Chapter XII; James V., 1513-1542, 29 Years, pp.96-109.

[History of Scotland Contents]

Accession of James V.,                                 1513 
The king’s mother marries Angus,             1514 
Albany made Regent,                                   1515 
Albany retires to France,                             1517 
Skirmish of “Cleanse the Causeway,”        1520 
Albany comes back from France,               1520 
Albany brings troops from France,           1523 
Albany finally leaves Scotland,                  1524 
“Erection of the King,”                                1524 
Angus gets possession of the King,            1526 
Martyrdom of Patrick Hamilton,              1528 
The King hangs the Border Chiefs,            1531 
The King marries Magdalen of France,     1537 
The King marries Mary of Lorraine,         1537 
Rout of Solway Moss,                                 1542 
Birth of Mary Queen of Scots,                  1542 
Death of the King,                                        1542

    1.  The danger of invasion against which the nation, and particularly the city of Edinburgh, made active preparation passed away; for Surrey, partly from scarcity of provisions, and partly on account of the loss he had sustained at Flodden, was unable to follow up his victory by invasion, and his army was dispersed. 

    2.  In October, 1513, a Parliament assembled at Perth. It was chiefly composed of the clergy, because most of the nobility was killed at Flodden. It first proceeded to crown at Scone the young king, who was not yet three years old, and then appointed the queen to be regent and guardian of the young prince. It was not, however, expected that this appointment would be either permanent or satisfactory; for the queen was a woman of strong passions, and more likely to be influenced by them than by considerations of what was becoming her dignity and likely to be for the good of the king and his kingdom. 

    3.  In August, 1514, she married the young Earl of Angus, whose father had been killed at Flodden. Their descendants became kings of Scotland and England, for their daughter married the Earl of Lennox, and was the mother of Lord Darnley, the father of James VI. of Scotland and I. of England. 

    4.  It will be remembered that the Duke of Albany, the younger brother of James III., had retired to France. The son of this exile was now Admiral of France, and had great possessions there. To him the Estates looked for help in their difficulties. He was sent for and made Regent. In May, 1515, he landed at Dumbarton, accompanied by a band of gay French companions. Though a member of the Scottish royal family, he was a Frenchman by birth and education. Accustomed to the luxurious living and the despotic government of France, he had little sympathy with the hardy and independent Scots whom he came to govern. His first care was to get the young king and his brother out of the hands of the queen, for there was reason to fear that she might be induced to give them up to her brother Henry VIII. When commissioners were sent to Edinburgh to remove them from her custody, she showed them through the bars of the portcullis of the castle, refused to give them up, and declared she would hold the castle in their defence. She, however, soon after carried off the royal children to Stirling; but when a besieging force was sent thither, she surrendered and gave them up to the regent. 

    5.  Albany next set himself to remedy the disorders arising from the feuds of the nobles, which chiefly centred among the Douglases and their rivals the Hamiltons. He got assistance from France. Angus offered resistance, but he was seized and sent to France, where he was kept in restraint. The queen, his wife, escaped to England, where she gave birth to a daughter. Angus soon after managed to escape from France, and joined her at the court of England, where he was welcomed by Henry VIII. as one who might be used for the purpose of furthering his selfish ends with respect to Scotland. Lord Home, the only man of distinction who came alive from Flodden, a partisan of Angus, was seized in Edinburgh and beheaded. 

