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´╗┐Title: John Knox and the Reformation
Author: Lang, Andrew, 1844-1912
Language: English
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Transcribed from the 1905 Longmans, Green and Co. edition by David Price,

John Knox and the Reformation

[John Knox.  From a Posthumous Portrait.  Beza's Icones, 1850: knox1.jpg]

To Maurice Hewlett


In this brief Life of Knox I have tried, as much as I may, to get behind
Tradition, which has so deeply affected even modern histories of the
Scottish Reformation, and even recent Biographies of the Reformer.  The
tradition is based, to a great extent, on Knox's own "History," which I
am therefore obliged to criticise as carefully as I can.  In his valuable
John Knox, a Biography, Professor Hume Brown says that in the "History"
"we have convincing proof alike of the writer's good faith, and of his
perception of the conditions of historic truth."  My reasons for
dissenting from this favourable view will be found in the following
pages.  If I am right, if Knox, both as a politician and an historian,
resembled Charles I. in "sailing as near the wind" as he could, the
circumstance (as another of his biographers remarks) "only makes him more
human and interesting."

Opinion about Knox and the religious Revolution in which he took so great
a part, has passed through several variations in the last century.  In
the Edinburgh Review of 1816 (No. liii. pp. 163-180), is an article with
which the present biographer can agree.  Several passages from Knox's
works are cited, and the reader is expected to be "shocked at their
principles."  They are certainly shocking, but they are not, as a rule,
set before the public by biographers of the Reformer.

Mr. Carlyle introduced a style of thinking about Knox which may be called
platonically Puritan.  Sweet enthusiasts glide swiftly over all in the
Reformer that is specially distasteful to us.  I find myself more in
harmony with the outspoken Hallam, Dr. Joseph Robertson, David Hume, and
the Edinburgh reviewer of 1816, than with several more recent students of

"The Reformer's violent counsels and intemperate speech were remarkable,"
writes Dr. Robertson, "even in his own ruthless age," and he gives
fourteen examples. {0a}  "Lord Hailes has shown," he adds, "how little
Knox's statements" (in his "History") "are to be relied on even in
matters which were within the Reformer's own knowledge."  In Scotland
there has always been the party of Cavalier and White Rose
sentimentalism.  To this party Queen Mary is a saintly being, and their
admiration of Claverhouse goes far beyond that entertained by Sir Walter
Scott.  On the other side, there is the party, equally sentimental, which
musters under the banner of the Covenant, and sees scarcely a blemish in
Knox.  A pretty sample of the sentiment of this party appears in a
biography (1905) of the Reformer by a minister of the Gospel.  Knox
summoned the organised brethren, in 1563, to overawe justice, when some
men were to be tried on a charge of invading in arms the chapel of
Holyrood.  No proceeding could be more anarchic than Knox's, or more in
accordance with the lovable customs of my dear country, at that time.  But
the biographer of 1905, "a placed minister," writes that "the doing of
it" (Knox's summons) "was only an assertion of the liberty of the Church,
and of the members of the Commonwealth as a whole, to assemble for
purposes which were clearly lawful"--the purposes being to overawe
justice in the course of a trial!

On sentiment, Cavalier or Puritan, reason is thrown away.

I have been surprised to find how completely a study of Knox's own works
corroborates the views of Dr. Robertson and Lord Hailes.  That Knox ran
so very far ahead of the Genevan pontiffs of his age in violence; and
that in his "History" he needs such careful watching, was, to me, an
unexpected discovery.  He may have been "an old Hebrew prophet," as Mr.
Carlyle says, but he had also been a young Scottish notary!  A Hebrew
prophet is, at best, a dangerous anachronism in a delicate crisis of the
Church Christian; and the notarial element is too conspicuous in some
passages of Knox's "History."

That Knox was a great man; a disinterested man; in his regard for the
poor a truly Christian man; as a shepherd of Calvinistic souls a man
fervent and considerate; of pure life; in friendship loyal; by jealousy
untainted; in private character genial and amiable, I am entirely
convinced.  In public and political life he was much less admirable; and
his "History," vivacious as it is, must be studied as the work of an old-
fashioned advocate rather than as the summing up of a judge.  His
favourite adjectives are "bloody," "beastly," "rotten," and "stinking."

Any inaccuracies of my own which may have escaped my correction will be
dwelt on, by enthusiasts for the Prophet, as if they are the main
elements of this book, and disqualify me as a critic of Knox's "History."
At least any such errors on my part are involuntary and unconscious.  In
Knox's defence we must remember that he never saw his "History" in print.
But he kept it by him for many years, obviously re-reading, for he
certainly retouched it, as late as 1571.

In quoting Knox and his contemporaries, I have used modern spelling: the
letter from the State Papers printed on pp. 146, 147, shows what the
orthography of the period was really like.  Consultation of the original
MSS. on doubtful points, proves that the printed Calendars, though
excellent guides, cannot be relied on as authorities.

The portrait of Knox, from Beza's book of portraits of Reformers, is
posthumous, but is probably a good likeness drawn from memory, after a
description by Peter Young, who knew him, and a design, presumably by
"Adrianc Vaensoun," a Fleming, resident in Edinburgh. {0b}

There is an interesting portrait, possibly of Knox, in the National
Gallery of Portraits, but the work has no known authentic history.

The portrait of Queen Mary, at the age of thirty-six, and a prisoner, is
from the Earl of Morton's original; it is greatly superior to the
"Sheffield" type of likenesses, of about 1578; and, with Janet's and
other drawings (1558-1561), the Bridal medal of 1558, and (in my opinion)
the Earl of Leven and Melville's portrait, of about 1560-1565, is the
best extant representation of the Queen.

The Leven and Melville portrait of Mary, young and charming, and wearing
jewels which are found recorded in her Inventories, has hitherto been
overlooked.  An admirable photogravure is given in Mr. J. J. Foster's
"True Portraiture of Mary, Queen of Scots" (1905), and I understand that
a photograph was done in 1866 for the South Kensington Museum.


8 Gibson Place, St. Andrews.


"November 24, 1572.

"John Knox, minister, deceased, who had, as was alleged, the most part of
the blame of all the sorrows of Scotland since the slaughter of the late

It is thus that the decent burgess who, in 1572, kept The Diurnal of such
daily events as he deemed important, cautiously records the death of the
great Scottish Reformer.  The sorrows, the "cumber" of which Knox was
"alleged" to bear the blame, did not end with his death.  They persisted
in the conspiracies and rebellions of the earlier years of James VI.;
they smouldered through the later part of his time; they broke into far
spreading flame at the touch of the Covenant; they blazed at "dark
Worcester and bloody Dunbar"; at Preston fight, and the sack of Dundee by
Monk; they included the Cromwellian conquest of Scotland, and the shame
and misery of the Restoration; to trace them down to our own age would be

It is with the "alleged" author of the Sorrows, with his life, works, and
ideas that we are concerned.

John Knox, son of William Knox and of --- Sinclair, his wife, {2a} unlike
most Scotsmen, unlike even Mr. Carlyle, had not "an ell of pedigree."  The
common scoff was that each Scot styled himself "the King's poor cousin."
But John Knox declared, "I am a man of base estate and condition." {2b}
The genealogy of Mr. Carlyle has been traced to a date behind the Norman
Conquest, but of Knox's ancestors nothing is known.  He himself, in 1562,
when he "ruled the roast" in Scotland, told the ruffian Earl of Bothwell,
"my grandfather, my maternal grandfather, and my father, have served your
Lordship's predecessors, and some of them have died under their
standards; and this" (namely goodwill to the house of the feudal
superior) "is a part of the obligation of our Scottish kindness."  Knox,
indeed, never writes very harshly of Bothwell, partly for the reason he
gives; partly, perhaps, because Bothwell, though an infamous character,
and a political opponent, was not in 1562-67 "an idolater," that is, a
Catholic: if ever he had been one; partly because his "History" ends
before Bothwell's murder of Darnley in 1567.

Knox's ancestors were, we may suppose, peasant farmers, like the
ancestors of Burns and Hogg; and Knox, though he married a maid of the
Queen's kin, bore traces of his descent.  "A man ungrateful and
unpleasable," Northumberland styled him: he was one who could not
"smiling, put a question by"; if he had to remonstrate even with a person
whom it was desirable to conciliate, he stated his case in the plainest
and least flattering terms.  "Of nature I am churlish, and in conditions
different from many," he wrote; but this side of his character he kept
mainly for people of high rank, accustomed to deference, and indifferent
or hostile to his aims.  To others, especially to women whom he liked, he
was considerate and courteous, but any assertion of social superiority
aroused his wakeful independence.  His countrymen of his own order had
long displayed these peculiarities of humour.

The small Scottish cultivators from whose ranks Knox rose, appear, even
before his age, in two strangely different lights.  If they were not
technically "kindly tenants," in which case their conditions of existence
and of tenure were comparatively comfortable and secure, they were liable
to eviction at the will of the lord, and, to quote an account of their
condition written in 1549, "were in more servitude than the children of
Israel in Egypt."  Henderson, the writer of 1549 whom we have quoted,
hopes that the agricultural class may yet live "as substantial commoners,
not miserable cottars, charged daily to war and slay their neighbours _at
their own expense_," as under the standards of the unruly Bothwell House.
This Henderson was one of the political observers who, before the
Scottish Reformation, hoped for a secure union between Scotland and
England, in place of the old and romantic league with France.  That
alliance had, indeed, enabled both France and Scotland to maintain their
national independence.  But, with the great revolution in religion, the
interest of Scotland was a permanent political league with England, which
Knox did as much as any man to forward, while, by resisting a religious
union, he left the seeds of many sorrows.

If the Lowland peasantry, from one point of view, were terribly
oppressed, we know that they were of independent manners.  In 1515 the
chaplain of Margaret Tudor, the Queen Mother, writes to one Adam
Williamson: "You know the use of this country.  Every man speaks what he
will without blame.  The man hath more words than the master, and will
not be content unless he knows the master's counsel.  There is no order
among us."

Thus, two hundred and fifty years before Burns, the Lowland Scot was
minded that "A man's a man for a' that!"  Knox was the true flower of
this vigorous Lowland thistle.  Throughout life he not only "spoke what
he would," but uttered "the Truth" in such a tone as to make it unlikely
that his "message" should be accepted by opponents.  Like Carlyle,
however, he had a heart rich in affection, no breach in friendship, he
says, ever began on his side; while, as "a good hater," Dr. Johnson might
have admired him.  He carried into political and theological conflicts
the stubborn temper of the Border prickers, his fathers, who had ridden
under the Roses and the Lion of the Hepburns.  So far Knox was an example
of the doctrine of heredity; that we know, however little we learn in
detail about his ancestors.

The birthplace of Knox was probably a house in a suburb of Haddington, in
a district on the path of English invasion.  The year of his birth has
long been dated, on a late statement of little authority, as 1505. {4}
Seven years after his death, however, a man who knew him well, namely,
Peter Young, tutor and librarian of James VI., told Beza that Knox died
in his fifty-ninth year.  Dr. Hay Fleming has pointed out that his natal
year was probably 1513-15, not 1505, and this reckoning, we shall see,
appears to fit in better with the deeds of the Reformer.

If Knox was born in 1513-15, he must have taken priest's orders, and
adopted the profession of a notary, at nearly the earliest moment which
the canonical law permitted.  No man ought to be in priest's orders
before he was twenty-five; Knox, if born in 1515, was just twenty-five in
1540, when he is styled "Sir John Knox" (one of "The Pope's Knights") in
legal documents, and appears as a notary. {5}  He certainly continued in
orders and in the notarial profession as late as March 1543.  The law of
the Church did not, in fact, permit priests to be notaries, but in an age
when "notaires" were often professional forgers, the additional security
for character yielded by Holy Orders must have been welcome to clients,
and Bishops permitted priests to practise this branch of the law.

Of Knox's near kin no more is known than of his ancestors.  He had a
brother, William, for whom, in 1552, he procured a licence to trade in
England as owner of a ship of 100 tons.  Even as late as 1656, there were
not a dozen ships of this burden in Scotland, so William Knox must have
been relatively a prosperous man.  In 1544-45, there was a William Knox,
a fowler or gamekeeper to the Earl of Westmoreland, who acted as a secret
agent between the Scots in English pay and their paymasters.  We much
later (1559) find the Reformer's brother, William, engaged with him in a
secret political mission to the Governor of Berwick; probably this
William knew shy Border paths, and he may have learned them as the Lord
Westmoreland's fowler in earlier years.

About John Knox's early years and education nothing is known.  He
certainly acquired such Latin (satis humilis, says a German critic) as
Scotland then had to teach; probably at the Burgh School of Haddington.  A
certain John Knox matriculated at the University of Glasgow in 1522, but
he cannot have been the Reformer, if the Reformer was not born till 1513-
15.  Beza, on the other hand (1580), had learned, probably from the
Reformer, whom he knew well, that Knox was a St. Andrews man, and though
his name does not occur in the University Register, the Register was very
ill kept.  Supposing Knox, then, to have been born in 1513-15, and to
have been educated at St. Andrews, we can see how he comes to know so
much about the progress of the new religious ideas at that University,
between 1529 and 1535.  "The Well of St. Leonard's College" was a
notorious fountain of heresies, under Gawain Logie, the Principal.  Knox
very probably heard the sermons of the Dominicans and Franciscans
"against the pride and idle life of bishops," and other abuses.  He
speaks of a private conversation between Friar Airth and Major (about
1534), and names some of the persons present at a sermon in the parish
church of St. Andrews, as if he had himself been in the congregation.  He
gives the text and heads of the discourse, including "merry tales" told
by the Friar. {6}  If Knox heard the sermons and stories of clerical
scandals at St. Andrews, they did not prevent him from taking orders.  His
Greek and Hebrew, what there was of them, Knox must have acquired in
later life, at least we never learn that he was taught by the famous
George Wishart, who, about that time, gave Greek lectures at Montrose.

The Catholic opponents of Knox naturally told scandalous anecdotes
concerning his youth.  These are destitute of evidence: about his youth
we know nothing.  It is a characteristic trait in him, and a fact much to
his credit, that, though he is fond of expatiating about himself, he
never makes confessions as to his earlier adventures.  On his own years
of the wild oat St. Augustine dilates in a style which still has charm:
but Knox, if he sowed wild oats, is silent as the tomb.  If he has
anything to repent, it is not to the world that he confesses.  About the
days when he was "one of Baal's shaven sort," in his own phrase; when he
was himself an "idolater," and a priest of the altar: about the details
of his conversion, Knox is mute.  It is probable that, as a priest, he
examined Lutheran books which were brought in with other merchandise from
Holland; read the Bible for himself; and failed to find Purgatory, the
Mass, the intercession of Saints, pardons, pilgrimages, and other
accessories of mediaeval religion in the Scriptures. {7}  Knox had only
to keep his eyes and ears open, to observe the clerical ignorance and
corruption which resulted in great part from the Scottish habit of
securing wealthy Church offices for ignorant, brutal, and licentious
younger sons and bastards of noble families.  This practice in Scotland
was as odious to good Catholics, like Quentin Kennedy, Ninian Winzet,
and, rather earlier, to Ferrerius, as to Knox himself.  The prevalent
anarchy caused by the long minorities of the Stuart kings, and by the
interminable wars with England, and the difficulty of communications with
Rome, had enabled the nobles thus to rob and deprave the Church, and so
to provide themselves with moral reasons good for robbing her again; as a
punishment for the iniquities which they had themselves introduced!

The almost incredible ignorance and profligacy of the higher Scottish
clergy (with notable exceptions) in Knox's youth, are not matter of
controversy.  They are as frankly recognised by contemporary Catholic as
by Protestant authors.  In the very year of the destruction of the
monasteries (1559) the abuses are officially stated, as will be told
later, by the last Scottish Provincial Council.  Though three of the four
Scottish universities were founded by Catholics, and the fourth,
Edinburgh, had an endowment bequeathed by a Catholic, the clerical
ignorance, in Knox's time, was such that many priests could hardly read.

If more evidence is needed as to the debauched estate of the Scottish
clergy, we obtain it from Mary of Guise, widow of James V., the Regent
then governing Scotland for her child, Mary Stuart.  The Queen, in
December 1555, begged Pius IV. to permit her to levy a tax on her clergy,
and to listen to what Cardinal Sermoneta would tell him about their need
of reformation.  The Cardinal drew a terrible sketch of the nefarious
lives of "every kind of religious women" in Scotland.  They go about with
their illegal families and dower their daughters out of the revenues of
the Church.  The monks, too, have bloated wealth, while churches are
allowed to fall into decay.  "The only hope is in the Holy Father," who
should appoint an episcopal commission of visitation.  For about forty
years prelates have been alienating Church lands illegally, and churches
and monasteries, by the avarice of those placed in charge, are crumbling
to decay.  Bishops are the chief dealers in cattle, fish, and hides,
though we have, in fact, good evidence that their dealings were very
limited, "sma' sums."

Not only the clergy, but the nobles and people were lawless.  "They are
more difficult to manage than ever," writes Mary of Guise (Jan. 13,
1557).  They are recalcitrant against law and order; every attempt at
introducing these is denounced as an attack on their old laws: not that
their laws are bad, but that they are badly administered. {9}  Scotland,
in brief, had always been lawless, and for centuries had never been
godly.  She was untouched by the first fervour of the Franciscan and
other religious revivals.  Knox could not fail to see what was so patent:
many books of the German reformers may have come in his way; no more was
wanted than the preaching of George Wishart in 1543-45, to make him an
irreconcilable foe of the doctrine as well as the discipline of his

Knox had a sincerely religious nature, and a conviction that he was, more
than most men, though a sinner, in close touch with Him "in whom we live
and move and have our being."  We ask ourselves, had Knox, as "a priest
of the altar," never known the deep emotions, which tongue may not utter,
that the ceremonies and services of his Church so naturally awaken in the
soul of the believer?  These emotions, if they were in his experience, he
never remembered tenderly, he flung them from him without regret; not
regarding them even as dreams, beautiful and dear, but misleading, that
came through the Ivory Gate.  To Knox's opponent in controversy, Quentin
Kennedy, the mass was "the blessed Sacrament of the Altar . . . which is
one of the chief Sacraments whereby our Saviour, for the salvation of
mankind, has appointed the fruit of His death and passion to be daily
renewed and applied."  In this traditional view there is nothing
unedifying, nothing injurious to the Christian life.  But to Knox the
wafer is an idol, a god "of water and meal," "but a feeble and miserable
god," that can be destroyed "by a bold and puissant mouse."  "Rats and
mice will desire no better dinner than white round gods enough." {10}

The Reformer and the Catholic take up the question "by different
handles"; and the Catholic grounds his defence on a text about
Melchizedek!  To Knox the mass is the symbol of all that he justly
detested in the degraded Church as she then was in Scotland, "that
horrible harlot with her filthiness."  To Kennedy it was what we have

Knox speaks of having been in "the puddle of papistry."  He loathes what
he has left behind him, and it is natural to guess that, in his first
years of priesthood, his religious nature slept; that he became a priest
and notary merely that he "might eat a morsel of bread"; and that real
"conviction" never was his till his studies of Protestant
controversialists, and also of St. Augustine and the Bible, and the
teaching of Wishart, raised him from a mundane life.  Then he awoke to a
passionate horror and hatred of his old routine of "mumbled masses," of
"rites of human invention," whereof he had never known the poetry and the
mystic charm.  Had he known them, he could not have so denied and
detested them.  On the other hand, when once he had embraced the new
ideas, Knox's faith in them, or in his own form of them, was firm as the
round world, made so fast that it cannot be moved.  He had now a pou sto,
whence he could, and did, move the world of human affairs.  A faith not
to be shaken, and enormous energy were the essential attributes of the
Reformer.  It is almost impossible to find an instance in which Knox
allows that he may have been mistaken: d'avoir toujours raison was his
claim.  If he admits an error in details, it is usually an error of
insufficient severity.  He did not attack Northumberland or Mary Stuart
with adequate violence; he did not disapprove enough of our prayer book;
he did not hand a heretic over to the magistrates.

While acting as a priest and notary, between 1540, at latest, and 1543,
Knox was engaged as private tutor to a boy named Brounefield, son of
Brounefield of Greenlaw, and to other lads, spoken of as his "bairns."  In
this profession of tutor he continued till 1547.

Knox's personal aspect did not give signs of the uncommon strength which
his unceasing labours demanded, but, like many men of energy, he had a
perpetual youth of character and vigour.  After his death, Peter Young
described him as he appeared in his later years.  He was somewhat below
the "just" standard of height; his limbs were well and elegantly shaped;
his shoulders broad, his fingers rather long, his head small, his hair
black, his face somewhat swarthy, and not unpleasant to behold.  There
was a certain geniality in a countenance serious and stern, with a
natural dignity and air of command; his eyebrows, when he was in anger,
were expressive.  His forehead was rather narrow, depressed above the
eyebrows; his cheeks were full and ruddy, so that the eyes seemed to
retreat into their hollows: they were dark grey, keen, and lively.  The
face was long, the nose also; the mouth was large, the upper lip being
the thicker.  The beard was long, rather thick and black, with a few grey
hairs in his later years. {12}  The nearest approach to an authentic
portrait of Knox is a woodcut, engraved after a sketch from memory by
Peter Young, and after another sketch of the same kind by an artist in
Edinburgh.  Compared with the peevish face of Calvin, also in Beza's
Icones, Knox looks a broad-minded and genial character.

Despite the uncommon length to which Knox carried the contemporary
approval of persecution, then almost universal, except among the
Anabaptists (and any party out of power), he was not personally rancorous
where religion was not concerned.  But concerned it usually was!  He was
the subject of many anonymous pasquils and libels, we know, but he
entirely disregarded them.  If he hated any mortal personally, and beyond
what true religion demands of a Christian, that mortal was the mother of
Mary Stuart, an amiable lady in an impossible position.  Of jealousy
towards his brethren there is not a trace in Knox, and he told Queen Mary
that he could ill bear to correct his own boys, though the age was as
cruel to schoolboys as that of St. Augustine.

The faults of Knox arose not in his heart, but in his head; they sprung
from intellectual errors, and from the belief that he was always right.
He applied to his fellow-Christians--Catholics--the commands which early
Israel supposed to be divinely directed against foreign worshippers of
Chemosh and Moloch.  He endeavoured to force his own theory of what the
discipline of the Primitive Apostolic Church had been upon a modern
nation, following the example of the little city state of Geneva, under
Calvin.  He claimed for preachers chosen by local congregations the
privileges and powers of the apostolic companions of Christ, and in place
of "sweet reasonableness," he applied the methods, quite alien to the
Founder of Christianity, of the "Sons of Thunder."  All controversialists
then relied on isolated and inappropriate scriptural texts, and Biblical
analogies which were not analogous; but Knox employed these things, with
perhaps unusual inconsistency, in varying circumstances.  His "History"
is not more scrupulous than that of other partisans in an exciting
contest, and examples of his taste for personal scandal are not scarce.


Our earliest knowledge of Knox, apart from mention of him in notarial
documents, is derived from his own History of the Reformation.  The
portion of that work in which he first mentions himself was written about
1561-66, some twenty years after the events recorded, and in reading all
this part of his Memoirs, and his account of the religious struggle,
allowance must be made for errors of memory, or for erroneous
information.  We meet him first towards the end of "the holy days of
Yule"--Christmas, 1545.  Knox had then for some weeks been the constant
companion and armed bodyguard of George Wishart, who was calling himself
"the messenger of the Eternal God," and preaching the new ideas in
Haddington to very small congregations.  This Wishart, Knox's master in
the faith, was a Forfarshire man; he is said to have taught Greek at
Montrose, to have been driven thence in 1538 by the Bishop of Brechin,
and to have recanted certain heresies in 1539.  He had denied the merits
of Christ as the Redeemer, but afterwards dropped that error, when
persistence meant death at the stake.  It was in Bristol that he "burned
his faggot," in place of being burned himself.  There was really nothing
humiliating in this recantation, for, after his release, he did not
resume his heresy; clearly he yielded, not to fear, but to conviction of
theological error. {15a}

He next travelled in Germany, where a Jew, on a Rhine boat, inspired or
increased his aversion to works of sacred art, as being "idolatrous."
About 1542-43 he was reading with pupils at Cambridge, and was remarked
for the severity of his ascetic virtue, and for his great charity.  At
some uncertain date he translated the Helvetic Confession of Faith, and
he was more of a Calvinist than a Lutheran.  In July 1543 he returned to
Scotland; at least he returned with some "commissioners to England," who
certainly came home in July 1543, as Knox mentions, though later he gives
the date of Wishart's return in 1544, probably by a slip of the pen.

Coming home in July 1543, Wishart would expect a fair chance of preaching
his novel ideas, as peace between Scotland and Protestant England now
seemed secure, and Arran, the Scottish Regent, the chief of the almost
Royal House of Hamilton, was, for the moment, himself a Protestant.  For
five days (August 28-September 3, 1543) the great Cardinal Beaton, the
head of the party of the Church, was outlawed, and Wishart's preaching at
Dundee, about that date, is supposed by some {15b} to have stimulated an
attack then made on the monasteries in the town.  But Arran suddenly
recanted, deserted the Protestants and the faction attached to England,
and joined forces with Cardinal Beaton, who, in November 1543, visited
Dundee, and imprisoned the ringleaders in the riots.  They are called
"the honestest men in the town," by the treble traitor and rascal,
Crichton, laird of Brunston in Lothian, at this time a secret agent of
Sadleir, the envoy of Henry VIII. (November 25, 1543).

By April 1544, Henry was preparing to invade Scotland, and the "earnest
professors" of Protestant doctrines in Scotland sent to him "a Scottish
man called Wysshert," with a proposal for the kidnapping or murder of
Cardinal Beaton.  Brunston and other Scottish lairds of Wishart's circle
were agents of the plot, and in 1545-46 our George Wishart is found
companioning with them.  When Cassilis took up the threads of the plot
against Beaton, it was to Cassilis's country in Ayrshire that Wishart
went and there preached.  Thence he returned to Dundee, to fight the
plague and comfort the citizens, and, towards the end of 1545, moved to
Lothian, expecting to be joined there by his westland supporters, led by
Cassilis--but entertaining dark forebodings of his doom.

There were, however, other Wisharts, Protestants, in Scotland.  It is not
possible to prove that this reformer, though the associate, was the agent
of the murderers, or was even conscious of their schemes.  Yet if he had
been, there was no matter for marvel.  Knox himself approved of and
applauded the murders of Cardinal Beaton and of Riccio, and, in that age,
too many men of all creeds and parties believed that to kill an opponent
of their religious cause was to imitate Phinehas, Jael, Jehu, and other
patriots of Hebrew history.  Dr. M'Crie remarks that Knox "held the
opinion, that persons who, according to the law of God and the just laws
of society, have forfeited their lives by the commission of flagrant
crimes, such as notorious murderers and tyrants, may warrantably be put
to death by private individuals, provided all redress in the ordinary
course of justice is rendered impossible, in consequence of the offenders
having usurped the executive authority, or being systematically protected
by oppressive rulers."  The ideas of Knox, in fact, varied in varying
circumstances and moods, and, as we shall show, at times he preached
notions far more truculent than those attributed to him by his
biographer; at times was all for saint-like submission and mere "passive
resistance." {17}

The current ideas of both parties on "killing no murder" were little
better than those of modern anarchists.  It was a prevalent opinion that
a king might have a subject assassinated, if to try him publicly entailed
political inconveniences.  The Inquisition, in Spain, vigorously
repudiated this theory, but the Inquisition was in advance of the age.
Knox, as to the doctrine of "killing no murder," was, and Wishart may
have been, a man of his time.  But Knox, in telling the story of a murder
which he approves, unhappily displays a glee unbecoming a reformer of the
Church of Him who blamed St. Peter for his recourse to the sword.  The
very essence of Christianity is cast to the winds when Knox utters his
laughter over the murders or misfortunes of his opponents, yielding, as
Dr. M'Crie says, "to the strong propensity which he felt to indulge his
vein of humour."  Other good men rejoiced in the murder of an enemy, but
Knox chuckled.

Nothing has injured Knox more in the eyes of posterity (when they happen
to be aware of the facts) than this "humour" of his.

Knox might be pardoned had he merely excused the murder of "the devil's
own son," Cardinal Beaton, who executed the law on his friend and master,
George Wishart.  To Wishart Knox bore a tender and enthusiastic
affection, crediting him not only with the virtues of charity and courage
which he possessed, but also with supernormal premonitions; "he was so
clearly illuminated with the spirit of prophecy."  These premonitions
appear to have come to Wishart by way of vision.  Knox asserted some
prophetic gift for himself, but never hints anything as to the method,
whether by dream, vision, or the hearing of voices.  He often alludes to
himself as "the prophet," and claims certain privileges in that capacity.
For example the prophet may blamelessly preach what men call "treason,"
as we shall see.  As to his actual predictions of events, he occasionally
writes as if they were mere deductions from Scripture.  God will punish
the idolater; A or B is an idolater; therefore it is safe to predict that
God will punish him or her.  "What man then can cease to prophesy?" he
asks; and there is, if we thus consider the matter, no reason why anybody
should ever leave off prophesying. {18a}

But if the art of prophecy is common to all Bible-reading mankind, all
mankind, being prophets, may promulgate treason, which Knox perhaps would
not have admitted.  He thought himself more specially a seer, and in his
prayer after the failure of his friends, the murderers of Riccio, he
congratulates himself on being favoured above the common sort of his
brethren, and privileged to "forespeak" things, in an unique degree.

"I dare not deny . . . but that God hath revealed unto me secrets unknown
to the world," he writes {18b}; and these claims soar high above mere
deductions from Scripture.  His biographer, Dr. M'Crie, doubts whether we
can dismiss, as necessarily baseless, all stories of "extraordinary
premonitions since the completion of the canon of inspiration." {19}
Indeed, there appears to be no reason why we should draw the line at a
given date, and "limit the operations of divine Providence."  I would be
the last to do so, but then Knox's premonitions are sometimes, or
usually, without documentary and contemporary corroboration; once he
certainly prophesied after the event (as we shall see), and he never
troubles himself about his predictions which were unfulfilled, as against
Queen Elizabeth.

He supplied the Kirk with the tradition of supernormal premonitions in
preachers--second-sight and clairvoyance--as in the case of Mr. Peden and
other saints of the Covenant.  But just as good cases of clairvoyance as
any of Mr. Peden's are attributed to Catherine de Medici, who was not a
saint, by her daughter, La Reine Margot, and others.  In Knox, at all
events, there is no trace of visual or auditory hallucinations, so common
in religious experiences, whatever the creed of the percipient.  He was
not a visionary.  More than this we cannot safely say about his prophetic

The enthusiasm which induced a priest, notary, and teacher like Knox to
carry a claymore in defence of a beloved teacher, Wishart, seems more
appropriate to a man of about thirty than a man of forty, and, so far,
supports the opinion that, in 1545, Knox was only thirty years of age.  In
that case, his study of the debates between the Church and the new
opinions must have been relatively brief.  Yet, in 1547, he already
reckoned himself, not incorrectly, as a skilled disputant in favour of
ideas with which he cannot have been very long familiar.

Wishart was taken, was tried, was condemned; was strangled, and his dead
body was burned at St. Andrews on March 1, 1546.  It is highly improbable
that Knox could venture, as a marked man, to be present at the trial.  He
cites the account of it in his "History" from the contemporary Scottish
narrative used by Foxe in his "Martyrs," and Laing, Knox's editor, thinks
that Foxe "may possibly have been indebted for some" of the Scottish
accounts "to the Scottish Reformer."  It seems, if there be anything in
evidence of tone and style, that what Knox quotes from Foxe in 1561-66 is
what Knox himself actually wrote about 1547-48.  Mr. Hill Burton observes
in the tract "the mark of Knox's vehement colouring," and adds, "it is
needless to seek in the account for precise accuracy."  In "precise
accuracy" many historians are as sadly to seek as Knox himself, but his
peculiar "colouring" is all his own, and is as marked in the pamphlet on
Wishart's trial, which he cites, as in the "History" which he

There are said to be but few copies of the first edition of the black
letter tract on Wishart's trial, published in London, with Lindsay's
"Tragedy of the Cardinal," by Day and Seres.  I regard it as the earliest
printed work of John Knox. {20}  The author, when he describes Lauder,
Wishart's official accuser, as "a fed sow . . . his face running down
with sweat, and frothing at the mouth like ane bear," who "spat at
Maister George's face, . . . " shows every mark of Knox's vehement and
pictorial style.  His editor, Laing, bids us observe "that all these
opprobrious terms are copied from Foxe, or rather from the black letter
tract."  But the black letter tract, I conceive, must be Knox's own.  Its
author, like Knox, "indulges his vein of humour" by speaking of friars as
"fiends"; like Knox he calls Wishart "Maister George," and "that servand
of God."

The peculiarities of the tract, good and bad, the vivid familiar manner,
the vehemence, the pictorial quality, the violent invective, are the
notes of Knox's "History."  Already, by 1547, or not much later, he was
the perfect master of his style; his tone no more resembles that of his
contemporary and fellow-historian, Lesley, than the style of Mr. J. R.
Green resembles that of Mr. S. R. Gardiner.


We now take up Knox where we left him: namely when Wishart was arrested
in January 1546.  He was then tutor to the sons of the lairds of
Langniddrie and Ormiston, Protestants and of the English party.  Of his
adventures we know nothing, till, on Beaton's murder (May 29, 1546), the
Cardinal's successor, Archbishop Hamilton, drove him "from place to
place," and, at Easter, 1547, he with his pupils entered the Castle of
St. Andrews, then held, with some English aid, against the Regent Arran,
by the murderers of Beaton and their adherents. {22}  Knox was not
present, of course, at Beaton's murder, about which he writes so
"merrily," in his manner of mirth; nor at the events of Arran's siege of
the castle, prior to April 1547.  He probably, as regards these matters,
writes from recollection of what Kirkcaldy of Grange, James Balfour,
Balnaves, and the other murderers or associates of the murderers of the
Cardinal told him in 1547, or later communicated to him as he wrote,
about 1565-66.  With his unfortunate love of imputing personal motives,
he attributes the attacks by the rulers on the murderers mainly to the
revengeful nature of Mary of Guise; the Cardinal having been "the comfort
to all gentlewomen, and _especially to wanton widows_.  His death must be
revenged." {23a}

Knox avers that the besiegers of St. Andrews Castle, despairing of their
task, near the end of January 1547 made a fraudulent truce with the
assassins, hoping for the betrayal of the castle, or of some of the
leaders. {23b}  In his narrative we find partisanship or very erroneous
information.  The conditions were, he says, that (1) the murderers should
hold the castle till Arran could obtain for them, from the Pope, a
sufficient absolution; (2) that they should give hostages, as soon as the
absolution was delivered to them; (3) that they and their friends should
not be prosecuted, nor undergo any legal penalties for the murder of the
Cardinal; (4) that they should meanwhile keep the eldest son of Arran as
hostage, so long as their own hostages were kept.  The Government,
however, says Knox, "never minded to keep word of them" (of these
conditions), "as the issue did declare."

There is no proof of this accusation of treachery on the part of Arran,
or none known to me.  The constant aim of Knox, his fixed idea, as an
historian, is to accuse his adversaries of the treachery which often
marked the negotiations of his friends.

From this point, the truce, dated by Knox late in January 1547, he
devotes eighteen pages to his own call to the ministry by the castle
people, and to his controversies and sermons in St. Andrews.  He then
returns to history, and avers that, about June 21, 1547, the papal
absolution was presented to the garrison merely as a veil for a
treasonable attack, but was rejected, as it included the dubious phrase,
Remittimus irremissibile--"We remit the crime that cannot be remitted."
Nine days later, June 29, he says, by "the treasonable mean" of Arran,
Archbishop Hamilton, and Mary of Guise, twenty-one French galleys, and
such an army as the Firth had never seen, hove into view, and on June 30
summoned the castle to surrender.  The siege of St Andrews Castle, from
the sea, by the French then began, but the garrison and castle were
unharmed, and many of the galley slaves and some French soldiers were
slain, and a ship was driven out of action.  The French "shot two days"
only.  On July 19 the siege was renewed by land, guns were mounted on the
spires of St. Salvator's College chapel and on the Cathedral, and did
much scathe, though, during the first three weeks of the siege, the
garrison "had many prosperous chances."  Meanwhile Knox prophesied the
defeat of his associates, because of "their corrupt life."  They had
robbed and ravished, and were probably demoralised by Knox's prophecies.
On the last day of July the castle surrendered. {24}  Knox adds that his
friends would deal with France alone, as "Scottish men had all
traitorously betrayed them."

Now much of this narrative is wrong; wrong in detail, in suggestion, in
omission.  That a man of fifty, or sixty, could attribute the attacks on
Beaton's murderers to mere revenge, specially to that of a "wanton
widow," Mary of Guise (who had, we are to believe, so much of the
Cardinal's attentions as his mistress, Mariotte Ogilvy, could spare), is
significant of the spirit in which Knox wrote history.  He had a strong
taste for such scandals as this about the "wanton widow."

Wherever he touches on Mary of Guise (who once treated him in a spirit of
banter), he deals a stab at her name and fame.  On all that concerns her
personal character and political conduct, he is unworthy of credit when
uncorroborated by better authority.  Indeed Knox's spirit is so unworthy
that for this, among other reasons, Archbishop Spottiswoode declined to
believe in his authorship of the "History."  The actual facts were not
those recorded by Knox.

As regards the "Appointment" or arrangement of the Scottish Government
with the Castilians, it was not made late in January 1547, but was at
least begun by December 17-19, 1546. {25a}  On January 11, 1547, a spy of
England, Stewart of Cardonald, reports that the garrison have given
pledges and await their absolution from Rome. {25b}  With regard to
Knox's other statements in this place, it was not _after_ this truce,
first, but before it, on November 26, that Arran invited French
assistance, if England would not include Scotland in a treaty of peace
with France.  An English invasion was expected in February 1547, and
Arran's object in the "Appointment" with the garrison was to prevent the
English from becoming possessed of the Castle of St. Andrews.  Far from
desiring a papal pardon--a mere pretext to gain time for English
relief--the garrison actually asked Henry VIII. to request the Emperor,
to implore the Pope, "to stop and hinder their absolution." {25c}  Knox
very probably knew nothing of all this, but his efforts to throw the
blame of treachery on his opponents are obviously futile.

As to the honesty of his associates--before the death of Henry VIII.
(January 28, 1547), the Castilians had promised him not to surrender the
place without his consent, and to put Arran's son in his hands, promises
which they also made, on Henry's death, to the English Government; in
February they repeated these promises, quite incompatible with their vow
to surrender if absolved.  Knox represents them as merely promising to
Henry that they would return Arran's son, and support the plan of
marrying Mary Stuart to Prince Edward of Wales! {26a}  In March 1547,
English ships gathered at Holy Island, to relieve the castle.  Not on
June 21, 1547, as Knox alleges, but before April 2, the papal absolution
for the murderers arrived.  They mocked at it; and the spy who reports
the facts is told that they "would rather have a boll of wheat than all
the Pope's remissions." {26b}  Whatever the terms of the papal remission,
they had already, before it arrived, bound themselves to England not to
accept it save with English concurrence; and England, then preparing to
invade Scotland, could not possibly concur.  Such was the honesty of
Knox's party, and we already see how far his "History" deserves to be
accepted as historical.

Next, what is most surprising, Knox's account of the month of ineffectual
siege by the French, while he was actually in the castle, rests on a
strange error of his memory.  The contemporary diary, Diurnal of
Occurrences dates the _sending_ (the arrival must be meant) of the French
galleys, not on June 29, as Knox dates their arrival, but on July 24.
Professor Hume Brown says that the Diurnal gives the date as _June_ 24 (a
slip of the pen), "but Knox had surely the best opportunity of knowing
both facts" {27a}--that is, the number of the galleys, and the date of
their coming.  Despite his unrivalled opportunities of knowledge, Knox
did not know.  It is not quite correct to say that "Knox in his 'History'
shows throughout a conscientious regard to accuracy of statement."
Whatever the number of the galleys (Knox says twenty-one; the Diurnal
says sixteen), on July 13-14, they are reported by Lord Eure, at Berwick,
as passing or having just passed Eyemouth. {27b}  They did not therefore
suffer for three weeks at the garrison's hands, or for three weeks desert
the siege, but probably reached the scene of action before the date in
the Diurnal (July 24), as, on July 23, the French Ambassador in England
heard that they were investing the castle. {27c}  Allowing five or six
days for transmission of news, they probably began the attack from the
sea about July 16 or 17, not, as Knox says, on June 30.  Perhaps he is
right in saying that the French galleys only fired for two days and
retreated, rather battered, to Dundee.  Land forces next attacked the
hold, which surrendered on July 29 (as was known in London on August 5),
that is, on the first day that the _land_ battery was erected.

Knox gives a much more full account of his own controversies, in April-
June 1547, than of political events.  He first, on arrival at the castle,
drew up a catechism for his pupils, and publicly catechised them on its
tenets, in the parish kirk in South Street.  It is unfortunate that we do
not possess this catechism.  At the time when he wrote, Knox was possibly
more of "Martin's" mind, as he familiarly terms Luther, both as to the
Sacrament and as to the Order of Bishops, than he was after his residence
in Geneva.  Wishart, however, was well acquainted with Helvetic doctrine;
he had, as we saw, translated a Helvetic Confession of Faith, perhaps
with the view of introducing it into Scotland, and Knox may already have
imbibed Calvinism from him.  He was not yet--he never was--a full-blown
Presbyterian, and, while thinking nothing of "orders," would not have
rejected a bishop, if the bishop _preached_ and was of godly and frugal
life.  Already sermons were the most important part of public worship in
the mind of Knox.

In addition to public catechising he publicly expounded, and lectured on
the Fourth Gospel, in the chapel of the castle.  He doubted if he had "a
lawful vocation" to _preach_.  The castle pulpit was then occupied by an
ex-friar named Rough.  This divine, later burned in England, preached a
sermon declaring a doctrine accepted by Knox, namely, that any
congregation could call on any man in whom they "espied the gifts of God"
to be their preacher; he offered Knox the post, and all present agreed.
Knox wept, and for days his gloom declared his sense of his
responsibility: such was "his holy vocation."  The garrison was,
confessedly, brutal, licentious, and rapacious, but they "all" partook of
the holy Communion. {28}

In controversy, Knox declared the Church to be "the synagogue of Satan,"
and in the Pope he detected and denounced "the Man of Sin."  On the
following Sunday he proved, from Daniel, that the Roman Church is "that
last Beast."  The Church is also anti-Christ, and "the Hoore of Babylon,"
and Knox dilated on the personal misconduct of Popes and "all shavelings
for the most part."  He contrasted Justification by Faith with the
customs of pardons and pilgrimages.

After these remarks, a controversy was held between Knox and the
sub-prior, Wynram, the Scottish Vicar of Bray, Knox being understood to
maintain that no bishop who did not preach was really a bishop; that the
Mass is "abominable idolatry"; that Purgatory does not exist; and that
the tithes are not necessarily the property of churchmen--a doctrine very
welcome to the hungry nobles of Scotland.  Knox, of course, easily
overcame an ignorant opponent, a friar, who joined in the fray.  His own
arguments he later found time to write out fully in the French galleys,
in which he was a prisoner, after the fall of the castle.  If he "wrate
in the galleys," as he says, they cannot have been always such floating
hells as they are usually reckoned.

That Knox, and other captives from the castle, were placed in the galleys
after their surrender, was an abominable stretch of French power.  They
were not subjects of France.  The terms on which they surrendered are not
exactly known.  Knox avers that they were to be free to live in France,
and that, if they wished to leave, they were to be conveyed, at French
expense, to any country except Scotland.  Buchanan declares that only the
lives of the garrison and their friends were secured by the terms of
surrender.  Lesley supports Knox, {30a} who is probably accurate.

To account for the French severity, Knox tells us that the Pope insisted
on it, appealing to both the Scottish and French Governments; and
Scotland sent an envoy to France to beg "that those of the castle should
be sharply handled."  Men of birth were imprisoned, the rest went to the
galleys.  Knox's life cannot have been so bad as that of the Huguenot
galley slaves under Louis XIV.  He was allowed to receive letters; he
read and commented on a treatise written in prison by Balnaves; and he
even wrote a theological work, unless this work was his commentary on
Balnaves.  These things can only have been possible when the galleys were
not on active service.  In a very manly spirit, he never dilated on his
sufferings, and merely alludes to "the torment I sustained in the
galleys."  He kept up his heart, always prophesying deliverance; and once
(June, 1548?), when in view of St. Andrews, declared that he should
preach again in the kirk where his career began.  Unluckily, the person
to whom he spoke, at a moment when he himself was dangerously ill, denied
that he had ever been in the galleys at all! {30b}  He was Sir James
Balfour, a notorious scoundrel, quite untrustworthy; according to Knox,
he had spoken of the prophecy, in Scotland, long before its fulfilment.

Knox's health was more or less undermined, while his spiritual temper was
not mollified by nineteen months of the galleys, mitigated as they
obviously were.

It is, doubtless, to his "torment" in the galleys that Knox refers when
he writes: "I know how hard the battle is between the spirit and the
flesh, under the heavy cross of affliction, where no worldly defence, but
present death, does appear. . . .  Rests only Faith, provoking us to call
earnestly, and pray for assistance of God's spirit, wherein if we
continue, our most desperate calamities shall turn to gladness, and to a
prosperous end. . . .  With experience I write this."

In February or March, 1549, Knox was released; by April he was in
England, and, while Edward VI. lived, was in comparative safety.


Knox at once appeared in England in a character revolting to the later
Presbyterian conscience, which he helped to educate.  The State permitted
no cleric to preach without a Royal license, and Knox was now a State
licensed preacher at Berwick, one of many "State officials with a
specified mission."  He was an agent of the English administration, then
engaged in forcing a detested religion on the majority of the English
people.  But he candidly took his own line, indifferent to the
compromises of the rulers in that chaos of shifting opinions.  For
example, the Prayer Book of Edward VI. at that time took for granted
kneeling as the appropriate attitude for communicants.  Knox, at Berwick,
on the other hand, bade his congregation sit, as he conceived that to
have been the usage at the first institution of the rite.  Possibly the
Apostles, in fact, supped in a recumbent attitude, as Cranmer justly
remarked later (John xiii. 25), but Knox supposed them to have sat.  In a
letter to his Berwick flock, he reminds them of his practice on this
point; but he would not dissent from kneeling if "magistrates make known,
as that they" (would?) "have done if ministers were willing to do their
duties, that kneeling is not retained in the Lord's Supper for
maintenance of any superstition," much less as "adoration of the Lord's
Supper."  This, "for a time," would content him: and this he obtained.
{33a}  Here Knox appears to make the civil authority--"the
magistrates"--governors of the Church, while at the same time he does not
in practice obey them unless they accept his conditions.

This letter to the Berwick flock must be prior to the autumn of 1552, in
which, as we shall see, Knox obtained his terms as to kneeling.  He went
on, in his epistle to the Berwickians, to speak in "a tone of moderation
and modesty," for which, says Dr. Lorimer, not many readers will be
prepared. {33b}  In this modest passage, Knox says that, as to "the chief
points of religion," he, with God's help, "will give place to neither man
nor angel teaching the contrary" of his preaching.  Yet an angel might be
supposed to be well informed on points of doctrine!  "But as to
ceremonies or rites, things of smaller weight, I was not minded to move
contention. . . ."  The one point which--"because I am but one, having in
my contrary magistrates, common order, and judgments, and many
learned"--he is prepared to yield, and that for a time, is the practice
of kneeling, but only on three conditions.  These being granted, "with
patience will I bear that one thing, daily thirsting and calling unto God
for reformation of that and others." {33c}  But he did not bear that one
thing; he would _not_ kneel even after his terms were granted!  This is
the sum of Knox's "moderation and modesty"!

Though he is not averse from talking about himself, Knox, in his
"History," spares but three lines to his five years' residence in England
(1549-54).  His first charge was Berwick (1549-51), where we have seen he
celebrated holy Communion by the Swiss rite, all meekly sitting.  The
Second Prayer Book, of 1552, when Knox ministered in Newcastle, bears
marks of his hand.  He opposed, as has been said, the rubric bidding the
communicants kneel; the attitude savoured of "idolatry."

The circumstances in which Knox carried his point on this question are
most curious.  Just before October 12, 1552, a foreign Protestant,
Johannes Utenhovius, wrote to the Zurich Protestant, Bullinger, to the
effect that a certain vir bonus, Scotus natione (a good man and a Scot),
a preacher (concionator), of the Duke of Northumberland, had delivered a
sermon before the King and Council, "in which he freely inveighed against
the Anglican custom of kneeling at the Lord's Supper."  Many listeners
were greatly moved, and Utenhovius prayed that the sermon might be of
blessed effect.  Knox was certainly in London at this date, and was
almost certainly the excellent Scot referred to by Utenhovius.  The
Second Prayer Book of Edward VI. was then in such forwardness that
Parliament had appointed it to be used in churches, beginning on November
1.  The book included the command to kneel at the Lord's Supper, and any
agitation against the practice might seem to be too late.  Cranmer, the
Primate, was in favour of the rubric as it stood, and on October 7, 1552,
addressed the Privy Council in a letter which, without naming Knox,
clearly shows his opinion of our Reformer.  The book, _as it stood_, said
Cranmer, had the assent of King and Parliament--now it was to be altered,
apparently, "without Parliament."  The Council ought not to be thus
influenced by "glorious and unquiet spirits."  Cranmer calls Knox, as
Throckmorton later called Queen Mary's Bothwell, "glorious" in the sense
of the Latin gloriosus, "swaggering," or "arrogant."

Cranmer goes on to denounce the "glorious and unquiet spirits, which can
like nothing but that is after their own fancy, and cease not to make
trouble and disquietude when things be most quiet and in good order."
{35}  Their argument (Knox's favourite), that whatever is not commanded
in Scripture is unlawful and ungodly, "is a subversion of all order as
well in religion as in common policy."

Cranmer ends with the amazing challenge: "I will set my foot by his to be
tried in the fire, that his doctrine is untrue, and not only untrue but
seditious, and perilous to be heard of any subjects, as a thing breaking
the bridle of obedience and loosing them from the bond of all princes'

Cranmer had a premonition of the troubled years of James VI. and of the
Covenant, when this question of kneeling was the first cause of the
Bishops' wars.  But Knox did not accept, as far as we know, the mediaeval
ordeal by fire.

Other questions about practices enjoined in the Articles arose.  A
"Confession," in which Knox's style may be traced, was drawn up, and
consequently that "Declaration on Kneeling" was intercalated into the
Prayer Book, wherein it is asserted that the attitude does not imply
adoration of the elements, or belief in the Real Presence, "for that were
idolatry."  Elizabeth dropped, and Charles II. restored, this "Black
Rubric" which Anglicanism owes to the Scottish Reformer. {36a}  He "once
had a good opinion," he says, of the Liturgy as it now stood, but he soon
found that it was full of idolatries.

The most important event in the private life of Knox, during his stay at
Berwick, was his acquaintance with a devout lady of tormented conscience,
Mrs. Bowes, wife of the Governor of Norham Castle on Tweed.  Mrs. Bowes's
tendency to the new ideas in religion was not shared by her husband and
his family; the results will presently be conspicuous.  In April 1550,
Knox preached at Newcastle a sermon on his favourite doctrine that the
Mass is "Idolatry," because it is "of man's invention," an opinion not
shared by Tunstall, then Bishop of Durham.  Knox used "idolatry" in a
constructive sense, as when we talk of "constructive treason."  But, in
practice, he regarded Catholics as "idolaters," in the same sense as
Elijah regarded Hebrew worshippers of alien deities, Chemosh or Moloch,
and he later drew the inference that idolaters, as in the Old Testament,
must be put to death.  Thus his was logically a persecuting religion.

Knox was made a King's chaplain and transferred to Newcastle.  He saw
that the country was, by preference, Catholic; that the life of Edward
VI. hung on a thread; and that with the accession of his sister, Mary
Tudor, Protestant principles would be as unsafe as under "umquhile the
Cardinal."  Knox therefore, "from the foresight of troubles to come" (so
he writes to Mrs. Bowes, February 28, 1554), {36b} declined any post, a
bishopric, or a living, which would in honour oblige him to face the fire
of persecution.  At the same time he was even then far at odds with the
Church of England that he had sound reasons for refusing benefices.

