James VI and the Gowrie Mystery
by Andrew Lang
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Surely, if Sprot invented all this, he was a novelist born out of due time. Either he told truth, or, in fiction, he rivalled De Foe.

Matthew Logan, being called, contradicted Sprot, as we have already said. He himself had seen Bower when he brought him Logan's letter from London, take his son, Valentine, apart, and knew that Valentine read a letter to him. 'It was a meikle letter,' Matthew said, and, if Sprot tell truth, it contained three enclosures. Bower may have stopped his son from reading the melancholy and compromising epistle, and kept it to be read by Sprot. Logan's folly in writing at all was the madness that has ruined so many men and women.

Matthew could not remember having ridden to Edinburgh with Logan in July 1600, just before the Gowrie affair, as Sprot had declared that he did. We could scarcely expect him to remember that. He could remember nothing at all that was compromising, nothing of Logan's rash speeches. As to the Yule feast at Gunnisgreen, he averred that Lady Restalrig only said, 'The Devil delight in such a feast that makes discord, and makes the house ado'—that is, gives trouble. Asked if wine and beer were stored in Fastcastle, in 1600, he said, as has already been stated, that a hogshead of wine was therein. He himself, he said, had been 'in the west,' at the time of the Gowrie tragedy, and first heard of it at Falkirk.

On August 6, Sprot was interrogated again. Only lay lords were present: there were no clergymen nor lawyers. He denied that he had received any promise of life or reward. He asked to be confronted with Matthew Logan, and reported a conversation between them, held when Lord Dunbar took possession of Gunnisgreen. Matthew then hoped to ride with the Laird to London (1605), but said, 'Alas, Geordie Sprot, what shall we all do now, now nothing is left? I was aye feared for it, for I know the Laird has done some evil turn, and he will not bide in the country, and woe's me therefor.'

Sprot asked what the 'evil turn' was. Matthew answered, 'I know well enough, but, as the proverb goes, "what lies not in my way breaks not my shins."'

Sprot added that, after Bower's death (January 1606), Logan wrote to him from London, not having heard the news of his decease. Lady Restalrig opened the letter and wrote a postscript 'Give this to Laird Bower, for I trow that he be ridden to Hell, as he ofttimes said to the Laird that he would do.' In Letter IV. Logan tells Gowrie that he believes Bower 'would ride to Hell's gate to pleasure him.'

Sprot was now asked about two letters. One of these (Logan to Chirnside) is endorsed, 'Production by Niniane Chirnesyde. XIII April 1608.' Another is Letter V, endorsed 'produced by Ninian Chirnside,' a fact first noted by Mr. Anderson. Yet another is the letter in twelve torn pieces. Logan, in the first of these three letters, requests Chirnside to find a letter which Bower lost in Dunglas. The letter imperils Logan's life and lands. The date is September 23, and purports, falsely, to be written before Logan goes to London (1605). Sprot explained that he forged the letters, that Chirnside might blackmail Logan's executors, and make them forgive him the debts which (as Logan's will proves) he owed to the estate.

Here we cite the letter of the twelve fragments. It is, of course, a forgery by Sprot, to enable Chirnside to terrorise his creditors, Logan's executors. But, as it directly implicates Chirnside himself in the Gowrie conspiracy, probably he disliked it, and tore it up. Yet the artist could not part with his work; it still lies, now reconstructed, in the old folio sheet of paper. The reader will remark that, like Letters I (?), III, and V, this torn letter is a mere pastiche framed (as Sprot confessed) on ideas and expressions in Letter IV.

Letter found among the Haddington MSS. torn into thirteen pieces (one lost)—these have been placed in order, but at least one line of the piece is wanting.

Brother, according to my promise the last day ve met in the kannogate I have sent this berair to my lord vith my answer of all thingis, and, I pray you ryde vith him till his lordschip, and bevar that he speik vith na other person bot his lordschipis self and M.A. his lordschipis brother, and specially let nocht his lordschipis pedagog [Mr. Rhynd] ken ony thing of the matter, bot forder him hame agane, becawse the purpos is parilouse, as ye knaw the danger. And yit for my ain part I protest befoir God I sall keip trew condicion till his lordschip, and sall hasard albeit it var to the vary skafald, and bid his lordschip tak nane other opinion bot gude of the trustyness of this silly ald man [Bower] for I dar baldlie concredit my lyf and all other thing I have elliss in this varld onto his credit, and I trow he sall nocht frustrat my gude expectacion. Burn or send bak agane as I did vith you, so till meitting, and ever I rest, Yowre brother to power redy, Restalrige.

Beseik his lordschip bavar [beware] that my lord my brother [Lord Home] get na intelligense of thir towrnis as he lowfis all owr veillis, for be God he vill be our greittest enemy. {217}

(A line or more wanting)

* * * * *

On the same day (August 6) Sprot withdrew a deposition (made before July 5) that the Unknown, for whom Letters I, III, V were meant, was the Laird of Kinfauns, Sir Harry Lindsay, who, in 1603, tried to shoot Patrick Eviot, one of the Gowrie fugitives. The Constable of Dundee (Sir James Scrymgeour) Sprot had also accused falsely. The Letters (I (?), III, V), he says, were 'imagined by me.'

On August 8, three ministers, Patrick Galloway, John Hall, and Peter Hewatt, were present. The two former were now preachers of the courtly party, the third received a pension of 500 marks from the King, after the posthumous trial of Logan (1609), at which the five letters were produced, but this reward may have been a mere coincidence. The ministers Hall and Hewatt, in August 1600, had at first, as we saw, declined to accept James's version of the affair at Gowrie House (pp. 99-103).

Sprot now confesses that he knows he is to die, deposes that no man has promised him life, and that he has stated nothing in hope of life. With tears he deplores that he has taken God's name in vain, in swearing to the truth of his depositions before that of July 5. His last five depositions under examination are 'true in all points and circumstances, and he will go to the death with the same.'

'Further the said George Sprot remembers that in the summertide of 1601, the Laird of Restalrig had indented with the Lord Willoughby, then Governor of Berwick, concerning my Lord's ship then built and lying at Berwick, whereof the Laird should have been equal partner with my Lord, and to take voyage with the said ship, either by the Laird himself, or some other person whom it pleased him to appoint . . . to pass to the Indies, the Canarys, and through the Straits, for such conditions as were set down in the indenture betwixt my Lord and him, which was framed by Sir John Guevara,' Willoughby's cousin, the kidnapper of Ashfield in 1599.

Now this ship of Lord Willoughby's, at all events, was a real ship; and here is a grain of fact in the narrative of Sprot. The ship was built by Lord Willoughby to protect English commerce from the piracies of the Dunkirkers. On March 28, 1601, he writes from Berwick to Cecil, 'The respect of my country and the pity of those hurt by such' (the Dunkirkers) 'persuaded me to build a ship, and moves me now to offer to serve her Majesty at as reasonable a rate as any ship of 140 tons, with sixteen pieces of artillery, and 100 men can be maintained with. . . . If this offer seem good to you and the Council, my ship shall presently be fitted, if not I purpose to dispose otherwise of her' (to Logan), 'being not able to maintain her.' ('Border Calendar,' ii. 738). On April 19, Willoughby wrote that he had pursued, with his ship, a pirate which had carried an English prize into the Forth. But he cannot, unaided, maintain the ship, even for one summer. On June 14, Willoughby 'took a great cold' in his ship, lying at the haven mouth, awaiting a wind, and died suddenly. On July 20, Carey says that his body has been placed, with all honourable rites, on board his ship.

It appears, then, that Willoughby, unable to maintain his ship, and not subsidised by Government, in the summer of 1601 admitted Logan to a half of the venture, carrying great expenses. Logan settled the business at Robert Jackson's house, in Bridge Street, Berwick, being accompanied by Sprot, Bower, and Matthew Logan. Matthew said privately to Sprot, 'Wae's me that ever I should see this day, that the Laird should grow a seaman! I wot not what it means, for it is for no good, and I fear this shall be one of the sorrowful blocks that ever the Laird made. It is true that I have oft thought that the Laird would pass away, for he is minded to sell all that he has, and would to God that he had never been born, what should he do with such conditions, to go or to send to the sea? He might have lived well enough at home. I find he has ever been carried' (excited), 'and his mind has ever been set on passing out of the country this year past,' that is since the Gowrie affair.

Now all this tale has much vraisemblance. The facts about Logan's adventure with Willoughby, stopped by Willoughby's death, were easily verifiable. Logan, at his death, owned a ship, rated at 500 marks (so we read in his inventory), but this can hardly have been the ship of Willoughby. He was restless, excited, selling land to supply a maritime enterprise.

At this time Lady Restalrig was deeply distressed, she wished Logan at the Indies, if only he would first settle Flemington on herself. 'If it be God's will, I desire never to have a child to him,' she said. 'I have a guess what this mystery means, woe's me for his motherless children,' that is, children of former marriages. Later, Lady Restalrig had a daughter, Anna, by Logan.

Matthew Logan, as usual, denied every word attributed to him by Sprot, except regrets for his own condition. Matthew could do no less to save his own life.

On August 9, before other witnesses, and the Rev. Messrs. Galloway, Hall, and Hewatt, Sprot solemnly confessed to having forged the letters in Logan's hand (then in possession of his examiners). On August 10, the same clergymen and many Lords, and Hart, being present, Sprot came to the point at last. Where, he was asked, after a prayer offered, at his request, by Mr. Galloway, was the letter of Logan to Gowrie, whereon, as model, the rest were forged? Now he had not previously mentioned, as far as the reports go, a letter of Logan to Gowrie, as the model of his forgeries. He had mentioned, as his model, the brief harmless letter of Gowrie to Logan. On August 9, he had been very solemnly told that he was to die, and that he would see the faces of the Lords of the Council no more. Probably, after they left him, he told, to a minister or a servant in the gaol, the fact that he had used, as his model, a letter from Logan to Gowrie. The result was that he did again see, on August 10, the Lords of the Council, who asked him 'where the letter now was.' This is Letter IV, the letter of Logan to Gowrie, of July 29, 1600. Sprot, in place of answering directly, cited from memory, and erroneously, the opening of the letter. He had read it, while it was still unfinished, in July 1600, at Fastcastle. Logan, who had been writing it, was called by Bower, went out, and thrust it between a bench and the wall: there Sprot found, read, and restored the unfinished epistle to its place. But the letter is dated 'from Gunnisgreen,' at the conclusion. Logan, according to Sprot, left Gunnisgreen one day at the end of July, 1600, or beginning of August, thence rode to Fastcastle, and thence, next day, to Edinburgh (p. 190).

