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and confidence of the whole nation. The Pro-B O O K

II. testants, shocked no less at the indecency with which she violated the public faith, than at the 1559. danger which threatened themselves, prepared boldly for their own defence. Erskine, enraged at having been made the instrument for deceiving his party, instantly abandoned Stirling, and repairing to Perth, added to the zeal of his associates, by his representations of the Queen's inflexible resolution to suppress religion". The popular rhetoric of Knox powerfully second- This occa

sions an ined his representations; he having been carried a prisoner into France, together with the other per- at Perth. sons taken in the castle of St. Andrew's, soon made his escape out of that country; and residing sometimes in England, sometimes in Scotland, had at last been driven out of both kingdoms, by the rage of the Popish clergy, and was obliged to retire to Geneva. Thence he was called by the leaders of the Protestants in Scotland; and, in compliance with their solicitations, he set out for his native country, where he arrived a few days before the trial appointed at Stirling. He hurried instantly to Perth, to share with his brethren in the common danger, or to assist them in the common cause. While their minds were in that ferment, which the Queen's perfidiousness and their own danger occasioned, he mounted the pulpit, and, by a vehement harangue against idolatry, inflamed the multitude with the utmost rage. The indiscretion of a priest, who, immediately after Knox's sermon, was prepar


h Keith, p. 84.


BO O King to celebrate mass, and began to decorate the

altar for that purpose, precipitated them into im1559. mediate action. With tumultuary but irresistible

violence, they fell upon the churches in that city, overturned the altars, defaced the pictures, broke in pieces the images; and proceeding next to the monasteries, they in a few hours laid those sumptuous fabrics almost level with the ground. This riotous insurrection was not the effect of any concert, or previous deliberation: censured by the reformed preachers, and publicly condemned by persons of most power and credit with the party, it must be regarded merely as an accidental eruption of popu

lar rage The Re- But to the Queen Dowager these proceedings apgent marches peared in a very different light. Besides their maagainst

nifest contempt for her authority, the Protestants had violated every thing in religion which she deemed venerable or holy; and on both these accounts she determined to inflict the severest vengeance on the whole party. She had already drawn the troops in French pay to Stirling ; with these, and what Scottish forces she could levy of a sudden, she marched directly to Perth, in hopes of surprising the Protestant leaders before they could assemble their followers, whom, out of confidence in her disingenuous promises, they had been rashly induced to dismiss. Intelligence of these preparations and menaces was soon conveyed to Perth. The Protestants would gladly have soothed the Queen, by addresses both to herself and to the





i Kuox. Hist. 127, 128.


credit in her court; but, finding her inexorable, B O O K they, with great vigour, took measures for their own defence. Their adherents, animated with zeal 1559. for religion, and eager to expose themselves in so good a cause, flocked in such numbers to Perth, that they not only secured the town from danger, but within a few days were in a condition to take the field, and to face the Queen, who advanced with an army seven thousand strong.

Neither party, however, was impatient to engage. The Queen dreaded the event of a battle with men whom the fervour of religion raised above the sense of fear or danger. The Protestants beheld with regret the Earl of Argyll, the Prior of St. Andrew's, and some other eminent persons of their party, still adhering to the Queen; and, destitute of their aid and counsel, declined hazarding an action, the ill success of which might have proved the ruin of their

The prospect of an accommodation was for these reasons highly acceptable to both sides : Argyll and the Prior, who were the Queen's commissioners for conducting the negotiation, seem to have been sincerely desirous of reconciling the contending factions; and the Earl of Glencairn arriving unexpectedly with a powerful reinforcement to the Congregation, augmented the Queen's eagerness for peace. A treaty was accordingly concluded, in A treaty which it was stipulated that both armies should be concluded. disbanded, and the gates of Perth set open to the Queen ; that indemnity should be granted to the inhabitants of that city, and to all others concerned in the late insurrection; that no French garrison




May 29.

BO O K should be left in Perth, and no French soldier

should approach within three miles of that place; and that a parliament should immediately be held, in order to compose whatever difference might til I remaink

The leaders of the Congregation, distrustful of the Queen's sincerity, and sensible that concessions, flowing not from inclination, but extorted by the necessity of her affairs, could not long remain in force, entered into a new association, by which they bound themselves, on the first infringement of the present treaty, or on the least appearance of danger to their religion, to re-assemble their followers, and to take arms in defence of what they deemed the cause of God and of their country!.

The Queen, by her conduct, demonstrated these by the Regent. precautions to be the result of no groundless or unnecessary fear.

fear. No sooner were the Protestant forces dismissed, than she broke every article in the treaty. She introduced French troops into Perth, fined some of the inhabitants, banished others, removed the magistrates out of office ; and on her retiring to Stirling, she left behind her a garrison of six hundred men, with orders to allow the exercise of no other religion than the Roman Catholic. The situation of Perth, a place at that time of some strength, and a town among the most proper of any in the kingdom for the station of a garrison, seems to have allured the Queen to this unjustifiable and ill-judged breach of public faith ; which she endea


k Keith, 89.

I Knox, 238.



voured to colour by alleging that the body of men B O OK left at Perth was entirely composed of native Scots, though kept in pay by the King of France.

The Queen's scheme began gradually to unfold; it was now apparent, that not only the religion but the liberties of the kingdom were threatened; and that the French troops were to be employed as instruments for subduing the Scots, and wreathing the yoke about their necks. Martial as the genius of the Scots then was, the poverty of their country made it impossible to keep their armies long assembled; and even a very small body of regular troops might have proved formidable to the nation, though consisting wholly of soldiers. But what number of French forces were then in Scotland, at what times and under what pretext they returned, after having left the kingdom in one thousand five hundred and fifty, we cannot with any certainty determine. Contemporary historians often select with little judgment the circumstances which they transmit to posterity; and with respect to matters of the greatest curiosity and importance, leave succeeding ages altogether in the dark. We may conjecture, however, from some passages in Buchanan, that the French and Scots in French pay amounted at least to three thousand men, under the command of Monsieur D'Oysel, a creature of the House of Guise; and they were soon augmented to a much more formidable number.

The Queen, encouraged by having so considerable abody of well-disciplined troops at her command, and instigated by the violent counsels of D'Oysel, had ventured, as we have observed, to violate the

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