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cerned, had been assured of their innocence." - To which our author makes a reply, which cannot be shortened without weakening it :

“ Upon what does this author ground his sentence ? Upon two very plain reasons, first, That the confession was a judicial one, that is, taken in presence, or by authority of a judge. And secondly, That it was regularly and judicially given in; that must be understood during the time of the conferences before queen Elizabeth and her council, in presence of Mary's commissioners; at which time she ought to have canvaffed it, says our author, if she knew her innocence.

That it was not a judicial confession, is evident: the paper itself does not bear any such mark; nor does it mention that it was taken in presence of any person, or

by any authority whatsoever ; and, by comparing it with bb, the judicial examinations of Dalgleißh, Hay, and Hepburn, l'it is apparent, that it is destitute of every formality

requisite in a judicial evidence. In what dark corner, then, this strange production was generated, our author may endeavour to find out, if he can.

As to his second affertion, that it was regularly and judicially given in, and therefore ought to have been canvassed by Mary during the conferences, we have already seen that this likewise is not fact: the conferences broke up in February 1569: Nicholas Hubert was not hanged till August thereafter, and his dying confeffion, as Mr. Hume calls it, is only dated the roth of that month. How then can this gentleman gravely tell us, that this confession was judicially given in, and ought to have been at that very time canvassed by queen Mary and her commissioners ? Such positive assertions, apparently contrary to fact, are unworthy the character of an historian, and may very justly render his decision, with respect to evidences of a higher nature, very dubious. In answer then to Mr. Hume : As the queen's accusers did not chuse to produce this material witness, Paris, whom they had alive, and in their hands, nor any declaration or confeffion from him at the critical and proper time for having it canvassed by the queen, I apprehend our author's conclusion may fairly be used against himself; that it is in vain at present to support the improbabilities and absurdities in a confeffion, taken in a clandestine way, no body knows how; and produced after Paris's death, by no body knows whom; and from every appearance destitute of every formality requisite and common to such sort of evidence: for these reasons, I am under no sort of hesitation to give sentence against · Nicholas Hubert's confession, as a gross imposture and forgery."

The state of the evidence relating to the letters is this :

Morton affirms that they were taken in the hands of Dalgleish. The examination of Dalgleish is still extant, and he appears never to have been once interrogated concerning the letters.

Morton and Murray affirm that they were written by the queen's hand; they were carefully concealed from Mary and her commissioners, and were never collated by one man, who could desire to disprove them.

Several of the incidents mentioned in the letters are confirmed by the oath of Crawfurd, one of Lennox's


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defendants, and some of the incidents are so minute, as that they could scarcely be thought on by a forger. Crawfurd's testimony is not without suspicion. Whoever practices forgery, endeavours to make truth the vehicle of falhood. Of a prince's life very minute incidents are known; and if any are too Night to be remarked, they may be safely feigned, for they are likewise too Night to be contradicted. But there are still more reasons for doubting the genuineness of these letters. They had no date of time or place, no feal, ro direction, no superscription.

The only evidences that could prove their authenticity were Dalgleish and Peris, of which Dalglei/h, at his trial, was never questioned about them;' Paris was never publicly tried, though he was kept alive through the time of the conference.

The servants of Bothwell, who were put to death for the king's murder, cleared Mary with their last words.

The letters were first declared to be subscribed, and were then produced without subscription.

They were shewn during the conferences at Yerk privately to the English commissioners, but were concealed from the commissioners of Mary.

Mary always folicited the perusal of these letters, and was always denied it.

She demanded to be heard in person by Elizabeth, before the nobles of England, and the ambassadors of other princes; and was refused.

When Mary persisted in demanding copies of the letters, her commissioners were dismissed with their box to Scotland, and the letters were seen no more.


The French letters, which for almost two centuries have been considered as originals, by the enemies of Mary's memory, are now discovered to be forgeries, and acknowledged to be translations, and perhaps French translations of a Latin translation. And the modern accusers of Mary are forced to infer from these letters, which now exist, that other letters existed formerly, which have been loft in spite of curiosity, malice, and interest.

The rest of this treatise is employed in an endeavour to prove, that Mary's accusers were the murderers of Darnley; through this enquiry it is not necessary to follow him only let it be observed, that, if these letters were forged by them, they may easily be thought capable of other crimes. That the letters were forged, is now made so probable, that perhaps they will never more be cited as testimonies.

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