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The History of Glasgow
Volume 2 - Chapter XXVI - Under the Commonwealth


BUT though Cromwell's policy was conciliatory, Glasgow suffered heavily in more ways than one. Within a month of the battle of Dunbar the bailies were called upon "to give some considerable charity" to certain poor, honest widows who had great families and had lost their husbands and whole fortunes. There were wounded soldiers back in the town, for whose cure payments to a surgeon are recorded. There were cases like that of John Cotts, who had been taken prisoner by the English and had lost his horse, purse, and arms, for which he was allowed £100. There was ransoming of prisoners confined in Durham and in slavery at Barbados, at the rate of £5 sterling per head in the former case and £22 sterling in the latter. And there were allowances to be paid, and rents and taxes to be remitted on account of crops destroyed by the English. For the crop of Kelvinhaugh, for example, which had been totally destroyed, John Stewart of Balshagrie, who had agreed to pay a rent of £180, was allowed to commute the amount for £40. [Burgh Records, ii. 194, 197, 198, 199, 201, 213, 283.]

The town had still more serious difficulties to meet, however. There were English troops quartered in the burgh, and demands for supplies to the garrisons at Hamilton and Dunbarton Castle. [Burgh Records, ii. 196, 199, 204. The demands of the English garrison at Hamilton in December, 1650, amounted to "threttie bollis meill, threttie bollis horse come, ten bollis malt, and that by and besyde greit quantiteis of cheis, candill, salt, and breid, certifieing that, if they were not thankfullie payed and readilie answerit therof they wald plunder the towne and give it over to the mercie of insolent sogouris" (ibid. 256).] At the same time there were demands for men in support of the Scottish army under Charles II. and the Duke of Hamilton, which had drawn together at Perth and Stirling. [Burgh Records, 200, 202, 204.] A letter from the young king himself to the magistrates throws considerable light on the situation:

"CHARLES R.—Trustie and weelbeloved: Wee greet yow weell. The necessitie of our affaires forceth ws at this tyme (the most pairt of our propper rent lyeing whair the enemie hes power, our custumes made ineffectuall, and what was granted to ws by the parliament being for our necessare enterteinment and other neidfull affaires alreddie superexpended) to crave your assistance for the present advance of some money for our furnisheing and necessarie provision agains our goeing to the feilds. These are earnestlie to desire yow presentlie to advance to ws five hundreth pund sterling, for the which soume yow shall have securetie either vpon any of our propper rentes, custumes, impost, or casualiteis within this our kingdome, or otherwayes what other privat securetie yow can crave from the commissioneris of our thesaurie for the same, and interest thairof ; and for that effect that yow send one whome yow trust to Stirling vpon the 20 day of this instant, whare wee shall authorize the commissioneris of our said thesaurie to give yow such securitie, either privat or publict as in reason can be demanded. And the publict securetie shalbe authorized and confirmed by the nixt ensweing parliament for your better securitie. So, expecting your care in provideing with all diligence the said soume as yow tender the good of our service and the honour of this our kingdome, wee bid you fareweell. From our court at Stirling, the 9th of May 1651. [Addressed] To our Trustie and weelbeloved, The Magistrates, Counsel, and Comountie of our Burght of Glasgow." [Ibid. ii. 204.]

Harassed on all sides by such difficulties and demands, the city fathers did what they could. To a demand from the lieutenant general at Stirling for a thousand merks and all the pistols in the town, they replied that they had no money and knew of no pistols in the place. At the same time, however, they managed to send £300 sterling to the king. They afterwards, on pressure by the Committee of Estates, paid the first thousand merks demanded, and they also paid the £500 asked by the king, and other 5000 merks in lieu of a hundred men they should have levied. [Burgh Records, 202, 204, 205.] In July, 1651, they actually raised and fitted out two hundred men for the king's army, and though they sent a remonstrance to a further request for carts, carters, and artillerymen, they seem in the end to have furnished these, and also to have supplied cheese to the value of £1000 as the town's contribution to the commissariat of the royal army. [Ibid ii. 206-251.]

