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DIRECTED TO THE TRUE LORDS MAINTAINERS
OF THE KING’S GRACE’S AUTHORITY
T may seem to your Lordships that I, meddling with high matters of governing commonwealths, do pass my estate, being of so mean quality, and forget my duty, giving counsel to the wisest of this realm. Nonetheless, seeing the misery so great appearing, and the calamity so near approaching, I thought it less fault to incur the crime of surmounting my private estate than the blame of neglecting the public danger. Therefore I choose rather to undergo the opinion of presumption in speaking than of treason in silence, and especially of such things as even seem presently to redound to the perpetual shame of your Lordships, destruction of this royal estate, and ruin of the whole commonwealth of Scotland. On this consideration I have taken in hand at this time to advertise your honors of such things as I thought to appertain both to your Lordships in particular, and in general to whole community of this realm, in punishment of traitors, pacification of troubles among yourselves, and continuation of peace with our neighbors. Of the which I have taken the trouble to write, and to remit the judgment to your discretion, hoping at least that, although my wit and foresight shall not satisfy you, yet my good will shall not displease you, of which advertisement the sum is this.
2. First to consider how godly the action is which you have in hand, to wit, the defense of your King and innocent pupil, the establishing of religion, punishment of thieves and traitors, and maintenance of peace and quietness among yourselves and with foreign nations.
3. Item: remember how you have vindicated this realm from the thralldom of strangers, out of domestic tyranny, and out of a public dishonor in the sight of all foreign nations, we being altogether esteemed a people murderers of kings and impatient of laws and ingrate, with respect to the murder of the late King Henry within the walls of the principal town, the greatest of the nobility being present with the Queen for the time, and by your power one part of the chief traitors tried from among the true subjects, whereby strangers were constrained afterward as much to praise your justice, as of before they wrongfully condemned your injustice.
4. Item: remember how far in doing the same you have obliged yourselves before the whole world to continue in the same virtue of justice, and what blame you shall incur if you be inconstant. For all men can believe not otherwise, if the time following be not conformed to the time past, that neither honor nor commonwealth stirred you up then, but rather some particular tending to your private commodity.
5. Item: remember how many gentle and honest means you have sought in times past to cause the King to be acknowledged and the contrary put at rest, and how unprofitable has been your honesty in treating, your valiant courage in war, your mercifulness in victory, your clemency in punishing and facility in reconciliation.
6. Which things witness sufficiently that you esteemed no man enemy that would live in peace under the King’s authority, that you were never desirous of blood, gear, nor honor of such as would not, and in making of trouble and sedition declare themselves enemies to God and the King’s Majesty, rather than live in concord and amity with their neighbors under the correction of justice.
7. And since you can neither bow their obstinate height with patience, nor soften their stubborn hearts with gentleness, nor satisfy their inordinate desires otherwise than with the King’s blood and yours, the destruction of religion, banishing of justice, and free permission of cruelty and disorder, your wisdom may easily consider what kind of medicine is not only meet but also necessary for mending of such a malady.
8. And to the effect that you may better consider this necessity of medicine, remember what kind of people they are, that profess themselves in deed and dissemble in word, to be enemies to God, to justice, and to you, because you maintain the King’s action.
9. Some of them are counselors of the King’s father’s slaughter, some conveyers of him to the shambles, that slew his grandsire, banished his father, and, not satisfied to have slain himself, murdered the King’s Regent, and now seek his own blood that they may fulfill their cruelty and avarice being kings, which they began to exercise the time of their governing.
10. Others are, that being allied or near of kin to the Hamiltons, think to be participants of all their prosperity and success.
11. Others, being guilty of King Henry’s death, in the first Parliament held in the King’s reign that now is, could well accord that the Queen should have been put to death also.
12. And seeing they could not obtain that point, the next shift of their impiety was to put down the King, that he should not rest to revenge his father’s death, which they thought could not be more easily done than by bringing home the Queen with such a husband that either for old hatred or for new covetousness would desire the first degree of succession to be of his own blood.
