On the demand of Lennox, Darnley's father, Bothwell was put upon his trial, in April, but Lennox, having been forbidden to enter the city with more than six attendants, refused to attend, and Bothwell was declared not guilty.
Of these Maitland of Lethington was consenting to Darnley's murder; the earl of Morton had, at least, guilty foreknowledge; the regent Moray (Mary's natural brother) had "looked through his fingers" at the crime, and for months remained on intimate terms with the criminals.
This is attested as a "true copy," but Moray, who had been present when Bowton was examined (December 8, 1567), knew that the copy presented at Westminster (December 1568) had been mutilated because the excised passages were damning to Lethington and the earl of Morton, accomplices in the crime of Darnley's murder, and accomplices of Moray in his prosecution of his sister.
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.
A similar account of this letter is given in a document of Darnley's father, the earl of Lennox (Cambridge University Library MSS.
Can we suppose that "the man who had read the letter" invented much of its contents, and told them to Moray, who told de Silva, and told Darnley's father, Lennox, then in or near London?
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.
By way of corroborating it (a fatal step, if the case came before a modern English court of justice); or Darnley's memory of his conversation with Mary was so fresh, when he dictated his recollection of it to Crawford on 2 1st-22nd January 1567, that he reported speeches in almost the very same words as Mary used in writing Letter II.
If he had access to his original notes of the 21st and 22nd of January 1567, then he was safe - that is, if Darnley's memory of the conversations tallied so exactly with Mary's.
Of this he (Darnley) denies half, and above all that he (the brother?) ever came to his (Darnley's) chamber."
(Mystery of Mary Stuart, p. 429.) It may seem to the reader doubtful whether these complaints are words of Darnley's, or an indignant addition by his friend Crawford.
But Mary, in Letter II., shows that the complaints and the self-defence are Darnley's own.
It was in paragraph 7 that she wrote about the English ship; she did not then give Darnley's remonstrances, as Crawford does.
Omits them in that place (paragraph 7); and only on her second day of writing, in paragraph 18, does Mary's mind recur to Darnley's first brave words - "he spoke very bravely at the beginning," about his wrongs, "but in the end he returned again to his humility."
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.
Gracefully and respectfully, with statesmanlike yet feminine dexterity, the demands of Darnley's father for justice on the murderers of his son were accepted and eluded by his daughter-in-law.
On the 24th of November Mary was at Craigmillar castle, near Edinburgh, where undoubtedly she held a conference with her chief advisers that boded no good to Darnley; and there were rumours of Darnley's design to seize the infant prince and rule in his name.
The evidence on these points is disputable, but now, or not long after, Huntly, Bothwell, Lethington and Argyll signed a " band " for Darnley's murder.
About this week must have occurred the interview in the garden at the Douglas's house of Whittingehame, between Morton, Bothwell and Lethington, when Morton refused to be active in Darnley's murder, unless he had a written warrant from the queen.
Murray arrested VI.: Lethington, as accused of Darnley's murder, and Lethington was now lodged under ward in Edinburgh, Conte "- but Kirkcaldy of Grange released him and gave him shelter in Edinburgh castle, which he commanded (2 3 rd of October).
The kirk was robbed afresh, benefices were given to such villainous cadets of great families as Archibald Douglas, an agent in Darnley's murder; and though, under the scholarly but fierce Andrew Melville, the kirk purified herself afresh and successfully opposed the bishops, James VI.
Meanwhile Morton found the old Marian party-feud reviving, and in 1577, knowing his own guilt in Darnley's murder, he attempted to win the alliance of Mary for his own security.
Knowing all the secrets of Darnley's murder, Balfour revenged himself by raking up Morton's foreknowledge of the deed; and here he was helped by the influence exercised over the young king by his cousin Esme Stuart d'Aubigny (a son of Darnley's paternal uncle, John), who came to Scotland from France in September 1579.
The Hamiltons, now in English exile, were forfeited; d'Aubigny received the earldom of Lennox; and, as after Darnley's death, placards, were posted urging the trial of Morton for that crime.
Morton was tried on the 1st of June 1581, was found guilty, and, with one Binning, who had accompanied Archibald Douglas to the scene of Darnley's murder, was executed.
Darnley's body was found at some distance from the house, and it is supposed that he was strangled whilst making his escape.