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Social Life in Scotland
Chapter XII. - Church Discipline


In pre-Reformation times the Scottish Church exercised a system of penance, which, while fortifying ecclesiastical authority, was believed to conduce to social order. When social offences were not dealt with directly by the Church, the sentences were, nevertheless, executed under clerical supervision. On this subject the Burgh Records of Aberdeen supply some curious particulars. In 1523 John Pitt, tailor, who had refused to join the Candlemas procession, and conducted himself rudely towards a magistrate and certain burgesses, was sentenced by the Town Council to appear on the following Sunday in St Nicholas Church, "bareheaded and barefooted," and there to publicly acknowledge his offence. In performing his act of penance, he was to wear on Isis breast a pair of shears, and, in the time of high mass, to carry a wax-candle as an offering to Saint Nicholas and thereafter, on his knees, humbly to beseech the officiating priest to remit his fault. About the same period Bessie Dempster, convicted before the Town Council, by a jury, for aspersing David Reid, was sentenced to undergo various indignities, in which were included that next Sunday she should go before the procession in her shift, and entering the church with a wax-candle in her hand, should offer it "to the holy blood light," and then, on her knees, beseech the magistrates and the good men of the town to request Reid to forgive her. At Aberdeen, in times immediately preceding the Reformation, such sentences were common.

While abnegating the doctrine, and renouncing the ritual of the Pomish Church, Scottish Reformers adhered to the Catholic discipline, omitting only those forms of penance which bordered on superstition. And that discipline might be effectually maintained, it was ruled by the first General Assembly, in December 1560, that elders should be chosen in every parish to constitute, along with the minister, a, local consistory, or parochial court. At ordination elders did not surrender their position as laymen, nevertheless they were privileged to elect one of their number as a ruling elder to exercise in Presbyteries and Synods an equal authority with the minister. To the General Assembly, elders are delegated as members by Presbyteries, Town Councils, and the Universities.

In St Cuthbert's parish, Edinburgh, the lay members of the Kirksession were for a time chosen annually. Those chosen as elders were reputed for their knowledge and Christian experience ; but not infrequently landowners and magistrates of burghs, not being "suspected of Papistrie," were added to the eldership. The kirksession of Glasgow ruled, in 1599, that whoever be chosen proveist or baillies after this, sail be enrollit as elderis of the kirke." Kirk-sessions in royal burgles usually secured at their meetings the attendance of a bailie, who was expected to see their sentences upon delinquents duly carried out. On the 3d October 1564, the Kirksession of the Canongate had before them a parishioner named William Smybert, of whom it was demanded why "he suferit his varied to ly unbaptised?" Smybert made answer, "I haif my harm baptiset, and that in the gvene's Grace's chapell." Being further posed, "qulha eves witnes vnto the child," he replied, "I will schaw no moir at this tynle." This deelinature being held an act of contumacy, Smybert was remitted to "James Wilkie, baillie assistar with the kirke," "to be by him haldin in yard," till he would answer discreetly; About the same time the Kirksession of the Canongate, in the presence and with the sanction of John Oswald and James Wilkie, bailies, "commandit Beatrix Moris for disobedience" to be "brankit three houris," and ordained that if ever she be found associating "with ane under scandel that she be scliurgit and brunt in the scliolderis."

In 1544 the Town Council of Aberdeen in sentencing Mage Durtly to ask pardon of a neighbour, whom she had offended, by falling before her on her knees in St Nicholas Church, and with a wax candle in her hand, decreed that if she so offended a second time "her crag be put in the joins." Under magisterial sanction the ja g, as an instrument of discipline, was transferred to the Reformed Church. Attached to the walls of churches, near the principal entrance, it was applied chiefly to obstinate persons, who sought to ignore or escape from ecclesiastical authority. Thus on the 24th April 1608, the Kirksession of Kinghorn received a report from the magistrates "that they had put Jhone Broun in the tolbuithe till he suld ather enter to the gouts or els pay his penaltie."

Obstinate offenders were "jagged" on a succession of Sundays, and there were instances in which the Punishment was administered each Sunday during a period of six months. That the ministers and other officebearers of a Protestant Church should exercise upon social offenders secular punishment surprised those English soldiers who, in 1650, formed Cromwell's army of occupation. By these the jaggs were pulled down, and the other instruments of parochial discipline burned or broken up.

Subsequent to the Restoration, Kirksessions were in obtaining secular approval to the jagging of delinquents more careful than hitherto. Thus in April 1668, the Kirksession of Port of Menteith, "after long debate, did judge it most fitt for the bringing of persons to the juges, to make choice of ane of thir two ways, 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 a justice of the peace." In June 1697 the Kirksession of Lesmahagow, desirous of severely punishing a shepherd who had shorn his sheep on the parish Fast, passed 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 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." To the churches of Merton in Berwickshire, and of Duddingston near Edinburgh, are still attached the ancient jaggs; the jagg of Galashiels parish is preserved at Abbotsford.

According to the Church of Rome, heresy as an alleged renunciation of the Christian faith merited death by burning. Believing that Popery was a system of damnable error, Scottish Reformers held Romish priests to be worthy of punishment. Sir John Carvet, a priest who, at Easter 1565, had publicly celebrated mass at Edinburgh, was there conducted to the Tolbooth, and being attached by the executioner to the market cross, was subjected to the rough handling of the crowd. Two years previously, at the instance of the Reformers, Archbishop Hamilton of St Andrews bad, with forty-seven others, been for celebrating mass, sentenced to imprisonment; they were liberated by Queen Mary. On the 31st September 1564, the Kirksession of the Canongate, which claimed jurisdiction over Holyrood Palace, placed at their bar a Romish priest, charged with contravening "the order of the Kirk." The narrative of the case is thus detailed in the minutes:

"31 of September 1564. The quhilk day coniperit Sir Johne Scot and biand accusit of certaine crymes committit be him, desyris the copy of the bill and l~romist to ansuer than to that day viii. dayes, the quhilk is grantit to him.—The 7 day of October 1564. The quhilk day compeiris Sir Johne Scot, biand requirit to male ansuer veto the bill gewin canto him, ansuerit with stubbornnes, `I have no thing to do with yow, for ye haue no power over me,' and than produces ane wnsellit Letter subscryuit as he allegit be the Quens Grace Majestic makand nientioun becaus he wes of the Quens Gracis religioun, he wes perservit, and charging thairfor the prowest and baillies of Edinburgh with the Cannogait that that nor vane of thame wndcr all heyest pane and charge, molest nor comer the said Sir Johne, bot that speciabillie he myclit teclhe ane schoil quhair he plesit, and becaus that of the uncertitie of the subscriptioun thai command the said Sir John to present the said Letter selit. The quhilk the said Sir John promisis to do."

On the 18th November the process against Scot being resumed, he was "orderit to be delaittit," and "the Justice Clerk and the Laird of Fordell were ordainit in the name of the eternal God to remove him out of thair busses as ane plane repugner to God and his word."

While retaining the privilege of inflicting upon delinquents corporal punishment, Scottish Reformers also claimed a power which, wielded by sovereign pontiffs, had brought to their knees emperors and kings. By the ancient law of Scotland a person excommunicated by the Church was deprived of his feudal rights; he could hold no land, and might be seized and imprisoned by the nearest magistrate. Cut off from holy offices, lie was separated from the intercourse of relatives and neighbours, while his servants were released from their obedience. Further, it became a, trespass to offer him even common courtesy, and to supply him with food or yield him shelter, whether in charity or for coin, was held a deadly sin.

By the first General Assembly held in 1563, John Knox was empowered to frame a form of excommunication; it was subsequently approved. By its operation, obdurate and contumacious persons were "cut off and secluded" from the society of the faithful and debarred from Christian ordinances, while the civil consequences involved in the sentence remained unrepealed. Every sentence of excommunication included the words, "And. this his sin, by virtue of our authority, we bind and pronounce it to be bound in heaven and in earth."

On the 23d February 1564, the Kirkscssion of the Canongate resolved anent "persons excommunicated for disobedience and remayning forty dayes vender the said excommunication," that "letters were to be pro of the Lordis for warding of thair personis in the castellis of Ediubrucht or Dunbartone, and thair to roman ay and vntil thaai satisfie the kirke. In 1627 the Kirksession of Stow " gave up as ane vagabond " one James Pringle, who had declined the citation of the court; and "it was intimat from the pulpitt that rove within the parish should receive him or give him harbour." To the Kirksession of Saltoun, in October 1640, the parish bailie made report that, pursuant to their decree, be had taken poinds from refractory and contumacious persons, viz.: "from Jeane Reid, ane yron pot; from Agnes Litster, ane yron pot; from Mariouu Home, arc pan; from Jean Covered, ane pan; from Margaret Fluker, arc coat; and from Helen Allen, ane coat." When in 1647 the Synod of Dumfries and Galloway excommunicated Lord Herries, a Roman Catholic, two tradesmen who had business with his lordship applied, before waiting upon him, for the sanction of the parochial Kirksession. On the 15th July 1652, Mr James Robertson, minister of Cranstoun, was "publicly rebuikit" by the Presbytery of Dalkeith, inasmuch that on occasion of the marriage of the Earl of Lothian's daughter he had asked a blessing at Newbattle Castle, before supper, when one Swinton, an excommunicated person, was present. Among those who joined the censure was Mr Robert Leighton, afterwards archbishop.

At the Reformation and long subsequently, excommunication was used as an engine wherewith to enforce acceptance of Protestant doctrines. On the 12th July 1580, Captain Anstruther who, in dread of excommunication, had appeared before the General Assembly, made confession that "he had been present at masses in France, though he adhered to the religion professed in this realme; he consented to make "public repentance." By the Presbytery of Perth, Gabriel Mercer, in 1595, was enjoined in his seat in church publicly to declare his repentance for having given three days' entertainment to "Elphinstone of Innernytie, an excommunicated papist." And in 1610, Alexander Crichton of Perth was, by the same Presbytery, convicted on confession of eating and drinking, and walking about with Robert Crichton, also described as "an excommunicate papist."

In 1612 the Synod of Fife, which comprehended in its jurisdiction the counties of Fife, Perth, and Forfar, enjoined the members to report the names of "non-communicantis".  Among those "delated" were George, Marquis of Huntly, and Francis, Earl of Errol. The former owned large possessions, was married to the kings cousin, and was greatly esteemed at court. Refusing to conform to Presbytery, he was in his resolution supported by his wife, whose father, Esme, Duke of Lennox, had, after much vacillation, embraced Episcopacy. By remaining firm in his attachment to the Church of Rome, Lord Errol had suffered imprisonment and considerable loss of fortune. With respect to both noblemen, the Synod resolved that "forasmeikle as all dealing that the Kirk vndertakis against papistrie and the professouris thairof is vneffectual, as lang as no ordour is taken with the principallis," therefor that "the Marquis and his lady as gryt perverteris of vtheris . . . be removed from the countrey, and the Earl of Errol committed to ane more fitt ward than heretofor." The two noblemen were at the same time excommunicated, while the King and the Archbishop of St Andrews were requested to carry into effect the sentence of banishment and warding.

Continued residence in Scotland as an ecclesiastical outlaw, Lord Huntly found to be impracticable. Accordingly he was, through the influence of his father-in-law, relieved from excommunication at Lambeth by the Archbishop of Canterbury, and in presence of several bishops and others, partook of the Communion in the English form. Lord Errol, who came to experience that, as an excommunicated person, he was subjected to many discomforts, publicly renounced Popery in 1617; he was thereupon absolved.

For Andrew, eighth Lord Gray, suspected of Popery, but who had expressed his willingness to receive instruction, the Synod of Fife, in 1612, appointed four of their number "to wait on him each Tuesday and Wednesday, for three months, without intermission." During his probation his lordship became bound to "attend the kirk for heiring of the Word;" further that "he would neither hear masse not sett into his place, priest, jesuit, or excommunicate papist." To avoid further surveillance which had become irksome, Lord Gray, in April 1613, communicated "in the paroche kirk of St Androis." But in 1649, or thirty-six years afterwards, he was discovered to be "a rank Papist," and as such was excommunicated by the Commission of Assembly. By order of the Synod of Fife, in September 1612, George Gordon of Gight (a progenitor of the celebrated Lord Byron), was for "wilfull and obstinate continowans in papistrie, excommunicated in all the kirkes." On the 25th October 1626, Hew Stewart, an excommunicated person, applied to the Presbytery of Paisley to be allowed "to frequent the kirk and hear sermons." The Presbytery consented on the condition that "he came in after the first prayer and went out before the last."

