Albany had to blockade Margaret in Stirling Castle before she would surrender her sons, After being obliged to capitulate, Margaret returned to Edinburgh, and being no longer responsible for the custody of the king she fled to England in September, where a month later she bore to Angus a daughter, Margaret, who afterwards became countess of Lennox, mother of Lord Darnley and grandmother of James I.
The queen required a protector, whom she found, not in the feeble Darnley, nor in any of the leaders of the factions, but in the strong, determined earl who had ever been a stanch supporter of the throne against the Protestant party and English influence.
Her partiality for him increased as her contempt and hatred of Darnley became more confirmed.
In November she visited him at Dunbar, and in December took place the conference at Craigmillar at which both were present, and at which the disposal of Darnley was arranged, Bothwell with some others subsequently signing the bond to accomplish his murder.
He himself superintended all the preparations, visiting Darnley with Mary on the night of the crime, Sunday, 9th of February 1567, attending the queen on her return to Holyrood for the ball, and riding back to Kirk o' Field to carry out the crime.
He had stoutly opposed the marriage of Mary with Darnley, and when, after Restalrig, he was captured by the queen's troops, he narrowly escaped execution.
According to Moray's version of the letter, Mary was to try to poison Darnley in a house on the way between Glasgow and Edinburgh where he and she were to stop. Clearly Lord Livingstone's house, Callendar, where they did rest on their journey, is intended.
If this failed, Mary would put Darnley "in the house where the explosion was arranged for the night upon which one of the servants was to be married."
But the earl of Lennox, Darnley's father, understood Moray to mean that as early as January 21-22, 1567, the house of Kirk o' Field, where Darnley was slain, had already been mined.
Lennox also gives several stories of cruel words of Mary spoken to Darnley in the hearing of her servants.
If so, there was time for Lennox to lend to the accusers certain notes which a retainer of his, Thomas Crawford of Jordan Hill, swore (December 9, 1568) that he had made for Lennox (about January 22, 1567) of secret conversations between Darnley and Mary.
Lennox (June 11, 1568) asked Crawford for his reminiscences, not of Darnley's reports of his talks with Mary, but of Crawford's own interview with her as she entered Glasgow to visit Darnley, probably on the 21st of January 1567.
It follows that Lennox possessed Crawford's written notes of the Darnley and Mary conversations.
Crawford's evidence was all-important, because it corroborated Mary's own account of her interviews with Darnley in Letter II.
Whether that could be, Darnley dictating while still hot from the exciting interchange of words which he meant to report, is a question for psychologists.
Experiments made by a person who possesses a good memory seem to show that the thing is very possible, especially if Darnley revised Crawford's notes.
Abounds in matter spoken by Mary and Darnley which could not be borrowed by the hypothetical forger from Crawford's Declaration, for it does not contain the facts.
Has, and Crawford has not, the statement that Darnley "showed me, amongst other talk, that he knew well enough that my brother had revealed to me what he (Darnley) had spoken at Stirling.
Of this he (Darnley) denies half, and above all that he (the brother?) ever came to his (Darnley's) chamber."
The Lennox papers are full of reports of bitter words that passed between Darnley and Mary at Stirling (December 1566), where Darnley was sulking apart while the festivities of the baptism of his son (later James VI.) were being held.
But nothing is said in the Lennox papers of words spoken by Darnley to Mary's brother (probably Lord Robert of Holyrood) and revealed by Lord Robert to Mary.
Lord Robert was the only friend of Darnley in Mary's entourage; and he even, according to the accusers, warned him of his danger in Kirk o' Field, to which they said that a Casket Letter (III.) referred.
Could he have combined with Crawford's matter the passage "he (Darnley) showed me almost all that is in name of the Bishop and Sutherland, and yet I have never touched a word of what you (Bothwell) showed me ...
(paragraph 7, p. 398, in Lang's Mystery of Mary Stuart, 1901) Mary writes, "I asked why he (Darnley) would pass away in the English ship. He denies it, and swears thereunto; but he grants that he spoke unto the men."
But in paragraph 18 (Mystery, p. 406) Mary returns to the subject, and writes, "He (Darnley) spoke very bravely at the beginning, as the bearer will show you, upon the subject of the Englishmen, and of his departing; but in the end he returned to his humility."
Thus it is certain that Darnley had reported to Crawford his brave words and reproaches of Mary, which Crawford gives in the proper place.
