To see a commentary note, click on a blue square.
DIRECT TO THE TREW LORDIS MANTENARIS
OF THE KINGIS GRACES AUTHORITIE
T may seme to your Lordschipis, that I, mellyng with heigh materis of gouerning of common welthis, do pas myne estait, being of sa meane qualitie, and forgettis my dewtie, geuyng counsall to the wysest of this Realme. Not the les seyng the miserie sa greit apperyng, and the calamitie sa neir approchyng, I thoght it les fault, to incur the crime of surmountyng my priuate estate, then the blame of neglecting the publick danger. Thairfor I chesid rather to vnderly the opinion of presumptioun in speiking, then of treson in silence, and specially of sic thingis, as euin seme presently to redound to the perpetuall schame of your Lordschippis, distructioun of this Royall estate, and ruyne of the hole commoun welth of Scotland. On this consideratioun I haue taken in hand at this tyme to aduertise your honours of sic thingis as I thoght to appertene, baith to your Lordschippis in speciall, and in generall to the hole communitie of this Realme, in punitioun of tratouris, pacificatioun of troublis amangis your selfis, and continuatioun of peace with our nighbouris. Of the quhilk I haue take the trauell to write: and do remit the Iudgement to your discretioun, hopyng at leist, that although my wit and forsight shall not satisfie you, yit my god will shall not displeis yow, of quhilk aduertisement the summe is this.
2. First to consider how godly the actioun is quhilk you haue in hand, to wit, the defence of your King and Innocent pupill, the stablisching of Religioun, punitioun of thiefis and traitouris, and mantenance of peace & quietnes amongis your selfis and with forrane Natiounis.
3. Item remember how yow haue vindicat this Realme, from the thraldome of strangeris, out of domestik tyrannie, and out of a publik dishonour in the sight of all forrane natiounis, we beyng altogidder estemid a pepill murtherars of Kingis and impacient of Lawis and ingrait, in respect of the murther of the late King Henry, within the wallis of the principall Towne, the greatest of the Nobilitie beyng present with the Quene for the tyme: and by your power one part of the chief Tratouris tried from amongis the trew subiectis, quhairby strangeris wer constraned afterward as mekle to praise your iustice, as of befoire they wrangfully condempnid your iniustice.
4. Item remember how far in doing the same ye haue obliged your selfis befoir the hole warld, to continew in the same vertew of Iustice, and quhat blame ye shall incur, if ye be inconstant. For all men can belif na vtherwise, if the time following be not conforme to the tyme past, that nouther honour nor commoun welth stirrid yow vp then, but rather sum particulair tending to your priuate commoditie.
5. Also remember how many gentill and honest meanis you haue socht, in tymes past to caus the King to be acknawledgid, and the contrarie put at rest, and how vnprofitabill hath ben your honestie in treiting, your vailyeant curage in werr, your mercyfulnes in victorie, your clemencie in punisching, and facilitie in reconciliatioun.
6. Quhilk thingis witnessis sufficiently, that ye estemit na man enemie that wald liue in peace, vnder the Kingis authority, that ye wer neuer desirous of blude, geir, nor honour sic as wald not, rather in making of troubill and seditioun, declair tham selfis enemies to God and the Kingis Maiestie, than liue in concord and amitie with thair neightbouris vnder the correctioun of Iustice.
7. And sen ye can nouther bow their obstinant hight with pacience, nor mease thair stubburne hartis with gentilnes, nor satisfie their inordinate deyris, vtherwyse then with the Kingis blude and youris, the destructioun of Religioun, banisching of Iustice, and fre permissioun of crueltie and misorder, your wisdomes may easily considder quhat kind of medicine, is not only mete, but alswa necessair, for mending of sic a Maladie.
8. And to the effect that ye may the better considder this necessitie of Medicine, remember quhat kynd of pepill thay ar, that professis thame sefis in deid, and dissemblis in worde to be enemies to God, to Iustice, and to yow, becaus ye maintene the Kinges actioun.
9. Sume of them are counseillaris of the King his fatheris slaughter, sum conueyaris of him to the schambles, that slew his Gransdschir, banisched his father, and not satisfyed to haue slayne him self, murtherit the Kingis Regent, and now seikes his awin blude, that they may fulfill their crueltie and auarise being Kingis, quhilk they begonne to exercise the tyme of thair gouerning.
10. Vthers ar, that being alliat nor neir of kyn to the Hamiltounis, thinkis to be participant of all their Prosperitie and succes.
