« ZurückWeiter »
ame, and to a great distance ; the three roods by which the Scots fled, were strewed with spears, swords, and targets, and covered with the bodies of the slain. More than ten thousand men fell on this day, one o: the most fatal Scotland had ever seen. A few were taken prisoners, and among them some persons of distinction.
A. D. 1548.-'The Scottish nobles falling in with the prejudices of the queen dowager in favour of France, in the violence of their resentment against England, voluntarily proposed to Henry II. of France, a marriage of their young queen, only six years old, with the dauphin, eldest son of Henry II., and to send her to his court for education. Henry without hesitation accepted these offers, and prepared for a vigorous desence of his new acquisition. On the 15th of June, 1548, the treaty was concluded by the parliament assembled in the camp before Haddington; and Mary was immediately sent to France, at that time notoriously the most corrupt court in Europe. Here she acquired every accomplishment that could add to her charms as a woman, and contracted many of those prejudices which occasioned her misfortunes as a queen. Peace was soon afterwards made with England ; and both the British and Scottish nations lost power by this unhappy quarrel, while France obtained a decided advantage. The reformation, however, gained ground. At this time appeared the famous John Knox, a man whose natural intrepidity of mind placed him far above fear. He began his public ministry at St. Andrew's, in 1547, with that success which always accompanies a bold and popular eloquence. He was patronized by the conspirators while they kept possession of the castle, which he had made the place of his abode. At this time the queen-dowager, Mary of Guise, aspired to the office of regent. She had already nearly engrossed the administration of affairs into her hands. Her designs were concealed with the utmost care, and advanced by address and refinement; her brothers entered warmly into the scheme, and supported it with all their credit at the court of France. The queen-dowager visited France in 1550 ; froni thence over ures were made to the regent to resign his situation in her favour, which che king of France enforced, by an artful admixture of threats and promises ; so that he was induced to relinquish his power, which he formally laid down in 1554, and the parliament raised Mary of Guise to that dignity. Thus was a woman, and a stranger, advanced to the supreme authority in Scotland!
A. D. 1558.-On the 14th of April, the marriage of the young queen took place with the dauphin Francis, and the parliament of Scotland sent eight of its members to represent their whole body at the nuptials. In the treaty of marriage, the dauphin was allowed to assume the title of king of Scotland as an honorary title. The French king, however, soon after insisted that the dauphin's title shoua be publicly recognized, and all the right appertaining to the husband of a: queen should be vested in his person, upon which the Scotch parliament, (Nov. 29), passed an act confer. ring the crown matrimonial on the dauphin. The earl of Argyll, and James Stuart, prior of St. Andrew's, were appointed to carry the crowni and other ensigns of royalty to the dauphin. But from this they were diverted by the part they were called upon to act in a more interesting scene, which now began to open. The bigoted Queen Mary, of England, whose religious persecutions had earned for her a still more offensive name, died on the 17th of November, 1558; and Elizabeth, her sister, took possession of the English throne. In order to gratify the arbitrary caprice of Henry, Elizabeth as well as her predecessor, Mary, had been declared illegitimate by the parliament; but in his last will he declared 'hem the successors on the throne to their brother Edward ; at the same time passing by the posterity of his sister Margaret, queen of Scotland, and continuing the line of succession to his sister, the duchess oi