These constant demands were met by stenting or taxing the citizens again and again and by borrowing in all directions. Inevitably discontent arose in the city itself : the townsmen refused to pay stent, and the provost himself was mobbed and assaulted. [Ibid. ii. 203, 205.] The temper of the citizens, indeed, had been strained to a danger point, and the city itself had been brought to the edge of ruin, when news arrived that King Charles and his little army had suddenly left the country.

For some time encamped at the Torwood, between Stirling and Falkirk, a strategical position which had been occupied in similar circumstances by Sir William Wallace three and a half centuries before, the royal army had defied Cromwell, and at the same time had barred all passage to the region north of the Forth. At last, however, the English general had made a flanking movement. Sending part of his forces across the Firth of Forth at Queensferry and cutting to pieces a force sent to intercept him at Inverkeithing, he occupied Perth and threatened to take the Scottish army in the rear. Finding his supplies and communications from the north thus cut off, Charles made a bold move. Breaking up camp, he marched rapidly away to the south, and, followed by Cromwell, carried the main drama of the war across the Border. With the battle of Worcester on 3rd September, 1651, exactly a year after the battle of Dunbar, the civil war which had ravaged the country for so many years at last came to an end. Two days before the battle Cromwell's lieutenant, General Monk, who had been left to hold Scotland with five thousand men, stormed and sacked Dundee. A number of the wealthier citizens of Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Perth had taken refuge there with their valuables, and in the three days' massacre which is said to have taken place these people no doubt suffered in more ways than one. [Hill Burton, vii. p. 43; Old Stat. Account, viii. 212; Balfour, iii. 314; Nicoll's Diary, 58.]

At the same time Monk took effective means to prevent supporters of the Covenant from giving further trouble. The whole Committee of Estates, or executive of the Scottish Parliament, was captured at Alyth, near Dundee, by a body of English horse, and shipped off to London.

In January, 1652, Cromwell and a party of commissioners from the English Parliament took up residence in Dalkeith Castle with a view to settling the affairs of Scotland. They invited representatives of the burghs to meet them there, and Glasgow deputed John Graham, a late provost, and John Spreull, the redoubtable town clerk, to attend. The upshot was disastrous to the Covenanting party in the city. The inhabitants, summoned to a public meeting, agreed to the incorporation of Scotland in the English Commonwealth, and at another meeting on 23rd March, by instructions of Cromwell and his commissioners, elected a new provost and bailies, who in turn elected a new Town Council to hold office till the usual time of election in October. By this proceeding George Porterfield as provost, and the Covenanting bailies and Council then holding office, were once again deprived of power. A few days later John Spreull also was superseded, and William Yair appointed town clerk in his place. As if this were not enough, Porterfield, Spreull, and the others were called to account for their intro-missions with the town's moneys and the various debts which had been incurred. [Burgh Records, ii. 219, 223, 226.]

Glasgow quite evidently was hard pressed by all the burdens which had lately been heaped upon it. A significant instance was the condition of Hutchesons' Hospital. The hospital's affairs had been brought to so serious a tangle that the new Town Council made it one of its first duties to hold an enquiry. At that enquiry it was found that all the money owed to the hospital would be scarce enough to pay for its part in the purchase of Gorbals, while the interest due to the hospital would barely cover the interest owing to Sir Robert Douglas on the part of the purchase money still unpaid. At the same time no rents could be got from the Gorbals lands, as these lands had now for two years been eaten up and destroyed by the emergencies of the war. As the hospital now depended for its support almost entirely upon these Gorbals rents, it was no longer able to board and educate its boys. In these circumstances it was resolved that the five poor boys then in the house should be sent home, that the schoolmaster's stipend be stopped, and that the old men in the almshouse be maintained as cheaply as possible. [Burgh Records, ii. 227. The Trades House was in similar difficulties (Ibid. 250).]

