Additional Info

Click here to get a Printer Friendly Page

Share

Check all the Clans that have DNA Projects. If your Clan is not in the list there's a way for it to be listed. Electric Scotland's Classified Directory An amazing collection of unique holiday cottages, castles and apartments, all over Scotland in truly amazing locations.

Perth, the Ancient Capital of Scotland
Chapter XIII


THE RAID OF RUTHVEN, 1582.

This extraordinary event in Scottish history occurred at Ruthven Castle, in the neighbourhood of Perth. It was devised by five notable rebels, all of whom were already quite experienced in framing plots to dethrone their Sovereign. These were William Ruthven, first Earl of Gowrie and Provost of Perth, whose two sons were afterwards slain at the Gowrie Conspiracy. His father led the conspirators at the Riccio murder, and he himself was the ruffian, who, along with Lindsay, committed the outrage on Queen Mary at Lochleven, by forcing themselves into her bedroom and compelling her to sign her abdication. The other four were this same Lindsay, the Earl of Mar, the Master of Glamis, and the notorious Archibald Douglas, who was one of the murderers of Darnley. The condition of the Kingdom at this period was far from satisfactory. Plots and conspiracies were quite common, and the worst feature of all was the total want of integrity which characterised the actions of nearly all the public men of the time. Keeping this in view, the following narrative will be better understood. The King (James VI.) was a boy of sixteen years of age, and it was of great importance to these men that they should have him under control, and so direct the administration of the Kingdom. Among the various factions, the possession of the King's person was the goal. The Ruthven lords—those who were concerned in the Raid—were second to none for cunning and craftiness; and the King, who it would appear was living at Stirling Castle with the Regent Morton, was invited by Gowrie to come over to Ruthven and enjoy a few days' hunting, of which he, the King, was passionately fond. The King was under the guardianship of the Earls of Lennox and Arran. He accepted the invitation, and duly arrived at Ruthven Castle. It would appear that Lennox, for some reason, suspected that a conspiracy was on the tapis, and the Ruthven lords, hearing of this, hastened their proceedings, and immediately assembled 1,000 men and surrounded Ruthven Castle, with the view of securing the King's person. Gowrie and Mar thereupon entered the King's chamber, removed his guards, presented a list of their grievances, which they demanded should be redressed, while they had taken precautions against all possibility of his escape. The Earl of Arran, who was residing at Kinneil Castle, Bo'ness, hearing of this startling event, proceeded at once, in company with his brother Colonel Stewart, and a party of horse to the release of the King. They were attacked and defeated by Mar and Archibald Douglas, and Arran, it is said, was seized as a prisoner. The King next morning resolved to leave, but Glamis intimated to him that he was to remain at Ruthven. The King declared he would go that instant, but Glamis rudely interposed, and, placing his leg before the King so as to intercept the doorway, commanded him to remain. The King began to weep, at which Glamis said, "Better children weep than bearded men." The Ruthven lords thereafter accompanied the King to Stirling Castle, where they kept him in captivity for ten months. The King's external position was not that of a prisoner. He went about as a monarch, attended by a large train of well-armed followers. He went almost immediately to Perth, thence in a few days to Stirling, where he abode until the 8th October, when he passed on to Holyrood and held a Parliament. The conspirators posed as Protestants, and this had the effect of attaching to their interest the Presbyterian clergy, who warmly espoused their cause, and could see nothing wrong in what they did.

The conspirators immediately compelled the King to issue a proclamation in which he declared he was a free monarch and preferred to remain at Stirling. Lord Herries and the Abbot of Newbattle went to Stirling to ascertain the reason of Gowrie's conduct and to see whether the King was a prisoner. They were not permitted to see him alone, but they saw him in the Council Chamber. They stated their object, and said if the King was a prisoner it was their duty to set him free. Before Gowrie could reply, the King started from his seat, and said it was all true. He was a prisoner and not at liberty to move a step without a guard. Gowrie defended his position, and returned a menacing answer to Lennox, who sent the envoys. What Gowrie's grievances were, if he had any, is certainly not clear. Some suppose that because the King was an Episcopalian, Gowrie was determined to bring him over to the Presbyterian party, and that the Raid of Ruthven had this end in view; but this we cannot accept It is more probable that Gowrie was thirsting for power, and that his aim was the Regency. This incident is pretty fully referred to by various historians, and it would therefore be superfluous to reproduce the details here. There is one point, however, which historians have generally overlooked, and that is, the character of those who joined the five conspirators we have named for the purpose of committing so treasonable an act as the seizure of the King. He was too young to control them, and they therefore controlled him. Living, as we do, under the most enlightened Government in the world, we do not fully appreciate the situation of 1582, when the Scottish Kingdom was shaken to its foundations by a spirit of rebellion and insubordination that marked the attitude of the Scottish nobility, and induced them to do many things that tended to insecurity, and seriously affected the safety of life and the peace of the realm. The Raid of Ruthven was a deliberate and skilfully conceived plot, and we are indebted to the Privy Council Register for a list of those who directed it, and who signed the bond for its due performance.

The originators of the Raid, who signed the Secret Bond, were: Earls of Gowrie, Glencairn, March, and Bothwell (Francis Stewart); Lords Hume, Lindsay, and Boyd; the Bishop of Orkney; the Abbots of Cambuskenneth, Dryburgh, Dunfermline, Inchaffray, and Paisley; Thomas Lyon, Master of Glamis; Laurence, Master of Oliphant; Sir Lewis Bellenden, Justice Clerk; Sir James Hume, of Cowden Knowes; George Hume, of Wedderburn; George Hume of Broxmouth; Alexander Hume, of North Berwick; Alexander Hume, of Hattonhall; Alexander Hume, of Manderston; George Hume, of Spot; John Cunningham, of Drumwhassel; William Douglas, of Lochleven; William Douglas, of Whit-tinghame; Robert Colville, of Cleish; James Colville, of Easter Wemyss; Sir Walter Ker, of Cessford; Andrew Ker, of Fawdonside; John Cockburn, of Ormiston; John Cockburn, of Clerkington; George Brown, of Coalston; Patrick Hepburn, of Whitcastle; Henry Ogle, of Hartwood; James Rigg, of Carberry; James Richardson, of Smeaton; William Wauchope, of Niddry; James Fowlis, of Colinton; Patrick Monypenny, of Pilrig; Robert Fairlie, of Braid; the Lairds of Dalmahoy, Inverwick and Elphinstone; James Haliburton, Provost of Dundee. The plot was thus a regularly conceived and deliberate plan to carry out a treasonable scheme.