11. Vthers being gyltie of King Henryis death, in the first parliament halden in the Kingis regne that now is, could well accord, that the Quene should haue bene put to deith also.
12. And seing thay could not obtene that point, the next schift of thair impietie was to put downe the King, that he should not rest to reuenge his fatheris deith, quhilk thay thoucht could not be mair easilie done, then by bringing home the Quene with sic a husband, that other for auld haitred, or for new couatice, would desire the first degre of succession to be of his awin blude.
13. Some vthers are practisid in casting of courtis, and reuoluing of estatis, by raising of civile werr, and ar becum richer than euer thay hopid, and becaus they haue found the practise sa gude in tyme past, now thay seik all wayis to continew it, & hauing ones gustid how gude fisching it is in drumly waters, they can by no maner leaue the craft.
14. Vthers of that faction ar, sum papistis, sum feined protestantis, that hes na God bot geir, & desiris agane the Papistrie, not for luif they beir to it (for they are scorners of all Religioun) but hoping to haue promotioun of idle belleis to benefices, and lamentis the present estait, quhair (as they say) Ministeris gettis all, and leifis nathing to gude fellowis, & to this intent thay wald set up the Quenis authoritie say they.
15. Sum thair be also that vnder colour of seiking the Quenis authoritie, thinkis to eschaip the punischement of auld faultis, and haue licence in tyme to cum to oppress their nichbouris, that be febiller then they.
16. Now haue I to schew you by coniecture, quhat frute is to be hopid of an assembly of sic men, as for the maist pairt ar of insatiabill grediness, intollerabill arrogance, without faith in promicis, measure in couatice, pietie to the inferiour, obedience to the superiour, in peace desirous of troubill, in werr thirstie of blude, nuryshers of theft, raisers of Rebellioun, counsallours of Traitouris, inuenters of tressoun, with hand reddie to murther, mynd to deceiue, hart voyde of trueth & full of fellonie, toung trampit in dissaiat, & worde tending to fals practise without vereitie, by quhilk properteis and many vthers thairunto ioynid as is knawin to all men, ye that vnderstandis their beginning, progres and hole lyfe, may easilie remember, to quhome thys generall speiking appertenis in speciall, and it is not vnknawin to sic as knawis the personis, how they are melled with godless persons<,> papistes, harlot Protestantis, commoun brybouris, holy in worde, Hypocrites in hart, proude comtempners or Machiauill mockers of all Religioun & vertew, bludie boucheris and opin opressouris, fortifiers of theiffis, and manteneris of tratouris.
17. It is also necessarie to your Lordschippis to vnderstand thair pretence, that if it be a thing quhilk may stand with the tranquillitie of the commoun welth, your Lordschippis may in sum pairt, rather condiscend to their inordinate lust, then put the hole estate in ieopardie of battell.
18. First, it is not honour, riches, nor authoritie that thay desire, for thay haue had, and als haue presentilie, & may haue in tyme to cum sic pairt of all thay thingis, as a priuait man may haue in this Realme, not being chargeabil to the countrie, or not suspectit to ane king, as vnassurit of his awin estait.
19. It is not the delyuerance of the Quene that thay seik, as thair doingis contrair to thair worde testifeis manifestlie, for if thay wald haue hir deliuerit, thay wald haue procurit by all menis possibill, the Quene of Inglandis fauour and support, in quhais power the whole recouerance stode only, and not offendid her sa heichly as thay haue done, and daylie does in participatioun of the conspirit tressoun, to put hir maiestie not only out of hir stait, bot out of this lyfe present, nor in receiting and mantening of hir Rebillis contrair to promeis and solempne contract of pacificatioun betuixt this two Realemes, nouther yet haue houndit furth, proude and vncircumspect young men, to hery, burne, and slay, and take presoneris in her Realme, and vse all misordour & crueltie, not onlie vsed in weir, but detestabill to all barbar and vile Tartaris, in slayng of presoneris and contrair to all humanitie and iustice, keip na promeis to miserabill catiues receiued once to thair mercy, and all this was done by commandiment of sic as sayis thay seik the Quenes deliuerance, and reprochit to thame by the doaris of the mischeifis, saing that thay enterit tham in danger, and supportit thame not in mister, so mekle as to cum to Lawder and luike from thame, in quhilk deserting of thair Collegis, thay schew crueltie ioyned with falsheid, and maist heich tressoun against the Quene, pretending in worde hir delyuerance, and stopping in warke hir recouerance, the quhilk as euery man may cleirlie se thay socht, as he that socht his wyfe drowned in the Riuer aganis the streime.
