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Mary's Marriage Personal Appearance And Popularity

Mary The Queen Dauphiness The Queen And The Queen Dowager Of France

Occurrences Immediately Preceding Darnley's Death

An Examination Of The Letters Sonnets And Other Writings Adduced In Evidence Against Mary Queen Of Scots

A Tangle

The Little Waif

Rizzio

The Fall Of Bothwell

Mary's Birth And Subsequent Residence At The French Court

Mary's Escape From Lochleven And The Battle Of Langside



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Loch Leven Castle

The Ebbing Well

The Love Token

Queen Mary's Presence Chamber

My Lady's Remorse

Wingfield Manor

The Huckstering Woman

A Lioness At Bay

The Rebellion Of The Nobles The Meeting At Carberry Hill And Its Consequences

Mary's Reception In England And The Conferences At York And Westminster






The Rebellion Of The Nobles The Meeting At Carberry Hill And Its Consequences








Mary's first step, after her marriage, was to send, at her husband's
desire, ambassadors into England and France, to explain to these Courts
the motives by which she had been actuated. The instructions given to
these ambassadors, as Buchanan has justly remarked, and after him the
French historians De Thou and Le Clerc, were drawn up with much art. They
came, no doubt, from the pen of Bothwell's friend, Secretary Maitland; and
they recapitulate so forcibly all the Earl's services, both to Mary and
her mother, enlarge so successfully upon his influence in Scotland, his
favour with the nobility, and their anxiety that he should become King;
and finally, colour so dexterously his recent conduct, that after their
perusal, one is almost induced to believe that the Queen could not have
chosen a better husband in all Christendom. Of course, Mary would herself
see them before they were despatched, as they are written in her name; and
the consent she must have given to the attempt made in them to screen her
husband from blame, confirms the belief that she did not plan, along with
him, the scheme of the abduction; for she would, in that case, have
represented, in a much stronger light, the consequences necessarily
arising from it. If she had consented to such a scheme, it must have been
with the view of making it be believed that her marriage with a suspected
murderer (suspected at least by many, though probably not by Mary
herself), was a matter of necessity; and she could never have been so
inconsistent as labour to convince her foreign friends, that though
violence had been used in the first instance, she had ultimately seen the
propriety of voluntarily becoming Bothwell's wife. But it was her sincere
and laudable desire, now that she was married, to shelter her husband as
much as possible; and, conscious of her own innocence, she did not
anticipate that the measures she took in his behalf might be turned
against herself. It must indeed be distinctly remembered, in tracing the
lamentable events which followed this marriage, that though force and
fraud were not perhaps employed on the very day of its consummation, yet
that they had previously done their utmost, and that it was not the Queen
who surrendered herself to Bothwell, but Bothwell who forced himself upon
the Queen.

