Vol. i., p. 5, 1. 8 ; pp.
22-24.—Origin of Cairns.
IN a recent work descriptive of his personal
explorations in Heth and Moab, Captain Conder remarks that while the menhir
or long stone is the ancestor of the obelisk as a memorial stone, it was
also an object of adoration as a personification of deity. In India, he
remarks, the worship of the menhir is universal. As a sacred ceremony the
natives of Hindostan, he adds, throw stones at the village lingham, which
consequently becomes the nucleus of a memorial cairn. Of such practices
traces are to be found in the Bible. Thus Solomon refers to stones being
thrown upon a heap (Prov. xxvi. 8). At Mispah Jacob erected a menhir, and
his followers made a heap around it (Gen. xxxi. 45, 46).—Captain Conder's "Heth
and Moab," pp. 203-9.
Vol. i., p. 9, 1. 12.—The Phoenicians in Wales.
In a communication recently addressed to the
editor of the Western Antiquary, Mr Robert Hunt, F.R.S., adduces what he
styles "a few facts in support of the traditions that the Phoenicians were
the merchant traders who carried the tin from Cornwall to nix with the
copper of Cyprus, in the manufacture of the bronzes of antiquity." He
proceeds—"That a foreign people actually worked some of the old deposits of
tin is proved by the name of 'Attal Sarsen,' sometimes pronounced saracen,
given to the waste heap of the old miners (sarsen signifies simply the
stranger, and in this sense the name is applied to stones on Salisbury
Plain, which are not native to that district). These waste heaps are often
spoken of as 'Jews' leavings,' and the ancient furnaces found in the
neighbourhood of the 'stream works,' always deeply buried amidst overgrown
beds of peat-moss, are called 'Jews' houses,' and the blocks of metallic tin
of all shapes and sizes, found beside those smelting works, are called `
Jews' house tin.' It may he contended that these rude blast-furnaces are the
remains of the smelting works erected by the Jews, about A.D. 1200, upon
whom King John inflicted severe penalties, and who were banished by Edward
I. My impression is that the exceedingly rude character of these smelting
works, and of the blocks of tin found with them, indicates a far more
primitive system of metallurgy than that which prevailed when kings granted
charters to the tinners of Cornwall. At St Ives Consols Mine, a remarkably
rich deposit of tin was extensively worked, and was known as the `great
carbona.' Similar, though smaller, deposits have been found in Providence
Mine, and these were also called `carbonas.' In the parishes of Breage and
Sithney a miner will describe a rich lode as 'a beauty—a regular carbona.'....
In St Matthew, chapter xxvii. verse 6, we read, `And the chief priests took
the silver pieces, and said, "It is not lawful to put them into the
treasury, because it is the price of blood." In the original Greek the word
for treasury is corbona or corbana. In the Latin Testament published at
Rheims A.D. 1582, the verse reads `Principes, autem sacerdotum, acceptis
argentis dixerunt non licet cos mittere in carbonum.' The word has evidently
been applied by the old miner to a place of wealth—a treasury. The word is
not Greek, but Syro-Chaldaic or Aramaic, the language spoken by the Jews in
the time of our Lord."
Vol. i., pp. 13, 14; pp. 20, 21.—Dolmen. or Ancient Altars.
Captain Cormier is clearly of opinion that the
dolmen was a primitive altar. "The dolmen-building races," he writes, "most
probably belonged to some Asiatic stock slowly spreading westwards into
Europe—a course of migration which has been firmly established in the case
of the Indo-European races through philological discovery." He adds, "In the
dolmens and menhirs of Asia and Europe we probably find the remaining works
of an ancient stock preceding both Aryan and Semitic races, and belonging to
the illiterate and consequently pre-historic ages." Jacob found a dolmen at
Bethel, hence he describes the place as the gate of heaven (Gen. xxviii.
17). Saul used a great stone in the work of sacrificing (1 Sam. xiv. 33).
And the practice of preparing a table for God is condemned by the prophet
Isaiah (lxv. 11).
Gilead and Moab, Captain Conder estimates there are more than a thousand
dolmens. And this number, he holds, does not in any degree militate against
the view as to their use as altars. In Moab on a single occasion Balak
erected twenty-one altars (Numbers xx. 3), and the prophet Hosea found the
sacred centres crowded with them as "heaps in the furrows of the field"
(Hosea xii. 11). Monuments of a character similar to the dolmens are to be
remarked in vast numbers in the north of Africa, where the Phoenicians
established extensive colonies. One has been found in Lower and four in
Upper Galilee. In every instance the dolmen is without ornamentation or
other mark of the engraver. The ancient custom practised in Greece and Rome
of not permitting a bride to tread on the threshold, but of lifting her over
it arose, it is believed, from the primitive rite of passing under the
dolmens. —Captain Conder's "Heth and Hoab," pp. 197-275.
Vol. i., pp. 15-19.—Worship at Springs.
Many springs in Palestine are believed by the
peasantry to be inhabited by good spirits. At the Oven of Job, near the
Tabghah springs, on the borders of the Sea of Galilee, Captain Conder found
blue beads and shells strung on thread and hung on a stick between the
joints of the masonry, having been there deposited as propitiatory offerings
to the local deity. Captain Conder believes the practice of making offerings
at springs and wells is a relic of the tree and stone worship, which
preceded the planetary worship of the ancient Assyrians.—Captain Conder's "
Ileth and Moab," p. 243.
Vol. i., p. 21, 1. 26.—Pitandreich.
We have inadvertently fallen into error in
rendering the place-name, "Pitandreich," as "the burial place of the
Druids." Pit, or pet, or pettan, is the Celtic designation for a plot or
portion of ground, while "dreich" is the Celtic "fraoch," heather, the
entire word signifying the place of heath. Pitandreich or Pittendreich is
not an uncommon place-name.
Vol. i., pp. 35, 36.—Primitive Symbolism.
The symbolism of the double disc represents the
present life and the future. By a circle the present mundane existence is
obviously denoted, and as no conception of a future state was possible, save
that which was derived from the present, a double circle became the symbol
of eternity. As a spear represented action, or the mode of preserving Iife,
so a broken spear interjected between two discs, denoted that life temporal
had closed and a spiritual existence begun. On the primitive memorial stone
the crescent indicated that the person commemorated was a woman. The
conventional beast of the early symbolism represents substance, or stock iii
Page 51, 1.
12.—For "Leger de Quinci," read "Seger de Quinci."
Page 57, 1. 7.—For "John of Liege," read
"Jacques de Liege."
58, 1. 10.—Household Furniture in the Sixteenth Century.
The best furnished chamber in St Leonard's
College, occupied by George Buchanan as Principal, contained the articles
described in the folIowing inventory:—"Two standard beds, the foreside of
aik and the north side and the fruits of fir; ane feather bed and ane white
plaide of four ells, and ane covering woven o'er with images; another auld
bed of harden, filled with straws, with ane covering of green; ane cod; an
inrower of buckram of five breds, part green, part red to yaillow; ane
handers counter of the middling kind; ane little buird for the studio; ane
furin of fir, and ane little letterin of aik on the side of the bed, with an
image of St Jerome; ane stool of elm, with ane other chandler weighing."...
In the year 1599, the furniture of St Leonard's College is thus
inventoried:—"In the hall four fixed boards. The hale beds almaist fiat. In
every chamber ane board and ane furme pertainand thereto Zvi glassen
windows, and the nlaist part of all the chambers ciellered above, and the
floors beneath laid with buirdis."
Vol. i., p. 105, 1. 13.—Marriage of the Clergy.
On Sunday, the 18th October 1500, Hugh Wallace,
brother of the laird of Craigie, and perpetual parish clerk of the church of
Symington, proceeded in presence of the congregation to resign his office
into the hands of the curate, who thereupon, by the hands of a procurator,
invested in the same William Wallace, described as "the well-born son,"
filius liberalis, of the said flugl2. Thereupon Dame Margaret Rutherford,
the mother of William, took instruments on behalf of her "well-born son" as
to the validity of the transaction.—Lifer Protocollorum, Glasgow, vol. i., 8
; vol. ii., 270-276.
Vol. i., p. 109, 1. 17.—Forbidding the Banns.
The privilege of objecting to the celebration of
a marriage, implied in the act of publishing the banns in the parish church,
has been occasionally exercised. One curious instance is recorded in the
parish register of St Dladoes, Perthshire, under the 2d Julie 1594. In this
case the objector urges that "the man was an idiot, and nocht of writ and
judgment to govern himself," and that the woman was "ane proud young
bangster hizzie wha had goglet him in his simplicitie."
Vol. i., pp. 113-117.—Marriage Feasts in the
"Weddings or marriage feasts were highly in vogue, and there was in every
case a double feast, one at the bride's father's or friend's house, where
the ceremony was performed. At this feast the bride and bridegroom sat as
the principal guests, remaining for one or more days. The next feast was at
the bridegroom's house on the arrival of the happy pair at their own home.
This was called 'a bhanais theth'—`the heating of the house'—or, as the men
of Sutherland literally rendered the phrase from their native tongue into
English, `the wedding hot.'"—Memorabilia Domestica, 1694-1830, MS., vol. i.,
Vol. i., p. 120,
1. 1. —Sunday Marriages.
At Ayr, prior to the year 1627, marriages were
solemnized on any day of the week, Fast-days excepted; but in that year the
minister, Mr William Annand, made intimation `that nane should desyre him to
marrie thame vpone onye Sabbothe daye herefter becaus of the great
prophanitie that followes." By the Kirksession of Ayr, in 1654, was passed
the following resolution:—"The session, taking to their consideratione the
great abuse committed at manages be multitudes conveining, do therefor enact
that Hereafter none shall be maryed except on Thursday immediatly after
sermon, except in caise of necessitie, and that the persons to be maried
enter the church before sermon vtherwayes not to be maried that day." The
Presbytery records show that forty years prior to the date of this enactment
Thursday was the ordinary day for marriages at Prestwick and the adjacent
Vol. i., p.
127, 1. 25.—English Marriages.
On the 6th October 1776, John Kerse, cooper in
Coldstream, and Mary Young, in the parish of Greenlaw, appeared before the
Kirksession and produced a certificate from the curate of the parish church
of Tweedmouth, setting forth that he had, on the 17th of August, united them
in lawful wedlock. But the Kirksession held that "neither of the parties had
been lawfully married in their parish church," and therefore decreed that
"they be proclaimed three times in order to marriage; and if any objections
against the marriage appeared, the Session will proceed against them
p. 127, 1. 27.—Scotsmen debarred from Marrying English Women.
By the eleventh Parliament of James VI. it was
enacted "that no Scotsman marrie an Englishwoman without the King's license
under the Great Seal, under pain of death and escheat of moveables."
Vol. i., p. 130, 1. 14.—Foundling.
In 1742 a male child was found in the malt kiln
of Gateside brewery, in the parish of Dollar. To the infant's dress, which
was of a superior texture, was attached a large sum of money. By the
proprietor of Gateside the child was carefully tended, and on the 30th June
1742 it was baptized by the name of Dollar, being that of the parish; the
Christian name of John was afterwards added. John Dollar settled in England,
and attained affluence. On Sunday, the 24th April 1796, a female child was
found at Linlithgow, apparently two or three weeks old. She was maintained
by the parish, and baptized as "Robina Linlithgow." In the parish of St
Martins, Perthshire, on 15th February 1818, was, by the name of Wilhelmina
St Martins, baptized a female child, which, on the night of the 16th March
1817, was found at the door of William Sharp in Craignaherson.—Gibson's
Reminiscences of Dollar, Edin. 1883, 2d edit., p. 236; Parish Registers of
Linlithgow and St Martins.
Vol. i., p. 141..—Spelling of Family Names.
Up to the commencement of the nineteenth
century, each session-clerk and registrar spelt family names according to
the mode in which they were ordinarily expressed. Specimens of various
spellings are subjoined. Alison appears in the forms of Alysone, Alanson,
Alaneson, Alanesoun, and Alansoun; also of MacAllan, M'AlIone, and Makallane.
Alexander appears as Alysander, Alexinder, Alexander, Alsynder, and
Saunders. The surname of Anderson has the forms of Andersoun, Androsoun, and
Androusen. Bain is written Bane, Bayn, and Bayne; Barclay is expressed as
Bercklai, Berely, and Berkla; and Blair is Blar, Blare, and IByre. In the
Registers of Linlithgowshire, Boag is written Bog, Boog, Bogg, Boig, and
Boak. In the Kincardineshire Registers the predecessors of Robert Burns are
registered as Burnes, Burness, Burnase, and Burnace. The prevailing name of
Brown is recorded as Browun, Brun, Brune, and Brwne. Doig is written Dog and
Dogg. Hill appears Hil, Hyl, and Hyll; and Murray is found as Mvrie and
Murrie. Rae is Ra, Raa, and Ray; Roger is written Robear, Rogeare, Rodger,
Rodgers, also Rodges; while Taylor is found as Tailyour, TaIyeour, Talyor,
also in other forms.
Vol. i., p. 143, 1. 10.—The Registry Office.
The Registers of Births, Marriages, and Deaths,
from 1820 to 1851, have lately been deposited in the General Register House.
Vol. i., p. 143, 1. 1 J.—Registering in Latin.
From the 26th March 1728 to the 10th September
1733, the entries in the Baptismal Register of Aberdour, Fifeshire, are in
the Latin tongue.
p. 154, 1. 5.—The Lykwaik.
For "latewake" read "Iykewaik." The latter term
is derived from two Anglo-Saxon words, lic, a body, and wac-ian,
Vol. i., p.
163, 1. S.—Funeral handbells.
In the manse of Mauchline is preserved a
handbell, which was formerly run; at funeral processions, to indicate a
change of bearers.
i., p. 163, 1. 9.—Bell-Ringing at Funerals.
On the 26th May 1783, the Kirksession of
Terregles, Kirkcudbrightshire, ordained that "the kirk bell shall not be
rung at any burial under one shilling sterling, as the lowest, and the
better sort to pay two shillings and sixpence sterling—sixpence of which
being allotted to the kirk-officer as his dues, and the remainder to the
Vol. i., p. 164,
1. 18.—The Mortcloth.
The Kirksession of Logie, Stirlinbshire, on the 11th May 1690, purchased "a
large and fine mortcloth," of which the items of cost are defined:—
Vol. i., p. 165, 1. 18.—For "Ancistoun" read
Vol. i., p.
172, 1. 20.—For "Kippo" read "Kipps."
Vol. i., pp. 182-185.—Charter Stones.
In a note appended to "The Lord of the Isles" (3
D), Sir Walter Scott supplies some curious particulars on the subject of
"charter-stones." They were probably used, he thinks, as symbols to denote
the right of possessing land prior to the general use of written documents.
Sir Walter mentions a basaltic block in the shape of a sheep's kidney, which
formerly stood at King's Case, near Prestwick, in Ayrshire, in evidence of
the endowment there made on behalf of lepers by King Robert the Bruce. The
surface of the stone being intensely smooth, there was no other mode of
lifting it than by turning the hollow, and then extending the arms along the
sides of the stone, and clasping the hands in the cavity. The stone lay near
the leper's well at King's Case till a modern period, when some English
dragoons wantonly broke it. The fragments have been deposited in a place of
security by the freemen of Prestwick. Sir Walter refers to another
charter-stone of blue or trap rock, which stands at Old Dailly in Carrick,
and an attempt to remove which to the village of New Dailly led to a popular
conflict. At Girvan, proceeds Sir Walter, if a man can set his back against
a charter-stone in that place, he was supposed not liable to arrestment for
debt, nor could cattle be poinded if made fast to the stone. There is a
charter-stone at Inverness, set in an iron frame, at the market-place. While
the famous coronation stone remained at Scone, it was regarded as the
charter-stone of Scotland.
Vol. i., p. 189, 1. 24.—Seals and badges.
The use of seals is coeval with the art of
writing. Seals were originally inscribed round the edge with the owner's
name, while a star, or flower, or a small circle was carved in the centre.
Next were used badges, emblematic of family names, such as a raven borne by
the family of Corbet, or three fishes by the family of Herrin;. Heraldic
shields may be traced to the reign of William the Lion.
Vol. i., p. 212, 1. 5. —The Swing Plough.
The inventor, James Small, was reduced to great
extremities and might have perished from actual want but for the active
beneficence of Sir John Sinclair, Bart.
Vol. i., p. 213, 1. 6.—The Thrashing Machine.
Ascertaining that Andrew Meikle was in poverty,
Sir John Sinclair raised for him by subscription the sum of £1500, which was
invested so as to place the aged mechanic in circumstances of comfort.
Meikle died in 1811, and his remains were interred in the parish churchyard
of Prestonkirk, Hadldingtonshire. At his grave has been raised a handsome
tombstone, with the following legend:—"Beneath this stone are deposited the
mortal remains of the late Andrew Meikle, civil engineer at Houston Mill,
who died in the year 1811, aged 92 years. Descended from a race of ingenious
mechanics, to whom the country for ages had been greatly indebted, he
steadily followed the example of his ancestors, and by inventing and
bringing to perfection a machine for separating corn from the straw
(constructed upon the principles of velocity, and furnished with fixed
beaters or skutchers), rendered to the agriculturists of Great Britain, and
of other nations, a more beneficial service than any hitherto recorded in
the annals of ancient or modern science."
Vol. i., p. 216, 1. 6.—Corn Mills.
In a note to "The Pirate," Sir Walter Scott
writes thus "There is certainly something very extraordinary to a stranger
in Zetland corn mills. They are of the smallest possible size; the wheel
which drives them is horizontal, and the cogs are turned diagonally to the
water. The beam itself stands upright, and is inserted in a stone quern of
the old-fashioned construction, which it turns round and thus performs its
duty. . . . These mills are thatched over in a little hovel, which has much
the air of a pigsty. There may be five hundred such mills on one island, not
capable any one of them of grinding above a sackful of corn at a tine."
Vol. i., p. 222, 1. 8.—Cost of a Journey.
Lieutenant-Colonel Ninian Imrie, in a MS.
journal now in our possession, presents the following statement as to the
cost of a journey from Edinburgh to London, which, by means of a hired
chaise, he accomplished in 1802. - His narrative proceeds:-
So that the whole of this journey comes to one
pound less than two shillings per mile, all expenses for myself and servant
Vol. i., p.
223, 1. 3.—Stage Coaches.
"In 1811 a diligence and pair actually ran for a
short time between Aberdeen and Inverness, but this adventurous vehicle had
but a short existence. . . . The roads between Aberdeen, Elgin, Nairn, and
Inverness were in a miserable state, and as for roads beyond Inverness there
simply were none. When in 1833 Lord Stafford, Duke of Sutherland, died,
there were 450 miles of capital roads in Sutherland, where previous to 1812
none existed at all; and 134 bridges spanned the rivers of the same county,
where previous to 1812 there had been but one."—Lord Ronald Gower's
Reminiscences, 1883, 8vo, vol. i., p. 84.
Vol. i., p. 208, 1. 6.—Rent of Land.
On the 29th October 1669, George Graham, younger
of Inchbrakie, in the county of Perth, leased to Alexander Alexander the
home farm of Inchbrakie, for the term of three years, for the annual payment
as rent of "the third sheaff off all the cornes, bear, cites, or pease that
shall grow upon the croftes, carse, tath, and awald off the said toune and
lands off Inchbrakie, and the fourth sheaff of all that shall be growne upon
the third furre and fourth furre of the said landes." It was further
stipulated that the tenant was to possess the entire straw.—General Register
of Deeds, Dune Office.
Vol. i., p. 231, 1. 9,—Farm-houses.
Dr James Russell of Yarrow, in his
"Reminiscences" (pp. 75-6), describes the farm-houses of Yarrow in the end
of the last century as small, low-roofed, and covered with thatch. They were
built on a uniform model—a room in one end, and a kitchen in the other. The
kitchen opened into a third apartment, commonly used as a bedroom, while in
certain houses were two attics, reached by a trap-ladder. The old farm-house
at Foulshiels, in which. Mungo Park was born, remarks Dr Russell, was one of
p. 234, 1, 16.—Camp-kettle.
A common error has been inadvertently fallen
into. The camp-kettle described as Roman is certainly modern.
Vol. i., p. 236, 1. 21.—Contracts as to Eating
correspondent has satisfied us that there is no evidence of the existence of
any written contracts as to a restricted use of salmon. Our information as
to an arrangement made in Strathmore was derived from Mr James Roger,
minister of Dunino, in Fife, who was, in 1767, born at Bendochy, near the
confluence of the salmon-fishing rivers of Isla and Ericht. Mr Roger
referred to the stipulation as connected with a period considerably
antecedent to his own.
Vol. i., p. 250, 1. 17. Rural Cottages.
Referring to the dwellings of the peasantry in
Yarrow at the close of the eighteenth century, Dr James Russell describes
them as smoky hovels, "the walls alternate rows of stones and sods, the
floor of earth, and the roof of coarse timber covered with turf and rushes.
The only chimney," he adds, "was a hole in the middle or end of the roof,
surrounded at the top by a wicker frame, widening as it carne down,
plastered with a mixture of straw and mud, and supported by a strong beam.
The only window, or apology for a window, was a small aperture with a single
pane of glass, and sometimes altogether open, and stuffed at night with old
clothes."—Dr Russell's Reminiscences of Yarrow.
Vol. i., pp. 250-251.— The Black Houses.
A report on the condition of the dwellings of
agricultural labourers in Scotland, presented to Parliament in 1875,
contains a detailed account of the different kinds of houses found in the
Highlands. Among these are named "the black houses," in which there exists
but one entrance for the cattle and the human inhabitants, while in the
interior are allowed to accumulate the dung of cattle and other unwholesome
substances. As a commentary on this, the Commissioners observe that it does
not appear that the people suffer, except in cases of occasional outbreaks
Vol. i., p.
259, 1. 1.—Drink Money.
During the seventeenth century and subsequently,
"drink money" was allowed to craftsmen, to the extent of about one-eighth of
the stipulated remuneration. In 1674 the Kirksession of Mauchline gave
sixteen shillings Scots for ale to Agnes Hunter, a female pauper, who was
Vol. i., p. 262,
1. 21.—Church Door Collections.
During the long period that the parochial poor
were sustained by the Sunday offerings of the people, there were devised
unworthy means of eluding the obligation. The coins deposited in the
collecting plates were not infrequently of base metal. At their annual
reckoning in 1703 the Kirksession of Alva examined the copper in the
treasurer's box, when there were found "twenty-seven pounds and nine
shillings of insufficient money." By the Session, the base money was sold to
a chapman at fivepence per pound, the whole in Dutch weight amounting to
fourteen pounds, or 5s. 10d. money. At Alva the reception of base money in
the collecting plates was remarked from year to year.
Vol. i., p. 236, 1. 21.—Gipsies.
From India the gipsies proceeded westward to
Beloochstan in the 4th century. In the 6th century they occupied the
Chaldean marshes; thence they moved to the Cilician gates, and continued to
inhabit Northern Syria, till the Greek emperors moved them to Iconium. In
the 13th century they had reached the Bosphorus, and they were first heard
of in Europe in the 14th century. When in 1428 they reached Moldavia they
numbered 130,000, and were badly treated and sold. Hindustani words have
been discovered among them.—Roberts' "Social History of the Southern
Counties of England," Lond. 1856, 8vo, p. 257.
