Mary Queen of Scotland (2023)


Mary Queen of Scotland (1)

PGA/RGL Illustrated Edition

First published by The Bodley Head, London, 1934

"Daughter of Debate,
that sows discord."

- Assigned toQueen Elizabeth.

“Is it the spirit of greatness or women
Most of it reigns, I don't know; but it turns out
Frightening madness: I owe her much mercy."

Webster,Duchess of Malfi.


  • Preface
  • Note to the second edition
  • Part I. France. 1542-1561.
    “By day you will make your plant grow, and in the morning you will make your seed bloom; but the harvest will be removed on the day of the inheritance, and there will be deadly sorrow." —Book of Isaiah.
  • Part two. Scotland. 1561-1567.
    "If you're corrupt, what will you do? Though you clothe yourself in crimson, though you adorn yourself with ornaments of gold, you will beautify yourself in vain; your lovers will despise you, they will seek your life...
    “For I heard a voice as of a woman in labor... saying: Woe is me now! For my soul is weary of murderers. —the prophet Jeremiah.
  • Part III. England. 1567-1587.
    "Why else should you be beaten? You will rebel more and more. The whole head is sick, and the whole heart is weak… Your silver has become slag, your wine has mingled with water.” —Book of Isaiah.
  • Postludium
  • Attachment:
    Inscription on Mary's Tomb in Westminster


  • Illustration 1.
    Mary Queen of Scotland. Portrait of Nicholas Hilliard, c. 1610.
  • Illustration 2.
    Portrait of Mary as a child. Painted by John Österlund, c. 1905.
  • Illustration 3.
    Maria's parents: James V and Marie de Guise.
  • Illustration 4.
    Maria with her first husband, the Dauphin of France.
  • Illustration 5.
    Mary's second husband, Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley.
  • Illustration 6.
    Mary with her son, Prince James.
  • Illustration 7.
    Mary's third husband, James Hepburn, 4th Earl of Bothwell.
  • Illustration 8.
    Portrait of Queen Elizabeth I
  • Figure 9.
    Abdication of Queen Mary. Painting by Charles Lucy..
  • Figure 10.
    The last portrait of Mary Queen of Scots.
  • Image 11.
    Kamer Mary w Hardwick Hall.
  • Image 12.
    Mary comes face to face with her tormentor.
  • Photo 13.
    Execution of Mary Queen of Scots. Painting by Abel de Pujol.
  • Image 14.
    Dodenmasker Marii.
  • Image 15.
    Graf Mary in Westminster Abbey.

Mary Queen of Scotland (2)

Bodley Head issue cover, 1934


WRITERS who choose the first Mary Stewart as their subject usually seem apologetic for once again dealing with a character so familiar to readers of history, fiction, and legend.

However, it can be reasonably argued that the story of this beautiful and unhappy woman has become one of the immortal stories of the world, which will continue to inspire historians, romantics and poets to retell and attract many for many centuries. thousands of readers in one re-reading.

This story cannot be more outdated by repetition than the story of the siege of Troy. It became part of every writer's common material, as the visit of the Magi, Adonis' departure on his deadly hunt, and Perseus' rescue of Andromeda were common themes of all Renaissance painters and reproduced in countless variations, from masterpieces of the highest inspirational value to the hacking work of copyists.

It is unlikely that the most meticulous historians will ever discover a more significant piece of information about the history of Mary Queen of Scots. The most painstaking research into every detail of her career and the careers of those most closely associated with her has been conducted, and it seems the final result was delivered some time ago.

Anyone interested in this poignant episode of our history can study the contemporary documents on which all judgment must be based without undue fatigue, and come to their own conclusions as to the rightness or wrongness of the case. No historian, however well endowed with knowledge, astuteness, and impartiality, can do more than express his opinion on a subject so dark and mysterious. The profession of a historian is to record facts; if he is a historian of science, he can scarcely draw any conclusions from them, and his thorough book will contain nothing but carefully selected collections of the same facts, which, isolated and often contradictory, seem to the lay reader strangely little resemblance to show. to the whole truth.

However, when the historian begins to organize and order his facts and tries to connect them together in the light of his own intuition and experience, all too often in the light of his own emotions and prejudices, he must stop being a historian and begin to enter the realm of poetry and fiction. Or, if not sober, but partisan in spirit, areas of polemic and special appeal.

It seems, then, that writing about the past presents particular difficulties, and that he who is to succeed in such a task must be especially gifted and especially fortunate in the choice of subject, in the approach, and in the final form he gives to his work.

Kings and queens, heroines and heroes, those once called great and famous, have fallen out of favor with official history for some time now. There has long been a tendency to be more or less concerned with the history of men, and not with the history of their rulers or advisers, the cause and effect of those great movements which produced those startling and dramatic climaxes which had previously been attributed to individual characters and efforts.

In the same vein, modern biographers, who rejected the one-off methods of displaying personality in a formal and dignified way, emphasized his virtues, covered up his weaknesses, and attached great importance to all his public acts, looking at him only with due restraint. incidents in his private life now go to the other extreme, choosing subjects for his books only because of their humor. They love to show off their special, great man not only as a hero to their servant, but also as a hero to anyone else.

This attitude, of course, contains a great deal of fundamental truth. No human can definitively be a hero or heroine at all times and under all circumstances. But to emphasize this fact, which with a little humor could be taken for granted, distorts the picture the author paints in his frantic search for the exact and humiliating truth.

It is doubtful that this method of scathing, mocking biography is really appreciated by most of us. We may be amused for a while when we find out that the man we were always taught to consider larger than life was a true midget in many important ways, but our joy is usually dry and empty. We are all vicariously humiliated by the degradation of a hero who, in order to reach the position from which his last biographer has carefully drawn him, must once have embodied some national idea or achievement admired by all mankind. , and which has therefore been secretly imitated and applauded by all of us.

The game also turned out to be too easy to be popular for a long time - an amateur and a hack discredited a writing school founded by the brilliant talent of outstanding writers. There is already a reaction to the heroic element in humanity. But since both the stone figure on a pedestal dressed in formal robes and the tattered scarecrow that has taken its place for a time seem to be out of fashion, how will those of us who feel compelled to recreate a part of the past call in, circumvent our task? Psychoanalysis, so much cultivated a few years ago and containing many important truths, has become obsolete through abuse. As it has lost its novelty, it has become boring. Dissect any soul as you like, the essential elements of its composition will escape you as if you were limited to mere superficial treatment.

Recognizing the strength of these arguments means leaving yourself vulnerable. So the truth always eludes; there is nothing more to discover than the gold of El Dorado. None of us even know the truth about ourselves: so how can we hope to find out about another human being, and about someone who has been dead for hundreds of years? Why should we even write about a subject we necessarily know so little about? The answer can largely only lie in the perversity of human nature - we want to try the impossible. We hear about a certain theme or character from earliest childhood until we become fascinated, perhaps obsessed. Though common sense tells us that all is known and all has been said about it, yet we desire to arrange these familiar materials according to our own sense of design or decoration, to draw our own conclusions from the bare facts, to recreate them in order. tell, in the light of our own experience, those experiences with which everyone is familiar.

We think there may be something that hasn't been said yet that we can say. Basically we want to paint our own pictures of a familiar scene, give these legendary creatures faces in our own way, draw our own design on their robes. We want to present Venus and Adonis again in a fresh clearing with trees of our choice above our heads and flowers of our love under our feet.

We miss writing our own love stories, even though people have been writing them since the beginning of the world, and most of them are probably better preserved than ours. It is a desire like that of growing our own roses and lilies, though the humblest florist can sell us for a few shillings better than those who are the product of our best care.

It is in this spirit and with the greatest trepidation that this study of Mary Queen of Scots has been written. There is no need, much less excuse, but the author felt compelled to write another version of this old tale. It does not claim the dignity of history or official biography, although diligent examination of all the facts available to one who cannot afford original investigative work has completed this study.

It was not compiled in a party spirit or with any propaganda idea. The author has no personal sense of the causes that moved Europe in the second half of the 16th century. This book, which has only modest pretensions to the attention of the average reader, and is not intended for the student or specialist, is therefore intended to be a portrait of broad scope but detailed in background and conventions. , a woman whose life and death are as exciting and unusual as any in history.

This book does not presume to include any attempt at a bibliography of the subject. A glance at the catalog of any major library will immediately reveal a staggering number of works dedicated to Mary Stewart. Her career not only exhausted all the historian's resources, but was graced with poems by eminent poets and fiction by renowned novelists. Anyone who picks up this book and wants to know more about Mary, Queen of Scots, or to read an account of her from another pen, will easily find where to choose and even, as already mentioned, who study original and contemporary documents on which all history, poetry and fiction relating to the subject must be based.

For the same reason, the book is not much annotated, but the reader can rest assured that when a statement is asserted as undisputed fact, the author is making that statement on the authority of a reliable historian and on the basis of the latest research. The dates are mostly old style; this was always the case in documents and letters before 1582. [*] Where taken from later sources, it was not always possible to determine whether OS. or NS is intended. Some dates, especially the marriage to Darnley, remain questionable. The spelling is consistent with modern English usage.

[* Gregory XIII's reform of the Julian calendar was adopted by most Catholics in 1582, but was not accepted throughout Europe until the mid-18th century.]

In some parts of the story of Queen Mary there can be no facts - everything becomes speculation. Here the present author, like all other authors dealing with this fascinating history, is constrained to rely on logical deductions from circumstances and character, and as such various assumptions and assumptions are given as such. However, there was no distortion of known facts, manipulation of circumstances to fit preconceived notions, use of half-truths, and where previous employees deemed it possible, amid a confusion of conflicting evidence, to arrive at definitive conclusions. , This is what happened. mention. Where the author's own opinion is presented, it is stated as having personal opinion value and nothing else. There are no fictitious conversations, meditations, descriptions of imaginary scenes. The reader may rest assured that nothing mentioned herein is the invention of the author.

While he does not undertake the arduous task of compiling a bibliography, or the no less complicated task of listing all the sources that make up this study, he feels compelled to mention a few contemporary books of extraordinary value. to any study of Mary Queen of Scots. The unsolvable mystery of the Casket Letters will probably never be explained more clearly and effectively than in Letters to the Coffin and Mary Queen of Scots by T.F. Henderson (Edinburgh, 1889). Although the subject has been discussed, no major discovery or definitive conclusion has been reached since the publication of this book, which has been written with remarkable clarity and impartiality.

The Mystery of Mary Stewart by Andrew Lang (London, 1901) is extremely interesting, both for its thoroughly substantiated story and vividly written literature. The author writes in the preface that the purpose of his book was to show how the whole problem was affected by the discovery of Lennox's papers, which were used here for the first time.

In two excellent volumes, "Mary Queen of Scots and Queen Elizabeth" (1914) and "The Downfall of Mary Stewart" (1921), Mr. Frank Mumby collected most of the important contemporary letters concerning the fate of the two queens. ; these take the story to Von Raumer's "Mary and Elizabeth" (1836). The three volumes together constitute an admirable selection from the extensive archives of the period.

The most famous study, and most notable for its literary skill, written by a woman on Mary Queen of Scots is that of Agnes Strickland. [*] However, it is marked by bias, and Miss Strickland lacks much of what has since been discovered.

[* Lives of the Queens of Scotland by Agnes Strickland. v. 3-7-1852-8.]

"The Life of Maitland of Lethington" by Sir John Skelton by Mr. Hosack on the Casket Letters, a romantic "Life" by Chalmers, published in 1818, which inspired Sir Walter Scott to write a study of Mary in "The Abbot", The Dispatches of the Spanish Ambassador, translated and edited by Major Martin Hume , 1894, are all outstanding books in the extensive literature on the subject. The Babington Conspiracy was extensively and impartially covered by John Hungerford Pollen SJ in "Mary Queen of Scots and the Babington Conspiracy"; Other works by Fr. Pollen on the subject are rightly praised.

These famous and respected historians Hume, Robertson, Lang, Mignet and Froude gave their version of the story of Mary, Queen of Scots. However, neither of them was going to write unconditionally. Their methods are largely antiquated, and they lacked the information available to later historians. Claude Nau's "Memoirs" were carefully edited by Father Stevenson.

Books on Mary Queen of Scots came from France, Germany, indeed, from every country in Europe, and also from America. But, as noted by Andrew Lang, "although every inch of the earth has been examined as if detectives were at the scene of a recent murder, there are points which have not yet been explored even by German scholars, and perhaps some astute and lucky historian will discover evidence to replace all that has already been written about this most unfortunate of queens." Several excellent contemporary biographies of famous authors will immediately spring to mind for interested readers.

Most of the quoted ancient Scottish verses etc. are from the Hon's charming anthology "News from Scotland" by Hon. Eleanor Brougham (1926).

The description of Bothwell's alleged mummy comes from M. Jusserand's account given in Appendix A to Andrew Lang's The Mystery of Mary Stewart, 1901.

One of the most fascinating recent biographies is the mesmerizing study of Eric Linklater and the brilliant work of Sir Edward Parry.

A rare book is The Life of James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell by Professor Frederik Schiern, first published in 1863, translated from Danish by the Reverend David Berry and published in Edinburgh in 1880. It is never to be found in English works.

It seems necessary to add a few sentences regarding the portraits of Mary, Queen of Scots, and the figures most associated with her life and reign, as this is a matter of no small importance. When dealing with a character who lived before the era of portrait painting, you always get the impression that you are dealing with only a half-captured character, no matter how much indisputable fact or literature is available. One look at an authentic portrait is often worth many pages of description, and many notable figures of the past remain obscure and uncertain because it is impossible to determine what he looked like as he moved among his companions.

It's easy to create a mental image of Mary Stewart. In Lionel Cust's "Portraits of Mary Queen of Scots" (1903), reproductions are given of all genuine portraits of the Queen and many of those long commonly but mistakenly believed to be true likenesses. True portraits are not numerous. Sir George Scharf and Mr. Lionel Cust, after careful research in France, England and Scotland, have discovered that the only important undisputed portraits are: A small drawing of Mary in red and black chalk, made when she was nine years old, and another (the one in the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris) depicting Mary as the Dauphine of France, probably made at the time of her marriage in 1558, when she was fifteen years and four months old, then a drawing of "Janet" or François Clouet, (probably Jehan â Court?) taken from Maria's life when was a young girl, and the young queen's famous "Deuil Blanc" in widow's garb, taken just after the death of her first husband, Francis II, in 1561, when Mary was eighteen. Numerous oil portraits were taken from this fine drawing, which is also in the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, two versions of which are in the royal collections.

While there are many interesting portraits of Mary, which may or may not be genuine, or may or may not be authentic copies of lost originals, another undoubtedly important portrait, according to these authorities, was made many years later, during captivity. at Sheffield Castle. It is believed to have been painted from life during the Queen's residence under the protection of the Earl of Shrewsbury; it is now in the collection of the Duke of Devonshire at Hardwicke Hall. It is signed P. Oudry and is a poor work, probably the work of a painter or an embroiderer.

It was copied over and over again, every detail of the garment reproduced with reverent fidelity, showing that Mary's contemporaries and her immediate descendants considered the portrait genuine. It is possible, however, that it was a copy of a miniature taken from life. The portrait of "Morton", previously thought to be a copy of this, is much better and could be the original version.

After this there is nothing but a posthumous monument erected by James I at Westminster Abbey in 1603 and completed in 1609, the work of Cornelius Cure, the king's master mason, and his son, William Cure, painted and gilded by James Marney. It is said that the face of the figure on this tomb was modeled on a death mask and contains most of the distinctive features that stand out in authentic portraits. Several medals and coin profiles, including a very beautiful Primavera, help us reconstruct the figure of Mary Queen of Scots.

It is as remarkable as it is deplorable that no portrait of her exists during the heyday of her beauty and power when she was the reigning Queen of Scotland. We see her as a nine-year-old child, a fifteen-year-old bride, and an eighteen-year-old widow, and then there is no other likeness of her until she appears as a widowed prisoner who has lost everything but her life and who is almost forty years old. Then there's just a death mask, or a face drawn in pictures or memory, as in souvenir photographs, the most important of which is the one commissioned by Elizabeth Curle, sister of Mary's secretary, Gilbert Curle.

In The Stewarts, an outline of a personal family history, Mr. Foster reproduces a beautiful portrait (owned by the Earl of Leven and Melville), painted with great fire and skill, which he claims is of Mary when she was in Scotland during her short reign . It is hard to believe that he is right - the face seems to belong to Mary Stewart. She is dressed extremely richly and is depicted without the widow's cap with which she is too often associated. It seems doubtful, however, that there were painters in Scotland at the time capable of producing such a finished and elegant work of art, although it may be argued that she brought with her her court painter, Jehan à Court, who may have produced the fine "Deuil Blanc".

Mary Queen of Scotland (3)

Mary Queen of Scotland. Portrait by Nicholas Hilliard, c. 1610.

Andrew Lang in "Portraits and Jewels of Mary Queen of Scots" sponsors this picture, which he says is of Mary around 1559-1560. He identified the jewels worn in the portrait with entries in Maria's inventories. This book contains a slightly different list of "genuine" portraits, including, in addition to three French pencil drawings, an elegant wax medallion in the Museum of Mary in Breslau at the age of seventeen, the Duke of Portland's excellent "Virtutis Amore", 1559-1560, and a miniature in a reliquary, c. 1584. After a lengthy and careful study of the above images (which are described in the text of this volume), it is possible to build a portrait of Mary accurate and vivid enough for us to re-visualize her in every period of her career. In addition to drawings, paintings and wax reliefs, there are various medals that shed light on the Queen's personality, and a contemporary caricature of Mary as a mermaid that should give an idea of ​​her fascination.

All these portraits are reproduced in the book of Fr. Cust or including Andrew Lang.

When we consider all these portraits and obtain them, as it were, "from memory", we get an acceptable conception of what this famous woman looked like, even if her greatest charms were the most transient, which cannot be preserved on canvas or in words. But what about the woman herself? The soul behind the slippery properties?

Mary Stewart belongs not only to history, but also to legends and romances. Every historical figure, like every country, has its legends - something that is neither true nor false, but a reflection or shadow, as elusive as the reflection of a flower in a pond or a pane of glass, yet full of subtle truth and endless enchantment.

If we want to play with the legend, to deceive ourselves with romance, we'd better ignore the historians, and let's leave the chronicles and facts unread, lest we be disappointed, perhaps shocked or disgusted. This benevolent and charming character who inspired so many poets, who was "Princess Lontaine" to so many people, the lady of Tripoli whom Rudel must seek and for whom, if he finds her, he must die, was, in spite of all these charming fantasies, a character of historical significance.

She represented the last hope of the ancient church in Scotland. She was used as a pawn in a futile attempt to annex Scotland to France; for many years she was a very important figure in the fiercely contested succession to the English crown, and eventually she was the mother of the man who founded the new English dynasty. Not only was she a gathering of all the intriguers and dissatisfied with her own faith during her lifetime, but after her death she was considered a martyr of this faith, and her canonization was discussed in the Vatican.

Almost immediately after the ax fell on Fotherinhay, she became a symbolic figure for many - a woman cruelly betrayed, deeply hurt, treacherously persecuted and maligned, who died with impeccable dignity and courage for her faith. On the other hand, to those who were not her followers, she was "one of a monstrous regiment of women," as John Knox put it in the all-too-familiar phrase, "Delila, poor, stupid Jezebel," as another modern writer called her - scarlet a woman - willful, shameless, who was rightly punished for numerous and soulless follies. To others, she was more than that - a lost creature stained by a monstrous crime, an adulteress, a murderer, a liar, a sworn, cruel, treacherous, false at heart.

Still others, though reluctant to admit her fundamental fault, try to honor her with an overwhelming passion - that fury of love that was the impetus for Clytemnestra's crimes and Phaedra's mad shame.

These harsh but compassionate critics of Queen Mary attribute a certain greatness to her. She was, they say, excellent, even honorable in her native character, but she was so driven by circumstances and emotions that she became a real fury. To others who have only a vague and careless notion, however familiar her name may be, of the actual events of her life and the actual known details of her character, she is merely a symbolic figure, weak and lovely like An. half-fairies from the ancient minstrels of her homeland. She is not a queen to them, but a queen, ever beautiful, ever crowned, melancholic and unjust, a lady whom every page and impeccable knight must love, however fatal her love may be, whom every young man must hope to serve, though her service will bring nothing but death.

Her wonderful face is half hidden under the veil of the most magnificent lawn, her perfect hands lightly hold a crucifix or a string of holy beads, her eyes are turned to heaven, when she looks at the earth, it is humble sadness or gentle contempt. Her secret heart is unfathomable - she always leans from the window sill, onto the terrace or balcony lined with roses, touches the lute or listens to the song of one of her cheerful girls. She is always dignified, untroubled by either passion or regret; a long prison endured with impeccable heroism ends in a gruesome death, saved only from the greatest horror by the dignity and beauty of her acceptance of a bitter fate.

Many photographs, poems, and novels have confirmed Mary Stewart's view. This is her legend, though some deviate somewhat from the nebulous, romantic figure she sees as a noble woman hungry for true love, always betrayed by false love, always looking for the perfect lover, and forever ruined by the meanest of men.

In space and with the possibilities available to us, let's try to find the truth about this long-dead Mary Stewart, a woman who certainly did not know that she would become a saint, martyr or hero who may not have been aware of her own legend.

What was she like when she lived and moved around France, Scotland and England three hundred and fifty years ago? Is it possible to reconstruct her life, her conduct, her image in such a way that the reader can judge for himself what she was like? This task seems difficult, if not impossible, but there may be interest in trying.


October 1933.


The reception received by this biographical study warranted a second edition, in which the author took the opportunity to correct some minor errors and misprints, and to express more clearly some points that seemed obscure. The basic facts on which the author's interpretation of the figure of Queen Mary is based have not been questioned. Omitted from books recommended for serious study by Mary Queen of Scots in the introduction to the first editionMary, Queen of Scotland, D. Hay Fleming, London, 1899.

maj 1934.

Mary Queen of Scotland (4)

Portrait of Mary as a child. Painted by John Österlund, c. 1905.

PART I. FRANCE. 1542-1561.

“By day you will make your plant grow, and in the morning you will make your seed bloom; but the harvest will be removed on the day of the inheritance, and there will be deadly sorrow." —The book of the prophet Isaiah.

MARY STEWART was born in Linlithgow on December 8, Feast of the Immaculate Conception, 1542, the only heir to one of the greatest families and one of the greatest misfortunes in Europe. The Crown of Scotland has been in the Stewart family for over two hundred years, having appeared with the marriage of Margery, daughter of Robert the Bruce, to Walter Stewart in 1315. All the monarchs of this family were outstanding people who expressed in their person and deeds the highest ideals of the time in which they lived. Almost all of them died violently.

Mary Queen of Scotland (5)

Maria's parents: James V and Marie de Guise.

JAMES I, the graceful and elegant author of The King's Quair, considered by some to be the ablest of Scottish monarchs, was brutally murdered in February 1446 by a conspiracy of his nobles.

The result of this crime was a long regency. Queen Jane Beaufort of England, the heroine of a famous poem, acted as the guardian of her child while able-bodied men ruled Scotland. The second James, killed by a cannon detonation during the siege of Roxburgh Castle (the Scottish king supported the Yorkist cause in the Wars of the Roses), left the country in a confused state and under the rule of a seven-year-old child - James III, whose guardian was his mother Maria van Guelders.

This king was assassinated in his prime after a battle with the rebels at Sauchieburn, near Stirling, in 1488, handing over the throne, which had passed directly from father to son for a hundred years, to James IV when a sixteen-year-old youth was suspected of inciting rebellion.

This prince, Mary Stewart's grandfather and the man from whom she inherited many of her outstanding qualities, was one of the most remarkable figures of his time. Like his father and grandfather, he was athletic, tall, handsome, dark-skinned, with red hair, a charming address, cultured, refined, with a fiery, romantic disposition. He spoke six languages ​​and set up his first printing press in Edinburgh in 1507. Pedro di Ayala, the Spanish ambassador to Ferdinand and Isabella, enthusiastically praised the Scottish king, who also impressed the Dutch philosopher Erasmus with his extraordinary intellect.

In one of his dispatches to his master (July 25, 1498), the Spanish ambassador to Scotland writes a kind of panegyric to James IV, which is extremely interesting because it shows the ideal of the time in terms of regal and masculine qualities: and giving us an insight into Scotland, the strict the kingdom of the north, seen through the eyes of a cultured and intelligent Spaniard.

"The king is of noble stature, neither tall nor short, and as handsome in complexion and shape as any man can be.>

“He speaks Latin, French, German, Flemish, Italian and Spanish very well. His own Scots is as different from English as Aragonese is from Castilian. The king speaks outside the language of the savages who live in parts of Scotland and the islands. It is as different from Scots as Biscay is from Castilian. His language skills are amazing.

“He is well-read in the Bible and a few other godly books. He is a good historian; he has read many Latin and French stories and benefited from them as he has a very good memory. He fears God and keeps all the commandments of the Church, he doesn't eat meat on Wednesdays and Fridays, he doesn't drive a car on Sundays in exchange for anything, even for Mass, he says all his prayers. He listens to two Masses before going about his business. After Mass he has a sung cantata in which he occasionally deals with urgent matters.

“He gives alms generously and is a strict judge, especially in the case of murderers. He has a great affection for priests and takes advice from them. Rarely, even in jest, will he miss a word that is not true. very proud of it and says it doesn't seem good to him that kings should swear on their treaties as they do now - the king's oath should be his kingly word as it used to be.

“He is not wasteful or greedy, but generous when the situation calls for it. He's brave, even more than a king should be. He is not a good captain because he starts fighting before he gives orders. He's active and working, when he's not at war, he's hunting in the mountains.

“I speak the truth, Your Majesty, when I say that God has worked a miracle in him, for I have never seen a man so moderate in eating and drinking outside of Spain. Indeed, in these countries such a thing is superhuman. it will be about a year since he gave up making love (or so it is believed), both out of fear of God and fear of scandal in this world.

"He's very respected here. I can honestly say that he values ​​himself as highly as if he were the master of the world. He loves war so much that I fear, judging by the provocations he receives, peace will not last." long. The war is good for him and for the country.

The shortcomings of this romantic character can be felt even in words of praise. Arrogant, headstrong, James scandalized youthful debauchery, hated any attempt to limit his power, was led by priests, and doubtless felt rightly superior to all around him, determined to trust his own inclinations and his own judgment.

He was, however, a very attractive prince and bore, at least superficially, all the hallmarks of a seasoned chivalrous knight. He liked glamor and circumstance - his marriage to Margaret Tudor, "a sweet, sensual, loving lady", made all of Edinburgh a backdrop for the show.

On this occasion, the Black Brothers gave the young couple a bottle containing three drops of the Blood of Christ. Other details of this lavish wedding show us the Queen playing cards, dancing with the Countess of Surrey, the King playing clinchords and jumping on a raucous track without putting his foot in the stirrup.

Like most of the great princes of his time, James IV was passionately fond of music. Italian and Moorish musicians dressed in red and black followed him from place to place, and we saw Di Ayala notice his habit of dealing with urgent matters to the soothing sound of the cantata.

He used his almost unlimited influence to improve his kingdom and establish a culture. During his reign, the University of Aberdeen was established, confirmed by the bull of the sixth Alexander Roderigo Borgia. The papal bull responding to the king's request testifies to James's zeal that "the ancient city of Aberdeen, in the northern isles and in the mountains, in those northern parts of the kingdom (which in places are separated from the rest of the empire by the arms of the sea and very steep mountains), in whose regions undeveloped people, ignorant of literature and almost savage because of the distance of professorial chairs and the dangers of travel, they should enjoy the privileges of a university where liberal arts, theology, canon and civil law and medicine can be studied.”*

[*Aberdeen University was founded in 1477. Two other centers of study already existed in Scotland: St. Andrews, 1411; Glasgow, 1451. University of Edinburgh founded in 1583.]

* * * * *

This great prince, who seemed so happy and successful, who was so popular, respected and feared, was betrayed by his own shortcomings in temperament, impatience with opposition, impetuous and stubborn stubbornness, and a fantastic sense of chivalrous honor. only to get into a fight with his brother-in-law, Henry VIII, King of England. Minor frontier quarrels gave rise to forebodings, and James' sensitive mind was inflamed with anger at the capture of two Scottish privateers by English soldiers, and a letter from Anne of Brittany, sent with a ring and a glove wearing the Scottish king, as a true and loyal knight, pleading for the help of a lady in danger and going "three steps to England" for her sake.

Heedless of the laments of his English queen and the warnings of his most seasoned advisers, James assembled his kingdom's battle array with the flower of the Scottish nobility and crossed the Tweed in August 1513. A few days later, fighting broke out at the Battle of Flodden Field, where the Scots lost between eight and ten thousand men, very few of whom were regular troops. It was said that no Scottish family of any rank had lost one or more members at Flodden's Field. The mutilated body of the king was found among the piles of the dead and taken by his English conquerors to Sheena Monastery in Surrey to rest.

* * * * *

Another female regency, another long minority, faced the Scottish nation, already bent in defeat at Flodden and torn by the strife of the English and French factions, strengthened by the marriage of the Dowager Queen Margaret Tudor to the Earl of Angus.

Growing up, James V, who was less than two years old when his father died, showed many of the kind and personable qualities already expected of the Stewarts. His manners were likable, his person athletic and extremely handsome. Amidst the tumult and confusion of warring factions, the figure of the young prince, capable, graceful and good-natured, stood out as a clear object of universal admiration.

Despite his English mother, perhaps even because of her and his experience with the meddlesome, imperious nature of this sister of Henry VIII, the young king relied on the French faction and was determined to win a princess from the royal house of France for his wife. to look for. .

He first married Magdalene, daughter of Francis I, but the young and gluttonous princess died shortly after her arrival in Scotland, and James V married a second time to Mary, daughter of the Duke of Guise and widow of the Duke of Longueville, by whom she had a son, the then reigning prince.

The House of Guise (consisting of the rulers of Lorraine) was, by the valor of its members, their conspicuous gifts of courage and bold statesmanship, one of the most remarkable in Europe. But this alliance with a family that was restless, scheming, arrogant, non-royal but close to the throne and eager for royal honors would prove to be bad luck for House Stewart.

* * * * *

In Scotland, the first shivers of the Reformation that had shaken Europe for so many years were already beginning to be felt. James V was not considered a staunch supporter of the ancient faith, and his uncle, Henry VIII, regularly tempted him with tantalizing promises to declare independence from the papal see. The Scottish king, however, believed that his main task was that of his predecessor, to fight the oversized power of the impetuous nobility, and in this he needed the help of the clergy. The priests gained so much influence over James that they led to a rift with England, culminating in the refusal of the King of Scotland to meet his uncle in York in the autumn of 1541. Henry planned to kidnap his nephew, and Jacob suspected it was a plot.

Stung by this personal contempt, as he called it, the English king refused to listen to any attempts at reconciliation, and in July 1542 war was declared between England and Scotland. James raised two armies to meet the Duke of Norfolk, who had invaded his kingdom at the head of an English force.

The first was so rebellious that the king was forced to dissolve it. The second expedition marched to Solway Moss where, disheartened and rebellious, they fell into confusion and were easily overrun by several hundred English frontiersmen.

* * * * *

James V was in the Falklands when news of the embarrassing defeat reached him. His mind had long been empty and foggy, his body was weakened by constant fear and trouble, and he was unable to withstand the shock of this catastrophe. He had seen a repeat of Flodden Field at Solway Moss - a heavier blow with the same hand. Personally brave, cheerful, and brilliant in prosperity, he lacked the resilience of spirit and the austere moral courage necessary to face defeat; he was, moreover, surrounded by traitors and "tormented by some unkind medicine." He fell into a deep melancholy, which was heightened by the news that his queen, then in Linlithgow, had given birth to a daughter; her sons died at birth.

Referring to the Crown of Scotland who came to his family with Margery Bruce, he muttered: “He came with a girlfriend (unfortunately)! And he will go with the girl (unfortunately)!” The hapless prince, dying of a broken heart, could not believe that the Stewart family, then represented by a little girl in the care of a woman, could still lead a kingdom scattered with internal strife and tormented by the interference of foreign politicians.

His playful prophecy, if he ever made one, had not come true to the letter. If his daughter, as unhappy as he was, were to lose the crown of her ancestors, her son would become King of Scotland from an early age and rule the whole island in adulthood. Probably James V, on his melancholy deathbed, would have found nothing so astonishing as the glimpse into the future his grandson would have shown on the throne of his implacable enemy, Henry VIII, leading both him and his father to death.

* * * * *

Once again, Scotland was faced with a minority and regency. When Mary de Guise rose from childbirth, she faced a task that seemed not only bitter and difficult, but also hopeless. She, a woman and a foreigner, had to face the intrigues of an ambitious, greedy and insatiable nobility who broke her husband's heart, with the flourishing and turmoil of a divided Christian Church, with an old faith that fought fiercely against all its various countermeasures against the brutal violence of the new faith, with many conspiracies and counter-conspiracies of unscrupulous foreign schemers who wanted to profit from the fishing of Scotland's very murky waters.

Maria de Guise was a fearless princess. We don't know if she treated her charming husband with more than the tormented sympathy that a cheerful woman usually has for a man whose character is not strong enough for his fate, but at least she accepted the legacy he left her. with unwavering courage, swearing on behalf of her baby girl to rule the kingdom that so many Stewart monarchs admired, loved, rebelled and murdered.

* * * * *

Mary Stewart was proclaimed Queen of the Falklands six days after her father's death. It was a bold gesture - a gesture of confidence in the divine right of kings, because apart from the innate loyalty and chivalry it could inspire in Scottish hearts, the young queen had nothing to rely on in any attempt to secure the precarious throne of her ancestors. The troubles and difficulties of Mary of Guise's position were embarrassingly compounded by the fact that the descendants of Margaret Tudor, through her second marriage to the Earl of Angus, became members of the great House of Hamilton (whose head was later given the French title of Duke of Châtelherault) and the Earl of Lennox were heirs to the throne Scotland. The latter, though second in rank, was the more formidable challenger, as he chose to regard James Hamilton, Earl of Arran as illegitimate (since Arran was born after his father's divorce) and a more turbulent and strong possessed character. The tedious confusion of the situation was not alleviated by the aftermath of James V's dissolute life; he left behind six bastards, legitimized by the pope, who gave some of them ecclesiastical beneficiaries.

One of them, born of a long and passionate intrigue with the noble Margaret, daughter of Lord Erskine, considered the King's true love, who has since married Douglas, a member of one of the proudest families of the new nobility, was Lord James Stewart, then too young to give any indication of his future abilities. In fact, he had inherited most of his father's and grandfather's talents, and possessed much more than their small portion of prudence, common sense, and discretion.

At the time of his father's death, after Solway Moss, he appeared to be safe in the church where he held the position of Abbot of St Andrews, but Mary de Guise's keen judgment must protect both him and Lennox and the Hamiltons because of the potential danger.

* * * * *

Mary of Lorraine was a very tall, elegant woman of great dignity and restraint in demeanor. She was described as magnanimous, just and noble; her manners were sober, and there was never a stain on her reputation. Whether cold by nature or proudly self-possessed, twice widowed, plagued by innumerable temptations, prominently positioned and surrounded by enemies, she was never tainted with a serious suspicion of scandal.

Henry VIII immediately offered his son, the future Edward VI, the hand of the young queen, the daughter of the man he had pursued until his death.

James Hamilton, Earl of Arran (later Duke of Châtelherault), who was Governor of Scotland of royal blood and quarreled with the Cardinal Archbishop of St Andrews, the Cardinal Archbishop of St. English marriage. Arran joined the Reformation and got on well with Henry VIII, with whom he even negotiated his own son's possible marriage to Princess Elizabeth.

The Protestant regent, however, was timid, indecisive, inexperienced, and incapable of self-determination. He was soon equaled, if not surpassed in power beyond nominal, by Cardinal Beaton, who had been an able clergyman in the reign of James V. Refusing to be an instrument of Henry VIII, this skilful clergyman assisted the Queen Mother in resisting any attempt to secure Mary's person under the pretense of training her at the English court to be the bride of the King of England. Henry Tudor did not hesitate to harbor a deep hatred for the Scottish priest, whom he could not bribe or threaten to obey, and planned his destruction as a prelude to the annexation, under more or less deceptive excuses, of the northern kingdom.

* * * * *

It is possible that Henry might have succeeded in fulfilling his desires for marriage had it not been for the brutality of his terms - i.e. treaties with France, the regent's promise not to enter into a foreign alliance without his consent - tantamount to demanding the full submission of Scotland and recognition of his supremacy as a leader. Even his supporters could not get these terms through the council. One of them, Sir George Douglas, declared, "there is not a boy so little who will throw stones against any proposal to transfer the rule of this kingdom to the King of England."

Therefore, Mary of Guise and Cardinal Beaton had no problem refusing an English match, although they must have been horrified to see Henry Tudor's immediate revenge. When the papal nuncio to Scotland, Marco Grimani, wanted to reach Edinburgh, he had to sail down the Loire to Nantes and conquer the Scottish coast by sailing along the west of Ireland, because the St. Henry's fleet, despite the nuncio's escort of eight French warships.

Some letters from Grimani to Dandino, papal nuncio to the French court, have survived; vividly describe the wretched condition of Scotland in Mary's childhood: "confusion, division, heresy, poverty", the dowager queen almost a prisoner, Cardinal Beaton imprisoned in his castle of St Andrews, Arran, nominal regent or "governor", "powerless.

Grimani's safe arrival with ammunition and artillery from France further inflamed Henry VIII, who declared war on Scotland in 1543.

* * * * *

Mary of Lorraine, of course, not only out of love for her homeland, but because she experienced the pride, power, cruelty and duplicity of the English monarch, had already turned to France for support and help. Lacking Henry VIII's three children, Mary, Elizabeth, Edward and their issue, Mary Stewart was the next heiress to the throne of England. From birth, she was of great importance in the eyes of political Europe. Her high pretensions both impressed and flattered her maternal relatives. Five of them are people with extraordinary talents and character traits, boundless ambition and an inexhaustible ability to intrigue. For more than a quarter of a century, they tried to harass France, almost undermining the throne of Valois. Without the indomitable determination and inexorable courage of the Italian Queen Catherine de' Medici, they certainly succeeded in enthroning St. Louis one of his own.

* * * * *

Nine months after her father's melancholy death, Mary Stewart was crowned Queen of Scotland by Cardinal Beaton on 9 September 1543 in Stirling. To counter the English invasion, the young queen was sent to Inchmaholm, which as a monastery on an island in the middle of beautiful Lake Menteith was considered a safe haven from the obvious dangers of a land so lawless and troubled. . There would probably be many attempts to kidnap such a valuable prey, if they had even the slightest chance of success.

In Inchmaholm, nature and man had established a temple where the young queen was tenderly nurtured and jealously guarded. She had children her own age as companions; among them were four notable girls later known in history and ballads as "The Queen's Maries" – Mary Seton, Mary Beaton (or Betoun), Mary Livingstone and Mary Fleming. The proud fortress on the wide northern lake, often shrouded in mist, often besieged by wind and rain, had to be abandoned from the outside. The thought of it has something of sad wonder and settlement like a fairy tale beyond the ruins of time. However, comfort and luxury surrounded the young queen. The gardens that might grow in the north, the flowers that bloomed in this windy place, had been planted to her delight. We haven't heard of any illnesses or childish problems, the little Queen was probably healthy and therefore full of life. She detested the darkness, the harshness, and the wearisome condition that overshadowed the lives of so many of the royal children.

So she had to get used from her earliest consciousness to elegance, luxury, merry company, and all the symbols of the old religion.

* * * * *

While she was so safe in her water-surrounded fortress, the wrath of the English king fell upon Scotland. On 3 May 1544, the warships dropped anchor at Leith and the Earl of Hertford, the King's brother-in-law (later Duke of Somerset and Lord Protector), landed with an army of about sixteen thousand men and joined the "fire and sword" of the people of Edinburgh. Henry's wild instructions were "Capture, burn and kill ... and spread like limbs and havoc to all cities and towns you can easily reach." These orders, which the English Privy Council considered "wise, manly and discreet", contained special directions for the search for Cardinal Beaton and all his creatures and for the destruction of his town of St Andrews. Hertford did his duty with cold blood and efficiency, and after slaughtering every man, woman and child within his reach, he moved south, wreaking havoc along the coast, Craigmillar Castle, Newbattle Abbey, Dalkeith, Leith, Haddington and partly destroyed. Preston and Dunbar, along with all the Scots he could find.

Throughout that year and the next (1544–1545), a series of savage frontier raids was an expression of Henry's wrath. The rich and populous county between Tweed and Forth was turned into a hideous wasteland, and the English generals Wharton, Layton and Evers were burned, ravaged and massacred without a moment's respite or mercy.

* * * * *

The bitter hatred generated by these atrocities found expression in the bitter Battle of Ancrum Moor, where the "Souters of Selkirk" after their victory counted eight hundred St. George among the dead; among them were the bodies of Sir Brian Layton and Sir Ralph Evers, hated English captains.

Thus Henry VIII, whose glorious career was at an end, ravaged Scotland in retaliation for Mary's refusal to grant his son. The little queen, perhaps for greater protection, comfort or convenience, was taken to the rocky citadel of Dumbarton on the Clyde, which for centuries was one of Scotland's most important seaports. Here, as in Inchmaholm, she was protected from all the disturbances and vicissitudes her guardians had to contend with. She had her childish companions, her industrious guards, her gardens, her sunny galleries, and all the elegance that a French mother's refined taste could devise.

Deterred from an English invasion, Mary of Guise tried to get help from the Pope, Catholic Europe, and met with a terrible tragedy, perhaps caused by Henry VIII, whose hatred always pursued his brave enemy, Cardinal Beaton. This priest was also hated by the Reformers for the energy with which he pursued heresy, and the martyrdom of George Wishart (1 March 1546) served as the final pretext for one of these "murderous bonds" all too common in the history of Scotland.

In the early morning of 29 May 1546, a band of conspirators seized St Andrews Castle, dragged the old man from his bedchamber and killed him regardless of his pleas. After mutilating the body, dressing it in priestly robes and hanging it over the castle wall, the assassins seized the mighty fortress. An interesting detail of this crime, related by John Knox, is that the killers brought a portable grate with live fire, with which they set fire to the victim's door.

It is impossible to say how much of the inspiration for this murder came from Henry Tudor and how much from the zeal of the Reformers, but it is certain that among the fanatical Protestants suspected of involvement in or condoning the murder was John Knox, who later had such a prominent role in story of Mary Stewart, and who went to live with the cardinal's murderers when they fortified themselves in St Andrews Castle and defied all authority. This connection with the killers, as Knox later stated, was made under pressure - he had no other refuge.

The assassination of the cardinal caused a great stir in Europe; this was the first of many political assassinations that would mark Mary Stewart's disastrous reign.

* * * * *

Lord Arran, Regent on behalf of Scotland, made fruitless efforts to bring the assassins to justice; Beaton's murder was a sacrilege, and no mass or matins could be said in Scotland until the cardinal had been avenged. Henry VIII, as almost his last act of mischief, encouraged and assisted the outlaws based at St Andrews, which lasted for a year until the dowager queen, assisted by the Guise brothers, managed to enlist the aid of a French fleet of twenty-one galleys commanded by Admiral Leo Strozzi . Arran invaded the castle by land and after fierce resistance the garrison surrendered.

Interestingly, not all prisoners were executed, many were sent to work in French galleys. Among them was the steadfast John Knox, who endured the misery of captivity with savage patience and fervent hope for the future.

* * * * *

In 1547, King Henry VIII died and was succeeded by his only son, Edward VI, whose regent, Somerset, the young king's uncle, continued the policies of the previous reign.

A few months later, the Privy Council of Scotland passed a bill requiring the issue of a small coin bearing the image of the Queen. This small penny, made of base metal, is the earliest known attempt at Mary Stewart's likeness. Such worn specimens of the Scottish penny that remain show only a rough rendering of a child's face fully visible with an exposed neck and arched eyebrows.

In the same year, Francis I, the father of frail Magdalena, the first wife of James V, died. He was succeeded by Henry II, who was married to Catherine, the daughter of the great merchant princes of Florence - the Medici.

* * * * *

Marriage negotiations with the English resumed again, but Somerset's terms were somewhat less severe than those of Henry VIII, and arrangements were made for a further appeal for arms. Among the twenty-eight thousand-strong English forces England mustered under Somerset were two thousand Irishmen, "the wildest and fiercest" that could be had under the command of that unstable opportunist, Lord Lennox, in previous frontier raids. On the other hand, Fiery Cross gathered thirty thousand men to meet the invaders.

On September 4, 1547, the armies met at Pinkie Cleugh near Musselburgh. After a fierce five-hour battle, the Scottish ranks split; fourteen thousand were killed, many drowned in Esk, and the remnants were driven almost to the gates of Edinburgh.

Lack of supplies and intrigue at home forced Somerset to return to London, and therefore he could not continue his victory.

The dowager queen, however, faced the prospect of another invasion of the western frontier led by Wharton and Matthew Stewart, Lord Lennox, who, disillusioned with the regency, had allied himself with the English some time before.

* * * * *

In these difficult and, as it may seem, desperate circumstances, Maria de Guise engaged her daughter to the then almost four-year-old son of Henry II and Catherine de' Medici, François de Dauphin. This was part of the deal that the young Queen of Scotland was to be sent to France and raised with the royal children and placed in the care of her maternal grandmother, Antoinette de Bourbon, Duchess of Guise. On June 24, 1548, the States approved the marriage.

While Mary of Guise was cunning, intelligent, and lively, she does not seem to have acted with any forethought or judgment in this very important situation. Although she hated Scotland and the Scots, although she felt no loyalty to her husband's family or a sense of duty to the line her daughter represented, although she believed she could conscientiously give up Scotland as a province of France, which she certainly could have foreseen. insurmountable difficulties associated with such a project. How could a kingdom that proved too unruly for the considerable power of a line of talented, brave and popular kings to be ruled by a young woman who was to be Queen of France and Queen of Scotland? And how could a Stewart heiress, taken as a child from her country and brought up in a foreign country to which heredity and environment already predisposed her, could come to regard her country and her people with patriotic feeling and benevolent understanding?

We do not know whether Mary of Guise and her advisers asked themselves these questions, but no doubt they saw obvious dangers in the course they were determined to follow. Ignoring all the dangers that awaited them, they took two bold steps: first, the queen's betrothal to the young man who would in due course be king of France and then claim Scotland as his wife's kinship, and second, sever all ties between the young woman herself the queen and her home country, despite the watchful eye of England from abroad, the potential dangers of Lennox and Hamilton's claims, the possible problems of James V's illegitimate children.

* * * * *

It is quite possible, however, that Mary of Guise, though fearless, was secretly desperate and saw no hope for her daughter's crown after the assassination of Cardinal Beaton. She did not know when any of the terrible English invasions might succeed, either in completely invading Scotland or in capturing the person of the Queen, so perhaps believing that Scotland had lost, she thought it best to secure the Crown of France and, at least, to place his treasure safely among his own people, away from the violence and betrayal of the English, who might infiltrate even the strongholds of Inchmaholm or Dumbarton.

Admiral Villegaignon with four galleys anchored at Leith; avoiding the coast of Sunderland and Caithness, he captured the Clyde. Mary of Guise received the French at Dumbarton Castle and placed her infant daughter in the care of M. de Brézé. Two Scottish lords, Livingstone and Erskine, were part of her retinue, and four Maries sailed with the little queen. Fleeing from English warships and storms, the French ships reached Roscoff near Brest on August 13, 1548. Saint Ninian, raised on the spot. The desolate ruins of this building still stood fifty years ago.

Henry II ordered all his subjects to receive Mary in an almost royal state. He gave her the charming name "Reinette", and it was a sign of respect for the child that he freed all the criminals from every town she passed on her way from the coast to the royal palace in St. Germains-en-Laye. which will in the future harbor the last of her direct descendants to wear the crown.

* * * * *

Her grandmother, Antoinette de Bourbon, Duchess of Guise, met the royal child upon her arrival in France. This noble lady possessed those stern qualities commonly called domestic virtues; she was strict, narrow-minded, conventional, and placed a high value on proper behavior, decency and propriety – it was probably her education that carried her daughter, the Dowager Queen of Scotland, unscathed through the vicissitudes of a difficult life. No meanest language of the scandalous court could ever speak against the honor of Antoinette de Bourbon or her daughter, Marie of Lorraine.

From the pen of this godly lady, who devoted her time and money to good works, who appeared somewhat ostentatiously at court in a serge gown, and who prided herself on being detached from all the frivolity, folly, and gaiety of Paris, we have the earliest photograph of someone who would be described so many times and so different.

The Duchess of Guise wrote to her eldest son that "our little queen is the most beautiful and best you have ever seen at her age." The tender grandmother, who seems to be a careful observer, completes the image of her precious cargo with the words: "She is brown, and her complexion is fair and beautiful. If she's a little chubby, she's sure to be cute being a woman." little girl. Her skin is very white, the lower part of her face wonderfully beautiful; the eyes are small and a little deep-set, the face is a little long. She has such grace and confidence that everyone likes her."

This description is consistent with the earliest portraits of Mary Stewart. Already in this first known comment about her personality, there is an emphasis on her charm, grace and self-confidence, which stood out more than her beauty.

* * * * *

Mary's early life in France was often misrepresented. She was carelessly described as being in the care of Catherine de Medici, who was shown as a corrupt and wicked woman under whose cynical influence a child could not learn anything that was right. This is an erroneous view, because at the time when Mary Stewart left for France, the figure of Catherine de' Medici was not known to anyone. She was obliterated in the background, wife of the king and mother of a son and two daughters, indeed, but completely overshadowed by the royal mistress Diane de Poictiers. The little Queen of Scotland initially did not have much contact with her future mother-in-law.

It was in the ducal estates of the House of Guise at Joinville that Mary's education, which had already begun in Scotland, was continued. Claude, Duke of Guise's establishment "resembled more of a convent than the court of a grand duke", and his wife took her austerity to the point of placing her own coffin on the gallery through which she had to pass to her chapel. This austere and melancholic sense of the brevity of mortal life was very developed in many sensitive people in this age of corruption, violence and betrayal. An almost desperate surrender to God and His supposed will revealed a nervous fear of both the known dangers of earthly life and the imaginary horrors of hell.

Claude de Guise and his wife founded a Benedictine monastery in Joinville, and the Duchess herself was an associate member of the Dominican, Cistercian and Carmelite orders. As might be expected, this lady's household was run with strict rules of decency and frugality, and she devoted most of her time to charity for the pool and the sick, which was such a popular virtue at the time. Nor was the atmosphere of piety in Joinville the only religious influence it had on the young queen; three of her mother's sisters were abbots of well-known monasteries in the French Church, St. Peter's in Reims, Fontevrault, the burial place of Richard I, and Farmoutiers, and Mary spent part of her time visiting these aristocratic nuns.

* * * * *

She stayed for a time in the convent where the king's daughters, Elizabeth, Margaret and Claude were educated, and showed signs of being overly religious when excited and impressionable; it was not the intention of the disguises that the Queen of Scots and the future Queen of France would become nuns. So she was removed from the convent and brought up under the direct influence of disguises, with her uncle, the Cardinal of Lorraine, watching over her education; her grandfather, Claude, duc de Guise, died in 1550 while Maria was in his care for six years.

If Mary Stewart learned from the women of her mother's household piety, good education, good works, and deep devotion to the Church of Rome, then from her maternal uncles she learned pride, cunning, certain knowledge, and the art of politics.

As usual with little princesses, she received generous praise from everyone; everyone agreed that the royal girl developed the most attractive features. She was sincere and sincere, gracious and likable, cheerful and vivacious, and everything she did was graceful and charming. She inherited her passion for science and art from her father and grandfather. She willingly learned everything she was taught, her sharp intelligence did not cause problems even in dark studies, she could express herself with emphasis and ease on paper or in speech. Although she was never melancholy, moody or irritable, she was often serious and reserved. No one accused her of frivolity or laziness. There is no doubt that she was indeed gifted, gifted and precocious, but some accounts of her early childhood are hard to accept.

It is said, for example, that when she was not yet ten years old, she made a Latin speech before king and court which astonished and delighted all, and that at the same young age she wrote verses which were praised by Brantôme and Ronsard who, though both they were professional sycophants, they still had to have an excuse to adore them.

In any case, it is certain that she was considered a capable and well-educated child; she could drive well, dance gracefully, was skilled in embroidery, spoke French and Italian, and knew something about music.

The Bibliothèque Nationale has a notebook written by Maria between the ages of twelve and thirteen; carefully written quotations from Plato, Cicero, and Erasmus give no clue as to the character of the little scholar, and letters to her fellow students, Elizabeth of Valois, later Queen of Spain, to Claude de Valois, later Duchess of Lorraine, and to her uncle, the second Duke de Guise, reflect only the pious precepts of her teachers and the pious phrases so familiar to her from her earliest childhood.

The pamphlet shows that Maria was quite well versed in the classical sciences and had learned to believe that it was not wrong for a woman to pursue science. But even in these matters one cannot be sure whether the childish scribe really reveals himself, because too often in the early bids for kingship both feelings and knowledge are written down, mere dictation, from the mouth of a teacher, in this case probably M. de Saint Etienne, the Latin teacher of Elisabeth of Valois, who is said to have taught the little queen the classics.

* * * * *

In Mary's early years in France, Henry II offered Arran the French duchy of Châtelherault in exchange for the dubious honor of a Scottish regency. This was received, no doubt with relief, by the nervous and inept governor of Scotland, and Mary of Guise took his place as regent for her daughter. If anything, she was as capable as anyone who could be elected, and the only person whose loyalty to the queen was unquestioned.

In May 1550, Mary of Guise sailed to France to visit her daughter in galleys sent to Leith by Henry II. During this absence from Scotland at a time so troubled and difficult, the Queen Dowager consulted her feelings rather than her interests. Although peace had been made between England, France and Scotland in March of that year, the northern kingdom was in a state of turmoil and smoldering rebellion, bitter religious questions had by no means been resolved, and the withdrawal of Mary of Guise meant that not one was loyally representing the affairs of these two foreign women whose every action seemed to separate them from the kingdom over which they ruled.

However, the French visit was initially a brief period of happiness for the Princess of Lorraine; she was received with royal honors and gladly greeted by her noble and proud relatives of the House of Guise.

Her joy at her infant daughter's nascent grace and wise conduct was soon overshadowed by the sudden death of her son, the Duke of Longueville, from whom she had parted at a young age, and the discovery of an alleged plot to kill the young queen in order to poison her. .

This case has been forgotten, but it seems that one Robert Stewart, who was later executed for shooting Constable de Montmorenci in the back at the Battle of St. Denis (1567), was arrested on suspicion of plotting to kill Maria and possibly her uncles. We don't know if he was tried and acquitted, or if he escaped from prison, or if he was proven to be an agent of any particular faction or sect.

* * * * *

Mary of Guise stayed in France for a year and four months, during which time she not only became involved in her daughter's education, but also used her considerable influence at the court of Henry II to thwart English plans and promote the continuation of the "Auld Alliance". little queen, that France is such a powerful friend and staunch defender of Scotland that neither the English nor the heretics are to be feared too much.

Her peace of mind, despite her confidence, was disturbed by news from the north. Lord James Stewart, Mary's half-brother, and his party gained the upper hand in the Regent's absence, and by far-sighted wisdom beyond Mary de Guise, they established friendly relations with both England and the Reformers, doubtless rendering them good offices. to his country, appeasing a powerful enemy on the frontier and trying to consolidate the country's warring religions.

Mary de Guise said goodbye to her daughter forever and returned to Scotland via England; landed at Portsmouth and made her way to London, where she was received with royal honors by the learned and philosophical king, that crippled boy who had once been introduced as Mary Stewart's husband, and who was as developed, as lauded, as sickly as a dolphin whom finally received.

* * * * *

It was November 1551 when the dowager queen was at the court of London; Edward Seymour, who as Earl of Hertford plundered the Scottish coasts and as Duke of Somerset won a victory at Pinkie Cleugh, lay in a tower waiting to die on the block where he kept his brother, Thomas, Lord Seymour, sent from Sudely. Somerset was a strong man, but Northumberland, then in power, was stronger, and for a while prevailed over the thirteen-year-old king who so coldly signed the death sentences of both his uncles and recorded them in his diary: January 22, 1552: "The Duke of Somerset was beheaded Tower Hill between eight and nine in the morning."

We do not know what impression the son of Henry VIII made on Mary of Guise, probably she did not like the delicate little Puritan who was as fanatical in his faith as she was in hers. Among his chaplains was John Knox, who had been rescued from French galleys by English influence, and the dowager queen could not be pleased to learn that this proximity to the English throne of "Black Protestants" involved the murderers of Cardinal Beaton and the rebels, who defied the authority of St Andrews Fortress. Mary of Guise does not seem to have met the Princess Elizabeth Tudor who was to be so important in her daughter's life.

* * * * *

This girl, whose mother had been beheaded for adultery and incest and declared illegal by law, was eighteen at the time of Marie of Guise's visit. Her childhood was not a happy one, lived in peril, under constant suspicion and statelessness, sometimes even without those personal luxuries with which Mary Stewart was always so generously endowed. Lady Bryan, her governess at Hunsdon Prison, wrote a letter to Thomas Cromwell begging for clothes for the baby, who had neither "dress, nor apron, nor petticoat, nor linen of any kind, nor aprons, nor handkerchiefs, nor veils, nor stabs on the body." nor handkerchiefs, nor sleeves, nor scarves, nor piglets.”

Born of such a dark fate as it seemed, and occupying such an obscure and ambiguous position, this princess was not without sycophants who describe her as Mary Stewart's equal in learning and achievement. She also had her Greek and Latin, her beautiful lute playing, her sweet singing, her study of the ancients, her light step in the dance, her "modest seriousness, perfect wit, regal soul and happy memory." Her pale beauty did not go unnoticed either; Lord Seymour, Catherine Parr's fourth husband, before his brother hurried him to Tower Hill, courted the young princess with a passion that was not just ambition.

* * * * *

While Mary de Guise returned to Scotland to undertake the hopeless task of restoring peace and obedience to that kingdom, her daughter continued her studies in a dignified, orderly atmosphere of piety at the house of Guise, where her peace was little disturbed. troubles faced by her brave mother.

In February 1553 the cardinal wrote to his sister:

“Your daughter has grown considerably, and every day her kindness and virtue, beauty and intelligence improve. He cannot make greater progress in everything that is excellent and has a good reputation. The king enjoys her company so much that he often talks to her for an hour. He enjoys it, because he speaks as well and sensibly as a twenty-five-year-old woman. You can be sure that you have a daughter in her who will bring you the greatest comfort. ".

The next sentence contains a warning. His Eminence's keen eye had already noticed much of Stewart's royal spirit in his niece.

"In placing her bet," he wrote, "I believe there should be nothing superfluous or vile, for meanness is the thing that the world hates most of all."

He noticed it too

"her spirit is so cheerful that she shows her irritation very clearly when she is treated unworthily."

* * * * *

A letter written by the little queen to her mother in 1550, the year of her grandfather's death, has been preserved. It is gracefully written, but shows no trace of character, being merely a conventional expression of piety; she had heard that the Scottish rebels had been crushed and that all the princes and high lords had returned to the queen regent. He writes that he is staying in Meudon with his grandmother Madame to celebrate the feast of Easter and that he will receive the Sacrament, and expresses a wish that seems tragic after the events: "I ask God very humbly to give me the grace to start well."

Earlier this year, Mary had her own branch. Everyone who saw the young Queen of Scotland during this period spoke highly of her. Margaret of Savoy, François d'Orléans, the Princess of Ferrara, the formidable royal mistress Diane de Poictiers, the ambassadors of Mary Tudor, the Bishop of Ely and Lord Montague, the Spanish ambassador to Capello, all testify to her honesty, her kindness, her discretion, her conversationality, her simplicity, and yet prudence and experience. She was considered by everyone to be "the best and most beautiful little queen in the world".

Her future husband was her constant playmate, and there seemed to be a genuine friendship between the boy and the girl. The Spanish ambassador noted that he saw them withdrawn, whispering together, apart from the others, their little confessions.

* * * * *

Too much importance can be attached to these hymns of young Mary Stewart. It is customary for princes and princesses to be praised and admired, they have their poets and flatterers, and in France it was a time of fantastic poetic chivalry. The fervent praise of women, the contrived attitude of astonishing adoration of femininity, was exaggerated in poems and songs, although it is not easy to find in the realities of life at that time any special attention paid to female fragility or disability, which seem to be quite exploited. unscrupulous by most men.

The school of Pierre Ronsard and his "Pleiades" followers influenced a courtly conceit of strained exaggeration that soon became formal and conventional.

Mary's eyes "are shelter for love" and the eyes of Margaret Valois, her sister-in-law, are "so sparkling you don't need a torch to dance."

On the basis of such praise, it is difficult to arrive at an accurate assessment of the charms of the discussed ladies. Portraits, which all too often give the impression of gloomy disappointment, don't help either.

* * * * *

When Mary had been in France for several years, a small Scottish coin was reissued with her earliest portrait, and when she was nine years old, her likeness was drawn in chalk - in black and red - by a French artist. This precious drawing is part of a collection of chalk sketches that can now be found at Chantilly. The inscription in modern script informs us that it is a portrait of Mary, Queen of Scots, aged nine years and six months, made in 1552 in the month of July. There is nothing unusual or attractive about this depiction of someone who would become such a famous beauty. The face is seen in three-quarters, the mouth is pressed together, the eyes are small and shadowless, the nose is heavy, the forehead is disproportionately high and wide, and this awkward lack of proportion is emphasized by the ugly habit of covering a nine-year-old child in a dress with a rag. the stiff clothes of an adult woman. The large head characteristic of this age is further magnified by the severe updo of hair, which is slicked back under a stiff, jeweled bonnet, and the thin, underdeveloped body looks uncomfortably in a tight corset stiffly outlined by embroidery. . However, the drawing gives the impression of a parable, there is no attempt at idealization in it, and as such it is priceless. It is impossible to learn anything about Mary's color from this sketch, because only red and black chalk were used - the hair is drawn in black chalk, the jewels are red lines. They are very rich and consist of two rows around the hat, an earring, a loop chain attached to the bodice and a long gemstone pendant on a thin chain that seems to be a huge chain.baroquePearl. These are probably the French crown jewels; painters of this period copied the famous ornaments with great accuracy.

John Achesoun, or Atkinson, master coiner, goldsmith and burgher of the Cannon Gate, Scottish medalist, stayed in Paris in 1553, where he minted a coin with a portrait of Mary Stewart. This shows a bust of the Queen in profile on the right, wearing a crown. The nose is heavy, as in the Chantilly drawing, the hair naturally falls on the back of the head.

In the same year, Achesoun minted a second coin showing the queen in profile facing left and without a crown. The features are still somewhat heavy and shapeless, the neck is much longer and thinner. The hair is combed back the wrong way, and the round, prominent forehead stands out the most. There is only one example of this coin, which may have been only a cartridge, and is now in the British Museum.

As for these coins and the drawing at Chantilly, the only contemporary depiction of Mary in her extreme youth we have does not corroborate the reports of her beauty and charm so effusively reported by her contemporaries. Maria does not appear particularly strong in the Chantilly drawing, and it is doubtful that she ever was, but the cardinal, her uncle, wrote to his sister assuring her that reports of her daughter's fragile health were false. She admits that she occasionally fainted due to gluttony and improper eating; the same self-indulgence endangered the health of Elizabeth Tudor, who at Hunsdon was too eager to partake of the good food so lavishly presented at the council of state. However, it's not easy to understand how overfeeding could have caused the fainting spell, and it's clear the cardinal was a little off in his diagnosis.

* * * * *

In 1557, Henry II sent an embassy to the States of Scotland, inviting them to send representatives to the wedding of their queen. Accordingly, envoys were sent to France, with the special duty of ensuring that Scotland's liberties were duly protected. On April 19, 1558, the formal act of betrothal took place in the great hall of the Louvre Palace, and on the following Sunday, April 24, the ambitions of the great House of Guise were satisfied by the marriage of their cousin to the Dauphin of France at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.

Mary Queen of Scotland (6)

Maria with her first husband, the Dauphin of France.

The splendor and circumstances of this spring marriage were elaborate and costly. Marie, richly adorned with jewels and dressed in the azure and silver of a field of French lilies, was escorted to the altar by King Henry and the Duke of Guise. The King and Queen of Navarre were present at this magnificent ceremony, and the splendor of the spectacle was completed by the presence of the papal legate, Cardinal fourth degree), the Cardinals of Guise, Lorraine, Bourbon, Lens, Meudon and Lenoncourt, the Bishop of Paris and all the French nobility.

The Guise family, of which this was a particular triumph, had for several years been so ambitious, grand and pretentious as to be a potential threat to the House of Valois, which nevertheless flattered and employed them.

Claude de Guise, Mary's maternal grandfather, was a brilliant and successful soldier who was dubbed the "butcher of Alsace" for his atrocities against the Protestants, although Roman Catholics regarded him as a humble, pious and charitable man. His two sons, Maria's uncles and guardians, were among the most outstanding and talented people in Europe. François, 2nd Duke of Guise, bore the titles - all of which he made famous - Duke de Joinville, Duke of Aumale, Marquis de Mayenne, Governor of the Dauphiné, Lieutenant-General of the kingdom which he held practically for many years under lazy and indifferent kings, the ruler . His defense of Metz in 1552-53 brought him almost unparalleled praise and honor, and he consolidated this brilliant success by recapturing Calais, the last English possession in France, four years later.

This popular hero had the masculine virtues of sincerity and generosity, courage and sincerity; to friends he was kind and cordial, to enemies severe and bigoted; he was a fanatical Catholic and as such feared and hated Protestants. This great prince was strict in private life, strict with others, proud, ambitious and lover of luxury; he had two sons, Henry and Louis, his first heir, the second destined for the Church, both still young but already showing that they had family skills, arrogance and lofty ambitions.

His brother Charles, Cardinal of Lorraine, who was Archbishop of Reims at the age of fourteen and became a cardinal in 1547, was Mary's direct vicar and tutor.

The priest was not as admired as the soldier - Brantôme, who flattered them both, says of the cardinal: "Il n'avait pas l'ame si pure" (like his brother). However, he was an elegant scholar, eloquent, persuasive, cunning and a brilliant diplomat. He was also a good steward of his own properties in Joinville, draining the swamps and establishing meadows and gardens. In Reims, his archbishopric, he built a university, college, seminary and monastery. His faults were timidity, suspiciousness, and perhaps cowardice. With remarkable propriety he maintained the outward observance of the faith he professed, but his private life was generally regarded as very promiscuous; one of the ugliest slanders ever leveled at Mary Stewart accused her uncle of being her lover. It was spoken by her third husband. At the time of his first marriage, the cardinal was thirty-four years old, a year younger than the Duke of Guise, with a languid, pleasant appearance, charming manners, and a fascinating speech. He was accused of being a hypocrite in religion and as false as he could be in every detail of his character. There could be no doubt of his zeal, real or perceived, for the Church of Rome; introduced the Inquisition to France and became the Grand Inquisitor.

Cardinal of Lorraine is credited with wanting to become pope. It was said of him that when he marveled and disgusted His Holiness at the greed with which he flooded cathedral after cathedral and benefice after benefice, he remarked: "I would give them all for one diocese - the diocese of Rome." But when his opportunity came after Paul IV's death in 1559, he is said to have turned it down, possibly out of embarrassment.

Claude de Guise, Mary's grandfather, was suspected of conspiracies on the crown, and there is no doubt that by this marriage their niece to the future king of France, the Guise brothers hoped, if not someone from their own family, directly to the throne, or at least to be the direct power behind the throne .

Regardless of the debate about their characteristics, there can be no debate about their intentions.

This powerful family advocated not only for their own personal development, but also for the advancement of the ancient Faith. Publicly and privately, they were promised to suppress the rise of heresy by any means necessary. While they fully shared the capricious, devious, subtle, and crafty characteristics of their contemporaries, at least both were steadfast in this—in their determination to uphold the supremacy of the Roman Church by any means necessary. At least it seems that the Duke of Guise was genuinely religious, although the Cardinal may have had a philosophical mind that transcends beliefs.

All the supporters of the Reformation, therefore, looked upon these formidable brethren with a legitimate fear and hatred, and a sort of terrifying horror which the name Guise inspired in every Protestant breast of its clinging niece and pupil.

* * * * *

The young Queen of Scotland came under the direct influence of her uncle, the Cardinal of Lorraine. This clever, subtle man must have had a considerable influence on her character. She had learned more from him than elegance, courtesy, love of learning, enthusiasm for the arts, and the dignity and sophistication of court life. She also learned a loathing and contempt for heretics and utter intolerance for all who did not belong to the old faith, a belief in the divine right of kings and in the effectiveness of all those stratagems, subterranean maneuvers, perverse intrigues and delicate deceptions then used in Europe was called Machiavellianism.

The effect of this training was shown on the occasion of the wedding of a young girl. Openly vowing to preserve her country's liberties, she agreed to a secret treaty giving Scotland to France as an appanage. In this she undoubtedly did as she was commanded and in accordance with her idea of ​​the law. It was too much of a challenge to expect a girl her age to be smart enough to see the tangled tangle she had put her hand in, betraying one nation to another. She had not been brought up with the patriotic enthusiasm, the instinctive sympathy for her people that made Queen Elizabeth so popular and successful in England. Perhaps she felt more French than Scottish. She had only a vague memory of her native land, and her mother's people had a constant influence on her. However, the fact that in her first political act she had to so completely submit to the plans of her relatives, she quite easily agreed to such a grand decision, which was the complete betrayal of her paternal heritage, and so lightly handed it over to her son, and without protest her homeland, if she was deceived by arguments her relatives (as noted by historians, certainly not among her enemies), show little of the precocious judgment and discretion with which she is credited.

* * * * *

She was either as frivolous and superficial as any other young girl, or she was already well trained in political duplicity. At any rate, she must have been intelligent enough to know that the Scottish MPs were completely misled, that their native liberties, which they had clearly come to France to protect, were being secretly given away, and that despite all these overt oaths, their presence was a lie. It was not a beautiful education in honor of a young queen, nor a beautiful example of statesmanship. Henry II proved to be a clumsy diplomat in forcing these secret treaties from his daughter-in-law, as he could never have forced such terms on Scotland without a European war he could not fulfill. The three secret papers the bride had signed were as stupid as they were mean. By the first Mary, who bequeathed Scotland to the King of France in case of death without issue. In the second, she pledged her kingdom to him until the sum of a million pounds in gold spent on her education and the defense of her empire should have been returned, and in the third document she confirmed that the other two granted her true wishes, regardless of what others inheritance activities could be performed in exceptional circumstances.

Henry II, for his part, presented the bride with a beautiful dowry in the use of the Duchy of Touraine and the Earl of Poitou and Scottish envoys, completely deceived, thinking that they had secured the honor and interests of Scotland (they had obtained formal recognition from Mary and her husband of Scotland's independence) returned to Edinburgh satisfied . Among these commissioners was Lord James Stewart, Mary's lowborn brother; cunning and crafty as he was, he had no idea of ​​the audacious deception perpetrated by Maria and her advisers.

The title of King of Scots was bestowed on the young François at the time of his marriage. He was only a few months older than his fiancée, sickly and showing no signs of ability. Mary had grown up with him and his siblings, and there was no doubt that she treated him with tenderness and affection; but that they were, as some chroniclers claim, lovers in the full sense of the word seems implausible, if not impossible. Their immaturity and frail health seem to preclude anything stronger than good-natured, semi-compassionate kindness on the part of the bride and wistful, romantic affection on the part of the groom.

* * * * *

They spent the first weeks of their marriage in Villers-Coterets near Soissons; the young husband was summoned to the Amiens camp in September.

In the Bibliothèque Nationale there is a beautiful drawing of Mary at her wedding. The charm and distinction, which was not visible in earlier drawings, is evident here. It is difficult to call her a beautiful face - her charm lies in elegance and sophistication, in the melancholic grace and gentle appearance of the breed. The Dauphine-Queen is seen waist-length, three-quarter face; she wears a part or lawn shirt introduced by the prudery of Catherine de Medici, which covers the shoulders and bust and ends in a thick frill at the neck. The tight bodice is trimmed with pearls, and there are pearls at the base of the neck again. The features of the earlier portrait are more clearly visible here: a high forehead, sleepy eyes, thick eyelids without eyelashes, a long nose, slightly arched, tightly pressed lips (lower lips slightly recessed below the upper ones), rounded chin, long oval face. Her dark hair is swept back and braided behind a jeweled crown at the back of her head. The color is dark, and the resemblance to her father is the most obvious.

The expression is hard to read, aloof and melancholic, the eyes distant, almost furtive. The drawing is traditionally attributed to "Janet" (François Clouet) or to Mary's painter, Jehan â Court. It has been copied many times, both as an image and as a thumbnail. The Book of Hours of Catherine de' Medici, now in the Louvre, contains a miniature of the young royal couple. Mary's face looks almost exactly like the picture, but bolder; François is chubby and childish, dark-haired, with a roughly modeled nose and mouth.

Pierre de Bourdeille, świeckipriestvan Brantôme, who writes his gossipy, sweet, and frivolous memoirs towards the end of his life and some time after Mary's death, describes her from memory with panegyrics, exaggerated or not, of the period. He praises her virtue, her beauty, her sweet kindness, and her gracious worldliness. He may have remembered her, he says, "in the manner of the savages of her country", piquantly emphasizing her delicate and refined charm. This barbaric costume is thought to have been some rough wool and fur dress that Mary had sent from Scotland to dress her to entertain her companions at court feasts; it could not bear any resemblance to the highland costume we know.

Brantôme also remembered her as "more pleasant, more beautiful and more desirable than ever in the rich and beautifulornamentsin the French or Spanish style, or in an Italian cap. He also praises her beautiful white hands, delicate fingers, pale skin. She says she is painted in wild Scottish dress, but no such image has ever been found.

* * * * *

Coins and medals minted to commemorate Mary Stewart's wedding show her likeness in profile. They resemble drawings from the Bibliothèque Nationale and help us reconstruct, in almost every detail, the tall, graceful, refined and serious girl who was now the Dauphin of France and Queen of Scots. Only one life—that of the sick and broken Mary Tudor—stand between her and the throne of England, at least in the eyes of the entire Roman Catholic world, which regarded Elizabeth Tudor, whose mother's marriage had never been declared illegal by anyone but heretical.

This third honor, which seemed so imminent, must have further stimulated and fueled the ambitions of the House of Guise.

* * * * *

There is little material to reconstruct Mary's life, whether as a child in France, cared for by her grandmother in a convent, or in the palaces of her uncle, the Cardinal de Guise, or when she was France's Dauphin. he became a resident in royal palaces. Accounts describing her indulging in various exotic pleasures and frivolous games seem too colorful. More likely, her life was solemn, austere, and often dull. Most of her time had to be spent learning lessons and feats, and training in the tedious etiquette routine that wearied all members of the French royal family.

We don't know if she had great affection for her grandmother or her uncles. She had playmates in the Valois children, one of whom was now her husband, and she had many admirers who, above all, like Pierre Ronsard, who had been her father's page during his marriage to Marie de Guise, treated her with solemn and distant admiration, which could add little to the sum of her personal happiness.

Her entertainment seems to have been more intellectual, as was the fashion among highborn ladies. She liked music and had some skill in this art. Probably among the instruments she played were lute, gamba and spinet. She could write poetry, knew the dignified steps of complicated court dances, sang, loved embroidery, in which she was very talented, and liked expensive and sumptuous clothes.

It must have seemed that such a princess, of such tact, sophistication, and charm, accompanied by such endearing manners and highly trained politeness, would soon rule indisputably at court, where these gifts and qualities were most prized and extolled. Foreign wars or internal battles could only faintly echo in the beautiful palaces where Mary lived; even of the immense power of the Reformation, which was slowly growing in strength despite the most severe persecution, she could know little; she had only to hear of "rebels and heretics" who could be defeated and would soon be defeated and completely exterminated. She probably did not give much thought to the matter, although she may have been disturbed by reports from Scotland of her mother's long struggles with feuding nobles who had largely turned to Protestantism.

* * * * *

Mary Stewart's life as a married princess of France was indescribably rich and lavish, in the full bloom of a decadent civilization. Regardless of the injustice and suffering, poverty and despair of people in this or other lands, the princes lived in all the happiness that life has to offer. Everything that made up this delightful existence, from the heavy structures of brick and carved stone to the smallest vessel of cut crystal or agate, was formal, opulent, ornate, exquisitely crafted with loving labor and patient hands. There was hardly an inch of rooms or furniture that wasn't covered in carvings, paintings, gilding, which were often overwhelmingly heavy and studded with so much detail. Tapestries and embroidery, beautiful panels, colored glass and glitter added many beautiful details to the already lavishly decorated apartments. The colors were hard and rough, there were no halftones; gold and silver were used freely; clothes and furniture were covered with intricate decoration.

The windows were high, but with deep mullions and heavy curtains; sunlight was kept out as much as possible, and rich, massive rooms looked best in the light of crystal lamps and wax candles.

The gardens were also formal and grand, and as little resemblance to nature as possible. The beds, sparsely overgrown with flowers, stood and were protected by mud fences; straight paths were sanded, often rigid trellises, short-cut hedges, fences were used; the geometric garden of knots aroused much admiration. Pergolas, gazebos, all kinds of luxurious shelters from the sun and rain were used a lot. There weren't many flowers—lily, rose, pansy, primrose, marigold, carnation, daffodil, and daffodil would almost complete the list of those that Mary Stewart could find in her French pleasures, and these were prized more for their perfumes, salads, and medicinal properties than for its decorative value. Few of them, as John Gerard wrote much later in his "Herbs", were valued simply as "a bouquet for the bosom of the fair". Many years passed before beautiful women were dyed with their own shoulder-length hair trimmed with a single rose; there is no flower in any of the portraits of Mary.

Fashionable at that time, stiff and bulky clothes tore the human figure out of all natural forms. Tight bodies, often interleaved with buckram or stiffened with steel, flattened and suppressed the trunk to the shape of a kite; the curve of the arms was hidden by stiff, cut patterned sleeves, the movement of the legs was hidden by monstrous aprons or tightly pleated skirts, veils and bedspreads, the graceful curve of the neck and bust was hidden by frills and partings, and the whole figure was additionally masked, too often, by a huge veil or cloak. In some cases, the costume became extremely fabulous, with the designs of various brocades and embroideries in the fabric clashed with the heavily embedded jewels of which far too much was worn.

The hair was inappropriately combed back from a high forehead - which seems to be greatly admired - was dyed, frizzy and often hidden under a wig. of that period to be a pale, almost emaciated type, with a white iris or bud-like privet beauty. Oblong, oval, colorless faces, fine features, no eyebrows or eyelashes (the latter perhaps plucked or shaved), hair as much as possible hidden, lips thin, fingers long and pale.

[* Wigs were part of Maria's wardrobe from the earliest years of her reign.]

This kind of pale and exaggeratedly refined beauty, airy or anemic depending on the mood of the beholder, was piquantly accentuated by the gross exaggeration, the splendor of flashy dresses.

Men's attire was equally fabulous and inappropriate. The French bachelors, who delighted in honoring the bride of their future king, dressed remarkably in this style, which, originating in Italy, was exaggerated in Paris, from where it established fashion throughout Europe. Padded, ribbed, quilted doublets, short, puffy, tailored breeches, stiff cloaks made of braid and embroidery, braided flounces of lace or cambric, stiffly framing the face, throwing back the body disproportionately to the cropped head and legs, half-covered - thigh with a tube, which fits as tightly as possible. Heavy, fabulous jewelry, sometimes damask and gilded or bluish armor, embroidered belt and baldrick, gold chains, brooches, sashes, labels and all kinds of points, further refined this sumptuous and grotesque outfit. Completing the unpleasant effect was either a small bonnet worn on one side of a shaven head and adorned with a feather and brooch or jeweled necklace, or, even more fantastically, a top hat of crinkled velvet that also covered one ear. he was beaten. with a small feather on top; wigs, flat crowns of artificial hair were worn, men used paints, perfumes and all kinds of toiletries.

The effect of this costume was a caricature of the human figure. Thisbaroquesplendor and circumstance left little masculine strength, beauty and grace even to the young and handsome, but all the charm is in habit, and these beauties and gallantry of the French Renaissance did not mind finding one with the other. A few bitter satirists and staunch Puritans have been left to make those usual remarks about the follies of the day, which are always ignored by those who commit them.

Regardless of the lack of knowledge and hygiene, medicines and principles of true purity, disorder and dirt in the lives of ordinary people, these great ones lived wonderfully. There were baths and baths, there were perfumes and ointments, there were soaps and creams for hands and skin, there were, as always, elaborate devices for the so-called beautification of every part of the human person.

* * * * *

The most ordinary vessels belonging to the great ones were made of rare and precious materials - gold and silver, agate, crystal, enamel, stamped, carved and studded with jewels.

The ceremonies of the Roman Catholic Church were as splendid as the everyday life of the nobility. Cardinals, bishops, priests and their retinue were a glorious part of the splendor of the court. Every day Mary saw her religion not only humiliated by humble people but also exalted by the magnificence of the king and the nobility. Everything was heavy, rich, formal, sophisticated, artificial.

Pierre Ronsard (who found his Egeria in Mary) and the Pleiades deliberately set out to create a literature that would honor this fragile and wonderful world. Anagram, conceit, riddles, encryption, hidden meanings, jokes and puns were all in vogue and intensely admired. The knights' slogans remained. Men wore women's favors in caps or on their chests; there were still tournaments, tilts and prizes for winners. Novels about the exploits of knights in rescuing ladies continued to be read by even the most cynical. The wealth of classical knowledge brought from Italy when it flourished in France and soon bore fruit in England was incorporated into the heritage of the aristocrats. Familiar allusions to the Greek fairy tale and the Roman deity were placed alongside appeals to the Christian faith and symbols. The voluptuous figures of Venus, the rugged features of Mars, and the rosy charms of Cupid and Adonis were trusted in photographs, sculptures, engravings, ceramics, cameos, and jewelry. Side by side stood macabre and popular symbols of mortality; one of the gifts from François de Valois to his fiancée was a fashionable skull watch.

* * * * *

Mary, Queen of Scots, seemed a fitting queen and goddess for such a world. She was born in it, trained in it; she ascended, as was right, to the steps of the throne of the most developed kingdom in Europe.

At first glance, it would seem that she could be a huge success. She had behind her the great Guise family and the prestige of the North Kingdom that her mother had fought for her and had given her young husband as a splendid wedding present, and the even greater prestige of the second realm she could continue to offer after Mary Tudor's death. She also won the sympathy and kindness of her father-in-law, the King of France, and seems to have inspired no envy or repugnance from anyone more powerful than the King of France, Diane de Poictiers, who had been his mistress since she was a forty-year-old woman and he was an eighteen-year-old boy.

It was this lady, cold, brilliant, cultured, patron of art and literature, who captured the spirit of time and place in the impeccable elegance of her person.

We do not know how much the young queen came into contact with a powerful mistress. We know that Diana spoke highly of her beauty and discretion (the latter quality was highly appreciated by Diane de Poictiers, who was the Duchess of Valentinois for several years). Antoinette de Bourbon's careful behavior could hide even from a young girl Diane de Poictiers' position at court, where she was uncrowned queen. But it is more likely that Mary sensed and approved of the position of this woman who, at nearly sixty years of age, was the unquestioned arbiter of taste, fashion, and manner, and who had, and had so long held, such complete influence over the king. . This royal favorite has never taken offense like some of her predecessors and successors in office. She was so careful in her demeanor, so cultured and polite, as if she were really the Queen of France. She even boldly adopted the symbolism suggested by "Diane" - her emblem was a crescent moon. This and the intertwining numbers "D" and "H" for her own name and that of her royal lover appear again and again, coolly and emphatically, among the fantastic decorations of the royal chambers.

This curious woman, whose intellect rather than sensual beauty seemed to satisfy a position that satisfied boundless pride, remains immortal in Jean Goujon's beautiful statue "Diane Chasseresse", which was designed for the fountain in the courtyard of her castle in Anet. Long, smooth limbs, a gentle face mask with fine, precise features, an impenetrable expression and a magnificent crown of piled-up curls studded with pearls represent the ideal woman of the French Renaissance - the one with white limbs, fair hair, straight features and unblinking eyes that can still be seen on Bronzino's canvases that adorned the galleries of the Dukes of Valois.

There was a lot of this controlled elegance, this quiet grace, this cold sophistication in the youthful Mary Stewart. Diane de Poictiers may have greatly admired her and decided to protect her, and perhaps intended to continue her influence through the young queen when her husband ascended the throne. Diane de Poictiers, even at the age of sixty, had done nothing with the world and might have thought she would outlive her royal lover.

* * * * *

At the French court, however, there was another personage who had hitherto been obscured and eclipsed, and was not very highly esteemed by anyone, but who was to defeat not only Maria, but also the great House of Disguise. She was the mother-in-law of the young queen, Catherine de' Medici, the neglected wife of Henry II, despised for being of noble but not royal origin, for having the blood of merchants and usurers, and quite not only in the shadow of her husband's heart, but also in the eyes of the court and nobility through Diane de Poictiers. The fate of a young Italian woman, married in her tenderest youth, was more difficult than that of most foreign queens at a foreign court. Orphaned at an early age, she was raised by those Medici who became Pope Clement VII. Her personal charms were modest, her manners stern and prudish; she was an eminent patron of the arts and literature, and to some extent inherited the taste of her famous house, but in this area as in others, she was no match for Diana de Poictiers. Both as Dauphine of France under Francis I and as Queen of France when her husband ascended the throne, she was largely ignored, her extraordinary abilities went undiscovered, and her fervent enthusiasm for political intrigue was used only discreetly. and secretly. No one seems to have noticed anything alluring or sinister about this silent figure in the background who gave birth to seven children from an unhappy marriage, all but two of whom would wear crowns.

It is likely that from the moment she landed in France, this Italian queen disliked little Mary Stewart, not for personal reasons, but because she was a protégé and, as Catherine could guess, an instrument of the House of Guise, whom the bright Italian saw as a potential threat to House of Valois.

Mary Stewart is said to have kindled the Florentines' hatred of her by remarking that while she, Mary Stewart, was of royal lineage, Catherine de' Medici was merely a descendant of merchants.

This anecdote may not be true; this does not seem to corroborate the stories of Mary Stewart's discretion and courtesy at this age. Even if true, it is more likely that Mary's political importance, rather than the girl's casual remark, annoyed Catherine.

Be that as it may, the general consensus is that there was considerable antipathy between the two queens, that the elder did what she could—and no doubt considerable—to make the life of her son's wife unpleasant. Catherine, during her long annihilation by Diane de Poictiers, nevertheless managed to indulge some of her innate talents for intrigue. She seemed to support the House of Guise, no doubt to deceive them with appearances of friendship and trust, and secretly encouraged the Huguenots, who were their most dangerous enemies.

She must have longed for power and the opportunity to show those gifts and strength of character that she was so aware of and had been forced to hide under false patience for so long. Therefore, she could not look with equanimity at the future accession of Mary Stewart to her husband's throne, knowing that it would mean the de facto rule of the House of Guise and completely pushing her into the background.

* * * * *

Over the next two years, death significantly changed the position of both queens. In November 1558, Mary Stewart married, Mary Tudor died. Her sister, Elizabeth, who had spent so much of her childhood despised and neglected, in prison and in agony, was proclaimed Queen of England. This event alarmed and shocked Roman Catholic Europe. In the eyes of every follower of the ancient faith, the divorce of Catherine of Aragon was invalid, the marriage of Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII was a farce, Elizabeth Tudor was illegitimate, and the true heir to the thrones of England and Ireland was Mary Stewart, Dauphin of France and Queen of Scotland.

Without hesitation, probably guided by her own instinct and the advice of relatives and the king of France, Mary and her husband adopted the arms and badges of the king and queen of England and Ireland. The act was violent and thoughtless, it was impolite for de Guise or de Valois to make such a claim, unless they were prepared to back it up by force of arms and would not, even if they were willing to do so. . No doubt this was due to Guise's strong dislike of heretics and hereditary French jealousy of England; this was in direct opposition to what was to become the policy of Catherine de' Medici, who offered her sons' hands in marriage, one by one, to the same heretical queen whose birthright was thus publicly repudiated by the French court.

Here again, as with the secret betrayal of her country, Mary was not acting with that precocious wisdom her admirers would have us believe she possesses. Elizabeth Tudor may have been just a name to her - a bastard and a heretic, and as such, she was neither respected nor feared, but her judgment might have shown her how difficult it would be to live up to any claim to the throne. England, climbed by Elizabeth Tudor with the full consent of the joyful people, most of whom joined the reformed religion. Nor had any innate prudence warned her of the consequences of this public insult to the monarch of a neighboring kingdom--an insult not only to the sovereign, but to all the people of England. We do not know whether she sincerely hoped to overthrow Elizabeth, or whether it was just a cheerful gesture on her part. On the surface, it seems that she dismembered the English arms without hesitation, and had her men and her husband wear the livery of the English ruler without hesitation.

Elizabeth Tudor was deeply and forever resentful, with tragic consequences for Mary Stewart.

* * * * *

In July of the following year, 1559, there was great rejoicing in Paris, as a double marriage was arranged to celebrate the Treaty of Cateau-Cambresis, which left France in possession of Calais and her Lorraine acquisitions, but most of her possessions. achievements of the previous government. However, the treaty was not entirely unfavorable to France, given the defeat of the Battle of St. Quentin in 1554 and the thwarting of the efforts of François de Guise and De Brissac in Italy by General Alvy.

Both marriages were between Henry's daughter, Elizabeth of Valois, and Philip II of Spain, and between Philip's sister, Margaret, and the Duke of Savoy.

The formal rejoicings of the occasion were to have more astonishing political consequences than those that followed either of the two marriages, for Henry II, an artificial gallant knight, showed his prowess at tournaments when the spear shaft of his adversary, Constable de Montmorenci, caught his eye. .

He died within a few days. He was forty years old and healthy, and his death was, of course, completely unexpected. After only two years of marriage, Mary Stewart became Queen Consort of France and Scotland and, in the view of Roman Catholic Europe, titular Queen of England and Ireland.

* * * * *

This unexpected event unexpectedly seemed to put Guise at the height of their hopes. This mighty prince and this mighty priest stood just behind the throne where sat their young niece, thrice queen.

The position at court was instantly changed by the withdrawal of the dazzling favorite who had reigned so long and so securely in Anet's beautiful solitude, by the emergence from the oblivion and neglect of the dowager queen, Catherine de' Medici, who stood face to face with the Cardinal of Lorraine and the Duke of Guise, with between them only a throne on which sat a sickly boy; The Guises ruled the country, the priest the church, the soldier the state.

The health of the young King Francis II must have been of concern to these ambitious princes from the beginning. All of Catherine de' Medici's male children were gentle; they seem to have suffered, as far as can now be ascertained, from some degenerative disease for which Francis I may have been responsible. The two eldest sons, François and Charles, suffered complications from illnesses, various manifestations of tuberculosis and rickets, and the remarkable Valois family died out with the death of Henry III.

Mary Stewart's young husband languished from early childhood; Mary was more of a nurse to him than a wife during their brief married life. His constant illness must have kept her away from courtly formalities, gave her life an austere and melancholy tinge, and forced her to make sacrifices and sacrifices that were not natural in her youth and character, for she was made for joy and action.

We have few details about Mary's life as Queen of France. It must have been almost entirely spent dealing with the prodigal boy, in wrestling, cold and kind on the surface, but passionate and bitter on the inside, with his mother-in-law, accompanied by her uncles Guise and Lorraine and including his grandmother, listening to their advice and exhortations. No doubt she enjoyed the magnificence of her position; she was lively and hardworking, ambitious and proud in the best sense of the word. It is very likely that she enjoyed being Queen of France, that, all feelings aside, she hoped her husband would be alive to continue to honor her. She must have thought a lot about her northern kingdom with care. Many Scottish nobles, including her half-brother Lord James Stewart, came and went from the French court. She must have been in close contact through her mother with the various upheavals caused by the dual conflict between the two religions, the nobility and the crown power in her native land, but we don't know if she always intended to rule her homeland, land by power of attorney and live permanently in France, regardless whether she ever intended to visit Scotland, or whether she expected the Scots to passively adopt a position of appanage to the Crown of France.

Whatever Mary, or rather her advisors, the Guise Princes, might have thought of whiskey and the situation in England, it was such that any prudent supporter of the Stewarts and the Pope stopped short.

* * * * *

When Elizabeth Tudor first ascended the throne, she did not embrace the teachings of the Reformation with the fervor Protestants had hoped for; she was still listening to mass in her private chapel and enjoying the situation as usual. But on April 29, 1559, the law legalizing the Reformation came into effect, and as the able and zealous Spanish ambassador, Alvero Quadra, Bishop of Aquila, bitterly noted: "Yesterday the sacrament was taken from the palace chapel" and "the heretics of our time have never been so corrupt children of the devil as these." .

From that date, Elizabeth was finally sworn to the Protestants, rejecting the hand of Philip II, and openly and diametrically opposed the Catholicism so fiercely defended by the House of Guise and the claims of their niece, the Queen of Scotland.

Elizabeth's prime minister was Sir William Cecil, a statesman equal to anyone in Europe; his task of preserving the independence and freedom of England was extremely difficult. He and Elizabeth's other able advisers and agents had unscrupulously employed every means of direct and indirect deceit, duplicity, cunning, and treachery for their purposes; The Queen assists them in the most questionable turns of their terrifying politics. Since these practices, as well as secret killings and judicial killings, were used as political weapons throughout Europe, there is no need to justify the behavior of Elizabeth and her advisers; they just played the same game as their opponents; if they changed their ways, were open, honorable, sincere, truthful, firm in their promises, and became above average in all their actions, it would mean chasing defeat and leaving England "at the proud feet of the conqueror".

In the early years of her reign, Elizabeth was distant; the country was poor, with no more than four million inhabitants, surrounded by enemies, and the religion adopted by most English people feared extinction. Indeed, many of Europe's powerful monarchs, such as Philip II and the Guise brothers, set out to exterminate Protestantism; The English had to fear not only the loss of their temporary freedom, but also the most ruthless persecution of their chosen faith. Elizabeth's slow, intricate, cunning, and surprising policy was the only effective means of delaying a foreign war until the opposing powers, France and Spain, had weakened each other and each other, until an English navy had been built and a strong national spirit, more powerful even than money or numbers, inspired and nurtured.

* * * * *

The situation was cruelly complicated by the question of succession. In both England and Scotland, a young woman was the last of the direct royal line; if Elizabeth died without heirs, would Mary Stewart and her Roman Catholic husband succeed in annexing Scotland and England to France? Had Mary died without heirs, would Elizabeth have conquered Scotland from the Hamilton and Lennox factions who had taken over the claim from Henry VIII's sister Margaret? There was also Lady Catherine Grey, who, by Henry VIII's will, was next in line to Elizabeth, and who secretly married Lord Hertford, the eldest son of the ambitious Duke of Somerset.

Adding to the anguish with which these questions perplexed European politicians was the questionable health of the two queens. Already the envoys spying on Elizabeth and bribing her wives into revealing her most intimate affairs were already making it clear to their masters that the Queen was "not like other women" (as Lady Lennox and Lady Shrewsbury would later inform Queen Mary), and although Sir William Cecil begged the lady "to find a father for her children", it was rumored that she could not produce offspring. On the other hand, during her reign, several people were sent to the Tower for stating that she secretly had children, and there are those who today believe that she was a mother several times, whether through a hidden marriage or secret love affair.

Elizabeth kept her secret and managed to stun everyone. Whether she was a wife, maid or adventurer, her policy of postponing marriage from year to year and finally not getting married served the nation well. All the princes of Europe who could be considered eligible in any way were offered to her, and she "yes and no" with them indefinitely. Her personal attitude was ambiguous and very irritating to foreign MPs. She "hated the married state", "loved the state she was in", "would like to be a nun in a cell", dreamed that the "virgin queen" could sit on her grave and be engraved. She also had practical reservations about her invisible suitors, "his trash," as De Quadra bitterly called them. She would not have married "on the faith of portraitists" or "a worthy man whom she saw and talked to." She didn't want "a husband who stayed home all day in the heat," but it was clear that she would not tolerate any rival for her power.

In short, De Quadra found "this wayward woman" impossible to understand and "possessed by a hundred thousand devils." Whatever Elizabeth's game, if it was based on politics, patriotism, pride, pre-attachment, physical disability, sheer whim, played it with a cunning that amazed and tormented all Europe, aided by perfect statesmen such as Cecil, Walsingham and Throckmorton, men who, whatever their codes were for others, were unconditionally loyal to her and the ideals she stood for.

