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  • BOOK 4

    1561-1564 From the return to Scotland of Mary, Queen of Scots, on 19th August 1561, to the rise of David Rizzio in 1564.

    PREFACE TO BOOK PICTURE: Mary: Queen of Scots PICTURE: Yours to power: John Sinclair IN the former Books, Gentle Reader, thou mayest clearly see how potently God hath performed, in these our last and wicked days, as well as in the ages before us, the promises made to the Servants of God by the Prophet Esaias, ‘They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall lift up the wings as the eagles: they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk, and not faint.’ What was our force? What was our number? What wisdom or worldly policy was in us, to have brought to a good end so great an enterprise?— our very enemies can bear witness. Yet in how great purity did God establish among us His True Religion, as well in doctrine as in ceremonies!

    As touching the doctrine taught by our Ministers, and as touching the Administration of Sacraments used in our Churches, we are bold to affirm, that there is no realm this day upon the face of the earth, that hath them in greater purity. Yea—we must speak the truth, whomsoever we offend— there is no realm that hath them in the like purity. All others—how sincere so ever the doctrine be that by some is taught—retain in their Churches, and in the Ministers thereof, some footsteps of Antichrist, and some dregs of Papistry; but we, all praise to God alone! have nothing within our Churches that ever flowed from that Man of Sin. This we acknowledge to be the strength given to us by God, because we esteemed not ourselves wise in our own eyes, but, understanding our own wisdom to be but foolishness before the Lord our God, we laid it aside, and followed only that which we found approved by Himself.

    In this point could never our enemies cause us to faint, for our First Petition was, ‘That the reverend face of the Primitive and Apostolic Church should be reduced (brought back) again to the eyes and knowledge of men.’ 2 In that point, our God hath strengthened us till the work was finished, as the world may see.


    PICTURE: Cenotaph of the Earl of Darnley PICTURE: Queen Mary as a Girl PICTURE: Facsimile of John Knoxs First Blood PICTURE: Queen Mary Tudor WHENCE, alas! cometh this miserable dispersion of God’s people within this Realm, this day, Anno 1566, in May? 1 What is the cause that now the just are compelled to keep silence, good men are banished, murderers and such as are known unworthy of the common society—if just laws were put in due execution—bear the whole regiment and swing within this realm? We answer, because suddenly the most part of us declined from the purity of God’s Word, and began to follow the world; and so again to shake hands with the devil, and with idolatry, as in this Fourth Book we will hear. The troubles of the Kirk within Scotland flowed from the Courtiers that seemed to profess the Evangel. While Papists were so confounded, that none within the Realm dared more avow the hearing or saying of Mass, than the thieves of Liddesdale durst avow their stowth (theft) in presence of an upright judge, there were Protestants found, that ashamed not at tables and other open places to ask, ‘Why may not the Queen have her own Mass, and the form of her religion? What can that hurt us or our religion?’ And from these two— ‘Why’ and ‘What’—at length sprang out this affirmative, ‘The Queen’s Mass and her Priests will we maintain. This hand and this rapier shall fight in their defense!’

    The Truth of God was almost forgot; and from this fountain—to wit, that flesh and blood was, and yet, alas, is preferred to God, and to His messengers rebuking vice and vanity—hath all our misery proceeded. For, as before, so even yet, although the Ministers be set to beg, the Guard and the Men of war must be served! Though the blood of the Ministers be spilt, it is the Queen’s Servants that did it! Although Masses be multiplied in all quarters of the Realm, who can stop the Queen’s subjects to live in the Queen’s religion? Although innocent men be imprisoned, it is the Queen’s pleasure; she is offended at such men! Although, under pretense of justice, innocents be cruelly murdered, the Lords shall weep, but the Queen’s mind must be satisfied! Nobles of the Realm, Barons and Councilors are banished, their escheats dispolled (forfeited estates given to others), and their lives most unjustly pursued. The Queen has lost her trusty servant Davy (David Rizzio): he was dear unto her; and therefore, for her honor’s sake, she must show rigor to revenge his death!

    Yet farther, albeit that some know that she has plainly purposed to wreck the Religion within this Realm; 3 that to the Roman Antichrist she hath made her promise; and that from him she hath taken money to uphold his pomp within this Realm; yet will they let the people understand, that the Queen will establish Religion, and provide all things orderly, if she were once delivered.

    If such dealings, which are common among our Protestants, be not to prefer flesh and blood to God, to His truth, to justice, to religion, and unto the liberty of this oppressed realm, let the world judge. 4 The plagues have been, and in some part are present, that were before threatened; the rest approach. And yet, who from the heart crieth ‘I have offended; the Lord knows; in Thee only is the trust of the oppressed; for vain is the help of man?’ But now return we to our History.

    The nineteenth day of August, the year of God 1561, betwixt seven and eight hours before noon, arrived at Leith Marie, Queen of Scotland, then widow, with two galleys furth of France. In her company, besides her gentlewomen, called the Maries [Mary Fleming, Mary Seton, Mary Beaton, and Mary Livingstone], were her three uncles, Claude de Lorraine, the Duke d’Aumale, Francis de Lorraine, the Grand Prior, and Rene de Lorraine, Marquis d’Elboeuf. There accompanied her also the Seigneur de Damville, son to the Constable of France, with other gentlemen of inferior condition, besides servants and officers.

    The very face of heaven, the time of her arrival, did manifestly speak what comfort was brought into this country with her, to wit, pain, darkness, and all impiety. In the memory of man, that day of the year, was never seen a more dolorous face of the heaven. Besides the surfeit (immoderate) wet, and corruption of the air, the mist was so thick and so dark, that scarce might any man espy another the length of two pair of butts. The sun was not seen to shine two days before, nor two days after. That forewarning gave God unto us; but, alas, the most part were blind! At the sound of the cannons which the galleys shot, the multitude being advertised, happy were he and she that first might have the presence of the Queen! The Protestants were not the slowest, and therein they were not to be blamed. Because the Palace of Holyroodhouse was not thoroughly put in order—for her coming was more sudden than many looked for—she remained in Leith till towards evening, and then repaired thither. In the way, betwixt Leith and the Abbey, met her the rebels of the Crafts, of whom we spoke before, to wit, those that had violated the authority of the Magistrates, and had besieged the Provost. But, because she was sufficiently instructed that all they did was done in despite of the Religion, they were easily pardoned. Fires of joy were set forth all night, and a company of the most honest, with instruments of music, and with musicians, gave their salutations at her chamber window. The melody, as she alleged, liked her well; and she willed the same to be continued some nights after. With great diligence the Lords repaired unto her from all quarters. And so was nothing understood but mirth and quietness till the next Sunday, which was the 24th of August. Then preparation began to be made for that idol, the Mass, to be said in the Chapel 7 of Holyroodhouse, which pierced the hearts of all. The godly began to holden; and men began openly to speak. ‘Shall that idol be suffered again to take place within this Realm? It shall not.’ The Lord Lyndsay—then but Master—with the Gentlemen of Fife and others, plainly cried in the Close, ‘ The idolater Priest shall die the death, according to God’s law.’ One that carried in the candle was evil afraid; but the Lord James Stewart, the man whom all the godly did most reverence, took upon him to keep the Chapel Door. His best excuse was, that he would stop all Scotsmen to enter in to the Mass. But it is sufficiently known that the door was kept that none should have entress to trouble the Priest, who, after the Mass, was committed to the protection of Lord John Stewart, Prior of Coldingham, and Lord Robert Stewart, Abbot of Holyroodhouse the Queen’s natural brothers], who then were both Protestants, and had communicate at the Table of the Lord.

    Betwixt these two was the Priest convoyed to his chamber.

    The godly departed with great grief of heart, and at afternoon repaired to the Abbey in great companies, and gave plain signification that they could not abide that the land which God by His power had purged from idolatry, should in their eyes be polluted again. 8 Which understood, there began complaint upon complaint. The old dontibours (loose characters), and others that long had served in the Court, and had no remission of sins, but by virtue of the Mass, cried, ‘They would to France without delay; they could not live without the Mass.’ The same affirmed the Queen’s uncles.

    And would to God that that menyie (crowd), together with the Mass, had taken good-night at this realm forever; for so had Scotland been rid of an unprofitable burden of devouring strangers, and of the malediction of God that has stricken, and yet will strike, for idolatry!

    The Council assembled, disputation was had of the next remedy. Politic heads were sent unto the Gentlemen with these and the like persuasions- ‘Why, alas, will ye chase our Sovereign from us? She will incontinent return to her galleys, and what then shall all Realms say of us? May we not suffer her a little while? We doubt not but she shall leave it. If we were not assured that she might be won, we should be as great enemies to her Mass as ye should be. Her uncles will depart; and then shall we rule all at our pleasure. Would not we be as sorry to hurt the Religion as any of you would be?’ With these and the like persuasions was the fervency of the Brethren quenched.

    The next Sunday [31st August 1561], John Knox, inveighing against idolatry, showed what terrible plagues God had taken on realms and nations for the same, and added— ‘One Mass’—there were no more suffered at the first—’ is more fearful to me than if ten thousand armed enemies were landed in any part of the Realm of purpose to suppress the whole Religion. 9 In our God there is strength to resist and confound multitudes if we unfeignedly depend upon Him, whereof heretofore we have had experience. But when we join hands with idolatry, both God’s amiable presence and comfortable defense leaveth us, and what shall then become of us? Alas, I fear that experience shall teach us, to the grief of many.’

    At these words the guiders of the Court mocked, and plainly spoke—’ Such fear was no point of their faith. It was beside his text, and was a very untimely admonition.’ But we heard this same John Knox, in the audience of the same men, recite the same words again in the midst of troubles. In the audience of many, he asked God’s mercy that he was not more vehement and upright in the suppressing of that idol in the beginning. ‘Albeit I spake that which offended some, which this day they see and feel to be true, yet did I not what I might have done. God had not only given me knowledge and tongue to make the impiety of that idol known, but He had given me credit with many who would have put in execution God’s judgments, if I would only have consented thereto. But so careful was I of that common tranquillity, and so loth to offend those of whom I had conceived a good opinion, that in secret conference with earnest and zealous men, I travailed rather to mitigate, yea, to slocken that fervency that God had kindled in others, than to animate or encourage them to put their hands to the Lord’s work. Wherein I unfeignedly acknowledge myself to have done most wickedly, and from the bottom of my heart ask of my God grace and pardon.’ These words did many hear John Knox speak in public place, in the month of December, the year of God 1565, when such as at the Queen’s arrival maintained [her right to have] the Mass, were exiled the realm, summoned for treason, and decreet of forfeiture intended against them. 10 But to return from whence we have digressed.

    Whether it was by counsel of others, or of Queen Mary’s own desire, we know not, but the Queen spake with John Knox at Holyrood and had long reasoning with him, none being present except the Lord James Stewart, while two gentlewomen stood in the other end of the house. The Queen accused John Knox that he had raised a part of her subjects against her mother and against herself; that he had written a book against her just authority,—she meant the treatise against the Regiment of Women—which she should cause the most learned in Europe to write against; that he was the cause of great sedition and great slaughter in England; and that it was said to her, that all which he did was by necromancy.

    To the which the said John answered:— ‘Madam, may it please Your Majesty patiently to hear my simple answers? First, if to teach the Truth of God in sincerity, if to rebuke idolatry and to will a people to worship God according to His Word, be to raise subjects against their Princes, then can I not be excused; for it hath pleased God of His Mercy to make me one among many to disclose unto this Realm the vanity of the Papistical Religion, and the deceit, pride, and tyranny of that Roman Antichrist. But, Madam, if the true knowledge of God and His right worshipping be the chief causes, that must move men from their heart to obey their just Princes, as it is most certain they are, wherein can I be reprehended? I am surely persuaded that Your Grace has had, and presently has, as unfeigned obedience of such as profess Jesus Christ within this Realm, as ever your father or other progenitors had of those that were called Bishops. ‘And, touching that Book which seemeth so highly to offend Your Majesty, it is most certain that I wrote it, and I am content that all the learned of the world judge of it. I hear that an Englishman hath written against it, but I have not read him. If he hath sufficiently improved (disproved) my reasons, and established his contrary propositions with as evident testimonies as I have done mine, I shall not be obstinate, but shall confess my error and ignorance. But to this hour I have thought, and yet think, myself alone to be more able to sustain the things affirmed in my work, than any ten in Europe shall be able to confute it.’ Queen Mary. ‘Ye think then that I have no just authority?’ John Knox. ‘ Please Your Majesty, learned men in all ages have had their judgments free. They have most commonly disagreed from the common judgment of the world. Such also have they published, both with pen and tongue, and yet, notwithstanding, they themselves have lived in common society with others, and have borne patiently with the errors and imperfections which they could not amend. Plato, the philosopher, wrote his book of The Commonwealth, in the which he damneth many things that then were maintained in the world, and requireth many things to be reformed. Yet, he lived under such policies as then were universally received, without further troubling of any estate. Even so, Madam, am I content to do in uprightness of heart, and with testimony of a good conscience. I have communicated my judgment to the world. If the Realm finds no inconvenience from the government of a woman, that which they approve shall I not further disallow than within my own breast, but shall be as well content to live under Your Grace as Paul was to live under Nero. My hope is, that so long as ye defile not your hands with the blood of the Saints of God, neither I nor that book shall either hurt you or your authority. In very deed, Madam, that book was written most especially against that wicked Jezebel of England’ (Queen Mary Tudor).

    Queen Mary. ‘ But ye speak of women in general? ’ John Knox. ‘ Most true, Madam. Yet it appeareth to me that wisdom should persuade Your Grace, never to raise trouble for that, which to this day hath not troubled Your Majesty, neither in person nor yet in authority. Of late years many things which before were holden stable have been called in doubt; yea, they have been plainly impugned. Yet, Madam, I am assured that neither Protestant nor Papist shall be able to prove, that any such question was at any time moved in public or in secret. Now, Madam, if I had intended to have troubled your estate, because ye are a woman, I might have chosen a time more convenient for that purpose, than I can do now, when your own presence is within the Realm. ‘But now, Madam, shortly to answer to the other two accusations.

