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Significant Scots
James Hepburne


HEPBURNE, JAMES, EARL OF BOTHWELL.—Little is known of the early career of this man, who holds so unenviable a place in the annals of Scotland. A considerable portion of his youth appears to have been spent in France, where he not only acquired the accomplishments, but learned those profligate habits by which the French court was distinguished. Fatally, indeed, was the nature of this training afterwards illustrated! His first return from that country to Scotland was in 1560, at which time he is thus characterized by Throckmorton in a letter to Queen Elizabeth: "He is a glorious, rash, and hazardous young man, and therefore it were meet his adversaries should both have an eye to him, and also keep him short." Six years afterwards, when he stood more distinctly out to public notice, Cecil wrote of him: "I assure you Bothwell is as naughty a man as liveth, and much given to the detestable vices." After events showed but too well that this was neither the language of prejudice nor malignity. It is probable that he was now about the age of thirty. He does not appear to have been distinguished for personal beauty, having, on the contrary, rather an ill-favoured countenance; but his ingratiating arts and showy manners were more than enough to counter-balance any defects of personal appearance. The outbreak that ended in the Chace-about-raid, which was so unfortunate to the Earl of Murray and his party, was of the utmost benefit to his enemy, the Earl of Bothwell; he was called to court, restored to his hereditary office of Lord High Admiral of Scotland, and appointed Lieutenant of the West and Middle Marches. He was not long idle, for we find him in the field with the queen about three weeks after, when Murray’s dispirited troops fled before her and took refuge in England. When the assassination of David Rizzio occurred, Bothwell, who was in the Palace of Holyrood at the commencement of the uproar, and heard the distant outcries that accompanied the deed, put himself, with the Earl of Huntly, at the head of the menials, who had snatched up whatever kitchen weapons came first to hand, and hurried to the rescue; but this motley band was easily dispersed by the armed retainers of the Earl of Morton, who were stationed at the inner court. On this occasion Bothwell and Huntly, finding themselves prisoners in the palace, and fearing that their own death was to follow the assassination of Rizzio, descended from the back windows by a cord, and made their escape through the fields. After this event it soon appeared that Bothwell was to enter into the place, and enjoy the envied favour, which the unfortunate Italian had held, let the termination be what it might. He was called to the queen’s counsels, and every day he rose in her esteem, while her contempt of Darnley increased. It was easy, indeed, for a woman’s eye—and such a woman as Mary—to distinguish between the shallow-minded poltroon whom she had placed by her side on the throne, and the bold, gay, chivalrous courtier, who added to the graces of his continental manners and education the unscrupulous ambition of the Frenchman and the daring courage of the Scot. Unfortunate it was for Mary that her education, and the examples by which her youth had been surrounded, had little qualified her either to regulate such feelings or check them at the commencement, and her admiration was soon followed by a culpable affection, which at last she was unable to conceal, even from the most unsuspecting of her subjects. At the beginning of October (1566) she had resolved to make a justiciary progress to Jedburgh, in consequence of the rebellious conduct of the border chieftains on the south-eastern frontier; and, as a preparative, she sent Bothwell thither, two days previous, with the title and authority of Lord-Lieutenant of the Border. But on reaching his destination he was so severely wounded by a desperate freebooter, whom he endeavoured to apprehend with his own hand, that he was obliged to be carried to the neighbouring Castle of Hermitage. Mary, who was then at the Castle of Borthwick, no sooner heard of his disaster than, notwithstanding the inclemency of the season, the danger of such a journey, and the smallness of her train, she hurried with all speed to Jedburgh, and from thence to Hermitage, to visit him. A dangerous fever was the consequence of this violent exertion, under which she was insensible for several days at Jedburgh; and on recovering her consciousness, she was so impressed with the thought that death was at hand, that she requested the nobles who were present to pray for her, commended her son to the guardianship of Queen Elizabeth, and sent for her neglected husband, who arrived two days after the crisis had passed. But now that the danger was over, she received him with her wonted aversion, and treated him with such discourtesy as made him glad, on the following day, to set off to Stirling. But very different was the reception of Bothwell, whom she caused to be brought to her own temporary residence until he was fully recovered. The same marked difference in the conduct of the queen towards her husband and her paramour, was equally apparent in the baptism of her son, afterwards James VI. of Scotland and I. of England. On such an important occasion the father of the child, whatever might have been his faults, should have been a prominent personage in the ceremonial. But no. Bothwell was placed in his room as master of the arrangements, while poor Darnley, though living under the same roof (the Castle of Stirling), was required to confine himself to his apartments, on the plea that his apparel was not good enough to appear among the lordly throng at the baptismal font. And this was not all, for the ambassadors assembled there were forbid to hold conference with him, and the nobility to wait on him or escort him. Even James Melvil, who had compassionated the poor fallen consort-king, and presented him with a spaniel, was rated by the queen for so doing, declaring that she could no longer trust him, as he had made a present to one for whom she entertained no affection.