Now Logan, in the letter (IV), says that he took two days to write it. One day would be at Fastcastle, when he was interrupted; the other, the day of dating, at Gunnisgreen. This, however, does not tally with Sprot's account (p. 190) of Logan's movements (Nine Wells, Gunnisgreen, Fastcastle, Edinburgh), if these are the days of writing Letter IV. Yet, if Sprot forged Letter IV, he knew where he dated it from; {221} if the Government had it forged, they knew, from Sprot's confession, that it should have been dated from Fastcastle. Perhaps we should not bear too heavily on this point. A man may mention the wrong name by inadvertence, or the clerk, by inadvertence, may write the wrong name. Mr. Mark Napier in his essay on this matter twice or thrice prints 'Logan' for 'Sprot,' or 'Sprot' for 'Logan.' {222} 'Fastcastle,' in Sprot's confession, may be a slip of tongue or pen for 'Gunnisgreen,' or he may have been confused among the movements to and from Gunnisgreen and Fastcastle. The present writer finds similar errors in the manuscript of this work.

Sprot next alleged that, three months after the Gowrie affair, Logan bade Bower hunt among his papers for this very letter. He had been at Berwick, with Lord Willoughby, and Bower told Sprot that he was 'taking order' with all who knew of his part in the Gowrie plot. Here is the old difficulty. Why was the letter kept for one moment after Bower brought it back? Why leave it with Bower for three months? At all events, as Bower could not read, Sprot helped him to look for the letter, found it, and kept it 'till he framed three new letters upon it,' after which he does not say what he did with it.

Here Sprot cited, from memory, but not accurately, more of Letter IV. The existence of such errors is not remarkable. Sprot again swore to the truth of all his depositions since July 5. But if this story is true, how can it be true that Logan was at ease in his mind, after burning the letter from Alexander Ruthven, and another from Father Andrew Clerk, Jesuit, as Sprot previously swore? There was still Letter IV, lost, unburned, a haunting fear. It may be suggested that Sprot only kept this letter 'till' he had made his forgeries on its model, and then, in a later search, pretended to find and returned it, having first copied it out in Logan's hand; that copy being our Letter IV. Sprot first would make a copy, in his ordinary hand, of the letter, then restore the original, and, after Logan's death, copy his copy, in imitation of Logan's hand, and frame I, III, V, and the torn letter on his copy of IV. Finally, Sprot said that 'he believes this letter is in his chest among his writings, because he left it there when he was taken by Watty Doig and deposes that it is closed and folded within a piece of paper.' Sprot said this on August 10. On August 12 he was hanged. Now was this letter, on which he forged three others, found 'in his kist,' before his death? That it was so found, we have direct evidence, though not from the best of sources.

In the year 1713, an aged nobleman, Lord Cromarty, published a defence of the King's conduct in the Gowrie affair. Lord Cromarty, in 1713, was aged eighty-three. Born about 1630, he remembered the beginnings of the Civil War, and says that the Covenanters, about 1640-1645, made great political capital out of King James's alleged guilt in the slaughter of the Ruthvens. Later, Lord Cromarty occupied, in the Restoration, the highest judicial offices, and, as Clerk Registrar, had access to public documents. He was an old courtier, he may have been forgetful, he may have been unscrupulous, but, as to the letter in Sprot's kist, he writes 'the letter was found there by the Sheriff Depute, who was ordered by Sir William Hart, Lord Justice of Scotland, to seize the said chest, and make search for this letter, which he found, and delivered to the King's Advocate, Sir Thomas Hamilton.' {224}

Now this Sir Thomas Hamilton was the ancestor of the Earl of Haddington, who inherits many of his papers. Among these we find a copy, in Sprot's 'course hand,' or rapid current hand, of Letter IV, and another of Letter I, but no such copies of II, III. and V. Each of these is endorsed by James Primrose, Clerk of Council, is endorsed by Sprot, in faded ink, and is also endorsed in Sprot's ordinary everyday hand, very firm and clear, thus:

'This is copyitt off the principal' (the original), 'lykeas the note writtin upon the bak is writtin by me, George Sprott.'

There is, in fact, another 'note on the back,' in ink more faded, on a dirty rubbed part of the paper.

Now certainly the last endorsation was written by Sprot either on August 11 or August 12, 1600. He had not the original or this copy by him on August 10, or on August 11 when examined, for on August 10 he could only give a version of Letter IV from memory, and erroneously, the version cited in his indictment. On August 11 he still had not the original or his copy, for he quoted from memory, what he believed to be a postscript to the original Letter IV, a passage which is really in the text of Letter IV. He could not have made this error if, at that hour of August 11, he had either the original of Letter IV, or his exact copy before him, nor would there have been any reason why he should quote from memory, if Government had the documents. Yet he re-endorsed his copies of Letters I and IV before his death. This endorsement is firm and clear, the text of the two copies is fainter and much of the paper more rubbed, as if from being kept in the pocket. The copies are older than the final endorsement on the copies. It follows that the Sheriff Depute found these two copies (I, IV) and the originals, in Sprot's kist, and brought them to Sprot's examiners after that hour of August 11, when he could only quote from memory. He then endorsed them formally, one of the last acts of his life.

The originals were also found, for it will not be argued that Government employed another forger to forge them from Sprot's copies in 'course hand.' We know that Sprot had a secondary species of blackmailing documents, these in current hand; one of them he gave to the Goodman of Rentoun. For this, or some other purpose, he had made the 'course hand' copies of Letters I and IV, which he endorsed just before his death, or perhaps he made them from the original, which he then destroyed or surreptitiously returned. When he was examined on August 11, the three preachers, Galloway, Hall, and Hewatt, and the minister of Duddingston, Mr. Lumisden, were present. He was entreated not to perjure himself to the injury of innocent people, dead or alive, 'by making and forging of lies.' He renewed his protestations of truth, asked Mr. Galloway to pray for him, wept, and repeated his averments.

On August 12 Sprot was tried and hanged at Edinburgh. He renewed his protestations from every corner of the scaffold, in the most vigorous language. Abbot, who was present, declares that he thrice gave a loud clap with his hands while he swung, as a proof that he adhered in death to his last words. A similar story is told of Kirkcaldy of Grange, and I think in other cases. Nothing of the sort is in the first draft of the official account of his dying behaviour (a draft manifestly drawn up near the spot), nor in the official account itself.

Much value was set on dying confessions. When the preacher, Robert Bruce, refused to believe the King's account of the Gowrie tragedy, he said that one proof would satisfy him. Let Andrew Henderson, the man in the turret, be hanged. If he persisted in his confession on the scaffold, Mr. Bruce would believe. The King declined to make this abominable experiment. In Sprot's case his dying confession did not move the Kirk party. Calderwood hints that Mr. Galloway 'had the most speech to Sprot on the scaffold,' and so kept him true to a dying lie. {227a} He adds that Spottiswoode said to Galloway 'I am afraid this man make us all ashamed,' that is, by retracting his confessions. Mr. Patrick answered, 'Let alone, my Lord, I shall warrant him.' {227b} Had Andrew Henderson swung, constant to his confession, the Presbyterian sceptics would have found similar reasons for disbelief.

What are we to believe? Did Sprot go wherever he went with a blasphemous lie in his mouth? A motive for such vehemence of religious hypocrisy is difficult to find. Conceivably he had promise of benefits to his family. Conceivably he was an atheist, and 'took God in his own hand.' Conceivably his artistic temperament induced him to act his lie well, as he had a lie to act.

Yet all this is not satisfactory.

Let us take the unromantic view of common sense. It is this: Logan was a restless, disappointed intriguer and debauchee. He sold his lands, some to acquire a partnership with Lord Willoughby in a vessel trading to America; this vessel, or another, is among his assets recorded in his inventory. All his lands he sold—not that he was in debt, he was a large lender—for purposes of profligacy. These proceedings gave rise to gossip. The Laird must be selling his lands to evade forfeiture. He must have been engaged in the Gowrie mystery. Then Logan dies (July 1606). Bower is also dead (January 1606). It occurs to Sprot that there is money in all this, and, having lost Logan's business, the hungry Sprot needs money. He therefore makes a pact with some of Logan's debtors. He, for pay, will clear them of their debts to Logan's executors, whom he will enable them to blackmail. Logan's descendants by two marriages were finally his heirs, with Anna, a minor, daughter of his last wife, who had hoped to have no children by him, the free-spoken Lady Restalrig, nee Ker (Marion). They, of course, were robbed, by Logan's forfeiture, of 33,000 marks, owed to Logan by Dunbar and Balmerino. Meanwhile, just after Logan's death, in autumn 1606, Sprot forges Letters I, II, III, IV, V, and the torn letter, with two compromising letters to Bower, two to Ninian Chirnside, and an 'eik,' or addition, of compromising items to a memorandum on business, which, in September 1605, Logan gave to Bower and John Bell before he started for London and Paris. All these documents, the plot-letters, I, II, III, IV, V, and the rest (which lie before me), are mere instruments of blackmail, intended to terrorise the guardians of the Logans.

So far, all is clear. But, in April 1608, Sprot has blabbed and is arrested. The forgeries are found among his papers, or given up by Chirnside. Sprot confesses to the plot, to Logan's share of it, and to the authenticity of the letters and papers. He is then tortured, recants his confession, and avows the forgery of the papers. The Government is disappointed. In July, Dunbar comes down from town, treats Sprot leniently, and gives him medical attendance. Sprot now confesses to his genuine knowledge of the plot, but unflinchingly maintains that all the papers so far produced are forgeries, based on facts.

Why does he do this? He has a better chance of pardon, if he returns to the statement that they are genuine. If they are, the Government, which he must propitiate, has a far stronger hand, for the forgeries then defied detection. However, for no conceivable reason, unless it be either conscience or the vanity of the artist, Sprot now insists on claiming the letters as his own handiwork. On this point he was inaccessible to temptation, if temptation was offered. If he lies as to Letter II having been dictated by Logan, he lies by way of relapse into the habit of a lifetime, and so on other points. He keeps back all mention of Letter IV, till the last ember of hope of life is extinct.

It has not been hitherto known, either that Sprot kept back Letter IV till almost his dying day, or that he then, at last, revealed it. Lord Cromarty's averment that it was found in Sprot's kist was disbelieved. It is true, however, and now we ask, why did Sprot keep back Letter IV to the last, and why, having so long concealed it, did he say where it was, after all hope of life was over?

The answer can only be conjectural. Some might guess thus: till Letter IV was confessed to and found, Government had not received from Sprot one scrap of documentary evidence that could be used against Logan's heirs. Scoundrel as he was, Sprot could not guess that the Privy Council would use papers which were confessed forgeries to save Dunbar and Balmerino from paying some 33,000 marks to Logan's executors. The wretched Sprot had robbed the orphans on a small scale, but he would not, by producing the genuine Logan letter, enable the Lords to ruin them utterly. Bad as he was, the Laird had been kind to Sprot. Therefore he kept back, and by many a lie concealed, his real pieces of evidence, Letter IV, and I, if I is genuine. So far he acted on a remnant of natural conscience.

But Sprot, alas, had a religious conscience. He had a soul to be saved. The preachers had prayed with him. When death was but forty-eight hours distant, he feared to die with a lie in his mouth. So now, at last, he spoke of Letter IV as his real model. Perhaps he hoped that it would not be found, and probably it was in some secret drawer or false bottom of his kist. It was found, and was used, along with the confessed forgeries (which even Sprot could not have anticipated), to destroy the inheritance of the children, at Logan's posthumous trial in 1609.

