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ATTERS being thus composed at home, the Queen Dowager took up a resolution to sail over into France, partly to visit her own country, her daughter and kindred, partly to secure her hopes in attaining the supream power which seemed to be freely cast upon her, and accordingly she chose those to attend her on her journy who were favourers of her design. For the crafty and ambitious woman was full of hopes that the Regent would by his own vices ruin himself, that so she might be advanced in his room. She staid with the French King above a year, in which time she informed him in the state of affairs of Scotland, who heard her graciously. And by means of her brothers she easily obtain’d of him what she desired. The King of France, the better to bring about his designs without any tumult in Scotland, advanc’d to honours all those of the Scotish Nobility, each man according to his degree, who had adhered to the Queen Dowager. They also which were of kin to the Regent were highly advanced. His son James was made captain over all the Scotish auxiliaries in France and a yearly pension of 12000 French pistols promised him. Huntly (whose son had married his daughter) was made Earl of Murray. Of the sons of Rothes by different mothers, who quarrelled about their patrimony, the youngest, who was kin to the Hamiltons, was made Earl. The King of France, by the advice of the Queen Dowager, sends for Robert Carnagy, one of the Regent’s privado’s, who was lately sent over by him into France to give that King thanks for his often assistance of the Scots against the English, and also James Painter, embassador for some years in France in behalf of Gawin Abbat of Kilwinning, all firm to Hamilton’s faction. He declares to them what he had before treated with the Guises. The sum whereof was that the Regent would to the King an acceptable piece of service if he would give leave to the Queen Dowager to govern that little time of magistracy which was left to him, which, as ’twas a but a just and equal request agreeable to their laws, so, if he complied with him therein, he would take care that it should not be prejudicial to his interests; yea, he should find that by this means he had procur’d to himself a fast and munificent friend in him. He wishes them to inform him how he had at present freely and of his own accord rewarded some of his friends, by which he might easily judg what courtesies to expect from him for the future. Thus Carnagy, laden with great promises, was dismiss’d home, and a while after Painter, the Scotish embassador, Bishop of Ross, was bid to follow him. He, as being a man of great eloquence and authority, dealt with the Regent and his friends to give up the administration of affairs into the hands of the Queen-Mother, and, with much ado, he obtained it, so that for his diligence and faithfulness in that service the King of France gave him an Abby in Poictou. The Queen, being now so secure of the success of things in Scotand, and having made sufficient provision, as she thought, how to deprive the Scots of their ancient liberty, and to bring them alamode-a-France, was accompanied by Monsieur D’Osel as embassador to carry things on, a shrewd man whose counsel she was to use in all things, and so she returned home by land through England.
2. The next year after her return, she followed the Regent, who kept assizes in almost all parts of the kingdom, and so by degrees made the Nobility her own. In this progress some few offendors were punished, the rest were fined. The Queen could not approve such proceedings, and yet she was willing enough to hear them. For she judged that what favour the Regent lost, it all returned upon her. In the mean time, having won over the Nobility to her, she used some friends to deal with the Regent that he would freely resign up the government. His kindred, upon the view of his strength, perceived that his treasure was low and his friends few, and that he would have much ado to level and clear up his accounts. For King James the Fifth at his decease had left a great deal of mony, arms, ships, horses, brass-guns, and abundance of houshold-stuff (all which he had lavish’d out amongst his friends in a few years), and that his account would be speedily called for, the Queen being now almost of age. And if he would extricate himself out of all these troubles by quitting the government, it would be no great loss, for therefore he would but give up the rule wholly to the French, was was intirely manag’d by their counsels before. And he would have this advantage also, that by laying down the invidious title of Viceroy or Regent, which however he could not long keep, he would procure safety and security to himself and his. This prospect pleased, so that an agreement was made on these conditions, that for what goods of the late King’s Hamilton had made use of, the French King would see that he should be indemnified, and also that he should be free from any account on the pretence of overseership, only he was to take an oath to restore what did appear not imbezill’d. Yet in this he did not perform his promise. For about twelve years after, when his Castle of Hamilton was taken after the fight at Langside, many things were there found which shewed his perjury. Besides, there were large gifts bestowed upon him , and he was honoured with the title of Duke of Castelrot (which is a town in Poictou, scituate near the River Vien), and had a yearly stipend of twelve thousand French pistols, half of which sum was paid for some years. Another condition was also added by the suffrage of all the Estates, that, if the Queen died without children, Hamilton should be the next heir.
3. These were the conditions of the surrender which were sent into France that they might there be confirmed by the Queen, and some to be guarantees. The Queen, by the advice of her mother, makes Henry the 2nd King of France, Francis Duke of Guise, and Cardinal Charles his brother the guarrantees, and the Regent, tho by persuasion of Painter he had promis’d to relinquish the government and the time to do it was at hand, yet when it came to the point, according to his wonted inconstancy, he was at a great stand. For he began to consider how grievous a thing it would be for him to fall down from the supreme magistracy to a private life, for then he should be obnoxious to those whom in his government he had wronged. Hereupon he began to elude his promise and to frame excuses, in regard the Queen was not yet full twelve years old. Thus, tho those allegations might have been answer’d, yet the Queen Dowager chose rather to retire to Sterlin and there to expect the expiration of the set-time for the giving up of his charge than to make any quarrel about a small matter, tho never so true. In this her retirement, the greatest part of the Nobility came in to her (fortune favouring her side), whom she sought by all means to ingage in her faction, and those she had ingag’d she fix’d and confirmed, filling them all with abundance of hopes and making many promises in general and in particular how obliging she would be to them all when she was advanc’d to the government, which they all knew should shortly follow. She prevailed so much by these artifices that only two of the Nobility remained with the Regent, John his base brother and Levingston his near kinsman. All the rest past over to the Queen. This solitude of the Regent’s Court, and the fulness of the Queen’s, was a signification to him how all the Estates were alienated from him. Hereupon he repented himself and was glad to accept of those terms which he rejected before, only with this addition, that the Queen Dowager would procure them to be ratifi’d by the three Estates in the next Parliament, and also by the guarantees in France.
4. At the same time, matters were very troublesome in England by reason of the death of King Edward the 6th, a young prince of high expectation by reason of his rare ingenuity and propension to all kind of virtue, which was both connate with him and also cultivated by learning and study. At the beginning of the next spring, the Nobility assembled at Sterlin, where, in a full Assembly, the transactions with the Regent were confirm’d which the Queen and guarantees had subscribed. This addition was also made, that the Regent should keep a garison in Dumbarton. And, to compleat all, a Parliament was indicted at Edinburgh to be held the 19th day of April then next following, where all the pacts and agreements approved by the guarantees (as hath been said) were produced. And when they were read, the Regent arose and openly abdicated himself from the magistracy and gave up the ensigns of his government to D’Osel, who received them in the behalf of the Queen, who was absent, and, by command, delivered them up to the Queen Dowager, who received them by a general consent. And thus being advanced into the Regent’s place, she was carried with great ceremony through the city to the palace in the suburbs. And the Regent, who at his entrance into the Parliament was attended with a great number of the Nobility, and had the sword, crown, and scepter carried before him according to custom, now, being degraded, mixt himself amongst the croud, in the year 1555. This was a new sight in Scotland and never heard of before that day, that a woman should be, by the decree of the States, advanced to the helm of government. Though matters thus inclined to the French interest, yet the Scots would never yield that the Castle of Edinburgh should be garison’d by them; if so, they feared, if the Queen died without issue, the French would then make it the seat of their tyranny, so that ’twas put into the hands of John Erskin as an indifferent person who was to surrender it to none but by the command of the Estates.
5. After this, when the state of the publick seemed to be somewhat settled, the Queen-Regent (as then she was called) sent out George Gordon, Earl of Huntly, to apprehend John Murderach, chief of the family of the Mac-Reynalds, a notorious robber who had plaid many foul and monstrous pranks. ’Tis thought that Gordon did not play fair in this expedition, so that when he return’d without the business he was sent about he was kept prisoner till the time appointed for his answer. In the interim, his kindred excused him and laid the blame of the miscarriage upon the clanship of Catan. Thus they spread false reports amongst the vulgar, for they gave forth, tho untruly, that the Macintoshes had spoiled the design by reason of their animosity against the Gordons. This hatred between these two clans arose upon this occasion. When the Queen prepared for hr expedition into France, Gordon kept William, chief of the Catan-family, as his prisoner, a young man well-educated by the care of James Earl of Murray. there was no crime prov’d against him, but only because he would not put himself under his clanship or clientele; and besides, it turn’d to his prejudice that he was of kin to Murray, as being his sister’s son. Gordon, having thus provok’d the young man, did not think it safe to vouchsafe him his liberty and so leave him behind him, neither could he find sufficient cause to put him to death. And therefore he by means of his friends persuades the young man, who was not versant in such ill arts, to commit his cause wholly to him, for by this means Gordon’s honour and his own safety might be secured. Gordon, being thus made master of the life and death of his enemy, dissembled his anger and deals with his wife to put the young man to death in his absence; for by this means he thought to cast off the odium of the fact upon her. But it fell out quite otherwise, for all men knew the paultry disposition of Gordon, and they were as well satisfi’d of the integrity of his wife, who was a choice woman and had carried her self like a regular and noble matron in all the rest of her life, so that every body was satisfied that Gordon was the author of that counsel to his wife. Gordon being thus in prison, the Queen Regent’s Council were of different opinions as to his punishment: some were for his banishment during some years into France, others for putting him to death.
6. But both those opinions were rejected by Gilbert Earl of Cassils, the chief of his enemies. For he, foreseeing by the present state of things that the peace betwixt the Scots and French would not be long, was not for his banishment into France, for he knew a man of so paultry a spirit, and so revengeful of those who did scandalize or emulate him, would, in the war which the insolency of the French was like speedily to occasion, be as a firebrand and a commander for the enemy. And he was more against his putting him to death, because he thought no private offence worthy of so great punishment as to inure the French to spill the blood of the Nobility of Scotland. And therefore he went a middle way, that he should be fin’d and kept in prison till he yielded up the right which he pretended to have over Murray. And that he suffer all the royal revenues arising out of the Orcades, Schetland Isles, and Mar, to be quietly gathered by such collectours as the Queen-Regent did appoint, and he himself should not meddle with any of the publick or regal patrimony, and likewise surrender up his presidency over some juridical courts which did bring him in great profit. Upon these conditions he was dismiss’d, and, having thus addulc’d [appeased] the mind of the regent and those that could do most with her, at last he was admitted into the Privy Council. In the mean time, all Court-offices which any thing of gain to move competitorship were, by Gordon’s advice, given to strangers, on purpose that he might breed a disgust betwixt the Queen Regent and the Nobility of Scotland, and so take delight, though not an honest or creditable one, in their mutual contest and destroying one another, and the Earl of Cassils, who foresaw this tempest before it came, began now to be accounted as a prophet.
