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Domestic Annals of Scotland
Reign of James VI. 1603 - 1625 Part I


July 15
While the Egyptians were everywhere a proscribed race, and often the victims of an indiscriminate severity, there was one spot where mercy and even kindness seems to have been extended to them. This was RosIin. Sir William Sinclair of Roslin, Lord Justice-general under Queen Mary, riding home one day from Edinburgh, found a poor Egyptian about to be hanged on the gibbet at the Burgh-moor and brought him off unharmed. In remembrance of this kindness, ‘the whole body of gipsies were accustomed to gather in the stanks [marshes] of Roslin every year, where they acted several plays during the months of May and June.’ So tells us the quaint Father Hay, a connection of the Roslin family; and he adds: ‘There are two towers which were allowed them for their residence, the one called Robin Hood, the other Little John.’

At the time noted, the Privy Council had their attention called to this Patmos of the outlawed race. They remark that, while the laws enjoined all persons in authority to execute to the deid the counterfeit thieves and limmers, the Egyptians,’ it was nevertheless reported that a number of them were now within the bounds of Roslin, ‘where they have a peaceable receipt and abode as if they were lawful subjects, committing stowths and reifs in all parts where they may find the occasion.’ The Council, therefore, issued an order to the sheriff of the district, who happened to be Sinclair younger of Roslin himself, commanding him ‘to pass, search, seek, hunt, follow, and pursue the said vagabond thieves and limmers,’ and bring them to the Tolbooth of Edinburgh for due punishment.—P. C. R.

An order for the execution of a number of Egyptians was actually issued on the ensuing 27th of January.

Aug 1
One Thomas Grieve was tried in Edinburgh for carrying on a species of medical practice by witchcraft. He was accused of having cured many people of heavy sickness and grievous diseases, by various magical arts; as, for instance, the making of signs and crosses upon them, the washing of their shirts in south-running streams, and the uttering of unknown words. He took sickness off a woman near Leslie, in Fife, and put it upon a cow, ‘whilk thereafter ran wood [mad] and died.’ He cured William Kirk’s bairn in Tullibole, of the morbus caducus, ‘by straiking back the hair of his head,’ and wrapping the child in an anointed cloth, by that means putting him asleep. To cure diseased cattle, he sprinkled a byre with enchanted water. He passed various patients through a hasp of yarn three several times, and then threw the hasp into a fire, where it burned blue; thus the people were cured. He was alleged to have cured William Cousin’s wife by manifest sorcery, ‘causing her husband heat the coulter of his plough, and cool the same in water brought from Holywell of Hillside, thereafter making certain conjurations, crosses, and signs upon the water,’ which he caused the patient to drink. One of the items in the dittay was, ‘curing James Mudie, his wife and children, of the fever; in curing his wife, by causing ane great fire to be put on, and ane hole to be made in the north side of the house, and ane quick hen to be put furth thereat, at three several times, and ta’en in at the house-door witherships [contrary to the course of the sun]; thereafter taking the hen, and putting it under the sick woman’s oxter or arm, and therefra carrying it to the fire, where it was halden doun and burnt quick therein.’

The assize, having read the depositions of sundry parish ministers, and being ‘ripely advised,’ sentenced Thomas to be strangled at a stake and burnt.—Pit.

Nov 30
‘. . . . about nine hours at night, there appeared like a rainbow in the west, the moon shining clearly in the east, with some rain in the meantime, whereat many wondered.’—Cal.

1624, Jan
From Martinmas of the preceding year to the end of January in the present, there was a hard continuous frost, which, after a slight thaw, was resumed, and lasted till the 23d of February. During this time, ‘eleven carts, with twenty-one puncheons of wine, came over upon the ice from Dundee here.’—Chron. Perth.

‘About the midst of Januar, four gentlemen of good credit, having gone out of Stirling some two miles or thereby, to pass their time, heard sensibly like the shots of many muskets, and after that, taking better heed, like the beating upon drums, and playing upon pilfers and the sound of trumpets; and last of all, the shot of great cannons; so that for fear they went back again to the town, and reported what they had heard.’—Cal.

