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Scotland, Social and Domestic
Church Discipline


At the Reformation, Presbyterian judicatories proceeded to occupy the position of the old Consistory Courts. They took cognizance of offences precisely similar, with the exception of such as "speaking evil of saints," and "the non-payment of offerings," or those which bore direct reference to the Catholic faith. Under the Presbyterian system, the Kirk-session exercised the functions of the Archdeacon's Commissary, and Presbyterian Synods and the General Assembly formed an appellate jurisdiction, similar to that which was exercised by the Archdeacons and Bishops and the Archbishop of St. Andrews. In renouncing the doctrinal errors of the Papacy, the Reformers unhappily did not abjure the intolerant spirit of those whose ecclesiastical system they had overthrown. An enactment was passed under their direction, that all who assisted in celebrating mass should be prosecuted criminally, and that those who were for the third time convicted of saying or hearing mass should be deprived of life. On the 21st May, 1563, John Hamilton, Archbishop of St. Andrews, was, along with forty-seven other persons, arraigned before the High Court of Justiciary on the charge of celebrating mass. The Archbishop was sentenced to imprisonment within "the castell of Edinburghe," "thair to remaine during our souerane ladies' plesour." Through the intercession of the Queen, he was liberated and restored to his archiepiscopate. He had formerly sentenced to the stake, for alleged heresy, Adam Wallace and Walter Mill; he now proceeded to endow a heritable executioner, in the hope that, on a revolution of affairs, he might be enabled to wreak summary vengeance upon his adversaries. But his hopes perished with the defeat of Queen Mary at the battle of Langside. He was then seized, and, at the instance of the Regent Lennox, ignominiously hanged.

For baptizing and marrying "in the fashion of the Papistry," Sir James Arthur, j a Romish priest, was tried before the Justiciary Court on the 17th March, 1562 ; he was "fylit," or convicted, but his punishment was left to the discretion of the Regent. John Knox relates that, in April, 1565, Sir John Carvet, a priest, having celebrated mass at Easter, was seized at Edinburgh. He was conducted to the Tolbooth, and being invested in his canonicals, was carried to the market cross, to which he was attached with ropes. He was kept for an hour in this position, and boys were encouraged to bespatter him with eggs. Next morning he was subjected to trial, and was sentenced to undergo a repetition of the punishment he had experienced without trial on the preceding day. He was bound to the cross for three of four hours, attended by the hangman, "while the boys were busy with egg-casting."

In October, 1563, Christian Pynkertoun, spouse of James Roger, and twenty-one others, were arraigned before the Justiciary Court on the charge of joining in the celebration of mass within the chapel of Holyrood. Before the same court, "Alexander Creychtoun, of Newhall," was arraigned, on the 29th December, 1572, "for herring of the sacramentis ministrat in Papisticall maner within his awin place of Newhall." Creychtoun was committed to the Tolbooth, and his friends adopted certain proceedings to prevent the forfeiture of his estate.

In September, 1613, the Justiciary Court banished Robert Philip and James Stewart, priests, for celebrating mass. "John Logane, portioner, at Restalrig," was at the same time, for " the wilfull hearing of ane Mess," subjected to the penalty of "ane thousand poundis." For maintaining the supremacy of the Pope, John Ogilvie, a Jesuit priest, was, on the 28th February, 1615, tried at Glasgow by a commission of the Privy Council, found guilty, and condemned to be hanged and quartered; the latter part of the sentence was remitted.William Douglas, eldest son of William, Earl of Angus, and David Graham, of Fintry, were tried before the Justiciary Court on the 19th May, 1591, on the charge that "they had declynit fra the trew and Christiane religioun, refuising to resorte to the preicheing of Godis worde." They were further charged that "be ressoning or dispersing of buikis or lettres, they had presumit to persuade his maiesteis subiectis to declyne fra the professioun of the trew religioun." Both the accused persons appeared, and the former bound himself by a cautioner, that within forty days he would leave the kingdom, and not return to it without the king's licence, "vnder the pane of ten thousand poundis." The sentence against Graham is not recorded.

In 1612, the Synod of Fife, which comprehended within its jurisdiction the counties of Fife, Perth, and Forfar, ordained the brethren to report the names of "non-communicantis." Among those "delated," the more notable were George, first Marquis of Huntly, and Francis, ninth Earl of Errol. The former owned large possessions, was married to the king's cousin, and was esteemed at court. He had long refused to conform to Presbyterianism, and he was now fortified in his resolution by his wife, whose father, Esme, Duke of Lennox, had, after much vacillation, at length embraced Episcopacy. The Earl of Errol had remained firm in his attachment to the Eomish faith, and on this account had suffered imprisonment and considerable loss of fortune. With respect to these noblemen, the Synod arrived at the following judgment:—

"Sept. 1612. Forasmeikle as all dealing that- the Kirk vnder takes against papistrie and the professoures thairof is vneffectual, sa lang as no ordour is takin with the principallis, viz., the Marqueis of Huntlie and the Earle of Errol, heirfor it is concludit that my Lord Archbishop sail direct ane supplicatioune to his Majestie fra this assemblie with all dew reverins, regraitting the evill that arysis and groweis in the countrey throch the oversyht granted to them, and craving that the Marqueis and his Lady (as thei quho ar gryt perverteris of vtheres) may both be removed from the countrey, and the Earl of Erroll committed to ane more fitt ward than heretofoir."

This deliverance was followed by the sentence of excommunication against both the noblemen, who were subjected to all the inconvenience of ecclesiastical outlawry. In a letter addressed to Sir Dudley Carleton, dated the 24th August, 1616, Sir Thomas Chamberlain thus writes:—"The Duke of Lennox is newly returned out of Scotland, whither he made a posting journey to reconvey the Marquis Huntley, who being (upon what occasion I know not) excommunicated by the Kirk in Scotland, came hither, and (much about the time I wrote to you last), at the consecration of the Bishop of Keith, was absolved at Lambeth by the Archbishop of Canterburie, and in the presence of five or seven bishops, and many other persons of good account, received the sacrament." The Earl of Errol withstood the sentence of the Church till 1617, when, on his publicly renouncing Popery, he was absolved.

In 1612, the Synod of Fife were engaged in negotiating with another nobleman for Nonconformity. Andrew, eighth Lord Gray, had professed himself willing to receive instruction in the Protestant doctrines, but had never found leisure to receive his ecclesiastical teachers. At length the Synod of Fife appointed four of their number "to wait on him at his residence, every Tuesday and Wednesday, for three months without intermission," on the condition that "the said Lord behave himself, induring the space above designed, dewtifullie in frequenting the kirk for heiring of the Word, and keep the tyme assigned to his lordship for conferens. And also that he bind and obleis himself induring the space foirsaid, that he sail nether heir masse, nor sett into his place, priest, Jesuit, or excommunicate papist." Sir Walter Ogilvie, of Findlater, and Sir Alexander Falconer, of Halkerston, presented themselves before the Synod, and became cautioners for his lordship's obedience. In April, 1613, the Archbishop of St. Andrews reported to the Synod that Lord Gray had submitted himself, and had taken the communion "in the paroche kirk of St. Androis." The Synod triumphed thus far; but in 1649, thirty-six years after his public acceptance of Protestantism, Lord Gray was discovered to be a rank Papist, and was excommunicated by the Commission of the General Assembly.

The Synod of Fife having adopted various measures to induce George Gordon, of Gicht, to abjure Popish errors without success, proceeded, in September, 1612, to renew and publish against him sentence of excommunication. "He has heretofoir," proceeds the minute, "giffen manifold declaratiounes of his wilfull and obstinate continowans in papistrie, and tried to illude the kirk;" therefore it was ordained " that the excommunicatioune be intimate of new in all the kirkes of this Synode, with straitt inhibitioune to any persone to resaitt him, and that evrie Exerceis sail try such as salbe found to failzie herein, and proceid against thame be the censuris of the kirk."

On the 22nd April, 1647, the Synod of Dumfries ordered intimation to be made from all the pulpits of their bounds, that sentence of excommunication had been passed upon John, Lord Herries, Dame Elizabeth Beaumont, Countess of Nithsdale, Dame Elizabeth Maxwell, Lady Herries, Dame Elizabeth Maxwell, elder, of Kirkconnell, and about thirty other persons.

In 1649, James, second Earl of Abercorn, was, on account of his Popish tendencies, excommunicated by the Commission of the General Assembly, and ordered to depart from the kingdom ; his Countess was, at the instance of the Church, subjected to three years' imprisonment at Edinburgh.

Some noblemen of high rank submitted in a struggle in which the issues were not doubtful. At a meeting of the Presbytery of Lesmahago, held on the 9th of May, 1644, the Duke of Hamilton, who had for seven years endeavoured to escape the meshes of that court, presented himself to the brethren, and offered "to subscrive the covenant in what manner the Presbiterie should enjoine." It is curious to remark that he is styled, in the records of Presbytery, Marquis of Douglas, though, the year before, he had been raised to ducal honours. The Duke did not prove faithful to his vow, and his infidelity having become the subject of further proceedings, the Presbytery, on the 7th January, 1647, caused him to acknowledge his offence upon his knees; he also consented to appear in his parish church of Douglas, there publicly to acknowledge his perversity.

The Duke of Hamilton was taken prisoner at the battle of Preston, and was executed at London on the 9th March, 1649. He was succeeded in his title and estates by his younger brother, William, who, with his Duchess, was arraigned before the Presbytery of Lanark, in 1650, for having renounced the Protestant faith. The Duke and Duchess, in order to avoid incessant molestation, consented to subscribe the covenant.

Those who countenanced the adherents of the Papacy were subjected to pains and penalties. In 1595, Gabriel Mercer was publicly rebuked for harbouring "ane excommunicate Papiste." In 1634, several burgesses of Dumfries were arraigned before the Privy Council for exercising hospitality towards certain Romish priests, ami being present at mass. They were punished with imprisonment. In September, 1615, William Sinclair, Robert Wilkie, and Robert Cruikshank, were tried before the Justiciary Courts, for having harboured Ogilvie, the Jesuit priest, who was executed during the spring of that year. The sentence of death being pronounced upon them, they were conducted to the scaffold, when the King's pardon was read to them; they were afterwards banished. At the same assize James Moffatt, a Jesuit priest, was, for "the tressonabill hearing of mass within this cuntrie twenty yeir syne or thairby," and for having further ventured, as a Jesuit, "to present himself within the realme," was sentenced to be "banischet his Maiestie's dominionnes, and nevir to returne againe within the samyn under the pane of deid. In August, 1622, Andro Hathoure, "burges of Glasgow/' and his wife, were convicted by the Court of Justiciary, for the tressonabill recept of George Mortimer, a Jesuit priest ; they were banischet furth of Scotland." In 1631, Sir John Ogilvy, of Craig, was imprisoned in Edinburgh Castle, and afterwards at St. Andrews, for " daily conversing " with members of the Romish Church.

Those persons who possessed Popish books, or accepted employment from priests or monks, were subjected to high censures. Shortly after the Reformation, David Calderwood, a citizen of Glasgow, was denied church privileges, owing to a copy of Archbishop Hamilton's Catholic Catechism having been found in his dwelling. At the same period another citizen of Glasgow was subjected to discipline for painting crucifixes. Henry Ross, another painter, was "delated" to the Presbytery of Glasgow, under the suspicion of his having accepted employment from Papists. He was acquitted "on emitting a declaration that he had not paynted the pictures of the Father, the Son, and the Haly Gaist, in ony houssis within this realme."