    6.  Albany had been little more than a year in Scotland when, wearied of his troublesome duties as regent, he returned to France. The Estates remonstrated against his departure. He promised to return in four months, but he stayed away five years, and did not return till 1521

    7.  Albany left behind him French garrisons in the fortresses of Dumbarton, Dunbar, and Inchgarvie. He left also a Frenchman, Sieur de la Bastie, who appears to have acted as a warden of the Marches. The Frenchmen were hateful to the Scots. The Homes regarded with peculiar disfavour De la Bastie, who filled the office of the late Lord Home. They lured him to the town of Langton, near Dunse, to put down a squabble which they themselves had raised there. When the poor warden saw himself and his small force surrounded by men who mocked his authority, he put spurs to his horse and fled. His horse floundered in a swamp, when his pursuers came up with him and put him to death. Home of Wedderburn hung the dead man’s head to his saddle-bow by its curled locks, and rode with it in triumph to Home Castle. The King of France was displeased, and demanded the punishment of the criminals. The Scots made a great display of zeal in hunting after them, but managed not to bring any one to trial for the murder. A treaty for mutual defence against England was, notwithstanding, concluded between France and Scotland. 

    8.  The queen and her husband Angus returned to Scotland; but shortly after they quarrelled, separated, and were at length divorced. This discord diminished the power of Angus, but he strove with all his might to regain predominance. The Earl of Arran, the head of the house of Hamilton, who was connected by blood with the royal family, was his great rival. These two noblemen were the heads of two great factions which distracted the country. 

    9.  In 1520 the Hamiltons met in the Blackfriars Church at Edinburgh, and were arranging a plan to overwhelm the Douglases, who were believed to have a weak party in the city, and to make Angus prisoner. When Angus heard of this meeting he sent his uncle Gavin Douglas, Bishop of Dunkeld, to remonstrate with Bishop Beaton, by whose advice the Hamiltons were acting. In answer to the remonstrance of Douglas, Beaton clapped his hand on his heart and said, “Upon my conscience I cannot help what is about to happen,” when the mail below his bishop’s dress was heard to rattle. “Ha, my lord,” said the Bishop of Dunkel, “your conscience is not sound, as appears from its clatters.” The bishop, after administering this rebuke, left, and warned Angus to defend himself. The Douglases were attacked, but defended themselves so bravely, and made so complete a sweep of their assailants from the streets, that the battle was called “Clear the Causeway.” 

    10.  Angus after this held Edinburgh for some time, and would probably soon have attained to supreme power had not the queen thwarted his projects. She used all her influence to bring back Albany from France, and in 1521 he reluctantly returned. Though welcomed by the queen, he was more unpopular than ever. He was hated as being more a Frenchman than a Scotsman. He was suspected of aiming at securing the crown for himself, or of wishing to carry off the young king to France, where he would be made a fit instrument of converting Scotland into a French dependency. 

    11.  This hatred of Albany might have resulted in his dismissal and a closer connection with England, had not King Henry threatened war against the Scots if they did not dismiss him. The Scots might have sent away Albany of their own accord, but a threat from England made them determine to do the very opposite. There was danger of an invasion from England, but the Scots would rather keep the man they hated and resist invasion, than be dictated to by the English. 

    12.  The Scots hastily raised an army of 80,000 men, and in September, 1522, moved towards the western Border. The Earl of Surrey and Lord Dacre, to whom the protection of the Border had been committed, were not prepared to meet such a force. When the mighty host reached Annan Lord Dacre came to Albany, withdrew the insulting demand of England, and obtained a cessation of arms, whereupon the army dispersed. The conduct of Albany on this occasion was much deplored. When he wanted to return to France the Scots made a show of reluctance, but allowed him to go. 

    13.  Lord Dacre had secured the dismissal of the Scottish army without the renewal of the truce between the two countries. This was an advantage to England, for as the countries were technically still at war, Lord Dacre next year led 10,000 men into Scotland by the eastern marches, and burned the town of Jedburgh (1523). Immediately thereafter Albany returned from France, bringing with him a force of 3500 men, whom the Scots regarded as enemies rather than friends. As England was still threatening the country and laying waste the Border an army for defence was again raised. It assembled on the Boroughmuir to the number of about 50,000. Albany led this force and the French auxiliaries towards the Border, but, when the Scots came to a wooden bridge over the Tweed at Melrose, they would go no farther. They let it be known that they would defend their country from invasion, but that they would not do the work of France by invading England. 