Though Mary attempted to conceal her misery from the prying eye of the
world, they who had an opportunity of being near her person easily saw
that her peace of mind was wrecked. So little love existed either on the
one side or the other, that even the days usually set aside for nuptial
rejoicings, were marked only by suspicions and wranglings. They remained
together at Holyrood from the 15th of May to the 7th of June; but during
the whole of that time, Bothwell was so alarmed, lest she should yet break
from him, and assert her independence, that he kept her "environed with a
continual guard of two hundred harquebuziers, as well day as night,
wherever she went;"--and whoever wished an audience with her, "it behoved
him, before he could come to her presence, to go through the ranks of
harquebuziers, under the mercy of a notorious tyrant,--a new example,
wherewith this nation had never been acquainted; and yet few or none were
admitted to her speech, for his suspicious heart, brought in fear by the
testimony of an evil conscience, would not suffer her subjects to have
access to her Majesty as they were wont to do." The letter from which
these passages are quoted, deserves, at this period of Mary's history,
every attention, for it was written, scarcely two months after her
marriage, by the Lords who had associated themselves against Bothwell, but
who had not yet discovered the necessity of implicating Mary in the guilt
with which they charged him. The declarations therefore, they then made,
contrasted with those which ambition and selfishness afterwards prompted,
prove their sincerity in the first instance, and their wickedness in the
last. "They firmly believe," they say, "that whether they had risen up
against her husband or not, the Queen would not have lived with him half
a year to an end, as may be conjectured by the short time they lived
together, and the maintaining of his other wife at home at his house."
This last fact is no less singular than it is important. It seems
distinctly to imply, that though Bothwell was divorced from his first
wife, and that though her brother, the Earl of Huntly, had given his
consent to the divorce, yet that in reality, the dissolution of the
marriage was, on the part of Bothwell, merely pro forma, to enable him
to prosecute his scheme of ambition, that his attachment to the Lady Jane
Gordon continued unabated, and that if Mary had ever loved him, she must
have loved him, knowing that he did not return her affection. No wonder
that under such an accumulation of miseries--the suspicion with which she
was regarded by foreign courts,--the ready hatred of many of her more
bigoted Presbyterian subjects,--the dependence, almost amounting to a
state of bondage, in which she was kept,--and the brutal treatment she
experienced from her worthless husband,--no wonder that Mary was heard, in
moments almost of distraction, to express an intention of committing
suicide. Her heart was broken,--her prospects were blighted,--her
honour, which was dearer to her than life, was doubted. She was a Queen
without the command of her subjects,--a wife without the love of her
husband. The humblest peasant in Scotland was more to be envied than the
last daughter of the royal line.

But Bothwell was not permitted to triumph long in the success of his
villany. Many, even of his own friends, now began to think that he had
carried through his measures with too high a hand. They were willing that
he should have won Mary by fair means, but not by foul; and when they saw
that he had not only imperatively thrust himself upon her as a husband,
but was taking rapid strides towards making himself absolute in Scotland,
they trembled for the freedom of the Constitution, and the safety of the
Commonweal. With an imprudence equal to his audacity, Bothwell was at no
pains either to disguise his wishes, or to conciliate the good will of
those whose assistance might have been valuable. With the restless
uneasiness of one conscious of guilt, and dreading its probable
consequences, he scrupled not to avow his anxiety to get into his
possession the person of the young Prince, and had even "made a vaunt
already among his familiars, that if he could get him once into his own
hands, he should warrant him from revenging his father's death." But
the Prince was lodged in the Castle of Stirling, in the custody of the
Earl of Mar, a nobleman of approved fidelity and honour, who positively
refused to deliver him up. It was not easy, however, to divert Bothwell
from his object; and though the Queen did not countenance it, being, on
the contrary, rather desirous that her son should remain with Mar, yet he
ceased not to cajole and threaten, by turns, until all Scotland was roused
into suspicion and anger. A number of the nobility met at Stirling,
and entered into an association to defend the person of the Prince; and
they soon saw, or thought they saw, the necessity of taking active
measures to that effect. On the 28th of May, proclamations were issued at
Edinburgh, intimating the intention of the Queen and Bothwell to proceed,
with a strong force, to the Borders, to suppress some disturbances there,
and requiring all loyal subjects to assemble in arms at Melrose. It was
immediately rumoured that this expedition was only a pretence, and that
Bothwell's real design was to march to Stirling, there to make himself
master of the Castle and its inhabitants. In a second proclamation, made
for the purpose, this suspicion was characterized as most unfounded; but
whether just or not, it had taken a strong hold of the public mind, and
was not easily removed. The Prince's Lords, as they were called, the chief
of whom were Argyle, Athol, Morton, Mar, and Glencairn, busied themselves
in collecting their followers, as if in compliance with the requisition to
assemble at Melrose. On the 6th or 7th of June 1567, Bothwell took the
Queen with him from the Palace of Holyrood to the Castle of Borthwick,
situated about eight miles to the south of Edinburgh, having discovered,
only a day or two before, that Edinburgh was no longer a safe residence
for him. Sir James Balfour, the Governor of the Castle, seeing so strong a
party start up against his former patron, had allowed himself to be
tampered with, and Bothwell now suspected that he held the Castle not for
him, but for the Lords at Stirling. He feared, that Balfour might be
persuaded by them to sally down to Holyrood with a party of troops, and
carry him off a prisoner to the Castle, and therefore thought it wise to
withdraw to a safer distance.