13. Some others are practiced in casting of courts and revolving of estates by raising of civil war, and are become richer than every they hoped, and because they have found the practice so good in time past, now they seek all ways to continue it, and having once tasted how good fishing it is in troubled waters, they can by no manner leave the craft.
14. Others of that faction are some Papists, some feigned Protestants that have no God but gear, and desire again the Papistry, not for love they bear to it (for they are scorners of all religion), but hoping to have promotion of idle bellies to benefices, and lament the present estate where (as they say) ministers get all, and leave nothing to good fellows, and to this intent they would set up the Queen’s authority, say they.
15. Some there be also that under color of seeking the Queen’s authority think to escape the punishment of old faults, and have licence in time to come to oppress their neighbors that be feebler than they.
16. Now have I to show you by conjecture what fruit is to be hoped of an assembly of such men as, for the most part, are of insatiable greediness, intolerable arrogance, without faith in promises, measure in covetousness, piety to the inferior, obedience to the superior, in peace desirous of trouble, in war thirsty of blood, nourishers of theft, raisers of rebellion, counselors of traitors, inventors of treason, with hand ready to murder, mind to deceive, heart void of truth and full of felony, tongue steeped in deceit, and word tending to false practice without verity, by which properties and many others thereunto joined, as is known to all men, you that understand their beginning, progress, and whole life, may easily remember, to whom this general speaking appertains in special, and it is not unknown to such as know the persons how they are mixed with Godless persons, Papists, harlot Protestants, common bribers, holy in words, hypocrites in heart, proud contemnors or Machiavel mockers of all religion and virtue, bloody butchers and open oppressors, fortifiers of thieves, and maintainers of traitors.
17. It is also necessary to your Lordships to understand their pretence, that if it be a thing which may stand with the tranquility of the commonwealth, your Lordships may in some part rather condescend to their inordinate lust than put the whole estate in jeopardy of battle.
18. First, it is not honor, riches, or authority that they desire, for they have had, and also have presently, and may have in time to come, such part of all these things as a private man may have in this realm, not being chargeable to the country, or not suspected to a King, as unassured of his own estate.
19. It is not the deliverance of the Queen that they seek, as their doings (contrary to their words) testify manifestly, for if they would have her delivered, they would have procured by all means possible the Queen of England’s favor and support, in whose power the whole recovery stood only, and not offend her so highly as they have done and daily do in participation of the conspired treason to put her Majesty not only out of her state, but out of this life present, and in receiving and maintaining her rebels contrary to promise and solemn contract of pacification betwixt these two realms, and also have incited proud and uncircumspect young men to harry, burn, and slay, and take prisoners in her realm, and use all disorder and cruelty, not only used in war, but detestable to all barbarous and vile Tartars, in slaying of prisoners and, contrary to all humanity and justice, keep no promise to miserable captives received once into their mercy, and all this was done by commandment of such as say they seek the Queen’s deliverance, and reproached to them by the doers of the mischiefs, saying that they entered them in danger, and supported them not in need so much as to come to Lawder and look for them, in which deserting of their colleagues they show cruelty joined with falsehood, and most high treason against the Queen, pretending in word her deliverance, and stopping in work her recovery, the which (as every man may clearly see) they sought, as he that sought his wife drowned in the river against the stream.
20. It is not the Queen’s authority that they would set up in her absence, for if that were their intention, whom can they place in it more friendly to her than her only son, or what governor may they put to him less suspect than such men as have no pretence of succession of the Crown, or any hope of profit to come to them after his death, or they that ever have been true servants to Kings before him? Should they not be preferred to his paternal enemies, yea, and slayers of his father, and solicitors of strangers to seek his innocent blood?
21. What then shall we think these men seek under pretense of the Queen’s authority, seeing they can not bring home the Queen to set her up, nor will suffer the King lawfully inaugurated and confirmed by decree of Parliament to brook it, with so many of his tutors chosen by his mother as are not to be suspected to will him harm? I trust it is not uneasy to perceive by their whole progress now presently and in time past, that they desire no other thing but the death of the King and Queen of Scotland, to set up the Hamiltons in authority, to the which they have aspired by cunning means these fifty years ago. And seeing their purpose succeeded not by crafty and secret means, now they follow the same trade conjoined to falsehood, open wickedness.
