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of the Archbishop, backed by a hundred spears, and referring to his own
prophecy made when he was in the galleys, he thundered at St. Andrews.
The poor ruins of some sacred buildings "are alive to testify" to the
consequences, and a head of the Redeemer found in the latrines of the
abbey is another mute witness to the destruction of that day. {123b}

It is not my purpose to dilate on the universal destruction of so much
that was beautiful, and that to Scots, however godly, should have been
sacred. The tomb of the Bruce in Dunfermline, for example, was wrecked
by the mob, as the statue of Jeanne d'Arc on the bridge of Orleans was
battered to pieces by the Huguenots. Nor need we ask what became of
church treasures, perhaps of great value and antiquity. In some known
cases, the magistrates held and sold those of the town churches. Some of
the plate and vestments at Aberdeen were committed to the charge of
Huntly, but about 1900 ounces of plate were divided among the
Prebendaries, who seem to have appropriated them. {124} The Church
treasures of Glasgow were apparently carried abroad by Archbishop Beaton.
If Lord James, as Prior, took possession of the gold and silver of St.
Andrews, he probably used the bullion (he spent some 13,000 crowns) in
his defence of the approaches to the town, against the French, in
December 1559. A silver mace of St. Salvator's College escaped the

[Head of Christ. St. Andrews. Excavated from the ruins of the Abbey by
the late Marquis of Bute: knox4.jpg]

There is no sign of the possession of much specie by the Congregation in
the months that followed the sack of so many treasuries of pious
offerings. Lesley says that they wanted to coin the plate in Edinburgh,
and for that purpose seized, as they certainly did, the dies of the mint.
In France, when the brethren sacked Tours, they took twelve hundred
thousand livres d'or; the country was enriched for the moment. Not so
Scotland. In fact the plate of Aberdeen cathedral, as inventoried in the
Register, is no great treasure. Monasteries and cathedrals were certain
to perish sooner or later, for the lead of every such roof except
Coldingham had been stripped and sold by 1585, while tombs had been
desecrated for their poor spoils, and the fanes were afterwards used as
quarries of hewn stone. Lord James had a peculiar aversion to idolatrous
books, and is known to have ordered the burning of many manuscripts; - the
loss to art was probably greater than the injury to history or
literature. The fragments of things beautiful that the Reformers
overlooked, were destroyed by the Covenanters. An attempt has been made
to prove that the Border abbeys were not wrecked by Reformers, but by
English troops in the reign of Henry VIII., who certainly ravaged them.
Lesley, however, says that the abbeys of Kelso and Melrose were "by them
(the Reformers) broken down and wasted." {125a} If there was nothing
left to destroy on the Border, why did the brethren march against Kelso,
as Cecil reports, on July 9, 1559? {125b}

After the devastation the Regent meant to attack the destroyers,
intending to occupy Cupar, six miles, by Knox's reckoning, from St.
Andrews. But, by June 13, the brethren had anticipated her with a large
force, rapidly recruited, including three thousand men under the Lothian
professors; Ruthven's horse; the levies of the Earl of Rothes (Leslie),
and many burgesses. Next day the Regent's French horse found the
brethren occupying a very strong post; their numbers were dissembled,
their guns commanded the plains, and the Eden was in their front. A fog
hung over the field; when it lifted, the French commander, d'Oysel, saw
that he was outnumbered and outmanoeuvred. He sent on an envoy to
parley, "which gladly of us being granted, the Queen offered a free
remission for all crimes past, so that they would no further proceed
against friars and abbeys, and that no more preaching should be used
publicly," for _that_ always meant kirk-wrecking. When Wishart preached
at Mauchline, long before, in 1545, it was deemed necessary to guard the
church, where there was a tempting tabernacle, "beutyfull to the eie."

