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VII.

tions con

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within the cellar?, through which the conspira- CHAP. tors must have secured previous access to the whole house, would have been a preposterous labour.

5. The Depositions were afterwards confirmed Deposiby the Confessions of Paris and Ormiston, and firmed by are authenticated at present by their opposition sition to to the prevailing report of the times. As the opinion ; king's body and that of his servant, were found entire, without any external contusion or marks of gunpowder, in an adjacent garden without the walls, it was then the received opinion, that they had been strangled and brought out through the postern, before the house was blown up. This persuasion was so firmly established, that the proclamation issued against Bothwell, on the Depositions of Powrie and Dalgleish, June 26, declared, “ of the quhilk murder now by just trial taken, he is found not only to have been “ the inventer and deviser, but the executor s6 with his awin hands, as his awin servants,

being in company with him at that unworthy “ fact, hes testified 28.” Hay and Hepburn were not then apprehended to explain the fact; nor was it known that they were locked up in the queen's chamber; and as Powrie, Dalgleish, and Wilson were left by Bothwell at the garden wall, the privy council concluded from their evi

27 Whitaker, iii, 232--- 41.
** Anderson, i. 140.

VII.

CHAP. dence, that he had entered the house with Paris,
w in order to strangle the king with his own hands,

before the explosion took place. Buchanan was
impressed with the same persuasion, which every
historian of the age has adopted; and from
more recent, but doubtful information, he de-
scribes the conspirators in his History, as divided
into two bands; one of which entering from
Hamilton house, strangled the king and his
servants, and carried their dead bodies through
the postern into the adjacent fields, when the
other, on a signal given, set fire to the train a.

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29 Buchanan's Hist. 1. xviii. 351. 1. xx. 397. From comparing these passages, it is evident that Buchanan supposed the archbishop's servants to have murdered the king, and Bothwell's, dato signo, to have blown up the house. Goodall, by dint of false translation, “ Archiepiscopus libenter trucidandæ regis, partes sibi oblatas suscepit,that he willingly undertook the employment, represents the two passages as inconsistent, in order to extract a wretched argument for Bothwell's vindication; as if Buchanan had transferred the whole employment, instead of the partes sibi oblatas, to the archbishop. Buchanan's information is confirmed by the History of James VI. which Spottiswood, from different passages, seems to have consulted; that Robertson, a priest, was confronted with the archbishop, before his (the archbishop's) execution, and affirmed that Black John Hamilton, one of the archbishop's servants, eonfessed at his death, that he was present at the murder by his master's orders; to which the latter replied, that “he synit deadly to lay it "upoun him quha knew nathing of the matter, as also be synit to reveal any confessioun." The archbishop was undoubt

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As the operation of gunpowder is now better CHAP. understood, it is admitted, that, from the inter- W vention of the floor and bedding, their bodies were thrown out untouched by the explosion, and that, if they had fallen upon water, their lives might have been preserved so. When the murderers were particularly interrogated, their depositions and confessions concurred in the fact, “ that the king was handlit by na man's hands;" but the supposed forgers never would have discredited their professed opinion, nor have forborn to avail themselves of the popular belief, which they had no interest or inclination to contradict.

But the strongest confirmation is the uninten- and the tional coincidence of minute facts. The Deposi- dence with tions all declare, that the conspirators returned, after the explosion, to a broken part of the town wall in Leith wynd, which Bothwell was unable, or afraid to leap; but the reason, because of his sair hand, is assigned only by Hepburn; and we discover elsewhere, that his hand was deidly wounded, or maimed in Liddesdale, to which the long letter from Glasgow alludes, “ that the

coinci.

other facts.

edly privy to the murder, and seems to have watched with his servants at Hamilton house, till the explosion took place; but Buchanan's inference is erroneous, that the archbishop's servants were employed to strangle Darnley, and Bothwell's servants to blow up the house.

30 Hume, v. 107. n. Whitaker, iii. 293.

CH AP.
VII.

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« bracelet might be seen if he should chance to w“ be hurt 31." According to the Depositions of

Dalgleish and Powrie, Bothwell knocked and
called in vain at Ormiston's lodgings when he
returned at midnight to the Kirk of Field; and
Ormiston, who was taken and executed six
years afterwards, by the regent Morton, declared
in his confession, that when the powder was
lodged in the queen's chamber, he returned
home and went to bed, “ to avoid suspicion,
" that na man might say he was at the deid

doing.” We discover from Robert Melville's
letter, that in Hay's Deposition, and probably in
the others, Huntley's concern in the murder
was suppressed, as that potent nobleman was
then treating for a reconciliation with the regent.
But the imperfect abstract of Hepburn's Confes-
sion, allades incidentally to a bond of which Sir
James Balfour was the principal deviser, signed
by the nobility for the murder of Darnley, and
“ acknowledging the queen's mind thairto."
And the confession of Ormiston explains the
evidence against Huntley which was suppressed
so carefully in Hay's Deposition ; that at Easter
a bond or contract for the removal of Darnley,
as a young, proud, and tyrannical fool, unfit to
reign, was shewn him by Bothwell; that the
bond had been devised by Sir James Balfour,

See Appendix, No. XXI.

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