Page images


The confes

ed chanan

Judicial Deposition, but to the Confessions them- CHAP. selves. “ Hunc rerum gestarum ordinem, non “ inodo maxima pars eorum qui cnm regina erant, sions quot“ sunt fassi, sed et Georgius Dalglesius, Both-baby. Bu“ wellii cubiculariis, paulo antequam pænas luit, “ denarravit, quæ ejus confessio in actis continetur ;” not as erroneously translated, " quhilk “ confession yet remains of record,” but which is contained in the acts, or minutes of the

proceedings at Westuninster”.

66 Such was the as“ surance of the wretch,” says Whitaker," as to " refer in form to a record for a slander when



force, Mary and her confidant, Margaret Carwood, a few nights afterwards, let Lady Reres down by the girdle, over an old wall into the next garden, but the girdle burst, and her old and heavy emissary fell prostrate to the ground. Not discouraged by the darkness, the height of the wall, or her sudden accident, this veteran penetrated into Bothwell's chamber, when in bed with his wife, and the doors being opened, brought him half asleep and half naked to the queen. Detection. Whitaker's objection seems to be that she carried Bothwell back over the high wall into the queen's cham. ber, to which they had an easier access, foribus reclusis. äi. 194.

? The translation would imply that the confessions were recorded in Scotland, where the depositions themselves, though lodged in the justiciary court, were not inserted in its books of adjournal. But “in actis continetur," addressed to the English commissioners, refers to the acts of the session at Westminster. Anderson, iv, 172-3; and the clause appears,

, like other alterations, to be a subsequent explanation added by Wilson to Buchagan's Detection.



[ocr errors]

" the record itself does not contain a single syl-
“ lable concerning it;"-" but his malignity


" acted like a pestilential blast upon his discre-
“ tion-and the moment we compare Buchanan's

“ train of confessions with the originals, we de-
“ tect the imposition which he designs to prac-
“ tise upon us 8.” Had this scurrilous disputant
preferred the plain sense of the text to his own
comment, he must have perceived, that confessio
paulo antequam pænas luit, can never refer to a
Deposition which had been taken on the 26th of
June, six months before his death, and of which
the record is preserved in the Cotion library, but
to the last Confession of Dalgleish, omitted after
his trial, and before his execution on the 3d of
January, of which the record was lost when
Wilson's short abstract was sent to the press.

2. To proceed to the judicial examinations of the murder- the murderers:—The depositions of Powrie and

Dalgleish, Bothwell's porter and chamberlain,
were taken on the 230 and 26th of June, before
the privy council; Powrie's second deposition
was made on the 6th of July; Hay of Talla's,
on the 13th of September; Hepburn of Bolton's,
on the 8th of December; and were produced and
acknowledged (January 30, 1567-8), on their
trial, in the justiciary court, before the justice
depute, Sir Thomas Craig”. From these depo-

[ocr errors]

Judicial depositions of


8 Whitaker, iii. 192-4.
• According to the family tradition, he was then a young

sitions, which coincide in the most minute cir- CHAP. cumstances, we obtain a distinct and particular account of the murder. The gunpowder which nute acBothwell had probably ordered during his jour- the murney to Whittingham, had been brought from Dunbar upon Tuesday or Wednesday. On Thursday he intimated to Hepburn an enterprise devised by some of the nobility, and by himself among the rest, to assassinate the king, (and to send two servants each for the purpose) either in the fields, or in whatsoever other place an opportunity could be found. Upon Friday morning he informed Hay and Ormiston separately of the design. At a general consultation held in the evening, he abandoned his plan of assassination in the fields, which might be known or traced, and explained in what manner it might be better effected by means of gunpowder. The gunpowder was brought by Hepburn to Bothwell's lodgings in the abbey, upon Saturday evening ; but the murder was prevented that night, as the conspirators were not fully prepared. Upon Sunday evening, Bothwell, after a long consultation, passed in the dusk to sup with the queen at “ Mr. John Balfour's house, “ where the Bishop of Argyle made the ban


Their mi

count of


man, just returned from Paris, where he had studied the civil and feudal laws. He died in 1608, in fine senectæ, when according to Dempster's Epicedium, seros venit ad annos. Craig de Feudis, pref.


CHAP. quet.” After supper he repaired to Ormiston's

lodgings, and then to the Cowgate, while Powrie and Wilson were sent for the gunpowder, which was brought on horseback, in a trunk and mail, to the Blackfriars gate, where it was poured into bags, which were carried by Powrie and Wilson, the two Ormistons, Hay and Hepburn, to the garden wall behind the Kirk of Field. The two first were dismissed, and the rest were received by Paris, through the back door, into the queen's apartment. As an empty powder barrel, which they had brought along with them, was too large to enter the door, they poured the powder in a heap upon the floor, directly under the king's bed, and Hay and Hepburn were left with false keys in the queen's chamber. On the departure of the rest, Paris locking the two doors that opened into the garden, and into the turnpike, or outer staircase, went up stairs to the king's apartment, to intimate by his presence that all was ready; and Bothwell returned to the abbey in the queen's train. At twelve of the clock, he retired to his lodgings to change his clothes; and with Powrie, Wilson, Dalgleish, and Paris, he returned by the Canongate through the Netherbow port. After inquiring in vain for Ormiston, he passed again through the Blackfriars gate towards the Kirk of Field, where he left the others, and on entering the garden with Paris, was joined by Hay and Hepburn,


who had lighted the match, and released them- CHAP. selves by means of the false keys. They remained there, quite impatient, till the explosion took place, when they ran down to the Cowgate, through the Blackfriars gate, and ascending by different closes, crossed the High-street to a broken part of the town wall in Leith Wynd, which Bothwell was unable, or afraid to leap. The porter therefore was again summoned at the Netherbow gate, through which they returned to the abbey, and Bothwell retired to his bed, where he remained till roused by the alarm which the death of the king had at last excited.

3. Nothing can be better authenticated, at Their depopresent, than these depositions. The originals thentic. taken by the privy council, were produced to a jury; and were read and examined before the learned Craig. They were acknowledged by the culprits themselves on their trial; and the copies of them, which are still extant in the Cotton library, are attested by Bellenden, the justice clerk. But according to diputants, the depositions themselves, the attestation of Sir John Bellenden who never saw them, the records of justiciary where they were never lodged, and of course the whole trial, with the name and authority of Craig, before whom they were never read or exhibited, are the forgeries of Murray, executed during the conferences in England 10.

sitions au

10 Whitaker, iii, 211.


« PreviousContinue »