Bothwell was not a man to bear these honours meekly, or content himself with the love of the queen without sharing in her power. Already, also, he knew too well her wishes on the subject. She would have divorced Darnley to make room for his rival, but besides the difficulty of procuring a divorce, the legitimacy of her son would thereby have been called in question. No remedy remained but the death of Darnley, let it occur as it might. Upon this hint Bothwell was now in action. He sounded the principal nobles upon the expediency of removing him, alleging the queen’s consent to that effect, and besought their co-operation. He spoke to those whose minds were already familiar with the idea of assassination, and whose power, when banded together, could brave discovery when it ensued, while so many concurred in his design that he thought he might now prosecute it without scruple. As for the poor victim of these machinations, he had left Stirling; the queen, at his departure, causing his silver plate to be taken away, and paltry tin vessels to be substituted in their stead. He had fallen sick when he was scarcely a mile on his journey, and on reaching Glasgow eruptions resembling the small-pox broke out over his whole body, and confined him to a sick-bed. But, in the meantime, the plot against his life was so fully matured that nothing more remained than to bring him within reach of his murderer. Mary repaired to Glasgow to persuade him to return with her, and take up his abode in the Castle of Craigmillar, in the neighbourhood of Edinburgh, where his recovery would be more speedy, and Darnley, allured by her kind words and relenting endearments, assented to all her wishes. He had received, indeed, some obscure intimations of a conspiracy formed against his life, and been warned that the queen had spoken harshly of him previous to her journey; but while she sat beside his bed, and addressed him so tenderly, all his first love returned, so that he treated these reports as idle tales. As for Mary, on retiring from his company she wrote a full account of the whole interview to Bothwell; and so completely was the after-tragedy settled between them, that she alluded to his contemplated divorce from Lady Jane Gordon and marriage with herself, and besought him neither to be moved from his purpose by his wife’s tears nor her brother’s threats. Soon after Darnley, not yet recovered, was removed in a litter from Glasgow to Edinburgh, not, however, to be accommodated in the princely castle of Craigmillar, but an obscure habitation called Kirk of Field, belonging to one of Bothwell’s creatures; a place sufficiently within reach of Edinburgh, but lonely enough for the perpetration of a deed of murder.

So fully was the plan already matured, that Bothwell had false keys made of the house, and sent to Dunbar for a barrel of gunpowder, that was to be placed under Darnley’s apartment. Matters now began to look so mysterious, that some of the king’s servants, under that vague inexplicable terror which often precedes some terrible tragic deed, withdrew their attendance. Not so, however, the queen, who continued to lavish upon him every assurance of endearment, and spent two nights in an apartment adjoining his own. On Sunday night Darnley was to be no more; and while she was spending the evening with him in his room upstairs, the preparations were silently going on in the apartment below; and at ten o’clock the gunpowder was strewed in heaps upon the floor, and all but in readiness for the explosion, after which Bothwell’s servant, Paris, a chief actor in the deed, entered the room above, where the pair were conversing. Mary, only the night before, had caused a bed of new velvet to be removed from the room, and also a rich coverlet of fur; and it was now full time that she should remove herself also. She then called to mind that she had promised to be at a masquerade in Holyroodhouse, that was to be given in honour of the marriage of her servant Bastian, with Margaret Carwood, a favourite female attendant, and passed onward to Holyrood with torch-light. When she was gone, an hour intervened before Darnley retired to bed, during which he entertained his servants, in the full overflow of his gladness, with an account of the queen’s gracious speeches before they parted, and the hopes of his return to favour and influence. But one part of the interview still strangely haunted him, and marred his triumph. Why had the queen reminded him that, just at the same time a twelvemonth back, David Rizzio had been assassinated—that deed of which his conscience told him he had been the chief promoter? Ill at ease with the past, and having a gloomy anticipation about the future, he turned to the Bible for consolation, and read the 55th Psalm, after which he went to bed, and was soon overtaken by his last sleep.