7. After this, matters were quiet until July in the year 1555, and the Queen-Regent, having gotten this respite from the war, apply’d her self to rectify the disorders of the state. She went to Inverness and held publick conventions in the nature of assizes in all accustom’d places, wherein many disturbers of the publick peace were severely punish’d. She sent John Stuart, Earl of Athol, against John Murderach to effect that which Gordon in his expedition had failed in. He, besides that fortitude and constancy (virtues proper to him), was also so prudent and successful that he took him, his children and whole family, and brought them to the Queen. But Murderach, being impatient of sitting still, or else excited by the sting of an evil conscience, deceiv’d his keepers, scap’d out of prison, and fill’d all places again with blood and rapine. The Regent, hearing of this, was forced to undertake a voyage sooner than she determined, to bring him and other malefactors to justice. Which having done, she returned, and in a publick Assembly restored some of those who slew Cardinal Beton that were popular men (whom the late Regent had banish’d) from their exile. By which fact of hers she procur’d not so much applause as she did ill-will from the many new taxes she devised. It was thought that D’Osel, Ruby, and those few French about the Regent put her upon those new projects to raise mony, i. e., that mens estates should be survey’d and registered in books made for that purpose, and that every one should pay yearly a certain sum tax’d upon him out of it into a treasury to be set apart for that end, as a fund for war. For with that mony, thus kept in a peculiar treasury, mercenary souldiers were to be raised to guard the borders, and so the Nobility might remain quiet at home except some great invasion were made by the enemy which an ordinary force could not resist. The poorer sort were much aggrieved at this new pecuniary imposition, and inveigh’d openly against it with bitter words. But the greatest part of the Nobles kept their disgust within their own breasts, every one fearing that if he should first oppose the will of the Queen Regent, the whole envy of the refusal would fall upon him alone.
8. But the next rank of people were as angry with the Nobles for betraying the publick liberty by their silence as they were with the Queen, and thereupon about 300 of them met together at Edinburgh and chose John Sandeland of Calder and John Weems out of their whole body, and sent them to the Queen-Regent to represent to her the ignominy in paying this tax. And therefore they desired it might not be sessed [assessed] nor levied upon them because of their poverty both publick and private; and also to inform her how their ancestors had not only defended themselves and their substance against the English, when much more powerful than now they are, but also had made often inrodes into England; and that themselves had not so far degenerated from their ancestors but that they were willing to lay down their lives and fortunes for the good of their country, if need required. And as for the levying of mercenary auxiliaries, that ’twas a matter full of danger to commit the state of Scotland to men without either lands or hopes, but who would do any thing for mony; and, if occasion were offered, their profound avarice would invite them to attempt innovations, so that their faithfulness hung only on the wheel of Fortune. But suppose they were well qualified and had a greater love to the country than respect to their own condition, yet was it likely, nay, was it not incredible that mercenaries should fight more valiantly to defend the estates of others than the masters of them would do each man for his own? Or that a regard to a small stipend or pay, which was likely to cease in time of peace, would raise up greater courage in the minds of the ignoble than in the Nobility, who fought every man for his fortune, wife, children, religion, and liberty? “Besides, this project (said they) concerns the very vitals of the Scotish empire, and ’twas a thing of greater consequence than to be debated at this time, and in this age of our young Queen. For if ’twere granted it could be effected without any sedition, yet this new way of managing a war is both useless and also much feared and suspected by the most, especially since out of the tribute of the Scots, men none of the richest, mony enough could hardly arise to maintain a guard of mercenaries for the defence of the Borders, and therefore ’twas to be feared that the event of this counsel would be to open the door of the Borders to the enemy, not to shut it. For if the English, living in a richer kingdom, should erect a fuller treasury for that use, there was no doubt but that they might maintain forces double to ours with less grievance to their own people, and then they would break in, not only upon the Borders, but even into the very body of the kingdom.
9. “The other part of their oration, I know not whether it be not better to suppress in silence than to declare it amongst the vulgar. Some mutterings there were. Who will collect this mony? What great part of it must necessarily be expended upon distrainers [tax-collectors] and treasurers as a reward for their pains? Who will undertake that it shall be spent for publick uses and not on private luxury? ’Tis true, the probity and temperance of our noble princess who now rules gives us hope, yea confidence, that no such thing will be; yet if we consider what hath been done by others abroad, and by our selves at home, we cannot contain or so govern our selves, but must needs fear that what hath once been done may possibly be done again. But to let these things pass, which perhaps we have no cause to fear, let us come to that wherein our ancestors plac’d their greatest hope of defence to maintain their liberty against the arms of an overpowring enemy. There was no King of Scotland ever judg’d wiser than Robert the first of that name, and all confess he was the most valiant. He at his death, as he had often done in his life, out of a prospect to the good of his subjects, gave this advice: that the Scots should never make a perpetual peace, no, nor one for any long time, with the English. For he, out of the wisdom of his own nature, and also by his long experience and exercise under both conditions, prosperous and adverse, knew well enough that by idleness and sloth the minds of men would be broken with delights and blandishments of pleasures, and their bodies also grow languid. For when severe discipline and parsimony is extinct, luxury and avarice do grow up as in a soil untill’d, accompany’d also with an impatience of labour and a slothfulness occasioned by continu’d ease, averse from and hating a military life, by which mischiefs the strength of body and mind, being enervated and weakned, doth abandon virtue, which is exercised by sufferings, and that a short and unaccustomed ease and pleasure is overballanced by some notable calamity to ensue.” Upon this oration,the Queen-Regent, fearing an insurrection if she persisted in her opinion, remitted the tribute and acknowledg’d her error. ’Tis reported she was often heard to say that it was not her self, but no obscure men of the Scots themselves, who were the authors and architects of that design. By those words some thought she meant Huntly, a man fierce of his own disposition and newly released from prison, and, as it seems, more mindful of the injury of his imprisonment than of the respect shewed in his deliverance. And therefore when he saw that the Regent was intent upon this one thing, to accustom the Scots to pay tribute, fearing that thereby her power would increase and the authority of the Nobility would be weakned and infring’d, in regard she, being a foraigner, sought to bring all things into the power of her own country-men, it was thought he gave this counsel to her which suited well with her mind as to the raising of mony, which she was then about; for otherwise the advice was plainly destructive, hostile, and pernicious, for he knew well enough that the Scots would not pay such great taxes, neither would they be as obedient subjects as they had been before. Some thought that David Painter, Bishop of Ross, found out this way of tax, for he was a man of a great wit, and learned besides. He had receiv’d many courtesies from the Hamiltons and was a friend to their family and designs.
10. The next year, which was 1557, whilst the embassadors of Scotland were treating about peace at Carlisle, the King of France sent letters to Scotland to desire the Regent to declare war against England according to the league. The cause was pretended to be because the Queen of England had assisted Philip of Spain her husband, who was ingag’d in a fierce war against France, by sending him aid into Belgium. The English embassadors return’d without confirming any settled peace or war either, whereupon the Regent call’d together the Nobility at the monastery of Newbottle, where she declar’d to them the many incursions the English had made upon Scotish ground, what preys they had taken, and when was restitution was demanded, none was made, so that she desir’d the Scots to denounce war upon England both to revenge their own wrongs and also by the same labour to assist the King of France. Yet she could not prevail with the Nobility to begin first, and therefore, by the advice (as ’tis thought) of D’Osel, she brought about the matter another way. She commanded a fort to be built at the mouth of the River Aye against the sudden incursions of the English, wherein also she might safely lay up great guns and other necessaries for war, as in a safe magazine from whence she might fetch them upon occasion, and to save labour of carrying them from the remoter parts of the kingdom, whereby much time would be spent; and, besides the troublesomeness of the carriages, opportunity of action would be lost. these conveniences were visible enough, but she had another reach in it. She knew that the English would do their utmost to hinder the work and not suffer a garison to be erected under their noses so near Berwick. Thus the seeds of war (which she desired) would be sown, and the fault of taking up of arms cast upon the enemy. And the event answered her expectation. For the Scots, being provoked by the wrongs of the English, whilst they were compell’d to defend their own Borders, easily assented to the Regent’s desire to make war upon England. Whereupon the embassadors sent into England to make a peace were call’d back, a proclamation was made, ad a day appointed for a general rendezvouz at Edinburgh.
11. When the camp was form’d at Maxwel Heugh and the Council had not yet decreed any thing concerning the manner of carrying on the war, they who were forward to gratify the Regent and to oblige the French ran up and down plundering about Werk Castle, scituate in the Borders of England. D’Osel had brought some French troops thither and some ordnance, as many as he thought were sufficient to take in the Castle, and he carried them over the Tweed without staying for the order of the Council, which did highly incense the Scots Nobles against him. For by his so doing he seem’d to aim at the vindicating of the whole honour of such an expedition to himself rather than to his master, and also to make the Scots to be obnoxious to and under his command, who were wont to have the chief command themselves. Thus the Scots were mightily offended that they were so slighted by a private man, and a stranger too, so as to be led by the nose by him without so much as asking their opinions, as was formerly wont to be done, so that by doing things of his own head, without consulting the Nobles, he had arrogated more to himself than ever any of their own Kings had done. Hereupon the matter was deliberated in Council, where it was unanimously agreed that they would not venture the strength of the kingdom against an enemy of every private person, especially seeing they were never wont to obey their own lawful princes in that case, but after matters had been open’d and seriously debated in Council before they were resolv’d upon, and therefore Osel’s imperiousness in the case was nothing else but an essay to try how capable they were to bear the yoke of slavery. Whereupon they commanded Osel to draw back the ordnance, and if he refus’d he should be punish’d as a traitor. The Queen-Regent and Osel himself did highly resent this affront. The Regent thought that her majesty was impair’d thereby, and the other that his master’s honour (whose embassador he was) was concern’d. But they, being the weaker, were forc’d to yield for the present, and there seemed no remedy to occur but that the Queen of Scots, who was now marriageable, should marry the Dolphin as soon as conveniently it could be effected. For then, the wife being in the power of her husband, the authority of the Council would be much lessened.
12. During the winter there were various excursions made, and with different success, but one was most memorable, at the foot of the Cheviot-Hills, where a fight was maintain’d a long while between the Duke of Norfolk and Andrew Carr. The victory was a long time doubtful, but at last inclin’d to the English, and Carr was taken prisoner, many brave men being wounded on both sides. Hereupon an Assembly was indicted at Edinburgh to be held in October, to learn the letters sent from the French King. In them, after a prolix enumeration of the ancient leagues betwixt them and their mutual obligations one to another, he desir’d the Scots Parliament that a choice might be made of fit persons out of all three Orders with ample commission, who, in regard his son the Dolphin about the end of December was entring upon the year fit for marriage according to the law, might be sent embassadors to conclude the marriage which was almost already made (for the Queen of Scots had been transported over into France upon that hope), and so the two nations, which were anciently confederate, would now coalesce into one body, and the old friendship betwixt both people would be connected by an indissoluble bond. this if the would do, he made them magnificent promises that whatever fruits of benevolence they did hope for from allies, the same they might expect from him. Tho all the Scots knew to what end this haste of the French King was directed, and that there were shortly like to be disputes between them concerning their liberties, yet they all came in great obedience to the indicted Parliament, where without any much adoe eight embassadors were chosen to go over into France to finish the marriage: three of the Nobility, George Kennedy, Earl of Cassils, George Lesly, Earl of Rothes, to whom was added James Fleming, Earl of Commerland, chief of his family; three of the ecclesiastical order, James Beton, Arch-Bishop of Glasgow, Robert Read, Bishop of the Orcades, and James Stuart, Prior of the monast’ry of St. Andrews and the Queen’s brother; and two of the Commons, George Seaton, because he was Governour of Edinburgh, and John Areskin Laird of Down or Din, Governour of Montross, of a knights family but comparable for dignity to any noble man.