The rigorous prosecution by Presbyteries of notable persons for refusing to conform to Presbyterian doctrines formed in the seventeenth century a new feature of the higher discipline. From 1626 to 1629 the Presbytery of Paisley were chiefly occupied in pursuing the Earl and Countess of Abercorn, who were charged with "Papistrie." After many efforts to evade his inquisitors, Lord Abercorn left the country, and so escaped sentence. The Countess, who was a conspicuous Romanist, sought refuge in Edinburgh; but she was there, at the request of the Church, arrested by the Privy Council, and subjected to restraint, first in the Tolbooth, (afterwards in Canon-gate prison. After an imprisonment of three years, she, in March 1631, obtained liberation. Suffering from squalor carceris, she was allowed to return to her house at Paisley, where she not long afterwards expired.

On the 22d April 1647 the Synod of Dumfries excommunicated, for non-conforming to Presbyterian discipline, John, Lord Herries, Lady Herries, the Countess of Nithsdale, and thirty others. Sentence was published from the several pulpits. During the same year, John Wallace of Ferguslee married Margaret Hamilton, a relation of the Earl of Abercorn. As she was suspected of cherishing Romish doctrine, her husband, under the menace of "process," that is, the preliminary step in excommunication, was by the Presbytery of Paisley, in May 1647, enjoined "to bring her unto Paisley at next meeting of the court, either by land or water." Bedridden and labouring under a serious ailment, Mrs Hamilton, that she might avoid the menaced censure, consented to be carried to the abbey church "upon a, wand bed," or frame-work of wattles. In this manner she was borne a distance of four miles.

The most remarkable prosecution for nonconformity was that insisted upon for forty years by the Presbytery of Lanark, against the Earl of Angus, latterly Marquis of Douglas. On the 20th September 1627, the Presbytery of Lanark resolved that in respect "the breither lies direct commissioners at diverse tymes to William, Erle of Anguse, in all lenitie exhorting and admonisching his lordscipe to frequent the kirk on the Lordes day and heir the word of God preached, quhilk his lo. has not obeyed, whairby his lo. gifes vehement sushitioun of his falling away from the treuthe and the confessioun of faithe subscrivit be his lo; ordaines thairfoir Jolene Wilson, beddell of the presbyterie, to go and summand my lo. to compeir peisonalie before the moderator and breither of the presbytrie of Lanerk, to "if satisfactioun for his offence."

Communicating with the Crown authorities, Lord Angus secured the royal protection. By Charles I. the Archbishops of St Andrews and Glasgow were enjoined so to negotiate with the Presbytery of Lanark that the menaced proceedings might be stopped. Such a result actually happened, and not improbably the earl's recusancy might have escaped further notice, but for his marriage in 1633 to "ane notour Papist," Lady Mary Gordon, daughter of Lord Huntly. There had been communications with his lordship, who was now Marquis of Douglas, prior to the 4th of January 1644, when two members of the Presbytery, who had waited upon him, made report that they had received his assurance that he had worshipped in the parish church, and that "he and his ladie and children would become constant and ordinaire hearers of the worde." The Presbytery now sent commissioners to the Marchioness, who on the 7th March reported that she was willing to attend church, "as soon as her health still permitt," and that the Marquis was "useing means of informatioun that he may be prepared for subscriveing of the Covenant." The Presbytery now requested "both of my Lord and Lady that familie exercise be sett up in their house." On the 9th May the Marquis, presenting himself at the Presbytery table, offered at once "to subscrive the covenant;" but the brethren determined that the act should be accompanied with greater publicity. Accordingly they ruled that the minister of Douglas should receive his lordship's oath and subscription on the following Saturday, being the preaching clay, before the celebration of the Lord's Supper, and that in sight of the haill congregatione, leaving first posed him upon the principal points of poperie, that severallie and publicklie he may disclaims them." When the Presbytery next met on the 13th i June, " the brethren appointed to be witnesses to the receiving of my Lord Marquesse of Douglas to the covenant," testified that "all thins is orclerlie and solemnlie done."

But the Marquis's personal submission did not satisfy the brethren, who at their meeting on the 18th July, in consideration that "my Ladie Marquesse of Douglas doetlie still continue obstinate," appointed the minister of Crawford "to give her the first publish admouitione upon Sunday next." On the 5th September, the Presbytery resolved to "delay processe of my Ladie Marquesse Douglas for a tyme, in regaird she came with her children and rest of the familie obedientlie to church." On the 26th December, the Presbytery, who had been dealing with the Marquis in regard to "familie exercise," refused a request made by him that the duty might not be urged upon him, till he had an opportunity of con-suiting with the Marchioness when her health, after childbirth, was sufficiently restored.

On the 16th January 1645 the Presbytery enjoined one of their number "to assure my Lord and his Ladie, if they give not full contentment in all, they will enter in processe against them both." This menace induced the Marquis, on the 13th March, to make promise that lie would " appoint exercise in his familie." The Marchioness "not being fully satisfied of her doubts, could not abjure poperie in swearing the Covenant," but pledged herself to be " an ordinar hearer of the word." After two weeks the Presbytery were informed by the minister of Douglas, that the Marquis had appointed " familie exercise and was ane ordinar hearer thereof himself, with his whole familie, except my Ladie." Thereupon the Presbytery commanded the Marchioness to join "in fanmilie exercise," and further to become with her daughters "ordinar hearers of the word forenoons and afternoone:" and "that slice should be readie to communicate on the first occasion." On the 17th April it was reported that "my Ladie Marquesse consented to be an ordinar hearer of the word," and was willing on points of doctrine "to receive information;" but the Presbytery were not satisfied, and appointed the Moderator to confer with the Marquis. The Moderator's report, presented on the 1st May, was favourable to the Marquis personally, since his lordship had attended his ministrations at Crawford the whole day," and had given "ear to the sermons." As to the Marchioness, the court enjoined that, in order to her "information," she should "hear sermone upon the Lord's day, forenoone and afternoone;" "also upon the week day," and further "by constant keeping of the exercises of the familie" and conferring with ministers. Should these means fail in convincing her the Presbytery resolved "to proceed against her ladyship with the process of excommunication."

At all points the Marchioness yielded save one; she would not abjure Catholicism by accepting the Covenant. Thereupon the Presbytery examined the family chaplain as to how the children conducted themselves. Learning from his testimony that "they did not always keepe the church," it was ruled that "they should at no occasion be absent from the kirke."

To the Presbytery, on the 12th June 1645, it was reported by their commissioners that both the Marquis and Marchioness had failed to attend services on the days of preparation and thanksgiving, and on the Communion Sunday had remained in church only till the first table was served. On this report, the brethren determined that the Marquis's children, capable of receiving instruction, should be "presentlie sequestered." As the Marquis refused to surrender his children, the brethren asked counsel of the Assembly, and on the 13th November the Presbytery's commissioners reported the Assembly's judgment, that the Marquis deserved to be "summarlie excommunicated."

On the 20th November 1645, the Marchioness compeared before the Presbytery, and being "gravely examined anent her malignaneie and obstinate continewance in the profession of poperie, and peremptorily required without delay to sequestrat her children, she disclaims any malignant carriage in the tyme of tryall, professes that in her judgment she has renounced the worst points of poperie, and promises to give satisfaction anent her children." The Presbytery remitted consideration of the case till a future meeting, but on the 1st day of January 1646 resumed their activities. Of this date their minute proceeds, that inasmuch as "thair manifold expressions of lenitie and long-suffering towards the Lady Marquesse of Douglas has produced no other effects than obstinaeie and disobedience," the moderator be authorised to give the second "publick admonitioune."

The Marchioness again presented herself before the court to entreat that "the processe against her might be intermitted for a space." The Presbytery resolved to delay only till their next meeting.

On the 12th February the Presbytery reassembled, and found the Marchioness, "be a paper presented and subscrived. with her hand," willing to submit herself. They appointed two of their number "to conferre with her for trying her sinceritie and ingenuitie be all possible meanes, and to require her children be preseutlie removed from Carmichael to Glasgow."

The Marquis of Douglas was absent; he had in the previous summer joined the standard of the Marquis of Montrose with a body of troops. Taken prisoner at Philiphaugh after Montrose's defeat, he was placed at the disposal of "the committee of estates." To that body the Presbytery, on the 5th March, made "humble remonstrance against his liberation, considering of the dangerous consequents that may follow in their bounds if the Marquis sail be returned to his station again." And on the 17th April the Presbytery determined that "whosoever lies been souldiers for James Grahame sall pay a merk, for each dayes attendance, to the poore."

By the Committee of Parliament the Marquis of Douglas was set at liberty. On the 1st October he appeared before the Presbytery of Lanark, when he was scharplie and gravely challenged for his defectioun in joyneing with the publick enemie, and for prophaning the Lord's table." His parish minister was also censured for admitting him to the communion.

On the 26th November the presbytery's delegates reported that the Marquis had consented to "send back his children to Glasgow, if the pestilence cease within twenty dayes, or otherwayes to Edinburgh." And on the 7th January 1647 the Marquis appeared in the Presbytery room, and in presence of the brethren "humblie confessed upon his knees the breech of covenant by his malignant carriage in the tyme of our late tryall." He also promised "to remove his children to Edinburgh against Candlemasse."

The Marquis must again have hesitated, for on the 4th March commissioners reported to the Presbytery that his lordship "had not satisfied thaim with his confession and. carriage before the congregation." They were therefore instructed to "labour to make him sensible of his superficial dealing, and whatsoever may be the secrets of his heart, to require a confession." On the 18th March the Presbytery received "a confession," the Marquis affirming that he felt "convinced in conscience" that lie had erred in joyneing with James Grahame and his complices;" he also promised "to adhere to the covenant in all points, whatsoever difficulties salt occure." Holding the confession as "not altogether satisfactorie," the Presbytery required the Marquis to sequestrate his children before their next meeting, under pain of a revival of "the processe." At a meeting held on the 22nd April the Marquis appeared, and excused himself for not "sequestrating" his children on the plea that he was "in want of a paedagog to goe abroad with them." He undertook " within twenty dayes "to provide" such a tutor as sall be recommended for such a charg be the testimonialls of the Presbyteries of Glasgow, Edinburgh, or St Andrews,—university towns, — whom in that case the Presbyterie shall accept." On the 17th July the Marquis appeared to the Presleytery's citation, and made offer to board his sons with the minister of Douglas; he also named a tutor as their instructor. To this arrangement the Presbytery consented, upon the condition "that he get ane honest man to be chaplain in his familie for establishing familie exercise there."

The Presbytery reassembled on the 1st July, when it was mooted that the Marquis "was prepared to send his youngest son over to be bred in France." The intelligence created much indignation, and three of the brethren were appointed to proceed to Edinburgh to entreat the interference of the Privy Council. The deputies performed their mission, and the Marquis was, on the 15th July, requested to obey an Act of Council by allowing trial to be made of the young man he proposed to send to France with his son.

After an interval the Presbytery of Lanark resumed their dealings with the Marquis and his household. At a meeting held on the 13th January 1648 the Marquis undertook to send his son Lord William to school at Glasgow. At the same time the brethren resolved that the Marchioness should, up to the 19th of March, receive such counsel as she might desire from her parish minister, with a view to her renouncing "her former erroneous and hereticall pointes," but on the express understanding that should she any longer refuse to abjure her errors, sentence of excommunication would be pronounced upon her. The Presbytery did not again meet till the 23rd March, when they were addressed by "the Ladie Marquesse of Douglas," who in a, letter entreated that in consideration of "divers things" she intended to do, they would not further proceed with their menace. The Presbytery resolved to delay passing sentence till the meeting of Synod.

The Marchioness had a long respite, but on the 11th October it was resolved that she should be informed that if she did not render satisfaction, excommunication would certainly ensue. At the same time the Presbytery resolved to report to the Commission of the General Assembly "the heavie oppressions of my Lord Marquesse of Dowglas upon his tenants." On the 26th October the Marquis, who had been cited, appeared before the Presbytery. He was charged with keeping his son in France, and not providing him with a tutor; with omitting to provide his daughter with a Protestant friend; also with neglecting to engage a chaplain to conduct worship in his household, and the oppression of his tenants. In answer the Marquis agreed to "give obedience," except in the matter of recalling his son, which he said was not in his power. He also "in name of his lady" covenanted that she would "subscribe the Confession of Faith and the Covenant." Surprised that the Marchioness had at length acquiesced in the matter of subscription, the brethren resolved that her signature should not be accepted, till a committee might confer with her. A committee appointed for this purpose was called upon to make report to the Synod.

To the Synod the committee reported that they had found the Marchioness so ignorant "that they durst not receive her subscription." The Synod accordingly ordered the Presbytery frequently to confer with her, "and cause her subscribe every article, as she came to the knowledge thereof." The Presbytery prescribed to the Marchioness certain portions in the Confession which she should "be labouring to winne to the knowledge of." Two weeks later they resumed consideration of their charges against the Marquis, and notwithstanding of his submission appointed commissioners to meet at Douglas on the 19th inst., there personally to take cognizance of his proceedings. To the Presbytery, which reassembled on the 11th January 1649, their commissioners reported that the Marquis had agreed to attend all the Sunday and week-day services in his parish church, and to provide a tutor for his son, and a chaplain in his household; also to retain in his employment such servants only as "shall produce testimonials." With respect to "the oppression of the poor people," his lordship agreed "after much debate" to name six honest men "in the paroche of Douglasse," at whose advice he would satisfy all just complaints. His lordship begged that he might be allowed to bring his son from Glasgow, and place him at the school of Lanark, pledging himself that the youth would not be taken home without the Presbytery's sanction.

