaviour of the godly heaven did not smile - for the moment.
Scaling-ladders had been constructed in St. Giles's church, "so that
preaching was neglected." "The preachers spared not openly to say that
they feared the success of that enterprise should not be prosperous," for
this reason, "God could not suffer such contempt of His word . . . long
to be unpunished." The Duke lost heart; the waged soldiers mutinied for
lack of pay; Morton deserted the cause; Bothwell wounded Ormiston as he
carried money from Croft, and seized the cash {160a} - behaving
treacherously, if it be true that he was under promise not to act against
the brethren. The French garrison of Leith made successful sorties; and
despite the valour of Arran and Lord James and the counsel of Lethington,
the godly fled from Edinburgh on November 5, under taunts and stones cast
by the people of the town.

The fugitives never stopped till they reached Stirling, when Knox
preached to them. He lectured at great length on discomfitures of the
godly in the Old Testament, and about the Benjamites, and the Levite and
his wife. Coming to practical politics, he reminded his audience that
after the accession of the Hamiltons to their party, "there was nothing
heard but This lord will bring these many hundred spears . . . if this
Earl be ours, no man in such a district will trouble us." The Duke ought
to be ashamed of himself. Before Knox came to Scotland we know he had
warned the brethren against alliance with the Hamiltons. The Duke had
been on the Regent's side, "yet without his assistance they could not
have compelled us to appoint with the Queen upon such unequal conditions"
in the treaty of July. So the terms _were_ in favour of the Regent,
after all is said and done! {160b}

God had let the brethren fall, Knox said, into their present condition
because they put their trust in man - in the Duke - a noble whose
repentance was very dubious.

Then Knox rose to the height of the occasion. "Yea, whatsoever becomes
of us and our mortal carcases, I doubt not but that this Cause (in
despite of Satan) shall prevail in the realm of Scotland. For as it is
the eternal truth of the eternal God, so shall it once prevail . . ."
Here we have the actual genius of Knox, his tenacity, his courage in an
uphill game, his faith which might move mountains. He adjured all to
amendment of life, prayer, and charity. "The minds of men began to be
wonderfully erected." In Arran and Lord James too, manifestly not
jealous rivals, Randolph found "more honour, stoutness, and courage than
in all the rest" (November 3).

Already, before the flight, Lethington was preparing to visit England.
The conduct of diplomacy with England was thus in capable hands, and
Lethington was a persona grata to the English Queen. Meanwhile the
victorious Regent behaved with her wonted moderation. "She pursueth no
man that hath showed himself against her at this time." She pardoned all
burgesses of Edinburgh, and was ready to receive the Congregation to her
grace, if they would put away the traitor Lethington, Balnaves, and some
others. {161a} Knox, however, says that she gave the houses of the most
honest men to the French. The Regent was now very ill; graviter
aegrotat, say Francis and Mary (Dec. 4, 1559). {161b}

The truth is that the Cause of Knox, far from being desperate, as for an
hour it seemed to the faint-hearted, had never looked so well. Cecil and
the English Council saw that they were committed; their gift of money was
known, they must bestir themselves. While they had "nourished the
garboil" in Scotland, fanned the flame, they professed to believe that
France was aiming, through Scotland, at England. They arranged for a
large levy of forces at Berwick; they promised money without stint: and
Cecil drew up the paper adopted, as I conceive, by the brethren in their
Latin appeal to all Christian princes. The Scots were to say that they
originally took arms in defence of their native dynasty (the Hamiltons),
Mary Stuart having no heirs of her body, and France intending to annex
Scotland - which was true enough, but was not the cause of the rising at
Perth. That England is also aimed at is proved by the fact that Mary and
Francis, on the seal of Scotland, quarter the arms of England. Knox
himself had seen, and had imparted the fact to Cecil, a jewel on which
these fatal heraldic pretensions were made. The Queen is governed by
"the new authority of the House of Guise." In short, Elizabeth must be
asked to intervene for these political reasons, not in defence of the
Gospel, and large preparations for armed action in Scotland were
instantly made. Meanwhile Cecil's sketch of the proper manifesto for the
Congregation to make, was embodied in Lethington's instructions (November
24) from the Congregation, as well as adapted in their Latin appeal to
Christian princes.