The General Assembly inhibited the publication of any work on the subject of religion before it had been approved by the "superintendent" of the province. In 1568, Thomas Bassandyne, the King's printer, was ordered to recall certain books published by him, as being unsuitable for general circulation. While suppressing an obnoxious literature, the General Assembly evinced a commendable zeal for the wide circulation of the Scriptures. Every reformed pastor entreated his wealthier parishioners to permit inquirers the use of their copies of the English Bible; and, in 1576, the Estates enacted, at the instance of the Church, that every householder worth 300 merks of yearly rent, and every yeoman or burgess worth £500 stock, should acquire a Bible and Psalm-book, under the penalty of ten pounds Scots. The Privy Council employed "searchers" to enforce the provisions of the Act. In 1579, the Geneva translation of the Scriptures was printed at Edinburgh; and, in the following year, the magistrates of that city issued a proclamation, commanding every householder to purchase a copy under certain penalties.

In procuring informations and enacting prosecutions against the adherents of the Romish Church, many unprincipled and worthless persons obtained congenial occupation. Soon after the Reformation, one Robert Drummond obtained the confidence of the Church on account of his activity in capturing priests and monks. From the promptitude with which he discharged his duties as a detective, he was familiarly styled "Doctor Handie." But Drummond secretly practised the worst vices. He was twice convicted of adultery. After his second conviction, which took place at Edinburgh, he was placed in the stocks, in the public street, and branded in the cheek. Overcome by the execrations of the populace, he drew his pocket-knife and plunged it into his heart. The family of Grierson of Lag possessed an especial aptitude for oppressing those who differed in religions sentiment from the party in power. In 1628, Sir William Grierson of Lag, at the instance of the Privy Council, went to New Abbey, and there apprehended two Komish priests, who were performing the rites of their religion. His grandson, Sir Robert Grierson, of Lag, executed, with equal zeal, the instructions of the Privy Council, in hunting down and slaughtering the adherents of the Presbyterian Church.

Though excluding titled ecclesiastics from offices in the Church, the early adherents of Scottish Presbyterianism avowed their desire to retain among their officebearers persons of noble rank and of civic arid territorial dignity. They made special provision that Town Councils and the Universities should send lay representatives to the General Assembly, and permitted Presbyteries to elect to that judicatory members of the laity along with their clerical representatives. Kirk-sessions were composed of the minister and the principal heritors, or landowners, and the more substantial tenantry. These explanations are made in order to satisfy the reader, that the Presbyterian clergy were not solely responsible for a course of procedure which, in these more enlightened times, can only be regarded with abhorrence or regret.

Next to the idolatrous practices of the Church of Rome, the Scottish Reformers ranked the crime of sorcery or witchcraft. Indictments against witches were presented chiefly by Kirk-sessions, who recompensed "witch-finders," remunerated "watchers," and procured commissions from the Privy Council for the condemnation of the accused. The destruction of a witch on the day of rest was deemed a sanctifying of the Sabbath. About the year 1650, the Kirk-session records of Glammis report that on a particular Sunday public ordinances were omitted, on account of the minister being absent at the execution of a witch.

The ecclesiastical authorities at Aberdeen were early conspicuous in their efforts for the extirpation of sorcery. Consequent on their strong representation, James VI., in 1596, appointed a commission for " haulding justice courtis on witches " at Aberdeen. The following "dittays," or indictments, preferred at this commission against certain of the accused seem worthy of recital. The " ittay " against Isabell Richie proceeds :—

"Thou art indyttit for the being at the two devylische dances, betwixt Lumphanand and Craigleanche with unquhill Margaret Bane upon alhallowevin last, quhair thou conferritt with the Dewyll, and at that time thou ressauit thyne honours fra the Dewyll, thy maister, and were appoynted by him in all tymes thaireafter his special domestic servant and furriour, quhilk thou can nocht deny."

Margaret Og is thus accused,—"Thou art indyttit as a notorious witche, for the bewitching of unquhill Agnes Pvoss, Lady Auckinhuiff, in manner following, to wit: the said unquhill Agnes having bocht a schowder of muttoun fra Johne Dryer, at the nrilue of Auckinhueff in the moneth of Marche, four scoir fyftene yeris, and the said unquhill Agnes having brocht the said schowder to the houss of Bertrix Rebbie, thy dochter, compartner with thee in all thy deuilische practizes, quhair the said unquhill Agnes tareit all that night, thou and thy dochter tuk out thrie grippis out of the middist of the said schowder, and causit rost the same upon the morn quhilk being rosted, and the said unquhill Agnes eating thereof, scho instantly contractit a deadlie disease, quhairin scho continowet the space of thrie quarteres of a yere, the ane halff of the day burning as giff it had been in a fyrie fornace, and the other halff of the day melting away in a caulds weyte, qurof scho at last departed this lyff, and this thou can nocht deny, for the said unquhill Agnes immediately befoir her departure left the wyet on the and thy said dochter."

The "dittay" against Margaret Clerk includes the following charge:—"Thou art accusit, that being desyrit by Alexander Cultis att the mylne of Auch-lassin, to cum to him, quho had then ane cow caffit and the said cow wald na ways suffer hir calff to souk hir, nether wald the cow taik with the calff, bot contineulie repynet and strak the sam, thou said then to the said Alexander, I sail remeid this, and sail gar the cow to taik with the calff, and the calff souk the cow. And immediatlie thairefter, thou passin in the byre quhair the calff and cow was, and wald not suffer the said Alexander nor hys wyff gang in the byre with the, nor no other, but put them all out except thy selffe allone, and thair by thy devilische sorcerie and inchantment after thou had sitten downe in the stane before the cowis head, thou gave ane devilische low and terible voice, quhair throu the haill houss tremblit and schaick, and hnniediatlie the cow taik with the calff and the calif with the cow, and soukit hir ; and throu the quhilk terrible cry and deuilische grayn by the at the time aforesaid, the wyiif of the said Alexander being ex-ceedinglie affraugit and terrifiet tuik and contractit immediatelie ane deidlie sickness be thy sorcerie, and was never curyt thereof quill scho departit this lyff."

In 1623, the Kirk-session of Perth petitioned the Privy Council respecting three persons whom they charged with witchcraft. The accused were thereupon tried by a commission, condemned, and executed. We subjoin a portion of the preliminary evidence, as recorded in the Kirk-session minute-book.

Respecting Margaret Hornscleuch, it was deponed that she came to the dwelling of Alexander Mason, and having seen his wife who was sick, she requested that south-running water should be brought from the Tay, the bearer to be silent both in going and returning, and to hold the mouth of the water-vessel towards the north. That she washed Mason's wife with the water, and afterwards placed her "in a bath of great meal," and that the patient forthwith was restored, and arose and supped with her. That she cured Marjory Lamb, by washing her with south-running water, and rubbing her arms with fresh butter. That she had restored milk to the cow of Robert Christie, from Ruthven, by causing "a peck of draff" to be placed before the cow, "in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost." That she had restored milk to the cow of Andrew Louraine, in Myreside, "by mumbling some words over a firlot of ' draff;'" that sending Andrew to his house, she bid him cut the cow's leg, and mix the blood with the draff, which he did, and the cow gave milk. That Patrick Auchenleck having become ill at the plough she was sent for to cure him ; and that " she commanded him to be washed with south-running water, and bathed in black wool and butter."

Concerning Isobel Haldane, the evidence bore that "she cured Andrew Duncan's bairn by bringing water from the burn at Turret Port, and therewith washing the bairn in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost." Being asked whether she had any intercourse "with the fairy folk," Isobel answered, that, " ten years since, when she was lying in her bed, she was taken forth, whether it was by God or by the Devil she knows not, and carried to a hill-side, when the hill opened and she entered. That she staid there three days, to wit, from Thursday till Sunday at twelve hours, when a man with a grey beard came to her, and brought her forth again. That she made three several cakes, every one of them being made of nine curn of meal, which had been gotten from nine women that were married maidens; that she made a hole in the crown of every one of them, and put a bairn through every cake three times in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; and that there were women present who put the same bairns thrice backwards through every cake, using the same words. Then she went silent to the Well of Ruthven, and returned silent, bringing water from thence to wash John Gow's bairn; that when she took the water from the well, she left a part of the bairn's sark at it, which she took with her to that effect; and that when she came home again she washed the bairn with the water."

With regard to the charge against Janet Traill, it was sworn that Janet Barry brought her bairn to her, and told her that it started in the night. That she told the mother that the bairn had gotten a dint of ill-wind, and directed her to cause two persons to go down to south-running water, and bring as much of it as would wash the bairn, and that they should be dumb when bringing the water ; and that, after the bairn was washed, they should carry back again the water with the bairn's sark, and cast them into the place where the water had been taken up. She further directed her to bathe the bairn with black wool and butter. That she got a shot star at the burnside, and sent it in with black wool; and that after the cure was used the child was healed. That Duncan Jarvis and Isobel Haldane came to her at her house in Black Ruthven, and Duncan told that he thought his bairn was taken away, it being stiff as an aik tree and unable to move; that having heard this, she promised to come in and see the bairn. That when she came in she took the bairn upon her knee before the fire, and drew the fingers of its hands, and every toe of its feet, mumbling all the while some words that could not be heard, and immediately the bairn was cured. Being asked where she learned her skill, she deponed: 'When I was lying in childbed, I was drawn forth from my bed to a dub near my house door in Dunning, and was there puddled and troubled.' Being asked by whom this was done, she answered, ' By the fairy folks, who appeared, some of them red, some of them grey, and riding upon horses. The principal of them that spake to me was like a bonny white man, riding upon a grey horse. He desired me to speak of God, and to do good to poor folks; and he showed me the means how I might do this, which was, by washing, bathing, speaking words, putting sick persons through hasps of yarn, and the like."

Having consigned those healers by enchantment to the flames, the Kirk-session of Perth next proceeded against those who superstitiously consulted them. These were sentenced to appear in the parish church during the morning service, "clothed in black, and standing under the bell-strings."

The Presbytery of St. Andrews took a deep concern in the suppression of witchcraft. In the records of that Court such entries as the following are not unfrequent:—

"Nov. 15th, 1643.—Mr. Robert Blair, Mr. Colein Adams, Mr. Robert Traill, and Mr. James Wood * are appointed to goe to Craill on Tysday, and attend the execution of some witches, and give ther advyce to the Judges concerning the delations against others, if they may be apprehended and tryed."

In 1649, an insane woman in the parish of Crawford-Douglas accused as witches twelve of her neighbours. The information was received by the Presbytery of Lanark, who ordered " George Cathie, the pricker, to find out the marks." Cathie reported that he "did prik pinnes in everie ane of them, and in diverse of them without paine the pinne was put in, as the witnesses can testifie." On this report the Presbytery were satisfied concerning the guilt of all the accused, and appointed watchers to keep them awake till their trial by a commission. The Presbytery also determined that the cost of the watchers should not entirely fall upon the parish of Crawford-Douglas, but that "each paroch should proportionablie to their quantity furnish twelve men every twenty-four houris." It is to be hoped that the watchers were more humane than the spiritual watchmen by whom they were employed. The lunacy of the informant became so apparent, that, notwithstanding the testimony of Cathie and his accomplices, the women were acquitted and restored to their homes.