Assembling on the 1st February, the Presbytery remarked that, "in the manifold particulars represented to him," the Marquis's pledges remained unfulfilled, and accordingly determined that, with a view to excommunication, "the second public admonition be given to him." When the Presbytery again met, on the, 22d February, a document subscribed by his Lordship was read, in which he "upon his honour" pledged himself effectually to carry out his promises before their next meeting. At the following meeting, on the 8th March, the Marquis informed the Court that he had relieved his people of oppression, and he therefore begged that the process against him might "be discharged." The Presbytery determined that in order to test his Lordship's sincerity, and "on slivers other grounds," the process should be maintained.

The minister of Douglas reported on the 19th April that "my Lady Marquesse" of Douglas was willing to "confer with him," and "would gladly heare any others whom the Presbyterie would. send." He further reported on the 31st May that, having given the Marchioness "some articles to subscribe, she said that it is not needful to subscribe one article after another, but all the articles together." On this point the Presbytery decreed otherwise. A pause ensued, but the Presbytery had not surrendered. On the 13th September they resolved that the Marchioness be invited to subscribe certain of the articles, and that both she and the Marquis be enjoined to attend "public worship upon the Sabbath afternoone." To the subscribing of the articles seriatim, the Marchioness continued her objections, and a report by her parish minister to this effect being presented on the 27th September, the brethren held that the Marchioness had "no appearance of the least desire or delight to be reformed;" and therefore "did ordain that dreadfull sentence of excommunication" to be "on the next Sabbath come fifteen dayes" pronounced upon her by the Moderator. but the Marchioness having in presence of the congregation at Douglas made promise of obedience, the Moderator was content to publish from the pulpit that, while he had come prepared to publish excommunication, the sentence would be delayed. Of this course the Presbytery approved, while they proceeded to name a tutor to Lord William Douglas, whom they required the Marquis to appoint. To the nomination the Marquis reluctantly assented, but in evidence of his Protestant zeal sent to the Presbytery eleven women, who had by a "confessing witch" been charged with sorcery. Though willing that the women whom he had accused should be subjected to trial and punishment, the Presbytery would not be diverted from their process against the Marquis and his wife. On the 10th January 1650 the brethren determined that if the Marchioness did not give full satisfaction before the first clay of February, "they must proceede to the sentence of excommunication."

Again action was delayed. But on Saturday, the 9th March, two of the brethren waited on the Marchioness, and informed her that if, on the following day, being Sunday, she failed "to abjure all points of Poperie" the "dreadful sentence of excommunication against her" would certainly be published. The Marchioness yielded, and so after sermon on the day following "lift up her hand to God" and testified her acceptance of the Confession of Faith and of the Solemn League and Covenant. While receiving, on the 21st March, an account of these proceedings, the Presbytery were unexpectedly informed that the Marquis and Marchioness "had sent one of their daughters to France to a Popish lady to be bred with her in Poperie." Holding this as a breach of faith, the Presbytery have instructions that both the Marquis's son and (laughter should be recalled from abroad. When the Marquis was informed of the Presbytery's request by a committee of their number, he remarked that he could not properly obtemper their demand.

For a time Cromwell's invasion and the "ascendency of sectarians" occupied the Presbytery's attention. But the Marquis and his family were not forgotten. At length on the 15th May 1656, the Presbytery received a report from their commissioners that the Marquis and Marchioness "had ingadged themselves, quhen they have health," to attend ordinances. The Presbytery further insisted that they should set up family worship. It now became obvious that to avoid inconvenient censures the two noble persons had been dissimulating, for on the 4th September the Presbytery found that the Marquis, "his ladie and familie," continued to be "all ill example;" that "he and his ladie cometh scarce to the kirk once in a year," and that "there is no worship of God in their familie." And considering that his lordship "doeth pretend his age and infirmitie to be the cause why he frequenteth not the publick ordinance," the Presbytery insisted that he and the Marchioness should employ a domestic chaplain, under pain of excommunication. Further particulars are lacking, but the suit was probably continued. The Marquis died in 1660, and the restoration of Episcopacy, which occurred in the same year, directed the course of discipline respecting conformity into a different channel.

By Presbyteries and Kirksessions were subjected to discipline those who took part in "the engagement" which, with a view to the relief of Charles I. in 1648, was entered into by the Scottish Parliament with the English cavaliers, and which was attended by an army of about ten thousand men being sent to England, under the command of the Duke of Hamilton. "The engagement," which was really an unworthy attempt to abet despotism, speedily collapsed under the arms of Cromwell; but the attempt was much condemned by the Presbyterian Church. All who took part in it—many through misapprehension, —were, in their respective parishes, called up and censured. For joining in the engagement, the repentance of Sir Robert Grierson is, in the parish register of Mouswald, set forth thus:—

"October 7, 1649. The whilk day, Sir Robert Greirson, the Laird of Lag, efter his publik humiliation made upon his knees in the body of the kirk, and his humble acknowledging his sinne in being accessarie to the late unlawfull engedgement by voting for it in Parliament, and subscryving the act for pronouncing of it, and efter his solemn oath for personal and domestic reparation and preferring the interest of God and religioune before the interest of any mortall man, and other particulars contained in the League and Covenant, he was admitted publicklie to the renewing and subscryving of the same conform to the ordinance of the Presbeterie." [With whatever sincerity Sir Robert Grierson expressed his repentance for connecting himself with "the engagement," his procedure in this respect did not snake a salutary impression upon his kindred, for his grandson and successor of the same name was a conspicuous persecutor of the Presbyterians, and one of those whose memory is, in the south-western counties, recalled with especial aversion.]

The Duke of Hamilton, who was mainly concerned in the "engagement," was executed at London on the 9th March 1649. His younger brother William, who succeeded him, was in 1650 arraigned, with his duchess, by the Presbytery of Lanark on the charge of having renounced the Protestant faith. To avoid molestation the Duke and Duchess subscribed the Covenant.

During the years 1662 and 1663, the Presbytery of Brechin pursued John Fullarton of Kynitaber, a landowner of the neighbourhood, who with his wife and household had joined the Society of Friends. After a fruitless attempt to induce recantation, "Lady Kynnaber" was on the 9th September 1663 sentenced to excommunication. The servants and the teachers of her children were also excommunicated, the sentence being published from "the several pulpits of the Presbytery." In pronouncing the sentence, individual ministers "did inhibite their parochiners to haunt or keep company with them." At length the laird of Kynnaber, being upon his death-bed, "subscribed in wreitt a recantation of his former errours," whereupon on the 24th May 1677 the Presbytery "did relax him from the dreadful sentence of excommunication under which he was lying." At the same time the ministers of Montrose, Craig, and Maryton were appointed to confirm Kynnaber in recanting "his former errours."

In 1666, a man of rare scholarship and superior gifts, Walter Scott of Raeburn, and his wife Isobel Makdougal, progenitors of Sir Walter Scott, were subjected to bitter persecution for embracing the doctrines of Quakerism. By the Privy Council their children, consisting of two sons and a daughter, were "sequestered"—that is separated from them, lest they should imbibe the parental opinions. At a much more recent period, Quakers were regarded as dangerously unsound. In 1806 the Session-clerk of Newhills, Aberdeenshire, makes entry that "Alexander, son to Alexander Melvin in Kingwells, having renounced the errors of Quakerism, was baptized." Those who cherished Romish doctrine were denied the privileges of ordinary citizenship. The Kirksession of Buittle, Kirkcudbrightshire, on the 9th June 1771, allowed John Stit, a Protestant, and Katherine Caven, a Papist, to be proclaimed in order to marriage, on the woman "subscribing an obligation to forsake the Popish and embrace the Protestant religion."

While exercising upon others a rigid discipline, Kirksessions demanded from their own members a careful circumspection. By a course of "privy censures" they secured the purity of their several courts. In December 1565, the Kirksession of the Canongate assembled along with the Superintendent of the kirk [Long after the office of Superintendent had ceased, Presbyteries made periodical visitations to parish churches, when the heritors and elders were in the minister's absence "posed" as to his "life and doctrines," while, in his turn, the minister was questioned as to the behaviour of the heritors and elders. respecting the conduct of the reader, both minister and elders gave report.] and "the haill communicantis, for tryell of the lif and doctryne of the minister, elderis, and diocanis, reconsilitioun of brodyr, and vthair affairs." On this occasion the Superintendent asked "bif ony persone or personneis, papist or protestantis, had anything to lay to the said Jolene [Mr John Brand, minister] in lyf or doctryne that thair thai wild declair as they will answeir before God."

For a time subsequent to the Reformation, the elders selected the ministers' texts, also the portions of Scripture to be publicly expounded; they also regulated the hours at which divine service should commence and close.

The kirksession of the united parishes of Anstruther, Kilrenny, and Pittenweem ruled, on the 18th August 1590, that "the preaching sall begin every Sunday at nyne hours, or thereby, that it may end by eleven; that the afternoon's doctrine may begin about ane afternoon, that it may be ended before three, and the rest of the time may be spent in examination of the heads of the Catechism."

On the 30th May 1598, the Kirksession of St Andrews ruled "that Mr George Gladstanes, minister, proceid in preaching of the second book of Samuell and the buik of the Kingis following upon the Sabboth day." On the 14th October 1621, the Kirksession of Elgin ordered that "when Mr David Philip preaches he turn the glass, and that the whole be finished within an hour."

In certain parishes the subjects of the ministers' prelections were registered weekly. Thus on Sunday, the 22nd July 1726, the Session Clerk of Crathie reports that the minister lectured in English on the second chapter of James, and preached in English from Isaiah lxiii. 6, while he also discoursed "in Irish" on the eleventh verse of the 13th chapter of the Romans.

To the Kirksession of the Canongate, John Myll, on the 10th July 1565, made complaint against "John Kirkbo, ane of the diaconis, aallegand him to be the causer and fortifier that John Seton tuk his hous oure his head." On the 8th December of the same year, the Canongate Session received the complaint of John Mallock that John Oswald, bailie, had "strucken him with his hand upon the haffat." The bailie acknowledged his fault, but "allegit that the said Johne had provokit him in calling him ane parseoll Juge." "Wherefore," proceeds the minute, "both being fund crymnabill" they were "orderit to schaik handis both togeddir in token of rcconciliation."

In 1562 "the general assemblie of the Canongate" resolved to meet every Saturday morning at seven o'clock, from March till September, and at eight from September till March, while every member was taken bound to attend under the penalty of "twelve pundis," and the minister for "doubill this soom." In April 1568, the Kirksession of Aberdeen published the following edict:—"The haill Assemblie ordainis tryall and examination of the minister, elderis, and dyaconis, and redar to be had of them, off thenlselvis 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." By the same Kirksession, in January 1513, was passed all ordinance in these words:—"The Assemblie ordainis the minister to charge and admonyshe on Sunday next to corn, all and sundrie within this town, to compeir on the nixt assemblie day, to try and oxamine the lyfis of the minister, elders, and dyaconis, and to lay to their charge sik throngs as that know to be sklanderous to the kirk."

Regular attendance at the other Courts of the Church was rigidly insisted upon. 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 pleaded that he had "wurkmen wirking ghairby he micht nocht cum sourer," but the brethren "repellit" his excuse, and he was "scharplie admonischit."

At the Reformation arose a new zeal for the suppression of sorcery by consigning to death at the stake those believed to be guilty of the offence. And here it is to be remarked, what has frequently escaped observation, that Protestant Reformers did not censure the Romish Church for assailing with fire and faggot those who practised religious error. But they strongly condemned the Papal Church and its abettors, inasmuch that they, in professing to purge error, burned earnest and faithful confessors. On obtaining an ascendancy they, in token of their own fidelity, revived the slumbering penal laws against witchcraft, sanctioning the burning of alleged sorcerers with an ardour not less vehement than that exercised by the Romish clergy for the destruction of heresy. The theme of witch-burning is reserved, for while the Presbyterian clergy were often the accusers of persons charged with sorcery, and witnesses of their executions, the sentences were pronounced and executed by the secular authority. But the use of charms and consultations with sorcerers were offences solely amenable to ecclesiastical discipline. To the Presbytery of Lanark, in July 1623, Besse Smyh, in Lesmahagow, confessed "hir charming of the heart feawers," and that "she appoyntit the wayburne leaf to be eattin at nyne morningis; the words of the charme are, `for Godis saik, for Sanet Spirit, for Sanct Aikit, for the nyne maidens that died into the buirtrie into the Leda well Bank, this charme to be buik and bell to me.'" Smyth's punishment is unrecorded. Before the same Presbytery, in 1630, Mrs Chancellor, wife of the laird of Shieldhill, was convicted of "medling with charmers, and burying a bairne's claithes to procure healthe." She, "in presence of the Brether, upon hir knees, confessit hir grit offence in having any medlinic with charmers, and promised amendement in tyme coming." In July 1645 the same Presbytery took cognisance of Janet Bailzie, a mid-wife, who confessed that she "repeated an oratione
when in the exercise of her calling; she was remitted for discipline to the. Kirksession of Douglas. By the Kirksession of Dunfermline, Robert Shortus was, in July 1643, for "seiking charmes from his wyff," sentenced "to sit in sackcloth three Sundays upon the public place of repentance;" he was "pittied," and pardoned after two appearances.

