Page images
PDF
EPUB

of nothing more than to see them living under our obedience in repose, union, and tranquillity; and generally to execute all that we could, if present in person, although circumstances should occur, which might require a more special mandate than this commission.” Keith, 144, translated from Caligula, b. ix. fol. 126, Cotton Lib. The commission is dated the first and sixteenth, instead of the eighteenth, years

of their reign, and this is a positive demonstration of forgery; (Whitaker, iii. 42.) as if a mistake concerning the precise date of Mary's reign in Scotland, were not more likely to be committed by the French secretary or clerk at Remorentin, than by the lords of the congregation'. As the commission neither revokes nor refers to the former, which it was not meant to supersede or to alter; but professes necessarily to be the yery commission from which it was transcribed; these are additional demonstrations of forgery; (id. 464) but the conclusive detection is this: As nothing more was intended by the first commission than a pardon for the rebellion or reformation in Scotland, the new commission, and the concessions or terms in the treaty of Edinburgh, are altogether forged; (id. 467).

It is needless to appeal to the history of the times, when the congregation, possessed of the whole power, and ready to expel the French from Scotland, never would have submitted without stipulations for their civil and religious demands. But the concessions made to the Scots in the treaty of Edinburgh, are authenticated by the most indisputable proofs. Mon

Such mistakes are not uncommon. A deed of James VI. is dated 13 September, the eleventh and twenty-eighth, (instead of the forty-seventh) year of bis reign ; 1614. Edinburgh Weekly Magazine, vol. xxi. p. 391.

luc, Bishop of Valance, after an ineffectual journey to' Scotland, bad returned to London, before Randan's arrival with the first commission, and from the temper and demands of the congregation, a new commission was obviously necessary to treat with the Scots. Forbes, i. 456-60-66-80-8-502 Cecil, one of the English commissioners, in his letter, June 23d, transmits an abstract of the French answers to the articles or demands of the lords of the congregation, which are still extant in the Cotton library; and in his subsequent dispatches, the whole progress of the treaty is distinctly explained. Haynes 331. On the 5th of July he writes, 6. That the articles of our treaty are written out, but that the treaty between the French and Scots could not be concluded before six that evening, nor written before to-morrow, when that and ours would be signed and sealed.” (id. 349.) Next day, July the 6th, he writes that the treaties were both signed and delivered; enumerates the articles in the treaty with the Scots ; explains the difficulty of obtaining from their majesties of France an obligation to Elizabeth, for their performance of conditions to their own subjects; “ For so the world sball say that he (Francis) is forced by your majesty thereto, (as in truth he is, although it may not be said so to Frenchmen) next the Scots shall hereby owe all the favour which they receive from their king or queen to your majesty, as in truth they do, though it may not be said so to the French; and to make a cover for all this, these ambassadors were content to take a few good words in a preface to the same article, and we content with the kernel, yielded to them the shell.” id. 352, In his letter of the 8th, he recapitulates the principal beads in the accord of Scotland, precisely as they are contained in the treaty in question; and as the sup.

[ocr errors]

posed forgery must have been of the same date with the real treaty contracted with England, no man in his senses can believe for a moment, that Cecil would connive at the one, while conducting the other; and that for the sole purpose of deceiving Elizabeth, and her allies the Scots. Whitaker, iii. 493.

But the conditions of accord with Scotland, are confirmed by an article of the treaty with England, with a preface exactly as explained by Cecil, to prevent the apparent dishonour of the king and queen of France, “Seeing the most christian king and queen have granted their assent to certain supplicatory petitions presented by the nobility and people of Scotland, and being desirous to have their said benignity attributed to the good offices of the said Elizabeth, &c. Therefore it is agreed before the said commissioners of both parties, that they shall fulfil all those things which by their said commissioners they have granted to the said nobi. lity and people of Scotland at Edinburgh the 6th day of June this present year; provided that the said nobility and people shall fulfil and observe all those things that are contained in the said articles and conventions to be performed on their part.” Keith, 135. The supplicatory petitions can relate to nothing else than the complaints and demands of the congregation, which, in every treaty with the sovereign, must assume the form of supplication: all those things which their commissioners had granted at Edinburgh on the 6th of July, or which are contained in the said articles and conventions, must relate to something more than a general pardon, as Whitaker supposes, (iii. 469) on the one part, on condition of obedience on the other, concerning which the preamble was unnecessary as a salvo for their honour, in a treaty with Elizabeth; and

the said articles and conventions are evidently all those thing's granted in the concessions, or treaty with the congregation, of the 6th of June, by the three first articles of which, on the complaints and petitions of the nobility and people, the French troops were actually withdrawn, the fortifications of Leith were demolished, and Dunbar was restored to the Scottish estates.

If additional proofs are necessary, the fourth article petitions for, and obtains a parliament to be held on the 10th of July, to be adjourned till August 10th, that the French deputies might procure an intermediate ratification from the king and queen; the fifth article provides that peace and war should be determined as formerly, by the advice of the estates; the sixth that the privy council should be appointed by the queen and the estates, out of twenty four persons, whom the next parliament, in terms of the treaty, chose and transmitted their names to the queen (Keith, 752, Append. 91); the seventh, that no foreigners should be admitted to office; the eighth, that an act of oblivion should be passed in the next parliament, to which, by the ninth article, all in use to be present were admitted; and the remaining articles relate to mutual indemnity, submissive obedience, religion and peace. The parliament was actually adjourned till August, that the treaty might be ratified by the king and queen; but as no ratification arrived, a full week was spent in debating on its validity, which was sustained as ordained by the .tr aty of peace. As the French deputies declined to interfere, the parliament was permitted by the treaty to remonstrate on the state of religion to the king and queen; but the parliament proceeded to establish the reformed religion, and when its acts were transmitted to the queen to be ratified, (Keith, 193.

Append. 91) the objection was obvious, and unavoidable if true, that the treaty by which it was held was a forgery. The act of oblivion passed in this parliament was renewed by Mary in 1563, at the intercession of the nobility, not as a part of the treaty which she was determined never to ratify ; (Spottiswood, 188) but the authors of a forged treaty would neither have applied to the queen to confirm its articles, nor would the objection have remained a secret till discovered by Whit. aker, that the whole treaty was a forgery, unknown to the queen herself. Les raisons pour laquelle la Royne M. ne ratifie le traite d' Edinbourgh, 11 Aoust 1561. Cotton Lib. Caligula, b. x. fol. 34.

As a preliminary to other snppositious forgeries, I have dwelt the longer, in this note, on the conjectures of a writer, who rejects all historical evidence whatsoever, in order to condemn the treaty of Edinburgh, as a forgery devised by Murray with Cecil's consent. A mistake contained in a few lines may require some pages of controversy before it is obviated; but I trust that the sentences which I have bestowed upon the subject, are not nearly so numerous as the pages of scurrilous declamation which they are employed to confute. Whitaker, iii. 40-3. 370-9. 463. 543.

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »