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AMES II, as I have related, being slain in his Camp, to prevent all Controversy concerning the Right of Succession (which had happen’d at other times) his son James, a Child of about 7 Years Old, who was the younger of the Twins and surviv’d his Brother, enter’d upon the Government in the town of Kelsoe. Afterwards, when the Nobles, according to custom, had taken their Oaths of Allegiance to him, 8 Days after he began his Reign, he left his Army and retir’d home to the Castle of Edinburgh to be under the Tutelage of his Mother till an Assembly of the Estates were Celebrated to determin of the Grand Affairs of the Kingdom. The Assembly was Indicted later than ordinary because Matters was not compos’d inAEngland and yet quiet in Scotla, so that the Nobility were of Opinion that War was first of all to be thought on, that so they might revenge old Injuries and pounish their Enemies by some notable Loss, who did always lye at catch to take Advantage of the Distgreses of Others. Hereupon they marched into the Enemies Country without any resistance, where they commitgted much spoil and demolished many Castles, from whence the Enemy was wont to make suddain Incursions, the Chief of which was Werk, situate on the Banks of the River Tweed, formerly very injurious to the Country of Merch. The Army ravaged over the Enemies Country as far as they could for the time of the Year, and, at the very beginning of Winter, returned home.
2. This Year, Henry King of England was Taken by the Duke of York and brought to London; there a Form of Peace was concluded betwixt them, for Henry durst not deny any thing; that He, as long as he lived, should bear the Name and Ensigns orf Badges of a King, but the Power of Government should be in York, under ther name of a Protector. And when Henry Died, Then the Name also of King was to be transferred to Edward and his Posterity. Whilst these Things were acted at London, News was brought that the Queen was marching up with a great Army to Redeem her Husband out of Prison. York went out to Engage her with about 5000 Men with him. Leaving the Earl of Warwick and King Henry behind, he marched as far as Yorkshire and, lest He who in France had Defended himself against great Arfmies, not with Walls but with Arms, should now shun a battel with a Woman, He Fought against a far greater Number than his Own; and in the Fight He, his youngest Son, and a great many Nobles were slain. The Heads of the Commanders were set up as a Spectacle upon the Gates at York. The Queen, thus Victorious, and marching on further to Deliver the King, the Earl of Warwick met her, bringing the King along with him, as if he would Defend the Pact made concerning the Kingdom under his good Omen. Both Armies met at St. Albans, which is thought to be the Old Verulam, where the Queen was again Victorious; She slew the Commanders of the adverse Army, released her Husband, and marched directly up for London; but considering that the Earl of Pembroke was sent by Her to gather Forces, as was also York’s Son by his Father, and that these Two had had a Fight in ther Marcs wherein Edward the Son of her Enemy was Victorious, and withal knowing what cruel Hatred the Londoners bore against Her, She withdrew towards Northumberland, because she looked on that Part of England as the Seminary or Source of her Strength. There she was also overcome in a Bloody Fight, more than 36000 valiant Men being reported to be slain, and the Enemy pressing upon Her and giving Her no Time to recollect Her Forces, She, her Husband and Son, fled into Scotland. The Conqueror call’d himself Edward the Fourth, King of England.
3. Henry desired Aid in this Distress, and, by means of James Kennedye Archbishop of St. Andrews, who then surpassed all in Scotland in point of Authority and Opinion of his Prudence, he was Entertain’d with a great deal of Honour and Respect; so that he was erected some Hope of recovering his former Dignity; and to nourish that Hope, by all the actual good Offices which he could he restored the Town of Berwick to the Scots (which the English had held ever since the Days of Edward I). The Scots, upon this Obligation, did assist Henry’s Faction in all things, not only in piecing up the Relicks of his former Misfortunes, but promising him more Aid, in time, to recover his Own. And, that the Friendship now begun might be the more firmly establsihed, the Two Queens, Both of Them of French Descent, began to Treat concerning a Marriage between James his Sister and Henry’s son, whom they called Prince of Wales, tho’ neither of them, as yet, were above Seven Years old. Philip of Burgundy, Uncle to the Queen of Scots, but a Mortal Enemy to the Queen of England, endeavoured by all means possible to hinder this Marriage. For he sent Grathusius a Nobleman his Embassador for that purpose. For Philip was at such deadly odds with Renatus, Grandfather to the Lady by the Mother’s side, that he sought all Occasions to hinder his Stock from increasing, so that in Favour of him the Matter was, at that time, rather delayed than broke off. But the Fortune of Henry kept off the Event, which Philip of Burgundy feared.
4 For, being something encouraged by the Kindness of the Scots towards him, and also by some comfortable Letters sent from his Friends out of England, he sent his Wife beyond Sea to Renatus her Father, to procure what Aid she could from her Foreign Friends. She prevailed so much in France, that her Faction were to have a safe Place of Retreat there, but her Adversaries were excluded: and, moreover, she obtained 2000 Men, as Monstelet says, under Warren their General; but as Ours and the English Writers (to whom I rather assent) 500, Commanded by Peter Brice, or, as some call him, Brace, a Britton, rather as Companions for her Journy than as any Auxiliary Aid. With this small Band she returned into Scotland, and thought fit to attempt seomething, not doubting but at the Noise of Freign Assistance, her Countrymen would rise and join with her, whereupon she made a Descent at Tinmouth; but this small Company, being dismayed at the report of a great Force coming against them, without the performance of any thing remarkable returned to their Ships; where also, as if Fortune had crossed them on all hands, they were encounter’d with a grievous Tempest, which drove the greatest Part of them, who followed the Queen to Scotland, into Berwick; but some few of them were cast upon the Isle Lindesfarn, where they were taken by the Enemy and slain. But the Manly- spirited Queen was nothing discouraged at this Misfortune, but levied a great number of Scots to join with her own Soldiers, and resolves to try her Fortune once again. Whereupon she left her son at Berwick, and she and her Husband entred Northumberland, where she made great Devastation, by Fire and Sword, in all the adjacent Parts. At the report of this new Army, some of the Nobles, as the Duke of Somerset, and Ralph Percy, and many of Henry’s old Friends besides, who, for fear of the Times had retired to King Edward, came in to Them; but there was a far greater Confluence from the adjacent Parts of England, of such Persons as had lived Rapacious Lives, in hopes of some new Prey. To appease this Commotion, Edward makes great Military Preparation both by Land and Sea; he commended the Lord Mountague, with a great part of the Nobility, to march against the Enemy, and he himself would follow with his whole Army. Both Armies pitched their Tents not far from Hexham; butmthe Common Soldiery, who came in for Booty, beginning to slip away, Henry thought it best, in such a desperate Case, to put it to a Push, and accordingly a Fight begun, wherein he was overthrown, his chief Friends were either slain or taken Prisoners, and he himself made a hasty Retreat to Berwick; of the Prisoners, some had their Heads cut off presently; and some a while after.
5. Edward having thus got the Day, by the Generals of his Forces, came himself to Durham, that so he might prevent the Incursions of the Scots by the Terrour of his Neighbouring Army; and also, that by his Presence he might quell any Domestick Insurrections, if any such should happen. Whilst he was there, he sent out part of his Army under several Commanders to take in the Places possessed by his Enemies, of which having taken many by Storm or by Surrender, at last he laid Siege to the Castle of Alnwick, which maintained by a Garison of French, who defended the Castle very well, in hopes of Relief from Scotland, which was so near at hand. But the Scots having lately had ill success in England, an Army could not be so soon levyed as the present Exigent required for the raising of the Siege; insomuch that whilst others were backward, and delayed to give in their Opinion, George Earl of Angus undertook, with great Audacity, the Matter, which was so full of hazard. He collected about 10000 Horse of his Friends, Vassals, and the Neighbouring Province, of which he was Governor. He came to the Castle, and Horsed the French that were in Garison upon some empty Horses he had brought for that purpose, and so brought them off safe, even to a Man, into Scotland, whilst the English stood and looked o n, as amazed at the Boldness of his Miraculous Enterprise, or, thinking that Douglas had help near at hand; or rather hoping to have the hastle given up witjout a Battel, and so they would not put the Whole to an hazard by joining in Fight with that small, though select, Party. Edward settled Guards at all convenient Places, that so no Rebellious Troops might m rch to and again; and then, as if he had quieted the whole Kingdom, he returned to London. Exiled Henry, either on the Accompt of some Hopes cast in by his Friends, or else weary of his tedious Exile, determines to shelter himself privately amongst his Friends in England. But Fortunes Malice followed him to the last; he was there knows, taken, brought to London, and committed Prisoner to the Tower. And his Wife Margaret, distrusting her present Affairs, with her Son and a Few Followers left Scotland and Sailed over to her Father Renat, into France.
6. To return then to the Affairs of Scotland: the time for the Assembly, which was Indicted to be held at Edinburgh, was come; where there was a Full Appearance, but the Body of them was divided into Two Factions. Part of the Nobles followed the Queen, but the Major Part, by far, stuck to James Kennedy and George Douglas, Earl of Angus, the Heads of the contrary Faction. The Queen lodged in the Castle; the Bishop and the Earl lay in the Abby of Holy-Rood-House, at the furthest part of the Suburbs, towards the East. The Cause of the Dissension was that the Queen thought it equal a d just for her to have the Tutelage, or Guardianshiop, of her Son; the other Party judged it most fit that One should be chosen out of the whole Assembly for that careful Work. The Queen alleged the Maternal Name, her Interesa and Propinquity; the Adverse Party insisted on the old Law, confirmed by perpetuated Custom. In the Third day of the Assembly, the Queen comes down from the Castle with her Followers, and caused her self to be Decreed Tutrix of the King, and Governess of the Kingdom, by her own Faction, and so returns into the Castle again. When Kennedy heard of his, he hasted with his Party into the Market-place, and there, in a long Speech, he told the Multitude, which was thick about him that he and his Associates did aim at nothing but the Publick Good and the Observation of their Ancient Laws; but their Adversaries were led, each one, by his private advantage; and that he would evidently make appear, if he might have a Place Free to dispute the Point. Having thus spoken, he retired with his Followers to his Lodging, but was not gone far from the Market-place before he heard that the other Party was coming down Armed from the Castle. Douglas looked upon This as an intolerable Thing, that Valiant Men should yield to the Threats of Few and That their Retirement should be looked upon as a Flight; and therefore was hardly kept in by Kennedy from assaulting the adjoining Gate of the City; and, Weaponless as he was, to encounter Armed Men; and unless the Three Bishops of Glasgo, Galway, and Dumblane, upon Noise of the Uproar had come in, his Indignation would not have been stopp’d, till they had come to Blows. But, by the Mediation of those Bishops, the Matter was so far composed, That a Truce was agreed upon, for one Month.
7. Though the Chief of the Faction were thus quieted, yet the Multitude oculd not be restrained from expressing their Wrath and Indignation, in rough and cutting Language; as, tha t he Desire of the Queen was Dishonourable to the Kingdum, and Undecentgfor Herself. “What (said they) is the Valour o fthe old Scots at so low an Ebb, That, amongst so many Thousand Men, tgere is none worthy to Govern the Affairs of Scotland, but a woman must do it? What, was there no Man, that could Rule over the Nation? And That would live the greatest part of his Life in Arms? What likelihood was there, That those who had not been altogether Tractable to the King, when weak, should now yield Obedience to a Woman, and that a Stranger too? What, had they undergone so much Labour, and lost so much Bookd, these many years, by Sea and Land, That Men, born and brought up in Arms, should freely give themselves to the Servitude of a Woman? What if the English should invade them, as they had often done at other times, in revenge of their Losses, with a great Army? Who could (in that case) Give, or Accept, Terms of Peace and War?” These were the Discourses of the Commonality in all their Clubs.
. 8. But when the Month was expired, their Minds were a little calmor; and, the Truce ended, there was another Convention, where the Queen alleged This for her self, in Justification of her Cause. That, seeing she had not entred upon the Government the Year before by Force, or against the minds of the Nobility, but was chosen to that Dignity by thier Unanimous Consent, she had but used her own Right, and therefore she took it amiss to be degraded, and no Crime at all imputed, as to her Mal-Administration. If (said she) as is usual, Degrees of Affinity be regarded in Pupillages, there is none nearer than a Mother; if the Safety of the King were Ey’d, none could be more Faithful; for if the King should die, other men may have their various and distinct Hopes, but she could hope for, or expect, nothing but Orbity [widowhood], Solitariness, and Tears. And, if they had respect to the Good of the Publick, she was a stranger, and concerned in no Interest of Feuds or Friendships, and That was especially to be eyed in such who sate at the Helm of Government; That so their own Lives might not only be free from actual Vice, but also that they might have as few Temptations and Incitements as may be to those Lusts, which do disturb and hurry the Mind, and pervert righteous Judgment. Some had Assistance of Parents, Kinsmen, Allies, by whose aid they might hope for an Excuse for their Offence, or, at least, an easier Pardon. Yea, sometimes the Rulers were compelled to square and accommodate their Actions to such mens Wills and Humours. As for Her self, her Hope of Defence was in Innocency alone, She had but one Son to eye, and both their Benefits and Advantages were combined and twisted together. And unless he had respect to these Things, she would choose much rather to live a quiet and happy Life in Retirement with the good Liking of all, than to undergo the Enmity of Evil men, by punishing all their Crimes; yea, and sometimes to incur the Displeasure of the Good, too. Neither was it a New Thing for a Woman to desire the Regency of another’s Kingdom, sithenc, not only in Britain, but even in the Greatgest and most Puissant Kingdoms of the Continent, Women have had the Supreme Power, and their Reigns have been Such, that their Subjects never repented of their Government.