22. And that you may see what means they have used this fifty years past to set up by craft this authority which now they seek by violence, force and treason, I will call to our memory some of their practices, which many of you may remember as well as I.
23. First, after the death of King James the Fourth, when John, Duke of Albany, was chosen by the nobility to govern in the King’s minority, the Hamiltons, thinking that he had been as wicked as they, and should to his own advancement put down the King (being of tender age for the time, and by the decease of his brother left alone), and that they would easily get their hand beyond the Duke, being a stranger and without succession of his body, held themselves quiet for a season, thinking that other men’s action should be their promotion. But seeing that the Duke, as a prince both wise and virtuous, to bring himself out of such suspicion, put four Lords esteemed of the most true and virtuous in Scotland in that time to attend on the King’s grace, to wit, the Earl Marshall, the Lords Erskine, Ruthven and Borthwick, the Hamiltons, being out of hope of the King’s being put down by the Duke of Albany, and out of credit to do him any harm by themselves, made one conspiracy with certain Lords to put the said Duke out of authority and take it on themselves, that, all things put in their power, they might use the King and the realm at their own pleasure. To that effect they took the castle of Glasgow, and there made an assembly of their faction, the which was dissolved by the hasty coming of the Duke of Albany with an army, for fear of the which the Earl of Arran, chief of that company, fled to his wife’s brother the Lord Hume, being then out of Court.
24. The second conspiracy was after the Duke’s last departing (the aforesaid Lords separate from attending the Duke), devised by sir James Hamilton, bastard son to the said Earl of Arran, who conspired the King’s death, then being in his house in the Abbey of Holyrood, which conspiracy after many years being revealed, the said Sir James suffered death for it. This conspiracy not being executed, Sir James persevered in his evil intention, and by secret means in Court sought always that the King should not marry, that for lack of his succession the Hamiltons might come to their intents. For the King was young, lusty, and ready to adventure his person to all hazards both by sea in land in putting down thieves and setting up justice. The Hamiltons looked for a time when sickness, through excess of travel or some other reckless adventure, should cut him off without children and destitute of this hope. First he stopped the Kings meeting with his uncle the King of England, who at that time, having but one daughter, was willing to have married with the King of England and make him King of the whole isle after himself, and to have entered him at that present time in possession of the Duchy of York. But the said Sir James, ever having eye to his own scope, hindered this purpose by some of the King’s familiars that he had practiced with by gifts, and especially by the Bishop of St. Andrews James Beaton, uncle to the Earl of Arran’s mother and great-uncle to Sir James’ wife, and raised such suspicion betwixt the two Kings that brought the realms into great business.
25. This purpose, as said, was put back. The King seeing that this ambassadors furthered not at this pleasure, delivered himself in person to go by sea into France, and Sir James Hamilton, persevering in his former intention, went with him to hinder his marriage by all means he might. And to that effect, the King sleeping in the ship, without any necessity of wind and weather, Sir James caused the mariners to turn sail of the west coast of England backward and land in Galloway, where the King was very discontent with Sir James and Master David Painter, principal causers of his returning, as divers that were in the ship yet living can report. And from that time forth, the King, having tried out his pretence and perceiving his unfaithful dealing, ever disfavored him, and to his great displeasure favored openly the Earl of Lennox and his friends in his absence. The which Earl pretended a right and title to the whole Earldom of Arran, the present Earl for that time being known to be a bastard, and also it was in men’s recent memory how Sir James Hamilton had cruelly slain the Earl of Lennox at Lithgow, even to the great displeasure of the Earl of Arran, father to Sir James and uncle to the Earl of Lennox, coming by the King’s commandment to Linlithgow. So the King (as is said), understanding the private practice of Sir James in keeping him unmarried, hastned himself the more earnestly to marry, to the effect that his succession might put the Hamiltons out of hope of their intent, and himself out of danger by the Hamiltons. And albeit that Sir James, to make himself clean of that suspicion, sought many divers ways to the destruction of the Earl of Arran his brother, yet he could never gain the King’s favor, until finally he was executed for treason and took a miserable end conforming to his ungodly life.