We may suppose that a man of Knox's unbending honesty was glad to have
thrown off his functions as secretary to the brethren. Far from
disclaiming their idolatrous King and Queen (the ideal policy), they were
issuing proclamations headed "Francis and Mary," and bearing the forged
signet. Examples with the seal were, as late as 1652, in the possession
of the Erskine of Dun of that day. In them Francis and Mary denounce the
Pope as Antichrist! Keith, who wrote much later, styles these
proclamations "pretty singular," and Knox must have been of the same

After Lethington took the office of secretary to the Congregation, Knox
had for some time no great public part in affairs. Fife was invaded by
"these bloody worms," as he calls the French; and he preached what he
tells us was a "comfortable sermon" to the brethren at Cupar. But
Lethington had secured the English alliance: Lord Grey was to lead 4000
foot and 2000 horse to the Border; Lord Winter with fourteen ship set
sail, and was incommoded by a storm, in which vessels of d'Elboeuf, with
French reinforcements for the Regent, were, some lost, some driven back
to harbour. As in Jacobite times, French aid to the loyal party was
always unfortunate, and the arrival of Winter's English fleet in the
Forth caused d'Oysel to retreat out of Fife back to Leith. He had nearly
reached St. Andrews, where Knox dwelt in great agony of spirit. He had
"great need of a good horse," probably because, as in October 1559, money
was offered for his head. But private assassination had no terrors for
the Reformer. {163}

Knox, as he wrote to a friend on January 29, 1560, had forsaken all
public assemblies and retired to a life of study, because "I am judged
among ourselves too extreme." When the Duke of Norfolk, with the English
army, was moving towards Berwick, where he was to make a league with the
Protestant nobles of Scotland, Knox summoned Chatelherault, and the
gentlemen of his party, then in Glasgow. They wished Norfolk to come to
them by Carlisle, a thing inconvenient to Lord James. Knox chid them
sharply for sloth, and want of wisdom and discretion, praising highly the
conduct of Lord James. They had "unreasonable minds." "Wise men do
wonder what my Lord Duke's friends do mean, that are so slack and
backward in this Cause." The Duke did not, however, write to France with
an offer of submission. That story, ben trovato but not vero, rests on a
forgery by the Regent! {164} The fact is that the Duke was not a true
Protestant, his advisers, including his brother the Archbishop, were
Catholics, and the successes of d'Oysel in winter had terrified him; but,
seeing an English army at hand, he assented to the league with England at
Berwick, as "second person of the realm of Scotland" (February 27, 1560).
Elizabeth "accepted the realm of Scotland" - Chatelherault being
recognised as heir-apparent to the throne thereof - for so long as the
marriage of Queen Mary and Francis I. endured, and a year later. The
Scots, however, remain dutiful subjects of Queen Mary, they say, except
so far as lawless attempts to make Scotland a province of France are
concerned. Chatelherault did not _sign_ the league till May 10, with
Arran, Huntly, Morton (at last committed to the Cause), and the usual
leaders of the Congregation.

With the details of the siege of Leith, and with the attempts at
negotiation, we are not here concerned. France, in fact, was powerless
to aid the Regent. Since the arrival of Throckmorton in France, as
ambassador of England, in the previous summer (1559), the Huguenots had
been conspiring. They were in touch with Geneva, in the east; on the
north, in Brittany, they appear to have been stirred up by Tremaine, a
Cornish gentleman, and emissary of Cecil, who joined Throckmorton at
Blois, in March 1560. Stories were put about that the young French King
was a leper, and was kidnapping fair-haired children, in whose blood he
meant to bathe. The Huguenots had been conspiring ever since September
1559, when they seem to have sent to Elizabeth for aid in money. {165a}
More recently they had held a kind of secret convention at Nantes, and
summoned bands who were to lurk in the woods, concentrate at Amboise,
attack the chateau, slay the Guises, and probably put the King and Queen
Mary under the Prince de Conde, who was by the plotters expected to take
the part which Arran played in Scotland. It is far from certain that
Conde had accepted the position. In all this we may detect English
intrigue and the gold of Elizabeth. Calvin had been consulted; he
disapproved of the method of the plot, still more of the plot itself. But
he knew all about it. "All turns on killing Antonius," he wrote,
"Antonius" being either the Cardinal or the Duc de Guise. {165b}

The conspiracy failed at Amboise, on March 17-19, 1560. Throckmorton was
present, and describes the panic and perplexity of the Court, while he
eagerly asks to be promptly and secretly recalled, as suspicion has
fallen on himself. He sent Tremaine home through Brittany, where he
gathered proposals for betraying French towns to Elizabeth, rather
prematurely. Surrounded by treachery, and destitute of funds, the Guises
could not aid the Regent, and Throckmorton kept advising Cecil to "strike
while the iron was hot," and paralyse French designs. The dying Regent
of Scotland never lost heart in circumstances so desperate.