20. It is not the Quenis authoritie that they wald set vp in hir absence, for if that war thair intentioun, quhome can they place in it mair freindly to hir than hir onlie Sone, or quhat Gouernour may they put to him les suspect, than sic men as haue na pretence of succession the Crowne, or any hoip of proffeit to cum to tham after his deith, or thay that euer haue bene trew seruandis to Kingis before him<?> Should thay not be preferrit to his paternall enemies, yea, and slayeris of his Father, and sollictaris of strangeris to seik his Innocent blude<?>
21. Quhat then shall we think that these men seikis vnder pretence of the Quenis authoritie, seing thay can not bring hame the Quene to set vp hir, nor will not suffer the King lawfully inaugurat and confirmed by decreit of Parliament, to bruik it, with sa many of his Tutoris chosin by his mother, as ar not to be suspectit to will him harme<?> I traist it is not vneasie to perceiue by thair hole progres now presently and in tyme by past, that thay desire na other thing but the deith of the King and Quene of Scotland, to set up the Hamiltounis in authoritie, to the quhik thay haue aspyrit by craftie meanis these fyftie yeires ago. And seing thair purpois succedit not by craftie and secreit meanis, now thay follow the same trade conioyning to falsheid, opin wickitnes.
22. And that ye may see quhat meanis thay haue vsed, thir fiftie yeiris by past, to set vp by craft this authoritie, quhilk now thay seik by violence, force, and tresoun, I will call to your memorie sum of thair practisis, quhilk many of you may remember asweill as I.
23. First after the deith of King Iames the Fourt, Iohn Duke of Albany chosin by the Nobilitie to gouerne in the Kingis les age, the Hamiltounis thinking that he had bene als wickid as thay, and should to his awin aduancement put downe the King being of tender age for the time and by the deceis of his brother left alone, and that they wald easilie get thair hand beyond the Duke, being an stranger and without successioun of his body, held tham quyet for a season, thinking that vther mens actioun should be thair promotion, but seing that the Duke as a prince baith wyse and verteous, to bring him selfe out of sic suspitioun, put four Lordis estemid of the maist trew and verteous in Scotland in that tyme to attend on the Kingis grace, to wit, the Erle Merchell, the Lordis Erskyn, Ruthuen, and Borthick, the Hamiltounes being out of hope of the Kingis putting doune by the Duke of Albany, & out of credeit to do him any harme by tham selfis, maid one conspyracie with certaine Lordis, to put the sayd Duke out of authoritie, and take it on tham selfis, that all thinges put in thair power they might vse the King and the Realme at their awin plesure. To that effect thay tuik the Castell of Glasgow, and there maid an assembly of thair factioun, the qhuilk was dissoluit by the hastie cummyng of the Duke of Albany with an armie, for feir of the quhilk the Erle of Arrane cheif of that cumpany, fled to his wifis brother the Lord Hume being then out of Court.
24. The second conspiracie was after the Dukis last departyng (the foresayd Lordis separate from attending on the King) deuysit by1 Schir Iames Hammiltoun bastard sone to the sayd Erle of Arrane, quha conspyrit the Kinges deith then being in his hous in the Abbay of Halyruidhous, quhilk conspyracie efter mony yeris reveillit, the said Schir Iames sufferit deith for it. This conspyracie not beyng execute, Scheir Iames perseuerid in his euill intentioun, & by secreit meanis in Court soght alwais that the King should not mary, that for lack of his succession, the Hamiltounis might cum to thair intentis. For the King was yong, lusty, and redy to auenture his persoun to all hasardis, baith by sea and land, in doune putting of theifis, and vpsetting of Iustice. The Hamiltounis luiked on quhen seiknes, throw excess of trauell, or sum vther rakles auenture should cut him of without children, and destitute of this hope. First he stoppid the Kingis metyng with his Vyncle the King of Ingland, quha at that time hauing but one doughter, was willing to haif maryid with the Kyng of Scotland, and maid him King of the hole Ile after him, & to haue enterid him at that present tyme in possession of the Duchy of Yorke, but the sayd Schir Iames euer hauing eye to his awin scope, hinderid this purpois by sum of the Kingis familiaris, that he had practisid with by giftis, and speciallie by the Bischop of Sanctandros Iames Betoun, vncle to the Erle of Arranis mother, and greit vncle to Schir James wyfe, and raised sic suspitioun betuix the twa Kingis, that brought baith the realmes in greit besynes.
