equal ease have quietly destroyed him in his cham- CHAP. ber or in the garden, without the general alarm of an explosion, which on no supposition could be deemed accidental; and which was certain to excite the most general indignation!! Amid the tumult of public feeling, in the morning, every tongue was busy to inquire into the probable authors. Suspicion and rumor ran in all directions; but gradually centered on the individual, who was really the guilty cause, and could not fix on him, without implicating her, who soon more visibly than ever connected him with her state and preference.


Sir William Cecil, with all his means of information from resident agents, could not at first gain satisfactory intelligence;" but at last referred it to Bothwell, with an implication of Mary. The immediate impression at Paris, even among the queen's friends there, who were more likely to have earlier and more intimate knowlege of the subject than the English statesman, was strongly unfavorable to her." Nor does the ambassador's mind seem unaf

Neither Nelson nor Paris directly prove that Mary participated in the crime; but some of the circumstances which they mention lead the mind to infer or to suspect, that if they have been correctly stated by these persons, she was not ignorant that it was intended to be committed.

On 20 Feb. Cecil wrote cautiously to sir Henry Norris, 'The most suspicion that I can hear is of the earl Bothwell; but yet I would not be the author of any such report, but only do mean to inform you as I hear.' Cabala, 125. He afterwards mentioned, 'The common speech toucheth the earls Bothwell and Huntley, who remain with the queen; but how true the accusations are, I will not take upon me to affirm.' ib. 126.

10 Cecil's dispatch to sir Henry, of 21 March, stated, 'The common fame in Scotland continueth upon the earl of Bothwell to be the principal murderer of the king; and the queen's name is not well spoken of.' Cab. 126.

"The archbishop of Glasgow in his letter to her from Paris, on 9 Mar. would naturally say as little as he could to avoid rousing her displeasure, and yet he ventured to pen this paragraph to her: The


BOOK fected by such ideas; for he returns to her emphatically her own words and pledge, to give a speedy disproof of such imputations, by inflicting exemplary punishment on the criminal actors in the tragedy.' He continues to point his expressions so forcibly, that we cannot avoid inferring, that he either believed her to have been concerned in it, or thought that all Europe would be of that opinion." This was the more remarkable, because his letter was written three weeks after he had received that account of the event in which she had told the tale in her own way, and had therefore furnished him with her own representation of it, to be circulated in the Parisian court. Yet her statement had not


second head of my last dispatch was the discourse shortly of the horrible, mischievous and strange enterprise, and excision done contrar the king's majesty. Of this deed, if I would write to you all that is spoken here; yea, that yourself is gretumlig and wrongously calumnit to be motif principal of the whole; and all done by your command. See his letter in Keith, pref. ix. We must suppose that he gives here the ideas of the first circles of Paris, and among these were the queen's own relations, for he would not have reported mere vulgar slanders to distress her.

12 I can conclude nothing but what your majesty writes to me yourself; that since it has pleased God to conserve you to take a rigorous vengeance thereof, that rather than it be not actually taken, it appears to me better in this world that ye had lost life and all. I ask your majesty pardon that I write so far; for I can hear nothing to your prejudice, but I mun constrainedly write the same, that all may come to your knowlege, for the better remedy may be put thereto.' Lett. ib.

13 He adds, Here it is needful that you forthwith shew now rather than ever before, the great virtue, magnanimity and constancy that God has granted you, by whose grace I hope ye shall overcome this most heavy envy and displeasure of the committing hereof; and conserve that reputation in all godliness we have conquest of long, which can no wise appear more clearly than that you do such justice, that the whole world may declare your innocence; and give testimony for ever of that treason that has committed so cruel and ungodly a murder; whereof there is so MUCH ill spoken, that I am constrained to ask your mercy, that neither can I or will I make the rehearsal thereof, which is ever odious. But, alas! madam! over all Europe this day, there is no purpose in head so frequent as of your majesty, and of the present state of your realm, which is in the most part interpreted sinisterly.' ib. Keith, ix.


prevented the conversation of a metropolis, where CHAP. her nearest relations predominated, from being unfriendly to her.1 It must have affected his mind, and the highest ranks in France, the more, because accounts, that some sudden plot of danger was known there at the end of January to be preparing to be put into execution at Edinburgh, had then come to his knowlege, and had been by him transmitted to her.1 The shocking truth which followed, so coincided with part of the previous reports, that no person of common sense could avoid believing it to have been a preconcerted villany."

14 It was on 11 February that the queen wrote to the archbishop. She thus mentions the catastrophe, The matter is horrible, and so strange as we believe the like was never heard of in any country.' She then mentions the circumstances quoted in note 3 of this chapter, and adds, It mon be done by force of powder, and appears to have been a myne. By whom it has been done, or in what manner, it appears not as yet. We doubt not but according to the diligence oure counsal has begun already to use, the certaintie of all shall be usid shortlie, and the same being discovered, which we know God will never suffer to be hid, we hope to punish the same with sic rigor as shall serve for example of this crueltie for ages to come. Whoever has taken this wicked enterprys in hand, we assure ourself it was dressed as well for us as for the king, for we lay the most part of all the last week in that same lodging, and was there accompanyit with the moist part of the lordis that are in the town, that same night; at midnight, and of very chance tarryed not all night, by reason of sum mask in the abbaye, but we believe it was not chance, but God, to put it in our hede. We depesch this bearer upon the sudden, and therefore write to you the mair shortlie. The rest of your letter we sal answer at mair laser, at tim four or five days by your owne servant. At Edinburgh, the 11th day of February 1567.' 1 Chal. 318–320.

