« AnteriorContinuar »
The business of destruction was accomplished in St. John's with astonishing rapidity (John Knox says there were no 'gentlemen' nor 'earnest professors' engaged in it), and the Reformers proceeded to the Grey and Black Friars'. There ' the first invasion was upon the idolatrie, and thereafter the common people began to seik sum spoil, and in very deed the Grey Freiris was a place so well provided that, unless honest men had sein the same, we would have feired to report what provision they had. Thair sheets, blankcattis, and covertours war sik that no earl in Scotland had the better. Their naperie was fine. There war but aucht persons in convent, and yet had aucht puncheons of salt beef (consider the tyme of the year, the 11th of Maii), wyne, beir, and ale, besides store of victuals effeiring thereto. The lyke abundance was not in the Black Freiris, and yit there was more than became men professing povertie.'1 Knox says that the mob was so well behaved that they took none of the good things they found to themselves. * So beatten,' says he, 'were men's consciences with the Word, that they had no respect to their own particular profit, but only to abolish idolatrie, the places and monuments thareof.' 'A rare instance,' observes Keith, 'of a rascally multitude.'2 The destruction lasted for two days. On the evening of the second only the naked walls of the Dominican, Franciscan, Carmelite, and Carthusian monasteries disfigured the 'Fair City.' The example of the citizens of Perth was followed immediately by those of Cupar in Fife, who, rising up, desecrated the parish church, . and destroyed the beautiful chapel of the Dominican convent, and a nunnery dedicated to St. Catherine of Sienna.
1 Knox, p. 128.
* Keith's History of the Affairs of Church and Slate in Scotland, vol. i. p. 193.
The immediate result of the riot at Perth was war between the Queen-Regent and the Congregation. The latter, as 'the Congregation of Christ Jesus,' issued a defiant proclamation 'to the generation of Antichrist, the pestilent prelates and their shavelings within Scotland,' warning them that if they did not desist from their 'open idolatrie and cruell persecution of God's children' they should begin ' that same warre which God commandeth Israell to execute against the Cananites.'
Among the Protestant lords who joined the Regent's army were Argyle, the Lord James Stewart, afterwards Earl of Moray, and Lord Semple. The Congregation posted at Perth were strengthened by the arrival of Lord Glencairn, with two thousand five hundred men. Instead, however, of the expected battle, terms were then come to, and the Congregation dispersed. Shortly after this apparently pacific arrangement Knox preached at Crail and Anstruther, and after the sermon his audience demolished the altars and images in the churches. He then announced his intention of preaching at St. Andrews on Sunday the 1 1th of June. Archbishop Hamilton, taking the alarm, arrived at St. Andrews on Saturday the 10th with a hundred armed men to stop him, and the Lords of the Congregation, apprehending a serious uproar, for the Regent and the French were at Falkland, within twelve miles, counselled John Knox to desist from preaching. All was in vain. Knox, according as he had arranged, mounted the pulpit of the Cathedral Church, and delivered an inflammatory discourse. 'He was sa active and vigorous that he was lyk to ding the pulpit in blads, and flie out of it.' His subject was the casting of the buyers and sellers out of the Temple. He preached for four days, and 'such was the influence of his doctrine,' says his biographer, 'that the provost, bailies, and inhabitants harmoniously agreed to set up the reformed worship in the town; the church was stripped of its images and pictures, and the monasteries were pulled down.'1 The next place to suffer was the Abbey of Lindores. Fifteen years before it had been attacked, now it was utterly desolated, and the vestments and liturgical books were burned before the eyes of the monks. Pitiful now are the records of the proceedings of the 'sons of havoc' as they carried on the 'vastationof churches and church buildings throughout all parts of the kingdom, for every one made bold to put to his hands: the meaner sort imitating the example of the greater. No difference was made, but all churches either defaced or pulled to the ground. The holy vessels, and whatsoever else they could make gain of, as timber, lead, and bells, were put to sale.' It seemed as though there would soon not be a house of God left in the land. The monastery of Balmerino was dealt with as Lindores had been. The magnificent abbey