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Scotland’s James V was born on April 10, 1512, and his father James IV was killed fighting at Flodden Field on September 9, 1513. John Stewart, Duke of Albany, who lived in France and did not know Scottish but was next in line, came to Scotland in May 1515, and the Parliament elected him regent, replacing Henry VIII’s sister, Queen mother Margaret, who had married Archibald Douglas, 6th Earl of Angus. Albany went back to France in June 1517 and formed an alliance with the French at Rouen on August 26 against England. He stayed in France for four years, and Scotland did not ratify the treaty until December 28, 1521.
Meanwhile Scotland was governed by a regency commission of two archbishops, the earls of Angus, Huntly, Arran, and Argyll, and Albany’s man Antoine d’Arcy de la Bastie. In revenge for the execution of Alexander Home, the Home clan murdered a French knight. D’Arcy tried to investigate, but George Home killed him on September 18, 1517. The English provided asylum for the murderers. While the archbishops and earls enforced law in their regions, the death of Bastie and the Home feud resulted in lawlessness in the southeast. Arran led the council, but Angus favored the Homes. In April 1520 the Hamiltons drove the Douglases out of Edinburgh.
The Duke of Albany’s wife was related to Pope Leo X by the marriage of Albany’s wife’s nephew, and on June 19, 1520 Leo issued a bull protecting Scotland and supporting Albany’s authority. Margaret left Angus and supported Albany, hoping he could get the Pope to grant her a divorce. Albany returned to Scotland on November 19, 1521, and in February 1522 England’s Henry VIII refused to renew a truce unless the Scots removed Albany from power. France finally ratified the Scottish alliance on June 13, 1522. Albany tried to get the Scots to fight England, but they refused and agreed to a truce on September 11. Albany left Scotland again on October 23 to get French aid, and the following summer they sent 500 soldiers. Although the English burned Kelso in June and Jedburgh in September, the Scots refused to take the offensive. Albany returned to Scotland on September 24, 1523 with about 4,000 men and some 500 horses. They prepared for war and attacked Wark Castle, but the Scots were on the edge of mutiny. They complained that French forces in Edinburgh were wasting fuel and even burning furniture. By this time Margaret was supporting her son James V against Albany.
The Scottish Parliament demanded that French forces leave their country, and Albany left Scotland again on May 20, 1524. The Earl of Arran, next in line after Albany, reconciled with Margaret, and other nobles helped them invest James V with symbols of sovereignty on July 26. The next week many officers resigned their positions for his sake, and he reinstated most of them. James allied with Henry VIII who sent 200 soldiers for his bodyguard and two English counselors to advise him. Archbishop Beaton of St. Andrews and five bishops still supported Albany along with the earls of Argyll, Lennox, and Moray. Albany did not return by the promised date in September, and in November force was used to arrest Beaton and the Bishop of Aberdeen, though Beaton was released and given the great seal back in the spring of 1525. Arran and Margaret controlled the castle of Edinburgh, but Angus and Lennox held the town. On August 3 the estates warned Margaret that she would lose authority if she did not cooperate. The appeal to arms she and Arran made in January 1526 failed, and she married Henry Stewart in March. That year Tyndale’s English translation of the New Testament reached Scotland.
On June 14, 1526 the authority of King James V was proclaimed, and in July the great seal was taken from Beaton and given to Angus who became chancellor a year later. Arran was reconciled but stopped attending the council. For several years crime was not controlled in Scotland, but in the spring of 1526 the court of session began functioning again. Lennox and other nobles tried to liberate James from Angus; but during a failed attempt at Linlithgow on September 4, Lennox was killed. By 1528 no earls were attending the council. However, on July 6 James and his leading supporters entered Edinburgh, and one week later he summoned Angus to face treason charges. The Douglases held out in their castles, and on December 5 they were allowed to escape to England if they gave up their castles. The King’s sieges failed, but Angus gave up Tantallon and took refuge in England in May 1529. That year Alexander MacDonald of Islay and the MacLeans plundered Campbell lands, and the Campbells attacked Mull, Morvern, and Tiree. The young Earl of Argyll and the Earl of Moray fought the western Highlanders and Islesmen, and Argyll tried to get the council to make them pay dues or leave the country. Lady Glamis, the sister of Angus, was suspected of poisoning her husband in 1532 and was burned for plotting against the King in 1537, and five days later the Master of Forbes was executed for planning to shoot the King.
James V negotiated for a wife and formed commercial treaties with the Netherlands in July 1531. On September 13 Pope Clement VII issued a bull urging James V to set up a college of justice for civil cases with Scottish prelates contributing 10,000 ducats annually. The Pope also granted James a tax on the Scottish church that provided £10,000 a year. The next year the Pope conceded that Scottish cases under church jurisdiction would first be judged by ecclesiastics in Scotland appointed by the King as long as he was obedient to Rome, and in May 1532 the Scottish Parliament passed two related statutes. By September all the Scottish bishops were opposed to the King except Glasgow, Dunkeld, and Aberdeen, the three he named for the trial of Beaton for treason in 1533.
Many heretics were prosecuted in Scotland during the 1530s, but few were executed. The Parliaments of 1535 and 1541 passed reforms such as improving justice in sheriff courts, appointing an advocate for the poor, protecting tenants from eviction, and abolishing mortuary dues levied by churches. Revenues from crown lands increased from £5,300 in 1535 to £9,300 in 1539 and more than £15,000 in 1542. Royal revenue reached £46,000 in 1539. James V was believed to have acquired a fortune of 300,000 livres in Edinburgh Castle. Church revenues financed his building programs, and clerical taxes were used to fund his lavish household expenses of £10,000 a year. James Hamilton of Finart was master of works and received so many gifts that he was tried and executed on August 16, 1540. That year the Parliament approved the act of revocation that allowed James V to acquire more wealth.
Negotiations for a bride for James V continued, and in September 1536 he went to Dieppe. The French agreed to provide a dowry of 100,000 livres for Princess Madeleine with an annual pension of 125,000 livres, and they married in France on January 1, 1537. She also brought more than 100,000 crowns worth of plate, clothes, and jewels. They returned to Scotland on May 19, but she died of tuberculosis on July 7. James then agreed to wed the widow Mary of Guise who brought a dowry of 150,000 livres. They married on June 12, 1538 at St. Andrews. She bore him two sons, but they both died in April 1541. Their daughter Mary was born on December 8, 1542.
David Lyndsay (1490-1555) was educated at the University of St. Andrews, and he served the child James V for twelve years. In 1540 Lyndsay’s Pleasant Satire of the Three Estates in Commendation of Virtue and Vituperation of Vice was performed at court as an interlude and then as a longer play in public in June 1552. The play is an allegory. King Humanity is served by Solace, Wantonness, and Placebo, and he gives in to Sensuality. The Vices Flattery, Falsehood, and Deceit pretend to be Devotion, Sapience, and Discretion, and they drive away Good Counsel. Verity and Chastity are put in the stocks, but King Correction arrives and releases them. Charity and Diligence also act like Vices. The Pauper joins with John Commonweal to demand reform, and they expose the failures of the three estates represented by Spirituality, Temporality, and Merchant. Spirituality cannot give up lechery and greed. Flattery tries to betray Falsehood and Deceit, but all three are hanged. This morality play reflects the change occurring during the Reformation and included attacks on relics and clerical abuses. James V also patronized the humanist scholars Giovanni Ferrerio and George Buchanan.
