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were desired to accept as the fruit produced by the mountains of Crawford Moor. This new sort of dessert was no doubt as acceptable as the most delicate fruits of a southern climate. The mines of the country are now wrought only for lead, of which they produce still a very large quantity.
Although, as we have mentioned, James was a good economist, he did not neglect the cultivation of the fine arts. He rebuilt the palace of Linlithgow, which is on a most magnificent plan, and made additions to that of Stirling. He encouraged several excellent poets and learned men, and his usual course of life appears to have been joyous and happy. He was himself a poet of some skill, and he permitted great freedom to the rhymers of his time, in addressing verses to him, some of which conveyed severe censure of his government, and others satires on his foibles.
James also encouraged the sciences, but was deceived by a foreigner, who pretended to have knowledge of the art of making gold. This person, however, who was either crackbrained, or an impostor, destroyed his own credit by the fabrication of a pair of wings, with which he proposed to fly from the top of Stirling castle. He actually made the attempt, but as his pinions would not work easily, he fell down the precipice, and broke his thigh-bone.
As the kingdom of Scotland, except during a very short and indecisive war with England, remained at peace till near the end of James's reign, and as that monarch was a wise and active prince, it might have been hoped that he at least would have escaped the misfortunes which seemed to haunt the name of Stewart. But a great change, which took place at this period, led James V. into a predicament, as unhappy as attended any of his ancestors.
[The great change" referred to was what is commonly known to the Protestants as the Reformation. The controversies arising out of this movement led to an unfortunate war between James and his uncle Henry VIII., King of England.]
War with England, and Death of James V. 1536-1542.
Henry sent numerous forces to ravage the Scottish Border. James obtained success in the first considerable action, to his very great satisfaction, and prepared for more decisive hostility. He assembled the array of his kingdom, and marched from Edinburgh as far as Fala, on his way to the Border, when tidings arrived, 1st November, 1542, that the English general had withdrawn his forces within the English frontier. On this news,
the Scottish nobles, who, with their vassals, had joined the royal standard, intimated to their sovereign, that though they had taken up arms to save the country from invasion, yet they considered the war with England as an impolitic measure, and only undertaken to gratify the clergy; and that, therefore, the English having retired, they were determined not to advance one foot into the enemy's country. One Border chieftain alone offered with his retinue to follow the King wherever he chose to lead. This was John Scott of Thirlstane, whom James rewarded with an addition to his paternal coat-of-arms, with a bunch of spears for the crest, and the motto, " Ready, aye Ready."
James, finding himself thus generally thwarted and deserted by the nobility, returned to Edinburgh, dishonoured before his people, and in the deepest dejection of mind.
To retaliate the inroads of the English, and wipe out the memory of Fala Moss, the King resolved that an army of ten thousand men should invade England on the Western Border; and he imprudently sent with them his peculiar favourite, Oliver Sinclair, who shared with the priests the unpopularity of the English war, and was highly obnoxious to the nobility, as one of those who engrossed the royal favour to their prejudice.
The army had just entered English ground, at a place called Solway Moss, when this Oliver Sinclair was raised upon the soldiers' shields to read to the army a commission, which, it was afterwards said, named Lord Maxwell commander of the expedition. But no one doubted at the time that Oliver Sinclair had himself been proclaimed commander-in-chief; and as he was generally disliked and despised, the army instantly fell into a state of extreme confusion. Four or five hundred Eng
lish Borderers, commanded by Thomas Dacre and John Musgrave, perceived this fluctuation, and charged the numerous squadrons of the invading army. The Scots fled without even attempting to fight. Numbers of noblemen and persons of note suffered themselves to be made prisoners rather than face the displeasure of their disappointed sovereign.
The unfortunate James had lately been assailed by various calamities. The death of his two sons, and the disgrace of the defection at Fala, had made a deep impression on his mind, and haunted him even in the visions of the night. He dreamed he saw the fierce Sir James Hamilton, whom he had caused to be put to death upon slight evidence, approach him with a drawn sword, the bloody shade said, “Cruel tyrant, thou hast unjustly murdered me, who was indeed barbarous to other men, but always faithful and true to thee; wherefore now shalt thou have thy deserved punishment. So saying, it seemed to him as if Sir James Hamilton cut off first one arm and then another, and then left him, threatening to come back soon and cut his head off. Such a dream was very likely to arise in the King's mind, perturbed as it was by misfortunes, and even perhaps internally reproaching himself for Sir James Hamilton's death. But to James the striking off his arms appeared to allude to the death of his two sons, and he became convinced that the ultimate threats of the vision presaged his own death.
The disgraceful news of the battle, or rather the rout of Solway, filled up the measure of the King's despair and desolation. He shut himself up in the palace of Falkland, and refused to listen to any consolation. A burning fever, the consequence of his grief and shame, seized on the unfortunate monarch. They brought him tidings that his wife had given birth to a daughter; but he only replied, Is it so?" reflecting on the alliance which had placed the Stewart family on the throne; "then God's will be done. It came with a lass, and it will go with a lass. With these words, presaging the extinction of his house, he made a signal of adieu to his courtiers, spoke little more, but turned his face to the wall, and died of the most melancholy of all diseases, a broken heart. He was scarcely thirty-one years old; in the very prime, therefore, of life.