THE Scotish Queen had scarcely arrived, in England, when an acrimonious dispute arose between individuals, with regard to the appropriate person, who had a right to detain her. The Earl of Northumberland claimed her, as she had landed, within his liberty, as his prize. Mr. Lowther, as deputy warden of that march, claimed her, as his prisoner; as she had come within his charge, without a passport. The earl obtained, from the council at York, an order upon Mr. Lowther, to deliver the Scotish Queen to the earl, which he refused to obey. Sir Francis Knollys, hearing on his journey northward, of this dispute, wrote to that high minded earl, that he would do well not to press his pretensions, till they were settled, by Elizabeth, to whom the authority of deciding such a question belonged. The earl, however, came to Carlisle, and demanded the Scotish Queen, to be delivered to him, which, being refused by Mr. Lowther, the haughty noble called him varlet; saying that he was too low a man, to pretend to such a charge. It is possible, that the earl’s disappointment, on this occasion, may have been one of the ingredients, which formed the mass of discontent, that induced this ill fated noble, to go into his unsuccessful rebellion.
According to the usual policy of Elizabeth, and Cecil, the Scotish Queen was guarded, as a prisoner, without being declared to be one. The vice chamberlain, Knollys, who was entrusted, as the principal warden of the Scotish Queen, wrote frequently to Cecil, desiring to know, precisely, whether he was to treat her, as a prisoner: But, Cecil knew how to be silent, when he wished not to avow his meaning. Many of the Scotish people resorted to Carlisle, to avoid the violence of Murray. And, the wardens seeing so great a concourse, so near the borders, were the more anxious to remove her further within the realm: Meantime, arrived, at Carlisle, from Berwick, a hundred harquebuziers, to act under the direction f the wardens; so that preparations of force were thus made, whatever might be resolved, as the policy to be pursued.
At length arrived the directions of the Privy Council, to remove the Scotish Queen, to Bolton castle, a house of Lord Scroope’s, in the Northriding of Yorkshire, Hangwest hundred, lying between Escrig, and Middleham. The Queen did not willingly assent to this removal; as it savoured of captivity, which was not avowed: and which she did not readily believe. From Elizabeth’s usage of her, the Scotish Queen thought it to be that of a prisoner. As Sir George Bowes arrived, with forty armed horsemen, on the day, proposed for her removal, the Scotish Queen thought, they had authority to remove her, by force, if she did not go willingly: And, Lord Skirling, one of her attendants, desired Lord Scroope, and Knollys, to witness, that she removed willingly, and not by force. On the 16th of July 1568, the Scotish Queen arrived, at Bolton castle.
In the meantime, the Scotish Queen remained in charge of Mr. Lowther on the 28th day of May 1568, when Lord Scroope, and Sir Francis Knollys arrived, to assume that trust. On the same day, the Earl, and Countess of Lennox, demanded justice against the Scotish Queen. This seems to be connected with certain imaginations, how to restore the Scotish Queen; one whereof is, that it is both honourable, and fit, for the Queen of England, to hear, and decide, any controversy, moved for the crown of Scotland; for that, of ancient right, it appertaineth, to the crown of England. This last hint led on to a question, which was put, by the English commissioners, to the Scotish: If they acknowledge what was in itself untrue. Had this question been answered, in the affirmative, it would have shortened the enquiry: They needed, only, to have indicted the Scotish Queen, as a subordinate feudary of England, for the murder of her husband: Murray, and Morton, and their associates, would have proved her guilt, upon their honours, and consciences, whereof they had none; and Elizabeth would have had only the simple ceremony of ordering her execution, and then punishing her secretary, for obeying her formal orders. All this was prevented, by the denial of the Scotish commissioners; as they knew, that they could not have returned to Scotland, if they had acknowledged the feudal superiority of the one kingdom over the other.
On the 4th of June, Lord Herries arrived, at Greenwich, with the Scotish Queen’s letters, and solicitations, which did not make much impression on Elizabeth’s understanding, or her heart. She answered, however, by Secretary Cecil, that she meaneth to take her, and her cause, into her protection; and according to the justice of the cause, will prosecute her adversaries. Elizabeth had not received her, personally, on account of the public suspicion of so horrible a crime: Yet, she neither condemns, nor acquits her, until she hear what may be said therein. The point, wherewith Elizabeth was chiefly touched, was, that the death of her husband was not sufficiently avenged; and her marrying so early the person, who was known to be the principal murderer, who had a lawful wife alive, from whom he divorced himself, to marry her. Cecil seems, thus, to have mixed up the sweet, with the sour, so artfully, as to effect the Scotish Queen’s tenderest sensibilities. In this mixed style of flattery, and fraud, a great variety of letters, and other documents, were, during the following months, sent to the Scotish Queen, to delude, and frighten, to irritate, and tranquillize her. In the midst of this scene of deception, Elizabeth wrote an impressive letter to the Regent Murray, “to come into England, with a commission, to treat, at York, and to answer to the Scotish Queen’s complaint.”
Murray’s career of vengeance was, in some measure, stopped, by the arrival, on the 15th of June, of Middlemore, with Elizabeth’s letter, beforementioned. In the meantime, Murray had sent his usual Secretary, John Wood, to London, with copies of the supposititious letters of the Scotish Queen, which had been translated, as Murray affirmed, from the originals, for the perusal of Elizabeth, and Cecil; and to offer, to make a declaration to them of his whole doings. The arrival of Middlemore, on the 15th of June, seems to have thrown Murray into great embarrassment; the more so, as he had so recently sent his secretary to Elizabeth; in order to lay before her Mary’s suppositious epistles, with regard to which, Elizabeth remained perfectly silent. He now repeated his wish to Middlemore, that those epistles might be considered, by the English councils, and the result of their deliberations communicated to him; in order that he might know, whether they concurred with him, in thinking them decisive of the Scotish Queen’s guilt. Whenever those ill-fated letters came within the serious contemplation of Murray, he constantly evinces his suspicion of some defect.
It was about this time, probably, and owing to that cause, that Murray’s Journal was fabricated, rather than the preceding November, as has been supposed. It was plainly forged to support, and illustrate, the letters, which are sufficiently obscure, from their want of subscriptions, and superscriptions, from their deficiencies of time, and place. It was plainly drawn up, long after the events; which appears, from the mistakes in the dates, and from the anticipations of the many events. And its second object, consisted, in calumniating the Queen, by showing her, constantly, alone with Bothwell, however contrary to the fact: for evincing the genuineness of those letters, which are contrary to every probability of life, as well as of logick.