Even before the outbreak at Perth, Mary of Guise had been in very bad
health. When the English crossed the Border to beleaguer Leith, Lord
Erskine, who had maintained neutrality in Edinburgh Castle, allowed her
to come there to die (April 1, 1560).

On April 29, from the Castle of Edinburgh, she wrote a letter to d'Oysel,
commanding in Leith. She told him that she was suffering from dropsy;
"one of her legs begins to swell. . . . You know there are but three
days for the dropsy in this country." The letter was intercepted by her
enemies, and deciphered. {166a} On May 7, the English and Scots made an
assault, and were beaten back with loss of 1000 men. According to Knox,
the French stripped the fallen, and allowed the white carcases to lie
under the wall, as also happened in 1746, after the English defeat at
Falkirk. The Regent saw them, Knox says, from the Castle, and said they
were "a fair tapestry." "Her words were heard of some," and carried to
Knox, who, from the pulpit, predicted "that God should revenge that
contumely done to his image . . . even in such as rejoiced thereat. And
the very experience declared that he was not deceived, for within few
days thereafter (yea, some say that same day) began her belly and
loathsome legs to swell, and so continued, till that God did execute his
judgments upon her." {166b}

Knox wrote thus on May 16, 1566. {167a} He was a little irritated at
that time by Queen Mary's triumph over his friends, the murderers of
Riccio, and his own hasty flight from Edinburgh to Kyle. This may excuse
the somewhat unusual and even unbecoming nature of his language
concerning the dying lady, but his memory was quite wrong about his
prophecy. The symptoms of the Regent's malady had begun more than a week
before the Anglo-Scottish defeat at Leith, and the nature of her
complaint ought to have been known to the prophet's party, as her letter,
describing her condition, had been intercepted and deciphered. But the
deciphering may have been done in England, which would cause delay. We
cannot, of course, prove that Knox was informed as to the Regent's malady
before he prophesied; if so, he had forgotten the fact before he wrote as
he did in 1566. But the circumstances fail to demonstrate that he had a
supernormal premonition, or drew a correct deduction from Scripture, and
make it certain that the Regent did not fall ill after his prophecy.

The Regent died on June 11, half-an-hour after the midnight of June 10. A
report was written on June 13, from Edinburgh Castle, to the Cardinal of
Lorraine, by Captain James Cullen, who some twelve years later was hanged
by the Regent Morton. He says that since June 7, Lord James and Argyll,
Marischal, and Glencairn, had assiduously attended on the dying lady. Two
hours before her death she spoke apart for a whole hour with Lord James.
Chatelherault had seen her twice, and Arran once. {167b} Knox mentions
the visits of these lords, and says that d'Oysel was forbidden to speak
with her, "belike she would have bidden him farewell, for auld
familiarity was great."

According to Knox, the Regent admitted the errors of her policy,
attributing it to Huntly, who had deserted her, and to "the wicked
counsel of her friends," that is, her brothers. At the request of the
Lords, she saw Willock, and said, as she naturally would, that "there was
no salvation but in and by the death of Jesus Christ." "She was
compelled . . . to approve the chief head of our religion, wherein we
dissent from all papists and popery." Knox had strange ideas about the
creed which he opposed. "Of any virtue that ever was espied in King
James V. (_whose daughter she_," Mary Stuart, "_is called_"), "to this
hour (1566) we have seen no sparkle to appear." {168}

With this final fling at the chastity of Mary of Guise, the Reformer
takes leave of the woman whom he so bitterly hated. Yet, "Knox was not
given to the practice so common in his day, of assassinating reputations
by vile insinuations." Posterity has not accepted, contemporary English
historians did not accept, Knox's picture of Mary of Guise as the wanton
widow, the spawn of the serpent, who desired to cut the throat of every
Protestant in Scotland. She was placed by circumstances in a position
from which there was no issue. The fatal French marriage of her daughter
was a natural step, at a moment when Scottish independence could only be
maintained by help of France. Had she left the Regency in the hands of
Chatelherault, that is, of Archbishop Hamilton, the prelate was not the
man to put down Protestantism by persecution, and so save the situation.
If he had been, Mary of Guise was not the woman to abet him in drastic
violence. The nobles would have revolted against the feeble Duke. {169}