In the meantime, the return of Mary to Holyrood was a signal to Bothwell that all was in readiness. After lingering in the hall until about midnight, when the most wakeful in Edinburgh were usually asleep, he exchanged his rich gala dress for a common suit, in which he could not easily be recognized, stole out of the back of the palace through the garden, and accompanied by four of his servants, went through the gate of the Nether Bow, giving to the sentinel’s question of "Who goes there?" the answer of "Friends of Lord Bothwell." Between the hours of two and three, a terrible explosion shook the houses nearest the Kirk of Field, and roused the townsmen from their slumbers, while the assassins ran back to the city, and re-entered Holyrood as stealthily as they had left it. A crowd of citizens, whom the din had alarmed, repaired to the spot, and found the house a heap of ruin, and the bodies of the king and the page of his chamber lying dead in a neighbouring orchard. But it was remarked that neither the corpses nor their night-clothes were scorched with powder, and that they were too far from the house to have been thrown there by the explosion; it was evident that other and surer agencies had been at work, and that gunpowder had been resorted to, merely to mislead inquiry, or make the deed appear the work of accident. The full particulars that afterwards came out on trial justified these surmises. Darnley had been strangled, and, as it was asserted, by the hands of Bothwell himself; the page had undergone the same fate; and the bodies being afterwards removed into the orchard, the match had been lighted that communicated with the gunpowder. While the crowd were still gazing upon the ruins, and bewildering themselves in speculation, Bothwell himself arrived among them at the head of a party of soldiers. On returning to Holyrood, he had gone to bed, that he might receive the expected tidings like an innocent man; and when, half-an-hour afterwards, a hasty messenger knocked at his door, and told him what had happened, he shouted, "Treason!" repaired with the Earl of Huntly to the queen to advertise her of the misfortune, and afterwards passed on to the spot, as if anxious to hold inquest upon the fact, and discover the authors of the deed. But he only dispersed the crowd, whose sharp curiosity he must have felt unpleasant, and caused the bodies to be removed to a neighbouring house, where no one was permitted to see them. That of Darnley was soon after carried to the palace; and, instead of an honourable funeral, such as was befitting a king-consort, it was carried at night by pioneers, and interred without solemnity beside the grave of David Rizzio.

As soon as tidings of the murder had reached her, Mary shut herself up in her apartment, where she would admit no one to see her but Bothwell, or hold intercourse with any of her servants but through himself. According to the custom of the country, forty days should have been spent in seclusion and mourning, with closed doors and windows; but on the fourth day the windows were unshaded, and before the twelfth she repaired with Bothwell to Seton Castle, where they mingled in the gay amusements of the place, shot at the butts, in trials of archery with Huntly and Seton, and crowned their victory with the forfeit of the losers, which was a dinner at Tranent. In the meantime, was any diligence, or even show of diligence, given to apprehend the murderers? Strange to tell, it was not until three days after the deed that such a step was taken; and on Wednesday, the 12th of February, a proclamation was made, offering a reward of two thousand pounds (Scotch?) for the detection of the criminals. No sooner was this done than every tongue was ready to name the name of Bothwell. But the bold bad man was too powerful to be accused, as well as too unscruplous to be provoked, and no one was found so hardy as to step forth to criminate him. Still it was impossible for the general suspicion to remain wholly silent, and while voices were heard in the darkness of midnight through the streets proclaiming Bothwell to be the king’s murderer, placards and pictures were affixed on the public places to the same effect. It was then only that judicial activity, which had hitherto slumbered, was roused to detect the libellers; and such of the citizens as could write a fair hand, or limn a sketch, were submitted to a sharp examination, while an edict was published denouncing the punishment of death, not only to the writers, but the readers of these libels. Bothwell, also, alarmed at these indications of public feeling, rode into Edinburgh with fifty armed men at his back, warning publicly that he would wash his hands in the blood of these traducers, and clutching the hilt of his dagger in guilty suspicion when he spoke to any one of whose good will he was not certain. At length a movement was made to convict him, and from the proper quarter, by the Earl of Lennox, father of the murdered king. On the 20th of February he wrote to the queen, entreating that a public assize should immediately be held on the subject of his son’s assassination; but to this most reasonable request, Mary sent for answer that the Parliament had already been invoked, and that its first business on meeting should be an inquiry into the deed. Now, be it observed, that this meeting of Parliament was not to take place till Easter; and during the interval that elapsed, most of the persons implicated in the charge were quietly allowed to depart, some to France, and others to the English border. And all this Mary did, notwithstanding the suspicions of her subjects, who had no scruple to charge her as an accomplice in her husband’s murder; notwithstanding the astonishment of foreign courts, that could not comprehend her wonderful remissness; and notwithstanding the urgent solicitations of Queen Elizabeth, who adjured her to act on this occasion "like a noble princess and a loyal wife." In the meantime, she seemed to have no thought but for Bothwell, and, notwithstanding the general odium, she conferred upon him the command of the Castle of Edinburgh, and soon after that of the castles of Blackness and the Inch, and the superiority of Leith, as if eager to arm him against every accuser, and make him too powerful to be punished.