But the obvious reply to this hypothesis is, that Letter IV, by the evidence of modern experts (evidence unanimous and irresistible), is just as much forged as all the rest, is just as certainly in Sprot's imitation of Logan's handwriting. This being so, why did Sprot keep it back so long, and why, having kept it back, did he, almost in his last hour, produce it, and say (if he did) that it was genuine, and his model, as it certainly was? This is the last enigma of Sprot. His motives defy my poor efforts to decipher them. Even if the substance of IV is genuine, what were Sprot's motives? I do not feel assured that Sprot really maintained the genuineness of the handwriting of Letter IV. His remark that he kept Logan's letter only till he forged others on it, as a model, certainly implies that he did not keep it after he had done his forgeries, and therefore that our Letter IV is, confessedly, not Logan's original. Certainly it is not.


The crucial question now arises, What is Letter IV? If it be genuine (in substance), then, whatever the details of the Gowrie Conspiracy may have been, a conspiracy there was. This can only be denied by ignorance. If the enterprise fails, says the author of Letter IV, the plotters will lose their lives, their lands and houses will be 'wrecked,' their very names will be extirpated; and, in fact, James did threaten to extirpate the name of Ruthven. The letter deliberately means High Treason. The objection of Calderwood, and of all the Ruthven apologists, that Sprot confessed to having forged all the letters, we have shown to rest on lack of information. He said, at last, that he had forged many papers (some did not appear in Court in 1609), and that he forged three letters on the model of Letter IV. These three letters may either be I, III, and V; or III, V, and the torn letter. The case of Letter I is peculiar. Though it contains much that is in Letter IV, and might have been taken from it, the repetitions need not imply copying from Letter IV. Byron and others would say the same things, on the same day, to two or three correspondents. Letter IV is subsequent, as dated, to Letter I, and Logan might say to the Unknown, on July 18, what, after the announced interval of ten days, he said to Gowrie. Letter I contains this remark on the nature of the plot: 'It is not far by' (not unlike) 'that form, with the like stratagem, whereof we had conference in Cap. h,' which may be Capheaton, on the English side of the Border. Probably Logan often discussed ingenious ways of catching the King: new plots were hatched about once a month, as Cecil's and the other correspondence of the age abundantly proves. The plot (the letter says) is like that in a Paduan story of a nobleman. The rest of the letter is identical with the matter of III, IV, and V. We cannot be sure whether Letter I is one of the three forged on IV or not.

One thing is certain, Letters III and V, to the Unknown, are modelled on IV, as is the torn letter. Sprot said this was the case, and every reader of III, V, and the torn letter (given above) must see that he tells the truth. These letters contain no invention at all, they merely repeat Letter IV. Any man who could invent IV had genius enough to alter his tunes in III, V. and the torn letter. But Sprot never deserts his model. This is an argument for the authenticity in substance of Letter IV. The other three contain nothing that is not in Letter IV, and everything that is in it, except what is personal to Gowrie, and would be inappropriate if addressed to the Unknown (I, III, V), or to Chirnside (torn letter).

There is (1) the mention of a Paduan adventure, the basis of the plot, a thing that Sprot is very unlikely to have invented. With all my admiration for Sprot, I do think that the Paduan touch is beyond him. This occurs in Letter IV, 'the good sport that M.A., your lordship's brother, told me of a nobleman in Padua. It is a parasteur' (? a propos) 'to this purpose we have in hand.' This appears in Letter I, 'reckless toys of Padua,' and in Letter V, 'bid M. A. remember on the sport he told me of Padua.'

2. The constant applause of Bower. This is in Letter IV, and in I, III, V, and the torn letter.

3. Meeting with Alexander Ruthven. This is in IV, and in I and V.

4. The meeting at Fastcastle, which is to be quiet and well-provisioned. This is in IV, and in I, III, V.

5. Lord Home and Mr. Rhynd are to know nothing. This is in IV, and in I, and V, and the torn letter, utterly needless repetition.

6. The King's hunting, the opportunity for the plot. This is in IV, and in I, but that is natural.

7. Directions as to returning the letters. These are in IV, in I, III, V, and the torn letter.

8. Injunctions of secrecy. These are in IV, and I, III, V, and in the torn letter.

9. Logan will be true, 'although the scaffold were already set up.' This is a phrase of Letter IV, and recurs in Letter III and in the torn letter.

10. Logan's elevation of heart on receipt of Gowrie's letter. This occurs in IV and in V.

Who can doubt that Letter IV is the source, followed servilely by the forger, of the torn letter and I (?), III, V? If Sprot could invent the substance of IV, why was he so chary of invention in all the other letters?

It is clear, moreover, that the Unknown himself is derived from a line in Letter IV: 'I have already sent another letter to the gentleman your Lordship knows, as the bearer will inform you of his answer.' The bearer is always Bower, so the 'gentleman' is to be conceived as in Gowrie's neighbourhood, or on the route thither, as one bearer serves both for Gowrie and the gentleman. Therefore, before July 5, Sprot (who had no idea as to who the gentleman was) identified the 'gentleman,' the Unknown of I, III, V, with the laird of Kinfauns, near Perth, or with the Constable of Dundee; but he withdrew these imputations, craving the pardon of the accused.

Thus it stands to reason that I (?), III, V, and the torn letter are forged on the model of IV. Sprot introduces no novelties in I, III, V, or the torn epistle. He harps eternally on the strings of IV. The only variation is (V) the mention of 'one other man with you,' in the proposed sail to Fastcastle.

It is not easy for criticism to evade the conclusion that I (?), III, V, and the torn letter are, indeed, forgeries modelled on IV. And what is IV?

Is Letter IV in substance genuine? If not, why did Sprot keep it back till the rope was noosed for his neck? A guess at his possible reasons for so keeping it back (as the only real documentary evidence extant against the orphans of Logan) we have given, but this fails if Letter IV was a forgery: as in handwriting it was.

Then there are the contents of Letter IV. To myself, and to Mr. Anderson, it does not seem probable, it seems hardly credible, that Sprot could have invented the contents of Letter IV. If he did, his power of rendering character might have been envied by the author of the Waverley Novels. In IV Logan is painted, the 'main loose man, but a good fellow,' with a master hand. The thing is freely, largely, and spontaneously executed. What especially moves me to think IV no invention, is the reference to the Paduan incident or romance, 'the good sport that Mr. Alexander told me of the nobleman of Padua, it is a propos to the purpose we have in hand.' This is casually inserted in the last words of the postscript, not blazoned in the text, as in the forgeries confessedly modelled on this letter. The whole tone of the letter is in keeping with the alleged author's temperament. It is respectful, but far from servile. Gowrie is a great Earl, but Logan is of an old and good name. There is the genial sensualism of the man, with his promise of wine and 'a fine hattit kit' (a kind of syllabub). There is the joyous forward glance at an anniversary dinner, with Bothwell, to which the King's hunting of this year shall furnish the dainty cheer; 'hoc jocose!' At this dinner Bothwell and Gowrie, old allies, are to meet at Logan's board, which may suggest that Bothwell and Gowrie are still working together.

The contempt for Lord Home as a conspirator—'in good faith he will never help his friend or harm his foe'—and the praises of Bower, are characteristic, and, here, are in place; elsewhere they are idle repetitions, mere copies. The apology for bad writing—Logan could not employ a secretary in this case—is natural: the two days writing agrees with Sprot's evidence. (p. 221.)

Could Sprot have invented all this: and, in his confessed forgeries, failed to invent anything? Would not the fertility of his genius have hurried him into fresh developments, and characteristic details, appropriate to the imaginary correspondent whom he addresses? These considerations may seem a mere leaning on 'internal evidence,' and 'literary instinct,' broken reeds. But the case is buttressed by the long and, on any theory, purposeless retention of Letter IV, the secrecy concerning it, and the confession, so obviously true, that Letter IV is the source and model of the forgeries. These facts have hitherto been unknown to writers who believed the whole correspondence to be a forgery done for the Government.

Both Mr. Anderson (who has greatly aided me by his acuteness and learned experience of old MSS.) and myself disbelieve that Logan's hand wrote Letter IV. The matter, the contents of Letter IV, may be Logan's, but the existing document may be 'a Sprot after Logan.' Sprot may have reinserted the genuine Logan IV among Bower's collection of papers, pretended to find it, and returned it to Logan, after copying it in Logan's hand. Or he may have copied it in his 'course hand' (the copy in the Haddington MSS.), and later, in autumn 1606, after Logan's death, have rewritten his copy in an imitation of Logan's hand. The contents, Mr. Anderson believes, as I do, are, none the less, genuine Logan.

If readers accept these conclusions, there was a Gowrie conspiracy, and Logan was in it. 'I trow your Lordship has a proof of my constancy already ere now,' he says in Letter IV, and Gowrie may have had a proof, in his early conspiracies of 1593-1594, or in a testimonial to Logan from Bothwell, Gowrie's old ally.

But, if readers do not accept our conclusions, they may still rest, perhaps, on the arguments adduced in the earlier chapters of this essay, to demonstrate that neither accident nor the machinations of the King, but an enterprise of their own, caused the Slaughter of the Ruthvens. The infamous conduct of the Privy Council in 1608-1609 does not prove that, in 1600, the King carried out a conspiracy in itself impossible.

I have found nothing tending to show that King James was ever made aware of Sprot's confessions of forgery. It is true that Sir William Hart, the Lord Justice, went to Court after Sprot's death, and, in September, the Scottish Privy Council asked James to send him home again. {239} But Hart need not have told all the truth to James.

There is a kind of rejoicing naivete in all of James's references to the Gowrie affair, which seems to me hardly consistent with his disbelief in his own prowess on that occasion. If one may conjecture, one would guess that the Privy Council and the four preachers managed to persuade themselves, Sprot being the liar whom we know, that he lied when he called his Logan papers forgeries. The real facts may have been concealed from the King. Mr. Gunton, the Librarian at Hatfield, informs me that, had he not seen Letter IV (which he is sure was written by Sprot), he does not think he should have suspected the genuineness of Letters II and III, after comparing them with the undoubted letters of Logan in the Cecil manuscripts. The Government and the four preachers, with such documents in their hands, documents still apt to delude, may easily have brought themselves to disbelieve Sprot's assertion that they were all forgeries. Let us hope that they did!


The affair of Sprot has an obvious bearing on that other mystery, the authenticity of the Casket Letters attributed to Queen Mary. As we know, she, though accused, was never allowed to see the letters alleged to be hers. We know that, in December 1568, these documents were laid before an assembly of English nobles at Hampton Court. They were compared, for orthography and handwriting, with genuine letters written by the Queen to Elizabeth, and Cecil tells us that 'no difference was found.' It was a rapid examination, by many persons, on a brief winter day, partly occupied by other business. If experts existed, we are not informed that they were present. The Casket Letters have disappeared since the death of the elder Gowrie, in 1584. From him, Elizabeth had vainly sought to purchase them. They were indispensable, said Bowes, her ambassador, to 'the secrecy of the cause.' Gowrie would not be tempted, and it is not improbable that he carried so valuable a treasure with him, when, in April 1584, he retired to Dundee, to escape by sea if the Angus conspiracy failed.