25. This purpois as sayd is put abak. The King seing that his Ambassadouris furtherit not at his plesure, deliuerid him self in persoun to ga be sey in France, and Schir Iames Hamiltoun perseuering in his former intention went with him to hinder his mariage, by all menis that he might, and to that effect, the King sleiping in the Schip, without any necessitie of wynde and wedder, Schir Iames causid the marineris to turne saill of the West coist of Ingland bakwart and land in Galloway, quhair the Kyng was verray miscontent with Schir James and Maister Dauid Panter, principall causeris of his returnyng, as diuers that was in the Schip yit liuyng can report. And fra that time furth, the King hauing tryid out his pretence, and persaiuing his vnfaithfull dealyng euer disfauorid him, and to his greit displesure fauoured opinlie the Erle of Lennox & his freindis in his absence, the quhilk Erle pretendid a right and tytill to the hole Erldome of Arrane, the present Erle for that time being knawin to be bastard, as also it was in mens recent memorie how Scir Iames Hamiltoun had cruellie slayne the Erle of Lennox at Linlythgow, euin to the greit displesure of the Erle of Arrane father to Schir Iames, and vncle to the Erle of Lennox, cumming by the Kingis commandiment to Linlythgow. Sa the King as said is, vnderstandyng the priuate practick of Schir Iames, in keiping him vnmaryid, haistit hym the mair eirnestlie to mary, to the effect, that his successioun might put the Hamiltounis out of hope of thair intent, and him out of danger by the Hamiltounis. And albeit that Schir Iames to make him selfe clene of that suspitioun, soght many diueris wayis to the distructioun of the Earle of Arrane his brother, yit he could neuer conqueis the Kingis fauour, vntill finallie he was executid for tresoun, and tooke ane miseerabill end conforme to his vngodly lyfe.
26. The King at last deceisit, and leuing a doughter of sex dayis auld, the Hamiltounis thoght all to be thairis. For then the Erle of Arrane a young man of small wit & greit inconstancie, was set vp by sum of the Nobilitie, & sum familiar seruandis of the kingis lately deceisit, for thay thoght him mair tollerabill then the Cardinall Beton, quha by ane fals instrument had takin the supreme authoritie to him self.
27. The Erle of Arrane named Gouernour, by a priuait factioun, and fauourid by sa many as professit the trew Religioun of Christ, because he was beleift then to be of the same, howbeit he was gentill of nature, yit his friendis for the maist pairt, wer gredie baith of geir & bluid, and geuin to iniustice quhair gayne followid. Thair was in his time nothing ellis, but werr, oppressioun, & brybing of his callid brother the Bischop of Sanctandrois, sa that all the Estatis wer werie of hym, and dischargid hym of hys office, and charged with it an woman strangear.
28. In the begynnyng of hys gouernement the Quene and hir Mother wer keipt by him, rather lyke presoneris then Pricessis, but yit that incommoditie was caus of preseruyng of the Quenis lyfe, he beleifing to mary hir on his sone. But after the Erle of Lennox had delyuerid tham out of his handis, and the Nobilitie had refusid to mary hir on his sone, howbeit he left his ferme freindis, & come to the Quene, abiurid his Religioun in the gray freiris of Striuiling, yit he could neuer cum agane to his pretendid clymming to the Crowne, quhilk he had lang soght, partly by fauour of sic of the Nobilitie as wer alliat with him, and partly by distructioun of the ancient housis that might haue put impediment to his vnreasonabill ambition. For hauing banished the Erle of Lennox, he thoght the Erle of Angous to be the principall that might resist him, and hauing enterid in ward Schir George Dowglas, to be yit mair assurid, he send for the said Erle of Angous in freindly maner, & put him in presoun without any iust occasioun, and wold haue beheided tham baith, if the arryuing of the Inglis army had not stayit his purpois, by the quhilk and fear of the murmour of the pepill, he was constraned to delyuer tham. And seing he durst not at sic a tyme put tham downe by tyrannie, he offerit tham to the sword of the enemy to be slaine by tham. And to the effect, that thay and thair freindes, hauing put abak the Inglis horsemen, and receiuing an vther charge, might be the mair easely slayne, thay standing in battell and fighting for him, he in the battell behind fled to tyne tham, and sa these Nobill men sa far as lay in him was slayne, and preseruid by the prouidence of God.