This enquiry, which took place on 3rd June, throws reliable light upon the straits to which the whole community had almost certainly been reduced. These straits might have been considerably relieved if the city had been able to obtain repayment of some of the moneys which, in the absence of any banking system, it had lent out to certain great landowners. It was not till 1659 that the Duchess of Hamilton, who had fallen into serious arrears of her rent of the town's teinds of Cambusnethan, was got to pay a composition of 1000 merks, and as late as April, 1660, when his own tragic fate was drawing near, the Marquess of Argyll, who had paid no interest for seven years on his loan of 25,000 merks, not only refused payment of the principal, but tried to compound with payment of a single year's interest. [Burgh Records, 421, 442.]

But the city had still to suffer its most crushing blow. A fortnight later, on 17th June, 1652, a fire which broke out in Mr. James Hamilton's above the Cross spread rapidly among the "closes," "lands," and "tenements" of Saltmarket, Brig-gate, and Gallowgate, and reduced the whole centre of the town to ruin. It was estimated that four score "closes" had been destroyed and no fewer than a thousand families rendered homeless. In reviewing the disaster five days later the Town Council declared that "vnles spidie remidie be vseit and help soght out fra such as hes power and whois hartis God sail move, it is lyklie the towne sail come to outer ruein." [Ibid. ii. 230.] It was the most devastating misfortune which had ever befallen Glasgow, and happening, as it did, when the resources of the city had been reduced by the war nearly to destitution, it might easily have made an end altogether of the struggling industrial burgh on the Clyde.

Recovering almost immediately, however, from its first gasp of dismay, the Town Council took energetic measures to remedy the disaster. The provost and one of the councillors were sent to Ayr, the headquarters of Cromwell's military government in the west, to secure letters to the authorities in Edinburgh for the securing of help from the English Parliament. By this means the sum of 1000 sterling was secured out of the sequestrated estates in Scotland. [Act. Part. VI. pt. ii. 775; Burgh Records, II. 247, 253.] A supplication was also sent to the General Assembly, which granted a licence for a general collection to be made in all the churches throughout the country. [Burgh Records, ii. 237, 238.] Meanwhile the Council deputed committees to draw up schedules of the actual damage done and the persons who had suffered. Also, foreseeing that, owing to the unusual demand likely to arise, the limited number of wrights and masons in the burgh might penalise the community by demanding exorbitant wages, the Town Council decreed that the remuneration of master workmen should not exceed 13s. 4d. per day, and those of qualified craftsmen 10s.; also that, provided the wrights and masons who were burgesses of the city were fully employed, it should be lawful to employ workmen from other places at the same rates of pay.

[Against these arrangements of the city fathers something like a riot took place on 5th February, 1653, when the wrights of the city marched in a body through the streets "with cleukis and balstones in their hands," assaulted the stranger wrights at their work, and broke their tools and benches (Ibid. 259).

The arrangement with stranger wrights and masons was not finally terminated till 1657 (ibid. 370, 377).

Shortly afterwards another attempt was made by the hammermen, which is curiously suggestive of modern Trades Union proceedings. It appears that the deacon and masters of the craft had made a by-law prohibiting any of their craft from working at any branch of the trade excepting that in which he was "booked." A certain Robert Robieson appealed to the Town Council against this by-law, and the city fathers, considering the by-law to be contrary to "the guid of the leidges," declared that a hammerman might undertake any branch of the work of the craft that he was able for, and ordered the hammer-men to annul their by-law (ibid. 261).]

Opportunity was also taken to restrict buildings to the straight line of the streets, and to forbid the putting up of "windskews or hallens" such as had formerly obstructed the streets with overhanging frontages. [Burgh Records, ii. 230-233.] In this way, though the streets took long to clear and rebuild, the appearance of the town was actually improved, and though many hardships were suffered by the people, and the churches had to be opened to shelter them, Glasgow gradually rose again from its ashes, and rebuilt its fortunes against the assaults of the future.

