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In Aperil the one and twenty day
The whilk had been both beast and birdis bon;
Zepherus eik, with his sweet vapour,
In September, the humyll moneth sweet, When passed by the height was, of the heat,
Victual and fruit are ripèd in abundance, As God ordains to man's governance. Sagittarius with his aspre bow,
By the ilk sign, verity ye may know The changing course whilk makes great difference;
And leaves had lost their colouris of plea
All worldly thing has nought but a season; Both herb and fruit mon frae heaven come down.
JAMES THE FIRST.
JAMES THE FIRST was the fourth in descent from Robert the Bruce, being the great-grandson of his daughter Marjory, and the third of the Steward | line of kings. He was the second son of Robert III., an estimable and good man, but wanting that vigour of body and commanding firmness of mind necessary for the government of the turbulent nobility of Scotland in that age. His mother, Annabella Drummond, a daughter of Sir John Drummond of Stobhall, is called by Chalmers "the admirable queen of Robert III." James was born in Dunfermline in 1394, in the thirty-seventh year of the married life of his parents, twenty-one years the junior of his brother David, Duke of Rothesay. His education till his eleventh year was entrusted to Henry Wardlaw, the celebrated bishop of St Andrews.
his uncle specious grounds for putting him under restraint. He was accordingly arrested, and imprisoned in a dungeon of Albany's castle of Falkland, in Fife, from which, after about a fortnight, his dead body was carried to the neighbouring Abbey of Lindores, and buried. It was given out that he died of dysentery, yet public opinion pointed so directly to Albany as his murderer, that he demanded to be brought to trial. But such was his influence, that not only was he acquitted, but he obtained a formal remission, absolving himself and his associate the Earl of Douglas of all guilt in the matter. Although too feeble to cope with his crafty brother, the king appears to have shared the public belief in his guilt; and with his heart all but broken for the loss of his beloved eldest son, his whole thoughts became concentrated upon the safety of the youngest, now his only hope.
James was but eight years old when the death of his brother made him heir to the crown, and the only obstacle that stood in the way of his uncle's ambitious designs upon it. When he attained his eleventh year, his father, with the consent and advice of his ex
David, James' brother, as heir to the crown, had for some time shared the government of the kingdom along with his uncle, the Duke of Albany, who, since the accession of his brother Robert III., had been entrusted by him with the administration of affairs. Albany was a man of an unprincipled and ambitious disposition, and, before the birth of James, the Duke of Rothe-cellent tutor Bishop Wardlaw, resolved say was the only obstacle that stood betwixt him and the crown. The duke's behaviour, if not his character, appears to have been reckless and licentiou to such a degree as to give
to send him to France, on the plea of prosecuting his education, and had a vessel equipped for conveying him thither in the spring of 1405. He embarked at the Bass, accompanied by
his tutor Henry St Clair, Earl of Ork- for him a military governor, whose ney, and a small retinue of attendants; | character was a guarantee for his being but they had not proceeded beyond Flamborough Head, on the coast of Northumberland, when they were intercepted by an English squadron, and made prisoners, in violation of a treaty of truce then subsisting between England and Scotland. This breach of good faith, which obtained the subsequent approval of Henry IV. and his council, was perpetrated on the 12th April 1405, and it is strongly suspected to have been instigated by Albany. On receipt of the news of this second calamity, the aged king retired to the seclusion of his castle of Rothesay, in Bute, where he died on the 4th April 1406. He was buried in Paisley Abbey.
The captive James was now proclaimed king by a parliament which met at Perth, and his Uncle Albany was confirmed in his office of Regent; but no remonstrance was made against the illegality of his capture, and no steps were taken to obtain his release.
When James and his retinue were brought before Henry, the Earl of Orkney protested against his being made a prisoner, pleading the peaceful object of his voyage to France on account of his education. The English monarch jestingly replied, that, in that case, it made little difference, that he himself understood French well, and James would be as well educated at his court as at that of France. And Henry seems to have meant what he said, for in the selection of Sir John Pelham to superintend the studies of his captive, "he generously," says Tytler, "selected
brought up in a manner suitable to his royal rank." Nor did the youthful prisoner discredit the teaching of his excellent master. He greatly excelled in all those military and athletic exercises which formed the physical education of the young knights of the time. Beside those active feats which strengthened the constitution, he did not neglect the cultivation of those more elegant and intellectual studies which give grace to the manners and strength to the mind. His natural genius for music and poetry were of no common order; and the circumstance of his captivity gave him leisure and opportunity for the study of those fascinating arts, which, had he remained at home, might be incompatible with the discharge of more serious duties. He is also said to have been a good Greek and Latin scholar, and to have been well acquainted with the philosophy of the age.
The two first years of his imprisonment were spent in the Tower of London, from whence he was removed to Nottingham Castle, and shortly after to Windsor, where he appears to have spent the greater part of his captivity.