29. The young Quene quhilk being in hir motheris keiping, he might not put doune, nor mary at his plesure, he consentid to offer hir to the stormes of the sea, and danger of enemies, and sault hir as a slaue in France, for the Duchy of Chastellaraut, the quhilk he bruikis in Name onlie, as the Crowne of Scotland in fantasie, & receauit sic price for hir as tresoun, periurie, and the sellyng of fre persounis should be recompensit with. But yit the couatise of the Crowne that he had sold cessid not heir, for befoir hir returning hame out of France, at the troubillis quhilk began anent the repressing of the Frenchemen and tyrannie against the Religioun, how many meanis soght the Hamiltounis to haue depryuit hir of all right, and translatit the Crowne to tham selfis, is knawen baith to Scotland and Ingland.
30. Also after the Quenis arryuing in Scotland, sche seiking a querrell against the sayd Duike and sum vther Lordis, vnder pretence that they had conspyrit against hir, for the Religionis caus, the Duikis friendis left him all, because that the rest of the Lordis wald not consent to destroy the Quene, or derogat hir authoritie by any maner of way. A lytill befoir the quhilk tyme, the occcasioun of the Dukis conspyracie, with the Erle Bothwell to slay the Erle of Murray in Falkland, was na vther, but becaus the sayd Erle of Murray liuyng, thay could nouther do the said Quene harme in her persoun, nor diminische her authoritie, nor constrane her to mary at thair plesure, & to her vitter displeasure.
31. After that the Quene had maryit with him, quhom thay estemid thair auld enemie, and was with child, the gude Bischop of Sanctandrois first callid Cuningham, estemit Cowane, and at last Abbot Hamiltoun, non onlie conspyrit with the Erle Bothwell, but come with the Quene to Glascgow, & conuoit the King to the place of his murther, the Bischop being ludged, as he seidom of befoir, quhar he might persaif the plesure of that crueltie with all his sensis, and helpe the murtheraris, if mister had bene, and send four of his familiar servandis to the execution of the murther, watching all the night, and thinking lang to haue the ioy of the cumming of the Crowne a degre neirer to the hous of Hamiltoun, and sa great hope mellit with ambitioun inflamit his hart for the Kingis deceis, that within schort tyme he beleuid firmlie his callid brother to be King, & he (the sayd Bischop) to be to him as Curatour duryng the hole tyme of his non wit, quhilk had bene a langer terme than Witsonday or Martymes, for he thoght vndoubtidlie, that the Erle Bothwell should distroy the yong Prince, and not suffer him prosper to reuenge his fatheris deith, and precede the Erlis children in successioun of the crowne, and the young Prince onis cut of, the Bischop maid his rekning, that the Quene & the Erle Bothwel hated alredy for the slaughter of the King hir husband, and mair for the innocent, were easie to be destoryit with consent of all estatis, and the cryme caste to the Bischop to be proued, quha knew all the secretis of the hole desseigne: or if they wald slay the Erle Bothwell and spair the Quene, thay were in hope sche should mary Iohn Hamiltoun the Dukis sone, quhome with merie luikis and gentill countenance (as she could weill do) sche had enterid in the pastyme of the Glaikis, and causit the rest of the Hamiltounis to fond for fainnes. But after that the Erle Bothwell had refusit battell at Carbarry hill, and the Quene before the cumming of the Hamiltounis, come to the Lordis, the Hamiltounis as that time disapoint fosterid thair vane hope with a merie dreame, that the Quene should be punischit after her demeritis, and wer a tyme in dowbill ioy, that one that being rid of the Quene sche should not beir ma children to debar tham from the Crowne, and the vther, that thay might haue ane easie way to calumniat the Regent for distroyng of the Quene. But seyng hir kept, they blamit opinlie the Regent, quha kept hir in stoir in dispite of tham (as they sayd) to be a stud to cas ma foillis, to hinder tham of the succession of the Crowne, yit for all that, there wold nane of tham cum to Parliament to further thair desyre with ane anerlie vote, but lay bake to keip tham selfis at libertie, to reproif all that should be done in that conuentioun, and to frenze fauour towardis the Quene quhume thay hated, sa as if by consent of the Lordis or vtherwise shce were delyuerit, thay might helpe her to put downe the Lordis, that wold not put her downe in fauour of tham.
