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favourable terms to the queen. Sir William Murray of Tullibardine, who had been a partisan of uncommon violence, is said to have now changed his side from personal resentment to Moray. The confederates found means to open an intercourse with Mary, who issued a commission to the duke of Chastelherault, to be her lieutenant of the kingdom. Moray, not without suspicion, or perhaps information of the designs formed against him, again visited his sister at Lochleven. offered to quiet their apprehensions from Bothwell by a marriage, and proposed to wed George Douglas, a handsome stripling about eighteen years of age, for whom she spread her snares. He was the younger son of Lady Lochleven and consequently Moray's half-brother. But that nobleman evaded her proposal, and contented himself with the observation, that he was of too humble a rank for her consort, and that the states of the realm could alone determine such high matters. The regent expressed no wonder at this mention of a fourth husband, so soon after she had shown a resolution to cling to Bothwell;
a determination, of which the obstinacy was evinced by the strange pretext of honour under which she sought to hide it from Throgmorton. He might have suspected that, independently of her reasons of policy for gaining Douglas, she might have honoured that youth by casting upon him one of her vagrant glances of momentary preference. This proposal of marriage to Douglas was chiefly contrived to hide the design of escape really entertained. On the 25th of March she dressed herself in the clothes of her laundress, who had come from the adjacent village, and carrying with her a basket of linen to be washed, she covered her face with "a muffler," and entered into the boat which had carried the laundress to the island. One of the watermen, with rough gallantry, tried to lift up the muffler, saying gaily,- Let us see what manner of dame this is." As she put up her hand to resist him, their wonder and their suspicion were awakened by its whiteness and delicacy. They refused to land her at Kinross, where
George Douglas, with Semple and Beaton waited for her. But they were so faithful and compassionate as to keep her secret. They relanded her on the island. The plan must, however, have been soon discovered, for sir William Drury gives an account of it from Berwick, on the 3d of April to Cecil. * Yet, notwithstanding the failure of this attempt, it was repeated, with more success, on Sunday the 2d of May. On that evening, while lady Lochleven and her eldest son were at supper, William Douglas, a youth brought up in the castle, stole the keys. He opened the gates in order to let out the queen with one attendant, and he locked them on the outside to delay the pursuit. On their landing at Kinross from the wherry to which they trusted themselves, they were received with gladness by George Douglas, with lord Seaton, Mr. Hamilton, and Mr. Beaton, three of her constant and devoted adherents. She mounted her horse and did not slacken her gallop till she reached Niddry Castle †, the seat of lord Seaton, in West Lothian. After three hours' repose, she rode to Hamilton, where she was welcomed with joy, no longer dissembled, by a body of brilliant nobles, and a band of three thousand of their warlike followers. Her first act was to protest against the signatures extorted from her at Lochleven. The next was to require from Moray a renunciation of his illegal power. He was then holding a justice eyre at the neighbouring city of Glasgow.
Moray was attended only by his ordinary train, or by such armed men as were necessary to execute justice in a turbulent period. He was advised to fall back on Stirling, and to wait the reinforcements likely to arrive. But he was a man of resolute character: he understood the value of opening the contest with a bold front; and he dreaded the dispiriting effect of a retreat as more important than any military consideration of numbers in a war of which the event so much depended upon popular feeling. He considered the neighbourhood of * Keith, 569, &c.