In July 1541 Cardinal David Beaton was sent to France to ask for aid against England, but King François was trying to get Henry VIII’s support against Emperor Charles V. James promised to meet Henry VIII at York in September, but the council would not let him go, angering his uncle. After his mother Margaret died on October 18, James went to war against England. At Hadden Rig on August 24, 1542 about 2,000 Scots defeated more than 3,000 English; but at the battle of Solway Moss on November 24 more than 15,000 Scots were disastrously defeated by 3,000 English. Hundreds of Scots drowned, and about 1,200 were captured. James was not at the battle and became ill with fever and died on December 14.
The Earl of Arran was proclaimed governor of Scot-land on January 3, 1543, and Cardinal David Beaton became chancellor one week later. They were assisted by the earls of Moray, Huntly, and Argyll. The Earl of Angus left England and returned to Scotland with his brother George Douglas and the Earl of Bothwell. Arran received them on January 25, and two days later Cardinal Beaton was under arrest. Arran considered the Pope a “very evil bishop.” On March 13 the Parliament rescinded the forfeit-tures paid by Angus and others under James V. They encouraged the distribution of Bibles in English while Henry VIII was restricting reading of the Bible. The Scottish council banned heretical literature and legislated against heresy. Mary Stuart was crowned Queen of Scotland on September 9 before her first birthday. Angus and his brother demonstrated against Edinburgh and organized a pro-English party in Leith. Their associate Lennox used French supplies, and Lord Ruthven and his son helped him take Glasgow and Paisley; but the Governor besieged Glasgow in April 1544, and they surrendered. Angus was protected, and Lennox went to England in May.
Later in 1543 Beaton was reinstated as chancellor, and John Hamilton became treasurer. On December 11 the Parliament denounced treaties with England while confirming those with France. Beaton was appointed papal legate in January 1544. In June a convention in Stirling replaced Governor Arran with Mary of Guise, and her support included bishops, Angus and the English faction as well as Moray, Huntly, and Argyll. On June 26 Lennox offered Henry VIII Dumbarton and Bute for land in England and the governorship of Scotland, and on July 6 he married Margaret Douglas, daughter of Angus. On August 8 Henry proclaimed Lennox lieutenant for northern England and southern Scotland. He attacked the Firth of Clyde that month but could not take Dumbarton. Arran summoned a parliament at Edinburgh on November 6 and announced that those attending Mary’s parliament planned at Stirling on the 12th would be charged with treason.
For the next year and a half Beaton tried to manage Arran and Mary to support his administration. In early 1545 the English invaded and desecrated Douglas tombs at Melrose, making Angus a loyal Scot. He led the Scots to victory at Ancrum on February 7. In May the English landed at the Firth of Clyde with 36,000 men. The French aided the Scots as the seigneur de Lorges arrived in June with French troops who were resented as usual. Hertford led English invasions in the southeast in September while clans helped Lennox raid Bute, Arran, and Argyll in the west. In 1544 and 1545 the English destroyed church buildings. George Wishart went with the commissioners negotiating treaties at Greenwich, and his preaching attracted a following. He was a Zwinglian who translated the Swiss Confederation into English and taught at Cambridge. He celebrated communion in St. Andrews Castle. Wishart was arrested in January 1546, tried before Cardinal David Beaton, and burned at the stake on March 1. Before he was arrested, Wishart ordered Knox to escape.
John Knox (c. 1514-72) had studied with John Major at St. Andrews University, and he was ordained a priest on April 15, 1536 and became a papal notary in 1540. He accompanied Wishart on his preaching tour that began in December 1545. Eventually reformers persuaded the reclusive Knox to preach, and that became his calling.
By 1546 Angus, his brother, Argyll, Bothwell, Home, and the Dumbarton captain were pensioners of France. Henry VIII sent agents to eliminate Chancellor Beaton. A conspiracy led by Norman Leslie of Rothes, his uncle John, and William Kirkcaldy of Grange murdered the porter of St. Andrews Castle and the cardinal on May 29, 1546. They favored the marriage of Mary Stuart to Prince Edward; but most Scots did not, and the council rejected it on June 11. They held St. Andrews Castle while Lennox and his brother the Bishop of Caithness took over Dumbarton Castle. This castle was soon retaken, but the siege of St. Andrews was prolonged. Although John Knox had not participated in the assassination and called the killers “gangsters,” he arrived on Easter in 1547 and joined them in the castle. During the truce he began preaching in the St. Andrews parish church. After a cannon assault for a few weeks the French took over the castle on July 31, imprisoned the murderers, and sent Knox to the galleys for nineteen months. While in irons at Rouen he studied a manuscript by Henry Balnaves on justification by faith and supported his ideas by editing it for publication.
England’s Protector Somerset led an invasion of Scotland with 16,800 men in September 1547, and they defeated a disorganized Scottish army of 30,000 at Pinkie Cleugh on the 10th. The Scots had about 10,000 killed and 2,000 captured while the English had only about 400 men killed. During 1548 and until the summer of 1549 the English had garrisons at Inchcolm, Broughty Castle, Inchkeith, and Dundee, and they conquered the countryside up to the gates of Edinburgh. John Hamilton was nominated for St. Andrews, and his brother James Hamilton for Glasgow. In June a French and Scottish force besieged Haddington, and in a treaty on July 7 the Scots promised that Mary would wed the Dauphin. French ships picked up Mary at Dumbarton and took her with two half-brothers to France. In February 1549 Arran had been made the Duke of Chatellerault. After attacks by the French on the English garrison at Boulogne in September, the English gave up Haddington.
In 1550 Mary of Guise went with some aristocrats to France, but she returned to Scotland in November 1551. Commissioners from England and Scotland signed a treaty on June 10, 1551, and in 1552 the Scots did not give in to French pressure to declare war on England. In 1549 and 1552 Scottish church councils amended their statutes to reform abuses. John Hamilton organized St. Mary’s College at St. Andrew’s. A new catechism was issued, and the radical Adam Wallace was burned in 1550 for having different ideas. Archbishop John Hamilton convened national councils in 1549, 1552, and 1559. His Catechism of the Catholic Faith published after the 1552 council included concessions to Protestants.
The English got John Knox released from the French galleys in February 1549, and he went to England where he preached at Berwick and Newcastle. In 1550 he wrote A Vindication of the Doctrine That the Sacrifice of the Mass Is Idolatry. He became royal chaplain to King Edward VI in 1551 and helped revise the Book of Common Prayer. In January 1554 Knox went back to Dieppe on the French coast where he finished his Instructions on Prayer. He believed fervent prayer was needed for true faith and that confession and repentance assure the mercy of Christ. He wrote letters to Mrs. Elizabeth Bowes, went back to Berwick, and married her daughter Marjorie Bowes in 1555. Then Knox wrote A Faithful Admonition to Protestants who stayed in England, but his radical ideas alienated many facing persecution from the Catholic queen he chastised. In May 1556 the Catholic Church summoned him to Edinburgh to be examined for heresy, but Mary of Guise quashed the summons. Knox returned to Geneva where Calvin persuaded him to go to Frankfurt to minister to English refugees. Expelled from Frankfurt, in September 1556 he went back to Geneva where 5,000 Protestants came from all over Europe.
