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The History of Glasgow
Volume 2 - Chapter XIX - Archbishop Lindsay and the Overthrow of Episcopacy


THE seeds of deadly trouble in Scotland were now being sown, and of the two great crises of that trouble Glasgow was to be the particular scene. It was in Glasgow Cathedral that in 1638 the General Assembly passed its momentous Act abolishing episcopacy and deposing the bishops ; and it was in the hall of the College of Glasgow that after the Restoration, twenty-two years later, the Privy Council set up again the system, and turned out of their livings some four hundred ministers who refused to agree to the change. It has been the habit of historians to describe the movements of that period as a religious struggle. As a matter of fact it was something considerably different. The deposed bishops and the deposed ministers in turn were alike sincere Christians of the Protestant faith, and the Covenanters, who suffered in the "killing times" under James VII., were of exactly the same religion as the Royalists whom they themselves had hanged and beheaded during the time of their own ascendancy forty years before. As already pointed out in these pages, there is reason to believe that the struggle, to begin with, at any rate, was not even one between Episcopacy and Presbyterianism. John Knox himself found it necessary, shortly after the Reformation, to appoint superintendents of districts, who were merely bishops without the title. And when James VI. died, in 1625, the country had settled down to a system of church government in which the General Assembly was coming to be recognised as the deliberative and law-making body and the bishops as the executive officers. Nor was the use of a liturgy, again, repugnant to the public taste of Scotland. John Knox's Forms of Prayer and Catechism was itself a liturgy derived from Geneva. This was translated into Gaelic by Bishop Carswell of the Isles as early as the year 1567, and it was quite evidently the intention of the fathers of the Reformed Church that some such ordered form of worship should be provided.

The real cause of trouble obviously was the attempt of the English churchman Laud to make the Scottish Church conform to English usage, and adopt the English prayer-book. Almost exactly the same thing had happened in an earlier century, with similarly disastrous results. There can be little doubt that the insistent claim of the Archbishops of York to be suzerains of the Scottish Church, from the time of David I. downwards, was one of the chief contributing elements that brought about the terrible War of Independence in the days of Baliol, Wallace, and Bruce. In the seventeenth century, as in the thirteenth, the spirit of the Scottish people resented the English attempt at dominance, and it was this resentment—a political and not a religious motive—which in Scotland led to the signing of the Covenant and the Civil War.

Had the later Stewarts been a more judicious race the catastrophe which was to seal their fate might have been avoided. The original line of the High Stewarts, which ascended the throne in the person of Robert II., ended in Mary Queen of Scots. The Lennox Stewarts, who succeeded, through the marriage of Darnley to the Scottish queen, were of a different breed and character. James VI., with all his sagacity, lies under suspicion of contriving the Gowrie Conspiracy and the murder of the Bonnie Earl of Moray, and made a very poor appearance in the matter of his mother's imprisonment and execution. Charles I., irreproachable in private life, was perfidy itself in public affairs. Charles II., regenerated no whit by the stern experience of his exile, seems to have been intent on little else than his personal enjoyment, and was inclined to be the father of his people in rather more than the conventional sense. And in his brother, the fair-haired, irreproachable James VII. and II., the race appropriately reached its limit and shot its Niagara—a stubborn zealot, unmerciful as a judge and impossible as a statesman. Under the rule of such kings there could hardly fail to be trouble and suffering for their people.

In Glasgow the man whom the blast of the storm was to strike most severely was the new archbishop. Patrick Lindsay was the son of Lieutenant-Colonel John Lindsay of Downie, a cadet of the Lindsays of Edzell, and the family of which the Earl of Crawford is the head. Having graduated Master of Arts at St. Andrews in 1587, he was appointed in the following year to the collegiate church of Guthrie, and translated five or six years later to St. Vigeans, the parish church of the Abbey of Arbroath. From King James he received gifts in 16oi of a third of the vicarage and in 1602 of the fruits of the Abbey. He was a member of five Assemblies and two Courts of High Commission, and in 1613 was promoted to the Bishopric of Ross. Two years later he inherited the barony of Downie, Pitterlie, etc.; and in 1616 he received a pension from the stipend of St. Vigeans and got the Abbey of Ferree annexed to his bishopric. These pecuniary proceedings throw light on the efforts which were being made, not unsuccessfully, to provide revenues for the new bishops.

Lindsay was Bishop of Ross for twenty years. He was a good man and a fervent preacher, and exercised his office with much mildness and moderation. The esteem in which he was held is testified by the fact that the degree of D.D. was conferred upon him in 1633. In the same year, Archbishop Law having died in the previous November, he was promoted by Charles I. to be Archbishop of Glasgow. [Keith, 202, 265; Grub, ii. 300, 338, 339.] Here, five years later, he was to find himself in the midst of the tremendous upheaval of the Church, and in his own cathedral to see the sudden overthrow of the entire episcopal system, of which he was one of the most notable figures.

