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CH A P. before her for their conduct in parliament. And
sir Walter Mildmay endeavoured to make the house sensible of her majesty's goodness in so gently remitting the indignation which she might justly conceive at the temerity of their member: But he informed them, that they had not the liberty of speaking what and of whom they pleased; and that indiscreet freedoms used in that house had, both in the present and foregoing ages, met with a proper chastisement.
He warned them, therefore, not to abuse farther the queen's clemency; lest she be constrained, contrary to her inclination, to turn an unsuccessful lenity into a necessary severity."
The behaviour of the two houses was, in every other respect, equally tame and submissive. Instead of a bill, which was at first introduced, for the reformation of the church, they were contented to present a petition to her majesty for that purpose: And when she told them that she would give orders to her bishops to amend all abuses, and if they were negligent, she would herself, by her supreme power and authority over the church, give such redress as would entirely satisfy the nation; the parliament willingly acquiesced in this sovereign and peremptory decision."
Though the commons shewed so little spirit in opposing the authority of the crown, they maintained, this session, their dignity against an encroachment of the peers, and would not agree to a conference which, they thought, was demanded of them in an irregular manner. They acknowledged, however, with all humbleness (such is their expression), the superiority of the lords : They only refused to give that house any reason for their proceedings ; and asserted, that where they altered a bill sent them by the peers, it belonged to them to desire a conference, not to the upper house to require it.
THE [ D'Ewes, p. 259. 8 Ibid. p. 252.
h Ibid. p. 257. i Ibid. p. 263.
The commons granted an aid of one subsidy and CHA P. two fifteenths. Mildmay, in order to satisfy the house concerning the reasonableness of this grant, entered into a detail of the queen's past expences in supporting the government, and of the increasing charges of the crown, from the daily increase in the price of all commodities. He did not, however, forget to admonish them, that they were to regard this detail as the pure effect of the queen's condescension, since she was not bound to give them any account how she employed her treasure."
I D'Ewes, p. 246.
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CHAP. THE greatest and most absolute security that
Elizabeth enjoyed during her whole reign, never exempted her from vigilance and attention; but the scene began now to be more overcast, and dangers gradually multiplied on her from more than one quarter.
The earl of Morton had hitherto retained Scotfand in strict alliance with the queen, and had also restored domestic tranquillity to that kingdom: But it was not to be expected that the factitious and legal authority of a regent would long maintain itself in a country unacquainted with law and order ; where even the natural dominion of hereditary princes so often met with opposition and control.
The nobility began anew to break into factions: The people were disgusted with some instances of Morton's avarice: And the clergy, who complained of farther encroachments on their narrow revenue, joined and increased the discontent of the other orders. The regent was sensible of his dangerous situation : and having dropped some peevish expressions, as if he were willing or desirous to resign, the noblemen of the opposite party, favourites of the young king, laid hold of this concession, and required that de
mission which he seemed so frankly to offer them. CH A P. James was at this time but eleven years of age; yet Morton, having secured himelf, as he imagined, by 1580. a general pardon, resigned his authority into the hands of the king, who pretended to conduct, in his own name, the administration of the kingdom. The regent reired from the government; and seemed to employ himself entirely in the care of his domestic affairs; but, either tired with this tranquillity, which appeared insipid after the agitations of ambition, or thinking it time to throw off dissimulation, he came again to court; acquired an ascendant in the council; and, though he resumed not the title of regent, governed with the same authority as before. The opposite party, after holding separate conventions, took to arms, on pretence of delivering their prince from captivity, and restoring him to the free exercise of his government: Queen Elizabeth interposed by her ambassador, sir Robert Bowes, and mediated an agreement between the factions: Morton kept possession of the government; but his enemies were numerous and vigilant; and his authority seemed to become every day more precarious.
The count d’Aubigney, of the house of Lenox, cousin-german to the king's father, had been born and educated in France ; and, being a young man of good address and a sweet disposition, he appeared to the duke of Guise a proper instrument for detaching James from the English interest, and connecting him with his mother and her relations. He no sooner appeared at Stirling, where James resided, than he acquired the affections of the young monarch; and, joining his interest with those of James Stuart, of the house of Ochiltree, a man of profligate manners, who had acquired the king's favour, he employed himself, under the appearance of play and amusement, in instilling into the tender mind of the prince new sentiments of politics and government. He re
CHA P. presented to him the injustice which had been done
to Mary in her deposition, and made him entertain 1580. thoughts either of resigning the crown into her
hands, or of associating her with him in the administration.' Elizabeth, alarmed at the danger which might ensue from the prevalence of this interest in Scotland, sent anew sir Bobert Bowes to Stirling ; and, accusing d'Aubigney, now created earl of Lenox, of an attachment to the French, warned Jamies against entertaining such suspicious and dangerous connections. The king excused himself, by sir Alexander Hume, his ambassador; and Lenox, finding that the queen had openly declared against him, was farther confirmed in his intentions of overturning the English interest, and particularly of ruining Morton, who was regarded as the head of it. That nobleman was arrested in council, accused as an accomplice in the late king's murder, committed to prison, brought to trial, and condemned to suffer as a traitor. He confessed that Bothwel had communicated to him the design, had pleaded Mary's consent, and had desired his concurrence; but he denied that he himself had ever expressed any approbation of the crime; and, in excuse for his concealing it, he alleged the danger of revealing the secret, either to Henry, who had no resolution nor constancy, or to Mary, who appeared to be an accomplice in the murder." Sir Thomas Randolph was sent by the queen to intercede in favour of Morton; and that ambassador, not content with discharging this duty of his function, engaged, by his persuasion, the earls of Argyle, Montrose, Angus, Marre, and Glencarne, to enter into a confederacy for protecting, even by force of arms, the life of the prisoner. The more to overawe that nobleman's enemies, Elizabeth ordered forces to be
assembled I Digges, p. 412. 428. Melvil, p. 130. m Spotswood, p. 309. * Ibid. p. 314. Crawford, p. 333, Moyse's Memoirs, p. 54,