* * * * *

When Mary Stewart ascended the throne of France, Elizabeth was twenty-eight years old and enjoying a splendor that made up for her years of imprisonment, poverty, and erasure. The emissary from Mantua, Il Schifanoya, in a message to his master, described a celebration at Whitehall, where the queen, with false courtesy masking her hatred, received the French ambassadors who had come to obtain from her the ratification of the Treaty of Cateau-Cambresis to undertake. The palace was hung with "excellent tapestries" and gold and silver brocade, "the entire cloisters were girdled with wreaths of fresh flowers and leaves with the most beautiful patterns". The queen appeared in purple, with lots of jewels that "added a lot to her beauty". She then walked through the orchard, speaking in Latin, Italian, and French "in a loud voice for all to hear." The banquet that followed was as lavish as that of Mary Stewart's wedding; there were "precious and precious chalices of gold and rock crystal and other jewels", there were doors made entirely of living roses and leaves, there were courtiers in full costumes "with the collar of St. Michał, all in a pompous arrangement”, and there was a feast “great for large and protruding joints”. However, the fussy Mantuan adds that it lacked "the delicacy and purity typical of Italy".

* * * * *

It is easy to recreate the likeness of Queen Elizabeth during this period when Mary Stewart began to show off her recognized beauty. The daughter of the charming Anne Bullen, she was pale, frail as the pale glow of the moonshine that was the symbol of Cynthia, one of her poetic names, with striking features of unusual delicacy preserved by lily and elderberry petals, red-gold hair visible between curly curls, while a narrow her white breasts were exposed, in the fashion of unmarried women in England, below a bony, ribbed collar that covered her throat, and above a corset full of heavy jewelry. The rest of the figures were dressed in clumsy, stiff splendour, revealing only pale, delicate hands and tiny feet.

To complete the portrait of this strange woman, who by her temperament, grace, wildness, fiery spirit, courage and skill identified herself with the whole nation, as few monarchs managed to do so, it should be added that when she began to actively interfere in the affairs of Mary Stewart, even by flirting with marriage proposals from princes wishing to rule or annex England in her name, she caused no small scandal by her outspoken favor for the common man and the married man.

He was the younger son of the Duke of Northumberland, Lord Robert Dudley, about the Queen's age; he was a prisoner in the Tower while she was there, though it is unknown if they met in common misfortune. It is not clear why this valiant one appealed to Elizabeth, his arts and graces were of a kind which would not survive mortality; he was neither a good soldier, nor a sensible politician, nor gifted beyond his rank, nor possessed any perfect qualities of head or heart. His morals were no better than those of his neighbor, and his portraits, which show him stiffly dressed in the baroque splendor of the era, do not represent particularly good looks.

The queen, however, took great pleasure in his company; whether he touched her heart, senses, or mind, whether she felt passion for him, attachment, or perhaps some fantastic whim, we do not know, but there is no doubt that she openly compromised herself for him by making her name, where she was so afraid that it should appear above the "maiden" on her tomb, synonymous with European courts.

Her relationship with Dudley was so widely discussed abroad that her envoy to the imperial court, the astute, discreet and loyal Sir Thomas Chaloner, sent a protest and warning on the matter to Cecil - "people have big mouths" - "I count calumnies very false, but the young princess must not be too careful.

However, Elizabeth was far from cautious; she counted neither on prudence nor on Lady Dudley, the unkempt woman who was Amy Robsart, who never appeared at court but lived ignored at Cumnor Hall. The ugly situation was accentuated by Thomas Howard, the fourth Duke of Norfolk and the Prime Minister of England Peer, with a shameless favorite.

The Scottish Queen of France must have heard all these rumors, and no doubt discussed them with her husband and uncles with amusement and contempt. Sinister rumors that Lady Dudley was ill and might die soon circulated abroad and many believed that in the event that Elizabeth would marry a widower.

* * * * *

Mary Stewart had other things on her mind than neighbor Queen's scandals; news from Scotland has always been disturbing. Marie of Guise returned to find the Lords of the Congregation, as the leaders of the reformed party called themselves, in power. Although suffering from dropsy ("my legs are as soft as butter", she wrote) and exhausted by fatigue, disappointment and sadness, Maria de Guise, with the help of a few faithful, enforced the law on her daughter. She appealed, and not in vain, for French help, and the lords on the other side begged and secretly obtained help from Elizabeth. The Queen of England, however, would not tolerate one of their most active agents, John Knox, who had returned to Scotland to use all means of his fearless eloquence, ardent fanaticism, and sincere bigoted convictions to arouse popular anger against the Romans. Catholics. . Try to explain his words as he would, Queen Elizabeth would not want anyone from the author of "First Blow of the Trumpet Against a Monstrous Regiment of Women"; it was almost as repugnant to her as it was to Queen Mary. Most of the lords, including Lord James Stewart, Mary's half-brother, who as "Commandant of St. Andrew' kept the proceeds of the church and became dangerously rich from the church's spoils, or served Elizabeth or worked in her interest in the hope of future benefits.

* * * * *

Shortly before the accession of Mary's husband to the throne of France, an important puppet was put at Elizabeth's disposal, which she willingly used to meddle in Scottish affairs. He was James Hamilton, Earl of Arran, Scotland's first Prince of the Blood (after his father, the Duke of Châtelherault and former Regent) and Mary's heir presumptive.

This position was important because if there was any doubt about Elizabeth's ability to bear children, Mary's health was not considered to be good; she suffered from fainting spells, suspected by some of epilepsy, and there was little chance that her marriage to an immature, ailing young man would take place. Henry VIII once unsuccessfully offered the hand of Elizabeth's child to James Hamilton; Arran regretted this missed opportunity, seeing himself as the happy suitor of a Protestant queen whose union with him would solidify their joint claim to England and Scotland. Lennox's claims were not as reasonable as Arrana's, and the heiress presumptive of England was Lady Catherine Grey, recently disgraced by a secret marriage which Elizabeth had refused to recognize as valid. Arran was a Protestant supported by the lords in rebellion against Mary of Guise and seemed to have a good chance. Fleeing his father's estates in France (he was appointed Captain of Francis II's Guards, a position always held by a Scottish duke or great Scottish nobleman) and evading the vigilance of the Guises, who were wary of their inclinations, the young Earl, disguised and under an assumed name, was smuggled into England and placed in one of the royal palaces. Cecil had approved of his marriage to Elizabeth, but this lady, though received him with encouraging kindness, was not moved by him or his eagerness to disappoint the fascinating Dudley. However, she no doubt lured him with false promises of future favours, and, full of fire for her service, sent him to Scotland, where he was a valuable cause of mischief for the restless Mary of Guise.

* * * * *

This Arran affair was a source of great disappointment to the Guise brothers, de facto rulers of France, and must have deeply distressed Mary, who had followed her mother's struggles in Edinburgh with such fervent fear and hope. She was already beginning to sense the fierce anger and implacable mistrust she had inspired in Harry Tudor's daughter by her thoughtless reception of the Royal Army of England, by that arrogant mistake of her father-in-law's which had led her to make a claim which, though fair in the eyes of most Europeans, is untenable. Elizabeth's hand was suspected, perhaps rightly so, in the Protestant conspiracy known as the Amboise tumult directed against the House of Guise and immediately and horribly suppressed by them. We do not know how Mary felt about this bloody and terrible episode of her brief reign as Queen of France; she, like many women by nature, cheerful and gentle, easy and pathetic, had to learn to endure the cruelty, violence and cruelty of the men around her, she learned perhaps to approve of them, perhaps to become indifferent, perhaps, indeed, she could learn to treat them them as necessary tools of politics, so that from time to time even a woman could bring herself to use them and be forgiven.

* * * * *

Around this time, the beautiful young queen of France was bound to meet someone who would play no small part in her future life. Among the nobles sent by Mary of Guise to represent her desperate cause before her relatives were James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell, a powerful noble of the Borders who, though Protestant, was a brilliant and loyal servant to the Queen Regent, who had shown herself in fighting the English. and gentlemen. He was probably trained in France and united with the reckless courage and brash arrogance of the Scots, the noble art and craftsmanship of the French.edelmanHis moral character was not good; an elegant gentleman in appearance, capable of all rascals, a gambler, a seducer of women, a creature without pity or scruples, probably enslaved, although it is not certain, for these vices even an immoral term shameful. He loved poetry and music, dancing and costumes, a beautiful show, he lived fast and was not afraid of anything. At the time of his visit to France, this great fireman was about twenty years old. he was four years old, he had already married or "engaged" with Scotswoman Jane Beaton, niece of Cardinal Beaton, whom he had left and had just left Anne Throndssön, a Danish lady of wealth whom he had met in Denmark on his way to France and whom he had won by the promise of marriage. Bothwell had, as the supporters of Sir William Pickering enthusiastically said when introducing this brave rival to Dudley in admiration of Queen Elizabeth, "was exceptionally successful with women. “He combined the charm of a brutal man of action with the charm of a courtier and the passion of a passionate lover; he had an impressive stature of power and command, for in Liddesdale and Lothian he ruled like a prince.

* * * * *

Bothwell's grandfather, Lord Patrick Hepburn, was created Earl of Bothwell (or "Erle Boithwille" in the modern style) in 1481. He also received from James IV the office of Lord High Admiral of Scotland and other dignities that went to his grandson. It is therefore a mistake to say, as many writers have done, that the fourth earl, James Hepburn, later Duke of Orkney, received considerable honors from Queen Mary.

Bothwell Castle, the finest structure of its kind in the south of Scotland, still stands, an imposing ruin on the banks of the Clyde, thickly wooded here and known in the melancholy twilight of ballads and legends as 'Bothwell Bank'. The song "Bothwell Bank, you bloomest fair" spread throughout Europe in the 16th century.

The second Earl of Bothwell, Adam Hepburn, was killed in the bloody confusion at Flodden Field; his son Patrick, "a handsome earl", was also described by contemporaries as "the most vain and insolent man in the world, full of pride and madness" (Sir Ralph Sadler). He married Agnes, daughter of the haughty Norman house of Sinclair, whom he divorced in 1543. This lady, known as the Lady of Morham, bore her husband two children – James, the fourth Earl, and Jane, who married the Queen's half-brother in 1562, Lord John Stewart, Prior of Coldringham, son of James IV and Margaret Erskine, Lady of Lochleven. The grandfather of the 1st Earl of Bothwell, Lord Patrick Hepburn of Hales, courted in vain the beautiful Jane Beaufort, widow of James I and heroine of The King's Quair, and his son, father of the 1st Earl, courted in vain for Mary van Guelders, widow of Jacob II.

It is therefore noteworthy that the third earl stated in the surviving writings that Mary of Guise gave him written assurances twice that she would become his wife, and that before his divorce. Thus the father's story vaguely foreshadows that of his son, and Mary Stewart's third husband turns out to be the fourth of his house casting ambitious eyes on the widowed Queen of Scots, though Mary was queen regnant, not queen dowager. This mention of Marie of Guise belies her reputation for impeccable discretion and may be taken somewhat as confirmation of the hideous accusations made against the Princess of Lorraine by John Knox - that she was the mistress of Cardinal Beaton and probably had other lovers. . But the energetic reformer could hardly be considered common sense when dealing with these "poor, stupid Jezebels," as he called all Roman Catholic ladies, and his testimony is not worth much.

The fourth Earl of Bothwell was educated at Spynie Castle, near Elgin, by his uncle, Patrick Hepburn, Bishop of Moray. We only have evidence from George Buchanan that the boy was raised in an atmosphere of vice by a debauched prelate at Spyniech - unfortunately most of the information about Bothwell comes from his enemies. At least young James Hepburn grew up cultured and even educated at a time when many, even of his rank, could not write their names. There are two examples from his library; each has its fine ex libris with crest with supporters, crown, helmet, crest, cloak and the motto 'Kiip Trest' (Keep your trust), all bound in a ribbon with the Latin veneration of the Earl as Lord High Admiral and Bailiff of Crichton and Liddesdale. Both books are in French; one of these is a treatise on military affairs by Robert Valturin (1555), accompanied by a translation of the works of the classics on the same subject. The second is a mathematical work by two authors (1538).

Entering the earldom at the age of nineteen or twenty (the exact date of his birth seems doubtful), James Hepburn was one of the most powerful nobles in Scotland; he held two forts, Hales and Crichton as well as Bothwell, and was appointed Keeper of Hermitage Castle, a stern defense of the wild and lonely southern frontiers or Marches, and Lieutenant General of the Frontier – a post of vital importance in view of the political situation in relation to England.

In a letter to the Bishop of Dunblane, Queen Mary later proudly referred to these early honours—"despite his young age, he was chosen the most suitable of all our nobility to be our lieutenant on the frontiers, with all leadership both to defend as if to attack."

Neither the warlike youth was withdrawn in this "attack"; in 1558, acting on behalf of regent Maria de Guise, he made an expedition to England, which he tells himself (in French). "I have caused irreparable damage to the border and to those who live there."

With the two exceptions of the Hamiltons and the Lennoxes Stewarts, each of whom could claim the crown, Bothwell had no superior among the Scottish nobility, and his position could be described as almost that of a duke. His mother outlived him, and as she left everything she possessed to his only offspring, an illegitimate son whose mother is unknown, it can be assumed that she sympathized with his wild fate and took pity on his terrible death.

* * * * *

Mary may have known this attractive gentleman before 1560, he may even have belonged to her house in Joinville; in any case, it is very likely that she accepted him on this occasion, since this Protestant ("rude and wickedest thought") was not only her mother's recklessly loyal servant, but earned it from Mary in a different way that counts. He was the hero of two feats that might have appealed to a young romantic princess who admired courage above all other masculine qualities. He accused the adventurous Arran of being a traitor and an instigator of rebellion (which he was), and challenged him, albeit in vain, to single-handed combat in the old knightly manner. As Lieutenant-General of the Frontier, he also made a vigorous expedition to England and, more importantly, captured Cockburn of Ormiston, who was secretly transferring English gold to pressured lords. Not only was this money extremely useful to the Queen Regent, but the loot revealed as true what had previously been mere suspicion, namely that Elizabeth was aiding the Lords and the Arrans. In vain did the English queen complain and deny this obvious fact; Bothwell's daring feat gave Mary Stewart another reason to fear and mistrust Elizabeth Tudor.

Bothwell's Crichton Castle, "his principal home" in Midlothian, had been plundered and his properties sold in retaliation for the acquisition of English gold, and thus served not only as the one that served Mary of Guise, but as the one that captured. suffered for her that the young earl stood before the Scottish queen of France. There is no reason to believe that she did not receive him with innocent and generous pleasure, and introduced him to her husband as a faithful and valued servant of the House of Stewart, nor any reason to believe that she knew anything about Jane Beaton or Anne. Throndssön or heard whispers of the ugliest faults of a soldier.

* * * * *

Matters in Scotland collapsed as Mary Stewart watched from Paris, powerless to intervene except to plead with the Guise brothers for help and to encourage such spirited captains as Bothwell. Elizabeth threw off her mask, declared war on Scotland in a manifesto that was a brutal diatribe against the House of Guise (March 1560) and sent an army across the border and a fleet to besiege Leith. The dying Mary of Guise, distant but fearless, took refuge in Edinburgh Castle, and Mary Stewart, hearing this news, broke down and refused all comfort, became sick from crying and had to go to bed.

But luck once favored the Scottish queen. The English were driven back before Leith (May 1560), much to Elizabeth's anger, and the Duke of Norfolk's military expedition was not much success.

This was compensated by the death of Maria de Guise, the only person who fully loyally defended the integrity of the Stewart heritage. No misfortune, pain or sickness, weariness or sorrow, could extinguish the calm courage of this daughter of the great house of Lorraine. When she died of dropsy in Edinburgh, exhausted by the constant torment of her impossible position, she had performed a noble thankless task, a distasteful duty magnanimously fulfilled. Even those ruthless aristocrats who had fought so hard against her power were moved by her heartbreaking death and the way she implored them with almost last words to return to their loyalty to House Stewart and forgiveness for "what she did wrong."

But the rebellious lords, though so moved by the noble words of Mary of Guise, did not hesitate to impose on her the presence of a Protestant minister, one John Willock, whose office the dying princess tactfully brought to the end. received.

The young queen of France had not seen her mother for many years; but she was deeply moved by this grief, "going from pain to pain". This loss was more than a sentimental loss to her, for there was no one else in Scotland who cared for her well-being, who defended her cause with such determination as this brave princess. "The most Christian queen," wrote the Venetian envoy to the French court, "loved her mother incredibly much, and far more than daughters usually love their mothers." Probably the girl's heart, generous and warm, was touched by the tender loyalty of her only true friend. Mary de Guise hoped to die in France among her relatives. Her younger brother René, Marquis D'Elboeuf sailed to Scotland to relieve her of the regency but was driven back by storms; the frustration of this last pathetic longing must have contributed to the acuteness of her daughter's grief. It was the cardinal, gentle, tactful and kind, who delivered the message to his niece, but all his tenderness could not prevent her from breaking down completely. The Queen of France, only eleven months old, had to watch her husband's health and her mother-in-law's bitter hostility, waiting, watching in the background, and perhaps felt her mother's death a harbinger of even worse setbacks to come.

* * * * *

Elizabeth's ministers immediately benefited from the removal of their sharpest enemy, the Queen Regent; On July 6, the Treaty of Edinburgh was concluded, a diplomatic victory for England and the Lords of the Congregation, who, in the absence of Mary and her husband, signed it as virtual rulers of Scotland. The French would withdraw from Scotland, all offices would be in the hands of the Scots, the Sovereigns could not go to war without the consent of the States, Mary Stewart would give up all claims to the English Crown. Elizabeth wanted even stricter terms - nothing more than the return of Calais and compensation for Mary's use of the English royal arms, this original grievance still ran deep.

However, Sir William Cecil received these impossible demands to his delight after the treaty was signed.

The following August, the mass and papal jurisdiction were abolished in Scotland by the Lords of the Congregation, and John Knox, following the example of Arran a few months earlier, led a stormy campaign against Roman Catholics and all manifestations of their worship, leaving ruin behind. , death and the plague after it.

The Pope and France quickly and forever lost all hope of supremacy in Scotland.

* * * * *

Mary and her husband greatly disliked the Treaty of Edinburgh (which the French commissioners declared they could not resist signing) and refused to ratify it. Elizabeth could not hope that they would, as it would mean their consent to accept the Calvinist faith in Scotland and Mary's abdication of her claim as heir presumptive to the throne of England.

Whatever Mary's plans for her northern kingdom and the battle with Elizabeth were, and we do not know, must have been put on hold by her husband's health. He was clearly dying; each day he watched her sink more and more into a final lethargy.

* * * * *

He relied heavily on her gentle management, and her tender devotion was impeccable. Mary Stewart was too young to bear the sight of so much suffering, the many painful and disgusting details of such an illness. Her own health declined, and her temperament, naturally so cheerful, subsided. The unfortunate young prince, who did not have the opportunity to reveal his character, but was believed to have natural abilities and a sweet and pleasant disposition, developed a deception in his ear - "this rotten ear", as John Knox later rudely remarked: "who did not want to hear the gospel" – and died miserably in November of the year that Mary of Guise died and the Treaty of Edinburgh was signed.

The power of the House of Guise, their hopes of commanding the two youthful puppets who sat on the throne of France, vanished, and the figure of Catherine de' Medici finally emerged from oblivion and dominated France. There was no place for Mary Stewart in a country where an Italian was to become regent for the new king, Charles IX, brother of ten-year-old Francis.

Brantôme greatly praises the beauty of the Dowager Queen during this period. He remembered, he writes, "how the dazzling whiteness of her complexion overshadowed the white drapes of her royal mourning." A claim that doesn't seem very consistent with reports that around this time she was suffering from a bout of smallpox, of all the diseases most deadly to a great complexion. It seems likely, however, that many of the conditions known as smallpox were ailments of a much less lethal nature. It is more likely that Mary contracted the disease from the husband she nursed so diligently. The excellent drawing "Le Deuil Blanc", mentioned by Brantôme as the last depiction of Mary, Queen of Scots in France, is kept in the Bibliothèque Nationale and depicts a mourning widow that her admirers found so appropriate. This is the first sketch for a portrait; among them there are several oil versions, the face of which is undoubtedly the same as in earlier drawings; the expression melancholy, withdrawal, inscrutable, is also similar. In this drawing, the eyes, which seem half-closed by heavy, swollen upper and lower eyelids, look obliquely and almost furtively at the viewer. The face has an adult look for an eighteen-year-old girl; it is round and solid, there is nothing brittle or delicate about those well-sculpted features. The eyebrows are slightly lighter than in the earlier sketch, and the dark chestnut hair, as if sprinkled with gold, is collected in tufts of curls on both sides of the forehead, which, according to the profile of the bust on a silver wreath, taken after the wedding, is not properly high; however, this is disguised by a simple widow's hat. A narrow fold of lawn completely covers the bust, shoulders and neck. This is probably the most elaborate and interesting, as well as the most attractive of all authentic portraits of Mary.

* * * * *

To this period belong a few miniatures that give no idea of ​​rare beauty or captivating charm, except for a wonderful little painting of almost unbelievable lightness and grace that belonged to the Duke of Portland. Some experts wondered if it was Mary or another French princess, but it bears one of her anagrams.The power of love(Marie Stouard). It is known that she used these anagrams"Armed truth" for example, for bed embroidery and "His virtue attracts mereferring to the magnet. If it's Maria, is it "Deuil Blanc" again, or does it portray her as the Queen of France? This delightful miniature is entirely made in shades of white and cream. The costume is unusual, period. the lady with a sad face wears a simple white dress with a high straight collar and loose sleeves, surmounted by a short white cape with embroidered seams, reversed to show the ermine lining, a simple little peaked cap resting on tufts of rich hair then a quaint gauze veil all over , stiffened in the form of a hood around the face and fastened under the collar, this one is trimmed with narrow lace and gathered at the back into a crown, and the wavy folds are gathered and, as it were, fell on the pillow, creating a background for the figure. The bedspread seems to be pulled up to the waist, and it feels like a delicate creature is lying in bed, although you can no longer wear the uncomfortable dress for invalids. smiling and haughty, and though charming, unattractive in its serene melancholy.

Whereas the portrait of Life and Melville (if it is Mary and some jewels onhaspelor a winged frame have been identified as belonging to it), which probably dates from this period or is a copy of a portrait made in 1560. In the opinion of many, this is the most fascinating of the portraits of Mary. There is no trace of mourning here, the dress is extraordinarily rich, far too delicate and stiff for a young, smooth, slightly smiling face; there are plenty of pear-shaped pearls, square-cut jewels, heavy gold settings so fashionable at the time. The features appear to be Mary's and are beautifully painted, but despite the praises of this magnificent painting, it suggests nothing more than a pretty young woman in unseemly splendour; the white miniature is the only image of Mary that gives a hint of the Queen of Legends spell…”A distant princess."

* * * * *

These portraits, whether authentic or not, drawn from real life or developed later on from sketches and memories, are the last we will see of Mary until everything in her life ceases except sadness. Although she is said to have taken her painter, Jehan Court, to Scotland, no likeness of her exists during her short reign. From these early French paintings and drawings, from a few coins and miniatures, none of which were of extraordinary value, we must build a picture of this woman, considered by her contemporaries not only beautiful, but also "sweet" and "loving." . charming and dangerous to her fascinations in the prime of life and youth, and charming even in the most touching and terrible circumstances of her life, when her beauty "became different from what it was."

She probably had that lack of personal vanity that befits a generous, proud, passionate nature, and she despised sitting down for a portrait. Although there were no known talented painters in Scotland during this period, an admirable likeness of, among others, Earl Morton proves that the artist, probably a foreigner, worked in Edinburgh during Mary's lifetime.

* * * * *

When she came out of forced retirement as a royal widow - weeks of candlelight seclusion - she was sick with grief and this unnatural life. Her deep grief at the death of her young husband was noticed and admired by her friends and sycophants. But to suppose that her seclusion, longer and fuller than was necessary for ordinary official mourning, her tears and sighs, her melancholy, the extinguishing of her cheerful and ardent spirit, were not wholly due to the loss of Francesco de Valois, would not question her sincerity. It would be impossible for someone in her situation not to realize that the poor boy's death meant more to her than the loss of her husband. No doubt, encouraged by her grandmother, uncles and cousins, she naturally and innocently dreamed of reigning for years over the French court to which she was accustomed, in accordance with her temperament and education.

With her descent from the throne of France, the power of the House of Guise, which had protected and used her as a pawn, was broken. Catherine de' Medici entered the highest power. Mary knew that this formidable woman did not like her, she knew that her maternal relatives could do nothing more for her than to offer a dull and decent asylum in one of their provincial palaces. She must have realized, with a terribly touching loss, that the brave heart of Marie of Guise had calmed down, that she no longer had that deep loyalty, that strong courage to lean on. While she had little interest in politics and was interested in European affairs, she must also have understood that her acceptance of the Royal Arms after the death of Mary Tudor had bitterly offended the woman whose friendship had been most offended. needed for her livelihood and who showed all her power to hurt Mary by her successful meddling in Scottish affairs.

The councils in Scotland had also had to warn her that if she was to maintain her position in that country, her presence there was essential; The Lords had sent two deputies asking to return, and the invitation could not be attractive.

There was no active assistance from the House of Guise in this momentous event in the life of a young girl with whom they had hitherto been flattered and befriended. After mourning was over, she withdrew again for a short while into the care of her maternal relatives. We do not know what advice they gave her, what directions they set for her further fate, what plans they discussed among themselves. All that is clear is that Mary sent messages to Scotland as early as January 1561 (that is, no later than about six weeks after her husband's death) informing the country of her impending arrival.

The painting, painted shortly after the accession of Charles IX (recently exhibited in London, in the possession of Miss Osborne-Smith), shows, and convinces the viewer with extraordinary fidelity, the woman who was to dominate France and therefore play such an important role, for many years is active in European politics with her four children. The painting comes from the school of François Clouet (Janet), who left us beautiful drawings of Mary Stewart. It depicts the dowager queen in heavy mourning; the face is heavy and forbidding, with a slightly distorted, almost bruised look around the mouth. The three boys, dressed in tawny gold embroidered with silver, Charles IX, Henri, Duc d'Anjou, François, Duc d'Alençon, have dark, rounded features that can be seen in several surviving portraits of Marie's first husband. The dark darkness of these youthful faces is not usually associated with sickness and stupidity rivaling the ineptitude that plagued the children of Catherine de' Medici.

* * * * *

It must have been frighteningly obvious to the cunning intelligence of the Lorraine brothers that they were dealing with this woman without a code, without the easy, timid or stupid tool of faction or party. Catherine de' Medici stood before the House of Valois, and in the name of that House, she intended to rule not only during her son's minor age, but long after him. But the Dukes of Guise were far from giving up on the power struggle in which they had been so severely rejected by the death of their niece's husband. For now, however, they were disheartened and seemed useless to the young Queen of Scots, who until recently had been one of their most prized possessions.

* * * * *

A glimpse of the young widow's spirit, which may be correct, is given by Sir John Heywood in the Annals of the First Four Years of the Reign of Elizabeth, which was written more than ten years after Mary Stewart's death.

"The country of Scotland, which she did not consider so much subordinate to France as a private person, is inferior to the duke, and in two respects she liked the country enough, firstly because it was her birthplace, secondly because it was the seat of her sovereignty ".

With the charming optimism of a jolly young man, Mary argued, according to this account, that the disturbances sometimes caused by the people were due to the incompetence of the government, and cheerfully recalled that had the Scots kings not tried to enforce the liberty of the people, they had lived without danger to honor or life. This seems like a powerful reflection on the judgment of her own immediate ancestors.

The prudence, discretion and precocious wisdom attributed to her are not reflected in her later considerations, which, according to Heywood, was that she "distrusted the disability of her sex" because "in addition to the general respect men have for women, which is many people would be ruled only by princes of that sex”; she also relied (with a seriousness and a gentle pride that is most touching) on ​​her great gifts of nature - "beautiful and lively face, clear features, subtle and penetrating wit, gentle and modest character, and hair of youth and beauty."

Heywood then comments on her polite and courteous demeanor as a result of her training at the French court, stating that "she had no intention of making any changes to the present state of affairs in Scotland", possibly referring to the supremacy of the Lords. Indeed, Mary may have been determined at that time not to interfere with the wishes of her people in this regard.

* * * * *

Sir Nicholas Throckmorton, the English ambassador to France, had already written a warning in his messages to Elizabeth and her advisers:

“Your Majesties will have to consider and watch this Queen's marriage. During her husband's lifetime, little has been written about her that (because) she was bound by marriage and subservient to a husband who was a burden and the care of all things. No great opportunity was given to find out what was on her mind. But since her husband's death she has shown, and so continually, that she is both very wise for her age, very modest, and has great judgment in wise minding of herself and her affairs, which with age can only bring her glory, reputation, honor and great benefit to her and her country.

Sir Nicholas' opinion of Mary Stewart is valuable; not only was he an astute observer, well-informed, keen and deeply interested, but he had personal experience of the widowed queen's "great judgment" as he unsuccessfully sought her ratification of the Treaty of Edinburgh. She shunned him and declared the matter too serious to go on without counsel, which of course meant she already had advice, the advice of the Guise brothers. Nor could another English envoy, the Puritan Earl of Bedford, change her mind. She refused the treaty that ended France and the Pope in Scotland and imposed all her claims to the English crown. The English felt that they were dealing with something like the ghost of Mary of Guise, and their reports of Mary's courage, charm and prowess must have irritated Elizabeth greatly at the time. awkward moment of her own affairs.

* * * * *

When Cecil returned from his triumphant diplomacy and the Duke of Norfolk from a successful military expedition in Scotland, despite their excellent services, they found themselves in disfavor with the Queen because of the advances Dudley had made in her case. She still pretended to reckon with the Archdukes and Earls of Arran (whose hand was formally claimed by the Lords of the Congregation), and several other princes pretended to be the English crown, but Dudley clearly enjoyed the respect and trust of a tough, quick-tempered, vain woman whom all the other suitors were desperate.

To Bishop Quadra she "still told a lot of nonsense", to Cecil she was cold, to Norfolk she was hostile, she made no attempt to conceal her affinity for Dudley, which indeed at the time seemed to amount to an infatuation more suggestive of strong physical attraction than any intellectual kinship or mere randomness.

Lady Dudley continued to live at Cumnor Hall, but Quadra did not hesitate to write to Philip II that Cecil said that Lord Robert was "thinking of killing his wife" and remarked that the favorite "would be better off in Paradise than here". The Queen, according to the same letter (September 1560), told Quadra that Dudley's wife was "or nearly dead" and begged him not to say anything about it, later speaking publicly, in Italian, "she broke her neck". in reference to Amy Robsart.

Historians are inclined to believe that this letter was skillfully written to slander Elizabeth and Dudley, and written after news of the favorite's wife's death had reached Windsor. Indeed, it is hard to believe the comments attributed to Cecil. But however little Quadra can be trusted, the whole thing was, he writes, "very disgraceful and outrageous."

The neglected wife died, leaving Elizabeth free to marry her beloved at the most opportune time, and she died a violent death, found dead at the bottom of the stairs after being left alone without even a servant. at Cumnor Hall.

The coroner's jury returned a verdict of "accidental death", and Dudley, who had retired briefly during the inquest, was once again restored to favor. How Amy Robsart met her end is never known, but the most hideous rumors circulated at the time, which of course were eagerly embraced at the French court. Throckmorton wrote to Cecil from Paris, "As for Lord Robert's marriage and the death of his wife, I know not where to turn or what face to make."

The ambassador, unbearably annoyed (perhaps offended by Mary's malicious smiles and remarks as she planned her trip to Scotland), sent his secretary to personally inform the queen of the deadly scandal she had fallen into at the hands of the enemy. Elizabeth listened patiently, said she had "heard it all before", that Lord Robert had been acquitted of his wife's death, laughed, "turned around and put her hand to her face".

At the same time, she refused Dudley a promised peerage, sulked when asked if she would like to have one, "wouldn't marry a subject" and had no desire to make him king.

* * * * *

All these domestic affairs, which must have been extremely irritating and nerve-wracking for any woman ("The Queen's Majesty doesn't look half as warm and handsome as she is," reported Throckmorton's secretary), did not induce Elizabeth to consider anything. against that annoying rival, the Queen of Scots. It was not until February 1561 that she sent Mary a belated message of condolence on account of her widowhood, and this (sent by the Earl of Bedford) was accompanied by advice to the government of Scotland, which Mary, an independent sovereign, resented, though she replied with cold politeness. The Dudley scandal had reached its peak, and Mary must have wished very much to ask Elizabeth to put her own house in order before she meddled in other people's affairs, but probably acting on the orders of her Guise uncles, she spoke to the English envoys, although he consistently refused to ratify the Treaty of Edinburgh. Pius IV recently sent her a Golden Rose, calling her "a rose among thorns" in recognition of her loyalty to Rome.

* * * * *

In March 1561, Mary went to Paris (she lived in Lorraine) "to see some of her garments and jewels"; she then traveled to Reims, where she met her noble relatives of the House of Lorraine and one who seemed to hold the promise of escaping from an intolerable position in France and a dubious future in Scotland. It was the young Duchess of Aerschot who, in the jealous, watchful opinion of Throckmorton and Catherine de' Medici, was to be the emissary who offered Maria the hand of Don Carlos, son of Philip II, a marriage that would do much to restore the power of the House of Guise in France. The plan, if it was a plan at all, probably failed due to the intervention of Catherine de' Medici.

In May, Mary attended the coronation of Charles IX at Reims Cathedral. Brantôme says that the young king was passionately in love with his sister-in-law and covered her image with kisses and laments. But since he was only ten years old when he was crowned, this emotion, if he really felt it, must have been evoked several years later when he saw the portrait of Mary. When she left him for good, he could only look at her with childlike tenderness. Both he and his younger sister, Margaret de Valois, the future Queen of Navarre, no doubt looked at the tall, exceptionally gay eighteen-year-old girl with the tender admiration that children have for a charming playmate not much older than themselves.

Shortly before the hopes of a Spanish marriage were dashed and a beautiful ceremony was held in Reims (Mary, despite her youth, would no longer attend such rousing spectacles), Lord James Stewart arrived in Edinburgh by fine train to meet his sister to report on affairs internal. Maria's half-brother, whom she met at Saint Dizier with at least outward trust and sympathy, was to be of great importance in her life and reign.

This son of James V and Lady Margaret Erskine, who had borne six children to her royal lover, would have sat on the Scottish throne, where he would surely rule as skillfully as the wisest of his ancestors.

When he reached the age where he could choose his own future career, he discovered in himself an aversion not only to the priesthood for which he was destined, but also to the old faith. He fell under the influence of John Knox and soon declared himself a convert to the Reformed Religion, a cause he took up with such enthusiasm that he accompanied the zealous Knox on that famous preaching tour of Fife which led directly to the destruction of the monasteries. During this time he became one of the congregation's toughest and most conspicuous lords, gaining not only toleration but supremacy for the Reformed faith in Scotland by the Treaty of Edinburgh. He was haughty, quick-witted, powerful in character, had an elegant speech, undoubted courage, a clear and cool eloquence, and to this day enjoys an impeccable reputation. As distinguished as he was from Rome's enemies, he seems not to have lost ground in Mary's affectionate esteem, and he was twice received with honors at the French court, where politics necessarily overcame the reluctance of heretics. He was one of the commissioners appointed by Parliament to attend Mary's wedding, and shortly thereafter was sent by the States to persuade his sister to accept the formation of the Reformed Church in Scotland and to plead for consideration of an alliance with England.

Maria seems to have trusted him and relied on him. Despite his difference of faith and his part in the Treaty of Edinburgh, he seemed to have complete confidence in his loyalty. No doubt it was suggested to her, even by the Dukes of Guise themselves, that if she was to govern Scotland, which had so vehemently and so suddenly embraced the Reformed faith, she must have a minister of that country in her counsel and confidence. religion.

* * * * *

Lord James was thirty years old at the time, and the young girl with whom he was so closely related by blood was relieved to note his apparent strength, patience, and restraint. Perhaps his puritanical worldview, morals, and manners were not repugnant to someone so severely trained by Antoinette de Bourbon either. That he was dangerous, both because of his position on the highest step of the throne (although he was forever forbidden to climb it), and because of his ambitious arrogance, and was brilliantly clever under the guise of serenity, does not seem to contradict Mary. mind. they did not come to her. her advisor Guise. Another fact that may have marked Lord James as a dangerous adviser was his immense wealth. He owned extensive landed estates, partly obtained from grants, partly from monastic loot, and even in a more dubious way. With skillful if not very honorable maneuvers, he acquired the fortune of Christian Stewart, the heiress of the Buchan estate, to whom he was engaged but not married. He was also a pensioner from England and occasionally received valuable bribes from France.

* * * * *

This man, composed, quiet, bold, outwardly trustworthy, breathing discreet devotion and tender loyalty, begged to be allowed to be Mary's bulwark in the task she had set for herself - to rule a country that had proved too difficult for her. . the talents and energy of her ancestors, and which broke her brave mother's heart, though it could not tame the spirit. We don't know how seriously she took the future; whether it was an adventure for her which she joyfully began, whether she was terrified of the difficulties which lay before her, whether she sincerely devoted herself to the good of her people, the triumph of the ancient Faith, or whether she relied only on her Scottish advisers and was content to relay events from day to day about which we do not know; you can't read her mind now.

Did she and her relatives in Guise believe in Lord James, despite his heresy and his role in the belated rebellion, or did they intend to?

Her brother, no doubt wisely advised her not to bring French troops to Scotland, to rely on the loyalty of her northern subjects, to rely on herself. He assumed that the old faith was safe and that even people like Knox only wanted to right some wrongs.

For himself, he asked for the earldom of Moray, which had been discussed during the Late Troubles but held by the Roman Catholic Gordons, and the position of regent in Mary's absence. These, cleverly disguised, were practically terms on which Mary could return to Scotland. The Guise brethren must have seen it had Mary not seen it, and therefore no doubt the powerful heretic was received with great courtesy and sent away with fine words and promises, though both county and regency were rejected.

* * * * *

Mary may have thought she had found a zealous and chivalrous master in her brother, he seems to have at least matched the Dukes of Guise in diplomacy and "searched their minds better" than they did his schemes. Neither the young queen nor her uncles could have supposed that Lord James had visited Throckmorton on his return to Paris and explained to him all the details of his interviews with Mary and the conclusions he had drawn from them. He had been promised to Elizabeth, who, after this show of cool betrayal, wisely chose to support him over Arran as the future English deputy in Scotland. The man in whom Mary hoped, perhaps sincerely hoped, to find a true friend and protector, an honest adviser, stood shoulder to shoulder with Cecil and was described by Throckmorton in a letter to Elizabeth as "a very honorable, righteous and god-fearing man." '. Sir, very touched Your Majesty."

* * * * *

While Lord James was still in France, another adviser tried to give Mary different advice than her brother. It was John Lesley, later Bishop of Ross, who came from Scotland and suggested that Mary take French troops with her when she returned home, that she would trust her Roman Catholic subjects and only trust that she should land not in Leith but in Aberdeen, where the Rooster of the North, Huntly, chief of the Gordons, was faithful to Catholicism. Lesley also insisted that Mary arrest Lord James before leaving France.

Mary did not heed any of this surprising advice, though she expressed her gratitude to the Roman Catholics in Scotland. She had been warned not to trust Huntly, who had betrayed her mother in 1559, and her situation was cruel and increasingly difficult, and it was not surprising that she fell ill while in Nancy. fear. The fever of the third.

* * * * *

Lord Bothwell may have been on her train at the time; when she moved with the royal state from one palace of her family to another, she was accompanied by a dignified retinue of French and Scottish nobility. When she reached Paris in June 1561, she was received by the Little King, the Queen Mother, the King of Navarre and all the Princes of the Blood.

Soon after, Throckmorton was waiting for her again and pestered her with old irritating demands, which she again rejected with some haughtiness, implying that Elizabeth would do well not to encourage the rebellious subjects of the other princes. At the same time she sent Mr. D'Oysel to Elizabeth with a request for a passport. This was refuted by a show of open humor on the part of the Queen of England, which did not give much credit to her for self-control and tact. She returned to the complaint about the alleged arms and the unratified Treaty of Edinburgh and was very strong on the subject, denying D'Oysel permission to go to Scotland.

* * * * *

Mary showed more dignity than her royal cousin when she learned of this brusque refusal. She said that "when she was in the mood, she wouldn't have as many witnesses to her outburst as the Queen of England had through her", and as to the establishment of the coat of arms, she was acting on her husband's orders and that if she did not get her passport she would leave without it.

Excitable, jealous of her privilege, and desirous of revenge on those she hated, she must have been very tempted to add that both the coat of arms and the crown of England were unquestionably hers, since the heretical daughter of Anne Bullen could never but be illegitimate in the eyes of good catholic. However, Mary refrained from stoking Elizabeth's anger further and even tried to appease her about the arms. Perhaps she secretly hoped that Scotland would be a stepping stone to England, perhaps, inspired by the Cardinal of Lorraine's whisper in her ears, she dreamed of a revival of Catholicism in England, or perhaps she was indifferent to all this. and he was very willing to live peacefully with Elizabeth in a kind, if not loving, way.

She was probably, like most feisty and sensitive young women in her place, tired of these political intrigues, religious differences, personal conflicts. She did not realize the extent of the selfish betrayal she was surrounded by, she could not suspect that her brother, then in London, could arrange her kidnapping in the English Channel by the English fleet, but her disappointment and fatigue show in her words to Throckmorton:

"Had my preparations not been so advanced, your queen's rudeness might have stopped my journey, but now I am determined to risk the matter whatever happens. I trust the winds will not be as unfavorable as on the English coast, but if they do, then your queen will have me in her hands to do her will with me, and should she be so hard of heart as to wish me dead, she would be pleased and make a sacrifice from me.

Mary's next words had a tone of desperation:

“Maybe an accident is better than life for me. God's will will be done in this matter."

She spoke more truthfully than she knew; life had little to offer her in the years that passed before Elizabeth finally "sacrificed" her rival.

Mary had another conversation with Throckmorton as old grudges were discussed again, and for the last time between them, uselessly.

“I assure you, whatever one may believe, there is not one of my uncles here, or anyone else, who (I know not for what reason) would advise me on this matter; topics to use. You know I am young and inexperienced to go without advice on such a great matter. I know my own weakness so well that I will do nothing (though it is less important than this) without advice.

This was all the zealous Throckmorton could get from Mary to please the furious Elizabeth.

* * * * *

On August 14, 1561, Mary, after a journey during which she went from one beautiful monastery to another, which she was never to see again, reached Calais. She was accompanied by a magnificent retinue of princes, Guise, Nemours, D'Aumale, D'Elboeuf, and an impressive retinue of nobles, lords, ladies, servants, pages, musicians, poets, singers and housewives, the four Maries and Brantôme, her flattering chronicler. She, against the advice of the Cardinal de Guise, had many French crown jewels with her. However, in February of that year, she returned to the commissioners of Charles IX a beautiful jewel called the Egg of Naples, a ruby ​​with a pearl attached and valued at seventy thousand crowns.

An obscure servant named O'Connor represented England's power and Cecil's art in this splendid company; Throckmorton paid this humble spy "for his labors in the service of Elizabeth."

"There is none, but I have a servant in his house."

* * * * *

Mary sent a gracious gift of gilded crockery to Lady Throckmorton, who was then in Paris; she always had this touching way of showing her enemies little courtesies. She decided early on a policy of concessions to Elizabeth and her servants.

On Friday, Throckmorton's servant saw the queen and her company "leave from this harbor about noon with two galleys and two great ships."

"One of the galleys," says another eyewitness, "was the largest and was all white; the other, red in colour, was well finished and decorated. She carried a white flag with the coat of arms of France, and at the stern another white flag gleams like silver." She had three of her uncles with her, Claude, Duke D'Aumale, René, Marquis D'Elboeuf, and the Grand Prior, as well as an impressive escort of French and Scottish lords.

The thick fog (which John Knox likened to the gloomy cloud of misfortune that Mary's arrival would bring upon her homeland) enabled the French galleys to escape most of the English fleet, if Elizabeth really had the courage to conspire with Lord James. sister's arrest. While such an act would be unwarranted and treacherous, in times of peace there is no doubt that from Elizabeth's point of view it would be a good act.Riseand that with Lord James as vicar of England, Scotland would be much more peaceful than it might have expected under Mary. The attempt to capture Mary failed, however, if it was a serious attempt, and Elizabeth had to obfuscate the activity of her cruisers by pretending to look for pirates.

Very discreetly, Cecil wrote to Throckmorton:

"The King's ships, which were at sea to clear them of pirates, saw her (Mary) and saluted her galleys, and continued to survey her ships, examining them for pirates, and carefully sailed away. One Scottish ship remained them as piracy was vehemently suspected".

Sir William Maitland appears to have suggested Mary's abduction, although Lord James did not, but Elizabeth did not dare touch the Scottish queen or did not think it wise. The possibility that Lord James was involved in the attack on his sister does not preclude his loyalty to her when she was actually in Scotland; he was a cautious and opportunistic man.

* * * * *

We only have a few details of Mary's journey; watched the ship sink near the port of Calais, pleaded for relief for the wretches chained to her kitchen benches, slept on deck hoping to see France again, where she might not be happy but where she was she would probably never be again : completely safe, respected and honored. France was her home, and leaving France forever, she had to think, was like going into exile. What did she remember of Scotland but a vague memory of the gardens of the walled fortress of Dumbarton or the solitary monastery of Inchmaholm, the carpeted galleries of the gloomy palaces where she had played as a child, gray skies and strong winds?

* * * * *

She could brood over her position with mischief because it was unfair to expect a woman of her age and education to handle it. Her early marriage and widowhood ruined her life in extreme youth, the fate she had been so carefully trained for was suddenly taken from her, eventually the people she had learned to please and understand were no longer meant to exist. her people. She would associate with strangers who had been her subjects, and would take on the burden her distraught father had left behind Solway Moss, who had killed her mother after so many years of bitter struggle.

She was to rule over a people who passionately professed a faith she had been taught to regard as the deadliest of heresies. Also after her short life had grown accustomed to the manners and customs, twists and turns, politics and intrigues of the court of France, she suddenly had to learn the ways and customs, twists and intrigues of the Scottish nobility.

It is quite possible that as that great, beautiful ship sailed slowly through the mists of those August days, she must have thought of the future with the deepest horror, and thought of her murdered ancestors with chilling horror. Or, as Heywood would have us believe, she may have looked forward to the future with some self-satisfaction, relying on her own serenity, youth, and beauty, expecting that her easy and just kindness to all would be swiftly and fairly returned.

* * * * *

The Queen of England and her advisers also viewed the future of Scotland with great concern. Elizabeth's marriage was long and anxiously discussed. Now the marriage of Queen Mary had to be considered. Who would the husbands of these rival queens be? Should they still share the island, or was one destined to swallow the other? These questions troubled Scottish and English, French and Spanish politicians as Mary sailed through the thick fog from France with an escort of French and Scottish lords and ladies, with her girls and pages, her poets and violin makers, her priests and servants.

On August 19, Mary landed in Leith, where she was met with a cold reception (arriving ahead of schedule) and could not hold back tears when she saw the ragged equipment of the Scottish cavalry sent to the harbor to greet her. No doubt, however, she hid her disappointment and longing for the elegant grace for which she was famous.

Brantôme described his dismay at her rude greeting, the "rude howl" of the bagpipes that serenaded her, her rough manners, and the appearance of Scottish nobility.

On September 2, Mary arrived in Edinburgh, where she was received with formal recognition and more or less sincere joy. The heiress of their ancient kings immediately aroused a certain loyalty and whimsical sympathy in the hearts of the Scots, and some exclaimed, "God bless that sweet face!"

"La belle et douce reine" kept her face, whatever her opinion, and actually smiled on the outside.

She took up residence at Holyrood Palace, which stood on the outskirts of Edinburgh, with a red roof (consisting of no more than one long street) and surrounded by pleasant deer parks. She had then ample, if dangerous, opportunity to make use of those gifts of prudence, wisdom, discretion, and tact which were attributed to her, and to prove the value of that grace, gentleness, and courtesy which were so admired.

Her brother Lord James Stewart, who had just returned from speaking with Elizabeth, was immediately at her right as her chief adviser. She also employed Sir William Maitland of Lethington, who was her mother's secretary of state. Behind Lord James was the Earl of Morton, a treacherous man of blood and a furious Protestant. Others willing to give her advice, expecting to fall in her favour, include the Earl of Argyll, who married her half-sister, George Gordon, Earl of Huntly, Chief of Clan Gordon, Rooster of the North, Earl of Arran, weak, arrogant, ambitious, with his pretensions to the throne of Scotland and hand her or Elizabeth, and a bewildering band of cheerful, violent, and ruthless nobles, each with their own interests to pursue, their own ambition and greed to gratify, each carried out in double-edged intrigue and bloody warfare . Among them was already the conspicuous Earl of Bothwell, a faithful servant of Mary of Guise, a reckless, impetuous frontier chief, Protestant but loyal. Among Mary's fiercest enemies was John Knox, the leading architect of the Reformation in Scotland, a personality of wild force, boundless bigotry, fearless zeal, and from the very beginning an implacable adversary of the Queen; he was then firmly established in Edinburgh.

* * * * *

On the first Sunday of her stay in Holyrood, Holy Mass was celebrated at St. in the Chapel (the church, which is also the burial place of the kings and queens of Scotland, was partly destroyed by the English and entirely in the hands of the reformers), and Lord Lindsay, the husband of the queen's half-sister, clad in steel and running after him, threw himself at the priest. “It's a good start to what to expect!” exclaimed Mary. Lord James, who had made so many deceitful promises to her in France, later won her some tolerance for her faith, but it was received harshly and grudgingly.

So one account; Thomas Randolph, Elizabeth's bright, loyal and hard-working ambassador to Edinburgh, gives another, dated September 21:

"On Sunday, September 8, the Earl of Argyll and Lord James so disturbed the Queen during Mass that some priests and others left their seats with broken heads and bloody ears."

This Randolph was the slick English agent who smuggled Arran into Scotland, and his messages are an important source of Mary's life when she reigned in Edinburgh.

His account of events that do her no credit has been vehemently discredited by her supporters, and he may have been misinformed on some issues, and occasionally picked up worthless gossip. But he was an eyewitness to most of what he writes and very interested. There seems to be no basis for the accusation that he spread glaring calumnies against Mary to satisfy Elizabeth's malice, and indeed he seems to have had an essentially sympathetic disposition and admired the brilliant young queen.

Whatever Mary's feelings about these early insults to her faith, she would not be offended; she decided to be careful and tactful and appease the Protestants. Her uncles, especially the Duke of Guise's uncles, probably dictated her tolerant, prudent conduct on the eve of his militant action against the Huguenots, whom he did not want Elizabeth to help.

* * * * *

On September 1, she sent Maitland to Elizabeth with a diamond heart and other jewels; the English queen responded with gifts and promises of friendship.

The following day, Mary's State Entry into Edinburgh was held, which was staged with a splendor that showed that Scottish taste and means could rival the splendor of France.

Mary rode to Castle Hill, four Maries behind her, under a canopy carried by sixteen men in black velvet, where she was greeted by a mask of fantastic creatures of black and yellow silk glittering with gold and jewels, and stopped in front of a globe that was opening. and she showed a small child who handed her a Bible and a psalter, keys to the gate and greeted her with a word. The allusion to "God's laws, His word and testament truly translated with fruitful zeal" could not have been very pleasant to Mary. She must have realized that the translation of the Bible and the immense popularity of the Psalms were one of the main reasons for the spread of the Reformation in Scotland, and from the moment she set foot on Scottish soil, she has had to prove that she saw every trace of the religion she had raised destroyed to be regarded as holidays. All traces of Catholicism were eradicated from Scotland with a ruthless hand, and the fact that it was suggested that "a priest should be burned on the altar" to greet Mary ("the Earl of Huntly continued this procession", adds Randolph to admit), though it may have been a grim joke, shows the cruelty with which the reformers treated idolaters.

On the cross were beautiful virgins dressed in white, and fountains gushed with wine, a dragon was burned at Netherbow and a psalm was sung, a feast was held at Holyrood; on the outside everything was smooth and fair, but Knox, for whom "one mass was more terrible than ten thousand armed men", was waiting to be heard.

Mary made two concessions in return for these courtesies: she dismissed many of her French servants and issued a proclamation declaring her intention to "preserve the Protestant religion". She must have said the statement with cynical indifference or furious shame; it appeased but did not appease her Protestant subjects. Despite the pomp, the words of welcome, the cries of "God bless this sweet face", most Scots looked at this young French woman with suspicion and mistrust.

More powerful and extraordinary than any man in Scotland was John Knox, that gnarled prophet, herald, and symbol of the Reformation in Scotland. He was fifty-five at the time and led an adventurous life. Educated at St Andrews, he was ordained a priest but soon became suspected of heresy; he said Cardinal Beaton was on dutyGoodkill him, and he certainly encouraged the priest's murderers.

While Mary grew up peacefully in France, John Knox was busy inciting rebellion in Scotland, which he visited about five years before Mary returned, after several more visits to Geneva, one of which possibly helped produce the Geneva Bible; there he published his "First Sound of the Trumpet Against a Monstrous Regiment of Women". The main principle of this pamphlet was the defense of Salic law, which did not allow any woman to rule.

He finally decided to live in Scotland for the rest of his life and landed in Leith in May 1559. However, it is doubtful that Knox could be entirely blamed for this wanton destruction, which he himself blamed on "villains, mob". The fiery reformer was thus in full fire of triumph when Queen Mary landed, and he firmly established himself in Edinburgh as the idol of the people and the mainstay of the Protestant faith.

Mary must have hated and despised the man who tormented her mother before she even saw him. He was accused, and the queen would be inclined to believe that accusation, of magical arts. Earl Bothwell and Lord Ruthven are said to be wizards. In Scotland, these universal beliefs in magic mingled with wild and beautiful superstitions, fairy tale traditions, legends of ghosts and fire dragons, fairies and mandrakes, kelpies and demons.

The wonderful ballads of Scotland, such a beautiful heritage as embodied in the folklore of each country, testify to the poetic, mystical feelings of the people, to their ideas of greatness and honor, to their belief in what cannot be seen or heard, but felt alone .

John Knox and the Calvinists in his retinue, though accused of casting spells themselves, were the first bitter enemies of the world of fairy tales and romances, of song and dance. There would be no music, no beauty, no humor, no lovemaking, no ballad singing, no blasphemous sonnet writing; only the Bible and the Psalms were studied.

The sermon publicly delivered by Knox immediately after Mary's arrival in her capital was full of venomous hatred for every young queen represented. The sullen and embittered Puritan mercilessly insulted the young woman's religion, gender, and adopted country. Offended, maybe a little bewildered, a little curious, Mary sent John Knox to Holyrood Palace. Perhaps she hoped to appease and silence him by this "alluring grace" which Elizabeth's envoy later found so hard to resist; she certainly hoped to win back the Protestants for their loyalty by making a concession.

Legend has it that John Knox was asked if he wasn't afraid to venture in the presence of the Queen, whom he had given so many reasons not to like. He replied, "Why should I be afraid of the kind face of a woman who fearlessly looked at the faces of angry men?" Mary was also fearless. She deftly argued with her powerful adversary. Underlying all her arguments must have been the mischievous amusement of such men, the astonished inability to understand his point of view.

John Knox was unmoved by the young queen's youth, charm, and desolate position. He hated her and everything she represented, to him she was an abomination, a snare, a snare, Jezebel, Dalilah, the scarlet woman - "Venus and all her crew." However, this fierce Protestant was not entirely immune to the temptations of the "pleasant lady's face". When he came of age, he married a sixteen-year-old girl, and his enemies at once declared that it was his sorcery that caused such a young bride to accept his strict feelings.

Reportedly, Randolph's account of this interview is as follows:

“Mr Knox spoke to the Queen last Thursday: he knocked at her heart so heartily that it made her weep; for it is suitable for both anger and sorrow.

Mary was always ready with tears - if she shed them on this occasion, it was probably because she saw how unlikely it was that any of her concessions, any of her favors, could appease the fanatical Protestants.

Most of the people had feelings for John Knox, not for the queen, however much they might have praised her in song and feast, and exclaimed for her lovely face and good manners. Queen Stewart was somewhat pardoned only in Scotland; The Lords, victors since the Treaty of Edinburgh, wereIn factrulers. But so far, Mary had earned nothing but admiration, respect, and loyalty, even in the eyes of those who looked at her so enviously. She had to appear to everyone as having an impeccable reputation and impeccable integrity.

* * * * *

When she took up residence in the old palace of her fathers, which she immediately adorned with rich ornaments, beautiful jewels brought from France or collected by her mother, surrounded by boys and girls singing in French, livery servants, elegant minstrels and poets, all brilliant, graceful and beautiful, Scotland could flatter the person of the young queen. Her first New Year in Scotland as Queen Regnant was marked with many warm words of welcome, including the following words from Alexander Scott, hinting at this praise that will soon be read as irony. It is in the style of the much better poems written by the great William Dunbar in 1503 to greet Mary's grandmother, Margaret Tudor, at her wedding to James IV.

“Hello, illustrated lady and our queen;
Welcome our lion of Fleur-de-lys,
Welcome our Thistle with Lorraine green,
Welcome our rubent Rose at the Uprising,
Welcome our gem and cheerful Genetrice,
Welcome our Beauty of Albion,
Welcome our lovely princess, maist of price!
May God give you grace for this good new year."

Mary took up residence in the huge tower of Holyrood, built by her grandfather and decorated by her father; her mother had decorated the chamber with the coats of arms of the Houses of Lorraine and Valois in honor of such a flattering and so brief marriage. These rooms, neither very large nor magnificent, were to become objects of great curiosity and intense interest, owing to circumstances which the young queen, in arranging them, could never have guessed. Nothing ominous omen could warn her of the tragedies and infamy that would come so soon.

In a garden so green on a May morning
I heard I'm my lady among lovers.
She said, "My sweet love, won't you come yet, won't you?
Won't you come meet me among the flowers?
Them, Them, Them, Them,
I'm losing my lustful love, Eloré, here it is!"

This Scottish song, written long before Mary was born, may have been mixed with French lyrics to bring Holyrood's gloomy flats to life. It's nice to assume that while everything around the young queen was so dark and mean, she may have also been listening to other beautiful old verses that begin:

Goons are gay my Jo
They are gay,
They wake me up when I should be sleeping
The first morning in May.

There are few clues in the story of Mary's life in Scotland, revealed in that country's beautiful ballad, in the noble poetry of William Dunbar or Sir David Lindsay, but in following the sordid and bloody chronicle of her reign, which is incredibly ugly and wicked in almost every detail, one must remember that from the earliest times the national spirit was expressed in the most delicate, mystical and unearthly poems, as well as in murders, intrigues, lusts and fights. The spirituality of the people is preserved for us in these few precious passages of poetry, without which we might suppose that Mary Stewart began to rule a nation composed of selfish people of blood and fierce fanatics.

* * * * *

Regardless of Mary's personal feelings, she left no doubt about her public intentions. Fearful of pleasing the Protestants, she imprisoned forty-eight priests for secretly celebrating Mass. and accused Bishop Dunkeld of attempting to administer the sacrament (Easter 1561). She also demanded a third of the confiscated church revenues for the Crown. These actions could not please the Pope, who sent her the Golden Rose with such enthusiasm, but no doubt her coreligionists in Europe understood that the Queen of Scots pursued a necessary and distasteful policy.

PART TWO. SCOTLAND. 1561-1567.

"If you're corrupt, what will you do? Though you clothe yourself in crimson, though you adorn yourself with ornaments of gold, you will beautify yourself in vain; your lovers will despise you, they will seek your life...
“For I heard a voice as of a woman in labor... saying: Woe is me now! For my soul is weary of murderers.the prophet Jeremiah.

IMMEDIATELY after talking to Knox, the queen set out for Perth, the city she arrived on September 11, 1561.

Whatever impression Mary had of the Scottish countryside, then full of heather and autumn foliage, she could not but look with pain at the devastation wrought by the reformers. The zeal of the Puritans did not fall lightly on Scotland. The monks, priests and Roman Catholics who survived the zeal of John Knox's followers were in disguise or poverty, most of them killed, imprisoned or exiled. Not only have the churches been forcibly robbed of their wealth, they have been ruined and overthrown. Monasteries, priories and monasteries, for centuries the seat of learning, piety and charity, were mercilessly destroyed. Mary must have seen many such ruins rising against the autumn sky, heard many stories of injustice and suffering suffered by Catholics at the hands of the Puritans. She must have heard indignant remarks from her French supporters to the excesses of the Scottish Puritans, and when the rich procession stopped for rest or refreshment or stopped for the night, the young queen would lock herself up with her wives. and its pages have certainly given way to many expressions of regret and indignation. But outwardly, she seems to have followed a policy of silence. At least we hear nothing about her comments about the disrespect and brutality with which her religion was treated.

The Protestants, for their part, responded to this with at least outward tolerance, not interfering with her priests, her Masses, or the elaborate ceremonies of the old faith which she carried everywhere with her, though this tolerance was magnified by poor elegance.

* * * * *

We hear much about the wildness of Scotland during this period, about the ferocity of its people, and about the great difference of civilization between Scotland and England, which of course was even greater between Scotland and France. However, it is a bit hard to believe that Scotland was so far behind Europe in what was then called civilization. Part of the country, the north and the islands, were certainly wild, uncultivated and inhabited by what the townspeople contemptuously called "savages" - but couldn't the same be said of the outskirts of most countries?

Even the largest cities were relatively small: Edinburgh had only 40,000 inhabitants compared to nearly half a million in London. Nor can we doubt that the customs of the villagers were rude, their customs coarse, their actions lawless and violent, and the cities unsanitary and dirty. But again, the same could be said of any country in the mid-16th century. In London and Paris, in Madrid and Rome, the most refined luxury, the most studied sophistication on the part of the aristocracy, went hand in hand with filth; disease and atrocities from the lower classes, with nothing done but feeble attempts to cope.

Scotland was poor, despite boasting that wealth had flowed from Bannockburn, its people were lawless, and educational centers were few and far apart. Many nobles could not afford the arts, sciences, luxury or even comfort, but there is plenty of evidence that the traveling, educated Scottish gentleman had no equal in sophistication, brilliance and brilliant achievements. All members of the House of Stewart, as we have seen, were, by the standards of their various periods, well educated and on par with their peers in Europe. James I loved letters "with incredible warmth, and gave himself up to song and poetry, playing the harp and other honest principles of great pleasure and contempt." James IV, Mary's grandfather, was a prince who would respect the most distinguished court. In Mary's time, such educated Scots, who traveled and received French elegance and grace, were courtiers, scholars, and statesmen equal to anyone in Europe. The passion for culture and literature was easily aroused in this nation. No matter how far away their home was or how scarce their resources were, their natural intelligence made them eager to assimilate knowledge and good manners. When Alexander Stewart, natural son of James IV, Archbishop of St Andrews and Primate of Scotland, died at the age of thirteen at Flodden Field before he was twenty, Erasmus, who had been his tutor and patron, wrote a lament over his early loss praising him as a wonderful scientist .

Sir David Lindsay, who died a few years before Mary returned to Scotland and was added to her father's court, was the most popular poet among the Scots. He was the Lyon Herald and was often sent abroad as an envoy; in addition to considerable poetic talents, he had the wit and courage to address (in Monarchy) the following lines to his pupil, Maria's father:

"Therefore, sir, you have such power,
To learn to play and sing so pleasantly,
Riding on horseback, using spears with great boldness,
Shoot longbow, crossbow and kulvering,
Among others, my lord, learn to be a king.

James V's hunting lodge at Atholl is pleasantly described by Robert Lindsay (1529); it was strewn with fresh flowers, hung with "delicate tapestry inside, and well lit in all necessary parts by glass windows." Thus, in the Scottish chronicles from the earliest times, there is evidence of luxury and taste on the part of the nobility and the high intelligence and fiery spirit of people who went to great lengths to offset their poverty and geographical position.

[* In 1552 the famous Jerome Cardan traveled from Milan to Edinburgh to treat the Archbishop of St Andrews (John Hamilton, Arran's illegitimate brother) and declared the country more civilized than he expected. The Scottish nobles found large sums of gold to pay Cardan.]

Among Mary's contemporaries, her brother Maitland and men like Cardinal Beaton stand out as consummate gentlemen, astute politicians, and able scholars.

As for the "savages" whose costume Maria donned to entertain the sophisticated in Paris, we are probably talking about highlanders and islanders. They may have been rude and illiterate and committed bloody acts and acts of heinous violence, but it is doubtful whether they were more "savages" in the strict sense than those who lived in a remote part of another country in Europe. .

They had their own code, their own law, their own honor, and as horrific as some of the acts they undoubtedly committed, we must not forget that the organized massacre of St. Bartholomew took place in the streets of refined, elegant Paris, not in the wilds of the Scottish highlands, and that there were as many secret and overt murders in the capitals of Europe as in desolate parts of the Scottish countryside. Life was cheap across Europe, and murder - from simple murder to mass murder - was definitely used as a political weapon.

Judicial murder was also freely practiced without excuse or remorse, and while the annals of Medieval and Renaissance Scotland may be stained with blood, they can depict nothing more horrific than the aged Countess of Salisbury being hacked to death in the grounds of the Tower at the behest of Henry VIII simply because she was the last of the Plantagenets and the mother of Reginald de la Pole.

From the time of Mary of Guise's marriage to James V, the relationship between France and Scotland, the "Auld Alliance", was continuous. Scottish nobles, gentlemen and scholars brought from France much comfort and elegance, much fashion and adornment. Beautiful castles formed the residences of lords and lords; these developed from the early mote and bailey type to spacious fortified houses such as Caerlaverock, Bothwell, Morton and Dunnottar in addition to palatial castles such as Edinburgh, Stirling, Linlithgow, Falkland and Holyrood. Many of them were built by French masons, and more than eight hundred ruins remain.

So it need not be thought that Mary had left an ultra-civilized country of exotic gaiety and exquisite refinement for a harsh country inhabited by savages and semi-barbarian marauders, though the contrast between St. Germain and Holyrood, between a castle like Chenonçeau, a glorious palace built on the Loire, or Inverness Castle, Mary must have been terrified enough.

But she didn't complain; she had the charming gift of bringing grace and enthusiasm to everyday matters, she could find what we might call "pleasure" in everything. Although the journey north was difficult and food scarce, she enjoyed it; she enjoyed long rides across the moors, she wished "she was the man who slept on the moors, wrapped in plaid with a dagger at his side". This is taken as evidence of her solid health; but it seems that Mary was never strong, her weariness and discomfort were like those of a graceful woman eager to please, and she had that nervous strength which is so often bestowed on delicate, very tense people.

* * * * *

Although we have no record of Mary's thoughts during this period, they are easy to guess. Worried and perhaps bewildered by political and religious conflicts, she, a lovely girl, fiery and flattered, was probably more concerned with her own personal affairs. She could not help noticing, weighing and judging the people with whom she was surrounded, she, Ronsard's pupil, adored by Brantôme, had to dream of love, passionate, sufficient love. Her brief marriage could not have aroused in her more than sympathy for the poor boy with whom she was united; she was free of heart, free of fantasy, she was not excited physically and spiritually. She was ready to plan another loveless marriage to Don Carlos (although she couldn't guess how woefully degenerate he was) and no doubt she was ready to make her marriage a matter of politics, but she was human, so to dwell on the idea of ​​a lover--maybe lovers. Despite Antoinette de Bourbon's training, she must have had some knowledge of the debauched court that Diana de Poictiers ruled, she must have heard enough about the private life of the great cardinal who had been her mentor for so long that she noticed Queen Elizabeth defied the hideous scandal and continued to pretend to be a virgin virtue, and was conscious beyond doubt that piety could conceal the sins of the flesh and pardon the Church.

She, too, may have realized that her position was cruel, almost insurmountable, and that the only thing that could save her was the sincere devotion, the unquestioning loyalty of a man of honor and courage, yet powerful. intelligent and selfless.

Mary Stewart would never have found such a master; few women have done so since the days of the legendary knights errant. Among the men she'd been surrounded by when she first came to Scotland, there wasn't a single one she could trust implicitly. Neither her rank, her family, her sex, her youth, nor her beauty, nor her vulnerability, nor her kind, beautiful manners aroused in the breast of one man an unwavering loyalty, a sincere desire to please this seductive and lonely girl protect and cherish. . Every powerful man she came in contact with used her for his own purposes of ambition, selfishness, greed, malice; those who were willing to risk their fortunes for her, and even die for her, were humble people like Willie Douglas, and even not many. However strong her fascinations were, they were not strong enough to induce a powerful man of her caste to abandon his own business in favor of hers. As smart as she was, she could have sensed it from the start and realized how hopeless her situation was. Lord Bothwell must have often seen and secretly observed the dangerous attraction of this lascivious and reckless noble, but she showed no interest in him, her two most trusted advisers being her brother, soon named Earl of Mar (on the occasion of his marriage to Agnes Keith, daughter of Earl Marischal 1562) and Sir William Maitland of Lethington.

* * * * *

The figure of Mary herself, a pupil of Guises, a product of the French Renaissance, daughter of kings, begins to emerge from the moment she reaches Scotland. She was no longer in custody, but was a child of her education. Devout, cheerful, generous, enthusiastic, eager to please and please, hoping for love and affection and enjoying life, not thinking badly of anyone, but taught cunning and tact, secretly homesick and lonely, clever, intelligent, capable of in debates and discussions, fond of music, dancing, poetry and singing, in beautiful clothes and rich jewels, at least there was no evil in her, and if she did evil, it was unconsciously and because she was inevitably under the influence of strong men who guided her advice. After her half-brother, the most fascinating and attractive of them all was the one she immediately confided in: Sir William Maitland of Lethington. This man represented what each era calls "the modern mind," that is, a little ahead of his time, and more suited to the generation that would come immediately after him than to his own. For this reason, he was acceptable to Mary - they agreed in many respects. They seem, in the colloquial expression, to "get along"; they understood and admired each other. Or Maitland, known to the people of Scotland as "Mr. Michael Wylie, a popular Macchiavelli character, has always been sincere in his loyalty to Mary, and whether he was a traitor from the start is still hotly disputed. Despite intense research and constant debates about every aspect of his character, the man remains an enigma, as does Mary herself.

* * * * *

When the Queen returned to Scotland and Maitland entered her service, he was thirty-five years old, and though he was only the son of the humble poet and lord Sir Richard Maitland, he had been involved in politics from an early age. He left the University of St Andrews to complete his education on the Continent, having been secretary to Mary de Guise as early as 1558. Soon, however, he abandoned both her and the Roman faith, became a spokesman for the Protestant party, and even traveled to England to defend her cause with the Queen of England; he was also Speaker of the Lords of the Congregation. Despite these dubious deeds, which he undoubtedly achieved enough to be concealed or ridiculed, he easily won the favor of Mary Stewart. His person, address and intellect were extremely fascinating and few could resist him. He was a learned theologian, a seasoned, easygoing and charming conversationalist; in business he was flexible, prolific, agile to the extreme, always cheerful and observant. Whether he was more capricious and unscrupulous than his contemporaries will always be up for debate. His twisted intrigues and endless double deals rose above mere politics and might be worthy of the title of statesman, for he imagined what so many of his peers lacked, a great goal which to most people must have resembled the hope of a miracle in life, but which came about not so many years after his unfortunate death - it was the union, in peace and friendship, of the crowns of England and Scotland.

Was he delighted with Maria, who must have liked him very much, was he a little gallant and chivalrous in her, was he sincere at first, or maybe passionately interested in her good and the desired glorification. I don't know. Like Lord James, who distrusted and disliked him as a dangerous rival but used him whenever possible, he was credited with "looking through his fingers" at many things discredited or dangerous. He was in everything and soon out of everything.

Perhaps he saw Mary as his ideal queen, just as Macchiavelli saw Caesar Borgia as his ideal prince. This man was of great importance to Mary Stewart throughout her reign. He married one of the four Marys, Mary Fleming, as his second wife.

* * * * *

Another man who left his mark on those times and Mary's life was James Douglas, Earl of Morton, son of Sir George Douglas, who was the brother of Archibald, Earl of Angus, Margaret Tudor's second husband. The long struggle of the Douglas family for the throne ended in the disgrace and banishment of this James Douglas and the forfeiture of his estates to James V.

So the young outlaw grew up in exile, some say disguised and hidden. However, after the death of James V, he returned to Scotland and made his fortune by marrying the daughter of his namesake, James Douglas, 3rd Earl of Morton, whose earldom and estates he soon inherited. In one of the border battles, in which he became known as a determined soldier, he was captured and taken to England. In 1559, shortly after his release, he converted to the Protestant faith and enrolled himself as one of the most zealous gentlemen of the Congregation. Maria immediately swore him into her Privy Council.

It's hard to believe that she could trust or like him, but his influence among Protestants was enormous, despite his loathsome nature and dissolute life. To some historians he is a valiant reformer, but it seems certain that he joined the Protestant cause only after ascertaining that the help of the English was certain. He was in no way attractive; greedy, promiscuous (he once lived in open adultery with the widow of the unfortunate Captain Cullen whom he lost), surly, irritable, prone to fits of rage, often shutting himself in his house and revealing his spirit to no one. With all his mean and ugly manners, however, he was one of the pious and could sometimes adopt a sanctimonious and puritanical attitude.

His hair and beard were red as a fox, his face puffy and insignificant when he wore a high-crowned Puritan hat and black or strict clothes. It seems that nothing good was ever known about him, and he had no charms or feats to hide his vices and villains. He was a strong, capable man, and he graciously repaid the long-delayed punishment.

* * * * *

Of some importance in Mary's story was one of the villains who more or less earned Morton and who accompanied him constantly - Archibald Douglas, who had been trained as a priest before the Reformation - a bright, educated man, not without one or another address and charm, but wholly unscrupulous , broker, cat's paw, jackal.

Another glaring Protestant was John Wood, Lord James's secretary, and to him what Archibald Douglas was to Morton. He may not have had much influence at court, but he was a spokesman for the Puritans in demanding both French frivolity and Roman idolatry, represented by the graceful figure of Mary.

* * * * *

Among the young queen's sycophants when she first arrived in Scotland was George Buchanan, a poet, historian, and eminent Latin scholar, who praised Mary with mechanical excess. He had grown old, fat and careless, and he would do her great harm, perhaps more out of zeal than ill will.

Other bearers of great Scottish names, Huntly, Argyll, Kirkcaldy of Grange, Melvilles, Hamiltons, Marys and many others, must have lingered for some time, but the names were so carefully concealed behind their conventional courtesies.

It should be emphasized that none of these men (except perhaps Maitland) were inspired by any spiritual ideals or guided by any code of honor; their religion consisted of superstition, bigotry, and blind fanaticism. and all their behavior was regulated by their greed, their lusts, their greed for self-realization.

When the Black Laird of Ormiston, one of Bothwell's followers, was hanged, he declared: "In those seven years I have not seen two good men, not one good deed, but every kind of wickedness - I was very tall (i.e.) and the most disgusting of my body ".

This confession would come truthfully from most of these nobles and their supporters; seven years could be seventy-seven and still be true.

Such characters were also not typical of Scotland, could not be matched in any European country; Scotland did not have a monopoly on villains. But no counselor like Cecil, no servant like Walsingham or Throckmorton who made his cause his master, sided with Mary Stewart.

* * * * *

I wonder how to find in this mixture of villains, vices, selfishness and bloodshed the words "honor", "purity", "loyalty" and "piety" - where did any knowledge of such abstractions come from? And what vague sense of values ​​other than the values ​​of this world led these lawless men to disguise their actions, however carelessly, with the names of virtues which they never sought to emulate, nor seemed to understand?

Mary, of course, by some strange convention, had to keep herself immaculate in the midst of this corruption. Both queen and wife would be flawless - but no man among them was willing to risk everything to keep her that way. Her purity and honor had no support but her own feeble strength and the help she could find in her faith to keep them from plunging into the abyss that yawned around her inexperienced feet.

The level for this girl was as high as for men; Knox, acquainted with men such as Morton and Bothwell who had lived with Cardinal Beaton's killers, nevertheless saw Mary's most innocent pastimes as a mark of disgrace and preached furiously against "the stinking pride of women" - "their pointy tails". and denounced Maria's love of singing and dancing as if they were deadly crimes, bitterly accusing her of "craft". The young queen, so surrounded, so condemned, needed all the skill she could muster, and if she learned anything about deceit, about the prospects, perhaps about the morality of those among whom she was forced to live, remember that there was not a single good man - "no, not one".

* * * * *

Among those who listened with hidden satisfaction to John Knox's condemnation of women's rule was Lord James. The application of Salic law in Scotland would not please this ambitious man. Though illegitimate, he would consider himself to be the next heir to the throne if Mary was overthrown; and he knew that he was superior in ability and power to any of the rival claimants of the House of Hamilton or Lennox. No doubt he secretly agreed with John Knox that women, especially women of his sister's type, were unfit to govern, that Protestant Scotland could only be reduced to law and order, peace and prosperity under the strong rule of a strong duke.

In an interesting short account of Queen Mary, written during the reign of her son, James Stewart's attitude is obvious. The author, William Stravenage, who wrote this first Mary Stewart story, obviously cannot be trusted, but his description of her half-brother's attitude during this period seems so close to the truth that it is worth reading. :

"In the year of our Lord one thousand five hundred and fifty-eight, in the marriage of Francis Dauphin and Mary, Queen of Scots, James, illegitimate brother of the Queen, commonly called Prior of St Andrews, disregarding this religious creed, applied for a more honorable title, which she would not confer on the advice of her uncles Guise , he returned to Scotland very resentful and began to make a fuss under the good pretext of reforming religion and securing the freedom of Scotland and led her to change her religion and remove the French from Scotland with the help of the English whom he had brought.

"Francis king of France died, he (what James Stewart meant) sent in France to his sister and released from himself what was done in Scotland for her benefit or credit, calling God as witness, solemnly promising all good services what a sister would expect from a brother.

Seeing also the hope that she, raised from her early years on the glorious throne, would not return to Scotland, he arranged with Guise for one of the Scottish nobles to become regent of Scotland, and to point his finger as patents in which the queen had given him authority to raise the nobility and to advise and consult for the good of the commonwealth, he turned, depressed and frustrated, hoping In fury and fury, England, hammer it into their heads that if they desire or care to preserve religion in Scotland, the peace of England, the safety of Queen Elizabeth, will somehow bring the Queen of Scotland back to Scotland.

"And yet she arrived safely in Scotland, safely passed the English fleet in thick fog, and with all kindness used her brother to put the government of all affairs in his hands."

Stravenage's next bit about James Stewart, while making him a villain of art too much, may still be true enough.

"Yet these things did not cut off the branches of his ambition, which grew daily both in word and in deed, for he could not restrain himself either, but often complained among his friends that the militant Scots nation was no worse than the nation. English men were subject to the government of a woman and from the teachings of Knox, whom he considered a patriot, he often preached that kingdoms were due to virtue and not kinship, that women should be excluded from the succession of kingdoms, that their reign was monstrous.

He also dealt with the Queen and said he would replace some of the members of the Stewart family who, in the event of her childless death, would succeed one by one in the kingdom, perhaps not regardless of whether they were legitimate or illegitimate, in the hope that he should be one of them as sons of kings, though illegitimate."

Stravenage later says that Lord James boasted that he was the rightful son of James V, although it is difficult to understand how he could seriously make such a claim.

The same story tells us that Morton was "a deep, subtle man, a cunning man who sowed discontent." He certainly supported Lord James Stewart, from whom he no doubt expected favor and reward.

* * * * *

When Mary returned to Holyrood from her first trip north (she fainted in the streets of Perth after receiving a heart-shaped gold chest full of gold pieces), she fell ill, perhaps from grief and disappointment. For she must have felt that the cloud of prospects was getting bleaker day by day, and had seen deeper difficulties on her way. Still, she may have been gay enough to offend John Knox and the Puritans. We know that she has not abandoned dance, music, song or brightly dressed retinue. The question of her marriage was discussed in London. She gave no sign of where her choice would lie. She hunted and rode, shot butts, played golf, brought her embroideries to the council hall, was cordial to her wife, kind to her servants, and though diligent on business, she shut herself up in the garden at night. Holyrood Galleries, with her French girls and boys, her luthiers, her games, her sewing, her merry gossip, her melancholy moods. In May 1560 she wrote about her to her aunt Anne, Duchess of Guise.constant problems and jokes”.

* * * * *

Things between her and Elizabeth got bogged down in the glow of gifts and courtesies; Mary refused to ratify the Treaty of Edinburgh, Elizabeth, overwhelmed by the tortuous advantages and disadvantages of her own future marriage, interfered in the marriage of her Scottish cousin, steadfastly refusing to support the party for Mary proposed by the Cardinal of Edinburgh. Lorraine, Archduke Charles, a suitor who introduced himself to Queen Elizabeth. Both queens were harassed, annoyed, and hardly knew whom to turn to in the face of these intricate issues of marriage, the succession of two kingdoms, foreign alliances, and the balance between papists and reformers. Neither could be sure of the mind and intentions of the other; Elizabeth's main policy was to prevent any possible marriage on Mary's part that would be dangerous to England, and Mary's main policy was to secure recognition as heiress to the English throne.

Shortly after Mary's return from the north (October 1561), she awoke shaken to find that her concessions to the reformers had not produced a gentle return. In her absence, John Knox and his supporters inspired the justices of Edinburgh to issue a proclamation addressed to the Roman queen in the form of a blatant insult.

This brutal document ordered "all monks, monks, priests, nuns, adulterers, such filth to leave the city within twenty-four hours." The punishment for these people, described in the proclamation as "the ungodly mob of Pope Antichrist", was "riding through the city, burning on the cheek and eternal exile."

Mary's response to this was to order the town council to remove the provost and the bailiffs from office, and this was done, apparently with the careful support of Lord James, and the zealous Knox and his supporters were restrained, though not for long. It was the exercise of power by the queen that increased the danger of her position. Knox bitterly wrote to Cecil that "Satan is getting bold" and that "frivolity and sweetness" must not be used against those protecting "fornicators, adulterers and idolaters".

Knox feared that the Queen was all too truly a disciple of her uncle the Cardinal, adding that "I saw in communication with her a vessel which I had not found before at such an age."

The following month, the faithful Randolph, who had little sympathy for the papists, wrote:

"It is now being questioned whether the queen, who is an idol, can be obeyed in all civil and political activities."

The gentlemen might have considered this good point before inviting Mary back. Randolph apparently thought the nation the young woman was trying to rule over was difficult and wayward, for he piously adds:

"I think of the wonders of the wisdom of God who did not give this robust, stubborn, and clumsy people more power and content than themselves, or else they would have gone wild."

* * * * *

Earl Bothwell was responsible for the following problems of Mary's reign. She must have come to prominence in December of the year of her arrival in Scotland, for his sister then married Lord John Stewart, brother of Lord James Stewart, titular Earl of Mar, who himself married Lady Agnes Keith, daughter of the Earl of Marischal, immediately afterwards. Both marriages were occasions of great rejoicing in Holyrood. In the latter, Queen Mary graciously toasted the Queen of England and presented Thomas Randolph with a golden cup from which she drank; the queens have already exchanged precious gifts and elaborate compliments.

At the beginning of the new year, around March, when things seemed calm at home, Maria traveled to the Falklands, a palace favored by James II and his Dutch queen, to practice outdoor sports, hunt and hunt hawks. Though she was lethargic and could lie for days dressed in French-style silk on the down pillows of her luxurious bed "for the comfort of her body", she was often active with an almost feverish vitality. She does not seem to have complained about these long and arduous journeys, which Randolph, who sometimes had to accompany her, bitterly described as "tiring men and beasts" because of the rough roads and bad food.

As soon as Mary had left Edinburgh, the Earl of Bothwell, whose licentious behavior had attracted unfavorable attention, and who had accordingly left the capital, returned and resumed his old quarrels with the Earl of Arran, who was hesitant, annoyed, and disappointed by his pretensions to Elizabeth's hand, which hung about Holyrood, hoping to gain Maria's favor and perhaps secure her as his wife. Lord Bothwell and the Marquess D'Elboeuf, Mary's uncle, quarreled in the streets of Edinburgh outside the home of a woman believed to have held Arran's respect, and when Bothwell returned to Edinburgh this and other disputes were picked up. but before the quarrels with Arran could reach their climax, Bothwell turned his attention to his second enemy, Cockburn of Ormiston, the "Black Laird", from whom he had robbed English gold two years earlier, and kidnapped and imprisoned his son at Crichton Castle.

Randolph's account of this episode sheds a sharp light on the life of the Scottish nobility in the 16th century. He wrote on March 31, 1562:

'Earl Bothwell, of eight in the company, ambushes Lord Ormiston again these days... The Lord with his wife and eldest son... hunted; they all turned back when they saw the danger, in a small town that belonged to them, only the son who dared to see what happened was taken prisoner, but then released. This fact greatly alarmed the whole country, especially the queen and her council.

René, Marquess D'Elboeuf, Bothwell's companion at the beginning of these troubles, did not behave in Scotland with the dignity and discretion expected of a duke. He even surpassed the "beast of liberty" deplored by Sir Ralph Sadler in the Scottish nobility, and the Kirk Assembly (Reformed clergy) vehemently complained about his dissolute behavior in the streets of Edinburgh. At one time, "ten men could barely hold it" and it was the subject of much fighting on the causeway. When D'Elboeuf left Scotland, he disgusted the Puritans even more that a certain "Marguerite Chrestian, Scottish ladyshe was the mother of his illegitimate son.

Earl Bothwell, after this senseless feat of arms, turned his attention to a grand plan, but one that, like all his plans, was reckless and ill-conceived.

Tired of what he said was a costly and dangerous feud with Arran, he appealed to Knox, whose ancestors had served his family, to reconcile him with the frail, unstable and irritable Hamilton, who was no more important than his position as the first Prince of the Blood.

When the earl spoke to the reformer at his fine house on Edinburgh's high street, which remains one of the few remnants of sixteenth-century Scotland, he "complained about his scandalous old life" and especially about the pass to which so many bitter enemies had led him to . His main concern was the cost of the armed bodyguard he needed to have with him. "I would like to wait at court," the earl regretfully declared, "with a page and some servants, where I must now keep for my own safety many wicked and unprofitable people, until the total destruction of my life that remains."

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One might suppose that an outspoken reformer would find the earl "vile and unprofitable", but Knox believed it was "the duty of our Scottish goodness" to do all he could for a man under whose family standards his ancestors had fought and died. . He had never seen a wild, elegant soldier before, but "in his heart he regretted the troubles in which I heard you were entangled."

Knox, who placed the cause of Reformation above all else, was therefore eager enough to bring these two Protestant leaders together. They met at Hamilton's father's new country house, Châtelherault, in Kirk o'field, and some form of reconciliation took place. Bothwell, of course, did not play fair; he hated and despised Arran, why is unclear, and was determined to finish him off somehow. Under this plan, he suggested to the weak lord that they kidnap Mary together, imprison her in Hamilton's castle in Dumbarton, kill Mar (Lord James) and Lethington, and rule Scotland together; it does not appear whether Mary will also be shared or who will marry her.

Arran presented this mad plan to Knox, who gently advised him not to say anything about it, but Arran, though already showing signs of confusion, was still cunning enough to guess that this fantastic plan was a plot to ensnare him in some treason Bothwell later betrayed and, ignoring Knox's advice, wrote to the Queen and her brother informing them of Bothwell's plans, then fled to Fife. However, Mar grabbed him and brought him to Mary in the Falkland Islands.

Earl Bothwell, with his usual reckless courage, also hurried to the queen and completely denied Arran's startling accusations, declaring the prince mad and his statement a mixture of absurdities.

The Duke of Châtelherault, Arran's father, also stated that his son was distracted and that his words should not be heeded. However, the fact that the hapless earl had been a hopeless lunatic for the last forty years of his life is not a good reason to disbelieve the charges against Bothwell, who at that time was in a desperate crisis of his fortune, partially ruined and ruined. shameful, bold, reckless, impudent and arrogant. It might well have occurred, not only to him, but to several of his noble companions, that the most effective way to settle the question of the Queen's marriage and secure the marriage of the Crown of Scotland would be to kidnap Mary or ruin her. or compromise her so that she is forced to marry her rapist.

It is clearly unlikely that Bothwell would implicate Arran in such a plan, even as a cat's paw; he could hope to compromise and imprison him, or perhaps execute him for treason, thereby getting rid of a dangerous rival.

We don't know whether Mary Bothwell or Arran believed, how shocked and offended she was, indifferent or just amused, how she listened to Bothwell's pleas on her behalf in the Falkland Islands, we don't know.

"The Queen", wrote Randolph, "behaved both bravely and honestly."

The case was dark but disturbing, there was a conspiracy, and clearly Bothwell was behind it.

“Bothwell and Arran were investigated but did not confess. Arran would only tell the truth under certain conditions: the queen would not have such conditions. Arran assured me it was all fantasy.

Fantasy or not, Mar thought prison was the best place for debaters.

Either on her own initiative or on her brother's advice, Mary decided against Bothwell. He was imprisoned in Edinburgh Castle while Arran's father, who was involved in the prosecution, was robbed of Dumbarton Castle.

Mary's poor character assessment is revealed time and time again at crucial times in her life; if she had even a shred of that gift, she wouldn't trust Bothwell after that affair. Rather, she may have been fascinated by the daring escapade - she particularly admired bravery and daring daring, and the earl's personal charm and fascination as he stood before her in the Falkland Islands may have in her eyes approved of the repugnant charges leveled against him.

On the other hand, Bothwell would have one more chance to get to know the queen's character. Six years younger than him, beautiful and fiery - "such a woman to win, such a woman to win" - that no doubt summed up the prisoner's conscientious opinion of his Overlord when he thought so. about a future carelessly guarded in Edinburgh Castle.

* * * * *

Mary, possibly acting on French advice, finally decided what she believed would be the permanent policy of her government. Though her inclinations must have turned, even passionately, to France and the Roman Catholic faith, her whole interest lay in appeasing the Protestants and allying herself with England.

The only two men on her council whose advice could be seriously considered—Mar and Maitland—agreed. She and Mary herself hoped that the reconciliation of Queen Elizabeth of Scotland and her possible children would be recognized as heirs to the English throne. This is a prospect more dazzling and at the same time more solid than an alliance with France, Stars or Spain. Mary also realized that in Scotland she could count on nothing more than a modest measure of tolerance for fellow believers. On this point, the Scottish aristocracy, and especially Mar, Lethington and Morton, were firm. Some of them were genuinely attached to the Reformed faith, and all were crammed with church lands from which nothing would induce them to part.

So Mary had to endure compromises and rely on the loyalty, cunning, and politics of moderate Protestants. In her concessions, she went so far as to issue a proclamation stating that anyone who attended Roman Catholic services faced the death penalty. The only privilege granted to her was to celebrate Mass. in her private chapel in Holyroo. Then, soon after the papal nuncio had been smuggled to Scotland, he had to see Mary privately, in humiliating secrecy, while the subtle and submissive Maitland held the door, lest one of his more vigilant colleagues discover the presence of the hated Romanist.

Randolph, Elizabeth's ambassador and spy, discovered the incident and described it in one of his despatches, showing how well she served Elizabeth and how little of what happened at Mary's home escaped the attention of the English emissaries.

A papal messenger came to ask Mary to send a representative to the Council of Trent. Thus, while Mary struggled to obtain even personal tolerance in her own palace, Elizabeth meddled in France, no doubt realizing, as Throckmorton suggested, "how dangerous it is when papists of great heart and enterprise lose their tops to be raised. so high" and gave private aid to the Huguenots under the rebellious Condé. Always agile and resourceful, Maitland hoped during this period to arrange a conversation between the queens that might put an end to the arduous question of the English succession. Some felt that such a meeting would be a mistake, that it would make the women even more jealous - Mary envied Elizabeth's state and splendour, Elizabeth envied Mary's youth and beauty But Maitland, almost the wisest man of the two realms, was probably right that in a personal conversation the two women would find much and each would understand and sympathize with the other's particular situation and would come to some kind of agreement in the form of an amicable pact.

He felt that he could trust Mary to be submissive, tactful, and gracious, and that Elizabeth, when her impudent and capricious temper had exhausted herself, would see fit, as well as pleasure, to offer sincere friendship. young queen. from Scotland.

At one point, it seemed that Elizabeth would have agreed to such a meeting, but troubles with France, "obstacles and obstacles from foreign parts which she is unable to remedy", as she put it, made such a meeting impossible and forever. an interview takes place.

Mary was deeply disappointed; although she looked into the alleged Arran-Bothwell plot, she must have disbelieved in the loyalty of her nobles, and even had doubts about her own safety, and her greatest hope then rested on a stable alliance with England.

* * * * *

Elizabeth continued to entertain Europe with her subtle policy towards Robert Dudley. She told De Quadra by oath that if she was to "marry an Englishman, it would be with Robert." Dudley herself stated that the Queen had promised to marry him "but not this year". The story was that she had already married him at the house of the Earl of Pembroke. When this rumor reached her ears, she wasn't surprised or annoyed. She played the same game with Mary, the intrigue of duplicity, yes and no, and she played it with a soulless skill that the passionate impulsive nature of Scottish queens would never have learned.

At least there were times when Mary's heart ruled her head, and that rarely happened to Elizabeth Tudor. Mary, probably initiated by the Guises, addressed Queen Elizabeth warmly during this period, carrying a letter from the English Queen at her breast, treating Sir Thomas Randolph with the most agreeable kindness, and calling on God to note "that I speak as I think with all my heart" I am so glad to continue the friendship that I trust will be between me and the Queen.

She made further efforts to win Elizabeth by sending her a precious diamond set in gold, accompanied by some elegant verses written by George Buchanan, whose pen would later serve Elizabeth in a different capacity.

Elizabeth's return gift was the famous heart-shaped diamond or rhinestone, which was later used in such a romantic way. All this sweet flattery must have been dishonest on both sides, since neither of these women had the slightest reason to like or admire the other.

How Protestants, deeply disturbed by the religious wars in France, which the Duke of Guise tried to persuade Elizabeth not to suppress heretics but to punish rebels, perceived these contempts, can be learned from a letter written by Dr. Jewel in August 1562:

“He (the Duke of Guise) caused his niece, Queen of Scots, to solicit the favor and friendship of our Queen, send her presents, and give her I know not what promises; that she intended to pay a visit of honor to England this summer, to make an eternal friendship that would never be dissolved, sent her a precious diamond, the most beautiful jewel, set in gold, accompanied by some beautiful and elegant verses. attention can be easily distracted from rumors of war and lulled to sleep by solemn interviews, hunts, and flattery.

Thus, according to some, Mary was merely acting as bait for the Disguises, seducing Elizabeth into turning a blind eye to plans against French Protestants. These suspicions may have been justified. In any case, despite the gifts and compliments, the English queen was not completely persuaded. She began to lean strongly towards the Duke de Condé, who headed the Huguenot party in France.

* * * * *

In that year (1562) the remnants of Roman Catholic power in Scotland received another severe blow.

It would be a bleak time for the Northern Kingdom if we were to read the continuation of Dr. A gem can believe.

“An incredibly bad time of year, both in terms of weather and the state of the atmosphere. Neither the sun, nor the moon, nor winter, nor spring, nor summer, nor autumn did their work. It rained so profusely and almost continuously, as if the heavens could do nothing else. From this pestilence monstrous births took place - children with horribly deformed bodies, some completely decapitated, some with the heads of other creatures, some born without arms, legs or shins; some were mere skeletons completely without flesh, as the image of death is generally portrayed. Similar births have been produced in abundance from pigs, mares, cows and domestic chickens. Much to complain about."

* * * * *

In that barren year full of dire omens, the Earl of Huntly, chief of the Northern Catholics, launched a rebellion, either voluntarily or as some believe initiated by Mar, who desired the title of Moray, which the Huntly family had held during the late riots. It was Huntly, the Scottish Romanist, the powerful chief of the Gordons, who sent John Lesley to France to warn Mary about her brother and beg her to let him restore her by force, and with her the old Faith.

It would have been braver and fairer of Mary to take this advice instead of an insincere compromise that ultimately did not benefit her. But the move was too bold to be acceptable to someone of her age, gender, and inexperience, and she might not trust Huntly. In any case, she seems to have fallen completely under the influence of her half-brother, who wanted to bring his feud with Huntly to a bloody end for reasons partly personal and partly religious; his policy was undoubtedly to destroy the power of the Roman Catholics in Scotland.

As soon as Mar came to power as the queen's chief adviser, Huntly and the Gordon clan grimly retreated north. However, Sir John Gordon of Findlater, Huntly's third son, returned to Edinburgh and was involved with Lord Ogilvy in one of those brawls that are not uncommon among the nobility. For this crime he was sent to Tolbooth, but soon after escaped from prison and returned to his native land.

John Gordon's name is associated with the first of those dubious romances that obscure Mary's name, only to prove evasive upon examination.