Some of the parochial clergy undertook, in the absence of "the prickers," to discover "the Devil's mark." In 1650, Mr. John Aird, minister of Stow, informed his Kirk-session that " he had thrust ane priene (pin) to the heid in the pannel's schoulder, she noways shrinking thereat." Soon after, the reverend gentleman and his elders despatched to Jedburgh William Mader, parish schoolmaster and session-clerk, there to purchase a haircloth " for the persons apprehended for witchcraft, to help to bring them to a confession."

Divorce courts were unneeded ; a gratuity to the pricker accomplished all. The Kirk-session records of Stow contain the following:—

"July 28, 1630.—The qlk day Wm. Leyis was content yt his wyf be weardit in Lauder or elseqr., and yt she be tryed over again be jobing or be anie uther examination, and obleiged himself to present her on Monenday at xii. at Lauder."

In July and August, 1648, the Kirk-session of Dunfermline were occupied in considering the case of William Crichton, "a vagrant beggar," who was "under ane ill report as a warlok." The charge rested on the statement of Mause Hutchons, in Mylburn, who alleged that, having refused Crichton a night's lodgings, he had threatened him that "he should not rew it ones bot ever," and that "thereafter he (Maus) contracted a heavie sicknes and a continuall sweating." Crichton, on being brought before the Session, denied the charge, but, being afterwards "strait" He posed and dealt with be the ministers and watchers," he confessed that "he had made a paction with the Devill to be his servant 24 yeires and more since." He was tried and burnt.

Those who trafficked in charms were punished with severity, but not fatally. In January, 1628, the Kirk-session of Stirling deliberated on a case of charming, which is set forth in these words :—

"The quhilk day compeared Margaret Donaldsoune, spous to James Forsythe, and being accused of the brethren for giving ane sark of her bairnis to Helen Syngar to tak to Margaret Cuthbert in Garlickcray for to charme the same; the said Margaret Donaldsoune confessed that schoe gave her the sark and the said Helen Syngar confessed thatscohetuikit to that Margaret Cuthbert, intending to have it charmed, but denyes that it was charmed at all, becaus the said Margaret Cuthbert refused. Therefair the breatherein orderis the said persounes, to witt, Margaret Donaldsoune for giuing of the baimes sark, and Helen Syngar for receav-ing of it, to sitt togidder upon the seat quhair the breakers of the Sabbathe sitts, and make than publick repentance upon thair kneis befoir the congregatione."

On the 30th April, 1633, the Kirk-session of Stirling-were again engaged with a case of charming. The minute proceeds:—'The quhilk day compeirit Margaret Chapman, spous to Johne Bennet, and being accused be Agnes Kennie, spous to Andrew Bell, wabster in Stirling, for taking of hir milk from out of hir breist, schoe having abundance thairof, be unlawful! means, and laying of sickness upon hir and hir bairne, as the said Agnes Rennie alledges; the said Margaret Chapman confest that schoe learned of ane Margaret Dundie in Sanct Johnstone, quhen any woman lost hir milk, to cause the woman's bairne that wants the milk, to suck ane uther woman who hes milk in hir breist; becaua ane greidie eye or hart tuik the milk from the woman that wants the milk; and that schoe learned be Margaret Downie, spous to Thomas Burne, smith in Stilling, to nipe the woman's clothes who had the breist of milk, and be so doing the milk would returne agane to the woman that wanted it; and swa accordinglie the said Margaret Chapman confessed that schoe practised the samyne, and caused her bairne to suck Agnes Rennie, and that the said Margaret Chapman nipped Agnes Rennie's apron," &c. Margaret Chapman was censured and "humbled" for her offence.

On the 10th July, 1623, Bessie Smythe confessed before the Presbytery of Lesmahago, that she had been guilty of "charming of the heart feavers." Her patients "knelt and socht thair health for Godes saik," when "she appoyntit them the wayburne leaf (plantain) to be eaten nyne morningis." Her charm was in these words :—

"For Gode's saik
For Sanct Spirit
For Sanct Arkit
For the nyne maidens that dyed into the
Buirtie in the Ledywell hank;
This charme to he heuk and bell to me
God that sua he."

Bessie was left to the discipline of the Kirk-session of her parish.

The Ki-rk-session of Perth, in May, 1631, reprimanded Laurence Beck and his wife for using charms in the cure of sores. The offenders acknowledged that they had uttered these rhymes :—

"Thir sairs are risen through God's wark,
And must he laid through God's help,
The mother Mary and her dear Son
Lay thir sores that are begun."

In December, 1643, the Kirk-session of Markinch extorted from Janet Brown that, in healing ailing bestial, she spoke as follows:—

"Our Lord forth raid,
His foalies foot staid,
Our Lord down lighted,
His foalies foot righted,
Saying flesh to flesh, blood to blood,
And bone to hone.
In our Lorde's name."

The kingly prerogative of touching for the cure of scrofula was, in 1643, assumed by John Morris, a parishioner of Carnbee, Fifeshire, on the ground that he was "the seventh sonne of a woman." What success attended his practice is not recorded, but his using the charm of "takeing vpon him to heall the cruelles by touching them" subjected him to church discipline. The Kirk-session records of Humbie, East Lothian, contain the following details relative to the "charming of kine."

"Sept. 23, 1649.—The which day Agnes Gourlay being questioned anent the charming of kine, deponed as follows : That about three years since Anna Symp-sone, then servant to Robert Hepburne, of Keith, could not please the milk of their kine, for it gave no creame; and the said Agnes said, ' Can you not cast some of it over into the grass, for they say to ane by word, God betack ws to, they are under the yird that have as much neede of it as they that are above the yird.' Confesses how shee went and saw the milk, and it was no ways altered as shee thought; hereafter shee went with them to the milking of the kine herselfe, but remembered not whether shee did milk the kine or not; but confesses shee did cast over the milk into the grass herselfe, and said, ' God betak ws to, there may be they are under the ea.rthe that have as much neede of it as they that are above the yird.' Grants likewise shee did put salt and wheat bread into the cow's lugs. Being posed where shee gat the wheat bread, and how long it was betuixt the time she did cast the milk into the grass and the puting of the salt and bread into the cow's lugs, answered, That Anna Sympsone and Rachell Forrester brought it from Hadingtone, and that it was that day, or else the day after, betuixt the casting of the milk into the grass and putting of the salt into the cow's lugs, and that at the same time Anna Sympsone and Rachell Forrester were present. Being asked who did learne her, answered, she heard it of ane going man. The Session, taking to consideration her deposition, referred her to the Presbiterie." The Presbytery ordained Agnes Gour-lay "to mak publick repentance in sackcloth."

The Kirk-session of Auchterhouse, on the 9th July, 1646, appointed a fast to be held, "because of the scandal of witches and charmers in the district;" and for the further reason that some neighbouring congregations had "long been starved by dry-breasted ministers."

In 1653, Bessie Chapman appeared before the Kirk-session of 't)unino, Fifeshire, on the charge of "consulting with witches." She declared that "ane day there came up to her twa beggar wyves, and told her she had ane hard weird ; that there was witchcraft cast on her husband before he died, and that the said witchcraft was casten within three foot of her doore." "The weird wyves," she added, "came into her house and got milk, they bringing with them three eggs, which she did seeth to them." They then told her "they would show her a way how to remove the ill which was casten for her, if she would do the thing they bade her." She said "she delivered herself to God." One of the women called for a straw out of her bed, and they cast the straw into the fire, saying thus:—"All your sorrow goe with it." They next sought "water in a copp," and "her holiday coat, hose, and shoes." They "took her blew coat, and held it above the water, and the water turned into blood." She gave them a " foure-shillen piece, which they laid in a napkin, and tooke with them." The Kirk-session referred Bessie Chapman to the Presbytery, who decreed that she should appear before the pulpit in sackcloth.

"Turning the riddle" was a charm for the discovery of theft. The nature of this charm is set forth by 'Reginald Scott, in his " Discoverye of Witchcraft," published in 1575. He writes: — "Sticke a paire of sheeres in the rind of a sive, and let two persons set the top of each of their forefingers upon the upper part of the sheers, as holding it with the sive up from the ground sedelie, and ask Peter and Paul whether A, B, or C, hath stole the thing lost, and at the nomination of the guilty person, the sive shall turne round."

On the 26th November, 1626, the Kirk-session of Stow considered a case in connexion with "turning the riddle." James Ormiston having missed sixteen shillings, waited "upon Isobel Oeghorne, in the Stowe," who, on "turning the riddle," assured him that George Pringle, in the Torquhan, was the thief. Pringle repudiated the charge, and brought Ormiston before the Session, to answer for his calumny. Ormiston was penitent, withdrew the imputation, and readily consented to submit to the decree of the court, which was that "next Sabbath, in presence of the congregation, he should acknowledge his offence to God, and his offence to George Pringle, as also to pay twentie shillings to the poore."

In 1709, the Kirk-session of Kilmorie, Isle of Bute, deliberated on a case of charming. The circumstances are thus set forth:—

"Janet Hunter, being formally summoned and called, compeared, and being questioned anent the report that was given forth on her, that she used a charm for the discovery of theft, by 'turning the riddle,' she plainly confessed that she did use it; and being further interrogate, what words she used, she replied, that she used no words ; and being asked if she did not say, ' by Peter, by Paul, it was such a person,' she replied that she did use these words, and none else; and being farther interrogate, if the riddle did turn at the naming of any of those persons suspected, she replied that it did actually turn at the naming of one; and being interrogate farther, who employed her, she replied it was Barbara McMurchie, in the same town ; and she being farther interrogate, if she had any other body with her at the said exorcise, she replied that there was one Florence McDonald, servitrix to Hector McAlister, who was holding the side of the shears with her. She being farther interrogate, if she thought there was any fault or sin in it, she replied that she thought there was none in it, seeing she used no bad words; and she being farther interrogate, if she knew who it was that turned the riddle, she answered that she did not know, bat declared it was not she, nor the other who held it with her, so far as she knew; and it being told her that if neither of them two turned it, that it behoved to be either God or the devil that turned it; to which she replied that she did not think it was God, and she hoped it was not the devil; wherefore the minister laboured to convince her of the horrid sin of this hellish art, and the heinousness of it, and how she had gone to the devil to get knowledge of secret things, and how she might be guilty of blaming innocent persons, and exhorting her to lay her sin to heart and repent. She was removed, and the Session taking her confession into consideration, with the hatefulness of the wicked practice, and, after mature deliberation, having the advice of the Presbytery on the like affair, they do unanimously appoint her to make her compearance before the congregation three several Sabbaths, to give evidence of her repentance; and for the terror of others that use such arts, they refer her to the civil magistrate, to be punished as shall be thought fit by him, either corporally or pecunially; and she being called in again, this was intimate unto her."

The superstitious practice of frequenting wells dedicated to saints called forth the frequent exercise of ecclesiastical discipline. Christ's Well, near the village of Doune, Perthshire, greatly reputed for its healing virtues, was held to be especially remedial during the Sundays of May. To prevent "pilgrimages" being made to it in May, the Kirk-sessions of the neighbourhood made persistent but fruitless efforts. The following deliverance on the subject was passed by the Kirk-session of Falkirk in 1628 :—

"It is statute and ordained that if any person or persons be found superstitiously and idolatrously after this to have passed in pilgrimage to Christ's Well, on the Sundays of May, to seek their health, that they shall repent in sacco * and linen three several Sabbaths, and pay twenty lib.t toties quoties, for ilk fault; and if they cannot pay it, the baillie shall be recommended to put them in ward, and to be fed on bread and water for aught days."

