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venting immoral and ignorant persons were summoned to stand trial before the from being employed in ecclesiastical Justiciary Court at Stirling, on the 10th functions. It deserves to be noticed, that of May 1550, for disregarding the prothere was another paper laid before the clamation, teaching heresy, and exciting council
, drawn up by persons attached to seditions and tumults among the people. the Romish Church, also craving re- Being reluctant to proceed to extremidress for several grievances complained ties, the Protestants sent the Earl of of in the ecclesiastica, administration of Glencairn and Sir Hugh Campbell of Scotland.” This latter paper, indicating London to wait on the queen, and rethe existence of a reforming party within monstrate against these violent proceedthe Romish Church itself, gave serious ings; but she haughtily replied, that alarm to the council, and increased their “maugre (in spite of] their hearts, and determination to adopt strong and deci- all that would take part with them, sive measures at once. They accord- these ministers should be banishel Scotingly ratified, in the strongest terms, all land, though they preached as soundly the controverted doctrines; ordered strict as ever St. Paul did.” The deputation inquiry to be made after all such as ab- reminded her of the promises she had sented themselves from the celebration of repeatedly made to protect them, to mass; and threatened with excommuni- which she unblushingly replied, that “it cation all who should disseminate or ad- became not subjects to burden their here to the doctrine of the Reformation. princes with promises, farther than they A secret treaty, it appears, had been pleased to keep them.” Roused, rather framed between the clergy and the queen- than intimidated, by this language, they regent, in which they engaged to raise a answered, that if she violated the enlarge sum of money to enable her to gagements she had come under to her levy and maintain forces wherewith to subjects, they would regard themselves as overthrow and suppress the reformers. absolved from their allegiance to her.
The Protestant party becoming aware This bold and resolute answer caused of this secret treaty, and perceiving the her to pause and resume her tone of turn that matters were now taking, broke simulated mildness, and at length she off the negociations in which they had promised to suspend the trial of the been engaged, and left Edinburgh. preachers, and take the whole affair into They were no sooner gone than a pro- serious consideration. clamation was made at the market-cross That very night, according to Spotsby order of the queen-regent,“ prohibit-wood, after the departure of the deputaing any person from preaching or ad- tion, the queen received information that ministering the sacraments without au- the town of Perth had embraced the rethority from the bishops, and command formed doctrines. Enraged to find all ing all the subjects to prepare to cele- matters going so contrary to her wishes, brate the ensuing feast of Easter, ac- she sent for Lord Ruthven, provost of cording to the rules of the Catholic that town, and commanded him to go imChurch.” This proclamation the Pro-mediately to suppress these innovations. testants regarded as equivalent to a de- To this he answered, that “ he could claration of direct hostility against them make their persons and their goods suband their religious belief; and perceived ject to her, but had no power over their that they must either now take their minds and consciences. She furiously stand, or prepare to abandon all that they exclaimed, that she was too ma'apert to held most sacred. They did not hesitate, give her such an answer, and she would but disregarded the proclamation, neg- make both him and them repent it.” In lecting the superstitious and idolatrous the same spirit of revenge, she broke rites of Popery, and worshipping God the promise she had given to Glenaccording to the directions contained in cairn and Loudon, ordered the processes His own Word, and the light of con- against the preachers to go on, and sumscience. The queen-regent had now ad- moned them peremptorily to stand their vanced too far to retract; and accord- trial at Stirling on the appointed day. ingly, Paul Methven, John Christison, Affairs now swept rapidly forward to William Harlaw, and John Willock the crisis that had been long inevitable.
The Protestant nobility and gentlemen of the 3d of May, they had again met determined to accompany their preachers and resumed their deliberations. While to Stirling on the day appointed. The they were thus engaged, on a sudden one townsmen of Dundee, and those of Mon- of the fraternity entered the monastery, trose, together with the chief inhabitants and rushed into the presence of the counof Angus and Mearns, assembled at cil, breathless with haste, and pale with Perth, but before proceeding to Stirling, terror, exclaiming in broken words it was judged expedient to send Erskine “ John Knox! John Knox is come! he of Dun before them, to assure the queen is come! he slept last night in Edinof their peaceful dispositions, and that burgh !" The council was panic-struck. their only object was to join with their In dumb dismay they contemplated the preachers in making a public confession ruin of all the plans which they had of their faith, and to aid them in their given their gold and stained their souls just defence. The wily queen again re- with guilt to fabricate. At once stunned sorted to dissimulation, and succeeded in and terrified, they ceased to deliberate, persuading Erskine to remain at Stirling, broke up the council, and dispersed in and to write to the assembled Protestants great haste and confusion. at Perth, requesting them to return to A messenger was instantly sent to the their houses, and promising that the trial queen-regent with the unwelcome inforshould not proceed against the ministers. mation; and within a few days Knox Some, confiding in the queen-regent's was proclaimed an outlaw and a rebel, promise, did return to their homes; but in virtue of the sentence formerly proa considerable number, remembering her nounced against him by the clergy. He previous acts of treachery, remained at staid but one day in Edinburgh ; and bePerth, till they should see the issue. At ing resolved to cast himself at once into this very important juncture the Protest- the heart of the conflict, and to share the ant party received an accession of strength dangers of his brethren, he hurried to in the opportune arrival of John Knox Dundee, and joined those who were prein Scotland.
