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Memorials of Edinburgh in the Olden Time


48 MEMORIALS OF EDINBURGH. found to throw the weight of their influence into the scale of liberty and right, it is only because the interests of England chanced to tally with such views. One of the most eminent Scotsmen of this period was the celebrated Cardinal Beaton. As the head of the Scottish clergy, he was naturally opposed to the entire system of policy pursued by Henry VIII., and was mainly instrumental in preventing the promised interview between James V. and the English Monarch at York, and thereby bringing on the war, the disastrous issue of which is justly considered to have occasioned James’s death. This sudden event, as it overturned many of the schemes of the Cardinal, set him only the more zealously to devise others. Immediately thereafter, he produced a will of the late King, in which he was nominated Regent, with three of the nobility as his assistants, and which he caused forthwith to be proclaimed at the Cross of Edinburgh. Historians are generally agreed as to the forgery of this will, yet the Earl of Arran, who, next to the infant Mary, was heir to the crown, cheerfully acquiesced in its arrangement, and showed himself willing to co-operate with the Cardinal in his ambitious designs. A numerous part of the nobility, however, to whom the Cardinal was an object of detestation, as his projects were altogether incompatible with their own selfish views, soon wrought upon the imbecile Earl to desert his faction, and while the matter was still in suspense, the opportune arrival of the liberated prisoners from London, now in the pay of the English Nonarch, on the 1st of January 1543, completed his overthrow ; and, notwithstanding his having already assumed the Regency, he was set aside, and the Earl of Arran elected in his stead. The grand scheme of the English Monarch at this period, from the failure of which originated all the enmity he afterwards manifested towards Scotland, was the promotion of a marriage between hie own son, af’temrds Edward VI., and the young Queen of Scotland. On the 8th of March a Parliament assembled at Edinburgh, to which the English Monarch sent an ambassador with offers of lasting peace should they comply with his proposed alliance. The Cardinal, who saw in this the certain downfall of the Clurch, brought the whole influence of the clergy, as well as that of the Queen Dowager, Mary of Guise, to bear against it, but at the moment without effect. The Cardinal, by a vote of Parliament, was committed a prisoner to Dalkeith Castle, under the care of Lord Seton, and everything was forthwith settled with England on the most friendly terms. About the Bame time, Marcus Grymanus, patriarch of Aquileia, or, according to Lesly and others, Contareno, patriarch of Venice, arrived at Edinburgh, as the Papal Legate, commissioned to use all his influence to prevent the proposed alliance between the Scottish Queen and Prince Edward of England, and bearing the amplest promises of assistance from the Pope, in case of a rupture with that crown. ‘‘ After he had been courteously and splendidly entertained at Edinburgh bp persons of the greatest rank, he departed in the beginning of March, and was so well pleased with the reception he had met with, that wherever he went afterwards, he spoke of the magnificent civilities of the Scottish nation.” Bishop Leslie thus records a costly entertainment furnished to him in the Scottish capital. ‘‘ The Earle of Murray makand him the banquet in his house, although Bishop Keith’s History of Scotland, 1845, vol. i. p. 96.
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