In 1652, the Kirk-session of Auchterhouse dealt with a woman for carrying her child to a well in May. The minute is curious:—

"Sunday, 2nd May, 1652.—Margaret Robertsonne was brought before the court for carrying her child to the Kirktowne Well, and washing her daughter's eyes, saying,—

'Fish beare fine, and fulle beare gall;
All ye ill of my bairn's eyen ye will fall.'

Being accusit of this, confessit shoe did so, and that Janet Fyffe learned her; for ye qlk. ye minister is to acquaint the Presbyterie of it before shoe be further examined."

The well at Strathill, near Muthill, like the more reputed fountain of St. Fillan, in Strathearn, was believed to cure persons afflicted with lunacy. An insane woman at Airth, Stirlingshire, having been conducted to Strathill for cure, Mr. Drummond, minister of Muthill, sought information on the subject from Mr. Forsyth, minister at Stirling. Mr. Forsyth's letter in reply will be read with some interest :—

"March 16, 1663.—I received a letter from you, to be communicat to the minister at Airth, anent ane Agnes Sympson, who was brought to your well at Strathill. I obeyed your desire in the face of the Presbytery. The minister hath called the man who conveyed that woman before his Session, and, upon Wednesday last, they appeared before our Presbytery. All of them, being four, two of them named James Mitchels, and two John Sympsons, friends of the woman, did freely confess that they had taken that woman to the well; that they had stayed two nights at an house hard by the well ; that the first night they did bind her to a stane at the well, but she came into the house to them, being loosed without their help. The second night they bound her over again to that same stane, and she returned loosed. And they declare also that she was very mad before they took her to the well, and since that time she is working and sober in her wits. The Presbytery hath required me to give you an account of their diligence, and to desire what further ye require to be done. And they do intreat you to let them know what course the Church hath used to take in the like case, and what censure was inflicted upon such delinquents?"

In 1695, the Presbytery of Penpont consulted the Provincial Synod respecting a superstition which largely prevailed as to the virtues of the Dow Loch. The Synod ordered the Presbytery to denounce the practice of making pilgrimage to the loch, from every pulpit in their bounds.

From the Reformation downwards the observance of festival days has been prohibited by the Church. In January, 1573, the Kirk-session of St. Andrews sentenced certain persons to make "open satisfaction for observing Zuill day," and ordained that Sunday only "sould be kept holyday." In 1605, the Kirk-session of Dundonald examined John Wyllie on the charge of " nott yoking his plough on Zuill day." He escaped censure by declaring that he was at the " smiddie, laying and mending the pleuch yernes."

By an Act passed on the 13th February, 1645, the General Assembly prohibited "masters of schools and colleges" from granting Yule as a holiday, under the pain of high censures. The Assembly further resolved that any school children or college students, who, by the superstitious observance of festival days, should violate the rules of the Church, should not be again received, unless on submission, into any schools or colleges within the kingdom.

On the 26th December, 1683, the Kirk-session of Glasgow ordained five persons to make public repentance because they had observed Yule, and the bakers of the city were warned to discontinue the practice of baking " Yule bread."

Certain recreative practices anciently observed at Christmas were condemned by the reformed clergy. Soon after the Reformation, the Kirk-session of Aberdeen ordained that Christmas mask-balls should be stopped, and that those who engaged in them should be subjected to discipline. Early in the seventeenth century, the Kirk-session of Ayr prohibited a Christmas game, named "Lady Templeton." The nature of this game has not been ascertained.

An ancient custom of extinguishing fires on Midsummer eve was obnoxious to the Church. On the 24th June, 1647, the Presbytery of St. Andrews consulted the Provincial Synod, in order to more forcible methods being enacted for its suppression.

Prior to the Reformation, Sunday was kept sacred only during the hours of worship. It was held to commence on Saturday evening at six, and to terminate on the following evening at the same hour. This method of reckoning the beginning and close of Sunday continued long after the establishment of the Reformed Church. The Kirk-session of Glasgow approved the method by a deliverance in 1590, but, in 1640, they determined that Sunday should commence and close according to the present system.

So long as Sunday was held to close at 6 p.m., the remainder of the evening was appropriated to merrymaking. The links at St. Andrews were covered with golfers; theatres were thrown open ; buffoons collected crowds to listen to their coarse wit; morrice-dancers performed; sports of all kinds were prosecuted.

Marketing was conducted on Sunday in cathedral closes and within the precincts of the monasteries. The practice doubtless arose from a desire to provide refreshment for those who came from a distance to attend the Sunday services of the religious houses.

The reformers experienced difficulty in checking these abuses. The Kirk-session of St. Andrews decreed, in 1599, that whoso was found golfing during the time of divine service, should, for the first offence, pay ten shillings; twenty shillings for the second; for the third, should be placed on the repentance pillar; and, for the fourth, should be deprived of office. In 1606, the Kirk-session of Ayr dealt with nine persons for practising secular amusements on the Sunday. Seven of the number had played "at ye nine-hole," and two "at cappieshell,"—the latter having aggravated their offence by making their sport within "ye walls o' ye kirke." A defaulting piper was thus warned by the Presbytery of Glasgow, in a deliverance passed on the 30th April, 1594:—"The Presbyterie of Glasgow statutes and ordenis that gif Mungo Craig sail playe on his pypes on the Sondaye fra the sunrising till the sun going to, in ony place within the bounds of the Presbyterie, that he incontinent thereafter sail be summarlie excommunicato'

In their efforts to suppress Sunday trading, the reformed clergy encountered a determined resistance. In 1596, the Presbytery of Meigle complained to the Privy Council that the inhabitants of Strathmore had positively refused to abandon marketing on the Sabbath. The Town Council of Aberdeen, in 1598, framed a scale of penalties against Sunday trading, so formidable in amount that the practice was subdued. In certain districts small marketings on Sundays were long continued. So lately as 1848, fruits and sweetmeats were sold to Sunday visitors at Cambuskenneth Abbey, Stirlingshire.

Miracle plays proved serviceable to the promoters of the Reformation by the ridicule cast by these celebrations on the corrupt lives of the Romish priesthood. The reformers therefore permitted plays to be acted in provincial theatres at the close of the statutory Sunday, adopting measures to prevent unseemly accompaniments. On the 21st July, 1574, the Kirk-session of St. Andrews gave license " to play the comedy mentioned in St. Luke's Evangel of the forlorn son, upon Simday, the 1st day of August next to come," such license being accompanied with the proviso that the play should be "revised by the minister, the provost of St. Salvador's College, and the principal of St. Leonard's College," and further, that "the performance should not interfere with the hours of divine worship." In the year following, Sunday plays were denounced by the same Kirk-session, as "expresslie forbidden by Act of Parliament."

On the 16th March, 1627, nine millers at Stow, in Mid-Lothian, appeared before the Kirk-session of that parish, and owned that " their milnes did gang on the Sabbath in tyme of divine service." They were sentenced to make public repentance, and each to pay a penalty of "fourtie shillings." They were further prohibited from causing their milnes to gang on the Sabbath, from eight hours in the morning till four hours in the afternoon." In 1644, the Kirk-session of Dunino, Fifeshire, ordained Alexander Colme, "for causing his mylne to grind upon the former Lord's day," to make public repentance, and "to pay in mulct thirty shillins."

The securing of grain on Sunday during a late harvest was not acknowledged as a work of necessity, for, on the 18th November, 1641, Alexander Russell, farmer in Wester Balrymont, was, along with his female servant, arraigned before the Kirk-session of St. Andrews, on the charge of "leading corn on Sabbath evening." Russell and his maid were ordained to "crave God's mercy on their knees before the Session," and "to pay 40s. penalty." The penalty "was given to ane Gordon, a distressed woman come from Ireland."

On the 24th July, 1627, the Kirk-session of Stirling ordained Jhone Heggie "for breaking of the Sabbath be basking his netts, to mak his repentance the next Sabbath." It was further ruled that "gif he or any uther be found guiltie of ye lyk offence, that is to say, ayther shutting thair cobbles, or basking thair netts,or mending thair netts, from Saturday at twal hours at even to Sonday at twal hours at even, they sail pay fourtie shillings and mak thair public repentance."

For "watering her kaill on the Sabbath," Margaret Brotherstone was sentenced, by the Kirk-session of Humbie, in June, 1644, "to give evidence in publick of her repentance next Lord's day." In September, 1666, the Kirk-session of Dunfermline ordained two persons, for gathering nuts on Sunday, "to sit doun on their knees before the Session, to seek pardon of God." The Kirk-session of Melrose, in September, 1703, sentenced George Penman and Stephen Belman, for gathering nuts on the Sabbath, "to be rebuked in presence of the congregation." One of the heaviest sentences for Sunday desecration which we have remarked, was passed on a woman by the Kirk-session of Crail, in August, 1648. "For seething bark on Sunday," she was ordained "to be jagged three several Sabbaths," and the last day "to make her repentance before the pulpit."

Many offences against the Sabbath, of a trivial character, were visited with severity. A parishioner of Birse, Aberdeenshire, was subjected to censure for "holling (digging) beesbykes on the Sabbath." The Kirk-session of Humbie, in May, 1649, cited Robert Romanes " for playing at the bullets on Sabbath." The Kirk-session of Dunfermline, in December, 1683, caused John Thomson, a joiner, to stand before the congregation, "for making a dead kist on Sunday." In March, 1664, the Town Council of Dumfries enacted that "persons walking idly from house to house, and gossipping on Sabbath, should, for each offence, pay thirty shillings to the kirk treasurer for the use of the poore." William Howatson was, on the Oth May, 1652, ordained, by the Kirk-session of Stow, "to humble himself before the session, and crave God's mercy, for having, on the Sunday previous, walked a short distance to see his seik mother."

Sunday tippling was rigorously punished. On the 26th April, 1668, three persons were, for "drinking a chapon of aill" on the Sunday preceding, sentenced, by the Kirk-session of Port of Menteith, "to sit bair headit beffore the pulpit, and after sermon to acknowledge their scandal on their knees." On the 27th May, 1647, the Presbytery of Cupar considered a remit from the parish of Abdie, in the case of David Blyth, who had made a shooting excursion on a preceding Sunday. Their deliverance was in these words,—"David Blyth, in the paroche of Ebdie (for shedding of blood on the Sabbath day), is appoynted to stand at the kirke doore of Ebdie, Sonday next,'barefooted and bareheadit, with the gun in his hand wherewith the blood was shedde, untill the last bell, and thairafter to sitt before the pulpitt the tyme of sermon, and after sermon to acknowledge and confesse vpon his knees his sin, and then be received."

Youths who desecrated the Sabbath were whipped. The Kirk-session of St. Andrews, in May, 1649, sentenced a young man who had broken the Sunday, "to be scourged in the Tolbooth by ane of the town officers, at the sight of the magistrates." On the 25th February, 1685, the Kirk-session of Dunfermline ordained two apprentices, " being lookit upon by the Session as twa of the perversest knaves in all the burgh for Sabbath breaking," to be whipped before them, and then confined "in the bell-house."