13. After they had set sail, and were yet on the coast of Scotland, they were toss’d with such a very high wind; and being farther at sea, they met with such a grievous tempest that two of the ships were sunk not far from Boloign in France, a town of the Morini. The Earl of Rothes and the Bishop of the Orcades were carry’d to land in a fisher-boat, and were the only two that escap’d of all the passengers therein. The rest of the fleet, having long combated with the waves, at length arriv’d in other lesser ports of France, where, when all the embassadors were again met, they hasten’d to Court. There they began the treaty about the marriage. All yielded to it, but the Guises were mighty forward to have it hasten’d, both because they judg’d that affinity would be a great accession of authority to their family, as also because opportunity seem’d to favour their design, in regard Annas Duke of Momorancy, who was esteem’d the wisest of all the French Nobility, and who was most likely to oppose the match, was a prisoner of war. He indeed was not willing the matter should be so precipitated, as for many other causes, in the judgment of many, very just and considerable, so because the power of the Guises (which was suspected by the wise, and began to be intolerable to all) might now grow to that height as to be unsafe for Kings themselves. For of the five brothers of the Guises, the eldest was Captain General of all forces which serv’d in France. The next was sent into Liguria to succeed Charles Cosseus. The third was transported over into Scotland with some supplies to command the army there. The fourth had the command of the gallies at Marseilles. And all mony-matters pas’d under the hands of Cardinal Charles, so that neither souldier nor souz could wag in all the territorys of the French King without their approbation and good liking. Some men did commiserate the fortune of the best of Kings, and it brought into remembrance the condition of those times when, by reason of Court-factions, the Kings of France have been shut up in monast’ries, as in places of a milder banishment.
14. The Court for some time being transported with these nuptial revels, when they came to themselves call’d the Scots embassadors into the Council, where the Chancellor of France dealt with them to produce the crown and the other ensigns of the Kings, and that the Queen’s husband should be created King of Scotland according to custom. To whom the embassadors answer’d, in short, that they had receiv’d no commands concerning those matters. The Chancellor reply’d that no more was desir’d of them at present than what was in their power, viz., that when these matters came to be debated in the Parliament of Scotland, that they would give their suffrages in the affirmative, and give it under their hands that they would so do. that demand seem’d to be fuller of peremptoriness than the former, and therefore they thought it best to reject it with great vehemency and disgust, insomuch that their answer was that their embassy was limited by certain instructions and bounds, which they neither could nor would transgress, but if they had been left free from any restriction at all, yet it was not the part of faithful friends to require that of them which they could not grant without certain infamy and treachery, tho there were no danger of life in the case; that they were willing to gratify the French, their old allies, as far as the just laws of amity requir’d, and therefore they desir’d them to keep within the same bounds of modesty in making their demands. Thus the embassadors were dismiss’d the Court, and tho they hasten’d home assoon as they could, yet before they went a-shipboard, four of the chief of them, Gilbert Kennedy, George Lesly, Robert Reed, and James Fleming, all very virtuous and true patriots, departed this life, as also did very many of their retinue, not without suspicion of poison. It was that that James, the Queen’s brother, had also taken the same dose, for altho by reason of the strength of his constitution and his youthful age, he escap’d death at that time, yet he lay under a dangerous and constant weakness of stomach as long as he liv’d.
15. That summer matters were at that dubious pass in Britain that there seem’d rather to be no peace than a war. For there were skirmishes on both sides, preys driven, and villages burnt. Incursions were mutually made, and not without blood. Two of the Nobility of Scotland were carry’d away prisoners by the English, William Keith, son to the Earl of Merch, and Patrick Grey, chief of a family (so call’d) amongst the Scots. The rest of the military damages fell upon mean persons. About the same time the English sent a fleet under the command of Sir John Clare to infest the coasts of Scotland. They came to the Orcades, intending there to land and to burn Kirkwall, a Bishops See, the only town in that circuit. When they had made a descent with a good part of their force, a fierce tempest suddenly arose which carry’d their ships from the coast into the main, where after a long contest with the winds and waves they at length made sail for England back again. they which were put a-shore were every one slain by the islanders. This year and the year before the cause of religion seem’d to be dormant, for, it being somewhat crush’d by the death of George Wiseheart, one party accounted themselves well satisfy’d if they could worship God in their own tongue in private assemblies and dispute soberly concerning matters of divinity, and the other party, after the Cardinal was slain, shew’d themselves rather destitute of an head than undesirous of revenge. For he who succeeded in his place did rather covet the mony than the blood of his enemies, and was seldom cruel but when it was to maintain his licentiousness and to expend on his pleasures. In April, Walter Mills, a priest, none of the most learned, was yet suspected by the bishops because he left off to say Mass, whereupon he was haled to their court. Though he was weak by constitution of body and age, extream poor, and also brought out from a nasty prison, and lay under such high discouragements, yet he answer’d so stoutly and prudently too that his very enemies could not but acknowledg that such greatness and confidence of spirit in such an enfeebled carkase must needs have a support from on high. The citizens of St. Andrews were so much affected at the wrong done him that there was none found who would sit as judg upon him, and all the tradesmen shut up their shops that they might sell no materials toward his execution, which was the cause of his reprieve for one day more than was intended. At last one Alexander Somerval, a friend of the Archbishop’s, was found out, a naughty fellow, who undertook to sit as judg upon him for that day. This is certain, the commonalty took his death so heinously that they heap’d up a great pile of stones in the place where he was burnt, that so the memory of his death might not end with his life. The priests took order to have it thrown down for some days, but still, as they dissipated it one day, it was rais’d up the next, till at last the Papists convey’d the stones away to build houses about the town.
16. July the 20th was the day appointed by the bishops for Paul Meffen, a Noble man and an eminent preacher in God’s Word in those days, to come to his answer. There was a great assembly of the Nobles at that time, so that the matter seem’d to tend toward a tumult, whereupon the process was deferr’d to another time. Several were condemn’d, but it was of those which were absent, who, that they might not be terrify’d with the severity of the punishment, were commanded to come in by the 1st of September, and pardon was promis’d them if they recanted. The same 1st of September was St. Giles Day, whom the inhabitants of Edinburgh do venerate as their tutelar god, carousing to him in great goblets and making high entertainments for their neighbours and guests. The Regent, fearing lest in such a confus’d rabble some tumult should arise, was willing to be present her self at the wake. The Papists were very glad of her coming, and easily persuaded her to see the show and pageant wherein St. Giles was to be carried about the city. But St. Giles, alas!, did not appear, for he was stol’n out of his shrine by some body or other. However, that St. Giles might not want a pageant, nor the citizens a show upon such a festival day, there was another young Gilesling (forsooth) set up in his room. After the Regent had accompanied him thro the greatest part of the town, and saw no danger of any insurrection, she retired, weary as she was, into an inn to repose her self. But presently the city-youths pluck’d down the picture of Giles from the shoulders of those who carried him, threw him in the dirt, and spoiled the glory of the whole pageantry. The priests and friars, running several ways for fear, created a belief of a greater tumult. But when they had understood that there was more fear than danger in the thing, and that the whole matter was transacted without blood, they crept again out of their holes and gathered themselves together to consult about the main chance; where, though they were quite out of hopes to recover their ancient repute, yet they dissembled confidence, as if their former power had remained. And to try how to retrieve their affairs in so desperate a case, they sought to strike fears into their enemies and appointed a convocation to be held at Edinburgh November 8. When the day of their convening came, the priests met in the church of the Dominicans, and there cited Paul Meffen by name, whom in a former assembly they had commanded to appear. He, not appearing, was banish’d and a grievous punishment denounc’d on those who should receive him into their houses or supply him with any necessaries to support his life. But the commination [threat] did not terrify the inhabitants of Dundee from doing their duty, for they supplied him with provision and harbor’d him from one house to another; yea, and they dealt with the Regent by some men who were gracious [in favor]at Court that his banishment might be remitted, but all the priests mightily withstood it; and besides, they offered a great sum of mony to hinder it so that nothing could be done.
17. Whilst these things were acting, some eminent persons, especially of Fife and Angus, and some chief burghers of several towns, travell’d over all the shires of Scotland exhorting all the people to love the sincere preaching of the Word, and not to suffer themselves and their friends of the same opinion in religion with themselves to be oppress’d and destroyd’ by a small and weak faction, alledging if their enemies would transact the matter by law they should easily cast them, but if they chose force rather, they were not inferior to them. And they had schedules or writing tables ready for those who were pleased therewith to subscribe their names. These first assumed the name of a Congregation, which was made more famous afterwards by those who joined themselves thereto. These asserters of the purer and Reform’d religion, foreseeing that matters would soon come to some extremity, by joint consent determin’d to send some demands to the Queen, which unless they were granted, there was likely to be no face of a Church, neither could the multitude be restrained from insurrection. They chose Sir James Sandeland of Calder, a worthy knight, venerable both for his age and for his well-spent life, to carry their desires to the Regent, who open’d to her the necessity of sending such a message, and requested, in the name of all who stood for the Reformation of religion, that all publick prayers and the administration of the Sacraments should be celebrated by ministers in their mother-tongue, that all people might understand them; that the election of ministers, according to the ancient custom of the Church, should be made by the people; and that they who presided over that election should enquire diligently into the lives and doctrines of all that were to be admitted; and, if by the negligence of former times, unlearned and flagitious persons had crept into ecclesiastical dignities, that they might be removed out of the ecclesiastical dignities and fit persons substituted in their places. The priests were even mad, and storm’d mightily that any man durst to appear and own so impudent a fact, as they call’d it. But when the heat was a little allay’d, they answer’d that they would refer the matter to a publick disputation, and indeed, what danger could there be in that, when the themselves were to be judges in their own case? On the other side, the sticklers for the Reformation alleged that the matter ought not to be determined by the wills of men, but by the plain words of Holy Scripture. The priests propounded also other terms of agreement, but such ridiculous ones that they are not worthy of any answer, as, if the Reformers would keep up the Mass in its ancient honour, if they would acknowledg Purgatory after this life, if they would yield to pray to Saints and for the dead, then that they would also yield, that they should pray in their mother-tongue and celebrate the Sacraments, baptism, and the Lord’s Supper in the same.
