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Chapter 18


THE LAST YEARS OF KNOX: 1567-1572


The Royal quarry, so long in the toils of Fate, was dragged down at last, and the doom forespoken by the prophet was fulfilled. A multitude had their opportunity with this fair Athaliah; and Mary had ridden from Carberry Hill, a draggled prisoner, into her own town, among the yells of "burn the harlot." But one out of all her friends was faithful to her. Mary Seton, to her immortal honour, rode close by the side of her fallen mistress and friend.

For six years insulted and thwarted; her smiles and her tears alike wasted on greedy, faithless courtiers and iron fanatics; perplexed and driven desperate by the wiles of Cecil and Elizabeth; in bodily pain and constant sorrow--the sorrow wrought by the miscreant whom she had married; without one honest friend; Mary had wildly turned to the man who, it is to be supposed, she thought could protect her, and her passion had dragged her into unplumbed deeps of crime and shame.

The fall of Mary, the triumph of Protestantism, appear to have, in some degree, rather diminished the prominence of Knox. He would never make Mary weep again. He had lost the protagonist against whom, for a while, he had stood almost alone, and soon we find him complaining of neglect. He appeared at the General Assembly of June 25, 1567--a scanty gathering. George Buchanan, a layman, was Moderator: the Assembly was adjourned to July 21, and the brethren met in arms; wherefore Argyll, who had signed the band for Darnley's murder, declined to come. {256a} The few nobles, the barons, and others present, vowed to punish the murder of Darnley and to defend the child prince; and it was decided that henceforth all Scottish princes should swear to "set forward the true religion of Jesus Christ, as at present professed and established in this realm"--as they are bound to do--"by Deuteronomy and the second chapter of the Book of Kings," which, in fact, do not speak of establishing Calvinism.

Among those who sign are Morton, who had guilty foreknowledge of the murder; while his kinsman, Archibald Douglas, was present at the doing; Sir James Balfour, who was equally involved; Lethington, who signed the murder covenant; and Douglas of Whittingham, and Ker of Faldonside, two of Riccio's assassins. Most of the nobles stood aloof.

Presently Throckmorton arrived, sent by Elizabeth with the pretence, at least, of desiring to save Mary's life, which, but for his exertions, he thought would have been taken. He "feared Knox's austerity as much as any man's" (July 14). {256b}

On July 17 Knox arrived from the west, where he had been trying to unite the Protestants. {256c} Throckmorton found Craig and Knox "very austere," well provided with arguments from the Bible, history, the laws of Scotland, and the Coronation Oath. {257a} Knox in his sermons "threatened the great plague of God to this whole nation and country if the Queen be spared from her condign punishment." {257b}

Murderers were in the habit of being lightly let off, in Scotland, and, as to Mary, she could easily have been burned for husband-murder, but not so easily convicted thereof with any show of justice. The only direct evidence of her complicity lay in the Casket Letters, and several of her lordly accusers were (if she were guilty) her accomplices. Her prayer to be heard in self-defence at the ensuing Parliament of December was refused, for excellent reasons; and her opponents had the same good reasons for not bringing her to trial. Knox was perfectly justified if he desired her to be tried, but several lay members of the General Assembly could not have faced that ordeal, and Randolph later accused Lethington, in a letter to him, of advising her assassination. {257c}

On July 29 Knox preached at the Coronation of James VI. at Stirling, protesting against the rite of anointing. True, it was Jewish, but it had passed through the impure hands of Rome, as, by the way, had Baptism. Knox also preached at the opening of Parliament, on December 15. We know little of him at this time. He had sent his sons to Cambridge, into danger of acquiring Anglican opinions, which they did; but now he seems to have taken a less truculent view of Anglicanism than in 1559-60. He had been drawing a prophetic historical parallel between Chatelherault (more or less of the Queen's party) and Judas Iscariot, and was not loved by the Hamiltons. The Duke was returning from France, "to restore Satan to his kingdom," with the assistance of the Guises. Knox mentions an attempt to assassinate Moray, now Regent, which is obscure. "I live as a man already dead from all civil things." Thus he wrote to Wood, Moray's agent, then in England on the affair of the Casket Letters (September 10, 1568).