Feb 18
The Town Council of Aberdeen ‘had occasion to consider an abuse which had lately crept into their burgh, in the form of ‘costly banqueting at the baptising of balms,’ and the ‘convocating of great numbers of people thereto.’ It is mentioned that, on these occasions, there were ‘all sorts of succours [sugars], confections, spiceries, and deasert, brought from foreign parts, beside great superfluity of venison; and wild meat of all sorts . . . .
and withal, extraordinary drinking and scolling [health-drinking].... to the slander of the town, in sic a calamitous time, when God is visiting the whole land with dearth and famine, and mony poor anes [are] dying and starving at dykes and under stairs for cauld and hunger.’

The Council ordained that hereafter no person of whatever degree should have ‘mae than four gossips and forur cummers at the maist’ at their baptisms, that not more than six women be invited ‘to convoy the bairn to and frae the kirk,’ and that twelve should be the utmost amount of company present ‘at the dinner, supper, or afternoon’s drink.’ All extravagances at table were at the same time strictly forbidden.

May 25
The wappinshaw was a periodical muster of the
irregular armed force of the country; it got its name from the more immediate purpose of the assembly—namely, an exhibition of weapons. At Dunfermline, on this day, while a wappinshaw was going on, ‘William Anderson, son till John Anderson, bailiff of the said town, and Charles Richeson, his servant, being shooting a shot with some of their friends in a certain place of the town, [a little piece of the lunt flieth upon a thack-house, which easily kindled. The fire increased with the violency of the wind], and did the from house to house, and sometimes wald the over ane house without doing it any harm, but wald burn the next house, till the great admiration of all men; so that this fire burnt so meikle of the town, that, excepted the abbey and the kirk thereof, the tenth part were not free of it. This, by the judgment of all the beholders, was thought till have been some divinity, or some witchcraft, rather nor this foresaid accidental fire.’—Jo. H.

‘The fire began at twelve hours, and bunt the whole town, some few sclate houses excepted, before four afternoon; goods and geir within houses, malt and victual in kilns and bans, were consumed.’—Cal.

The town of Dunfermline consisted at this time of 120 houses, containing 287 families.—Bal.

There was a collection in the parish churches for ‘the support of the town of Dunfermline, burnt with fire’ (R. P. L.); and, in June 1625, King Charles I. ordered £500 sterling to be added to the fund for the relief of the poorer class of sufferers.—P. C. R.

May
The Clan Chattan or MacIntosh, seated in the centre of Inverness-shire, were dependents of the Earls of Moray. None had entered more heartily into the revenge of the Bonny Earl’s death against the Marquis of Huntly, and for this service they had obtained certain lands from the Moray family. Now, that the Earl of Moray was reconciled with Huntly, he did not see any occasion longer to patronise or favour the MacIntoshes; so he attempted to remove them from the lands formerly conferred upon them. ‘This the Clan Chattan could hardly endure,’ says Sir Robert Gordon: about Whitsuntide, assembling five hundred men under their infant chief’s uncle, Lachlan MacIntosh [afterwards, by the by, a stout loyalist in the Civil War], ‘they keepit the fields in their Highland weed upon foot, with swords, bows,
arrows, targets, hagbuts, pistols, and other Highland arms, and first began to rob and spulyie the earl’s tenants (who laboured their possessions) of their haille goods, geir, insight plenishing [household furniture], horse, nolt, sheep, cons, and cattle, and left them nothing that they could get within their bounds; syne fell in sorning throughout Moray, Stratherrick, Urquhart, Ross, Sutherland, Brae of Mar, and divers other parts, taking their meat and food perforce where they could not get it willingly, frae friends as well as frae their foes, yet still kept themselves from shedding of innocent blood.’