The King, it would appear, becoming weary of his captivity, did everything in his power to organise a plan for his release. He was materially assisted in this by Mondinville, the French Ambassador, who eventually formed a plot for the overthrow of the Ruthven lords and the return of Lennox. On 24th June following, the King had a private interview with the English Ambassador at Falkland Palace. Three days after this interview, the King, it would appear, escaped by the contrivance of Colonel Stewart to the Castle of St Andrews. The gates were kept by Colonel Stewart and his soldiers, and no one was allowed to enter but those who were privy to the plot Mar and Angus were determined to capture the King, but they were met six miles from St Andrews by a herald, who charged them on pain of treason to disband their forces and come forward singly. They reluctantly obeyed, and on their meeting with the King, he ordered them to at once return home, which they did. Evidently they considered their enterprise hopeless. The King was now his own master, after having been ten months under restraint The Scottish Ambassador, Colonel Stewart, and John Colville went at the King's request to London to consult Elizabeth. The King's mother at this period was Elizabeth's prisoner; Elizabeth was anxious to set up enmity between Mary and her son, and in this she so far succeeded.

The conspirators were compelled to acknowledge their offence and sue for mercy. The subject of contention between the Court and the Scottish clergy at this time was the Raid of Ruthven—the clergy sanctioning and approving it The King, not being able to convince the clergy of their fault, convened a Parliament in Edinburgh, when an act was passed denouncing the Raid as a crime of high treason, and meriting the severest punishment A former act approving of it was cancelled as having been passed by the rebels themselves. The King declared his intention of punishing those who refused to sue for pardon, while he promised it to all who would acknowledge their offence. This state of the country was pleasing to Elizabeth, who supported another plot by the Ruthven lords for the seizure of the King, but it came to nothing. Gowrie hesitated for some time between submitting to the King and taking part in this plot, and he evidently chose the latter alternative. Walsingham, Elizabeth's unscrupulous secretary, was identified with it, and no doubt pulled the wires; but Stewart, the clever Earl of Arran, was too many for him, and he detected and defeated all Walsingham's manoeuvres.

Arran quietly allowed the plot to proceed to the very term of its execution. Having privately desired his friends to hold themselves in readiness, he remained at Falkland with the King until he ascertained that Angus, Mar, and Glamis had entered Stirling with a body of horse, and taken possession of the Castle. He then despatched Colonel Stewart with 100 troopers to arrest Gowrie, who was at his house in Dundee. These surrounded his house before sunrise. Gowrie bravely defended himself for the space of twelve hours, but was at last overpowered and seized and sent to Edinburgh. Arran now called on his adherents to take the field, and 12,000 men obeyed his summons. At the head of this force the King prepared to march against the rebels at Stirling. They were astounded at Arran's promptitude and Gowrie's arrest, took to flight, and landed in Newcastle, and so the entire plot for the King's arrest collapsed.

Gowrie was immediately brought to trial. The Earl of Arran and Sir Robert Melville visited him in prison, and informed him that the King was deeply incensed against him. "Our advice," they said, "is that you write a letter to the King confessing your knowledge of a design against his Majesty's person, and offering to disclose the particulars if admitted to an audience." "It is a perilous expedient," said Gowrie, "and may involve me in utter ruin." "How so?" said Arran; "your life is safe if you follow our counsel, your death is determined on if you make confession." "Goes it so hard with me?" was Gowrie's reply. "If there be no remedy, in case I had an assured promise of my life I would not hesitate to try the device of the letter." "I will pledge my honour," said Arran, "that your life shall be in no danger, and that no advantage shall be taken of your pretended confession." Thus entrapped, Gowrie wrote the letter as instructed. It was sent to the King, but he waited in vain for a reply. At the trial Arran produced this letter of Gowrie's. The jury found him guilty, and he was sentenced to death. He received his sentence with firmness, and at once rose to speak. The Judge interrupted him, telling him the time was short, as the King had already sent down the warrant for his execution. "Well, my lords," said he, "since it is the King's wish that I lose my life, I am as willing to part with it as I was before to spend it in his service; and the noblemen who have been upon the jury will know the matter better hereafter. And yet in condemning me, they have hazarded their own souls for I had their promise. God grant my blood be not on the King's head. And now, my lords, let me say a word for my poor sons. Let not my estates be forfeited. The matters are small for which I suffer. Failing my eldest boy, then let my second succeed him." It was answered that he was guilty of treason, and by law forfeiture must follow. He was allowed to retire with a minister for a short time for private devotion. He then walked to the scaffold, and asserted his innocence of all designs against the King's person. The Justice Clerk then assisted him to undo his doublet. Gowrie tied the handkerchief over his eyes, and laid his head on the block. And so this arch-traitor finished his inglorious career. Of the base and unscrupulous men of that period he was among the foremost, being always ready for any act of violence or treason. The Raid of Ruthven was the greatest event of his life. He was without doubt its instigator and champion. Nothing but a belief that the country was with him would have warranted such an unparalleled step; but as it turned out, he and his companions had totally miscalculated the situation, and the strength of the opposition. The conduct of Stewart, Earl of Arran, and his brother, cannot be over-rated. They, even at the risk of their lives, made a determined effort to undo the Raid and release the King. It is owing to their gallant conduct that the King was enabled eventually to escape, and to Arran alone is due the ingenuity which achieved Gowrie's capture, and brought him to the scaffold. If the Regent Moray had had such a man as Arran to fight against at Langside, the fortunes of the day would in all probability have been against him, and Mary's captivity prevented. The vindictive feelings which governed the conduct of James, and his cruel and unforgiving nature, suggest that the Raid of Ruthven in all probability inspired the Gowrie Conspiracy. James felt that his own seizure and captivity were an insult in the eyes of Europe, and that Gowrie was the chief of the plot The Gowrie Conspiracy took place six years after Gowrie's execution. It is evident that after the Raid of Ruthven there could be no more friendship between the King and that notable family. There is another point worthy of notice. Gowrie was Provost of Perth, yet the Town Council went out to Ruthven Castle and supported the King against their Provost. This seems a mysterious proceeding, but it is explained in the following letter of the King to John, Earl of Montrose, who was Provost of Perth after Gowrie's execution, May, 1584. The King wrote Montrose: 'Understanding that the Bailies, Council and Community of Perth, immediately after the detention of our person at Ruthven in August, 1582, repaired to us in arms at the command of Charles Geddes, Lieutenant of our Guard (to whom we gave directions to give them warning), to do what they could to procure our liberty. They were at Ruthven for certain days thereafter ; and they also directed their commissioners to have sundry conventions at our special request They were altogether innocent of the treasonable act, as appeared in their actions and behaviour, showing themselves ready to concur with

us in the punishment of the chief actors. We therefore declare that they, in repairing to us in arms at Ruthven immediately after the event and keeping watch, have done the duty of good, true, and faithful subjects, meriting recompense and reward, we for ever promising to gratify them, therefor how soon soever the commodity may be offered."