For some time after the Reformation, marriages were solemnized on Sunday as well as on other days. The practice of marrying on Sunday began to be discountenanced; it was latterly prohibited. In 1630, the Kirk-session of Abercrombie, in Fife, passed the following decree:—"Heirefter none shall be married on the Sabbath except they pay to the use of the poor 58s., and oblige themselves to keep good order." In "discharging absolutlie any marriage to be solemnized upon the Lord's day," the six Kirk-sessions of Edinburgh, in November, 1643, specified that they did not hold "the thing unlawful in itself, but because it occasioneth profanation of the Lord's day by such as must be employed for preparation of necessaries thereto, as baxters and cooks." In these words did the Presbytery of St. Andrews discountenance the interment of the dead on Sunday,—"March 8, 1648. Whereas there is a superstitious practice of makeing graves upon the Lord's day, quhen it may be convenientlie eschewed the Presbyterie do appoint that no graves be made vpon the Lord's day, bot in case of urgent necessitie allowed by the minister and session."

Attendance on ordinances was enforced by penalties, along with the usual censures. The Kirk-session of Aberdeen decreed, in 1568, that every one absent from divine service should pay sixpence for each offence; a penalty of two shillings being exacted from elders and deacons. Thirty years afterwards, the Town Council of Aberdeen enacted that every burgess and his wife should attend church on Sunday, under the penalty of thirteen shillings and fourpence for each violation of the law.

On the 22nd of October, 1588, the Kirk-session of the united parishes of Anstruther, Kilrenny, and Pit-ten weem, ordained that "the maister and mistress of every house and sa many as are of years and judgment (except when need requireth otherwise) sail be present in the kirk in due time every Sabbath, to hear the sermon before and after noon, under pain of 12 pence the first fault, two shillings the second, and, for the third, five shillings, and toties quoties thereafter."

Paupers were strictly enjoined to attend service in their parish churches. In August, 1570, the Kirk-session of St. Andrews resolved that the deacons should withhold alms from such poor persons as did "not frequent sermons, public prayers, examination and communion, present their bairns to baptism, say the Lord's Prayer, the believe, and the commandments, or at least sail learn the same within ane month." In 1615, the Kirk-session of Lasswade, Mid-Lothian, enacted that "all persons attend the kirke or be punished, gentlemen to be damnified in 6s. 8d. Scots, men in 3s. 4d., servants in twenty pennies." The penalties for non-attendance varied in different localities. The Kirk-session of Dunino, Fifeshire, ordained, in 1643, that "whosoever shall be found absent from the hearing of the Word on the Lord's day, shall for the first fault mak publict repentance and pay twa shillings, and for the second fault pay four shillings, and toties quoties thereafter."

In administering discipline for non-attendance on ordinances, the church dealt with an impartial hand. No rank was spared. In 1660, Sir Ludovick Gordon, of Gordonstown, was indicted before the Synod of Moray, for withdrawing himself from ordinances, and refusing to submit to discipline. The Synod reported him to the Estates of Parliament, who imposed upon him the heavy penalty of £3,600 Scottish money. The fine was paid in two instalments.

Attendance at the communion-table was insisted on ; the neglect was punished rigorously. In 1603, the Kirk-session of Aberdeen resolved to distrain the goods of certain persons who had contumaciously absented themselves from the communion. The resolution is in these words:—"May 22, 1603.—The quhilk day the session ordainis sic of the inhabitants of Futtie as come not to the communion for be poyndit to the doubill of the unlaw that they were poyndit for befoir, as relaps in disobedience, becaus the communion wes of new agane ministered and publiclie intimat." The edict was carried out rigidly. At Dunfermline, in December, 1645, Helen Walker "made repentance no hir knees" before the Kirk-session for "not communicating at the Lord's table."

While prohibiting the holidays and festivals of the ancient Church, the Scottish Presbyterian reformers appointed fasts and thanksgiving days, which were invested with the sacredness of Sunday. The Kirk-session of Dunfermline, in December 1641, fined John Smart, flesher, eight marks, for having " pott on a rost at his fire ye last fasting day." In the larger burghs, week-day services were held at the- parish churches every Wednesday and Friday. No work was permitted on these days at the hours appropriated to worship, and those who neglected to attend were debarred from the communion.

The Kirk-session exercised a strict espionage over every member of the congregation. When the parish was large, members of Session, or the magistrates under their direction, watched in turn. In 1574, the Kirk-session of St. Andrews passed the following edict:—

"For good order to be observed in convening to hear the word of God upon the Sabbath-day, and other days in the week when the word of God is preached, as well as of the students within colleges as inhabitants of this city, and others in the parish, the seat (session) has ordained captors (searchers) to be chosen to visit the whole toun, according to the division of the quarters, and to that effect every Sunday there shall pass a bailie and elder, two deacons and two officers, armed with their halberts, and the rest of the bailies and officers to be in attendance, to assist to apprehend transgressors, to be punished according to the acts of the Kirk." In 1583, the Kirk-session of Perth decreed that an elder "should pass through his district every Sunday forenoon, and note those that are in taverns, baxter's booths, or on the gaits, that every one of them that is absent from the kirk may be poindit for twenty shillings, according to the Act of Parliament." The Kirk-session of Glasgow ordained, in 1600, that "the deacons of the crafts "should make search among the families of their freemen" for absents from the kirk," and impose fines on those,—"one half to be retained by the crafts, and the other to be paid to the kirk." In August, 1611, the Kirk-session of Aberdeen passed the following resolution:—"The baillies are desyrit by the ministers and session to tak painis in ganging throw the toune on the orclinar preaching dayes in the weik, as well as on the Saboth day, to caus the people resort to the sermones, and Paul Mengzeis, baillie, is appoynted to begin on Tuysday and Thursday." A similar resolution was passed by the Kirk-session of Glasgow in 1642.

Proper behaviour in church was carefully enjoined. In July, 1606, Andrew Garvine was reprimanded by the Kirk-session of Ayr, " because the minister was in the pulpit before he entered the church." Snuff-taking in church was prohibited. An act by the Kirk-session of Saltoun, Haddingtonshire, on the 11th of April, 1641, proceeds thus:—" It is statute, with consent of the minister and elders, that every one that takes snuft' in tyme of divine service shall pay 6s. 8d., and give ane publick confession of his fault." In April, 1643, the Kirk-session of Dunfermline appointed the bellman " to tak notice of those who tak ye sneising tobacco in tyme of divine service, and to inform concerning them."

For a century after the Reformation, the parish churches were generally open from sunrise till sunset. During summer the churches of Glasgow were opened on Sunday at five o'clock, a.m., and closed at nine o'clock evening. Many persons assembled when the church bell wasrung at nine o'clock, a.m., to listen to the public reading of the Scriptures by the reader. At ten the bell summoned children and young persons for religious instruction. Respecting the training of the young in Christian knowledge on the Sundays, the Kirk-session of Dunfermline passed the following resolution :—

"Dec. 20, 1652. — Recommendit to Mr. Thomas Walker, schoolmaster, to have his schollers in reddines to repeat the catechism everie Sabbath, betwixt the second an third bell before noone and afternoone; the one to propose and the uther to answer, that the people may heare and learne, it being usit in uthyr kirks." A similar deliverance of the Kirk-session of Stow, on the same subject, proceeded as follows:—"March 2, 1656.—The Session caused the schoolmaster to make two of his pupils read the catechism 'betwixt the second and third bell in the morning,' and between sermons, to the congregation in the kirk; and an elder was appointed to see that the people went home direct to their own dwellings at the close of the public services."

Apart from the time voluntarily assigned to private devotions, and that appropriated to hearing the Scriptures publicly read, and listening to the instruction of the young, every faithful adherent of the Reformed Church was expected to attend the ordinary Sunday services, which generally extended to nearly four hours' space. Before the close of these protracted services, many of the young, the aged, and the infirm, sought rest in slumber, while Kirk-sessions, unable to perceive any justification for such an offence, proceeded to pass regulations with a view to its punishment. In 1616, the Kirk-session of Perth instructed their officer "to have his red staff in the kirk on Sabbath-days, therewith to wauken sleepers, and to remove greeting bairns forth of the kirk."

Except on the "kirking day," that is, the first Sunday after marriage, when the bride and bridegroom were accommodated on a form in front of the pulpit, all "married women and maidens" were enjoined to "sit laigh," that is, on the church floor. In reference to this practice, the Kirk-session of Glasgow, in 1597, expressly forbade "women to sit upon the forms men should occupy," and further decreed, "that all women sit together in the kirk." The proper deportment of females, both at kirk and market, was a subject of grave concern to the rulers of the church. The practice of prohibiting women from enveloping their heads in "plaids and hoods" was transmitted to the reformers from the ancient church; it probably originated from a reference to the disguise of the widowed Tamar.f In a sumptuary law passed by the Estates in 1457, these words occur:— "That na woman come to kirk nor mercat with her face muffalled or covered, that she may not be kend, under the paine of escheit of the courchie."

To the Presbyterian reformers there were cogent reasons for prohibiting the use of female head-coverings, apart from any cause which might be derived from the customs of a remote age. Muffled women might, in their lowly positions on the church floors, sleep unseen. In 1621, the Kirk-session of Glasgow enacted that "no woman, married or unmarried, come within the kirk-doore, to preaching or prayer, with their plaids about their heads, neither lie down in the kirk on their face in tyme of prayer, with certification that their plaids shall be drawn up, and themselves raiset be the bed-dall." A similar enactment was passed by the Kirk-session of St. Andrews, in June, 1649. It proceeds thus:—"The Session dischargit weamen's pleadis from their heads in the church, especially on the Lord's day, with certificatione that the session will appoint ane of the church officers to go through the kirk with ane long rod, and tak down their plaidis from their heads, whoever are disobedient to good order." The Kirk-session of Monifieth adopted a still more effective method of abating the evil. On 17th September, 1643, they voted Robert Scott, the beadle, five shillings, "to buy ane pynt of tar, to put upon the women that held plaids about their heads."

Women naturally shrank from the exposure of the repentance stool. But the clergy and elders would suffer no concealment of countenance during the exercise of discipline. The Kirk-session of Aberdeen passed this injunction:—"That because in times past most part of women that came to the pillar to make their public repentance, sat thereon with their plaids about their heads, covering down over their faces the haill time of their sitting on the stool, so that almaist none of the congregation could see their faces, or know what they were, whereby they made nae account of their coming to the stool, but misregarded the same altogether, the Kirk-session ordain that the officer should thenceforth take the plaid away from each penitent before her up-ganging to the pillar."

The Town Council of Edinburgh, by a resolution dated 10th of April, 1631, prohibited women from wearing plaids in the streets, since, by this dress, matrons could not be discovered from loose-living women."

Before proceeding further, it is essential that we should describe the ordinary instruments and appliances of ecclesiastical punishment. The stool or pillar of repentance has been named. It was placed in the church passage, and in front of the pulpit, that the entire congregation might witness those sentenced to occupy it. On the repentance stool, delinquents generally stood up, but in certain parishes they were permitted to sit upon it. Offenders were kept at the church door till the close of the first prayer, and were then led in by the sexton, who placed them on the stool, and there left them till the close of the discourse, when he proceeded to remove them. The ordinary hearers listened to the discourse with their hats on, but the occupant of the repentance stool was penitentially uncovered.

The Kirk-session of Perth possessed "a cock-stool" and "a repentance-stool," erections of different elevation, proportioned to the degrees of guilt. On the 7th April, 1617, this Kirk-session ordered "a chair of stone to be bigged in ane public part be the master of the hospital," for the "accommodation in repentance of "flyteris and slanderers."