Arran, the Duke of Chatellerault, was removed from the regency on April 12, 1554 when Mary of Guise became regent again, finding a deficit of £30,000. Frenchmen took charge of the treasury and the Great Seal, and the French ambassador attended the Privy Council. French troops garrisoned Scottish fortresses in Broughty, Dunbar, and Inchkeith. While Catholic Mary Tudor ruled in England, Mary of Guise cultivated Protestant ministers to increase her support in Scotland.
Knox went to Edinburgh in May 1556 and then returning to Geneva for two more years. His Letter of Wholesome Counsel advised private family worship and Bible study. In December 1557 some Protestant nobles organized the first Scottish Covenant pledged to the “Word of God and his Congregation.” In the spring of 1558 Knox published secretly in Geneva his controversial First Blast of the Trumpet against the Monstrous Regiment of Women, arguing against government by women such as Mary of Guise, Mary Tudor, Mary Stuart, and Catherine de’ Medici. He argued that the common people have a duty to resist a Catholic sovereign with arms. When Elizabeth became Queen of England, she would not allow him into that country. During the summer Knox wrote to Regent Mary of Guise, to the nobles, and the common people of Scotland, and he argued that Tyndale’s doctrine of Christian obedience to rulers is sinful. Knox argued that the nobles have the right remove a tyrannical monarch, and the commoners could set up a reformed kirk.
Mary Stuart married the Dauphin François on April 24, 1558, and her marriage contract pledged recognition of the reformed church. That month Archbishop Hamilton had 82-year-old Walter Myln burned for heresy; he was the last Protestant martyr before Scotland became Presbyterian. In July iconoclasts in Edinburgh caused a riot. Catholic rule in England ended with the death of Mary Tudor on November 17.
On January 1, 1559 the Beggars Summons was posted on friars’ houses in Scotland urging them to do honest work and give their riches to widows, orphans, the ill, and the poor. That month Knox finished his Brief Exhortation to England in which he advised accepting only what scripture clearly commands. A Scottish provincial council met in March and April. Knox led the Lords of the Congregation who had signed a covenant, and they recalled him to Scotland. On May 4, 1559 he went to Perth where his sermon was so enthusiastic that zealots sacked the friaries. He talked to Regent Mary of Guise on May 10 at Stirling. The next day he preached against idolatry at Perth, and in a riot church icons were destroyed. Glencairn brought a force from the west. On May 22 the Lords of the Congregation threatened the Regent with armed revolt if tyrannical murder was perpetrated against the people. An armistice was made on May 29, and Mary agreed the French would not put a garrison in the town. Insurgents gathered at St. Andrews to support reform and wait for English aid. Knox went to Edinburgh and preached on June 11. By the end of the month Protestants had taken over Edinburgh for a few weeks. They occupied Perth on June 25 and moved on to Stirling and Edinburgh. Knox was appointed minister there on July 7. He criticized radical Pelagians and Arians such as Miguel Serveto who believed in free will and the unity of God instead of predestination and the trinity. Knox also wrote an Answer to the Anabaptists who opposed violence and infant baptism. A truce agreed upon by July 25 allowed the capital to choose its religion and not be garrisoned.
After France’s Henri II died on July 10, François II became king, making his wife Mary Stuart queen. By September 1,800 French troops had been sent to Scotland, but Knox raised the spirits of despairing Protestants. On October 21 the regency of Mary of Guise was suspended. Ten days later the Earl of Bothwell captured thousands of pounds coming from England. Insurgents were not paid, became mutinous, and deserted. On November 6 the lords evacuated Edinburgh and went to Stirling. The mass resumed in the reconsecrated Church of St. Giles. The French forced the lords to retreat from Stirling to St. Andrews and Glasgow by the end of the year. The French were based in Leith and held Inchkeith, and they occupied Kinghorn where they were harassed by guerilla tactics. On January 23, 1560 the French marched northeast from Dysart.
On February 22 the Duke of Norfolk, England’s lieutenant in the north, made a treaty with Scottish commissioners at Berwick to last one year longer than Mary’s marriage. About 10,000 English troops led by Lord Grey came to Scotland in March and organized their headquarters at Restalrig. Regent Mary of Guise died on June 11. English and French diplomats met in Edinburgh and made a treaty on July 6. English and French troops were to withdraw from Scotland, and Queen Mary Stuart was to recognize Queen Elizabeth. The English army left on July 15, and French troops embarked from Leith. Scotland’s Parliament met to choose a new governing council, and on August 17 the Parliament voted overwhelmingly for the Confession of Faith written by Knox and three others based on a model from the Reformed Chuch of Geneva.
Meanwhile the Scottish church had annual revenues of about £400,000 while the Crown took in only £40,000. About 3,000 clergy in a population of 800,000 shared this income, and little was done to help the poor. Religious houses were managed by commendators who often were not even clerics. Six illegitimate sons of James V were commendators of abbeys, and the Hamiltons did well financially also. During the reformation many of the religious houses went to the descendants of the commendators prior to 1560. Humanists tried to reform concubinage, unqualified benefices, not residing in the diocese, holding many benefices, and neglecting church buildings.
The Book of Reformation had been completed by May 20, 1560. Parliament met in August and after accepting the reformed Confession of Faith on the 17th, they abrogated papal authority and forbade the mass a week later. The Archbishop of Glasgow fled to France, and John Willock became the Bishop of Glasgow. The death of François II on December 5 affected Mary in Scotland as a widowed queen. The Earl of Arran had been courting Queen Elizabeth, and on December 8 she rejected his offer. A convention of representatives met, and the ecclesiastical meeting adjourned on January 15, 1561. The Book of Discipline was written by Knox, Willock, Spottiswood, Winram, Douglas, and Row, all of whom had the first name of John, and many nobles and lairds subscribed to it on the 27th. This recommended education from parish schools up to universities for all with no expense for the poor. The three estates in the Parliament rejected the Book of Discipline, leaving the churches to organize themselves. Clergy with livings for life agreed to support the ministers. The Book of Common Order called for congregations governed by elders elected annually who would aid the minister who was also elected after their examination by other ministers. The final authority was a general assembly of elders and ministers.
The convention commissioned Earl James of Arran to bring Mary Stuart back from France, but she did not reach Leith until August 19, 1561. She proclaimed that there would be no change in the state religion. Arran led the radical reformers and wanted to wed Mary but would not return to court as long as she attended mass. He urged James Hamilton, Earl of Bothwell, to seize Queen Mary, and Bothwell was imprisoned and sent into exile. In February 1562 the lairds persuaded Mary to divide one-third of revenues between the government and the reformed church. She directed a campaign against Huntly that weakened conservatives. Mary began a northern progress in August, and Huntly’s heir John Gordon refused to admit her to the Inverness Castle. Huntly’s forces marched on Aberdeen but were defeated at Corrichlie on October 28. Huntly was captured and soon died, and his heir John Gordon was executed.