In the reign of James VI. the events recorded in connection with Perth are much more numerous than in the reign of any of his predecessors. The explanation must be that there were fewer events to record in earlier times, or that the recording of them was insufficiently attended to. In the reign of James some very extraordinary events happened—events which make up a stirring history. The administration of the law was carried on mercilessly, albeit injudiciously, and we do not see that this policy did any good. Both civil and criminal laws were determined by the King, and the exhibition he made of his authority in the Church Courts as narrated in the following pages is an illustration of his arbitrary and high-handed rule. In 1582 a complaint was made to the authorities by John Anderson of Perth that James Ross, with nine accomplices, on the 5th May took the complainer by force furth of the Blackfriars' Burying-ground, and imprisoned him. The defenders and Colin Eviot of Balhousie and Robert Carmyllie were ordained to set the complainer free within three hours, after being charged, under pain of rebellion, or produce him before the King and Council to have the matter decided. James Anderson appeared for complainer, but defenders did not appear. The Lords again charged them to set complainer free within three hours, and if they fail to do so to be denounced as rebels, and put to the horn. The defenders evidently refused to comply with this order, for we find a few weeks afterwards that there is another complaint by John Anderson that the defenders remain contemptuous, taking no notice of the King's authority, and in the meantime detain him. The King ordained certain noblemen and gentlemen to apprehend the rebels, and set the complainer at liberty. William Ruthven, Ballendrum, one of the commissioners, went to Murelhouses, near Kincardine, where they got information where the complainer was kept Ruthven conveyed him away so as to set him at liberty conform to his commission. But before they had gone two miles, James Ross and the defenders came upon Ruthven, and took Anderson violently and by force from him, and carried him back to Murelhouses, to the house of Archibald Irving. A charge was thereafter made to Irving to liberate Anderson within three days, under pain of rebellion or appear and show cause. Then there is recorded a complaint by Colin Eviot of Balhousie against John Anderson, who had caused letters to be written ordering the complainer to set him at liberty within three hours, and who intends, on his plea of malice, to put him to the horn for disobedience. This proceeding the complainer represented as unjust, as he knew nothing about the seizure of Anderson. Anderson was ordained to appear before the Council. Colin Eviot appearing personally, and Anderson not appearing, the Lords ordered suspension of the letters of horning until the same be produced, and so this mysterious case of kidnapping ends, so far as the record is concerned.

THE BLOODY ROLL, 1556-1580.

Only once in the history of the Ancient Capital do we find a reference to what was then called the Bloody Roll There was a Coroner in these days for both town and county. This Roll was made up by him and forwarded to the Sheriff. The unfortunate persons whose names appeared on this Roll had committed crimes punishable with death. The state of crime at that period was beyond the control of the Government, while the administration of the Kingdom, it must be said, was calculated to induce crime. The official document we reproduce gives a complete list of the names on this curious Roll. A striking feature is the large number of respectable persons involved, nearly sixty; of these twenty-two were indicted for murder, fourteen for importing false coin, and eleven for a very unusual crime, mutilating and depriving a man of his left arm. The Roll covered a period of twenty-four years, viz., from 1556 to 1580, and the crimes are all specified. It does not appear that executions took place, at least we have no record, and probably the Cautioners' Roll, which we also give, was created for the purpose of saving life, and satisfying the Government by a personal guarantee that in respect of the indicted persons these crimes would not be repeated. These Rolls, however, as relics of feudal times and as records of the past, will always possess considerable interest:—

The Catalogue of the names of the persons dwelling within the Burgh of Perth indicted and contained in the Bloody Roll direct to the Sheriff for crimes committed between 1556 and 1580.

John Anderson alias Malt—for forestalling of victual and keeping thereof in store until a dearth.

John Anderson, younger—for home-bringing of false coin, and for retaining Edmond Pitcottie, being at our sovereign lord's horn.

Robert Anderson, William Anderson, Henry Adamson, John Burn, John Lowrie, James Malise, Patrick Blair, Thomas Dundee, William Anderson, Constantine Malise, Duncan Robertson, Andrew Johnstone, Patrick Grant—for transporting and home-bringing of false coin.

John Stobbie, James Stobbie, Andrew Anderson, maltman; Nicol Blair, deacon of the tailors—for disobedience to the magistrates.

George Stobbie, deacon of the skinners—mensworn for libel and disobedience to magistrates.

James Donyng, Robert Donyng, George Leslie, James Patton, John Marr, John Cook, all in Perth—for mutilation of Peter Grant in Perth of left arm, committed in June, 1557.

John Blackwood, burgess of Perth—for art and part of the cruel slaughter of Laurence Schaw in the mill of Arngask in February, 1559.

John Scott, flesher; David and Walter Rynd, fleshers; Adam Poill, mason; Robert Wilson, mason, all in Perth— for art and part of the slaughter of John Will in Perth by drawing him in the water of Tay, committed in December, 1580.

Henry Adie alias Adamson, burgess of Perth—for the treasonable inbringing within this Realm furth of Flanders, Bordeaux, and other foreign countries, of false and adulterated money, viz., hardeittis, placks, babeis nonsuntis xxxs, xxs pieces, and other spurious money, committed in all months in the years 1556, 1557, 1558, 1559, 1560, 1561, 1562, 1563, 1564, 1565, and 1566, and treasonable outputting thereof among the King's lieges as lawful money and good coin.

Dionysius Conqueror, merchant; Henry Conqueror, his brother; John Gall, merchant; William Adie; John Anderson; John Fowry, younger; Andrew Robertson; John Powry, elder; John Ronaldson, baker; Andrew Wigtown; James Anderson, baker; Henry Kerr, tailor; David Horn; George Johnstone, all in Perth—for art and part of the cruel slaughter of Margaret Williamson, spouse to Thomas Millar, in Perth, committed in August, 1569.

James Williamson, in Perth—for art and part of the cruel slaughter of Henry Crombie, burgess of Perth, committed in November, 1574.

Henry Lees, Patrick Justice—for convocation of our sovereign lord's lieges, and for sedition and uproar in the Commonwealth.

John Stobbie, skinner; James Stobbie, skinner; Andrew Stobbie, wabster; Thomas Lammertine, wabster; Alexander Henderson, wabster, all in Perth—for art and part of the mutilation of Thomas Restein, wabster, at the Brigend of Perth, of his left arm in April, 1576.

Janet Gowrie—for being a witch and enchanter.

Thomas Crombie, burgess of Perth—for art and part of the cruel slaughter of------, Justice in Perth.

David Gray, miller in the common mills of Perth—for drowning of two bairns in a cobble on the Tay.

CAUTIONERS' ROLL.