According to this story, John Gordon, violent and brutal, looked up to the queen, loved her and even planned to become her husband. The fact that he was married was not considered a hindrance, even among Roman Catholics divorce was possible, if not easy, and the queen's encouragement of the brave daredevils would have prompted her indignant brother to decide to destroy the Gordon clan. Either way, it is clear that Huntly disliked Mar and had no intention of living under his rule, and that Mar intended to calm the turbulent North through drastic measures.

* * * * *

In August 1562, the Queen left Edinburgh for another trip north on the nobles' train. The following month she arrived in Aberdeen, then a small town but home to the university founded by her ancestor James IV.

The Earl and Countess of Huntly waited for Mary in Aberdeen and begged forgiveness for John Gordon. Mary promised this if the young man would surrender, which he did, but when he learned that Uncle Mara (his mother's brother, Lord Erskine) would be his guardian, he managed to escape and return to the far north. Annoyed by this, Mary refused to visit the Rooster of the North in Huntly. The great Roman Catholic gentleman was naturally and deeply tormented by this contempt, for he had made careful preparations to receive the Queen.

He probably still hoped to rid her of Mar and the Protestants and win her over to the Roman Catholic counter-movement in Scotland. Probably smart Mar suspected it too.

Mary traveled to Rothiemay and Elgin, then took up residence at Darnaway, later her half-brother's stronghold, where she convened the Privy Council and formally gave James Stewart the title of Moray by which he would be known in history.

The same Council charged John Gordon with contempt and disobedience, both in the original attack on Ogilvy and in fleeing justice twice, and he was ordered to abandon his Findlater and Auchendune homes and forts. The Queen was not at the meeting.

She came to Inverness Castle, which was held by one of John Gordon's brothers, who refused to receive the queen without the order of his chieftain. Mary had to find refuge in the city. When Huntly heard of this, he immediately ordered his son to surrender the castle, but it was too late as Moray had already attacked and took it by storm, killing six men (the garrison numbered only twelve) who laid their heads on the Red District of Light. Moray seems to have told the Queen at this point that Huntly intended for her to become John Gordon's wife. It may be so, so the Huntlys plotted some infantry to kidnap the queen and marry their chief's son, but John Gordon's romantic attachment to Mary seems slight.

No doubt confused and annoyed by this turn of events, Mary rode to the Bishop of Moray's castle at Spynie with two thousand highlanders in her retinue. She was denied entry to Gordon Findlater's castle. Huntly was not a party to the act and asked the Queen to put him in charge, while offering to take over the two castles. This was ignored and Moray attacked Findlater Castle, where John Gordon and a group of followers defeated the Queen's forces. This was tantamount to raising the banner of rebellion - the Gordons were "hung on the corner", i.e. declared traitors, rebels and outlaws. Moray demanded Strathbogie's surrender, which was refused; any man who had a feud with one of the Huntlys was released to attack him, and a banishment arrest warrant was issued. He managed to escape, and his countess opened his home to royalist soldiers and spies.

Lady Huntly desperately tried to break through the Moray guards and gain an audience with the Queen to prove her husband's loyalty and win Mary's ear, perhaps not only to pardon her husband, but also for the Queen's approval of Huntly's plans for a Romanesque church. restoration.

Mary was twenty years old and must have been just a pawn in the eyes of the Gordons, just as she was in the eyes of Moray. Huntly, now kept at arm's length, offered to surrender if he was promised an impartial trial. Moray refused, and the Rooster of the North gathered his followers - no more than five hundred - and decided to present himself. Held again in Aberdeen, the Privy Council decided that while Huntly continued "his treacherous plots and approached Aberdeen to pursue the person of our Sovereign Lady, resist his evil enterprise and continue and meet him on the plain", and the Queen gave "full powers to her dearest brother James, Earl of Moray and others to go where Huntly and his supporters should be on October 27; to raise the queen's banner and pursue Huntly and his followers. ... to be punished for their treacherous arrival in simple battle, and for other crimes they had committed before.

* * * * *

Mary's role in these proceedings, as in many events of her short reign, is unclear. She seems to have been completely in Moray's hands, and felt no sympathy or pity for the leader of her own religion, whose loyalty to her she could trust, who had offered her deliverance from heretics, and whose destruction was planned on dubious charges. She enjoyed, or rather enjoyed, this adventure with a certain joyful callousness, declaring that she loved to ride the moors with her bands of armed highlanders, and that she was content with this wild, warlike life, and tiredness had nothing to do with it. do with it. compared to excitement. . She must have spent long hours on horseback, enduring the discomforts, strains of constant travel and austere housing with surprising stamina. Keep in mind that Huntly was a traitor in 1559.

* * * * *

In October, Moray cornered Huntly in Corrichie with 2,000 men. Huntly's small and valiant force was soon scattered, and he and his two sons, John and Adam Gordon, were captured. When the Earl of Huntly was bound and mounted, he dropped dead without uttering a single syllable – or so the story goes. It's very likely he was stabbed in the back. The corpse, disgracefully mistreated, was sent to Edinburgh, where his daughter, Lady Forbes, on seeing it, exclaimed: "Here lies the one who yesterday was said to be the richest, wisest and greatest man in Scotland!"

The Earl of Moray wasn't done with the Gordons. Sir John Gordon was dragged through the streets of Aberdeen like a common criminal. Maria, still acting at her brother's urging, is said to have been placed in the window of her lodgings to watch her pass; if true, it would confirm that she favored him, and would explain Moray's unrelenting vengeance.

Sir John and six other gentlemen named Gordon were executed in Aberdeen. The queen was a spectator, and after the torturers horribly mutilated the victim, she fainted. While the brutality of this procedure may have seemed repugnant, it must be remembered that there was no capital in Europe where she, as a princess, was spared such a sight. Though she was sensitive, tender and affectionate like any woman her age, she had to get used to and toughened up early in her life to the gory violence and spectacles of what is now unbelievable horror.

All things considered, however, it seems strange that her brother persuaded her to be present at John Gordon's execution, and that she was persuaded, even though he allegedly assured her that letters had been found in Sir John's pocket stating that when his father had reached Aberdeen, he intended to "set fire to the castle with her and all her party".

Morton, an orphan of Moray, subsequently became Lord Chancellor, nominally holding the office of Earl of Huntly. Gordon's clan was ruined and his estates confiscated.

A dead man who was brought to trial (in the Queen's presence, one account says) and placed in his standing coffin was tried for high treason, with the accusation read to the corpse and someone acting on his behalf. He was found guilty, and the cover of the coffin containing the armored Gordons was torn open in front of all the people. The title went to Huntly's eldest son; he had nothing to do with the rebellion at all, and his father-in-law Châtelherault begged the Queen for a pardon and met her for this in Dundee on his way back to Edinburgh.

However, the new Earl of Huntly was ordered to go to trial. Moray's intention, as the Queen later saw, was to destroy Gordon's house. Three months after Corrichi's fight, Lord George Gordon was tried and sentenced to execution. However, Mary refused to sign his warrant and both he and Adam Gordon were released on time.

* * * * *

The young Earl of Huntly, who had inherited only the ruin of his family, was however a dangerous enemy for Moray because of his hereditary position. He represented the shattered but lingering hope of the north, and he soon joined forces with another equally dangerous man who represented the frontier. It was Lord Bothwell, who had managed to break through the prison during the riots. It seems that this feat was accomplished quite easily by the noble captives of that period. Bothwell is credited with having broken the prison bars with his own hands and allowed himself to be lowered down a rope from the cliff face of Edinburgh Castle. More than likely he was allowed to escape, more than likely with the queen's knowledge. As Knox noted, "some whispered that he could easily pass through the gate." One thing's for sure, the queen was a little offended by his escape. The Hermitage of Liddesdale." Still the titular Frontier Lieutenant General and Admiral, he had detachments of shattered, shattered "moonfolk", pirates and adventurers, Clan Hepburns, Hayes, Ormistons and many desperate and unscrupulous adventurers under his tutelage.

Randolph wrote of him with elegant contempt:

“We heard that Earl Bothwell is on the loose and what is said about his faith (conditional). I think that's the best way to make him a very naked, naughty beggar. His fortune has been kept for more than twenty days since it was consumed, leaving a piece of Portugal, which he received as a sign from the north from a lady who, if she ever becomes a widow, will never be my wife.

Regardless of the means and terms of Bothwell's release, he did not consider Scotland safe and fled to France, whose asylum he failed to reach when a storm blew him to the English coast and into Elizabeth's power.

Surprisingly, the handsome count made a good impression in England, also among men. His demeanor was polite and honorable - "he kept his promise, he was very smart and he wasn't who he was supposed to be."

Mary asked Elizabeth to allow him to continue his journey to France, to which the English Queen agreed. In Paris, thanks again to the influence of Mary of Guise, he was appointed captain of the Scots Guards.

With "that impudent, glorious and dangerous young man" removed, Moray was content with his earldom and leadership of the country, Maitland worked in all respects with sincere loyalty to his queen's interests, crushed the Catholic North, Hamilton's house silenced by Arran's madness, the Lennox faction kept silent with Earl and his two sons in England, there was almost peace in Scotland.

If Mary liked John Gordon or was shocked by his horrific death, she quickly recovered; maybe she was used to bloodshed, cruelty and violence. Nasty suggestions about her marriage continued; tentatively suggested was the Duke of Norfolk or Lord Darnley, Lennox's eldest son. With courtly insincerity, the Queen told Randolph that "her late husband was so fresh in her mind that she could not think of another marriage."

She was very cheerful then and seemed possessed by a joyful feeling. Even M. de Foix, the French ambassador, remarked: "Every morning he devotes himself to hunting, and every evening to balls and masquerades, which greatly offends the Puritans."

Where is the great tact and judgment attributed to Mary? She might have watched the Roman Catholic cordons swept away to please Moray and his Protestants, but she couldn't help but behave in ways that bitterly offended those she sought to reconcile. She performed in masks disguised as a bachelor, a painful cause of insult, and her feasts of "joy, gaiety, beautiful sights, and great spectacle, and peculiar devices, left nothing unfinished to fill bellies, feed the eyes, or satisfy the spirit" was considered beyond all dignity and decency.

* * * * *

In Mary's mirth, the intrigues of Moray and Lethington, Elizabeth's intercession, interrupt an ugly little episode (February 1563) of Mary's second amorous adventure - if indeed John Gordon was or aspired to be her favorite hero.

While Lethington sought foreign support in Spain, offering the hand of the Queen to Don Carlos, a prince who had gone almost as hopelessly insane as the Earl of Arran, and while Elizabeth was proposing Robert Dudley as a potential suitor for Scotland's matrimonial crown, Mary had to amuse herself with her French lutes, singers , dancers and poets. Among them was Pierre de Boscotel de Chastelard (or Chatelard or Châtellard); who was on Mary's train when she first arrived in Scotland, returned to France, and came again to Holyrood, where Mary received him in what seemed to the envious eyes of the Puritans a considerable and unwarranted favor which, however, might have been no more than my mistress's gracious respect for the lovable young pageboy.

Chastelard's story was readily picked up by the Romantics, and indeed, as told by Brantôme and moved by John Knox, it does seem to be the very essence of Romantic and poetic tragedy.

Chastelard was a well-born Frenchman; he distinguished himself as a soldier and also as a poet, he was a student of Ronsard. He was descended from Bayard, and Brantôme, who knew him personally but wrote long after his ill-fated death, claims he was tall and handsome, with an elegant mind and many attractive achievements. He was in M. de Danville's apartment, but left it when the Wars of Religion broke out in France, for he was a Huguenot and his master a Roman Catholic. Nevertheless, he returned in the retinue of the Catholic queen, and Mary took him into favor and is said to have exchanged verses with him - at least it is certain that he wrote her poems, court letters, undoubtedly in the spirit of those composed by his master. Ronsard - and was her constant companion in sports and games. Mary leaned against his chest during the French dances that took place in Holyrood's evening galleries, when the tiring cares of the day were over, she stroked his curls with her long fingers, laughed and joked with him, in short, allowed him in perilous confidence. They were about the same age, spoke the same language, and had the same taste. When it came to marriage, Mary was willing to sacrifice herself for what was vaguely described as "the good of her country". With much ambition, she allowed Moray and Maitland - who at the time seemed genuinely committed to her service - to dictate her policy. At home she was offered the hand of the madman Arran, abroad the imbecile of Don Carlos. The third suitor was an ordinary man - Robert Dudley, with whom Queen Elizabeth caused a scandal. The only eligible suitor she had, Archduke Charles, was turned away from her by the envy of foreign powers. So the matter of her marriage hung in the balance and was laboriously postponed from month to month.

So why in this barren year of monstrous births, incessant rain and miserable harvests, rebellion, blood and executions, why not at least amuse yourself too often by turning your back on these selfish people, gloomy, coarse and whatever their only pleasantries? to her, to an elegant and amorous young man whose person and manners reminded her of a country she had always regretted?

No matter how much she encouraged Chastelard, however he resented her sincerity, his desperate carelessness put an end to her elegant coquetry. On that winter day, when Moray and Lethington conferred with the Queen in her private study before Lethington left for England, Chastelard managed to hide in the Queen's chamber, where two of the Queen's grooms put him to sleep under the bed. The chamber that informed the queen's ladies.

The matter was kept secret from Maria for fear of disturbing her sleep at night, but when she found out in the morning, she had the brave young man banished from her.

After a few days, the court moved to Bruntislav, and Chastelard, wishing either to justify his previous act, or driven to despair by the queen's coldness, or encouraged by her glance or word, repeated his offense.

When the queen entered her bedroom at night, she saw a young Frenchman in front of her. Deeply offended, she called out to Moray, who was in her front room, and when her brother hurried over to her, she ordered him to stab the intruder with his dagger.

Moray refused, reminding the Queen of the scandal that would follow such an act. Chastelard was arrested, tried for the crime and beheaded in front of Holyrood Palace.

He refused, says Brantôme, and it was very unusual at the time, all religious comforts on the scaffold, preferring to hold a copy of Ronsard's "Death Hymn" in his hand. At the last moment, just as he was about to kneel on the block, he reportedly turned to the room of the palace where he thought the queen was sitting and said, "Farewell, cruelest and most beautiful princesses."

* * * * *

This is the story that has become part of the legend of Mary Queen of Scots. It portrays Chastelard as a high-headed romantic in love who was either so favored by the Queen that he dared to sell her kindness by hiding in her bedroom, or so unbalanced by his passion for someone above. that he had completely lost his prudence. Reading the matter in this light, the Queen appears to be a soulless, refined, and brilliant woman who, for her own amusement, encourages a simple boy and then, at his first freedom, coldly condemns him to a cruel death.

Indeed, the sentence seemed far too severe for the crime, and it is hard to understand that Maria, cheerful as usual, light-hearted, almost always indifferent to appearances, had summoned her brother to stab the young poet with the knife of her foot.

A completely different version of this oft-repeated story can be found in Bishop Quadra's messages. He states that he received it firsthand from Maitland, and while it is as nasty as the second version is romantic, it seems more plausible than Brantôme's account, a romantic gossip, many years later. This aspect of the story at least puts Mary in a better light, explains her anger, and justifies the harsh punishment meted out to Chastelard. If she had encouraged him, laughed with him, listened to his poems, danced with him, perhaps she had been too good for him, her anger at his disgusting betrayal would have doubled.

Here is Quadra's story:

Lethington, Lord James (Moray) and two other members of her Council were with her in her private study for several hours until midnight. At that time a little Frenchman named Chastelard, who had come from France a few months ago, who was always joking around the ladies, took the opportunity that some of the servants had gone to sleep in the Queen's room by crawling under the bed.

When Lethington and the others had left, two of the grooms of the Chamber came in, and when the room was empty they looked behind the carpet and bed as usual, and stumbled upon the hidden Frenchman. everyone was joking and saying he had fallen asleep there because they wouldn't let him sleep anywhere else. He wanted them to let him go, but the newlyweds called the Lady of the Robes and told her, and she had the captain of the guard called and had the man held in safe custody, but no objection. tell the queen not to spoil her night's sleep.

“She was informed the next morning and the man was brought before the council and questioned. He still wanted to make fun of it, but the queen had ordered that he should be punished anyway, if not for his wrongdoers, then for his carelessness, and the truth of the matter must be discovered, for it cannot be negligence.

"When he got into trouble, this man said he had been sent from France by distinguished men of sufficient means and dress to gain a foothold at the court and house of the Queen of Scots, and try to make him so familiar with her and her ladies that he might use an opportunity to maintain an appearance of carelessness enough to tarnish the Queen's honor. he intended to stay under the bed that night and leave in the morning so that he could escape after seeing what he wanted.

“When this confession was made and confirmed before all the people, they cut off the man's head.

According to Lethington, there were several people who sent him with this treacherous message that Madame de Curosoc, Admiral Coligny's wife, was the main instructer. The Queen writes to Lethington that the other names are such that the letters cannot be entrusted to me and I do not know whom he suspects because he keeps them very close to me. This villain came here last November with a German, nominally as his servant, and both were supporters of Mr. Danville. As he was passing this way, he told his friend, through whom I would try to find out, that he was going to Scotland to see his beloved. This queen had received word of the affair before Lethington arrived here via a special messenger traveling at high speed, and Lethington found that there was a lot of talk about it, which made him very sad until he was informed of what was going on.

He seems a bit calm about the matter now, but he complains bitterly about the people who sent him on the quest. He says all of Scotland is offended that he is descended from some of the most powerful men in France.

* * * * *

So said Bishop Quadra, and there is no reason to doubt that he honestly and accurately described what Lethington told him about the affair. The question arises: did the dexterous and subtle Lethington, bitterly offended that the scandal was "much talked about", invented this version to save the Queen's reputation in the eyes of the Spanish ambassador and the English court? In any case, it's not entirely clear who bribed Chastelard, assuming he was bribed. The Huguenot party in France seems intentional; in any case, this device to ruin the Queen of Scots seems as clumsy as it is hideous. However, whether Chastelard was truly in love with the queen or was a miserable tool of her enemies, the episode definitely angered her in the eyes of the Puritans.

"Chastelard is dead," John Knox angrily suggested, "lest the Queen's secret be betrayed."

This was probably the opinion of ordinary people in Scotland. For the second time, the queen's name was tarnished by whispers of a shameful affair.

Moray, shrewd and dignified, seemingly staunch in his sister's best interests during this period, was greatly disturbed by the incident.

We know nothing about Mary's spirit other than what we can infer from the fact that she apparently sacrificed this man without any remorse.

* * * * *

A few weeks after the tragedy of a Frenchman, poet or spy, romantic or villain, the young queen defied the curiosity of her people and opened her first state parliament. She rode from Holyrood to Parliament in state robes, the Duke of Châtelherault, the first prince of the blood, wearing the crown. Argyll, who married Moray's sister, wielded the scepter, and Moray himself the sword.

It was a beautiful spectacle for the people, and Mary behaved with charming grace and dignity. She opened Parliament with a beautiful speech in a Scottish French accent, derided by her opponents as a "painted speech". Randolph describes the ceremony as follows:

On May 26, Her Excellency rode to the House of Parliament in this order: lords, barons, lords and earls, then trumpeters and music, she announces. Then the Earl of Moray, who wielded the sword, Argyll, the scepter, and the prince, the royal crown. Then came the queen in her parliamentary robes, with a rich crown on her head, wives of nobles twelve in number, four Maries, Demoiselles d'honneur, a sight more beautiful than any that had ever been seen.

“So many others have followed, so wonderful in beauty, that I do not know to what court they can be compared.

"After obtaining a seat in Parliament and ordering silence, she gave, with extraordinary grace, a short and very beautiful speech, of which I send a copy to Your Majesty, as I am sure that she herself did it and deserves great praise for expressing it."

The House of Parliament could not have had too pleasant connotations for Mary, it was located in the old Tolbooth which was part of St. Reformers for secular use or reserved for their own form of worship.

* * * * *

If Mary was ever flattered by the hope of a prosperous reign, it must have been during this period. Even so, the question of her marriage was a constant torment. During the sessions of this Parliament, Knox, who, whatever his faults, possessed that enormous power which may be called greatness, burst forth with one of his thunderous sermons, urging all Protestants to see to it that the soon-to-be-married Queen chooses no papist for her Mr.

Mary, perhaps still seduced by the thought of seducing the gloomy Reformer as friend and servant, called him over, and Knox, who had had several conversations with the Queen, again stared into the "pleasant lady's face." Mary, whatever her inner feelings, seems to seldom succumb to these temptations during this period and use that strong language which is so characteristic of Elizabeth, but on this occasion she reproached Knox for his freedom of speech, and the resolute Reformer replied: When it pleased God to release free her from the bondage of darkness and the errors with which she was fed, she would not have found the freedom of his tongue offensive. In the pulpit, he was not his own master, but the servant of the One who had commanded that "no flesh should be flattered upon the face of the earth."

Mary said that - "she didn't want his flattery, but she wanted to know what position he held in the kingdom that gave him the right to interfere in her marriage?"

Knox replied with blatant fearlessness - "since her nobles did not know their duties, it was he as a commoner who was to teach them."

The Queen, still not losing her temper, but apparently realizing the hopelessness of using words with this intransigent personality, told him to move away from her.

* * * * *

As soon as Parliament rebelled, the Queen, either for politics or indignation, went to Inverara, where she took up residence with the Countess of Argyll, with whom she seems to have come as far as any woman in that time. . a few weeks. She then traveled to Glasgow and St. Mary's Isle at Kirkcudbright, then to Drummond Castle and Glenfinlas; all these long journeys were made on horseback, and Maria was accompanied by a heavy but splendid retinue of ladies and officers of state.

When she was so absent from the capital, the rage of puritanical feeling could no longer be suppressed; while the Roman Catholics at her home were holding a service in the chapel at Holyrood, the Protestants broke in, drove the priests from the altar, and dispersed the congregation; It is believed, and no doubt rightly so, that Knox was behind the riots. In any case, he wholeheartedly supported these lawless Protestants, for which offense he was called to answer before Maria and the assembly of nobles when she returned to Edinburgh to celebrate her twenty-first birthday.

The allegation against Knox was that he "attempted to intimidate the judges who were to try the leaders of the Holyrood riots by summoning all Protestants to Edinburgh."

The process took place in front of a large assembly - the queen at the head of the council table, Knox, exposed, at the foot.

“Who gave him the authority to date my princes? Isn't that treason? asked Queen Maitland, who led the prosecution.

Then Patrick, Lord Ruthven, always hostile to Mary, added:

"No, ma'am, because he gathers people almost daily to hear prayers and sermons, and whatever Your Grace or others think of it,Mydon't think it's a betrayal."

Offended almost uncontrollably by these bold words, the queen replied:

- Shut up and let him answer for himself. Regardless of Mary's rank and gender, Knox crudely remarked:

"The Queen interrupted me as I began to argue with the secretary (Maitland), whom I thought was a better dialectician than Her Grace."

The queen persisted and replied:

"I will not say anything against your religion or against calling your sermons, but what power did you have to rally my subjects without my order?"

Knox sternly replied that he had Kirk's authority for what he had done and therefore could not be wrong.

This answer must have been hard for Maria to bear, but she seems to have kept her temper admirably. She changed her mind, turned to the gathered colleagues and asked if accusing the prince of cruelty is not treason?

"I think there are Acts of Parliament against such whisperers."

The reference was to one of Knox's letters in which he mentioned the "cruelty" of the Papists towards Protestants. Without allowing the Lords to reply, Knox interjected:

"Am I allowed, ma'am, to answer for myself, or should I be judged before I have been heard?"

The young queen replied:

"Say what you can, because I think you have a lot of work to do."

Knox then argued that in this letter he was not referring personally to Mary or her "cruelty", but to the papists.

At the conclusion of the trial, whether out of favor, contempt, or an exaggeration of the general feeling of the assembly, the Queen pardoned Knox. She also refrained with commendable dignity from any response to his farewell shot:

"Ma'am, I pray God to clear your heart of paperwork and guard against the advice of flatterers."

* * * * *

Shortly after Knox's trial, a cruel and painful episode took place. It was one of those that gave great power to the tales of licentiousness, corruption, and crime that Protestants continually invoked against the Papists and the French.

One of Mary's apothecaries had a secret relationship with one of the servants, a French woman. Together they murdered a child who was the result of an intrigue, were discovered, tried and publicly executed, much to the queen's grief and humiliation.

The hanging of this young woman is a nasty episode upon which the beautiful ballad of "Mary Hamilton" is based, a poetic manipulation of the facts that makes the heroine of this grim tragedy one of the "Four Marys" of the queen who, however, all high-ranking women whose names have never been they had not the slightest trace of scandal. The ballad is also wrong in time - the hanging of the poor servant took place in 1563, and the ballad refers to the king, so it is supposed to be a flashback to an episode in Darnley's life; so often the legend is better known and relied upon more than fact.

This terrible affair must have stung and stung Mary greatly, nor could she be relieved that in the same week that her servants were hanged for infanticide, a Protestant who had committed the same crime had only the prison ordered to stand. white sheet in st. Gileskerk during the service.

* * * * *

Elizabeth, whose policies Mary had always observed with such personal and passionate interest, slowly began to move towards explicit interference in French affairs by offering assistance to the Duke of Condé, the Huguenot chieftain, and explicit interference in Scottish affairs by again interfering with Mary's marriage.

In the fall of 1562, Elizabeth fell ill with what Quadra called "smallpox" and a cold she contracted after stepping out into the air, causing a violent fever. She was very ill and thought she was about to die, and the question of succession had reached a sharp point. Claims by the hapless Lady Catherine Grey, then a prisoner in the Tower, on account of her marriage were made, while some were for the establishment of the Earldom of Huntingdon, but the Queen recovered before these arguments could come to a conclusion.

It is noteworthy that at the time, when Elizabeth felt in mortal danger, she protested that although she "loved and always loved Lord Robert very much, as God knows, nothing inappropriate ever happened between them." That she made such a statement more or less publicly is an interesting indicator of the morality and good taste of the period.

Elizabeth stood up more than ever because of her sickness against the Disguises. Her particular grudge against them seems to have been their share in the loss of Calais. She watched with anger and mistrust the persecution of the Huguenots in France and harbored a horrific horror of Catholic atrocities which she found hard to believe because she was capable of cruelty to herself as evidenced by her subsequent treatment in her government of Robert Southwell S.J. and other priests and her conduct towards Lady Catherine Grey, though she might have been gracious by the standards of the time.

However, in a stiff letter to Mary, she wrote: "What drop of rhubarb can purify the bile caused by these tyrannies? In these whims, my subjects lost their good ships and lives and adopted a new name, previously unknown to me - Huguenots.

As if there weren't already enough complicated intrigues abroad, Elizabeth breathed new life into it. It was Robert Dudley's marriage to Mary. Whether she proposed it with the sole intention of annoying the Queen of Scots, or of making her favorite king and spy for herself in Mary's house, or was it just a ploy to avoid negotiating another possible marriage for Mary, we will never know, but it is certain that she made the proposal To Sir William Maitland of Lethington, who then (1563) represented Mary in London and, notwithstanding his previous records, faithfully served her interests.

"The Queen said," De Quadra wrote to Philip, "that if his mistress (Maitland) would take her advice and marry safely and happily, she would give her a husband who would provide them both, and that was Lord Robert, in whom nature had many graces that ifthenwould marry, she would choose him from all the princes of the world, and many others of the same kind."

To this surprising proposal, Maitland replied, no doubt with hidden irony, that "it was a powerful proof of the love she had for her queen, for she was willing to give her something that she herself was so dear, and he thought that his lover's queen, even if loved Lord Robert as much as Elizabeth did, she would not have married him, thus depriving her of all the joy and comfort she derived from his company.

Elizabeth replied by saying that she "wished Dudley's brother Ambrose (whom she had just created Earl of Warwick, one of his father's titles) had the grace and good looks of Lord Robert, in which case any one could have had." "

Maitland, deeply offended by such frivolity and nonsense with which Warwick had been presented to the Queen of Scotland, could hardly answer for the commotion. Elizabeth went on, apparently with malice, "that the Earl of Warwick was neither ugly nor indecent, though he was quite rude and not as gentle as Lord Robert." brave, so generous, so magnanimous that he was truly worthy to be the husband of a great princess."

Maitland replied to what must have been shocking nonsense in his eyes that the irresistible Dudley would marry both queens, one after the other, beginning with the eldest Elizabeth, and that when God would have her called, he could leave the Queen of Scots both heiress to her kingdom and her husband. "Of course," added Maitland, "Lord Robert would have children by one of the queens and they would in time become kings of both lands, settling all succession issues."

"That gag," as De Quadra put it, which Elizabeth could not have liked very much, ended the conversation, leaving Lethington very worried about the Earl of Warwick as a possible husband for Mary, but whether Elizabeth was serious or not, in her suggestion about Dudley she pressed this suggestions.

Maitland, doing everything in his power for his queen and for his political ideal, the union of the two kingdoms, tried with all the might of his insinuating mannerisms and compelling speech to force Elizabeth to make a final decision on the succession. Elizabeth insisted that appointing her successor simply meant "preparing her own coronation sheet and preparing her grave"; and she feared that the choice of her heir would cause not only her own death but also a civil war.

* * * * *

Elizabeth gave almost the same answer to her Lords and Commons when they begged her to settle the vexatious question of her own marriage and heir. She said harshly that "the marks they saw on her face were not wrinkles but smallpox pits, that though she may be old, God may send her children as He did for St. Elizabeth' and that you'd better think carefully which one,' he asked, as if telling his heir that it would cost England much blood.

The civil war in France was not to Elizabeth's liking. The Huguenots were defeated and peace was made between the Duke of Condé and the French government. The Earl of Warwick, whom he considered such an insult to shaking hands with Mary Lethington, had distinguished himself in that war for defending Le Havre against hopeless odds. The fleet under Lord Edward Clinton sent to help arrived too late, and this military setback only worsened Elizabeth's temper. She warned Mary not to choose a husband without her consent. Her primary goal of helping Condé, restoring Calais to the English crown, was not achieved.

* * * * *

Mary's politics and feelings were severely wounded by the death of her powerful relative and adviser, the famous Duke of Guise, who was assassinated at the Siege of Orléans (1563).

This event made Maitland lose hope of much support for Mary's English claims in France, and he turned his attention back to Spain and resumed the project of a duel between Mary and Philip's successor, Don Carlos, and in any case affected, since it is impossible to trust the sincerity of either these negotiations.

Meanwhile, nasty complications of the English succession question arose in the claims of Henry Hastings, 3rd Earl of Huntingdon, who was descended from the Dukes of Buckingham and York, and Lord Hertford, as the husband of Lady Catherine Grey. None wanted to fight for a dangerous honor. Huntingdon wrote to Leicester vehemently denying any desire to be a potential successor to Elizabeth, and Lady Catherine and her husband, both in the Tower "in a deplorable and inconsolable condition", asked only for freedom.

Hertford was crippled by a huge fine (£15,000) and his poor wife, who gave birth to two children in prison, died of a broken heart.

However, these reluctant hypocrites were pushed forward from time to time by different parties, further adding to the boredom of the ongoing problem of succession.

Maitland was weary of drawn-out negotiations, "kind letters, kind words, and pleasant tidings, which are a good way of making friends between princes, but which I regard as narrow groups to be held long." He protested to Cecil, stating that "fair trade will end much sooner".

Dudley himself was not enthusiastic about the Scottish marriage. Although he had only an average intellect, he was smart enough to appreciate the bird in his hand. He did not give up all hope of marrying Elizabeth, and though he was ambitious, he was unwilling to undertake the difficult task of supporting the Marriage of the Crown of Scotland against the hostility of the Scottish nobility; he was promised more certain honors: the title of Earl of Leicester and a masterpiece of a horse.

Thus a cloud hung over the false friendship between the two queens, which Mary, who always wished to reconcile Elizabeth, sent in October 1563 Sir James Melville, who had been her page and recently returned from the Palatine, to be removed by a personal conversation with a troublesome Englishman.

* * * * *

Melville was smooth, delicate and evocative; Mary ordered him to put Dudley in his place, and when this nobleman eagerly asked the envoy what the Queen of Scots thought of him and the proposed marriage, Melville replied, "I," writes Melville, "very coolly, as I have commanded my queen. Then he began to shed such a proud pretense of marrying such a great queen, declaring that he did not consider himself worthy of having her shoes pasteurized, and that the invitation to this marriage proposal came from Mr. Cecil. his secret enemy. "For if," he said, "he seemed to desire this marriage, I would offend both queens and lose their favor."

Elizabeth began to play her usual game with Melville. She said she was determined to end her life of virginity, but if she had chosen a husband, she would certainly have chosen Lord Robert, the new Earl of Leicester.

Melville saw the favorite seated in this dignity, which was done with great solemnity at Westminster, the Queen herself helped him to put on his ceremonial robe, he fell on his knees before her with great solemnity.

“She couldn't resist placing her hand on his neck, tickling him with a smile as the French ambassador and I stood by. Then she turned around and asked me, 'How did I like it? I replied that he was a worthy servant and that he was glad to have a princess who could recognize and reward good services. "However," she said, "you liked that boy better," pointing to my master Darnley, who was the closest prince of the blood to her that day wielding the Sword of Honor.

* * * * *

In favor of Melville, Elizabeth arranged a lovely scene where she wanted to treat and deceive Mary.

“She took me to her bedroom and opened a small cupboard where several small pictures were wrapped in papers and their names were written on them in her own hand. she held a candle and pressed for a picture with that name on it; she obviously didn't want to show it to me, but my chance was better, and I thought it was a picture of the Earl of Leicester and wished I could take it to my queen's house, which she refused, claiming she only had one picture of him. I said, "Your Majesty has the original here," when I saw him in the farthest part of the room with the secretary, Cecil.

“Then she took out a picture of the queen and kissed it, and I dared to kiss her hand for the great love shown to my mistress. She also showed me a beautiful ruby ​​the size of a tennis ball; I wanted her to send me a picture of my lord Leicester as a sign to the queen.

* * * * *

Mary instructed Melville to play a prank on Elizabeth so she wouldn't get tired, as she was well aware of the Queen's natural temperament. Therefore, Melville spent most of his time in court scuffles with Elizabeth, whom he apparently managed to cook.

For his sake, the Queen donned a series of dresses in the English, French and Italian styles, and demanded from the court Scotsman which one suited her best.

Melville found the Italian dress to be the most fitting. He said it accentuated her golden hair, a remark that delighted her. But he mentioned in his "Memoirs" that the hair was "rather reddish yellow".

The Queen then began questioning Melville about Mary's merits; she wanted to know which of them was the most beautiful, who was the tallest, what were Mary's pastimes. Melville skillfully covered himself; he flattered Elizabeth to the core, but would admit no fault to his own queen, who he famously said was "very loving".

Elizabeth sang, played and danced for the ambassador, and Melville managed to please her with his skillful compliments. He even held her hand over Mary while dancing, saying that his queen did not dance "as high and tender" as she did.

All was very well, but Elizabeth could not be held accountable for the main purpose of Melville's mission.

"She wasn't that old yet," she explained, "that they had to keep her death in mind when talking about the succession."

She continued to stubbornly and perversely offer Mary Leicester and made vague promises of succession if accepted. However, the skillful envoy heard some rumors that must have been good news for Mary - namely that Elizabeth knew she could not have children and would not submit to any man.

* * * * *

That summer and fall of 1563, the plague caused by overcrowded, unsanitary military ships from Le Havre spread throughout England. The busy district of London was a hotbed of infection, and Camden gives a remarkable figure of twenty-one thousand five hundred and fifty corpses that were taken out of the city for burial. While the plague was spreading to five or six hundred a week, the Queen traveled to Windsor, from where she sent instructions to Thomas Randolph in Edinburgh to investigate Mary into the endless question of her marriage and persuade her to meet all her expectations. . this direction is in the hands of the Queen of England.

Mary, as might be expected, did not take Leicester's offer positively.

"Can you confirm," she asked, "her promise to use me as a sister or daughter will marry me off as a serf?" What if the queen, my sister, marries and has children, what do I have?"

However, she was somewhat seduced by the possible bribe of Elizabeth's promise to recognize her as heiress of England. The young queen, perhaps with a heavy heart, perhaps with genuine joy, managed to push aside this irritation and produce a magnificent "Feast of the Bean" at Twelfth Night in 1564. The bean that was hidden in the cake gave its holder the right to be king or queen that night. Mary Fleming, Maitland's later wife, won the honor for the occasion, and Mary amused herself by dressing the girl in her own finest robes and fine jewels—perhaps some of the priceless crown jewels of France that she had brought from Paris. ; she returned much of it to Charles IX's envoy, but she rightfully had some of the most famous jewels in Europe.

This is almost the last photo of Mary Stewart before misfortunes that will never go away obscure her fragile splendour.

Mr. Thomas Randolph, Elizabeth's ambassador, opened the ball with another Marie, Mary Beaton. He would have been in love with this woman he did not marry, but who became the wife of Ogilvy van Boyne.

* * * * *

It seems that Maria's life during this period was as cheerful and joyful as it always was or will be. She spent some of her hours in the beautiful libraries she maintained in Holyrood. She played with cigarette butts in Holyrood, Falkland and Linlithgow gardens; she leaned into the ring on the sands of Leith where crowds watched her agility; she played chess with her ladies, spent long hours at her intricate and intricate embroidery, which seldom escaped her hands, even when she presided over the Council Hall, supervised the sewing and cutting of her dress with great interest. As she watched the permanent politics of Moray and Maitland, the two men she swore to, slowly unfolded, or listened to their negotiations about her future marriage, she had to reflect it in her heart with daily growing emotion and anguish. about who this husband might be and who her lover might be.

Moray, who apparently felt very confident in his position at this point, dared to suggest to his sister that she change her religion. The Privy Council asked her not to practice Roman rituals at Holyrood.

The queen, who had sacrificed so much, too much, was resisting here. It is even said that she offered to let Moray take the full burden of government rather than demand this last possible concession from her. There was tension between the two, and Moray retired to Fife.

There can be no doubt that since Mary's arrival in Scotland, Moray has been loyal to her, putting at her disposal his considerable abilities and great influence. He and Maitland worked in her interests and in Scotland, as evident in the mix of intersecting intrigues, claims, prospects and opportunities that shaped Scottish politics at the time.

But brother and sister were bitterly divided over religion, and Mary guessed that Moray was too ambitious, while he considered her too light-hearted and an "idol woman" in his heart. However, with Maitland's help, he handled her affairs as best he could, and she was glad he took the burden, although she may have been annoyed by the authority it gave him.

However, Moray's tenure in power was coming to an end because the woman he held it over suddenly began to show violent passions and violent, recalcitrant desires that put her beyond his or any other man's control.

Moray quickly got rid of John Gordon and any possible weakness of his sister in that direction, and covered up the Chastelard scandal, but he was about to face yet another affair of Mary, in which her spirit and temperament were clearly evident, and in which she had no intention of thwarting.

* * * * *

The marriage of the Queen of Scots and Henry Stewart, royal heir to Lennox Stewart, was proposed shortly after her return from France, and she emphatically declared that she "would never have married that faction". In fact, Lennox was disgusted with the Hamiltons' preference and was a rebel against Mary and her mother. Thereafter he played fast and loose, and a year before that date Elizabeth released him and his wife from the Tower, where he had been sent on frivolous pretexts, and he retired to his estates in Yorkshire, where he spent little time in Roman Catholicism. Court. A plan was now being discussed that he should be restored to his considerable estates in Scotland, the forfeiture of which would be revoked by Mary. Twenty years have passed since he was in his homeland, and the actual motives that led Mary to call him back and Elizabeth to let him go are unclear.

Lord Lennox was a royal Scotsman descended from Mary, daughter of James II, who married James Hamilton, Earl of Arran. Lennox believed he had more right than the Duke of Châtelherault to be the first prince of the blood, as the prince was born while his father's first wife was still alive, albeit divorced. The strength of the Hamiltons, however, was enough to secure the downfall of Lennox and the expungement of his claim. It was now considered political for both Elizabeth and Mary to revive these claims and further confuse the embarrassing question of succession by bringing Lennox to the scene. His wife Margaret had a greater right to the throne than his own, being the daughter of Margaret Tudor, sister of Henry VIII, by her second marriage to Archibald, Earl of Angus; however, she had a legal dispute over her parents' divorce, which was declared illegal by the Scottish Parliament. It was probably the fact that the elder of the Lennox's two sons had reached marriageable age that sparked this sudden interest in him and his fortune.

Henry, Lord Darnley, was by birth a suitable husband for any of the queens, for his claim was linked to that of any of the queens he married.

Mary Queen of Scotland (7)

Mary's second husband, Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley.

Elizabeth authorized Lennox and his wife to return to Scotland, where the return of the earl to his estate was announced at Edinburgh's Market Cross in the autumn of 1564, and Henry Stewart, Lord Darnley, a "tall lad" whom Melville had previously seen carrying a sword with Elizabeth, soon after he was presented to his queen at Wemyss Castle. He soon became her chosen companion in all her sports, games and pleasures. Around the same time, she courted how and why, we don't know, David Rizzio, a Piedmontese of low birth who came to Edinburgh in the retinue of the Duke of Savoy's ambassador and found work with his brother Giuseppe at Holyrood, where David sang bass in choir of the chapel.

* * * * *

The winter was surprisingly harsh, the Thames completely frozen over, "and people walk on it," wrote the Spanish ambassador, "as in the streets." In Scotland, the cold was even more intense.

Elizabeth was ill, suffering from a cold and losing weight. She made peace - the peace of Troyes - with France; they still had Leicester's advantage. Mary now seemed to hesitate, rightly or wrongly, about accepting Leicester anyway if the English succession were assured. Elizabeth had already come to the mad suggestion that if Mary married Leicester and lived with her, she would gladly shoulder the burdens of both households. However, the favorite was increasingly reluctant to appear at the Scottish court, let alone offer himself as a serious contender for the queen's hand. It is even said that through Randolph, the English envoy in Edinburgh, he assured the Queen of Scotland that Elizabeth's purpose in offering her hand was "merely to deceive her and scare away other suitors."

* * * * *

In January 1565, Mary wrote a very interesting letter to Archbishop Beaton, her ambassador in Paris, showing not only her desperate desire to bring Elizabeth to the height of her marital entanglement, but also the diplomatic duplicity that befell her:

January 1565.

“I sent the delivery man more for the blind man than for any important case - clearly to let people guess what it might be about. Pretend to be very annoyed at the delay of this letter, and let the English ambassador presume, if possible, that it concerns something very important. Do not waste time, go to the queen (Catherine de Medici) and ask for an audience, and under the guise of my pension, which you will discuss with her, discuss many topics. think of things that will occupy her attention for a while, with the intention of convincing them that this message contains something very important; ... will give you information about my affairs; you will know for what purpose this information can be addressed; and speak if you can, write to her again the next day, then write to Mr. le Cardinal (of Lorraine), as if in great haste, but only be careful about forwarding my letters so that he may receive news of me and send me as soon as possible possibly one of your people with all the news you can get.

"I pray to God to keep you in His holy care,
Your very good lover and friend,

This is enough to show that while Mary did not learn much of a true statesman, she was adept at the minutest details of diplomacy.

Mr. Thomas Randolph paints a fine picture of Mary living the simple life of a burgher's wife in St Andrews, where she lived in a merchant's house, her train very modest and "a little repair (business) of any share".

"I see," she said to the English ambassador, "that you are tired of this company and treatment. I have sent you to amuse yourself and see me live like a bourgeois woman with my little troop and you will break yours go about your solemn and solemn affairs please sir when you are tired go home to Edinburgh and keep your seriousness and a great message until the queen comes here, for I assure you that you will not get it here, for I myself do not know where it has gone."

Riding with the English ambassador, Mary no doubt fondly recalled her time in France and "the honor she had received there as the wife of a great king." She ended the long conversation with impeccable feeling: "How much better it would be for us two queens to be so related, neighbors and live on one island, be friends and live together like sisters, than to divide us in a strange way from both of us painfully!

Randolph moved the matter from these generalities to the question of Leicester. Mary replied:

"My thoughts of him are as they should be of a very noble man and such as the queen, your mistress, my good sister would be very pleased if he were her husband, if he were not her subject."

Perhaps Mary had deceived Randolph, perhaps she had decided to make the best deal, to accept Leicester and claim the English succession as a reward for agreeing to this humiliating marriage. But at this point, Leicester himself and secretary Cecil Darnley put forward a candidate to "get the grade".

The Queen was often with him and said that "he was the tallest and most proportionate tall man she had ever seen".

Darnley was nineteen at the time and was contemptuously called "lady face" by older men and looked more like a woman than a man.

Lennox and his son soon favored Mary. But Randolph wrote home that he "didn't get much kindness from him, Darnley. As Her Grace has a good habit of talking to him often, her consistently good face, I think it is due to her own kind nature and not anything that some here may fear. he admits in retrospect that he could not say how Mary might feel, or how moved she might be, "since she is a woman and wants to have her own will in everything."

Mary, probably already attracted to Darnley and playing for time, still told Randolph that she was ready to marry Leicester, although she was "distrustful of these long delays".

In this crisis in Mary's life, when she had just met a man who was, in the most literal sense, to be fatal to her, Lord Bothwell had returned from France, where he had been captain of the Scotch Guards, and settled on its border. Lock. . He had no right to do so because he was still in disgrace for the cause he had broken prison for.

He sent Murray of Tullibardine to plead his case before the queen, who apparently listened to the exile's pleas, and yet all remembered that he had been accused of conspiring to take her by force and kill those who were supreme. her. "She couldn't hate him," she said. But Moray declared that he or Bothwell must leave Scotland.

* * * * *

While Moray was raising an army, Bothwell hid near Haddington, and Mary swore to Randolph in her honor that the reckless Borderer would never receive mercy from her. If Randolph was to be believed, she had good reason to take such an oath, for a much more powerful reason than the kidnapping rumor.

Bothwell said in France that the two queens, Elizabeth and Mary, "would not have been one beautiful wife, and as far as he was concerned, if she had taken anyone other than a cardinal for her lover, she would have endured it better." It seems incredible that Bothwell would dare say those words, and even more incredible that Mary would not be bitterly indignant and forever resentful if he did. That it could even be suggested to Maria that she was the mistress of the cardinal, her uncle, is a strange bright spot in the tastes and morals of the time. Whether Bothwell made the accusation or not, the rumor spread, was repeated to Mary, and seemed to leave her indifferent. Bedford, governor of Berwick, believed he favored Bothwell and did not want him "cornered".

However, Bothwell did not think it prudent to stay in Scotland any longer. He was assured that he would be badly received in England, so he withdrew to France.

* * * * *

Mary was exhausted by the unspeakably irritating marital problem. She realized that even if she had devoted herself to marrying Leicester, Elizabeth would not have been able to bring about the question of succession.

"The devil is ahead of you," Moray told Randolph, "the queen does nothing but weep and write."

Randolph himself saw her in tears as she watched Darnley and Brother Moray run to the ring at Leith Sands, and when she "came back from the game", he noted "a lot of sadness in her gaze".

In late March, Randolph wrote of Darnley that "a young, voluptuous, tall gentleman once looked so haughty in court wherever he went." but so far i haven't seen anything. I'm a little suspicious.

While this "blond face" Darnley was watched by Mary daily, she learned of the altercation on the tennis court between the Duke of Norfolk and the Earl of Leicester, which must have struck her as a bitter insult, and ultimately decided not to go after her. Robert Dudley.

Elizabeth watched the game and the Earl, very excited, took the Queen's napkin from her hand and wiped her face with it, which the Duke noted, saying he was "too impudent" and swore not to use his racket on his face. , after which "a great problem arose and the queen was very offended by the prince."

In April, Randolph wrote: "The Queen's acquaintance with him (Darnley) raises no little conjecture, it is intended for more than a mere tribute to him for his nobility or for the sake of Majesty (Elizabeth) said to have been now commonly spoken of and I believe it is more than a rumor that this queen already likes him enough that she may be content to forgo any other proposals from the suitors and be content with her own choice. I do not know what Lethington knows or will say, but I am sure that he shares with the best of his country their sorrows, inconveniences and dangers that may follow, which he will discover as soon as possible."

Neither Moray nor Lethington, who had left Elizabeth, had hitherto been faithful servants of Mary, could look with equanimity at the growing supremacy of Lennox's son. Why he stood in Mary's way remains a mystery. Randolph says he was told to his face that Elizabeth had deliberately sent Darnley home to "become wicked and vile" with the Queen. However, given Darnley's position as the first Prince of the Blood after his father, Elizabeth must have realized that if he and Mary had a child, it would inevitably be heir to two kingdoms. Perhaps she was so evil and so cunning at the same time that she recognized Darnley's exact worth and set him in Mary's way to ruin her in some way.

Mary's growing favor for Henry Darnley caused a scandal at Holyrood court; she nursed him during a bout of measles with open devotion.

"What is thought of Darnley himself", writes Randolph to Cecil, "his manner, wit and judgment, I should have spoken less than there are, or less occasions, that all men might extend their tongues as they do." And the English envoy curiously adds: "I have more details on this subject than I can properly put down in writing, which should not be a secret from you, although I can express them other than with great pain in my heart."

Randolph seems to have become an enamored admirer of the young Queen of Scots, and with deep regret, like any other man, even among her so-called devoted servants, he has succumbed to a powerful infatuation.

* * * * *

The question of Elizabeth's own marriage continued to be debated. The king of France, though he was only fourteen, was introduced to her by Catherine de' Medici. Elizabeth refused, making scathing remarks about her lover's youth; she continued to say that "As for the Earl of Leicester, though I have always loved his virtues, the aspirations for honor and greatness that are within me cannot bear him as companion and husband." She also stated that aspirations for honor and greatness thatshouldbeing inside Mary shouldn't let her take Darnley as her husband. She stated that Mary's obvious favor to these youth caused Elizabeth "extraordinary annoyance".

She sent Throckmorton to Edinburgh in May 1654 to warn the Queen of Scots that she would marry any eligible English noble except Darnley. At the same time, she arrested Lady Margaret Lennox, Darnley's mother, because her husband refused to return to London, and at the same time Mary Maitland, probably reluctantly, sent a request to Elizabeth for permission to marry Darnley. Lethington would tell Elizabeth that, for her sake, Mary "after abstaining from a match with a foreign prince, would be willing to marry Darnley if she had Elizabeth's kindness and consent."

When Darnley recovered from a mild illness, Mary made him Earl of Ross, and the state of affairs at this time can best be inferred from one of Randolph's living letters.

"Such discontent, great talk and open speech I have never heard in any nation, but for myself I do not see it bursting into great mischief, for the queen is suspected by many of her nobles, and her people are displeased with her religion, this matchmaking without advice and other and evil things they suspect in many of her actions in addition to her non-princely behavior.

“Soon they will reform her or openly declare that what she has undertaken is leading to her own destruction and overthrowing the peace of her kingdoms, and harsher measures must help this. most unlikely to be carried out. Their talk of this marriage is so contrary to their minds that they think their nation has been disgraced, their queen disgraced, their country lost. Greater scourge for her than not being able to bear, greater benefit for a queen she didn't stand a chance, they had to see this disgrace fall off of her and fit her in such a way that she could be sure she would never achieve this, what he strives so hard for was missing, and without it he would be useless.

"She now has an almost complete contempt for her people, and doubts them herself to the point that without a speedy recovery, something worse is to be feared ... Many hurtful and hurtful words escape her lately from the Duke of Châtelherault, she has a mortally dislike of Argyll and so far Moray suspects it's only been a few days since she said she saw him put the crown on his head...

Your Honor sees how these people must look at each other. It has come to the point that Moray and Argyll will never be together in court so that one can replace or support the other. The prince (Châtelherault) lies at home thinking he will gladly die in his own bed."

Maitland returned to this gloomy state of affairs from London; at the same time, Sir Nicholas Throckmorton, Mary's old adversary from the Paris days, arrived in Scotland with Elizabeth's warning. He found the Queen at Edinburgh Castle, surrounded by her lords, where he gave Elizabeth a stern message of her "failure of Mary's hasty dealings with Lord Darnley, in which she erred by indiscretion and indiscretion, said Lord Darnley and his parents had failed in their duties to Elizabeth" .

Mary replied in what sounded like good humor that Elizabeth "after objecting to all the foreign suitors and Lord Darnley that they are of royal blood, she sees no reasonable excuse her good sister might have for intervening."

However, she did not commit to the proposed marriage, saying she was seeking a solution "on a man and a cause". During this period, she decided to create Darnley Duke of Albany, however, on the advice of Throckmorton, she decided to postpone this honor. Throckmorton noted that she was not on good terms with Maitland, this dignified and intelligent statesman who was clearly hurt and disgusted by her infatuation with the boy's "blond face".

This brilliant and refined woman, so admired, whose sense and wit were so praised, in a few weeks shed all decency and restraint to the winds, and succumbed so far to her infatuation with Henry Darnley that she felt condemnation and pity for whoever was watching her conduct. Throckmorton considered her "either so fascinated by love or cunning, or rather by boastfulness or madness, that she is unable to keep the promises made to herself, and therefore unable to keep the promises made to Your Majesty in these matters." (i.e. granting the Duchy of Albany to Darnley).

Throckmorton also reported that "this queen has gone so far in this case with Darnley that it is irrevocable and there is no longer room for the same conviction to be resolved by reasonable means." Randolph's letter to the Earl of Leicester about the same deplorable turn of events awakens sincere pity for the lovely young queen.

"I don't know how to express what I see in the wretched and deplorable condition of this poor queen whom I have ever seen so worthy, so wise, so honorable in all her acts, and now have found such a changed love for Mr. Darnley as to question her honor, reduced her estate to ruin, tore her country to pieces! I also see that the friendship between the countries (England and Scotland) has been gladly dissolved, and great injury is about to break out. To whom it may be chiefly attributed, what cunning subtlety or diabolical scheme led to it, I do not know, but woe betide you, and so both England and Scotland will say, Lord Darnley ever set foot upon this earth.

“This queen in love is so touched, and he has become so proud that it is unbearable for all honest people, and he has almost forgotten his duty to her, who has risked so much for him.

“What will become of her, or what kind of life will live with her, who already takes so much upon herself to control and command her, I leave others to ponder! What will be judged of him, that he is the word brought from the queen, that he was displeased, that he should have killed the messenger with his dagger: he yielded so little to her desire, so bold was he at first with one of her advisers, yes, with him, that his the case was the most important thing and she was the most important worker of what happened between them".

Excited and uplifted by her sudden passion, Mary became rebellious towards Elizabeth. She firmly told the English Queen's ambassador that she had discovered that there was a spirit other than her words in all of Elizabeth's intrigues. She saw what all Scotland wanted to see, that Darnley had been sent to humiliate her by an unworthy marriage, though she did not care but resented Leicester's indifference, Moray's aura of authority; she snapped her fingers at everyone and got her way; Rizzio helped Darnley, the two were together for the queen.

Mary threw away all dignity, reserve, and even decency to the point that Randolph was convinced she was under a spell.

The only two serious statesmen who ever led Mary's council, Moray and Maitland, were sidelined. "The queen's brother lives where he wanted, Lethington now has enough time to woo his mistress" - Mary Fleming, whom he married about six months later.

The anger and annoyance Mary caused among the Scottish gentry by her passionate favors for Darnley increased with the rise of Rizzio, who then appointed her French secretary and worked on foreign correspondence through which Mary hoped to obtain foreign aid to free her from both Scots and English violence and intrigue.

Randolph wrote as early as June 1565: "David is the one who now does everything. He is the queen's secretary and the only governor of her good lord."

According to one account, Rizzio was "huomo de 28 anni in circa, accorto, savio et virtuoso", but "savio" was certainly not, and other epithets may be equally imprecise.

One of the first gifts Mary gave him was a piece of black velvet studded with gold for the wedding celebration.

Sir James Melville tried to warn the Queen and Rizzio of the indiscretion of their friendship - the Italian made up the excuse from his official position because he was in the Queen's company so much - and Mary was surprised by Melville's allusions, stating that Rizzio was no more in her company than the previous ones secretary, adding that no one would stop her to find fault, but would do her favors as she wished. With Melville's hand in hand, the young queen, with pathetic politeness, asked her "loving and faithful servant" Melville to "make friends with Rizzio, who is hated without reason."

It is said that Rizzio's influence was so great that even Moray sent him a valuable diamond to keep his favor; Moray, proud and cautious, would never forgive these attacks on his pride and wallet.

The favor shown to this low-born foreigner increased the smoldering fury and displeasure of the great Scottish lords, and further poisoned the minds of Moray and Lethington, now outside her Councils, against the Queen.

"The rumors here," Randolph wrote in a tone of anguish, "are great; people talk very strangely; the hatred for Darnley and his house is wonderfully great, his pride intolerable, his words intolerable, but no one dares to oppose. He also spares no effort to show his masculinity, throwing a few blows where he knows they will be encountered. The passions and furies I hear them say that sometimes it will be in it is strange to believe What reason do men have to rejoice their august prince I. leave the world to think So they said and thought all they can find is nothing other than God will give him a short end or his wretched life under such a government as this what consolation can they seek in the hand of the queen majesty (Elizabeth), as most are convinced that he was sent to this country for this purpose and for this purpose? to repair this wrong, you must either take him or those he hates, support him so that what he intends for others will happen to him.

In the same letter, Randolph gives a poignant and pathetic account of Maria.

"She's so changed now from what she was last time that anyone who sees her now thinks she's not the same. Her Majesty has been set aside - her mind is not what she was - her beauty is different than she was; her joy and face changed into I don't know what. A woman more pitiable than I have ever seen - one who now has no self-respect or considers it a virtue or good. Returning to his previous explanation of this unsettling conundrum, adds Randolph: "It is said that she is certainly bewitched, parties, persons, are listed as the culprits - chips, rings, bracelets are found and worn daily that contain sacred secrets."

* * * * *

Mary's sincere supporters, and there are many, declare that Randolph is not to be trusted with regard to her conduct during this period, and his records are full of gossip, malicious and exaggerated to please Queen Elizabeth. Indeed, this period of Mary's life, from meeting Darnley to fleeing to England, has been the subject of so much controversy and is itself so dark, complicated and mysterious that it is difficult to describe clearly. and it is impossible to give what is not questioned or refuted in some particular case. Of course, it is equally absurd to fully believe Mary's apologists who declare that any evidence against her was falsified, malicious or falsely written, that she comes out of this turmoil of terrible events incredibly clean, innocent and dignified, if that's what it is. it would be to fully believe her slanderers who, by the violence of their reports, many of which are patently absurd and utterly discredited, have done her more good than harm.

It is always possible that Thomas Randolph, who indeed on later occasions did not advocate the transmission of silly rumors to England, and who was inconsistent and contradictory on several points, exaggerated in his accounts of Mary's conduct during this period and the reaction of Protestant Scotland to her conduct . The tone of the letters, however, seems sincere, the Englishman writing with what is surely sincere sympathy for the madness of this admired young queen.

It is here that the person and character of Lord Darnley appears, the man who instilled in this lauded and princely woman such a stubborn and thoughtless passion. We must reassemble our picture of the mixed histories of friend and foe, and of the contested deeds of his short life. He was brought up English and had never been to Scotland before his visit in 1565, having been born during his father's exile for high treason.

He and his brother, Charles Stewart, later the father of another unfortunate Stewart woman, Arabella, were carefully raised by an ambitious and determined mother to have a chance of becoming heirs to the thrones of England and Scotland. They were carefully trained in external favors and achievements. Henry Stewart possessed all the arts that a young nobleman considered necessary at the time. He had a great appearance and an athletic build, a height that impressed all who saw him, and who even in his early youth tended to have a certain fullness of body. He was an expert in tennis, played the lute, rode horses, played games and sports. He could also adopt refined, soft and insinuating mannerisms.

There is no doubt that he was extremely handsome. "That pretty face," remarked Randolph, referring to him, and even the prudent envoy seemed to think that no woman would be able to resist him. However, another contemporary English called it "childlike face and femininity". The Spanish ambassador wrote of him as "a nice young man". He was "a handsome prince of great and beautiful stature and pleasant countenance, as well practiced in the amusements of war and riding as any prince of his age."

Stravenage, in a book dedicated to his son, describes him as "a young man with a personality very worthy of an emperor, of handsome stature, of a very gentle character and of a sweet demeanor", adding that "the Queen of Scotland saw him once and she fell in love with him".

Darnley's surviving portrait, in which he appears as a round, indistinct pupil with a brown face, says nothing about his attractiveness; about what was behind his physical charm that blinded Mary so much, we know very little. Even younger than the queen, who was twenty-three, he was raised by a passionately ambitious woman, knowing he was the first prince of the blood, and yet he lives in poverty, nor does he seem to have received any form of training from his father in prudence, restraint, or prudent behavior. It was hardly surprising, since few people of his rank and age were so discreet. He was encouraged to be arrogant and was born proud.

It seems to have made no impression on the sensitive heart of Elizabeth, who with suspicious readiness placed it before Mary, as if indeed, as some indignant Scots asserted, she wished the Queen to be humiliated by such a vile marriage, and had shrewdly foreseen the effect it would have on Mary.

* * * * *

Much has been written about the dissolute habits and drunkenness of this unfortunate prince; it would be strange if he were free of any of these vices, but we have no real evidence that he was in any way inferior to any other youth of his age and rank. He was probably quite slandered by those who try to justify Mary by slandering him. His actions do indeed seem like maddening madness, but it must be remembered, regardless of Darnley's faults, that Mary chose him and chose him despite much good advice. It has been noted how she alienated Lethington and Moray, two men of intelligence and up to that point loyal, who had been to him the main pillars of her throne, and it is hard to understand how anyone with half the brain, the genius, the achievements that Mary would have had, could give herself up so suddenly and a totally noisy, irritable boy. Henry Stewart probably had more masculine qualities than was allowed; his tragedy was largely due to his youth and inexperience, and a game Mary played with him until he was annoyed almost to madness.

However, viewed from the most favorable angles, he does not appear to be a man who would arouse passionate love in a woman like Mary if she were a dignified, fulfilled princess, sensitive to her birth and responsibility that some would have us believe she was. Later events proved that she had no deep affection, respect, or tenderness for the handsome young man. Nor, according to Randolph, did he behave towards her in a way that aroused high feelings. Overwhelming physical passion and nothing else threw the queen into the arms of this stranger, and it was this undisguised display of it, even at a raw age, that infuriated onlookers. Brutal and dissolute as the Lords were, they resented the open debauchery of their queen - this pursuit of a beardless Adonis across royal Venus was not to man's taste. Hence the murmurs of "witchcraft" and the harsh accusations of Elizabeth, who had set this trap to humiliate Scotland.

The madness of the case was startling and forever ends Mary's claims of wisdom, prudence, or judgment. For such a match to succeed, top tact would be needed, and she failed to capitalize on it. Nor could she understand her lover, influence him, advise him, persuade him to any policy of concessions. It is unclear whether he reciprocated or incited her passions; if the accounts of his brutal naughtiness are true, he seems to have been more interested in fulfilling his wretched ambitions than in winning Maria's heart; maybe she was too easy and her stubborn attraction turned his head. Confronted by Moray, Lethington and all the lords, the inexperienced youth was foolish enough to trust the queen's love, which at the sight of him flared up like a train on fire, and would probably explode again soon.

And always close to the queen and her lover was the hated figure of another fool, David Rizzio, the arrogant foreign minister.

* * * * *

Though dark, contradictory and astonishing as the intricate intrigues that obscure Mary's life during this period, there is no mystery about her situation or the main motive of her behavior.

From her first meeting with Henry Stewart at Lord Wemyss' house, her character developed rapidly. Ambition, pride, a passionate desire to get her own way, a vengeful rage and a desire to take revenge on all who hindered her, animated her behavior. She gave up much to keep the throne; she supported Protestants against Catholics (in Huntly's rebellion), she signed strict laws against those of her own faith, she listened to Moray, Maitland and their Puritan followers. She endured the insolence of John Knox, who called her a "whore" to her face. She even endured personal insults for remaining true to her faith. Services at Holyrood Chapel were regularly interrupted by rowdies; Randolph describes one of these unusual scenes:

"Muffet, pretending to be mad, entered the Queen's Chapel, drew his sword, knocked over chalices, candlesticks and cross, dismissed the priest, etc. At this the queen is angry and many are pleased."

It was inevitable that these things would haunt Mary's mind. She decided to take revenge on all her enemies. She was tired of Elizabeth's dishonest policies and constant meddling, and desperately wanted any concession from her about the future. In the end, to the tormented woman, it seemed like a chance to stand up for herself, to shake off Moray and the reformers, to challenge Elizabeth, to avenge the Treaty of Edinburgh, the infidelity of the lords, the broken heart of her mother.

At first glance, it seemed that he had every chance of success. Her emissary, ostensibly sent with the embassy to congratulate Elizabeth, probed the Spanish ambassador about the possibility of help from Philip II and the answer was positive.

“Everything is getting too liberal now, and the Queen takes it upon herself to do as she pleases,” Randolph noted.

Hatred of Henry Stewart grew; not only his hereditary enemies, the Hamiltons, but all other aristocrats secretly became hostile to him. Only Lord Ruthven, who was accused of being a sorcerer like Earl Bothwell, was suspected of encouraging the Queen's debauchery and passion. Moray saw his power diminish day by day. Henry Stewart, looking at a map of Scotland and seeing the Moray estates marked on it, "said it was too much". Moray was indeed overrun with ecclesiastical land, but this speech was deemed too impudent; Mary forced her lover to "apologize to Moray". Sir James Melville, in his gossip "Memoirs", written long after these events, refers to Darnley as "a good young prince who failed sooner for want of good counsel and experience than for any evil inclination."

* * * * *

Elizabeth and her council spoke out against Lennox's contest for Mary. Among those who signed this resolution was the Duke of Norfolk, who himself had been suggested as Mary's potential husband. Elizabeth had already recalled Lennox and his son from Scotland, after which Lord Darnley protested to the English envoy. “Mr. Randolph, this is very difficult and extreme, what would you do if you were in my place?” When Randolph was unwilling to get involved, Darnley added, "I'll do what you would do if you were in my case, and I still don't mind going back."

Henry Stewart's return was indeed out of the question, "so great tokens of love" that Randolph "saw daily" passing between the Queen and Darnley were perhaps truly honeymoon delights, as Mary, according to some historians, was secretly married to Darnley at Stirling in March of that year, 1565, that is, a ceremony had taken place which she thought or could convince herself to consider legal. The point seems unclear. Of course, it was the knowledge of this secret marriage that led Henry Stewart to adopt this cavalier attitude, so intolerable to the Scottish nobility that neither the influence of the queen nor the efforts of his friends could stop it.

Mary met Henry Stewart, a total stranger, at Wemyss Castle on February 16, or if this ceremony took place, in March; in this case, the persistent rumor that the Queen had been Lord Darnley's mistress long before the official wedding in July was largely correct. Whatever value Mary placed on this "marriage," there could be no difference between such a sudden, secret, irregular relationship between someone of her rank and an illicit affair, and the fact that she could so instantly, under any cloak, give lightning. passion, sharply reveals her character and confirms the ugliest rumor about the Chastelard affair. A woman completely inexperienced with the anxieties and excitements of physical love is unlikely to give up so suddenly.

While there is much evidence that Mary was, as it is said, "in love" with her husband, completely submissive to him and wishing to please and respect him in every way, there is no evidence at present that all the feelings she fed to him, her. Not only was he devoid of any knightly gratitude or loyal attachment to her, but she seems to have inspired him without passion, or at best with a fleeting fit of sympathy.

Mary followed the irresistible impulse of passion to its logical conclusion in a secret ceremony in Stirling. The young man was there for her all the time, and excited and excited by her love, she was ready to assert her personality and take matters into her own hands like never before.

* * * * *

She hadn't been so cheerful since she'd come to Scotland; “Never in any period of the mass papacy was there a greater triumph than this last Easter ... on Monday she (Mary) and her wives, disguised as bourgeois women, went back and forth in the city. From every man they met they took a pledge or money for a feast, and in the same quarters where I usually live, dinner was prepared and cheered.

Randolph often mentions poverty in Scotland, and we hear nothing of orderly finances or smooth governance, and though this was attempted, constant wars, rebellions, piracy, and lawlessness must have even produced rude taxation. collecting difficult; Mary and her lords (with the exception of the cautious Moray and Morton) must have often needed money. However, there was a lot of personal luxury. When Mary and Lord Darnley played pool tables with Thomas Randolph and Mary Beaton, rings, watches and brooches were at stake. Lennox's rooms were "very well furnished, especially the rich and beautiful bed on which his master himself lies", Randolph noted. “And he (Lennox) gave the Queen a beautiful, noble and rich jewel of which little is said. He also gave each of the Marias such beautiful things as he saw fit - a clock and a dial interestingly crafted and adorned with precious stones, and a mirror very richly set with stones in four metals, for Maitland a very fine diamond in the ring, for Atholl another, and some for his wives. I don't know what to do to the others, but Moray nothing. No doubt Lennox understood what his money would be wasted on. He brought £700 from England, most of which he was to spend on gifts.

The Queen "danced long and masked": "also played dice and lost to Lennox a beautiful jewel of crystal, well set in gold." The festivities had a dark background, "Scotts and Elliots were beheaded by torchlight on Castle Hill, and a quarrel between Maitland and Lord Seton filled the streets with five hundred men armed with spears, swords and jacks."

* * * * *

When Throckmorton, who had been sent to Scotland to warn Mary of Elizabeth's reluctance to marry Lennox, delivered his message, Mary avoided his laughter. She drank Elizabeth's health and graciously added:with a good heart", but she had no intention of being subservient to England. She also seemed careless to offend France. Catherine de' Medici disliked the idea of ​​marrying Mary to Leicester so much that she threatened to cut off her dowry if that were the case: Mary could. I had no hope that the dowager queen would view the union with Lord Darnley with much more equanimity, but Mary was indifferent; no doubt she intended absolute control over her destinies and relied heavily on a possible alliance with Spain.

* * * * *

Mary's ambassador had little success with Elizabeth regarding the marriage of his queen to Lord Darnley. The Queen of England took this to mean that she "flew into a rage" as soon as the subject was introduced. She said she was very unhappy with the match because it was arranged without her consent and for other reasons; Maitland asked her if these reasons could be given to him in writing so that he could show them to his queen. Elizabeth refused this request.

Maitland then asked permission to visit Lady Margaret in the Tower and to present to her a letter he had for her from his Queen and another from Lady Margaret's husband, to which Elizabeth replied that she was very surprised that the Queen of Scotland thought that he will. . let Lady Margaret receive the letters because she was imprisoned for such a serious offense as refusing to return Lennox to England. Elizabeth also refused a letter from Lennox, saying she would "not accept letters from the traitor she was soon to declare him to be, and from his son as well", to which the ambassador naturally remarked that he was nothing more used to being. to do, but to leave. It is impossible to tell whether Elizabeth's anger was feigned or not, whether she was genuinely dissatisfied with her planned marriage to Darnley, or whether she was just playing her famous game of darts.

* * * * *

Randolph reported on 9 July that Mary and Darnley had secretly married at Holyrood and remained with Lord Seton; On the 22nd of that month, announcements of a public wedding were published and Lord Darnley, now Earl of Ross, was created Duke of Albany.

Mary accelerated her fortunes to a climax; her lover was proclaimed King of Scots and she married him publicly in the Royal Chapel at Holyrood on 29 July, months before the expected dispensation from Rome necessary for their marriage as cousins. The date given by Pius IV is Rome, September 25, 1566. So it was doubtful whether this much-discussed marriage was legal from a strictly Roman Catholic point of view.

Randolph wrote an account of the ceremony on the last day of the month to the Earl of Leicester, who may have read with regret for the missed opportunity or relief for the danger averted as he read this description of the dangerous Mary's marriage. to another English nobleman.

“This queen has now become a married woman and her husband has become king on the same day of their wedding. So many discontented spirits, so disliked by the subjects, that these things have been so commanded, I have never heard of heard in marriage."

Indeed, the marriage was bitterly unpopular, except in faction. “When he was proclaimed king, no one said as much as Amen, except his father, who shouted loudly, 'God preserve his mercy! "

The new king, who flaunted his slippery honor with stunned insolence, had the lowest opinion. Randolph might make an ominous remark: "I don't know what will become of him, but it is to be feared that he will not live long among these people."

The young king was regarded as "proud, contemptuous, suspicious"; it was believed that the queen behaved "without fear of God, princely majesty, or concern for her subjects." Randolph states that her behavior was viewed with "utter contempt" not only by the common people, but also by the wisest in the land. Among them was Moray, who "was saddened to see the extreme folly of his sovereign" and lamented the state of the country, which was "going to utter ruin".

The story that. Mary was enchanted, her "face, countenance and majesty" had changed so much that she seemed unrecognizable. Randolph, whose sympathy for the queen confirms the veracity of his reports as long as it shows he was not maliciously exaggerating, states that Mary "misjudged her own doings" and that he was saddened to see her ruined herself so. This gives the impression of a creature rushing towards destruction without its own will. It is possible that Maria already repented of March's secret relationship in July.

It must be remembered that Mary's reputation suffered not only from her stubborn marriage, but also from her primary favourite: "Signor David rules everything."

* * * * *

Such was the nature of this marriage, one of the most important and tragic in English history.

It took place on a Sunday morning between five and six in Holyrood Chapel in the presence of a large procession of nobles. Maria had worn mourning clothes since her arrival from France, except on official and intimate occasions, and it was in this ominous dress that she entered the chapel to attend the second marriage.

“She had a great black mourning dress on her back, a big wide mourning cap, similar to the one she wore on the mourning day of her husband's funeral. The Earls of Lennox and Atholl brought her into the chapel, and there she left until her husband came, who was also brought by the same gentlemen. The ministers, two priests, received them there, the words were pronounced, three rings were put on her finger, the middle one with a rich diamond. , they knelt together and many prayers were said over them.

“He went to her chamber, and she followed her through space, and there, in keeping with her seriousness, she threw off her mourning and laid aside these mourning robes to devote herself to a more pleasant life. After an honest refusal, more I think more for fashion than for heart sorrow, she allowed those who stood by, any man who might come near, to pull out a pin, and so devoted to her ladies, she disguised herself.

In the next passage, Randolph contradicts his earlier letters and declares his belief that Mary was neither Darnley's wife nor his lover. There was much rejoicing, celebration, and gaiety after the wedding, and for once Mary was able to feel both triumphant and happy, if only for a brief moment.

We have no record of Darnley's behavior except Randolph's unflattering account: "his words to all the people against whom he feels displeasure, though unjust, are so proud and spiteful that it seems that he would sooner become the monarch of the world than the one we have seen and he knew not so long ago as Lord Darnley.

“Now he seeks respect from many who are unwilling to show it to him, and while there are those who do, they consider him unworthy of it.

"All the honors that his wife can bestow on a man, he has him full and complete, he does not lack all the praises that can be said of him, all the honors that can be bestowed on him are already given and taken away. No man pleases her who does not satisfy him, and what more can I say. She has given him all her will to rule and direct him as she sees fit. She might as well overwhelm him with anything against his will, is that your lordship may come with me to persuade me to hang myself. This last dignity is out of control, to proclaim him king, he would defer it until Parliament agrees whether he himself is twenty-one, that things done in his name may have better authority. Under no circumstances would he allow it to be put off for a day and then or never."

It is a strange picture of the young groom's immense arrogance and the infatuation and almost cowering submission of the royal bride; no wonder people thought Maria was cursed.

David Rizzio came to power with Henry Stewart, whose tool he may have been, whose servant and jackal he certainly was for a short period of time. He was Maria's chief of correspondence, and Maria's attorney one of the excuses for employing this low-born foreigner was that she couldn't find anyone else who could handle the most important correspondence she had with France, Spain and Italy. then undertook, the main purpose of which was to obtain Roman Catholic support and money from one of these powers. This seems like a trivial reason; Mary could easily have found someone capable of these tasks who would not have caused the scandal caused by David Rizzio.

The third among her supporters and advisers was, grotesquely enough, Lord Bothwell. In the month of her marriage, she sent her kinsman, Hepburn of Riccartoun, to fetch this turbulent nobleman from Paris. Riccartoun was captured by the English, but the daring Bothwell, barely eluding, appeared before Mary in late September.

Mary confirmed him in the frontier lieutenant Darnley wanted for his father. This seems to be the first time she has interrupted or refused to grant any of his wishes; it was perhaps the first minor crack in their strange romance.

Apart from the spoiled, immature husband, greedy for royal honors but careless of royal responsibilities, the cunning and impudent Italian secretary of low birth, about whom we know so little, the discredited Bothwell, "an obscene man mad with ambition", a number of Roman Catholics gathered around Mary . But the sense of country, even of her own faith, was bitter towards her and her unnatural combination of an arrogant young husband, a foreign Scot, an impudent secretary, a foreign "servant" and a Border Lord with the worst possible reputation.

Mary had recently married during this period, in the fall of 1565, in a fit of willful passion, and had two men in great favor, one of whom she later married in scandalous circumstances, and the other to be her lover. These facts are enough to prove that Maria's reputation must be forever tarnished and that she was rather reckless or rather stupid, gossip or scandalous rumors cannot be believed. Either she didn't care about anything but indulge her own whims and desires, or she lacked the common sense to think that her desperately careless behavior could be covered up.

No woman, however prudent, talented, popular, or fascinating, would easily rule Scotland or find a husband to please the Scots. Perhaps Mary realized this and, in desperation, decided to please herself, hoping not to please anyone else. It is certainly hard to imagine how, even by a prudent marriage to a Protestant, she could have protected herself from the dangers which beset her; her inexperience, her sex, her education, her youth, her religion all went against her chance of success. On the other hand, it is also clear that even if her circumstances had been much more peaceful and hopeful than they were, she would have ruined everything by marrying a young man like Henry Stewart and taking favorites like David Rizzio and Lord Bothwell.

* * * * *

The first problems after her marriage came from Moray; there was a story of his plot to kidnap the Queen and her bride as they were on their way to Edinburgh for their wedding; Mary offered her stepbrother, who had retired from court, a safe-conduct for himself and eighty friends to clear himself of this accusation.

Moray was too cautious to accept the invitation and was either "slammed in the corner" or outlawed as a mutineer.

Mary's blood increased; she seems to have always disliked her half-brother, perhaps distrusting him, perhaps growing impatient under his yoke and his politics. She would never have liked the persecution of Catholics, in fact she always had to follow them in horror. She thought that with her husband David Rizzio to write the letters and Bothwell to command her army, she would be able to avenge the long years of suffering and humiliation she and her mother had endured. Congregation, agents and spies of England and Elizabeth.

She was tolerant; she issued a proclamation allowing any man to live according to his conscience, although the pope agreed to her marriage because it was helpful in restoring the true faith. But the Protestants did not want tolerance; they wanted the total expulsion of Catholics from Scotland. But as Knox and other ministers taunted her with increasing bitterness and fury, as Elizabeth carefully and secretly prepared to aid the Scottish rebels as she had aided them six years earlier against Mary of Guise, queen in the early triumphal days of her marriage, she still he wrote to Philip II begging his support for the restoration and maintenance of the Catholic religion in Scotland.

In September she was armed and pursued the fallen rebellious Lords of the Congregation, including Moray, from point to point, and Elizabeth continued to put off any active assistance, despite Randolph's plea for help from his mistress.

"They're like," he wrote in September, referring to the Lords, "have great adventures because they can't resist her power alone."

* * * * *

The Hamiltons, who naturally expressed disgust at this triumph of the Lennox faction, culminating in the marriage of Henry Stewart, were disgraced and ruined. A considerable number of Mary's subjects gathered around her; clearly feeling safe, she boldly stated to Randolph that she would rather lose her crown "than not avenge herself on her half-brother." Randolph adds, "I can suspect that there is something weighing heavily on her heart against him that she doesn't want to tell anyone." Some of her statements against her brother were of such a nature that they could not be adequately described.

Randolph addresses the black issues between Mary and Moray. Perhaps it wasn't his opposition to her marriage to Darnley, but his dislike of the favors Rizzio had done. Randolph believed that Moray knew too much, "the secret part not to be mentioned out of respect", and the conclusion is that Mary, married less than six weeks, had already taken Rizzio as a lover and that Moray knew, or the reference is: some think, to an even darker secret of more than brotherly love followed by bitter resentment. Such stories were whispered about the princes of Valois and their sisters.

* * * * *

On September 19, the Earl of Bedford wrote to Cecil of Berwick, where he was governor, "I will not write what face the Queen shows to David, for the honor of a queen", while Elizabeth, the French ambassador, Paul de Foix, in the months that followed, Mary's hatred of Moray that he wanted to hang Rizzio, whom she loved and favored, giving him more influence than was good for either her interests or her honour. Whether Mary had this personal reason or some other, even more intimate, reason for hating her brother was impossible to say, but at least she seemed determined to shed all his influence and more. She told Randolph that she "saw where he was going and that he would put the crown on his head himself." Perhaps these feelings were inspired by King Henry, who from the beginning distrusted and hated the Queen's half-brother, the man most likely to defeat him in his ambitions.

Elizabeth offered the Lords a financial aid of three thousand pounds, sent by the Earl of Bedford, as they, like Mary, desperately needed money to continue the fight. Other help and open attitude Elżbieta vehemently denied. In her letter to the Lords of the Congregation, October 1, 1565, Elizabeth refused all assistance and rebuked them for bearing arms against their Sovereign. Elizabeth always feared rebellion and never encouraged another monarch's subjects to rebel, fearing it would set a bad example for her own people.

Mary went around "besieging houses and taking all they had," as Randolph put it, trying to raise money to encourage her subjects, cheerful, alert, finally shaken, determined to assert her authority as queen and her rights as woman. "Bothwell undertakes great things and promises much - fit captain for such a loose company..." Randolph wrote, adding bitterly: "In short, whatever he can do by authority, request, favor or benefit, all rolled into one, so that it serves to overthrow those who are offended.

One of Mary's main characteristics, later noticed by all who came in contact with her, is now revealed for the first time: she was vindictive. She had an ardent desire for revenge for wrongs, insults, alleged offenses - a spirit not very common, but sometimes found with a generous disposition.

* * * * *

Morton, "Black Douglas", served with the Queen either because he thought it was in his best interest or as a spy for Moray. With rigorous marches, she and the king pursued the rebels across the country, wearing scarlet and gold armor, a steel helmet on her head, loaded pistols in a holster.

Among the lords who joined her was George Gordon, Earl of Huntly, ruined and disgraced, who had long been a prisoner at Dunbar and was the son of the Rooster of the North, who without a word and without a word fell dead from his horse. a groan in Corrich. . She apparently convinced him that Moray, not her, was responsible for his family's downfall; she promised him dignity and fortunes, and he marched with her from Edinburgh with the young king on October 8, with all royal power behind him. The aim was to confront the rebels who had then gathered in Dumfries.

Mary, intoxicated with her newfound power, decided to put an end to Elizabeth and her meddling. The day she left Edinburgh on her warlike expedition against the rebels, she wrote this letter.


I understand that you have taken offense at the king, my husband and me for no good reason. To make matters worse, your servants on the border threaten to burn and plunder our subjects who want to help us fight the rebels. If you choose, which I do not believe, to side with our traitors, we will be forced not to hide it from our princely ally.

Your loving good sister and cousin,

While Mary was thus writing to the woman with whom she had so long and so hopelessly tried to reconcile, Randolph gave a very different account of that triumphant departure from Edinburgh. The Englishman was saddened and surprised by the sudden dominance of Bothwell, the most discredited of the three men (Darnley, himself and Rizzio) who then influenced Mary's advice. Randolph could not understand how Bothwell would gain favor after the "dirty words" he had said about her, words that Randolph himself repeated to Mary and which she heard corroborated by other witnesses. Interesting that Mary could have overlooked such an insult, curious that Randolph could discuss such an issue with her, and curious that she should, as the Englishman bitterly writes, "be content now to get much from him." his. , and place it in veneration above all its objects.

It is in this letter that Randoph says, "The hatred he has for my lord Moray is neither because of his religion nor because he wants to take his crown from her, but she knows that he understands the secret part that must not be respected." be summoned for this. It's not with her honor. This is a misfortune, this is a sadness, how can it be saved and restored, I believe it is for human reason to ponder.

Randolph's next sentence seems to indicate some knowledge on his part of Moray's true affection and loyal devotion to his half-sister.

Despite having such respect for his Sovereign that I am sure very few know of these things, and if the libel and slander were removed from her I believe he would leave the country all the days of his life. lives. Pots had already grown between her and her husband... some of her jewels had recently been exchanged for fifteen marks, there was no money in Edinburgh. What an honor she left town this time! She only had one woman with her, and she is sure, if what I hear is true, that she has a secret defense with her, a helmet on her head, a dagger on her saddle. Assuming this is not true, what can be argued for the love of those who report it? I write these things more from the sadness of my heart than from the pleasure of exposing all kinds of shames, especially those we should respect when they know their duty.

"It would take you too long to write down everything I've heard of Darnley's words and deeds, his boasting to friends here, and the assurances of those who, if they knew, would be the first to retaliate against false reports."

In September Cecil Sir Thomas Smith wrote in Paris: "You know the intrinsic quality of the match, therefore the event is uncertain. The young king is so bold that his father, tired of ruling, left the court."

Three months later, after the public marriage, Mary showed more self-confidence and admitted to being more intimate with the Piedmontese than with her husband, the object of her impetuous and obvious passion. Randolph, lamenting that a lowborn stranger had been given all the leadership of queen and country, explains that Rizzio did not enjoy his honor with more leniency than the king.

It is inconceivable that the stern and proud Scottish aristocrats, who had failed to swallow the impertinence of Henry, who was at least a proclaimed king, one of their own, and a royal steward, could conceive the appearance of this presumptuous foreign treaty. . Without listening to Mary. champions or opponents, but on the facts alone it remains astonishing that she lacked prudence and common sense, that she supposed that her pick of David Rizzio could go on for a long time without fatal consequences for her and the favorite. And if at that time she was not a woman whose excited passions and sense of power overcame all shame and modesty in her, she was at least stupidly stubborn and imprudent. It's impossible not to sympathize with Moray and Lethington and their rough retreat into rebellion.

"I may as well say that I have never known or heard of a more headstrong woman and more self-conscious about her own opinions without order, reason or discretion," Randolph wrote. “Her husband, in all these circumstances, and even worse, is beyond himself. Her advice is that men are never valued for wisdom or honesty. They talk about her and everything about her so badly that you might think it's worse than usual from human lips These things will seem strange to you, especially confirmed by me, although I often praise her in word and in writing wherever I can, and I find it difficult to to believe that she has changed so much in her nature that she only bears the figure of this woman. she was before.

* * * * *

As Mary Dumfries approached, the rebels fled across the border. Moray was in Carlisle two days before leaving Edinburgh. Mary left Lord Bothwell as Lord Lieutenant to guard the frontier and returned to Holyrood, bereft of revenge, perhaps therefore furious, still believing that she had never been and never would be absolute ruler of Scotland.

Moray blamed Elizabeth for driving him into a useless rebellion. He introduced himself to her in late October, when she publicly rebuked him as a rebel, in the presence of the French ambassador.

Elizabeth sent a report to Randolph to show Mary this public humiliation of Moray. She said she wished her dear sister had been there to hear for herself how she scorned her rebel. "Until now," declared the Queen of England emphatically, "had she not supported the cause of traitors, that she considered it a disgrace to endure them so tacitly, she would have wished her name stricken from the list of princes unworthy of their place, if she had done something such.

At the same time, Mary was expecting a gift of twenty thousand crowns from King Philip of Spain, which must have given her much more satisfaction than a false testimony of Elizabeth's friendship and loyalty. It wasn't long before she could enjoy the prospect of this help, however, as Yaxley, her envoy, drowned on his return and the ship was wrecked off the coast of Northumbria. The money was still with his body when it washed ashore, and was claimed by the Earl of Northumberland, under his pre-banking rights, who managed to keep the money despite the claims of the English and Scottish crowns. In this, as in more important matters, mere misfortune seemed to overshadow Maria's conduct.

* * * * *

At Christmas, the burst of triumph, the glorification of love and passion, the flash of freedom and absolute sovereignty came to an end for Mary. She had been married for six months and was estranged from her husband. Her hope, her dignity, her security had vanished with the last puffs of her brief passion. What led to this growing cold we do not know; it seems clear that Mary fell completely in love with the young king when she refused him a crown marriage, a blemish he blamed on David Rizzio's growing influence.

"I've never seen so many changes as in this administration," Randolph wrote. “For a while there was nothing but the King and Queen and His Majesty and her; now "Queen's husband" is the most common word; it was ranked first in all the writings, now it is ranked second."

Coins bearing both Mary's and Henry's faces were called, and ugly rumors and scandals began to circulate around the king and queen. It was said that the young king himself led a mean and disgusting life, drinking himself into a state of stupidity. He was openly drunk while entertained at an Edinburgh merchant's house; the queen tried to rebuke him, and he gave her such words that she left the place in tears. “Darnley hates the queen a lot. She is very tired of him, and some people think that soon she will be even more so.

Lennox's faction, on the other hand, denies any wrongdoing on the king's part; his wife's behavior must have made things very difficult for him. He interfered little in business and often hunted with his English train.

In March 1566, Randolph knew that the lives of David Rizzio, and possibly Mary herself, were in danger. "I know that there are practices that are designed to concoct between father and son to come to the crown against her will will be slit throat in these ten days Much worse and worse things than this are brought to my attention, yes things that are against her own person and which I, as I think it is better to keep it secret than to write to the secretary (Cecil), do not speak of it, but now Your Majesty.

Therefore, it must have been almost a public secret at court that violence was foreseen against the person of the overbearing Piedmontese. Mary obviously had no idea, and the Italian himself had no warning. Secretary Cecil was silent, it would never have occurred to him to try to save the life of a useless person like Rizzio. Lethington gave Cecil a hint of what was to come in another, subtler sense.

"Get married, I don't see a sure way until we get to the roots. You know where it is as far as my judgment is concerned, the sooner everything is fixed the less danger of discomfort.

To increase the anger of the nobles against Rizzio, it was rumored that the title of chancellor had just been stripped from Moray's friend and ally Earl Morton, and was about to be given to an Italian.

According to some authorities, it was Lennox, about whom very little is actually known, who was the villain in the tragedy that was about to begin at Holyrood. They say it was he who instilled in his son's wavering mind all sorts of jealousy and fear, fueled his ambition, assured him that as a man he would be the first ruler of Scotland, and that his wife would only be entitled to obey beside him and whisper into his distracted ears venomous suggestions about Mary's dishonorable behavior towards David Rizzio.

It may be that Lennox may have been playing Iago to his son, or it may have been his own perception that the king had caused his own jealousy. Either way, it is clear that early in 1566 the king must have been under the pressure of some powerful emotion, either completely intoxicated by his constant drinking, or completely under the influence of spirits stronger than his own. because he took the most extreme steps.

The second-hand account that Paul de Foix, the French ambassador in London, sent to his court that the king broke down his wife's bedroom door and found Rizzio hidden in the closet, with his cloak over his nightgown, is usually discredited. but it should be noted. Why did De Foix tell such a story to Mary's relatives if he didn't believe it? He had to rely on his informant. Such an incident would be a sufficient explanation for the king's behavior. He had other and unmistakable grievances; Maria's refusal to acknowledge him on the Crown Marriage Certificate, her use of an iron seal bearing his signature so that state papers could be passed without his knowledge, and her lack of a steady income.

* * * * *

Whatever his main motives, about a year after the secret marriage, King Henry, knowing that his wife was heavily pregnant, became involved, or involved, as it is commonly said, with the men he hated most and for whom he had the most reason. hate him, the late rebel lords, and a few others like Lord Ochiltree for killing David Rizzio in such a way that the queen's life might be in danger as well. The bond was to be the signature of an association to kill the Queen's favorite and enemy of the state. But in approving it, the king went to great lengths to tarnish his wife's honor by declaring that he believed David Rizzio to be her lover, casting doubt on the legitimacy of the child she was to bear.

Either the queen was surrounded by extremely unscrupulous slanderers or she was behaving extremely imprudently, for when her condition was first mentioned Randolph wrote that he wished "that a son of David should reign over Scotland". It was a stigma that would always remain on the name of James VI, and to discredit the legitimacy of a child whose birth would strengthen their position was so clearly against the interests of the king and the Lennox faction that it was hard not to. to believe that the unfortunate husband, either falsely excited or convinced of the obvious truth, really believed what he had said about the queen and Rizzio. *

[*British term Solomon referring to James VI and said to be derived from an epithet uttered by Henry IV in France - "Solomon, son of David".]

There were other articles in Bound about Rizzio's assassination: Henry Stewart would get the matrimonial crown, the rebellious lords would be pardoned and restored to their estates. It was signed on March 1, and by March 6, the Earl of Bedford and Thomas Randolph heard about it. The letters commissioned by Bedford, but written with caution by Randolph, are strong evidence against Mary and do not present the king in a good light.

"The matter is this," wrote the Englishman, "you have heard of the quarrels and quarrels between this queen and her husband, partly because she refused him a crown marriage, and partly because he gave notice of such use of himself that all together is intolerable, which if it wasn't too well known, we both wouldn't like to think it might be true. To remove this opportunity for slander, he himself is determined to have him arrested and executed whom he can expose and accuse of the crime, and inflict upon him the greatest disgrace that can be done to a human being, much more so for what he is. the execution and enforcement of these cases is before Parliament and is clear.

According to this letter (and there seems to be no reason to believe that Randolph or Bedford deliberately wrote a lie), Mary's relationship with Rizzio was jointly owned, and this was within months of her amorous relationship. However horrific the king's conduct was, and bitterly condemned by Maria's friends and enemies for his part in David Rizzio's terrible tragedy, perhaps it can be said that, however young and inexperienced he was, he was impressed, first by Maria's unbridled passions, then by her sudden coldness and audacious infidelity would have sufficed to turn his head and induce him to the most terrible revenge.

It is clear from Bond's words that no mercy is to be shown to Mary, nor is her condition or future child's welfare to be considered; "the act may take place in one of the Queen's houses or in the presence of Majesty." Not only that, but Mary would be mortally ashamed and disgraced to murder the man who was supposed to be her lover in her presence.

Despite two warning letters sent to England, no one intervened in this court. David Rizzio was allowed into his fate.

Very little is known about this Piedmontese girl with a bass voice, lute skills, arrogant face and an address to please Mary Stewart. Some describe him as ugly, by some as a young man, by others as fifty-four. A small drawing of him, if genuine, shows him as a young man with large black eyes, everyday features, wearing a cap and holding a lute. There is nothing in his face to distinguish him from his contemporaries, but if this is a true parable, at least the man was young, the smooth features of a youth; it is unbelievable that he was old when his brother Giuseppe was said to be eighteen.

As this deadly plot matured, Mary discovered Thomas Randolph's plots with the rebels and was exiled to Berwick, where she remained with Bedford, the governor, and continued to send Queen Elizabeth every possible report.

In addition to the gang responsible for Rizzia's murder, Henry Stewart signed one more to protect his accomplices. The king, who himself signed "Henryk R.", was to "obtain their pardon, cease their confiscation, restore their lands, support them in the practice of the Reformed religion, and support them as a good lord should."

In addition to the great nobles who undertook to slay the favourite, Darnley stated that he had "recruited lords, barons, tenants, lords, merchants and artisans to assist us in this enterprise, which cannot be completed without great danger, and as it may be that some great personalities are present, which may force them to oppose our enterprise and cause some of them to be killed. The king has pledged to protect his friends from the blood feud of such great personalities.

* * * * *

During the course of this plot, Mary presided over the marriage of another favourite, Lord Bothwell, who, despite previous entanglements, now openly married Jane Gordon, daughter of the old Rooster of the North, killed at Corrichie. She was the sister of the then reigning Earl of Huntly, who had recently won the Queen's favor and joined forces with Bothwell against Moray and other rebel lords. She was also the sister of that John Gordon who had been hacked to death in Inverness in front of Mary.

Jane Gordon remained a Catholic, although her brother, the desperate and capricious Earl of Huntly, converted to Protestantism. Her groom settled at her Crichton Castle (where Lady Jane Hepburn's wedding took place in 1562 in the Queen's presence) and other properties. But most of the estate was heavily mortgaged, and the bride's dowry of twelve thousand marks was to be used for repayment. One of the witnesses to the marriage contract was David Chalmers, Chancellor of Ross, whose house, according to Buchanan, served as an amenity in Bothwell's intrigue with the Queen.

The wedding took place at Holyrood's old royal church, then used by Protestants, rather than in the chapel, as Bothwell had objected to the Queen's wish to be married "in the chapel during mass", a Roman Catholic ceremony. A Reformed Church dignitary, oddly named the Archbishop of Athens, Alexander Gordon, Bishop of Galloway, the bride's uncle, performed the ceremony on February 24.

It was the Queen herself who made this match, on whose orders and under what impetus we do not know. The bride, a well-mannered twenty-year-old girl, carelessly dressed and fond of poetry, presented a rich wedding dress. There was a kinship between the two parties, and the pope granted a dispensation from the Archbishop of St Andrews. The bride was Catholic, but the wedding took place at the Reformed Church on February 24.

