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the conspiracy was discovered. Logan had employed a man of the name of Bour as his messenger in communicating with the two Ruthvens. Bour, being unable to read or write, although in every other respect well qualified for his duty, was obliged to call in the assistance of George Sprot, a notary at the sea-port of Eyemouth, that he might have the letters which Logan addressed to him read. Sprott, who thus became in some measure privy to the conspiracy, kept the secret till after the death of Logan and Bour, when he was so imprudent às to utter bints that he could make some discoveries regarding the mysterious enterprise of the fifth of August. The Privy Council immediately caused him to be apprehended, and, having examined him with the assistance of the torture, induced him to make a full confession of all he knew ; after which he was immediately banged for misprision or concealment of treason. Five letters, written by Logan, were afterwards discovered among his papers, and served to throw the feeble though fortunate light upon the conspiracy, which has been already presented to the reader. These valuable documents, baving been engrossed in the records of parliament, are yet preserved in the national Register House at Edinburgh.
- It was a fact noted by the annalists of the time, that the unfortunate Charles I. was born on the very day (November 19.) on which the dismem
Almost every known or attainable document regard. ing the Gowry Conspiracy has been engrossed at length in Mr Pitcairn's Criminal Trials; and the present account of the transaction is chiefly drawn up from that immense mu ltitude of testimonies.
berment of the two brothers took place at the cross of Edinburgh. Before this period, James bad become the father of a daughter named Elizabeth, distinguished in British history as the grandmother of King George I., and therefore as forming the channel by which the blood of the family of Hanover reached the throne. The King was heard to remark, on the birth of Charles, that the nineteenth day of the month seemed to be consecrated in some peculiar way to his usc. He was himself born on the 19th of June; he first saw his wife on the 19th of May; his eldest son Henry was born on the 19th of February; his daughter Elizabeth on the 19th of August ; and now bis second son was ushered into the world on the 19th of November.
INTRIGUES PREPARATORY OF THE SUCCESSION.-DEATH OF
The Gowry Conspiracy may almost be considered the last event of King James's Scottish reign. The time betwixt that and his accession to the English throne-about two years and a half— was spent in a state of tranquillity, to which there was no other exception than the hopes and fears arising from the intrigues which he set on foot for securing the object of his wishes.
James's right is so clear, in a genealogical point of view, that he is generally ridiculed by modern historians for the extreme anxiety and tenderness which he displayed on that point. But he had, in reality, great reason for the fears which seem to have agitated him. Although the claim of the Infanta of Spain, founded upon a remote descent from the House of Plantagenet, was the most visionary imaginable ; yet it was held up by a great portion of the Catholics, in whose eyes religion went far beyond hereditary right. The claims of the descendants of Mary, the youngest daughter of Henry VII., were nothing in heraldry against
those of the Scottish royal family, which traced its descent from Margaret, eldest daughter of the same monarch. But, as Henry VIII., by act of parliament, and by will, had excluded aliens from the throne, and as it was anticipated that a considerable part of the English nation entertained an actual antipathy to the King of Scots, the hereditary enemy of their country, there was considerable danger that the laws of primogeniture, al. though favoured by the very principles of nature, might in this case be little attended to. Above all, there was the great difficulty of Queen Elizabeth's good will and pleasure to be taken into account; it being treason, by an act of the 13th of her reign, to dispute, that the reigning sovereign could, with consent of parliament, alter and destine the succession as might seem most meet.
It was under the compulsion of these good reasons, and partly from the natural anxiety which must ever attend the expectation of a large inheritance, however certain its determination, that King James thought it necessary, before the period now under review, to send emissaries to all the principal courts of Europe, and even to some of the minor states of Germany, setting forth his claims, and representing his disposition to be on good terms with them, in the event of their favouring, or not obstructing, his succession. For the latter reason, he took every expedient for gratifying Queen Elizabeth, upon whom he hoped at last to work so far as to procure from her a declaration of his right to be her successor ; by which all bis cares would have been at an end.
In conducting his various negotiations, he was put to great difficulty by the different faiths of those whose fayour be had to seek, and the hos tility which some of them bore to his great English patroness. He was troubled in a particular manner by the necessity under which he supposed himself to lie, of conciliating the King of Spain and the Pope, two personages who were at open war with Elizabeth, and were the most odious possible to the greater part of his subjects, present and future, as the arch-enemies of the Reformed religion. For attempting to procure the good will of these potentates, and of the Catholics in general, by holding out hopes of toleration to this party, which he certainly did not afterwards realize, James is generally blamed, and surely not without reason, as guilty of a certain degree of meanness and duplicity. Yet it must be allowed in his favour, that he showed, throughout his whole life, equal favour to the Papists and Protestants, so far as individuals were concerned, and might be really unable, after his accession, to perform the promises of general favour which he had beld out, His correspondence with the Pope was disclosed to Elizabeth some years before her death ; but, as the grand reason for the Protestantism of that princess was nothing but the non-acknowledgment of her title by the Pope, and as she lost all fear on that score in her elder years, she does not appear to bave conceived great indignation against ber Scottish cousin for his tampering with the Pontiff, to whose creed at least, it is commonly understood, she never had any violent objections.