The Lords and the whole brethren "refused such appointment" . . . says
Knox to Mrs. Locke; they would not "suffer idolatrie to be maintained in
the bounds committed to their charge." {126a} To them liberty of
conscience from the first meant liberty to control the consciences and
destroy the religion of all who differed from them. An eight days' truce
was made for negotiations; during the truce neither party was to
"enterprize" anything. Knox in his "History" does not mention an attack
on the monastery of Lindores during the truce. He says that his party
expected envoys from the Regent, as in the terms of truce, but perceived
"her craft and deceit." {126b}

In fact, the brethren were the truce-breakers. Knox gives only the
assurances signed by the Regent's envoys, the Duke of Chatelherault and
d'Oysel. They include a promise "not to invade, trouble, or disquiet the
Lords," the reforming party. But, though Knox omits the fact, the
Reformers made a corresponding and equivalent promise: "That the
Congregation should enterprise nothing nor make no invasion, for the
space of six days following, for the Lords and principals of the
Congregation read the rest on another piece of paper." {126c}

The situation is clear. The two parties exchanged assurances. Knox
prints that of the Regent's party, not that, "on another piece of paper,"
of the Congregation. They broke their word; they "made invasion" at
Lindores, during truce, as Knox tells Mrs. Locke, but does not tell the
readers of his "History." {127a} It is true that Knox was probably
preaching at St. Andrews on June 13, and was not present at Cupar Muir.
But he could easily have ascertained what assurances the Lords of the
Congregation "read from another piece of paper" on that historic waste.


The Reformers, and Knox as their secretary and historian, had now reached
a very difficult and delicate point in their labours. Their purpose was,
not by any means to secure toleration and freedom of conscience, but to
extirpate the religion to which they were opposed. It was the religion
by law existing, the creed of "Authority," of the Regent and of the King
and Queen whom she represented. The position of the Congregation was
therefore essentially that of rebels, and, in the state of opinion at the
period, to be rebels was to be self-condemned. In the eyes of Calvin and
the learned of the Genevan Church, kings were the Lord's appointed, and
the Gospel must not be supported by the sword. "Better that we all
perish a hundred times," Calvin wrote to Coligny in 1561. Protestants,
therefore, if they would resist in arms, had to put themselves in order,
and though Knox had no doubt that to exterminate idolaters was thoroughly
in order, the leaders of his party were obliged to pay deference to
European opinion.

By a singular coincidence they adopted precisely the same device as the
more militant French Protestants laid before Calvin in August 1559-March
1560. The Scots and the Protestant French represented that they were
illegally repressed by foreigners: in Scotland by Mary of Guise with her
French troops; in France by the Cardinal and Duc de Guise, foreigners,
who had possession of the persons and authority of the "native prince" of
Scotland, Mary, and the "native prince" of France, Francis II., both
being minors. The French idea was that, if they secured the aid of a
native Protestant prince (Conde), they were in order, as against the
foreign Guises, and might kill these tyrants, seize the King, and call an
assembly of the Estates. Calvin was consulted by the chief of the
conspiracy, La Renaudie; he disapproved; the legality lent by one native
prince was insufficient; the details of the plot were "puerile," and
Calvin waited to see how the country would take it. The plot failed, at
Amboise, in March 1560.

In Scotland, as in France, devices about a prince of the native blood
suggested themselves. The Regent, being of the house of Guise, was a
foreigner, like her brothers in France. The "native princes" were
Chatelherault and his eldest son, Arran. The leaders, soon after Lord
James and Argyll formally joined the zealous brethren, saw that without
foreign aid their enterprise was desperate. Their levies must break up
and go home to work; the Regent's nucleus of French troops could not be
ousted from the sea fortress of Dunbar, and would in all probability be
joined by the army promised by Henri II. His death, the Huguenot
risings, the consequent impotence of the Guises to aid the Regent, could
not be foreseen. Scotland, it seemed, would be reduced to a French
province; the religion would be overthrown.

There was thus no hope, except in aid from England. But by the recent
treaty of Cateau Cambresis (April 2, 1559), Elizabeth was bound not to
help the rebels of the French Dauphin, the husband of the Queen of Scots.
Moreover, Elizabeth had no stronger passion than a hatred of rebels. If
she was to be persuaded to help the Reformers, they must produce some
show of a legitimate "Authority" with whom she could treat. This was as
easy to find as it was to the Huguenots in the case of Conde.
Chatelherault and Arran, native princes, next heirs to the crown while
Mary was childless, could be produced as legitimate "Authority." But to
do this implied a change of "Authority," an upsetting of "Authority,"
which was plain rebellion in the opinion of the Genevan doctors. Knox
was thus obliged, in sermons and in the pamphlet (Book II. of his
"History"), to maintain that nothing more than freedom of conscience and
religion was contemplated, while, as a matter of fact, he was foremost in
the intrigue for changing the "Authority," and even for depriving Mary
Stuart of "entrance and title" to her rights. He therefore, in Book II.
(much of which was written in August-October or September-October 1559,
as an apologetic contemporary tract), conceals the actual facts of the
case, and, while perpetually accusing the Regent of falsehood and
perfidy, displays an extreme "economy of truth," and cannot hide the
pettifogging prevarications of his party. His wiser plan would have been
to cancel this Book, or much of it, when he set forth later to write a
history of the Reformation. His party being then triumphant, he could
have afforded to tell most of the truth, as in great part he does in his
Book III. But he could not bring himself to throw over the narrative of
his party pamphlet (Book II.), and it remains much as it was originally
written, though new touches were added.