Suffolk, Rome trembled for the catholic faith under a queen of sucb abilities as Elizabeth was known to possess. Spain and France were equally alarmed. Instigated by the impetuous ambition of the Guises, who governed the court of France, Henry, soon after the death of Mary persuaded his daughter-in-law, and his son, her husband, to assume the title of king and queen of England. They affected to publish this to all Europe and used that style and appellation in public papers. The arms of England was engraved on their coin, and on their plate, and borne by them on all occasions; but no preparations were made to support this impolitic and premature claim. Elizabeth was already seated on her throne; she possessed all the intrepidity of spirit, and all the arts of policy which were necessary for maintaining that station; and England was growing into reputation for naval power, while that of France was neglected. It was absurd to expect that the Scottish protestants would assist to dethrone a queen whom ali Europe began to consider as the most powerful guardian and defender of the reformed faith. Yet, absurd as it was, in 1559, the queen-regent issued a proclamation, enjoining all persons to observe the approaching festival of Easter according to the Romish ritual. The protestants, who saw danger approaching, in order to avert it, engaged the earl of Glencairn, and Sir Hugh Campbell, of London, to expostulate with her. Without disguise or apology, she avowed to them her resolution of extirpating the reformed religion out of the kingdom, and soon after summoned all the protestant preachers in the kingdom to a court of justice, to be held at Stirling on the 10th day of May. The reformed convened in great numbers to attended their pastors to Stirling. The regent being alarmed at their being so numerous, although unarmed, promised to put a stop to the intended trial, and they dispersed towards their own habitations. The regent had little regard to her promise. The 10th of May arrived. The names of those were called who had been summoned ; and, upon their non-appearance, they were pronounced outlaws. This conduct occasioned an insurrction in Perth; the churches were defaced, the altars were overturned, the images broken in pieces, the pictures torn, and the monasteries almost levelled with the ground. A truce was soon after concluded between the regent and the protestants, which was presently broken by the former, and the protestants again took to arms, not only with a view of redressing their religious, but their civil grievances, and the protestant army, wherever it came, spread the ardour of reformation. The gates of every town were thrown open to receive them; and, without striking a blow, they took possession of Edinburgh, June 29, 1559.
On the 8th of July, Henry II. of France died; and Francis, the husband of Mary, queen of Scots, succeeded to the throne. The queen-regent was soon after deprived of her power by the protestants ; but ihe Frenci garrison in Leith refused to surrender that place, nor were the Scots in a condition to compel them. In this situation of affairs, application was inade to Elizabeth for assistance. She sent to them a supply of four tiiousand crowns, which was intercepted by Bothwell, and carried off. A second application was made, imploring her assistance. Elizabeth had observed the prevalence of French councils, and had already come to a resolution with regard to the part she would act, if their power should grow more formidable. In January, 1560, an English fleet arrived in the frith of Forth, and cast anchor in the road of Leith. The English army, consiste ing of six thousand foot and two thousand horse, under the cuinmand of Lord Grey of Wilton, and attended by a prodigious number of protestants, entered Scotland early in the spring, and advanced towards Leith, which they invested. Nothing could now save the French troops shut up in Leith, but the immediate conclusion of peace, or the arrivai üi d powerful army from the continent They chose the former; and Elizabeth not only obtained honourable conditions for her allies, but for herself; particularly an acknowledgment of her right to the crown of England from Francis and Mary, who in the treaty solemnly engaged neither to aşsume the title, nor to bear the arms of king and queen of England, in any time to conne; this peace was signed July 6, 1560. While this peace was negotiating, the queen-regent died; and on the 4th of December Francis II. paid the debt of nature. He was a prince of a weak constitution, and still weaker intellect. The ancient confederacy of the two kingdoms had already been broken; and by the death of Francis the chief bond of union which remained was dissolved.
