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means, however, to make their escape; and Bothwell, at the head of a few forces, meeting the associators within about six miles of Edinburgh, was obliged to capitulate, while Mary was conducted by the prevailing party into Edinburgh, amidst the insults and reproaches of the populace. Thence she was sent: a prisoner to the castle of Lochleven, situated in a lake of that name, where she suffered all the severities of an unkind keeper, and an upbraiding conscience, with a feeling heart. Bothwell was more fortunate; he fled, during the conference, unattended, to Dunbar; and fitting out a few “small ships in that port, he subsisted among the Orkneys for some time by piracy. Being pursued thither, and his domestics taken, who made a full discovery of his crimes, he escaped in an open boat to Denmark, where he was thrown into prison, lost his senses, and died miserably about ten years afterwards. In this situation, Mary was not entirely without protection and friends. Elizabeth, who now saw her rival entirely humbled, began to relent; she reflected on the precarious state of royal grandeur, and the danger of encouraging rebellious subjects; she therefore sent sir Nicholas Throgmorton as her ambassador to Scotland, to interpose in the queen's behalf; but the associated lords thought proper to deny him, after several affected delays, all access to Mary's person. However, though he could not confer with her, he procured her the best terms with the rebellious lords that he could; which were, that she should resign the crown in favour of her infant son; that she should nominate the earl of Murray (who had from the beginning testified a hatred to lord Darnley) regent of the kingdom; and, as he was then in France, that she should appoint a council till his arrival. Mary could not think of resigning all power, without a plentiful effusion of tears; but at last signed what was brought to her, even without inspection. In consequence of this forced resignation, the young prince was proclaimed king, under the title of James the Sixth. The queen had now no hopes but from the kindness of the earl of Murray; but even in that respect she was disappointed: the earl, upon his return, instead of comforting her, loaded her with reproaches, which reduced her almost to despair. A.D. The calamities of the great, even though 1568. deserved, seldom fail of creating pity, and procuring friends. Mary, by her charms and promises, had engaged a young gentleman, whose name was George Douglas, to assist her in escaping from the place where she was confined : and this he effected, by conveying her in disguise in a small boat, rowed by himself, ashore. It was now that, the news of her enlargement being spread abroad, all the loyalty of the people seemed to revive. As Bothwell was no longer associated in her cause, many of the nobility, who expected to succeed him in favour, signed a bond of association for her defence; and in a few days she saw herself at the head of six thousand men. The earl of Murray was not slow in assembling his forces; and although his army was inferior in number to that of the queen of Scots, he boldly took the field against her. A battle was fought at Langside near Glasgow, which was decisive in his favour; and he seemed to merit victory by his clemency after the action. Mary, now totally ruined, fled to the southward from the field of battle with great precipitation, and came with a few attendants to the borders of England, where she hoped for protection from Elizabeth. With this hope she embarked on board a fishing-boat in Galloway, and landed the same day at Workington in Cumberland, about thirty miles distant from Carlisle, whence she
immediatedy dispatched a messenger to London, craving protection, and desiring liberty to visit the queen. Elizabeth, being informed of her misfortunes and retreat, deliberated for some time upon the proper methods of proceeding, and resolved at last to act in a friendly yet cautious manner. She immediately sent orders to lady Scrope (sister to the duke of Norfolk), who lived in that neighbourhood, to attend on the queen of Scots; and soon after dispatched lord Scrope himself, and sir Francis Knolles, to pay her all possible respect. Notwithstanding these marks of distinction, the queen refused to admit Mary into her presence, until she had cleared her character from the many foul aspersions with which it was stained. It might, perhaps, have been Elizabeth's duty to protect, and not to examine, her royal fugitive. However, she acted entirely under the direction of her council, who observed, that if the crimes of the Scotish princess were really so great as they were represented, the treating her with friendship would but give them a sanction; if she should be found guiltless upon trial, every enterprise which friendship should inspire in her defence, would be considered as laudable and glorious. Mary was now, though reluctantly, obliged to admit her ancient rival as an umpire in her cause; and the accusation was readily undertaken by Murray the regent, who expected to remove so powerful an assistant as Elizabeth, by the atrociousness of Mary's offences. This extraordinary conference, respecting the conduct of a foreign queen, was managed at York; three commissioners being appointed by Elizabeth, seven by the queen of Scots, and five by the regent, among whom he himself was included. These conferences were carried on for some time at the place first appointed ; but, after a while, Elizabeth, either unwilling to decide, as VOL. II. K
she would thus give up the power she was now possessed of, or perhaps desirous of throwing all possible light upon Mary’s conduct, ordered the commissioners to continue their conferences at Hampton-court, where they were spun out by affected delays. Whatever might have been the cause of protracting this conference in the beginning, is not known; but many of the proofs of Mary’s guilt, which were suppressed at York, made their appearance before the board at Hampton-court. Among other proofs, were many letters and sonnets written in Mary's own hand to Bothwell, in which she discovers her knowledge of Darnley's intended murder, and her contrivance to marry Bothwell, by pretending a forced compliance. These papers, it must be owned, are not free from the suspicion of forgery; yet the reasons for their authenticity seem to prevail. However this be, the proofs of Mary's guilt appearing stronger, it was thought proper to engage her advocates to give answers to them ; but they, contrary to expectation, refused, alleging that, as Mary was a sovereign princess, she could not be subject to any tribunal; not considering that the aim of this conference was not punishment, but reconciliation; that it was not to try Mary in order to inflict penalties, but to know whether she was worthy of Elizabeth’s friendship and protection. Instead of attempting to justify her conduct, the queen of Scots laboured nothing so much as to obtain an interview with Elizabeth, conscious that her insinuations, arts, and address, of all which she was a perfect"mistress, would be sufficient to persuade her royal sister, and stand in place of innocence. But as she still persisted in a resolution to make no defence, this demand was finally refused her. She continued, however, to demand Elizabeth's protection; she desired that either she might be assisted in her endeavours to recover her authority, or that liberty should be given her for retiring into France, there to make trial of the friendship of other princes. But Elizabeth, sensible of the danger which attended either of these proposals, was secretly resolved to detain her in captivity; and she was accordingly sent to Tutbury castle, in the county of Stafford, where she was put under the custody of the earl of Shrewsbury: there she gave her royal prisoner hopes of one day coming into favour; and that, unless her own obstinacy prevented, an accommodation might at last take place. But this unhappy woman was fated to nothing but misfortunes; and those hopes of accommodation which she had been taught to expect were still put off by some sinister accident. The factions of her own subjects in Scotland tended not a little to alarm the jealousy of Elizabeth, and increase the rigours of Mary’s confinement. The regent of Scotland, who had been long her inveterate enemy, happening to be assassinated, in revenge of a private injury, by a gentleman of the name of Hamilton, upon his death the kingdom relapsed into its former anarchy. Mary's party once more assembled,
and became masters of Edinburgh. They even ven
tured to approach the borders of England, where they committed some disorders, which called upon the vigilance of Elizabeth to suppress. She quickly sent an army commanded by the earl of Sussex; who, entering Scotland, severely chastised the partisans of the captive queen, under a pretence that they had offended his mistress by harbouring English rebels.
But the designs and arts of Elizabeth did not rest here : while she kept up the most friendly correspondence with Mary, and the most warm protestations of sincerity passed between them, she was far from either assisting her cause, or yet from rendering it desperate. It was her interest to keep the factions in Scotland still