James VI. (1567-1603), King of Scotland and Thereafter of England, France and Ireland, &c., Updated, pp.340-416.


ON the 29th day of July, in [the year] 1567, as [is said], was King James [VI.] crowned in Stirling church, at 2 o’clock in the afternoon; and on the second day of August thereafter, proclamation was made by the heralds at Edinburgh cross, of his Majesties coronation, commanding all his subjects to live in the fear of God, under his obedience.

On the 11th day of August, [James Stewart] the Earl of Moray, the Regent, arrived safe at Leith from France, and in his company a French ambassador.

Likewise, on the 22nd day of August, this same year, 1567, James, Earl of Moray, was proclaimed Regent of the realm, until the infant King should attain the age of 17 years complete.

The 1st of September, this year, the Regent raises an army, for reducing such as were refractory to the King’s obedience; and this same day causes [a] proclamation to be made, that all [between] 60 and 16 should be in readiness upon the next warning with 20 days provision.

This same day, also, the Lord Regent, by his proclamation, ordains pieces of silver to be coined, with the sword one the one side of it, and one the point of it the Scots crown, with this circumscription,

[For me or against me.]

Sir James Balfour of [Burleigh], who all this time had kept Edinburgh castle for the Queen, was forced to take quarters of the Regent, and [render] up the same in his hands; who immediately thereafter placed [a] captain in it, William Kirkcaldy of Grange.

In this same month of September, also, Dunbar castle, which kept out for [James Hepburn] the Duke of Orkney, was by the Regent reduced to the Kings obedience, and an order immediately given by the estates of the realm to demolish it.

The Regent, in October this year, passes with some troops of horse and foot to Hawick, (and ere they were advertised of his coming, took and apprehended) 34 of the most notable thieves in all the borders, and some 15 more in [Eskdale] and Annandale; some of them he brought along with himself in chains to Edinburgh, and there committed them to prison.

The Regent, by proclamation, the 27 of November, this year, inhibits the wearing of guns and pistols, under the pain of death, by any subject within the realm, the King’s guard only excepted.

The 15th of December, this year, to which day the Regent calls a parliament of the estates of the kingdom to [be held] at Edinburgh; at which [Archibald Campbell] the Earl of Argyll did bear a sword, [George Gordon] Huntly the sceptre, and [Archibald Douglas] Angus (a youth about the age of 14 years) the crown. At this parliament, that long lasting debate [between] the towns of Perth and Dundee [about] the 2nd place of precidency among the burghs, did begin. In this parliament, likewise, was the Earl of Moray’s regency ratified; and James Hepburn, Duke of Orkney, Marquis of Fife, Earl Bothwell and Lord Hailes, with [John Cockburn] the Laird of Ormiston, and diverse others of the King’s murderers, were all [forfeited].

In this same month of December, Robert Jack, a merchant of Dundee, was hanged and quartered for false coin, called Hard Heads, which he had caused [to be coined] in Flanders, and brought home.

The Regent denies [Nicholas] Throckmorton and [Monsieur De Lignerolles], the English and French ambassadors, access to the Queen, now a prisoner in Lochleven castle, in Fife.



The 3rd of January, this year, 1568, the Regent, the Earl of Moray, [had] cause [to] execute to death John [Hay] of Tallo, younger, John Hepburn of Bolton, Paris, a Frenchman, and one [George] Dalgleish, servants to the Earl of Bothwell, who took it on their solemn oath, at the gallows, that Bothwell had assured them that [James Stewart] Moray and [James Douglas] Morton were the authors of killing [Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley] the King.

This rash, precipitate and overhasty abdication and deprivation of the Queen, and the overthwart stubborness of the Regent towards the ambassadors, in December last, both Queen Elizabeth and [Charles IX.] the French King took very highly, as a thing tending to the reproach of royal majesty, (so was the English ambassador pleased to express his passion,) and began outwardly to favour the Hamiltons, which stood for Queen Mary.

[Etienne] Pasquier, the French ambassador in England, dealt with Queen Elizabeth that Queen Mary might be restored by force of arms; but she thought it the better way to forbid the Scots all traffic in France and England, until she was delivered; and so by that means the commons might be disjoined from the nobility and gentry, (who, as it seemed, said she,) were all united in one conspiracy against Queen Mary.

In March, this year, the Regent held a justice court at Glasgow, wherein were 28 persons condemned and executed for diverse crimes.

On the 2nd of May, this same year, Queen Mary made an escape out of Lochleven castle, by the means of George Douglas, a younger son of [Robert Douglas] the Laird of Lochleven. After her escape, there met her the Lords [George Seton] and [John Maxwell, Lord Herries], with [John Hamilton] the Archbishop of St. Andrews, and conveyed her to Hamilton, the place of rendezvous of all that partied her. The Regent being at Glasgow, with all expedition raises and army; during which arming on both sides, there was a fast kept at Edinburgh for 8 days; and on the 13th day of this same month, being Thursday, both armies met in battle upon Govan-Muir, near to a hill called Langside. For the Queen was [Archibald Campbell, Earl of] Argyll and the Hamiltons, who led the [advanced guard] of her army. The King’s [advanced guard] was led by the Lord [Alexander] Home. The Regent obtained the victory with the loss only of two men; and the Queen lost some 155. She seeing herself deprived of the day, flees with [John] the Master of Maxwell, and his company of Galloway men, who escaped on their fellow’s horses that had endured the brunt of the battle.

Immediately after the battle, this same day, the keys of Hamilton and Draffan [Craignethan] castles were delivered to the Regent.

The 20th day of this same month, Queen Mary fled to Carlisle, accompanied with the Lords [John] Fleming, [William] Livingstone, and the Master of Maxwell, and some few of her ancient domestic servants, who after her escape from Lochleven had come to her.

In June, this year, the Regent, with 2000 soldiers, goes to Biggar, and causes [to be] demolished the castles of Skirling and Kenmure, belonging to the Lairds of Skirling [James Cockburn] and Lochinvar [John Gordon], being fled with the Queen to England.

In August, the Regent commits Sir James Balfour of [Burleigh] to prison in St. Andrews castle, and Sir William Maitland of Lethington, younger, to the castle of Edinburgh, for the alleged knowledge of the King’s slaughter; but finding them innocent, were both shortly thereafter set at liberty.

In this same month, Sir William Stewart [of Luthrie], [Lord] Lyon King of Arms, was transported from Edinburgh castle to [Dumbarton], and there committed to close prison, for conspiring to take the Regent’s life by sorcery and necromancy, for which he was put to death.

The 16th day of August, this year, the Regent held a parliament at Edinburgh, at which [James Douglas] the Earl of Morton did bear the sword, [Alexander Cunningham, Earl of] Glencairn the sceptre, and [John Erskine, Earl of] Mar the crown. There is no memory extant of this parliament among the printed statutes of [King James VI.], nor any mention of it. At this parliament time, the town of Edinburgh commanded the parliament house, all of them being armed; and such as were by the Regent cited to [appear] before the parliament and did not, were [forfeited], all of them, on Tuesday the 24th day of August.

The 22nd of August, being Sunday, Sir David Lindsay of [Rathillet], knight, was solemnly crowned [Lord] Lyon King of Arms, the Regent and most part of the nobility being present at the ceremony.

In September, this year, the Regent went to York, in England, the place appointed by Queen Elizabeth, of meeting to hear what the commissioners of the infant King of Scotland could object against Queen Mary. The Scottish commissioners were:

James [Stewart], Earl of Moray, Regent;

James [Douglas], Earl of Morton;

Adam [Bothwell], Bishop of Orkney;

Patrick, Lord Lindsay;

Robert [Pitcairn], Commendator of Dunfermline;

[Richard Maitland, Laird of] Lethington, Secretary;

Mr James MacGill, Clerk Register;

Mr Henry Balnaves [of Hallhill], and

Mr John Wood, Senators of the College of Justice.

The English commissioners were:

Thomas [Howard], Duke of Norfolk;

Thomas [Ratclyffe], Earl of Sussex, President of the North;

Sir Ralph Sadler, Knight.

Commissioners for Queen Mary were:

John Lesley, Bishop of Ross;

William, Lord Livingston;

Robert, Lord Boyd;

Gavin [Hamilton], Commendator of Kilwinning;

John Gordon; and

James Cochrane.

They all of them met on the 7th day of October; and show each other their letters of commission. Secretary Lethington entreated all the commissioners, both of the King and his mother, to forbear as much as possible could be, in such a public judicial way, to defame the reputation of their [former] Queen, and still mother to their King, and that before English men, the professed enemies of the Scottish nation. So after many arguments and exaggerations, [for] and [against], that conference ended, after much debate, with the still keeping Queen Mary more close a prisoner. The Regent, the Earl of Moray, insinuating to Queen Elizabeth, that Queen Mary had devolved her right of England to [Henry] the Duke of Anjou, and that the transcription was confirmed at Rome. He likewise [showed] Queen Elizabeth letters written by Queen Mary’s own hand, wherein she both charged Queen Elizabeth as that she had not used her according to promise, and bragged of her hope of aid from some other persons, &c.*

This put Queen Elizabeth in great fear; yet could she not conjecture from whom this her hope should arise.

The civil wars so increasing in France this year, that [Bertrand de Marillac] the Bishop of [Rennes] was sent unto her to [request] her not to [interfere] with the affairs of France; and [Fernando Álvarez de Toledo] the Duke of Alba, who [had] come in the preceding year to the Netherland, with ample commission to extirpate and root out the protestant religion, had involved himself in a labyrinth of troubles: but all their fears that the Regent Moray put in Queen Elizabeth’s head, did evidently appear thereafter in the negotiations and practises of [Roberto Ridolfi], a Florentine, [Pius V.] the Pope’s agent, (because he could not send a nuncio to England,) sent this under the colour of a merchant, to stir up the English papists to practise against Queen Elizabeth’s life; as also in the offers of the Bishop of Ross and Lethington, at York, to the Duke of Norfolk, of the marriage of Queen Mary to him; so that he would not desert her, but [would] embrace her cause.



In February this year, 1569, [James Stewart] the Earl of Moray, Regent, returned out of England, where he had remained since the 21st of September, in the preceding year. The Regent having laid a sure foundation for the young King with Queen Elizabeth, and also lulled Queen Mary asleep with hopes of her [release], that he might the more easily catch her friends, calls a convention of the estates of the realm, to meet at Edinburgh immediately after his return. Among the first comes [James Hamilton] the Duke of [Châtellerault], and [John Maxwell] the Lord Herries; them both he catches, and commits to close prison in the castle of Edinburgh.



