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to seek. He was living at the house of the Laird of Ormiston in East Lothian, in January 1546, when he was arrested, and immediately taken to St. Andrews. Before going he said to John Knox, who wished to accompany him, 'Nay; return to your bairnes; ane is sufficient for a sacrifice.'' On the 28th of February his trial took place in the Cathedral Church of St. Andrews, in the presence of Cardinal Beaton, the Archbishop of Glasgow, and other ecclesiastics. Winram, the Sub-Prior, preached on the parable of the tares in the 13th chapter of St . Matthew. The good seed, he affirmed, was the Word of God ; heresy was the evil seed. Heresy he defined to be a false opinion, fighting directly against the word, and defended with pertinacity. He went on to say that the main cause of heresy was the ignorance and negligence of those who had the care of souls, and neither understood the Word of God, nor could use the same to the convincing of false teachers. . . . That, as the goldsmith knoweth the fine gold from the counterfeit by the touchstone, so is heresie discerned by the true, sincere, and undefiled Word of God.2 After the sermon Wishart was desired to stand in the pulpit, and the articles of his accusation were recited. They were, the denial of belief in the sacraments, the rejection of the invocation of the saints in heaven, of purgatory, of vows of celibacy; and besides these usual charges, certain others were produced, which Wishart at once denied. After every article was read, he replied with a gentle self-possession, and yet he knew well the fate that awaited him. The definite sentence of condemnation having been pronounced, he was taken back to the castle, and two grey friars came to ask him to make his confession. 'Go, fetch me yonder man that preached this day, and I will mak my confession to him,' he said.
1 Knox, p. 52. * Spottiswoode, pp. 157, 158.
The Sub-Prior was immediately sent for, and he retired with Wishart alone. Next morning Winram returned, and asked if he wished to receive the Holy Communion. He said he would willingly do so, 'were it administered in both kinds, according to our Saviour's institution.' The Sub-Prior laid his request before the bishops, but it was refused. Accordingly Wishart, while at breakfast with the governor of the castle, partook of some bread and wine, the rest of the company did the same, and they talked about the Passion of our Lord. Soon after this the preparations for the execution were ready; and, in anticipation of a possible attempt to rescue Wishart at the last, every gun on the castle was loaded, and turned towards the stake. As the condemned man, strongly guarded and bound, passed through the castle gates, some beggars craved his alms. 'I want my hands wherewith I had wont to gif you alms,' he said; 'but the merciful Lord, of His benignity and abundant grace, that feideth all men, vouchsafe to gif you necessaries, both unto your bodies and saullis.' Having arrived at the stake, he turned to the crowd and addressed it; his last words to the people being: 'I know surelie, and my faith is such, that my soul sall sup this nicht with my Saviour, or it be sex hours, for whom I suffer this.' He then prayed for, and heartily forgave, those who had condemned him. According to the grim etiquette on these occasions, the executioner besought his forgiveness. He drew the man to him, and kissed his cheek, saying: 'Lo, here is a token that I forgive thee ; my heart, do thy office.' He was then hanged to the gibbet, and burned to ashes.1 Although not related by Knox, it was said that Wishart when dying predicted the speedy death of Cardinal Beaton. As will afterwards appear, he may have had ample authority for doing so with confidence.