The point to be made in public and in the apologetic tract was that the
Reformers contemplated no alteration of "Authority." This was untrue.

Writing later (probably in 1565-66) in his Third Book, Knox boasts of his
own initiation of the appeal to England, which included a scheme for the
marriage of the Earl of Arran, son of the Hamilton chief, Chatelherault,
to Queen Elizabeth. Failing issue of Queen Mary, Arran was heir to the
Scottish throne, and if he married the Queen of England, the rightful
Queen of Scotland would not be likely to wear her crown. The
contemplated match was apt to involve a change of dynasty. The lure of
the crown for his descendants was likely to bring Chatelherault, and
perhaps even his brother the Archbishop, over to the side of the
Congregation: in short it was an excellent plot. Probably the idea
occurred to the leaders of the Congregation at or shortly after the time
when Argyll and Lord James threw in their lot definitely with the
brethren on May 31. On June 14 Croft, from Berwick, writes to Cecil that
the leaders, "from what I hear, will likely seek her Majesty's"
(Elizabeth's) "assistance," and mean to bring Arran home. Some think
that he is already at Geneva, and he appears to have made the
acquaintance of Calvin, with whom later he corresponded. "They are
likely to motion a marriage you know where"; of Arran, that is, with
Elizabeth. {131} Moreover, one Whitlaw was at this date in France, and
by June 28, communicated the plan to Throckmorton, the English
Ambassador. Thus the scheme was of an even earlier date than Knox claims
for his own suggestion.

He tells us that at St. Andrews, after the truce of Cupar Muir (June 13),
he "burstit forth," in conversation with Kirkcaldy of Grange, on the
necessity of seeking support from England. Kirkcaldy long ago had
watched the secret exit from St. Andrews Castle, while his friends
butchered the Cardinal. He was taken in the castle when Knox was taken;
he was a prisoner in France; then he entered the French service, acting,
while so engaged, as an English spy. Before and during the destruction
of monasteries he was in the Regent's service, but she justly suspected
him of intending to desert her at this juncture. Kirkcaldy now wrote to
Cecil, without date, but probably on June 21, and with the signature
"Zours as ye knaw." Being in the Regent's party openly, he was secretly
betraying her; he therefore accuses her of treachery. (He left her
publicly, after a pension from England had been procured for him.) He
says that the Regent averred that "favourers of God's word should have
liberty to live after their consciences," "yet, in the conclusion of the
peace" (the eight days' truce) "she has uttered her deceitful mind,
having now declared that she will be enemy to all them that shall not
live after her religion." _Consequently_, the Protestants are wrecking
"all the friaries within their bounds." But Knox has told us that they
declared their intention of thus enjoying liberty of conscience _before_
"the conclusion of the peace," and wrecked Lindores Abbey during the
peace! Kirkcaldy adds that the Regent already suspects him.

Kirkcaldy, having made the orthodox charge of treachery against the woman
whom he was betraying, then asks Cecil whether Elizabeth will accept
their "friendship," and adds, with an eye to Arran, "I wish likewise her
Majesty were not too hasty in her marriage." {133a} On June 23, writing
from his house, Grange, and signing his name, Kirkcaldy renews his
proposals. In both letters he anticipates the march of the Reformers to
turn the Regent's garrison out of Perth. On June 25 he announces that
the Lords are marching thither. They had already the secret aid of
Lethington, who remained, like the traitor that he was, in the Regent's
service till the end of October. {133b} Knox also writes at this time to
Cecil from St. Andrews.

On June 1, Henri II. of France had written to the Regent promising to
send her strong reinforcements, {133c} but he was presently killed in a
tourney by the broken lance shaft of Montgomery.