    14.  The regent, with his French troops, crossed the Tweed and laid siege to Wark Castle, but he was driven back and had to recross the river. It was November, and snowstorms came on, from which the army suffered greatly. The failure of this expedition brought great odium on Albany, who, in the month of May, 1524, took leave of Scotland never to return. The foreign troops, whose presence had so much annoyed the Scots, departed along with him. 

    15.  It was now the great aim of Wolsey, the minister of Henry VIII., to detach Scotland from the French alliance. He proposed that the King of Scots should marry the English princess Mary, and talked in his correspondence of the likelihood of James becoming King of England. The Beatons, James, and his nephew David who afterwards became cardinal, opposed the policy of Wolsey. The English minister, however, chiefly through the influence of the queen-mother and Arran, succeeded in August, 1524, in getting the young king conveyed from Stirling to Edinburgh, where he was invested with the ensigns of royalty, and a declaration was made that he had assumed the government, This was called The Erection of the King. James being only in his thirteenth year was unfit to govern, but the “Erection” put an end to the regency of Albany, and was so far detrimental to the French influence. 

    16.  The government was for some time conducted in the king’s name by the queen-mother and Arran; but the Earl of Angus returned from England, forced the queen to come to terms with him, and in 1526 got himself, with Argyle and Errol, appointed guardians of the young king. They were each to have charge of the king a quarter of a year in succession. It was Angus’ lot to have him first, but, when the end of three months came, he would not part with the king, whom he kept in severe restraint. From this bondage James wished to get free, and several attempts were made to release him. On one of these occasions Angus told the king that if his enemies got hold of him on one side, his friends would keep hold on the other, though he should be torn in twain in the struggle. 

     17.  After two years of this captivity the king, in May, 1528, when Angus was absent, escaped from Falkland. Disguised as a groom, he, along with his page, John Hart, and a yeoman, pretended to go on a hunting expedition, but galloped off to Stirling, where he was gladly received by the governor of the castle. Angus, on hearing of the king’s escape, knew that his power was gone. The king had no mercy for him. He was forbidden to approach within six miles of the royal presence, and his estates were forfeited. He held out against the king for a time in Tantallon Castle, but was at length compelled to take refuge in England. 

    18.  In 1528 the ecclesiastical authorities handed over to the civil power Patrick Hamilton, whom they had convicted of heresy. He was burned in front of the old college of St. Andrews. He was the first native Scotsman who suffered for the opinions that prevailed at the Reformation. 

    19.  The struggle with Angus brought the king into collision with the Borderers, many of whom were vassals of the house of Douglas. The Border chiefs had been useful in recovering territory from the English, but they exercised a kind of independent authority in their districts. The king determined to put an end to this state of matters, and to make these districts subject to his own rule. He accordingly, in 1531, marched to the Border with a force of 8000 men, seized many of the chiefs at their own gates, and hanged them on their own dule trees. John Armstrong, the head of his clan, went to meet the king in a friendly way, accompanied with a train of twenty-eight mounted men. When James saw him he said, “What wants yon knave that a king should have?” and then ordered him to be seized and hanged. 

    20.  The king next directed his attention to the West Highlands, where disturbances had arisen. Argyle had been made Lieutenant of the West, and had asked the government for aid in quelling the disorders. The privy council refused to put the array of the Lowland counties at the disposal of Argyle, and decided that the king himself should lead an army to put down the disturbances. The council opened communications with the heads of the clans, which led to such revelations that Argyle was deprived of his lieutenancy, and was even for a time imprisoned. The crown then took to itself the government of the Western Highlands, and made John of Isla and other chiefs responsible for the collection of feudal dues and other taxes. The nobles regarded this treatment of Argyle as a blow aimed at their order, and some of them were so offended that they agreed to transfer their allegiance to England. 

    21.  In 1532 Northumberland, with Angus and others, made a raid into Scotland to plunder, burn, and destroy. The Scots retaliated, and for a time there was war on the Borders, but peace was at length concluded between the two countries. 