The Roll of the Burgh of Perth given in to this present Justice by the Coroner as follows:

John Anderson alias Malt in Perth; cautioner, Henry Balneaves. Thomas Anderson, his brother; cautioner, the said John Anderson. David M'Kay ; cautioner, John Smyth. Andrew Anderson, maltman; cautioner, George Stobbie. John Smyth ; cautioner, James Miller. John Rynd; cautioner, Thomas Elgin [and J. R. for T. E.] Henry Bannafis; cautioner, John Anderson. [Henry Lees and Henry Adamson; cautioners for each other. Thomas Crombie and Patrick Rae; cautioners for each other. George Powrie and Oliver Carn; cautioners for each other; Patrick Grant and Adam Anderson; cautioners for each other. Robert Matthew and Patrick Blair; cautioners for each other]. James Brown; cautioner, George Stobbie. William Anderson; cautioner, Henry Adamson. Dionysius Conqueror; cautioner, Oliver Young. [Robert Chapman and James Mellis; mutual cautioners]. Robert Anderson; cautioner, William Fleming. Patrick Inglis; cautioner, Duncan Robertson. John Cousland; cautioner, Duncan Robertson. James Stobbie; cautioner, George Stobbie. Dionysius Blackwood; cautioner, Robert Blackwood. James Monypenny; cautioner, Robert B[l]ackwood. Thomas Anderson; cautioner, John Anderson (his brother). Alexander Williamson; cautioner, James Gardiner [who, in turn, is cautioner for A. W.]. Janet Gowrie; cautioner, Robert Halley. John Gall (elder); cautioner, Thomas Gall, procurator. John Gall (elder) has become cautioner for John Gall (younger), is son, after his return from the sale, when he shall be charged. [John Anderson (younger) and John Boig, mutual cautioners. David Jackson (elder) and George Hunter mutual cautioners.] Andrew Stobbie; cautioner, William Lawson. John Lowrie (elder); cautioner, John Lowrie, his son. Thomas Clark; cautioner, William Fildy, gardener. William Colt, maltman; cautioner, Oliver Craigie. [John Clark and James Lamb, mutual cautioners; James Lamb also cautioner for Robert Lamb.] Richard Ross; cautioner, Patrick Inglis. David Jackson (younger); cautioner, Robert Snell. [Gilbert Rae and Donald Johnstone, mutual cautioners]. John James ; cautioner, David James in Perth. John Burnett, burgess of Perth; cautioner, Henry Adamson. Thomas Dundie; cautioner, Duncan Robertson [whose cautioner in turn is Patrick Inglis]. John Powrie (elder); cautioner, Oliver Colt. Constantine Malise; cautioner, John Lowrie. Patrick Justice (younger) ; cautioner, Henry Adamson. David Baillie; cautioner, John Colt. [David Johnstone and Andrew Johnstone, mutual cautioners]. Nicol Blair; cautioner, Adam Bryson. [Gilbert Baillie; cautioner, William Tyrie, elder, while he is cautioner for Mitchell Tyrie and also for Thomas Burrell.] John Spens; cautioner, Mitchell Tyrie. James Lamb; cautioner, Robert Anderson [James L. cautioner for William Watson.] Thomas Watson; cautioner, James Johnstone. John Burn ; cautioner, Alexander Gibson. George Stobbie; cautioner, Henry Lees. [John Strathmiglo and John Brown, mutual cautioners.] David Rhynd; cautioner, James Alexander. William Ross, tailor ; cautioner, Richard Ross. David Gray; cautioner, Mr. Patrick Whitelaw. John Melville; cautioner, Andrew Melville. George Johnstone; cautioner, Duncan Macgregor. Adam Poill; cautioner, Andrew Moncrieff, baxter. John Smyth, younger; cautioner, John Anderson. Andrew Stobbie; cautioner, William Lawson. John Rattray; cautioner, Adam Bryson [who is also cautioner for David Horne]. Alexander Finlayson; cautioner, William Colt. Robert Wilson; cautioner, John Balsillie. Bessy Colt; cautioner, Andrew Duncan. Christian Niewy; cautioner, John Anderson, her spouse. John Stobbie; cautioner, William Brown, skinner. Elspeth Monypenny; cautioner, Alexander Maxton. [John Scott and Walter Kyd, mutual cautioners.] [Oliver Young and James Gill, mutual cautioners.] John Begg; cautioner, Robert Snell. Andrew Marshall; cautioner, Richard Malcolm. Alexander Kincragie; cautioner, Alexander Gibson. James Donyng; cautioner, Hew Mitchell David Pollock; cautioner, Robert Hally. John Smyth, elder; cautioner, Henry Adamson. Robert Blackwood; cautioner, Dionysius Blackwood. James Anderson; cautioner, Henry Lees. James Gardiner, baxter; cautioner, Andrew Gibb. John Murray; cautioner, James Ross of Pitherlie. Robert Dickson; cautioner, David Dickson, his father. Robert Wilson; cautioner, John Balsillie. Purves M'Arthur; cautioner, Thomas Anderson. William Blackwood; cautioner, Andrew Mercer. Robert Stanis; cautioner, Laurence Davidson. Thomas Jameson; cautioner, James Ross. John Murray ; cautioner, James Ross. Patrick Whyte; cautioner, John Galt. John M'Laren; cautioner, Thomas Anderson. Alexander Cunningham; cautioner. John Peebles.

BLOODY ROLL.
David Gray, miller; cautioner, Patrick Whitelaw.

ANDREW DRUMMOND'S ROLL.
John M'Laren; cautioner, Thomas Anderson. Alexander Cunningham; cautioner, John Peebles.

JOHN GRAHAM [ROLL?].
Patrick Whyte; cautioner, John Gaw.

JOHN GRAHAM'S ROLL.
David Young; cautioner, Adam Bryson.

HORNER'S ROLL.
Andrew Anderson Smyth; cautioner, James Donyng. Christian Wrie and Andrew Johnstone, his spouse; cautioner, Henry Balneadie. Marion Rollock and William Balvaird, his spouse; cautioner, Patrick Inglis. Thomas Gibson; cautioner, Thomas Elgin. Andrew Blythman; cautioner, James Sym. John Monypenny, elder; cautioner, Thomas Monypenny. William Tyrie; cautioner, John Rattray. Isabella Rattray; cautioner, Alexander Maxton. Thomas Anderson and his spouse; cautioner, David Marr. David Ramsay [and] spouse; cautioner, Thomas Anderson. Thomas Meek; cautioner, Henry Lees. Sir James Auchin-leck; cautioner, Patrick Auchinleck. Janet Maxwell ; cautioner, her husband. Walter Murray; cautioner, James Ross of Petheavlis.

The above long roll is indorsed "Cautioners' Roll— Roll Justice Air," 1582.