On Christmas day, 1552, {37a} he preached at Newcastle against Papists,
as "thirsting nothing more than the King's death, which their iniquity
would procure."  In two brief years Knox was himself publicly expressing
his own thirst for the Queen's death, and praying for a Jehu or a
Phinehas, slayers of idolaters, such as Mary Tudor.  If any fanatic had
taken this hint, and the life of Mary Tudor, Catholics would have said
that Knox's "iniquity procured" the murder, and they would have had fair
excuse for the assertion.

Meanwhile charges were brought against the Reformer, on the ground of his
Christmas sermon of peace and goodwill.  Northumberland (January 9, 1552-
53) sends to Cecil "a letter of poor Knox, by the which you may perceive
what perplexity the poor soul remaineth in at this present."  We have not
Knox's interesting letter, but Northumberland pled his cause against a
charge of treason.  In fact, however, the Court highly approved of his
sermon.  He was presently again in what he believed to be imminent danger
of life: "I fear that I be not yet ripe, nor able to glorify Christ by my
faith," he wrote to Mrs. Bowes, "but what lacketh now, God shall perform
in His own time." {37b}  We do not know what peril threatened the
Reformer now (probably in March 1553), but he frequently, later, seems to
have doubted his own "ripeness" for martyrdom.  His reluctance to suffer
did not prevent him from constant attendance to the tedious
self-tormentings of Mrs. Bowes, and of "three honest poor women" in

Knox, at all events, was not so "perplexed" that he feared to speak his
mind in the pulpit.  In Lent, 1553, preaching before the boy king, he
denounced his ministers in trenchant historical parallels between them
and Achitophel, Shebna, and Judas.  Later, young Mr. Mackail, applying
the same method to the ministers of Charles II., was hanged.  "What
wonder is it then," said Knox, "that a young and innocent king be
deceived by crafty, covetous, wicked, and ungodly councillors?  I am
greatly afraid that Achitophel be councillor, that Judas bear the purse,
and that Shebna be scribe, comptroller, and treasurer." {38a}

This appears the extreme of audacity.  Yet nothing worse came to Knox
than questions, by the Council, as to his refusal of a benefice, and his
declining, as he still did, to kneel at the Communion (April 14, 1553).
His answers prove that he was out of harmony with the fluctuating
Anglicanism of the hour.  Northumberland could not then resent the
audacities of pulpiteers, because the Protestants were the only party who
might stand by him in his approaching effort to crown Lady Jane Grey.  Now
all the King's preachers, obviously by concerted action, "thundered"
against Edward's Council, in the Lent or Easter of 1553.  Manifestly, in
the old Scots phrase, "the Kirk had a back"; had some secular support,
namely that of their party, which Northumberland could not slight.
Meanwhile Knox was sent on a preaching tour in Buckinghamshire, and there
he was when Edward VI. died, in the first week of July 1553. {38b}

Knox's official attachment to England expired with his preaching license,
on the death of Edward VI. and the accession of Mary Tudor.  He did not
at once leave the country, but preached both in London and on the English
border, while the new queen was settling herself on the throne.  While
within Mary's reach, Knox did not encourage resistance against that
idolatress; he did not do so till he was safe in France.  Indeed, in his
prayer used after the death of Edward VI., before the fires of Oxford and
Smithfield were lit, Knox wrote: "Illuminate the heart of our Sovereign
Lady, Queen Mary, with pregnant gifts of the Holy Ghost. . . .  Repress
thou the pride of those that would rebel. . . .  Mitigate the hearts of
those that persecute us."

In the autumn of 1553, Knox's health was very bad; he had gravel, and
felt his bodily strength broken.  Moreover, he was in the disagreeable
position of being betrothed to a very young lady, Marjorie Bowes, with
the approval of her devout mother, the wife of Richard Bowes, commander
of Norham Castle, near Berwick, but to the anger and disgust of the Bowes
family in general.  They by no means shared Knox's ideas of religion,
rather regarding him as a penniless unfrocked "Scot runagate," whose
alliance was discreditable and distasteful, and might be dangerous.
"Maist unpleasing words" passed, and it is no marvel that Knox, being
persecuted in one city, fled to another, leaving England for Dieppe early
in March 1554. {39}

His conscience was not entirely at ease as to his flight.  "Why did I
flee?  Assuredly I cannot tell, but of one thing I am sure, the fear of
death was not the chief cause of my fleeing," he wrote to Mrs. Bowes from
Dieppe.  "Albeit that I have, in the beginning of this battle, appeared
to play the faint-hearted and feeble soldier (the cause I remit to God),
yet my prayer is that I may be restored to the battle again." {40a}  Knox
was, in fact, most valiant when he had armed men at his back; he had no
enthusiasm for taking part in the battle when unaided by the arm of
flesh.  On later occasions this was very apparent, and he has confessed,
as we saw, that he did not choose to face "the trouble to come" without
means of retreat.  His valour was rather that of the general than of the
lonely martyr.  The popular idea of Knox's personal courage, said to have
been expressed by the Regent Morton in the words spoken at his funeral,
"here lieth a man who in his life never feared the face of man," is
entirely erroneous.  His learned and sympathetic editor, David Laing,
truly writes: "Knox cannot be said to have possessed the impetuous and
heroic boldness of a Luther when surrounded with danger. . . .  On more
than one occasion Knox displayed a timidity or shrinking from danger,
scarcely to have been expected from one who boasted of his willingness to
endure the utmost torture, or suffer death in his Master's cause.  Happily
he was not put to the test. . . ." {40b}

Dr. Laing puts the case more strongly than I feel justified in doing, for
Knox, far from "boasting of his willingness to face the utmost torture,"
more than once doubts his own readiness for martyrdom.  We must remember
that even Blessed Edmund Campion, who went gaily to torture and death,
had doubts as to the necessity of that journey. {40c}

Nor was there any reason why Knox should stay in England to be burned, if
he could escape--with less than ten groats in his pocket--as he did.  It
is not for us moderns to throw the first stone at a reluctant martyr,
still less to applaud useless self-sacrifice, but we do take leave to
think that, having fled early, himself, from the martyr's crown, Knox
showed bad taste in his harsh invectives against Protestants who, staying
in England, conformed to the State religion under Mary Tudor.

It is not impossible that his very difficult position as the lover of
Marjorie Bowes--a position of which, while he remained in England, the
burden fell on the poor girl--may have been one reason for Knox's flight,
while the entreaties of his friends that he would seek safety must have
had their influence.

On the whole it seems more probable that when he committed himself to
matrimony with a young girl, the fifth daughter of Mrs. Bowes, he was
approaching his fortieth rather than his fiftieth year.  Older than he
are happy husbands made, sometimes, though Marjorie Bowes's choice may
have been directed by her pious mother, whose soul could find no rest in
the old faith, and not much in the new.

At thirty-eight the Reformer, we must remember, must have been no
uncomely wooer.  His conversation must have been remarkably vivid: he had
adventures enough to tell, by land and sea; while such a voice as he
raised withal in the pulpit, like Edward Irving, has always been potent
with women, as Sir Walter Scott remarks in Irving's own case.  His
expression, says Young, had a certain geniality; on the whole we need not
doubt that Knox could please when he chose, especially when he was looked
up to as a supreme authority.  He despised women in politics, but had
many friends of the sex, and his letters to them display a manly
tenderness of affection without sentimentality.

Writing to Mrs. Bowes from London in 1553, Knox mentions, as one of the
sorrows of life, that "such as would most gladly remain together, for
mutual comfort, cannot be suffered so to do.  Since the first day that it
pleased the providence of God to bring you and me in familiarity, I have
always delighted in your company."  He then wanders into religious
reflections, but we see that he liked Mrs. Bowes, and Marjorie Bowes too,
no doubt: he is careful to style the elderly lady "Mother."  Knox's
letters to Mrs. Bowes show the patience and courtesy with which the
Reformer could comfort and counsel a middle-aged lady in trouble about
her innocent soul.  As she recited her infirmities, he reminds her, he
"started back, and that is my common consuetude when anything pierces or
touches my heart.  Call to your mind what I did standing at the cupboard
at Alnwick; in very deed I thought that no creature had been tempted as I
was"--not by the charms of Mrs. Bowes, of course: he found that Satan
troubled the lady with "the very same words that he troubles me with."
Mrs. Bowes, in truth, with premature scepticism, was tempted to think
that "the Scriptures of God are but a tale, and no credit to be given to
them."  The Devil, she is reminded by Knox, has induced "some
philosophers to affirm that the world never had a beginning," which he
refutes by showing that God predicted the pains of childbearing; and Mrs.
Bowes, as the mother of twelve, knows how true _this_ is.

The circular argument may or may not have satisfied Mrs. Bowes. {43}

The young object of Knox's passion, Marjorie Bowes, is only alluded to as
"she whom God hath offered unto me, and commanded me to love as my own
flesh,"--after her, Mrs. Bowes is the dearest of mankind to Knox.  No
mortal was ever more long-suffering with a spiritual hypochondriac, who
avers that "the sins that reigned in Sodom and Gomore reign in me, and I
have small power or none to resist!"  Knox replies, with common sense,
that Mrs. Bowes is obviously ignorant of the nature of these offences.

Writing to his betrothed he says nothing personal: merely reiterates his
lessons of comfort to her mother.  Meanwhile the lovers were parted, Knox
going abroad; and it is to be confessed that he was not eager to come


No change of circumstances could be much more bitter than that which
exile brought to Knox.  He had been a decently endowed official of State,
engaged in bringing a reluctant country into the ecclesiastical fold
which the State, for the hour, happened to prefer.  His task had been
grateful, and his congregations, at least at Berwick and Newcastle, had,
as a rule, been heartily with him.  Wherever he preached, affectionate
women had welcomed him and hung upon his words.  The King and his
ministers had hearkened unto him--young Edward with approval,
Northumberland with such emotions as we may imagine--while the Primate of
England had challenged him to a competitive ordeal by fire, and had been
defeated, apparently without recourse to the fire-test.

But now all was changed; Knox was a lonely rover in a strange land,
supported probably by collections made among his English friends, and by
the hospitality of the learned.  In his wanderings his heart burned
within him many a time, and he abruptly departed from his theory of
passive resistance.  Now he eagerly desired to obtain, from Protestant
doctors and pontiffs, support for the utterly opposite doctrine of armed
resistance.  Such support he did not get, or not in a satisfactory
measure, so he commenced prophet on his own lines, and on his own

When Knox's heart burned within him, he sometimes seized the pen and
dashed off fiery tracts which occasionally caused inconvenience to the
brethren, and trouble to himself in later years.  In cooler moments, and
when dubious or prosperous, he now and again displayed a calm opportunism
much at odds with the inspirations of his grief and anger.

After his flight to Dieppe in March 1554, Knox was engaged, then, with a
problem of difficulty, one of the central problems of his career and of
the distracted age.  In modern phrase, he wished to know how far, and in
what fashion, persons of one religion might resist another religion,
imposed upon them by the State of which they were subjects.  On this
point we have now no doubt, but in the sixteenth century "Authority" was
held sacred, and martyrdom, according to Calvin, was to be preferred to
civil war.  If men were Catholics, and if the State was Protestant, they
were liable, later, under Knox, to fines, exile, and death; but power was
not yet given to him.  If they were Protestants under a Catholic ruler,
or Puritans under Anglican authority, Knox himself had laid down the rule
of their conduct in his letter to his Berwick congregation. {45}
"Remembering always, beloved brethren, that due obedience be given to
magistrates, rulers, and princes, without tumult, grudge, or sedition.
For, howsoever wicked themselves be in life, or howsoever ungodly their
precepts or commandments be, ye must obey them for conscience' sake;
except in chief points of religion, and then ye ought rather to obey God
than man: _not to pretend to defend God's truth or religion, ye being
subjects, by violence or sword, but patiently suffering what God shall
please be laid upon you for constant confession of your faith and
belief_."  Man or angel who teaches contrary doctrine is corrupt of
judgment, sent by God to blind the unworthy.  And Knox proceeded to teach
contrary doctrine!

His truly Christian ideas are of date 1552, with occasional revivals as
opportunity suggested.  In exile he was now asking (1554), how was a
Protestant minority or majority to oppose the old faith, backed by kings
and princes, fire and sword?  He answered the question in direct
contradiction of his Berwick programme: he was now all for active
resistance.  Later, in addressing Mary of Guise, and on another occasion,
he recurred to his Berwick theory, and he always found biblical texts to
support his contradictory messages.

At this moment resistance seemed hopeless enough.  In England the
Protestants of all shades were decidedly in a minority.  They had no
chance if they openly rose in arms; their only hope was in the death of
Mary Tudor and the succession of Elizabeth--itself a poor hope in the
eyes of Knox, who detested the idea of a female monarch.  Might they "bow
down in the House of Rimmon" by a feigned conformity?  Knox, in a letter
to the Faithful, printed in 1554, entirely rejected this compromise, to
which Cecil stooped, thereby deserving hell, as the relentless Knox (who
had fled) later assured him.

In the end of March 1554, probably, Knox left Dieppe for Geneva, where he
could consult Calvin, not yet secure in his despotism, though he had
recently burned Servetus.  Next he went to Zurich, and laid certain
questions before Bullinger, who gave answers in writing as to Knox's

Could a woman rule a kingdom by divine right, and transfer the same to
her husband?--Mary Tudor to Philip of Spain, is, of course, to be
understood.  Bullinger replied that it was a hazardous thing for the
godly to resist the laws of a country.  Philip the eunuch, though
converted, did not drive Queen Candace out of Ethiopia.  If a tyrannous
and ungodly Queen reign, godly persons "have example and consolation in
the case of Athaliah."  The transfer of power to a husband is an affair
of the laws of the country.

Again, must a ruler who enforces "idolatry" be obeyed?  May true
believers, in command of garrisons, repel "this ungodly violence"?
Bullinger answered, in effect, that "it is very difficult to pronounce
upon every particular case."  He had not the details before him.  In
short, nothing definite was to be drawn out of Bullinger. {47a}

Dr. M'Crie observes, indeed, that Knox submitted to the learned of
Switzerland "certain difficult questions, which were suggested by the
present condition of affairs in England, and about which his mind had
been greatly occupied.  Their views with respect to these coinciding with
his own, he was confirmed in the judgment which he had already formed for
himself." {47b}

In fact, Knox himself merely says that he had "reasoned with" pastors and
the learned; he does not say that they agreed with him, and they
certainly did not.  Despite the reserve of Bullinger and of Calvin, Knox
was of his new opinions still.  These divines never backed his views.

By May, Knox had returned to Dieppe, and published an epistle to the
Faithful.  The rebellion of Sir Thomas Wyatt had been put down, a blow to
true religion.  We have no evidence that Knox stimulated the rising, but
he alludes once to his exertions in favour of the Princess Elizabeth.  The
details are unknown.

In July, apparently, Knox printed his "Faithful Admonition to the
Professors of God's Truth in England," and two editions of the tract were
published in that country.  The pamphlet is full of violent language
about "the bloody, butcherly brood" of persecutors, and Knox spoke of
what might have occurred had the Queen "been sent to hell before these
days."  The piece presents nothing, perhaps, so plain spoken about the
prophet's right to preach treason as a passage in the manuscript of an
earlier Knoxian epistle of May 1554 to the Faithful.  "The prophets of
God sometimes may teach treason against kings, and yet neither he, nor
such as obey the word spoken in the Lord's name by him, offends God."
{48}  That sentence contains doctrine not submitted to Bullinger by Knox.
He could not very well announce himself to Bullinger as a "prophet of
God."  But the sentence, which occurs in manuscript copies of the letter
of May 1554, does not appear in the black letter printed edition.  Either
Knox or the publisher thought it too risky.

In the published "Admonition," however, of July 1554, we find Knox
exclaiming: "God, for His great mercy's sake, stir up some Phineas,
Helias, or Jehu, that the blood of abominable idolaters may pacify God's
wrath, that it consume not the whole multitude.  Amen." {49a}  This is a
direct appeal to the assassin.  If anybody will play the part of Phinehas
against "idolaters"--that is the Queen of England and Philip of
Spain--God's anger will be pacified.  "Delay not thy vengeance, O Lord,
but let death devour them in haste . . .  For there is no hope of their
amendment, . . . He shall send Jehu to execute his just judgments against
idolaters.  Jezebel herself shall not escape the vengeance and plagues
that are prepared for her portion." {49b}  These passages are essential.
Professor Hume Brown expresses our own sentiments when he remarks: "In
casting such a pamphlet into England at the time he did, Knox indulged
his indignation, in itself so natural under the circumstances, at no
personal risk, while he seriously compromised those who had the strongest
claims on his most generous consideration."  This is plain truth, and
when some of Knox's English brethren later behaved to him in a manner
which we must wholly condemn, their conduct, they said, had for a motive
the mischief done to Protestants in England by his fiery "Admonition,"
and their desire to separate themselves from the author of such a

Knox did not, it will be observed, here call all or any of the faithful
to a general massacre of their Catholic fellow-subjects.  He went to that
length later, as we shall show.  In an epistle of 1554 he only writes:
"Some shall demand, 'What then, shall we go and slay all idolaters?'
_That_ were the office, dear brethren, of every civil magistrate within
his realm. . . .  The slaying of idolaters appertains not to every
particular man." {49c}

This means that every Protestant king should massacre all his
inconvertible Catholic subjects!  This was indeed a counsel of
perfection; but it could never be executed, owing to the carnal policy of
worldly men.

In writing about "the office of the civil magistrate," Knox, a Border
Scot of the age of the blood feud, seems to have forgotten, first, that
the Old Testament prophets of the period were not unanimous in their
applause of Jehu's massacre of the royal family; next, that between the
sixteenth century A.D. and Jehu, had intervened the Christian revelation.
Our Lord had given no word of warrant to murder or massacre!  No
persecuted apostle had dealt in appeals to the dagger.  As for Jehu, a
prophet had condemned _his_ conduct.  Hosea writes that the Lord said
unto him, "Yet a little while, and I will avenge the blood of Jezreel
upon the house of Jehu," but doubtless Knox would have argued that Hosea
was temporarily uninspired, as he argued about St. Paul and St. James

However this delicate point may be settled, the appeal for a Phinehas is
certainly unchristian.  The idolaters, the unreformed, might rejoice,
with the Nuncio of 1583, that the Duc de Guise had a plan for murdering
Elizabeth, though it was not to be communicated to the Vicar of God, who
should have no such dealings against "that wicked woman."  To some
Catholics, Elizabeth: to Knox, Mary was as Jezebel, and might laudably be
assassinated.  In idolaters nothing can surprise us; when persecuted
they, in their unchristian fashion, may retort with the dagger or the
bowl.  But that Knox should have frequently maintained the doctrine of
death to religious opponents is a strange and deplorable circumstance.  In
reforming the Church of Christ he omitted some elements of Christianity.

Suppose, for a moment, that in deference to the teaching of the Gospel,
Knox had never called for a Jehu, but had ever denounced, by voice and
pen, those murderous deeds of his own party which he celebrates as "godly
facts," he would have raised Protestantism to a moral pre-eminence.  Dark
pages of Scottish history might never have been written: the consciences
of men might have been touched, and the cruelties of the religious
conflict might have been abated.  Many of them sprang from the fear of

But Knox in some of his writings identified his cause with the palace
revolutions of an ancient Oriental people.  Not that he was a man of
blood; when in France he dissuaded Kirkcaldy of Grange and others from
stabbing the gaolers in making their escape from prison.  Where idolaters
in official position were concerned, and with a pen in his hand, he had
no such scruples.  He was a child of the old pre-Christian scriptures; of
the earlier, not of the later prophets.


The consequences of the "Admonition" came home to Knox when English
refugees in Frankfort, impeded by him and others in the use of their
Liturgy, accused him of high treason against Philip and Mary, and the
Emperor, whom he had compared to Nero as an enemy of Christ.

The affair of "The Troubles at Frankfort" brought into view the great
gulf for ever fixed between Puritanism and the Church of England.  It was
made plain that Knox and the Anglican community were of incompatible
temperaments, ideas, and, we may almost say, instincts.  To Anglicans
like Cranmer, Knox, from the first, was as antipathetic as they were to
him.  "We can assure you," wrote some English exiles for religion's sake
to Calvin, "that that outrageous pamphlet of Knox's" (his "Admonition")
"added much oil to the flame of persecution in England.  For before the
publication of that book not one of our brethren had suffered death; but
as soon as it came forth we doubt not but you are well aware of the
number of excellent men who have perished in the flames; to say nothing
of how many other godly men have been exposed to the risk of all their
property, and even life itself, on the sole ground of either having had
this book in their possession or having read it."

Such were the charges brought against Knox by these English Protestant
exiles, fleeing from the persecution that followed the "Admonition," and,
they say, took fresh ferocity from that tract.

The quarrel between Knox and them definitely marks the beginning of the
rupture between the fathers of the Church of England and the fathers of
Puritanism, Scottish Presbyterianism, and Dissent.  The representatives
of Puritans and of Anglicans were now alike exiled, poor, homeless,
without any abiding city.  That they should instantly quarrel with each
other over their prayer book (that which Knox had helped to correct) was,
as Calvin told them, "extremely absurd."  Each faction probably
foresaw--certainly Knox's party foresaw--that, in the English
congregation at Frankfort, a little flock barely tolerated, was to be
settled the character of Protestantism in England, if ever England
returned to Protestantism.  "This evil" (the acceptance of the English
Second Book of Prayer of Edward VI.) "shall in time be established . . .
and never be redressed, neither shall there for ever be an end of this
controversy in England," wrote Knox's party to the Senate of Frankfort.
The religious disruption in England was, in fact, incurable, but so it
would have been had the Knoxians prevailed in Frankfort.  The difference
between the Churchman and the Dissenter goes to the root of the English
character; no temporary triumph of either side could have brought Peace
and union.  While the world stands they will not be peaceful and united.

The trouble arose thus.  At the end of June 1554, some English exiles of
the Puritan sort, men who objected to surplices, responses, kneeling at
the Communion, and other matters of equal moment, came to Frankfort.  They
obtained leave to use the French Protestant Chapel, provided that they
"should not dissent from the Frenchmen in doctrine or ceremonies, lest
they should thereby minister occasions of offence."  They had then to
settle what Order of services they should use; "anything they pleased,"
said the magistrates of Frankfort, "as long as they and the French kept
the peace."  They decided to adopt the English Order, barring responses,
the Litany, the surplice, "and many other things." {54}  The Litany was
regarded by Knox as rather of the nature of magic than of prayer, the
surplice was a Romish rag, and there was some other objection to the
congregation's taking part in the prayers by responses, though they were
not forbidden to mingle their voices in psalmody.  Dissidium valde
absurdum--"a very absurd quarrel," among exiled fellow-countrymen, said
Calvin, was the dispute which arose on these points.  The Puritans,
however, decided to alter the service to their taste, and enjoyed the use
of the chapel.  They had obtained a service which they were not likely to
have been allowed to enforce in England had Edward VI. lived; but on this
point they were of another opinion.

This success was providential.  They next invited English exiles abroad
to join them at Frankfort, saying nothing about their mutilations of the
service book.  If these brethren came in, when they were all restored to
England, if ever they were restored, their example, that of sufferers,
would carry the day, and their service would for ever be that of the
Anglican Church.  The other exiled brethren, on receiving this
invitation, had enough of the wisdom of the serpent to ask, "Are we to be
allowed to use our own prayer book?"  The answer of the godly of
Frankfort evaded the question.  At last the Frankfort Puritans showed
their hand: they disapproved of various things in the Prayer Book.  Knox,
summoned from Geneva, a reluctant visitor, was already one of their
preachers.  In November 1554 came Grindal, later Archbishop of
Canterbury, from Zurich, ready to omit some ceremonies, so that he and
his faction might have "the substance" of the Prayer Book.  Negotiations
went on, and it was proposed by the Puritans to use the Geneva service.
But Knox declined to do that, without the knowledge of the non-Puritan
exiles at Zurich and elsewhere, or to use the English book, and offered
his resignation.  Nothing could be more fair and above-board.

There was an inchoate plan for a new Order.  That failed; and Knox, with
others, consulted Calvin, giving him a sketch of the nature of the
English service.  They drew his attention to the surplice; the Litany,
"devised by Pope Gregory," whereby "we use a certain conjuring of God";
the kneeling at the Communion; the use of the cross in baptism, and of
the ring in marriage, clearly a thing of human, if not of diabolical
invention, and the "imposition of hands" in confirmation.  The churching
of women, they said, is both Pagan and Jewish.  "Other things not so much
shame itself as a certain kind of pity compelleth us to keep close."

"The tone of the letter throughout was expressly calculated to prejudice
Calvin on the point submitted to him," says Professor Hume Brown. {56}
Calvin replied that the quarrel might be all very well if the exiles were
happy and at ease in their circumstances, though in the Liturgy, as
described, there were "tolerable (endurable) follies."  On the whole he
sided with the Knoxian party.  The English Liturgy is not pure enough;
and the English exiles, not at Frankfort, merely like it because they are
accustomed to it.  Some are partial to "popish dregs."

To the extreme Reformers no break with the past could be too abrupt and
precipitous: the framers of the English Liturgy had rather adopted the
principle of evolution than of development by catastrophe, and had wedded
what was noblest in old Latin forms and prayers to music of the choicest
English speech.  To this service, for which their fellow-religionists in
England were dying at the stake, the non-Frankfortian exiles were
attached.  They were Englishmen; their service, they said, should bear
"an English face": so Knox avers, who could as yet have no patriotic love
of any religious form as exclusively and essentially Scottish.

A kind of truce was now proclaimed, to last till May 1, 1555; Knox aiding
in the confection of a service without responses, "some part taken out of
the English book, and other things put to," while Calvin, Bullinger, and
three others were appointed as referees.  The Frankfort congregation had
now a brief interval of provisional peace, till, on March 13, 1555,
Richard Cox, with a band of English refugees, arrived.  He had been tutor
to Edward VI., the young Marcellus of Protestantism, but for Frankfort he
was not puritanic enough.  His company would give a large majority to the
anti-Knoxian congregation.  He and his at once uttered the responses, and
on Sunday one of them read the Litany.  This was an unruly infraction of
the provisional agreement.  Cox and his party (April 5) represented to
Calvin that they had given up surplices, crosses, and other things, "not
as impure and papistical," but as indifferent, and for the sake of peace.
This was after they had driven Knox from the place, as they presently
did; in the beginning it was distinctly their duty to give up the Litany
and responses, while the truce lasted, that is, till the end of April.  In
the afternoon of the Sunday Knox preached, denouncing the morning's
proceedings, the "impurity" of the Prayer Book, of which "I once had a
good opinion," and the absence, in England, of "discipline," that is,
interference by preachers with private life.  Pluralities also he
denounced, and some of the exiles had been pluralists.

For all this Knox was "very sharply reproved," as soon as he left the
pulpit.  Two days later, at a meeting, he insisted that Cox's people
should have a vote in the congregation, thus making the anti-puritans a
majority; Knox's conduct was here certainly chivalrous: "I fear not your
judgment," he said.  He had never wished to go to Frankfort; in going he
merely obeyed Calvin, and probably he had no great desire to stay.  He
was forbidden to preach by Cox and his majority; and a later conference
with Cox led to no compromise.  It seems probable that Cox and the anti-
puritans already cherished a grudge against Knox for his tract, the
"Admonition."  He had a warning that they would use the pamphlet against
him, and he avers that "some devised how to have me cast into prison."
The anti-puritans, admitting in a letter to Calvin that they brought the
"Admonition" before the magistrates of Frankfort as "a book which would
supply their enemies with just ground for overturning the whole Church,
and one which had added much oil to the flame of persecution in England,"
deny that they desired more than that Knox might be ordered to quit the
place.  The passages selected as treasonable in the "Admonition" do not
include the prayer for a Jehu.  They were enough, however, to secure the
dismissal of Knox from Frankfort.

Cox had accepted the Order used by the French Protestant congregation,
probably because it committed him and his party to nothing in England;
however, Knox had no sooner departed than the anti-puritans obtained
leave to use, without surplice, cross, and some other matters, the Second
Prayer Book of Edward VI.  In September the Puritans seceded, the anti-
puritans remained, squabbling with the Lutherans and among themselves.

In the whole affair Knox acted the most open and manly part; in his
"History" he declines to name the opponents who avenged themselves, in a
manner so dubious, on his "Admonition."  If they believed their own
account of the mischief that it wrought in England, their denunciation of
him to magistrates, who were not likely to do more than dismiss him, is
the less inexcusable.  They did not try to betray him to a body like the
Inquisition, as Calvin did in the case of Servetus.  But their conduct
was most unworthy and unchivalrous. {58}


Meanwhile the Reformer returned to Geneva (April 1555), where Calvin was
now supreme.  From Geneva, "the den of mine own ease, the rest of quiet
study," Knox was dragged, "maist contrarious to mine own judgement," by a
summons from Mrs. Bowes.  He did not like leaving his "den" to rejoin his
betrothed; the lover was not so fervent as the evangelist was cautious.
Knox had at that time probably little correspondence with Scotland.  He
knew that there was no refuge for him in England under Mary Tudor, "who
nowise may abide the presence of God's prophets."

In Scotland, at this moment, the Government was in the hands of Mary of
Guise, a sister of the Duke of Guise and of the Cardinal.  Mary was now
aged forty; she was born in 1515, as Knox probably was.  She was a tall
and stately woman; her face was thin and refined; Henry VIII., as being
himself a large man, had sought her hand, which was given to his nephew,
James V.  On the death of that king, Mary, with Cardinal Beaton, kept
Scotland true to the French alliance, and her daughter, the fair Queen of
Scots, was at this moment a child in France, betrothed to the Dauphin.  As
a Catholic, of the House of Lorraine, Mary could not but cleave to her
faith and to the French alliance.  In 1554 she had managed to oust from
the Regency the Earl of Arran, the head of the all but royal Hamiltons,
now gratified with the French title of Duc de Chatelherault.  To crown
her was as seemly a thing, says Knox, "if men had but eyes, as a saddle
upon the back of ane unrewly kow."  She practically deposed Huntly, the
most treacherous of men, from the Chancellorship, substituting, with more
or less reserve, a Frenchman, de Rubay; and d'Oysel, the commander of the
French troops in Scotland, was her chief adviser.

[Picture of King James V and Mary of Guise: knox2.jpg]

Writing after the death of Mary of Guise, Knox avers that she only waited
her chance "to cut the throats of all those in whom she suspected the
knowledge of God to be, within the realm of Scotland." {60}  As a matter
of fact, the Regent later refused a French suggestion that she should
peacefully call Protestants together, and then order a massacre after the
manner of the Bartholomew: itself still in the womb of the future.  "Mary
of Guise," says Knox's biographer, Professor Hume Brown, "had the
instincts of a good ruler--the love of order and justice, and the desire
to stand well with the people."

Knox, however, believed, or chose to say, that she wanted to cut all
Protestant throats, just as he believed that a Protestant king should cut
all Catholic throats.  He attributed to her, quite erroneously and
uncharitably, his own unsparing fervour.  As he held this view of her
character and purposes, it is not strange that a journey to Scotland was
"contrairious to his judgement."

He did not understand the situation.  Ferocious as had been the English
invasion of Scotland in 1547, the English party in Scotland, many of them
paid traitors, did not resent these "rebukes of a friend," so much as
both the nobles and the people now began to detest their French allies,
and were jealous of the Queen Mother's promotion of Frenchmen.

There were not, to be sure, many Scots whom she, or any one, could trust.
Some were honestly Protestant: some held pensions from England: others
would sacrifice national interests to their personal revenges and clan
feuds.  The Rev. the Lord James Stewart, Mary's bastard brother, Prior of
St. Andrews and of Pittenweem, was still very young.  He had no interest
in his clerical profession beyond drawing his revenues as prior of two
abbeys; and his nearness to the Crown caused him to be suspected of
ambition: moreover, he tended towards the new ideas in religion.  He had
met Knox in London, apparently in 1552.  Morton was a mere wavering
youth; Argyll was very old: Chatelherault was a rival of the Regent, a
competitor for the Crown and quite incompetent.  The Regent, in short,
could scarcely have discovered a Scottish adviser worthy of employment,
and when she did trust one, he was the brilliant "chamaeleon," young
Maitland of Lethington, who would rather betray his master cleverly than
run a straight course, and did betray the Regent.  Thus Mary, a
Frenchwoman and a Catholic, governing Scotland for her Catholic daughter,
the Dauphiness, with the aid of a few French troops who had just saved
the independence of the country, naturally employed French advisers.  This
made her unpopular; her attempts to bring justice into Scottish courts
were odious, and she would not increase the odium by persecuting the
Protestants.  The Duke's bastard brother, again, the Archbishop, sharing
his family ambition, was in no mood for burning heretics.  The Queen
Mother herself carried conciliation so far as to pardon and reinstate
such trebly dyed traitors as the notorious Crichton of Brunston, and she
employed Kirkcaldy of Grange, who intrigued against her while in her
employment.  An Edinburgh tailor, Harlaw, who seems to have been a deacon
in English orders, was allowed to return to Scotland in 1554.  He became
a very notable preacher. {62a}

Going from Mrs. Bowes's house to Edinburgh, Knox found that "the
fervency" of the godly "did ravish him."  At the house of one Syme "the
trumpet blew the auld sound three days thegither," he informed Mrs.
Bowes, and Knox himself was the trumpeter.  He found another lady, "who,
by reason that she had a troubled conscience, delighted much in the
company of the said John."  There were pleasant sisters in Edinburgh, who
later consulted Knox on the delicate subject of dress.  He was more
tolerant in answering them than when he denounced "the stinking pride of
women" at Mary Stuart's Court; admitting that "in clothes, silks,
velvets, gold, and other such, there is no uncleanness," yet "I cannot
praise the common superfluity which women now use in their apparel."  He
was quite opposed, however, to what he pleasingly calls "correcting
natural beauty" (as by dyeing the hair), and held that "farthingales
cannot be justified."

On the whole, he left the sisters fairly free to dress as they pleased.
His curious phrase, {62b} in a letter to a pair of sisters, "the prophets
of God are often impeded to pray for such as carnally they love
unfeignedly," is difficult to understand.  We leave it to the learned to
explain this singular limitation of the prophet, which Knox says that he
had not as yet experienced.  He must have heard about it from other

Knox found at this time a patron remarkable, says Dr. M'Crie, "for great
respectability of character," Erskine of Dun.  Born in 1508, about 1530
he slew a priest named Thomas Froster, in a curiously selected place, the
belfry tower of Montrose.  Nobody seems to have thought anything of it,
nor should we know the fact, if the record of the blood-price paid by Mr.
Erskine to the priest's father did not testify to the fervent act.  Six
years later, according to Knox, "God had marvellously illuminated"
Erskine, and the mildness of his nature is frequently applauded.  He was,
for Scotland, a man of learning, and our first amateur of Greek.  Why did
he kill a priest in a bell tower!

In the winter or autumn of 1555, Erskine gave a supper, where Knox was to
argue against crypto-protestantism.  When once the Truth, whether
Anglican or Presbyterian, was firmly established, Catholics were
compelled, under very heavy fines, to attend services and sermons which
they believed to be at least erroneous, if not blasphemous.  I am not
aware that, in 1555, the Catholic Church, in Scotland, thus vigorously
forced people of Protestant opinions to present themselves at Mass,
punishing nonconformity with ruin.  I have not found any complaints to
this effect, at that time.  But no doubt an appearance of conformity
might save much trouble, even in the lenient conditions produced by the
character of the Regent and by the political situation.  Knox, then,
discovered that "divers who had a zeal to godliness made small scruple to
go to the Mass, or to communicate with the abused sacraments in the
Papistical manner."  He himself, therefore, "began to show the impiety of
the Mass, and how dangerous a thing it was to communicate in any sort
with idolatry."

Now to many of his hearers this essential article of his faith--that the
Catholic doctrine of the Eucharist and form of celebration were
"idolatry"--may have been quite a new idea.  It was already, however, a
commonplace with Anglican Protestants.  Nothing of the sort was to be
found in the _first_ Prayer Book of Edward VI.; broken lights of various
ways of regarding the Sacrament probably played, at this moment, over the
ideas of Knox's Scottish disciples.  Indeed, their consciences appear to
have been at rest, for it was _after_ Knox's declaration about the
"idolatrous" character of the Mass that "the matter began to be agitated
from man to man, the conscience of some being afraid."

To us it may seem that the sudden denunciation of a Christian ceremony,
even what may be deemed a perverted Christian ceremony, as sheer
"idolatry," equivalent to the worship of serpents, bulls, or of a foreign
Baal in ancient Israel--was a step calculated to confuse the real issues
and to provoke a religious war of massacre.  Knox, we know, regarded
extermination of idolaters as a counsel of perfection, though in the
Christian scriptures not one word could be found to justify his position.
He relied on texts about massacring Amalekites and about Elijah's
slaughter of the prophets of Baal.  The Mass was idolatry, was Baal
worship; and Baal worshippers, if recalcitrant, must die.

These extreme unchristian ideas, then, were new in Scotland, even to
"divers who had a zeal to godliness."  For their discussion, at Erskine
of Dun's party, were present, among others, Willock, a Scots preacher
returned from England, and young Maitland of Lethington.  We are not told
what part Willock took in the conversation.  The arguments turned on
biblical analogies, never really coincident with the actual modern
circumstances.  The analogy produced in discussion by those who did not
go to all extremes with Knox did not, however, lack appropriateness.
Christianity, in fact, as they seem to have argued, did arise out of
Judaism; retaining the same God and the same scriptures, but, in virtue
of the sacrifice of its Founder, abstaining from the sacrifices and
ceremonial of the law.  In the same way Protestantism arose out of
mediaeval Catholicism, retaining the same God and the same scriptures,
but rejecting the mediaeval ceremonial and the mediaeval theory of the
sacrifice of the Mass.  It did not follow that the Mass was sheer
"idolatry," at which no friend of the new ideas could be present.

As a proof that such presence or participation was not unlawful, was not
idolatry, in the existing state of affairs, was adduced the conduct of
St. Paul and the advice given to him by St. James and the Church in
Jerusalem (Acts xxi. 18-36).  Paul was informed that many thousands of
Jews "believed," yet remained zealous for the law, the old order.  They
had learned that Paul advised the Jews in Greece and elsewhere not to
"walk after the customs."  Paul should prove that "he also kept the law."
For this purpose he, with four Christian Jews under a vow, was to purify
himself, and he went into the Temple, "until that an offering should be
offered for every one of them."

"Offerings," of course, is the term in our version for sacrifices,
whether of animals or of "unleavened wafers anointed with oil."  The
argument from analogy was, I infer, that the Mass, with its wafer, was
precisely such an "offering," such a survival in Catholic ritual, as in
Jewish ritual St. Paul consented to, by the advice of the Church of
Jerusalem; consequently Protestants in a Catholic country, under the
existing circumstances, might attend the Mass.  The Mass was not
"idolatry."  The analogy halts, like all analogies, but so, of course,
and to fatal results, does Knox's analogy between the foreign worships of
Israel and the Mass.  "She thinks not _that_ idolatry, but good
religion," said Lethington to Knox once, speaking of Queen Mary's Mass.
"So thought they that offered their children unto Moloch," retorted the
reformer.  Manifestly the Mass is, of the two, much more on a level with
the "offering" of St. Paul than with human sacrifices to Moloch! {66}

In his reply Knox, as he states his own argument, altogether overlooked
the _offering_ of St. Paul, which, as far as we understand, was the
essence of his opponents' contention.  He said that "to pay _vows_ was
never idolatry," but "the Mass from the original was and remained odious
idolatry, therefore the facts were most unlike.  Secondly, I greatly
doubt whether either James's commandment or Paul's obedience proceeded
from the Holy Ghost," about which Knox was, apparently, better informed
than these Apostles and the Church of Jerusalem.  Next, Paul was
presently in danger from a mob, which had been falsely told that he took
Greeks into the Temple.  Hence it was manifest "that God approved not
that means of reconciliation."  Obviously the danger of an Apostle from a
misinformed mob is no sort of evidence to divine approval or disapproval
of his behaviour. {67}  We shall later find that when Knox was urging on
some English nonconformists the beauty of conformity (1568), he employed
the very precedent of St. Paul's conduct at Jerusalem, which he rejected
when it was urged at Erskine's supper party!

We have dwelt on this example of Knox's logic, because it is crucial.  The
reform of the Church of Christ could not be achieved without cruel
persecution on both parts, while Knox was informing Scotland that all
members of the old Faith were as much idolaters as Israelites who
sacrificed their children to a foreign God, while to extirpate idolaters
was the duty of a Christian prince.  Lethington, as he soon showed, was
as clear-sighted in regard to Knox's logical methods as any man of to-
day, but he "concluded, saying, I see perfectly that our shifts will
serve nothing before God, seeing that they stand us in so small stead
before man."  But either Lethington conformed and went to Mass, or Mary
of Guise expected nothing of the sort from him, for he remained high in
her favour, till he betrayed her in 1559.

Knox's opinion being accepted--it obviously was a novelty to many of his
hearers--the Reformers must either convert or persecute the Catholics
even to extermination.  Circumstances of mere worldly policy forbade the
execution of this counsel of perfection, but persistent "idolaters,"
legally, lay after 1560 under sentence of death.  There was to come a
moment, we shall see, when even Knox shrank from the consequences of a
theory ("a murderous syllogism," writes one of his recent biographers,
Mr. Taylor Innes), which divided his countrymen into the godly, on one
hand, and idolaters doomed to death by divine law, on the other.  But he
put his hesitation behind him as a suggestion of Satan.

Knox now associated with Lord Erskine, then Governor of Edinburgh Castle,
the central strength of Scotland; with Lord Lorne, soon to be Earl of
Argyll (a "Christian," but not a remarkably consistent walker), with
"Lord James," the natural brother of Queen Mary (whose conscience, as we
saw, permitted him to draw the benefices of the Abbacy of St. Andrews, of
Pittenweem, and of an abbey in France, without doing any duties), and
with many redoubtable lairds of the Lothians, Ayrshire, and Forfarshire.
He also preached for ten days in the town house, at Edinburgh, of the
Bishop of Dunkeld.  On May 15, 1556, he was summoned to appear in the
church of the Black Friars.  As he was backed by Erskine of Dun, and
other gentlemen, according to the Scottish custom when legal proceedings
were afoot, no steps were taken against him, the clergy probably dreading
Knox's defenders, as Bothwell later, in similar circumstances, dreaded
the assemblage under the Earl of Moray; as Lennox shrank from facing the
supporters of Bothwell, and Moray from encountering the spears of
Lethington's allies.  It was usual to overawe the administrators of
justice by these gatherings of supporters, perhaps a survival of the old
"compurgators."  This, in fact, was "part of the obligation of our
Scottish kyndness," and the divided ecclesiastical and civil powers
shrank from a conflict.

Glencairn and the Earl Marischal, in the circumstances, advised Knox to
write a letter to Mary of Guise, "something that might move her to hear
the Word of God," that is, to hear Knox preach.  This letter, as it then
stood, was printed in a little black-letter volume, probably of 1556.
Knox addresses the Regent and Queen Mother as "her humble subject."  The
document has an interest almost pathetic, and throws light on the whole
character of the great Reformer.  It appears that Knox had been reported
to the Regent by some of the clergy, or by rumour, as a heretic and
seducer of the people.  But Knox had learned that the "dew of the
heavenly grace" had quenched her displeasure, and he hoped that the
Regent would be as clement to others in his case as to him.  Therefore he
returns to his attitude in the letter to his Berwick congregation (1552).
He calls for no Jehu, he advises no armed opposition to the sovereign,
but says of "God's chosen children" (the Protestants), that "their
victory standeth not in resisting but in suffering," "in quietness,
silence, and hope," as the Prophet Isaiah recommends.  The Isaiahs
(however numerous modern criticism may reckon them) were late prophets,
not of the school of Elijah, whom Knox followed in 1554 and 1558-59, not
in 1552 or 1555, or on one occasion in 1558-59.  "The Elect of God" do
not "shed blood and murder," Knox remarks, though he approves of the
Elect, of the brethren at all events, when they _do_ murder and shed

Meanwhile Knox is more than willing to run the risks of the preacher of
the truth, "partly because I would, with St. Paul, wish myself accursed
from Christ, as touching earthly pleasures" (whatever that may mean),
"for the salvation of my brethren and illumination of your Grace."  He
confesses that the Regent is probably not "so free as a public
reformation perhaps would require," for that required the downcasting of
altars and images, and prohibition to celebrate or attend Catholic rites.
Thus Knox would, apparently, be satisfied for the moment with toleration
and immunity for his fellow-religionists.  Nothing of the sort really
contented him, of course, but at present he asked for no more.

Yet, a few days later, he writes, the Regent handed his letter to the
Archbishop of Glasgow, saying, "Please you, my Lord, to read a pasquil,"
an offence which Knox never forgave and bitterly avenged in his

It is possible that the Regent merely glanced at his letter.  She would
find herself alluded to in a biblical parallel with "the Egyptian
midwives," with Nebuchadnezzar, and Rahab the harlot.  Her acquaintance
with these amiable idolaters may have been slight, but the comparison was
odious, and far from tactful.  Knox also reviled the creed in which she
had been bred as "a poisoned cup," and threatened her, if she did not act
on his counsel, with "torment and pain everlasting."  Those who drink of
the cup of her Church "drink therewith damnation and death."  As for her
clergy, "proud prelates do Kings maintain to murder the souls for which
the blood of Christ Jesus was shed."

These statements were dogmatic, and the reverse of conciliatory.  One
should not, in attempting to convert any person, begin by reviling his
religion.  Knox adopted the same method with Mary Stuart: the method is
impossible.  It is not to be marvelled at if the Regent did style the
letter a "pasquil."

Knox took his revenge in his "History" by repeating a foolish report that
Mary of Guise had designed to poison her late husband, James V.  "Many
whisper that of old his part was in the pot, and that the suspicion
thereof caused him to be inhibited the Queen's company, while the
Cardinal got his secret business sped of that gracious lady either by day
or night." {71a}  He styled her, as we saw, "a wanton widow"; he hinted
that she was the mistress of Cardinal Beaton; he made similar
insinuations about her relations with d'Oysel (who was "a secretis
mulierum"); he said, as we have seen, that she only waited her chance to
cut the throats of all suspected Protestants; he threw doubt on the
legitimacy of her daughter, Mary Stuart; and he constantly accuses her of
treachery, as will appear, when the charge is either doubtful, or, as far
as I can ascertain, absolutely false.

These are unfortunately examples of Knox's Christianity. {71b}  It is
very easy for modern historians and biographers to speak with genial
applause of the prophet's manly bluffness.  But if we put ourselves in
the position of opponents whom he was trying to convert, of the two Marys
for example, we cannot but perceive that his method was hopelessly
mistaken.  In attempting to evangelise an Euahlayi black fellow, we
should not begin by threats of damnation, and by railing accusations
against his god, Baiame.

REVOLUTION, 1556-1558

Knox was about this time summoned to be one of the preachers to the
English at Geneva.  He sent in advance Mrs. Bowes and his wife, visited
Argyll and Glenorchy (now Breadalbane), wrote (July 7) an epistle bidding
the brethren be diligent in reading and discussing the Bible, and went
abroad.  His effigy was presently burned by the clergy, as he had not
appeared in answer to a second summons, and he was outlawed in absence.

It is not apparent that Knox took any part in the English translation of
the Bible, then being executed at Geneva.  Greek and Hebrew were not his
forte, though he had now some knowledge of both tongues, but he preached
to the men who did the work.  The perfections of Genevan Church
discipline delighted him.  "Manners and religion so sincerely reformed I
have not yet seen in any other place."  The genius of Calvin had made
Geneva a kind of Protestant city state [Greek text]; a Calvinistic
Utopia--everywhere the vigilant eyes of the preachers and magistrates
were upon every detail of daily life.  Monthly and weekly the magistrates
and ministers met to point out each other's little failings.  Knox felt
as if he were indeed in the City of God, and later he introduced into
Scotland, and vehemently abjured England to adopt, the Genevan
"discipline."  England would none of it, and would not, even in the days
of the Solemn League and Covenant, suffer the excommunication by
preachers to pass without lay control.

It is unfortunate that the ecclesiastical polity and discipline of a
small city state, like a Greek [Greek word polis], feasible in such a
community as Geneva at a moment of spiritual excitement, was brought by
Knox and his brethren into a nation like Scotland.  The results were a
hundred and twenty-nine years of unrest, civil war, and persecution.

Though happy in the affection of his wife and Mrs. Bowes, Knox, at this
time, needed more of feminine society.  On November 19, 1556, he wrote to
his friend, Mrs. Locke, wife of a Cheapside merchant: "You write that
your desire is earnest to see me.  Dear sister, if I should express the
thirst and languor which I have had for your presence, I should appear to
pass measure. . . .  Your presence is so dear to me that if the charge of
this little flock . . . did not impede me, my presence should anticipate
my letter."  Thus Knox was ready to brave the fires of Smithfield, or,
perhaps, forgot them for the moment in his affection for Mrs. Locke.  He
writes to no other woman in this fervid strain.  On May 8, 1557, Mrs.
Locke with her son and daughter (who died after her journey), joined Knox
at Geneva. {73}

He was soon to be involved in Scottish affairs.  After his departure from
his country, omens and prodigies had ensued.  A comet appeared in
November-December 1556.  Next year some corn-stacks were destroyed by
lightning.  Worse, a calf with two heads was born, and was exhibited as a
warning to Mary of Guise by Robert Ormistoun.  The idolatress merely
sneered, and said "it was but a common thing."  Such a woman was
incorrigible.  Mary of Guise is always blamed for endangering Scotland in
the interests of her family, the Guises of the House of Lorraine.  In
fact, so far as she tried to make Scotland a province of France, she was
serving the ambition of Henri II.  It could not be foreseen, in 1555,
that Henri II. would be slain in 1559, leaving the two kingdoms in the
hands of Francis II. and Mary Stuart, who were so young, that they would
inevitably be ruled by the Queen's uncles of the House of Lorraine.
Shortly before Knox arrived in Scotland in 1555, the Duc de Guise had
advised the Regent to "use sweetness and moderation," as better than
"extremity and rigour"; advice which she acted on gladly.

Unluckily the war between France and Spain, in 1557, brought English
troops into collision with French forces in the Low Countries (Philip II.
being king of England); this led to complications between Scotland, as
ally of France, and the English on the Borders.  Border raids began;
d'Oysel fortified Eyemouth, as a counterpoise to Berwick, war was
declared in November, and the discontented Scots, such as Chatelherault,
Huntly, Cassilis, and Argyll, mutinied and refused to cross Tweed. {74}
Thus arose a breach between the Regent and some of her nobles, who at
last, in 1559, rebelled against her on the ground of religion.  While the
weak war languished on, in 1557-58, "the Evangel of Jesus Christ began
wondrously to flourish," says Knox.  Other evangelists of his pattern,
Harlaw, Douglas, Willock, and a baker, Methuen (later a victim of the
intolerably cruel "discipline" of the Kirk Triumphant), preached at
Dundee, and Methuen started a reformed Kirk (though not without being
declared rebels at the horn).  When these persons preached, their hearers
were apt to raise riots, wreck churches, and destroy works of sacred art.
No Government could for ever wink at such lawless actions, and it was
because the pulpiteers, Methuen, Willock, Douglas, and the rest, were
again "put at," after being often suffered to go free, that the final
crash came, and the Reformation began in the wrack and ruin of
monasteries and churches.