the domains of Lenox, Glencairn, and Semple, as an advantage not to be lightly abandoned; and above all he relied on the protestant zeal of the presbyterian city of Glasgow, if they were assured of faithful aid, and animated by the example of fearless allies. His numbers at last did not exceed 4000 men. The queen's army, in a few days, increased to 6000, under the command of the earl of Argyle, the queen's lieutenant. Eloquent historians, both of the sixteenth and of the eighteenth century, have put in the mouths of the chiefs on both sides who assembled to deliberate on their movements those common-places which have been uttered in every age for or against caution or boldness. These topics, however, are seldom used in consultations respecting important measures, which are generally governed by the urgent necessities of the time, and by the minute circumstances of each particular case. The inaction of the queen's army for a time seemed to be rendered advisable by the departure of the earl of Huntly, who had gone to bring up his vassal tribes from the highlands, and of Ogilvie, who had repaired to his estates in the north with the like purpose. But if they decided for delay, it was evidently necessary to avoid giving the enemy an opportunity of forcing them to battle, which they might have guarded against, either by fortifying themselves in the advantageous position where they were quartered, or by a march towards Edinburgh, which would have concealed their retreat under specious appearances of advance. They apparently chose the least eligible of all plans, if their object was to avoid action. On the 13th of May, 1568, eleven days after the queen's escape from Lochleven, they marched from Hamilton towards Dumbarton, where it was said that their object was to leave the queen safely lodged in the castle, that they might be at liberty to direct their movements according to the circumstances of policy or of war. But by this march they put into the hands of their vigilant adversary, who was encamped in the flank of their line of advance, the choice of attack or delay,
with that of the time and place of fight. He did not neglect the opportunity. At this most critical moment the queen, fearful of being enthralled by the house of Hamilton, and dreading the imposition of one of them upon her as a husband, most unseasonably began a clandestine negotiation with the adverse chiefs, that her dependence might be lightened by her preserving some influence over both parties. When the army was on its march, Argyle was inopportunely attacked by a fit of apoplexy, a circumstance peculiarly injurious in an army where the attachment of friends and followers to a chief was the main bond of authority and discipline. Both parties struggled to obtain possession of a rising ground above the village of Langside. Moray succeeded. He appointed Kirkaldy of Grange, a soldier grown old in continental war, where he earned the esteem of the chief captains of his age, to ride round his line with a small detachment, and aid or animate as the state of things might require. The veteran, having surveyed the ground, caused each of his horsemen to take up a foot soldier behind him, and galloped through a narrow lane to the top of Langside hill, at the highest point of which lane he posted his detachment of infantry with their culverines, covered by cottages and gardens. The queen's army, disappointed in their first object, took post on a lower rising ground immediately adjoining. Some successes were for a short time gained by both parties in their turn. The queen's vanguard, on their march along a lane of forty feet broad, were severely annoyed by the regent's arquebusiers; and on emerging from the lane on the north-east end of the village of Langside, they were received by his vanguard, armed with spears of unusual length, and a conflict took place, in which, for about half an hour, neither party gained much advantage. In about a quarter of an hour after this equal combat, the queen's party began to waver and suddenly took to flight. Macfarlane, the chief of an ancient tribe in the neighbouring country of Lenox, brought 200 of his clansmen to this battle. Calderwood
had been informed that this chief had at one time withdrawn with his followers, and was called back only by the appearance of victory and hope of booty. The accounts sent to England, more just or generous to the mountaineer, ascribe a great share in the event to him. The two statements are not, perhaps, irreconcilable. The most interesting particular of this battle was the unusual clemency of the victor. "The regent," says sir James Melville*, " cried out to save and not to kill. The only slaughter was at the lane head, from the fire of the soldiers whom Kirkaldy had planted there.” "The regent sent horsemen all round with a command to spare the men."+- "At the moment when the enemy gave way, the earl of Moray willed and required his men to spare bloodshed."+ His exertions were so successful that, though the pursuit was long continued, the whole number killed on the side of the queen did not exceed 200. His mercy did not arise from the dread of retaliation, for he lost no more than two men ; and the accuracy of that enumeration is proved by the remarkable circumstance that the name of one of them, though both were privates, is still preserved.
There are few examples, in the civil dissensions of times accounted the most humane, of so tender a regard to human life as was thus shown by Moray to those among his countrymen who most fiercely sought his destruction.
Mary was so placed as to view from her seat on horseback the chief incidents of an action which decided her fate. Though Melville tells us that she then, for the first time, lost her courage, and abandoned herself to fear, the general temper of that high-minded princess warrants a suspicion that he fell into the vulgar error of taking that for fear which was only a clear and quick perception of danger, without which it is hard
* Melville, 202.
Extract from Calderwood's MS. History. Keith, 479.
t Anonymous intelligence from Scotland. State Paper Office MSS. These authorities, from a comparison of which the narrative in the text has been formed, concur in bearing testimony to the anxious and active humanity of the regent.