9. When she had thus spoken, Many assented to her; Some to prepossess a Place in her future Grace and Favour: Others, in Hopes that the Fruits of another’s Envy would redound to their advantage; Yea, there were some who had an evil jealousy, That, if the Election should be made out of All, they themselves might be passed by, as less fit; and therefore they rather desired that the Queen should be preferred over them all, than that Others, of the same Order with themselves, or even of a Superiour one, should be preferred before Them. Notwithstanding, the more uncorrupted Part of the Nobility did, both by their Countenance and Speeches, highly disgust the Queens Oration; but that which most Vehemently affect the whole Assembly was the Authority and Speech of James Kennedy who, as ’tis reported, spake in this manner:
10. “It is my chief Desire, Noble Peers, That they whose aims are at the Good of all, in general, might freely declare their minds wihtout offence to any one particular Person. But, in our present Circumstances, when things spoke for publick Advantage are distorted to the Reproach of those private persons who speak them, it is a very difficult thing to observe such a Mean between disagreeing heats and different opinions, as not to incur the offence of one of the Parties. As for me, I will so temper and moderate my Discourse, That no man shall complain of me, without first confessing his own Guilt. Yet, I shall use the Liberty of Speech, received from our Ancestors, so modestly, that, as on the One side I desire to prejudice no man, so, on the Other, neither for Fear nor Favour, will I pretermit anything, which is of use in the Debate before us. I see That there are Two Opinions, which do retard and impede our Concord; the One is of Those who judge, That in a matter relating to the Good of All, an Election out of All is to be made; and as we all meet to give our Suffrages in a business concerning the safety of the whole Kingdom, so it is equal and fit that no man should be Excluded from the Hopes of that Honour, who seeks after it by Honest and Virtuous Ways. The Other is of such who count it as a great Injury done to the Queen, who is so noble a Princess, and so choice a Woman, if she be not preferred before all others in the Tutelage of her Son, and the Administration of the Government of the Kingdom. Of these Two Opinions, I like the Former best, and I will shew you my Reasons for it, by and by. In the mean time, I so far approve the design of the Later, That they should think it below the Queen’s Grandeur, That any Single Person should Vye with her for this point of Honour, lest her Authority, which ought to be, and indeed is, accounted Venerable, should be lessned by coping with Inferiours. And, indeed, I would be quickly of their mind, if the Dispute lay here, about the Honour of One, and not the Safety of All. But, seeing that, this day, we are to make a Determination about That which concerns the Lives and Fortunes of all private men, and the Safety of the whole Kingdom too, it is fit, that all Single Interests and Concerns should stoop and truckle under That. And therefore I earnestly advise Those, that are of this Opinion, so to consult the Dignity of the Queen, That, in the interim, they forget not the Reverence they owe to the Laws, to the old Customs, and to the Universal Good of their Country; if they can shew, by any Statute, That it is Lawful and Publckly expedient, That the Guardianship of the King, and the Regency of the Kingdom, ought to be in the Queens Hands, I will pass over into their Opinion. But if their Orations be pernicious to the Publick, I hope the queen, first, and next, all Good men will pardon me, if (always saving the Majesty of the Queen, as Sacred, so far as, by Law, and the Custom of our Ancestors, I may) I do not conceal my Opinions, or, rather, if I speak out That, with Freedom, which it were the greatest Impiety in me to conceal.
11. To begin with the Laws, There is a Law made 500 yuear ago, by King Kenneth, a Prince no less eminent for his Wisdom and Prudence, than for his military Performances; and approved of, even to this very day, by the Constant Observance of so many Ages, That, when the King was in his Minority, the Estates or Parliament of the Kingdom should Assemble and choose some one Man, eminent for Wisdom and Power, to be his Guardian, and to Govern the Kingdom, whilst he was yet unable to weild the Scepter with his Own hands. Tho’ this Law be referred to Kenneth, as the Author of it, yet, it seems to me, That he did not so much Enact it first, as thereby revive and confirm the Ancient Custom of the Scots by a New Sanction. For our Ancestors were so far from Committing the Supreme Power in to the Hands of a Woman, That, if you look over all our Chronicles, you shall not find so much as the Name of a Woman Regent recorded therein; for why, pray, should they mention such a Name, of which, they thought, they had no need at presaent, and hoped they should never have any for the Future? For those Females which other Countys call Queens,we only call Wives (or Consorts) of our Kings; neither do we entitle Them to any Higher Name; for, I judge, our Wise Ancestors had This in their Eye, That, as often as they heard their Names mentioned with the Adjunct of Husband, they might remember, That they were obnoxious [subject, answerable] and Subject to men. And therefore, to this very day, a Woman was never admitted to the Regency, or the Administration of Publick Affairs. The same Course hath been also constantly observed in lesser Magistracys, both as to their Appointments and Executions. For, tho’ many Honours and some Seignorys amongst them have come by Inheritance to some Women, by reason of their Great deserts from their Country; and they have also been allottrd to them as Dowrys; het it was never known, since the memory of man, That any Woman did ever preside in any Publick Council, or in any Court of Judicature, or to have taken upon her any of those Offices, which are appropriated to men. Which Custom, seeing our Ancestors, tho’ not bound by Law thereunto, did constantly observe, only by the Impulse of Nature, if we their Posterity should cast the Common-wealth into an apparent Danger, by opposing a Law, received by the Votes of all, and approved by so long an Usage. For the Saxons, by reason of the Wickedness of Woman, viz. Ethelburga, made Law, That, after that time, no Woman should be called Queen, nor should sit in Publick next the King, in any Seat of Honour. I beseechy ou therefore, consider seriously how much they degenerate from Their Prudence, who against a Law so Ancient, and as advantageous to Woman, as honourable to Men, would put the Reins of Government into Their hands, to whom our Ancestors never gave so much as a Royal Name; and from whom our Neighbours, after they had given it, took it away. Other Nations, I grant, have been of another Opinion; with what Success I shall declare, after I have first answered Those, who dare not calumniate this law openly, but, in the Carpet-Conventicles of Women, do implead [denounce] it, as unjust.
12. “But whoever he be, that finds Fault with it, he seems to reprehend, not some Sanction only, approved by the suffrages of Men, but even Nature it self, i. e. that Primary Law, imprinted in our hearts by God himself; I say, Nature it self, whom our Law-maker had,as a Giude and Directress of all his Counsels, when he proposed and enacted this Law. For Nature, from the beginning, hath not only distinguished Men from Women by the strength of Mind and Body, but hath also appropriated distinct Offices and Virtues to each Sex, ther same indeed for Kind, but far different in Degree. For how is it less uncomely for a Woman to pronounce Judgment, to levy Forces, to Conduct an Army, to give a Signal to the Battel, than for a Man to teiz [tease] Wool, to handle the Distaff, to Spin, or Card, and to perform the other Services of the Weaker Sex? That which is Liberality, Fortitude, and Severity in Man, is Profusion, Madness, and Cruelty in a Woman. And again, that which is Elegant, Comely, and Ornamental in a Woman, is Mean, Sordid, and Effeminate in a Man. They that endeavour to confound and mix these things, which Nature, of her own accord, heth distinguished, do they not seem to you, not only to disturb, but also to overthrow the State of the Kingdom, which is founded upon so good Laws and Customs? This they do, when they would obtrude on us the Government of a Woman, which our Ancestors did not so much as once Name. For the Maker of that Law (as I told you before) doth not seem so much to induce a new Sanction in the Enacting theeof, as only to commit to writing the perptual Usage of our Ancestors, that it might be transmitted to Posterity, and that which hath been always observed by the Guidance of Nature, in the making of a King, to have consecrated the same Thing to be observed by Publick Authority, in choosing a Guardian for a King under Age. They which go about to undermine and infringe this one Law, what do they thereby but endeavour to overthrow all the other Laws, Rites, and Customs of our Ancestors? I speak this (that I may prevent all Calumny) not that I think all Laws are immutable, as if they were enacted to last for ever. No, Laws are of different Sorts and Kinds. Those which are accommodated to the Vicissitude of Times are subject to the Inconstancy of Fortune, and are wont to last so long as the Necessity doth which imposed them; and Those which are obtruded on men by the Wills of Tyrants, are commonliy disannulled and abrogated with their Authors. But as for that Instinct or Impress of Nature, which is, as it were, a Living Law, ordained by God, and deeply imprinted and engraven in Mens heats, That the Consent of no Multitudes, nor no mens Decrees can abolish. For (as an excellent Poet is reported to have said), it wa snot born yestgerday or today, but it grew up together with Dame Nature it self, and lives and dies with it.
13. And seeing the Law of which we now speak is of that sort, and a Principal one too, he doth not oppose the Dignity of the Queen, who desires that she of her own accord would prescribe to her self those Bounds which Nature it self hath appointed, her Sex requires, Custom allows, and the Laws, made by the consent of almost all Nations, do approve. But they who would have her forget her Sex and Station do persuade her to break thro’ all Bonds of Law, and to disturb the Order of things appointed by God, received by use, and allowed in all Cities and Countrys well-governed. And certainly, whosoever slights that Order will be grievously punished, not by Men only, but by God himself, who will revenge his own Law. For if good Laws threaten a Man with Death who shall cloath himself with a Womans Apparel, and Woman, if she wear the Habit of a Man, what Punishment can be inflicted on them too great for their Offence, who, by a preposerous Flattery, would overthrow the whole Force of Nature and the everlasting Constitution of God himself? Will you undestand how these Flatterers do not speak what they cordially mean? In a publick Assembly to give a Vote, to be President in a Court of Law, to enact or abrogate a Law: these are Great Things in thsemselves, yet they are but a small Portion of the Government. Why do they not bring their Wives hither to us, to consult? Why do not these also preside in Judicatures? Why do they not persuade or dissuade Laws? Why do not they themselves look after their Domestick Affairs, at home? And why do they not send their Wives abroad to the War? But if they would impose those Regents upon us, whom they themselves scarcely trust in the Management of their own Houshold Affairs, much less think them fit for the least Part of any Publick Business, consider, I pray, how they contradict themselves; but if they themselves are conscious of their own Infirmity, if they speak as they think, and so are restrain’d by Modesty rather than Judgment; yet let them hope well of others, who both can and will perform their own, i. e. the Services proper for Men. But if (as I rather judge) they think by this kind of Complyance, to gratify the Queen, I advise and admonish them to lay aside that false Opinion of a Princess of so great Prudence as she is, nor that they would believe her to be so ignorant of Things as to account that to be an Increase and Accession of Dignity (to her) which would be the foulest thing imaginable in other Women. I enter upon this Part of my Discourse very unwillingly.
14. “For, seeing our Noble Princess hath so well deserved of the whole Kingdom, that it is fit she should hear nothing which might justly offend her Ears and Spirit, I will not mention those things which ill Men do commonly allege in contgmning and undervaluing of that Sex. I shall rather insist on those Virtues which are proper to the Queen. And tho’ these are Many and eminently Illustrious, yet none of them have procur’d greater Praise and Commendation to her than her Modesty. For that is esteemed so proper to her Sex that, even in a private person, it doth either cover, or at least must extenuate, other Faults. But in our Princess, none of whose Words or Deeds, in regard to the Eminency of her Stock and Condition, can be concealed, it doth shine out so illustriously that her other Virtues come much more acceptable and commended upon the Account thereof. And therefore I shall need to say but a few words in reference to her, save only to warn and encourage her to persist in that way to Glory and Honour, which she hath already entred upon; and that she would not give Ear to the Flatteries of any, so as to be forgetful of Her self; but that she would rather tread the sure and experienced way to immortal Renown, than by running on unsafe and craggy Precipes, to hazard the Splendor of her former glorious Life. But my great Business is with you (my Lords) who, either out of Envy, are afraid that your Betters should be preferr’d before you; or else, by wicked Ambition, do lay the Foundation of your future Favour with a good Princess. I will therefore, most Noble Queen, under the shelter of your Prudence, speak, and speak freely, my Thoughts in this case. Such Persons do not Accost or Court You, but your Fortune. And whilst they think upon the Queen, they forget that the same Person is a Woman. When I name the word Woman (I do not use it reproachfully) I mean a Person to whom Nature hath given many Blandishments and Endowments; but withal hath mingled them (as She usually doth, in the most beautiful and preciousest things) with some allay of Infoirmity; and therefore would have her to be under the Guardianship of Another, as not sufficienty able to protect Herself, so that She is so far from having an Empire over others allotted to her, that the Laws, in Imitation of Nature, do Command Women to be under the perpetual Tutelage of their Parents, Brothers, or Husbands. Neither doth this tend to their Reproach, but is a Relief to their Frailty. For that it keeps them off from those Affairs for which they are unfit, it is a Courtesie which consults, or makes Provision for, their Modesty, not a Scandal detracting from their Honour. I will not call to remembrance how difficultly they are restrained by the Diligence of Husbands and the Authority of Parents; neither will I meation how far the Licentiousness of some Woman hath proceeded when the Reins have been loosed on their Necks. I shall confine my Speech only to what the prsent Case offers; yea, what it doth exact and require and which, without Damage to the Publick, cannot be concealed. If there be any thing of private Inconvenience in the Sex, let their Husbands and Kin look to that, I shall only touch what may be Publickly prejudicial.
