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Randolph
Randolph
279

influence in encouraging the protestants against the queen-regent, and in effecting an understanding between them and Elizabeth. The success of his mission suggested his continuance in Scotland as the confidential agent of Elizabeth; but probably, being an ardent protestant, he was the representative rather of Cecil than the queen. Although by no means a match for Maitland of Lethington as a diplomatist, the fact that he possessed the confidence of the protestant party enabled him to exercise no small influence in Scottish politics. His numerous letters, penned frequently with graphic force, are among the most valuable sources of information for this period; but, although they abound in interesting details regarding the Queen of Scots and her court, and the political plots and social intrigues of which it was the hotbed, his more significant statements must, unless otherwise confirmed, be read with caution. It is necessary to make full allowance for his religious and national prejudices, the frequently tainted sources of his information, and the special purposes of Cecil and Elizabeth.

In April 1562 Randolph accompanied the Queen of Scots, who meanwhile professed for him a warm friendship, in the expedition to the north of Scotland which resulted in the defeat and death of Huntly; and he even took part in the campaign, ‘being ashamed to sit still where so many were occupied’ (Cal. State Papers, For. Ser. 1562, No. 648). In June 1563 he obtained license to go to England on private business (ib. 1563, No. 847); but on 20 April 1563 he was again sent to Scotland with the special aim of entangling the Scottish queen in negotiations for an English marriage. The task committed to him was ungrateful, both because he was in great doubts as to the real purpose of Elizabeth, and because he well knew that it was hopeless to seek to outwit Maitland.

By the direction of Elizabeth, Randolph did his utmost to prevent the marriage of Mary to Darnley, and after the marriage declined to recognise Darnley's authority. His representations and promises were mainly responsible for the rebellion of Moray. In February 1565–6 he was accused by Mary of having assisted Moray and her rebellious subjects with a gift of three thousand crowns, and was required to quit the country within six days (ib. 1566–8, No. 107). Ultimately he retired to Berwick, and while there he was, after the murder of Riccio, accused by Mary of having written a book against her, called ‘Mr. Randolph's Phantasy’ (printed by the Scottish Text Society in Satirical Poems of the Time of the Reformation) [see Jenye, Thomas ]. He was recalled to England about June 1566, and apparently it was shortly after his return that he was appointed postmaster-general (Cal. State Papers, Dom. Ser. 1547–80, p. 286). On 2 Nov. 1567 he obtained from Robert Constable an assignment of the office of constable or keeper of the castle of Queenborough and steward of the lordship or manor of Middleton and Merden in the county of Kent (ib. p. 301). In June 1568 he was sent on a special embassy to Russia in behalf of the English merchants trading in that country (Instructions to Thomas Randolph, Cal. State Papers, For. Ser. 1566–8, No. 2272); and he succeeded in obtaining from Ivan IV the Terrible a grant of certain privileges to the merchant adventurers (ib. Dom. Ser. 1547–1580, p. 338), which led to the formation of the Russian company. Of his embassy an account is published in Hakluyt's ‘Voyages.’ He returned from Russia in the autumn of 1569 (ib. For. Ser. 1569–71, No. 384); and early in 1570 he was again sent to Scotland (ib. No. 648), where he remained about a year. Towards the close of 1571 he married Anne Walsingham, sister of Francis Walsingham, and daughter of Thomas Walsingham of Chiselhurst. Before the marriage he received, on 1 Oct. 1571, an assignment from Thomas Walsingham and William Crowner of letters patent of the custody of the manor and hundred of Middleton and Merden in the county of Kent, at the rent of 100l. per annum, to be paid to his intended wife (ib. Dom. Ser. 1547–1580, p. 424).

In October 1573 and April 1576 he went on special embassies to France (ib. 1572–4 No. 1206, 1575–7 No. 719). He was sent to Scotland in February 1577–8, but too late to prevent the fall of Morton. After the imprisonment of Morton in 1580 he returned to Scotland to conduct negotiations in his behalf. At a convention of the estates, held on 20 Feb. 1580–1, besides presenting a paper declaring the ‘Intention of the Queen's Majesty and her Offers to the King of Scotland’ (printed in full in Calderwood's History, iii. 488–95), he, in a speech of two hours' duration, denounced Esmé Stewart, created by the king Duke of Lennox, as an agent of Rome. If anything, however, his bold intervention only helped to seal Morton's fate. Having failed to thwart the purposes of Lennox by a public accusation, he now attempted, with Elizabeth's sanction, to concoct a plot for the seizure of him and the young king; but, the plot having been betrayed, he fled to Berwick, after he had narrowly escaped death from a shot fired into the room he occupied in the provost's house at Edinburgh (see proofs and illustrations in appendix to Tyt-