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Scottish Histories: Robert Greene's James the Fourth (c. 1590) in the Light (and Shadow) of David Lyndsay's Ane Satyre of the Thrie Estaitis (1552).

The approach of this essay is frankly intertextual, not only because the English and Scottish plays at its centre are inextricable from large political issues and their multiple discursive expression, but also because the question of direct influence must finally remain indeterminate. Robert Greene would seem unlikely, on the face of it, to have had access to a text of the Satyre. It was partly (but not wholly) on textual grounds that Douglas Hamer, the editor in the 1930s of David Lyndsay's Works, dismissed any idea that the Satyre influenced English drama at all, although he did not pursue the question as far as Greene. (2) In any case, the argument for inaccessibility depends strictly on negative evidence: the fact that there is no trace of a printing before the 1602 Edinburgh edition of Robert Charteris. Yet nothing proves there wasn't one, or more--if so, probably by Robert's father Henry--prior to Greene's composition of The Scottish History of James the Fourth. It is notable that Robert made no claim in 1602 to be publishing the Satyre for the first time. Nor is it included in his several subsequent collections of Lyndsay's Warkis, which derive from the volumes his father had begun to issue in 1568 and reissued through the 1570s, 1580s and 1590s; the latter, therefore, form a quite independent strand of production from which nothing can be inferred about the Satyre.

Then, too, since there was demonstrably a manuscript, or manuscripts, of the Satyre--including the one Robert Charteris printed from and the one George Bannatyne copied (and adapted), seemingly in the 1560s (3)--circulation in that form is also conceivable. Improbable as it appears that Greene might have seen such a manuscript, the manifold and urgent involvements of the English government in Scottish affairs through the 1580s--involvements implicating members of the London publishing and theatrical milieux ranging from Thomas Vautrollier to Henry Carey, Lord Hunsdon (4)--might just have produced that result. As for Greene's possible interest, the image still dominating criticism of the dissipated dilettante divided between cony-catching criminality, pastoral fantasy and ostentatious penitence needs to accommodate at least two religious propaganda pamphlets not out of line with his Scottish play: one (from 1585) aimed scornfully at Catholicism generally and one (from the post-Armada year of 1589) gloating in caricature over its recent Spanish humiliation. (5) These productions led Arthur Freeman to speak of 'a side of the man's character which has remained obscure', (6) but they might equally, given Greene's precarious finances and the English government's sponsorship of controversialist interventions, represent commissions accepted for pragmatic reasons.

From the broader perspective of cultural transmission, given the multiple reissues of Lyndsay's collected works prior to and including that of 1590, some copies of some of which must have made their way south of the Tweed, Greene and many of his potential spectators are likely at least to have known of the Satyre. Henry Charteris, early in his prefatory epistle to the reader, gives a summary description of its contents, dramatic method and circumstances of performance (in Edinburgh in 1554). (7) This is part, moreover, of a vivid evocation of Lyndsay personally as a disaffected courtier and dauntless critic of corruption in Scotland, particularly in the Catholic clergy, one who exploited his privileged relation with the monarch yet escaped charges of heresy by the skin of his teeth--not to mention the grace of God, although Charteris abundandy does so from his militantly Reformist point of view. All his editions follow the epistle, moreover, with an unsigned verse 'adhortation'--the 1582 edition terms it 'Ane Adhortatioun of all Estatis, to the reiding of this present warkis' (8)--in which corrupt 'Oppressouris of the pure' in all stations are summoned to learn their lesson from the author. Singled out, besides courtiers, princes and tyrants, are flatterers, lawyers, cheating craftsmen, and merchants--commonplace targets enough, but, as it happens, common ground between Lyndsay and Greene. The Warkis also contain 'The Testament and Complaint of our Souerane Lordis Papingo, King lames the Fyfth', whose satirical terms overlap considerably with those of the Satyre, featuring, in the conclusion, Flatterie, false professors and abusers of religion, and an opposition between Sensualitie and Chaistitie. (9) It seems intertextually to the point as well, for reasons that will become apparent, that Papingo finally commends his spirit, as he leaves behind the corrupt court of worldly pomp, 'to the Quene of Farie, / Eternalie into hir Court to tarie'. (10)

To the Scottish productions of Henry Charteris (and others) may be added, as background to James the Fourth, a notably rich non-Scottish bibliography of various works of Lyndsay, as documented by the Short Title Catalogue--some French printings, but also a steady stream of English ones, attested from 1538 and running throughout the century. Most perdnent among these are Thomas Purfoote's London editions (1566, 1575, 15 81) of A Dialogue betweene Experience and a Courtier, of the miserable state of the world, whose title page announces a work 'Compiled in the Scottish tung by Syr Dauid Lindsey Knight, a man of great learning and science [...] turned and made perfect Englishe', and which insists, in a preliminary epistle, on the author's personal experience, as a courtier, of 'the misery, the chaunge, & instabilitie of the world'. (11)

Finally, the composite picture takes on a striking international political colouradon by way of Lyndsay's cameo appearance in one of the 1564 editions of William Bullein's Dialogue [...] against the feuer pestilence. Not only is 'this good knight of Scotlande' pictured there as 'breakying a sonder the counterfeicte crosse kaies of Rome, forged by Antichriste', but he is even made to address the allegorised 'brethren' England and Scotland with a wish for their religious and political union at the expense of Rome and France, which themselves are thoroughly identified. (12) The disappearance of this passage from the subsequent editions of Bullein's work (1573, 1578) might suggest that, with Mary Stuart's imprisonment in England (from 1568) and the young James at the centre of political turmoil and complex diplomatic manoeuvers, such strident advocacy of a future Great Britain very soon became unwelcome. (13)

All in all, it may at least be argued with confidence that a vibrant image (all the more so because oversimplified and largely dehistoricised) of David Lyndsay as a disaffected courtier, a moral and religious reformer, and indeed a didactic playwright--and as a distinctively Scottish exemplar of all these--was readily available within Elizabethan English culture. I propose, as my point of departure, that this image was current enough to have conditioned audience response to Greene's presenter-figure Bohan. Whether it did so by promoting a direct association or something more vaguely cultural no doubt depended, like many dramatic allusions, on a particular spectator's range of reference. But once an intertextual dynamic is posited, a virtual Lyndsay redivivus emerges in the person of the 'angry' and 'stoical Scot', 'born a gentleman of the best bloud in all Scotland, except the king' (Induction, 7, 23, 42-43), whom Oberon disturbs in the tomb which is his refuge from a corrupt world. (14) Conjured by the Fairy King (whose magic is thereby assimilated to that of the contemporary playwright), Bohan proposes to stage a specifically Scottish moral pageant--one that, from the bare description, might almost be the Satyre:
Now, king, if thou be a king, I will show thee whay I hate the world by
demonstration. In the year 1520 was in Scotland a king, overruled with
parasites, misled by lust, and many circumstances too long to trattle
on now, much like our court of Scotland this day. That story have I set
down. Gang with me to the gallery, and I'll show thee the same in
action by guid fellows of our countrymen; and then when thou seest
that, judge if any wise man would not leave the world if he could.
(Induction, 105-13)

In sending forth to act their parts in the 'wide world' his two sons, Slipper and Nano, made emblematic of 'knavery and honesty' (Induction, 95, 96-97), respectively, Bohan metatheatrically assumes responsibility for the morality-play overlay on his history. The metatheatricality is maintained by the recurrent choruses, the last of which issues an invitation to decipher coded meanings:
I ken the world and wot well worldly things.
Mark thou my jig, in mirkest terms that tells
The loath of sins and where corruption dwells. (5.Cho.[5].4-6)

The principle of communicating in 'mirkest terms' would certainly be familiar to Elizabethans, together with the technique of embodying them in a 'jig' where, however 'ruthful' the lesson, 'yet to beguile the time, / 'Tis interlaced with merriment and rhyme' (3.010.[3].7-8). Especially to the point both chronologically and ideologically may be the letter to Ralegh accompanying the first three books of The Faerie Queene (1590), in which Spenser defends having 'good discipline [...] clowdily enwrapped in Allegoricall deuises' as a concession to 'the vse of these dayes, seeing all things accounted by their showes, and nothing esteemed of, that is not delightfull and pleasing to commune sence'. (15)