The arrival of Middlemore, with Elizabeth’s commands, on the 15th of June, at Dumfries, did not quite stop the Regent’s military operations against the Queen’s friends, much less prevent the forfeiture of his own foes, in the subsequent parliament of August. He knew, that Cecil would protect him, however Elizabeth might pretend to apprehend him. In fact, Cecil found reasons, for delaying the enquiry, at York, to suit Murray’s purpose, rather than Mary’s impatience.
Meantime, was carried on a correspondence of matchless artifice, between Elizabeth, and Murray, by which, she drew to herself an examination of the complaints of Mary against Murray; and, by the same means, Murray endeavoured, to induce Elizabeth, to prejudge the pretensions of both parties, without the knowledge of Mary. That correspondence ended, at length, in the appointment of an enquiry, at York, before Elizabeth’s commissioners, the Duke of Norfolk, the Earl of Shrewsbury, and Sir Ralph Sadler, in the first week of October, 1568.
Understanding that the enquiry, which Elizabeth proposed, to have, at York, was to be attended “with great ceremony, and solemnities,” Murray made suitable preparations, for the occasion: The Regent appointed himself, the Earl of Morton, and some other trusty friends, as the king’s commissioners, with Secretary Maitland, George Buchanan, two of the ablest, and most profligate of mankind, with some others of a similar sort, for assistants. The Queen was not wanting, on her part, though she felt this enquiry, before another sovereign, to be degrading: As her commissioners, she appointed Lesley, the Bishop of Ross, Lord Herries, and some others of less note, for their skill, and energy; and to give greater weight, and lustre to their commission, they had, also, power, and instructions, from a convention, at Dunbarton, on the 12th of September 1568; consisting of seven earls, twelve lords, eight bishops, and eight abbots.
The commissioners of the three powers; of Elizabeth, Mary, and Murray; at length met, at York, early in October 1568. As this enquiry was intended to be impressive, both at home, and abroad, the commissioners heard a sermon, and took an oath which was administered, by the Dean of York; obliging them “to be honest, godly, reasonable, just, and true.” The preliminaries being now settles, the Scotish Queen, as the complainant, charged Murray, and his associates, with dethroning her, and sending her to prison, with seizing her revenue, and government, and with compelling her, to resign her sceptre to her son. Instead of meeting these charges, directly, Murray gave in articles, to be first resolved; stating various positions, hypothetically, and desiring to know, what would be the result of different events. What is this, but an apprehension of the weakness of his proofs, and the feebleness of his cause. This sort of hesitation had been already reprehended, by Elizabeth, and Cecil, as an attempt, to decide the cause, without hearing both parties. Being again told this, by Elizabeth’s commissioners, Murray agreed to answer, pointedly: He, and his associates, professed, that in all their doings, they had proceeded upon good ground, and just causes; yet, were they loath, to proceed so far as, “to charge their King’s mother, with such things, as hitherto they have been content, rather to conceal, than to publish to the world to her infamy, and dishonour.” What falsehood! What impertinence! The very hypocrisy of their intimation was a demonstration of their own guilt. They had, already, charged the Queen before the Privy Council of Scotland, on the 4th of December 1567, with all that they had to lay to her charge; with her supposititious letters to Bothwell, the murderer of her late husband; and with marrying him, soon after, and thereby inferring her guilty knowledge of the murder: They had, already, laid the same charges before the Parliament, on the 15th of the same month, without hearing the Queen, or allowing an advocate to defend her; without even producing the supposititious letters, in evidence against her.
Murray, however, was soon after content, to give in a formal answer to the Queen’s charge. He now retold the old story, mixed up, with fictions, and falsities, which heightened the tale against the Queen, and concealed what would have convicted his partizans of the odious guilt of the King’s murder. Bothwell, said they, was the chief murderer of Darnley; concealing that he acted, merely, as their own cat’s-paw: They charged her, secondly, with marrying the murderer, which evinced her privity of the crime; concealing that, they themselves had enabled Bothwell to seize her, on the high way; to carry her forcibly to his castle of Dunbar; and therein to coerce her, to marry him. Murray, also, defended himself, by saying, that the Queen had, voluntarily, resigned her sceptre, because she felt it too weighty, for her hand; but, we have seen what violence was put upon her, in Lochleven castle, and what tumult was used, to compel the officer, to affix the Privy Seal to the several instruments of resignation. We thus perceive, that Murray, in addition to his other villanies, now added the guilt of falsehood. But, in this sophistical answer, Murray said nothing of the supposititious letters: As he, and his coadjutors, had been afraid, to produce those epistles, before the privy council of Scotland, and still more, to lay them before the Parliament, which had legalized her resignation, without seeing those pretended letters; they now, clandestinely, made use of them, to make an impression against the Scotish Queen; while her commissioners had respected Murray’s convenience, not to say his guilt.
Elizabeth’s commissioners, in their letter to her of the 11th of October, avowed to her, “that the Earl of Murray had been content, privately, to shew them such proofs, as they had, to condemn the Queen of Scots of the murder of her husband; to the intent, they would know of us, how your majesty, understanding the same, would judge of the sufficiency of the matter; and whether, in your majesty’s opinion, the same will extend to condemn the Queen of Scots of the said murder.” These commissioners went some steps further, in their clandestine career of knavery: They received, in private, Secretary Maitland, James McGill, George Buchanan, and Henry Balnavis, the habitual liars, and established forgers of Murray, to a secret conference; and after stating such circumstances, as induced a vehement presumption of the Scotish Queen’s guilt, in the murder of her husband, the same persons laid before Elizabeth’s commissioners various documents, all showing the guilty conduct of the Queen of Scots: They afterwards laid before the commissioners the whole contents of the gilt box, consisting of letters, sonnets, promises of marriage, and other writings, which discovered such inordinate love between her, and Bothwell, as every good, and godly man must abhor: The commissioners, in the same dispatch, sent up to their inquisitive mistress literal extracts, from the same letters, in the vulgar language: The commissioners do not express the least doubt of the genuineness of those writings; as those men, constantly, affirmed, and offered to swear, that they were all genuine documents. The world before never witnessed a more guilty scene. The English commissioners had heard a sermon, at the opening of their commission, on the duty of doing to others, as they would wish, that they should be done unto; they had taken an oath, to act uprightly, and religiously; they were bound, by honour, to do common justice to the Scotish Queen: Yet, did they thus act knavishly, and partially, in opposition to their oaths, their religion, and their honour. Sadler was not, in the least aware, that he thus preserved documents, which would show to posterity, how perjured he was, and how basely he had discharged a very high trust.