32. This thair intentioun was opinlie schawit, quhen the Quene beyng kept in Lochleuin, by commaundement of the hole Parliament, was delyuerit by conspyracie of sum priuate men, especiallie of the Hamiltounis, for thay assemblit all thair forces to put downe the young King and Lordis obedient to hym. Quhilk euill will thay shew towardis the Lordis at the Langsyde, bringyng with tham great stoir of cordis, to murder and hang tham, if thay had bene taken prisoneris and the victorie fallin to the Hamiltounis, and the same euill will towardis the King in keipyng the watter of Forthe, that he should not eschaip thair cruell handis, beyng assurit if he come in the Quene of Inglandis power, that sche of hir accustomate clemencie and kyndnes of blude, wald not abandoun him to thair ynmercyfull crueltie experimentit alredy in his father. And seyng that the prouidence of God had cloisit the dore to all thair wickitnes at that tyme, thay haue neuer ceissit since to seike enemeis to his Grace in all strange Natiounis, and perceiuyng that thay had faire wordis of all vtheris, except of the Quenis Maiestie of Ingland, quha vnderstode thair fals and tressonabill dealing, thay turnit thair hatred agaynst hir, and enterid in conspyracie with sum tratouris of Ingland, that wer als euill mindit towardis the Quenis Maiestie thair soueraine, as the Hamiltounis wer to the Kingis hienes of Scotland. This is nouther dremed in wardrop, nor hard trow a boir, but a trew narratiue, of quhilk the memorie is ludged in menis hartis, baith Scottis, and strangeris, and the veritie knawin. By the quhilk ye may vnderstand the Hamiltounis pretence this fiftie yeiris and mair.
33. After sa many wayis soght by tham to distroy the right successioun, and place tham in the Kinglie rowme, seyng all thair practisis could not auaill, and thair forces wer not sufficient, thay soght to augment thair factioun, adioynyng to tham all, that wer participant of the Kingis slaughter, and had aspyrit to2 slay the Quene of Ingland. And to the effect thay might cum to thair wickit purpois, thay in a maner displayit a baner, to assemble togider all kynd of wickid men, as Papistes, renegat Protestantis, theifis, tratouris, murtheraris, and open oppressouris. And for thair adherentis in Scotland I neid not to expreme thair namis, nor the qualiteis of the conspyratouris of Ingland, for thay are weill enough knowin to your Lordschippis. Yit one I can not ouerpas, beyng the cheif conspyratour choisen by thame to be King of Scotland and Ingland, I mene the Duike of Norfolke, in quhilk act ye may see how the thirst of your blude blindit thame agaynst thair awin vtilitie. First thay chose the principall enemie of the Religioun of Christ in this Ile, accompanyit with vther fylthie Idolateris, to change the stait of the Kirk in baith Realmes by cuttyng of the twa Princes, seyng that thair authoritie standing, the conspiratouris could not cum to thair intent. Next thay respectit in that proude tyranne, the vertewis that were commoun to him and thame, as arrogancie, crueltie, dissimulatioun and tresoun, for euin as thay had this lang tyme in Scotland, soght the deith of thair righteous Prince, sa he in Ingland followyng the traide of his antecessouris, diueris tymes attemptyng tresoun, wald haue put downe the Quene of Ingland. Heir also appeires the Hamiltounis crueltie agaynst the Nobilitie of thair awin Natioun, in seiking thair professit and perpetuall enemie of Scotland (as his bage beiris witnes) quha should haue spilt, the rest of the noble blud of Scotland in peace, that his antecessouris could not spill in werr, by quhilk electioun, beyng assurit that na Scottis hart can loue thame, sa can thay loue nane of you, agaynst quhome, thay haue visit sa many tresonabill actis. Thay do schaw also how crueltie and auarice haue blindit tham they cannot se, in bringyng a tyrane to haue power ouer thame, seyng thay pretending neirest clame to the crowne, should be neirest the danger. And yit for all this, could these men be weill contentit, if by any meanis they could attene to thair intent, by spoyle & rubberie, as thay did quhen as they wer placid in supreme authoritie, or by makying of you slaues as thay did in selling of thair Quene, begyn that practise quhairin howbeit the inhumanitie was great, yit was it not in supreme degre of cruelties, but it is na moderate tollerable nor accustomat thyng that thay seike: It is the blud first of our innocent King, euen sic as hath bene preseruit by wyld beastis, nixt the blude of all his trew seruandis and trew subiectis indifferentlie. For quhat defence can be in Nobility, or quhat suirtie againt them that haue murtherit a Kyng, and seikis strangeris to murther ane vther Kyng, quhome sal thay spair for vertew and innocencie, that latelie executit, and yet defindis the murther of the Regent, or quha will be ouersene for law, degre, or base estait, in respect of thay that conductit out of Tiuidaill to slay Maister Iohn Wod, for na vther cause, but for beying a gude seruand to the Crowne and to the Regent his Maister, and had espyit out sum of thair practisis<?>
34. If this thrist of blud of these Lochlechis, might be impute to haistie hounger or any sudane motioun, quhilk causis men sum times to forget thair dewtie, there might yit be sum hope that sic a passioun ouerpast, thay wald with tyme remember thame selfis, and after power amend faultis past, or at leist abstene in tyme to cum. But thair is na sic humanitie in thair nature, nor na sic pietie in thair hartis, for not content with a Kingis blude, thay gaip for his Sonnes murther, nor satisfiyit to haue slayne the Regent they keipit the murtherar in the Duikis hous in Arrane. Maist like thinkyng, as if thay honourit not the doar, thay should not be knawen as counsaillouris of the deid, and wald tyne the glorie of that Nobill act. And besydes all this thay ar not onlie contentit to mantene Scottis tratouris, but alswa receifis Inglis traitouris, and settis vp a sanctuarie of tresoun, a refuge of Idolatrie, a receptacle of theifis and murtheraris.