1520 is a rough approximation, we know: Flodden Field saw the death of James IV in 1513. Whether Greene or many of his audience had more precise knowledge is arguably less to the point than is the signal that, as concerns the relation to reality of his dramatic fantasia on historical themes, approximation is at least one name of the game. Others might be deliberate distancing or deniability. Hence, the topicality button presented for pushing --'much like our court of Scotiand this day'--triggers messages of at once everything and nothing, and, as with Spenser, as scholarship has increasingly recognised, (16) it is false to the signifying method to impose a restrictive grid. This helps to explain the limitations of the historicising approaches ventured so far, from Ruth Hudson's Scottish allusion-hunting in 1932 (17) to the rigid allegorising of Catherine Lekhal some thirty years ago. (18) I do believe that the latter shed valuable light on the engagement with recent Scottish affairs that audiences are likely to have perceived; I share her view that the arch-flatterer Ateukin and his double-dealing henchman Andrew Snoord point to James Stewart, Earl of Arran, and Patrick Gray ('Master of Gray'), respectively. (19) Most fundamentally, Lekhal is surely right to see in Dorothea an icon of English royal piety subjected to Scottish menace and French Catholic subversion.

Lekhal, however, is determined to identify Dorothea strictly with Elizabeth, to make Ida stand for Scottish Presbyterianism, and to reduce the play's allusiveness to an allegorical programme of events over 'a two-year period, from the beginning of Arran's supremacy in November 1583 until the ratification of the [Anglo-Scottish] treaty in December 1585'. (20) She detects a propaganda exercise in favour of that treaty, albeit tinged with reservations about James VI's trustworthiness, and accordingly dates the play from the treaty year itself, whereas most scholars of Greene place it some five years later. These include Hudson, for whom parallels with events of 1590 are significant. Certainly, Lekhal excludes from her scope of reference a wide range of discursive material with which James the Fourth might seem calculated to resonate. This most obviously includes, as I will argue, the 1587 edition of Holinshed's Scottish chronicle, as continued principally by Francis Thynne, and the political elements both included and occluded within it, with Mary, Queen of Scots, on the margins, if not at the centre. (21) But what the disparate readings of Lekhal and Hudson chiefly underline is the need for an approach accommodating the ambiguities, evasions and distortions of Bohan's--that is, Greene's--'mirkest terms'.

These are introduced and set in motion by a pointed skewing of the romantic main plot, which derives from the Hecatommithi of G. B. Giraldi Cinthio. The story originally had nothing to do with England and presented Scotland in a positive light. (Cinthio's persecuted Arenopia is the daughter of the King of Scotland and married to the King of Ireland, while his Ida lives on the isle of Mona, that is, Anglesey.) In making his heroine the emblem of loving union between England and Scotland, and of course in renaming her Dorothea ('gift of God'), (22) Greene sets politico-religious resonances echoing across an indefinite landscape of symbolic possibilities. Given a date of 1590, audiences might have taken their bearings in this shadowy landscape, the realm of the Fairy King, with the help of a contemporary roadmap, Book I of The Faerie Queene. The tribulations of Una, the one true church (like Dorothea succoured by a dwarf), include, of course, her abandonment by Red Cross Knight, seduced by Duessa, with whom he falls into sexual transgression as a metonymy for the spiritual kind, and who, in the guise of the Whore of Babylon, casts, amongst other shadows, the newly headless one of the Queen of Scots--a foreshadowing, as Richard A. McCabe has pointed out, of that allegory's fulfilment in Book V (published in 1596). (23)

Greene's thoroughly virtuous Ida is a far cry from Duessa, obviously, but precisely for this reason she serves as a moral mirror, reflecting the king's infidelity--in both senses--back upon him. James is at his blindest in denying her true nature; in effect, he is drawn to the Duessa he projects onto her, and his deviance leads inevitably to his murderous assault on the emblem of his true allegiance--moral, political, and religious. In a way reminiscent of Lyndsay, Ida thereby embodies a chastity/Chastitie that cannot be accommodated ('Ful faine would I have harberie' [1. 1278]) in a Scotland misgoverned by a misgoverned king, corrupted by Sensualide. The effect appears more clearly in light of Greene's closely contemporary Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay (c. 1589), likewise a moralised pseudo-history, where lustful temptation carries both political and religious implications: that play's Prince Edward first murderously projects his frustrated passion for the chaste Margaret upon his honourable rival Lord Lacy, then, confronted with their mutual true love, renounces it. His doing so, together with Margaret's own rejection of a nun's life in order to marry Lacy, validates sound English morality and piety as the nation's bulwarks. Friar Bacon's would-be wall of brass is thereby rendered as superfluous as his magic is diabolic--and redolent of Catholic superstition.

But if, in Greene's dramaturgy, in contrast to Lyndsay's, sensuality/Sensualide first subverts the Scottish king as an inward vice, the flattery that abets his moral and spiritual corruption naturally takes external form. By this means the romantic plot is drawn into a historically resonant morality-play mechanism as distinctive within Greene's work as is Scottishness itself. The mainspring of the process is the arch-villain Ateukin, who is soon seconded by Slipper and Andrew; the latter makes an eloquent spokesman for the network of corruption which we see, as in Lyndsay, spreading from the court downwards and outwards: 'My master lives by cozening the king, I by flattering him, Slipper, my fellow, by stealing, and I by lying. Is not this a wily accord, gentlemen?' (4.3.23-25). But, to put last things first, it makes an especially striking point of contact with the Satyre--one that could not derive from Henry Charteris' summary, which omits this detail--that the concluding reformation, despite the ambiance of reconciliation in the romantic plot, entails hanging the vices.

The point is put in play early on, from the moment when Slipper introduces himself and Nano to Ateukin as brothers who 'will die together, though we be both hanged' (1.2.114-15). The comparison must naturally be nuanced, but the nuances are telling in themselves. The exposed and repudiated 'vile Ateukin' (5.6.59) himself is left on the run, though under the king's sentence: 'whoso finds the man, / Let him have martial law and straight be hanged' (213-14). The last we see of him, he is making a morality-play lesson of himself: 'Thus God doth work with those that purchase fame / By flattery, and make their prince their gain' (5.2.39-40). Similarly (though less abstractly) does Lyndsay's primal vice Flatterie abscond in a cloud of self-knowing, dogged by the hangman:
For I had nacht bene wrangit,
Becaus I servit, be Alhallows,
Till have bene merchellit amang my fellowis,
And heich above them hangit! (ll. 4274-77)

Although Greene's king affirms of Ateukin that 'all his vain abettors now are dead' (5.6.215), as is certainly the case symbolically, (24) Andrew alone is actually hauled off to execution, while we have seen Slipper escaping the order by Oberon's intervention (57 SD)--the fulfilment of the promise the Fairy King made to Bohan to rescue 'loggerhead your son' in distress (Induction, 101-02) (and a rough counterpart of Miles carried to hell on the devil's back in Friar Bacon). Slipper's shifty dealings with craftsmen, notably the Tailor and the Shoemaker--the same professions emblematically foregrounded in the Satyre--link him especially with Lyndsay's Falset (i.e., Falsehood) on the point of execution ('I leirit tailyeours in everie toun / To schaip fyve quarters in ane goun' [ll 4148-49]). But Slipper is literally allowed, in what strongly smacks of an intertextual in-joke, to give his executioners precisely the supernatural slip that the doomed Falset evokes: 'I man pas to the King of Farie / Or ellis [strecht way] till Hell' (11. 4218-19).