At Dundee he was captured, after defending the house in which he was residing. That house was pulled down recently; nothing was discovered. But fable runs that, at the destruction of another ancient house in Dundee, 'Lady Wark's Stairs,' a packet of old letters in French was found in a hiding hole contrived within a chimney. The letters were not examined by any competent person, and nobody knows what became of them. Romance relates that they were the Casket Letters, entrusted by Gowrie to a friend. It is equally probable that he yielded them to the King, when he procured his remission for the Raid of Ruthven. In any case, they are lost.

Consequently we cannot compare the Casket Letters with genuine letters by Mary. On the other hand, as I chanced to notice that genuine letters of Logan's exist at Hatfield, I was enabled, by the kindness of the Marquis of Salisbury, and of Sir Stair Agnew, to have both the Hatfield Logan letters, and the alleged Logan letters produced in 1609, photographed and compared, at Hatfield and at the General Register House in Edinburgh. By good fortune, the Earl of Haddington also possesses (what we could not expect to find in the case of the Casket Letters) documents in the ordinary handwriting of George Sprot, the confessed forger of the plot-letters attributed to Logan. The result of comparison has been to convince Mr. Gunton at Hatfield, Mr. Anderson in Edinburgh, Professor Hume Brown, and other gentlemen of experience, that Sprot forged all the plot-letters. Their reasons for holding this opinion entirely satisfy me, and have been drawn up by Mr. Anderson, in a convincing report. To put the matter briefly, the forged letters present the marked peculiarities of Logan's orthography, noted by the witnesses in 1609. But they also contain many peculiarities of spelling which are not Logan's, but are Sprot's. The very dotting of the 'i's' is Sprot's, not Logan's. The long 's' of Logan is heavily and clumsily imitated. There is a distinct set of peculiarities never found in Logan's undisputed letters: in Sprot's own letters always found. The hand is more rapid and flowing than that of Logan. Not being myself familiar with the Scottish handwriting of the period, my own opinion is of no weight, but I conceive that the general effect of Logan's hand, in 1586, is not precisely like that of the plot-letters.

My point, however, is that, in 1609, Sprot's forgeries were clever enough to baffle witnesses of unblemished honour, very familiar with the genuine handwriting of Logan. The Rev. Alexander Watson, minister of the Kirk of Coldinghame (where Logan was wont to attend), alleged that 'the character of every letter resembles perfectly Robert's handwrit, every way.' The spelling, which was peculiar, was also Logan's as a rule. Mr. Watson produced three genuine letters by Logan, before the Lords of the Articles (who were very sceptical), and satisfied them that the plot-letters were the laird's. Mr. Alexander Smith, minister of Chirnside, was tutor to Logan's younger children; he gave identical evidence. Sir John Arnott, Provost of Edinburgh, a man of distinction and eminence, produced four genuine letters by the Laird, 'agreeing perfectly in spelling and character with the plot-letters. The sheriff clerk of Berwick, William Home, in Aytoun Mill (a guest, I think, at Logan's 'great Yules'), and John Home, notary in Eyemouth, coincided. The minister of Aytoun, Mr. William Hogg, produced a letter of Logan to the Laird of Aytoun, but was not absolutely so certain as the other witnesses. 'He thinks them' (the plot-letters) 'like [to be] his writing, and that the same appear to be very like his write, by the conformity of letters and spelling.' {243a}

Thus, at the examination of Logan's real and forged letters, as at the examination of Queen Mary's real and Casket letters, in spelling and handwriting 'no difference was found.' Yet the plot-letters were all forged, and Mr. Anderson shows that, though 'no difference was found,' many differences existed. Logan had a better chance of acquittal than Mary. The Lords of the Articles, writes Sir Thomas Hamilton to the King (June 21, 1609), 'had preconceived hard opinions of Restalrig's process.' {243b} Yet they were convinced by the evidence of the witnesses, and by their own eyes.

From the error of the Lords of the Articles, in 1609, it obviously follows that the English Lords, at Hampton Court, in 1568, may have been unable to detect proofs of forgery in the Casket Letters, which, if the Casket Letters could now be compared with those of Mary, would be at once discovered by modern experts. In short, the evidence as to Mary's handwriting, even if as unanimously accepted, by the English Lords, as Cecil declares, is not worth a 'hardhead,' a debased copper Scottish coin. It is worth no more than the opinion of the Lords of the Articles in the case of the letters attributed to Restalrig.



Gowrie's Arms and Ambitions

The frontispiece of this volume is copied from the design of the Earl of Gowrie's arms, in what is called 'Workman's MS.,' at the Lyon's office in Edinburgh. The shield displays, within the royal treasure, the arms of Ruthven in the first and fourth, those of Cameron and Halyburton in the second and third quarters. The supporters are, dexter, a Goat; sinister, a Ram; the crest is a Ram's head. The motto is not given; it was DEID SCHAW. The shield is blotted by transverse strokes of the pen, the whole rude design having been made for the purpose of being thus scored out, after Gowrie's death, posthumous trial and forfeiture, in 1600.

On the left of the sinister supporter is an armed man, in the Gowrie livery. His left hand grasps his sword-hilt, his right is raised to an imperial crown, hanging above him in the air; from his lips issue the words, TIBI SOLI, 'for thee alone.' Sir James Balfour Paul, Lyon, informs me that he knows no other case of such additional supporter, or whatever the figure ought to be called.

This figure does not occur on any known Ruthven seal. It is not on that of the first Earl of Gowrie, affixed to a deed of February 1583-1584. It is not on a seal used in 1597, by John, third Earl, given in Henry Laing's 'Catalogue of Scottish Seals' (vol. i. under 'Ruthven'). But, in Crawford's 'Peerage of Scotland' (1716), p. 166, the writer gives the arms of the third Earl (John, the victim of August 5, 1600). In place of the traditional Scottish motto Deid Schaw, is the Latin translation, Facta Probant. The writer says (Note C), 'This from an authentic copy of his arms, richly illuminated in the year 1597, with his name and titles, viz. "Joannes Ruthven, Comes de Gowry, Dominus de Ruthven," &c., in my hands.'

In 1597, as the archives of the Faculty of Law, in the University of Padua, show, Gowrie was a student of Padua. It is also probable that, in 1597, he attained his majority. He certainly had his arms richly illuminated, and he added to his ancestral bearings what Crawfurd describes thus: 'On the dexter a chivaleer, garnish'd with the Earl's coat of arms, pointing with a sword upward to an imperial crown, with this device, TIBI SOLI.'

In Workman's MS., the figure points to the crown with the open right hand, and the left hand is on the sword-hilt. The illuminated copy of 1597, once in the possession of Crawfurd, must be the more authentic; the figure here points the sword at a crown, which is Tibi Soli, 'For thee' (Gowrie?) 'alone.'

Now on no known Ruthven seal, as we saw, does this figure appear, not even on a seal of Gowrie himself, used in 1597. Thus it is perhaps not too daring to suppose that Gowrie, when in Italy in 1597, added this emblematic figure to his ancestral bearings. What does the figure symbolise?

On this point we have a very curious piece of evidence. On June 22, 1609, Ottavio Baldi wrote, from Venice, to James, now King of England. His letter was forwarded by Sir Henry Wotton. Baldi says that he has received from Sir Robert Douglas, and is sending to the King by his nephew—a Cambridge student—'a strange relique out of this country.' He obtained it thus: Sir Robert Douglas, while at home in Scotland, had 'heard speech' of 'a certain emblem or impresa,' left by Gowrie in Padua. Meeting a Scot in Padua, Douglas asked where this emblem now was, and he was directed to the school of a teacher of dancing. There the emblem hung, 'among other devices and remembrances of his scholars.' Douglas had a copy of the emblem made; and immediately 'acquainted me with the quality of the thing,' says Baldi. 'We agreed together, that it should be fit, if possible, to obtain the very original itself, and to leave in the room thereof the copy that he had already taken, which he did effect by well handling the matter.

'Thus hath your Majesty now a view, in umbra, of those detestable thoughts which afterwards appeared in facto, according to the said Earl's own mot. For what other sense or allusion can the reaching at a crown with a sword in a stretched posture, and the impersonating of his device in a blackamore, yield to any intelligent and honest beholder?' {247}

From Baldi's letter we learn that, in the device left by Gowrie at Padua, the figure pointing a sword at the crown was a negro, thus varying from the figure in Workman's MS., and that in the illuminated copy emblazoned in 1597, and possessed in 1716 by Crawfurd. Next, we learn that Sir Robert Douglas had heard talk of this emblem in Scotland, before he left for Italy. Lastly, a mot on the subject by the Earl himself was reported, to the effect that the device set forth 'in a shadow,' what was intended to be executed 'in very deed.'

Now how could Sir Robert Douglas, in Scotland, hear talk of what had been done and said years ago by Gowrie in Padua? Sir Robert Douglas was descended from Archibald Douglas of Glenbervie (ob. 1570), who was ancestor of the Catholic Earl of Angus (flor. 1596). This Archibald of Glenbervie had a son, Archibald, named in his father's testament, but otherwise unknown. {248} Rather senior to Gowrie at the University of Padua, and in the same faculty of law, was an Archibald Douglas. He may have been a kinsman of Sir Robert Douglas, himself of the Glenbervie family, and from him Sir Robert, while still in Scotland, may have heard of Gowrie's device, left by him at Padua, and of his mot about in umbra and in facto. But, even if these two Douglases were not akin, or did not meet, still Keith, Lindsay, and Ker of Newbattle, all contemporaries of Gowrie at Padua, might bring home the report of Gowrie's enigmatic device, and of his mot there-anent. Had the emblem been part of the regular arms of Ruthven, Sir Robert Douglas, and every Scot of quality, would have known all about it, and seen no mystery in it.

It will scarcely be denied that the assumption by Gowrie of the figure in his livery, pointing a sword at the crown, and exclaiming 'For Thee Only,' does suggest that wildly ambitious notions were in the young man's mind. What other sense can the emblem bear? How can such ideas be explained?