There was drawing on another thunder-cloud.  The policy of Mary of Guise
certainly tended to make Scotland a mere province of France, a province
infested by French forces, slender, but ill-paid and predacious.  Before
marrying the Dauphin, in April 1558, Mary Stuart, urged it is said by the
Guises, signed away the independence of her country, to which her
husband, by these deeds, was to succeed if she died without issue.  Young
as she was, Mary was perfectly able to understand the infamy of the
transaction, and probably was not so careless as to sign the deeds

Even before this secret treaty was drafted, on March 10, 1557, Glencairn,
Lorne, Erskine, and the Prior of St. Andrews--best known to us in after
years as James Stewart, Earl of Moray--informed Knox that no "cruelty" by
way of persecution was being practised; that his presence was desired,
and that they were ready to jeopard their lives and goods for the cause.
The rest would be told to Knox by the bearer of the letter.  Knox
received the letter in May 1557, with verbal reports by the bearers, but
was so far from hasty that he did not leave Geneva till the end of
September, and did not reach Dieppe on his way to Scotland till October
24.  Three days later he wrote to the nobles who had summoned him seven
months earlier.  He had received, he said, at Dieppe two private letters
of a discouraging sort; one correspondent said that the enterprise was to
be reconsidered, the other that the boldness and constancy required "for
such an enterprise" were lacking among the nobles.  Meanwhile Knox had
spent his time, or some of it, in asking the most godly and the most
learned of Europe, including Calvin, for opinions of such an adventure,
for the assurance of his own conscience and the consciences of the Lord
James, Erskine, Lorne, and the rest. {76a}  This indicates that Knox
himself was not quite sure of the lawfulness of an armed rising, and
perhaps explains his long delay.  Knox assures us that Calvin and other
godly ministers insisted on his going to Scotland.  But it is quite
certain that of an armed rising Calvin absolutely disapproved.  On April
16, 1561, writing to Coligny, Calvin says that he was consulted several
months before the tumult of Amboise (March 1560) and absolutely
discouraged the appeal to arms.  "Better that we all perish a hundred
times than that the name of Christianity and the Gospel should come under
such disgrace." {76b}  If Calvin bade Knox go to Scotland, he must have
supposed that no rebellion was intended.  Knox tells his correspondents
that they have betrayed themselves and their posterity ("in conscience I
can except none that bear the name of nobility"), they have made him and
their own enterprise ridiculous, and they have put him to great trouble.
What is he to say when he returns to Geneva, and is asked why he did not
carry out his purpose?  He then encourages them to be resolute.

Knox "certainly made the most," says Professor Hume Brown, "of the two
letters from correspondents unknown to us."  He at once represented them
as the cause of his failure to keep tryst; but, in April 1558, writing
from Geneva to "the sisters," he said, "the cause of my stop to this day
I do not clearly understand."  He did not know why he left England before
the Marian persecutions; and he did not know why he had not crossed over
to Scotland in 1557.  "It may be that God justly permitted Sathan to put
in my mind such cogitations as these: I heard such troubles as appeared
in that realm;"--troubles presently to be described.

Hearing, at Dieppe, then, in October 1557, of the troubles, and of the
faint war with England, and moved, perhaps, he suggests, by Satan, {77a}
Knox "began to dispute with himself, as followeth, 'Shall Christ, the
author of peace, concord, and quietness, be preached where war is
proclaimed, and tumults appear to rise?  What comfort canst thou have to
see the one part of the people rise up against the other,'" and so forth.
These truly Christian reflections, as we may think them, "yet do trouble
and move my wicked heart," says Knox.  He adds, hypothetically, that
perhaps the letters received at Dieppe "did somewhat discourage me."
{77b}  He was only certain that the devil was at the bottom of the whole

The "tumults that appear to arise" are probably the dissensions between
the Regent and the mutinous nobles who refused to invade England at her
command.  D'Oysel needed a bodyguard; and he feared that the Lords would
seize and carry off the Regent.  Arran, in 1564, speaks of a plot to
capture her in Holyrood.  Here were promises of tumults.  There were also
signs of a renewed feud between the house of Hamilton and the Stewart
Earl of Lennox, the rival claimant of the crown.  There seems, moreover,
to have been some tumultuary image-breaking. {78}

Knox may have been merely timid: he is not certain, but his delay passed
in consulting the learned, for the satisfaction of his conscience, and
his confessed doubts as to whether Christianity should be pushed by civil
war, seem to indicate that he was not always the prophet patron of modern
Jehus, that he did, occasionally, consult the Gospel as well as the
records of pre-Christian Israel.

The general result was that, from October 1557 to March 1558, Knox stayed
in Dieppe, preaching with great success, raising up a Protestant church,
and writing.

His condition of mind was unenviable.  He had been brought all the way
across France, leaving his wife and family; he had, it seems, been met by
no letters from his noble friends, who may well have ceased to expect
him, so long was his delay.  He was not at ease in his conscience, for,
to be plain, he was not sure that he was not afraid to risk himself in
Scotland, and he was not certain that his new scruples about the
justifiableness of a rising for religion were not the excuses suggested
by his own timidity.  Perhaps they were just that, not whisperings either
of conscience or of Satan.  Yet in this condition Knox was extremely
active.  On December 1 and 17 he wrote, from Dieppe, a "Letter to His
Brethren in Scotland," and another to "The Lords and Others Professing
the Truth in Scotland."  In the former he censures, as well he might,
"the dissolute life of (some) such as have professed Christ's holy
Evangel."  That is no argument, he says, against Protestantism.  Many
Turks are virtuous; many orthodox Hebrews, Saints, and Patriarchs
occasionally slipped; the Corinthians, though of a "trew Kirk," were
notoriously profligate.  Meanwhile union and virtue are especially
desirable; for Satan "fiercely stirreth his terrible tail."  We do not
know what back-slidings of the brethren prompted this letter.

The Lords, in the other letter, are reminded that they had resolved to
hazard life, rank, and fortune for the delivery of the brethren: the
first step must be to achieve a godly frame of mind.  Knox hears rumours
"that contradiction and rebellion is made by some to the Authority" in
Scotland.  He advises "that none do suddenly disobey or displease the
established authority in things lawful," nor rebel from private motives.
By "things lawful" does he mean the command of the Regent to invade
England, which the nobles refused to do?  They may "lawfully attempt the
extremity," if Authority will not cease to persecute, and permit
Protestant preaching and administration of the Sacraments (which usually
ended in riot and church-wrecking).  Above all, they are not to back the
Hamiltons, whose chief, Chatelherault, had been a professor, had fallen
back, and become a persecutor.  "Flee all confederacy with that
generation," the Hamiltons; with whom, after all, Knox was presently to
be allied, though by no means fully believing in the "unfeigned and
speedy repentance" of their chief. {80a}

All the movements of that time are not very clear.  Apparently Lorne,
Lord James, and the rest, in their letter of March 10, 1557, intended an
armed rising: they were "ready to jeopardise lives and goods" for "the
glory of God."  If no more than an appeal to "the Authority" for
tolerance was meant, why did Knox consult the learned so long, on the
question of conscience?  Yet, in December 1557, he bids his allies first
of all seek the favour of "the Authority," for bare toleration of

From the scheme of March 10, of which the details, unknown to us, were
_orally_ delivered by bearer, he appears to have expected civil war.

Again, just when Knox was writing to Scotland in December 1557, his
allies there, he says, made "a common Band," a confederacy and covenant
such as the Scots usually drew up before a murder, as of Riccio or
Darnley, or for slaying Argyll and "the bonny Earl o' Murray," under
James VI.  These Bands were illegal.  A Band, says Knox, was now signed
by Argyll, Lorne, Glencairn, Morton, and Erskine of Dun, and many others
unknown, on December 3, 1557.  It is alleged that "Satan cruelly doth
rage."  Now, how was Satan raging in December 1557?  Myln, the last
martyr, was not pursued till April 1558, by Knox's account.

The first godly Band being of December 1557, {80b} and drawn up, perhaps,
on the impulse of Knox's severe letter from Dieppe of October 27, in that
year; just after they signed the Band, what were the demands of the
Banders?  They asked, apparently, that the Second Prayer Book of Edward
VI. should be read in all parish churches, with the Lessons: _if the
curates are able to read_: if not, then by any qualified parishioner.
Secondly, preaching must be permitted in private houses, "without great
conventions of the people." {81a}  Whether the Catholic service was to be
concurrently permitted does not appear; it is not very probable, for that
service is idolatrous, and the Band itself denounces the Church as "the
Congregation of Satan."  Dr. M'Crie thinks that the Banders, or
Congregation of God, did not ask for the universal adoption of the
English Prayer Book, but only requested that they themselves might bring
it in "in places to which their authority and influence extended."  They
took that liberty, certainly, without waiting for leave, but their demand
appears to apply to all parish churches.  War, in fact, was denounced
against Satan's Congregation; {81b} if it troubles the Lords'
Congregation, there could therefore be little idea of tolerating their
nefarious creed and ritual.

Probably Knox, at Dieppe in 1557 and early in 1558, did not know about
the promising Band made in Scotland.  He was composing his "First Blast
of the Trumpet against the Monstrous Regiment of Women."  In England and
in Scotland were a Catholic Queen, a Catholic Queen Mother, and the Queen
of Scotland was marrying the idolatrous Dauphin.  It is not worth while
to study Knox's general denunciation of government by ladies: he allowed
that (as Calvin suggested) miraculous exceptions to their inability might
occur, as in the case of Deborah.  As a rule, a Queen was an "idol," and
that was enough.  England deserved an idol, and an idolatrous idol, for
Englishmen rejected Kirk discipline; "no man would have his life called
in trial" by presbyter or preacher.  A Queen regnant has, ex officio,
committed treason against God: the Realm and Estates may have conspired
with her, but her rule is unlawful.  Naturally this skirl on the trumpet
made Knox odious to Elizabeth, for to impeach her succession might cause
a renewal of the wars of the Roses.  Nothing less could have happened, if
a large portion of the English people had believed in the Prophet of God,
John Knox.  He could predict vengeance on Mary Tudor, but could not see
that, as Elizabeth would succeed, his Blast would bring inconvenience to
his cause; or, seeing it, he stood to his guns.

He presently reprinted and added to his letter to Mary of Guise, arguing
that civil magistrates have authority in religion, but, of course, he
must mean only as far as they carry out his ideas, which are the truth.
In an "Appellation" against the condemnation of himself, in absence, by
the Scottish clergy, he labours the same idea.  Moreover, "no idolater
can be exempted from punishment by God's law."  Now the Queen of Scotland
happened to be an idolater, and every true believer, as a private
individual, has a right to punish idolaters.  That right and duty are not
limited to the King, or to "the chief Nobility and Estates," whom Knox
addresses.  "I would your Honours should note for the first, that no
idolater can be exempted from punishment by God's Law.  The second is,
that the punishment of such crimes as are idolatry, blasphemy, and
others, that touch the Majesty of God, doth not appertain to kings and
chief rulers only" (as he had argued that they do, in 1554), "but also to
the whole body of that people, and to every member of the same, according
to the vocation of every man, and according to that possibility and
occasion which God doth minister to revenge the injury done against His
glory, what time that impiety is manifestly known. . . .  _Who dare be so
impudent as to deny this to be most reasonable and just_?" {83}

Knox's method of argument for his doctrine is to take, among other texts,
Deuteronomy xiii. 12-18, and apply the sanguinary precepts of Hebrew
fanatics to the then existing state of affairs in the Church Christian.
Thus, in Deuteronomy, cities which serve "other gods," or welcome
missionaries of other religions, are to be burned, and every living thing
in them is to be destroyed.  "To the carnal man, . . . " says Knox, "this
may rather seem to be pronounced in a rage than in wisdom."  God wills,
however, that "all creatures stoop, cover their faces, _and desist from
reasoning_, when commandment is given to execute his judgement."  Knox,
then, desists from reasoning so far as to preach that every Protestant,
with a call that way, has a right to punish any Catholic, if he gets a
good opportunity.  This doctrine he publishes to his own countrymen.  Thus
any fanatic who believed in the prophet Knox, and was conscious of a
"vocation," might, and should, avenge God's wrongs on Mary of Guise or
Mary Stuart, "he had a fair opportunity, for both ladies were idolaters.
This is a plain inference from the passage just cited.

Appealing to the Commonalty of Scotland, Knox next asked that he might
come and justify his doctrine, and prove Popery "abominable before God."
Now, could any Government admit a man who published the tidings that any
member of a State might avenge God on an idolater, the Queen being,
according to him, an idolater?  This doctrine of the right of the
Protestant individual is merely monstrous.  Knox has wandered far from
his counsel of "passive resistance" in his letter to his Berwick
congregation; he has even passed beyond his "Admonition," which merely
prayed for a Phinehas or Jehu: he has now proclaimed the right and duty
of the private Protestant assassin.  The "Appellation" containing these
ideas was published at Geneva in 1558, with the author's, but without the
printer's name on the title-page.

"The First Blast" had neither the author's nor printer's name, nor the
name of the place of publication.  Calvin soon found that it had given
grave offence to Queen Elizabeth.  He therefore wrote to Cecil that,
though the work came from a press in his town, he had not been aware of
its existence till a year after its publication.  He now took no public
steps against the book, not wishing to draw attention to its origin in
Geneva, lest, "by reason of the reckless arrogance of one man" ('the
ravings of others'), "the miserable crowd of exiles should have been
driven away, not only from this city, but even from almost the whole
world." {84}  As far as I am aware, no one approached Calvin with
remonstrance about the monstrosities of the "Appellation," nor are the
passages which I have cited alluded to by more than one biographer of
Knox, to my knowledge.  Professor Hume Brown, however, justly remarks
that what the Kirk, immediately after Knox's death, called "Erastianism"
(in ordinary parlance the doctrine that the Civil power may interfere in
religion) could hardly "be approved in more set terms" than by Knox.  He
avers that "the ordering and reformation of religion . . . doth
especially appertain to the Civil Magistrate . . . "  "The King taketh
upon him to command the Priests." {85}  The opposite doctrine, that it
appertains to the Church, is an invention of Satan.  To that diabolical
invention, Andrew Melville and the Kirk returned in the generation
following, while James VI. held to Knox's theory, as stated in the

The truth is that Knox contemplates a State in which the civil power
shall be entirely and absolutely of his own opinions; the King, as
"Christ's silly vassal," to quote Andrew Melville, being obedient to such
prophets as himself.  The theories of Knox regarding the duty to revenge
God's feud by the private citizen, and regarding religious massacre by
the civil power, ideas which would justify the Bartholomew horrors,
appear to be forgotten in modern times.  His address to the Commonalty,
as citizens with a voice in the State, represents the progressive and
permanent element in his politics.  We have shown, however, that, before
Knox's time, the individual Scot was a thoroughly independent character.
"The man hath more words than the master, and will not be content unless
he knows the master's counsel."

By March 1558, Knox had returned from Dieppe to Geneva.  In Scotland,
since the godly Band of December 1557, events were moving in two
directions.  The Church was continuing in a belated and futile attempt at
reformation of manners (and wonderfully bad manners they confessedly
were), and of education from within.  The Congregation, the Protestants,
on the other hand, were preparing openly to defend themselves and their
adherents from persecution, an honest, manly, and laudable endeavour, so
long as they did not persecute other Christians.  Their preachers--such
as Harlaw, Methuen, and Douglas--were publicly active.  A moment of
attempted suppression must arrive, greatly against the personal wishes of
Archbishop Hamilton, who dreaded the conflict.

In March 1558, Hamilton courteously remonstrated with Argyll for
harbouring Douglas.  He himself was "heavily murmured against" for his
slackness in the case of Argyll, by churchmen and other "well given
people," and by Mary of Guise, whose daughter, by April 24, 1558, was
married to the Dauphin of France.  Argyll replied that he knew how the
Archbishop was urged on, but declined to abandon Douglas.

"It is a far cry to Loch Awe"; Argyll, who died soon after, was too
powerful to be attacked.  But, sometime in April 1558 apparently, a poor
priest of Forfarshire, Walter Myln, who had married and got into trouble
under Cardinal Beaton, was tried for heresy, and, without sentence of a
secular judge, it is said, was burned at St. Andrews, displaying serene
courage, and hoping to be the last martyr in Scotland.  Naturally there
was much indignation; if the Lords and others were to keep their Band
they must bestir themselves.  They did bestir themselves in defence of
their favourite preachers--Willock, Harlaw, Methuen; a ci-devant friar,
Christison; and Douglas.  Some of these men were summoned several times
throughout 1558, and Methuen and Harlaw, at least, were "at the horn"
(outlawed), but were protected--Harlaw at Dumfries, Methuen at Dundee--by
powerful laymen.  At Dundee, as we saw, by 1558, Methuen had erected a
church of reformed aspect; and "reformed" means that the Kirk had already
been purged of altars and images.  Attempts to bring the ringleaders of
Protestant riots to law were made in 1558, but the precise order of
events, and of the protests of the Reformers, appears to be dislocated in
Knox's narrative.  He himself was not present, and he seems never to have
mastered the sequence of occurrences.  Fortunately there exists a
fragment by a well-informed writer, apparently a contemporary, the
"Historie of the Estate of Scotland" covering the events from July 1558
to 1560. {87a}   There are also imperfect records of the Parliament of
November-December 1558, and of the last Provincial Council of the Church,
in March 1559.

For July 28 {87b} four or five of the brethren were summoned to "a day of
law," in Edinburgh; their allies assembled to back them, and they were
released on bail to appear, if called on, within eight days.  At this
time the "idol" of St. Giles, patron of the city, was stolen, and a great
riot occurred at the saint's fete, September 3. {87c}

Knox describes the discomfiture of his foes in one of his merriest
passages, frequently cited by admirers of "his vein of humour."  The
event, we know, was at once reported to him in Geneva, by letter.

Some time after October, if we rightly construe Knox, {88a} a petition
was delivered to the Regent, from the Reformers, by Sandilands of Calder.
{88b}  They asserted that they should have defended the preachers, or
testified with them.  The wisdom of the Regent herself sees the need of
reform, spiritual and temporal, and has exhorted the clergy and nobles to
employ care and diligence thereon, a fact corroborated by Mary of Guise
herself, in a paper, soon to be quoted, of July 1559. {88c}  They ask, as
they have the reading of the Scriptures in the vernacular, for common
prayers in the same.  They wish for freedom to interpret and discuss the
Bible "in our conventions," and that Baptism and the Communion may be
done in Scots, and they demand the reform of the detestable lives of the
prelates. {88d}

Knox's account, in places, appears really to refer to the period of the
Provincial Council of March 1559, though it does not quite fit that date

The Regent is said on the occasion of Calder's petition, and after the
unsatisfactory replies of the clergy (apparently at the Provincial
Council, March 1559), to have made certain concessions, till Parliament
established uniform order.  But the Parliament was of November-December
1558. {89a}  Before that Parliament, at all events (which was mainly
concerned with procuring the "Crown Matrimonial" for the Dauphin, husband
of Mary Stuart), the brethren offered a petition, in the first place
shown to the Regent, asking for (1) the suspension of persecuting laws
till after a General Council has "decided all controversies in
religion"--that is, till the Greek Calends.  (2) That prelates shall not
be judges in cases of heresy, but only accusers before secular tribunals.
(3) That all lawful defences be granted to persons accused.  (4) That the
accused be permitted to explain "his own mind and meaning."  (5) That
"none be condemned for heretics unless by the manifest Word of God they
be convicted to have erred from the faith which the Holy Spirit witnesses
to be necessary to salvation."  According to Knox this petition the
Regent put in her pocket, saying that the Churchmen would oppose it, and
thwart her plan for getting the "Crown Matrimonial" given to her son-in-
law, Francis II., and, in short, gave good words, and drove time. {89b}

The Reformers then drew up a long Protestation, which was read in the
House, but not enrolled in its records.  They say that they have had to
postpone a formal demand for Reformation, but protest that "it be lawful
to us to use ourselves in matters of religion and conscience as we must
answer to God," and they are ready to prove their case.  They shall not
be liable, meanwhile, to any penalties for breach of the existing Acts
against heresy, "nor for violating such rites as man, without God's
commandment or word, hath commanded."  They disclaim all responsibility
for the ensuing tumults. {90a}  In fact, they aver that they will not
only worship in their own way, but prevent other people from worshipping
in the legal way, and that the responsibility for the riots will lie on
the side of those who worship legally.  And this was the chief occasion
of the ensuing troubles.  The Regent promised to "put good order" in
controverted matters, and was praised by the brethren in a letter to
Calvin, not now to be found.

Another threat had been made by the brethren, in circumstances not very
obscure.  As far as they are known they suggest that in January 1559 the
zealots deliberately intended to provoke a conflict, and to enlist "the
rascal multitude" on their side, at Easter, 1559.  The obscurity is
caused by a bookbinder.  He has, with the fatal ingenuity of his trade,
cut off the two top lines from a page in one manuscript copy of Knox's
"History." {90b}  The text now runs thus (in its mutilated condition): "
. . . Zealous Brether . . . upon the gates and posts of all the Friars'
places within this realm, in the month of January 1558 (1559), preceding
that Whitsunday that they dislodged, which is this . . . "

Then follows the Proclamation.

Probably we may supply the words: ". . .  Zealous Brethren caused a paper
to be affixed upon the gates and posts," and so on.  The paper so
promulgated purported to be a warning from the poor of Scotland that,
before Whitsunday, "we, the lawful proprietors," will eject the Friars
and residents on the property, unlawfully withheld by the religious--"our
patrimony."  This feat will be performed, "with the help of God, _and
assistance of his Saints on earth, of whose ready support we doubt not_."

As the Saints, in fact, were the "Zealous Brether . . ." who affixed the
written menace on "all the Friars' places," they knew what they were
talking about, and could prophesy safely.  To make so many copies of the
document, and fix them on "all the Friars' places," implies organisation,
and a deliberate plan--riots and revolution--before Whitsunday.  The
poor, of course, only exchanged better for worse landlords, as they soon
discovered.  The "Zealous Brethren"--as a rule small lairds, probably,
and burgesses--were the nucleus of the Revolution.  When townsfolk and
yeomen in sufficient number had joined them in arms, then nobles like
Argyll, Lord James, Glencairn, Ruthven, and the rest, put themselves at
the head of the movement, and won the prizes which had been offered to
the "blind, crooked, widows, orphans, and all other poor."

After Parliament was over, at the end of December 1558, the Archbishop of
St. Andrews again summoned the preachers, Willock, Douglas, Harlaw,
Methuen, and Friar John Christison to a "day of law" at St. Andrews, on
February 2, 1559.  (This is the statement of the "Historie.") {91}  The
brethren then "caused inform the Queen Mother that the said preachers
would appear with such multitude of men professing their doctrine, as was
never seen before in such like cases in this country," and kept their
promise.  The system of overawing justice by such gatherings was usual,
as we have already seen; Knox, Bothwell, Lethington, and the Lord James
Stewart all profited by the practice on various occasions.

Mary of Guise, "fearing some uproar or sedition," bade the bishops put
off the summons, and, in fact, the preachers never were summoned,
finally, for any offences prior to this date.

On February 9, 1559, the Regent issued proclamations against eating flesh
in Lent (this rule survived the Reformation by at least seventy years)
and against such disturbances of religious services as the Protest just
described declared to be imminent, all such deeds being denounced under
"pain of death"--as pain of death was used to be threatened against
poachers of deer and wild fowl. {92a}

Mary, however, had promised, as we saw, that she would summon the nobles
and Estates, "to advise for some reformation in religion" (March 7,
1559), and the Archbishop called a Provincial Council to Edinburgh for
March.  At this, or some other juncture, for Knox's narrative is
bewildering, {92b} the clergy offered free discussion, but refused to
allow exiles like himself to be present, and insisted on the acceptance
of the Mass, Purgatory, the invocation of saints, with security for their
ecclesiastical possessions.  In return they would grant prayers and
baptism in English, if done privately and not in open assembly.  The
terms, he says, were rejected; appeal was made to Mary of Guise, and she
gave toleration, except for public assemblies in Edinburgh and Leith,
pending the meeting of Parliament.  To the clergy, who, "some say,"
bribed her, she promised to "put order" to these matters.  The Reformers
were deceived, and forbade Douglas to preach in Leith.  So writes Knox.

Now the "Historie" dates all this, bribe and all, _after the end of
December_ 1558.  Knox, however, by some confusion, places the facts,
bribe and all, _before April_ 28, 1558, Myln's martyrdom! {93a}  Yet he
had before him as he wrote the Chronicle of Bruce of Earlshall, who
states the bribe, Knox says, at 40,000 pounds; the "Historie" says
"within 15,000 pounds." {93b}

In any case Knox, who never saw his book in print, has clearly dislocated
the sequence of events.  At this date, namely March 1559, the preaching
agitators were at liberty, nor were they again put at for any of their
previous proceedings.  But defiances had been exchanged.  The Reformers
in their Protestation (December 1558) had claimed it as lawful, we know,
that they should enjoy their own services, and put down those of the
religion by law established, until such time as the Catholic clergy "be
able to prove themselves the true ministers of Christ's Church" and
guiltless of all the crimes charged against them by their adversaries.
{93c}  That was the challenge of the Reformers, backed by the menace
affixed to the doors of all the monasteries.  The Regent in turn had
thrown down her glove by the proclamation of February 9, 1559, against
disturbing services and "bosting" (bullying) priests.  How could she
possibly do less in the circumstances?  If her proclamation was
disobeyed, could she do less than summon the disobedient to trial?  Her
hand was forced.

It appears to myself, under correction, that all this part of the history
of the Reformation has been misunderstood by our older historians.  Almost
without exception, they represent the Regent as dissembling with the
Reformers till, on conclusion of the peace of Cateau Cambresis (which
left France free to aid her efforts in Scotland), April 2, 1559, and on
the receipt of a message from the Guises, "she threw off the mask," and
initiated an organised persecution.  But there is no evidence that any
such message commanding her to persecute at this time came from the
Guises before the Regent had issued her proclamations of February 9 and
March 23, {94a} denouncing attacks on priests, disturbance of services,
administering of sacraments by lay preachers, and tumults at large.  Now,
Sir James Melville of Halhill, the diplomatist, writing in old age, and
often erroneously, makes the Cardinal of Lorraine send de Bettencourt, or
Bethencourt, to the Regent with news of the peace of Cateau Cambresis and
an order to punish heretics with fire and sword, and says that, though
she was reluctant, she consequently published her proclamation of March
23.  Dates prove part of this to be impossible. {94b}

Obviously the Regent had issued her proclamations of February-March 1559
in anticipation of the tumults threatened by the Reformers in their
"Beggar's Warning" and in their Protestation of December, and arranged to
occur with violence at Easter, as they did.  The three or four preachers
(two of them apparently "at the horn" in 1558) were to preach publicly,
and riots were certain to ensue, as the Reformers had threatened.  Riots
were part of the evangelical programme.  Of Paul Methuen, who first
"reformed" the Church in Dundee, Pitscottie writes that he "ministered
the sacraments of the communion at Dundee and Cupar, and caused the
images thereof to be cast down, and abolished the Pope's religion so far
as he passed or preached."  For this sort of action he was now summoned.

The Regent, therefore, warned in her proclamations men, often challenged
previously, and as often allowed, under fear of armed resistance, to
escape.  All that followed was but a repetition of the feeble policy of
outlawing these four or five men.  Finally, in May 1559, these preachers
had a strong armed backing, and seized a central strategic point, so the
Revolution blazed out on a question which had long been smouldering and
on an occasion that had been again and again deferred.  The Regent, far
from having foreseen and hardened her heart to carry out an organised
persecution and "cut the throats" of all Protestants in Scotland, was, in
fact, intending to go to France, being in the earlier stages of her fatal
malady.  This appears from a letter of Sir Henry Percy, from Norham
Castle, to Cecil and Parry (April 12, 1559) {95b}  Percy says that the
news in his latest letters (now lost) was erroneous.  The Regent, in
fact, "is not as yet departed."  She is very ill, and her life is
despaired of.  She is at Stirling, where the nobles had assembled to
discuss religious matters.  Only her French advisers were on the side of
the Regent.  "The matter is pacified for the time," and in case of the
Regent's death, Chatelherault, d'Oysel, and de Rubay are to be a
provisional committee of Government, till the wishes of the King and
Queen, Francis and Mary, are known.  Again, in her letter of May 16 to
Henri II. of France, she stated that she was in very bad health, {96a}
and, at about the same date (May 18), the English ambassador in France
mentions her intention to visit that country at once. {96b}  But the
Revolution of May 11, breaking out in Perth, condemned her to suffer and
die in Scotland.

This, however, does not amount to proof that no plan of persecution in
Scotland was intended.  Throckmorton writes, on May 18, that the Marquis
d'Elboeuf is to go thither.  "He takes with him both men of conduct and
some of war; it is thought his stay will not be long."  Again (May 23,
24), Throckmorton reports that Henri II. means to persecute extremely in
Poitou, Guienne, and Scotland.  "Cecil may take occasion to use the
matter in Scotland as may seem best to serve the turn." {96c}  This was
before the Perth riot had been reported (May 26) by Cecil to
Throckmorton.  Was d'Elboeuf intended to direct the persecution?  The
theory has its attractions, but Henri, just emerged with maimed forces
from a ruinous war, knew that a persecution which served Cecil's "turn"
did not serve _his_.  To persecute in Scotland would mean renewed war
with England, and could not be contemplated.  If Sir James Melville can
be trusted for once, the Constable, about June 1, told him, in the
presence of the French King, that if the Perth revolt were only about
religion, "we mon commit Scottismen's saules unto God." {97}  Melville
was then despatched with promise of aid to the Regent--if the rising was
political, not religious.

It is quite certain that the Regent issued her proclamations without any
commands from France; and her health was inconsistent with an intention
to put Protestants to fire and sword.

In the records of the Provincial Council of March 1559, the foremost
place is given to "Articles" presented to the Regent by "some temporal
Lords and Barons," and by her handed to the clergy.  They are the
proposals of conservative reformers.  They ask for moral reformation of
the lives of the clergy: for sermons on Sundays and holy days: for due
examination of the doctrine, life, and learning of all who are permitted
to preach.  They demand that no vicar or curate shall be appointed unless
he can read the catechism (of 1552) plainly and distinctly: that
expositions of the sacraments should be clearly pronounced in the
vernacular: that common prayer should be read in the vernacular: that
certain exactions of gifts and dues should be abolished.  Again, no one
should be allowed to dishonour the sacraments, or the service of the
Mass: no unqualified person should administer the sacraments: Kirk
rapine, destruction of religious buildings and works of art, should not
be permitted.

The Council passed thirty-four statutes on these points.  The clergy were
to live cleanly, and not to keep their bastards at home.  They were
implored, "in the bowels of Christ" to do their duty in the services of
the Church.  No one in future was to be admitted to a living without
examination by the Ordinary.  Ruined churches were to be rebuilt or
repaired.  Breakers of ornaments and violators or burners of churches
were to be pursued.  There was to be preaching as often as the Ordinary
thought fit: if the Rector could not preach he must find a substitute who
could.  Plain expositions of the sacraments were made out, were to be
read aloud to the congregations, and were published at twopence ("The
Twopenny Faith").  Administration of the Eucharist except by priests was
to be punished by excommunication. {98a}  Knox himself desired _death_
for others than true ministers who celebrated the sacrament. {98b}  His
"true ministers," about half-a-dozen of them at this time, of course came
under the penalty of the last statute.

He says, with the usual error, that _after_ peace was made between France
and England, on April 2, 1559 (the treaty of Cateau Cambresis), the
Regent "began to spew forth and disclose the latent venom of her double
heart."  She looked "frowardly" on Protestants, "commanded her household
to use all abominations at Easter," she herself communicated, "and it is
supposed that after that day the devil took more violent and strong
possession in her than he had before . . .  For incontinent she caused
our preachers to be summoned."

But _why_ did she summon the same set of preachers as before, for no old
offence?  The Regent, says the "Historie," made proclamation, during the
Council (as the moderate Reformers had asked her to do), "that no manner
of person should . . . preach or minister the sacraments, except they
were admitted by the Ordinary or a Bishop on no less pain than death."
The Council, in fact, made excommunication the penalty.  Now it was for
ministering the sacrament after the proclamation of March 13, for
preaching heresy, and stirring up "seditions and tumults," that Methuen,
Brother John Christison, William Harlaw, and John Willock were summoned
to appear at Stirling on May 10, 1559. {99a}

How could any governor of Scotland abstain from summoning them in the
circumstances?  There seems to be no new suggestion of the devil, no
outbreak of Guisian fury.  The Regent was in a situation whence there was
no "outgait": she must submit to the seditions and tumults threatened in
the Protestation of the brethren, the disturbances of services, the
probable wrecking of churches, or she must use the powers legally
entrusted to her.  She gave insolent answers to remonstrances from the
brethren, says Knox.  She would banish the preachers (not execute them),
"albeit they preached as truly as ever did St. Paul."  Being threatened,
as before, with the consequent "inconvenients," she said "she would
advise."  However, summon the preachers she did, for breach of her
proclamations, "tumults and seditions." {99b}

Knox himself was present at the Revolution which ensued, but we must now
return to his own doings in the autumn and winter of 1558-59. {100}


While the inevitable Revolution was impending in Scotland, Knox was
living at Geneva.  He may have been engaged on his "Answer" to the
"blasphemous cavillations" of an Anabaptist, his treatise on
Predestination.  Laing thought that this work was "chiefly written" at
Dieppe, in February-April 1559, but as it contains more than 450 pages it
is probably a work of longer time than two months.  In November 1559 the
English at Geneva asked leave to print the book, which was granted,
provided that the name of Geneva did not appear as the place of printing;
the authorities knowing of what Knox was capable from the specimen given
in his "First Blast."  There seem to be several examples of the Genevan
edition, published by Crispin in 1560; the next edition, less rare, is of
1591 (London). {101}

The Anabaptist whom Knox is discussing had been personally known to him,
and had lucid intervals.  "Your chief Apollos," he had said, addressing
the Calvinists, "be persecutors, on whom the blood of Servetus crieth a
vengeance. . . .  They have set forth books affirming it to be lawful to
persecute and put to death such as dissent from them in controversies of
religion. . . .  Notwithstanding they, before they came to authority,
were of another judgment, and did both say and write that no man ought to
be persecuted for his conscience' sake. . . ." {102a}  Knox replied that
Servetus was a blasphemer, and that Moses had been a more wholesale
persecutor than the Edwardian burners of Joan of Kent, and the Genevan
Church which roasted Servetus {102b} (October 1553).  He incidentally
proves that he was better than his doctrine.  In England an Anabaptist,
after asking for secrecy, showed him a manuscript of his own full of
blasphemies.  "In me I confess there was great negligence, that neither
did retain his book nor present him to the magistrate" to burn.  Knox
could not have done that, for the author "earnestly required of me
closeness and fidelity," which, probably, Knox promised.  Indeed, one
fancies that his opinions and character would have been in conflict if a
chance of handing an idolater over to death had been offered to him.

The death of Mary Tudor on November 17, 1558, does not appear to have
been anticipated by him.  The tidings reached him before January 12,
1559, when he wrote from Geneva a singular "Brief Exhortation to England
for the Spedie Embrasing of Christ's Gospel heretofore by the Tyrannie of
Marie Suppressed and Banished."

The gospel to be embraced by England is, of course, not nearly so much
Christ's as John Knox's, in its most acute form and with its most
absolute, intolerant, and intolerable pretensions.  He begins by
vehemently rebuking England for her "shameful defection" and by
threatening God's "horrible vengeances which thy monstrous unthankfulness
hath long deserved," if the country does not become much more puritan
than it had ever been, or is ever likely to be.  Knox "wraps you all in
idolatry, all in murder, all in one and the same iniquity," except the
actual Marian martyrs; those who "abstained from idolatry;" and those who
"avoided the realm" or ran away.  He had set one of the earliest examples
of running away: to do so was easier for him than for family men and
others who had "a stake in the country," for which Knox had no relish.  He
is hardly generous in blaming all the persons who felt no more "ripe" for
martyrdom than he did, yet stayed in England, where the majority were,
and continued to be, Catholics.

Having asserted his very contestable superiority and uttered pages of
biblical threatenings, Knox says that the repentance of England
"requireth two things," first, the expulsion of "all dregs of Popery" and
the treading under foot of all "glistering beauty of vain ceremonies."
Religious services must be reduced, in short, to his own bare standard.
Next, the Genevan and Knoxian "kirk discipline" must be introduced.  No
"power or liberty (must) be permitted to any, of what estate, degree, or
authority they be, either to live without the yoke of discipline by God's
word commanded," or "to alter . . . one jot in religion which from God's
mouth thou hast received. . . . If prince, king, or emperor would
enterprise to change or disannul the same, that he be of thee reputed
enemy to God," while a prince who erects idolatry . . . "must be adjudged
to death."

Each bishopric is to be divided into ten.  The Founder of the Church and
the Apostles "all command us to preach, to preach."  A brief sketch of
what The Book of Discipline later set forth for the edification of
Scotland is recommended to England, and is followed by more threatenings
in the familiar style.

England did not follow the advice of Knox: her whole population was not
puritan, many of her martyrs had died for the prayer book which Knox
would have destroyed.  His tract cannot have added to the affection which
Elizabeth bore to the author of "The First Blast."  In after years, as we
shall see, Knox spoke in a tone much more moderate in addressing the
early English nonconformist secessionists (1568).  Indeed, it is as easy
almost to prove, by isolated passages in Knox's writings, that he was a
sensible, moderate man, loathing and condemning active resistance in
religion, as to prove him to be a senselessly violent man.  All depends
on the occasion and opportunity.  He speaks with two voices.  He was very
impetuous; in the death of Mary Tudor he suddenly saw the chance of
bringing English religion up, or down, to the Genevan level, and so he
wrote this letter of vehement rebuke and inopportune advice.

Knox must have given his biographers "medicines to make them love him."
The learned Dr. Lorimer finds in this epistle, one of the most fierce of
his writings, "a programme of what this Reformation reformed should be--a
programme which was honourable alike to Knox's zeal and his moderation."
The "moderation" apparently consists in not abolishing bishoprics, but
substituting "ten bishops of moderate income for one lordly prelate."
Despite this moderation of the epistle, "its intolerance is extreme,"
says Dr. Lorimer, and Knox's advice "cannot but excite astonishment."
{104}  The party which agreed with him in England was the minority of a
minority; the Catholics, it is usually supposed, though we have no
statistics, were the majority of the English nation.  Yet the only
chance, according to Knox, that England has of escaping the vengeance of
an irritable Deity, is for the smaller minority to alter the prayer book,
resist the Queen, if she wishes to retain it unaltered, and force the
English people into the "discipline" of a Swiss Protestant town.

Dr. Lorimer, a most industrious and judicious writer, adds that, in these
matters of "discipline," and of intolerance, Knox "went to a tragical
extreme of opinion, of which none of the other leading reformers had set
an example;" also that what he demanded was substantially demanded by the
Puritans all through the reign of Elizabeth.  But Knox averred publicly,
and in his "History," that for everything he affirmed in Scotland he had
heard the judgments "of the most godly and learned that be known in
Europe . . . and for my assurance I have the handwritings of many."  Now
he had affirmed frequently, in Scotland, the very doctrines of discipline
and persecution "of which none of the other leading Reformers had set an
example," according to Dr. Lorimer.  Therefore, either they agreed with
Knox, or what Knox told the Lords in June 1564 was not strictly accurate.
{105}  In any case Knox gave to his country the most extreme of

The death of Mary Tudor, and the course of events at home, were now to
afford our Reformer the opportunity of promulgating, in Scotland, those
ideas which we and his learned Presbyterian student alike regret and
condemn.  These persecuting ideas "were only a mistaken theory of
Christian duty, and nothing worse," says Dr. Lorimer.  Nothing could
possibly be worse than a doctrine contrary in the highest degree to the
teaching of Our Lord, whether the doctrine was proclaimed by Pope,
Prelate, or Calvinist.

Here it must be observed that a most important fact in Knox's career, a
most important element in his methods, has been little remarked upon by
his biographers.  Ever since he failed, in 1554, to obtain the adhesion
of Bullinger and Calvin to his more extreme ideas, he had been his own
prophet, and had launched his decrees of the right of the people, of part
of the people, and of the individual, to avenge the insulted majesty of
God upon idolaters, not only without warrant from the heads of the
Calvinistic Church, but to their great annoyance and disgust.  Of this an
example will now be given.


Knox had learned from letters out of Scotland that Protestants there now
ran no risks; that "without a shadow of fear they might hear prayers in
the vernacular, and receive the sacraments in the right way, the impure
ceremonies of Antichrist being set aside."  The image of St. Giles had
been broken by a mob, and thrown into a sewer; "the impure crowd of
priests and monks" had fled, throwing away the shafts of the crosses they
bore, and "hiding the golden heads in their robes."  Now the Regent
thinks of reforming religion, on a given day, at a convention of the
whole realm.  So William Cole wrote to Bishop Bale, then at Basle,
without date.  The riot was of the beginning of September 1558, and is
humorously described by Knox. {107}

This news, though regarded as "very certain," was quite erroneous except
as to the riot.  One may guess that it was given to Knox in letters from
the nobles, penned in October 1558, which he received in November 1558;
there was also a letter to Calvin from the nobles, asking for Knox's
presence.  It seemed that a visit to Scotland was perfectly safe; Knox
left Geneva in January, he arrived in Dieppe in February, where he
learned that Elizabeth would not allow him to travel through England.  He
had much that was private to say to Cecil, and was already desirous of
procuring English aid to Scottish reformers.  The tidings of the Queen's
refusal to admit him to England came through Cecil, and Knox told him
that he was "worthy of Hell" (for conformity with Mary Tudor); and that
Turks actually granted such safe conducts as were now refused to him.
{108a}  Perhaps he exaggerated the amenity of the Turks.  His "First
Blast," if acted on, disturbed the succession in England, and might beget
new wars, a matter which did not trouble the prophet.  He also asked
leave to visit his flock at Berwick.  This too was refused.

Doubtless Knox, with his unparalleled activity, employed the period of
delay in preaching the Word at Dieppe.  After his arrival in Scotland, he
wrote to his Dieppe congregation, upbraiding them for their Laodicean
laxity in permitting idolatry to co-exist with true religion in their
town.  Why did they not drive out the idolatrous worship?  These epistles
were intercepted by the Governor of Dieppe, and their contents appear to
have escaped the notice of the Reformer's biographers.  A revolt followed
in Dieppe. {108b}  Meanwhile Knox's doings at Dieppe had greatly
exasperated Francois Morel, the chief pastor of the Genevan congregation
in Paris, and president of the first Protestant Synod held in that town.
The affairs of the French Protestants were in a most precarious
condition; persecution broke into fury early in June 1559.  A week
earlier, Morel wrote to Calvin, "Knox was for some time in Dieppe,
waiting on a wind for Scotland."  "He dared publicly to profess the worst
and most infamous of doctrines: 'Women are unworthy to reign; Christians
may protect themselves by arms against tyrants!'"  The latter excellent
doctrine was not then accepted by the Genevan learned.  "I fear that Knox
may fill Scotland with his madness.  He is said to have a boon companion
at Geneva, whom we hear that the people of Dieppe have called to be their
minister.  If he be infected with such opinions, for Christ's sake pray
that he be not sent; or if he has already departed, warn the Dieppe
people to beware of him." {109a}  A French ex-capuchin, Jacques Trouille,
was appointed as Knox's successor at Dieppe. {109b}

Knox's ideas, even the idea that Christians may bear the sword against
tyrants, were all his own, were anti-Genevan; and though Calvin (1559-60)
knew all about the conspiracy of Amboise to kill the Guises, he ever
maintained that he had discouraged and preached against it.  We must,
therefore, credit Knox with originality, both in his ideas and in his way
of giving it to be understood that they had the approval of the learned
of Switzerland.  The reverse was true.

By May 3, Knox was in Edinburgh, "come in the brunt of the battle," as
the preachers' summons to trial was for May 10.  He was at once outlawed,
"blown loud to the horn," but was not dismayed.  On this occasion the
battle would be a fair fight, the gentry, under their Band, stood by the
preachers, and, given a chance in open field with the arm of the flesh to
back him, Knox's courage was tenacious and indomitable.  It was only for
lonely martyrdom that he never thought himself ready, and few historians
have a right to throw the first stone at him for his backwardness.

As for armed conflict, at this moment Mary of Guise could only reckon
surely on the small French garrison of Scotland, perhaps 1500 or 2000
men.  She could place no confidence in the feudal levies that gathered
when the royal standard was raised.  The Hamiltons merely looked to their
own advancement; Lord James Stewart was bound to the Congregation; Huntly
was a double dealer and was remote; the minor noblesse and the armed
burghers, with Glencairn representing the south-west, Lollard from of
old, were attached to Knox's doctrines, while the mob would flock in to
destroy and plunder.

[Bridal medal of Mary Stuart and the Dauphin, 1558: knox3.jpg]

Meanwhile Mary of Guise was at Stirling, and a multitude of Protestants
were at Perth, where the Reformation had just made its entry, and had
secured a walled city, a thing unique in Scotland.  The gentry of Angus
and the people of Dundee, at Perth, were now anxious to make a
"demonstration" (unarmed, says Knox) at Stirling, if the preachers obeyed
the summons to go thither, on May 10.  Their strategy was excellent,
whether carefully premeditated or not.

The Regent, according to Knox, amused Erskine of Dun with promises of
"taking some better order" till the day of May 10 arrived, when, the
preachers and their backers having been deluded into remaining at Perth
instead of "demonstrating" at Stirling, she outlawed the preachers and
fined their sureties ("assisters").  She did not outlaw the sureties.  Her
treachery (alleged only by Knox and others who follow him) is examined in
Appendix A.  Meanwhile it is certain that the preachers were put to the
horn in absence, and that the brethren, believing themselves (according
to Knox) to have been disgracefully betrayed, proceeded to revolutionary
extremes, such as Calvin energetically denounced.

If we ask who executed the task of wrecking the monasteries at Perth,
Knox provides two different answers.

In the "History" Knox says that after the news came of the Regent's
perfidy, and after a sermon "vehement against idolatry," a priest began
to celebrate, and "opened a glorious tabernacle" on the high altar.
"Certain godly men and a young boy" were standing near; they all, or the
boy alone (the sentence may be read either way), cried that this was
intolerable.  The priest struck the boy, who "took up a stone" and hit
the tabernacle, and "the whole multitude" wrecked the monuments of
idolatry.  Neither the exhortation of the preacher nor the command of the
magistrate could stay them in their work of destruction. {111}  Presently
"the rascal multitude" convened, _without_ the gentry and "earnest
professors," and broke into the Franciscan and Dominican monasteries.
They wrecked as usual, and the "common people" robbed, but the godly
allowed Forman, Prior of the Charter House, to bear away about as much
gold and silver as he was able to carry.  We learn from Mary of Guise and
Lesley's "History" that the very orchards were cut down.

If, thanks to the preachers, "no honest man was enriched the value of a
groat," apparently dishonest men must have sacked the gold and silver
plate of the monasteries; nothing is said by Knox on this head, except as
to the Charter House.

Writing to Mrs. Locke, on the other hand, on June 23, Knox tells her that
"the brethren," after "complaint and appeal made" against the Regent,
levelled with the ground the three monasteries, burned all "monuments of
idolatry" accessible, "and priests were commanded under pain of death, to
desist from their blasphemous mass."  {112}  Nothing is said about a
spontaneous and uncontrollable popular movement.  The professional
"brethren," earnest professors of course, reap the glory.  Which is the
true version?

If the version given to Mrs. Locke be accurate, Knox had sufficient
reasons for producing a different account in that portion of his
"History" (Book ii.) which is a tract written in autumn, 1559, and in
purpose meant for contemporary foreign as well as domestic readers.  The
performances attributed to the brethren, in the letter to the London
merchant's wife, were of a kind which Calvin severely rebuked.  Similar
or worse violences were perpetrated by French brethren at Lyons, on April
30, 1562.  The booty of the church of St. Jean had been sold at auction.
There must be no more robbery and pillage, says Calvin, writing on May
13, to the Lyons preachers.  The ruffians who rob ought rather to be
abandoned, than associated with to the scandal of the Gospel.  "Already
reckless zeal was shown in the ravages committed in the churches" (altars
and images had been overthrown), "but those who fear God will not
rigorously judge what was done in hot blood, from devout emotion, but
what can be said in defence of looting?"

Calvin spoke even more distinctly to the "consistory" of Nimes, who
suspended a preacher named Tartas for overthrowing crosses, altars, and
images in churches (July-August, 1561).  The zealot was even threatened
with excommunication by his fellow religionists. {113a}  Calvin heard
that this fanatic had not only consented to the outrages, but had incited
them, and had "the insupportable obstinacy" to say that such conduct was,
with him, "a matter of conscience."  "But _we_" says Calvin, "know that
the reverse is the case, for God never commanded any one to overthrow
idols, except every man in his own house, and, in public, those whom he
has armed with authority.  Let that fire-brand" (the preacher) "show us
by what title _he_ is lord of the land where he has been burning things."

Knox must have been aware of Calvin's opinion about such outrages as
those of Perth, which, in a private letter, he attributes to the
brethren: in his public "History" to the mob.  At St. Andrews, when
similar acts were committed, he says that "the provost and bailies . . .
did agree to remove all monuments of idolatry," whether this would or
would not have satisfied Calvin.

Opponents of my view urge that Knox, though he knew that the brethren had
nothing to do with the ruin at Perth, yet, in the enthusiasm of six weeks
later, claimed this honour for them, when writing to Mrs. Locke.  Still
later, when cool, he told, in his "History," "the frozen truth," the mob
alone was guilty, despite his exhortations and the commandment of the
magistrate.  Neither alternative is very creditable to the prophet.

In the "Historie of the Estate of Scotland," it is "the brethren" who
break, burn, and destroy. {113b}  In Knox's "History" no mention is made
of the threat of death against the priests.  In the letter to Mrs. Locke
he says, apparently of the threat, perhaps of the whole affair, "which
thing did so enrage the venom of the serpent's seed," that she decreed
death against man, woman, and child in Perth, after the fashion of Knox's
favourite texts in Deuteronomy and Chronicles.  This was "beastlie
crueltie."  The "History" gives the same account of the Regent's
threatening "words which might escape her in choler" (of course we have
no authority for her speaking them at all), but, in the "History," Knox
omits the threat by the brethren of death against the priests--a threat
which none of his biographers mentions!

If the menace against the priests and the ruin of monasteries were not
seditious, what is sedition?  But Knox's business, in Book II. of his
"History" (much of it written in September-October 1559), is to prove
that the movement was _not_ rebellious, was purely religious, and all for
"liberty of conscience"--for Protestants.  Therefore, in the "History,"
he disclaims the destruction by the brethren of the monasteries--the mob
did that; and he burkes the threat of death to priests: though he told
the truth, privately, to Mrs. Locke.

Mary did not move at once.  The Hamiltons joined her, and she had her
French soldiers, perhaps 1500 men.  On May 22 "The Faithful Congregation
of Christ Jesus in Scotland," but a few gentlemen being concerned, wrote
from Perth, which they were fortifying, to the Regent.  If she proceeds
in her "cruelty," they will take up the sword, and inform all Christian
princes, and their Queen in France, that they have revolted solely
because of "this cruel, unjust, and most tyrannical murder, intended
against towns and multitudes."  As if they had not revolted already!
Their pretext seems to mean that they do not want to alter the sovereign
authority, a quibble which they issued for several months, long after it
was obviously false.  They also wrote to the nobles, to the French
officers in the Regent's service, and to the clergy.

What really occurred was that many of the brethren left Perth, after they
had "made a day of it," as they had threatened earlier: that the Regent
called her nobles to Council, concentrated her French forces, and
summoned the levies of Clydesdale and Stirlingshire.  Meanwhile the
brethren flocked again into Perth, at that time, it is said, the only
wall-girt town in Scotland: they strengthened the works, wrote everywhere
for succour, and loudly maintained that they were not rebellious or

Of these operations Knox was the life and soul.  There is no mistaking
his hand in the letter to Mary of Guise, or in the epistle to the
Catholic clergy.  That letter is courteously addressed "To the Generation
of Anti-Christ, the Pestilent Prelates and their Shavelings within
Scotland, the Congregation of Jesus within the same saith."

The gentle Congregation saith that, if the clergy "proceed in their
cruelty," they shall be "apprehended as murderers."  "We shall begin that
same war which God commanded Israel to execute against the Canaanites . . . "
This they promise in the names of God, Christ, and the Gospel.  Any
one can recognise the style of Knox in this composition.  David Hume
remarks: "With these outrageous symptoms commenced in Scotland that
hypocrisy and fanaticism which long infested that kingdom, and which,
though now mollified by the lenity of the civil power, is still ready to
break out on all occasions."  Hume was wrong, there was no touch of
hypocrisy in Knox; he believed as firmly in the "message" which he
delivered as in the reality of the sensible universe.