    I heartily praise my God through Jesus Christ, if Satan, the enemy of mankind, and the wicked of the world, have no other crimes to lay to my charge, than such as the very world itself knoweth to be most false and vain. In England I was resident the space of five years. The places were Berwick, where I abode two years; so long in Newcastle; and a year in London. Now, Madam, if in any of these places, during the time that I was there, any man shall be able to prove that there was either battle, sedition, or mutiny, I shall confess that I myself was the malefactor and the shedder of the blood. I shame not, Madam, to affirm, that God so blessed my weak labors, that in Berwick 13 — where commonly before there used to be slaughter by reason of quarrels among soldiers—there was as great quietness, all the time that I remained there, as there is this day in Edinburgh. And where they slander me of magic, necromancy, or of any other art forbidden of God, I have witnesses, besides my own conscience—all congregations that ever heard me—to what I spake both against such arts and against those that use such impiety.’ Queen Mary. ‘ But yet ye have taught the people to receive another religion than their Princes can allow. How can that doctrine be of God, seeing that God commandeth subjects to obey their Princes?’ John Knox. ‘Madam, as right religion took neither original strength nor authority from worldly princes, but from the Eternal God alone, so are not subjects bound to frame their religion according to the appetites of their princes. Princes are oft the most ignorant of all others in God’s true religion, as we may read in the Histories, as well before the death of Christ Jesus as after. If all the seed of Abraham should have been of the religion of Pharaoh, to whom they were long subjects, I pray you, Madam, what religion should there have been in the world? Or, if all men in the days of the Apostles should have been of the religion of the Roman Emperors, what religion should there have been upon the face of the earth? Daniel and his fellows were subjects to Nebuchadnezzar and unto Darius, and yet, Madam, they would not be of their religion; for the three children said: “We make it known unto thee, O King, that we will not worship thy Gods.” Daniel did pray publicly unto his God against the expressed commandment of the King. And so, Madam, ye may perceive that subjects are not bound to the religion of their princes, although they are commanded to give them obedience.’ Queen Mary. ‘ Yea, but none of these men raised the sword against their princes.’ John Knox. ‘Yet, Madam, ye can not deny that they resisted, for those who obey not the commandments that are given, in some sort resist.’ Queen Mary. ‘ But yet, they resisted not by the sword?’ John Knox. ‘God, Madam, had not given them the power and the means.’ Queen Mary. ‘ Think ye that subjects, having the power, may resist their princes?’ John Knox. ‘ If their princes exceed their bounds, Madam, no doubt they may be resisted, even by power. For there is neither greater honor, nor greater obedience, to be given to kings or princes, than God hath commanded to be given unto father and mother. But the father may be stricken with a frenzy, in which he would slay his children. If the children arise, join themselves together, apprehend the father, take the sword from him, bind his hands, and keep him in prison till his frenzy be overpast—think ye, Madam, that the children do any wrong? It is even so, Madam, with princes that would murder the children of God that are subjects unto them. Their blind zeal is nothing but a very mad frenzy, and therefore, to take the sword from them, to bind their hands, and to east them into prison, till they be brought to a more sober mind, is no disobedience against princes, but just obedience, because it agreeth with the will of God.’

    At these words, the Queen stood as it were amazed, more than the quarter of an hour. Her countenance altered, so that Lord James began to entreat her and to demand, ‘What hath offended you, Madam? ’ At length she said to John Knox: ‘Well then, I perceive that my subjects shall obey you, and not me. They shall do what they list, and not what I command; and so must I be subject to them, and not they to me.’ John Knox. ‘God forbid that ever I take upon me to command any to obey me, or yet to set subjects at liberty to do what pleaseth them!

    My travail is that both princes and subjects obey God. Think not, Madam, that wrong is done you, when ye are willed to be subject to God. It is He that subjects peoples under princes, and causes obedience to be given unto them. Yea, God craves of Kings that they be foster-.fathers to His Church, and commands Queens to be nurses to His people. This subjection, Madam, unto God, and unto His troubled Church, is the greatest dignity that flesh can get upon the face of the earth; for it shall carry them to everlasting glory.’ Queen Mary. ‘Yea, but ye are not the Kirk that I will nourish. I will defend the Kirk of Rome, for it is, I think, the true Kirk of God.’ John Knox. ‘ Your will, Madam, is no reason; 16 neither doth your thought make that Roman harlot to be the true and immaculate spouse of Jesus Christ. Wonder not, Madam, that I call Rome an harlot; for that Church is altogether polluted with all kind of spiritual fornication, as well in doctrine as in manners. Yea, Madam, I offer myself to prove, that the Church of the Jews which crucified Christ Jesus, was not so far degenerate from the ordinances which God gave by Moses and Aaron unto His people, when they manifestly denied the Son of God, as the Church of Rome is declined, and more than five hundred years hath declined, from the purity of that religion which the Apostles taught and planted.’ Queen Mary. ‘My conscience is not so.’ John Knox. ‘Conscience, Madam, requireth knowledge; and I fear that right knowledge ye have none.’ Queen Mary. ‘ But I have both heard and read.’ John Knox. ‘So, Madam, did the Jews who crucified Christ Jesus read both the Law and the Prophets, and heard the same interpreted after their manner. Have ye heard any teach, but such as the Pope and his Cardinals have allowed? Ye may be assured that such will speak nothing to offend their own estate.’ Queen Mary. ‘ Ye interpret the Scriptures in one manner, and they in another. Whom shall I believe? Who shall be judge?’ John Knox. ‘ Ye shall believe God, that plainly speaketh in His Word; and further than the Word teacheth you, ye shall believe neither the one nor the other. The Word of God is plain in itself. If there appear any obscurity in one place, the Holy Ghost, which is never contrarious to Himself, explaineth the same more clearly in other places; so that there can remain no doubt, but unto such as obstinately will remain ignorant. ‘Take one of the chief points, Madam, which this day is in controversy betwixt the Papists and us. The Papists have boldly affirmed that the Mass is the ordinance of God, and the institution of Jesus Christ, and a sacrifice for the sins of the quick and the dead. We deny both the one and the other. We affirm that the Mass, as it is now used, is nothing but the invention of man, and, therefore, is an abomination before God, and no sacrifice that ever God commanded. Now, Madam, who shall judge betwixt us two thus contending? It is no reason that either of the parties be further believed, than they are able to prove by insuspect witnessing. Let them prove their affirmatives by the plain words of the Book of God, and we shall give them the plea granted. What our Master Jesus Christ did, we know by His Evangelists; what the priest doeth at his Mass, the world seeth. Now, doth not the Word of God plainly assure us, that Christ Jesus neither said Mass, nor yet commanded Mass to be said, at His Last Supper, seeing that no such thing as their Mass is made mention of within the whole Scriptures?’ Queen Mary. ‘ Ye are ower sair (too hard) for me, but if they were here whom I have heard, they would answer you. John Knox. ‘Madam, would to God that the learnedest Papist in Europe, and he that ye would best believe, were present with Your Grace to sustain the argument; and that ye would patiently abide to hear the matter reasoned to the end! Then, I doubt not, Madam, but ye should hear the vanity of the Papistical Religion, and how small ground it hath within the Word of God.’ Queen Mary. ‘Well, ye may perchance get that sooner than ye believe.’ John Knox. ‘ Assuredly, if ever I get that in my life, I get it sooner than I believe. The ignorant Papists can not patiently reason, and the learned and crafty Papist will never come in your audience, Madam, to have the ground of their religion searched out. They know that they are never able to sustain an argument, except fire and sword and their own laws be judges.’ Queen Mary. ‘So say you; but I can[not] believe that.’ John Knox. ‘ It hath been so to this day. How oft have the Papists in this and other Realms been required to come to conference, and yet could it never be obtained, unless themselves were admitted for Judges.

    Therefore, Madam, I must say again that they dare never dispute, but when they themselves are both judge and party. Whensoever ye shall let me see the contrary, I shall grant myself to have been deceived in that point.’

    With this, the Queen was called upon to dinner, for it was afternoon. At departing, John Knox said unto her: ‘I pray God, Madam, that ye may be as blessed within the Commonwealth of Scotland, if it be the pleasure of God, as ever Deborah was in the Commonwealth of Israel.’

    Of this long conference, whereof we only touch a part, were diverse opinions. The Papists grudged, and feared that which they needed not.

    The godly, thinking at least that the Queen would have heard the preaching, rejoiced; but they were all utterly deceived, for she continued in her Massing, and despised and quietly mocked all exhortation.

    John Knox, his own judgment being by some of his familiars demanded, What he thought of the Queen? ‘If there be not in her,’ said he, ‘a proud mind, a crafty wit, and an indurate heart against God and His truth, my judgment faileth me.’ 18 CHAPTER - FROM MARY’S STATE ENTRY INTO EDINBURGH ON 29TH SEPTEMBER 1561, TO THE MARRIAGE OF THE EARL OF MORAY IN FEBRUARY 1562.

    THE Duke d’Aumale, the Queen’s uncle, returned with the galleys to France. The Queen entered in her progresses, and in the month of September traveled from Edinburgh to Linlithgow, Stirling, St. Johnestoun (Perth), Dundee, St. Andrews, all which parts she polluted with her idolatry. The towns propined her (gave her gifts) liberally, and thereof were the French enriched. In the beginning of October, 1 she returned to Edinburgh, and at the day appointed she was received in the Castle. Great preparations were made for her entry into the town. In verses, in masking, and in other prodigalities, fain would fools have counterfeited France.

    Whatsoever might set forth her glory, she heard, and gladly beheld. The keys were delivered to her by a pretty boy, descending as it were from a cloud. The verses of her own praises she heard, and smiled. 2 But when the Bible was presented, and the praise thereof declared, she began thereat to frown: although for shame she could not refuse it. But she did no better, for immediately she gave it to the most pestilent Papist within the Realm, to wit, to Arthur Erskine, Captain of the Guard. Edinburgh since that day hath reaped as they sowed!

    The Devil now finding his reins 1oose ran forward in his course; and the Queen took upon her greater boldness than she and Baal’s bleating priests durst have attempted before. For upon Allhallow Day they blended up their Mass with all mischievous solemnity. The Ministers, thereat offended, in plain and public place declared the inconveniences that thereupon should ensue. The Nobility were sufficiently admonished of their duties; but affection caused men to call that in doubt, wherein short before they seemed to be most resolute, to wit, ‘Whether subjects might put to their hand to suppress the idolatry of their Prince?’ Upon this question, convened in the house of Master James Macgill of Nether Rankelliot, the Lord James Stewart, the Earl of Morton, the Earl Marischall, Secretary Lethington, Sir John Bellenden, Justice Clerk, and the foresaid Master James, Clerk of Register. They all reasoned for the part of the Queen, affirming, ‘That subjects might not lawfully take her Mass from her.’ In the contrary judgment were the principal ministers, Master John Row, Master George Hay, Master Robert Hamilton, and John Knox. The conclusion of that first reasoning was, ‘That the question should be formed, and letters directed to Geneva for the resolution of that Church,’ wherein John Knox offered his labors. But Secretary Lethington, alleging that there stood much in the Information, said that he should write. But that was only to drive time, as the truth declared itself. The Queen’s party urged, ‘That the Queen should have her religion free in her own chapel, to do, she and her household, what they list.’ The Ministers both affirmed and voted the contrary, adding, ‘That her liberty should be their thraldom ere it was long.’ But neither could reason nor threatening move the hearts of such as were creeping into credit. And so did the votes of the Lords prevail against the Ministers.

    For the punishment of theft and of real (ravage), which had increased upon the Borders and in the South, from the Queen’s arrival, was the Lord James made Lieutenant. Some suspected that such honor and charge proceeded from the same heart and His integrity counsel that made Saul make David captain against the Philistines! But God assisted him, and bowed the hearts of men both to fear and obey him. Yea, the Lord Bothwell himself at that time assisted him. Sharp execution was made in Jedburgh; for twenty-eight of one clan, and others, were hanged at that Justice Court. Bribes nor solicitation saved not the guilty, if he might be apprehended; and therefore God prospered the Lieutenant in that his integrity.

    That same time the said Lord James spake the Lord Grey of England at Kelso, for good rule to be kept upon both the Borders, and agreed in all things.

    Before his returning, the Queen upon a night took a fright in her bed, as if horsemen had been in the Close, and the Palace had been enclosed about.

    Whether it proceeded of her own womanly fantasy, or if men put her in fear, for displeasure of the Earl of Arran, or for other purposes, as for the erecting of the Guard, we know not But the fear was so great, that the Town was called to the Watch. Lords Robert Stewart of Holyroodhouse, and John Stewart of Coldingham 3 kept the Watch by course. Scouts were sent forth, and sentinels were commanded, under pain of death, to keep their stations. Yet they feared where there was no occasion of fear; neither yet could ever any appearance or suspicion of such things be tried.

    Shortly after the return of the Lord James, there came from the Queen of England, Sir Peter Mewtas, with Commission to require the Ratification of the Peace made at Leith. His answer was even such as we have heard before, that she behoved to advise, and then she would send answer.