The repentance-stool was regarded with a species of reverence; its violation was severely punished. In March,1675, the Kirk-session of Mauchline, Ayrshire, debarred three persons from the communion "on account of their breaking the stool of repentance, on which they had been sentenced to stand in presence of the congregation."

Those placed on the repentance stool wore a penitential habit. It was composed of the coarsest linen, resembling canvas, and enveloped the person like a shirt or cloak. The garment possessed a different name almost in every district. In the southern counties it was styled "the harden goun." "The harn goun" was its designation in Lanarkshire. As "the sack goun" it was known in Western districts. In the central counties, "the linens" was its common appellation. The ecclesiastical phrase "in sacco" eventually superseded all the others. Parishes which lacked repentance "habits" were ordered to procure them by Presbyteries and Synods. In 1655, the Kirk-session of Lesmahago expended £4 4s. 6d. in providing "a harn goun for scandalous persons." Probably one of the latest commissions, for the construction of a repentance habit, was the following by the Kirk-session of Kirk-michael, Ayrshire:—"September 24th, 1693. The Session appoints John Forgan to employ a Straitoun tailor to make a coat or covering of sackcloth for the said Janet Kennedy, like unto that which they have in Straitoun, there having been no such thing here for these many years; its thought none of the tailors of this parish know how to make it."

A garment of coarse linen, believed to be the repentance habit of the parish of Kinross, is preserved in the Museum of the Society of Scottish Antiquaries. Culprits were occasionally permitted to occupy the repentance stool "in their awn habit."

The Jagg, Juggs, or Jougs, was a common instrument of punishment. It was an iron collar, which passed round the neck like a yoke (jugum), and was secured at the back by a strong padlock. The jagg was attached to the church wall, close by the principal door, and was fixed at such a height from the ground as to place the penitent in an ignominious and painful attitude. While secured in the jagg the offender wore the repentance habit, and remained in his degraded position during the hour immediately preceding morning worship, that the congregation might profit by the lesson of his humiliation. Great offenders were "jagged" on a succession of Sundays ; there were cases in which the punishment was administered during every Sunday for six months. The punishment was held to be peculiarly disgraceful, and the ecclesiastical judicatories were occasionally obliged to have recourse to the civil authorities to compel those sentenced to it to submit themselves. In April, 1668, the Kirk-session of Port of Menteith passed the following resolution:—"The Session, after long debate, did this day judge it most fitt for the bringing of persons to the juges, to make choice of ane of thir two wayes, either to desyr the respective heritor to present those in his lands, or to cause a messenger-at-armes with Jon Battison, to bring thereto, or to require the concurrence of the justice of the peace. Resolving if any more compendious and legal way can be fallen out hereafter, to follow that."

Subsequent to the period of the Revolution, Kirk-sessions seldom ventured to enforce the punishment of the jagg on their own authority. A shepherd at Lesmahago, who had shorn his sheep on the parish fast, was brought before the Kirk-session of that parish in June, 1697, and was held to merit condign punishment. But the Session did not feel themselves empowered to inflict aught beyond spiritual censures. Hence the following minute:—"The Session considering that there are several scandals of this nature breaking forth, recommends to the bailie of the bailerie of Lesmahago, to cause fix a pair of jougs at the kirk door, that he may cause punish corporally those who are not able to pay fines, and that according to law."

The jagg, when no longer serviceable to the church, became an instrument of punishment in the hands of the civil and municipal authorities. Down to the middle of the last century, the justices at Mary kirk, Kincardineshire, confined in the jagg those who had behaved riotously at the village fair. Later in the century a farmer was placed in the jagg at the cross of Stirling, on conviction for chicanery. The Stirling jagg has been preserved ; it consists of an iron enclosure both for the neck and wrists. The jagg of Galashiels is deposited in the armoury at Abbotsford. Jaggs remain attached to the church at Merton, Berwickshire, and to the church at Duddingston, Mid-Lothian.

The Brank was an instrument for punishing scolds and scandal-mongers. In shape like a helmet, and composed of iron bars fitting round the head; it had a triangular piece of iron which entered the mouth. Placed on the head of the delinquent, it was secured by a padlock. The offender wearing this degrading casque stood on the repentance stool. Soon after his elevation to the primacy, Archbishop Sharpe was conducting service in the parish church of St. Andrews, when a woman stood up, and, in the face of the congregation, accused him of an illicit amour with her, when he was a college student. The accuser was one Isobel Lindsay, a woman of humble station, resident in the city. She was arrested, and brought before the Kirk-session, who sentenced her to appear for a succession of Sundays on the repentance stool, wearing the brank. A correspondent of the Gentleman s Magazine, writing to that periodical in 1785, states that the father of the then church-officer at St. Andrews, had witnessed Tsobel undergoing her sentence. The brank of St. Andrews Kirk-session has been preserved.

The punishment of the brank was not inflicted solely by the ecclesiastical courts. Early in the sixteenth century, Bessie Tarliefeir, in the Canongate of Edinburgh, who had accused a bailie of "keeping ane false stoup" (measure), was ordered by the magistrates to be "brankit," and set on the cross for an hour. The burgh records of Glasgow set forth that two scolds were condemned to be "brankit" in 1574. The following minute, in which a shrew was handed over for branking to the civil magistrates, was passed by the Kirk-session of Stirling, in 1600:—"Compeiret Margaret Wilsone, spous to Duncan Bennet, quha be sufficient tryell is fundane abuser and blasphemer of hir husband, of the eldaris of the kirk, and her nychbouris, many and divers tymes, nocht onlie in the day licht bot in the nicht, notwithstanding of many admonitions she has receivit of the eldaris of the kirk of absteining thairfra ; and thairfor the breithren of the kirk thinkis meit that the baillies put her in the brankis in the naither end of the town, in the sycht of hir nychburis, quhirby she may be movit to abstein fra the lyk ; but if it be fund in her heirafter, that the baillies will be desyrit to put her in the govts" The go vis or gyves were applied to the legs and feet.

During the invasion of Cromwell in 1650, the soldiers of the Commonwealth beheld with surprise and disgust the degrading sentences inflicted by the church for offences which they deemed utterly trivial. In a burst of rage they everywhere swept away repentance stools, jaggs, gyves, and sackcloth habits. The Kirk-sessions of Glasgow, Kirkcaldy, Kennoway, Stow, Castleton, and other places resolved to pause in the exercise of discipline till the rebellious strangers had returned to their English homes.

Such sentences as "scourging," "ducking," "placarding," and "exposing upon carts driven through the town," were frequently inflicted by the ecclesiastical tribunals. Contumacious persons were imprisoned in the church steeple. Notorious and incorrigible offenders were banished. Undutiful children were punished on the hands with "palmers,"—leathern thongs burnt at the points. In 1598, the Presbytery of Glasgow seriously deliberated on the case of a youth who had "passed his father without lifting his bonnet." The Presbytery of Orkney, in 1632, sentenced Edmund Sinclair, for disrespectful conduct towards his father, "to make his publick repentance in linen, barefoot and barelegged, and to stand at the kirke door of Holme, from the second bell to the third at the sermon, with a paper upon his forehead, bearing his unnatural fault, and thereafter to stand upon the stool of repentance during the sermon."

David Leyes, at St. Andrews, for striking his father, was, in 1574, sentenced by the Kirk-session to undergo severe and protracted discipline. He was, on the first Sunday, to appear before the congregation "beir heddit and beirfuttit, upon the highest degree of the penitent stuill, with a hammer in the ane hand and ane stane in the uther hand, as twa instrumentis be manneset his father with, ane papir writin in great letteris about his heid, ther wordis, Behold the onnaturail Son punished for putting hand on his father, and dishonouring of God in him." On the second Sunday he was to confess his guilt, "in meddis of the kirk." Then the following Monday he was to "stand in the jaggs, in the market-cross, from ten o'clock till twelve noon." At noon he was to be placed "on ane cart," and then "to be cartit through the haill town, and be oppin proclamation the pepill to be advertisit and informit of his fait." The culprit was thereafter to be conducted back to the cross, and there a proclamation made in his presence, "that if he ever offended again his father or mother heirefter, in word or deed, that member of his body quhairby he offendit salbe cuttit off from him, be it tung, hand, or futt, without mercy, in example to utheris to abstein fra the lyke."

Vituperation and scolding were punished with severity. In 1562, the Kirk-session of Aberdeen decreed that "all common skoldis, flytharis, and cardis be baneist the town, and nocht sufFerit to remaine thairin for na request." On the 19th December, 1592, the Kirk-session of Glasgow "appointit juggs and brankis to be fixit up in some suitable place for the punischment of flyteris." By the Kirk-session of Stow it was enacted that "flyteris sould pay xx sh. everie ane of them, and stand in the jougs." On the 3rd May, 1668, the minister of Port of Menteith "did intimat unto the people, after the first sermon, and intrieted them that no person should flyt nor scold on the Sabbath-day, or no ither day, or whosoever person or persons should be scolding, should be punished both in their persons and means, and to stand in the jogs." On the 15th November, 1570, the Kirk-session of St. Andrews " warnit Gelis Symson, spouse to George Upton, that she sould be made to sit in the joggis twenty-foure houris," and be heavily fined if she persevered in her fourfold offence of "miscayin her husband, fly tin with hir neighbouris, selling candle and bread on Sundays, and not resorting to the kirke." For scolding her husband, the Kirk-session of Ayr, in 1606, sentenced Janet Hunter "to stand in her lynnings at the cross on market days," and also "to stand at the kirk door seven days, and in the public place of repentance."

Margaret Short, at Stirling, having grievously abused her husband, the Kirk-session devolved her punishment upon the magistrates, in the following minute:—

"March 23, 1598.—Compeirit Margaret Short, spous to Alexander Causland, quha being accusit of abusing of her husband divers tymis within thir thrie oulkis, lyk as she hes done of befoir, she confessis that, upon some wordis spokin be him, she mintit ane shool to him, that she cast in his face ane cap with aill, and that through angir she hes spokin angrie wordis to him, and hes scartit his face; for the quhilk faultis, and divers uther injuries done be hir to hir said husband, nocht regairding his lyff, the breithrein desyris the baillies to punish hir publiclie, quhairby she may be moveit to abstein fra the lyk in timeis cuming, and that utheris may tak exampill."

The following deliverance, in the case of maltreating a husband, was passed by the Kirk-session of Dunfermline, in March, 1653 :—

"Compeirit Margaret Markman for abusing David Waterstoun, hir husband, with most cursed, cruel, and malicious speeches, and she being found guiltie thereof, and the Session knowing that she oftymes has fallen in sutch wicked contentions before against hir said husband, refers hir to the magistrates, to be imprisoned in the laighest prison-house, and theirafter to be set on the tron on a mercat day, to the example of uthers, with a paper on her browe, showing her notorious scandall, and her remaining in prison and standing on the tron,t to be such a space as the magistrates and session shall modifie." On the 5th March, 1648, the Kirk-session of Dunfermline sentenced Margaret Nicholsone "to stand and the branks on her mouth the next Friday, being the mercat day, twa houris before noone, for hir comon scolding and drunkenness, and that to the public example of utheris."

Detraction was a vice common in ancient Scotland. Magnus, the English ambassador, writing to Cardinal Wolsey, in 1525, remarks, "there has been right rageous winds with exceeding rain, and an open slander and a murmur raised upon me, not only in this toun of Edinburgh, but through a great part of the realm, surmit-ting that I should be the occasion thereof, insomuch that I nor my servants could or might pass of late in the streets, neither to move from the court, but openly many women banned, cursed, swear'd, and gave me and mine the most grievous maledictions that could be to our faces." At the Reformation the church courts everywhere enacted that all persons found guilty of calumny should be severely punished.