He had already (February 14) declined to gratify Wood by publishing his "History." He would not permit it to appear during his life, as "it will rather hurt me than profit them" (his readers). He was, very naturally, grieved that the conduct of men was not conformable to "the truth of God, now of some years manifest." He was not concerned to revenge his own injuries "by word or writ," and he foresaw schism in England over questions of dress and rites. {258a}

He was neglected. "Have not thine oldest and stoutest acquaintance" (Moray, or Kirkcaldy of Grange?) "buried thee in present oblivion, and art thou not in that estate, by age, {258b} that nature itself calleth thee from the pleasure of things temporal?" (August 19, 1569).

"In trouble impatient, tending to desperation," Knox had said of himself. He was still unhappy. "Foolish Scotland" had "disobeyed God by sparing the Queen's life," and now the proposed Norfolk marriage of Mary and her intended restoration were needlessly dreaded. A month later, Lethington, thrown back on Mary by his own peril for his share in Darnley's murder, writes to the Queen that some ministers are reconcilable, "but Nox I think be inflexible." {259a}

A year before Knox wrote his melancholy letter, just cited, he had some curious dealings with the English Puritans. In 1566 many of them had been ejected from their livings, and, like the Scottish Catholics, they "assembled in woods and private houses to worship God." {259b} The edifying controversies between these precisians and Grindal, the Bishop of London, are recorded by Strype. The bishop was no zealot for surplices and the other momentous trifles which agitate the human conscience, but Elizabeth insisted on them; and "Her Majesty's Government must be carried on." The precisians had deserted the English Liturgy for the Genevan Book of Common Order; both sides were appealing to Beza, in Geneva, and were wrangling about the interpretation of that Pontiff's words. {259c}

Calvin had died in 1564, but the Genevan Church and Beza were still umpires, whose decision was eagerly sought, quibbled over, and disputed. The French Puritans, in fact, extremely detested the Anglican Book of Common Prayer. Thus, in 1562, De la Vigne, a preacher at St. Lo, consulted Calvin about the excesses of certain Flemish brethren, who adhered to "a certain bobulary (bobulaire) of prayers, compiled, or brewed, in the days of Edward VI." The Calvinists of St. Lo decided that these Flemings must not approach their holy table, and called our communion service "a disguised Mass." The Synod (Calvinistic) of Poictiers decided that our Liturgy contains "impieties," and that Satan was the real author of the work! There are saints' days, "with epistles, lessons, or gospels, as under the papacy." They have heard that the Prayer Book has been condemned by Geneva. {260a}

The English sufferers from our Satanic Prayer Book appealed to Geneva, and were answered by Beza (October 24, 1567). He observed, "Who are we to give any judgment of these things, which, as it seems to us, can be healed only by prayers and patience." Geneva has not heard both sides, and does not pretend to judge. The English brethren complain that ministers are appointed "without any lawful consent of the Presbytery," the English Church not being Presbyterian, and not intending to be. Beza hopes that it will become Presbyterian. He most dreads that any should "execute their ministry contrary to the will of her Majesty and the Bishops," which is exactly what the seceders did. Beza then speaks out about the question of costume, which ought not to be forced on the ministers. But he does not think that the vestments justify schism. In other points the brethren should, in the long run, "give way to manifest violence," and "live as private men." "Other defilements" (kneeling, &c.) Beza hopes that the Queen and Bishops will remove. Men must "patiently bear with one another, and heartily obey the Queen's Majesty and all their Bishops." {260b}

As far as this epistle goes, Beza and his colleagues certainly do not advise the Puritan seceders to secede.

Bullinger and Gualterus in particular were outworn by the pertinacious English Puritans who visited them. One Sampson had, when in exile, made the life of Peter Martyr a burden to him by his "clamours," doubts, and restless dissatisfaction. "England," wrote Bullinger to Beza (March 15, 1567), "has many characters of this sort, who cannot be at rest, who can never be satisfied, and who have always something or other to complain about." Bullinger and Gualterus "were unwilling to contend with these men like fencing-masters," tired of their argufying; unable to "withdraw our entire confidence from the Bishops." "If any others think of coming hither, let them know that they will come to no purpose." {261a}

Knox may have been less unsympathetic, but his advice agreed with the advice of the Genevans. Some of the seceders were imprisoned; Cecil and the Queen's commissioners encouraged others "to go and preach the Gospel in Scotland," sending with them, as it seems, letters commendatory to the ruling men there. They went, but they were not long away. "They liked not that northern climate, but in May returned again," and fell to their old practices. One of them reported that, at Dunbar, "he saw men going to the church, on Good Friday, barefooted and bare-kneed, and creeping to the cross!" "If this be so," said Grindal, "the Church of Scotland will not be pure enough for our men." {261b}