    In presence of her Council, the Queen kept herself very grave, for under the dule-wead (mourning garments) she could play the hypocrite in full perfection. But as soon as ever her French fillocks (giddy young women), fiddlers, and others of that band, got the house alone, there might be seen skipping not very comely for honest women. Her common talk in secret was that she saw nothing in Scotland but gravity, which repugned altogether to her nature, for she was brought up in ‘joyousitie.’ So termed she her dancing, and other things thereto belonging. The General Assembly of the Church approached, held in December 1561, after the Queen’s arrival. 5 In this Assembly began the rulers of the Court to draw themselves apart from the society of their brethren, and to grudge that anything should be consulted upon, without their advice. Master John Wood [afterwards Secretary to the Earl of Moray], who before had shown himself very fervent in the cause of God, and forward in giving his counsel in all doubtful matters, plainly refused ever to assist the Assembly again, whereat many did wonder. The Courtiers drew unto them some of the Lords, and would not convene with their brethren, as before they were accustomed, but kept themselves in the Abbey. The principal Commissioners of the Church, the Superintendents, and some Ministers, passed unto them, where they were convened in the Abbot’s Lodging within Holyroodhouse; and both the parties began to open their grief. The Lords complained that the Ministers drew the Gentlemen into secret, and held Councils without their knowledge. The Ministers denied that they had done anything in secret, or otherwise than the Common Order commanded them; and accused the Lords—the flatterers of the Queen, we mean that they kept not the Convention with their brethren, considering that they knew the Order, and that the same was appointed by their own advices, as the Book of Discipline, subscribed with the most part of their own hands, would witness. Some began to deny that ever they knew such a thing as the Book of Discipline; and called also in doubt, whether it was expedient that such Conventions should be or not. Gladly would the Queen and her Secret Council have had all assemblies of the godly discharged. The reasoning was sharp and quick on either part. The Queen’s faction alleged, that it was suspicious to Princes that subjects should keep conventions without their knowledge. It was answered, that without knowledge of the Prince, the Church did nothing. For the Prince perfectly understood, that within this Realm there was a Reformed Church, and that they had their appointed times of convention; and so, without knowledge of the Prince, they did nothing. ‘Yea,’ said Lethington, ‘the Queen knew and knoweth it well enough. But the question is, whether the Queen alloweth such Conventions?’ It was answered, ‘IF THE LIBERTY OF THE CHURCH SHOULD STAND UPON THE QUEEN’ S ALLOWANCE OR DISALLOWANCE, WE ARE ASSURED NOT ONLY LACK ASSEMBLIES, BUT ALSO TO LACK THE PUBLIC PREACHING OF THE EVANGEL.’ That affirmative was mocked, and the contrary affirmed. ‘Well,’ said the other, ‘time will try the truth. But to my former words, this will I add,TAKE FROM US THE FREEDOM OF ASSEMBLIES, AND TAKE FROM US THE EVANGEL. Without Assemblies, how shall good order and unity in doctrine be kept? It is not to be supposed that all Ministers shall be so perfect, but that they shall need admonition as well concerning manners as doctrine. Some may be so stiffnecked that they will not admit the admonition of the simple. So also it may be that fault may be found with Ministers without just offense committed. Yet if order be not taken both with the complainer and the persons complained upon, many grievous offenses shall arise. For remedy whereof, of necessity it is that General Assemblies must be, in which the judgment and the gravity of many may concur, to correct or to repress the follies or errors of a few.’

    Hereunto consented the most part, as well of the Nobility as of the Barons, and willed the reasoners for the part of the Queen to will Her Grace, if that she stood in any suspicion of anything that was to be entreated in their Assemblies, that it would please Her Grace to send such as she would appoint to hear whatsoever was proponed or reasoned.

    Hereafter was the Book of Discipline proponed, and desired to have been ratified by the Queen’s Majesty. That was scripped (mocked) at, and the question was demanded, ‘How many of those that had subscribed that Book would be subject unto it?’ It was answered, ‘All the godly.’ Secretary Lethington. ‘ Will the Duke? ’ Lord Ochiltree. ‘If he will not, I would that he were scraped out, not only of that book, but also out of our number and company. For to what purpose shall labors be taken to put the Kirk in order, and to what end shall men subscribe, and then never mean to keep word of that which they promise?’ Secretary Lethington. ‘Many subscribed there in fide parentum, as the bairns are baptized.’ John Knox. ‘ Albeit ye think that scoff proper, yet as it is most untrue, so is it most improper. That Book was read in public audience, and by the space of diverse days the heads thereof were reasoned, as all that here sit know well enough, and ye yourself can not deny. No man was required to subscribe that which he understood not.’ Secretary Lethington. ‘ Stand content. That Book will not be obtained.’ John Knox. ‘Let God require the lack, which this poor Commonwealth shall have of the things therein contained, from the hands of such as stop the same.’

    The Barons, 7 perceiving that the Book of Discipline was refused, presented unto the Council certain articles, requiring Idolatry to be suppressed, their Kirks to be planted with true Ministers, and some certain provision to be made for them, according to equity and conscience.

    Unto that time the most part of the Ministers had lived upon the benevolence of men. Many men held in their own hands the fruits that the Bishops and others of that sect had before abused; and some part was bestowed upon the Ministers. Then the Bishops began to grip again to that which most unjustly they called their own. The Earl of Arran was discharged of the benefices of St. Andrews and Dunfermline, wherewith before, by virtue of a factory (mandate), he had intromitted (enjoyed the income) and so were many others. Therefore, the Barons required that order might be taken for their Ministers, or else they would no more obey the Bishops, neither yet suffer anything more to be lifted up to their use after the Queen’s arrival, than they did before. For they verily supposed that the Queen’s Majesty would keep promise made unto them; which was, not to alter their religion, which could not remain without Ministers, and Ministers could not live without provision: and therefore they heartily desired the Council to provide some convenient order in that head.

    That somewhat moved the Queen’s flatterers; for the rod of impiety was not then strengthened in her and their hands. So began they to practice how they should please the Queen, and yet seem somewhat to satisfy the Faithful; and so devised they, that the Kirk-men should have intermission with two parts of their benefices, and that the third part should be lifted up by such men as thereto should be appointed, for such uses, as in subsequent Acts were more fully expressed.

    When the Brethren complained of their poverty, it was disdainfully answered of some, ‘There are many Lairds have not so much to spend.’

    Then men did reason that the vocation of Ministers craved of them books, quietness study, and travail to edify the Kirk of Jesus Christ, while many Lairds were waiting upon their worldly business; and therefore, that the stipends of Ministers, who had none other industry but to live upon that which was appointed, ought not to be modified (fixed) according to the livings of common men who might, and did, daily augment their rents by some other industry.

    In the meantime, to wit, in February 1562, was Lord James [Stewart, having been made Earl of Moray in January 1562] first made Earl of Mar, and then married upon Agnes Keith, daughter to the Earl Marischall. The marriage was public in St. Giles, Church of Edinburgh; and in the marriage they both got an admonition to behave themselves moderately in all things; ‘For,’ said the preacher [John Knox] to him, ‘unto this day the Kirk of God hath received comfort by you, and by your labors; in which, if hereafter ye shall be found fainter than ye were before, it will be said that your wife hath changed your nature.’ The greatness of the banquet, and the vanity used thereat, offended many godly. There began the masking, which from year to year hath continued since. 8 Master Randolph, 9 agent for the Queen of England, was then, and some time after, in no small conceit with our Queen. For his Mistress’s sake she drank to him in a cup of gold, which he possessed with greater joy, for the favor of the giver, than of the gift and value thereof; and yet it was honorable.

    The things that then were in handling betwixt the two Queens, whereof Lethington, Secretary Cecil, and Master Randolph, were ministers, were of great weight, as we will after hear.


    PICTURE: John Knoxs Study PICTURE: Arms of Earl of Bothwell PICTURE: John Knoxs Dining Room PICTURE: The Palace of Holyroodhouse before [IN March 1562] the Earl Bothwell 1 desired to speak with John Knox secretly in Edinburgh; which the said John gladly granted, and spoke the Earl upon a night, first in James Barroun’s lodging, and thereafter in his own study. The sum of all their communication and conference was:—The Earl lamented his former inordinate life, and especially that he was provoked by the enticements of the Queen Regent to do that which he sore repented against John Cockburn, the Laird of Ormiston, whose blood was spilt, albeit not through his default. But his chief pain was, that he had misbehaved himself against the Earl of Arran, whose favor he was most willing to redeem, if possible it were that so he might; and he desired John Knox to give him his best counsel. ‘If I might have my Lord of Arran’s favor, I would wait on the Court with a page and a few servants, to spare my expenses. Now I am compelled to keep, for my own safety, a number of wicked and unprofitable men, to the utter destruction of my living.’

    To which John Knox answered, ‘My Lord, would to God that in me were counsel or judgment that might comfort and relieve you!

    Albeit that to this hour it hath not chanted me to speak with your Lordship face to face, yet have I borne a good mind to your House; and I have been sorry at my heart of the troubles that I have heard you to be involved in. For, my Lord, my grandfather, my goodsire (maternal grandfather) and my father have served your Lordship’s predecessors, and some of them have died under their standards. 2 This is a part of the obligation of our Scottish kindness. But this is not the chief. As God hath made me His public messenger of glad tidings, so is my will earnest that all men may embrace it, which perfectly they cannot, so long as there remaineth in them rancour, malice, or envy. I am sorry that ye have given occasion unto men to be offended with you; but more sorrowful that ye have offended the Majesty of God, who by such means oft punisheth the other sins of men. Therefore, my counsel is, that ye begin at God, with whom if ye will enter into perfect reconciliation, I doubt not but He shall bow the hearts of men to forget all offenses. As for me, if ye will continue in godliness, your Lordship shall command me as boldly as any that serve your Lordship.’

    Lord Bothwell desired John Knox that he would tempt (try) the Earl of Arran’s mind, if he would be content to accept him into his layout, which he promised to do. And so earnestly travailed the said John in that matter, that it was brought to such an end that all the Faithful praised God for that agreement. The greatest stay (obstacle) stood upon the satisfaction of John Cockburn, the Laird of Ormiston, who, besides his former hurt, 3 was, even in that same time of the communing, pursued by the Earl Bothwell, his son Master Alexander Cockburn having been taken by him, and carried with him to Borthwick Castle, but gently enough sent back again.

    That new trouble so greatly displeased John Knox, that he almost gave over farther travailing for amity. Yet, upon the excuse of the Earl Bothwell, and upon the declaration of his mind, he re-entered in labors, and so brought it to pass, that the Laird of Ormiston referred his satisfaction in all things to the judgment of the Earls of Arran and Moray, to whom the Earl Bothwell also submitted himself, and thereupon delivered his handwrit. The Earl was convoyed by certain of his friends to the Lodging of the Kirk-of-field cat Edinburgh, where the Earl of Arran was with his friends, and John Knox with him, to bear witness of the end of the agreement. As the Earl Bothwell entered at the chamber door, and would have done those honors that friends had appointed—Master Gavin Hamilton, Abbot of Kilwinning, and Henry Drummond, the Laird of Riccarton, were the chief friends that communed—the Earl of Arran gently passed unto him, embraced him, and said, ‘If the hearts be upright, few ceremonies may serve and content me.’

    John Knox, in audience of them both, and of their friends, said: ‘Now, my Lords, God hath brought you together by the labors of simple men. I know my labors are already taken in evil part. But I have the testimony of a good conscience before my God, that whatsoever I have done, I have done it in His fear, for the profit of you both, for the hurt of none, and for the tranquillity of this Realm. Therefore, I the more patiently bear the untrue reports and wrong judgments of men. And now I leave you in peace, and desire you that are the friends to study that amity may increase—all former offenses being forgotten.’ The friends of both parties embraced each other, and the two Earls departed to a window, and talked by themselves familiarly a reasonable space. Thereafter the Earl Bothwell departed for the night; and next day returned in the morning, with some of his honest friends, and came to the sermon with the Earl of Arran; whereat many rejoiced. But God had another work to work than the eyes of men could espy.

    The Thursday next [26th March 1562] they dined together; and thereafter the Earl Bothwell and Master Gavin Hamilton rode to my Lord Duke’s Grace [Lord Arran’s father], who then was in Kinneill. What communication was betwixt them, it is not certainly known, but by the report which the Earl of Arran made to the Queen’s Grace, and unto the Earl of Moray, by his writings.

    Upon Friday, the fourth day after their reconciliation, the sermon being ended, the Earl of Arran came to the house of John Knox, and brought with him Master Richard Strang Advocate, and Alexander Guthrie, the Town Clerk of Edinburgh, to whom he opened the grief of his mind before John Knox was called—for Knox was occupied, as commonly he used to be after his sermons, in directing of writings (dictating to an amanuensis).

    Which ended, the Earl called the three together, and said, ‘I am treasonably betrayed’; and with these words began to weep. John Knox. ‘My Lord, who hath betrayed you? ’ Earl of Arran. ‘A Judas. But I know it is but my life that is sought:

    I regard it not.’ John Knox. ‘My Lord, I understand not such dark manner of speaking. If I shall give you any answer, ye must speak more plain.’ Earl of Arran. ‘Well, I take you three to witness that I open this to you, and I will write it unto the Queen. An act of treason is laid to my charge. The Earl Bothwell hath shown to me in counsel, that he shall take the Queen, and put her into my hands in the Castle of Dumbarton; and that he shall slay the Earl of Moray, Lethington, and others, that now misguide her; and so shall I and he rule all. But I know this is devised to accuse me of treason; for I know he will inform the Queen of it. But I take you to witness, that I open it here unto you; and I will pass incontinent, (forthwith) and write to the Queen’s Majesty, and unto my brother the Earl of Moray.’ John Knox. ‘ Did ye consent, my Lord, to any part of that treason?’ Earl of Arran. ‘Nay.’ John Knox. ‘Then, in my judgment, his words, albeit they were spoken, can never be treason to you. The performance of the fact depends upon your will, whereto ye say ye have dissented. So shall that purpose vanish and die of itself, unless ye waken it. It is not to be supposed that he will accuse you of that which he himself hath devised, and whereunto you would not consent.’ Earl of Arran. ‘Oh, ye understand not what craft is used against me. It is treason to conceal treason.’ John Knox. ‘My Lord, treason must import consent and determination, which I hear upon neither of your parts. Therefore, my Lord, in my judgment, it shall be more sure and more honorable to you to depend upon your own innocence, and to abide the unjust accusation of another, if anything follow thereof, as I think there shall not, than ye to accuse—especially after so late reconciliation—and have none other witnesses but your own affirmation.’ Earl of Arran. ‘I know that he will offer the combat unto me; that would not be suffered in France; but I will do that which I have purposed.’

    So the Earl departed, and took with him to his lodging the said Alexander Guthrie and Master Riehard Strang. From there was written a letter to the Queen’s Majesty, according to the former purpose, which letter was directed with all diligence to the Queen’s Majesty, who then was in Falkland.

    The Earl of Arran rode after to Kinneill, to his father, the Duke’s Grace.

    How he was entreated, we have but the common bruit; but from thence he wrote another letter with his own hand, in cypher, to the Earl of Moray, complaining upon his rigorous handling by his own father, and by his friends; and affirmed farther, that he feared his life, in ease he got not sudden rescue. But thereupon he remained not, but broke the chamber wherein he was put, and with great pain passed to Stirling. Thence he was convoyed to the Hallyards, in Fife, where he was kept till the Earl of Moray came unto him, and convoyed him to the Queen, then in Falkland, who was sufficiently instructed of the whole matter. Upon suspicion conceived, she had caused apprehend Master Gawin Hamilton and the Earl Bothwell foresaid; who, knowing nothing of the former advertisements, came to Falkland, which augmented the former suspicion.

