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LITERARY WEEKLY INTELLIGENCER,
WEDNESDAY JANUARY II. 1792.
SKETCH OF THE LIFE
JOHN, EARL OF MARR,
(Continued from page 9.)
MARR being thus superseded in the confidence and favour of the king by d'Aubigny, and afterwards by Arran, though he remained at court and was of the king's bed-chamber, attached himself to opposition and the party of Morton, who being an old and crafty politician, courted the earl of Marr, as the son of the respectable and beloved regent; the hereditary governor of the castle of Stirling, and custodier of the king's person during his minority.
Morton found it easy to infuse into the mind of young Marr, not only resentments on account of the neglects of James, but jealousies on account of the afsuming authority of his own uncle, Sir Alexander Erskine of Gogar, his tutor, and trustee for the keeping of the king's person and the castle of VOL. vii.
Stirling. He displayed the ancient services of the family of Erskine to the royal house of Stuart, and the important part it had in the elevation of their lineage to the throne, in the person and family of Robert II. and awakened his fears for liberty and the protestant succefsion, by exhibiting the intrigues of the bishop of Rofs, for replacing Mary on the throne, and bringing his whole family into forfeiture and disgrace, if not utter destruction, on account of its activity in the deposition of the queen, and in the establishment of a free constitution and the reformed religion*.
Every device was used by the lords John and Claud Hamilton, by the bishop of Rofs, and the friends of the deposed queen, to engage James and Lennox his new favourite, and to draw the king of Scots from the influence of Elizabeth†..
*It appears by the letters of Nicholas Arrington, the original of which are preserved in the Cotton library, that Marr was much with Morton at Aberdour, and that he guided himself very uniformly by his councels, as on the other hand, he reposed an uniform confidence in the information and fidelity of Marr, who continued indeed true to his political friend to the scaffold, as he did to the party even after the death of the unfortunate regent. CALIGULA.
I have now lying before me, the whole correspondence concerning the affairs of Scotland, during the years 1580 and 1581, between Arrington, Randolph, Bowes, and other envoys and emifsaries of Elizabeth, and the lord treasurer Burleigh, the greater part of which are unprinted. The whole, if published, would occupy a folio supplementary to Forbes's state papers of about 350 pages, a few of these are to be found in the supplement to Dr Robertson's appendix.
The French king (writes Bowes to the treasurer Burleigh, and secretary Walsingham in his letter from Edinburgh of the 27th of April,) hath sent to the kinge of Scotland a fayre horse, and another to the earle of Lennox, which two horses are yesterday arrived at Leith, CALIGULA 6, B. 18.
Mr Bowes in his letter to Burleigh and Walsingham of May 3. 1580, dated at Stirling, gives an account of Morton's challenge to the authors, and spreaders of the accusations against his fidelity, and concerning his intention to seize and remove the king from Scotland. "The earle of Marre likewise on the said 29th of April, preferred his complaint, requiring trial of the like bruit devised against him, and sundry of his house that were bruited to deteine, and use the king's person and his possessions unlawfully, against his own good will and pleasure. Whereupon the kinge, by his own mouth and testimony, did declare that tale to be altogether false and untrue;" and Marr was accordingly acquitted by an act of the council; but from thence forward, he entered so warmly into the interests, councils, and defence of Morton, and into the views of the English ambassadors and agents, that, becoming obnoxious at court, he afsociated seldom with the king or his favourites.
In the beginning of June 1580, Marr was betrothed to Anne Drummond, second daughter of David Lord Drummond. The earl of Angus and Lord Ruthven, her father being dead, were the contracting kinsmen, and Morton was the promoter of this marriage*. On the 22d of June, queen Elizabeth wrote to the earl of Morton, informing him that from her ambassador in France, she had
*Cal. fol. 46. Jan. 15 1580, L. from R. Bowes to lord Burleigh and Walsingham, Cotton lib. They were married at the the earl of Montrose's house on the last sunday of October, and the king attended to give the bride away as his kinswoman. Cal. f 79.
Jan. 11, received intelligence of the resolution taken to impeach him of being privy to the murder of king Henry; and offering him her counsel, and support to vindicate his innocence *.
Lennox having gotten possession of the fortress of Dumbarton, of which he was appointed governor, and grown in the king's favour exceedingly, yet, fearing the effects of the popular harangues of the Scottish clergy, he wished to deceive Morton and the public by negociation, He appointed the 6th of August to confer with Morton at Aberdour, to which they came from a banquet at the Lord Lindesay's, but both of them sick of a flux, gotten, as Bowes writes, at the banquet: the conference was forced to be delayed. During this time the king remained at Alloa castle, the seat of Lord Marr, and from thence came to the dowager countess of Marr's house at Edinburgh, where he held a council of state on the business of the reconciliation.
All this appears to have been conducted in James's favourite style of difsimulation, to deceive Marr and the English ambassador †.
Cal. fol. 47.
In Bowes's letter to Walsingham, of the 19th of July, he gives an account of his conference with Morton, concerning the plan of operations, and his answer to the queen, in which he advises an additional pension of 2000 merks sterling, to the king, and proportionally to his party, to keep them steady, and bring them to his purposes, which, had it been immediately afforded, would probably have saved Morton, and rendered the violent measures of the friends of the country unnecessary. On the 29th Morton wrote his letter with cyphers to the queen, referring to this conference with Bowes.
CAL. Fol. 56.
It appears by a letter from Sir John Foster to Sir Francis Walsingham, fol. 74. Sept. 16. 1580, that Lennox, and the queen of Scots,
In the beginning of September the king sent for Marr, and laboured to reconcile him to Lennox and his measures; but Marr not only left the king without listening to his proposals, but carried the heads of his party and family to Bowes, and received from him the support that was allowed by Elizabeth, to the heads of opposition to the popish faction *. Bowes to Burleigh, fol. 75. Sept. 22.
her party, with a view to prevent the returning kindness of the king to Marr, had displaced Murray of Tullybardin, and all the connections of the house of Erskine from the king's household, and filled their places with their dependants. That the Kerrs of Cefsford and Newbottle, and the Humes were induced, from the fear of losing their church lands of Kelso, Newbottle and Coldingham to forsakė the interest of Morton and the protestant confederacy in the counsels of queen Elizabeth.
* It may be doubted by affected prudes in politics, how far the opponents of a dangerous faction, in the court of a foolish or tyrannical prince, may be honest in receiving pecuniary aid from a foreign power, to support that cause which they esteem to be of the highest importance to the safety of the commonwealth, and to the liberties of the people; and Sidney and Rufsel have been taxed, by the enemies of English freedom on this account. For my own part I am free to declare, that there are many cases, and I think this was one of them, in which an honest and virtuous man may use the pecuniary aid of a foreign prince, to save a nation from bondage and destruction. [The doctrine here advanced, is of a very doubtful nature. EDIT.]
On the last Wednesday of September, Mr John Dury, minister of Edinburgh, gave a blast from the pulpit against Lennox, the king being present; and on the next Sunday, Lawson gave one still more violent; so that Lennox was intimidated, and prepared to send his wife beyond seas. This lady, Catharine de Balzac d'Autragnes, was of a very noble and ancient family in Auvergne, in the Angumois of France, situated on the river Charante. See Moreris Dict. Of this family, and the neice of the duchess of Lennox, was the beautiful Mademoiselle Balzac, mistrefs of Henry Iv. by whom he had the Duc de Verneuil, and Gabrela Angelica the wife of the duke d'Espernon, &c.