26. The King at last deceased and leaving a daughter of six days old, the Hamiltons thought all to be theirs. For then the Earl of Arran, a young man of small wit and great inconstancy, was set up by some of the nobility and some familiar servants of the King lately deceased, for they thought him more tolerable than Cardinal Beaton, who by a false instrument had taken the supreme authority to himself.
27. The Earl of Arran named governor by a private faction, and favored by so many as professed the true religion of Christ, because he was believed then to be of the same howbeit he was gentle of nature, yet his friends for the most part were greedy both of gear and blood, and given to injustice where gain followed. there was in his time nothing else but war, oppression, and bribing of his cunning brother the Bishop of St. Andrews, so that all the Estates were weary of him and discharged him of his office, and entrusted it to a woman stranger.
28. In the beginning of his government the Queen and her mother were kept by him rather like prisoners than princesses, but yet that inconvenience was cause of preserving of the Queen’s life, he believing to marry her to his son. But after the Earl of Lennox had delivered them out of his hands, and the nobility had refused to marry her to his son, howbeit he left his firm friends and came to the Queen, abjured his religion in the Grayfriars of Sterling, yet he could never come again to his pretended claiming of the Crown, which he had long sought, partly by favor of such of the nobility as were allied with him, and partly by destruction of the ancient houses that might have put impediment to his unreasonable ambition. For having banished the Earl of Lennox, he thought the Earl of Angus to be the principal that might resist him, and having entered in ward Sir George Douglas, to be yet more assured, he sent for the said Earl of Angus in a friendly manner, and put him in prison without any just occasion, and would have beheaded them both if the arrival of the English army had not stayed his purpose, by the which and fear of the murmur of the people he was constrained to deliver him. And seeing he dared not at such a time put them down by tyranny, he offered them to the sword of the enemy to be slain by them. And to the effect that they and their friends, having put back the English horsemen and receiving another charge, might be the more easily slain, they standing in battle and fighting for him, he in the battle fled to abandon them, and so these noble men, so far as lay in him, were slain, and preserved by the providence of God.
29. The young Queen being in her mother’s keeping, he might not put down nor marry at his pleasure, <and so> he consented to offer her to the storms of the sea and danger of enemies, and sold her as a slave in France for the Duchy of Châtelherault, which he possessed in name only, as the Crown of Scotland in fantasy, and received such price for her as treason, perjury, and the selling of free persons should be recompensed with. But yet the coveting of the crown that he had sold ceased not here, for before her returning home out of France, at the troubles which began concerning the repression of the Frenchmen and tyranny against the religion, how many means sought the Hamiltons to have deprived her of all right, and translated the Crown to themselves, is known both to Scotland and England.
30. Also, after the Queen’s arriving in Scotland, she seeking a quarrel against the said Duke and some other Lords under pretence that they had conspired against her for religion’s cause, the Duke’s friends left him all, because the rest of the Lords would not consent to destroy the Queen or derogate her authority in any manner of way. A little before which time, the occasion of the Duke’s conspiracy with the Earl Bothwell to slay the Earl of Moray in Falkland was no other but because, the said Earl of Moray living, they could neither do the said Queen harm in her person, nor diminish her authority, nor constrain her to marry at their pleasure, and to her utter displeasure.