The Earl of Moray first brought a band of Monteith Highlanders against these marauders; but the expedition seems to have failed. Another enterprise of the same kind was no more successful. It was not till he went to London, and procured a power of lieutenancy in the north from the king, that he brought the MacIntoshes to subjection. The affair had a very characteristic ending. ‘Some slight loons [poor fellowsj, followers of the Clan Chattan, were execute; but the principal outbreakers and male-factors were spared and never troubled.’ Further, the ‘honest men’ who had disobeyed the order for refusing all supply to the MacIntoshes, being put to trial, the odd scene was presented of the criminals standing as witnesses against them; and while these culprits obtained pardon, their humane resetters ‘were soundly fined in as great sums as their estates might bear, and some above their estates were fined, and every one warded within the Tolbooth of Elgin, till the last mite was paid.’—Spal. ‘The fines were granted by his majesty to the Earl of Moray, as the fines for resetting the Clan Gregor were given to the Earl of Argyle; but these fines did not much advantage either of these two earls.’—G. H. S.

June 10
Dissent from the ‘comely order’ of church matters was still making itself apparent. We hear at this time of many people in Edinburgh holding private meetings for religious exercises, in contempt of the ordinary services of their regular pastors in the parish churches. ‘Like as they have assumed to these their seditious conventicles the name of Congregations, and done what in them lies falsely to impress on the hearts of his majesty’s people a persuasion that his majesty persecutes the sincere professors of true religion, and introduces corruption in the church-government.’ Considering how such practices ‘brought forth damnable sects of Anabaptists, Families of Love, Brownists, Arminians, Illuminati, and mony such pests, enemies to religion, authority, and peace, and occasions the murder of millions of people,’ the Privy Council thought proper to issue a proclamation, strictly forbidding all such meetings.

The Council had at the same time before them a set of Edinburgh citizens, partly the same as those whom the king had proposed to banish a few years before—namely, William Rig of Aitherny, one of the bailies, John Hamilton, apothecary, John Mean, merchant, and John Dickson, ‘flesher ‘—who had again come into collision with the ecclesiastical authorities. At the usual congregational meeting before the celebration of the cornmunion, Rig—’ puffed up,’ says Spottiswoode, ‘by a conceit of his own abilities ‘—took it upon him to challenge Dr Forbes ‘for sundry points of doctrine delivered by him in his sermons.’ Dr Forbes was a man of remarkable learning and dignity of character, for which reasons he was in time appointed bishop of Edinburgh by Charles I. It did not seem to him proper that he should be liable to the censure of a lay citizen, and he therefore declined to listen to the bailie. Rig then openly threatened the clergy, ‘that, unless they returned to the old form of administering the holy communion, the whole people would forsake them;’ and in this he was supported by his friends Mean, Hamilton, and Dickson. The Council took the affair up as an attempt to produce a schism in the church and a violation of the law. They answered, however—if we are to believe one of their own party—’ so wisely, punctually, and modestly, that: the Council admired them.’ They were, nevertheless, to satisfy the king, sent to various prisons, as guilty of a misdemeanour. They ‘remained there, till by great dealing, pains, and moyen, they were relieved again.’—Row.

William Rig and John Mean appear, from the report of their contemporary and friend, Mr John Livingstone, to have been earnest Christians of the evangelical type. Rig was ‘much exercised in spirit, and of great experience in the ways of God. I have been several times with him in private meetings, and observed that when he prayed, he began with bitter and heavy complaints and confession beyond any. He spent his income chiefly on pious uses.’ Mean ‘used both summer and winter to rise about three o’clock in the morning, and always, as he put on his clothes, he used to sing some part of a psalm, and then went to his closet, where he was employed in religious exercises till six. By that time, the rest of his family being got up, he worshipped with them, and then went to his shop. He was so much master of the Scripture, [that] though he had been half sleeping, he could have corrected readers if they miscalled or wrong cited ony scripture.’

During the time when the king was pressing on the innovations in the church, dissentients of this kind were rising everywhere throughout the southern districts of Scotland, many of them lairds, a few of them nobles, but most of them belonging to the middle classes of society. Of the lairds, Livingstone enumerates Halhill (Fife), Crosshill (Lanarkshire), Cunningham-head, Cessnock, and Rowallan (Ayrshire). There was also a number of lathes, some of them of noble birth, who embraced and strongly held fast the evangelical views. Such were Margaret Countess of Wigton, Anne Marchioness of Hamilton, the Countess of Eglintoun, and Lady London. For the time, these people, as well as the more earnest of the clergy, were kept silent under the frown of an imperious government, or made themselves but little heard; but the fire burned not the less intensely for being covered up; and when the time for resistance came, it was ready to break forth with the greater violence that it had been so long suppressed.