15 On 27 Jan. he wrote from Paris to her: For none of the heads precedent, I thought to have dispatched expressly towards your majesty, if by the ambassador of Spain I had not been required thereunto; and specially to advertise you to take heed to yourself. I have heard some murmurings in likewise by others, that there be some surprise to be trafficked in your country; but he would never let me know of no particular, only assured me he had written to his master to know if by that way he can try any further, and that he was advertised and counselled to cause me haste towards you herewith. I would beseech your majesty to cause the captains of your guard to be diligent in their office.' Lett. Keith, pref. ix.

16 Bothwell and his party had also sent to Paris, the day before Mary,



The description made by the messenger of the news at Berwick on the third day after the transaction," stated the queen's visit to her husband that night,18 and described the sad incident," tho without glancing at the authors.20

Immediately after the general knowlege of the murder, a reward of two thousand pounds was published for the discovery of the murderers, which was answered six days afterwards, by an anonymous declaration of them." A new proclamation,

to the queen-mother, their account written the same day of the murder. In this they coolly state, that about two hours after midnight the king was blown up; of a hall, two chambers, a cabinet and wardrobe, nothing remained that was not carried away or reduced to powder; not only the roof and the floor, but even the walls to the foundation, so that not a stone remained on a stone. The authors of this wickedness had nearly destroyed the queen and most of the nobles now in her suit, who had been with the king in his chamber till near midnight; and her majesty had nearly remained to lodge there all night. We are making inquiries, and hope to discover who perpetrated it.' Fifteen persons signed this, among whom are, Bothwell, Huntley, Maitland, Argyle, and the archbishop of St. Andrew's. Laing's Hist. v. 2. p. 95.

17 By the sieur de Clernault, who brought the tidings to Berwick on 12th February. Mr. Chalmers has printed it from the State Paper Office, v. 2. p. 445.


She came to see him on Sunday evening, the ninth of this month, about seven o'clock, with all the chief lords of her court; and after having been two or three hours with him, she withdrew, to go to the marriage of one of her gentlemen, as she had promised.' Clern. p.445.

19 About two o'clock after midnight, a very great noise was heard, as if a volley of 25 or 30 cannon had been fired, so that every one was roused; and the said lady having sent to know whence it came, they followed along all the city, and came at last to the king's lodging, which they found entirely razed. Then searching where he could be, they found him sixty or eighty paces off, dead, and stretched out in a garden, also a valet de chambre and a young page.' Clern. ib.

20 The thing being thus reported to her, we may conceive in what pain and agony she was found in. It was clearly perceived that this enterprise proceeded from a mine under the earth; but she has not found, and still less knows, who is the author of it.' Clern. ib.

21 This bold answer was set up privily on the Tolbooth door, 16th Feb. It declared, I affirm that the committers of it were the earl Bothwell, Mr. James Balfour, the parson of Flesk, M. David Chalmers; Black M. John Spers, who was principal deviser of the murder. The queen assenting there to through the persuasion ofthe earl




the same day, offered half the sum to 'the setter CHAP. of the bill, to come and avow it.' The next morning this was replied to, with allusions to more persons;23 but of this last defiance the government chose to take no notice.2



We turn naturally to consider Mary's conduct after such a catastrophe. We find her, six days after, signing an order for her mourning,25 and on the following evening resting at lord Seaton's, on her road to Dunbar. She travelled accompanied by Bothwell, six other noblemen, and a train of an hundred people. After remaining eighteen days at Dunbar, she returned to Edinburgh, and then admitted the English envoy, after her dinner with Murray," to an audience, which appears from his description to have been rather theatrically arranged. The scenery was so shrouded, that her countenance was invisible; but the tones of her voice were heard, and they breathed the accents of sadness, a month after the occurrence of their melancholy cause; Bothwell, and the witchcraft of the lady Buccleugh.' Buchan. Detect. 2 And. 156; and Cecil's letter in Cabala. p. 126. 22 Ib.

23 I desire the money to be consigned into one evenly man's hand, and I shall compear on Sunday next with foursome with me, and subscribe my first letter and abide thereat. Farther, I desire that Francis, Bastiane, and Joseph the queen's goldsmith, be stayed; and I shall declare what every man did in particular with their accomplices.' ib. 157. 24 Ib. 157.



25 Mr. Chalmers' industry has traced out this warrant, subscribed with our hand at Edinburgh, the 15th February,' for ten ells and an half of serge of Florence, to be a gown, cloak, mulis, and schuine; seventeen ells and a half of silk camlet, to be a velicotte and a vasquine; and three ells of Ormais taffety to line the bodies and sleeves, &c.' Vol. 1. p. 320.

Drury's lett. from Berwick, 17 Feb. 1 Chal. 322.


"Where he met Huntley, Argyle, Bothwell, and Maitland. Killigrew's despatch of 8th March, in Chalmers, p. 324.

28I had no audience before this day. I found the queen's majesty in a dark chamber, so as I could not see her face; but by her words she seemed very doleful, and did accept my sovereign's letters and message in very thankful manner.' Lett. 8th March. Chalm. ib.

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