But before these things came to pass the people of Scotland were to have an opportunity of seeing with their own eyes the actual personages who were, wisely or unwisely, pulling the wires of the great state drama. In the month of May, 1633, King Charles journeyed to Scotland to be crowned. In his train came the Duke of Lennox, the Marquess of Hamilton, the Earl of Morton, Dr. Laud, Bishop of London, and Dr. White, Bishop of Ely. The court came by Berwick and Dalkeith, and Charles entered Edinburgh in state on Saturday the 15th, and took up residence in Holyrood Palace. Next day, in the chapel-royal, he attended service conducted by his chaplain, the Bishop of Dunblane. [Spalding, i. 35.] On Tuesday, in the same Abbey Church of Holyrood, after a sermon by Bishop Lindsay of Brechin, he was crowned King of Scotland. [Balfour's Annals, ii. 199.]

Spalding describes how on this outstanding occasion the service was conducted with high episcopal accompaniments. The Archbishop of St. Andrews, and other four bishops who took part, wore white rochets and white sleeves, with capes of gold having blue silk to their foot. There were unlighted candles on the communion table, which was set out like an altar. Most remarked of all, at the back was "a rich tapestry wherein the crucifix was curiously wrought, and as those bishops who were in service passed by this crucifix they were seen to bow the knee and beck, which, with their habit, was noticed, and bred great fear of inbringing of popery." One witness asserts that Laud arrogated to himself the order and management of the ceremonies, and that " the Archbishop of St. Andrews being placed at the king's right hand, and the Archbishop of Glasgow on his left, he thrust the latter aside, saying `Are you a churchman, and want the coat of your order? 'and put the Bishop of Ross in his place." [Rushworth, Historical Collections, ii. 182.] This, however, does not appear likely. Spalding says that the Archbishop of Glasgow and other bishops who were present but not in service "changed not their habit, but wore their black gowns without rochets or white sleeves." [Memorials, i. 36, 37.]

On loth June, a month after his coronation, Charles in state opened the Scottish Parliament in the old Parliament House or Tolbooth above St. Giles'. On that occasion, as was customary, a committee known as the Lords of the Articles was appointed to deal with the details of proposed legislation. The committee consisted of eight prelates chosen by the nobles or greater barons, eight nobles chosen by the prelates, with eight lesser barons or landowners, and eight representatives of the burghs chosen by the sixteen prelates and nobles. This method of election, of course, gave an immense preponderance to the episcopal party, and as Parliament had no power to modify the Acts framed by the committee, but could only accept or reject them, an opportunity was afforded for the passing of very one-sided legislation. [Burton, vi. 86.] The episcopal leanings of Glasgow at the time may be gathered from the fact that Provost Gabriel Cunningham, the city's representative at the Parliament, was one of the eight burgesses chosen as Lords of the Articles. For the occasion he appears to have been provided by the city fathers with a velvet foot-mantle and "haill harneising thairto" at a cost of 340 marks, or £18 17s. 9d. sterling. [Council Records, ii. 15.]

On Sunday, 23rd June, the king attended an English service in St. Giles', where two English chaplains in surplices officiated, and the Bishop of Moray, in a rochet, preached the sermon; and after the service he was entertained at a banquet by the town of Edinburgh. [Spalding, i. 39.]

On 24th June, St. John's Day, in Holyrood Chapel, Charles touched about one hundred persons afflicted with scrofula - "the king's evil." [Balfour's Annals, ii. 200.] On the 26th and 27th he attended the meetings of the Lords of the Articles, where his presence could not but influence the deliberations, and on the 28th he was present in state when Parliament met to ratify the Acts of the committee. Among these measures were Acts which confirmed the episcopal form of church government and worship, and gave the king power to regulate the apparel of churchmen. To this latter ordinance the Earl of Rothes took exception, and when he questioned the vote against him Charles intervened, and declared that Rothes must either be silent or make good his charge at the peril of his life. At which Rothes prudently said no more. [Burton, vi. 88; Row, 367.]

An Act to which Scotland owed much in the days to come was that which effectively established a school in every parish, and thus opened the advantages of education to the whole youth of the country. [Act. Parl. V. 21, 22.] It is pleasant to think that the Archbishop and the Provost of Glasgow were among the Lords of the Articles who framed this beneficent measure. The previous Act of 1616 to the same purpose had proved ineffective because of the indefiniteness of its machinery. [Priv. Coun. Reg. x. 671, 672; Row, 343, 344.]

The influence of these representatives of the city is to be directly seen in yet another Act of this Parliament. In view of the expense incurred by Glasgow in deepening the Clyde, maintaining the bridge and cathedral, and building a tolbooth and churches, confirmation was granted of all Glasgow charters, infeftments, writs, and evidences, from the days of Alexander III. downwards. This confirmation was given without prejudice to the rights of the Duke of Lennox, the Archbishop, and the University. [Charters and Documents, ii. cvi. Act. Part. v. 87, 89. Reports pub. by Maitland Club.]