It was not long before the nobility at Stirling heard of Bothwell's
retreat to Borthwick, and they resolved to take advantage of it. They
advanced unexpectedly from Stirling, and, marching past Edinburgh,
suddenly invested the Castle of Borthwick. It was with great difficulty
that Bothwell and the Queen escaped to Dunbar, and the Lords then fell
back upon Edinburgh. Huntly commanded there for Bothwell; but though, at
his request, the magistrates shut the gates of the city, the opposite
party found little difficulty in forcibly effecting an entrance. Huntly,
and the rest of Bothwell's friends, still trusting to Sir James Balfour's
fidelity, retreated into the Castle. The opposite faction, with Morton at
its head, immediately issued proclamations, in which they demanded the
assistance of all loyal subjects, on the grounds, "that the Queen's
Majesty, being detained in captivity, was neither able to govern her
realm, nor try the murder of her husband, and that they had assembled to
deliver her and preserve the Prince." These proclamations prove, that
no feelings of hostility were as yet entertained or expressed against
Mary. One of them, issued at Edinburgh on the 12th of June, commences
thus:--"The Lords of Secret Council and Nobility, understanding that
James, Earl of Bothwell, put violent hands on our Sovereign Lady's most
noble person upon the 24th day of April last, and thereafter warded
(imprisoned) her Highness in the Castle of Dunbar, which he had in
keeping, and, before a long space thereafter, conveyed her Majesty,
environed with men of war, and such friends and kinsmen of his as would do
for him, ever into such places where he had most dominion and power, her
Grace being destitute of all counsel and servants, during which time the
said Earl seduced, by unlawful ways, our said Sovereign to a dishonest
marriage with himself, which, from the beginning, is null and of no
effect." And the proclamation concludes with announcing their
determination, "to deliver the Queen's Majesty's most noble person forth
of captivity and prison," and to bring Bothwell and his accomplices to
trial, both for the murder of Darnley, and for "the ravishing and
detaining of the Queen's Majesty's person," as well as to prevent the
enterprise intended against the Prince. Can any thing establish an
historical fact more explicitly than such evidence?

Bothwell was, in the meantime, busily collecting his friends at Dunbar. In
a few days, upwards of 2000 men had resorted to him, more because the
Queen was with him, than from any love they bore himself; and, as he was
unwilling that the hostile Lords should be allowed time to collect their
strength, he marched, with this force, from Dunbar on the 14th of June.
When the news of his approach reached Edinburgh, the Lords immediately
advanced to meet him, though with a somewhat inferior strength. The two
armies did not come in sight of each other till the morning of the 15th,
when Bothwell's troops were discovered upon Carberry Hill, a rising ground
of some extent between Musselburgh and Dalkeith. The Lords, who had spent
the night at Musselburgh, made a circuit towards Dalkeith, that they also
might get on the high ground, and took up a position to the west of
Bothwell. It was here discovered that neither party was very anxious to
commence an engagement; and the French ambassador, Le Croc, spent several
hours in riding between both armies, and endeavouring to bring them to
terms of mutual accommodation, being authorized on the part of the Queen,
to promise that the present insurrection would be willingly forgiven, if
the Lords would lay down their arms and disband their followers. But the
Earl of Morton answered, "that they had taken up arms not against the
Queen, but against the murderer of the King, whom, if she would deliver
to be punished, or at least put from her company, she should find a
continuation of dutiful obedience from them and all other good
subjects." Le Croc, despairing of effecting his purpose, unwillingly
quitted the field, and returned to Edinburgh. But both parties were still
desirous to temporize,--Bothwell, because he hourly expected
reinforcements from Lord Herries and others,--and the Lords, because they
also looked for an accession of strength, and because the day was hot, and
the sun shining strong in their faces. To draw out the time, Bothwell
made a bravado of offering to end the quarrel, by engaging in single
combat any Lord of equal rank who would encounter him. Kircaldy of Grange,
one of the best soldiers of the day, and Murray of Tullibardin, both
expressed their willingness to accept the challenge, but were rejected on
the score of inferiority in rank. Lord Lindsay then offered himself, and
him Bothwell had no right to refuse. It was expected, therefore, that the
whole quarrel would be referred to them, the Queen herself, though at the
head of an army superior to that of her opponents, having consented, that
a husband to whom she had so short a while been married, and for whom the
veracious Buchanan would have us believe she entertained so extravagant an
affection, should thus unnecessarily risk his life. Twenty gentlemen on
either side were to attend, and the ground was about to be marked out,
when the Lords changed their minds, and declared they did not choose that
Lord Lindsay should take upon himself the whole burden of a quarrel in
which they all felt equally interested.