The Reformers now made tryst at Perth for June 25, to restore "religion"
and expel the Scots in French service. The little garrison surrendered
(their opponents are reckoned by Kirkcaldy at 10,000 men), idolatry was
again suppressed, and Perth restored to her municipal constitution. The
ancient shrines of Scone were treated in the usual way, despite the
remonstrances of Knox, Lord James, and Argyll. They had threatened
Hepburn, Bishop of Moray, that if he did not join them "they neither
could spare nor save his place." This was on June 20, on the same day he
promised to aid them and vote with them in Parliament. {133d} Knox did
his best, but the Dundee people began the work of wrecking; and the
Bishop, in anger, demanded and received the return of his written promise
of joining the Reformers. On the following day, irritated by some show
of resistance, the people of Dundee and Perth burned the palace of Scone
and the abbey, "whereat no small number of us was offended." An old
woman said that "filthy beasts" dwelt "in that den," to her private
knowledge, "at whose words many were pacified." The old woman is an
excellent authority. {134}

The pretext of perfect loyalty was still maintained by the Reformers;
their honesty we can appreciate. They did not wish, they said, to
overthrow "authority"; merely to be allowed to worship in their own way
(and to prevent other people from worshipping in theirs, which was the
order appointed by the State). That any set of men may rebel and take
their chances is now recognised, but the Reformers wanted to combine the
advantages of rebellion with the reputation of loyal subjects. Persons
who not only band against the sovereign, but invoke foreign aid and seek
a foreign alliance, are, however noble their motives, rebels. There is
no other word for them. But that they were _not_ rebels Knox urged in a
sermon at Edinburgh, which the Reformers, after devastating Stirling,
reached by June 28-29 (?), and the Second Book of his "History" labours
mainly to prove this point; no change of "authority" is intended.

What Knox wanted is very obvious. He wanted to prevent Mary Stuart from
enjoying her hereditary crown. She was a woman, as such under the curse
of "The First Blast of the Trumpet," and she was an idolatress.
Presently, as we shall see, he shows his hand to Cecil.

Before the Reformers entered Edinburgh Mary of Guise retired to the
castle of Dunbar, where she had safe access to the sea. In Edinburgh
Knox says that the poor sacked the monasteries "before our coming." The
contemporary Diurnal of Occurrents attributes the feat to Glencairn,
Ruthven, Argyll, and the Lord James. {135a}

Knox was chosen minister of Edinburgh, and as soon as they arrived the
Lords, according to the "Historie of the Estate of Scotland," sent envoys
to the Regent, offering obedience if she would "relax" the preachers,
summoned on May 10, "from the horn" and allow them to preach. The Regent
complied, but, of course, peace did not ensue, for, according to Knox, in
addition to a request "that we might enjoy liberty of conscience," a
demand for the withdrawal of all French forces out of Scotland was made.
{135b} This could not be granted.

Presently Mary of Guise issued before July 2, in the name of the King and
Queen, Francis II. and Mary Stuart, certain charges against the
Reformers, which Knox in his "History" publishes. {135c} A remark that
Mary Stuart lies like her mother, seems to be written later than the
period (September-October 1559) when this Book II. was composed. The
Regent says that the rising was only under pretence of religion, and that
she has offered a Parliament for January 1560. "A manifest lie," says
Knox, "for she never thought of it till we demanded it." He does not
give a date to the Regent's paper, but on June 25 Kirkcaldy wrote to
Percy that the Regent "is like to grant the other party" (the Reformers)
"all they desire, which in part she has offered already." {136a}

Knox seizes on the word "offered" as if it necessarily meant "offered
though unasked," and so styles the Regent's remark "a manifest lie." But
Kirkcaldy, we see, uses the words "has in part offered already" when he
means that the Regent has "offered" to grant some of the wishes of his

