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the Continent. {219c} Knox was not to be brought to a written reply,
save so far as he likened his calling to that of Amos and John the
Baptist. In September he referred to his "Answer to Winzet's Questions"
as forthcoming, but it never appeared. {219d} Winzet was Mary's chaplain
in her Sheffield prison in 1570-72; she had him made Abbot of Ratisbon,
and he is said, by Lethington's son, to have helped Lesley in writing his

On June 29 the General Assembly, through Knox probably, drew up the
address to the Queen, threatening her and the country with the wrath of
God on her Mass, which, she is assured, is peculiarly distasteful to the
Deity. The brethren are deeply disappointed that she does not attend
their sermons, and ventures to prefer "your ain preconceived vain
opinion." They insist that adulterers must be punished with death, and
they return to their demands for the poor and the preachers. A new
rising is threatened if wicked men trouble the ministers and disobey the

Lethington and Knox had one of their usual disputes over this manifesto;
the Secretary drew up another. "Here be many fair words," said the Queen
on reading it; "I cannot tell what the hearts are." {220a} She later
found out the nature of Lethington's heart, a pretty black one. The
excesses of the Guises in France were now the excuse or cause of the
postponement of Elizabeth's meeting with Mary. The Queen therefore now
undertook a northern progress, which had been arranged for in January,
about the time when Lord James was made Earl of Moray. {220b}

He could not "brook" the Earldom of Moray before the Earl of Huntly was
put down, Huntly being a kind of petty king in the east and north. There
is every reason to suppose that Mary understood and utterly distrusted
Huntly, who, though the chief Catholic in the country, had been a traitor
whenever occasion served for many a year. One of his sons, John, in
July, wounded an Ogilvy in Edinburgh in a quarrel over property. This
affair was so managed as to drive Huntly into open rebellion, neither
Mary nor her brother being sorry to take the opportunity.

The business of the ruin of Huntly has seemed more of a mystery to
historians than it was, though an attack by a Catholic princess on her
most powerful Catholic subject does need explanation. But Randolph was
with Mary during the whole expedition, and his despatches are better
evidence than the fables of Buchanan and the surmises of Knox and Mr.
Froude. Huntly had been out of favour ever since Lord James obtained the
coveted Earldom of Moray in January, and he was thought to be opposed to
Mary's visit to Elizabeth. Since January, the Queen had been bent on a
northern progress. Probably the Archbishop of St. Andrews, as reported
by Knox, rightly guessed the motives. At table he said, "The Queen has
gone into the north, belike to seek disobedience; she may perhaps find
the thing that she seeks." {221a} She wanted a quarrel with Huntly, and
a quarrel she found. Her northward expedition, says Randolph, "is rather
devised by herself than greatly approved by her Council." She would not
visit Huntly at Strathbogie, contrary to the advice of her Council; his
son, who wounded Ogilvy, had broken prison, and refused to enter himself
at Stirling Castle. Huntly then supported his sons in rebellion, while
Bothwell broke prison and fortified himself in Hermitage Castle. Lord
James's Earldom of Moray was now publicly announced (September 18), and
Huntly was accused of a desire to murder him and Lethington, while his
son John was to seize the Queen. {221b} Mary was "utterly determined to
bring him to utter confusion." Huntly was put to the horn on October 18;
his sons took up arms. Huntly, old and corpulent, died during a defeat
at Corrichie without stroke of sword; his mischievous son John was taken
and executed, Mary being pleased with her success, and declaring that
Huntly thought "to have married her where he would," {221c} and to have
slain her brother. John Gordon confessed to the murder plot. {221d} His
eldest brother, Lord Gordon, who had tried to enlist Bothwell and the
Hamiltons, lay long in prison (his sister married Bothwell just before
Riccio's murder). The Queen had punished the disobedience which she
"went to seek," and Moray was safe in his rich earldom, while a heavy
blow was dealt at the Catholicism which Huntly had protected. {222a}
Cardinal Guise reports her success to de Rennes, in Austria, with
triumph, and refers to an autograph letter of hers, of which Lethington's
draft has lately perished by fire, unread by historians. As the Cardinal
reports that she says she is trying to win her subjects back to the
Church, "in which she wishes to live and die" (January 30, 1562-63),
Lethington cannot be the author of that part of her lost letter. {222b}