* * * * *

A few days later, Rizzio's murder occurred, which Knox deemed "commendable."

There are several accounts of this famous event, the most important being those by Lord Ruthven, however biased they may be and may have been later updated by Cecil, and those by the Queen herself, however little reliable they may be.

The clear facts are:

That Saturday night, Mary sat at dinner with her half-sister, Jane Stewart, two years apart from Archibald, Earl of Argyll, Arthur Erskine of Blackgrange, brother of the Earl of Mar, considered by Knox to be "the most contagious papist in the world." the realm' and Master of the House, Lord Robert Stewart, Brother of Moray and Countess of Argyll, who was Prior of Holyrood House, and Robert Beaton, Lord Creich, Keeper of Falklands Palace and High Steward; the sixth member of the party that nearly filled the small closet was David Rizzio Mary's adjoining bedroom, connected directly to the king's chamber.

By his own stairs the king entered the small dining room and sat down beside his wife. He was followed almost immediately by assassins led by Lord Ruthven, then mortally ill but nevertheless in full armour, and George Douglas, of the family of the Earl of Angus, well known "Way to goand related to Bothwell.

There were about twenty of them, and all of them were more or less armed. Outside the palace gates, the cunning Morton and the ruthless Lindsay gathered a large force, said to be five hundred strong, enough to repel any rescue attempt.

Ruthven, a ghostly figure suffering from internal inflammation, entered the small dining room, sword drawn.

Mary in agony asked him about his affairs. Ruthven replied that although he was very sick, he was there for her sake.

The Queen replied that she would not get in the way of a well-meaning man. Ruthven said, “No harm is intended for Your Grace or for anyone but the coward there, David. It's him I need to talk to.

The queen then demanded what he did. Ruthven replied, "Ask the king, your husband, ma'am."

At this, the queen turned to the king in consternation (strange that she had not done so sooner) and asked him the meaning of Ruthven's words, and he replied bitterly or grimly, "I know nothing of the matter."

The angered queen then had Ruthven leave the room, and her companions tried to evict him. Brandishing his sword, he called out, "Don't touch me, or I won't be touched."

Perhaps it was a prearranged sign, because when he spoke, others spoke of killers who had broken into the small apartment. The unfortunate Italian, who with a little prudence or common sense could have foreseen that such a fate awaited him, tried to hide behind the queen's skirts and tried to protect him.

The king put his arm around her waist, leaned his back against the wall, and the secretary was dragged away, and though the intention of the gentlemen was to "save him until morning" and then hang him in public, their anger at finding a victim in their power overcame them, and the Italian was stabbed and thrown out the window into the courtyard below.

So, facts as far as they can be ascertained; so Mary's version of the tragedy she sent to Archbishop Beaton, her ambassador in Paris, except that she claims, which Ruthven denied, that actual violence was used in her presence, guns were thrown at her, to Rizzio as he flinched after her. for shelter, so that she feared for her life and that of her child.

At the end of this letter, Mary pleaded with her ambassador to forward its contents to the Court to prevent the spread of false reports.

"Don't forget to tell the ambassadors."

She sent a similar bill to the King and Queen Mother of France. Both lists show readiness, sharp intelligence and not a trace of emotion. If Mary was overthrown by Rizzio's murder in her presence, she made peace in these letters to hide her fear and her fear, and if the man was more than a useful tool to her, she made peace to hide it.

Ruthven's account, which represents the other side of the issue, is more dramatic than the queen's. There is a disgusting horror in his relationship that she lacks. His account of what happened between her and the king that Monday night seems to touch the depths of human misery, humiliation and rudeness.

Ruthven was a dying man when he reported Rizzio's murder in favor of Cecil at Berwick, and Morton assisted him in this task.

He begins his relationship by dwelling on his illness. He stated that he was so weak and weakened by illness and medication that he could hardly walk around his room without sitting down. And while he was in this state, the king sent for him and told him all his grievances against David Rizzio, and that as a friend and relative he expected him to help him escape with David, to which Ruthven replied that the king was too young and easy, and he could not trust him, declaring that he had already advised him once for his own good, and that the king immediately told the queen, who visited them both in anger.

George Douglas, the illegitimate son of the Earl of Angus, who acted as intermediary in the matter, presented this reply to the King, who then swore that whatever advice Lord Ruthven might give him would not divulge it to His Majesty or to anyone else. .

Then Ruthven, by his own admission, began to think about how to bring other Protestants and exiled lords to this plan to kill David. After "long reasoning and a journey of several days, the king was content that they should return to the kingdom of Scotland", in other words, he wanted his exiled enemies to return if only they would help him dislodge the attacking foreigner.

Ruthven then gives the text of the bonds and how they were signed. Accordingly, Mary apparently suspected that the king was plotting some kind of plot against her, "and subtly tried to find out from him what he meant." She failed to do so, however, and the king's anger against David was so fierce that he "sent daily to Lord Ruthven to say that he could bear David no longer, and if his slaughter was not hastened he would kill him." yes, if it were in the Queen's own chamber.

Ruthven had objected to these acts of violence, not out of tenderness for the victim or for the queen, but because it was unseemly for him, the king, to shake hands with such a vile person. And Ruthven, perhaps to justify himself, here declares that when Darnley was told that it was neither expedient nor honorable to kill David in spite of the crimes he had committed, but to capture him and put him on trial by the nobility, the King's Majesty replied that he was "unwieldy" so that he could escape, but could always be relied upon to be captured and hanged or dispatched by other means. Then came the Queen's and her husband's journey to Leith, the King constantly sending messages to Ruthven through George Douglas "that all be ready for David's assassination on the day he returns to Edinburgh, or else he will be met with execution by his own hands".

Meanwhile, Ruthven, despite his first real or feigned reluctance, was now busy drawing Morton, Lindsay, and a host of barons, lords, and freeholders into this scheme. All preparations seemed practical and cold-blooded; Ruthven believed enough assassins would be ready by Friday or Saturday, March 8 or 9. He suggested that the Italian "be captured in his own room or while passing through the gardens." But the king refused for bitter reasons, namely that the Italian stayed with the queen until late at night. He was in the "upper closet and sometimes Senor Francisco's closet and sometimes his own closet where he had all sorts of back doors and windows so he could escape."

The king insisted that Rizzio be taken to his wife's table in her presence. Out of respect for Mary, Ruthven and gentlemen objected to this cruel procedure. The husband, however, persisted in his plan and devised the murder plan himself.

The gentlemen, however, were still somewhat suspicious of the king's youth, freedom, and violence. "Because he was a young prince and then had a lovely princess who could lie in his arms, who could persuade him to deny everything he had done for his cause and pretend that others had persuaded him to do the same, they thought be sure of it."

Another Bond is done which is very interesting:

"We, Henry, by the grace of God, King of Scots and Majesty's Lieutenant, as we have so often seen a gentle and good nature with Her Majesty's many other good qualities, we sympathized and also consider it a great conscience for us that her husband has to allow it to be used or misled by certain secret persons, wicked and impious, not as to Her Majesty, yes, nor her nobility, nor their commons, but seeking their own goods and private profits, especially a strange Italian named David."

The case against David couldn't have been better. At the conclusion of the League, the king, by order of the prince, guaranteed that the said earls, lords, barons, freeholders, lords, merchants, craftsmen would be harmless (that is, free from harm) "in our highest power. witness which we signed with our own hand at Edinburgh on March 1, 1565."

On Saturday, the young king put into practice the device he had carefully practiced. After eating, he went to the queen's study and left the door to the secret passage open behind him.

According to Ruthven, he came by this secret route to the queen's chamber and through the chamber to the study, where he found "His Majesty sitting at supper in the center of a small table, and Lady Argyll at a small table. the end and David at the head of the table with his cap on his head, the King seated with the Majesty of the Queen with his hand around her waist.

A conversation then ensued between Ruthven and Mary, very much like the one he relates in his own letter, which must therefore be essentially correct. According to Ruthven, he spoke much longer than portrays Mary, and dared to mention among his grievances against the Italians "that he has offended Your Majesty's honor, which I dare not say so boldly." He also accused the Italian of causing the exile of a large number of the most important nobility, and of accepting bribes and goods for every stipend or office that passed through his hands. Then he said to the king:

"Sir, bring to you the Queen's Majesty, your Sovereign and Consort."

Maria was "completely amazed and didn't know what to do." But she faced the Italian, who grabbed the folds of her dress and leaned against the sill, dagger in hand. Then the abbot of House Holyrood, Lord Creich, Lord of the House, King's Apothecary, and one of his Chamber grooms, began to capture Ruthven. He took out his dagger and freed himself while more came in and told them, "Don't touch me because I don't want to be touched." As the others entered, Ruthven says he raised his dagger.

His version of the table overturning given by Maria is that when the men ran in, the plate fell against the wall with the meat and candles on it, and Mrs. Argyll took one of the candles in her hand. At the same time, Lord Ruthven took the Queen in his arms and laid her in the arms of the King, begging Her Majesty not to be afraid, for there was no one there to do more harm to Her Majesty's body than his own heart. assured Her Majesty that all that was done was by the king's own act and consent."

Then Rizzio was drawn away from the queen by a secret route to the king's chamber, where stood a great number "who opposed the said David so fiercely that they could no longer resist and had to kill him at once." …arrest the queen's far door in the upper chamber.

Lindsay then came from Their Majesties (probably only from Darnley) to go to David's room for a black box containing the writings in numbers that the Earl of Morton had provided them with. He gave "peace in trust to John Sempill, son of Lord Sempill, with all the goods, gold, silver and clothing therein."

Mary and her husband then left the study for the Queen's room, where Ruthven, though he does not say so, must have been present, as he describes a long conversation in which Mary reproaches her husband:

“My lord, why have you made me do this evil deed, remembering that I brought you down from your lowly state and made you my husband? How have I offended you that you have disgraced me?

The king responded with his complaints and the neglect he had received from his wife since she courted Rizzi, reminding her that although he may have been of "an inferior race, she promised him obedience on their wedding day."

Mary, whose words seemed more inspired by raging anger than grief, threatened her husband with "all the disgrace of this night's work", telling him that she would never live with him again as his wife and that "never rest until he has a worse heart than she then."

Ruthven intervened, telling her to do everything in her power to keep the government working as well as it always has and to keep things as they were. Ruthven then begged the queen's forgiveness, collapsed on the stump and shouted for a drink "for God's sake".

The Frenchman brought him a goblet of wine, which Ruthven drank. Mary began "cursing" at him, as he put it.

"Is it your disease, Lord Ruthven?"

The dying man replied:

"God forbid Your Majesty should have such an illness, for I would rather give up all the chattels I have than have them."

Mary's anger was now directed at Ruthven. She threatened that "if she or her child or the Commonwealth were to die, she would leave the power to her friends to take revenge on Lord Ruthven and his progeny."

With what appeared to be a hysterical rebellion, the helpless woman reminded the assassin that she had "the King of Spain, her great friend, also the Emperor, and the King of France, her good brother Cardinal of Lorraine, and her uncles in France, besides the Holiness of the Pope and many others princes in Italy.

To which Ruthven replied that "these noble princes were too great figures to meddle with – with a poor man like him, for he was Her Majesty's subject."

Mary repeated her threats, to which Ruthven told her that "if she does not like any of the affairs of the night, she cannot sue the king, her husband, or any of her subjects."

A tumult now broke out in and around Holyrood House, as supporters of Mary, Bothwell, his newly appointed brother-in-law, Huntly, Atholl, Caithness and Sutherland, having learned of the bloody affair, tried to break through, with their servants and officers in the palace, entered the home and fought in the Castle against the Earl of Morton and his company.

The king would have died had Lord Ruthven stopped him, and sick as he was himself, he descended amidst the tumult, but by then the queen's supporters had been driven back and had to make their way up the gallery to their chambers.

Ruthven went to Lord Bothwell's chamber, where he gathered other nobles from the Queen's side, Huntly, Sutherland, Caithness and Grant. According to his account, Ruthven was able to converse with these restless spirits; he assured them that all that had been done that night had been done by order of the Majesty of the King himself, and that the banished lords would be there before dawn.

Bothwell and his friends seemed to accept this explanation, wine was served around, and Ruthven went to his friend Atholl's room. While he was arguing with this nobleman, Bothwell and Huntly, clearly outnumbered and in a dangerous position, escaped Holyrood through a low window, "by leaping through a low window into a small garden where the lions were," says Melville, as Ruthven. after talking to Atholl, who was not annoyed by the murder but annoyed that he had not been warned of it beforehand, he returned to the hapless queen, still arguing piteously with the king, and told her that the banished lords would return, and she reminded him that they were sent for him.

By this time, the curate of Edinburgh had already awakened, the alarm bell had rung, and a large crowd of armed men had entered the outer courtyard of the palace. The King appeared at the window and ordered them to return to their homes, declaring that he and the Royal Highness were in good health. They parted ways without giving Maria a chance to explain her side of the matter or indicate if she needed their help.

Ruthven once again confronted the hapless queen, who was still in her room with her husband, showing her "that nothing was wrong and that the lords and all were merry." Mary asked "what happened to David?" Ruthven did not tell her that the Italian had been killed, but replied that he thought he was in the king's chamber. So Mary, no doubt with great bitterness, wanted to know why Ruthven had conspired with Moray, his enemy? She referred to her half-brother's anger over the gift of a pointed diamond magic ring that Ruthven once gave her as it was supposed to "protect me from being poisoned".

Ruthven then proceeded to argue about the ring, saying that he did not believe in its magical properties and that he had only given it to Mary to appease her, and eventually, though not particularly sensitive or kind, began to remark that "it was the Queen's Majesty that was tired".

Mary must indeed have been weary in mind, body, and soul, though neither this account nor her own account of the contagious attack which other versions say she was afflicted with, nor of the sudden fear of miscarriage and the midwife being summoned.

Ruthven "dragged the king, and with him all his party", leaving Mary alone again with her ladies and the bridegrooms of her room.

While the king was discussing future courses with the conspirators, the gates were locked, "the queen's majesty walked in her chamber, and Lord Ruthven ventilated downstairs in the secret passages", the king ordered David to be thrown down. stairway from where he was killed and taken to the gatehouse where he was undressed by the janitor's servants, who remarked: "Such was his fate, for in this coffin he first lay when he came to this place; now he lies here again, the most ungrateful and misunderstood scoundrel."

The unfortunate Italian seems to be hated by everyone, tall and short. Ruthven adds: "The royal wyyard (dagger) was found piercing David's side after his death, but always the queen asked the king where his wyyard was, who replied that 'he is not well.' will know later.

The king went to bed, but rose again at eight o'clock and entered the queen's chamber, and the terrible quarrels of the previous night resumed, "one teasing the other until ten o'clock," as Ruthven put it.

Early that Sunday morning, when the King wrote his proclamation to be read at Market Cross, "Moray and his associates arrived at Holyrood and were gratefully received by the King."

Mary heard of her half-brother's arrival and sent for him. She received him kindly.

The conspirators feared that the Queen might try to escape from Holyrood among the women, who were apparently allowed to come and go freely, so the King gave orders that no one should "go forward unhindered".

The Queen, however overwhelmed by this terrible event, whatever feelings she had for David, whatever lust for revenge or anger consumed her, soon gathered her strength and prepared herself for the part she was to play with somewhat sinister wit and courage. . Not only did she gladly accept her half-brother, the exiled Moray, who returned without leave hours after a murder in which she suspected he had been involved in the murder, but she started talking about her husband.

That Sunday, he stayed locked in with her, and the end of their conversation was the promise to spend the night with her, making peace between them over the blood of David Rizzio.

The gentlemen saw this beginning of "reconciliation between king and queen", which they did not like in any way; they feared that they would be betrayed by the "proud tyrant and young fool", as they would soon call the king, that the seductive princess would start working with him sooner than they feared.

"Seeing", says Ruthven, "he had become effeminate again" (that is, under the influence of the queen), they warned him that he would take no action he would regret, words that Darnley may later recall.

However, the king insisted on evicting the queen's apartment. Lord Ruthven was lying in the king's wardrobe, and in the middle of that Sunday evening George Douglas came to him and showed him that the king had fallen asleep in his own room. Ruthven and Douglas made several attempts to awaken the king to fulfill his bargain with Mary; no doubt they feared that she would be deeply offended by such rude behavior. However, the king slept until six in the morning. Ruthven then woke him up and chided him for not keeping his promise to Mary. The answer was that he fell into a deep sleep and could not wake up.

It was early Monday morning. The king went to the queen's room and sat down beside her bed. She, probably in revenge for the belated bitter contempt, lay motionless for an hour and did not speak, as if she were sleeping.

She finally asked him why he hadn't come to see her the night before, and he replied that he had fallen into a deep sleep. He offered her some caresses, which Mary refused, saying she was ill. The king pleaded for the recall of the exiled lords and the murder of Rizzio, which Maria seemed pleased with. The king, completely deceived, came down very merrily and declared to his fellow conspirators that everything was all right. But they warned him about the queen "because she had been trained at the French court from her youth and was good at intrigue."

The King then dressed and re-entered the Queen's room at nine o'clock when, after a further two hours of talking with her, he left and told Counts Ruthven and Lindsay that "all is well and that the Queen will forgive them." ". The king's assurances did not impress either of the two gloomy Scots, however; they completely and always distrusted Mary. "All that talk," they declared, "was just politics," and assuming promises were made, little or nothing would be kept.

The arguments continued until lunchtime, when the midwife and doctor assured the king that the queen was in danger of miscarrying if she was not moved to freer air. But the earls and lords still feared it was "just a political ruse", whereupon the king swore that "she was a real princess and for what she promised he would give his life".

* * * * *

Finally, between four and five in the afternoon, the King took Messrs. Morton and Moray and Lord Ruthven into the Queen's outer chamber, and Mary entered. The earls and lords knelt and apologized to the queen. Mary received them with a pleasant courtesy that must have been very difficult for her to accept. She gave them all the assurances they asked for and reminded them what was true that "she has never been bloodthirsty or greedy for their lands and goods since she came to Scotland" and promised to bury them and everything in oblivion, pretending she had never been there was. Then she took the king by one arm and her half-brother by the other, and paced up and down her outer chamber for an hour, probably trying to contain her rising hysteria.

The lords' and barons' security articles were then confiscated for Mary's signature. Ruthven continued to protest to the king that "everything is mere deceit against us, and the King's Majesty will depart secretly and take you with him either to Edinburgh Castle or to Dunbar." He sternly added that if such betrayal were intended, it would fall upon the head of the king and his descendants.

The king constantly gave his word that both he and his wife could be trusted. The conspirators were sufficiently reassured and confused to leave Holyrood House for the Earl of Morton's, where they dined. After this meal, Archibald Douglas came to the king to see if the queen had approved the articles.

She does not. The king's excuse was that she had gone to bed sick and would sign the papers in the morning.

At this, the whole party of earls, lords and barons with their lords "returned to their beds, surely believing in the promise of the Majesty of Queen and King".

However, as they initially feared, they had been completely deceived; the queen deceived her husband and around one o'clock in the afternoon she and the king "left through the back door which led through the wine cellar, where Arthur Erskine, captain of the guard, and six or seven others met Her Majesty with the horses and rode towards Dunbar".

Lord Sempill hurried after the queen to craft items that promised her safety. Mary wouldn't let that happen. “She wrote to her nobles to meet her at Haddington, March 17 or 18, and called to arms all sorts of men from sixteen to sixty. She also ordered Lord Erskine, captain of Edinburgh Castle, to approach the city unless the Lords had departed."

Morton, Ruthven and their accomplices then fled to England. The Queen issued a ban "that the said Earl of Morton, Lord Ruthven and Lindsay and their associates be pursued by fire and sword".

Ruthven adds to this account, written when he safely crossed the English border, a protest against the actual violence used in the Queen's presence, as stated by Mary. "Her Majesty claims that on the night of David's death some held pistols in Her Majesty, some drew wyyards so close to her that she felt cold, and many other similar things which we suppose God ordained were never intended or done . He said that David never suffered a hit in her presence and was not hit until he had reached the farthest door of Her Majesty's outer chamber.

* * * * *

It was Bothwell and his brother-in-law, Huntly, who had planned the daring escape from Holyrood, but the Queen owed as much to sobriety and courage, not to mention eager cunning, as to daring courage. these two gentlemen. Her own account of winning over an unbalanced husband is contained in her letter to the Archbishop of Glasgow in Paris. Her account of the rector appearing before Holyrood and Ruthven's account of the incident differ greatly.

"The curate of the city of Edinburgh," wrote Mary, "who understood the tumult of our palace, struck the common bell, and came to us in great numbers, desiring to see our presence, to communicate with us, and to have known our prosperity, to which we were not permitted to answer, because we were greatly threatened by our masters, who declared to our face that if we wanted to talk to them, they should cut us to pieces and throw us over the wall.

Mary goes on to say that Moray was sorry for her grief, and also that a council of conspirators, "rebels" as she calls them, decided she should be sent to Stirling where she "stayed until she approved all their evil enterprise, they established their religion and gave the king the marriage crown of the entire government of our kingdom, if she did not agree, she would be put to death or kept in perpetual slavery.

Mary does not say who gave her this information about what happened at the rebel councils. None of this is mentioned in Ruthven's account. Without emotion, she tells how she used her tricks on her husband to free him from his accomplices and help her decide to run away.

"That night we declared our condition to the king, our husband" (this should refer to Monday evening), "declaring to him how miserable he would be treated if he allowed the lords to prevail, and how unacceptable it would be to the other princes, our allies, if he changed religions. This persuasion made him bow to the goal we had taken, to retreat in our company to Dunbar. As we intended to release this tension, we secretly wished the Earls of Bothwell and Huntly to prepare a way for us to escape, who did not doubt it, or at least did not want to risk their lives for it, thought that we would fly over the walls of the palace at night on chairs, which they prepared for this purpose shortly thereafter."

But Mary didn't have to escape Holyrood in this difficult way, she just walked through the subterranean passages in the chapel of the royal earls. In his letter to the King of France and Catherine de' Medici, he writes: "Our fear for our personal safety continues. How much the foreign potentates, and especially our own allies, would be displeased if we made any change in religion. On the basis of these considerations the king decided to set out for Dunbar in our company, where we went that evening, accompanied by the captain of our guard, Arthur Erskine, our squire, and only two others.

"We have already decided to break free from this prison and have been secretly communicating with the Earls of Bothwell and Huntly to think of a way to do so."

A show of deep admiration for her brave liberators becomes evident when she adds: "When these nobles were fearless and ready to sacrifice their lives, they arranged for us to be carried from the walls of our palace on a chair at night on ropes. instruments they have prepared.

Bothwell's exploits on this occasion were indeed those Mary most admired.

"His agility in escaping," she later wrote, "and how suddenly by his prudence we were not only freed from prison, but that whole company of conspirators disbanded, we will never forget."

It's amazing that Ruthven, Lindsay and Morton somehow didn't figure out how to get rid of Bothwell and their friends before they started their own plans against David. It is also remarkable that they were able to believe that they could "talk to them" later, thus giving them a chance to escape.

* * * * *

Mary acted with the greatest spirit and courage, whether she felt fear, shame, revenge, anger or sadness, she controlled all these emotions with strength and speed. Despite her grim experience, her health must have been good, and the rumors of a possible miscarriage must have been what Ruthven suspected was a ruse, or Mary couldn't have escaped Holyrood at night and gone to Dunbar.

"We granted," he writes in his letters to Catherine de' Medici, "pardons to the Earls of Moray and Argyll, provided they broke off relations with the conspirators and retired from court."

Like so many reckless and cunning women, Maria's readiness for a crisis was as remarkable as her madness to create a crisis. Her cunning was very superficial and used only in emergencies, otherwise Rizzio would have realized long before she died that she was playing an impossible game between her favourite, her husband and the Lords backed by a man like Moray.

She showed these extreme behaviors that are considered feminine; stupid, mindless drift towards disaster, brave skill, prolific resource when disaster strikes. Mary's conduct on this occasion was much praised, her misery much regretted, and it is evident that she extricated herself with great skill from the most appalling circumstances, which she nevertheless caused by her own actions. But her behavior was not that of a noble, innocent woman, indignant at an unfounded and flagrant suspicion, indignant at the unprovoked murder of an innocent maid. The queen showed the tricks of a skillful courtesan; she spoke honestly with the Lords for whom she could only feel anger, promised a pardon she would not grant, planned an escape that was supposed to be a prelude to revenge; her recorded words reveal far more revenge and anger than sadness or horror.

She used womanly art to win her husband, not because she really wanted to free him from his accomplices for his own good, because she needed to know that his betrayal of the Lord was doomed to him, but because without his knowledge she could not escape Holyrou. The king's attitude is difficult to understand; Satisfied with the murder of a rival, did he really hope for reconciliation with his wife? Could he believe that she could protect him from the men he had betrayed so quickly? The explanation could be that he was physically fascinated by her and that her supposed tenderness after their long argument had stunned his abilities.

But Claude Nau's Memoirs, written under Mary's supervision, report that on a night flight to Dunbar the king rebuked his wife for being unable to keep up with him on horseback in her condition. This indignation must have lingered in Mary's mind for many years before she told Nau, long after Henry Darnley had turned to dust, and if true, it proves that she had no concept of love, affection, or pity for her husband. and makes his flight behavior with her inexplicable. "He is known as a fool," Randolph wrote, and as a fool he acted decisively, with contempt for the inevitable consequences that turn to madness and become convict conduct.

* * * * *

Mary rested five days in Dunbar, dragging her net, whatever she made it, closer to her husband. She made him swear that he was innocent of Rizzio's murder. It should be noted that this was to her advantage, since in this way the crime was attributed not to personal, but to political motives. Had the king ordered the kidnapping of the man he believed to be her lover, Mary had been publicly ridiculed, but had she not known of the crime motivated solely by the jealousy of the Lords, she might have been exposed to disgrace. . By what temptation she induced her unfortunate master to thus protect the one whom he was so anxious to ruin by sacrificing himself, we do not know, but she was able to write, when she returned triumphantly, "accompanied in many of her subjects". to Edinburgh, and the conspirators withdrew from the capital, many of them then refugees: "We had all their property seized, determined to act against them with the utmost force. To this end (revenge on the lords) we are convinced that the king our husband will deal with us unanimously, having declared in the presence of the Lords of our Privy Council innocent of the last indignation against us that he never advised or approved.

Maria was not satisfied with this private statement and urged her husband to make a public statement. He had proved himself a traitor more and faster than even the most suspicious of his dead associates suspected.

Referring to "slanderous, disrespectful slander of Majesty, belated conspiracy and brutal murder committed in the presence of Majesty", Henry Stewart in this proclamation, published in Edinburgh on March 1, explicitly declared "his honor, fidelity and word of the Duke" that he had never he knew of "any part of the said treasonous plot of which he is slanderously and falsely accused", nor "never advised, ordered, agreed to, assisted or approved of it. "

* * * * *

The furious conspirators responded to this insane betrayal by sending Maria copies of the two bonds her husband had signed. She couldn't be surprised. From that moment on, the king was doomed.

Randolph, who with Bedford, Governor of Berwick, had observed these dangerous Scottish affairs as best he could from a safe distance (at Edinburgh he feared imprisonment or even death, and was forced to retire), wrote another account of this famous crime which seems to be based on the reports of a certain Captain Carew, apparently an English agent in the Scottish capital. The relationship is very similar to that of Lord Ruthven and the Queen herself. The study where the fatal dinner took place is about four feet square and is furnished with a couch and table. A detail, an important detail that David discovered on this bed, is mentioned again. Bedford and Randolph state that Lord Morton and Lord Lindsay intended to "book him", that is, David, and hang him the next day, but there were so many around who resented him that they hit the body. dagger, and many others after him, so that he had about sixty wounds on his body. "It is said with certainty that the dagger of the king himself was left in him, but whether he struck him or not we cannot be sure. room."

The conversation that follows David's dragging between the queen and her husband is almost exactly the same as in Ruthven's account, except that the English add further information that Mary told the king, "Well, you have the last part of me and you goodbye." Whereupon Ruthven reminded Mary in a Puritan tone that the King was her husband. The Queen then replied to her marital problems in Ruthven. "Why should I not leave him as your wife left her husband? The others did the same. Lord Ruthven said that she (meaning Lady Ruthven) was "legally separated from her husband" In addition, "this man (meaning David) was vile and despicable, an enemy of the nobility, a disgrace to her and a destruction to her favor and country."

"Well," she said, "for some of you it will be precious blood when he is shed."

"God forbid," said Lord Ruthven, "for the more Your Grace is insulted, the world will judge the worst."

According to this account, Mary cried non-stop. The message tells of the Queen's reconciliation with her husband (which took place at Lord Ruthven's hearing) and that he was lazy and missed the deadline. Moray's arrival and the friendly meeting between him and his sister are described. Melville writes in his "Memoirs" that the unfortunate woman threw herself into her half-brother's arms and they were both moved to tears. Randolph's account says what no one else has said: "The Queen sent for Lethington and conceived him in kind words to persuade her to release her and remove her guard."

Lethington, who was at least passively aware of David's murder, either felt sorry for the queen or believed in her cause. He allowed the guards to be removed. The English do not mention that Bothwell had planned her escape, saying only that she "left the house on the private road about twelve o'clock at night" and that she, her husband and lady "came to where Arthur Erskine, the captain of her guard, was guarding the horses, and so followed Arthur Erskin until she reached Seton. There she took her horse and rode to Dunbar and the castle, where Lord Huntly and Bothwell, and so diverse from all the land."

The English say that on her return to Edinburgh, the Queen did not stay at Holyrood, but at a townhouse in the High Street. They report an extremely low and foolish betrayal of the king. “The king completely abandoned them, that is, the conspirators, and protested to the councils that he would not consent to the death of David, which was painful against his will, and that he would not support or defend them. the next day a public statement was nailed to the Market Cross in Edinburgh against the Lords of Today 21, declaring the King's innocence in the case.

Henry Stewart went even further than betraying his former associates. He gave the Queen details of all those involved in the recent plot, including Lethington, who was then ordered to be taken prisoner at Inverness. "Mr. Bothwell has encroached on all the lands belonging to Lord Lethington."

The English heard that Mary was determined to take revenge. “The Queen has ordered a warrant and wishes that all the people who are friends of those who knew of David's death, order them to pursue them, to do everything in their power to arrest them and take them to the place of death. prescribed and some refused, and we hear it is the cause of the imprisonment of John Landring and his son."

Details of the rumors of "the great fortune he (that is David Rizzio) possessed were added, and much was said about it, some say in gold worth two thousand pounds sterling. The clothes were very good, and there were said to be fourteen of them. pair of velvet snakes.

“The room was well equipped, armor, daggers, pistols, arquebuses, twenty-two swords. None of them were broken and probably no more than two or three daggers (pistols). He was in charge of all the Queen's letters, which were the jewels he wore around his neck, the kind you couldn't hear: he wore a damask nightgown with furs on his back when he was killed, with a satin caftan and rust velvet stockings. At the end of this report, the two Englishmen add, "My Lord Ruthven is very ill, almost in bed."

This brave nobleman died a few weeks later, no doubt feeling that he had not lived in vain.

* * * * *

From Dunbar, Mary wrote a concise letter to Elizabeth on 15 March, which was actually a warning to the Queen of England not to meddle again in Scottish affairs by aiding the rebels. Despite the magnanimity Mary may have spoken to the rebellious Lords as they knelt to surrender to her at Holyrood, this letter proves that she only acted then.

(Video) The Downfall of Mary Queen of Scots

"Some of our subjects and councils have recently shown clearly what kind of people they are when they first occupied our house, killed our most special servant in our presence, and thus treacherously imprisoned our real person, whereby we were forced to flee at once around midnight from our palace at Holyrood House, the place where we are at the moment in greatest danger, fear for our lives and poor condition.

Despite her pride and courage, Mary was exhausted and close to collapse.

"We thought we wrote it with our own hands to better understand our intentions, but in reality we are so tired and anxious to drive twenty miles in five hours at night with frequent sickness and a predisposition to sickness on the occasion of our child that he couldn't."

Elizabeth has always been far from sympathizing with the rebels. She was horrified to hear of Rizzio's murder, stating that if such an act had been committed in her presence, "we would have ripped our man's dagger from his waist and used it on him."

The Queen of England had painful problems piling up on her shoulders. She herself was sick, "you could count her bones", stone was forming in the kidneys and she began to drink. The matter of marriage tormented her; Catherine de' Medici continued to offer her Charles IX, negotiations for the hand of Archduke Charles dragged on. Another cause for Elizabeth's concern was the Catholic League, which she and her ministers suspected had been formed among all the Roman Catholic powers, and whose purpose was to eradicate Protestantism by any means. It is now known that no such League was formed; however, the rumor of this and the thought of a Queen of Scots joining her was a clear concern for Elizabeth, who knew full well that her Roman Catholic subjects hoped that one day a Queen of Scots would sit on the English throne. . Elizabeth believed that Mary had not forgotten her early ambitions in this direction either. Bedford related that when Mary saw a picture of Elizabeth at a merchant's house in Edinburgh, she was asked if she resembled the Queen of England and replied, "No, it is not like her, for I am the Queen of England." England.

Elizabeth and her ministers feared that Mary was actively and successfully conspiring with her uncle, the formidable Cardinal of Lorraine, Pope and King of Spain, to win the English crown for herself and her husband.

Mary certainly sent the Bishop of Dunblane to Rome for papal assistance, while an envoy from the Cardinal of Lorraine arrived in Scotland; the situation looked dangerous for Elizabeth, England and Protestantism. Nor were their concerns entirely unfounded; if there were no Catholic League, Pius V, newly elected, would at least like to form one, and Bishop Mondovi, writing to the Cardinal of Alessandria, says that he suggested that the massacre of all Protestants in Scotland might be one, which would at least make his way out of Mary's predicament. The Italian bishop's comments on the Queen's affairs and the character of her husband corroborate other descriptions of her situation during this period.

“The king, her husband, is an ambitious, unstable young man; he still attends mass and maintains a close friendship and relationship with the rebels to maintain and increase his power. This compelled the Queen, in self-defense, to pardon the Earl of Moray, her illegitimate brother, the Earl of Argyll, husband of her illegitimate sister, and she has so much faith in heretics that she has appointed heretics captain of her bodyguard, namely the Earl of Bothwell and Lord Traquair, who command a hundred horses and respectively three hundred feet. The governor of Edinburgh Castle, called Lord Erskine, who made the queen Earl of Mar, is also a heretic. Laureo, Bishop of Mondovi, on his Scottish journey reached no farther than Paris and was entrusted with 20,000 crowns for Mary, whom the pope called "a woman with a manly heart".

Mary rejected the papal proposal to massacre the Scottish Protestants and seemed pleased with Elizabeth's kindness. Indeed, the English queen seemed to sympathize wholeheartedly with her sister for the insult committed in her presence and against her person. She declared that if Darnley were her husband, she would never see him again, and through Robert Melville, brother of Sir James Melville, assured Mary of her presence and help. He also had to convey warnings from Elizabeth to both the King and Moray to be faithful to Mary or to bring Her Majesty's displeasure upon themselves.

Mary replied cordially, she had always longed to be friends with Queen Elizabeth for political reasons, and never missed an opportunity for kindness and courtesy. She sent her a heartfelt letter of thanks from Edinburgh on 4 April. Elizabeth didn't listen to the gossip back then, or at least she didn't let it influence her behavior. She couldn't believe what Cecil had told the French ambassador about David Rizzio being discovered in Mary's arms, or the other horrible stories about Maria that were so circulating in Scotland and so eagerly sent to England.

Indeed, Elizabeth's attitude towards Mary changed during this period. Until the wedding of the Lennoxes, Elizabeth viewed Mary with suspicion and annoyance, and infuriatingly interfered with her wedding plans. In doing so, she was following policy; England's advantage lay with the lords who had signed the Treaty of Edinburgh, which Mary refused to ratify, and Elizabeth's mere game of darts kept Scottish affairs in a sort of equilibrium. But when Mary, who had a tarnished reputation, found herself in a difficult and unfortunate position, while half her nobles rebelled, Elizabeth did not stand against her and help spread the story about her, but acted with the dignity and greatness that so many saluted . . the actions of this brilliant woman.

From the day of Rizzio's murder until the Solway flight, Elizabeth was a true advisor and friend to Mary.

* * * * *

The Queen of Scotland had to prepare for the birth of a child. She showed up once to keep up appearances. She has undergone some form of reconciliation with Moray; she could actually be grateful to have this strong, capable man by her side in such a crisis, regardless of what she suspected about his secret infidelity. She seemed, at least outwardly, a friend of her husband's. She was worried about the face of her husband and brother, lest the child be stigmatized.

However, Earl Bothwell was "all in all" at court, and Mary's reputation was truly ruined, and she never regained her pristine purity, but tried to hide her strange position. Lennox later testified that his son had told him about his wife, "a model and a queen", that in the weeks before the baby was born she rudely urged him to take a mistress and suggested that he be seduced by the Earl of Moray's wife, but it is not to be believed neither to Darnley nor to Lennox, though there may be some truth to this nasty anecdote; this seems typical of Mary's bitter recklessness in this dangerous period of her fortune.

On the other hand, when asked how Mary and her husband were doing, the French ambassador said that he thought there was suspicion between them and they did not trust each other, although they acted like husband and wife and more together, and that the queen was more attached to her husband.

At that time, Maria, who was full of melancholic premonitions and did not believe that she would survive imprisonment, made a will. In this she left her husband some beautiful gifts, including an enamel ring of an ominous red shade with a diamond, with which he married her.

Contrary to the note, she wrote, and there may be a lot behind the words: "This is what I married, I leave it to the king who gave it to me."

She also gave the turtle-shaped ruby ​​to Giuseppe, the eighteen-year-old brother of David Rizzio, whom she made her private secretary in his stead. It was a gift from David to the queen. Already on April 29, she handed over his dangerous package to the brother of the murdered man. In a letter from the Spanish ambassador who noted this, he writes: "Secretary David was buried in the cemetery, and the queen had him dug up and placed in a beautiful tomb in the church, where many are offended."

Lennox says Darnley uttered words of remorse as he passed Rizzio's newly made grave in Holyrood Cemetery. Mary stated that "she will be very tough, but fatter than Rizzio should be close to him by the end of the year." This would mean that the murdered man was buried next to the royal kings of Scotland. Would Mary do that? But since he was Catholic, where else could she bury him?

Among these careful and moving records of personal items in Mary's will were gifts to Bothwell, Huntly, the Earl and Countess of Lennox, the four Maries, the Cardinal of Lorraine, and other French relatives.

As the time of her child's birth approached, she retired to Edinburgh Castle for safety and gave birth to the prince who would become the first English King Stewart between ten and eleven on the morning of June 9.

Mary obviously feared for the baby's future. She realized that her sincere and diligent efforts to keep up appearances seemed to be rather overdue, although she could not have known that as early as January of that year Randolph had said to Leicester: "Woe to you when the son of David shall be made king of England." . It was Lord Ruthven's grandson who was present at Rizzio's assassination who mocked the young king at the time of the "Gowrie Plot" when he said, "Come down, son of Signor David."

In the Memoirs of Lord Herries, who was an ardent supporter of the Queen, there is the following account of her conversation with her husband, who visited her at two o'clock in the afternoon on the day of her delivery. The story seems very thorough and composed, and Herries credits Mary with great strength for someone in her condition. However, fear for the baby may have driven her to make this effort.

"My lord," she said, "God has given you and me a son, begotten by none but you," at which the king blushed and kissed the child. Then she took the child in her arms and uncovered his face, said, "My lord, here I protest to God as I will answer Him on the Great Judgment Day, this is your son and none other's son, and I wish that everyone here, both sir and and others have testified that he is so much your own son that I fear he will be worse off later. She then turned to Sir William Stanley: "This," she said, "is the son who, I hope, will be the first to conquer the two kingdoms. It will unite Scotland and England.

"Sir William replied, 'Why, ma'am? Will he appear before Your Majesty and his father?

"It's because his father broke up with me."

"For some reason the king asked, 'Dear lady, is this your promise to forgive and forget everything?

"The Queen replied:" I have forgiven everything, but I will never forget. If Fawinside (Andrew Carr from Fawinside) had scored, what would have happened to him and me or what condition would you be in? God only knows, but we can suspect.

"Lady," replied the king, "all is over."

"Then," says the Queen, "let them go."

If this account is to be believed, Maria harbored a considerable, barely concealed grudge against her husband. That she should have been forced to make this public statement about the legitimacy of her child shows how deeply her honor was disgraced and how painfully her name was dragged in the mud. Surely she must have been desperate and almost distant to take such extreme measures. Henry Stewart, who had denied the child's paternity before Rizzio's murder and had done everything in his power to endanger his life, now wrote formally to the Cardinal of Lorraine, announcing the birth, without making the slightest reference to the scandal between him and Mary. . James Melville brought the news of the birth of the Scottish heir to Elizabeth, who was dancing in Greenwich. Her joy was soon dashed when she heard the news. Feminine and royal fury led Elizabeth to exclaim: "The Queen of Scots is lighter than a fair son, and I am but a barren tribe!"

However, the next day she regained her dignity and Melville met with a very nice reception, even greeting him with the first steps of a cheerfulwoltaor French dance. Melville told her with great naivety that Mary suffered greatly from her imprisonment. "Her son was bought dearly, risking her own life, meanwhile she was treated so painfully that she wished she had never married ... I said this to scare the Queen of England a little into marriage."

However, Elizabeth was not moved, nor was she persuaded to name the Little Prince as the second heir to the English crown. When that moment came, she stated that she intended to marry Archduke Charles. However, she agreed to become a "gossip girl" or godmother to the Little Prince and dropped her last complaint against the Queen of Scots, namely the hiding place of Shane O'Neil, Earl of Tyrone, the most dangerous of the Irish. . rebels, received in Scotland. But she took the opportunity to congratulate Mary on the birth of her son, complaining not only about that, but also about English rebels like Christopher Rokesey, who had gained favor in Scotland.

It was Sir Henry Killigrew who brought the official warning and secret complaint to Edinburgh. He had his notes to take on the domestic and political affairs of the young Queen of Scots, who should have been at the height of her triumph at the time of her son's birth.

“Bothwell was on the verge, but it is believed and said that his credit with the Queen is greater than the rest put together. The queen's husband is also in the castle, his father is in the city. I think for all the young princes little accounts were made of it” (i.e. the Lennox faction).

* * * * *

Maria was in a strange and dangerous situation; she didn't seem to know what to do herself. She missed Elizabeth's friendship, she missed foreign aid that would free her from Elizabeth. Moray, her best adviser by far, was hostile; Lethington, the crafty secretary whose advice she thought so, was also separated; There was an unusual bitterness between Maria and her young husband. Less than a year and a half had passed since her stubborn, secret marriage, and her passionate caprice had turned into an equally ardent repugnance. Half of her nobles rebelled, few she could really trust. There was Earl Bothwell, whose "deeds to her were greater than all put together," a man who had always attracted her, who had done her mother and herself a special service, a man of the same temperament as hers, fiery, reckless, fulfilled, personally fascinating, full of exuberant joy and joie de vivre.

Mary's thoughts cannot be known at this time, but it is safe to assume, from what we can logically deduce from the course of events and contemporary accounts, that the Queen had already decided to get rid of her husband in order to arrive. take revenge on the Lords and place your future in Earl Bothwell's hands.

It was her decision, or she drifted from day to day on a fluctuating course, influenced by every circumstance and every passion that touched her tormented mind.

Her ambitions flared up with the birth of her son, who ultimately made her insignificant because he was about to take her place so soon. She had big dreams of a coup that would leave her mistress on a double throne, longed for Spanish aid, papal money, French armies.

However, Elizabeth's envoy saw her as a pale, frail creature who seemed incapable of anything but arousing pity.

Mary received Killigrew in her room at Edinburgh Castle when the Little Prince was five days old. But she didn't have the strength to do more than a formal greeting. He was allowed to see the prince 'sucking food, and then he saw him almost naked, I mean his head, feet and hands, all well proportioned in my opinion and eager to prove that he is a good prince. Her Majesty was immediately so brave after giving birth, which she has yet to recover, the few words she uttered were vague with an empty cough."

* * * * *

An unfortunate little incident shattered Mary's trust in Elizabeth at a time when the Scottish queen was so in need of England's friendship.

The aforementioned Christopher Rokesey became a traitor and a spy at Cecil's instigation (or always had been) and in a long letter to the statesman, he recounted the conversations he had with the Queen of Scotland when Mary had been imprudent enough to tell this man of no references whom she suspected he was one of Cecil's agents, about all her hopes of succession to the English crown, even mentioning the names of the nobles she intended to acquire, such as the Duke of Norfolk, the Earls of Derby, Shrewsbury, Northumberland, Westmoreland and Cumberland.

She had "more hope for it, because she thought they were all followers of an ancient religion that she would do her best to restore and thus win the hearts of the common people. Besides, she used to summon two venerable judges from every county of England, and those who professed her religion were to be her friends... She asked me to know the names of those who would fulfill this purpose.

It must have been ugly reading for both Cecil and Elizabeth. According to Rokesey's very colorful account, Mary said with desperate lightheartedness that she intended "to make a war in Ireland by which England may remain occupied." Then she had everything ready, and "she and her army entered England, and on the day she was to enter her title was read and proclaimed queen, and certain men from every county came to her for better permission to take possession of her Crown."

To better achieve this goal, she had previously toiled with Spain and France "and with the Pope for help, and received honest promises from the Pope of some money and sought more."

Then comes the part that must have angered Elizabeth.

"I would like to do everything in my power," she said, "to have the soothsayers tell us that the Queen of England will be dead this year." Rokesey added that Lord Bothwell was more secretly favored by her than anyone else.

It is a strange image of the Queen "sitting on a coffin" at Holyrood, gossiping about such dangerous affairs with a random English rebel, but the things Rokesey mentions are known to the layers of Mary's heart, and it is strange. picture. I guess it was enough that she spoke wildly and without thinking. These revelations reinforced the deep distrust Elizabeth always had for this troublesome neighbor. All the more merit for her that she behaved generously, as she undoubtedly did towards the poor Mary.

* * * * *

As Mary recovered from confinement, she saw that her complex problems were met by an outburst of that animal spirit that so often offended her enemies and outraged the Scottish Puritans. Although she is so resourceful in deception and intrigue at times, there is something about her joy that seems spontaneous, uneducated from an impulsive heart.

While Bedford wrote to England that Bothwell enjoyed "all the honors" at court, the most hated man among the Scottish nobles, "his insolence is so great that David has never been more abhorred than now," Mary perversely told her adviser Moray: her half-brother. Whatever her growing passion for this reckless lord of the frontier may have been, and how great her admiration for his daring and daring exploits, and his cunning escape from Holyrood after murdering an Italian, she had turned to serious matters for Moray during this crisis, the strongest and wisest man who had ever led her councils.

Moray was so far into his secrets that she even confided to him that the money came from the pope. The king, his father Lennox, and all their factions fell into more and more contempt every day. But Henry Stewart's jealousy seems to have fallen more on Moray than on Bothwell. He must have known that his betrayal of Rizzio's murder had made him many enemies, but he seems to have realized that the most powerful of them was Moray, who once again had the power and trust of the Queen.

* * * * *

Shortly after the birth of the Duke, entrusted to Lord Erskine, recently appointed Earl of Mar, Governor of Edinburgh Castle and one of Mary's most respected aristocrats, the Queen indulged in one of those whims which, though innocent in themselves, proceeded to no avail. help her reputation.

She secretly left the castle "within a month," Lennox stated, and paid a visit to Alloa, the seat of the Earl of Mar. or "pirates", as they were mistakenly called by their enemies (the noble earl, as far as can be ascertained, was absent). In Alloa, as a guest of Mar, Mary indulged in the games and dances and masks, the games and sports so hated by the Puritans. It was the last glimpse of her triumph, the last moments of peace and freedom. No doubt, then, despite the murder of her beloved and the growing distance from her husband, whom she had come to hate, she felt secure for the future, delighted with her new passion.

She was the mother of a "fair prince", Elizabeth was ill, perhaps dying, she had heard encouraging reports about the attitude of Catholics in England to her, she was assured of the benevolence of foreign Roman Catholic powers. When she went to Dumfries and Dunbar with her banners raised, the whole country rallied around her. She believed she had won over Moray, a staunch, capable man who had returned to her service. She trusted Bothwell's abilities and loyalty.

The jealous, resentful, gloomy king came for his wife on horseback at Stirling, but she received him so coldly that his stay lasted only a few hours. This time Henry Stewart's only apparent friend was Earl Bothwell. They made the common cause of their hatred of the dominant Moray; Perhaps Bothwell hoped to use the king as the lords had used him, and the queen's husband was catching straws.

Shortly after the Queen's return to Edinburgh (8 August), her husband, no longer able to contain his anger at her brother, threatened Mary to kill Moray as he had killed Rizzio. The queen informed her brother of these threats, pressure was put on the king to apologize for his hasty words; he attempted to apologise, saying that it had been reported to him that "Moray was not his friend, but he was remorseful."

It was a bitter humiliation for the king; Rizzio's death began to be avenged.

Then husband and wife separated and went on some hunting trips; none of them could have much hope of reconciliation, and the king, upon hearing the horn, must have felt, "I am the prey they seek."

Moray used his influence to bring back Lethington, whose involvement in Rizzio's murder had been so carefully concealed, in favor of the queen; she not only accepted the secretary in her favour, but forced Bothwell to meet him on civil terms. The hapless king must have looked upon with deep dismay the restoration of Lethington to the counsels of Mary, and the prospect of the return of the other conspirators whom he had so utterly betrayed.

It is in September of that year, 1566, that Mary's enemies lay the beginning of her intrigue with Bothwell. The evidence rests with George Buchanan and Lord Lennox, Darnley's father, both unreliable and biased towards the Queen, but there may be some truth to their claims, which are certainly backed up by the characters of Bothwell and Mary and subsequent events.

Lord Bothwell was married for seven months to the scholar Jane Gordon, the bride chosen for him by the Queen herself when she tried to unite Bothwell to Huntly by bonds of loyalty to each other; some say that Lady Bothwell fell in love with her handsome husband, others that she always preferred Ogilvy van Boyne, who became her third husband.

* * * * *

Buchanan's story is basically this: the queen always sat in her treasury to understand her income and determine what should be held by her house and the young prince. The garden of this house was connected to the residence of one David Chalmers, Lord Bothwell's Jackal. Thus, with the help of the robust Lady Reres, herself a spurned debauchee of the earls, the lovers met.

It seems strange that they could continue this intimate intrigue without being revealed to spies or discovered by the king, who, though so quick to show intense jealousy in the case of Rizzio, does not seem to suspect Bothwell; on the other hand, the indignant husband could feel helpless and take a more subtle revenge.

There is no mention in the Bedford and Randolph reports of rumors about Mary and the Earl during this period; We heard that Bothwell was very much in favor of nothing more.

* * * * *

On August 31, Mary of Stirling issued a proclamation which, under the circumstances, had ominous significance. In it, she ordered the judges of Edinburgh "to seek and punish without exception those who commit adultery, fornication, open fornication, and other similar lusts of the flesh."

What was the reason at such a moment - was it Moray's stern hand?

David Chalmers, who was to act as intermediary between Bothwell and Mary (Bothwell was staying at Chalmers' house with Lady Bothwell at the time) was later appointed Lord of State by the Earl, "without any knowledge or any other good quality arose in him, but as he served Bothwell in his malicious practices and pleasures, he had been a great service to the Queen and Bothwell in the days before the King's assassination, when the Queen lay in the Vault at Cowgate. He was then appointed Common Clerk of Edinburgh."

This is taken from some notes sent from the mainland to Cecil during Mary's incarceration, and supports Lennox and Buchanan's accounts in some respects.

By October, the troubles between Maria and her husband were so open that her advisers found it necessary to send Catherine de' Medici a lengthy account of the king's impossible conduct.

They declare that in this very apt statement, perhaps made by Moray or Maitland, they would have hushed up the scandal, but "since he himself is the first person to lead the world to discovery by his attitude, we cannot be less, both to fulfill the office we hold as duty we owe to the Queen, than to bear witness to what we have seen and heard, to all who are associated with Her Majesty, and especially to the King, your son, and Your Majesty herself, whom we consider to be the main support of our Sovereign and our Crown." .

Following this casual opening, the Lords recount an incident ten or twelve days ago when the Queen came to Edinburgh at the request of the Scottish councillors. Despite her insistence, the king refused to accompany her and remained in Stirling with his father Lennox, who wrote from Glasgow shortly afterwards that his son was planning to withdraw from the kingdom by sea and that he had a ship ready beforehand. Was this Lennox's revenge for open love with Bothwell?

Mary, in what appears to be panic, immediately forwarded this letter to the masters of her council. Everyone was astonished that the king had come up with such a plan, but everyone must have been aware, and the queen above all, that her husband's situation was not only abject poverty and depravity, but also in grave danger from the betrayal of Rizzio's conspirators, and indeed no wonder that he wanted to flee the kingdom while he still could with all his skin and a little credit. However, everyone on the surface pretended to be very shocked and surprised; their astonishment increased when the king arrived in Edinburgh that same evening. He did not want to enter the palace because there were three or four gentlemen with the queen at that time. We were not told who the three or four lords were, but the king may have feared murder. The nobility, however, pretended to take his behavior as an insult, "because they were the three greatest lords in the kingdom, and those kings who were rulers of the kingdom by their own birth never acted that way towards the nobility."

The Queen, no doubt playing a predetermined role, calmly accepted this behavior and "humbled herself so much that she met the King outside the palace and took him to her own apartment, where he spent the whole night." Apparently, she tried the flattery that had been so successful the night of Rizzio's murder. Her aim was to find out the reason for the king's sudden decision to leave the country, but she could not persuade him to do so, and in the morning he spoke of his intention to return to Stirling.

The Lords, accompanied by M. du Croc (often called Crocus), the old and wise ambassador of France, then went to the Queen's apartment and did everything in their power to please and even flatter the King and tell him why he decided to leave Scotland - "so beautiful a queen and such a noble kingdom", as they put it - words that must have sounded ironic to the absent-minded boy's ears, for he didn't like either queen or kingdom. With even greater disgust he had to hear the flattery of anointing, "he had every reason in the world to thank God for giving him such a wise and virtuous person as the queen showed in all her deeds."

Mary then added her charming plays to these arguments. She said she was unable to move him when they were together in private, but at least he would be happy to propose to those Lords where she offended him.

Henry Stewart, however, was not tempted; he said goodbye and went his way. However, soon after, he sent a letter to Maria in which he made two allegations that clearly concealed his true feelings.

He stated that his first complaint was that Mary no longer entrusted him with as much authority or put as much effort into promoting him and ensuring that he was respected in the nation as she had done the first time. Another issue was that "no one attends him, the nobles leave his company."

To these accusations, of course, Mary could easily have replied that none of them could be attributed to her. She referred to Rizzio's murder and noted that she was kind enough to forgive him for his obvious part in it. Both the queen and her council apparently considered the situation very serious, hence this letter to Catherine de' Medici.

* * * * *

The king's behavior on this occasion is entirely attributable and even reasonable if we accept the history of Mary's relationship with Bothwell. In this case he would have known, or at least suspected, and would have given up all hope of any affection or respect from his wife, fearing not only the wrath of the lords he had betrayed, but also the ambition of Bothwell, who could easily have stabbed him to take his place . He was perhaps an inexperienced boy, not yet twenty-one years old, so bewildered, angry, ashamed and annoyed by Mary's conduct that in his misery and misery he saw no other way out of this tangle than to flee the country, which would not only ensure his own safety but would leave Mary without the protection of his presence or name to face the consequences of her affair with Bothwell. In this way, he will gain both revenge and security.

Such an interpretation of the story would also explain Mary's panic and the cunning and courage she used in this, as in many other crises in her life, to ensure her safety by immediately appealing to the Lords for help and attempting to make her case. Europe and its French relations with agility and eager haste; Moray would help her, in the name of family honor.

This interpretation seems so logically and psychologically satisfying that it seems almost irresistible. Mary had twice escaped disaster in a blatant scandal that might have cost her the crown - once in an accidental passion for Henry Stewart himself, once in reckless favoritism for David Rizzio. She couldn't afford to offend the public a third time. Her husband proved difficult to control from the beginning; True, she had persuaded him to betray his associates without much effort once, but this time she had failed to change his gloomy mood. So if she succumbed to that stubborn passion for Bothwell which she later made so public, she must have been very dismayed when her husband first laid out his plan to withdraw from Scotland. She put some kind of blemish on the birth of her first child. If she had another child and her husband was abroad after rejecting her completely as his wife, honor and recognition would be forever lost to the queen.

If this were Mary's situation, if this was the terrible circumstance in which she found herself, then her whole attitude from this October to February next year is completely real, understandable and clear, and all ambiguities removed. The attitude of the unfortunate young man is also clear, indignant, offended, afraid of murder, but finally succumbing to the temptations of the woman who, fearing for her life and honor, used all her tricks to seduce him.

On the other hand, if Mary was innocent and had nothing more to reproach herself with than reckless indiscretion, then Henry Stewart was a simpleton and a fool, behaving in a way that could only be explained by cowardly fear for his own skin.

This solution to the mystery is not only less likely and less real from every point of view, but it makes what follows painfully dark and difficult. A letter sent by the French ambassador, Du Croc, to Archbishop Beaton, Mary's ambassador in Paris, around the same period, confirms the view of Mary's guilt, her panic, and her hubman's decision to disgrace her by withdrawing from Scotland.

* * * * *

Du Croc begins by stating that the queen was in good health; it must have been just a fleeting glow of joy. Mary will never be healthy again for the rest of her life. She was never a strong woman and had a series of chronic ailments, it is impossible to determine now what they were - weakness, fainting, pain in the side and recurring fever. Had she been "other than she was," and her beauty had gone bad and bloated soon after beginning her affair with Henry Stewart, she would hardly have been beautiful and thriving by now. There is every reason to believe that she is aging rapidly, that by the time the child is born all freshness and radiance will have disappeared from her; but liveliness, grace, seductive charm will remain.

Du Croc adds that when the Queen returned to Edinburgh, "the King was in Stirling, however, and told me there that he intended to cross the seas in a sort of desperation." This sentence does not evoke the image of a drunken youth immersed in laziness, vice and willful stupidity, but rather of a man cornered and pushed to the limit.

Du Croc goes on to tell of Mary's attempt to fetch her husband and the meeting of the Council, which is mentioned in their letter to Catherine de' Medici. Du Croc adds details Lords do not provide. He says that Mary dared Darnley "for God's sake" to give her the reason for his displeasure with her. Du Croc told him that his departure would certainly damage his or the Queen's honor, and the young man broke the gruff silence by saying, according to Du Croc, that he had no reason whatsoever for his decision. He then left the House of Presidents and said to the Queen, "Adieu, madam, you will not see my face for a long time." He then said to the Lords at large, "Gentlemen, adieu!"

“He did not board the ship,” adds Du Croc, “but we get reports daily that he is still sticking to his resolve and keeping the ship ready.

"It is vain to think that he would make any fuss, for there is not a single person in the whole kingdom, from the highest to the lowest, who esteems him more than the queen allows."

Du Croc then adds a famous verse which is indeed astonishing in the circumstances: "Never have I seen Her Majesty so loved, respected and revered, nor such harmony among all her subjects as that which is present by her wise conduct, because I cannot discern the slightest difference or division".

* * * * *

This month in Jedburgh, in the foothills of the Cheviots, Mary organized a border session. There she learned that Bothwell had been seriously wounded in a frontier fight at Liddesdale, where he was shot in the thigh by one of the raiders' leaders, John Elliot of the Park.

Bothwell was thrown into the chariot for the deceased and taken to his castle in the Hermitage, where he lay gravely ill with three wounds.

* * * * *

Mary in Jedburgh heard the news and drove to the wounded Earl's Castle. The justification for her visit was that she wanted to know from him what was the state of affairs in those districts of which the said Lord was hereditary governor.

This is the explanation given by Claude Nau in his "Mary Stewart Story", where he writes as Mary's spokesperson.

Buchanan, of course, has a different version of this famous ride, when Mary rushed fifty or sixty miles across rugged country in one day, returning to Jedburgh that same evening. He stated that an impatient and reckless woman hastened to the bedside of her possibly dying lover. Buchanan's bad faith is evident here, for only eight days after her wound Bothwell traveled to the Hermitage Castle, a mighty fortress, accompanied by several Lords, including Moray. At the same time, it seems unlikely that Mary, far from common sense and plagued by an "old complaint" of pain in her side, would undertake this arduous journey purely on business. Surely someone else could have been sent to find out from the wounded chieftain what the queen wanted to know about the state of the frontier?

Local legend keeps the episode alive in "Queen's Myre", the marsh where the Queen's white horse is said to have sunk as she rushed to her lover's side.

As soon as Mary returned to Jedburgh, she was seized by the most disturbing illness of her life - a crisis that was undoubtedly partly hysterical, caused by emotion, excitement and exhaustion.

A letter to Archbishop Beaton of Paris, signed by Huntly, Atholl, James Stewart, Moray and William Maitland of Lethington, sent from Jedburgh, October 23, instructs the Archbishop to warn Catherine de' Medici of the great danger of Mary's death. Maitland says in a subsequent letter that "Her Majesty was treated very harshly and looked only to death." The skillful and cunning statesman put his fingers to the spot as he wrote: "The cause of the Queen's illness, as far as I understand, is caused by thoughts (worries) and displeasures, and I believe that by what I say further about her, she may compel self-declaration to me, the root is king."

Maitland then adds words that seem ominous in the light of the distant events: "It breaks her heart to think that he should be her husband, and she sees a way to get rid of him."

How to get rid of him with honor and security for himself, Maitland might add, for Mary got rid of Darnley easily, urging or admonishing him to hold firm to his desire to leave the country. She may also have planned a divorce, as the marriage was annulled only after it had been consummated. But it seemed clear that this did not suit the queen. She was driven to a disease of fear and terror because she wanted to get rid of her husband and saw no way to do so without damaging her own reputation.

Indeed, she seems to have known by now that she was so deeply involved with Bothwell that nothing could save her but the violent removal of her husband, who refused to be complacent.

The king was not worried about his wife's illness. "The king is in Glasgow," wrote M. Du Croc to Archbishop Beaton, "and has never come here. He had been informed by someone and had plenty of time to come over if he wanted to.

On the night of October 21, the Queen was pronounced dead; she fainted for so long and her body was so cold that Moray began to put her hands on "the most precious items", according to Riau, "like her silver plate and rings". Mourning gowns were ordered and funeral arrangements were made, but Mary appears to have had only a violent fit of hysteria; her feet and knees were cold, she lost her sight and became numb. What brought her out of it was a massage that lasted four hours, "severe agony," as Bishop Lesley calls it Archbishop Beaton, which eventually restored Maria to some signs of life. However, she was driven to extreme debility, both by the pain of massaging done in a violent manner "by extreme rubbing and pulling and other manipulations", by constant vomiting and laxatives. She was in a state of breakdown and could not swallow the holy wafer that was given to her.

If Mary had died of this disease, she would have been spared many years of suffering, she would have left behind a nicer name, and Europe would have been spared much trouble.

When she thought she was about to die, she took a dignified and honorable farewell to everyone around her, expressing commendable and divine feelings, both regarding religion, the future of the empire, and her son. She specifically called on the French ambassador to declare her determination to die in the Catholic religion.

While the queen was ill for four days, Lord Bothwell, still dangerously ill from his wounds, was taken to Jedburgh on a palanquin. The king arrived a few days later.

Mary's sudden and violent illness was, of course, attributed to poison, but modern medical opinion is that the queen suffered "a blood attack, an infusion of blood into the stomach with hysterical complications, all caused by overexertion and irritability. " "

The king was received by his wife in her sick room, and no one knows what happened between them. He left immediately and returned to Glasgow, the stronghold of the Lennox faction, where he found himself not only among his supporters, enjoying some respect and honor, but also safe. He had to be, and his every act shows that he was in constant fear for his life.

A week later, Mary, with that extraordinary resilience that so many delicate and emotional women possess, returned on horseback and continued her border inspection. Bothwell, who also recovered quickly from three dangerous wounds, was with her, as was her brother, Huntly, Lethington, and a detachment of nearly a thousand horses.

When she stayed with Kelso, Buchanan, whose bills are always to be taken with utter reluctance, says she received a letter from her husband while in the company of her brother Huntly and Lethington, and looked plaintively, and began "pathetically agonizing." as if she had fallen ill with incontinence again in her previous illness. She clearly and emphatically pretended that if she was not somehow sent by the king she would never have a good day, and if not she would achieve it in some other way, rather than living in such sorrow that she would kill herself.

It seems reasonable to suppose that the king's letter contained another threat of his withdrawal abroad, and Mary, unnerved by the last illness that must have been, made a desperate and hysterical appeal to the three men she considered her friends and champions. Then, as if immersed in deep mourning and grief, Mary continued to drive across the border in the autumn weather.

She moved to England and was received with great honors at Berwick. From Dunbar she dictated a letter to Queen Elizabeth's council on the perennial vexatious matter of the English succession for her and her son, which she had heard discussed in the English House of Commons. It was a friendly and diplomatic letter; Mary still hoped to win Elizabeth's favor and come to an amicable settlement for the throne. She told the English Council that during her belated illness, when she "seemed unable to bear this twelve-hour life, she intended that the special care of her son should rest with Elizabeth." She also added, tactfully and caringly, that she considered herself and her child to be the next heirs to the English crown, and hoped that the Council would remember the next time the matter was on the agenda.

Mary continued her journey at Craigmillar Castle, three miles south of Edinburgh. There she waited for her son's christening, which was to take place in Stirling on 12 December but was postponed so that the Savoy ambassador could attend.

When at Craigmillar Lords Bothwell, Moray, Lethington, Huntly, Argyll and a few others began plotting to bring back the exiled nobles, including the Earl of Morton and Lord Lindsay, Moray especially felt that it would be a blot on his credit if he could not obtain forgive your friends. According to an account of this meeting drawn up many years later, it was Lethington who got to the point, declaring that the best way to obtain a pardon from the Earl of Morton was "a division between Her Grace and the King, her husband, who had so painfully offended Her Majesty in so many ways."

The Lords replied, no doubt with obvious irony, that they could not see how this could be done, and Lethington said contemptuously, "My gentlemen, say nothing to you, we will find good enough means to force her to leave him."

After further deliberation, the Lords waited for Maria. Lethington was the spokesman and reminded her of the serious and unbearable insults the king had inflicted on Her Majesty, which were getting worse every day, and then suggested to her that if he pardoned the exiled nobles, she (the rest of the nobles) must find a way to divide Her Majesty and the king her husband.

Lethington used several arguments and beliefs in this sense, which were by no means necessary. Maria listened eagerly. She kept up appearances and said she only had to meet two conditions: the divorce would be legal and it wouldn't hurt her son.

It was Bothwell's reply that "the role may be performed without prejudice in any way from my lord the Duke."

It was then proposed that after the divorce the king retire to a remote part of the empire or leave the country.

The Queen then said it would be better if he retired to France.

Lethington, as if tired of all these pretensions, said with apparent cynicism that the Queen could leave the matter to the most important members of her nobility and council.

"They will find a way," he added, "for Your Majesty to leave him without harming your son." Lethington also said that Moray, "although somewhat less scrupulous to a Protestant than Your Grace is to a Papist, I am sure he will look through his fingers and see our deeds without saying the same thing."

Mary, preserving her dignity and revealing nothing of her true spirit, dismissed her counselors and intercessors, saying, "I do not want you to do anything that might harm my honor or conscience."

Since this account was not written down until several years after the event, it may not be entirely reliable, although such an association was made and such a scene took place in Craigmillar.

It is noteworthy that in connection with this meeting between Maitland and Bothwell, the bitter and disgusting personal dispute between them over the estates of the former priory at Haddington, which Bothwell claimed had come into Maitland's possession, became so violent it was. by 1566, Bothwell was said to be in danger of being poisoned by his own servants paid by Maitland.

Buchanan claims that it was Mary herself who proposed to divorce her husband. It might as well be. The important point is that Craigmillar first addressed the issue of divorce during this period.

Mary seems to have lost the fleeting glee that made her the subject of comment this summer when the wildest stories circulated about her, and was even rumored to have danced around the Market Cross in men's attire. There were no more happy dances, carefree masks, merry games and sports for the Queen.

According to Du Croc, she was in the hands of her doctors at Craigmillar: "And I assure you, she is not feeling well at all. it seems possible that she forgot the same. And yet she repeats the words: "I wish I was dead." You know very well that Her Majesty's injuries are very serious and she will never be forgotten." Du Croc is referring here to Rizzio's murder. just revenge for that crime, or did she not have any new problems?

Du Croc tried to get the king to join him, who could not waver in sullenness and threatened to withdraw from Scotland immediately without even waiting for his son to be baptized.

“I speak freely,” adds the Frenchman, “but I don't expect a good understanding between them for several reasons, unless God specifically intervenes. I will mention only two reasons against this: the first is that the king will never humiliate himself as he should, and the second is that the queen does not see him talking to the noble, but now suspects a conspiracy between them.

* * * * *

On Christmas Day at Stirling Castle, Mary cast aside sorrow and illness enough to play the hostess with charming grace in the last public spectacle she ever attended, save for a ceremony in which she was the star of the last day of her live performance.

Elizabeth sent the Puritan Earl of Bedford a splendid gift, a font of heavy gold encrusted with jewels, of great value and excellent workmanship, weighing three hundred and thirty-three ounces - a splendid present from an impoverished queen who had recently had to hand over Parliament to her with an empty treasury.

The Countess of Argyll, Mary's half-sister, was Elizabeth's proxy as godmother, no English woman could travel so far in winter, the King of France and the Duke of Savoy were godfathers.

In her letter of instruction to the Earl of Bedford, Queen Elizabeth, with her natural, attractive wit, made a pleasant joke that he could use when presenting the font. "You can kindly say it was made as soon as we heard about the birth of the prince from the queen, and at the time it was big and, ugh for him, but now that he's grown up, it's too small for him. But it might have been better used for the next child, provided it was baptized before it grew out of the font."

The festival was wonderful and Mary went above and beyond to entertain her wonderful guests. Formal joy, however, had a dark background. The king did not leave the country as he threatened, but remained confined to his chambers during the banquet and splendour. One of the reasons given was that he feared that Elizabeth's envoys had been instructed not to allow him royal honors. His desperation and anguish of mind is evidenced by the fact that three times he sent the French ambassador to ask him to come to his lonely room. Du Croc replied with exaggerated brutality "that I would not talk to him and that it would be inappropriate for him to come to my apartment, because there is such a crowd of company there, so he should be aware of it." two doors, that if he entered through one, I would feel compelled to exit through the other. The Frenchman adds that "his bad behavior is incurable and nothing good can be expected from him for several reasons that I could tell you if I were present."

That's one side of the story, but if only half of what is said about Maria is true, then her misbehavior was also incurable, and she could not expect good behavior from her hapless young husband. Lennox MS. it gives a different picture of a king ignored, humiliated, almost flinching at every kind or respectful word.

The king was not always rebuked by France. In that winter of 1566, a delegation from Charles IX, headed by M. de Rambouillet, arrived at Holyrood with the Order of St. at a series of banquets and parties in honor of the French, at which Mary and her ladies performed in men's clothing.

Du Croc, however, was Mary's champion. She says: "During her baptism she behaved more than well and showed such great seriousness in receiving all good company in the best way that in the meantime she forgot all her indispositions." Secretly, however, he found her pensive and melancholy. One time when she sent for him, he found her "lying on the bed crying." She was sick again, complaining of pain in her side and hurt herself while driving.

"I am deeply saddened," Du Croc wrote sympathetically, "because of the many troubles and annoyances he is faced with."

The religious question has also created a dissonance in the joy of baptism. Bedford was too extreme a Puritan to enter a chapel where a Roman Catholic ceremony was being held. He bribed the Countess of Argyll to enter in his stead, and she then had to do penance for participating in a Papist baptism.

* * * * *

For all her kindness, grace, and sophistication, for all her desire to keep up appearances, Mary had done one tactless thing during Stirling's empty ceremonies. She appointed the Earl of Bothwell, though a known Protestant, to receive the ambassadors and conduct the whole ceremony, "the very same which the rest of the gentry do not like," Sir John Foster wrote to Cecil. If we look at Mary's behavior in the best light, it must be admitted that she showed a strange and dangerous lack of general prudence; when her own Catholic husband refused to allow their son to be baptized, she proposed, practically in his place, a Protestant, a man she had already bestowed too many favours.

Considerable attention has also been paid to the gifts of gilded items which Mary gave to Bothwell on this occasion, but according to the inventories kept by her keeper of the wardrobe, Servais de Condé, she appears to have given similar gifts to many nobles, including Huntly, Maitland, Moray and Argyll .

In accordance with the fashion of the time, various games and parades were held, and one of them caused trouble. It was a mask of satyrs running around wagging their tails. This offended the English in the Earl of Bedford's train, as it would refer to the old tale that the English had tails "short as deer's tails", as an early Italian writer remarks about this peculiarity of the islanders.

Mr. Hatton, who was present, was so enraged that only the presence of the Queen kept him from stabbing a dagger into the heart of "the French villain, Bastien" (Sébastien Page, a man of whom more could be heard), who allegedly invented the election as an affront to the English; this "Bastien" seemed to be a French gentleman, musician, chef, and showman.

Sir James Melville says in his "Memoirs" that this tail trouble caused so much noise and commotion that both Bedford and the Queen "turned around" to ask what was the matter. They were then told that it was caused by the satyrs "so that the Queen and my lord Bedford might have enough work to make peace between them."

The Archbishop of St Andrews baptized the young prince. On December 23, Mary seems to have unlawfully restored ecclesiastical jurisdiction to this prelate, which had been abolished for several years. This fact, which in itself seems insignificant, takes on a sinister meaning in the light of later events. If Mary did it innocently, she was again unreasonable and unhappy. The newly elected Pope Pius V, who rightly believed that Mary was lukewarm in faith, sent a congratulatory letter along with her baptism.

* * * * *

Mary also celebrated the grim but glorious ceremony by signing pardons for Morton, Ruthven, and Lindsay, and their accomplices in Rizzio's murder. Of course, as soon as the king found out about this, he left Stirling Castle and retired to his father's stronghold in Glasgow.

No sooner had he reached this safe place than he was seized with a long and dangerous illness, attributed by some to the poison he had been administered at Stirling, by others believed to be a disease because of his dissolute drinking habits, by others including Bedford and Nau, announced that it was smallpox, of which there was indeed an epidemic in Glasgow at that time. Very likely he was struck by a state of mind like Mary in Jedburgh; We have no evidence of Henry Stewart's debauchery.

From the date of her baptism, Mary Earl received both more and more overt grace. He had been with her when she went to celebrate Christmas at Drummond Castle, which belonged to Lord Drummond; she left Moray to pay homage to Elizabeth's envoys at St Andrews.

Rumors and slander continued to circulate about the young queen during this period. Her growing infatuation with Bothwell would have been obvious, and especially shameful, given the king's terminal illness. Bedford, stating that "the agreement between the Queen and her husband has not been altered", adds that Mary had sent her own physician to attend to the King, which, given the time and circumstances, he may have treated with extreme caution in the interest he was watching. suspicion.

In mid-January, stories began to circulate in London about a plot against the King of Scots, as evidenced by a letter from Silva de Guzman to his master, Philip II.

“The Queen of Scots' displeasure with her husband goes so far that she was approached by some who wished to persuade her to conspire against him, but she refused. Yet she shows no affection to him."

Guzman adds in a tone that turns out to be prophecy: "They should reconcile because if they don't take care of themselves, they're in a bad situation."

* * * * *

Mary, continuing her policy of justifying her actions, as it were, and always taking her side before her opponents had time to settle theirs, wrote to Archbishop Beaton in Paris her grievances against her man: "And for the king, our husband, God always knows our part towards him and his behavior and gratitude towards us is apparently well known to God and the world, especially our indifferent subjects see it and in our hearts we do not doubt, we condemn We always see him busy and busy enough to investigate our acts which, God willing, will always such that no one has the opportunity to be offended or report us in any way. , his father and their people speak, which we know would not be kind to us if their power were equal to their spirit."

It is impossible to estimate with what sincerity these verses were written. They can be a proud cry of wounded innocence or a calculated pose of conscious guilt. This letter from Maria intersected with a letter from her ambassador in Paris warning of some obscure plot or plan against her which he had learned about through the Spanish ambassador who had asked him to warn Maria. Catherine de' Medici believed that there was nothing to fear, that is, for Mary's safety. Beaton was not completely reassured, however, and pleaded with the Queen to see to it that the captain of the guard was diligent in his office, "for I cannot be afraid until I hear of your news."

Faithful Beaton seems to have feared insulting or murdering Mary. As these seething passions of hatred, jealousy, revenge, ambition, sadness, frustrated and thwarted passions erupted, a pleasant interlude broke the gloom that had fallen around the Court of Holyrood.

Sir William Maitland took Mary Fleming as his second wife. She was the third of Mary Queen to marry. Mary Livingstone was the wife of John, Master of Sempill, and Mary Beaton was the wife of Alexander Ogilvy of the Boyne. Quiet and faithful, Mary Seton was now the only one left with the Queen of four little girls who had accompanied her to France.

* * * * *

We now come to the most dramatic, terrible and discussed period of Mary's life, which can scarcely be described without considering the controversies for and against the Queen, who has engendered and will continue in as many books as the name of Mary of Scotland is commemorated.

It must be emphasized again that accepting Mary's guilt, her devotion to Lord Bothwell, her horrors as a result of her husband abandoning her at that particular moment, would go a long way towards overcoming everything that followed. If she was innocent, her behavior was reckless, inconsistent, and in some cases completely incomprehensible.

After placing her son in the care of John Erskine, Lord Mar (Moray's maternal uncle, former Prior of Inchmaholm) at Edinburgh Castle, she wrote to her husband, according to Lennox's dubious evidence, offering to pay him a visit, to whom the king sent a dangerous message that she may do as she pleases, "but you must tell her that if Stirling were Jedburgh, Glasgow the Hermitage, and I the Earl of Bothwell, while I am lying here, I have no doubt that she would soon be unwanted with me."

Whether or not Mary received such news (and if so, it means that her husband suspected her of Bothwell and that she was aware of the fact, thus strengthening the case against her), Mary went to her husband with outward appearances of wishes reconciliation. Bothwell and Huntly escorted her as far as Callendar, near Falkirk. From there they returned to Edinburgh, and Mary, either out of pity and tenderness to mend her ruined marriage, or with the worst hatred and revenge in her heart, went to Glasgow. It should be remembered that she knew about a wide-ranging conspiracy against her husband.

Before leaving Edinburgh, she received word from Archibald Douglas, one of the supporters of the treacherous Morton, that there was some band or association among the nobles against the king, for which they desired the queen's approval and patronage, as they had done. he demanded the king's approval and protection from Rizzio's assassination. However, the Queen wants nothing to do with it: "The Queen will not hear a speech on this subject."

Archibald Douglas described the episode in a letter he sent to Mary while she was in England.

She did not deny or reject him, nor was she angry with Archibald Douglas, whom she recommended to the French king for retirement, calling him "a useful and honest man". It has therefore been proven beyond all doubt, amidst all the confusion and intricacies of the matter, that when Mary set out from Edinburgh for Glasgow to visit her ailing husband, she knew that his enemies were allied against him. She knew what they were planning when they plotted against Henry Stewart, she knew most of them must hate him for betraying them. But she was ready to let events take their course; not only had she failed to warn her husband of what was coming against him, of the calamity he had feared for months, but she had deliberately used all her tricks and flattery on him to drive him out of the Lennox stronghold. he was completely safe and guarded by his relatives until home, where he would be completely at the mercy of his enemies.

Whatever part of this scary story is dark, this is not it. Mary had many reasons to hate and want to get rid of her husband, either because she was in a desperate situation with Bothwell, or because of Rizzio's murder, or because he was furious and falsely accused her of being innocent. Isn't it reasonable to assume that while she didn't actively encourage the conspirators, she was willing to "look through her fingers" at anything they might try? And is it not difficult to suppose that she went to Glasgow in a spirit of loving friendship?

The old Earl of Lennox seems to have received the Queen's arrival with trepidation. He had sent one of his lords, Thomas Crawford of Gordonhill, a man of honor and a good soldier by the standards of the time, to meet her as she approached Glasgow on the pretext that he was not waiting for her. only his ill health prevented him from doing so.

Mary's reply does not seem to prove that she came to Glasgow in a friendly mood: "There is no evidence of fear", she said, "and he would not be afraid if he was not guilty". She asked if Crawford had another mission, and when he said "No", she told him to "shut up".

This Thomas Crawford later made an affidavit to the Lords from which the above anecdote was taken, which many believe to be a complete forgery or at least falsified to the point of being worthless. It will probably never be proven one way or the other, but Crawford's account corroborates in all important detail the most famous of the Coffin Letters, which is called "No. 2" (actually No. 1) or Glasgow Letter.

The hand that forged the letters is believed to have forged or distorted the statement to match it. Either way, Crawford's account of what happened between Mary and her husband fits the story so well, is so true, and seems to tell you so accurately what probably happened that it cannot be ignored. .

Crawford says that Lennox deliberately sent him to find out about this important interview and that the king gave him his father's account.

This is a version of the speech between this tragic king and queen made by Lennox's man. This is, in its simple brevity, dramatic and poignant, all the more so when we remember that Mary undoubtedly knew about the Bond against her husband all along. The Hiegait reference is a servant believed to be plotting on behalf of the king. Mary mentions him in her January letter to Archbishop Beaton; this matter is vague and irrelevant.

These are the salient points of the famous conversation Crawford wrote about, "Words I remember between the King and Queen in Glasgow when she took him to Edinburgh."

Mary began to reproach him (the king) for the cruelty of his letters, presumably those in which he threatened to leave the country. The king replied that he had reason for this so-called cruelty, which she would admit if she thought about it. He added that she was the cause of his illness, which resulted from refusing to accept his offer of penance.

Complaints against Henry Stewart so far seem to be based largely on his arrogance, insolence and refusal to humility. According to Crawford, he was quite humble at the time, perhaps weakened by illness, perhaps consumed by fear for his life, and certainly, as Du Croc had said of him a few weeks earlier, desperate. He told Maria that he had failed in many things, but she had forgiven greater transgressions in others. He pleaded to be young and failed due to lack of good advice, of which he was very destitute. He stated that given his extreme youth, it was possible for him to repent and be chastened by experience; he begged her forgiveness, said he was determined not to disappoint her again in any way, and that he wanted nothing but a full reconciliation. He then added, and this seems to be the only evidence we have of the king's feelings for Mary: "God knows what my punishment is because I have made you my god and I don't think of you but of you, and if I ever offend you, you are the cause, because if someone offends me, if I, for my refuge, opened my mind to you, I would not talk to anyone else. and should be a wife makes me hold it in my chest and makes me so melancholy when you see me.

Accordingly, the passion for Maria was the leitmotif of her husband's behavior and this is a reasonable explanation for his behavior. He loved her, he never trusted her, she betrayed and abandoned him, he was left and abandoned.

To these protests, Maria replied that she was sorry for his illness and would help him recover. She then returned to what seemed to be her biggest complaint against him, asking why he would leave the country on an English ship?

He replied that it was a futile threat, but if it was sincere, he had good reason, because he had nothing to keep for himself or his servants, which she knew as well as he did.

Mary ignored the financial issue and returned to another of her complaints, the complaint of Hiegait, a cunning servant who allegedly informed the king of a plot against him.

The sick man replied, seemingly sincerely, that Lord Minto had told him that the Queen had received a letter in Craigmillar, dictated by her and signed by others, though she refused to sign it herself. This seems to refer to one of the conspiracies against the king that undoubtedly existed at the time and was supported by almost all the lords, including Moray. After recounting this suspicious incident, the king said that he would never have thought that she, who was his own body, could harm him, and added with an outburst of boyish defiance that "if anyone else tries it, they will buy it sweet, unless they took it away him to sleep."

Then, making another attempt at reconciliation, he declared that he did not suspect anyone. Maria spent as little time as possible in the company of her sick husband; she always found an excuse to retire to her own quarters.

Crawford says that despite his pleas, she would never stay with him for more than two hours at a time. She was melancholic and the king complained about it. He said he heard she brought a palanquin; Mary replied that it was to take him back to Edinburgh, it would be easier to travel than by horse. He claimed the weather was too cold for the sick person to travel this way; Mary then said she would take him to Craigmillar where she could be with him and not far from her son, Prince James, who was staying at Holyrood House at the time.

Mary Queen of Scotland (8)

Mary with her son, Prince James.

Finally, the king agreed to go with Mary wherever she went if full reparation was promised at her word. If he couldn't have it, he wouldn't be leaving Glasgow. Mary reassured him and soothed his fear, saying that if she didn't want a perfect peace between them, she wouldn't have gone this far for him. She gave him "a hand and faith in her body that she would love him and use him as her husband." But first, she said, he needs to be cleansed and cleansed of disease, as she was going to bathe him at Craigmillar - it's not entirely clear if it's a regular bath or a treatment, but it's probably the so-called disinfectant.

Mary then asked the sick man about his jealousy, apparently trying to get him to name the specific object of his anger, but he avoided her, saying that he hated no one but loved everyone the same. Then, oddly enough, she brought in the name of Lady Reres, an elderly, stout woman who had been named as Bothwell's intermediary in the alleged Treasury affair.

From the king's reply it seems that he had heard of this scandal, for he said that he had little respect for a person like her, that is, the Lady of Reres, and asked God that she, the queen, would do her honor. would serve.

Mary then warned him not to reveal their secret reconciliation to anyone, as she did not think the Lords would care about this sudden agreement.

The king quite reasonably said that he saw no reason why they should not like it, and promised that he would not turn anyone against her if he did not incite anyone against him. They must, he stated quite truthfully, work together in harmony, otherwise it will lead to discomfort for both sides.

Mary, who did not take the blame for a single second during the entire interview, although she viewed her behavior in the most favorable light, committed an indiscretion and indiscretion that any husband could resent, now stating that "She never thought of passing him over." he was guilty." The King, who here, in Crawford's statement, stands in a much better light than his wife, said with some dignity that his mistakes had been made public, that there were people who had made greater mistakes than he ever had, whom he thought were unknown. The reference may be to his accomplices in the murder of Rizzio and Moray, or secretly making love to Bothwell.

While Mary was away (it is presumed, though not stated), the King asked Crawford what he thought of his trip to Edinburgh? Crawford replied that he did not like it because if she really wanted his company, she could have taken him to his own home in Edinburgh instead of Craigmillar, a mansion two miles from the city. Crawford opined that she took him "more like a prisoner than her husband".

There is pathos and dignity in the young man's resignation, who replies that "he thought of himself no less than the trust he placed only in her promise, but that he would put himself in her hands even if she cut his throat and begged God to judge between them both."

This document (Crawford's testimony) may be a complete forgery; on the other hand, it may have a factual basis and be greatly altered in order to destroy Mary by her enemies. In any case, whoever forged or falsified this document showed remarkable skill and insight into character, making it a perfect fit for the dark narrative. The same may be said, but even more emphatically, of the letter Mary wrote to Bothwell on the evening after her arrival in Glasgow, known as "The Glasgow or Letter from the Second Box", although it actually comes first.

This letter, one of the most famous in history, has been described separately as "worthy of Shakespeare" and "a disgrace to a maidservant", so critics' opinions vary. It is neither one nor the other, but a very poignant document, whether taken by Mary's own hand, revealing her heart and character during this period, or a forgery. In the latter case, it must have been written by someone who not only could carefully imitate her handwriting, but also someone who knew exactly her character and all the circumstances in which she found herself.

All issues of proof aside, one way or another, this letter, like Crawford's statement, with which he largely agrees, seems to reveal exactly what a woman in Mary's place would write, provided she hated her husband, passionately in love in another man, and that it was in her vital interest to destroy her husband and marry her lover before her already bloated reputation was completely ruined.

As we have seen, Mary's story contains good evidence that she was in exactly this position. If she was innocent and the letter is a forgery, then the forger had devilish cunning. The original, as now proved, was in French; there are Scottish and English versions of this and other so-called Casket Letters. It was written on a strange piece of paper that already had a "souvenir" or note on it, thinking that Mary had come to Glasgow without paper and had brought with her a strange piece of paper she had found, an interesting detail which a forger might have trouble inventing.

Mary begins this famous letter by recounting an incident when she reprimanded the gentleman (Crawford) who had sent Lennox to meet her. She was angry and melancholy about saying goodbye to Bothwell; "Being far away from where I left my heart, it's easy to judge what my countenance was, given the heartless body that made me say little until dinner, and no one would dare to think it wasn't in okay to do it." In short, she was capricious, and no one dared disturb her dangerous reverie.

She records that several noblemen, about forty-four, came out to meet her, but none in the city, and she understood that the city (i.e. Glasgow) was a party to the Lennox faction, and received a message from her husband to ask her why she had come and why didn't she stay closer to him? She wondered "who had told him so much", such as about Bastien's impending marriage and other details of her house.

She went to him, asked him about his cruel letters, and he replied that he was "dreaming" (which clearly meant he wasn't responsible for writing them) and that he was so happy to see her that he thought Do. die. However, he found fault with her thoughtfulness and she left for dinner. He begged her to come back to him.

On a subsequent visit, he told her of his sadness and regret that he would not make a will but would leave everything to her (he had only personal belongings to bequeath) and that she was the cause of his illness, which was caused by sadness at their estrangement. He rebuked her for her cruelty, and since she did not accept his offer of repentance, said that he had done evil, but no worse than the others of her subjects whom she had forgiven, that he was young, that at his age perhaps lack of counsel fails, but in the end take advantage of the experience and sincerely repent.

He pleaded for full reparation and, in almost exactly Crawford's words, continued, "God knows I was punished for making you my god," etc. Mary writes that her response to all this is too long to write down; she asked him why he had threatened to leave Scotland, and he replied that it had never been his intention. He then recounts his interrogation of Will Hiegait - this man's testimony appears to implicate the king in a plot to capture the young prince, crown him, and reign in his name.

The following passage is very similar to Crawford's statement, the king pleading with Mary to live with him; she refused on the pretext of his illness, he complained about the nest, and she urged him to go to Craigmillar so that she could cure him without going far from her son. He promised to do so if she assured him of a full reconciliation.

He notes that the disfigured young man did not want to be seen - he was clearly disgustingly disfigured by the skin disease he was suffering from. The letter continues: "As far as I am concerned, he would rather lose his life than cause me the slightest displeasure, and then he used so many kinds of flattery so coldly and so wisely that one might wonder at it."

The expression "cold and wise" is interesting when applied to lover-like caresses and caresses. This probably means that the king used insincere and calculated caresses out of fear and self-interest.

There is further agreement with Crawford's statement when the King says he would not believe "that Mary would do him any harm, and as for anyone else, he would sell his life dear enough, though he suspected nothing."

Trying to keep her with him, he urged her to watch his room all night, suffering from insomnia and craving the soothing effect of her company. Mary pretended that everything he said convinced her, but found an excuse not to sit with him. Her comment to the interview is, "You've never heard him speak better or more modestly," she adds with dramatic passion, "and if I didn't have proof that his heart is like wax and mine isn't like a diamond, he doesn't have a stroke, but if it comes from your hand, I would only feel sorry for it.

She was touched by the young man's abandonment and humility, but she did not trust him, the capricious and unstable she knew, and she hardened her heart to compassion.

The following passage seems emotionally written, is rather chaotic, seems to imply that Bothwell need not fear being unfaithful to him, and that in return for this fidelity she is unconquerable by "this false race." to the Gordons whom Mary first encountered as rebels, and in particular to Bothwell's young wife Jane Gordon, she urges Bothwell to abandon "this false race for cunning and deceit", adding contemptuously that her husband always has "tears in the eyes" that he likes everyone very much, even the meanest ones, so that they feel sorry for him.

This terrible display of anguish on the part of one who was so arrogant and impudent evidently evoked a restless and fleeting pity; this seems consistent with the young king's humble attitude at his baptism.

The following broken sentences have convincing timeliness, the hidden meaning is ominous.

“His father, Lennox, was bleeding from the nose and mouth today, you can guess what that is; I haven't seen him because he's in his room. The king would like me to give him meat with my "I" I trust you know more where you are than I do here. It's my first day, I'll write tomorrow.

The letter is believed to have ended here and continued until the next evening, when Mary managed to avoid the half-distracted, half-suspicious calls of the sick man. It is believed that she stayed up late at night writing it. It seems to bear the traces of great emotion, of mind swinging under great stress, forced back and forth but ultimately dominated by one overwhelming passion. One can only repeat that if it is a forgery, then it is a work of extraordinary skill.

The second day begins with the writer saying that she will write down everything that has happened, no matter how insignificant, so that Bothwell can judge what will happen.

Mary's next words betray both her mind and her plan painfully: "I have a job here that I hate very much, but I started it this morning. He (the king) told me almost everything in the name of the bishop and Sutherland, telling him nothing about what you said to me, but only by flattering him and asking him alone from me, and by a complaint to the bishop, I removed the worms from his nose. The last primitive expression is the French idiom and the one that settles the question of which language the letters were first written in. Mary uses it in an unquestioned letter from her.

The paragraph clearly shows that Maria won her husband's trust and learned all his secrets from him, without putting pressure on him, only assuring him of her love and faith. Continue:

“We are bound by false races (meaning Stewart-Lennox and Gordon-Huntley). God forgive me and God has brought us together forever, making the most faithful couple ever. This is my faith, I'm going to die Sorry if I spell it wrong, half have to guess. I can't do everything because I'm uncomfortable and I'm happy to write and do while others sleep because I can't do what they want, which is to lie in your arms my dear I beg God to keep you from all evil and grant you good rest. And I'm going to look for mine until morning.

Here the author seems to have changed her mind; he continues to scribble instead of trying to catch an awkward dream:

“But it saddens me that whoever prevents me from writing a message about myself, I have to write so much. Tell me what you decide, so we know one doesn't threaten the other's thoughts.

The writer continues in some sick desperation: she's about to break down, almost asleep, but as long as the piece of paper remains over her notes, she must keep scribbling. Coarse passages lead the letter to interrupt memorandums that in themselves have little meaning.

“Cursed be that filthy guy who bothers me so much because I have a more pleasant matter to discuss with you than with him. He's not much worse, but he's badly dressed (i.e. deformed). I thought I should have been killed by his breath because he's worse than your uncle's breath, and yet I was sitting no closer to him than in a chair by his pillow, and he was on the other side of the bed. Here is a break in the notes.

Then the letter begins again with an anecdote from Lord Livingstone, who had said to her as they warmed themselves by the fire: "You may very well go and see sick people, but can't you be so welcome with them if you have done?" day left someone in pain who will never be happy until he sees you again.'" The reference is to Bothwell. "You guess the rest," says the letter, adding, "This day I have up to two hours on this bracelet worked to insert the key into its slit, which is tied with two laces. I have so little time it is very bad but I will make it fairer but meanwhile take care that none of those who are here see it for all the world would know for I made it in haste in their presence .

It's an interesting piece. After saying that Lord Livingstone and the cheeky Lady Beres made fun of her and Bothwell, why did Mary make such a secret about the bracelet gift and what "key in the crack" means, which involves two shoelaces, that is? If it were some kind of basketry or craft, it would not be possible to have a key; perhaps it is a number, an initial or a sign of love, the translation or transcription seems to be faulty. He adds: "I'm going to my boring talks" - that is, with the king. “You make me pretend that I fear it with horror, and you almost make me play the part of the traitor. Remember, if I disobey you, I'd rather die, my heart bleeds for it."

After this outburst of remorse, the letter continues the old theme that the king will only come under the promise of full redemption. If she didn't believe his sincere promises, humble and gentle as he was, she had to pretend to believe in order to gain his trust. The king stated that he was pleased with the prospect of her newfound affection and the loyalty of the lords, "because they do not seek my life, I love them equally."

The letter goes on to say that the sender, which if the letter is genuine, would be "Paris", Nicolas Hubert, Bothwell's valet (who served Mary and who later said he sent letters to and from Glasgow and brought Edinburgh during this period), "could many beautiful things to say, for I have too much to write, and it is late, and I take his word for it." This seems typical of Maria's wild imprudence. She worried that someone would see Bothwell wearing the bracelet she had made, but is willing to entrust "many beautiful things" to the servant at his word.

He then repeats the king's confidence in himself: "In short, on my word, he will go anywhere."

