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talked of, and variously censured; which terminated in the ruin of his family.
"unlawsul actions hereafter, to remember that at"tempt!" (-b) Whereupon divers noblemen and others W Crawwithdrew from the court, for sear, to some place ofspotswood, security j for they well knew that their destruction was p. 326. aimed at. Whereupon the principal of them were ordered to consinement, which they not obeying, were denounced rebels (c). This was shocking behaviour, (?) id. ib, and enough to provoke the most patient men to take a severe revenge; for the king's word was no security, his promise could not be relied on, and no man was fafe who affronted his favourite, who made a mere dupe of his master, and facrificed his honour on all occasions. A sure proof this of James's weakness, and a sufsicient indication of what the world was to expect from him hereafter; for the tempers and dispositions of men are pretty much the fame through lise. As they are in youth, so are they in reality in age, though they may
know better how to gloss and disguise. Bv this neat-.
ment of those concerned in the Ruthven affair, several of the nobility were induced to enter into an association, for reforming abuses, securing religion, and the preservation of the king's person and estate, amonj whom was the earl of Gowry, who being taken, tried and condemned, was executed for treason. "His majesty "(fays Mefoil) had no intention of taking his lise, but: "the earl of Arran was sully resolved to have his lands, "and therefore to make a party to assist him in that de"sign, he engaged to divide them with several others, ♦' upon condition that they would assist him in the de"sign of ruining him ; which afterwards he did, ha"ving by this means procured their consent and votes." (d) What weakness and seebleness of government was (-0 Mflvil, this! Arran was in effect king, whilst James bore the spo&vood name, and under the royal authority committed the p. 332. most unjust actions; for all agree that Gowry had hard CrawturJ»
measure dealt him. In time the Goivry family wasp' 39°"
Mary, queen of Scots, having sentence of death pronounced on her, Oct. n, 1586, at Fotheringhay, by the commissioners of
restored to honour and estate, but, as historians tell us, nothing could allay the revenge of the two eldest sons, • for their father's blood, butthe death of the king, which they attempted to have taken away at the earl's own
hnf**W" house, A"gust 5) '600 (e) But they both lost their
s^otiwoa*o, lives in the.attempt, and ruined thereby their family; f.458. for their houses were demolished, their estates consiscated, and the whole family, by act of parliament, prohibited to carry the name of Rutbvcn. The 5th of August was likewise ordered to be kept yearly in rerhe'm
brance of this deliverance. Whether there was
any such conspiracy of the Gowries against the king, or whether it was only a pretence, in order to palliate the mttrther of them, has been very much debated. Spotswood believed it: it was generally received as truth by the courtiers at the time it happened; and the aflisters of the jf!ftw*ofhis king received honours and rewards, (f) Burnet (no way awn times, prejudiced in favour of the king) gives credit,to itj and" Vol i.p. 22. Mr. Crawfurd tells us, that after what the earl of Cro^2mo.^1' OTct, 'v hath lain together in his historical account of the conspiracies by the earls of Gowry against king James, he hopes few or none will suspect, far less doubt its truth Or)Craw- anj reality, (g) I hope I shall not be thought to be 'ard,p-39°' " maliciously set against the royal family, or the (h) (i)Cravr- "great king who was more immediately concerned in furi's epi- * ' this affair," if I give the reasons that maybe assignpreflions."" e^ for tne doubting concerning the truth of the king's narration. I could not act the part of a faithful historian without it, and therefore must beg the reader's pardon for detaining him a little longer on this subject.
I. We are to observe, that the next day after this happened, the ministers were called together at Edinburgh, (i) Spots- and desired to convene their people, and give thanks 46o^ Ca!- unt0 God for the king's deliverance: but they by no derwefod. p. persuasion could be moved to do it (/'). 44*. 2. Though
queen Elizabeth, notwithstanding her refusing to answer and be tried ; and the sentence being confirmed by the English, parliament, and their desire moreover added, that it might be put in execution; James ordered it to be represented to queen Elizabeth how unjust he held that proceeding against his
2. Though mostof the ministers being hereupon commanded to leave the city in 24 hours, and forbid to preach in his majesty's dominions, on pain of death, complied, owning themselves convinced of the truth of the conspiracy; yet we find Mr. Robert Bruce faying, he •uuould reverence his majejiys reports of that accidents but
could not fay he was perfwaded of the truth of it. (k) (*) Spots
3. Ojborn tells us, no Scotchman you could meet be- w°od' f' ypnd sea but did laugh at it, and the Peripatetic politicians faid, the relation in print did murder all possibility of credit. But I will not (adds he) wade farther
in this business, not knowing how dangerous the bottom
may prove, beirig by all mens relations foul and bloody,
having nothing to palliate it but jealousy on the one side,
and sear of the other. (/) And indeed the relation of (0 Works of
this affair in Spot/wood is consused and marvellous. The franclis°.s'
drawing the king to Perth, the getting him from din- p< _' < %'vo
ner to examine a- stranger; the discourse of Gewrss Lond. 1673.
