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Transactions with England.



Albany's unpopularity and re

signation. State of parties. Insurrection. The King assumes the goBorder hostilities. Factions of Angus and Lennox. A battle. Disorders. James escapes to Stirling.


A. D.

A VARIETY of singular and unexpected changes took 1522. S place in the government of Scotland during the last six years of the King's minority. The war which was about to open with England produced no decisive effect; but it hastened the downfal of the Regent's authority. Henry of England had expressed his fixed determination to drive him from the government; and he addressed a remonstrance to the Scottish Parliament, accompanied with a declaration of war if his desire were not complied with. A squadron of seven English ships was sent to the Frith of Forth; a few maritime towns and villages were destroyed; and the English retired, after encountering a gallant opposition from the Scots.

Disappointed in her ambitious views, and probably influenced by a deference to public opinion, the Queen began to waver in her attachment to Albany, and corresponded with Lord Dacre; to whom she detailed minutely the hostile preparations of the Scots, who were urged by the French to invade England, in order, if possible, to prevent Henry from sending an army to the Continent. The English Cabinet issued a proclamation for a general arming through the Northern counties; of which the Earl of Shrewsbury was constituted lieutenant-general. On the side of England, the war was not strictly defensive, as several incursions and one great inroad were made by the English, who fired the town of Kelso.

An ineffectual attempt was made to negotiate a truce: The Scots were indisposed to make concessions; and they made vigorous preparations for the invasion of England. One of the most effective and best-appointed armies that the Scots had ever mustered, took the field, and advanced to the frontiers. A general terror pervaded the English: Their armies were on the Continent; Wolsey was a more skilful statesman than warrior; and the English exchequer was completely drained..

Fortunately for England, the Scottish army, though reported to be eighty thousand strong, and well supplied with brass cannon

and small-arms, necessaries, and provisions, wanted a leader; for Albany was an accomplished gentleman, but not a soldier. The Scots had not forgotten the disasters at Flodden. After an interview with Lord Dacre, the Regent consented to disband his army, and sacrificed an opportunity never to be recalled. But the pacification, though agreeable to the Scots, might be offensive to the French Monarch: Albany therefore resolved to sail to France, to apologize for his disobedience, and to solicit a supply of veteran troops, money, and warlike stores.

The government, during his absence, was intrusted to Beaton the chancellor, Huntly, Argyll, and Arran; who were instructed not to enter into any farther negotiation with England without the Regent's concurrence. Being apprised of his departure, the English despatched an envoy into Scotland to examine and report the state of parties, to ascertain the disposition of the nobles towards a permanent peace, and to complain of Albany's partiality for France, and his disregard of the true interests of the Scots. But the lords of the Regency returned an evasive answer. Weary of delay, Henry instructed the Earl of Surrey to invade Scotland. At the head of ten thousand men, Surrey ravaged Merse, Tiviotdale, and the adjacent country, levelling the turreted casA.D. tles of the barons and the mud-walled cottages of the 1523. peasantry.

Notwithstanding these hostile appearances, the Queen and Surrey were actively engaged in private negotiation. A plan was concerted to invest the Queen with the regency, under the pretence of committing the government to the King. Margaret was thus detached from the French party, and warmly engaged in the English interest. Her motives were not very disinterested; for she complained that Albany had withdrawn her pension.

But the Regent's sudden arrival disconcerted these projects. He arrived in the Clyde, with an armament of four thousand French infantry and one hundred men at arms, with an abundant supply of artillery, ammunition, and wine. The Regent ordered a public display of his foreign troops and artillery; and an equally effective display of French gold confirmed in his favour the wavering opinions of the aristocracy.

In order to atone, by a splendid achievement, for the disgrace of his former campaign, he instigated the nobles to revenge the

misfortunes of Flodden. An army of sixty thousand was speedily assembled; with which he marched to chastise the enemy. Surrey assembled a force of fifty thousand men to repel the invaders; who were engaged in besieging the unimportant fortress of Werk. Upon Surrey's approach, Albany trembled, and ordered a retreat. His astonished army, infected with his pusillanimity, fled during a tempest.

This was a fatal blow to Albany's interest. Many of the peers insisted on his resignation of the regency. Both the nobles and the common people despised him; and seeing no prospect of regaining the confidence of the nation, he resolved to take his final leave of a country in which he had experienced such mortification and disgrace.

A.D. 1524.

No sooner had Albany departed, than it was determined to commit the supreme power ostensibly to the King, now in his twelfth year; but, in reality, to a council devoted to the interests of England. The Queen was included; for, though she was distrusted by her brother, she was at this time a favourite of the Scottish nation, and her influence was successfully exerted in detaching several of the peers from the French interest. Of this number was the Earl of Arran; who had long aspired to the regency against Albany. With such a coadjutor, the authority of the Queen, and consequently the English interest, became irresistible.