These English brethren, when in Scotland, consulted Knox on the dispute which they made a ground of schism. One brother, who was uncertain in his mind, visited Knox in Scotland at this time. The result appears in a letter to Knox from a seceder, written just after Queen Mary escaped from Lochleven in May 1568. The dubiously seceding brother "told the Bishop" (Grindal) "that you are flat against and condemn all our doings . . . whereupon the Church" (the seceders) "did excommunicate him"! He had reviled "the Church," and they at once caught "the excommunicatory fever." Meanwhile the earnestly seceding brother thought that he had won Knox to his side. But a letter from our Reformer proved his error, and the letter, as the brother writes, "is not in all points liked." They would not "go back again to the wafer-cake and kneelings" (the Knoxian Black Rubric had been deleted from Elizabeth's prayer book), "and to other knackles of Popery."

In fact they obeyed Knox's epistle to England of January 1559. "Mingle- mangle ministry, Popish order, and Popish apparel," they will not bear. Knox's arguments in favour of their conforming, for the time at all events, are quoted and refuted: "And also concerning Paul his purifying at Jerusalem." The analogy of Paul's conformity had been rejected by Knox, at the supper party with Lethington in 1556. He had "doubted whether either James's commandment or Paul's obedience proceeded from the Holy Ghost." {262a} Yet now Knox had used the very same argument from Paul's conformity which, in 1556, he had scouted! The Mass was not in question in 1568; still, if Paul was wrong (and he did get into peril from a mob!), how could Knox now bid the English brethren follow his example? {262b} (See pp. 65-67 supra.)

To be sure Mary was probably at large, when Knox wrote, with 4000 spears at her back. The Reformer may have rightly thought it an ill moment to irritate Elizabeth, or he may have grown milder than he was in 1559, and come into harmony with Bullinger. In February of the year of this correspondence he had written, "God comfort that dispersed little flock," apparently the Puritans of his old Genevan congregation, now in England, and in trouble, "amongst whom I would be content to end my days. . . . " {263a}

In January 1570, Knox, "with his one foot in the grave," as he says, did not despair of seeing his desire upon his enemy. Moray was asking Elizabeth to hand over to him Queen Mary, giving hostages for the safety of her life. Moray sent his messenger to Cecil, on January 2, 1570, and Knox added a brief note. "If ye strike not at the root," he said, "the branches that appear to be broken will bud again. . . . More days than one would not suffice to express what I think." {263b} What he thought is obvious; "stone dead hath no fellow." But Mary's day of doom had not yet come; Moray was not to receive her as a prisoner, for the Regent was shot dead, in Linlithgow, on January 23, by Hamilton of Bothwellhaugh, to the unconcealed delight of his sister, for whom his death was opportune.

The assassin, Bothwellhaugh, in May 1568, had been pardoned for his partisanship of Mary, at Knox's intercession. "Thy image, O Lord, did so clearly shine on that personage" (Moray)--he said in his public prayer at the Regent's funeral {263c}--"that the devil, and the people to whom he is Prince, could not abide it." We know too much of Moray to acquiesce, without reserve, in this eulogium.

Knox was sorely disturbed, at this time, by the publication of a jeu d'esprit, in which the author professed to have been hidden in a bed, in the cabinet of a room, while the late Regent held a council of his friends. {264a} The tone and manner of Lindsay, Wood, Knox and others were admirably imitated; in their various ways, and with appropriate arguments, some of them urged Moray to take the crown for his life. By no people but the Scots, perhaps, could this jape have been taken seriously, but, with a gravity that would have delighted Charles Lamb, Knox denounced the skit from the pulpit as a fabrication by the Father of Lies. The author, the human penman, he said (according to Calderwood), was fated to die friendless in a strange land. The galling shaft came out of the Lethington quiver; it may have been composed by several of the family, but Thomas Maitland, who later died in Italy, was regarded as the author, {264b} perhaps because he did die alone in a strange country.

At this time the Castle of Edinburgh was held in the Queen's interest by Kirkcaldy of Grange, who seems to have been won over by the guile of Lethington. That politician needed a shelter from the danger of the Lennox feud, and the charge of having been guilty of Darnley's murder. To take the place was beyond the power of the Protestant party, and it did not fall under the guns of their English allies during the life of the Reformer.