Almost as a matter of course, while these Presbyterian recusants were in hands, the state authorities took some order with papistry. John Gordon of Craig in Aberdeenshire had attracted their notice as ‘an excommunicat trafficking papist,’ who, not content with blaspheming the truth and its preachers himself, did all that he could to ‘withhold his people from coming to the kirk, boasting [threatening] some, and persuading others;’ thus, it is alleged, ‘he steirs up mony not weel satled in their religion to imitate him in his contemptuous and lawless proceedings, and in effect has cassen that pairt of the country lowss.’ The Council now charged Gordon to appear and answer for his offences. They likewise despatched an order to the magistrates of Aberdeen, for the routing up of a set of Catholics who for some time had been allowed to live peaceably there, commanding that they be taken and warded till further orders.—P. C. R. The government could calculate with tolerable security on the feeling of the great bulk of the people, that by thus striking a blow at popery, they would be allowed without much remonstrance to deal that severity towards puritanism which would frighten it from a troublesome opposition to the now semi-episcopalian establishment.

John Gordon of Craig was obliged for the time to leave the kingdom; but somehow the king was always forgiving to papists, and we accordingly find that in January 1625, having made submission and promised good behaviour in future, this ‘excommunicat trafficking papist’ was allowed to return to Scotland (P. C. R.), but not ultimately to rest there, as will hereafter be seen.

July 21
A Border thief, described as Adie Usher in Birkinhaugh, servant of Robert Elliot of Redheugh, was condemned and hanged at Edinburgh for sundry acts of cattle-stealing. In most of his proceedings he had been accompanied by his son, Willie Usher, a mere boy, who was also presented for trial, but spared on account of his youth.—Pit. After Willie Usher had spent some months in the Thieves’ Hole in Edinburgh, the Lords of the Privy Council received a complaint from him, ‘heavily regretting his hard estate and condition by his detention, thir mony owks bygane, miserably in ward in the Thieves’ Hole of Edinburgh, without possibility or mean to entertein himself, he being a young innocent boy not past the age of fourteen years, and his umwhile father having underlain his punishment and sufferit death for the crime laid to the said Willie’s charge.’ The Lords consequently ordered the magistrates ‘to attend the commodity of some ship going to the Low Countries,’ and see Willie set aboard thereof, ‘and mak intimation to the said Willie that if at ony time hereafter he sall return without licence, it saIl be capital unto him.’—P. C. R.

The master of Adie Usher seems to have been under suspicion of a concern in his delinquencies. In November, when about to fly from the city on account of infection, the Privy Council entered an order in the case of Lady Jean Stewart, whose husband, Robert Elliot of Redheugh, had been for some time a prisoner in the Tolbooth of Edinburgh. She had represented ‘the utter distress, misery, and want whereunto she and her poor children are reduced, having contracted great debts and impandit her abulyiements and clothes for enterteinment of her husband in ward—and she is brocht to that pitch of necessity, that she has nowther means to live nor credit to afford him ony further supply.’ The Council ordered her a hundred merks for past charges, and granted her the sum of ‘threttein shillings and four pennies’ during pleasure— apparently meaning a daily allowance of ls. 1 1/3d. sterling.—P. C. R.