On the same day on which Parliament adjourned, 28th June, the king and Laud met the bishops and ministers to deliberate upon the introduction of the English prayer-book into Scotland. In view of certain objections which the Scottish bishops pointed out, they were instructed to prepare a liturgy "as near that of England as may be." [Gardiner, vii. 290.] Upon that occasion no one appears to have been bold enough to represent to Charles that the Scottish Church was entirely independent of the Church of England, and by no means bound to conformity with its southern neighbour. Recognition of this fact might have averted a great catastrophe, but it is doubtful if Charles would have listened even if the matter had been pointed out to him.

Next day the king set out on a progress through the country, visiting Linlithgow, Stirling, Dunfermline, Falkland, and Perth, and returning by Burntisland and Leith, and on 18th July he took his departure for England. Scotland was to see him no more for eight years. Edinburgh retained a memorial of the royal visit in the fact that at the request of the Archbishop of St. Andrews, Charles erected the archdeaconry of Lothian into a bishopric, with the church of St. Giles for its cathedral. [Keith, 44-61; Maitland's Hist. Edin. 280, 281.] He also designed a benefaction to Glasgow.

At that time Dr. John Strang, who had been appointed Principal of Glasgow University in 1626, was carrying out, by means of private subscriptions, great extension of the buildings and improvements of the grounds of the College. A considerable space was enclosed and laid out as gardens, and the northern and eastern sides of the inner quadrangle were built. Towards these improvements some £2000 sterling were secured. Archbishop Spottiswood of St. Andrews, and Archbishops Law and Lindsay of Glasgow each gave a thousand merks (£55 11s. 1d. sterling), the burgh of Glasgow 2750 merks, Stirling and Ayr 300 merks each, Irvine, then the sea-port of Glasgow, £100 Scots (£8 6s. 8d.), and many Scottish noblemen, courtiers, and gentlemen various sums. To help this work the king, on 14th July, four days before his departure for the south, promised a contribution of £200 sterling. Unhappily, by reason of the troubles in which he was presently to find himself, he was never able to fulfil the promise.

On the other hand, the new taxation imposed by Parliament was faced by Glasgow with exemplary promptitude. The first Act of the Parliament had been to grant the king a tax of thirty shillings on the pound land at each of six annual terms, and the sixteenth penny of all annual rents. [Act. Pan. V. 13-20.] Six months later, on 14th November, Glasgow Town Council sent a deputation to treat with the Collector General, the Marquess of Hamilton, as to a reasonable composition to be paid by the burgh for these imposts. [Council Records, ii. 18.] In a month the bargain was made. Glasgow became bound to pay 20,000 merks (£1,111 2s. 2d. sterling) for the first impost, and £9000 Scots (£750 sterling) for the second. This covered all the inhabitants ; but honorary burgesses and non-residents were excluded from the benefits of the arrangement. [Charters and Documents, i. 339.] The transaction affords an illuminating suggestion of some of the substantial advantages of burgess-ship in the seventeenth century. The inhabitants of Glasgow were evidently fully aware, even then, of the virtues of "collective bargaining."

At the same time the city fathers appear to have been as fully determined as the trades union leaders of the twentieth century to 'prevent the creation of other bodies which might assert a right to similar advantages. Just then Sir John Shaw of Greenock was energetically developing the town and harbour on his estate. In 1589 he had procured letters patent from James VI. to erect a parish kirk at Greenock, and five years later he had secured a statute erecting Greenock, formerly a part of Inverkip, into a separate parish. [Act. Part. iii. 549; lv. 75.] Then in February, 1634, he applied for a royal charter erecting Greenock into a burgh of barony. This proposal excited the apprehension of Glasgow, which foresaw not only a certain objectionable cheapening of baronial privileges, but probable serious trading competition from a harbour burgh at the navigable mouth of the Clyde. A deputation was accordingly sent to Edinburgh to oppose the application. The Lords of Exchequer, however, saw the matter in another light; the objection failed, and on 5th June, 1633, the king, as administrator for his son, the Prince and Steward of Scotland, erected Greenock into a free burgh of barony. [Act. Parl., V. 440. ]

