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XXXIX.

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Mary's commissioners had used every expe-CHAPE dient to ward this blow which they saw coming upon them, and against which, it appears, they were not provided with any proper defence. As soon as Murray opened his charge, they endeavoured to turn the conference from an inquiry into a negotiation; and though informed by the English commissioners that nothing could be more dishonourable for their mistress, than to enter into a treaty with such undutiful subjects, before she had justified herself from those enormous imputations which had been thrown upon her, they still insisted that Elizabeth should settle terms of accommodation be- i tween Mary and her enemies in Scotland.m They maintained that, till their mistress had given in her answer to Murray's charge, his proofs could neither be called for nor produced :" And finding that the English commissioners were still determined to proceed in the method which had been projected, they finally broke off the conferences, and never would make any reply. These papers, at least translations of them, have since been published. The objections made to their authenticity are, in general, of small force: But were they ever so specious, they cannot now be hearkened to; since Mary, at the time when the truth could have been fully cleared, did, in effect, ratify the evidence against her, by recoiling from the inquiry at the very critical moment, and refusing to give an answer to the accusation of her enemies.

But Elizabeth, though she had seen enough for her own satisfaction, was determined that the most eminent persons of her court should also be acquainted with these transactions, and should be convinced of the equity of her proceedings. She ordered her privy-council to bu assembled; and, that

she

m Anderson, vol. iv. part 2. p. 135. 139. Goodall, vol. ii.

Anderson, vol. iv. part 2. p. 139. 145. Goodall, vol. ii.

p. 228. • See note [L] at the end of the volume.

n

p. 224.

XXXIX.

CHA P. she might render the matter more solemn and au

thentic, she summoned, along with them, the earls 1568. of Northumberland, Westmoreland, Shrewsbury,

Worcester, Huntingdon, and Warwic. All the proceedings of the English commissioners were read to them: The evidences produced by Murray were perused: A great number of letters written by Mary to Elizabeth were laid before them, and the hand-writing compared with that of the letters delivered in by the regent: The refusal of the queen of Scots' commissioners to make any reply, was related : And on the whole, Elizabeth told them, that as she had from the first thought it improper that Mary, after such horrid crimes were imputed to her, should be admitted to her presence before she had, in some measure, justified herself from the charge; so now, when her guilt was confirmed by so many evidences, and all answer refused, she must, for her part, persevere more steadily in that resolution.P Elizabeth next called in the queen of Scots' commissioners, and, after observing that she deemed it much more decent for their mistress to continue the conferences, than to require the liberty of justifying herself in person, she told them, that Mary might either send her reply by a person whom she trusted, or deliver it herself to some English nobleman, whom Elizabeth should appoint to wait upon her: But as to her resolution of making no reply at all, she must regard it as the strongest confession of guilt; nor could they ever be deemed her friends who advised her to that method of

proceeding. These topics she enforced still more strongly in a letter which she wrote to Mary herself."

The queen of Scots had no other subterfuge from these pressing remonstrances, than still to demand a personal interview with Elizabeth: A concession

which P Anderson, vol. iv. part 2. p. 170, &c. Goodall, vol. ii. p. 254.

9 Anderson, vol. iv. part 2. p. 179, &c. Goodall, vol. ii. p.

Anderson, vol. iv. part 2. p. 183. Goodall, vol. i. p. 269.

268.

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XXXIX.

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which, she was sensible, would never be granted ; CHAP: because Elizabeth knew that this expedient could decide nothing; because it brought matters to extremity, which that princess desired to avoid ; and because it had been refused from the beginning, even before the commencement of the conferences. In order to keep herself better in countenance, Mary thought of another device. Though the conferences were broken off, she ordered her commissioners to accuse the earl of Murray and his associates as the murderers of the king : But this accusation, coming so late, being extorted merely by a complaint of Murray's, and being unsupported by any proof, could only be regarded as an angry recrimination upon her enemy. She also desired to have copies of the papers given in by the regent; but as she still persisted in her resolution to make no reply before the English commissioners, this demand was finally refused her."