Knox meanwhile, much puzzled by the news from the north, was in the
western counties. He induced the lairds of Ayrshire to sign a Protestant
band, and he had a controversy with the Abbot of Crosraguel. In
misapplication of texts the abbot was even more eccentric than Knox,
though he only followed St. Jerome. In his "History" Knox "cannot
certainly say whether there was any secret paction and confederacy
between the Queen herself and Huntly." {222c} Knox decides that though
Mary executed John Gordon and other rebels, yet "it was the destruction
of others that she sought," namely, of her brother, whom she hated "for
his godliness and upright plainness." {222d} His upright simplicity had
won him an earldom and the destruction of his rival! He and Lethington
may have exaggerated Huntly's iniquities in council with Mary, but the
rumours reported against her by Knox could only be inspired by the
credulity of extreme ill-will. He flattered himself that he kept the
Hamiltons quiet, and, at a supper with Randolph in November, made
Chatelherault promise to be a good subject in civil matters, and a good
Protestant in religion.

Knox says that preaching was done with even unusual vehemence in winter,
when his sermon against the Queen's dancing for joy over some unknown
Protestant misfortune was actually delivered, and the good seed fell on
ground not wholly barren. The Queen's French and Scots musicians would
not play or sing at the Queen's Christmas-day Mass, whether pricked in
heart by conscience, or afraid for their lives. "Her poor soul is so
troubled for the preservation of her silly Mass that she knoweth not
where to turn for defence of it," says Randolph. {223a} These
persecutions may have gone far to embitter the character of the victim.

Mr. Froude is certainly not an advocate of Mary Stuart, rather he is
conspicuously the reverse. But he remarks that when she determined to
marry Darnley, "divide Scotland," and trust to her Catholic party, she
did so because she was "weary of the mask which she had so long worn, and
unable to endure any longer these wild insults to her creed and herself."
{223b} She had, in fact, given the policy of submission to "wild
insults" rather more than a fair chance; she had, for a spirited girl,
been almost incredibly long-suffering, when "barbarously baited," as
Charles I. described his own treatment by the preachers and the

CHAPTER XVI: KNOX AND QUEEN MARY (continued): 1563-1564

The new year, 1563, found Knox purging the Kirk from that fallen brother,
Paul Methuen. This preacher had borne the burden and heat of the day in
1557-58, erecting, as we have seen, the first "reformed" Kirk, that of
the Holy Virgin, in Dundee, and suffering some inconvenience, if no great
danger, from the clergy of the religion whose sacred things he overthrew.
He does not appear to have been one of the more furious of the new
apostles. Contrasted with John Brabner, "a vehement man inculcating the
law and pain thereof," Paul is described as "a milder man, preaching the
evangel of grace and remission of sins in the blood of Christ." {224a}

Paul was at this time minister of Jedburgh. He had "an ancient matron"
to wife, recommended, perhaps, by her property, and she left him for two
months with a servant maid. Paul fell, but behaved not ill to the mother
of his child, sending her "money and clothes at various times." Knox
tried the case at Jedburgh; Paul was excommunicated, and fled the realm,
sinking so low, it seems, as to take orders in the Church of England.
Later he returned - probably he was now penniless - "and prostrated himself
before the whole brethren with weeping and howling." He was put to such
shameful and continued acts of public penance up and down the country
that any spirit which he had left awoke in him, and the Kirk knew him no
more. Thus "the world might see what difference there is between
darkness and light." {225a}

Knox presently had to record a scandal in a higher place, the capture and
execution of the French minor poet, Chastelard, who, armed with sword and
dagger, hid under the Queen's bed in Holyrood; and invaded her room with
great insolence at Burntisland as she was on her way to St. Andrews.
There he was tried, condemned, and executed in the market-place. It
seems fairly certain that Chastelard, who had joined the Queen with
despatches during the expedition against Huntly, was a Huguenot. The
Catholic version, and Lethington's version, of his adventure was that
some intriguing Huguenot lady had set him on to sully Queen Mary's
character; other tales ran that he was to assassinate her, as part of a
great Protestant conspiracy. {225b}

Randolph, who knew as much as any one, thought the Queen far too familiar
with the poet, but did not deem that her virtue was in fault. {225c} Knox
dilates on Mary's familiarities, kisses given in a vulgar dance, dear to
the French society of the period, and concludes that the fatuous poet
"lacked his head, that his tongue should not utter the secrets of our
Queen." {225d}