But, the time came, at length, when the guilt of the Duke of Norfolk was, sadly, pressed upon him. When he was arraigned, for the folly of endeavouring to marry the Scotish Queen, Barham, Elizabeth’s learned serjeant, who opened the prosecution against the unfortunate Norfolk, insisted, in aggravation, that having at York, taken an oath, to act honestly, and yet had acted knavishly, he thereby became a perjured man. It required not, indeed, the learning, and ingenuity, of Serjeant Barham, to prove, that the English, and the Scotish commissioners, by their disingenuous proceedings, at York, after such oaths taken, all became, thereby, perjured men!
To Murray’s answer, before those guilty commissioners, the Scotish Queen lost no time, in giving in a very full, and satisfactory reply; explaining many points, which had been charged against her, and denying others: In her instructions to her commissioners, the Queen said: In case Murray, and his associates, allege, that they have any writings of mine, whereby they infer presumptions against me, in that case, ye shall desire the principals to be produced, and that I myself may have inspection thereof, and make answer thereto: For, ye shall affirm, in my name, I never writ any thing concerning that matter to any creature: And, if any such writings be, they are false, and feigned, forged and invented, by themselves, only, to my dishonour, and slander: And there are divers, in Scotland, both men, and women, that can counterfeit my hand-writing, and principally such, as are in company with themselves. The Queen’s solemn denial is, surely, superior, in questions of probability, to the assertions of such perjured men.
But, when other considerations are recollected, her exposition is sufficient, to induce a presumption of forgery. As to the discovery of the boxful of letters, by Morton, the falsifier, we may remember, that there were no examinations, to support this assertion, though the carrier of the box was under Morton’s command. The whole conduct of the conspirators, as to the finding of those letters, only evince, that they had been forged, rather than found. The Queen was reconciled to her husband, at the time, when she is said, to have written such abominable epistles to Bothwell. The records evince, that she was at Edinburgh, when she is said to have written those letters, from Glasgow. The statute book, as it has been, recently, printed, establishes facts, which prove, that those letters must necessarily be forgeries. If forgery be fixed upon any person, in any solemn proceeding, it will operate upon him, as a gangrene through life. But, Murray, and his associates, were all guilty of plots, privy conspiracy, and rebellions; were all fraudulence, falsehood and deceit. Of all these positions there were proofs enow, during the enquiry, at York.
In the mean time, as we are assured, “The Scotish Queen was merry, and hunted, and passed the time daily in pleasant manner.” Yet, had she amidst all this divertisement, her fits of sorrow, and regret. On receiving “a rebukeful letter,” from Elizabeth, the Scotish Queen fell into a great passion; crying, she wished she had broken one of her arms, rather than come into England; adding, that her letter to her good sister was merely a request, to return to her own country, as a free princess: and moreover saying, that she had not fled the light, but was willing her cause should be heard, in Westminster-hall. A second letter was delivered, on the morrow, from Elizabeth to the Scotish Queen, which pretty much pacified her. In this manner, then, did the Scotish Queen spend her time, at Bolton-castle, amidst sweets and sours, in which the last greatly predominated. As the autumn advanced, she no doubt spent much of her time, in giving commissions, and instructions to her commissioners, who were to act for her, at York. In the meantime, there were speculations upon the various modes of settling Scotland, a practice, which was then much in vogue; and the Queen’s marriage was always one of the ingredients, though the speculators did not advert, that the Queen was already married.
The Queen also, speculated upon events, as they passed, and had much cause, for speculation. I am uncertain, said Knollys to Norfolk, whether the Scotish Queen would allow of any reconcilement, if the odious charge should once proceed against her: Therefore, when she was inquisitive, upon my return, from York, how matters went there; saying, that she had received the answer of her adversaries to the first accusation of her commissioners; but, said she, whether will they proceed, to their odious accusations? or whether will they stay, and be reconciled to me, or what will my good sister do for me? I answered, said Knollys, that I knew no more, but that the Queen’s Majesty’s commissioners had full power to hear and report every thing, though not immediately. Well, said she, my commissioners shall not begin, severely; but, if my adversaries will fall to extremity, they shall be answered roundly, and at the full, and then we are passed all reconciliation: Nevertheless, as far as I could perceive by her, as long as there is no open publication of the odious accusations of her guiltiness of the murder, she may be easily brought to a reconcilement outwardly; so that she might be set in the chief seat of government again. Upon Wednesday night, came hither the bishop of Ross, and Lord Boyd, her commissioners; and yesterday, in the forenoon, she had learned, from them, that Lord Murray, and his party, had, privily, uttered to your lordships [Elizabeth’s commissioners] all, that they were able to allege against her; and how that there would be a stay of proceeding, till the Queen’s Majesty should give some answer; the Scotish Queen uttered divers other speeches; so that we marvelled, how her commissioners could come, by such intelligence.
We have now learned, from Knollys, much of what the Scotish Queen knew, much of her ways of thinking, and much of her designs: And it is quite apparent, hopes of reconcilement were vain, while her adversaries had drawn the sword, and thrown away the scabbard: And, while they had the King, in their possession, and the law on their side, she could not hope, to re-enter Scotland, without foreign aid; and that she could not expect, while Cecil protected Murray, and Elizabeth had an interest, to retain her, in captivity. From the moment, that she learned, through her own commissioners, that Murray had done his utmost against her, she ought to have made the most vigorous preparations, for charging him with the guilt, which he imputed to her; and defending her own reputation, by every legitimate means. She continued, to dream, of being admitted to Elizabeth’s presence, which had been directly inconsistent, with her protestation of being a sovereign princess: For, if she had been admitted face to face with Murray, and his coadjutors, she might have made a passionate speech, and they would have declaimed, more furiously, against her; and she would have thus been tried, by a foreign power, which was inconsistent with her honour.
It was surely time, to advocate the enquiry of York to Westminster; considering what clandestine practices had been there admitted. New commissioners were now appointed; new oaths, for faithful performance were taken; and under the eyes of Elizabeth, and the management of Cecil, artful as it was, similar knaveries were practised.
A considerable change now took place. At York, the Scotish Queen was admitted, as complainant against Murray: But, after the advocation, Murray was admitted as plaintiff, and the Queen of Scots was converted into a defendant. Cecil had now received every hint, and information, as to the question between the parties, with every prejudice, in favor of Murray, against the Queen of Scots, who, however, approved of this movement of the enquiry before Elizabeth, in person. But, she ought to have insisted, for copies of the papers, which had been laid, clandestinely, before the commissioners, at York, and also for an authentication of them: And if so reasonable a request had been denied, to have discontinued the enquiry, by withdrawing her commissioners, and protesting against her being considered, as a party, to such unfair proceedings.
