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Mary Stuart
Mary Stuart
381


withdrew to Stirling, whence on 15 July they sent a request for Elizabeth's help against the queen (Keith, ii. 329-30). Their action only hastened the accomplishment of Mary's purpose. On 29 July, between five and six in the morning, she was married to Darnley in the chapel of Holyrood, a dispensation having arrived from the pope on the 22nd (Knox, ii. 295; Randolph, 31 July, in Wright's Queen Elizabeth, i. 202-3). Elizabeth, still preferring words to actions, had on 30 July despatched Throckmorton with further protests and warnings (Cal. State Papers, For. Ser. 1564-5, entry 1332), but Mary haughtily replied that Darnley was now joined with her in marriage, and requested her not to meddle with matters within the realm of Scotland (12 Aug. ib. entry 1381, 13 Aug. id. entry 1382). This open defiance stayed Elizabeth's interference. The lords whom Elizabeth had lured into rebellion were left to their fate. On 25 Aug. Mary took the field, at the head of five thousand men, and marched by Stirling to Glasgow. Moray avoided her, and doubled back to Edinburgh, but his hope that the citizens would join him proved vain, and as the queen, in the face of a raging storm, immediately followed in his track, he retreated westwards into Argyll. Before setting out Mary had declared t-nat she would rather lose her crown than not be avenged on him (Randolph 27 Aug. ib. entry 1417), and now, while accepting the offer of the French ambassador to act as a mediator with Elizabeth, she refused it as regards the rebels, affirming that she would rather lose all than treat with her subjects (1 Oct., Labanoff, i. 288). In hope of Elizabeth's aid Moray ultimately marched south to Dumfries, but on the appearance of Mary on 10 Oct., at the head of eighteen thousand men, he took refuge in England.

Mary had an all-sufficient reason for proceeding to extremities against her brother : she intended to restore Catholicism. On 21 Jan. she informed the pope of her resolve to take advantage of the favourable moment -when her enemies were in exile or in her power to effect her purpose of restoring Catholicism (ib. vii. 8-10). Possibly she was hastened in her resolve by the arrival of ambassadors to obtain her adherence to the catholic league (Randolph, 7 Feb., ib, p. 77), but it scarcely required confirmation or incitement. After the arrival of the ambassadors the lords in her train were required to attend mass (ib.), and she now made no secret of her intention to confiscate the lands of the banished lords at the ensuing parliament in March (Bedford, 8 Feb., S. p. 80, 21 Feb., ib. p. 118). Her purpose was, however, almost immediately wrecked, partly by its conjunction with her scheme for securing absolute sovereignty, and partly by the treachery of Darnley.

Mary's resolve to attain independence of the nobles adequately explains in itself the sudden elevation of the Italian, Rizzio. The theory that he was a papal agent, except in so far as he was appointed to be so by Mary, has no evidence to support it; and the theory that he was Mary's lover, while it rests chiefly on the hints of Moray and the assertions of Darnley, is not necessary to explain either Rizzio's elevation or his murder (Froude, vii. 328, and Cal. State Papers, For. Ser. 1564-5, entry 1417; Teulet, ii. 243, 267; Tytler, iii. 215; Cal. State Papers, For. Ser. 1566-8, entries 118, 171, 229; Ruthven's narrative in App. to Keith, History, and elsewhere). That Mary was bent on absolutism is attested by herself (Me moire sur la Noblesse, in Labanoff, vii. 297-9), and doubtless Darnley would have been made privy to her purpose and invited to aid in it but for his total incapacity. The original ground of quarrel between them was her refusal to him of the crown matrimonial (Randolph, 24 Jan., in Illustrations, p. 152, and Keith, ii. 405), and her previous toleration of his weaknesses was now, both by the jars between them and by his vices, turned into contempt and hatred (Randolph, 13 Feb., in Tytler ; Drury, 16 Feb., Keith, iii. 403). It is improbable that Rizzio would have long escaped the vengeance of the nobles even had he not aroused the jealousy of Darnley, and Darnley's jealousy, fanned, if not suggested, by the nobles, gave a semblance of legality to the plot against the Italian, the crown matrimonial being guaranteed to Darnley on condition that he would 'establish religion as it was at the queen's home-coming' (Randolph, 25 Feb., Cal. State Papers, For. Ser. 1566-8, entry 134; cf. Douglas, James, fourth Earl of Morton).

During the turbulent scene on the evening of 9 March, when the crowd of angry nobles dragged Rizzio shrieking from her supper-room, Mary's high courage never wavered. In answer to her expostulations Darnley, on returning to the room, reproached her indelicately in Ruthven's presence, but after mildly defending herself, she at last told him that she would never rest till she gave him as sorrowful a heart as she had then. As she was seven months gone with child, her strength now began to fail her, and she burst into tears ; but when she learnt that Rizzio was really slain, ' And is it so ? ' she exclaimed ; ' then farewell tears! we must now think on revenge ' (Bedford and Ran-