31. After the Queen had married with him whom they esteemed their old enemy, and was with child, the good Bishop of St. Andrews first called Cunningham, esteemed Cowane, and at last Abbot Hamilton, not only conspired with the Earl Bothwell, but came with the Queen to Glasgow and convoyed the King to the place of his murder, the Bishop being lodged, as he seldom had been before, where he might perceive the pleasure of that cruelty with all his senses, and help the murderers, if need had been, and sent four of his familiar servants to the execution of the murder, watching all the night and thinking long to have the joy of the coming of the Crown a degree nearer to the house of Hamilton, and so great hope mixed with ambition inflamed his heart for the King’s decease that within short time he believed firmly his cunning brother to be King, and he (the said Bishop) to be to him as Curator during the whole time of his insanity, which had been a longer term than Whitsunday or Martinmas. For he thought undoubtedly that the Earl Bothwell should destroy the young Prince, and not suffer him prosper to revenge his father’s death, and precede the Earl’s children in succession to the Crown; and the young Prince once cut off, the Bishop made his reckoning that the Queen and the Earl Bothwell, hated already for the slaughter of the King her husband, and more for the innocent, were easy to be destroyed with consent of all Estates, and the crime cast to the Bishop to be proved, who knew all the secrets of the whole design; or if they would slay the Earl Bothwell and spare the Queen, they were in hope she should marry John Hamilton the Duke’s son, whom with merry looks and gentle countenance (as she could well do) she had entertained in the pastime of flirtation, and caused the rest of the Hamiltons to grow silly with delight. But after the Earl Bothwell had refused battle at Carberry Hill, and the Queen, before the coming of the Hamiltons, came to the Lords, the Hamiltons (as at that time disappointed) fostered their vain hope with a merry dream that the Queen should be punished according to her demerits, and were a time in double joy, the one that, being rid of the Queen, she should not bear more children to debar them from the Crown, and the other that they might have an easy way to calumniate the Regent for destroying the Queen. But seeing her kept, they blamed openly the Regent, who kept her in store in despite of them (as they said) to be a stud to cast more foals, to hinder them of the succession of the Crown; yet for all that they would none of them come to Parliament to further their desire with a plain vote, but lay back to keep themselves at liberty to reprove all that should be done in that convention of the Lords and to feign favor towards the Queen whom they hated, so as if by consent of the Lords or otherwise she were delivered they might help her to put down the Lords that would not put her down in favor of them.
32. This their intention was openly shown when the Queen, being kept in Lochlevin by commandment of the whole Parliament, was delivered by conspiracy of some private men, especially of the Hamiltons, for they assembled all their forces to put down the young King and Lords obedient to him. Which evil will they showed towards the Lords at the Langside, bringing with them great store of cords to murder and hang them if they had been taken prisoners and the victory fallen to the Hamiltons, and the same evil will towards the King in keeping the water of Forthe, that he should not escape their cruel hands, being assured if he came in the Queen of England’s power, that she of her accustomed clemency and kindness of blood would not abandon him to their unmerciful cruelty experienced already in his father. And seeing that the providence of God had closed the door to all their wickedness at that time, they have never ceased since to seek enemies to his grace in all strange nations, and perceiving that they had fair words of all others, except of the Queen’s Majesty of England, who understood their false and treasonable dealing, they turned their hatred against her, and entered into conspiracy with some traitors of England that were as evil-minded towards the Queen’s Majesty their sovereign as the Hamiltons were to the King’s highness of Scotland. This is neither dreamed in a wardrobe nor heard through a bower, but a true narrative, and the verity known. By the which you may understand the Hamilton’s pretense this fifty years and more.