A passage in the message to the nobility displays the intense ardour of
the convictions that were to be potent in the later history of the Kirk.
That priests, by the prescription of fifteen centuries, should have
persuaded themselves of their own power to damn men's souls to hell, cut
them off from the Christian community, and hand them over to the devil,
is a painful circumstance.  But Knox, from Perth, asserts that the same
awful privilege is vested in the six or seven preachers of the nascent
Kirk with the fire-new doctrine!  Addressing the signers of the godly
Band and other sympathisers who have not yet come in, he (if he wrote
these fiery appeals) observes, that if they do _not_ come in, "ye shall
be _excommunicated_ from our Society, and from all participation with us
in the administration of the Sacraments . . .  Doubt we nothing but that
our church, _and the true ministers of the same_, have the power which
our Master, Jesus Christ, granted to His apostles in these words, 'Whose
sins ye shall forgive, shall be forgiven, and whose sins ye shall retain,
shall be retained' . . . "  Men were to be finally judged by Omnipotence
on the faith of what Willock, Knox, Harlaw, poor Paul Methuen, and the
apostate Friar Christison, "trew ministeris," thought good to decide!
With such bugbears did Guthrie and his companions think, a century later,
to daunt "the clear spirit of Montrose."

While reading the passages just cited, we are enabled to understand the
true cause of the sorrows of Scotland for a hundred and thirty years.  The
situation is that analysed by Thomas Luber, a Professor of Medicine at
Heidelberg, well or ill known in Scottish ecclesiastical disputes by his
Graecised name, Erastus.  He argued, about 1568, that excommunication has
no certain warrant in Holy Writ, under a Christian prince.  Erastus

"Some men were seized on by a certain excommunicatory fever, which they
did adorn with the name of 'ecclesiastical discipline.' . . .  They
affirmed the manner of it to be this: that certain presbyters should sit
in the name of the whole Church, and should judge who were worthy or
unworthy to come to the Lord's Supper.  I wonder that then they consulted
about these matters, when we neither had men to be excommunicated, nor
fit excommunicators; for scarcely a thirtieth part of the people did
understand or approve of the reformed religion." {117}

"There was," adds Erastus, "another fruit of the same tree, that almost
every one thought men had the power of opening and shutting heaven to
whomsoever they would."

What men have this power in Scotland in 1559?  Why, some five or six
persons who, being fluent preachers, have persuaded local sets of
Protestants to accept them as ministers.  These preachers having a
"call"--it might be from a set of perfidious and profligate murderers--are
somehow gifted with the apostolic grace of binding on earth what shall be
bound in heaven.  Their successors, down to Mr. Cargill, who, of his own
fantasy, excommunicated Charles II., were an intolerable danger to
civilised society.  For their edicts of "boycotting" they claimed the
sanction of the civil magistrate, and while these almost incredibly
fantastic pretentions lasted, there was not, and could not be, peace in

The seed of this Upas tree was sown by Knox and his allies in May 1559.
An Act of 1690 repealed civil penalties for the excommunicated.

To face the supernaturally gifted preachers the Regent had but a slender
force, composed in great part of sympathisers with Knox.  Croft, the
English commander at Berwick, writing to the English Privy Council, on
May 22, anticipated that there would be no war.  The Hamiltons,
numerically powerful, and strong in martial gentlemen of the name, were
with the Regent.  But of the Hamiltons it might always be said, as
Charles I. was to remark of their chief, that "they were very active for
their own preservation," and for no other cause.  For centuries but one
or two lives stood between them and the throne, the haven where they
would be.  They never produced a great statesman, but their wealth,
numbers, and almost royal rank made them powerful.

At this moment the eldest son of the house, the Earl of Arran, was in
France.  As a boy, he had been seized by the murderers of Cardinal
Beaton, and held as a hostage in the Castle of St. Andrews.  Was he there
converted to the Reformers' ideas by the eloquence of Knox?  We know not,
but, as heir to his father's French duchy of Chatelherault, he had been
some years in France, commanding the Scottish Archer Guard.  In France
too, perhaps, he was more or less a pledge for his father's loyalty in
Scotland.  He was now a Protestant in earnest, had retired from the
French Court, had refused to return thither when summoned, and fled from
the troops who were sent to bring him; lurking in woods and living on
strawberries.  Cecil despatched Thomas Randolph to steer him across the
frontier to Zurich.  He was a piece in the game much more valuable than
his father, whose portrait shows us a weak, feebly cunning, good-natured,
and puzzled-looking old nobleman.

Till Arran returned to Scotland, the Hamiltons, it was certain, would be
trusty allies of neither faith and of neither party.  When the Perth
tumult broke out, Lord James rode with the Regent, as did Argyll.  But
both had signed the godly Band of December 3, 1557, and could no more be
trusted by the Regent than the Hamiltons.

Meanwhile, the gentry of Fife and Forfarshire, with the town of Dundee,
joined Knox in the walled town of Perth, though Lord Ruthven, provost of
Perth, deserted, for the moment, to the Regent.  On the other hand, the
courageous Glencairn, with a strong body of the zealots of Renfrewshire
and Ayrshire, was moving by forced marches to join the brethren.  On May
24, the Regent, instead of attacking, halted at Auchterarder, fourteen
miles away, and sent Argyll and Lord James to parley.  They were told
that the brethren meant no rebellion (as the Regent said and doubtless
thought that they did), but only desired security for their religion, and
were ready to "be tried" (by whom?) "in lawful judgment."  Argyll and
Lord James were satisfied.  On May 25, Knox harangued the two lords in
his wonted way, but the Regent bade the brethren leave Perth on pain of
treason.  By May 28, however, she heard of Glencairn's approach with Lord
Ochiltree, a Stewart (later Knox's father-in-law); Glencairn, by cross
roads, had arrived within six miles of Perth, with 1200 horse and 1300
foot.  The western Reformers were thus nearer Perth than her own
untrustworthy levies at Auchterarder.  Not being aware of this, the
brethren proposed obedience, if the Regent would amnesty the Perth men,
let their faith "go forward," and leave no garrison of "French soldiers."
To Mrs. Locke Knox adds that no idolatry should be erected, or alteration
made within the town. {120}  The Regent was now sending Lord James,
Argyll, and Mr. Gawain Hamilton to treat, when Glencairn and his men
marched into Perth.  Argyll and Lord James then promised to join the
brethren, if the Regent broke her agreement; Knox and Willock assured
their hearers that break it she would--and so the agreement was accepted
(May 28).

It was thus necessary for the brethren to allege that the covenant was
broken; and it was not easy for Mary to secure order in Perth without
taking some step that could be seized on as a breach of her promise;
Argyll and Lord James could then desert her for the party of Knox.  The
very Band which Argyll and Lord James signed with the Congregation
provided that the godly should go on committing the disorders which it
was the duty of the Regent to suppress, and they proceeded in that holy
course, "breaking down the altars and idols in all places where they
came." {121a}  "At their whole powers" the Congregations are "to destroy
and put away all that does dishonour to God's name"; that is, monasteries
and works of sacred art.  They are all to defend each other against "any
power whatsoever" that shall trouble them in their pious work.  Argyll
and Lord James signed this new Band, with Glencairn, Lord Boyd, and
Ochiltree.  The Queen's emissaries thus deserted her cause on the last
day of May 1559, or earlier, for the chronology is perplexing. {121b}

As to the terms of truce with the Regent, Knox gives no document, but
says that no Perth people should be troubled for their recent destruction
of idolatry "and for down casting the places of the same; that she would
suffer the religion begun to go forward, and leave the town at her
departing free from the garrisons of French soldiers."  The "Historie"
mentions no terms except that "she should leave no men of war behind

Thus, as it seems, the brethren by their Band were to go on wrecking the
homes of the Regent's religion, while she was not to enjoy her religious
privileges in the desecrated churches of Perth, for to do that was to
prevent "the religion begun" from "going forward."  On the Regent's entry
her men "discharged their volley of hackbuts," probably to clear their
pieces, a method of unloading which prevailed as late as Waterloo.  But
some aimed, says Knox, at the house of Patrick Murray and hit a son of
his, a boy of ten or twelve, "who, being slain, was had to the Queen's
presence."  She mocked, and wished it had been his father, "but seeing
that it so chanced, we cannot be against fortune."  It is not very
probable that Mary of Guise was "merry," in Knox's manner of mirth, over
the death of a child (to Mrs. Locke Knox says "children"), who, for all
we know, may have been the victim of accident, like the Jacobite lady who
was wounded at a window as Prince Charles's men discharged their pieces
when entering Edinburgh after the victory of Prestonpans.  (This brave
lady said that it was fortunate she was not a Whig, or the accident would
have been ascribed to design.)  This event at Perth was called a breach
of terms, so was the attendance at Mass, celebrated on any chance table,
as "the altars were not so easy to be repaired again."  The soldiers were
billeted on citizens, whose houses were "oppressed by" the Frenchmen, and
the provost, Ruthven (who had anew deserted to the Congregation), and the
bailies, were deposed.

These magistrates probably had been charged with the execution of priests
who dared to do their duty; at least in the following year, on June 10,
1560, we find the provost, bailies, and town council of Edinburgh
decreeing death for the third offence against idolaters who do not
instantly profess their conversion. {122}  The Edinburgh municipality did
this before the abolition of Catholicism by the Convention of Estates in
August 1560.  It does not appear that any authority in Perth except that
of the provost and bailies could sentence priests to death; was their
removal, then, a breach of truce?  At all events it seemed necessary in
the circumstances, and Mary of Guise when she departed left no _French_
soldiers to protect the threatened priests, but four companies of Scots
who had been in French service, under Stewart of Cardonell and Captain
Cullen, the Captain of Queen Mary's guard after the murder of Riccio.  The
Regent is said by Knox to have remarked that she was not bound to keep
faith with heretics, and that, with as fair an excuse, she would make
little scruple to take the lives and goods of "all that sort."  We do not
know Knox's authority for these observations of the Regent.

The Scots soldiers left by Mary of Guise may have been Protestants, they
certainly were not Frenchmen; and, in a town where death had just been
threatened to all priests who celebrated the Mass, Mary could not abandon
her clerics unprotected.

Taking advantage of what they called breach of treaty as regards the
soldiers left in Perth, Lord James and Argyll, with Ruthven, had joined
the brethren, accompanied by the Earl of Menteith and Murray of
Tullibardine, ancestor of the ducal house of Atholl.  Argyll and Lord
James went to St. Andrews, summoning their allies thither for June 3.
Knox meanwhile preached in Crail and Anstruther, with the usual results.
On Sunday, June 11, {123a} and for three days more, despising the threats
of the Archbishop, backed by a hundred spears, and referring to his own
prophecy made when he was in the galleys, he thundered at St. Andrews.
The poor ruins of some sacred buildings "are alive to testify" to the
consequences, and a head of the Redeemer found in the latrines of the
abbey is another mute witness to the destruction of that day. {123b}

It is not my purpose to dilate on the universal destruction of so much
that was beautiful, and that to Scots, however godly, should have been
sacred.  The tomb of the Bruce in Dunfermline, for example, was wrecked
by the mob, as the statue of Jeanne d'Arc on the bridge of Orleans was
battered to pieces by the Huguenots.  Nor need we ask what became of
church treasures, perhaps of great value and antiquity.  In some known
cases, the magistrates held and sold those of the town churches.  Some of
the plate and vestments at Aberdeen were committed to the charge of
Huntly, but about 1900 ounces of plate were divided among the
Prebendaries, who seem to have appropriated them. {124}  The Church
treasures of Glasgow were apparently carried abroad by Archbishop Beaton.
If Lord James, as Prior, took possession of the gold and silver of St.
Andrews, he probably used the bullion (he spent some 13,000 crowns) in
his defence of the approaches to the town, against the French, in
December 1559.  A silver mace of St. Salvator's College escaped the

[Head of Christ.  St. Andrews.  Excavated from the ruins of the Abbey by
the late Marquis of Bute: knox4.jpg]

There is no sign of the possession of much specie by the Congregation in
the months that followed the sack of so many treasuries of pious
offerings.  Lesley says that they wanted to coin the plate in Edinburgh,
and for that purpose seized, as they certainly did, the dies of the mint.
In France, when the brethren sacked Tours, they took twelve hundred
thousand livres d'or; the country was enriched for the moment.  Not so
Scotland.  In fact the plate of Aberdeen cathedral, as inventoried in the
Register, is no great treasure.  Monasteries and cathedrals were certain
to perish sooner or later, for the lead of every such roof except
Coldingham had been stripped and sold by 1585, while tombs had been
desecrated for their poor spoils, and the fanes were afterwards used as
quarries of hewn stone.  Lord James had a peculiar aversion to idolatrous
books, and is known to have ordered the burning of many manuscripts;--the
loss to art was probably greater than the injury to history or
literature.  The fragments of things beautiful that the Reformers
overlooked, were destroyed by the Covenanters.  An attempt has been made
to prove that the Border abbeys were not wrecked by Reformers, but by
English troops in the reign of Henry VIII., who certainly ravaged them.
Lesley, however, says that the abbeys of Kelso and Melrose were "by them
(the Reformers) broken down and wasted." {125a}  If there was nothing
left to destroy on the Border, why did the brethren march against Kelso,
as Cecil reports, on July 9, 1559? {125b}

After the devastation the Regent meant to attack the destroyers,
intending to occupy Cupar, six miles, by Knox's reckoning, from St.
Andrews.  But, by June 13, the brethren had anticipated her with a large
force, rapidly recruited, including three thousand men under the Lothian
professors; Ruthven's horse; the levies of the Earl of Rothes (Leslie),
and many burgesses.  Next day the Regent's French horse found the
brethren occupying a very strong post; their numbers were dissembled,
their guns commanded the plains, and the Eden was in their front.  A fog
hung over the field; when it lifted, the French commander, d'Oysel, saw
that he was outnumbered and outmanoeuvred.  He sent on an envoy to
parley, "which gladly of us being granted, the Queen offered a free
remission for all crimes past, so that they would no further proceed
against friars and abbeys, and that no more preaching should be used
publicly," for _that_ always meant kirk-wrecking.  When Wishart preached
at Mauchline, long before, in 1545, it was deemed necessary to guard the
church, where there was a tempting tabernacle, "beutyfull to the eie."

The Lords and the whole brethren "refused such appointment" . . . says
Knox to Mrs. Locke; they would not "suffer idolatrie to be maintained in
the bounds committed to their charge." {126a}  To them liberty of
conscience from the first meant liberty to control the consciences and
destroy the religion of all who differed from them.  An eight days' truce
was made for negotiations; during the truce neither party was to
"enterprize" anything.  Knox in his "History" does not mention an attack
on the monastery of Lindores during the truce.  He says that his party
expected envoys from the Regent, as in the terms of truce, but perceived
"her craft and deceit." {126b}

In fact, the brethren were the truce-breakers.  Knox gives only the
assurances signed by the Regent's envoys, the Duke of Chatelherault and
d'Oysel.  They include a promise "not to invade, trouble, or disquiet the
Lords," the reforming party.  But, though Knox omits the fact, the
Reformers made a corresponding and equivalent promise: "That the
Congregation should enterprise nothing nor make no invasion, for the
space of six days following, for the Lords and principals of the
Congregation read the rest on another piece of paper." {126c}

The situation is clear.  The two parties exchanged assurances.  Knox
prints that of the Regent's party, not that, "on another piece of paper,"
of the Congregation.  They broke their word; they "made invasion" at
Lindores, during truce, as Knox tells Mrs. Locke, but does not tell the
readers of his "History." {127a}  It is true that Knox was probably
preaching at St. Andrews on June 13, and was not present at Cupar Muir.
But he could easily have ascertained what assurances the Lords of the
Congregation "read from another piece of paper" on that historic waste.


The Reformers, and Knox as their secretary and historian, had now reached
a very difficult and delicate point in their labours.  Their purpose was,
not by any means to secure toleration and freedom of conscience, but to
extirpate the religion to which they were opposed.  It was the religion
by law existing, the creed of "Authority," of the Regent and of the King
and Queen whom she represented.  The position of the Congregation was
therefore essentially that of rebels, and, in the state of opinion at the
period, to be rebels was to be self-condemned.  In the eyes of Calvin and
the learned of the Genevan Church, kings were the Lord's appointed, and
the Gospel must not be supported by the sword.  "Better that we all
perish a hundred times," Calvin wrote to Coligny in 1561.  Protestants,
therefore, if they would resist in arms, had to put themselves in order,
and though Knox had no doubt that to exterminate idolaters was thoroughly
in order, the leaders of his party were obliged to pay deference to
European opinion.

By a singular coincidence they adopted precisely the same device as the
more militant French Protestants laid before Calvin in August 1559-March
1560.  The Scots and the Protestant French represented that they were
illegally repressed by foreigners: in Scotland by Mary of Guise with her
French troops; in France by the Cardinal and Duc de Guise, foreigners,
who had possession of the persons and authority of the "native prince" of
Scotland, Mary, and the "native prince" of France, Francis II., both
being minors.  The French idea was that, if they secured the aid of a
native Protestant prince (Conde), they were in order, as against the
foreign Guises, and might kill these tyrants, seize the King, and call an
assembly of the Estates.  Calvin was consulted by the chief of the
conspiracy, La Renaudie; he disapproved; the legality lent by one native
prince was insufficient; the details of the plot were "puerile," and
Calvin waited to see how the country would take it.  The plot failed, at
Amboise, in March 1560.

In Scotland, as in France, devices about a prince of the native blood
suggested themselves.  The Regent, being of the house of Guise, was a
foreigner, like her brothers in France.  The "native princes" were
Chatelherault and his eldest son, Arran.  The leaders, soon after Lord
James and Argyll formally joined the zealous brethren, saw that without
foreign aid their enterprise was desperate.  Their levies must break up
and go home to work; the Regent's nucleus of French troops could not be
ousted from the sea fortress of Dunbar, and would in all probability be
joined by the army promised by Henri II.  His death, the Huguenot
risings, the consequent impotence of the Guises to aid the Regent, could
not be foreseen.  Scotland, it seemed, would be reduced to a French
province; the religion would be overthrown.

There was thus no hope, except in aid from England.  But by the recent
treaty of Cateau Cambresis (April 2, 1559), Elizabeth was bound not to
help the rebels of the French Dauphin, the husband of the Queen of Scots.
Moreover, Elizabeth had no stronger passion than a hatred of rebels.  If
she was to be persuaded to help the Reformers, they must produce some
show of a legitimate "Authority" with whom she could treat.  This was as
easy to find as it was to the Huguenots in the case of Conde.
Chatelherault and Arran, native princes, next heirs to the crown while
Mary was childless, could be produced as legitimate "Authority."  But to
do this implied a change of "Authority," an upsetting of "Authority,"
which was plain rebellion in the opinion of the Genevan doctors.  Knox
was thus obliged, in sermons and in the pamphlet (Book II. of his
"History"), to maintain that nothing more than freedom of conscience and
religion was contemplated, while, as a matter of fact, he was foremost in
the intrigue for changing the "Authority," and even for depriving Mary
Stuart of "entrance and title" to her rights.  He therefore, in Book II.
(much of which was written in August-October or September-October 1559,
as an apologetic contemporary tract), conceals the actual facts of the
case, and, while perpetually accusing the Regent of falsehood and
perfidy, displays an extreme "economy of truth," and cannot hide the
pettifogging prevarications of his party.  His wiser plan would have been
to cancel this Book, or much of it, when he set forth later to write a
history of the Reformation.  His party being then triumphant, he could
have afforded to tell most of the truth, as in great part he does in his
Book III.  But he could not bring himself to throw over the narrative of
his party pamphlet (Book II.), and it remains much as it was originally
written, though new touches were added.

The point to be made in public and in the apologetic tract was that the
Reformers contemplated no alteration of "Authority."  This was untrue.

Writing later (probably in 1565-66) in his Third Book, Knox boasts of his
own initiation of the appeal to England, which included a scheme for the
marriage of the Earl of Arran, son of the Hamilton chief, Chatelherault,
to Queen Elizabeth.  Failing issue of Queen Mary, Arran was heir to the
Scottish throne, and if he married the Queen of England, the rightful
Queen of Scotland would not be likely to wear her crown.  The
contemplated match was apt to involve a change of dynasty.  The lure of
the crown for his descendants was likely to bring Chatelherault, and
perhaps even his brother the Archbishop, over to the side of the
Congregation: in short it was an excellent plot.  Probably the idea
occurred to the leaders of the Congregation at or shortly after the time
when Argyll and Lord James threw in their lot definitely with the
brethren on May 31.  On June 14 Croft, from Berwick, writes to Cecil that
the leaders, "from what I hear, will likely seek her Majesty's"
(Elizabeth's) "assistance," and mean to bring Arran home.  Some think
that he is already at Geneva, and he appears to have made the
acquaintance of Calvin, with whom later he corresponded.  "They are
likely to motion a marriage you know where"; of Arran, that is, with
Elizabeth. {131}  Moreover, one Whitlaw was at this date in France, and
by June 28, communicated the plan to Throckmorton, the English
Ambassador.  Thus the scheme was of an even earlier date than Knox claims
for his own suggestion.

He tells us that at St. Andrews, after the truce of Cupar Muir (June 13),
he "burstit forth," in conversation with Kirkcaldy of Grange, on the
necessity of seeking support from England.  Kirkcaldy long ago had
watched the secret exit from St. Andrews Castle, while his friends
butchered the Cardinal.  He was taken in the castle when Knox was taken;
he was a prisoner in France; then he entered the French service, acting,
while so engaged, as an English spy.  Before and during the destruction
of monasteries he was in the Regent's service, but she justly suspected
him of intending to desert her at this juncture.  Kirkcaldy now wrote to
Cecil, without date, but probably on June 21, and with the signature
"Zours as ye knaw."  Being in the Regent's party openly, he was secretly
betraying her; he therefore accuses her of treachery.  (He left her
publicly, after a pension from England had been procured for him.)  He
says that the Regent averred that "favourers of God's word should have
liberty to live after their consciences," "yet, in the conclusion of the
peace" (the eight days' truce) "she has uttered her deceitful mind,
having now declared that she will be enemy to all them that shall not
live after her religion."  _Consequently_, the Protestants are wrecking
"all the friaries within their bounds."  But Knox has told us that they
declared their intention of thus enjoying liberty of conscience _before_
"the conclusion of the peace," and wrecked Lindores Abbey during the
peace!  Kirkcaldy adds that the Regent already suspects him.

Kirkcaldy, having made the orthodox charge of treachery against the woman
whom he was betraying, then asks Cecil whether Elizabeth will accept
their "friendship," and adds, with an eye to Arran, "I wish likewise her
Majesty were not too hasty in her marriage." {133a}  On June 23, writing
from his house, Grange, and signing his name, Kirkcaldy renews his
proposals.  In both letters he anticipates the march of the Reformers to
turn the Regent's garrison out of Perth.  On June 25 he announces that
the Lords are marching thither.  They had already the secret aid of
Lethington, who remained, like the traitor that he was, in the Regent's
service till the end of October. {133b}  Knox also writes at this time to
Cecil from St. Andrews.

On June 1, Henri II. of France had written to the Regent promising to
send her strong reinforcements, {133c} but he was presently killed in a
tourney by the broken lance shaft of Montgomery.

The Reformers now made tryst at Perth for June 25, to restore "religion"
and expel the Scots in French service.  The little garrison surrendered
(their opponents are reckoned by Kirkcaldy at 10,000 men), idolatry was
again suppressed, and Perth restored to her municipal constitution.  The
ancient shrines of Scone were treated in the usual way, despite the
remonstrances of Knox, Lord James, and Argyll.  They had threatened
Hepburn, Bishop of Moray, that if he did not join them "they neither
could spare nor save his place."  This was on June 20, on the same day he
promised to aid them and vote with them in Parliament. {133d}  Knox did
his best, but the Dundee people began the work of wrecking; and the
Bishop, in anger, demanded and received the return of his written promise
of joining the Reformers.  On the following day, irritated by some show
of resistance, the people of Dundee and Perth burned the palace of Scone
and the abbey, "whereat no small number of us was offended."  An old
woman said that "filthy beasts" dwelt "in that den," to her private
knowledge, "at whose words many were pacified."  The old woman is an
excellent authority. {134}

The pretext of perfect loyalty was still maintained by the Reformers;
their honesty we can appreciate.  They did not wish, they said, to
overthrow "authority"; merely to be allowed to worship in their own way
(and to prevent other people from worshipping in theirs, which was the
order appointed by the State).  That any set of men may rebel and take
their chances is now recognised, but the Reformers wanted to combine the
advantages of rebellion with the reputation of loyal subjects.  Persons
who not only band against the sovereign, but invoke foreign aid and seek
a foreign alliance, are, however noble their motives, rebels.  There is
no other word for them.  But that they were _not_ rebels Knox urged in a
sermon at Edinburgh, which the Reformers, after devastating Stirling,
reached by June 28-29 (?), and the Second Book of his "History" labours
mainly to prove this point; no change of "authority" is intended.

What Knox wanted is very obvious.  He wanted to prevent Mary Stuart from
enjoying her hereditary crown.  She was a woman, as such under the curse
of "The First Blast of the Trumpet," and she was an idolatress.
Presently, as we shall see, he shows his hand to Cecil.

Before the Reformers entered Edinburgh Mary of Guise retired to the
castle of Dunbar, where she had safe access to the sea.  In Edinburgh
Knox says that the poor sacked the monasteries "before our coming."  The
contemporary Diurnal of Occurrents attributes the feat to Glencairn,
Ruthven, Argyll, and the Lord James. {135a}

Knox was chosen minister of Edinburgh, and as soon as they arrived the
Lords, according to the "Historie of the Estate of Scotland," sent envoys
to the Regent, offering obedience if she would "relax" the preachers,
summoned on May 10, "from the horn" and allow them to preach.  The Regent
complied, but, of course, peace did not ensue, for, according to Knox, in
addition to a request "that we might enjoy liberty of conscience," a
demand for the withdrawal of all French forces out of Scotland was made.
{135b}  This could not be granted.

Presently Mary of Guise issued before July 2, in the name of the King and
Queen, Francis II. and Mary Stuart, certain charges against the
Reformers, which Knox in his "History" publishes. {135c}  A remark that
Mary Stuart lies like her mother, seems to be written later than the
period (September-October 1559) when this Book II. was composed.  The
Regent says that the rising was only under pretence of religion, and that
she has offered a Parliament for January 1560.  "A manifest lie," says
Knox, "for she never thought of it till we demanded it."  He does not
give a date to the Regent's paper, but on June 25 Kirkcaldy wrote to
Percy that the Regent "is like to grant the other party" (the Reformers)
"all they desire, which in part she has offered already." {136a}

Knox seizes on the word "offered" as if it necessarily meant "offered
though unasked," and so styles the Regent's remark "a manifest lie."  But
Kirkcaldy, we see, uses the words "has in part offered already" when he
means that the Regent has "offered" to grant some of the wishes of his

Meanwhile the Regent will allow freedom of conscience in the country, and
especially in Edinburgh.  But the Reformers, her paper goes on, desire to
subvert the crown.  To prove this she says that they daily receive
messengers from England and send their own; and they have seized the
stamps in the Mint (a capital point as regards the crown) and the Palace
of Holyrood, which Lesley says that they sacked.  Knox replies, "there is
never a sentence in the narrative true," except that his party seized the
stamps merely to prevent the issue of base coin (not to coin the stolen
plate of the churches and monasteries for themselves, as Lesley says they
did).  But Knox's own letters, and those of Kirkcaldy of Grange and Sir
Henry Percy, prove that they _were_ intriguing with England as early as
June 23-25.  Their conduct, with the complicity of Percy, was perfectly
well known to the Regent's party, and was denounced by d'Oysel to the
French ambassador in London in letters of July. {136b}  Elizabeth, on
August 7, answered the remonstrances of the Regent, promising to punish
her officials if guilty.  Nobody lied more frankly than "that imperial

When Knox says "there is never a sentence in the narrative true," he is
very bold.  It was not true that the rising was merely under pretext of
religion.  It may have been untrue that messengers went _daily_ to
England, but five letters were written between June 21 and June 28.  To
stand on the words of the Regent--"_every day_"--would be a babyish
quibble.  All the rest of her narrative was absolutely true.

Knox, on June 28, asked leave to enter England for secret discourse; he
had already written to the same effect from St. Andrews. {137a}  If Henri
sends French reinforcement, Knox "is uncertain what will follow"; we may
guess that authority would be in an ill way.  Cecil temporised; he wanted
a better name than Kirkcaldy's--a man in the Regent's service--to the
negotiations (July 4).  "Anywise kindle the fire," he writes to Croft
(July 8).  Croft is to let the Reformers know that Arran has escaped out
of France.  Such a chance will not again "come in our lives."  We see
what the chance is!

On July 19 Knox writes again to Cecil, enclosing what he means to be an
apology for his "Blast of the Trumpet," to be given to Elizabeth.  He
says, while admitting Elizabeth's right to reign, as "judged godly,"
though a woman, that they "must be careful not to make entrance and title
to many, by whom not only shall the truth be impugned, but also shall the
country be brought to bondage and slavery.  God give you eyes to foresee
and wisdom to avoid the apparent danger." {137b}

The "many" to whom "entrance and title" are not to be given, manifestly
are Mary Stuart, Queen of France and Scotland.

It is not very clear whether Knox, while thus working against a woman's
"entrance and title" to the crown on the ground of her sex, is thinking
of Mary Stuart's prospects of succession to the throne of England or of
her Scottish rights, or of both.  His phrase is cast in a vague way;
"many" are spoken of, but it is not hard to understand what particular
female claimant is in his mind.

Thus Knox himself was intriguing with England against his Queen at the
very moment when in his "History" he denies that communications were
frequent between his party and England, or that any of the Regent's
charges are true.  As for opposing authority and being rebellious, the
manifest fundamental idea of the plot is to marry Elizabeth to Arran and
deny "entrance and title" to the rightful Queen.  It was an admirable
scheme, and had Arran not become a lunatic, had Elizabeth not been "that
imperial votaress" vowed to eternal maidenhood, their bridal, with the
consequent loss of the Scottish throne by Mary, would have been the most
fortunate of all possible events.  The brethren had, in short, a perfect
right to defend their creed in arms; a perfect right to change the
dynasty; a perfect right to intrigue with England, and to resist a French
landing, if they could.  But for a reformer of the Church to give a dead
lady the lie in his "History" when the economy of truth lay rather on his
own side, as he knew, is not so well.  We shall see that Knox possibly
had the facts in his mind during the first interview with Mary Stuart.

The Lords, July 2, replied to the proclamation of Mary of Guise, saying
that she accused them of a purpose "to invade her person." {139a}  There
is not a word of the kind in the Regent's proclamation as given by Knox
himself.  They denied what the Regent in her proclamation had not
asserted, and what she had asserted about their dealings with England
they did not venture to deny; "whereby," says Spottiswoode in his
"History," "it seemed there was some dealing that way for expelling the
Frenchmen, which they would not deny, and thought not convenient as then
openly to profess." {139b}  The task of giving the lie to the Regent when
she spoke truth was left to the pen of Knox.

Meanwhile, at Dunbar, Mary of Guise was in evil case.  She had sounded
Erskine, the commander of the Castle, who, she hoped, would stand by her.
But she had no money to pay her French troops, who were becoming
mutinous, and d'Oysel "knew not to what Saint to vow himself."  The Earl
of Huntly, before he would serve the Crown, {139c} insisted on a promise
of the Earldom of Moray; this desire was to be his ruin.  Huntly was a
double dealer; "the gay Gordons" were ever brave, loyal, and bewildered
by their chiefs.  By July 22, the Scots heard of the fatal wound of Henri
II., to their encouragement.  Both parties were in lack of money, and the
forces of the Congregation were slipping home by hundreds.  Mary,
according to Knox, was exciting the Duke against Argyll and Lord James,
by the charge that Lord James was aiming at the crown, in which if he
succeeded, he would deprive not only her daughter of the sovereignty, but
the Hamiltons of the succession.  Young and ambitious as Lord James then
was, and heavily as he was suspected, even in England, it is most
improbable that he ever thought of being king.

The Congregation refused to let Argyll and Lord James hold conference
with the Regent.  Other discussions led to no result, except waste of
time, to the Regent's advantage; and, on July 22, Mary, in council with
Lord Erskine, Huntly, and the Duke, resolved to march against the
Reformers at Edinburgh, who had no time to call in their scattered levies
in the West, Angus, and Fife.  Logan of Restalrig, lately an ally of the
godly, surrendered Leith, over which he was the superior, to d'Oysel; and
the Congregation decided to accept a truce (July 23-24).

At this point Knox's narrative becomes so embroiled that it reminds one
of nothing so much as of Claude Nau's attempts to glide past an awkward
point in the history of his employer, Mary Stuart.  I have puzzled over
Knox's narrative again and again, and hope that I have disentangled the
knotted and slippery thread.

It is not wonderful that the brethren made terms, for the "Historie"
states that their force numbered but 1500 men, whereas d'Oysel and the
Duke led twice that number, horse and foot.  They also heard from
Erskine, in the Castle, that, if they did not accept "such appointment as
they might have," he "would declare himself their enemy," as he had
promised the Regent.  It seems that she did not want war, for d'Oysel's
French alone should have been able to rout the depleted ranks of the

The question is, What were the terms of treaty? for it is Knox's
endeavour to prove that the Regent broke them, and so justified the later
proceedings of the Reformers.  The terms, in French, are printed by
Teulet. {141}  They run thus:--

1.  The Protestants, not being inhabitants of Edinburgh, shall depart
next day.

2.  They shall deliver the stamps for coining to persons appointed by the
Regent, hand over Holyrood, and Ruthven and Pitarro shall be pledges for

3.  They shall be dutiful subjects, except in matters of religion.

4.  They shall not disturb the clergy in their persons or by withholding
their rents, &c., before January 10, 1560.

5.  They shall not attack churches or monasteries before that date.

6.  The town of Edinburgh shall enjoy liberty of conscience, and shall
choose its form of religion as it pleases till that date.

7.  The Regent shall not molest the preachers nor suffer the clergy to
molest them for cause of religion till that date.

8.  Keith, Knox, and Spottiswoode, add that no garrisons, French or
Scots, shall occupy Edinburgh, but soldiers may repair thither from their
garrisons for lawful business.

The French soldiers are said to have swaggered in St. Giles's, but no
complaint is made that they were garrisoned in Edinburgh.  In fact, they
abode in the Canongate and Leith.

Now, these were the terms accepted by the Congregation.  This is certain,
not only because historians, Knox excepted, are unanimous, but because
the terms were either actually observed, or were evaded, on a stated
point of construction.

1.  The Congregation left Edinburgh.

2.  They handed over the stamps of the Mint, Holyrood, and the two

3. 4, 5.  We do not hear that they attacked any clerics or monastery
before they broke off publicly from the treaty, and Knox (i. 381) admits
that Article 4 was accepted.

6.  They would not permit the town of Edinburgh to choose its religion by
"voting of men."  On July 29, when Huntly, Chatelherault, and Erskine,
the neutral commander of the Castle, asked for a plebiscite, as provided
in the treaty of July 24, the Truth, said the brethren, was not a matter
of human votes, and, as the brethren held St. Giles's Church before the
treaty, under Article 7 they could not be dispossessed. {142a}  The
Regent, to avoid shadow of offence, yielded the point as to Article 6,
and was accused of breach of treaty because, occupying Holyrood, she had
her Mass there.  Had Edinburgh been polled, the brethren knew that they
would have been outvoted. {142b}

Now, Knox's object, in that part of Book II. of his "History," which was
written in September-October 1559 as a tract for contemporary reading, is
to prove that the Regent was the breaker of treaty.  His method is first
to give "the heads drawn by us, which we desired to be granted."  The
heads are--

1.  No member of the Congregation shall be troubled in any respect by any
authority for the recent "innovation" before the Parliament of January
10, 1560, decides the controversies.

2.  Idolatry shall not be restored where, on the day of treaty, it has
been suppressed.

3.  Preachers may preach wherever they have preached and wherever they
may chance to come.

4.  No soldiers shall be in garrison in Edinburgh.

5.  The French shall be sent away on "a reasonable day" and no more
brought in without assent of the whole Nobility and Parliament. {143a}

These articles make no provision for the safety of Catholic priests and
churches, and insist on suppression of idolatry where it has been put
down, and the entire withdrawal of French forces.  Knox's party could not
possibly denounce these terms which they demanded as "things unreasonable
and ungodly," for they were the very terms which they had been asking
for, ever since the Regent went to Dunbar.  Yet, when the treaty was
made, the preachers did say "our case is not yet so desperate that we
need to grant to things unreasonable and ungodly." {143b}  Manifestly,
therefore, the terms actually obtained, as being "unreasonable and
ungodly," were _not_ those for which the Reformers asked, and which,
_they publicly proclaimed_, had been conceded.

Knox writes, "These our articles were altered, and another form
disposeth."  And here he translates the terms as given in the French,
terms which provide for the safety of Catholics, the surrender of
Holyrood and the Mint, but say nothing about the withdrawal of the French
troops or the non-restoration of "idolatry" where it has been suppressed.

He adds, "This alteration in words and order was made" (so it actually
_was_ made) "without the knowledge and consent of those whose counsel we
had used in all cases before"--clearly meaning the preachers, and also
implying that the consent of the noble negotiators for the Congregation
_was_ obtained to the French articles.

Next day the Congregation left Edinburgh, after making solemn
proclamation of the conditions of truce, in which they omitted all the
terms of the French version, except those in their own favour, and stated
(in Knox's version) that all of their own terms, except the most
important, namely, the removal of the French, and the promise to bring in
no more, had been granted!  It may be by accident, however, that the
proclamation of the Lords, as given by Knox, omits the article securing
the departure of the French. {144a}  There exist two MS. copies of the
proclamation, in which the Lords dare to assert "that the Frenchmen
should be sent away at a reasonable date, and no more brought in except
by assent of the whole nobility and Parliament." {144b}

Of the terms really settled, except as regards the immunity of their own
party, the Lords told the public not one word; they suppressed what was
true, and added what was false.

Against this formal, public, and impudent piece of mendacity, we might
expect Knox to protest in his "History"; to denounce it as a cause of
God's wrath.  On the other hand he states, with no disapproval, the
childish quibbles by which his party defended their action.

On reading or hearing the Lords' proclamation, the Catholics, who knew
the real terms of treaty, said that the Lords "in their proclamation had
made no mention of anything promised to _them_," and "had proclaimed more
than was contained in the Appointment;" among other things, doubtless,
the promise to dismiss the French. {145a}

The brethren replied to these "calumnies of Papists" (as Calderwood
styles them), that they "proclaimed nothing that was not _finally_ agreed
upon, _in word and promise_, betwixt us and those with whom the
Appointment was made, _whatsoever their scribes had after written_,
{145b} who, in very deed, had altered, both in words and sentences, our
Articles, _as they were first conceived_; and yet if their own writings
were diligently examined, the self same thing shall be found _in

This is most complicated quibbling!  Knox uses his ink like the cuttle-
fish, to conceal the facts.  The "own writings" of the Regent's party are
before us, and do not contain the terms proclaimed by the Congregation.
Next, in drawing up the terms which the Congregation was compelled to
accept, the "scribes" of the Regent's party necessarily, and with the
consent of the Protestant negotiators, altered the terms proposed by the
brethren, but not granted by the Regent's negotiators.  Thirdly, the
Congregation now asserted that "_finally_" an arrangement in conformity
with their proclamation was "agreed upon _in word and promise_"; that is,
verbally, which we never find them again alleging.  The game was to foist
false terms on public belief, and then to accuse the Regent of perfidy in
not keeping them.

These false terms were not only publicly proclaimed by the Congregation
with sound of trumpets, but they were actually sent, by Knox or
Kirkcaldy, or both, to Croft at Berwick, for English reading, on July 24.
In a note I print the letter, signed by Kirkcaldy, but in the holograph
of Knox, according to Father Stevenson. {146}  It will be remarked that
the genuine articles forbidding attacks on monasteries and ensuring
priests in their revenues are here omitted, while the false articles on
suppression of idolatry, and expulsion of the French forces are inserted,
and nothing is said about Edinburgh's special liberty to choose her

The sending of this false intelligence was not the result of a
misunderstanding.  I have shown that the French terms were perfectly well
understood, and were observed, except Article 6, on which the Regent made
a concession.  How then could men professionally godly venture to
misreport the terms, and so make them at once seem more favourable to
themselves and less discouraging to Cecil than they really were, while at
the same time (as the Regent could not keep terms which she had never
granted) they were used as a ground of accusation against her?

This is the point that has perplexed me, for Knox, no less than the
Congregation, seems to have deliberately said good-bye to truth and
honour, unless the Lords elaborately deceived their secretary and
diplomatic agent.  The only way in which I can suppose that Knox and his
friends reconciled their consciences to their conduct is this:

Knox tells us that "when all points were communed and agreed upon by mid-
persons," Chatelherault and Huntly had a private interview with Argyll,
Glencairn, and others of his party.  They promised that they would be
enemies to the Regent if she broke any one jot of the treaty.  "As much
promised the duke that _he_ would do, if in case that she would not
remove her French at a reasonable day . . . " the duke being especially
interested in their removal.  But Huntly is not said to have made _this_
promise--the removal of the French obviously not being part of the
"Appointment." {148a}

Next, the brethren, in arguing with the Catholics about their own
mendacious proclamation of the terms, said that "we proclaimed nothing
which was not _finally_ agreed upon, _in word and promise_, betwixt us
and those with whom the Appointment was made. . . . " {148b}

I can see no explanation of Knox's conduct, except that he and his
friends pacified their consciences by persuading themselves that
non-official words of Huntly and Chatelherault (whatever these words may
have been), spoken after "all was agreed upon," cancelled the treaty with
the Regent, became the real treaty, and were binding on the Regent!  Thus
Knox or Kirkcaldy, or both, by letter; and Knox later, orally in
conversation with Croft, could announce false terms of treaty.  So great,
if I am right, is a good man's power of self-persuasion!  I shall welcome
any more creditable theory of the Reformer's behaviour, but I can see no
alternative, unless the Lords lied to Knox.

That the French should be driven out was a great point with Cecil, for he
was always afraid that the Scots might slip back from the English to the
old French alliance.  On July 28, after the treaty of July 24, but before
he heard of it, he insisted on the necessity of expelling the French, in
a letter to the Reformers. {149a}  He "marvels that they omit such an
opportunity to help themselves."  He sent a letter of vague generalities
in answer to their petitions for aid.  When he received, as he did, a
copy of the terms of the treaty of July 24, in French, he would

As further proof that Cecil was told what Knox and Kirkcaldy should have
known to be untrue, we note that on August 28 the Regent, weary of the
perpetual charges of perfidy anew brought against her, "ashamed not,"
writes Knox, to put forth a proclamation, in which she asserted that
nothing, in the terms of July 23-24, forbade her to bring in more French
troops, "as may clearly appear by inspection of the said Appointment,
which the bearer has presently to show." {149b}

Why should the Regent have been "ashamed" to tell the truth?  If the
bearer showed a false and forged treaty, the Congregation must have
denounced it, and produced the genuine document with the signatures.  Far
from that, in a reply (from internal evidence written by Knox), they
admit, "neither do we _here_ {149c} allege the breaking of the
Appointment made at Leith (which, nevertheless, has manifestly been
done), but"--and here the writer wanders into quite other questions.
Moreover, Knox gives another reply to the Regent, "by some men," in which
they write "we dispute not so much whether the bringing in of more
Frenchmen be violating of the Appointment, which the Queen and her
faction cannot deny to be manifestly broken by them in more cases than
one," in no way connected with the French.  One of these cases will
presently be stated--it is comic enough to deserve record--but, beyond
denial, the brethren could not, and did not even attempt to make out
their charge as to the Regent's breach of truce by bringing in new, or
retaining old, French forces.

Our historians, and the biographers of Knox, have not taken the trouble
to unravel this question of the treaty of July 24.  But the behaviour of
the Lords and of Knox seems characteristic, and worthy of examination.

It is not argued that Mary of Guise was, or became, incapable of worse
than dissimulation (a case of forgery by her in the following year is
investigated in Appendix B).  But her practices at this time were such as
Knox could not throw the first stone at.  Her French advisers were in
fact "perplexed," as Throckmorton wrote to Elizabeth (August 8).  They
made preparations for sending large reinforcements: they advised
concession in religion: they waited on events, and the Regent could only
provide, at Leith (which was jealous of Edinburgh and anxious to be made
a free burgh), a place whither she could fly in peril.  Meantime she
would vainly exert her woman's wit among many dangers.

Knox, too, was exerting his wit in his own way.  Busied in preaching and
in acting as secretary and diplomatic agent to the Congregation as he
was, he must also have begun in or not much later than August 1559, the
part of his "History" first written by him, namely Book II.  That book,
as he wrote to a friend named Railton {150} on October 23, 1559 (when
much of it was already penned), is meant as a defence of his party
against the charge of sedition, and was clearly intended (we reiterate)
for contemporary reading at home and abroad, while the strife was still
unsettled.  This being so, Knox continues his policy of blaming the
Regent for breach of the misreported treaty of July 24: for treachery,
which would justify the brethren's attack on her before the period of
truce (January 10, 1559) ran out.

One clause, we know, secured the Reformers from molestation before that
date.  Despite this, Knox records a case of "oppressing" a brother,
"which had been sufficient to prove the Appointment to be plainly
violated."  Lord Seton, of the Catholic party, {151a} "broke a chair on
Alexander Whitelaw as he came from Preston (pans) accompanied by William
Knox . . . and this he did supposing that Alexander Whitelaw had been
John Knox."

So much Knox states in his Book II., writing probably in September or
October 1559.  But he does not here say what Alexander Whitelaw and
William Knox had been doing, or inform us how he himself was concerned in
the matter.  He could not reveal the facts when writing in the early
autumn of 1559, because the brethren were then still taking the line that
they were loyal, and were suffering from the Regent's breaches of treaty,
as in the matter of the broken chair.

The sole allusion here made by Knox to the English intrigues, before they
were manifest to all mankind in September, is this, "Because England was
of the same religion, and lay next to us, it was judged expedient first
to prove them, which we did by one or two messengers, as hereafter, in
its own place, more amply shall be declared." {151b}  He later inserted
in Book III. some account of the intrigues of July-August 1559, "in its
own place," namely, in a part of his work occupied with the occurrences
of January 1560. {152a}

Cecil, prior to the compact of July 24, had wished to meet Knox at
Stamford.  On July 30 Knox received his instructions as negotiator with
England. {152b}  His employers say that they hear that Huntly and
Chatelherault have promised to join the Reformers if the Regent breaks a
jot of the treaty of July 24, the terms of which Knox can declare.  They
ask money to enable them to take Stirling Castle, and "strength by sea"
for the capture of Broughty Castle, on Tay.  Yet they later complained of
the Regent when she fortified Leith.  They actually _did_ take Broughty
Castle, and then had the hardihood to aver that they only set about this
when they heard in mid-September of the fortification of Leith by the
Regent.  They aimed at it six days after their treaty of July 24.  They
asked for soldiers to lie in garrison, for men, ships, and money for
their Lords.

Bearing these instructions Knox sailed from Fife to Holy Island, near
Berwick, and there met Croft, the Governor of that town.  Croft kept him,
not with sufficient secrecy, in Berwick, where he was well known, while
Whitelaw was coming from Cecil with his answers to the petitions of the
brethren.  Meanwhile Croft held converse with Knox, who, as he reports,
says that, as to the change of "Authority" (that is of sovereignty,
temporary at least), the choice of the brethren would be subject to
Elizabeth's wishes.  Yet the brethren contemplated no change of
Authority!  Arran ought to be kept secretly in England "till wise men
considered what was in him; if misliked he put Lord James second."  As to
what Knox told Croft about the terms of treaty of July 24, it is best to
state the case in Croft's own words.  "He (Knox) excusys the
Protestantes, for that the French as commyng apon them at Edynbrogh when
theyr popoll were departed to make new provysyon of vytaylles, forcyd
them to make composycyon wyth the quene.  Whereyn (sayeth he) the
frenchmen ar apoynted to departe out of Scotland by the xth of thys
monthe, and they truste verely by thys caus to be stronger, for that the
Duke, apon breche of promys on the quene's part, wyll take playne parte
withe the Protestantes." {153}

This is quite explicit.  Knox, as envoy of the Lords, declares that in
the treaty it is "appointed" that the French force shall leave Scotland
on August 10.  (The printed calendars are not accurate.)  No such matter
occurred in the treaty "wyth the quene."  Knox added, next day, that he
himself "was unfit to treat of so great matters," and Croft appears to
have agreed with him, for, by the Reformer's lack of caution, his doings
in Holy Island were "well known and published."  Consequently, when
Whitelaw returned to Knox with Cecil's reply to the requests of the
brethren, the performances of Knox and Whitelaw were no secrets, in
outline at least, to the Regent's party.  For this reason, Lord Seton,
mistaking Whitelaw for Knox (who had set out on August 3 to join the
brethren at Stirling), pursued and broke a chair on the harmless Brother
Whitelaw.  Such was the Regent's treacherous breach of treaty!

During this episode in his curious adventures as a diplomatist, Knox
recommended Balnaves, author of a treatise on "Justification by Faith,"
as a better agent in these courses, and with Balnaves the new envoy of
Elizabeth, Sadleir, a veteran diplomatist (wheedled in 1543 by Mary of
Guise), transacted business henceforth.  Sadleir was ordered to Berwick
on August 6.  Elizabeth infringed the treaty of Cateau Cambresis, then
only four months old, by giving Sadleir 3000 pounds in gold, or some such
sum, for the brethren.  "They were tempting the Duke by all means
possible," {154a} but he will only promise neutrality if it comes to the
push, and they, Argyll and Lord James say (Glasgow, August 13), are not
yet ready "to discharge this authority," that is, to depose the Regent.
Chatelherault's promise was less vigorous than it had been reported!

Knox, who now acted as secretary for the Congregation, was not Sir Henry
Wotton's ideal ambassador, "an honest man sent to lie abroad for his
country."  When he stooped to statements which seem scarcely candid, to
put it mildly, he did violence to his nature.  He forced himself to
proclaim the loyalty of his party from the pulpit, when he could not do
so without some economy of truth. {154b}  He inserted things in his
"History," and spoke things to Croft, which he should have known to be
false.  But he carried his point.  He did advance the "union of hearts"
with England, if in a blundering fashion, and we owe him eternal
gratitude for his interest in the match, though "we like not the manner
of the wooing."  The reluctant hand of Elizabeth was now inextricably
caught in the gear of that great machine which broke the ancient league
of France and Scotland, and saved Scotland from some of the sorrows of

The papers of Sadleir, Elizabeth's secret agent with the Scots, show the
godly pursuing their old plan of campaign.  To make treaty with the
Regent; to predict from the pulpit that she would break it; to make false
statements about the terms of the treaty; to accuse her of their
infringement; to profess loyalty; to aim at setting up a new sovereign
power; to tell the populace that Mary of Guise's scanty French
reinforcements--some 1500 men--came by virtue of a broken treaty; to tell
Sadleir that they were very glad that the French _had_ come, as they
would excite popular hatred; to make out that the fortification of Leith
was breach of treaty;--such, in brief, were the methods of the Reformers.

They now took a new method of proving the Regent's breach of treaty, that
she had "set up the Mass in Holyrood, which they had before suppressed."
_They_ were allowed to have their sermons in St. Giles's, but _she_ was
not to have her rites in her own abbey.  Balnaves still harped on the non-
dismissal of the French as a breach of treaty!

Arran, returning from Switzerland, had an interview with Elizabeth in
England, in mid-September, was smuggled across the Border with the astute
and unscrupulous Thomas Randolph in his train.  With Arran among them,
Chatelherault might waver as he would.  Meanwhile Knox and Willock
preached up and down the country, doubtless repeating to the people their
old charges against the Regent.  Lethington, the secretary of that lady,
still betrayed her, telling Sadleir "that he attended upon the Regent no
longer than he might have a good occasion to revolt unto the Protestants"
(September 16).

Balnaves got some two to three thousand pounds in gold (the sum is
variously stated) from Sadleir.  "He saith, whatever pretence they make,
the principal mark they shoot at is to make an alteration of the State
and authority."  This at least is explicit enough.  The Reformers were
actually renewing the civil war on charges so stale and so false.  The
Duke had possibly promised to desert her if she broke the truce, and now
he seized on the flimsy pretence, because the Congregation, as the
leaders said, had "tempted him" sufficiently.  They had come up to his
price.  Arran, the hoped-for Hamilton king, the hoped-for husband of the
Queen of England, had arrived, and with Arran the Duke joined the
Reformers.  About September 20 they forbade the Regent to fortify Leith.