It was not till the 30th of October, that the new enquiry was opened, at Hampton court, when Cecil stated the mode of proceeding; threatened Mary with more strait imprisonment, and avowed the purpose of removing her to Tutbury. As he knew, from Knollys what she had in contemplation, with regard to Murray, he meant to meet her with menaces. It was not till the 26th of November, that Murray, by various intrigues, was prevailed on, to give in his formal charge against the Scotish Queen. Lennox soon after came before the commissioners, and claimed justice against the Scotish Queen. The Queen of Scots’ commissioners, after receiving this accusation, gave in a representation; retorting the charge; desiring that their mistress might be admitted to Elizabeth’s presence, to defend her own innocence, and praying, that Murray, and his associates, might be arrested, as guilty murderers. Nothing could be more injudicious than this; as she submitted, if she had been received, to be tried, as a criminal, before a foreign power, that was not friendly to her. Elizabeth, in her usual manner, caused Murray, and his associates, to be reprehended, for giving in this charge, which Cecil, with her consent, had solicited. Elizabeth declined to receive Mary; and the English commissioners proceeded to receive Mary; and the English commissioners proceeded to receive Murray’s proofs, in support of his accusation. Meanwhile, Mary’s commissioners gave in a plan of reconcilement, which they proposed, as from themselves, before they proceeded to answer, than which, nothing could be more injudicious. Murray, and his associates, now made oath, as to the reality of finding of the gilt-box, with the letters, and Morton gave in, upon oath, a narrative of his manner of detecting the boxful of papers. They, also, proceeded to introduce witnesses, as well as a variety of papers, not one of which, in fair proceeding, ought to have been received, without great circumspection, particularly, Murray’s Journal, which is all falsehood, and calumny, Elizabeth’s commissioners, seeing so much of foul matter, in Murray’s fiction, forgery, and falsehood, as they said, approved greatly of her majesty’s refusal to admit the Scotish Queen to her presence. On the 16th of December the Scotish Queen’s commissioners gave in a proposal, that she might be allowed to retire to France, where she might live on her dower: She, and they, were no doubt disappointed, in the manner of her treatment, and in the mode of those proceedings: But, after such a charge against her, it was most injudicious, not to meet it, as soon as might be; and it was still more injudicious, to decline making any answer, after she had agreed to the advocation of this enquiry, without noticing the partiality of the proceedings.
In the midst of all those procedures, and protests, charges, and explanations, Elizabeth wrote Mary a letter, on the 21st of December; expressing her grief, that she had heard such matters of such great moment, to charge, and load her with; and she concluded, by wishing heartily, that she were delivered, by the justification of her innocence. The same charges, and the same documents, Elizabeth had privately, and more than once heard before. Elizabeth concluded her insidious letter, with a high commendation of the Bishop of Ross; and wished, that her good sister “had many such devoted and discreet servants.” This epistle of Elizabeth, artful as it was, to Mary, was intended, at once, to mortify, and stimulate the object of her hate.
To this ensnaring epistle, the Scotish Queen said, she should have been glad, if her good sister would have brought about a reconciliation between her, and her subjects; but she never had meant, to answer farther, except personally to her good sister; adding, I am not an equal to my subjects; nor, will I be weighed in the same balance with them: She seemed much hurt, that Murray was admitted to Elizabeth’s presence, while she was excluded: And, she even talked of publishing her case to the world, that all princes might be judges between her, and her adversaries.
All this while, Cecil, and his associate commissioners, were going on, with the enquiry, upon such partial principles, as necessarily led to the Scotish Queen’s conviction; no one attending on her behalf. The very principle of this enquiry was quite inconsistent, with every legal, and equitable proceeding: There was no person present, to object to witnesses, and documents, before they were received in proof: The parties interested were admitted, to prove their own documents, by their own oaths, and by their particular signatures: The clear consequence, necessarily, was, that the most false, suspicious, and unauthorized documents were received in evidence, were received, on the oaths, and certifications of the most notorious falsifiers. Elizabeth’s commissioners had taken a solemn oath, that they would act fairly, and faithfully; and yet, both the principle, and practice, of their enquiry was quite inconsistent with their oaths. There is nothing, which is so abhorrent to the constitution of this nation, as private and partial, proceedings, which are sure to be untrue, in their practice, and unjust, in their result.
Meanwhile, Cecil adopted a measure, for terrifying the Scotish Queen, from her measure of accusing Murray of the murder of her husband. On the 22d of December, he drew up a memorial, concerning the Queen, which remains, in the Cotton library; and a part of which, he sent to Knollys, the warden of the Queen. Cecil concluded his memorial, by remarking, that the guilt of the Scotish Queen, in the murder, is sufficiently proved; and that Queen Elizabeth threatens to publish it every where; in order to oblige Queen Mary, to come to her will, particularly on England’s superiority over Scotland. And he sent enough of this disgraceful memorial to Knollys, for the Queen, his prisoner’s perusal. About the same time, Lord Lindsey challenged Lord Herries, for saying, that some of Murray’s associates [Morton, and Maitland] were themselves guilty of the very crime, which they had charges upon the Scotish Queen. Herries, disdainfully, repelled Lord Lindsey’s challenge; offering to fight the guilty traitors. During the months of August, September, and October, nothing could wean the Scotish Queen, from two prejudices, which enfeebled all her affairs; She supposed, if she were admitted to the presence of Elizabeth, she could gain much, by her address, and speaking; she supposed, that if she were restored to her government, upon any terms of reconciliation, with Murray, all would be well: But, with regard to her first supposition; the Queen of Scots had not learned, from all her intercourse with Elizabeth, that she was not a personage to be gained, by address, or argument. As to the second; after all her experience, she did not know, distinctly, that another plot would be soon formed against her, which would explode, and which would end in her expulsion, or a prison; that Maitland would facilitate, by his forgeries, and Buchanan would defend, by his lies.
Elizabeth seeing that matters were coming to a serious conjecture, wrote an artful, but insidious epistle to Knollys; instructing him to endeavour, by every means, in his power, to induce the Scotish Queen, of herself, to resign her government to Murray, and to agree to remain herself, in England, under her good sister’s charge, and her son to be sent into England, for his education. But, though Knollys was instructed, to move all this, as from himself, the Scotish Queen received such intimations, with great indignation; crying out, Shall I resign my sovereignty, to my rebels! No: The last words, that I shall utter, shall be those of the Queen of Scots. What a woman! What a Princess! What a Queen, was Elizabeth! Continually saying, and unsaying: proposing, and disavowing; affirming, and denying; engaging, and disengaging: Dissimulation seems to have been but another name for Elizabeth! “So tedious, casual, and unfortunate,” says Bacon, Lord Verulam, “are those deep dissimulations; whereof it seemeth, Tacitus made this judgement, that they were a cunning of an inferior form, in regard of true policy; attributing the one to Augustus, the other, to Tiberius, where speaking of Livia, he saith: Et cum artibus mariti simulatione filii bene composita [and an amiable appearance of her son]: For, surely, the continual habit of dissimulation is but a weak, and sluggish cunning, and not greatly politique.”
