The Chaseabout Raid was a rebellion by James Stewart, 1st Earl of Moray, against his half sister, Mary, Queen of Scots, on 26 August 1565, over her marriage to Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley. The rebels also claimed to be acting over other causes including bad governance, and religion in the name of the Scottish Reformation.[1] As the government and rebel forces moved back and forth across Scotland without fighting, the conflict became known as the "chase about raid." Queen Mary's forces were superior and the rebel lords fled to England where Queen Elizabeth censured the leader.[2]

Chaseabout Raid
Part of French Wars of Religion

The 1st Earl of Moray.
Lowlands of Scotland
Result Government victory
Kingdom of Scotland Scottish Government Protestant rebels
Commanders and leaders
Mary, Queen of Scots Earl of Moray
Unknown Unknown
Casualties and losses
Unknown Unknown

Background edit

There were fears that her marriage to Darnley signaled a return to Roman Catholicism. Moray is reported to have declared that he aimed at nothing else than "the maintenance of the true religion."

Moray's faction of nobles and lairds now included the Duke of Châtelherault, the Earls of Argyll, Glencairn, and Rothes, and several lairds from Fife and Ayrshire. He had the support of John Knox.[3] They assembled at Glasgow in July, and Duke and the earls met up at Dunoon Castle in Argyll in August 1565.[4]

The English politician William Cecil gave a summary of the causes and situation in a letter:

In the mean time, troubles arise there betwixt her and the Earl of Moray and others being friendly to the common amity of both the realms; whereunto for sundry respects it seemeth convenient for us to have regard. The Duke, the Earls of Argyll, Moray, and Rothes with sundry barons are joined together, not to allow of the mariage otherwise than to have the Religion established by law, but the Queen refuseth in this sort, she will not suffer it to have the force of law, but of permission to every man to live according to his conscience; and herewith she hath retained a great number of Protestants from association openly with the other. She hath sent for the Earl Moray, but the mistrust is so far entered on both sides, that I think it will fall to an evil end, for she hath put the Earl of Moray to the horn (outlawed him) and prohibited all persons to aid him. Nevertheless, the Duke, the Earls of Argyll and Rothes are together with him.[5]

Uprising edit

The rebels gathered in Ayrshire. Both sides needed money to support their troops in the field. Nicolas Elphinstone is said to have obtained £10,000 from England for the rebels. An English diplomat, John Tamworth, brought money which was delivered to the Countess of Moray.[6] Mary tried to pawn some of her jewels in Edinburgh for 2,000 English marks, but no-one would lend this sum.[7] Mary spoke to the rich burgesses of Edinburgh, asking for loans to crush the rebellion. Six leading merchants were imprisoned till they obliged.[8]

Mary discussed her response to the rebellion with Michel de Castelnau, the French ambassador in London, who came to Edinburgh and had audiences with her in the garden of Holyroodhouse.[9] Mary set out from Holyrood to Linlithgow and Stirling on 26 August 1565 to move to Glasgow and confront them.[10] Her cannon followed, brought by John Chisholm, who had obtained funds from the Burgh of Edinburgh after Mary promised the town rights over Leith, the neighbouring port town.[11]

The comptroller of the Scottish exchequer, John Wishart of Pitarrow, had sided with the rebellion and was replaced by William Murray of Tullibardine. The Provost of Edinburgh was also removed and Simon Preston of Craigmillar, a friend of Mary put in his place. Mary restored the honours of Lord Gordon as Earl of Huntly to ensure his support. The English diplomat Thomas Randolph claimed thieving and murder were rife, William Murray's lands were raided by Highlanders.[12] Mary was anxious for her crown, and wrote from Glasgow to Philip II of Spain, for help. She sent the letter with an English servant of Darnley, possibly Anthony Standen or his brother.[13]

Thomas Randolph heard, but was sceptical, that Mary herself carried a pistol in her hand near while riding near Hamilton. Only one of one her ladies in waiting followed her. Darnley wore a "gylte corslet", while the rest of the army wore jacks which were usual worn in Scotland.[14] In York, Thomas Gargrave heard that Mary's forces had "500 hagbushes (hand-guns) and certain field peices: the others hath neither shot nor ordinance, nor any better holds than their dwelling houses".[15]

