powerful at each crisis. Now the restored Douglases were most powerful; by the 28th of January 1543 they imprisoned the cardinal, but their party was already breaking up. In March a full parliament was held, the Bible in English was allowed to circulate, and envoys were sent to treat with Henry. But by the 22nd of March Beaton was a free man, liberated by Sir George Douglas. Arran's brother, later archbishop of St Andrews, arrived from France and worked on the wavering regent, while his rival, Lennox, came also from France, and failing to oust Arran, became Henry's pensioner in England. If Arran were illegitimate, Lennox was next heir to the throne, and the consequent Stewart-Hamilton feud was to ruin Mary Stuart. Sir George Douglas went to London and negotiated with Henry for the marriage of Mary and Prince Edward. But the people were still so averse to England that Beaton's was the more popular party: they carried Mary to Stirling: the treaty with Henry was ratified, indeed, but a quarrel was picked over the arrest by England of six Scottish ships; and Arran, who had just given orders for the sack of monasteries in Edinburgh, suddenly (3rd of September) fled to Beaton and was reconciled to the church, just after he had (28th of August) proclaimed Beaton an outlaw.
At once the sacking of religious houses in Dundee, Lindores and Arbroath had begun; the hour of religious revolution had struck; but the godly were put down when the regent and the cardinal were so suddenly reconciled. Arran must have perceived that Henry had infuriated the Scots and that the cardinal might adopt the claims of Lennox and proclaim Arran illegitimate. But Beaton could not keep both Arran, whom he had now secured, and Lennox, who betrayed him, and made for England. The cardinal, however, punished the church-sackers and imprisoned George Douglas, while Hertford in 1544 moved with a large army against Scotland, and Henry negotiated with a crew of discontented lairds and a man named Wishart for the murder or capture of Beaton. Hertford struck at Edinburgh in May, and in the leader's own words “made a jolly fire” and did much mischief. The suffering Commons now began to blame Beaton. Lennox presently married Margaret, Henry's niece, daughter of his sister, Margaret Tudor, by her husband, Angus. Their eldest son was the miserable Henry Darnley, second husband of Mary Stuart. In Scotland arose party divisions and reunions, the queen mother being in the hands of the Douglas faction, while Beaton's future murderers backed him and Arran. Then the Douglases allied themselves with the cardinal, and Henry VIII. tried to kidnap Angus and his brother, Sir George. For once true to their country, they helped Buccleuch to defeat a large English force at Ancram Moor in February 1545, and Henry, seeking help from Cassilis, revived the plot to murder Beaton. Cassilis was a Protestant and the patron of Knox's friend and teacher, George Wishart; Cassilis would not commit himself formally, and the threads of the plot are lost, owing to a great gap in the records.
The Douglases continued to play the part of double traitors; Hertford, in autumn, again devastated the border and burned religious houses (whether he always burned the abbey churches is disputed), but Beaton never lost heart and had some successes. We lose trace of the plot to slay him from the 20th of October 1545 till the end of May 1546, the documents being missing; but on the 29th of May 1546 Beaton was cruelly murdered in his castle of St Andrews. On the 1st of March he had caused George Wishart, a man of austere life and a Protestant propagandist, to be strangled and then burned. To what extent revenge for Wishart was the motive of the Kirkcaldys and Leslies and Melvilles who led the assassins, and how far they were paid agents of England, is unknown. These men had been alternately bitter enemies and allies of Beaton; in 1543 Kirkcaldy of Grange and the master of Rothes were offering their venal daggers to England, through a Scot named Wishart. The details of the final and successful plot were uncertain—the martyr Wishart cannot be identified with Wishart the would-be murderer—but with Beaton practically expired the chances of the French and Catholic party in Scotland.
The death of Beaton brought the Douglases into resistance to Henry VIII., who aided the murderers, now besieged in Beaton's castle of St Andrews. An armistice was arranged; the besieged begging for a remission from the pope, and also asking Henry to request the emperor to move the pope to refuse. The remission, however, arrived before the 2nd of April 1547, and was refused by the murderers.
Henry VIII. and Francis II. were now dead. In mid July French armed galleons approached St Andrews, and the castle surrendered as soon as artillery was brought to bear on it. With other captives, John Knox was put aboard a French galley. In September the Protector Somerset (Hertford) invaded and utterly routed the Scots at Pinkie near Musselburgh. No result ensued, except Scottish demands for French aid, and a resolve to send Mary to France. Ferocious fighting, aided by French auxiliaries, followed: in 1550 the English abandoned all castles occupied by them in Scotland. Mary was now in France, the destined bride of the Dauphin; while Knox, released from the galleys, preached his doctrines in Berwick and Newcastle, and was a chaplain of Edward VI., till the crowning of Mary Tudor drove him to France and Switzerland. Here he adopted, with political modifications of his own, the extremest form of Calvinism.
A visit of Mary of Guise to France (1550) ended in her acquiring the regency, which she administered mainly under French advice. The result was irritation, the nobles looking Religious revolution. towards England as soon as Mary Tudor was succeeded by Elizabeth, while Protestantism daily gained ground, inflamed by a visit from Knox (1555-1556). Invited again, in 1557, he shrank from the scene of turmoil, but a “band” of a Protestant tendency was made by nobles, among them Mary's natural brother James Stewart, later the Regent Murray (3rd of Dec. 1557). On the 24th of April, Mary wedded the Dauphin, and about the same date Walter Milne, an aged ex-priest, was burned as a heretic, the last Protestant martyr in Scotland. There was image-burning by godly mobs in autumn; a threat of the social revolution, to begin at Whitsuntide, was issued on the 1st of January 1559,—“ the Beggars' Warning.” Mary of Guise issued proclamations against preachers and church wreckers, backed by a statute of March 1559. The preachers, mainly ex-friars and tradesmen, persevered, and they were summoned to stand their trial in April, but Knox arrived in Perth, where an armed multitude supported their cause. On the 10th of May they were outlawed for non-appearance at Stirling. Knox accuses Mary of Guise of treachery: the charge rests mainly on his word.
On the 10th of May the brethren wrecked the monasteries of Perth, after a sermon by Knox, and the revolution was launched, the six or seven preachers already threatening the backward members of their party with excommunication. The movement spread to St Andrews, to Stirling, to Edinburgh, which the brethren entered, while Mary of Guise withdrew. She was still too strong for them, and on the 24th of July they signed a compact. They misrepresented its terms, broke them, and accused the regent of breaking them. Knox and William Kirkcaldy of Grange had been intriguing with England for aid, and for the marriage of the earl of Arran (son of the earl of Arran, now also duc de Chatelherault, ex-regent) with Queen Elizabeth. He escaped from threatened prison in France, by way of Switzerland, and though Elizabeth never intended to marry him, the Hamiltons now deserted Mary of Guise for the Anglo-Protestant party. Maitland of Lethington, the Achitophel of his day, also deserted the regent; but in November the reformers were driven by the regent and her small band of French soldiers from Edinburgh to Stirling. They were almost in despair, but, heartened by Knox and Lethington, they resumed negotiations with Elizabeth, who had already supplied them with money. An English fleet suddenly appeared, and drove the French to retreat into Leith from an expedition to the west. In February 1560 a league was made at Berwick between Elizabeth and “the Congregation.” France was helpless, the tumult of Ambroise alarmed the Guises for their own lives and power, and the regent, long in bad health, was dying in Edinburgh castle. On the 10th of June