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A.D.

The death of Henry the Seventh was an inauspicious 1509. S event to Scotland. It occasioned a great alteration in the relations of that kingdom with England, and opened a new and great series of affairs which produced most tragical and disastrous events. Upon his accession to the throne, Henry the Eighth unhappily reversed his father's political maxims with regard to Scotland. James, regardless of Henry's alliance, concluded a treaty with France, engaging to cooperate with that power against all her enemies; which were England, Spain, the Netherlands, Ve nice, Switzerland, the Emperor of Germany, and the Pope. The jealousy of the English was roused; and the Scottish merchants complained of depredations committed at sea upon their shipping.

Messengers were despatched to London, demanding redress; which was evaded or refused, A compensation was however offered by Henry for the infraction of the Border laws by his subjects, if James would abandon his alliance with France; but the Scottish Monarch had been artfully secured by the address of the Queen of France, who wrote him an amorous letter, imploring him, as her knight, and the prince of chivalry, to advance three steps into England. Fourteen thousand crowns and a ring from the Queen's own finger accompanied this moving appeal.

Meanwhile, Henry passed over to France with a powerful army. Alarmed for the consequences, a Scottish fleet, with three thousand troops on board, was despatched to the aid of France. A very spirited remonstrance was at the same time sent to Henry, denouncing war, in the event of his refusing to suspend his operations against the French. In opposition to the advice of his council, James summoned the whole array of his kingdom to meet him at the Burrowmuir, near Edinburgh, with provisions for forty days,the period that a feudal army was bound to serve, unless its expenses were defrayed by the Sovereign, a circumstance yet unknown in Scotland.

While the forces were collecting, Lord Home made an unsuccessful incursion into England. James, who was very superstitious, was dejected at this ominous prelude; and some of his courtiers availed themselves of the opportunity to dissuade him, if possible, from his meditated attempts upon England. As he was engaged at his devotions in the church of Linlithgow, a venerable bald-headed personage, dressed in a blue gown, linen girdle, and san dals (probably representing St Andrew, the tutelar saint of Scotland),

advanced with intrepidity to the royal seat, and, with an authoritative voice, commanded James to desist from his intended inva sion. This stratagem having proved unsuccessful, another was devised to dispirit and disperse the army. At the dead hour of night, a voice was heard at the cross of Edinburgh, summoning the advisers and the chief leaders of the war to answer before the infernal tribunal. But these expedients were unavailing: Even the Queen's entreaties and tears could not dissuade the infatuated Monarch from his purpose. Unconscious that he was no general, he proceeded as to a tournament, and with a numerous army entered Eng

land.

A.D.

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While James was besieging an unimportant fortress, or 1513. § dallying with a paramour, the Earl of Surrey, lieutenant of the Northern counties of England, made vigorous exertions to repel the enemy. He collected an army of thirty thousand men; and sent a herald with a challenge offering the Scots battle. Notwithstanding the remonstrances of his most experienced generals, James rashly accepted the challenge.

By skilful manœuvres, Surrey contrived to throw his army in the rear of the Scots, who were encamped on the field of Flodden. The latter perceiving their error, set fire to their tents, and hastened to gain an eminence, which they feared might prove an advantageous post for the enemy. The English advanced to the base of the hill unperceived, in consequence of the smoke of their cannon being blown in the face of the Scots.

An engagement having now become inevitable, both armies advanced to the combat. The English forces were divided into two lines: Lord Howard, the admiral, commanded the main body, in the centre of the first line, Sir Edmund Howard the right wing, and Sir Marmaduke Constable the left; the centre of the second line was commanded by Surrey, the right wing by Lord Dacres, and the left by Sir Edward Stanley.

The front of the Scots presented three divisions to the enemy: The centre was led by the King, the right wing by the Earl of Huntly and Lord Home, the left by the Earls of Lenox and Argyll; a body of reserve was commanded by the Earl of Bothwell. At four in the afternoon, the action commenced. September 9. } Huntly, after a sharp conflict, disordered the left wing of the English, and chased them off the field. Elated by Huntly's success, the undisciplined Highlanders, under Lennox

and Argyll, rushed down the hill to the attack, in opposition to the entreaties of La Motte, the French Ambassador. Sir Edmund Howard received this tumultuous body with coolness and valour; while Lord Dacre, who commanded the cavalry reserve, wheeled about during the attack, fell upon their rear, and put them to the sword without resistance.

The divisions under James and Bothwell bravely encountered the foe, animated by the valour of their leaders. The King of Scots, perceiving his desperate condition, dismounted, with many of his nobles, and struggled in the front rank with the English spearmen. In this unequal conflict, many Scottish peers were slain; the Monarch was mortally wounded with an arrow, and was soon after cut down by an English bill-axe. The rear of the Scottish centre maintained their ground, and protracted the action till night.