The brethren say that they have given no "provocation."  Six weeks
earlier they had requested England to help them to seize and hold
Broughty Castle, though the Regent may not have known that detail.

The Regent replied as became her, and Glencairn, with Erskine of Dun,
wrecked the rich abbey of Paisley.  The brethren now broke the truce with
a vengeance.


Though the Regent was now to be deposed and attacked by armed force, Knox
tells us that there were dissensions among her enemies.  Some held "that
the Queen was heavily done to," and that the leaders "sought another end
than religion."  Consequently, when the Lords with their forces arrived
at Edinburgh on October 16, the local brethren showed a want of
enthusiasm.  The Congregation nevertheless summoned the Regent to depart
from Leith, and on October 21 met at the Tolbooth to discuss her formal
deposition from office.  Willock moved that this might lawfully be done.
Knox added, with more reserve than usual, that their hearts must not be
withdrawn from their King and Queen, Mary and Francis.  The Regent, too,
ought to be restored when she openly repented and submitted.  Willock
dragged Jehu into his sermon, but Knox does not appear to have remarked
that Francis and Mary were Ahab and Jezebel, idolaters.  He was now in a
position of less freedom and more responsibility than while he was a
wandering prophet at large.

On October 24 the Congregation summoned Leith, having deposed the Regent
_in the name of the King and Queen, Francis and Mary_, and of themselves
as Privy Council!  They did more.  They caused one James Cocky, a gold
worker, to forge the great seal of Francis and Mary, "wherewith they
sealed their pretended laws and ordinances, tending to constrain the
subjects of the kingdom to rebel and favour their usurpations."  Their
proclamations with the forged seal they issued at St. Andrews, Glasgow,
Linlithgow, Perth, and elsewhere; using this seal in their letters to
noblemen, who were ordered to obey Arran.  The gold worker, whose name is
variously spelled in the French record, says that the device for the
coins which the Congregation meant to issue and ordered him to execute
was on one side a cross with a crown of thorns, on the other the words
VERBUM DEI.  The artist, Cocky, was dilatory, and when the brethren were
driven out of Edinburgh he gave the dies, unfinished, to John Achison,
the chief official of the Mint, who often executed coins of Queen Mary.
{158a}  As Professor Hume Brown says of the audacious statement of the
brethren, that they acted in the name of their King and Queen, their use
of the forged Royal seal, "as covering their action with an appearance of
law, served its purpose in their appeals to the people."  Cocky and
Kirkcaldy were hanged by Morton in 1573.

The idea of forging the great seal may have arisen in the fertile brain
of Lethington, who about October 25 had at last deserted the Regent, and
now took Knox's place as secretary of the Congregation.  Henceforth their
manifestoes say little about religion, and a great deal about the French
design to conquer Scotland. {158b}

To the wit of Lethington we may plausibly attribute a proposal which, on
October 25, Knox submitted to Croft. {159}  It was that England should
lend 1000 men for the attack on the Regent in Leith.  Peace with France
need not be broken, for the men may come as private adventurers, and
England may denounce them as rebels.  Croft declined this proposal as
dishonourable, and as too clearly a breach of treaty.  Knox replied that
he had communicated Croft's letter "to such as partly induced me before
to write" (October 29).  Very probably Lethington suggested the idea,
leaving the burden of its proposal on Knox.  Dr. M'Crie says that it is a
solitary case of the Reformer's recommending dissimulation; but the
proceeding was in keeping with Knox's previous statements about the
nature of the terms made in July; with the protestations of loyalty; with
the lie given to Mary of Guise when she spoke, on the whole, the plain
truth; and generally with the entire conduct of the prophet and of the
Congregation.  Dr. M'Crie justly remarks that Knox "found it difficult to
preserve integrity and Christian simplicity amidst the crooked wiles of
political intrigue."

On the behaviour of the godly heaven did not smile--for the moment.
Scaling-ladders had been constructed in St. Giles's church, "so that
preaching was neglected."  "The preachers spared not openly to say that
they feared the success of that enterprise should not be prosperous," for
this reason, "God could not suffer such contempt of His word . . . long
to be unpunished."  The Duke lost heart; the waged soldiers mutinied for
lack of pay; Morton deserted the cause; Bothwell wounded Ormiston as he
carried money from Croft, and seized the cash {160a}--behaving
treacherously, if it be true that he was under promise not to act against
the brethren.  The French garrison of Leith made successful sorties; and
despite the valour of Arran and Lord James and the counsel of Lethington,
the godly fled from Edinburgh on November 5, under taunts and stones cast
by the people of the town.

The fugitives never stopped till they reached Stirling, when Knox
preached to them.  He lectured at great length on discomfitures of the
godly in the Old Testament, and about the Benjamites, and the Levite and
his wife.  Coming to practical politics, he reminded his audience that
after the accession of the Hamiltons to their party, "there was nothing
heard but This lord will bring these many hundred spears . . . if this
Earl be ours, no man in such a district will trouble us."  The Duke ought
to be ashamed of himself.  Before Knox came to Scotland we know he had
warned the brethren against alliance with the Hamiltons.  The Duke had
been on the Regent's side, "yet without his assistance they could not
have compelled us to appoint with the Queen upon such unequal conditions"
in the treaty of July.  So the terms _were_ in favour of the Regent,
after all is said and done! {160b}

God had let the brethren fall, Knox said, into their present condition
because they put their trust in man--in the Duke--a noble whose
repentance was very dubious.

Then Knox rose to the height of the occasion.  "Yea, whatsoever becomes
of us and our mortal carcases, I doubt not but that this Cause (in
despite of Satan) shall prevail in the realm of Scotland.  For as it is
the eternal truth of the eternal God, so shall it once prevail . . ."
Here we have the actual genius of Knox, his tenacity, his courage in an
uphill game, his faith which might move mountains.  He adjured all to
amendment of life, prayer, and charity.  "The minds of men began to be
wonderfully erected."  In Arran and Lord James too, manifestly not
jealous rivals, Randolph found "more honour, stoutness, and courage than
in all the rest" (November 3).

Already, before the flight, Lethington was preparing to visit England.
The conduct of diplomacy with England was thus in capable hands, and
Lethington was a persona grata to the English Queen.  Meanwhile the
victorious Regent behaved with her wonted moderation.  "She pursueth no
man that hath showed himself against her at this time."  She pardoned all
burgesses of Edinburgh, and was ready to receive the Congregation to her
grace, if they would put away the traitor Lethington, Balnaves, and some
others. {161a}  Knox, however, says that she gave the houses of the most
honest men to the French.  The Regent was now very ill; graviter
aegrotat, say Francis and Mary (Dec. 4, 1559). {161b}

The truth is that the Cause of Knox, far from being desperate, as for an
hour it seemed to the faint-hearted, had never looked so well.  Cecil and
the English Council saw that they were committed; their gift of money was
known, they must bestir themselves.  While they had "nourished the
garboil" in Scotland, fanned the flame, they professed to believe that
France was aiming, through Scotland, at England.  They arranged for a
large levy of forces at Berwick; they promised money without stint: and
Cecil drew up the paper adopted, as I conceive, by the brethren in their
Latin appeal to all Christian princes.  The Scots were to say that they
originally took arms in defence of their native dynasty (the Hamiltons),
Mary Stuart having no heirs of her body, and France intending to annex
Scotland--which was true enough, but was not the cause of the rising at
Perth.  That England is also aimed at is proved by the fact that Mary and
Francis, on the seal of Scotland, quarter the arms of England.  Knox
himself had seen, and had imparted the fact to Cecil, a jewel on which
these fatal heraldic pretensions were made.  The Queen is governed by
"the new authority of the House of Guise."  In short, Elizabeth must be
asked to intervene for these political reasons, not in defence of the
Gospel, and large preparations for armed action in Scotland were
instantly made.  Meanwhile Cecil's sketch of the proper manifesto for the
Congregation to make, was embodied in Lethington's instructions (November
24) from the Congregation, as well as adapted in their Latin appeal to
Christian princes.

We may suppose that a man of Knox's unbending honesty was glad to have
thrown off his functions as secretary to the brethren.  Far from
disclaiming their idolatrous King and Queen (the ideal policy), they were
issuing proclamations headed "Francis and Mary," and bearing the forged
signet.  Examples with the seal were, as late as 1652, in the possession
of the Erskine of Dun of that day.  In them Francis and Mary denounce the
Pope as Antichrist!  Keith, who wrote much later, styles these
proclamations "pretty singular," and Knox must have been of the same

After Lethington took the office of secretary to the Congregation, Knox
had for some time no great public part in affairs.  Fife was invaded by
"these bloody worms," as he calls the French; and he preached what he
tells us was a "comfortable sermon" to the brethren at Cupar.  But
Lethington had secured the English alliance: Lord Grey was to lead 4000
foot and 2000 horse to the Border; Lord Winter with fourteen ship set
sail, and was incommoded by a storm, in which vessels of d'Elboeuf, with
French reinforcements for the Regent, were, some lost, some driven back
to harbour.  As in Jacobite times, French aid to the loyal party was
always unfortunate, and the arrival of Winter's English fleet in the
Forth caused d'Oysel to retreat out of Fife back to Leith.  He had nearly
reached St. Andrews, where Knox dwelt in great agony of spirit.  He had
"great need of a good horse," probably because, as in October 1559, money
was offered for his head.  But private assassination had no terrors for
the Reformer. {163}

Knox, as he wrote to a friend on January 29, 1560, had forsaken all
public assemblies and retired to a life of study, because "I am judged
among ourselves too extreme."  When the Duke of Norfolk, with the English
army, was moving towards Berwick, where he was to make a league with the
Protestant nobles of Scotland, Knox summoned Chatelherault, and the
gentlemen of his party, then in Glasgow.  They wished Norfolk to come to
them by Carlisle, a thing inconvenient to Lord James.  Knox chid them
sharply for sloth, and want of wisdom and discretion, praising highly the
conduct of Lord James.  They had "unreasonable minds."  "Wise men do
wonder what my Lord Duke's friends do mean, that are so slack and
backward in this Cause."  The Duke did not, however, write to France with
an offer of submission.  That story, ben trovato but not vero, rests on a
forgery by the Regent! {164}  The fact is that the Duke was not a true
Protestant, his advisers, including his brother the Archbishop, were
Catholics, and the successes of d'Oysel in winter had terrified him; but,
seeing an English army at hand, he assented to the league with England at
Berwick, as "second person of the realm of Scotland" (February 27, 1560).
Elizabeth "accepted the realm of Scotland"--Chatelherault being
recognised as heir-apparent to the throne thereof--for so long as the
marriage of Queen Mary and Francis I. endured, and a year later.  The
Scots, however, remain dutiful subjects of Queen Mary, they say, except
so far as lawless attempts to make Scotland a province of France are
concerned.  Chatelherault did not _sign_ the league till May 10, with
Arran, Huntly, Morton (at last committed to the Cause), and the usual
leaders of the Congregation.

With the details of the siege of Leith, and with the attempts at
negotiation, we are not here concerned.  France, in fact, was powerless
to aid the Regent.  Since the arrival of Throckmorton in France, as
ambassador of England, in the previous summer (1559), the Huguenots had
been conspiring.  They were in touch with Geneva, in the east; on the
north, in Brittany, they appear to have been stirred up by Tremaine, a
Cornish gentleman, and emissary of Cecil, who joined Throckmorton at
Blois, in March 1560.  Stories were put about that the young French King
was a leper, and was kidnapping fair-haired children, in whose blood he
meant to bathe.  The Huguenots had been conspiring ever since September
1559, when they seem to have sent to Elizabeth for aid in money. {165a}
More recently they had held a kind of secret convention at Nantes, and
summoned bands who were to lurk in the woods, concentrate at Amboise,
attack the chateau, slay the Guises, and probably put the King and Queen
Mary under the Prince de Conde, who was by the plotters expected to take
the part which Arran played in Scotland.  It is far from certain that
Conde had accepted the position.  In all this we may detect English
intrigue and the gold of Elizabeth.  Calvin had been consulted; he
disapproved of the method of the plot, still more of the plot itself.  But
he knew all about it.  "All turns on killing Antonius," he wrote,
"Antonius" being either the Cardinal or the Duc de Guise. {165b}

The conspiracy failed at Amboise, on March 17-19, 1560.  Throckmorton was
present, and describes the panic and perplexity of the Court, while he
eagerly asks to be promptly and secretly recalled, as suspicion has
fallen on himself.  He sent Tremaine home through Brittany, where he
gathered proposals for betraying French towns to Elizabeth, rather
prematurely.  Surrounded by treachery, and destitute of funds, the Guises
could not aid the Regent, and Throckmorton kept advising Cecil to "strike
while the iron was hot," and paralyse French designs.  The dying Regent
of Scotland never lost heart in circumstances so desperate.

Even before the outbreak at Perth, Mary of Guise had been in very bad
health.  When the English crossed the Border to beleaguer Leith, Lord
Erskine, who had maintained neutrality in Edinburgh Castle, allowed her
to come there to die (April 1, 1560).

On April 29, from the Castle of Edinburgh, she wrote a letter to d'Oysel,
commanding in Leith.  She told him that she was suffering from dropsy;
"one of her legs begins to swell. . . .  You know there are but three
days for the dropsy in this country."  The letter was intercepted by her
enemies, and deciphered. {166a}  On May 7, the English and Scots made an
assault, and were beaten back with loss of 1000 men.  According to Knox,
the French stripped the fallen, and allowed the white carcases to lie
under the wall, as also happened in 1746, after the English defeat at
Falkirk.  The Regent saw them, Knox says, from the Castle, and said they
were "a fair tapestry."  "Her words were heard of some," and carried to
Knox, who, from the pulpit, predicted "that God should revenge that
contumely done to his image . . . even in such as rejoiced thereat.  And
the very experience declared that he was not deceived, for within few
days thereafter (yea, some say that same day) began her belly and
loathsome legs to swell, and so continued, till that God did execute his
judgments upon her." {166b}

Knox wrote thus on May 16, 1566. {167a}  He was a little irritated at
that time by Queen Mary's triumph over his friends, the murderers of
Riccio, and his own hasty flight from Edinburgh to Kyle.  This may excuse
the somewhat unusual and even unbecoming nature of his language
concerning the dying lady, but his memory was quite wrong about his
prophecy.  The symptoms of the Regent's malady had begun more than a week
before the Anglo-Scottish defeat at Leith, and the nature of her
complaint ought to have been known to the prophet's party, as her letter,
describing her condition, had been intercepted and deciphered.  But the
deciphering may have been done in England, which would cause delay.  We
cannot, of course, prove that Knox was informed as to the Regent's malady
before he prophesied; if so, he had forgotten the fact before he wrote as
he did in 1566.  But the circumstances fail to demonstrate that he had a
supernormal premonition, or drew a correct deduction from Scripture, and
make it certain that the Regent did not fall ill after his prophecy.

The Regent died on June 11, half-an-hour after the midnight of June 10.  A
report was written on June 13, from Edinburgh Castle, to the Cardinal of
Lorraine, by Captain James Cullen, who some twelve years later was hanged
by the Regent Morton.  He says that since June 7, Lord James and Argyll,
Marischal, and Glencairn, had assiduously attended on the dying lady.  Two
hours before her death she spoke apart for a whole hour with Lord James.
Chatelherault had seen her twice, and Arran once. {167b}  Knox mentions
the visits of these lords, and says that d'Oysel was forbidden to speak
with her, "belike she would have bidden him farewell, for auld
familiarity was great."

According to Knox, the Regent admitted the errors of her policy,
attributing it to Huntly, who had deserted her, and to "the wicked
counsel of her friends," that is, her brothers.  At the request of the
Lords, she saw Willock, and said, as she naturally would, that "there was
no salvation but in and by the death of Jesus Christ."  "She was
compelled . . . to approve the chief head of our religion, wherein we
dissent from all papists and popery."  Knox had strange ideas about the
creed which he opposed.  "Of any virtue that ever was espied in King
James V. (_whose daughter she_," Mary Stuart, "_is called_"), "to this
hour (1566) we have seen no sparkle to appear." {168}

With this final fling at the chastity of Mary of Guise, the Reformer
takes leave of the woman whom he so bitterly hated.  Yet, "Knox was not
given to the practice so common in his day, of assassinating reputations
by vile insinuations."  Posterity has not accepted, contemporary English
historians did not accept, Knox's picture of Mary of Guise as the wanton
widow, the spawn of the serpent, who desired to cut the throat of every
Protestant in Scotland.  She was placed by circumstances in a position
from which there was no issue.  The fatal French marriage of her daughter
was a natural step, at a moment when Scottish independence could only be
maintained by help of France.  Had she left the Regency in the hands of
Chatelherault, that is, of Archbishop Hamilton, the prelate was not the
man to put down Protestantism by persecution, and so save the situation.
If he had been, Mary of Guise was not the woman to abet him in drastic
violence.  The nobles would have revolted against the feeble Duke. {169}

On July 6, the treaty of Edinburgh was concluded by representatives of
England (Cecil was one) and of France.  The Reformers carried a point of
essential importance, the very point which Knox told Croft had been
secured by the Appointment of July 1559.  All French forces were to be
dismissed the country, except one hundred and twenty men occupying Dunbar
and Inchkeith, in the Firth of Forth.  A clause by which Cecil thought he
had secured "the kernel" for England, and left the shell to France, a
clause recognising the "rightfulness" of Elizabeth's alliance with the
rebels, afforded Mary Stuart ground, or excuse, for never ratifying the

It is needless here to discuss the question--was the Convention of
Estates held after the treaty, in August, a lawful Parliament?  There was
doubt enough, at least, to make Protestants feel uneasy about the
security of the religious settlement achieved by the Convention.
Randolph, the English resident, foresaw that the Acts might be rescinded.

Before the Convention of Estates met, a thanksgiving day was held by the
brethren in St. Giles's, and Knox, if he was the author of the address to
the Deity, said with scientific precision, "Neither in us, nor yet in our
confederates was there any cause why thou shouldst have given unto us so
joyful and sudden a deliverance, for neither of us both ceased to do
wickedly, even in the midst of our greatest troubles."  Elizabeth had
lied throughout with all her natural and cultivated gift of falsehood: of
the veracity of the brethren several instances have been furnished.

Ministers were next appointed to churches, Knox taking Edinburgh, while
Superintendents (who were by no means Bishops) were appointed, one to
each province.  Erskine of Dun, a layman, was Superintendent of Angus.  A
new anti-Catholic Kirk was thus set up on July 20, before the Convention
met and swept away Catholicism. {170}  Knox preached vigorously on "the
prophet Haggeus" meanwhile, and "some" (namely Lethington, Speaker in the
Convention) "said in mockage, we must now forget ourselves, and bear the
barrow to build the houses of God."  The unawakened Lethington, and the
gentry at large, merely dilapidated the houses of God, so that they
became unsafe, as well as odiously squalid.  That such fervent piety
should grudge repairs of church buildings (many of them in a wretched
state already) is a fact creditable rather to the thrift than to the
state of grace of the Reformers.  After all their protestations, full of
texts, the lords and lairds starved their preachers, but provided, by
roofless aisles and unglazed windows, for the ventilation of the kirks.
These men so bubbling over with gospel fervour were, in short, when it
came to practice, traitors and hypocrites; nor did Knox spare their
unseemly avarice.  The cause of the poor, and of the preachers, lay near
his heart, and no man was more insensible of the temptations of wealth.

Lethington did not address the Parliament as Speaker till August 9.  Never
had such a Parliament met in Scotland.  One hundred and six barons, not
of the higher order, assembled; in 1567, when Mary was a prisoner and the
Regent Moray held the assembly, not nearly so many came together, nor on
any later occasion at this period.  The newcomers claimed to sit "as of
old custom"; it was a custom long disused, and not now restored to

A supplication was presented by "the Barons, gentlemen, Burgesses, and
others" to "the nobility and Estates" (of whom they do not seem to reckon
themselves part, contrasting _themselves_ with "yourselves").  They
reminded the Estates how they had asked the Regent "for freedom and
liberty of conscience with a godly reformation of abuses."  They now, by
way of freedom of conscience, ask that Catholic doctrine "be abolished by
Act of this Parliament, and punishment appointed for the transgressors."
The Man of Sin has been distributing the whole patrimony of the Church,
so that "the trew ministers," the schools, and the poor are kept out of
their own.  The actual clergy are all thieves and murderers and "rebels
to the lawful authority of Emperors, Kings, and Princes."  Against these
charges (murder, rebellion, profligacy) they must answer now or be so
reputed.  In fact, it was the nobles, rather than the Pope, who had been
robbing the Kirk, education, and the poor, which they continued to do, as
Knox attests.  But as to doctrine, the barons and ministers were asked to
lay a Confession before the House. {172}

It will be observed that, in the petition, "Emperors, Kings, and Princes"
have "lawful authority" over the clergy.  But that doctrine assumes,
tacitly, that such rulers are of Knox's own opinions: the Kirk later
resolutely stood up against kings like James VI., Charles I., and Charles

The Confession was drawn up, presented, and ratified in a very few days:
it was compiled in four.  The Huguenots in Paris, in 1559, "established a
record" by drawing up a Confession containing eighty articles in three
days.  Knox and his coadjutors were relatively deliberate.  They aver
that all points of belief necessary for salvation are contained in the
canonical books of the Bible.  Their interpretation pertains to no man or
Church, but solely to "the spreit of God."  That "spreit" must have
illuminated the Kirk as it then existed in Scotland, "for we dare not
receive and admit any interpretation which directly repugns to any
principal point of our faith, to any other _plain_ text of Scripture, or
yet unto the rule of charity."

As we, the preachers of the Kirk then extant, were apostate monks or
priests or artisans, about a dozen of us, in Scotland, mankind could not
be expected to regard "our" interpretation, "our faith" as infallible.
The framers of the Confession did not pretend that it was infallible.
They request that, "if any man will note in this our Confession any
article or sentence repugning to God's Holy Word," he will favour them
with his criticism in writing.  As Knox had announced six years earlier,
that, "as touching the chief points of religion, I neither will give
place to man or angel . . . teaching the contrair to that which ye have
heard," a controversialist who thought it worth while to criticise the
Confession must have deemed himself at least an archangel.  Two years
later, written criticism was offered, as we shall see, with a demand for
a written reply.  The critic escaped arrest by a lucky accident.

The Confession, with practically no criticism or opposition, was passed
en bloc on August 17.  The Evangel is candidly stated to be "death to the
sons of perdition," but the Confession is offered hopefully to "weak and
infirm brethren."  Not to enter into the higher theology, we learn that
the sacraments can only be administered "by lawful ministers."  We learn
that _they_ are "such as are appointed to the preaching of the Word, or
into whose mouth God has put some sermon of exhortation" and who are
"lawfully chosen thereto by some Kirk."  Later, we find that rather more
than this, and rather more than some of the "trew ministeris" then had,
is required.

As the document reaches us, it appears to have been "mitigated" by
Lethington and Wynram, the Vicar of Bray of the Reformation.  They
altered, according to the English resident, Randolph, "many words and
sentences, which sounded to proceed rather of some evil conceived opinion
than of any sound judgment."  As Lethington certainly was not "a lawful
minister," it is surprising if Knox yielded to his criticism.

Lethington and Wynram also advised that the chapter on obedience to the
sovereign power should be omitted, as "an unfit matter to be treated at
this time," when it was not very obvious who the "magistrate" or
authority might be.  In this sense Randolph, Arran's English friend,
wrote to Cecil. {174a}  The chapter, however, was left standing.  The
sovereign, whether in empire, kingdom, duke, prince, or in free cities,
was accepted as "of God's holy ordinance.  To him chiefly pertains the
reformation of the religion," which includes "the suppression of idolatry
and superstition"; and Catholicism, we know, is idolatry.  Superstition
is less easily defined, but we cannot doubt that, in Knox's mind, the
English liturgy was superstitious. {174b}  To resist the Supreme Power,
"doing that which pertains to his charge" (that is, suppressing
Catholicism and superstition, among other things), is to resist God.  It
thus appears that the sovereign is not so supreme but that he must be
disobeyed when his mandates clash with the doctrine of the Kirk.  Thus
the "magistrate" or "authority"--the State, in fact--is limited by the
conscience of the Kirk, which may, if it pleases, detect idolatry or
superstition in some act of secular policy.  From this theory of the Kirk
arose more than a century of unrest.

On August 24, the practical consequences of the Confession were set forth
in an Act, by which all hearers or celebrants of the Mass are doomed, for
the first offence, to mere confiscation of all their goods and to
corporal punishment: exile rewards a repetition of the offence: the third
is punished by death.  "Freedom from a persecuting spirit is one of the
noblest features of Knox's character," says Laing; "neither led away by
enthusiasm nor party feelings nor success, to retaliate the oppressions
and atrocities that disgraced the adherents of popery." {174c}  This is
an amazing remark!  Though we do not know that Knox was ever "accessory
to the death of a single individual for his religious opinions," we do
know that he had not the chance; the Government, at most, and years
later, put one priest to death.  But Knox always insisted, vainly, that
idolaters "must die the death."

To the carnal mind these rules appear to savour of harshness.  The carnal
mind would not gather exactly what the new penal laws were, if it
confined its study to the learned Dr. M'Crie's Life of Knox.  This
erudite man, a pillar of the early Free Kirk, mildly remarks, "The
Parliament . . . prohibited, under certain penalties, the celebration of
the Mass."  He leaves his readers to discover, in the Acts of Parliament
and in Knox, what the "certain penalties" were. {175}  The Act seems, as
Knox says about the decrees of massacre in Deuteronomy, "rather to be
written in a rage" than in a spirit of wisdom.  The majority of the human
beings then in Scotland probably never had the dispute between the old
and new faiths placed before them lucidly and impartially.  Very many of
them had never heard the ideas of Geneva stated at all.  "So late as
1596," writes Dr. Hay Fleming, "there were above four hundred parishes,
not reckoning Argyll and the Isles, which still lacked ministers."  "The
rarity of learned and godly men" of his own persuasion, is regretted by
Knox in the Book of Discipline.  Yet Catholics thus destitute of
opportunity to know and recognise the Truth, are threatened with
confiscation, exile, and death, if they cling to the only creed which
they have been taught--after August 17, 1560.  The death penalty was
threatened often, by Scots Acts, for trifles.  In this case the graduated
scale of punishment shows that the threat is serious.

This Act sounds insane, but the Convention was wise in its generation.
Had it merely abolished the persecuting laws of the Church, Scotland
might never have been Protestant.  The old faith is infinitely more
attractive to mankind than the new Presbyterian verity.  A thing of slow
and long evolution, the Church had assimilated and hallowed the world-old
festivals of the year's changing seasons.  She provided for the human
love of recreation.  Her Sundays were holidays, not composed of gloomy
hours in stuffy or draughty kirks, under the current voice of the
preacher.  Her confessional enabled the burdened soul to lay down its
weight in sacred privacy; her music, her ceremonies, the dim religious
light of her fanes, naturally awaken religious emotion.  While these
things, with the native tendency to resist authority of any kind,
appealed to the multitude, the position of the Church, in later years,
recommended itself to many educated men in Scotland as more logical than
that of Knox; and convert after convert, in the noble class, slipped over
to Rome.  The missionaries of the counter-Reformation, but for the
persecuting Act, would have arrived in a Scotland which did not
persecute, and the work of the Convention of 1560 might all have been
undone, had not the stringent Act been passed.

That Act apparently did not go so far as the preachers desired.  Thus
Archbishop Hamilton, writing to Archbishop Beaton in Paris, the day after
the passing of the Act, says, "All these new preachers openly persuade
the nobility in the pulpit, to put violent hands, and slay all churchmen
that will not concur and adopt their opinion.  They only reproach my Lord
Duke" (the Archbishop's brother), "that he will not begin first, and
either cause me to do as they do, or else to use rigour on me by
slaughter, sword, or, at least, perpetual prison." {177a}  It is probable
that the Archbishop was well informed as to what the bigots were saying,
though he is not likely to have "sat under" them; moreover, he would hear
of their advice from his brother, the Duke, with whom he had just held a
long conference. {177b}  Lesley, Bishop of Ross, in his "History,"
praises the humanity of the nobles, "for at this time few Catholics were
banished, fewer were imprisoned, and none were executed."  The nobles
interfering, the threatened capital punishment was not carried out.  Mob
violence, oppression by Protestant landlords, Kirk censure, imprisonment,
fine, and exile, did their work in suppressing idolatry and promoting

No doubt this grinding ceaseless daily process of enforcing Truth, did
not go far enough for the great body of the brethren, especially the
godly burgesses of the towns; indeed, as early as June 10, 1560, the
Provost, Bailies, and Town Council of Edinburgh proclaimed that idolaters
must instantly and publicly profess their conversion before the Ministers
and Elders on the penalty of the pillory for the first offence,
banishment from the town for the second, and death for the third. {177c}

It must always be remembered that the threat of the death penalty often
meant, in practice, very little.  It was denounced, under Mary of Guise
(February 9, 1559), against men who bullied priests, disturbed services,
and ate meat in Lent.  It was denounced against shooters of wild fowl,
and against those, of either religious party, who broke the Proclamation
of October 1561.  Yet "nobody seemed one penny the worse" as regards
their lives, though the punishments of fining and banishing were, on
occasions, enforced against Catholics.

We may marvel that, in the beginning, Catholic martyrs did not present
themselves in crowds to the executioner.  But even under the rule of Rome
it would not be easy to find thirty cases of martyrs burned at the stake
by "the bloudie Bishops," between the fifteenth century and the martyrdom
of Myln.  By 1560 the old Church was in such a hideous decline--with
ruffianly men of quality in high spiritual places; with priests who did
not attend Mass, and in many cases could not read; with churches left to
go to ruin; with license so notable that, in one foundation, the priest
is only forbidden to keep a _constant_ concubine--that faith had waxed
cold, and no Catholic felt "ripe" for martyrdom.  The elements of a
League, as in France, did not exist.  There was no fervently Catholic
town population like that of Paris; no popular noble warriors, like the
Ducs de Guise, to act as leaders.  Thus Scotland, in this age, ran little
risk of a religious civil war.  No organised and armed faction existed to
face the Congregation.  When the counter-Reformation set in, many
Catholics endured fines and exile with constancy.

The theology of the Confession of Faith is, of course, Calvinistic.  No
"works" are, technically, "good" which are not the work of the Spirit of
our Lord, dwelling in our hearts by faith.  "Idolaters," and wicked
people, not having that spirit, can do no good works.  The blasphemy that
"men who live according to equity and justice shall be saved, what
religion soever they have professed," is to be abhorred.  "The Kirk is
invisible," consisting of the Elect, "who are known only to God."  This
gave much cause of controversy to Knox's Catholic opponents.  "The notes
of the true Church" are those of Calvin's.  As to the Sacrament, though
the elements be not the _natural_ body of Christ, yet "the faithful, in
the right use of the Lord's Table, so do eat the body and drink the blood
of the Lord Jesus that He remains in them and they in Him . . . in such
conjunction with Christ Jesus as the natural man cannot comprehend."

This is a highly sacramental and confessedly mystical doctrine, not less
unintelligible to "the natural man" than the Catholic theory which Knox
so strongly reprobated.  Alas, that men called Christian have shed seas
of blood over the precise sense of that touching command of our Lord,
which, though admitted to be incomprehensible, they have yet endeavoured
to comprehend and define!

A serious task for Knox was to draw up, with others, a "Book of the
Policy and Discipline of the Kirk," a task entrusted to them in April
1560.  In politics, till January 1561, the Lords hoped that they might
induce Elizabeth (then entangled with Leicester, as Knox knew) to marry
Arran, but whether "Glycerium" (as Bishop Jewel calls her) had already
detected in "the saucy youth" "a half crazy fool," as Mr. Froude says, or
not, she firmly refused.  She much preferred Lord Robert Dudley, whose
wife had just then broken her neck.  The unfortunate Arran had fought
resolutely, Knox tells us, by the side of Lord James, in the winter of
1559, but he already, in 1560, showed strange moods, and later fell into
sheer lunacy.  In December died "the young King of France, husband to our
Jezebel--unhappy Francis . . . he suddenly perished of a rotten ear . . .
in that deaf ear that never would hear the truth of God" (December 5,
1560).  We have little of Knox's poetry, but he probably composed a
translation, in verse, of a Latin poem indited by one of "the godly in
France," whence he borrowed his phrase "a rotten ear" (aure putrefacta

   "Last Francis, that unhappy child,
      His father's footsteps following plain,
   To Christ's crying deaf ears did yield,
      A rotten ear was then his bane."

The version is wonderfully close to the original Latin.

Meanwhile, Francis was hardly cold before Arran wooed his idolatrous
widow, Queen Mary, "with a gay gold ring."  She did not respond
favourably, and "the Earl bare it heavily in his heart, and more heavily
than many would have wissed," says Knox, with whom Arran was on very
confidential terms.  Knox does not rebuke his passion for Jezebel.  He
himself "was in no small heaviness by reason of the late death of his
dear bedfellow, Marjorie Bowes," of whom we know very little, except that
she worked hard to lighten the labours of Knox's vast correspondence.  He
had, as he says, "great intelligence both with the churches and some of
the Court of France," and was the first to receive news of the perilous
illness of the young King.  He carried the tidings to the Duke and Lord
James, at the Hamilton house near Kirk o' Field, but would not name his
informant.  Then came the news of the King's death from Lord Grey de
Wilton, at Berwick, and a Convention of the Nobles was proclaimed for
January 15, 1561, to "peruse newly over again" the Book of Discipline.


This Book of Discipline, containing the model of the Kirk, had been seen
by Randolph in August 1560, and he observed that its framers would not
come into ecclesiastical conformity with England.  They were "severe in
that they profess, and loth to remit anything of that they have
received."  As the difference between the Genevan and Anglican models
contributed so greatly to the Civil War under Charles I., the results may
be regretted; Anglicans, by 1643, were looked on as "Baal worshippers" by
the precise Scots.

In February 1561, Randolph still thought that the Book of Discipline was
rather in advance of what fallen human nature could endure.  Idolatry, of
course, was to be removed universally; thus the Queen, when she arrived,
was constantly insulted about her religion.  The Lawful Calling of
Ministers was explained; we have already seen that a lawful minister is a
preacher who can get a local set of men to recognise him as such.  Knox,
however, before his return to Scotland, had advised the brethren to be
very careful in examining preachers before accepting them.  The people
and "every several Congregation" have a right to elect their minister,
and, if they do not do so in six weeks, the Superintendent (a migratory
official, in some ways superior to the clergy, but subject to periodical
"trial" by the Assembly, who very soon became extinct), with his council,
presents a man who is to be examined by persons of sound judgment, and
next by the ministers and elders of the Kirk.  Nobody is to be "violently
intrused" on any congregation.  Nothing is said about an university
training; moral character is closely scrutinised.  On the admission of a
new minister, some other ministers should preach "touching the obedience
which the Kirk owe to their ministers. . . .  The people should be
exhorted to reverence and honour their chosen ministers as the servants
and ambassadors of the Lord Jesus, obeying the commandments which they
speak from God's mouth and Book, even as they would obey God himself. . . . "

The practical result of this claim on the part of the preachers to
implicit obedience was more than a century of turmoil, civil war,
revolution, and reaction.  The ministers constantly preached political
sermons, and the State--the King and his advisers--was perpetually
arraigned by them.  To "reject" them, "and despise their ministry and
exhortation" (as when Catholics were not put to death on their instance),
was to "reject and despise" our Lord!  If accused of libel, or treasonous
libel, or "leasing making," in their sermons, they demanded to be judged
by their brethren.  Their brethren acquitting them, where was there any
other judicature?  These pretensions, with the right to inflict
excommunication (in later practice to be followed by actual outlawry),
were made, we saw, when there were not a dozen "true ministers" in the
nascent Kirk, and, of course, the claims became more exorbitant when
"true ministers" were reckoned by hundreds.  No State could submit to
such a clerical tyranny.

People who only know modern Presbyterianism have no idea of the despotism
which the Fathers of the Kirk tried, for more than a century, to enforce.
The preachers sat in the seats of the Apostles; they had the gift of the
Keys, the power to bind and loose.  Yet the Book of Discipline permits no
other ceremony, at the induction of these mystically gifted men, than
"the public approbation of the people, and declaration of the chief
minister"--later there was no "_chief_ minister," there was "parity" of
ministers.  Any other ceremony "we cannot approve"; "for albeit the
Apostles used the imposition of hands, yet seeing the miracle is ceased,
the using of the ceremony we judge it not necessary."  The miracle had
_not_ ceased, if it was true that "the commandments" issued in
sermons--political sermons often--really deserved to be obeyed, as men
"would obey God himself."  C'est la le miracle!  There could be no more
amazing miracle than the infallibility of preachers!  "The imposition of
hands" was, twelve years later, restored; but as far as infallible
sermons were concerned, the State agreed with Knox that "the miracle had

The political sermons are sometimes justified by the analogy of modern
discussion in the press.  But leading articles do not pretend to be
infallible, and editors do not assert a right to be obeyed by men, "even
as they would obey God himself."  The preachers were often right, often
wrong: their sermons were good, or were silly; but what no State could
endure was the claim of preachers to implicit obedience.

The difficulty in finding really qualified ministers must be met by
fervent prayer, and by compulsion on the part of the Estates of

Failing ministers, Readers, capable of reading the Common Prayers
(presently it was Knox's book of these) and the Bible must be found; they
may later be promoted to the ministry.

Stationary ministers are to receive less sustenance than the migratory
Superintendents; the sons of the preachers must be educated, the
daughters "honestly dowered."  The payment is mainly in "bolls" of meal
and malt.  The state of the poor, "fearful and horrible" to say, is one
of universal contempt.  Provision must be made for the aged and weak.
Superintendents, after election, are to be examined by all the ministers
of the province, and by three or more Superintendents.  Other ceremonies
"we cannot allow."  In 1581, a Scottish Catholic, Burne, averred that
Willock objected to ceremonies of Ordination, because people would say,
if these are necessary, what minister ordained _you_?  The query was hard
to answer, so ceremonies of Ordination could not be allowed.  The story
was told to Burne, he says, by an eyewitness, who heard Willock.

Every church must have a schoolmaster, who ought to be able to teach
grammar and Latin.  Education should be universal: poor children of
ability must be enabled to pass on to the universities, through secondary
schools.  At St. Andrews the three colleges were to have separate
functions, not clashing, and culminating in Divinity.

Whence are the funds to be obtained?  Here the authors bid "your Honours"
"have respect to your poor brethren, the labourers of the ground, who by
these cruel beasts, the papists, have been so oppressed . . . "  They
ought only to pay "reasonable teinds, that they may feel some benefit of
Christ Jesus, now preached unto them.  With grief of heart we hear that
some gentlemen are now as cruel over their tenants as ever were the
papists, requiring of them whatsoever they paid to the Church, so that
the papistical tyranny shall only be changed into the tyranny of the
landlord or laird."  Every man should have his own teinds, or tithes;
whereas, in fact, the great lay holders of tithes took them off other
men's lands, a practice leading to many blood-feuds.  The attempt of
Charles I. to let "every man have his own tithes," and to provide the
preachers with a living wage, was one of the causes of the distrust of
the King which culminated in the great Civil War.  But Knox could not
"recover for the Church her liberty and freedom, and that only for relief
of the poor."  "_We speak not for ourselves_" the Book says, "but in
favour of the poor, and the labourers defrauded . . .  The Church is only
bound to sustain and nourish her charges . . . to wit the Ministers of
the Kirk, the Poor, and the teachers of youth."  The funds must be taken
out of the tithes, the chantries, colleges, chaplainries, and the
temporalities of Bishops, Deans, and cathedrals generally.

The ministers are to have their manses, and glebes of six acres; to this
many of the Lords assented, except, oddly enough, those redoubtable
leaders of the Congregation, Glencairn and Morton, with Marischal.  All
the part of the book which most commands our sympathy, the most Christian
part of the book, regulating the disposition of the revenues of the
fallen Church for the good of the poor, of education, and of the Kirk,
remained a dead letter.  The Duke, Arran, Lord James, and a few barons,
including the ruffian Andrew Ker of Faldonside, with Glencairn and
Ochiltree, signed it, in token of approval, but little came of it all.
Lethington, probably, was the scoffer who styled these provisions "devout
imaginations."  The nobles and lairds, many of them, were converted, in
matter of doctrine; in conduct they were the most avaricious, bloody, and
treacherous of all the generations which had banded, revelled, robbed,
and betrayed in Scotland.

There is a point in this matter of the Kirk's claim to the patrimony of
the old Church which perhaps is generally misunderstood.  That point is
luminous as regards the absolute disinterestedness of Knox and his
companions, both in respect to themselves and their fellow-preachers.  The
Book of Discipline contains a sentence already quoted, conceived in what
we may justly style a chivalrous contempt of wealth.  "Your Honours may
easily understand _that we speak not now for ourselves_, but in favour of
the Poor, and the labourers defrauded . . . "  Not having observed a
point which "their Honours" were not the men to "understand easily,"
Father Pollen writes, "the new preachers were loudly _claiming for
themselves_ the property of the rivals whom they had displaced." {186}
For themselves they were claiming a few merks, and a few bolls of meal, a
decent subsistence.  Mr. Taylor Innes points out that when, just before
Darnley's murder, Mary offered "a considerable sum for the maintenance of
the ministers," Knox and others said that, for their sustentation, they
"craved of the auditors the things that were necessary, as of duty the
pastors might justly crave of their flock.  The General Assembly accepted
the Queen's gift, but only of necessity; it was by their flock that they
ought to be sustained.  To take from others contrary to their will, whom
they serve not, they judge it not their duty, nor yet reasonable."

Among other things the preachers, who were left with a hard struggle for
bare existence, introduced a rule of honour scarcely known to the barons
and nobles, except to the bold Buccleuch who rejected an English pension
from Henry VIII., with a sympathetic explosion of strong language.  The
preachers would not take gifts from England, even when offered by the
supporters of their own line of policy.

Knox's failure in his admirable attempt to secure the wealth of the old
Church for national purposes was, as it happened, the secular salvation
of the Kirk.  Neither Catholicism nor Anglicanism could be fully
introduced while the barons and nobles held the tithes and lands of the
ancient Church.  Possessing the wealth necessary to a Catholic or
Anglican establishment, they were resolutely determined to cling to it,
and oppose any Church except that which they starved.  The bishops of
James I., Charles I., and Charles II. were detested by the nobles.  Rarely
from them came any lordly gifts to learning and the Universities, while
from the honourably poor ministers such gifts could not come.  The
Universities were founded by prelates of the old Church, doing their duty
with their wealth.

The arrangements for discipline were of the drastic nature which lingered
into the days of Burns and later.  The results may be studied in the
records of Kirk Sessions; we have no reason to suppose that sexual
morality was at all improved, on the whole, by "discipline," though it
was easier to enforce "Sabbath observance."  A graduated scale of
admonitions led up to excommunication, if the subject was refractory, and
to boycotting with civil penalties.  The processes had no effect, or none
that is visible, in checking lawlessness, robbery, feuds, and
manslayings; and, after the Reformation, witchcraft increased to
monstrous proportions, at least executions of people accused of
witchcraft became very numerous, in spite of provision for sermons thrice
a week, and for weekly discussions of the Word.

The Book of Discipline, modelled on the Genevan scheme, and on that of
A'Lasco for his London congregation, rather reminds us of the "Laws" of
Plato.  It was a well meant but impracticable ideal set before the
country, and was least successful where it best deserved success.  It
certainly secured a thoroughly moral clergy, till, some twelve years
later, the nobles again thrust licentious and murderous cadets into the
best livings and the bastard bishoprics, before and during the Regency of
Morton.  Their example did not affect the genuine ministers, frugal God-
fearing men.


In discussing the Book of Discipline, that great constructive effort
towards the remaking of Scotland, we left Knox at the time of the death
of his first wife.  On December 20, 1560, he was one of some six
ministers who, with more numerous lay representatives of districts, sat
in the first General Assembly.  They selected some new preachers, and
decided that the church of Restalrig should be destroyed as a monument of
idolatry.  A fragment of it is standing yet, enclosing tombs of the wild
Logans of Restalrig.

The Assembly passed an Act against lawless love, and invited the Estates
and Privy Council to "use sharp punishment" against some "idolaters,"
including Eglintoun, Cassilis, and Quentin Kennedy, Abbot of Crosraguel,
who disputed later against Knox, the Laird of Gala (a Scott) and others.

In January 1561 a Convention of nobles and lairds at Edinburgh perused
the Book of Discipline, and some signed it, platonically, while there was
a dispute between the preachers and certain Catholics, including Lesley,
later Bishop of Ross, an historian, but no better than a shifty and
dangerous partisan of Mary Stuart.  The Lord James was selected as an
envoy to Mary, in France.  He was bidden to refuse her even the private
performance of the rites of her faith, but declined to go to that
extremity; the question smouldered through five years.  Randolph expected
"a mad world" on Mary's return; he was not disappointed.

Meanwhile the Catholic Earls of the North, of whom Huntly was the fickle
leader, with Bothwell, "come to work what mischief he can," are accused
by Knox of a design to seize Edinburgh, before the Parliament in May
1561.  Nothing was done, but there was a very violent Robin Hood riot;
the magistrates were besieged and bullied, Knox declined to ask for the
pardon of the brawlers, and, after excursions and alarms, "the whole
multitude was excommunicate" until they appeased the Kirk.  They may have
borne the spiritual censure very unconcernedly.

The Catholic Earls now sent Lesley to get Mary's ear before the Lord
James could reach her.  Lesley arrived on April 14, with the offer to
raise 20,000 men, if Mary would land in Huntly's region.  They would
restore the Mass in their bounds, and Mary would be convoyed by Captain
Cullen, a kinsman of Huntly, and already mentioned as the Captain of the
Guards after Riccio's murder.

It is said by Lesley that Mary had received, from the Regent, her mother,
a description of the nobles of Scotland.  If so, she knew Huntly for the
ambitious traitor he was, a man peculiarly perfidious and self-seeking,
with a son who might be thrust on her as a husband, if once she were in
Huntly's hands.  The Queen knew that he had forsaken her mother's cause;
knew, perhaps, of his old attempt to betray Scotland to England, and she
was aware that no northern Earl had raised his banner to defend the
Church.  She, therefore, came to no agreement with Lesley, but confided
more in the Lord James, who arrived on the following day.  Mary knew her
brother's character fairly well, and, if Lesley says with truth that he
now asked for, and was promised, the earldom of Moray, the omen was evil
for Huntly, who practically held the lands. {191a}  A bargain, on this
showing, was initiated.  Lord James was to have the earldom, and he got
it; Mary was to have his support.

Much has been said about Lord James's betrayal to Throckmorton of Mary's
intentions, as revealed by her to himself.  But what Lord James said to
Throckmorton amounts to very little.  I am not certain that, both in
Paris with Throckmorton, and in London with Elizabeth and Cecil, he did
not moot his plan for friendship between Mary and Elizabeth, and
Elizabeth's recognition of Mary's rights as her heir. {191b}  Lord James
proposed all this to Elizabeth in a letter of August 6, 1561. {191c}  He
had certainly discussed this admirable scheme with Lord Robert Dudley at
Court, in May 1561, on his return from France. {191d}  Nothing could be
more statesmanlike and less treacherous.

Meanwhile (May 27, 1561) the brethren presented a supplication to the
Parliament, with clauses, which, if conceded, would have secured the
stipends of the preachers.  The prayers were granted, in promise, and a
great deal of church wrecking was conscientiously done; the Lord James,
on his return, paid particular attention to idolatry in his hoped for
earldom, but the preachers were not better paid.

Meanwhile the Protestants looked forward to the Queen's arrival with
great searchings of heart.  She had not ratified the treaty of Leith, but
already Cardinal Guise hoped that she and Elizabeth would live in
concord, and heard that Mary ceded all claims to the English throne in
return for Elizabeth's promise to declare her the heir, if she herself
died childless (August 21). {192}

Knox, who had not loved Mary of Guise, was not likely to think well of
her daughter.  Mary, again, knew Knox as the chief agitator in the
tumults that embittered her mother's last year, and shortened her life.
In France she had threatened to deal with him severely, ignorant of his
power and her own weakness.  She could not be aware that Knox had
suggested to Cecil opposition to her succession to the throne on the
ground of her sex.  Knox uttered his forebodings of the Queen's future:
they were as veracious as if he had really been a prophet.  But he was,
to an extent which can only be guessed, one of the causes of the
fulfilment of his own predictions.  To attack publicly, from the pulpit,
the creed and conduct of a girl of spirit; to provoke cruel insults to
her priests whom she could not defend; was apt to cause, at last, in
great measure that wild revolt of temper which drove Mary to her doom.
Her health suffered frequently from the attempt to bear with a smiling
face such insults as no European princess, least of all Elizabeth, would
have endured for an hour.  There is a limit to patience, and before Mary
passed that limit, Randolph and Lethington saw, and feebly deplored, the
amenities of the preacher whom men permitted to "rule the roast."  "Ten
thousand swords" do not leap from their scabbards to protect either the
girl Mary Stuart or the woman Marie Antoinette.

Not that natural indignation was dead, but it ended in words.  People
said, "The Queen's Mass and her priests will we maintain; this hand and
this rapier will fight in their defence."  So men bragged, as Knox
reports, {193a} but when after Mary's arrival priests were beaten or
pilloried, not a hand stirred to defend them, not a rapier was drawn.  The
Queen might be as safely as she was deeply insulted through her faith.
She was not at this time devoutly ardent in her creed, though she often
professed her resolution to abide in it.  Gentleness might conceivably
have led her even to adopt the Anglican faith, or so it was deemed by
some observers, but insolence and outrage had another effect on her

Mary landed at Leith in a thick fog on August 19, 1561.  She was now in a
country where she lay under sentence of death as an idolater.  Her
continued existence was illegal.  With her came Mary Seton, Mary Beaton,
Mary Livingstone, and Mary Fleming, the comrades of her childhood; and
her uncles, the Duc d'Aumale, Francis de Lorraine, and the noisy Marquis
d'Elboeuf.  She was not very welcome.  As late as August 9, Randolph
reports that her brother, Lord James, Lethington, and Morton "wish, as
you do, she might be stayed yet for a space, and if it were not for their
obedience sake, some of them care not though they never see her face."
{193b}  None the less, on June 8 Lord James tells Mary that he had given
orders for her palace to be prepared by the end of July.  He informs her
that "many" hope that she will never come home.  Nothing is "so necessary
. . . as your Majesty's own presence"; and he hopes she will arrive
punctually.  If she cannot come she should send her commission to some of
her Protestant advisers, by no means including the Archbishop of St.
Andrews (Hamilton), with whom he will never work.  It is not easy to see
why Lord James should have wished that Mary "might be stayed," unless he
merely dreaded her arrival while Elizabeth was in a bad temper.  His
letter to Elizabeth of August 6 is incompatible with treachery on his
part.  "Mr. Knox is determined to abide the uttermost, and others will
not leave him till God have taken his life and theirs together."  Of what
were these heroes afraid?  A "familiar," a witch, of Lady Huntly's
predicted that the Queen would never arrive.  "If false, I would she were
burned for a witch," adds honest Randolph.  Lethington deemed his "own
danger not least."  Two galleys full of ladies are not so alarming; did
these men, practically hinting that English ships should stop their
Queen, think that the Catholics in Scotland were too strong for them?

Not a noble was present to meet Mary when in the fog and filth of Leith
she touched Scottish soil, except her natural brother, Lord Robert. {194}
The rest soon gathered with faces of welcome.  She met some Robin Hood
rioters who lay under the law, and pardoned these roisterers (with their
excommunication could she interfere?), because, says Knox, she was
instructed that they had acted "in despite of the religion."  Their
festival had been forbidden under the older religion, as it happens, in
1555, and was again forbidden later by Mary herself.