As Mary had thus put an end to the conferences, the regent expressed great impatience to return into Scotland; and he complained, that his enemies had taken advantage of his absence, and had thrown the whole government into confusion. Elizabeth therefore dismissed him; and granted him a loan of five thousand pounds to bear the charges of his journey.* During the conferences at York, the duke of Chatelrault arrived at London, in passing from France ; and as the queen knew that he was engaged in Mary's party, and had very plausible pretensions to the regency of the king of Scots, she thought proper to detain him till after Murray's departure. But notwithstanding these marks of favour, and some other assistance which she secretly gave this latter nobleman,"

she s Cabala, p. 157.

i Goodall, vol. ii. p. 280.
u See note [M] at the end of the volume. * Goodall, vol. ii.
P. 253. 283. 289. 310, 311. Haynes vol. i. p. 492.
[N] at the end of the volume.

Rymer, tom. xv. p. 677.
Y MS. in the Advocates' library. 'A. 3. 29. p. 128, 129. 130.
from Cott. Lib. Cal. c. 1.
VOL. v.

L

See note

X

XXXIX.

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CH A P.she'still declined acknowledging the young king, or

treating with Murray as regent of Scotland.

Orders were given for removing the queen of Scots from Bolton, a place surrounded with catholics, to Tutbury in the county of Stafford, where she was put under the custody of the earl of Shrewsbury. Elizabeth entertained hopes that this princess, discouraged by her misfortunes, and confounded by the late transactions, would be glad to secure a safe retreat from all the tempests with which she had been agitated; and she promised to bury every thing in oblivion, provided Mary would agree, either voluntarily to resign her crown, or to associate her son with her in the government; and the administration to remain, during his minority, in the hands of the earl of Murray.” But that high-spirited princess refused all treaty upon such terms, and declared that her last words should be those of a queen of Scotland. Besides many other reasons, she said, which fixed her in that resolution, she knew, that if, in the present emergence, she made such concessions, her submission would be universally deemed an acknowledgment of guilt, and would ratify all the calumnies of her enemies.a

Mary still insisted upon this alternative; either that Elizabeth should assist her in recovering her authority, or should give her liberty to retire into France, and make trial of the friendship of other princese: And, as she asserted that she had come voluntarily into England, invited by many former professions of amity, she thought that one or other of these requests could not, without the most extreme injustice, be refused her. Bat Elizabeth, sensible of the danger which attended both these proposals, was secretly resolved to detain her still a captive; and as her retreat into England had been little voluntary, her claim upon thequeen's generosity appeared much less urgent than she was willing to pretend. Neces

sity, 2 Goodall, val. ii. p. 295 a ih id, p. 301.

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sity, it was thought, would, to the prudent, justify CHAP. her detention: Her past misconduct would apologize for it to the equitable: And though it was foreseen, that compassion for Mary's situation, joined to her intrigues and insinuating behaviour, would, while she remained in England, excite the zeal of her friends, especially of the catholics, these inconveniencies were deemed much inferior to those which attended any other expedient. Elizabeth trusted also to her own address for eluding all these difficulties: She purposed to avoid breaking absolutely with the queen of Scots, to keep her always in hopes of an accommodation, to negotiate perpetually with her, and still to throw the blame of not coming to any conclusion, either on unforeseen accidents, or on the obstinacy and perverseness of others.

We come now to mention some English affairs which we left behind us, that we might not interrupt our narrative of the events in Scotland, which form so material a part of the present reign. The term fixed by the treaty of Cateau-Cambresis for the restitution of Calais expired in 1567; and Elizabeth, after making her demand at the gates of that city, sent sir Thomas Smith to Paris; and that minister, in conjunction with sir Henry Norris, her resident ambassador, enforced her pretensions. Conferences were held on that head, without coming to any conclusion satisfactory to the English. The chancellor, De l'Hospital, told the English ambassadors, that though France, by an article of the treaty, was obliged ro restore Calais on the expiration of eight years, there was another article of the same treaty, which now deprived Elizabeth of any right that could accrue to her by tlrat engagement: That it was agreed, if the English should, during the interval, commit hostilities upon France, ihey should instantly forfeit all claim to Calais ; and the taking possession of Havre and Dieppe, with whatever pretences that measure might be covered, was a plain violation of

L 2

the

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