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History of the Royal Family of Stuart.

The importance of the union of the two houses renders it necessary here to introduce a succinct account of the Royal Family of the Stuarts; which will naturally lead to the resumption of the history of the House of Brunswick: by whom they were succeeded in the sovereignty of these realms.

The marriage of Margery Bruce, daughter of Robert I. Bruce, with Walter III. Stuart, united the male branch of the ancient royal family of Scotland, who descended from Malcolm I. slain in 958, with the male branch or house of Stuart; who trace their descent from Mogallus, son of that prince, and father of Grimus, who was deposed by Malcolm II. and died in the year 1003. The issue of this marriage was Robert II. the first Stuart who reigned in Scotland: he succeeded his uncle David, who had been deposed, and was crowned at Scone, March 26, 1371, at the advanced age of 55. Among the first acts of his government was, the dispatch of ambassadors to France, to negotiate a treaty; stipulating, that neither the king of Scotland, nor the king of France, should be obliged to make war upon England; that not even the dispensation of the Pope should release either party from their engagements to each other; that in the event of a competition for the crown of Scotland, the king of France should take care to exclude English influence, and acknowledge the king who should be elected conformably to the laws; and that no Frenchman should serve against Scotland, nor any Scotchman against France. This prince kept up a friendly correspondence with Edward III. of England, though the borderers of their respective kingdoms were engaged in perpetual hostilities. He was succeeded by his eldest son, who assumed the

title of Robert III. and had commanded armies and negotiated treaties in early life, with ability and success; but was living in retirement when his father died. In his reign, a violent feud broke out between the clans of Chattan and Kay; which for nearly three years raged with the most ruthless fury. The Earl of Crauford was sent to restore peace; but fearing that the employment of force might induce the contending parties to unite against the government, he had recourse to an artifice, which throws much light upon the character of the Highlanders, and the general state of society in that age. He proposed, that their quarrel should be decided by thirty champions from each clan, who should fight with the sword only, in the presence of the king and his court. This proposal, which was perfectly agreeable to the spirit of the feudal laws, received the sanction of both parties. A level spot, near Perth, was fixed upon for the scene of action; but one of the Chattan combatants failed to appear. In this dilemma, it was suggested that one of the Kay clan should be withdrawn; but they all of them indignantly refused to relinquish the honour of the combat. Various other expedients were ineffectually suggested, until Henry Wynd, a smith, entirely unconnected with either clan, offered to supply the place of the cowardly absentee; and was readily accepted. The champions on both sides now joined battle; and, after a conflict of the most unparalleled fury, the Chattan clan remained victorious; owing principally to the superior heroism of Wynd, who, with ten of his comrades, all desperately wounded, alone survived the deadly contest. Of the Kay clan, one only was left alive, who, being unhurt, threw himself into the Tay, and escaped. This singular combat took place in the year 1396. In 1402, Henry Percy, called Hotspur, defeated the Douglas, in the celebrated battle of Homeldonhill. Three years afterwards, the king of Scotland


king was compelled to retreat; and in passing through the village of Bannockburn, was murdered by one of the rebels, who, pretending to be a priest, was conducted to him by a miller's wife. The Earl of Rothsay succeeded, by the title of James IV, and at length became a great favourite with the Scotch, by his zeal for the improvement of the kingdom. The arts of ship-building and of architecture were the particular objects of his patronage; and indeed to so high a pitch did he carry his anxiety to establish a navy, that he brought himself into serious financial difficulties. This distinguished monarch closed his reign and his life in the bloody battle of Flodden-field; where most of his nobility perished with him. His son, James V. succeeded him, though only a year and a half old.

James displayed an excellent capacity for govern→ ment: his friendship was anxiously sought by all the great sovereigns of Europe; and he received from the Pope the same compliment with which that pontiff regretted his having flattered the vanity of Henry VIII. of England, in the title of “De fender of the Faith." This prince afterwards had the misfortune so greatly to disgust his principal nobles, that they forsook him in a critical juncture, when he was about to attack the English; to whom they rather chose to submit, than to obey his orders: which so affected him, that he died of grief in his 31st year; and was succeeded, in 1542, by the celebrated Mary of Guise, his infant daughter, then only eight days old. During the war with England, for her personal security she was sent to France; where she married the Dauphin, Francis. She became the willing instrument of the bigoted house of Lorrain, in their strenuous endeavours to crush the Reformation in Scotland; although she at first professed, that until she should take final orders concerning religion, with advice of parliament, any attempt to alter or subvert the Protestant religion, which she

found universally practised in the realm, should be deemed a capital crime. She married Henry Earl of Darnley; but his vices and ingratitude soon alienated her affections from him: and the murder of her secretary Rizzio, is said to have converted her dislike into the most malignant hatred. After Rizzio's death, she took up her residence in the castle of Edinburgh; where she was delivered of her only son, James VI. the successor of Queen Elizabeth. Her tragical history is well known: her subjects rebelled against her; she was obliged to abandon her kingdom, and threw herself under the protection of Queen Elizabeth; who caused her to he beheaded at Fotheringay-castle, after a cruel imprisonment of eighteen years. This unhappy princess, owing to her personal beauty and accomplishments, as well as to an excess of that courtesy which is always due to her sex, has invariably been called the unfortunate Mary: the epithet imprudent might, however, have been more justly applied, if historians had not manifested more regard for her beauty and misfortunes, than for the sacred rights of truth.

'Although she was a most bigoted papist, James her successor had been happily educated in the Protestant Faith, during the regency of the Earl of Murray; who was invested with that dignity after Mary had been deprived of the crown, and her infant son proclaimed in her stead. After the assassination of Murray, the Earl of Morton became regent, until he was basely put to death, as an accessary to the murder of the young prince's father, Lord Darnley, without sufficient proof of his guilt. James himself then began to exercise the sovereign authority; and exerted himself on every occasion to secure the Reformed Church from being overthrown by the Catholic party, which continued very powerful while his mother lived. Upon the condemnation of his exiled mother by Queen Eliza

beth, James remonstrated strongly against the proceeding; and after the barbarous execution of the sentence, he declared war against England: but the English queen soon found means to soothe his anger, and to regain his friendship; which some writers have pretended to account for, upon the probability of his having been fully convinced, that Mary had at least connived at his father's assassination. During the whole of his reign, James's life was in danger from the Popish lords, to whom he was more lenient than the dictates of prudence or sound policy could require. In return for this lenity, many attempts were made to murder him before his accession to the throne of Great Britain, in 1603, when Queen Elizabeth died.

The character of this prince, says a celebrated writer, has been greatly underrated. In the Hampton Court Conference, concerning a New Translation of the Bible, he certainly shewed a clear and ready comprehension of every subject brought before him; extensive reading, and a remarkably sound judgment. For the best Translation into any language, we are indebted under God to King James, who was called a hypocrite, by those who had no religion; and a pedant, by persons who had not half his learning. Both piety and justice require that, while we are thankful to God for the gift of his word, we should revere the memory of the man who was the instrument of conveying the water of life, through a channel by which its purity has been so wonderfully preserved.* This, no doubt, stimulated the partizans of that church, which prohibits its members from reading the word o God, and from possessing any copy of the Bible, to the renewed exertions they soon afterwards made, in order to destroy a monarch whom they

* See the Preface to Dr. Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible.

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