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as the proof was still defective, understanding that some farther knowledge bad come to her ears, he requests her to writeat length all that she had heard and known thereunto: in other words, whatever she knew from Both well, from whom alone she could receive information of Morton's secret assurances, on their interview at Whittingham. The bond of indemnity would have rendered Morton a principal, and the proof complete. But the copy sent by Balfour to the queen, was the bond of the nobility for Bothwell's marriage 7, the only bond produced on Morton's trial, or acknowledged in his Confession. His participation in the murder is explained in the verdict : “ that he was guilty " of art and part, foreknowledge and concealing" (or as now expressed in indictments, that he was guilty, art and part, of the foreknowledge and concealing) " of the king's murder 73,” in which his art and part as an accessary, consists in the foreknowledge and concealment, to which it is expressly confined. The first part of the verdict surprised him so much, that he exclaimed, “ art " and part ! art and part! God knows it is not “ so;" and according to Home of Godscroft's History of the House of Douglas, the words were surreptitiously introduced by Arran, the prosecutor, as some foundation for a sentence of death 74.
72 Keith, 382. 73 See 'Appendix, No. XXXIII.
Whatever was the evidence on which he was convicted, the verdict corresponds exactly with his w Confession, that he was previously informed of the design by Bothwell, who importuned him at Whittingham, to engage in the murder, as it was the queen's desire that Darnley should be removed.
Their interview at Whittingham has been fully His Confesexplained, and it appears that he shifted after- nuine. wards from place to place, to avoid Bothwell's solicitations to sign the bond". Being at St. Andrew's, he added, on a visit to the Earl of Angus, (his nephew, then at college,) Archibald Douglas came with writing and credit from Bothwell, to require his concurrence and aid in the king's murder, which was near a point; but he refused to answer or to intermeddle farther without the queen's warrant in writing, which had been promised by Bothwell, but was never produced 7. That he was forced, by remorse of conscience, to attest her innocence on the scaffold,
* Birrell's Diary, 22. Crawford's Notes on Buchanan, 170. Hume's Hist. of the House of Douglas, 353.
96 “ I desired the Erl Bothwell to bring me the queen's hand wryt of this matter for a warrand and then I sould give him ane answer; utherways I wold not mell therewith, quhilk warrand he never purchassed, (reported, Calderw.) unto me;" which Cotton's transcriber has altered to, “ the which warrant he never brought, or could procure.” Caligula, c. 6. fol. 145,
CHAP. is a fiction of Strada's, transcribed by Crawford
in his Memoirs"; and the veracity of Camden's History may be estimated from a remarkable addition to Morton's Confession, that when he demanded her majesty's written warrant, Bothwell answered, “ hoc neutiquam fieri posse, at “ facinus, ipsa inconsulta, conficiendum esse 78.” When the apparent justice of his sentence was urged by the clergy, inasmuch as he confessed the foreknowledge and concealment of the murder; so far from acquitting Mary of a presentiment of the design, he replied that he durst not reveal it for fear of his life. “For at that time " to whom should I reveal it? To the queen ? “ She was the doer thereof I was minded to
77 Jebb, ii. 108. Crawford's Memoirs, 46.
78 This was to vindicate the queen, in describing the execution of the murderers in 1568, and as its sole foundation is the alteration made by Cotton's transcriber in Morton's Confession, I consider it as an interpolation by Cotton himself. In the account of Morton's execution in 1581, Camden adheres to the plain fact. “Confessus enim erat, ut perhibent, Bothwellium et Archiebaldum Douglasium consilium tollendi regem impertisse, se vero, tempore tam ambiguo, non ausum aperire ;" a proof that the first was a gratuitous assertion interpolated by another, who had not adverted to Camden's narrative of Morton's death.
79 Softened by Cotton's transcriber to, “she was suspected thereof,” in opposition to every MS. extant in Scotland, and to the whole tenor of the Confession itself. Morton durst not reveal it to the queen, not that she was suspected beforehand of the murder, but because she was the doer thereof,
“ have told it to the king's” (James's) “ father, CHAP. “but yet I durst not, for' fear of my life; for Im “ knew him to be sic a bairn, that there was no
thing told him but he would reveal it to her “ again, and therefore I durst not for fear of my « life 80. It is evident that he required the queen's warrant in writing, not to satisfy his own mind concerning her intentions (of which he could have little doubt when he considered her as the doer), but to retain it in his custody for his own vindication, if the murder should afterwards be laid to his charges. But to those
since it was her mind that the king should be taken away.
Mr. Chalmers in his Caledonia, discovers a plain demonstration of the subsequent forgery of the letters, &c. in Bothwell's inability to produce to Morton any writing of the queen's, as a warrant, virtual or positive, for engaging his concurrence; a proof, he concludes, that neither the letters, sonnets, nor contracts of marriage supposed to have preceded the murder, had any existence then. Caledonia, ii. 465. The two letters from Glasgow were written, and most probably received before the interview at Whittingham. But 1st. Bothwell never would have communicated to Morton the queen's love letters, so significant both of their adulterous intercourse, and of their intended marriage, which was not
CHAP. who are acquainted with the treason laws, or
with the state of Scotland at that period, the danger to which his life would have been exposed, if he had revealed what he could not, or durst not prove, will appear a sufficient reason for his concealing the design.
The Confession was first published in Thin's Continuation of Hollinshed's Chronicle, which has furnished an objection singularly absurd; that the leaf in which it was contained, was cancelled by an order from the English court. After the interview at Whittingham, Thin intimates, that “ Morton opened a large discourse of the “ murder, laying the cause, the contriving, and
meant to be revealed. 2d. Morton, who had “ but new come out of trouble, whereoff as yet he was not red,” required Bothwell “ to bring him the queen's hand write for a warrant," evidently to be retained for his own security, if the crime should be transferred to him; and in his final answer to the message brought by Archibald Douglas, at St. Andrew's, he refused his concurrence,“ seeing he had not gotten the queen's warrant in write which was promised." That he required a warrant sufficient for his indemnification, which Bothwell promised to procure from the queen, is farther evident from the message itself. Shaw to the Earl Morton that the queen will hear no speech of that matter appointed unto him. She would hear no speech of a warrant under her hand, to Morton, the indemnity required for taking Darnley away; and this message from Bothwell and Lethington corresponding so exactly with Morton's answer, Archibald Douglas reports in a letter to the queen herself. See Appendix, No. XXXIV.