Vol. i., p. 277, 1. 15.—Licensed Beggars.
On the 19th June 1741 the Kirksession of Dunning
granted to William Whittock, smith, the sum of "six shillings to buy some
lead for making badges, to be given to some poor children, who at a late
conjunct meeting of the heritors and session were allowed to bed." When the
urgency which led to the granting of the badge had ceased, begging was
prohibited. Hence on the 11th September of the same year the Kirksession of
Dunning called on the poor persons, to whom they had given badges, to
deliver them up. As "plenty and cheapness" had returned, they were enjoined
"not to go through the paroch as formerly, but to procure their bread by
serving others."—Dunning Kirksession Register.
Vol. i., p. 277, 1. 16.—Ordinary Beggars.
"Ballochneil [parish of Kirkoswald, Ayrshire]
being near the public road," writes an octogenarian correspondent, "beggars
were often with us. My mother kept a bed of blankets for their use, and we
had often to carry cripples, and lead the blind in their progresses from
house to house." A friend in the city of Edinburgh remembers that in his
youth lame persons, in eastern Fifeshire, who subsisted by begging, were
borne front one farmhouse to another on the backs of hinds.
Vol. i., p. 284, 1. 18.—Origin of Towns.
At a later stage, when a baron got from the king
a grant of land on which he settled with his followers, he proceeded to
build a church, a mill, and a brewhouse, and thereby founded a hamlet, which
became his dun, or town.
Vol. 1., p. 286, 1. 15.—Claim of Stirling as the
earliest existing charter of the burgh of Stirling is granted by Alexander
II., and is dated at "Kyncardin," 18th August 1226. In the Records of the
Convention of Burghs, under February 1579, is the following entry:—"The
samyn day Robert Alexander, commissioner for Striveling, protested that
quhatsumever thing beis done or decernit betuix the burrowis of Dondie and
Perth tuichim, the second place of burrowis clamit be tither of thanie,
preiubit nocht Striveling and the privilege it lies to the second place of
burrowis, and thairupon askit instrumentis."
Vol. i., p. 290, 1. 14.—Scottish Shipping.
'Those who incline to marvel at the smallness of
Scottish shipping, are called on to remember that the entire English navy at
the time of the Spanish Armada in 1588 consisted of twenty-three ships only,
varying in burden from 50 to 1000 tons, and the largest carrying not more
than forty tuns.
p. 291, 1. 4.—Burghal Custom.
Officers called "custumars" were appointed by
the Crown in each burgh of export, these being chosen from among the leading
burgesses. By the "custumars" were collected "the great custom" due to the
sovereign ; and mercantile goods could not be legally exported without a
cocket, that is, a certificate or parchment writ, issued by the "custumar"
or from his department, bearing that the great custom had been paid.
Vol, i., p. 294, 1. 15.—Tasters and Measurers.
By the Town Council of Aberdeen were employed
gustotors vini, or tasters of wine. In 1488 the Town Council of
Dunfermline elected gustatores cervisice, or tasters of ale, and
appreciactores carniunt, or flesh pricers; also liniatores, or measurers of
burgh tenements—"lyuing stakes" being placed at regular distances along the
Vol. i., p.
297, 1. 9.—"The Frieirs of Berwick"
In ascribing this poem to William Dunbar, we
have inadvertently adopted the conjecture of Pinkerton, which is without any
historical support. The poem is anonymous. As the writer describes the
religious houses as actually existing, the poem must have been written some
time prior to the year 1539, when by order of Henry VIII. the greater
monasteries were suppressed.
Vol. i., p. 300. 1. 3.—House Bells.
In the year 1760 hung-bells, even in superior
dwellings, were almost unknown. In castellated structures, there was a. mode
of communicating with the household servants by gleans of tubulated
apertures in the walls. In ordinary mansions the servants were summoned by
gleans of a handbell which usually lay on the table, or on a niche specially
prepared for its reception. In ordinary houses domestic servants were
summoned by the floor being forcibly struck with the poker or by the
Vol. i., p.
302, 1. 14.—Street Lamps.
In the early winter of 1554-55 the streets of
Edinburgh were lighted up with lamps for the first time. On the 16th of
November 1554, the Edinburgh Town Council "statut and ordanit for eschewing
of evill doingis of lymmaris, wagaboundis, and vtheris that passis within
the burgh on the nycht, steillis and revis within the samyn, that thair be
nychtlie fra this day furth quhill the xxiiij day of Februar nixttocum,
lanternis and bowettis sett furth at v houris at evin, and remane quhill ix
houris." The common name for a bowet or hand-lantern was "a cut-throat."
Vol. i., p. 303, 1. 15.—Insalubrity of old
condition of the Scottish capital about the year 1500 is poetically
stigmatized by William Dunbar in his "Address to the Merchants of
Edinburgh." The more pungent stanzas follow:—
Why will ye, merchants of renoun,
Let Edinburgh, your noble town,
For lack of reformatioun,
The common profit tync and fame?
Think ye not shame
That ony other regionn
Sall with dishonour hurt your name?
May nane pas through your principal gaits,
For stink of haddocks and of skates;
For cries of carlings and debates;
For fensum flytings of defame
Think ye not shame,
Before strangers of all estates,
That sic dishonour hurt your name?
Your stinking style that standis dirk,
Halds the licht fra your parish kirk
Your forestairs maks your houses mirk,
Like na country but here at home
Think ye not shame,
Sae little policy to wirk
In hurt and slander of your name?
* * * * *
Your burgh of beggars is ane nest;
To shout thai swenyours will not rest
All honest folk they do molest,
Sae piteously they cry and rame
Think ye not shame,
That for the poor has no thing drest,
In hurt and slander of your name?
Your profit daily does increas
Your godlie workis less and less
Through streettis nane may mak progress,
For cry of cruikit, blind, and lame
Think ye not shame,
That ye sic substance do possess,
And will not win ane better name?
* * * * *
Singular profit so does you blind,
The common profit goes behind
I pray that Lord remeid to find
That deit in to Jerusalem
And gar you shame,
That some reason may you bind,
For to reconquest your guid name!
Vol. i., p. 306, p. 26.—Burgh Nuisances.
From the "Edinburgh Burgh Court Papers" we ,lean
the following:—On the 26th December 1722, the Incorporation of Fleshers
applied to the magistrates for the removal of several nuisances. They
represented that the Old Provost's Close being "the main avenue from the
city to the mercat," was on both sides lined with a most nauseous piece of
tapistric of puddings, tripes, livers, painshes, sheepheads, and draughts,
and when there is no room for such hangings, there were put out boards and
tubs on both sides of the close, leaving it so stranded that one cannot pass
by another, without touching these nausances and spoiling their cloaths."
The Incorporation added that "swine were commonly both keept and kill'd
there." They further set forth that the tacksmen of the burgh "laid down
fuilzie upon the avenues leading to the mercat," and "such fuilzie they
removed but once in the year, while last year they took none away." In
reference to "the swine keept at the North-Loch side," the memorialists
remarked that these "by their continual working with their noses undermined
the roads to the mercat, thereby endangering their servants in carrying
their wares to the mercat." The petition being submitted to the Town
Council, was by them remitted to the Works' Committee. On their report and
recommendation, the nuisances were condemned, and those concerned in
producing them ordered to desist from their practices under a penalty of £10
Scots, toties quoties.
Nearly a century later, viz., on the 10th July 1810, several persons were
summoned before Mr John Tait, Judge of the Police Court, charged with
"keeping swine in front of Dublin Street."
Vol. i., p. 322, 1. 14; 338, 1. 14.—Stallanger
In some of the
principal towns there existed a subordinate roll, known as "the Stallanger
Roll." Those entered in it were entitled to keep a stall on the street on
market days, but were not admitted to burghal privileges of any other sort.
This subordinate roll was, at Dunfermline in the year 1488, known as "the
p. 320, 1. 6.—John Watson's Institution.
Our succinct account of this institution may be
slightly supplemented. By a testamentary settlement executed on the 2nd July
1759, John Watson, Writer to the Signet, conveyed his property, under
certain exceptions, to trustees, with instructions to apply the same "to
such pious and charitable uses within the city" as they might determine.
Accordingly, by a deed of destination dated 13th August 1764, the trustees
proposed to apply the income "for the pious and charitable purpose of
preventing child murder." They further devolved the management of the
charity, after their own deaths, upon the Society of Writers to the Signet.
Happily the trustees had not carried out their strangely unwise resolution
of endowing a foundling hospital —such being the mode in which they proposed
to "prevent child murder,"—and hence when they were severally gathered to
their fathers, the new administrators, consisting of the Society of Writers
to the Signet, adopted a scheme in strict consonance with the intentions of
the donor. Having, in 1522, acquired by an Act of Parliament the necessary
powers, they proceeded to establish an hospital for the maintenance and
education of destitute children, also for assisting them, or such of them,
at the outset of life as might specially deserve such aid. In 1825 a
suitable structure was erected, and since its completion in 1828 there have
in the institution been supported and educated about one hundred fatherless
children of both sexes. The original fund was under £5000, but consequent on
careful administration, the capital in August 1812 was found to amount to
£109,000, exclusive of buildings.
Vol. i., p. 337, 1. 27.—Municipal Pipers.
In each of the rural burghs, also in populous
places, was employed a piper, whose duty was daily to arouse the
inhabitants, also to play on festive occasions. The last public piper at
Alva, Stirlingshire, died in 1779, and his funeral expenses were discharged
at the cost of the parish.—Alva Kirksession Register.
Vol. i., p. 339, 1. 1.—The Chapmen of Stirling.
To the "Fraternity of Chapmen of Stirling and
Clackmannan" James I. granted the privilege of practising certain chivalrous
sports. After a period of abeyance, the fraternity was revived at a meeting
held at Stirling on the 24th of October 1726. At this meeting was enacted "a
code of laws," which was submitted to and approved by the Magistrates of the
Burgh, also by the Justices of the Peace of the counties of Stirling and
thirty-eight in number, proceed thus "1st. Whosoever shall be found guilty
of breaking the Sabbath-day shall pay the sum of five pounds Scots.
2d. Whosoever shall be found carrying and useing
wrong weights or ell-wands, shall pay five pounds Scots; and the wrong
weights and ell-wands shall be broken.
"3d. Whosoever shall be found guilty of wronging
his neighbour by inviting buyers from his neighbour's stand, shall pay six
Whosoever shall pass an ill report upon his neighbour, shall be amerced in
four pounds Scots.
Whosoever shall be found guilty of profaneing the name of God by talking
idle and profane words, shall pay the sum of four pounds Scots.
6th. Whosoever shall be found guilty of lyeing
and theevish practices, shall be extruded the Court, and his goods
Whosoever shall prejudge any person by fraudulent dealing or evil speaking,
in any place where he shall happen to travel or lodge, shall be fined in
five pounds Scots.
"8th. Whosoever shall be found drunk shall be liable in the fine of five
shall be found guilty of gameing at cards or dice, or ally other vitious
game, shill pay four pounds Scots.
"10th. Whosoever shall be found guilty of buying
or passing of counterfeit coyn of any sort, shall pay three pounds Scots for
the first fault; and if found to continue in the practice thereof, shall be
excluded the Court.
"11th. Whosoever shall deny a comrade brother chapman his wholesome advice
and best counsel, either in buying or selling, shall pay three pounds Scots.
12th. Any stranger that it is to be brothered
with this Incorporation, shall come in the will of the Court to the value of
five pounds sterling.
"13th. No less money can be taken for admitting of any stranger to this
Incorporation's freedom than ten shillings and ninepence sterling, except
the Court designs to bestow it gratis.
"14th. Whosoever shall be found guilty of eating
or abuseing people's corns, when travelling on the road, shall pay the sum
of three pounds Scots.