This year, 1570, begins with the quenching of the English rebellion; Moray the Regent of Scotland, laboured diligently that Queen Mary might be delivered in[to] his hands, and for that cause he both offered hostages, and to restore unto them the Earls of Northumberland [Thomas Percy] and Westmorland [Charles Neville], and brought the matter to such [a] pass, that [John] Lesley, Bishop of Ross, as the chief incendiary of that rebellion, was committed a prisoner to the custody of [Edmund Grindal] the Bishop of London.

On the 23rd of January, this year, the Earl of Moray, the Regent, was killed in Linlithgow, with the shot of a harquebus, from a window, by James Hamilton of Bothwellhaugh, who immediately fled out at a back [entrance], and mounted a swift horse, which the Hamiltons had there waiting for him; and so he escaped, and presently shipped himself for France.

On the 27th of this same month of January, Matthew Stewart, Earl of Lennox, was declared Regent, and James Douglas, Earl of Morton, his lieutenant; hereupon was there much talk of the worthy Regent lately killed, though all Britain, the most wondering at vain matters, namely, the dream of his mother [Lady Margaret Erskine], of the lion and the dragon fighting in her womb, after that [King James V.] had had his pleasure of her. The Regent thus basely killed, was, among the wiser sort, commended for abolishing the Roman religion in Scotland, the preservation of the King a child, the equal administration of justice without partiality, as also his munificence and liberality towards learned men; but all the Englishmen, that loved [Thomas Howard] the Duke of Norfolk, as a crafty and subtle politician.

In August this year, Matthew, Earl of Lennox, the Regent, held a parliament at [Stirling], which is not recorded among the printed statutes of this King’s reign, wherein (the young King being present) the said Regent made a speech to the estates of the realm there present, during which the King looked up, and [espied] a hole in the roof of the house, by the lack of some [slates], and after the Regent had ended his [speech], (he said,) I think there is a hole in this parliament. So that in effect ere long his Majesty’s words were found true, for in this same month, about the ending of the parliament, there came to [Stirling] in the night, ere the nobility or town knew, [George Gordon] the Earl of Huntly, the Queen’s Lieutenant, Claud Hamilton [Lord Paisley], with Lairds of Buccleuch [Walter Scott] and Ferniehirst [Thomas Kerr], and ere daybreak, had possessed themselves of the town, crying God and the Queen; so that these that were for the King and his Regent, for the multitude of enemies, could not come to a head, but [wherever] they could see any that belonged to the Regent, him they killed without mercy; the Regent being taken prisoner by the Laird of Bucceluch, and horsed behind him, a wicked fellow lifted up his jacket, and shot him through the body with a pistol. The Earl of Lennox, the Regent, thus killed by a pack of wicked traitors, who departed the town immediately; and [John Erskine] the Earl of Mar was declared Regent, and concluded the parliament. This was the [hole] which the young King did see in the parliament, although he [meant] nothing less.

About this same time, Pope Pius [V.] had caused his bull declaratory [the ‘Regnans in Excelsis’] against Queen Elizabeth, (the pretended Queen of England, as he named her,) and the heretics, adhering to her, in which impious parchment he absolved all her subjects from their oath of fidelity to her, and from all other duties; and this infamous [libel] was fixed on the gates of the Bichop of London’s palace, in the night, by one John Felton, who was apprehended, arraigned, and executed near the same place he had affixed it; which act he, Roman like, averred to be meritorious and just.

Hereupon suspicions arose in England, that some dangerous matters were in working; and in the [meantime], [another] rebellion, about to burst forth in Norfolk, was discovered, [about] the relieving the Duke out of prison; the warning was to be given by the blast of a trumpet, but this vanished.

[Thomas Howard] the Duke of Norfolk was arraigned at this same time for consenting to marry the Queen of Scotland, Mary, without Queen Elizabeth’s knowledge; but was brought back again from the Tower to his own house, under the keeping of Sir Henry Neville.

[These] times were full of conspiracies, for this same year, there conspired to deliver Queen Mary out of prison, Thomas and Edward Stanley, the younger sons of [Edward Stanley] the Earl of Derby, by [Dorothy] the daughter of Thomas [Howard], Duke of Norfolk, Thomas Gerard, Ralston, Hall, and diverse others in Derbyshire; and John Lesley, the Popish Bishop of Ross, was again committed to prison, for that he had had [a] secret conference with [Henry Wriothesley] the Earl of Southampton, one wholly addicted to the Roman religion.

Queen Elizabeth’s mind fearing troubles after the publication of Pope Pius [V.] his bull, and the insurrection in Norfolk, she sends [William] Cecil and [Walter Mildmay] to the Queen of Scotland, Mary, who then lay at Chatsworth, in Derbyshire, to consult and advise with her, by what means the division in Scotland might in the best manner be composed, she restored to her former estate, and provision made for the security of Queen Elizabeth and the safety of her young son; but she, like a woman, deplores her own estate, excuses the Duke of Norfolk, and puts all her hope in the benignity of Queen Elizabeth: their demands to her were drawn up [briefly] in 16 articles, which, after she had thought on [them], some of them she would have granted, others she flatly refused; but most of them seemed to the indifferent impossibilities to lay a prisoner to. Of these 16 articles, Lesley, the busy Bishop of Ross, sent a just double of them to Pope Pius [V.], to [Charles IX.] the French King, and likewise to [Philip II.] the King of Spain, and show them in plain terms that to these articles the Scottish Queen [found it necessary] to condescend, unless they speedily assisted her, both with advice and other necessary aid, and that very shortly; which he did most importunately [request] at their hands, but in vain, for they were all [busy] about other matters.



The 4th day of April in this year, 1571, the castle of [Dumbarton] being kept against the King’s authority by John Hamilton, Archbishop of St. Andrews, brother to the Duke of [Châtellerault], and the Lord [John] Fleming, captain thereof, who escaped by a [small exit], and shipped himself for France; but the Archbishop, the castle being [rendered], was taken prisoner, brought to [Stirling], and there, on the 7th day of the same month, hanged on a gallows: one whom one more zealous than charitable, wrote,

[Cresse long happy tree, ever little man
Overshadowing, fruits such as our game.]

The 14th of May this year, there was a parliament [held] in William Cockie’s house in the Canongate, near St. John’s Cross, by such as [maintained] the king’s authority; and [another] in the [tolbooth] of Edinburgh. by these that held for the deprived Queen, in which parliaments, each of them [forfeited] their enemies and opposites. In the end of this two headed parliament [James Douglas] the Earl of Morton, from Leith, marched towards Edinburgh, but in his march [there], he was [engaged in battle] by the Hamiltons and Homes, which were for the Queen, near to the [Quarrel-Holes]; he gave them so fierce a charge, that he forced them, with great loss, to turn their backs; many of Huntly and Hamilton’s best men being killed, the Lord [Alexander] Home was taken prisoner. The English ambassador had laboured to draw them to some atonement before the armies joined, but could not; so Morton carried the good fortune of the day to the King’s side, and that with an entire victory, [so] that the letting of this blood cooled the hottest distempers of this year.



On the 16th of January, 1572, Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk, was arraigned at Westminsterhall, before George Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury, by commission, Lord High Steward of England for that day, and executed on Towerhill of London, the 2nd day of June thereafter, at 8 o’clock in the morning.

Upon the 14th day of July this year, was that cruel, bloody and inhumane massacre of the innocent protestants acted at Paris, and devised by these 3 furies of hell, Queen Catherine of Medici, her son King Charles [IX.], and [Louis] the treacherous Duke and Cardinal of Guise.

The 26th of January this year, the Earl of Morton, regent, held a parliament at Edinburgh.

The 28th of October, the Regent, the Earl of Mar, departed this life, in whose place the King’s lieutenant, James [Douglas], Earl of Morton, was confirmed in the Regency of the young King and his realm.

Within 10 days after the Duke of Norfolk’s execution, William [West], Lord de la [Warr], Sir Ralph Sadler, Thomas Wilson, doctor of the laws, and Queen Elizabeth’s soliticor, and Thomas Bromley, were sent to Mary, Queen of Scots, (then full of sorrow and grief,) to expostulate criminally with her.

[Firstly], That she had usurped the title and arms of the realm of England; and had not reliquished the bearing of them, and using them, according to the treaty of Edinburgh.

[Secondly], That she had sought to marry with the Duke of Norfolk without the Queen’s [knowledge]; and to obtain the same with the better success, and to deliver the Duke out of prison, she had [tried] all means and devises possible by her ministers and agents.

[Thirdly], That she had raised the rebellion in the north.

[Fourthly], That she had relieved the rebels, (after they were put to flight,) in Scotland, and the Low Countries.

[Fifthly], That she had made suit by the Italian, [Roberto Ridolfi], from [foreign] help, from the Pope, the King of Spain, and others, to invade England.

[Sixthly], That she had conspired, with certain Englishmen, to take her [by force] out of prison, and to proclaim her Queen of England.

[Seventhly], That she had received letters from the Pope, wherein he promised to [cherish] her as the hen did her chickens; and to [count] them that stood for her the true children of the church.

[Eighthly], That she had procured the Pope’s bull against Queen Elizabeth.

[Ninthly], That she had suffered herself to be publicly called and named Queen of England by her servants and ministers in [foreign] countries.

To these 9 articles she answered with a protestation, that she was a free Queen, and subject to none; and then, with a countenance full of courage and magnanimity, she said, that to the

First, She had not usurped the title and arms of England; but that the King of France, and her husband, imposed them upon her, being very young, and under the direction of her husband, and therefore not to be laid to her charge; [neither] did she ever use or wear them after her husband’s death; [neither] that she will [claim] them as long as Queen Elizabeth and her children lived.

Second, That she never imagined any hurt or detriment to the Queen by her marriage with the Duke of Norfolk, being persuaded that it would be for the good of the commonwealth; and that she would not renounce it, because she had given her faith and truth to him, and that she had willed the Duke, by some means or other, to get away out of danger and prison, which she did out of the duty she aught to [have for] him as her husband.

Third, That she had not raised rebellion, [neither] was privy to the same, but was always ready to reveal any attempts against the Queen, if she would vouchsafe to hear her.

Fourth, That she never relieved the English rebels; only that in her letters she recommended [Anne Percy] the Countess of Northumberland to [Fernando Álvarez de Toledo] the Duke of Alba.

Fifth, That she used [Roberto Ridolfi] (whom she knew to be highly in the Pope’s favour,) in many matters, yet did not receive any letters from him.

Sixth, That she never moved any to attempt her deliverance; yet that she willingly gave ear unto them that offered their labour therein, and for that she communicated unto [Francis] Rolston and [John] Hall a private character.

Seventh, That she had received letters from the Pope, very pious and consolatory, in which were no such phrases of speech.

Eighth, That she procured not the bull; and that she only saw the copy thereof printed, and when she had read it over she [burned] it.

Ninth, That if any [foreign] regions [wrote] or named her otherwise than they ought to do, let them (said she) answer for it.