In these negotiations the day passed over. It was now between seven and
eight in the evening, and a battle must have ensued, either that night or
next morning, had not an unexpected step been taken by the Queen. Without
betraying Bothwell, she formed a resolution to rid herself from the
bondage in which he kept her. She sent to desire that Kircaldy of Grange
should come to speak with her, and she intimated to him her willingness to
part from Bothwell as was demanded, if Morton and the other Lords would
undertake to conduct her safely into Edinburgh, and there return to their
allegiance. This overture, on being reported by Grange, was at once
accepted, provided Mary agreed to dismiss Bothwell on the field. It may be
easily conceived that to Bothwell himself such an arrangement was not
particularly agreeable, and could never have entered the imagination, much
less have been the deliberate proposal, of a loving and obedient wife.
Historians, we think, have not sufficiently insisted on the strong
presumption in Mary's favour, afforded by her conduct at Carberry Hill. It
is true, that there might have been an understanding between her and
Bothwell, that as soon as she was re-instated in her power, she would
recall him to a share of her throne and bed. But even supposing that,
notwithstanding the alleged violence of her love, she had been willing to
consent to a temporary separation, both she and Bothwell knew the spirit
of the men they had to deal with too well, to trust to the chance of
outwitting them, after yielding to their demands. Mary must have been
aware, that if she parted with Bothwell at all, she in all probability
parted with him for ever. Had she truly loved him, she would rather have
braved all risks (as she did with Darnley when Murray rebelled) than have
abandoned him just at the crisis of his fortune. But she had at no period
felt more than the commonest friendship for Bothwell; and since she had
been seized by him at the Bridge of Almond, she had absolutely hated him.
Melville, accordingly, expresses himself regarding this transaction in
these terms. "Albeit her Majesty was at Carberry Hill, I cannot name it to
be her army; for many of them that were with her, were of opinion that she
had intelligence with the Lords; chiefly such as understood of the Earl
Bothwell's mishandling of her, and many indignities that he had both said
and done unto her since their marriage. He was so beastly and suspicious,
that he suffered her not to pass a day in patience, or without giving her
cause to shed abundance of salt tears. Thus, part of his own company
detested him; and the other part believed that her Majesty would fain
have been quit of him, but thought shame to be the doer thereof directly
herself." Melville adds, that so determined was Bothwell not to leave
the field if he could avoid it, that he ordered a soldier to shoot Grange
when he overheard the arrangement which he and the Queen were making. It
was "not without great difficulty," says another cotemporary writer, that
Mary prevailed upon Bothwell to mount his horse, and ride away with a few
followers back to Dunbar. There is no wonder;--but that a wife of one
month's standing, who is said for his sake to have murdered her former
husband, should permit, nay beseech him, thus to sneak off a field he
might have won, had she allowed him to fight, is indeed strange and
unaccountable. When Bothwell left Carberry Hill, he turned his back upon a
Queen and a throne;--he left hope behind, and must have seen only ruin
before.

