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Memorials of Edinburgh in the Olden Time


YAMES V. TO ABDICATION OF QUEEN MARY. 67 the tower of the preceptoy, and not that of the present parish church, as the talented editor of Keith’s History suggests.’ No vestige, indeed, of St Anthony’s steeple has existed for centuries, and it is probable that it was totally destroyed at this period. The tower of St Mary’s, which was takendown in 1836, was evidently an erection of a much later date, and too small to have admitted of a battery being mounted upon it. On the 22d of April, Monluc, bishop of Valence, arrived as a commissioner from the Court of France, and attempted to mediate between the Regent aiid the Lords of the Congregation. He entered into communication with the reformers and their allies, and spent two days in the English camp ; he thereafter passed to the Queen lkgent in Edinburgh Castle, but. all attempts at reconciliation proved ineffectual, as the asRailants would accept of no other terms than the demolition of the fortifications of Leith, and the dismissal of all the French troops from Scotland. Meanwhile, the Queen Regent lay in the Castle of Edinburgh, sufferilig alike from failing health and anxiety of mind. Her life was now drawing to a close, and she repeatedly sought to bring about a reconciliation between the contending parties, that she might, if possible, resign the sceptre to her daughter free from the terrible rivalry and contentions which had embittered the whole period of her Regency ; but all attempts at compromise proved in vain, and her French advisers prevented her closing with the sole proposal on which the leaders of the Congregation at length agreed to acknowledge her authoritynamely, that all foreign troops should immediately quit the realm. When the Queen Regent found her end approaching, she requested an interview with the Lords of the Congregation. The Duke of Chatelherault, the Earls of Argyle, Marischal, and Glencairn, with the Lord James, immediately repaired to the Castle, where they were received by the dying Queen with such humility and unfeigned kindness as deeply moved them. She extended her hand to each of them, beseeching their forgiveness with tears, whereinsoever she had offended them. She expressed deep grief that matters should ever have come to such extremities, ascribing it to the influence of foreign counsels, which had compelled her to act contrary to her own inclinations. At the request of the barons, she received a visit from John Willock, with whom she conversed for a considerable time. He besought her to seek mercy alone through the death of Christ, urging her at the same time to acknowledge the mass as a relic of idolatry. She assured him that she looked for salvation in no other way than through the death of her Saviour; and without replying to his further exhortation, she bade him farewell.’ The Queen Regent died on the following day, the 10th of June 1560. The preachers refused to permit her to be buried according to the rites of the Catholic Church. Her body was accordingly placed in a lead coffin, and kept in the Castle till the 9th of October, when it was transported to France, and buried in the Benedictine monastery at Rheims, of which her own sister was then Abbess. Both parties were now equally iuclined to a peace ; and accordingly, within a very short time after the death of the Regent, Cecil, the able minister of Queen Elizabeth, repaired to Edinburgh, accompanied by Sir Nicholas Wotton. Here they were met by the Bishops of The scene was so affecting that all present were moved to tears. Keith, 1844, Spottiswood Soc., voL i p. 271. Wodrow MieL voL i. p. 84. * Calderwood, voL i. p. 589. Keith, voL i. p. 280.
Volume 10 Page 73
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