15. “Greatness of Mind was never required in this Sex. It is true, Women have other proper Virues, uot as forThis, it was always reckoned amongst Virile, not Female, Endowments; besides, by how much the more they are obnoxious [exposed] to Commotions, Passions, and other efforts of Mind, by reason of the Imbecillity of their Nature, by so much doth their Extravagancy, having once broke thro’ the restraints of the Law, straggle furtgher away, and is hardly ever reduced and brought back again within its due Bounds; in regard, Women are alike impatient both of Diseases and Remedies too. But if any of them seem more valiant and couragious, they are so much the more dangerous, as being lyable to more impetuous and vehement Passions. For they who, out of tediousness of their Sex, have put off the Woman, are very willing to extend their Liberty, even beyond the precincts of Manly Cares too. If you once exceed and pass over the Bound Mound and Limits set by Nature, whatsoever is beyond is infinite, and there is no Boundary left either for Desire or Action. Moreover, there is a further Accession to this Infirmity of Nature: by how much the less Confidence one hath in himself, so much the more easily he interprets the Words and Actions to his own Reproach. He is more vehemently Angry, and more hardly appeased. Such a Party doth also execute Revenge more immoderately, and doth punish his Despisers with greater Hate. Now that all those things are unfit for, yea, contrary to, Magistracy, there is none of you are ignorant of . And if any Man think that I devise these things of my own Head, let him consider what great Disturbances there were not long ago, when Joan of Naples Reigned. Look over the Histories of Ancient Times. I will not mention Semiramis of Assyria, nor Laodice of Cappadocia. Those were Monsters, not Woman. I shall only mention that Zenobia Palmirena so much spoken of, the subduer of the Partjians, and Defender of the Roman Empore, was at last Overcome, Taken and Triumphed over. And so She herself and her Kingdom, which was enlarged and increased by her Husband Odenatus, was lost in a moment.
16. “Neither may I pass over this in silence, what is principally to be regarded in the management of other Mens Affars, that the Chief Command is not to be instrusted to such sort of Persons who are not accountable for their Mal-Administration. I do not at all distrust the Disposition, Faithfulness, nor Care of the Queen, but if any thing be acted amiss (as it often happens) by the Fraud of others, and Matters be carried otherwise than the Publick Good or the Dignity of her Place doth Require, What Mulct [penalty] can we exact from the Kings Mother? What Punishment can we require? Who shall give an account for Miscarriages? The Highest Matters will then be managed in the Meedings of Women, in the Nursery or Dressing Room. You must There, either each Man in particular subscribe to Decrees, or All in General Make them, and She whom you scarce now restrain, tho’ She be without Arms and obnoxious to you by Laws and Customs, when you have, by your Authority put Power into Her hands, you will certainly feel Her Womanish Wilfulness and Extravigance. Neither do I speak this as if I did fear any such thing from our Queen, who is the Choicest and Modestest of all Women, but because I think it base and unseemly for us, who have all things yet in our own Hands and Power, to place the Hope of our Safety which we may owe to our Selves, only in anothers Power, especially since both Divine and Human Laws, the Custom of our Ancestors, yea and the Consent of all Nations throughout the whole World make for us. ’Tis true, some Nations have endured Women to be their Chief Magistrates, but they were not elected to that Dignity by their Judgment and Suffrage, but were cast upon them by the Lot of their Birth and Nativity; but never anyhPeople who had freedom of Vote, when there was plenty of able Man to chuse, did ever prefer Women before Them. And therefore, most Eminent Patriots, I advise and earnestly intreat you, That, according to the Laws of our Country, and the Customs of our Ancestors, we chuse One, or, if you think fit, More, the Best out of the Noblest and Best, who may undertake the Regency, till the King arrive at that strength both of Body and Mind, as to be able to manage the Government Himself. And I pray God to Bless your Proceedings herein.”
17. Kennedy spake thus with the Approbation of the, undoubtedly, major part of the Assembly; and the rest, perceiving that it was in vain to oppose, passed over to their Opinion. The Matter was thus composed, that neitehr Party seemed to have the Better of the other. Two of each Faction were chosen for the Guardianship of the King, who were to manage all Publick Affairs, with Fidelity; to Collect and Expend the King’s Revenue; and to undertake the Charge of the Royal Family. Of the Queens side, William Graham and Robert Boyd, then Chancellor; of the Other, Robert Earl of the Orcades, and John Kennedy. All, on both sides, the Chief of their Families. To these were added the Two Bishops of Glasgo and Caledonia. The Queen was allowed to be present at the King’s Education, but She was not to touch any part of the Publick Government. As for the other Children, which were Four, viz. Alexander Duke of Albany, and John Earl of Mar, and Two young Females, She had the Charge of their Education, herself.
18. Matters being thus composed at home, Embassadors from England had their Audience, who desired a Truce, which was grantged for Fifteen Years. The next Year, which was 1463, the King’s Mother died, being not well spoken of in point of Chastity. The same Year, Alexander, the King’s Brother, returning from his Grandfather, by the Mothers-side, out of France, was taken Prisoner by the English, but freed soon after, in regard the Scots urged it as a Breach of the Truce, and threatned a War thereujpon. Peace being obtained abroad, it was not long before Intestine Commotions arose at home; for, when the Disputes and Controversies betwixt the Nobility, concerning odering the State of the Kingdom, were bruited abroad, and magnified by vulgar Rumors, and moreover the King’s Minority, together with the fresh Remembrance of the Licentiousness of the late Times, were brought upon the Stage, all these Temptations put together did easily let loose the Reins to Men, who were turbulent enough in their own Nature. Alan of Lorn, a Seditious Person, had a mind to enjoy the Estate of John, his Eldest Brother, and therefore kept him Prisoner, intending there to detain him so long alive, till the hatred of his cruel Practise did, with time, abate, and so he yield to his Will and Pleasure. When Calen Cambel, Earl of Argyle, heard of it, he gather’d a Band of his Tenants together, freed John, and cast Alan into Prison in his room, resolving to carry him to Court, that he might suffer Punishment for That, as well as for his other noted Robberies, but he prevented his Punishment by Death, whether voluntarily or fortituous is not known.
19. In another part of the Country, Donald,the Islander, as being a more powerful Person, began to make a far greater Commotion; for, after the Kings Death, as free from Fear, and j dging that turbulent state of things to be a fit Opportunity for him to injure his Inferiors, and to increase his own power, he came to Enverness, with no great Train, and was kindly invited into the Castle by the Governor thereof, who had no Thoughts, or so much as the least Fear, of any Hostility from him. When he was entred, he turned out the Garison, seized upon the Castle, and gathering his Ilanders about him, proclaim’d himself King of the Islands. He sent forth Edicts into the Neighbour Countries, That the Inhabitants should pay Tribute to none but homself and that they should acknowledge no other Lord or Master, denouncing a great Penalty to those that did otherwise. The News hereof caus’d Debauch’d Persons to flock to him from all Parts, so that having made up an Army great enough, he entred Atrhole with such celerity that he took the Earl thereof, who was the Kings Uncle, and his Wife Prisoners, before they suspected any such thing. For the Earl, hearing the sudden Tumult of a War, distrusted the strength of his Castle of Blare, and went to the Church of St. Brides [Brigit’s] near adjoining, to defend himself there as in a Sanctuary, by the Religion of the Place, Many also of his Vassals and Countrymen, being surprized at the sudden danger, carried and laid up their best Goods there. That Church was venerated in those Parts with great Ceremony, and it had remain’d inviolate to that very day, by reason of the great Opinion of its Sanctity; but consideration of Gain was more prevalent with that Savage and Avaritious Person, than any sense of Religion. For he violently pull’d out the Earl and his Wife from thence, and a great Number of Prisoners besides; and after he had pillag’d the Church, he burnt it with Fire; and when the Priests spake to him, to deter him from that Sacriledge, some of them he slew, others he sent away, evilly enough intreated. Then having wasted the adjacent Countries up and down with Fire and Sword, he was returning home with a great Booty, but a sudden Tempest arose, which sunk many of his Ships, and greievously distresed the rest; so that he, and a Few only of his Followers were rather cast up than landed on the Island of Ila; they which superviv’d this Shipwrack, thought that this Calamity happened to them by the manifest Anger of the Deity, because they had violated the Church of St. Bride; and therefore they went bare-footed, and cover’d only with a little Linen Garment, in a humble manner to carry Gifts to her, whom, a few days before, they had so contumeliously abus’d. ’Tis reported that from that forward Donald, their Commander, fell out of his Wits, eithe for Grief that he had lost his Army and the Spoil, or because his Mind, though brutish, was at leanth gaul’d with the Conscience of his Irreligious Sacriledge, and Contempt of Divine Worship. This Misfortune of their Commander occasion’d his Kindred to set the Earl of Athole and his Children at liberty, and to come to atone St. Bride with many Large and Expiatory Gifts.
20. When the News hereof was brought to Court, it broke off their Consultations of making any Expedition against the Islanders. The first Tumults being thus appeasd, . the Administration of Scotish Affairs was carried on with so much Equity and Tranquillity, that the oldest Man then alive never remembred more secure, quiet, and halcyon days; such was the Prudence and Gravity of James Kennedy (on whose Authoiity the Court did then principally depend), and such the Modesty of the rest of the Nobility, who did not grudge to yield Obedience to the Wiser sort. For this James Kennedy had obtained such Credit by his many Merits and Services to his Country, and by his good Offices towards the former King; yea, he had procured such a real Opinion of his Fidelity in all Matters, by reason of the Composedness of his Manners, and his near Alliance to the King, That the rest of the Kings Guardians, which were to succeed one another, Two and Two by turns, did willingly admit and suffer him, when ever he came to Court, to be the sole Censor and Supervisor of their Pains and Diligence, in that Service. By this their Concord, the Kings Education was carried on very smoothly, and his own Towardliness and Ingenuity making an accession to their Industry, all Men conceiv’d great Hopes of him. Thus Matters were carried on, till about the Sixth year of the Kings Reign.
21. Thus Matters were carried on, till about the Sixth year of the Kings Reign. There was then at Court Robert Boyd, the Chief of his Family, who, besides his Personal Estate, was ally’d to many other Great and Noble Families; he had also a Flourishing Stock of Children of his own, as Thomas and Robert; he had a Brother too, named Alexander, who was well instructed and vers’d in all good Letters. This Alexander, at the desire of John Kennedy, his Kinsman (who, by reason of his declining Age, was not so fit for Youthful Services) and with the consent of the rest of the Kings Tutors or Guardians, was preferr’d to the King, to teach him the Rudiments of the Art Military, in the Knowledge whereof he was esteeem’d to exceed all his Equals. The Boyds, upon the account of these Advantages, were not content with that Place and Authority, though it were very great and Honourable, which they had at Court, but further sought to transfer all Publck Offices into their own Family; to accomplish which, Alexander was desieed by them, to incline the Kings Favour teowards them. He, having got the King in the Tenderness and Ductility of his Age, did no insinuate into him by his Flattering Complaisance, that he could do all things with him. Being admited into such private Intimacy and Converse, he would oft scatter words before the King, that he was now fit to govern himself; and that ’twas time for him to be emancipated from the servitude of old Grey-Beards, and to maintain a Company of Noble Military youths about himm, that so he might enter on those Studies betimes, wherein, whether he would or no, he was likely to pass the remaining part of his Life
22. The Fewd was first discover’d upon this Occason: the Boyds would have the King remov’d from that place to Edinburgh, but Kennedy and his Party would have that Sterlin to be the Place of his Retirement. The Boyds could then do most at Court, and so, whought publick Consent, they carry’d the King to Edinburgh, there to enter upon the Regal Government. The Attendants of the Journy were, besides their own Kindred, Adam Hepburn, John Somerval, and Andrew Car, all Heads of their respective Families. This was acted about the 10th of July in the year 1466. The Kennedies, having lost the day in the Dispute, departed severally to their own Homes, John into Carrick, James into Fife, their minds swelling with Anger, and resolving to omit no Opportunity of Revenge. The Boyds, thus Conquerors, not contented with the Wrong they had done, sent John an Aple, a jeer for the old Man to play and sport himself with at home, thereby upbraiding him, as if he had doted for Age.
23. Not long after, James Kennedy departrd this Life, maturely enough for himself, if we respect his Age, but his Death was so lamented by all good Men, as if in him they had lost a publick Father. For in that Man, besides the Virtues above mention’d, yet great Splendor and Magnificence abroad. He exceeded all former Bishops, yea and all those which have sat after him in that See to this very day, in Liberality towards the Publick, and yet notwithstanding his own Ecclesiastical Revenues were not very great, for as yet the Scots had not arrived at that ill Custom of heaping up Steeples upon Steeples, nor had learned to spend that worse upon Luxury, which was before ill gotten by Averice. He left one Eminent Monument of his Munificence behind him, and that was the Publick Schools at St. Andrews, which he built with great Expence and endow’d with large Revenues, but issuing out of Church Incoms; he took order that a Magnificent Monument should be erected for himself therein, which yet the Malignity of Men envy’d him for, though he had deserv’d so well privately of most Men, and publickly of all Men. They alleg’, ’twas a thing of too much vanity to bestow so much Cost upon a Structure of no Use. His Death made his Virtues more illustrious, and increas’d Mens desire after him; for when he, who was a perpetual Censor and Corrector of Manners, was once remov’d out of the way, the publick Discipline began, by degrees, to grow weak and remiss, and, at last, to be so corrupt, as to bring almost all things, with it self, to ruin.