About five thousand men fell on each side. The English lost few persons of rank, while the Scots had to deplore the fate of their King and the flower of their nobility. Such was the fatal battle of Flodden. Since the time of Malcolm Canmore until now, no Scottish monarch had fallen in battle.

It was long believed among the Scots, that their Monarch, having escaped from the battle, had gone on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, whence he would soon return, and take possession of his throne. The body of the King was identified on the field of battle, and conveyed in a leaden coffin to London; where it was interred by the special permission of Leo the Tenth. As James had been excommunicated for his infraction of the treaty with England, the absolution of the Pontiff was indispensable before interment.* James was slain in the forty-first year of his age and the twenty-sixth of his reign.

Had his successor been a spirited prince of full age, he would have possessed facilities to render himself independent of his nobles which none of his predecessors ever possessed.

* Pennant affirms, that he was interred in the abbey of Shene; and that, upon the dispersion of the religious inhabitants, the body was indecently flung into a lumber-room, where it continued till the reign of Elizabeth. Some workmen wantonly cut off the head; which was afterwards interred among the vulgar. The sword and dagger of the ill-fated Monarch were presented by Surrey to the Herald's office.

The reign of James the Fourth was one of the most brilliant periods in Scottish history; and forms a remarkable contrast with the calamitous reigns of the two following centuries, until Scot, land ceased to be an independent kingdom.

CHAPTER VIII.

Embassy to Albany Regent

James the Fifth. State of the kingdom. Policy of Henry.
Denmark. Intestine strife. State of the government.
—his administration. Domestic affairs. A Parliament. Treaty with
France. Court intrigues..

A.D.

JAMES the FIFTH.-The defeat at Flodden exposed the 1513. independence of Scotland to the most imminent danger. Her monarch was slain; his son and successor was only eighteen months old; the principal nobility were slain or made prisoners; France being the theatre of war, could afford no aid. At this alarming crisis-when the nation was plunged in grief, when scarcely a noble family had not to deplore the death of a member or relative-the public sorrow was heightened by terror at the scene that seemed ready to open of servitude and ruin. It was doubtful whether Henry would regard the slender tie of consanguinity, and have compassion upon his helpless nephew: He might be tempted rather to wrest from him his kingdom, left de fenceless by the loss of its noble and valiant warriors.

Though Henry forebore to follow the example of the first Edward in openly avowing his designs upon Scotland, he pursued a policy less odious, but more refined and effective. Perceiving that persuasion is more powerful than force, and that the sums expended in fruitless war might be more advantageously applied in the regular pay of a party, he determined thus to divide and thwart the Scottish Government, and virtually direct its operations to his own advantage. He would thus balance and neutralize the influence of France, and escape the odium attached to open conquest.

Since the tyrannical interference of Edward the First, the Scots had attached their interests to those of France. The alliance with that power was mutually advantageous. England was anovermatch for either singly; but, by blending their interests, they more effectually opposed the common enemy or paralyzed her

operations against either. But the establishment of an English party in the government of Scotland, rendered that kingdom a scene of domestic discord and intrigue until its union with Eng. land.

A national council, consisting chiefly of the dignified clergy, met at Perth, soon after the arrival of the fatal news from England. It is supposed that the infant Monarch was then crowned; and that, agreeably to the will of the late King, the Queen, as Regent, assumed the reins of government. She was soon after delivered of a son, Alexander Duke of Ross; who died in his second year.

After the battle of Flodden, Surrey dismissed his army; yet the war continued between the English and Scottish Borderers. Henry, who was then in France, instructed Lord Dacre, warden of the A.D. Eastern Marches, to make frequent inroads into Scotland; 1514.) which he readily obeyed. An embassy was sent by the Scots to Denmark, to represent the distressed state of their coun try, and to solicit a supply of troops and ammunition. Little at ́tention was given to their representations; and, to aggravate their misfortunes, the Emperor of Germany, being in alliance with England, prohibited the Scots from commercial intercourse with his subjects.

Intestine strife continued to agitate and perplex the operations of the Government. As several eminent churchmen had fallen at Flodden, violent disputes were excited by the rival candidates for the vacant sees and abbacies. Even the Parliament exhibited scenes of indecorous warmth: The young peers despised and opposed the counsels of the more experienced. The English were exactly informed by hired spies of every material transaction, and neglected not to avail themselves of their advantage.

The Earl of Crawford was appointed to superintend the administration of justice on the north side of the Forth, and Lord Home on the south. John Duke of Albany, the son of Alexander brother of James the Third, was invited to assist or su persede the Queen in the government; which was considered as the only remedy for terminating the disorders of the kingdom. Until the Duke's arrival from France, a temporary regency, including the Queen, was appointed; but her marriage with the young and blooming Earl of Angus eventually undermined her ambitious schemes. The nobility became disaffected to her autho

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