On July 6, the treaty of Edinburgh was concluded by representatives of
England (Cecil was one) and of France. The Reformers carried a point of
essential importance, the very point which Knox told Croft had been
secured by the Appointment of July 1559. All French forces were to be
dismissed the country, except one hundred and twenty men occupying Dunbar
and Inchkeith, in the Firth of Forth. A clause by which Cecil thought he
had secured "the kernel" for England, and left the shell to France, a
clause recognising the "rightfulness" of Elizabeth's alliance with the
rebels, afforded Mary Stuart ground, or excuse, for never ratifying the

It is needless here to discuss the question - was the Convention of
Estates held after the treaty, in August, a lawful Parliament? There was
doubt enough, at least, to make Protestants feel uneasy about the
security of the religious settlement achieved by the Convention.
Randolph, the English resident, foresaw that the Acts might be rescinded.

Before the Convention of Estates met, a thanksgiving day was held by the
brethren in St. Giles's, and Knox, if he was the author of the address to
the Deity, said with scientific precision, "Neither in us, nor yet in our
confederates was there any cause why thou shouldst have given unto us so
joyful and sudden a deliverance, for neither of us both ceased to do
wickedly, even in the midst of our greatest troubles." Elizabeth had
lied throughout with all her natural and cultivated gift of falsehood: of
the veracity of the brethren several instances have been furnished.

Ministers were next appointed to churches, Knox taking Edinburgh, while
Superintendents (who were by no means Bishops) were appointed, one to
each province. Erskine of Dun, a layman, was Superintendent of Angus. A
new anti-Catholic Kirk was thus set up on July 20, before the Convention
met and swept away Catholicism. {170} Knox preached vigorously on "the
prophet Haggeus" meanwhile, and "some" (namely Lethington, Speaker in the
Convention) "said in mockage, we must now forget ourselves, and bear the
barrow to build the houses of God." The unawakened Lethington, and the
gentry at large, merely dilapidated the houses of God, so that they
became unsafe, as well as odiously squalid. That such fervent piety
should grudge repairs of church buildings (many of them in a wretched
state already) is a fact creditable rather to the thrift than to the
state of grace of the Reformers. After all their protestations, full of
texts, the lords and lairds starved their preachers, but provided, by
roofless aisles and unglazed windows, for the ventilation of the kirks.
These men so bubbling over with gospel fervour were, in short, when it
came to practice, traitors and hypocrites; nor did Knox spare their
unseemly avarice. The cause of the poor, and of the preachers, lay near
his heart, and no man was more insensible of the temptations of wealth.

Lethington did not address the Parliament as Speaker till August 9. Never
had such a Parliament met in Scotland. One hundred and six barons, not
of the higher order, assembled; in 1567, when Mary was a prisoner and the
Regent Moray held the assembly, not nearly so many came together, nor on
any later occasion at this period. The newcomers claimed to sit "as of
old custom"; it was a custom long disused, and not now restored to

A supplication was presented by "the Barons, gentlemen, Burgesses, and
others" to "the nobility and Estates" (of whom they do not seem to reckon
themselves part, contrasting _themselves_ with "yourselves"). They
reminded the Estates how they had asked the Regent "for freedom and
liberty of conscience with a godly reformation of abuses." They now, by
way of freedom of conscience, ask that Catholic doctrine "be abolished by
Act of this Parliament, and punishment appointed for the transgressors."
The Man of Sin has been distributing the whole patrimony of the Church,
so that "the trew ministers," the schools, and the poor are kept out of
their own. The actual clergy are all thieves and murderers and "rebels
to the lawful authority of Emperors, Kings, and Princes." Against these
charges (murder, rebellion, profligacy) they must answer now or be so
reputed. In fact, it was the nobles, rather than the Pope, who had been
robbing the Kirk, education, and the poor, which they continued to do, as
Knox attests. But as to doctrine, the barons and ministers were asked to

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