Queen Mary had several suitors from Europe, and the leading candidate was Felipe II’s son Don Carlos. In March 1563 Queen Elizabeth suggested that Mary wed her favorite Robert Dudley whose wife Amy had been found dead in 1560. John Hales wrote a treatise contending that Mary was a foreigner and could not succeed as Queen. Henry Stuart, Duke of Albany and called Lord Darnley, was the son of Earl Matthew of Lennox and grandson of Margaret Tudor. Darnley had lived in England for twenty years and was next in line to the Scottish throne. Mary said she would defend the Catholic religion and asked Pope Pius IV for a dispensation. Before it came, they married with Roman Catholic rites on July 29, 1565. Darnley had professed the reform religion in England and listened to Knox in the church at St. Giles. Bothwell was recalled and returned to Scotland in September. On August 22 Mary mustered an army to find some rebels led by Moray, but on September 24 the English refused to help them. Moray fled back to England on October 6.
The only peers supporting Queen Mary now were Huntly, Bothwell, Atholl, and Lennox, but less than peers and foreigners such as Italian David Riccio, Francisco de Busso, Sebastian Danelourt, and the lawyer James Balfour hoped to influence her. Parliament summoned for trial on March 12, 1566 Moray, Argyll, Glencairn, Rothes, Ochiltree, Boyd, Kirkcaldy of Grange, and others. On March 9 her private secretary Riccio was murdered in her presence, endangering the life of her unborn child, and Darnley’s knife was left in Riccio’s body. He cancelled the session of Parliament and rode off with Mary to Dunbar on the 12th. His friends, frustrated they were not pardoned, sent a document proving Darnley’s complicity in the murder, and they left Edinburgh on March 17 as did Knox. By 1566 John Knox completed the first four books of The History of the Reformation in Scotland covering events up to 1564. A fifth book going to August 1567 was added later by George Buchanan and was published with the others in 1644.
George Buchanan (1506-82) earned his B.A. at St. Andrews in 1525 and his M.A. at Scots College in Paris in 1528. He innovated the teaching of Latin as regent at the College of Sainte-Barbe. He tutored Gilbert Kennedy, Earl of Cassilis, in the 1530s, and they came back to Scotland. During the persecution of Lutherans in Scotland in 1539, Buchanan had to go into exile after writing a poem that satirized the clergy. He went to London and then Bordeaux where he taught Latin at the College of Guienne and translated the Medea and Alcestis by Euripides. He also wrote the biblical dramas Jephthes and Baptistes. Buchanan tutored the brilliant Montaigne who acted in his plays and later mentioned him in his essay “Of Presumption” as a top Latin poet. Buchanan went back to Paris and joined humanists at the University of Coimbra in Portugal. The Inquisition put Buchanan in a dungeon for a year and a half before he was transferred to a monastery. There he made his admired translations of the Psalms into Latin. He was released in February 1552 and traveled to England and back to Paris where he supported persecuted Calvinists. Buchanan returned to Scotland and in April 1562 became Queen Mary’s tutor in the classics. He joined the Reformed Church, and in 1566 Regent Moray appointed him principal of St. Leonard’s college at St. Andrews.
On June 19, 1566 Queen Mary gave birth to James and proclaimed that Darnley was the father. However, she had come to dislike Darnley and became enamored of the 30-year-old James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell. He was sheriff of Edinburgh and Haddington and raised a force of Borderers. In October he was wounded in a border skirmish and was taken to his Hermitage castle. A few days after she learned of this, Mary rode to visit him and after returning was thought so ill that she was reported dead on October 25. She recovered and traveled to the eastern border before going to her son’s baptism at Stirling on December 17. Darnley did not attend the baptism of James that was organized by Bothwell. Mary told him and other advisors that she did not want to divorce Darnley lest her son be considered illegitimate. Lethington said he could be removed in a way approved by Parliament. On December 20 she gave £10,000 and other gifts to the reformed church, and three days later the Archbishop of St. Andrews was restored so that he could declare null the marriage of Mary and Darnley as well as Bothwell’s. She pardoned Riccio’s murderers on December 24. Darnley was staying in Glasgow, and Mary went there on January 20, 1567 and returned with him. During the night of February 9, 1567 a large explosion of gunpowder in the Kirk o’ Field abbey left Darnley smothered and dead in the garden. Many were suspected including Bothwell and Mary.
The Privy Council ordered a trial on April 12 with Lennox prosecuting. One week later Queen Mary put the reformed church under her protection, and the estates approved gifts to Lethington, Morton, Moray, Robert Stuart, Huntly, and Bothwell. On the same day 8 bishops, 10 earls, and 11 lords approved of Bothwell’s suit for Mary’s hand in marriage. Bothwell’s countess had him convicted of adultery in the commissary court of Edinburgh on May 2, and Archbishop John Hamilton of St. Andrews granted their divorce five days later. Mary wedded James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell, at Holyrood on May 15 in a Protestant rite before a few conservative notables. Their marriage was widely condemned as shameful and disgraceful. During the honeymoon Mary wanted to kill herself.
Mary and Bothwell fled to Dunbar and raised an army. Huntly and Crawford were the only earls attending council meetings. Two armies met at Carberry on June 15, and Bothwell tried to arrange a single combat with Moray or another champion. Mary made sure that Bothwell was safe before she surrendered, and Bothwell fled. She was taken to Edinburgh and was forced to abdicate on July 24 in favor of her son James, and she nominated the Earl of Moray as regent. On July 29 Adam Bothwell, Bishop of Orkney, anointed and crowned one-year-old James VI at Stirling. Only five earls and eight lords were present, and Knox preached a sermon. Moray returned on August 11 and was proclaimed regent eleven days later. The Earl of Bothwell fled to Norway where the Danish relatives of his former mistress captured him and held him until his death in 1578.
In 1567 George Buchanan published The True Law of Kingship. That year Buchanan became Moderator of the Church of Scotland’s General Assembly. He exposed Queen Mary’s relations with Darnley that led to his death and then became a tutor of the child James VI. In his last years Buchanan worked on completing Knox’s history and his own De Jure Regni Scotos (A Dialogue Concerning the Rights of the Crown in Scotland). Buchanan has himself discussing Scotland’s current political and legal issues with Thomas Maitland. He argued that kings are elected by the people to maintain their laws.
The party of King James VI held their first Parliament in December 1567 and enacted the legislation of 1560 that had not been ratified by Mary Stuart. She had been imprisoned at Lochleven, but she escaped on May 2, 1568. She was supported by 9 earls, 9 bishops, 12 commendators, and 18 lords who raised a force of more than 5,000 men. Regent Moray was at Glasgow and was outnumbered; but they managed to defeat Mary’s army at Langside on May 13, and she fled to England. Elizabeth sent Throckmorton to Mary who refused to divorce the Earl of Bothwell. On June 8 Elizabeth wrote offering to restore her if Moray was prosecuted for the rebellion but could submit evidence against Mary who agreed. On July 12 Mary appointed the Duke of Chatellerault to govern for her with Argyll acting as her lieutenant until Chatellerault returned from France.
A three-way conference met at York in early October and at Westminster on November 25. Maitland of Lethington was in Moray’s delegation but favored recognizing Mary as Elizabeth’s heir. The Duke of Norfolk led Elizabeth’s diplomats at York and wanted to become Mary’s consort after her divorce. When they met again in London, Cecil assured them that English commissioners would find Mary guilty. The Casket Letters written by Mary and Bothwell were shown privately, and Moray charged Mary with murder. On January 10, 1569 Cecil announced that Elizabeth did not consider that Moray’s honor or Mary’s had been impaired. Elizabeth loaned Moray’s government £5,000 and sent some military aid for the Borders, and in the spring Huntly and Argyll recognized the Regent. Mary adopted the English religion for a while.