Despite, or across, the pre-eminence of the romantic plot, as it builds towards denouement, the purging of Scotland in James the Fourth insistently recalls the social orientation of the Satyre. As the laments of the Bishop of St Andrews (25) and the true nobles Morton and Douglas make clear as early as act 2, scene 2, the entire 'common-weal' (2.2.35, 45), has been disordered by James's
lawless and unbridled vain in love,
His too intentive trust to flatterers,
His abject care of counsel and his friends. (47-49)

As a rough equivalent of Lyndsay's Thrie Estaits entering backwards, 'led be thair vyces' (1. 2322 SD) at the beginning of Part 2, Greene inserts, as the invading English approach, a baldly emblematic scene in which a Lawyer, a Merchant and a Divine mutually accuse each other of what the first terms 'a damned and subtle drift / In all estates to climb by others' loss' (5.4.9-10; my emphasis). (26) The language of the Divine's complaint against the Lawyer ('Oppress the poor' [29]), that of the Lawyer against the Merchant ('every ruin in this commonweal' [93]), do not merely recall Charteris' 'Adhortatioun' but closely echo the Satyre itself. Lyndsay's King prepares to punish those 'that dois the Common-weil doun thring' (1. 2402) and have 'plaine oppressours put to subjectioun' (l. 2405); this he will do 'With help and counsell of King Correctioun' (l. 2403). Greene ends his scene with a warning of the English king's approach, which inspires the Divine to pray, 'God mend that is amiss / And place true zeal whereas corruption is' (5.4.110-11). Correction thereby takes on a specifically English face and is allied with the force of true religion in Scotland.

On this point, Greene diverges from the historical Lyndsay and the politico-religious context of the Satyre. He conspicuously converges, however, with their Reformist skewing and with the ideal of Scottish and English unity put into Lyndsay's mouth by Bullein, who cannot have been alone in such thinking. In Greene's historical fantasy England is far from being an enemy of the Scottish nation. The invading King of England is initially bent only on revenging the supposed murder of Dorothea. The revelation of her survival and her subsequent plea for forgiveness, which moves and unites father and husband, are placed by her under the sign of divine providence ('what God hath wrought' [5.6.178]) and sealed by James's dedication of himself to 'godly piety' (183). Greene gives the spokes-woman for true religion an impassioned plea for political realignment:
These nations, if they join,
What monarch with his liegemen in this world
Dare but encounter you in open field? (180-82) (27)

As a matter of dramatic convention, the virtues supporting reform are less abstract in Greene's romance than in Lyndsay's allegory, being incarnated in the Countess of Arran and her daughter, and in such loyal and upright figures as Sir Eustace (an Englishman) and Sir Cuthbert (a Scot). It is the latter who serves as the final voice of good counsel to James, and the core of his plea, which unmistakably echoes various declarations of James VI's Protestant lords, (28) is a restoration to health of a key estate now, for the first time, given a collective voice:
You know your nobles are your chiefest stays
And long time have been banished from your court;
Embrace and reconcile them to yourself;
They are your hands whereby you ought to work. (5.7.196-99)

Such reconstitution of a sound body politic requires the cutting-off of upstart misleaders:
As for Ateukin and his lewd compeers,
That soothed you in your sins and youthly pomp,
Exile, torment, and punish such as they;
For greater vipers never may be found
Within a state than such aspiring heads,
That reck not how they climb, so that they climb. (200-05)


According to a well-established pattern, the influence of unscrupulous royal favourites was a capital obstacle to the English cause in Scotland. Thus George Buchanan, in attacking Queen Mary over the spectacular events that led to her exile, had notably slandered David Riccio as 'low-born, foreign, ambitious, subtle, vainglorious; a papist, a spy, a sycophant, a voluptuary and an intimate of the queen'. (29) In the person of Ateukin, Greene provides a version of the paradigm updated and adapted to the perspective of the Protestant nobles of James VI, including a strong invitation to put names to moral functions, What the intertext of the Satyre arguably supplies here is, paradoxically enough, a buffering layer of abstraction.

Ateukin is never literally disguised, like Lyndsay's Flatterie, as Devotioun, but the resemblance between them extends to the pretences to magical powers, and especially astrological knowledge, by which both first gain the king's confidence (Satyre, ll. 888-922; James the Fourth, 1.1.201-10, 232-35, 263-66) in scenes where both also praise his personal attributes (Satyre, ll. 923-27; James the Fourth, 1.1.202, 204, 274-75). Indeed, while (transparently) disclaiming any flattery, both specifically foresee the king's success with women. Flatterie's exclamation, 'Saw ever man sa quhyte an face' (Satyre, l. 923), might particularly have stuck with Greene: 'Was never eye that saw a sweeter face' (James the Fourth, 1.1.274).

Where Greene's treatment of vice at once does and does not follow Lyndsay's (or, for that matter, Buchanan's) is on the point of foreignness. Ateukin's magical claims conceivably owe something, as Waldo N. McNeir argued years ago, to accounts in Holinshed (following John Leslie's Scottish history) of the Italian charlatan Damien, who apparently amused the historical James IV, chiefly by his attempts to fly. (30) The resemblance may actually have been anticipated in the Satyre, where Flatterie claims to have learnt palmistry in Italy (ll. 914-15) and the Abbot voices the notion that God might 'send me doun gude widcok wingis to flie' (l. 3559). Otherwise, Ateukin stands out as a home-grown vice, suddenly sprung out of the Scottish soil, (31) whereas Flatterie puts on foreign trappings. These are mainly French: he is said in a stage direction to be 'new landit owt of France' (l. 601 SD); he is greeted with 'Bon jour' (l. 682) by Dissait (Deceit); he counsels his fellows to counterfeit statesmanlike French airs ('keep grave countenance / As wee war new cum out of France' [ll. 722-23]). The point, surely, is that he does so to gain credibility.

Francophobia would hardly fit with Lyndsay's personal or political culture, especially given the power structures in the Scotland of his day. French influence as a defence against English was embodied in the presence at the 1554 performance of Marie de Guise, whose death (1560) Lyndsay would lament in one of the poems always included in his Warkis, despite Chatteris' virulent anti-Catholicism. France explicitly serves as a model for some of the reforms of church and state advocated in the Satyre (ll. 3096-99, 3839-46). And in the concluding summary of national and international affairs dispensed by Foly, not only is the cause of the 'nobill King of France' (l. 4606) implicitly espoused, but the French receive at least their due at the expense of 'our auld enemies of Ingland' (l. 4600): 'Had nocht bene the support of France, / We had bene brocht to great mischance' (ll. 4601-02). These are lines likely to have waved a red flag at John Bull in the 1580s.

If Greene was reacting to the Satyre, it would have been recent events that provoked him to charge in this direction, effectively overriding Foly's view of history and turning French courtliness at once ridiculous and deadly-serious. The instrument he invents for the purpose is Jaques, that caricature of murderous evil whom Ateukin identifies, for the king, as his natural partner in the capital crime they envisage: 'There's here in court a Frenchman, Jaques called, / A fit performer of our enterprise' (2.2.201-02). He and Ateukin thus make a caricature of the 'auld alliance', domestic rottenness attracting and abetted by French armed force. Jaques is first met defending 'Monsieur my Lord Ateukin' (3.2.29-30) against the honest Purveyor ('The world is at a wise pass, when nobility is afraid of a flatterer' [27-28]), and their literally unholy alliance continues until the would-be murderer sees Ateukin in despair over Ida's marriage: 'Est-ce donc a tel point votre etat?'--even in French 'estate' resonates intertextually--'Faith, then adieu, Scotland, adieu, Signor Ateukin: me will homa to France and no be hanged in a strange country' (5.2.22-24).

