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Domestic Annals of Scotland
Reign of Charles I. 1625 - 1637 Part D

Witches being so numerous at this time, it was not surprising that ‘John Balfour in Corshouse’ took upon him the profession of a discoverer of witches, ‘by remarking the devil’s mark upon some part of their persons, and thristing of preens in the same.’ ‘Upon the presumption of this knowledge,’ say the Privy Council, he ‘goes athort the country abusing simple and ignorant people for his private gain and commoditie.’ Measures were taken for looking into John’s pretensions to such knowledge, ‘and how and by what means he has the same.’—P.
C. R.

1633, Feb 7
‘There began a great storm of snow, with horrible high winds, whilk were noted to be universal through all Scotland.... The like had never been seen in these parts, for it would overturn countrymen’s houses to the ground, and some persons suddenly smo’ered within, without relief. It also threw down the stately crown bigged of curious ashler wark, off the steeple of the King’s College of Old Aberdeen. This outrageous storm stopped the ordinary course of ebbing and flowing on sundry waters, by the space of twenty-four hours, such as the waters of Leith, Dundee, Montrose, and other ports - whilk signified great troubles to be in Scotland, as after ye sall hear how truly came to pass.'

An irregular tide on the east coast of Scotland is no unexampled phenomenon and could easily be explained; but it would probably defy a Humboldt or a Whewell to explain another wonder which a grave church historian of the eighteenth century—a ‘writer’ in Edinburgh, too—sets down as occurring at the same time. ‘What was yet more marvellous,’ says he, ‘the moon, though in her first quarter, set not, but was seen from the Wednesday to the Thursday at even.’

George Nicol, the son of a tailor in Edinburgh, and who had been secretary or clerk to Sir Archibald Acheson, under an unlucky zeal for the public good, resolved to expose some malpractices of the Scottish rulers which had fallen under his attention, or which he believed to exist. Being in London, he presented to the king some information against the Chancellor, the Earls of Morton and Stratherne, the Lord Traqnair, the Lord Advocate, &c., for mismanagement of the treasury. These officers were summoned to London to meet the charges brought against them, when it soon appeared that Nicol had advanced what he could not prove.

He was returned to Scotland under the power of the men whom he had accused, and was adjudged by the Privy Council guilty of leasing-making, and to stand at the entry of the session-house for an hour, and two hours at the Cross, with a paper on his head bearing, ‘Here stands Mr George Nicol, who is tried, found, and declared to be a false calumnious liar,’ and thereafter to receive six stripes on his naked back by the hand of the hangman, and then to be led back to the Tolbooth with his shoulders still exposed.

This prototype of Scottish political reformers met ‘with much compassion from the promiscuous beholders, who generally believed he suffered wrongfully.’ He was afterwards deported to Flanders.

Colin Campbell, Laird of Glenurchy, who had succeeded his father Duncan in 1631, seems to have outrivailed him in his taste for elegant things. In the quaint memoir of his family written about this time, it is stated: ‘The said Sir Colin bestowit and gave to ane German pairter, whom he entertainit in his house aucht month, and that for painting of thretty brods of the kings of Scotland, and of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, and twa of their majesties’ queens of guid memory, and of the said Sir Colin his awn and his predecessors’ portraits, whilk portraits are set up in the hall and chalmer of dais of the house of Balloch, the soum of ane thousand pounds.

He also patronised the portrait-painter, George Jameson, now in the zenith of his fame, and settled in Edinburgh. From a letter written by this distinguished person to Sir Colin, June 23, 1635, it appears that he charged for his portraits twenty merks each, he furnishing ‘claith and colours.’ The laird had given an order for pictures of a considerable number of his friends, and Jameson promised, if he began in July, to have sixteen ready in September.

His labours are thus spoken of in the family chronicle: ‘Sir Colin gave unto George Jameson, painter in Edinburgh, for King Robert and King David Bruces, kings of Scotland, and Charles I., king of Great Britain, and his majesty’s queen, and for nine more of the queens of Scotland their portraits, whilk are set up in the hall of Balloch, the soum of twa hundred three-score pounds.’ . . . . ‘For the knight of Lochow’s lady, and the first Countess of Argyle, and six of the lathes of Glenurchy their portraits, and Sir Colin his awn portrait, whilk are set up in the chalmer of dais of Balloch, [he gave] ane hundred fourscore pounds.' If we are to presume that Scots money is meant in all these instances, it would appear that this eminent artist was content to execute a bust portrait at a pound sterling!

June 15
The king arrived in Edinburgh, accompanied by the Duke of Lennox, the Marquis of Hamilton, and divers other Scotch and English lords and gentlemen, to the number of about five hundred. His furniture and plate were carried about with him in princely form. He, riding on horseback, was received at the West Port in a theatrical manner, after the fashion of the allegorical entertainments with which Ben Jonson has made us familiar. There was a kind of theatre under an arch, where a nymph representing Edinburgh appeared on a mountain, which was so arranged as to move at the approach of majesty. The nymph was attired in a sea-green velvet mantle, with sleeves and under-robe of blue tissue, and blue buskins on her feet: about her neck she wore a chain of diamonds; her head-dress represented a castle with turrets, and her locks dangled about her shoulders.