paring to proceed to the trial at Stirling. It has been already stated that he had With them he hastened to Perth, where returned to Geneva, after the discourag- the main adherents of the Reformation ing letters which he received at Dieppe. were by this time assembled, waiting the But when he received a fresh invitation result of the negotiations between the from the Lords of the Congregation, and queen-regent and Erskine of Dun, of farther learned in what extremities his which mention has been already made. Scottish reforming brethren were placed, The queen, as already stated, had he at once determined to hasten to his promised, to Erskine that the trial of the native country, and devote his life to the preachers should be postponed; but when great and sacred cause of the Scottish the day of trial came, they were sumReformation. He was refused permis- moned, and, not appearing, they were sion to journey through England; but outlawed, and all persons were prohibtaking shipping at Dieppe, he sailed to ited, “under pain of rebellion, to assist, Leith, where he landed the 2d of May comfort, receive, or maintain them in any
sort.? At the same time, the gentlemen Nothing can more strikingly prove who had given security for their appearthe importance of this timely arrival of ance were fined. Indignant at this act the gret Scottish reformer, than the con- of gross deceit and injury, and apprehensternat:on it excited in the hearts of his sive of personal danger, Erskine conantagonists. "The day for the trial of the trived to escape from Stirling unobserved, preachers was close at hand, and their and hastened to Perth with the intellienemies were busily engaged in com- gence of what had taken place. . An pleting their treacherous plots against event immediately followed the return of the lives of those devoted men. For se- Erskine to Perth, which has often been veral days the provincial council of the grievously misrepresented, to the preju. clergy had been sitting in the monastery dice of the reformers, very unjustly, by of the Grayfriars; and on the morning the favourers of Prelacy; and as Dr.
M'Crie has given a very full account of | against the Protestants. She did not it in his Life of Knox, we extract the fail to improve it with her usual address. passage.
She magnified the accidental tumult into "It happened that, on the same day on a dangerous and designed rebellion. which the news came of the queen's Having called the nobility to Stirling, treacherous conduct at Stirling, Knox, she, in her interviews with them, insisted who remained at Perth, preached a ser- upon such topics as were best calculated mon, in which he exposed the idolatry of to persuade the parties into which they the mass and of image-worship. The were divided. In conversing with the audience had quietly dismissed, and a Catholics, she dwelt upon the sacrilegious few idle persons only loitered in the overthrow of those venerable structures church, when an imprudent priest, wish- which their ancestors had dedicated to ing to try the disposition of the people, or the service of God. To the Protestants to show his contempt of the doctrine who had not joined their brethren at which had just been delivered, uncovered Perth, she complained of the destruction a rich altar-piece, decorated with images, of the charter-house, which was a royal and prepared to celebrate mass. A boy, foundation; and, protesting that she had having uttered some expressions of disap- no intention of offering violence to their probation, was struck by the priest. He consciences, promised to protect them, retaliated by throwing a stone at the provided they would assist her in punaggressor, which, falling on the altar- ishing those who had been guilty of this piece, broke one of the images
. This violation of public order. Having inoperated as a signal upon the people flamed the minds of both parties, she colpresent, who had sympathised with the lected an army from the adjacent counboy; and in course of a few minutes, the tries, and advanced to Perth, threatening altar, images, and all the ornaments of the to lay waste the town with fire and sword, church, were torn down and trampled and to inflict the most exemplary venunder foot. The noise soon collected a geance on all who had been instrumental mob, which, finding no employment in in producing the riot."* the church, flew, by a sudden and irre- À considerable body of French troops sistible impulse, upon the monasteries ; strengthened the queen's army, and inand although the magistrates of the town creased the danger of the Protestants, and the preachers assembled as soon as who were also weakened by the retreat they heard of the riot, yet neither the per- of many of their own party, confiding suasions of the one, nor the authority of in the previous pacific declarations of the the other, could restrain the fury of the queen. But messengers had been sent people, until the houses of the gray and by the reformers from Perth, requesting black friars, with the costly edifice of the their friends to come to their defence Carthusian monks, were laid in ruins. with all possible expedition; and so readNone of the gentlemen or sober part of ily were these entreaties responded to, the congregation were concerned in this that before the queen's army had reached unpremeditated tumult; it was wholly Perth, the reformers were enabled to asconfined to the lowest of the inhabitants, sume an attitude of self-defence suffior, as Knox designs them, the rascal ciently imposing to cause the queen to multitude.'
