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prehension as a tyrannical robber and murderer, who had killed his king, together with a letter written to him with the queen's own hand, complaining of her own lot, and that of her friends.* In consequence, it should seem, of this new discovery, he was sent to Copenhagen, whence, on the 28th day of December, he was sent prisoner to Malmö, in the Swedish province of Schonen or Scaniat, at that time part of the Danish dominions, where he died in a state of frenzy in 1576. He whom Throgmorton in 1560 had styled "the vainglorious, rash, and hazardous earl of Bothwell §," now closed his flagitious life by a death probably more horrible than that which public justice would have inflicted on him. The government of Scotland had claimed his surrender, that he might be brought to justice ||, and Elizabeth, as the ally of that government, seconded these requests. The answers were evasive.**
Moray arrived from France about the 11th of August, and on the 15th, accompanied by Athol, Morton, Glencairn, Mar, Semple, Lindsay, and Lethington, visited his sister in her prison at Lochleven. She burst into tears at seeing him, and drew him aside from his companions; and from his account to Throgmorton †† of their secret conversation, it appears that he, who had then read the intercepted letters, and received exact information of all that had passed, was unable to resume that familiar frankness which was wont to prevail in their interviews. In a second interview, after supper, he plainly, and without disguise, discovered his opinion of her misgovernment, and freely laid before her the disorders which touched her honour and conscience. "Sometimes the queen wept bitterly, sometimes she acknowledged her misgovernment; some things she did confess plainly, some things she did excuse, some things *From the Danish commissioners' report of Bothwell's examination. Id. Appendix, p. xxvii. Les Affaires du Comte de Bothwell, Appendix, p. xli.
† Thuan. Hist.
By letters dated 31st Sept.
In a letter to Elizabeth of 28th Nov.
In 1569, 1570, and 1571. Laing, ii. 323-340. ** Ibid.
++ Throgmorton to Elizabeth, 20th Aug. 1567. Keith, 444.
she did extenuate. In conclusion, he left her nothing save God's mercy." Next morning, "he used some words of consolation, saying that he would assure her of her life, and, as much as in him lay, of the preservation of her honour. As for liberty it lay not in his power, neither was it good for her to seek it, nor presently to have it. Whereupon she took him in her arms and
Nor was this first impulse of her feelings unwarranted by reason. It became a brother to awaken her to a sense of her misdeeds, and it was the part of an adviser to discover to her the opinion entertained by all Europe of them. At that moment nothing could have been more dangerous to her than liberty. He appears never to have countenanced designs against her life; and he laboured with difficulty to spare her good name, until he was driven from that course by the duties of the supreme magistracy, and by the safety of the protestant party, of whom he was the chosen leader. "You will be put in peril," he said to her, "by attempts to escape; by practices against the quiet of the realm, and the authority of your son; by your exciting France or England to war against Scotland; and by your own persisting in the inordinate affection with the earl of Bothwell. You should show a disposition to detest your former life, to adopt a more modest behaviour, and to make it appear that you abhor the murder of your husband, and mislike your former life with Bothwell."* Mary, profuse in friendly professions, entreated Moray to accept the government. On the 22d of August, he was proclaimed regent of Scotland by order of the privy council. The proclamation professedly took for its basis the resignation of the crown, and the commission of regency executed by the queen; with somewhat of that politic regard for words and forms which was employed, perhaps excusably, in England, before and after, to give the colour of legality to a revolution. The governments of England and France, desirous of
* Keith, 446.
avoiding the exposure of Mary's faults, and of restoring her to some decent appearances of authority, dreading the example of rebellion, and jealous of whatever touched the personal safety of princes, which seldom survives the outward show of their dignity, endeavoured to compose the Scotch disorders by expedients not offensive to moderate men of either party. Throgmorton, the English minister, and Lignerolles, the French ambassador, represented the necessity of enlarging the queen, and urgently desired to be admitted into her presence. They were told, in answer, that it had been found necessary to make an order that no foreigner should see her majesty till the apprehension of Bothwell; and that until that event her enlargement could not be taken into consideration.* In the discussions which occurred at this critical juncture, Lethington signalised his great powers of expression and insinuation, and spoke with as much eloquence as could be reconciled with the quiet of a diplomatic conversation: "We are far," said he, "from meaning any harm to the queen. But at present she is no more to be satisfied than a sick person in an extreme disease is to be indulged in his inordinate appetites. We have been hitherto content to be called by foreign princes, and especially by the queen of England, traitors and rebels, ungrateful and cruel: all which we suffer, because we will not justify ourselves by proceeding in what might touch our sovereign's honour. But if this defamatory language should threaten to oppress us, we shall be compelled to deal otherwise with our queen than we intend, or than our neighbouring princes desire. We would rather endure the fortune of a war with you than set our queen at liberty in her present mood, when she is resolved to retain and strengthen Bothwell, to hazard the life of her son, and to confiscate the estates of the nobility." Throgmorton then appealed to Moray, who, having been abroad, was not responsible for the revolt and deposition. Moray answered,· "Sir Nicholas, I think you have heard reason from the laird * Throgmorton to Elizabeth, 20th Aug. as above.