That Glasgow had substantial reason to fear the establishment of another burgh on the Clyde may be gathered from the fact that Patrick Bell, the town's commissioner to the Convention of Burghs in 1634, was instructed to consult with the town's legal advisers in Edinburgh as to means of curtailing the exorbitant customs exacted by the burghs of Dunbarton and Renfrew, and as a result a summons was actually taken out against Dunbarton on the subject. [Burgh Records, ii. 22, 23, 25.] The result of the effort is not known, as the burgh records are awanting for a considerable period, but the magistrates were apparently stimulated to more energetic exercise of their rights on the river and firth. Their jurisdiction extended from Glasgow Bridge to the Cloch Stane between Gourock and Inverkip. The jurisdiction was exercised by a special magistrate known as the River Bailie. For some time the magistrates had allowed this office to fall into the hands of "divers decayed and depauperat persons." They now, however, resolved to restore it "to the old worthie and laudable estait quliairin it once was," and to elect to it one of the best rank in the council. He was to be an ordinary councillor ex officio, was to be elected along with the Dean of Guild and the Deacon Convener, was to sit on the bench in river cases, and was to have the water sergeants under his command. He was to be paid an annual fee of Lio, along with the fees to the provost and bailies. [Burgh Records, ii. 35, 37, 38.]

At the same time the town made a wise departure in dealing with elements menacing prosperity within its own bounds. Edinburgh had, in 1632, set up a house of correction in which "idle masterless loons and sturdy beggars" arrested by the constables might be made to earn their living by honest work. The experiment was authorized by a decree of the Privy Council, and its success was followed by a royal patent empowering all royal burghs to establish similar houses. In 1635 accordingly the magistrates of Glasgow acquired from the Earl of Glencairn the old manse of Cambuslang on the south side of Drygate, and established within it a mill and wheels for the manufacture of woollens. [Ibid. ii. 22, 33, 34, 35; Cleland's Annals, 18.]

Glasgow was now apparently recovering from the disastrous effects of the Reformation, which had stopped the flow of money from the Bishop's Palace and the thirty-two prebendal manses at the Townhead. The records of presents of herrings to the President of the Court of Session and the town's law advisers in Edinburgh, as well as to other persons whom it was desired to propitiate [Burgh Records, ii. 25.] suggest one of the sources of that renewed prosperity. It is stated that as many as nine hundred boats were employed in the herring fishery within the Cloch in the early years of the seventeenth century. The shoals came much further up the river in those days. When they did not come in sufficient quantities the fishermen made voyages, three in a season, to more distant waters. For each of these draves, or voyages, they paid the Crown a thousand herrings. The grant of these "assize herrings" was long held by the Argyll family for a reddendo of £1,000 Scots (£83 6s. 8d. sterling) per annum. The actual value of the fishery is shown by the fact that in the old Argyll rental books the amount realized from the disposal of the "assize herrings" is more than the rental for the whole estate of Rosneath. The herrings were mostly cured in Greenock by the Glasgow merchants, and exported to France and the Baltic. In 1564 no fewer than 20,000 barrels were shipped from Greenock to Rochelle alone. [Historical Manuscripts Report, iv. 481; Brown's History, I. 315; Maegeorge, 234.]

A few years later there is evidence of the beginning of cloth manufacture on a large scale. In 1638 Robert Fleming and his partners obtained from the burgh, free of rent for fifteen years, a "great lodging" in the Drygate, and a shop under the tolbooth, for the business of a factory in which a number of "the poorer sort of people" might find occupation. [Burgh Records, i. 386, 388.] To quiet the alarm of the weavers in the town the promoters of the enterprise undertook that none but freemen of the craft should be employed. [Ibid. ii. 24, 25, 31.]

With the tide of prosperity thus flowing the town appears to have been disposed to embark upon various undertakings. In 1634 the council appointed Matthew Colquhoun, wright, to attend to the fabric of the High Kirk, at a salary of £120 Scots (£10 sterling) per annum. [Ibid. ii. 24, 25, 31.] In the following year the magistrates and council completed negotiations for the purchase of the lands of Gorbals and Bridgend from Viscount Belhaven, to whom they had recently been conveyed by the unfortunate Sir George Elphinstone. The price agreed upon was 100,000 merks (£5,555 11s. 1d. sterling), but for some unknown reason the transaction was not completed. [Ibid. ii. 29, 31, 32.]

Expenditure was also incurred on a considerable scale in connection with the religious interests of the burgh. In 1633 the communicants in the city numbered more than five thousand. There were only three ministers to attend to them, and "for their better comfort and instruction" the inhabitants desired a fourth minister, Dr. James Elliot, to be appointed. The archbishop issued an edict, the magistrates declared their agreement to provide a stipend, and Dr. Elliot was appointed. [Cleland's Annals, p. 18.]

