24th of April

Saints Beuve and Doda, of Rheims, 7th century. St Robert, of Chase-dieu, Auvergne, 1067. St Fidelis, martyr, 1622.


Died. – James Beaton, archbishop of Glasgow, 1603, Paris.


On this Day in Other Sources.


King Alexander I. departed this life at Stirling, 24th of April, 1124, and was interred one St. Mary’s day, at Dunfermline, before the high altar, near to his father, after he had reigned [as] King of Scotland [for] 17 years and 21 days. 

– Historical Works, pp.6-9.


The Scotish commissioners arriving, at Paris, in March, 1558, proceeded, immediately, to execute the great objects of the three Estates. They witnessed their Queen’s contract of marriage, on the 19th of April, and saw her married, to Francis, the Dauphin, in the church of Notre-Dame, on Sunday, the 24th of the same month. The King, and Queen of France honoured this solemnity with their presence; not without a great concourse of nobles, and a very crowded appearance of ambassadors. The Queen, immediately, saluted the Dauphin, as King of Scots; the Scotish commissioners imitated her example, and both were accompanied, in their salutations, by the loud acclaims of a numerous audience: These ceremonies were succeeded, by banquets of unbounded expense, and unexampled splendour. 

– Life of Mary, pp.15-41.


The Queen, on the 21st of April, set out, with her usual attendants, to visit her son, at Stirling; and, returning towards Edinburgh, on the 24th of the same month [1567], was seized, by Bothwell, at the head of 800 horsemen, near the Foulbriggs: And carried, forcibly, with Huntley, then Chancellor, Secretary Maitland, Sir James Melvill, and other attendants, to Dunbar castle. He there boasted, as we learn, from Melvill, and Lesley, that he would marry the Queen, who would, or who would not; yea, whether she herself would, or not. To act, and speak thus, Bothwell was emboldened, not only by his reliance on the engagement of his complotters; but, by the declaration of so many peers, and prelates, that they would defend his marriage. He now coerced the Queen, till she agreed to marry him. The Queen afterwards complained, feelingly, that while she remained, under his thraldom, in the castle of Dunbar, not a sword was drawn for her relief; but, after her marriage with him, owing to those causes, a thousand swords were drawn, to drive him, from the country, and to dethrone her. This intimation shews, sufficiently, that the unhappy Queen had been drawn, by matchless artifice, and force, into a snare, from which she could not escape. 

– Life of Mary, pp.155-184.


Mary, consequently, suffered in reputation, though whether she was aware of Bothwell’s guilt is to this day a matter of doubt; much less is it certain that she had, as has been suspected, a guilty knowledge of her husband’s death. 

Having procured the countenance of some of the nobility to his plans, Bothwell seized the queen near the river Almond (April 24 [1567]), and conducted her to his castle of Dunbar, where he kept her a prisoner, as was generally believed, by her own consent. 

– Domestic Annals, pp.30-34.


The foresaid James, earl of Bothwell and the foresaid persons plotted, treated, enquired and deliberated in their perpetration of these horrible, treasonable and nefarious crimes, and offered and demonstrated advice, help and assistance to the perpetrators and conspirators, so that he might more easily succeed in his nefarious, abominable and impious plot. To that effect, on 24 April [1567], with a large number of armed men, namely 1,000 armoured horsemen and others drawn up in hostile array, he set an ambush on the route of our dearest mother then queen of Scots while she was travelling from Linlithgow to our town of Edinburgh, suspecting that no harm would come to her from any of her subjects, least of all from the said earl of Bothwell since she had exhibited such offices of liberality and benevolence towards him as any prince could show and exhibit to a subject. With force and violence he treasonably apprehended her most noble person, cast violent hands on her, not allowing her to make her way peacefully to the town of Edinburgh, but committed the treasonable crime of kidnap upon her most noble person by apprehending our said dearest mother on the public highway, and taking her that night to the castle of Dunbar (which was then in his power), led her there and imprisoned and held her captive there for a period of 12 days or thereabouts. By force and violence, and under compulsion of the fear which can happen to the most constant of women, he forced her into a marriage contract with him as fast as he could. All of these things were thought through, discussed and deliberated by the said earl and the foresaid persons long before the time of the foresaid conspiracy and abominable parricide, notwithstanding that at that time the same James, earl of Bothwell had the honest lady Janet Gordon joined with him in lawful wedlock, and not divorced, and with no legal process planned or begun. Continuing and persevering in his nefarious and treasonable crimes and plans, he kept and detained the most noble person of our said dearest mother in close custody and under guard by force and violence with a band of his armed friends and retinue until 6 May last, when, accompanied by a large number of armed men, he took her to Edinburgh Castle (which was at the time in his power) and imprisoned her there. 

London Quarterly.

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