brother with him; and his stout and gallant behaviour p!f.also
(which in no other part of his lise appeared); and his p. .„,'
causing the two brothers to be killed, when he might
with the fame ease have secured them; the denials of
Gowry's servants of their knowledge of the affair; and
the tale of the earl's girdle, are circumstances which
are not easily to be swallowed by the inquisitive or
4. Burnet himself allows, that this conspiracy was charged at that time by the puritans in Scotland on the . king, as a contrivance of his to get rid of that earl,
mother, and that it did neither agree with the will of God, who prohibited to touch his anointed ones; nor with the law of nations, that an absolute prince should be sentenced and judged by subjects; that if she would be the first to give that pernicious example of profaning her own and other princes diadems, she should remember that both in nature and honour it concerned him to
f iBurnet wno was tnen held in great esteem, (w) And afterwards j>. zx See he fays, it was not easy to persuade the nation of the a very ho- truth of this cpnspiracy: for eight years' before that character of t',ne' king 'James^ on a secret jealousy of the earl of Gowry.from Murray, then esteemed the handsomest man in ScotSir Hen.-y land, set on the marquis of Huntley, who was his morsecretaVy'0 tal enern}'» t0 murder him; and by a writing all in his Cecyii, in own hand, he promised to fave him harmless for it. He Winwood's set the house in which he was on fire, and the earl flyVo\TPp"'inS away, was followed and murdered, and Huntley 156. sent Gordon of Buckey with the news to the king. Soon
after, all who were concerned in that vile fact were pardoned, which laid the king open to much censure: and this made the matter of Gowry to be less believed.
5. Sir Henry Neville, in a letter to Mr. Winwood,
dated Nov. 15, 1600, from London, writes, "Out of
"Scotland we hear there is no good agreement between
"the king of Scots and his wise, and many are of opi
"nion, that the discovery of some affection between
(u)Win- * ' ner and the earl Gowr/s brother, (who was killed
moriaisof "Wlth him) was the truest cause and motise of all that
affairs of * ' tragedy." (»)
Id'nlof R. An^ Mr' Winrumd* in a letter to secretary Cecyll, lizaheth and from Paris, dated 17 May, 1601, O. S. fays, " The king James " ambassador of Scotland hath been advertized of a /ol " dangerous practice against the Scots king; that Lonar 17.15." lately one called G lar net, hath been sent out of Scot8 "land,
be revenged os so great an indignity; which if he should not do, he should peril his credit both at home and abroad (a).—But (,) spotethele threats were not regarded by Elizabeth, !?£' *• nor were they of any service to his mother; , for she was executed in pursuance to a warrant v
"land, with letters to Bothwel, to hasten home with '* diligence, where he should sind sufficient assistance, "The principal party who employed this party is the
"Ighieen of Scotland. And letters have been inter
"cepted out of England from master Gray, that the *' death of Gowry should shortly be revenged." («)WH,p. These passages compared, may possibly give the reader316* some light in this affair. A gallant, or a supposed one slain, was cause sufficient to induce a lady to give her husband trouble, and nothing so likely as this to excite her to revenge.—These are the reasons which may induce some persons to doubt about the truth of Gowry's conspiracy; whether they are sufficient the considerate reader will determine. However, one reflection naturally arises from this subject, viz. that the people entertained but a very poor opinion of 'James's veracity and honesty. The ministers, we see, could not be induced to give thanks for his deliverance, out of a distrust of his account, till sear of their own fasety brought them to a compliance; and the general belief of the people of that nation, both at home and abroad, was, that 'twas mere contrivance in order to screen himself from the guilt and infamy he must otherwise have lain under. Unhappy situation this! truly worthy of commiseration, lor a prince believed false, treacherous, and bloody, must be despised, hated and contemned, and can expect nothing but unwilling obedience from his subjects. And it must be consessed, 'James had given but too much reason to them, to view him in these lierhts.