All was mirth till Sunday, when the Queen's French priest celebrated Mass
in her own chapel before herself, her three uncles, and Montrose.  The
godly called for the priest's blood, but Lord James kept the door, and
his brothers protected the priest.  Disappointed of blood, "the godly
departed with great grief of heart," collecting in crowds round Holyrood
in the afternoon.  Next day the Council proclaimed that, till the Estates
assembled and deliberated, no innovation should be made in the religion
"publicly and universally standing."  The Queen's servants and others
from France must not be molested--on pain of death, the usual empty
threat.  They were assaulted, and nobody was punished for the offence.
Arran alone made a protest, probably written by Knox.  Who but Knox could
have written that the Mass is "much more abominable and odious in the
sight of God" than murder!  Many an honest brother was conspicuously of
the opinion which Arran's protest assigned to Omnipotence.  Next Sunday
Knox "thundered," and later regretted that "I did not that I might have
done" (caused an armed struggle?), . . . "for God had given unto me
credit with many, who would have put into execution God's judgments if I
would only have consented thereto."  Mary might have gone the way of
Jezebel and Athaliah but for the mistaken lenity of Knox, who later
"asked God's mercy" for not being more vehement.  In fact, he rather
worked "to slokin that fervency." {195}  Let us hope that he is forgiven,
especially as Randolph reports him extremely vehement in the pulpit.  His
repentance was publicly expressed shortly before the murder of Riccio.
(In December 1565, probably, when the Kirk ordered the week's fast that,
as it chanced, heralded Riccio's doom.)  Privately to Cecil, on October
7, 1561, he uttered his regret that he had been so deficient in zeal.
Cecil had been recommending moderation. {196}

On August 26, Randolph, after describing the intimidation of the priest,
says "John Knox thundereth out of the pulpit, so that I fear nothing so
much as that one day he will mar all.  He ruleth the roast, and of him
all men stand in fear."  In public at least he did not allay the wrath of
the brethren.

On August 26, or on September 2, Knox had an interview with the Queen,
and made her weep.  Randolph doubted whether this was from anger or from
grief.  Knox gives Mary's observations in the briefest summary; his own
at great length, so that it is not easy to know how their reasoning
really sped.  Her charges were his authorship of the "Monstrous Regiment
of Women"; that he caused great sedition and slaughter in England; and
that he was accused of doing what he did by necromancy.  The rest is
summed up in "&c."

He stood to his guns about the "Monstrous Regiment," and generally took
the line that he merely preached against "the vanity of the papistical
religion" and the deceit, pride, and tyranny of "that Roman Antichrist."
If one wishes to convert a young princess, bred in the Catholic faith, it
is not judicious to begin by abusing the Pope.  This too much resembles
the arbitrary and violent method of Peter in The Tale of a Tub (by Dr.
Jonathan Swift); such, however, was the method of Knox.

Mary asking if he denied her "just authority," Knox said that he was as
well content to live under her as Paul under Nero.  This, again, can
hardly be called an agreeable historical parallel!  Knox hoped that he
would not hurt her or her authority "so long as ye defile not your hands
with the blood of the saints of God," as if Mary was panting to
distinguish herself in that way.  His hope was unfulfilled.  No "saints"
suffered, but he ceased not to trouble.

Knox also said that if he had wanted "to trouble your estate because you
are a woman, I might have chosen a time more convenient for that purpose
than I can do now, when your own presence is in the realm."  He _had_, in
fact, chosen the convenient time in his letter to Cecil, already quoted
(July 19, 1559), but he had not succeeded in his plan.  He said that
nobody could _prove_ that the question of discarding Mary, on the ground
of her sex, "was at any time moved in public or in secret."  Nobody could
_prove_ it, for nobody could publish his letter to Cecil.  Probably he
had this in his mind.  He did not say that the thing had not happened,
only that "he was assured that neither Protestant nor papist shall be
able to prove that any such question was at any time moved, either in
public or in secret." {197}

He denied that he had caused sedition in England, nor do we know what
Mary meant by this charge.  His appeals, from abroad, to a Phinehas or
Jehu had not been answered.  As to magic, he always preached against the

Mary then said that Knox persuaded the people to use religion not allowed
by their princes.  He justified himself by biblical precedents, to which
she replied that Daniel and Abraham did not resort to the sword.  They
had not the chance, he answered, adding that subjects might resist a
prince who exceeded his bounds, as sons may confine a maniac father.

The Queen was long silent, and then said, "I perceive my subjects shall
obey you and not me."  Knox said that all should be subject unto God and
His Church; and Mary frankly replied, "I will defend the Church of Rome,
for I think that it is the true Church of God."  She could not defend it!
Knox answered with his wonted urbanity, that the Church of Rome was a
harlot, addicted to "all kinds of fornication."

He was so accustomed to this sort of rhetoric that he did not deem it out
of place on this occasion.  His admirers, familiar with his style, forget
its necessary effect on "a young princess unpersuaded," as Lethington put
it.  Mary said that her conscience was otherwise minded, but Knox knew
that all consciences of "man or angel" were wrong which did not agree
with his own.  The Queen had to confess that in argument as to the
unscriptural character of the Mass, he was "owre sair" for her.  He said
that he wished she would "hear the matter reasoned to the end."  She may
have desired that very thing: "Ye may get that sooner than ye believe,"
she said; but Knox expressed his disbelief that he would ever get it.
Papists would never argue except when "they were both judge and party."
Knox himself never answered Ninian Winzet, who, while printing his
polemic, was sought for by the police of the period, and just managed to

There was, however, a champion who, on November 19, challenged Knox and
the other preachers to a discussion, either orally or by interchange of
letters.  This was Mary's own chaplain, Rene Benoit.  Mary probably knew
that he was about to offer to meet "the most learned John Knox and other
most erudite men, called ministers"; it is thus that Rene addresses them
in his "Epistle" of November 19.

He implores them not to be led into heresy by love of popularity or of
wealth; neither of which advantages the preachers enjoyed, for they were
detested by loose livers, and were nearly starved.  Benoit's little
challenge, or rather request for discussion, is a model of courtesy.  Knox
did not meet him in argument, as far as we are aware; but in 1562,
Fergusson, minister of Dunfermline, replied in a tract full of
scurrility.  One quite unmentionable word occurs, and "impudent lie,"
"impudent and shameless shavelings," "Baal's chaplains that eat at
Jezebel's table," "pestilent papistry," "abominable mass," "idol
Bishops," "we Christians and you Papists," and parallels between Benoit
and "an idolatrous priest of Bethel," between Mary and Jezebel are among
the amenities of this meek servant of Christ in Dunfermline.

Benoit presently returned to France, and later was confessor to Henri IV.
The discussion which Mary anticipated never occurred, though her champion
was ready.  Knox does not refer to this affair in his "History," as far
as I am aware. {199}  Was Rene the priest whom the brethren menaced and
occasionally assaulted?

Considering her chaplain's offer, it seems not unlikely that Mary was
ready to listen to reasoning, but to call the Pope "Antichrist," and the
Church "a harlot," is not argument.  Knox ended his discourse by wishing
the Queen as blessed in Scotland as Deborah was in Israel.  The mere fact
that Mary spoke with him "makes the Papists doubt what shall come of the
world," {200a} says Randolph; and indeed nobody knows what possibly might
have come, had Knox been sweetly reasonable.  But he told his friends
that, if he was not mistaken, she had "a proud mind, a crafty wit, and an
indurate heart against God and His truth."  She showed none of these
qualities in the conversation as described by himself; but her part in it
is mainly that of a listener who returns not railing with railing.

Knox was going about to destroy the scheme of les politiques, Randolph,
Lethington, and the Lord James.  They desired peace and amity with
England, and the two Scots, at least, hoped to secure these as the
Cardinal Guise did, by Mary's renouncing all present claim to the English
throne, in return for recognition as heir, if Elizabeth died without
issue.  Elizabeth, as we know her, would never have granted these terms,
but Mary's ministers, Lethington then in England, Lord James at home,
tried to hope. {200b}  Lord James had heard Mary's outburst to Knox about
defending her own insulted Church, but he was not nervously afraid that
she would take to dipping her hands in the blood of the saints.  Neither
he nor Lethington could revert to the old faith; they had pecuniary
reasons, as well as convictions, which made that impossible.

Lethington, returned to Edinburgh (October 25), spoke his mind to Cecil.
"The Queen behaves herself . . . as reasonably as we can require: if
anything be amiss the fault is rather in ourselves.  You know the
vehemency of Mr. Knox's spirit which cannot be bridled, and yet doth
utter sometimes such sentences as cannot easily be digested by a weak
stomach.  I would wish he should deal with her more gently, being a young
princess unpersuaded. . . .  Surely in her comporting with him she
declares a wisdom far exceeding her age." {201a}  Vituperation is not
argument, and gentleness is not unchristian.  St. Paul did not revile the
gods of Felix and Festus.

But, prior to these utterances of October, the brethren had been baiting
Mary.  On her public entry (which Knox misdates by a month) her idolatry
was rebuked by a pageant of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram.  Huntly managed to
stop a burning in effigy of a priest at the Mass.  They never could cease
from insulting the Queen in the tenderest point.  The magistrates next
coupled "mess-mongers" with notorious drunkards and adulterers, "and such
filthy persons," in a proclamation, so the Provost and Bailies were
"warded" (Knox says) in the Tolbooth.  Knox blamed Lethington and Lord
James, in a letter to Cecil; {201b} in his "History" he says, "God be
merciful to some of our own." {201c}

The Queen herself, as a Papist, was clearly insulted in the proclamation.
Moray and Lethington, the latter touched by her "readiness to hear," and
her gentleness in the face of Protestant brutalities; the former,
perhaps, lured by the hope of obtaining, as the price of his alliance,
the earldom of Moray, were by the end of October still attempting to
secure amity between her and Elizabeth, and to hope for the best, rather
than drive the Queen wild by eternal taunts and menaces.  The preachers
denounced her rites at Hallowmass (All Saints), and a servant of her
brother, Lord Robert, beat a priest; but men actually doubted whether
subjects might interfere between the Queen and her religion.  There was a
discussion on this point between the preachers and the nobles, and the
Church in Geneva (Calvin) was to be consulted.  Knox offered to write,
but Lethington said that he would write, as much stood on the
"information"; that is, on the manner of stating the question.  Lethington
did not know, and Knox does not tell us in his "History" that he had
himself, a week earlier, put the matter before Calvin in his own way.
Even Lord James, he says to Calvin, though the Abdiel of godliness, "is
afraid to overthrow that idol by violence"--idolum illud missalicum.

Knox's letter to Calvin represents the Queen as alleging that he has
already answered the question, declaring that Knox's party has no right
to interfere with the Royal mass.  This rumour Knox disbelieves.  He adds
that Arran would have written, but was absent.

Apparently Arran did write to Calvin, anonymously, and dating from
London, November 18, 1561.  The letter, really from Scotland, is in
French.  The writer acknowledges the receipt, about August 20, of an
encouraging epistle from Calvin.  He repeats Knox's statements, in the
main, and presses for a speedy reply.  He says that he goes seldom to
Court, both on account of "that idol," and because "sobriety and virtue"
have been exiled. {203a}  As Arran himself "is known to have had company
of a good handsome wench, a merchant's daughter," which led to a riot
with Bothwell, described by Randolph (December 27, 1561), his own "virtue
and sobriety" are not conspicuous. {203b}  He was in Edinburgh on
November 15-19, and the London date of his anonymous letter is a blind.

It does not appear that Calvin replied to Knox, and to the anonymous
correspondent, in whom I venture to detect Arran; or, if he answered, his
letter was probably unfavourable to Knox, as we shall argue when the
subject later presents itself.

Finally--"the votes of the Lords prevailed against the ministers"; the
Queen was allowed her Mass, but Lethington, a minister of the Queen, did
not consult a foreigner as to the rights of her subjects against her

The lenity of Lord James was of sudden growth.  At Stirling he and Argyll
had gallantly caused the priests to leave the choir "with broken heads
and bloody ears," the Queen weeping.  So Randolph reported to Cecil
(September 24).

Why her brother, foremost to insult Mary and her faith, unless Randolph
errs, in September, took her part in a few weeks, we do not know.  At
Perth, Mary was again offended, and suffered in health by reason of the
pageants; "they did too plainly condemn the errors of the world. . . .  I
hear she is troubled with such sudden passions after any great unkindness
or grief of mind," says Randolph.  She was seldom free from such godly
chastisements.  At Perth, however, some one gave her a cross of five
diamonds with pendant pearls.

Meanwhile the statesmen did not obey the Ministers as men ought to obey
God: a claim not easily granted by carnal politicians.

CHAPTER XV: KNOX AND QUEEN MARY (continued), 1561-1564

Had Mary been a mere high-tempered and high-spirited girl, easily harmed
in health by insults to herself and her creed, she might now have turned
for support to Huntly, Cassilis, Montrose, and the other Earls who were
Catholic or "unpersuaded."  Her great-grandson, Charles II., when as
young as she now was, did make the "Start"--the schoolboy attempt to run
away from the Presbyterians to the loyalists of the North.  But Mary had
more self-control.

The artful Randolph found himself as hardly put to it now, in diplomacy,
as the Cardinal's murderers had done, in war, when they met the
scientific soldier, Strozzi.  "The trade is now clean cut off from me,"
wrote Randolph (October 27); "I have to traffic now with other merchants
than before.  They know the value of their wares, and in all places how
the market goeth. . . .  Whatsoever policy is in all the chief and best
practised heads of France; whatsoever craft, falsehood, or deceit is in
all the subtle brains of Scotland," said the unscrupulous agent, "is
either fresh in this woman's memory, or she can bring it out with a wet
finger." {205}

Mary, in fact, was in the hands of Lethington (a pensioner of Elizabeth)
and of Lord James: "subtle brains" enough.  _She_ was the "merchandise,"
and Lethington and Lord James wished to make Elizabeth acknowledge the
Scottish Queen as her successor, the alternative being to seek her price
as a wife for an European prince.  An "union of hearts" with England
might conceivably mean Mary's acceptance of the Anglican faith.  It is
not a kind thing to say about Mary, but I suspect that, if assured of the
English succession, she might have gone over to the Prayer Book.  In the
first months of her English captivity (July 1568) Mary again dallied with
the idea of conversion, for the sake of freedom.  She told the Spanish
Ambassador that "she would sooner be murdered," but if she could have
struck her bargain with Elizabeth, I doubt that she would have chosen the
Prayer Book rather than the dagger or the bowl. {206a}  Her conversion
would have been bitterness as of wormwood to Knox.  In his eyes
Anglicanism was "a bastard religion," "a mingle-mangle now commanded in
your kirks."  "Peculiar services appointed for Saints' days, diverse
Collects as they falsely call them in remembrance of this or that Saint .
. . are in my conscience no small portion of papistical superstition."
{206b}  "Crossing in Baptism is a diabolical invention; kneeling at the
Lord's table, mummelling," (uttering the responses, apparently), "or
singing of the Litany."  All these practices are "diabolical inventions,"
in Knox's candid opinion, "with Mr. Parson's pattering of his constrained
prayers, and with the mass-munging of Mr. Vicar, and of his wicked
companions . . ."  (A blank in the MS.)  "Your Ministers, before for the
most part, were none of Christ's ministers, but mass-mumming priests."  He
appears to speak of the Anglican Church as it was under Edward VI.  (To
Mrs. Locke, Dieppe, April 6, 1559.) {207a}  As Elizabeth brought in
"cross and candle," her Church must have been odious to our Reformer.
Calvin had regarded the "silly things" in our Prayer Book as "endurable,"
not so Knox.  Before he came back to Scotland, the Reformers were content
with the English Prayer Book.  By rejecting it, Knox and his allies
disunited Scotland and England.

Knox's friend Arran was threatening to stir up the Congregation for the
purpose of securing him in the revenues of three abbeys, including St.
Andrews, of which Lord James was Prior.  The extremists raised the
question, "whether the Queen, being an idolater, may be obeyed in all
civil and political actions." {207b}

Knox later made Chatelherault promise this obedience; what his views were
in November 1561 we know not.  Lord James was already distrusted by his
old godly friends; it was thought he would receive what he had long
desired, the Earldom of Moray (November 11, 1561), and the precise
professors meditated a fresh revolution.  "It must yet come to a new
day," they said. {207c}  Those about Arran were discontented, and nobody
was more in his confidence than Knox, but at this time Arran was absent
from Edinburgh; was at St. Andrews.

Meanwhile, at Court, "the ladies are merry, dancing, lusty, and fair,"
wrote Randolph, who flirted with Mary Beaton (November 18); and long
afterwards, in 1578, when she was Lady Boyne, spoke of her as "a very
dear friend."  Knox complains that the girls danced when they "got the
house alone"; not a public offence!  He had his intelligencers in the

There was, on November 16, a panic in the unguarded palace: {208a} "the
poor damsels were left alone," while men hid in fear of nobody knew what,
except a rumour that Arran was coming, with his congregational friends,
"to take away the Queen."  The story was perhaps a fable, but Arran had
been uttering threats.  Mary, however, expected to be secured by an
alliance with Elizabeth.  "The accord between the two Queens will quite
overthrow them" (the Bishops), "and they say plainly that she cannot
return a true Christian woman," writes Randolph. {208b}

Lethington and Randolph both suspected that if Mary abandoned idolatry,
it would be after conference with Elizabeth, and rather as being
converted by that fair theologian than as compelled by her subjects.
Unhappily Elizabeth never would meet Mary, who, for all that we know,
might at this hour have adopted the Anglican via media, despite her
protests to Knox and to the Pope of her fidelity to Rome.  Like Henri
IV., she may at this time have been capable of preferring a crown--that
of England--to a dogma.  Her Mass, Randolph wrote, "is rather for despite
than devotion, for those that use it care not a straw for it, and jest
sometimes against it." {208c}

Randolph, at this juncture, reminded Mary that advisers of the Catholic
party had prevented James V. from meeting Henry VIII.  She answered,
"Something is reserved for us that was not then," possibly hinting at her
conversion.  Lord James shared the hopes of Lethington and Randolph.  "The
Papists storm, thinking the meeting of the queens will overthrow Mass and

The Ministers of Mary, les politiques, indulged in dreams equally
distasteful to the Catholics and to the more precise of the godly; dreams
that came through the Ivory Gate; with pictures of the island united, and
free from the despotism of Giant Pope and Giant Presbyter. {209}  A
schism between the brethren and their old leaders and advisers, Lord
James and Lethington, was the result.  At the General Assembly of
December 1561, the split was manifest.  The parties exchanged
recriminations, and there was even question of the legality of such
conventions as the General Assembly.  Lethington asked whether the Queen
"allowed" the gathering.  Knox (apparently) replied, "Take from us the
freedom of Assemblies, and take from us the Evangel . . ."  He defended
them as necessary for order among the preachers; but the objection, of
course, was to their political interferences.  The question was to be
settled for Cromwell in his usual way, with a handful of hussars.  It was
now determined that the Queen might send Commissioners to the Assembly to
represent her interests.

The plea of the godly that Mary should ratify the Book of Discipline was
countered by the scoffs of Lethington.  He and his brothers ever
tormented Knox by persiflage.  Still the preachers must be supported, and
to that end, by a singular compromise, the Crown assumed dominion over
the property of the old Church, a proceeding which Mary, if a good
Catholic, could not have sanctioned.  The higher clergy retained
two-thirds of their benefices, and the other third was to be divided
between the preachers and the Queen.  Vested rights, those of the
prelates, and the interests of the nobles to whom, in the troubles, they
had feued parts of their property, were thus secured; while the preachers
were put off with a humble portion.  Among the abbeys, that of St.
Andrews, held by the good Lord James, was one of the richest.  He appears
to have retained all the wealth, for, as Bishop Keith says, "the grand
gulf that swallowed up the whole extent of the thirds were pensions given
gratis by the Queen to those about the Court . . . of which last the Earl
of Moray was always sure to obtain the thirds of his priories of St.
Andrews and Pittenweem."  In all, the whole reformed clergy received
annually (but not in 1565-66) 24,231 pounds, 17s. 7d. Scots, while Knox
and four superintendents got a few chalders of wheat and "bear."  In
1568, when Mary had fallen, a gift of 333 pounds, 6s. 8d. was made to
Knox from the fund, about a seventh of the money revenue of the Abbey of
St. Andrews. {210}  Nobody can accuse Knox of enriching himself by the
Revolution.  "In the stool of Edinburgh," he declared that two parts were
being given to the devil, "and the third must be divided between God and
the devil," between the preachers and the Queen, and the Earl of Moray,
among others.  The eminently godly Laird of Pitarro had the office of
paying the preachers, in which he was so niggardly that the proverb ran,
"The good Laird of Pitarro was an earnest professor of Christ, but the
great devil receive the Comptroller."

It was argued that "many Lords have not so much to spend" as the
preachers; and this was not denied (if the preachers were paid), but it
was said the Lords had other industries whereby they might eke out their
revenues.  Many preachers, then or later, were driven also to other
industries, such as keeping public-houses. {211a}  Knox, at this period,
gracefully writes of Mary, "we call her not a hoore."  When she scattered
his party after Riccio's murder, he went the full length of the
expression, in his "History."

"Simplicity," says Thucydides, "is no small part of a noble nature," and
Knox was now to show simplicity in conduct, and in his narrative of a
very curious adventure.

The Hamiltons had taken little but loss by joining the Congregation.
Arran could not recover his claims, on whatever they were founded, over
the wealth of St. Andrews and Dunfermline.  Chatelherault feared that
Mary would deprive him of his place of refuge, the castle of Dumbarton,
to which he confessed that his right was "none," beyond a verbal promise
of a nineteen years "farm" (when given we know not), from Mary of Guise.
{211b}  Randolph began to believe that Arran really had contemplated a
raid on Mary at Holyrood, where she had no guards. {211c}  "Why," asked
Arran, "was it not as easy to take her out of the Abbey, as once it had
been intended to do with her mother?"

Here were elements of trouble, and Knox adds that, according to the
servants of Chatelherault, Huntly and the Hamiltons devised to slay Lord
James, who in January received the Earldom of Moray, but bore the title
of Earl of Mar, which earldom he held for a brief space. {212a}  Huntly
had claims on Moray, and hence hated Lord James.  Arran was openly
sending messengers to France; "his councils are too patent."  Randolph at
the same time found Knox and the preachers "as wilfull as learned, which
heartily I lament" (January 30).  The rumour that Mary had been persuaded
by the Cardinal to turn Anglican "makes them run almost wild" (February
12). {212b}  If the Queen were an Anglican the new Kirk would be in an
ill way.  Arran still sent retainers to France, and was reported to speak
ill of Mary (February 21), but the Duke tried to win Randolph to a
marriage between Arran and the Queen.  The intended bridegroom lay abed
for a week, "tormented by imaginations," but was contented, not to be
reconciled with Bothwell, but to pass his misdeeds in "oblivion," {212c}
as he declared to the Privy Council (February 20).

In these threatening circumstances Bothwell made Knox's friend, Barron, a
rich burgess who "financed" the Earl, introduce him to our Reformer.  The
Earl explained that his feud with Arran was very expensive; he had for
his safety to keep "a number of wicked and unprofitable men about
him"--his "Lambs," the Ormistouns, {213} young Hay of Tala, probably, and
the rest.  He therefore repented, and wished to be reconciled to Arran.
Knox, pleased at being a reconciler where nobler men had failed, and
moved, after long refusal, by the entreaties of the godly, as he tells
Mrs. Locke, advised Bothwell first to be reconciled to God.  So Bothwell
presently was, going to sermon for that very purpose.  Knox promised to
approach Arran, and Bothwell, with his usual impudence, chose that moment
to seize an old pupil of Knox's, the young Laird of Ormiston (Cockburn).
The young laird, to be sure, had fired a pistol at his enemy.  However,
Bothwell repented of this lapse, and at the Hamilton's great house of
Kirk-of-Field, Knox made him and Arran friends.  Next day they went to
sermon together; on the following day they visited Chatelherault at
Kinneil, some twelve miles from Edinburgh.  But on the ensuing day (March
26) came the wild end of the reconciliation.

Knox had delivered his daily sermon, and was engaged with his vast
correspondence, when Arran was announced, with an advocate and the town
clerk.  Arran began a conference with tears, said that he was betrayed,
and told his tale.  Bothwell had informed him that he would seize the
Queen, put her in Dumbarton, kill her misguiders, the "Earl of Moray"
(Mar, Lord James), Lethington, and others, "and so shall he and I rule

But Arran believed Bothwell really intended to accuse him of treason, or
knowledge of treason, so he meant to write to Mary and Mar.  Knox asked
whether he had assented to the plot, and advised him to be silent.
Probably he saw that Arran was distraught, and did not credit his story.
But Arran said that Bothwell (as he had once done before, in 1559) would
challenge him to a judicial combat--such challenges were still common,
but never led to a fight.  He then walked off with his legal advisers,
and wrote to Mary at Falkland. {214a}  If Arran went mad, he went mad
"with advice of counsel."  There had come the chance of "a new day,"
which the extremists desired, but its dawn was inauspicious.

Arran rode to his father's house of Kinneil, where, either because he was
insane, or because there really was a Bothwell-Hamilton plot, he was
locked up in a room high above the ground.  He let himself down from the
window, reached Halyards (a place of Kirkcaldy of Grange), and was thence
taken by Mar (whom Knox appears to have warned) to the Queen at Falkland.
Bothwell and Gawain Hamilton were also put in ward there.  Randolph gives
(March 31) a similar account, but believed that there really was a plot,
which Arran denied even before he arrived at Falkland.  Bothwell came to
purge himself, but "was found guilty on his own confession on some
points." {214b}

The Queen now went to St. Andrews, where the suspects were placed in the
Castle.  Arran wavered, accusing Mar's mother of witchcraft.  Mary was
"not a little offended with Bothwell to whom she has been so good."
Randolph (April 7) continued to think that Arran should be decapitated.
He and Bothwell were kept in ward, and his father, the Duke, was advised
to give up Dumbarton to the Crown, which he did. {215a}  This was about
April 23.  Knox makes a grievance of the surrender; the Castle, he says,
was by treaty to be in the Duke's hands till the Queen had lawful issue.
{215b}  Chatelherault himself, as we said, told Randolph that he had no
right in the place, beyond a verbal and undated promise of the late

Knox now again illustrates his own historical methods.  Mary, riding
between Falkland and Lochleven, fell, was hurt, and when Randolph wrote
from Edinburgh on May 11, was not expected there for two or three days.
But Knox reports that, on her return from Fife to Edinburgh, she danced
excessively till after midnight, because she had received letters "that
persecution was begun again in France," by the Guises. {215c}  Now as,
according to Knox elsewhere, "Satan stirreth his terrible tail," so did
one of Mary's uncles, the Duc de Guise, "stir his tail" against one of
the towns appointed to pay Mary's jointure, namely Vassy, in Champagne.
Here, on March 1, 1562, a massacre of Huguenots, by the Guise's
retainers, began the war of religion afresh. {215d}

Now, in the first place, this could not be joyful news to set Mary
dancing; as it was apt to prevent what she had most at heart, her
personal interview with Elizabeth.  She understood this perfectly well,
and, in conversation with Randolph, after her return to Edinburgh,
lamented the deeds of her uncles, as calculated "to bring them in hate
and disdain of many princes," and also to chill Elizabeth's amity for
herself--on which her whole policy now depended (May 29). {216a}  She
wept when Randolph said that, in the state of France, Elizabeth was not
likely to move far from London for their interview.  In this mood how
could Mary give a dance to celebrate an event which threatened ruin to
her hopes?

Moreover, if Knox, when he speaks of "persecution begun again," refers to
the slaughter of Huguenots by Guise's retinue, at Vassy, that untoward
event occurred on March 1, and Mary cannot have been celebrating it by a
ball at Holyrood as late as May 14, at earliest. {216b}  Knox, however,
preached against her dancing, if she danced "for pleasure at the
displeasure of God's people"; so he states the case.  Her reward, in that
case, would he "drink in hell."  In his "History" he declares that Mary
did dance for the evil reason attributed to her, a reason which must have
been mere matter of inference on his part, and that inference wrong,
judging by dates, if the reference is to the affair of Vassy.  In April
both French parties were committing brutalities, but these were all
contrary to Mary's policy and hopes.

If Knox heard a rumour against any one, his business, according to the
"Book of Discipline," was not to go and preach against that person, even
by way of insinuation. {216c}  Mary's offence, if any existed, was not
"public," and was based on mere suspicion, or on tattle.  Dr. M'Crie,
indeed, says that on hearing of the affair of Vassy, the Queen
"immediately after gave a splendid ball to her foreign servants."  Ten
weeks after the Vassy affair is not "immediately"; and Knox mentions
neither foreign servants nor Vassy. {216d}

The Queen sent for Knox, and made "a long harangue," of which he does not
report one word.  He gives his own oration.  Mary then said that she
could not expect him to like her uncles, as they differed in religion.
But if he heard anything of herself that he disapproved of, "come to
myself and tell me, and I shall hear you."  He answered that he was not
bound to come "to every man in particular," but she _could_ come to his
sermons!  If she would name a day and hour, he would give her a doctrinal
lecture.  At this very moment he "was absent from his book"; his studies
were interrupted.

"You will not always be at your book," she said, and turned her back.  To
some papists in the antechamber he remarked, "Why should the pleasing
face of a gentlewoman affray me?  I have looked in the faces of many
angry men, and yet have not been afraid above measure."

He was later to flee before that pleasing face.

Mary can hardly be said to have had the worse, as far as manners and
logic went, of this encounter, at which Morton, Mar, and Lethington were
present, and seem to have been silent. {217a}

Meanwhile, Randolph dates this affair, the dancing, the sermon, the
interview, not in May, but about December 13-15, 1562, {217b} and
connects the dancing with no event in France, {217c} nor can I find any
such event in late November which might make Mary glad at heart.  Knox,
Randolph writes, mistrusts all that the Queen does or says, "as if he
were of God's Privy Council, that knew how he had determined of her in
the beginning, or that he knew the secrets of her heart so well that she
neither did nor could have one good thought of God or of his true
religion."  His doings could not increase her respect for his religion.

The affair of Arran had been a sensible sorrow to Knox.  "God hath
further humbled me since that day which men call Good Friday," he wrote
to Mrs. Locke (May 6), "than ever I have been in my life. . . ."  He had
rejoiced in his task of peace-making, in which the Privy Council had
practically failed, and had shown great naivete in trusting Bothwell.  The
best he could say to Mrs. Locke was that he felt no certainty about the
fact that Bothwell had tempted Arran to conspire. {218}

The probability is that the reckless and impoverished Bothwell did intend
to bring in the desirable "new day," and to make the Hamiltons his tools.
Meanwhile he was kept out of mischief and behind stone walls for a
season.  Knox had another source of annoyance which was put down with a
high hand.

The dominie of the school at Linlithgow, Ninian Winzet by name, had lost
his place for being an idolater.  In February he had brought to the
notice of our Reformer and of the Queen the question, "Is John Knox a
lawful minister?"  If he was called by God, where were his miracles?  If
by men, by what manner of men?  On March 3, Winzet asked Knox for "your
answer in writing."  He kept launching letters at Knox in March; on March
24 he addressed the general public; and, on March 31, issued an appeal to
the magistrates, who appear to have been molesting people who kept
Easter.  The practice was forbidden in a proclamation by the Queen on May
31. {219a}  "The pain is death," writes Randolph. {219b}  If Mary was
ready to die for her faith, as she informed a nuncio who now secretly
visited her, she seems to have been equally resolved that her subjects
should not live in it.

Receiving no satisfactory _written_ answer from Knox, Winzet began to
print his tract, and then he got his reply from "soldiers and the
magistrates," for the book was seized, and he himself narrowly escaped to
the Continent. {219c}  Knox was not to be brought to a written reply,
save so far as he likened his calling to that of Amos and John the
Baptist.  In September he referred to his "Answer to Winzet's Questions"
as forthcoming, but it never appeared. {219d}  Winzet was Mary's chaplain
in her Sheffield prison in 1570-72; she had him made Abbot of Ratisbon,
and he is said, by Lethington's son, to have helped Lesley in writing his

On June 29 the General Assembly, through Knox probably, drew up the
address to the Queen, threatening her and the country with the wrath of
God on her Mass, which, she is assured, is peculiarly distasteful to the
Deity.  The brethren are deeply disappointed that she does not attend
their sermons, and ventures to prefer "your ain preconceived vain
opinion."  They insist that adulterers must be punished with death, and
they return to their demands for the poor and the preachers.  A new
rising is threatened if wicked men trouble the ministers and disobey the

Lethington and Knox had one of their usual disputes over this manifesto;
the Secretary drew up another.  "Here be many fair words," said the Queen
on reading it; "I cannot tell what the hearts are." {220a}  She later
found out the nature of Lethington's heart, a pretty black one.  The
excesses of the Guises in France were now the excuse or cause of the
postponement of Elizabeth's meeting with Mary.  The Queen therefore now
undertook a northern progress, which had been arranged for in January,
about the time when Lord James was made Earl of Moray. {220b}

He could not "brook" the Earldom of Moray before the Earl of Huntly was
put down, Huntly being a kind of petty king in the east and north.  There
is every reason to suppose that Mary understood and utterly distrusted
Huntly, who, though the chief Catholic in the country, had been a traitor
whenever occasion served for many a year.  One of his sons, John, in
July, wounded an Ogilvy in Edinburgh in a quarrel over property.  This
affair was so managed as to drive Huntly into open rebellion, neither
Mary nor her brother being sorry to take the opportunity.

The business of the ruin of Huntly has seemed more of a mystery to
historians than it was, though an attack by a Catholic princess on her
most powerful Catholic subject does need explanation.  But Randolph was
with Mary during the whole expedition, and his despatches are better
evidence than the fables of Buchanan and the surmises of Knox and Mr.
Froude.  Huntly had been out of favour ever since Lord James obtained the
coveted Earldom of Moray in January, and he was thought to be opposed to
Mary's visit to Elizabeth.  Since January, the Queen had been bent on a
northern progress.  Probably the Archbishop of St. Andrews, as reported
by Knox, rightly guessed the motives.  At table he said, "The Queen has
gone into the north, belike to seek disobedience; she may perhaps find
the thing that she seeks." {221a}  She wanted a quarrel with Huntly, and
a quarrel she found.  Her northward expedition, says Randolph, "is rather
devised by herself than greatly approved by her Council."  She would not
visit Huntly at Strathbogie, contrary to the advice of her Council; his
son, who wounded Ogilvy, had broken prison, and refused to enter himself
at Stirling Castle.  Huntly then supported his sons in rebellion, while
Bothwell broke prison and fortified himself in Hermitage Castle.  Lord
James's Earldom of Moray was now publicly announced (September 18), and
Huntly was accused of a desire to murder him and Lethington, while his
son John was to seize the Queen. {221b}  Mary was "utterly determined to
bring him to utter confusion."  Huntly was put to the horn on October 18;
his sons took up arms.  Huntly, old and corpulent, died during a defeat
at Corrichie without stroke of sword; his mischievous son John was taken
and executed, Mary being pleased with her success, and declaring that
Huntly thought "to have married her where he would," {221c} and to have
slain her brother.  John Gordon confessed to the murder plot. {221d}  His
eldest brother, Lord Gordon, who had tried to enlist Bothwell and the
Hamiltons, lay long in prison (his sister married Bothwell just before
Riccio's murder).  The Queen had punished the disobedience which she
"went to seek," and Moray was safe in his rich earldom, while a heavy
blow was dealt at the Catholicism which Huntly had protected. {222a}
Cardinal Guise reports her success to de Rennes, in Austria, with
triumph, and refers to an autograph letter of hers, of which Lethington's
draft has lately perished by fire, unread by historians.  As the Cardinal
reports that she says she is trying to win her subjects back to the
Church, "in which she wishes to live and die" (January 30, 1562-63),
Lethington cannot be the author of that part of her lost letter. {222b}

Knox meanwhile, much puzzled by the news from the north, was in the
western counties.  He induced the lairds of Ayrshire to sign a Protestant
band, and he had a controversy with the Abbot of Crosraguel.  In
misapplication of texts the abbot was even more eccentric than Knox,
though he only followed St. Jerome.  In his "History" Knox "cannot
certainly say whether there was any secret paction and confederacy
between the Queen herself and Huntly." {222c}  Knox decides that though
Mary executed John Gordon and other rebels, yet "it was the destruction
of others that she sought," namely, of her brother, whom she hated "for
his godliness and upright plainness." {222d}  His upright simplicity had
won him an earldom and the destruction of his rival!  He and Lethington
may have exaggerated Huntly's iniquities in council with Mary, but the
rumours reported against her by Knox could only be inspired by the
credulity of extreme ill-will.  He flattered himself that he kept the
Hamiltons quiet, and, at a supper with Randolph in November, made
Chatelherault promise to be a good subject in civil matters, and a good
Protestant in religion.

Knox says that preaching was done with even unusual vehemence in winter,
when his sermon against the Queen's dancing for joy over some unknown
Protestant misfortune was actually delivered, and the good seed fell on
ground not wholly barren.  The Queen's French and Scots musicians would
not play or sing at the Queen's Christmas-day Mass, whether pricked in
heart by conscience, or afraid for their lives.  "Her poor soul is so
troubled for the preservation of her silly Mass that she knoweth not
where to turn for defence of it," says Randolph. {223a}  These
persecutions may have gone far to embitter the character of the victim.

Mr. Froude is certainly not an advocate of Mary Stuart, rather he is
conspicuously the reverse.  But he remarks that when she determined to
marry Darnley, "divide Scotland," and trust to her Catholic party, she
did so because she was "weary of the mask which she had so long worn, and
unable to endure any longer these wild insults to her creed and herself."
{223b}  She had, in fact, given the policy of submission to "wild
insults" rather more than a fair chance; she had, for a spirited girl,
been almost incredibly long-suffering, when "barbarously baited," as
Charles I. described his own treatment by the preachers and the

CHAPTER XVI: KNOX AND QUEEN MARY (continued): 1563-1564

The new year, 1563, found Knox purging the Kirk from that fallen brother,
Paul Methuen.  This preacher had borne the burden and heat of the day in
1557-58, erecting, as we have seen, the first "reformed" Kirk, that of
the Holy Virgin, in Dundee, and suffering some inconvenience, if no great
danger, from the clergy of the religion whose sacred things he overthrew.
He does not appear to have been one of the more furious of the new
apostles.  Contrasted with John Brabner, "a vehement man inculcating the
law and pain thereof," Paul is described as "a milder man, preaching the
evangel of grace and remission of sins in the blood of Christ." {224a}

Paul was at this time minister of Jedburgh.  He had "an ancient matron"
to wife, recommended, perhaps, by her property, and she left him for two
months with a servant maid.  Paul fell, but behaved not ill to the mother
of his child, sending her "money and clothes at various times."  Knox
tried the case at Jedburgh; Paul was excommunicated, and fled the realm,
sinking so low, it seems, as to take orders in the Church of England.
Later he returned--probably he was now penniless--"and prostrated himself
before the whole brethren with weeping and howling."  He was put to such
shameful and continued acts of public penance up and down the country
that any spirit which he had left awoke in him, and the Kirk knew him no
more.  Thus "the world might see what difference there is between
darkness and light." {225a}

Knox presently had to record a scandal in a higher place, the capture and
execution of the French minor poet, Chastelard, who, armed with sword and
dagger, hid under the Queen's bed in Holyrood; and invaded her room with
great insolence at Burntisland as she was on her way to St. Andrews.
There he was tried, condemned, and executed in the market-place.  It
seems fairly certain that Chastelard, who had joined the Queen with
despatches during the expedition against Huntly, was a Huguenot.  The
Catholic version, and Lethington's version, of his adventure was that
some intriguing Huguenot lady had set him on to sully Queen Mary's
character; other tales ran that he was to assassinate her, as part of a
great Protestant conspiracy. {225b}

Randolph, who knew as much as any one, thought the Queen far too familiar
with the poet, but did not deem that her virtue was in fault. {225c}  Knox
dilates on Mary's familiarities, kisses given in a vulgar dance, dear to
the French society of the period, and concludes that the fatuous poet
"lacked his head, that his tongue should not utter the secrets of our
Queen." {225d}

There had been a bad harvest, and a dearth, because the Queen's luxury
"provoked God" (who is represented as very irritable) "to strike the
staff of bread," and to "give His malediction upon the fruits of the
earth.  But oh, alas, who looked, or yet looks, to the very cause of all
our calamities!" {226a}

Some savage peoples are said to sacrifice their kings when the weather is
unpropitious.  Knox's theology was of the same kind.  The preachers, says
Randolph (February 28), "pray daily . . . that God will either turn the
Queen's heart or grant her short life.  Of what charity or spirit this
proceeds, I leave to be discussed by great divines." {226b}  The prayers
sound like encouragement to Jehus.

At this date Ruthven was placed, "by Lethington's means only," on the
Privy Council.  Moray especially hated Ruthven "for his sorcery"; the
superstitious Moray affected the Queen with this ill opinion of one of
the elect--in the affair of Riccio's murder so useful to the cause of
Knox.  "There is not an unworthier in Scotland" than Ruthven, writes
Randolph. {226c}  Meanwhile Lethington was in England to negotiate for
peace in France; if he could, to keep an eye on Mary's chances for the
succession, and (says Knox) to obtain leave for Lennox, the chief of the
Stuarts and the deadly foe of the Hamiltons, to visit Scotland, whence,
in the time of Henry VIII., he had been driven as a traitor.  But
Lethington was at that time confuting Lennox's argument that the Hamilton
chief, Chatelherault, was illegitimate.  Knox is not positive, he only
reports rumours. {226d}  Lethington's serious business was to negotiate a
marriage for the Queen.

Despite the recent threats of death against priests who celebrated Mass,
the Archbishop Hamilton and Knox's opponent, the Abbot of Crossraguel,
with many others, did so at Easter.  The Ayrshire brethren "determined to
put to their own hands," captured some priests, and threatened others
with "the punishment that God has appointed to idolaters by His law."
{227a}  The Queen commanded Knox to meet her at Lochleven in
mid-April--Lochleven, where she was later to be a prisoner.  In that
state lay the priests of her religion, who had been ministering to the
people, "some in secret houses, some in barns, some in woods and hills,"
writes Randolph, "all are in prison." {227b}

Mary, for two hours before supper, implored Knox to mediate with the
western fanatics.  He replied, that if princes would not use the sword
against idolaters, there was the leading case of Samuel's slaughter of
Agag; and he adduced another biblical instance, of a nature not usually
cited before young ladies.  He was on safer ground in quoting the Scots
law as it stood.  Judges within their bounds were to seek out and punish
"mass-mongers"--that was his courteous term.

The Queen, rather hurt, went off to supper, but next morning did her best
to make friends with Knox over other matters.  She complained of Ruthven,
who had given her a ring for some magical purpose, later explained by
Ruthven, who seems to have despised the superstition of his age.  The
Queen, says Ruthven, was afraid of poison; he gave her the ring, saying
that it acted as an antidote.  Moray was at Lochleven with the Queen, and
Moray believed, or pretended to believe, in Ruthven's "sossery," as
Randolph spells "sorcery."  She, rather putting herself at our Reformer's
mercy, complained that Lethington alone placed Ruthven in the Privy

"That man is absent," said Knox, "and therefore I will speak nothing on
that behalf."  Mary then warned him against "the man who was at time most
familiar with the said John, in his house and at table," the despicable
Bishop of Galloway, and Knox later found out that the warning was wise.
Lastly, she asked him to reconcile the Earl and Countess of Argyll--"do
this much for my sake"; and she promised to summon the offending priests
who had done their duty. {228a}

Knox, with his usual tact, wrote to Argyll thus: "Your behaviour toward
your wife is very offensive unto many godly."  He added that, if all that
was said of Argyll was true, and if he did not look out, he would be

"This bill was not well accepted of the said Earl," but, like the rest of
them, he went on truckling to Knox, "most familiar with the said John."

Nearly fifty priests were tried, but no one was hanged.  They were put in
ward; "the like of this was never heard within the realm," said pleased
Protestants, not "smelling the craft."  Neither the Queen nor her Council
had the slightest desire to put priests to death.  Six other priests "as
wicked as" the Archbishop were imprisoned, and the Abbot of Crossraguel
was put to the horn in his absence, just as the preachers had been.  The
Catholic clergy "know not where to hide their heads," says Randolph.  Many
fled to the more tender mercies of England; "it will be the common refuge
of papists that cannot live here . . ." {228c}  The tassels on the trains
of the ladies, it was declared by the preachers, "would provoke God's
vengeance . . . against the whole realm . . " {229a}

The state of things led to a breach between Knox and Moray, which lasted
till the Earl found him likely to be useful, some eighteen months later.

The Reformer relieved his mind in the pulpit at the end of May or early
in June, rebuking backsliders, and denouncing the Queen's rumoured
marriage with any infidel, "and all Papists are infidels."  Papists and
Protestants were both offended.  There was a scene with Mary, in which
she wept profusely, an infirmity of hers; we constantly hear of her
weeping in public.  She wished the Lords of the Articles to see whether
Knox's "manner of speaking" was not punishable, but nothing could be
done.  Elizabeth would have found out a way. {229b}

The fact that while Knox was conducting himself thus, nobody ventured to
put a dirk or a bullet into him--despite the obvious strength of the
temptation in many quarters--proves that he was by far the most potent
human being in Scotland.  Darnley, Moray, Lennox were all assassinated,
when their day came, though the feeblest of the three, Darnley, had a
powerful clan to take up his feud.  We cannot suppose that any moral
considerations prevented the many people whom Knox had offended from
doing unto him as the Elect did to Riccio.  Manifestly, nobody had the
courage.  No clan was so strong as the warlike brethren who would have
avenged the Reformer, and who probably would have been backed by

Again, though he was estranged from Moray, that leader was also, in some
degree, estranged from Lethington, who did not allow him to know the
details of his intrigues, in France and England, for the Queen's
marriage.  The marriage question was certain to reunite Moray and Knox.
When Knox told Mary that, as "a subject of this realm," he had a right to
oppose her marriage with any infidel, he spoke the modern constitutional
truth.  For Mary to wed a Royal Catholic would certainly have meant peril
for Protestantism, war with England, and a tragic end.  But what
Protestant could she marry?  If a Scot, he would not long have escaped
the daggers of the Hamiltons; indeed, all the nobles would have borne the
fiercest jealousy against such an one as, say, Glencairn, who, we learn,
could say anything to Mary without offence.  She admired a strong brave
man, and Glencairn, though an opponent, was gallant and resolute.  England
chose only to offer the infamous and treacherous Leicester, whose
character was ruined by the mysterious death of his wife (Amy Robsart),
and who had offered to sell England and himself to idolatrous Spain.
Mary's only faint chance of safety lay in perpetual widowhood, or in
marrying Knox, by far the most powerful of her subjects, and the best
able to protect her and himself.

This idea does not seem to have been entertained by the subtle brain of
Lethington.  Between February and May 1563, the Cardinal of Lorraine had
reopened an old negotiation for wedding the Queen to the Archduke, and
Mary had given an evasive reply; she must consult Parliament.  In March,
with the Spanish Ambassador in London, Lethington had proposed for Don
Carlos.  Philip II., as usual, wavered, consented (in August),
considered, and reconsidered.  Lethington, in France, had told the Queen-
Mother that the Spanish plan was only intended to wring concessions from
Elizabeth; and, on his return to England, had persuaded the Spanish
Ambassador that Charles IX. was anxious to succeed to his brother's
widow.  This moved Philip to be favourable to the Don Carlos marriage,
but he waited; there was no sign from France, and Philip withdrew,
wavering so much that both the Austrian and Spanish matches became
impossible.  On October 6, Knox, who suspected more than he knew, told
Cecil that out of twelve Privy Councillors, nine would consent to a
Catholic marriage.  The only hope was in Moray, and Knox "daily thirsted"
for death. {231a}  He appealed to Leicester (about whose relations with
Elizabeth he was, of course, informed) as to a man who "may greatly
advance the purity of religion." {231b}

These letters to Cecil and Leicester are deeply pious in tone, and reveal
a cruel anxiety.  On June 20, three weeks after Knox's famous sermon,
Lethington told de Quadra, the Spanish Ambassador, that Elizabeth
threatened to be Mary's enemy if she married Don Carlos or any of the
house of Austria. {231c}  On August 26, 1563, Randolph received
instructions from Elizabeth, in which the tone of menace was unconcealed.
Elizabeth would offer an English noble: "we and our country cannot think
any mighty prince a meet husband for her." {231d}

Knox was now engaged in a contest wherein he was triumphant; an affair
which, in later years, was to have sequels of high importance.  During
the summer vacation of 1563, while Mary was moving about the country,
Catholics in Edinburgh habitually attended at Mass in her chapel.  This
was contrary to the arrangement which permitted no Mass in the whole
realm, except that of the Queen, when her priests were not terrorised.
The godly brawled in the Chapel Royal, and two of them were arrested, two
very dear brethren, named Cranstoun and Armstrong; they were to be tried
on October 24.  Knox had a kind of Dictator's commission from the
Congregation, "to see that the Kirk took no harm," and to the
Congregation he appealed by letter.  The accused brethren had only "noted
what persons repaired to the Mass," but they were charged with divers
crimes, especially invading her Majesty's palace.  Knox therefore
convoked the Congregation to meet in Edinburgh on the day of trial, in
the good old way of overawing justice. {232a}  Of course we do not know
to what lengths the dear brethren went in their pious indignation.  The
legal record mentions that they were armed with pistols, in the town and
Court suburb; and it was no very unusual thing, later, for people to
practise pistol shooting at each other even in their own Kirk of St.
Giles's. {232b}

Still, pistols, if worn in the palace chapel have not a pacific air.  The
brethren are also charged with assaulting some of the Queen's domestic
servants. {232c}

Archbishop Spottiswoode, son of one of the Knoxian Superintendents, says
that the brethren "forced the gates, and that some of the worshippers
were taken and carried to prison. . . . " {232d}  Knox admits in his
"History" that "some of the brethren _burst in_" to the chapel.  In his
letter to stir up the godly, he says that the brethren "passed" (in),
"and that _in most quiet manner_."

On receiving Knox's summons the Congregation prepared its levies in every
town and province. {233a}  The Privy Council received a copy of Knox's
circular, and concluded that it "imported treason."

To ourselves it does seem that for a preacher to call levies out of every
town and province, to meet in the capital on a day when a trial was to be
held, is a thing that no Government can tolerate.  The administration of
justice is impossible in the circumstances.  But it was the usual course
in Scotland, and any member of the Privy Council might, at any time, find
it desirable to call a similar convocation of his allies.  Mary herself,
fretted by the perfidies of Elizabeth, had just been consoled by that
symbolic jewel, a diamond shaped like a rock, and by promises in which
she fondly trusted when she at last sought an asylum in England, and
found a prison.  For two months she had often been in deep melancholy,
weeping for no known cause, and she was afflicted by the "pain in her
side" which ever haunted her (December 13-21). {233b}

Accused by the Master of Maxwell of unbecoming conduct, Knox said that
such things had been done before, and he had the warrant "of God,
speaking plainly in his Word."  The Master (later Lord Herries), not
taking this view of the case, was never friendly with Knox again; the
Reformer added this comment as late as December 1571. {233c}

Lethington and Moray, like Maxwell, remonstrated vainly with our
Reformer.  Randolph (December 21) reports that the Lords assembled "to
take order with Knox and his faction, who intended by a mutinous assembly
made by his letter before, to have rescued two of their brethren from
course of law. . . . " {234a}  Knox was accompanied to Holyrood by a
force of brethren who crowded "the inner close and all the stairs, even
to the chamber door where the Queen and Council sat." {234b}  Probably
these "slashing communicants" had their effect on the minds of the
councillors.  Not till after Riccio's murder was Mary permitted to have a
strong guard.

According to Knox, Mary laughed a horse laugh when he entered, saying,
"Yon man gart me greit, and grat never tear himself.  I will see gif I
can gar him greit."  Her Scots, textually reported, was certainly

Knox acknowledged his letter to the Congregation, and Lethington
suggested that he might apologise.  Ruthven said that Knox made
convocation of people daily to hear him preach; what harm was there in
his letter merely calling people to convocation.  This was characteristic
pettifogging.  Knox said that he convened the people to meet on the day
of trial according to the order "that the brethren has appointed . . . at
the commandment of the general Kirk of the Realm."

Mary seems, strangely enough, to have thought that this was a valid
reply.  Perhaps it was, and the Kirk's action in that sense, directed
against the State, finally enabled Cromwell to conquer the Kirk-ridden
country.  Mary appears to have admitted the Kirk's imperium in imperio,
for she diverted the discussion from the momentous point really at
issue--the right of the Kirk to call up an armed multitude to thwart
justice.  She now fell on Knox's employment of the word "cruelty."  He
instantly started on a harangue about "pestilent Papists," when the Queen
once more introduced a personal question; he had caused her to weep, and
he recounted all their interview after he attacked her marriage from the

He was allowed to go home--it might not have been safe to arrest him, and
the Lords, unanimously, voted that he had done no offence.  They repeated
their votes in the Queen's presence, and thus a precedent for "mutinous
convocation" by Kirkmen was established, till James VI. took order in
1596.  We have no full narrative of this affair except that of Knox.  It
is to be guessed that the nobles wished to maintain the old habit of
mutinous convocation which, probably, saved the life of Lethington, and
helped to secure Bothwell's acquittal from the guilt of Darnley's murder.
Perhaps, too, the brethren who filled the whole inner Court and
overflowed up the stairs of the palace, may have had their influence.