In an anonymous and dateless MS. cited in 'The Life of John Earl of Gowrie,' by the Rev. John Scott of Perth (1818), it is alleged that Elizabeth, in April 1600, granted to Gowrie, then in London, the guard and honours appropriate to a Prince of Wales. The same Mr. Scott suggests a Royal pedigree for Gowrie. His mother, wife of William, first Earl, was Dorothea Stewart, described in a list of Scottish nobles (1592) as 'sister of umquhile Lord Methven.' Now Henry Stewart, Lord Methven ('Lord Muffin,' as Henry VIII used to call him), was the third husband of the sister of Henry VIII, Margaret Tudor, wife, first of James IV, then of the Earl of Angus (by whom she had Margaret, Countess of Lennox, and grandmother of James VI), then of Lord Methven. Now if Margaret Tudor had issue by Henry Stewart, Lord Methven, and if that issue was Dorothea, mother of John, third Earl of Gowrie, or was Dorothea's father or mother, that Earl was Elizabeth's cousin. Now Burnet, touching on the Gowrie mystery, says that his own father had 'taken great pains to inquire into that matter, and did always believe it was a real conspiracy. . . . Upon the King's death, Gowrie stood next to the succession of the crown of England,' namely, as descended from Margaret Tudor by Henry (Burnet says 'Francis'!), Lord Methven. Margaret and Methven, says Burnet, had a son, 'made Lord Methven by James V. In the patent he is called frater noster uterinus'—'Our brother uterine.' 'He had only a daughter, who was mother or grandmother to the Earl of Gowrie, so that by this he might be glad to put the King out of the way, that so he might stand next to the succession of the crown of England.' {249} If this were true, the meaning of Gowrie's device would be flagrantly conspicuous. But where is that patent of James V? Burnet conceivably speaks of it on the information of his father, who 'took great pains to inquire into the particulars of that matter,' so that he could tell his son, 'one thing which none of the historians have taken any notice of,' namely, our Gowrie's Tudor descent, and his claims (failing James and his issue) to the crown of England. Now Burnet's father was almost a contemporary of the Gowrie affair. Of the preachers of that period, the King's enemies, Burnet's father knew Mr. Davidson (ob. 1603) and Mr. Robert Bruce, and had listened to their prophecies. 'He told me,' says Burnet, 'of many of their predictions that he himself heard them throw out, which had no effect.' Davidson was an old man in 1600; Bruce, for his disbelief in James's account of the conspiracy, was suspended in that year, though he lived till 1631, and, doubtless, prophesied in select circles. Mr. Bruce long lay concealed in the house of Burnet's great-grandmother, daughter of Sir John Arnot, a witness in the trial of Logan of Restalrig. Thus Burnet's father had every means of knowing the belief of the contemporaries of Gowrie, and he may conceivably be Burnet's source for the tale of Gowrie's Tudor descent and Royal claims. They were almost or rather quite baseless, but they were current.

In fact, Dorothea Stewart, mother of Gowrie, was certainly a daughter of Henry Stewart, Lord Methven, and of Janet Stewart, of the House of Atholl. We find no trace of issue born to Margaret Tudor by her third husband, Lord Methven. Yet Gowrie's emblem, adopted by him at Padua in 1597, and his device left in the Paduan dancing school, do distinctly point to some wild idea of his that some crown or other was 'for him alone.' At the trial of Gowrie's father, in 1584, we find mention of his 'challenginge that honor to be of his Hignes blud,' but that must refer to the relationship of the Ruthvens and the King through the Angus branch of the Douglases. {250a}

This question as to the meaning of Gowrie's emblem came rather early into the controversy. William Sanderson, in 1656, published Lives of Mary and of James VI; he says: 'I have a manuscript which relates that, in Padua, the Earl of Gowrie, among other impressa (sic) in a fencing school, caused to be painted, for his devise, a hand and sword aiming at a crown.' {250b} Mr. Scott, in 1818, replied that the device, with the Ruthven arms, 'is engraven on a stone taken from Gowrie House in Perth, and preserved in the house of Freeland' (a Ruthven house). 'There is also, I have been told, a seal with the same engraving upon it, which probably had been used by the Earls of Gowrie and by their predecessors, the Lords of Ruthven.' {251a} But we know of no such seal among Gowrie or Ruthven seals, nor do we know the date of the engraving on stone cited by Mr. Scott. In his opinion the armed man and crown might be an addition granted by James III to William, first Lord Ruthven, in 1487-88. Ruthven took the part of the unhappy King, who was mysteriously slain near Bannockburn. Mr. Scott then guesses that this addition of 1488 implied that the armed man pointed his sword at the crown, and exclaimed Tibi Soli, meaning 'For Thee, O James III alone, not for thy rebellious son,' James IV. It may be so, but we have no evidence for the use of the emblem before 1597. Moreover, in Gowrie's arms, in Workman's MS., the sword is sheathed. Again, the emblem at Padua showed a 'black-a-more,' or negro, and Sir Robert Douglas could not but have recognised that the device was only part of the ancestral Ruthven arms, if that was the case. The 'black-a-more' was horrifying to Ottavio Baldi, as implying a dark intention.

Here we leave the additional and certainly curious mystery of Gowrie's claims, as 'shadowed' in his chosen emblem. I know not if it be germane to the matter to add that after Bothwell, in 1593, had seized James, by the aid of our Gowrie's mother and sister, he uttered a singular hint to Toby Matthew, Dean of Durham. He intruded himself on the horrified Dean, hot from his successful raid, described with much humour the kidnapping of the untrussed monarch, and let it be understood that he was under the protection of Elizabeth, that there was a secret candidate for James's crown, and that he expected to be himself Lieutenant of the realm of Scotland. Bothwell was closely lie with Lady Gowrie (Dorothea Stewart), and our Gowrie presently joined him in a 'band' to serve Elizabeth and subdue James. {251b}


(State Papers, Scotland (Elizabeth), vol. lxvi. No. 52)

The verie maner of the Erll of Gowrie and his brother their death, quha war killit at Perth the fyft of August by the kingis servanttis his Matie being present.

Vpone thurisday the last of July . . . . Perth from Strebrane . . . . bene ahunting accompainit wth . . . . purpose to have ridden to . . . . mother. Bot he had no sooner . . . . aspersauit fyn . . . . vpone such . . . . addressit thame selffis . . . thay continewit daylie . . . Amangis the rest Doctor Herries . . . Satirday the first of August feinying himself to . . . of purpose to . . . and my lordis house. This man be my Lord was w . . . and convoyit throche . . the house and the secreit pairts schawin him.

Vpon tysday my [lordis?] servanttis vnderstanding that my [lord?] was to ryde to Lot [Lothian] . . . obteinit licence to go . . . thair effairis and to prepare thameselfis. Whylk my lord wold [not] have grantit to thame if they . . . any treason in . . .

The same day Mr. Alexander being send for be the king . . . tymes befoir, raid to facland accompaneit wth Andro Ruthven and Andro Hendirson, of mynd not to have returnit . . . bot to have met his brother my lord the next morning at the watter syde. And Andro Hendirsonis confessioun testifeit this . . . tuke his ludgeing in facland for this nygt.

At his cuming to facland he learnit that his Matie was a huntting, quhair eftir brekfast he addrest him self. And eftir conference wt his Matie, he directit Andro Hendirsone to ryd befoir, and schaw my lord [that] the king wald come to Perth [for?] quhat occasion he knew not, and desyrit him to haist becaus he knew my lord vnforsene and vnprovydit for his cuming.

The kingis Matie eftir this resolution raid to Perth accompaneit wth thrie score horse quhair (?) threttie come a lytle before him . . . remainit . . .

My lord being at dennar Andro Hendirsone cwmes and sayis to his Lordship that the kingis Matie was cummand. My lord . . . quhat his Matie . . . his hienes was. The vther ansuris . . . Then my Lord caused discover the tabel and directit his Officeris [incontinent?] to go to the towne to seik prouision for his Mateis dennare. His Lordship's self accompaneit wt fower men (?) . . . twa onlie war his awin servanttis went to the south . . . of Perth to meit his Matie quhair in presence of all the company his Matie kyssit my lord at meitting.

When his Matie enterit in my lordis house his Maties awin porteris resavit the keyis of the gaitt . . . ylk thay keipit quh . . . murther was endit.

His Mateis self commandit to haist the dennare wt all expedition becaus he was hungrie eftir huntting quhilk . . . the schort warning and suddentlie dispaschit. His Mateis sendis Mr. Alexander to call Sir Thomas Erskyne and Jon Ramsay to folow him to the challmer, quhair his Matie, Sir Thomas Erskyne, Jon Ramsay, Doctor Hereis, and Mr. Wilsone being convenit slew [Mr. Alexr] and threw him down the stair, how and for quhat cause . . . thame selfis, and no doubt wald reveill if thay war was als straytlie toyit in the . . . men . . . kingis servanttis cummes to the . . . at dennare in the hall the . . . saying my lordis will ye . . . calling for horse . . . at his Maties . . . suddaine departure . . . and callit for his horse and stayit not . . . past out to the streit qr abyding his horse he hearis His Matie call on him out at the chalmer window my Lord of Gowrie traittoris hes murtherit yor brother alreddie and . . . ye suffir me to be murtherit also. My Lord hering yis makis to the yait (?) quhair himself was . . . in and Mr. Thomas Cranstoun that thrust in before him, the rest was excludit by violence of the kingis servanttis and cumpany quha . . . the hous and yett. My lord being in at the yett and entering in the turnpyck to pass vp to his Matie he fand his brother thrawin down ye stairs dead. And when he came to the chalmer dure Mr. Thomas Cranstoun being before him was stricken throw the body twyse and drawin bak be my lord, quha enterit in the chalmer calling if the king was alyve, bot the . . . , quhylk was in the chalmer . . . him wt stroke of sworde, bot being unable to ovircum him, and some of thame woundit, they promisit him to lat him see the king alyve according to his desyre, and in the meantyme he croceing his two swordis was be Jon Ramsay strok throw ye body, and falling wt the stroke recommendit his saule to God, protesting before his heavinlie Matie that he deit his trew subiect and the kingis. And this far is certanely knawin & collectit pairtly be the trew affirmacione of sum quha war present of the kingis awin folkis and last of all be the deposicionnis of Mr. Thomas Cranstoun, George Craigingelt, and J. (?) Barroun, quha eftir grevous & intolerable torturis tuke it vponn thair saluaciun & damnatioun that they never knew the Earle of Gowrie to carie any evill mynd to the kyng lat be to intend treasoun against him, bot rather wald die wt that that the Earle of Gowrie his brother and thay thame selfis deit innocent: . . . Hendersone if he be put to the lyke tryall . . . bot he will confess that he was servind the Lordis al . . . in the hall quhen the Mr was murtherit and quhen the kingis [servant?] broght the newis that his Matie was away & fra that I hear . . . that he was sene till the king causit him to come vponn promeis that his lyfe and landis suld be saif, for quhat cause the effect will . . . As for the buke of Necromancie whiche was alledgit to have bene deprehendit on my lord it (?) was proposeit to the earles pedagog Mr. Wr Rind (?), quha schawis that he knew my lord to have ane memoriall buik quhairin he wreat all the notable thingis he learned in his absence, ather be sicht or hearing, bot as for any buik of Necromancie nor his medling wt necromanceis he never knew thereof.