24. The Boyds made use of pretences in Law, to increase the Domestick Power of their Family, and to abate the Potency of their Enemies, and first Patrick Graham seem’d most pat for that purpose; he was the Brother of James Kennedy, by the same Mother, and was also Cousin by the Mothers-side to Robert Boyd, He, as the Manner was in those days, was Elected Bishop by the Canons, in the Room of his Brother James, but was hinder’d by the Court-Faction from having the Kings leave to go to Rome, so that he went privately to the Pope, without any Train, and so was easily admitted into his Brothers Place; for besides the Nobleness of his Stock, and the great Recommendation of his high Virtues, he was also well Learned, as for those times. And therefore whilst he staid at Rome, fearing the Power of the Adverse Faction, the old Controversy concerning the Liberty of the Church of Scotland began to be revived. For the Archbishop of York pretended, That the Bishops of Scotland were under his Jurisdiction, so that he endeavour’d to retain That Power in time of Peace, which had been usurped in the Licentious Times of War. But a Decree was made at Rome in Favour of the Scots; and Graham was not only made Primate of Scotland, but also was Constituted the Popes Legat there for Three years, to inquire into the dangerous Manners and Conversations of Priests; and to restore decayed Ecclesiastical Discipline to its pristine Integrity and State; and yet this great Man, though so illustrious for Indowments of Mind and Fortune, and having also the superadded Authority of the Pope to back him, durst not return home, till the Power of the Boyds did somewhat decline at Court.
25. The Boyds, perceiving that the Concourse of the Nobility to them was not so great as they hop’d, to avert the Accusations of their Enemies, and provide for their own Security for the future, cause a publick Assembly, or Parliament, to be Indicted against the 13th Day of October. There Robert Boyd the Elder fell down on his Knees before the King and his Counsellors of State, complaining, that his Service to the King in bringing him to Edinburgh was ill interpreted and traduc’d by the Malign Speeches of his Adversaries, who gave out threatning Words, That the Advisers to that Journy should, one Day, suffer Punishment for the same; and therefore he humbly besought the King, That, if he had conceiv’d any ill will or disgust in his Mind against him for that Journy, That he would openly declare it, that so Calumnies of his Directors might be either prevented or allay’d. The King, having advis’d a little with the Lords of the Articles, made answer, That Robert was not the Adviser of him to that Journy, but rather his Companion it; and therefore, that he was more worthy of a Reward for his Courtesie, than of Punishment for his Obsequiousness and Compliance therein; and this he was willing to declare in a publick Decree of the Estates, so that all invidious Discourse might be stopt; and, in the same Decree, Provision should be made, That that Matter should never be preducial to Robert, nor his Companions. Boyd desired, that Tjis Decree might be Registred amonsts the Acts of the Assmbly; and that the same should be confirm’d also by Letters Patents, under the Great Seal; and accordingly the Decree was presently Registred amongst the Acts, and the Letters Patent Patents were deliver’d to him soon after, viz. the 25th Day of the same Month. The same Day also, the King, by advice of his Council, gave him other Letters Patents, wherein he was Constituted Regent, and had the Safety of the King, his Brothers, Sister, Towns, Castles, and all the Jurisdiction over his Subjects, committed to him, till he himself came to 21 Years of Age; and he dealt so with the Nobles then present, that they solemnly promis’d to be assistant to the Boyds in all their publick Actions; and that they would be obnoxious to Punishment, if they did not carefully, and with Faithfulness, perform what they now promis’d. To this Stipulation or Promise the King also subscrib’d.
26. By this means, when the King was their Friend, Part of the Nobility in League with them, and also the Administration of the whole Government put into their Hands, they thought themselves s fficiently secur’d for a long time; yea, and to lay a Foundation also for the future Greatness of t eir Posterity, they brought it about, that Thomas Boyd, the Son of Robert, should Marry the King’s Eldest Sister. That Marriage, as it was opulent, and seem’d a Prop and Establishment of their Power, so it increas’d the Hatred of their Enemies; and gave Occasion to variety of Discourse amongst the Vulgar. For though, by this means, all passage to the King’s Ear seem’d to be precluded, and they alone made the sole Arbiters of his Words and Actions; yet they did not flourish so much in Favour at Court, as they were prosecuted with publick Hatred abroad; which, after Four Years Concealment, did, at last, break out to the Destruction of their whole Family; and the wiser sort of the adverse Party did not mu h dislike this their sudden Increase of Honourf for, they hoped (as ’tis usual) that Arrogance would be the Companion thereof, which would not indure a Superior, and despise and Equal, yea and trample upon an Inferior; and when the Bounds of a Subjects Condition are exceeded, it also awakens Kings, who are impatient of Corrivals, to overthrow such suspected Persons. The Noise of this Discord betwixt such Potent Factions let loose the Reins to Popular Licentiousness. For the People, accustom’d to Robberies, did, by Intervals, more eagerly return to their former Trade. The Seeds of Hatred, which were supprest for a time, did now bud forth again with greater Vigour; and the Seditious did willingly lay hold on these Occasions for Disturbances, so that there was a general Liberty to do what Men listed, in hopes of Impunity. Neither were the Kennedys wanting to the Occasion, who partly did spread abroad Rumors to inflame the People, and to cast all the Cause of their Disturbance and Miseries upon the Boyds; and partly also (as some thought) they were not much averse from the Design of the Seditious, but did privily cast Fewel into the Fire. This was plain and evident by their very Countenances, That this troublesom State of Affairs was not unpleasant or unacceptable to them. There seem’d but only One thing wanting, utterly to subvert the flourishing Power of their Enemies, and that was, to make the King of their Party. For they had Strength enough, or too much; they knew that the Commonalty, who affect Innovations, and love every thing more than what is present, would crowd in to their Party; hereupon they agreed to try the King’s Mind, by some crafty Persons who should pretend themselves to be Lovers of the Boydian Faction.
27. In the interim, Embassadors were appointed to pass over into Denmark, to desire Margarite, the Daughter of that King, as a Wife for James; and that they should take all the care they could, that the Old Controversie concerning the Orcades [Orkneys] and the Isles of Shetland, which had cost both Nations so much Blood, might be accorded. The Chief of the Embassie was Andrew Stuart, Son to Walter, who was then Chancellor of Scotland. The Danes easily assented to the Marriage, and they quitted all their Right which their Ancestors claim’d over all the Ilands about Scotland, in the Name of a Dowry; only the private Owners of Estates in those Ilands were to enjoy them upon the same Terms, as they had formerly done. Some write, that they were passed over in Mortgage, till the Dowry was paid, but that afterward the King of Denmark gave up all his Right thereto for ever to his Nephew James, who was newly born by his Daughter. When the Chancellor had inform’d the King, that all things were finish’d according to his desire, the next Consult was to send an handsom Train of Nobles to bring over the New Queen. And here, by the Fraud of his Enemies and Inadvertency of his Friends, Thomas Boyd, Son of Robert Earl of Arran, was chosen Embassador, his very Maligners and Envyers purposely commending his Aptness for that Imployment, by reason of his Valour, Splendor and Estate, fit for such a Magnificent Errand. He, judging all things safe at Home, in regard his Father was Regent, willingly uindertook the Imployment; at the beginning of Augtmn, with a good Trains of Friends and Followers, he went a Ship-board.
28. In the mean time, the Kennedy’s had loosened the Kings Affection to the Boyds; and whereas they thought to retain his Good Will, by Pleasures and Vacation from Publick Cares, those very Baits they imputed as Crimes to them, and by magnifying their Wealth, though Great in it self, yet as too Bulky, and even dangerous to the King himself; and withal alleging, what a great Advance would accru to his Exchequer by the Confiscation their Estates, upon their Conviction, they did variously agitate the infirm Mind of the King, who was inclin’d to Suspicions and Avarice. And the Boyds on the other side, though they endeavour’d by their Obsequious Flattereis, and their hiding the publick Miseries from him, to banish all Melancholy Thoughts out of his Mind; yet the Complaints of the Vulgar, and the Solitariness of the Court, both which were of set purpose contriv’d and increast by their Enemies, could not be hid. And besides, there were some, who when the King was alone, did discourse him freely, concerning the Publick Calamties, and the Way to Remedy them; yea, the King himself, as if he were somewhat awakned to Manly Cares, declar’d, That what was sometimes Acted abroad did not please him. But the Boyds, though they perceiv’d that the King was every Day less and less Tractable to them, than formerly; and withal, that popular Envy rose higher and higher against them, yet remitted nothing of their former Licentiousness, as trusting to the Kings former Lenity, and to the Amnesty which they had for what was past. Wshereupon the contrary Faction, having secretly wrought over the King to their Party, and Thomas Earl of Arran being sente packing Ambassador into Denmark, from whence he was not expected to return till late in the Spring, because those Northern Seas are Tempestuous and Unpassable, for a great part of Year; upon these accounts, they thought it a fit season to attempt the Boyds, who were Old and Diseased, and therefore came seldom to Court; and besides, where destitute of the Aid of many of their Friends, who were gone away in the Train of the Embassy. The First thing they did was to persuade the King to call a Parliament, which had been much longfs for a great while, to meet at Edinburgh on the Twenty Second Day of Novermber, in the Year 1469.
29. Thither the Boyds, Two Brothers, were Summoned to come, and make their Appearance; where Matters were variously carried towards them, as every ones Hatred of them or Favour of them did dictate and direct. But they were so astonisht at this sudden Blow, as having made no great Provision against so imminent a Danger, that their Minds were quite dejected, no so m ch for the Power of the adverse Faction, as for the sudden Alienation of the Kings Mind from them; so that Robert, in Despair of his safety, fled into England. But Alexander, who by reason of his Sickness could not fly, was call’d to his Answer. The Crime objected to both of the Brothers was, That they had laid Hands on t e King, and by private Advice had carried him to Edinburgh. Alexander alleg’d, That he had obtain’d his Pardon for that Offence ina publick Convention, and therefore he humbly desired, That a Copy of that Pardon might be Transcrib’d out of the Parliament Rolls, but this was denied him. What his Accusers did object that Pardon, the Writers of those Times do ot Record, and I, though a Conjecture be not very difficult to be made in the case, yet had rather leave the whole Matter to the Readers Thoughts, than to affirm Uncertainties for Truths. Alexander was Condemn’d on his Tryal, and had his Head cut off. Robert, a few years after, dy ’d at Alnwick in England, the Grief of Banishment being a added to the pains of his old Age. His Son, though absent, and that upon a publick Bisiness, was declar’d a publick Enemy, without Hearing, and all their estates were Confiscate. Thus stood the matter of Fact, but I shall ot conceal what I have heard some Good Men, and not Ignorant of the History of those Times, affirm. They say, That the Amnesty given to the Boyds was thus Worded in the Records, That the King forgave them all the Prejudice and Rancour of Mind (as they then Phras’d it) which he might have conceived agaisnt them; which they, who were willing to Gratifie the King, did Interpret (according to the Distinction then Celebrated amongst Divines, concerning the Remission of the Fault, and of the Punishment) after this manner. That though the King forgave them his Perfsonal Resentment, yet they were not exempted from the Punishment of the Law.
30. Thomas Boyd, when he heard of the Calamity of his Family, though some put him in hopes of Pardon, in a time of publick Rejoycing, yet durst not come ashore; but being inform’d by his Wife, who upon the first News of the approach the Danish Fleet, made immediately to him, that there was no Hopes of Re-admission to the Kings Favour, his Enemies having stopt all Passages thereunto, sail’d back into Denmark, whence he came, and so Travelled through Germany into France, where, in vain, indeavour’d to obtain the Mediation of Lewis the Eleventh (who then had turn’d the Legitimate Empire of the French into a Tyranny) for his Reconciliation; and thereupon he went to Charles of Burgundy, where he carry’d himself Valiantly, and did him much Faithful Service in the Wars, for which he was well rewarded by him with Honours and Largesses. There he lived a Private, yet Honourable, Life, and his wife bore him a son, called James, and a Daughter called Grekin, of which in their place. The Marriage of James the Third and Queen Margarite was Celebrated with a great Concourse of the Nobility, on the Tenth Day of July, in the Year of our Lord 1470. There was born out of that Marriage, Three Years after, on Saint Patricks Day in March, James, who Succeeded his Father in the Kingdom.