"15th. Whosoever shall neglect to give due obedience and respect to their
superiours, and who shall not be found clean and neat in their cloaths and
linnens, shall be fined five groats.
16th. Whosoever shall be found eating any kind
of victuals in the market place, or carrying or keeping anything in their
bonnets that is not decent and becoming, shall pay twelve shillings Scots.
"17th. No stands be marked until sunrise, the
day commonly called the Fair Even; and in marking the said stands, none
shall be allowed more room than a deal length of nine foot for two cornrads;
and whosoever marks first shall, besides marking for himself, mark out one
stand in the best place of the market for my Lord's use, and in case that be
neglected, my Lord is to have his choice of all the stands in the market,
and who shall transgress the above rules shall pay fourtie shilling Scots.
"18th. The bailie hath power to call any other
brother out of any stand where there are two together, and that either to
keep his stand while he is drawing the pawns, or go along with Nina, in
order to the drawing of them; and who refusetlh so to do shall pay thirtie
shilling Scots, and the least pawn that is to be drawn from a brothered
chapman is to be thirtie shilling Scots, or the value thereof in goods; and
the least to be taken from a stranger is to be three pounds Scots, or the
value thereof; and those who refuse to give in such pawns as was then
exprest, are to pay, as a fine, the sowm of thirtie shilling Scots.
"19th. Whosoever is absent, after being warned,
when the court is fenced, shall pay six pence for being absent; and
whosoever shall not bring with him his weights and ell-wands, in order to be
adjusted, shall be liable to the censure of the court.
"20th. Whosoever shall be disobedient to these
laws, and refuseth to submit himself to a lawful fenced court, shall,
without remede, be banished therefrom; and who shall be found keeping
company with any such persons, shall pay three pounds Scots.
"21st. Whosoever shall borrow any thing at
markets, such as timber and cloaths for their stands, and will not restore
the same, and if complained upon, shall make satisfaction to the complainer;
and if found a transgressor, shall, by and attour pay fourtie shilling
shall interrupt his neighbour speaking, in a fenced court, shall pay six
Whosoever shall reveal any of the secrets of the court, or shall reveal
anything to the prejudice of his neighbour, shall pay six pounds Scots.
"24th. Whosoever shall know or see any thin,
prejudicial to the interest of the court, or any member thereof, and not
discover the same, shall pay the suns of three pounds Scots.
"25th. Whosoever shall give provocation to any
brother, or other person, shall pay thirtie shillings Scots.
"26th. Whatsoever magistrate shall presume to
keep court, or fine any brother, or enter any person, except at fairs within
the shire, or if need require, in Stirling, on the weekly market day, shall
pay four pounds Scots.
"27th. Whosoever shall refuse to carry charge in any of the offices of the
court, after they shall be elected, shall pay six pounds Scots.
"28th. No person shall be admitted a brother,
without a sufficient testimony of his good carriage and behaviour.
"29th. Every brother shall have a Bible for his
own use, and present the same at courts, when called for, under the pain of
six pounds Scots: And those who cannot read shall endeavour to learn, under
the said penalty.
"30th. Whatsoever magistrates shall be found guilty of breaking any of the
laws, shall forefault the double penalty of what they shall transgress.
"31st. Whatsoever difference shall happen
betwixt brothers, that they shall apply to the proper judges of this
Incorporation, and not to any other judge, before application to his own
court, under the pain of six pounds Scots.
"32d. Whatever officer shall go through any
mercat to draw pawns, shall be obliged to restore back the said pawns to the
right owners, and that without loss either of goods or money.
"33d. Every brothered chapman's son shall pay
for his entry only the half of the money that a stranger pays.
"34th. No member shall presume to put out the
lite for the offices of the principal and depute lords of this
incorporation, at their annual election, excepting the lords principal and
depute presently in office, baillies, box masters, and clerks."
"35th. If it be made appear that any of their
number do sell goods, either under the price that they cost them, or even at
no tolerable profit, they shall be liable to whatsoever fine the court shall
think fit to impose upon them, unless they can, and do give in such
satisfying excuses as by the court shall be found reasonable and just,
namely, as goods being damnified, going out of fashion, too dear bought, or
their credit lies at the stake, and find, no other way to relieve it, or
that they had a very (rood bargain in view, by which more than ordinary
profit could probably be made; and further, that if any merchant doth inform
this court of any of their number who maize bad payments, so that the
merchant will be obliged to pursue him before the Judge Ordinar, and if the
person complained upon can be convicted thereof, in face of court, he shall
be liable to the censure of the foresaid court.
"36th. The election shall be holden in the town
of Stirling, the tenth day of September, which is two clays after the fair
commonly called the Rideing Fair: And it is further to be noticed, that if
the Sabbath shall shoot, or alter the fair, our election shall be still two
days thereafter ; and who of the brethren are absent from the said election,
without a reasonable excuse, to be approvers off by the brethren, shall be
liable to the fine of seven pounds Scots.
"37th. That every married man entered with this
community shall attend any court thereof which warned thereto by the
officer, under the pain •of losing his liberty, unless lie give a lawful
excuse why he cannot attend the same.
"38th. All office-bearers of this community that
shall be elected together with the whole office-bearers for the preceding
year, shall attend my Lord Principal and go along with hint to his dinner,
wherever it shall happen to be, on the election day, and that under the pain
of six pounds Scots."
At their annual meetings in September, the Fraternity elected their
officers, of whom the chief were styled "Lord Principal" and "Lord Depute."
At the annual meeting held in 1793, there were 106 members present, such
being the largest attendance upon record. In 1795 it was resolved to renew
the annual sport of tilting at the ring. The annual gatherings were
discontinued subsequent to 1811, when, chiefly on account of the
discontinuance of itinerant merchandise, the institution fell into abeyance.
The last Principal of the Fraternity was Major John Alexander Henderson of
Westerton. The Records of the Fraternity are in the keeping of a gentleman
resident in Glasgow.
Vol. i., p. 339, 1. 20.—Cowan's Bequest.
John Cowan bequeathed for behoof of
guild-brethren at Stirling 40,000 marks, equal to £2222 sterling. This sum
invested in land yields a free rental of upwards £3000.
Vol. i., p. 348, 1. 32.—The Senzie Fair.
This great annual fair was held at St Andrews in
the cloister of the Priory. Commencing in the second week of Easter, it
continued about fifteen days, the harbour during its progress being filled
with vessels from France and Holland. So early as the twelfth century
foreign merchants fixed their residence in the city, and of these the
representatives, two centuries later, occupied positions of opulence. On the
2d of June 1362, Edward III. granted at Westminster a safe-conduct to
England in favour of certain Scottish merchants, of whom were John de
Dudyngston, John Gudesman, and Walter de Eglesham, burgesses of St Andrews,
who are described as accompanied by four horsemen.—Rotuli Scotiae, vol. i.,
The Senzie Fair
continued as one of the principal mercantile resorts in the east of Scotland
till the times which succeeded the Reformation. At their meeting on the 6th
April 1569, the Town Council of Edinburgh were informed by the magistrates
of St Andrews that on account of "the pest" ravaging in their vicinity, the
"Seingzie fair" would not be held. The intimation was given so that "the
nychtbouris of this burgh sall nocht tyne their tyrne." —Edinburgh Town
p. 351, 1. 6.—A Liar's Pillory.
At Dunfermline those who were found guilty of
falsehood or detraction were placed upon "the lear-stane"---that is, the
liars' stone—which was elevated in one of the principal streets. When in the
Regality Court of Dunfermline, on the 17th March 1499, Ellyn of Walwode,
spouse of John of Walwode, sergeant of the regality, was found to be "ane
strubler of Robyn Gibson be detraccione," it was determined "that the
lear-stane suld be set wane in the place where it was wont to stand, or els
anie [other] guile stane.
Vol. i., p. 363, 1. 1 9.—House Accommodation.
Since our first volume was published, the Second
Report of the Royal Commissioners on the houseing of the Working Classes has
been issued. Dealing exclusively with Scotland, the Report shows that in
Edinburgh there are 14,000 single-room tenements while in GIasgow 25 per
cent, of the population live in single rooms. The Report is satisfactory,
inasmuch that it indicates a state of improvement; yet it is unworthy of our
legislators and of those entrusted with municipal authority that, apart from
other considerations, the health of the community should, by a system of
overcrowding, be so materially endangered. The only systematic effort which
has yet been made to ameliorate the domiciliary condition of a
neighbourhood, is that put forth in the city of Edinburgh at the suburb of
Dean, on the Water of I.eith. The beneficent author of this important
operation, Mr John Ritchie Findlay, has, in place of the insalubrious
tenements which occupied the locality of the Dean, constructed workmen's
dwellings on an approved sanitary system, and which are offered at rents so
abundantly moderate as to fully meet the convenience of every prudent
Vol. i., p.
386, 1. 13.—Coal Miners.
In the district of Tranent, before the
emancipation of the miners, offenders among them were punished in three
modes. First, an iron collar was fastened round the neck of the offender, by
means of which he was attached to a wooden support at the pit bottom for a
whole day. Or secondly, the culprit had, at the pit-head, his hands tied in
front of the gin horse, when he was compelled to run round the bin-bang,
back foremost, before the horse, when winding the coal to the pit-head. Or
thirdly, if several persons had offended, the horse was relieved from the
yoke, and the offenders substituted, and while taking the horse's place were
urged on with a whip. When the serfdom of the miner was abolished,
coal-owners endeavoured to secure the permanent services of those born upon
their estates by handing to each male child, on his christening day, ''arles,"
that is a piece of money implying an engagement.—M`Neill's " Tranent and its
Neighbourhood," pp. 21-23.
Vol. i., p. 391, 1. 18.—Flax Manufacture.
By the poet Robert Henryson (1430-1506), the
early manufacture of flax is described thus:—
"The lint ryped, the churle pulled the lyne,
Ripled the bolles, and in beites it set;
It steeped in the burne, and dryed syne,
And with ane beitteI knocked it and bet,
Syne swyngled it weill, and heckled in the flet,
His wyfe it span and twinde it into threed."
Vol. i., p. 395, 1. 18.—George Buchanan and
the existence of the Graham and Fairbairn partnership, unsuspected
heretofore, some light is reflected upon an occurrence which excited
vehement controversy, and largely tended to embitter the life of an
accomplished scholar. In presenting to the learned world his important
edition of Buchanan's works, Ruddiman assails his author's political
opinions with an asperity singularly unbecoming an editor, and totally at
variance with the estimate lie otherwise entertained of the illustrious
writer. He founded his antagonism on the (,round that Buchanan had
disseminated those doctrines which culminated in the Revolution, and had
thereby wrecked the house of Stewart. Discreet as Ruddiman usually was, both
as an editor and an original writer, it appears as if his Jacobitism had
been superinduced by some foreign and dangerous influence. Not improbably
his injudicious adviser was Mr David Graham, the Jacobite laird of Orchill,
through whose financial assistance the publication of Buchanan's works,
which in 1702 George Mosman had attempted and been constrained to abandon,
was successfully resumed. Graham, as is shown in the catalogue of his books
included in his legal inventory, possessed a valuable collection of ancient
and modern literature, and he and Ruddiman had, through their kindred
tastes, been probably brought together.
In gratifying the Perthshire laird with a view
to the completion of his undertaking, Ruddiman excited a strong displeasure
on the part of those who otherwise would have commended his industry. At
Edinburgh was formed a "Historical Society," composed of many notable
persons, which met fortnightly in order to concert measures for refuting
what were styled "Mr Ruddiman's calumnies." But funds were not forthcoming,
and at length the enterprise was abandoned.
Vol. i., p. 409, 1. 8.—Illicit Distillation.