This was a notable triumph of our Reformer, and of the Kirk; to which, on
his showing, the Queen contributed, by feebly wandering from the real
point at issue.  She was no dialectician.  Knox's conduct was, of course,
approved of and sanctioned by the General Assembly. {235}  He had, in his
circular, averred that Cranstoun and Armstrong were summoned "that a door
may be opened to execute cruelty upon a greater multitude."  To put it
mildly, the General Assembly sanctioned contempt of Court.  Unluckily for
Scotland contempt of Court was, and long remained, universal, the country
being desperately lawless, and reeking with blood shed in public and
private quarrels.  When a Prophet followed the secular example of
summoning crowds to overawe justice, the secular sinners had warrant for
thwarting the course of law.

As to the brethren and the idolaters who caused these troubles, we know
not what befell them.  The penalty, both for the attendants at Mass and
for the disturbers thereof, should have been death!  The dear brethren,
if they attacked the Queen's servants, came under the Proclamation of
October 1561; so did the Catholics, for _they_ "openly made alteration
and innovation of the state of religion. . . . "  They ought "to be
punished to the death with all rigour."  Three were outlawed, and their
sureties "unlawed."  Twenty-one others were probably not hanged; the
records are lost.  For the same reason we know not what became of the
brethren Armstrong, Cranstoun, and George Rynd, summoned with the other
malefactors for November 13. {236}

CHAPTER XVII: KNOX AND QUEEN MARY (continued), 1564-1567

During the session of the General Assembly in December 1563, Knox was
compelled to chronicle domestic enormities.  The Lord Treasurer,
Richardson, having, like Captain Booth, "offended the law of Dian," had
to do penance before the whole congregation, and the sermon
(unfortunately it is lost, probably it never was written out) was
preached by Knox.  A French apothecary of the Queen's, and his mistress,
were hanged on a charge of murdering their child. {237a}  On January 9,
1564-65, Randolph noted that one of the Queen's Maries, Mary Livingstone,
is to marry John Sempill, son of Robert, third Lord Sempill, by an
English wife.  Knox assures us that "it is well known that shame hastened
marriage between John Sempill, called 'the Dancer,' and Mary Livingstone,
surnamed 'the Lusty.'"  The young people appear, however, to have been in
no pressing hurry, as Randolph, on January 9, did not expect their
marriage till the very end of February; they wished the Earl of Bedford,
who was coming on a diplomatic mission, to be present. {237b}  Mary, on
March 9, 1565, made them a grant of lands, since "it has pleased God to
move their hearts to join together in the state of matrimony." {237c}  She
had ever since January been making the bride presents of feminine finery.

These proceedings indicating no precipitate haste, we may think that Mary
Livingstone, like Mary of Guise, is only a victim of the Reformer's taste
for "society journalism."  Randolph, though an egregious gossip, says of
the Four Maries, "they are all good," but Knox writes that "the ballads
of that age" did witness to the "bruit" or reputation of these maidens.
As is well known the old ballad of "Mary Hamilton," which exists in more
than a dozen very diverse variants, in some specimens confuses one of the
Maries, an imaginary "Mary Hamilton," with the French maid who was hanged
at the end of 1563.  The balladist is thus responsible for a scandal
against the fair sisterhood; there was no "Mary Hamilton," and no "Mary
Carmichael," in their number--Beaton, Seton, Fleming, and Livingstone.

An offended Deity now sent frost in January 1564, and an aurora borealis
in February, Knox tells us, and "the threatenings of the preachers were
fearful," in face of these unusual meteorological phenomena. {238}

Vice rose to such a pitch that men doubted if the Mass really was
idolatry!  Knox said, from the pulpit, that if the sceptics were right,
_he_ was "miserably deceived."  "Believe me, brethren, in the bowels of
Christ, it is possible that you may be mistaken," Cromwell was to tell
the Commissioners of the General Assembly, on a day that still was in the
womb of the future; the dawn of common sense rose in the south.

On March 20, much to the indignation of the Queen, the banns were read
twice between Knox and a lady of the Royal blood and name, Margaret
Stewart, daughter of Lord Ochiltree, a girl not above sixteen, in January
1563, when Randolph first speaks of the wooing. {239}  The good Dr.
M'Crie does not mention the age of the bride!  The lady was a very near
kinswoman of Chatelherault.  She had plenty of time for reflection, and
as nobody says that she was coerced into the marriage, while Nicol Burne
attributes her passion to sorcery, we may suppose that she was in love
with our Reformer.  She bore him several daughters, and it is to be
presumed that the marriage, though in every way _bizarre_, was happy.
Burne says that Knox wished to marry a Lady Fleming, akin to
Chatelherault, but was declined; if so, he soon consoled himself.

At this time Riccio--a valet de chambre of the Queen in 1561-62--"began
to grow great in Court," becoming French Secretary at the end of the
year.  By June 3, 1565, Randolph is found styling Riccio "only governor"
to Darnley.  His career might have rivalled that of the equally low-born
Cardinal Alberoni, but for the daggers of Moray's party.

In the General Assembly of June 1564, Moray, Morton, Glencairn, Pitarro,
Lethington, and other Lords of the Congregation held aloof from the
brethren, but met the Superintendents and others to discuss the recent
conduct of our Reformer, who was present.  He was invited, by Lethington,
to "moderate himself" in his references to the Queen, as others might
imitate him, "albeit not with the same modesty and foresight," for
Lethington could not help bantering Knox.  Knox, of course, rushed to his
doctrine of "idolatry" as provocative of the wrath of God--we have heard
of the bad harvest, and the frost in January.  It is not worth while to
pursue in detail the discourses, in which Knox said that the Queen
rebelled against God "in all the actions of her life."  Ahab and Jezebel
were again brought on the scene.  It profited not Lethington to say that
all these old biblical "vengeances" were "singular motions of the Spirit
of God, and appertain nothing to our age."  If Knox could have understood
_that_, he would not have been Knox.  The point was intelligible;
Lethington perceived it, but Knox never chose to do so.  He went on with
his isolated texts, Lethington vainly replying "the cases are nothing
alike."  Knox came to his old stand, "the idolater must die the death,"
and the executioners must be "the people of God."  Lethington quoted many
opinions against Knox's, to no purpose, opinions of Luther, Melanchthon,
Bucer, Musculus, and Calvin, but our Reformer brought out the case of
"Amasiath, King of Judah," and "The Apology of Magdeburg."  As to the
opinion of Calvin and the rest he drew a distinction.  They had only
spoken of the godly who were suffering under oppression, not of the godly
triumphant in a commonwealth.  He forgot, or did not choose to remember,
a previous decision of his own, as we shall see.

When the rest of the party were discussing the question, Makgill, Clerk
Register, reminded them of their previous debate in November 1561, when
{240} Knox, after secretly writing to Calvin, had proposed to write to
him for his opinion about the Queen's Mass, and Lethington had promised
to do so himself.  But Lethington now said that, on later reflection, as
Secretary of the Queen, he had scrupled, without her consent, to ask a
foreigner whether her subjects might prevent her from enjoying the rites
of her own religion--for that was what the "controversies" between her
Highness and her subjects really and confessedly meant. {241a}

Knox was now requested to consult Calvin, "and the learned in other
Kirks, to know their judgment in that question."  The question, judging
from Makgill's interpellation, was "whether subjects might lawfully take
her Mass from the Queen." {241b}  As we know, Knox had already put the
question to Calvin by a letter of October 24, 1561, and so had the
anonymous writer of November 18, 1561, whom I identify with Arran.  Knox
now refused to write to "Mr. Calvin, and the learned of other Kirks,"
saying (I must quote him textually, or be accused of misrepresentation),
"I myself am not only fully resolved in conscience, but also I have heard
the judgments in this, and all other things that I have affirmed in this
Realm, of the most godly and most learned that be known in Europe.  I
come not to this Realm without their resolution; and for my assurance I
have the handwritings of many; and therefore if I should move the same
question again, what else should I do but either show my own ignorance
and forgetfulness, or else inconstancy?" {241c}  He therefore said that
his opponents might themselves "write and complain upon him," and so
learn "the plain minds" of the learned--but nobody took the trouble.
Knox's defence was worded with the skill of a notary.  He said that he
had "heard the judgments" of "the learned and godly"; he did not say what
these judgments were.  Calvin, Morel, Bullinger, and such men, we know,
entirely differed from his extreme ideas.  He "came not without their
resolution," or approval, to Scotland, but that was not the question at

If Knox had received from Calvin favourable replies to his own letter,
and Arran's, of October 24, November 18, 1561, can any one doubt that he
would now have produced them, unless he did not wish the brethren to find
out that he himself had written without their knowledge?  We know what
manner of answers he received, in 1554, orally from Calvin, in writing
from Bullinger, to his questions about resistance to the civil power.
{242a}  I am sceptical enough to suppose that, if Knox had now possessed
letters from Calvin, justifying the propositions which he was
maintaining, such as that "the people, yea, _or ane pairt of the people_,
may execute God's jugementis against their King, being ane offender,"
{242b} he would have exhibited them.  I do not believe that he had any
such letters from such men as Bullinger and Calvin.  Indeed, we may ask
whether the question of the Queen's Mass had arisen in any realm of
Europe except Scotland.  Where was there a Catholic prince ruling over a
Calvinistic state?  If nowhere, then the question would not be raised,
except by Knox in his letter to Calvin of October 24, 1561.  And where
was Calvin's answer, and to what effect?

Knox may have forgotten, and Lethington did not know, that, about 1558-
59, in a tract, already noticed (pp. 101-103 supra), of 450 pages against
the Anabaptists, Knox had expressed the reverse of his present opinion
about religious Regicide.  He is addressing the persecuting Catholic
princes of Europe: " . . . Ye shall perish, both temporally and for ever.
And by whom doth it most appear that temporally ye shall be punished?  By
_us_, whom ye banish, whom ye spoil and rob, whom cruelly ye persecute,
and whose blood ye daily shed? {243a}  There is no doubt, but as the
victory which overcometh the world is our faith, so it behoveth us to
possess our souls in our patience.  We neither privily nor openly deny
the power of the Civil Magistrate. . . . "

The chosen saints and people of God, even when under oppression, lift not
the hand, but possess their souls in patience, says Knox, in 1558-59.  But
the idolatrous shall be temporally punished--by other hands.  "And what
instruments can God find in this life more apt to punish you than those"
(the Anabaptists), "that hate and detest all lawful powers? . . .  God
will not use his saints and chosen people to punish you.  _For with them
there is always mercy_, yea, even although God have pronounced a curse
and malediction, as in the history of Joshua is plain." {243b}

In this passage Knox is speaking for the English exiles in Geneva.  He
asserts that we "neither publicly nor privately deny the power of the
Civil Magistrate," in face of his own published tracts of appeal to a
Jehu or a Phinehas, and of his own claim that the Prophet may preach
treason, and that his instruments may commit treason.  To be sure all the
English in Geneva were not necessarily of Knox's mind.

It is altogether a curious passage.  God's people are more merciful than
God!  Israel was bidden to exterminate all idolaters in the Promised
Land, but, as the Book of Joshua shows, they did not always do it: "for
with them is always mercy"; despite the massacres, such as that of Agag,
which Knox was wont to cite as examples to the backward brethren!  Yet,
relying on another set of texts, not in Joshua, Knox now informed
Lethington that the executors of death on idolatrous princes were "the
people of God"--"the people, or a part of the people." {244a}

Mercy!  Happily the policy of carnal men never allowed Knox's "people of
God" to show whether, given a chance to destroy idolaters, they would
display the mercy on which he insists in his reply to the Anabaptist.

It was always useless to argue with Knox; for whatever opinion happened
to suit him at the moment (and at different moments contradictory
opinions happened to suit him), he had ever a Bible text to back him.  On
this occasion, if Lethington had been able to quote Knox's own statement,
that with the people of God "there is always mercy" (as in the case of
Cardinal Beaton), he could hardly have escaped by saying that there was
always mercy, _when the people of God had not the upper hand in the
State_, {244b} when unto them God has _not_ "given sufficient force."  For
in the chosen people of God "there is _always_ mercy, yea even although
God have pronounced a curse and malediction."

In writing against Anabaptists (1558-59), Knox wanted to make _them_, not
merciful Calvinists, the objects of the fear and revenge of Catholic
rulers.  He even hazarded one of his unfulfilled prophecies: Anabaptists,
wicked men, will execute those divine judgments for which Protestants of
his species are too tender-hearted; though, somehow, they make exceptions
in the cases of Beaton and Riccio, and ought to do so in the case of Mary

Lethington did not use this passage of our Reformer's works against him,
though it was published in 1560.  Probably the secretary had not worked
his way through the long essay on Predestination.  But we have, in the
book against the Anabaptists and in the controversy with Lethington, an
example of Knox's fatal intellectual faults.  As an individual man, he
would not have hurt a fly.  As a prophet, he deliberately tried to
restore, by a pestilent anachronism, in a Christian age and country, the
ferocities attributed to ancient Israel.  This he did not even do
consistently, and when he is inconsistent with his prevailing mood, his
biographers applaud his "moderation"!  If he saw a chance against an
Anabaptist, or if he wanted to conciliate Mary of Guise, he took up a
Christian line, backing it by texts appropriate to the occasion.

His influence lasted, and the massacre of Dunavertie (1647), and the
slaying of women in cold blood, months after the battle of Philiphaugh,
and the "rouping" of covenanted "ravens" for the blood of cavaliers taken
under quarter, are the direct result of Knox's intellectual error, of his
appeals to Jehu, Phinehas, and so forth.

At this point the Fourth Book of Knox's "History" ends with a remark on
the total estrangement between himself and Moray.  The Reformer continued
to revise and interpolate his work, up to 1571, the year before his
death, and made collections of materials, and notes for the continuation.
An uncertain hand has put these together in Book V.  But we now miss the
frequent references to "John Knox," and his doings, which must have been
vigorous during the troubles of 1565, after the arrival in Scotland of
Darnley (February 1565), and his courtship and marriage of the Queen.
These events brought together Moray, Chatelherault, and many of the Lords
in the armed party of the Congregation.  They rebelled; they were driven
by Mary into England, by October 1565, and Bothwell came at her call from
France.  The Queen had new advisers--Riccio, Balfour, Bothwell, the
eldest son of the late Huntly, and Lennox, till the wretched Darnley in a
few weeks proved his incapacity.  Lethington, rather neglected, hung
about the Court, as he remained with Mary of Guise long after he had
intended to desert her.

Mary, whose only chance lay in outstaying Elizabeth in the policy of
celibacy, had been driven, or led, by her rival Queen into a marriage
which would have been the best possible, had Darnley been a man of
character and a Protestant.  He was the typical "young fool," indolent,
incapable, fierce, cowardly, and profligate.  His religion was dubious.
After his arrival (on February 26, 1565) he went with Moray to hear Knox
preach, but he had been bred by a Catholic mother, and, on occasion,
posed as an ardent Catholic. {246}  It is unfortunate that Randolph is
silent about Knox during all the period of the broils which preceded and
followed Mary's marriage.

On August 19, 1565, Darnley, now Mary's husband, went to hear Knox preach
in St. Giles's, on the text, "O Lord our God, other lords than Thou have
ruled over us."  "God," he said, "sets in that room (for the offences and
ingratitude of the people) boys and women."  Ahab also appeared, as
usual.  Ahab "had not taken order with that harlot, Jezebel."  So Book V.
says, and "harlot" would be a hit at Mary's alleged misconduct with
Riccio.  A hint in a letter of Randolph's of August 24, may point to
nascent scandal about the pair.  But the printed sermon, from Knox's
written copy, reads, not "harlot" but "idolatrous wife."  At all events,
Darnley was so moved by this sermon that he would not dine. {247a}  Knox
was called "from his bed" to the Council chamber, where were Atholl,
Ruthven, Lethington, the Justice Clerk, and the Queen's Advocate.  He was
attended by a great crowd of notable citizens, but Lethington forbade him
to preach for a fortnight or three weeks.  He said that, "If the Church
would command him to preach or abstain he would obey, so far as the Word
of God would permit him."

It seems that he would only obey even the Church as far as he chose.

The Town Council protested against the deprivation, and we do not know
how long Knox desisted from preaching.  Laing thinks that, till Mary
fell, he preached only "at occasional intervals." {247b}  But we shall
see that he did presently go on preaching, with Lethington for a
listener.  He published his sermon, without name of place or printer.  The
preacher informs his audience that "in the Hebrew there is no conjunction
copulative" in a certain sentence; probably he knew more Hebrew than most
of our pastors.

The sermon is very long, and, wanting the voice and gesture of the
preacher, is no great proof of eloquence; in fact, is tedious.  Probably
Darnley was mainly vexed by the length, though he may have had
intelligence enough to see that he and Mary were subjects of allusions.
Knox wrote the piece from memory, on the last of August, in "the terrible
roaring of guns, and the noise of armour."  The banded Lords, Moray and
the rest, had entered Edinburgh, looking for supporters, and finding
none.  Erskine, commanding the Castle, fired six or seven shots as a
protest, and the noise of these disturbed the prophet at his task.  As a
marginal note says, "The Castle of Edinburgh was shooting against the
exiled for Christ Jesus' sake" {248a}--namely, at Moray and his company.
Knox prayed for them in public, and was accused of so doing, but
Lethington testified that he had heard "the sermons," and found in them
no ground of offence. {248b}

[Mary Stuart.  From the portrait in the collection of the Earl of Morton:

Moray, Ochiltree, Pitarro, and many others being now exiles in England,
whose Queen had subsidised and repudiated them and their revolution,
things went hard with the preachers.  For a whole year at least (December
1565-66) their stipends were not paid, the treasury being exhausted by
military and other expenses, and Pitarro being absent.  At the end of
December, Knox and his colleague, Craig, were ordered by the General
Assembly to draw up and print a service for a general Fast, to endure
from the last Sunday in February to the first in March, 1566.  One cause
alleged is that the Queen's conversion had been hoped for, but now she
said that she would "maintain and defend" {248c} her own faith.  She had
said no less to Knox at their first interview, but now she had really
written, when invited to abolish her Mass, that her subjects may worship
as they will, but that she will not desert her religion. {249a}  It was
also alleged that the godly were to be destroyed all over Europe, in
accordance with decrees of the Council of Trent.  Moreover, vice,
manslaughter, and oppression of the poor continued, prices of commodities
rose, and work was scamped.  The date of the Fast was fixed, not to
coincide with Lent, but because it preceded an intended meeting of
Parliament, {249b} a Parliament interrupted by the murder of Riccio, and
the capture of the Queen.  No games were to be played during the two
Sundays of the Fast, which looks as if they were still permitted on other
Sundays.  The appointed lessons were from Judges, Esther, Chronicles,
Isaiah, and Esdras; the New Testament, apparently, supplied nothing
appropriate.  It seldom did.  The lay attendants of the Assembly of
Christmas Day which decreed the Fast, were Morton, Mar, Lindsay,
Lethington, with some lairds.

The Protestants must have been alarmed, in February 1566, by a report, to
which Randolph gave circulation, that Mary had joined a Catholic League,
with the Pope, the Emperor, the King of Spain, the Duke of Savoy, and
others.  Lethington may have believed this; at all events he saw no hope
of pardon for Moray and his abettors--"no certain way, unless we chop at
the very root, you know where it lieth" (February 9). {249c}  Probably he
means the murder of Riccio, not of the Queen.  Bedford said that Mary had
not yet signed the League. {249d}  We are aware of no proof that there
was any League to sign, and though Mary was begging money both from Spain
and the Pope, she probably did not expect to procure more than tolerance
for her own religion. {250a}  The rumours, however, must have had their
effect in causing apprehension.  Moreover, Darnley, from personal
jealousy; Morton, from fear of losing the Seals; the Douglases, kinsmen
of Morton and Darnley; and the friends of the exiled nobles, seeing that
they were likely to be forfeited, conspired with Moray in England to be
Darnley's men, to slay Riccio, and to make the Queen subordinate to
Darnley, and "to fortify and maintain" the Protestant faith.  Mary,
indeed, had meant to reintroduce the Spiritual Estate into Parliament, as
a means of assisting her Church; so she writes to Archbishop Beaton in
Paris. {250b}

Twelve wooden altars, to be erected in St. Giles's, are said by Knox's
continuator to have been found in Holyrood. {250c}

Mary's schemes, whatever they extended to, were broken by the murder of
Riccio in the evening of March 9.  He was seized in her presence, and
dirked by fifty daggers outside of her room.  Ruthven, who in June 1564
had come into Mary's good graces, and Morton were, with Darnley, the
leaders of the Douglas feud, and of the brethren.

The nobles might easily have taken, tried, and hanged Riccio, but they
yielded to Darnley and to their own excited passions, when once they had
torn him from the Queen.  The personal pleasure of dirking the wretch
could not be resisted, and the danger of causing the Queen's miscarriage
and death may have entered into the plans of Darnley.  Knox does not tell
the story himself; his "History" ends in June 1564.  But "in plain terms"
he "lets the world understand what we mean," namely, that Riccio "was
justly punished," and that "the act" (of the murderers) was "most just
and most worthy of _all_ praise." {251a}  This Knox wrote just after the
event, while the murderers were still in exile in England, where Ruthven
died--seeing a vision of angels!  Knox makes no drawback to the entirely
and absolutely laudable character of the deed.  He goes out of his way to
tell us "in plain terms what we mean," in a digression from his account
of affairs sixteen years earlier.  Thus one fails to understand the
remark, that "of the manner in which the deed was done we may be certain
that Knox would disapprove as vehemently as any of his contemporaries."
{251b}  The words may be ironical, for vehement disapproval was not
conspicuous among Protestant contemporaries.  Knox himself, after Mary
scattered the party of the murderers and recovered power, prayed that
heaven would "put it into the heart of a multitude" to treat Mary like

Mary made her escape from Holyrood to Dunbar, to safety, in the night of
March 11.  March 12 found Knox on his knees; the game was up, the blood
had been shed in vain.  The Queen had not died, but was well, and
surrounded by friends; and the country was rather for her than against
her.  The Reformer composed a prayer, repenting that "in quiet I am
negligent, in trouble impatient, tending to desperation," which shows
insight.  He speaks of his pride and ambition, also of his covetousness
and malice.  That he was really covetous we cannot believe, nor does he
show malice except against idolaters.  He "does not doubt himself to be
elected to eternal salvation," of which he has "assured signs."  He has
"knowledge above the common sort of my brethren" (pride has crept in
again!), and has been compelled to "forespeak," or prophesy.  He implores
mercy for his "desolate bedfellow," for her children, and for his sons by
his first wife.  "Now, Lord, put end to my misery!" (Edinburgh, March 12,
1566).  Knox fled from Edinburgh, "with a great mourning of the godly of
religion," says a Diarist, on the same day as the chief murderers took
flight, March 17; his place of refuge was Kyle in Ayrshire (March 21,
1566). {252a}

In Randolph's letter, recording the flight of these nobles, he mentions
eight of their accomplices, and another list is pinned to the letter,
giving names of men "all at the death of Davy and privy thereunto."  This
applies to about a dozen men, being a marginal note opposite their names.
A line lower is added, "John Knox, John Craig, preachers." {252b}  There
is no other evidence that Knox, who fled, or Craig, who stood to his
pulpit, were made privy to the plot.  When idolaters thought it best not
to let the Pope into a scheme for slaying Elizabeth, it is hardly
probable that Protestants would apprise their leading preachers.  On the
other hand, Calvin was consulted by the would-be assassins of the Duc de
Guise, in 1559-60, and he prevented the deed, as he assures the Duchesse
de Ferrare, the mother-in-law of the Duc, after that noble was murdered
in good earnest. {252c}  Calvin, we have shown, knew beforehand of the
conspiracy of Amboise, which aimed at the death of "Antonius," obviously
Guise.  He disapproved of but did not reveal the plot.  Knox, whether
privy to the murder or not, did not, when he ran away, take the best
means of disarming suspicion.  Neither his name nor that of Craig occurs
in two lists containing those of between seventy and eighty persons
"delated," and it is to be presumed that he fled because he did not feel
sure of protection against Mary's frequently expressed dislike.

In earlier days, with a strong backing, he had not feared "the pleasing
face of a gentlewoman," as he said, but now he did fear it.  Kyle suited
him well, because the Earl of Cassilis, who had been an idolater, was
converted by a faithful bride, in August.  Dr. M'Crie {253a} says that
Mary "wrote to a nobleman in the west country with whom Knox resided, to
banish him from his house."  The evidence for this is a letter of
Parkhurst to Bullinger, in December 1567.  Parkhurst tells Bullinger,
among other novelties, that Riccio was a necromancer, who happened to be
dirked; by whom he does not say.  He adds that Mary commanded "a certain
pious earl" not to keep Knox in his house. {253b}

In Kyle Knox worked at his "History."  On September 4 he signed a letter
sent from the General Assembly at St. Andrews to Beza, approving of a
Swiss confession of faith, except so far as the keeping of Christmas,
Easter, and other Christian festivals is concerned.  Knox himself wrote
to Beza, about this time, an account of the condition of Scotland.  It
would be invaluable, as the career of Mary was rushing to the falls, but
it is lost. {253c}

On December 24, Mary pardoned all the murderers of Riccio; and Knox
appears to have been present, though it is not certain, at the Christmas
General Assembly in Edinburgh.  He received permission to visit his sons
in England, and he wrote two letters: one to the Protestant nobles on
Mary's attempt to revive the consistorial jurisdiction of the Primate;
the other to the brethren.  To England he carried a remonstrance from the
Kirk against the treatment of Puritans who had conscientious objections
to the apparel--"Romish rags"--of the Church Anglican.  Men ought to
oppose themselves boldly to Authority; that is, to Queen Elizabeth, if
urged further than their consciences can bear. {254a}

Being in England, Knox, of course, did not witness the events associated
with the Catholic baptism of the baby prince (James VI.); the murder of
Darnley, in February 1567; the abduction of Mary by Bothwell, and her
disgraceful marriage to her husband's murderer, in May 1567.  If Knox
excommunicated the Queen, it was probably about this date.  Long
afterwards, on April 25, 1584, Mary was discussing the various churches
with Waad, an envoy of Cecil.  Waad said that the Pope stirred up peoples
not to obey their sovereigns.  "Yet," said the Queen, "a Pope shall
excommunicate _you_, but _I_ was excommunicated by a pore minister,
Knokes.  In fayth I feare nothinge else but that they will use my sonne
as they have done the mother." {254b}


The Royal quarry, so long in the toils of Fate, was dragged down at last,
and the doom forespoken by the prophet was fulfilled.  A multitude had
their opportunity with this fair Athaliah; and Mary had ridden from
Carberry Hill, a draggled prisoner, into her own town, among the yells of
"burn the harlot."  But one out of all her friends was faithful to her.
Mary Seton, to her immortal honour, rode close by the side of her fallen
mistress and friend.

For six years insulted and thwarted; her smiles and her tears alike
wasted on greedy, faithless courtiers and iron fanatics; perplexed and
driven desperate by the wiles of Cecil and Elizabeth; in bodily pain and
constant sorrow--the sorrow wrought by the miscreant whom she had
married; without one honest friend; Mary had wildly turned to the man
who, it is to be supposed, she thought could protect her, and her passion
had dragged her into unplumbed deeps of crime and shame.

The fall of Mary, the triumph of Protestantism, appear to have, in some
degree, rather diminished the prominence of Knox.  He would never make
Mary weep again.  He had lost the protagonist against whom, for a while,
he had stood almost alone, and soon we find him complaining of neglect.
He appeared at the General Assembly of June 25, 1567--a scanty gathering.
George Buchanan, a layman, was Moderator: the Assembly was adjourned to
July 21, and the brethren met in arms; wherefore Argyll, who had signed
the band for Darnley's murder, declined to come. {256a}  The few nobles,
the barons, and others present, vowed to punish the murder of Darnley and
to defend the child prince; and it was decided that henceforth all
Scottish princes should swear to "set forward the true religion of Jesus
Christ, as at present professed and established in this realm"--as they
are bound to do--"by Deuteronomy and the second chapter of the Book of
Kings," which, in fact, do not speak of establishing Calvinism.

Among those who sign are Morton, who had guilty foreknowledge of the
murder; while his kinsman, Archibald Douglas, was present at the doing;
Sir James Balfour, who was equally involved; Lethington, who signed the
murder covenant; and Douglas of Whittingham, and Ker of Faldonside, two
of Riccio's assassins.  Most of the nobles stood aloof.

Presently Throckmorton arrived, sent by Elizabeth with the pretence, at
least, of desiring to save Mary's life, which, but for his exertions, he
thought would have been taken.  He "feared Knox's austerity as much as
any man's" (July 14). {256b}

On July 17 Knox arrived from the west, where he had been trying to unite
the Protestants. {256c}  Throckmorton found Craig and Knox "very
austere," well provided with arguments from the Bible, history, the laws
of Scotland, and the Coronation Oath. {257a}  Knox in his sermons
"threatened the great plague of God to this whole nation and country if
the Queen be spared from her condign punishment." {257b}

Murderers were in the habit of being lightly let off, in Scotland, and,
as to Mary, she could easily have been burned for husband-murder, but not
so easily convicted thereof with any show of justice.  The only direct
evidence of her complicity lay in the Casket Letters, and several of her
lordly accusers were (if she were guilty) her accomplices.  Her prayer to
be heard in self-defence at the ensuing Parliament of December was
refused, for excellent reasons; and her opponents had the same good
reasons for not bringing her to trial.  Knox was perfectly justified if
he desired her to be tried, but several lay members of the General
Assembly could not have faced that ordeal, and Randolph later accused
Lethington, in a letter to him, of advising her assassination. {257c}

On July 29 Knox preached at the Coronation of James VI. at Stirling,
protesting against the rite of anointing.  True, it was Jewish, but it
had passed through the impure hands of Rome, as, by the way, had Baptism.
Knox also preached at the opening of Parliament, on December 15.  We know
little of him at this time.  He had sent his sons to Cambridge, into
danger of acquiring Anglican opinions, which they did; but now he seems
to have taken a less truculent view of Anglicanism than in 1559-60.  He
had been drawing a prophetic historical parallel between Chatelherault
(more or less of the Queen's party) and Judas Iscariot, and was not loved
by the Hamiltons.  The Duke was returning from France, "to restore Satan
to his kingdom," with the assistance of the Guises.  Knox mentions an
attempt to assassinate Moray, now Regent, which is obscure.  "I live as a
man already dead from all civil things."  Thus he wrote to Wood, Moray's
agent, then in England on the affair of the Casket Letters (September 10,

He had already (February 14) declined to gratify Wood by publishing his
"History."  He would not permit it to appear during his life, as "it will
rather hurt me than profit them" (his readers).  He was, very naturally,
grieved that the conduct of men was not conformable to "the truth of God,
now of some years manifest."  He was not concerned to revenge his own
injuries "by word or writ," and he foresaw schism in England over
questions of dress and rites. {258a}

He was neglected.  "Have not thine oldest and stoutest acquaintance"
(Moray, or Kirkcaldy of Grange?) "buried thee in present oblivion, and
art thou not in that estate, by age, {258b} that nature itself calleth
thee from the pleasure of things temporal?" (August 19, 1569).

"_In trouble impatient, tending to desperation_," Knox had said of
himself.  He was still unhappy.  "Foolish Scotland" had "disobeyed God by
sparing the Queen's life," and now the proposed Norfolk marriage of Mary
and her intended restoration were needlessly dreaded.  A month later,
Lethington, thrown back on Mary by his own peril for his share in
Darnley's murder, writes to the Queen that some ministers are
reconcilable, "but Nox I think be inflexible." {259a}

A year before Knox wrote his melancholy letter, just cited, he had some
curious dealings with the English Puritans.  In 1566 many of them had
been ejected from their livings, and, like the Scottish Catholics, they
"assembled in woods and private houses to worship God." {259b}  The
edifying controversies between these precisians and Grindal, the Bishop
of London, are recorded by Strype.  The bishop was no zealot for
surplices and the other momentous trifles which agitate the human
conscience, but Elizabeth insisted on them; and "Her Majesty's Government
must be carried on."  The precisians had deserted the English Liturgy for
the Genevan Book of Common Order; both sides were appealing to Beza, in
Geneva, and were wrangling about the interpretation of that Pontiff's
words. {259c}

Calvin had died in 1564, but the Genevan Church and Beza were still
umpires, whose decision was eagerly sought, quibbled over, and disputed.
The French Puritans, in fact, extremely detested the Anglican Book of
Common Prayer.  Thus, in 1562, De la Vigne, a preacher at St. Lo,
consulted Calvin about the excesses of certain Flemish brethren, who
adhered to "a certain bobulary (bobulaire) of prayers, compiled, or
brewed, in the days of Edward VI."  The Calvinists of St. Lo decided that
these Flemings must not approach their holy table, and called our
communion service "a disguised Mass."  The Synod (Calvinistic) of
Poictiers decided that our Liturgy contains "impieties," and that Satan
was the real author of the work!  There are saints' days, "with epistles,
lessons, or gospels, as under the papacy."  They have heard that the
Prayer Book has been condemned by Geneva. {260a}

The English sufferers from our Satanic Prayer Book appealed to Geneva,
and were answered by Beza (October 24, 1567).  He observed, "Who are we
to give any judgment of these things, which, as it seems to us, can be
healed only by prayers and patience."  Geneva has not heard both sides,
and does not pretend to judge.  The English brethren complain that
ministers are appointed "without any lawful consent of the Presbytery,"
the English Church not being Presbyterian, and not intending to be.  Beza
hopes that it will become Presbyterian.  He most dreads that any should
"execute their ministry contrary to the will of her Majesty and the
Bishops," which is exactly what the seceders did.  Beza then speaks out
about the question of costume, which ought not to be forced on the
ministers.  But he does not think that the vestments justify schism.  In
other points the brethren should, in the long run, "give way to manifest
violence," and "live as private men."  "Other defilements" (kneeling,
&c.)  Beza hopes that the Queen and Bishops will remove.  Men must
"patiently bear with one another, and heartily obey the Queen's Majesty
and all their Bishops." {260b}

As far as this epistle goes, Beza and his colleagues certainly do not
advise the Puritan seceders to secede.

Bullinger and Gualterus in particular were outworn by the pertinacious
English Puritans who visited them.  One Sampson had, when in exile, made
the life of Peter Martyr a burden to him by his "clamours," doubts, and
restless dissatisfaction.  "England," wrote Bullinger to Beza (March 15,
1567), "has many characters of this sort, who cannot be at rest, who can
never be satisfied, and who have always something or other to complain
about."  Bullinger and Gualterus "were unwilling to contend with these
men like fencing-masters," tired of their argufying; unable to "withdraw
our entire confidence from the Bishops."  "If any others think of coming
hither, let them know that they will come to no purpose." {261a}

Knox may have been less unsympathetic, but his advice agreed with the
advice of the Genevans.  Some of the seceders were imprisoned; Cecil and
the Queen's commissioners encouraged others "to go and preach the Gospel
in Scotland," sending with them, as it seems, letters commendatory to the
ruling men there.  They went, but they were not long away.  "They liked
not that northern climate, but in May returned again," and fell to their
old practices.  One of them reported that, at Dunbar, "he saw men going
to the church, on Good Friday, barefooted and bare-kneed, and creeping to
the cross!"  "If this be so," said Grindal, "the Church of Scotland will
not be pure enough for our men." {261b}

These English brethren, when in Scotland, consulted Knox on the dispute
which they made a ground of schism.  One brother, who was uncertain in
his mind, visited Knox in Scotland at this time.  The result appears in a
letter to Knox from a seceder, written just after Queen Mary escaped from
Lochleven in May 1568.  The dubiously seceding brother "told the Bishop"
(Grindal) "that you are flat against and condemn all our doings . . .
whereupon the Church" (the seceders) "did excommunicate him"!  He had
reviled "the Church," and they at once caught "the excommunicatory
fever."  Meanwhile the earnestly seceding brother thought that he had won
Knox to _his_ side.  But a letter from our Reformer proved his error, and
the letter, as the brother writes, "is not in all points liked."  They
would not "go back again to the wafer-cake and kneelings" (the Knoxian
Black Rubric had been deleted from Elizabeth's prayer book), "and to
other knackles of Popery."

In fact they obeyed Knox's epistle to England of January 1559.  "Mingle-
mangle ministry, Popish order, and Popish apparel," they will not bear.
Knox's arguments in favour of their conforming, for the time at all
events, are quoted and refuted: "And also concerning Paul his purifying
at Jerusalem."  The analogy of Paul's conformity had been rejected by
Knox, at the supper party with Lethington in 1556.  He had "doubted
whether either James's commandment or Paul's obedience proceeded from the
Holy Ghost." {262a}  Yet now Knox had used the very same argument from
Paul's conformity which, in 1556, he had scouted!  The Mass was not in
question in 1568; still, if Paul was wrong (and he did get into peril
from a mob!), how could Knox now bid the English brethren follow his
example? {262b}  (See pp. 65-67 supra.)

To be sure Mary was probably at large, when Knox wrote, with 4000 spears
at her back.  The Reformer may have rightly thought it an ill moment to
irritate Elizabeth, or he may have grown milder than he was in 1559, and
come into harmony with Bullinger.  In February of the year of this
correspondence he had written, "God comfort that dispersed little flock,"
apparently the Puritans of his old Genevan congregation, now in England,
and in trouble, "amongst whom I would be content to end my days. . . . "

In January 1570, Knox, "with his one foot in the grave," as he says, did
not despair of seeing his desire upon his enemy.  Moray was asking
Elizabeth to hand over to him Queen Mary, giving hostages for the safety
of her life.  Moray sent his messenger to Cecil, on January 2, 1570, and
Knox added a brief note.  "If ye strike not at the root," he said, "the
branches that appear to be broken will bud again. . . .  More days than
one would not suffice to express what I think." {263b}  What he thought
is obvious; "stone dead hath no fellow."  But Mary's day of doom had not
yet come; Moray was not to receive her as a prisoner, for the Regent was
shot dead, in Linlithgow, on January 23, by Hamilton of Bothwellhaugh, to
the unconcealed delight of his sister, for whom his death was opportune.

The assassin, Bothwellhaugh, in May 1568, had been pardoned for his
partisanship of Mary, at Knox's intercession.  "Thy image, O Lord, did so
clearly shine on that personage" (Moray)--he said in his public prayer at
the Regent's funeral {263c}--"that the devil, and the people to whom he
is Prince, could not abide it."  We know too much of Moray to acquiesce,
without reserve, in this eulogium.

Knox was sorely disturbed, at this time, by the publication of a jeu
d'esprit, in which the author professed to have been hidden in a bed, in
the cabinet of a room, while the late Regent held a council of his
friends. {264a}  The tone and manner of Lindsay, Wood, Knox and others
were admirably imitated; in their various ways, and with appropriate
arguments, some of them urged Moray to take the crown for his life.  By
no people but the Scots, perhaps, could this jape have been taken
seriously, but, with a gravity that would have delighted Charles Lamb,
Knox denounced the skit from the pulpit as a fabrication by the Father of
Lies.  The author, the human penman, he said (according to Calderwood),
was fated to die friendless in a strange land.  The galling shaft came
out of the Lethington quiver; it may have been composed by several of the
family, but Thomas Maitland, who later died in Italy, was regarded as the
author, {264b} perhaps because he did die alone in a strange country.

At this time the Castle of Edinburgh was held in the Queen's interest by
Kirkcaldy of Grange, who seems to have been won over by the guile of
Lethington.  That politician needed a shelter from the danger of the
Lennox feud, and the charge of having been guilty of Darnley's murder.  To
take the place was beyond the power of the Protestant party, and it did
not fall under the guns of their English allies during the life of the

He had a tedious quarrel with Kirkcaldy in December 1570-January 1571.  A
retainer of Kirkcaldy's had helped to kill a man whom his master only
wanted to be beaten.  The retainer was put into the Tolbooth; Kirkcaldy
set him free, and Knox preached against Kirkcaldy.  Hearing that Knox had
styled him a murderer, Kirkcaldy bade Craig read from the pulpit a note
in which he denied the charge.  He prayed God to decide whether he or
Knox "has been most desirous of innocent blood."  Craig would not read
the note: Kirkcaldy appealed in a letter to the kirk-session.  He
explained the origin of the trouble: the slain man had beaten his
brother; he bade his agents beat the insulter, who drew his sword, and
got a stab.  On this Knox preached against him, he was told, as a cut-

Next Sunday Knox reminded his hearers that he had not called Kirkcaldy a
murderer (though in the case of the Cardinal, he was), but had said that
the lawless proceedings shocked him more than if they had been done by
common cut-throats.  Knox then wrote a letter to the kirk-session, saying
that Kirkcaldy's defence proved him "to be a murderer at heart," for St.
John says that "whoso loveth not his brother is a man-slayer"; and
Kirkcaldy did not love the man who was killed.  All this was apart from
the question: had Knox called Kirkcaldy a common cut-throat?  Kirkcaldy
then asked that Knox's explanation of what he said in the pulpit might be
given in writing, as his words had been misreported, and Knox, "creeping
upon his club," went personally to the kirk-session, and requested the
Superintendent to admonish Kirkcaldy of his offences.  Next Sunday he
preached about his eternal Ahab, and Kirkcaldy was offended by the
historical parallel.  When he next was in church Knox went at him again;
it was believed that Kirkcaldy would avenge himself, but the western
brethren wrote to remind him of their "great care" for Knox's person.  So
the quarrel, which made sermons lively, died out. {266}

There was little goodwill to Knox in the Queen's party, and as the
conflict was plainly to be decided by the sword, Robert Melville, from
the Castle, advised that the prophet should leave the town, in May 1571.
The "Castilian" chiefs wished him no harm, they would even shelter him in
their hold, but they could not be responsible for his "safety from the
multitude and rascal," in the town, for the craftsmen preferred the party
of Kirkcaldy.  Knox had a curious interview in the Castle with
Lethington, now stricken by a mortal malady.  The two old foes met
courteously, and parted even in merriment; Lethington did not mock, and
Knox did not threaten.  They were never again to see each other's faces,
though the dying Knox was still to threaten, and the dying Lethington was
still to mock.

July found Knox and his family at St. Andrews, in the New Hospice, a pre-
Reformation ecclesiastical building, west of the Cathedral, and adjoining
the gardens of St. Leonard's College.  At this time James Melville,
brother of the more celebrated scholar and divine, Andrew Melville, was a
golf-playing young student of St. Leonard's College.  He tells us how
Knox would walk about the College gardens, exhorting the St. Leonard's
lads to be staunch Protestants; for St. Salvator's and St. Mary's were
not devoted to the Reformer and his party.  The smitten preacher (he had
suffered a touch of apoplexy) walked slowly, a fur tippet round his neck
in summer, leaning on his staff, and on the shoulder of his secretary,
Bannatyne.  He returned, at St. Andrews, in his sermons, to the Book of
Daniel with which, nearly a quarter of a century ago, he began his pulpit
career.  In preaching he was moderate--for half-an-hour; and then,
warming to his work, he made young Melville shudder and tremble, till he
could not hold his pen to write.  No doubt the prophet was denouncing
"that last Beast," the Pope, and his allies in Scotland, as he had done
these many years ago.  Ere he had finished his sermon "he was like to
ding the pulpit to blads and fly out of it."  He attended a play, written
by Davidson, later a famous preacher, on the siege and fall of the
Castle, exhibiting the hanging of his old ally, Kirkcaldy, "according to
Mr. Knox's doctrine," says Melville.  This cheerful entertainment was
presented at the marriage of John Colville, destined to be a traitor, a
double spy, and a renegade from the Kirk to "the Synagogue of Satan."

Knox now collected historical materials from Alexander Hay, Clerk of the
Privy Council, and heard of the publication of Buchanan's scurrilous
"Detection" of Queen Mary, in December 1571. {267b}

Knox had denounced the Hamiltons as murderers, so one of that name
accused our Reformer of having signed a band for the murder of
Darnley--not the murder at Kirk o' Field, but a sketch for an attempt at
Perth!  He had an interview with Knox, not of the most satisfactory, and
there was a quarrel with another Hamilton, who later became a Catholic
and published scurrilous falsehoods about Knox, in Latin.  In fact our
Reformer had quarrels enough on his hands at St. Andrews, and to one
adversary he writes about what he would do, if he had his old strength of

Not in the Regency, but mainly under the influence of Morton, bishops
were reintroduced, at a meeting of the Kirk held at Leith, in January
1572.  The idea was that each bishop should hand over most of his
revenues to Morton, or some other person in power.  Knox, of course,
objected; he preached at St. Andrews before Morton inducted a primate of
his clan, but he refused to "inaugurate" the new prelate.  The
Superintendent of Fife did what was to be done, and a bishop (he of
Caithness) was among the men who imposed their hands on the head of the
new Archbishop of St. Andrews.  Thus the imposition of hands, which Knox
had abolished in the Book of Discipline, crept back again, and remains in
Presbyterian usage. {268a}

Had Knox been in vigour he might have summoned the brethren in arms to
resist; but he was weak of body, and Morton was an ill man to deal with.
Knox did draw up articles intended to minimise the mischief of these
bastard and simoniacal bishoprics and abused patronages (August 1572).
{268b}  On May 26, 1572, he describes himself as "lying in St. Andrews,
half dead." {268c}  He was able, however, to preach at a witch, who was
probably none the better for his distinguished attentions.

On August 17, during a truce between the hostile parties, Knox left St.
Andrews for Edinburgh, "not without dolour and displeasure of the few
godly that were in the town, but to the great joy and pleasure of the
rest;" for, "half dead" as he was, Knox had preached a political sermon
every Sunday, and he was in the pulpit at St. Giles's on the last Sunday
of August. {269a}  As his colleague, Craig, had disgusted the brethren by
his moderation and pacific temper, a minister named Lawson was appointed
as Knox's coadjutor.

Late in August came the news of the St. Bartholomew massacre (August 24).
Knox rose to the occasion, and, preaching in the presence of du Croc, the
French ambassador, bade him tell his King that he was a murderer, and
that God's vengeance should never depart from him or his house. {269b}
The prophecy was amply fulfilled.  Du Croc remonstrated, "but the Lords
answered they could not stop the mouths of ministers to speak against

There was a convention of Protestants in Edinburgh on October 20, but
lords did not attend, and few lairds were present.  The preachers and
other brethren in the Assembly proposed that all Catholics in the realm
should be compelled to recant publicly, to lose their whole property and
be banished if they were recalcitrant, and, if they remained in the
country, that all subjects should be permitted, lawfully, to put them to
death.  ("To invade them, and every one of them, to the death.") {269c}
This was the ideal, embodied in law, of the brethren in 1560.  Happily
they were not permitted to disgrace Scotland by a Bartholomew massacre of
her own.

Mr. Hume Brown thinks that these detestable proposals "if not actually
penned by Knox, must have been directly inspired by him."  He does not,
however, mention the demand for massacre, except as "pains and penalties
for those who _preached_ the old religion." {269d}  "Without exception of
persons, great or small," _all_ were to be obliged to recant, or to be
ruined and exiled, or to be massacred.  Dr. M'Crie does not hint at the
existence of these articles, "to be given to the Regent and Council."
They included a very proper demand for the reformation of vice at home.
Certainly Knox did not pen or dictate the Articles, for none of his
favourite adjectives occurs in the document.

At this time Elizabeth, Leicester, and Cecil desired to hand over Queen
Mary to Mar, the Regent, "to proceed with her by way of justice," a
performance not to be deferred, "either for Parliament or a great
Session."  Very Petty Sessions indeed, if any, were to suffice for the
trial of the Queen. {270}  There are to be no "temporising solemnities,"
all are to be "stout and resolute _in execution_," Leicester thus writes
to an unknown correspondent on October 10.  Killigrew, who was to arrange
the business with Mar, was in Scotland by September 19.  On October 6,
Killigrew writes that Knox is very feeble but still preaching, and that
he says, if he is not a bishop, it is by no fault of Cecil's.  "I trust
to satisfy Morton," says Killigrew, "and as for John Knox, that thing, as
you may see by my letter to Mr. Secretary, is done and doing daily; the
people in general well bent to England, abhorring the fact in France, and
fearing their tyranny."

"That thing" is _not_ the plan for murdering Mary without trial; if
Killigrew meant that he had obtained Knox's assent to _that_, he would
not write "that thing is doing daily."  Even Morton, more scrupulous than
Elizabeth and Cecil, said that "there must be some kind of process"
(trial, proces), attended secretly by the nobles and the ministers.  The
trial would be in Mary's absence, or would be brief indeed, for the
prisoner was not to live three hours after crossing the Border!  Others,
unnamed, insisted on a trial; the Queen had never been found guilty.
Killigrew speaks of "two ministers" as eager for the action, but nothing
proves that Knox was one of them.  While Morton and Mar were haggling for
the price of Mary's blood, Mar died, on October 28, and the whole plot
fell through. {271}  Anxious as Knox had declared himself to be to
"strike at the root," he could not, surely, be less scrupulous about a
trial than Morton, though the decision of the Court was foredoomed.
Sandys, the Bishop of London, advised that Mary's head should be chopped

On November 9, 1572, Knox inducted Mr. Lawson into his place as minister
at St. Giles's.  On the 13th he could not read the Bible aloud, he paid
his servants, and gave his man a present, the last, in addition to his
wages.  On the 15th two friends came to see Knox at noon, dinner time.  He
made an effort, and for the last time sat at meat with them, ordering a
fresh hogshead of wine to be drawn.  "He willed Archibald Stewart to send
for the wine so long as it lasted, for he would never tarry until it were
drunken."  On the 16th the Kirk came to him, by his desire; and he
protested that he had never hated any man personally, but only their
errors, nor had he made merchandise of the Word.  He sent a message to
Kirkcaldy bidding him repent, or the threatenings should fall on him and
the Castle.  His exertions increased his illness.  There had been a final
quarrel with the dying Lethington, who complained that Knox, in sermons
and otherwise, charged him with saying there is "neither heaven nor
hell," an atheistic position of which (see his eloquent prayer before
Corrichie fight, wherein Huntly died {272a}) he was incapable.  On the
16th he told "the Kirk" that Lethington's conduct proved that he really
did disbelieve in God, and a future of rewards and punishments.  That was
not the question.  The question was--Did Knox, publicly and privately, as
Lethington complained, attribute to him words which he denied having
spoken, asking that the witnesses should be produced.  We wish that Knox
had either produced good evidences, or explained why he could not produce
them, or had apologised, or had denied that he spoke in the terms
reported to Lethington.

James Melville says that the Rev. Mr. Lindsay, of Leith, told him that
Knox bade him carry a message to Kirkcaldy in the Castle.  After
compliments, it ran: "He shall be disgracefully dragged from his nest to
punishment, and hung on a gallows before the face of the sun, unless he
speedily amend his life, and flee to the mercy of God."  Knox added:
"That man's soul is dear to me, and I would not have it perish, if I
could save it."  Kirkcaldy consulted Maitland, and returned with a reply
which contained Lethington's last scoff at the prophet.  However, Morton,
when he had the chance, did hang Kirkcaldy, as in the play acted before
Knox at St. Andrews, "according to Mr. Knox's doctrine."  "The preachers
clamoured for blood to cleanse blood." {272b}

As to a secret conference with Morton on the 17th, the Earl, before his
execution, confessed that the dying man asked him, "if he knew anything
of the King's (Darnley's) murder?"  "I answered, indeed, I knew nothing
of it"--perhaps a pardonable falsehood in the circumstances.  Morton said
that the people who had suffered from Kirkcaldy and the preachers daily
demanded the soldier's death.