He had a tedious quarrel with Kirkcaldy in December 1570-January 1571. A retainer of Kirkcaldy's had helped to kill a man whom his master only wanted to be beaten. The retainer was put into the Tolbooth; Kirkcaldy set him free, and Knox preached against Kirkcaldy. Hearing that Knox had styled him a murderer, Kirkcaldy bade Craig read from the pulpit a note in which he denied the charge. He prayed God to decide whether he or Knox "has been most desirous of innocent blood." Craig would not read the note: Kirkcaldy appealed in a letter to the kirk-session. He explained the origin of the trouble: the slain man had beaten his brother; he bade his agents beat the insulter, who drew his sword, and got a stab. On this Knox preached against him, he was told, as a cut- throat.

Next Sunday Knox reminded his hearers that he had not called Kirkcaldy a murderer (though in the case of the Cardinal, he was), but had said that the lawless proceedings shocked him more than if they had been done by common cut-throats. Knox then wrote a letter to the kirk-session, saying that Kirkcaldy's defence proved him "to be a murderer at heart," for St. John says that "whoso loveth not his brother is a man-slayer"; and Kirkcaldy did not love the man who was killed. All this was apart from the question: had Knox called Kirkcaldy a common cut-throat? Kirkcaldy then asked that Knox's explanation of what he said in the pulpit might be given in writing, as his words had been misreported, and Knox, "creeping upon his club," went personally to the kirk-session, and requested the Superintendent to admonish Kirkcaldy of his offences. Next Sunday he preached about his eternal Ahab, and Kirkcaldy was offended by the historical parallel. When he next was in church Knox went at him again; it was believed that Kirkcaldy would avenge himself, but the western brethren wrote to remind him of their "great care" for Knox's person. So the quarrel, which made sermons lively, died out. {266}

There was little goodwill to Knox in the Queen's party, and as the conflict was plainly to be decided by the sword, Robert Melville, from the Castle, advised that the prophet should leave the town, in May 1571. The "Castilian" chiefs wished him no harm, they would even shelter him in their hold, but they could not be responsible for his "safety from the multitude and rascal," in the town, for the craftsmen preferred the party of Kirkcaldy. Knox had a curious interview in the Castle with Lethington, now stricken by a mortal malady. The two old foes met courteously, and parted even in merriment; Lethington did not mock, and Knox did not threaten. They were never again to see each other's faces, though the dying Knox was still to threaten, and the dying Lethington was still to mock.

July found Knox and his family at St. Andrews, in the New Hospice, a pre- Reformation ecclesiastical building, west of the Cathedral, and adjoining the gardens of St. Leonard's College. At this time James Melville, brother of the more celebrated scholar and divine, Andrew Melville, was a golf-playing young student of St. Leonard's College. He tells us how Knox would walk about the College gardens, exhorting the St. Leonard's lads to be staunch Protestants; for St. Salvator's and St. Mary's were not devoted to the Reformer and his party. The smitten preacher (he had suffered a touch of apoplexy) walked slowly, a fur tippet round his neck in summer, leaning on his staff, and on the shoulder of his secretary, Bannatyne. He returned, at St. Andrews, in his sermons, to the Book of Daniel with which, nearly a quarter of a century ago, he began his pulpit career. In preaching he was moderate--for half-an-hour; and then, warming to his work, he made young Melville shudder and tremble, till he could not hold his pen to write. No doubt the prophet was denouncing "that last Beast," the Pope, and his allies in Scotland, as he had done these many years ago. Ere he had finished his sermon "he was like to ding the pulpit to blads and fly out of it." He attended a play, written by Davidson, later a famous preacher, on the siege and fall of the Castle, exhibiting the hanging of his old ally, Kirkcaldy, "according to Mr. Knox's doctrine," says Melville. This cheerful entertainment was presented at the marriage of John Colville, destined to be a traitor, a double spy, and a renegade from the Kirk to "the Synagogue of Satan." {267a}

Knox now collected historical materials from Alexander Hay, Clerk of the Privy Council, and heard of the publication of Buchanan's scurrilous "Detection" of Queen Mary, in December 1571. {267b}

Knox had denounced the Hamiltons as murderers, so one of that name accused our Reformer of having signed a band for the murder of Darnley--not the murder at Kirk o' Field, but a sketch for an attempt at Perth! He had an interview with Knox, not of the most satisfactory, and there was a quarrel with another Hamilton, who later became a Catholic and published scurrilous falsehoods about Knox, in Latin. In fact our Reformer had quarrels enough on his hands at St. Andrews, and to one adversary he writes about what he would do, if he had his old strength of body.