There had been a bad harvest, and a dearth, because the Queen's luxury
"provoked God" (who is represented as very irritable) "to strike the
staff of bread," and to "give His malediction upon the fruits of the
earth. But oh, alas, who looked, or yet looks, to the very cause of all
our calamities!" {226a}

Some savage peoples are said to sacrifice their kings when the weather is
unpropitious. Knox's theology was of the same kind. The preachers, says
Randolph (February 28), "pray daily . . . that God will either turn the
Queen's heart or grant her short life. Of what charity or spirit this
proceeds, I leave to be discussed by great divines." {226b} The prayers
sound like encouragement to Jehus.

At this date Ruthven was placed, "by Lethington's means only," on the
Privy Council. Moray especially hated Ruthven "for his sorcery"; the
superstitious Moray affected the Queen with this ill opinion of one of
the elect - in the affair of Riccio's murder so useful to the cause of
Knox. "There is not an unworthier in Scotland" than Ruthven, writes
Randolph. {226c} Meanwhile Lethington was in England to negotiate for
peace in France; if he could, to keep an eye on Mary's chances for the
succession, and (says Knox) to obtain leave for Lennox, the chief of the
Stuarts and the deadly foe of the Hamiltons, to visit Scotland, whence,
in the time of Henry VIII., he had been driven as a traitor. But
Lethington was at that time confuting Lennox's argument that the Hamilton
chief, Chatelherault, was illegitimate. Knox is not positive, he only
reports rumours. {226d} Lethington's serious business was to negotiate a
marriage for the Queen.

Despite the recent threats of death against priests who celebrated Mass,
the Archbishop Hamilton and Knox's opponent, the Abbot of Crossraguel,
with many others, did so at Easter. The Ayrshire brethren "determined to
put to their own hands," captured some priests, and threatened others
with "the punishment that God has appointed to idolaters by His law."
{227a} The Queen commanded Knox to meet her at Lochleven in
mid-April - Lochleven, where she was later to be a prisoner. In that
state lay the priests of her religion, who had been ministering to the
people, "some in secret houses, some in barns, some in woods and hills,"
writes Randolph, "all are in prison." {227b}

Mary, for two hours before supper, implored Knox to mediate with the
western fanatics. He replied, that if princes would not use the sword
against idolaters, there was the leading case of Samuel's slaughter of
Agag; and he adduced another biblical instance, of a nature not usually
cited before young ladies. He was on safer ground in quoting the Scots
law as it stood. Judges within their bounds were to seek out and punish
"mass-mongers" - that was his courteous term.

The Queen, rather hurt, went off to supper, but next morning did her best
to make friends with Knox over other matters. She complained of Ruthven,
who had given her a ring for some magical purpose, later explained by
Ruthven, who seems to have despised the superstition of his age. The
Queen, says Ruthven, was afraid of poison; he gave her the ring, saying
that it acted as an antidote. Moray was at Lochleven with the Queen, and
Moray believed, or pretended to believe, in Ruthven's "sossery," as
Randolph spells "sorcery." She, rather putting herself at our Reformer's
mercy, complained that Lethington alone placed Ruthven in the Privy

"That man is absent," said Knox, "and therefore I will speak nothing on
that behalf." Mary then warned him against "the man who was at time most
familiar with the said John, in his house and at table," the despicable
Bishop of Galloway, and Knox later found out that the warning was wise.
Lastly, she asked him to reconcile the Earl and Countess of Argyll - "do
this much for my sake"; and she promised to summon the offending priests
who had done their duty. {228a}

Knox, with his usual tact, wrote to Argyll thus: "Your behaviour toward
your wife is very offensive unto many godly." He added that, if all that
was said of Argyll was true, and if he did not look out, he would be

"This bill was not well accepted of the said Earl," but, like the rest of
them, he went on truckling to Knox, "most familiar with the said John."

Nearly fifty priests were tried, but no one was hanged. They were put in
ward; "the like of this was never heard within the realm," said pleased
Protestants, not "smelling the craft." Neither the Queen nor her Council
had the slightest desire to put priests to death. Six other priests "as
wicked as" the Archbishop were imprisoned, and the Abbot of Crossraguel
was put to the horn in his absence, just as the preachers had been. The
Catholic clergy "know not where to hide their heads," says Randolph. Many
fled to the more tender mercies of England; "it will be the common refuge
of papists that cannot live here . . ." {228c} The tassels on the trains
of the ladies, it was declared by the preachers, "would provoke God's
vengeance . . . against the whole realm . . " {229a}

The state of things led to a breach between Knox and Moray, which lasted
till the Earl found him likely to be useful, some eighteen months later.