As soon as her husband had departed, Mary desired Grange to lead her to
the Lords. Morton and the rest came forward to meet her, and received her
with all due respect. The Queen was on horseback, and Grange himself
walked at her bridle. On riding up to the associated Nobles, she said to
them,--"My Lords, I am come to you, not out of any fear I had of my life,
nor yet doubting of the victory, if matters had gone to the worst; but I
abhor the shedding of Christian blood, especially of those that are my own
subjects; and therefore I yield to you, and will be ruled hereafter by
your counsels, trusting you will respect me as your born Princess and
Queen." Alas! Mary had not calculated either on the perfidy of the
men to whom she had surrendered herself, or on the vulgar virulence of
their hired retainers, who, having been disappointed in their hopes of a
battle, thought they might take their revenge, by insulting the person of
a Roman Catholic Sovereign, now for the first time standing before them
somewhat in the light of a suitor and a prisoner. They led her into
Edinburgh between eight and nine in the evening; and the citizens, hearing
of the turn which affairs had taken, came out in great crowds, and lined
the way as they passed. The envy and hatred of the more bigoted part of
the rabble did not fail to exhibit itself. Royalty in misfortune, like a
statue taken from its pedestal, is often liable to the rudest handling,
simply because it has fallen from a height which previously kept it at a
distance from the multitude. There had long rancoured in the bosoms of the
more zealous and less honest Presbyterians, an ill-concealed jealousy of
Mary's superiority; and in the mob which now gathered round her, the
turbulent and unprincipled led the way, as they commonly do in a mob, to
insult and outrage. So far from being allowed to return to Edinburgh as a
Queen, and to take possession of her wonted state, Mary was forced to ride
as a captive in a triumphal show. The hatred which was borne towards
Bothwell was transferred to her, and the Lords, at the head of whom was
the crafty Morton, forgetting the proclamation they had made only two
days before, announcing their intention to rescue the Queen from the
bondage in which she was held, only took her from one tyrant to retain her
in the hands of many. As the cavalcade proceeded, a banner was displayed
in front, on which was represented the King lying dead at the foot of a
tree, and the young Prince upon his knees near him, exclaiming--"Judge and
revenge my cause, O Lord!" The people shouted with savage exultation, as
this ensign was carried past, and turning their eyes on the Queen, who was
dissolved in tears, they scrupled not, by the coarse malice of their
expressions, to add to the agony of her feelings.

When Mary arrived in Edinburgh, and found she was not to be taken to
Holyrood House, (from which, indeed, the Lords had previously carried off
much of her valuable furniture), she gave up all for lost, and in her
despair called upon all who came near her to rescue her from the hands of
traitors. But an excitement had just been given to the public mind, which
it required some hours of sober reflection to allay. No one interfering in
her behalf, she was taken to the Provost's house in the High Street, where
she was lodged for the night. The crowd gradually dispersed, and the Lords
were left to themselves to arrange their future plan of procedure.
Kircaldy of Grange, was the only one among them who was disposed to act
honourably. He reminded them that he had been commissioned to assure the
Queen of their loyal services, provided she parted from Bothwell, and came
over to them,--and as she had fulfilled her part of the agreement, he did
not think it right that they should fail in theirs. Influenced by these
representations, a division might thus have taken place among themselves,
had not Morton fallen on an expedient to silence the scruples of Grange.
He produced a letter, which he alleged Mary had just written to Bothwell,
and which he had intercepted, in which she was made to declare, that she
was resolved never to abandon him, although for a time she might be
obliged to yield to circumstances. Kircaldy, possessing all the blunt
sincerity of a soldier, and being little given to suspicion, was startled
by this letter, and left Morton, in consequence, to take his own way. That
the pretended epistle was in truth a mere hasty forgery, is proved to
demonstration, by the fact that, important as such a document would have
been, it was never afterwards alluded to by the Lords, nor produced in
evidence along with the other papers they so laboriously collected to lay
before Elizabeth's Commissioners. From this specimen of their honesty, we
may guess what reliance is to be placed on the authenticity of writings,
subsequently scraped together by men who, on the spur of the moment,
executed a forgery so clumsily, that they were unable to avail themselves
of it on any future occasion. But Morton's intriguing spirit was again
busily at work; and having the Queen's person once more in his possession,
and being apparently supported by the people, he was determined on taking
a step which would secure him Elizabeth's lasting gratitude, and might
ultimately raise him to the regency of Scotland. He, therefore, veered
suddenly round; and though he had asserted, on the 12th of June, that Mary
was kept in unwilling bondage by Bothwell, he saw it prudent to maintain
on the 15th, that there was no man in Scotland to whom she was so
passionately attached. In support of this assertion, the letter became a
necessary fabrication; and Morton well knew that a political falsehood,
though credited only for a day, may be made a useful engine in the hands
of a skilful workman.