    22.  The alliance of Scotland was at this time much courted by the nations of Europe. Henry VIII., who had quarrelled with the pope and made himself the head of the Church in England, wished to have his nephew, the King of Scots, on his side. The King of France, the Emperor of Germany, and the pope desired him to come forth as the champion of the church against his uncle. Henry sent him the Order of the Garter, the King of France gave him the Order of St. Michael, the emperor bestowed on him the most illustrious of all orders, the Golden Fleece, while the pope communicated to him his blessing, gave him a cap and a consecrated sword, and made him a kind of promise that he should be promoted to the office of Defender of the Faith. Henry was anxious to have a conference with James at York, but James, acting under the advice of Beaton, would not promise to go farther than Newcastle. 

    23.  The king’s marriage became a matter of great importance, not only to the king himself, but to the powers who courted his favour. The Princess Mary of England, now that a son had been born to Henry VIII., was not so attractive a match as she had once been; but some were still in favour of such a union. The emperor suggested in succession the Princess of Denmark, his own sister, the widow of the King of Hungary, and his niece, Mary of Portugal. But to strengthen the old alliance with France, Mary the daughter of the Duke of Vendome, was at last selected, and James, in 1537, went to France to see his intended bride, but when there he fell in love with Magdalen, the king’s daughter, and married her instead. She, however, was delicate, and died a few months after her arrival in Scotland. Next year the king took to wife Mary of Lorraine, daughter of the Duke of Guise. She was brought over from France by Cardinal David Beaton, and the marriage was celebrated at St. Andrews. 

    24.  About this time there were trials and executions for conspiracies against the king’s life. Many of the victims were connected with the exiled Earl of Angus. Lord Forbes, who was married to a sister of Angus, was charged with designing to shoot the king, and executed. Lady Glammis, the sister of Angus, was accused of ”conspiring and imagining the king’s death “by poison, for which she was burned on the Castle Hill of Edinburgh. People believed that she suffered not for guilt, but on account of the hatred of the king to her brothers. 

    25.  In 1539 Cardinal Beaton became Archbishop of St. Andrews. Early in the same year five Protestants were burned for heresy on the Castle Hill of Edinburgh. 

    26.  In May, 1540, an heir to the throne was born, after which James set sail with a fleet to the Orkney Islands, ran through the Pentland Firth and visited the Western Isles, where he saw many of the chiefs and received their duty and submission. In due time a second son was born, and the succession to the crown seemed secured; but in 1541, first the younger prince died and then the elder, and the king was left childless. 

    27.  James, left without an heir to the crown, and hated by the nobles, whose power he had tried to curb, and many of whose estates he had forfeited, had a gloomy future before him. His uncle, Henry VIII., grew more dictatorial, and again desired a conference at York, to which James agreed. Henry travelled in state to York, but the King of Scots did not come to meet him. Henry was furious, and declared war. He also asserted the old claim of supremacy, and in 1542 sent Norfolk to Scotland with an army to lay waste the country. Sir Robert Bowes, with Angus and his brother, led 3000 horsemen to harry Jedburgh, but they were attacked by the Homes, defeated, and put to flight. Norfolk led 30,000 men northwards, but as the country was made bare before them, they had to be disbanded for want of food. The king led an army southwards, and had reached Fala Moor, when the news came of the dispersal of the English force under Norfolk. Many of the nobles refused to invade England, but a force of 10,000 men was induced to cross the Esk, and enter English ground on the Western Border. The king had unwisely appointed Oliver Sinclair, one of his favourites, to take command of the army when it entered England. When Oliver, raised on a platform, began to read his commission, the leaders resisted it with shouts of indignation, and all discipline and caution were forgotten. Lord Dacre, who was hovering near with about 600 English horsemen, saw the confusion, dashed in among the Scots, who, besides being in disorder, were unwilling to fight, and fled in all directions. This affair is known as the Rout of Solway Moss

    28.  The king was at Caerlaverock Castle when he head the news of this disaster. In deep sorrow he retired northwards to Falkland Palace, where his vexation brought on a low fever. On the 7th of December tidings were brought to him that the queen had given birth to a daughter at Linlithgow. Thinking of the crown of Scotland, and the dangers that beset a female heir, the dying man murmured, “It cam wi’ a lass and it will gang wi’ a lass.” Seven days after, on December 14th, 1542, James V. died in the thirty-first year of his age and the twenty-ninth of his reign. 