The following fragment, though not dated, evidently belongs to the same subject:—

Indent by the Coroner in Perth.

James Miller, in Perth; Robert Blackwood, Andrew Young, David Young, mason; Thomas Jamieson, David Bow, John Murray, in Craigie; Robert Stanish, Christian Maule.

John Graham, Coroner-Depute.

Portion of the Justice Roll, 29th June, 1582.

John Cargill, Perth; John Anderson, John Anderson (younger), Robert Anderson, William Adie, Henry Adie, John Burn, John Lowrie, James Malise, Patrick Blair, Thomas Dundie, ----------- Brown, William Anderson (younger), Constantine Malise, Duncan Robertson, Andrew Johnstone, Patrick Grant, Thomas Elgin, flesher; Andrew Young, Henry Lees, Patrick Justice, Alexander Kincraigie, John Stobbie, James Stobbie, Andrew Anderson, maltman; Nicoll Blairr, deacon of the sailors; George Stobbie, deacon of the skinners; James M'Breck, James Stevenson (not known), Christian Niven, spouse to John Peter; Thomas Brown, John Brown, Michael Tyrie. [This Roll contains three Terms.]

Perth, 29th June, anno 1582.—Indicted by the Coroner-depute of the Sheriffdom of Perth with the Coroner of the Burgh, the persons above-written in tokin whereof, the said Coroner-depute has subscribed these presents with his own hand.

John Graham, Coroner-depute.

The Names of persons cited before the Provost and Bailies of Perth, 10th February, 1630, conform to the Justice Ordinance, with their several duties, as follows:

Maltmakers, John Lamb, David Duff—-Ordained to be tried by an assize for taking more than a merk between the boll of bere and boll of malt, which it is ordained only one peck to be taken between the boll of bere and boll of malt.

Maltmen and Maltmakers—Robert Thomson, Harry Crie, Patrick Brown, Thomas Ogilvie, William Crie, Matthew Lamb, Robert Smith, William Mitchell, James Drummond, Gilbert Henderson, John Brown, Robert Colt, deacon; John Henderson, George Wilson—Ordained to be tried by their oaths or an assize for taking of one peck to the boll, and eleven for ten with the auld heap firlott, and keeping up of victual to the dearth, and punished, if guilty, as appertains.

And these conform to the Justice Ordinance and the duties given up against them.

Bakers or Baxters indicted—Robert Cook, for malt and wheat, and not sufficient weight of bread baking. John Henderson, idem, and for malt. Peter Gardiner, John Ferguson, George Young, James Guardin, Henry Williamson, Robert Jack, Andrew Hendry—For taking pecks to bolls of wheat and other sort of corn, and not giving sufficient weight of bread baked by them, and therefore to be fined, conform to the acts made thereanent, the Justices Ordinance and their duties.

Fleshers indicted—Thomas Crombie, William Rind, Thomas Allison, Thomas Rynd, John Blossom, William Blossom, Walter Balneaves, Alexander Balneaves, William Souttar, John Elder, Robert Thomson, Robert Kyd, John Rynd, Henry Toilor, Allan Sharp, John Scott, Thomas Wilson, George Wilson—for forestalling of markets, and buying of goods before they come to the public market-place, and selling of the same over again therein; and therefor to [be] proceeded against as regratteris, [A "regratter" was a person who bought goods and sold them again at a greater profit than was then allowed by law. ] conform to the Justices Ordinance and their duties.

Maltsters — William Dionysius, Mar[gare]t Donaldson, Robert Burrell, James Hogg, William Lyall—to be tried for taking of a peck to the boll and eleven for ten with the old heap firlot, and keeping up of the same victual to a dearth, and punished if guilty as appertains.

Upon the 6th day of February, 1630, I, Donald Reid, officer, passed and lawfully charged the whole remaining persons, particularly above named, all personally apprehended, and gave each of them a copy to compear the 21st day of February instant, to the effect and for the causes aforesaid. Witnesses—William Cook, George Wilson, Patrick Bryson, James Hay, Henry Brown.

Endorsement: Roll of persons indicted; also a memorandum [probably of the members of the court], "11th February, 1630, perproposition, Andrew Gray and John Maxton."

At this period (1582) the Provost and Magistrates had great trouble in maintaining order on account of the riotous conduct of seditious persons, some of them being councillors and indulging in lawless conduct The King and the Lords of the Secret Council, understanding that in the late sedition John Peebles was hurt and wounded to the peril of his life, in respect of which William, Lord Ruthven, Provost of Perth, ordained certain of these seditious persons to be imprisoned in the Tolbooth, and to find caution to keep the peace under a penalty of 2,000. This order was disobeyed, notwithstanding that the King and Council confirmed it The King ordained John and Oliver Peebles on the one part, and John Ross of Pitheavlis, Patrick Whitelaw, and William Hall on the other part, to find responsible sureties, each under a penalty of 2,000, that they will keep the peace and not act unlawfully until 1st August next, failing which John and Oliver Peebles to be imprisoned at Linlithgow, the others at Blackness, there to remain at their own expense till they have obeyed the ordinance.

CORONERSHIP OF THE SHERIFFDOM OF PERTH.

The ancient office of Coroner was usually but not always held by the Provost and Sheriff of Perth. Its duties are not very clearly defined. It is recorded that on 12th July, 1582, there was a complaint by James, Lord Innermeith. He and his predecessors from time immemorial had been heritably infeft in the office of Coroner of the Sheriffdom of Perth, with the profits and fees of the same. In the month of June, Patrick, Lord Drummond, stopped Lord Innermeith's officers and servants in the execution of the Rolls directed to be executed on persons indicted to the Justice Court of Perth; deforced James Keir, officer, in the discharge of his duty, took him openly to the cross of Dunblane and tore and destroyed his Rolls; injured and menaced him, and stopped him from doing further duty. This outrage was committed by James Drummond, Auchterarder Castle, Andrew Drummond, Strageath, George Drummond, and Alexander Smith, officer to Lord Drummond. Charge was given to Lord Drummond and his four accomplices to appear and answer for their conduct. Both parties appeared personally. The Lords understanding that the Rolls of the last Justice of the Sheriffdom were delivered by the Justice Clerk for the time to Lord Drummond, father of the said Patrick, Lord Drummond, to be executed as formerly, ordained Patrick, Lord Drummond to continue Justice,

and in all time coming, until he be lawfully called and dismissed therefrom by law. Accordingly without prejudice to either party's rights they remitted the matter to the Lords of Session or other Judges competent Nothing further about this case is recorded and so the matter terminated. The office has long since been abolished. It is interesting to notice that in connection with this ancient office an instrument of protest was in 1510 lodged with the authorities, of which the following is a copy:—

Instrument of Protest, Office of Coroner.