18. The Reformers pressed the Regent (as before) that in so just a cause she would please to gratify them with an answer agreeable to equity and reason. The Regent favoured the cause of the priests, and secretly promised them her assistance, as soon as opportunity was offered. And she commanded the adverse faction to use prayer, celebrate the Sacraments, and perform other religious exercises in their mother-tongue, but without tumult, only their teachers were not to make any publick sermons to the people at Edinburgh or Leith. Though this condition was carefully observ’d by them, yet many testimonies that her affection was alienated from them did daily appear, and the Papists at Edinburgh us’d almost the same answers to their demands which were brought in by the Nobility, only this they added farther, that as to the point of electing ministers, in such kind of questions they were to stand to the Canon-Law, or to the decrees of the Council of Trent. Neither did they in that assembly determine any thing in their own matters, only they commanded the bishops to send secret informers into all parishes of their diocesses who were to take the names of all the violaters of the Papistical laws and bring them in to them. And though they plainly perceived that their threats were little esteemed, yet, trusting to the publick authority which was on their side, and having confidence in the arms of France, they insulted over their inferiours as imperiously as ever they did before. To mitigate their minds in some sort, and to deprecate their severe and bitter sentence against the preachers of the Gospel, John Erskin, Lord of Down, a man learned, good, and courteous, was sent to them. He intreated them out of that piety which we all owe to God, and charity towards men, that they would not think it much, at least, to tolerate people to pray to Gsod in their mother-tongue when they were met together for that service, and that was according to Scripture-command. They were so far from granting his request that they us’d him with more bitter and arrogant words than formerly, adding also more cruel threatnings and reproaches, and, lest they might seem to have acted nothing in that assembly, they caused some thread-bare Popish laws to be printed and fastned upon the doors of churches, which, because they were commonly sold for a groat, the common people called them the Quadrantary, and sometimes the Triobular Faith.
19. Moreover, they who the year before had perform’d the embassy in France came into the Assembly and easily obtained that their transactions should be ratified. And after that, the French embassador was introduc’d, who, after he had made a long oration concerning the ancient and long-continued good will of the French Kings toward all the Scotish nation, did earnestly desire of them all, both singly and jointly, that they would set the crown (which he, by a new and monstrous name, call’d matrimonial) upon the head of the Queen’s husband, alleging that he would gain but an empty name without any accession of power or profit. He also us’d many other flattering words, not necessary here to be repeated, which, the more accurate they were in a trifling business, by so much the more they were suspected as coverts of concealed fraud. Yet the embassador, partly by immoderate promises, and partly by earnest intreaties, and partly by the favour of some who collogued [collaborated] with the future power, gain’d the point that the crown was ordered for the Daulphin. And Gilespy Cambel, Earl of Argyle, and James the Queen’s brother where chosen to carry it to him. These persons, perceiving that they were sent abroad to their own ruin, in regard the French ambition hung as a storm ready to fall upon all their heads, made no great haste to fit up their equipage, but deferred their preparation from day to day until they had ponder’d all things and taken surer measures of what was likely to ensue, especially since now a nearer and eminenter degree of honour offered it self. For, Mary Queen of England being dead, the Queen of Scots carried her self as her heir and bore the arms and ensigns of England, engraving the same on all her householdstuff and domestick furniture. And, though France was at that time miserably distressed in asserting their power and dominion over Milain, Naples, and Flanders, yet she added to the rest of her miseries this mock-title of England. The wiser sort of the French saw this well enough, but they were forc’d to comply with the Guises, who then could do all at Court, for by this vain kind of splendor they thought to add much to the French name.
20. Besides, the Regent, having receiv’d the decree concerning a matrimonial crown, seem’d to have put on a new disposition, for she turn’d her ancient affability, which was acceptable to all, into an imperious arrogance, and instead of gentle answers wherewith before she did addulce [soothe] both factions, as that it was not long [the fault] of hers, but of the times, that she could not promise so largely as she desir’d, before that decree was past, now she thought her self cock-sure, and therefore us’d another kind of language and deportment. A Parliament was summoned to be held at Sterlin May 9, and, whereas she had often said that now she was free from other cares, she would not suffer the majesty of the government to be debased, but that she would indeavour to restore it to its ancient veneration by some eminent example. These words portended a storm insuing, and therefore many applied to her for her favour, and, amongst the rest, to make their request more exorable upon the account of the dignity of the messengers, Alexander Cuningham, Earl of Glencairn and Hugh Cambel, Sheriff of Air, a worthy knight, were sent to her. When they came, she could not contain her self, but needs utter this speech as a witness of her impiety, “Do you and your ministers what you will or can, yea, though they preach more sincerely than Paul, yet they shall be banish’d the land.” They replied in great humility that she would call to mind what she often promised them. She answer’d that the promises of princes were no further to be urged upon them for performance than it stood with their conveniency. Whereupon they rejoin’d that then they renounced all allegiance and subjection to her, and advised her to consider what inconvenience was likely to ensue hereupon. She was unexpectedly struck with this answer, and said she would think upon it.
21. And when the fierceness of her anger seemed somewhat to abate, it was again kindled much more fiercely, as by a new firebrand, when she heard that the inhabitants of St. Johnstons had publickly embraced the Reformed religion. Whereupon she turned to Patrick Ruthen, Mayor of the town, commanding him to suppress all those tumults for innovating of religion. His answer was that he had power over their bodies and estates, and those he would take care should do no hurt, but that he had no dominion over their consciences. At which answer she was so inrag’d that she said she hoped none would think it strange if he were shortly made to repent his stubborn audacity. She also commanded James Haliburton, Sheriff of Dundee, to sent Paul Meffen prisoner to her, but he was advised thereof by the Sheriff and so gave way to the time and slipp’d out of the town. She wrote also to the neighbour-assemblies to keep the Easter following after the Popish manner, but when none obeyed her therein, she was so inrag’d that she cited the ministers of the churches of the whole kingdom to Sterlin, to appear there in the 10th of May ensuing. When the matter came to be noised abroad, the Evangelicks exhorted one another that they and their ministers would also appear at the meeting, so that there was a great multitude of those that were likely to be at that assembly, which though they came unarmed, yet the Regent feared that things would not go well on her side. Whereupon she sent for John Erskin of Down, who happened to be in the town at that time, and dealt with him to cause the unnecessary concourse of the people to withdraw, which would not be very difficult for him to do because of the great authority he had amongst them; and, in the mean time, she promised she would act nothing against the men of that persuasion. Many there were who, being made acquainted with this promise of the Regent, changed their purpose of going thither, and returned home, yet nevertheless she on the day appointed for the assembly call’d over the names of these who were summon’d, and such as did not answer to their names she outlawed. Erskin, seeing what little credit was to be given to her promises, and fearing to be seized on by force, had withdrawn himself and found the Nobles of Strathearn, Angus, and Merns yet in a body, though doubting of the faith of the Queen. They, finding by his discourse (what they suspected before) that the Queen’s rage was unappeasable, and that the matter could no longer be dissembled, prepared themselves against open force.
22. Matters standing in this ticklish posture, Knox assembled the multitude at Perth and made such an excellent sermon to them that he set their minds, already moved, all in a flame. After sermon, the greatest part of the audience went home to dinner, but a few of the meaner sort, such as were also inraged with anger and indignation, staid behind in the church. Amongst them a poor priest, thinking to try how they stood affected, prepared himself to say Mass, and drew out a large frame, or rather idol-case, in which was contained the history of many Saints curiously ingraven. A young man standing by cried out that what he did was intolerable, upon which the priest gave him a box on the ear. The youth took up a stone and, thinking to hit the priest, the blow lighted on the frame and brake one of the pictures. The rest of the multitude being in a rage, some fell upon the priest and his frame, others upon the rest of the shrines and altars, and thus, as ’twere in a moment of time, they demolish’d all them monuments of superstitious or profane worship. These things were done by the meaner sort while the richer were at dinner. With the same furious violence they ran several ways to the monastery of the friars, the rest of the common people still flocking in to them. And though the friars had provided some aid against such assaults, yet no force was able to resist the rash violence of the multitude. The first assault was made upon the idols and the furniture for their worship, and then the poorer sort ran into the prey. The Franciscans were furnish’d with householdstuff, not only plentiful but stately, more than would serve ten times as many as they were. The Dominicans, though not so opulent as they, yet had enough to evince their profession of begging to be a very vain one, so that one wittily called them not Friars Mendicants, but Friars Manducants. The poor seized on all the wealth, for they who had estates did so stave off and prevent all suspicioun of covetousness from themselves that they suffered some of the monks, and especially the Prior of the Carthusians, to depart away laden with gold and silver; yea, the abstinence of the military men from plunder was as incredible as their celerity in demolishing the buildings was admirable. For those large houses of the Carthusians were so hastily overthrown, yea, and the stones carried away, that within two days time there was hardly the sign of any foundation left.
23. When the tidings of these matters were brought to the Queen, with some exaggerations, they so inflamed her lofty spirit that she solemnly swore that she would expiate this nefarious wickedness with the blood of the citizens and with the burning of the city. The inhabitants of Cowper in Fife hearing of the procedure of affairs at Perth, they also by general consent either broke the images or threw them out of the church, and thus cleansed their temple, at which the Parson of the parish was so grieved that the night following he laid violent hands on himself. The Regent was amazed to hear this news, and sent for Hamilton, the Earls of Argyle and Athol, with their allies and clanships to come to her, and though she desired by her hasty proceeding to prevent the preparations of her enemies, yet the carriage of the brass-ordnance was so tedious that it was about the 18th day of May before they came to the parts adjoining to that city. When the Nobles that were at Perth heard of the preparations that the Regent had made against them, they also sent messengers to their friends and to the Reformed all about not to desert them in this last extremity of life and fortune. Whereupon all the commonalty thereabout came zealously and speedily in, and some also out of Lothian, that they might not be wanting to the common danger. But Alexander Cuningham, Earl of Glencarn, exceeded them all in his force and festination [speed]. For he, hearing how things stood, gathered together 2500 men, part foot, part horse, and let them on night and day through rough and uncouth places till he came to Perth. James Stuart, natural son of the last King, and Gilespy Cambel, Earl of Argyle, were as yet in the army of the Regent. For though they were the chief authors of Reforming religion, yet because all hopes of concord were not quite lost, they staid there that so, if peace might be made on just terms, they might do some service to their friends; but if the minds of the Papists were wholly averse from peace, then they resolved to run the same hazard with the rest at Perth. The Regent, being before inform’d by her spies that the enemy were above 7000 strong, all very hearty and resolved to fight, though she had with her almost an equal number of Scots, besides the French auxiliaries, yet was loath to venture all upon a battel. And therefore she sent James Stuart and Gilespy Cambel (whom I named before) to treat with the enemy. They on their part chose out Alexander Cuningham and John Erskin of Down to treat with them.
24. The Queen was now somewhat more placable, because she heard that Glencarn had also join’d his forces with the rest of the oppugners [opponents] of idolatry. Whereupon the four commissioners made an agreement that all military men of the Scots should be disbanded on both sides, and the Regent should have liberty to enter the town and stay there with her retinue for a few days till she had refreshed her self from the toil of her journy, yet so that they were not to injure any of the towns-men in the least. As for the French, none of them were to enter or to come within three miles of the town. All the other differences were referred to the decision of the next Parliament. Thus, the present insurrection being quieted without blood, the assertors of the Reformation departed joyfully, for they desired not to make a war but only to defend themselves, and thereupon they gave God thanks, Who had given an unbloody end to the war. The Earl of Argyle and James Stuart left the Regent at Perth and went to St. Andrews, there to refresh themselves after their former toiles. But she, the volunteers being disbanded on both sides, having entred the place with a small retinue, was honorably received according to the ability of the citizens. The French mercenaries, passing by the house of Patrick Murray, an honest and worthy towns-man, six of them all levled their pieces against a balcony out of which his whole family looked to behold the sight. Upon the discharge they killed Patrick’s only son, a youth of thirteen years of age. The body was brought to the Queen, and when she heard of what family he was, she said that the chance was to be lamented, and so much the rather because it lighted on the son, not on the father, but that she could not prevent nor help such casual accidents. This her speech gave all to understand that she would no longer stand to her agreements but till she had force great enough to her mind, and her deeds confirmed the truth of the suspicion.