He has, of course, only wounded Dorothea, not killed her, clearly because she had God on her side and stood up to her assailant courageously, defying his invitation to say her 'paternoster' (4.4.44) along with his blustering accusation that she is a 'calletta', a. 'strumpetta' (43). Here Jaques functions, like his name itself, as a sinister shadow of the perverted James, slandering Una as Duessa, and doing so in a way that links praying in Latin with murderous French Catholic intent; the usually casual oath with which he rounds off his injunction is here anything but: 'Come, say your paternoster, car vous etes morte, par ma for' (44-45). (32) At no point in Greene's play are the discourses of nationality and religion more tightly fused on each opposing side; nor is the opposition anywhere more sharply divergent, thanks to Dorothea herself:
Shall never Frenchman say an English maid
Of threats of foreign force will be afraid.
God shield me, hapless princess and a wife,
And save my soul, although I lose my life. (48-49, 52-53)


What would audiences of 1590 have finally made of Greene's elusive mixture of signifying modes? I suggest that, from beginning to end--from Bohan's malediction to Dorothea's benediction ('Thus wars have end and, after dreadful hate, / Men learn at last to know their good estate' [5.6.237-38; emphasis added])--evocations of Lyndsay would have functioned catalytically, at once activating and buffering the intertextual presence of discourses bearing on more recent Scottish internal and external affairs, including, ineluctably, matters of religion. These affairs were abundantly aired in England over the years of Mary's captivity, and towards the end, as well as afterwards, official nerves proved increasingly sensitive. The first edition of John Knox's History of the Reformation in Scotland, published (significantly) by Thomas Vautrollier in 1587, was suppressed and seized before completion. (33) A more prominent vehicle of critique and object of reaction were the works of Buchanan, whose accusations particularly aroused the ire of Mary's royal son, both directly and no doubt indirectly, through Spenser's portrait of her in The Faerie Queene. (34) Although responding to a specific turn of events--the assassination of the Earl of Moray--the political reach of An Admonition is particularly broad, and the pamphlet actually issues in a picture of political, social and moral chaos inviting correction by Queen Elizabeth. (35)

Similar discourses, and the signs of their suppression, swirl through and around Holinshed's recent second edition. (36) The new Chronicles were issued a bare month before Mary's execution (8 February 1587), and the Privy Council imposed censorship of, amongst other things, references to English interference in Scottish affairs. (37) The uncensored text had also contained some highly sceptical comments, in a voice sounding not unlike Bohan's, about Scotland's prospects for overcoming its chronic factionalism; it had even touched on the ill-augury attached to the royal name James. (38) The broad trajectory indicated in Holinshed, especially as expurgated, from turmoil and corruption to stability and reformation (or Reformation) remains clear enough. To a limited extent, Greene's literal fairy-tale outcome--Oberon laying Bohan peacefully to rest--has a precedent here. But expurgation could hardly efface completely the turmoil of Protestantism's English-sponsored struggle in Scotland against French Catholic influence, abetted by flattering royal favourites.

Indeed, what Holinshed presents as the culmination of the struggle, in the 1585 'Proclamation Published by the Nobilitie of Scotland' which followed the invasion of the 'banished lords' (5.726 [5.445]), led by Archibald Douglas, Earl of Angus (one recalls that Douglas is one of Greene's honest lords), strenuously insists on the need for correction. It does so, moreover, very much in Greene's own terms, even anticipating quite precisely the allegorical function of Dorothea ('wounded the estate of true religion'). The multiple points of contact justify quotation at length:
Whereas the kings maiestie our souereignes good, naturall, and vertuous
education is now plainelie vnderstood to haue been abused, and his
roiall qualities giuen to him by the almightie God [...] hath beene
these yeares past obscured by the craft & subtiltie of some lewd and
wicked persons of no desert or worthinesse, and for the most part of
base linage [...] who vnder colour of friendship and bloud creeping in
about his maiestie, and seeking onelie their owne particuliar profit
and promotion: shaking off (as it were) not onelie all christian and
charitable nature: but euen the generall points and offices of
humanitie vsed amongst most barbarous people, without feare of God or
man, as subtill foxes and bloudie woolues, by wresting of lawes and
other deceitfull practises hath so wasted, torne in peeces, and
deuoured the whole bodie of this afflicted commonwealth, that of the
whole ancient forme of iustice and policie receiued of our ancestors,
remaineth nothing, neither in spirituall or temporall estate. [...] In
consideration of which great enormities and tyrannies, hauing connected
our selues togither for redresse and reformation of the same, seeing
the suffering thereof hath alreadie wounded the estate of true
religion, dishonored his maiestie, disturbed the whole realme, and had
almost disioined aswell the hearts of the princes as of the subiects of
the two nations [Scotland and England], we thinke it therefore high
time [...] to procure the separation and thrusting awaie of the said
desperate and enorme persons from about his maiestie, that his
highnesse being restored to his former libertie, maie freelie,
peaceablie, and wiselie gouerne his subiects and realme, by aduise of
graue, modest and indifferent councellors [...] to the end that the
afflicted church within this land maie be comforted, [...] the bodie of
his commonwealth (by punishing of vice cheeflie vpon the authors of
these late misorders, and mainteinance of vertue) maie be once
disburdened of the heauie oppressions and iniuries that they haue with
no small greefe so long susteined, and the happie amitie with England
reestablished and consented, to the high glorie of God. (5.727-79

The Proclamation is explicit about the villains at the core of the corruption. They include Jesuits and other Catholic priests, whose favourable reception was 'an euident presage of the overthrow of true religion' (5.728 [5.447]). But singled out as the chief abusers of the king are 'Obigneie, afterwards called the Duke of Leneux', and 'James Steward' (5.727 [5.446]).

As mentioned previously, Lekhal's association of Ateukin with James Stewart, who had appropriated the tide of Earl of Arran, is generally convincing, if reductively applied. The (mis)appropriation was a notorious scandal. One of the points that attracted the censor's notice in the 1587 Holinshed involved the fraud by which Stewart 'found meanes partlie by policie, partlie by persuasion, and partlie by flatterie', to 'wring' the title from its mentally infirm possessor. (39) He did so, naturally, with James's backing, and the 1587 censors were concerned not to offend the Scottish king on this point, as on others. (40) Greene has put the title, and the question of its legitimacy, in play backhandedly by making his Countess a representative of true Scottish nobility, by both birth and virtue, now come under serious threat. (41) In fact, the recent bearer of (or pretender to) that tide, James Stewart's wife, was herself notorious: the object of moralistic scorn in Holinshed, where she is termed 'a woman of delight of change in marriage' (5.731 [5.449]), and identified in John Colville's 1582 Declaratioun as a probable witch (42) and certainly as an inducer of licentiousness in the king himself:
QVHAT sall we speik of the shames and filthie behauiour of hir that is
callit Countesse of Arrane, quha [...] ceisis not zit to peruert the
Kingis Maiesteis awin zouthe be slanderous speiche & countenance quhilk
we are ashamed to expres. (43)

With respect to Greene's bastion of female integrity, this image constitutes, again, a Duessa-like shadow.

A further suggestion regarding Greene's naming practice may be made,

with due diffidence, at this point. Obviously, the extremely strange name Ateukin serves as a distancing device in itself, but it may conceivably be one in a way not yet suggested. The quarto spelling is consistent, so any deformation is likely authorial, whether deliberate or not, but deformation there may well be: one of Holinshed's common variant forms of the important Scottish name Erskin is 'Areskin'--only two letters away. (44) It would make a particularly effective aid to deniability, if this were the name Greene intended, that John Erskin, second Earl of Mar, had been a staunch partisan of the English Protestant cause, prominent in what George Hewitt terms the 'Stirling castle putsch' on behalf of the Earl of Morton in 1578, (45) in the Ruthven Raid of the 'Lords Enterprisers' in 1582, and in the seizure of power by the 'banished lords' three years later.

The virulent antipathy registered in the Proclamation towards Esme Stuart of Aubigny, who had died in 1583, confirms the still-current symbolic charge of that key player in the French-Scottish-English politico-religious game, (46) and there is ample evidence that the execrable Jaques would have brought him to mind for London audiences. (47) This member of the French branch of the Stuarts, the favourite of King James and agent of Henri, Duke of Guise--the latter had been attempting to engineer an invasion of Scotland, followed by one of England, in support of the imprisoned Mary--had already been hounded back to France by the raiders, led by the Earl of Gowrie, who effectively sequestered the king for the better part of a year. Holinshed records these events in their chronological place, with due emphasis on the Frenchness of Lennox. (48) Still, the historian minces words, certainly by comparison with the accusations levelled at the time by the raiders themselves. Even John Colville's treatment of the Duke of Lennox, while negative, is relatively restrained. The corruption of justice, pillaging, murdering, and raping rampant in Scodand, not to mention the persecution of true religion instigated by foreign papists, are implicitly laid to his charge, but he is never actually named, not even by his full tide, being referred to merely as 'the Duke' and only a few times.