    Yet the letters of John Knox made all things to be used more circumspectly; for he plainly did forewarn the Earl of Moray, that he espied the Earl of Arran to be stricken with frenzy, and therefore willed not ower (too) great credit to be given to his words and inventions. As he advertised, so it came to pass. Within few days the Earl’s sickness increased. He devised of wondrous signs that he saw in the heaven; he alleged that he was bewitched. Finally, he behaved himself in all things so foolishly, that his frenzy could not be hidden. Yet were the Earl Bothwell and the Abbot of Kilwinning kept in the Castle of St. Andrews, and convened before the Council, with the Earl of Arran, who ever stood firm, that the Earl Bothwell proponed to him such things as he advertised the Queen’s Grace of. He stiffly denied that his father, the said Abbot, or friends, knew anything thereof, either yet intended any violence against him; but he alleged that he was enchanted so to think and write. Whereat the Queen, highly offended, committed him to prison, with the other two, first in the Castle of St. Andrews, and thereafter caused them to be convoyed to the Castle of Edinburgh. James Stewart of Cardonald, called Captain James, was evil bruited of, for the rigorous entreatment that he showed to the said Earl in his sickness, being appointed keeper unto him.

    To consult upon these accusations, the whole Privy Council was assembled at St. Andrews, the 18th day of April 1562. There it was concluded that, in consideration of the former suspicion, the Duke, His Grace, should render to the Queen the Castle of Dumbarton, the custody whereof was granted him by Appointment, till lawful succession should be seen of the Queen’s body. But will prevailed against reason and promises, and so was the said Castle delivered to Captain Anstruther, as having power from the Queen and Council to receive it.

    Things having been ordered in Fife, the Queen returned to Edinburgh, and then began dancing to grow hot; for her friends began to triumph in France.

    The certainty hereof came to the ears of John Knox, for there were some that showed to him, from time to time, the state of things. Amongst others, he was assured that the Queen had danced excessively till after midnight, because she had received letters that persecution was begun again in France, and that her uncles were beginning to steir their tail (bestir themselves), and to trouble the whole Realm of France. 4 Upon occasion of this text, ‘And now understand, O ye kings, and be learned, ye that judge the earth,’ he began to tax the ignorance, the vanity, and the despite of princes against all virtue, and against all those in whom hatred of vice and love of virtue appeared.

    The report hereof having been made unto the Queen, John Knox was sent for. 5 Master Alexander Cockburn, eldest son of John Cockburn of Ormiston, who had been his scholar, and was very familiar with him, was the messenger, who gave him some knowledge both of the report and of the reporters. The Queen was in her bedchamber, and with her, besides the Ladies and the common servants, were the Lord James [the Earl of Moray], the Earl of Morton, Secretary Lethington, and some of the Guard that had made the report. He was called and accused, as one that had irreverently spoken of the Queen, and that travailed to bring her into hatred and contempt of the people, and that he had exceeded the bounds of his text. Upon these three heads, made the Queen herself a long harangue or oration. Thereto the said John answered as follows:— ‘Madam, this is oftentimes the just recompense which God giveth to the stubborn of the world. Because they will not hear God speaking to the comfort of the penitent, and for amendment of the wicked, they are oft compelled to hear the false reports of others, to their greater displeasure. 6 I doubt not but it came to the ears of proud Herod, that our Master Christ Jesus called him a fox; but they told him not how odious a thing it was before God to murder an innocent, as he had lately done, causing to behead John the Baptist, to reward the dancing of a harlot’s daughter. Madam, if the reporters of my words had been honest men, they would have reported my words, and also the circumstances of the same. But, because they would have credit in Court, and, lacking virtue worthy thereof, they must have somewhat to pleasure Your Majesty, if it were but flattery and lies. For, Madam, if your own ears had heard the whole matter that I entreated; if there be in you any sparkle of the Spirit of God, yea, of honesty or wisdom, ye could not justly have been offended with any thing that I spake.

    And because ye have heard their report, please Your Grace to hear myself rehearse the same, as near as memory will serve. ‘After, Madam, I had declared the dignity of kings, the honor wherein God hath placed them, and the obedience that is due unto them, being God’s Lieutenants, I demanded this question,—What account shall most Princes make before that Supreme Judge, whose authority so shamefully they abuse? Whilst murderers, oppressors, and malefactors dare be bold to present themselves before Kings, whilst the poor saints of God are banished, what shall we say, but that the Devil hath taken possession in the Throne of God, which ought to be fearful to all wicked doers, and a refuge to the innocent oppressed. How can it otherwise be? Princes despise God’s law; His statutes and holy ordinances they will not understand. In fiddling and flinging (dancing) they are more exercised than in reading or hearing God’s Most Blessed Word; and fiddlers and flatterers are more precious in their eyes than men of wisdom and gravity, who by wholesome admonition might beat down in them some part of that pride wherein we all are born, but which in Princes taketh deep root by wicked education. ‘Of dancing,7 Madam, I said, that albeit in Scripture I find no praise of it, and in profane writers, it is termed the gesture rather of those that are in frenzy than of sober men; yet do I not utterly damn it, providing that two vices be avoided. The former, that the principal vocation of those that use that exercise be not neglected for the pleasure of dancing. Secondly, that they dance not, for the pleasure they take in the displeasure of God’s people. If any man, Madam, will say that I spake more, let him presently accuse me. I think I have not only touched the sum, but the very words as I spake them.’

    Many that stood by did bare witness with John Knox that he had recited the very words that publicly he spake.

    The Queen looked about to some of the reporters, and said: ‘Your words are sharp enough as ye have spoken them; but yet they were told to me in another manner. I know that my uncles and you are not of one religion, and therefore I cannot blame you, albeit you have no good opinion of them. But if you hear anything of myself that dislikes you, come to myself and tell me, and I shall hear you.’ ‘Madam,’ quoth he, ‘I am assured that your uncles are enemies to God, and unto His Son Jesus Christ; and that for maintenance of their own pomp, they spare not to spill the blood of many innocents. 8 Therefore, I am assured that their enterprises shall have no better success than others have had that before them have done what they do now. But as to your own person, Madam, I would be glad to do all I could to Your Grace’s contentment, provided I exceed not the bounds of my vocation. I am called, Madam, to a public function within the Church of God, and am appointed by God to rebuke the sins and vices of all. I am not appointed to come to every man in particular to show him his offense; for that labor were infinite. If Your Grace please to frequent the public sermons, then doubt I not but you shall fully understand both what I like and dislike— as well in Your Majesty as in all others. Or, if Your Grace will assign unto me a certain day and hour when it will please you to hear the substance of the doctrine which is proponed in public to the Churches of this Realm, I will most gladly await upon Your Grace’s pleasure, time and place. But to wait upon your chamber-door, and then to have no farther liberty but to whisper my mind in Your Grace’s ear, or to tell you what others think and speak of you, neither will my conscience nor the vocation whereto God hath called me suffer it. For albeit at Your Grace’s commandment I am here now, yet can I not tell what other men shall judge of me, that at this time of day am absent from my book, and waiting upon the Court.’ ‘You will not always be at your book!’ said the Queen; and so turned her back. The said John Knox departed with a reasonable merry countenance; whereat some Papists, offended, said: ‘He is not afraid.’ Which being heard of him, he answered: ‘Why should the pleasing face of a gentlewoman frighten me? I have looked in the faces of many ANGRY MEN, and yet have not been afraid above measure.’ And so left he the Queen and the Court for that time. 9 CHAPTER - FROM THE PROPOSAL OF A MEETING BETWEEN THE QUEENS OF ENGLAND AND SCOTLAND AT YORK, IN 1562, TO MARY’S THIRD INTERVIEW WITH JOHN KNOX AT LOCHLEVEN, ON 13TH AND 14TH APRIL, 1563.

    PICTURE: Medallion of Queen Elizabeth PICTURE: Quenn Mary and the Earl of Darnley PICTURE: King James VI PICTURE: Watch presented by Queen Mary to John Knox IN the meantime, the negotiation and credit was great betwixt the Queen of England 1 and our Sovereign: letters, couriers, and posts ran very frequent.

    Great bruit there was of the meeting of the two Queens at York, and some preparation was made therefor in both Realms. But that failed upon the part of England, and that by occasion of the troubles moved in France, as was alleged, which caused the Queen Elizabeth and her Council attend upon the south parts of England, tbr avoiding of inconveniences. That summer, there came Peter Groif an Ambassador from the King of Sweden, requiring marriage of our Sovereign to his Master the King. His entertainment was honorable; but his petition liked not our Queen one whit. ‘Such a man was too base for her estate. Had not she been Great Queen of France? Fye of Sweden! What is it?’ But happy was the man that of such a one was forsaken. Yet she refused not one far inferior to a virtuous King! The Earl of Moray made a privy raid to Hawick upon the Fair-Day thereof, and apprehended fifty thieves; of which number were seventeen drowned: others were executed in Jedburgh. The principals were brought to Edinburgh, and there suffered, according to their merits, upon the Borough Muir. 4 The Queen was nothing content of the prosperity and good success that God gave to the Earl of Moray in all his enterprises. She hated his upright dealing, and the image of God which evidently did appear in him; but at that time she could not well have been served without him.

    The Assembly of the Kirk at Midsummer, the 24th of June, anno 1562, approached, in which were many notable heads entreated concerning good order to be kept in the Kirk; for the Papists and the idolatry of the Queen began to trouble the former good order.

    The interview of the two Queens having been delayed till the next year, our Sovereign took purpose to visit the North, and departed from Stirling in August 1562. Whether there was any secret pact and confederacy betwixt the Papists in the south, and the Earl of Huntly and his Papists in the north, or, to speak more plainly, betwixt the Queen herself and Huntly, we cannot certainly affirm: but the suspicions were wondrous vehement, that there was no goodwill borne to the Earl of Moray, nor yet to such as depended upon him at that time. The history we shall faithfully declare, and so leave the judgment free to the readers.

    At Aberdeen, the Queen and Court remained certain days to deliberate upon the affairs of the country, where some began to smell that the Earl of Huntly was under gathering.

    While things were so working in the North, the Earl Bothwell broke his ward, and came forth of the Castle of Edinburgh, the 28th of August 1562.

    Some say that he broke the stanchions of the window; others whisper, that he got easy passage by the yetts (gates). One thing is certain, to wit, the Queen was little offended at his escaping! There passed with him a servant of the Captain’s, named James Porterfield. The Earl showed himself not very afraid, for his common residence was in Lothian. The Archbishop of St. Andrews and Quintin Kennedy, son of the Earl of Cassillis, Abbot of Crossraguel, kept secret convention that same time in Paisley, to whom resorted diverse Papists. Yea, the said Bishop spake the Duke, unto whom also came the Lord Gordon from the Earl of Hunfly, requiring him ‘to put to his hands in the South, as he should do in the North; and so it should not be Knox’s crying nor preaching that should stay that purpose!’ The Bishop, be he never so close, could not altogether hide his mind, but at his own table said: ‘The Queen is gone into the North, belike to seek disobedience. She may perchance find the thing that she seeks!’ It was constantly affirmed, that the Earl Bothwell and the said Lord Gordon spoke together, but of their purpose we heard no mention.

    That same year, and at that instant time, were appointed Commissioners by the General Assembly. To Carrick and Cunningham, was appointed Master George Hay, who, the space of a month, preached with great fruit in all the Churches of Carrick. To Kyle, and to the parts of Galloway, was appointed John Knox, who, besides the doctrine of the Evangel shown unto the Common People, forewarned some of the Nobility and Barons of the dangers that he feared, and that were appearing shortly to follow. He exhorted them to put themselves in such order as they might be able to serve the Authority, and yet not suffer the enemies of God’s Truth to have the upper hand. Whereupon a great part of the Barons and Gentlemen of Kyle and Cunningham and Carrick, professing the true doctrine of the Evangel, assembled at Ayr; and after exhortations made, and conference had, subscribed a Bond to maintain and assist the preaching of God’s Holy Evangel, now, of His mere mercy, offered unto this Realm.

    These things done at Ayr, John Knox passed to Nithsdale and Galloway, where, in conference with Sir John Maxwell of Terreglis, Warden of the West Marches, a man of great judgment and experience, he communicated with him such things as he feared. By his motion Sir John wrote to the Earl of Bothwell to behave himself as became a faithful subject, and to keep good quietness in the parts committed to his charge, and so would his crime of breaking of ward be the more easily pardoned. John Knox wrote unto the Duke’s Grace, and earnestly exhorted him neither to give ear to John Hamilton, the Archbishop of St. Andrews, his bastard brother, nor yet to the persuasions of the Earl of Huntly. If he did, he assured him that he and his House should come to a sudden ruin.

    By such means were the South parts kept in reasonable quietness during the time that the troubles were brewing in the North. Yet the Archbishop, and the Abbot of Crossraguel, did what in them lay to have raised some trouble. Besides the fearful bruits that they sparsed abroad—sometimes that the Queen was taken, sometimes that the Earl of Moray and all his band were slain, and sometimes that the Queen had given herself to the Earl of Huntly—the Archbishop, to break the country of Kyle, where quietness was greatest, raised the Crawfords against the Reids for the payment of the Archbishop’s Paseh fines. But that was stayed by the labors of indifferent (impartial) men who favored peace.

    The Abbot of Crossraguel required disputation of John Knox for maintenance of the Mass, which was granted unto him [in September 1562], and which held in Maybole three days. The Abbot had the advantage that he required, to wit, he took upon him to prove that Melchisedec offered bread and wine unto God, which was the ground that the Mass was builded upon to be a Sacrifice. But in the travail of three days there could no proof be produced for Melchisedec’s oblation, as in the Disputation, which is to be had in print,5 clearly may appear. The Papists constantly looked for a wolter (overturn), and therefore they would make some brag of reasoning. The Abbot, farther, presented himself to the pulpit, but the voice of Master George Hay so frightened him that after once he wearied of that exercise. After the Queen was somewhat satisfied of hunting and other pastime, she came to Aberdeen, where the Earl of Huntly and his Lady met her with no small train. He departed with the Queen to Buchan, met her again at Rothiemay, looking that she should have passed with him to Strathbogie.