Here is proof positive that Crawford does not copy Letter but gives Darnley's words as reported to him by Darnley - words that Darnley was proud of, - while Mary, returning on the second day of writing to the topic, does not quote Darnley's brave words, but merely contrasts his speaking "very bravely at the beginning" with his pitiful and craven later submission; "he has ever the tear in his eye," with what follows.
The latter, who commanded the men of Bute at the battle of Falkirk in 1298, had seven sons: (1) Sir Alexander, whose grandson George became in 1389 earl of Angus, the title afterwards passing in the female line to the Douglases, and in 1761 to the duke of Hamilton; (2) Sir Alan of Dreghorn, ancestor of the earls and dukes of Lennox, from whcm Lord Darnley, husband of Queen Mary, and also Lady Arabella Stuart, were descended; (3) Sir Walter, who obtained the barony of Garlies, Wigtownshire, from his uncle John Randolph, earl of Moray, and was the ancestor of the earls of Galloway, younger branches of the family being the Stewarts of Tonderghie, Wigtownshire, and also those of Physgill and Glenturk in the same county; (4) Sir James, who fell at Dupplin in 1332, ancestor of the lords of Lorn, on whose descendants were conferred at different periods the earldoms of Athole, Buchan and Traquair, and who were also the progenitors of the Stewarts of Appin, Argyllshire, and of Grandtully, Perthshire; (5) Sir John, killed at Halidon Hill in 1333; (6) Sir Hugh, who fought under Edward Bruce in Ireland; and (7) Sir Robert of Daldowie, ancestor of the Stewarts of Allanton and of Coltness.
Mary was succeeded in her lifetime in 1567 by her only son James VI., who through his father Lord Darnley was also head of the second branch, there being no surviving male issue of the family from progenitors later than Robert II.
In the Scottish line the nearest heir after James VI., both to the Scottish and English crowns, was Arabella Stuart, only child of :Charles, earl of Lennox, younger brother of Lord Darnley - Lady Margaret Douglas, the mother of Darnley and his brother, having been the daughter of Archibald, sixth earl of Angus, by Margaret of England, queen dowager of James IV.
And in the same month, two years from the date of Chastelard's execution, her first step was unconsciously taken on the road to Fotheringhay, when she gave her heart at first sight to her kinsman Henry, Lord Darnley, son of Matthew Stuart, earl of Lennox, who had suffered an exile of twenty years in expiation of his intrigues with England, and had married the niece of King Henry VIII., daughter of his sister Margaret, the widow of James IV., by her second husband, the earl of Angus.
The hapless and worthless bridegroom had already incurred the hatred of two powerful enemies, the earls of Morton and Glencairn; but the former of these took part with the queen against the forces raised by Murray, Glencairn and others, under the nominal leadership of Hamilton, duke of Chatelherault, on the double plea of danger to the new religion of the country, and of the illegal proceeding by which Darnley had been proclaimed king of Scots without the needful constitutional assent of the estates of the realm.
According to one account, Darnley privately assured his uncle George Douglas of his wife's infidelity; he had himself, if he might be believed, discovered the secretary in the queen's apartment at midnight, under circumstances yet more unequivocally compromising than those which had brought Chastelard to the scaffold.
A bond was drawn in which Darnley pledged himself to support the confederates who undertook to punish "certain privy persons" offensive to the state, "especially a strange Italian, called Davie"; another was subscribed by Darnley and the banished lords, then biding their time in Newcastle, which engaged him to procure their pardon and restoration, while pledging them to insure to him the enjoyment of the title he coveted, with the consequent security of an undisputed succession to the crown, despite the counter claims of the house of Hamilton, in case his wife should die without issue - a result which, intentionally or not, he and his fellow-conspirators did all that brutality could have suggested to accelerate and secure.
The parliament was discharged by proclamation issued in the name of Darnley as king; and in the evening of the next day the banished lords, whom it was to have condemned to outlawry, returned to Edinburgh.
During the night she escaped with Darnley, whom she had already seduced from the party of his accomplices, and arrived at Dunbar on the third morning after the slaughter of her favourite.
The slayers of Rizzio fled to England, and were outlawed; Darnley was permitted to protest his innocence and denounce his accomplices; after which he became the scorn of all parties alike, and few men dared or cared to be seen in his company.