and palace of Scone were set on fire, and reduced to a heap of gaping ruins. The monasteries of Stirling and Linlithgow followed. Lord Glencairn conducted the work of destruction at Glasgow, and a few weeks later certain of the other Lords of the Congregation burned the altars and images in the abbeys of Paisley, Kilwinning, and Dunfermline. The whole country was now in an uproar, and on the 29th of June the Earl of Argyle and the Prior of St. Andrews entered Edinburgh at the head of the Protestants. The Regent had retired on their approach, and within the capital the people were allowed to run riot from church to church. On the 8th of July Henry II., King of France, died, and Francis, the husband of Mary Queen of Scots, succeeded to the crown. After this event French influence and French troops increased in Scotland so rapidly as to be very offen
sive to the nation, and several Protestant lords holding that the Regent had been unfaithful to the articles of capitulation made before Perth in early summer, returned to the Congregation. In October the Reformed held a great assembly in Edinburgh, when, 'with public consent of the lords and barons assembled,' the Queen-Regent was 'deprived of all authority and regiment among us.' That powerful faction who were serious in resistance to the House of Lorraine, negotiated with the Queen of England for a force to meet the Regent and her French army, commanded by D'Oysel, and with this view 'the Treaty of Berwick' was signed between Elizabeth and the Congregation in January 1560. English soldiers arrived to assist the Scots against the French—an unprecedented state of things truly to unite with the ' auld enemies' in turning out the friends of more than two hundred and fifty years' standing. On the 6th of July the 'Treaty of Edinburgh was concluded, by which the French were dismissed, and it was agreed that no foreigners should be employed in Scotland without the consent of the Estates. In this memorable treaty a condition was made that the young Queen Mary and her husband should acknowledge Elizabeth as Queen of England.
Between twelve and one o'clock on the morning of the nth of June, worn out with her tumultuous existence, Marie of Lorraine died in the castle of Edinburgh. She was in the forty-fifth year of her age, and the day following her death was the anniversary of her arrival in Scotland and her marriage to James v., being just two-and-twenty years before. The great princess ' died most Christianly,' but Knox carries his bitter hatred towards her to the account of her very dying hour. 'She did openly confess,' he allows, 'that there was no salvation but in and by the death of Jesus Christ,' but he adds, 'of the mass we heard not her confession.' The Congregation denied her Christian burial according to the rites of the Catholic Church, but her body was carried to her paternal France, and interred in the nunnery of St. Peter at Rheims, of which her sister was then abbess.
In the winter of 1560 the greedy barons of the M earns, who, like the rest of the nobility, had their eyes on the Church lands, did some more reforming in Aberdeen, by destroying the Dominican and Carmelite monasteries there. The Franciscan and Trinity Friars soon after met with the same fate. There were at this time certain desertions from the Church, the most notable and distressing being that of John Winram, Sub-Prior of St. Andrews, who had some time previously distinguished himself by his endeavours after a Catholic reformation. On the 17th day of March 1560, another Catholic likewise conformed. This was John Greyson, Provincial of the Black Friars, who made this public recantation in the parish church of St. Andrews :—
'Here, in presence of Almighty and Everlasting God, and of this holy congregation, 1 grant and confess that in time bypast I have maintained and defended divers kinds of superstition and idolatry, contrary to the laws and ordinances of Almighty God, and have remained too long in the opinion and defence of such things ; and I repent the same from the bottom of my heart, and am content in time to come to institute and conform my life to the word and doctrine of the Eternal God, set forth, explained, and declared by His prophets, and the Apostles of our only Saviour Christ Jesus, in the Old Testament and the New, and think that the Church and Congregation of God may be sufficiently instructed to eschew sin, death, and hell, and how they may come to everlasting life, by those things which are revealed to us by the Holy Ghost in the New and Old Testament ; and therefore I reject, renounce. and abhor all other doctrines and traditions of men which are