In late July 1569 Mary began divorce proceedings from Bothwell so she could be restored. A convention at Perth attended by 37 notables rejected 40-9 her proposed marriage to Norfolk. His allies started an uprising in northern England in November that threatened Moray as well as Elizabeth. The Earl of Northumberland fled to Scotland and was arrested by Moray who asked Elizabeth for another loan. However, Hamilton of Bothwellhaugh with the foreknowledge of the Archbishop murdered Moray at Linlithgow on January 23, 1570.
Pope Pius V excommunicated Elizabeth on February 25. In April the Earl of Sussex led a punitive invasion across the border of Scotland that destroyed castles of the Borderers and helped the King’s forces besiege Dumbarton Castle. The King’s party accepted Elizabeth’s choice of Lennox as the next regent in July. The Marians opposed him, and civil war continued until the English mediated a six-month truce in September. Then the war resumed, and the King’s forces captured Dumbarton Castle in April 1571. Archbishop Hamilton was taken and hanged.
The King’s party gathered in the “creeping parliament” in the Canongate in May, and Mary’s party held a parliament in Edinburgh in June. During the summer Argyll, Cassilis, Boyd, and Elinton went over to King James VI, and their Parliament at Stirling in late August was well attended. Kirkcaldy’s attempted coup failed, but Lennox was killed on September 3. John Erskine, Earl of Mar, became regent while James Douglas, Earl of Morton, led the King’s party and succeeded Mar after his death from illness on October 28. The Archbishop of St. Andrews appointed by Mar was so unpopular that ministers accepted the Concordat of Leith as a compromise in 1572 that allowed the crown to select bishops with the approval of the church. France made a treaty with England at Blois in April and agreed to the pacification of Scotland. The Regent regained the town of Edinburgh in the fall, and Knox went home where he died on November 24. On February 23, 1573 the English envoy Killigrew persuaded Chatellerault, Lord Claud, Huntly, and Seton to recognize James VI in the Pacification of Perth. The English helped the Scots besiege Edinburgh Castle which fell on May 28. Kirkcaldy was executed, and William Maitland killed himself before he could be hanged.
Regent Morton tried to pacify the Borders by taking hostages, imposing heavy fines, maintaining a standing army, and by offering clemency. He tolerated Andrew Melville’s movement for Calvinist reforms. Morton imposed few taxes, and the deficit of £33,000 in 1564 increased to £61,000 in 1569. By 1574 the King owed £37,000. Morton did impose a tax of £4,000 for an expedition to the Borders. On March 5, 1578 the earls of Atholl and Argyll asked James VI to settle differences between them and the Regent. Morton said he needed the authority to punish or he would resign, and his opponents persuaded the King to remove him. A council began acting in the King’s name, ending Morton’s regency, but in the fall Morton regained his power. In 1579 George Buchanan wrote his Law of the Scottish Kingship which was published in 1582. This book was controversial, and a proclamation ordered people to turn in all copies.
On March 5, 1580 James persuaded Robert Stewart, Earl of Lennox, to resign. Esmé Stewart, seigneur d’Aubigny, became the Duke of Lennox in 1581, plus commendator of Arbroath and keeper of Dumbarton Castle. Scottish Protestants aligned themselves with the English against the Catholics who favored Queen Mary. In January 1581 James VI signed the Negative Confession denouncing papistry. Melville persuaded the General Assembly to adopt the Second Book of Discipline which considered bishops no better than pastors and ministers. In 1582 James granted a charter for the University of Edinburgh which was founded in 1583.
Presbyterians complained about Lennox and seized King James in August 1582 during the “Ruthven raid.” Lennox went to England and then in December to France where he died in May 1583. William Ruthven, Earl of Gowrie, had been Treasurer since 1571, and recently the deficit had risen from £36,000 to £45,000. In April 1583 the King sent an embassy to London asking to let him have the English estates of Lennox, £10,000 and £5,000 annually, but Elizabeth only offered £2,500, which the Scots considered too small to accept. Arran had been imprisoned during the Ruthven rise and rejoined the council in August. He with Mar, Glamis, and the Lords John and Claud Hamilton took over Stirling Castle in April 1584. The King sent a force, and they fled to England. Gowrie had already been arrested, and he was executed on May 2. Arran was Knox’s brother-in-law and became chancellor on May 15 with Maitland of Thirlstane as his secretary. Andrew Melville was to be tried for seditious speech from the pulpit and had fled to England in March. In May the Black Acts authorized the King to denounce the new presbyteries while reaffirming the bishops. More than a dozen ministers went into exile with Melville.
On July 27, 1585 the Earl of Bedford’s son Francis Russell was killed in a border fight by Arran’s ally, and Elizabeth’s envoy Edward Wotton accused Arran of trying to break the league formed that month between England and Scotland. James promised to reign in Chancellor Arran but changed his mind. Patrick Gray persuaded Elizabeth to release the exiled lords who came back from England and gathered before Stirling on November 2. Elizabeth came to an agreement on July 5, 1586 but refused to increase her subsidy to Scotland from £4,000.
On October 11 an English commission was appointed to try Mary Stuart for conspiracy to assassinate Elizabeth, and she was found guilty on November 12. Parliament asked for her execution, and Elizabeth signed the death warrant on February 1 but told William Davison not to carry it out without her permission; but he did, and Mary was beheaded one week later. Notables offered to support her son James VI in avenging her death, and Borderers raided northern England; but James himself did not want to hinder his succession to the throne of England and accepted her death.
John Maitland of Thirlstane became chancellor on July 29, 1587, and he was more tolerant of the Presbyterians than Arran had been. The Act of Annexation appropriated ecclesiastical powers to the crown, lessening the authority of bishops.
In 1513 Gerald FitzGerald known as Gearoid Og (Young Gerald) succeeded his father to become the 9th Earl of Kildare. In 1514 he led an attack on Breifne, killing O’Reilly and other leaders, and in 1518 he destroyed the fortress of the O’Neills at Dungannon. On January 12, 1519 Kildare was summoned to the English court. Gerald appointed a deputy and went to London where he argued with Cardinal Woolsey in the King’s Council. England’s King Henry VIII sent Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, and he arrived in Dublin on May 23, 1520 with 1,100 soldiers including 220 of the royal guard. The council of Anglo-Irish magnates met at Dublin and were ordered not to attack the Gaelic Irish without authorization from the Governor. The Gaelic Irish were required to swear loyalty to the King and the Governor, and they must observe English laws and use their courts of justice.
With Kildare restrained, other Irish lords attacked. Surrey retaliated by ravaging the midland Mores and in August invaded the Ulster lords O’Neill and MacMahon. Surrey wrote to Henry VIII in September that the Irish lords were pacified. When he visited Clonmel and Waterford in early October, the Earl of Desmond submitted. In the southwest MacCarthy Reagh and Cormac Og MacCarthy of Muskerry were clients of Piers Butler. Surrey’s under-treasurer John Stile could raise only £1,700 in revenue and had difficulty paying salaries. Surrey had arrived with £3,300, and Henry sent £4,000 more.