She likewise subjoined to these 9 answers, that she never by letters required aid of the Pope, or King of Spain, to invade England, but only to be restored to her kingdom by their means, and that with the Queen’s [knowledge]; but if any doubt or question be made of these letters, of effecting the marriage by force of arms, she requested, (since she was born of the royal blood of England,) that she might answer personally in the next parliament that was to be [held].

This same year, after the league was concluded at Blois [between] England and France, the Duke [François de] Montmorency being sent into England to see the same sworn, in few words, in his master’s name, desired that as much favour might be [shown] to the Queen of Scotland, as was without danger, and that an accord might be established in that kingdom by parliament, as also a cessation of arms there. It was answered him, that there was more favour shown to her than she deserved; and as for a cessation of arms in that kingdom, she had lately sent [William] Drury, the Marshal of Berwick, with [Philibert du] Croc, the French ambassador; and that she, by no persuasions, could bring [William Kirkcaldy of] Grange and the garrisons in Edinburgh castle to peace, being induced by hope of aid from France and the Low Countries, although Huntly and [James Hamilton] the Lord of Arbroath, (for the Duke his father,) had bound themselves under their hands to observe the peace, and others of the Queen’s side had given their words also.



In the beginning of this year, 1573, Queen Elizabeth, by Henry Killigrew, drew [James Hamilton, the] Duke [of] Hamilton, and George [Gordon], Earl of Huntly, who stood for the Queen, to these conditions:

First[ly], To acknowledge the religion established in Scotland.

[Secondly], To submit themselves to the King, and to Morton, his regent, and to his successors in the government.

[Thirdly], To renounce the authority of all others; and to [count] them traitors, by authority of parliament, that attempted [anything] against religion, the King, or Regent.

Lastly, That the sentence of parliament against the Hamiltons and Gordons should be repealed.

But these conditions the Lord [Alexander] Home, [Robert Crichton] the Bishop of Dunkeld, [Richard Maitland, Laird of] Lethington, and William Kirkcaldy of Grange, and others, who thought Queen Mary injuriously used, would upon no terms admit. They fortified the castle of Edinburgh, of which Grange was the captain, (placed therein by the Earl of Moray [while] he was Regent,) looking for aid from France and [Fernando Álvarez de Toledo] the Duke of Alba; but Sir William Drury was sent by Queen Elizabeth, with 20 pieces of great ordnance, and some forces, into Scotland to aid the Earl of Morton, the Regent, who played the siege so close, that for lack of [provisions] the Laird of Grange was constrained to render up the same to the King and his Regent, the 29th of May this year.

The Regent held a parliament at Edinburgh the last of April, this same year.

The 3rd of August, William Kirkcaldy of Grange, who had kept the castle of Edinburgh against the King and his Regent, was for the same hanged at the cross of Edinburgh.

John Lesley, Bishop of Ross, who had served Queen Mary very faithfully, yet with the destruction of many men, and danger of many more, was released from prison at this time, and commanded to depart out of England. He went to France, where, in behalf of Queen Mary, his mistress, he left no wind unsailed with the Pope, [Holy Roman] Emperor, French, and Spanish Kings, as also with the Popish Princes of Germany, to procure aid and assistance for her relief: all of them gave him hopes, and fair words, but performed nothing. And the Duke of Alba, in whom he put his greatest trust, did at this time depart out of the Low Countries, to the bishop’s great grief.



This year, 1574, King Henry [III.], of France, and his mother, Catherine of Medici, did all that they could, by secret practises and devices, to get the young King of Scots into France, and Morton out of his regency, sending secretly Scots out of the French guard for this purpose into Scotland; which thing Queen Mary desired much, being persuaded that if her son were in France, out of danger, that she and the papists in England should be the more mildly dealt with.

This year, also, [Elizabeth Hardwick and George Talbot] the Countess and Earl of Shrewsbury, for the alleged working a marriage [between] the Lord Charles Stewart, Earl of Lennox, uncle to King James [VI.], and Elizabeth [Cavendish], the Countess of Shrewsbury’s daughter of her first marriage, without Queen Elizabeth’s knowledge; for which the mothers of them both were kept up in close prison; and diverse suspicions daily arising by reason of this marriage, made Queen Mary be the more narrowly looked to; and Henry [Hastings], Earl of Huntington to be made president of the counsel in the north, with new and secret instructions touching this matter.



This year, 1575, died James Hamilton, Duke of [Châtellerault] and Earl of Arran, who was the grandchild’s son of King James [II.], by his daughter, the tutor of Mary, Queen of Scotland, and Governor of the kingdom, and here designed by parliament while she was in her minority. Not long after, in this same year, his son, Lord John Hamilton, riding to [Arbroath], accompanied only with his ordinary train, (for he held himself secured by the pacification,) was [pursued] by William Douglas of Lochleven, who did lay with a number in his way, of [the] intention to kill him, as he was refreshing himself at Coupar; but being advertised of the danger, he escaped to the house of Darcy, where he was received. Lochleven [beset] the house all that night and tomorrow, until a herald of arms, from the counsel, summoned him to dissolve his forces; for which insolency, and refusing to keep the peace, he excepting still the murder of his brother the Earl of Moray, the 1st Regent; but he was committed to the castle of Edinburgh, where he remained until surety was given.



This year, 1576, the discontents of the country daily increase, by the Regent’s severe proceedings against Adam Whiteford of [Milton]. This gentleman was accused as one set on by John, Lord Hamilton of [Arbroath], and Lord Claud, his brother, to have killed the Regent; but the troubles and discontents did spring from [another] fountain, being only a net to have [caught] the Hamiltons in.



In the beginning of this year, 1577, [John Lyon] the Lord Glamis, [Lord High] Chancellor of Scotland, being in [Stirling], was shot dead with a pistol in the head; [David Lindsay] the Earl of Crawford was [believed] at the first to be the murderer, but was found innocent; yet immediately thereafter, in [the] company of [George Gordon] the Earl of Huntly, he went over sea to France.

The 10th day of March, this year, James [Douglas], Earl of Morton, who had governed Scotland almost [five years], most worthily, perceiving new factions to grow among the nobility, who much [complained] (according to their [usual] manner) that they had no hand in the government, voluntarily of himself resigned the regency; although he had been established therin by act of parliament. Upon whose [resignation] there were 16 noblemen chosen [with] some others, to be privy counsellors to the King, and by whose advice he should govern.

This same year, also, Don Juan, of Austria, had made a perpetual edict, at [Ghent], to give satisfaction to the estates of the Netherlands for their grievances, which the Prince [William] of Orange utterly condemning, opportunely heard that Don Juan intended to marry the Queen of Scotland; on which villainy laid hold, and forthwith advertised Queen Elizabeth, by Famier, thereby to withdraw her mind from peace; yet she, as one ignorant thereof, by Daniel Rogers, showed her gladness of the perpetual edict of peace, though she had now got certain knowledge that Don Juan, by the persuasion of [Charles Neville] the Earl of Westmorland and the English fugitives, a forward favourer of the Pope and Guises, had in hope swallowed that marriage, and with all the kingdoms of Scotland and England; and had already appointed to surprise the Isle of Man, in the Irish sea, as a fit place to invade England out of Ireland, and the west borders of Scotland, wherein Queen Mary had many assured friends, as also in the opposite side of England, North Wales, Cumberland, Lancashire and Cheshire, where the most of the inhabitants were earnest papists. These projects of Don Juan were discovered by Antonio [Pérez], the Spanish secretary, and by the earnest soliciting of King Philip [II.], by Don Juan’s secretary, [Juan de Escobedo], for some [havens] in Biscay to be granted [to] him, from whence he might invade England with a navy. These high intentions of Don Juan’s made his brother neglect him, as one too ambitious; so that he openly discovered himself to all the world, for whilst he seemed to attend about the perpetual edict of peace, he broke out suddenly into open war; and by policy gets into his hands many cities and castles, and [wrote] unto the King of Spain, that he thought it best to subdue and conquer the Islands of Zealand before the inward provinces, (and believing that which he hoped,) endeavoured to persuade him, by [Escobedo], his secretary, that England was easier to be conquered than Zealand.



In the beginning of this year, 1578, the Earls of Morton [James Douglas] and Mar [John Erskine], and their friends, surprised the castle of [Stirling], to have had the King out of it, who was detained there as a prisoner by [Alexander Erskine of Gogar] the captain, whose son was killed in the surprise of it.

Morton having again engrossed both King and government in his own hand, not regarding his associates and the form of government set down formerly; so that having the King within the castle of [Stirling], [shut] out and excluded whom he pleased, and admitted others [of] his own choice, wherewith the other ccounsellors being moved, did make choice of [John Stewart] the Earl of Atholl to be their leader, and made a proclamation, in the King’s name, that all men above [16] and under 60 years, should meet in arms, with [provisions] for 15 days. There met at the day appointed, viz. the 18th of August, this same year, many, and with displayed banner marched to Falkirk, where Morton with his friends met them ready to fight; but Robert Bowes, the English ambassador, by entreaty, and moving honest conditions, kept them from joining at that time. They had depicted on their ensigns, “Captive I am, liberty I crave; our lives we shall lose, or that ye shall have.”

About this same time, Lady Margaret Douglas, Countess of Lennox, niece to King Henry [VIII.], by his eldest sister, widow of Matthew, Earl of Lennox, grandmother to King James [VI.], [outliving] her 8 children, departed to the joys of heaven in the 63rd year of her age, and was solemnly interred at Westminster; a matron of worthy piety, patience and charity.

I can not omit how the King did, by his own authority, call a parliament to meet at Edinburgh, the 25 day of July, this same year, which was the first he held freed of a Regent. The first act was a declaration of the freedom of said parliament; the next was a ratification of the [acceptance] of the regiment in the King’s own person; as also an act of the election and nomination of the King’s counsel; and likewise an act of exoneration was granted to the heirs of [the deceased] John [Erskine], Earl of Mar, [about] the [keeping] of his majesty’s person within the castle of [Stirling]. In this parliament, there was granted by the estates 10,000 merks for the reparation of the bridge over Tay, and a commission concerning recognition of land within the burgh.



The 10th of May, this year the castle of Hamilton was demolished and cast down, 1579.

On the 8th of September, this year, the Lord Esmé Stewart arrived in Scotland, and landed at Leith, to visit his cousin, the King’s majesty. He was the son of John Stewart, the brother of Matthew, Earl of Lennox, who was the King’s grandfather. He was Lord of Aubigny[-sur-Nère], a town in [Bourges], which, long since, Charles [VII.], King of France, had given to the Lord John Stewart, of the family of Lennox, Constable of France, who did most valliantly defeat the English at Baugé; since which time it [had] ever belonged to the younger sons of the house of Lennox. To return then to the Lord Esmé, him the King received and welcomed with all the demonstrations and expressions of kindness, made him of his privy counsel, Great Chamberlain of Scotland, and first created him Earl and thereafter Duke of Lennox. This extraordinary favour of the King to him, made him the main object of envy and usual discourse of the court; who daily murmured that he was a favourer of the Guises, and of the Roman religion, and sent purposely to Scotland, by secret and [hidden] means, to overthrow the protestant religion. The suspicion was much increased, [in] that he was familiar with the adversaries of Morton; and dealt to have Thomas Kerr of Ferniehirst recalled from exile home, who was of all others the most assured friend to Queen Mary, which Morton by all means opposed.

