Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 54.djvu/311

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promptitude, partly because of Elizabeth's deception, partly because he was unable to convince the bulk of the nation that the quarrel was more than a personal one. There was no general belief that protestantism was in danger; for the queen maintained that it was not; and she had as yet given no adequate cause for doubting the sincerity of her assurances. Therefore Moray, though backed by Knox, was mainly supported by nobles, such as Châtelherault and Argyll, who had a personal grudge against Lennox, while Morton and other protestant nobles were from motives of kinship ranged on the side of Darnley and the queen.

Having failed to prevent the marriage, Moray's position became much more hazardous; for he found himself committed to a direct attempt to overthrow his sister's sovereignty; and as yet the bulk of those who sympathised with protestantism, even although they realised more and more that protestantism was in danger, were not disposed to support even such a trusted leader in so momentous an enterprise. Only by the substantial aid of Elizabeth could Moray have triumphed, and Elizabeth carefully limited her aid to incitement and small doles of money. Thus the result [for particulars see under Mary Queen of Scots] was that Moray on 18 Oct. crossed into England; and since an urgent request on the 14th for reinforcements to be sent to him at Carlisle met with no response from Elizabeth, he discovered too late how grossly Elizabeth had beguiled him. Not only so, but he found that Elizabeth, after using him as her tool, had resolved, at least ostensibly, to disown him, and treat him in a fashion as a criminal. On learning that Moray was proceeding to the court at London, she ostentatiously despatched a message to forbid his approach. He was therefore stayed at Ware, but some time after he received a private message that Elizabeth would receive him. It is scarce conceivable that he was not secretly informed of the ignominious part he was expected to play in the farce which was in contemplation, else how could Elizabeth be certain that he would agree to play it? Be this as it may, she invited him to come to the court only that she might publicly insult him before the ambassadors of France and Spain; compel him to deny in her presence that in his rebellion he had received aid or countenance from her; and bid him to leave her presence as an unworthy traitor to his sovereign (the queen's speech quoted in Tytler's History, ed. 1868, iii. 219; Melville, Memoirs, p. 212). Still, Elizabeth not only gave this traitor an asylum in England, but continued confidential communications with him with a view to contriving a new method of circumventing the purposes of the Queen of Scots.

Moray, who on 7 Aug. had been put to the horn in Scotland (Reg. P. C. Scotl. i. 349), made an attempt through Cecil to obtain the pardon of his sovereign and permission to return to Scotland; and, according to Sir James Melville (Memoirs, p. 147), he even sought the intercession of Riccio, ‘more humbly than any one would have believed, with the present of a fair diamond enclosed within a letter full of repentance, and fair promises from that time forth to be his friend and protector.’ He probably had some hopes of success when he learned that the queen and Darnley were not on good terms; but discovering that Riccio was a more formidable enemy than Darnley, and being threatened with the forfeiture of his estates at a parliament to be held in Edinburgh in February, he became a party to the plot against Riccio's life. No doubt to effect Riccio's overthrow was to render an important service to protestantism; but this was to be conjoined with Moray's return to power. Nor, even had Moray's aims been wholly unselfish and religious, would they have justified the means. The expedients to which he had recourse to insure his final return to power were even more humiliating than the average Scottish noble would have stooped to. After taking the preliminary resolve to do away with Riccio, he not only without hesitation supported, if he did not suggest, the charge of conjugal infidelity against the queen, but he condescended to enter into a special compact with Darnley, whom but lately he had endeavoured to ruin with such disastrous consequences to himself, and he even signed a solemn obligation to be a ‘loyal servant’ to Darnley as king (Cal. State Papers, For. 1566–1568, No. 165). Moreover, while utilising Darnley, he was all the while intending to deceive him; for his faith in Darnley's character and intentions was as slight as ever, and in truth the intention was that not Darnley but Moray should have the supreme power. Thus on arriving at Holyrood on the morrow after Riccio's assassination, Moray had to pretend to the queen that he knew nothing of and abhorred the plot; and while condoling with her on the outrage, he at once set himself to utilise it so as to deprive her of her sovereignty. Frustrated in this attempt by her flight to Dunbar, he had to disguise as best he could his deep disappointment; and while accepting 3,000l. from Elizabeth (ib. 1566–8, No. 193) as a bribe