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and signed (at Craigmillar) by Huntley, Argyle, CHAP, Lethington, and Balfour, about a quarter of a year before the deed was dones. Ormiston's Confession was taken and attested, in December 1573, by Brand, a clergyman; and an observation of Spottiswood's renders its authenticity indisputable: “that not the less the regent, to the “offence of many, did suffer the said Balfour to
enjoy the benefit of the pacification, and passed “ an act thereof in council *.” But Morton, the regent, never would have inserted among the regicides, the names of Argyle the chancellor, and of Balfour, whom he was then so solicitous to preserve.
6. The Depositions are strictly confined to the the conmurder; as the design was to procure judicial quoted by
Lesly. evidence against Bothwell and his associates, not to implicate the queen in his guilt. The letters therefore were not introduced; nor a single circumstance not connected with the actual perpetration of the crime. But the silence, or ignorance of the subordinate actors, is assumed as a proof, or converted rather into a positive confession, not only of the queen's innocence, but of the guilt of her accusers 34. The first intimation of the fact is in a letter from Archbishop Beton to the Cardinal of Lorrain,
32 See Appendix, No. XXVII.
CHAP. (February 8th, 1568), containing the sum of the
dispatches from Scotland. « Environ les fetes “ de noel dernier, douze ou quinze des principaux " serviteurs du Conte Bondouel furent prins
prisonniers aux isles des Orcades, par Mon
sieur de St. Croix l'un des freres bastardes de “ la royne, qui pour lejourdhui s'est faict conte des “ dites Isles, lesquelles par tempeste de la mer “ furent contraincts y prendre terre, et apres “ menez à Lislebourgh, et accuse de meurtre, fu“ rent condamnez à mort et toutesfois executez “ en prison, pourceque quelques ungs d'eux, « ayent demande de grace estre ouy par le Conte “ de Mourray, confesserent bien avoir merite la “ mort, declarant l'innocence de la royne et « accusent les plus grands et principaux de son “ conceil, qui assistoient lors avec lui, et mesmes « le Conte de Morthon et le secretaire Ledinton " et Balfour qui estoit capitaine de chatteau de “ Lislebourgh; et le dit conte leur maitre en « Danemark 35. Such defective intelligence could not well be transmitted from Scotland, viz. that twelve or fifteen of Bothwell's
45 MSS. Brit. Mus. Ayscough's Cat. 3199, from Mem. Scot. tom. 3. Hay was examined on the 13th of September, apparently before Grange's return from Shetland ; and Hepburn on the 8th of December thereafter. Accordingly the one says in his Confession, that he was betrayed into Lord Lindsay's hands, the other that he had ships provided to Pee, but could not escape. See Appendix, No. XXIV,
principal servants had been taken in Orkney and CHAP. executed in prison ; instead of four executed in public, of whom Hepburn alone had been taken by Grange and the Bishop of Orkney, (not the Earl) on board of one of Bothwell's ships in Shetland. Lord Robert was not created Earl of Orkney till 1581; but it was secretly understood that Morton was privy, and Balfour and Lethington accessary to the murder; and the queen's innocence was a necessary addition, in a letter to her uncle, the Cardinal of Lorrain. The fact was afterwards improved by Lesly, into a public confession, uttered in the presence of many thousands at the place of execution. In the Instructions from the lords and abbots of her party, he presumes that Mary never would bave consented to the murder, having other likely means of divorce or a sentence of death, to be quit of her husband, “ by the lords own device “ at Craigmillar, bot it may be inferrit that they “ were the doaris thairoff onlie, as was deponit " by thaim quha sufferet death thairfoir, quha “ declarit at all times the quene our sovereign “ to be innocent thairoff *." In the memorial read by Herreis, on the 1st of December, when Murray's accusation was presented at Westminster, he declared that her adversaries were them.
So Goodall, ii. 359,
CHAP, selves" the first inventars, writars with thair
“ own hand of that devilish band, the conspiracie “ of the slaughter of her late spouse, presentit to “ thair wickit confederate Bothwell, as was made “manifest befoir ten thousand people, at the “execution of certain the principal offendaris at
Edinburghør.” The paper was presented by Lesly himself, in consequence of which the regent produced on the 13th, the genuine Confessions of the criminals at the place of execution. Amidst those vague assertions, however, concerning the bond which was devised and signed by Balfour and Lethington, whom Lesly durst not name, it is observable that he is silent concerning the only fact in dispute, though inserted in his Instructions without hesitation, namely, that the queen's innocence, and the guilt of her accusers, were attested by the criminals themselves at their death. But the fact wbich he durst not assert at the conference, is intro- . duced at length, in his Defence of Mary's Honour: • Is it not full well known think ye, that ye and the “ Earls Bothwell, Morton and others assembled at " the castle of Craigmillar and other placesat divers “ times to consult and devise upon this mischief ? “ If need were we could reherse and recount the “ whole sum and effect of the oration made by
37 Goodall, ii. 211. Anderson, iv. 129.
“ the most eloquent amongst you, to stir up, ex“ hort and inflame your faction then present, to de“ termine and resolve themselves to dispatch and “ make a hand with the Lord Darnley. We can “ tell you that there were interchangeable inden“ tures made and subscribed by you, that he which “ had the best opportunity offered, to make him “ away, should forthwith take it in hand, and
dispatch him. We can tell you, and so can five “ thousand and more of their own hearing, that “ John Hepburn the Earl Bothwell's servant, “ being executed for his and your traiterous fact, “ did openly say and testify, as he should answer " to the contrary before God, that you were prin
cipal authors, counsellors and assisters with his
master, of this execrable murder, and that his " said master so told him; and farthermore, that “ he himself had seen the indentures we spake of. “ We can tell you that John Hay of Galloway,
(Talla) that Powrie, that Dalgleish, and last of “ all that Paris, all being put to death for this “ crime, took God to record, at the time of their
death, that this murder was by your counsel, “ invention, and drift committed, who also de“ clared that they never knew the
participant or aware thereof; that as for no “ torments nor fair promises they could be
brought falsely to accuse their mistress, so “ without any torments at all they have voluntarily purged her, and so laid the burden
queen to be