The Reformer relieved his mind in the pulpit at the end of May or early
in June, rebuking backsliders, and denouncing the Queen's rumoured
marriage with any infidel, "and all Papists are infidels." Papists and
Protestants were both offended. There was a scene with Mary, in which
she wept profusely, an infirmity of hers; we constantly hear of her
weeping in public. She wished the Lords of the Articles to see whether
Knox's "manner of speaking" was not punishable, but nothing could be
done. Elizabeth would have found out a way. {229b}

The fact that while Knox was conducting himself thus, nobody ventured to
put a dirk or a bullet into him - despite the obvious strength of the
temptation in many quarters - proves that he was by far the most potent
human being in Scotland. Darnley, Moray, Lennox were all assassinated,
when their day came, though the feeblest of the three, Darnley, had a
powerful clan to take up his feud. We cannot suppose that any moral
considerations prevented the many people whom Knox had offended from
doing unto him as the Elect did to Riccio. Manifestly, nobody had the
courage. No clan was so strong as the warlike brethren who would have
avenged the Reformer, and who probably would have been backed by

Again, though he was estranged from Moray, that leader was also, in some
degree, estranged from Lethington, who did not allow him to know the
details of his intrigues, in France and England, for the Queen's
marriage. The marriage question was certain to reunite Moray and Knox.
When Knox told Mary that, as "a subject of this realm," he had a right to
oppose her marriage with any infidel, he spoke the modern constitutional
truth. For Mary to wed a Royal Catholic would certainly have meant peril
for Protestantism, war with England, and a tragic end. But what
Protestant could she marry? If a Scot, he would not long have escaped
the daggers of the Hamiltons; indeed, all the nobles would have borne the
fiercest jealousy against such an one as, say, Glencairn, who, we learn,
could say anything to Mary without offence. She admired a strong brave
man, and Glencairn, though an opponent, was gallant and resolute. England
chose only to offer the infamous and treacherous Leicester, whose
character was ruined by the mysterious death of his wife (Amy Robsart),
and who had offered to sell England and himself to idolatrous Spain.
Mary's only faint chance of safety lay in perpetual widowhood, or in
marrying Knox, by far the most powerful of her subjects, and the best
able to protect her and himself.

This idea does not seem to have been entertained by the subtle brain of
Lethington. Between February and May 1563, the Cardinal of Lorraine had
reopened an old negotiation for wedding the Queen to the Archduke, and
Mary had given an evasive reply; she must consult Parliament. In March,
with the Spanish Ambassador in London, Lethington had proposed for Don
Carlos. Philip II., as usual, wavered, consented (in August),
considered, and reconsidered. Lethington, in France, had told the Queen-
Mother that the Spanish plan was only intended to wring concessions from
Elizabeth; and, on his return to England, had persuaded the Spanish
Ambassador that Charles IX. was anxious to succeed to his brother's
widow. This moved Philip to be favourable to the Don Carlos marriage,
but he waited; there was no sign from France, and Philip withdrew,
wavering so much that both the Austrian and Spanish matches became
impossible. On October 6, Knox, who suspected more than he knew, told
Cecil that out of twelve Privy Councillors, nine would consent to a
Catholic marriage. The only hope was in Moray, and Knox "daily thirsted"
for death. {231a} He appealed to Leicester (about whose relations with
Elizabeth he was, of course, informed) as to a man who "may greatly
advance the purity of religion." {231b}

These letters to Cecil and Leicester are deeply pious in tone, and reveal
a cruel anxiety. On June 20, three weeks after Knox's famous sermon,
Lethington told de Quadra, the Spanish Ambassador, that Elizabeth
threatened to be Mary's enemy if she married Don Carlos or any of the
house of Austria. {231c} On August 26, 1563, Randolph received
instructions from Elizabeth, in which the tone of menace was unconcealed.
Elizabeth would offer an English noble: "we and our country cannot think
any mighty prince a meet husband for her." {231d}