Poland is described as in this age swarming with Scotch pedlers. Its port, Dantzig, contained a number of settled merchants of a respectable order, some of whom were seen from time to time returning to their native country with considerable realised wealth. Formerly, the Scotch merchants at Dantzig, having a kind of rule and governance among themselves, lived in such a way as to secure the esteem of the people of the country. But latterly, ‘discipline being dissolved, the most part of them use such a dissolute form of living, that they are odious to the inhabitants, hurtful to themselves, and despised by strangers, to the great ignominy of the whole nation.’ There was also a continual immigration of multitudes of miserable, debauched, and weakly people from Scotland, including ‘exorbitant numbers of young boys and maids unfit for any service,’ reminding us of the overflowings of the Irish population into England, Scotland, and the United States of America in more recent days. During this summer, owing, doubtless, to the pressure of the famine, this scandalous system had been carried to such a height, that the Scotch merchants were threatened with expulsion from the city. In this exigency, they wrote to the king, craving his intercession. Patrick Gordon, who acted as agent for the king in Dantzig, also wrote, apparently, at the same time, shewing how matters stood, and entreating that some order and rule should be established among his countrymen, as they should not otherwise be able much longer to withstand the strength of their enemies.

Nov 1
The king wrote to the Earl of Mar, requesting him to send into Argyleshire and Glenorchy, for four or five couples of earth-dogs (terriers), which he was desirous of obtaining in order to transmit them to France. His majesty further requested ‘that ye have a special care that the oldest of them be not passing three years of age, and that ye send them not all in one ship, but some in one ship, and other some in another, lest one ship should miscarry."

The same Earl of Mar, having to spend the winter of 1631 in Stirling, and designing to amuse himself with fox-hunting, sent a letter to his cousin, the Laird of Glenorchy, entreating the favour of ‘a couple of good earth-dogs;’ and adding, what shews the importance of the favour, ‘I pray you use me as familiarly as I do you, for without ceremony, cousin, you shall not have a friend over whom ye have greater power than over me.’ P. S.—’ What ye send me, let it he good, although it be but one.’

Nov 2
There is at this time a glimpse of rationality regarding witchcraft in the public authorities, in as far as the Privy Council deemed it right to hesitate about the granting of commissions for the trial of persons charged with that crime. The Council had been troubled by the importunity of persons seeking for such commissions, and at the same time concerned to find that the informations on which the commissions were sought for ‘seemed to he very obscure and dark.’ As anxious for the truth, and to the intent that neither should the innocent be molested nor the guilty escape, they now arranged that all informations should henceforth pass through the hands of the bishop of the diocese, ‘to be seen and considered by him, and such of the ministry as he shall call unto him.’—P. C. R.

We have here a revelation of that doubt about the reality of witchcraft which is suspected to have lurked in the minds of all the principal official people throughout the seventeenth century. It was a time of comparative triumph for the established church. The bishops were not particularly in need of popularity. They could afford to be easy with both Romanists and necromancers. It was precisely in such circumstances that we could expect to find the chief administrative body letting slip a doubt as to the soundness of many of the alleged instances of sorcery lately subjected to trial.

Nov 28
The pest, which had been for some time before in Holland, broke out ‘in sundry houses in Edinburgh, to the great terror of the whole town. It began in Paul Hay a merchant’s house, a month before, and was not known till now; therefore the more dangerous, because hard to discern the clean from the unclean. Upon the last day of November, the president and other lords of Council and Session, meeting together, resolve to rise, and continue the session till the 8th of Januar.’—Cal.

One consequence of the occurrence of the pest at this time was, that the king’s design of enforcing a communion at Christmas, where all the people should kneel, was frustrated. Another result generally satisfactory was a relaxation of the severity against the Edinburgh citizens who were banished and imprisoned for opposing the new ceremonies. William Rig was allowed to leave his prison of Blackness, and remain for fifteen days with his wife at his house of Morton, where she was ‘very heavily visite with infirmity and sickness.’ Mean, having ‘a numerous family and his wife grit with child, and nane to have ane care for order-taking with them, how they sall be providit for and governit in this [time of] danger,’ was in like manner permitted to repair to Edinburgh, to see after them, and there remain till the 15th of January. So also John Hamilton was relieved from the Tolbooth to attend on his wife, who chanced to be in the same delicate condition as Mrs Mean. After all, ‘the pest raged not; few houses were infected with it; so that it appeared the chief end wherefore the Lord had sent it, was to disappoint the king by scattering the people.’—Cal.