    29.  James V. was much beloved by his people, by whom he was long remembered as the “King of the Commons,” but the nobles disliked him for trying to break down their power. He was a poet of considerable merit, and to him is ascribed the authorship of “We’ll gang nae mair a roving” and “The Gaberlunzie Man.” In his reign the Court of Session was instituted (1532). Though there was much misrule, the country advanced in wealth and took a respectable place among the European powers. 

   Summary. – Surrey was unable to follow up his victory at Flodden by an invasion of Scotland. A Parliament met as soon as possible, and the king, though not three years old, was crowned at Scone. The queen-mother was made regent and guardian of her son. In August, 1514, she married the Earl of Angus. The son of Albany, the exiled brother of James III., was now Admiral of France. He was sent for and made regent, but, being a Frenchman and bringing Frenchmen in his train, he did not win the affections of the Scots. He managed to get the young king out of the hands of his mother. The feuds of the nobles gave him such trouble that in little more than a year he returned to France. In his absence the Homes murdered De la Bastie, whom he had left behind him as Warden of the Marches. The Hamiltons and the Douglases were the two great factions that disturbed the country. The Hamiltons attacked the Douglases in the High Street of Edinburgh, but were defeated. The skirmish is known as “Clear the Causeway.” Albany returned from France in 1521. He was disliked, and might have been dismissed by the Scots, but they kept him because his dismissal was demanded by Henry VIII. There was danger of an invasion, and an army was raised for resistance; but when Lord Dacre withdrew Henry’s demand it was dispersed, and Albany was allowed to depart. He returned in 1523 with a French force, and a Scottish army was raised, but it refused to cross the Tweed with him. After an unsuccessful attack on Wark Castle he and his French followers left Scotland never to return (1524). The king, though only thirteen years of age, was now invested with the ensigns of royalty, and declared to have assumed the government. This was called “The Erection of the King.” Angus soon after got the king into his custody, and kept him in restraint for two years. The king, however, escaped in 1526. Douglas lost his power and fled to England. Great severity was used in bringing the Border clans into subjection, and the king took from Argyle the government of the Western Highlands. This displeased many of the nobility, who thought that James wished to deprive them of their power. The alliance of Scotland was much courted by the sovereigns of Europe. The king first married Magdalen of France, who died soon after her marriage, and then Mary of Guise. James, having failed to keep an appointment to meet Henry VIII. at York, the English king was so enraged that he sent an army to Scotland, under Norfolk, to lay waste the country. This army had to be disbanded for want of food. The King of Scots led an army to Fala Moor, but the nobles refused to invade England. He, however, induced 10,000 men to cross the Esk; but when they learned that his favourite, Oliver Sinclair, was to command them, they became disorderly and allowed Lord Dacre to put them to flight at Solway Moss. James withdrew in disgust to Falkland, where he died after hearing that his queen had given birth to a daughter.