25. For within three days after she began to turn all things topsy-turvy. Some of the citizens she fined, others she banish’d, and chang’d their magistrates without any judicial proceedings. And, going to Sterlin, she left some mercenary Scots under French pay in the town to garison it, whereby she pretended she had not broken her word, which was that the city should be left free and no French man enter into it. When ’twas objected to her that, by the agreement, all those were to be accounted French who had sworn fealty to the French King, then she had refuge to that common refuge of the Papists, that promises were not to be kept with hereticks, but her excuse would have been as honest if she told them that she had no obligation lay on her conscience but that she might lawfully take away both life and goods from such a sort of people as they were; and moreover, that princes were not to be so eagerly pressed for the performance of their promises. These things sufficiently declar’d that the concord was not like to be lasting; and besides, the things which followed gave further occasion to conceive a sinister opinion of her. For she prosecuted James Stuart and Gilespy Cambel with threatning letters and commands, denouncing the extremity of the law against them unless they came in to her. As for the army of the adverse faction, she disregarded that, because she knew it was made up of volunteers and such as fought without pay, and when they were dismiss’d they would not easily be brought together again. After she had restor’d the Mass and setled other things as well as she could, she left a garison the town, as I said before, and went towards Sterlin. She was very desirous to have the possession of that place, in regard ’twas scituate almost in the middle of the whole kingdom and was the only walled town therein. And besides, the neighbouring Nobility was averse from the Papists, and therefore she desir’d to put this curb upon them. Moreover, it had many conveniences, and especially for conveyance of land or sea-forces, for the tide comes up thither by the River Tay, which washeth the walls thereof, and so it affords passage for commerce with foreign nations, and ’tis almost the only town to which access may be had by land even from the utmost bound of the kingdom. As for other towns, the passages of them are impeded and intercepted by long bayes running in from the sea, and the passage is slower through them by reason they have not that number of ships as to carry a great multitude at once, so that ofttimes passengers are stopt many days by contrary winds, or by the violence of tempests.
26. For these reasons Perth is accounted the most convenient place for holding assemblies, and also for gathering forces from all parts of the kingdom. But at that time the Regent got not so much advantage by the commodious scituation of the place as she reap’d envy by violating her faith in breaking her capitulations. for that was the last day of her felicity and the first wherein she was publickly contemn’d. For when the matter came to be divulg’d, it gave occasion of many insurrections in all parts of the kingdom. For the Earl of Argyle and James Stuart, perceiving that their credit was crack’d by the violation of that truce which they were authors of, convocated the neighbour-Nobility at St. Andrews and join’d themselves to the Reform’d, and wrote to their confederates of the same sect that the Regent was at Falcoland with French forces, and that she was intent on the taking of Cowper and St. Andrews, and unless help were presently sent, all the churches in Fife would be in great danger. Whereupon a great multitude came presently in to them from the neighbouring parts, mightily inrag’d against the Queen and her forces. They thought themselves to wage a war against a faithless and barbarous people that had no respect to equity, right, faith, promises, or the religion of an oath, but esteem’d so lightly of them that they would say and unsay, do and undo, at every waving blast of hope and uncertain gale of smiling fortune; and therefore, for the future, no conditions or articles of peace were to be hearkned to unless one party were extinguish’d, or at least strangers were driven out of the kingdom, so that they prepared themselves to overcome or die. By these and such like speeches the minds of all present were so inflam’d that first of all they made an assault on Carail, a town scituate in the furthest angle of Fife, where they overthrew the altars, broke down the images, and spoil’d all the apparatus of the Mass-trade, and that which was almost incredible in the case, anger prevail’d more in the minds of the vulgar than avarice. From thence they went to St. Andrews, where they spoil’d the temples of the other Saints and levell’d the monast’ries of the Franciscan and Dominican Friars to the ground.
27. And though all this was done almost under the nose of the Arch-Bishop, who had a sufficient number of horse, which were able, as his hopes were, to defend the town, yet, seeing the eagerness of the people and such a numerous concourse of volunteers, he withdrew himself and his followers from the fury of the multitude and went to Falk-land to his kindred and clans. The Regent was so inrag’d at the hearing hereof that without any further deliberation she commanded a march the next day and sent quarter-masters before to assign quarters for the French at Cowper. She also sent abroad her commands to all places, that all who were able to bear arms should follow her to Cowper; besides, she gave a watch-word to the present forces of the French and of the Hamiltons that they should be all ready to be in arms on sound of trumpet. This design of hers was made known to the Reformers by their spies and scouts, whereupon their friends and acquaintance were summon’d to repare to those who were already assembled; and to prevent the design of the Regent, they march’d presently towards Cowper. And at the same instant the inhabitants of Dundee and the Nobles of the adjacent country, to the number of about 1000 men, upon the same alarum join’d themselves with them. That night they abode there, but the next morning early they drew their forces out of the town and stood in array in the adjoining fields, expecting the army of the Papists and gathering up their own forces as they came gradually and stragglingly in. In the camp of the Regent there were 2000 French under the command of D’Osel, and 1000 Scots led by James Hamilton, Duke of Chastel-Herault, as he was then call’d. These sent their guns before them in the 2nd watch, and, marching early in the morning, came all so near as to see the enemy and to be seen by them. There was a small river between them, where at convenient posts their great guns were planted. 500 horse were sent before to make light skirmishes with the enemy, and also to hinder their passage over the river if they should attempt it. The alacrity of these men gave some stop to the French, which was further increas’t by the coming in of Patrick Lermont, Mayor of St. Andrews, with 500 citizens in arms, who, for the conveniency of their march being stretch’d out in length, made a show of a far greater number than the were.
28. This kept them from discovering the number and order of their enemies, which they much desir’d to know; neither could they discover if the commanders were at hand, that so they might give notice to their fellows, as they were commanded. And therefore some of the French went to the top of an high hill adjoining, that so they might have as full a view of the enemy as they could from such a distance. From thence they saw many bodies of horse and foot with small distances betwixt them, and behind them a great number of baggagers and waggon-men, which made a long show, at the edg of a certain valley, so that they thought that the whole numerous party was laid in ambush for them. And this news they carry’d to their fellows, aggravating all things beyond what they were, indeed. Whereupon the commanders of the army, by the advice of the Council, sent to the Regent, who staid behind at Falkland, to acquaint her how matters stood, that the Scots seem’d more numerous than they expected and more ready to fight, and, on the contrary, that their own men did grumble, and some of them did publickly give forth that they scorn’d for the sake of a few strangers to be led to an engagement against their own country-men, friends, and kindred. Whereupon, by the assent of the Queen, three embassadors of the Nobles were sent from Hamilton, such as had some friends or sons in the enemies army. These embassadors could not clap up a peace because the Reformers, having been so often deluded by vain promises, gave no credit to their concessions, and the Regent at that time had not any other voucher to make good her stipulation, and, if she had, she thought it to be below her dignity to produce it. Besides, there was another difficulty in the case, which was the expulsion of the foreigners out of the kingdom (a thing principally insisted upon), and that she could not to without acquainting the French King, so that only dilatory truces were made, not to incline their minds to peace, as they had often experienc’d before, but to procure foreign aid. Only this was accorded betwixt them, that the French forces should be transported into Lothian, and a truce should be made for 8 days till the Regent sent some pacificators of her own to St. Andrews to propound equal conditions of peace to both parties.
29. But the Reformers, plainly perceiving that the Regent did but protract time till she passed her army over the next firth because she could not compose things to her own advantage, the Earl of Argyle and James Stuart dealt with her by letters that she would withdraw the garison out of Perth and leave the city to its own laws, as she promised when she was admitted into it, and that the envy of her breach of covenant was cast upon them who were the authors of the agreement. The Regent giving no answer to these letters, they turn’d their ensigns towards Perth, from whence miserable complaints and groans for relief were daily brought them. For the Laird of Kinfans, a neighbouring Laird whom the Regent at her departure had made Governor of the town, to shew his officiousness did mightily vex the citizens. For, taking the opportunity of his command over them, he indulg’d his own private passions and reveng’d the old grudges which he had with many of them even to extremity, banishing some and spoiling others on the account of religion, and he also allow’d the like liberty to his souldiers. The forces which were at Cowper, understanding of these injuries done to their friends and partners in the Reformation, beat up a march thither very early in the morning. They besieg’d the town, which after a few days was surrendred to them. Kinfans was outed of his Governorship and Patrick Ruven, the old Governor, substituted in his place. Afterward they burnt Scone, an old and unpeopled town, because, contrary to their faith given, they had slain one of their number. By their spies they were inform’d that the Regent was sending a garison of French to Sterlin, that so they who were beyond the Forth might be cut off from the rest. To prevent this design, Gilespy Cambel and James Stuart, late in the night with great silence, remov’d from Perth and enter’d Sterlin, where they presently overthrew the monast’ry of the friars. They also purg’d the other churches about the city from all monuments of idolatry, and thus after 3 days they march’d towards Edinburgh and destroyed the superstitious relicks at Linlithgo, a town in the midway. And though they were but a very few in number, the common souldiers, as if the war had been ended, slipping home to their domestic affairs, yet they cut the combs of the Papists in so many towns; yea, so great a terror did seize upon the mercenary troops of the Scots and French that they fled with all their baggage with they could draw after them, to Dunbar. The Scots Nobles who were the leaders of the Reformation staid there several days to order matters. For, besides cleansing of the temples from all the Massifying trade, they appointed preachers to expound the Word of God purely and sincerely to the people.
30. In the mean time, word was brought from France that King Henry the 2nd was dead, which news increas’d the joy, but lessen’d the industry, of the Scots, for many now betook themselves to their private affairs as if all the danger had been over. On the other side, the Regent, fearing lest she and the French should be expell’d out of all Scotland, was highly vigilant and intent upon all occasions. First she sent forth scouts to Edinburgh to fish out the enemies designs, by whom being inform’d that the common souldiers had disperst themselves and that the few which remain’d kept no military discipline nor watch, she thought not fit to omit such an opportunity, but march’d with the forces which she had directly to Edinburgh. Duke James Hamilton and James Douglas, Earl of Morton, very dutifully met her, but they, not being able to compose matters, only got this point, that the conflict should not begin that day. At length, after many conditions had been canvass’d on both sides, on the 24th of July in the year 1559 a truce was made to last till the 10th of January. The sum of the terms were that no man should be compell’d in matters of religion; that no garison should be plac’d in Edinburgh; that the priests should not be hindred from receiving the fruits of their lands, tithes, pensions, or other incomes freely; that none should demolish churches, temples, monasteries, and other places made for the use of priests, or should transfer them to other uses; and that they day after the mint for coining mony and the royal palace, with all the furniture they found there, should be restor’d to the Regent. She was more careful to keep the articles of this truce in appearance, because she had shewn so much distasteful levity in keeping the pacts made in former time. Yet notwithstanding, she, under-hand by men of her own faction, caus’d the Scots to be irritated who were by nature inclinable to passion, and so gave occasion of harassing the miserable vulgar. But, having no colour for her project sufficient to disguise her cruelty under the pretence of law, she caus’d false reports to be spread abroad that religion was made a pretence for rebellion, but the true cause of rising in arms was that, the lawful line being extinct, the kingdom might be transferr’d to James, the late King’s bastard-son.