Not in the Regency, but mainly under the influence of Morton, bishops were reintroduced, at a meeting of the Kirk held at Leith, in January 1572. The idea was that each bishop should hand over most of his revenues to Morton, or some other person in power. Knox, of course, objected; he preached at St. Andrews before Morton inducted a primate of his clan, but he refused to "inaugurate" the new prelate. The Superintendent of Fife did what was to be done, and a bishop (he of Caithness) was among the men who imposed their hands on the head of the new Archbishop of St. Andrews. Thus the imposition of hands, which Knox had abolished in the Book of Discipline, crept back again, and remains in Presbyterian usage. {268a}

Had Knox been in vigour he might have summoned the brethren in arms to resist; but he was weak of body, and Morton was an ill man to deal with. Knox did draw up articles intended to minimise the mischief of these bastard and simoniacal bishoprics and abused patronages (August 1572). {268b} On May 26, 1572, he describes himself as "lying in St. Andrews, half dead." {268c} He was able, however, to preach at a witch, who was probably none the better for his distinguished attentions.

On August 17, during a truce between the hostile parties, Knox left St. Andrews for Edinburgh, "not without dolour and displeasure of the few godly that were in the town, but to the great joy and pleasure of the rest;" for, "half dead" as he was, Knox had preached a political sermon every Sunday, and he was in the pulpit at St. Giles's on the last Sunday of August. {269a} As his colleague, Craig, had disgusted the brethren by his moderation and pacific temper, a minister named Lawson was appointed as Knox's coadjutor.

Late in August came the news of the St. Bartholomew massacre (August 24). Knox rose to the occasion, and, preaching in the presence of du Croc, the French ambassador, bade him tell his King that he was a murderer, and that God's vengeance should never depart from him or his house. {269b} The prophecy was amply fulfilled. Du Croc remonstrated, "but the Lords answered they could not stop the mouths of ministers to speak against themselves."

There was a convention of Protestants in Edinburgh on October 20, but lords did not attend, and few lairds were present. The preachers and other brethren in the Assembly proposed that all Catholics in the realm should be compelled to recant publicly, to lose their whole property and be banished if they were recalcitrant, and, if they remained in the country, that all subjects should be permitted, lawfully, to put them to death. ("To invade them, and every one of them, to the death.") {269c} This was the ideal, embodied in law, of the brethren in 1560. Happily they were not permitted to disgrace Scotland by a Bartholomew massacre of her own.

Mr. Hume Brown thinks that these detestable proposals "if not actually penned by Knox, must have been directly inspired by him." He does not, however, mention the demand for massacre, except as "pains and penalties for those who preached the old religion." {269d} "Without exception of persons, great or small," all were to be obliged to recant, or to be ruined and exiled, or to be massacred. Dr. M'Crie does not hint at the existence of these articles, "to be given to the Regent and Council." They included a very proper demand for the reformation of vice at home. Certainly Knox did not pen or dictate the Articles, for none of his favourite adjectives occurs in the document.

At this time Elizabeth, Leicester, and Cecil desired to hand over Queen Mary to Mar, the Regent, "to proceed with her by way of justice," a performance not to be deferred, "either for Parliament or a great Session." Very Petty Sessions indeed, if any, were to suffice for the trial of the Queen. {270} There are to be no "temporising solemnities," all are to be "stout and resolute in execution," Leicester thus writes to an unknown correspondent on October 10. Killigrew, who was to arrange the business with Mar, was in Scotland by September 19. On October 6, Killigrew writes that Knox is very feeble but still preaching, and that he says, if he is not a bishop, it is by no fault of Cecil's. "I trust to satisfy Morton," says Killigrew, "and as for John Knox, that thing, as you may see by my letter to Mr. Secretary, is done and doing daily; the people in general well bent to England, abhorring the fact in France, and fearing their tyranny."

"That thing" is not the plan for murdering Mary without trial; if Killigrew meant that he had obtained Knox's assent to that, he would not write "that thing is doing daily." Even Morton, more scrupulous than Elizabeth and Cecil, said that "there must be some kind of process" (trial, proces), attended secretly by the nobles and the ministers. The trial would be in Mary's absence, or would be brief indeed, for the prisoner was not to live three hours after crossing the Border! Others, unnamed, insisted on a trial; the Queen had never been found guilty. Killigrew speaks of "two ministers" as eager for the action, but nothing proves that Knox was one of them. While Morton and Mar were haggling for the price of Mary's blood, Mar died, on October 28, and the whole plot fell through. {271} Anxious as Knox had declared himself to be to "strike at the root," he could not, surely, be less scrupulous about a trial than Morton, though the decision of the Court was foredoomed. Sandys, the Bishop of London, advised that Mary's head should be chopped off!