This same year, the 8th of June, Monsieur [Antoine de Noailles], a Frenchman, and Nicholas Throckmorton, are denied all access to the King, being sent to him from his mother, and they are forced to return unheard.

The 29th of October, this year, the King held a parliament at Edinburgh, wherein there [were] many good laws enacted, both for advancement of the gospel, liberty of the church, and prosperity of the kingdom. In this parliament was his majesty’s revocation of the earldom of Lennox made to the Lord Charles Stewart, his uncle, father to the Lady Arabella, ratified.



On the first of January, this year, 1580, James Douglas, Earl of Morton, Sometime Regent of Scotland, was imprisoned in Edinburgh castle. The alleged cause was the concealing the murder [of] the King’s father [Darnley]; and about the end of this same month, he was removed thence to the castle of Dumbarton.

James Stewart, of the family of Ochiltree, captain of the guard, by the practise of the nobility and ministers, [is] raised to great favour with the King, only to affront the Duke of Lennox; but the King did reconcile them. When this way served not, then did they procure him as much hatred at home as could be; for, first they accuse him to Queen Elizabeth, as one sent covertly into Scotland by the Guises to shatter the state of religion, to procure the liberty of the imprisoned Queen, and to dissolve the amity [between] Scotland and England. He cleared himself of all these imputations, by his letters written with his own hand to Queen Elizabeth, and he openly professed the protestant religion; but of these matters Queen Elizabeth earnestly debated with her privy counsel. The result of that debate was, that Robert Bowes, [treasurer] for the garrison of Berwick, came to Scotland, from his mistress, to charge and challenge the Duke of Lennox with these things, before the King and his counsel, and to admonish them to [beware] of these imminent evils that threatened their estate. He required first (being in presence of the King and his counsel) the Duke of Lennox to be removed, which was denied to do, save to the King or any two more, and that privately: so he returned [unheard].

To excuse the not giving audience to the English ambassador, Alexander Home was sent to Queen Elizabeth, who was denied access to her; only he was put over to [William Cecil] the Lord Burleigh, who with a very laconic and pathetic speech showed him, that the Queen did not think it good to admit him to her speech or presence, not that she did neglect him, whom she had tried to be sound in religion, and a man careful for the good of his prince and country, and tranquillity of both the realms; but out of a just grief that her majesty, and the credit of her ambassador, who was so contemptuously used, who had kept himself within the compass and bounds of his ambassade, and had been commanded to show his commission (which was a thing never heard of). But he cast all the fault on the new counsellors, and excused the King, who wanted experience, through his young years, and wished that he would give ear unto the wholesome and profitable advices of Queen Elizabeth, who did bear a true motherly mind [towards] him; and not to make less [account] of her than he did of his French cousin, and subject to the French King, matched with a French woman, and a papist in religion, and who perhaps [does] seek, (said he,) the Hamiltons being at this time banished, to be designed 2nd person to the King; but let your King know (said he) that there is no affection more vehement than ambition, and let the Scots remember what broils the Frenchmen had made in Scotland, if the Queen by her prudence and power had not prevented them.

So Home was sent back without audience; and all these things were done [on] purpose to put the King in fear of, and to make him believe that the Duke of Lennox had undertaken dangerous devices and plots against him and his realm.



Queen Elizabeth, in the beginning of January, this year, 1581, sent her postmaster general, Sir Thomas Randall, to Scotland, with instructions to conserve the religion and amity with England; and to labour all he could that no violence should be offered to Morton; to remove Lennox out of Scotland, and to comfort the noblemen of the English faction. He made earnest and diligent entreaty for Morton, alleging his merits towards the King, the honour of Queen Elizabeth, (if she so well deserving should have a repulse,) and the envy of his accusers.

The King answered him modestly, that he could not, out of his princely duty, but bring to trial a man impeached of treason; and he did by experience acknowledge the Queen’s good will, and that he would not do [anything] that might justly displease her by any means.

Yet notwithstanding of the King’s smooth answer to the English ambassador, [Thomas] Randolph, upon the 9th of May, this same year, James, Earl of Morton, was brought out of Dumbarton castle to Edinburgh, and being accused for concealing [Henry, Lord Darnley] the King’s murder, by an assize of his peers, he was found guilty, and received [the] sentence to lose his head at Edinburgh cross; which was executed the 2nd day of June, this same year.

The 23rd day of October, this same year, the King called a parliament, which held at Edinburgh; wherein, among many statutes for the [good] of the church and state herein enacted, the controversy [between] the towns of Perth and Dundee, [about] the place of precedency in parliament was remitted by the estates to the decision of the royal burghs. This parliament likewise granted a commission for composing all debateable matters [between] the Gordons and Forbeses; as also, the parliament granted a privilege of silk making to Robert Dickson.



The 23rd of August this year, 1582, the King’s majesty, being in the castle of Ruthven, was kept there, [contrary to] his will, by William, Lord Ruthven, and certain other noblemen, his accomplices, and was constrained, by a warrant under his hand, after they had conducted him thence to [Stirling], to charge the Duke of Lennox, then at Edinburgh, to depart [from there], [either] to the castle of Dalkeith or of Arbroath, within 20 days to pass forth [from] Scotland to France, under the pain of treason. On this charge, the Duke departed to Glasgow, from thence to Dumbarton, and then through England to France; where it was thought he had [been poisoned], by the lingering work of it, which procured his death in the month of May in the following year, 1583. After he came to France, [neither] the King of France, nor yet the nobility there, nay not his own Lady, gave him any respect, in that he had joined himself to the protestant religion in Scotland, and had communicated with them.

These that had detained the King at Ruthven, and made him exile the Duke of Lennox, of the nobility were these especially:

John [Erskine], Earl of Mar;

William [Ruthven], Earl of Gowrie, Treasurer;

John [Stewart], Earl of Atholl;

Andrew [Leslie], Earl of Rothes;

James [Cunningham], Earl of Glencairn;

Lord [Patrick] Lindsay;

[Thomas Lyon of Baldukie,] Master of Glamis;

[David Erskine,] Abbot of Drybrugh;

[Adam Erskine,] Abbot of Cambuskenneth;

[William Erskine,] Abbot of Paisley: with their friends and followers.

For the King, to liberate him from their hands, were of the nobility:

[George Gordon,] Earl of Huntley,

[David Lindsay,] Earl of Crawford,

[Colin Campbell,] Earl of Argyll,

[George Keith,] Earl Marischal,

[John Graham,] Earl of Montrose,

[Alexander Gordon,] Earl of Sutherland,

[George Sinclair,] Earl of Caithness,

Lord [Alexander] Home,

Lord [George] Seton,

Lord [James] Ogilvy,

Lord [John] Maxwell,

[William Maxwell,] Lord Herries,

Lord [Henry] Sinclair,

Lord [William] Livingstone,

[Mark Kerr,] Lord Newbattle;

with the whole gentry of Merse and Lothian. these noblemen that had taken the King and detained him at Ruthven and Stirling, at the same time took Captain James Stewart, the Earl of Arran, (as he would have himself called,) and committed him prisoner to the castle of Dupplin.



This year, 1583, Queen Elizabeth sent her principal secretary, Sir Francis Walsingham, ambassador to King James [VI.], who was then at St. Andrews; he came to Edinburgh, the 15 of September, to Perth, where he had audience of the king, and remained some 8 days there, and then took his leave of his Majesty to return home for England. That which came to light of this embassy, was [about] these articles proposed by the English Queen and counsel, to be ratified before Queen Mary could be set at liberty; but after Walsingham had privily expostulated the business with the King, these propositions did quite vanish, and her [release] turned to smoke.

This year, came [Ludovic] Stewart, eldest son to [Esmé], Duke of Lennox, from France, and landed at Leith, the 13th day of November, and immediately after his homecoming, Archibald, Earl of Angus, was confined a prisoner to Inverness.

This same year, likewise, diverse [members] of the nobility, the principal of whom were:

Archibald [Douglas], Earl of Angus,

John [Erskine], Earl of Mar,

William [Ruthven], Earl of Gowrie,

[Thomas Lyon of Baldukie,] Master of Glamis,

[David Erskine,] Commendator of Dryburgh,

[Adam Erskine,] Commendator of Cambuskenneth,

and many others, with their adherents, took the town and castle of [Stirling], and fortified the same with men and ammunition against the King; to suppress which rebellion, he raises an army, and marches towards [Stirling]; but before the King approached, they abandoned the town, and fled towards England, the King’s cavalry having them in [a] chase all the way, until they were past the border, but could not reach them.



In the beginning of the spring this year, 1584, some of these that had fled unto Ireland, returned upon a pact [between] them and [William Ruthven] the Earl of Gowrie, who had a new again [conspiracy] to take the King; but the King hearing thereof, sent Colonel [William] Stewart to apprehend the Earl of Gowrie, who lay at the [haven] of Dundee, as if he had been going out of the land; who, after he had defended himself an hour or two in his house, he was taken and led to prison; and on the 4th day of May, this same year, was arraigned at [Stirling] before his peers on these points:

1. That he intended and began a new conspiracy against the King, whom he also had kept prisoner in his house before time.

2. That he conferred by night with the servants of Angus, to seize upon the towns of Perth and [Stirling].

3. That he resisted the King’s authority at Dundee, and had conceived a conspiracy against the life of the King and his mother.

4. That [about] the event of his conspiracy and enterprises, he had consulted with one [Maclena], a witch.**

He being found guilty by his peers, was sentenced to lose his head, which sentence was put in execution in the [evening], a little beneath the castle wall of [Stirling]. His servants did sew his head to the body, and [immediately] buried the same.

About this same time, the conspiracies of Thomas, Lord Paget, Francis Throckmorton, and Charles ArundelL, were detected; two of them [Paget & Arundell] fled to France, and immediately thereafter Henry [Percy], Earl of Northumberland, and Philip [Howard], Earl of Arundel, were commanded to keep [to] their houses. Their charge was communication with the Scottish Queen, Mary, by letters, how to invade England, by strangers, to liberate her, alter religion, and kill Queen Elizabeth.

At this same time, the [hotheaded] Spanish ambassador, Bernardino de Mendoza, was commanded to depart England, for violating the rights of an ambassador, and partaking too deeply in these conspiracies against the Queen. He departed to France, complaining that violence had been offered to him in England, against the privilege of ambassadors, and law of nations.