31. When she perceiv’d that the minds of men were somewhat possess’d by those and such other kind of lying reports, she sent some letters to the said James, pretending that they came from Francis and Mary, King and Queen of France, wherein he was upbraided with the commemoration of the pretended courtesies he had received, and withal was grievously threatned if he did not lay aside his design of revolting and return to his duty. James answer’d thereto that he was not conscious to himself, either in word or deed, of any offence either against King, Regent, or laws, but, in regard the Nobility had undertaken the cause of reforming religion, which was decay’d, or rather had join’d themselves to those who were first therein, he was willing to bear the envy of those things, if any did arise, which were acted in common by himself and others, they aiming at nothing therein but the glory of God. Neither was it just for him to desert that cause which had Christ HImself for its head, favourer, and defender, whom unless they would voluntarily deny, they could not surcease their enterprize. Setting that cause aside, he and others who were branded with the invidious name of rebels would be most obsequious and loyal in all other things. This answer was given to the Regent to be sent into France, where ’twas look’d upon as proud and contumacious, whereas some esteem’d it modest enough and within compass, especially as to the point of upbraiding him with courtesies, whereas in truth he had receiv’d none, unless such as were common to all strangers. Amidst these things, a thousand French mercenaries arriv’d at Leith, and also the Earl of Arran, son to James Hamilton, late Governor, came to the Convention of the Nobles which were held at Sterlin. The Regent became now cock-sure upon the arrival of the French, and began openly to apply her mind to subdue all Scotland by force.
32. But the cause of the Earl of Arran’s return was this. He was more eager and zealous in the cause of Reformation than was safe for him to be in those times, and therefore he was design’d to be put to death by the Guises, who were the favourites of Francis the Younger, for the terror of the inferior orders of men; yea, the Cardinal of Lorrain was so bold in a speech which he made in the Parliament of Paris, inveighing against the cause of Reformation, that, he said, they should shortly see some eminent man suffer upon that account, who was little inferior to a prince. He, being made acquainted therewith and withal calling to mind that he had, a little before, been free in his discourse with the Duke of Guise, upon that head, by the advice of his friends, provided for his safety by a secret flight, and, contrary to all mens expectations, came home in the midst of his countries tumults, join’d himself with the part of the Reformers, procur’d his father also to join with them, and so he reconcil’d many to him who had been his enemies before upon old grudges. The chief of the party there being present being inform’d that, for certain, some auxiliaries were arriv’d and others were levying to be speedily sent over to Leith, which was strongly fortifi’d to be made a magazine for provisions and ammunition for war, and that the French intended to make use of that town as a place to secure their retreat if they were distress’d, and as a port to receive their friends if they prosper’d, hereupon the Scots gather’d their forces together and indeavour’d to besiege Leith, but in vain. For the Regent and the Governor of Edinburgh Castle, who had not yet join’d himself with the Reformers and vindicators of publick freedom, had the possession of almost all the brass-guns in Scotland; and besides, the party had not strength enough to shut up a town in a formal siege, which had the sea on one side and was also divided by a river.
33. In the mean time, the King of France, being inform’d how matters stood in Scotland, sent thither L’Abros, a knight of the Order of the Cochle [Cockle], with 200 foot to assist the Queen in the maintenance of the Popish religion. There were also sent with him the Bishop of Amiens and 3 Doctors of the Sorbon to dispute matters controverted by arguments, if need were. The arrival of them did so raise up the dejected spirit of the Regent that she solemnly swore she would now be speedily reveng’d of God’s enemies and the King’s. There were then 12 of the chief Nobility assembled at Edinburgh which gave answer to Mr. D’Labros and the Bishop, who alleged they were sent over embassadors and therefore desir’d a day to propound their demands, viz., that they did not seek peace, as they pretended, but that they threatn’d war; otherwise, if it were only to dispute, to what purpose was it to bring so many arm’d forces? As for themselves, they were not so imprudent as to commit themselves to a dispute, where they must be forc’d to accept what conditions their enemies pleas’d. But if a pacification might be acceptable to them, they also would take care that they might not seem to be compell’d by force, but overcome by reason. And if they did really aim at what they pretended, they should send back the foreign souldiers and meet unarm’d, as they had done before, that so the matter might be determin’d by equity and right, not by force of arms. This they said to the embassadors. As to the fortifying Leith, they wrote back the Regent to this purpose: that they did much admire the Regent had, without any provocation, so soon forgot and receded from her agreements, as by driving out the ancient inhabitants of Leith and placing a colony of strangers there, and so erecting a fort over all their heads to the ruin of their laws and liberties she had done; and therefore they earnestly desir’d her to desist from so pernicious a counsel, which was temerariously undertaken by her against the faith of her promises, against the publick utility, law, and liberty, lest otherwise they should be compell’d to call for aid of all the people in the case.
34. About a month after, they sent an answer from a Convention at Edinburgh to the same purpose, withal adding this to their former requests, that she would demolish all the new fortifications and send away all strangers and mercenaries, that so the town might be free for traffick and mutual commerce. Which if she refus’d to do, they would look upon it as a sure argument that she was resolv’d to bring the kingdom into slavery, which mischief they would do all they could to prevent. The Regent, three days after, sent Robert Forman, principal herauld (King of Arms, as they call him), giving him these commands in answer to them: “First of all, you shall declare to them that I am mightily surpriz’d and look upon it as an unexpected thing that any other man should claim any power here besides my son in law and daughter, on whom all my authority depends. The former actings of the Nobles, and these their present postulations [requests], or rather commands, do sufficiently declare that they acknowledg no authority superior to themselves. That their petition, or rather their threats, though guilded over with smooth words, were not at all new to her. Next, you shall require the Duke of Castle-Herault to call to mind what he promis’d to me by word of mouth, and to the King by letters, that he would not only be loyal to the King, but also would take effectual care that his son, the Earl of Arran, should not mix himself in these tumults of his country. You shall ask him whether his present actings do correspond with those promises. To their letters you shall answer that, for the sake of the publick tranquillity, I will do, and so I promise, whatsoever is not contrary to piety towards God or duty towards the King.” As for the destruction of law and liberty, it never entred into her heart, much less to subdue the kingdom by force. “For whom (said she) should I conquer it, seeing my daughter doth now, as lawful heiress, possess it? As to the fortifications at Leith, you shall ask whether ever she attempted any thing therein before they, in many conventions and at length, by a mutual conspiracy had openly declar’d that they rejected the government set over them by law, and, without her advice or notice, though she held the place and authority of a chief magistrate, had broke the publick peace by taking of towns, and had treated with old enemies for establishing a league; yea, that now many of them kept English in their houses.
35. “So that, to omit other arguments, what reason have they to judg it lawful for themselves to keep up an army at Edinburgh, to invade those who are in possession of the government? And yet it must not be lawful for me to have some forces about me at Leith for my own defence? Their aim is principally this, to compel me, by often shifting of places, to avoid their fury, as I have hitherto done. Is there any mention in their letters about obedience to lawful magistrates? Do they discover any way to renew peace and concord? By what indication do they manifest that they are willing that these tumults should be appeased and all things reduced to their former state? Let them colour and guild their pretensions how they please with the shew of publick good, yet ’tis plain that they mind nothing less. For if that one thing were a remora [obstruction] to concord, I have often shewed the way that leads thereto. They themselves are not ignorant that the French, at the command of their own King, had long since quitted Scotland if their actings had not occasion’s their longer stay. And therefore, if now they will offer any honest conditions which may afford a probable ground of hope that the majesty of the government may be preserved and that they will with modesty obey their superiours, I shall refuse no way of renewing peace, nor omit any thing relating to the publick good; neither am I only thus affected towards them, but the French King is of the same mind too, who hath sent over an illustrious knight of the Order of St. Michael, and another prime ecclesiastical person with letters and commands to that purpose, whom yet they had so slighted as not to vouchsafe them an answer, no, nor audience neither. And therefore you shall require the Duke, the other Nobles, and country-men of all sorts presently to separate themselves, otherwise they shall be proclaimed traitors.”
36. To this letter the Nobles sent answer the day after, which was October 23, to this purpose: “We plainly perceive by your letters and commands, sent us by your herauld, how you persist in your disaffection to God’s true worship, to the publick good of the whole country, and to the common liberty of us all, Which that we may preserve according to our duty, we do, in the name of our King and Queen, suspend and inhibit that publick administration which you usurp under their names, as being fully persuaded that your actings are quite contrary to their inclinations and against the publick good of the kingdom. And as you do not esteem us a Senate and publick Council, who are the lawful inhabitants of this kingdom and country, so we do not acknowledge you as Regent in supream authority over us, especially since your government (if you have any such entrusted to you by our princes) is, for weighty and just reasons, abrogated by us, and that in the name of those Kings to whom we are born Counsellors, especially in such things as concern the safety of the whole common-wealth. And though we are determined to undergo the utmost hazard for the freeing of that town wherein you have a garison from mercenaries which you have hired against us, yet for the reverence and due respect we bear you as the mother of our Queen, we earnestly intreat you to withdraw your self, whilst necessity compels us to reduce that town by force which we oft endeavour’d to gain by fair means. And withal we desire that within the space of twenty four hours you would withdraw likewise those who challenge [claim] the name of embassadours to themselves, and forbid them either to decide controversies or to manage civil and martial affairs; and also that all mercenary souldiers in that town would retire likewise, for we would willingly spare their lives and consult their safety, both by reason of that ancient amity which hath interceded betwixt the Kings of Scotland and France, and also by reason of the marriage of their King with our Queen, which doth equitably ingage us rather to encrease our union than diminish it.”
37. The same day, the herauld also related that the day before in a full assembly of Nobles and Commons it was voted that all the Regent’s words, deeds, and designs tended only to tyranny, and therefore a decree was made to abrogate her authority, to which all of them subscribed as most just. Moreover, they did inhibit the trust her son-in-law and daughter had committed to her. They also forbad her to execute any act of publick government till a general Convention of the Estates, which they determined to summon as conveniently they could. The 25th day, the Nobles sent an herauld to Leith to warn all the Scots to depart out of the town within the space of twenty four hours, and to separate themselves from the destroyers of publick liberty. After these threats, horsemen made excursions on both sides and the war began, yet without any considerable slaughter. In the beginning of this action there fell so great and sudden a terror upon the cause of the Reformed, which did mightily disturb them for the present, and also cut off all hopes of success for the future. For the Regent, partly by threats and partly by promises, had wrought off many who had given in their names to the Reformers from the faction of the Nobles. And besides, their camp was full of spies who discovered both their words and actions; yea, those which they thought were concern’d to be kept most secret to the Regent. And when James Balfure’s servant was taken carrying letters to Leith, the suspicion lighted on a great many, and the fear diffus’d it self over the whole body. And moreover, the mercenary souldiers mutinied because they had not their pay down upon the nail, and if any one indeavoured to appease them, he was grievously threatned by them. But men did less admire the sedition of such men, who had neither religion nor honesty, than they did the imbecillity and faintheartedness of the Duke of Castle-Herault, who was so amazed at the fear of his neighbours that his terror discouraged the minds of many. Those who were most couragious endeavoured to apply remedies to these miseries, and their first consultation was to appease the mercenaries. And, seeing the Nobles which remained could not make up a sum sufficient to quiet and pay them, some declining through covetousness, others pleading inability, at last they agreed to melt down all their silver-plate. And when the Pay-masters were ready to assist therein, the mint or stamps, I know not by whose fraud, were taken away.
