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Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 29.djvu/137

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James I
of Scotland

the English at Beaugé, 23 March 1421, recalled Henry to France, and if James had in the interval returned to England he must have come back with Henry. During the first half of 1422 notices of payments to him prove that he was at Rouen. After Henry V's death he returned to England.

The negotiations for his release had gone on without intermission from the time of his capture. But Albany succeeded in procuring the ransom of his own son, Murdoch, in 1416, and as the return of James would have put an end to a regency which was actual sovereignty of Scotland, it is scarcely likely that he wished to see James back in Scotland. Albany's death in 1420 at once improved the prospects of his liberation. In May 1421 it was agreed that he should be permitted to return to his own kingdom on sufficient hostages being given, and on Henry V's death the negotiations between the Duke of Bedford [q. v.], the English, and Murdoch, the new Scottish, regent, began in earnest.

Thomas of Myrton, James's chaplain, who had been sent to Scotland on 21 Feb. 1422, appears to have been the envoy who smoothed the way for the subsequent treaty. In the autumn of 1423 English and Scottish commissioners met at Pontefract, and there the basis of the treaty was arranged: a payment of sixty thousand marks for the king's release, in instalments of ten thousand marks a year, for which hostages were to be given; an agreement that the Scottish troops should quit France, and a request that a noble English lady should be betrothed to James. The treaty was signed 10 Sept. in the chapter-house of York. On 24 Nov. Myrton was again sent to Scotland, probably to arrange as to the hostages, and in December the Scots agreed that the four principal burghs, Edinburgh, Perth, Dundee, and Aberdeen, were to become sureties for payment of part of the stipulated sum.

The condition as to the marriage was easiest fulfilled. James had already set his heart on Jane [q. v.], the young daughter of the Earl of Somerset. The marriage was celebrated in the church of St. Mary Overy in Southwark on 12 Feb. 1424, and the banquet in the adjacent palace of the lady's uncle, the Bishop of Winchester. Next day ten thousand marks of the ransom were remitted as Jane's dowry. James and his bride set out at once for Scotland, and on 28 March, at Durham, the hostages, twenty-eight of the principal nobles or their eldest sons, were delivered, along with the obligations of the four burghs, and a truce for seven years from 1 May 1424 was signed. On 5 April, at Melrose, James issued letters under his great seal confirming the treaty, and by a separate deed acknowledged that ten thousand marks were to be paid within six months of his entry into Scotland. After spending Easter in Edinburgh he was crowned at Scone, on 21 May, with great pomp by Bishop Wardlaw. The Duke of Albany, as earl of Fife, placed him on the throne. The queen was crowned with him, and the king showed favour to her English followers. Walter, elder son of the late regent, whose insubordination and profligacy had removed some obstacles to James's restoration, was arrested a week before the coronation and sent to the Bass. Malcolm Fleming of Cumbernauld, a brother-in-law of the regent, was arrested at the same time, but soon liberated. In this, as in subsequent steps taken by James to regain firm possession of the throne, his object was to strike down Albany and all his kin. He returned to Perth for his first parliament on 26 May 1424. A series of twenty-seven acts prove his legislative activity. These acts appear to have been not merely drafted but passed by the lords of the articles, a committee of the three estates, not then first instituted, but perhaps reorganised, with full power to make laws delegated to them by the other members of parliament, who were allowed to return home. The privileges of the church were confirmed; private war was prohibited; forfeiture declared the penalty of rebellion; those who abstained from assisting the king were to be deemed rebels; those who travelled with more than a proper retinue or who lay upon the land were to be punished; and officers of the law were to be appointed to administer justice to the king's commons. The customs, both great and small, were granted to the king for life; the process of ‘showing of holdings’ was to be used, to ascertain who had titles to their lands from the death of Robert I; taxes were imposed to provide for the king's ransom; salmon, an important branch of revenue, were protected by various regulations; gold and silver mines were to belong to the king; clerks were not to pass the sea without leave or to grant pensions out of their benefices; export of gold and silver was taxed, and foreign merchants were to spend their gains in Scotland; archery was encouraged, football and golf prohibited; rooks were not to be allowed to build, and muirburn after March forbidden; customs were imposed on the chief exports; money was to be coined of equal value to that of England; hostelries were to be kept in towns; and the burghs were to provide, partly by loans in Flanders, twenty thousand English nobles towards the king's ransom. The royal eye was directed to every branch of