Meantime, on the 24th of December 1568, came Murray to Hampton-court; to complain, that it had been rumoured, he and his company, had been guilty of the murder, which they had laid to the Scotish Queen’s charge; the rumour whereof had come from her commissioners. To this complaint Mary’s commissioners made answer: That they had special command, from their mistress, to lay the said crime to their charge: and in conformity to her command, would accuse them, in her Majesty’s presence; and would defend their mistress’s innocence, and answer their calumnies. On the morrow, they did, accordingly, make their charge against Murray, and his company, in Elizabeth’s presence: And, they, thereupon, desired, to have such writings, as were produced, by Murray, against their mistress. Elizabeth thought this very reasonable; was very glad, that her good sister would make answer, in defence of her honour. Who ever thought, otherwise, but that it was essential, in every enquiry, to see the adverse proofs, before they could be questioned, and answered: The equity of Elizabeth’s enquiry consisted in ex parte, or partial, proceedings, and clandestine examinations: But, what judge ever admitted such proceedings, without disgrace?
The Scotish Queen’s commissioners, now gave in an answer to Murray’s charge; consisting of much explanation of the previous circumstances of the case: she presented, also, an answer to Murray’s protestation, that he had given in, with his charge, which answer contains useful information, and solid argument. But, if the enquiry should proceed to the proofs, the Queen desired to be admitted to Elizabeth’s presence, to declare the justice of her cause, to explain such proofs, and to request that sufficient leisure might be given, to answer, and establish Murray’s impostures and crimes; And she asked all this, in order that the world might know, that she did not think her reputation of so little value, as to trust the same, in the hands of any person whatsoever.
Some of the Scotish historians have remarked, that those vigorous proceedings of the Scotish Queen, seem to have proceeded, rather from retort, and revenge, than from any serious purpose, to prove her charges, and establish her adversaries guilt; particularly, as she demanded access to Elizabeth’s presence, which she probably knew would not be granted, as it was unfit. If such historians meant, merely to blame the injudiciousness of the Queen’s proceedings, by making such charges so late, when they ought to have been more prompt, perhaps their observations might be easily admitted: But, if they meant to insinuate, that Murray, and his associates, were innocent, while she was guilty, and meant only, by asking admission to Elizabeth, to put a good face upon a bad matter, such historians only showed their own ignorance, as we shall, immediately, see. It is, indeed, probable enough, that the Queen, if she had been allowed, to prove her charge against Murray, and his associates, would have failed; as Cecil would have intercepted her documents, and witnesses, and baffled her proceedings, by every mode of circumvention.
It is, certainly, quite apparent, from the whole context of those inquisitorial proceedings, that the real objects of Elizabeth, and still more of Cecil, were to disgrace the Scotish Queen, by the grossest calumny. The ablest men, both in Scotland, and in England, concurred in this opinion, that the ruin of the Scotish Queen was to be most effectually obtained, by constant calumniation: Hence, in her own country, before her expulsion, the most indifferent action of the Queen was, continually, attended, with some lie, or some forgery. She had scarcely arrived, in England, when the vice chamberlain, Knollys, her first jailor, gave it as his opinion to Cecil, “that she cannot be safely detained, unless she shall be disgraced to the world.” What could the gift of 5,000l. to Murray, by Elizabeth, really mean, but as a reward, for Murray’s charging the Scotish Queen, with the murder of her husband; and producing such a body of documents, however forged, and false, in support of such a charge. These calumniations of the Scotish Queen continued even beyond the grave, which, generally, shelters the dead, by assuaging the envious hatred of the living.
The gravest men, and ablest jurists, have concurred in opinion, that to imprison the Scotish Queen, coming peaceably into England, to seek for safety, from violence, was contrary to every law, human, and divine. In the Paper Office, there remains an elaborate letter, from the vice chamberlain, Knollys, in January 1569, to Secretary Cecil, in which the vice chamberlain charges the secretary, “with casting upon him the responsibility of removing the Scotish Queen, as a prisoner, from Carlisle to Bolton castle.” Let us now hear how Cecil, who was celebrated for his dexterity, and talents, defended the justice, and the right, of detaining the Scotish Queen:-
1. “She is a lawful prisoner, by good treaties.” The same treaties, which justified Henry IV. to detain the infant son of Robert III. going by sea, in time of peace, to school: The same treaties, which justify the Barbary powers to detain all Christians, as slaves. As he quotes no treaty, the presumption is, that there was no such treaty.
2. “She may not depart, till she have satisfied the wrong, that she hath done to the Queen’s majesty, in openly claiming the crown, and not making just recompense.” Between sovereigns, the explicit disavowal of any claim is always deemed a sufficient recompense: The Scotish Queen stated a disavowal, which Cecil could not answer, that she had been a married woman, when the claim was made, by those, who had power over her, as such; but, she had never made such a claim since she became a widow.
3. “The Queens’ majesty’s superiority over the crown of Scotland.” For this antiquated claim, he quoted no authority: Cecil did not know, perhaps, that the King, and Parliament, concurred, at the treaty of Northampton , in relinquishing, for ever, such claims: And, from that time, to the present, the two nations had made many treaties together upon fair terms of equal independence.
4. “The Queens’ majesty is bound, in conscience, to answer the petition of her subjects in matters of blood upon her subjects.” Lord, and Lady Lennox, as we have seen, had been brought forward, to claim justice, for their son’s death, upon the Scotish Queen: To this claim, Cecil, no doubt, alluded: But, as he failed, in his preceding article, in proving the feudal superiority of the one crown over the other, this clause of blood is, also, false, as well as frivolous. Cecil showed his teeth; but, was afraid to bite.
When such a statesman, as Burghley, scribbled so much nonsense, on such delicate topics of law, and policy, we may easily perceive, that the Scotish Queen was detained, in England, by mere force, without even the form of law, the genuine title of the Barbary powers.