In 1662, the Kirk-session of Aberdeen decreed that "all slanderers should ask forgiveness of the persons whom they had traduced, in presence of the congregation," accompanying their apology with the expression, "tongue ye lied." In 1578, the Kirk-session of Perth caused John Tod, for a slanderous speech, to stand in irons for two hours. The Kirk-session of Dumfries sentenced slanderers "to stand at the kirk-stile on the Sabbath, with branks upon their mouths." Obstinate detractors were pilloried in the market-place. Vicious and habitual calumniators were handed to the magistrates "to be docked or shaven at the cross." In 1646, the Kirk-session of Dunfermline sentenced Robert Shortis and his wife, for slandering their neighbours, "to ask the parties offndit forgivenness, before their awn doores in the street, publicklie on thair knees." The same Kirk-session, in 1642, placed Marjorie Cassin " in the stockes two houris, for denouncing Janet Brown-side as "a comon theef, comon whoore, and a loun, to seven or eight men." Margaret was warned that, on the further indulgence of her wicked propensity, she should be "banished from the place." It is edifying to discover the Presbytery of St. Andrews, in 1643, expressing a belief that "there be some quho slander those for witches against quhom ther is neither presumption nor dilation," and enacting that "such should be censured as most notorious slanderers."

Some of the sentences against detractors were sufficiently severe. Thomas Malcolm was condemned to imprisonment by the Kirk-session of Perth, in 1579, for calling Thomas Brown "a loon Ceirle." Jonet Wely, at Dunfermline, was sent to the pillar, in March, 1646, for saying that her neighbour's wife was " a white bird." The Kirk-session of Ayr, in 1606, sentenced John McCrie to "the joggs and the pillar of repentance," for asserting that "no bodie had the wyte (blame) of the poore folks but the devill and the priest."

Before the Reformation, profane swearing was lamentably prevalent. Men swore by the Virgin, the saints, and the wood of the Holy Cross. In 1592, the Presbytery and Town Council of Aberdeen passed a joint enactment, whereby employers were authorized to exact penalties from such of their servants as used oaths, and to deduct the same in the settlement of their wages. They were empowered to punish with "palmers" those blasphemers who were unable to pay fines, and with the same to chastise oath-speaking children. In 1644, the Kirk-session of Glasgow appointed certain of their number to proceed throughout the city on market-days, "to take order with banners and swearers." Every individual detected in uttering an oath was mulcted in the penalty of twelve pence, Scottish money.

About the same period the Kirk-session of Dumfries called on the magistrates to visit, with "civil and corporal punishment," a miller from Troqueer, who was gailty of cursing. In June, 1651, the Kirk-session of Dunfermline sentenced a woman to "stand at the croce or trone on ane publict mercat day, with ane paper on her head, signifying her cursing and blasphemies." The Kirk-session of Lesmahago, in August, 1703, having rebuked a profane swearer, further resolved to complain of him to "Her Grace the Dutchess of Hamilton, that such a person may not be continued as Fiscal of her Court at Lesmahago."

Drunkards were punished by fines and public censures. In 1612, John Stevenson, who had, through excessive drinking, "lost sindrie of his senses," was sentenced, by the Kirk-session of Stirling "to fall down on his knees, and crave God and the kirk for forgiveness, and to pay twenty shillens ad pios usus." In 1645, the Kirk-session of Dunino resolved to impose penalties on drunkards according to a scale. Six shillings were to be paid for the first offence, twelve shillings for the second, and so on lolies quoties.

In May, 1668, the Kirk-session of Port of Menteith made the following regulation, which was duly intimated from the pulpit:—"No brewir within the paroch should sell aill to no person except alls much as wold quenche the thirst of strangers, or to sick persons, and no to sell no aill to no ither person within the paroch, and that under the paine of ten pounds Scots, to be payed be the aill seller, and the person who drink it to be punished as the Session shall think fit."

In 1712, the Kirk-session of Hawick appointed certain persons to "perlustrate the town, to see who were drinking in alehouses after eight o'clock at night."

For a century after the Reformation, incestuous crimes occasionally occupied the attention of Presbyteries and Synods. The following is a deliverance of the Synod of Fife, in April, 1611, in a case of incest: — "The Synod ordained Laurence Ferguson, in the parish of Kirkcaldy, who had been guilty of incest, to pas ilk Saboth day from kirk to kirk per circulum., throughout the haill kirkes in the boundis of the Exerceis of Kirkaldie, according as he salbe injoyned be the brethren of the samine, and that in sackcloth, for the space of ane yeir compleitt, without any intermissionne of dayes, vntil the next diocesian Assemblie to be holdin (God willing) in St. Androis, in the moneth of Apryl, 1612."

Adultery was, by the Estates, in 1563, made punishable with death. David Gray and Helen Watson, adulterers, were hanged at Perth in January, 1585. But the capital sentence was seldom carried out. The church courts considerably varied in their mode of punishing the crime. In 1568, the Kirk-session of Aberdeen enacted on the subject as follows:—

"That ilk persone convict in the said cryme sail cum thre several Sundays, at the second bell ringing, to the kirk door quhair the people enteris that day, bairfut and bairlegd, cled in sackclayth, with ane crown of paper on their heid, with the cryme written thairabout; and remaine thair quhile the precheour begin his sermond; and thairefter sail cum in to the oppen place of repentans, and remane standing until the end of the preching, and then pass again to the same dur, quhair thai sail remane to be ane spektakl to the hail! peple, until all folkis be past hame, and departit fra the kirk."

The Kirk-session of Glasgow enacted, in 1586, that adulterers should "satisfy six Sabbaths at the pillory, barefoot and barelegged, in sackcloth, and should thereafter be carted through the town." The same Kirk-session, ten years afterwards, procured "ane cart for harlots," and had "ane pulley" attached to Glasgow bridge, whereby adulterers might be "duckit" in the Clyde. Probably owing to the continued prevalence of the offence, the Kirk-session of Glasgow decreed, in 1643, that adulterers should stand "three hours in the jaggs," receive "a public whipping," be imprisoned in the common jail, and thereafter banished from the city. On the 15th October, 1635, the Kirk-session of Dumfries ordained two persons, guilty of adultery, "to sit seven Sundays in sackcloth, and to stand the first and last Sabbath at the church-door, barefooted."

Cases of adultery which called for the cognizance of the superior judicatories, were dealt with most rigorously. Paul Methven, minister at Jedburgh, who, in 1563, acknowledged himself guilty of the offence, was subjected to discipline of a most humiliating kind. The General Assembly consulted the lords of the Privy Council respecting their decision. At length, in the third year subsequent to his confession, the Assembly permitted their erring brother to prostrate himself on the floor before them, and, with "weeping and howling," to entreat their pardon. His sentence was then pronounced, that, at Edinburgh, the capital, Dundee, his native town, and Jedburgh, the place of his ministrations, he should stand in sackcloth at the church-door, and on the repentance-stool, two Sundays in each place.

The Presbytery of Lanark, in May, 1642, sentenced two adulterers "to go through the whole kirkes of the Presbyterie, and at the kirke-doore of each to stand barefoot and barelegged, from the second bell to the last."

Fornication was punished with a severity nearly equal to that which attended the infraction of the marriage vow. In 1576, the Kirk-session of St. Andrews ordained that fornicators, convicted for the first time, should be imprisoned in the steeple ; and that those who relapsed should be pilloried at the cross, and have their heads shaved. On the 19th December, 1594, the Kirk-session of Glasgow enacted that the punishment for " single fornication should be ane day on the cock-stool, ane day at the pillar," and eight days' warding in the steeple. By this court a new regulation was passed in 1605, providing that fornicators should pay a heavy fine, and stand "ane Monday at the croce, with ane fast band of yron about their craig," and a paper on their foreheads, proclaiming their offence. For relapse in fornication, Dionysius Blackwood was, in 1581, placed by the Kirk-session of Perth " on the cross-head on the mercat-day, four hours locked in the irons." Four years after, the Perth Kirk-session appointed James Pitlady, with a yearly salary of forty shillings, "to shave the heads of fornicators or fornicatrixes." During the same year, the Kirk-session of Perth ordained Thomas Smith, who had, for the third time, acknowledged himself guilty of uncleanness, to be warded, shaven, and doukit in a puddle of water, according to Act of Parliament."

In 1627, William McLay, who had been convicted of fornication the second time, was sentenced, by the Kirk-session of Stirling, "to stand on the mercat-crosse two hours, to pay two merks, and to stand six severall Sabbaths upon the pillar." During the same year, Alexander Sandilands, at Stow, was, for his first conviction, " removed from the stool of repentance, after having sitten eighteen dyetts upon it."

A woman who had fallen for the second time was, in 1602, sentenced by the Kirk-session of Aberdeen in the following terms:—

"The Session ordainis Jenett Scherar quha was ban-ischet befoir for harlatrie, and is cum in agane within this court; but since her incumming hes fallen of new agane, to be apprehendit and put in ward, and thairefter to be doukit at the croce and publicklie banist of new againe at the mercat croce ; provyding gif scho pay ten markis of penaltie, to be fre of hir douking, and no utherways."

In 1701, the Town Council of Ayr, on the recommendation of the Kirk-session, sentenced a woman, "who had relapsed in fornication, to stand at the Fish-cross, between the hours of eleven and twelve, with the locksman beside her, who is to shave her head in presence of the people."

In order to the detection of offences against social order, the ecclesiastical judicatories strictly charged midwives, and others attending illegitimate births, to divulge all they knew to the elders of the district. Accoucheurs who concealed such information were personally subjected to discipline.

Marriage was not permitted when the contracting parties were in a state of religious ignorance. In August, 1579, the Kirk-session of St. Andrews decreed that "nane be resaivit to compleit the bond of matri-monye without they reherse to the redar the Lord's Prayer, the Believe, and the Commandments." Church courts likewise inquired as to the worldly circumstances of parties proposing to be united in wedlock. The Presbytery of Glasgow, in January, 1594, made the following order respecting a proposed marriage :—"Jan. 28, 1594. The Presbeterie, in respect that James Armour is in greit debt, thairfor can nocht ordein Helein Bar to be mareit upone him."

Matrimony was attended with strange delays and useless incumbrances. Banns were proclaimed three several Sundays in the parish churches of the parties. Then forty days were allowed to elapse, wherein objectors might come forward to oppose the union. Two obligations were meanwhile imposed upon the pair: they had to make a pecuniary consignment in the hands of the session-clerk, that their union would certainly be solemnized, and to procure a cautioner, who became bound that they would not cohabit before receiving the nuptial benediction.

Marriage feasts were a source of disquietude to the church. In order to check the excesses which these occasions called forth, Kirk-sessions issued regulations with respect to the cost of the entertainments and the number of persons who should be permitted to join them. In November, 1583, the Kirk-session of Glasgow enacted that there should be no superfluous gatherings at bridals, and that the lawin or cost of the dinner or supper should not exceed eighteen pennies Scots. The Kirk-session of Stirling, in 1599, permitted a lawin of five shillings, but decreed that no marriage should take place in the church unless the parties should deposit the sum of four pounds, that it should not exceed that amount.