Dan, again torn by remorse: "Unfortunately, I have never deceived anyone, but I submit myself completely to Your will." It's a woman again, completely submissive to you. "Send me what to do, and whatever happens to me, I will obey you." Then, betraying the deadly purpose of the entire letter: "Think, too, that you may not find an invention more secret by medicine, for he will take the cure in Craigmillar, and also in the baths, and will not appear for a long time." Simply put, wouldn't it be safer to poison the king than to continue with a plan already devised to destroy him? She repeats that the king was suspicious, but trusts her word that no harm has been done to him. She laments the betrayal: "I will never want to betray someone who puts such trust in me." Then again the tone of total surrender: “And yet you can do anything and you value me no less, therefore you are the cause of it. For my own revenge, I wouldn't do it."

She wouldn't allow a murder because of Rizzio's murder, but for the love of Bothwell, she'll do anything; she is inspired not by hatred of her husband, but by a desire to please her lover.

The excerpt below coincides with Crawford's statement. The king complained that his errors were open, but those who offended more deeply did so in secret. He recalls Lady Reres in a similar way to Crawford: "She most certainly doesn't trust us because of what you know, and (fears) for her life."

The sick man feared that the murder was intentional because he could not forget the reason for the revenge in Rizzio's murder. However, Mary reassured him once again: "Finally, after I had exchanged two or three words with him, he was very cheerful and happy."

Another cryptic message about the bracelet: "I didn't see him tonight because he finished your bracelet, but I can't find the clasp for it." This unusual ornament then required not only a key and ties, but also a tie. "It's already done, but I'm afraid it'll bring you bad luck, or you'll know if you've been hurt." The bracelet had to be worn tucked under the sleeve; it could be revealed whether Bothwell was injured or ill. She asked him to let her know if he likes the souvenir or not, he wants more money, and when will he be back in Edinburgh and how far can he talk?

Then he returns to the unfortunate victim. "He's angry when he hears about Lethington, about you and my brother (Moray). He says nothing about your brother, but about the Earl of Argyll he does. I'm afraid to hear him say. He says nothing about those abroad, neither good nor bad, but he avoids talking about it. His father who guards his peace. I did not see him, but he sent for me and asked me to see him get up early in the morning. In short, this bearer will tell you the rest, but if I hear anything, I will make a record of it every night and he, the deliverer, will tell you why I am here. Burn this letter because it is too dangerous and there is nothing good in it either. I said in it because all I can think of is sadness (trouble is probably a better translation) when you're in Edinburgh.

For the first and only time in the letter, Mary reminds Bothwell of what she sacrifices for him and warns him of what she will expect in return.

"Now, if you like it my dear life, I will spare honor, conscience, danger or greatness, take it for good, not as interpreted by your false brother-in-law (Huntly), whom I pray you will not give credit to your most faithful lover, you ever had or ever will have nor see her (Jane Gordon, Lady Bothwell) whose fake tears you should not regard more than the real trials I endure to deserve her place in winning those against my own nature, I betray those who bother me."

There is something unpleasant about this contemptible humility, especially on the part of a queen.

"God forgive me and grant you, my only friend, the happiness and prosperity that your faithful lover wishes you, who hopes to soon be someone else to you as a reward for my pain."

Mary Queen of Scotland (9)

Mary's third husband, James Hepburn, 4th Earl of Bothwell.

Her reward for luring her hapless husband to her doom was marrying a man like Bothwell, a marriage she must have known would be her doom if she fell in love. She speaks of her honor and conscience, resents the fraudulent role she plays, declares that she would not do it for her own good, but says not a word of reproach or regret for Bothwell's involvement in the crime. He'll enjoy it, and that's enough. She doesn't blame him either for the intended murder or for the role he allowed her in it. In the last paragraph, she complains that she has written nothing, that is to say nothing of what is really in her heart, and that it is very late, so that although she could never get tired of writing to her lover, it ended anyway. after kissing his hand.

She begs him to forgive her scribble, makes him read it twice. She also apologizes for the paper she used, with a memento in the middle: "Remember your friend and write to her often and always love me as I will love you."

It is noteworthy that neither this highly controversial letter nor Crawford's statement makes any mention of the young prince, except for a passing reference to Mary wishing to stay at Craigmillar to be close to her son at Holyrood House. It's not even mentioned as one of the things Mary would sacrifice for her love for Bothwell, nor is it mentioned as the only argument in harrowing husband-wife conversations. None of them say "let the baby connect us" or "since you're the baby's mother, I'll believe you" or "let's make up for the baby's sake." Perhaps little James' pedigree was too delicate a matter to talk about. We do not know if Maria was a devoted mother. Maybe she played with the child for hours, or maybe she completely neglected him - there is no record of this. Her growing passion for Bothwell is unlikely to leave much room in her heart for any other emotion.

Assuming the coffin letters are genuine or at least partly based on lost genuine originals, usually marked "No. 1" is actually "No. 2" and were posted on Saturday January 25 from Glasgow, where Mary waited in vain for a reply on her first letters from Bothwell's footman in Paris.

It is short and kept in the same tone as the previous one. It begins with a reproach: 'It seems to me that with your absence comes oblivion, since when you left you promised to send me news of yourself. But I can't learn anything from it. than me. I think you will do the same for your return, extending it longer than you promised. As for me, unless I hear otherwise from you, it is my mission to take this man to Craigmillar on Monday, where he will be on Wednesday."

If she heard nothing more from Bothwell, she would take the king to Craigmillar on Monday, where she was due to arrive in two days, and if she still did not hear from her lover and master, she would go to Edinburgh to shed blood. "

The hapless king was cheerful, "the gayest you have ever seen" and tried caresses and flattery to make her believe that he loved her. But this display of affection made her sick enough to remind her of an old ailment that had been getting worse since giving birth: the pain in her side. Is she waiting for the cure Paris promised to bring her, or is this a reference to a letter from Bothwell that will cure her of her suffering? "I am praying that you will send me a general message about yourself and what I will do if you are not sent back when I get there." If he hadn't been in Edinburgh when she was in Craigmillar, what would her instructions have been? When Bothwell did not act "reasonably", she saw "the whole burden fall on my shoulders".

* * * * *

Whether these two letters and Crawford's statement are forged or not, whatever the conversation between Mary and her husband, the only certainty is that on Monday, January 27, she brought him from Glasgow, where he was safely guarded in the city, which was friendly to the Lennox faction and accompanied by her father and his own supporters to Edinburgh, where she knew that not only were all nobles his enemies, but that they had made a final alliance against him. At least if the king's knowledge didn't go that far, he'd have a clear inkling of what was against him, and he'd be especially afraid of Moray and his accomplices in Rizzio's murder. Lennox later said he had no fear for his son's life, but others say he was very reluctant to allow the fatal journey.

It seems beyond any doubt and beyond any dispute as to the authenticity of the three documents cited above that Mary must have used insincere tricks to assuage her husband's fears and make him trust her hands. For some reason it is not clear, perhaps because Bothwell had already made other arrangements, the king was not taken to Craigmillar, but after a stopover at Callendar to his home in Kirk o'Field. This house was outside the walls of Edinburgh, in a bad neighbourhood, though perhaps not as bad as Buchanan describes it as a dilapidated building, it had stood empty for many years in a desolate location among old fallen walls and abandoned cloisters, near some courtyards . In fact, the plot, known in Scottish vernacular as 'Kirk o' Field', was once the garden of St Mary's Collegiate Church in the Field and the site of the houses of the neighboring Dominican monastery.

Nearby stood the great new residence of the Hamiltons, Lennox's hereditary enemies, deeply angered by his son's sudden and short-lived rule. It is said that there was a suggestion that the king should take up residence in this palace, but it was occupied, perhaps to prevent this, by Archbishop Hamilton, who presided over the christening of the young prince and who had just received the consistory. powers through Mary; it is said that in this palace he was surrounded by armed servants when the young king lived nearby.

When Henry Stewart was taken home to Kirk o' Field, the church and monastery buildings had been partly demolished by the zeal of the reformers, and the city wall they had run into was in ruins. It seems to have been a kind of "no man's land" and was separated from the open fields by a gloomy alley called "Thief's Street".

The actual house to which Mary brought the ailing king, "that pretty face" covered with "taffeta" (meaning a silk mask or scraps of plaster), was on the west side of what is believed to be the rector's quarters. It is remarkable in history, in which so much is remarkable, that Henry Stewart, who had opposed Craigmillar, accepted without a murmur this improbable and unpromising dwelling, which seemed almost unbelievably derelict and foreboding, and was so perilously close to the palace, including time equal to the fortress, from his enemies the Hamiltons.

However, Mary seems to have managed to win her husband's trust in a way that seems miraculous under all circumstances, as if she had indeed cast a spell on the unfortunate boy. Despite the gloomy and lonely situation, the ruins and open fields behind them, the gloomy poorhouses and the infamous "Row of Thieves", the house where the king actually lived was comfortable and even beautiful. It was a deanery or prebendary and was recently used by Canon Robert Balfour, whose brother James, later Commander of Edinburgh Castle, pitted the League against the king.

The rooms were small, but even members of the royal family were used to cramped spaces during this period. The longer façade of the house was facing the quadrangle with the old cloisters or Dominican garth, the shorter one was on the city wall and overlooked the "Rows of Thieves". Conveniently for mischief-makers, there was another exit into the quadrangle, so that one could go through the house on the ground floor - on one side to the "Thieves' Movement" and the fields beyond it, and on the other side through the quadrangle and the ruined cloister buildings in the fields where Hamilton stood House, a large, imposing mansion if a modern sketch of this scene is to be believed, which looks more like a castle than a palace. The ruined St. Mary's Church, of which little remains, stood in a different field, away from the buildings.

This strange apartment, though it was, and probably was, as Buchanan says, damp and dilapidated, was very beautifully furnished. In the room chosen for the king's bedchamber, a beautiful bed had been set up that belonged to Maria de Guise, which she had recently given to her husband, along with some gold. It was purple-brown velvet lined with watery crimson; on the walls hung rich tapestries and all the luxuries the times had known. The king had with him several personal servants, all of whom appeared to be English, but not a single armed guard or servant, nor any group of friends or supporters.

The house was two storeys high and rested on vaulted ceilings; the queen chose for her own use the lower chamber with two entrances from the garden and from the quadrangle, both closed; the king was upstairs in his apartment, which included a toilet and dressing room. The butler, an Englishman named Taylor, slept in his master's room; three other footmen slept in a small room that ran at right angles from the king's apartment to the city walls. Determining the exact location and description of this house, the exact layout of the rooms, etc. is difficult, if not impossible, even after a huge amount of painstaking research devoted to the subject.

It seems clear and certain: the house stood among ruins, near abandoned fields and gardens that, especially at this time of year, Scottish February, would be completely neglected. Access was easy from both sides; the king had only four servants with him, without any guard or protection, he was close to the great new house of the Duke of Châtelherault, his enemy, and as he was unable to get out of bed due to illness, it was for him that he could not see into the rooms downstairs or into the cellars nor to know who came and went day and night. Locks would not be a security measure, as it is entirely possible that the man who furnished the house made copies of the keys. The sick person would have no news either, except what Mary wanted to bring him.

Despite his earlier misgivings and the very unfavorable circumstances in which he found himself, he seemed quite content, and on February 7, having been at Kirk o' Field for just over a week, he wrote to his father that his health had been greatly improved by "the loving care of my beloved, a queen who acts like a natural and loving wife."

Lennox says that when his son was writing this letter, the queen gave him a kiss from Judas.

Who would be there to report the circumstance to Lennox? It must be a servant gossip.

The third coffin letter is believed to fall on this date, i.e. February 7, 1567. It is very vague and obscure, but is believed to mean that Mary tried to kill her husband in a random brawl with Lord Robert's brother Stewart Moray. Lord Robert is said to have hinted to the King of his danger, the King then complained to Mary who immediately sent Bothwell to take Lord Robert home to Kirk o' Field to have the two quarrel, and Lord Robert sends, probably with Bothwell's help, king and romance seems to be a coincidence. Cecil mentions that there was some trouble between Lord Robert Stewart and the king, and Buchanan's version of the battle is given. It is implied that Maria brings the two men into a deadly feud, assuming it will be good for her which of them died. But according to the letter, when they laid down their arms, she called on Moray to separate them. The whole episode seems highly unlikely, even grotesque. How could a king who could not sit up straight on his horse and who never left his bed the whole time he was in Kirk o'Field, could fight an armed, sane man?

In fact, it seems unlikely that in his robe and with his face, as we know, covered with taffeta, he could even put his hand on a gun.

Besides, this third letter reveals nothing more than repeating promises of devotion and love and making similar demands in return.

The night Mary wrote this letter, February 7, she was sleeping in her room, under the king's bed, at Kirk o' Field. She did not do so again, but continued to be in Holyrood and visited her husband regularly.

On the night of February 9, a great festival was held at Holyrood; a ball and banquet in honor of the wedding of Maria's two servants. One was a French chef, also known as a musician, Sebastien Page or Pagez, nicknamed "Bastien", with Christina Hogg, and the other was John Stewart with Margaret Carwood.

Sebastien Page, who seems to have been very fond of Mary, was the man who invented the satyr mask that so annoyed Bedford's English servants at the duke's christening. Buchanan says he was "Avernois, a man much favored by the Queen for his musical skill and gay banter."

For this double wedding, the Queen hosted a dinner attended by most of the nobles who were with her at the time, including Bothwell, Argyll, Huntly and Cassilis, and many ladies-in-waiting. The Queen was with her husband that day and left the table to visit him again; Bothwell and many of her other friends either accompanied or followed her, so the little cottage in Kirk o'Field must have been full of a cheerful and dapper group that had survived the winter night of the festival.

Just before eleven o'clock the Queen arrives with this train, on horseback and overtakingtorchesreturned to Holyrood.

* * * * *

Around two in the morning, the explosion shook "like twenty-five cannons", as the French ambassador in Edinburgh describes it. Then there was the sound of walls collapsing and screams of terror, and word soon reached Holyrood - by whom, how and when exactly we do not know - that the king's seat at Kirk o' Field had been blown up. heaven and killed the king.

Bothwell, lying in his bed, got up and went with the Earls of Argyll, Huntly, Atholl and some ladies to the Queen and gave her the news, but we don't know how she received it. Nor do we know, and it is unlikely that anyone now comes to know, exactly how the young king died, or who the men who carried out the murder were, although there is no doubt who organized the crime.

There are many accounts of this famous event and it is impossible to put them together into a coherent whole because so much is contradictory, confusing and even unbelievable.

The king's body, clad only in a shirt; was found in a field or garden on the other side of the "Thieves"; beside him lay the corpse of his footman, the Englishman Taylor, and beside him lay a royal purple nightgown lined with sables.

One thing is clear: Henry Stewart did not die in the explosion. Either he was killed in his bed and then dragged to where his body was found, or when he heard a noise that disturbed him, he tried to escape with his servant and both were killed by the assassins pursuing him. Those who were later punished for the crime confessed to the blast, but knew nothing about the actual murder. Nor is it known whether the house was mined before the king took up residence, or whether powder kegs were rolled into the room below the King's Chamber, that is, the room where Mary slept twice, once on the night before the assassination.

The King's escaped English servants knew nothing beyond the fact of a sudden explosion, forcing them to flee for their lives.

The version given in the Lennox Manuscript, drawn up after the event by the murdered king father and apparently composed to involve Mary as much as possible, is however corroborated by many details from other sources, although several of them are dubious. Whoever compiled this version either had knowledge, for the truth is always alive and effective, or had a dramatic imagination.

* * * * *

Lennox's account is that the Queen stayed with her husband until eleven o'clock at night, and then gave him a beautiful ring as a sign of loyalty and complete reconciliation. The modern doggerel against Mary mentions this ring. The Holyrood Ball is not mentioned as an excuse she gave to leave her husband. In this version, it is Bothwell who reminds her that she intended to go to Seton the next morning. Wanting to accompany her, the king ordered his "great horses" to be ready at five in the morning, intending to mount them at that hour. He had apparently recovered considerably from his illness by this time, but not quite in normal health; but why get up so early? Five in the morning on a winter morning?

The queen then set off in her glittering train, and as if her departure wasn't striking enough, with a flash of sound, light and color in the dark night, she burst out of the sack - but on the street corner "like a signal to assassins."

The scene in the cursed man's room, where he is left alone with his manservant Taylor, reminds us in this recital of where Desdemona prepares for her last sleep.

* * * * *

The room, although small, was very richly furnished, as we know from the inventories found. Not only was there the famous French bed of purple-brown velvet, upholstered in scarlet silk trimmed with gold and silver, with a silk mattress, there was also a table covered in green velvet, a chair of the estate covered in purple velvet, rich tapestries on the walls, and in the corridors (it sounds like a gloomy piece of furniture) a scene with black velvet and double curtains and a seemingly redundant exhibit in the form of a two-seater armchair upholstered in red and yellow silk, Scottish colors.

According to anecdotal evidence from one of the surviving servants and Lennox's manuscript, Mary ordered the valuable bed to be dismantled and a travel bed put in its place. sleep the next night."

"Although," says Lennox, "her intention was to save the bed from being blown up and powder fired."

The King's surviving servant Thomas Nelson corroborates this story, but it appears to have been the Mary of Guise bed where Henry Stewart lay on the last night of his life. The house would be very quiet as no wind or rain could be heard and no other sound could penetrate this desolate place in the middle of a winter night.

The young king stayed up late, apparently restless, and engaged in a melancholy conversation with his servant, who must be the authority on the account if it is genuine.

The king noticed that Mary had mentioned something about how almost a year had passed since Rizzio's murder. It had been a long time since she had brought up that sinister subject, and he hoped she had forgotten. He reflected on the remark she made at the grave of the murdered Italian that "before twelve months there will be someone fatter than him."

Why did the king, who had given himself so completely to Mary's caresses and given himself so completely to her power, suddenly, on that memorable night, fall into melancholy? Then, perhaps to reassure himself, he drank his servant's drink after they had sung the fifth Psalm together. As a Catholic, would Henry Stewart sing it in Latin? He certainly would not have used one of the many metrical versions of the psalms then sweeping Scotland and becoming so popular as to replace the old ballads, because they were sponsored by heretics and the king may have had little or no knowledge of them. Scottish language. It is also believed that he probably would not have used any of the English versions so admired by Protestants. Be that as it may, the words of this psalm are so appropriate to the place and circumstance that one suspects that the accent was added later. The lament of a youth about to be cut off in the midst of his sins and in the early bloom of his youth can be heard in the words: "Hear the voice of my call, my King and my God, say my prayer for you." Murderers are threatened: "The Lord will abhor both the bloodthirsty and the deceiver." Verses 9 and 10 seem to apply directly to Mary: "There is no faithfulness in His mouth, their inner heart is very wicked, their throat is an open grave, they flatter their tongues."

[*George Buchanan's Latin version of the Psalms, dedicated to Mary, was published in 1566.]

The last three verses can be read as a curse that actually came true; none of those involved in Henry Stewart's murder ended peacefully, or only a few of the most obscure. It was one of those crimes, a real act of darkness that seems to be avenged from above. The whole terrible night seemed haunted; the power and horror of those hours passed over the years and long lingered in the imagination of men:

"Destroy them, God! let them die of their own free will. Throw them into the multitude of their wickedness, for they have rebelled against You."

Then the young king, dressed probably in a beautiful velvet dress trimmed with sable fringes, lay down on a silk mattress and feather pillows, and the servant drew the crimson and purple-brown curtains with gold and silver fringing.

Fifty men then surrounded the house; sixteen others, headed by Bothwell, entered with double keys. The Earl slipped out of the Holyrood Festival wearing a heavy German cavalry coat over a ball gown of black silk, velvet and satin. He and his bandits then entered the king's chamber, strangled him with a vinegar-soaked handkerchief - a procedure that would have taken a long time and created a terrible commotion - strangled Taylor and then carried the two bodies out of the house. on Thieves, threw the corpse into the garden under a tree, the nightgown next to it, then blew up the house - a clumsy and unnecessary operation.

Lennox, who seems to be writing on the authority of two royal servants who escaped - presumably Nelson and Anthony Standon - adds to the dark and terrible details the queen, who boasted to her servants when she showed strength and courage she admired. a terrible trip to the Hermitage that she could "find in her heart to see and see what a man dares to do, and find in her heart to do all that a man dares to do when her strength will serve" was one of Bothwell's killers disguised as a man.

The basis of this fable is probably Maria's love for men's clothing. It seems that she loved to put on a bachelor suit whenever the occasion presented itself, which was a quirk typical of her type of woman. Lennox adds: "She often loved to wear these clothes, secretly dance with the king, her husband, and walk the streets at night wearing masks."

This is a version of the famous crime; others say that the king was strangled after "falling from the sky" (that is, after an explosion that did not kill him) with his garters. Others say that the king was dragged to the stables and killed with a napkin put in his mouth, and yet another story says that he fled the house (possibly through a window) after hearing the assassins outside, and that he was strangled. in the garden where he was found. Some women, probably those who lived in poorhouses, heard him cry out, "Have mercy on me, brethren, for the love of Him who has had mercy on the whole world." The relatives were the Douglases, Archibald or George of that name, related to the king; both seem to beGoodor professional killers, in the full interest of Morton and Bothwell; it is likely that they committed the actual murder.

In another version, the king pleads for sympathy because of his descent from Henry VII, an argument that sounds strained in such a context, but Mary herself used it in moments of emotional stress towards the end of her life.

One George Hackett is said to have first defeated Bothwell in his quarters, as the Sheriff of Edinburghshire, the Earl, was responsible for law and order. The king's body was examined by doctors who pronounced him dead from the explosion, and he was later embalmed and laid in a holy state at Holyrood.

Buchanan claims that the Queen herself has waited a long time to look at the body of the young man who so recently aroused her whims or passions.

* * * * *

On the day of the murder, Mary, or Maitland for Mary, wrote an account of the crime to Archbishop Beaton. The Queen received this prelate's warning that morning (February 11) regarding a possible plot, and according to a report by Drury, Marshal of Berwick sent to Cecil, she was also to deliver "letters and ciphers" from the cardinal. of Lorraine and the Spanish ambassador (to France), who told her to "take to heart the secrets she confides and warn her that her husband will soon be killed."

This was the report Mary sent out; lettersto be able to, advised her to separate herself from the men who were going to kill her husband for her own honor.

The description of the crime in the letter that Mary was supposed to justify to Catherine de' Medici, and the French generally read:

"Tonight, a little after two past midnight, the house where the king lived was blown up in an instant, he was sleeping in his bed, with such violence that the whole abode, walls and all, there was nothing left, no, no one stone on top of another, but everything was either lifted far away or foamed into the cornerstone. It must have been done by the power of gunpowder, and it appears to have been a mine. is done or for which it has not yet appeared. We have no doubt, but according to the vigilance that our Council has already begun to exercise, the confidence of all will soon be exercised and the same will be revealed, what we do not know. God will never allow it to be hidden and we hope he will punish the same with such severity that it will be an example of this cruelty for all ages to come to both us and the king because we spent most of the last week spent in the same place ( and they were joined by the greater part of the Lords that are in this city) and they spent the same night, at midnight, and it so happened that they did not spend the whole night because of some mask at Holyrood Abbey. But we believe it wasn't an accident, but God put it in our heads."

Mary or Maitland showed no great shrewdness in this zeal in insisting that the plot was directed both against her and against her unfortunate husband. Everyone in Edinburgh must have known that at eleven o'clock she left Kirk o'Field with a good retinue of noise and light, and that she appeared openly at the wedding mask at the palace. No plotter would be clumsy enough to believe that she was still in Kirk o'Field at the time of the explosion. The council, mentioned by Mary herself, sent a report on the same matter to the Queen Mother of France, but it was signed by at least two chiefs among the murderers, Bothwell and Huntly, and also by Maitland, who was probably aware of the plot. It is rather ironic to read it, especially given the emphatic language:


The strange events that took place last night in this city compel us to let ourselves be informed of the unfortunate act committed against our king.

“About two hours after midnight, while he was in bed, his residence was violently blown up, as far as can be judged by the sound and the terrible suddenness of the action. The explosion was so violent that not only the roof and ceiling, but even the walls to the foundations were demolished, and not one stone was left unturned. The authors of this crime would have destroyed the queen in almost the same way, while most of the lords present in her retinue, who were almost in the king's chamber at midnight, Her Majesty could easily have stayed there all night, but God was so merciful to us that these assassins thwarted some of their prey and booked Her Majesty to take revenge that yes' deserves a barbaric and inhuman act.

“We are investigating and have no doubt that we will be able to uncover the perpetrators of this act in a short time, because God would never allow such a crime to go unpunished or hidden.

"When they discover them, Your Majesty and all will see that the land of Scotland will not willingly tolerate a disgrace on its shoulders so heavy as to make it repugnant to all Christendom while these culprits remain hidden or go unpunished."

This bold document was not only signed by the brash Bothwell, the reckless Huntly and the Archbishop of St Andrews, whose stately new palace near Kirk o'Field was said to house armed servants who were about to get out rashly. on the night of February 9 and joined in the murder, but by two Protestant bishops, Ross and Galway, by several nobles of more or less respectable character, and by at least one man of high principles and moderate opinions, the Earl of Atholl.

The Council also sent a certain M. de Clarnault to Catherine de' Medici, whose good opinion they wished to earn. This Frenchman had to please Catherine with all the details of the tragedy at Kirk o' Field. Of course, he wouldn't have been sent this message if he had anything negative to say about Mary or the Lords. He confirmed their relationship in the following report:

"The queen with the chief dignitaries of the court visited the king and stayed two or three hours and then attended the wedding of one of her masters as she had promised, otherwise she would have stayed until midnight or to the dock, seeing their good agreement for three weeks, she soon withdrew from the wedding to go to bed, and about two o'clock in the morning there was a great noise, like twenty-five or thirty cannon salvos, which struck the whole city And when she sent her to find out where she came from, they found the king's house completely ruined and himself sixty or eighty paces from the house in the garden, dead, also hisservantand the young side.

“One can imagine the pain and anguish of this poor princess over such an incident when Her Majesty and the King were on such good terms. It's good to see that this unfortunate case grew out of an underground mine; author unknown".

De Clarnault seems to have been wrong about the page, and it is worth noting that he writes: "you cansuggestsuffering and pain of this poor princess," but he does not say that he witnessed such a display of emotion.

Nau says in his History, which he wrote under the direct supervision of his mistress, so that reading this statement we only read Mary's apology: "When the queen was told what had happened, she was in great sorrow and in her peace." all day long". Maria herself seems to have considered the day of retreat as a sufficient tribute to her husband's memory. There are disputes about her subsequent conduct.

Some say she remained cut off from the world in the full formality of royal mourning, others that this display of official mourning was only used to deceive, that when no one was looking the curtains were drawn, the candles extinguished and the Queen dried her tears.

Because Buchanan is so unreliable, we don't know if she actually looked at her husband's body. He was buried modestly at Holyrood, where, undoubtedly the most unfortunate of all the unfortunate kings of Scotland, he was buried next to his father-in-law, James V.

This seems to refute the anecdote that he was buried next to Rizzio, fulfilling Maria's threat: "Before twelve months he was fatter than he should have been lying next to him", for it seems incredible that the Piedmontese was buried in royal tombs.

We have evidence from Sir William Drury that the Queen and two of her ladies prayed in Holyrood Chapel on Good Friday, March 28, from 11pm to 3am, five days before the Requiem was sung over the remains. Drury also noted that "the queen breaks a lot".

According to Melville, the Queen was "sad and quiet" the morning after the murder, while Bothwell had the audacity to offer an explanation of the murder that was too wild to ever be offered again. He told Melville that thunder (sic) fell from the sky and burned the king's seat.

Mary Queen of Scotland (10)

Portrait of Queen Elizabeth I

Robert Melville was sent with a message to convey to Queen Elizabeth as best he could, and reported that Mary had been locked up in her room and would not leave until today, as is the custom of the widows there. On the other hand, the contempt, or at least the negligence, shown at the king's funeral caused great indignation. It's on behalf of Secretary Cecil. Again, we learn that after the funeral of the murdered man at Holyrood, six days after the murder, Mary went to Seton and left the Duke with Bothwell and Huntly at Holyrood.

Edinburgh may have been unbearable for Mary, and it is entirely in keeping with her innocence and sadness that she wanted to retire alone and in seclusion. But Sir William Drury reports that the Queen led a merry and carefree life at Seton, where she was soon joined by Bothwell and Huntly, where she played golf with these two nobles and Lord Seton, andfirst bodyand shot in the butt.

However, John Lesley, Bishop of Ross, in his famous The Queen's Defense, published in Liège in 1591, declares that the Queen would have continued in solitary mourning indefinitely had she not been ordered, for the sake of her health, "to have a good day open". and healthy air.

Queen Elizabeth, who seems genuinely surprised and shocked by the murder, sent Sir Henry Killigrew to Edinburgh to follow the news on the spot.

The English envoy met Mary in Edinburgh on March 8, after having dined with Moray, who had never been intrusive or out of the way, had been absent from the capital on the night of the murder, but had now returned with Lethington. , Argyll and Bothwell.

Mary received Killigrew as if in deep sorrow; the room was so dark that he could not see her face, "but judging by her words, she seemed very sad, and she received letters and messages from my Sovereign with great gratitude."

Killigrew had not heard any rumors or rumors about killers at the time. But he said Lennox, safe with his friends in Glasgow, had already had his revenge. Killigrew also noted that while there was no trouble among the people at present, there was "a widespread misunderstanding among the common people and others who abhor the abominable murder of their king, a disgrace, they suppose, of the whole nation." preachers openly pray to God that He will both reveal and exact vengeance and call all people to prayer and repentance."

* * * * *

Considering that the king, despite his birth, was in the eyes of the Scots a foreigner, papist, and personally unpopular, it is amazing how the people and the church took up the cause of his vengeance from the beginning. Scotland was by no means accustomed to bloody crimes - Henry Stewart was a murderer himself, the atrocious crime in which he participated and which took place at his express request in the presence of his wife, so close to the birth of her child, was as nasty a thing as the act that led to it to a premature end. But it seems that this was not so taken into account in the popular assessments.

It has probably been argued that there might be an excuse for an energetic and passionate young man to send an overbearing servant by force, that a king should have the right to stab a dagger into an insolent subordinate, that an unjust husband should pardon his injustice, and certainly take revenge in blood. One would think that Rizzio's murder could be justified on all kinds of false arguments and in accordance with that flexible code of honor whereby a woman's infidelity justifies any kind of heinous revenge.

But for the king's murder there was no excuse, no possible justification in the minds of the people of Scotland; how he died, whether the house was blown up by a mine or powder kegs, whether the explosion occurred before or after the murder, made little difference to the overall drama; Mary's young husband was murdered and the house in Kirk o'Field blown up at two in the morning in February; this was enough for the people of Scotland.

* * * * *

We have no record of Mary's behavior when Bothwell gave her this message; her enemies claim that she has shown the greatest composure; it is narrated that on her way back from the Kirk o' Field to Holyrood, she met Nicolas Hubert, a servant nicknamed "Paris", and upon seeing his face black with powder, remarked, "Jesus, Paris, how gloomy you are!" If she had any sensitivity or nobility in her, the news of this murder must have sent her into a frenzy of fear, even if she hated her husband and wanted to get rid of him. She couldn't forget for a moment that this man had trusted her, had given himself over to his enemies because he had taken her word as a pledge of his safety, and thought he had reconciled with her and had been brutally treated. completely killed because of the trust he placed in her. An innocent woman would have agonized over these terrible circumstances, contemplating the undeniable fact that in those few terrible minutes between the moment he realized what was ahead of him and his death, her husband had to believe that she had heartlessly betrayed his most bitter enemies. . Assuming Mary had no part in the murder, that thought would haunt her until the day of her own death. And the pain of it would be intensified by the memory of the quarrels she had with her husband, the wrongs he had done her, and the lofty words that had been said between them. It would be unbearable for her to think that he had died thinking that she had wanted him dead out of revenge.

The young king was Catholic, at least nominally, and was sent to his account unshaven. Mary's mind would surely have stared at it in horror, and if she had had any imagination, she must have imagined the horrific details of the murder.

Captain Cullen, who is said to have been one of the killers and then confessed, is said to have said, "The king has been dying for a long time and in his strength fought for his life."

Could Mary calmly think of a strong and defenseless young man fighting an overwhelming number of killers? If she was innocent, she was betrayed in the cruelest way; For the murderers must have known that her husband had come to Kirk o'Field, trusting in her protection, and treating it as nothing, they had done her a great injustice by killing a man rendered helpless by her act. Surely an innocent woman would be furious with these bitterly false friends? She would not have thought of troubles, scandals, her own peril, especially a woman like her who was known to be brave and agile, abounding in opportunity and quick-tempered where her passions aroused.

Buchanan's account of her behavior with callous indifference can be dismissed as slander; but nowhere else is there a trace of true despair. And a few hours after receiving the news of the murder, she was composed enough to draft or approve a letter of justification for a French court, eager to clear herself of any implication or concern about the tragedy. Seven days after the assassination attempt, on February 18, she wrote a second letter to her ambassador to France, which she clearly intended to use as her defense when the king's death became known in France.

With a calmness and cleverness that are surprising in these circumstances and make Mary better head than her heart, she considers numerous letters from France.

Although her statement contains strong language, she shows no emotion or excitement, and the mention of the murder comes after an urgent request for a due dowry.

“Thank you very much for your announcement (warning) to us ... But alas! your message came too late ... even in the morning before your servant arrived, a terrible and treacherous act against the king's person might very well have been conspired against himself, given the circumstances of the case."

Mary, once again making this pointless argument of her own escape, declares that she will not "tease" about it by returning to her earnest demand for money. What a young woman, widowed for seven days after a black murder, says from a young husband with whom she shared tender love, sounds false. This is not the language of shocked horror, outraged innocence, desperate grief such a woman should feel in such a situation.

Apparently, amidst so much confusion, the Queen's stance after her husband's murder was met with deep indignation by the populace, who just a few years ago exclaimed, "God bless that sweet face!" In the mind of the man in the street, it seemed that John Knox was indeed a prophet, and that the female rule of "stinking pride" had indeed plunged the country into disgrace and terror, and that a foreign idol had brought woe to the country. Not that this murder is more gruesome than that of any other king of Scotland, more gruesome in detail than the slaughter of Cardinal Beaton or David Rizzio, not that people are not used to blood, public executions, torture, fighting, all the atrocities of the civil war and border clashes, but this crime had a special meaning that distinguished it from all other deaths, for in the popular imagination it seemed only one episode in a series of black, unnatural events orchestrated from hell and played out by devils.

The slain king, despised in life, has attained terrible power after death. Whatever the young man's faults or unpopularity, his departure was considered inexcusable. In times of cruelty and betrayal, this cruelty was unforgivable. Of the many dark crimes that have passed unexpectedly or have not been avenged, this crime should not remain hidden or unavenged. No one but Mary cared about David Rizzio's implacable blood, but Henry Stewart's restless spirit cried out to heaven and received an answer.

His murder ruined his wife and all who had a hand in it, just as gunpowder turned the bricks of his house into "foam."

The young king resembles one of those characters in an Elizabethan tragedy, killed at the beginning of the action but leaving behind a powerful spirit that haunts all subsequent scenes, cries out to heaven for vengeance and finally drifts for an axe, a rope, a murder. or suicide, they are all killers.

* * * * *

From the beginning there was a persistent cry for her to immediately avenge her husband around the martyred queen. It's unbelievable that if she were innocent, she wouldn't want to do it herself in a frenzy of remorse and regret. It was said, and perhaps with good reason, that she was helpless in the hands of the Lords, that she must have known that many, if not all, including the mighty Maitland and Moray, who were at least "through their fingers," were involved in the murder, and that she had not even she dared to book them.

Indeed, she was placed in such a position that it is hard to imagine how she could have acted to bring the murderers to justice under the ordinary course of law. But as a cheerful, courageous woman, witty and inventive, she could act in such a way as to show her fear and aversion to crime, and her sincere desire to punish the criminals. She was allowed to lock herself up in the castle with her child, under the protection of Lord Mar, who at least for the time was a moderate and honorable man. She may have joined Lennox and his faction in their demands for revenge.

She could, as she had done before when it came to traitors and rebels against her own rule, raise her banner and call all her loyal lords and men to rise up against the murderers, and she could openly and clearly indicate whom they suspected. If she were completely innocent, if she knew nothing about the conspiracy, if she was genuinely moved by horror and pity, why wouldn't she have done one of these things? Even ignoring all the rumors about her sports and games at Seton, her close friendship with Bothwell, her feigned mourning, the fact is undeniable. suspected at least of complicity in his murder.

A reward of £2,000, a free pardon and a year's rent for anyone who reveals the crime has been officially announced, but nothing more.

Earl Bothwell was suspicious from the start, and it wasn't long before people expressed their suspicions; was it because he was too careless to hide his complicity, or was it because he was known as the queen's lover?

Two days after the murder, banknotes were found in the Tolbooth Prison where he was charged. These signs were ignored; their number has increased; and others, some looking directly at the Queen as one of Bothwell's accomplices in the murder ring, were pinned to Market Cross and even to the walls of Holyrood House. Bothwell's portraits were scattered in the streets of Edinburgh with the inscription: "Behold the murderer of the king". Ballads and lampoons described him as a "bloody Bothwell".

The earl accepted the challenge with his usual arrogance and fearlessness, which would have been more admirable had he not had fifty armed men behind him as he rode through Edinburgh. In wild language, he boasted that if he knew who inspired the accounts, he would "wash his hands in their blood."

According to Sir William Drury, Earl Bothwell felt he was overpowering the capital. A great guard of armed minions, presumably Liddesdale and Border villains, pirates and thieves followed him wherever he went. It is said that there were five hundred people. Bothwell's strange expression and the way he kept his hand on the dagger when talking to someone he was unsure of was widely commented upon; he soon discovered that his crime had been committed too recklessly.

The Spanish ambassador, Guzman, wrote home in one of his messages that he had serious suspicions about Bothwell, but no one dared say anything because of his influence and power.

In February, correspondence came between the Earl of Lennox and Mary. There was nothing admirable about Mathew Stewart, Earl of Lennox; he seems to have been an ambitious, hard-working, brutal man, but there is no doubt about his sadness and sincerity when he insisted that his son's killers be brought to justice. He had every reason to be bitterly indignant that his son had been dragged away from his care in Glasgow to die so horribly in the midst of his enemies. His letters make a positive impression, firm and masculine in tone, although formulated in a respectful way for Mary. His wife, Margaret Lennox, received news of her son's death in the Tower where Queen Elizabeth had sent her when her husband and son refused to return to London; this lady only got prison as a share of family greatness. Elizabeth showed great humanity on this occasion, sending men to gently tell the terrible story of the unfortunate woman and set her free so that she could at least experience her grief at her leisure. This was considered the most gracious act and made a good impression. The Countess of Lennox, whatever her faults and however ill-judged, raised her son, gave him much care and trouble, and the shock of this murder drove her into a passion of grief; here was real pain, which contrasts with Mary's feigned anguish.

* * * * *

Lennox probably knew when he wrote his urgent letters to his daughter-in-law that he would never be redressed for this bitter error. Mary's answers were skillful and evasive. "She," he declares, "as much as her father-in-law wants to avenge the cruel slaughter of the king," but she removes him point by point with every ploy he proposes to catch and convict the criminals. When he humbly insisted that she should have arrested people whose names were on signs in Edinburgh, she replied that "there are so many of them, they are so different and at odds with each other that she doesn't know how to go about 'go', but adds, that "if he can name someone he wants to take action against, she will."

To this Lennox replied that he was surprised (and no doubt the lines were written with bitter irony) that the names on the cards and placards had not reached Her Majesty's ears. He states that the names of those so openly spoken of are Bothwell, James Balfour, David Chalmers (alleged pimp of scandals at Exchequer House) and Black John Spens, along with the names of several subordinates, including Giuseppe, Rizzio's younger brother, Mary's secretary state. Lennox adds that he himself suspects these people.

In response, Mary, still evasive, said she would bring those named by Lennox to justice. Her hand could have been forced. She received from France a stern letter from Catherine de' Medici in which this lady declares, with a bluntness that might not have pleased Maria, that "if she does not keep her promise to avenge the king's death, to save herself, to purify herself, they (Valois) would not only recognize her disgraced, but they would be her enemies.

On March 11, 1569, faithful Archbishop Beaton wrote a letter of warning to Mary that, in a tone full of regret, reproach and uneasy belligerence, reminds us of the letters that Nicholas Throckmorton wrote to Cecil's secretary on the occasion of the Amy Robsart scandals. .

The assassination of the King of Scots caused great turmoil in France - "a hideous, malicious and strange enterprise and execution against a Majesty", writes Beaton, "who has been so brutally robbed of his days by the crafts of man." If I were to write of this deed all that is said here, viz., of the wretched state of this kingdom, and of England also, by the disgrace of the nobility, the mistrust, and treason of all your subjects, yea, thou art much and unjustly maligned as the spring of the whole, and that everything was done at your command, I cannot deduce anything from the fact that Your Majesty writes to me himself, and that since it has pleased God to keep you, a severe vengeance on that, that it seems to me better in this world than not it's taken that you lost your life and everything.

It was clear indeed. The archbishop considered the queen ruined unless she could desperately purge herself at the last minute by filing summary proceedings against her husband's alleged murderers: "It seems to me better in this world that you have lost your life and everything." He spoke truthfully. Surely it would have been better for Mary if she had died with Henry Stewart. Honesty and nobility, qualities rare nowadays, appear in the archbishop's long plea to the queen, to whom he was sincerely attached, to clear himself completely of these repugnant accusations.

She needed, as he said, "great virtue, magnanimity and fortitude to overcome this very heavy envy and dissatisfaction". She had to rehabilitate herself in such a way that the whole world would recognize her as innocent and "place the blame where it belongs, on those traitors who, without fear of God and man, committed such a cruel and despicable murder."

He said that so much evil had been said (probably with the French court in mind) that it was too disgusting for him to repeat it. He adds, however, with regret that Mary's affairs have been interpreted in the most sinister light in all of Europe, and a prophecy to be sternly fulfilled that if Mary by some courageous action does not pull herself out of the ugly circumstances of her situation: "I fear that it is only the beginning and first act of a tragedy in which everything will go from bad to worse."

Here is an assessment of Mary's behavior from her staunch friend and advocate and loyal, honorable man. This letter explains that the Queen's apology that the plot was also against her did not impress Archbishop Beaton or the French court.

If Mary no longer had the worst reputation, would her relatives and coreligionists in France and Europe be so inclined to believe that she was "the driving force behind it all"? If she were innocent, wouldn't such a warning from such a source provoke her to her craziest attempts to purify herself?

The fact that she didn't but continued her stupid way is proof enough that she was too deeply involved with Bothwell to be of any service to her with any warning; she pretended that she had nothing but the need to marry this man. And this was, as was already openly claimed abroad, the truth about the unfortunate's situation.

* * * * *

Mary's wisest advisers, her half-brother and Maitland of Lethington, had now faded into the background. Moray went abroad, adhering to his policy of avoiding trouble and fearing the advantage of his old enemy, Bothwell. Lethington, whose behavior was suspicious and still under discussion, stayed with Mary, although he was unable to interfere in her affairs. He did it either out of loyalty and a desperate hope of saving her from herself, or because he had played a traitorous role and wanted to quickly lead her to destruction.

He signed a pledge against the king, but may not have known that the murder was intentional, nor had he had a direct part in the crime. He hated Bothwell, and Bothwell hated him. Maitland, that subtle, elegant, skillful man, the wisest chief in Scotland, and one of the wisest in Europe, newly married to Mary Fleming, was silent on the Queen's train as she watched her tragedy unfold, and we do not know whether he tried to prevent it or hasten it.

Mary, innocent or guilty, was warned by Beaton, Catherine de' Medici, Elizabeth and her Protestant subjects, who in April petitioned expressing their own grievances, demanding redress for them, and seeking justice against the king's murderers. "Bothwell was everything," as the saying goes, and many, perhaps most, firmly believed that the infamous earl had cast a spell on the dissolute queen. There was talk of amulets and potions, incantations and "sweet water" - for these people witchcraft was as much an established fact as murder itself. Scotland was gloomy with omens and prophecies of blood and misfortune.

Many of these sinister stories must have reached the Queen's ear. It was reported that a dim, indistinct figure ran through the streets of Edinburgh on the night of the murder, waking Atholl's four men, one by one, with a bang, perhaps as a warning to that respectable gentleman to leave. . and prevent crime. A dying man saw murder in a vision; these chilling horror stories were repeated word of mouth and helped ignite the popular imagination. The nameless servant who succumbed to his knowledge and began hysterically reporting on the masters who had hired him for this bloody act was murdered and secretly buried. In the streets at midnight a voice could be heard calling to heaven for "vengeance" for the young king.

Mary may have been depressed by these implausible stories and black gossip, or she may have laughed and dismissed them. She doesn't seem to be resourceful or superstitious, and in this case, she was probably too deeply sworn to disaster to even listen to warnings from another world.

She flaunted her friendship with Bothwell, the man all fingers pointed to as the murderer; in every way she did him favors and did everything in her power; dissatisfied with the usual donations of money and land which she generously gave him even though she was poor, she even gave him a Protestant who did not go to mass although he was considered "no religion", with rich church vestments, cloth of gold and cloth of silver , precious satin and silk.

Knowing this, it is perhaps needless to dismiss Lennox's accusation that she enriched Bothwell with the murdered man's horses, armor and clothing - an ugly detail, but not against the general trend of her behavior at the time.

Her reputation was declining day by day among her people. James Murray of Tullibardine openly drew caricatures of the Queen and Bothwell. To this end he was forced to flee to England, but when he boldly pleaded with Elizabeth for clemency, he offered to accuse "all who were at court, and also the inventors of this cruel murder, and five or six with them, to fight them in one battle." fight armed or naked."

The council ignored this and arranged for Bothwell's trial on April 12. It must be remembered that the accused count himself was a member of this body and that all other members probably had respect for him.

At this time, Drury wrote to England that the people thought "the Queen will marry Bothwell and the Earl of Huntly has resigned himself to his sister's divorce." The chief of the Gordons, eager to restore his father's ruined estates and power, was as willing to divorce his Bothwell sister as he was to marry her. We do not know whether Jane Gordon was a willing sacrifice for her brother's ambitions; some say that in those short months of their marriage she fell in love with an irresistible seducer of women, others that she always remained faithful to her early love, Ogilvy of Boyne, whom she eventually married and lived in peace with long after all the other actors of these events were buried in their graves.

* * * * *

Lennox, desperate and seeing all too clearly the outcome of this farcical trial, turned to Elizabeth.

Mary also wrote a letter to the Queen of England, in her usual apology and lament for her predicament, begging the Queen of England not to allow her to be slandered in her country, and referring to her present grief for her husband. which was greatly magnified by the desire of evil people to blame her for this evil deed.

In such an atmosphere of bitter passion, accusation and counterattack, agitated moods and nervous tension, the mock trial of Earl Bothwell took place.

Lennox, who acted with great determination and courage, was on his way to Edinburgh with about three thousand servants (a great number, if true, attests to the power of the Lennox Stewarts) when he either fell ill, which is not unreasonable to suppose, or pretended to be ill, for he was told he would not be allowed into Edinburgh with more than six in the group. In Stirling, on April 11, the day before the trial was due, he wrote a desperate appeal to Maria for an adjournment.

Elizabeth immediately listened to his pleas for help and comfort, and hurriedly sent a letter in French to Mary, also asking her to adjourn Bothwell's trial. However difficult and cunning Elizabeth was, this letter reads as if it was written with real intent. There is a lot of nobility and good advice expressed in generous and dignified language. It is dated Westminster, April 8, 1567.


I would not be so imprudent as to disturb you with this letter were it not for the duty of mercy to the ruined and the prayer of the wretched.

“I understand that you have issued a proclamation that the trial of persons suspected of involvement in the murder of your late husband and my late cousin will be held on the twelfth of this month. It is a matter of what is most necessary so that it is not kept secret or cunning, which could happen in such a case, and the late master's father and friends have humbly asked me to ask you to postpone the date because they know that these unjust people are trying to force do what they normally could not do, therefore I can do nothing else, out of love for You, which affects the most and for the comfort of the innocent, than to exhort You to grant this request, so that, if it is refused, suspicion will largely focus on you.

"For God's sake, lady, be so sincere and careful about this matter that concerns you so much, that the whole world may feel justified in believing you innocent of so great a crime, which, if you were not, would be good. reason to demote you from the rank of princess and bring you down to the contempt of the commoner. It would sooner happen to you, I would rather wish you an honorable grave than a disgraceful life.

“You see, madam, I treat you as my daughter, and I assure you that if I had her, I would wish her nothing better than you, as our Lord God, to whom I pray with all my heart, testifies. heart that He will inspire you to do what will bring the greatest glory and comfort to your friends.

"With the most sincere appreciation to him who is wished for the greatest good in this world."

This letter, which echoes Archbishop Beaton's warning that if Mary cannot purify herself, she better be dead may have given the Queen pause, though it seems unlikely that she would, so determined that she was heading for whole. destruction if received in time.

However, a courier who traveled from Westminster to Edinburgh in three days and arrived at ten in the evening on April 11 was unable to deliver the message from the Queen of England to Mary's hands. Sir William Drury, Marshal and Deputy Governor of Berwick, then in Edinburgh, entrusted the valuable document to the Provost Marshal, who, on his way to Holyrood, was told that the Queen was asleep and could not see him. After loitering around the abbey for several hours, a messenger from Bothwell arrived and asked him to "retreat at his leisure". And after receiving several insults "for bringing in an English brigand who tried to delay the trial", showing that the contents of Queen Elizabeth's letter were known, the Rector broke through to Lethington, who told him that the Queen was still asleep.

There was a whole company of gentlemen and gentlemen on horseback waiting for Bothwell, some four thousand, and the letter was finally delivered to Bothwell's hands, but there was no reply. It is likely that Maria never saw the letter. Bothwell then passed, according to Sir William Drury, "with a gay and sensual cheer, accompanied by all two hundred men, all the arquebusiers to Tolbooth".

Another account tells us that Bothwell looks "sad and depressed". Whether his demeanor was staggering or grim, he came with enough armed men to get a verdict in his favour.

In Scottish trials - as they were known as assessors - it was customary for the verdict to go to the prosecutor or the defense attorney, whichever was stronger. It seems that these caricatures of justice had more the character of an ancient trial in battle than of any legal trial. Drury says that this time the door was held down so that only those who were on Bothwell's side could enter.

The curious tribunal sat from ten to eleven in the morning until seven in the afternoon.

Bothwell was formally cleared of the charge of complicity in the king's murder. Among his judges was Huntly, his brother-in-law and co-offender.

* * * * *

By the sixteenth of the month, that is, four days after the trial, Moray was in England to give Elizabeth a first-hand account of the whole dismal affair. The Queen was noted to be crying her usual easy tears as she parted with her half-brother.

She seems to have had some respect for this capable man even in the midst of her wildest follies. Maybe she had a secret feeling that only he and he had ensured the stability of her fortune, maybe they had a strange feeling.

Mary gave him permission to travel in Italy and "visit Milan and Venice", but he frankly told Elizabeth that he was not so much interested in learning about the curiosities of foreign lands as in fear of Bothwell, "which may be a means by which something unpleasant will happen to him because the dangerous earl had more than four thousand men at his disposal, not counting the forts of Edinburgh and Dunbar, where "all the artillery and ammunition are." in London.

However, Moray directly told the Spanish ambassador that he had no intention of returning to Scotland until the Queen had avenged her husband's murder, adding that he believed it was unworthy of his position to remain in a country with such a strange and unusual situation. . the crime went unpunished. He said that he believed there were more than thirty or forty people, that the house where the king was murdered had been completely demolished, which one man could not have done, and looked to Bothwell as a leader.

Moray also told Guzman de Silva on this occasion that a divorce had been arranged between Bothwell and Jane Gordon. He said that there had been no quarrel between husband and wife in eighteen months of their married life, that Lady Bothwell had acted at the request of her brother, who should have his estates restored at the next Parliament in return for this favour. Moray stated that he had heard that the real reason for the divorce was the Queen's desire to marry Bothwell, but added that he could not believe it "because of the Queen's religion and her great virtue".

Guzman de Silva herself adds that "it seems highly improbable being a Catholic in this condition."

Moray in this interview seems to have portrayed his sister's affairs as well as possible, although it is not clear what color he gave to his own exile and to the predominance of the man suspected of murdering the king. He was patient and careful; he had a lesson in rebellion and traveled abroad, leaving Maria to a misfortune from which no one could save her; no doubt he expected to be summoned to Scotland soon.

* * * * *

Earl Bothwell triumphed. Easily cleared of any suspicion of complicity in murder, he arrogantly challenged Edinburgh to anyone who dared claim to have been involved in the king's death, proposing to meet such an impostor in a duel where he should learn the truth. ".

The Count loved the challenge of solo combat, but his resistance never seems to have been accepted. It seems that he was right to rely on his strength or skill, and that his physical prowess, if not character, was greatly respected; he was probably a "brave man".

The Parliament that met immediately after the trial gave him Dunbar Castle for his great and frequent services. Huntly, still his brother-in-law, had regained the titles and fortunes lost since the day the midnight rooster fell dead from his horse in Corrichie. Morton also regained his titles and estates, but this unpopular treatment was offset by a charter identifying Reformed. The church was officially recognized. This, however, could not keep the smoldering indignation of the people from becoming furious at Bothwell's acquittal and the merit accorded to him. Knox withdrew from combat to write his partisan "History of the Reformation", but several staunch Calvinists continued his work.

It is almost unbelievable that Mary failed to notice the approaching storm, and the conclusion that her situation was so desperate that nothing but her marriage to Bothwell could save her even a shred of honor is almost inevitable.

A half-mad man who ran through the streets shouting, "Revenge against those who caused me to shed innocent blood! Lord, open the heavens and avenge me and those who have destroyed the innocent!" he was discovered and confiscated, and, according to Drury, imprisoned in a prison, "which, on account of the abomination of the place, they call 'the filthy thieves' pit' - a 'hole' for the Scots is a prison."

Earl Bothwell, now quite confident, and confident in Mary, gave a dinner at Ainslie's Tavern on the day of his "purge" in Parliament. All the nobles there, including Scotland's proudest names - Argyll, Huntly, Cassilis, Morton, Sutherland, Ross, Glencairn, Caithness and many more, signed a pledge to side with Bothwell against all his enemies and to secure his marriage to the queen early. It is not known whether he obtained the document through flattery or threats. One story claims that his armed supporters surrounded the inn and the signatures were obtained by force. However, we were told that "Lord Eglinton did not subscribe but slipped away." This dinner at Ainslie's Tavern and the question of who was there and who signed Bond's contract is one of the many obscure and controversial episodes in this nasty tale.

In short, it is not known exactly who was present or who signed the bond, nor does it matter much; there was such a reception and such a signing, and at the moment Bothwell was the tallest, or so he thought. Probably the Lords who found him so useful in removing the king had already decided on his death.

The strangest stories about Mary circulated; shortly after the famous dinner at Ainslie's Tavern, she went to Stirling to see the prince, whom Mar was keeping an eye on there. Some say it was her intention to place him in Bothwell's care, but Mar James did not tell his mother, and another story Drury sent to Cecil tells a crazy anecdote that Mary tried to poison the child with an apple and a loaf of sugar; this disgusting slander repeats Lennox.

Kirkcaldy of Grange, a Scotsman earning on English wages, had at this time sent to Bedford, Governor of Berwick, reports concerning Mary's conduct, far from favorable to the unfortunate queen. He may have been misinformed, perhaps he wrote out of malice, perhaps he made up every word he wrote, but here, as in many other cases of disputed letters, what Kirkcaldy of Grange said is fully consistent with the known facts of Mary's behavior.

She states, "She was so disgracefully in love with Bothwell that she was heard to say that she did not care to lose France, England and her country to him, and would rather go to the end of the world with him in a white petticoat than lose him." What is unjust now reigns at court."

Kirkcaldy wrote an unusual message to Bedford about this time. He said that not only had Bothwell been divorced and that the Lords had not only given their consent to the marriage between the Earl and the Queen, but that a fake kidnapping had been arranged between him and Mary to take place upon her return from Stirling on 24 April.

"Bothwell," says Kirkcaldy, "has gathered many of his friends, some say they will ride to Liddesdale, but I do not believe it, for he intends to meet the Queen to-day, and take her, and bring her to Dunbar. Judge for yourself whether it is by her will or not.

Three of the Coffin Letters, known as Numbers 6, 7 and 8 if genuine, are said to have been written from Stirling on the occasion of Mary's visit to the young prince. If genuine, they show that Kirkcaldy of Grange guessed the truth and that Mary was involved in the kidnapping. They are full of spite towards Huntly, who was apparently suspected of cheating or double-playing, but otherwise not interesting or important. They do not speak the language of passion or remorse, but they are full of remorse, excitement, concern, and they show a sincere and heartless desire for the kidnapping plan to succeed.

If the letters are forged, Mary may have been genuinely surprised when, returning with a small escort from Linlithgow to Edinburgh, Bothwell met her with a large party of horsemen and hurried to Dunbar Castle. Huntly, Lethington and Sir James Melville were the only people of importance on her train and were forced to leave with her.

Discharged from Dunbar the next day, Melville wrote in his "Memoirs" that Bothwell boasted that he intended to marry Mary, whether she wanted it or not, that she could not help seeing that she had been hopelessly compromised if not actually compromised . At the same time, Sir James Melville states in the same "Memoirs" that a Bothwell supporter who captured him whispered to him that it was all a farce done with the permission of the Queen herself. She makes it clear enough that even if Mary was not Bothwell's mistress before, she was then; Bothwell "raped her and laid with her against her will."

If that were the case, and Bothwell apparently would have been able to do so to secure her marriage to the Queen, Mary would have played with fire and been burned, entirely for behavior that would dismiss any claims she might have made. not just prudence or wisdom. but on common sense, firstly, by encouraging a man like Bothwell, secondly, by traveling with a small escort, and going with her captor under the childish excuse of "saving bloodshed" (which she would do), instead of always opposing and protesting outrage.

The sordid story Melville tells (because, if true, Bothwell didn't even have Tarquin's excuse, he acted out of ambition, not overwhelming passion) is unlikely under the circumstances.

If Mary's relationship with Bothwell until the episode with Dunbar was platonic, why was the divorce issue brought up earlier, why did rumors of kidnapping reach Kirkcaldy?

The logical sequence seems to be that Mary, Bothwell's lover for a time, was forced to find some pretext for a hasty marriage, which was a faked kidnapping.

Whatever the truth of this bold move, it worked out in favor of the Lords; they now had a good excuse to get rid of their impudent feline, Bothwell, and dishonor the queen.

* * * * *

Kirkcaldy of the Grange was in no doubt of the truth when he wrote to Bedford on April 26: "This queen will never cease until she has destroyed all the honest people in this realm. She planned for Bothwell to rape her. so she can get the marriage she promised faster before she causes her husband to be murdered. Many would like to avenge this, but they are afraid of your mistress.

Kirkcaldy adds that he is so eager to retaliate that he must either do so or leave the country, but fears Bothwell will have him killed before he can go abroad, and that "no honest man was safe in Scotland under murderer and murderer." He believed that Mary was plotting to snatch her son from Mar's hands and put him "into his (hands) who killed his father".

Guzman de Silva, the Spanish ambassador in London, collected all possible details of this sensational case to send to his master. He heard the news not only from Cecil's secretary, but directly from the courier who brought her to London, "a good Catholic and a close friend of mine". This gentleman had heard that Mary had been stopped six miles from Edinburgh by Bothwell, who was followed by only four hundred men (some accounts put Bothwell's force at fifteen hundred), and that some of her escorts were fighting, and said that he would rather deal with Bothwell than cause bloodshed. She arrived at Dunbar Castle at midnight. Guzman, following many, thought he would marry Bothwell, "both because of the favor the Queen has shown him, and because he has the national forces in his hands. The queen secretly sent a message to the governor of the city of Dunbar to come out with his troops and rescue her, but it is believed that everything was arranged so that if anything came out of the marriage, the queen would see that she was forced into it.

Elizabeth, adds Guzman, was in shock. Indeed, she must have heard of this strange abduction turn of events with mixed feelings; she could not resist discrediting this powerful candidate for the English throne, a princess who was the rallying point and center of all English Catholics, but she had a strong sense of caste and abhorred the thought of fallen royalty.

Lennox was allowed to rejoin his wife in London, and no doubt regaled Elizabeth's reluctant ear with bitter tales of his daughter-in-law, both of the king's murder, of Bothwell's trial, and of her general conduct. . If he told Elizabeth half of what he later collected in the collection known as the Lennox Manuscripts, he must have left the Queen of Scots without an iota of reputation, dignity or propriety.

Like the rest of Europe, Elizabeth seems to have regarded the murder of Henry Stewart as a heinous crime, forgetting the very thin ice she was skating on at the time of Amy Robsart's death. She told the Spanish ambassador that she deeply regretted the behavior of the Queen of Scots, and assured the indignant parents that she would help them avenge their son. At the same time, she was very keen to make it clear that she would not encourage rebellion against the person or throne of the Queen of Scots. Elizabeth had an extremely lofty notion of the divine rights of kings, and preferred rather than to violate them. Mary as a woman may have been deplorable, but Mary as queen was a saintly figure.

It is hard to see how Elizabeth reconciled this position with her own prior involvement in Mary's affairs and encouraging those who rebelled against her. She probably didn't mind causing trouble in another Sovereign's realm, but she had drawn the line for true revolution.

* * * * *

What was the behavior of Mary and her thoughts when her behavior, her circumstances and her fate were so commented on and gossiped throughout Europe? She disappeared behind the solid walls of Dunbar Castle and remained locked up there with Earl Bothwell and his men. She had with her those of her servants who traveled with her from Linlithgow to Edinburgh, and Sir William Maitland. Perhaps he was secluded in a remote part of the castle from the queen's chambers and knew nothing of what was going on, perhaps he could tell a lot. Throughout his life and after his death, a secret, this wise statesman never spoke of what happened at Dunbar Castle.

Either the belief that the kidnapping was a pre-arranged affair between the Queen and Bothwell was very widespread, or Mary had few friends in Scotland, as there was no attempt to rescue her or protest against her confiscation, except in the city of Aberdeen, which on April 27 sent a valiant letter to the Queen, declaring that it serves her to avenge her capture by the Earl of Bothwell. It is not known whether Mary received this letter or sent a reply.

Mary remained confined to Dunbar's keep for eight days, and much bitter material was supplied to her enemies in the meantime, knowing that Bothwell's divorce was rushed through the civil and ecclesiastical courts.

There were many oddities and even irregularities in this turn of events. The Archbishop of St Andrews, who was to have a hand in the assassination of the young king, approved a divorce for Catholics on the basis of restoring his ecclesiastical authority to him, the only act he could do with this authority, which was soon revoked.

This fact certainly looks like divorce has been contemplated for some time and as if there is a passionate desire to speed up the marriage. Sending the authorization to Rome would mean months of delay if granted, and Mary and Bothwell must have known that this would be very unlikely.

The Archbishop dissolved the marriage because it had always been null due to lack of dispensation. However, it was duly sent, and from a Roman Catholic point of view, the divorce could be called illegal because it was based on false grounds. The divorce was granted by the Protestant authorities at the request of his wife, who had betrayed her husband with a maid.

We don't know whether Jane Gordon was a passive tool in the hands of her ambitious brother, or whether she was glad to be rid of Bothwell. She is a masked figure, only a few dubious details are known about her, that she was slovenly dressed and that she could write fashionable literary love letters and poems that fascinated Bothwell, as we learn of the disputed Sonnets that were found with the coffin letters.

If these poems and letters are to be believed, she was a serious rival to Mary in Bothwell's capricious affections, and this unfathomable daughter of the dead and ruined Gordon, of whose mind and appearance we know nothing, a twenty-year-old Scotswoman who never left her. homeland. , was preferred by bothwell's seasoned romance to the world's most fascinating and brilliant princess. At least that was the general opinion; there are many facts that confirm this; if true, Corrichie was avenged on Mary Stewart.

It is likely that Jane Gordon always considered herself Bothwell's wife and regarded the divorce as a mere farce, as she retained the dispensation allowed by her marriage, although her divorce was well-founded on her alleged lack of it. The wilder slander against Mary and Bothwell points to plans to poison Jane Gordon, but at least disposed of her with excessive funds and generously compensated the bequest of the valuable estates she still possessed when she died during the reign of Mary's grandson Charles I.

* * * * *

On May 3, Mary entered her capital in full statute with Bothwell at her side, some say, leading her by the bridle of her horse. She must have been the object of the interest of many prying eyes, many menacing looks. Her position was extremely dangerous, the lords had already gathered at Stirling, and among them were Black Douglas, Morton, Earl of Mar, who was the young prince's guardian, and Lord Tullibardine, whom the king wished to avenge in a personal fight with Bothwell.

These gentlemen took the tone that the Queen "was brutally raped and held against her will by Bothwell, and they were determined to release her, whom they could not think of as her when she was in the Earl's company."

Robert Melville wrote to Sir William Cecil on the day of Mary's arrival in Edinburgh, saying that she had asked Edinburgh for help but had not received it.

Either way, Mary arrived at Holyrood without protest, lament or any outward sign of distress in Bothwell's company. Her behavior on this occasion, and indeed every time she appeared in public after leaving Dunbar, can only be explained by admitting that she consented to her abduction, or by supposing that this witty and courageous woman of royalty and passion had become passive to the limits of stupidity. If, as some of her defenders claim, she hated and hated Bothwell, as she always has, and he overpowered her and forced her to succumb to his heinous schemes, she would surely find a way to outsmart him and publicly declare and desperately cry out for help, which of would surely get it.

* * * * *

Shortly after the Queen's return to Holyrood, the Earl of Bothwell ordered John Craig, the preacher who had replaced John Knox in Edinburgh, to publish an announcement of his marriage to Mary. John Knox fled Edinburgh after the murder of Kirk o'Field; he obviously didn't trust his old friendship with Bothwell very much, and he feared that with the Queen's party ascendant he would be in grave danger.

His mantle, however, fell on the shoulders of this worthy John Craig, who with steadfast courage opposed Bothwell's demands, no doubt inspired not only by his own deep convictions, but also by a sense that the vast majority of the country was behind him. . The clergyman questioned the count and refused to announce the announcement.

It was certainly an opportunity for Mary to express her grievances and ask for help. But she didn't; she sent a letter to Craig stating that she had "not been raped and held captive yet" and ordered him to make the announcements.

Craig could no longer refuse, but when he gave notice of the impending marriage, he called on his God to testify that he did so reluctantly and that he disgusted and disgusted this hideous relationship. For this insubordination he was brought before the Privy Council, and there, without losing courage, the staunch Protestant Bothwell hurled against him all the revolting accusations that were whispered and whispered in Edinburgh. He openly accused him of murdering the king, raping the queen, and illegally divorcing his innocent wife.

Earl Bothwell does not seem to have resented this plain language or dared to show open anger. He tried to answer the allegations; however, a gloomy Protestant stated that "he (Bothwell) said nothing to my satisfaction".

The Lords, assembling their forces at Stirling, now decided, according to Drury, to crown the young prince if Bothwell weds the queen. It should be remembered that many of these gentlemen personally signed the oath at Ainslie Tavern, agreeing to assist Bothwell in this very marriage, which they have now declared that they would do everything in their power to prevent it. The explanation for this behavior must either be that Bothwell had coerced them into signing, or that by some elaborate betrayal they intended to get rid of both the queen and Bothwell by seducing them into a marriage that was destined for both to go down. . give them, lords, a just excuse for revolution.

They sent a message to the queen warning her to be careful in her behavior. She replied in that evasive style she used so often. Surely this was another opportunity for her to call for help, to denounce Bothwell and to acknowledge how much she had been hurt during the abduction. Instead, she admitted that she was "treated badly and strangely, but from then on she was treated so well that she had no reason to complain"; she asked the Lords to calm down.

Instead, they sent her another message, which, though addressed to her, was clearly intended for Bothwell, that unless she dismissed her troops and gathered around her more respectable members of the nobility, they would not obey her in everything she commanded. .

The Lords then formed one of the bands so popular in Scotland at the time, whose purpose, they stated, was primarily to seek the release of the queen "who is being raped and held by Bothwell, who has all the power, ammunition and men. war at his command', secondly, the behavior of the prince, and thirdly, the prosecution of the murderers of the king. They were especially bitter about "that cruel murderer Bothwell," who, it must be remembered, had recently been acquitted of a crime of which he was now openly and widely accused.

It should be noted that the title of "Keeper of Dunbar Castle" given by Mary to Bothwell was no mean feat. It was the most powerful fortress in Scotland and the arsenal of the whole kingdom, where almost all the country's supply of gunpowder was stored.

The Lords declared that Bothwell wanted to poison the duke and put the whole kingdom in his hands, and that they sought help from France or England with all vigilance and caution. Du Croc, sent from France to investigate Scotland's tangled affairs, offered to help his master suppress Bothwell and his faction. Kirkcaldy of Grange wrote to the Earl of Bedford asking for help from England.

Eitherwell had either been outmaneuvered by the Lords from the start and had been working for his downfall since the King's assassination, or he had gone too far in his violent ambitions and alienated them all. Anyway, the country got back on its feet. Argyll went to awaken the west, Atholl had the same mission in the north, Morton went to Fife, Angus and the Earl of Mar kept close and valiant protection over the young prince.

Du Croc warned the queen that if she married Bothwell, she would have no friendship or favor from France. Again, if she was forced against her will, Mary had the opportunity to say so, but Kirkcaldy of the Grange reported to Bedford that "the queen will not heed the French ambassador's warning".

That this was indeed her attitude was evidenced by the fact that Du Croc wanted to leave her and join as the representative of the King of France to the young prince, who was then under Mara's care at Stirling. That is, Du Croc considered the situation so serious that he rightly no longer considered Mary Queen of Scots.

Bothwell, no doubt well aware of the feelings directed against him and the forces he faced, but who was at least a man who never showed fear or hesitation, dragged the queen back to Edinburgh Castle. He had considerable cavalry and infantry fees, but he was in great demand for money. In this extreme case, the queen melted down the gold font that Elizabeth had given for baptism. This brought in five thousand crowns; the jewels were undoubtedly sold. More money was, as Kirkcaldy of the Grange put it, "taken and borrowed from Edinburgh and the people of Lothian", an extortion that must have increased Bothwell's unpopularity.

Cartels and challenges were fought between Bothwell and various lords. But these offers to "prove the murder of Bothwell's person" came to naught as usual. What happy solution could Mary expect for herself after these terrible events, after this growing storm of reproaches, threats, rebellions, insults? Her strength seems to be the stubbornness of despair - she could not back down, the marriage was supposed to save what she called her honor, and it had to happen.

On May 12, she created Bothwell Duke of Orkney, doing him a favor by placing a crown on his head.

Four of Bothwell's men, one of whom was later executed for the king's murder, were knighted on the day their leader became Duke of Orkney: James Cockburn of Langton, Alexander Hepburn of Benston, Patrick Whitelaw and James Ormiston.

From what we can hear from her now, it seems that she was very unhappy. Bothwell was wildly jealous and barely allowed her "to look at a man or a woman". However, this did not result from passionate feelings, but rather from the mistrust of a man who knows that he is dealing with a capricious, dishonest woman. Bothwell may have feared being deceived, just as Henry Stewart was deceived and suffered the same fate. That it was not Mary's love that might have made him jealous is shown by the fact that he offended her by keeping his wife at Crichton Castle, which, according to Drury, the Queen found "deeply disagreeable".

On 15 May, Mary's wedding to her third husband took place in the chapel of Holyrood Palace, the site of her second marriage; near the grave of Henry Stewart, killed two months earlier, and possibly David Rizzio.

A picturesque legend has it that after this gloomy wedding, Ovid's tablet was found chalked on the walls of Holyrood "Mense maio malas nubere vulgus ait". Some writers claim that the superstition against May weddings in Scotland still exists and dates back to the time of Mary and Bothwell's relationship.

Maria went into deep mourning on this occasion, as she had in her previous marriage. She seems to have somehow morbidly viewed her relationship with Bothwell as sinister and melancholy. Thinking she would die giving birth to Prince, she left him a black diamond ring, and in one of the Letters to the Coffin, written in the strange, endearing style that was the literary idiom of the time, she says she sent him a gift of black enamel and a diamond ring (perhaps the same jewel he left in his will) in the shape of a skull, enamelled with black tears.

The ring Henry Stewart had married her with was an ominous crimson hue. Perhaps with this grim symbol of death and tears, she married James Hepburn, Duke of Orkney and Earl of Bothwell.

The ceremony followed Protestant rituals and was conducted by the Protestant Bishop of Orkney, Adam Bothwell, who was not related to the groom. The double similarity between the names of the prince and the bishop caused some confusion. No marriage could be a worse omen; not only was the bride in full mourning, a gown she had worn throughout her reign in Scotland, with the exception of the eighteen months of her previous marriage, but "so much had changed in her countenance", says Drury, "in so little time that no one has seen without extreme disease." If her beauty had been "different from what she was" during her second marriage, she would now look like a dying creature with no luster or bloom.

There was only one respected nobleman at the wedding, the Earl of Crawford. Nor was the wedding sermon in a cheerful tone, as the Bishop of Orkney, who would later become one of Mary's official accusers, elaborated on the "repentance" of the Duke of Orkney for his past bad life. This may have been left unsaid because everyone knew of Bothwell's past misdeeds and everyone knew he was unrepentant.

Mary traveled to Tolbooth for her wedding on May 11 and openly stated that she had forgiven her kidnapping and had been "well used" ever since. The statement must have sounded strange coming from a woman dressed in thick black grass, with her expression of extreme sickness. It should be noted that the queen's words were very thoughtful and formal, and were spoken before a full assembly of nobles (convened at her request) and the chancellor and judges of the Supreme Court.

* * * * *

Du Croc, writing to Catherine de' Medici in a tone of sincere regret, declares that "this marriage is very unhappy and already regrets it." He adds that the queen sent for him; no doubt she harbored a fervent and pathetic desire to be well with France, not only for political reasons but also for sentimental reasons.

A clever Frenchman noticed that the unfortunate queen was already separated from her husband. She told him that she couldn't help but see her sad and that she couldn't rejoice because all she wanted was death. And she relates that on her wedding day, Mary went into violent hysterics when she was locked in her closet with her husband. Those in the next room heard her screaming and begging for a knife to stab herself with.

Melville, who disliked Bothwell, claims that "my lord Duke" drank on the wedding day and "used such vulgar language towards the ladies she and I left behind."

When considering Sir James' memoirs, it is important to remember that he wrote them at an advanced age and from memories of years ago.

Du Croc, possibly her servants, told her that she might "fall into despair", that is, in fact, she would commit suicide. Du Croc had seen her three times, and each time he had tried to console and advise her, but he must have known that both were useless in her situation.

Du Croc disliked Orkney and viewed the marriage with contempt and disgust. He warned the dowager queen that the Bishop of Dunblane, who had arrived with an official notice to Mary and an apology for the marriage, should not be considered. "Your Majesties can do no better than console him (that is, the Bishop) and find all that is wrong with this marriage." Du Croc thought Mary's situation was very precarious. "Her husband will not stay that long because he is too hated in this kingdom, because he is always considered guilty of the king's death." Mary summoned the nobles, and Du Croc didn't think they would obey. She begged Du Croc to speak to her nobles if he could get them together and try to restore their loyalty on behalf of the King of France.

The astute Frenchman saw this desperate move as hopeless; he was willing to say what he could, but decided it was best to back off and "let them play their game".

And he adds with the dignity of the representative of the greatest monarch in Europe: "It is not right for me to sit there among the lords in the name of the king of France, because if I bow down to the queen, they will think in this kingdom and in England that my king takes part in everything that happens to him." going on. Well, were it not for Your Majesty's express order, I would have left eight days before the wedding. in a very high tone so that the whole kingdom will know that I will not interfere in this marriage, nor will I recognize Bothwell as the Queen's husband.

Sir James Melville also tells an anecdote of Mary calling for a knife when she was locked in a closet with Bothwell. He said that "her husband wouldn't let her go through the day patiently, and she shed a lot of salty tears."

Mary's greatest humiliation during this time of deep fear and anxiety must have been that the man for whom she had given everything, even what little of her self-respect, still preferred another woman. The Spanish ambassador in London reported to his master that "Bothwell spends several days a week with a woman from whom he is separated." This, whether true or not, seems to have been widely believed, and Mary had to admit it.

If coffin letters and sonnets are true, she's always been obsessed with Jane Gordon. On the other hand, Bothwell's strict tutelage had to be fought; Maitland of Lethington, still with the queen but without power or influence, remaining with her either out of strange loyalty or as a traitor to spy on her doings, reported to Du Croc that "since the wedding day there has been no end to Mary's tears and laments, that Bothwell would not let anyone look at her or look at her, because he knew full well that she loved her pleasures. - hysterical joy.

At the end of that month of May, so terrible to her, she surpassed her troubles and the opinion of the world in triumph or disguise; the pageant took place on the water, and her husband ran to the ring.

This was the last of Mary's "festivals or pageants" and none of the great Scottish nobles attended. The Queen and her third husband have moved into ominous isolation, surrounded by armed men composed mostly of bandits and vagabonds from Bothwell's Border. While the Lords gathered their forces in Stirling, Mar, Atholl and Morton provoked more distant parts of the country against the rule of the "murderer and murderer". Even Maria's confessor warned her against marriage.

* * * * *

Perhaps, however, the queen had a few moments of transient happiness. We know nothing about her spirit, but Drury noted that when she and her husband went abroad, they showed great contentment on the outside. It's possible that at times she was truly "satisfied" with her satisfied love for this man, that she was happy in his company, and that she was deluding herself into thinking that they would weather the storm yet and Scotland would rule between them. Although her husband abused her in private, he was polite and chivalrous in public. "The Duke openly holds the Queen in great esteem," says Drury, "goes bareheaded, which it seems she would otherwise do, sometimes taking his cap and putting it on."

On May 27, she sent a letter to the faithful Archbishop Beaton in Paris, trying to justify her glorious marriage. If she had been brutally coerced and completely unwilling, she certainly could have entrusted it to her faithful servant, but she did not. The letter is evasive and incoherent. She admits that this event, which is a wedding, is strange, “and otherwise, as we know, you would be looking. But now that it's happened, we have to make the best of it, and so for our respect, we must all who love us."

Neither did the Bishop of Dunblane, her special envoy to. Court of France, give more satisfactory excuses. All he could say was that Mary had done her best for the state of the country that required her marriage, and that while Bothwell was responsible for the kidnapping, he had since atoned for that crime, and her nobles decided that he was for her best husband when they signed the pledge at Ainslie's Tavern.

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These excuses are woefully weak, leaving the reasons for the marriage a mystery. Mary does not protest that she was kidnapped and forced against her will, she was defeated in every way by Bothwell, in short, she is the victim of a brutal villain, nor does she say that she loves a man, trusts him and is ready to give her life and her kingdom under your care. The statement is just an excuse.

The Bishop of Dunblane was also ordered to dwell on Mary's "steady and doubtful fortune" and the discouraging and unusual events that had befallen her. Mary often took that tone of lamentation for her fate as an excuse for all her mistakes. She never admitted she was wrong; she herself was deceived into thinking that she was the passive victim of a nasty fate, like many women whose flaws bring their own problems to their head, or she was simply looking for excuses to deceive others. Even in regard to this marriage, which stunned her in the eyes of her most devoted friends, the Bishop of Dunblane was instructed to say that the ceremony, celebrated according to Huguenot rites, was due to "fate and necessity rather than her free choice". A vague note that leaves the matter where it was.

* * * * *

From the day she married Bothwell, Mary was considered ousted by European potentates. For most, innocence or guilt meant little; she was either a woman whose passions were incorrigible and likely pushed her to crime or extravagance, or she was a passive puppet in the hands of a villain. In both cases, the attention of European statesmen shifted from her to the young prince, heir apparent to the crowns of both England and Scotland. Pius V, who was a friend of Maria, even decided to send her considerable sums of money and decided not to interfere in her affairs anymore. Not only did he disapprove of her behavior, but her marriage to a heretic seemed to prove that she was lukewarm in her religion.

Bishop Mondovi*, the formal papal nuncio in Edinburgh, wrote harshly about Mary's marriage. He called it an act "dishonorable to God and herself" and said that His Holiness would not be able to send another envoy to the Queen unless Mary, he adds, with the strange hope of righting the wrong, was unable to convert. husband to the true faith and use his strength and courage to fight the Protestants in Scotland, but "one cannot expect much from one who is subject to their pleasures."

[* Mondovi never reached Scotland, his proposal for the Queen to assassinate her Protestant advisers, including Moray and Lethington, was sent from Paris. Pius V, who once wanted to sacrifice "his own blood" in Mary's service, grew to dislike her after marrying Bothwell.]

Nor was the French court satisfied with Mary's feeble apology. Catherine de' Medici never liked her and was perhaps not displeased to see her disgraced and disgraced. No help was expected from Spain. Mary was then abandoned by all those forces she could hope would oppose her friends. Almost all her country had united in the fight against her, and she had nothing but the soldiers of her husband's fortune and the money she had earned from Queen Elizabeth's gift.

* * * * *

The fate of little Prince James became more important to Europe than that of Mary. There was a suggestion to send it to her great-grandmother, Antoinette de Bourbon, who must have heard of Mary's behavior with chilling horror. There is not a trace of a message of hope, comfort or sympathy from this sober, devout old lady to the granddaughter she once petted and admired, and who has now been completely abandoned. The second Duke of Guise was dead, and the cardinal, his brother, had washed his hands of his niece's affairs, as had her cousins.

In a letter announcing Mary's marriage to his master, Guzman de Silva says that Leicester came to consult him about the advisability of bringing up James at the English court and training him there to be the heir to the crown of England. and of course in the Protestant faith. We don't know Leicester's opinion of the tumultuous events in Scotland, but he must have often and fervently congratulated himself for not courting Mary Stewart.

In the same letter, Guzman adds a simple sentence that is the key to the whole mysterious course of events and the unfortunate marriage. He said that "the reason for the Queen of Scots' rush with this marriage is that she is pregnant, that the matter was sorted out between them some time ago."

Although Mary received assurances from some Catholic bishops that her marriage to Bothwell was legal because Jane Gordon was related to him in the fourth degree, her Dominican confessor did not share this view and, greatly offended by her behavior, left her. and returned to France. Traveling in London, he discussed the Scottish tragedy with Guzman, to whom he solemnly swore that, until the question of his marriage to Bothwell arose, he had never seen a woman "of greater virtue, courage and integrity".

This is an extraordinary testimony in favor of Mary, but whenwasraised the issue of her marriage to Bothwell? This may predate the king's assassination, and the verdict can be read that the queen was an honorable woman until she fell under the influence of Earl Bothwell, which Buchanan and Lennox believe will be shortly after the birth of the prince. If. .

* * * * *

In general, Elizabeth was kinder to Mary than any ruler in Europe. When she began to disapprove of Mary's behavior, she adopted the rather capricious attitude that the Queen of Scotland's rank elevated her beyond criticism, and stated that she was greatly offended by one of the Kirkcaldy of Grange's letters to Bedford in which such foul language was used against the Queen. from Scotland that Elizabeth could not bear it "because," she haughtily explained, "it made Mary worse than any common woman." Perhaps she was thinking to herself when she insisted that no queen should be criticized in this way by any of her subjects, regardless of provocation. She stated that she was so offended by Grange's outspoken speech that she denounced him as "one of the worst in the realm". At the same time, her anger at the Duke of Orkney, England's ever implacable enemy, was immense. She would have parted from him very quickly if she could have laid her hands on him, despite a diplomatic and flattering letter written to her by Mary's husband on June 5 (1567) from Edinburgh.

The prince, perhaps acting in concert with Maria, perhaps acting on his own initiative, tried to remove the young prince from Mar's custody. The Lords swelled to overwhelming numbers at Stirling, and an outbreak in Scotland became inevitable in the first week of June, when the Duke of Orkney decided it was no longer possible to stay in Edinburgh, where public opinion was apparently on the rise. against him, and his followers fell away.

James Hepburn felt safer in his valleys and tenants, so he took his wife to Borthwick Castle, fourteen miles from the capital. From this refuge, Mary ordered a toll collection for 12 December, summoning all her subjects, nobles, knights, squires, lords and landowners to come to Muirhead Abbey. Each had to carry six days' provisions and full armor and weapons.

The queen was desperate for money; the Scottish three-pound coins from which Elizabeth's gold font was forged were running out fast; her personal plate was sent to the Mint while she "reduced some of her household expenses as necessity forced her to do".

Before Mary left Edinburgh, the mysterious Lethington escaped from her train. He had stayed with her since her stay at Dunbar Castle - out of respect and in the hope that he could be of service to the fallen queen, as he had stated himself. Others believe he was there to gather evidence for her eventual overthrow. The man was subtle, skillful, and difficult to understand to the highest degree; it is quite possible that he, like Moray, was willing to serve and respect the queen until her affairs prevented her sovereignty. He may have despised and hated her from the moment she laid bare her wild passions and fragile feminine wiles, but it seems hard to believe that he was left in mortal danger with her because of her husband's hatred, just so he could gather more material for ruins already completely overthrown.

Maybe Mary begged him to stay, maybe she clung to this one strong, sensible, talented man in the wild company that surrounded her.

If Sir James Melville is to be believed, it was only her intercession that prevented Lethington from being killed by Orkney in her room, just as Rizzio was killed at her feet by Henry Stewart. According to another account, it would have been the Earl of Huntly who would have killed Lethington had Mary not passionately declared that "if a hair on the secretary's head were touched, Huntly should lose his land, goods and life". After these scenes, Orkney kept Lethington under guard. However, he managed to send letters to England and finally escaped to the Lords at Stirling on 6 June when Mary left Edinburgh for Borthwick Castle.

But the Lords greeted him coldly, thinking he had come as Mary's agent or even a spy, although Mary herself later thought he had betrayed her to her enemies. Lethington's behavior is always mysterious and his attitude ambiguous. In any case, there is no doubt about the attitude of the Orkneys towards him. But it may be that Maitland left the company of the Queen and her husband with no diplomatic purpose other than to save his own life, or perhaps he had even been an instrument of the Lords all along, and their distrust of him was only feigned. Each of these explanations is plausible, and Maitland can be accused or defended with equal success.

During this withdrawal from the capital, there were also problems with Huntly, whom Mary apparently never liked or trusted, and who she definitely hated, if the letters from the coffin were to be believed. Perhaps what annoyed her most at the time was that he was Jane Gordon's brother. At the time, it was reported that Huntly wanted to back off the Queen's train and head north, whereupon Mary bitterly, with many harsh words, refused him permission, saying that "his intention was to do what his father had done" that he was to raise the North against its rule.

* * * * *

The hapless queen, whose plight could not be more pitiful than herself, waited in vain at Borthwick Castle for "nobles, knights, squires, lords and landowners" to reclaim their six days' worth of supplies, arms and arms there. shield. Few came, and those who did had no heart to fight for her. If she had appealed to them herself, as Queen of Scots, as Mary Stewart, all might have come to her defense. The Confederate Lords would find little excuse to disloyalty if she succumbed to them. It was Bothwell, as the duke was still called, whom they would not listen to or acknowledge, and she would not abandon him or disown him.

Feeling their forces strengthened by mid-June, the Lords saw the duke's hopeless situation. They marched on Borthwick Castle with a thousand men, their supposed intention being to capture it and free the queen. The truth of what happened when they reached the keep where Mary was in the distance is mixed up by several conflicting stories.

According to one, the Orkneys fled before the Lords' army arrived. According to another, they surrounded the castle and dared him to leave, insulting him with epithets such as "traitor", "murderer", "butcher", and referring to Mary as "too evil and inappropriate to speak of" as Drury, which gives this relationship, he says. However, he adds that Mary responded and "wanting other means of defense, she used her speech".

This creates an impossible picture. Could Maria, even in her despair, be so devoid of all dignity and restraint that she exchanged epithets with the assembled nobles from the castle wall or window? Indeed, the Lords themselves declare in their statement on the matter that they showed the Queen every courtesy, and as soon as they heard that her husband had left the castle, they retired to Edinburgh.

Mary, seeing that Borthwick was no longer surrounded, waited until dark, then put on men's clothes, riding boots and spurs, then fled the castle, some say by rope from a window, and galloped across the Orkney Islands to Dunbar. They must have agreed it between themselves, since he met her a mile from Borthwick.

It is tempting to speculate what Maria's appearance must have been on this occasion. One would like to donate one of her official portraits in collar and tiara, curly hair and hairstyle, however rare, for a sketch of her in this bachelor's garb as she, sick, harassed, and anxious, drives past her husband, the night from one castle to another, rushed to last defense.

The Lords, led by Mar, Morton and Hume, then took Edinburgh with seven or eight hundred horses, and the capital offered no resistance. After Du Croc waited for them to know their intentions, they justified what might be called their rebellion on the same three grounds they had advanced before - "forced imprisonment", as they preferred to call it, to the Queen by "Bothwell" . ', the safety of the prince, and revenge for the murder of the king, a crime they considered a disgrace to the whole nation.

* * * * *

While the Lords were thus replying to the representative of Charles IX, they learned that the Duke, with the Queen in his company, had gathered as many men as he could and was marching from Dunbar to Haddington and from Haddington to Seton. The Lords feared that their daring enemy was planning an attack on Edinburgh Castle, and to prevent this, they set out on Sunday morning to meet him on the way.

Du Croc thought about going with them, but gave up on the plan because he didn't want to show up to support the rebellion. But he followed them after three hours and found them stranded on the bank of a stream half a mile from the queen's lair. Du Croc, who seems to be acting sincerely in Mary Stewart's interests, then attempted to negotiate a peace between the Queen and her nobility. He pleaded with the Lords in the name of God and the King of France to see if anything could be done to mend the fate of that unfortunate day.

The Lords (Du Croc does not say who their spokesman was) replied that they only knew two things to avoid a pitched battle. The first was that the queen left Bothwell immediately, and the second was that Bothwell decided his guilt or innocence in the ancient agony of mortal combat. The idea of ​​deciding who is guilty of killing the king through a series of duels seems to have been haunting the minds of everyone involved for weeks. On this occasion, the lords told Du Croc that there were twelve men ready to fight for the cause against twelve on the Queen's side.

But the Frenchman did not find this plan satisfactory; he asked if they could come up with something else. However, the Lords did not propose any other solution; they swore that the truth about the dead king's death should be revealed: they seemed very naive to believe that the same truth would come to light as a result of a duel between several champions. At the same time, they did not like Du Croc's suggestion that they go and interview the Queen, to which Du Croc strongly protested, telling him to remain impartial and show no attachment to one side or the other.

Lethington (perhaps it was he who had been the spokesman all along) eased the difficulty with words of kindness and flattery to the King of France, whereupon Du Croc was given fifty horses, crossed a brook, and approached the Queen's army. Presumably he had a French flag or a flag of truce before him, for a group of twenty-five or thirty horses set out to meet him, and he was soon brought into the presence of Maria, who then, according to Drury's written account, soon after was wearing a red petticoat with spiked sleeves velvet hat and scarf, a dress that seems to be worn by the humblest women of Edinburgh.

With rumors about the Queen's condition circulating, it is notable that on this occasion, as in other military events, she appeared not in any armor, but in casual and feminine attire, although some accounts say that her dress (kilt? he fell to his knees. She dismounted and sat on a stone for a few hours on this dull day.

Du Croc repeated to Mary the conversation with the Lords of the Council, and Mary repeated her old complaint that the nobles were very ill-tempered towards her, that they insisted on her marrying Bothwell and cleared him of the act of which they now accused him. She said that if they admit their mistakes, she is ready to forgive them.

Bothwell, or rather the Duke as Du Croc calls him, then rode in with the flag of Royal Scotland, and the Frenchman paints a favorable picture of this much hated man. In a loud voice and in the most brutal way for his army to hear, the duke asked Du Croc, "If he was the one wanted?" In the same loud tone, the Frenchman replied that the gentlemen were the Queen's humble servants, then lowered his voice and added that they were the duke's mortal enemies.

The prince, still loud and with incredible confidence, wanted to know "what wrong did he do?" He said that he wants to please everyone, and the Lords are only jealous of his greatness, and he added, emphasizing his pride, that happiness is to be obtained by anyone who chooses, and that "there was not a single one who did not want it." happy to be in his place. Then, with what appeared to be chivalry but might have been opportunism, he changed his tone and pleaded with Du Croc "for the glory of God" to put an end to the troubles he saw as a Queen whose "Suffering was extreme." Returning to the old theme of fighting alone, he said he was willing to fight any Lord of the appropriate rank, declaring with the utmost insolence "that his cause is just enough that he is sure that God will be with him."

However, Mary said she would not allow it and accepted her husband's quarrel.

The duke then noted with cool and cheerful politeness that the conversation had died down and that the enemy was already crossing the brook, and made an easy but imprecise classical allusion (unless it was Du Croc's error in the report) that Du Croc might have been imitating a broker who was trying to lead peace between the armies of Scipio and Hannibal and who, unable to achieve this goal, took up a position from which to observe the battle and consider it the greatest fun of his life.

The French replied, however, that the battle did not give him pleasure, but would bring him the greatest suffering.

The former ambassador, who cannot be biased in Bothwell's favor, adds: "I am bound to say that I saw a great leader who spoke with great confidence and led his forces with courage, joy and ability. I admired him. because he saw that his enemies were determined, he could not be sure of the loyalty of half his men, and yet he was completely unmoved.

Here is a glimpse of great male charm, courage and skill that fascinated Mary.

Du Croc, seeing that he could do no more, left the Queen, who had seen her leave in tears, and returned to the Lords, who were unwilling to negotiate, as according to Du Croc, both she and Bothwell were willing to let the matter be settled settled by a series of individual battles. It is not clear why this procedure was not followed immediately. The lords, however, with morions (helmets) in their hands, begged the French ambassador to leave, which he did.

Before leaving the battlefield, Du Croc noticed two battle banners - Mary carrying the royal lion of Scotland, while the Lords raised their own banner, which had an ominous appearance. It depicted Jacob as a small child kneeling by his father's strangled body, under a tree (as the dead king's body was found in the garden by the tree), with a scroll inscribed: "Judge and avenge my case, O Lord!"

Drury also mentions this banner, saying that the Lords moved it forward for Mary to notice, to which she remarked that she "wished she had never seen Henry Darnley", a statement that regardless of her degree of innocence or must have been the fault. real enough.

* * * * *

The two armies maneuvered around each other from eleven in the morning until five in the evening. The riders went on foot, as the Scottish cavalry was in the habit of not mounting until ordered to charge. Drury says the queen used "much persuasion and encouragement" to lead her people into battle. She failed, however, and in the evening what she and the prince had always feared happened, says Du Croc, and the disgruntled royal troops suggested negotiations.

When this took place, it was once again suggested that Bothwell and Tullibardine should duel. Bothwell was willing enough, and the Queen succumbed to the suggestion of a duel, but Tullibardine refused and requested someone of higher rank.

Lord Lindsay, Moray's brother-in-law (one of Rizzio's assassins), then stepped forward and was accepted, but by then both armies seem to be spiraling out of control. “They got mixed up in a big mess,” says Du Croc.

The Queen, fearing the worst at the time (that is, all her people would go to the Lords), sent for the Kirkcalds of Grange, and when he arrived she asked him "how can she keep her husband safe?" According to Nau (based on her secretary, so her own account), it was Lethington she first asked, but he wouldn't take the excuse (and that sounds like Lethington) that "he wasn't one of the rebels. Atholl sent a similar dodge, and Grange was the third man she asked to speak to. He told her that he could not promise Bothwell's safety, they were determined to take him or die.

This is where the accounts differ. Either Bothwell heard what Grange said and immediately galloped off the field with about twenty-four followers, or Grange took him aside, advised him to leave immediately, and assured him that he would not be prosecuted.

According to this account, which comes from Nau, and therefore probably from Mary's own memories of what took place at Carberry Hill, Bothwell refused to fly, but was eventually persuaded by the appeals of the Queen, who begged him to leave. for some time to the assembly of parliament, promising him that if parliament approved him, she would remain his faithful wife. The Duke then gave her a surety for the king's death, signed by Morton, Lethington, James Balfour and others, and told her to "take good care of this paper". If true, it means the Duke always carried a tape proving that several Confederate Lords were as deeply guilty of the king's murder as he was.

Whatever the details of this terrible farewell, it must have been a moment of excruciating agony for Maria, who, tired, sick, exhausted, waited all day in the field, surrounded by armed men, and awaiting a fierce battle. The crown, her honor and her life. In parting from her husband, she was saying goodbye to the only man who was her wholehearted advocate and whose cause was in agreement with her. She gave up only when she saw that the day was lost. She believed she would save his life, and it probably did, suggesting that he quietly give him permission to withdraw.

It could be argued that Orkney should not have abandoned her, but though his army had failed him, he should have stayed by her side until he was forced to leave. But it is likely that both he and the Queen believed that the Lords would once again accept her as their Sovereign and escort her to Edinburgh with honor and status. However, that was not the case.