If the drinking habits of the people had been
proportioned to the eagerness with which persons of the middle and lower
ranks aided in the production and distribution of contraband liquor, the
nation must have become utterly besotted. To defeat or aid in defeating the
officers of excise was deemed an enterprise positively laudable. In order to
this end, no stratagem, however revolting, was deemed offensive or unworthy.
Thus at the commencement of the present century, one of the principal
hotel-keepers at Stirling, when he required a further supply of whisky, sent
a funeral cortege into the highlands of Perthshire, which returned laden,
hearse included, with casks of the contraband liquor. To lowland vendors,
whose dealings were more circumscribed, women conveyed the illicit product
of the mountain-still in a species of panniers, composed of tin, which were
constructed so as to rest under the dress in the manner of the modern
bustle. Some of these whisky panniers were used in the vicinity of Callander,
Perthshire, within the last sixty years. Through the personal inquiries of a
gentleman connected with the Geological Survey, we learn that the caverns in
the declivities of the mountain of Ben-venue were frequented by illicit
distillers within the memory of persons now living. Shepherds and herdsmen,
in the interest of the "sma' stills," watched the approach of strangers as a
specie of national or family duty. Early in the century a barge used by the
officers of excise was, by unknown hands, probably a party of the
inhabitants, sunk in the waters of Loch Lomond.
In his Memorabilia Domestica (vol. iii., p. 35),
the Rev. Donald Sage refers to the career of Hugh Houston, of Creich, who,
at an advanced age, died on the 10th March 1825. Houston was a considerable
merchant, but his prosperity was chiefly due to his trading in contraband
liquor. Respecting him Mr Sage writes thus ; " Mr Houston, when dining at
the table of Mr Walter Ross, minister of Clyne, gave a minute account of a
narrow escape he had made many years before, from a party of revenue
officers, who were informed of his being in the receipt of a large quantity
of foreign spirits, and were on their way to seize it. Mr Ross, he said,
hearing of his perplexity, collected all the carts and broad-shouldered men
in the vicinity, appointing them to meet at his friend's shop, at the hour
of midnight, to convey his cargo of smuggled in and brandy to the church of
Clyne, and deposit it under the east gallery. This was done, and the revenue
officers were outwitted."
Mr Samuel Milligan, supervisor of excise at
Stirling, who died at an advanced age upwards of twenty years ago, informed
the writer that he early came to realise that revenue officers belonged to a
section of the community utterly unpopular. The gauger, he found, was
obnoxious to the old and a terror to the young; no one would satisfy his
enquiries, and few were willing to render him service, even for payment. "Informations"
against smugglers were made by those only who had been dismissed from their
Vol. ii. p.
16, 1. 17.—General Register House.
The original grant of 112,000 for the erection
of a General Register House was derived from the sale of the forfeited
estates; it obtained the royal sanction on the 26th June 1765. The entire
cost of the structure was about £25,000.
Vol. ii., p. 25, 1. 20—Corrupt Judges.
In 1579 an Act was passed prohibiting the judges
"be thame selffis or be thair wiffis or servandes (to) tack, in ony time
curling, buddis, brybes, guiles or geir fra quliatsumever person or persons
presentlie havand, or that heirefter sail happyne to have, any actionis or
caussis perseuit befoir thaime, aitlier fra the persewer or defender, under
pain of confiscation." That enactment was wholly ineffective, the system of
favouritism, consequent on private influence or direct bribery, continuing
among the judges to prevail largely. It is related of Sir John Gilmour, Lord
President of the Court of Session under Charles II., that when some one in
his presence was lauding the impartiality of the English judges, he, by way
of explanation, exclaimed, "Deil speed them, for they have neither kith nor
kin!" After the Restoration, the use of private influence increased in the
Court of Session to such an extent, that the Court endeavoured to repress it
by passing an Act of Sederunt of the 6th November 1677. Two years afterwards
the Act was renewed.
The judges held communication with suitors by a special mode. Each judge had
an agent or "peat." The word "peat" was, it is believed, used as a
contraction for Patrick,—a judge who had a son of that name at the bar,
being in the way of saying to those suitors who waited upon him, "Have you
consulted Pate," a gentle mode of suggesting that their money should be
deposited in his hands.
The mode of selecting judges, chiefly on account
of their political services, while it has not in recent times conduced to
the public disadvantage, might happily be departed frond. See "State Papers,
and Letters addressed to William Carstares," edited by Joseph M'Cormick,
Edinburgh, 1774, 4to, p. 184 ; "The Court of Session Garland," second
edition, 1871, 8vo, pp. 1-26; Dr Robert Chambers's "Traditions of
Edinburgh," pp. 152-4; and Sir Walter Scott's "Bride of Lammermoor, chapter.
Vol. ii., p. 27, 1.
26.---Mute hill; Place of Judgment.
In the parish of Kintore, Aberdeenshire, to the
east of the present royal burgh of that name, and near the banks of the
river Don, formerly stood a conical mound, 30 feet in height and 150 feet in
diameter at base; it was known as the castle-hill of Kintore. Several years
ago, when the North of Scotland Rail. way was in the course of construction,
it became necessary to include the castle-hill in the operations. As the
workmen were engaged in the upper portion of the mound, it was ascertained
that the original surface had been ten feet lower than the modern one. The
former was found covered with a layer of charred earth, and along the east
margin, at a point projecting beyond the conical summit, lay together in an
irregular manner, a number of small stones, among which were eleven large
blocks. Several of the latter were broken up, and the fragments built into
railway brides, before the discovery became known. But on a visit to the
place, Mr Alexander Watt, a local antiquary, discovered among the unbroken
blocks two bearing sculptures, and a third, composed of "blue heathen," a
species of gneiss, of which the top was artificially hollowed, so as to form
a seat. It is conjectured that this rude " chair " was used as the
judgment-seat of this Primitive mod-dun. The sculptured stones found, along
with the judgment-chair, are now deposited in the Antiquarian Museum at
Edinburgh, and are correctly represented and described by Dr John Stuart iii
the first volume of his "Sculptured Stones." One of the stones bears on each
side the double disc and broken spear; also the conventional beast of the
archaic age. The other represents the double crescent. By the former symbol
we recognise the memorial stone of the lord of the forest; by the latter,
that of a married woman, the wife of some ancient chief.
At a short distance from the mound at Kintore
was discovered a series of pits, round and oval, from 3 to 4 feet in length,
and from 2 to 3 in breadth, each containing charcoal and bones. In times
less remote capital sentences were carried out in the immediate vicinity of
the place of judgment, or upon it. And it is to be remarked that while the
sculptured symbols associated with the judgment chair at Kintore would point
to an age prior to the introduction of Christianity, the place is found long
afterwards the centre of one of the landward divisions called thanages, to
which was attached a local tribunal.
At Chapel of Garioch, in Aberdeenshire, about
half a mile to the north-west of the parish church, a sculptured stone ten
feet in height, two feet ten inches broad, and about ten inches thick, is
known as the Maiden—that is Mod-dun stone. The association of this
monument with the word "maiden" has been accounted for by a gruesome legend.
Vol. ii., P. 29, 1. 13.—A .Border Law of Combat.
There was an ancient law of the marches called "Handwarcelle,"
whereby the ownership of stolen goods was judicially determined. Arms were
supplied to the combatants, but the precise character of the conflict, or
its consequences, are not quite apparent. For some particulars in connection
with this mode of border law, enacted in July and September 1280, see
"Calendar of Documents relating; to Scotland," edited by Joseph Bain, 1884,
vol. ii., pp. 58-9.
ii., p. 33, 1. 15.—Legal Oppression.
The king's "poor kindly tenants of Lochmaben,"
in a petition dated "Dumfries, 12th June 1592," set forth that they were "wreckit
and herryed at all tymes be the theves, baith English and Scottish, on baith
their borders," also that "at slivers tymes they were heavily extortionate
be wardens, deputies, and keipers and constables of your Majestie's castle,
reiving and takein; away our naigs out of our taiks and occupations at their
ain hand at their pleasure." Instructions were given that the kindly tenants
should not be further molested. —(Register of Deeds, Dalrymple Office, Vol.
113, Part 2, November 28th., 1722.)
Vol. ii., p. 37, 1. 2.—District Prisons.
At the commencement of the century, the keeper
of the prison at Dunfermline was Mr John Henderson, watchmaker. Henderson,
who was as keeper very imperfectly recompensed, usually entrusted the care
of the prisoners to one of their own number, who, in acknowledgment of
service, was allowed his freedom from early morning till the usual hour of
Vol. ii., p. 45,
1. 9. —A Sheep-stealer's Sentence.
On the Gth July 1699, in the sheriff-court of
Clackmannan, Robert Livingstone, chapman at Crook of Devon, pleaded guilty
to the charge of stealing a ram and two wedders. He was consequently, by Mr
William Murray the sheriff depute, sentenced "to be stripped naked of his
clothes, and scourged by the hand of the hangman through the whole town of
Clackmannan, with one of the sheep's heads and four feet hanging about his
neck, and thereafter to be banished out of the said shire." The sentence
proceeds that the offender "enacts himself that if ever he be seen or found
within the said shire . . . he shall be guilty of death, without any order
or process of law to be used against him for that offence."
Vol. ii., p. 49, 1. 26.—For "indlicator" read
p. 68, 1. 4.—Kidnapping.
In the Records of the Justiciary Court, examples
are common in which on conviction for secondary crimes, sentence of death
was commuted into exile to the plantations. But prior to the abolition of
heritable jurisdictions in 1748, a system of kidnapping of boys was largely
carried on in those districts which were adjacent to northern seaports. The
extent to which this infamous system of seizing; young persons and shipping
them to the American colonies had been carried was exposed on the trial, in
1765, of Peter Williamson, a youth kidnapped at Aberdeen, and who Having
returned to this country proceeded to make known the infamous practice.
Subjected to trial for detraction, Williamson justified the truth of his
assertions, and thereby conduced towards the entire suppression of the
Vol. ii., p. 79,
1. 21.—The house of Durward.
The founder of the house of Durward was
door-ward or doorkeeper to the king. Alan Durward held office as ostiarius
reyis at the court of Alexander II.
Vol. ii., p. 84, 1. 24.—The Order of Reader.
The order of reader, though abolished by the
General Assembly in 1645, was practically continued. In the Parish Register
of Muthill, Perthshire, occurs the following entry: " 12th June 1654. The
minister and elders, taking to their consideration the small allowance the
reader has for his service, do unanimouslie ordaine that every adulterer and
adulteress, fornicator and fornicatress shall each of them pay to him eight
shillings.... The said day the reader is ordained to receive and keep the
pledges consigned by persones to be contracted, and to be answerable for
them." The reader at Muthill was also parochial schoolmaster and
p. 87, 1. 2.—Church Vestments.
On the 1st of August 1560, the same day on which
met that Convention of the Estates which established the Reformed faith, the
Town Council of Edinburgh, in anticipation of the enactment, rave
instructions that "the hale vestimenttis, kaipis, and uther kirk grayth . .
. be sould and bestowit vpoun the said kirk wark."—Town Council Records of
Vol. ii., p.
95, 1. 122.—Intercessory Prayer.
On the 30th April 1637, when much sickness
prevailed in the parish of Tynninghain, "thirtie-three people were prayed
for in the kirk."—Tynningham Parish Register.
Vol. ii., p. 110, 1. 27. —Church Seats.