This same year, also, the King calls a parliament, to be [held] at Edinburgh, [on] the 22nd of May, wherein [was] acted a ratification of the declaration touching the proceedings against the King at Ruthven; also a ratification of the prosecution and punishment of the said rebellion, and a ratification of his majesties revocation, with a commission to coin new pieces of gold; and an approbation of the late lay money, coined by act of counsel, against which the people murmured extremely.

The King calls a parliament to be [held] at Edinburgh, the 22nd day of August, this same year, likewise, wherein is [forfeited]:

Archibald [Douglas], Earl of Angus;

John [Erskine], Earl of Mar;

Agnes Drummond, Countess of Mar, younger;

Thomas Lyon [of Baldukie], Master of Glamis;

David [Erskine], Commendator of Dryburgh;

Adam [Erskine], Commendator of Cambuskenneth;

William [Erskine], Commendator of Paisley;

John Carmichael, younger of the same;

Hugh Carmichael, his son;

Patrick Drummond, younger of Carnock;

John Lesley of Balquhain;

Mr James Erskine, brother to [Robert of] Little Sauchie;

George Douglas of Parkhead;

James Douglas, his eldest son;

George Douglas, his 2nd son;

James Douglas of Todhills;

William Carmichael of Renton Cross;

John Douglas of Glaspen;

John Lyon, younger of Cossins;

James Lyon of Easter Ogle;

William Lyon of Batgyllie;

Hugh Nisbet, son to Patrick of Rasthill;

Patrick Home of Argaty;

John Lesley of Largie;

William Douglas of [Bonkle];

Robert Hamilton of [Kerse];

Arthur Hamilton of Miretown;

James [MacRae] of [Pardowis];

Mr John Colville, Chanter of Glasgow;

Mr Patrick Whitelaw of Newgrange;

John Arbuthnot, son to Lyntusk;

James Ross of Pitheavlis;

Dame Dorothy Stewart, Countesse of Gowrie;

Dame [Margaret] Lyon, Countess of Cassilis.



Claud Hamilton, Lord Arbroath, who had lived an exile in England about 13 years, and had returned home in November this last year, by the practises of James Stewart, (called the Earl of Arran) was charged by a herald to depart the kingdom, under the pain of treason, this year, 1585; and on the 3rd day of May, he shipped at Dumbarton for France.

In the month of June, this year, there came to the King’s majesty, being then at Edinburgh, an ambassador from Denmark, attended by diverse noblemen of that country; his embassy tended to the negotiating a marriage [between] King James and Anna, daughter to the Danish King, which, if it weere refused, then was he instructed to demand the Isles of Orkney and Shetland, conform to a reversion granted to the Kings of Denmark by King James [III.].

About this same time, the plague of pestilence raged extremely in Scotland, whereof many thousands of people died; no shire, city, town or village being free of it.

The 27th of July, this year, Sir Francis Russell, son to the Earl of Bedford, was killed on the border of Scotland, by [Sir Thomas Ker] the Laird of Ferniehirst, Warden of the Scottish Marches.

This same year, also, the banished Lords returned from England, and with them Claud Hamilton, Lord of Arbroath, who had lived an exile now almost 14 years. The Lords, with the assistance of their friends here, which were,

George [Gordon], Earl of Huntly,

John [Maxwell], Earl of Morton, Lord Maxwell,

Francis [Stewart], Earl of Bothwell,

John [Stewart], Earl of Atholl,

Lord [Alexander] Home,

[William Hay,] Lord Yester,

they levied an army of 5000 men, and on a sudden marched to [Stirling], and surprised both the town and castle wherein the King was, and detained him [as a] prisoner. Their pretext was, to put from the King the proud and ambitious Earl of Arran, James Stewart, who by his extraordinary credit and power with the King, had [helped the] cause to banish and [forfeit] these lords, barrons and gentlemen. Arran was present with the King when the Lords took it; but he narrowly escaped by sea to France. He [was] no sooner gone, but [immediately] thereafter, the castle of Edinburgh, whereof he was captain, committed to the custody of [James Home of Synlawis] the Laird of Cowdenknowes, was [rendered]. The Lords immediately conveyed the King to the town of Linlithgow, where they remained until the King called a parliament; wherein the [whole] banished Lords, with their friends and followers, had the act of their [forfeiture] repealed, and themselves again restored to their honours, dignities and revenues. This was done at the humble suit of almost the [whole] estates of the realm, a purpose to separate the King from his ambitious and lewd minion, the Earl of Arran, and his lady, a lascivious wicked woman, and one [accused] of witchcraft, and had made the King to neglect and [express contempt for] his nobility; for he so wholly possessed the King, that nothing was done in court but by him and his lady; which did highly exasperate the nobility, to see the King possessed by two such mushrooms, that had arisen but yesterday almost from the earth, who sought only their own preferment, and that with the ruin of the commonwealth.

Queen Elizabeth, this year, held a parliament at Westminster, wherein the [whole] members of parliament tied themselves in a band and oath of association, to [maintain] with their lives and fortunes their Queen, and the reformed protestant religion.

The King calls a parliament to be [held] at Linlithgow, the 10th day of December, this year, wherein, among many other acts, all leagues and bonds made without the king’s consent are declared null; also the revocation of the King’s property is ratified, and an act of assent granted by the estates to his majesty, for concluding of a league with Elizabeth, Queen of England, offensive and defensive, against all the enemies of the reformed protestant religion.



On the 13th day of January, this year, 1586, being Wednesday, Mary, Queen of Scotland, the King’s mother, was beheaded at Fotheringham castle in England, after she had remained 18 years a prisoner in that kingdom.***

On the 15th day of May, this year, the King being at Holyroodhouse, convened his [whole] nobility that had any quarrel [with one another], where he solemnly composed all their differences, and in his presence made them [embrace] one [another], and drink [together]; and to that end, that the [whole] realm might take the better notice that this was his majesty’s own proper work, he caused them [to] walk two and two, [holding each] others’ hands, from Holyroodhouse palace to the cross of Edinburgh, and the King himself with them, where they sat themselves down at a long table, to a banquet prepared for them by the city; at which there [were] solemn expressions of joy and reconciliation, with mutual embraces of one [another]; and his majesty, to crown that day’s work, drank to them all peace and happiness. This reconciliation of the nobility and diverse [members] of the gentry, was the greatest work, and happiest game that the King had played in all his reign [until now].



The King calls a parliament this year, 1587, to begin at Edinburgh, the 29th day of July, in which was a [whole] column of acts and laws enacted for government of church and state, [besides] these in favour of particular persons. The first act was a declaratory act, that the King’s majesty was 21 years complete, and so of [perfect] age by the laws of the land.

The adversaries of the true protestant religion were ordained to be tried and punished; and the sellers and renters of popish books should be ordered according to former laws; and all molesters, troublers of kirk and kirkmen should be severely punished.

In this parliament was the temporalities of all church benefices annexed to the crown, with some reservations in favour of particular persons; and the King’s general revocation ratified and made a law, and the Lords of the Session made judges to the interpretation of the law of oblivion.

This parliament ordained all chiefs of clans both in the Borders, Highlands and Isles, to find sufficient [caution] to the King and his privy counsel, before the first of October in this same year, for their deportment and civil carriage, and peace of the country; and that all highlanders and borderers return to [the] place where they were born; and that it shall not be [legally permissible] in times coming [for] a Scots borderer to marry with [another] in England.

The prime commissions that issued from this parliament were, first, a commission for a taxation [about] the King’s marriage; a commission [about coinage]; and a commission [about] the establishing of an universal measure and weight through the [whole] kingdom; and lastly, a commission [about] the priority of places and [voting] in parliament.



In May this year, 1588, the Earls of Huntly [George Gordon], Crawford [David Lindsay] and Bothwell [Francis Stewart], were accused of treason, for conspiring against the King’s person; but by the solemn clearing of themselves, these flashes did evaporate.

The 30th day of July, this same year, Francis, Earl of Bothwell, killed Sir William Stewart, in Edinburgh.

This year, King Philip [II.], of Spain, having for diverse years prepared a great navy of great and small ships, well furnished with men, victuals, and all sorts of provisions for war, commanded by [Alonso Pérez de Guzmán] the Duke of Medina Sidonia, which was called the Invincible Armada, wherewith he intended to invade the Island of Britain, (which in conceit he had already devoured); this mighty and formidable navy was, by the powerful assistance of the Most High assisting the English fleet, overthrown, to the loss and astonishment of Spain, and terror of Rome.



The 18th of June, this year, 1589, George [Keith], Earl Marischal, was sent [as] ambassador to Denmark, for the King’s marriage. He was well accompanied in his embassy, and by the King’s procuration, the business was ended in the month of July thereafter; and in September following, the ambassador, with the Queen and all her train, shipped in Denmark for Scotland, but by contrary winds were forced to land in [Upslo (now Christiania)] sound, in Norway, where the frost did constrain them to winter. But the King, impatient of his Queen’s stay, took [a] ship at Leith, the 23rd day of November, this same year, and safely arrived in Norway, where the Queen was; who both shortly after their meeting, went back to Denmark, and there was the marriage solemnly consumated, with great feasting and triumph; where he stayed until the month of May thereafter. During his absence, by his commission, Ludovic [Stewart], Duke of Lennox, and Francis [Stewart], Earl of Bothwell, were appointed governors of the realm until his return, by advice and consent of the Lords of his majesty’s privy counsel.



King James [VI.] and his Queen, Anna, safely arrived from Denmark at Leith, the first of May this year, 1590, with a fleet of 16 ships, accompanied with sundry of the nobles, and great ladies of Denmark; and on [the] 6th day of the same month, the King and Queen came to the palace of Holyroodhouse from Leith, with their [whole] train; and on the 17th day of the same month, Anna was crowned Queen of Scotland, with all requisite solemnity, in the abbey church there, by the Duke of Lennox and the Lord [James] Hamilton: and on the 19th day of May, she made her entry into the town of Edinburgh, accompanied with all [those] that attended her from Denmark, where they were royally feasted by the city; and on the 26th day of the same month, the Danes that had accompanied the Queen [there], take their leave of their majesties, (who bestowed many jewels and rich presents on them, according to their several qualities,) and took ship for Denmark.



This year, 1591, there were many apprehended for witchcraft, and put to diverse sorts of trials; and thereafter sentenced to be burned in diverse parts of the kingdom.

The 22nd of June, this same year, Francis, Earl of Bothwell, who had been [a] prisoner in Edinburgh castle some 20 days, escaped from thence. The reasons of his imprisonment were, that he had consulted with witches, especially with one, a notorious devil, called Richard Graham, to destroy the King and Queen. Immediately after his escape, he was declared [a] rebel, and all his majesty’s subjects, under the pain of treason, inhibited to receive him, or give him any maintenance.