The place of repentance was an open space in front of the pulpit, usually in the central passage. There on a stool or "pillar" the subject under discipline sat, and when called upon stood up. Brought into church at the close of the opening prayer, he was by the officer conducted to the place of penitence. When after the discourse had been sung an appropriate psalm, the penitent stood up to receive reproof and counsel. While it continued, each member of the congregation wore his hat, while the penitent stood uncovered. The Kirksession of Perth owned both a "cock-stool or cucking-stool and a repentance-stool," the former being a pillory for offenders of the worst class. In the Kirksession Records of Dairy, Wigtownshire, is named in 1693 "the low pillage," implying that a higher pillory was reserved for more flagrant offenders.

In undergoing discipline the penitent was usually clad in "sackcloth," a coarse linen garment. The vestment had many names. In southern counties it was known as the "harden crown," in Lanarkshire as "the learn gown," in the western counties as "the sack down," and in central and eastern districts as "the linens." The ecclesiastical phrase "in sacco" at length superseded all others. In 1655 the Kirksession of Lesmahagow expended 4, 4s. 6d. in providing "a harn gown for scandalous persons." Probably one of the latest commissions for the construction of a repentance habit was the following by the Kirksession of Kirkmichael, in 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; it's thought none of the tailors of this parish know how to make it." The repentance habit of Kinross is preserved in the National Museum. Offenders were latterly permitted to occupy the repentance stool "in their awn habit."

On the 30th April 1633, the Kirksession of Stirling sat in judgment on Margaret Chapman, wife of John Bennet, who by a weaver's wife was accused of "charming hir milk from out of hir breist." Chapman confessed to the use of charms, but as her object was to remedy the malady, rather than promote it, she was simply "humbled" for her offence. The Kirksession of Perth, in May 1631, reprimanded Laurence Peck and his wife for using charms in the cure of sores. The offenders acknowledged that they had expressed these lines:—

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

In December 1643 the Kirksession of Markinch extorted from Janet Brown that, in curing his tempered horses, she uttered the following charm:—

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

Twenty years later—that is, on the 22d January 1663, Christian Drummond was arraigned before the Kirksession of St Andrews, for attempting to cure the swollen arm of a neighbour by repeating over it a jumble of rhymes, founded upon the preceding, but which through her ignorance were wholly nonsensical.

In 1643 a parishioner of Carnbee, in Fife, on the ground that he was the seventh son of a woman, undertook "to heall the cruellis," that is, scrofulous sores, by the touch; he was subjected to discipline. To the Kirksession of Humble, on the 23d September 1649, Agnes Gourlay acknowledged that in order to induce a cow's milk to yield cream, she had "put salt and wheat-heads into the, cow's lugs," and scattered a portion of the milk into the soil, using words of incantation. The Kirksession, having consulted the Presbytery, sentenced the woman "to mak publick repentance in sackcloth." On the 9th July 1646 the Kirksession of Auchterhouse appointed a fast, "because of the scandal of witches and charmers in the district;" also for the further reason, that the neighbouring congregations had "long been starved by dry-breasted ministers" In 1653 Bessie Chapman appeared before the Kirksession of Dunino, Fifeshire, under the charge of "consulting with witches." Her offence consisted in credulously listening to the pretensions of "twa beggar wyves," who assuring her that she was in danger from witchcraft used certain charms for its removal, afterwards depriving her of "a foure shillin peice" in guerdon of service. On the counsel of the Presbytery, whom the Kirksession consulted, Bessie was deemed to make her repentance before the pulpit in sackcloth.

It was one of the several rules of the Kirksession of Mouswald, that persons who consulted with "familiar sprites" or witches, should for each offence be amerced in five merks, and made to stand on the church pillory in sackcloth for three successive Sundays. Catherine Fraser was, on the 12th April 1660, arraigned before the Kirksession of St Andrews for cursing Alexander Duncan and his horse, "for having raised some fulzie belanging to her, after which the horse took disease and died in short space."

Turning the riddle for the discovery of stolen goods was a common charm. On the 23d May 1667 the Presbytery of Brechin considered the case of William Boill, schoolmaster at Inschbrayock, who had been summoned for this offence. He acknowledged that he had rolled some stones in a chamber, for which he was grieved. "He was sharplie rebuked, and informed that if he used such art hereafter he would be strictlie censured." For turning a riddle in order to the discovery of a plunderer, Janet Hunter was, by the Kirksession of Kilmorie in 1709, sentenced to appear in repentance three several Sabbaths before the congregation; she was also remitted to the civil magistrate "to be punished corporally or pecunially."

Superstitious practices at wells, dedicated to saints, were a fertile source of discipline. The cells of the earlier missionaries were placed in the vicinity of fountains, partly for convenience, but also on account of the reverence with which were associated the ancient basins. Adamnan relates how that a demon-possessed spring in the territory of the Picts was by the prayers of St Columba endowed with healing qualities, a legend evidently arising from a belief that under the Christian system water-springs formerly associated with Baalic rites became consecrated and purged. At the ancient wells were neophytes baptized, and other religious activities conducted. Named in honour of the early teachers, they were in the lapse of centuries associated with superstition. A recent writer has enumerated about 600 wells dedicated to saints. ["Holy Wells in Scotland," by J. Russell Walker, in Proceedings of Scottish Society of Antiquaries, vol. v., new series, 1884, pp. 152-210.]

Christ's Well, at Doune in Perthshire, was field to possess specially Healing virtues on the second Sunday of May, and at this season it was largely resorted to. To stop the Christ Well pilgrimages, Kirksessions made vigorous efforts. The Kirk-session of Falkirk in 1628 "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, they shall repent in sacco and linen three several Sabbaths, and pay twenty pounds toties quoties for ilk fault; and if they cannot pay it, the baillie shall be recommended to put them in ward, there to be fed on bread and water for aught days." On the 2d May 1652, the Kirksession of Auchterhouse dealt with a woman for carrying her child to the Kirktoun Well. She informed the Court, by way of confession, that when she anointed the child's eyes with water from the well she exclaimed as a charm:-

"Fish beare fin, and fuIle [fowl] beare gall;
All the ill of my bairn's eyen upon ye will fall."

The Well of Strathill, in the parish of Muthil, like the more reputed fountain of St Fillan, was believed to cure lunatics. An insane woman belonging to Airth, in Stirlingshire, having been brought to Strathill for cure, Mr James Forsyth, one of the ministers of Stirling, in a letter to Mr James Drummond, minister of Muthil, dated 16th March 1663, supplied the information that four persons concerned in carrying the lunatic to the well had on citation appeared before the Presbytery of Stirling. In answer to questions, they alleged that at the well they had found the patient to a stone two several nights, but that on both occasions she was loosed, and that though "she was very mad before, she had ever since been sober in her wits." The Presbytery desired the minister of Muthil to suggest what censure might be inflicted. In 1695 the Presbytery of Penpout consulted the Synod of Dumfries respecting a superstition which largely prevailed as to the virtues of the Dow Loch. The Synod ordered the members of Presbytery to denounce from their several pulpits the practice of making pilgrimage to the loch.

To the firth-splot, or good man's croft, we formerly referred. At the Reformation it was discovered, that not infrequently husbandmen left untilled a portion of ground in order to avert skaith, or the influences of an evil power. In reference to this practice the General Assembly, on the 7th May 1594, decided, as "touching the horrible superstition used in Garioch, and diverse parts of the country, in not labouring a parcel of ground, dedicated to the devil, under the name of the Good plan's Croft, that application be made for an Act of Parliament to cause labour the same."

At the Reformation the observance of festival days had been prohibited. But the practice of holding the great festivals might not readily be overcome. Upon those who, on Christmas or Yule, indulged religious rites, the Reformers exercised a rigorous discipline. By the Kirksession of St Andrews in January 1573 several persons were sentenced to make "open satisfaction for observing Yule day." And in 1605 John Wyllie was summoned by the Kirksession of Duildonald on the charge of "nott yoking his plough on Yuill day;" he escaped censure by satisfying the Court that he was "at the smiddie, laying and mending the plough iernis."

The General Assembly, on the 13th February 1645, prohibited masters of schools and colleges "from granting Yule as a holiday, under the penalty of being summoned to compear before the next ensuing General Assembly, there to be censured." And on the 21st December 1649 the Kirksession of St Andrews decreed that intimation be made from the pulpit "that no Yule be keiped, but that all be put to work as ane ordinar work day, with certification that those who use any idlenes shall be taken nottice of, and be seveirlie censured." Conformably with their menace, the kirksession arraigned on the 29th January 1650 several persons charged with playing joule at the goose on Yule day, and whom they ordained "to wait on the two next Sabbaths in the Old Colledge Kirk to be examyned and to sit altogether upon ane forme before the publiet congregation, and to be rebooked there for their fault."

The Kirksession of Glasgow, on the 26th December 16 83, warned the bakers of the city to discontinue the practice of baking Yule bread. Christmas mask-balls had in Catholic times been practised at Aberdeen; they were stopped shortly after the Reformation. A Christmas game, known as "Lady Templeton," was early in the seventeenth century prohibited by the Kirksession of Ayr. [An Act of the Scottish Parliament prohibiting the observance of Christmas was, in 1712, repealed by the Parliament of Great Britain.]

The practice of extinguishing fires at Peltein, latterly at Midsummer eve, was obnoxious to the Reformed Church. In order effectually to suppress the custom, the Presbytery of St Andrews, on the 24th June 1647, asked counsel of the Provincial Synod. On the 30th September 1641 two ministers of the Presbytery of Lanark were ordained to "discharge anie solemn keeping of Michaelmas day."

While Scottish Reformers repressed those annual celebrations which derived from the usages of an elder superstition, the festivals of the Romish Church were also obnoxious to them. Of these the greater number were associated with burlesque representations, disorderly processions, impure mysteries, and profane merriment, while the frequent occurrence became socially degrading. I3y Knox and his reforming colleagues were put forth vigorous efforts to restrain the continuance of these unseemly demonstrations, and to confine religious celebrations chiefly to the Sabbath. Those who observed feast days in the old manner were subjected to strict discipline.

For dancing on Trinity Sunday, David Wemyss was, on the 6th June 1599, sentenced by the Kirk-session of St Andrews to imprisonment in the church steeple till he obtained caution that he would "make his repentance." In his defence Wemyss pleaded that "the custom was kept in Raderny ere any of the session were born." Before the Presbytery of Lanark six persons, including a piper, were arraigned, on the 23d June 1625, "for fetching Hanle a may-pole, and dancing about the same upon Pasche Sunday." On the 27th December 1649, the Kirksession of St Andrews summoned before them a parishioner residing at Stratlikinnes, charged with being drunk on St Andrew's day; he was ordered to "bring ane testimoniall of his carriage from the Session of Cameron, uthyrwyse not to be suffered to remain in the parish."

Prior to the Reformation, Sunday was held sacred only during the hours of worship; while the day proper was understood to commence on Saturday evening at six, and to terminate next evening at the same hour. This mode of reckoning the commencement and the close of Sunday continued till some time after the Reformation. In May 1594 the Presbytery of Glasgow forbade a piper to play his pipes on Sunday, "frae the sun rising till the sun going-to." By the same Presbytery was an injunction put forth, on the 1st January 1635, that Sabbath should extend from twelve on Saturday night till the same hour on Sunday night.

Under the sanction and countenance of the Performers miracle-plays in which the Romish priesthood were subjected to derision were on the Sunday evenings acted for some time after the Reformation. On the 21st July 1574 the Kirksession of St Andrews gave license "to play the comedy mentioned in St Luke's evangel of the forlorn son, upon Sunday, the first day of August next to come." This license was accompanied with the provision 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." By the same Kirksession in 1575 plays were denounced as "expresslie forbidden by Act of Parliament." In 1599 the Presbytery of Aberdeen decreed that "there be nae play-Sundays hereafter, under all hiest pain."