The result of this daring ride was a ten days' fever, after which she removed by short stages to Craigmillar, where a proposal for her divorce from Darnley was laid before her by Bothwell, Murray, Huntly, Argyle and Lethington, who was chosen spokesman for the rest.
She assented on condition that the divorce could be lawfully effected without impeachment of her son's legitimacy; whereupon Lethington undertook in the name of all present that she should be rid of her husband without any prejudice to the child - at whose baptism a few days afterwards Bothwell took the place of the putative father, though Darnley was actually residing under the same roof, and it was not till after the ceremony that he was suddenly struck down by a sickness so violent as to excite suspicions of poison.
That night the whole city was shaken out of sleep by an explosion of gunpowder which shattered to fragments the building in which he should have slept and perished;and the next morning the bodies of Darnley and a page were found strangled in a garden adjoining it, whither they had apparently escaped over a wall, to be despatched by the hands of Bothwell's attendant confederates.
Four days after the discovery of the bodies, Darnley was buried in the chapel of Holyrood with secrecy as remarkable as the solemnity with which Rizzio had been interred there less than a year before.
In Edinburgh she was received by a yelling mob, which flaunted before her at each turn a banner representing the corpse of Darnley with her child beside it invoking on his knees the retribution of divine justice.
On the 26th of October the charge of complicity in the murder of Darnley was distinctly brought forward against her in spite of Norfolk's reluctance and Murray's previous hesitation.
In the following century it passed into the possession of a branch of the Stewarts, who retained it until the murder of Darnley (1567).
The mission entrusted to him was to prevent Queen Mary's marriage with Darnley, which however he was unable to do.
After the murder of Darnley he was again sent to Scotland in June 1567 on a still more hopeless mission than the first.
Their eldest son was the miserable Henry Darnley, second husband of Mary Stuart.
In the spring of 1561, Mary's brother, Lord James Stewart, lay prior of St Andrews, visited her in the mission to France, Elizabeth announced that a marriage of Mary with a Spanish, Imperial or French prince would mean war, while she still hinted at the Leicester marriage, or perhaps at a union with young Henry Darnley, son of Lennox.
The negotiations for the Leicester marriage were prolonged till March 1565, when Elizabeth had let slip on Mary Henry Darnley (the young son of Lennox, who himself had been allowed to return to Scotland), and at the same time made it clear that she had never been honest in offering Leicester.
Darnley was esteemed handsome, though his portraits give an opposite impression; his native qualities of cowardice, perfidy, profligacy and overweening arrogance were at first concealed, and in mid April 1565 Lethington was sent to London, not to renew the negotiations with Leicester (as had been designed till the 31st of March), but to announce Mary's intended wedding with her cousin.
Darnley being a Catholic, as far as he was anything, the jealous fears of the Brethren under Knox reached a passionate height.
A week earlier Mary, without waiting for the necessary papal dispensation (Pollen, Papal Negotiations with Mary Stuart), had publicly married Darnley, who bore the title of king, but never received the crown matrimonial.
Lethington had not left her, but he was overlooked; Lennox and the impracticable Darnley were neglected; and the dangerous earl of Morton, a Douglas, had to tremble for his lands and office as chancellor, while Mary rested on her foreign secretary, the upstart David Riccio; on Sir James Balfour, noted for falseness even in that age; and on Bothwell.
As early as September 1565 gossips were busy over the indiscretion of Riccio's favour: Darnley had forfeited the good opinion of his wife; was angry because the Hamiltons were not wholly sacrificed to the ancient feud of Lennox and his clan; and Knox's party looked forward with horror to the parliament of March 1566, when Mary certainly meant " to do something tending to some good anent restoring the ancient religion."
While Mary was arranging a marriage between Bothwell and the late Huntly's daughter, Lady Jane Gordon, Darnley intrigued with Lord Ruthven and George Douglas, a bastard kinsman of Morton, for the murder of Riccio, and for his own acquisition of the crown matrimonial.
While Mary was at supper, on the 9th of March, Darnley, with Ruthven, George Douglas and others, entered the boudoir in Holyrood, by his private stair, while Morton and his accomplices, mainly Douglases, burst in by way of the great staircase.
While Mary, Darnley and Ruthven exchanged threats and taunts, Bothwell and Huntly escaped from the palace, but next day, Mary contrived to send letters to them and Atholl.
Darnley had taken on him (his one act of kingly power) to dismiss the parliament, but he now found himself the mere tool of his accomplices.
Darnley betrayed some obscure accomplices.