As soon as the duke and his few followers, four Swedes, probably desperate men by some accounts who knew their lives were forfeit, left the Carberry Hill field, Mary was taken prisoner to Edinburgh, both her own army and the army of the Lords who followed her in a kind of confused triumph.

Despite the Lords' sincere words and expressions of loyalty and devotion, they treated Mary on this occasion with almost unbelievable cruelty. She was forced to travel at once, without the company of friends, wife or maid, and had to drive from about six in the evening until one in the morning, when she was lodged at the curate's house in Edinburgh, where a horrible banner depicting the murdered body of Henry Stewart hung before her window.

* * * * *

This was the height of Maria's misfortunes; never again, not even on the last day of her life, will she be so utterly desolate and unhappy. Many years have passed since Europe was shocked to see a queen reduced to such deep degradation. It was no longer about her innocence or guilt; no woman so humiliated could ever regain her sovereignty.

The dress of the modest hostess she was wearing was torn and soiled, she was given neither rest, nor refreshment, nor any service, but was treated like a wretch, like a wretched criminal waiting for a just sentence.

We don't know what room she was locked in, but armed guards were posted around it and she couldn't get out or have any privacy. One account says that she has not eaten or drunk since the early morning from Carberry Hill.

Utterly overwhelmed by what she considered her betrayal by the Lords, she entrusted herself to them with the hope, if not actual promise, of being treated with respect. She must have feared death, the unspeakably terrible death of an adulteress and murderer; in her disappointment, it nearly drove her into a delirious fear, and her screams and screams caused people to flock to her window.

Du Croc begged him to see her, but the Lords refused, arguing that since the Queen and Du Croc would speak French, they would not be able to put anyone in the room who could understand what was going on. However, they agreed to let him go if they could question him first, but were distracted from this intention by the riots that broke out in the city.

Mary saw Lethington passing in the crowd outside her window and shouted at him "for the glory of God" to let him speak to her. One account is that he pulled his hat to his face and hurried away, pretending not to hear, and another that he dismissed the crowd and went to her. It is Nau's version, and possibly incorrect, that Lethington came. The secretary seems to have seen the queen at least during her miserable imprisonment, for he later reported his interview to Du Croc, saying that Mary protested the wrong done to her by "separating her from her husband with whom she believed he had lived and died in the greatest good luck."

To which Lethington replied with an audacity that seems out of place and certainly contrary to the good manners for which he was famous: "It is a fact that Bothwell, since his marriage to you, has repeatedly asked his first wife, and still considers her as his lawfully wedded wife, and Your Majesty is his concubine."

Mary replied that Bothwell's letters would show that this was not true.

We have two accounts of Mary's extreme misery and humiliation on that June night.

Du Croc writes, "At one o'clock the next morning, Her Majesty appeared at the window wailing plaintively and weeping bitterly." And John Beaton writes to his brother the Archbishop in Paris: "The Queen cried out to the people that she was in prison and held by her own subjects who had betrayed her. She was in a pitiable condition, her hair covered her ears and her breasts drooping, yes, most of her body was naked and uncovered from the waist down, no man could look at her, but she evoked pity and pity in him.

After her torture continued until nine o'clock in the evening, the Lords escorted her to Holyrood, two hundred soldiers marched in front of her, carrying the banner of the slain king, followed by a thousand men. The huge escorts and late hours were not exactly examples of Lords cruelty. Drury says that this show of force, this midnight movement, was to save her from the wrath of the people who filled the air with cries against the adulteress and murderer, shouting, "Burn her! burn her! live! Kill her! drown her! burn her! Burn her!" Screams that no doubt reached the parish priest's house and caused mad hysteria in Mary.

Mary, according to tradition, had one more protection, the use of which testifies to the Lord's sincere desire for her safety. The famous "blue blanket" was worn for her; it was the flag of the Trade Guilds of Edinburgh, bestowed upon them for the merits of their members in Palestine, and was adorned, with the consent of Queen Margaret, of a Scottish thistle. It was considered sacred by the people of Edinburgh: its use on this occasion shows that those responsible for Mary's safety considered her case desperate.

As soon as Mary reached Holyrood, she was led back to a place where she would be safe from the fury of her people and where she could not escape.

Melville says the reason for this was the discovery of a letter she wrote to Bothwell in which she frantically gave him the promise of a reward - she had nothing on her to bribe the guard - if only he could go to Dunbar, they were sent. In that letter, she called Bothwell "her dear heart" and stated that she would never forget or abandon him in his absence. She said she only sent him away for his safety, she would like him to be comforted and watchful.

The soldier took this letter to the Lords, and the Lords would decide to remove Mary from Edinburgh.

It is to be hoped that this story is true, for Mary's fidelity to Bothwell and her thought of him in her bitter end state would have given a gleam of nobility to so many who are nothing but dirty and hideous. But if such a letter existed, it was never shown; it may have been destroyed along with the Bond Bothwell gave to Mary, and was said to have been taken from her by the Lords he attacked. However, finding such a letter is unlikely to result in Maria's removal from the capital. The Lords had to assume that she would try to communicate with the man she openly claimed to be lovingly attached to, and since she was completely in their power, they had no reason to fear her pathetic attempts to make contact with her. communicate. Not surprisingly, the letter was not published afterwards. This in no way incriminated Maria, but rather gave her credit for trying to write to her husband.

* * * * *

The obvious reason for her removal from Edinburgh seems to be that once in the capital, she will find herself at the center of dangerous riots, during which it is quite possible that a mob will burst into the palace and cause her violent death.

The site chosen for her captivity was Lochleven Castle, which belonged to the husband of Moray's mother, Lady Douglas, and was subsequently held by his son, Sir William Douglas; who succeeded his father in 1555. The castle stood on an island in the lake, far out of reach of the diver's shot, in a situation that clearly made any attempt at escape or rescue very difficult, if not impossible.

The choice of this place to imprison Mary was taken as an example of Moray's reluctance to instruct the Lords to remove his sister. It certainly seems to have an element of bad taste, as James V's former mistress could hardly relate to the offspring of his marriage with much affection. At the same time, to Moray's credit (if he was behind the move, and the Lords certainly wouldn't have waited for his instructions), it was probably the safest place he could find to guard his half-sister. and protect her from the violence of her enraged subjects, the insults of soldiers, and the diatribes of preachers. Nor is there, despite the affairs, the slightest evidence that Lady Douglas was mean or petty towards her unfortunate captive. It is not even certain whether she lived on the island or simply lived nearby. It seems clear that Moray, who had not yet returned to Scotland but with whom the Confederate Lords were in close contact, genuinely wished for his sister's safety and comfort, even if he wished her to be displaced, and suggested (if he suggests he did ) Lochlcven as her prison because he thought both her dignity and person would be safer there than in any other castle he knew.

Moray was in France during these events and the Lords sent him to press for his return. He was probably in secret business all along, but he was a man who always liked to have an alibi when something questionable was being undertaken.

* * * * *

Mary spent the first days in Lochleven in a state of total breakdown, a natural reaction to the emotions of the last few days and a fit of hysteria at the Rector's house. Nau says, though this must surely be an exaggeration, that "she was without food, drink or conversation for fifteen days or more, so many thought she had died." Within two weeks, however, she not only recovered, ate, and exercised, but also managed to gain the influence of one of her guardians, Lord Ruthven, son of Rizzio's assassin. Her charm was indeed her only asset, and her position was desperate. No one could blame her for trying to seduce a man who might have been of use to her, though the fact that after a belated mishap she found the spirit to do so testified to her volatile, capricious nature.

However, Ruthven made his commitment too obvious, and by the time Mary spent a month in Lochleven, which was fourteen days after she had recovered from a hysterical fainting spell, he was removed from her prison. Nau says, and we can assume these statements are authorized by Mary herself, that Ruthven offered the hapless queen freedom if she became his mistress - a romantic arrangement that the amorous Lord could never fulfill his part, and what if it was true? , proves that Mary was treated with contempt by her own friends.

* * * * *

The only ruler in Europe who showed any sign of powerful mastery on Mary's part was Elizabeth. Not only was she sympathetic, but she was also deeply enraged by this excessive disregard for the holy person of the princess. As Stravenage eloquently describes her behavior, she "detests in her mind the barbaric impudence of her subjects, whom she often called traitors, rebels, ungrateful and cruel companions of the princess, her sister and her neighbor." Elizabeth sent Sir Nicholas Throckmorton to Scotland to join the conspirators in protesting the audacity against their queen and to see to a way to restore her former freedom and severely punish the king's murderers.

Throckmorton found that "most of Scotland was furious with the Queen, who, to put it bluntly, refused her access both to him and to the French ambassadors Villeroy and Crocus. However, the conspirators could not agree among themselves what to do with her. Lethington and several others demanded her reinstatement on the following terms: punishing the king's murderers, ensuring the safety of the duke, divorcing Bothwell, and establishing a religion. Others want her banished forever to France or England; others believed that she should be publicly condemned and then sent into perpetual slavery and her son crowned king. Finally, others would like her to be deprived of her life and kingdom by public execution, and this Knox and some of the clerics thundered the words from their pulpits."

Stravenage, whose main aim seems to be to point to Moray as the driving force behind all these misfortunes, says that Margaret Douglas, "much offended by the misfortune of the imprisoned queen, boasted that she herself was legally married to James V and that her son, Moray, was his legitimate offspring." It doesn't seem to have permission to do so.

Another account states that although "Lady Margaret was at first opposed to the Queen, then she came to favor her."

Margaret Douglas seems to be an extraordinary woman. She was able to survive the scandal of her relationship with James V, with whom she had three sons and three daughters, and gain respect and admiration as the wife of Sir Robert Douglas of Lochleven, to whom she bore two sons and two children. seven daughters.

Mary was quite well accommodated under the care of this lady. Her apartments would be those that formed the third floor of the castle's second tower. They consisted of a kitchen, dining room, drawing room and bedroom for the Queen's use, with a small chapel in an alcove by one of the windows.

She had several maids of her own with her, a cook and an apothecary, and she had to live with a certain decency and even comfort, though undoubtedly her mental anguish was almost unbearable.

It was not easy for Sir Nicholas Throckmorton to obtain an interview with the captive queen. He had with him a letter, dated Richmond, written by Cecil and signed by Elizabeth, which was entirely non-committal, stating only that the Queen of England was doing her best to investigate and rectify Mary's wretched affairs. But Sir Nicholas was instructed to go much further. He was to tell Mary that Elizabeth would try to free her by persuasion and treaty or force, and that she would try to bring the dead king's murderers to justice and have the young prince under her protection.

A threatening message was sent to the lords whom Elizabeth considered brave rebels. Throckmorton will tell them that Elizabeth cannot or will not bear to see their Sovereign imprisoned or her property taken or threatened.

The case against Maria could not be made clearer than in the first part of this manual.

Throckmorton will express the grief of the Queen "for the evil misfortunes which have recently befallen the Queen of Scotland from time to time, whereby her fame and honor have been tarnished, especially the death of her husband, who was so close to her, and so she was gruesomely murdered a few hours after how she was with him and did nothing to punish the murderers and then favored Bothwell and his associates, men of notorious disgrace whom the world accused of murder because it had never been heard that a man guilty of his crimes should dismiss his innocent wife , and he should be punished by law to finally bring such a slanderous person to her husband, which "almost made Her Majesty think not to associate with her any more by way of advice, but to regard her as a person desperately seeking her honor, as did other princes, her friends and closest relatives.

But all this, Elizabeth thought, was nothing compared to the indignation which it caused upon her person "by the command of God, prince and sovereign, by those who are her subjects by nature and law."

This is phrased in a similar way to Thomas Randolph's last summary of Mary's tragedy in a note he made about someone for whom he had once felt great admiration and sadness.

“She reigned quietly in Scotland for four years until her disorderly behavior changed; first with Chastelard, the scurvy who came with Mr. D'Amville found under her bed; witnesses Madame Rawley and old Madame Seton. Then with David, who from the unfortunate minstrel sent with Moreta, Ambassador of Savoy to Scotland, became her first secretary, and found her dinning in her study at Holyrood, receiving her reward for so filthy breaking up a marriage, for other similar filthy behavior of which I am ashamed to speak. Then Darnley's murder, marriage to Bothwell, etc. It was this that pushed Mary off the throne, not Elizabeth's intrigue or enmity.

* * * * *

Sir Nicholas was not allowed to go to Lochleven with the letter and news. Du Croc had already been denied this privilege, and Lethington did not think England could take any more consideration.

In the letter sending this message to Elizabeth, Throckmorton says he has heard that "the queen is at Lochleven Castle, guarded by Messrs. Lindsay and Lochleven, the owner of the house, and that Mr. Ruthven has other errands as he has begun to show favor to the Queen and give her information . She is served with five or six ladies, four or five ladies and two chamberlains, one of whom is French. The Earl of Buchan, the Earl of Brother Moray, is also free to come to her if he pleases." It adds that "the Queen is under very direct scrutiny for refusing to give in to plans to prosecute her husband's killers or to abandon Bothwell."

She swore, Throckmorton heard, "to live and die with him (Bothwell)" and said that given a choice between her kingdom and her husband, she "would rather live and die with him, a simple lady, and that" she could never agree to was worse off or suffered more evil than she did."

These feelings did Mary justice and were far enough to make amends for her behavior, but of course the Lords would find them most inconvenient.

In the same letter Throckmorton mentions the fourth husband's other plans for the queen - the Earl of Argyll wanted her to marry his brother after he had secured the queen's freedom and the destruction of Bothwell.

Sir Nicholas, who, like most of Elizabeth's servants, was extremely capable, intelligent and loyal, found his task difficult and even dangerous. Popular sentiment was so strong against the queen that the lords did not dare to show as much clemency as they would have liked, while "the stranger who is busy among them may soon be sacrificed," observes the wary Englishman.

* * * * *

An insidious and secret battle took place between France and England over the custody of the young prince. Elizabeth was concerned that it might fall into the hands of Charles IX, and it was believed at the English court that Moray, then still in France, had been heavily bribed by the French government to induce him to place young James in their care.

Moray, like most Scottish lords, had already received considerable sums from England, and it was now considered prudent to offer him even higher rewards.

At that time, the Lords sent a message to this prudent nobleman asking for his return, and he was in London on his way to Scotland at the end of July. This agile and powerful man, of proud blood, of great wealth and influence, who never took a wrong step, always avoided scandal, yet exploited it whenever possible, seems to be regarded by the governments of Europe as the key to Scotland's turmoil .

The Spanish ambassador, while in London, tried to distract himself from his thoughts. The burning subject of the king's murder was brought up, and Guzman told Moray what Mary's confessor had told him - that the queen had no knowledge of the crime.

Moray's answer to this question is very important. He said he would tell the Spaniard what he had not even told Queen Elizabeth, viz. that he knew Mary had been a party to her husband's murder, and stated that this had been proved beyond reasonable doubt by a letter on three sheets of paper from Mary to Bothwell, which he had heard about from a man who had read it. He gave a rough summary of the contents of the letter which in some respects matches the infamous Number Two or Glasgow Casket Letter, although it differs in others, notably the poisoning of Jane Gordon referred to by Guzman, related to Moray. in a letter.

This brings us to Casket's famous papers, which the lords found almost immediately after she left for Lochleven, forged or compiled from genuine manuscripts belonging to Maria.

On June 20, six days after the Queen's surrender at Carberry Hill, the famous silver box containing these letters and sonnets was found and brought to Lord Morton. The Lords' statement was that the coffin had been closed, that they had opened it and that it had been formally inspected - "sichted" is a used Scots word - on June 21 in the presence of many Lords, including not least the Confederate Lords who themselves were implicated in the murder , but also men of relatively respectable position and honor, such as the Earls of Atholl and Mar. Atholl, in particular, was Catholic and had no reason to favor the reputation of the Queen, on whose side he was inclined to favor. If the documents were forged or falsified, he could not be a party to them; however, he never protested against their authenticity. If they were forged, it must have been done before the Sichting, or inspection, of the Lords, and whoever could do the job under pressure in such a short time must have been diabolically cunning. No doubt, as Mary later bitterly stated, there were many in Scotland capable of forging her handwriting, this was the time when every diplomat had experts in forgery and encryption in his train. However, it would not be so easy to find someone who could somehow enter Maria's mind and write letters so well suited to her character and situation.

The most tempting theory is that Maitland, a cunning, impenetrable man who must have known Mary's heart and mind well, and whose wife was one of the four Marias, the Queen's woman since the beginning of the war, was the letter as a forgery. when he was young, he was a forger. He had opportunity and wit, and he was skillful and unscrupulous and subtle, and he must have known Mary's love stories inside and out.

On the other hand, it is reasonable to assume that since her marriage to Bothwell he had acted in the Queen's best interest and was her sincere, if angry and indignant, friend. Besides, it is believed that he could hardly have been a forger, since he did not leave the Queen until June 9 - the entire forgery was to be completed by the twentieth of that month - and for a short period he was considered by the Lords in general, and Morton in particular, with a dubious eye as an emissary of the queen and a potential spy.

It is therefore a matter of common sense that this man, whose loyalty to the Lords was considered so dubious, should not have been entrusted with such a deadly secret as forging documents.

[*As previously mentioned, it is possible that the hostility of the Lords was feigned and Lethington their secret tool.]

True or false, the Lords had a powerful weapon against Mary in the "coffin letters" which they did not hesitate to use; if the letters had really been Mary's handiwork, they would have been satisfied that they had now fully justified the removal of the reign of the cruel murderer and heartless debauchee. If they forged it, they did it with the intention of getting rid of Mary, just like they got rid of Rizzio, Darnley, Bothwell.

* * * * *

The Earl of Morton's statement of the finding of these famous letters, though written a year later in favor of Sir William Cecil, may be inserted here. He called it "A true statement and account of me, James, Earl of Morton, of how a certain silver chest, excessively gilded, containing various writings, writings, sonnets, contracts and marriage pledges between the Queen, mother of our Sovereign Lord, and James, once Earl of Bothwell, was found and used.

Here is the crux of the statement:

“On Tuesday, June 19, 1567, I dined in Edinburgh. Lethington was with me.

"A man came to me and secretly told me that three of the Earl of Bothwell's servants, Mr. James Hepburn, Cockburn, Lord Stirling's brother, and George Dalgleish, had come to the town and entered the castle.

"Then I sent my nephew, Mr. Andrew Douglas, and brother Robert Douglas and James Johnston of Westerall, with my other servants, to number sixteen in the direction of the castle to seek out and, if possible, arrest the said persons. . Following these directions, they went. At first they couldn't find them because they left the castle. However, Mr. Andrew Douglas found Mr. James Hepburn's horse. James Johnston arrested John Cockburn while Robert Douglas continued his search for George Dalgleish. A good man approached him and offered a fraudulent sum to reveal the whereabouts of George Dalgleish. After paying, he gave this information and George Dalgleish was arrested with several papers bearing the Earl of Bothwell's titles. Liddesdale and the Lords of Dunbar and Orkney.

Dalgleish said he had only come to get clothes from his master and that he had no letters or important documents with him, but his gesture and behavior were considered suspicious and he was sent to Tolbooth and tortured there. as punishment, he called my nephew, Mr. Andrew Douglas, and told him that he would reveal the truth, and was then taken to the castle, where he took a silver casket from under his bed, and became the same who brought me at eight o'clock in the evening.

"Being late, I held it all night and morning, the twenty-first of June, in the presence of the Earls of Atholl, Mar, Glencairn, myself, Lords Hame, Sempill, Sanquhar, Marquess Graham, Lethington's secretary, and Lord Tullibardine, and said Mr. Andrew Douglas, said box it was pierced because we had no keys, and the letters it contained were checked and immediately returned to my hands for safekeeping.

In addition to eight letters and sonnets of no literary or personal value, the box contained two marriage contracts between Mary and Bothwell, written in French and signed by the Queen and the Earl.

The extremely beautiful chest now in the possession of the Duke of Hamilton is reasonably supposed to have been "struck"; it has a broken lock.

* * * * *

While the Lords so secretly wielded this deadly weapon against Mary, the Queen herself came to some sense. It was even said that she played cards, danced and sang in prison on her island. It would not be sincere joy, but a mask of her misery or a wild outburst of hysteria. At any rate, she had regained her balance enough to take an interest in the things of the world again, and she, who had screamed in despair at the window of the Rector's House in Edinburgh, disordered in her tattered civil dress, breasts bared and hair torn, now wrote to Sir Robert Melville her former Lord Chamberlain, begging him to send her some garments. She remembered the clothes she needed, which she said were kept by Servais de Condé, her wardrobe keeper at Holyrood.

She may have been in captivity and her fortune in the depths, but she has not lost her interest in worldly splendour, and there is not a trace in her list of requirements that she wears mourning or humiliates herself in simple dress. Mary's desire was "half a cubit of scarlet satin and half a cubit of blue satin. String silk, sew gold, and sew silver," possibly a piece of embroidery that would encourage her to rest. She also wanted three dresses, a waistcoat and skirts, white satin, scarlet, black satin, and a loose taffeta gown and the clothes Lady Lethington had told her to wear. She was surprised that the clothes for her maids had not arrived, because she says with an excusable exaggeration that "they are naked." She wanted shoes, cambric and linen, two pairs of sheets, and two ounces of black sewing thread. She requested a dozen basting needles and moulds; she wanted a bedspread and remembered some preserves in the possession of her wardrobe master, dried Damascus and pears. Melville did not fail to send her all he had of it.

What desperate loneliness, what cruel fear did she hope to seduce with her bites?

There is no good evidence that she tried to write a letter to Bothwell, the man for whom she is said to have gone "to the end of the world in a white petticoat", or that he tried to communicate with her, although it is possible that a reciprocal effort was made. We have no evidence that he cared for her in the slightest. He took a chance and lost; I guess it was enough that he had forgotten the Queen of Scots now that she was ruined and had no man left to give him, thinking only of preserving his own life and perhaps setting off on another adventure in another country. He was not yet thirty, and his entrepreneurial spirit and daring courage knew no bounds.

* * * * *

A few days after reviewing the "coffin letters", on June 26, the lords issued a proclamation offering a reward of one thousand crowns for the capture of the queen's husband. He fled from Dunbar to the border; there were rumors of him galloping here and there, trying to raise an army. He was heard of by the Earl of Huntly in Strathbogie, but Throckmorton learned, among other wild rumors, that Gordon had turned against the man to whom he had sacrificed his sister and even made an attempt on his life, but Bothwell, hearing this in time, fled to Orkney .

A summons was issued on behalf of the imprisoned queen, ordering him and his accomplices to appear no later than August 22 to comply with the law, or he would be "nailed to the corner".

* * * * *

Throckmorton was still denied permission to visit the Queen and had to feed Cecil and Elizabeth gossip. There was a story that Mary found a boat near the castle and tried to escape, but was stopped in time and then straightened out, after which she complained bitterly of her harsh treatment, and they, whom she had heard from some of her Lords, that she would rather live in a compact convent in France, or with the old widow of Guise, her grandmother.

On 18 July, Throckmorton was able to write his mistress more accurate news of Mary because he had just interviewed Sir Robert Melville, who was allowed to see the Queen at Lochleven and bring a letter from her to the Lords; perhaps Melville took the clothes and sewed silk and prunes for the weary prisoner.

Mary made some modest personal requests - that if she was imprisoned, she would not be placed in Stirling Castle with her son, that she would not have more ladies, a modest clergyman (he probably meant a priest) and an embroiderer to help with her work? As for the government, she proposed giving it to the Earl of Moray or a committee of Lords that included the Duke of Châtelherault, the chief of the Hamiltons, the Earls of Huntly, Argyll, Atholl and Lennox.

After placing her earthly fortune in the hands of her enemies, she complained about her treatment, saying with touching dignity that "if they didn't consider her their queen, they might have used her as their daughter." they knew it and as the mother of their prince."

According to Melville, she still refused to abandon her third husband, although she was ready to have her second husband's killers brought to justice.

Throckmorton found a way to smuggle a letter to her informing her that Elizabeth was her friend and advising her to divorce Bothwell.

Mary replied that she could not agree to this, but would rather die, as in time she would have a child with Bothwell, and to denounce him would be a disgrace to both her and her descendants. Throckmorton, however, believed that the case was too desperate for such considerations to have any weight. "I persuaded her to save her life and the life of her child, to choose the least difficult circumstances."

This child indeed seems to be the crux and climax of the whole tragedy. The various accounts that she had a child or children, for Nau says she had twins while she was at Lochleven, are too vague to be studied in detail, but they point to one conclusion, so clearly stated in Elizabeth's letter, in which the Queen of England he says that he "considers Mary as a person desperate for her honor, just as she judges other princes, her friends and close relatives."

It might as well have been that Mary, surrounded by her own wives, an apothecary, and servants, had given birth to a child at Lochleven, and her guards were unsure. Reasonably, given her circumstances, it may have been a miscarriage, in which case the stillborn baby could have been easily removed, or it could have been a live baby who, romantic anecdotes have it, had been smuggled out of the castle and raised in France.

It was mid-July when Mary made this announcement to Throckmorton, exactly two months after she and Bothwell had been married, and unless they were lovers before that date, any talk of a live baby or a serious miscarriage is of course ridiculous. . Bedford wrote to Leicester on 15 June, a month after her wedding: "The Queen is pregnant."

Seven weeks pregnant, she told herself. However, Nau, writing under Mary's inspiration, explicitly declares that the queen was in a state of breakdown after giving birth to twins.

Those Queen's intercessors who declare that Mary had no child at Lochleven, that she never said she was going to have one, and that throughout the whole affair she was maligned and maligned by Elizabeth's lords and constables, can only support their cause by leading the whole a campaign of lies from everyone who wrote about the affair.

For example, what possible reason would Throckmorton send such information to Elizabeth if it wasn't true? If Mary didn't use that excuse to stay true to Bothwell, why would Throckmorton make it up? And why had she allowed Nau to put it in his "story"?

If the conclusions drawn from European rumors and the opinions of Maria's relatives and co-princes, assuming that the whole tragedy revolved around her desperate desire to save her honour, are correct, then it becomes almost inevitable to assume that the child was seven months old. old, not seven weeks, date and that he was secretly kicked out. Seven Months takes us to the time when Mary contemplated divorcing Henry Stewart and was named Bothwell's mistress by Lennox and Buchanan.

There seems to have been no doubt about Mary's guilt among the people of Scotland. Throckmorton says that while the Lords and Councilors intended to protect Mary and had no intention of cruelty or violence, yet her life was in grave danger from people among whom it was public that their queen had no more liberty or privilege to commit murder or adultery than any other private person, neither by the law of God nor by the laws of the kingdom.

Throckmorton thought Lethington the most sensible and wisest man, but even with him he could do nothing, though the secretary thought that "ten or twelve thousand crowns of English money" might well have been used to secure Elizabeth's influence in Scotland.

* * * * *

By July 22, the Lords of the Confederation had officially responded to Elizabeth's demands for better treatment for Mary. In this they make no mention of the coffin letters and indeed conceal Mary's guilt by attributing it all to Bothwell, as "murderer of the king and rapist of the queen".

In Stravenage's account of this lengthy document, he writes: "The Lords protested that they confined the Queen in this secluded place with the sole intention of separating her from Bothwell, whom she loved immeasurably, until her deliberate love for him and her lady became angry. relented towards them." A neat summary.

* * * * *

It was an hour of triumph for John Knox, who returned to Edinburgh to report with all the might of his fanatical madness to the Queen and to drive the anger of the people to dangerous heights against the hapless captive of Lochleven.

The black Puritan now felt justified in his old suspicion of the elegant French lady. He could point out with grim satisfaction "what the bloody end has stinking feminine pride come to." Without restraint or decency, the queen was blackguarded from every pulpit in Edinburgh; caricatures, pamphlets and ballads were composed to her contempt and insult. She was "Jezebel", she was "Delila", she was "Clytemnestra", she was the personification of the "Scarlet Woman". Knox caused a superstitious terror when he warned Scotland that a great plague would fall from the sky if Mary and Bothwell were spared their due punishment. The proper punishment, Mary knew only too bitterly, was the stake.

John Knox had witnessed many heinous acts in his time, many heinous crimes contemporaries - an elderly cardinal stabbed to death in his bedroom doorway, an unarmed servant dismembered with daggers of armored nobles, a young king in a nightgown dragged from his bed and strangled, a graceful young courtier hurried to block for indiscretion. There is no doubt that Knox was very keen and that he had Scotland behind him in his readiness to add to this series of grim spectacles how the Queen of Scots was dragged to the stake and burned alive as an adulteress and murderess.

In this heated and unbridled state of national feeling, Lord Lindsay, Moray's brother-in-law, went to Lochleven and snatched Mary's signature from the act of abdication, abdicating forever the throne of Scotland she had occupied ever since. she was a few days old and passed on this dubious honor to her little son. It is not known how he obtained this permission from Mary.

It is now impossible to determine exactly what lies behind the formal words of the document in which Mary is forced to declare that "tired by long, arduous and arduous work, so tormented and restless that body, mind and senses have ceased to function at all." could bear it", the Queen relinquished office and government "to our dearest son".

By the time of Moray's return, and in the event of his refusal to accept the office of regent, a group of Lords, chief of the Hamiltons, Châtelherault, Lennox, Argyll, Atholl, Morton, Glencairn and Mar, had been appointed as governors of the realm. it is presumed that if the coffin letters were genuine, Lindsay took them to Lochleven and showed them to the Queen, thus obtaining her signature. Even if the letters were forged, the sight of them would surely have alarmed Maria to do as she was asked, rather than allow publication. She must have known, if she possessed any of the all-encompassing understanding credited to her, the state of the country's mood, and that any story against her would be believed. She must have heard the screams of the people of Edinburgh in her ears as they stormed through the Rector's House shouting, "Burn! Crop! kill! kill!”

Stravenage says she was "terrified" to be forced to sign. Throckmorton had heard that in the event of the Queen's refusal, the Lords intended "to proceed with force and violence, both to crown the prince and to overthrow the queen." He adds that Sere had three charges in preparation against Mary: “Tyranny, for violating and violating their laws and decrees of the kingdom; Adultery, both with the Earl of Bothwell and others, with, they say, enough evidence against her. for crimes; third, they intend to charge her with the murder of her husband, which they claim they have against her as clear evidence as they can, and her own confession based on her own handwriting, which they have recovered, and with enough witnesses.

The evidence of her own handwriting probably refers to the coffin letters. But who can be a "sufficient witness"?

Nau's account of the ugly abdication scene (which must have worked if not inspired by Mary) depicts the hapless woman lying sick in bed after a miscarriage or abortion, the grim end of that Bothwell child who was the cause of all the misery, while Lindsay and Ruthven, who apparently she had shaken off his brief infatuation and was now on the side of her enemies, along with two lawyers and Robert Melville, forcing her to sign the papers. Nau adds a rather insane story that if she hadn't signed, she would have been taken from Lochleven and thrown into the lake as she crossed it, or "carried to an island in the middle of the sea where she would remain unknown. the whole world in custody for the rest of her life." Surely more practical means could be found to force the queen's hand than such an insane threat as this.

However, Nau says the queen refused to sign the papers, Lindsay told her to get out of bed and that he would take her to where she would give her due account to the lords of the land, and finally bravely said that if she didn't sign, he would force them to slit her throat no matter how much they don't want to. To this the queen signed, however, stating that she did so only under threat and that she would respect deeds only as long as she remained in captivity.

That's not true; Mary probably wouldn't have said such a stupid thing, whatever her mental reservations, when she signed the Abdication Act, warning the Lords that if she escaped, she would disregard that signature - in doing so, she was condemning herself to life imprisonment.

But Lord Lindsay had obtained that signature, Mary was threatened, overpowered, and had no intention of abiding by the act of abdication if she could regain her freedom.

* * * * *

Sir Nicholas Throckmorton definitely failed his embassy; he did not save the Queen of Scots, he did not make peace between her and the Confederate lords. Fearing Elizabeth's wrath, he wrote a long, detailed letter in which he apologized to himself and outlined as much as possible of the tumultuous events in Scotland. The Englishman thought he could catch that spark of wildfire, the cause of all the trouble, the "Duke" or Earl of Bothwell, who was at Spynie Castle at the time with several people, including Cecil's spy, Christopher Rokesby, who offered to hand him over to Elizabeth .

Throckmorton found this plan very practical, as the earl was accompanied by "twelve or fourteen desperate persons, who were the main perpetrators of the murder of the late king." Another charge, though less convincing, was that Elizabeth's "princely nature and pious spirit would not permit any murder." Throckmorton, however, believed that if said earl could be executed by justice, or the world would be delivered from him by the hand of God "for the inconvenience he caused your cousin the queen", it would certainly be a very happy event. All this careful language seems to mean that if Throckmorton could transfer Bothwell into private ownership, the act would certainly be very acceptable to Elizabeth and many other people.

The same letter states that Jane Gordon was not with her husband (as Throckmorton Bothwell was known) and that the young prince, then thirteen months old, was crowned in "the great church of Stirling by the Bishop of Orkney (to make amends for performing Bothwell's marriage ceremony), Lord Dun and Superintendent of Lothian. Mr. Knox preached, and there was great rejoicing." A thousand bonfires burned in Edinburgh, the castle fired twenty artillery pieces, "people gave great joy, danced and cheered."

In the midst of all these celebrations, Throckmorton found himself in a difficult position. The sovereign to whom he was accredited had been dethroned and did not know whether he had received permission from Elizabeth to recognize James as king of Scotland. It wasn't easy for him to leave Edinburgh either: "I'm in a city guarded by warriors who visit all the men who come and go. I have no horses, but must rely on the orders of the Lords for the advancement of me and my train. I cannot leave except by their permission, and if I leave Edinburgh I cannot safely return to Berwick without their guidance, especially in this rotten world.

The English ambassador, however, achieved something with his failed trip to Scotland. According to his own account in a letter to Leicester, which is confirmed by Robert Melville, "in this corrupt world" he saved the life of a hapless prisoner of Lochleven: he returned her property, but I have kept her for the moment, but in what continuation I am not sure.

Robert Melville wrote to Elizabeth for the same purpose: "To explain to Your Majesty, the majority was so severe with my mistress that extremes would have been used were it not for Your Majesty's Ambassador, who showed both his wisdom and affection for her Your Majesty, that he had only put aside the present inconveniences, and thus obtained the cause, preserving both his life and his honour.

Thus Sir Nicholas Throckmorton, with great speech and courage, deceived the good men of Edinburgh and that brave Protestant John Knox, for a joyous spectacle to complete their mirth - the trial and execution of the young king's mother, whose coronation was rejoiced by all.

The Englishman himself did not quite understand the deep roots of his anger at Mary, who at the time seemed to have no friend to speak for her: "Whether it is fear or anger or zeal I do not know," he wrote to him, but it was clear that either for fear of Mary's future retribution should she ever return to power, or because they believed Scotland would never be at peace in her lifetime, or because the people demanded her blood, the Lords hesitated whether Mary should or should not not to be deprived of "life and honor"; which would mean there would be a public "trial" against the queen as an adulteress and murderer where she would have no chance.

If we allow what we will, the Puritan bigotry, the ignorance of the people, the tricks of those involved in the assassination of the king to blame Mary, and all the lies, scheming or duplicity that may have confused the matter, it is unbelievable that the innocent , a persecuted woman who always had pure, noble motives could stoop so low. The instincts of men, even in those cruel times, rebelled against what they saw as the despicable crimes of this delicate, brilliant being, the double queen of whom they had been so briefly proud. "Furising lilies stink worse than weeds," says etiquette, and it is Mary's sweet charm, seductive charm, youth and elegance that made what Randolph calls her "dirty behavior" so repugnant in Scotland.

This contrast between her beauty, her pleasant manners, and the hideous horrors of lust, blood, and betrayal in which she was so hopelessly entangled, endowed her ordinary mind with supernatural wickedness, the evil of a witch, sorceress of hell, angel of the devil. There were great rumors about spells, potions, ghosts, visions and all the devil magic. Earl Bothwell, to whom all vices and crimes were attributed, was believed to be a wizard - does not the Book say "Thou shalt not let a witch live"? Since Innocent VIII's famous bull in 1484, hundreds of witches, men and women whose records were clean compared to those of the Queen and the Earl of Bothwell, have been burned at the stake in Scotland.

If Nau's account is to be believed, and Mary herself left it unchanged, stern Lindsay and young Ruthven, who seem to have soon recovered from his affection for the queen, must have been aware of the weakness Mary suffered as she leaned forward. . her bed requires a signature on the Act of Abdication - "Twin miscarriage stream, Bothwell troubles her," writes Nau bluntly.

This story spread throughout Scotland, confirming all the sinister rumors that had tarnished the queen. Who would have believed that here the shameful cause of the husband's murder, the hasty divorce, the hasty marriage was finally revealed? Mary asked for her pharmacist to be sent to Lochleven; rumors of the ugliest would be commonplace: "Women," says Throckmorton, "were more violent than men, and yet they were 'crazy enough'."

It is unlikely that Mary, with her "vertugardine" or "garde baby" deftly, could have silenced all rumors and gossip, and this was a woman's business, and she was probably fiercely opposed to women's opinion. unfortunate queen. The French satirist D'Aubigné wrote shortly thereafter of the "Princesses of Sales Amours de nos" who became lovers of their servants and whose illicit affair was "tuez par le apotiquaires". This kind of contempt was felt for Mary Stewart when her half-stranger friends Maitland, Tullibardine and Atholl advised her through Robert Melville to sign anything that might save her life. And it's hard to believe that all this bitter contempt and anger was directed at a completely innocent person.

* * * * *

The Lords' disobedience greatly angered Elizabeth, and she decided to support Mary's cause even more heartily.

"Since she (Elizabeth) is a princess," the Queen wrote to Throckmorton, "she (Elizabeth) will not fail to take her vengeance to the last on those who will be guilty in any way."

In late July, on his way to Scotland, Moray interviewed Elizabeth in Windsor, discussing Mary's affairs. As usual, Moray's expressions were of impeccable morality; he lamented the Queen's position, "not only was she his sister, but he owed much to her", but also mourned the King's assassination and the Bothwell affair. He feared that the problems in Scotland would be difficult to solve, but returned to see what could be done. He thought it would be impossible to free the Queen by force and agreed with Guzman de Silva, who relates this interview, that "if Bothwell were where the Queen is, it would be easy to resolve." When Bothwell was killed, Moray added smoothly, Mary would dispose of him, and they would be safe from the disgrace and shame of seeing their queen marry a man who had another wife.

From these softly expressed opinions, conventionally right and reasonable, it is impossible to judge whether Moray was really a loyal patriot who was eager to save his sister from herself, or a cunning and unscrupulous schemer who led the whole revolution himself. a conspirator who acted skillfully. at a distance and privately, working closely with Maitland of Lethington, who was certainly distrusted by many of his contemporaries for his loyalty to Mary.

Bishop Mondovi describes Maitland on this day as a man considered "so cunning and unscrupulous that in all belated betrayal he thought he had thrown a stone without moving his hand."

Elizabeth was so confused about Scottish affairs that she lost her temper with Cecil, who she suspected, like him, was lukewarm about the Queen of Scots and favored the Lords. Popular opinion in England was against Mary. The secretary wrote to Throckmorton that "the Queen hastily summoned me and commenced a great insulting speech, of which she was offered nothing to avenge the imprisoned Queen of Scots and set her free."

In the midst of this brutal scene, when the secretary replied "as carefully as he could", a letter ("really good chance", notes Cecil gratefully) from Throckmorton stating that it was not about saving the Queen of Scots and returning her to the throne, but to keep her life.

It even got Elizabeth thinking. It was real enough. Not only should Mary have feared the growing wrath of the people fueled by the bold epithets of Knox and his fellow preachers, but even the Roman Catholic lords, who had hitherto been more or less loyal supporters of the queen, began to demand victory. . party and agree to destroy it. Even the Hamiltons, who had been on Mary's side out of hatred for their rivals, the Lennox faction, now believed her cause was lost and were ready to abandon her. With shameless cowardice and betrayal, they wanted to protect themselves in this infidelity by the death of the queen, for they feared that if they abandoned her and she later regained her freedom, it would be worse for them.

Throckmorton was outraged by such a blatant double deal. "I couldn't think, I said, that nobles could have such double faces and such treacherous minds." However, he did not appeal to their honor or conscience, but to his own self-interest when he said that the queen would be of more use to them alive than dead. After Bothwell's death or divorce, she may have married one of the Hamiltons or the brother of the Earl of Argyll.

But Tullibardine, a man who was first Bothwell's friend and then his powerful enemy, saw "no way out as good by either means" as the Queen's death. “Lords don't like the queen, and they know she doesn't like any of them. That is why they are afraid of her all the more because she is young and may have many children whom they would like to get rid of.

Throckmorton had exhausted himself talking to the Lords, trying to dissuade them from Mary's death. "I used the best beliefs I could and long enough, some of God's law, some of man's law, some for the honor of their country, and each for himself and his friends."

Lethington then came to Throckmorton and confirmed what Tullibardine had said, that the Archbishop of St. earth could accumulate without fear of the future. Politically, the advice was, of course, good; Mary could never be anything but a source of trouble.

* * * * *

In this sinister turn of events, Mary Moray arrived in Edinburgh and firmly took control of all the treacherous, disaffected, intertwined factions. This strong, prudent man, representing the law, order, and stability of the popular mind, and the triumph of the Reformed religion, was received with great joy by all the people of Edinburgh, and four days after his entry into the capital, he went to his imprisoned sister at Lochleven. He was accompanied by the Earl of Atholl, the most honorable and moderate man that could be found in Scotland at that time, along with James Douglas, Earl of Morton, of whom nothing good was ever said.

We have Throckmorton's account of this interview, he doesn't say how it was obtained. According to him, the queen received her brother with "great passion and tears" and separated him from the other two and spoke to him separately two hours before dinner. This conversation was "nothing pleasant for the Queen" because Moray was evasive and did not want to discover his intentions. The meal eased the tension of the arduous verbal fencing, which resumed and continued until "one past midnight."

Moray then held up his hand and, in the tone of a religious adviser, admonished the queen, coldly admonishing her for all "her misrule and disorder".

Mary traded these male attacks for female defenses; she behaved as any woman would behave in her place. She wept bitterly, "sometimes she admitted her mistakes, some things she confessed, some she apologized, some she softened."

But Moray was not softened by these tears and this weak submission, this half-confession. He left her "hoping for nothing but God's grace."

However, by the morning he had given up a bit. He stated that he would "assure her of her life and, so far as she lies in it, of the preservation of her honor." As for her freedom, it was not in his power, nor was it good for her to seek it, to have it in many respects."

Mary seemed perfectly content with these concessions. She hugged her brother, kissed him, and begged him not to refuse the regency.

If this is the correct account of her behavior, it shows that she was haunted by the fear of a violent and ignominious death, and that her brother's promise of protection relieved her so much that she cared little else.

She then pressed Moray for all her jewels, which were of great value, and her other possessions, and asked him to keep them for her son. Moray, who seemed to maintain a cold and commanding dignity, then ordered Lindsay, Ruthven and Lochleven to treat the queen "with gentleness, ease and all good intentions" and bade her farewell. She cried again, embraced him very tenderly, kissed him, and through him sent her blessing to the prince, her son.

It is significant that there is not a word about Bothwell in this account. Moray makes no mention of the earl's crime, and the queen does not protest her love for her husband. Perhaps such a matter arose during secret talks between them, which were not reported. Mary had indeed said the last sentence about Bothwell; we hear no more of her love, devotion and desire to share his fortune. If she ever expressed such feelings, they were not reported. Perhaps her passion had exhausted her, perhaps fear had killed her, sickness had exhausted her, had destroyed the birth of his dead child, which had saved her from the horror of public disgrace.

In any case, this love story ended as it began, with blood, violence and great misfortune.

* * * * *

Throckmorton says Moray was waiting for him to report an interview with his sister, and Bothwell is mentioned here. Moray stated that one of the reasons for the Queen's predicament which he presented to her was "your own perseverance in this excessive affection for the Earl of Bothwell" and recommended her to talk better for the future, to behave more modestly, and to "appear to show that you abhor the murder of your husband and do not you like your former life with Bothwell." But the queen's answer is not given.

Moray told Throckmorton that he had never seen the Queen in better health or in better spirits, which seems incredible unless Mary was hysterical or heartless.

* * * * *

The Lords of the Confederation showed considerable distaste for Elizabeth's meddling in Scottish affairs. The "sharp, round threats" that Throckmorton should have made on her behalf were met with stern opposition: "If you want to burn our borders, we will do the same to yours, and when you invade us, we are sure that France will help us, because their deeds are steadfast and they are bound by their deed to defend us.

"Many things were done, much time was spent, and strange language was used to order the subjects of another prince to release the queen, but Her Majesty (Elizabeth) did nothing either to arrest Bothwell and the murderer for the protection of the king or for the safety of these gentlemen. Will the queen, your mistress, arm two or three ships to arrest Bothwell, pay a thousand soldiers for the time of destroying all the fortresses of this kingdom, to submit to the king?

So boldly challenged, enraged, Elizabeth remembered Throckmorton's patient. To show that there was no personal ill intention, the Lords presented the English ambassador with gold-plated crockery worth, Throckmorton thought, two hundred marks, which he refused "because it came from a king whom I took to be a prince, not a queen. Lethington had accompanied me to the seat of , insisting that I change my mind, but I persisted and left.

He heard more news about Bothwell before returning to England. The queen's husband used the sea as a complete refuge and, accompanied by pirates from all lands, sailed in Orkney, where he held the dukedom, but few accepted him. Kirkcaldy of the Grange, enraged and vengeful, was sent to pursue him: "If I meet him, whether at sea or on land, he will either take me with him or I will carry him dead or alive to Edinburgh." This seems to contradict the story that Kirkcaldy allowed Bothwell to escape from Carberry Hill.

Once it seemed that Bothwell would be captured among the wild islands to the north, but Kirkcaldy's ship ran aground on a rock and, saving his men and weapons, Bothwell escaped. He was chased for sixty miles but disappeared towards the Norwegian coast.

Earl Bothwell's game was over, he was completely ruined. Because he did not respond to the summons to appear before Parliament, he was declared a traitor and "nailed to the corner", and all his goods and estates were confiscated. There were bloody fights at Spynie Castle, where Huntly tried to betray Bothwell, who allegedly killed the son of his kinsman, the Bishop of Murray.

We do not know if any news of her husband's disappearance from Scotland reached Mary at Lochleven, or even if she inquired after him, or if she bitterly cursed the fate that had parted them, and declared again as she had declared only a few years ago. . a few months earlier “that she would follow him to the end of the world in a white petticoat; that she did not want his fate to be in any way worse than hers.

Autumn reports show that Mary is cheerful and cheerful again, making friends with her guards, in good health, "as lecherous and cheerful disposition as ever since her arrival in this realm," as Moray wrote to Bedford. "She gets fat," Drury wrote, "and shows joy instead of damn." These are rumors, of course, as Drury has never been to Lochleven.

The new outbreak of the Wars of Religion in France removed any possibility of helping Mary from that quarter, although there was a formal discussion between Catherine and Elizabeth on the subject. There was nothing more Elizabeth could do on behalf of the Queen of Scots, and Moray believed he had done enough to save her life, give her sound advice, and give her proper care; he made "nice weather" with it, perhaps with an eye to the future.

It seemed that with Bothwell out of the way, nearly dead, the queen safely captured, the coronation of the young king and the prudent regent of Moray, Scotland might become as peaceful a country as any other in Europe.

* * * * *

However, Mary did not want to remain silent in Lochleven. With her health and spirit restored, she began to hope for the future, and since there was nothing the pope, kings, or nobles could do for her, she looked around to see what she could come up with with the available material.

George Douglas (not to be confused with the murderer of that name), an eighteen-year-old boy, son of Lady Margaret Douglas and half-brother of the Regent and brother of Lord Lochleven, was plundered by the charms and sorrow of the imprisoned queen, until a romantic dedication to her service. His sympathy and admiration were not without reward either. Rumor has it that Drury relates his findings in one of his letters to Cecil, written in late October: "The suspicion of too much intimacy between the Queen here and Mr. Douglas and the Regent's half-brother and brother there is less and less said of you than I can write." . The scandal went so far that Mary allegedly had a child with George Douglas while imprisoned in his mother's castle.

The story is unsubstantiated and it is safe to assume that it was only a platonic affair, but Mary, even hoping to secure her freedom, could encourage any lover, however small, to indulge in coquetry, laughter, gaiety. whether dancing so quickly after the events of that summer shows an incorrigible lightness on her behalf.

So was the conversation about a fourth marriage for her at the end of that winter. The Earl of Argyll's brother was reintroduced as a pretender by the imprisoned queen's hand. Another suggested was the young Lord Methven "a gentleman of twenty-one, Stewart". These plans, says Drury, "bring great comfort to Her Grace."

According to the same authority, Mary asked her brother if she could marry George Douglas, and Moray replied that "he was too mean a marriage for Her Majesty". George Douglas was then removed from Lochleven because of kindness between him and the Queen, but remained on the shore of the lake and found a way to communicate with the prisoner. The story goes that at this point she tried to escape the castle, disguised as a washerwoman, but when in the boat she held the silencer to her face, the honesty of her hands discovered her rank and she was brought back. Mary would win Margaret Douglas to her side by seducing her ambition and perhaps affection by proposing marriage to George Douglas, but surely no woman would want her son, who was a boy, to become a fourth. husband of Mary Stewart.

Drury reported that Douglas had secret access to the castle, and that feelings between him and the Queen were great, and that "her freedom, by favour, by force or stealth, is soon to be sought."

Nau's story, which we may consider Mary's own account of this peculiar affair, clearly defines Douglas's feelings as purely romantic, chivalrous, and platonic. He makes no mention of any of these possible fourth husbands; if Mary made such suggestions, they were probably insincere.

It is believed that thanks to this romantic young man, Maria was able to send two letters to Catherine de' Medici asking for help, written in early 1568. Both are written in an exaggerated form of self-justification and complaining. There is no reason to believe that Mary was treated as barbarically as these lamentations might suggest. In her first letter, she laments, "The misery I endure is greater than I ever thought the power of human suffering could sustain and live on," and mentions "her terrible misfortune." And in the other she speaks of the barbarity of her cruel prison guards, and in one she wrote then to the faithful and loyal Archbishop of Glasgow, sent by the hand of the equally faithful John Beaton, the Archbishop's brother, she wrote that "I have no more paper or food to write with except to beg king, queen and my uncles to burn my letters, for if I am found to have written it, it may cost many lives, put my own in danger, and make me even more closely guarded.

Both letters to Catherine de' Medici reveal Mary's wild faith in France and her even crazier delusions of affection in Scotland: "unless you take me by force I will never leave here, but if you will, send troops, all the Scots will rise against Moray and Morton, if only they had the means to unite.

* * * * *

While Mary was banging on the bars so desperately, the fate of another prisoner, the partner of her passions and tragedy, was in doubt.

It seems that since there were so many plans for Mary's marriage to which she herself had agreed, her relationship with Bothwell was considered invalid or that a divorce from him was considered easy to obtain. Moray tried to settle the matter by robbing Bothwell of his life and property. When he learned that a desperate and ruined man had been driven by storms to the coast of Denmark, he demanded that the Danish king Frederick II, whose daughter was later to marry Mary's son, surrender Bothwell so that he could answer for his crimes. .

For some obscure reason, Frederick II refused to comply with Moray's demands, based on the fact that Bothwell had assured him that he had been legally cleared of the King's assassination and that only the misfortune of the storm had befallen him. to Denmark. Of course, Frederick II would have found these flimsy excuses if he wanted to serve Moray, but he was clearly indifferent on the matter, and he must have felt a little sorry for this wild, elegant rascal who had exhausted Fortune's patience so quickly. However, he did not give him freedom, but kept him prisoner in his castle in Bergen. Bothwell's last adventures are described later in this story.

As it was against Moray's best interest to marry Mary again, and therefore very convenient for him to fabricate a husband in the background, it is possible that the Bothwell question was taken up by the crafty regent only to appease popular sentiment, and that he had secretly arranged with Frederick II to imprison the hapless Bothwell - a fate far crueler than death for someone so fond of power and the lusts of the flesh.

Whether Moray knew it or not, Mary's woes were complemented by having a husband she would probably never see again, and yet, as she later proved, it was not easy to break free. We do not know whether she received news of his fate during her stay in Lochleven. While she was deeply concerned about her own fate, involved in escape plans, and working to hire George Douglas, she probably paid little attention to the man who had once touched her so deeply. If any oaths of allegiance were taken in the field at Carberry Hill, they were taken from the heart, as was his service after Rizzio's murder, which Mary declared "we must never forget".

* * * * *

In letters smuggled to France, a prisoner complained bitterly about the appalling manner in which she was held. These laments must have been greatly, if not unnaturally, exaggerated, for not only was she able to send these letters abroad, but also planned for her escape and mutiny. She could not have been so closely guarded because she was in contact with George Douglas, who, though exiled from Lochleven, had taken up residence in the small village of Kinross on the shores of the lake, and with John Beaton, the Archbishop's brother, who in turn had been in contact with the restless and disaffected nobles who did not accept the regency of Moray with favour. They included the tempestuous Huntly who betrayed everyone, the Hamiltons, Argyll and two nobles who were always known for their devotion to their queen - Lord Herries and Lord Seton. As Mary wrote to Catherine de Medici: "I am so closely watched that I have no free time, but when they eat or sleep for their daughters, go to bed with me, and if you do not take me by force, I will never leave here I am he was sure that the plot of her escape had been contrived without much effort.

Not only did she hire young George Douglas, who according to Melville "got lost in a fantasy of love for her", but also another boy, William Douglas, a follower of the family who stayed at the castle and was also an escape plan.

James Melville says that Margaret Douglas herself must have been involved in the plot. If she didn't, it's hard to imagine how she could have done it.

Willie Douglas, as a page or servant at Loch Life, managed to steal the keys while the family was eating. Mary sneaked out with Mary Seton and took the boat with Willie Douglas, closing all the doors and gates behind her after robbing the other boats of their furniture. When she reached the shore of the lake, George Douglas met her. He was accompanied by Alexander Hepburn, Lord Ricc-artoun, or Riccarton, Bothwell's friend and kinsman, who had been sent as his predecessor to defend his cause before the Queen during the Earl's first exile in France. The sight of him must have stirred interesting memories in Mary's mind, had she not been incorrigibly superficial and selfish. Indeed, it is said that she tried to send a message to Bothwell through him. This account is given in Tytler's history of Scotland, but has not been corroborated. Tyder says the Queen begged Sir Robert Melville to take the letter to Bothwell, and when he refused, he threw the letter into the fire.

An extensive account of Mary's flight is given in a message from the Venetian envoy in Paris to the signatory; he got his facts from John Beaton.

After traveling a few miles, the Queen was met by Lord Seton, "a very gallant gentleman" and one of the Hamiltons with thirty horses; another small reinforcement under Claude Hamilton soon joined the fugitive and she was taken to Niddry where Lord Herries met her and escorted her to Castle Hamilton where the Archbishop of St Andrews, who had played such a dubious role in Mary's history, welcomed her and found her their queen, as well as all the nobility and nobility now gathered around her, because they tacitly agreed that the abdication was obtained by force and therefore null and void; and this despite the fact that Lindsay and Ruthven swore otherwise at James VI's coronation.

Mary Queen of Scotland (11)

Abdication of Queen Mary. Painting by Charles Lucy.

With the clan members rallying around Mary's banner, the whole country was armed and divided into two factions - the Queen's Men and the King's Men. Mary showed courage and punctuality; she entrusted to the faithful John Beaton a letter to France, asking for the help of her brother-in-law, Charles IX, and, to begin with, a thousand harque-busiers for her immediate needs.

She also wrote a diplomatic letter to her uncle, the famous cardinal, asking for his help and sympathy, tactfully admitting the mistakes she had made in her childhood and promising to improve in the future. It wasn't often that Mary admitted she was wrong. In a letter to this prelate, she also protested her determination to live and die as a Catholic.

Within a week she had gathered nearly six thousand men to her banner at Castle Hamilton, four miles from Dumbarton on the coast, and her hopes must be high. The regent had nothing close to that number of men, and surrounded by the boisterous loyalty of Roman Catholic lords, she could probably easily convince her, impulsive and imprudent, that the whole country was on her side. It could not have been difficult for this passionate and impetuous woman to deceive herself that she had already been freed from misery, misery and disgrace and had been re-crowned as Queen of Scots with the ancient faith triumphant in the country. Her joy and relief after what must have seemed to her an almost miraculous escape, the joy of freedom and high hopes for the future must have added to her brilliance and charm, grace and a spirit that had gone far to solidify loyalty. the number of those who gathered around her in numbers testified to the fact that last year's scandals began to fade in the minds of at least some of her subjects.

Moray, however, was not a prince easily surprised or quietly defeated. On behalf of Mary's son, King James, who was then less than two years old, he issued a proclamation from Glasgow, where an appeal was held, ordering all "loyal subjects armed with provisions for fifteen days for the preservation of the royal property". person!” he shouted. and authority, and the establishment of peace."

Mary's Proclamation issued in response to it, like almost any other document discrediting the Queen of Scots, was declared false. However brutal the wording is, there is no reason to doubt Maria's authorship. She was known to be passionate and vindictive, and regardless of her degree of innocence or guilt, she felt a furious anger towards those who had brought her down. She was imprisoned for ten months to dwell on her mistakes; the fear and embarrassment of that day in Edinburgh, when she screamed hysterically out of the window of the Rector's House in fear of the stake, must have been deeply etched in her memory. If the proclamation was her own and was actually issued, it indicates her recklessness, for after that she could no longer hope for a possibly necessary compromise with Moray, whom she called "bestial traitor", "motherfucker caught in heinous adultery". This last insult does not seem to suggest that the imprisoned queen was really that friendly to Lady Margaret Douglas, nor that she ever intended to marry her son.

As for Moray's supporters, Mary's reference to them breathes hatred and revenge, and was not intended to win back their loyalty to her. He calls them "dirty factions", "shameless butchers", "hellhounds, bloodthirsty tyrants, common murderers and murderers who cannot forgive or spare a prince, nay, not barbaric Turks who committed murder."

Some Lords, especially Morton, might have responded well enough to these epithets. The proclamation calls Lethington "an unworthy traitor"; the queen can be deceived in this matter.

Mary's last flash of happiness was short-lived. She fled Lochleven on 2 May and was defeated at Langside on the 12th of that month. The Moray army, though smaller, was better organized, had at least one good general - Kirkcaldy of Grange, while Mary apparently had no trained man, though she had ranks of many great names - Argyll, Cassilis, Eglinton, Rothes, Herries, Yester and " many others."

John Wood, Moray's secretary, writes drily in a letter to Sir Nicholas Throckmorton: "Our vanguard made reconnaissance with spears, it was hard to fight for more than a good quarter of an hour and then, with a slaughter of sixty or a chief of the Hamiltons, they were overturned, and as nearly all of us were walking on foot, the pursuit was not very successful.

Archibald Campbell, 5th Earl of Argyll, commanded the royal forces; it was reported that he was seized with an epileptic fit in the heat of battle.

* * * * *

Sir James Melville's "Memoirs" state that Mary was won over to this fateful engagement, and that she wished to retire to Dumbarton and slowly creep into the affections of her subjects and draw them back to their former allegiances. But this prudent plan was opposed by the Archbishop of St Andrews and other members of the House of Hamilton, who became confident in the large numbers under their command. It was Melville's suspicion that Archbishop Mary wanted to marry Lord Hamilton and thus "rule all" after a general massacre or capture of the Lennox faction. Mary wouldn't even gain much from winning Langside. A fourth unhappy marriage and a puppet role in the hands of the Hamiltons, poor, ambitious, greedy and incapable, with a country in the midst of civil war, would certainly have met a worse fate than imprisonment in Lochlife. Moray's victory saved the country from Mary's disastrous return to Scotland.

If what Melville says about Mary's desire to see Lethington and Grange - the two men she requested at Carberry Hill - and her desire to reconcile with Moray and his company, is genuine, then either her brutal proclamation is forged or unpublished, or was extremely capricious. How could she hope to make a pact or understanding with the men she had just so furiously insulted and branded as villains and traitors?

More battles have been fought in Maria's name, but she will never again see armed men marching under her banner. She took one last look at this kind of spectacle from high above Langside; it is said that she rode into battle to encourage her men, only to find them among themselves. Seeing that the day was lost to her, she broke her courage, which was so brilliant and so sublime. She turned with Lord Herries and sixteen followers and fled. She lost everything but her life. Just to save her life, she drove ninety miles non-stop from Langside to Queenshill Dundrennan (named after the incident) near Kirkcudbright.

In her own words, she describes this frantic escape to her uncle, the Cardinal of Lorraine: "I endured wounds, slander, captivity, hunger, cold, heat, flight without knowing where ninety-two miles across the country without food or with And then I had to sleep on the ground, drink sour milk and eat oatmeal without bread, and I spent three nights like owls without a wife in this country.

She was completely ruined, broken and overwhelmed, she would not trust her subjects again, as she did after Carberry Hill. She had no hope of moving her brother again with tears and laments; she feared the stake, death by fire in the marketplace. On her first break, she cut off her luxuriant hair, shaved her head as short as possible and hid in ordinary disguise.

On May 15, at Dundrennan, the first stop after this desperate drive, Mary wrote a touching appeal to Queen Elizabeth, whose kind concern for her she recalled with relief and gratitude. Here is at least one powerful friend. "I have been banished from my kingdom and reduced to such a state that I have no other hope but God but in your goodness." The concluding sentence of this letter reads: "To remind you of the reasons why I am dependent on England, I return to the Queen this sign, a jewel of her promised friendship and assistance." This would refer to the diamond or double heart crystal that Elizabeth once sent to Mary and which the Queen has now returned to emphasize her pitiful charm. Mary may have carried the jewel with her in Lochleven, or it may have been brought to her by one of the nobles who joined her in Langside, and she may have worn it on her chest, where she used to collect valuable coins. stop and that she broke the jewel, sent half and kept half.

The incident is indicative of the kindness and tact with which this willful and quick-tempered woman could display whenever she wanted.

It was Lord Herries, whose selfless devotion to the Queen was one of the greatest episodes in her history (and yet signed the famous Ainslie Tavern Bond), who had led her on this dreadful ride; Lord Seton has been captured in Langside. Herries's target was his own home of Terregles in Galloway, and with his knowledge of the wild country he was able to evade possible pursuit. The 16-strong unit made its way through lonely mountain passes and unfrequented side roads.

It is said that it was Lord Herries who asked the Queen "why shouldn't she stay in Scotland and hope for better fortunes in the future?" Mary replied, "it was impossible for her to remain in any part of her realm without knowing whom to trust." With these words, she spoke the bitter truth. There was no determination, no energy, not even courage among those gathered around her banner in Langside. The Hamiltons and all their followers were, as one contemporary put it, neither "very farsighted nor powerful." About three hundred of Mary's followers seem to have been killed, and the rest surrendered or dispersed after her flight.

In Terregles, there was a hasty debate over Mary's future policy. Since she had decided not to stay in Scotland, she had only two options: she could try to reach the mainland or throw herself into Elizabeth's care.

She immediately decided to do the latter, and it has been described as one of the greatest mistakes of her life, consisting of an extraordinary lack of knowledge of character, a complete misunderstanding of Elizabeth, and a foolish faith in this queen's friendship and her year-long promises. But Mary's intelligence need not be so seriously questioned in her decision to place herself under Elizabeth's care. What else could she do? Fleeing for her life from her own subjects, twice defeated, without a fight, in an open fight for the crown, she had to quickly decide where to go. She had to believe that Moray's troops were after him, and that this time he would show them no mercy, not even the ruthless mercy of prison.

There were many objections to flying to France, including some of Mary's more real than natural desire not to appear as a hunted, poverty-stricken fugitive on the land she had left statewide and honorable as queen. Where would she find a ship whose officers she could trust to take her to France? How could she be sure of escaping storms, pirates, enemies on a crossing from Scotland to France that has always been an adventure in the best of conditions? Assuming she overcame this difficulty, what kind of reception could she expect from Catherine de' Medici, who had so clearly and brusquely expressed her opinion on the king's assassination and Bothwell's marriage, and who had never loved or liked her? What confidence could she place in the help or support of the Cardinal of Lorraine, who was absorbed in the religious wars that then scattered France? The best she could hope for after flying to France, under the happiest of circumstances, was a retreat at a convent. Maria was twenty-four years old and had no desire for religious seclusion.

There was Spain, an even more dubious refuge and less accessible; the powers that ruled there were more unknown to her, unrelated to her by blood or marriage. Philip H might have shown kindness to the powerful Queen of Scots and even wished her hand to his son, but what use would he have had of this fugitive, dethroned, disgraced woman who was not even allowed to marry?

Maria was also, and must have known, out of favor with the Vatican, despite her professed loyalty to the Roman Catholic faith. She married a heretic and was a political failure; through its follies and errors, mismanagement and mistakes, Scotland finally found itself at the mercy of the Reformation. Who could she look to but the Queen of England, whose country was near, whose promises were most beautiful, and in whose realm there was opportunity not only to meddle again in Scottish affairs across borders, but even to secure her own succession to the English crown? It is difficult to accuse Mary of the foolish mistake of entrusting herself to Elizabeth, nor can she be credited with a generous, impulsive misinterpretation of this queen's character. No doubt she knew full well what Elizabeth's feelings for her would be, but she was ready to play her own game - to face her art and cunning against the Queen of England.

She did not suspect that as a result of the adventure she would be locked up in prison or treated as harshly as she was, but we must remember that her calculations did not go that far in the wrong direction. Not once, but twice and thrice, with her presence and intrigue in England, she almost succeeded in fomenting revolts that could easily have cost Elizabeth her crown, and even the life and supremacy of the Protestant religion in England.

* * * * *

If we accept these arguments, Mary's flight to England seems not only the best thing she could have done in her desperate despair, but also the best thing that could have been thought of for her own interests, knowing her character and her old history and her judge. in the light of later events, it is incredible to suppose that even in this moment of deepest anguish and fear she imagined herself as a passive recipient of patronage and charity for Elizabeth Court. She was still, in her own opinion, and in the opinion of all the Roman Catholics of Europe, Queen of England, and it must have occurred to her that while in this country she would find it difficult to pursue her claims. At worst, she couldn't help but be a priority person in England, important, of great prestige and sentimental importance, a first-blood princess and heiress to the throne, even in the eyes of Protestants, a descendant of Henry VII. On the Continent, she would only be a widowed and exiled queen, and surely even she had enough political acumen to realize that it would be almost impossible to get France or Spain to provide her with an army sufficient to defeat her again. on her Scottish throne.

* * * * *

Mary spent her last night in Scotland on May 15 at Terregles. The next day, she and her few followers boarded a small fishing boat and, after crossing the Solway for four hours, arrived at Workington. At Workington Hall, Sir Henry Curwen received them with respect and courtesy. The Earl of Northumberland, Lord Chief of the Earldom, announced Mary's arrival at York Council. The instructions given to county officials by this body were ominous. The Scottish queen and her companions would have been used honorably, but none of them were allowed to escape.

From Workington, Mary, now freed from all fear of death or further disgrace, regaining her courage in the kindness that surrounded her and alleviating her worst fears, wrote another letter to Elizabeth, laying her case, returning to the murder of De De. Rizzio and her husband, she was "falsely accused", stating that the abdication was forced from her for fear of death.

She stated that she was ready to invite Moray and his friends to "return to their duties" under the deceptive points of "reforming everything", but her messenger was busy, including her proclamation. Was it her tantrum or something else?

She added the reason for this insane 90-mile drive: "They have people everywhere to kill me or take me."

Mary wanted Elizabeth to help her with a "legitimate quarrel", but she had other, more feminine needs. "I am in a sorry state, not only for the queen, but also for the lady, for I have nothing in the world but what I had with me when I fled."

* * * * *

The news that the Queen of Scots was in England left Elizabeth with bitter anxiety and embarrassment, though she was glad that Mary had escaped the rebels. Although she was widely blamed for her treatment of Maria, it must be admitted that her situation was very difficult. She promised herself that she would support Mary as the second queen, a woman she did not like and did not trust. Mary, whatever one may think of her case, has caused enough trouble and riot in Scotland, and will probably cause the same in England. He will inevitably become the focal point and rallying point not only for Catholics but for all of Elizabeth's disaffected subjects, and though she probably would not like to talk about it, she must have the prospect not only of her Scottish crown in her mind, but because he has been declared heir to England. Elizabeth was also on good terms with Moray, to whom she lent money and from whom she would soon buy many of Mary's pearls and jewels.

Elizabeth's mood could not be improved when she learned of Mary's warm reception at the entrance to Cockermouth and the honor shown her at Cockermouth Hall, which belonged to a wealthy merchant named Henry Fletcher. This gentleman was very kind to the fugitive queen, and gave her thirteen yards of crimson velvet for her robe; the quantity considered necessary for a dress shows the cumbersome nature of dresses at the time. According to tradition, the Queen was still so much in fear for her life and so little recovered from the shock of Langside's defeat that she did not sleep at Cockermouth Hall but spent the night dressed and alert in the wardrobe.

Mary was immediately transferred to Carlisle by order of the High Sheriff. Here she was taken to the castle and placed in the care of Sir Richard Lowther, Lieutenant-Governor, 7th Earl of Northumberland, who was deemed too kind to a fugitive to keep her in his care.

Mary was holding a sort of court at Carlisle Castle, the neighboring gentry, mostly Roman Catholic, waiting for her to pay their respects. Here she was also joined by other refugees from Scotland; among them were such important people as Bishop John Lesley and members of the Livingstone and Fleming family. Mary Seton, the last of Mary Queen, the only one who did not marry, was with the Queen in Carlisle where she had to join her, as Mary says in her letter to Queen Elizabeth that she had no wife in her elopement.

Thanks to her skills and no doubt with the help of the ladies next door; Mary devised wigs of various colors and patterns that concealed a shaved head in anguish and fear after escaping Langside, inspiring the admiration of those who waited for the beautiful queen.

Among them was Thomas Howard, fourth Duke of Norfolk, grandson of the poet Earl of Surrey, England's most distinguished nobleman, a prince in the opinion of his class and time, a Protestant popular in England and loved by his friends; he was a man without firmness, energy or boldness of character, though young and capable, but if his portrait (which bears an unfortunate likeness) in the National collection is to be believed, he had an extremely unattractive appearance, which is supported by a comment from one of Maria's servants.

Mary welcomed him willingly,” aware of the importance of such an ally, and the young prince standing by his side was deeply impressed by the grace and beauty of this queen with such a tragic and romantic history. Sir Richard Lowther was fined and replaced by Elizabeth for allowing Norfolk to visit the Queen.

Neither the Queen of England nor her adviser, Cecil, could decide what to do and, in keeping with general policy, decided to postpone. Two state councilors were sent to take Lowther's place: Norfolk's brother-in-law, Lord Scrope, and Sir Francis Knollys, a relative of Elizabeth by the Bullens.

They had no exact instructions, only to write down everything Mary said and did and send the report to her mistress.

The faithful Lord Herries met the English on the way and did everything in his power to earn their favor for his mistress, remembering her sufferings, the cruelties she had suffered at the hands of enemies and assuring them of his innocence of murdering the king. .

No matter how well she was treated in Carlisle and how nice it was to be among kind and respectful people again, Mary, if her letters to Charles IX were to be believed, had no illusions about her fate or prospects. In this letter he speaks of the depths of his misery.

“I will not weary you with long lamentations, but I was treated in the most ignominious way a princess has ever met, with the greatest injustice and the most false accusations. Not only that, but putting my life in danger that God had no mercy on my innocence and as a witness to their lie failed to deliver me from their hands.

"I beg you, remember my need and help me."

Lord Herries demanded that Knollys and Scrope either interview Mary with Elizabeth, help fight the Scottish rebels, or be safely transferred to France. None of these things have been granted.

When Mary received the two Englishmen at Carlisle Castle, she reiterated her case with great passion. Of great importance is the impression she made on Knollys, a keen and trained observer who was completely impartial and had never seen Mary before, and whose only job was to report her.

Elizabeth's two envoys were instructed to suggest, if not definitively, to Mary that Elizabeth could not receive her - a personal conversation was what Mary most wanted - until she was freed from any semblance of guilt for her husband's murder. It was a bit like one of the conditions in old fairy tales: water must be passed through a sieve or grain must be sifted out of the ashes before any desired pleasure can be experienced. Elizabeth must have known perfectly well that it was practically impossible for Maryproveher innocence in the murder of the king, unless she was allowed a long and confidential interview with Elizabeth or an open and exhaustive trial.

A joint letter from Scrope and Knollys, dated "Carlisle, May 29", describes Mary as having "an eloquent tongue and a discreet head, and seems to have strong courage and a generous heart by her actions".

The disappointment of the lack of an interview with Elizabeth brought tears to Mary's eyes. She again protested her innocence and accused Morton and Lethington of the Kirk o' Field murder.

The two Englishmen stood firm in the face of this sorrow and passion, replying that their mistress could not do Mary "the great honor of solemnly and worthy of admitting her to your presence on account of this great slander of murder from which she has not yet recovered." he was acquitted."

Mary "settled" with this and sending letters to Lord Herries to Elizabeth.

The report from two state councilors came with a warning. Mary was, in their opinion, as Elizabeth must have feared from the very beginning, already a danger. "Many of the lords of the various counties bordering your realm have heard her daily defense and reproaches of her innocence with great eloquence from her enemies very eloquently."

Mary was, the two emissaries thought, moving and winning even to these gentlemen of the North Country. At the same time, Scrope and Knollys could not suggest what should be done with her for her own safety and Elizabeth's honor. They did not think Mary would dare return to Scotland, as Moray would hardly have allowed her to escape to France, and Elizabeth did not deserve to hold a fugitive prisoner, or at least "not". rigorous, but with devices made of towels or toys in front of her room window or elsewhere at night, her agility body and mind can quickly escape because she is so close to the limit. dangerous position, I suppose.

In short, wouldn't it be better to let Mary, loosely guarded, escape across the border again and face her fate if she could be persuaded to do so, rather than taking her to the center of England, where she would likely command admiration, pity, and loyalty?

* * * * *

On 30 May, Sir Francis Knollys himself wrote a letter explaining how he had subtly touched on a murder charge that would dash any hopes Mary had of seeing Elizabeth. He found his chance when she began her "ordinary spell against my lord Moray and his followers". Knollys said cautiously that "princes can be dethroned if they fall into madness", adding "what is the difference between madness and savage murders, because one is bad humor born of melancholy and the other is bad humor that springs from melancholy." Therefore, the question is whether Your Grace deserves to be released from the government or not, for if Your Grace is guilty of such an abhorrent crime which must be overthrown, how can they, I said, be blamed for expelling you? ?"

Mary then cried and began her usual defence, fending off Knollys' attack, and instead, he wrote, "comforting her" until she declared it was time to end her letters to Elizabeth and flee to her bedroom.

Lord Herries and Lord Fleming went to London with these appeals from Mary, again asking Elizabeth for help and support or permission to go to France or at least send Fleming there on her behalf.

Elizabeth began to stall by sending letters to both Moray and Mary. Her letter to the hapless Queen of Scots is evasive and far from simple: "Many", Elizabeth declared, "as she wanted Mary to know, she could never be indifferent to her reputation and could not see it. until she was acquitted and honorably acquitted of that crime."

Mary received this letter, sent by Henry Middlemore, with great passion and tears. She must have been willing to give a stinging answer, the names of Leicester and Amy Robsart must have been familiar to her, and the letter she wrote in response on June 8 indeed shows some indignation among the pleas for help. "Reject, ma'am, the idea that I have come here to save my life, neither the world nor all of Scotland have disowned me, but to regain my honor and gain support to face my false accusers. To punish them, not to answer them as equals, for I know that they should not engage in battles against their Sovereign, but to accuse them before you, I have chosen you above all other princes as my close kinsman and perfect friend, do so, how honored I thought to be called Queen's Restorer, who I expected to receive from you this favor, to give you honor and glory all my life, and to make you acquainted thoroughly with my innocence and how deceitful I am led. I am sorry I was wrong."

After justifying herself with great courage and spirit, Mary continues:

“I must speak to you without hypocrisy. You have allowed my bastard who ran away from me to you and you are denying me this favor, and I am sure that the more just my cause is, the longer it will take. delayed, because the cure for evil is to stop the mouth of every opponent.

This passionate and eloquent letter, in which Mary did not ask for anything that seemed unjust, neither for help, nor for an interview, nor for permission to leave, did not move Elizabeth or change Cecil's heart. Mary realized that she had saved her life, but little else, and on June 21 she wrote a letter of bitter regret to the Cardinal of Lorraine, saying "country and me."

* * * * *

Sir Francis Knollys was moved on Mary's behalf; her passionate protests, her tears, her grace and beauty touched him as they touched many others. He appealed to Cecil "to treat this lady openly, with no colors or coats that cover the eyes of anyone except the blind." In the same letter he gave his little sketch of the fugitive queen: "This lady and princess is an extraordinary woman, she does not seem to respect any ceremonial honor other than the recognition of her royal status. She talks a lot, is brave, kind and very familiar, shows a great desire to take revenge on enemies and a willingness to expose herself to any danger in the hope of victory. He does not praise cowardice even in his friends. She desires victory most of all, and seems indifferent to how her enemies fall, whether by the sword of her friends, or by the bountiful promises and rewards of her purse, or by divisions and quarrels among themselves, that for victory pains and dangers may be for her riches seem pleasant and in relation to victory, and all things seem contemptuous and vile.

The second part of Mary's story has its natural ending in Carlisle, where she realizes for the first time that she has traded one prison for another. Her fortunes peaked, her life stood still; she was caught and chained and will remain so until the end of her tormenting days.

But her hopes were hot and strong in Carlisle; she dreamed not only of freedom, but also of revenge. Sir Francis watched her with concern as she "began much to refresh and improve". "It was good to consider what to do with a lady of such a mind." Mary was better regarded in England than in Scotland; here she was not a fallen princess "stained by the embraces of her brides", but something of a hero, hurt, persecuted and in deep pain. Also of amazing courage, "she would rather hang her entire company than surrender to Moray ... she would rather go to Turkey than not take revenge on him." Since then she had been changed, cornered and helpless, luring her half-brother to Lochleven to save her life, crying and apologizing to him, begging him to accept the regency and all its possessions.

Elizabeth was at the end of her strength; there were "gangs at Berwick and French ships swarming at sea"; there was fear of a Scottish invasion, of foreign troops landing. Cecil played time while Mary, infuriated by these delays and Elizabeth's cold letters, wished she had "broke her arm before she even came to England".

PART III. ENGLAND. 1567-1587.

"Why else should you be beaten? You will rebel more and more. The whole head is sick, and the whole heart is weak… Your silver has become slag, your wine has mingled with water.”

The book of the prophet Isaiah.

It would be boring to dwell on the last nineteen years of Mary's life. The story is familiar, monotonous, painful, and presents Mary in only two parts, repeated with thrilling perseverance: pleading and intriguing. Cut off from action and freedom, she could only call for help and plot secret and senseless intrigues. Despite all her efforts, she failed, and in the end, after heartbreaking alternations of hope and fear, she paid the price that the times demanded for her political failure.

It is not proposed here to give details of her long confinement, although many are available, facts, traditions and legends. In European politics, England-Scotland relations, Elizabeth's intentions, and Mary's character have changed little in these nineteen years. All of Maria's destinies stood for a moment in a state of passivity and tension. The sensual, brutal, brutal drama of Mary's life ended in Carlisle - this twenty-four-year-old queen had nothing to live but misfortune. A short story is enough to chronicle the bloody events that Mary and the men involved in her story had to endure before she, almost the last of those implicated in the murder of Henry Stewart, knelt in Fotherinhay Hall.

Moray, as capable, brave and energetic as Mary, with much greater self-control and judgment, immediately rejected his half-sister's appeal to Elizabeth by producing "coffin letters". With skillful subtlety, he and the Lords, including Earl Morton, spread rumors of the same letters throughout Europe, but neither published nor exhibited them, and perhaps never intended to do so. Brave like Moray, he was also cautious, a man who would always play for safety. As long as Mary was in a Scottish prison, no one would hear of the "coffin letters" again, but with her flight to England, these papers became Moray's only weapon against Elizabeth's possible help from Mary as a beggar, fugitive queen. , and Elizabeth's probable anger at herself as a rebel. He had already experienced her harsh reprimands when, trusting in her help, he had previously raised the bar against his half-sister. He therefore knew from keen experience that Elizabeth would not easily tolerate a rebellious subject, and he realized that he could only maintain his government in Scotland by her tolerance and recognition of his regency.

Moray therefore found himself in a difficult and delicate situation. He had to appease Elizabeth, he had to explain to her why he had forced Mary to abdicate, which she now rejected, and he had to obtain, if not Elizabeth's active assistance, at least her neutrality. All his life he was an occasional pensioner to England, but he could not openly admit to the reign of the ruler of England, an English suit, who once and for all took root in Bannockburn. Therefore, Elizabeth's right to interfere in Scottish affairs should not be recognized, but she should be persuaded to at least tacitly consent to Mary's dethronement and her son's reign under the regency of Moray.

To achieve this goal, Moray created "coffin letters". In so doing, he and his lords acted with unscrupulous inconsistency. It is uncertain whether Moray himself was an accomplice in Darnley's murder, although it is very likely that he was. But at least he needed to know that a good number of the Lords who had supported him at the time had been involved in the crime. That didn't stop him, or Morton, or any of them from placing all the blame on Mary's murder. When they first went against her, they said it was to free her from Bothwell, who had seized her by force and forced her to marry him, regardless of the fact that they had signed a Bond in which he had promised to help Bothwell in that particular marriage. Then, at Carberry Hill, they let Bothwell escape when they could easily have captured him and punished him for the insolent villain they thought he was, and imprisoned Mary, whom they had hitherto blamed. As Mary had escaped and was a potential threat to them in Elizabeth's hands, they changed tactics again and eventually accused Mary of murder, extracting letters they said had been sent to them days after Carberry Hill entered theirs. possession. from her husband, who explained the signing of Ainslie Bond by stating that they were impressed by Bothwell's servants.

These coffin papers were backed up by a long, elaborate denunciation that a vengeful Lennox had eagerly drawn up against Mary, and the testimonies of some subordinates who had been captured by Moray and beheaded after some mock trial. These unknown and unfortunate wretches are Hay from Tali, Bowton, Powrie, and Dalgleish, a child from Bothwell's chamber who Morton claims told him where to find the chest.

Their "confessions" shed no light on the mystery of Darnley's murder. None of them admitted to having been present at the strangulation. Bothwell's valet, Powrie, helped carry the powder to Kirk o'Field and nothing else. Tala saw that the powder was placed in Mary's room below Darnley's. They were interrogated by the Lords of the Privy Council, and their testimony, of course, since many of them were accomplices of the prisoners, was so falsified as to be worthless.

On Drury's authority, it is said that Hay of Tala, who gave his death oration at the scaffold, accused not only the Queen and Bothwell, but, having lost all hope of life, also Huntly, Argyll and Lethington along with several others. But this dying "confession" was not added to the other evidence at York and Westminster.

Moray, of course, could falsify, manipulate and arrange the evidence as he saw fit.

George Buchanan, a famous Latinist who was Mary's flatterer and teacher, was assigned to write "Detectio", the first draft of which he compiled in 1568, largely from materials supplied by Lennox. This utterly unbelievable diatribe against Mary was used to deadly effect by her enemies at the time of publication. However, modern research has shown that it is so full of gross inaccuracies and careless errors that the calumnies contained therein, by their sheer exaggeration, did Mary's cause more good than harm.

Stravenage, in his short history of Mary, dedicated to her son, apologizes to Buchanan. "What George Buchanan wrote about it, both in his story and in a pamphlet called "Detective", is known to all people through these printed books. he wrote, these books have been condemned as lies by the States of the Empire of Scotland, which should be given more credit. And he himself lamented and lamented for the king of whom he was tutor, proving often, as I have heard, that he wrote so maliciously to the meritorious queen that his best wish was that he should live long enough that by renouncing or by his blood he might blot out stains and stains, which he had falsely made upon her. love old age.

Either way, it is possible that Buchanan acted sincerely in compiling his books and relied on material provided to him by Moray and Lennox. And the fact that many of his accusations against Maria turned out to be false, and others extremely grotesque and primitive, does not prove that there is no basis for truth in most of his words. This is the deadly part of slander, gossip and scandal: theyto be able tobe honest.

* * * * *

Maria's relationship with her official accusers, like the whole mystery case, is irritatingly vague. Lord Herries went to London to defend his case before Elizabeth. Moray arrived, accompanied by Lethington and many other prominent Scottish nobles, to present his side of the cause.

Mary, still demanding Elizabeth's help or her release so that she could look for her elsewhere, that is, from France, was transferred from Carlisle to Bolton, where Lochleven gave her clothes and jewels. It must have been a matter of personal pleasure, for a month earlier she had written to her uncle, the Cardinal of Lorraine: "Send me some money, for I have no means for bread, shirt, or dress. The queen did it." he sent me a small supply of linen and dishes, I borrowed some, but I will not be able to do it again. You're involved in this humiliation.

Bolton Castle was a solitary fortress near Richmond in Yorkshire, probably chosen by Elizabeth for its solitary location. There were rumors that there would be trouble because of the imprisoned queen. Mary was tending to her household, and had a person in her company who must have pleased her - Lady Scrope, sister of the Duke of Norfolk, in whom the prisoner now placed his hopes.

* * * * *

Lord Herries returned to Bolton and told his mistress that he had little to do with Elizabeth. If she helped at all, it would be on her own terms, and those would probably be difficult. Mary, referring to an old complaint, told Elizabeth to renounce all claims to the English crown, not to make an alliance with France, and even to renounce her faith and take the common prayer book in the form of the English church. In return, if Moray does not comply with her pleas, Elizabeth will assist Mary in restoring her throne, even at the cost of sending an army to do so.

Mary agreed to accept these terms; in fact, she could do nothing else, and probably thought that when she regained her freedom, Slit would be able to repudiate her promises, just as she had repudiated the abdication forced upon her at Lochleven. She, like Moray, could not accept the principle of Elizabeth's supremacy, nor could she, sovereign sovereign in her own right, be judged by an earthly court. At the same time, she agreed to present her case to Elizabeth's committee of ministers, and on October 4, a conference was opened at York, chaired by the Duke of Norfolk, while a truce between the king's men and the queen's men was negotiated in Scotland, the so-called

* * * * *

Mary was treated with gross injustice, at least in that she was not allowed to attend the conference and that she was so far from York that stormy weather and poor roads caused considerable delays in her commissioners' deliberations with her. Their boss, Herries, carried out his duties in a lukewarm manner, which gave the impression of disbelief in the righteousness of his cause. Maria was not allowed to see the "coffin letters" or their copies; if they were forgeries, she could only have a vague idea of ​​what they were, but she knew clearly enough what the charges were against her.

She instructed her representatives that "if such writings exist, they are false and feigned, forged and self-fabricated, and you will ask to consult with the directors and I must view and respond to them myself." She especially wished to appear in person before the Queen, at a conference or in a public place. It seemed to her that if she had come forward for herself, she would have been believed. No doubt she relied on a more fiery personality, her grace and charm, her eloquence, and the pathetic spectacle of her youth and sufferings that could not fail to impress the public.

Elizabeth took great care that Mary did not get such a chance; her beauty and eloquence were her best weapons, and she was forbidden to use them. The English lords saw the letters, made copies of them, and the proceedings dragged on with indeterminate complexity.

From the time he saw Mary in Carlisle, the Duke of Norfolk supported her cause, either out of ambition or because he was fascinated by her personality. And she gladly accepted this master. But Norfolk was shocked and overwhelmed by the coffin letters; he was an honest man, but indecisive and not very intellectual. He was then in constant contact with Mary through his sister and other means, and she, who had recently complained bitterly that she should not "go to sea with Bothwell in a boat and go with the will of the wind," was now ready to lay down her heart and her fortune at the feet of another Protestant husband.

Her own wish was a compromise that Moray was ready for as well. It was proposed that she would approve him in the regency, live as a princess of the blood with a fine income and retinue in England, marry Norfolk, and regain her honorable status among women, if not among rulers.

It was Norfolk who opposed the plan; it did not suit his ambition or pride. He didn't want the murder and adultery charges against Mary to just be hushed up - he wanted her acquitted. And no doubt he wanted to pave the way for her return to the Crown of Scotland or entry into England.

Mary then, on his advice, withdrew from the suggested compromise agreement and challenged her brother and masters, saying that if they brought letters against her, she could bring evidence against them that they were real murderers, and that in black and white. .

The Earl of Sussex, a wise and eminent nobleman, was asked by Cecil for his opinion on this remarkable case, and he thought that - "if the case goes to proof" Mary could prove her case better than Moray. It all seems very special. What possible evidence, in black and white, could Mary have against Moray and the Lords? If, as Nau says in her "Memoirs" (that is, according to Mary's own statement through Nau), before they parted at Carberry Hill, Bothwell gave her the Signature of the Lords for Darnley's murder, then it is unbelievable that she could have kept it through those terrible hours at the Rector's House in Edinburgh and eleven months in prison at Lochleven. The first thing the Lords will do is search it for compromising documents. Suppose, however, that she somehow managed to keep this covenant signed by all her enemies, or that one of her followers somehow obtained this document from Bothwell or one of his servants or friends and passed it on. Mary since her escape from Lochleven and she even on that wild flight for ninety miles could carry it with her, why don't they make it right away? She could show it to her loyal servants as she did to, say, Lord Herries, she could tell Elizabeth and Cecil he owned it, she could show it to people like Knollys and Scrope, she could tell her commissioners that they could ask to be listed as their trump card at the conference.

But she didn't do any of those things. Her responses to accusations are vague, evasive generalizations.

Another point appears. If she had evidence of the guilt of her enemies, evidence that would at least to some extent be clear, why didn't she mention it in her letters to Charles IX, Catherine de' Medici, to the Cardinal of Lorraine, to Archbishop Beaton? Again and again she protests her innocence and complains about her slanderers, but this all-important "black and white" piece of evidence, which she claimed she could have presented to Elizabeth's commissioners if Moray had read the letters and papers in the coffin to show, was never spoken of.

The behavior of Maitland of Lethington deepens the mystery of this irritating case. If, as he himself said and as many of his admirers claim, he was Mary's secret advocate, why didn't he protest at once when he was shown the letters that they were forgeries? If he was Mary's friend, it was an act of unforgivable cowardice on his part. On the other hand, if he knew the letters had been forged and had in fact assisted in their forgery, why had he secretly insinuated to Norfolk that he needn't be nervous about the terrible evidence against Mary because the letters were probably forged? and he himself, Lethington, knew many who could forge her hand, and was he able himself?

It is assumed that Maitland of Lethington, knowing of his complicity in the murder of the king, did not want to drive Mary to despair, fearing that if she was completely cornered she would accuse him. But, as argued above, what possible evidence could Mary have that Lethington or any of the Lords feared? It seems impossible that she could get anything other than bare word, which she has already given many times without much effect.

So it seemed Maitland of Lethington was working for marriage in Norfolk, either out of sheer love of elaborate diplomacy.impasseor because he really hoped that Maria's fourth relationship would bring an honorable solution to her wretched difficulties. On the other hand, Moray did not want his sister to marry an English prince; another marriage could mean more children and certainly more complications. Moray was an outspoken bigoted Protestant, Norfolk was also of the Reformed denomination - on this point, if on anything else, the two men agreed, but it is hard to believe the report Moray gave to Norfolk that it was "two countries should rule" between them. "

The conference was moved from York to Westminster, where Lord Herries again made a weak and rather half-hearted speech on Mary's behalf. The young queen, plagued by fear in lonely Bolton Castle, came face to face with her accusers with another fervent demand. She wanted nothing more than to appear before the nobles and ambassadors of other countries to prove her innocence and make Elizabeth and them understand the fabricated slander of the rebels.

Her demands were just, and made with noble and moving eloquence, but she used only words, there is no trace of "evidence in black and white," which would surely have been invaluable to her at this time.

Although Mary was denied access to Elizabeth, this queen received and consulted, at length and privately, with Moray. It is likely that despite Elizabeth's occasional refusals to the regent, the two understood each other and were good friends. Both were Protestants, resolute, and both had roughly the same aim: to pacify England and Scotland and to unite the two countries against France and Spain; in a woman of genius and a man of talent there was a keen statesman's instinct.

On behalf of Elizabeth, it should be noted and stressed that in these interviews Moray was able to fully convince her of the veracity of the "coffin letters", and that he presented Mary's behavior to her in such a way that Elizabeth could not doubt. the queen's fault. There must have been much more that Moray knew, much more that he could invent that would have made a deep impression on Elizabeth. He didn't have a hard case either.

When Mary said she would take her case to the King of France, Du Croc, a wise and kind observer, said it would be a pity if she did "because the facts were too well known". Only the greatest mercy, the greatest chivalry, could purify Mary, and Moray, speaking without mercy or chivalry, but so dependent on his ability to convince Elizabeth of the guilt of his half-sister, could so convince this shrewd listener.

The letters from the coffin, if not authentic, are at least extremely clever forgeries, and at least one of them is incriminating evidence against Mary. We have seen Elizabeth disapprove of Mary's behavior; she had suspected her from the start and had said so, warned her against the Bothwell marriage, threatened to lose her English friendship and ruin her own reputation. Thus, it could not have been too difficult to convince her that her guesses and guesses were correct, and it is quite possible that Moray, who must have been respected and even loved by Elizabeth and who by the standards of his time was a respectable man, convinced her of this and that from the time of these interviews and the sending of the Coffin Letters and the Westminster Conference, she firmly believed that Mary was light and cruel, violent and sensual, a murderer, a promiscuous, a liar.

If these were Elizabeth's beliefs, then her subsequent behavior towards Mary is consistent, even justified, and not as vile as Mary's defenders portray, but it has a certain dignity and nobility about it.

On the other hand, in April and May 1568, a somewhat unpleasant incident took place which must have strained the acrimonious relationship between the two queens even more, and is no credit to Elizabeth. When Mary fled Scotland, Moray seems to have considered himself the rightful heir to her famous jewels, entrusted to him in the care of his half-sister, who from that day began to separate, and sold to Elizabeth for three thousand pounds part of Mary's treasures. Even considering the value of money in the 16th century, they seem cheap. They consisted of six strings of pearls, twenty-five other more beautiful, loose, and possibly a "string" of large pearls.

This action on Elizabeth's part seems as if greed, vanity and a love of good opportunities overcame the good feeling in the English queen's heart. She showed herself haughtily and sensitively at times, and it is hard to understand how she could calmly look at the plundered splendor - "a sea of ​​pearls that some call tears". The deal also points to a very close relationship between Moray and the Queen of England. Were these jewels mentioned in the Moray interview about letters from coffins? Did the clever Scot persuade Elizabeth to this tempting offer? It must have been tempting if the pearls in question were, as it was believed, the double weave that Mary wears in a miniature of Windsor Castle (circa 1558-60).

* * * * *

The Westminster Conference was dissolved in mid-January without reaching a conclusion. Regardless of Elizabeth's personal opinion, she wanted to suspend her public judgment. She stated that nothing had been proven against the honor of Moray and the nobility, nor anything against Mary. All these tedious and wearisome intrigues made the matter as dark as it was at first, but the result of Elizabeth's policy was that she was determined to support Moray and his regency, and to keep Mary indefinitely as a prisoner in England.

For Mary, these conferences ended in great disappointment. She was neither convicted nor acquitted; Moray returned to Scotland as regent and remained a prisoner in Bolton. Elizabeth refused to see her, and no promises of help came from abroad.

* * * * *

Elizabeth's instructions to Sir Henry Norris, her ambassador in Paris, were very succinct about her position towards Mary; Cecil's hand is probably in this handy document proving that the English court was well aware of Mary's private intentions and plans. But there is no reason to doubt Elizabeth's sincerity in these statements, which would be used to dispel possible objections from the French court to her treatment of the Queen Dowager of France.

Elizabeth was guided primarily by ad hoc principles, she played a dangerous game with astonishing skill, and all her stately wisdom centered around Mary, not as a woman but as a political subject; but that doesn't mean she wasn't being honest with her hapless captive. Often looking at the murder of "our next of kin by our father's king in Christendom" and Mary's subsequent marriage to a "terrible husband", the instructions state that Elizabeth saved Mary's life (after Carberry Hill) and that since she "flew into this kingdom of ours, was honorably used and expected by noble figures." Elizabeth had so much sympathy for the abandoned fugitive that she "completely extracted and separated" the old faults, even though one of them, a claim to the English crown, was such that no prince of any age would forgive.

Elizabeth, the statement continues, did everything in her power to obtain an understanding between Mary and her subjects and to please Lennox and his wife, who demanded revenge. But she was dissuaded from this goal by the alarming evidence the Lords presented against Mary; however, she would cover up everything and try to do all she could for Mary with Moray as queen, writing that she was entirely in Elizabeth's hands and would do nothing without her advice, not plotting secretly for her own ends.