    But in the journey certain word came to her that John Gordon had broken promise in not reentering into ward; for his father the Earl of Huntly had promised that he should enter again within the Castle of Stirling and there abide the Queen’s pleasure. Whether with his father’s knowledge and consent, or without the same, we know not, but he refused to enter. This so offended the Queen that she would not go to Strathbogie, but passed through Strathisla to Inverness, where the Castle thereof was denied to her. The Captain was commanded to keep it, and looked for relief, for so had John of Gordon promised. But being thereof frustrate, the Castle was rendered, and the Captain, named Gordon, was executed; the rest were damned, and the hands of some bound, but they escaped. Meantime, the troubles were hot in France, and the intelligence and outward familiarity betwixt the two Queens of England and Scotland was great. William Maitland of Lethington was direct with large commission both to the Queen of England and to the Guises. The marriage of our Queen was in all men’s mouths. Some would have Spain [Don Carlos]; some, the Emperor’s brother [Archduke Charles, brother of Maximilian the Second]; some, Lord Robert Dudley [the Earl of Leicester 8 ]; some, Duke de Nemours of the House of Savoy; and some unhappily guessed at the Lord Darnley. What Lethington’s credit was we know not; but shortly after there began much to be talked of the Earl of Levenox (Lennox) and his son, the Lord Darnley. It was said that Lethington spoke the Lady Margaret Douglas, the Countess of Lennox, and that Robert Melville received a horse to the Secretary’s use, from the Earl of Lennox or from his wife. Howsoever it was, Master Fowler, servant to the said Earl, came with letters to the Queen’s Grace, by which license was permitted to the Earl of Lennox to come to Scotland to travail in his lawful business. That same day that the license was granted, the Secretary Lethington said: ‘This day have I taken the deadly hatred of all the Hamiltons within Scotland, and have done unto them no less displeasure than if I had cut their throats.’

    The Earl Bothwell, who before had broken ward, fearing apprehension, prepared to pass to France, but by storm of weather was driven into England, where he was stayed, and was offered to have been rendered by the Queen of England. But our Queen’s answer was: ‘Lord Bothwell was no rebel, and therefore she requested that he should have liberty to pass where it pleaseth him.’ Thereto Lethington helped not a little, for he travailed to have friends in every faction of the Court. And so obtained the said Earl license to pass to France.

    The General Assembly of the Church, held the twenty-fifth of December, the year of God 1562, approached, in which great complaints were made, that Kirks lacked Ministers; that Ministers lacked their stipends; and that wicked men were permitted to be Schoolmasters, and so to infect the youth. Among them, one, Master Robert Cumming, schoolmaster in Arbroath, was complained upon by the Laird of Dun, and sentence was pronounced against him. It was farther complained, that idolatry was erected in diverse parts of the Realm; for redress whereof, some thought best that new supplication should be presented to the Queen’s Grace.

    Others demanded, what answer was received of the former? The Superintendent of Lothian, Master John Spottiswood, confessed the deliverance of it, ‘But,’ said he, ‘I received no answer.’ It was answered for the part of the Queen—for her supposts (adherents) were ever there— ’ It was well known to the whole Realm what troubles had occurred since the last Assembly. Therefore, they should not wonder albeit the Queen had not answered. But betwixt that and the Parliament, which was appointed in May, they doubted not but such order should be taken, as all men should have occasion to stand content.’ This satisfied, for that time, the whole Assembly. And this was the practice of the Queen and of her Council, with fair words to drive time.

    The Papists at that Pasch, 1563, in diverse parts of the Realm, had erected that idol, the Mass. The brethren, universally offended, and espying that the Queen, by her Proclamations, did but mock them, determined to put to their own hands, and to punish, for example of others. Some Priests in the West Land were apprehended, and intimation made unto others, as unto the Abbot of Crossraguel, the Parson of Sanquhar, and such, that they should neither complain to Queen nor Council, but, by such means as they might, should execute the punishment that God has appointed to idolaters in His law, wherever they should be apprehended.

    The Queen stormed at the Brethren’s freedom of speaking, but she could not amend it; they were of one mind, to maintain the Truth of God and to suppress idolatry. Therefore she began to invent a new craft. She sent for John Knox to come unto her at Lochleven, and she travailed with him earnestly two hours before her supper, that he would be the instrument to persuade the people, and principally the Gentlemen of the West, not to put hands to punish any man for the using of themselves in their religion as pleased them. The other, perceiving her craft, willed Her Grace to punish malefactors according to the laws, and he durst promise quietness upon the part of all them that professed the Lord Jesus within Scotland.

    But if Her Majesty thought to elude the laws, he feared some would let the Papists understand that, without punishment, they should not be suffered so manifestly to offend God’s Majesty. ‘Will ye,’ quoth she, ‘allow that they shall take mat sword in their hand?’ ‘The Sword of Justice,’ quoth he, ‘Madam, is God’s, and is given to princes and rulers for one end, which, if they transgress, sparing the wicked and oppressing innocents, their subjects, who in the fear of God execute judgment, where God hath commanded, offend not God, neither do they sin that bridle Kings from striking innocent men in their rage. The examples are evident: —Samuel feared not to slay Agag, the fat and delicate King of Amalek, whom King Saul had saved. In this ease I would earnestly pray Your Majesty to take good advisement, and that Your Grace should let the Papists understand that their attempts will not be suffered unpunished. It shall be profitable to Your Majesty to consider what is the thing Your Grace’s subjects look to receive of Your Majesty, and what it is that ye ought to do unto them by mutual contract. They are bound to obey you, and that not but in God ye are bound to keep laws unto them. Ye crave of them service; they crave of you protection and defense against wicked doers. Now, Madam, if you shall deny your duty unto them, who especially crave that ye punish malefactors, think ye to receive full obedience from them? I fear, Madam, ye shall not.’

    Herewith, the Queen, being somewhat offended, passed to supper. John Knox left her, informed the Earl of Moray of the whole reasoning, and departed, of final purpose to have returned to Edinburgh without any further communication with the Queen.

    But before the sun’s rising upon the morn, were two messengers directed to him—at Melville was one—commanding him not to depart until he spake with the Queen’s Majesty. He met her at the hawking 9 , west of Kinross. Whether it was the night’s sleep or a deep dissimulation locked in her breast that made her forget her former anger, wise men may doubt; but thereof she never moved word, but began diverse other purposes, such as the offering of a ring to her by the Lord Ruthven. Queen Mary. ‘I cannot love Lord Ruthyen, for I know him to use enchantment; and yet is he made one of my Privy Council.’ John Knox. ‘ Whom blameth Your Grace thereof?’ Queen Mary. ‘ Lethington is the whole cause.’ John Knox. ‘ That man is absent for this present, Madam, and therefore I will speak nothing in that behalf.’ Queen Mary. ‘I understand that ye are appointed to go to Dumfries, for the election of a Superintendent to be established in that country? ’ John Knox. ‘ Yes. Those quarters have great need, and some of the Gentlemen so require.’ Queen Mary. ‘ But I hear that the Bishop of Athens 11 would be Superintendent?’ John Knox. ‘ He is one, Madam, that is put in election.’ Queen Mary. ‘ If ye knew him as well as I do, you would never promote him to that offiee, nor yet to any other within your Kirk.’ John Knox. ‘ What he hath been, Madam, I neither know, nor yet will I inquire. In time of darkness, what could we do but grope, and go wrong, even as darkness carried us? But if he fear not God now, he deceives many more than me. And yet, Madam, I am assured God will not suffer His Church to be so far deceived as that an unworthy man shall be elected, where free election is, and the Spirit of God is earnestly called upon to decide betwixt the two.’ Queen Mary. ‘Well, do as ye will, but that man is a dangerous man.’

    And therein the Queen was not deceived: for the said Bishop of Athens had corrupted most part of the Gentlemen not only to nominate him, but also to elect him; which being perceived by the said John Knox, Commissioner, he delayed the election, and so was the Bishop frustrate of his purpose for that present. Yet was he at that time the man that was most familiar with the said John Knox in his house, and at table.

    When the Queen had long talked with John Knox, and he being oft willing to take his leave, she said, ‘I have one of the greatest matters that have touched me since I came into this Realm, to open to you, and I must have your help in it.’ And she began to make a long discourse of her sister, the Countess of Argyle, how that she was not so circumspect in all things as she wished her to be. Queen Mary. ‘Yet, my Lord her husband, whom I love, entreats her in many things not so honestly and so godly, as I think ye yourself would require.’ John Knox. ‘ Madam, I have been troubled with that matter before.

    Once I put such an end to it—that was before Your Grace’s arrival— that both she and her friends seemed fully to stand content. She herself promised before her friends, that she should never complain to creature, till I should first understand the controversy by her own mouth, or else by an assured messenger. I now have heard nothing of her part; and therefore I think there is nothing but concord.’ Queen Mary. ‘Well, it is worse than you believe. But do this much FOR MY SAKE, as once again to put them at unity. If she behave not herself as she ought to do, she shall find no favor of me. But, in any wise, let not my Lord know that I have requested you in this matter. I would be very sorry to offend him in that or any other thing. And now, as touching our reasoning last night, I promise to do as ye required. I shall cause summon all offenders; and ye shall know that I shall minister justice.’ John Knox. ‘I am assured then that ye shall please God and enjoy rest and tranquillity within your Realm; which to Your Majesty is more profitable than all the Pope’s power can be.’

    And thus they departed.

    This conference we have inserted to let the world see how deeply Marie, Queen of Scotland, can dissemble; 13 and how she could cause men to think that she bare no indignation for any controversy in religion, while yet in her heart there was nothing but venom and destruction, as shortly after did appear. 14 CHAPTER - FROM JOHN KNOX’S LETTER TO THE EARL OF ARGYLE, WRITTEN BY ORDER OF QUEEN MARY ON 7TH MAY, 1563, TO MARY’S FOURTH INTERVIEW WITH KNOX AT HOLYROOD, IN MAY OR JUNE 1563.

    PICTURE: Philip II and Don Carlos JOHN KNOX departed, and prepared himself for his journey appointed to Dumfries; and from Glasgow, on 7th May 1563, according to the Queen’s commandment, he wrote a letter to the Earl of Argyle.

    This bill was not well accepted of the said Earl; and yet did he utter no part of his displeasure in public, but contrarily showed himself most familiar with the said John Knox. He kept the diet, and sat in judgment himself, where the Bishop and the rest of the Papists were accused, as after follows.

    The summonses were directed against the Massmongers with expedition, and in the straitest form. The day was appointed the 19th of May 1563, a day only before the Parliament. Of the Pope’s knights compeared the Archbishop of St. Andrews, Malcolm Fleming, Prior of Whitehorn, Robert Criehton, Parson of Sanquhar, William Hamilton [Tutor] of Cammiskeyth, John Gordon of Barskeocht, with diverse others. The Protestants convened whole to crave for justice. The Queen asked counsel of Henry Sinclair, Bishop of Ross and President of the Court of Session, and of the old Laird of Lethington—for the younger was absent, and so the Protestants had the fewer unfriends—who affirmed, ‘That she must see her laws kept, or else she would get no obedience.’ So was preparation made for their accusations. The Archbishop, and his band of the exempted sort, made it nice (were foolish enough) to enter before the Earl of Argyle, who sat in judgment [as Hereditary Lord Justice-General]; but at last he was compelled to enter within the bar. A merry man, who now sleeps in the Lord, Robert Norwell, instead of the Bishop’s cross, bare before him a steel hammer. At this the Bishop and his band were not a little offended, because the Bishop’s privileges were not then current in Scotland, which day God grant our posterity may see of longer continuance than we possessed it!

    The Archbishop and his fellows, after much ado and long drift of time, came in the Queen’s will, and were committed to ward, some to one place, some to another. The Lady Erskine—a sweet morsel for the devil’s mouth! —got the Bishops for her part. All this was done of a most deep craft, to abuse the simplicity of the Protestants, that they should not press the Queen with any other thing concerning matters of religion at that Parliament, which began within two days thereafter.

    At the Parliament she obtained of the Protestants whatsoever she desired, for this was the reasoning of many:— ‘We see what the Queen hath done.

    The like of this was never heard of within the Realm. We will bear with the Queen. We doubt not but all shall be well.’ Others were of a contrary judgment, and forespake things, as after they came to pass, to wit, that nothing was meant but deceit; and that the Queen, how soon that ever Parliament was past, would set the Papists at freedom: and therefore willed the Nobility not to be abused. But, because many had their private commodity to be handled at that Parliament, the common cause was the less regarded.

    Such stinking pride of women as was seen at that Parliament was never seen before in Scotland. Three sundry days the Queen rode to the Tolbooth. The first day she made a painted orison (oration); and there might have been heard among her flatterers, ‘Vox Dianae The voice of a goddess and not of a woman! God save that sweet face! 2 Was there ever orator spake so properly and so sweetly!’

    All things disliking the Preachers, they spoke boldly against the targeting of their tails (bordering their gowns with tassels), and against the rest of their vanity, which they affirmed should provoke God’s vengeance, not only against these foolish women, but against the whole Realm; and especially against those that maintained them in that odious abusing of things that might have been better bestowed. Articles were presented for order to be taken for apparel, and for reformation of other enormities; but all was scripped (mocked) at. ‘The Earldom of Moray needed confirmation, and many things were to be ratified that concerned the help of friends and servants. They might not urge the Queen, for if they so did, she would hold no Parliament. What then should become of them that had melled (meddled) with the slaughter of the Earl of Huntly? Let that Parliament pass over, and when the Queen asked anything of the Nobility, as she must do before her marriage, then should the Religion be the first thing that should be established.’ It was answered, That the poets and painters erred not altogether, that feigned and painted Occasion with a bald hind-head: for the first, when it is offered, being lost, is hard to be recovered again!

    The matter fell so hot betwixt the Earl of Moray and some others of the Court, and John Knox, that familiarly after that time they spoke not together more than a year and a half; and the said John, by his letter, gave a discharge to the said Earl of all further intermission or care with his affairs.

    He made unto him a discourse of their first acquaintance; in what estate he was when first they spoke together in London; and how God had promoted him, and that above man’s judgment. In the end he made this conclusion,’ But seeing that I perceive myself frustrate of my expectation, which was, that ye should ever have preferred God to your own affection, and the advancement of His truth to your singular commodity, I commit you to your own wit, and to the conducting of those who better call please you. I praise my God, I this day leave you victor of your enemies, promoted to great honors, and in credit and authority with your Sovereign.