Meanwhile the Regent will allow freedom of conscience in the country, and
especially in Edinburgh. But the Reformers, her paper goes on, desire to
subvert the crown. To prove this she says that they daily receive
messengers from England and send their own; and they have seized the
stamps in the Mint (a capital point as regards the crown) and the Palace
of Holyrood, which Lesley says that they sacked. Knox replies, "there is
never a sentence in the narrative true," except that his party seized the
stamps merely to prevent the issue of base coin (not to coin the stolen
plate of the churches and monasteries for themselves, as Lesley says they
did). But Knox's own letters, and those of Kirkcaldy of Grange and Sir
Henry Percy, prove that they _were_ intriguing with England as early as
June 23-25. Their conduct, with the complicity of Percy, was perfectly
well known to the Regent's party, and was denounced by d'Oysel to the
French ambassador in London in letters of July. {136b} Elizabeth, on
August 7, answered the remonstrances of the Regent, promising to punish
her officials if guilty. Nobody lied more frankly than "that imperial

When Knox says "there is never a sentence in the narrative true," he is
very bold. It was not true that the rising was merely under pretext of
religion. It may have been untrue that messengers went _daily_ to
England, but five letters were written between June 21 and June 28. To
stand on the words of the Regent - "_every day_" - would be a babyish
quibble. All the rest of her narrative was absolutely true.

Knox, on June 28, asked leave to enter England for secret discourse; he
had already written to the same effect from St. Andrews. {137a} If Henri
sends French reinforcement, Knox "is uncertain what will follow"; we may
guess that authority would be in an ill way. Cecil temporised; he wanted
a better name than Kirkcaldy's - a man in the Regent's service - to the
negotiations (July 4). "Anywise kindle the fire," he writes to Croft
(July 8). Croft is to let the Reformers know that Arran has escaped out
of France. Such a chance will not again "come in our lives." We see
what the chance is!

On July 19 Knox writes again to Cecil, enclosing what he means to be an
apology for his "Blast of the Trumpet," to be given to Elizabeth. He
says, while admitting Elizabeth's right to reign, as "judged godly,"
though a woman, that they "must be careful not to make entrance and title
to many, by whom not only shall the truth be impugned, but also shall the
country be brought to bondage and slavery. God give you eyes to foresee
and wisdom to avoid the apparent danger." {137b}

The "many" to whom "entrance and title" are not to be given, manifestly
are Mary Stuart, Queen of France and Scotland.

It is not very clear whether Knox, while thus working against a woman's
"entrance and title" to the crown on the ground of her sex, is thinking
of Mary Stuart's prospects of succession to the throne of England or of
her Scottish rights, or of both. His phrase is cast in a vague way;
"many" are spoken of, but it is not hard to understand what particular
female claimant is in his mind.

Thus Knox himself was intriguing with England against his Queen at the
very moment when in his "History" he denies that communications were
frequent between his party and England, or that any of the Regent's
charges are true. As for opposing authority and being rebellious, the
manifest fundamental idea of the plot is to marry Elizabeth to Arran and
deny "entrance and title" to the rightful Queen. It was an admirable
scheme, and had Arran not become a lunatic, had Elizabeth not been "that
imperial votaress" vowed to eternal maidenhood, their bridal, with the
consequent loss of the Scottish throne by Mary, would have been the most
fortunate of all possible events. The brethren had, in short, a perfect
right to defend their creed in arms; a perfect right to change the
dynasty; a perfect right to intrigue with England, and to resist a French
landing, if they could. But for a reformer of the Church to give a dead
lady the lie in his "History" when the economy of truth lay rather on his
own side, as he knew, is not so well. We shall see that Knox possibly
had the facts in his mind during the first interview with Mary Stuart.

The Lords, July 2, replied to the proclamation of Mary of Guise, saying
that she accused them of a purpose "to invade her person." {139a} There
is not a word of the kind in the Regent's proclamation as given by Knox
himself. They denied what the Regent in her proclamation had not
asserted, and what she had asserted about their dealings with England
they did not venture to deny; "whereby," says Spottiswoode in his
"History," "it seemed there was some dealing that way for expelling the
Frenchmen, which they would not deny, and thought not convenient as then
openly to profess." {139b} The task of giving the lie to the Regent when
she spoke truth was left to the pen of Knox.

Meanwhile, at Dunbar, Mary of Guise was in evil case. She had sounded
Erskine, the commander of the Castle, who, she hoped, would stand by her.
But she had no money to pay her French troops, who were becoming
mutinous, and d'Oysel "knew not to what Saint to vow himself." The Earl
of Huntly, before he would serve the Crown, {139c} insisted on a promise
of the Earldom of Moray; this desire was to be his ruin. Huntly was a
double dealer; "the gay Gordons" were ever brave, loyal, and bewildered

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