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establish it on a broader and more secure foundation, B O O K by hastening the conclusion of her daughter's marriage with the Dauphin. Amiable as the Queen of
1556. Scots then was, in the bloom of youth, and considerable as the territories were, which she would have added to the French monarchy; reasons were not wanting to dissuade Henry from completing his first plan of marrying her to his son. The Constable Montmorency had employed all his interest to defeat an alliance which reflected so much lustre on the Princes of Lorrain. He had represented the impossibility of maintaining order and tranquillity among a turbulent people, during the absence of their sovereign; and for that reason had advised Henry to bestow the young Queen upon one of the Princes of the blood, who, by residing in Scotland, might preservethat kingdom an useful ally to France, which, by a nearer union to the crown, would become a mutinous and ungovernable provincek. But at this time the Constable was a prisoner in the hands of the Spaniards; the Princes of Lorrain were at the height of their power ; and their influence, seconded by the charms of the young Queen, triumphed over the prudent but envious remonstrances of their rival.
The French King accordingly applied to the Par- Dec. 14. liament of Scotland, which appointed eight of its 1557. members to represent the whole body of the nation,
* Melv. Mem. 15.
! Viz. The Archbishop of Glasgow, the Bishop of Ross, the Bishop of Orkney, the Earls of Rothes and Cassils, Lord Fleming, Lord Seton, the Prior of St. Andrew's, and John Erskine of Dun,
BOOK at the marriage of the Queen. Among the persons
on whom the public choicé conferred this honour1557.
able character, were some of the most avowed and zealous advocates for the Reformation ; by which may be estimated the degree of respect and popu. larity which that party had now attained in the kingdom. The instructions of the parliament to those commissioners still remainm, and do honour to the wisdom and integrity of that assembly. At the same time that they manifested, with respect to the articles of marriage, a laudable concern for the dignity and interest of their sovereign, they employed every precaution which prudence could dictate, for preserving the liberty and independence of the nation, and for securing the succession of the crown in the house of Hamilton.
With regard to each of these, the Scots obtained
whatever satisfaction their fear or jealousy could de marriage mand. The young Queen, the Dauphin, and the treaty.
King of France, ratified every article with the most solemn oaths, and confirmed them by deeds in form under their hands and seals. But on the part of France, all this was one continued scene of studied and elaborate deceit. Previous to these public transactions with the Scottish deputies, Mary. had been persuaded to subscribe privately three deeds, equally unjust and invalid; by which, failing the heirs of her own body, she conferred the kingdom of Scotland, with whatever inheritance or succession might accrue to it, in free gift upon the crown of France, declaring all promises to the contrary, which the
Artifices of the French in the
m Keith, Append. 13.
necessity of her affairs, and the solicitations of her B O OK subjects, had extorted, or' might extort from her, to be void and of no obligation". As it gives us a pro- 1557. per idea of the character of the French court under Henry II., we may observe that the King himself, the keeper of the great seals, the Duke of Guise, and the Cardinal of Lorrain, were the persons engaged in conducting this perfidious and dishonourable project. The Queen of Scots was the only innocent actor in that scene of iniquity. Her youth, her inexperience, her education in a foreign country, and her deference to the will of her uncles, must go far towards vindicating her, in the judgment of every impartial person, from any imputation of blame on that account.
This grant, by which Mary bestowed the inheritance of her kingdom upon strangers, was concealed with the utmost care from her subjects. They seem, however, not to have been unacquainted with the intention of the French to overturn the settlement of the succession in favour of the Duke of Chatelherault. The zeal with which the Archbishop of St. Andrew's opposed all the measures of the Queen Regent, evidently proceeded from the fears and suspicions of that prudent prelate on this heado.
The marriage, however, was celebrated with great April 14. pomp; and the French, who had hitherto affected to draw a veil over their designs upon Scotland, be
n Corps Diplomat. tom. v. 21. Keith, 73.
• About this time the French seem to have had some design of reviving the Earl of Lennox's pretensions to the succession, in order to intimidate and alarm the Duke of Chatelherault. Haynes, 215. 219 Forbes's Collect. vol. i. 189.
BO O K gan now to unfold their intentions without any dis
guise. In the treaty of marriage, the deputies had 1558. agreed that the Dauphin should assume the name
of King of Scotland. This they considered only as an honorary title; but the French laboured to annex to it some solid privileges and power. They insisted that the Dauphin's title should be publicly recog. nised; that the Crown Matrimonial should be conferred upon him; and that all the rights pertaining to the husband of a Queen should be vested in his person. By the laws of Scotland, a person who married an heiress, kept possession of her estate during his own life, if he happened to survive her and the children born of the marriage P. This was called the courtesy of Scotland. The French aimed at applying this rule, which takes place in private inheritances, to the succession of the kingdom; and that seems to be implied in their demand of the Crown Matrimonial, a phrase peculiar to the Scottish historians, and which they have neglected to explain 9. As the French had reason to expect difficulties in carrying through this measure, they began with sounding the deputies who were then at Paris. The English, in the marriage-articles between their
p Reg. Mag. lib. ii. 58.
9 As far as I can judge, the husband of the Queen, by the grant of the Crown Matrimonial, acquired a right to assume the title of King, to have his name stamped upon the current coin, and to sign all public instruments together with the Queen. In consequence of this, the subjects took an oath of fidelity to him, Keith, Append. 20. His authority became, in some measure, co-ordinate with that of the Queen; and without his concurrence, manifested by signing his name, no public deed seems to have been considered as valid. By the oath of fidelity of the Scottish
Queen and Philip of Spain, had set an example to B 0 0 K the age, of that prudent jealousy and reserve with which a foreigner should be admitted so near the
1558. throne. Full of the same ideas, the Scottish deputies had, in their oath of allegiance to the Dauphin, expressed themselves with remarkable caution". Their answer was in the same spirit, respectful, but firm; and discovered a fixed resolution of consenting to nothing that tended to introduce
alteration in the order of succession to the crown.
Four of the deputiess happening to die before they returned into Scotland, this accident was universally imputed to the effects of poison, which was supposed to have been given them by the emissaries of the House of Guise. The historians of all nations discover an amazing credulity with respect to rumours of this kind, which are so well calculated to please the malignity of 'soine men, and to gratify the love of the marvellous which is natural to all, that in every age they have been swallowed without examination, and believed contrary to reason. No wonder the Scots should easily give credit to a suspicion, which received such strong colours of probability, both from their own resentment, and
commissioners to the Dauphin, it is evident that, in their opinion, the rights belonging to the Crown Matrimonial subsisted only during the continuance of the marriage. Keith, Append. 20. But the conspirators against Rizio bound themselves to procure a grant of the Crown Matrimonial to Darnly, during all the days of his life. Keith, Append. 120. Good. i. 227.
r Keith, Append. 20.
s 'The Bishop of Orkney, the Earl of Rothes, the Earl of Cassils, and Lord Fleming.