The deputations sent throughout the country to collect funds appear to have met a generous response, and there are records in the town's minutes of the sending of letters of thanks to places like Leith and Aberdeen. [Burgh Records, ii. 234,242,248,249,252. In the archives of the Sheriff Court at Tain there is a paper headed "The voluntar contrabutions of the burghe of Tayne, Gevin to the destressit fyrst toune of Glasgow penult Novr., 1652," and giving a long list of i io. The first are:—"Androw M'Culloche, provist and his familie, 4 lib. (i.e., pounds), 25 8d; Lachlune Ros, bailzie, its; James Hay, bailzie, 17s; Jon Monroe, bailzie, 12s; Walter Hay, bailzie, 12s; David Forrester, 30s; Jon Fergussone, 24s; Mr Wm. Denune (apparently the minister), its; Kathrene Ros, his mother, 6s; Wm. Ros, Yor, 12s; Wm. M'Gull, 3s; Agnes Nein (i.e., daughter of) Wat, is 6d." The last item is noteworthy:—"From tua poor women in Adam Hayes hous, 8d."] Cromwell himself also came to the help of the city by ordering that the monthly assessment levied from the townsmen for the support of the army of occupation should be devoted instead to the relief of distress in the burgh. [Act. Par!. VI. pt. ii. 755; Burgh Records, ii. 291.] So rapidly did the town recover that in July, 1655, the Town Council felt itself justified in adding £600 to the £2000 it had already subscribed for the buildings of the College, and in paying a sculptor, James Colquhoun, 500 merks for " hewing, forming, and putting up " the statue of Thomas Hutcheson which still adorns the front of Hutchesons' Hospital. [This and the statue of George Hutcheson, which also adorns the front of the hospital, with the bust of Zachary Boyd at the University, are the oldest of Glasgow's personal monuments. The sculptor, James Colquhoun, appears to have been a man of many parts. Following the great fire the city fathers made successive purchases of large numbers of leather buckets and fire ladders, but these were superseded when in 1656 Colquhoun was commissioned to construct Glasgow's first fire engine on the model of one already existing in Edinburgh. For this he was paid L25 sterling. He was also paid 400 merks for painting the faces and gilding the letters of the town's clock in the Tolbooth steeple, the work including the painting and fixing of "the town's arms and year of God" on each face of the "horologe." Latterly he appears to have been elected to the Town Council, and to have taken a prominent part as a bailie in the conduct of civic affairs (Burgh Records, ii. 282, 331, 344, 358, 366, 367, 373).] At the same time it was able, for the benefit of the citizens, to embark with quite notable enterprise on the digging of wells. No fewer than four of these were made at this time, in Trongate, Saltmarket, at the Greyfriars gate, and at the mouth of the Stinking Vennel above the Cross. [Burgh Records, 294, 298, 299, 316, 317, 318, 322, 336.] Also for the good of the townspeople the Council agreed to pay 2000 merks to Patrick Bryse, weaver, and James Anderson, Gorbals, to enable them to open a coal-pit in Gorbals muir, for which they were to pay a rent of 600 merks for thirteen years. This was the beginning of the great coal-working on the south side of the river which has continued till the present day. [Ibid. 308.]

Taking all things into consideration, there can be little question of the fact that the eight years of Cromwell's rule in Scotland were a blessing to the country in general and to Glasgow in particular. The intolerable tyranny and interference of the Covenanting ministers—Resolutioners, Remonstrants, and the rest—was brought to an end when, in July, 1653, Lieutenant-Colonel Cotterel closed the General Assembly, and with a few musketeers and a troop of horse escorted the members a mile out of Edinburgh, and intimated that they must refrain from further meeting, and leave the city on pain of imprisonment. [Baillie's Letters, iii. 225, 226.] The Court of Session, which might easily have become a source of trouble, was superseded by a Commission of Justice—four Englishmen and three Scotsmen —which, whatever its drawbacks, certainly took pains to administer even-handed j udgments. [Hill Burton, vii. 51. 4 Ibid. vii. 48, 52.] The Marquess of Argyll, about to hold a meeting of Parliament at Kilmun, which would almost certainly have taken measures to continue the war, was induced to sign a treaty by which he undertook to live at peace under the Commonwealth Government. Finally a union of the Scottish and English Parliaments was effected, which threw the whole trade of England open to the Scots. Under this last arrangement Glasgow, on 22nd July, 1654, elected a commissioner to attend the Parliament at Westminster, [Burgh Records, ii. 292, 423. The commissioner received a salary for his trouble (ibid. 363).] and ordered the coin of the Commonwealth to be accepted as legal tender.