On November 9, 1572, Knox inducted Mr. Lawson into his place as minister at St. Giles's. On the 13th he could not read the Bible aloud, he paid his servants, and gave his man a present, the last, in addition to his wages. On the 15th two friends came to see Knox at noon, dinner time. He made an effort, and for the last time sat at meat with them, ordering a fresh hogshead of wine to be drawn. "He willed Archibald Stewart to send for the wine so long as it lasted, for he would never tarry until it were drunken." On the 16th the Kirk came to him, by his desire; and he protested that he had never hated any man personally, but only their errors, nor had he made merchandise of the Word. He sent a message to Kirkcaldy bidding him repent, or the threatenings should fall on him and the Castle. His exertions increased his illness. There had been a final quarrel with the dying Lethington, who complained that Knox, in sermons and otherwise, charged him with saying there is "neither heaven nor hell," an atheistic position of which (see his eloquent prayer before Corrichie fight, wherein Huntly died {272a}) he was incapable. On the 16th he told "the Kirk" that Lethington's conduct proved that he really did disbelieve in God, and a future of rewards and punishments. That was not the question. The question was--Did Knox, publicly and privately, as Lethington complained, attribute to him words which he denied having spoken, asking that the witnesses should be produced. We wish that Knox had either produced good evidences, or explained why he could not produce them, or had apologised, or had denied that he spoke in the terms reported to Lethington.

James Melville says that the Rev. Mr. Lindsay, of Leith, told him that Knox bade him carry a message to Kirkcaldy in the Castle. After compliments, it ran: "He shall be disgracefully dragged from his nest to punishment, and hung on a gallows before the face of the sun, unless he speedily amend his life, and flee to the mercy of God." Knox added: "That man's soul is dear to me, and I would not have it perish, if I could save it." Kirkcaldy consulted Maitland, and returned with a reply which contained Lethington's last scoff at the prophet. However, Morton, when he had the chance, did hang Kirkcaldy, as in the play acted before Knox at St. Andrews, "according to Mr. Knox's doctrine." "The preachers clamoured for blood to cleanse blood." {272b}

As to a secret conference with Morton on the 17th, the Earl, before his execution, confessed that the dying man asked him, "if he knew anything of the King's (Darnley's) murder?" "I answered, indeed, I knew nothing of it"--perhaps a pardonable falsehood in the circumstances. Morton said that the people who had suffered from Kirkcaldy and the preachers daily demanded the soldier's death.

Other sayings of the Reformer are reported. He repressed a lady who, he thought, wished to flatter him: "Lady, lady, the black ox has never trodden yet upon your foot!" "I have been in heaven and have possession, and I have tasted of these heavenly joys where presently I am," he said, after long meditation, beholding, as in Bunyan's allegory, the hills of Beulah. He said the Creed, which soon vanished from Scottish services; and in saying "Our Father," broke off to murmur, "Who can pronounce so holy words?" On November 24 he rose and dressed, but soon returned to bed. His wife read to him the text, "where I cast my first anchor," St. John's Gospel, chapter xvii. About half-past ten he said, "Now it is come!" and being asked for a sign of his steadfast faith, he lifted up one hand, "and so slept away without any pain." {273}

Knox was buried on November 26 in the churchyard south of St. Giles. A flat stone, inscribed J. K., beside the equestrian statue of Charles II., is reported to mark his earthly resting-place. He died as he had lived, a poor man; a little money was owed to him; all his debts were paid. His widow, two years later, married Andrew Ker of Faldonside, so notorious for levelling a pistol at the Queen on the occasion of Riccio's murder. Ker appears to have been intimate with the Reformer. Bannatyne speaks of a story of Lady Atholl's witchcraft, told by a Mr. Lundie to Knox, at dinner, "at Falsyde." This was a way of spelling Faldonside, {274} the name of Ker's place, hard by the Tweed, within a mile of Abbotsford. Probably Ker and his wife sleep in the family burying-ground, the disused kirkyard of Lindean, near a little burn that murmurs under the broad burdock leaves on its way to join the Ettrick.


Andrew Lang

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