As the cry still waxed louder for a public trial, it was thought that this might now be safely granted ; and so late as the 12th of April, the Earl of Lennox was ordered to compear in Edinburgh, and adduce his charges against Bothwell. But the accomplices in the crime had been suffered to escape; the other evidences had been destroyed; even the smith who had made the false key by which the murderers obtained access to the king’s lodging, and who had anonymounsly offered to come forward and reveal the name of his employer, if his safety should be guaranteed for so doing, had obtained no such promise, and therefore could not make his appearance. Under such circumstances, and after so long a delay, the invitation to the Earl of Lennox was the most cruel of mockeries. The trial was arranged by Bothwell himself; the tribunal was occupied by one of his friends, and fenced with 200 of his hacbutters; 4000 armed men, devoted to Bothwell, occupied the streets of Edinburgh, and the castle was under his command. Thus prepared, the accusing party was wholly at his mercy, for Lennox was required to enter the city with not more than six in his company. To come under such circumstances would have been to enter into the shambles, where all was in readiness for the slaughter, and Lennox refused to appear. But Bothwell himself rode to trial, mounted on the late king’s horse, and surrounded by a guard, and fearlessly advanced before a tribunal where he had taken order that none should accuse him. The trial that followed was a farce, in which the criminal had nothing to do but to plead "not guilty," and the judges to absolve him, which was done unanimously. To wind up the whole proceeding in the fashion of the age, Bothwell then offered the trial of combat to any one of his degree who should charge him with the late king’s murder, but the challenge was nothing more than the idle blast of a trumpet, for he was not likely to find an opponent where he had met with no accuser.

After this mock trial, new honours were heaped upon Bothwell by the queen; the lordship and Castle of Dunbar were conferred upon him, his powers as high admiral were extended, and on the assembling of Parliament, two days after the assize, he carried "the honours," that is, the crown and sceptre before her in procession at the opening of the House. He was now the most powerful nobleman in Scotland, and only one step more remained to which all this aggrandizement had been but a preparative. He must be king-consort in the room of Darnley, whom he had murdered. True, he had been but lately married to Lady Jane Gordon, and her brother, the Earl of Huntly, was not a man to be lightly offended; but even these difficulties had been already calculated, and the plan of their removal devised. The marriage tie was to be loosed by a divorce, and the brother appeased by the restitution of the Huntly estates, which had been forfeited to the crown. But to win the consent of the nobility at large, whose united opposition could have checked him at any moment, or crushed him even when the eminence was attained, was the principal difficulty; and this Bothwell resolved to surmount by the same unscrupulous daring that had hitherto borne him onward. Accordingly, on the 19th of April, the day on which the sittings of Parliament terminated, he invited the chief nobles to supper in a tavern; they assembled accordingly, and when their hearts were warmed with wine, Bothwell presented to them a bond for signature, in which they recommended him as a suitable husband for the queen, and engaged to maintain his pretensions to her hand against all who should oppose them. Confusion and remonstrance followed, but the house was surrounded by 200 hacbutters, so that escape was hopeless, and remonstrance unavailing. The revellers therefore complied with the demand, and the signatures of eight earls, three lords, and seven bishops were adhibited to the bond.