33. And so many ways sought by them to destroy the right succession and place them in the kingly room, seeing all their practices could not avail, and their forces were not sufficient, they sought to augment their faction, adjoining to them all that were participant in the King’s slaughter, and had aspired to slay the Queen of England. And to the effect they might come to their wicked purpose, they in a manner displayed a banner to assemble together all kind of wicked men, as Papists, renegade Protestants, thieves, traitors, murderers, and open oppressors. And for their adherents in Scotland I need not to put forth their names, nor the qualities of the conspirators of England, for they are well enough known to your Lordships. Yet one I cannot overpass, being the chief conspirator chosen by them to be King of Scotland and England, I mean the Duke of Norfolk, in which act you may see how the thirst for your blood blinded them against their own utility. First they chose the principal enemy of the religion of Christ in this isle, accompanied with other filthy idolaters, to change the state of the Church in both realms by cutting off the two princes, seeing that, their authority standing, the conspirators could not come to their intent. Next they respected in that proud tyrant the virtues that were common to him and them, as arrogance, cruelty, dissimulation and treason, for even as they had this long time in Scotland sought the death of their rightful prince, so he in England, following the trade of his ancestors, divers times attempting treason, would have put down the Queen of England. Here also appears the Hamiltons’ cruelty against the nobility of their own nation in seeking their professed and perpetual enemy of Scotland (as his badge bears witness), who should have spilt the rest of the noble blood of Scotland in peace that his ancestors could not spill in war, by which election, being assured that no Scots heart can love them, so can they love none of your, against whom they have visited so many treasonable acts. They do show also how cruelty and avarice have blinded them that cannot see in bringing a tyrant to have power over they, seeing they, pretending nearest claim to the Crown, should be nearest the danger. And yet for all this could these men be well contented if by any means they could attain to their intent by spoil and robbery, as they did when they were placed in supreme authority, or by making of you slaves, as they did in selling their Queen, begin that practice wherein, howbeit the inhumanity was great, yet it was not in supreme degree of cruelties, but it is no moderately tolerable or accustomed thing that they seek. It is the blood, first, of our innocent King, even such as has been preserved by wild beasts; next, the blood of all his true servants and true subjects indifferently. For what defense can be in nobility, or what surety against them that have murdered a king and seek strangers to murder another king? Whom shall they spare for virtue and innocence, that lately executed and yet defend the murder of the Regent? Or who will be spared for law, degree, or base estate, in respect of they that hired out of Tividale to slay Master John Wood for no other cause but for being a good servant to the crown and to the Regent his master, and had espied out some of their practices?
34. If this thirst of blood of these leeches might be imputed to hasty hunger or any sudden motion, which cause men sometimes to forget their duty, there might yet be some hope that, such a passion having passed, they would with time remember themselves, and after gaining power amend faults past, or at least abstain in time to come. But there is no such humanity in their nature, nor such piety in their hearts, for, not content with a king’s blood, they gape for his son’s murder; not satisfied to have slain the Regent, they kept the murderer in the Duke’s house in Arran, most likely thinking as if they honored not the doer, they should not be known as counselors of the deed, and would be deprived of the glory of that noble act. And besides all this, they are not only content to maintain Scots traitors, but also receive English traitors, and set up a sanctuary of treason, a refuge for idolatry, a receptacle of thieves and murderers.
35. And howbeit the foaming blood of a King and Regent about their hearts, whereof the lust in their appetite gives them little rest, daily and hourly making new provocation, yet the small space of rest which they have besides the execution of their cruelty they spend in devising of general unquietness through the whole country, for not content of it that they themselves may steal, bribe and plunder, they set out hunting-dogs on every side to gnaw the people’s bones after they have consumed the flesh, and hound out, one of them, the Clan Gregor, another the Grantie and Clauchattan, another Blacleuch and Fernihurst, another the Johnstons and Armstrongs, and such as would be held the most holy amongst them show the affection they had to banish peace and stir up troubles when they bent all their fine wits to stop the Regent to go first north, and then south, to punish theft and oppression, and when they saw that their counsel was not authorized in giving impunity to all disorder, they spent it in putting down him that would have put all in good order.
36. There is a kind of thief even odious to more gentle thieves, which, calling themselves great gentlemen, spoil travelers, carriers and chapmen by the way, and ransom pure men about Edinburgh for twenty shillings the head, which vice cannot proceed of vengeance of enemies, but rather of love and pleasure in wickedness. This kind of men do not only dishonor to nobility in stealing, and to thieves in purse-picking, but also to the whole nation of Scotland, giving opinion to strangers that some of the Scots be of so low courage that men amongst them aspiring to the highest estate of a kingdom have crouched themselves in the most low order of knaves.