31. In the interim, the King, not yet satisf’d with the Misery of the Boyds, writes over into Flanders, to recal his Sister home; but knowing that she bore so great a Love to her Husband, that she would hardly be induc’d to part from him, he caus’d others to write to her, giving her some Hopes, that the Kings Anger might, in time, be appeas’d towards her Husband, and that no doubt was to be made butgthat she her self might prevail much with her Brother for his Relief, but that she must come to plead for him in Presence, and not commit his Apology to others. Upon these Hopes, she return’d, and was no sooner arriv’d in Scotland but the King transacts with her about a Divorce; and thereupon he affixt publick Libels and Citations, attested by many Witnesses, at Kilmarnock (which was the Chief House of the Boyds, before their Fall), wherein Thomas was Commanded to appear in Sixty Days, though all Men knew, that, thouagh the publick Faith had been given him, yet he would hardly have return’d. He not appearing at the Day, the former Marriage was pronounc’d Null, and a Divorce maide, though the Husband were absent and unheard; and so Mary, the Kings Sister, was compell’d, against her Will, to Marry James Hamilton, a Man rais’d but a litle before, and much inferior to her former Husband in Estate and Dignity; yet she bore him a Son, named James, and a Daughter called Margarite. The Children she had, by her former Husband, were also recall’d by the King. And he himself lived not long after. He died at Antwerp, and having no Kinsmen there to claim his Estate, Charles of Burgundy caus’d a Magnificent Monument to be erected for him, with the Mony which he had munificently bestow’d upon in the Church of ... wherein an Honouirable Epitaph was inscribed. Thus the Family of the Boyds, which then was the most flourishing one in all Scotland, within a few Years grew up and was cut down, to the great Document [instruction] of Posterity, What slippery things the Favours of young Kings are. Their Ruin did not only amaze their Friends, but it also kept off and damp’d their very Enemies, so that none would aventure to Aspire to that Dignity, from which they were cast down; partly upon the account of the Instability of Human Affairs; and partly in Consideration of the Kings sudden Repentance for bestowing of his Graces and Favours, and his continu’d Perseverance in his Hatred, when once began. This is certain, that they which were erect to great Hopes of Preferment, by the Change of Publick Affairs, found themselves much mistaken: for the King, who before that time had used himself to Domestick Ease, and seldom appear’d in Publick, being now also newly Married, spent a great part of his Time in the Pleasures of his Palace; he excluded the Nobility, and was wholly govern’d by a few of his Servants; for, being of an eager and fervid Disposition, he could not well bear the being contradicted in his Opinion, so that he avoided the Liberty which Nobles would take in advising him, and had only thsoe about him who would not reprehentd but rather approve of,, what he did; that so by avoiding any occasion of Offence, by their Flattery they might curry his Favour.
32. Amidset these Manners of the Court, the Ecclecstical State was not much better; for though the Ministers of the Church had been given, for many years, to Luxury and Avarice, yet there was still some shadow of ancient Gravity remaining; so that some encouragement was given to Learning, and Advantage to such as were good Proficients therein. For the Bishops were choien by the Colleges of Canons, and the Abbats by their respective Sodalities; but then the Parasite Courtiers persuaded the King (for it was they only, who had his Heart and Ear) that it would be very gainful to him, and those with whom he was to deal were not able to hinder his Design, if he recalled and assumed the Designation of such Offices to himself, and not suffer a Matter of so great Advantage to rest in the Hands of such a dronish Generation of People, and unfit for any publick Business, as Ecclesiasticks were. The King was easily persuaded thereunto, in regard, they alleg’d, That, by this means, besides other Advantages, he might have Opportunity to curb the Contumacious, to oblige Neuters, and to reward the well deserving; “but (said they) in our present Circumstances, Promotions and Honours are in the Hands of the Dregs of the Vulgar, who are as Parsimonoius in case of publick Necessities, as they are profuse in their Pleasures.“ But it was fit, in such Cases, all Men should depend upon the King alone, that so he might have the sole Power of Punishing, Pardoning, and Rewarding. By these and the like Flattering Arguments, they persuaded the King to their Opinion, for his Mind was not yet confirm’d by Ripeness of Years; besides, ’twas weaken’d by ill Custom, and not fortifi’d agains the Temptations of Money-Matters. And moreover, he was naturally Prone to LIberty. Hereupon, an new Face of things presently appeared throughout the whole Kingdom, and all Matters, both Sacred and Profane, were brought to Court, to be hucster’d and sold, as in a Publick Fair.
33. But Patrick Graham was the on;y Man, who endeavour’d to stop the precipitouis Ruin of the Church. When his Enemies sway’d all at home, he staid at Rome some years, but being therefore inform’d by his Friends in what State things were, he, trusting in his Alliance to the King, being the Son of his Great Aunt, resolv’d to return home. But that he might make some Essay of the Minds of Men before, he sent the Bull, which he had obtain’d from the Pope, for his Legantine Power, and caus’d it to be Proclaim’d and Publish’d in the Month of September, and the Year of our Lord 1472, which rais’d up much Envy against him. For they that had bought Ecclesiastical Honours at Court, where afraid to lose both their Prey and Money too; and they who thought to make advange by this Court Nundination [auction], were griev’d to be thus disappointed; yea, that Faction did no less Storm that had obtain’d Ecclesiastica; Preferments from the King for Mercenary Gain, that so they might sell them to others. Their Fear was that this gainful Practice would be taken out of their Hands. All these made a Conspiracy against Patrick and in his absence loaded him with Reproaches; they came to Court, and complain’d, that their Ancient Laws, as well as the Kings late Decrees, were Violated, and that the Romanists were carrying on many Matters very prejudicial to the Kingdom; and unless the King did speedily oppose their Exorbitance, they would quickly bring all things under their Power; yea, and make the King himself truckle under them. To prevent his Danger, there were some sent, by Order of Council, to Patrick, before he had scarce set his Foot on Shoar, to forbid him to execute any part of his Office, until ghe King had heard the Complaints made against him; and a Day was appointed him to appear, the First of November at Edinburgh, on order to an Hearing. In the mean time, when his Friends and Kinsfolk did assure him, that the King would do what was Equitable in so just a Cause, the adverse Faction, hearing of it, did ingage the King and his Courtiers by the Promises of great Sums of Money, that Patrick could never have Fair Hearing afterwards. When he was come to the Assembly, he produc’d the Popes Bull and Grant, wherein he was Constituted Archbishop of St. Andrews, Primate of Scotland, and the Popes Legate for Three Years, to order Ecclesiastical Affairs. The Inferiour sort of Priests were glad o fthe thing, that an Office so necessary was put into the Hands of so Pious and Learn’d a Man, but they did not dare to speak it out, for Fear of some powerful Persons, who had got the Ear of the King and his Counsellors. His Adversaries made their Appeal to the Pope, who alone could be judge in the Case, which they did on purpose to create delay, that so the Favour of the People towards Patrick might in time abate. He himself was sent back by the King to his Church, but forbid to wear the Ensigns and Habiliments of an Archbishop, till the Cause was determin’d; neither was he to perform any Office, but what the former Bishops had done before him.
34. Whilst these things were acting, William Sivez rose up, a new Enemy, against Patrick but the bitterest of all the rest, and that upon a light Occasion. He was a young Man of a prompt Wit, and had lived some Years at Lovain under the Institution [instruction] of John Sperine, a Man well-skill’d in the Studyhof Physick and Astrology, in both which Faculties he was very Famous; and returning home, he quickly insinuated himself into the Favour of the Courtiers, parly upon the account of his other Accomplishments, partly because of his noted Skill in Astrology. This Endowment won him great Respect from the Court, which was then addicted to all sorts of Divinations, even to a Madness, so that this Sivesz, being of Fluid Wit, and in great favour at Court, was soon made Arch-Deacon of St. Andrews. But the Bishop would not admit him to that Office; whereupon he communicated Counsel with John Locc, Rector of the Publick Schools there, and a back Friend of Patricks, and the Two plotted together, to overthrow him. The Rector, having a Grant from the Pope, whereby he was Privileg’d and Exempted from Patricks Jurisdiction, pronounced the Sentence of Excommunication against him. But he so slighted this Commination [threat of God’s anger] of an Inferious Order to himself, that though it were Twice or Thrice serv’d upon him, yet he remitted nothing of the ordinary Course of his former Life; whereupon his Enemies (as is usual in such Cases, wherein Ecclesiastical Censures are contemn’d) implore the Assistance of the King, and cause Patrick to be shut out of all Churches. Officers of the Exchequer were sent to Inventory his Goods; his Retinue was commanded, under a heavy Penalty, to depart; and a Guard was set upon him, to observe that he did nothing contrary to the Edict. Tje rest of the Bishops, that they might not seem ungrateful towards so Benevolent a King, levied a great Sum of Mony, which they had violently extorted out of small Beneficies, and presented him with it.
35. The King being Master of such a Sum, seem’d to deal more mildly with Patrick, as if he took pity on him, and accordingly he sent the Abbat of Holy-Rood and Sivez to him. Whereupon, the Bishop was reconcil’d to the King, and also Sivez and the Bishop were made Friends; but his Mony was gather’d up before, and carried to the King. Now Patrick seem’d to be freed out of all his Troubles, and so he retir’d to his Manor House of Monimul, and prepar’d himself for the Execution of his Office both Publickly and Privately; when behold! the Roman Mony-Mongers were sent in upon him, by his Adversaries; and because he had not paid his Fees for the Popes Grant (or Bull, as they call it) they also Excommunicated him. The Man was reduced to extream Poverty; for his Revenues, both before and after his return, were for the most part gather’d up by the Kings Collectors, and brought into his Exchequer; and what ever his Friends could make up, was given to the King and his Courtiers. And when the Kings Officerfs were again sent to take Possession of his Estate, Guards wereset upon him by the King; his Houshold Servants were discharg’d, and he was kept pris’ner in the Castle, and thereby was depriv’d of the Advice of his Friends also. William Sivez his Capital Enemy was First impos’d upon him by the King as his Coadjutor, as they call him, as if he had been besides himself. the Pope also afterwards approving of the Man for that Service. Aand also the aforesaid Sivez was made Inquisitor by the Power of the Adverse Faction, to inquiere into his Life and Conversation; many trifling, many ridiculous and incredible things were Objected against him, and amongst the rest was this one, That he had said Mass Thrice in one Day, whereas, in that Age, there was hardly a Bishop who did the same in Three Months. Hereupon, his Enemy being Judge, and Witnesses being hired against him, he was Ejected out of his Bishoprick. And Sivez, who carried the Decree to the Pope, was made Bishop in his room. Neither were his Enemies contented with this Mischief they had done him; but, perceiving that he bore all their Contumelies with much Greatness of Spirit, they took order, that he should be shut up in some desolate Monast’ry, under Four Keeprs; Inch Colm was chosen to be the Place, a Rock rather than an Island, from whence, Three Years afater, he was remov’d to Dunferlin, for fear of the English Fleet, betwixt whom and the Scots a War had then broke forth, and from thence he was again carried to the Castle which lies in Loch Leven, where, being worn out with Age and Miseries, he departed this Life. He was a man guilty of no known Vice, and in Learning and Virtue, infeorior to none of his Age. The other Good Men, being terrify’d by his Calamity, and perceiving no hopes of any Church-Reformation, went all about their own private Affairs. In the Court, Church-Preferments were either Sold, or else given away to Flatterers and Panders, as a Reward for their filthy Service. Tho’ these things were acted at several times, yet I have put them altogether in my Discourse, that so the Thread of my History might not be too often interrupted; and also, that by one memorable Example, we might have an entire View of the Miseries of those Times. For one may easily imagin, how vitious the ordinary sort of Men were, seeing a Man that was so Eminent for all kind of Virtue; and besides, had the Advantage to be Allyed to the King, and to many Noble Familes besides, was, by a few Scoundrels of the Lowest sort, expos’d to the Reproach and Cruelty of his Enemies. But to return to the other Occurrences of those Times.
36. In the Year 1476 there was a Publick Decree made against John Lord of the Islands, who had seiz’d upon some Provinces, and had done great spoil on the Maritime Coasts; insomuch that the King resolv’d to march against him by Land, and Commanded the Earl of Craford his Admiral to meet him by Sea. Hereupon John, perceiving that he was too weak to withstand such great Preparations, by the Advice of the Earl of Athole, the King’s Uncle, came, in an Humble manner, to Court, and surrendred up himself to the King’s Mercy. The Provinces which he had forcibly enter’d upon were taken from him, as Ross, Kintire, Cnapdale, but the Command of the Islands was still permitted to him. The same Year, the Controversie with the English, which was just about to break forth into a War, was ended and decided. The Occasion was this. James Kennedy had built a Ship, the biggest that ever Sailed on the Ocean at that time. She, being at Sea, was by a Tempest cast upon the English Shore, and her Lading rifled by the English. Restitution was often sought for, but in vain. This bred a disgust betwixt the Nations for some Years; at lest, the English sent Embassadors into Scotland, the chief of which were, the Bishop of Durham, and Scroop a nobleman; by whom Edward, having been tost by the Inconstancy of Fortune, and his Exchequer drain’d by continual Wars, desir’d a Pacification, which was easily renew’d, upon Condition, That the value of the Ship rifled, and its Lading, might be estimated, by indifferent Persons, and just Satisfaction made.