    If so ye long continue, none within the Realm shall be more glad than I shall be. But if after this ye decay, as I fear ye shall, then call to mind by what means God exalted you; which was neither by bearing with impiety, neither yet by maintaining pestilent Papists.’

    This bill and discharge was so pleasing to the flatterers of the Earl, that they triumphed of it, and were glad to have got their occasion; for some envied that so great familiarity was betwixt the Earl and John Knox.

    Therefore, from the time that they got once that occasion to separate them, they ceased not to cast oil in the burning flame, which ceased not to burn, till God by water of affliction began to slocken it, as we shall after hear. But lest that they should altogether have been seen to have forsaken God—as in very deed both God and His Word were far from the hearts of the most part of the Courtiers in that age, a few excepted —they began a new shift, to wit, to speak of the punishment of adultery, and of witchcraft, and to seek the restitution of the glebes and manses to the Ministers of the Kirk, and of the Reparation of Churches. Thereby they thought to have pleased the godly that were highly offended at their slackness.

    The Act of Oblivion passed, because some of the Lords had interest; but the Acts against Adultery, and for the Manses and Glebes, were so modified, that no law and such law might stand in eodem predicamento.

    To speak plain, no law and such Acts were both alike. The Acts are in print: let wise men read, and then accuse us, if without cause we complain.

    In the progress of this corruption, and before the Parliament dissolved, John Knox, in his sermon before the Nobility, began to enter in a deep discourse of God’s mercies which that Realm had felt, and of that ingratitude which he espied almost in the whole multitude, whom God had marvelously delivered from the bondage and tyranny both of body and soul. ‘And now, my Lords,’ said he, ‘I praise my God, through Jesus Christ, that in your own presence I may pour forth the sorrows of my heart. Yea, yourselves shall be witness, if I shall make any lie in things that are bypast. From the beginning of God’s mighty working within this Realm, I have been with you in your most desperate temptations. Ask your own consciences, and let them answer you before God, if I—not I, but God’s Spirit by me—in your greatest extremity willed you not ever to depend upon your God, and in His name promised you victory and preservation from your enemies, if ye would only depend upon His protection, and prefer His glory to your own lives and worldly commodity. In your most extreme dangers I have been with you. St.

    Johnestoun, Cupar Muir, and the Crags of Edinburgh, are yet recent in my heart; yea, that dark and dolorous night, wherein all ye, my Lords, with shame and fear left this town, is yet in my mind. God forbid that ever I forget it! What was my exhortation unto you, and what is fallen in vain of all that ever God promised unto you by my mouth, ye yourselves yet live to testify. Not one of you, against whom death and destruction were threatened, perished in that danger. And how many of your enemies hath God plagued before your eyes! Shall this be the thankfulness that ye shall render unto your God, to betray His cause, when ye have it in your own hands to establish it as ye please? ‘The Queen, say ye, will not agree with us! Ask ye of her that which by God’s Word ye may justly require, and if she will not agree with you in God, ye are not bound to agree with her in the Devil! Let her plainly understand so far of your minds, and steal not from your former stoutness in God, and He shall prosper you in your enterprises. But I can see nothing but a recoiling from Christ Jesus, so that the man that first and most speedily fleeth from Christ’s ensign, holdeth himself most happy. Yea, I hear that some say, We have nothing of our Religion established, neither by Law or Parliament! Albeit that the malicious words of such can neither hurt the Truth of God, nor yet us that thereupon depend, yet the speaker, for his treason against God committed, and against this poor Commonwealth, deserves the gallows. For our Religion being commanded, and so established by God, is accepted within this Realm in public Parliament. If they say that [the Parliament of 1560] was no Parliament, we must, and will say, and also prove, that that Parliament was as lawful as ever any that passed before it within this Realm. Yea, if the King then living [Francis II] was King of Scotland and France, and the Queen now in this Realm be lawful Queen of Scotland, that Parliament can not be denied. ‘Now, my Lords, to put end to all, I hear of the Queen’s marriage.

    Dukes, brethren to Emperors, and Kings, strive all for the best game; but this, my Lords, will I say—note the day, and bear witness after—whensoever the Nobility of Scotland professing the Lord Jesus, consent that an infidel—and all Papists are infidels— shall be head to our Sovereign, ye do so far as in ye lieth to banish Christ Jesus from this Realm. Ye bring God’s vengeance upon the country, a plague upon yourselves, and perchance ye shall do small comfort to your Sovereign.’

    John Knox’s words and his manner of speaking were judged intolerable. Papists and Protestants were both offended; yea, his most familiars disdained him. Placeboes (parasites) and flatterers posted to the Court to give advertisement that Knox had spoken against the Queen’s [proposed] marriage [with Doll Carlos, son of Philip II. of Spain]. 5 The Provost of Lineluden, Robert Douglas of Drumlanrig by surname, gave the charge that the said John should present himself before the Queen; which he did soon after dinner. The Lord Ochiltree, and diverse of the Faithful, bore him company to the Abbey of Holyroodhouse; but none passed to the Queen with him in the Cabinet but John Erskine of Dun, then Superintendent of Angus and Mearns.

    The Queen in a vehement fume, began to cry out, that never Prince was handled as she was. Queen Mary. ‘ I have borne with you in all your rigorous manner of speaking, both against myself and against my uncles [the Duke of Guise and the Cardinal of Lorraine]. Yea, I have sought your favor by all possible means. I offered unto you presence and audience whensoever it pleased you to admonish me; and yet I cannot be quit of you! I vow to God, I shall be once revenged!’

    With these words, scarcely could Marna, her secret chamber boy, get napkins to hold her eyes dry for the tears; and the howling,1 besides womanly weeping, stayed her speech. The said John did patiently abide all the first fume, and, at opportunity, answered:— John Knox. ‘ True it is, Madam, Your Grace and I have been at diverse controversies, in which I never perceived Your Grace to be offended at me. But, when it shall please God to deliver you from that bondage of darkness and error in which you have been nourished for the lack of true doctrine, Your Majesty will find the liberty of my tongue nothing offensive. Without (outside) the preaching place, Madam, I think few have occasion to be offended at me. There, Madam, I am not master of myself, but must obey Him who commands me to speak plain, and to flatter no flesh upon the face of the earth.’ Queen Mary. ‘But what have ye to do with my marriage?’ John Knox. ‘If it please Your Majesty patiently to hear me, I shall show the truth in plain words. I grant Your Grace offered unto me more than ever I required; but my answer was then, as it is now, that God hath not sent me to wait upon the courts of Princes, nor upon the chambers of Ladies; but I am sent to preach the Evangel of Jesus Christ, to such as please to hear it. It hath two parts—Repentance and Faith. Now, Madam, in preaching Repentance, of necessity it is that the sins of men be so noted, that they may know wherein they offend.

    But the most part of your Nobility are so addicted to your affections, that neither God’s Word, nor yet their Commonwealth, are rightly regarded. Therefore, it beeometh me so to speak, that they may know their duty.’ Queen Mary. ‘What have you to do with my marriage? Or what are you within this Commonwealth?’ John Knox. ‘A SUBJECT BORN WITHIN THE SAME, Madam. And albeit I be neither Earl, Lord, nor Baron within it, yet hath God made me— how abject so ever I be in your eyes— a profitable member within the same. Yea, Madam, to me it appertains no less to forewarn of such things as may hurt it, if I foresee them, than it doth to any of the Nobility; for both my vocation and my conscience crave plainness of me. Therefore, Madam, to yourself I say that which I spake in public place:—Whensoever the Nobility of this Realm shall consent that ye be subject to an unfaithful husband, they do as much as in them lieth to renounce Christ, to banish His truth from them, to betray the freedom of this Realm, and perchance they shall in the end do small comfort to yourself.’

    At these words, howling was heard, and tears might have been seen in greater abundance than the matter required. John Erskine of Dun, a man of meek and gentle spirit, stood beside, and entreated what he could to mitigate her anger. He gave unto her many pleasing words of her beauty, of her excellence, and how all the Princes of Europe would be glad to seek her favor. But all that was to east oil on the flaming fire. John Knox stood still, without any alteration of countenance for a long season; while the Queen gave place to her inordinate passion.

    In the end he said: ‘Madam, in God’s presence I speak. I never delighted in the weeping of any of God’s creatures. Yea, I can scarcely well abide the tears of my own boys whom my own hand correcteth; much less can I rejoice in Your Majesty’s weeping. But, seeing I have offered to you no just occasion to be offended, but have spoken the truth, as my vocation craves of me, I must sustain, albeit unwillingly, Your Majesty’s tears, rather than I dare hurt my conscience, or betray my Commonwealth through my silence.’ Herewith was the Queen more offended, and commanded the said John to pass forth of the Cabinet, and to abide her pleasure in the Chamber. The Laird of Dun tarried, and Lord John Stewart, Prior of Coldingham [the Queen’s brother] came into the Cabinet, and they both remained with her neat the space of one hour. John Knox stood in the Chamber, as one whom men had never seen—so were all afraid—except that the Lord Ochiltree bore him company. Therefore began he to forge talking with the ladies who were there sitting in all their gorgeous apparel; which espied, he merrily said, ‘O, fair Ladies! How pleasing were this life of yours, if it should ever abide, and then in the end that we might pass to Heaven with all this gay gear! But fie upon that knave Death, that will come, whether we will or not! And when he hath laid on his arrest, the foul worms will be busy with this flesh, be it never so fair and so tender; and the silly Soul, I fear, shall be so feeble, that it van neither carry with it gold, garnishing, targeting, pearl nor precious stones!’ 9 By such means procured he the company of women! And so he passed the time till the Laird of Dun willed him to depart to his house until new advertisement.

    The Queen would have had the censement (judgment) of the Lords of the Articles, if such manner of speaking did not deserve punishment. But she was counseled to desist; and so that storm quieted in appearance, but never in the heart.


    SHORTLY after the Parliament, Lethington returned from his negotiation in England and France. God, in the February before, had stricken that bloody tyrant the Duke of Guise, which somewhat broke the lard (ardor) of our Queen for a season. But shortly after the return of Lethington, pride and malice began to show themselves again. She set at liberty the Bishop of St.

    Andrews, and the rest of the Papists that before were put in prison for violating the laws. Lethington, at his return, showed himself not a little offended, that any bruit should have risen of the Queen’s marriage with the [son of the] King of Spain. He took upon him to affirm that such thing never entered in her heart: but how true that was we shall after hear. The end of all his acquittance and complaint was to discredit John Knox, who had affirmed that such a marriage was both proponed, and, upon the part of our Queen, by the Cardinal of Lorraine accepted. 1 Lethington, in his absence, had run into a very evil bruit among the Nobility for too much serving the Queen’s affections against the Commonwealth. Therefore had he, as one that lacketh no worldly wisdom, made provision both in England and in Scotland. In England he travailed for the freedom of the Earl Bothwell, and by that means obtained promise of his favor. He had there also taken order for the homecoming of the Earl of Lennox, as we shall after hear. In Scotland he joined with the Earl of Athole. Him he promoted and set forward in Court; and so began the Earl of Moray to be defaced.

    Yet, to the said Earl, Lethington at all times showed a fair countenance.

    The rest of that summer the Queen spent in her progress through the West Country, where in all towns and Gentlemen’s places she had her Mass.

    Which coming to the ears of John Knox, he began that form of prayer which ordinarily he saith after Thanksgiving at his table: ‘1. Deliver us, O Lord, from the bondage of idolatry. 2. Preserve us from the tyranny of strangers. 3. Continue us in quietness and concord amongst ourselves, if Thy good pleasure be, O Lord, for a season.’ Diverse of the familiars of the said John asked him why he prayed for quietness to continue for a season, and not rather absolutely? His answer was, ‘He durst not pray but in faith; and faith in God’s Word assured him, that constant quietness could not continue in that Realm where idolatry had been suppressed, and then was permitted to be erected again.’ From the West country, the Queen passed into Argyle to the hunting, and after returned to Stirling. The Earl of Moray, the Lord Robert of Holyrood House, and Lord John of Cohlingham, passed to the Northland. Justice Courts were holden; thieves and murderers were punished; two witches were burned,—the eldest was so blinded with the Devil, that she affirmed, ‘That no Judge had power over her.’

    Whilst the Queen lay at Stirling, with her idolatry in her Chapel, there were left in the Palace of Holyrood House certain dontibours (loose characters) and others of the French menyie (crowd of followers), who raised up their Mass more publicly than they had done at any time before.

    Upon the same Sunday that the Church of Edinburgh had the ministration of the Lord’s Table, the Papists in great number resorted to the Abbey to their abomination. Which understood, diverse of the brethren, being sore offended, consulted how to redress that enormity. Certain of the most zealous and most upright in the Religion, were appointed to wait upon the Abbey, that they might note such persons as resorted to the Mass.

    Perceiving a great number to enter the Chapel, some of the brethren burst also in; whereat the Priest and the French dames being afraid, made the shout to be sent to the town; and Madame Raulet [wife of the Queen’s French Private Secretary, predecessor of David Rizzio] posted on with all diligence to the Comptroller, the Laird of Pittarrow, who then was in St.

    Giles Kirk at the sermon, and cried for his assistance, to save her life, and to save the Queen’s Palace. He, with greater haste than need required, obeyed her desire, and took with him the Provost, the Bailies, and a great part of the Faithful. But when they came where the fear was bruited to have been, they found all things quiet, except the tumult they brought with themselves, and peaceable men looking to the Papists, and forbidding them to transgress the laws.

    True it is, a zealous brother, named Patrick Cranston, passed into the Chapel, and finding the Altar covered, and the Priest ready to go to that abomination, said, ‘The Queen’s Majesty is not here. How dare thou then be so impertinent as openly to do against the laws?’ No further was done or said, and yet the bruit hereof was posted to the Queen, with such information as the Papists could give, which found such credit, as their hearts could have wished for. This was so heinous a crime in her eyes, that satisfaction for that sin was there none without blood. Therefore, without delay were summoned Andrew Armstrong and Patrick Cranston, to find surety to underlie the law,’ for forethought felony, hamesucken, violent invasion of the Queen’s Palace, and for spoliation of the same’!

    These letters divulgate, and the extremity feared, Brethren—the few that were within the town—consulted upon the next remedy. In the end they concluded that John Knox, to whom the charge was given to make advertisements whensoever danger should appear, should write to the Brethren in all quarters, giving information as the matter stood, and requiring their assistance.