It may be my gude Lord governor that the maner of the earle of Gowrie and his brotheris death befoir writtin be so far frome yor honoure in mynd that yt (?) may move farther doubtes to aryse theryn. The cause hereof I vnderstand is pairtlie the difference of the last report frome the reporttis preceidding in that it determines na thing concerning the cause of his Maties sending for the Mr of Gowrie nor concerning. . . . speiches and . . . and in the chalmer. . . . pairtlie becaus . . . prevaile . . . or speik against his Matie albeit thay kowe . . . some thair be that corse . . . apat (?) to his Maties sayingis that thay will swear thame all albeit thair consciences persuade thame of [the] contrair. Sua it is hard for yor Lordship to be resoluit be reporttis. Bot if it will pleas yor Lordship to be acquent wt the causis and incidentis preceidding this dolorous effect, I hoip yor Lordship wilbe the mair easilie persuadit of the treuth. And first of all the evill mynd careit be my lord. . . . Colonel (?) Stewart and his privie complaint & informacioune to his Matie thair anent.

Secondlie the opposition laid (?) be my lord himself in the Conventioun and be the barronnis, as is thocht be his instigacioun, against (?) his Matie.

Thirdlie the great haitrent and envy of the courtieris in particularis, quha had persavit him to be ane great staye of thair commoditie, and sa be fals reportis and calumneis did go about to kendle and incense his Maties wrath against him privilie.

And fourtlie the over great expectatioune the Kirk and cuntrie had of him wt ane singular lowe preceding yr fra and vther causis qlk is not neidfull to be exprest. All these causis makis the kingis pairt to be deadlie suspected be those quha knawis thame to be of veritie.

As for my lordis pairt if yor Lordship knew how weill he was trainit be Mr Robert Rollok ane of the godliest men in Scotland at scoolis, and quhat testificatioun of gude inclinacioun and behaviour he had ressauit fra him yor honor wald hardlie beleue him a traitor.

Secondlie if yor Lordship knew wt quhat accompt and good opinioun of all gude men he passit sobirlie and quyetlie out of his . . . how wiselie and godlie he behauit him self in all natiounis quhairsoever he come, how he sufferit in Rome itself . . . for the treuth of his religion . . . as I am sure he . . . be suspect to be a traittor.

Thirdlie to quhat end suld my lord of Gourie have maid hes leving frie, brocht hame furniture and ornamenttis for his hous and payit all his. . . fatheris debtis and setlit himself to be a gude iusticiar in his awin landis as is notoriouslie knawin gif wtin the space of twa monethis haveing scairslie . . . countrie he suld resolue to . . . & murther his Prince be . . . cause and sa to quyt his countrie his leving his welth his . . . & lyfe, lat be the ruitting out of his name & posteritie for evir.


[Preserved in the General Register House, Edinburgh]

(1) Robert Logan of Restalrig to . . .

Rycht Honorabill Sir,—My dewty with servise remembred. Pleise yow onderstand, my Lo. of Gowry and some vtheris his Lo. frendis and veill villeris, qha tendaris his Lo. better preferment, ar vpon the resolucion ye knaw, for the revenge of that cawse; and his Lo. hes vrettin to me anent that purpose, qhairto I vill accorde, incase ye vill stand to and beir a part: and befoir ye resolve, meet me and M.A.R. in the Cannogat on Tysday the nixt owk, and be als var as ye kan. Indeid M.A.R. spak with me fowr or fywe dayis syn, and I hew promised his Lo. ane answar within ten dayis at farrest. As for the purpose how M.A.R. and I hes sett down the cowrse, it vill be ane very esy done twrne, and nocht far by that forme, vith the lyke stratagem, qhairof ve had conference in Cap. h. Bot incase ye and M.A.R. forgader, becawse he is someqhat consety, for Godis saik be very var vith his raklese toyis of Padoa: For he tald me ane of the strangest taillis of ane nobill man of Padoa that ever I hard in my lyf, resembling the lyk purpose. I pray yow, Sir, think nathing althocht this berare onderstand of it, for he is the special secretair of my lyf; His name is Lard Bower, and vas ald Manderstonis man for deid and lyf, and evin so now for me. And for my awin part, he sall knaw of all that I do in this varld, so lang as ve leif togidder, for I mak him my howsehald man: He is veill vorthy of credit, and I recommend him to yow. Alvyse to the purpose, I think best for our plat that ve meet all at my house of Fastcastell; for I hew concludit with M.A.R. how I think it sall be meittest to be convoyit quyetest in ane bote, be sey; at qhilk tyme vpon swre adwartisment I sall hew the place very quyet and veill provydit; and as I receve yowr answer I vill post this berair to my Lo. and therfoir I pray yow, as ye luf yowr awin lyf, becawse it is nocht ane matter of mowise, be circumspect in all thingis, and tak na feir bot all sall be veill. I hew na vill that ather my brother or yit M.W.R. my Lo. ald pedagog knaw ony thing of the matter, qhill all be done that ve vald hew done; and thane I cair nocht qha get vit, that lufis vs. Qhen ye hew red, send this my letter bak agane vith the berar, that I may se it brunt my self, for sa is the fasson in sic errandis; and if ye please, vryyt our (?) answer on the bak herof, incase ye vill tak my vord for the credit of the berair: and vse all expedicioun, for the twrne vald nocht be lang delayit. Ye knaw the kingis hwnting vill be schortly, and than sall be best tyme, as M.A.R. has asswred me, that my Lo. has resolved to interpryse that matter. Lwking for yowr answer, committis yow to Chrystis haly protectioun. Frome Fastcastell, the awchtan day of July 1600.

(Sic subscribitur) Yowris to vtter power redy


On the back 'Sprott,' 'bookit' (2).

* * * * *

(2) Robert Logan of Restalrig to Laird Bower.

Lard Bower,—I pray yow hast yow hast to me abowt the erand I tald yow, and ve sall confer at lenth of all thingis. I hew recevit an new letter fra my Lo(rd) of Go(wrie) concerning the purpose that M.A. his Lo. brothir spak to me befoir, and I perseif I may hew avantage of Dirleton, incase his other matter tak effect, as ve hope it sall. Alvayse I beseik yow be at me the morne at evin, for I hew asswred his lo. servand, that I sall send yow over the vatter vithin thre dayis, vith an full resolucion of all my vill, anent all purposes; As I sall indeid recommend yow and yowr trustiness till his lo. as ye sall find an honest recompense for yowr panes in the end. I cair nocht for all the land I hew in this kingdome, incase I get an grip of Dirleton, for I estem it the plesantest dwelling in Scotland. For Goddis cawse, keip all thingis very secret, that my lo. my brothir get na knawlege of owr purposes, for I (wald?) rather be eirdit quik. And swa lwking for yow, I rest till meitting. Fra the Kannogait, the xviij day of July.

(Sic subscribitur) Yowris to power redy


I am verie ill at eise and thairfoir speid yow hither.

On the back 'Sprott,' 'Secund,' 'bookit.'

* * * * *

(3) Robert Logan of Restalrig to . . . .

Rycht honorable Sir,—All my hartly duty vith humbill servise remembred. Sen I hew takin on hand to interpryse vith my lo(rd) of Go(wrie) yowr speciall and only best belowed, as ve hew set down the plat alredy, I vill request yow that ye vill be very circumspek and vyse, that na man may get ane avantage of vs. I dowt nocht bot ye knaw the perell to be bayth lyf, land and honowr, incase the mater be nocht vyslie vsed: And for my avin part, I sall hew an speciall respek to my promise that I hew maid till his Lo. and M.A. his lo(rdschipis) brother, althocht the skafald var set vp. If I kan nocht vin to Fakland the first nycht, I sall be tymelie in St Johnestoun on the morne. Indeid I lipnit for my lo(rd) himself or ellise M.A. his lo. brother at my howse of Fast(castell) as I vret to them bayth. Alwyse I repose on yowr advertysment of the precyse day, vith credit to the berar: for howbeit he be bot ane silly ald gleyd carle, I vill answer for him that he sall be very trew. I pray yow, sir, reid and ather bwrne or send agane vith the berare; for I dar haserd my lyf and all I hew ellise in the varld on his message, I hew sik pruif of his constant trewth. Sa committis yow to Chrystis holy protectioun. Frome the Kannogait the xxvij day of July 1600.

(Sic subscribitur)

Yowris till all power vt humbill servise redy RESTALRIGE.

I vse nocht to vryt on the bak of ony of my letteris concerning this errand.

On the back 'Sprott,' 'bookit' (3).

* * * * *

(4) Robert Logan of Restalrig to the Earl of Gowrie.

My Lo.—My maist humbill dewtie vith servise in maist hartly maner remembred. At the resset of yowr lo(rdchipis) letter I am so comforted, especially at your Lo: purpose communicated onto me thairin, that I kan nather vtter my joy nor find myself habill how to enconter yowr lo. vith dew thankis. Indeid my lo. at my being last in the town M.A. your lo. brother imperted somqhat of yowr lo(rdschipis) intentioun anent that matter onto me; and if I had nocht bene busyed abowt sum turnis of my avin, I thoght till hew cummit over to S. Jo. and spokin vith your lo(rdschip). Yit alvayse my lo. I beseik your lo. bayth for the saifty of yowr honowr, credit and mair nor that, yowr lyf, my lyf, and the lyfis of mony otheris qha may perhapis innocently smart for that turne eftirwartis, incase it be reveilled be ony; and lykvyse, the vtter vraking of our landis and howsis, and extirpating of owr names, lwke that ve be all alse sure as yowr lo. and I myself sall be for my avin part, and than I dowt nocht, bot vith Godis g(race) we sall bring our matter till ane fine, qhilk sall bring contentment to vs all that ever vissed for the revenge of the Maschevalent massakering of our deirest frendis. I dowt nocht bot M.A. yowr lo. brother hes informed yowr lo. qhat cowrse I laid down, to bring all your lo(rdschipis) associatis to my howse of Fast(castell) be sey, qhair I suld hew all materiallis in reddyness for thair saif recayving a land, and into my howse; making as it ver bot a maner of passing time, in ane bote on the sey, in this fair somer tyde; and nane other strangeris to hant my howse, qhill ve had concluded on the laying of owr plat, quhilk is alredy devysed be M.A. and me. And I vald viss that yowr lo. wald ather come or send M.A. to me, and thareftir I sowld meit yowr lo. in Leith, or quyetly in Restal(rig) qhair ve sowld hew prepared ane fyne hattit kit, vt succar, comfeitis, and vyn; and thereftir confer on matteris. And the soner ve broght owr purpose to pass it ver the better, before harwest. Let nocht M.W.R. yowr awld pedagog ken of your comming, bot rather vald I, if I durst be so bald, to intreit yowr lo. anis to come and se my avin howse, qhair I hew keipit my lo(rd) Bo(thwell) in his gretest extremityis, say the King and his consell qhat they vald. And incase God grant vs ane hapy swccess in this errand, I hope baith to haif yowr lo. and his lo., vith mony otheris of yowr loveries and his, at ane gude dyner, before I dy. Alvyse I hope that the K(ingis) bwk hunting at Falkland, this yeir, sall prepair sum daynty cheir for ws, agan that dinner the nixt yeir. Hoc jocose, till animat yowr lo. at this tyme; bot eftirvartis, ve sall hew better occasion to mak mery. I protest, my lo. before God, I viss nathing vith a better hart, nor to atchive to that qhilk yowr lo. vald fane atteyn onto; and my continewall prayer sall tend to that effect; and vith the large spending of my landis gudis, yea the haserd of my lyf, sall not afray me fra that, althocht the skaffold var alredy sett vp, befoir I sowld falsify my promise to yowr lo. and perswade yowr lo(rdschip) therof. I trow yowr lo. hes ane pruife of my constancy alredy or now. Bot my lo. qharas your lo. desyris in yowr letter, that I craif my lo. my brotheris mynd anent this matter, I alvterly disasent fra that that he sowld ever be ane counsalowr therto; for in gude fayth, he vill newer help his frend nor harme his fo. Yowr lo. may confyde mair in this ald man, the beirer heirof, my man La(ird) Bowr, nor in my brother; for I lippin my lyf and all I hew ells in his handis; and I trow he vald nocht spair to ryde to Hellis yet to plesour me; and he is nocht begylit of my pairt to him. Alvyse, my lo. qhen yowr lo. hes red my letter, delyver it to the berair agane, that I may se it brunt vith my awin ein; as I hew sent yowr Lo: letter to yowr Lo. agane; for so is the fassone I grant. And I pray yowr lo. rest fully perswaded of me and all that I hew promesed; for I am resolved, howbeit it ver to dy the morne. I man intreit yowr lo. to expede Bowr, and gif him strait directioun, on payn of his lyf, that he tak never ane vink sleip, qhill he se me agane; or ellise he vill vtterly vndo vs. I hew alredy sent an other letter to the gentill man yowr lo. kennis, as the berare vill informe yowr lo. of his answer and forvardness vith yowr lo.; and I sall schaw yowr lo. forder, at meting, qhen and qhair yowr lo. sall think meittest. To qhilk tyme and ever committis yowr lo. to the proteccioun of the Almychtie God. From Gwnisgrene, the twenty nynt of Julij 1600.

