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tion, summoned the chiefs of the protestant party to attend a council at Stirling, and denounced all those as rebels who failed to appear. This violent and imprudent measure enraged the people, and determined them to oppose the regent's authority by force of arms, and to proceed to extremity against the clergy of the established church.


The celebrated John Knox arrived at this time from Geneva, where he had imbibed the doctrines of Calvin, of which his natural disposition fitted him to be a most zealous and intrepid promoter. This reformer was possessed of a very considerable share of learning, and of uncommon acuteness of understanding. He was a man of rigid virtue, and of a very disinterested spirit; but his maxims (as Dr. Robertson remarks) were too severe, and the impetuosity of his temper was excessive. eloquence was fitted to rouse and to inflame. His first public appearance was at Perth, where, in a very animated sermon, he wrought up the minds of his audience to such a pitch of fury, that they broke down the walls of the church, overturned the altars, destroyed the images, and almost tore the priests to pieces. The example was contagious, and the same scenes were exhibited in different quarters of the kingdom. The protestant party soon after took up arms. They besieged and took the towns of Perth and Stirling, and thence proceeded, in martial array, to Edinburgh, where they found the people animated with the same zeal, and eagerly flocking to the banner of reformation. Mary of Guise, sensible of her inability to withstand this increasing torrent, took a very impolitic step. She brought over a French

army to subdue her subjects of Scotland; and they, with whom the motive of religious zeal far outweighed every other consideration, solicited the aid and succour of the protestant queen of Englend. Elizabeth acquiesced with the utmost cheerfulness in this demand, which coincided so well with her own views and interest. She despatched an army and fleet to their assistance. The French and the catholic Scots were defeated, and the party lost its head by the death of the queen-regent. A capitulation ensued, and a treaty was signed at Edinburgh, in which the political talents of Elizabeth appeared in their strongest point of view. It was stipulated that the French should instantly evacuate Scotland; that the king and queen of France and Scotland should give up all pretensions to the crown of England; that further satisfaction should be made to Elizabeth for the injury already done her in that particular; and that the Scots might the more readily accede to these articles, which hitherto seemed to regard the interest of England alone, it was, by way of soothing them, stipulated that none but natives should be put into any office in Scotland. Thus the politic Elizabeth quelled the disorders of that kingdom by the same measure which secured the stability of her own throne, and gave her the highest influence and authority over the Scottish nation.

The reformed religion now happily obtained a full settlement in Scotland. The parliament ratified a confession of faith agreeable to the new doctrines, passed a law against the worship of the mass, and abolished it throughout the kingdom

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under the most rigorous penalties. jurisdiction was solemnly renounced, and the presbyterian form of discipline was everywhere adopted in place of the catholic.

Matters were in this situation when the young Mary, upon the death of her mother and her husband Francis, was desirous of returning to Scotland to take possession of the throne. Anxiously wishing to cultivate the friendship of Elizabeth, she had laid aside the arms and titles which had given that queen so much offence, and she now asked leave to pass through England, probably in the view of having a personal interview, which might lay the foundation of a mutual good understanding. This request Elizabeth refused, unless on the condition of Mary's ratifying the whole articles of the late treaty. This was not all; she equipped a fleet to intercept and take her prisoner on her This danger, however, Mary escaped, and landed safely in her own dominions.


Mary was zealously attached to the catholic religion, the faith of her ancestors, and this attachment was the primary cause of the greatest of her misfortunes; she found herself regarded as an enemy by all the protestants, the bulk of her subjects, who, on the other hand, regarded her enemy Elizabeth as their patroness and defender. That princess had very early, and before the arrival of Mary in Scotland, taken the most artful measures to secure to herself the management of this kingdom; she had her minister Randolph as a resident in Edinburgh, who had cultivated a perfect good understanding with the earl of Murray, (the bastard-brother of Mary) the earl of Mor

ton, and the secretary Maitland of Lethington ;and these three were the very persons on whom the young queen, harbouring no suspicions, bestowed, upon her first arrival in her kingdom, the utmost confidence. The views of the ambitious Murray aimed at nothing less than his sister's crown; and still, as new obstacles presented themselves in the way of this criminal ambition, his attempts became, in proportion, more daring and more flagitious.

The first obstacle which opposed the ambition of Murray was the queen's marriage with her cousin Henry, lord Darnley, the son of the earl of Lenox, who bore likewise the same relation to the queen of England—a match, therefore, in every view, proper and adequate, as it connected the only contending claims to that kingdom after the death of Elizabeth.

Elizabeth, who had the weakness to be jealous of these pretensions, was not disposed to be pleased with any matrimonial connexion which could have been formed by her rival Mary. It was, therefore, with the entire approbation of her minister Randolph, and her secretary Cecil, that the earl of Murray formed his first plot for the removal of Darnley, the imprisonment of Mary, and the taking into his own hands the government of Scotland. A conspiracy was formed by Murray to seize the persons of the queen and Darnley. It was discovered by Mary, who, with the assistance of the earl of Athol, and a few troops hastily collected, compelled the traitor and his associates to retire for a while till they had raised sufficient

force to rise in open rebellion. They were subdued, however, and Murray fled for shelter into the dominions of Elizabeth. A few of the nobility, whom Murray at first had gained over to his treasonable designs, now returned to their allegiance, and publicly avowed that the intention of the conspiracy had been to put Darnley to death, to imprison the queen, and to usurp the government. From this period, the same plan, though checked at first, was unremittingly pursued, till it was at length accomplished.

The consort of Mary made an ill return to her affections; he was a weak man, an abandoned profligate, and addicted to the meanest of vices. Pleased as she had been at first with his person and external accomplishments, it was impossible that her affection should not at length have given place to disgust at a character so worthless and despicable; and Darnley, enraged at her increasing coldness, was taught to believe that he was supplanted in the queen's affections by the arts and insinuations of a favourite-a despicable one indeed--the musician Rizzio, whom Mary had promoted to the office of her secretary. Murray, at this time at a distance, had his friends Morton and Lethington at court, who had cautiously avoided having an active share in the late conspiracy. A parliament was called, in which it was expected that Murray and his associates were to be attainted for treason; but to prevent this blow, and likewise to follow out the main scheme, a new plot was devised by Morton and Lethington, of which the weak and vicious Darnley was made an active

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