This is in contrast to the insistent naming of names and matching of heinous deeds to them in English government documents recorded in the Calendar of the State Papers, and most notably in a Scottish polemic found in the Public Records Office, which carries Burghley's endorsement and is labelled 'The remonst. of the offences of the Duk of Lennox, etc. From Sterlyng 17 Septemb'. (49) Presented as a justification of the loyal nobility, forced to take action to protect themselves, true religion and the king, this is a particularly violent and direct polemic aimed at the 'craft, subtility and treason of Esme d'Aubigny and his complices'. (50) Lennox and his crew are made monstrously evil ('his barbarous fury', 'their diabolical and malicious craft' (51) ) and placed at the centre of the same nexus of evils incarnated by Greene's Jaques: Frenchness, papistry, murder, adultery and, last but not least, enmity to England, Scotland's true friend in politics and religion; the effect has been to pervert the king's natural virtue in the guise of offering him true service. Instead of being 'governed by the advice of the nobility, as his highness's progenitors used to do' (52)--the point resoundingly made by Greene's Sir Cuthbert--the realm is subject to the ambitious upstart, guided by his papist counsellors. As a result, the 'fearful curse of God' hangs over the 'whole nation', and only purgation of the evil-doers by the nobility can bring redemption. (53) Whether Greene knew this document must, of course, remain uncertain, but he certainly could have done in one form or another. Given its obvious function as propaganda, it would be strange if had not circulated in print. It demonstrably did so, moreover, in a faithful French translation, published, according to its title, in the following month with no indication of publisher or place of publication: Remonstrance faicte [...] sur les practiques d'Aubigny, au Moys d'Octobre. (54)

As for Lennox's credentials as a murderer, even Holinshed gives sympathetic space to one of his most notable victims, James Douglas, 4th Earl of Morton and former regent, whom Lennox contrived to have accused by his partner James Stewart and beheaded for treason (afterwards receiving his lands as a gift from the king). (55) The interventions of the English on Morton's behalf fell victim to the censor, but Holinshed was allowed to print the 'examinations and answers' (5.698-704 [5.429-37]) of the condemned man, including this indirect but barbed comment following his denial of conspiracy against Lennox:
But it greeued him that the earle of Leneux knew not the estate of
their countrie, nor yet perceiued the danger of the kings person. For
being thervnto requested by others, sundrie were brought home who were
the kings enimies, ouerthrowers of the kingdome, and enimies to
religion. (5.699 [5.430])


A further discursive factor emerges across the expurgated accounts of Holinshed that might have lent urgency and immediacy to Greene's dramatic engagement with Scottish affairs in 1590. This is the countervailing reading in broad circulation thanks to John Leslie, Bishop of Ross. (Ross is another title ironically appropriated by Greene for a true-hearted noble.) Condemned as one of Aubigny's advisors by the Ruthven raiders, (56) Leslie was the indefatigable champion of Mary and conspirator on her behalf who had provided the queen with a partial manuscript of his history of Scotland, written in Scots during his English imprisonment. The complete history, in Latin translation, was published in Rome in 1578, (57) and it serves Thynne as a major source for events up to 1561, where it breaks off. Leslie's version of events is referenced in the margin more often than that of Buchanan and sometimes cited verbatim! (58) Thynne shows himself duly wary of Ross's credentials, (59) but his disclaimers are surprisingly mild, given the rhetoric elsewhere that can relegate Catholics to 'satans synagog' (Holinshed, 5.573 [5.356]) (60) and the prominence given to James's recent pro-Protestant affirmations. (61) Leslie is esteemed 'a man estranged from vs in religion, but learned, wise, of great experience, a faithfull seruant to his mistresse, and a graue bishop of Rosse' (5.570 [5.354]). Even the mention of his imprisonment in the Tower (over the plot to marry Mary to the Duke of Norfolk) and subsequent activities in Rome on Mary's behalf is remarkably neutral. (62) Leslie's history went no further than 1561--he concludes by saying that to deal with more recent events of Mary's reign might attract the accusation of flattery (63)--but as recently as 1584 he had published (in Latin, followed by an English translation) A treatise touching the right, title, and interest of the most excellent Princess Marie, Queene of Scotland, and of the most noble king lames, her Graces sonne, to the succession of the croune of 'England, etc. (64)

Predictably, Leslie's treatment of the events to which Lyndsay was responding in the late 1540s and early 1550s is slanted towards the benefits of French influence and the efficacy of Marie de Guise's regency in setting order in the three estates. (65) Holinshed takes over without comment the affirmation that in 1552 'all things requisite for the establishing of iustice were confirmed by the counsell of the nobilitie'; even preserved is the insinuation that the Reformers were to blame for the decadence of the clergy:
About which time also, the protestants religion making breach into the
doctrine of the Romans, there was a prouinciall councell kept at
Bithquoe, where the Caluinists with their doctrine were condemned and
accurssed; and all things decreed in the councell of Trent vnder Paule
the third, were established, with manie other needful lawes made to
purge the corrupt manners of the clergie. (5.571 [5.355])

In the Historie itself we further find the dispositions taken at a 1552 Edinburgh convention in favour of 'quha of the Clergie war prudent and wyse, cunning, and chaste in bodie'. (66) All of this adds up to a picture of wide-reaching reforms, such as Lyndsay cried out for in the Satyre, as having been duly implemented.

Given the persistence of Leslie's version, voice and vision in the newly published account of Holinshed, in which censorship had meanwhile toned down the darker side of the latest decade of Scottish history, to conjure the restless and unsatisfied spirit of the mid-century satirist may have seemed an effective yet acceptably indirect way of evoking the continuing havoc wrought by sensuality, flattery, ambidon and, most fundamentally, abuse of religion. It may even have seemed provocative that Lyndsay actually figures in Holinshed's list of Scottish writers matter-of-factly, without commentary and certainly not as a reformer or satirist (5.753 [5.462]). Explicitly, according to Bohan, Scottish history has been repeating itself, and, implicidy, it will continue to do so until the stopping of the fountainhead of evil.

Mary Stuart had often been cast in that role, and she remained symbolically potent in it posthumously, as Spenser's subsequent installments demonstrate. But they also make clear that Duessa's execution does not enable apocalyptic romance fulfilment: new tyrants and monsters spring up immediately. Likewise, as a good Calvinist, Bohan knows that Duessa is merely one rotten fruit of fallen humanity, a projection proceeding from an inner spiritual and moral swerving; vicious men, and women, may be expelled and punished, but finally that is 'where corruption dwells'--witness James's quite spontaneous lust for Ida and rejection of Dorothea. Greene's claim to authority as a critic and prophet of Scottish affairs is effectively bolstered, then, not only by recuperating Lyndsay's satirical precedent but also by performing, and more precisely directing, the deforming 'spin' that the Reformers had already imparted to it.


(1) The author wishes to thank John McGavin for his generous and acute comments on a previous version of this essay.

(2) David Lindsay, The Works of Sir David Lindsay of the Mount, 1490-1555, Douglas Hamer (ed.), 4 vols (Edinburgh, 1931-36), 4:xxxvi-xxxvii, 160-62.

(3) On the textual history, see David Lindsay, Am Satyre of the Thrie Estaitis, Roderick Lyall (ed.) (Edinburgh, 1989), xxxvi-xxxvii. This is my edition of reference throughout, with the Satyre cited by line numbers.

(4) The Scottish activities of the Huguenot publisher Thomas Vautrollier--London-based, government-connected, and active in Scotland in the early to mid-1580s--have yet to be fully appreciated, if such is possible, given his shadowy implication in the propaganda struggle over the future of religion and monarchy in Scotland. See Richard Hillman, Introd., Fronton Du Duc, The Tragic History of the Pucelle of Domremy Otherwise Known as the Maid of Orleans, Richard Hillman (ed. and trans.) (Ottawa, 2005), 46-51, 72n136. Vautrollier (whose apprentice was Shakespeare's probable childhood friend and future publisher Richard Field) had a partnership with Henry Charteris as early as 1577, when they coordinated the London and Edinburgh first editions of Baptistes by the militantly Protestant antagonist of Mary, Queen of Scots, George Buchanan.