This year, there was a new coin ordained by act of counsel and proclamation, 6th of September, of four merk pieces, merk and half merk, of silver, for serving the country.

The traitor Bothwell, on the 27th of September, this year, besets the palace of Holyroodhouse, to have taken the King, and kill William Shaw, master of his majesty’s horses, but failed of his main enterprise; 8 of his followers were apprehended, and hanged at the Girth Cross [Canongate], against the palace gate, the next day, without any assize; which tumult the King’s majesty, on the 28th of December this same year, with the treachery of Bothwell, he declared in St. Giles’ Church in Edinburgh, to all his subjects present. This tumult was called the 1st [Raid] of the Abbey.



The 7th of February this year, 1592, [James Stewart] the Earl of Moray was cruelly murdered by [George Gordon] the Earl of Huntly, at his house in [Donibristle], in Fifeshire, and with him [James] Dunbar [of Westfield], Sheriff of Moray; it [having been] given out and publicly [said] that the Earl of Huntly was only the instrument of perpetrating this fact, to satisfy the King’s jealousy of Moray, whom the Queen, more rashly than wisely, some few days before had commended in the King’s hearing, with too many epithets of a proper and gallant man. The reasons of these surmises proceeded from a proclamation of the King’s, the 8th of March following, inhibiting [James] the young Earl of Moray, to pursue the Earl of Huntly for his father’s slaughter, in respect he being warded in the castle of Blackness for the same murder, was willing to abide his trial; averring that he had done nothing but by the King [his] majesty’s commission; and so was neither art nor part of the murder.

A parliament [held] at Edinburgh, the 12th day of July, this year, not mentioned among the printed statutes of this King, wherein Francis, Earl of Bothwell, with his [whole] followers, were [forfeited].

On the 17th of the month of July, [Francis Stewart] the [forfeited] Earl of Bothwell intended to have surprised the King at Falkland; but that [deceit] failed him; for the palace was valiantly kept against him, until the neighbouring towns coming to the King’s [rescue], the traitor took himself to flight; and 18 of his men being taken near to Caddermuir, were brought to Edinburgh and hanged. The King, some days thereafter, did publicly, in an eloquent speech to the people, in the great church of Edinburgh, shed the madness of the traitor Bothwell in this [Raid] of Falkland.

The various accidents of state, this year, were both many, and some of them memorable; the most remarkable were, that [Margaret Douglas] the Countess of Bothwell was received to the King’s favour, the 17 of November, and on the 23rd of this same month, there was emitted a state proclamation, inhibiting all his Majesty’s subjects to receive, harbour, entertain or use the society of the Countess of Bothwell, under the pain of death.

About this time, also, Francis [Hay], Earl of Erroll, was imprisoned for popery, the last of July; and on the 18th of October following, [William Douglas] the Earl of Angus imprisoned for the same cause also.

The last of November, this same year, John Colquhoun was beheaded at the cross of Edinburgh, for murdering [Humphry] the Laird of Luss, his brother.

Captain James Stewart (who called himself Earl of Arran) returned from exile, 2nd of December, this year, having been out of the country some 8 years, ever since the [Raid] of [Stirling].

On the 17th day of December, this year, the ministers of Edinburgh raised the people in a tumult against some courtiers, for which the King departed the town to Perth, and there cited the ministers and magistrates of Edinburgh to [appear in court]; but the King’s goodness, and the common purse of Edinburgh, pacified that storm.

About the end of December, this year, Mr George [Carr] was apprehended at Calder, and brought to Edinburgh, and there committed to close prison, for carrying letters from the Popish Lords in Scotland to the Pope [Clement VIII.], King of Spain [Philip II.], and Prince of Parma [Alexander Farnese], then Governor of the Netherlands.



In the beginning of this year, 1593, [William Douglas] the Earl of Angus was committed to close prison in Edinburgh castle, on Mr George [Carr]‘s deposition, for craving [the] aid of [foreign] princes against the King and state, [on the] 1st of January.

At this time, there was a covenant, or mutual band for defence of the reformed protestant religion, against Rome and all its adherents, ordained by the King and his privy counsel to be subscrived by all his subjects, [on the] 3rd of January.

The 8 of February, this year, the Earls of Huntly [George Gordon] and Erroll [Francis Hay], both popishly affected, being cited to [appear] before the King and his counsel, and not giving obedience, [were] denounced [as] rebels.

The 15th of February, the Earl of Angus, who had remained in Edinburgh castle a close prisoner since he was attached [to] Mr George [Carr]‘s depositions, escaped from [there]; which made David Graham of Fintry [fear] the worse, who was also a prisoner for the self same fact, to lose his head at Edinburgh cross, the 17th day of this same month.

This year, in March, his majesty made a progress to the north, with some companies of soldiers, and did demolish the castles of [Slains], Strathbogie, Newton, Burnhouse and Craig, belonging to the chief recusants of that country, viz. Huntly, Erroll, Sir Walter Lindsay and Sir John Ogilvy.

The 21st of July, this year, the King holds a parliament at Edinburgh, wherein the [forfeiture] of Francis Stewart, Earl of Bothwell, was again ratified and confirmed by the 3 estates, who but lately, in the beginning of this [very same] month, had been by appearance but newly reconciled to the King’s favour, (for he had forced his own peace) by taking the King at Holyroodhouse palace, which by the commons was called the second [Raid] of the Abbey. In this parliament, also, the [forfeiture] of John Lindsay of Wauchope was repealed, and he again restored. The Queen had the 3rd of the abbey of Dunfermline ratified to her, and the Duke of Lennox the superiorities of the bishoprics of St. Andrews and Glasgow.

The 11th of October, this year, the Popish Lords were reconciled to the King’s favour; and the act of abolition made in their favour [was] proclaimed at Edinburgh cross by a pursuant, [on the] 27 of November.

This year ended with the Lord [John] Maxwell’s slaughter by [James] the Laird of Johnstone, [on] the 6th of this month of December; and [Walter Ker] the Laird of Cessford’s combat with the traitor Bothwell, who fought [2] against 2, the 11th day of this same month.

It is to be remembered how much inconstancy appeared in the government of the state this year, when as the 4 penny placks were [by] open proclamation ordained to have course, and on the morrow they were altogether discharged; which showed a very [fickle] time.

This year is most observable, in respect the King was tossed like a tin ball [between] the precise ministers and the treacherous papists, in respect when as he had cast [down] and demolished some of their houses, and committed [some others] of them to prison, and exiled others; and in effect [done] all that lay in him to do; yet Mr Robert Bruce, a minister, told him to his face, out of the pulpit, “that God would raise more Bothwells against him nor one,” that was, more enemies than Bothwell, [if] he did not revenge God’s quarrell against the papists, before his own particular; and repented him not of his own trespasses and iniquities.



In April, this year, Bothwell comes to Leith with 500 horse, and the King raises the town of Edinburgh, to apprehend him; but he flees by the way of Dalkeith.

Diverse [people] were hanged this year, for [receiving] and entertaining of him; as William Heggie, [on the] 29th of April; Alan Orme, brother to [David] the Laird of Mugdrum, the 17th of September; John Gibson and James Cochrane, the 24th of this same month; likewise as also [Robert Stewart] the Captain of Blackness, [on] the 15th of October, for the same cause.

In a parliament [held] at Edinburgh, [on] the 8th of June, this year, wherein many laws were enacted against hearers of [mass], papists, and against erections after the act of annexation.

In this same parliament, the Earls of Huntly [George Gordon], Erroll [Francis Hay] and Angus [William Douglas], with the Lairds of MacLean [Lachlan Mór MacLean of Mull], [Gilliganan MacNeill of Barra] and Achindoun [Patrick Gordon], were all [forfeited], for their treasonable practises to bring in the Spaniard, to betray the country to strangers, and to alter religion established by the laws of the land.

On the 30th day of August, this year, the prince was christened in the chapel royal of [Stirling], by [David Cunningham] the Bishop of Aberdeen, and called Henry. His godfathers were [Christian IV.] the Danish King, [Ulrich III.] the Duke of Mecklenburg, and the Estates of the Netherlands, by their commission sent by their ambassadors. Queen Elizabeth of England was his godmother, by her ambassador, [Robert Radclyffe] the Earl of Sussex.

Great commotions did begin to threaten the public peace of this kingdom, in October this year, by the [forfeited] Earls of Huntly and Erroll, who, with their adherents and friends, raise in arms against the King’s lieutenant, Archibald [Campbell], Earl of Argyll, and fought a battle in the north near Strathbogie, at a place called the Leaderfoot, which by some was called [Glenrinnes], by others Glenlivet; in which Sir Patrick Gordon of Achindoun, with diverse others of Huntly’s friends were killed; the Earl of Erroll hurt. Argyll’s army was totally routed, and many of his Isles-men killed. After this defeat of his lieutenant, the King himself marches north with a good army against the rebellious Earls, casts down their houses, and chases them to their lurking holes in Caithness; this voyage of the King’s was called, the 2nd [Raid] of Strathbogie.

This year ended with the hanging of Captain [Baillie] for counterfeiting the King’s great seal against the merchants.



[On the 13th of] January this year, 1595, George Mure was hanged for killing of two ministers; and in the month of February thereafter, Hercules Stewart was hanged, with one John Syme, for entertaining his own brother, [Francis Stewart] the [forfeited] Earl of Bothwell: and on the 23rd day of this same month, the said Earl was solemnly excommunicated.

On the 4th day of October, this year, John Maitland, Lord Thirlestane, Chancellor of Scotland, departed this life; a resolute, learned, wise man, as any in his time, who had been Chancellor of the realm some 10 years, from the parliament of Linlithgow [of] 1585, to this year.

Among the constancies of the court this year, one was remarkable, that at Glasgow, in September, the King received [Margaret Douglas] the Countess of Bothwell to his favour [on] the 22nd day at night; and on the 3rd of December again proscrived and exiled her, under the pain of death: yet gave her a letter of protection under his own hand, within 6 days thereafter.

The first great prices that ever [foodstuff was worth] in Scotland, in memory of any then living, was this year, and then at the time when the corn should have been cheapest, in the months of October, November, and December. White [flour] was sold, and malt, at 20 [pounds, oatmeal at] 10 [pounds] and piecemeal at 7 [pounds].



I find not [anything] memorable this year, 1596, save only that the prices of corn continued still dear; and although that above 60 ships laden with corn and grain of all sorts came into the realm this year, yet the [oatmeal] was sold at 10 [pounds] 13 [shillings] 9 [pence] the bol,**** and [piecemeal] at 8 [pounds] 16 [shillings], and the Galloway bol was 20 [pounds]. But I find Clement [Orr] and Robert Lumsden, his [grandson], noted for buying the Earl of March’s [foodstuffs] of all sorts for 33 [shillings] 4 [pence] the bol, in the beginning of the year, and thereafter to have sold it for the prices [beforesaid]. The ministers through all the shire pronounced the curse of God against them, as the grinders of the faces of the poor; which curse too manifestly lighted on them before their deaths.