38. The only ground of hope was from England, which was adjug’d too slow. At last, they resolved to try the fidelity of their private friends, and thereupon they sent John Cockburn of Ormiston to Sir Ralph Sadler and Sir James Croft, two knights of known valour (who at that time were officers at Berwick) to obtain a small sum of mony to serve their present occasion. This their design, though they kept it as private as they could, was yet discovered to the Regent, who commanded the Earl of Bothwel to waylay him in his return. He, though in a few days before he had taken a solemn oath that he would not prejudice the cause of the Nobles in the least, yea, though he had given them hopes that he would join himself to their party, yet nevertheless lay in ambush for Ormiston, assaulted him unawares, wounded and took him prisoner, and so became master of all the mony that he brought. When the noise of this exploit was brought to Edinburgh it alarm’d the Earl of Arran and James Stuart and almost all the horse to draw out, not so much for desire of revenge as to free Ormiston (if he were alive), or at least to put a stop to their march that he might not be convey’d to the Regent. But Bothwel, having notice thereof by a spy, prevented their coming by his flight. The same day, the Governour of Dundee with the towns-men thereof and a few volunteers marched towards Leith and placed their ordnance on an adjoining hill. The French, who were informed by their scouts that almost all the enemies horse were absent, drew forth some troops to cut off those few foot, whose paucity they saw. The Dundeans stood a while in hope of relief, but in regard those few mercenaries which followed them turned their backs almost at the first charge, they also retired, leaving their guns behind them, until at length a noise was raised in the rear that the French were gone another way towards the gates of the city to seize them, and so to keep them out. Upon this bruit there was such an universal perturbation that every one shifted for himself the best he could, and whilst each man endeavour’d to save one, the weak were trodden under foot by the strong, so every body look’d to his own particular and there was no provision made in common for them all. The Papists on this emergency crept out of their lurking holes and did openly reproach them, insomuch that they, who ever pretended great zeal for the Reformation, began partly to withdraw themselves secretly, and partly they consulted how to desert the whole business.
39. On the 5th day of November, when news was brought that the French were march’d out to intercept some provisions coming towards Edinburgh, besides the disagreement of the Reformed amongst themselves, the mercenaries could scarce be got out of the town to oppose them. The Earl of Arran and James Stuart and their friends went out first against them, with whom there joined many worthy and valiant persons. They charged the French more fiercely than prudently, so that they were near upon the point to have been shut out from Edinburgh, and so to have paid for their rashness. For the marishes on the one side and the adjacent wall of an orchard left them but a narrow space for their march, and that also open to the French musketeers, so that they were trodden under foot, partly by their own men, and partly by the enemies horse. In this trepidation they had been all certainly cut off, unless the commanders, leaping from their horses, had put themselves into equal danger with the rest. Some of the common souldiers, seeing this, stopp’d for shame, amongst whom was Alexander Haliburton, a captain, a stout young man and very forward in the cause of religion. He was grievously wounded, taken prisoner, and soon after died of his wounds. After this conflict, in which there fell about twenty five, many withdrew themselves and others were upon the point of desperation, but the Earl of Arran and James Stuart promised to continue their endeavours if but a small company of them would keep together. When all, in a manner, refused so to do, the next consultation was to leave the city, and, as the Nobles had decreed, in the second watch they began their march, and the day after came to Sterlin. There John Knox made an excellent sermon to them, wherein he erected the minds of many into an assur’d hope of a speedy deliverance out of these distresses. Here it was agreed upon in a convention that, because the French were continually strengthen’d and increas’d with new supplies, they also would strengthen their party by foreign aid. And in order thereunto, William Maitland was sent into England, a young man of great prudence and learning. He was to inform the Queen what eminent danger would accrue to England if the French were suffer’d to fortify places and plant garisons in Scotland, in regard they sought the destruction, not of religion only, but of laws and liberties too. And if the Scots were overcome by force or fraud, yea, if they were reduced to servitude by unjust conditions, they would have an easier step to infringe the power of the English.
40. The English, after a long debate of the matter, at length gave some hopes of assistance. Whereupon the Noblemen who were the assertors of liberty divided themselves into two parties. Some abode at Glascow that they might command the neighbouring provinces and defend their partners in the Reformation from wrong. Others were sent into Fife. The French did what mischief they could to their forces, but, being troubled to hear of the English supplies, they endeavoured to subdue the relicks of the contrary faction before their coming. And first they marched against that party which was in Fife. First in their march they plundered Linlithgo and the estates of the Hamiltons. From thence they march’d to Sterlin, where they staid no longer but till they could pillage the towns-men, and then passed over the bridg and led their army along the shore of the river, which was full of towns and villages well inhabited. They ransack’d all they met with, and at last came to Kinghorn. The Scots, to stop their career, put a small garison into a town called Dysert. Here the French made light skirmishes for twenty days together, and, because they could not wreek their fury upon the masters, they did it upon the bare walls of their houses, and raz’d a village called Grange, belonging to William Kircaldy, from the very foundation. He, knowing that the French were wont to make often excursions from thence to plunder the country-people, a little before day plac’d himself in ambush, and observing Captain L’Abast, a Savoyard, to march out with his company, he kept himself close so long till the French were above a mile from their garison, and then his horse started up and intercepted them from their fellows. The French had but one way for it in those circumstances, and that was to enter a country-village near at hand, and so to endeavour to defend themselves behind walls and hedges. The Scots, being irritated by the former cruelty of the French, were utterly unmindful of their own safety while they were intent to attend their enemies (though they had no arms but horsemens lances), yet broke down all which was in their way and rush’d in upon them. The Captain, who refused to take quarter, and fifty of his men were slain, the rest they sent prisoners to Dundee. They who were at Dysert, as in a setled post, met at Cowper. Out of them and others that were at Glasgow there were some persons chosen to be sent to Berwick to agree the terms of the league with the English. The chief articles were these, that if any strangers should enter Britain in a warlike manner, each of them should aid and assist one another; that the Queen of England should pay the Scots in England, and also the English auxiliaries in Scotland; that the prey taken from the enemy should belong to the English, but the towns and castles should presently be restored to the right owners; that the Scots should give hostages, which were to remain in England during the marriage of the French King with the Queen of Scots, and, if that marriage were disanull’d, one year after.
41. These transactions past at Berwick February 27, 1560. One thing the English gave strict warning of to the Scots, which was that they should not join in a set battel, and so hazard all, before the aids of their friends came. For the English Nobles were much afraid that the over-eager spirits of the Scots would precipitate the whole matter into an irrecoverable mistake. In the mean time, the French, having plundered Dysert and Weemes, had a debate among themselves whether they should march directly towards the enemy or else go all along the shore to St. Andrews, and so to Cowper. This later opinion prevailed because, by reason of the great snow which had fallen, all the high-ways were so clogged that the horse without great inconvenience could not march thro the mid-land countries. Wherefore, passing along a little by the sea, they came to the promontory called Kincrage (i. e., the head or end of a rock). Some of them got thereupon where there was a large prospect into the sea, and they came down in great joy and told their fellows that they discovered eight great ships of the first rate at sea. Whereupon the French did certainly conclude that those vessels had brought them over aid, which they had long before expected, and therefore they saluted them, as the custom is, with the discharge of their great guns, and congratulated one another, invited them on shore, resolving to pass that day in a great deal of mirth and jollity. Not long after, one or two boats landed from the contrary shore of Lothian, they (having in their passage made some discourse with the passengers in those foreign ships) made a discovery that it was a fleet of English, and withal, that the report was that the land-forces of the English were not far from the Borders of Scotland. Hereupon there was a sudden change of spirit among them, and their unseasonable laughter was turned into fear and trembling, so that presently they catch’d up their colours and retreated, part of them to Kinghorn, others to Dumfermlin, many of them leaving their dinners behind them for very haste. For they were afraid lest the garison which they had left at Leith might be cut off, and they themselves exposed to the fury of the enemy, who lay about them in all quarters, before they could gather all their strength into a body.
42. During this whole march they plundered more of the Papists, who came in thick to them, than of their enemies. for of them the richer sort had withdrawn a great part of their estates into remote places of safeguard. As for those who had not thus secured their estates, the French commanders, being lifted up with their present success and also with the hopes of aid from France, which was every day expected, in confidence whereof they hoped to be perpetual lords of those countries, hereupon they reserved the richest farms and villages, which most abounded with all kind of provisions, unplundered, as a peculiar prey for themselves. But the Papists were either exhausted by the frequent invitations of the principal commanders to feast at their houses under a pretence of friendship, or else were privately pillaged by the common souldiers, or at least in their retreat were openly spoiled by the French, who were in great want of provisions, and that not without bitter exprobrations of their cowardise in fighting and their avarice in not relieving their friends, “which things (said they) we leave you to judge now near a-kin they are to plain perfidiousness.” This contumelious pride, joined with the rapacity of the French faction, quite turned the hearts of many from them, and, not long after, the Fife men were compell’d, partly by fear of their enemies and partly by the wrongs received by their own partizans, to join themselves to the Reformers, and at last the remote countries did universally revolt from the outlandish [foreigners], and shewed themselves as eager in repressing the tyranny of the French as the other Scots did in asserting their religion. The spring was now at hand, and both parties hastned to draw their forces together into one place. The Earl of Martigues, a stout and noble young man, landed in France in two ships, bringing with him about 1000 foot and a few horse. He and his souldiers presently went on shore, but the ships were taken in the night by the Scots. About the same time, the Marquess of Elbeuff, brother to the Regent, who was bringing aid of men and mony in eight ships, returned back into the haven whence he set sail, partly for fear because the sea was full of English ships, and partly excusing himself for the badness of the weather. Moreover, a new fleet of English was sent in to second the former, who flew up and down the whole Chanel and held Keith-Island besieged, stopping all manner of provision from passing by sea into Leith.