It is true that Cromwell's government in Scotland was based throughout on military force. His four great citadels—at Ayr, Leith, Perth, and Inverness—effectually prevented any military risings. Glasgow had constant comings and goings of troops, with requisitions for billets, transport, etc. On 19th June, 1654, the Tolbooth was occupied by a garrison for which the town had to supply beds, blankets, and other furnishings. In September Andrew Gibson had to be turned out of his house to provide quarters for Lieutenant-Colonel Cotterel, when the city again had to supply furnishing. And at the same time the flesh market was requisitioned for the accommodation of certain horse guards, who were supplied with coal, candle, and peats. [Burgh Records, ii. 290, 296, 297, 322. This military occupation of the Tolbooth caused the city one regrettable loss. In order to clear the soldiers out of the Tolbooth the magistrates in 1656 built a guardhouse about and upon the town's Cross. Three years later, when an order was received to demolish the guardhouse, it was found that the Cross had been so much defaced that the magistrates decided to have it removed. Thus disappeared one of Glasgow's most interesting and historic monuments (ibid. ii. 330, 331, 432).] But the gains under this well-guarded peace were much greater than the losses. The city had time to gather its strength and rebuild its fortunes. From first to last neither the townsmen themselves nor their friends elsewhere seem ever to have doubted its future. An eloquent instance of this was furnished by the noted lawyer, Sir John Scot of Scotstarvet, one of the judges of the Court of Session who lost their places during the Commonwealth, and a brother-in-law of the poet, Drummond of Hawthornden. Sir John, in consideration of the late calamity of fire and his own connection with this "prime city of the west," endowed in Glasgow a fund for putting poor boys of the name of Scott to learn crafts. The fund, amounting to sixty bolls of victual, was secured upon a property known as Puckie and Puckie Mill, in Fife. [Burgh Records, ii. 266, 267, 271, 300, 328, 333.] The value of this endowment may be judged when it is noted that the entire revenue, at that time, of the Leper Hospital beyond the bridge, probably Glasgow's oldest charitable institution, was no more than six bolls of meal and £12 8s. 4d. Scots in money rents. [Burgh Records, ii. 293.]

Tucker, Cromwell's commissioner, who drew up a report for the Protector on the condition of Scotland in 1656, described Glasgow in very favourable terms. "This town," he said, "seated in a pleasant and fruitful soil, and consisting of four streets handsomely built in form of a cross, is one of the most considerable burghs in Scotland, as well for the structure as trade of it. The inhabitants, all but the students of the college which is here, are traders and dealers—some for Ireland with small smiddy coals in open boats from four to ten tons, from whence they bring hoops, barrel staves, meal, oats, and butter; some for France with pladding, coals, and herring, of which there is a great fishing yearly in the western sea, for which they return salt, paper, rosin, and prunes; some to Norway for timber, and every one with their neighbours the Highlanders, who come hither from the isles and western parts. Here hath likewise been some who have ventured as far as Barbadoes; but the loses they have sustained by reason of their going out and coming home late every year have made them discontinue going there any more." [Report (Bannatyne Club), 25, 38.] According to the same authority, Leith was the chief port of Scotland, possessing fourteen vessels, while Montrose, Kirkcaldy, and Glasgow came next with twelve vessels each. Among the imports of Glasgow mentioned in the burgh records were iron, lemons, and "oringeris," and among the exports were red herrings, which are said to have been first made at Greenock by Walter Gibson, afterwards provost of the city, from which fact, it is believed, they have since been known as "Glasgow magistrates." On 19th September, 1657, the Town Council directed a letter to be sent to the laird of Kilbirnie thanking him for his offer to allow the burgesses to "make their herring on his land at Greenock, and to put up wooden houses there for the purpose." [Burgh Records, ii. 379.]