Sunday marketing, which prior to the Reformation was common in churchyards, cathedral alleys, and monastic precincts, had nevertheless been forbidden by Parliament. For a statute passed in. 1503 provided that "there be nati mercat nor faires haldin upon halie daies, nor yet within kirkes, nor kirkyairdes, upon halie daies, nor uther daies."

On the 30th October 1560 the Town Council of Edinburgh resolved that henceforth "the holiday commonly called Sunday " be kept by all persons in the burgh, and that no one make market or open their shops, nor exercise any worldly calling on that day, but should attend ordinary sermons forenoon and afternoon. By an Act of the Estates passed in 157:9 penalties were imposed on those who on "Sabbath dayes attended mercattes and faires," or used "handielabour," or engaged in "hamming and playing, passing to taverns and aile-Houses," or who absented themselves from "their Paroche Kirke." By a further Act passed in 1593, Presbyteries and other authorities were authorized to see that penalties were enforced.

In fulfilling their statutory duties the Presbyteries met with a keen resistance. By the inhabitants of Strathmore the right of trafficking on Sunday was strongly insisted upon, so that in 1596 the Presbytery of Meigle were necessitated to apply to the Privy Council for a vindication of their authority.

On the 15th November 1570 the Kirksession of St Andrews informed Gelis Symson, a married woman, arraigned before them on the charge of "selling candles and bread on Sundays," and of deserting worship, that if she did not desist she would be decerned "to sit in the joggis twenty-four hours." On the 30th April 1594 the Presbytery of Glasgow ordained Steven Auldsone, for working on Sunday, to pay to the church of Rutherglen twenty shillings, and to make his public repentance. By the Kirk-session of St Cuthberts, on the 20th February 1622, "Johne Rid, pultriman," was convicted "for pulling of geiss upon the Lord his Sabboth in tyme of sermon." On the 16th March 1627 nine millers made confession to the Kirksession of Stow that "their mimes did gang on the Sabbath in tyme of divine service," whereupon they were ordered to make public repentance, and each to pay a penalty of "fourtie shillings."

On the 24th July 1627 the Kirksession of Stirling sentenced John Reggie, "for breaking the Sabbath be basking his netts, to mak his repentance the next Sabbath;" it was at the same time ordained that "gif he or any uther be found guiltie of the lyk offences, that is to say, ayther shutting thair cobbles, or basking their netts, from Saturday at twal hours at even to Sonday at twal hours at even they sill pay fourtie shillings, and mak thair public repentance." The Presbytery of Lanark, on the 21st August 1628, condemned "the insolencie of men and women in footracing, dancing, and playing Barla Breks on the Sunday," and enjoined the brethren severally to restrain the practices.

Archibald Russel, at Wester Barlymont, being on the 18th November 1641 found guilty by the Kirk-session of St Andrews of "leading corn on the Sabbath evening, was ordained to crave God's mercy on his knees before the Session, and to pay 40s. penalty, which," the minute adds, "was given to ane Gordon, a distressed woman come from Ireland."

On Sunday, the 10th October 1643, the Kirksession of Saltoun, Haddingtonshire, ordered a servant woman to be summoned "for shooling muck this morning," also some youths for "playing bogill about the stacks." For "watering her kaill on the Sabbath," Margaret Brotherston was, in June 1644, sentenced by the Kirksession of Humbie " to dive evidence in public of her repentance next Lord's day."

On the 31st May 1649 the Kirksession of St Andrews had before them Janet Smart, charged with "carrying water from the loch on the Sabbath day;" she escaped the sentence of making a "public repentance "by the promise" of not being found in the lyke again."

Sunday tippling was punished rigorously. The Kirksession of Stow, on the 13th May 1627, ordained William Brunton, for being drunk on Sunday, and irreverent to the Session, to "pay 40s., to stand next Sabbath in the jouges betwixt the bells, and thereafter to come after sermon in presence of the congregation and confess his fault to God, and crave mercy." On the 5th July 1636 the Kirksession of Crail ruled that those "who sall drink on the Sabbath sall be fined 20s. the first time, 30s. the second, and 10s. more every succeeding time." On the 28th January 1645 the Kirksession of Dunfermline "statute and ordainit that whosoever in this parish shall be found fra the kirk on the Sabbath day, drinking in tyme of divine service, of preaching or prayer, the drinker to pay ten shillings and the seller thereof twenty shillings. And both to mak their publick repentance before the haill congregation, whilk was intimat the next Sabbath." The Kirksession of Port of Monteith, on the 26th April 1668, sentenced three persons for "drinking rinking a chapon of aill " on the preceding Sunday, to "sit bair headit before the pulpit, and after sermon to acknowledge their scandal on their knees." At St Andrews those who practised Sunday drinking were, as an ordinary punishment, "humbled on their knees" in presence of the Kirksession. The Presbytery of Aberdeen enjoined in 1664 that "the Lord's day be exactic keeped, and that all attend the reading and hearing of the Word before sermon, and none depart from church before pronouncing of the blessing, and that visitors for everie part of the paroche be appointed be the ministers for visiting taverns and au-houses; that there be no excessive drinking, nor the people continue tippling in those places; but that all diligent people resort to their awn houses for going about their familie duties suitable to the holiness of the day ; that there be no bargaining, feeing of servandis, or other secular exercise gone about on that day, and that notice be taken of such as travel on the Lord's day."

Attendance on divine worship was rigidly enjoined. In 1568 the Kirksession of Aberdeen decreed that every one absent from divine service should pay 6d. for each offence, a penalty of 2s. being exacted from elders and deacons. And thirty years subsequently it was decreed by the Town Council of the city that every burgess and his wife should attend church each Sunday under a penalty of 13s. 4d. for each violation of the law. In 1574 the Kirksession 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 Session has ordained captors to be chosen to visit the whole town 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." On the 8th January 1582-3 the Kirksession of Perth ordained that "an elder of every quarter" should in turn pass through the same each Sunday in time of preaching before noon, and " note those found in taverns, barter's booths, or in the baits, and dilate them to the Assembly, that everyone of them that is absent from the kirk may be poinded for twenty shillings, according to the Act of Parliament." On the 22d October 15 8 8 the Kirksession of the united parishes of Anstruther, Kilrenny, and Pittenweem ordained that "the maister and mistress of every house, and sa many as are of years and judgment (except where 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 tonics quoties thereafter."

The Kirksession of Perth, on the 29th January 1592-3, had under cognizance, for neglect of ordinances, "the Lady Innernytie," wife of Elphinstone of Innernytie, a judge of the Court of Session. She was allowed to escape public censure by declaring that her non-attendance was "neither in contempt of the word, nor of the minister, but only by reason of her sickness," also by giving promise that she would attend "when she shall be well in health." In 1599 the Kirksession of St Andrews decreed that whoso is found golfing during the time of divine service, shall for the first offence pay ten shillings; twenty shillings for the second; for the third be placed on the repentance pillar, and for the fourth be deprived of office. In the year 1600 the Kirksession of Glasgow enjoined the deacons of crafts to make search among the families of freemen for "absents from the kirk," and to impose penalties upon them. On the 5th September 1608, Robert Orrok was convicted by the Kirksession of Kingliorn "of being absent fra the preaching thrie seurall Sabbathis, and that in hie and manifest contempt of his pastour;" he was referred to the magistrate, to be punished "conform to the act of his hienes' Parliament." In 1611 the Kirksession of Aberdeen enjoined "the baillies" of the city "to caus the people to resort to the sermons." In 1615 the Kirksession of Lasswade enacted that "all persons attend the kirke or be punished, gentlemen to be damnified in 6s. 8d. Scots, men in 3s. 4d., and servants in twenty pennies." The Kirksession of Dunino ruled 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 pulilict repentance and pay twa shillings, and for the second fault pay four shillings, and to ties quoties thereafter." It was on the 1st July 1649 ruled by the Kirksession of Mouswald that "everie ane absent, for everie dayes absence from the kirke shall pay ane groat, except they can show ane resonable excuse, and that nano shall goe from their owne kirk to any other upon the Lord's day."

At St Andrews, neglect of ordinances was common. On the 21st June 1649, Mr David Lentron, portioner, of Newton of Nydie, appeared to answer to the charge of " not keeping of the church." His excuse as to "the foulnes of the geat [road] in winter" was deemed a pretence, and he was sentenced to public censure. On the 2nd May 1654, Margaret Johustoun and Helen Wellwood appeared before the Kirksession of Dunfermliuc, the former charged with "carrying a pitcher of water," the latter with "carrying a burden of cole on the Sabbath, in tyre of sermon." On account of not having been previously charged with any misdemeanour, both were dismissed with an admonition.

By the Kirksession of St Andrews, Grisel Hall was, on the 3d June 1658, sentenced to public rebuke "for going home betwixt sermons." As "sinfull barbaratis" the Session condemned "the practice of sitting on the kirk doores [door-steps] or at the farr ends of the kirk, or Booing out to the churchyeard in tyme of publicke worship, and of sitting at doores several together chattering after sermon." By intimation from the pulpit, these practices were prohibited under high censure.

At St Andrews, children found romping on the streets on Sunday were flogged. Charles Carstairs, a child, who on Sunday, the 19th July 1649, was found clymbing Mr Samuell Rutherfuird's yeard dyke in tyme of Divine service, was, after admonition, comittcd to Alexander Curving to see him belted [strapped] be his mother," and John Gray, Kirk Officer was directed "to help to do the samyne." In fray 1649 the Kirksession of St Andrews sentenced a youth, who had profaned the Sunday, "to be scourgit in the Tollbooth by ane of the tours officers at the sight of the magistrates." The Kirksession of Dunfermline also imposed scourging. On the 25th February 1685 they sentenced two apprentices, "as twa of the perversest knaves in all the burgh, to be whipped before them for Sabbath breaking," and thereafter confined "in the bell-house."

As one of the rules of discipline, the Kirksession of Mouswald enacted, on the 1st July 1649, that a penalty be inflicted on all who on Sunday are found playing at nyne hollis, pennie stane, or any such lyke idle pastymes." At St Andrews "a game played by lads in the churchyard, called catt and dog," was prohibited, and those engaging in it warned that they would be prosecuted as "dissorderlie walkers."

At a period when church services were unreasonably prolonged, some persons were in the habit of seeking respite by a brief walk in the churchyard. To Kirk-sessions such a practice was obnoxious. On the 24th February 1697 the Kirksession of Ettrick appointed two elders "every Sabbath to tak notice that nane withdraw from the publick worship, and that no discourse be about the doors, or sitting in houses during the time of worship, and that this be done by them untill the elders go through once every month, that the Sabbath be not profaned." The Kirksession of Crathie, on the 29th June 1718, appointed their "members to go out by turns in time of Divine service, both forenoon and afternoon, and take notice of all people that play without in the kirk yeard in time of sermon, discoursing about their worldly affairs."

Proper behaviour in church was rigorously enjoined. In 1577 the Kirksession of Anstruther Wester ordained that William Scott "sall abyt at the done in tym of preachin before nun and efter, vpoun Sunday, and see as passes furth before the blessing; he sall cause note them, and giv ther names to the Commissioners appointed he the kingis majestic to be punisehit as profaners of the Saboth." In July 1606, Andrew Gairnie was reprimanded by the Kirksession of Ayr, "because the minister was in the pulpit before he entered the church." On the 1st May 1608, the Kirk-session of Kinghorn ordained Robert Henderson, "for the stryking his nybour upon the haffit in tyme of preaching, to stand in the gouos twa hours or els to pay twentie schillings, and also to compeir befoir the pulpit and confes his fault and craue God's Mercie for the same."

Snuff-taking in church was prohibited. The Kirksession of Saltoun, on the 11th April 1641, "statute, with consent of the minister and elders, that every one that takes snuff in tyme of Divine service shall pay 6s. 8d., and give ane publick confession of his fault." And the Kirksession of St Cuthberts, on the 18th June 1640, determined that every snuff-taker in church be amerced in "twenty shillings for everie falt." In April 1643 the Kirksession of Dunfermline appointed the bellman "to tak notice of those who tak the sneising tobacco in tyme of divine service, and to inform concerning them."

During the eighteenth century Sunday desecration especially abounded in northern districts. On the 28th September 1761 the Town Council of Elgin, taking into consideration that

"the profanation of the Lord's day is become awry frequent," ordained "that no person or persons shall presume to walk in the streets, or on the fields in time of divine service, that no person shall presume to make any disturbance on the streets, or under the forestairs after public worship is over, under the pain of three pounds Scots for each offence; that none shall presume to go into ale-houses and drink in time of divine service on the Lord's day, under the penalty of six pounds Scots—each person that shall be found drinking in such houses in time of divine service on the Lord's day, and the like sum of six pounds Scots each person who shall sell or give such ale or other liquor to them—the one half of which fines shall pertain to the informer and the other half to the Fiscal of Court; and ordain this Act to be intimated by tuck of drum."

By the Incorporated Trades of Ayr was kept a long rod for awakening apprentices, who in the Trades Gallery of the parish church slept during service.