37. This same Year, Embasadors were sent to Charles Duke of Burgundy, in behalf of the Merchants, who were disturb’d in their Trades. When they came into Flanders, they were Honourably receiv’d by him. But one Andrews, a Physician, and a great Astrologer too, being occasionally invited by them to Supper, understanding the Cause of their coming, took them aside, and told them, That they should not make too much haste in their Embassyi; for, in a very few Days, they should hear other News of the Duke. And accordingly, his Preduction was fulfilled, for within Three Days after, his Army was overthrown by the Switzers, at the City of Nants in Lorain, where he was slain. Hereupon, the Embassadors return’d without effecting their Business; and when they came to the King, and told him how highly skilled that Andrews was in Predicting Things to come, they persuaded him, who of himself was inclinable to those Arts, to send for the Man, upon promises of a good Reward; and accordingly he came, was well receiv’d, and gratify’d with a rich Parsonage and other Boons. He (as ’tis reported) told the King, That he should speedily be Destroyds by his own Subjects, and that Speech agreed with the Vaticanations of some wizardly Woman (to which the King was immoderately addicted) who had Prophecy’d, That a Lyon should be killed by his Whelps. Hereupon, from a Prince at first of great Ingenuity and good Hopes, and as yet notg holly depraved, he degenerated into a fierce and cruel Tyrant; for when his Mind had entertain’d, and was stuft with, Suspicions, he accounted even his nearest Kindred, and all the Best of the Nobility, as his Enemies; and the Nobles were also digusted at him, partly by reason of his Familiarity with that Rascally sort of People; but chiefly, because he slighted the Nobility, and chose mean Persons to be his Counsellors and Advisers. The Chief of them were Thomas Preston, one of good Family, but who was resolv’d to humor the King in all things; Robert Cockrain, a Man endued with grest strength of Body, and equal Audacity of Mind; he came to be known by the King by a Duel which he fought with another; and presently of a Tradesman was made a Courter, and that in a fair way of rising to some greater Advancement: for having perform’d some lighter Matters, intusted to him, with Diligence; and also applying himself to the King’s Humor, he was soon admitted to advise concerning the Grand Affairs of the Kingdom; insomuch that Preston chose him out to be his Son-in-=law. The Third was William Rogers, an English Singing Man, or Musician; who, coming into Scotland with the English Embassadors, after the King had heard him once or twice in a cast of his Offence [read “Office”?] he was so taken with him, That he would not suffer him to return, but advanced him to wealth and honour, soon after making him a Knight. The rest of his Intimates were the most despicable sort of the meanest Tradesmen, who were only known by their Improbity [bad behavior] and Audaciousness.
38. Whereupon, the Nobility had a Meeting, wherein the Kings Brothers were the Chief, to purge the Court from this sort of Cattle; and some notice of it being divulg’d abroad, John the Youngest of the Brothers, more unwary than the rest, speaking a little too boldly and rashly concerning the State of the Kingdom, was seiz’d upon by the Courtiers, and put to Death, by having a Vein Opened, till he expired his last. The Cause of his Death was given out amongst the Vulgar to be, because he had conspir’d with Witches against the King’s Life; and to make the matter more plausible, twelve of the Witches of the lowest condition were Try ’d and Burnt. The Death of John did rather stufle than dissipate the Conspiracy, which seem’d almost ready to break forth.
39. Alexander, the next as in Blood, so in Danger, tho’ he indeavour’d to avert all Suspicion from himself, as much as he could; het the Kings Officers thought they should never be Secure, as long as he was alive, and therefore they presently clapt him up Prisoner in the Castle of Edinbugh, where he was strictly kept by those who judg’d his Power would be their Destruction; and seeing he could not appease the Kings Wrath by the Mediation of his Friends, he began to think of making an Escape. He had but one of his own Servants left wait upon him in his Chamber; him, and none else, he acquainted with his Design. Who hired a Vessel for him, to be ready fitted in the adjoining Road, then he suborn’d Messengers to make frequent Errands to him from the Court, who should tell him Stories before his Keepers (for he was forbid to speak with any Body but in their presence) that the King was now more reconcileable to him, than formerly; and that he could speedily be set at Liberty. When the day appointed for his Escape approach’d, he compos’d his Countnance to as much Mirth as, in that calamitous Condition, he was able to do, and told his Keepers, that, now he believ’d the Messages sent him by the King, that he was reconcil’d to him; and that he hop’d he should not be held much longer in Durance; hereupon, he invited them to a noble Supper, and himself drank freely with them, till late at Night. Then they departed; and, being all full of Wine, fell into the Sounder sleep. Being thus alone, he made a Rope of the Linen-Blankets of his bed, long enough, as he thought, for the height of the Wall, and First, to make a Tryal, he caus’d his Servant to slide down by it; but perceiving, by his Falll, that ’twas too short, he lengthened it out, as well he could in those Circumstances, and himself Slid down too, and took up his Servant, who had broke his Leg by his Fall, upon his Shoulders, and carry’d him about a Mile to the Vessel, were they wen abroad, and, having a Fair Wind, sailed to Dunbar. There he fortify’d the Castle against any forcible Assault, and, with a small Retinue, passed over into France. In his absence, Andrew Stuart, the Chancellor, was sent with an Army to take in the Castle. They besieg’d it closely some Months, and ’twas defended as bravely; but, at last, the Garison, for want of Necesssaries, were forced to get Vessels, and, in the Night, to depart privately for England, so that in the Morning the Empty Castle was taken by the besiegers; some men of Note, of the Besiegers, were slain there.
40. About these Times it was, that the Kings both of England and Scotland, being weary’d out with Domestick Troubles, had each of them a desire to make Peace, and an Embassy was appointed to compleat it, which was kindly received, and the Peace was not only agreed upon, but an Affinity accorded to confirm it, that Cecilia, the Daughter of Edward, should be Married to James his Son, as soon as they were Both Marriageable. Part also of the Dowry was paid, on this Condition, That, if when they came to Years, the Marriage were not Consummated, the Dowry should be paid back to the English, and Hostages were given for performance of Conditions, which were some Burgers of Towns. But this Peace lasted not long, for, by reason of the old grudges remaining since the last Wars, Incursions were made, Preys driven, and Villages burnt; so that, by reason of these mutual Injuries, the matter broke forth into an open War. And besides, each King had other peculiar Provocations. Douglas, the Old Exile, and Alexander the Kings Brother, the new One, excited Edward thereunto. For Alexander, as I said before, going into France, Married the Daughter of the Earl of Bulloign, but not being able to procure from Lewis the II, then King of France, for the Recovery of his own, he Sailed over into England, hoping from thence to make some Attempt upon Scotland. As for James of Scotland, Lewis of France edg’d [egged] him on to a War, having sent Robert Ireland, a Scots man, and Dr. of the Sorbon, with Two French Knights to him, on that Errand.
41. Hereupon, the Peace was violated, and altho’ the Scotish Affairs, in regard some of the Country was wasted, were in none of the best State and Condition; yea, an Army also was decreed, to be sent against Scotland, by the English, under the Command of the Duke of Glocester; yet the King, and those which were about him, did levy Forces, tho’ very unwillingly. For the Upstarts (such they lately were, and very poor too), whose Greatness was founded on the Calamities of others, and who had been the Authors of such desperate Counsels to the King, fear’d nothing more than the frequent Assembly of the Nobility; when he came to Lauder, a Town near ther Border of Merch and Teviotdale, Couintry either wasted by the Enemy, or else, by Force, necessitated to submit to him, the King yet proceeded on his wonted course of Exactions from them; he distrusted the Nobility, and manag’d all by his Cabinet-Council. The Nobles would indure the Indignity no longer, and therefore, in the third Watch, they met at a Church in the Towen, where, in a Full Assembly, Archibald Douglas, Earl of Arran, is reported to have declar’d the Cause of their Meeting, in this Wise:
42. “I think it is not necessary, Noble Peers, to make a long Oration concerning the state of Scotish Affairs, you your selves Partly remember it, and Partly you see it with our Eyes. The Chief of the Nobility, are either banished, or else compelled to suffer intolerable, and to act nefarious, things; and you, in whom the strength of the Kingdom doth reside, are left without an Head, as a Ship without a Steers-man, subject to all the Storms and Tempests of Fortune. Your Lands are burnt, your Estates plunder’d, the Husbandman either slain, or else, perceiving no other Remedy, or relief, hath submitted to the Enemy. And the King, if he were Himself a man of a generous Spirit and rare Prudence, yet being carried away by poysonous Insinuations, refers all things pertaining to the Good of the Common-wealth, as to Peace, War and the like not to an Assembly of the Nobles, but to inferior Underlings. These men do consult South-sayers and Wizards, and so carry their Answers to the King, whose mind is Sick and easily taken such such vain Susperstitions; and thus Decrees are made, under the Influence of such Authors, concerning the Safety of us all. For they, knowing that they are deservedly hated by all, do persecute all by as alternate an hatred; and their endeavour is, not only to undermine your Authority, but to cut you all off, by all the possible Arts and Practices they can. They have remov’d some of us by Death, others by Banishment; neither do they ascend gradually to play their Pranksm= as inferiour Persons, when they are promoted, are wont to do, but these do immediately pitch upon the Royal Blood, to exercise the Tryals of their Cruelty and Avarice upon. One of the King’s Brothers they have most unhumanly put to death; the Other they have robb’d his Country of, by banishing him, and so have given him as a General to our Enemies. They being thus taken out of the way, their next work is to deal with the Nobility, for, being of low Estate and Condition themselves, they would have nothing of Excellency and Sublimity to survive them. All those that have either Riches to satisfy their Avarice, or Power to resist their Audaciousness, Them they account as their Enemies; and yet, in the mean time, we manage a War against the English as our Publick Enemy, as if any Enemy were more deadly than That, who is never satisfy’d, in point of Covetousness, with your Estates, nor, in point of Cruelty, with your Blood.
43. “ Now to make it clear to you, that this intestine Plague is more dreadful than that Foreign one, suppose (which God forbid) that the King of England should conquer us. Doubtless he would remember old Grudges, and, in pursuance of that Conquest, what End of his Successes would he propound to himself? Or what Reward of his Victory? Would he aim at the Life of the King, his Enemy, or at your Loves? I think at Neither. For the Dispute between us is not of Life, but of Glory and Empire; and a generous Mind, as ’tis vehement and eager against those that resist it, so ’tis easily mitigated and inclin’d to Lenity by Submission and Obsequiousness, even upon the account of remembring the Instability of all human Affairs. But suppose that the Enemies rage should aim at the Kings Life and Destruction. I pray, Which of th eTwo do act more mercifully, either he that, together with Life takes away all Sense or Misery, or they that reserve him, whom they ought principally to love and reverence next God, to a dayly Butchery and Execution? Who arm his Mind, already prepossest with Witch-crafts, to the Destruction of his Friends; who keep the King, now almost encompast by the Arms of his Enemies, in the nature of a Prisoner, and do not suffer him to see the Faces of his Friends, that he may understand their Affection him, and experience their Loyalty? They are not so much Enemies who pitch Camp against Camp, and so openly profess their Hostility, as they who, at home, do treacherously contrive our Destruction. They alienate the Kings mind from his Friends, and betray him to his Enemies; and thus they deprive us of our Commander, and expose us as a Prey to our Enemies Arms, by whom, if your Lives are given you after you are conquer’d, yet you will fall into Shame and Servitude. And if you overcome them, yet you will not procure Quiet to your selves, Strength to your Country, nor Glory to your King, but a greater Liberty to your Enemies, to play their Pranks at present, and that in security for the future; and thus we shall bring a Plague and Misery on our selves, and a stricter Servitude on our King, so that Victory will not free us from Foreign Miseries, but will increase our Domestick Ones. And therefore, in short, my Opinion is, That we shake off the Yoke at home, before we venture to engage the Enemy. For, otherwise, we shall all be made Slaves to the Lusts of a few men, we shall strengthen the Enemy, and betray the Common-wealth. God bless your Consultations in this matter.”
44. After Douglas had ended his Speech, there followed, not a Debate, but a confus’d Noise over the whole Assembly, crying out, To your Arms against the Publick Enemy; for the Minds of all present were so inflam’d that, though they had none to lead them, yet they were about to break in upon the Kings Quarters. But the graver Sort, who, by reason of their Honour and Authority, had a greater Interest in the rest, appeas’d the Tumult; for they fear’d lest, in an impetuous assault of the People, the King himself should come to some harm. And therefore they agreed, that the prime Commanders should take a smal number of their chiefest Confidents, and, without any general remove of the whole Army, should go to the Kings Pavilion, and so lay hold on the Offenders, who had the Management of things, and bring them forth to be judged before the whole Army, that so they might suffer condign Punishment, according to the Laws.
45. Whilst these things were in agitation, News was brought to the Court, that the Nobles were assembled, before day, in the Church; for What, ’twas not known, but it must certainly be some great Matter, which ingag’d such Persons to assemble, unknown to the King and his Counsellors. The King was awakned, and rose in great fear out of his Bed, and ask’d those about him, What was best to be done? In the mean while, he sends Cockran before, to observe what was a doing, and to bring him certain word. When he was coming to the Church with a small Retinue, he meets with the Chief of the Nobility coming to Court. Douglas presently laid hands upon him, and took him by a Massy-Gold-Chain which he wore about his Neck, whereby he somewhat strain’d his throat, and gave him up a Prisoner to the Marshal, and then he goes directly to the Kings Bed-Chamber. They, which were there, made no Opoosition, either because they were astonished at his sudden Coming; or else, out of Reverence to the Man, so that there the rest were seiz’d upon, who were thought to have corrupted the King by their wicked Counsels. Only one Young man hung about the Kings Neck, and he desired them to pardon him. His name was John Ramsy, of a good Family; who, being excus’d upon the account of this Age, was dismist. Whilst the rest were led on to their Tryals, there was Tumult and Noise rais’d over the whole Army, crying out, Hang them, Rogues, whereupon they were presently hurry’d away, and ended their Lives in an Halter; yea, the Army in general was so intent upon their Execution, that when they wanted Ropes, upon such a sudden, they all offer’d the Reins of their Horse-Bridles and their Baggage-Horse Tackle, for that Use; and they strove much, Who should have the honour to offer his own first.