Next came the question of the Blackfriars Kirk. This stood close to the south of the college buildings in High Street, and had been conveyed to the college authorities. Almost from the first, however, the magistrates, who had part use of it as a church and meeting-place, had expended sums of money on the upkeep of the building. [ Charters and Documents, i. 353.] In 1635, nevertheless, it was reported to be in a ruinous condition. At that time Dr. John Strang, the Principal of the University, was busy with his great work of extending the college buildings and laying out the grounds, and, being a good man of business, he probably saw an opportunity of being at once relieved of the responsibility of maintaining the old Kirk of the Blackfriars and acquiring funds for the undertaking he had at heart. The moment was opportune. Two of the town's ministers, whose consent was necessary, were the rector and the dean of faculty of the college, and the consent of the archbishop was assured for a transaction so obviously in the best interests of the citizens and the kirk itself. An arrangement was therefore made with the town council to transfer the ownership of the kirk and kirkyard on certain terms. These included a payment by the magistrates of 2,000 merks towards the "new wark" and library of the college, and the reservation to the college of the seat next best to that of the magistrates, with the use of the kirk for the conferring of degrees and other purposes; while the college authorities, on their part, undertook to allocate to sons of burgesses attending college four of the ground floor chambers in their new building. At the same time the inhabitants raised an endowment fund, to be invested and held by the town council, sufficient to pay the minister a stipend of a thousand merks (£55 11s. 1d. sterling), and upon this basis the archbishop agreed to the transfer of the church. The king afterwards confirmed the arrangement by a charter under the Great Seal. [Charters and Documents, ii. 356, 358, 359, 363, 364, 374.]

According to Sir William Brereton, who visited the city in July, 1636, the revenue of Glasgow at that time was about £1,000 per annum, while its population was about 20,000. The city, he says, is famous for its church, "the fairest and stateliest in Scotland," and for its tolbooth and bridge. The nave and choir or chancel of the High Church were divided by a great wall, and service was held only in the choir, and in another church below it. The town consisted of two streets, one running from the High Church to the bridge, and another, much shorter, crossing it at the cross. The archbishop's palace, he says, is a stately structure. The standing part of the college is "old strong plain building," and the library a very little room "not twice so large as my own closet," but for the new buildings laid out collections had been made throughout Scotland and more money subscribed than was needed. The college was governed by one principal, four regents, and about a hundred and twenty students who wore cloaks of various colours, some red, some grey, as pleased themselves. The bridge was of seven or eight fair arches supported and strengthened by strong buttresses. The river was "now navigable" within six miles of the city, and ebbed and flowed above the bridge, but the water there was so shallow that you might ride with it under the horse's belly. "Beyond this river there is seated pleasantly a house, which was Sir George Elphinstone's, and is to be sold to pay his debts. The revenue thereunto belonging is about £300 per annum. The price offered by this city, who are about to buy it, is £6000. The suburbs and privileged places belonging unto it induced them to buy it."  [Travels of Sir William Brereton, Chetham Society, p. 94; Early Travellers in Scotland, 150-153.]

To assure all its recently acquired rights and liberties the city, in 1636, procured a new charter from Charles I., much as it procures an "omnibus" Act of Parliament at the present day. This confirmed all its former and recent powers and possessions, including its status as a free royal burgh, for payment of twenty merks annually to the Crown. [Charters and Documents, ii. 375.]

But Glasgow, with the rest of Scotland, was now to have its resources put to the test in very serious fashion.

Soon after the king's return from Scotland to the south in 1633, Abbott, the Archbishop of Canterbury, had died. Laud succeeded to the primacy, and his influence over the king appears to have become even stronger than before. In May, 1634, Charles wrote to the Scottish bishops expressing his opinion that there was nothing more defective in their church than the want of a book of common prayer and uniform service, and requiring them to condescend upon a form of church service and to draw up canons for uniformity of church discipline. [Introduction to Sprott's Scottish Liturgies, p. 48.] The draft of a new prayer-book and a draft of canons for the Scottish Church were accordingly sent up to London early in 1635 and were submitted to Laud and the Bishops of Hereford and London, and altered and adjusted by these prelates. In May, 1635, the king sanctioned "Canons and Constitutions Ecclesiastical for the Government of the Church of Scotland," and they were issued in the following year. Among other matters these canons declared that if any one questioned the king's supremacy in causes ecclesiastical he should be excommunicated, and could only be restored by the archbishop of his province after repentance and public recantation of his errors. Anyone who affirmed that rites and ceremonies and episcopal government of the church were repugnant to the Scriptures, or were corrupt, superstitious, or unlawful, was to be subject to the same penalty. No layman was to exercise any office of the ministry. conventicles and secret meetings of churchmen were forbidden, the sacrament was to be received with bowing of the knee, all persons must kneel at reading of prayers and stand at the singing of the creed. No prayers except those in the public liturgy were to be used on pain of deprivation.

Many of these canons were highly repugnant to the people of Scotland; they were issued without being submitted to any General Assembly for discussion or approval; and they prescribed conformity with a prayer-book which had not been seen, much less approved, by any Scottish ecclesiastical authority.