The rebels left Hamilton, and Mary's force, nearby, turned to follow them and in stormy weather several of her followers were drowned in a flood on the way to Callendar.[16] On 31 August, Moray and his supporters arrived in Edinburgh with 1,000 or 1,200 men. The English diplomat Thomas Randolph doubted that this force could withstand the Queen and King's army, as they lacked "harquebusiers," soldiers with hand-guns. Edinburgh Castle was held for the Queen and began to shoot its cannon at the rebels in the town.[17]

The rebel lords left Edinburgh. Mary came back to Edinburgh from Glasgow in early September and retired to Stirling Castle. Moray and his followers contemplated making for Carlisle in England. She visited Glasgow on 8 September, then on 9 September went to St Andrews securing Castle Campbell and Lochleven Castle on the way. She went on to Dundee and Perth, then back to Glasgow.[18] Moray's supporters retreated to Dumfries. On 10 September they sent Robert Melville to ask Elizabeth I of England for guns, money, troops, support from Lord Scrope at Carlisle, and naval assistance in the Forth.[19]

The English ship, The Aide captained by Anthony Jenkinson arrived in the Forth on 25 September,[20] but was bombarded by the cannon on Inchkeith and returned to Berwick-upon-Tweed. Jenkynson intended to prevent Lord Seton bringing more munitions for Mary from France.[21] Tents, called "palyeonis" in the Scots language, were sent from Edinburgh to Mary's troops in Nithsdale and Annandale.[22] Moray failed to gather significant support and the rebellion was easily crushed by Mary, forcing Moray to flee.[23]

This was a victory for Mary, although she had not confronted and defeated the rebels forces. on 19 October, Randolph described her return to Edinburgh, the "Queen is nowe retorned from her paynefull and greate jornaye. She roode farre with great expedition, myche troble of the whole countrie, and found not them whome she soughte, when she cam to her jornies ende".[24]

Moray in England edit

Most of the rebels including Moray and Châtellerault crossed the border at Carlisle, then made their way to Newcastle upon Tyne,[25] but the Earl of Argyll stayed in Scotland in his western lands. Moray decided to go to London, and got as far as Royston in Hertfordshire, until he received a letter from Elizabeth I of England to stop as he was not invited and a rebel against his own queen. He was then brought to Westminster on 23 October 1565 to explain himself to Elizabeth and the French ambassadors.

Moray had hoped his pregnant wife Agnes Keith would join him in England, sailing in Charles Wilson's ship. She stayed in St Andrews, and had their eldest daughter, Elizabeth, later Countess of Moray.[26]

It was said that Mary and Darnley's relationship decayed after the Chaseabout Raid, or "Journey of Dumfreis". Darnley became jealous of David Rizzio who had a role in brokering pardons for the rebels,[27] including Moray.[28]

Elizabeth told Moray that "itt were no Prince's part to think well of your doinges, ... and, she wolde putt allso her helping hande too make them to understand the dutye which the subject owght to bear towarddes the Prynce." Moray declared he had not intended anything to the danger of Mary's person.[29]

Moray stayed in England at Newcastle over the winter and returned to Scotland on 10 March 1566. Mary had summoned him for trial, and David Rizzio had just been murdered. Moray was reconciled with Mary and back on the Scottish Privy Council by 29 April 1566.[30]

Complaints against Mary edit

The rebels at Dumfries justified their cause by listing their complaints against Mary and her rule, which were sent to England in the hope of gaining recognition and support. These included specific details of the finance of the Church of Scotland, and were, in summary;[31]

  • Mary and Darnley plan to reinstate the Catholic religion.
  • Inadequate and corrupt men were given positions in the Kirk.
  • Church lands were sold with permissions from Rome.
  • complaints about the process and effects of Mary's marriage.
  • the status of Darnley as king.
  • Improper diversion of funds from the patrimony of the church, (Thirds of benefices.)
  • the deprivation of 42 men by the Sheriff of Ayr as rebels.
  • the employment of foreigners at court including the two Italians David Riccio, Francisco de Busso, and Mr Foular the Englishman. Lord Darnley, now King, is also a foreigner.