If this disorderly conduct propose overtures of accommodation. must be traced to a remote cause, we can The promptitude of the Earl of Glenimpute it only to the wanton and dishon- cairn, on this emergency, deserves parourable perfidy of the queen-regent. .
ticular mention. In an almost incredible “ In fact, nothing could be more fa short space of time, he assembled about vourable to the designs of the regent than two thousand five hundred men, and this riot. By her recent conduct she had marched from Ayrshire to Perth, bringforfeited the confidence of the Protes- ing this large reinforcement to his brethtants, and even exposed herself in the ren there, while they were treating with eyes of the sober and moderate of her the queen-regent. own party.
This occurrence afforded The queen employed the Earl of Arher an opportunity of turning the public gyle and Lord James Stewart to treat indignation from herself, and directing it
M'Crie's Life of Knox, pp, 159, 160.
with the Lords of the Congregation at fblemen feeling their own honour impliPerth ; and an agreement was entered cated, forsook her, and went to the Coninto, in which it was stipulated, that the gregation, resolving never again to place town should be left open to the queen; any confidence in her promises. that none of the inhabitants should be The Lords of the Congregation now called in question for what had taken resolved to temporize and negotiate no place; that the French should not enter longer, but to take immediate steps for the town; and that, when the queen re- abolishing the idolatrous and superstitious tired, there should be no garrison left in rites of Popery, and setting up the reit. To these terms the reformers agreed; formed worship in all places to which at the same time stating, that they did not their authority or influence extended. expect the queen to keep faith with them And as Lord James Stewart was prior any longer than till she obtained the of St. Andrews, and had now cordially power to break it with safety to herself; and entirely joined with the reformers, and Argyle and Stewart, declaring that he gave an authoritative invitation to if she should violate the treaty, they John Knox, to meet him in that city on would leave her, and openly take part a certain day, and to preach publicly in with their brethren, to whom they con- the Abbey Church. Knox, who had sidered themselves bound by the most been preaching in several places along sacred ties. Before quitting Perth, the the east coast of Fife, hastened to comLords of the Congregation framed and ply with this invitation, and on the 9th subscribed another bond pledging them of June arrived at St. Andrews. The to mutual support and defence in the archbishop, hearing of this design to cause of religion, or any cause dependent storm Popery in its stronghold, hastily thereupon, by whatsoever pretext it might collected an armed force, and having at be coloured and concealed. This has their head hurried to St. Andrews, sent been generally called THE SECOND Cove- information to Knox, that if he appeared
It was subscribed in the name of in the pulpit, he would give orders to fire the whole Congregation, by the Earls of upon him. Argyle and Glencairn, Lord James Stew
The juncture was one of an extremely art, the Lords Boyd and Ochiltree, and critical nature. The Lords of the ConMatthew Campbell of Terringland, on gregation were but slenderly accompathe 31st of May 1559.*
nied; the disposition of the townsmen A very short time was sufficient to was in a great measure uncertain ; and prove how much reason the Protestants the queen-regent had advanced to Falkhad to distrust the most solemn promises land, about twelve miles distant, at the of the queen-regent.
