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ment; and he permitted the General Assembly to enact such laws as were deemed most expedient for abolishing episcopal jurisdiction and establishing the Presbyterian form of church government. The clergy were still more gratified by the humiliation and dis grace of the Catholic bishops, who, having incurred the King's displeasure, fell into contempt with the people. Archbishop Adamson, a Romish prelate, desirous of regaining the Royal favour, or overpowered by the force of truth, made the meanest A.D. Į submissions to the clergy, and emitted a formal recantation 1591. S of the Popish tenets.

The police of the kingdom was at this time in a miserable condition. The fierce and untractable spirit of the nobles occasioned numerous and mortal quarrels. Assassination and murder were perpetrated with impunity. Too gentle to punish, or too indolent to restrain these outrages, James remained a passive spectator; and his administration, destitute of vigour, fell into contempt.

The ignorance of the times is strikingly exhibited in the general belief in sorcery and witchcraft. Many ignorant and deluded persons, accused of using incantations, were punished without justice or mercy. Some of these unhappy persons accused the Earl of Bothwell of having consulted them in order to ascertain the time of the King's death, and of having employed their art to raise the storms which had endangered the Queen's life.

Bothwell was committed to prison; but he soon made his escape. Imputing the King's severity to the personal enmity of the Chancellor, he assembled his followers, to be revenged. He had nearly accomplished his purpose, when an alarm was given to the citizens of Edinburgh; who seized their arms, and hastened to the King's assistance. Bothwell immediately desisted, and fled. A royal commission was issued, impowering the Earl of Huntly to pursue and punish the fugitive. Instead of executing his orders, Huntly, intent on gratifying his private revenge, slew the Earl of Murray, and burned his house to the ground. The murder of the Regent Murray's son, who was a favourite with the people, excited general indignation. The citizens of Edinburgh rose in a tumultuous manner; and though they were restrained by their magistrates from offering any personal violence to the King, they openly insulted him and his ministers.

To escape the popular fury, James retired with his court to Glasgow; where Huntly surrendered himself; but escaped with

impunity. Such a dereliction of public duty and disregard to justice, rendered the King's administration very unpopular. To conciliate the favour of the people, James lent an apparently willing ear to the complaints of the Presbyterian clergy; and, notwithstanding his dislike to the republican genius of Presbytery, and the uncomplying character of its ministers, he courted their favour. He sanctioned a law, whereby were repealed or explained some acts that the Presbyterians complained of as injurious, which had been passed eight years before in a clandestine manner. Thus was A.D. the Presbyterian church, with its discipline and judicatories, 1592. for the first time established by law.

The tranquillity established by these conciliating measures was soon interrupted. Bothwell, who had been attainted by the Parliament, suddenly appeared at Falkland, and unsuccessfully attempted to seize the King's person. A more dangerous conspiracy was discovered soon after. The Earls of Angus, Errol, and Huntly, had entered into an agreement with the King of Spain, for the reestablishment of the Catholic worship in Scotland, and for effecting the same purpose subsequently in England.

George Ker, brother to Lord Newbottle, having been suspected and seized when about to leave the kingdom, was intimidated by the torture to make a full disclosure of the conspiracy. Graham of Fintry and Barclay of Ladyland, whom he accused as accomplices, were taken into custody, and corroborated his evidence.

Alarmed by the terror of an invasion, all ranks stood forth as champions for the liberty and independence of their country. The ministers of Edinburgh, without any legal warrant, convoked an assembly of the peers and barons. Angus was instantly committed to the castle; but he escaped. Graham was tried and beheaded. Errol and Huntly were summoned to surrender themselves to justice; but they fled to the mountains. James marched into the North with an army, placed garrisons in the castles of the contumacious barons, and appointed the Earls of Atholl and Marischal, his lieutenants there, to maintain the public peace. Queen Elizabeth despatched Lord Borough into Scotland, to counsel the King to confiscate the estates of the traitors, and annex them to the crown. James pleaded in excuse, that he was not possessed of means sufficient; and solicited the aid of the Queen; which she refused. What were his secret motives, is uncertain; but his reluctance to punish a crime so flagrant, excited

strong suspicions that he was attached to Popery. He was desirous that Ker might be allowed to escape from prison; and notwithstanding the importunity of his subjects obliged him to call a Parliament for attainting the delinquents, nothing was concluded against them, on pretence that legal evidence of their guilt could not be procured.

A.D. 1593.

The poverty of his finances was only a subordinate cause of the impotence of James's government. The court was divided into two factions, under the Queen and the Chancellor. To attain the ascendancy, the Queen's party adopted an extraordinary expedient. They privately recalled the exiled Bothwell; who found means to introduce himself into the King's presence, with a train of armed followers. He received a pardon, and James promised to procure its ratification by Parliament: But that body refused its sanction, alleging that the pardon had been extorted by force.