The Church was much exercised in suppressing a practice inseparable from protracted services. So long as places of worship were without pews, women carried to church small stools as seats for their husbands and sons. Personally they leant upon woollen plaids, extended on the earthen floor. In hot weather and when the services were protracted, those exhausted by week-day toil drawing their wrappings around their heads committed themselves to sleep. Muffled sleepers were to be found in pre-Reformation times. In a sumptuary law passed by Parliament in 1457, it was ordained that "na woman come to kirk nor mercat with her face mufflalled or covered, that she may not be kend, under pains of escheit of the courchie," that is, of her head dress.

During the seventeenth century the Church Courts were constantly passing rules on the subject of plaid-wearing. In 1621 the Kirksession of Glasgow enacted that "no woman, married or unmarried, come within the kirk-doors, to preaching or prayers, 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 raisit be the beddall."

By the Kirksession of Kinghorn, on the 4th March 1645, was denounced "the uncomlieness of women coming to church on the Sabbath to sermon with plaids about their heads . . . which provocks sleeping in the time of sermone without being espied." The Kirksession therefore ordered "that if anie woman be found in church on the Sabbath with a plaid over or about her head from this day forth she shall conforme to that act pay 6 sh. toties quotes, and further be liable to such censure as the sessione shall condescend upon to be inflicted for her contemptioun and disobedience." Muffled Sunday sleepers must have become intolerably numerous, when, on the 17th September 1643, the Kirksession of Monifieth provided their officer, Robert Scott, "with ane pynt of tar, to put upon the women that held plaids about their heads."

On the 24th May 1694 the Kirksession of St Andrews passed a minute in these words:

"The weamen being complained upon for their evill custome and habit in wearing their playdes about their heades and sleiping in the church in tyme of Divine service, quhairfoir after consideration it was ordained that hereafter none come within the kirk dores with their plaides about their heades, especiallie on the Sabbath, and intimation theroff to be mad on the morrow to the whole congregation, as it was at large being Solemn Thanksgiving for the late victorie over the malianants in the north; and for holding hard thereto, it was appoynted that James Wood and James Sword, balyies, attend with their officers at the kirk dores on Sunday nixt for that effect, quhairby that they may cause every one give obedience according as they are appoynted."

This invocation of magisterial authority had proved ineffective, for on the 21st June the Kirksession "ordered intimation to be made furth of the pulpit discharging weamen's playdes from their heads in the church, especiallie on the Lord's Day, with certification that the Session will appoynt one of the church officers to go throw the kirk with ane long rod and tak donne thair playdes from their heads, quha are disobedient." Acting on this deliverance, two persons, assuming that what was lawful to the church officer might not be unlawful to others, actually snatched a plaid from a woman's head during the time of worship. Arraigned before the Kirksession, and certain "honest women" having testified as to their guilt, they were ordained to be "publictlie rebookit befoir the congregation," and "were recommendit to the magistrats for the ryot."

By the members of the Associate Synod in the eighteenth century the first day of the week was associated with austerity and gloom. Every Seceder refused to shave on Sunday, while he charged with profanity all who did. Generally, the evangelical clergy abridged their toilet on the Sabbath. The writer's grandfather, a parish minister in Forfarshire, anticipated his Sunday morning toilet by shaving on Saturday evening at eleven o'clock. To these austere times succeeded a reaction. As craftsmen and others early in the present century entered upon a higher culture, they sought to appear in church with trimmed hair and well-shaved beards. Hence barbers on Sunday prosecuted an active trade. Out of this change arose a long and serious litigation. The question of Sunday observance was intimately involved. The apprentice of a barber at Dundee, who had by indenture become bound "not to absent himself from his master's business, holiday or week day, late hours or early," was requested to shave customers on Sunday mornings. To this he demurred, and the local magistrates, on his employer's complaint, resolved to enforce his attendence, remarking in a written judgment that "aid by an apprentice in shaving on the morning of Sunday before ten o'clock is not contrary to the statutes regarding the Sabbath." On advocation, Lord Jeffrey, as Ordinary, reversed the judgment, holding that a shaving shop was not of such necessity as might not admit of being closed for one day weekly. On an appeal, the Lord Justice-Clerk Boyle concurred with the Lord Ordinary, but a majority of the judges held that the work sought to be performed came within the category of necessity. The case was appealed to the House of Lords, when, on the 20th December 1837, the Lord Chancellor Cottenham, supported by all the law lords, reversed the judgment and upheld the opinion of the Lord Ordinary. ["An Outline of the Law of Scotland against Sabbath Profanation," by Hugh Barclay, LL.D. Glasgow, 1866, pp. 15-21.]

By Scottish Reformers, attendance at the communion table was insisted upon. On the 9th September 1564 the Kirksession of the Canongate ordeinit that no person get any almose [alms] except that thai haif been at the communion, saifant infantis, faderlesse, and sik persons as are into extryme seiknes and in extryme pouerte." And in the year 1603 the Kirksession of Aberdeen resolved to distrain the goods of certain persons at Footdee who from the Lord's table absented themselves "contumaciously." On the 22d June 1645 Helen Wallis, convicted by the Kirksession of Dunfermline for "not communicating at the Lord's table," was sentenced to make "hir private repentance on hir knees."

Fast-days were invested with the sacredness of Sunday. The Kirksession of Dunfermline, on the 21st December 1641, amerced John Smart, flesher, in eight merles for "selling a carkois of beefe and having pott on a rost at his fire the last fasting day."

Gambling was prohibited. In 1598 the Kirksession of Stirling dealt with two persons who had played 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 1634 the kirksession of Dumfries sentenced a person found card-playing on a Saturday evening to pay 12s. to the kirk treasurer.

Rebellion against parental authority was, as a high offence, visited with severity. David Leyes, who had struck his father, was by the Kirksession of St Andrews in 1574 sentenced to appear before the congregation "bairheddit 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 the twva instruments he mannesit his father,—with ane papir writin in great letteris about his heid, with these wordis, Behold the onnaturall Son punished for putting hand on his father, and dishonouring of God in him." Nor was this deemed sufficient humiliation, for the offender was afterwards at the market-cross made to stand two hours "in the jaags," and thereafter "cartit through the haill toun." Not only so, but being again placed at the cross, proclamation in his presence was made that "if ever he offended father or mother heirefter, the member of his body quhairly he offendit salbe cuttit off from him, be it tung, hand or futt without mercy, as example to utheris to abstein fra the lyke." In 1598 the Presbytery of Glasgow seriously deliberated on the conduct of a youth, who had passed his father, "without lifting his bonnet."

A tendency to detraction long prevailed, since it was the only weapon which the feeble might urge against the strong. Writing from Edinburgh to Cardinal Wolsey in 1525, Dr Magnus, the English ambassador, remarks: "There has been right rageous winds with exceeding rain, and an open slander and a murmur raised upon me, not only in this town of Edinburgh, but through a great part of the realm, surmitting 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."

Against a practice which had become so common and deep-seated the Reformed Church contended vigorously. The Kirksession of Canongate on the 8th December 1565 "ordainit that bif any persone or persons haif ony gruge of hatrit or malice, or any offence in his hart agane his brodir, that they and ilk ane o' thame come on Tesday in the mornying at viij houris to the Tolboth, quhan fyve of the kirk salbe present to juge the offence, and bif that it staudis in thame to reconseill the same, the said fyve to be John Hart, John Short, John Mordo, John Acheson, Thomas Hunter, James Wilkie, or any fyve of them." The Kirksession of Perth in 1578 decreed that John Tod, for a slanderous speech, should stand two hours in irons. The Kirksession of Dumfries ruled that slanderers should be sentenced "to stand at the kirk-stile on the Sabbath, with brinks upon their mouths," while obstinate detractors were to be pilloried in the market-place.

The brank, to which we have been introduced, was of the form of a helmet. Composed of iron bars it had a triangular piece of iron which entered the mouth. Placed on the head of the delinquent it was secured behind by a padlock. The offender wearing this degrading casque stood on the repentance stool. Soon after his elevation to the primacy, Archbishop Sharp 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 Kirksession, 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 Isobel undergoing her sentence. The brank worn by Isobel Lindsay when under discipline has been preserved.

For slandering their neighbours, Robert Shortrees and his wife were in 1646 sentenced by the Kirksession of Dunfermline to ask forgiveness "of the parties offendit before their awn doores in the street, publicklie on their knees;" the menace was added that if "Robert shall be found hereafter in the lyke fault he shall be banished out of the paroche." Janet Wely at Dunfermline was, in March 1646, sent to the pillar of repentance for calling Grissel Welwood by the name of "white bird." The kirksession of Kinghorn, on the 28th May 1609, "be pluralitie of uoitts, thocht it meit that Patrick Key, for his misbehaviour in abusing his nybour, and in calling William Newin 'ane witehis burd' beffour the Session, suld stand twentie fowr howrs in the steipill for his penaltie."

It was one of the rules of Mouswald parish, framed in 1649, that slanderers were "to pay twentie shillings for the first fault, and to crave God and the parties sclandered mercie in the presence of the sessioun; for the second fault to pay fourtie shillings and to stand one day in the pillar with sheits; for fault the third to pay fourtie shillings and to stand thrie dayes in the pillar with sheits; and that for everie fault totics quoties should they confes their offence, and crave both God and the parties offended mercic, otherwayes to be put into the gorgettis."

Myse Bonar was in 1652 charged before the Kirksession of Dunfermline with "denouncing the touue." Among other foolish utterances, she expressed a wish that " Cromwell wad come and tak all the toune upon his bak." Her sentence was a heavy one; she was condemned "to stand at the croce or tron, on ane publict merest day, with ane paper on hir head," and on the Sunday morning thereafter "to stand in face of the congregation" and there make her further confession.

When punishments so odious were executed upon slanderers, the temptation was not inconsiderable for persons who had a dislike to any of their neighbours to charge them with this offence. So restrictive regulations became needful. It was one of the parochial laws of Mouswald "if any compleins of his neighbour for slander, and in the meintyme cannot prove the same, then the complainers themselvs shall be punished with paena talionis, and underly the punishment that should be inflicted upon the person complained on, if that the fancied sclander had been proven and trees."

A similar rule was in 1691 enacted by the Kirksession of Dalry, Kirkcudbrightshire, such being that "whosoever present before the session any bill or petition or libel anent slander, must consigne twelve shillings scots in pledge of their honest designe, to be forfeited should they faill in the probation." The sessional decree preceded by one year the commencement of proceedings in a case of scandal, which occupies by its details many pages of the register.

On the 30th October 1692, Janet Nelson, wife of John Weillis, appeared in Dalry parish church in sackcloth upon the repentance stool, and there publicly declared, as formerly she had done to the Kirksession, that she had been guilty of adultery with her husband's master, John M'Creach of M'Kistoun. As she made her public declaration, M'Creach, who was in his peter, stood up and warmly protested his innocence. Along with M'Creach was "a messenger of court," who bore a legal warrant authorizing the imprisonment of both the confessor and her husband. Adam Norval, notary, who also attended at M'Creach's instance, made an official record of the occurrence.

It now appeared that Janet Nelson or Weillis had, in the presence of several persons, subscribed a written declaration, testifying that she had presented the charge against M`Creach at the request and through the menaces of her husband, and that M'Creach was innocent. Presenting the declaration in the Commissary Court, to which he had summoned Weillis and his wife, M'Creach had, on their non-appearance, obtained judgment. Matters became heated, for at the instance of the Kirksession, those who had attested Nelson's withdrawal expressed their regret for witnessing it, and as a statement from the pulpit was read to this effect, they verified its accuracy by severally standing up.

Janet Nelson was imprisoned in Sanquhar jail, but on her liberation a few weeks afterwards, she on the 11th December 1692, emitted a further declaration, adhering to her original confession, and alleging that her withdrawal had been procured by constraint. The Kirksession applied to the Presbytery for counsel, and on their advice it was ruled that M.'Creach should have an opportunity of publicly purging himself of the charge. Accordingly on Sunday, the 4th March 1694, he in presence of the congregation at Dalry church declared his innocence in all oath which contained these words: "I, swearing by the Eternal God, the searcher of hearts, invocating Him as witness, judge and avenger, wishing in case I be guilty that He Himself may appear against me as witness."

Vituperation and scolding were cognizable offences. In 1562 the Kirksession of Aberdeen decreed that "all common skoldis, flytharis and cardis be baneist the toun, and nocht sufferit to remaine thairin for na requist;" and on the 19th December 1592, the Kirksession of Glasgow "appointed juggs and brankis to be fixit up in some suitable place for the punischment of flyteris." By the Kirksession of Kinghorn, on the 7th August 1608, Marjorie Buit and Alison Huggan were adjudged "to be put in the bongs for their flyting and scalding in the toun." And on the 18th September of the same year, Janet Tod and Janet Ayngill were, "for missbehaviour in flytting and scalding in the audience of their neighbours and others, ordanit to stand twa hours in the gougs at the trove; Janet ane hour mair at the Gros for hir dissobedience." In 1617 the Kirksession of Perth 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."