Here's a strange story; Norfolk, bribed by the promise of Mary's hand, was induced to suppress evidence against her at the York Conference, and Moray was so threatened that he secretly agreed to the plan. In fact, he dared not approach Elizabeth with the matter, and on his return to Scotland he narrowly avoided murder. Mary planned an immediate marriage to Norfolk and not only the restoration of Scotland, but also an attempt on the English crown. All this Norris had to present, not to the young Charles IX, but directly to the Queen Mother, whose opinion Elizabeth respected. All these plots "began in October and were not known to us until August." The document is framed in lofty language and touches on magnificence here and there, as when Elizabeth says: "and we are really sorry, yes, half ashamed, that we are so mistreated by the one we took advantage of by saving her life." There is no trace of hypocrisy in this document, which reflects most of the known truth. As for the intrigues of the Yorkists, it is impossible to know whether Elizabeth here represents what she believed, or whether it was a fabrication intended to appease the French court. There were some marriage plans in Norfolk with Moray and Lethington as parties, but it does not appear that the Duke suppressed the evidence against Mary, but rather that Lethington convinced him that the infamous letters were forgeries. As for Moray, he probably hid what he knew, not out of fear, but because he hoped to gain some personal benefit from the plan - Mary's marriage to an Englishman, her private stay in England would be very useful to him.

Whatever truth has been "arranged and brewed with lies" at the bottom of this maze and deception, it is clear that the York Commission was a farce. If Mary wasn't treated fairly, she wasn't being fair. How can Norfolk be her chief counselor, promised husband, and judge at the same time? It was also hopeless for the cause of justice that Commissioners Mary and Moray and Lethington should meet secretly. We get the impression that Elizabeth tried to be honest and get to the bottom of the whole unfortunate affair, but she was overcome by the weakness of Norfolk, Mary's changeable evasions, the irritating duplicity of Maitland of Lethington, Moray's opportunism, and the fact that Mary's Commissioners failed to get the matter to the end. or were afraid to push it through.

* * * * *

In January 1569, despite her protests, Mary was moved to Tutbury, near Burton-on-Trent, a castle belonging to the Earl of Shrewsbury. She was sick and had to travel in the nest. Sir Francis Knollys, who had been her guardian and guardian since coming to Carlisle, continued to look after her. It is clear from his letters that he felt some sympathy and even affection for his young captive; he tried to soften Elizabeth's heart.

Writing about Mary, quite movingly, he says, "She has enough courage to stand up for herself while there is still a glimmer of hope, and to be clear, this Queen seems to be half-convinced that God made you that way." attachment that you will not openly disgrace her, nor defend her against her by the force of Lord Moray, notwithstanding her refusal to submit to Your Majesty's orders.

Mary was not strictly isolated; she received messages from her uncle, the Cardinal de Guise, and her Scottish friends came and went as they pleased. Always difficult with money, Elizabeth did not allow herself much for her expenses, but there seems to be no evidence that she ever lacked anything. Throughout her stay in England, she had to dispose of her French dowry, and though she obtained it with difficulty - usually with arrears - from time to time she received at least some. However, at times the lack of French money and Elizabeth's economy put Mary and whoever cared for her in a humiliating position. From Bolton Knollys he wrote to Cecil that they were left with "no money or credit".

At Tutbury, Mary received Bishop Ross and Lord Herries on their return from a futile mission with Elizabeth, and told them her desperate plans for the future.

Mary's household at the time consisted of thirty people, for whom Shrewsbury was paid £45 a week. All expenses above this amount had to be covered by the count from his own pocket.

* * * * *

It was at Tutbury that Mary was visited by Sir Nicholas White, a man in Cecil's service who left behind a famous and charming photograph of the young prisoner. "The Queen of Scots has a seductive charm, a beautiful Scots speech and an excellent wit clouded by gentleness." He added a warning that it would be dangerous to allow anyone to see Mary, she was so much fun with her charms and so easy to be seduced by; Apparently Sir Nicholas thought she was an irresistible sorceress. Here the same opinion is expressed more kindly as John Knox's statement of her "craft" and as the opinion of the Lords when they feared that she would charm the king and distrusted her French customs. But where had all the favors and charms that sober people thought so powerful and dangerous had led Maria? To the nadir of the accident.

Sir Nicholas adds that the Queen had ten wives and fifty in her household, and notes, apparently with surprise, that she was awake until one in the morning, no doubt consumed with reckless displeasure and unable to sleep. She told Sir Nicholas that the long empty days were filled with manual labor - this thorough and engaging work was a relief to her from nervous excitement. She said the variety of colors made the job less boring; According to tradition, she made a beautiful tapestry in Lochleven. Since she always had a professional embroiderer with her, we don't know how much work she did.

Other than that, we know little about the details of her solitary life, but her thoughts can be guessed very well. In April of that year, she was transferred to Wingfield, still in the care of Shrewsbury. Here she was sick again, exhausted by fear and melancholy, and by more cruel and painful financial problems. Norfolk, with whom she was in regular contact and which must have been her only hope at the time, paid her a large sum, reportedly nearly sixteen hundred pounds, while Bishop Ross obtained a loan from an agent. from the pope, an Italian merchant named Rudolfi, from whom Norfolk was paid.

There is no doubt that Elizabeth would be content to get rid of Mary if her affairs could be compromised with the safety of England. But Cecil couldn't advise her on how to do that; he wrote in a note he had made about Mary "that her friends wish to place her on the Scottish and English thrones. because his life interfered with her adulterous marriage to Bothwell. Catholics who have been granted papal absolution will never be meticulous."

Since it is unlikely that Cecil was pretending when he wrote this private document, it can be assumed that he was convinced of Maria's guilt.

Elizabeth's Privy Council seems to have shared this view when advising their Sovereign not to take part in Mary's restoration for the following reasons: it was a crime to enthrone such an infamous person, that she was active, that she would prove dangerous to England's enemy, that she would be dangerous to Protestants that she would either dismiss Bothwell, who would cancel all her promises made without his consent, or enter into another marriage, equally dangerous to England. Further strong expressions of belief in the worst allegations against Maria were added.

Lord Randolph wrote from the heart of Scotland's disordered and convoluted affairs: "If Elizabeth releases Mary, the King's party and the Protestants will be suppressed."

Since this is a time of business, it is absurd to accuse Elizabeth, as many writers do, of petty resentments and jealous malice towards Mary, and a fervent desire to prove her guilt and openly defame her. Mary's only claims were about sentiment - her birth, youth, charm, misfortune, and Elizabeth, for England's sake, promised not to listen to sentiment.

* * * * *

Sir William Cecil personally gave the Queen sound advice about the Norfolk marriage, "which in itself cannot be called a crime, but may prove very dangerous to Elizabeth." He advised her to delay; Norfolk had done nothing that smacked of treason, and though it would have been safer for him to marry elsewhere, and Mary more closely bound to Bothwell, he had no choice but to watch and wait.

The Duke of Norfolk found himself in the odd position of putting his fortune at Mary's disposal, he had much to lose indeed, and all he hoped to gain was vague and uncertain.

He was the chief noble of England, the prince of an old family, rich, with fine estates, honorable positions, great influence, and had everything that could make life easy, delightful, and interesting. He had to consider his name, family and son. His early marriage to the sixteen-year-old heiress Lady Mary Fitzalan, daughter of the Earl of Arundel, had left him this son who would add to his Howard estate a distinguished legacy; the prince put this boy's future at risk by plotting or plotting to help Mary. The Duke also had five children by his second marriage to Margaret, daughter of Thomas Audeley of Audeley, and lost his third wife, Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Francis Leybourne and widow of Thomas, Lord Dacre, in the year of Mary's flight to England. He had then, like the woman he now courted, a triple marital experience, and he seemed as ready to forget his ex-wives as she was ready to forget her ex-husbands. There was also a religious issue. Norfolk was Protestant and committed to helping the Reformed faith. Nevertheless, this rich, high-ranking young man was seduced either by ambition, or by the "love fantasy" George Douglas felt for the imprisoned queen, or simply by a rash desire to meddle in important matters. swearing to Earl Bothwell's wife.

At Wingfield Manor, Mary conspired to free herself from an imprisoned master to whom she had never shown the slightest mercy and from whom she hoped to be freed without revealing why she had married him in the first place. The regent's young brother, George Douglas of Lochleven, was in her service at the time, and seems to have served as a messenger between her and Norfolk. Despite earlier scandals and proposals to marry this gentleman, nothing more is heard about his relationship with Maria, although they must have met quite freely. What was the outcome of this "love fantasy"? We don't know if it was rewarded, extinguished, or ended in platonic devotion, but his loving service must have been a great comfort to Maria. Willie Douglas, the page who handled the keys to Lochleven so cleverly, was also in her retinue.

While Mary was disgusted by the long delays in settling the matter, Norfolk slowly moved on in an effort to free the imprisoned queen and marry her. He had a lot of English nobility with him. Mary readily agreed to this marriage, which looked to be little better than the marriages she had already experienced. If Norfolk was romantically in love with her, she couldn't admit it to him because she hardly ever saw him. She did not hesitate in this, however, and did not think that he was not a man of great determination and character, nor of great ability, nor one who would be in the least able to rebuild her ruined fortune.

It may have been natural for her to take advantage of every opportunity. She pledged herself to the prince, sent him a beautiful jewel with her own likeness in a cameo in the middle, and took from him a rich diamond that she wore on her breast. Her letters to him show her unquestioned attitude towards Henry Stewart and her questioned attitude towards Bothwell, submission, devotion and humility contained in what may be called the language of passion.

Since she was in England, she had been in contact with Bothwell's friend and relative, Hepburn of Riccartoun, and must have had news of her husband. Had she ever thought of him in Norway, in a captivity so much darker and hopeless than her own? Did she ever think about the vows of allegiance she would take in the field of Carberry Hill, or dwell on the memories of that violent passion for which she had sacrificed everything a woman could lose? We don't know, but at least she was willing to marry Norfolk, wear his jewels, send him her portrait, write love letters, obey him as to her conduct.

Robert, Lord Boyd, was employed by the Queen as an intermediary between her and her lover. On the occasion of her secret engagement, she wrote to the prince: "I have taken a diamond from my master Boyd, which I will keep out of sight around my neck until I give it back to its owner and to both of me."

By inviting Norfolk, whom she somewhat liked, to dinner, Elizabeth made him understand his danger. She asked him if he intended to marry the Queen of Scots. The prince said "No" and that all the rumors about it were spread by his enemies before his death. Elizabeth tried to believe it, but told him to "be careful with your pillow" or it would turn out to be wooden.

* * * * *

In July 1569, Mary Lord sent Boyd, with Elizabeth's permission, to Scotland with her commission to prosecute the divorce from Bothwell. This strange marriage is over.

In pathetic, official words, Mary demanded the release of the man to whom she had promised to "follow in a white petticoat to the ends of the world". She claimed that the marriage was illegitimate, that Lord Bothwell was already bound by contract to another woman, and that he was not legally divorced from her, but also "while we have been informed that there are no impediments, that there are several major impediments of affinity and otherwise stand between us. , and if they were known to us, it would be a hindrance to our conduct, and what is now revealed to us is enough to make us clearly understand that we may be separated from it by law.

This protest on behalf of Maria was completely insincere. When she married Bothwell, she knew well how things stood between him and her, and it was the Archbishop of St Andrews, whom she now appealed to dissolve the marriage, who survived Jane Gordon's divorce.

We don't know who advised Mary to draft this document, but it seems odd that she should have missed this opportunity to formally protest that she was kidnapped and forced into marriage by Bothwell instead of demanding her release on the basis of his legal maneuvers. It makes no mention of Bothwell's alleged complicity in Darnley's murder or of his own kidnapping and rape of her.

This document was prepared for the Scottish Privy Council in Perth, presided over by a regent who probably acted on Elizabeth's secret advice. The lords who took up arms against Mary to save her from Bothwell refused to annul her marriage because in the political combination of the times it was not easy for Mary to remarry. Norfolk, or any other man who might become the Queen's fourth husband, could be a potential threat to Moray. The application for divorce from the Queen was rejected by 40 votes to 9.

Maitland of Lethington, whose behavior was as inexplicable as ever, spoke for the Queen, for whom he had been working since returning from England. He told Moray that it was strange that those who had taken up arms so recently, clearly to separate the queen from Bothwell, had now changed their minds so completely. Maitland of Lethington must have known well the reason for the same change of mind; Apparently, he decided to support the queen's cause, but it was too late to help her with anything. If he had shown that spirit at Westminster and flagged the letters as forgery, perhaps he would have changed the course of her affairs.

There are several accounts of this important meeting of the Scottish Privy Council. According to one, Lord Boyd made proposals to Mary for a compromise with Moray, as well as a request for a divorce. He will be pardoned, she will be released (if not reinstated, at least she will be released from prison and allowed to retire to private life as Norfolk's wife). If any of these solutions were proposed by Mary in her desperation, which might well have been, they were rejected.

Moray was not one to tolerate an enemy among his roommates. He immediately took revenge on Maitland's defection, and together with Kirkcaldy of the Grange, who had now joined the Queen's party, and Lord Seton, another follower of Mary, Sir William was arrested and imprisoned in Edinburgh Castle.

The charge against them was that they were "artificial and complicit" in Darnley's murder. It seems that this crime will never end. It is rare for a murdered man to be so widely avenged.

* * * * *

In the same year at St Andrews (August 1569), Nicolas Hubert, or "Paris" or "French Paris", Bothwell's valet, was extradited from Norway where he had fled with his master. This was the man who is said to have brought the famous letters from Mary from Glasgow to Bothwell in Edinburgh. The unfortunate bastard had done everything he could to save his life, trying to please Moray with a confession involving Bothwell and Mary and no one else. These inconsistent, contradictory, and inappropriate testimonies have no value in shedding light on the king's death or Mary's guilt or innocence. Much of what the Frenchman said, fearing for his life, torture, hoping to please Moray, is incoherent. His account of how Bothwell orchestrated the assassination plot with him is disgusting and unbelievable; he acquitted the regent and flattered him.

"Where garbage is collected, you see a greedy pike,
And where there is such a master, there will be such a servant."

Miserable Paris was a suitable coat of paint for Earl Bothwell, whom he accused of revolting vices. Whether he or those who distorted his account are responsible for it, whether it is true or some fabrication, this account of Kirk o'Field's murder is far from any poetry or romance. Cruel cruelty, brutal lust, heartless stupidity are as vividly expressed here as in Ruthven's version of the Rizzio butcher shop; Here, as there, disease adds a disgusting twist to an already disgusting story; when Rizzio was killed, the queen was pregnant and ill, and Ruthven died of an internal ailment. In Kirk o'Field, not only was Wittol's husband consumed by the repulsive condition of his skin and the general filth of his body, the murderous wife suffered from pain and weakness, the adulterous lover was also suffering from dysentery, and it was during the attack that this complaint was made in the cupboard "between two doors" which he had planned with turbulent varnish to place gunpowder in Mary's room. And this is in the house where the king was in bed. Paris' hasty lies or the bitter truth could not save him; on the day of his execution, the stern Moray burned, on light ground, the king of Lyons, Sir William Stewart, as a sorcerer. We do not know whether the severed members of Paris were carried in baskets to all market towns in Scotland, as were the bodies of other Kirk o'Field conspirators who were executed.

Mary could not remain indifferent to this news - she remembered the man receiving love letters from her, his face smeared with powder - "Jesus, Paris, how smeared you are!"

At the scaffold, Paris is said to have retracted these confessions, stating that he never brought letters from the Queen to Bothwell; the whole thing is unclear.

Moray apparently did not consider him a credible witness against the queen, or else he feared implicating others besides Mary. Elizabeth wanted this valuable prisoner sent to England, but the regent preferred to keep him away from any possible indiscretion.

* * * * *

Her failure to obtain a divorce was not the only obstacle standing in the way of Mary's marriage to Norfolk. Elizabeth learned of or suspected the engagement, and the Duke was sent to the Tower, but was not released until August 1570, with the promise that he would have nothing more to do with the Queen of Scots, a promise he willingly made and easily broke: ambition passion or pity for the prisoner prompted him to immediately re-intrigue on her behalf.

Imprisoned in Edinburgh Castle, Maitland of Lethington managed to send Mary letters encouraging her to make elaborate plans for the future, but despite these glimmers of hope, when the project of divorce and marriage to Norfolk fell through, Mary had to do it. almost as desperate as can be for one of her fiery spirits. She was ill again, probably due to mental disorders, as well as due to old internal ailments. All her projects and desires have narrowed to a desperate desire for freedom; she did not, of course, think that if she had managed to get to France, Catherine de' Medici would probably not have treated her better than Elizabeth of England. Nor that if she managed to return to Scotland, she would most likely be sentenced to death by private murder or public trial, or at least imprisoned in a more severe prison than the one she endured in England.

It was natural that, cut off from the world, she began to lose the meaning of everything except the desire to regain freedom. Her unanswered letters to Elizabeth are pathetic, as are her dignified but humble pleas to Sir William Cecil. "Despite the fact that we have written to the Queen several times to deplore our sorry state and our discourtesy towards our person and our company, uphold her good resolve for us and place hope in her hands for so long and if she receives no reply , we have no way to request rescue as we would, because we came here as a prisoner under very strict guard. We have written other letters to her on the same matter, in which we ask for good advice and to inform the Queen to have mercy on our estate."

* * * * *

In November 1569, two powerful northern earls, Northumberland and Westmoreland, both attended the Westminster Conference, rode armed on behalf of Queen Mary. Their goal was her release and marriage to Norfolk. Such rebellion was exactly what Mary hoped for and what Elizabeth feared when the Queen of Scots crossed the Solway. This could have ended in a revolution that would have put Mary on the throne and Elizabeth on the tower; but the English government was too vigilant to give the rebellion any chance of success.

Warwick and Sussex were sent to the rebel north with a large force. Mary was moved to Coventry before the rebel lords entered Durham* and took Tutbury. Hartlepool and Barnard's Castle surrendered to the rebels, but Elizabeth's troops defeated them at Hexham; the two earls fled to Scotland - Northumberland to take refuge at Armstrong, the head of the frontier near Hawick, and Westmoreland to take refuge at Carr of Fernihurst, near Jedburgh.

[*The two earls left no doubt as to their intentions. With a train of 1,700 horses and 4,000 feet, they attended Mass at Durham and publicly burned the Prayer Book and English Bible.]

There were some promises of men and money from the King of Spain to help this revolt, but this did not materialize, and the minor revolt only brought greater disaster to Mary and her followers.

Armstrong sold Northumberland, who carried himself with energy and some heroism, to Moray, who sent him to Lochleven; Westmoreland was in hiding with the Carrs, who did not betray him, and heavy executions in the north warned Catholics against rushing to support the cause of the Queen of Scots; many of those suspected of supporting the rebellion had their entire estates confiscated.

Elizabeth seems to have tried to get rid of the troublesome and dangerous prisoner soon after by handing her over to Moray, but negotiations failed. Moray's intention was probably to try to kill Mary; given his pleas at Westminster, he could not help but do so. Elizabeth would know this and wash her hands of the whole thing.

* * * * *

At the end of January 1570, the Regent traveled from Stirling to Edinburgh. Passing Linlithgow, he and his entourage had to drive slowly because of the crowds and the narrow street. He had received a vague warning in the press that he was in danger, but Moray was well accustomed to dangers and no doubt well accustomed to warnings; he continued; as he slowly made his way through the crowd, he was shot from the window of one of the houses. For this purpose, a black cloth was hung and a hole was made through which the killer, standing on a feather bed so as not to be heard, carefully aimed at the helpless man so close to him in the busy street.

James Stewart, Earl of Moray, Regent of Scotland, was thus mortally wounded; he was dragged to one of the houses to die slowly, bleeding to death from a gastric wound. He was thirty-nine years old, strong and healthy. The killer was one David Hamilton of Bothwellhaugh who had a dark complaint about one of Moray's subordinates.

Many fairy tales were told to explain his deed, but though he escaped to France and returned to Scotland after ten or eleven years, where he became an old man, no one ever knew why Moray was murdered. Mathew Stewart, Earl of Lennox, the young prince's grandfather, was elected Regent of Scotland under Elizabeth's influence.

* * * * *

Mary rejoiced at the death of her brother, who in 1567 had saved her from a most cruel and humiliating fate, and granted a pension of her French earnings to his murderer, Hamilton of Bothwellhaugh, though in a letter to Archbishop Beaton, steward of her French estate, she cautiously states that the murder was "without commandment".

Contrary to this undeniable fact, Brantôme claims that she was "la douceur mesne", that she took no pleasure in seeing criminals punished in France "comme beaucoup de grandes que j'au commes", and was greatly affected by the misery of the galley slaves that brought her to Scotland.

However, one can find in the same character cruel vindictiveness towards the enemy and gentle sympathy for those who suffer who have not offended. There is no doubt that Mary regarded Moray as her enemy and the cause of her downfall. When she learned (March 1570) that Moray's wife, Agnes Keith, was in possession of, among other things, the state jewels "Henri le Grand", a brilliant diamond given to Mary by Henry II and given by her in remembrance of the Scottish crown was left to herself and the house of Valois , she wrote, rightly indignant, to Lady Moray.

In this letter he reveals both malice towards the deceased and caution regarding his death. "Although your late husband offended us so unnaturally and ungratefully ... we did not want his bloodshed."

Mary's request for her jewels was of course denied; the treasure was to become almost as powerful a source of discussion as Rhine gold.

* * * * *

In the same month that her brother was murdered in Linlithgow, Mary wrote one of her suggestive love letters to hapless Norfolk.


I have written to you before to know your pleasure should I attempt any undertaking. If that's what you like, I don't care about my danger, but I'd like you to try to do the same, because if you and I could get away from both, we'd find a lot of friends. And as for your lands, I hope they will not be forfeited, for when you are voluntarily and honorably bound together, you can make such good offers to the lands and the Queen of England that they will not be able to refuse.

"Our mistakes were not disgraceful, you promised to be mine and I yours, and I believe this will please the Queen of England and the country. Therefore, through friends, you sought freedom and satisfaction of your conscience, which means you promised me that he could not leave me.

“If you think the danger is great, do what you think is best and let me know what you want me to do or I will be imprisoned for you forever or risk my life for your sake and mine. If you will, command me, for I will obey your commands to the whole world, so that you will not be put in danger because of me. to work for our freedoms as long as I live.

"Let me know what you think and if you don't feel offended by me because I'm afraid you do because I don't hear any messages from you.

“I pray that God will protect you and save us both from deceptive friends.

Your own faithfulness unto death,

* * * * *

Mary seems to have still harbored hopes of marrying her master, although it is unclear how she intended to obtain a divorce which was refused by the Scottish Privy Council.

Mary's position was not improved by Pope Pius V's bull* excommunicating Elizabeth. The Queen of England, inflamed by this insult, looked more severely at all Catholics in England. She refused to hear various preliminary plans from Scotland from Maitland (who had regained his freedom), Herries, Hamilton, Atholl and other friends of Mary for the recovery or release of the Queen.

[* This marks the peak and ultimate effort of the Counter-Reformation; this was done without the knowledge of Philip II and made the conflict in Scotland part of an international religious war.]

Mary was taken to Chatsworth in May 1570, where she was visited by Cecil, who recalled the old Treaty of Edinburgh. There was a lot of talk about it, Westmoreland was going to be extradited, the young prince was going to be placed in Elizabeth's care - in the first Mary refused, in the second she did, but it all came to nothing. Finally, she said she would ratify the treaty.

In July 1570, Rudolfi, the papal agent, was in Madrid to present to Philip II a plan to restore Mary. There were suggestions that she might marry a Spanish prince.

Charles IX made a formal, possibly disingenuous effort on Mary's behalf; his ambassador demanded Mary's release from Elizabeth. This was refused, but the Frenchman was allowed to visit the imprisoned queen at Chatsworth. Elizabeth tried to appease France.

* * * * *

Scotland, with the removal of the strong personality of Moray, was thrown into chaos. The king's men and the queen's men, that is, Mary's supporters and her little boy's supporters, marched the length and breadth of the country; the new regent, Lennox, had little authority and thought more of his private feuds than of his country. Herries, still loyal to Mary, had a "tired heart"; Seton, another loyal friend, traveled to Flanders to obtain aid for the queen from Alva's Spanish forces. Morton frankly wrote to England that Mary's release would mean the downfall of Elizabeth and her kingdom and the Scottish party in Scotland.

Lennox, who got along well with Elizabeth, entered into negotiations with her to exchange Mary for Northumberland, but this failed. The Countess of Northumberland also fought unsuccessfully for her hapless master's life; thus the noble family of Perdes was ruined by being involved in Maria's troubled intrigues.

Meanwhile, Lennox as regent breathed fury from his enemies and took revenge for the humiliation of the days after Kirk o' Field; Henry Stewart's ghost received more victims.

In the autumn of 1570, Lennox seized Dumbarton Castle, which contained a small number of Mary's guerrillas. Among them was the Archbishop of St. Andrew. This John Hamilton, natural son of the first Earl of Arran, played an ambiguous role in Mary's affairs; was at the Hamilton estate in Kirk o' Field on the night of the murder and reportedly confessed to it; by virtue of exceptional powers given to him by Mary, he survived Bothwell's divorce. He would rather kill her after Carberry Hill and help her escape from Lochleven. Lennox now condemned this skillful opportunist to political defeat by having him hanged and quartered at Stirling, charged with "art and complicity" in the murder of the king and Moray.

Lennox took the young king under his wing and placed him in the care of that carefree historian and gifted scholar, George Buchanan, who had done so much to destroy his apprentice's mother.

* * * * *

Mary received word of several more or less impractical escape plans. She pinned all her hopes on Norfolk and made him all these offers. He, hesitant and stunned by the turn of events, would not agree to any decisive action. Interestingly, even though Mary complained about the harshness of her prison, she was able to engage in these delicate negotiations.

Norfolk was watching him with Elizabeth's keen eye, and he must have been aware of it. He had pledged not to interfere with Mary's affairs again, and although he had been released from the Tower, he was practically a prisoner in his own home. Nevertheless, he gave in to the hope that Elizabeth would relent and agree to his relationship with Mary, and for this reason he discouraged the queen's supporters from any plans to flee from her. He didn't want to risk anything, and he couldn't help but reluctantly interfere with Mary's fate. This princess really had no luck with the men she had feelings for.

Had Norfolk possessed a quarter of Bothwell's courage and enterprise, he might have rescued Mary from Chatsworth as the Lord had rescued her from Holyrood. Despite her submissive letters, she must have bitterly compared this shy English lover to her hapless husband languishing in a Norwegian prison; we know that courage was the virtue she admired above all others.

Maitland continued to stand before the Queen and send her letters informing her of the state of affairs in Scotland. Lately he had fallen into an unfortunate habit of the flesh, a slow paralysis weakening the agile statesman, the cunning courtier, the consummate nobleman. It seems that all who participated in Mary's drama were cursed; a sinister fate befell one by one everyone associated with her and her lovers.

From month to month these futile intrigues continued, tormenting Mary with the anguish of "deferred hope." Elizabeth did not soften with her captive, but it is harder to move. She refused to listen to a delegation from Hamilton, Argyll and Huntly demanding the release of Mary and another ambassador, Fénélon, King of France. Mary collapsed in desperate attempts to get help; she sent an earnest plea to Pius V, imploring him, in the name of their common faith, to intercede on her behalf. But the pope, while he may have had sentimental sympathy for Mary, could not consider her politically important enough to justify meddling in her affairs.

Mary appears to have seen Norfolk again in the fall of 1570. There were other plans to save her, all of which he rejected out of fear for his safety. But Mary trusted his intelligence and judgment, either because she trusted them, or because she enjoyed submitting to you, or because she saw nothing else; a slow, half-hearted affair came to a disastrous end.

* * * * *

Mary had received a large sum of money from France and intended to have it sent to Edinburgh by George Douglas to help her friends with it. The faithful messenger, however, did not know how to get to Scotland because he did not have a passport and asked Norfolk for advice. Many of Mary's messengers were arrested, including Baillie, secretary to Bishop Ross, who testified that his master had been sent to the Tower. The duke thought he could entrust the money to his servant, a certain Banister, who would deliver it to Lord Herries, so he sent a parcel by courier named Brown to his steward, Banister, at Shrewsbury.

Brown, however, took the money and the accompanying letter to Cecil, recently created Lord Burleigh (1570); it is possible that he was a government spy who was cleverly trying to win the trust of the prince.

So Norfolk was again confined to the Tower, and Mary was much more heavily guarded. All of the Prince's meddling in Mary's affairs was betrayed by the servant, who was tortured, resulting in the Queen's retinue being reduced to sixteen, much to her extreme despair. She wrote a noble and pathetic farewell to her dismissed servants and did everything in her power with great generosity to ensure that Willie Douglas and John Gordon, who had helped her escape from Lochleven, were not sent back to Scotland - a journey that probably meant death. to them.

In this farewell, he mentions them by name: "And you, William Douglas, rest assured that the life you risked for me will never be neglected as long as I have a friend." And she begged them to go all together to the court of France and keep each other company: "Go there to my ambassador and tell him all that you have seen and heard about me and me."

It is quite possible to sympathize with Mary's plight and at the same time understand Elizabeth's point of view. She could hardly be expected to give Mary full permission to inspire and encourage conspiracies and organize rebellions in England. Nor could she politically allow her to return to Scotland, where she, Elizabeth, had accepted the supremacy of the youthful Protestant James VI, nor would it have been advisable for her to send Mary to France or Spain, or even go to Rome. by her tumult, her beauty, her errors, her eloquence, her dangerous political combinations, and perhaps the forces fighting against England.

By this time, Elizabeth had another reason for Mary's prolonged detention, to which Maitland bitterly alluded. "The Queen of England," he said, "would never have dared to release the woman she had so bitterly wronged." Elizabeth heard from Knollys that Mary was "vindictive".

Mary's letters were intercepted, despite her pitiful pleas she was not allowed to write to her son, her courage collapsed under the continual misfortunes, and she fell gravely ill, no doubt due to the progress of the obvious illness and fear and anxiety. .

* * * * *

In the autumn of 1571, Lord Lennox was murdered at Stirling, in a brawl between his men and the Kirkcaldy of Grange, with whom Huntly, Lord Claud Hamilton and Scott of Buccleug were stormy.

They surprised Stirling where the Regent was and imprisoned him in bed with Morton, Argyll, Glencairn, Eglinton, Cassilis, Sempill, Cathcart and Ochiltree. These distinguished prisoners were mounted on horseback in preparation for the journey to Edinburgh. However, the cavalcade did not move until Mar came to the rescue with a group of armed men and, with the help of the townspeople, drove off Kirkcaldy's soldiers who were plundering the city at the time.

In the commotion, Lennox and Morton tried to flee, but one of Kirkcaldy's officers, Captain Calder, ran up and shot the Regent in the back. The killer later said that he killed Lennox at Huntly's instigation in retaliation for the death of John Hamilton, Archbishop of St Andrews, who had been brutally executed by Lennox shortly before; many other Hamiltons fell victim to King Henry's father's revenge, and it was revenge.

Lennox was dragged back to Stirling Castle, where he died that night, and John Erskine, Earl of Mar, was elected regent. Morton was Elizabeth's candidate, but he had no qualifications for such a responsibility, other than the courage necessary to hold an office, not, as Maitland dryly remarked, "long-term."

"The Earl of Morton held his house longest before he surrendered, smoked it out with fire," writes Lethington in the account he gave to the imprisoned queen of the affair.

No doubt this bloody battle gave her some satisfaction. Another enemy of hers was gone, that father-in-law who had been such a bitter enemy since the murder of her son, who had done everything to destroy her reputation and ruin her life, even to burn her at the stake. to take. .

Maitland of Lethington, despite his poor health, kept Edinburgh Castle for the Queen. Circumstances turned the agile, subtle and fastidious politician into a man of action. With his cunning intelligence, he could not have high hopes for the outcome of the battle. He was desperately poor and had no money to pay his troops, except for the small amounts Mary could give him from what she could obtain from her French dowry.

Mar, the regent, fared not much better, but he received some financial support from Elizabeth, who still believed that, aside from all the old awkward questions about the king's assassination and Bothwell's marriage, she had a clear grudge against Mary, and certainly promised to support James VI.

John Lesley, Bishop of Ross, captured by Elizabeth and imprisoned in the Tower after Baillie's arrest, turned traitor under some grim pressure, and evidence against Norfolk and Queen Mary was extorted from him; some of them were feigned or hysterical, as he made the wildest accusations against his mistress. Elizabeth was hesitant to go to extremes with Norfolk, the principal peerage in the kingdom, but he was warned, pardoned once, insulted again, and ... the evidence against him, including his correspondence with the Pope and Philip II, was overwhelming. Twice Elizabeth withdrew her signature from the death sentence, but on the third time she let it go and Norfolk was beheaded; he carried "a little gold picture of the Scottish Queen" on his tower, but he calmly accepted the sentence and considered it fair. In letters to the pope, he declared his desire to become a Catholic, but in the end he swore that he had always been a true Protestant.

He stated that he would convict anyone on the evidence presented to him, false however the allegations were, "put his head under their belt" and blame no one for the verdict against him. He was the first nobleman sentenced to death by Elizabeth for high treason.

He lost not only his life, but also a great title and noble estates, leaving his descendants for three generations (the buyer returned in favor of Thomas, Earl of Arundel in 1664), only the lands and titles belonging to his girlfriend came. year, Mary Fitzalan. Neither his character nor his intentions are clear; he was personally popular and left many friends who mourned him.

Thus ended Mary's last obscure, secret and uncertain love affair.

She showed open and almost uncontrollable sadness at Norfolk's death, whether for the man or the occasion he represented, there is no guessing. Callous and unimaginative though she was, she had to remember with a heavy heart the wretched fate of every man she ever associated with her fortune, from a sick French prince dying in his early youth, half imbecile, to Gordon and Chastelard on the scaffold. , Henry Stewart killed, Bothwell dead alive, and Norfolk kneeling by a log.

"Oh, goodbye young man, he says,
I say goodbye and adieu
Since you brought me weed
Among the summer flowers
I'll give you one more
In the interval between winter rains.
New autumn snow will be your apron,
It's best for your body;
Your head will be wrapped in the east wind
And cold rain on your chest."

Mary had to endure another accident; Lord Seton, returning from the Low Countries with some help in the form of arms and money from Alva, was shipwrecked on the Scottish coast and much-needed supplies were lost. Some of Seton's correspondence was intercepted and helped increase Elizabeth's ire.

The English Parliament wanted to hire Mary as a Norfolk co-conspirator against the English throne, but Elizabeth refused her permission. However, after Mary's complaints about her treatment, she sent three commissioners to Sheffield to formally charge Mary with instigating conspiracies, inspiring the papal bull of excommunication against Elizabeth, and secretly betrothed to Norfolk.

All these letters, interviews, protests, accusations only darkened the bitter atmosphere; with each week of Mary's imprisonment, the two queens became more determined enemies. Popular feelings towards Mary were high in England. The House of Lords and the Clergy presented a petition to the Queen in May 1572 which laid out Mary's crimes in the harshest language, while a pamphlet published in 1572 concluded: "There is no cure for the Queen (Elizabeth) for our kingdom Christianity, but the proper execution of the Queen of Scotland ".

This protest also points to a marked weakness in Mary's behavior, namely her engagement to Norfolk during Bothwell's lifetime. "Mary is now free from known contracts because she considers Bothwell her adulterer herself, otherwise she could not have entered into a contract with the Duke of Norfolk."

This false, dangerous woman could therefore be planning another marriage "to the mighty Monsieur (François de Valois, Duc d'Alençon) or Don Juan of Austria."

In brutal, colorful language, but suitable for use in this drama, an unknown author, who can be regarded as a spokesman for popular opinion, laments "how much noble and innocent blood, how much is and will be shed, so much murder, rape, robbery, brutal and barbaric slaughter of all kinds, sexes and ages... the condemnation of so many seduced souls..."

* * * * *

When part of this public excitement, infuriated by the cruelty of the papists, the massacre of St. She stated that she had the right to take all possible steps to ensure her release. She swore fealty to the Duke of Norfolk, and as for the papal bull, she burned the copy she had received. The Treaty of Blois between France and England was another blow to the prisoner.

The following year, Elizabeth was annoyed and Mary even more disappointed by Rudolfi's failed plot to have the pope and the king of Spain, along with trained soldiers, deliver arms and money to descend on Scotland and northern England. Earl Huntly took command of these forces, freed Mary, restored her to the throne of Scotland and, if possible, placed her on the throne of England. Was Bothwell's mad brother-in-law hoping to take his place as Lord Mary?

Such discoveries confirmed Elizabeth and Burleigh in their fear and suspicion of Mary, and proved to them that their illustrious captive was a real danger. Feelings for Mary were high; probably only Elizabeth's will saved her from death. The great sympathy of the Huguenots in England, encouraged by the presence at Sheen Palace of a French Protestant representative, the former Cardinal Odet, brother of Gaspard de Coligny, whose assassination was met with equal horror a few days before St. Bartholomew. treated as a massacre itself; it was believed that the heinous crime was inspired by Queen Catherine and thus indirectly reflected in Mary, another Roman Catholic ruler.

In that year 1572 Northumberland was executed at York; Elizabeth had bought him from Mar and Morton for £2,000 after he had spent two years at Lochleven, although his wife had offered an equal ransom. This nobleman paid no attention to Maria's story, but his interference with her fortune cost him his life. His fellow rebel Westmoreland fled to the continent where he lived in poverty in Brussels until his death in 1601.

The regent, Mar, died suddenly after having dinner with Morton at Dalkeith Palace. There were, of course, suspicions that he had been poisoned by Morton, who had been appointed regent on the day Mary's wild adversary John Knox died on November 24, 1572. The Pacification of Perth (1573) ended the civil war.

The energetic Douglas immediately turned his attention to Edinburgh Castle, where, under the leadership of Maitland, Kirkcaldy of Grange held out more or less hopelessly against Mary. The garrison, "Castalians" as they were called, after passing through the great straits, surrendered on May 29, 1573. The Laird of Grange and his brother Sir James Kirkcaldy were publicly executed at the Cross in Edinburgh, and Maitland was thrown into Leith Prison, where he died miserable in his dungeon either of stroke, apoplexy, or, as it was always believed in the cymbal, from because of the poison. Despite the pitiful pleas of his wife, Mary Fleming, his body was treated with great contempt, a terrible insult which evoked contempt in Elizabeth.

Despite her protests to Morton, Maitland was not buried until he was brought to court in a coffin to serve his sentence under the barbaric procedure used with the last Earl of Huntly.

* * * * *

Mary must have heard of these brutal events as if they were echoes from distant worlds. Her existence was limited to handicrafts, books, conversations with wives and servants, writing letters, amusements with tame turtledoves, Barbary pigeons and domestic dogs. She had always hoped that something would happen or circumstances would arise that would allow her to seize power and achieve freedom, but after the Norfolk execution, those hopes faded. Poor health may have led her to some resignation; it's amazing that her spirit resisted as well as sickness and imprisonment.

She lived comfortably, and even in a state, but she was heavily guarded, and now that she had come to England, it was not as easy for her to communicate with her friends in Scotland and on the Continent. She was also degraded by her lack of money, as she was sometimes unable to pay her servants' salary or medical fees. Famous jewels she never got; they came into the possession of Colin, Earl of Argyll, who married Agnes Keith, daughter of the Earl of Marischal and widow of the Regent, who thus became keeper of the precious jewels which Moray had taken over when Mary moved to Lochleven. Morton valiantly and persistently sought this immense treasure, but Argyll and his wife refused; the case of this precious treasure caused a lot of emotions. There were a great number of these jewels of considerable richness and variety, valuable not only for their intrinsic value, but also for their elaborate settings. They were worth a considerable fortune, which in Regent Morton's eyes was exaggerated because of his poverty and the country he ruled. In the end, he triumphed over the precious trinkets of Argyll and Mary, which had fallen into Douglas' rapacious hands.

* * * * *

Mary's life after Norfolk's death took on a marked melancholy. There were no more passions, violent rebellions, marriages or betrothals, even plots and plans are mechanical and discouraging. It is unlikely that she had high hopes. Purified of many vices and follies by long suffering, broken by poor health and constant cruel disappointments, the figure of Mary becomes extremely sad and longing. The little gifts she made for Elizabeth had a plaintive tone--one was a carnation satin coat embroidered with silver thread, another a collared hairstyle, and other trinkets that came with the kit, all of which were as "charming as they get." given by the French ambassador to Elizabeth of Scotland as a New Year's gift.

While Mary was occupied searching for valuable materials for this wonderful work, which had become her only diversion, her servants rebelled for lack of payment. Her uncle, the Cardinal of Lorraine, to whom she sent her complaints, lamentations and entreaties for so many years, died at Avignon in 1575; her two nephews, the Duke of Guise and the Cardinal of Guise, though among the most distinguished men in Europe, could do little for Mary.

Mary, abandoned by France in a desperate attempt to appease Elizabeth, signed a declaration declaring herself an enemy of anyone plotting against the English queen; however, she did not stop planning when she had the chance.

Shrewsbury and his wife incurred Elizabeth's deep wrath by marrying their daughter to Lord Charles Stewart, King Henry's younger brother. The essence of this duel was the unfortunate Lady Arabella Stewart, pursued to death by James VI and I. Fascinated by the prisoner, he became the subject of gossip.

* * * * *

Mary's son began to play a role in her story. The thought of him must have made her sad. He had been raised Protestant by her enemies, taught to hate her memory, put in her place, and she would never allow it: "He's only Lord Darnley or the Duke of Lennox," she used to say. . "I am the Queen of Scotland." She insisted on her rights; since she had come to England, she had vowed to keep the fortune that God had given her. "My last breath will be the queen's breath."

She devised various plots and plans to get James out of Morton's hands. She tried to write to him, send him small gifts, a homemade medallion, a vest she had sewed and embroidered herself, guns and gold arrows she had cast especially for him. None of these small gifts were delivered.

James was still educated by George Buchanan, who had so slandered his mother. She knew about it and Elizabeth sent her a copy of Detectio. The thought that the man who wrote those infamous accusations against her directed the upbringing and molded her son's mind and character must have been an almost unbearable annoyance, whether or not Mary knew that some of the accusations against her were. .

* * * * *

George Buchanan appears so often in Mary's life that he damaged her reputation so much with his famous book, published not only in the smooth and learned Latin original but also in Scots, English and French, with his authority for the most part. the disputed incidents of her life are so often quoted and so often disputed that it is well to wonder what kind of man it was who flattered the Queen, helped ruin her, and refused to reconsider his brutal conviction.

Buchanan should have been an extremely valuable witness to events of which he had enough first-hand knowledge and the culture, experience, and intelligence to understand. Unfortunately (as in the Hermitage episode) he has been proven to be so unreliable, and so many of his statements have no corroboration whatsoever elsewhere (i.e.

Even so, some writers give credence to Buchanan on some points, quoting him when convenient, and on other occasions pointing contemptuously at his unreliability. Such manipulation of historical material is indefensible, and the only fair way to treat George Buchanan's statements is to accept them all with reservations, unless corroborated by other sources. At the same time, it should be borne in mind that despite his malice, prejudice, rudeness and possible commonness, even in his most unlikely-sounding stories there may be a grain of truth.

George Buchanan was born in 1506, the son of a farmer from Killein, Stirling. With the help of his uncle, he received a two-year education at the Sorbonne; poverty then forced him to join the French troops sent to Scotland to fight the English. His health deteriorated under the rigors of military life, and he resumed his studies at the University of St Andrews and then in Paris, where he became a professor at the Collège de Sainte Barbe.

The Earl of Cassilis, whom he tutored for five years, introduced him to James V, who employed him as tutor to one of his illegitimate sons, James Stewart, son of Elizabeth Shaw, who died in 1548. fagot and showed the direction of his meditations through a vengeful satire on the Franciscans"To Franciszka', earning the enmity of Cardinal Beaton and a stay in prison.

From there he escaped and fled again to France; in Bordeaux he found a position at a school and quietly exercised his great talents and deep knowledge by writing original Latin plays and translating Euripides. The plague sent him on another journey (1543) and he became one of Montaigne's tutors. Shortly thereafter, he taught at the University of Coimbra, where he was suspected by the Portuguese Inquisition, who imprisoned him in a convent "to refresh his orthodox zeal."

Buchanan used this period to write his beautiful Latin versions of the Psalms.

After his release, he returned to France, where he became tutor to the son of Marshal de Brissac. He wrote a flattering poem to Maria on the occasion of her first marriage and seems to have given her some lessons in the classics. He returned to Scotland in 1560, accepted the principles of the Reformation and became a supporter of Moray. At the same time, he seems to have been acceptable to Mary, for whom and to whom he continued to write praise verses, and the Queen's praise was of his authorship even after her son's baptism. The Queen rewarded this with a donation from the proceeds of Crossraguel Abbey.

After Maria Buchanan's death, whether through conviction, self-interest or recklessness, he became the queen's most dangerous enemy. Moray made him Rector of Saint Andrews College and Moderator of the Assembly (1567). The famous book against Mary - "De Maria Scotorum Regina", etc., was first published in London in 1571. When it was translated into vernacular languages, the book was a considerable success. Elizabeth sent the author, who had a set of poems dedicated to her at the Westminster Conference, £100.

[*"De Maria Scotorum Regina" should not be confused with the famous pamphlet "De Detectio" for which Buchanan received a pension from Elizabeth and which was widely used as a political weapon in Europe.]

Buchanan reiterated his opinion of Queen Mary in Books 17 and 18 of his History of Scotland, refusing to retract it, even at the urging of James VI's young pupil.

It should be noted that Buchanan and Knox were not alone in their brutal condemnation of Maria. Other members of the Calvinist party regarded her with an almost unbelievable hatred - the witness Captain Clark, the Scottish mercenary who tried to secure Bothwell's surrender to Frederick II, who openly wished Moray had killed this Jezebel and sent her blood and bones to the dogs.

* * * * *

James, a nervous, clumsy, simple boy and a brilliant scholar, had a keen natural sense and was extremely cautious and timid; he began to form his own judgment of the events around him and the people around him. When he was twelve, a swift rebellion led by Argyll and Atholl was organized to wrest the young king from Morton's hands. It worked. James demanded the Regent's resignation, to which Morton replied with apparent indifference. As we read in Randolph's report: "All the devils in hell are agitated and in great fury in this country. The Regent is fired; the country is broken."

The council took charge of the young king and the affairs of Scotland, demanding that Morton deliver Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood, the mint and the queen's jewels; he obeyed and withdrew from the capital.

Perhaps Mary heard this news with a spark of hope. After the departure of the evil and implacable Morton, would she not dare to dream of some restoration of at least some honor and freedom? Couldn't she access the boy who ruled instead of her?

* * * * *

In April of that year, 1578, another event took place which, when Mary heard of him, must have brought back strange memories. Bothwell died in the fortress of Dragsholm in Zeeland on the north coast of Denmark, where he had been imprisoned for ten years.

There is a great legend about Maria's last husband, and it may be interesting to tell the known facts of his later life.

Bothwell left Dunbar, which was well fortified, with his retainers on 27 June 1567 in two self-equipped ships. It is likely that he sailed northwest in hopes of organizing a feast for the queen.

(Video) Mary, Queen of Scots

After visiting his uncle, Bishop of Spynie, who was said to have given him such a poor education, Bothwell moved north to a dukedom he held by Queen Mary's patent which he carried with him. However, the Orkney bailiff, Gilbert Balfour, though Bothwell's husband and even suspected of complicity in the Kirk o' Field crime, refused to protect his fallen chieftain, and Bothwell fled even farther north towards Shetland.

Here he succeeded in chartering two ships owned by merchants from the Hanseatic cities of Shetland, which were then engaged in a lively trade in fish, chips and horses for corn, beer, whiskey and linen. One of these ships was called "The Pelican". Since the contract for these ships is known to have been voluntary and legal, it is not correct to refer to Bothwell as a "pirate" from this date, as most English writers do. Bothwell still considered herself Lord High Admiral of Scotland and the husband of the Queen, and undertook an expedition as legitimate as most such endeavors to obtain aid for herself and herself. The deal had more to do with a business deal than the robber's romantic affair it generally depicts.

Moray equipped four ships to capture Bothwell: "The Unicorn", "The Primrose", "The James", "The Robert". The bishop who married the queen made amends for this ill-considered act, for which he should have atoned by boarding one of these ships. Kirkcaldy's ship, "The Unicorn", crashed into a rock in Bressay Sound, which still bears that name.

Relations between Denmark and Scotland were long-lasting, with the Scottish Guild in Copenhagen, Scottish professors at its university, Scottish mercenaries in Frederick II's army, and even "Scottish beds" in the capital's hospitals.

It was not unreasonable for a desperate man to hope for some recognition and help from the Danish king whom he had met in his heyday, although it is possible that Bothwell really meant to visit Eric XIV of Sweden and was driven only by a storm off the coast of Denmark.

In 1560, the Lord High Admiral of Scotland was graciously received by the young king, who, together with the Duke of Holstein, showed him around Jutland and Holstein.

In 1567, Frederick II, who was seeking Mary's hand, was still a bachelor, and it has been suggested that he resented someone who was favored more than himself. A much more practical reason for his cold attitude towards Bothwell lay in the fact that during the short period of his reign the duke prevented Scottish privateers from attacking the ships of the Swedish king, with whom Frederick the Seven Years (Northern) was in command. War.

As soon as the Scottish ships dropped anchor off the island of Karm, they were accosted by a Danish warship under the command of Christian Aalborg, who discovered that they had no papers or passports and that, despite their supposed appearance, they were not very well. kindness, devised by deception to disperse the formidable crew and arrest the ships.

Bothwell remained in disguise to the end; when he was forced to identify himself, he was wearing "old, tattered, rough petty officer's clothes." He bitterly protested his arrest and deeply regretted that the trick of the Danes had prevented him from settling the matter by fighting.

He downplayed the situation with a face, declaring that he was the husband of the queen and "from whom should he get the passport, who was the supreme ruler of the country?"

The Danes, impressed but not satisfied, kept the count in Bergen, where he was greatly honored by the commander Eric Rosenkrands of Valsö, who gave him a lavish banquet (September 28, 1567) and all kinds of courtesies.

Two unpleasant incidents, not romantic, irritated the frustrated Bothwell. The captain who sent his ship across the North Sea was found wanted by police for stealing "twenty-two kegs of beer and four kegs of bread" and was later jailed. The other humiliation was personal. A long abandoned Danish bride, Anne Throndssön, known in Bergen as "The Scottish Lady", learned of her unfaithful lover's plight and summoned him for breaking a promise.

Her feelings don't seem to be tinged with sentiment - she wanted compensation for the financial losses she suffered in connection with the affair; perhaps a dowry was paid. Bothwell had to appear in court and hear the prudent lady read his love letters, full of false promises which she had so wisely kept. The point was clear, as Lady Anne coldly remarked, "he had three lively wives." And this pretender was to be bribed with the gift of one of the earl's small ships in the harbor and the extremely dubious promise of a pension from Scotland. Lady Anne was not forced into this devious business by poverty, for her magnificence surprised her contemporaries, and she appeared in the same month of her rehearsal, wearing red damask, gold chains, garlands and feathers of pearls, and necklaces of precious stones.

Bothwell's protests had no effect, and he was held captive in Bergen. A search of one of his ships revealed a mailbox which Danish authorities opened and stated that the count "didn't leave his country without good reason". In short, these letters revealed the whole state of affairs in Scotland (of which the Danes apparently did not know) and aroused suspicion of Bothwell as a murderer and an outlaw. There was also a "complaint letter from the queen" in which she lamented herself and all her friends. This has unfortunately been lost, but it seems to have been non-committal.

Bothwell, now an object of deep suspicion in the eyes of the captors, was taken to Copenhagen. He was given only a few servants and was forced to abandon his ships and followers, as well as all his possessions. In the capital, he was received by the high administrator of the kingdom, Peter Oke, who placed the "King of Scotland", as Frederick II called him, as a prisoner in the castle. On 15 December 1567, the Lyon Herald, Sir William Stewart (later burned as a wizard by Moray), arrived to ask the Regent to surrender Bothwell.

The hapless prisoner continued to claim his innocence of the crimes with which he was charged, ranted on his enemies and wrote useless letters to the King of France demanding interviews with Frederick II. One of his requests revealed the humiliation of such a fine gentleman. Would His Majesty, wrote Peter Oke, give a prisoner a twenty-dollar advance to buy clothes?

A year after Mary brought her ailing husband to Kirk o' Field (January 1567), Bothwell sailed across the Øresund from Copenhagen to Malmoe Castle (January 1568). It was put in command by the commander, Bjorn Kaas, and the king had personal instructions that he should "wall up the vaulted room with a small cupboard ... and if the iron-grilled windows are not strong enough, there you will take care." Bothwell was believed to have escaped from Edinburgh Castle by breaking the bars on the windows, but he was kept better in Malmö and we have not heard of an attempt to liberate someone so bold, so impatient, and so strong.

Bothwell's story in Malmoe is very similar to Mary's story in various prisons, frantic and hopeless pleas, quarrels, intrigues for release. In sheer desperation, Bothwell offered his patent for Orkney to Frederick II - the islands had long been the envy of Danish kings. In 1569, two of his devoted servants, Nicolas Hubert and William Murray, were turned over to the Scots - a fate that Bothwell was undoubtedly right about.

It is probable enough that he knew the type of instrument he was using, and could have foreseen that the hapless "Paris" would cringe before Moray, betraying everything he knew about his master.

Intrigue and counter-intrigue to free Bothwell came to nothing. Moray's murder (1570) did little to help the Malmoe captive, as Lennox, King Henry's father, became the new regent, and strongly urged Bothwell to surrender.

This time the Danes would have relented, but the influence of Charles IX saved the husband of the French dowager queen from the disgrace of a public trial for the murder of his predecessor. "Nothing in the world," wrote La Motte Fénélon, French ambassador to England, "can be a greater scandal to the reputation of this poor princess, or greater confusion in her affairs."

There is no entirely reliable record that Mary entered into a correspondence with Bothwell during this period, who was given considerable freedom in Malmoe. It is even said that even before Langside she wanted to send Hepburn from Riccartoun with a message to Bothwell, but it is certain that from Bolton in October 1568 she had already pleaded for a divorce in the hope of marrying in Norfolk. There is an allegation, unsupported by direct evidence, that Bothwell consented to the annulment of the marriage in 1569. Thomas Buchanan, Lennox's envoy to Copenhagen, informed Cecil that a man named Horsey and a Danish boy had been attempting to send letters to and from Copenhagen by transport. Bothwell and Mary. There is hope that it is true.

Until 1573 Bothwell was treated with considerable leniency, and even received from the king those gifts which were then prized by distinguished men—coils of silk, brocade, and velvet for clothing, so that the first six years of the earl's imprisonment were a common good. plot.

However, in 1573, Bothwell's case became dark, mysterious and terrifying. M. Dançay, the French ambassador in Copenhagen, wrote to Charles IX on June 28 of that year: "The King of Denmark, who had hitherto treated the Earl of Bothwell very well, sent him a few days ago to a much nearer and worse prison." The reason for this severity is unknown, and the name "Malaise et étroite prison" is not disputed, it is believed to have been Dragsholm, Zealand.

After that date, information about the prisoner is sparse. In 1575, his death is reported, and this date is given in some recent books. This rumor reached Cecil, who later remarked that "Bothwell is only very swollen and not dead." It seems that the hapless prisoner, then about thirty-seven, suffered from dropsy.

In that year, 1575, his mother, Agnes Sinclair, Lady of Morham, and mother of the old Bishop of Moray, died. Bothwell is believed to have died in 1578; this date is given by Buchanan, writing in 1582. This odious, unreliable authority was the first to state that Bothwell died in a state of madness.

Melville writes that "he was held in a horrific prison where he went mad and died miserably." Mary's loyal supporter Lord Herries says in his memoirs, "Being covered in hair and dirt, he went mad and died." Spottiswood wrote in his "History of the Church of Scotland": "He was confined to a vile and abhorrent prison, and in a frenzy brought a shameful and desperate end" and "desperate for freedom he went mad." A writer in Fugger's newsletter, describing Mary's execution, refers to her complicity in Darnley's murder and Bothwell's madness as common knowledge. However, all these writers may have been misled by false rumors and rumors. All that is certain is that Bothwell died in prison around that date. It is also true that Mary, in her own captivity, was haunted by the news that Bothwell had left a will (will or death certificate) inheriting all Kirk o'Field debts and, as Mary wrote to Beaton on June 1, 1576, "testified to my innocence by the salvation of souls."

It is doubtful that such a document would make much of an impression on Maria's enemies, but she was so keen to obtain it that if she could find the money, she would send a messenger to Denmark to collect it. Beaton couldn't find the money and the case had to fall through, much to the poor prisoner's chagrin. The history of this alleged document is complicated, and it is now believed that it never existed or was a fake. The best argument for this is that when James VI was in Denmark in 1590 with his fiancée Anna, Frederick's daughter, he spent the winter there. in Zeeland and showed the greatest interest in every curiosity, and he did not try to discover a document, nor did anyone bring it to his attention, in which his mother was declared innocent.

All of Bothwell's contemporaries must have been alive and available, and with the king were Sir James Melville, John Maitland, Sir William's younger brother, and Francis Stewart, 5th Earl of Bothwell, who took over all the honors and estates inherited from his uncle. It was he who modernized Bothwell Castle in the fashionable Italian style. None of these people mentioned the famous Testament. Also Francis Stewart, though he was a strong advocate of his godmother Mary, despite her son's indifference, did not offer a Scottish grave to a man whose vast estates he had inherited. It is worth remembering that this fifth Earl of Bothwell was the son of Moray's brother and Mary's half-brother, John Stewart, who died shortly after his birth; he was thus the grandson of James IV. This turbulent character also lost Hepburn's splendid estates and honors, fled also to Orkney and Shetland, and died in Naples a Roman.

Oto, co przemysł historyków był w stanie ujawnić w ciągu ostatnich kilku lat, w większości ignorowany przez biografów Mary, od jej trzeciego męża. Tym razem zdrowy rozsądek i tradycja wydają się zgadzać; z pewnością nie potrzeba było wielu lat odosobnienia, by doprowadzić do szaleństwa silnego, namiętnego, lekkomyślnego mężczyznę, tak przyzwyczajonego do działania i pożądliwego życia. Umarł zbyt późno, by przynieść pożytek Maryi; zwolnił ją, kiedy nie potrzebowała już rozwodu. Może prawie o nim zapomniała, może po prostu trochę tego żałowała. Był człowiekiem, którego wszystkie strony zgodziły się winić, niemal przedstawiając go jako potwora, ale nie był gorszy od wielu jemu współczesnych i lepszy od niektórych. Jeśli był mordercą, wielu z tych, którzy go oskarżali i ścigali, popełniło przestępstwo, w którym również brali udział. Mógł być „lubieżny i zaślepiony ambicją”, ale było wielu innych z tymi samymi wadami, choć być może mieli więcej szczęścia lub więcej przebiegłości. Rozważanie uwięzienia takiego człowieka jest równie odrażające, jak patrzenie na orła w klatce.

He died without announcing his spirit to anyone, and if he did, there was no one to report it. Some memoirs, purportedly his, in which he cleared Mary of any complicity in the king's murder, are not entirely discredited as forgeries.

Faarvejle Church has long held an embalmed body which, although unnamed, is believed to have belonged to James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell, Duke of Orkney. Mary's last husband, if he is, lay for a long time in this remote church some twenty miles from the castle where he died. A curious person was allowed to view the body several years ago and described it as lying in an oak coffin with the head on white silk, wrapped in a scarf. The features were still recognizable; it was possible to judge something about who the man was whose authentic portrait does not exist. If this body was Bothwell's, it was not very tall, well built, with delicate, aristocratic hands and feet, a clean-shaven face, a wide mouth, a crooked nose, and red hair. This is enough to describe Bothwell.

He was like Mary in that his fascination, probably like hers, for intense vitality and daring zest for life, died with him. Du Croc's photo of him at Carberry Hill jokingly facing utter defeat remains in the memory.

Another writer's description of Bothwell's "raving in chains" is ugly enough. Much has been written about Mary's long martyrdom; Bothwell's punishment, which no poet or romantic has ever bothered to do, seems equally poignant and terrible.

A collection of "divine and spiritual songs" was published in Edinburgh in the year of Bothwell's death; one of them could refer to this great sinner who was thought to have "no religion" but who refused to go to Mass:

“I am burdened with sins
Don't let me! Don't let me!
With sins I am burdened with pain
Do not leave me alone!
So please, Lord
Don't keep my sins at the stake
Untie me or I'll be abandoned
And hear my moans.

Faith Hope and Love
Don't let me! Don't let me!
Faith Hope and Love
Do not leave me alone!
Please, Lord, give me
Their divine gifts three
Then I will be saved
I have no doubt."

These and other religious songs and poems written in Scotland during this period prove that there was a spiritual feeling, a tormented sense of sin, in this land so mingled with war and crime.

* * * * *

Mary had almost ten years to live after Bothwell's death - years for her indescribably empty and unhappy. She remained at Chatsworth and occasionally went to the baths at Buxton for her health. All her desires shattered, all her hopes shattered.*

[* In her will, in February 1577, Mary, desperate since the Treaty of Blois in France, left all her rights in both kingdoms to Philip II; a desperate failed move.]

She was often so ill that she was certainly predicted to die; she suffered from a marked inner regret for the suffering and hardship in Scotland, perhaps exacerbated by the dampness of her English prison, and from mental misery, so that year after year she languished and languished, brooded and withered. Events in Scotland continued to be bloody and furious. Morton, by ARiseregained power, returned to the regency, but lost this, and his life, in strange circumstances in 1580, the outward appearance of which was as follows:

A soldier of fortune, one James Stewart, son of Lord Ochiltree, and, curiously, brother-in-law of Knox, was captain of the guard at Holyrood, and while the king, then a boy of fifteen, was glad to enter that palace, to the room, and flung himself before James, declaring that he wants to expose a crime that has been hidden for too long.

With amazing courage he pointed out Morton, accused him of the murder of the king's father, and demanded his arrest.

This dramatic scene must have been the result of an orchestrated plot; Stewart could not have done so much on his own initiative. He was immediately supported by the other nobles present, who captured Morton and hastily took him prisoner to Dumbarton Castle. He was held there for five months. Elizabeth did all she could to save him, but James Stewart became Earl of Arran and won the favor of James, who, brought up in a hard school and accustomed to violence, began to show some initiative and, under the influence of curiosity or sympathy or the influence of a new favorite, his mother sent a letter and a gift to your English prison. It was the first message she had ever received from him, and it gave her a real, if bitter, pleasure, arousing both ambition and affection.

Morton spent several months at Dumbarton Castle and was tried for the murder of King Henry on 1 June 1581. He confessed to being "art and part" of the crime; that he knew about it and hid it. He was found guilty, his property forfeited, and he was executed at Market Cross in Edinburgh, after which his body was dragged and dismembered. He had no friend and no regrets. His miserable remains were treated with contempt and left on the scaffold, covered only with an old cloak.

This black man, or as some call him Red Douglas, was the first to suffer from the famous "Maiden", the instrument of public execution which he himself had brought from Halifax.

This seemed like a good opportunity to get a full and clear account of Kirk o'Field's mysterious crime from Morton, and confirmation of the authenticity of the letters in the box. Nothing was done about it, and apart from explaining that he himself assisted in the murder, along with Maitland and Bothwell, Morton died, leaving the puzzling case unclear.

* * * * *

Mary was too ill at the time to find any satisfaction in this abundance of revenge. Her joyful revenge was over or suspended, she no longer dreamed of victory over her enemies, she only wanted freedom. Some consolation must have been the correspondence and the exchange of gifts that took place between her and her son at that time, who, under whose influence we do not know, turned to the imprisoned mother. He must have been very disgustingly and callously insulted in his presence. But perhaps he soon realized that there are two sides to every question, and that perhaps Mary was no worse than many who so recklessly maligned her.

In that year, 1581, Pierre Ronsard dedicated some of his poems to the imprisoned queen whom he remembered as so bright and charming, so brilliant and refined. Touched by this gracious compliment, she sent him from her meager means a chest full of money and a silver vase with the image of Pegasus drinking at the fountain of the Muses.

* * * * *

In August 1585, Maria was ready to part with everything in exchange for naked freedom. Though so many of her Scottish enemies were dead, she knew her son would have no mercy for her. He made an alliance with England, and his mother disowned and cursed him.*

[* In a letter to Elizabeth, May 1585. In the same month, Mary again transferred her rights to Philip II in a letter to Mendoza, the Spanish ambassador in London, which was intercepted by Walsingham.]

She was sick, broken, her prison conditions were appalling, she was spied on and cut off from friends, and she would agree to any terms that would ensure her release.

Mary Queen of Scotland (12)

The last portrait of Mary Queen of Scots.

The last portrait of Mary we have is from her imprisonment in Sheffield Castle; there are many versions of this painting and experts are divided as to which is the original, but it is generally accepted that this credit can be attributed to the painting now held by the Duke of Devonshire at Hardwick Hall.

It is a poor work, probably the work of some journeyman painter who obtained permission from Shrewsbury to make this portrait of his famous prisoner. This is believed to be the portrait mentioned by Mary's secretary, Claude Nau, writing to the Archbishop of Glasgow in August 1577.

Nau, on the other hand, may refer to a lost miniature of which this life-size portrait and other copies are. This painting, dated 1578, the year of Bothwell's death, with a Latin inscription stating that it depicts Mary, Queen of Scots at the age of thirty-six, shows Mary in full mourning, in her usual garb during her captivity, and the only person she considered fit for her condition. But at the time, she may have officially mourned her mother-in-law, the Countess of Lennox, who had recently died in Hackney, and her brother-in-law, the young Earl of Lennox, who married the daughter of the Countess of Shrewsbury, and possibly for her last husband, though this seems unlikely.

No matter how poor the painted face is, it is clearly the same face that we encounter in authentic portraits from Maria's earlier life. Here is a high forehead, tufts of thick hair - in this case almost certainly a wig - a slightly arched nose, a thin upper lip, slanted eyes, a furtive glance, and a long smooth oval of the face that is flat and shadowless.

In this photograph, which has been widely copied for memorial portraits, Mary is depicted as she will be known to posterity, dressed in heavy black with a lawn shirt, a deep fold at the nape of her neck, tight curls, and a rosary and crucifix, with a sheer lawn veil which added grace and dignity to the stiff formal dress, the rosary and the crucifix. Decorations are made of jet, enamel and gold.

The photo is signed "P. Oudry", but it may be the work of a copyist.

Neither this image nor any of its many variations give the slightest idea of ​​enchanting charm or seductive beauty. The features are hard and sharp, the posture stiff and unnatural, even the hands large and ungainly. There is no trace of personality, not even the dignity and pathos that Mary must have possessed until the end - a brilliant, beautiful woman, broken by health and wealth, but retaining a fearless spirit.

The disappointment that this painting caused in the viewers must be the fault of the painter. It is indeed, like too many portraits made in England in this period, a miserable work.

About the apparition of Mary in the last phase of her life, we can only learn that she looked gloomy and pale, she wore a bulky mourning dress and ostentatiously carried around her the insignia of faith - a crucifix and a rosary.

Mary Queen of Scotland (13)

Kamer Mary w Hardwick Hall.

Mary Stewart's position became more difficult than the St. Bartholomew. Organized by Catherine de' Medici and her advisers, supported by the King of France and sanctioned by the Pope, this dismal event seemed to the Protestants of Europe to confirm their worst fears. They had long suspected that Catholics organized a series of such massacres with the intention of completely exterminating heretics. The memory of the Marian persecution of the English revived, and the anger and horror with which they watched the mass murder of their co-religionists across the English Channel was mixed with fear for their own safety. It was considered quite possible that a French or Spanish invasion, encouraged by the pope, would end in such a day of mass slaughter in London as Paris, and it was only natural that the Protestant English and the Protestant government of Elizabeth, reckoning with the fear and terror of the Scottish Queen, who fleeing blindly from her own country, marked by terrible crimes, she used the protection afforded to her by Elizabeth to conspire with the Roman Catholic enemies of the state and incite a revolt among the Queen's Roman Catholic subjects.

As if it was normal for Mary to fly to England because she had nowhere else to go and that Elizabeth had offered her some encouragement, and it was reasonable that while she was held in English custody, she should have planned her release, and English help was to be sought. Roman Catholics, recruiting people from the likes of Norfolk, Northumberland and Westmoreland, are asking for help from France, Spain and the Pope, so it was natural for Elizabeth and her advisers to try to thwart all this desperate activity.

While Mary languished and brooded in an unbearable sense of injustice, Elizabeth did not believe that she had behaved badly towards the prisoner. She claimed that she had given Mary shelter when no one else would, and that she had saved her from the ignominious and horrible death the Scots were preparing for her, that she had kept her in condition, comfort and respect, allowed her a great deal of liberty and freedom . Nor did Elizabeth see that she had acted unjustly in dissolving the Westminster conference that was in session to investigate Mary's troubles, with a verdict "unproven" for both Moray and his half-sister. She thought she was doing the woman a favor by refusing to fully investigate Mary's scandalous affairs. Whether the "coffin letters" were forged or not, whether the Lords lied or not (and Elizabeth and Cecil no doubt knew they lied about many important things), it is clear that Mary was unable to prove that innocence. which she protested. many feverish laments, and so many strange, evasive, and contrived arguments.

Elizabeth thought she had been wise to prevent a public inquiry that would have divided her country into factions and possibly ultimately deprived Mary of what little dignity and honor she still possessed. Given that the Queen of Scots had the worst reputation when fleeing to England, and Elizabeth probably believed in the authenticity of the "coffin letters", it can be assumed that her behavior towards Mary was not incurable. Or so she thought, and she had always been painfully aware of the dangers the Queen of Scots posed to England, to the Reformed religion, and to herself.

Shortly after Mary's arrival in England, Burleigh*, in words whose wisdom must have been clear to Elizabeth, drew his Queen's attention to the dangers she might expect from Mary Stewart - "the unfortunate case of the Queen of Scots having become so embarrassing to Your Queen Majesty," as he put it, adding, "The Queen of Scotland is indeed and always will be a dangerous person to your estate. However, there are degrees in which the danger can be greater or lesser. should marry, it should be smaller, and if you don't, it will increase. If her person is held here or at home in her own country, she will be smaller, if she is free, she will be larger. If she is considered "legally incapable of having a husband than Bothwell was during his lifetime, the danger is all the less. If she is considered free of marriage, so much the greater. her husband, will be less dangerous to man, if her transgression is tacitly ignored, it will wear itself out and the danger will be greater?

[*Sir William Cecil was created Earl of Burleigh in 1571.]

Before Mary was imprisoned in England for a decade or more, Burleigh's prophecies of evil were fulfilled; Elizabeth was not married and was unlikely ever to be, despite her long and fruitless coquetry with Mary's brother-in-law, François de Valois, duc d'Alençon, and even if she were, it is unlikely that she would marry. would have children. Mary was freed from Bothwell and found not guilty of her husband's murder, her crime passed in silence, her shame "exhausted", while foreign events such as the St. Bartholomew's and the discovery of continued foreign plots against England increased the fear and terror of English Protestants against all represented Queen of Scots.

* * * * *

It could be argued that Elizabeth may have washed her hands of the Queen of Scots by sending her back to her own country or allowing her to travel abroad. The first she could hardly do by supporting the Reformed faith and sovereignty of James VI in Scotland, as Mary's arrival in that kingdom would mean a civil war which Elizabeth knew well might end with the restoration of Roman Catholic supremacy - an event Elizabeth's policy had been to avoid for at all costs. As for sending Mary abroad, she could make an alliance there that would be most dangerous to England, marry a French or Spanish prince, and return, backed by her foreign husband's army, to wreak her revenge on England. Keeping Mary captive was pure statesmanship on Elizabeth's part.

Probably neither she nor Burleigh nor any of her advisers were impressed by Mary's letters, pitiful as they were. The Queen of Scots had a reputation for being reliable, cunning and untrue. Her feverish promises are unlikely to come true when she is free. The prisoner's word is as unbelievable as that of the man on the stand - everything will be promised to stop the torture.

Added to this natural dislike of Mary and her circumstances was the fact that Elizabeth could never forgive or forget that the Queen of Scots had conspired against her, secretly married Norfolk, caused rebellion in the North, and asked foreign powers to send money. and soldiers to help her. If Mary could learn the bitter lesson of having been utterly defeated, uncrowned, and disgraced when she fled Langside, the rest of her life would have known a measure of happiness. But it's hard for a fiery twenty-four-year-old spirit to admit that all the glory of life is over. Mary, unable to rule, still wanted sovereignty.

She suffered a glaring defeat in her short reign, and yet she will be queen again at any cost. Two marriages full of madness and passion led her to the abyss of humiliation, disgrace and danger, but at the first opportunity she tried another marriage, and with a man she hardly knew, who did not have Henry's youth and beauty. Stewart, nor Bothwell's courage and strength to recommend him.

If Maria could reconcile herself to her private life and convince others that she was so resigned, perhaps she would regain her freedom and find constant solace for the lost splendor in the pleasures and duties of an ordinary woman. But she was born too high for that; she seemed to love the storm; the safety and comfort of her comfortable bunk tormented her to the marrow, her wild heart beating against the bars in a mad desire to escape again into this storm, which would surely destroy her instantly if she knew it.

It's hard to believe that Mary could have found more peace, comfort, and security anywhere after Langside than in the insane asylum with the Elizabeth she hated and raged against. Even her failing health could not quench her restless dissatisfaction. Her piety may have been deep, but it brought her little or no comfort; her thoughts seemed once of this world, and her prayers were pleas to heaven for vengeance against her enemies. She never renounced her royal rights, never admitted she was wrong, rarely looked upon the suffering and death of those who fell because they interfered with her fortune.

She wept incessantly over her own misfortunes, over her own failed ambitions. Her tormented tears over the conquest of Northumberland disfigured her for days. She lay on the floor in her room for a long time after the Norfolk sentence. Not because (although she could feel some sympathy) she felt sorry for the victims of her schemes, but because the tools in her hand were broken. If she truly felt remorse and horror at the blood that continued to be shed for her cause, she would back away from these plots and no longer tempt others to risk everything to help and free her, and sincerely resign herself to trying to achieve some inner peace peace of mind, which was really all the world had to offer her. The Queen of Scotland couldn't do it and the Queen of England knew it.

* * * * *

When James VI came of age, Mary had pathetic expectations of her son. Freed from the enemies who dissuaded her from him, surely he could do something to free her and bring her back? This hope was strengthened by the letters the young King of Scots sent to his mother protesting against a certain conventional love and affection he could hardly feel because she was nothing but a name to him and he could hardly ever forgive her for allowing his enemies to mock him as the son of "signor Davy".

Whatever chance Mary Stewart had with her son was thwarted by the ambitions he inherited from her. As she had wanted to be Queen of England, he had wanted to be King of England, and as a man and a Protestant, he had a much better chance than hers ever had, especially as the years went by and Elizabeth remained unmarried. The appeal of the English crown to this pedantic, clumsy, shy boy, who had none of Stewart's grace, fire, or charm, was far greater than the unfortunate tragedy of his aged mother. He was Elizabeth's pensioner, as Moray was Elizabeth's pensioner, and he would never have offended the Queen of England. He, a student of George Buchanan, thought a lot about his mother's case. "As strange," he said, "as never before in history." Perhaps he thought a little about his father, and also about the stories of Rizzio and Bothwell.

He was obsessed with the doctrine of the divine rights of kings, which he later successfully imposed on Scotland and inevitably on his son. He was engrossed in passionate friendship with the first of his fantastic favourites, that James Stewart who had overthrown Morton and to whom he gave the title of imbecile James Hamilton, Earl of Arran.

Between these two interests, his own superiority and the whims of an unscrupulous pet, James had no place in his narrow heart for a mother. Did he know about the little reins she had made for him, the waistcoat she had embroidered, the portrait of him she kept over her bed, the toy guns and arrows that had never been delivered? Had he ever imagined himself in the poor prisoner's place? Perhaps it was. We hear that later in life he weakened and fell ill and looked to the side when his mother was mentioned. But he decided not to do anything for her; Whatever fate Elizabeth had in store for his mother, James of Scotland would not interfere.

During Mary's imprisonment, many people realized that the only solution to her problems would be death. As long as she lived, she would be a nuisance, a potential threat to the Queen and the state. There were many initial proposals to destroy her, including taking her to Scotland for trial or secretly murdering her. But Elizabeth did not want this act on her conscience - the thought of putting to death a co-ruler, a relative who had somehow thrown herself at her mercy, was repugnant to her. She eagerly wanted to get Mary out of the way, but was bitterly outraged that she had exposed herself to the odium of Mary's murder or execution. Again and again she defied popular demands for Mary's blood.

* * * * *

By 1581, however, various combinations of events began to lead Elizabeth to an agreement with her Council to seek an opportunity to get rid of the Queen of Scots in the only sure way. There were signs of a Roman Catholic revival in England; Mary was the first Princess of the Blood, and Elizabeth was declared a bastard and excommunicated by the pope. Elizabeth and her advisers were troubled by constant rumors of papal contests and Roman Catholic conspiracies.

At least one of them was real. Esmé Stewart, Sieur D'Aubigny, appointed Duke of Lennox by James, whose capricious imagination he invented, was a Catholic, and though lacking all the qualities necessary for such a plan, made an effort to re-establish Catholicism in Scotland with the help of Spain and a cousin of the Pope and Mary, Duke of Guise.

The plan failed: Lennox died, James moved away from the Roman Catholic party, Philip relented in his offer of help. Mary, whose release and recovery were dimly part of the plan, and who directed many details of this plan from her prison (Mendoza, the Spanish ambassador, wrote: "In fact, the Queen of Scots manages all these affairs; the Scots want nothing but her instructions and directions ") - I was disappointed again.

That such a plot existed, and that Mary was undoubtedly right to intervene, shows the real danger that Elizabeth must have feared. As long as Maria was alive, she could be the subject or inspiration for a conspiracy thatI wouldPass.

On August 25, 1580, Protestants in Europe were furious and alarmed by the bann against the great heretical leader William I, Prince of Orange. The significance of this prohibition was that it was drafted by the Pope and Philip II against the Viceroy of Holland, and authorized and encouraged his murder by any of the faithful who might feel inspired to do so. Therefore, this prohibition prioritized the acceptance of murder as a political and religious weapon. It authorized the pope to murder; the murder of a heretic by a Catholic should not only be allowed but also praised and rewarded. When Mary first arrived in England, Burleigh said that "a papist with a dispensation from Rome would have few qualms."

It is difficult to overestimate the importance of this point; it has set the whole of Europe in a ferment of anger and suspicion. Elizabeth immediately feared that her life would not be safe from the trials of Roman Catholic subjects. She wasn't wrong either.

There was no serious discussion of a plot to assassinate Elizabeth until it sucked against the Prince of Orange, but then there were many English Catholics who wished to get rid of Henry VIII's "illegitimate daughter", as they called her, and put Mary in her place and seriously considered with papal approval, murder of the queen.

Some of these discontented Englishmen were so conscientious that they even sent a Doctor of Laws from Oxford abroad to consult the leading ecclesiastical opinion on the subject. This envoy, Humphrey Eli, went to the papal nuncio in Madrid (who approved of the murder of heretics among the Banns) and also wrote to Rome to Cardinal Como, who sent him full approval of such a plan.

The real danger from Elizabeth is therefore obvious. And the natural consequence of this danger was the decision that Mary should not live: all that remained was to organize the means of destroying her. The alarms and conspiracies of the following years helped fuel the English outrage against de Banna, which was fueled by intolerable fury at the news of the 1584 assassination of the Prince of Orange.

Burleigh and Walsingham immediately conceived the Band of Association to protect Elizabeth. Several bloody assassinations against unfortunate Catholics such as Richard Whyte and Francis Throgmorton proved the anger and fear of the people.

Elizabeth was agitated and disturbed, doubly suspicious of Mary, and relieved tacitly agreed to Lord Burleigh and Sir Francis Walsingham's decision to destroy the Queen of Scots.

It seems unproven that a specific plan to secretly release her from prison was considered during this period. In the case of a woman so limited and so often ill, it would certainly not be difficult and, as it seems, more merciful and decent than the chosen course of action. Secret murder, however, was not a custom of the English court or a tool of English statesmen - judicial murder was an art, and it was decided to use this tool to destroy a woman who, sick, tormented by pain and disappointed hope, carefully guarded, cut off from communication with friends, waited in agony impatiently for the help of a hesitant son, distant allies, closer friends.

* * * * *

Mary exuded a resignation that was perhaps less false than the apathy of despair. In the autumn of that year 1584, when England was so excited and uproarious, she was at Wingfield Manor with a retinue of forty-eight; she had just returned from the water at Buxton and was overshadowed by a rumor that accused her of having an affair with her guardian, the Earl of Shrewsbury.

Its chambers were guarded by over a hundred lords and soldiers. Somers, one of Elizabeth's commissioners, visited her and she took up some of her old graceful animation and spoke about her son's marriage prospects - should it be a princess of Lorraine, Florence, Denmark or Spain? After sixteen years of captivity, she was old and, she claimed, cured of ambition. If she had been free, she would have gone to Scotland, but only to see her son: “I would go to France to live there with my friends, with my share (dowry), and never again trouble myself with the government; nor could I get married, because I have a son who is a man." It was false consent, but perhaps Mary herself did not know that if she had one more chance to escape, power, revenge, she would accept her as sick, old, disabled, out of touch with the world, just like her. Perhaps she herself did not realize as she uttered those desperate words that ambition still smoldered in her exhausted mind.

* * * * *

Sir Francis Walsingham was the head of Elizabeth's Secret Service, which he led to extraordinary efficiency, and he used it with some patience, diligence and skill in a plan to destroy Mary, popularly known as the Babington Plot. it seems ridiculous when applied to the destruction of a poor woman who could have been so much easier to get out of the way.

The anti-Catholic laws (the famous "Elizabeth's Twenty-seventh"), passed in the tumult of popular sentiment over the murder of the Prince of Orange, left Mary at the mercy of the English government. By 1581, "Elizabeth's Twenty-Third", Chapter II, the so-called "Statue of Silence", was passed, which made the discussion of a possible successor to the queen even treasonous - it was left to the law. Being the target of such a conspiracy was also high treason. This law was probably directed against Mary and was indeed the law under which she was finally tried and executed. Under this "silence", a completely innocent person would be "guilty of high treason" simply because someone else conspired in his favor.

Added to this were all the various plots, intrigues and arguments for and against the queen's marriage, for and against this person as her heir or heiress. Everything had to be muted.

Burleigh and Walsingham, if not the anxious Elizabeth herself, having decided to put Mary to death under this law, set out in search of remedies. It wasn't difficult: Walsingham knew where to get spies, informers, counterfeiters, and fools. The English government hoped that Mary would make an escape attempt or that an attempt would be made to rescue her from captivity. In this case, her quick death was certain as her guards were ordered to kill her rather than let her leave the prison.

But no incident spared them the effort of preparing and setting a trap, which they did with deliberate skill.

* * * * *

In 1583, the Duke of Guise, Mary's cousin, approved some of the conspiracies involving the murder of Elizabeth. There were two Englishmen at stake - George Gifford and William Parry - who had received an indulgence from Pope Gregory for the murder but betrayed everything to Queen Elizabeth, who, excited by conspiracy fears following the murder of the Prince of Orange, rewarded Parry with a seat from Queensborough. However, this parade, which was apparently running a precarious double play, was one of the first to suffer from the brutal laws against Catholics. Before his execution, he accused Mary's agent in Paris, Thomas Morgan, of conspiring against Elizabeth. This Morgan, though reckless and not very wise, was Mary's faithful and diligent servant. She largely employed him in procuring her dowry from France and conveying her correspondence abroad through the French embassy.

He was in Paris when he was accused by Parry, and Elizabeth demanded that Henry III, who had never shown great zeal for Mary, have his release in her hands. The King of France refused, but sent Morgan to the Bastille.

Walsingham decided to use the man to ruin Mary and sent his spies after him, including the Scottish Lord Robert the Bruce; another was Robert Pooley, known to his friends as "Sweet Robin", and the third and most important instrument was George Gifford, a dilapidated rake who was in trouble with the police and who fled to France in 1583 and proposed to kill Elizabeth in favor of the Duke of Guise, which the prince accepted, and the papal nuncio and the Spanish ambassador agreed to remain passive and profit from the crime. It is unclear whether George, and then Sir George, Gifford were sincere in this offer, or whether he had already been paid by Walsingham at the time. Walsingham's other spies were Thomas Rogers of Berden, described as a "vile scoundrel", and Gilbert Gifford, George's cousin. William Gifford, George's brother, was an honest man and grew up to be an archbishop. Reims and the Primate of France.

Gilbert Gifford was a priest at the English College in Rome, from which he was expelled, became a vagabond, repented and entered the seminary at Reims, where in 1583 he joined John Savage, Christopher Hodgson and others.

George Gifford, acting on instructions from Walsingham or one of Walsingham's agents, came into contact with Morgan through his bona fide brother who considered himself a loyal ally in Mary's service. Never suspecting that George Gifford was an English spy, Morgan gave him the necessary letters of introduction to Mary and the French ambassador in London. He would be employed in Mary's service to correspond back and forth, a position that Morgan obviously could no longer hold in the Bastille.

* * * * *

George Gifford landed at Rye on 10 December 1585, was arrested and brought before Walsingham, possibly by appointment. A pact was then made to destroy Mary. Unless, as seems unlikely, Gifford had not previously been paid off by Walsingham, henceforth he became his trusted spy andagent-provocateur. That means he had to mingle with Mary's friends, confide in Mary, and lure her into a plot against Elizabeth's life that should have provided enough material for Walsingham to take her to the block.

Morgan, who doesn't seem to be bright, and Mary, who was never a good character expert and agitated and agitated by her circumstances, were misled by Gifford's arrest, and since then seem to trust Walsingham's spy unconditionally. The Queen of Scots recently moved from Tutbury to Chartley.

George Gifford visited the French embassy for Mary's letters, which were carried in an ambassador's bag as far as London, then delivered to Ambassador Guillaume de l'Aubespine, Baron de Châteauneuf, then delivered again to one of Mary's faithful secrets. messengers, and through him finally passed to the queen.

Mary had considerable difficulty receiving correspondence at the time. She was allowed to send a certain number of official letters, which of course did not satisfy her ardent curiosity about the world outside of prison, and one of the few joys left to her in her hungry and unhappy life was the arrival of these letters. secret packets of letters, which very often did not reach her hands until several months later.

Gifford initially failed to gain the trust of the French embassy, ​​though he had references from the Archbishop of Glasgow, from Morgan, and from Morgan's lieutenant, Charles Paget, who praised his loyalty to the Queen of Scots. Cordaillot, the secretary of the French embassy in charge of Mary's affairs, however, decided that Gifford was too young and simple and would not entrust him with important correspondence. The innocent-looking Gifford, who looked ten or twelve years younger than he actually was, was hanging out with Walsingham's valet, Thomas Phelippes, who was an expert on all kinds of numbers. He covered up what must have seemed suspicious to Mary's friends by saying that he was trying to discover some of Walsingham's secrets through his valet. To support this ploy, Philippes pretended to be Catholic.

Philippes looked grim, with Mary herself describing him as "short in stature, thin in all respects, eaten in the face by smallpox, short-sighted, looking thirty years old." But he was agile, heartless, and extremely proficient at coding, which he could do in Latin, French, Italian, and even a little Spanish. His character was not good, he was often in debt and completely unscrupulous in stealing or manipulating letters. But to his employer, Walsingham, he was extremely loyal.

Almost immediately after Mary had been installed at Chartley, this man went to talk to Phelippes, Sir Amias Poulet, Mary's new gaoler, a stern and rigid Puritan, not in the least touched by Mary's graces or sufferings, who considered her dangerous and probably such a wicked woman, and did not mind having a hand in the elaborate plan to destroy her, though later, with Roman firmness, he rejected the suggestion that she should be killed in secret, thus doing Queen Elizabeth a considerable favor.

* * * * *

George Gifford traveled to Chartley at the same time on the pretext of business interests from his father, who was held in London as a Catholic and owned properties near Mary's prison.

Maria was kept very strictly that winter of 1585. After the Protestant panic following the promulgation of the papal ban, the assassination of Orange and the discovery of failed plans to assassinate Elizabeth, the prisoner was cut off from almost all communication with the outside world and the household, even with laundresses. , was so strictly controlled that she could not correspond with anyone.

Poulet was indestructible, tenacious and ever vigilant. The only thing that allowed her to receive messages were the letters sent to her by the French ambassador, which he read first. If he hadn't approved them, he wouldn't have delivered them. On the other hand, he took pleasure in telling her all the bad news he could get from her friends, who, by his own admission, "were grateful to her like salt in the eyes."

Mary had lived in this bitter seclusion for nearly a year when, one January evening in 1586, the irritating silence of the outside world was broken by a smuggled letter from Morgan recommending Gifford and another letter from Gifford himself offering communication. her friends. Mary suspected no trap and was almost filled with joy at this unexpected revival of hope. The next day, she wrote a reply to Morgan, testifying that she was very pleased to accept his service, and only warned him to be careful of Poulet's zeal, for her and for himself.

This letter was, of course, passed on by Gifford to Poulet, who in turn passed it on to Phelippes, who opened it, deciphered it, and sent it to Walsingham, where it was resealed by Arthur Gregory, Walsingham's special expert in this, and was handed over by Gifford and the French ambassador in Paris. This extensive procedure involved all the letters Mary entrusted to Gifford. The French ambassador, who had been cautious in the first letters sent to Gifford, was reassured by Mary, who persuaded him to trust this new agent.

The complicated way of transmitting Maria's letters was invented and implemented by Gifford of Poulet. Letters came and went in a barrel of beer intended for Mary's house. They were placed in a corked tube, which was inserted into the opening of the nipple. Mary and Poulet paid an obedient brewer whose name is unknown but who, a stern businessman, blackmailed Poulet with threats to expose Mary's trap, eventually sending the price of his beer to the flamboyant man. the amount that Poulet had to pay.

In April 1586, Elizabeth gave a clear warning to the French ambassador, who, given the circumstances, was curious and might destroy Walsingham's entire slow and ingenious plot. “Mr. de Châteauneuf,” she said, “you have much secret information from the Queen of Scots, but believe me, moreover, I know everything that goes on in my realm, because I was a prisoner in the time of my sister, the Queen. I know the tricks prisoners use to get servants and secret information.

Châteauneuf treated the comment with strange indifference and did not warn Mary that Elizabeth might know about her correspondence through Gifford.

The exact date of entering this carefully laid trap is unknown, but early 1586* Thomas Salisbury and Ballard, the priest who broke into the prison in 1581, Antony Kerrill, another priest who was also often in prison and who became hysterical and who became an informer, a "vain and costly debauchee", together with Bernard Maud, who had been released from prison to spy on Catholics, formed a sort of loose conspiracy for the liberation of Mary, the revolt of Catholics in England, and more obscurely, the murder of Elizabeth. How many of them were Walsingham's agents and how many were real conspirators will probably never be known, and it is hardly convincing in the matter.

[*Maria's intercepted letter to Mendoza, then in France, after her despair at the Scots-English alliance of that day and again making Philip II her heir, may have finally decided her fate.]

* * * * *

In any case, the man for whom this plot is named, Antony Babington, was the real conspirator who was completely unaware that the whole plan was devised by Walsingham to destroy Mary. This unfortunate victim of the secret policy was a young gentleman of good family and considerable wealth, who owned estates in Derbyshire, was married and had one child. He was a Roman Catholic, fervent in spirit, gifted, with a talent for writing, a kind of dilettante and a philosopher who had neither energy nor determination, weak, indecisive and easily deceived, the last material from which to make a successful book. to do. conspirator and the very material Walsingham was looking for. Antony Babington was also romantic, inexperienced, overconfident, and inspired by a sincere, if volatile, desire to serve his fellow believers, who were then treated so harshly by the law.

He was not, as many claimed, in love with Mary Stewart, whom he probably never saw. The story that he was paid as a page job in Shrewsbury may be a myth. In any case, there was nothing personal about Babington's plot to save the queen. The core of the conspirators, including Walsingham's agents, captured this young gentleman and implicated him in their plans. After much discussion, Babington vowed to raise a rebellion in Derby and agree to the murder of Elizabeth.

He gradually became the leader of the conspiracy, and in the summer of 1586 there were thirteen conspirators, six of whom remain unnamed, tasked with assassinating Elizabeth. Babington seems to have taken it only half seriously; he couldn't decide whether to join the conspiracy, or wash his hands of it, or even tell Walsingham the whole thing.

Mary was informed of this plot, to which of course she fully consented; finally, when hope seemed almost gone, she got another chance here. All the ambitions and desires she had never given up, no matter how many times she spoke of retiring to a convent in France and being world-weary, revived in her impatient heart. On June 25, she wrote Babington a letter which, of course, was immediately deciphered by Phelippes, delivered to Walsingham, and probably immediately presented to Elizabeth, who, after some thought, gave permission for the plot. Get on.

Babington received and replied to Mary's letter in the first week of July. His communication with the Queen of Scots was exactly what Walsingham had been waiting for. Babington proposed releasing Mary, killing Elizabeth, raising troops for the Queen of Scots, and arranging for foreign aid to land in ports. The suggestions sound crazy, but Mary, so long cut off from the world, could not know either Babington's position or the slim chance he had of fulfilling his great promises. There was hope, and she grabbed it. Assisted by her Scottish secretary Curle and her French secretary Nau, after much deliberation she prepared a draft reply to Babington which was in fact her death sentence.

The two secretaries seemed to see nothing unusual in Babington's offer. Perhaps they reasoned that there was a crisis in England, that Babington knew about it, that he could take advantage of it, that in short, after so many years, there was an opportunity for Mary to be there. since she landed in England, there has been a complete turn of events in which Elizabeth will fall to the bottom and she will rise to the top.

Mary had no doubts about the wisdom and integrity of her two secretaries. The Frenchman, Claude Nau, was the brother of Jacques Nau, who had previously served Mary and who was himself secretary to the Cardinal of Lorraine, after whose death in 1575 he assumed a rather grim and dangerous position with the prisoners. the queen got. As Elizabeth approved his appointment, it was assumed that he was on her salary, but there is no evidence of this; he was the author of the oft-quoted "History" of his mistress, which he gives, albeit vaguely; her side of her dubious history.

The second secretary was Gilbert Curie, who had been with Mary for twenty years; his sister, Elizabeth, was one of Mary's most devoted servants, and he was married to Mary's other loyal lady-in-waiting, Barbara, daughter of John, Lord Mowbray.

None of these men were shrewd enough to suspect a fall or see the insane stupidity of Babington's proposal, or if they did, they were overwhelmed by Mary's impetuous courage and unquenchable spirit. She was crippled by disease, described as "old" and "dying", crippled by a leg ulcer, semi-paralyzed by an infection in her neck and arm, she could barely move unaided, but neither her daring courage nor her intense ambition sank. Suddenly, in the darkness of despair, a light shone for which she eagerly reached.

Although Mary was so encouraged and excited by this letter, she showed some caution. "If this attempt fails," she remarked, "Elizabeth would have reason enough to imprison me forever in some sort of embrace from which I could never escape had she not used me worse, and in the last resort of those who helped me, which would sadden me more than any misfortune that could befall me.

Finally, Nau reported that the letter had gone unanswered, but Mary couldn't bring herself to give up what seemed like a sick and desperate woman of last resort. She had no other hope; her son had recently left her, she knew him as a pensioner from England, again associated with the Protestant side and Elizabeth, but there was also Spain and English Catholics.

She spent the night, no doubt in sleepless excitement, considering Babington's offer, and in the morning decided to accept it.

Babington's suggestion regarding Elizabeth was read ambiguously - "six gentlemen would do something against the person of the queen", i.e. Elizabeth, and Mary would offer them a reward for the exceptional danger they faced in this service. Mary's response, while no doubt understanding that Elizabeth's murder was intentional, was skillful and evasive. It's a bit tense and contrived, as her letters often have been; she had the gift of using many words and committing to few. But most importantly, her attitude will be that of Kirk o' Field's tragedy: she'll step aside and let events take their course. She "looked through her fingers" at Elizabeth's murder just as she "looked through her fingers" at her husband's murder. She wouldn't put anything in writing to commit, but she wouldn't take any steps to prevent the crime from succeeding. She would not give Babington the power to kill Elizabeth in her name, but she would tell him to use his own discretion. Although Babington had asked her to promise high rewards to six murderers, she avoided the latter request. At the same time, she will "reward anyone who helps her", which can be understood as helping her escape or helping her kill a rival queen.