In 1561, the convention invited the queen to return to Scotland, her native country, and to assume the reins of government. She sailed from Calais in a galley, and on the 19th of August landed safely at Leith, where she was received by her subjects with acclamations of joy. With a view to gain Elizabeth's favour, and conformable to the plan which had been concerted in France, Mary committed the administration of affairs entirely to protestants. Elizabeth commanded Randolph to congratulate her on lier safe return; and Mary sent Maitland to the English court with cereimonious expressions of regard for the queen. Mary had now been several years a widow, and numerous applications from different courts were made for her hand without effect. The queen of England recommended Robert Dudley, afterwards earl of Leicester to her choice. The high spirit of Mary could not well bear the first overture of a match with an English subject. She disseinbied, however, with the English resident, and married her cousin, Lord Darnley, eldest son of the earl of Lenox. The ceremony was performed in the queen's chapel, according to the rites of the Romish church, on the 25th of July, 1565. Darnley's external accomplishments had excited that sudden and violent passion which raised him to the throne. But his understanding was weak, and he was inexperienced and conceited. A few months after marriage their domestic quarrels began to be observed. Rizzio, an Italian musician, whom Darnley had at first taken into great confidence, had now incurred his displeasure ; and he imputed the change in the queen's conduct towards him, to his insinuations; and Mary's behaviour was undoubtedly such as to confirm these suspicions. She treated this Italian with a familiarity, and admitted him to a share in her confidence, which neither his first condition, nor the office of French secretary to the queen, which she had lately bestowed on him, gave him any title. He was perpetually in her company; and, together with a few favourites, was the companion of all her private amusements. The haughty spirit of Darnley could not bear the intrusion of such an upstart, and, impatient of any delay, he resolved to get rid of him by violence. Nothing remained but to concert the plan of operation, and choose the actors. The place appointed for Rizzio's murder was the queen's bed-chamber. Darnley himself selccted it, in order that he might have the satisfaction of reproaching him with his crimes before the queen's face. On the 9th of March, 1556, Morton entered the court of the palace with one hundred and sixty men, and seized all the gates without resistance. While the queen was at supper with the countess of Argyll and Rizzio, the king suddenly entered the apartment. Close behind him was Ruthven, clad in complete armour; and three or four followed him. Rizzio, conscious of his baseness, supposing himself their victim, took shelter behind the queen, taking 'hold of her, hoping that she might prove some protection to hin. Numbers of armed men rushed into the chamber. Ruthven drew his dagger, and furiously commanded Rizzio to leave a place of which he was so unworthy, and which he had occupied too long. Mary employed tears, entreaties, and threatenings, to save her favourite ; but notwithstanding all these, he was torn from her by violence; and before he could be dragged -through the next apartment, his body was pierced with fifty-six wounds.
Mary was but a very short time without a favourite. James Hepburn, earl of Both well, a man of base character, gained an ascendancy over her heart; and the king was treated with indifference and neglect. On the 19th of June, 1566, she was delivered of a son. This event did not in the least alter her opinion in favour of her husband, and her aversion to him was excessive. Bothwell was the object of her admiration. Henry had for some time resided at Glasgow, where he had suffered severely from illness. Thither Mary went, and prevailed upon him to come to Ediuburgh, to which, place he was carried in a litter. The house prepared for his reception belonged to the provost of a collegiate church, called Kirk of Field, and had all the advantages of healthful air to recommend it, and its solitude rendered it a proper place for the commission of that crime, with a view to which it seems manifestly to have been chosen. Mary attended the king with assiduous care; she even slept two nights in the chamber under his apartment. On Sunday, the 9th of February, 1567, she left him, in order to be present at a masque in the palace. At two o'clock the next morning the house was blown up with gunpowder. The dead body of the king, with that of a servant who slept in the same room, were found lying in an adjacent garden, without the city wall, untouched by fire, and with no bruise or mark of violence. The queen and Bothwell were generally suspected of the murder, not only by her own subjects, but by all Europe, over which the news spread rapidly, and excited universai horror; but what contributed most to convince the world of her guilt, was her marriage, on the 15th day of May following, with Bothwell. This inde cent act excited particular indignation and abhorrence in the Scots; and in one month Bothwell was obliged to make a hasty flight to Norway, where he died in a miserable state, while Mary surrendered herself to the nobles, who conducted her to Edinburgh, amid the execrations of the soldiers and the multitude. The following evening she was conveyed, under a strong guard, to Lochlevin castle, and put under the care oi William Douglas, the owner of it, to keep her as a prisoner. In this place she resigned the crown to her son, and appointed the earl of Murray regent.