And now nothing but the master-stroke remained. The marriage must be accomplished without delay, before a recoil of public feeling occurred. But Mary had been little more than two months a widow; and if she should thus hastily throw aside her weeds, and enter into a new union, the whole world would cry "shame" upon such indecency! Even this difficulty had been already provided for, and that, too, seven days before Bothwell’s trial occurred. Certain beforehand of his acquittal, he had devised, and Mary consented, that he should carry her off by force, and thus save her the odium of a free deliberate choice. Even the time and place of abduction were also contrived between them. Accordingly, on the 21st of April the queen repaired to Stirling Castle to visit her infant son, then under the guardianship of the Earl of Mar; but the earl, who seems to have had strange misgivings, would only admit her with two of her ladies, while the armed train were obliged to remain without. Three days afterwards she returned, and had reached Almond Bridge, near Edinburgh, when she and her escort were suddenly beset by Bothwell and 600 armed horsemen, who conducted her to the Castle of Dunbar. And now events went on with accelerated speed. The earl’s divorce from his wife was hurried through the courts with scandalous haste, the lady being obliged to accuse him of adultery and incest for the purpose. And on the same day Bothwell and the queen returned to Edinburgh at the head of a numerous cavalcade, the earl leading her horse by the bridle, and his followers throwing away their spears, to show that she was unconstrained; and in this fashion they rode up to the Castle of Edinburgh. As soon as tidings of her seizure had arrived, her friends offered to arm for her rescue; but to this she answered, that though taken against her will, and compelled to spend several days in the Castle of Dunbar with Bothwell, she had found no cause of complaint. This was not all; for she now presented herself before the nobles, expressed her satisfaction with Bothwell’s conduct, and declared that, high as she had raised him, she meant to promote him higher still. Accordingly, on the 12th of May, seven days after her return to Edinburgh, she created him Duke of Orkney, and placed the coronet on his head with her own hands; two days afterwards she signed the contract of marriage, and on the succeeding day the marriage ceremony was performed in Holyrood, at four o’clock in the morning. And this after three short months of widowhood! Well might the people shudder, especially when they remembered the disgusting mixture of tragedy and farce with which it had been preceded. And still the nobles were silent under a deed that soiled, nay, besmeared the escutcheons of Scottish knighthood and nobleness with a universal reproach, which all the rivers of their land could not wash away. Only one man, and he, too, a minister of peace, had courage to speak out. This was John Craig, pastor of the High Church of Edinburgh, and colleague of John Knox, who was now absent. On being commanded to proclaim the banns between the queen and Bothwell, he steadfastly refused until he had been allowed to confront the parties in presence of the Privy Council; and when this was granted, he there charged the Duke of Orkney with the crimes of rape, adultery, and murder. This being done, he proclaimed the banns, as he was bound to do, but not without a stern remonstrance. "I take heaven and earth to witness," he exclaimed before the congregation in the High Church, "that I abhor and detest this marriage as odious and slanderous to the world; and I would exhort the faithful to pray earnestly that a union against all reason and good conscience may yet be overruled by God, to the comfort of this unhappy realm."

Bothwell had now attained an elevation at which himself might well have been astounded. Sprung from no higher origin than that of the house of Hailes, and but the fourth of his line who had worn the title of earl, he was now the highest of Scotland’s nobles, and, what was more, the sovereign of its sovereign. She to whom he was united had been Queen of France, the most powerful of kingdoms, and was the unquestioned heir to England, the richest of sovereignties. She who had been sought in vain by the proudest princes of Europe had come at his call, and co-operated in humble compliance to his exaltation, and submitted to be his leman before she became his bride. And yet even this did not satisfy him; for on the very day after their marriage she was heard to scream in her closet, while he was beside her, and threaten to stab or drown herself. He persisted from day to day in arrogant conduct, more befitting a sated voluptuary or merciless taskmaster than a newly-mated bridegroom; and Mary, otherwise so proud and impatient, submitted with spaniel-like docility, while her affection seemed only to increase in proportion to the growth of his brutality. Strange love of woman’s heart! and strange requital of a love so misplaced! She was all the while writing to France, to Rome, and England, announcing her marriage, describing her happiness in having such a husband, and craving the favour of these courts in his behalf. She even declared before several persons that "she cared not to lose France, England, and her own country for him, and would go with him to the world’s end in a white petticoat before she would leave him."