of Lethington. Though I was not here at the lords'. doings, I must support them; and having taken on me the burden of the regency, which I should gladly have eschewed, I mean to employ my life in defence of that act, and will either reduce the nation under the king's authority, or it shall cost me my life."*
Elizabeth appears to have been at this moment on the brink of a rupture with her allies in Scotland. She proposed to the French government that, as open hostilities might endanger the life of Mary, England and France should interdict all traffic with Scotch rebels and their abettors.+ Cecil informed the English minister at Paris of his mistress's solicitude to avert the example of regicide, in terms so earnest as to indicate a compassionate regard to the personal safety of her kinswoman. "No counsel," Cecil complains, can stay her majesty from manifesting her misliking of the proceedings against the queen of Scots, though I think the French may and will catch the lords, and make profit of them, to the disadvantage of England."‡ Eighteen months afterwards, she claims the merit of having resisted, for Mary's sake, the counsel of politicians, in a letter to that princess herself, with little delicacy indeed, but with considerable appearance of sincerity. "How void was I of regard to the designs against my crown, which the world had seen attempted by you, and to the security which might ensue to the state by your death; when I, finding your calamity to be so great, that you were at the pit's brink to have miserably lost your life, did not only entreat for your preservation, but so threatened some that were irritated against you, that I may say I was the principal cause of saving you."§ The English queen, probably with
* Throgmorton to Elizabeth, 22d Aug. Keith, 448.
Elizabeth to Norris at Paris, 27th Sept. 1567. Keith, 462.
Cecil to Norris, 19th Aug. 1567. Cabala, 129.; and on the 3d of September he informs the same ambassador,-" Her majesty is still offended with the lords for the queen. The example moveth her."- Ibid. 130.
Elizabeth to Mary, 20th Feb. 1569-70. Robertson, App. xviii. At the same time Elizabeth instructed sir H. Norris to represent to the king and queen-mother of France, that "when the queen of Scots was conducted from the field of battle to a place of restraint, where she refused to renounce
no farther fixed intention than that of deterring the Scottish chiefs from offering violence to their sovereign, opened a negotiation with that portion of the nobility daily growing stronger, who were manifestly preparing to resist the regent.' It is evident from the tone of satisfaction in which Cecil soon after speaks of Moray's government, that Elizabeth was soon obliged to be content with his assurance that he would save the life of his sister, and that all farther attempts would be big with peril to that unfortunate princess. She soon withdrew from her advances to the confederates: but they persevered. The house of Hamilton, with their powerful connections and numerous followers, constituted their main strength. That illustrious family, declared by parliament to be next in the order of royal succession to Mary and her issue, between whom and the throne now stood nobody but a feeble infant, were impatient of the rule of a subject, and deemed it a proof of exemplary moderation that their ambition was bounded by the regency. To overthrow Moray, they coalesced with men of all opinions. The bishops, the great abbots, the Roman catholic lords, and all who were attached to the queen, either by gratitude or loyalty, including also those who were recalled to her cause by compassion, or moved by fear of confusion, flocked to Hamilton, and professed a determination to atone for their rebellion. The defection of the earl of Argyle from the protestants is ascribed by some to his descent from the Hamiltons by his mother, who was a daughter of that great family. Lethington, who, though he had connived at the king's murder, was a man of mild disposition, had been estranged from his old associates, by their refusal to grant
the said murderer, while she was thereby in present danger to have her life taken from her by the fury of the nation, as she well knoweth, we, by speedy messages, and other earnest means used to those who were most irritated against her, saved her life." Digges' Complete Ambassador, 14. The book, absurdly so entitled, ought to have been called "Walsingham's Correspondence," which forms the greatest part of its valuable contents.
Elizabeth to Throgmorton, 29th Aug 1567. Keith, 441. "Let the Hamiltons understand that we will allow their proceedings for the relief of their sovereign, and will do whatever is reasonable for the queen our sister."