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those who did affect a reformation, and lived in some hope thereof, beholding the course of things, betook themselves to a private life. At Court benefices were sold, or bestowed as rewards upon flatterers and the ministers of unlawful pleasures; and in the Church canonical elections, especially in the monasteries, were quite abrogated. . . . Hence, the monasteries, which were founded for pious and charitable uses, came by little and little in the hands of secular men, who, having had their education in the Court, brought with them from thence the manners thereof; shaking off all care of discipline, and neglecting the duties of hospitality. . . . Neither were the monasteries only corrupted, but the whole ecclesiastical state became also infected, ignorance and impiety everywhere prevailing, till in the end, the laity, putting their hands to the work, made that violent and disordered reformation. . . .'l The episcopate, 'an office which saints were wont to dread,'2 was striven after with 'scandalous eagerness.' Graham's successor was William Sheves, who had been one of his most persistent opponents. He received the pall at Holyrood. The pall, the ensign of metropolitan authority, is a small vestment of pure lamb's-wool having little black crosses upon it. It is made by a particular order of nuns, then consecrated, and laid for a short time upon the tombs of St. Peter and St. Paul. Of the second Archbishop the ecclesiastical historian says briefly, 'How he governed the see I find not; but his entry, being such as we have seen, did not promise much good.'3
1 Spottiswoode, pp. 118, 119.
» Bright's Hut. of the Church, p. 228.
* Spottiswoode, p. 119.
JAMES III. AND JAMES IV.
'I 've heard the lilting at our yowe-milking,
Dule and wae for the order sent our lads to the Border,
The Flowers of the Forest, that faught aye the foremost,
In 1467 James III. was fifteen years old, and it was time to set about finding him a bride. The parliament defrayed the expenses of an embassy which was despatched to the court of Christian 1., King of Denmark and Norway, to treat with him for his daughter Margaret. Failing success there, the ambassadors were commissioned to proceed in quest of a royal virgin to the courts of England, France, Spain, Burgundy, Brittany, and Savoy. The results of their negotiations at the court of Copenhagen were, however, perfectly satisfactory. The Princess of Denmark was to espouse the King of Scots, and in security of her dowry of sixty thousand florins, the islands of Orkney and Shetland were mortgaged to Scotland. The money was never paid; and ever since these islands have continued a part of the Scottish monarchy. Two hundred years ago, after the battle of Largs, the kingdom of Man and the Western Isles were purchased from Norway by Alexander III. It was then stipulated that Norway should receive from Scotland an annual sum of a hundred merks for the islands. There were long arrears of rent, and a full discharge of the whole of these was included in the present matrimonial treaty. A few years after the diocese of Orkney was annexed to the Scottish Church. In July 1469 the ambassadors and their bride of fifteen years- landed at Leith. The wedding was celebrated at Holyrood with very great joy,' for the King and the nation exulted in the merits of the queen. . . . To eminent personal charms she was to unite such excellent manners, and unaffected piety, that her example became a living lesson of virtue.'1 Her biography has never been written, and 'all that we know of her is that she was singularly good.' 2
The period from the death of Bishop Kennedy till the marriage of the King is remarkable for the sudden rise and as sudden fall of the Boyds, lairds of Kilmarnock. The heir of Kilmarnock was created Earl of Arran, and married to the Princess Mary, sister of the King. When the house of Boyd fell, the Princess was divorced and united to Lord Hamilton; a marriage which, in the reign of Mary, placed the Hamiltons the nearest heirs to the crown.
The fully developed character of James III. exhibited the disastrous results of selfish flattery and general mismanagement on a kindly and very intelligent disposition. He was a man far before his age, and to his refined accomplishments and requirements the great Gothic hall at Stirling, and the Chapel-royal there, with its carefully trained choir, as well as his inventories of household and 'chapell gcir,' bear
1 Pinkerton, vol. i. p. 267.
* See Kahndars of Scottish Saints, p. 391.
witness ; but he lacked the self-restraint of his grandfather to subordinate his accomplishments to his primary duty, the government of his kingdom ; and he was accused, with much commiseration, of' delighting more in the playing of instruments nor in the defence of the borderis ;' of being 'ane man that loved solitude, and desired never to hear of warre, but delighted more in musick, and policie, and building, nor he did in the government of his realm.'1 His grand family picture, now in the gallery of Holyrood, proves his attention to painting. The hopelessness of finding companions in his pursuits among those great but unlettered ones with whom his lot had been cast led him to shun their society; and his friends were Cochran, an architect, Rogers, a musician, Hommil, a tailor, Torphichen, a swordsman, and Leonard, a shoemaker. Whether Cochran was a mere mechanic or an eminent architect, and whether Rogers was a humble minstrel or a great composer to whom we may attribute the foundation of the national music of Scotland, there are no means of determining.2 The most apparent defect in his character was his avarice, and fabulous stories were told of the accumulation of coins and plate and jewels that he kept all too carefully in a certain huge black chest . Shut up in Stirling Castle with his friends, he also gathered round him astrologers and other weird persons, who assisted him in making himself miserable by nervous pryings into futurity. That'a lion should be devoured by his own whelps,' some wizard prophesied, and the King at once perceived what fate was in store for him. The vigorous methods taken by his predecessors for the humiliation of the aristocracy were not more exasperating to that haughty class than his
1 Pitscottie, vol. i. pp. 177, 178.
* See Burton, vol. Hi. p. 181. Cochran, who had a patent for coining money, was accused of debasing the coinage.
neglect; the lower and middle ranks had a substantial grievance in the increased taxation ; and, in short, James III. became an unpopular sovereign, and in proportion as he fell in favour, his brothers, the Duke of Albany and the Earl of Mar, men of 'singular wisdom and manheid,' won the national heart. Mar died suddenly in Craigmillar Castle, under circumstances that excited the gravest suspicions; and soon after Albany allied himself with England. He entered into a traitorous league with Edward IV., arranging to acknowledge the English King's feudal superiority over Scotland, if he would on his part, when he could conveniently do so, place him on his brother's throne.
In 1482, Scotland declared war with England. The whole military force of the kingdom turned out on the Boroughmuir of Edinburgh, and, headed by James, marched as far as Lauder. Here a halt was made, for the leaders of the army were in furious indignation. Cochran, the King's most detested favourite, who gave himself intolerable airs, and about whom all sorts of ugly stories were afloat, because he had succeeded to the Earl of Mar's estates,1 was with his master, and was as usual receiving his closest confidence. The lords met quietly in the church of Lauder, and discussed the best method of putting an end to the King's friendships. Lord Gray began to talk about the fable of the mice who resolved to make themselves aware of the cat's approach by hanging a bell round its neck, but who were never able to put the measure into execution, because no mouse was brave enough to tie on the bell. Up started Archibald Douglas, Earl of Angus. 'I am he,' he said, 'who will bell the cat;' and thereby gained himself the title
1 Cochran, indeed, is said to have got the title itself, and is sometimes called the Earl of Mar, though it is questionable if he was formally invested with the earldom. See Burton, vol. iii. p. 182.