Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 29.djvu/139

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James I
of Scotland
133

he had repaired the royal tower, and he seized forty chiefs who obeyed the summons. Alexander Macgorrie and two Campbells were tried and executed. The rest were sent to different castles throughout the kingdom, where some were put to death, though the greater number were afterwards liberated, including the Lord of the Isles, whose mother, however, was detained till her death. On his return south he held in July another parliament, chiefly occupied with reforms of the civil and ecclesiastical courts; and in the next parliament, of March 1428, he made an attempt to introduce representation of the shires and a speaker on the English model. But this change—another blow at the feudal aristocracy, who had the right of personal attendance—was not carried out. About the end of 1427, or early in 1428, Sir John Stewart of Darnley, constable of the French army, the Archbishop of Rheims, and Alain Chartier the poet, chancellor of Bayeux, came to ask the hand of the infant Princess Margaret [q. v.] for the dauphin Louis. So brilliant an offer was not to be refused. Scottish ambassadors were sent to France to arrange the terms. The treaty was signed by James at Perth on 17 July 1428, and by Charles VII at Chinon in November. The bride being only two and the bridegroom five the marriage was postponed till they reached the legal age; but the princess was to be sent to France, along with six thousand men, as soon as a French fleet arrived. Charles promised her the dowry of a dauphiness, or, if her husband came to the throne, of a queen of France, and conveyed to James the county of Saintonge and castle of Rochefort.

Margaret did not, however, go to France till the last year of her father's life, and the Scottish troops, so urgently needed to support Charles against the English, were never despatched. This treaty excited the jealousy of the English court, and Cardinal Beaufort was sent in February 1429 to James at Dunbar in order to counteract its effects. He succeeded in procuring a renewal of the truce between England and Scotland, but not in breaking off the treaty with France, though possibly in delaying its execution. But James showed no favour to England. He could not forget his enforced exile. He could not raise, and was unwilling to pay his ransom, and its non-payment became a subject of frequent remonstrance. The English court kept firm hold of the hostages, the sons of his principal nobles, and reasserted, if English writers may be credited, the superiority of England, which had been disowned as the result of the war of independence. The disorganised state of France, until the enthusiasm kindled by Joan of Arc effected its deliverance, made James see the necessity of fostering other alliances, and he pursued a foreign policy which had in view the commercial and political interests of his kingdom. In 1425 he restored, at the request of a Flemish embassy, the staple of the Scottish trade to Bruges, from which it had been removed to Middelburg in Zealand, and four years later he entered into a commercial league for one hundred years with Philip III, duke of Burgundy, as sovereign of Flanders. In 1426 a Scottish embassy under Sir William Crichton renewed at Bergen the alliance with Denmark, and settled the long-standing dispute as to the payment claimed as still due for the Hebrides. His relations with the papal see were not so amicable. James, as a good catholic, sternly suppressed heresy, restored the estates of the see of St. Andrews, and founded a Carthusian monastery at Perth. But he was also a church reformer and a Scottish patriot, who was determined to tolerate neither the abuses nor the encroachments of the church. One of James's early acts was to pass statutes forbidding the clergy to cross the sea without leave, or to purchase benefices at Rome (the Scottish equivalents of the English statutes of præmunire and provisors). In 1425 he issued a letter to the abbots and priors of the orders of St. Benedict and St. Augustine, exhorting them to reform their convents, whose abuses, he declared, threatened the ruin of religion. When he visited David I's tomb at Dunfermline he remarked that David's piety made him useless to the commonwealth, whence came the proverb that David was a ‘sair saint for the crown.’ The parliament of 1427 not only passed a stringent act to reform procedure in the church courts, but ordered the provincial council then sitting to accept it as one of their statutes.

Martin V, alarmed at these incursions of the state into the domain of the church, summoned in 1429 Cameron, archbishop of Glasgow, and chancellor, to Rome; but James sent the Bishop of Brechin and the Archdeacon of Dunkeld to remonstrate with the pope, and inform him that the chancellor's absence would be most prejudicial to the kingdom. Eugenius IV, the successor of Martin, instead of yielding, sent William Croyser, archdeacon of Teviotdale, as a nuncio, to cite his own bishop to Rome. For executing the papal citation Croyser was tried by an assize in his absence (for he had fled back to Rome), and deprived of all his benefices and property in Scotland. Eugenius in 1435 issued a bull restoring Croyser to his benefices, and denouncing the censures of the