In pre-Reformation times the clergy and gentry
were at Divine service accommodated with sittings in the choir and chancel,
which were paved with stone slabs, or glazed and coloured tiles. The common
people were admitted only to the nave, which generally had an earthen floor,
on which was strewn hay or straw, for convenience in kneeling. On the 19th
of June 1560, about a year after the church of St Giles, at Edinburgh, had
been appropriated for Protestant worship, the Town Council ordained the dean
of guild to use the timber "lyand within the volt vnder the tolbuith, to mak
saittis, fwrmes, and stullis for the peple to syt vpoun the tynie of the
sermoun and prayaris within the kirk." He was also instructed "till do all
vther thingis as sal be thocht bode for clecoring [of] the kirk." In the
provincial towns and rural parishes, seats and desks were placed in churches
by private families with permission of the kirksession. But such permission
was not uniformly obtained, for in 1603 the kirksession of Stirling refused
to allow the Commissary "to big ane removabill dark for his wyff, before
that seat pertaining to my Lady Countess of Argyll." In 1627 the same
kirksession licensed the construetion of one seat for the minister's wife.
Up to this period nearly the whole of the church seats consisted of moveable
benches and stools, which were ordinarily the property of those by whom they
were used. The poor and occasional hearers were supplied with stools by the
church officer, and the gratuities he received for granting the
accommodation were included among the perquisites of his office. In 1637 the
kirksession of Galston, in Ayrshire, resolved that "the whole dlaskes of the
kirk be maid of one form, and all of one kind of timber, either of oaks or
firs." In towns and populous places, there was usually "a common loft" with
fixed pews, which were leased annually to the highest bidder. Pews were
introduced about the commencement of the eighteenth century.
Vol. ii., pp. 121-5.—Sacramental Modes.
As a sequel to the narrative of Professor
Walker, we are privileged to adduce the experience, of two other clerical
writers. In his Memorabilia Donaestica, under the year 1789, Mr Donald Sage,
minister of Resolis, writes thus:—"In the north of Scotland a distinction in
the annual celebration of the Lord's Supper prevailed, which in the south
was unknown. That distinction obtained between the public and private or
parochial administration. The ordinance was considered to be publicly
administered, when communicants from other parishes joined in the
observance, and also when, on that account, there were two distinct
services, one in Gaelic and the other in English, as well as two different
congregations, the one without and the other within doors. . . . On these
occasions it was customary for the minister to keep open table, as the
services were prolonged, and many of the parishioners came from a distance.
. . . The whole of the preceding week was occupied in giving and receiving
presents of mutton, butter, and cheese. I have seen the whole range of a
large cellar so closely occupied with mutton carcases, that the floor of the
apartment was literally paved with them. . . . The sacramental occasions at
Kildonan [Sutherlandshire] have made an impression upon ice. The
congregation was assembled before the church and close by the banks of the
river, the communion table extending about thirty feet long, covered with a
white cloth, and surrounded by a dense multitude, amounting; in numbers to
between three and four thousand."
In his "Reminiscences of Yarrow " (1886), Dr
James Russell remarks that in the district of Ettrick, a compact was at
hiring time entered into between masters and servants, that the latter were
during their term of engagement to be allowed to attend so many fairs and so
many sacraments. At the sacraments in Ettrick and Yarrow, baps of bread and
barrels of aIe were planted round the churchyard enclosure for purchase and
use. When a popular preacher mounted the rostrum, a rush was made to the
tent, but when 'a wauf hand' turned up, the baps and barrels carried the
seventeenth, and also in the eighteenth centuries the communion table was,
at the cost of the kirksession, made for the occasion. Consisting of large
trees and deal boards rudely fashioned by the village joiner, all
imperfections were concealed under the decent covering of a white
cloth.—Edgar's "Old Church Life," pp. 137-8.
Vol. ii. p. 130, 1. 12.—Church Tokens.
Tokens, originally called "tickets," were
usually made of lead, and not infrequently were of local manufacture. On the
29th June 1719, the kirksession of Dunning resolved that tokens were "all to
be got new the old ones having been taken away, instead of money, by the
highlanders, when the town was burnt in time of the rebellion. Further, that
there be no fraud committed by any who may happen to find any of the old
ones, the session thought requisite that the new ones should have stampt on
them the letters D. K., also the date of the present year 1719." —Dunning
Kirksession Records. When the first communion of the Secession Church at
Ceres was celebrated in 1743, circular pieces of leather with a hole pierced
in the centre, were used as tokens.—Edgar's "Old Church Life," p. 139.
Vol. ii., p. 133, 1. 3.—Non-celebration of the
valuable work, "Old Church Life in Scotland," Dr Edgar explains the cause
why in the seventeenth century, the communion was for long intervals
unobserved. The Protesters, Dr Edgar remarks, held the communion in such
reverence that, so long as there was division of sentiment in their
congregations on ecclesiastical topics, they stopped the celebration. At a
meeting; of the six kirksessions of Edinburgh in April 1652, it was
concluded that the communion "cannot convenientlie be celebrate, as is now
thought, till there be a lawful judicatorie of the kirk to determine anent
the present cause of defection carried on amongst us anent the Covenant, and
what censure it deserves." The leader of the Protesting party was James
Guthrie of Stirling, and in the kirksession register of his parish appears
the following minute:—"November 5, 1657.—The eldership seriouslie and
saddlie laying to heart the Lord's just displeasure which hath evidenced
itselff in the congregation, being now for the space of nyne yeires without
the enjoyment of that sealling ordinance, together with the earnest longing
of many Christianes to partake thereof, and having great hopes that the
manifestation of Chryst unto his people thairin sail tend much vnto the
advancing of His interest in the hearts of His people, they do therefore
unanimouslie appoynt and ordaine that the sacrament of the Lord's Supper be
celebrate vpone the Lord's dayes, being the 15th and 22d of this instant
November. Further, that they (the congregation) divide their families
equallie, the one half of those that are found fitt to communicate to come
the first, and the other half the second clay." Dr Edgar shows that the
Resolutioners as well as the Protesters experienced some difficulty in
regard to the celebration proceeding on the want of brotherly concord ; and
impressed as they were with the conviction that so long as there were
charges of defection on the one hand, and of contumacy on the other, the
sacred ordinance might not be worthily observed. Nor were these views
confined to the period of Covenanting struggles. For subsequent to the
triumph of Presbytery at the Revolution, and the consequent healing of
divisions, the members of the kirksession of Stirling felt called upon to
pass the following resolution:—"29th March 1699.—The Session, considering
that in this place the sacrament of the Lord's Supper hath not been
administered these many years bygone, do design and determine, if the Lord
will, that the day thereof be the twenty-eight day of May in the present
year, being the last Sabbath thereof." In 1705 Mr John Hepburn, minister of
Urr in Galloway, a man of deep religious fervour, was deposed from the
ministry on the principal charge of "having neither dispensed the Lord's
Supper to others nor partaken thereof himself for more than sixteen years."
Vol. ii., pp. 141-2.—Parish Manses.
In the specification of a manse for the parish
of Dalmellington, submitted in 1699 to the Presbytery of Ayr, the intended
structure is described as "threttie-six feet in lenth and fourteen feet wide
within the walls, tbrettine feet high of side walls, two fire rooms below
and two fire rooms above and cumsciled, with window cases and boards,
glasses, partition walls, and all that is necessary to make a compleat
manse, with a barn of three couple lenth, and a stable two couple lenth."
In describing the manse of Lochcarron, in
Ross-shire, reared about the year 1726, Mr Donald Sage proceeds thus:—"The
manse of Lochcarron was constructed after the fashion of all. Highland
houses about the end of the seventeenth century. One hundred feet long, the
walls were built of stone about three feet in height over the foundation,
and around the roots of the cupples which were previously fixed in the
ground, and over which were several layers of turf or fail, so as to bring
the wall to the height of ten feet. The whole was thatched with divot or
heather. The building was divided into several apartments—the first was
called the chamber, where there was a chimney at one end, a small blazed
window looking; to the south, and a tent bed inserted into the partition
which divided it from the next room. In this apartment the heads of the
fancily sat and took their meals; the bed in it was usually appropriated for
guests. The next apartment contained tent beds close to each other for the
junior members of the family, with an entry door by which access to the
principal apartment was provided for the heads of the family to their own
apartment as well as for their guests. From this second apartment, separate
from the first, a back jamb went out, and which was the sleeping room of the
heads of the family. Next came what was called the earn, or servants' hall (tigh
slathat), which was larger, or rather longer, than the other two. It had a
small boarded window on each side. The fireplace was usually an old
mill-stone placed in the centre of the apartment, and on which the peat fire
was kindled, with no other substitute for a vent than just a hole in the
roof, fenced with a basket of wicker work open at both ends. Around the fire
sat the servants of the family, and in the houses of farmers, also the heads
of the family with their children.
Divided from the care, and
often by a very slender partition, was the byre, or cow-house, occupying at
least fifty feet of its length. Such was the first manse of Loclicarron. The
manse of Kildonan, in Sutherlandshire, as it stood in 1780, is described by
Mr Sage in these words :—" The body of the house, the unalterable model of
manses in those days, which was that it had the usual number of chimneys,
namely, one rising like an ass's ears at either end, and answering the
purpose for which they were designed as ill as usual, as they drove the
smoke down, instead of conveying it upward. It contained also the usual
number of windows, viz., in front three in the upper flat, and two below,
that is one on each side of the principal door. On the east gable there was
in the upper flat a solitary window which looked out from the drawing-room,
or rather dining-room, for drawing-rooms in manses were almost unknown, and
then a small window at the summit of each ;able to light the garrets, very
nearly approximating in size and appearance to the loopholes of the ancient
fortress; these served, in the apartments for which they were intended, to
make "darkness visible." The whole was built of lime and stone, and the roof
covered with blue slate, a matter of little moment in these tunes of
improvement, but of no ordinary consequence then, in a highland parish
twenty-four miles long by seventeen broad, where it stood as the only human
residence so constructed ; in other words, it was the only lime and stone
slated house in the whole parish. The arrangements within exhibited the
infancy of architecture. The partitions were made in the technical language
of builders ` cat and clay' plastered over with lime, and finished with a
coat of 'whitewash,' which was so made up as to be communicative to every
one coming in contact with it. The rooms, including the garrets, were eight
in number, namely, a parlour and bedroom, and an intervening closet, with a
small window to the north on the lower flat. A dining-room, bedroom, and an
intervening back closet of similar dimensions with its neighbour below, but
accommodated with a larger window, on the second flat; also two garrets on
the attic storey, the one fitted up as a bedroom, the other a long dreary
apartment without plaster, and used as a place for lumber. Two low buildings
stretched out in front from each end of the manse ; that to the west
contained the nursery, the kitchen, and the byre, divided from each other by
' cat and clay' partitions, which very soon gave way, and brought the human
and bestial inmates of each apartment within eye shot of each other. The
east wing contained the barn and stable, divided by the same sort of
partitions. From the barn door to the east extended a small rude enclosure
intended as a corn yard, and from the stable door in the same direction
another, as a cattle fold. A few yards to the north-east of the corn yard
stood a flimsy clay and stone building, fitted up as a kiln. The whole of
the office houses were roofed with divot and With clay and straw, which in
process of time, and by the action of the weather, so far as the winds
permitted, got an additional coat of green fob, but the heavy rains
penetrated these miserable roofs from the first moment of their construction
to the last stage of their decay."-Memorabilia Domestica, 1694-1819, vol. i.,
pp. 32-3, 188-9.
ii., p. 145, 1. 3.—Pre-Reformation Patronage.
Pre-Reformation patrons did not always insist on
supplying vacant cures irrespective of popular sentiment. By Dr William
Fraser, in his "Chiefs of Grant," are related the circumstances which
attended the election of a clerk in the parish of Duthil, in Morayshire. On
the 13th January 1547, the parishioners assembled in the church, when Mr
Andrew Grant, an applicant for the vacant clerkship, appeared before them to
solicit their votes. having received a unanimous support, Mr Andrew ascended
the altar step, and there, while high mass was celebrated, he, in a loud
voice, requested the parishioners who consented to his election, to stand
up. Upon this, reports the notary who has recorded the proceedings, every
one in the church rose, and with one voice exclaimed, "We choose Mr Andrew
Grant to be our parish clerk of Duthil, and no other, unless we are
compelled to the contrary by James, laird of Grant; and if we should be so
compelled by the said James to elect another, we will that last election to
be null and void to any one accepting it, inasmuch as it could not be called
an election, but compulsion." Then follows the formal sanction given by the
Dean of Moray to the election, the parishioners being admonished by him,
"under pain of excommunication, to pay the dues and rights of the clerkship
to Mr Andrew Grant, and to no other."