Henry IV. died in March 1413, and was succeeded by Henry V., by whom James was again, for a short time, committed to the custody of the Tower, after several unsuccessful attempts for his liberation on his own part, and on that of the Scottish nobles opposed to Albany. At length, in September 1319, Albany's long lease of power came to an end, through his death, at | Stirling, in his eightieth year; but such
was his influence, and the tenacity of his unprincipled ambition, that he contrived to transfer the reins of power, which death alone snatched out of his own firm grasp, into the feeble hands of his son Murdoch. James, now in his twenty-fifth year, saw, with indignation, a renewal of that unjust usurpation | panied Henry for the love of honour. which kept him out of his rights, without a protest being made on his behalf. In these circumstances it must have been a mitigation of his misfortunes to have accompanied Henry V. to France, where he commanded a chosen band of Scottish knights who fought with great bravery under the standard of England | for two years. He was also present at the magnificent coronation festival of Catherine of France, as Henry's queen, and returned to England in their train.
issue nor them to obey such orders; but," he added, "in order to win the prize of chivalry, and become instructed in the art of war under so illustrious a master, was an opportunity he willingly embraced." Accordingly, with a select company of Scottish knights, he accom
Henry had not been long in England, when the arrival of a body of 7000 Scots, under the Earl of Buchan, the second son of Albany, enabled the dauphin to renew hostilities, and the first check sustained by the arms of England in France was that of Baugé, where the Scots under Buchan defeated them, killing the Duke of Clarence, Henry's brother, and making many important prisoners. Henry resolved to return, to retrieve the misfortunes of his army, and to bring James along with him, in the hope that the Scots auxiliaries might be induced, by the presence of their king, to desist. On Henry's proposing to James that he should charge them on their allegiance to do so, he replied, with equal good reason and high spirit-"That, so long as he continued a prisoner, and acted under the will of another, it neither became him to
In this second visit to France, James obtained some information about the misgovernment of his cousin, Duke Murdoch, and the anxiety of the people for his own return; and Henry, seeing how little he could influence Scottish policy through James, and having now satisfactory evidence of the firm and energetic character of his captive, began to think it might best serve his own interests to bind him by the ties of gratitude and relationship, by restoring him to his dominions, and bestowing upon him the hand of his relative, the Lady Jane Beaufort.
James' introduction to this beautiful and accomplished lady is equally interesting from a poetical and a political point of view; and taking his own delicate but romantic account of it, which there is no reason to believe to be a piece of fanciful feigning, it is as simple, and natural, and artless as the accidental meeting of the most primitive pastoral swains. The lady who thus became the object of James' ardent affection, and inspired his muse, was the daughter of the Earl of Somerset, then dead, and whose mother, a daughter of the Earl of Kent, was married to Henry's brother, the Duke of Clarence, killed by the Earl of Buchan at the battle of Baugé. Her brother, the Duke of Somerset, one of Henry's re
nowned commanders, was taken prisoner by the Scots in the same engage
The feeble Murdoch being unable to prevent Scottish troops being sent to the assistance of France against England, there was no longer any motive, on the part of the latter, for retaining the King of Scots to serve his purposes; all things therefore seemed to favour James' restoration. He was with Henry in France when that monarch was seized with the fatal disorder of which he died in August 1422, and in the capacity of chief mourner accompanied the body to England. This event, however, somewhat retarded the arrangements for his return to Scotland. At length the conditions of his release were agreed upon, whereby £40,000, in the name of expenses for his support during captivity, was to be paid to England. The terms of James' marriage with Lady Jane Beaufort were settled at the same time, and the ceremony was celebrated in the church of St Mary Overy, in Southwark, after which the marriage banquet was held in the house of the bride's uncle, the famous Cardinal Beaufort. All things being thus settled, James returned to his native country, after an exile of eighteen years, and was crowned at Scone, April 28, 1423, amid the rejoicings of his countrymen.
The state of the kingdom demanded the most energetic efforts to reduce to order and system the chaotic confusion to which the weakness of the governor and the turbulence of the nobles had reduced it; and James lost no time in making himself thoroughly acquainted with the condition of affairs; yet so
general was the corruption of the ruling class, and their participation in the maladministration of the Albanys, that the utmost caution was required in proceeding to reform the abuses and restore the spoliations in which so many had become interested. His conduct at first towards Albany and his associates was such as to awaken no suspicions that he was diligently informing himself of the intrigues by which he was kept an exile, and preparing to wreak such vengeance upon the perpetrators as showed him to be possessed of a determination and force of character in striking contrast to that of his father. But except so far as they enable us to estimate his intellectual vigour, the details of his administration belong rather to his political than to his literary history; it will therefore be sufficient to relate, that such was the skill with which he planned his measures, both for the reform of the government, and the punishment of past misrule, that, in about twelve months after his return, he had the control of all the strongholds of the kingdom, and condemned and executed the Duke of Albany and two of his sons, along with his father-in-law, the Earl of Lennox. Apart from the retaliation to which such an act of public vengeance was almost sure to lead, it is questionable if, on any grounds, such severity was justifiable, and it would appear as if James, through too acute a sense of the injury his family and himself suffered at the hands of his uncle, was carried beyond his judgment in visiting the sins of the father upon the son and grandson. His solicitude and constant efforts for the humane and just