Darnley stood aloof, in fear and anger. A week later, moved by Bedford, representing Elizabeth, and by Bothwell and her Darnley's murder. other advisers, Mary pardoned Morton and his accomplices. She also restored Archbishop Hamilton to his consistorial jurisdiction, but withdrew her act, in face of Presbyterian opposition. Darnley had retired to his father's house at Glasgow, where he fell ill of small-pox, and, on the 14th of January 1567 Mary, from Holyrood, offered to visit him, though he had replied by a verbal insult to a former offer of a visit from Stirling. About this week must have occurred the interview in the garden at the Douglas's house of Whittingehame, between Morton, Bothwell and Lethington, when Morton refused to be active in Darnley's murder, unless he had a written warrant from the queen. This he did not obtain. On the 20th of January 1567 Mary left Edinburgh for Glasgow, her purpose being to bring Darnley back to Craigmillar. At this time (the 22nd-25th of January), she must have written the two first Casket Letters to Bothwell. Letter II. (really Letter I.) leaves no doubt, if we accept it, as to her murderous design (see Casket Letters). What followed must be read in Mary's biography: the end was the murder of Darnley in the house at Kirk o' Field, after the midnight of Sunday, the 9th of February.
Public and conspicuous as was the crime, the house being blown up with gunpowder, no secret has been better kept than Marriage with Bothwell. the details. The facts of Mary's lawless marriage with Bothwell, her capture at Carberry Hill, her confinement in Loch Leven Castle, her escape, her defeat at Langside, and her fatal flight to an English prison, with the proceedings of the English Commissions, which uttered no verdict, must be read in her biography (see Mary Stuart).
Scotland was now ruled by her brother, the Regent Murray, in the name of her infant son, James VI. Murray arrested James VI.: Internal Contentions. Lethington, as accused of Darnley's murder, and Lethington was now lodged under ward in Edinburgh, but Kirkcaldy of Grange released him and gave him shelter in Edinburgh castle, which he commanded (23rd of October). Lethington was to be tried, but his armed friends mustered in great numbers, and, secure in the castle, he and Kirkcaldy upheld the cause of Mary. Lethington's motive is obvious; in Mary's success lay his chance of safety: how he won over Kirkcaldy is unknown. The rebellion in the north of England failed, Northumberland was driven across the border, and it was Murray's idea to barter him for Mary, in the beginning of January 1570. But on the 23rd of January, Murray was shot dead, in the street of Linlithgow, by a Hamilton, with the approval and aid of Archbishop Hamilton and other heads of the house.
The contending parties, queen's men and king's men, now made approaches to each other; neither had a share in the Hamiltons' crime. But Randolph, sent to Edinburgh for the purpose, kept them apart; Elizabeth dispatched Sussex to ravage the Scottish border, in revenge for a raid by Buccleuch, and in May Lennox entered Scotland with an English force and soon was appointed regent (17th of July). This meant a war of Stuarts against Hamiltons, and, generally, of “Queen's men” against “King's men.” Truces and empty negotiations merely protracted disorder. On the 2nd of April 1571 Mary's party lost Dumbarton castle, which Crawford of Jordanhill took by a daring night surprise; and Archbishop Hamilton, a prisoner, was hanged without trial. In May the Hamiltons entered Edinburgh, and later Lennox, in a parliament held at Leith, secured the forfeiture of Lethington. As the year passed by, Argyll, Cassilis, Eglintoun and Boyd went over to Lennox's party, and in an otherwise futile raid of Kirkcaldy's men on Stirling, Lennox was captured and was shot by a man named Calder. In England the Ridolphi-Norfolk plot was discovered, and at the end of 1571 Buchanan's “Detection” of Mary, with translations of the Casket Letters, was published. Though Mar was now regent, Morton was the man of action. In February 1572 he forced on the kirk an order of bishops, “Tulchan bishops,” filters through which the remaining wealth of the church trickled into the coffers of the state, or of the regent.
This was the beginning of the sorrows of more than a century. The kirk Presbyterian was founded on the Genevan model, and Crown and Kirk. was intended to be a theocracy. She had claimed, since the riots at Perth in 1559, the Power of the Keys, with the power of excommunicating even the king, a sentence practically equivalent to outlawry. These pretensions were incompatible with the freedom of the state and of individuals. It became the policy of the crown to check the preachers by means of the order of bishops, first reintroduced by Morton, and worthy of their origin. The kirk was robbed afresh, benefices were given to such villainous cadets of great families as Archibald Douglas, an agent in Darnley's murder; and though, under the scholarly but fierce Andrew Melville, the kirk purified herself afresh and successfully opposed the bishops, James VI. dominated her again, when he came to the English crown, and the result was the long war between claims equally exorbitant and intolerable, those of the crown and the kirk.
The death of Mar (28th of October 1572) left power in the stronger hands of Morton, and the death of Knox (24th of November) put the kirk for a while at the mercy of the new regent. Meanwhile Mary's party dwindled away; at a meeting in Perth (23rd of February 1573) her thanes fled from her, and Elizabeth at last reinforced Mary's enemies with men and artillery. On the 28th of May Edinburgh castle surrendered at discretion. Lethington, the heart of the long resistance, died, a paralytic, in prison, and Morton resisted the generous efforts made to save the gallant Kirkcaldy. Knox had prophesied that he would be hanged, and hanged he was.
Despite the ferocity of partisans in “the Douglas wars,” an English envoy reported that the power of the country gentry and the boroughs had increased, while that of the great wavering nobles, Hamilton, Huntly and others, was diminishing. The “navy was so augmented as it is a thing almost incredible,” but none the less £100 sterling was worth as much, Drury wrote from Berwick, as £1000 Scots.
In 1575, at the General Assembly, Andrew Melville, now a man of thirty, and, with Buchanan, the foremost scholar of Scotland, especially in Greek, caused the lawfulness of bishops to be mooted. Thenceforward Scotland was engaged in a kind of “bishops war.” Meanwhile Morton found the old Marian party-feud reviving, and in 1577, knowing his own guilt in Darnley's murder, he attempted to win the alliance of Mary for his own security. In March 1578, a coalition of his public and private foes caused Morton to resign the regency, while the young earl of Mar became custodian of the boy king. On the 28th of May, Morton allied himself with Mar, who commanded Stirling castle, and after negotiations recovered power. Atholl was his chief opponent, but in April 1579 he died suddenly, after dining with Morton; poison was suspected. Morton, with Angus, attacked the Hamiltons, whose chiefs fled the country, accompanied by the worst of traitors, Sir James Balfour. Knowing all the secrets of Darnley's murder, Balfour revenged himself by raking up Morton's foreknowledge of the deed; and here he was helped by the influence exercised over the young king by his cousin Esmé Stuart d'Aubigny (a son of Darnley's paternal uncle, John), who came to Scotland from France in September 1579. D'Aubigny allied himself with Knox's brother-in-law, James Stewart of the house of Ochiltree, captain of the King's Guards, an able, handsome, learned, but rapacious man. The Hamiltons, now in English exile, were forfeited; d'Aubigny received the earldom of Lennox; and, as after Darnley's death, placards, were posted urging the trial of Morton for that crime. As against the new Lennox, Morton was deemed a friend by the preachers, though Lennox professed to be reconciled to the kirk. Throughout 1580 Elizabeth encouraged Morton, with her wonted fickle treachery. In October she recalled her ambassador, and left Morton to his fate. Sir James Balfour secretly returned from France with his information, and Morton was accused and arrested on the last day of 1580. Elizabeth sent old Randolph to threaten and plead, but Lennox and James Stewart were too