As for Hunsdon, the future Lord Chamberlain, whose patronage of theatrical companies was of long-standing, he served as Elizabeth's principal advisor and agent for Scottish affairs throughout the period. See Wallace T. MacCaffrey, 'Carey, Henry, first Baron Hunsdon (1526-1596)', The Dictionary of National Biography (DNB), online ed. (Oxford, 2004-), doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/4649.

(5) These are, respectively, Greene's translation, with scathing preface and marginal glosses, of An Oration or funerall sermon vttered at Roome, at the buriall of the holy Father Gregorie the 13, etc. (n.p., 1585; STC: 12354.5), and The Spanish masquerado, etc. (London, 1589; STC: 12309). The analysis by Anthony Esler of the symbolic technique of the Masquerado ('Robert Greene and the Spanish Armada', ELH 32 [1965], 314-32), is dated but still useful, not least for its rapprochement of the pamphlet and The Faerie Queene--a relation which bears, I believe, on James the Fourth.

(6) Arthur Freeman, 'An Unacknowledged Work of Robert Greene', Notes and Queries 12 (1965), 379.

(7) David Lyndsay, The Warkis of the famous and worthie Knight, Schir David Lyndsay of the Mont [...] Newlie correctit [...] and augmentit with sindry warkis, [...] quhilk was not befoir imprentit (Edinburgh, 1568; STC: 15658), sig. [dagger]-iiv. On the performance in question, see Lyall (ed.), xii-xiii. The Reformist thrust of Lyndsay's work, in the form of the interlude performed before James V at Linlithgow in 1540, is also attested by the letter of Sir William Eure to Thomas Cromwell, which includes a full description and the king's subsequent threat to have his bishops disciplined by Henry VIII; see John Pinkerton, The History of Scotland from the Ascension of the House of Stuart to That of Mary, with Appendixes of Original Documents, 2 vols (London, 1797), 2.494-96. To what extent this report helped to diffuse an image of Lyndsay among the English at the time is, of course, uncertain, especially since the interlude's author is not named.

(8) David Lyndsay, [The warkis of the famous and vorthie Knight, Schir Dauid Lyndesay] (Edinburgh, 1582; STC 15662), sig. [Avi.sup.r]-[vii.sup.r]. This edition is cited hereafter.

(9) Ibid., 180-222; see esp. 205-22.

(10) Ibid., 220.

(11) David Lyndsay [Dauid Lindsey], A dialogue betweene Experience and a courtier, of the miserable state of the worlde, etc. (London, 1581 [STC 15678]), sig. [ii.sup.v].

(12) William Bullein, A dialogue bothe pleasaunte and pietifull wherein is a goodly regimente against the feuer pestilence with a consolacion and comfort against death, newly corrected by Willy am Belleyn, the autour thereof (London, 1564; STC 4036.5), fols [12.sup.r]-[13.sup.r]. I am grateful to Sarah Carpenter for drawing this reference to my attention.

(13) Pertinent here may well be the predominant association of the rhetoric of union during Mary's lifetime with the proponents of her claim to the English throne; thus William Cecil, Lord Burghley, in The copie of a letter written by one in London to his frend concernyng the credit of the late published detection of the doynges of the Ladie Marie of Scotland ([London, 1572]; STC 17565), which anonymously endorsed the anti-Marian accusations of George Buchanan, evoked that 'which the aduersaries call beneficiall vnyting, but is in deede most maleficiall confoundyng, intended to ioyne the Realmes in other persones, excluding the persone of our sayd soueraigne Lady' (sig. [Bi.sup.r]); he bolstered his case by citing the position taken by 'the three estates of Scotland assembled in parliament' (sig. [Bii.sup.r]).

(14) All citations are taken from Robert Greene, The Scottish History of James the Fourth, Norman Sanders (ed.), The Revels Plays (London: Methuen, 1970). It is safe to speak in terms of audience response, even if there is no proof that the play was 'sundrie times publikely plaide', as is claimed on the title page of the first extant edition, the quarto of 1598; the printed text is unmistakably stage-oriented. Given the title's 1594 entry in the Stationers' Register, there may or may not have been a prior edition; see Sanders (ed.), lv.

(15) Edmund Spenser, The Works of Edmund Spenser: A Variorum Edition, Edwin Greenlaw, Charles Grosvenor Osgood and Frederick Morgan Padelford (eds), vol. 1 (The Faerie Queene, Book One), Frederick Morgan Padelford (ed.) (Baltimore, 1932), 168 ('A Letter of the Authors expounding his whole intention, etc.').

(16) Witness, e.g., the complex strategies explored by Bart Van Es, Spenser's Forms of History (Oxford, 2002).

(17) Ruth Hudson, 'Greene's fames TV and Contemporary Allusions to Scotland', PMEA 47 (1932), 652-67. Hudson valuably establishes that Greene's audience would have imaginatively supplied in their reception of the play a Scottish dimension that does not directly come into it. Nevertheless, the more specific Hudson's parallels with contemporary Scotland become (James VI's fear of weapons, the tone of Elizabeth's letter to him), the less they convince, whereas her broader ones (such as James's susceptibility to flattery) seem less of an age than for all time. In concentrating on personal evocations of James as England's potential monarch, and on the playwright as 'caught also in the current of contemporary political gossip' and '[making] capital in James IV of a topic of lively interest' (659), she may actually have occluded the highly charged religio-political background to the situation in 1590 and the extent to which nerves were still raw.

Hudson's work has not inspired much further investigation. Sanders, for one, after expressing agreement on a few points, finally throws his editorial weight behind the dominant aesthetic approach, on the grounds that 'the historical elements in the play are of minimal importance dramatically and are factually quite inaccurate'. Following, in effect, the deep groove cut by Frank Humphrey Ristine in the early twentieth century (English Tragicomedy: Its Origin and History [1910; rpt. New York, 1963], 80-81), he privileges Greene's use of the Dorothea-Ida plot to 'establish the pattern for historical romance' (Sanders [ed.], xxxvii).

(18) Catherine Lekhal, 'The Historical Background of Robert Greene's The Scottish History of James IV, or, cross the foe before he have betrayed you (III. 3.29)', Cahiers elisabethains 35 (1989), 27-45.

(19) On Stewart, see Lekhal, passim, esp. 29-34; on Gray, esp. 34-35. In keeping with Andrew Snoord's intentions, as disclosed at 5.5.79-96, Gray dealt on England's behalf and against Arran once appointed ambassador in 1584; he also promoted the execution of Queen Mary, for which he was declared a traitor and exiled (although he later regained royal favour). See The Gazetteer for Scotland (The University of Edinburgh and The Royal Scottish Geographical Society), online at Given Gray's long life after these events, it troubles Lekhal that the play's Andrew is finally hanged, and she offers a forced suggestion that he may not be (35).

(20) Lekhal, 41; she avowedly aims at 'a reading in which the characters form a [coherent] group of Greene's contemporaries' (42n5).

(21) I follow the standard practice of referring to the Chronicles as 'Holinshed', although Raphael Holinshed had died well before the second edition. The Chronicles are here cited in the edition still most often used for reference: Raphael Holinshed, William Harrison et al., Holinshed's Chronicles of England, Scotland, and Ireland (1587), Henry F.llis et al. (eds), 6 vols (1807-08; rpt. New York, 1965). However, online access to the original texts as provided by the invaluable Holinshed Project (in progress) is a great convenience, and the corresponding passages are signalled, likewise by volume and page numbers, in square brackets. They may be found, in searchable form, at (Oxford, 2008-13).

(22) The point is important to Lekhal, 36.

(23) Richard A. McCabe, 'The Masks of Duessa: Spenser, Mary Queen of Scots, and James VI', English Literary Renaissance 17 (1987), 224-42, esp. 226-29.