35. And howbeit the bullerant blud of a King and Regent about thair hartis, quhairof the lust in thair appetite geuis tham litil rest, daylie and hourlie makyng new prouocation, yit the small space of rest, quhilk they haue beside the executioun of their crueltie, they spend in deuysing of generall vnquyetnes, throw the hole countrie, for not content of it, that thay tham selfis may steale, brybe, and reif, thay set out ratches on euery side, to gnaw the pepillis bonis, after that thay haue consumit the flesche, & houdis out, one of them, the Clangregour, ane vther the Grantie and Clauchattan, and vther Balcleuch and Fairnyherst, an vther the Iohnstounis and Armestrangis, and sic as wald be halden the halyest amangis tham, schew playnlie the affectioun thay had to banish peace and steir vp troublis, quhen thay bendit all thair fyne wittis, to stop the Regent to go first North, and syne South, to pineis thift and oppression, and quhen they saw, that thair counsaill was not authorisit, in geuying impunitie to all misordour,3 thay spend it in puttying downe of hym that wald haue put all in gude ordour.
36. Thair is a kynd of theifis euïn odious to mair gentill theifis, quhilk callying tham selfis great Gentilmen spoyllis trauellaris, cadgearis, and chapmen by the way, and ransons pure men about Edinburgh4 for xx schillyng the heid, quhilk vice can not procede of vengeance of enemies, but rather of loue and plesure in wickitnes. This kynde of men dois not onlie dishonour to Nobilitie in steillyng, and to theifis in purspyking, but also to the hole Natioun of Scotland, geuing opinioun to strangeris, that sum of the Scottis be of sa law courage, that men amangis them aspiring, to the hiest estait of a Kingdome, haue cruchit thame selfis in the mayst lawe order of knaifis.
37. Now my Lordis ye may consider, how thay that slayis sa cruellie Kingis and thair Lieutennentis, will be mercyfull to you, and quhen they sall haue put you downe, that craifis reuenge of the Kingis blude, ye may vnderstand how few dar craif Iustice of your slaughter. Ye may se how cruell thay will be in oppression of the poore, hauyng cut of you, quhilk beyng of mayst Nobill and potent housis of this Realme, sufferis throw your sleuthfulnes euery pairt of this countrie, to be maid worse then Liddisdaill, or Annanderdaill, and not onlie sufferis the purspykaris of Cliddisdaill, to exercise thift and reif as a craft, but nurisis and authorisis amangis you, the chief counsellaris of all misordour, as ane Edder in your bosum. Of all this ye may lay the wyte on na vther but vypon your selfis, that haue sufficient power to repres thair insolencie and proudnes, hauyng in your hand the same wand that ye haue chaistisit tham with of befour, for ye haue your protectour the same God this yeir, that was the yeiris bypast, vnchangeabill in his eternall counsellis, constant in promeis, potent in punishing, and liberall in rewardyng, ye haue your trew freindis and seruandis that wer with you of befoir, ye ar delyuerit of dissimulat brethren, that had thair bodyis with you, and thair hartis with your enemeis, that subscribit with you, and talk remissioun of your aduersaris, that stuide with you in battell, luikyng for occasioun to betray you, had not God bene your protectour. Ye haue a great number of new freindis alienat from tham, for thair manifest iniquitie in deid, wickidnes in worde, and tresoun in hart, he yaue of the same enemies that ye had then sa many, as has thair hartis herdinnit, and thair myndis bent agaynst God and lawfull ingraitis, ye haue the same action, thay ye had then, accumulat with recent murther and tresoun, to prouoke the ire of the eternall agaynst tham. How far God hath blinded tham, blind may se, that hauyng sa euill ane actioun, and sa many enemeis at hame, yit be houndyng out of small tratouris of thair wickid conspyracie, men execrable to thair awin parentis, quhome amangis vtheris thay haue diueris tymes spolylit, be houndyng out I say of sic persounis, to burne, murther, reif, and steill. Thay prouoke the Quenis Maiestie of Ingland, to seik vengeance