When Elizabeth thus placed herself, in a hostile attitude, against Mary, by keeping her, in durance, at Carlisle, at Bolton castle, and at Tutbury; she, thereby, gave the Scotish Queen, who was equally a sovereign, and equally innocent of blood, as herself, a right, to assume the same hostile attitude; and being thus enemies, by the wrong of Elizabeth, Mary acquired a moral right, of using the pistolet, or the dagger, the bowstring, or the bowl, towards such an adversary.
I will now proceed, to evince the innocence of the Scotish Queen, as well as the guilt of Murray, and his associates, in the clearest manner, and the fewest words.
The reign of Mary was a period of privy conspiracy, and open rebellion, of murders, and assassinations; whereof, she was the victim, but, surely, not the principal, in most of those crimes, disgraceful, as they were, in themselves, and dangerous to the reigning Queen of the adjacent nation. The State papers, history, and the events, prove the facts, and illustrate the circumstances, beyond a doubt.
The same reign was, also, an age of religion, but, without morals. The religion, which became predominant, allowed the commission of evil, if good were proposed, as the end; though the evil was certain, and the good were problematical. Beaton was assassinated, for the benefit of the religion: Rizzio was murdered in the Queen’s presence, for the benefit of the religion. The general principle was reprobated, by the religion of Christ; but, was adopted into the practice of the fashionable code. Crime was rejected, by the Christian religion; but crime was assumed into the religion in vogue, if committed, with a religious intent. Such doctrines, and such practices, were rejected, by the religion, which Mary professed: Such doctrines, and such practices, were allowed, were assumed, by the religion, which Murray professed, and protected. In reasoning, abstractedly, it is apparent, then, that Murray was more obnoxious to the charge of crime, than Mary. History, and documents, demonstrate the practical truth of those general reasonings, from reference to facts, and allusion to examples.
Taking the State Papers, and the Statute Book of Scotland, in fair construction, together, they prove the previous conspiracy of Maitland, Bothwell, and Morton, for the murder of Darnley; and the subsequent convictions of those three guilty men, for the commission of the fact. But, those three criminals acted, merely, as the partizans of Murray, who assented to the plot, and profited from its result. The guilt of those four criminals evinces the Queen’s innocence; as her fortune was involved in the fate of her husband; and her dethronement, by Morton, and Maitland, with their associates, ended in the necessary effect of elevating Murray to the vice-regal chair. Bothwell acted with those guilty men, as a complotter, from the commencement of the conspiracy, till the moment of the Queen’s dethronement, when he was made the victim of their crimes: By thus acting with those conspirators, as their cat’s-paw, he did not act with the Queen, as her paramour: When he had performed the murder, under their direction, and they had given him the Queen in marriage, as the reward, the conspirators dismissed Bothwell, from their counsels, and actions: He was no longer useful to them; they easily dethroned the Queen; by thus connecting her with the guilty fate of the victim of their villainy.
Murray’s whole life was a continued plot, whose constant object was the Queen’s sceptre. The epoch of this great conspiracy was Michaelmas 1566, when Murray gained Bothwell to his purpose: The conspiracy was matured in Craigmillar castle, when the Queen refused to be divorced, from Darnley, in Murray’s presence: The conspiracy was accomplished, when the Queen was dethroned, and Murray was placed in her chair. When Murray left Edinburgh, for London, and Paris, he previously knew, as well what had happened to Darnley, as what was to happen to the Queen, from their continued efforts. The conspirators corresponded with Murray, at Paris, by the agency of Cecil, who, also, knew the secret of the Queen’s dethronement, and contributed to Murray’s return. The Queen’s sceptre was now placed in Murray’s hands, by the conspirators, and not by her, who was compelled, to resign it, by those conspirators, who were the mere agents of Murray. From the middle of August, when he returned, till the middle of December, when the Parliament legalized his power, Murray, acted, merely, under the conspirator’s authority. By thus receiving the regency, from the conspirators, and acting, as Regent, under their appointment, he constituted himself to be the chief conspirator, by taking up the conspiracy, where Morton, and the other complotters, laid it down. But, by thus acquiring all the benefits of the conspiracy, Murray, also, assumed the whole guilt of this atrocious plot, with its criminal adjuncts. When the violence of insurrection was laid down, by Morton, and the semblance of legality was assumed, by Murray as regent, he incidentally, took upon himself the burden of finding legal justification, for very illegal actions: And Murray received, from Morton, the boxful of supposititious letters, sonnets, promises of marriage, which the Queen, who was reconciled to her husband, was said to have conveyed to Bothwell, who, being a conspirator, had never once acted, as a paramour.
The adoption of this boxful of forgeries is one of the most palpable impostures, which disgraced that age of forgeries. The narrow space, to which those letters are confined, is a proof of their forgery. Before that period began, the Queen, and her husband, had been reconciled. When the long letter, which made such an impression on Elizabeth’s commissioners, at York, was written, from Glasgow, the Queen was, at Edinburgh. In opposition to such evidence of this imposture, what proof is there to support those several forgeries? The answer must be, the mere assertion of the notorious falsifier, Morton, that he had intercepted the box, with the letters, in the hands of Dalgleish, a servant of Bothwell, carrying them, from Edinburgh castle to Dunbar castle. But, did he examine Dalgleish, concerning the box? No. Did he examine the governor of Edinburgh castle, who had charge of the box, and was at hand? No. Were the letters, and other papers, submitted to any examination? No. Were those documents laid before the Privy Council, or the Parliament? No. When Murray attempted, by his oath to strengthen Morton’s story, he only perjured himself, at Westminster, as he had already forsworn himself, at York.
