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


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


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.