To elude clerical surveillance the inhabitants of Stirling began to celebrate their nuptial festivities in tents pitched in the open fields. To overcome this subterfuge, the Kirk-session appealed to the Town-Council, and a joint deliverance of the two bodies was adopted in the following terms:—"December 1, 1608. The brethren of the kirk ratifies the act of counsell underwritten anent brydells, and ordaris that na testimoniall be given but according thairto in all points. The quhilk day the councell statutes and ordaines that all and quhat sumevir persones dwelland within this burgh or parrochin, quha sal happin to be proclamit for marriage contractit betwix thame, sail mak thair brydellis and banquittis within this burgh fra thyncefurth; and if thaye fealze, being proclamit within the paroche kirk of this burgh be the ministeris thairof, and mak thair brydellis outwith the said burgh, in that caice the partie or parties that sal happin to contrivein sal pay to the town the sume of twenty poundis money ; provyding alwayes that this act be onelie extendit against the men and women quha sal happin to be joyned in marriage, bayth dwelland within this burgh or parochin thairof. And if ony persone dwelland within this burgh marie an outland woman, in that caice it is statute and ordainit that it sail not be lessum to him to desyr any ma per-sones nychtbouris of this burgh nor twenty persones; and if it be fund or tryed that he dois in the contrar, in that caice he sail pay to the towne the summe of ten poundis ; and willis that the kirk, befoir they grant testimonials, tak ane pund thairfor. Lykes if any outland man marie any woman dwelland within this burgh, in that caice thair brydelles and bankettis sal be maid within this burgh; and if the woman contravein thairanent, in that caice sail pay uther twenty pundis; and that befoir any testimoniall be granted be the minister or reader, or yet befoir marriage, be solemnizit, that they take ane pand for the said soume."

In July, 1657, the Town Council of Dumfries ordained that "not more than twenty-four persons should assemble at a wedding, and that the expense should not exceed eight pounds, and that under the payne of twenty punds, whereof the one half is to be payt by the bridegroom, and the other half by the inkieper quhar the brydle is kept."

Despite the efforts of the Church, weddings were long the occasion of large gatherings and of excessive festivity. Even elders themselves did not always refuse to sanction such periods of rejoicing when members of their own families were united in wedlock. In 1703, John Hart, elder at Hawick, acknowledged, "upon his knees," before his brethren, that he had made a penny-bryddal at his daughter's marriage. "Prayer was offered to God to grant him repentance," and he was suspended from office.

Against dancing the church courts exercised an uncompromising hostility. The ancient Scottish dances were associated with lewd practices, and the gyrations introduced in the reign of Queen Mary were even more obnoxious and unseemly. Thus the Presbyterian reformers contracted a prejudice against a species of recreation in itself innocent, and certainly healthful. In 1599, the Kirk-session of St. Andrews dealt with David Wemyss, in Raderny, for being present at a dance. He acknowledged that he had, but justified himself by saying that "he never saw that dancing was stayit (stopped before, and that the custom wes kept at Raderny befor any of the session wes born." Wemyss was imprisoned in the church steeple for contumacy ; he latterly submitted to discipline. In May, 1649, the General Assembly "inhibited dancing," and referred "the censure thereof" to "the care and diligence" of the several Presbyteries. In September, 1649, the Kirk-session of Cambusnethan enacted that "there sould be no pypers at brydells, and whoever sould have a pyper playing at their brydellon their marriage day sail lose their consigned money, and be furder punished as the sessioun thinks fitt." In 1660, four men and two women were brought before the Kirk-session of Dunino under the charge of "promiscuous dancing." They pled guilty, and were "sharplie rebukit." The piper who had discoursed music on the occasion, was "humblit on his knees before the pulpit, in face of the congregation."

Gambling and all games of chance were forbidden. In 1598, the Kirk-session of Stirling dealt with two persons who had played together at dice till four of the morning, when they "discordit." They were remitted to the magistrates for imprisonment, "their fude to be bread and watter." In February, 1654, the Kirk-session of Dumfries sentenced a person found card playing on a Saturday evening to pay twelve shillings to the kirk-treasurer.

Persons arraigned for felony before the criminal courts, were, though acquitted by these tribunals, subjected to ecclesiastical censures.

In December, 1599, the Kirk-session of St. Andrews absolved four persons for the murder of "unquhill James Smith;" they had appeared two Sundays in presence of the congregation, conformable with the regulation as to "murderous repentance." In 1619, the Kirk-session of Redgorton considered the case of Colin Pitscottie, eldest son of Andrew Pitscottie, of Luncarty, who had been accused of the murder of Alexander Bennett. After various delays, Pitscottie appeared before the Presbytery of Perth, and acknowledged his guilt. He was ordained to make " his publict repentance in the kirk of Redgorton, in lyning clothes."

Upon Kirk-sessions devolved the responsibility of providing for the wants of the poor. So long as the bulk of the people adhered to the Established Church, and church courts were invested with civil authority, funds to meet the claims of the indigent were procured readily. Elders stood beside the collecting plates at the church doors, and reminded the opulent of their duty to the poor. In the bestowal of alms liberality was not their fault. Many parishes possessed a public wheelbarrow, in which the sexton might transport beyond their parochial bounds aged and infirm persons who had no legal claim upon them. In November, 1685, Margaret McOwen, a poor woman, died at Dunfermline, while Robert Peirson, the joiner, was preparing "a barrow " to "transport her out of the parish." The same Kirk-session, at a meeting held on the 14th October, 1649, appointed the burgh executioner to- "keep beggaris from entering the kirk-yard on Sondays," lest their importunities might diminish the contributions in the collecting plates. The Kirk-session of Lesmahago exercised an unwonted liberality by permitting infirm persons to be wheeled in the parish barrow round the hamlet in quest of alms.

The minister and elders of the Kirk-session did not hold themselves responsible only to the superior judicatories. They acknowledged the authority of the people, and invited them to criticise their judicial and private conduct. In April, 1568, the Kirk-session of Aberdeen published the following edict:—"The haill assemblie or-dainis tryall and examination of the minister, elderis, and dyaconis and redar, to be had of them, off them-selfis, four tymes in the yeir, concerning their liffis and conversation, according to the use off uder kirkis. And befoir the tyme off communion that sik tryall be maid, be the haill kirk, vpone the minister, redar, elderis, and dyaconis, off their conversation."

Another resolution, to the same effect, was passed by the same Kirk-session, in January, 1573. It proceeds thus:—"The assemblie ordainis the minister to charge and admonyshe on Sunday next to cum, all and sundrie within this town, to compeir on the nixt assemblie day, to try and examine the lyffis of the minister, elders, and dyaconis, and to lay to their charge sik thingis as thai know to be sklanderous to the kirk."

For some time after the Reformation the lay members of session selected the minister's texts, and the portions of Scripture to be expounded by him ; they also regulated the duration of discourses and of the entire services.

According to "The Buik of the Kirk of the Canon-gait," of Edinburgh, the Kirk-session of that parish, "after ripe consultation and invocation of the name of God," desired the minister "to begyne the Actes of the Apostles, after that he had endit the first chapter of Esay, quhilk he was intrattand, the quhilk he promised to doe." On the 30th May, 1598, the Kirk-session of St. Andrews thus ruled:—"It is thocht gude be ye brethren yt Mr. George Gladstanes, minister, proceids in preaching of ye second book of Samuell and ye buik of ye Kingis following upon ye Saboth day." On the 14th October, 1621, the Kirk-session of Elgin ordered that "when Mr. David Philip teaches, he turn the glass when he preaches, and that the whole be finished within an hour."

Regular and prompt attendance at the different courts of the church was rigidly insisted on. At a meeting of the Presbytery of Glasgow, held on the 2nd August, 1597, Mr. John Bell, minister of Cadder, was found "lait of entering." He pled that he had "wurkmen wirking, qhairby he micht nocht cum soune," but the brethren " repellit" his excuse, and he was "scharplie admonischit." In April, 1618, the Kirk-session of Port of Menteith " ordained that none of their number shall absent themselves from any session hereafter to be holden, without sending their excuse in the day of ther absence, which, at the next session following, they being present, is to be cognosed upon be the session, and not being relevant, they are to pay ten lbs (Scots), toties quoties."

At the Reformation, the lay members of Kirk-sessions were selected for their knowledge and Christian experience. Afterwards, the resident landowners, not being " suspected of Papistrie," were added to the eldership. Latterly, magistrates of burghs were expected to take their seats in the Kirk-session courts. In 1599, the Kirk-session of Glasgow issued a decree, providing "that whoever be chosen proveist or baillies after this, sail be enrollit as elderis of the kirke." Nor was the office of elder a mere sinecure, or post of honour. In April, 1650, the Synod of Fife ruled,—"That everie paroche be divydit in several! quarteris, and each elder his owne quarter, over which he is to have speciall inspectioun, and that everie elder visit his quarter once everie month, at least, according to the Act of the Generall Assemblie, 1649; and in their visitatioun tak notice of all disorderlie walkeris, especiallie neglectouris of God's worship in thair families, sweareris, haunteris of aill houses, especiallie at vnseasonable tymes, and long sitteris thair, and drinkeris of healthis; and that he dilate these to the sessioun." The Kirk-session of Dumfries, in October, 1654, ordered their individual members "to attend the four parts of the burgh ilka Wednesday, (the day of the weekly market), from twa till six, to take note of all persons found drunk or scandalous, and to take such into' custody."

The obedience which however keenly resisted for a time, was ultimately yielded to the authority of the ecclesiastical courts, may readily be explained. They retained the power of excommunication, that tremendous power which, wielded by sovereign pontiffs, had brought kings and princes to their knees, and which, in the hands of Presbyterian, pastors, was not less formidable within the field of their jurisdiction. By the ancient law of Scotland, a person excommunicated by any of the church courts was deprived of his feudal rights; he could hold no land ; he might be seized and imprisoned on an application to the nearest magistrate; he was cut off from holy offices, and was separated from the intercourse of relatives and friends, and denied the assistance of his own servants. No person might trade with him, or show him the most trivial courtesy, under the pain of being subjected to like penalties. The Reformed Church of Scotland did not renounce this power. When Lord Hemes was excommunicated by the Provincial Synod, in 1647, two tradesmen who had business with him obtained, before waiting upon him as an excommunicated person, special permission to do so from the Kirk-session of Dumfries.

Among the humbler classes the Church enforced obedience to its citations or decisions by fines and imprisonments, the jaggs and the sentence of vagabondism. In October, 1640, the bailie, or local magistrate at Salton, East Lothian, reported to the Kirk-session of that parish that, pursuant to their decree, he had taken poinds from refractory and disobedient persons, viz., "from Jeane Reid ane yron pot, from Agnes Litster ane yron pot, from Marion Home ane pan, from Jean Coveurd ane pan, from Margaret Fluker ane coat, and from Helen Allen ane coat." In November, 1627, the Kirk-session of Stow "gave up as ane vagabond," one James Pringle, who had declined the citation of the court; "it was intimate from the' pulpitt that none within the parish should receive him or give him harbour." On the 5th April, 1646, Christian White was warned by the Kirk-session of Dunfermline that, should she again be disobedient to the Church, she would be sentenced "to stand on the tron in the juggs, and thair-after in sackcloth and bare-fitted at the kirke doore."

In 1690, the civil consequences of the sentence of excommunication were abrogated by an Act of the Estates. Henceforth the severity of ecclesiastical discipline began to wane. The punishment of crime at length devolved entirely on the civil magistrate, and church discipline became a work of kindly reproof and gentle exhortation.


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