    The Brethren, advertised by John Knox’s bill, prepared themselves, so many as were thought expedient for every town and province, to keep the day appointed. But by the means of false brethren, the letter came to the hands of the Queen. The manner was this: —It was read in the Town of Ayr, where was present Robert Cunningham, ‘ Minister’ [that is, Head of the Red Friars’ Convent] of Failfurd, who then was holden an earnest professor of the Evangel. He, by what means we know not, got the said letter, and sent it with his token to Master Henry Sinclair, then President of the Seat and College of Justice, and styled Bishop of Ross, a perfect hypocrite, and a conjured enemy to Christ Jesus, whom God after struck according to his deservings. The said Master Henry—being enemy to all that unfeignedly professed the Lord Jesus, but chiefly to John Knox, for the liberty of his tongue—thinking himself happy that he had found so good occasion to trouble him, whose life he hated, posted the said letter, with his counsel, to the Queen, who then lay in Stirling.

    The letter being read, it was concluded by the Council of the Cabinet, that is, by The Most Secret Council, that it imported treason; whereat the Queen not a little rejoiced, for she thought once to be revenged of that her great enemy. It was concluded that the Nobility should be written for, that the condemnation should have the greater authority. The day was appointed about the midst of December, which was kept of the whole Council, and of diverse others, such as the Master of Maxwell, the auld Laird of Lethington, and the said President.

    In the meantime, the Earl of Moray returned from the North, to whom the Secretary Lethington opened the matter as best pleased him. The Master of’ Maxwell gave unto the said John Knox, as it had been a discharge of the familiarity which before was great betwixt them, unless he would satisfy the Queen at her own sight.

    The answer of John Knox was: ‘He knew no offense done by him to the Queen’s Majesty, and therefore he wist not what satisfaction to make.’ Maxwell. ‘ No offense! Have ye not written letters desiring the Brethren from all parts to convene to Andrew Armstrong’s and Patrick Cranston’s day?’ Knox. ‘That I grant; but therein I acknowledge no offence done by me.’ Maxwell. ‘ No offense to convocate the Queen’s lieges?’ Knox. ‘Not for so just a cause. Greater things were reputed no offense within these two years.’ Maxwell. ‘The time is now other. Then our Sovereign was absent. Now she is present.’ Knox. ‘ It is neither the absence nor the presence of the Queen that rules my conscience, but God speaking plainly in His Word. What was lawful to me last year, is yet lawful; because my God is unchangeable.’ Maxwell. ‘Well, I have given you my counsel. Do as ye list; but I think ye shall repent it, if ye bow not to the Queen.’ Knox. ‘I understand not, Master, what ye mean. I never made myself an adversary party to the Queen’s Majesty, except in the head of religion; and therein I think ye will not desire me to bow.’ Maxwell. ‘Well, ye are wise enough; but ye will find that men will not bear with you in times to come, as they have done in times past.’ Knox. ‘If God stand my friend, as I am assured He of His mercy will, so long as I depend upon His promise, and prefer His glory to my life and worldly profit, I little regard how men behave themselves towards me. Neither yet know I wherein any mall hath borne with me in times past, unless it be that of my mouth they have heard the Word of God, which in times to come, if they refuse, my heart will be pierced, and for a season will lament; but the incommodity will be their own.’

    After these words, whereunto Sir John Gordon, the Laird of Lochinvar, was witness, they departed. But unto this day, the 17th of December 1571, they met not in such familiarity as they had before.

    The bruit of the accusation of John Knox being divulged, Master John Spens of Condie, [Lord] Advocate, a man of gentle nature, and one that professed the Doctrine of the Evangel, came, as it were in secret, to John Knox, to inquire the cause of that great bruit. To whom the said John was plain in all things, and showed unto him the double of the letter. Which heard and considered, he said: ‘I thank my God. I came to you with a fearful and sorrowful heart, fearing that ye had done such a crime as laws might have punished, which would have been no small trouble to the hearts of all such as have received the Word of Life which ye have preached. I depart greatly rejoiced, as well because I perceive your own comfort, even in the midst of your troubles, as that I clearly understand that ye have committed no such crime as ye are burdened with. Ye will be accused; but God will assist you.’ So he departed.

    The Earl of Moray and the Secretary Lethington 3 sent for John Knox to the Clerk of Register’s house, and began to lament that he had so highly offended the Queen’s Majesty, which they feared should come to a great inconvenience to himself, if the business were not wisely foreseen. They showed what pains and travail they had taken to mitigate her anger; but they could find nothing but extremity, unless he himself would confess his offense, and put him in Her Grace’s will. To which heads the said John answered as follows:— ‘I praise my God, through Jesus Christ, I have learned not to cry Conjuration and Treason at every thing that the godless multitude doth condemn, neither yet to fear the things that they fear. I have the testimony of a good conscience, that I have given no occasion to the Queen’s Majesty to be offended with me. I have done nothing but my duty, and so, whatsoever shall thereof ensue, my good hope is, that my God will give me patience to bear it. But to confess an offense where my conscience witnesseth there is none,—far be it from me.’ Secretary Lethington. ‘ How can it be defended? Have ye not made convocation of the Queen’s lieges?’ John Knox. ‘ If I have not a just defense for my fact, let me smart for it.’ Earl of Moray and Secretary Lethington. ‘ Let us hear your defenses. We would be glad that ye might be found innocent.’ John Knox. ‘Nay, for I am informed—and that by diverse, and even by you, my Lord Secretary—that I am already condemned, and my cause prejudged. Therefore, I might be reputed a fool, if I would make you privy to my defenses.’

    At those words they seemed both offended; and the Secretary departed.

    But the Earl of Moray remained still, and would have entered into further discourse of the estate of the Court with the said John, who answered: ‘My Lord, I understand more than I would of the affairs of the Court. It is not needful that your Lordship trouble you with the recounting thereof. If ye stand in good ease, I am content. If ye do not, as I fear you do not already, or else ye shall not do ere it be long, blame not me. You have the counselors whom ye have chosen. My weak judgment both you and they despised. I can do nothing but behold the end, which, I pray God, be other than my troubled heart feareth.’

    Within four days the said John Knox was called before Queen Mary and the Privy Council [at Holyrood], between six and seven hours at night.

    The season of the year was the middle of December. The bruit rising in the town, that John Knox was sent for by the Queen, the brethren of the Kirk followed in such numbers, that the Inner Close was full, and all the stairs, even to the chamber door, where the Queen and Council sat. They had been reasoning among themselves before, but had not fully satisfied the mind of the Secretary. So the Queen had retired to her cabinet, and the Lords were talking each one with the other, as occasion served. But upon the entry of John Knox, they were commanded to take their places, and so they did, sitting as Councilors one over against another.

    The Duke of Chatelherault, according to his dignity, began the one side.

    Upon the other side, sat the Earl of Argyle, and consequently (in order) followed the Earl of Moray; the Earl of Glencairn; the Earl Marischall; the Lord Ruthven; and the Common Officers, Sir John Wishart of Pittarrow, Comptroller, Sir John Bellenden, Justice-Clerk, and Master John Spens of Condie, [Lord] Advocate; and diverse others stood by. Removed from the table sat old Lethington, father to the Secretary, Master Henry Sinclair, then Bishop of Ross and President of the Court of Session, and Master James Makgill, Clerk of Register.

    Things thus put in order, the Queen came forth, and with no little worldly pomp, was placed in the chair, having two faithful supports, Sir John Maxwell of Terregles, Master of Maxwell upon the one tor (arm), and Secretary Lethington on the other tor of the chair, whereupon they waited diligently all the time of that accusation, sometimes the one occupying her ear, sometimes the other. Her pomp lacked one principal point, to wit, WOMANLY GAVITY; for when she saw John Knox standing at the other end of the table, bareheaded, she first smiled, and after gave a gawf of laughter.

    Whereat, when her placeboes gave their plaudite, affirming with like countenance, ‘ This is a good beginning,’ she said, ‘ But wot ye whereat I laugh? Yon man gart me greet and grat never tear himself. I will see if I can gar him greet.’ 4 At that word the Secretary whispered her in the ear, and she him again, and with that gave him a letter. After the inspection thereof, he directed his visage and speech to John Knox in this manner: — ‘The Queen’s Majesty is informed, that ye have travailed to raise a tumult of her subjects against her, and for certification thereof, there is presented to her your own letter, subscribed in your name.

    Yet, because Her Grace will do nothing without a good advisement, she hath convened you before this part of the Nobility, that they may witness betwixt you and her.’ ‘Let him acknowledge his own handwrit,’ said the Queen, ‘ and then shall we judge the contents of the letter.’

    And so was the letter presented from hand to hand to John Knox, who, taking inspection of it, said: ‘I gladly acknowledge this to be my handwrit; and also, I remember, I indited a letter in the month of October, giving signification to the Brethren in sundry quarters, of such things as displeased me. And, so good all opinion have I of the fidelity of the scribes that willingly they would not adulterate my original, albeit I left diverse blanks subscribed with them, I acknowledge both the handwrit and the inditing.’ Secretary Lethington. ‘ You have done more than I would have done.’ John Knox. ‘Charity is not suspicious.’ Queen Mary. ‘ Well! Well! Read your own letter, and then answer to such things as shall be demanded of you.’ John Knox. ‘I shall do the best I can.’

    So, with loud voice, John Knox began to read, as before is expressed.

    After the letter was read to the end, it was presented again to Master John Spens; for the Queen commanded him to accuse, as he after did, but very gently. After, we say, the letter was read, the Queen, beholding the whole table, said: ‘Heard ye ever, my Lords, a more despiteful and treasonable letter?’

    When no man gave answer, Lethington addressed himself to John Knox, and said: ‘Master Knox, are ye not sorry from your heart, and do ye not repent that such a letter hath passed your pen, and from you is come to the knowledge of others?’ John Knox. ‘My Lord Secretary, before I repent, I must be taught my offense.’ Secretary Lethington. ‘ Offense! If there were no more but the convocation of the Queen’s lieges, the offense can not be denied.’ John Knox. ‘Remember, my Lord, there is a difference between a lawful convocation, and an unlawful. If I have been guilty in this, I have offended often since I came last to Scotland. What convocation of the Brethren hath ever been to this day in which my pen served not?

    Before this, no man laid it to my charge as a crime! ’ Secretary Lethington. ‘Then was then, andNOW isNOW! We have no need of such convocations as sometimes we have had.’ John Knox. ‘The time that hath been is even now before my eyes, for I see the poor flock in no less danger than at any time before, except that the Devil hath gotten a visor upon his face. Before, he came in with his own face, discovered by open tyranny, seeking the destruction of all that refused idolatry; and then I think you will confess that the Brethren lawfully assembled themselves for defense of their lives. But now the devil comes, under the cloak of Justice, to do that which God would not suffer him to do by strength.’ Queen Mary (to the Privy Council). ‘What is this? Me-thinks ye trifle with him. Who gave him authority to make convocation of my lieges? Is not that treason?’ Lord Ruthven. ‘ No, Madam, for he makes convocation of the people to hear prayer and sermon almost daily; and whatever Your Grace or others will think thereof, we think it no treason.’ Queen Mary (to Lord Ruthven). ‘ Hold your peace! Let him make answer for himself.’ John Knox. ‘I began, Madam, to reason with the Secretary —whom I take to be a better dialectician than Your Grace is—that all convocations are not unlawful. Now my Lord Ruthven hath given the instance, which if Your Grace will deny, I shall address me for the proof.’ Queen Mary. ‘I will say nothing against your religion nor against your convening to your sermons. But what authority have ye to convocate my subjects when you will, without my commandment?’ John Knox. ‘I answer that at my own will I never convened four persons in Scotland, but, at the order the Brethren have appointed, I have given diverse advertisements, and great multitudes have assembled thereupon. If Your Grace complains that this was done without Your Grace’s commandment, I answer, so has all that God has blessed within this Realm from the beginning of this action. Therefore, Madam, I must be convicted by a just law, that I have done against the duty of God’s messenger in writing this letter, before I be either sorry or yet repent for the doing of it, as my Lord Secretary would persuade me.’ Queen Mary. ‘ Ye shall not escape so. Is it not treason, my Lords, to accuse a Prince of cruelty? I think there be Acts of Parliament against such whisperers?’

    That was granted by many. John Knox. ‘ But wherein can I be accused of this? ’ Queen Mary. ‘ Read this part of your own bill, which begins’ “This fearful summons is directed against them,” to wit, the Brethren who were indited, “to make, no doubt, preparation upon a few, that a door may be opened to execute cruelty upon a greater multitude.” Lo! What say you to that? ’ While many doubted what the said John should answer, he said unto the Queen ‘Is it lawful for me, Madam, to answer for myself? Or shall I be damned before I am heard?’ Queen Mary. ‘Say what you can—I think you have enough ado!’ John Knox. ‘ I will first then desire this of Your Grace, and of this Most Honorable audience,—Whether Your Grace knows not that the obstinate Papists are deadly enemies to all such as profess the Evangel of Jesus Christ, and that they most earnestly desire the extermination of them, and of the True Doctrine that is taught within this Realm?’ The Queen held her peace; but all the Lords, with common voice, said: ‘God forbid that either the lives of the Faithful, or yet the staying of the doctrine, stood in the power of the Papists! Just experience hath told us what cruelty lies in their hearts.’ John Knox. ‘ I perceive that all will grant that it were a barbarous cruelty to destroy such a multitude as profess the Evangel of Jesus Christ within this Realm. Oftener than once or twice they have attempted to do this by force, as things done of late days do testify, whereof they, by God and His Providence, being disappointed, have invented more crafty and dangerous practices, to wit, to make the Prince a party under color of law. So what they could not do by open force, they shall perform by crafty deceit! Who thinks, my Lords, that the insatiable cruelty of the Papists—within this Realm, I mean—shall end in the murdering of these two brethren now unjustly summoned, anti more unjustly to be accused? Therefore, Madam, cast up, when you list, the Acts of your Parliament; I have offended nothing against them, nor do I accuse on my letter Your Grace, nor yet your nature of cruelty. But I affirm yet again that the pestilent Papists, who have inflamed Your Grace without cause against those poor men, are the sons of the Devil, and therefore must obey the desires of their father, who has been a liar and a murderer from the beginning!’ One of the Lords. ‘ You forget yourself; you are not now in the pulpit.’ John Knox. ‘I AM IN THE PLACE WHERE I AM DEMANDED OF CONSCIENCE TO SPEAK THE TRUTH, AND THEREFORE THE TRUTH I SPEAK, IMPUGN IT WHOSO LIST. 6 And hereunto I add, Madam, that natures honest, gentle and meek may, by wicked and corrupt counselors, be subverted to the direct contrary. Nero, in the beginning of his empire, we find having some natural shame. But after his flatterers had encouraged him in all impiety, alleging that nothing was unlawful for his person who was Emperor; when he had drunken of this cup, to what enormities he fell, the Histories bear witness. And now, Madam, to speak plainly, Papists and conjured enemies to Jesus Christ have Your Grace’s ear patent at all times. I assure Your Grace they are dangerous counselors, and that at your Mother found.’