A. D. 1567.---James VI., at the time an infant, was crowned at Stirling on the 29th day of July, 1567 ; and the earl of Murray assumed the regency, the good effects of which was quickly felt. He called a parliament, that confirmed the proceedings of the confederates. Here the let. ters which Mary had written to Bothwell were produced, which proved her to be accessory to the murder of the king. Yet George Douglas, a youth of eighteen, and brother to William Douglas, who had charge or Mary, was induced, by her affable and insinuating manner, to let her escape. On Sunday, the 2d of May, while his brother was at supper, he procured the keys which unlocked her apartment; and the queen and one of her maids were suffered to escape to a boat on the lake ready to receive her. She travelled all night, attended by Douglas, Seton, and Sir James Hamilton, and in two days reached Hamilton, where she raised a large army. The regent was at Glasgow, holding a court of justice, when he heard of Mary's flight; and her army, already strong, was only eight miles distant. In this dangerous exigency the superiority of Murray's genius appeared, and he was soon in a condition to take the field. Between the two armies, and on the road towards Dumbarton, lay Langsidehill. This the regent had the precaution to seize, and here he awaited the approach of the enemy. The encounter was fierce and desperate; at length the queen's army was obliged to give ground, and the rout imme. diately became universal. Mary witnessed the battle from a hill, and when she saw the army, her last hope, thrown into irretrievable confusion, she began her flight, and never slept till she reached the abbey of Du. drenan, in Galloway, full sixty Scots miles from the field of battle. From
thence she escaped in a fisherman's boat to Carlisle, with about twenty attendants. This event took place on the 16th of May, 1568. Elizabeth no sooner heard that Mary had arrived in England, than she resolved to detain her. With this view she instantly dispatched Lord. Scrope, and Sir Francis Knollys, with letters full of kindness and condolence; but at the same time gave orders to prevent her escape. Mary was soon after conducted to Bolton, a seat of Lord Scrope's on the borders of Yorkshire. She was some time after, on account of a rebellion in her favour, removed to Coventry, a place of strength, which could not be taken without a reg. ular siege. Weary of keeping such a prisoner as the Scotch queen, Elizabeth resolved to deliver her to the regent on certain conditions. But while this affair was in negotiation, the regent was murdered by Hamilton, of Bothwellhaugh, a person who owed his life to the regent's clemency. Thus ended the celebrated man, James Stuart, natural son of James the Fifth, by Lady Erskine, and natural brother of Mary, queen of Scots. He possessed personal intrepidity, military skill, and sagacity. He was a friend to learning, zealous for the reformed religion, and liberal to all whom he esteemed worthy of his confidence and friendship. He was long and affectionately remembered among the people by the name of the “good regent."
A. n. 1570.-The earl of Lenox, father of the unfortunate Darnley, the husband of Mary, was elected regent on the 13th of July, 1570 ; and in 1571 Dumbarton castle was attacked and taken by Captain Crawford ; a service of great importance to the regent, being the only fortified place in the kingdom that held out for the queen. He was, however, surprised and murdered at Stirling, on the 3d of September, 1571. The earl of Mar was chosen regent by a majority of voices, on the 6th of September, but he retained the situation no longer than the 29th of October, 1572, when the earl of Morton was elected, the fourth who had held that dangerous office in the space of five years. James was now in the twelfth year of his age. Alexander Erskine had the chief direction of his education; and under him the celebrated Buchanan acted as preceptor, assisted by three others of the first ability. The nation groaned under the oppressions of Morton; and those about the king infused into him suspicions of his power and designs. The earls of Athol and Argyll were animated against him with implacable resentment; they beseeched the king to call . council of the nobles. James consented, and letters were issued for that purpose. This council met March 24, 1578, and advised the king to de. prive Morton of the regency, and take the reins of government into his own hands. Morton immediately acquiesced ; and a council of twelve peers were appointed to assist the king in the administration of affairs. Morton, however, gained the ascendancy in a month, and resumed his former authority. James early discovered that excessive attachment to favourites which accompanied him through life. Esme Stuart, second brother of the earl of Lenox, by birth a Frenchman, and Captain James Stuart, second son of Lord Ochiltree, were most in his confidence. Both these favourites laboured to undermine the authority of Morton; they accused him of the murder of the late king, and offered to verify this charge by legal evidence. Morton was confined first to his own house, and afterwards in the castle of Edinburgh; and he was soon after tried, condemned, and executed. What he confessed with regard to the crime is remarkable ; it amounted to this, that Bothwell and Huntley were the perpetrators, and that the queen was the author of it. Morton was executed in 1581. The enterprise called the “ raid of Ruthven” happened in the following year, when the king was seized in Ruthven castle by Gowrie, Boyd, Glamis, and Oliphant. This conspiracy, it is said, was countenanced by Elizabeth. James, however, in June, 1583, escaped out of the hands of the conspirators, after upwards of ten month's confinement