(24) Sanders (ed.), n. to 5.6.215, takes this statement literally on the grounds that Cinthio's source story includes the death in battle of the murderous Captain who is the counterpart of Jaques. This extraneous fact would hardly affect the audience's point of view, whereas the carrying-off of Slipper would introduce a touch of irony.

(25) Greene's strategy of projecting English-supported reforms upon the Scottish scene extends to his choice of names for key characters, as will become further apparent; the upright Bishop of St Andrews serves as a virtual corrective to the notorious personage condemned by Lyndsay in a satirical poem regularly included in editions of his works: 'The Tragedie of the vmquhyle maist Reuerend Father Dauid be the Mercie of God, Cardinall, and Archbischop of Sanctandrois, &c'. David Beaton was assassinated in 1546 by followers of the Protestant George Wishart, whom he had caused to be burnt for heresy.

(26) Because Lekhal cannot fit this 'curious scene' (45n28) into her political allegory, she posits a belated addition to the text by another author.

(27) Cf. the prayerful vision of union with which Bullein's Lyndsay presents the allegorised England and Scotland:
You are without the continent,
A sole lande of auncient fame,
Ab origine a people olde,
Bolde Britaines ecleped by name,
Sicut erat in principio:
Graunt oh God it maie bee,
In saecula saeculorum,
That we maie haue peace in thee,
Then we shall feare no forein power,
That againste vs shall adnaunce,
The Tartre cruell, the curse of Rome,
Neyet the power of Fraunce. (fol. [13.sup.r])

(28) See Lekhal, 28-29.

(29) George Buchanan, The Tyrannous Reign of Mary Stewart: George Buchanan's Account, W. A. Gatherer (ed.) (Edinburgh, 1958), 25. Gatherer conveniently prints pertinent excerpts from Detectio Mariae Reginae Scotorum (1571, but no doubt already circulated in manuscript), An Admonition to the True Lords Maintainers of Justice and Obedience to the King's Grace (1571), and Return Scoticarum Historia (1582).

(30) Waldo F. McNeir, 'Ateukin in Greene's fames IV, Modern Language Notes 62 (1947), 376-81. Cf. Holinshed, 5.467-68 [5.292].

(31) Apart from the cultural cliche of Machiavellianism--'Italianized vice', as Sanders labels it (Sanders [ed.], xlv)--nothing in the text warrants stamping Ateukin as a 'foreign adventurer' (McNeir, 379). On their first meeting, Andrew speaks of having known him 'in Edinburgh' (1.2.133).

(32) Greene may well be evoking here a well-documented controversy between Reformers and Roman Catholics in Scotland, one recalled in the concluding sermon of Lyndsay's Foly, who, following the mumbo-jumbo Latin of the 'Prophesie of Marling' (1. 4628), consigns to the devil contentious friars who 'sall nocht knaw weill in thair closters / To quhom they sall say thair Pater nesters' (ll. 4638-39). On the theological dispute, see Lyall (ed.), 209, n. to ll. 4638-39 (citing Joanne Spencer Kantrowitz, Dramatic Allegory: Lindsay's Ane Satyre of the Thrie Estaitis [Lincoln, 1975], 17-21). It is clear from Foxe's account in The Acts and Monuments that the point became a popular issue, engendering a satirical squib and a proverb; see John Foxe, The Unabridged Acts and Monuments Online or TAMO (1570 edition), HRI Online Publications (Sheffield, 2011), 8.1490; available from

(33) [John Knox, The historie of the reformation of religioun within the realme of Scotland (London, 1587)]; STC 15071. On the censorship, see STC.

(34) See Buchanan, Tyrannous Reign, 6, and Andrew Hadfield, 'Spenser and Buchanan', George Buchanan: Political Thought in Early Modern Britain and Europe, Caroline Erskine and Roger A. Mason (eds) (Farnham, 2012), 71-86.

(35) Buchanan, An Admonition, Gatherer (ed.), 197-98:
[The Queen of England] seeks pacification among them that violated
peace with her without provocation. [...] And as she keeps peace and
justice among her own subjects in England, so unrequired she offered
support to the same end in Scotland: and not only gives remedy to our
present calamities, but cuts the rest of the troubles to come, and
prevents the wicked counsel of such as provoke Englishmen and solicit
Frenchmen to come in this realm to the end that, these two nations
entered in bars the one against the other, they may satiate their cruel
hearts of blood, their obstinite will of vengeance, their bottomless
covetise of spoil and theft.

Here (if not everywhere else in Buchanan's writings) England strikingly 'plays the part of a kindly outsider', as Gatherer (ed.), 28, remarks of the Rerum Scotarum Historia. As STC records, An Admonition was printed at least twice by John Day in London, once with a false imprint, while Day also printed (anonymously) the Latin and English versions of the Detection, as well as Burghley's endorsement of it in The copie of a letter, etc.

(36) The censorship mechanisms applied to the 1587 edition are complex and open to interpretation; on some points they remain stubbornly obscure. Elizabeth Story Donno supports the theory of a second intervention ordering a recall of copies in 1590 ('Some Aspects of Shakespeare's "Holinshed"', Huntington Library Quarterly 50 [1987], 233); this is disputed by Cyndia Susan Clegg, Press Censorship in Elizabethan England (Cambridge, 1997), 165-66. See also Cyndia Susan Clegg, 'Historical Introduction', Raphael Holinshed et al., The peacahle and prosperous regiment of blessed Queene Elisabeth: A Facsimile from Holinsheds Chronicles (1587), Cyndia Susan Clegg (ed.) (San Marino, 2005), 1-18, esp. 11-15 on sensitivity regarding the execution of Mary.

(37) Holinshed leaves off at the point where 'she still remaineth at this present in the said castle of Tutburie' (5.722 [5.441]). On the censorship concerning Scotland, which focused on a range of recent politico-religious issues involving English interests and interventions, see Cyndia Susan Clegg, 'Holinshed, Raphael (c.1525-1580?)', DNB, online ed., doi: 10.1093/ref:odnb/13505, and, more extensively, Donno, 'Some Aspects of Shakespeare's "Holinshed"', 229-47, esp. 232-38; Clegg, Press Censorship, 153-56; and Alison Taufer, Holinshed's Chronicles (New York, 1999), 131-33.

(38) See Donno, 'Some Aspects of Shakespeare's "Holinshed"', 238, and Annabel Patterson, Reading Holinshed's Chronicles (Chicago, 1994), 34-35. The chronicler ostentatiously takes off his glasses and refuses rose-coloured ones: 'How the people are affected, the nobles inclined, the officers disposed, the king obeied, the commons governed, law administered, religion reverenced, dutie generallie exhibited, and Gods holie name honored, Eloquar an sileam? gravis est in utroque querela' (cited Donno, 'Some Aspects of Shakespeare's "Holinshed"', 238).

(39) See Holinshed, 5.705 [5.433]. Cf. John Colville, Ane declaratioun of the iust and necessar [sic] causis, moving us of the nobillitie of Scotland, etc. ([Edinburgh], 1582; STC 21886), sig. [Biv.sup.v]-[Bv.sup.r]. This was a mild self-justification on the part of the 'Ruthven raiders', certainly by comparison with the Remonstrance, to be discussed below. Even the raiders' initial 'supplication' to the king spoke with scorn of 'him who is called Earle of Arran' (cited David Calderwood, The True History of the Church of Scotland, From the beginning of the Reformation, unto the end of the Reigne of King JAMES VI, etc. (Edinburgh, 1678; Wing C279), 119. On Colville, a minister and more-or-less secret agent active in the pro-English cause, see David Laing, Memoir of John Colville, Original Tetters of Mr John Colville, 1582-1603. To Which Is Added His Palinode, 1600. With a Memoir of the Author, David Laing (ed.) (Edinburgh, 1858), ix-l, esp. xvi.

(40) See Clegg, Press Censorship, 154-55, and Taufer, 132.

(41) Cf. Lekhal, 44n23.

(42) Colville, Ane declaratioun, sig. [Aiv.sup.v].

(43) Ibid., sig. [Bj.sup.r-v].