In the month of January, this same year, a proclamation was published at Edinburgh cross, by a herald, [about] the constitution of the Octavians, for ruling the King’s rents and exchequer; they were:

Sir Alexander Seton of Pluscardy, [Earl of Dunfermline,]

Sir Walter Stewart, [Lord] Blantyre,

Mr John Lindsay of [Balcarres, Lord Menmuir],

Mr Thomas Hamilton of Drumcarny, [Earl of Haddington,]

Mr James Elphinstone of Barnton, [Lord Balmerinoch,]

Mr John [Skene, Lord] Curriehill,

Mr David Carnegie of [Collessie],

Mr Peter Young of Seton.

The King’s majesty, in an eloquent speech had by him to the General Assembly this year, solemnly promises to correct all faults, but especially [those] of his own household; and to cause to be planted with ministers, the 400 kirks which were then unplanted, and to see them provided to competent maintenance.

In the month of April, this year, [Walter Scott] the Laird of Buccleuch went to the castle of Carlisle, and by a fine stratgem released out of prison William [Armstrong of] Kinmont.

Notwithstanding the King’s edict, and the publication of a perpetual peace [between] the kingdoms of Scotland and England, in January this year; yet in July, the borders break out in open hostility.

The 15th of this same month, Earls of Angus and Huntly were received to the King’s favour, and admitted to kiss his hand at Falkland.

The 19th day of August, this year, Queen Anna was brought to bed of a daughter, christened with great solemnity Elizabeth.

The King, in the beginning of September this year, creates Colonel [William] Stewart his lieutenant against the rebels in the Isles; who departs from Glasgow with a navy of 12 ships, and 5 regiments of foot.

The 17th day of December, this year, a great tumult was raised in Edinburgh, by the factious ministers and commons, against the Octavians. Some poor courtiers, for effectuating their own ends, stirs up the ministers, whom they had informed that the Octavians had counselled the King to countenance the Popish Lords, and such as were Romishly disposed; then, without more, was the Blue Blanket advanced, and a factious citizen, named Edward Johnstone, becomes leader to the rabble multitude, and [cries], the sword of God and Gideon, against the coutiers, enemies to his truth. This tumult in Edinburgh moved the King to remove thence all the seats of justice, and inhibit the exercise therof in that town, by his proclamation, the 18th of this same month. The King summons the provost and bailies of Edinburgh to take and apprehend their preachers and ministers, and exhibit them to justice, and causes diverse noblemen guard the ports of the city.



The King’s majesty, by several proclamations, [on] the 10th of January this year, 1597, commands the Session to sit at Perth, the first of February, and the provost, bailies, deacons of crafts [in] Edinburgh, to enter their persons in ward in Perth, that same day, there to abide trial for their tumultuous behaviours [on] the 17th of December last; and that any minister that speaks against this King and his privy counsel, be pulled out of the pulpit, and punished; and the heirs that [do] not put this same proclamation in practise against them, to [forfeit] to the King life, lands and goods. But for all these court boasts, and proclamations of the King’s, yet by [another] proclamation, the 4th of February, the Session was commanded to sit in Leith; and the 10th day of March, the [whole] counsel and community of Edinburgh were denounced rebels, because William Maule [appeared] not at Perth with the rest; and on the 22nd day of this same month, the town of Edinburgh [was] relaxed from the horn, and received to the King’s favour, and the Session ordained to sit there the 15th of May thereafter. This tumult cost them 30,000 merks.

In April, this same year, the ministers of Edinburgh were relaxed from their rebellion also, on promise of their modest behaviour in time coming.

The 25th of May, this year, the custom of all English commodities was [raised] 30 [pence] on the pound, which, with the former, extended to the 8 penny. This same day, there was published a proclamation, inhibiting all his majesty’s [subjects] to take above 10[%] for any money borrowed or lent, or [provisions] according to the same, under the pain of confiscation of the sums lent.

The 7th of October, this year, the Laird of Buccleuch, to satisfy Queen Elizabeth for his taking William Kinmont out of Carlisle castle, was by the King sent to England, to obey his will and pleasure; she used him courteously, and dismissed him honourably.

In November, this year, [John Kennedy] the Earl of Cassilis married [Jean Fleming] the widow of Chancellor [John] Maitland.

The 19th day of December, this year, [King James VI.] held a parliament at Edinburgh, wherein the act of [forfeiture] of the Earls of Angus, Huntly and Erroll was repealed, and they restored to honours and estates; and one the last day of this parliament, Angus [William Douglas] did bear the crown, Huntly [George Gordon] the sceptre, and Erroll [Francis Hay] the sword, from the parliament before the King, to the palace of Holyroodhouse. In this parliament the estates granted to the King, to help defray his charge in sending ambassadors to [foreign] princes, 200,000 merks, to be paid before the first of April in the following year; to be paid as follows: 100,000 merks to be paid by the spiritual estate and clergy, 6,666 and 6 merks, 8 [shillings] 10 [pence] by the barrons and freeholders, and 33,333 merks, 4 [shillings] 6 [pence] by the burghs.



The 17th of February this year, 1598, was that memorable eclipse of the sun, commonly called the Black Saturday, whereon people of all sorts ran to the churches to deprecate God’s wrath, supposing then the world’s last [moment was] at hand.

The 12th of March, this year, the memorable General Assembly [began] at Dundee, during which the Queen’s brother[-in-law], [John Adolph] the Duke of Holstein, arrived at Leith; and in May thereafter, he was solemnly feasted [with] by the town of Edinburgh; and on the 3rd of June thereafter, he shipped at Leith for his return home, with a volley of 100 great shot of canon from the bulwarks of Leith.

On the 26th of June, this year, the King’s majesty convened the estates of the realm at Edinburgh, in which convention I find only these 8 acts to be concluded:-

1. That all deadly feuds be reconciled and agreed.

2. [About] these that were denounced his majesty’s rebels for slaughter.

3. Act in favours of the 9 barons that had taken the Isles in feu from his majesty.

4. That Monday be a day of recreation free from work.

5. That no man speak for [James] the Laird of Johnstone, nor have any dealing or communication with him.

6. [William Douglas] the Earl of Angus made Lieutenant of the Borders.

7. That the debt owed by his majesty to Thomas [Foulis], be paid in 6 years, viz. 30,000 merks yearly.

8. [James Beaton] the Bishop of Glasgow restored to his living of the Archbishopric of Glasgow, and to the temporality thereof.

In the month of August, this year, at a hunting on the borders, the English invaded the Scots, killed 6, and took 40 gentlemen prisoners.

A convention of the estates [held] at Edinburgh, the last of October this year, in which it was resolved by the estates:-

1. That none presume to [receive] nor entertain Jesuits.

2. Against such as were at feud with others, and would not communicate, but made that their pretext to eschew the sacrament.

3. That a table and roll of the contemptuous horners and rebels, be fixed on the [market] cross of the head burgh of each shire.

4. [Foreign] coin inhibited to have course as it formerly had within this kingdom; viz. the French crown at 3 [pounds] 4 [shillings]; the English teston at 13 [shillings] 4 [pence]; the Spanish real of 8, at 43 [shillings] 4 [pence].



This year, 1599, begins with the nuptials of two of the Lord [Robert] Elphinstone’s daughters; one of them married to John [Gordon], Earl of Sutherland, and the other to the Lord [John] Forbes, at Edinburgh, in the month of February.

In the General Assembly [held] at Montrose, this year, the 20th of March, [six] ministers were chosen to be on the secret counsel, and to have voice in parliament.

In July, this year, [John] Kincaid of Warrison, a gentleman near Edinburgh, was murdered by [Jean Livingston] his wife, for which she was beheaded at the Canongate cross; and [Janet Murdo] her nurse was burned at the same time, who was an actor in the business.

About this same time, [John] the Laird of Carmichael, who was Warden of the Borders, was murdered [on] the 16th of June, by the Armstrongs and Carlisles.

The 5th day of August, this year, the King’s majesty escaped the treacherous and bloody hands of John [Ruthven], Earl of Gowrie, and of his brother Alexander, who had invited him to Perth to see a great treasure they had found; they were both killed by John Ramsay, one of his majesty’s pages, and Thomas Erskine, and the innocent King preserved. News of this conspiracy coming to Edinburgh on the morrow, the 6th day, that the King had escaped this bloody plot, there [were] great expressions of joy among all sorts of people, by shooting of canons, ringing of bells and bonfires; and the

[John Graham,] Earl of Montrose, Lord Chancellor,

Lord [Alexander] Elphinstone, [Lord High] Treasurer,

Sir James Elphinstone, [Lord Balmerino,] Secretary,

Sir David Murray, [Viscount of Stormont,] Comptroller,

Sir John Preston, [Lord Fentonbarns,] Collector,

with a great many of the nobility, senators of the College of Justice, and privy counsellors, went all of them to Edinburgh cross, and [heard] Mr David Lindsay declare the business to the people in a very eloquent oration; which no sooner finished, but all of them, on their knees, with lifted up hands to heaven, gave God humble and hearty thanks for his majesty’s health, safety and delivery out of so great danger.

The 11th day of August, being Monday, the King came to Leith, where he was met by multitudes of people in arms, who attended him to Edinburgh, with great acclamations of joy, and set him down at the cross, which was richly covered with cloth of gold, and [heard] a sermon, preached by Mr Patrick Galloway; his text was out of the 124 Psalm, wherein he at length declared the [whole] circumstances of Gowrie’s treason, from point to point; which relation of his, the King’s majesty testified by his own mouth and words, to all the people to be most true. Only 5 ministers, viz:

Mr Robert Bruce,

Mr James Balfour,

Mr William Watson,

Mr Walter [Balconquhal],

Mr John Hall,

who would not believe and affirm the King’s declaration of Gowrie’s conspiracy, although they had [heard] from his majesty’s own mouth; they were, under the pain of death, discharged to preach, or come near Edinburgh, or within 10 miles to his majesty’s court, and that by open proclamation at the cross of Edinburgh.

By proclamation, the 13th day of August, [those of the] name of Ruthven [were] inhibited to come near the King or court, within 10 miles, under the pain of treason; and on the 23rd of this same month, three of the Earl of Gowries servants were executed at Perth, Mr Thomas Cranston, George [Craigenvelt (the Butler)], and [John MacDuff] one Baron; likewise the [whole] friends, tutors, curators and children, pretending any right to the earldom of Gowrie, were summoned to [appear] before the parliament, called [on] the first of November, this year.

