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James V
of Scotland

the Lands and Lordships of Sir James Hamilton of Finnart, and the Lands and Lordships of Liddesdale and Bothwell.’ A general amnesty was granted, but from it Angus, his brother, Sir George, and the whole adherents of the Douglases were excepted. So sweeping and unparalleled a confiscation, which, so far as time allowed, was acted on, involved in a common ruin not only the hated name of Douglas, but also the Earl of Crawford and the chiefs and landowners of the isles. It was a sign of the complete breach between James and his nobles. On 14 March 1541 James held his last parliament, which passed severe statutes against heresy, ratified the institution of the College of Justice, and made several useful laws with regard to criminal justice and the administration of burghs, and prohibited the passage of clerks to Rome without the king's leave, or the reception in Scotland of a papal legate. The last act was perhaps aimed at Beaton, who had gone to Rome with the view of obtaining legatine powers.

In the summer of 1541 James and the queen made a progress to the north, in the course of which they visited the college of Aberdeen, where they were entertained by plays and speeches and deputations of the students. In the autumn of 1541 Sir Ralph Sadler came on another embassy from England to invite James once more to meet Henry at York, but James, though he signed articles promising to do so in December 1541, after consulting his council and Beaton, who had now returned and was his chief adviser, sent Sir James Learmonth to decline the invitation. It is stated by Pitscottie that the clergy about this time granted him an aid of 3,000l. a year, which gave force to their advice. Henry, who had waited a week at York to meet his nephew, expostulated warmly on James's failure to keep his promise, and is reported to have said that he had the same ‘rod in store for him as that with which he beat his father,’ a reference to Surrey, the victor of Flodden, who was still living.

A border raid in August 1542 by Sir Robert Bowes [q. v.], the English warden, led to his defeat and death at Halidon Rig, when Angus, who was with him, narrowly escaped capture. War was then made inevitable, and Henry, in a long proclamation, declared it. On 21 Oct. Norfolk invaded the Lothians with twenty thousand men, and, after burning villages and destroying the harvest, returned to Berwick, Huntly, James's general, not venturing to attack him, as his force was inferior. James had meantime collected an army of thirty thousand strong, with his artillery, on the Borough Muir of Edinburgh, and marched to Fala Muir, on the western extremity of the Lammermuir Hills, where he received the news of Norfolk's invasion. The Scottish barons, averse to war beyond the borders, refused to proceed further. They ‘concluded,’ says Knox, that ‘they would make some new remembrance of Lauder brig,’ where their ancestors had hanged Cochrane and other favourites of James III before his eyes, but they could not agree among themselves who were to be their victims, and only went the length of silently withdrawing their forces. James was obliged to return to Edinburgh on 3 Nov. He disguised his anger, but determined, even without the consent of the nobles, to renew the war, and passed to the west borders, where his exhortations induced Lord Maxwell, the warden, and the Earls of Cassilis, Glencairn, and Lord Fleming to invade England. Oliver Sinclair, one of the royal household, a member of the Roslin family, who had always been favourites at court, and himself a special favourite of James, was the king's military counsellor. James did not take the command in person, but stayed either at Lochmaben or Caerlaverock. He appears already to have been suffering from the illness of which he died. A brief letter to Mary of Guise is extant, without date, but evidently written about this time, and bears witness by its incoherent and broken sense to weakness of mind as well as body. It concludes: ‘I have been very ill these three days past as I never was in my life; but, God be thanked, I am well.’ His forces, to the number of about ten thousand, crossed the Solway, and marched in the direction of Carlisle, wasting the country after the usual manner of a raid. The Cumberland farmers began to collect to defend their crops and their houses. Sir Thomas Wharton, the English warden, Lord Dacres, and Lord Musgrave, with a small force, not more than three hundred, it was said, came to their aid, and harassed the Scots. With singular imprudence James had entrusted Sinclair with a private order conferring upon him the post of general, which naturally belonged to Maxwell as warden. Sinclair, now producing the royal mandate, was proclaimed general. Maxwell, whose office gave him claim to the command, and the other nobles, whose rank was disparaged by a commoner being set over them, were indignant, and though they fought, fought without heart, and suffered a total discomfiture. On their attempt to retreat, many were lost in the Solway Moss, from which the battle took its name. The Earls of Cassilis and Glencairn, Lords Maxwell, Fleming, Somerville, Oliphant, and Gray, and two hundred gentlemen were taken prisoners. Sinclair fled, according