When this disgraceful enquiry was advocated, by Elizabeth, to Westminster, Murray presented a formal charge against his sister, and sovereign, for the murder of her husband, though he knew it to be unfounded; as he, and his faction, were the real murderers. This charge, which had been, basely, made three times before, was nothing more than a tissue of misrepresentations, falsehood, and impertinence. He always affirmed, said he, that Bothwell was the King’s murderer: Yes, as his own cat’s-paw; as the complotter, with Morton, and Maitland, his own agents. The Queen, he affirmed, had previous knowledge of the purpose to kill her husband, and even commanded it, to be done. Murray, as the chief conspirator, had previous knowledge, of the murderous purpose, and commanded the guilty deed to be done; as the State Papers, and the Statute Book, demonstrate; but, the same documents, equally, evince her innocence. The night before the murder of her husband, the Queen spent the whole evening with him; and when she, hastily, departed, to a masque at the palace, she kissed him, and gave him a ring, from her finger, as a tribute of her affection. Murray, at the same moment, went from Edinburgh to Fife; that he might not be present at the deed-doing. These are much stronger facts, than Murray’s asseveration, that the Queen, who would not be divorced from her husband, two months before, now commanded her husband to be assassinated, is disproved, by that fact, of her refusing to be divorced: Murray’s assertion, that the Queen, who was reconciled with her husband, would command him to be assassinated, must, necessarily, be false. Murray, moreover affirmed, that the Queen stopped the prosecution against Bothwell: But, the record affirms, that the prosecution was not stopped; and that Murray’s partizans formed the court, which acquitted Bothwell; Murray’s agents, Morton, and Maitland, acting before it, as his protectors: Elizabeth attempted to stop the trial of Bothwell, in order to gain time; but, Maitland pushed aside Elizabeth’s attempt: This charge, then, of the Queen stopping the prosecution against Bothwell, was a deliberate falsehood, in Murray. He, however, went on, to aggravate his charges, by saying, that she had married Bothwell, soon after the murder [three months after it.] But, he forgot, that he himself had promised the Queen, in marriage, to Bothwell, as the reward of the murder, that his agents, Morton, and Maitland, had solicited, and obtained, a declaration of several peers, and prelates, in favour of this marriage, which encouraged Bothwell to seize the Queen’s person, and to constrain her mind, to agree to marry him: And, though Murray’s Parliament grounded their act of forfeiture against Bothwell upon those treasonous facts, committed, by him against the Queen; yet, did Murray, who sat in that Parliament, and had their act, in his pocket, during the accusation, charge this enforced marriage, as a proof of the Queen’s previous knowledge of her husband’s murder: This act of Parliament alone evinces, what a deliberate liar was Murray. In continuation of this degenerate spirit of falsehood, Murray charged the Queen, and Bothwell, with introducing a tyranny, which is untrue; and with a design to destroy her son, which is still more false. And in his conclusion, he asserts what he knew to be a deliberate lie, “that the estates of the realm, finding her unworthy to reign, decerned her demission of the crown, with the coronation of her son, and his own regency.” Now; all this was done in July 1567, by his agent Morton, upon a previous concert, with half a dozen nobles, who were as guilty as himself: These nobles compelled the imprisoned Queen, to resign her sceptre to her baby son, and to appoint Murray, to be the regent, during the Prince’s infancy. The fact, we thus see, was, that Murray acted as Regent, during several months, upon no other authority, than the violent appointment of those few nobles, who acted, merely, as his own partizans; who had no power to crown the Prince; and who had no title to assume the government, but their own illegal act. The Parliament, which was convened, in December following, by such a King, and such a Regent, legalized those violent proceedings. Such, was Murray’s charge against his sister, and sovereign, which Robertson declared, to be unbrotherly, and ungrateful; and he might have added, to be feigned, and false.
In addition to such a collection of gross misrepresentations, deliberate falsehoods, and inconsequential reasonings, Murray gave into Elizabeth’s commissioners, not only the boxful of papers beforementioned, but other supposititious papers of a similar sort. What Morton said before, as to the interception of the box, and letters, he now swore. The Queen denied, that she had ever written such letters, and other papers; strongly insinuating, at the same time, that Secretary Maitland had forged them. If the question were, whether Morton, or the Queen, were to be believed; the answer must be, that the Queen’s veracity could not be doubted; while Morton was a known falsifier: And Morton seemed afraid to make any examinations, concerning the matter, or the manner, of the interception. This evinces, that his assertion could not bear examination. This earliest date assigned to any of those letters was the 24th January 1567, from Glasgow, and three subsequent letters, were written while the Queen remained at Glasgow. Yet, is it a fact, which cannot be doubted, that the Queen was, at that period, completely reconciled to her husband; and went to Glasgow after that date, with design, to carry him to Edinburgh. But, there never was any evidence given, to repel the improbability, that the Queen, thus reconciled to her husband, would write such letters against him. Much less was there any proof to evince, contrary to the public records, which prove, that she remained, at Edinburgh, on the 24th of January 1567, that the Queen was at Glasgow, on the same day. If, in such a mass of documents, one paper be proved, to be a forgery, this will corrupt the whole mass. The letter, from Stirling, noticing the Queen’s seizure, by Bothwell, is flatly contradicted, by the very act, which forfeits him, for that seizure. The copy of this act of Parliament, which Murray then produced, when compared with the genuine record, appears to have been shorn of a clause. Every document, which was touched, by the hands of such falsifiers, was defiled by them. Such were the proofs, which were to substantiate such a charge. The lord keeper, however, and the secretary of state, contrary to their oaths, admitted in evidence, such forged, and falsified, documents, in the absence of the Scotish Queen, and her commissioners. Such documents, thus admitted, in evidence, contrary to every principle of law, and justice, answered, sufficiently, Elizabeth’s design of calumniating, and disgracing a hated rival. She even refused to give copies of such documents to the Scotish Queen, though Elizabeth acknowledged this request to be very reasonable. But, she had obtained her calumnious object, at whatever cost of money, and expense of reputation.
In the practice of law, and the intercourse of life, when any person, of whatever rank, is detected, in any gross fraudulence, he is, for ever after, regarded as a notorious character, without faith, and unworthy of credit. The whole proceedings of Murray, and his associates, with regard to the Scotish Queen, both in Scotland, and in England, were supported on no better grounds, than falsehood, and perjury, invalid instruments, and vitiated documents. Elizabeth’s commissioners, both, at York,and at Westminster, in their several practices, partook of their fraudulence, and were involved in their perjury. By the ablest of Elizabeth’s statesmen, it was avowed, that the detention of the Scotish Queen could not be justified, if she were not disgraced, by calumny. It was for that odious purpose, that such enquiries were carried on, in England, at so disgraceful an expense. When Elizabeth, and Cecil, by gross corruption, induced Murray, and his associates, to swear to the genuineness of documents, which they all, the tempters, and the tempted, knew to be forgeries, Elizabeth, and her minister, only incurred the abominable guilt of odious subornation. She dismissed Murray, and his associates, with their boxful of forgeries to Scotland, to rule a dependent kingdom, which was disgraceful to the country, says Robertson, and he might have added, as well as injurious to the people. She resolved, to confine more strictly the Scotish Queen, who had resolved, to die a Queen, however much she had been disgraced, by calumny, supported, only, by a consciousness of innocence, while Elizabeth was devoured, by a consciousness of guilt, which followed her to the grave. If it be asked, upon what principle, Elizabeth resolved to confine the Queen of Scots more straitly, the answer must be: She, and her minister, Cecil, considered her as a criminal, duly convicted of the murder of her husband? Who convicted her? Queen Elizabeth, who acted without jurisdiction, by commissioners, who proceeded, partially, upon the production of documents, which were forged, by the murderers themselves, who were admitted to charge the Queen with the crime. But, can there be more disgraceful characters, than an unjust judge, perjured commissioners, and prosecutors, who were themselves the murderers, who produced forgeries, as their vouchers?