On June 4, 1521 the parliament met at Dublin and banned the export of wool to help Irish industry, and burning wheat, hay, and houses was made treason. Surrey estimated that several thousand soldiers would be needed to subdue the Irish, and after asking Henry VIII to recall him he left Ireland on December 21. Kildare was detained in England but gained influence at court that autumn. Piers Butler cooperated with Surrey and then became Lord Deputy himself on March 26, 1522. He claimed the lands of the absent Earl of Ormond who died in 1515. Ormond’s grandson was Thomas Boleyn, but Butler’s patent as the new deputy recognized his title to Ormond. Kildare returned to Ireland on January 1, 1523 and came into conflict with Butler, though in November the council appointed by the King recognized both earls’ defense of the lordship. Kildare’s brother James FitzGerald went south to visit Ormond for Christmas and killed Robert Talbot, sheriff of Dublin County.
Three English commissioners arrived in Dublin during the summer of 1524 to keep order. The two earls Kildare and Ormond settled their differences, and about forty other lords agreed to uphold law and the peace. After Kildare turned in his brother James to be paraded in London as a criminal, Gerald was installed as the new deputy on August 4 with Ormond as his treasurer. Kildare got revenues from the Ormond estate as long as the earl was absent; but he lost these with Butler claiming it in Ireland, and he refused to make up Kildare’s loss. In the southwest James FitzGerald, the 10th Earl of Desmond, had made a treaty with French emissaries on June 20, 1523. Then he attacked Tipperary borders and Butler’s territories when he was made the new deputy as Ormond.
Henry VIII summoned both Ormond and Kildare who appointed his son Thomas FitzGerald as deputy and went to England at the end of 1526. He helped Dublin officials defend the Pale until he resigned by September 14, 1527. Richard Nugent, Lord Delvin, replaced Thomas; but he could not even defend the Pale because Kildare’s men urged raiding by O’Connor Faly and O’Neill. On May 12, 1528 Thomas helped O’Connor Faly capture Delvin and detain him for five months. On February 23, 1528 Butler had surrendered his claim to Ormond to Thomas Boleyn, father of the King’s mistress Anne, in exchange for Ossory. Butler was appointed deputy again on August 4, but he could not defend the Pale from attacks by Kildare’s Gaelic allies O’Connor and Conn Bacach O’Neill. On February 3, 1529 John Alen arrived in Dublin to be archbishop and as Cardinal Woolsey’s legate in Ireland, but after the fall of Woolsey he was replaced as chancellor by George Cromer, Archbishop of Armagh. Emperor Charles V sent his chaplain Gonzalo Fernandez to Dingle in Kerry County where he arrived on February 24, and Desmond agreed to be his vassal. In the previous half century about twenty Franciscan monasteries had been founded in Irish districts.
Henry VIII appointed William Skeffington deputy, and he returned to Ireland in August 1530 with 200 soldiers and Kildare. They pacified Ulster in early 1531 as O’Neill and O’Donnell submitted. However, disorders broke out in the spring, and Ossory (Butler) and others were summoned to London. The King’s Council blamed Skeffington. He allowed the Irish parliament to meet in Dublin on September 15 and October 13 and at Drogheda October 27-31. They renewed the subsidy for ten years, and Kildare was prohibited from wasting lands in Carlow and Kildare counties. In November three leading citizens of Kilkenny were abducted.
By May 1532 maintaining Skeffington and his troops had cost England £5,000 without pacifying the Irish. He was accused of financial mismanagement and was replaced by Kildare on August 18 with Ossory’s son James Butler as treasurer and Archbishop George Cromer of Armagh as chancellor. One of Kildare’s men killed Ossory’s son Thomas Butler, and Skeffington sided with Ossory against Kildare at court. Kildare was wounded in December while besieging Birr Castle, but he held a parliament at Dublin on May 19, 1533 and passed a three-year subsidy. Henry VIII in August had criticized Kildare for obstructing his appointments of judges Thomas Cusack, Patrick Finglas, and others, and Kildare reacted by moving artillery from Dublin Castle to his own fortress at Maynooth. The King summoned him and Ossory to court in September; but Kildare said his wound prevented him from going until he arrived in March 1534.
Kildare had managed to get his son “Silken” Thomas, Lord Offaly, appointed as his deputy, but Henry VIII and Thomas Cromwell did not provide the new deputy with a military force. In May the King ordered Skeffington to eliminate the Pope’s authority in Ireland in accordance with England’s reformed laws, and Piers Butler was bound to help him. On June 11 Silken Thomas paraded with 140 armed retainers through Dublin and then told the Irish Council that he did not serve Henry VIII and asked them to join him in rebellion against his tyranny. For six weeks his forces threatened Dublin and the Pale. The opposition was led by Archbishop Alen; but when Thomas captured him, his men misunderstood his orders and killed Alen on July 28. Pope Clement VII excommunicated Thomas and cursed him. On August 29 the Emperor’s ambassador Eustace Chapuys in London reported that Kildare’s men were forcing the Irish to swear allegiance to the Pope and the Emperor.
Kildare had been put in the Tower on June 29 and died on September 2, making Thomas the 10th Earl of Kildare. He controlled the east coast of Ireland from Drogheda to Wexford, and he ordered the death of anyone born in England; but he could not take Dublin and retreated to Maynooth Castle. Skeffington arrived in October as the new deputy with 2,300 soldiers. He was old and ill and stayed in Dublin, agreeing to a truce with Thomas from December 19 to January 6, 1535. Skeffington died on December 31. The next day the Irish Council appointed Leonard Grey Lord of Justice, and he became Lord Deputy on February 23. The English army besieged Maynooth for ten days before taking it on March 23 and killing the garrison. Thomas was away seeking allies. When he went to attack the Deputy, his followers fled; so he surrendered to Leonard Grey on August 24. The army was reduced to a garrison of 700 regulars. Marshal Leonard Grey took Thomas to London where he was kept in the Tower for sixteen months in miserable conditions. On February 3, 1537 Thomas, Earl of Kildare, was hanged at Tyburn, and five of his FitzGerald uncles were hanged as accomplices.
A new Irish parliament met at Dublin in May 1536 and recognized Henry VIII as the supreme head of the Irish Church, prohibited ecclesiastical appeals to Rome, and stopped sending profits from benefices to the Pope by paying them to the King. Parliament met again in September, but the Commons rejected three bills that would have transferred customs revenues to the crown, levied a 5% tax on land, and dissolved eight monasteries. Several of the English bishops in Ireland changed their allegiance from the Pope to the King while about twenty remained loyal to Rome. In June unpaid soldiers mutinied. Also in 1536 Grey invaded the southwest and took a castle from the Desmonds and their O’Brien allies. The next year his army subdued the O’Connor Falys and the O’Carrolls in the west and the MacMurroughs in the south.
In January 1537 parliament refused to impose taxes or suppress thirteen religious houses, but the autumn parliament dissolved thirteen monasteries and ordered the use of English customs, clothes, and language while providing parish schools to teach English. In June 1538 Deputy Grey traveled through Munster and Connacht administering the supremacy oath to mayors and corporations. In early 1539 a commission confirmed that Archbishop George Browne of Dublin and others destroyed images that were venerated by pilgrims, and Henry VIII in April appointed a commission that in the next twelve months suppressed 42 monasteries and 51 mendicant houses. Grey in May punished O’Neill and O’Donnell in the north for refusing to give up Gerald FitzGerald by raiding Ulster. Gerald finally fled to France in March 1540. Grey returned to England in April, and the arrest of Thomas Cromwell on June 10 led to the execution of both men.