This Fata Morgana had now reached its brightest, and it was time that it should melt away. The nobles of Scotland awoke as from a dream, and prepared themselves for instant action. It was indeed not more than necessary; for, independently of the foul dishonour that had accumulated upon the nation and themselves through the late transactions, Bothwell was now aiming at obtaining the guardianship of the young prince; and under such a custody the royal infant would soon have been laid beside his murdered father, that a new dynasty might be planted upon the Scottish throne. In the meantime, the queen and Bothwell were at Borthwick Castle, unconscious of the gathering storm, until the associated lords, at the head of 2000 men, advanced and invested the stronghold. As resistance was hopeless, Bothwell, at the first tidings of their coming, stole away, and soon after was joined by Mary, booted and spurred, and in the disguise of a page. They rode through the night at full speed to Dunbar, and there exerted themselves with such activity, that in two days they were at the head of 2500 armed followers, with whom they returned to the encounter. The lords, whose forces now amounted to 3000 men, advanced to meet them mid-way, and the two armies soon confronted each other at Carberry Hill, six miles from Edinburgh. But very different was the spirit that animated them, for while the insurgent army was eager to revenge the death of the late king, and preserve his son from the murderer, the troops of Bothwell wavered, and talked of negotiation and compromise. It was necessary to restore their courage by an example of personal daring, and accordingly he sent a herald to the opposite host, offering the trial of single combat in proof of his innocence. Instantly, James Murray of Tullibardin started forward as an opponent, but was rejected by Bothwell as being not his equal in rank. Murray’s elder brother, William, the laird of Tullibardin, then offered himself, alleging that he was of an older house than that of his adversary; but him also Bothwell refused, claimed an earl for his opponent, and specified in particular the Earl of Morton, the leader of the insurgents. Morton, as fearless a Douglas as any of his ancestors, accepted the challenge, and prepared for a combat at outrance on foot, and with two-handed swords. But before he could step forth to the affray, Lord Lindsay, the Ajax of the Scottish Reformation interposed, with the entreaty that he should be allowed to meet the challenger, as being the kinsman of the unfortunate Darnley. Morton assented, and armed him with the two-handed sword of that Douglas who was called Bell-the-Cat. But here Mary interfered: she had no wish to expose her husband to a meeting with such a redoubted champion, and Bothwell yielded to her entreaties. His repeated hesitations, when he should at once have drawn his weapon and marched to the encounter, had so confirmed the timidity of his followers, that already most of them had disbanded, leaving none with him but sixty gentlemen and a band of hacbutters, while the opposite army were surrounding the hill, and cutting off the means of retreat. In this emergency, nothing remained for Bothwell but flight, which the queen earnestly counselled: she would surrender to the lords, and win them back to their allegiance; after which his recal would be easy, and their future course a happy one. After assuring him of her fidelity, which she would keep to the last, and giving her hand upon the promise, Bothwell rode from the field, accompanied by a few attendants, and Mary surrendered to her subjects. She, indeed, continued to love him to the last; but they never met again.

Brief though the rest of Bothwell’s history is, it reads the most solemn of warnings to princes and politicians. One month only he had held the empty title of king, for which he had sinned so deeply; and now, not even the poor shelter of the monk’s cell or anchorite’s cave over the whole wide land was ready to receive him. Almost alone, he hastened to his sea-girt castle of Dunbar, intending there to await the change of events, which he hoped would end in his restoration; but Mary, no longer a queen, was a helpless prisoner in the hands of those who were busied in framing a new government, while a price was set upon his own head. Thus finding that at any hour he might be plucked from his place of strength, he fled with three ships to the Orkneys; but such was the barrenness of these islands, that he was obliged to have recourse to piracy for the subsistence of himself and his followers. And even this miserable shift soon failed, for a naval squadron was sent against him, under the command of Kirkcaldy of Grange, who captured two of the vessels, and obliged the third, with the pirate-king on board, to take to flight. But his ship, one of the largest in the Scottish navy, struck upon a sandbank; and when he took to shelter in a pinnace, he was driven by a storm to the coast of Norway, and there taken by a Danish man-of-war. He was asked for his papers, but having none, he was arrested as a pirate, and carried to Denmark. There it was not long before he was recognized as the notorious Bothwell of Scotland; upon which Frederic II., the Danish king, instead of surrendering him to the Scottish regency or Elizabeth of England, threw him into close prison in the castle of Malmoe, where he languished ten years in misery and privation, mingled with attacks of insanity, until death at last threw open the gate of his dungeon. Never was the avenging Nemesis of the Greek drama more terribly realized, or poetical justice more completely fulfilled.


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