the protestant party in Scotland with a view to an alliance between them and Elizabeth, and, in order that the support of the leading protestant nobles might be assured, was empowered to reward ‘any persons in Scotland with such sums of money’ as he deemed advisable to the amount of 3,000l. (Sadler, State Papers, i. 392). When the arrival of the French auxiliaries to the aid of the Scottish queen regent compelled Elizabeth to take an avowed and active part in support of the protestant party, the Duke of Norfolk was instructed to guide himself by the advice of Sadler in the arrangements he made with the Scots. At a later period Sadler was sent to the camp at Leith, and thus had a principal share in arranging the treaty of peace and of alliance with England signed at Edinburgh on 6 July 1560. On 5 Nov. 1559 he had been appointed warden of the east and middle marches, in succession to the Earl of Northumberland, but with the termination of his secret mission to Scotland, he ceased for some years to be engaged in any formal state duties. On 10 May 1568 he, however, received the office of chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster; and in the same year the startling flight of the queen of Scots to England gave occasion for the employment of his special services. Much against his inclination (‘He had liever, he said, serve her majesty where he might adventure his life for her than among subjects so difficult’), he was appointed one of the English commissioners—the others being the Duke of Norfolk and the Earl of Sussex—to meet with the Scottish commissioners at York to ‘treat of the great matter of the Queen of Scots.’ There can scarcely be a doubt that of the three commissioners, Sadler was the one specially trusted by Cecil. On 29 Oct. 1568 he sent to Cecil (from whom he doubtless had private advice) a précis of the contents of the casket letters, under three heads: ‘(1) the special words in the Queen of Scots' letters, written with her own hand to Bothwell, declaring the inordinate and filthy love between her and him; (2) the special words in the said letters declaring her hatred and detestation of her husband; and (3) the special words of the said letters touching and declaring the conspiracy of her husband's death’ (ib. ii. 337–40; Calendar of Hatfield Manuscripts in the series of the Hist. MSS. Comm. pt. i. p. 370). When the conference was in November transferred to Westminster, Sadler was also appointed a member of the enlarged commission. On the discovery of the Duke of Norfolk's intrigues with the Queen of Scots, Sadler was entrusted with the duty of arresting him and conveying him to the Tower. He also, nominally as paymaster-general, but really both as adviser and superintendent, accompanied Sussex in his expedition to quell the rebellion on behalf of Norfolk and the Queen of Scots in the north of England; and after its suppression he was one of the commissioners appointed to examine witnesses in connection with the inquiry into the conspiracy. Shortly after Norfolk's execution he was sent to Mary Queen of Scots ‘to expostulate with her by way of accusation;’ and on subsequent occasions he was sent on other errands to her. During the temporary absence of the Earl of Shrewsbury in 1580 he was, with Sir Ralph Mildmay, appointed one of her guardians at Sheffield; and when Shrewsbury, on account of the accusations of the Countess of Shrewsbury of a criminal intrigue between him and the Queen of Scots, was permitted, much to his relief, to resign his charge, Sadler was on 25 Aug. appointed to succeed him, the Queen of Scots being on 3 Sept. removed from Sheffield to Wingfield. He undertook the duty with reluctance, and on 2 Sept. wrote to the secretary, Walsingham, beseeching him to apply his ‘good helping hand to help to relieve’ him ‘of his charge as soon as it may stand with the queen's good pleasure to have consideration of’ his ‘years and the cold weather now at hand’ (Sadler, State Papers, ii. 384); but it was not till 3 Dec. that she promised shortly to relieve him, and effect was not given to the promise till the following April, when it was expressly intimated to him that one reason for the change of guardianship was that the Queen of Scots—whose more lenient treatment Sadler had repeatedly advocated—might ‘hereafter receive more harder usage than heretofore she hath done’ (ib. ii. 544). Sadler's last employment on matters of state was a mission in 1587 to James VI of Scotland to endeavour to reconcile him—not a difficult task—to the execution of his mother. He died shortly after his return from Scotland, 30 May 1587, and was buried under a splendid monument, with recumbent effigy, in Standon church.
Sadler ‘was at once a most exquisite writer and a most valiant and experienced soldier, qualifications that seldom meet. … Little was his body, but great his soul’ (Lloyd, State Worthies). He excelled rather as subordinate than an independent statesman. Although he did not attain to the highest offices of state, he amassed such wealth as caused him to be reputed the richest commoner of England; and, according to Fuller, the great estate which ‘he got honestly’ he