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Book I.

THE death of the earl of Marr, left the road to the regency open to the ambition of the earl of Morton, who, supported by the interest of England, was elected to that high office without opposition, on the 24th day of November, A. D. 1572.*

At the time of Morton's accession to the regency, the queen's party was divided into two distinct bodies, those within the castle, and those without. The chiefs of the former were Kirkaldy of Grange, the most renowned warrior, and Maitland, younger of Lethington, the most skilful politician of the day; at the head of the latter, were the duke of Chatellerault, and the earl of Huntly, the two richest, and most powerful noblemen, the one in the south, and the other in the north

On the same day, Scotland lost one of her greatest benefactors, John Knox, at whose interment the new regent passed the well known eulogium : "There lies he who never feared the face of man," and never was eulogium better merited. Through a life of the most unwearied labour, and trying vicissitude, his intrepidity of soul remained unshaken, his constancy unmoved, and when all was dark around him, and every heart filled with dismay, his energetic eloquence imparted courage and ardour, similar to his own, into the bosoms of his fainting companions. His zeal equalled his courage, and both originated from an unfeigned exalted piety. He possessed an intuitive sagacity, which enabled him at once to perceive the best method for attaining his object, and that decision of character, which never allowed it to escape. In reproof he was perhaps severe, but he averred on his deathbed, that it was never the persons, but their vices, that were the objects of his dislike. The usual charges brought against him, are rudeness to his queen, barbarism to the monasteries and a gloomy moroseness in his general deportment; but



of Scotland. The strength of this faction, if united, and acting in concert, was such as would have easily enabled them to embarrass the government, especially, as a number of the king's party were by no means cordial in supporting the regent. Morton, therefore, resolved to treat with them separately, to receive only one of the divisions into favour, and by ruining the other, to render the whole faction incapable of disturbing his administration. As the influence of the Hamiltons and Gordons was most to be dreaded, and the extent of their estates presented the most tempting allurements, he first applied to Grange, and offered to renew the negotiations which the death of the last regent had broken off, but at the same time, intimated that it must be a separate treaty, with those in the castle alone.* Grange, however, refused to enter into any agreement, in which the whole of his friends were not comprehended, considering himself in honour bound, to do nothing to their detriment. In the meantime, Sir Henry Killigrew, the English ambassador, endeavoured to procure a reconciliation between all parties, now that a devoted partisan of England was elected chief of the government. A correspondence was immediately entered into, under his auspices, with Chatellerault and Huntly, and the truce was renewed with them. Grange, who refused to be included in the prolongation, as soon as the term agreed on had expired, recommenced cannonading the city, and in a night sally, set fire to

while Mary was his sovereign, and till her hands were contaminated with her husband's blood, his behaviour was always respectful, and at one period, when deceived by her dissimulation, even affectionate. Considering the monasteries as the strong holds of indolence and vice, he certainly did not lament their destruction, nor think it barbarous, when a nation was emerging from ignorance and superstition, to remove the temptations, however splendid, to a return. In his social intercourse, from the traits that remain, he was rather inclined to be cheerful, though the care and anxiety which ever pressed upon him, rendered his general deportment grave. That he possessed much natural humour, his history bears indubitable marks. He was no less anxious to secure the civil, than the religious liberty of his country, and that by the wis est and best of methods, securing the instruction, and the moral improvement of the people. His long and useful life, though often in peril from the "dag and dagger," was closed at last, by a peaceful and triumphant death. Melville, p. 236, 239.

the houses next the castle, during a strong westerly wind, when the whole tenements, from the foot of the rock to the Magdalen chapel, were destroyed. The estates, notwithstanding, met in the end of January, and passed several acts against papists, and those who still resisted the authority of the king.

When parliament broke up, a meeting took place at Perth, between the earl of Argyle, chancellor, the earl of Montrose, the abbot of Dunfermline, secretary, the lords Ruthven and Boyd, and Sir John Bellenden, justice-clerk, commissioners from the regent, the earl of Huntly for himself, and lord John Hamilton, commendatory of Aberbrothick, for the duke of Chatellerault, when, through the mediation of the English ambassador, a treaty was entered into, by which it was agreed, that both parties should profess and support the protestant religion, especially against the confederates of the council of Trent; that the queen's party should acknowledge the authority of the king, submit to the government of the regent, and declare all acts done by them since his majesty's coronation, illegal; that a general amnesty should be granted, and the parties on both sides restored to their estates and livings, and the heirs and successors of persons forfeited, and since dead, should be comprehended in the pacification, and also restored to their lands and possessions. The only exceptions from the pardon, were the murderers of the king and the two regents, the archbishop of Glasgow, the Scottish queen's ambassador in France, and the bishop of Ross, her ambassador in England, who were both under sentence of outlawry. But a time was stipulated, within which Grange, and these in the castle, might accede to the agree


* Sir James Melville asserts that Grange, after the others had agreed, of fered also to come in, or to accept of any reasonable conditions, but that the regent would not listen to any terms of accommodation.-—Memoirs, p. 240. As, however, the English ambassador, before setting out for Perth, had in vain attempted to induce Grange to submit, Bannatyne, p. 433, and Spots wood is express as to the offer after he returned, I feel rather inclined to the opinion of Dr. Robertson, that it was the governor's distrust of Morton, and his proud, unbending spirit, that occasioned the negotiation to be broken off; yet the testimony of Melville is explicit, and I can only reconcile his accounts with the accounts of other writers, and the state papers of the time, Brief

The English ambassador, in consequence, repaired to the castle, and having shown Kirkaldy the treaty, to which Hamilton and Huntly had agreed, he requested him also to accede. The earl of Rothes too, and lord Boyd, waited upon him, and pointing out the certain ruin which would attend resistance, entreated him to yield, but the governor, expecting assistance from abroad, refused to comply, and even if that should fail, he did not doubt of obtaining more favourable terms than his former associates had accepted. Nor was his resolution shaken, although at this time, his brother, who had returned from France with a supply of money, was betrayed into the hands of the regent, by Sir James Balfour, a wretch who had alternately served, and deceived both parties.

The Scots were never famed for the art of besieging, and the regent at this time, was totally destitute of the means of reducing a place of such strength as Edinburgh castle, defended by so skilful a captain. He therefore sent to the queen of England, to desire a supply of soldiers and cannon, which she readily granted, and Sir William Drury, proceeded from Berwick on this service, in April, with a body of troops, and a train of artillery.

In order to prevent any future misunderstanding, the regent, previously to the march of the English, despatched lord Ruthven to arrange the conditions on which this aid should be afforded, and the manner in which the expedition should be conducted. The general of the English troops, and the Scottish commissioner, met in the church of Lamberton, at a short distance from the bounds of Berwick, and there agreed, that neither of the parties should singly enter into any arrangement with the besieged; that if the castle were taken by storm, all public property should be restored to the regent, but the other spoil should belong to the soldiers; that so far as consistent with the rules of war, the prisoners taken in the castle, should be tried by law, the regent acting by the advice of the queen of England; that the regent should furnish the English

declaration, &c. Bannatyne, p. 430. by supposing that Morton, acting upon his preconcerted plan, had dealt deceitfully both with the English ambassador and with Grange, or that Grange, after his interview with Sir J. Melville had allowed himself to be influenced by the intriguing spirit of Maitland.

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