Dec
Amidst the alarms regarding the pest, people heard of a strange case of personal quarrel and vindictiveness. One William Hamilton, a soldier, son of the deceased William Hamilton, ‘called of Inchmachan,’ was lately come from the Low Countries, avowing ‘a settled purpose and resolution to appeal Captain Harie Bruce to the single combat, or otherwise to watch the opportunity to bereave him of his life.’ The Privy Council was obliged to take means for preventing a hostile collision.—P. C. B.

The Privy Council readily apprehended that the prosecution of ‘this damnable and cruel intention’ would both breed danger to the parties and produce great trouble and controversy among their friends, to the disturbance of his majesty’s peace, if timous remeed be not provided. They therefore summoned the parties on Dec 3 before them to give assurance of their good behaviour.

1624
Deeming, as was formerly remarked, anything that illustrates the progress of the arts as worthy of notice in this record, though perhaps trifling in itself, we may advert to Mr Alexander Hamilton, brother to the secretary Earl of Melrose, as having now obtained a patent of twenty-one years for a new cart invented by him, ‘wherein greater weight and burdens may with far less force be drawn, and conveniently carried, than hath been done with ony other kind of cart hitherto known or heretofore used.’

‘Sandy Hamilton,’ or ‘Dear Sandy,’ as he was called, was a man of note on account of his skill in some of the useful arts, particularly in those connected with the munitions of war. He practised these arts for some time in Germany, whence he was recalled to England, where the king granted him pensions and allowances to the amount of £800 sterling per annum. When the Civil War broke out, he joined his countrymen, and helped to fit out the Covenanting army of 1640 with a species of short but effective gun, which was carried slung between two horses, and the serviceableness of which was proved at the battle of Newburn-ford, when the Scots crossed the Tyne in the face of the enemy and became masters of Newcastle.

In this year we have the latest known notice of a woman of extraordinary attainments who had lived for many years in Edinburgh, practising an art in which she was long after pronounced to have never been excelled. Caligraphy, or the art of beautiful writing, was in greater vogue in the seventeenth century than in our more utilitarian days. Under what circumstances Esther Inglis, a Frenchwoman residing in the Scottish capital, came to give her days to so laborious an art, we do not learn. Neither are we aware how it was that Esther came to live in the Scottish capital. There, however, we find her, so early as 1599, writing one of the little manuscript volumes which have given her celebrity. This book, preserved in the Bodleian Library, is entitled Les Proverbes de Salomon, escrites en diverses sortes de Lettres, par Esther Anglois, Francoise. A Lislesbourg en Ecosse. 1599. ‘This delicate performance,’ says Ballard, ‘gains the admiration of all who see it; every chapter is wrote in a different hand; as is the dedication, and some other things at the beginning of the book, which makes near forty several sorts of bands. The beginnings and endings of the chapters are adorned with most beautiful head and tail pieces, and the margins are elegantly decorated with the pen, in imitation, I suppose, of the beautiful old manuscripts. The book is dedicated to the Earl of Essex, Queen Elizabeth’s great favourite. At the beginning are his arms, neatly drawn, with all its quarterings—in number fifty-six. In the fifth leaf is her own picture, done with the pen, in the habit of that time. In her right hand, a pen, the left resting upon a book opened; in one of the leaves of which is written De l’Eternel le bien: de moi le mal, ou rien. On the table before her there is likewise a music-book lying open, which perhaps intimates that she had some skill in that art. Under the picture is an epigram in Latin, made by Andrew Melvin; and on the next page another, composed by the same author, which is as follows:

Æmula naturæ manus exprimit una figuras
Mille, animans pictis Signa pusilla notis,
Signa creans animata, polum spirantia signa:
Quæ picturata margine limbus obit.
Minim opus: at mage mira Manus; mira omnia vincit
Mens manui moderans, dum manus urget opus.
                                         ANDRÆUS MELVINUS.

Thus translated into English:

One hand dame nature’s mimic does express
Her larger figures, to the life, in less.
In the rich border of her work do stand,
Afresh created by her curious hand,
The various signs and planets of the sky,
Which seem to move and twinkle in our eye.
Much we the work, much more the hand admire,
Her fancy guiding this does raise our wonder higher.’