Already in 1659 Glasgow was seeking a better outlet to the sea. Irvine had previously been available, but Tucker reported that the harbour there was becoming choked with sand. Dunbarton had always been hostile, and as late as 1658 had been the scene of a riot in which a Glasgow ship was plundered of its "haill sails, amunitioune, missoures, armes, guid, and gear," and its master, Robert Bogle, a burgess of Glasgow, was thrown into prison. [Ibid. 395, 396.] Accordingly, arrangements were made for "sighting" the ground for a possible harbour at Newark, further down the river, where Port-Glasgow was presently to be built. [Ibid. Li. 417, 420. Infra, p. 335.]

The rising tide of the city's prosperity may be gauged by the proposal of the merchants to rebuild their "hospital" in Briggate with a higher steeple than that of Hutchesons' Hospital, containing a clock and bell. Towards this work the Town Council contributed one hundred pounds -sterling. The work was entrusted to Sir William Bruce, builder of the new part of Holyrood, and master of the famous architects, the brothers Adam, and till the present day the steeple remains one of the finest architectural features of the city. [Ibid. Li. 412]

Following the great fire, the city fathers prohibited the making of candles in houses within the burgh on account of the risks involved. The prohibition apparently opened the way for the rise of a new industry, and in 1658 permission was granted to build no fewer than four candle factories. These were kept well away from the buildings of the city, and were erected on " the townes rig," six score ells to the west of the thorn hedges of the flesh market in High Street. Their site is commemorated in the name of the street known as Candleriggs at the present day. [Burgh Records, ii. 311, 401.]

The mansion house of Gorbals, which with its yards and grounds was leased to the young Marquess of Montrose for five years at a rent of 180 Scots, was put into thorough repair. [Ibid. ii. 367, 381.] At the same time the town's desire to keep abreast with the larger events of the hour is shown by the request sent to the agent of one of the city merchants in London " to send horn for the tounes vse weiklie ane diurnall." [ Ibid. ii. 377, 400.]