On 18th October, 1636, the king wrote to the Lord Chancellor, Archbishop Spottiswood, commanding him to proclaim that all subjects must conform to the liturgy, "it being the onlie forme of worshippe quhilk wee, having taken the counseall of our cleargie, thinks fitt to be used in God's publicke worshippe ther." [Bailie's Letters, etc. i. 33,] The Privy Council accordingly established the prayer-book, and by proclamation in every head burgh the people were ordered to conform. [Balfour, ii. 224; Burton, vi. 104.] But the liturgy itself did not reach Scotland till the spring of 1637. It had been adjusted by Laud and by Wren, Bishop of Hereford, and at once excited anger and hostility throughout the country. It was considered more popish than the English prayer-book, and the fact rankled that it had authority neither from the Scottish Parliament nor the General Assembly. [Cunningham, i. 515; Gardiner, viii. 313; Row, 398.] Nobility and burgesses alike were deeply offended, remonstrances and protestations poured in upon the Privy Council from all quarters, and in Edinburgh and the West of Scotland actual resistance was threatened. In view of these manifestations of hostility the Privy Council hesitated ; but the reported opposition to his will only made the king obstinate, he ordered it to be proclaimed that he was determined to enforce obedience, and the proclamation was duly made at the cross of Edinburgh on 17th October. Little did Charles guess that the trumpeter who blew the fanfare on that occasion was giving the signal for a rising of the country which was to end the royal authority altogether. [Gardiner, viii. 322.]

On 23rd July, 1637, the new service book was introduced at morning service in the middle church of St. Giles, Edinburgh. The Bishop of Edinburgh, Dr. Lindsay, was to preach the sermon, Dr. Hanna, the Dean, was to read the service, and Archbishop Spottiswood of St. Andrews, the Lord Chancellor, was present, as well as the magistrates of the city. No sooner had the Dean begun to read than an uproar broke out. Common tradition, which has not been confirmed, says that one Jenny Geddes, keeper of a stall in the street, led the disturbance by exclaiming "Dost say mass at my lug," and throwing her stool at the Dean's head. But, whoever began the riot, books, stools, and other articles were thrown. The archbishop and the bishop both tried in vain to quieten the angry feelings of the congregation, and in the end the magistrates had to descend from their loft and bring the secular power into action to eject the rioters. Outside the cathedral surged a furious crowd, and the bishop only escaped by the protection of the Earl of Wemyss. Similarly, at the end of the afternoon service, Dr. Lindsay was only saved from serious assault by the armed guard of the Earl of Roxburgh. At the same time, on the attempt to read the new service-book at the Greyfriars and other churches of the city, similar riots broke out and frustrated the proceedings. [Row, 408; Baillie, i. 18; Spalding's Memorials, i. 79.]

Next day the Privy Council by proclamation denounced the rioters, but before the following Sunday Spottiswood and the bishops resolved to defer the use of both the old and the new prayer-books till the matter should be reported to the king. Charles, however, was obdurate ; the use of the service-book must be insisted on. The Privy Council accordingly ordered the attempt to be renewed on 13th August.

At Glasgow Archbishop Lindsay desired Robert Baillie, minister of Kilwinning and afterwards Principal of the University, to preach on the last Wednesday of August at a meeting of the Synod of the Diocese, urging conformity to the new canons and prayer-book. Baillie refused, and his place was taken by William Armour, minister of Ayr. Armour's experience was even more unpleasant than that of the Dean of Edinburgh. As he, with the archbishop and magistrates, left the church he was assailed by a mob of women, raging, scolding, and cursing, and after supper, about nine at night, as he went with other ministers to visit the archbishop, some hundreds of women fell upon him, with fists, staves, and peats. He was badly beaten, his cloak, hat, and ruff were torn, and he only escaped when his cries roused the townsfolk to set candles out at their windows. [Baillie's Letters, i. 19.]

In view of the public heat, and the representations of many noblemen and gentlemen, the Privy Council again communicated with the king; but the only answer, sent on loth September, was a reprimand for their slackness, and an order to the bishops to enforce the reading of the liturgy in their dioceses. Forthwith over three score petitions against the proceeding poured upon the Council. One of these came from Glasgow, and one, signed by the Earl of Sutherland, came from the nobility, barons, ministers, and burgesses. [Rothes, Relation, 48.]

The petitions were sent to the king by the hands of the Duke of Lennox, who, it was hoped, might be able to impress upon Charles the serious position of affairs. By way of answer the king merely ordered further proclamations commanding the petitioners to leave Edinburgh within twenty-four hours, removing the courts of justice to Linlithgow, and ordaining the

public burning of a book by George Gillespie, Against Popish Ceremonies. [Balfour, ii. 236; Gordon's Scots Affairs, i. 20.]