Surrey had become Duke of Norfolk, and he opposed Cromwell and got Anthony St. Leger appointed deputy of Ireland. He arrived on August 12, 1540 and attacked the MacMurroughs in south Leinster. He also tried to solve problems in Gaelic society with diplomacy and arbitration as many Irish submitted and were reconciled to English rule. At the parliament in June 1541 MacGillpatrick became the first local chief ennobled so that he could sit in the Irish House of Lords. Both houses approved the bill declaring Henry VIII and his successors king of Ireland. Revenues sent to England increased from about £5,000 a year to an average of £11,000. On August 6 Manus O’Donnell agreed to a treaty with the English, and that month he helped St. Leger attack Tyrone. O’Neill submitted on December 28. The first mission of Jesuits came to Ulster from Scotland in February 1542, but they left the next month.
In 1544 an Irish force of 1,000 soldiers was raised, and 600 went to fight at the siege of Boulogne in France. In September the English mint issued debased coinage for Ireland. In 1545 Irish soldiers invaded Scotland with the Earl of Hertford’s army. By the end of Henry VIII’s reign in 1547 about 130 Irish monasteries had been suppressed, and the crown confiscated the plate, jewels, and ornaments of the religious houses. Monks in forty houses and nuns in six were given pensions for the rest of their lives unless they preferred benefices. Reforms in Ireland changed papal authority to the English monarchy, but religious doctrines remained similar. As long as they recognized his sovereignty, Henry VIII was not concerned with their beliefs of rituals.
After Henry VIII’s death in January 1547 the Regent Somerset acting for young Edward VI sent Edward Bellingham as captain-general to Ireland during the summer with reinforcements. Deputy St. Leger was ordered to defer to him on military issues. The army operated in the south midlands against the O’Mores and the O’Connors of Offaly, and they built Fort Governor. William Brabazon persuaded the Council to remove St. Leger during the winter, and they made Bellingham deputy in April 1548. He began work on Fort Protector in Leix, and he garrisoned Leighlinbridge farther south to pacify the Kavanaghs. Bellingham left Ireland in 1549 when Somerset was being replaced by the Earl of Warwick who would become the Duke of Northumberland in 1551. St. Leger became deputy again for a year with his more peaceful approach. His opponent, a second John Alen, who was chancellor, was replaced by Thomas Cusack. The Latin mass was replaced by a new Protestant communion service in English; images were removed; and the revised Book of Common Prayer was required for worship. Yet beyond English influence Ireland remained Catholic.
In February 1550 French diplomats made treaties with O’Neill, O’Donnell, and O’Doherty. St. Leger became deputy again in September. The English established a mint in Ireland and granted printing. James Croft arrived to inspect harbors and defenses on the Munster coast and then of east Ulster. In the spring of 1551 St. Leger was recalled, and Croft became deputy on May 23. A thousand more soldiers arrived, and they garrisoned Carrickfergus and Armagh. In November the English Book of Common Prayer became the first book printed in Ireland. In the summer of 1552 Croft campaigned in Clandeboye and captured Belfast Castle.
Catholic Mary Tudor became Queen of England in July 1553, and St. Leger was sent back as deputy in October to restore Catholic services. In February 1555 Queen Mary nominated Hugh Curwain to be Archbishop of Dublin, and in June Pope Paul IV declared Ireland a kingdom. In 1556 St. Leger’s successor, Thomas Radcliffe Fitzwalter who became the Earl of Sussex, was ordered to promote the Catholic religion. He was supported by Henry Sidney as vice-treasurer, but he needed more troops and could not resolve the Irish conflicts. In June 1557 the Irish parliament repealed the laws against the papacy and declared the Queen’s power over Ireland. Rory O’More’s father was executed, and he became a rebel. Sussex campaigned against the O’Connors in July and Shane O’Neill in October. Shane tried to take over Tyrconell, but his forces were defeated by Calvagh O’Donnell. New garrisons were established, increasing expenses. Shane and the earls of Kildare and Desmond were suspected of conspiring with the French. After the death of Conn Bacach O’Neill, Earl of Tyrone, his oldest legitimate son Shane defeated and killed his illegitimate brother Matthew. On May 14, 1559 Shane took Calvagh O’Donnell prisoner.
In January 1560 the parliament of Ireland met to recognize Queen Elizabeth and repeal religious legislation from Mary’s reign. They tried to pacify Ormond, Desmond, and Kildare while reducing expenses. David Wolfe was from Limerick and became a Jesuit. In August he returned to Ireland as an apostolic legate to support Catholic princes. In 1561 Elizabeth explained to Pope Pius IV that Wolfe’s stirring up trouble was one reason why the English did not participate in the current Council of Trent. A few years later Wolfe was imprisoned in Dublin Castle. In June the Earl of Sussex became Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, and Shane O’Neill was proclaimed a traitor. Sussex tried to isolate Shane, put a garrison in Armagh cathedral, and raided the MacMahons in Monaghan, taking away many cattle. Shane was given safe conduct and went to London in December. He claimed Tyrone but also most of Ulster. In 1562 some law students complained to the privy council that the military was abusing the people of the Pale. In February 1564 the O’Connors and O’Mores rebelled, and Sussex left Ireland on May 25.
Queen Elizabeth in October approved a court to punish religious offenses with an Irish commission to enforce reform, but Ireland remained Catholic. In the decade 1556-65 Irish revenues were £43,000 while total expenditures were more than £322,000. (These Irish pounds were equal to about two-thirds of a pound sterling.) Most of the expenses were for the standing army with military spending two-thirds of the budgets.
In 1565 Henry Sidney became deputy. On May 2 Shane O’Neill’s army defeated his former MacDonnell allies at Glenshesk. In April 1566 Shane appealed to France’s Charles IX for money and military aid, and in August he burned down Armagh cathedral to keep the English from occupying it. Shane also negotiated with the Earl of Argyle and the Scots. The English brought a thousand men by sea who met Sidney in September. They campaigned in Armagh, Tyrone, and Tyrconell and fortified Derry. Sidney captured Desmond at Kilmallock in March, but on April 21 the cathedral of Derry was blown up, destroying the English camp. On May 8, 1567 Hugh O’Donnell’s forces defeated O’Neill’s near Letterkenny, killing 600 men and driving 1,300 to drown in the River Swilly. Shane took refuge with MacDonnells; but they quarreled, and he was killed on June 2. Gerald the 14th Earl of Desmond had been detained in England and was allowed to return to Ireland in 1564, but the next year he was captured by the Butlers. After doing £20,000 worth of damages to Ormond, Desmond was sent to London at the end of 1567 until 1573.
Sidney summoned the Irish parliament in January 1569 to implement his policy of conquest. The name of O’Neill could no longer be used to indicate sovereignty in Ulster. That year James Fitzmaurice Fitzgerald led those in Munster against Sidney’s government, and he became a leader of the counter-reformation in Ireland. Sidney went south with 600 soldiers in July, and they were joined in Munster by 400 men from ships. Desmonds surrendered, but Fitzmaurice held out. Humphrey Gilbert was ordered to pacify Munster and did so severely, though Fitzmaurice escaped. John Perrot became President of Munster in 1571 and cooperated with Sidney, subduing Desmond. Fitzmaurice burned Kilmallock but submitted to Perrot in 1572, and in 1575 he took refuge in France. In April 1573 Perrot claimed he had already hanged about 800 people by the laws of the realm and martial law.