1 Knox, p. 63.
The death of Wishart was the life of the new opinions. Shortly after its occurrence the Cardinal went to Angus to be present at the marriage of Margaret, one of his illegitimate daughters, with the eldest son of the Earl of Crawford. Men of ancient name and honourable standing had not been ashamed to see their daughters or sisters in a position of conspicuous, or in a worldly sense of exalted, disgrace; and there could not have been a more eligible bride from a social point of view for a nobleman than the daughter of the Primate of Scotland. What reverence would men be disposed to give to the sacraments of Him who said, 'Blessed are the pure in heart,' when they were handled by men who lived as the Scottish priests of the sixteenth century lived? As the stigma of illegitimacy was all but effaced, what sanctity would it be natural to attach to that marriage rite which the Church declared was a solemn sacrament? When the nuptial festivities, which were magnificent, were concluded, the bride's father returned to St . Andrews. In order to understand the motives for the great crime which we are now to read of, we must remember the place which Cardinal Beaton occupied in the political world. As the head of the royal faction, and the brave defender of the national independence, he was detested by Henry VIII. and by those Scotchmen who had treacherously allied themselves with the English cause. In the State Papers of this year, 'the killing of the Cardinal' is bargained for with the King of England, Brunston, Cassilis, and Glencairn being the leading conspirators on the Scottish side. Henry highly approves of the design, and while, with commendable prudence, 'he will not seem to have to do in it,' the tenor of the papers is, that it would be 'acceptable service to God to take him out of the way, which in such sort doth not only as much as in him is to obscure the glory of God, but also to confound the common weal of his own country.'1 Mixed up with these horrid plots is the name of Wishart. The halo wherewith many have sought to surround this man's memory must fade if certain State Papers, which have been brought before the world, are to be believed. According to these documents, at the very time of his execution Wishart, who is called 'the martyr,' was involved in this conspiracy for the murder of the Cardinal. As the tool of the great men, he had been employed in carrying letters on the subject to Henry VIII., and he had a private interview of the King.2
Early on the morning of the 29th of May Norman Leslie, the eldest son of the Earl of Rothes, James Melville, and several other self-deceiving fanatics, assassinated Cardinal Beaton in his Castle of St. Andrews. This atrocious crime, which Knox applauds as a ' godly facte,' was done with the utmost rapidity. Immediately afterwards the cry that the castle was taken brought together the citizens of St. Andrews. The Provost arrived to see what was the matter, and had ordered ladders to scale the walls, when, in answer to the cries of the crowd, 'What have ye done with my Lord Cardinal?' 'Let us see my Lord Cardinal,' the mangled body was hung out over the castle wall, and the surly murderers cried, 'The best it war to you to return to your ain houses; for the man you call the Cardinal has received his reward.'3 Without delay the Leslies and their friends established themselves in the castle; they were joined by many other Protestants, including John Knox; and here, for fourteen months, they kept possession, and stoutly defied all the efforts of the Regent to unhouse them. It was not
1 State Papers (Henry VIII.), v. 471.
* See State Papers (Henry VIII.), v. 377, s.nd Hamilton Papers, 96, also Burton, vol. iii. pp. 461-466. 8 Knox, p. 65.
till the arrival of a French force, in sixteen galleys, that they capitulated in August 1547. The garrison was sent to France, and amongst those who were sentenced to the galleys was Knox.
King Henry VIII. died on the 29th of January 1547. Hatred for Scotland—a matured passion with Englishmen (a passion duly reciprocated by the Scots), and the desire for its annihilation as an independent state—revived soon after his death. There was to be yet one attempt more to wrench from the heroic race that freedom which the policy and the might of England striving with it for more than two hundred and fifty years had left intact. Towards the end of August of this year the Duke of Somerset, who was Protector of England during the minority of Edward VI., led a great army across the borders—an armament meanwhile proceeding to Leith. On Saturday the 10th of September, long remembered as the Black Saturday, he defeated the Scots, under the Regent Arran, at Pinkie, near Musselburgh. In their flight one multitude of the Scots 'took the way by the sands to Leith; another made for Edinburgh, either by the high road, or through the enclosed ground called the King's Park; a third . . . sought Dalkeith.' 1 The comparatively noiseless battles of the middle ages were now succeeded by ' terrible thunderings of guns beside; the day darkened above head with smoke of shot; . . . the bullets, pellets, and arrows flying each where so thick, and so uncertainly lighting; the whole face of the field,' says this narrator, who was an eye-witness on the English side, 'both to the eye and the ear so heavy, so lamentable, furious, outrageous, terribly confuse, and so deadly, quite against the quiet nature of man.*2 The Scots, yearning to tear their 'auld enemies' in pieces, saluted
1 Patten's Account ofSomerset's Expedition. * Ibid.