(44) See, e.g., Holinshed, 5.685 [5.421].

(45) George R. Hewitt, Scotland under Morton 1572-80 (Edinburgh, 1982), 198; see also 57-58.

(46) So does, in typically veiled fashion, the inclusion of King James's bitter lament for Esme Stuart, 'Ane metaphoricall inuention of a tragedie called Phoenix', alongside his translation of the 'Uranie', by the impeccably Protestant Guillaume Salluste Du Bartas, in the volume of poetical works published by Vautrollier in 1584 (reissued 1585): James VI and I, The essayes of a prentise, in the diuine art of poesie (Edinburgh, 1584; STC 14373). James, incidentally, enlisted Lyndsay's 'Papingo', who finally commends his mortal remains 'to birn with' the 'Phenix fine' (Warkis, 219), as a precedent for his righteous indignation; see Essayes, sig. [Gv.sup.v]. On James's 'Phoenix' in the context of the personal relationship between James and Esme Stuart, see David M. Bergeron, King James and Letters of Homoerotic Desire (Iowa City, 1999), 32-64.

(47) The Ruthven Raid lies outside Lekhal's historical field of vision and she does not make this association, settling for the obvious identification of Jaques as a caricature of murderous French Catholicism. Cinthio's equivalent is not a foreigner but the Irish king's own henchman. The name Jaques is obviously adapted to Greene's purpose, which includes suggesting the king's degenerate alter ego. Still, it seems an intriguing possibility that, in imagining such a French 'signor captain [...] among the soldiers in this court' (3.2.33, 100), Greene might have recalled the sojourn in the court of James II of the celebrated Walloon champion, Jacques de Lalaing, who in 1449 discomfited representatives of the Scottish nobility, notably James Douglas, in a tournament staged before the king, whose power-struggle with the Douglases would lead to the murder of William, Earl of Douglas, in 1552. See Katie Stevenson, Chivalry and Knighthood in Scotland, 1424-1513) (Woodbridge, 2006), 52-55, 72-76. The biography of Jacques de Lalaing (attributed to Georges Chastellain) was highly popular in the period, to judge from the number of manuscripts extant, but it seems to have made its way into print only later. See Georges Chastellain, Histoire du bon chevalier messire Jacques Delalain, frere et compagnon de l'ordre de la Toison d'Or. Escrite par Messire Georges Chastellain Chevallier, Historiographe des Ducs de Bougougne Philippe le Bon & Charles le Hardy (Brussels, 1634); moreover, Lalaing's visit to Scotland is not recorded by the Scottish historians (Boece, Leslie and Buchanan) drawn on by Holinshed.

(48) See Holinshed 5.692-707 [5.425-34], passim. On the invasion plans, see particularly 5.697-98 [5.429].

(49) Calendar of the State Papers relating to Scotland and Mary, Queen of Scots, 1547-1603, William K. Boyd (ed.), vol. 6, 1581-83 (Edinburgh, 1910), 174. Cf. Bergeron, 40-42. Sorting out the relation between this 'Remonstrance' and Ane declaratioun, by Colville, is not made easier by the latter's reference, in a letter dated 15 September, to the 'remonstrance and declaration' of the nobles that he had transmitted for Queen Elizabeth's information; see Colville, Original Letters, 8-9 and 8n1.

(50) Calendar, 172. Stewart takes second place to d'Aubigny in this document, although a marginal note provides, as a gloss to the mention of 'the most godless and cruel men in the country', 'Captain Stewarde and his brother William' (172).

(51) Ibid., 172, 173.

(52) Ibid., 173.

(53) Ibid., 174.

(54) Remonstrance faicte au Roy dEscosse par Messievrs de son conseil prive [...] sur les practiques d'-Auhigny, au Moys dOctobre (n.p., 1582), sig. [B.sup.r]. On this rare pamphlet (surviving only, to my knowledge, in the British Library, the Bibliotheque Nationale de France and the Bibliotheque Sainte-Genevieve) as a possible production of Vautrollier, see Hillman, 72m136.

(55) On the complex politics involved, see Maurice Lee, Jr., 'The Fall of Regent Morton: A Problem in Satellite Diplomacy', Journal of Modern History 28 (1956), 111-29.

(56) See Calendar, 173.

(57) John Leslie, De origine, moribus, et rebus gestis Scotorum libri decern [...] Accessit nova et accurata regionum et insularum Scotiae [...] descriptio (Rome, 1578). The manuscript original can be consulted in John Leslie, The History of Scotland, from the Death of King James I. in the Year M.CCC.XXXVI to the Year M.D.LXI, Thomas Thomson (ed.) (Edinburgh, 1830). McNeir, 379n16, speaks of a French translation done in 1579, but I have found no trace of this. A full translation of the Latin version into Scots would be produced in 1596 by a Scottish monk in the Regensburg monastery (a centre of anti-Protestant activity from Marian times); see John Leslie, Leslie's Historie of Scotland, trans. James Dalrymple, E. G. Cody and William Murison (eds), 2 vols (Edinburgh, 1888-1905). Buchanan's Rerum Scotarum Historia is less prolix and partisan than Leslie, although an anti-French bias is evident. See Book XVI of the excellent bilingual hypertext critical edition by Dana F. Sutton (2003-09), The Philological Museum, online at

(58) While her insistence on Holinshed's multivocality is salutary, Patterson may overestimate the voice of Buchanan in terming him 'the chief authority for the history of Scotland as Thynne revised it' (37). As is pointed out by Taufer, 'Thynne often relied more heavily on the work of the Catholic Ross than on that of the Protestant Buchanan' (127)--a fact she considers puzzling but explains by a concern to present religious issues objectively; Taufer notes Thynne's particular scorn for Buchanan as an historian (129). In fact, it is the anti-English 'bitter tawnts' of the latter that attract Thynne's 'digression against Buchanan' (Holinshed, 5.415 [5.260]); cf. the attack on his malicious character at Holinshed, 5.754 [5.463].

(59) He does not, however, pace Patterson (33-34), direct at Leslie the marginal accusation that 'lies drop out of your pen' (Holinshed, 5.588 [5.365]). Addressed here is Mary Stuart herself (at the time married to the Dauphin Francois), whose written instructions to the ambassadors sent from France to promote a Scottish royal title for her husband enjoined them to insinuate the benefit for Mary's claim to the English throne.

(60) This comes in a passage marginally assigned to 'Abr. Fl.', i.e., Abraham Fleming; on the latter's role in preparing the second edition of Holinshed, and on his militant anti-Catholicism, see Elizabeth Story Donno, 'Abraham Fleming: A Learned Corrector in 1586-87', Studies in Bibliography 42 (1989), 200-11, esp. 205 and 208-09.

(61) E.g., 'The kings speech to the estates, concerning a league in religion with England' (Holinshed, 5.725-26 [5.445]).

(62) 'Iohn Lesle bishop of Rosse (who had some yeares before been some certeine time imprisoned in the Tower of London in England, and had trauelled to Rome about the affaires of the imprisoned queene of Scotland, where he labored to procure such aid for hir, as the princes which fauored hir faction would yeeld) [...]' (Holinshed, 5.689-90 [5-424]).

(63) Leslie, Leslie's Historie of Scotland, 2.474.

(64) Rouen, 1584; STC 15507. McCabe (238) sees Spenser as using Arthur in Book V pointedly to refute Leslie's pseudonymously published A treatise concerning the defence of the honour of the right high, mightie and noble Princesse, Marie Queene of Scotland, and Douager of France with a declaration, as wel of her right, title, and interest, to the succession of the croune of England, etc. (Liege [and Louvain], 1571; STC 15506).

(65) See Holinshed, 5.571-78 [5.555-59], passim. Cf. Leslie, Leslie's Historic of Scotland, 2.344-45.

(66) Leslie, Leslie's Historic of Scotland, 2.545.

RICHARD HILLMAN Centre d' Eludes Superieures de la Renaissance, Universite Francois-Rabelais de Tours, France/CNRS

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Author:Hillman, Richard
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Date:Sep 22, 2017
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