The Ainslie Bond – Re Earl of Bothwell & Mary Queen of Scots

The Ainslie Bond promoted Marriage between James Hepburn


Mary Queen of Scots

Extract from  The Ainslie Bond

(Anderson’s Collections, vol. i, pp. 107-112, from Cott. Lib. Calig., C.i fol. 1)

We undersubscribing, understanding that although the noble and mighty Lord James, Earl Bothwell . . . being not only bruitit (reported) and calumniated by placards, privily affixed on the public places of the Kirk of Edinburgh, and otherwise slandered by his evil willers, (wishers) as part of the heinous murther of the King, . . .  but also by special letters sent to her Highness by the Earl of Lennox, and debated (accused) of the same crime . . .  he by condign inquest and assize of certain noblemen his peers and other barons of good reputation is found guiltless and innocent of the odious crime objected to him  . . . and we considering the anciency and nobleness of his house, the honourable and good service of his predecessors, and specially himself to our Sovereign, and, for the defence of this her Highness; Realm against the enemies thereof, and the amity and friendship which so long has preserved betwix his House and every one of us . . . Therefore obliges us, and every one of us, upon our Faith and Honours, and Truth in our bodies, as we are noblemen, and will answer to God, that in case hereafter any manner of person or persons . . . shall happen to insist farther to the slander and calumniation of the said Earl of Bothwell, as participant act of part, of the said heinous murther, . . . we . . .  shall take . . . plain and upright part with him, to the defence and maintenance of his quarrel .  . . . More over, weighing and considering the time present and how our Sovereign the Queen’s Majesty is now destitute of a husband, in the which solitary state the Commonwealth of this Realm may not permit her Highness to continue and endure; . . .  and, therefore  in case the former affectionate and hearty service of the said Earl . . . may move her majesty so far to humble herself, as preferring one of her native born subjects unto  all foreign princes, to take to Husband the said Earl. we. and everyone of us undersubscribing , upon our Honours and Fidelity, obliges us , and promises, not only to further , advance, and set forward the marriage to be solemnised and completed betwix her Highness and the said noble Lord . . . but in case any would presume directly, or indirectly, openly, or under whatsoever colour or pretence, to hinder, hold back, or disturb the said marriage, we shall in that behalf, esteem, hold and repute the hinderers, adversaries or disturbers thereof as our common enemies and evil willers (wishers) . . . .  In witness of the which we have subscriyved these presents, as follows, at Edinburgh,  the 19th Day of April, the year of God, 1567 years.

(NOTE:  Some of the signatories were:

The Earls— Huntly, (Jean Gordon’s brother)  Cassillis, Morton, Sutherland, Rothes, Glencairn, Caithness

The Lords—Boyd, Seton, Sinclair, Semple, Oliphant, Ogilvie, Rosse-Hacat, Carlisle, herries, Hume, and Innermeith.

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