Protestation made on 4th February, 1510, in presence of Sir Andrew Lord le Gray, Justiciar north of the Forth, sitting in judgment in a justice ayre in the sheriff court house of Perth, by Alexander Tyre, provost and sheriff of the said burgh, and Robert Tyre and John Peblis, bailies thereof, that the upkeeping of the letters componitors granted to them and their neighbours by the Lord High Treasurer and Lords' componitors upon their compositions, and which at command of the said Justiciar and his assessors they had delivered to Mr. James Henderson, his clerk, should not prejudice or damage to them in their undoubted possession and privilege of the office of coroner of which they have been in possession in the said burgh and over the neighbours thereof past memory of man; and whereas the said Justiciar and his assessors had referred the continuance and declaration of the right of this office and property of the same to the Lords, Councillors of the King, without consent of the said provost, bailies and community, they protested that they were not competent judges hereof, and that they should not be prejudiced hereby, but have time and place convenient for remedy thereof, seeing they had not been cited to the hearing of this matter. These things were done in the said court house of Perth about 3 p.m.; witnesses, Robert Bonkil, Alexander Pullour, John Dundee, Finlay Anderson, and Sir Robert Thorn, notary. Simon Young, priest of St Andrew's diocese, is notary."

In 1586 the commercial relations between Perth and Dundee were brought before the Privy Council. The Magistrates and Town Council of Perth said: The Magistrates and Council of Dundee alleging that their pier, bulwark, etc., through tempestuous weather is become ruinous and falling into decay, have, as the complainers are informed, lately obtained a pretended letter and gift under the Privy Seal giving and disposing to them certain privileges for a period of five years from date of said gift; that is to say, two shillings for every ton of goods entering the port and harbour of Dundee, two shillings for every ton at the outgoing of merchandise; and a shilling at the entry, and the same at the outgoing of vessels coming from Norway and other places laden with timber; of every chalder of victuals sixteen pence and various other dues as specified. By virtue of which Dundee will make exactions from the inhabitants of Perth, wrongously and unjustly, considering it is known to the King and Secret Council what necessity the complainers have of such exactions to support the common good of their own burgh, more needful of help than the port and harbour of Dundee; specially the bridge over the river, having twice fallen lately, erected of timber only and again ready to fall unless helped. In the reparation of their own works their common good is altogether spent, and they have no alternative than by taxation to be raised among themselves. Likewise they are burdened with His Majesty's customs for wines and other things, besides the great loss they have sustained by the long continuance of the pest within the burgh. Further, the said gift is wrongously and injudiciously imposed, in respect that the complainers were not called to give evidence as they ought to have been seeing they had special interest and many reasons for opposing the gift; particularly that the whole water of the Tay (Drumlay to Drumallanc) belongs to the burgh of Perth, one part of the property thereof is the pier and shore of Dundee, which is situated within the water of Tay. The complainers, their ships and merchandise, were never required to pay these dues and exactions in time past in respect of their privileges and freedom. The burgh of Perth has been in continued possession of the freedom and liberty of the waters of the Tay, and for loading and unloading goods has paid no anchorage or other exactions. In respect whereof the said letters and gift to the Magistrates of Dundee wrongously granted ought to be declared null and void, or at least to be suspended until the matter be debated before the King and the Privy Council. The Magistrates of Dundee, and two of the Magistrates of Perth, duly appeared before the Privy Council and debated the case. The Lords, however, would not interfere, but ordained the privilege held by Dundee to continue during the time specified in the ordinance; but no further privilege of exaction in respect of goods belonging to Perth to be granted after the expiry thereof. The burgh of Perth was ordained to appoint some person for reporting to the Lords' auditors of Exchequer whether the dues collected are applied by Dundee according to the terms of the ordinance, and so this litigation ended. The rivalry between Perth and Dundee at that period is matter of history, and the boldness of the Perth Magistrates in claiming the pier and shore of Dundee as their property (and very probably it was) is an act which posterity is not likely to condemn. The Perth Corporation had to fight with inundations in the river and fallen bridges, matters which did not affect Dundee, and it had enough to do to pay its way, without the imposition of these extra customs. At this period both food stuffs and money were scarce, and an extra duty on such merchandise could not but be keenly felt by the inhabitants. What strikes us as being a remarkable feature of these times is the quantity of wine that was imported into the country and into Perth. The inhabitants of Perth were not "wine-bibbers," but all the same they had to pay for it It is recorded in 1592 by Adam Anderson, burgess of Perth, for the Provost and Magistrates, that they shall, if found liable, pay to the Provost and Magistrates of Edinburgh 340 as their share of the contributions for the thirty tuns of wine advanced by Edinburgh for furnishing the King's house in January, 1589. [In the tempest on the Mediterranean, which imperilled the return of Richard Coeur de Lion from the Holy Land, David, Earl of Huntingdon, brother of William the Lion, was cast ashore on the coast of Egypt, and sold as a slave. He was bought by Venetians, and afterwards ransomed by English merchants. Before reaching home, he was again wrecked making for the Firth of Tay. He put in at a place called Alectum, which, in his gratitude, he changed to Dei Donum, or the Gift of God, whence it has ever since been called Dundee. It is said that he founded the Abbey of Lindores in his thanks to Providence for his deliverance.]

It was intimated by the Privy Council in 1601 that the 31st day of December next was assigned to the Provost and Magistrates of Perth and Dundee for their appearance before the King and Privy Council to submit all quarrels standing between them to neutral friends to be nominated by them. All actions to be raised before the Lords of the Secret Council, or the Lords of Council and Session There is an order to the Provost and Magistrates of Dundee to forbear meanwhile all troubling of the inhabitants of Perth in transporting their ships or goods up the river Tay, but without prejudice to any of the privileges of Dundee within the said river. On 5th January, 1602, it was announced from Holyrood that the 28th January was assigned to the Magistrates of Perth and Dundee for appearing and submitting, conform to the Act of 26th November last, all quarrels standing between them. If they appeared not with full power in the matter required by the Act, it was ordained that they should have process in all actions raised either before the Lords of Secret Council or before the Lords of Session. The actions were evidently continued till 28th January. The Magistrates of Perth and Dundee were duly warned. It seems very mysterious that in the report of the Privy Council meeting on 28th January there is no reference whatever to this matter. It evidently dropped at this stage.

