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CHA P. youth of twenty, he had been employed by his
uncle, Dr. Wotton, ambassador in France during the reign of Mary, to ensnare the constable, Montmorency; and had not his purpose been frustrated by pure accident, his cunning had prevailed over all the caution and experience of that aged minister. It is no wonder that, after years had improved him in all the arts of deceit, he should gain an ascendant over a young prince of so open and unguarded a temper as James; especially when the queen’s recommendation prepared the way for his reception. He was admitted into all the pleasures of the king; made himself master of his secrets; and had so much the more authority with him in political transactions, as he did not seem to pay the least attention to these matters. The Scottish ministers, who observed the growing interest of this man, endeavoured to acquire his friendship; and scrupled not to sacrifice to his intrigues the most essential interests of their masters. Elizabeth's usual jealousies with regard to her heirs began now to be levelled against James ; and as that prince had attained the years proper for marriage, she was apprehensive lest, by being strengthened with children and alliances, he should acquire the greater interest and authority with her English subjects. She directed Wotton to form a secret concert with some Scottish noblemen, and to procure their promise that James, during three years, should not on any account be permitted to marry. In consequence of this view, they endeavoured to embroil him with the king of Denmark, who had sent ambassadors to Scotland on pretence of demanding restitution of the Orkneys, but really with a view of opening a proposal of marriage between James and his daugh
Wotton is said to have employed his intrigues to purposes still more dangerous. He formed, it is pretended, a conspiracy with some malcontents,
to seize the person of the king, and to deliver him CH A P. into the hands of Elizabeth, who would probably have denied all concurrence in the design, but would have been sure to retain him in perpetual thraldom if not captivity. The conspiracy was detected, and Wotton fled hastily from Scotland, without taking leave of the king."
James's situation obliged him to dissemble his resentment of this traitorous attempt, and his natural temper inclined him soon to forgive and forget it. The queen found no difficulty in renewing the negotiations for a strict alliance between Scotland and England; and, the more effectually to gain the prince's friendship, she granted him a pension equivalent to his claim on the inheritance of his grandmother, the countess of Lenox, lately deceased.? A league was formed between Elizabeth and James, for the mutual defence of their dominions, and of their religion, now menaced by the open conbination of all the catholic powers of Europe. It was stipulated, that if Elizabeth were invaded, James should aid her with a body of two thousand horse and five thousand foot; that Elizabeth, in a like case, should send to his assistance three thousand horse and six thousand foot; that the charge of these armies should be defrayed by the prince who demanded assistance; that if the invasion should be made upon England, within sixty miles of the frontiers of Scotland, this latter kingdom should march its whole force to the assistance of the former; and that the present league should supersede all former alliances of either state with any foreign kingdom, so far as religion was concerned.
By this league James secured himself against all attempts from abroad, opened a way for acquiring
* Ibid. p. 319.
y Melvil. 2 Spotswood, p. 351. Camden, p. 513. Rymer, tom. xv. p. 803.
CH A P. the confidence and affections of the English, and
might entertain some prospect of domestic tran1586. quillity, which, while he lived on bad terms with
Elizabeth, he could never expect long to enjoy. Besides the turbulent disposition and inveterate feuds of the nobility, ancient maladies of the Scottish government, the spirit of fanaticism had introduced a new disorder; so much the more dangerous as religion, when corrupted by false opinion, is not restrained by any rules of morality, and is even scarcely to be accounted for in its operations by any principles of ordinary conduct and policy. The insolence of the preachers, who triumphed in their dominion over the populace, had at this time reached an extreine height; and they carried their arrogance so far, not only against the king, but against the whole civil power, that they excommunicated the archbishop of St. Andrew's, because he had been active in parliament for promoting a law which restrained their seditious sermons : Nor could that prelate save himself by any expedient from this terrible sentence, but by renouncing all pretensions to ecclesiastical authority. One Gibson said in the pulpit, that captain James Stuart (meaning the late earl of Arran) and his wife Jezebel had been deemed the chief persecutors of the church; but it was now seen that the king himself was the great offender : And for this crime the preacher denounced against him the curse which fell on Jeroboam, that he should die childless, and be the last of his race."
The secretary Thirlstone, perceiving the king so much molested with ecclesiastical affairs, and with the refractory disposition of the clergy, advised him to leave them to their own courses: For that in a short time they would become so intolerable, that the people would rise against them, and drive them
b Spotswood, p. 315, 346.
© Ibid. p. 341,
out of the country. “ True,” replied the king: CHA P. “If I purposed to undo the church and religion,
your counsel were good: But my intention is to “ maintain both: Therefore cannot I suffer the
clergy to follow such a conduct as will in the “ end bring religion into contempt and derision.”
d Spotswood p. 348.
Zeal of the catholics-Babington's conspiracy—Mary
assents to the conspiracy—The conspirators seized and executed— Resolution to try the queen of Scots —The commissioners prevail on her to submit to the trial—The trial--Senience against Mary-Interposition of king James-Reasons for the execution of Mary—The execution-Mary's character --The queen's affected sorrow-Drake destroys the Spanish fleet at Cadiz—Philip projects the invasion of England—The invincible Armada-Preparations in England— The Armada arrives in the channel--Defeated— A parliament— Expedition against Portugal--Affairs of Scotland.
CHAP. THE dangers which arose from the character, THI
principles, and pretensions of the queen of 1586. Scots, had very early engaged Elizabeth to consult
in her treatment of that unfortunate princess, the dictates of jealousy and politics, rather than of friendship or generosity: Resentment of this usage had pushed Mary into enterprises which had nearly threatened the repose and authority of Elizabeth: The rigour and restraint, thence redoubled upon the captive queen, still impelled her to attempt greater extremities; and while her impatience of confinement, her revenge,' and her high spirit
e Digges, p. 139. Haynes, p. 607.
Sec note (T) at the end of the volume.