Another of Esther’s transcripts was entitled Historiæ Memorabiles Genesis, 1600. A copy of the French Psalm; written by her, and presented to Queen Elizabeth, is in the library of Christ Church, Oxford. There is also in the Bodleian a manuscript of hers, entitled Les Vingts et Six Quatrains de Guy de Faur, Sieur de Pybrac, escrits par Esther Inglis, pour son dernier Adieu, ce 21 Jour de Juin 1617. It seems to have been a gift to the celebrated Dr Hall—subsequently Bishop of Norwich—on parting from him at the time of the king’s visit to Scotland. The latest known of Esther’s works is a volume preserved in the Royal Library, Esther Inglis’s Fifty Emblem; dated at Edinburgh 1624.

When the king was at Stirling, Esther’s son presented to him a little book entitled Sidus Celeste, and he experienced some of James’s good-natured patronage in consequence. In June 1620, Esther is found addressing the king in behalf of this son, who, having completed a school-course, ‘would gladly follow theology? But ‘as Dædalus was not able to free himself of his imprisonment in the isle Creta but by the help of wings made of pens and wax, even so my son is not able to free himself of inability to effectuate this his affection, but by the wings of your majesty’s letter, composed by pen and wax, through which he may wing his flight happily to some fellowship, either in Cambridge or Oxford, as occasion sall fall out.’ If so far favoured by his majesty, ‘I may have my tossed mind relieved of the great care I have perpetually for this said youth.’—An. Scot.

Ballard states, on the authority of a memorandum of Hearne, the antiquary, that Esther Inglis was married to a Scotsman, named Bartholomew Kello, and had a son, named Samuel Kello, who was educated at Christ Church College, Oxford, and was afterwards minister at Speckshall, in Suffolk.

1625, Mar
‘At this time arose great discontentment betwixt the provost, bailies, and council of Edinburgh, and their ministers, because the ministers had procured the king’s letter and direction to the magistrates and council, for augmentation of their yearly stipends. They were not content with twelve hundred merks for every one, beside their house mail [rent], which was more than their predecessors, worthier than they, had, but importunately craved two thousand. The people,’ says the zealous Presbyterian historian, ‘detested them for their ambition, their avarice, and malice at honest and godly professors. They were well fingerfed in other men’s houses, howbeit they had sufficient to maintain them at home.’—Cal.

In June 1626, Charles I. enjoined the magistrates to give each of their ministers £100 sterling of yearly stipend, with a free house.—Bal.

Mar 30
The news of the death of King James—which occurred on the 27th of March—reached Edinburgh on the 30th, at the outbreak of a storm of extraordinary violence which raged along the whole coast, destroying much shipping, and throwing down several harbours. ‘The water raise above the harbour of Leith, and ran into the houses of the town; yea, the boats and barks within the same floated so above the shore, that some of them were cast away upon the sides of the houses; and great ships therein could not be keepit, with all their anchors and cables, from doing great skaith, ilk ane to ane other, whereof the like was never heard tell of in our days. Sundry mariners, keeping their ships [fra] skaith, were hurt themselves, and in special James Langlands and Robert Bury, two masters of ships, very expert in that art, were baith cast away, working for the relief of their awn ships.’—Jo. H.

‘The like harm was done in sundry other parts upon the coast along the Firth, in Saltpreston, Kirkcaldy, Ardross, and other parts. Saltpans were overthrown, ships and boats broken, coalheughs beside Culross drowned. The like of this tempest was not seen in our time, nor the like of it heard in this country in any age preceding. It was taken by all men to be a forerunner of some great alteration. And, indeed, the day following—to wit, the last of March—sure report was brought hither from court, that the king departed this life, the Lord’s day before, the 27th of March.’—Cal.

This was long after remembered as the storm of the Borrowing Days, such being a popular appellation for the last three days of March, as expressed in a well-known popular rhyme. It is a proverbial observation of the weather, which seems to be justified by fact, the bad weather being connected with the vernal equinox.

End of Vol I

House of Robert Gourlay, a rich Edinburgh Citizen of 1574


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