It would appear, however, that a night's reflection operated a
considerable change in the minds of the ever-fluctuating populace. In the
course of the 16th, they collected before the Provost's house; and the
Queen having come several times to the window, and represented to them
strongly the iniquity of the constraint in which she was kept by her own
nobles who had betrayed her, a general feeling began to manifest itself in
her favour. Morton and his colleagues no sooner perceived this change,
than they waited on the Queen, and, with the most consummate hypocrisy,
protested that she had quite mistaken their intentions, and that, to
convince her of their sincerity, they should immediately replace her in
the palace of Holyrood. Mary listened to them, and was again deceived. In
the evening, as if to fulfil their promise, they conducted her to
Holyrood, Morton walking respectfully on one side of her horse, and Athol
on the other. But when she reached the Palace, she was as strictly watched
as ever; and about midnight, to her terror and surprise, they suddenly
came to her, and forcing her to disguise herself in an ordinary
riding-habit, mounted her on horseback, and rode off, without informing
her whither she was going. She was escorted by the Lords Ruthven and
Lindsay, and, after riding all night, arrived at the castle of Loch-Leven
early in the morning. This castle was a place of considerable strength,
standing on a small island in the centre of the lake, which is ten or
twelve miles in circumference. It was possessed by Lady Douglas, the Lady
of Loch-Leven, as she was commonly called, the widow of Sir Robert
Douglas, and mother to the Earl of Murray, by James V. "It is needless to
observe," says Keith, "how proper a place this was for the design of the
rebels, the house being surrounded with water on all sides, for the space,
at shortest, of half a mile; and the proprietors of it being so nearly
related to some principal persons among them, in whom, therefore, they
could the more securely confide. And indeed it has been said, that the
Lady Loch-Leven answered the expectation of the Lords to the full, having
basely insulted the captive Queen's misfortune, and bragged, besides, that
she herself was King James V.'s lawful wife, and her son, the Earl of
Murray, his legitimate issue, and true heir of the crown. The Lady
Loch-Leven was not only mother to the Earl of Murray, but likewise to the
Lord Lindsay's lady, by her husband Robert Douglas of Loch-Leven. The
family of Loch-Leven was moreover heirs-apparent to that of Morton; and to
that family they did actually succeed some time after. The Lord Ruthven
also had to wife a natural daughter of the Earl of Angus;--all which
considerations centering together in one, made the house of Loch-Leven,
humanly speaking, a most sure and close prison for the Royal
captive."