Other sayings of the Reformer are reported.  He repressed a lady who, he
thought, wished to flatter him: "Lady, lady, the black ox has never
trodden yet upon your foot!"  "I have been in heaven and have possession,
and I have tasted of these heavenly joys where presently I am," he said,
after long meditation, beholding, as in Bunyan's allegory, the hills of
Beulah.  He said the Creed, which soon vanished from Scottish services;
and in saying "Our Father," broke off to murmur, "Who can pronounce so
holy words?"  On November 24 he rose and dressed, but soon returned to
bed.  His wife read to him the text, "where I cast my first anchor," St.
John's Gospel, chapter xvii.  About half-past ten he said, "Now it is
come!" and being asked for a sign of his steadfast faith, he lifted up
one hand, "and so slept away without any pain." {273}

Knox was buried on November 26 in the churchyard south of St. Giles.  A
flat stone, inscribed J. K., beside the equestrian statue of Charles II.,
is reported to mark his earthly resting-place.  He died as he had lived,
a poor man; a little money was owed to him; all his debts were paid.  His
widow, two years later, married Andrew Ker of Faldonside, so notorious
for levelling a pistol at the Queen on the occasion of Riccio's murder.
Ker appears to have been intimate with the Reformer.  Bannatyne speaks of
a story of Lady Atholl's witchcraft, told by a Mr. Lundie to Knox, at
dinner, "at Falsyde."  This was a way of spelling Faldonside, {274} the
name of Ker's place, hard by the Tweed, within a mile of Abbotsford.
Probably Ker and his wife sleep in the family burying-ground, the disused
kirkyard of Lindean, near a little burn that murmurs under the broad
burdock leaves on its way to join the Ettrick.


The Regent has usually been accused of precipitating, or causing the
Revolution of 1559, by breaking a pledge given to the Protestants
assembled at Perth (May 10-11, 1559).  Knox's "History" and a letter of
his are the sources of this charge, and it is difficult to determine the
amount of truth which it may contain.

Our earliest evidence on the matter is found in a letter to the English
Privy Council, from Sir James Croft, commanding at Berwick.  The letter,
of May 19, is eight days later than the riots at Perth.  It is not always
accurately informed; Croft corrects one or two statements in later
despatches, but the points corrected are not those with which we are here
concerned. {275a}  Neither in this nor in other English advices do I note
any charge of ill faith brought against the Regent on this occasion.
Croft says that, on Knox's arrival, many nobles and a multitude of others
repaired to Dundee to hear him and others preach.  The Regent then
summoned these preachers before her to Stirling, {275b} but as they had a
"train" of 5000 or 6000, she "dismissed the appearance," putting the
preachers to the horn, and commanding the nobility to appear before her
in Edinburgh.  The "companies" then retired and wrecked monasteries at
Perth.  The Lords and they had _previously_ sent Erskine of Dun to the
Regent, offering to appear before her with only their household servants,
to hear the preachers dispute with the clergy, if she would permit.  The
Regent, "taking displeasure with" Erskine of Dun, bade him begone out of
her sight.  He rode off (to Perth), and she had him put to the horn (as a
fact, he was only fined in his recognisances as bail for one of the
preachers).  The riots followed his arrival in Perth.

Such is our earliest account; there is no mention of a promise broken by
the Regent.

Knox himself wrote two separate and not always reconcilable accounts of
the first revolutionary explosion; one in a letter of June 23 to Mrs.
Locke, the other in a part of Book II. of his "History," composed at some
date before October 23, 1559.  That portion of his "History" is an
apologia for the proceedings of his party, and was apparently intended
for contemporary publication. {276a}

This part of the "History," therefore, as the work of an advocate, needs
to be checked, when possible, by other authorities.  We first examine
Knox's letter of June 23, 1559, to Mrs. Locke.  He says that he arrived
in Edinburgh on May 2, and, after resting for a day, went (on May 4) to
the brethren assembled at Dundee.  They all marched to Perth, meaning
thence to accompany the preachers to their day of law at Stirling, May
10.  But, lest the proceeding should seem rebellious, they sent a baron
(Erskine of Dun, in fact) to the Regent, "with declaration of our minds."
The Regent _and Council_ in reply, bade the multitude "stay, and not come
to Stirling . . . and so should no extremity be used, but the summons
should be continued" (deferred) "till further advisement.  Which, being
gladly granted of us, some of the brethren returned to their dwelling-
places.  But the Queen _and her Council_, nothing mindful of her and
their promise, incontinent did call" (summon) "the preachers, and for
lack of their appearance, did exile and put them and their assistants to
the horn. . . . " {276b}

It would be interesting to know who the Regent's Council were on this
occasion.  The Reformer errs when he tells Mrs. Locke that the Regent
outlawed "the assisters" of the preachers.  Dr. M'Crie publishes an
extract from the "Justiciary Records" of May 10, in which Methuen,
Christison, Harlaw, and Willock, and no others, are put to the horn, or
outlawed, in absence, for breach of the Regent's proclamations, and for
causing "tumults and seditions."  No one else is put to the horn, but the
sureties for the preachers' appearance are fined. {276c}

In his "History," Knox says that the Regent, when Erskine of Dun arrived
at Stirling as an emissary of the brethren, "began to craft with him,
soliciting him to stay the multitude, and the preachers also, with
promise that she would take some better order."  Erskine wrote to the
brethren, "to stay and not to come forward, showing what promise and
_hope_ he had of the Queen's Grace's favours."  Some urged that they
should go forward till the summons was actually "discharged," otherwise
the preachers and their companions would be put to the horn.  Others said
that the Regent's promises were "not to be suspected . . . and so did the
whole multitude with their preachers stay. . . .  The Queen, perceiving
that the preachers did not appear, began to utter her malice, and
notwithstanding any request made on the contrary, gave command to put
them to the horn. . . ."  Erskine then prudently withdrew, rode to Perth,
and "did conceal nothing of the Queen's craft and falsehood." {277a}

In this version the Regent bears all the blame, nothing is said of the
Council.  "The whole multitude stay"--at Perth, or it may perhaps be
meant that they do not come forward towards Stirling.  The Regent's
promise is merely that she would "take some better order."  She does not
here promise to _postpone_ the summons, and refuses "any request made" to
abstain from putting them to the horn.  The account, therefore, is
somewhat more vague than that in the letter to Mrs. Locke.  Prof. Hume
Brown puts it that the Regent "in her understanding with Erskine of Dun
_had publicly cancelled_ the summons of the preachers for the 10th of
May," which rather overstates the case perhaps.  That she should
"publicly cancel" or "discharge" the summons was what a part of the
brethren desired, and did not get. {277b}

We now turn to a fragmentary and anonymous "Historie of the Estate of
Scotland," concerning which Prof. Hume Brown says, "Whoever the author
may have been, he writes as a contemporary, or from information supplied
by a contemporary . . . what inspires confidence in him is that certain
of his facts not recorded by other contemporary Scottish historians are
corroborated by the despatches of d'Oysel and others in Teulet." {277c}

I elsewhere {277d} give reasons for thinking that this "Historie" is
perhaps the chronicle of Bruce of Earl's Hall, a contemporary gentleman
of Fife.  I also try to show that he writes, on one occasion, as an eye-

This author, who is a strong partisan of the Reformers, says nothing of
the broken promise of the Regent and Council.  He mentions the intention
to march to Stirling, and then writes: "And although the Queen Regent was
most earnestly requested and persuaded to continue"--that is to defer the
summons--"nevertheless she remained wilful and obstinate, so that the
counsel of God must needs take effect.  Shortly, the day being come,
because they appeared not, their sureties were outlawed, and the
preachers ordered to be put to the horn.  The Laird of Dun, who was sent
from Perth by the brethren, perceiving her obstinacy, they" (who?)
"turned from Stirling, and coming to Perth, declared to the brethren the
obstinacy they found in the Queen. . . . "

This sturdy Protestant's version, which does not accuse the Regent of
breaking troth, is corroborated by a Catholic contemporary, Lesley,
Bishop of Ross.  He says that Erskine of Dun was sent to beg the Regent
not to impose a penalty on the preachers in their absence.  But as soon
as Dun returned and Knox learned from him that the Regent would not grant
their request, he preached the sermon which provoked the devastation of
the monasteries. {278a}  Buchanan and Spottiswoode follow Knox, but they
both use Knox's book, and are not independent witnesses.

The biographers of Knox do not quote "The Historie of the Estate of
Scotland," where it touches on the beginning of the Revolution, without
disparaging the Regent's honour.  We have another dubious witness, Sir
James Melville, who arrived on a mission from France to the Regent on
June 13; he left Paris about June 1.  This is the date of a letter {278b}
in which Henri II. offers the Regent every assistance in the warmest
terms.  Melville writes, however, that in his verbal orders, delivered by
the Constable in the royal presence, the Constable said, "I have
intelligence that the Queen Regent has not kept all things promised to
them."  But Melville goes on to say that the Constable quoted d'Elboeuf's
failure to reach Scotland with his fleet, as a reason for not sending the
troops which were promised by Henri.  As d'Elboeuf's failure occurred
long after the date of the alleged conversation, the evidence of Melville
is here incorrect.  He wrote his "Memoirs" much later, in old age, but
Henri may have written to the Regent in one sense, and given Melville
orders in another. {279a}

We find that Knox's charge against the Regent is not made in our earliest
information, Croft's letter of May 19: is not made by the Protestant
(and, we think, contemporary) author of the "Historie," and, of course,
is not hinted at by Lesley, a Catholic.  We have seen throughout that
Knox vilifies Mary of Guise in cases where she is blameless.  On the
other hand, Knox is our only witness who was at Perth at the time of the
events, and it cannot be doubted that what he told Mrs. Locke was what he
believed, whether correctly or erroneously.  He could believe anything
against Mary of Guise.  Archbishop Spottiswoode says, "The author of the
story" ("History") "ascribed to John Knox in his whole discourse showeth
a bitter and hateful spite against the Regent, forging dishonest things
which were never so much as suspected by any, setting down his own
conjectures as certain truths, yea, the least syllable that did escape
her in passion, he maketh it an argument of her cruel and inhuman
disposition . . . " {279b}  In the MS. used by Bishop Keith, {279c}
Spottiswoode added, after praising the Regent, "these things I have heard
my father often affirm"; he had the like testimony "from an honourable
and religious lady, who had the honour to wait near her person."
Spottiswoode was, therefore, persuaded that the "History" "was none of
Mr. Knox his writings."  In spite of this opinion, Spottiswoode, writing
about 1620-35, accepts most of the hard things that Knox says of the
Regent's conduct in 1559, and indeed exaggerates one or two of them; that
is, as relates to her political behaviour, for example, in the affair of
the broken promise of May 10.  It may be urged that here Spottiswoode had
the support of the reminiscences of his father, a Superintendent in the
Knoxian church.


In the writer's opinion several of Knox's accusations of perfidy against
the Regent, in 1559, are not proved, and the attempts to prove them are
of a nature which need not be qualified.  But it is necessary to state
the following facts as tending to show that the Regent was capable of
procuring a forgery against the Duke of Chatelherault.  A letter
attributed to him exists in the French Archives, {280a} dated Glasgow,
January 25, 1560, in which the Duke curries favour with Francis II., and
encloses his blank bond, un blanc scelle, offering to send his children
to France. {280b}  _On January_ 28, the Regent writes from Scotland to de
Noailles, then the French Ambassador to England, bidding him to mention
this submission to Elizabeth, and even show the Duke's letter and blank
bond, that Elizabeth may see how little he is to be trusted.  Now how
could the Regent, on January 28, have a letter sent by the Duke to France
on January 25?  She must have intercepted it in Scotland. {280c}  Next,
on March 15, 1560, the Duke, writing to Norfolk, denies the letter
attributed to him by the French. {280d}  He said that any one of a
hundred Hamiltons would fight M. de Seurre (the French Ambassador who, in
February, succeeded de Noailles) on this quarrel. {280e}

There exists a document, in the cipher of Throckmorton, English
Ambassador in France, purporting to be a copy of a letter from the Regent
to the Duc and Cardinal de Guise, dated Edinburgh, March 27, 1560. {280f}
The Regent, at that date, was in Leith, not in Edinburgh Castle, where
she went on April 1.  In that letter she is made to say that de Seurre
has "very evil misunderstood" the affair of the letter attributed to
Chatelherault.  She had procured "blanks" of his "by one of her servants
here" (at Leith) "to the late Bishop of Ross"; the Duke's alleged letter
and submission of January 25 had been "filled up" on a "blank," the Duke
knowing nothing of the matter.

This letter of the Regent, then, must also, if authentic, have been
somehow intercepted or procured by Throckmorton, in France.  It is
certain that Throckmorton sometimes, by bribery, did obtain copies of
secret French papers, but I have not found him reporting to Cecil or
Queen Elizabeth this letter of the Regent's.  The reader must estimate
for himself the value of that document.  I have stated the case as fairly
as I can, and though the evidence against the Regent, as it stands, would
scarcely satisfy a jury, I believe that, corrupted by the evil example of
the Congregation, the Regent, in January 1560, did procure a forgery
intended to bring suspicion on Chatelherault.  But how could she be
surprised that de Seurre did not understand the real state of the case?
The Regent may have explained the true nature of the affair to de
Noailles, but it may have been unknown to de Seurre, who succeeded that
ambassador.  Yet, how could she ask any ambassador to produce a confessed
forgery as genuine?


{0a}  Inventories of Mary, Queen of Scots, p. cxxii., note 7.

{0b}  Hume Brown, John Knox, ii. 320-324.

{2a}  Probably Mrs. Knox died in her son's youth, and his father married
again.  Catholic writers of the period are unanimous in declaring that
Knox had a stepmother.

{2b}  Knox, Laing's edition, iv. 78.

{4}  See Young's letter, first published by Professor Hume Brown, John
Knox, vol. ii.  Appendix, 320-324.

{5}  Laing, in his Knox, vi. xxi. xxii.

{6}  Knox, i. 36-40.  The facts are pointed out by Professor Cowan in The
Athenaeum, December 3, 1904, and had been recognised by Dr. Hay Fleming.

{7}  Beza, writing in 1580, says that study of St. Jerome and St.
Augustine suggested his doubts.  Icones Virorum Doctrina Simul ac Pietate

{9}  Pollen, Papal Negotiations with Mary Stuart, 428-430, 522, 524, 528.

{10}  Knox, vi. 172, 173.

{12}  Letter of Young to Beza.  Hume Brown, John Knox, ii. 322-24.

{15a}  Cf. Life of George Wishart, by the Rev. Charles Rodger, 7-12

{15b}  Maxwell, Old Dundee, 83, 84.

{17}  M'Crie's Knox, 24 (1855).

{18a}  "Letter to the Faithful," cf. M'Crie, Life of John Knox, 292.

{18b}  Knox, vi. 229.

{19}  M'Crie, 292.

{20}  Dr. Hay Fleming has impugned this opinion, but I am convinced by
the internal evidence of tone and style in the tract; indeed, an earlier
student has anticipated my idea.  The tract is described by Dr. M'Crie in
his Life of Knox, 326-327 (1855).

{22}  Most of the gentry of Fife were in the murder or approved of it,
and the castle seems to have contained quite a pleasant country-house
party.  They were cheered by the smiles of beauty, and in the treasurer's
accounts we learn that Janet Monypenny of Pitmilly (an estate still in
the possession of her family), was "summoned for remaining in the castle,
and assisting" the murderers.  Dr. M'Crie cites Janet in his list of
"Scottish Martyrs and Prosecutions for Heresy" (Life of Knox, 315).  This
martyr was a cousin, once removed, of the murdered ecclesiastic.

{23a}  Knox, Laing's edition, i. 180.

{23b}  Knox, i. 182.  "The siege continued to near the end of January."
"The truce was of treacherous purpose," i. 183.

{24}  Knox, i. 203-205.

{25a}  Thorpe's Calendar, i. 60; Register Privy Council, i. 57, 58;
Tytler, vi. 8 (1837).

{25b}  State Papers, Scotland, Thorpe, i. 61.

{25c}  Bain, Calendar of Scottish Papers, 1547-69, i. I; Tytler, iii. 51

{26a}  Bain i. 2; Knox, i. 182, 183.

{26b}  For the offering of the papal remission to the garrison of the
castle before April 2, 1547, see Stewart of Cardonald's letter of that
date to Wharton, in Bain's Calendar of Scottish Papers, 1547-69, i. 4-5.

{27a}  John Knox, i. 80.

{27b}  State Papers, Domestic.  Addenda, Edward VI., p. 327.  Lord Eure
says there were twenty galleys.

{27c}  Odet De Selve, Correspondence Politique, pp. 170-178.

{28}  Knox, i. 201.

{30a}  Leonti Strozzio, incolumitatem modo pacti, se dediderunt, writes
Buchanan.  Professor Hume Brown says that Buchanan evidently confirms
Knox; but incolumitas means security for bare life, and nothing more.
Lesley says that the terms _asked_ were life and fortune, salvi cum
fortunis, but the terms _granted_ were but safety in life and limb, and,
it seems, freedom to depart, ut soli homines integri discederent.  If
Lesley, a Catholic historian, is right, and if by discederent he means
"go freely away," the French broke the terms of surrender.

{30b}  Knox, i. 206, 228.

{33a}  Lorimer, John Knox and the Church of England, 261.

{33b}  Ibid., 158.

{33c}  Ibid., 156, 157.

{35}   Compare the preface, under the Restoration, to our existing prayer

{36a}  Lorimer, John Knox and the Church of England, 98-136.

{36b}  Knox, iii. 122.

{37a}  Knox, iii. 297.

{37b}  Ibid., iii. 122.

{38a}  Knox, iii. 280-282.

{38b}  Lorimer, i. 162-176.

{39}  But, for the date, cf. Hume Brown, John Knox, i. 148; and M'Crie,
65, note 5; Knox, iii. 156.

{40a}  Knox, iii. 120.

{40b}  Laing, Knox, vi. pp. lxxx., lxxxi.

{40c}  Pollen, The Month, September 1897.

{43}  Knox, iii. 366.

{45}  Lorimer, John Knox and the Church of England, 259.

{47a}  Original Letters, Parker Society, 745-747; Knox, iii. 221-226.

{47b}  M'Crie, 65 (1855); Knox, iii. 235.

{48}  Knox, iii. 184.

{49a}  Knox, iii. 309.

{49b}  Ibid., iii. 328, 329.

{49c}  Ibid., iii. 194.

{54}  cf. Hume Brown, ii. 299, for the terms.

{56}  John Knox, i. 174, 175; Corp. Ref., xliii. 337-344.

{58}  For the Frankfort affair, see Laing's Knox, iv. 1-40, with Knox's
own narrative, 41-49; the letters to and from Calvin, 51-68.  Calvin, in
his letter to the Puritans at Frankfort, writes: "In the Anglican
Liturgy, _as you describe it_, I see many trifles that may be put up
with," Prof. Hume Brown's rendering of tolerabiles ineptias.  The author
of the "Troubles at Frankfort" (1575) leaves out "as you describe it,"
and renders "In the Liturgie of Englande I see that there were manye
tollerable foolishe thinges."  But Calvin, though he boasts him "easy and
flexible in mediis rebus, such as external rites," is decidedly in favour
of the Puritans.

{60}  Knox i. 244.

{62a}  Knox, i. 245, note I.

{62b}  Ibid., iv. 245.

{66}  I conceive these to have been the arguments of the party of
compromise, judging from the biblical texts which they adduced.

{67}  Knox, i. 247-249.

{71a}  Knox, i. 92.

{71b}  Ibid., iv. 75-84.

{73}  Knox; iv. 238-240.

{74}  We shall see that reformers like Lord James and Glencairn seem, at
this moment, to have sided with Mary of Guise.

{76a}  Knox, i. 267-270.

{76b}  Corpus Reformatorum, xlvi. 426.

{77a}  More probably by Calvin's opinion.

{77b}  Knox, iv. 248-253; i. 267-273.

{78}  Stevenson, Selected MSS., pp. 69, 70 (1827); Bain, i. 585; Randolph
to Cecil, January 2, 1561.

{80a}  Knox, iv. 255-276.

{80b}  Ibid., i. 273, 274.

{81a}  Knox, i. 275, 276.

{81b}  Ibid., i. 273, 274.

{83}  Knox, iv. 501, 502.

{84}  Knox, iv. 358.  Zurich Letters, 34-36.

{85}  Knox, iv. 486, 488.

{87a}  Wodrow Miscellany, vol. i.

{87b}  Here the "Historie of the Estate" is corroborated by the
Treasurer's Accounts, recording payment to Rothesay Herald.  He is
summoning George Lovell, David Ferguson (a preacher, later minister of
Dunfermline), and others unnamed to appear at Edinburgh on July 28, to
answer for "wrongous using and wresting of the Scriptures, disputing upon
erroneous opinions, and eating flesh in Lent," and at other times
forbidden by Acts of Parliament (M'Crie, 359, note G).  Nothing is here
said about riotous iconoclasm, but Lovell had been at the hanging of an
image of St. Francis as early as 1543, and in many such godly exercises,
or was accused of these acts of zeal.

{87c}  "Historie of the Estate of Scotland," Wodrow Miscellany, i. 53-55.

{88a}  Knox, i. 301.

{88b}  Knox appears (he is very vague) to date Calder's petition _after_
Willock's second visit, which the "Historie of the Estate of Scotland"
places in October 1558.  Dr. M'Crie accepts that date, but finds that
Knox places Calder's petition before the burning of Myln, in April 1559.
Dr. M'Crie suggests that perhaps Calder petitioned twice, but deems Knox
in the right.  As the Reformer contradicts himself, unless there were two
Calder petitions (i. 301, i. 307), he must have made an oversight.

{88c}  Hume Brown, John Knox, ii.  Appendix, 301-303.

{88d}  Knox, i. 301-306

{89a}  Knox, i. 294, 301-312.  On p. 294 Knox dates the Parliament in

{89b}  Knox, i. 309-312.

{90a}  Knox, i. 312-314.

{90b}  See Laing's edition, i. 320, 321.

{91}  Wodrow Miscellany, i. 55.

{92a}  M'Crie, Knox, 359, 360.

{92b}  Knox, i. 306, 307.

{93a}  Knox, i. 307.

{93b}  "Historie," Wodrow Miscellany, i. 55, 56.

{93c}  Knox, i. 312-314.

{94a}  "Historie," Wodrow Miscellany, 56.

{94b}  Melville, 76, 77 (1827).

But Professor Hume Brown appears to be misled in saying that Bettencourt,
or Bethencourt, did not reach Scotland till June (John Knox, i. 344i note
i), citing Forbes, i. 141.  Bethencourt "passed Berwick on April 13"
(For. Cal. Eliz., 1558-59, 214) to negotiate the Scottish part in the
peace, signed at Upsettlington (May 31).  Bethencourt would be with the
Regent by April 15, and he may have confirmed her in summoning the
preachers who defied her proclamations, though, with or without his
advice, she could do no less.

{95a}  Pitscottie, ii. 523.

{95b}  State Papers, Borders, vol. i.  No. 421 MS.

{96a}  Affaires Etrangeres, Angleterre, vol. xv.  MS.

{96b}  Forbes, 97; Throckmorton to Cecil, May 18.

{96c}  For. Cal. Eliz., 1558-59, 272.

{97}  Melville, 80.

{98a}  Statuta, &c.  Robertson, vol. i. clv-clxii.

{98b}  Book of Discipline.  Knox, ii. 253, 254.

{99a}  M'Crie, 360.

{99b}  The Regent's account of the whole affair, as given by Francis and
Mary to the Pope, is vague and mistily apologetic.  (Published in French
by Prof. Hume Brown, ii. 300-302.)  The Regent wrote from Dunbar, July
1559, that she had in vain implored the Pope to aid her in reforming the
lives of the clergy (as in 1556-57).  Their negligence had favoured,
though she did not know it (and she says nothing about it in 1556-57),
the secret growth of heresy.  Next, a public preacher arose in one town
(probably Paul Methuen in Dundee) introducing the Genevan Church.  The
Regent next caused the bishops to assemble the clergy, bidding them
reform their lives, and then repress heresy.  She also called an assembly
of the Estates, when most of the Lords, hors du conseil et a part,
demanded "a partial establishment of the new religion."  This was
refused, and the Provincial Council (of March 1559) was called for reform
of the clergy.  Nothing resulted but scandal and popular agitation.
Public preachers arose in the towns.  The Regent assembled her forces,
and the Lords and Congregation began their career of violence.

{100}  As to Knox's account of this reforming Provincial Council (Knox,
i. 291, 292), Lord Hailes calls it "exceedingly partial and erroneous . .
. no zeal can justify a man for misrepresenting an adversary."  Bold
language for a judge to use in 1769!  Cf.  Robertson, Statuta, i. clxii,
note I.

{101}  Knox, v. 15-17.

{102a}  Knox, v. 207, 208.

{102b}  Ibid., v. 229.

{102c}  Ibid., v. 420, 421.

{102d}  Ibid., v. 495-523.  [This footnote is provided in the original
book but isn't referenced in the text.  DP.]

{104}  John Knox and the Church of England, 215-218.

{105}  Knox, ii. 460, 461.  We return to this point.

{107}  Bale, Scriptorum Illustrium Majoris Brit. Catalogus Poster., p.
219 (1559).  Knox, i. 258-261.

{108a}  Dieppe, April 10-April 22, 1559.  Knox, vi. 15-21.

{108b}  Desmarquets, Mem. Chronol. Jour. l'Hist, de Dieppe, i. 210.

{109a}  Corp. Ref., xlv. (Calv., xvii.) 541.

{109b}  Naissance de l'Heresie a Dieppe, Rouen, 1877, ed. Lesens.

{111}  Knox, i. 321-323.

{112}  Knox, vi. 23.

{113a}  Corpus Reformatorum, xlvi. 609, xlvii. 409-411, August 13, 1561.

{113b}  The learned Dr. M'Crie does not refer to this letter to Mrs.
Locke, but observes: "None of the gentry or sober part of the
congregation were concerned in this unpremeditated tumult; it was wholly
confined to the lowest of the inhabitants" (M'Crie's Life of Knox, 127,
1855).  Yet an authority dear to Dr. M'Crie, "The Historie of the Estate
of Scotland," gives the glory, not to the lowest of the inhabitants, but
to "the brethren."  Professor Hume Brown blames "the Perth mob," and says
nothing of the action of the "brethren," as described to Mrs. Locke by
Knox.  John Knox, ii. 8.

{117}  Theses of Erastus.  Rev. Robert Lee.  Edinburgh, 1844.

{120}  Knox, i. 341,342; vi. 24.  Did the brethren promise nothing but
the evacuation of Perth?

{121a}  "Historie," Wodrow Miscellany, i. 58.

{121b}  Knox, i. 343, 344.  The Congregation are said to have left Perth
on May 29.  They assert their presence there on May 31, in their Band.

{122}  Edinburgh Burgh Records.

{123a}  But see Knox, i. 347-349.  Is a week (June 4 to June 11)
accidentally omitted?

{123b}  Writing on June 23, Knox dates the "Reformation" "June 14."  His
dates, at this point, though recorded within three weeks, are to me
inexplicable.  Knox, vi. 25.

{124}  Keith, i. 265, note.

{125a}  Lesley, ii. 443, Scottish Text Society.

{125b}  For. Cal. Eliz., 1558-59, 367.

{126a}  Knox, vi. 26.

{126b}  Ibid., i. 355.

{126c}  Wodrow Miscellany, i. 60.

{127a}  Knox, vi. 26.

{127b}  See Scottish Historical Review, January 1905, 121-122, 128-130.

{131}  Bain, i. 215.

{133a}  For. Cal. Eliz., 1558-59, 278.  Erroneously dated "May 24" (?).

{133b}  Bain, i. 216-218; For. Cal. Eliz., ut supra, 335, 336.

{133c}  Archives Etrangeres, Angleterre, vol. xv. MS.

{133d}  For. Cal. Eliz., 336; Knox, i. 359, 360.

{134}  Knox, i. 360-362.

{135a}  Knox dates the entry of the Reformers into Edinburgh on June 29.
But he wrote to Mrs. Locke from Edinburgh on June 25, probably a
misprint.  The date June 29 is given in the "Historie."  Knox dates a
letter to Cecil, "Edinburgh, June 28."  The Diurnal of Occurrents dates
the sack of monasteries in Edinburgh June 28.

{135b}  Wodrow Miscellany, i. 62; Knox, i. 366, 367, 370.

{135c}  Knox, i. 363; cf. Keith, i. 213, 214; Spottiswoode, i. 280, 281.

{136a}  Knox, i. 363-365; For. Cal. Eliz., 337.

{136b}  Teulet, i. 338-340.

{137a}  Bain, i. 218; For. Cal. Eliz., 1558-59, 339. 340.

{137b}  Knox, vi. 45.

{138}  In Dr. Hay Fleming's The Scottish Reformation (p. 57), he dates
the Regent's proclamation July 1.  He omits the charge that, as proof of
their disloyalty, "they daily receive Englishmen with messages, and send
the like into England" (Knox, i. p. 364).  "The narrative of the
proclamation, Knox says, is untrue," Dr. Hay Fleming remarks; but as to
the dealing with England, the Reformer confessed to it in his "History,"
Book III., when he could do so with safety.

{139a}  Knox, i. 365.

{139b}  Spottiswoode, i. 282.

{139c}  Teulet, i. 331.  The Regent's instructions to Du Fresnoy.

{141}  Teulet, i. 334, 335, citing Archives Etrangeres, Angleterre, xiv.
(xv.?), f. 221 (see the English translation), For. Cal. Eliz., 1558-59,
406, 407; Keith, i. 220, 221; Spottiswoode, i. 285, 286.

{142a}  Extracts from Edinburgh Town Council Records, July 29, 1559;
Keith, i. 487-489.

{142b}  Cf. Hume Brown, John Knox, ii. 30.

{143a}  Knox, i. 376-379.  The italicised articles are not in the other
versions of the terms as finally settled; cf. "Historie," Wodrow
Miscellany, i. 55-57.

{143b}  Ibid., i. 379.

{144a}  Knox, i. 380.

{144b}  Sloane MSS., British Museum, 4144, 177b, 4737f, 100b.  For. Cal.
Eliz. 1558-59, 411.

{145a}  Knox, i. 381.

{145b}  My italics.

{146}  (Kyrkcaldy to Croft.)

"Theis salbe to certiffy you vpon monday the xxiii of Jully the quene and
the lordis of the congregation are agreit on this maner as followeth.  The
armies beying boythe in Syghte betuix Eddingburght and Lietht or partye
adversaire send mediatoris desyring that we sall agree and cease frome
sheddinge of blude yf we wer men quhilkis wold fulfill in deid that thing
quhilk we proffessit, that is the preachyng of godis worde and furth
settyng of his glorye.  Me lordis of the congregation movet by thare
offres wer content to here commonyng.  So fynallye after long talke, It
is appointted on this maner.  That the Religion here begoon sall proceid
and contenew in all places wt owt impedement of the quenes authoretie,
thare minesters sall neyther be trubillit nor stopped and in all places
whare ydolletre is put downe sall not be cett vp agane.  And whill the
parlement be haldin to consele vpon all materes wch is fixit the x day of
Januarye nixt, every man sall leive to his conscience not compellit be
authoretye to do any thyng in religion yt his conscience repugnes to.  And
to this said parlement ther sall no man of or congregation be molested or
trobillit in thair bodeis landis goodis possessions what someevir.
Further wt all dilligent spede ther frenche men here present salbe send
awaye.  And sall no other cum in this Realme w owt consent of the hole
nobilite.  The towne of Eddingburght salbe keipit fre by the inhabitantes
thairof and no maner of garnission laid or keip thair In, neyther of
frenche nor scottis.  For our part we sall remove of Eddingburght to or
awne houssis, yt the quene may come to hir awne palyce, wch we tuke of
before and hathe left it voyde to hir G.  We have delyvered the prentyng
yrunes of the coyne agayne wch we tuke becaus of the corruption of monye
agaynst our laws and commonwealthe.  Off truthe we believe nevir worde to
be keipit of thir promises of her syde.  And therfore hath tane me lord
duke the erll of Huntlye and the rest of the nobillitye beying vpon hir
syde bound to the performance hereof wt this condition yf sche brekkes
any point heirof they sall renunce hir obeysance and joyne them selfis wt
vs.  In this meane-tyme we contenew or men of warr to gydder wt in or
boundis of Fyfe, Angus, Stretherin and Westland, in aduenture the
appointtment be broken, and dowtes not to mak vs daily stronger for by
the furthe settying of religion and haittred of the frenche men we gett
the hartis of the hole commonalties.  Nowe to conclude yf it had not bene
for some nobillmens causis who hes promised to be owres we hade not
appointted wt the quene at this tyme.  From hens forwardis send to the
lard of Ormiston who will se all saifly conveyed to me.  Thvs I commit
you to god from Eddingburght the xxiiii of Jully

yoris at power

(W. KYRKCALDY)." {147}

{147}  MS. Record Office; cf. For. Cal. Eliz., 1558 59, 408, 409.

{148a}  Knox, i. 379, 380.

{148b}  Ibid., i. 381.

{149a}  Knox, vi. 53.

{149b}  Ibid., i. 397-412.  The Proclamation, and two Replies.

{149c}  My italics.

{150}  Knox, i. xxvi.; vi. 87.

{151a}  Knox, i. 392, 393.

{151b}  Ibid., i. 382.

{152a}  Knox, ii. 15-38.

{152b}  Ibid., vi. 56-59.

{153}  S. P. Scotland, Elizabeth, MS. vol. i.  No. 80; cf. Bain, i. 236,
237.  Croft to Cecil, Berwick, August 3, 1559.

{154a}  For. Cal. Eliz., 470.

{154b}  I assume that he was the preacher at Edinburgh in d'Oysel's
letter of June 30-July 2, 1559.  Teulet, i. 325.

{155}  Sadleir to Cecil, September 8, 1559.  For. Cal. Eliz., 543, 1558-
1559.  The fortification, says Professor Hume Brown, "was a distinct
breach of the late agreement" (of July 24), "and they weir not slow to
remind her" (the Regent) "of her bad faith."  The agreement of July 24
says nothing about fortifying.  The ingenious brethren argued that to
fortify Leith entailed "oppression of our poor brethren, indwellers of
the same."  Now the agreement forbade "oppression of any of the
Congregation."  But the people of Leith had "rendered themselves" to the
Regent on July 24, and the breach of treaty, if any, was "constructive."
(John Knox, ii. 47; Knox, i. 413, 424-433.)

{158a}  The evidence as to these proceedings of the brethren is preserved
in the French archives, and consists of testimonies given on oath in
answer to inquiries made by Francis and Mary in November 1559.

{158b}  We have dated Lethington's desertion of the Regent about October
25, because Knox says it was a "few days before our first defeat" on the
last day in October.  M. Teulet dates in the beginning of October a Latin
manifesto by the Congregation to all the princes of Christendom.  This
document is a long arraignment of the Regent's policy; her very
concessions as to religion are declared to be tricks, meant to bring the
Protestant lords under the letter of the law.  The paper may be thought
to show the hand of Lethington, not of Knox.  But, in point of fact, I
incline to think that the real author of this manifesto was Cecil.  He
sketches it in a letter sent from the English Privy Council in November
15, 1559.  This draft was to be used by the rebels in an appeal to

{159}  Knox, vi, 89, 90; M'Crie, 143.

{160a}  Bothwell states the amount at 3000 ecus de soleil.  French
Archives MS.

{160b}  Knox, i. 472.

{161a}  Sadleir to Cecil, Nov. 15, 1559.  For. Cal.  Eliz., 1559-60, 115.

{161b}  Labanoff, vii. 283.

{163}  Knox, vi. 105-107.

{164}  See Appendix B.

{165a}  Corp. Ref., xlv. 645 (3118, note I).

{165b}  Calvinus Sturmio, Corp. Ref., xlvi. 38, 39, March 23, 1560.
Sturmius Calvino, ibid., 53-56, April 15.

{166a}  Bain, i. 389, 390; For. Cal. Eliz., 1559-60, 604.

{166b}  Knox, ii. 68; cf. the Regent's letter.  Bain, i. 389.

{167a}  The date may be part of an interpolation.

{167b}  This account is from the French Archives MS., Angleterre, vol.

{168}  Knox, ii. 72.

{169}  It is an inexplicable fact that, less than a month before
Glencairn and Lord James signed the first godly Band (December 3, 1557),
these two, with Kirkcaldy of Grange, "were acting with the Queen-Dowager
against Huntly, Chatelherault, and Argyll," who in December signed with
them the godly Band.  The case is thus stated by Mr. Tytler, perhaps too
vigorously.  It appears that, after the refusal of the Lords to cross
Tweed and attack England, in the autumn of 1557, the Regent, with the
concurrence of Glencairn, Lord James, and Kirkcaldy of Grange, proposed
to recall from exile in England the Earl of Lennox, father of Darnley.
He, like the chief of the Hamiltons, had a claim to the crown of
Scotland, failing heirs born of Mary Stuart.  Lennox, therefore, would be
a counterpoise to Hamilton and his ally in mutiny, Argyll.  Thus Lord
James and Glencairn, in November 1557; support the Regent against the
Hamiltons and Argyll, but in December Glencairn, reconciled to Argyll,
signs with him the godly Band.  We descry the old Stewart versus Hamilton
feud in these proceedings.

{170}  Knox, ii. 87, note.

{172}  Knox, ii. 89-127.

{174a}  Randolph to Cecil, September 7; Bain, i. 477, 478.

{174b}  Knox, vi. 83, 84.

{174c}  Knox, vi. lxxxii.

{175}  M'Crie, Life of John Knox, 162 (1855).

{177a}  Keith, iii. 4-7.

{177b}  Bain, i. 461.

{177c}  Cf. Edinburgh Burgh Records.

{182}  Knox, ii. 193.

{186}  Queen Mary's Letter to Guise, p. xlii., Scottish History Society,

{191a}  Lesley, ii. 454 (1895).

{191b}  See Lord James to Throckmorton, London, May 20, a passage quoted
by Mr. Murray Rose, Scot. Hist. Review, No. 6, 154.  Additional MSS.
Brit. Mus., 358, 30, f. 117, 121.  Lord James to Throckmorton, May 20-
June 3, 1561.

{191c}  Bain, i. 540, 541.

{191d}  Lord James to Dudley, October 7, 1561, Bain, i. 557.

{192}  Pollen, Papal Negotiations, 62.

{193a}  Knox, ii, 266.

{193b}  Bain, ii. 543.

{194}  Bain, ii. 547.

{195}  Knox, ii. 276, 277.

{196}  Knox, vi. 131.

{197}  Knox, ii. 279, 280.

{199}  Tracts by David Fergusson, Bannatyne Club, 1860.

{200a}  Bain, i. 551, 552.

{200b}  Lord James to Lord Robert Dudley, October 7, 1561.  Bain, i. 557,
558.  Lethington's account of his reasonings with Elizabeth is not very
hopeful.  Pollen, "Queen Mary's Letter to Guise," Scot. Hist. Soc., 38-

{201a}  Bain, i. 565.

{201b}  Knox, vi. 131, 132; ii. 289.

{201c}  The proclamation against "all monks, friars, priests, nuns,
adulterers, fornicators, and all such filthy persons," was of October 2.
On October 5 the Queen bade the council and community of the town to meet
in the Tolbooth, depose the Provost and Bailies, and elect others.  On
October 8 the order was carried out, and protests were put in.  A note
from Lethington was received, containing three names, out of which the
Queen commanded that one must be Provost.  The Council "thought good to
pass to her Grace," show that they had already made their election, and
await her pleasure.  "Jezebel's letter and wicked will is obeyed as law,"
says Knox.--Extracts from Records of the Burgh of Edinburgh, 126, 127.

{202}  Knox, vi. 133-135.  Corp. Refor., xlvii. 74.

{203a}  Corp. Refor., xlvii. 114, 115.

{203b}  Bain, i. 582, 583.

{203c}  Ibid., i. 491.  Randolph to Cecil.

{205}  Bain, i. 565, 566.

{206a}  Froude, iii. 265-270 (1866).

{206b}  Knox, vi. 83.

{207a}  Knox, vi. 11-14.

{207b}  Bain, i. 569.  Randolph to Cecil, November 11.

{207c}  Ibid., i. 568-570.

{208a}  There was a small guard, but no powerful guard existed till after
Riccio's murder.

{208b}  Bain, i. 575.  Randolph to Cecil, December 7.

{208c}  Ibid., i. 571.

{209}  It is plain from Randolph (Bain, i. 575) that the precise feared
that Mary, if secured by the English alliance, would be severe with "true
professors of Christ."

{210}  Keith, iii. 384, 385.

{211a}  Knox, ii. 300-313.  Pollen, "Mary's Letter to the Duc de Guise,"

{211b}  Bain, i. 568, 569.

{211c}  Ibid., i. 585.  Randolph to Cecil, January 2, 1562.

{212a}  There is an air of secrecy in these transactions.  In the
Register of the Privy Seal, vol. xxxi. fol. 45 (MS.), is a "Precept for a
Charter under the Great Seal," a charter to Lord James for the Earldom of
Moray.  The date is January 31, 1560-61.  On February 7, 1560-61, Lord
James receives the Earldom of Mar, having to pay a pair of gilded spurs
on the feast of St. John (Register of Privy Seal, vol. xxx. fol. 2).  Lord
James now bore the title of Earl of Mar, not, as yet--not till Huntly was
put at--of Moray.

{212b}  Dr. Hay Fleming quotes Randolph thus: "The Papists mistrust
greatly the meeting; the Protestants as greatly desire it.  The preachers
are more vehement than discreet or learned."  (Mary Queen of Scots, p.
292, note 35, citing For. Cal. Eliz., iv. 523.)  The Calendar is at fault
and gives the impression that the ministers vehemently preached in favour
of the meeting of the Queen.  This was not so, Randolph goes on, "which I
heartily lament."  He uses the whole phrase, more than is here given, not
only on January 30, but on February 12.  Now Randolph desired the
meeting, so the preachers must have "thundered" against it!  They feared
that Mary would become a member of the Church of England, "of which they
both say and preach that it is little better than when it was at the
worst" (Bain, i. 603).

{212c}  Keith, ii. 139.

{213}  The Teviotdale Ormistouns of that ilk.

{214a}  In Pitcairn's Criminal Trials is Arran's report of Bothwell's
very words, vol. i., part 2, pp. 462-465.

{214b}  Bain, i. 613, 614.

{215a}  Bain, i. 618, 619.

{215b}  Knox, ii. 330.

{215c}  Ibid., ii. 330, 331.

{215d}  Cf. Baird, The Rise of the Huguenots, ii. 21 et seq.

{216a}  Bain, i. 627.  Randolph to Cecil, May 29.

{216b}  Cf. Froude, vi. 547-565.

{216c}  "Book of Discipline," Knox, ii. 228.

{216d}  M'Crie, 187.

{217a}  Knox, ii. 330-335.

{217b}  Bain, i. 673.

{217c}  Randolph mentions the joy of the Court over some Guisian
successes against the Huguenots, then up in arms, while Mary was on her
expedition against Huntly, in October 1562.  On December 30 he says that
there is little dancing, less because of Knox's sermons than on account
of bad news from France.  Bain, i. 658, 674.

Dr. Hay Fleming dates the wicked dance in December 1562, but of course
that date was not the moment when "persecution was begun again in
France," nor would Mary be skipping in December for joy over letters of
the previous March.  Mary Queen of Scots, 275.

{218}  Knox, vi. 140, 141.

{219a}  Keith, iii. 50, 51.

{219b}  Bain, i. 630.

{219c}  Lesley, ii. 468.

{219d}  Knox, vi. 193.

{220a}  Knox, ii. 337-345.

{220b}  Hay Fleming, Mary Queen of Scots, 301.

{221a}  Knox, ii. 347.

{221b}  Act Parl. Scot., ii. 572.

{221c}  Bain, i. 665.

{221d}  Bain, i. 668.

{222a}  Chalmers, in his Life of Queen Mary, vol. i. 78-96 (1818), takes
the view of the Huntly affair which we adopt, but, observing the quietly
obtained title of Moray under the Privy Seal (January 30, 1561-62) and
the publicly assumed title of Mar, granted on February 7, 1561-62,
Chalmers (mistaking Huntly for a loyal man) denounces the treachery of
Lord James and the "credulity" of the Queen.  To myself it appears that
brother and sister were equally deep in the scheme for exalting Moray and
destroying Huntly.

{222b}  Cf. Pollen, Papal Negotiations, 163, 164.

{222c}  Knox, ii. 346.

{222d}  Ibid., ii. 358.

{223a}  Bain, i. 675.

{223b}  Froude, ii. 144 (1863).

{224a}  Registrum de Panmure, i.-xxxii., cited by Maxwell; Old Dundee,
162.  Book of the Universal Kirk, 26.

{225a}  Knox, ii. 364-367; ii. 531, 532; Keith, iii. 140, 141.

{225b}  Spanish Calendar, i. 314.

{225c}  Bain, i. 684-686.

{225d}  Knox, ii. 367-369.

{226a}  Knox, ii, 370.

{226b}  Bain, i. 686.

{226c}  Ibid., i. 687.

{226d}  Knox, li. 361; Bain, i. 693.  Lethington's argument against
Lennox's claim, March 28, 1563.

{227a}  Knox, ii. 371.

{227b}  Bain, ii. 7.

{228a}  Knox, ii. 370-377.

{228b}  Ibid., ii. 377-379.

{228c}  Bain, ii. 9, 10.

{229a}  Knox, ii. 381.

{229b}  Ibid., ii. 387-389.

{231a}  Bain, ii. 24.

{231b}  Ibid., ii. 25.

{231c}  Spanish Calendar, i. 338.

{231d}  Bain, ii. 19, 20.

{232a}  Bain, ii. 26; Knox, ii. 393, 394.

{232b}  Hume Brown, Scotland under Queen Mary, p. 99.

{232c}  Pitcairn, Criminal Trials, i. 434.

{232d}  Dr. M'Crie accepts, like Keith, a story of Spottiswoode's not
elsewhere found (M'Crie, 204), but innocently remarks that, as to the
brawl in chapel, Spottiswoode could not know the facts so well as Knox!
(p. 210).  Certainly twenty-two attendants on the Mass were "impanelled"
for trial for their religious misdemeanour.  Knox, ii. 394, note I.

{233a}  Knox, ii. 397.

{233b}  Randolph to Cecil; Bain, ii. 28, 29.

{233c}  Knox, ii. 399-401.

{234a}  Keith, ii. 210.  The version in Bain, ii. 30, is differently

{234b}  Knox, ii. 403.

{235}  Knox, ii. 399-415.

{236}  Pitcairn, Criminal Trials, i. 434, 435.

{237a}  Randolph, December 31; Bain, ii. 33; Knox, ii. 415.

{237b}  Randolph, February 19, 1564; Bain, i. 113, 125.

{237c}  Knox, ii. 415, note 3.

{238}  Knox, ii. 417-419.

{239}  Bain, i. 680; ii. 54.

{240}  Knox, ii. 291, 292.

{241a}  Lethington spoke merely of "controversies" (Knox, ii. 460).  I
give the confessed meaning of the controversy.

{241b}  Compare Knox, ii. 291, as to the discussion at Makgill's house in
November 1561.

{241c}  Knox, ii. 460, 461.

{242a}  Original Letters, Parker Society, Bullinger to Calvin, March 26,
1554, pp. 744-747.

{242b}  Knox, ii. 441, 442.

{243a}  The very programme of the General Assembly for the treatment of
Catholics, in November 1572.  See p. 269 infra.

{243b}  Knox, v. 462-464.

{244a}  Knox, ii. 441.

{244b}  Ibid., ii. 442, 443.

{246}  Randolph to Cecil, February 27, 1565; Bain, ii. 128.

{247a}  Knox, ii. 497.

{247b}  Ibid., vi. 224, 225.

{248a}  Knox, vi. 273; ii. 499.

{248b}  Ibid., ii. 514.

{248c}  Ibid., vi. 402.

{249a}  Book of the Universal Kirk, 34.

{249b}  Knox, vi. 416.

{249c}  Bain, ii. 254, 255.

{249d}  Stevenson, Selections, 153-159.

{250a}  Papal Negotiations, xxxviii.-xliii.

{250b}  Keith, ii. 412-413.

{250c}  Knox, ii. 524.

{251a}  Knox, i. 235.

{251b}  Hume Brown, John Knox, ii. 231.

{252a}  Randolph to Cecil, March 21, 1566.  Bain, ii. 269, 270.  Diurnal,
March 17, 1566.  Knox's prayer, Knox, vi. 483, 484.

{252b}  Bain, ii. 269, 270.

{252c}  See Calvin's letter of January 24 or April 1, 1564, Corpus
Reformatorum, xlviii. 244-249.

{253a}  Life of Knox, 235, note 3; cf. Knox, ii. 533.

{253b}  Burnet, History of the Reformation, iii. 360.

{253c}  Knox, ii. 544-560.

{254a}  Knox, vi. 545-547.

{254b}  State Papers, Mary, Queen of Scots, vol. xiii., No. 20, MS.

{256a}  Book of the Universal Kirk, 61-67.

{256b}  Stevenson, Illustrations of the Reign of Queen Mary, 208.

{256c}  Knox, ii. 563.

{257a}  Stevenson, 221.

{257b}  Ibid., 240, July 21.

{257c}  Chalmers's "Life of Mary," ii. 487.

{258a}  Knox, vi. 558-561.

{258b}  If born in 1513-15, he was only about fifty-three to fifty-five.

{259a}  Knox, vi. 567.

{259b}  Knox and the Church of England, 230.

{259c}  Strype's Grindal, 168-179 (1821).

{260a}  Corp. Ref., xlvii. 417, 418.

{260b}  Strype's Grindal, 507-516.

{261a}  Zurich Letters. 1558-1602, pp. 152-155.

{261b}  Strype's Grindal, 180.  Also the letter of Grindal in Ellis, iii.
iii. 304

{262a}  Knox, ii. 247-249.

{262b}  Knox and the Church of England, 298-301.

{263a}  Knox, vi. 559.

{263b}  Ibid., vi. 568.

{263c}  M'Crie, 248.

{264a}  Bannatyne's Memorials, 5-13 (1836).

{264b}  Calderwood, ii. 515-525.

{266}  Bannatyne's Transactions, 70-82.  Bannatyne was Knox's secretary,
and fragments dictated by the Reformer appear in his pages.

{267a}  Melville's "Diary," 20-26.

{267b}  Knox, vi. 606-612.

{268a}  Bannatyne, 223, 224 (1836).

{268b}  Knox, vi. 620-622.

{268c}  Ibid., 236

{269a}  Bannatyne, 268.

{269b}  Ibid., 273.

{269c}  Ibid., 278.

{269d}  John Knox, ii. 282, 283.

{270}  Cf. Leicester's letter of October 10, 1574, in Tytler, vii. chap,
iv., and Appendix.

{271}  Tytler, vii. chap. iv.; Appendix xi, with letters.

{272a}  Knox, ii. 356; Bannatyne, 281, 282.

{272b}  Morton to Killigrew, August 5, 1573.

{273}  Bannatyne, 283-290.

{274}  There was another Falsyde.

{275a}  See the letter in Maxwell's Old Dundee, 399-401.

{275b}  Bain's Calendar is misleading here (vol. i. 202).  Why Mr. Bain
summarised wrongly in 1898, what Father Stevenson had done correctly in
1863 (For. Cal. Eliz,, p. 263) is a mystery.

{276a}  See the "Prefatio," Knox, i. 297, 298.  In this preface Knox
represents the brethren as still being "unjustly persecuted by France and
their faction."  The book ends with the distresses of the Protestants in
November 1559, with the words, "Look upon us, O Lord, in the multitude of
Thy mercies; for we are brought even to the deep of the dungeon."--Knox,
i. 473.

{276b}  Knox, vi. 22, 23.

{276c}  M'Crie's Knox, 360.

{277a}  Knox, i. 317-319.

{277b}  Hume Brown, John Knox, ii. 6.

{277c}  John Knox, ii. 4.

{277d}  Scot. Hist. Review, January 1905.

{278a}  Lesley, ii. 40, Scottish Text Society, 1895.

{278b}  In the French Archives MS., Angleterre, vol. xv.

{279a}  Melville, 79 (1827).

{279b}  Spottiswoode, i. 320.

{279c}  Keith, i. 493, 494 (1835).

{280a}  Angl. Reg., xvi., fol. 346.

{280b}  Teulet, i. 407.

{280c}  Ibid., i. 410.

{280d}  For. Cal. Eliz., 1559-60, p. 453.

{280e}  Ibid., p. 469.

{280f}  Ibid., p. 480.

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