   Questions:- Why was the battle of Flodden not followed by invasion? What did the parliament of 1513 do? Whom did the queen marry? Give an account of Albany and his doings as regent till his return to France in 1516. Give an account of what happened during the five years of Albany’s absence. Why was Albany hated when he returned? Why did the Scots determine to keep Albany, though they hated him? What conduct on the part of Albany induced the Scots to let him go? Describe the invasion of Lord Dacre and the subsequent return and doings of Albany. What was the policy of Wolsey and the Beatons respectively? Give an account of the king’s captivity and his escape from it. What do you know of Patrick Hamilton? What did the king do to make his authority prevail on the Borders and in the Highlands? What favours were bestowed on the king by foreign sovereigns to secure the alliance of the Scots? What interest was taken in the king’s marriage, and whom did he marry? What do you know of Lady Glammis? Give an account of the invasion of 1542, the Rout of Solway Moss, and the death of the king.
prep-a-ra’-tion, getting ready.  dis-ord’-ers, irregularities, tumults. 
scar’-ci-ty, want of plenty.  cen’-tred, came to a point in the midst of. 
sus-tained, met with, endured.  re-sist’-ance, opposition. 
as-sem’-bled, met, come together.  re-straint, confinement. 
com-posed’, made up, formed.  man’-aged, contrived. 
pro-ceed’-ed, went on.  wel’-comed, kindly received. 
ap-point’-ed, fixed, settled.  dis-tinc’-tion, mark, note. 
sat-is-fac’-tor-y, sufficient.  re-mon’-strat-ed, spoke strongly. 
in’-flu-enced, moved.  squab’-ble, confused quarrel. 
be-com’-ing, befitting, suitable to.  flound’-dered, struggled with violent motion. 
re-mem’-bered, kept in mind, recollected.  pre-dom’-i-nance, upper hand, chief power. 
pos-ses’-sions, holdings, estates.  dis-tract’-ed, harassed, vexed. 
dif-fi-cul-ties, troubles.  over-whelm’, overpower. 
des-pot’-ic, absolute, uncontrolled.  con’-science, faculty of knowing right from wrong. 
in-duced, led, persuaded.  ad-min’-is-tering, giving. 
com-mis’-sioners, man appointed to do a duty.  guar’-di-ans, protectors. 
as-sail’-ants, persons who make an attack.  cel’-e-brat-ed, performed with pomp. 
thwart’-ed, hindered, prevented.  res-pect’-a-ble, not to be despised. 
re-luct’-ant-ly, unwillingly.  oc-ca’-sions, times. 
con-vert’-ing, changing.  dis-guised’, concealed by dress. 
de-pend’-en-cy, country dependent on or subordinate to.  ec-cles-i-ast’-i-cal, belonging to the church. 
dis-mis’-sal, sending away.  con-vict’-ed, found guilty. 
threat’-ened, menaced, denounced.  col-li’-sion, violent contact with. 
dis-tāt’-ed, told what to do.  res-pon’-si-ble, answerable. 
pro-tec’-tion, safe keeping.  al-le’-giance, duty as a subject. 
ces-sa’-tion, stoppage.  al-li’-ance, league, confederacy. 
im-me’-diate-ly, at once.  cham’-pi-on, defender. 
fail’-ure, want of success.  con’-ference, meeting for consultation. 
cor-res-pond’-ence, letter writing  at-trac’-tive, pleassant, alluring. 
car’-di-nal, a church dignitary next in rank to the pope.  del’-i-cate, unhealthy, weak. 
de-tri-ment’-al, hurtful, injuries.  dic-ta-to’-ri-al, over bearing. 
de-tached, removed, took away from.  dis-pers’-al, scattering. 
be-sieg’-ing, hemming in.   

Inch-gar’vie, a rocky islet in the Firth of Forth, near Queensferry. 

Dunse, a small town in Berwickshire. 

Home Castle, in Berwickshire, three miles south of Grenlaw. 

Dunkeld, a small cathedral town, on the Tay, in Perthshire. 

Jed’burgh, town and abbey, on the Jed, in Roxburghshire. 

Bor’oughmoor, a tract of ground, once an open common, on the south side of the city of Edinburgh. 

Tantal’lon Castle, near North Berwick in Haddingtonshire. 

Glammis, a castle in Strathmore, Forfarshire. 

Fa’la Moor, on the south-east border of Edinburghshire. 

Caerlav’erock Castle, at the mouth of the Nith, in Dumfriesshire. 

Linlith’gow, county-town of Linlithgowshire.

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