of thair oppressioun agaynst hir Realme and subiectis, quhilk vengeance Iustice and honour craifis of hir sa instantlie, that sche can not ceis to persew tham, thair ressettaris and mantenaris, vntill sche gif sic exempill to vtheris, that althoght thay will not respect vertew, yit for fear of punitioun thay sall be content to lyue in peace with nightbouris, quhairin her heighnes hath alredy renewit the memorie of hir experimentit liberalitie, and tender loue to this Natioun, seikyng on hir proper charges and trauell of her subiectis, the punitioun of sic, as we on our charges should haue punished, I mene not onlie our tratouris, but also ressettaris of hir Maiesteis Tratouris, and in doing of this seikis pacificatioun amangis tham that violatid peace with hir without prouocatioun, seueryng the punischement of sic as ar giltie in offendyng, from the subiectis that hes not violatid the peace. And as sche kepis peace and Iustice amangis her awin subiectis in Ingland, sa vnrequyrit sche offerid support to the same end in Scotland, and not onlie geuis remedie to our present calamiteis, but cuttis the roote of troublis to cum, and preuentis the wickid counsall of sic, as prouokis Inglismen, and solistis Frenchmen to cum in this Realme, to the end, that these twa Natiounis enterit in barres, the ane against the vther, thay may saciat thair cruell hartis of blude, thair obstinat will of vengeance, thair bottomles couatise of spoyle and thift.
38. Thairfoir seyng God haue sa blindit your enemeis wittes, my Lordis be in gude hope that he sall also cast the spreit of fear and disperatioun in thair indurat hartis, and prosper your gude actioun, to the quhilk he confortis you with his redy helpe, exhortis you by his worde, and constrainis you by the dewtie of your estait, and necessitie of preseruyng of your lyfis and honouris. For promeis byng neglectit, faith violatid, subscriptioun set at noght, thair is na meane way left but outher to do or suffer, and seyng that baith ar miserabill amangis sic, as should be freindis, yit better it is to slay Iustilie then to be slayne wrangfullie. For the executioun of Iustice in punising the wickid is approuid by God and man, and sleuthfulnes in defence of Iustice cannot be excused of tresoun. And besydes that God schawis him sa mercyfull and liberall to you, in sending you his freindis by procuiring of your enemeis, also the persounis maist recommendit of God craifis the same, for saikles blude, oppressioun of the pure, and of the fatherles, cryis continually to the heuin for auengeance, quhilk God committis to your handis as his Lieutennentis and speciall officiaris in that pairt, and euin as he rewairdis faith and diligence in obedience of his eternall will, sa he will not neglect to punische sleuthfulnes in iust executioun of his commandementis.
39. Thairfoir my Lordis, as ye wald that God shold remember on you and your posteritie, quhen thay sall call on him in thair necessitie, remember on your King our Souerane, and on my Lord Regentis pupills, committit to you in tutorie by the reason of your office and estait, anent persounis that are not in age nor power to helpe tham selfis and ar recommendit speciallie to all Christianis by God in his holy Scripture, and defend sic innocent creaturis, as may nouther do nor speike for tham selfis, from the crueltie of vnmercyfull wolfis: neglect not the occasioun, nor refuse not the helpe send you by God, but recognose thankefullie his fauour towardis you, that causis your enemeis to procure your helpe, neglect not the offer of freindis. In cais gif ye lat slip this occasioun, ye sall craif it in vane in your necessitie. Thinke it na les prouidence of our heauinly father, then if he had send you ane Legioun of Angellis in your defence, and remember that he schew him selfe neuer mair freindfull and succurable, to na pepill than he hath done to you, and traist weill if ye will perseuir, in obedience and recognoscence of his grace he will multiplie his benefitis to you and your posteritie, and sall neuer leif you, vntill ye forget him first.
1 the book has be
2 to to