One of the code of rules passed by the Kirksession of Mouswald in 1649 provided that "notorious flytteris with their neighbouris shall stand in the gorgetis with ane paper upon thair head."

On the 3rd May 168 the minister of Port of Menteith "did intimat unto the people, after the first sermon, and intreated them that na person should flyt nor scold on the Sabbath-day, or na ither day; or whosoever person or persons should be found scolding should be punished both in their persons and means, and [made] to stand in the jogs."

By the Church it was strongly ruled that in the conjugal union the spouses should avoid strife. On the 24th August 1623 the Kirksession of Kinghorn arraigned William Allan, who had abused his wife upon a Sunday. He was sentenced "to be layd twentie fower houris in the stockis, and thairefter to stand twa houris in the jougis upon ane merest day, and thairefter to find caution not to do the lyk againe with notification if he sall be fund doing the same to be banischit the toun."

The abuse of husbands by their wives was a common offence. On the 2d February 1565[6] George Stone, faster, complained to the Kirksession of the Canongate that he "culd not live with his wife Janet Mordo, be resone of wicketnes of touug and casting at him with her handis stains and dirt." The Kirksession of St Andrews, on the 15th November 1570, "warnit Gelis Synlson, spouse to George Upton, that she sould be made to sit in the ioggis twenty-four houris," and be heavily fined if she persevered in "miscayn her husband, flytin with her neighbouris, selling candle and bread on Sundays, and not resorting to the kirk." Margaret Short, a common offender, was by the Kirksession of Stirling, on the 23rd March 1598, handed over "to the balillies to punish her publiclie," inasmuch that she had violently abused her husband, leaving "mintit ane shool to him" and "cast in his face ane cap with aill." For scolding her husband the Kirksession of Ayr, in 1606, sentenced Janet Hunter "to stand in her lynnings, at the cross on market days;" also "to stand at the kirk door seven days, and in the public place of repentance." On the 29th March 1653 Margaret Markman was, for "abusing her husband David Watertoun with most cursed, cruel, and malicious speeches, committed to the magistrates for imprisonment in the laighest prison-house, and thairaftir to be set on the Tron on a mercat day to the example of others, with a paper on her browe showing her notorious scandall." For causes other than scolding some married men had reason to be displeased with their helpmates. On the 2d December 1564 John Roger promised to the Kirksession of the Canongate at the baptism of his daughter Dorothy that he would "in na way committ the said barn to the care of his wife, because sche afoir in druknes smog it twa former barnis, and "if he be negligent in keeping; of his said bairn that they will pursue him as ane common mortherar of children." To the Kirksession of St Andrews John Moris, on the 25th August 1659, made complaint against his wife Beatrix Smith for "wasteing and mispending their means." Beatrix acknowledged her offence, and was warned that "if she shall hereaftir impignorate anything," the magistrates' concurrence would be obtained "to take such pledges from the receiver without paying debt so contracted."

Before the Reformation, profane swearing was especially prevalent. Priests swore "by God's Wounds," "by our lady," by "the wood of the holy cross," and "by all the saints." In smiting sarcastically those who indulged in imprecation, Sir David Lyndsay has adduced in his poems fifty different oaths, of which thirty-three, used by persons of quality, occur in his "Thrie Estaitis." In 1518 was passed a Parliamentary statute imposing penalties upon "swearers of abominable oaths." These penalties were levied by a scale conforming with the offender's rank or social status. Thus, "for the first fault, every prelate of kirk, earl, or lord, four shillings; a baron or beneficed man, constituted in dignity ecclesiastical, twelve pennies; a landed man, freeholder, vassal, feuar, burgess, and small beneficed man, six pennies; the poor folks that have no gear to be put in the stocks, jags, or imprisoned for the space of four hours. And women to be weighed and considered according to their blood and estate of the parties that they are coupled with." In 1560 it was ruled by the Town Council of Edinburgh that all found guilty of blasphemy should be punished by the iron brank. On the 7th January 1585-6 the order was revived in these words: "Fynds it maist expedient that the bailyeis renew the ordour obseruet before in pvnesing of sic as blasphemys and bannis, uther be ane pecuniare sowme or be putting of thame in the jogs, according to the persounn, place, and trespas, bayth thame quhom that sail happin to find swa doing or that sail be delaittet be the eldaris or deaeonis." In 1592 the Presbytery and Town Council of Aberdeen joined in authorising employers to exact penalties from such of their servants as used oaths, and to deduct the same from their wages. With " palmers " they were empowered to punish blasphemers who were unable to pay fines, also to chastise oath-speaking children. In 1644 the Kirk-session of Glasgow appointed certain of their number to proceed on market days through the city "to take order with banners and swearers," and upon each to impose a penalty of twelve pence.

Thomas Rumkeillor was, by the Kirksession of St Andrews, on the 25th January 1649, referred to the Presbytery for "railling and cursing against the Covenant." In the same year it was ruled by the Kirksession of Mouswald that "cursers and swearers shall pay tuelf pennies taties quoties;" further, that "everie fighter and bloodshedder shall stand on the pillar with sheetes one day, and also to pay fourtie shillings by and atover that which the civill magistrat micht lay upon them."

In June 1651 the Kirksession 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." On the 5th December 1680 the Kirksession of Saltoun had at their bar one John Boyd, charged with "swearing openly at a banquet, and bragging that they [the company] might know he was a gentilman by his swearing." Boyd, who had been drinking, admitted his fault, and on his knees before the Session expressed his penitence. The Procurator-Fiscal of the Regality Court of Lesmahagow was in 1703 reproved by the Kirksession of the parish for profane swearing; it was further resolved to complain of him to the Duchess of Hamilton that "such a, person may not be continued in the possession of his office."

Habitual drunkards were rigorously punished. In 1612, John Thomson, who had through excessive drinking "lost sindrie of his senses," was by the Kirksession of Stirling sentenced "to fall doun on his knees and crave God and the kirk for forgiveness, and to pay twenty shillins ad pios usus." In 1645 the Kirksession of Dunino resolved to impose penalties on drunkards according to a scale. For the first offence were to be exacted six shillings, twelve shillings for a second, and so on toties quoties. In October 1654 the Kirksession of Dumfries "required the 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." In May 1668 the Kirksession of Port of Menteith made the following regulation, which was publicly intimated: "No brewir within the paroch should sell aill to no person except als much as wold quenche the thirst of strangers, or to sick persons; and not to sell 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 drunk it to be punished as the Session shall think fit." In 1712 the Kirksession of Hawick appointed certain persons to "perlustrate the town to see who were drinking in alehouses after eight o'clock at night."

Persons guilty of manslaughter, though escaping conviction in the criminal tribunals, or subsequently pardoned, were not relieved from ecclesiastical censures. The earliest case of this sort appears in the register of the Canongate. The entry proceeds:—"The first day of Januare 1565. The whilk day the Superintendent beand present with the Assemblie [Kirksession] for the order discriwing for the repentance - making of Marjorye Brisone, quha had committed the horobill cryme of murther in slaying ane man, as at mair lenthe is confessit in hir humble supplecation to the General Kirk of Scotland at dyverse tymes be the action beand remittit to the Superintendent of Lowdiane, the said Superintendent efter the avisement ordanis the said Marjorye to be ressavit in maser following to be usit for the space of three Sondayis afoirnone and efter none, viz., that the said Marjorye sail cum to the place appointit bairfit and bair legit with ane peticot quhint out cullour, or sleffis or clayth upone hir heid, with ane knif made of tre dippit in bluide, and there beand callit upon, humblic sall require for Godis mercy and forgevines of brethern, and that thay may call upone thair God for hir to appardone hir heuie offence, and in the third Sonday to resave her again to the kirk. In taking of the quhilk ane elder of the kirk sal resave her be the hand, and tak the knyf from her knawina hir to have gottin remission of the princes and parteis satisfiet."

In December 1599 the Kirksession of St Andrews absolved four persons for the murder of "umquhill James Smith," who had severally appeared in presence of the congregation, conformable with the regulation as to "murderous repentance." In 1619 the Kirksession of Redgorton considered the case of Colin Pitscottie, eldest son of Andrew Pitscottie of Luncarty, who was charged with 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 public repentance in the kirk of Redgorton "in lyning clothes."

On the 1st August 1639, Francis Weir of Newton addressed a supplication to the Presbytery of Lanark, entreating that he might be relieved of his long excommunication on account of the slaughter of William Carmichael, brother to Sir John Carmichael of Meadowflat, in respect that "he has now made satisfaction to the partie, and is also relaxed from the Kingis home." The Kirksession of St Andrews, on the 14th July 1653, "appointed Laurence James Corstorphine, 'manslayer,' to begin the publicke declaration of his repentance next Lord's day." He had already "humblie confesst his terrible sinne unto the minister in private." At the instance of his Kirksession, the minister of Inverurie, on the 15th December 1661, made public intimation "that William Forbes, natural son to the Laird of Leslie, was excommunicated for murthering Kincowsay."

Owing chiefly to the lewd habits of the monks, the social degradation of the people was, in times immediately preceding the Reformation, all but complete. To remedy the prevailing licentiousness, strong measures were adopted by the authorities. In May 1562 the magistrates of Edinburgh caused a hole to be dug in the North Loch, in which persons leading impure lives might be soused. Another pool for the same purpose was known as the "corrall or quarry hole;" it was situated on a farm lying between Edinburgh and Leith, the property of Trinity Hospital. To the punishment of ducking, persons guilty of impurity were, in the early times of the Reformed Church, frequently sentenced by the Kirksession. On the 16th March 1565-6, Elspeth Logan, "one of the Quenis Gracis cukis," was, by the Kirksession of the Canongate, adjudged "to be anis douckit in the Corrall hollis and banischit the gait." The Kirk-session of Kinghorn, on the 20th December 1607, ordained "Johne Hagie to be put in the stepill, and Elspet Stock in the tolbuithe till the morne, that the ministers, elders, and magistrates sic thame punishit wither be douking thame or els be setting thame in the gougis, with their heads schaven for their uyle halrlatric confessit be thane baithe." In 1602, the Kirksession of Aberdeen, in considering the case of Jenete Scherar, who had fallen a second time, ordered her "to be apprehendit and put in ward, and theirafter to be doukit at the croce;" it is added, "provyding gif sche pay ten markis of penaltie to be fre of hir douking, and no utherways."

In the First Book of Discipline, the Reformers demanded that adulterers should be put to death their desire was not fully complied with, but in 1563 Parliament enacted that "notour adulterers," meaning those of whose illicit connection a child had been born, should be executed. The penalty was occasionally inflicted. When in 1563 Paul Methven, minister at Jedburgh, acknowledged himself guilty of adultery, the General Assembly consulted on the subject the lords of the Council. Methven was in the third year subsequent to his confession, permitted to prostrate himself on the floor of the Assembly, and with weeping and howling, to entreat for pardon. Then followed the terrible sentence, that at Edinburgh as the capital, in Dundee as his native town, and in Jedburgh, the scene of his ministrations, he should stand in sackcloth at the church door, also on the repentance stool, and for two Sundays in each place.

Fornication was punished with a severity nearly equal to that which attended the infraction of the marriage vow. On the 31st September 1564, a serving girl, charged with impurity, was by the Kirksession of the Canongate (with the co-operation of the magistrates) ordered to "depart furth of the gait within forty-eight houris, under the paine of schurging and burnyng of the scheike." On the 7th October of the same year, the same Kirksession sentenced David Persoun, convicted of fornication, to be "brankit for four houris," while his associate in guilt, Isobel Moutray, was "banisit the gait," that is expelled from the parish. A week subsequently the Kirksession of Canongate issued a proclamation that all women found guilty of fornication "be brankit six houris at the croce." And on the 11th November it was decreed, with the approval of the magistrates, "that na house be let to ony persone who has committed fornication or other uncleanness, under a penalty of xl shillings." That no female offender might escape, "maid-wifs" were commanded to inform the Session as to the births at which they assisted. On the same occasion four females guilty of impurity were condemned to "stand on the croce," two of them to be "brankit," while all under pain of burning on the check were thereafter to quit "the commonwealth," that is the parish.

