The History of Leith

March 7, 2012


After Bothwell’s seizure of Mary’s person, at the head of 1,000 horse, and his production of the famous bond, signed by the most powerful nobles in Scotland, recommending him as the most fitting
husband for her—a transaction in which her enemies affirm she was a willing actor—their marriage ceremony took place in the great hall of the palace on the i5th of May, 1567, at four o’clock in the
morning, a singular hour, for which it is difficult to account, unless it be, that Mary had yielded in despair at last. There it was performed by the reformed prelate Adam Bothvvell, Bishop of Orkney,together with Knox’s coadjutor, Craig, according to the Protestant form, and on the same day, in private, according to the Catholic ritual. To thelatter, perhaps, Birrel refers when he says they were marred in the chapel royal. Only five of the nobles were present, and there were no rejoicings in Edinburgh, where the people looked on with grief and gloom ; and on the following morning
there was found affixed to the palace gate the ominous line from Ovid’s Fasti, book v. : ” Mense malas Maio nubere vulgus ait.”
The revolt of the nobles, the flight of Bothwell, and the surrender of Mary at Carberry to avoid bloodshed, quickly followed, and the last visit she paid to her palace of Holyrood was when, under a
strong guard, she was brought thither a prisoner from the Black Turnpike, on the i8th of June and ere the citizens could rescue her; as a preliminary step to still more violent proceedings, she was
secretly taken from Holyrood at ten at night, without having even a change of raiment, mounted on a miserable hack, and compelled to ride at thirty miles an hour, escorted by the murderers Ruthven and Lindsay, who consigned her a prisoner to the lonely castle of Lochleven, where she signed the enforced abdication which placed her son upon the throne.

source-Old and New Edinburgh

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