Vol. ii., p. 146, 1. 12.—Institution under
Kirksession Register of Tillicoultry, appears the following entry:—"17th May
1676. On the whilk day preached Mr Robert Kirk, minister at Balquhidder. . .
. Sermon being ended, the said Mr Robert Kirk, in obedience to the Bishop's
appointment, and conform to Sir John Nicolson's presentation, together with
collation granted thereupon by the said James, Bishop of Dunblane, he did
proceed and actually give institution and admission to MIr Alexander Keith
to be minister of the fore-said kirk of Tillicultrie, whereupon he delivered
to hint the Pible, and took him by the hand, and likewise all the rest of
the brethren then present; as also the said Sir John and Mr David
Craigengelt, and John Sharp. As also he delivered to him the beltoul
[bell-rope], the keys of the kirk, and the keys of the manse, and delivered
to him earth and stane of the glybe of Tillicoultrie, whereupon the said Mr
Alexander Kirk took instruments."
Vol. ii., pp. 147-155.—The Secession Church.
Our friend the Rev. Walter Macleod has sent us
the following note:—"The Secession took place in 1733 on the "rounds stated
in the 'Testimony' published soon afterwards. In 1747, when the Associates'
had increased so as to form a Synod, a division took place on the question
of the Burgess oath, which engaged the jurants to uphold the religion
presently professed in the land. The members of the Secession who held that
the oath might be taken by then were styled the Burghers, while those who
deemed the acceptance of the oath inconsistent with their profession were
known as Anti-Burghers. Each of these societies became further subdivided
into the Old and New Light Burghers and AntiBurghers—this change occurring
with the former in 1799, and with the latter in 180G. The Old Light party
included Dr Thomas M'Crie, author of the Life of Knox, who with three other
ministers organised the Constitutional Presbytery. The 'New Lights' of both
parties became one in 1820 as the United Secession Church, and this body, by
union with the Relief Church in 1847, formed the United Presbyterian Church.
The majority of the Old Light Burghers returned to the Establishment in 1839
and the residue, joining a majority of the Anti-Burghers in 1842, formed the
United Original Secession, the greater part of whom joined the Free Church
in 1852. The conservative portion of the Anti-Burghers, who protested
against the union of 1842, still continue under the designation of Original
Vol. ii., pp.
Referring to a muttering or conversational whisper, habitual during divine
service, among the elders who, in Sutherland parishes, sat together in the
lettron, or elders' seat (so called from the reading or precentor's desk,
which usually stood in it), Mr Donald Sate, minister of Resolis, writes:--"
The conversation was directly the reverse of anything bordering upon levity.
Their low whispering conversation was nothing else than the impression made
upon their own minds by the truths they were hearing. It must be admitted,
however, that they very probably had a particular motive in making
themselves so conspicuous. The principle on which elders in a highland
parish in those days invariably were elected, was, that they should be not
only the most advanced in years, but the most eminent Christians in the
parish. To sustain the character of the office, and to act on the principle
of their appointment to it by the tacit suffrages of the people, must be
allowed, reasonably enough, to account for the rather ostentatious display
which they made before their fellow parishioners of their attention to the
sermon." —Memorabilia Domestica, Vol. i. p. 314.
Vol. ii., p. 158, 1. 8.—Clerical Magistrates.
While, as stated in the test, there existed in
the northern counties, more especially in that of Caithness, a body of
laymen, who in a measure usurped the functions of the clergy, the latter
were not infrequently entrusted with duties considerably apart from those
which strictly pertained to the sacred office. In his Memorabilia Dotnestica
(h. 113), Air Sage remarks that the hev. Alexander Pope, minister of Peay,
in Caithness (1734-178), was commissioned by the Sheriff to magisterially
enforce order in his parochial district, and this by personal exertion he
thoroughly effected. A short thick cudgel, which he bore with him in his
walks, and frequently exercised upon the unruly, was among .ir Pope's
parishioners known as " the bailie." Mr John Anderson, minister of Bellie or
Fochabers (1809-1819) field office as factor to the Duke of Gordon, and was
also commissioned as a Justice of the Peace. Hence the rhyme:—
Maister John Anderson,
Factor to his grace;
Minister of Fochabers,
And Justice of the Peace."
The plurality of offices exercised by Mr
Anderson was obnoxious to his brethren of the Presbytery of Strathbogie, and
their disapproval was, on the 27th May 1819, affirmed by the General
Assembly. In their judgment proceeding on an appeal, the Assembly field that
"engaging in secular employments was inconsistent with the full and faithful
discharge of the spiritual function." In consequence of the Assembly's
deliverance Mr Anderson resigned his parochial cure.
Vol. ii., p. 165, 1. 1,—Annual Election of
In the year
1615 was held at Fossoway "the annual election of elders," Mr Lawrence
Mercer being the incumbent.—Kirksession Register.
Vol. ii., p. 165, 1. 8.—"Antediluvian Elders."
In south-western districts at the close of the
seventeenth and the commencement of the eighteenth centuries, certain elders
are in the kirksession registers described as "antediluvian." The term, in
its ecclesiastical relation, is explained by Wodrow as signifying that the
office-bearers so designated "had seen the glory of the former temple, and
were ordained before the Restoration." Ministers who belonged to the
pre-Restoration period were also occasionally designated "antediluvian."
Vol. ii., pp. 166-7.—The Jaggs or Jougs.
In the kirksession register of Tynningham
appears the following entry:— "On the 15th October 1615, Maister John
[Lauder] regrating that there was sae many railers in the toun especiallie
women, and that they troublit the session sae aft, earnestlie desyrit that
the civil magistrat wad concur in punish-in, of them, and that jogis micht
be maid at the kirk door, wherein the delinquents micht be put." At Alva in
Stirlingshire, the punishment of the Jaggs was rigorously enforced. In the
parish register is the following entry:—"May 29, 1681. The Session appointed
the clerk to make record that as sentenced, John lire had at the second bell
entered the Jaggs, and stood there all the time bareheaded till the third
bell was rung in, and that then he came into the church, and sate on the
white furme before the pulpitt, and that after Divine service in the
forenoon immediately before pronouncing the blessing, being called upon
publickly by the minister, he expressed sorrow and grief for his sin. He
was," proceeds the minute, "adjudged to give appearance the next Lord's-day,
in the same manner he had done this." Ure's offence was that he had said to
a neighbour he would slay hint " but for the fear of man rather than the
fear of God."
Fenwick, in Ayrshire, the jaggs remain attached to the church wall, about
five feet from the ground; and in the Kirk-session Register of that parish,
there are recorded cases of culprits being sentenced to "stand in the jougs
from eight till ten, and thence to go to the place of repentance within the
Vol. ii. pp.
Early in the eighteenth century ministers
expatiated upon one text or thecae for six or eight consecutive Sundays.
Barrenness of doctrine was ascribed to those preachers who exhausted a text
readily. On the 30th April 1704, Mr Mungo Lindsay, minister of Sorn,
commenced a series of discourses on the second part of the 19th Psalm, and
upon these eight verses he discoursed for one year and seven months. One of
the questions put at Presbyterial visitations was, whether the portion of
Scripture preached on that day by the minister was his ordinary text any
time before, and the expected and approved answer was, "Yes." Complaining to
the Presbytery of Ayr of their minister, Mr John Hanna, the parishioners of
Craigie, in 1707, set forth among other imperfections in his conducting the
public services, that "he doth often change his text, and cloth not raise
many heads, and doth not present such as he names, but scruffs them."—Dr
Edgar's Old Church Life, pp. 81-99.
Vol. ii., p. 195.—Examination of Elders.
On the second Sunday of June 1651, the elders of
Tilliecultry made their annual "tryel of ther life and conversation and
fidelitie." Their minute proceeds—"Andrew Blair was thocht to be remisse and
slack in his office, and is desyrit to be adnionished for this tyme." Of
William Drysdali, it is alleged that he " was thocht remisse in his office,
and given somewhat to banning;" he was therefore "admonished bravelie." As
to their brother, Robert lire, the members held that he was much to be
blamed for slackness in his calling," also that he was "too frequent in the
brewster hous; "he was consequently adjudged to be "gravelie admonished in
face of the Session."—Tillicoultry kirksession Register.
Vol. ii., p. 111, 1. 12 ; p. 160, 1. 12; p. 209,
1. 8.—Sunday Fairs.
Church Fairs, derived from the latin "feria," signifying a festival, took
origin in the necessity for providing refreshment to those who assembled
from great distances to engage in public worship. Though the practice of
Sunday marketing, into which the congregational "fair" ultimately
degenerated, was condemned by Parliamentary statute, both before and after
the Reformation, it was long resolutely persisted in. In reference to the
existence of the practice at a modern period, Nye have in the "Memoirs of
Robert Haldane of Airthrey," Lond. 1852, pp. 7, 8, the following
narrative:—"Mungo Haldane [of Gleneagles] was successively M.P. for the
counties of Perth and Stirling, and died in 1757 at the age of
seventy-three, unmarried. He was well remembered by a tenant of the
Gleneagles estate, who lived to be more than a hundred years old, and was
known to many of the present generation. lie used to tell how the laird put
an end to Sunday trading in the neighbourhood by means not very consonant
with the modern voluntary principle. It seems that Sunday trafficking was
then prevalent in Scotland, in consequence of the packmen or itinerant
hawkers bringing their goods for sale to the church doors on the Lord's day.
As chief magistrate in the neighbourhood, the Baron of Gleneagles issued an
order prohibiting the practice. On the following Sunday he did not happen
himself to go to Blackford Church, but meeting his servants returning, he
inquired whether the packmen had obeyed his mandate. Being informed that
they had not, the old tenant used to tell with great emphasis, bow `the
laird clapped his hand on his sword,' and declared that if he lived over
another Sabbath, he would make the packmen repent of their perverseness.
Accordingly, on the following Sunday, he himself went to the church, and
finding the packmen assembled as usual and spreading out their goods for
sale, he drew out his sword and scattered them in an instant. Having pursued
them down the hill, as they fled in trepidation before the irate and portly
Baron, he returned to the church gates and tossed their wares into the
adjoining lake. This exercise of a rigour beyond the law,' which in those
days was not very nicely weighed, had the desired effect, and Sunday trading
has never been again attempted near Gleneagles from that day to the
present." Nearly three centuries after the dilapidation of the structure,
the site of Cambuskenneth Abbey, near Stirling, continued to be used as a
place of Sunday marketing. In August 184S, a vigorous effort for the
suppression of the practice was set on foot by Mr Peter Drummond, an
energetic burgess of Stirling, who by means of printed tracts on Sunday
observance, induced purchasers to withdraw.
Vol. ii., pp. 213-17.—Church Attendance.
The Kirksession of Alva, in a minute dated the
13th November 1665, and denoted on the margin, "a hint to the laird," gave
the following instruction: "William Mitchel to desire his honour to be more
early at the church on the Sabbath, because of the shortness of the day."
Not improbably Sir James Erskine, who then possessed the barony of Alva,
inclined to believe that there was some excuse for escaping the early part
of a religious service which in a short November clay extended probably from
eleven o'clock till late in the afternoon.