(Sic subscribitur) Your lo. awin sworne and bundman to obey and serve vt efauld and ever redy seruise to his vttir power till his lyfis end.


Prayis yowr lo. hald me excused for my vnsemly letter, qhilk is nocht sa veil vrettin as mister var: For I durst nocht let ony of my vryteris ken of it, but tuke twa syndry ydill dayis to it my self.

I vill never foryet the gude sporte that M.A. yowr lo: brother tald me of ane nobill man of Padoa, it comiss sa oft to my memory. And indeid it is a parastevr to this purpose ve hew in hand.

On the back 'Sprott,' 'bookit' (4).

* * * * *

(5) Robert Logan of Restalrig to . . .

Rycht honorabill Sir,—My hartly dewty remembred. Ye knaw I tald yow at owr last meitting in the Cannogat that M.A.R. my lo. of Go(wries) brother had spokin vith me, anent the matter of owr conclusion; and for my awin part I sall nocht be hindmest; and sensyne I gat ane letter from his lo. selff, for that same purpose; and apon the resset tharof, onderstanding his lo. frankness and fordvardness in it, God kennis if my hart vas nocht liftit ten stagess! I postit this same berare till his lo. to qhome ye may concredit all yowr hart in that asveill as I; for and it var my very sowl, I durst mak him messinger therof, I hew sic experiense of his treuth in mony other thingis: He is ane silly ald gleyd carle, bot vonder honest: And as he hes reportit to me his lo. awin answer, I think all matteris sall be concluded at my howse of Fa(stcastell); for I and M.A.R. conclude that ye sowld come vith him and his lo. and only ane other man vith yow, being bot only fowr in company, intill ane of the gret fisching botis, be sey to my howse, qher ye sall land as saifly as on Leyth schoir; and the howse agane his lo. comming to be quyet: And qhen ye ar abowt half a myll fra schoir, as it ver passing by the howse, to gar set forth ane vaf. Bot for Godis sek, let nether ony knawlege come to my lo. my brotheris eiris, nor yit to M.W.R. my lo. ald pedagog; for my brother is kittill to scho behind, and dar nocht interpryse, for feir; and the other vill disswade vs fra owr purpose vith ressonis of religion, qhilk I can newer abyd. I think thar is nane of a nobill hart, or caryis ane stomak vorth an pini, bot they vald be glad to se ane contented revenge of Gray Steillis deid: And the soner the better, or ellse ve may be marrit and frustrat; and therfor, pray his lo(rdschip) be qwik and bid M.A. remember on the sport he tald me of Padoa; for I think vith my self that the cogitacion on that sowld stimulat his lo(rdschip). And for Godis cawse vse all yowr cowrses cum discrecione. Fell nocht, sir, to send bak agan this letter; for M.A. leirit me that fasson, that I may se it distroyed my self. Sa till your comming, and ever, committis yow hartely to Chrystis holy protection. From Gwnisgrene, the last of July 1600.

On the back 'xiij Aprilis 1608 producit be Ninian Chirnesyde (8).'

Also 'Sprott,' 'Fyft. bookit.'


ABBOT, Dr. George, present when Sprot was hanged, 177, 226; his pamphlet containing official account of Sprot's trial and examinations, 178

Abercromby, Robert (the King's saddler), said to have brought James to Perth to 'take order for his debt,' 83, 84, 159

Agnew, Sir Stair, cited, 241

Analysis of Letter IV, 232-239

Anderson, Rev. Mr., finds the torn letter from Logan to Chirnside, 174; on Letter IV., 236, 237, 238; on the Logan plot-letters, 241, 242, 243

Angus, Earl of, involves Gowrie's father in a conspiracy with him, 121, 122; under the spells of witchcraft, 198, 199

Anne of Denmark, Queen (wife of James VI), her attributed relations with the Earl Moray, 2; and with Gowrie and the Master of Ruthven, 3, 133, 134, 138; romantic story of her ribbon on the Master's neck, 132; invites Gowrie to Court, 133, 134; sorrow for the slaying of the Ruthvens, 5, 133, 138; plots against the Earl of Mar, 138, 139

Arms, Gowrie's, 245 et seq.

Arnott, Sir John (provost of Edinburgh), on the Logan plot-letters, 243; at the trial of Logan, 250

Arran (Capt. James Stewart), his influence over James, 119; his treachery to Gowrie's father, 120-123; receives that nobleman's forfeited estate, 123; driven into retirement, 123

Arran, Earl of, Bothwell's (James Hepburn) proposal to him to seize Mary, cited, 71

Ashfield, kidnapped by Lord Willoughby, cited, 139

Atholl, Earl of (married to Gowrie's sister Mary), 123; in alliance with Bothwell and Gowrie against James, 125; manifesto to the Kirk, 125; letters from James, 134, 135

Auchmuty, John, in attendance on James, 12

* * * * *

BAILLIE, John, of Littlegill, implicated by Sprot with Logan, 202, 203; denies receiving a letter from Logan, 209

Baldi, Ottavio, his letter to James on the Gowrie emblem at Padua, 246, 247, 251

Balgonie. See Graham of Balgonie.

Barbe, Mr. Louis, on Henderson's and the Master's ride to Falkland, 45; his view of the notary Robertson's evidence respecting Henderson, 61 note; as to the theory of an accidental brawl, 94; on James and the pot of gold tale, 95; on Bruce's interrogation of the King, 109; on the invitation from the King to Gowrie, Atholl, and others to join him at Falkland, 135

Baron (Gowrie's retainer), in the chamber fight, 87; hanged, 87

Bell, John, Logan's memorandum to him, 174, 195

Beza, Gowrie with, at Geneva, 180

Bisset, Mr., quoted, on the notary Robertson's evidence respecting Henderson, 61 note

Bothwell, Francis Stewart Earl of, aided by Gowrie's mother and sister captures James at Holyrood, 124, 125; manifesto to the Kirk, 125; his list of Scottish Catholic nobles ready for the invasion of Scotland, 128; other proposals of invasion, 129; vague hints at his aim to change the dynasty, 140; his whereabouts in 1600, 147 note; on terms with Logan of Restalrig, 154, 155, 156; charged with practising witchcraft against the King's life, 198; report as to a secret candidate for James's crown, 251

Bothwell, James Hepburn Earl of, his proposal to Arran to seize Mary, cited, 71

Bower, James (a retainer of Logan's), custodian of compromising letters between Logan and Gowrie, 164, 174, 176, 177, 195; bearer of Gowrie's letter to Logan, 183, 188, 191; letter from Logan, 183, 184; Sprot's account of Logan and Bower's scheme to get possession of Dirleton, 189; with Logan at Coldinghame after the tragedy, 195; custodian of Ruthven's and Clerk's letters to Logan, 202; blamed for the selling of Fastcastle, 204; letter from Logan reproaching him for indiscretions of speech, 211, 212

Bower, Valentine, employed by his father James to read Logan's letters, 213

Bowes, Sir William (English Ambassador), no friend of James's, 96; his hypothesis respecting the Gowrie tragedy, 96; letter to Sir John Stanhope on same matter, 97 note

Brown, Professor Hume, on the Logan plot-letters, 241

Brown, Robert (James's servant), part in the Gowrie mystery, 31

Bruce, Rev. Robert (Presbyterian minister), his cross-examination of James on the Gowrie tragedy, 38; allows that James was not a conspirator, 95; explains to James the reasons for the preachers' refusal to thank God for his delivery from a 'plot,' 101; sceptical of the veracity of James's narrative, 102, 103; will believe it if Henderson is hanged, 103, 104, 106, 226; goes into banishment, 105; tells Mar in London he is content to abide by the verdict in the Gowrie case, but is not persuaded of Gowrie's guilt, 105; meets the King in Scotland, and tells him he is convinced, on Mar's oath, that he is innocent, 106; interrogates the King, 107; refuses to make a public apology in the pulpit and is banished to Inverness, 108, 250; his 'Meditations,' 110 note; asks Lord Hamilton to head the party of the Kirk, 177; prophecies, 249

Burnet (Burnet's father), on the Gowrie mystery, 249, 250

Burnet, Bishop, quoted, on Gowrie's claims to a Royal pedigree, 249, 250

Burton, Dr. Hill, on James VI, 5; on Logan's plot-letters, 169

* * * * *

CALDERWOOD, Rev. David (Presbyterian minister), on James's narrative of the Gowrie affair, 36, 37; on the man in the turret, 62; rejects the story of Craigengelt's dying confession, 104; view of the objections taken by sceptics to the King's narrative, 111; on Gowrie's entry to Edinburgh, 130; on the confession of Sprot on the scaffold, 163, 164 note, 227; his interpretation of Sprot's confession, 164; on the Logan plot-letters, 170, 172, 173

Cant, Mr. (antiquary), on Gowrie House, 18

Carey, Sir John (Governor of Berwick), respecting a treatise in vindication of the Ruthvens, 81; informs Cecil of James's jealousy of Gowrie, 130; and of the Court tattle respecting the Queen and Gowrie, 133

Casket Letters, the, cited, 5, 7, 8; in possession of Gowrie's father, 240; disappearance of, 241; probability of forgery, 244

Cecil Papers at Hatfield, the, 158

Cecil, Sir Robert, Queen Elizabeth's minister, 11; communication from Nicholson respecting Cranstoun and Henderson, 75 note; letter from Carey respecting a treatise in vindication of the Ruthvens, 81; intrigue with Bothwell, 147 note; with Border Scots intriguing against James, 159, 160; Lord Willoughby's offer of a ship if subsidised, 218

Chirnside, Ninian, of Whitsumlaws, 154; Logan's letter to him, 174; relations with Logan, 197, 199; employed by Bothwell to arrange meetings with the wizard Graham, 198, 199; in danger after the failure of the Gowrie plot, 203; Sprot's forged letter of Logan's to be used by him for blackmailing Logan's executors, 215

Christie, porter at Gowrie House on the fatal day, 21

Clerk, Father Andrew (Jesuit), intriguing against James, 201, 212

Coat of arms, Gowrie's, 245 et seq.