37. Now, my Lords, you may consider how they that slay so cruelly kings and their lieutenants will be merciful to you, and when they shall have put you down that crave revenge of the King’s blood, you may understand how few dare crave justice of your slaughter. You may see how cruel they will be in oppression of the poor, having cut off you, which being of most noble and potent houses in this realm, suffer through your sloth every part of this country to be made worse than Liddisdale or Annandale, and not only suffer the purse-pickers of Clydesdale to exercise theft and rapine as a craft, but nurse and authorize amongst you the chief counselors of all disorder, as an adder in your bosom. Of all this you may lay the blame on no other but upon yourselves, that have sufficient power to repress their insolence and pride, having in your hand the same wand that you have chastised them with before, for you have your Protector, the same God, this year, Who was the years past unchangeable in His eternal counsels, constant in promise, potent in punishing, and liberal in rewarding. You have a great number of new friends alienated from them for their manifest iniquity in deed, wickedness in word, and treason in heart; you have the same enemies that you had then, so many as have their hearts hardened and their minds bent against God and lawful severity; you have the same action that you had then, enhanced with recent murder and treason, to provoke the ire of the Eternal against them. How far God has blinded them blind may see, that having so evil an action, and so many enemies at home, yet are sending out like hounds small traitors of their wicked conspiracy, men execrable to their own parents, whom amongst others they have divers times spoiled; be sending your like hounds, I say, such persons to burn, murder, pillage and steal. They provoke the Queen’s Majesty of England to seek vengeance for their oppression against her realm and subjects, which vengeance justice and honor crave of her so insistently that she cannot cease to pursue them, their receivers and maintainers, until she give such example to others that, although they will not respect virtue, yet for fear of punishment they shall be content to live in peace with neighbors, wherein Her Highness has already renewed the memory of her well-tried liberality and tender love to this nation, seeking on her proper charges and travail of her subjects the punishment of such as we on our charges should have punished, I mean not only our traitors, but also receivers of Her Majesty’s traitors, and in doing this seeks pacification amongst them that violated peace with her without provocation, severing the punishment of such as are guilty in offending from the subjects that have not violated the peace. And as she keeps peace and justice among her own subjects in England, so, unasked, she offered support to the same end in Scotland, and not only gives remedy to our present calamities, but cuts the root of troubles to come, and prevents the wicked counsel of such as provoke Englishmen and solicit Frenchmen to come into this realm to the end that, these two nations entered in strife the one against the other, they may satiate their cruel hearts with blood, their obstinate will with vengeance, their bottomless covetousness with spoil and theft.
38. Therefore, seeing God has so blinded your enemies’ wits, my Lords, be in good hope that He shall also cast the spirit of fear and desperation in their indurate hearts, and prosper your good actions, to the which He comforts you with His ready help, exhorts you by His words, and constrains you by the duty of your estate, and necessity of preserving your life and honor. For, promise being neglected, faith violated, subscription set at naught, there is no middle way left but either to do or suffer, and seeing that both are miserable among such as should be friends, yet better it is to slay justly than to be slain wrongfully. For the execution of justice in punishing the wicked is approved by God and man, and sloth in defense of justice cannot be excused of treason. And besides the fact that God shows Himself so merciful and liberal to you in sending you His friends by procuring of your enemies. Also, the persons most recommended of God crave the same, for innocent blood, oppression of the pure and of the fatherless, cry continually to heaven for vengeance, which God commits to your hands as his lieutenants and special officers of His eternal will, so He will not neglect to punish sloth in just execution of His commandments.
39. Therefore, my Lords, as you would that God should remember you and posterity when they shall call on Him in their necessity, remember your King our sovereign, and my lord Regent’s pupils, committed to you in tutelage by the reason of your office and estate, regarding persons that are not of age and power to help themselves from the cruelty of unmerciful wolves. Neglect not the opportunity nor refuse the help sent you by God, but recognize thankfully His favor towards you, that causes your enemies to procure our help. Neglect not the offer of friends. In case you let let slip this opportunity, you shall crave it in vain in your necessity. Think it no less the providence of our heavenly Father than if He had sent you a legion of angels in your defense, and remember that He shows Himself never more friendly and amenible to any people than He has done to you, and trust well that if you will persevere in obedience and recognition of His grace, He will multiply His benefits to you and your posterity, and shall never leave you, unless you forget Him first.