In September, this year, his majesty commanded the 5th day of August, [forever] hereafter to be kept as a holy day, with preaching and prayer, and [thanksgiving] for his majesty’s preservation from the treason of Gowrie, his brother and accomplices. This was followed by a proclamation of the 9th of October, charging all them of the name of Ruthven to pass out of the country, in [particular], Alexander, uncle by the father to the said Earl of Gowrie, and his two brothers; and on the 15th day of November, they, with their servants and dependers, were all [forfeited]; and the same day, Sir Thomas Erskine was created Lord of Dirleton, John Ramsay and Hugh Harris knighted, and Sir Thomas Erskine’s footman made a gentleman; and, to conclude the last the last act of all this tragedy, the 19th of this same month the bodies of Gowrie and his brother were dragged through the streets of Edinburgh, to the gallows, and hanged and [disembowelled], and their heads set on two iron pins on the pinnacles of the common jail of Edinburgh, with this sentence, there to stand until the wind did blow them off.

The 20th day of November, the Queen was brought to bed of a son at Dunfermline; he was christened Charles, [on] the 23rd of December following; and on the day of his christening, by the King his father, he was created Lord of Ardmannoch, Earl of Ross, Marques of Ormond and Duke of Albany. And within [six] days thereafter, his majesty made a great feast to his nobility and Lords of his privy counsel; and to honour the feast the more, he created the Lord [Alexander] Livingstone, Earl of Linlithgow; the Lord [Robert] Seton, Earl of Winton; and [Robert Ker] the Lord of Cessford, Earl of Roxburghe; and sundry gentlemen he knighted: and after the banquet was served in, the [whole] canons of the castle were several times discharged.



The King’s majesty, by the advice of his counsel, by proclamation of the 15th of January this year, 1600, ordained 12 [pence] Scots to be paid to the King on every pint of wine sold in taverns.

A convention of the estates [held] at Edinburgh, [on] the 12th day of February, this year, wherein the estates granted 20,000 crowns for defraying [John Erskine] the Earl of Mar’s charges, who was sent by his majesty extraordinary ambassador to Elizabeth, Queen of England, with a very great train.

2nd. That no wool be transported by merchants of the country.

3rd. That no cloth made of wool, no hats nor stockings be imported by any merchant.

4th. The act of counsel [about] the payment of 12 [pence] on the pint of wine to his majesty sold in taverns, ratified.

The 27th of April, James Wood, eldest son to [Patrick Wood] the Laird of Bonnyton, in Angusshire, was beheaded at the cross of Edinburgh, for breaking open the gates of the house of Bonnyton, and taking [from there] his father’s charter [chest].

The 15th of May, this year, in the General Assembly [held] at Burntisland, the King’s majesty, after an eloquent oration had to them, in presence of God, and before them all, he solemnly [vowed] to do justice to all his subjects without respect of persons, of [whatsoever] degree or quality.

The snow covered the face of the ground, this year, from the 1st of November in the preceding year, until the 1st day of May this year.



The 18th day of February this year, 1601, the Queen was brought to bed of her 3rd son at Dunfermline, and was christened, [on] the 2nd day of May, Robert. The King his father that same day created him Lord of Annandale, Earl of Carrick, Marquis of Wigton and Duke of Kintyre. He departed this life at Dunfermline, [on] the 27th day of May, and was interred there.

The 18th day of November, this year, the King, by his proclamation, commanded that all of the surname of Ruthven should change their surnames, and that none of them should approach nearer his person or court than 10 miles, under the pain of treason.



The Lord [John] Maxwell, that had been a prisoner in the castle of Edinburgh, made his escape from [there], [on] the 12th of January this year, 1602; and on the 17th day of the same month, there issued forth a proclamation after him, inhibiting all his majesty’s [subjects] to [receive], harbour, or give any entertainment to him, under the pain of treason.

The 9th of February, this same year, [Alister] the Laird of MacGregor, with 400 of his name and kindred, enters the county of Lennox, spoils it, and kills above 200 men, women and children, using all the acts of hostility that a merciless and barbarous enemy could do.

The 13th day of this same month, [George Gordon] the Marquis of Huntly was reconciled to the Earl of Argyll [Archibald Campbell] and Moray [James Stuart], and their friends.



On Thursday the 24th of March this year, 1603, about [two o’clock] in the morning, [died] that famous and renowned Queen, Elizabeth, Queen of England, France and Ireland, at her manor of Richmond, in Surrey, about the age of 70 years; after she had reigned 44 years and 5 months, with some odd days. Her corpse was [privately] conveyed to Whitehall, and there [it] remained until the 23rd day of April; and then [was] royally interred at Westminster.

This same day that Queen Elizabeth departed this life, the nobility and privy counsellors of England proclaimed James [VI.], King of Scotland, King of England, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, &c. at eleven [o’clock] at Whitehall, and in the city of London, at Cheapside Cross.

The 27th of this month, being Saturday, [William Selby] the porter’s son of Berwick came to his majesty at Holyroodhouse, with the keys of Berwick.

The last of March, the most part of the nobility, with seven noblemen of England, and his majesty’s secretary of state, [James Elphinstone] the Lord Balmerino, came to Edinburgh cross, the Secretary read, and Sir David Lindsay of [the Mount], knight, Lyon King of Arms, proclaimed King James [VI.], King of Scotland, England, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith.

The 3rd of April this year, being the Sabbath day, his majesty came to the great kirk of Edinburgh, where he made a speech to the people, in presence of the noblemen of England that were present at that time, and there solemnly promised, that since he [needs must] leave them and go to England, yet he would not fail every three years once to visit them, and his other good subjects of Scotland.

The 5th day of April this year, being Tuesday, his majesty took his journey for England, with the tears and lamentations of his people, and entered Berwick the 6th of this same month, where he stayed 3 days, and so [on] forward by easier journeys. He entered London [on] the 7th day of May, this same year. His progress is at length set down by [John] Stow in his [‘Annals of England’].

The 10th day of June, this year, Queen Anna, together with her eldest son, Prince Henry, took her journey for England; and the day after them, the Princess Lady Elizabeth took [her] journey. The Lords of the privy counsel of England had sent to attend the Queen at Berwick, and accompany her to London:

[Robert Radclyffe,] the Earl of Sussex;

[Henry Clinton,] the Earl of Lincoln;

The Lord [William] Compton, [the Earl of Northampton];

The Lord [Francis] Norris, [the Earl of Berkshire];

Sir George Carew, President of [Munster, the Earl of Totnes];

Sir John Buck, knight;

[Lady Elizabeth Hastings,] the Countess of Worcester;

[Lady Elizabeth Nugent,] the Countess of Kildare;

Lady Anna Herbert, daughter to [Henry Herbert] the Earl of Pembroke;

[Philadelphia Carey,] Lady Scrope, Lord [Thomas] Scrope’s wife;

[Penelope Blount,] Lady Rich, Lord [Robert] Rich’s wife;

Lady [Frances] Walsingham.

About this time, [Charles Blount] the Lord Mountjoy returns from Ireland, and with him the famous rebel (that kept England so long [at] work) Hugh O’Neill, Earl of Tyrone, who was admitted to the King’s favour, by the Lord Deputy’s means, and pardoned, and proclamation of the 7th of June, the said Earl of Tyrone was restored, and order given for his honourable usage.

In this month of June, diverse ambassadors from [foreign] princes came to his majesty, to congratulate his [succession] to the crown of England; namely, from the Prince Elector Palatine; from the Estates of Holland came Secretary Barnwell; from the Archduke Albert, and from the French King came [Maximilien de Béthune] Monsieur de Rosny, Great Treasurer of France.

King James, at this same time, sends [Roger Manners] the Earl of Rutland [as] ambassador to Denmark, to assist at the christening of the said King’s son; and to present the said King with the order of the Garter.

The 25th of July, being Monday, King James and Queen Anna were together solemnly crowned and anointed at Westminster, (by John [Whitgift], Archbishop of Canterbury,) King and Queen of England, France and Ireland.

The 2nd of October, this year, the notorious thief and rebel, Alister MacGregor, Laird of Glenstrae, who had escaped [John Campbell] the Laird of Ardkinlas’ hands, was taken by Archibald [Campbell], Earl of Argyll, who (before he would yield) had promised to him to convoy him safe out of Scottish ground; to perform which promise, he caused some servants [to] convey him to Berwick, and be south [of] it some miles, and bring him back again to Edinburgh, where he was hanged, with many of his kindred, [on] the 20th day of January, in the following year, 1604.

In November, this year, [Henry Brooke] the Lord Cobham, the Lord [Thomas] Grey, Sir Walter Raleigh, [Griffin] Markham, with the 2 priests, [William] Watson and [William] Clark, their treason was discovered , and they [were] apprehended, indicted and arraigned at diverse places. The heads whereon the were accused was chiefly,

1. Conspiring to kill the King;

2. To raise rebellion;

3. To alter religion;

4. To subvert the estate;

5. To procure invasion by strangers.

All of them having received sentence of death, and being in the place of execution, ready to lay down their heads, received pardon and mercy from the King, except the two priests, Watson and Clerk, ringleaders of that conspiracy, who were executed [on the] 29th [of] November; and George Brook, the Lord Cobham’s brother, was beheaded [on] the 5th day of December, at Winchester.


George Chalmers in ‘The Life of Mary, Queen of Scots‘, in the chapter entitled ‘From Mary’s Arrival in England, till the End of Elizabeth’s Enquiry‘, says,
“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.”
Mary herself, in her defense stated,
“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.”
**  Could this be Euphemia Maclean who was burned on Edinburgh’s Castle Hill in 1591 for witchcraft?
***  “A month almost elapsed, after the event [Mary’s death], before King James, distinctly, knew, that his mother had died by a stroke of Elizabeth’s vengeance, with a resolution worthy of her rank, with an affectionate remembrance of him, and with a just regard to her native kingdom. Elizabeth, meanwhile, wrote him a soothing, but fallacious letter, by Robert Cary, her kinsman; wherein she wished the King of Scots, to understand, that this lamentable accident had happened, contrary to her intention. Of Elizabeth’s real design, there can be no doubt: We see but too plainly, that her object was to cause the Queen of Scots to be, privately, assassinated, rather than publicly executed, in Davison’s narrative, and still more, in the letter of her two secretaries, Walsingham and Davison, to Paulet and Drury, urging them to perform the guilty deed. The King refused to receive her envoy, which indicated, that he disbelieved her gross simulation, as did her own ministers, and the civilized world.” – ‘From Mary’s Removal to Fotheringay, till her Death‘.
****  1 bol = 4 firlots; 1 firlot = 4 pecks; 1 peck = approx. 12 lbs; so 1 bol = approx. 192 lbs.

123 thoughts on “James VI. (1567-1603), King of Scotland and Thereafter of England, France and Ireland, &c., Updated, pp.340-416.

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