Part 15 (1/2)

1. The Conference at York.

(_a_) Letter of Murray to Queen Elizabeth.

(_b_) Mary's Instructions to her Commissioners.

(_c_) The formal complaints and replies.

(_d_) The account of the private interview, with the ”abstract of matters” there shown.

(_e_) Suss.e.x's opinion of the evidence.

2. The Conference at Westminster.

(_a_) Mary's Instructions.

(_b_) Murray's ”Eik” or additional charge.

(_c_) The answer of Mary's Commissioners to the ”Eik.”

(_d_) Elizabeth's reply to (_a_).

(_e_) The Privy Council and suggestions for a compromise.

(_f_) Proofs produced at Westminster--the account of the production.

(_g_) Mary's own answer to the ”Eik,” and her request to see the originals, with Elizabeth's reply.

(_h_) Mary's request for copies, with Elizabeth's reply.

(_i_) Dissolution of the Conference by Elizabeth.


The Conference at York.

[On Mary's arrival in England, Queen Elizabeth declined to meet her, till she should be cleared from the suspicion of complicity in the Darnley murder. Mary promptly accused Maitland and Morton of a share in the crime, and accepted Elizabeth's proposal to have the case tried at a Conference at York. The Queen of England appointed as Commissioners, the Duke of Norfolk, the Earl of Suss.e.x, and Sir Ralph Sadler. The Scottish Queen was represented by Lords Boyd, Herries, and Livingstone, the Abbot of Kilwinning, Sir John Gordon of Lochinvar, Sir James c.o.c.kburn of Skirving, and John Lesley, the Bishop of Ross. The Earl of Murray, the Earl of Morton, the Bishop of Orkney (Adam Bothwell), the Abbot of Dunfermline, and Lord Lindsay appeared in the name of the young James VI., along with Maitland of Lethington, George Buchanan, James Macgill, and Henry Balnaves, as a.s.sistants.

Many points of procedure and various formal questions occupied much of the time of the Conferences. The extracts which follow have been chosen out of regard to their bearing on the problem of Mary's guilt or innocence, and especial care has been taken to include references to the Casket Letters. The letters themselves, and the depositions which were produced before the Commissioners, will be found, by themselves, after the account of the Conferences.

The Conference met at York on October 8, and as Mary was, formally, the plaintiff, her complaint against the Lords was first received.

Thereafter, Murray's reply and a rejoinder from Mary's representatives were put on record. This was all the formal business essential for our purpose. But, on October 11th, Elizabeth's Commissioners received a private visit from Maitland, Buchanan, Macgill, and Balnaves, who put before them, secretly, certain doc.u.ments to prove Mary's guilt. It will be seen from the letter of the Commissioners to Elizabeth, and the quotations from the ”abstract of matters ... chosen by the Scots,” that these doc.u.ments consisted of:--

1. A bond signed by the Lords, agreeing to Bothwell's marriage with the Queen.

2. The Queen's warrant for the signature of the above-mentioned bond.

3. Two contracts of marriage. (See pp. 201-203.)

4. Two letters arranging for the seizure of the Queen by Bothwell (_i.e._ two of Letters, vi., vii., and viii., see pp. 190-194).

5. A letter arranging a duel between Darnley and the Lord Robert.

6. The two Glasgow Letters (i. and ii., see pp. 165-182).

7. The Love Sonnets (pp. 195-201).