    As this was said, Lethington smirked (smiled), and spake secretly to the Queen in her ear. What it was, the table heard not. But immediately she addressed her visage and spoke to John Knox:— ‘Well, you speak fair enough here before my Lords; but the last time I spoke with you secretly, you caused me to weep many salt tears, and said to me stubbornly, that ye set naught by my greeting (weeping). 7’ John Knox. ‘Madam, because now the second time Your Grace has burdened me with that crime, I must answer, lest for my silence I beholden guilty. If Your Grace be ripely remembered, the Laird of Dun, yet living to testify the truth, was present at that time whereof Your Grace complains. Your Grace accused me that I had irreverently handled you in the pulpit. That I denied. You said, What ado had I to speak of your marriage? What was I, that I should mell with such matters? I answered: As touching nature, I was a worm of this earth, and yet a subject of this Commonwealth; but as touching the office whereinto it had pleased God to place me, I was a watchman, both over the Realm and over the Kirk of God gathered within the same; by reason whereof I was bound in conscience to blow the trumpet publicly, so oft as ever I saw any appearing danger, either to the one or to the other. But a certain rumor affirmed that traffic of marriage was betwixt Your Grace and the Spanish ally. Thereupon I said, that if your Nobility and Estates did agree, unless both you and your husband should be so straitly bound, that neither of you might hurt this Commonwealth, or yet the pure Kirk of God within the same, that, in that case, I would pronounce that the consenters were traitors to this Commonwealth, and enemies to God and to His promise planted within the same. At these words, I grant, Your Grace stormed,1 and burst forth into an unreasonable weeping. What mitigation the Laird of Dun would have made, I suppose Your Grace hath not forgot. But while nothing was able to stay your weeping, I was compelled to say:— “I take God to record, that I never took pleasure to see any creature weep, yea, not my children when my own hands had beat them; much less can I rejoice to see Your Grace make such regret. But, seeing I have offered Your Grace no such occasion, I must rather suffer Your Grace to take your own pleasure before I dare conceal the truth, and so betray both the Kirk of God and my Commonwealth.” These were the most extreme words that I spoke that day.’

    After the Secretary had conferred with the Queen, he said,’ Master Knox, you may return to your house for this night.’ ‘I thank God and the Queen’s Majesty,’ said the other. ‘ And, Madam, I pray God to purge your heart from Papistry, and to preserve you from the counsel of flatterers; for how pleasant they appear to your ear and corrupt affection for the time, experience hath taught us into what perplexity they have brought famous Princes.’

    John Knox being departed, the Table of the Lords, and others that were present, were demanded, every man by his vote, if John Knox had not offended the Queen’s Majesty.THE LORDS VOTED UNIFORMLY THAT THEY COULD FIND NO OFFENSE. The Queen had passed into her Cabinet. The flatterers of the Court, and Lethington principally, raged. The Queen was brought back again and placed in her chair, and they were commanded to vote over again. This thing highly offended the whole Nobility, and they began to speak in open audience: ‘What! Shall the Laird of Lethington have power to control us? Shall the presence of a woman cause us to offend God, and to condemn an innocent man against our consciences for the pleasure of any creature?’ So the whole Nobility absolved John Knox again, and praised God for his modesty and for his plain and sensible answers. It is to be noted that among so many placeboes we mean the flatterers of the Courts there was not one that plainly durst condemn the poor man that was accused, the same God ruling their tongue that ruled the tongue of Balaam when gladly he would have cursed God’s people.

    This perceived, the Queen began to upbraid Master Henry Sinclair, then Bishop of Ross, and said, hearing his vote agree with the rest: ‘Trouble not the bairn, I pray you; trouble him not, for he is newly wakened out of his sleep! Why should not the old fool follow the footsteps of them that passed before him?’ The Bishop answered coldly: ‘Your Grace may consider that it is neither affection to the man, nor yet love to his profession, that moved me to absolve him; but the simple truth, which plainly appears in his defense, draws me after it, albeit that others would have condemned him.’

    And this being said, the Lords and whole assisters arose and departed.

    That night was neither dancing nor fiddling in the Court, for Madam was disappointed of her purpose, which was to have had John Knox in her will by vote of her Nobility.


    PICTURE: Effigy of Mary: Queen of Scots PICTURE: Stone Marking of John Knox grave JOHN KNOX being absolved by the votes of the greatest part of the Nobility from the crime intended against him, even in presence of the Queen, she raged, and the placeboes of the Court stormed. So began new assaults to be made at the said John to confess an offense, and to put himself in the Queen’s will. They promised that his greatest punishment should be but to go within the Castle of Edinburgh, and immediately to return to his own house. He answered: ‘God forbid that my confession should damn those noble men who, of their conscience, and with displeasure of the Queen, have absolved me. Further, I am assured, ye will not in earnest desire me to confess an offense, unless therewith ye would desire me to cease from preaching. How can I exhort others to peace and Christian quietness if I confess myself an author and mover of sedition?’

    The General Assembly of the Kirk approached, which began the 25th day of December 1563. Many wondered at the silence of John Knox at the Assembly. The cause thereof he himself expressed in those words:—’I have travailed, Right Honorable and Beloved Brethren, since my last arrival within this Realm, in an upright conscience before my God, seeking nothing more, as He is my witness, than the advancement of His glory, and the stability of His Kirk within this Realm. Yet of late days I have been accused as a seditious man, and as one that usurpeth unto himself power that becometh him not. True it is I have given advertisements unto the Brethren in diverse quarters, of the extremity intended against certain Faithful for looking to a priest going to Mass, and for observing those that transgress just laws. But that I have usurped further power than is given unto me, till by you I be condemned, I utterly deny. I say, that by you— that is, by the charge of the General Assembly—I have as just power to advertise the brethren from time to time of dangers appearing, as I have to preach the Word of God in the pulpit of Edinburgh. By you I was appointed to the one and to the other; and therefore, in the name of God, I crave your judgments. The danger that appeared to me in my accusation was not so fearful as the words that came to my ears were painful to my heart. These words were plainly spoken, and that by some Protestants— “What can the Pope do more than send forth his Letters and require them to be obeyed?” Let me have your judgments, therefore, whether I have usurped any power to myself, or if I have but obeyed your commandment?’

    The flatterers of the Court, amongst whom Sir John Bellenden, Justice- Clerk, was then not the least, began to storm, and said, ‘ Shall we be compelled to justify the rash doings of men?’ ‘My Lord,’ said John Knox, ‘ye shall speak your pleasure for the present. Of you I crave nothing; but if the Kirk that is here present do not either absolve me, or else condemn me, never shall I, in public or in private, as a public minister, open my mouth in doctrine or in reasoning.’

    After long contention, the said John Knox being removed, the whole Kirk found, that a charge was given unto him to advertise the Brethren in all quarters as oft as ever danger appeared; and therefore avowed that fact not to be his only, but to be the fact of all. Thereat were the Queen’s clawbacks (sycophants) more enraged than ever; for some of them had promised to the Queen to get the said John convicted, both by the Council and by the Church; and being frustrated of both, she and they thought themselves not a little disappointed.

    God from heaven, and upon the face of the earth, gave declaration that He was offended at the iniquity that was committed within this Realm; for upon the 20th day of January 1564, there fell wet in great abundance, which in the falling froze so vehemently, that the earth was but one sheet of ice. The fowls both great and small froze, and might not flee: many died, and some were taken and laid beside the fire that their feathers might resolve. And in that same month the sea stood still, as was clearly observed, and neither ebbed nor flowed the space of twenty-four hours. In the month of February, the 15th and 18th day thereof, were seen in the firmament battles arrayed, spears, and other weapons, as it had been the joining of two armies. These things were not only observed, but also spoken and constantly affirmed by men of judgment and credit. But the Queen and our Court made merry. There was banqueting upon banqueting.

    The Queen would banquet all the Lords; and that was done upon policy, to remove the suspicion of her displeasure against them, because they would not at her devotion damn John Knox.

    A little before the troubles, which Satan raised in the body of the Kirk, began Davie to grow great in Court. The Queen used him for Secretary, in things that appertained to her secret affairs in France or esewhere. Great men made court unto him, and their suits were the better heard. But of his beginning and and progress, we delay now further to speak, because his end will require the description of the whole: And we refer it unto such as God shall raise up to do the same. GLOSSARY A-J K-Y A Abusers — corrupters Afternoon's Pint — meal between dinner and supper Aggreage — magnify Allenarly — only Allhallow Day — All Saints' Day, 1st November Aposthume — abscess Appointtnent — terms, agreement Arguesyn — lieutenant.

    B Bairn — pupil Bedrell — bedridden Bigged — built Bill — letter, petition K Kist — chest Knap — to break Knapschalle — headpiece Kythed — exhibited L Lare — sink Layacre — washing Leasings — lies Leesome — lovely Lentran — Lent Lest-majesty — treason Let — hinder M Malapert — presumptuous, Birse — beard Blockhouse — tower, fortress Bond of Manrent — engagement to support Boss — a term of contempt Bourding — jesting Broillie — disturbance Browst — brewing, Bruit — report, rumour Buddis — bribes Buffetblow with the hand Burn his bill — make recantation But — without, except C Cassed — annulled Censement — judgment Chamber-child — or chamberboy — valet Chandler — candlestick Chap — strike Chyntlay — grate Clamed — seized Clatters — tells tales Clawback — sycophant Clerk Play — Miracle Play Commodity — advantage Conclude — expect Confer — compare Confirmation of — proceeding with Consequently — in order Cordelier — Franciscan friar Cardiner — shoemaker Cowped up — turned up Craig — neck Crown of the Sun — a gold coin insolent Maleson — curse Marmoset — monkey Marrow — match, companion Master — tutor Maun , must Melled — meddled Menyie — crowd Modified — fixed Morion — helmet Myster — need N Neffs and neffelling — fists and fisticuffing Nice — foolish Nor — than O Ower sair — too hard P Pack you — get you gone Palyeon — pavilion Paucks — cunning Pasch — Easter Pasquil — lampoon Patents — writings Patron — skipper Placeboes — parasites or flatterers Platt — cast Pley — dispute Pock — bag Poise — money, treasure Pottinger — apothecary worth 18s.

    Cullurune — silly fellow Culverin — firelock Cummer — embarrassment Cursing — excommunication D Dadding — knocking Dagged — shot thickly Dang — knocked Deambulator — walk Delation — accusation Diet — custom Discharged — deprived of Divagation — wandering Doctrine — teaching Documents — signs Dontibours — loose characters Dorture — dormitory Doted — endowed Daunthring — overthrow Drift of time — lapse of time Dule-wead — mourning garments E Effeiring — belonging Eke — add to Enter in purpose — enter into conversation Entreated — spoke of Escheats disponed — forfeited estates given to others Esperance — hope Espials — spies Expedition — haste Pricker — light horseman Propined — gave gifts Q Quit him a commoun — encounter him R Ray — sail-yard Rede — advise Reaf — ravage Reduced — brought back Reek — smoke Regiment — rule, command Remord — cause remorse Reteth — remaineth Rive — tear Rochet — surplice Rood — cross Rowp — cry hoarsely Ruse — boast Ryngzeane — Ninian S Sacrate — constituted St. Johnestoun — Perth Scaith — injury Scarcely — scantily Sckybaldis — mean fellows Scrip — mock Security — confidence Seinze — Synod Shaveling — churchman with shaven crown.

    Side gown — long gown Silly — weak F Fact — action Factory — mandate Falcon — a cannon Falset — falsehood Ford — ardour Fashion — appearance Feeallis — dependants Fell — powerful Fertour — chest Fessned — fixed Fett it — bring it back Figure — effigy Fillocks — giddy young women Fleyed — frightened Flinging — dancing Floatboat — a pinnace Foreanent — over against Forfalt — forfeit Four Hours' Penny — meal between dinner and supper Frock — ready, eager G Gabion — basket filled with earth Galiarde — a dance Gar — make Garboils — disorders Gett — bastard Girnell — granary Glistre — lustre Goodsire — maternal grandfather Greet — weep H Hagbut — musket Skeife of an army — wellprovided army Slockened — quenched Sloghorne — slogan, war-cry Smaikis — mean fellows Smirked — smiled Sned — lop off Sparsed — spread abroad Speir — inquire Spuilzeing — plundering Spunk — spark Spurtill — porridge-stick Stammered — staggered Stark — strong Stay — obstacle Steir their tails — bestir themselves Stog sword — a stabbing sword Stoweth — theft Strengths — strongholds Suited — petitioned Supposts — adherents Surfeit — immoderate T Tabernacle — a shrine or receptacle for the consecrated Host Tabour — small drum Tane — taken Targetting of their tails — bordering their gowns with tassels Tinsel — loss Tint — lost Tor — arm Transe — passage Hagbut of Crock — short musket Haud — keep Herschip — plundering Homing — outlawry How — underground I Improved — disproved Incontinent — forthwith Indifferent — impartial Indurate — hardened Injyne — genius lnhabill — unfit lntromissions — dealings Ish — go out J Jack — quilted garment for defense, coat of mail Jackmen — armed retainers Jefwellis — a term of opprobrium Jow , ring Travail — work U Unkent — unknown Upaland — in the country V Vesselage — feats of arms Vilipend — abuse, slight W Walkryfe — watchful While — until Whinger — sword Win — get Without — beyond, outside of Wolter — overturn Wreche — covetous person Wyte — blame Y Yead — went Yett — gate Yule — Christmas


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