On the 16th October 1693, Mr Robert Gourlaw,
minister of Tillicoultry, in the prospect of being "a moneth away by
appointment of the Synod, requested the elders to notice that the people
attend the ordinances in the neighbouring congregations till his return."—Tillicoultry
Vol. ii., pp. 220-222. —Punishment of church Sleepers.
The Kirksession of Dundonald in 1642 determined
that "no women be suffered to sit in the time of sommer with plyds upon
their heids," since "it is a cleuck to their sleiping in tyme of sermon."
The Kirksession of Monifieth in 1643 took the decisive but strangely
irreverent course of handing to "the bodall 5s. to buy one pynt of tar to
put upon the women that held the plaid above their heals in the church."
Vol. ii., pp. 40-24S.—Secular Authority of
Kirksessions exercised authority in demanding the exile of those who had
settled within the bounds of their jurisdiction without producing proper
attestations. Thus, on the 28th April 1698, the Kirksession of Tillicoultry,
on being informed that a man had come to the parish from Blackford without a
certificate, instructed their officer to cause him to procure written
evidence of respectability, under the pain of his being proceeded against
before the civil magistrate in order to his removal.—(Tillicoultry
Kirk-session Register). Even the celebrated robber chief, Rob Roy Macgregor,
when in the year 1691 arraigned by the Kirksession of Balquhidder for
certain social irregularities, did not venture to decline the sessional
jurisdiction. Macgregor was charged along with "Janet Dow Macgregor, his
servant in Crigans," also with a daughter of Donald Roy Ferguson in
Balquidder."—(Kirksession Register of Balquhidder). James Alexander, tenant
at Milnab, Perthshire, charged with committing a social offence within the
bounds of the Presbytery of Kirkcaldy, granted to that Presbytery, on the
20th September 1711, a legal bond, whereby under a penalty of two hundred
pounds Scots, he became bound "to present and silt himself personallie
before the Presbytery during the heall steps and dependence of process
against him."—(General Register of Deeds, Mackenzie Office, vol. 109,
December 10, 1711).
his "Memorabilia Domestica," Mr Sage relates the particulars of a case of
compulsory discipline of a most singular character. We present the narrative
in his own words:—"The Rev. Alexander Pope, minister of Reay [from 1734 to
1782], was a man of very extraordinary strength of body and vigour of mind,
and of deep and fervent piety. . . . He chose as his elders not only the
most decent and orderly, but also the strongest men in the parish, the
latter qualification being particularly necessary for the work they had
often to do. A coarse fellow, a farmer, kept his mistress. Pointing out to
hire the sinfulness of his conduct, Mr Pope called upon him to make a public
profession of his repentance by appearing before the congregation to be
publicly reproved. Flying into a passion, the fellow exclaimed, ' Before I
submit to any such thing you may pluck the last tooth out of my head.' 'We
shall see,' replied, the minister. . . . When the Session next met it was
agreed that three of the strongest of their number should repair to the
fellow's house next Sabbath morning, pinion his arms, and bring him to the
church. When the Sabbath came this was done. The elders reached the farmer's
house about ten, and after a fierce combat mastered him, and having bound
him with a rope, marched him to church. When they arrived, one of the elders
went to the minister to report what had been done and to receive further
instructions. ' Bind him to one of the seats before the pulpit,' said Mr
Pope, 'and sit one of you on each side of him until the service is
finished.' This order was obeyed. Before pronouncing the blessing, Mr Pope
proceeded to reprove the offender. 'You told us,' he began, 'that we might
pull the last tooth out of your head before you would submit to be where you
are, but'—pointing his finger in scorn at him, and uttering one of his most
contemptible sounds, with his breath between his lips, which can better be
imagined than described, he added, 'Fire ,faire! ort' a' inboic curl! c'aite
in' bell thu nip"—an idiomatic phrase of one language which cannot be
translated into another, but which may be rendered, You poor braggart, where
are you now l "—(Memorabilia Domestica, vol. i., pp. 116, 117). In a notice
of the stalwart minister of Reay, Dr Hew Scott remarks that he used to drive
his graceless parishioners to church with a stick, when he found them
engaged on Sunday at games out of doors.—(Fasti Eccl. Scot., iii. 367),
Sessional rebukes, administered by the moderator, usually extended to great
length. In the parish of Dundonald, in Ayrshire, the minister's pulpit
address to social offenders was popularly described as "the wee sermon," in
contradistinction to the ordinary discourse. By a few of the clergy a more
reasonable course was adopted. Thus Mr Thomas Edward, minister of Tynningham
(1686-1695), is, in the Kirksession register of his parish, reported as
rebuking persons under discipline in these simple words, "According to your
repentance, so be it unto you."
Vol. ii., pp. 256-8.--The Last Wolf.
There is no wolf, or part of the animal, in the
Macgregor arms. Nearly every district in Scotland puts forth a claim to be
the place where "the last wolf" was slain. Not improbably the actual " last"
was that killed by Macqueen of Pall-a-chrocain, who died in 1797. A man of
great stature and of corresponding strength, Macqueen kept the best
deer-hounds in the country. One day, in the winter of 1743, he received a
message from the chief of clan Mackintosh, that a large wolf had on the
preceding day killed two children, who, with their mothers, were crossing
the hills from Calder. Macqueen was consequently invited by the chief to
attend a "Tainchel," or gathering in the forest of Tarnaway, in Moray, and
to bring with him his dogs. On the morning of the tryst, Mackintosh waited
eagerly for Macqueen, but he only arrived at noon. As Mackintosh was about
to complain of his delay, Macqueen raised his plaid, and drew from under his
arm the bloody head of the aggressor. "I met the bit beastie," said Macqueen,
"and this is his head." Mackintosh expressed his admiration, and rewarded
his vigorous kinsman with the lands of Sean-a-char for "meat to his dogs."
Vol. ii., p. 292, 1. 25.—Chivalric Sports. The
ascertained by an actual measurement of it, that the Round Table at Stirling
is of precisely the same dimensions as that which was constructed at
Windsor, and of the other "table" at Kenilworth.
Vol. ii., p. 315, 1. 26.—For "" Lochleven" read
Vol. ii., p. 394, 1. 26.—For "Chieswood"
read " Chiefswood."
Vol. ii., p. 396, 1. 10.—For
"time" read "wine."
iii., p. 103, 1. 12,—Simon, Lord Lovat.
In the public collections preserved in the
General Register House are included several letters of the twelfth baron of
Lovat. In these Simon appears not discreditably. To a letter which on the
14th March 1730 he addressed to George Crawford, the Historiographer, he
attached the following postscript: "The Marquis of Annandale is dead at
Venise, and left his estate to my Lady Hopetonn and disinherited his two
brothers, so you may believe he is in hell—adieu."
The indignation with which Lovat so tersely
expresses his abhorrence of an act of disinheriting is at a later period
followed by personal beneficence. One of the magistrates of Inverness,
Bailie John Stewart, to whom Simon was related by marriage, was under a
monetary obligation to a brother of Macleod of Cadboll, who was through his
agents adopting rigorous measures for the recovery of the debt. On behalf of
his relative, Lovat pleaded with Cadboll in the following letter:-
"My DEAR LAIRD OF CADBOL,—I hope this letter
will find you in perfect health, and I beg leave to assure you of my most
sincere and most affectionate respects and best wishes.
"I had the honour to write to you two weeks ago
about poor Mr Donald Fraser's unfortunate fate. But I hope he will soon be
provided for in spite of B---n, &c. I now presume to solicite you upon as
disagreable a subject. Honest Baillie Stewart of Inverness, with whom I
lived in great friendship for many years, and who is married to my near
relation, M`Leod of Drynach's daughter, has fallen low more by the
misfortunes of the times than by his own fault or mismanagement. He is owing
you a debt, and your doers have been very hard upon him; he was forced to
fly his own house for fear of being put in prison by caption. When his
friends represented to you his melancholy situation, you were so good as to
take a presentation of him, having got Baillie M'lntosh of Inverness as
cautioner, a sufficient man,—and when Baillie Stewart let you see that he
had a good friend to pay you, and was fully resolved to do it, as soon as
his papers came from the south, -which completed his right to the effects
which lie was to dispose of for your payment, you were so very good as to
take a second presentation. But his agent, William Fraser, being so
negligent as not to send north his papers by the last post, he is threatn'd
to be put in prison next week if lie does not pay the money, which he is no
more able to do than to eat the Castle of Inverness. Now, my dear cousine,
the favour that I ask of you is this, that you will prolong the presentation
he lyes now under for three weeks or a month, since he expects his papers
from his agent every post, and is very positive that in three weeks he will
satisfie you; and to let you see that my request is not impertinent, which I
would never be guilty of to my dear laird of Cadbol, if Baillie Stewart dos
not satisfie you in a month's time, I will give my own security for that
money payable at Whitsunday next, and my security for that sum is as (food
as any of the banks. I therefore most humbly entreat my dear Cadbol that you
may grant my earnest request, which will be an everlasting obligation put
upon me and many an honest man besides, which I will not conceall from them
if you grant it. I humbly beg, pardon for this freedom, and I hope that you
believe that I am with unalterable attachment, sincere gratitude, and a
singular respect, my dear laird of Cadbol, your most obedient and most
obliged humble servant, and most affectionate cousine. " Lovat."
"BEAUFORD, 5th December 1741."
As Bailie Stewart had failed to satisfy the
claim within the period agreed upon, and an enforcement was again menaced,
Lovat renewed his intercession with Cadboll, accompanied by the offer of his
personal security. Lovat's second letter, no less than the former, is most
creditable both to his skill and his generosity. Dated from "Beaufort
Castle, 8th January 1742," the missive proceeds thus
"MY DEAR LAIRD of CADBOL,—My
friend Baillie John Stewart of Inverness tells me that his agent, William
Fraser, Writter to the Signett, has by some unluckie accident faill'd to
send him the decreet of mauls and dutys consequentiall on the adjudication
he is to assign to you in security of the debt he owes your brother, about
which I wrote you formerly. This gives my friend great uneasiness,
especially that his day of presentation is on Monday, the 11th curt. But I
am sure it's not his fault that this affair is not transacted as you desired
ere now, as you will see by the enclosed letter to him from his agent,
William Fraser (which return), and therefor I send you this expressly to
entreat that once more you continue the presentation for one moneth longer,
and send your orders to your agent at Inverness accordingly on the receipt
of this. And if in that time he dos not transmit to you, or order the
security you propose, and likeways pay the five pound sterling desired in
cash, I will be bound for the debt in terms of my former letter to you on
this subject ; if or I think it will be hard to distress an honest man who I
am certain is willing to do all in his power for your security. Therefor I
will expect your complyance, which will be an additional proof of the many
obligations I owe you, for which I will have a gratefull resentment all my
in Russia, and the Revolution that is like to be in Swedeland, and the
confusion we are in at home and abroad, do portend great troubles and
changes in our island even this very year. I pray God may restore and
preserve the liberties of Scotland, whatever alterations and events may
happen in the other parts of the world. This should be the constant prayer
of all honest men, and I am sure it shall always be mine.
"The Patriots have carried the two greatest
questions that came yet before the House of Commons, which was the Chairman
of the Committee of EIections, and the Westminster Election. I wish they may
go on and prosper against the Administration, &c., for I have no reason to
have a friendship for then, having used me like a scoundrell.
When the good weather comes on in the spring I
design to pay my respects to you and to my other good friends in East Ross,
if God spare me in health. I have been much pain'd these two moneths past,
by severall small boills that I had in my legs above my ankles. But I bless
God they are all now heall, and J. have not been better in health of body
than since I came last north, these ten years by gone.
I beg leave to make you the compliments of the
season, and to wish you many a happy new year in health and prosperity ; and
I am, with a singular attachment and respect, my dear Laird of Cadbol, your
most affectionate cousin, and most obedient and most obliged humble servant,