On the 2nd December 1564, the Kirksession of the Canongate, co-operating with the bailies, ordained certain women who were leading irregular lives, "to sit bair-heid vpoun the croce, and there to stand three houris—and thereafter to be banished, and if afterwards apprehendit in the lyke falt, to be schurgit, burnt on the schiek," and sent into perpetual exile. In 1565 Philip Walker, a fornicator from Dundee, was, on account of "his povertie and submissiveness," allowed by the Kirksession of the Canongate to escape further punishment by being warded "all nycht in the tolbuith, with breid and water." Respecting the punishment of adultery, the Kirksession of Aberdeen, in 1568, decreed "that ilk persone convict in the said cryme sall cum thre several Sundays, at the second bell-ringing, to the kirk door, quhair the people enteris that day, bairfutit and bairleged, clad in sackclayth, with ane crown of paper on their heid, with the cryme written thairabout, and remaine thair quhile the precheour begins his sermond; and thairefter sall cum into the oppen place of repentans, and remain standing until the end of the preching, and then pas again to the same door, quhair thai sall remane to be ane spektakl to the haill peple, until all folkis be past hame, and departit frae the kirk." The Kirksession 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 toun." Ten years later the same Kirksession had "ane pulley" attached to Glasgow bridge, whereby adulterers might be duckit" in the Clyde.

The Kirksession of St Andrews ordained in 1576 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 Kirksession of Glasgow enacted that the punishment of "single fornication be ane day on the cockstool, ane day at the pillar, and eight days warding in the steeple." In 1586 the Kirksession of Perth appointed James Pitlady, with a yearly salary of forty shillings "to shave the heads of fornicators and fornicatrixes." During the same year the Kirk-session of Perth ordained Thomas Smith, who had for the third time confessed to the guilt of uncleanness, to be "warded, shaven, and doukit in a puddle [pool] of water, according to Act of Parliament."

By the Presbytery of Paisley, on the 16th November 1626, a man who had confessed himself guilty of adultery was ordained "to stand and abyde six Sabbaths barefooted and barelegged at the kirk door of Paisley between the second and third bell-ringing, and thereafter to goe to the place of public repentance during the said space of six Sabbaths." In 1627 the Kirksession of Stow accepted the satisfaction of Alexander Sandilands, after his having on a first conviction for fornication, "sittin eighteen dyetts" upon the stool of repentance. Margaret Brown, at Kinghorn, was, on the 25th February 1640, ordained "to sit upon the pyllar for the space of twentie-sex sabbathis, and to stand at the kirk door the haill tyme betwixt the second and third bells in sackloathe, and the hyndmost three sabbathis to be barefootit."

Among the rules of discipline framed by the Kirk-session of Mouswald on the 1st July 1649, it was ordained that "everie fornicator, both man and also woman, for the first fault, should stand thrie dayes in the pillar of repentance with sheits, and to pay fourtie shillings of penaltie; for the second fault, to stand six dayes with sheits, and to lay four pundis; and for the third fault, to stand six dayes in sackclothe and to pay twentie marks." In 1643 the Kirksession of Glasgow intensified their former enactments by the decree that adulterers should stand "three hours in the jaggs," receive "a public whipping," be imprisoned in the common jail, and be thereafter banished from the city. Two adulterers were in May 1642 sentenced by the Presbytery of Lanark "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." On the 4th March 1647 the Kirksession of St Andrews determined that fornicators should, on a first conviction, pay 10; and on a relapse, 20; while those unable to make payment were to be set on the cross, and to remain fifteen days in prison, there to be fed on bread and water.

For a century after the Reformation incestuous crimes occupied from time to time the attention of the higher courts. The Synod of Fife in April 1611 ordained Laurence Ferguson, in the parish of Kirkcaldy, who had pleaded guilty of incest, "to pas ilk Saboth day from kirk to kirk per circulum throughout the haill kirkes in the boundis of the exerceis [Presbytery] 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 intermissioune of dayes, vntil the next diocesan Assemblie to be holdin in St Androis in the moneth of Apryl next."

The severities exercised upon social delinquents were, if at all deterrent, very partially so. Among the industrial classes few were able to read, and the songs and ballads committed to memory were usually ribald and licentious. Through an impure minstrelsy the exhortations of the pulpit were more than negatived. In 1580 the Session-clerk of Perth reports that of 211 children baptized, about 85 were born out of wedlock. During the seventh decade of the sixteenth century the session-clerk of Aberdeen has entered separately the births of legitimate and illegitimate children, and from his record we learn that the latter in 1571 numbered 27 per cent. [It may be remarked that social irregularities still largely prevail in certain northern counties. In the report of the Register-General for 1S83, the illegitimate births in Aberdeenshire are set down as 12 per cent., while in the counties of Elgin and Banff the percentage is 14.]

Discipline was seldom relaxed. There was an exception in 1585, when a pestilential distemper visited Perth, assuming so virulent a character that infected persons were removed from their dwellings, and being conveyed to the burgh muir, were there lodged in wooden huts, To provide the means of lodgment, penalties were exacted from those who indulged in nuptial festivities, each one who resorted to a bridal being called on to pay 10, while every couple who entertained at their bridal more than four persons were amerced in 40. When funds derived from this source proved unequal to the requirement, social delinquents condemned by the Kirksession were allowed to compound for not appearing on the repentance stool by what is styled "ane pecunial sums of money," which, as the parish record bears, "was applied to the support of the poor, withall that are Furth in the lodges, who otherwise shall be liable to die for want, or else be compelled for hunger to stray and go abroad in the country and infect the same."

Parochial discipline was strongly exercised till the period of the Restoration, and though subsequently the jagg, the brink, and the ducking pond were rarely used, the criminal authority of the Church was not materially relaxed. But at the Revolution, it became essential that ecclesiastical authority should be restrained. By a legislative act in 1690, the civil consequences of excommunication were disallowed, while by a statute passed in 1696, the Heritors and Kirksession of every parish were empowered to appoint a parochial officer who should be charged with the maintenance of order.

In the statutory arrangement there was only a partial acquiescence, while profligacy, rampant in England since the Restoration, began in its more revolting features to extend northward. With the view of restraining the prevailing licentiousness, societies "for reformation of manners," such as already had been established in England, were formed in Scotland. Principally concerned in their formation was Sir John Home, Lord Crossrig. In November 1699, a meeting was held in his lordship's house in Parliament Close, attended by some influential citizens, when it was determined to establish a "Society for mutual edification and reformation of manners." On the 3rd of February 1700 a schedule of rules was subscribed, but the society's progress was incidentally checked. Within a few hours after the rules had been arranged, the pile of buildings to the cast of Parliament Square, which included Lord Crossrig's residence, perished in a conflagration. Therewith were destroyed the society's papers. But on the 10th September a further meeting was held, when operations were actively resumed. From the existing minute-book [Minute-Book of "Society for Reformation of Manners," 131 pages folio. Laing MSS., University of Edinburgh.] we derive particulars as to the society's history. Those present at the meeting in September were Mr Francis Grant, afterwards Lord Cullen, Bailie John Duncan, Captain James Colt, Captain James Airman, George Ramsay of Edington, George Fullerton of Dreghorn, Adam Freer, M.D.; John Knox [According to Dr Somerville (Memoirs, 175) Dr Knox was great-grandnephew of the Reformer; he had a son, an army physician, who in 1779 was residing in Scarborough.] and Robert Elliot, apothecaries; William Lindsay and Adam Backadder, merchants; William Livingston, late deacon of the glovers; James Pringle, ensign of the Town Guard and Nicol Spence, writer and clerk to the Presbytery of Edinburgh. At subsequent meetings the promoters had "ministers present with them." On the 15th October, "rules" were definitely settled. These set forth that whereas the formation of societies for " the restraint of vice and immoralities " had been recommended by the Commission of the General Assembly, the society now constituted should hold weekly meetings, consecrated by prayer. From the discussions politics were to be excluded. Those only were to be chosen as members who upheld the established religion, and in their families practised Divine worship. Members were to be admitted on a unanimous vote. The meetings were to be held in the members' private dwellings. On the evening previous to each meeting, members were severally for the space of an hour to pray and meditate for the general welfare. Those at any of the meetings who came in late were to pay one shilling Scots in penalty, and those who were absent the sum of four shillings. One meeting monthly was to be occupied exclusively in devotion.

Determined to crush profligacy by a strong hand, the members instituted "a court of immoralities," with a judge, constable, and censors. As profane swearing was common, the members agreed to parade the streets a day weekly, in pairs, for the detection of blasphemers. They also resolved to visit "coffee and chocolate houses," and there to "observe such as curse, swear, or profane the name of God." Two persons detected blaspheming, Wishart of Logic and the laird of Jerviswoode, were lodged "in the guardhouse."

According to the censors there was much intemperance. In entertaining their friends, opulent citizens were found "to drink with them at unseasonable hours." And tavern-drinking at late hours was common. By the society the magistrates were requested to proceed to the different taverns each evening after ten o'clock, and to call upon those who kept them to dismiss their guests. Searching personally for delinquents, the censors reported that "on Saturday, the 12th December 1701, at 12 hours at night," they had found in a tavern drinking and swearing horrible oaths, my Lord C'olvill, also several colonels of the army, landowners, and others, all of whom they reported to the magistrates. An Englishman named Thomson, distinguished by the censors as "Debauchee Thomson," they in August 1702 committed to the guard-house ; breaking his bail-bond he effected his escape.

"Brotherings of apprentices," or convivial initiations of members of guilds, were to the society a source of disquietude, as were the drinking practices which obtained at "lykewakes," "dergies," and "penny-brydells." Censors were sent to "bowling-greens," "kyle-alleys," and places of public gaming, to discover abuses, and to report upon them. On a strict observance of Sunday the society strongly insisted. Skating on the ice by children on Sunday was prohibited, also the "giving out on that day of postal letters."

It had been intended to plant "societies" in every district. Throughout Scotland twenty were actually established, of which six were connected with Edinburgh; that established by Lord Crossrig being described as "No. 2." Inter-communication was effected by the delegates of each society meeting together as a "Convention of Correspondents." By the Convention early in 1702 a series of queries was transmitted to the societies, to which answers were solicited. The several societies were asked whether magistrates appointed by the Heritors and Kirksessions could summarily punish delinquents for such offences as drunkenness, profane swearing, and Sabbath desecration ; whether constables could personally exact fines, or whether the members of the societies could with or without a constable enter the private dwellings of suspected persons; whether parents could be fined for the profanation of the Lord's day by their children, and whether the societies could appoint constables who might legally apprehend offenders and conduct them to prison.

For two years "Society No. 2" had an average attendance of twelve members, while during the next three years the attendance averaged six. Several expedients for rnaintaining an interest in the proceedings were suggested without success, and "No. 2" met on the 30th December 1707 for the last time. Some of the more conspicuous members who latterly joined may be named. Not the least zealous was Mr George Drummond, afterwards a distinguished Lord Provost of Edinburgh, and one of those celebrated by the poet Allan Ramsay. Mr James Hart, latterly a, member, was minister of Grey friars Church. An intemperate opponent of the Union, he afterwards became almoner to George I., whom at the request of his brethren in the General Assembly lie had congratulated on his arrival in this country. Another clerical member, Mr William Macvicar, minister of the second charge of St Cutllberts, obtained distinction by venturing in 1745, when the army of Prince Charles Edward held possession of the city, to express in public prayer his loyalty to the reigning family, and his desire that "the young mall come among us seeking an earthly crown might obtain an heavenly one." Captain John Blackadder joined the society as a corresponding member; subsequently when stationed in Scotland lie attended the meetings. Son of one who had suffered for maintaining his religious convictions, Blackadder was also remarkable for his Christian devotedness. As Colonel of the Cameronian Regiment, he under the Duke of Marlborough attained to military eminence.

The most notable member of "No. 2" was the celebrated Daniel Defoe. In the interests of the English government, Defoe was sent to Edinburgh in the autumn of 1706. As he had in his writings expressed a dislike to Episcopacy, he was invited to join the Society. In the minutes of a meeting held on the 25th March 1707, there is the following entry: "Baillie Duncan reports that he had some dayes been speaking to Mr Defoe about a correspondence with the Societies for reformation in England, of which he understood Mr Defoe to be a member, and Mr Defoe desiring to be admitted a member of this Societie, appeared, declaring the same, and allso his willingness to establish the foresaid correspondence with the Societies in England." On the 21st of October Defoe produced some printed papers transmitted by "the Societies in London;" these a committee were appointed to answer next clay "in Mr Defoe's chamber." Defoe's signature is in the Society's minute-book, appended to the code of laws.

Subsequent to the check which, at the Revolution, was extended to the ecclesiastical courts, parochial and ecclesiastical discipline was extremely modified. Henceforth those who offended against social order were simply deprived of sacramental privileges till they were admonished and "restored." But the repentance stool and penitential vestments were permanently dispensed with. Public appearances were excused on payment of a monetary penalty. On the 29th April 1787, the Kirksession of Moffitt, in consideration that "Mr Swart had generously given four guineas for the benefit of the poor, agreed unanimously to excuse his publick appearance." In 1809 Mr Miller, younger of Glenlee, an elder of Mauchline parish, proposed to his brethren of the Kirksession that public rebukes should be discontinued, and the proposition was after some discussion agreed to. But where no penalty was forthcoming, public rebukes were in some of the rural parishes administered till thirty years later.


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