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to the Queen Regent of France, describes the CHAP. explosion as such “ que d'une selle, deux cham“ bres cabinet, et garde robe, il n'est rien de“meure que tout ne soit emporte loing de la, et 6 redige en pouldre, non seulment la couverture “ et planches, mais aussi les murailles jusque au
fondement, de sorte qu'il ne demeure pierre sur «
pierre''.” The queen's letter on Tuesday, to Archbishop Beton, is in the same terms, “ that of the haill loging, walls and other, there “is nathing remainit, na not a stane above an
other, but other carreyit far away, or dong in “ dross to the very grundstane,” and she adds, “it man be don be force of powder, and ap
pears to have bene a mine20.” This first idea of a mine receives no confirmation from the
proclamation issued on Wednesday to discover the murderers, which merely states, “ that of the “ haill loging walls and utheris, there is nathing
left unruinated, but dung in dross to the very grundstanel." The Actio contra Mariam, bowever, represents the walls as undermined, and the mines filled with gunpowder; and in the indictments against Morton and Archibald Douglas, the powder a “ lytie afore was placed “ by them under the grund, and angular “stanes, and within the voltis, in laigh and darnit
19 See Appendix, No. IV. 30 Keith, pret. p. 8.
21 Anderson, i. 36.
pairts and places theiroff 22." But the two letters exaggerate the explosion ; the proclamation was addressed to those who beheld its effects; and it is observable that the pretext of a mine, which occurred only to Mary, was necessary then to avert the suspicion, for the same reason that it is still asserted, to obviate the fact, that the powder had been lodged in the queen's chamber. The Action against Mary when transferred to Wilson as the author, amounts to nothing. Buchanan refers in his Detection, and adheres in his History, to the judicial depositions, that the gunpowder had been lodged that evening in the lower chamber, to which the conspirators had false keys; but Wilson, in his Actio contra Mariam, repeats the tales extracted from Lesly and his servants, who had received, and who had an interest to propagate, the queen's account23. At the distance of fourteen, and of twenty years, the hyperbolical language of Scottish indictments, is no evidence of an historical fact; and in the indictments against Morton and Douglas, it was still necessary, for the exculpation of Mary, to dispose of the powder, not in mines, but indefinitely under the ground, and angular, or corner stones, and within the vaults, in low and concealed places, they knew not where. Two horse loads, or a single
22 See Appendix, No. XXXIV. Arnot's Crim. Trials, p. 9. 13 Murdin, 57. Supra, chap. iv. note 61.
cask of gunpowder, were sufficient, not accord- CHAP. ing to the modern fiction, to blow up the very foundations of the house, but to demolish a ruinous house to the grundstane. But the supposition of a mine implies that the expansive force of the explosion acts not equally in every direction; as if it were possible, from the ground apartment, to blow up the rafters, floors, and roof of an old house, rent and ruinous, without demolishing the walls. The fact is, that there was neither time nor room to construct a mine. There was no time, as the mine for which six days are allowed, in order to be finished in the queen's absence, must have been begun on her arrival at Glasgow, before it was known or determined, whether her husband would return, or where he would reside. There was no room, as the prebendary's house where he lodged was contiguous to the town wall, and on the east side of the provost's, or principal's house, with a narrow close or passage between. From this close the turnpike, or outer staircase, led to the king's apartment, since the back-door opened into the garden, upon the east side of the prebendary's house. The little gallery,
The little gallery, having a window in the gavel through the town wall, led directly south from the king's chamber at the north end, from which it was separated by
Supra, chap. i. See the Depositions of Nelson, Hay, and Paris. Appendix, Nos. XXIV. XXV.
a large stone wall; and as the queen's apartment was beneath the king's, so the cellar was beneath the gallery where the servants sleptas. The door passing through the cellar and the town wall, of which the key could not be found”, appears to have been sufficiently secured within. If the mine, therefore, had been begun without, from the provost's house, or from the Kirk of Field, its entrance must have been discovered after the explosion, and its course would have been disclosed by the ruins sinking into the chasm. But a mine opened
-: The description which I have given of the house from the different depositions, is confirmed by the council's letter to the queen mother of France; “Son logis a este enleve, &c. que d'une salle, deux chambres cabinet & garderobe," of which the house consisted. The two chambers were the king's and queen's apartments, on different floors: the salle was the cellar in Nelson's, and the kitchen in Paris's deposition, which served in those days indiscriminately for a kitchen and hall. The cabinet et garderobe were the little gallery in which the servants slept above the cellar, and a small closet above the passage that led through the laigh house into the garden, and divided the queen’s chamber by a large stone wall, the only partition then, from the kitchen or cellar that entered from the turnpike by a separate door. In those times the bedroom served for a parlour during the day, as in some parts of Scotland at present; but Whitaker has converted this simple plan into a house of six rooms, with a (vaulted) cellar under the whole, iii. 263.
36 Buchanan's Detection, 15. Nelson's Evidence, Appendix, No. XXV.