These proclamations were answered in Edinburgh by popular demonstrations against the Privy Council and magistrates, and by the drawing up of a complaint urging that the bishops should be brought to legal trial. While this complaint was sent to the king the petitioners formed a committee which ultimately consisted of six or more noblemen, two gentlemen from each county, one townsman from each burgh, and one minister from each presbytery. [Gordon, i. 28; Gardiner, viii. 325. Gordon, i. 32: Burton, vi. 178.] This was the first beginning of organized opposition to the policy of the king.

The seriousness of the position was laid before Charles by the Earl of Traquair, but, resisting this earnest advice, the king ordered another proclamation to be issued on 19th February, 1638, censuring the petitioners and forbidding unlawful convocations under pain of treason. This proclamation excited great indignation throughout the country. [Gordon, i. 28; Rothes, Relation, 35.] On 24th February Glasgow town council sent a commission to Edinburgh to act with the representatives of other burghs " anent the buikis of canones and commoun prayer." The committee of petitioners issued a protest refusing to accept orders and proclamations from the Privy Council until the bishops were removed from it. And, for readier action, four executive committees were appointed, which in common parlance got the name of "The Tables."

To enlist the body of the people the Tables prepared a National Covenant binding those who signed it to defend the true Reformed Religion, and to oppose all innovations and corruptions in church worship and government. [Gordon, i. 42; Gardiner, viii. 330; Cunningham, i. 526.] On 28th February this Covenant was first signed in Greyfriars Church and churchyard at Edinburgh, and copies were afterwards largely signed at Glasgow, St. Andrews, Lanark, and throughout the country. On 28th April a further statement was drawn up by the Covenanters and signed by the Earls of Rothes, Cassillis, and Montrose, demanding not only the withdrawal of the books of canons and church service, but also the abolition of the Court of High Commission, and the summoning of a free General Assembly and a free Parliament.

Realizing at last something of the seriousness of the position, Charles now sent the Marquess of Hamilton to Scotland. Crossing the Border on 6th June, this nobleman found the whole south country in the hands of the Covenanters, supplies of arms ordered from abroad, and the Castle of Edinburgh threatened. This movement was strongly supported by Glasgow town council, which at considerable cost maintained commissioners in Edinburgh for the purpose. [Burgh Records, i. 389.]

The Covenanters now informed the Marquess that they would submit their complaints only to a General Assembly and free Parliament, and when he returned to England to confer with the king, they declared that if a favourable answer was not returned by 5th August they would proceed as they thought best.

Glasgow town council, with its usual shrewdness, already foresaw the possibility of recourse to arms. On 1st August it ordered all fencible persons to have their arms and armour ready for mustering at twenty-four hours' notice. No one was to lend his armour to anyone else, and all persons unprovided with weapons were required to procure them forthwith under fine of £20. Fifty muskets, staves, bandoliers, and pikes were ordered from Flanders; sixty young men were to be chosen and trained to arms; and for their training a drill instructor was engaged to come from Edinburgh at forty shillings a day and his horse hire. [Ibid. i. 390, 391.] Such a resolution shows how rapidly public opinion on the question at issue was now ripening throughout the country. Nor was a decisive movement to be long delayed.

When the Marquess of Hamilton returned to Edinburgh on 10th August he brought powers for the summoning of Parliament and the convening of a General Assembly. It was to be the fate of Charles I., however, to make all his concessions to public opinion a day too late. By this time the Covenanters had begun to feel power, and had made up their minds to demand nothing less than the complete abolition of episcopacy, and the rescinding of the Articles of Perth and other legislation upon which it was based. Feeling the force of the rising storm, Hamilton hastened back to London, and laid the seriousness of the whole situation before the king. Then at last, when his concessions had no longer any appearance of graciousness, Charles gave way. On 9th September he agreed to recall the prayer-book and canons, to abolish the Court of High Commission, to assent to the repeal of the Perth Articles, and otherwise to give way on the points upon which he had hitherto most strenuously insisted. Proclamation of these intentions was made on 22nd September, and arrangements were made for a meeting of the General Assembly at Glasgow on 21st November. [Grub, iii. 22; Burton, vi. 203.] It was a meeting destined to be fraught with more serious and far-reaching results than anyone could then foresee.

In preparation for the great ecclesiastical gathering to be held in the city, the magistrates of Glasgow made preparations on a notable scale. In order that the noblemen, commissioners of presbyteries, and others, should be suitably accommodated officials were appointed to allocate lodgings, stabling, etc., and the citizens were forbidden, under serious penalties, from letting or lending their houses or stables to anyone without permission. [Burgh Records, i. 392.] Guards were also appointed for keeping the peace in the town by day and night, and the inhabitants were ordered to light up the street by setting out candles and lanterns or "bowatts." [Burgh Records, i. 393, 395.] The cathedral or High Kirk, also, was repaired, the floor of the nave being put into order, and certain windows in the choir, which had been built up, being opened again and provided with glass. [Ibid. i. 392.] Further, in order to take no chances, the town council appointed its new provost, Patrick Bell, to be its representative or commissioner to the Assembly, with the express stipulation that he should not vote on any essential matter without consulting the city fathers. [Ibid. i. 393.]