43. In the mean time, the chief of the assertors of liberty who commanded in Fife went to Perth, and after three days conference there with Huntly, they won over all that northern part of Scotland and all their party, and order was soon after given that they should all assemble and rendevouz at the end of March. About the same time, all the chief Reformers had a meeting at Linlithgo. From thence they went to Hadington and, on the first of April, they joined the English. There were in the English army above 6000 foot and 2000 horse. The next night they pitched their tents at Preston. The same day, the Regent, to withdraw her self from the danger now nearly approaching, and to avoid the uncertain hazard of war, retired with some few of her domesticks into the Castle of Edinburgh. John Erskin was Governour thereof, a man of approved piety and carefulness. He had received the command of it by a decree of the publick Council, as hath been before related, but upon this condition, that he should render it up to none unless by the command of the same Council. The French saw that the possession of this Castle was of huge advantage to their affairs, and therefore they used great endeavours to obtain it by treachery. The Governour, though he were not ignorant of their intentions towards him, and had so fortified the Castle, and made such other diligent provision, that ’twas secure either from force or fraud, yet was not willing to exclude the Regent at such a time, but in receiving her into the Castle he took great care that both she and the Castle might be still under his command. The Nobles who were the assertors of publick liberty, though before they had often found that her mind was obstinately averse against the cause which they had undertaken, yet thought it adviseable not to pretermit the present occasion, as hoping that the fear of the war approaching near to her and the uncertainty of aid from a remote country might incline her mind to peaceable counsels.
44. Whereupon the chief of the party had a meeting at Dalkeith, from whence they wrote to her to this purpose: “We have oft-times heretofore earnestly intreated you both by letters and messengers to send away the French souldiers, who do yet, another year, grievously oppress the poor country-people; yea, they raise up a just fear in the commonalty that they shall be reduced into miserable bondage. From which fear we have many times requested you to free us, but when our just intreaties prevail’d nothing with you, we were inforced to represent our deplorable estate to the Queen of England, as the nearest princess to our borders, and to desire aid of her to expel the strangers who threatned to make us slaves out of our kingdom, and that by force of arms if it could not otherwise be done. And though she, out of a sense of our calamities, hath undertaken our cause, yet that we might perform our duty towards the mother of our Queen, and might prevent the effusion of Christian blood as much as is possible, and might then have recourse to force of arms when we have tried all others ways to obtain right without success, do as yet deem it a part of our modesty again to pray you to command the French souldiers with their commanders and officers to depart immediately out of the land. In order to the accomplishment whereof, the Queen of England will not only afford them a safe passage through her kingdom, but will also assist with her fleet to transport them. If this condition be rejected, we call God and man to witness that we take up arms, not out of hatred or any wicked intent, but inforc’d thereto by mere necessity, that so we may try the extremity of remedies, that the common-wealth, our selves, our estates, and posterities might not be precipitated into utter ruin. And yet notwithstanding that we suffer very heavy pressures, and heavier ones are at near at hand, no danger whatsoever shall ever inforce us to depart from our duty towards our Queen, or from the King her husband, in the least tittle where in the destruction of our ancient liberty and the ruin of our selves and our posterity is not concerned. As for you, most benign princess, we beseech you again that, weighing the equity of our demands, the inconveniencies attending war, and how necessary peace is to this your daughter’s kingdom, so miserably harrassed, you would afford a favourable ear to our just requests. Which if you shall do, you leave a grateful and pleasant memory of your moderation amongst all nations, and will also provide for the security of the greatest part of Christians. Farewell. Dated at Dalkeith, the 4th of April in the year 1560.”
45. The 6th day of April, when the English drew near by the sea-side, about 1300 French march’d out of Leith and possessed a little rising hill at the end of the plain, because they thought that the English would pitch their tents there. There was a sharp fight for above five hours for the recovering and keeping the place, with no small loss on both sides. At last the Scotch horse, with great violence, rush’d in amongst the thickest band of the French and drove them back in great astonishment into the town. And if the English horse had come in sooner than they did, as ’twas agreed, they had been all excluded from their fellows and cut off. After this onset there were conferences managed between the parties, but in vain, for the English did despise all truce and ever and anon made some light excursions, yet not without blood. ’Tis not necessary to recount them. On the 22nd of April, John Monluck, Bishop of Vallence in Savoy, was first carried into the English camp, then into the Castle of Edinburgh to the Regent, where he had a conference with her three days, and then returned to the Scotish Nobles. The terms of concord could not then neither be agreed on, because the Scots persisted peremptorily in their demand that the foreign souldiers should return home. Hereupon the English, because the distance between their camp and the town was too great for their ordnance to do any execution, so that their batteries signified little or nothing, removed their camp on the other side Leith-River, near the town, where they might more certainly annoy the enemy, and also have frequent skirmishes with him hand to hand. On the last day of April, about two hours before sun-set, a casual fire seized upon part of the town, which, being assisted by the violence of the winds, burnt fiercely till the next morning, destroying many houses and making a great devastation; yea, it took part of the publick granary and consum’d a great deal of provisions. In this hurly-burly, the English were not wanting to the occasion, for they turn’d their great guns upon that part and plaid so hot upon the people that they durst not come to quench the fire; yea, they enter’d the trenches and in some places measur’d the height of the walls, so that if the French, at the beginning of the combustion fearing some treachery, had not run thick to the walls and thereby prevented their loss in such a general consternation, that very day had put an end to the war.
46. On the 4th of May the English set fire to the water-mills which were near the town. One of them they burnt down before day, the other the next day after, the French in vain indeavouring to quench the flames. On the 7th of May the besiegers set ladders to the walls to make an assault, but the ladders were too short, so that they were beaten off, many wounded and 160 slain. The three following days the French were imploy’d, with great labour and hazard, in repairing the walls, the English continually playing upon them where they saw the greatest numbers. The Papists were extreamly puft up with this success, so that now they promis’d to themselves that the English would depart, the siege would be rais’d, and the war be finish’d. But the English and Scots were nothing discourag’d by this blow, but exhorted one another to constancy, and the English promis’d to stay till they heard their Queen’s pleasure from her Court. In the mean time, letters came from the Duke of Norfolk, which did mightily incourage all their spirits. For he wrote to Grey, the chief commander, wishing him to continue the siege, and that he should not want souldiers as long as there was a man able to bear arms in his province (which was very large, reaching from Trent to Tweed). And, if need were, he would come himself in person into the camp, and as a sure pledge thereof he caus’d his own tent to be erected in the camp, and in a few days sent in 2000 auxiliaries, so that the memory of the former loss was quite worn out and with great alacrity they renew’d the war. And from that day forward, though the French made frequent sallies, yet hardly one of them was prosperous to their party. In the mean time, the Queen of England sent William Cecil, a learned and prudent person, who was then the chief manager of affairs of England, and Nicholas Wotton, Dean of York, into Scotland to treat about a peace. They were commanded to confer concerning counsels with Randan and Monluck of the French party concerning conditions of peace, for the Kings of France thought it a thing below their dignity to enter into an equal dispute with their own subjects. The fame of this conference was the cause that, as if all controversies had been already decided, a Convention was indicted to be held in July.
47. In the mean time, the Queen Dowager died in the Castle of Edinburgh June 11, worn out with sickness and with grief. Her death did variously affect the minds of men, for some of them who fought against her did yet bewail her death. For she was indowed with a singular wit, and had also a mind very propense to equity. She had quieted the fiercest Highlanders and the furthest inhabitants of the isles by her wisdom and valour. Some believed that she would never have had any war with the Scots if she had been left free to her own disposition. For she so accommodated her self to their manners that she seem’d able to accomplish all things without force. But the misery was, though the name of Governess resided in her, neither did she want virtues worthy of so great a dignity, yet she did, as it were, rule precariously because in all matters of moment she was to receive answers, like so many oracles, from France. For the Guises, who were then the powerfull’st in the French Court, had design’d the kingdom of Scotland as a peculiar to their family, and accordingly they advis’d their sister to be more severe in asserting the Papal religion than either her own disposition or those times could well bear. This she gave some evident hints of, for she hath been heard to say that, if matters were left to her own arbitrement, she did not despair but to compose them upon no unequal conditions. some others were of opinion that she alleged those things rather popularly than really, as her mind was, and that not only with an intent to avert the fault or envy of mal-administration from her self, but also that, under a pretext of asking advice, she might spin out the time in delay whilst she sent for foreign aid, and so by yielding she might blunt the vehement edg of the Scots and in time suffer their angry mood to abate, in regard she was of opinion that the Scots troops, being volunteers, after one or two disbandings, could not again be easily got together, because they were made up of men who were not under pay nor under any certain command. And the inconstancy of the Queen in keeping her promises was no obscure evidence of this her dissimulation, for she did not expect [await] the end of a truce which, by conditions, she was oblig’d to do in renewing a war, but if any specious advantage were offer’d she would adventure to do it arbitrarily out of her own head.
48. Others there were who cast the blame of all things which were avariciously or cruelly acted, or which were attempted by fraud or calumny, upon those who were her counsellors in managing affairs. For when she undertook the Regency at the very first, some French counsellors were join’d to her assistance, as Osel, embassador of the King of France, a man quickly and vehemently passionate, otherwise a good man and well-skill’d in the arts both of peace and war. He was one that directed his counsel rather by the rule of equity than the will and pleasure of the Guises. One Monsieur de Ruby was join’d to him as his companion, a lawyer of Paris who was to dispute matters of law, if any such did occur. He in his publick administration conform’d all things, as much as he could, to the manners and laws of France (as if that alone were the right way to govern a commonwealth), by which means he rais’d a suspicion of innovation upon him, and though others might share the guilt of the same crime with him, yet he alone, in a manner, bore the blame and envy of it. But these two committed no offence that was remediless and uncurable. Towards the end of the war there were three French Generals, having distinct limits allotted them, who manag’d military affairs in Scotland, viz., the Count Martigues of the house of Luxemburgh, who was afterwards made Duke of D’Estampes; L’Abros, of a noble or equestrian family, highly experienc’d in military matters; and a third was the Bishop of Amiens, accompanied with some Doctors of the Sorbon, as if the matter were to be determin’d by the pen, not the sword.
49. All the counsels of these three did tend to open tyranny. Martigues his advise was to destroy all the country near to Leith by fire and sword, that so the desolateness of the country and the want of necessaries might compel the Scots to raise the siege. But if that counsel had took effect, many peaceable persons, poor besides, and for the most Papists too, would have been destroy’d and the besieged would have had no benefit neither, for, the sea being open, provisions might easily have been brought by ships from all the maritim places of Scotland and England into the leaguer [camp] of the besiegers, and the devastation of the land and soil would have redounded as much on the Papists as on the embracers of the True Religion. L’Abros was of opinion that all the Nobility of Scotland were to be cut off without distinction, and that a thousand French curiassiers were to be garison’d on their lands, who were to keep under the common sort as vassals. This his design was discover’d by some letters of his, intercepted, which were going for France, and ’tis scarce credible how the hatred against the French, begun on other causes, was increas’d thereby. As for the Bishop of Amiens, he would have had all those to be seiz’d on and put to death without pleading in their own defence whom he thought not so favourable to the Pope’s cause as he would have them; yea, all those who were not so forward to assist the French party as he expected, and he mightily blam’d the French souldiers for suffering those who were disaffected to their King to strut it openly up and down. One he particularly aimed at, viz., Mr. William Maitland, a noble and learned man, whom, because the Sorbonists could not refute by their reasons, the Bishop design’d to take off by the sword; yea, he upbraided the French souldiers for permitting him to live, and advis’d them to kill him. Which he having notice of, took his opportunity to withdraw himself from the French, and so escap’d into the Scots camp.

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