Colville, John, tells Cecil of Gowrie's summons to be leader of the Kirk, 129; schemes against James, 140, 146, 155; renounces Frank Bothwell, 198

Corsar, John, cited, 211

Cowper, Rev. Mr. (minister of Perth), on Gowrie's views as to secrecy in plots, 144

Craigengelt (Gowrie's steward), his evidence regarding the Master's ride to Falkland, 44; observation of the Master while the King dines, 49; at the dinner, 65, 83, 84; his confession before execution, 103, 104; denial of receipt of letters from James to Gowrie, 134, 135 note; on the movements of the Gowries before the tragedy, 136; hanged, 87

Cranstoun of Cranstoun, Sir John, 154

Cranstoun Riddell, Laird of, (Logan's father-in-law), 153

Cranstoun, Thomas (Gowrie's equerry), his share in the transactions at Gowrie House which brought about the slaughter of the Ruthvens, 20, 21, 23, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31; wounded by Ramsay, 74, 85; examined, tortured, tried, and hanged at Perth, 74, 87, 155; an outlawed rebel and adherent of Bothwell, 74 note, 155

Cranstoun, Wm. (Bothwellian), 155

Crockett, Willie, one of Sprot's victims, 203; his account of Logan's Yule at Gunnisgreen, 209

Cromarty, Lord, his defence of James in the Gowrie affair, 223; testifies to the finding of Sprot's Letter IV, 224, 229

* * * * *

DAVIDSON, Rev. M., cited, 249

Dirleton, Gowrie's stronghold near North Berwick, 42, 43, 145

Doig, Watty, arrests Sprot, 162

Douglas, Archibald, the infamous traitor, 140; his intimacy with Logan, 154, 155, 157

Douglas, Archibald, of Glenbervie, 248

Douglas, Archibald (son of Douglas of Glenbervie), student at Padua, 126, 248

Douglas of Spot, 140, 156

Douglas, Sir Robert, and the Gowrie emblem in Padua, 127, 246, 247, 248, 251

Drummond of Inchaffray, at Gowrie House when the Ruthvens were killed, 19, 24, 43; letter from James, 134, 135

Dunbar, Earl of, his humane treatment of Sprot, 163, 170; Sprot's confession forwarded to him, 182; in debt to Logan, 211

Dunfermline, Earl of, and the preachers, 102; opposes James's demands for money, 131; present at Sprot's examinations, 201, 210

* * * * *

EASTER WEMYSS, Laird of, opposes James's demands for money, 131

Elizabeth, Queen, 11; receives, through Preston, James's account of the Gowrie affair, 96; seeks to purchase the Casket Letters from Gowrie's father, 240; said to have granted to Gowrie the guard and honours of a Prince of Wales, 248

Elphinstone (Lord Balmerino), Secretary of the Privy Council, in receipt of James's narrative of the Gowrie plot, 38; denies discrepancies alleged by the preachers in the report of the tragedy, 102

Erskine, Sir Thomas, his share in the Gowrie slaughter, 19, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 51, 59, 74, 85, 139

Erskine (Sir Thomas's brother), his part in the tragedy, 26, 27, 28, 29

Essex, Earl of, 11, 105

Eviot, Patrick, present at the fight in the death chamber, 29, 30, 60; proclaimed, 63

* * * * *

FALKLAND Castle, 5, 12

Fastcastle, Berwickshire, the stronghold of Logan, where it is said James was to have been lodged, 153, 154, 193, 194

Fyvie, President of the Privy Council. See Dunfermline.

* * * * *

GALLOWAY, Rev. Patrick (the King's chaplain), his account of the doors passed through and locked by the Master on the way to the turret, 53; proclaims Henderson as the man in the turret, 63; alleges that Gowrie attempted to involve James in negotiations with the Pope, 104, 128; reported to have induced Henderson to pretend to be the man in the turret, 114; at Sprot's examination, 186, 217, 220, 226

Galloway, William, one of Sprot's victims, 203

Gardiner, Mr. S. R. (historian), on the Gowrie mystery, 5

Gibson (Scottish judge), kidnapping of, 145

Goodman, the, of Pitmillie, on the King's knowledge of Henderson, 114

Gowdie, Isobel, accused of witchcraft, 198

Gowrie, Earl of (father of John Earl of, and the Master of Ruthven), one of the Riccio murderers, 118; in charge of Mary at Lochleven, 118; pardoned for his share in the Raid of Ruthven, 119; arrested and brought to trial, 120; foul means by which his conviction was procured, 120-123; foreknowledge of the Angus conspiracy, 121, 122; nobles charged by him with treachery, 122; execution, 11, 55, 56, 121; the King's debt to him, 84; after death denounced by James as a traitor, 96; the Casket Letters in his possession, 240

Gowrie House, situation and topography of, 14-18; Lennox's account of proceedings at, on the day of the slaughter, 20 et seq.

Gowrie Inn, 18

Gowrie, John Earl of, his attributed relations with the Queen, 3; speculations as to his aims and character, 5, 7; and the causes leading to his death, 5, 7; alleged plot to seize James, 7; his retainers' evidence thereon, 9; the Duke of Lennox's account of events, 13 et seq.; James's invitation to Gowrie House to see the treasure, 14; situation and topography of his house, 15-18; observers' accounts of his plot said to have been aimed at the King, 20-34; the manner of his death, 31; the King's own narrative of the Gowrie plot, 35 et seq.; his conduct in the light of that narrative, 42; the circumstance of the man in the turret, and the plot of gold concealed from him, 41, 42, 49, 50; Henderson sent by the Master to warn him of the King's arrival, 43; secrecy enjoined by him on Henderson as to the ride to Falkland, 44; silent as to his knowledge of the King's approach, 45; makes no preparation for the King's dinner 46, 49; influence of a disagreement between him and the Master, respecting the Abbey of Scone, 48, 49; meets the King and conducts him to Gowrie House, 49; his uneasy conduct while the King dines, 49, 50; account of his share in the plot drawn from Henderson's deposition, 64; questions Henderson about the King, 65; bids Henderson put on his secret coat of mail to arrest a Highlander, 65; the contemporary Ruthven Vindication, 80-93; theory of an accidental brawl, 94-98; contemporary clerical and popular criticism, 99 et seq.; alleged attempts to entangle James in negotiations with the Pope, 104; grounds for a hereditary feud between him and James, 118; elected provost of Perth, 124; at Edinburgh University, 124; in alliance with Bothwell and Atholl against James, 125; their manifesto to the Kirk, 125; goes with his tutor Rhynd to Padua, 126; his emblem, and saying regarding it, 127; extols the conduct of an English fanatic at Rome, 127: reported to have been converted to Catholicism, 128; his name on Bothwell's list of Scottish Catholic nobles ripe for the invasion of Scotland, 129; presented by Elizabeth, in London, with a cabinet of plate, 130; James jealous of him on his return to Edinburgh, 131; opposes the King's demands for money, 131, 141; letter of invitation to Court, from the Queen, 133; letter of invitation to Falkland from James, 134, 135; quits Strabran for Perth, 136; movements on the morning of the tragedy, 137; granted exemption for a year from pursuit by creditors, 141; rumour that he was a candidate for the English throne, 141; motives of revenge urging him to plot against James, 143; his views as to secrecy in plots, 144; evidences of his intention to capture James and convey him to Dirleton, 145, 146; letter to Logan, 183, 184; anxious that Lord Home should be initiated into the conspiracy, 206, 207; his arms and ambitions, 245-251; emblem at Padua, 247, 248, 256; Tudor descent, 249; pedigree, 248, 249, 250; Bothwell's statement implying that he was a secret candidate for James's crown, 251

Gowrie, Lady (Gowrie's mother), aids Bothwell in capturing James at Holyrood, 124, 125; her movements immediately prior to the tragedy, 136; at Dirleton on August 6, 136; her suit for relief from her creditors, 141

Graham of Balgonie, reports the Master's desire to be alone with the King while inspecting the treasure, 50; picks up the garter supposed to have been used to tie James's hands in the turret chamber, 58; verbal narrative of the King's escape to the Privy Council, 101

Graham, Richard (wizard), accuses Bothwell of attempting James's life by sorcery, 198, 199

Gray, suspected as the man in the turret, 62

Gray, the Master of, reports Lennox's doubt whether Gowrie or the King was guilty, 116; his relations with Logan of Restalrig, 156, 157

Guevara, Sir John (cousin of Lord Willoughby), his share in kidnapping Ashfield, 139; cited, 146, 218

Gunnisgreen, Logan of Restalrig's residence, 162

Gunton, Mr. (Librarian at Hatfield), on Logan's letters, 239, 241

* * * * *

HADDINGTON, Earl of, in possession of records of Sprot's private examinations, 173, 174; the torn letter, 216, 217; copies of Logan's letters (I, IV), 224; documents written by Sprot, 241

Hailes, Lord, cited, 62 note; on a contemporary treatise in vindication of the Ruthvens, 81; his romantic story concerning the Master of Ruthven, 132

Hall, Rev. John, his objection to acceptance of James's narrative, 103; restored to his pulpit, 105; present when Sprot confessed to forgery of the Logan letters, 186; at Sprot's examination, 217, 220, 226

Hamilton, Lord, asked to head the party of the Kirk, 177

Hamilton of Grange, at the slaughter of the Ruthvens, 19

Hamilton, Sir Thomas (the King's Advocate), 64; preserves the records of Sprot's private examinations, 173, 174; at Sprot's examinations, 201, 210; Sprot's model letter delivered to him, 224

Hamilton, Thomas, on the doors passed through by the Master and James to reach the turret, 52

Hart, Sir William (Chief Justice), his account of Sprot's examinations and trial, 168, 177, 178, 179, 180, 181, 220

Hay, George (lay Prior of the Chartreux in Perth), on Henderson and the Falkland ride, 45; on Henderson's message to Gowrie from the Master, 65; at Perth on August 5th, 137

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