It is apparent, however, while Elizabeth’s ministers intercepted the Queen of Scots’ documents, and while time, and chance, had not yet made many a disclosure, that Mary could not have convicted Murray, and his associates, of the shocking guilt of murdering the King; and of charging their own crime, on the innocent Queen. That Darnley was assassinated, by a conspiracy of nobles, with Murray, as the chief of it, is quite certain. But, this certainly, she, and her commissioners, able as they were, could not have demonstrated: Yet, was the charge against the Scotish Queen quite groundless; as, indeed, we may infer, from the attainders of those guilty nobles; and from the fact of Bothwell being one of the conspirators, at Whittingham, as the mere cat’s-paw of Morton, and Murray, but not the paramour of Mary. When Murray stated, that the Queen prevented the trial of Bothwell, who was actually tried; what was this, but deliberate falsehood? The record of Bothwell’s trial remains to this day; and is, also, the register of Murray’s audacity of falsehood. When Murray charged Mary’s marriage with Bothwell, as proof of her privity to the murder of Darnley, he failed, egregiously, in not showing that, it was a voluntary marriage: For the register of the Privy Council, and the record of Parliament, evince, that Bothwell, being encouraged, by Murray’s agents, traitorously arrested the Queen on the highway; carried her forcibly, to the castle of Dunbar, and therein coerced the imprisoned Queen to agree to marry him. Being thus coerced, by a power, which she could not resist, what guilt could she, or any other woman, commit, under such circumstances of violence? And, thus treated, under the predominance of Murray’s agents, and faction, what privity could she have of her husband’s murder? which, as we have clearly seen, was committed, by a conspiracy of nobles, with Murray, as their chief, and Bothwell, for their cat’s-paw. From these examinations, the character of Murray’s charge may be easily seen, to be nothing else, than fiction, and falsehood, misrepresentation and sophistry.
Of the same nature are the documents, which Murray gave in to Elizabeth’s commissioners, as proofs of his charge: They are mostly all forgeries, and fictions, vitiated writings, and spurious diaries. The whole may be seen in Goodall’s Examination, ii. except the declaration of Morton, on oath, with regard to the manner of his intercepting the boxful of love epistles, love sonnets and marriage contracts, therein found, which were addressed, by the Queen, to Bothwell. But, Morton, knew, from the informations of Bothwell, and Maitland, that such papers did not exist, at the epoch of the conspiracy, at Whittingham. When did this written intercourse begin, between the Queen of Scots, and the Earl of Bothwell? The answer must be, a few days after the epoch of that conspiracy: During the same moment, that the Queen became reconciled to her husband: During the same moment, wherein Bothwell was busy, as a conspirator, in procuring men, and means, to murder the King. Under these two circumstances, it would require the strongest evidence to prove, that such written intercourse began, at such an epoch; as it is most improbable. For the interception of such writings, we have only the assertion, on oath, of Morton, who was a known falsifier. On the contrary, the Queen averred, “that she never wrote such documents to any creature.” Here, then, Murray failed in his proof: The improbability, and the Queen’s declaration, being much stronger evidence, than the affidavit of such a wretch, as Morton.
1. One of the supposititious letters, which Murray brought, in support of his charge; in order to show the inordinate love of a married Queen, who was on civil terms with her husband, for a married noble, who never courted her. The first letter, in the series, a very long one, from Glasgow, was written, on the 24th of January 1567: But the records evince, the Queen still remained, in Edinburgh, at that date: She could not, then, write such a letter, from Glasgow. The forger makes the king, and Queen talk, nonsensically, in that letter, about the disease of his mind, while they both knew, that his complaint was the small-pox, a disease of the body. But, why should the Queen write so long a letter, from Glasgow, whither she had gone for her love of Darnley, to Bothwell, who was then busy, in contriving means, for the King’s murder, and not in courting her? The Parliamentary act, forfeiting Bothwell, shews, that there was no love, between the Queen and him; as he carried her forcibly to Dunbar castle; and therein coerced her to agree to marry him: But, where there is coercion there can be no love. The Parliament, when the estates forfeited Bothwell, grounded their act upon the facts of his arresting the Queen on the highway, of his forcibly carrying her to Dunbar castle, and of his forcibly constraining the Queen to marry him: But, constraint, and affection stood opposed to each other; and if she did not love Bothwell, and hate Darnley; why should she write such long, and absurd letters to Bothwell? The true answer must be, that she never wrote such letters, or any thing, either to Bothwell, or to any one else; as she asserted, when she affirmed such letters to be forgeries; and pointed at Secretary Maitland, as the forger.
2. The love sonnets, which may, also, be seen in Goodall, are equally, objectionable, as the letters. The Queen, as she had no unfit intercourse with, Bothwell, had no motive to write such pitiful verses to such a character, while she was so much better employed, in taking care of her sickly husband. She denied them to be of her writing; and her denial is quite sufficient to repel unfounded affirmations.
3. There were two supposititious contracts of marriage given in evidence by Murray. But, since the Queen’s marriage was founded in coercion, and not in will, the force, under which she acted, in the judgment of Parliament, evinces such contracts to be forgeries.
4. There were a dozen other documents, given in evidence, by Murray, against the Queen! which only evinces the truth of the intimation, how frequent were forgeries, during those times, and what a long train of forgeries, Murray was engaged in; for supporting his charge, against the Queen, so false, and feigned, as it was. Murray knew perfectly well, that Bothwell, from the epoch of the conspiracy against Darnley, and the Queen, was more attached to himself, as a conspirator, than to Mary, as a paramour, that he caused a journal to be constructed, for exhibiting Bothwell, in constant attendance upon the Queen. With other forgeries, Murray gave it in evidence, as a powerful support of his charge, but still stronger proof of his baseness. So false, and fallacious, were Murray’s proofs.
The result of all that notorious enquiry was, to approve of Murray’s proceedings, and to allow him to depart to Scotland with 5000l. reward; to imprison the Queen for life; while she was disgraced, by calumny; as had been proposed by Knollys, approved by Mildmay, and now acted upon, by Cecil. “Fons turbatus pede, et vena corrupta, est justus cadens coram impio: Here, is noted,” saith Bacon, Lord Verulam, “that one judicial, and exemplar of iniquity, in the face of the world, doth trouble the fountains of justice more, than many particular injuries, passed over, by connivance.”