This jealousy and rivalry existing between Perth and Dundee became acute in the reign of James VI. In illustration of this we find in the records that David Drummond of Perth summoned the four Magistrates of Dundee and thirty-one other burgesses there for having come to the Mercat Cross of Dundee on 27th February last when the pursuer was proclaiming his Majesty's letters raised by the Magistrates and Town Council of Perth against the Provost, Magistrates, and community of Dundee: and "railed at him, calling him a knave, loose, debauched swingeour, casting snow balls at him, interrupting him in his proclamation of said letters, and after his coming down from the Mercat Cross shouting at him as if he had been a thief; and that by the special command of the four Magistrates." He failed to find lodgings, as everyone turned him out of their house when they knew who he was. At the Court the pursuer evidently failed in his proof, and the case was dismissed.

In 1591, the Town Council of Perth was obliged to appeal to the Privy Council to compel unwilling owners of property to repair the city wall in fulfilment of the obligation to do so, when they were permitted to extend their yards to the south wall The appeal of the Magistrates was as follows:

Whereas the town wall of the burgh on the north side had become ruinous, and could no longer keep out limmers and thieves, "quha commonlie in the inch entered within the same," and being hindered from repairing the wall by other necessary works then in hand, granted license and liberty to their neighbours dwelling on the north side of "the North-gate of the said burgh, between David Young's Vennel and the Turret Brig," and that upon their own request, to extend their yards to the said wall upon condition that each of them would repair and maintain that part of the wall—"effeiring to the breadth of the tails of their yards," leaving the accustomed passage by the side thereof; yet these neighbours, although they have extended their yards, have not repaired the wall and have no intention of doing so. The Lords ordain these persons to be charged to fulfil their obligation upon pain of horning.

In the same year the Magistrates, dissatisfied with the factory of the Hospital and its revenues, and not being able to obtain satisfaction, resolved to summon the governors of the Hospital before the Privy Council so as to have the matter adjusted. This took place under date 22nd January, 1592:—

John Prestoun, as procurator for Adam, Com-mendator of Cambuskenneth, produced a summons, dated 28th December last, whereby he and James Adamson and Andrew Donaldson, Governors of the Hospital of Perth, were cited at the instance of John, Earl of Athoill, provost; Oliver Young, etc, bailies of Perth; and William Anderson, Dionysius Con-querour, Andrew Donaldson, Andrew Malcolm, Andrew M'Baith, John Wentoun, and Alexander Puller, multerers of the common mills of Perth, to produce the titles of which they claim to uplift an annual rent of 55 shillings yearly out of the common mills, and protested that as the day for which they were summoned was long past, and there had been no appearance made for the pursuers, whereas the said Adam, Commendator foresaid, was ready to defend, they should not be held to answer without a new citation and payment of expenses. The Lords admitted the protestation and decerned the pursuers to pay 4. as expenses of plea to the Commendator.

No explanation is recorded of the mysterious conduct of the Magistrates in not appearing to the citation.

The want of complete records is a great obstacle in the way of arriving at an accurate conclusion on some of the most notable events that happened in these far-off days. Municipal authority, as has been already pointed out, was defective, injudicious, and utterly unequal to the lawlessness of the times. What could illustrate this better than the following remarkable incident, in which fourteen town councillors were imprisoned for riotous and disgraceful conduct. In this case the magistrates and council assumed the role of housebreakers and highway robbers, behaved like men bereft of reason, set fire to Gasconhall, assaulted the occupants to the effusion of blood, carried away the landlord in his shirt, took away his silver plate and the plenishing of his house—one of the most unaccountable incidents that has occurred in our local history. It is recorded in the Privy Council Register in the following terms:—

Robert Bruce appeared personally: also Oliver Young, Patrick Blair, Adam Anderson, bailies; and James Anderson, William Mercer, Patrick Anderson, Thomas Burrell, W. Stevenson, Robert Sym, and Wm. Jack, burgesses of Perth, for themselves and the use of the Council. Robert Bruce, on being required to give his account of the causes of the quarrel, made the following statement: He having certain goods and merchandise coming through the said burgh, neither bought nor sold therein, they were intercepted and not allowed to pass through the ports. They were thus intromitted with by some of the neighbours because the carrier would not pay custom. Which being reported to him, he required the Magistrates (by letter) to repair the injury, and to cause his goods to be restored without payment of custom (his father nor any of his servants being charged in their time), otherwise he would use the like force of doing to these neighbours in their passage between Perth and Dundee. And because they refused his request, he seized some of their neighbours travelling from Dundee to Perth, and took their weapons from them, which weapons he offered to deliver to the magistrates if they delivered to him his intercepted goods. This was not only refused, but some of these neighbours, specially William Myles and John Balsillie came to his ground and lands of Gasconhall on the 16th August, and tramped down and destroyed, with their horses, the corn growing there. On being reproved, they indulged in abusive language, whereupon he struck one of them with a pistol, and took and detained them in Gasconhall without doing them further injury. The same night the Magistrates, Council, and others — a considerable number — came to Gasconhall, and in the morning after daylight, sounded their drums, assegait him therein, discharged hagbutts and pistols in at his doors and windows thereof, and at last set it on fire and entered per force at the roof thereof, and after they had cruelly hurt some of the occupants with the shot of a hagbutt to the effusion of blood and the peril of life: they took himself and carried him away with them for some distance barefooted and barelegged, not allowing him to put on his clothes : and also took away with them his silver plate, bedding, and all the plenishing of his house. All this was done without authority. The reply of the Magistrates was as follows: The taking of custom for such goods as passed through their ports and bridge was no innovation, but a use and wont practice decreed by them and their predecessors in all time by past beyond the memory of man. Therefore in stopping Robert Bruce's goods while the custom had not been paid they committed no wrong. The seizing of neighbours and retaining their weapons was an offence in contempt of his Majesty's authority, and to them grief and hurt They not only patiently bore therewith, but caused restitution to be made of his goods without payment of custom, after which they directed Anthony Maxton, one of their neighbours, to allow William Inglis and John Balsillie taken and detained by him after they were cruelly hurt and wounded, to have their freedom. Which request was refused, and the last report made to them was that he had murdered them. Complaint being made by their wives, bairns, and others, Oliver Peebles, Sheriff-Depute, to whom certain neighbours gave their concurrence and assistance according to powers in Acts of Parliament, went to Bruce's house and there perforce recovered their men furth of his hands, and also took himself with them to answer to justice. The King and the Privy Council, having heard both parties, found that both had offended and contemptuously violated His Majesty's authority and laws. Therefore ordain Robert Bruce to be imprisoned within Edinburgh Castle, and William Mercer, Patrick Anderson, Thomas Birrell, William Stevenson, Robert Sym, and William Jack, to be imprisoned in Blackness Castle till the whole matter shall be put before the assize.

