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ON THE PARTICIPATION OP
MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS
MURDER OF DARNLEY.
Judicial Depositions and Confessions. 1. THE judicial depositions
and confessions remain to be examined. To these a general, preliminary objection has been made, that such Thé confesof them as are annexed to Buchanan's Detection, ent from
the judicial are different from the originals still extant in the depositions Cotton Library, and that as they cannot both be genuine, the most obvious presumption is, that both are forged. It is the misfortune of this controversy, to be perplexed by writers, who accuse others of the most complicated and refined forgeries, when they are themselves deficient in common reflection and research. If they, for instance, who brand Buchanan as a serpent, the second of all human forgers, and the first
CHAP. of slanderers', had consulted even the titles, they
would have perceived that those annexed to Buchanan's Detection are, “ the Confessions of “ John Hepburn, Young Talla, Dalgleish and “ Powrie, upon whom was justice execute the • iii. of January, 1567 :" but that those preserved in the Cotton library, are their Examinations and Depositions before the privy council, produced and acknowledged on their trial in the justiciary court. If instead of adopting the wretched objections of Goodall, they had examined Anderson's general preface, or the proceedings at Westminster, they would have found that the latter were the Judicial Examinations and Depositions of the murderers which were produced to the English commissioners, on the 8th of December, 1568: but that the former were their Confessions at the place of execution, to which the minutes of the privy council, December 15th, indisputably allude: “ There was
also produced and read a writing of another “ deposition of Thomas Crawford upon his oath, “ exhibited before the commissioner's the 13th “ December, concerning certain answers made
to him by the foresaid John Hepburn and “ John Hay, upon the scaffold at Edinburgh?.”
· Whitaker, iii. 192-3-4. Ruddiman's Animadversions, &c.
2 Anderson, i. pref. 19. iv. 175. Goodall, i. pref. 15.
Had they candidly examined the Confessions themselves, the least reflection might have convinced them, that those annexed to Buchanan's Detection, are a summary or imperfect abstract, taken, not from the Judicial Depositions produced on the 8th, but from the Confessions exhibited at Westminster on the 7th, 10th, 12th, or 13th, of which the minutes are lost, with every other paper transmitted to the
transmitted to the press. The Confessions are filled as usual with religious reflections on the ways of Providence, the justice of their punishment, the assurance of mercy, the calls to repentance; none of which occur in the Judicial Depositions. “ John (Hepburn) of “ Bowton, speaking of the queen in the Tol“ buith, quho lives our deiths will be thought na “ newis ;” and “ Young (Hay of) Talla, in the
Tolbuith,” (not, as supposed, in the presence of the privy council or justiciary court, but in prison, before they were led to execution,* ) " requirit
* See in Anderson, iv. part ii. p. 171-5, references to proceedings on the 10th, 12th, and 13th of December, of which po minutes are preserved.
They are said expressly to have been made in the tolbooth of Edinburgh, the building in which the parliament was beld, the privy council assembled, and the lords of session convened, for the trial of civil or criminal causes. In this structure Bothwell was tried, for the murder of the king. In this his followers were equally tried. In this the rebel lords assembled for business. And in this therefore would
“ John Brand, minister of the congregation, to
pass Lord Lindsay and say, my lord, hartily I forgeve your lordship and als my
Lord Regent and all uthers, but specially tham that
betrayit me to you, for I know if ye could here “ savit me ye would ; desiring you as ye will “ answere before God in the latter day, to do
your diligence to bring the rest quho was the
beginners of this work to justice, as ye have “ done to me." In short, whoever peruses the whole with the least attention, must be convinced of the fact, that these are not the Judicial Depositions, but an imperfect summary of the Confessions of the criminals, made to the clergy before their executions.
Accordingly Buchanan appeals for the proof of a curious fact in his Detection, not to the their previous examination of Bothwell's followers be made." Whitaker, iii. 191. In this sorites, to prove that the Confessions and Depositions must be identical, because they were both taken in the same building, the author forgets that the tolbooth was also a jail, in which the murderers were imprisoned, before their execution.
• See the depositions and confessions in the Appendix, No. XXIV.
6 When the queen lodged in the Chequer-house, and, as she pretended to Murray and his mother (at Locbleven ; Detection, 6. compared with Keith, 445) was first ravished by Bothwell, whom Lady Reres had introduced into her bedchamber, (to which, however, he had free access through the garden, from the adjoining back-door of the noted chambers of Ormond's house); as if, says Buchanan, to repay force by