46. This Court-Faction had committed many Injuries against private Persons, but their Weongs to the Publick lay chiefly here, That they had been the Authors of Coining new Brass-Money, which the common People did call by the invidious Name of Black Money. Upon this Project, there first ensued a Dearth of all things, and afterwards a Famine; for the Sellers had rather suffer their Commodities to be spoil’d at Home, than, under a pretence of Sale, to give them away to the Buyers. But that all Commerce might not wholly cease amongst the People, this one Remedy was found out for Bargainers and Chapmen [small merchants]..That they should mention in their Contracts, in what sort of Money the Payment should be made. ’Tis true, some of our former Kings had Coyn’d that kind of Money, but ’twas more for the necessary use of the Poor, than for their own Gain; and also Provision was made by a Law, beyond what Sum Sellers might not be compell’d to take it in payment. And thus the Buyers of small Commodities had a Benefit, and also it seem’d sufficiently caution’d by the Law, that the Richer Sort should have no Damage by this way of Change or Sale. It was also objected against them, That they had alienated the King’s Heart from the Nobility, and had set him a-gog upon Magick, and had hurried him on to the Destruction of his own Kindred. But that which made Cockran most envy’d was, his Earldom of Merch, which Country and Title the King had given to him; or else, had committed his Trust, upon the Death of the Youngest Brother. When those Evil Counsellors were remov’d out of the way, the King had no great Confidence in the Souldiery, nor the Souldiery in him; so that the Army was dismist, and return’d Home.
47. And the King, though, for the present, he supprest his Anger, and made many large and fair Promises to the Nobility, yet his Heart inwardly boiled with Blood, Slaughter, and Revenge. And therefore, as soon as he thought himself at Liberty, he retired, with some few of his Confidents, into the Castle of Edinburgh; and the Nobility, not knowing what to think of it, had also their Consultations, apart. The King of England gather’d Forces in the Winter-Season, by the persuasion of Alexander chiefly, who inform’d him of the Dissension betwixt the King and his Nobles in Scotland; and also assured him, That, as soon as ever he entred Scotland, great Numbers of Horse and Foot would come in to him; whereupon he made Richard, his Brother, Duke of Glocester, General, and commanded him to march into Scotland. He began his March, when it was about Midsummer; and understanding in what Condition the Scotish Affairs were, he turn’d aside to Berwick. He was receiv’d immediately into the Town, and left 4000 Men to besiege the Castle; and with the rest of his Army, he march’d directly to Edinburgh, making a foul Devastationin all Places, where he came. But, Alexander leading them on, they entred the City without committing any Rapine; and, by a Publick Proclamation made in the Market-Place, he advis’d James (seeing he could not come to speak with him) First, to perform what he had promis’d to Edward; and then, that he would cause Satisfaction to be made for all the Wrongs and Injuries he had offered to the English; and, unless he woud so do, Richard, Duke of Glocester, would perscute him and his Country with Fire and Sword
48. But James, perceiving at present that he was not able to perform what was requir’d, and, on the other side, that he was as unable to withstand the Power of the Enemy, return’d no Answer at all, either by Writing or Message. But the Nobles of Scotland, being thus forsauken of their King, that they might not be wholly wanting to the Pblick Safety, Levy’d another Army, and form’d a Camp at Hadington; and that they might somewhat alleviate the imminent Danger and Pressure, and stop the Enemy in his Career of Victory, they sent Agents to the Duke of Glocester, to desire, That the Marriage, so long promis’d, might be consummate; they were also to declare, That it should not be their Fault, if the Agreements made between the Nations, were not punctually perform’d. The English General knew, That the Scots would not put things to the Hazard of a Battel, in regard part of their Strength was with him upon the account of Alexander, a popular Man, and that the rest were divided into several Factions, and therefore he made this Answer, That he did not know, what his King did resolve, in reference to that Marriage; but he thought it fit, that the Money paid to James upon the account of the Dowry, should be presently repaid to him; and if they would have Peace, they should promise to surrender up the Castle of Berwick; or, if they could not do that, then to make a solemn Promise, That they would not attempt to relieve the Besieged, nor to hinder the Besiegers, until it was taken by Storm, or surrendred upon Conditons. The Scots return’s Answer by their Embassadors, That ’twas not their Fault the Marriage was not consummated, but it happen’d because both Bride and Bridegroom were under Age; that the Money was not yet due, because the Day of Payment was not come; and if there were not sufficient Security given for the payment thereof, they would gove more. But the Castle of Berwick, as being built by the Scots, and that in the Scotish Soil, and was, and for many Ages had been, under their Jurisdiction, they could not part with; and though the English had possest it sometimes by Force, yet their Injury did not prejudice the Scots ancient Right.
49. But Glocester, who whas Superior in Strength, resolv’d to carry the Point, and to admit of no legal Dispute in the case. Ther same Day, Calen Cambel, Earl of Argyle, Andrew Stuart, and the Bishops of St. Andrews and Dunblane sent to Alexander, who was in the English Camp at Lethington, a Chart sign’d with their Hands and Seals, promising him, if he would be Loyal to the king in the next Assembly, they would take care that his Estate should be restor’d, and an Amnesty given for what was past, for the performance whereof they solemnly interpos’d their Faith. Alexander acquainted Glocester with the thing, who was very friendly, and did dismiss him thereupon, and so he return’d into his own Country; where, in the next Assembly of Estates he was made Regent, by an unanimous Consent, and presently a Proposition was made concerning raising the Siege of Berwick. The wiser sort were of Opinion, that in so dangerous a time, when things were thus unsetled by reason of Domestick Seditions, that if the Enemy were quiet, yet Storms would arise amongst themselves, that it was best to clap up a Peace upon anyh Terms; for they saw plainly, that if they should have tghe better of so powerufl an Enemy, yhet it would rather provoke than dishearten him; but if they themselves were overcome, it was uncertain, how an Enemy, fierce by Nature, and further elevated by Success, woud use his Victory. Some that were more hot-spirited than they had then any Reason for, did oppose this Opinion,kyet it was carry’d in the Parliament. After many Conditions were canvast to and fro, at length ’twas agreed, That on the 26th of August 1482 the Castle of Berwick should be surrendred up to the English, and a Truce was made for a few Months, till they could have more time to Treat of a Peace. Thus Berwick was lost, after it had been enjoy’d by the Scots for 21 Years, since they last recovered it. Then the Duke of Glocester, having made a prosperous Expedition return’d in Triumph Home. Edward, by the Advice of his Council, judg’d it more for the advantage of England, to nullifie the Marriage; for he fear’d that the Intestine Discords of the Scots were so great that possibl the Issue of James might lose the Crown; and if Alexander were made King, he hoped to have a Constant and Faithful Ally of him, in regard of the great Kindness he had receiv’d at his Hands. Hereupon an Herauld was sent to Edinburgh, to renounce the Affiity and to demand the Repayent of the Dowry. When he had declar’d his Errand publickly on the Twenty Fifth of October, the Scots obtained a Day for the Payment thereof, and restor’d it to a Penny; and withal, they sent some to convoy that Herald as far as Berwick.
50. Alexander, that he might extinguish the Remainders of the Old Hatred of this Brother against him, and so obtain new Favour by a new Courtesie, brought him out of the Castle, and restor’d him to the free Possession of his Kingdom. But the memory of old Offences prevail’d more with his Proud Huffing Spirit, than This of his late Courtesie. Moreover, besides the Kings own Jealousies, there were Those who did daily calumniate him, and buzz into the Kings Ear his too great Popularity, as if now ’twas very Evident, that he affected the Kingdom; he, being advis’d by his Friends, that Mischief was hatching against him at Court, fled privately into England, and gave up the Castle of Dunbar to Edward. In his absence, he was Condemn’d. The Crimes objected against him were, first, That he had often sent Messengers into England, and then, that he had retir’d thither himself, without obtaining a Pass-port from the King, and that there he joined in Counsel against his Country, and his Kings Life. All the other of his Partizans were pardon’d, and amongst the rest William Creighton, who was accus’d not only to have been an Abettor of his designs against his Country, but also the chief Author and Instigator of him thereunto. But after he ahd obtain’d Pardon for what was past, he was again accus’ed, that he did incourage Alexander, by his Advice and Counsel; after he was Condemned, frequent Letters passing between them, by the means of Thomas Dickson a Priest; and that he had caus’d his Castle of Creighton to be Fortified against the King, and commanded the Garison Soldiers not to surrender it up to the King’s Forces. Hereupon, he w as summoned to appear the 13th Day of February, in the Year 1484, but he, not appearing, was outlawed, and his Goods Confiscate.
51. These were the Causes of his Punishment, mentioned in our publick Records. But ’tis thought, that the Hatred the King had conceiv’d against him, upon a private Occasion, did him the most Mischief of all. It was this. William had a very beautiful Wife, of the Noble Family of the Dunbars. When her Husband found, that the King had had the use of her Body, he undertook a Project, which was rash enough in it self, but yet not unproper for a Mind sick of Love, and also provok’s by such an Injury, as his was. For he himself lay with the King’s young Sister, a beautiful Woman, but ill spoken of for her too great Familiarity with her Brother, and on her he begot Margarite Creighton, who died not long since. In the interim, Chreighton’s Wife died at his own House; and the King’s Sister, whom, as I said, the King had vitiated, was so much in Love with William, that she seem’d sometimes to be out of her Wits for him. The King, partly by the Mediation of William’s Friends, and partly being mindful of the Wrong he himself had done him, of the like sort, and being willing also to cover the Infamy of his Sister, under a pretext of Marriage, permitted William to Home again to Court, upon Condition, that he would Marry her. William was persuaded by his Friends; and, for want of better Counsel, especially since Richard of England was dead, came to Everness, where he had Conference with the King, not long before Both their Deaths, and great Hopes were there given of his Return. His Sepulchre is yet there to be seen. These things were done at several times, but I have put them together, that so the Thread of my History might not be dicontinued and broken off. Letl us now return to what was omitted before.
52. Edward of England died in the Month of April, next after Dunbar was delivered to him, in the year 1483, leaving his Brother Richard Guardian to his Sons. He was first content with the Name of Protector, and, under that Title, Govern’d England for two Months; but afterwards, having, by several Practises, engaged a great part of the Nobility and Commonalty to his side, he put his Brothers Two Sons in Prison, the Queen and her Two Daughers being forced to retire into a Sanctuary near London; but the next June he took upon him the Name and Ornaments of a King. Alexander of Albany and James Douiglas, being willing to try how their Countrymen stood affected towards them, came with 500 select Horse to Loch-Maban on Maudlins-day, because a great Fair used, that day, to be there held. There a Skirmish began between the Parties, with inraged Minds on Both sides, and the Success was various, as Aid came in our of the Neighbouring District, either to This, or That, Party. They fought from Noon till Night, and the issue was doubtful, but at last the Victory inclined to the Scots, though it were a Bloody one, as having lost many of their Men. Douglass was there taken prisoner, and sent away by the King to the Monastery of Lindors. Alexander was set on a Horse and escap’d, but staid not in England long after that. In the mean time, many Incursions were made to the greater Loss of the English, than Benefit of the Scots. Richard was uncertain of the Event of things at home, and withal fear’d his Enemy abroad, for many of the English did favour the Earl of Richmond, who was then an Exile in France, and had sent for him over to undertake the Kingdom, so that Richard was mightily troubled; neither was he less vext with the Guilt of his own Wickedness; and because he saw he could not quell Domestick Seditions, as soon as he hoped, therefore he thought it best to Oblige Foreigners by any Conditions whatsoever, that so, by their Authority and Power, he might be safer at home, and more formidable to his Enemies. For his cause, he sent Embassadors into Scotland, to make Peace, or at leas a Truce of some years. There he found all things more facile [easy] than he could have hoped for. For James, who, for his many and notable Crimes, was grievously hated by his own People, as well as Richard was by His, willingly gave ear to his Ambassadors. For he hoped, that, if once he had Peace with England, that he could revenge his Wrongs at home at lesure, when England coud not be a Refuge to his Opposers.
53. For these Reasons, especially, Both Kings sent some of their Confidents to the Borders, where, after many and long Disputes concerning Compensation for Losses, seing Peace could not be made, by Reason of the Multitudes of Complainants, and the Weakness of their Proofs, they made a Truce for Three Years. And because Matters could not then be adjusted, for the Difficulties above-mentioned, and also the Straitness of Time, Arbiters were appointed on Both sides, who, together with the Commanders of the Borders, should see all things done according to Equity. One Condition, in the Truce, was set down very intricately, about the Castle of Dunbar to be restor’d to the Scots, for the English interpreted it, that they might keep it,; and the Scots, that they might reduce it by Force, notwithstanding the Truce. For when the Scots, after the expiration of the Six Months allotted, sent Embassadors to Demand the Castle. Richard by his Letters made them Promises of his Good Will, but he delay’d the reddition [restoration] (alleging sometimes This, and sometimes Other things, as an Obstacle in the way) till his Death, which follow’d not long after. He was slain by his Countrymen, and Henry the 7th not yet fully setled in the Throne, when James laid Siege to the Castle, in a very sharp Winter. The Garison Soldiers, seeing that they were not like to have Relief from England, in regard of the present Distractions, surrendered it up.
54. But Henry, being troubled with many Cares, that he might cut off the Occasion of Foreign Wars, and extirpate the Seeds of old Hatred, came to Newcastle upon Tine; from thence he sent Embassadors to Scotland, either to make a perpetual League, or, at least, a long Truce with them; for he being a Man of great Prudence, and having experienc’d many Vicissitudes of things in this Life, did judge it highly conducing to the Establishment of his Kingdom, to make Peace with his Neighbors, and especially with the Scots, because that, ordinarily, those Two Kingdoms did lye at catch for Advantages against each other, and did also nouirish Rebels flying thither; yea, and entertain those which were exiled; and maintain Sedition, by giving their Authors hope of Refuge and Supply. And as for James, he desir’d nothing more, than to be free from the fear of Strangers, so that he might punish his own disobedient Subjects, as he pleased. And therefore, he kindly receiv’d the Embassadors, and told them, that he desir’d nothing more than a Peace; but his Opinion was, that his Subjects would not yield to it, that either there should be a perpetual Peace, or any long Truce betwixt them; partly, because it was forbid by an Ancient Law, lest, when all Fear of an Enemy was removed, their Minds might languish in Idleness, and the Sinews of their Industry be remitted; and partly, because they could not so suddainly lay down that fierceness of Spirit, which they had acquir’d by so long Use of Arms. But if they could be brought to This, to yield a Truce for 6 or 7 Years, he would not have them refuse it. But as for himself, he was willing to maintain a firm and inviolate Peace with them, as ong as he liv’d, and he would also take care, that the Truce should be renewed, before the Date of it was quite expired; but he earnestly desired the Embassadors, not to divulge abroad the Discourse, which they had in secret with him, lest his Nobilitie should be more backward to a Pacification, if they saw him to be partial in the Case. When this was told Henry, who knew in what a tumultuous Case the Affairs of Scotland were, and how convenient it was for that King to have a Peace; imagining likewise, that he spoke really, and from his Heart, he accepted the Truce for 7 Years, and so retir’d back to York.
55. In the mean time, the Queen of Scots dyed, a Woman of a singular Beauty and Probity too, and by her good Graces, she was thought sometimes to have moderated the unbridled Appetites and Efforts of her Husband. Alexander also, the King’s Brother, Dyed in France, leaving Two Sons behind him, Alexander, by his First Wife, the Daughter of the Earl of the Orcades, and John by his Second, who, was afterward the Regent King of Scotland for some Years. James, having thus setled Peace abroad, and at home amd being freed from Two troublesome Interrupters of his Designs, return’d to his own Nature; he excluded almost all the Nobility, and had none but Upstarts about him. Upon them he bestowed great Honors and Preferment. The Care of all Publick Affairs, and the Ways of getting Money, were Both cast upon them, whilst he himself did wholly immerge [immerse] himself in Voluptuousness. The Chief of tis Court Faction was John Ramsy, who was preserv’d at Lauder, by the King’s Request, and then escap’d Punishment. He was grown so insolently proud, that not content with the Stewardship of the Houshold (which is a Place of prime Honor amongst the Scots) which the King had given him, and many rich Lordships besides, he obtained an Edict, That none but he, and his Retinue, should wear a Sword, or other weapon, in those places where the King lodg’d, that so, by this means, they might strengtrhen themselves, and their Retinue, against the Nobility, who kept their distinct and frequent Meetings by themselves, and walk’d up and down guarded, by reason of the Terror of their Arms. But that Edict made People to hate Ramsy more than fear him, and now, nothing but the Image of perfect Slavery was represented to their Eye.
56. In the mean time, the King meditated nohting more, than how to satisfy hiumself with the Blood of those Men, who were believ’d to be the Authors of Rebellion against them. And seeing he could not do it by open Force, he thought to effect it by Subtilty, and therefore he fain’d himself to be reconcil’d to This, and to the Other Men, and entertain’d them so courteoursly, that ’twas even below the Dignity of a Prince so to do. Others, who were eminent in Power, he gave Honors and Largesses to. He made David Lindsy Earl of Craford, Duke of Montrose, endeavouring to win him by that means, being so powerful a Man in his Country. As for George Earl of Angus, he had him frequently about him, and, as if he had been wholly receiv’d into his Favour, he acquainted him as if he had been wholy receiv’d into his Favour, he acquainted him with his private Designs, yet none of his Rewards and Flatteries could persuade Men, that he was sincere. For They that knew his Disposition, did not at all doubt, that his Simulation of Benevolence and Respect tended to no other end, but that he might either apprehend the Nobility, One by One apart; or else might set them together by the Ears, one with another; which his Assembling the Chief of the Nobility at Edinburgh made more plainly to appear. For he called Douglas to him into the Castle, and told him, that he had now an Eminent Opportunity to revenge himself, for if the Leaders of the Faction were apprehended and put to Death, the rest would be quiet; but if he omitted this Opportunity, which was so fairly put into his hands, he could never expect the like again.
57. Douglas, who knew, that the Kings Mind was no more reconcil’d to himself than to others, did craftiliy reason with him, concerning so cruel and so ruinous a Design, alleging, that all Men would judge it to be a base and flagitious [criminal] Act, if he should hurry so many Noble Persons to Death, without any Hearing or Tryal, to whom he had pardon’d their former Misdoings, and now they also rested secure, in that they had the Publick Faith given them for their Safetly. For the fierce Minds of his Enemies would not be broken by the Death of a Few; but rather, if his Faith were once violated, all Hopes of Concord would be cut off; and if once Men despair’d of Pardon, their Anger will be turn’d into Rage, and from thence a greater Obstinacy and Contempt both of the kings Authority, and of their own Lives too, will ensue. “But if you will hearken to my Counsel” (sid he) “I will shew you a Way, whereby you may salve the Dignity of a King, and yet revenge yourself too. For I will gather my Friends and Clans together, and so openly, and in the day time, I will lay hold upon them, and then you may try them where you will, and inflict what Punishment you please upon them. This Way will be more creditable, and also much more safe, than if you should set upon them secretly and by night, for then ’twould look as if they were murder’s by Thieves. The King thought the Earl had been real in what he spake (for he knew that he was able to perform what he had promised) and therefore gave him many Thanks, and more Promises of great Rewards and so dismist him. He presenty acquainted the Nobility with their imminent Danger, and advis’d them to withdraw themselves, as he himself also did.
58. The King, perceiving that his secret Projects were discover’d, from that day forward would trust no Body; but after he had staid a while in the Castle of Edingburgh, he sailed over into the Countries beyond the Forth, for they, as yet, remain’d firm in their Obedience to him, and there levy’d a considerable Force. And the Nobkes, who, before had sought his Amendment, not his Destruction, now seeing all Hopes of any Agreement or Concord were cut off, managed all their Counsels for his utter Overthrow and Ruin. Only there was one difficulty which troubled them, and That was, Who should be their General, that, after the King was subdued, might be Regent, or Vice-King, who might be acceptable to the People, and, on the account of the Honour of his Family would load the Faction with as little Envy as might be. After many Consultations in the case, at last they pitcht upon the King’s Son. He was entised thereunto by the Supervisors and Tutors of his Childhood, and he did out of this Fear, that, if he refus’d, the Government and Command would pass over to the English, the perpetual Enemies of their Family.
59. The King, by this time, had past over the Forth, and pitcht his Tents by the Castle of Blackenes, and his Sons Army was not far off, ready for the Encounter, w en, loe! the matter was compos’d by the Intervention of the Earl of Athole, the Kings Uncle; and Athole himself was given up as an Hostage for the Peace to Adam Hepburn, Earl of Bothwel, with whom he remain’d till the Kings Death. But Suspicions increasing on Both sides, the Concord lasted not long; however intercourse of Messengers passed between them, and, at last, the Nobility gave this Answer, That seeing the King did act nothing sincerely, therefore a certain War was better than a treacherous Peace. There was but one Medium left, upon which they could agree, and that was, that the King should resign the Government, and his Son be set up in his Place; and if he would not assent to This, ’twas in vain to give himself the Trouble of any more Messages or Disputes. The King communicated this Answer to his Embassadors which he sent to the French and to the English, making it his Desire to them, that they would assist him against the Fury of a Few of his Rebellious Subjects, by their Authority; and, if need were, by some Auxiliary Forces, that so they might be reduc’d to their Obedience. For they ought to look upon it as a Common Fortune, and that the Contagion, by this Example, would quickly creep to the Neighbor-Nations. There were also Embassadors sent to Eugenius the Eighth, Pope of Rome, to desire him, that, out of his Fatherly Affection to the Scotish Name, he would send a Legat into Scotland with full Power, by Ecclesiastical Censures, to compel his Rebellious Subjects to lay down Arms, and obey their King. The Pope writ to Adrian of Castell, then his Legat in England, a Man of great Learning and Prudence, to do his endeavour for the composing the Scotish Affair.
60. But these Remedies were too late. For the Nobles, who were not ignorant, What the King was doing, and knew, that he was implacable toward them, resol’v to put it to a Battel, before any more Forces came in to him. And though they had the Kings Son with them, both to countenance these Matters with the greater Grace amonst the Vulgar, and also to shew that they were not Enemies to their Country, but to their Misled King only; yet, lest the Hearts of the People might be weakened by the Approach of Foreign Ambassadors, they were solicitous, night and day, how to decide it by a Battel. But the Kings Fearfulness was an hindrance to their hasty Design, who, having levied a great Strength in the Northern Parts of the Kingdom, resolved to keep himself within the Castle of Edinburgh, till those Aids came to him. But he was taken off from that Counsel and Advice, though it seem’d the safest for him, by the Fraud, or, at least, the Simplicity of those about him. For in regard of the frequent Washes and Firths, which gave delay to those who were coming in to him, they persuaded him to go to Sterlin, the only Place in the Kingdom fit to receive Aids, coming from all Parts thereof. And there he might bea s safe as he was in the Castle of Edinburgh, seeing his Enemies were unprovided of all Materials requisite for the Storming of Castles; and also he might have his Fleet, which he had rigg’d out against all hazards, to ride in some convenient Harbour near adjoining.
61. This Counsel seem’d both faithful and also safe, if James Shaw, Governor of the Castle, being corrupted by the contrary Faction, had not refus’d to give him entrance, so that the Enemy was almost at his Heels, and, before he knew whither to betake himself, he was forc’t, with that Strength which he had, to run the hazard of a Fight. At the beginning, they fought stoutly, and the first Ranks of the Nobility’s Army began to give ground, but the Men of Annandale and the Neighbouring Parts, inhabiting the West of Scotland, came boldly up, and having longer Spears than their Adverse Party, they presently routed the Kings Main Battel. He himself was weakned by the Fall of his Horse, and fled to some Water-Mills near the place where the Battel was fought. His Intent was (as is suppos’d) to get to his Ships, which lay not far off; there he was taken, and a few more with him, and slain. There were Three that persued close after him in his Flight, i. e. Patrick Grey, the Head of his Family, Sterlin Car, and a Priest named Borthwick. ’Tis not well known, Which of them gave him his Death’s Wouind. When the News of his Death, though as yet not fully certain, was divulg’d through Both Armies, it occasion’d the Conquerors to press less violently upon those who fled away, so taht there were the Fewer of them slain. For the Nobles manag’d the War against the King, not against their Fellow Subjects. There was slain of the Kings Party Alexander Cuningham Earl of Glencarn, with some few of his Vassals and Kindred, but there were many wounded of Both sides.
62. Thus James the Third came to his end, a Man not so much of a bad Disposition by Nature, as corrupted by ill Custom and Acquaintance. For, having at first given forth a Specimen of great and notable Ingenuity, and of a Mind truly Royal, he degenerated by degrees, the Boyds being the first Occasion thereof, into all manner of Licentiousness. When the Boyds were taken off, then Persons of the Lowest Sort were his Advisers to all kind of Wickedness; and besides, the Corruption of the Times, and the evil Examples of his Neighbour Kings contributed not a little to his Overthrow and Ruin. For Edward the Fourth in England, Charles in Burgundy, Lewis the Eleventh in France, John the Second in Portugal, had all laid the Foundations of Tyranny, in their respective Kingdoms also. And Richard the Third exercised it most highy, and cruelly, in England. His Death was also branded with this Ignominy, that, in the next Assembly, the whole Parliament voted, that he was justly slain, and Provision was made for all that had born Arms against him, that neither They, nor their Posterity, should be prejudic’d thereby. He died in the Year of our Lord 1488, in the Twenty Eighth Year of his Reign, and the Thirty Fifth of his Age.
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