The English hoped to extend their rule over Ireland by promoting English colonists there. On November 16, 1571 Thomas Smith and his son were granted land around the coast of Belfast Lough which had been the lordship of the O’Neills of Clandeboye. They went there with a hundred people in August 1572; but Brian MacPhelim O’Neill, who had fought against Shane O’Neill, led the armed uprising against them, and Smith’s enterprise fell apart in 1574. In March 1572 President Edward Fitton of Connacht sent the Earl of Clanricard to Dublin, and he campaigned against Clanricard’s sons in May.
Walter Devereux, the new Earl of Essex, was granted most of Antrim in July 1573 and brought 1,200 soldiers with half provided by Queen Elizabeth. In September he was made general captain of all Ulster, and in October he was aided by Hugh O’Neill, Baron of Dungannon, against Brian O’Neill of Clandeboye. Henry Sidney had taken Hugh as a boy to England where he was educated 1559-72. Yet Essex and other adventurers ignored the rights of the O’Neills, MacDonnells, MacQuillans and other Irish landholders. The English routinely considered the Gaelic Irish inferior and expendable. Both the Irish and Scots opposed Essex’s colonists. Essex became governor of Ulster and burned Turlough’s wheat. In October 1574 the Essex attacked a group led by Brian O’Neill who had come to parley, killing two hundred. Brian, his wife, and brother were taken to Dublin and executed. In July 1575 the English massacred more than 500 Scots on Rathlin Island, and that year one-third of the Queen’s forces were disbanded.
Desmond said he was loyal to the Queen but administered his territory with Irish law. Ormond helped Deputy William Fitzwilliam take Desmond’s castle of Derrinlaur in August 1574. Henry Sidney returned to Ulster in 1575 and replaced Fitzwilliam as deputy. Billeting and moving soldiers had made the community poor, and Elizabeth complained of the expense. The English tried to tax the Irish who resisted paying. Sidney took Clanricard’s sons to Dublin as prisoners, but they escaped, wore Irish clothes, and fought the English. The Earl admitted his sons were traitors and asked pardon, but he was later imprisoned. Perrot was trying to govern Munster by discouraging Gaelic institutions. On March 9, 1576 Essex was appointed Earl Marshal of Ireland, but he died of dysentery three weeks after arriving in September.
Rory O’More had gone to see Sidney in December 1575 and was pardoned on June 4, 1576; but the next year he attacked the Pale with the O’Connors. After Rory burned Carlow and tried to capture Barnaby Fitzpatrick, Baron Upper Ossory, the Fitzpatricks killed him in June 1578.
On June 20, 1576 William Drury became president of Munster, and on July 23 he appointed Nicholas Malby military governor of Connacht. Malby faced the Irish fighting for their independence and the Scots they hired as mercenaries. Malby burned their houses and crops, and Humphrey Gilbert terrorized Munster by killing men, women and children. Drury reported that he hanged 400 people in twenty months after civil courts or martial law condemned them. In 1577 men from the Pale complained about the local tax, but their agents sent to England were imprisoned. Late that year English soldiers slaughtered O’Connors and O’Mores at Mullaghmast in Kildare County.
Sidney left Ireland in 1578 and was blamed for the expenses, but after his departure the violence increased. Pope Gregory XIII supported an Irish expedition, but Thomas Stukeley took them to Africa instead. James Fitzmaurice took 700 of them to Kerry County in July 1579 and built the Golden Fort at Smerwick. He cooperated with Desmond, but Drury on land and Gilbert from the sea with an army of more than 2,000 men attacked them, Kildare, and Munster lords. Fitzmaurice was killed on August 18, and it became a war of extermination. Drury died in September and was replaced by Malby who was President of Connacht 1577-84. On August 16, 1579 Perrot ordered English naval ships to stop aid from reaching rebels in Ireland. On October 3 Malby defeated 2,000 men fighting for John and James Desmond under the papal banner at Monasternenagh in Limerick County. On May 13, 1580 Pope Gregory XIII granted the city of Limerick to John of Desmond, but his brother James was captured on August 4 and was executed on October 3.
In 1580 the English burned the ripening wheat, and the starving MacCarthys, O’Sullivans, O’Callaghans, and Mac Donoghs submitted. Kildare joined the Desmonds in the Leinster revolt in the wilderness, and in August they defeated the new Deputy Arthur, Baron Grey of Wilton, a Puritan who brought his secretary Edmund Spenser, the famous poet. Ulster was disturbed; the Mayo Burkes fought successfully in Connacht as did the O’Connors in the midlands.
Sebastiano di San Giuseppe arrived with 600 papal soldiers on September 10, but Grey’s English soldiers forced them to retreat to the Golden Fort at Smerwick. Grey had an army of nearly 6,500 men by October. On November 5 Admiral William Winter arrived with reinforcements. Two days later Grey’s forces besieged Smerwick, and Giuseppe surrendered on November 10. Grey kept twelve officers for ransom and had his soldiers slaughter the rest—about 600 men.
In May 1581 Queen Elizabeth removed Ormond as lord lieutenant of Munster, and she pardoned everyone except the Earl of Desmond, John of Desmond, and Viscount Baltinglass. Famine ravaged Ireland and even affected the Pale, and in March 1582 Warham St. Leger reported that at least 30,000 people had died of starvation in the previous six months. Grey was recalled in August. In two years he claimed that he had killed nearly 1,500 persons “of note” not counting the “meaner sort.” Ormond in December was reappointed general of Munster with an army of 1,000 men. In October 1583 Archbishop Dermot O’Hurley was tortured for information about the Baltinglass and Nugent conspiracies before he was hanged for treason in June 1584.
Connaught lords negotiated a settlement in 1585. In the spring the parliament met at Dublin, and the session a year later was the last one before Elizabeth’s death in 1603. They enacted a bill of attainder on 136 rebels, 98 of whom were old English like Desmond whose estates made up 70% of the forfeited land. Elizabeth approved a plantation in Munster on June 27, 1586. Commissioners there rented usable land from 4,000 to 12,000 acres for ten shillings a quarter with the full seignory of 12,000 acres with rent between £66 and £200 having a quota of 90 families. Perrot worried about Ulster and put garrisons at Coleraine, Lifford, and Ballyshannon to stop Scots coming from the northeast. Angus MacDonnell’s brother Donald led 2,000 Scots to join the May Burkes, but they were massacred at Ardnaree on September 22, 1586. Perrot realized they could not make the majority conform, and he rejected penal legislation against recusancy. On May 10, 1587 Hugh O’Neill was made the Earl of Tyrone, and that year James Fullerton and James Hamilton started a Latin school in Dublin.
In October 1588 the Spanish armada fled north of Scotland and ran into storms along the west coast of Ireland. Of the 6,000 men on the 25 ships wrecked more than half died at sea while about 2,250 came ashore. Some of the Spanish castaways in Ulster and Connaught were helped while the others were killed. Connaught President William Bingham hanged more than 300 in Galway.