The final hearing of this extraordinary case unfortunately is not recorded. Another case showing the weakness of the local authorities, but not so serious as the foregoing, also occurred at this time, and indicates the unsettled and inept state of the Administration:—

Complaint was made by David Cochrane of Pitfour, that Harry Lindsay of Kinfauns, with forty persons armed with spears and pistols, came to Pitfour on 27th June at 2 a.m. when the family were asleep, and finding the gates closed they hid themselves about the house and directed a boy to the gate as if he had come with a letter to the complainer and desiring entry. The gates having been opened, Lindsay and his accomplices violently rushed at the gate, and being repulsed and the gate closed, they by violence and force broke up the same, entered the house, seized the complainer's movables and plenishings, removed and expelled his wife with nine children from the house, using great cruelty to them. They were not allowed refuge even in a barn or byre, but he forced them to lie about the fields. Now he has placed certain of the complainer's enemies, with whom he is at deadly feud, within the house of Pitfour, who will not deliver it up without compulsion. Both parties having been heard, the King and Council in respect that the house was opened to the messenger with a letter from the King ordained Lindsay to deliver up the house together with the plenishings which they took away, and to remove therefrom within six hours after the charge under pain of rebellion.

The leniency and inadequacy of this punishment are self-evident For stealing a cow a man in these times was executed. For house-breaking and robbery and putting a whole family out of their house the punishment was imprisonment When such things were permitted there could be no guarantee for the safety of life. There is another extraordinary entry on the Register:

Complaint was made by Robert Martin, that in March last, he being in Perth on business was taken by the bailies and imprisoned in the Tolbooth where he was detained without any crime or offence committed by him. Charge was given to the bailies to release him immediately or show cause to the contrary. The bailies not appearing before the Privy Council, the lords ordained them to set the complainer at liberty within twenty-four hours under pain of rebellion.

This was another case of inadequate punishment, or rather no punishment at all The apprehension and imprisonment of a man who had committed no offence would in our day have received different treatment. This incident, however, vanishes in importance when we consider the following ludicrous event, which shows that the Town Councillors did not always have it their own way. We now have the spectacle of two councillors stripped naked and whipped. Three months after the last incident, complaint was made to the Privy Council by the Provost and Magistrates. For their own comfort they had submitted all quarrels between them and Robert Bruce of Gasconhall to certain of his own friends, and to the King as oversman.

Nevertheless John Wilson, John Niven, and certain others passing to St. Andrews to the market there in a quiet and peaceable manner were, on 23rd April, beset at the Coble of Rhynd on their highway by the said Laird of Gasconhall, accompanied with nine horsemen and foot, armed with hagbutts, jacks, and other weapons, and by them cruelly and uumercifully pursued for their bodily harm and slaughter, Wilson and Niven being both hurt and wounded in various parts of their bodies to the effusion of blood, Bruce and his accomplices shamefully stripped them naked, and in a barbarous and disgraceful manner scourged them with horse bridles through the town of Abernethy as if they had been thieves or heinous malefactors, left Niven lying there for dead and took Wilson as captive and prisoner away with them to what place the complainers know not, neither are they certain whether they are dead or alive. John, Earl of Gowrie, Provost of the burgh, appearing for himself and the other complainers; and Robert Bruce not appearing, was denounced a rebel

Bruce had evidently not forgotten the brutal treatment he had received from the Magistrates and Council at GasconhalL It would be a proud satisfaction to him to carry out this incident, and presumably it would be nothing more than a quid pro quo for what he knew was a scandalous transaction. The Town Council for once had found a tartar, and Bruce to all intents and purposes was well able to take care of himself.

There seems to have been at that period an endless variety of crime committed. A case of a very remarkable kind occurred in 1596 in connection with a dispute on the Abercairny estate. The following narrative of the incident shows what men could do in these lawless times out of sheer mischief. It would appear that William Brown sued William Murray of Abercairny and Thomas Ewing, his tenant, touching the coming of the Ewings in harvest last at ten o'clock at night to the said William Brown, who was inspecting his cornfields, then pursuing him for his life, and giving him several bloody wounds. Believing him to be dead, they drew him by the heels to a burn, and cast him therein. By the coldness of the water Brown eventually revived, and with great difficulty got out and afterwards recovered The defenders were ordered to appear before the Privy Council under pain of rebellion. Another action was raised by Brown against the same defenders anent the coming of John Elder in harvest last to the lands of Nether Bandeath by special order of Murray— taking the shearers' hooks from them, and preventing them cutting the corn; the said William Murray in December, accompanied with thirty-four persons armed, came to Brown's dwelling-house, and violently ejected him, his wife and family furth of the said lands, breaking and destroying his plenishing, and casting of his stakes and corn. At the trial Murray alleged that Brown was orderly removed from the said lands by decreet obtained on 9th August by Katharine, Lady Abercairny, before Oliver Peebles, Sheriff Depute at Perth. Brown stated that this decreet was null and void, and Peebles appears to have been discharged from sitting in the Tolbooth of Perth and from all proceedings in this action until 10th November, being disqualified. The Lords of the Privy Council found that Peebles had done wrong, and ordained Abercairny to enter Brown in the possession of these lands, he to occupy the same until he be lawfully put therefrom.

Shortly after the foregoing incident a complaint was made by Alexander Bonar of Balgersho of the lands of Pitcairn in the shire of Perth. It was shown to the Privy Council how for a long time the complainer had been apprised of his wrongous expulsion from the lands of Pitcairn partly by Dorothea Stuart, Countess of Gowrie, and John, now Earl of Gowrie, her son. After great expense in obtaining decreets of removal against the possessor of the lands put there by Lady Gowrie, he had issued letters of horning. Notwithstanding which, the said lady, while at the horn for troubling him, had still debarred him from these lands. In the Earl's absence furth of the realm, the management of his affairs had been assigned to James Wemyss of Bogie, George Auchinlich of Balmanno, Alexander Ruthven of Freeland, and John Moncrieff, advocate, whom also the Earl had made sheriff deputes of Perth and bailie deputes of Scone and Ruthven. The complainer was ordered to be reinstated.

John Welsh, minister at Kirkcudbright, was cited to appear before the Privy Council regarding his connection with the treasonable affair of 17th December, and speeches made by him in the pulpit next day, alleging that His Majesty was possessed with a devil, and after the outputting of that devil there joined the King seven devils, who were his Majesty's Council, saying at the same time as the sons have a frantic father it was right to bind him, so also it was right for the King's subjects to bind His Majesty. Welsh, having failed to appear, was denounced as a rebel. He was then about twenty-six years of age, and his wife (Knox's daughter) and he were transferred to Ayr. Being in Edinburgh at the time of the tumult, he preached in the High Church next day, when he expressed these extraordinary sentiments. The Lords and Senators of the College of Justice and the Commissaries of Edinburgh were, in consequence of this, required to remove their courts to Perth, and there administer justice to the lieges, intimation to be made at the Mercat Cross of the chief burghs.


Return to Book Index Page