Under these auspicious circumstances, the Queen, accompanied by her son, left Stirling castle, and arrived in Edinburgh amidst acclamations of joy. A numerous assemblage of lords, temporal and spiritual, crowded to the young Monarch's court, and entered into a solemn engagement to support his authority: But the Queen and Arran directed his councils. Arran's strict observance of the laws, and his prudent and orderly deportment, were unfortunately associated with imbecility and pride. The Queen's demeanour was haughty, inconsiderate, and impolitic. By her reserved conduct towards the nobles, she lost their affection and support; by her amours, she forfeited the respect of the people; and by her connexion with Arran, who inclined to favour the French interest, she excited the jealousy of England.

After two years' residence in France, the Earl of Angus suddenly left that country, and arrived in London; where he was treated with flattering distinction. He had ever been the constant ally of England: Wolsey therefore conceived the design of

attaching him more closely to his master's interests; as, from his popularity in Scotland, his influence would crush the partisans of France. But it was necessary to proceed with apparent moderation in an affair so critical. To soften the Queen's resentment, Angus retired quietly to his estate, and sent her a submissive and conciliatory letter: But, impatient of the event, he appeared before Edinburgh with the Earl of Lennox and Scott of Buccleuch; and, in the dead of night, having scaled the walls, entered the city. They advanced to the cross with four hundred followers, and proclaimed that they came as good subjects, A serious commotion was likely to ensue. The castle began to discharge its artillery on the city, and several individuals were slain. Angus having received a royal mandate commanding him to retire, withdrew to Dalkeith.

A series of events concurred to elevate Angus to the chief direction of affairs. The Chancellor, like a prudent statesman, perceiving the decline of the French interest, formed a union with Angus, for the purpose of preserving his power. These leaders retired to St Andrew's, and concerted the boldest measures against the Queen and the Earl of Arran, whom they accused of keeping the King in a kind of durance. Their party was strengthened by the accession of the Bishop of Aberdeen, the Prior of St Andrew's, and the Earls of Lennox and Argyll.

In consequence of a royal proclamation, threatening them with confiscation and death, for holding illegal conferences, they issued a counter-proclamation, summoning a Parliament to meet at Stirling, as it was unsafe to assemble in the capital; and they complained that the King's health was exposed to danger from the putrid exhalations of the North Loch, contiguous to the castle. The Queen, to counteract the machinations of her enemies, endeavoured to excite Arran, Eglinton, Murray, and Cassillis, the lords of her party, to levy their vassals, and, by coercive measures, to subdue their opponents: But they prudently declined, and preferred to establish concord by negotiation. The Chancellor had the address to procure the chief authority for himself and Angus; while the A.D. Queen was flattered with the nominal authority, which she 1525. S did not long retain.

Her credit with the court of England was soon after finally lost, by the detection of a clandestine correspondence with Albany, for the purpose of procuring a divorce from her husband and the dis

posal of the benefices in Scotland. The defeat of the French at Pavia, and their consequent distractions, prevented them from giving their partisans in Scotland that assistance which their condition urgently required. The project of a perpetual peace, and of the marriage of the King of Scots with the Princess Mary of England, was ominous of the fate of their power in Scotland. Wolsey had given way to his resentment against the Emperor of Germany, because he had not supported his pretensions to the pontifical chair. A peace between England and France was the consequence, and contributed to establish the ascendancy of the former in Scotland.

Exasperated at the decline of their influence, the Queen and Arran had recourse to the most desperate measures. The latter, being joined by several lords in arms, advanced to Linlithgow with four or five thousand men, and there waited the arrival of the former, who was advancing with the Earl of Murray from the North. To crush this rebellion, the King took the field, accompanied by Angus, Argyll, and Lennox. No sooner was the royal standard displayed, than the malecontents fled to Hamilton. A.D. Į The Queen only arrived to join in the flight; while Mur1526. S ray, to purchase his pardon, went over with his followers to the King.

The Queen, who had rendered herself infamous by her insidious conduct while in authority, was now become an object of general abhorrence. Angus having consented to a divorce, which was pronounced by the Chancellor at St Andrew's, the Queen precipitately married her paramour Henry Stewart, afterwards created Lord Methven. This marriage ruined her influence. Ar. ran, who had hitherto clung to her fortunes, abandoned her, and joined the Chancellor and Angus.

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By an act of Parliament, Angus and the Archbishop of Glasgow, Arran and the Bishop of Aberdeen, Argyll and the Chancellor, Lennox and the Bishop of Dunblane, were to be in personal attendance on the King, in rotation. Of these distinguished personages, Angus most diligently cultivated the favour of the young Monarch, by presents, attentions, and every indulgence which could secure his inexperienced affections. He had the influence to procure a parliamentary ordinance which transferred the supreme power into his own hands, by declaring that the King, having attained the age of fourteen, should assume the government.

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