Bothwell fled to England; where he was secretly protected by Elizabeth. His spirit was too turbulent to remain long inactive. He appeared suddenly within a mile of Edinburgh, at the head of four hundred horse. The citizens armed themselves in the King's defence, and marched to meet the insurgents. After a slight encounter, Bothwell, being deserted by his troops, retired to England.

"A.D. 1594.

Though the prosecution of the Catholic earls was suspended during these disorders, the Parliament at length passed an act of attainder against them. The King authorized the Earl of Argyll and Lord Forbes, the hereditary enemies of the attainted lords, to invade their lands and seize their castles. Argyll, a young nobleman of eighteen, took the field at the head of seven thousand men; but he was defeated at Glenlivet. The conspirators, notwithstanding, found themselves hard pressed by James; and they agreed, upon certain conditions, to leave the kingdom. Bothwell being detected as an accomplice in their conspiracy, forfeited the protection of Elizabeth, and took shelter first in France and then in Italy; where he died in great poverty. He was descended from a natural son of James the Fifth.

The exile of the Catholic nobles procured a season of domestic peace; of which James availed himself to introduce order and economy into the management of his finances; which were in great confusion.

To restrain the Queen's prodigality, and to

check his own natural facility, he adopted a novel but eligible and decisive measure. The death of Chancellor Maitland having left him without a minister in whom he could confide, he placed the exchequer under the control of eight lawyers; who were invested with almost unlimited powers. No alienation of public property was to be held valid-no order on the treasury was to be attended to-unless ratified by five of the commissioners. By this means, the finances were managed with frugality, and the expenses of the government were readily defrayed.

CHAPTER X.

Disputes between the King and the Presbyterian clergy. Popular tumult -consequences. Restoration of the ecclesiastical estate in Parliament. Gowrie's conspiracy.

THE flames of discord now unhappily broke forth between the King and the Presbyterian clergy. Alarmed by the rumours of vast preparations to invade Britain by the King of Spain, the General Assembly of the church of Scotland appointed a day for public fasting, renewed the covenant, and selected a deputation of noblemen and ministers to submit their deliberations to the King. As the exiled lords were suspected of abetting the machinations of the Spaniards, the deputation importuned the King to confiscate their forfeited estates, for the maintenance of an armed force to defend the liberties of his subjects.

This proposition was entirely at variance with the policy which James intended to pursue. He dreaded the consequences of exasperating a faction so powerful as that of the exiled lords, espe cially at a time when their resentment might multiply the difficulties in his way to the English throne: He was therefore inclined to mitigate their punishment, and permit them on easy conditions to return home. Agreeably to the King's wishes, the Convention of Estates permitted the banished lords to return and reside upon their estates, upon giving security for their dutiful and peaceable behaviour in future.

No sooner was the Convention's decision known, than the As sembly's committee remonstrated with the King on the impolicy of his lenient conduct. Their representations being disregarded, the committee wrote circular letters to all the presbyteries in Scotland, warning them of the expected danger, enjoining every

clergyman to publish from the pulpit the anathema of the church against the Popish lords, and encouraging them to stir up the nation in defence of their religion.

A convention of the most eminent clergymen met at Edinburgh, under the name of the Standing Council of the Church, to anticipate and frustrate the designs of their enemies. Although the King was averse to come to an open rupture with the church, he could not conceal his indignation at the conduct of its committee; which he considered an invasion of his prerogative, and an approximation to rebellion.

A.D. The intemperate zeal of a private clergyman hastened 1596. the crisis of this dispute. Mr Black, one of the ministers of St Andrew's, conformably to the practice of the age, inveighed from the pulpit with great bitterness against the recent measures of the Government. The King, the nobles, the judges, and even the English Queen, were equally the objects of his vituperation and abuse. The English ambassador complained of the insult thus offered to his Sovereign; and Black was summoned, by command of the King, to answer for himself before the Privy Council.

This mandate he refused to obey; and appealed to the judica tories of the church, as the only tribunal competent to judge his doctrine and conduct. Enraged at his contumacy, the King sen tenced him to be banished beyond the river Spey. He commanded the members of the standing council to return without delay to their respective parishes; and he publicly avowed his deter mination to compel the clergy to submit, in common with laymen, to the jurisdiction of the civil courts, for all offences against the laws of the realm.

The firm opposition which the King made to the bold proceedings of his opponents, was represented by them as an unequivocal evidence of his apostacy from the Presbyterian faith. Both parties were the dupes of certain incendiaries who are ever ready to aggravate the disputes of contending factions. The King was led to believe that a number of the citizens of Edinburgh assembled clandestinely for military training. A proclamation was immediately issued, commanding twenty-four of the suspected burgesses to leave the city within six hours.

The ministers were alarmed by a report that the King was under the secret influence of the Catholic lords, to some of whom he had given a private audience. Disorder and tumult quickly

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