But while Glasgow itself obviously prospered under Cromwell's iron rule, the Town Council had certain internal troubles to overcome. One of these seems to have been an attempt by Patrick Gillespie, [Patrick Gillespie was one of the extremist ministers of the Covenant. A brother of George Gillespie, the "Galasp" of John Milton, and youngest member of the Westminster Assembly of Divines, he was appointed minister of the Outer High Church, Glasgow, when the nave of the Cathedral was first fitted up for a separate congregation in 1648, and he was a strong opposer of the Engagement. After the defeat at Dunbar he raised the "Westland Force," and drew up its Remonstrance against the treaty with Charles II. He was deposed for protesting against the treaty with "Malignants," and was leader of the "Protesters." In the following year, 1652, he was appointed principal of Glasgow University by Cromwell, visited London, was intimate with Lambert and Fleetwood, and was granted powers, known as "Gillespie's Charter," to enable the Protesters to remodel the Scottish Church after their own ideas. He secured additional revenues for his university from the property of the church, but after the Restoration suffered deprivation and imprisonment. His arrest in 1660 was actually made by the Town Council which he had constantly endeavoured to harass. (Burgh Records, ii. 450.)] principal of the College, with the ministers of the Presbytery, to regain domination in the public affairs of the town. Gillespie appears to have sent a complaint regarding the personal conduct of certain members of the Council itself to the Protector in London, which was by him sent down to General Monk for report. Monk in his reply advised Cromwell not to interfere, pointing out that interference would be resented by all the burghs in Scotland, which burghs had from first to last been the best friends of the Commonwealth. He had learned, he said, that the persons complained of were good men, and he advised that the matter should be left to the free election of the citizens. Notwithstanding this advice, Cromwell ordered that the election of magistrates and Council should be delayed till he had been better informed on the subject of complaint. A remonstrance was sent to Cromwell's secretary, Thurlow, by Lord Desborough in Edinburgh, with the suggestion that instead of arbitrarily imposing a magistracy of his own upon the burgh he should merely recommend some honest, godly man for election as provost, and use personal influence to have desirable individuals elected to the other offices. The magistrates had to send witnesses, however, to attest the uprightness of their life and conversation before a committee in Edinburgh, and to agree that, for peace sake, nine of the Council should retire at the next election, and be replaced by nine persons "of that partie quha ar awned be Mr. Patrick Gillespie." But Gillespie, who had Cromwell's ear, would brook no delay; he must have immediate execution. Accordingly, by order of General Monk, an election was held on 2nd March, and a new set of magistrates and councillors appointed. [Burgh Records, ii. 379, 382, 388, 390, 391.] It would appear, however, that the new Town Council was no more inclined than its predecessor to be compliant with the desires of the reverend principal and his friends. With only one dissentient it determined to continue its case against him before the Council of State in Edinburgh, and to that end to employ "advocattis, lawiouris, and all vtheris of that kynd" to plead in law for it. At the same time the magistrates proceeded to carry the war into the opposite camp by refusing the request of the kirk-session to appoint its nominee, Mr. George Campbell, to the pulpit of the Inner High Church until he had first come to the city and preached several times " for the better satisfaction of the people." If he refused, the Town Council unanimously declared that it would appoint Mr. James Ferguson, minister at Kilwinning, to the vacant place. Campbell refused, and the Council, along with the parishioners, sent a call to Ferguson. Gillespie struck the next blow by demanding that the town should pay over to the College 7000 merks which it held under the testaments of William Struthers and Zachary Boyd as endowment of certain bursaries of which the town was patron. So the contest went on, the Town Council carrying off the honours at every encounter, and, moreover, maintaining to the end, when it achieved complete victory, a courtesy and fairness which are conspicuously absent from the procedure of Gillespie and his friends. [Burgh Records, ii. 385, 399, 403, 404, 408. 409, 410, 413, 414, 419, 427, 434, 435, 438, 440, 442, 453.] The episode is valuable as evidence that the public had at last grown tired of the interference of the ministers in secular affairs, which had been so marked a feature of the Covenanting regime.

Another curious incident was a dispute with the surgeons and barbers, led by their quarrelsome deacon, John Hall. This body counted its existence from a patent granted by James VI. in 1599. In 1656 the Town Council, at Hall's instance, granted it a "letter of deaconhood," which established it among the trades incorporations of the city. In 1658 the Town Council deferred the election of a deacon convener for the Trades House till it should be decided whether those who had taken part in the Engagement of 1648 were still disqualified. Thereupon Hall, who was now an ex-bailie, tabled a leet of three persons for the office. At the same time Archibald Anderson, on behalf of certain other trades, tabled a competing leet of three. William Boyd, another deacon, protested against Hall's list. On the ground that these proceedings were irregular the Town Council refused to make an appointment. Hall then appeared "with ane multitud at his back" at the door of the Council House, and not being allowed to bring in his friends, protested where he stood. Next, at a court dealing with a complaint brought up by certain of the surgeons, Hall was excluded till the books of the craft should be produced. It was then found that Hall had interlined and deleted entries in the book without authority, and that, slighting the letter of deaconhood granted by the town, one Thomas Lockhart, an apothecary who was not a surgeon, had been appointed deacon. The Council therefore declared the deaconship vacant. [Burgh Records, ii. 340, 341, 377, 416, 417, 430, 432, 433, 437.] Thus ended what appears to have been the last of the troubles entailed on Glasgow by the acts of Argyll and the Covenanting Government when it found itself in unquestioned power in Scotland after the failure of the Engagement twelve years before.


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