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1537 who pronounced him innocent of the treasonable W correspondence with the English with which he was
charged. And Archibald Douglass, when prosecuted for the treasonable murder of Darnley,* in the verdict of his jury, experienced the like justice, or fa. vour. Two eminent Scottish historians were cotem. porary
with the Master of Forbess. At the time of his trial, Buchanan was thirty-one years of age; and Lesly, it is probable, was about the same period of life. They both mention the conspiracy to assassinate the King; but such is their inaccuracy, that neither of them takes notice of the charge of exciting a mu. tiny in the Scottish army, or that of a treasonable correspondence with the English. Lesly does not insinuate that the Master of Forbess suffered an un. just sentence, but observes that his father, the Lord Forbess, after a tedious confinement in Edinburgh Castle, on the same account, upon a more minute in. vestigation, was exculpated from every suspicion of guilt. The indecisive ambiguous report of Buchanan, that many thought the Master of Forbess innocent of meditating an assassination, at the same time that his other crimes rendered him deserving of death, is the slippery foundation on which the carelessness or partiality of later authors has reared the fabric of his innocence, glittering in distant prospect, but vanishing upon approach. I present the reader with the passage from Buch
I will not degrade his stile by attempting to translate it. • Joannes Forbosius, juvenis acer, et
* 26th May, 1586. + Lesly de Reb. Gest. Scotor. p. 446.
magnae familiae et factionis princeps, ab Huntileio 1537 • aemulo creditur oppressus. Erat enim quidam Stra. Evo chanus, homo ad quodvis flagitium promptus, multos annos Forbosio valde familiaris, et omnium ei nequiter patratorum aut conscius, aut particeps, aut • auctor. Is parum (ut rebatur) ab eo pro merito
cultus ad inimicum ejus Huntileium se confert; et crimen capitale, vel ad eum detulit, vel (ut plurimi putant) una cúm eo confinxit: Quod Forbosius vi. delicit, ante annos complures, de rege occidendo
consilium inisset. Id crimen, quanquam nec satis • firmis argumentis, nec idoneis testibus fuisset pro• batum, et studia inimicorum in judicio neminem • laterent, 13 die Julii, a judicibus, magna ex parte • ab Huntileio conductis, damnatus, capite luit. Sed
ejus supplicium vulgo minus triste fuit, quod, etsi criminis, ob quod poenas dederat, expertem homines credernt, tamen, ob superioris vitae facinora, 'morte non indignum existimarent.'*
Mr. Archibald Douglass, Parson of Glasgow, for the
Treasonable Murder of Henry King of Scots.
Archibald DOUGLAS was cousin to James Earl of 1550 Morton, Regent of Scotland. By him he was ap- w pointed a Lord of Session on the 11th of November, 1578; and, in the interval between the downfall
* Buchanani Hist. lib. 14. sect. 53.
† April 26, 1581.
1580 and execution of the Regent, he was dismissed from
On the 31st December, 1580, the Earl of Morton, and the prisoner, were both accused before the Privy Council of the murder of Darnley. The King sent privately to apprehend the prisoner, who was then at Norham; but he, having got intelligence of Morton's commitment,* fled to England; and Elisabeth, in the usual stile of her policy, refused to listen to James's repeated entreaties that she would surrender the prisoner to justice.
After being degraded from the bench, the Parliament pronounced, in absence, a decreet of forfaulturef against him in the month of November, 1581. The same Parliament passed an Act of approbation of the Earl of Arran's || proceedings concerning the murder of the King's father, This Act sets forth, that the Earl of Arran had accused 9 the late Earl of Morton, and Archibald Douglass, as guilty, art and part, of the murder of Darnley; that Douglass, conscious of his guilt, had fled to England, and continued fugitive. And a solemn protestation was entered in Parliament g by many Lords, dignified clergymen, and barons, that nothing should be hereafter done contrary to the Statutes enacted in A. D. 1571, and
* Spottiswood's History, p. 310, 348.
|| Captain James Stewart.
The Act 1579, c. 36. prohibited and annulled all dispositions and alienations of goods or estates, made, or to be made, by any persons convicted, or to be convicted, of the murder of Darnley, or of the Regent Murray.
1579, concerning the murderers of the King's father, 1586 till his Highness should be of age.
At what time the prisoner returned to Scotland, I know not; but, if my notion of his trial be well founded, he returned in the well grounded confidence that all his powerful friends did not die with Morton. . While the King was yet a minor, the ministers and officers of state had the assurance to pass an act under the Great Seal,* restoring the prisoner, in his Majesty's name and authority, against the decree of Parliament forfaulting him for the murder of the King's father. This act of rehabilitation, as it is called, contains, at the same time, an awkward and incongruous clause, declaring, that, if the prisoner should be found guilty of the murder, the act should be of no force or effect. On the 21st of May, 1586, within three weeks after the date of the former actt, the prisoner received a pardon under the Great Seal for all crimes and treasons committed by him, except the murder of the King's father, and five days after he was tried for that murder.
A commission was passed under the Quarter Seal, appointing Mr. John Prestoun,t and Edward Bruce, Advocates, Commissaries of Edinburgh, to sit in . judgement upon the prisoner, who was brought to trial on the 26th of May, 1586. It was charged in the indictment, that the prisoner,g in the months of
* Great Seal Records, May 1, 1586. + Ibid. May 21, 1586. | Records of Justiciary, May 26, 1586.
♡ In the indictment, he is designed Mr. Archibald Douglass, parson of Glasgow; but, in the rehabilitation and pardon under
1586 January and February, 1566, along with James lace
Earl of Bothwell, James Ormeston of that Ilk, Robert Ormeston his uncle, James Hay* of Talla, John Hepburn, called John of Bowtown, and sundry other accomplices, did conspire, and finally did determine upon, the murder and parricide of the late Henry King of Scots: that the prisoner, and the other persons mentioned, by themselves, their servants, and their accomplices, were guilty of perpetrating, aiding, and abetting, the treasonable murder of Henry, and of William Tailzeor, and Andrew Mackaig, his groomst of the chamber, in a lodging beside the Kirk of Field, in the burgh of Edinburgh, upon the 10th of February, 1566, about two hours past inidnight: that they burned the house, and blew it up in
the Great Seal, he is further designed one of the ordinary Lords of Session, notwithstanding he appears to have been dismissed from the bench in April, 1581.
* It was this James Hay of Talla and John Hepburn who actually set fire to the match. The Earl of Bothwell, and others of his accomplices, waited in the court-yard. As it was a quarter of an hour ere the house blew up, the Earl grew impatient, drcading that the match was not rightly kindled, and would have gone into the house to see if the match was burning, had he not been prevented by Hepburn. The conspirators saw the house rise in the air, heard the crack, and ran oft; Bothwell hied him. self down to his lodgings in the palace of Holyroodhouse, and went to bed for half an hour, till the event, which he so well knew, was announced, the news having reached the palace. (See the depositions of four of the conspirators who suffered for this crime, Anderson's Collections, vol. ii. p. 165.) No mention is made in these depositions of the prisoner Douglass having beeir present.
+ The phrase in the libel is cubicularis.