To give an air of something like justice to a measure so violent and
unexpected, Morton and his friends endeavoured to sanction it by what they
were pleased to term an Act of Privy Council. They experienced, however,
no little difficulty in determining on the proper mode of expressing this
act. They recollected the proclamations in the Queen's favour to which
they had so recently put their names; they recollected also the solemn
engagement into which they had entered at Carberry Hill; and though
might was with them of greater value than right, they did not choose,
if they could avoid it, to stand convicted of treason in the face of the
whole country. They tried, therefore, to excuse the step they had taken,
by asserting, that though they still believed her Majesty had unwillingly
married Bothwell, and had been kept in bondage by him, and that, though
she had quitted his company for theirs at Carberry, yet that after they
had "opened and declared unto her Highness her own estate and condition,
and the miserable estate of this realm, with the danger that her dearest
son the Prince stood in, requiring that she would suffer and command the
murder and authors thereof to be punished, they found in her Majesty such
untowardness and repugnance thereto, that rather she appeared to fortify
and maintain the said Earl Bothwell and his accomplices in the said wicked
crimes." The truth of this statement is directly contradicted by the
transactions of the 15th of June, when Mary, though at the head of an
army, had agreed to do every thing the Lords desired, and when, with a
degree of facility only to be accounted for on the supposition that she
was anxious to escape from his company, she had separated herself finally
from Bothwell in the face of the whole world. So far from charging her
with "fortifying" and "maintaining" him in his crimes, these Lords
themselves declared, on the 11th, that they had assembled "to deliver
their sovereign's most noble person out of bondage and captivity;" and, a
month afterwards, they told the English ambassador they "firmly believed
the Queen would not have lived with Bothwell half a year to an end."

In addition to this act of Privy Council, which was no doubt the
production of Morton, and is signed by him and Athol, and six other
noblemen of less note, a bond of association was drawn up the same day, in
which an explanation was given at greater length, of the system on which
the Lords were about to proceed. It is a remarkable feature of this bond,
that, in so far as Mary is concerned, it very materially contradicts the
act of Council. Instead of containing any accusation against her, it
represents her throughout as having been the victim of force and fraud. It
commences by stating the conviction of the subscribers, that Bothwell was
the murderer of Darnley, and that, had he himself not taken means to
prevent a fair trial, he would have been convicted of the crime. It goes
on to assert, that, adding wickedness to wickedness, the Earl had
treasonably, and without any reverence for his native Prince, carried her
prisoner to his castle at Dunbar, and had afterwards pretended unlawfully
to marry her; which being accomplished, his cruel and ambitious nature
immediately showed itself, "no nobleman daring to resort to her Majesty
to speak with her without suspicion, unless in his presence and hearing,
and her chamber-doors being continually watched by armed men." It is
therefore maintained that their interference was necessary, both on
account of the "shameful thraldom" in which the Queen was kept, and the
great danger of the young Prince, her only son. They had taken up arms,
they say, against Bothwell, and to deliver their sovereign; and though
they had already chased him from his unlawful authority, they considered
themselves obliged to continue in arms till "the authors of the murder and
ravishing were condignly punished, the pretended marriage dissolved, their
sovereign relieved of the thraldom, bondage, and ignominy, which she had
sustained, and still underlies by the said Earl's fault, the person of the
innocent prince placed in safety, and, finally, justice restored and
uprightly administered to all the subjects of the realm."

This, then, was all the length to which Morton and the other Lords, as yet
ventured. They had sent Mary to Loch-Leven, merely to keep her at a safe
distance from Bothwell; and as soon as they had seized his person, or
driven him from the kingdom, it was of course implied that they would
restore their sovereign to her throne. They did not hint, in the most
distant manner, that she was in the least implicated in the guilt of her
husband's death; and they expressly declared that, for every thing which
had taken place since, Bothwell alone was to blame. Judging by their own
words, they entertained as much respect for the Queen as ever; and the
impression they gave to the country was, that they intended she should
remain at Loch-Leven only for a short time, and that so far from meaning
to punish one whom they accused of no crime, by forcing from her an
abdication of her crown, and condemning her to perpetual imprisonment,
they would soon be found rallying round her, and conducting her back to
her capital in triumph. These may have been the hopes entertained by some;
but they forgot that Morton, who was at the head of the new faction, had
assassinated Rizzio, and countenanced the murder of Darnley;--and that
Murray, though at present in France, had left the country only till new
disturbances should afford new prospects for his inordinate ambition.





Next: Mary At Lochleven Her Abdication And Murray's Regency

Previous: Bothwell's Seizure Of The Queen's Person And Subsequent Marriage To Her



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