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Memorials of Edinburgh in the Olden Time


YAMES V. TO ABDICATION OF QUEEN MARE 75 throughout the country, requiring them to march with their adherents to Edinburgh, to reduce its citizens to a sense of duty; but the magistrates having sent a humble representation to her of their loyalty and desire to stay the popular violence, she contented herself with reqniring the immediate liberation of the prisoners. The Queen, however, shortly after ordered the Provost to be degraded from his office, and another to be elected in his stead.’ On the 28th of July 1565, Darnley was proclaimed King at the Market Cross of Edinburgh. The banns had already been published in the usual form in the Canongate Kirk,’ and on the following day, being Sunday, at six o’clock in the morning, he was married to the Queen, in the chapel of Holyrood House, by the Dean of Restalrig. During several days, nothing was heard at the Court but rejoicing and costly banquets, while the people .were treated with public sports.a The marriage, however, excited the strongest displeasure of the reformers. Knox, on learning of its proposal, regarded it with especial indignation, and in one of his boldest and most vehement harangues, in St Giles’s Church, challenged the nobles and other leaders of the Congregation, for betraying the cause of God, by their inaction. “ I see,” said he, suddenly stretching out his arms, as if he would leap from the pulpit and arrest the passing vision, ‘( I see before me your beleagured camp. I hear the tramp of the horsemen as they charged you in the streets of Edinburgh ; and most of all, is that dark and dolorous night now present to my eyes, in which all of you, my Lords, iu shame and fear, left this town-God forbid I should ever forget it! ” He concluded with solemn warning against the royal marriage, and the judgments it involved.. Such was his vehemence, says Melvil, that, ‘‘ he was like to ding the pulpit in blads, and flee out of it ! ” This freedom of speech gave general offence, and Knox was summoned before the Queen ; he came to Court after dinner, and was brought into her cabinet by Erakine of -Dun, one of the superintendents of the kirk; but the presence of royalty was no restraint. She wept ay she listened to his bold harangues ; and he left her at length, as she yielded anew to a passionate flood of tears. As he passed from the outer chamber, he paused in the midst of a gay circle of the ladies of the royal household, in their gorgeous appare1,- and addressed them in a grave style of banter on the pity that the silly soul could not carry all these fine garnishings with it to heaven ! Queen Mary dried her tears, and took no further notice of this interview, but Knox must have been regarded amid the gay haunts of royalty, at Holyrood, like the skull that checked the merriment of an old Egyptian feast. He was fully three years younger than her, of royal blood, and a near heir to the Crown ; but in every other respect totally unworthy of her regard. He appears to have been made the complete tool of the designing nobles. On the 9th of March 1566, the Queen was at supper in her cabinet, at Holyrood House, in company with the Countess of Argyle and Lord Robert Stuart, her natural sister and brother, Beaton of Creich, Arthur Erskine, and David Rizzio, her secretary, when her husband Darnley conducted a body of armed assassins into his apartments in the north-west tower of the Palace, immediately below The Queen’s marriage to Darnley was indeed fatal to her future happiness. Knox’e Hist., pp. 325, 326. ’ “The Buick of the Kirk of the Canagait, July 1565.” ’ Chalmera’s Queen Mary, vol. i. p. ,146. Edio. Mag., Oct. 1817, p. 33, apud ChaImera ‘ MelvU’s Diary, p. 26. Tytler, vol. vi. p. 330,
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76 MEMORIALS OF EDINBURGH. those of the Queen, and communicating with them by a private staircase. Darnley himself first ascended the stair, and, throwing back the tapestry that concealed the doorway, entered the small closet, still pointed out in the north-west turret, where the Queen and her guests were seated at supper. He threw his arm round her waist, and seated himself beside her at the table; when Lord Ruthven, a man of tall stature, clad in complete armour, and pale and ghastly from the effects of disease, burst like a frightful apparition into the room. The Queen, now far advanced in pre,pancy, sprung up in terror, and commanded him instantly to depart ; hut the torchea of hia accomplices already glared in the outer chamber, and Darnley, though he affected ignorance of the whole proceedings, sat scowling with looks of hate on their intended victim. The other conspirators crowded into the little room; and Ruthven, drawing his dagger, attempted to lay hold of Rizzio, who sprang behind the Queen, and wildly besought her to save his life, Ker of Fawdonside, one of the conspirators, held his pistol to the Queen’s breast, threatening her life if she gave any alarm. Darnley at length interfered, and grasped her in his arms; and George Douglas, snatching Darnley’s own dagger from him, struck at the wretched Italian over the Queen’s shoulder, and plunging it in his side, left it there. He was then dragged through the adjoining chamber to the outer entrance, where the Earl of Morton and his associates rushed in andstruck their daggers into his body, leaving a pool of blood, the marks of which, according to popular tradition, still remain on the floor, and are pointed out by the keepers to the credulous visitor. I The Queen was kept a close prisoner in her apartment, while her imbecile husband assumed the regal power, dissolved the Parliament, and commanded the Estates immediately to depart from Edinburgh on paiq of treason. The Earl of Morton, who had kept guard, with one hundred and sixty followers, in the outer court of the Palace while the assassins entered to complete their murderous purpose, was now commanded to keep the gates of the Palace, and let none escape ; but the chief actors in the deed contrived to elude the guards, and, leaping over a window on the north side of the Palace, they fled across the garden, and escaped by a small outhouse or lodge, still existing, and known by the name of Queen Mary’s Bath. We have been told by the proprietor of this house, that in making some repairs on the roof, which required the removal of the slates, a rusty dagger was discovered sticking in one of the . planks, and with a portion of. it more deeply corroded than the rest, as- though from the VIGHETTE--&Ueell Marq’d Bath.
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