In short, Mary accepted Babington's offers, was grateful to him for making them, would do anything possible to make them successful, and would reward anyone who helped her with the plan.

* * * * *

She must have been completely deceived about Babington's position. She probably believed she had significant promises of Spanish aid and held the key to a massive Roman Catholic plot to overthrow Elizabeth. It is clear, and even more than natural, that Mary cared little or nothing if Elizabeth lost her life in this plot. She must have held a grudge against the Queen of England, whom she believed had done her the most grievous wrong, and was unlikely to be meticulous in determining whether she would be wronged because of the zeal of one of her supporters.

Roughly speaking, the plan that Mary has joined in seems to be as follows: An assassination attempt is made on Elizabeth, and when successful, a message will be sent to Chartley, the house will be surrounded, Mary will be rescued and taken away. to a place of temporary safety until foreign troops can land to complete the rescue, or English Roman Catholics rise up in sufficient numbers to place Mary on the throne.

Although Nau hesitated and reported that Babington's letter had gone unanswered, Mary seems quite content with the feasibility of the plan. Her immediate assent to such a savage proposal has been attributed to the weakening of her strength after her long confinement and the hardships she has had due to her lack of knowledge in England and abroad. But in fact her action was due to her temperament - she always lacked the knowledge of character, she was violent in her actions, rash, reckless and carried away by the excitement of the moment.

The zeal and energy with which she plunged into the Babington conspiracy is all the more remarkable when one considers her current state of health. Her wives were often with her through the night, she would sometimes lose the use of her hands, there were neck abnormalities "that kept her together in bed for days", and an internal illness that left her depressed.

Walsingham may have spared his elaborate plot and left the Queen of Scots alone as she is unlikely to survive her physical ailments and mental anguish for long.

However, despite her suffering, she willingly pounced on the gilded bait. The messages were sent, given to Phelippes by Gifford, decoded and copied by Phelippes, and then sent by him to Walsingham with the fatal double gallows mark on the envelope.

* * * * *

The plot at Walsingham succeeded. He had enough evidence to take Maria to the scaffold. But he waited a while for a few more letters to pass between his victims. Before ordering the arrest of the conspirators, he met with Babington, with whom he was in constant contact, and urged the young man to tell all he could, telling him that he had been warned that he was a conspirator. His goal was probably to get a confession from Babington without further trouble, but if he did, he failed. Babington said nothing, but he was surprised; to the other conspirators, he seemed quite agitated, half planning to end the whole thing, half planning to fly out of the country. At the same time, there was something fanatical about this young man and he was eager to play a heroic role if only he could find the courage to do so.

Robert Pooley was arrested with Ballard on August 3, after which Antony Babington sent him this remarkable letter:

"Neither care nor concern can ever mend the broken end of a spider's thread." (in Latin).

"I am ready to endure anything that will be imposed on me, both action and boldness are worthy of the Romans." (in Latin).

“What was my attitude towards your secretary, you may guess, which is best evidenced by my love for you. The course of my stay was very strange, I am the same, I always pretended. I pray to God that you and it always is for me. Beware of your own share, lest you bear the blame for these misfortunes of mine. Life among the wicked, what an exile!

"Farewell, dear Robin. If I accept you as faithful, if not, say goodbye to all two-legged creatures, the meanest ones!

"Give me your answer to please me and my diamond and whatever else you want. The furnace is prepared where our faith must be tested. Goodbye until we meet and God knows when.

Your Our Father knows

After writing this letter, Babington, in the throes of agitation and excitement, resolved to assassinate Elizabeth at once. He sought out the two conspirators, Savage and Charnock, in Paul's Walk and urged them to carry out the act immediately, giving them money and weapons.

Babington, however, was closely watched all the time by one Scudamore, one of Walsingham's spies. Babington was in the man's company at the inn when Constable Walsingham received a note which his companion saw on the side with orders for his arrest. The unfortunate young man showed great presence of mind in this terrible moment.

He rose carelessly, leaving his costly cloak and sword on the chair, walked to the bar as if to pay the bill, slipped out of the inn and ran in desperate haste to Westminster, where he met Savage and Charnock. The three men hurried to St. John's Wood and hid in the woods in that district for ten days in the company of two other conspirators, Dunn and Barnwell. At the end of that time, enslaved by hunger and poverty, they went to Harrow and reported to the old moated castle of Uxendon, where a Catholic family named Bellamy lived, and begged for food. Here, too, they received what was perhaps more important to them: the Sacraments, given to them by a priest who had just escaped from prison.

Leaving this house, the conspirators were arrested and taken to the Tower.

The two innocent victims of these elaborate schemes were two sons, Bartholomew and Jeremy, from the family defended by Antony Babington. They were executed for the shelter they gave the conspirators, and their grandmother, Catherine Page, died in prison, where she had been imprisoned for the same crime.

Mary's secretaries and her papers were then confiscated, and this most unhappy woman had to realize with an unspeakable stab that that last dazzling, mad hope had been dashed. She must have soon realized that she too was about to be X-rayed.

* * * * *

She did not give up silently when an unexpected blow fell.

Poulet accompanied her on the hunt; probably her surge of hope gave her some strength - at least she could ride a horse, and with her were all her entourage.

Elizabeth's messenger stopped the procession, arrested Nau and Curie, and ordered the Queen to proceed to Tyxhall, the seat of Mr Edward Haston, about three miles from Chartley.

Mary's passion crossed borders; she used brutal language against Elizabeth and called upon her servants to protect her, but was driven back by Poulet, who no doubt heard Elizabeth's words in his ears: "If you knew, my Amyas, how ... my grateful heart accepts and praises your impeccable efforts and faultless deeds, wise commands, and safe greetings, made in such a dangerous and cunning attack, to ease anxieties and gladden the heart.

In the same letter, there was a sentence that may have touched Poulet, sincerely devoted to his brave queen: "Ask her (Mary) to ask God's forgiveness for her treasonous acts against the Savior of her life for many years, at unbearable danger from mine, yet dissatisfied with so much forgiveness, must make another terrible mistake, far beyond the mind of a woman, let alone a princess.

Elizabeth's probable knowledge of Walsingham's use of aagent-provocateurdoes not imply dishonesty in these expressions; she believed that Mary was plotting against her life and that she had been tricked into it was of little importance.

* * * * *

While Mary was taken to Tyxhall in deep anguish, her papers were confiscated and sent to London. Upon hearing this, she became powerless again and declared that nothing could take away her true faith and English blood, which meant that she was entitled to the English throne through her lineage from Henry VII.

Poulet's letters contain two pathetic looks at this lady he disliked. Seeing the beggars around the gate, when she was going abroad, she cried and cried in a loud voice: "I have nothing for you, I am a beggar just like you, everything has been taken from me!" She added with even more tears: “Good God! I am not privy to anything against the Queen."

Then she tried to console Barbara Curle, who had been put to bed after her husband's arrest, and since they had parted ways with the priest, she herself baptized the child with water and named him Mary. This child's brothers, James and Hipolit, became Jesuits after the Curies fled England, and the latter erected a statue in St. Andrew in Antwerp, in honor of her mother Barbara and her aunt, the pious Elizabeth, the memory of her mistress is alive and sacred in the minds of Roman Catholics.

* * * * *

The discovery of the Babington plot caused a profound sensation in England, as Burleigh and Walsingham had intended. The bells and bonfires that rang and read for 24 hours testified that national relief in the face of national danger had passed. The possibility of a Spanish invasion, of French interference in Mary's name, set the English on fire against a captive who had so long been considered extremely dangerous to England's security. The events of the next year, when Philip's galleons sailed within sight of the Devon coast, prove that this concern was not so unfounded.

M. de Châteauneuf tried to speak to Maria, but Elizabeth explained the whole plot to her, and she listened to no excuses. The French ambassador himself had some problems, his house had to be guarded, his men were insulted in the street and he thought he was in danger of looting. His protests were met with an official response: "People are excited and can't be stopped." To which Walsingham added with cool irony: "The same thing happened in Paris on Saint Bartholomew's night." Elizabeth had an equally vigorous reaction when Châteauneuf made "serious complaints" against those who had spoken ill of Henry III in this crisis. The Queen replied that she was sorry, but there are perhaps a hundred thousand people in France who speak ill of her. Châteauneuf, who naturally intrigued Mary, though he knew nothing of Babington's plot, was horrified to learn of Curle and Nau's seizure and their stay at Walsingham's house with a large chest of papers. He was convinced that "there could be no other design than to bring about the downfall of the Queen of Scots in some way."

* * * * *

The hapless prisoners confessed, engaging Mary to the core.

On 6 September, the hapless Nau, who initially claimed his innocence, declared to Lord Burleigh that his mistress's letters to Babington were genuine and that "I have been writing them in the Queen's hand for a minute."

Both secretaries admitted that all seized documents were authentic; their various Privy Council hearings provided Burleigh and Walsingham with all the evidence they needed against Mary.

One cannot blame Claude Nau, who could hardly disown his own hand and cipher, and who did everything he could for Mary, for whom, as he said in a memorial he wrote in 1605, he spent the twelve best years of his life , in "continuous care, work, toil and effort, in negotiations in almost every place of Christendom, that the queen may obtain her liberty, obtain the property of the king, her son, and both retain their rights to Great Britain."

Being a French subject, he was convinced that he owed his life to the intervention of Henry III.

Antony Babington also confessed with an honesty and thoroughness that did not save him from a gruesome death.

In September, the conspirators were tried and convicted. They suffered the terrible punishment of being quartered alive. The cruelty of the execution was so great that even the people, accustomed to terrible sights, were shocked, and the other party of prisoners was put to death more mercifully.

It is unfair to blame Elizabeth for these horrors; she was one of the most merciful princes in Europe, hideous as some of the executions she allowed appear to us. The savage cruelty of this age is almost unbelievable. During Mary's brief reign as Queen of France, Protestants arrested after the "hustle and bustle of Amboise" were booked for after dinner so that their execution in the courtyard could be a distraction for the ladies. And this at the behest of the Guise, who, according to their friends, were elegant, pious, merciful and humane people.

* * * * *

Châteauneuf did what he could for Mary - "Your Majesty's sovereign princess and sister-in-law" - but admitted she was "in a sorry state". The Queen lay unhappily ill, "disturbed in her old way" at Chartley when Poulet took another step towards her downfall by dismissing many of her servants and confiscating her hoard of French money. The sick woman did not relent without a painful scene, "many denials, many shouts and other words to you (Walsingham) and self-scolding." Poulet had to take the candy bars to the cupboard before Mary handed over the keys. In her desperation and anger, she told one of her useless lies - that she had no money at home and owed wages to her servants. In fact, a large sum of money was discovered, with nearly two thousand pounds in Nau's room alone.

* * * * *

Until then, it was only a question of what charges Mary should face, what her status was, and how she could be subjected to English law. Robert Beale, an official of the Council, believed that she could be given the rank of wife of a peer, that she was not a queen, that she was subject to "the laws of the realm, and not to the laws of aliens, the delusions, or the quarrels of men." He also argued that even if she considered herself a prisoner of war, she had no right to "incite conspiracies."

On 6 October, Elizabeth wrote to Mary stating that since she had heard the Queen of Scots deny complicity in "any attempt against our person and state", he would allow her to defend herself against "the divers of our chief and old nobles".

The following day, Burleigh received instructions from his mistress for a trial against the Queen of Scots, which included terms favorable to the prisoner.

The head of Mary's commissioners or judges was Lord Chancellor Bromley; he was assisted by the Earls of Oxford, Shrewsbury, Mary's keeper for so long, Kent, Pembroke, Lincoln, Derby, Rutland, Worcester, Northumberland, and that Earl of Warwick, brother of Leicester, whom Maitland always despised Lethington as a candidate for Mary's hand.

The Earl of Leicester was not among Mary's judges; he had long ago given up his golden hopes of a royal marriage, and as his name circulated in Europe as a potential husband to Mary or Elizabeth, he married twice - secretly to Lady Sheffield and publicly to Lettice, the widowed Countess of Essex and mother of the man who would succeed Robert Dudley in the eyes of the Queen of England.

There were also Burleigh, the Lord Treasurer, several knights including Walsingham, the Lord Chief Justice of the King's Bench and the Lords Chief Justices of the Common Pleas, in addition to numerous judges, doctors of law, solicitors and lawyers. The farce was serious and beautifully staged.

Maria was not advised. At first, she refused to acknowledge the authority of the commissioners and appear before them, which she must have known would be a prelude to her death.

In any case, Burleigh had no mercy for a sick, helpless, cornered woman; he wrote to Davison's secretary: "Mary has denied the allegations. Her intention was to arouse pity with long contrived speeches, to place all the blame on the Majesty of the Queen, etc. And in these speeches I came to her with reasons against, from my knowledge and experience, because she did not have the advantage she was seeking, and I am sure that the auditor he did not find her case regrettable and her allegations untrue.

* * * * *

Although Maria's death could be called a judicial murder, she was tried according to the law that, though brutal, was applicable to her case. She admitted that she had renounced the crown and was under English jurisdiction and, according to the Babington Letters, had committed a crime punishable by death. Even if she did not interfere in the conspiracy, according to the Statute of Silence, she was guilty of betraying the person in whose favor it was conspired.

On the other hand, she herself maintained that she was a sovereign queen, subject to no laws and not subject to the power of England, where she did not wish to be held. At last she allowed herself to be persuaded to appear before the "old nobility" of Elizabeth, and, severely handicapped by her illness, leaning on the doctor's arm, she slowly went out into the anteroom.

As she entered, dressed in her dignified mourning garb, into the great chamber filled with Elizabeth's formidable commissioners, she must have known it was over. She didn't get a chance, of course, but she defended herself with spirit, dignity, and grace before this tribunal she initially refused to acknowledge. Sick, heartbroken, deprived of legal aid and companionship, she defended herself step by step against the inevitable fate that awaited her; she used her usual weapon - complete denial of all charges against her, vehement protests against her innocence, insistence on her sovereign rights. She never plotted against Elizabeth's life, and she, a free princess, was free to use whatever means she wanted to escape illegal custody herself.

At first she contemptuously denied any correspondence with Babington, but admitted it when confronted with statements by Nau and Curle, copies of her letters to Babington and his letters to her. She spoke harshly and bitterly, with many angry expressions, disliked the empty throne and canopy set up for Elizabeth, and the fact that she had no president of state. She said she had the right to sit under a canopy since she married the King of France - it was to her deep regret that the canopy in her state apartment was recently torn down. She has stated that she is the queen and recognizes no superior on Earth and will not answer to anyone but Elizabeth herself.

Seeing so many lawyers, she remarked bitterly, "I see you have many masters and advisers, but none for me."

When shown the letters as evidence against her, she excitedly said, "Here are some of my enemies who brewed this for me." It was truer than she knew; she was probably never quite aware that she had died a victim of Walsingham's schemes, although she seems to have felt a double play. She "battered a lot" from exhaustion and despair.

Burleigh, who had been an enemy of the Queen of Scots for so many years, did not feel sorry for this lonely figure in mourning, this sad woman who had defended her hopeless cause with such zeal and courage.

Amias Poulet, writing to Walsingham on October 24, while this trial was in progress, gives this remarkable picture of his prisoner: "I see no change in Queen Mary from her former calm and security. She is in good condition, wanting different things provided for her own needs. She expects to get her money back soon. She takes pleasure in small lies and throughout the course of her speech, she is free from external sadness on the outside. After an insignificant conversation, she told me that history records that this kingdom was accustomed to blood, I replied that if she had consulted the records of Scotland, France, Spain and Italy, she would have found that this kingdom was far behind any other Christian nation in shedding blood, though the same was also very necessary when danger and there was an insult. She did not want to go further on the matter, and indeed it was easy to see that in this speech she had not intended to make her own case, but expressed it in the usual way in speech. She is completely free from all fear of evil."

In late October, Mary was ill, and her guard wrote, "I deny that I have ever left the lady in her impassioned speeches, but I must confess that I have often left her in her superfluous and useless speeches."

Mary's composure was more courage than indifference, as evidenced by the letter she wrote to her cousin, the Duke of Guise, on Christmas Day in the last year of her life. her letters, impeccable in tone and feeling, moved with dignity and pathos. She declared that she was to be put to death by an unjust condemnation "such as has never befallen anyone of her race and quality." She thanked her God that she was dying "for the maintenance and renewal of the Catholic Church on this wretched island" - and that she, the free queen, was being put to death by heretics who had no jurisdiction over her (all members of her house were persecuted by heretics) and there was no shame in the fate that was to meet her at their hands.

[*Henri, 3rd Duke of Guise (Balafré), together with his brother Louis, Cardinal of Guise, murdered in Blois by order of Henry III, 1588]

It reminds his cousin of the murder of his father, who died at the hands of a Protestant during the siege of Orléans. Pride and austere arrogance are evident in the formal resignation of these words.

But in the next sentence, Mary is tender. He begs his cousin to pay off his debts, take care of the poor servants, organize an annual mass for her soul, but not at his expense. She speaks of her latest tragedy, begging God to bless him, his wife, children, and nephew, a blessing she would ask God to give her children, but she has only one son "who is miserable and deceived." She sends him small gifts to "remind him to pray for her and one will give him a ruby ​​ring in her name and that person he must honor." She says she has suffered a lot in the last two years and returns to her vows of fervent fidelity to the Church. She was born, she says, to give her blood in the name of faith.

But after this martyr's protest, the world's anger and pride rise again: "To humiliate me, they had the canopy taken down, and since then my guards have been proposing to write to the queen, saying that it is not done only on the advice of the councillors. Instead of weapons on the canopy, I showed them the Cross of my Redeemer, and since then they have been more lenient."

The consolation of feeling victimized by her allegiance to the Church of Rome and the arrogance of her birth were all that remained for Mary in her final abandonment. This spiritual dignity and worldly pride gave her extraordinary fortitude.

Her judges found her guilty of complicity in a plot against Elizabeth's life: "She found her not only an accomplice and privy to the plot, but an inventor and an accomplice in Her Majesty's destruction," wrote Walsingham triumphantly in the commissioners' verdict. , they finally met in the Star Room. Both Houses of Parliament confirmed this assessment. The news that England would soon be rid of the Queen of Scots caused great public rejoicing.

* * * * *

Henry III and James VI interceded for the Queen of Scots. James' stance was brutal, he knew that he, Elizabeth's pensioner and, he hoped, her heir, could do nothing to offend her, and he privately consented to his mother's murder in exchange for the material benefits that England enjoyed and the prospects become Elizabeth's successor. He saved face by a public outcry that the English government knew it should not take seriously. He found that he had a natural affection for his mother, but that he underestimated her behavior, and with gloomy premonitions, he dwelled on her strange, unhappy story.

The protests of Henry III also meant little. Since Elizabeth paid no attention to them, he could not and would not do anything. Elizabeth told Châteauneuf that she could not resist Parliament's demands. It was her or Mary's life, "and the King of France cannot think it reasonable that I, being innocent, should die to save the guilty Queen of Scotland."

Châteauneuf wrote to Henry III that he had seen bonfires lit in the streets of London and heard joyful bells ringing for twenty-four hours as it was publicly announced in London that "Mary was a traitor, unworthy of her accession, and guilty of death." In the same letter, the ambassador shows some sympathy for Mary: "But this is a wretched situation and a great danger in which the Queen of Scots now finds herself. We have no news of her as she is being watched very closely. let him give up four women and two servants. Her death sentence was pronounced in the presence of Lord Buckhurst. We haven't heard her say anything except that she doesn't believe the Queen, her sister, will treat her inhumanely.

"About the time of the public proclamation, they removed the canopy from her room, hung the walls and bed in black, and sent a pastor to console her. However, she refused to let him in and declares that what will happen will happen as a Catholic."

On December 19, Mary wrote her last letter to Elizabeth. This remarkable letter, written in French, attests to Maria's extraordinary determination, and it must have taken rare strength of character to write with such poise and such rare dignity in such horrific circumstances - dignity and self-control that Mary had. she was not seen in many other crises of her life where such qualities would be so valuable. Like the other members of her unhappy House, she knew it was better to die than live.

Her last request to Elizabeth was that her body be taken to France to be laid to rest next to that of the Queen, her mother: "Given that in Scotland the bodies of my predecessor kings have been profaned, and the churches destroyed and profaned, and that the sufferings of on this earth, I have no place among your ancestors, who are also mine. And besides, according to our religion, we believe it's important to be buried on sacred ground. I don't blame you God in any way but pay attention to my death lest you see the truth in everything the jewel I received from you I will send you in my last words or rather if you will I will ask you again in Jesus name with for the sake of our kinship, for the sake of Henry VII, your ancestor and mine, and in honor of the dignity we both have, and for our common lineage, that my request be granted. For the rest, I think you found out that my canopy was in your name, although I was later told that it was not at your behest, but at the behest of some Privy Councilors. I praise God for this cruelty, which only serves to anger and humiliate me after the announcement of my death."

The draft death sentence for Maria was signed on February 1. It is handwritten by Burleigh. On February 15, Beale, a clerk of the Council, was sent from London to Fotherinhay to prepare for the execution of the Queen of Scots. Shrewsbury and other nobles were summoned to attend.

It was Beale who was admitted late at night in Mary's presence and informed her that she would be beheaded at ten o'clock the next morning.

Mary accepted this brutal announcement with calm dignity. She seemed indifferent to her fate, and perhaps she was intoxicated with despair. She stated that she was glad that nineteen years of misery and anguish were over, but that her spirit was innocent, her heart pure, her conscience clear, and that she could bravely stand before the face of God. She said she was innocent of the charges against her. Again she spoke of her violent death and unjust condemnation by people who had no power over her. And, slightly diverging from the tone of her last letter to Elizabeth, she spoke of the mortal hatred of this queen, from whom she had never expected anything but death. She also said, and it was all too true, that Elizabeth's advisers were also her "eternal enemies" whom the Queen of England had employed to bring her downfall and death.

Then she tried to take her mind off these excruciating worldly anguishes and prayed with her faithful wives until one in the morning.

Those with whom she lived so intimately for so long loved her immeasurably. In the eyes of some of her servants, she was both a saint and a martyr.

She had the two Curies with her, Elizabeth and Barbara, Joan Kennedy, Christian Hogg, "Bastien's wife", Kirk o'Field's fiancée of the evening, Mary Page, Susan Kirkcaldy and a Frenchwoman named Renée la Beauregard; the faithful Mary Seton, who was so good with wigs, had gone to a Flemish convent a few years earlier in failing health. In her establishment there was also an apothecary, a surgeon, a priest, a doctor and several servants.

Among them she divided her exquisite treasures, objects that she had long treasured and with which she had often dealt during her time in prison. It must have taken her many minutes of the last hours to patiently share these small memories with her few friends. Sir Robert Melville had a small picture of James VI, and Andrew Melville was charged with a fine piece of bed furniture, probably Mary's work, a piece of a precious unicorn horn, a rug from the estate, and some pictures of the Queen's ancestors (Stewart or Guise?) to be given to her son; that the Prince must have received this pitiful gift with some trepidation.

There were considerable sums of money, French crowns and rose nobility to be divided between those servants and the poor, and more charming feminine trinkets left in the possession of women to make every heart sigh, a necklace of coral and musk, "a little gold pin to put in a woman's hair with white sapphire at the end, a small heart of silver, a gold-plated vial of fresh water…”

Was the blood-red ring Henry Stewart married her with, the black teardrop ring she designed for Bothwell, among the keepsakes she gave away the night before she died? She didn't mention any of those names; she wouldn't want to be buried next to Henry Stewart in Holyrood's royal vaults, but far away where, if she wasn't happy, she'd at least be at peace. Nor did she mention Rizzio; she was said to have worn the Norfolk diamond on her breast to the end, but of all her lovers, she certainly didn't think about this man.

She remained unfathomable among her benevolent legacies; there was no mention of her marriages, lovers, crimes attributed to her; she did not take this last chance to explain herself, to explain herself, to finally write down her explanation of many things that were grimly dark, her justification for many things that were so reprehensible. She let it all go. Perhaps she was too tired to say the words, too tired to bear even the echo of passion. She slept a little and prayed.

She wasn't completely resigned; about her last night, she uttered some bitter words to the son who had abandoned her. It seemed almost impossible to her that she, so born and so gifted, should find herself in this terrible void. She may have remembered that anyone who had a hand in King Henry's death met a violent end. Moray, Maitland, Bothwell, Morton, Paris...many more.

The mind freezes, fascinated by the spectacle of this woman at the moment. The traditional "haven after a stormy sea, rest after a long pain" is not enough as a lament for this queen.

She was so violently held in a sudden flash of hope that was never extinguished, she was so far from the desire for ultimate peace, she was so down to earth, so passionately worldly. In a ruined, tormented body beat a heart so brave, weak limbs animated by a soul so fiery that her talk of longing for death was only a softener she used to soothe her aching nerves. What could she be thinking as she made a list of her treasures for distraught servants? Did she think of all the others who had died miserably, not just her lovers, but friends and foes as well—Moray, Maitland, Lennox, Mar, Argyll, Morton, Kirkcaldy of the Grange, Archbishop Hamilton, Paris, and George Dalgleish? , others tortured subordinates? and killed?

Did she remember Edinburgh, where she laughed and partied, where she rode, crowned, where she screamed at the chancellor's window, half-naked, repressed? "It is a high city, in fertile soil and healthy air, adorned with many noble towers surrounding it, and rich in many springs of fresh water", where she danced with Chastelard, heard Rizzio sing, had Henry Stewart in the ring to see the tarp, rode behind border with Earl Bothwell.

Perhaps her mind froze and she didn't remember any of these things, just worried about how she was going to die. But she, like another brilliant woman on the verge of sudden death, had to "pity herself." She was so lovely, so cheerful, so beautiful, so noble, she delighted the senses of the beholder, yet she was so disfigured, exhausted, and rejected. She remained locked in her farewells, baubles, prayers, elegant bath preparations, hairdo, dressing in silk, velvet, lawn and lace; there was no mess and in the morning it was ready.

Mary Queen of Scotland (14)

Mary comes face to face with her tormentor.

Her behavior was distinguished by the disgusting tragedy of the last scene, which frees her from the greatest horror, but at the same time makes her almost unbearable. Stumbling between two of her lords, she made her way through the corridor at Fotherinhay, where a great fire was breaking the rigors of a winter morning, and where a six-foot dais had been erected, draped in black cloth, with a chair, a block, and an axe. The hall was full of solemn men busy with their duties and eager reporters eager to capture every detail of this extraordinary scene.

At least her role was performed with grace and elegance. Everything about her was rich and exquisite, as she was used to it, and not without a certain splendour. Her robes were beautiful, her dress was precise, and her smooth face between the rich auburn curls of her wig and the wings of her lace cap was serene.

The reporter described her as tall, corpulent, with a flat face and round shoulders. Another testified to her extraordinary charm, "the most beautiful princess of her time."

There was an atmosphere of gloomy ceremony around the stage. Did anyone who was with her think of other spectacles in her life, of the days when she rode crowned and crowned through the streets of Edinburgh to open Parliament, of the masks at Holyrood where she laughed and shone in men's clothing, of those crazy hours revels when she and her maids, in their precious aprons, ran through the streets to collect money for lavish banquets, of those days of joyous and beautiful gaiety when the music that satisfied her ancestors was not enough, of that "Easter Great Resurrection Mass Lord's when simple organ music wasn't enough and that he must have trumpets, drums, flutes, bagpipes and sakirs."

But there was no music in Fotherinhay; she had to rely solely on her two inner strengths: hope for heaven and pride. She was refused a priest of her own faith and endured this needless cruelty with fortitude. Without exasperation, she scorned the unofficial dean of Peterborough, who offered her the comfort of the Protestant religion with false zeal.

She cried a little during the trial and shed a few more tears as prayers were said on the side of the block. But she retained admirable control of her nerves. She forgave her enemies, repented of her sins, trusted God. She begged her wives to stay with her and vouched for their control; she said a tender farewell to Robert Melville and instructed him to deliver a message to her son, whom she would not recognize if she saw him. James VI was to live a Catholic life, in peace with Elizabeth and in the fear of God.

She demanded a safe-conduct for her servants and their inheritance; it was promised. She stepped onto the stage and sank into a chair, too paralyzed to stand on her own. She listened fearlessly as Robert Beale read her the verdict and Elizabeth's arrest warrant, bearing the great seal of England. She had an ivory cross and a missal in her hand, a gold crucifix on her breast, and a rosary on her waist.

She knelt before the log and prayed to herself, "with great courage she did not change color and did not show any sign of fear." She behaved with gentle dignity and kindness towards everyone around her, even those who were her guardians and enemies. She gave Sir William FitzWilliam, Governor of Fotherinhay, "a poor prisoner's last gift, a picture of her son which she usually kept over her bed should he wish to take it".

It was the perfect kindness to someone she only knew as a prison guard.

Her eyes were framed by the delicate chalice veil of delicate cambric, embroidered with gold, perhaps her work. She clearly stated her creed: "I firmly believe that I will be saved by the passion and blood of Jesus Christ, which I also believe according to the faith of the ancient Catholic Church of Rome, and therefore shed my blood." She repeated the seventieth psalm, "then one of the torturers held her hands, and the other severed her head with two helicopter strikes."

Everything was done with such grace and dignity that no one present could believe that she had ever been a lustful, impetuous, dissolute woman.

When the ax fell, when the head was severed from the body, the veils and hoods and wigs fell, and the face that resembled that of a beautiful woman became that of an old, beaten creature with a gray, clean-shaven face. vote. It was the executioner who showed people by crying out: "God save our Queen of England".

Mary Queen of Scotland (15)

Execution of Mary Queen of Scots. Painting by Abel de Pujol.

The deliberations were marked by great seriousness; while the severed body was taken to the surgeon, every piece of cloth on which blood had fallen was burned, the gates of the castle were closed, there was no excitement or bustle. A small dog was found near the severed head; has been thoroughly washed; all draperies, clothes and shelves were destroyed, partly out of respect "for she was the daughter of a king", partly to avoid hoarding relics.

Henry Talbot, son of the Earl of Shrewsbury, was sent with the news to London, where his news caused much rejoicing, as if "the people believed that a new era had dawned in which they hoped that all could keep peace".

Mary Queen of Scotland (16)

„Dodenmasker Marii.

Her embalmed body lay unburied for six months and then, in denial of her last and fervent request, was buried with great dignity and reverence in Peterborough Cathedral. The gentlemen who carried it found the weight of the lead coffin so unbearable that they placed it directly in the vault prepared for it opposite the tomb of another unfortunate queen, Catherine of Spain, first wife of Henry VIII, instead of "carrying it solemnly". "Additionally, there was a concern that the solder would break, and because it is very hot, it would cause some discomfort." This procession took place by torchlight on the night of July 30, 1587.

When James VI received the English crown, the right he had inherited from his mother and by which he had abandoned her, he arranged for her body to be moved from Peterborough, but not to French soil, and to the Catholic Church, where she wanted to be laid to rest, but near Elizabeth Tudor at St. Peter in Westminster. There she was carried in her last glory, again by torchlight, on October 8, 1609, in the company of great dignitaries and English nobles, bishops, deans and clergy of the Protestant denomination, whom she so despised and rejected. James paid handsomely for a noble statue of his mother, clothed and crowned, standing stately and serene for centuries on the south side of the Royal Chapel at Westminster.

* * * * *

While the news of the death of the Queen of Scots was received by Protestants with outbursts of joy, as if the earth had passed into a great redemption, for Roman Catholics it was the death of a saint and martyr. Her long imprisonment and heroic death cleansed her of all guilt and madness in the eyes of her fellow believers. For them, she was and will remain what she declared herself to be, "the one who died for her faith."

Sir Amias Poulet, with scrupulous honesty, made an inventory of all Queen Mary's possessions, which he sent to Sir Francis Walsingham. Among them was a small rifle on wheels, apparently of gold, a small bow and arrows of gold, and a small table of enamelled gold, which had the effigy of the King of Scots on it, apparently gifts for her son, which he was not allowed to do. received.

One of her bequests was for Gilbert Curie's little baby, a little teddy bear, enameled in white, with two small rings, one of which had five small opals, and a small necklace of coral and mother-of-pearl.

Sebastien and Sebastien's wife, groom and bride at the wedding that Mary left on the night of the king's assassination, received a gold jewel studded with four pearls and three other stones with a blue sapphire in the center. a small green enameled gold bird, a pair of perfumed bracelets mixed with silk. In the frame was a ruby ​​turtle, a gift from Rizzio.

She also left several pieces of intricate embroidery "unfinished with sewing thread and raw thread of all colors not yet wound." Similarly, her life was multicolored, richly designed, unfinished, unfolded with many threads.

From Scotland, which, like Mary's origin, seemed a mess lit by candles of dissolute feast, where the self-willed go about their business, comes this sweet voice, one of the many voices of peace and hope that come from the heart of this great people to come. This is the man who was employed by Mary's son and who died the year her body was moved to Westminster - Alexander Hume of Logic:

Mary Queen of Scotland (17)

Graf Mary in Westminster Abbey.

“Time is so peaceful and quiet
You won't find it anywhere
Save up high and barren hill
A breath of passing wind.

A dove with whistling wings so blue
The wind can gather quickly
Her purple pens change many colors
Directly into the sun.

What a pleasure to walk around and watch
The end of the long clear river,
The perfect shape of each tree
Appearing in the depths.

Oh, then it was the right thing
While everything is quiet and peaceful
Praise God sing and play,
With a cornet and a shawl."

* * * * *

At the church of Notre-Dame in France, where twenty-eight years earlier Mary Stewart had married a young man whom she had to remember every time she signed herself "Dowager Queen of France" and whose photograph she carried with her when she died, the Archbishop of Bourges delivered the funeral oration before a great company, including her brother-in-law, King Henry III.

"Many of us in the place where we now gather to mourn her saw the queen on the day of her wedding feasts, so adorned with jewels that the sun itself did not shine brighter, so beautiful, so charming in everything, as never was a woman." The walls were then hung with gold fabrics and costly tapestries, and in every room there were thrones and chairs, full of princes and princesses who came from all over to share the joy. The palace was filled with splendour, feasts and masks, the streets with tournaments.

“A little while and everything disappeared like a cloud. Marble, bronze and iron decay in the air or corrode with dust, but the memory of their greatness will live forever.

"However, I must doubt your beauty,
When you see that you're wasting food.


Mary Stewart's downfall was in herself - no one could save her from the effects of her own reckless passions. An in-depth and impartial study of her character reveals no mysterious heroine of the romance, no mystically delicate being longing for the unattainable happiness of perfect love.

She lived in her time, eager to share in all the pleasures and enjoy all the privileges associated with her unique position as Queen of Government - a position that only a few women have held since the beginning of time.

She was often portrayed as a woman pathetically looking for love and brutally betrayed by a counterfeit love. In her story there is not a trace or trace of heroic love itself. Her passion for Henry Darnley and her infatuation with the Earl of Bothwell were almost entirely physical, perhaps redeemed by a touch of higher affection, though this is doubtful given her acquiescence to Darnley's death and her request to divorce Bothwell when circumstances made her useful to her marry another man. You could say that both of these men behaved in such a way that she turned her love into hate, but

“Love is not love that finds change
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It was a brutal, salacious time, the aristocracy was grossly immoral, court life was openly corrupt, and it would have been remarkable if Mary Stewart had been capable of idyllic, sincere, and faithful affection for any man. Nothing is more obvious than that she wasn't. Her defenders, all serving their hearts at the cost of their heads, slander suffering men by electing her exalted - to make her seem deeply unjust, all those who have come into contact with her must be portrayed as villains. Examination of the facts does not support this view: her second husband in particular appears to have been defamed. She chose him, exalted him, flattered him to excess, and then behaved in ways that would have driven an older, wiser man mad. There is no reason to believe that he knew he was lying when he accused her of being the maid's mistress, and by the standards of his time he was entitled, with that conviction, to exact the bloody revenge he undertook.

She had lured him into betraying his associates, which in itself was not an act of honour, though it might have been justified if she had based it on sincere penance. She didn't, but even after Rizzio's nasty episode, she courted Earl Bothwell, resented her husband again, and only made a friendly gesture when she wanted to turn him over to her enemies.

Her third husband was undoubtedly a murderer "lewd, blinded by ambition" - but though she liked him, she was ready to turn a blind eye to his crimes, though all of Europe had warned her against him, and join him in such an outrageous union. that even her friends were completely terrified.

Having agreed (and this is extremely difficult) that Mary was ultimately abused by Bothwell, she herself, knowing who he was, allowed him to ensnare him, encourage him, and give him grace upon grace. He was no worse than many of his contemporaries and tastes more like a Renaissance Italian or "Italian" than the borderline villain he is so often portrayed for. If Mary could find "all for love and a lost world" with Bothwell, her story would be heroic, but despite her frantic displays of devotion to her third husband, less than a year after their last goodbye, she entertained the thought of another marriage to George Douglas, and as soon as her prison was changed and the Norfolk marriage brought new hope, she tried to free herself from her distant husband, and was willingly betrothed to one who scarcely stirs feelings, passions, or fantasies, which made Bothwell, it has been contemptuously said, "her adulterer rather than her rightful master.

"Abominable Face" described one of her servants, the Duke of Norfolk, and his portrait supports that judgment, but Mary may have written warm love letters to him, exchanged pennies, engaged him, conspired with him against her enemies, told the story of herself and Bothwell with another heretic. There is no indication that she sighs over the prisoner in Denmark, nor any words of sympathy, regret for his fate, which is much more difficult than hers. She had ruined him as he had ruined her, and there is no evidence that she was inherently superior to him, though they were similar in many ways.

He cared little for her and used her only for his ill-conceived ambitions; she cared little as his beautiful form vanished from her sight. All her life she was self-centered, preoccupied with herself and her circumstances, captivated by her own joy, sustained by an exuberant pride so intense that she could be "known to all".

In early womanhood she was full of the material pleasures of existence, ready for any emotion, any pleasure, kind and kind to those around her as long as they did not try to restrain her persistent desires and whims, eager to please and become. delighted. After her misfortunes befallen her so early, she plunged into her misery, constantly brooding over her mistakes and sufferings and fighting with unflagging pride and energy to reclaim the dangerous throne she had lost so quickly.

She graciously sympathized with her subordinates who suffered because of the allegiance of her fallen state, but she had no mercy for those of her own caste who had lost everything for her, and she accepted no blame for their misfortunes. During the nineteen years of her imprisonment, her lamentations over her bitter fate never ceased, but the tantalizing thought that some of her misfortunes might be the result of her mistakes never troubled her. The dark cloud on this honor, which was "more dear to her than life", she did not seriously try to raise. She never said anything definitive to clear herself of complicity in her husband's murder, nor offered any explanation about Bothwell's marriage; her declarations of innocence were firm but general. She always avoided a direct response to a direct accusation.

In 1582, when Elizabeth's commissioners again accused her of murder, she asked to accept the charge in writing when she would reply in writing. She read Buchanan's Detection and found it "obscene work by an atheist" but did not disprove the allegations. Many of them are careless lies; why hadn't Mary said that, unless she was afraid that by exposing Buchanan's lies she would reveal the fundamental truths on which they were based? She had plenty of time in her English prisons and usually had two secretaries at her disposal. Why did she not describe her behavior and the circumstances of her stay in Scotland in detail, and did she not name the people who could corroborate her testimony? Truth has always weighed heavily, even in the most ingenious slander, and Mary has declared her concern for posterity's approval - what could stop her from defending her cause with such honesty and innocence?

Claude Nau's "Memorials of Mary Stewart" would have checked and approved them, but they are small, ambiguous, often obscure, full of significant omissions, and raise questions about Mary's private conduct.

She denied writing the "coffin letters", but did not provide any evidence to substantiate this denial. When Elizabeth's commissioners Lord Shrewsbury and Secretary Beale (1573) accused her of complicity in the Northumberland Rebellion, she vehemently denied it, but in the face of some intercepted letters she wept and accused her steward of adding something to her count. She pleaded not to take her words too literally, given her distress and excitement.

She also rejected the famous letter to Babington, which was the last excuse for her death. Undoubtedly she wrote it in the sense that she dictated it and approved it in its final form.

She repeatedly said that all the princes of Christendom would recognize her "innocence", but this was not true. After her marriage to Earl Bothwell, she had no friend in Europe, and though the Valois family pleaded for her, it was for form because of her position as Queen Dowager of France; if she fled into their care, they had nothing to offer her except shelter in a convent. Her own relatives, the Guises, to whom she appealed so fervently, not only made no effort to help her, but gave no evidence of approval of her conduct or conviction of her impeccable honour.

Her confessor had abandoned her and the pope had abandoned her; if the Vatican then took the case, it was perfectly within the policy – ​​it was not a matter of innocence or guilt of the Queen of Scots, but using her to help the Counter-Reformation that excommunicated Elizabeth Tudor, a bastard, could depose a heretic. The same motives guided Philip II - when he finally decided to descend to England (1588), it was too late to hope for the defense of Mary Stewart, who had been in her grave for more than a year.

The character played by the Earl of Moray was heavily attacked by his half-sister's defenders; they accept her view that his ambition drove him to keep scheming for her death. This view need not be accepted on the basis of the evidence. Moray may have been as ready to rule by Mary as he was ready to rule by her son, but his thirst for exaltation may have been satisfied by the position of First Counselor of the Crown.

He was a very capable, thoughtful man, and it seems reasonable to conclude that he was loyal to Mary until her marriage, and would have been if he had approved of her husband. There were many blemishes in his character, but he always maintained an outward decency and possessed great dignity and pride, which were wounded by the scandals caused by Maria's behavior. He undoubtedly saved her life when he returned to Scotland in 1567 and probably acted in her best interests by keeping her at Lochleven.

It is reasonable to assume that Moray was Mary's good genius, and that she alienated him from marriage by a marriage he could not accept, being seduced by the mere "fantasy of a man, whatever his taste, manners, or condition" (Randolf).

Sir William Maitland of Lethington remains a mystery. He was so subtle, so accustomed to intrigue, so fond of secret, difficult politics, that he left a disguised figure for posterity. It is likely that his position was similar to Moray's - he served Mary until the influence of other men alienated him. He was not, however, like the stern Moray, disgusted by her weaknesses, but distraught by her as a queen. Perhaps at first he had a more chivalrous affection for her than any of her advisers. Their minds were alike in many things.

Nothing good has ever been said about the Earl of Morton, but his villains have little to do with Mary's story.

Most of the other nobles who bothered the queen with "lords" were villains, knew it and accepted it, and didn't care as long as they supported her; none of them knew kindness, loyalty, honor, mercy - or any virtue. Most of it was "art and part" of Darnley's murder; fastidious Lethington and truly pious Moray were probably accomplices in this crime - Bothwell was an instrument in the hands of more cunning men.

The gentlemen's behavior towards Mary was unscrupulous; changed their attitude towards her as they saw fit, accused her of a crime that was also their crime, defamed her, and in the case of the "confessions" of subordinates who had been executed for murder at Kirk O'Field, falsified the evidence against her with complete disregard for the truth. None of this proves her innocence. The "confessions" were falsified not so much because it was necessary to impeach the queen and Bothwell, but because it was necessary to clear the lords.

As for the "coffin letters", they apparently were able to forge them as far as the morality of the matter was concerned, though it is doubtful that anyone other than Lethington had the ability to sneak into Mary's mind in such a way as to write Letter II. . But did they have to go through all that effort? If they could forge them, Mary could write them. They fit perfectly into her life and character anyway, the circumstances and the period when the assumption that she didn't write them seems fantastically romantic. while you canproventhat she didn't, it must remain a very plausible assumption that she did. We can indeed, if we wish, declare any document that discredits Mary as a forgery, any story against her for being written with anger, any story that slanders her as false. In short, we can dismiss any evidence that does not fit the plea of ​​wrongful innocence as false. If we don't, we must let her be the woman her enemies called her: headstrong, passionate, headstrong, false and frivolous.

In this important proof we must remind ourselves that we cannot reject all that is against Mary and accept all that is for her; if we do not believe the Lennox MSS., the reports of the English envoys, Moray, Lethington, Du Croc, Hay's "confessions" of Tal in Paris, etc., we must also believe Nau and the hymns of Brantôme and Ronsard, and so on, do not believe the scattered references about Maria's princely qualities, her wit, grace, courage and beauty.

We must also remember that if she was of impeccable honour, chaste, faithful and resolute, all such paeans to her judgment and wisdom are obviously false - if she was innocent in all the dubious acts of her life, she would have to be a passive fool who was completely overwhelmed by every stronger character with whom she encountered. We cannot underestimate her "shrewd judgment", her precocious understanding and cleverness, and her downright honesty. For example, she was cunning or simple when she secretly signed the Liberties of Scotland during her marriage to François de Valois - she could not be both smart and honest on this occasion, and this applies to many other activities in her life.

Her behavior during her short reign, an episode that hardly affected Scottish history, proves that she possessed neither political ability nor patriotism. She was eager to rule and impatient for any limits to her power, but she was unable to rule and did not think of her people as a separate entity at all. Acting initially on the advice of Guise and then on the advice of Moray, she tried to appease the Protestants, even to the point of sacrificing her own masters and co-religionists, the Gordons. willing to tolerate attacks on her own faith. She employed heretics, followed the advice of one in Moray, married one in Bothwell, was betrothed to another in Norfolk, and, sticking to her own principles, was content to abandon them for the sake of background power.

There is no evidence that Mary's religion was anything more than a mild superstition, although she was probably deceiving herself about her sincerity on this point. While in prison, and as her misfortunes grew, she turned to her faith, like a child in the dark turning into a ray of light. Separated from power and the state by abdication and flight, cut off from love and joy by forced seclusion and the increasing complications of illness, she gradually developed a religious attitude that provided an emotional outlet and was very useful politically. Rejected by man she could appeal to God, condemned by the world she could seek justice in heaven, a Catholic in the hands of Protestants could demand sympathy as a martyr. Only in such an attitude, stripped of everything she valued, could she find solace.

Secularly, it was in her best interest to emphasize her religion; her only hope of foreign aid and an English rebellion in her favor lay in her position as a Roman Catholic who had been removed from the English throne simply because of her faith. Everyone from the pope to Antony Babington who conspired to free Mary did so in hopes of restoring the old faith. Mary's piety brought her neither peace nor resignation nor contempt for the world. Although she repeatedly said that she would abandon all ambitions, even a severe illness was unable to quell her restless worldliness, lust for power and revenge. She clung fervently to Babington's mad hope, and even at the last moment her lament over the looted canopy, the symbol of kingship, mingled woefully with her pious meditations, her hopes for heaven, her trust in justice for her sake. .

Mary's violent death was the happiest thing that ever happened to her; cleansed her of past scandals, gave her the status of a martyr, almost a saint, allowed her to show extraordinary courage and dignity, diverted all disapproval from her life, drawing attention to the unusual place of her death, which was giving her a chance to show herself once and for all as a dying woman, not as reparation for crimes, mistakes and follies, but simply because she remained true to her faith.

She protested that she had been wrongly convicted by those who had no jurisdiction over her, and the obvious truth of this added to the pity and indignation at her terrible fate. Her complaints were more justified than she knew. At the time, it was vehemently denied that the Babington plot was the work of Walsingham, and Mary may not have even fully realized that she had fallen into a trap by responding to George Gifford's first letter. But that has little to do with her character; her letter to Babington is in no way altered by the fact that she was tempted to write this scathing letter by her enemies. Much credit goes to the action of Sir Francis Walsingham in devising the plan to destroy Mary, and to Lord Burleigh and Elizabeth for authorizing this cunning device. This way of protesting is inappropriate, and harshly judging one era over another distorts history. Nothing can confuse history more than to set arbitrary standards of ethics and morality, of honor and fairness, for people we don't have to measure up to, whose circumstances we find hard to appreciate, whose hardships we barely understand. to be captured. Many lazy scholars, whose lives were free from temptations and dangers, who had been brought up in peace and lived in peace, sat behind a comfortable desk and wrote with fierce contempt for the statesmen of another age, who lacked their own refined sense of honor. .

No one in the public life of the sixteenth century can be judged by the standards of ideal conduct, not even by what an English gentleman three hundred years later would find acceptable. false values.

Walsingham's request seems clumsy to us, but the English have always preferred judicial murder to covert murder, and law-abiding people like to disguise acts of violence under the guise of order.

Walsingham himself made Walsingham's attitude clear in his protest at Mary's trial when she alluded to Ballard's possible employment: "I call on God to note that as a private person I have done nothing befitting an honest man. place of a public man, I have done something unworthy of my place.

Indeed, what weapons did Walsingham use that were not in the arsenals of most governments? The so-called spyagent-provocateur, bribe, intercepted letter, stolen letter, forged or falsified document, trap, bait, false confession, these are the cliches of governments and so adopted that they form the basis of many brave tales of patriotism, sacrifice and heroism. It is the Romantics who condemn Walsingham; for them the cause is everything, everything he has done would be brave, wise and admirable if done to free Mary, but used against her is vile. However, you can't underestimate a spy who works on the other side, and a hero if he works alone. Too many such sentimental lies have obscured Mary's story. The irritating question of political morality has nothing to do with it and can be disregarded considering that no man in the 16th century who attempted to rule with sincere candor, lack of artifice, disregard for deception, complete truthfulness, and a Christian weekly mail. The same is probably true of any other century. Walsingham was loyal to his queen, that is, to his country and his faith. So did Burleigh and many of his subordinates, such as Amias Poulet; no one could say more about anyone in those days.

We will come to Elizabeth Tudor ourselves. When examined in relation to Mary Stewart, she seems to be a much better, much more attractive figure, both as a woman and as a ruler. Her memory is full of malicious abuse due to her treatment of Maria, but there is no reason to believe it was due to malice, jealousy or revenge. Her case is best described by herself in the instructions she gave to Lord Shrewsbury and Beale, Clerk of the Council, in response to Mary's bitter protests in her letter to Elizabeth dated 8 November 1582. It is too long to describe, but will be found in ( from the Harleian MSS.) Von Raumer, "Elizabeth and Mary", page 232 ff.

Elizabeth's defense against Mary's violent accusations was, in short, that she saved Mary from death (by sending Throckmorton to Scotland for Carberry Hill), gave her sanctuary from her enemies, supported her when no one else in Europe would, kept her in condition and Convenience, he refused to believe all the terrible rumors about Mary's conduct (behavior that she, Elizabeth, had warned her about), which Elizabeth thought was very suspicious and shameful, and was prepared to make any reasonable concessions to her as to her future .

However, Mary prevented this by refusing to acknowledge her own abdication, insisting on her sovereignty, which her people had robbed her of, fueling unrest in England with conspiracies such as the Norfolk Plan in an attempt to bring it down. England, flattering Elizabeth to her face, plotting against her, and bullying her behind her back.

Mary was, of course, entirely justified in her schemes for her liberation, just as Elizabeth was justified in thwarting them, but the Scots Queen's tenacious struggle for freedom is not due to her foresight. Where did she, with her birth and history, find freedom? What would she do if she ran away? Heading off to another wedding, another murder, another Carberry Hill and prison, another Langside, another flight? Surely she could have realized how discredited she had been in Scotland, and after the defeat of Kirkcaldy and Maitland, how hopeless any attempt to restore her hereditary honor had been. There were times when her Catholic-influenced son seemed to lean towards her, but how could she trust a stranger like James VI - who believed himself guilty of murdering his father, who vacillated from one faction to another, becoming just a pensioner from England, but one whose behavior was inspired by hopes for the English crown.

There was France - Mary looked that way often and longingly, but the France of her youth, when House Guise was mighty, was gone. Neither Catherine de' Medici nor her sons had more freedom to offer Mary than Elizabeth - a convent, total seclusion in a dowry castle, nothing more.

It was the wildest dream of all, based on the initial bitterness between the two queens - a claim to the crown of England - a dream of rebellion supported by Spain, France, the Pope, with Mary elevated in Elizabeth's place, the old religion restored, heretics crushed. Could Mary, if she had a modicum of political prowess, allow herself such a dream for a moment? She should have realized the strength of the Reformed faith in England, the ferocious patriotism of the English, their dislike of papists and foreigners, their anxious memories of Mary Tudor, their fear of the Inquisition, the fury of the panic caused by the massacre of St. Bartholomew. But by the end, when she was crippled, sick, prematurely aged, suffering and close to despair, after eighteen years of no contact with active politics, she was ready to take on this wonderful task and, with the help of the unknown Babington, go up. Mountain. the English throne through Elizabeth's body.

She never forgot her origins - "You can't take away my faith and my English blood," she exclaimed passionately when, after Babington's arrest, her papers and money were confiscated. She was the queen. England, because she was Queen of Scots, which she considered sufficient against all arguments of reason and common sense. It was the pernicious doctrine of the divine right of kings, which her son used so effectively, but which cost her grandson and great-grandson their thrones, on which Mary relied with stubborn courage that is not without greatness.

The first half of her life was ruined by her violent passions, dizzy behavior, wild whims, and lack of all prudence and reason. It almost brought her to a bloody end, which would have been a fitting high point for such a career at such a time, but she was saved from it by the compassion of her half-brother, Moray, and the mastery of Elizabeth. Then she escaped from prison, tempted fate again, and escaped death again by running blindly. She was young then, but the only hope for peace and happiness was to give up idleness and darkness.

If she was able to give up ambition, she might have achieved a certain level of contentment, but the other half of her life was ruined by not being able to believe that she had been rejected and discredited, that it was her fault that she was responsible. its catastrophes and a conscious refusal to recognize that it no longer has a place in European politics. When she first arrived in England, she was given a fair amount of freedom, which she used to approve the rebellion in Norfolk. This may have worked for a while; but after the murder of Darnley, Bothwell in a foreign prison and her son on the Scottish throne, did Mary see herself ruling England alongside Norfolk, a wavering, unstable man without power? A grotesque prospect, certainly, and how could she reconcile her piety with this second marriage to a heretic? No doubt she hoped to convert her lover - the Catholic bishop suggested that Bothwell, though a villain, might be a useful convert, so perhaps Norfolk, though a fool, would be accepted by the Vatican. Communication with the pope was established during the Norfolk trial and helped to overwhelm him, and his conversion seems to be a matter of debate, but at first glance this acceptance of a Protestant husband seems further evidence that Mary was not following a set principle but solely out of calculation and self-interest.

It is a pity that we do not have a contemporary description of Mary by a woman. She had several close family friends - four Marie, Countess of Argyll, her half-sister, Huntly's wife, and several others such as the Countess of Atholl who, after her husband's sudden death (attributed to poison and added to Morton's long list of crimes) offered to share with his imprisonment. We hear of humble friends, faithful servants, who stayed with her to the end and fervently cherished her memory—Elizabeth Curle, a Protestant and wife of a poor unfaithful secretary, Joan Clan Kennedy, "Bastien's wife," Susan Kirkcaldy, and others who finally consoled her and he shared intimate details with her. None of them left a record of Mary, because all records of her we must rely on men. The women in her stories are indistinct characters who have left few traces. We have some energetic letters from Moray's widow Agnes Keith, some business correspondence from Jane Gordon, Bothwell's wife, a few anecdotes from Lady Huntly, from Mary Seton, from Mary Fleming, from Margaret Douglas, nothing else. Mary claimed that Margaret Lennox, her mother-in-law, began to claim her innocence before her death, but this lady, her thoughts and actions are dark.

Mary managed to establish a sort of friendship with Lady Shrewsbury, "Bess of Harwicke", whose daughter, through her previous marriage to Sir William Cavendish, became Mary's sister-in-law. The intimacy between these two gifted and troublesome women was not smooth sailing; there was trouble between the earl and his wife, and in the end the lady had to kneel before Elizabeth and her council to undo some of the scandals she was spreading about her husband and his prisoner.

This rumor went so far that "reports were heard" that Mary had children in Shrewsbury. How precious Mary's candid memoirs, written by the magnate Lady Shrewsbury, would be.

Two points about Mary are of particular importance: her beauty and health.

The former is not helped by her portraits; we can reconstruct with acceptable accuracy her appearance in formal dress."ball gown' but not her charm, her liveliness, her seductive charm. We have no sketch of her in masculine garb, masked or disguised, nor a drawing of her in plain dress, which has become so woefully disoriented after Carberry Hill, nor a drawing of her in lustful idleness, resting on down pillows in her sumptuous bed, or riding on the moor in a helmet and chain mail.

The head of the figure on Maria's grave is said to have come from a death mask, and the smooth face resembles an authentic portrait. But could these convulsive features, which death had transformed into an old woman, and which "rised and fell" for a long time after the loss of life, ever become so composed and serene? Mary's beauty is unlikely to last long - by the time of the Darnleys' marriage, it had become "other than it was", and when she reunited with Bothwell, her appearance was completely ruined, nor is it likely that she will ever regain her beauty. a beautiful flower that Brantôme admired. There was probably grace, dignity, liveliness, pleasant, familiar manners, the artistry with which she wore clothes, jewels and an elaborate wig hairstyle.

Although so beloved by romantics and sentimentalists, she was neither herself in character nor in appearance; she was tall, well-built in her youth, then stout, stooped, and broad-faced. She had a round forehead, small eyes, a rather mysterious expression, very faint eyelashes and eyebrows, an aquiline nose, a round chin and a full upper lip. After escaping from Lochleven, she wore wigs; her natural color was amber brown, tending to chestnut brown, with a fair complexion. She was cheerful, brave and reckless in her behavior, willingly used flattery and flattery, as ready for curses as for passionate screams; everything she did was colored by the desire to achieve her own goals, self-interest made her sometimes flexible, sometimes rigid. For her own good, she could be cunning, subtle, and seemingly clever; she was resource-rich and unscrupulous about the means she used to fulfill her desires. Thus, since she was utterly selfish, her charm must have been in her energetic vitality, her well-mannered kindness, her animal spirit, her swift transition from persuasion to command, her turn from pride to pathos, her insistence on royalty, her creed. her fragile femininity.

She could never turn her personal fascination into something good for herself or others; she lured many insignificant people to death or ruin, but her favors helped no one, and her servants could never help her; a grim fate seemed to guide all her actions, and in the eyes of posterity adds a sad charm to her legend.

This mysterious bad luck was in fact nothing more than her own imprudence, poor judgment of character, and the fact that her inherent fallibility prevented only superficial and (to her) worthless heroes from taking up her dubious cause.

Her health is almost as debatable as her beauty. She was never strong, and the desperate events of her reign physically overwhelmed her. Mary suffered from her femininity both biologically and emotionally. Despite romantic descriptions of her ill health as a child and the long fatigue she endured, the evidence points to an unbalanced constitution; she had suffered from fainting spells since childhood, and in her twenties complained of what appeared to be an organic disease - a pain in her side and "my old ailment." That she could be energetic whenever she wanted is no proof of her strong health, the most delicate sick woman, inspired by the fiery spirit and the spirit of fervor, can undertake undertakings that seem incredible. She had several serious illnesses, such as those at Jedburgh, which appear to be of hysterical origin; the birth of her son and the misfortunes that followed, the miscarriage (or abortion) in Lochleven must have weakened her body even more.

In the second half of her life she was constantly ill, which was probably more influenced by the tormented spirit and old ailments than the hardships of an English prison. What her actual illness or illnesses were is not clear; Nau denies that he "has dropsy or cancer in his leg"; several reports say she is stout, although the Sheffield portrait shows her rather emaciated and haggard.

She was about forty and was called an old sick woman and seems to be quite handicapped, with almost no use of one arm and hand - was it rheumatism, arthritis or paralysis? We also hear about "deflux" running down her neck. Poulet mentions that her "family" was with her all night because of her illness. However, during this period - 1586 - the indomitable creature planned a desperate escape, wanting to endure the hardships and fatigue.

She had a doctor who was always present; leaning on his arm, she entered the room prepared for her trial and had to be carried to the place of execution.

She was constantly shedding tears - she "talked" at every critical moment, and sobbing in the face of difficulties was her usual escape. This habit must have seriously affected her beauty; It's a wonder it didn't ruin her eyesight. Another queen of France virtually blind after months of prison tears.

There are various accounts of Mary's treatment as an English prisoner. Elizabeth insisted on behaving as well as Mary, and surely she never lacked any condition; her secretaries, her wives, her kind people, her cook, her servants for thirty and fifty years, her horses and carriages - she was never lacking. Records of her possessions drawn up after her death show that she had a surgeon, apothecary, a doctor and a priest in her retinue, and also that she owned many luxuries, jewelry, trinkets, dishes, furniture and robes for a "mass priest", bedding, furniture for beds, perfumed gloves, watches, lutes, maidens, mirrors, sets of tapestries, many very rich gowns with jewels and furs, except for three "state costumes" and a carriage and horses.

In the initial period of her imprisonment, she was held even better; in 1570 Lord Shrewsbury was paid fifty-two pounds a week for her maintenance. Elizabeth bore these expenses with great vexation and reluctance; England and her queen have always been poor. Mary liked to use her French dowry; this was often delayed or only shipped in small portions, and her property was reportedly subleased and mismanaged, so she never got what she was owed. Nevertheless, she seems to have had large sums of money at least occasionally, as evidenced by a valuable gift sent to Ronsard, 2,000 crowns given to Curie at his wedding to Elizabeth Mowbray, and bags of cash, some 30,000 French crowns, confiscated by Elizabeth's commissioners in 1586 Her various servants owned considerable sums after her death. She allocated part of this dowry to shipping her interests abroad; first supporting Lethington and Kirkcaldy, then helping various agents who conspired on her behalf. She borrowed five hundred pounds from Norfolk and repaid him with a large sum paid by the papal agent, Rudolfi.

It was natural for her to dispose of her income in this way, but it was also natural for Elizabeth to resent it and eventually confiscate her secret stash.

Mary was also allowed to have an embroiderer to help her with a great break from needlework, and she was not limited in materials; Poulet's inventory describes two complete sets of furniture for the bed, "black velvet trimmed with blue lace" and "web and Holland mixed" woefully "not half finished" and "sewing silk and raw silk of all colors".

Some of Mary's fortune was sent from Scotland, some she bought, but she seems to have been given free rein in her purchases; she constantly wrote to France with various orders, including pets, birds and dogs, Barbary birds to keep in cages, poodles, pigeons, "beautiful little dogs", as well as objects of gold and silver and silks, "the most valuable and new at present worn at court, hairstyles with gold and silver crowns, new types of headgear from Italy, veils and ribbons made of gold and silver. She was also allowed to send box gifts to the King of France - 1579.

None of this seems to indicate a harsh prison sentence, especially when it is added that she was often allowed to go to Buxton because of her medical condition. On the other hand, it must be admitted that in 1586, when Mary was in charge of the severe Amias Poulet, she was sent from Tutbury to Châteauneuf and Mauvissière.

She protested that her apartments were damp and airy, the plaster walls were air-permeable, there was no sun, and the furniture was moldy. The cursed place was so unhealthy that several of her wives fell ill, and her doctor feared for her life if she continued to live in Tutbury. The roads were so bad that practice in a carriage or on horseback was impossible, and the yard, the only place where you could get airborne, was more like a pigsty.

In addition to these inconveniences, the place was full of "the meanest people" so that it was impossible to keep order, the stench of the septic tanks was unbearable, especially on Saturdays when they were emptied, and Mary had no room of her own. She also feared for her life (for some reason, Poulet decided to kill her every time she tried to escape) and was shaken by the old memories revived in the place, and the thought of the tortured priest, hanged "on opposite walls". my windows.

Mary was very ill at the time and could barely stand, her leg was "thickly wrapped" as Lady Poulet remarked, and she could not lie comfortably because of the pain of her aching body; however, a feather bed was purchased for her. It is interesting that the rooms where she spent her glory years in Scotland were dark and cramped, and that she was severely condemned for taking Darnley to a damp, disused and squalid house.

Much attention was paid to Maria's performance; we cannot judge it. Ronsard unsuccessfully taught her courtly poems while she was writing the Coffin Sonnets; she could act, sing and dance, probably, in Melville's words, "not bad for a queen". There is a "great number of books" in Poulet's inventory, but unfortunately no titles are given; she says she reads a lot, but we don't know what kind of literature. The captive account of reflections written by her is so mundane as to be up to nothing - just a collection of orthodox sentiments.

She was a skilful and easy writer of letters, a skilful and willing conversationalist; she showed wit, but not wit and sensitivity, she left no trace of interest in art, she did not set new fashions, she did not encourage any writer, painter or sculptor. Her taste suited her caste and period. She might have developed differently in this direction if she had avoided the storms that engulfed her; because of the same confusion, we cannot judge her as wife, mother or daughter; Orphaned early, divorced early from her mother, married three times but briefly and tragically, separated from her son almost from birth, Mary's dramatic life was very frustrated, unnatural and stunted.

There has been much discussion about her duplicity. Once allowed, the case for her, which is largely based on her own word, is greatly weakened. A single example, other than in the main body of this book, can be given in this summary of her character. In the midst of the Babington Plot, in which she was willing to assist, Mary wrote to Elizabeth on March 22, 1586.

"I assure you in good conscience that I don't think you have ever claimed that I was ever in any way involved in any enterprise against you, for I abhor more than anyone in Christendom such heinous and terrible acts."

In March of that year, Mary sent Châteauneuf detailed instructions on how to smuggle messages hidden in the soles of shoes, written on the linings, etc., to her, and in May she wrote to Charles Paget, her agent, that "The (Philip II) Undertaking seems to me the safest and most suitable for the further conduct of my affairs, and to completely rid myself of this queen (Elizabeth) of malice. We can no longer expect gentle medicines to heal these wounds... She adds that she would like to extradite her son to the King of Spain or the Pope, and that if James does not become a Catholic, Philip II will become her heir, stating that "this must be kept secret because if he is to sweat, I would lose my hour together in France, in Scotland there will be a complete break with my son, and in this kingdom all my downfall.

Mary was desperate and could find many convincing excuses for her, duplicity, the only weapon of the slain, but it is not surprising that Elizabeth, with these intercepted letters before her, coldly accepted the prisoner's pleas and flattery.

What about the value of Maria's words? If, as was often said, the Lords were liars, then who was she? If desperation could have driven her to these methods in 1586, terror could have done so in 1568 when she denied the "coffin letters". No defense of her based on the assumption of her honesty and truthfulness is valid.

This is not Elizabeth's story, but we can take a moment to consider her attitude towards Mary's execution. She is, she feared, greatly maligned for this act, which no doubt cost her great pain and caused a nervous breakdown of body and mind that was in no way feigned. Twice she saved Mary's life and abandoned all means to dispose of her safely and properly; Mary was a dangerous enemy and was the focus of rebellion and invasion during her captivity. Her restless, reckless intrigues, quite natural from Mary's point of view, fueled the bitter distrust Elizabeth had long had of the woman who, as a young maid, had claimed the crown. The uproar of the people and the demand of Parliament always concerned the execution of Mary, Elizabeth repeatedly opposed requests for the death of the "viper" "curled up in the hearth of England".

Elizabeth wished Mary dead but avoided the odium to order her; she lived wholly for Mary's claim to her as kinswoman, co-queen, and voluntary slavery; she had a strong sense of caste and hated the thought of fallen royalty; the recently beheaded queen was her own mother, and the memory must have gnawed at Elizabeth's already strained nerves.

At the same time, she was convinced that Mary was a murderer, a fornicator, a deceitful schemer, and a person about to commit suicide, and was tormented by the strong pressures of her ministers, who urged her to put an end to the woman who completely prevented England from enjoying peace and security.

Tormented by these torments of indecision, she signed the death warrant and, in the same mood of maddening despair, turned against those who carried it out. She stated that she only signed the warrant so that it could be used in the event of an insurrection or invasion, and took out her fury on William Davison by inflicting heavy fines on this hapless secretary, who she claimed had misunderstood the orders. .

This seems deep meanness, but it is always possible that Elizabeth really intended to procrastinate indefinitely, and that her ministers, wanting to get rid of Mary, forced her hand through an interim order without her knowledge.

Accordingly, there is nothing to say about James VI; this strange character played a negative role in his mother's story. Regardless of what he believed about her, he would rather take English money than defend her fallen fortune. It was in the interest of most people to keep quiet about his birth, but it is always possible that he was the son of David Rizzio; it seems that he was not in the least like Darnley, and Mary's behavior must always raise serious doubts about her son's parentage. The evidence from Randolph and Foys (Foix), the French ambassador, against Mary on this point is very strong.

John Knox is a character who plays a significant role in Mary Stewart's story; the obvious drama of the sharp contrast between the charming young papal queen and the stern old Puritan, the picturesqueness of his invective against "that scarlet woman" and the thunder of her wicked punishment caused many writers to recognize his importance in Mary's life. life to emphasize too much.

He certainly focused and expressed Protestant feelings towards the queen, but whether her fate would have turned out differently had he not been there to express popular distrust is highly doubtful. innocence still torments and rejoices at its annihilation. Mary's supporters like to portray him as a bitter, bitter fanatic and a brutal, rude, tough old man, which he certainly was, but we have to be careful how we juggle terms. Knox cannot be a fanatic because he was a staunch Protestant, and Mary cannot be a martyr because she was a staunch Catholic. Knox can be considered a martyr for his faith while chained to the French galley belt, and Mary a bigot when she wrote to the Pope that her only thought was to restore the High Church in England, begging him to grant her absolution for sweet lies, with which she had to appease Elizabeth. May both of them be considered genuinely committed to their religion. John Knox was a type in many respects objectionable to the modern mind; we exceeded the zealot's needs, but he was suited to his times and his own people, he had the virtue of burning courage and the impetus of deep conviction.

It should be noted that his tirades against Mary were ultimately justified. However innocent her masks, her quarrels in men's clothes, her coquetry with French poets and Italian luthiers, however impeccable she was in her passionate marriages, in the end caused wars, murders, confusion and confusion. and fled her country, considered a criminal, to be a lifelong cause of bloody discord.

We cannot contemplate Mary's story without admiring the enormous scandal caused by Darnley's murder at a time when such crimes were commonplace. Almost all the people involved in important matters during the reign of this queen were swept away by violent death - Archbishop Beaton, Moray, Morton, Huntly, Argyll, George Gordon, Lennox, Archbishop Hamilton, Chastelard, Rizzio and many subordinates were killed in an assassination attempt or on the scaffold during while elegant Lethington and fiery Bothwell died miserably and mysteriously in prison. Atholl and Mar died suspected of poison, and at no time or place could life be more precarious, and morals, public and private, so low.

Political assassinations were allowed. Mary's confessor, Roche Mameret, distanced himself from her after marrying Bothwell, although the pope approved of the mass slaughter of St. Bartholomew. Roman prelates believed that the murder of William of Orange and Elizabeth could be justified. Mary's cousins, the two Guise brothers, were brutally and treacherously murdered by Henry III, but none of these crimes were treated with the widespread horror that Darnley's death caused among Catholics and Protestants alike.

Everywhere one reads of astonishment and revulsion at this clumsy act that seems to belong to another era, at the popular desire for revenge on the murderers, at the passionate discussions about who the murderers were, at the long lamentations and insults. generations until everyone involved, even remotely, in the slaughter at Kirk o' Field died. And this despite the fact that the victim was little loved, admired by no one, of little interest to anyone outside the faction, and in times that were ruthless, cynical and practical, it was better to get rid of her.

Why then this incessant, fierce and swollen cry for the truth of this ugly but not uncommon night work? In a strange paradox, it was the murderers themselves who set themselves the goal of creating outrage for their crime. The Lords, most of whom were involved in the affair, and one of them, Morton, confessed to it and died for it; they did everything they could to emphasize the odium of Darnley's death to ruin Mary and Bothwell. Thus, it was the furiously expressed terror of the murderers themselves that contributed to the widespread fury of the Queen, who, without the intervention of Moray and Elizabeth, would have sent her to the stake or block in 1567.

Darnley had a restless mind: in an age when so many murdered people lay forgotten in their graves, his restless spirit haunted the minds and consciences of those who were not the ones who had so ruthlessly strangled him. Terrifying omens, apparitions and visions preceded the crime, and as soon as it was committed, revenge was called out in the streets of Edinburgh. The hideous slaughter of the poor servant, whose nerves had been broken, sent a wave of terror to the earth, as if indeed cursed, until this disgrace was avenged. Much wine was offered to the unshaven spirit of the young king; one by one his murderers or those who "looked through their fingers" at his murder, from Moray, Bothwell and Lethington to the wicked wretches like Nicolas Hubert and George Dalgleish, Cullen (whose wife Morton missed) and Morton himself forcibly killed life until only Mary remained.

She wasn't tried for her husband's murder, that case was hushed up, but she was certainly thinking of him as she prepared to touch the ax at Fotherinhay. She had been cruelly denied a priest to comfort her in her last hours - did this terrible injustice remind her of someone who had been put on trial with all his sins on his soul?

Kirk's horror of 'Field is highlighted in Huntly's ending, who was like Bothwell's shadow, trading his sister for his possessions, playing jackal until there was no more loot to share, then turning against his leader. This man, whose character we can only know from imperfect accounts, but who seems to be treacherous, subtle, violent and false, died in terror under strange circumstances. After a day of strenuous sports and partying, he suddenly convulsed, looked up, and mumbled one word: "Look! Look! Look!" extinct. His men, peering into his vault, suffered the same attacks, but recovered: their cry was, "Cold! Cold! Cold!"

The earl's death chamber was disturbed by strange noises, and Huntly was said to have "gone again". This is the story told by Knox's secretary, Bannatyne, and shows how Darnley's murder was handled, regardless of its justification.

What is the character of Mary Stewart, the heroine of this violent, brutal, sensual story, when we study everything we know about her? A certain part of her, not so abruptly detached from it, a pure, sensitive, exquisite being in search of ideal romantic love, a heroine from the pages of writers of another era, one of the gentle ladies with whom Sir Walter Scott of Lord Tennyson delighted nineteenth-century readers. Mary wasn't a ballad fairy ghost in love, she wasn't a secret.beautiful lady without mercyNot an introspective, sensitive, sentimental romantic, entangled in a web of ideal desires, turning away in disgust from earthly passions that eventually trapped her against her will. Every word of her story proves that she came from exactly her place and time - a female of a species whose males include Bothwell, Moray, Morton, Huntly. She was brave, ambitious, cheerful, seductive and impulsive. generous when her fortunes went well, passionately indignant, ruthlessly scheming, vindictively evil when ill, she used her feminine weapons wisely and cunningly as the men around her used their men's, and always in misfortune or prosperity brave, reckless, careless and impatient.

Driven by the lust of the moment, greedy for all that is good in life, sensual, in love and incapable of beautiful feelings, tenderness, remorse or regret, with superficial but alluring talents, with an imperious personality that she used to complete, with a knack for furtive intrigues but not governable, and wholly devoid of breadth, patriotism, generosity, or foresight. With serenity and almost feverish energy, she reacted quickly to the excitement of procession, flight, fight, crisis, pleasant to talk but too flattering, so that her sincerity was suspect, exquisite in taste. , beautifully dressed and massively decorated, so that it gave the impression of great refinement. Fast and mobile, except when sick, fond of outdoors and sports, as well as laziness and sedentary life, strong features, pale, her much-vaunted beauty consists of some charm that has gone with her to the grave and now cannot be cataloged.

Mary cannot be made a coherent figure, like the creation of a poet or novelist, and forced to follow predetermined rules. Much of her temperament, much of her motives and actions must remain obscure. Even for those who believe that she wrote the "coffin letters", she is not necessarily a bad woman, left to all evil.

She used to kill and thought she was above the law, she acted like everyone around her. Darnley was a murderer herself, completely charmed by Bothwell, and probably panicking to save this strange property - her "honor". Her husband cannot live to refuse another child.

There are many excuses for Mary to fall into betrayal; cruelty, falsehood and debauchery. She, through her own weakness and sheer bad luck, missed her chances of a successful life; she would enjoy the position of Catherine of Russia, and Bothwell had the makings of Potemkin, but circumstances were against them, and their enemies were both capable and unscrupulous. Catherine would have difficulty if the moray rose to avenge Tsar Peter.

There is no study of Mary in the literature of her time; we have records, letters, pamphlets, squibs and ballads, but no imaginative interpretation. The topic was out of reach until this charming and elusive figure nearly disappeared in the turmoil of the past. However, it is in modern literature, not on the pages of Chalmers or Scott, Swinburne or Froude, however illustrious historians, novelists or poets, that we must look for a portrait of Mary enhanced by the colors of the artist's fantasy, interpreted by the sensitivity of the artist's observations.

Frederic von Raumer quotes with great affection these lines from Hamlet in his study of Mary Stewart:

"And let me speak to a still ignorant world,
Of carnal, bloody and unnatural deeds;
Random judgments, random slaughters;
Of death by cunning and forced cause,
And in this result, the goals are wrong
It fell on the inventors' heads..."

It is likely that the author of Shakespeare's plays often had the story of the Queen of Scots so buzzing across Europe in mind, and that some parts of Macbeth's play where the Queen of Scots murders the King of Scots may have been ripped from her life.

Yet it is in another playwright that we find a trace of idealized portraits of Mary - an oblique gaze as realistic as, say, Titian's portrait of Charles V, Velazquez's study of Innocent X. two plays by John Webster written between 1611 and 1622 in the author's early adulthood, a generation after Mary's execution and during the reign of her son James I and VI. Webster would of course be well aware of Mary's story, or at least the world's, and actually wrote a play about her French relatives, "The Guise" (circa 1601), this famous family was often set on the Elizabethan stage, and while it would be fantastic to draw a parallel between the famous plays and in the story of the Scottish queen, it is perhaps not very imaginative to draw many points of parallel between them and the Duchess of Amalfi's noble weakness, and in Vittoria Corrambona, Mary Stewart's strong evil. Webster may have visited Westminster Abbey, where the king's mother's tomb was elaborately completed by order of the king.

The theme of these plays, at once intensified and illuminated by the great playwright's vivid imagination, the theme of the corruption of the courts, is undoubtedly the atmosphere in which Mary, Rizzio, Bothwell, and Darnley played their terrible parts. It is an atmosphere of dark horror filmed with beautiful magnificence, with a flash of precious spectacle, with rich amusements of fatal laziness, tennis, ring, dance, mask, but no breath of fresh air, no breath. fresh flowers or open fields, no trace of sweetness, kindness, cheerful innocence or healthy humour, and hardly to mention the ordinary, domestic, pleasant things of everyday life.

The people of Webster, who appear to be brass-framed and wear metal masks, move in an atmosphere that is both lofty and unspeakably low. Their own virtue is that half-mad sense of honor that comes with soulless pride and ambition. Young men are usually openly lascivious, young women are whores, or at least sensual, old men admit, old women are whores, but loss of chastity is punishable by death, and in this company where true love is unknown, promiscuity provokes revenge.

In such a world, Mary Stewart shone and shone. All these creatures of John Webster are gloomy, and exalted by a certain gloomy grandeur above pettiness; they seem to feel their own damnation, to despise punishment, to despise death, to destroy others and themselves with impartial ferocity. Most of them are horned and have teeth, and are indifferent to the hope of mercy. But remorse can make them maniacs, and the stench of blood can poison them. Thus a poet of Webster's temperament may have seen the manor of Holyrood during Mary's reign. He would add to the status of these noble villains anyway; there is no indication that remorse drove any of the high-born villains flaunting 1960s Edinburgh to madness.

Webster took the skeleton of his plot from a book that Mary Stewart may have known well: The Stories of Tragiques of Belleforest, the French version of Bandello's Novelle, 1565, which Webster probably knew in an English translation, Painter's "Palace of Pleasure (1566-1567) ). It is generally acknowledged that he greatly ennobled his heroine's character, and there is something grand and haughty about the hapless Duchess, but we only see her burning with passion or undergoing gruesome punishments – two aspects that Mary Stewart was known to her generation for. True, the Duchess is completely innocent and harmless, but her impulsive, secretive, ill-advised marriage smacks of Mary's hasty relationship with Darnley - an "abominable relationship" that has proved fatal. The Duchess's love, like Mary's, is sensual - the attraction between Antonio and his mistress is physical, and her expression of passion for the modern mind is hardly gentle; age did not know rudeness in honesty - see Isabella in "White Devil", this good, pure woman uses the rudest expressions.

A look at the spell Mary must have been is shown in Princess Antonio's description:

While she talks
She throws a man so sweet
That it can elevate one to a galliard
Which lay in mortal paralysis and to fall in love
On that sweet face."

Ferdinand, the Duchess's brother, has some Moray traits - Bosala is George Douglas, with his tart flattery of the great, his "whose throat shall I slit?" as soon as the prince talks to him confidentially. He and many others are the "strangest invisible devil in the flesh" - "intelligence" (spy); there have been many in Mary's history. It is emphasized that the Duchess, like the Scottish Queen, is a "young widow". Her brother warns her against a second marriage, which has no "honor" to it, and she lightly swears, "I will never marry." Ferdinand's "terribly good advice" could be Moray to Mary:

“You live in a lush meadow here outside;
There is a type of honeydew that kills
“Twill poisons your fame; look at it, don't be cunning
For those whose faces contradict their hearts
They are witches before they turn twenty
Yes, and let the devil suck."

The Cardinal (modeled after the Cardinals of Guise, like all prelates of the theater since) adds:

"Wedding night
It's the entrance to the prison."

And the other brother continues his threats in a way that would apply to Mary Stewart:

“I would like you to convey these revels:
The visor and mask are whisper chambers
That were never built for good...
. . . . . .
What a neat villain can do with a smooth story
Make a woman believe? Farewell, lecherous widow."

After the brothers leave, the woman in love taunts them, calls her confidant, Cariola, who holds a position for her as Mary Seton had for Queen Mary, and decides to have her secret "marriage".

..."Like all my royal relatives
Lay on my way to this marriage
I would make my low steps (crutches) out of them.
. . . . . .
So I'll try, through fear and threats
It's a dangerous endeavor. Let the old wives come forward
I blinked and chose my husband. Charles,
To your known secret, I've given up
More than my life - my fame."

So perhaps the Queen had addressed the confidant before her secret marriage to Darnley or her irregular marriage to Bothwell, and her words closing the scene with Cariola may have come with the sigh of Mary's overburdened heart on each of these occasions:

“Wish me good speed;
Because I'm going to the desert
Where I will find neither a path nor a friendly direction
Be my guide."

The next scene could be between Mary and Rizzio or Mary and Darnley, the graceful, sensual lovemaking of a passionate woman with an inferior:

"This is flesh and blood, Lord:
This is not a figure carved in alabaster
He kneels at my husband's grave. Wake up! Wake up, dude!"

One line is very similar to the expression in Casket Letter "II".

"Go, go brag
You left me heartless; mine is on your lap
I hope love multiplies there.

The first act ends with a comment from Cariola that must be similar to many of Mary's friends:

“Is it the spirit of greatness or women
Most of it reigns, I don't know; but it turns out
Terrifying madness. I owe her much mercy."

The second act of this drama, grim, disgusting, full of satanic, vile humors of Bosala, the brutal treatment of the Duchess's illness, the hideous episode of the "Old Lady", the throwing of the horoscope and other superstitions, crude jokes and blatant betrayal lie at the heart of Maria's tragedy. The cynical scene between Julia and the cardinal reveals the modern opinion of the prelate of the Roman Church, and Ferdinand's anger fits very well with the opinion of Maria of her relatives:

"O confusion, seize her!
He has more cunning hands to serve his turn,
And a safer means of transporting desire
Then garrison towns for service.
. . . . . .
I'll find scorpions to pierce my whips
And fix it in a general eclipse."

The third act still contains echoes of Mary's story:

AGREEMENT:"What do ordinary people say?"

SEA.:“The common mob says it plainly
She's a trumpet."


ACT:Rumor has it she had three assholes, but...
Through whom can we begin to read the stars."

Bosala then brings up an excuse that many people have made up for Mary:

ACT:"I suspect it may have been some kind of witchcraft
We on the Duchess.

EARN.:"Magic! For what purpose?"

ACT:“For her to love some lonely dude
I'm ashamed to admit it."

But Ferdinand will not have such "snails". He declares, as Moray would say:

"Witchcraft is in his blood."

The love scene (scene II of this act) shows the flavor of the era and the low level of even seemingly noble feelings; these are certainly the accents of Maria and one of her lovers, with their stormy jokes, easy gaiety, classical delusions, and the sudden pathos of a royal woman:

"You have a reason to love me, I have accepted you into my heart,
Before you dare ask for the keys.

Then, when she is horribly surprised by her brother Ferdinand's secret entrance, Mary is there:

“To know whether I am doomed to life or to death
I can do both like a prince.

Her quick defense again:

"My reputation is safe."

Contrasted by terrible:

"Do you know what reputation is?
... You shook the hand of Reputation
And made him invisible."

When he's gone, the terrified woman echoes Kirk o'Field:

"I was staring
As if a mine lay ready under my feet

Ferdinand's furious contempt for Antonio in Act IV expressing the nobility's contempt for Rizzio:

“A slave who reeked of nothing but ink and wood shavings
And he never looked like a gentleman in his life."

The second half of the play bears more resemblance to Mary's story, though the atmosphere is certainly what she moved in, and Ferdinand's madness may be touched by any mention of Bothwell's alleged madness.

A cardinal is certainly a popular idea from one of the Dukes of Guise. His last words (his death bears some resemblance to the murder of the Guise brothers in 1588) and those of his brother and Bosala condemn them as atheists and give a terrible grandeur to this ghastly story. This is how every villain in Mary's chronicle could express himself:

REIS.:I consider this world, but as a doghouse:
I will
vault credit*and great pleasures
Beyond death...

. . . . . .
My sister, oh my sister! The cause does not exist
Whether we fall through ambition, blood or lust
Like diamonds, we are polished by our own dust."

[* Surpass faith.]

card. (do Bosali):"You too have your pay."

ACT:“Yes, I keep my weary soul between my teeth;
He is ready to divorce me. I do glory
That you who stand like a great pyramid
It started with a large and spacious base
You'll end up with a small point, basically nothing."

The cardinal rejects himself with a beautiful gesture:

CAN.:"Now, I beg you, let me
Let yourself lie down and never think about it."

When Bosala is charged:

"You wretched thing of blood,
How did Anthony die?

and responds to his last breath:

"It's fog: I don't know how."

we seem to hear one of the hapless mercenariesGoodwho were tortured for the Kirk o' Field affair, interrogated on a stand in Edinburgh Castle.

The play ends, as Mary's story ends, with a sign of hope for her son:

"Let's make a noble use
From this great ruin; and unite us with all your might
To establish this young, hopeful gentleman
On my mother's right."

The White Devil* is full of echoes of Maria's story, both in the plot and in the character of Vittoria Corrambona. This statement may seem strange to those accustomed to seeing the Scots Queen as a gentle, persecuted victim of fate, but there is plenty of evidence that Mary was considered a "white devil" by many of her contemporaries, and her love for the with Bothwell is exactly what Webster portrays the story of Vittoria and Bracciano. Another character, Ludovico, bears some similarities to Bothwell, who becomes a pirate for crimes and extravagance, banished and ruined.

[*The historical episode on which "White Devil" is based took place in recent years. Life of Mary - in Rome, 1580-1586. Monticelso is Cardinal de Montalto, later Sixtus V. Nevertheless, the story of Mary was in Webster's mind.]

"Come, my lord,
You are rightly convicted: just look back a little
In your past life; you in three years
The noblest county ruined...
. . . . . .
You committed some murders here in Rome,
Bloody and full of horror."

Ludovico responds to his friends' attempts to comfort him, as Bothwell is said to have spoken after Carberry Hill.

"Leave your painted comfort:
I make Italian carvings in their guts
If I ever come back."

Vittoria is a beautiful debauchee who plans to murder her husband and poison her lover's wife. (Mary was framed for a plot to poison Jane Gordon.) Vittoria is put on trial and sent to a convent as it was once implied that Mary would be demoted. It would have been difficult to write the scene of her trial if the story of the Scottish queen had not come to mind; the ambassadors of France and England are present, and the judge is Cardinal Monticelso (another variant of Guise Princes, though historically Felice Peretti).

monticelso says:

"Because sir, you know we only have circumstances
Blame her for her husband's death
Her black lust will make her famous
To all our neighboring kingdoms."

Vittoria's attitude at trial is the same as Mary's, not at Fotherinhay but during her pride at Carberry Hill.

INSTALLATION:Its gates were clogged with carriages and chambers
Outshine the stars with different types of lights
When she forged the ducal court
In music, banquets and the most debauched excesses
Then the devil
Adultery comes with the murder of the devil."

FRANCIS:"Your unhappy husband is dead."

MONT.: And look at this being that was his wife.
She doesn't come as a widow. She comes armed
With contempt and insolence, is it the habit of mourning?

WITTOR.:"If I had known of his death earlier, as you suggest,
I would adjust my mourning.
. . . . . .
so humble
So low, for the worthy and respected
Ambassadors Lieger, my humility
And tenderly I give femininity; But
So caught up in the damn accusation
That my defense against violence, like Portia,
It must represent male virtue. Until now
Find me guilty, separate the head from the body
We will part good friends: I despise life
At your request or someone else's request, sir.

ENGLISH FROM:"She has a brave soul."
. . . . . .

FRANCIS:"My lord, there is great suspicion of murder,
But there's no audio proof of who did it.
. . . . . .
The act of blood lets pass; go down alone
urinary incontinence problem.

. . . . . .

INSTALLATION:“..I will edit the letter
In which he and you are scheduled to meet
In the pharmacist's summer cottage..."

Tough, given his recollection of Buchanan's conversation about Mary and Bothwell meeting at Exchequer House, Vittoria's defense is in direct opposition to Mary's.

WIT.:Compose my flaws, I pray, and you'll find them
It's beauty and cheerful clothes, a cheerful heart
And a tickle in the stomach for a treat, they are all like that
All those pathetic crimes you can accuse me of.

Monticelso, summarizing Vittoria, declares of her as Randolph said of Maria:

"Unfortunately, I'm just repeating myself
About what is normal and what Rialto talks about
I ballated and will be played on stage
But this vice often finds such noisy friends
That pastors are secretly charmed.
. . . . . .
For you, Vittoria, your national debt
Connected to the state of the current time
Take from you all the fruits of noble mercy.
Such a broken process you created
Both his life and beauty and stylized
No less ominous fate than the burning stars
For princes..."

Vittoria is sent to the converts where she is visited by Bracciano, the scene between them, with Flamineo's ugly taunting accompaniment, a reference to "your treasury of love letters" and Vittoria's escape in a pageboy suit would be a poetic version might be. the story of Bothwell and Mary Stewart.

Vittoria marries her love, is poisoned, and dies as Bothwell was thought to have died insane. His mind soars "with a pot of lily flowers with a skull inside", and Flamineo, playing for him the part Huntly played for Bothwell, demands:

"Where are you? In this gallery of stars?
Or in a cursed dungeon?
... it's more than melancholy."

The final blood scene is riddled with gloomy nobility; the doomed Flamineo is asked what he thinks:

"Nothing; out of nothing: leave your useless questions.
I am the way to study the long silence:
The conversation was useless. I do not remember anything.
There is nothing of such endless irritation
Like a man's own thoughts."

Vittoria dies gloriously.

"Yes, I will welcome death,
Like princes, some great ambassadors.
. . . . . .
Oh, my greatest sin was in the blood
Now my blood pays for it."

Her death redeems her; her accomplice praises her nobility. (This can be read as a hit with Elizabeth.)

FLAME:“…You know, a lot of great women who are famous
For male virtue was cruel,
There was only a happier silence:
She has no flaws who has the art of hiding them."

WIT.:“My soul is like a ship in a black storm
is being led, I don't know where."

Flamineo's last words are like those of Hay or Tali on the scaffold, without this villain's faith in final redemption:

"Okay, but there's something good about my death
My life was black bone...
... Farewell, glorious villains!

Once again, the last note of hope is struck by the young prince who will rise after all this horror and doom, declaring:

“All who have a share in this will taste our justice
As I hope in heaven."

It is possible that John Webster wrote his two plays without thinking of the Scottish tragedy that had amazed, moved, and fascinated the world thirty or forty years earlier (William Stravenage's History, however, was published in 1624, a year after Duchess"), and the parallels are mere coincidences. All these tales of Renaissance mansions are very similar, and it would be irritating to continue the similarities.

However, it can be admitted that the atmosphere of lust, murder, struggle, betrayal, greatness, priestly intrigue is what Mary says.

Deception of paid subordinates, fierce respect for honor and chastity, rarity of the same qualities, audacious wickedness, the dead who "resurrect", obscene speech, blind superstition, wicked vices, noble courage, bitter self-contempt, vulgar materialism, rush to get rid of of a rotten and corrupted world, these are the tones of European courts in the second half of the 16th century.

In such a sulphurous environment, Mary Stewart, Darnley, Bothwell, Rizzio, Morton, Moray, and such dubious figures as George Douglas indulged their lusts, competed for power and money, for pleasure and revenge, and died bitterly regretting nothing but the pleasures of the flesh - " goodbye, glorious villains!”


The following is a translation of the Latin inscriptions on the tomb of Mary Queen of Scots:

"To the best and greatest God. To her good memory and eternal hope. MARYSTUART, QUEEN OF SCOTS, Dowager Queen of France, daughter of James V of Scotland, sole heir and great-granddaughter of Henry VII, King of England, through his eldest daughter, Margaret (who was engaged to James IV of Scotland): great-granddaughter of Edward IV, King of England, by his the eldest daughter of Elizabeth [of York]: wife of Francis II, King of France: heiress sure and certain of the English crown during her lifetime: mother of James, the most powerful ruler of Great Britain, grew up of royal and eldest line, paternally and maternally allied with the greatest princes of Europe, generously endowed with the most wonderful gifts and ornaments of both soul and body; yet there are so many changes in human destiny that, after having been imprisoned for twenty years or so, and having fought valiantly and vigorously (but in vain) against the calumnies of her enemies, the mistrust of the timid and cunning schemes of her mortal enemies was finally struck down with the axe. (unheard of precedent, scandalous for the royal family) and despising the world, death has triumphed (the executioner who weary), to Christ, her Redeemer, commend the salvation of her soul; To Jacob, son, hope of the kingdom and posterity, and all who witnessed her unfortunate murder, by example of perseverance, she piously, patiently and courageously surrendered her royal neck to the accursed ax and changed the fate of passing eternal life in the kingdom of heaven on February 8 in the year of Christ 1587, in 46 years of his life.

As splendor of birth, as rare beauty of form, mind innocent of vice, unblemished honour, strength of invincible mind, genius of intelligence, hope (born of piety) of divine consolation, as sincerity of character, stamina of hard restraint, like majesty, pure kindness and generous hand: if all that had been able to escape the pale thunderbolts of fortune (which seek mountains and sacred places), she would not have died prematurely, according to her fate, nor would she be mourned here by the lamenting geniuses [winged cherubs].

Mistress of Scotland by law, of France by marriage, of England by expectation, thus blessed by triple right, with triple crown; fortunately, uh, all too fortunately, she overcame the tumult of the war and even at a late hour captured the neighboring armies. But she died that she might possess the earth: now she conquers by death, that later her tribe may grow with fresh fruit. Conquered was invincible, and the dungeons could not stop her; slain but immortal, captive but not captive. The vine thus trimmed groans with more grapes in abundance, and the cut jewel shines with a dazzling brilliance.

In this way, the seeds, hidden for many days, gradually emerge from the fertile soil. With the blood Jehovah ratified his covenant with his people, with the blood our fathers appeased the powers of God; blood was sprinkled by those domestic gods who appeased the wrath; blood stains the ground that has recently succumbed. Endure, O God, that's enough: put an end to this unspeakable misery. Let the day of [their own] death come upon the dealers of death. Let the murder of monarchs be forbidden, so that henceforth the land of Great Britain may never run purple blood again. May this precedent of brutal murder of an anointed queen be overthrown; let the instigator and the perpetrator rush blindly to destruction.

If, after her own death, she was rehabilitated by all well-wishers, the executioner, torture, prisons and gallows would end. The Queen has completed this journey appointed by the heavenly powers. God has given happy times, hard times. She gave birth to the splendid Jacob whom Pallas [Athena], the Muses, Diana and Fates venerate. bride and mother of kings. God grant that her sons and all who come from her may henceforth see the cloudless days of eternity. In mourning I wrote this to H.N. [Henry, Earl of Northampton].

(Video) Mary Stuart || You should see me in a crown

Christ also suffered for us and left us an example so that you may follow in His footsteps. 1.Pet[er].2.21.

Who, when He was reviled, reviled no more; when he suffered, he did not threaten; but he has submitted to Him who judges justly. 1.Pt.2.22 [actually verse 23].



What did Mary, Queen of Scots note say? ›

Sire, my brother-in-law, having by God's will, for my sins I think, thrown myself into the power of the Queen my cousin, at whose hands I have suffered much for almost twenty years, I have finally been condemned to death by her and her Estates.

Why was Mary QOS a threat to Elizabeth? ›

Mary, Queen of Scots was a threat to Elizabeth's rule because she had two claims to the English throne: Many people believed Elizabeth to be illegitimate and so felt she had no right to be on the throne. (Her father, Henry VIII, had divorced his first wife.