Imagens das páginas

the carl of Argyle and the prior of St. Andre re, who joined the insurgents now at St. Andres, demolishing convents and pillaging churc. es. Troops on both si les were put in motion.

After a short truce, the reformers laid siege to Perth, which they forced to capitulate; they seized upon Stirling, and without striking a blow, took possession of the capital. Their progress was every where marked by the destruction of religious houses and the devastation of churches.

The queen allowing some time for their first ardour to cool, and the multitude to dispere, marched in the night against Edinburgh, which was given up to her on terms of allowing the public exercise of the reformed religion through. cut the kingdom, and of admitting of none else in the capital.

About this time Francis, the husband of Mary, succeeded to the throne of France.

The duke of Chatelherault joined the congregation, and a third covenant was entered into, whereby the reformers bound themselves not to treat with the regent but by common consent.

The queen receiving succours from France, fortified the town of Leith. The congregation having attacked it unsuccessfully, called a convention to represent a parliament, and there de prived the queen mother of the regency.

Necessity obliged them, however, to retire from Edinburgh, and to solicit aid from England. Elizabeth's first supply of one thousand pounds fell into the hands of the queen regent : but an English feet soon appeared in the Firth to co. operate with the reformers, and a considerable land army marched to their relici.


The queen retired into Edinburgh Castle, where, scized with her last illness, she sent for the leaders of the congregation, to whom she recommended obedier.ce to her daughter, and with abundance of tears she prayed for forgiveness to all that offended her, and asked to be forgiven of those she had offended.

Next day this worthy princess expired, a victim to the ireachery arid ambition of her own family; forced against her own better sense to have recourse to violent measures against the reformers, whose conduct was far from being irre. proachable.

After an intricate negotiation, peace A.D. was at last agreed to, on terms of eva

1560. cuating Scotland both by French and English troops.

in this treaty, the power of declaring war or making peace, Has allowed to the queen only with consent of the three estates. The government in the queen's absence was lodged in the hands of a couccil chosen partly by the crown, and partly by the estates, out of twenty-four nominated by the latter

A parliament was held for deciding other weighty malters.

This parliament iras accordingly convened : they easily over ruled the difficulty that there was in kuring na person to represent the king and queen. A confession of faith drawn up by the ministers was approved of. The prelates, overawed by the number and violence of their opponents, observed a strict silence, which was construed into an arowal of the badness of their cause.

The mass was abolished; sayers or hearers of mass were for the first fault to suffer confiscation

of all their goods, besides a discretionary corporal punishment: for the second, banishment, and for the third, death. “Such strangers were men at that time to the spirit of toleration and the laws of humanity, and with such indecent haste did the very persons, who had just escaped the rigour of ecclesiastical tyranny, proceea tu imitate those examples of severity of which they themselves had so justly complained."*

Thus far the ministry found no difficulty in procuring the concurrence of parliament; but when it came to be considered to whose share should fallito riches of the church, we find the zealous Knox to have been wholly outwitted. The nobles had as great a desire as he could have for the bcosy'; and his pretensions to the tythes, &c. were treated as a pious dream. We cannot but allow that such exorbitant claims came with a bad grace frumn those who had continually reproached the clergy with their love of riches, and with all its con comitant evils.

Happily for the successors of Knox, they have been to this day kept against their will, within the bounds of mediocrity; a circumstance which renders them at present the most respected and the least corrupt of any clerical body in the universe

It was, however, settled that one-third of the church revenue should be set apart for the support of the presbyterian clergy. From this contribution none were exempt, but the nobles of the congregation, who had contrived to secure maay of the church lands.

The convention or parliament, by thus interfering with religious establishments, had undoubtedly exceeded their powers, and departed from the late treaty, which reserved these objects for the decision of the king and queen.

* Robertson,


This did not, however, prevent them from demanding the royal ratification to their proceedings. The person chosen to present this demand must have been equally obnoxious at court as the errand on which he was sent. Sir James Sandilands, from a knight of Malta, had become an advocate for the protestant religion; and not contented with the bope of a reward in heaven, had secured one on earth, by taking possession of the property of ihe order he had abandoned. His reception was such as might have been expected. The queen absolutely refused her consent on the above grounds: but the proceedings required no further sanction: they had the approbation of the majority of the nation, and had already been carried into execution.

The leaders of the protestants seem to have expected such a refusal; and in order to guard against the worst, they paid their court to Elizabeth, to whom it is strongly surmised they offered the crown, with the hand of the earl of Arran, the next in succession after Queen Mary..

The ambassadors of England had met with little better success than the Scottish envoy at the court of Francis.

The ratification of the treaty was refused for . similar motives: but the death of Francis, which happened soon after, prevented matters from coming to an open rupture, Mary was by this event left at her own disposal,

[ocr errors]

and it was the desire and interest of all parties, that she should return to her native country.

Lord James, her natural brother, was deputed by the presbyterians, whose leader he was, and Lesly, afterwards bishop of Ross by the catholics, to invite their sovereign to her king domi. Knox had charged the deputy to give her majesty no encouragement to hope for a toleration of the mass, either public or private, within Scotland.

Previous to his departure, the infant church, in order to lose no time in settling its discipline, had convoked an assembly. The country was subdivided into districts, in each of which a superintendant presided, whose office resembled that of a bishop. They called out to the civil power for the punishment of all who worshipped God in the ancient manner, naming several papists who still frequented the mass, The nobility assembled by the council, dispatched officers alt over the kingdom, to summon the people to give an account of their religion.

Another general assembly endeavoured before the queen's arrival to secure all the temporalities of the church ; and boldly declared, that " if they were not gratified in their demands, they would again take the sword of just defence into their hands, which after being victorious, they had resigned to the civil power.” This insolent menace had such an effect, that a soleinn act was passed, devoting to destruction every religious fabric in the kingdom that had escaped the first rage of the populace. The first nobility of the land, men of zeal and distinction were appointed


« AnteriorContinuar »