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ Michael Questier, Dynastic Politics and the British Reformations, 1558-1630 (Oxford, 2019), p. 54.
  2. ^ Jane E. A. Dawson, 'Mary Queen of Scots, Lord Darnley, and Anglo-Scottish Relations in 1565', International History Review, 8:1 (February 1986), pp. 12-13.
  3. ^ Jenny Wormald, Mary, Queen of Scots: Politics, Passion and a Kingdom Lost (London, 2001), p. 154.
  4. ^ Joseph Bain, Calendar State Papers Scotland, vol. 2 (Edinburgh, 1900), pp. 179, 190, 193.
  5. ^ Henry Ellis, Original letters, Series 2 vol. 2 (London, 1827), pp. 298-9 modernised here.
  6. ^ David Laing, History of the Reformation by John Knox, vol. 2 (Edinburgh, 1848), p. 496
  7. ^ Joseph Bain, Calendar State Papers Scotland: 1563–1569, vol. 2 (Edinburgh, 1900), p. 223.
  8. ^ Julian Goodare, State and Society in Early Modern Scotland (Oxford, 1999), p. 102.
  9. ^ John Guy, The Life of Mary Queen of Scots (Fourth Estate, 2009), pp. 234–236: Alexandre Teulet, Relations Politiques, 2 (Paris, 1862), pp. 245–258
  10. ^ Joseph Bain, Calendar State Papers Scotland, vol. 2 (Edinburgh, 1900), pp. 197-8 no. 237
  11. ^ James David Marwick, Extracts from the Records of the Burgh of Edinburgh: 1557-1571 (Edinburgh, 1875), p. 228.
  12. ^ Joseph Bain, Calendar State Papers Scotland, vol. 2 (Edinburgh, 1900), pp. 198, 203.
  13. ^ Alexandre Labanoff, Lettres inédites de Marie Stuart (Paris, 1839), pp. 303-305.
  14. ^ Joseph Bain, Calendar State Papers Scotland, vol. 2 (Edinburgh, 1900), p. 202.
  15. ^ Edmund Lodge, Illustrations of British History, vol. 1 (London, 1791), p. 355.
  16. ^ David Laing, History of the Reformation by John Knox, vol. 2 (Edinburgh, 1848), pp. 500-1.
  17. ^ Calendar State Papers Scotland, vol. 2 (Edinburgh, 1900), pp. 198-201.
  18. ^ Joseph Bain, Calendar State Papers Scotland, vol. 1 (Edinburgh, 1905), pp. 202-5.
  19. ^ Calendar State Papers Scotland, vol. 2 (Edinburgh, 1900), pp. 202-212, 217
  20. ^ Alexandre Teulet, Relations Politiques, 2 (Paris, 1862), p. 240
  21. ^ Calendar of State Papers Scotland, vol. 2 (Edinburgh, 1900), pp. 220-1.
  22. ^ Exchequer Rolls of Scotland, vol. 19 (Edinburgh, 1898), p. 349.
  23. ^ - details the campaign.
  24. ^ Thomas Finlay Henderson, Mary, Queen of Scots, her environment and tragedy, a biography, 1 (London, 1905), p. 353
  25. ^ David Loades, Tudor Queens (Continuum, 2009), p. 169.
  26. ^ Calendar State Papers Scotland, vol. 2 (Edinburgh, 1900), p. 284: Edward Delmar Morgan, Charles Henry Coote, Early voyages and travels to Russia and Persia, by Anthony Jenkinson and other Englishmen (London, 1886), pp. 169-70, 174
  27. ^ Thomas Finlayson Henderson, Mary, Queen of Scots: Her Environment and Tragedy, 2 (New York, 1905), p. 654
  28. ^ David Hay Fleming, Mary Queen of Scots (London, 1897), p. 382 citing the Memoir of William Douglas of Lochleven.
  29. ^ Calendar State Papers Scotland, vol. 2 (Edinburgh, 1900), pp. 227-8, 231
  30. ^ Jenny Wormald, Mary, Queen of Scots (Tauris Parke, 2001), pp. 157-8, 162-3
  31. ^ CSP Scotland, vol. 2 (Edinburgh, 1900), pp. 212-3, 219, (19 & 22 September 1565)

Further reading edit

  • Fraser, Antonia, Mary Queen of Scots, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London (1969), pp. 233–236.
  • Wormald, Jenny, Mary, Queen of Scots, Tauris Parke, London (2001), pp. 153–159.