Knox was now engaged in a contest wherein he was triumphant; an affair
which, in later years, was to have sequels of high importance. During
the summer vacation of 1563, while Mary was moving about the country,
Catholics in Edinburgh habitually attended at Mass in her chapel. This
was contrary to the arrangement which permitted no Mass in the whole
realm, except that of the Queen, when her priests were not terrorised.
The godly brawled in the Chapel Royal, and two of them were arrested, two
very dear brethren, named Cranstoun and Armstrong; they were to be tried
on October 24. Knox had a kind of Dictator's commission from the
Congregation, "to see that the Kirk took no harm," and to the
Congregation he appealed by letter. The accused brethren had only "noted
what persons repaired to the Mass," but they were charged with divers
crimes, especially invading her Majesty's palace. Knox therefore
convoked the Congregation to meet in Edinburgh on the day of trial, in
the good old way of overawing justice. {232a} Of course we do not know
to what lengths the dear brethren went in their pious indignation. The
legal record mentions that they were armed with pistols, in the town and
Court suburb; and it was no very unusual thing, later, for people to
practise pistol shooting at each other even in their own Kirk of St.
Giles's. {232b}

Still, pistols, if worn in the palace chapel have not a pacific air. The
brethren are also charged with assaulting some of the Queen's domestic
servants. {232c}

Archbishop Spottiswoode, son of one of the Knoxian Superintendents, says
that the brethren "forced the gates, and that some of the worshippers
were taken and carried to prison. . . . " {232d} Knox admits in his
"History" that "some of the brethren _burst in_" to the chapel. In his
letter to stir up the godly, he says that the brethren "passed" (in),
"and that _in most quiet manner_."

On receiving Knox's summons the Congregation prepared its levies in every
town and province. {233a} The Privy Council received a copy of Knox's
circular, and concluded that it "imported treason."

To ourselves it does seem that for a preacher to call levies out of every
town and province, to meet in the capital on a day when a trial was to be
held, is a thing that no Government can tolerate. The administration of
justice is impossible in the circumstances. But it was the usual course
in Scotland, and any member of the Privy Council might, at any time, find
it desirable to call a similar convocation of his allies. Mary herself,
fretted by the perfidies of Elizabeth, had just been consoled by that
symbolic jewel, a diamond shaped like a rock, and by promises in which
she fondly trusted when she at last sought an asylum in England, and
found a prison. For two months she had often been in deep melancholy,
weeping for no known cause, and she was afflicted by the "pain in her
side" which ever haunted her (December 13-21). {233b}

Accused by the Master of Maxwell of unbecoming conduct, Knox said that
such things had been done before, and he had the warrant "of God,
speaking plainly in his Word." The Master (later Lord Herries), not
taking this view of the case, was never friendly with Knox again; the
Reformer added this comment as late as December 1571. {233c}

Lethington and Moray, like Maxwell, remonstrated vainly with our
Reformer. Randolph (December 21) reports that the Lords assembled "to
take order with Knox and his faction, who intended by a mutinous assembly
made by his letter before, to have rescued two of their brethren from
course of law. . . . " {234a} Knox was accompanied to Holyrood by a
force of brethren who crowded "the inner close and all the stairs, even
to the chamber door where the Queen and Council sat." {234b} Probably
these "slashing communicants" had their effect on the minds of the
councillors. Not till after Riccio's murder was Mary permitted to have a
strong guard.

According to Knox, Mary laughed a horse laugh when he entered, saying,
"Yon man gart me greit, and grat never tear himself. I will see gif I
can gar him greit." Her Scots, textually reported, was certainly

Knox acknowledged his letter to the Congregation, and Lethington
suggested that he might apologise. Ruthven said that Knox made
convocation of people daily to hear him preach; what harm was there in
his letter merely calling people to convocation. This was characteristic
pettifogging. Knox said that he convened the people to meet on the day
of trial according to the order "that the brethren has appointed . . . at
the commandment of the general Kirk of the Realm."

Mary seems, strangely enough, to have thought that this was a valid
reply. Perhaps it was, and the Kirk's action in that sense, directed
against the State, finally enabled Cromwell to conquer the Kirk-ridden
country. Mary appears to have admitted the Kirk's imperium in imperio,
for she diverted the discussion from the momentous point really at
issue - the right of the Kirk to call up an armed multitude to thwart

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