No sooner had she head of a considerable army, consisting obtained complete possession of the town chiefly of the French troops, who were of Perth than she began to violate her thoroughly devoted to her interests, and engagement, treating the inhabitants with as thoroughly hostile to the Reformation. the greatest violence, changing their Argyle and Lord James Stewart were magistrates forcibly, and substituting alarmed at the dangerous aspect of affairs, creatures of her own, exacting oppressive and yet reluctant to abandon their intenfines from some, and conniving at the tion. They felt that to be baffled at the murder of others who had been friendly very outset of their great enterprise would to the reformers, and, upon her depart- be a severe if not a fatal discouragement; ure, leaving a garrison in the town, con- and yet they were unwilling to put the trary to the express stipulations of the life of Knox, as well as their own lives, treaty. Argyle and Lord James Stewart in such imminent peril
. In this perplexremonstrated strongly against such con- ity they sent for Knox himself, to have duct, and were answered, that " she was his own judgment in this emergency. not bound to keep promises made to her- That judgment was one becoming him etics; and that she would make little “ who never feared the face of man." conscience to take from all that sect their Reminding them that he had been first lives and inheritance, if she might do it called to preach the gospel in that very with so honest an excuse.”+ These no- town,-reft from it by the tyranny of
† Knox, p. 130; Spotswocd, p. 133. France, at the procurement of the
Knox, p. 138.
may have it."
bishops,--that now the opportunity was again appalled the queen ; and dreading presented to him, for which he had long- a disastrous defeat, should she risk a bated, and prayed, and hoped,-he entreated tle, she proposed a suspension of hostilithem not to hinder him from once more ties. The Protestant lords had now repreaching in St. Andrews. “As for the ceived too many proofs of her duplicity fear of danger that may come to me, let to be again circumvented by mere prono man be solicitous; for my life is in mises. They, therefore, stipulated that the custody of Him whose glory I seek. the French troops should be removed out I desire the hand and weapon of no man of Fifeshire'; and that commissioners to defend me. I only crave audience; should, within ten days, be sent to St. which, if it be denied here unto me at Andrews, for the purpose of settling all this time, I must seek farther where I differences between her and the Congre
gation. The troops were removed, but The dauntless courage of the great re- no commissioners were sent. The Lords former communicated itself to the lords. of the Congregation determined, thereLike him, they ceased to think of danger, fore, to adopt more decisive measures, when the call was that of sacred duty; and to redress by their own efforts those and next day, the 16th of June, Knox ap- grievances which they could not peared in the pulpit, and preached to a otherwise remedied. numerous audience, including the arch- Mustering once more their strength, bishop, many of the inferior clergy, and they advanced to Perth, and expelled the the scowling bands of armed retainers garrison left there by the queen. Thence prepared for the assassination of the fear- by a rapid movement they proceeded to less preacher. But the hand of God was Stirling, seized upon it, and continuing with him, restraining the fury of the ad- their march, took possession of Edinversary, and moulding anew the melted burgh itself; the queen-regent, as they hearts of the people. The subject of his approached, retiring with her forces to discourse was, our Saviour's ejecting the Dunbar. In the meantime the dread of profane traffickers from the temple of the direct and immediate vengeance of Jerusalem; which he applied to the duty the popish clergy being removed, the incumbent on all Christians, according rest of the kingdom quickly followed the to their different stations, to remove the example of Perth and St. Andrews, in corruptions of the Papacy, and purify the abolishing the popish worship; and in Church, On the three following days the course of a few weeks, “ at Crail
, at he preached in the same place, and on Cupar, at Lindors, at Stirling, at Linlithsimilar subjects; and such was the effect gow, at Edinburgh, and at Glasgow, the of his doctrine, that the magistracy and houses of the monks were overthrown, the inhabitants agreed to set up the re- and all the instruments of idolatry.desformed worship in the town; and imme- troyed."* diately stripped the church of images and On their arrival at Edinburgh the pictures, and demolished the monasteries. Lords of the Congregation sent deputies
The archbishop of St. Andrews hast- to Dunbar, to assure the queen that they ened to the queen-regent with this dire had no intention of throwing off their alinformation. Being apprised, at the legiance, and to induce her to accede to same time, that the lords at St. Andrews reasonable terms of accommodation. were accompanied by a small retinue, One preliminary point was agreed upon, she resolved to surprise them before their —that the sentence of outlawry against friends could come to their support, and the ministers should be rescinded, and gave orders to prepare to march on Cu- that they should be allowed to preach par. But the Protestants in the adjacent publicly to those who chose to hear counties, being aware of the danger of them. Knox was chosen by the people their friends, hastened to their aid with of Edinburgh to be their minister, on the such celerity, and in such numbers, that 7th of July, and immediately began his they were able to anticipate the queen's labours among them. But the wiles of movements, and take up a position con- the queen were not yet exhausted. She fronting her army on Cupar-moor. The prolonged the negotiations till she learned resolute aspect of the Protestant army
M'Crie's Life of Knox, p. 165.