united in peace; and the Scottish Reformation might have harmoniously blended with that of England.
It is impossible here fully to unfold the tortuous intrigues which darkened the minority of James. Who was to govern the young prince and the country? His wavering, intriguing mother, Margaret Tudor, or her sometimes friend, sometimes foe, Albany, arrived from France; or her discarded husband, Angus, the paid tool of Henry VIII.? By June 1528 the young king settled the question. He had complained to Henry of the captivity in which he was held by his hated stepfather, Angus. In June Angus had prepared forces to punish the Border raiders, and James, rightly or wrongly, seems to have suspected that he was to be handed over bodily to his royal uncle. On the 27th of May he was with Angus in the castle of Edinburgh; on the 30th of May, by a bold and dexterous ride, he was with his mother in the castle of Stirling, with Archbishop Beaton, Argyll and Maxwell. In July he mastered Edinburgh, and bade Angus and his brother, Sir George Douglas, place themselves in ward north of Tay. This he announced to Henry, the paymaster of the Douglases, and the breach between the two kings was never healed. A war broke out between the Douglases and James, but a five years peace, not including the restoration of Angus, was concluded in December 1528. Angus prolonged his outrages on the Scottish border till 1529, when he entered England as a subsidized mischief-maker against Scotland. Not till James's death did the Douglases return to their own country. Meanwhile James visited the Border, hanged some brigand lairds, and reduced such English partisans as the Kers, Rutherfords, Stewarts of Traquair, Veitches and Turnbulls. Johnny Armstrong of Gilnockie, famed in ballad and legend, was hanged, with forty of his clan, at Carlanrigg, in Teviotdale. The tale of royal treachery in his capture is popular; the best authorities for it seem to be the synoptic versions of a ballad and of the fabulous chronicler, Pitscottie.
When James V. became “a free King” the main problems before him were his relations with Henry VIII. and with the nascent Reformation. From 1535 Henry was anxious that James should meet him in England. Henry was notoriously treacherous; to kidnap was his ideal in diplomacy. His pensioner Angus (1531) was to have aided Bothwell in crowning Henry in Edinburgh. In 1535 Henry sent Dr Barlowe to convert James to his own religious ideas, Erastian, anti-papal, the seizure of the wealth of the church. James (1536) was willing enough to meet Henry in England, but his council, especially the clerical members, were opposed to the tryst. James desired to wed none but his mistress, Margaret Erskine, the mother of the Regent Moray. As Henry had once declared that he could only meet a Scottish king, in England, as a vassal, James's council had good reason for their attitude. Had they consented, had James married Henry's daughter, Mary (called “The Bloody”), it is not plain that advantage would have come of the alliance.
In 1536 James sailed to France, and (1st of Jan. 1537) married Madeleine, daughter of Francis I. The die was cast; he was committed to France and to the ancient faith. This was the cardinal misfortune of the Stuarts, but who could trust Henry, and who could join in the fiery persecutions of the new pope-king? In James's absence, Scottish heretics fled to England, while Henry's heretics fled to Scotland. Madeleine died on the 7th of July 1537. “Lady Glamis,” as she was called, a Douglas lady, widow of Lord Glamis, was burned for abetting her brother Angus and devising the king's death by poison. The truth of this matter is obscure; our early historians of this age, Protestants like Knox and Pitscottie, with Buchanan and the Catholic Lesley, are seldom to be trusted without documentary corroboration.
In 1538 James married a lady whom Henry desired to add to his list of wives, Mary of Guise, at this moment a young widow, Madame de Longueville. Mary shines like a good deed in a naughty world; but she was a Catholic, was of the house of Lorraine, and in diplomacy was almost as other diplomatists.
In 1539 David Beaton, the Cardinal, now aged forty-five, succeeded his uncle, James Beaton, as primate of Scotland. He had been educated in Scotland and Paris, held the rich abbey of Arbroath, and for some twenty years at least lived openly with Mariotte Ogilvy, of the house of Airlie. He was a practised diplomatist, and necessarily of the French and Catholic party. His wealth, astuteness, experience and tenacity of purpose, were to baffle Henry's attacks on Scottish independence, till the daggers of pietistic cut-throats closed the long debate. Beaton was cruel: he had no more scruples than Henry about burning men for their beliefs. But the martyrs were few, compared with the numbers of people whom the reformed kirk burned for witchcraft. Some twelve martyrs at least perished in 1539-1540, and George Buchanan, whose satires on the Franciscans delighted the king, escaped to France, in circumstances which he described diversely on different occasions, as was his habit.
In May 1540 James visited the highlands, and later reduced the Macdonalds and annexed the lordship of the Isles to the crown. In 1541 he lost two infant sons, and the mysterious affair of the death of that aesthetic ruffian, Sir James Hamilton of Finnart, was supposed to lie heavy on his mind. There were disputes with Henry, who demanded the extradition of fugitive friars, which James refused. In 1541 he disappointed Henry, not meeting him at York, and this course, advised by his council and Francis I., rankled deeply, while Angus was making a large English raid on the Border in time of peace. The English fared ill, and Henry horrified his council by his usual proposal to kidnap the king of Scotland. Henry's men marauded on the Border, but a force which James summoned to Fala Moor (31st of October 1542) contained but one lord who would march with him—Napier of Merchistoun. About this date occurs the legend of a list of hundreds of heretics, whom the clergy asked James to proscribe. No king of Scotland could dream of executing such a coup d'état; the authority for it is that mythopoeic earl of Arran who later became regent, and told the fable to Henry's agent, Sir Ralph Sadleyr.
Presently ensued the Scottish raid of Solway Moss and the capture of many of the Scottish nobles. The facts may be found in contemporary English dispatches printed in the Hamilton papers. The fables are to be read in Knox's History of the Reformation in Scotland, and in Froude. The secret of the raid was sold by the brother of Angus, Sir George Douglas, and by other traitors. England was prepared, and on the 23rd of November routed and drove into Solway Moss a demoralized multitude of farm-burning Scots. The guns and some 1200 men were taken; many men were drowned. James retired heartbroken from the Border to Edinburgh, where he executed business. He then dwelt for a week at Linlithgow with the queen, who was about to give birth to a child. Next he bore “the pageant of his bleeding heart” to Falkland, where he heard of the birth (8th of December) of his daughter, Mary Stuart. Uncomforted, he died on the 14th (15th?) of December. Accounts differ as to the date. Sheer grief and shame, and, it is said, sorrow for the failure in war of his favourite, Oliver Sinclair, were the apparent causes of his death. Knox appears to insinuate that a rumour declared Mary of Guise and the cardinal guilty of poisoning James, but an attempt had been made to put another sense on the words of this historian, who frequently hints that Mary was the mistress of the cardinal (Knox, vol. i. p. 92).
Again Scotland had to endure a long royal minority. The distraction of Scotland promised to Henry VIII. a good chance Mary, queen of Scots. of annexing the kingdom, whether by the marriage of Edward, prince of Wales, to the infant queen, Mary, or by acquiring, through treachery, her person and the castles of the country. Sir George Douglas at once crossed the border. Angus soon followed, with the lords captured at Solway Moss, all bound more or less to work Henry's will. In Scotland the cardinal; Arran, who was next heir to the throne; Huntly and Murray were proclaimed regents. Knox and others speak of a will of James V., forged by the cardinal, but the stories are inconsistent, and rest mainly on the untrustworthy evidence of Arran. His legitimacy was rather worse than dubious, and henceforth he sided with the party most