Following the example which had been shown them by the king, the Covenanters took measures to make sure that the persons appointed to attend the Assembly should be favourable to their views, and though the Privy Council forbade members of Assembly to bring more than their ordinary retinue, the Covenanters came to the city armed and in large numbers, to make sure that no attempt was made to overturn the proceedings by violence.

When the Assembly met on 21st November the cathedral was crowded from floor to roof. The Marquess of Hamilton, who had been in Glasgow for four days, and had watched the great concourse coming together, took his seat, as High Commissioner, in a chair of state under a canopy, with the chief officers of the Government around him. In front of him stood a table for the Moderator and the Clerk of the Assembly. Down the centre of the church at a long table sat the nobles and lesser barons who attended as lay elders; and on seats rising around were the ministers and commissioners of burghs. The galleries, specially erected, were crowded with the public, among whom were many ladies. Even the high clerestory sills were occupied, and in one of the high passages sat young nobles and men of rank to watch the proceedings. [Baillie, i. 123; Gordon, i. 157.] None of the bishops or episcopal dignitaries attended, and the Assembly was made

up of a hundred and forty ministers and a hundred laymen. Only one or two of the ministers wore their gowns, and the nobles and gentlemen carried their swords. Thus the scene was set for the momentous drama.

At the opening, John Bell, one of the Glasgow ministers, acted as moderator, then, after the royal commission had been read and the commissions of members handed in, Alexander Henderson, minister of Leuchars, was appointed moderator, and Archibald Johnston of Warriston, clerk. These were the men who had drawn up the National Covenant, and their appointment indicated the intentions of the Assembly.

It was not, however, till a week later that the proceedings came to a crisis. A formal accusation of the fourteen bishops had been tabled by the Edinburgh Presbytery, and a document of dissent and protest signed by the Archbishops of St. Andrews and Glasgow and the Bishops of Edinburgh, Galloway, Ross, and Brechin had been handed in. On the 28th the moderator said he would take the vote of the Assembly as to whether they could lawfully decide the matter. At this the High Commissioner, in the name and by authority of the king, commanded the Assembly to proceed no further. The moderator replied and the clerk proceeded to read a protest, but the High Commissioner declared the Assembly dissolved, and, accompanied by the Lords of Council, left the cathedral. Next day he caused a proclamation to be made at Glasgow Cross prohibiting further meetings of the Assembly, and commanding the members to depart from the city within twenty-four hours.

The proclamation, however, was not obeyed. In particular the Earl of Argyll, one of the High Commissioner's Assessors, refused to concur with it, returned to the Assembly, and declared his adherence to it. This act was the turning point which led him, first to the head of the Government of Scotland, and afterwards to the block.

On the same day, the 29th November, Provost Bell called the town council together, and asked their direction. After full deliberation the council decided, by a majority of votes, that he should vote for the Assembly continuing to sit, notwithstanding any proclamation, and that he should vote also for the Assembly taking upon itself to judge and decide in the accusation against the bishops. [Burgh Records, i. 394.]

The Assembly thereafter resumed its session and proceeded to pass several acts of the greatest import. On 4th December it declared that the last six great Assemblies, at Linlithgow, Glasgow, Aberdeen, St. Andrews, and Perth, had been unfree, unlawful, and null. On the 6th it abolished the book of canons, the book of common prayer, the book of ordination, and the Court of High Commission, and deposed and excommunicated the bishops; and on the 8th it ordered episcopacy to be removed out of the kirk. It continued to sit till 10th December, a month in all, passing Acts for the future government and rights of the kirk, and concluding with a supplication to the king craving that he should approve and ratify the proceedings. [Acts of General Assembly, 1638-1842, p. 5, etc.; Gordon's Hist. of Scots Affairs; Baillie's Letters; Cunningham, ii. 12.] This supplication was actually presented to King Charles by the Marquess of Hamilton, but no answer was returned to it, and both sides prepared for civil war. [Baillie's Letters, i. 187, 188.]

Thus, in Glasgow and within the walls of the cathedral, was the gauntlet first thrown down to challenge the arbitrary government of Charles I. From that moment the struggle continued till the king's head fell under the executioner's axe at Whitehall. Its effect upon the fortunes of Archbishop Lindsay was only less tragic. His rule of Glasgow had been mild and moderate, and it is said he was opposed to forcing Laud's liturgy on the people. But he was not the less rigorously deposed and excommunicated. Being already in poor health he retired to England, where he died at Newcastle in or before 1644. According to one writer he was then in such utter destitution that he had to be buried at the expense of the governor of the town. [Keith, 202, 265; McCric's Melville, 221; Charters and Documents, i. 331.]


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