A speech of welcome was delivered by this fair lady, together with the keys of the city. Meanwhile, the provost, Alexander Clark, and the bailies, in furred red robes, with about threescore councillors and others, in black velvet gowns, had taken up a position on a wooden stand at the other side of the gate. Thence the provost addressed the king in a brief speech, presenting him at the same time with a gold basin worth five thousand merks, into which were shaken out of an embroidered purse a thousand golden double angels, as a token of the town’s love and service. ‘The king looked gladly upon the speech and gift both; but the Marquis of Hamilton, master of his majesty’s horse, hard beside, meddled with the gift, as due to him by virtue of his office.’

The provost then mounted his own horse, which was sumptuously attired, and, followed by the councillors and others on foot, attended his majesty along the Grassmarket. Here appeared ‘a brave company of town’s soldiers all clad in white satin doublets, black velvet breeches, and silk stockings, with hats, feathers, scarfs, bands, and the rest correspondent. These gallants had dainty muskets, pikes, and gilded partisans, and such like,’ and attended his majesty as a guard. At the gate in the middle of the West Bow, there was another theatre, presenting a Highland scene, labelled with the word GRAMPIUS, and from which a female, representing the genius of Caledonia, welcomed his majesty in verse. Coming to the west end of the Tolbooth, he there found an arch across the narrowed street, surmounted by a crown; Mars, as the protecting deity of the country, on one side, and Minerva on the other. Here, on the withdrawal of a curtain, Mercury appeared, as just arrived from the Elysian fields with his majesty’s deceased progenitors. This was a part of the spectacle really interesting to the king, for the portraits struck his tasteful eye as well executed; and so they were, being the work of George Jameson of Aberdeen. Here there was a fourth speech.

‘At the Mercat Cross, he had a fifth speech, where his majesty’s health was drunk by Bacchus on the Cross, and the haill stroups [spouts] thereof running over with wine in abundance. At the Tron, Parnassus hill was erected curiously, all green with birks, where nine pretty boys, representing the nine nymphs or muses, was nymph-like clad [in varying taffetas, cloth of silver, and purple].’ Amidst the trees, appeared Endymion, like a shepherd, in a long coat of crimson velvet, with gilt leather buskins, telling the king, in William Drummond’s verse, that he had been despatched by Cynthia to celebrate the day.

‘Roused from the Latmian cave, where many years
That empress of the lowest of the spheres,
Who cheers the night, and kept me hid, apart
From mortal wights, to ease her love-sick heart;
As young as when she did me
first enclose,
As fresh in beauty as the Maying rose,
Endymion, that whilom kept my flocks
Upon lonia’s flowery hills and rocks,
And sweet lays warbling to my Cynthia’s beams,
O’ersang the swannets of Meander’s streams,’ &c.

At the Nether Bow, where he made his exit from the city, another speech was addressed to him. ‘Whilk haill orations his majesty, with great pleasure and delight, sitting on horseback, as his company did, heard pleasantly; syne rode down the Canongate to his own palace of Holyroodhouse, where he stayed that night. The provost with the rest returned home.’—Spal.’

Next day (Sunday) the king received Cornelius Smoski, the Polish ambassador, in great state, in his privy chamber at Holyrood; and on the ensuing day, the Prince Shemei and his brother, two proper gentlemen, sons of the Duke de Arscotte, had audience in the same place. The ambassador was entertained, while in Scotland, ‘upon his majesty’s charges.’—Bal.

On the same day, the king made a procession in his coach to the Castle, where he was magnificently banqueted, ‘served with his awn officiars and with his awn provision, vessels, and plate.’ Thence he returned next day, conducted by his nobility in state, in his royal robes, to the Abbey Kirk of Holyrood, and there was solemnly crowned by the Bishop of Brechin. ‘It is markit that there was ane four-nuikit table in manner of ane altar, having standing thereon twa books called blind books, with twa chandlers, and twa wax-candles, whilks were unlichtit, and ane basin wherein there was nothing. At the back of this altar there was ane rich tapestry, wherein the crucifix was curiously wrought; and as thir bishops who was in service passed by this crucifix, they were seen to bow their knee and beck, which with their habit was noted, and bred grit fear of inbringing of popery.’— Spal

On the 20th, the Estates sat down, after one of those formal processions so often alluded to in Scottish history as the Riding of the Parliament. Such had been the custom from an early period; but latterly the riding was an affair of greatly increased splendour, and never had it been so grand as on this occasion. The procession started at the Abbey Close, or court in front of the palace, and extended along the principal street of the city to the Tolbooth, where the parliament was to be held. First went the commissioners for burghs, ‘ilk ane in their awn places, weel clad in cloaks, having on their horses black velvet footmantles.’ Then in order went the commissioners for barons or minor gentry, the lords of spirituality, and the bishops, the latter being all present but the Bishop of Aberdeen, who lay sick at home. The temporal lords, the viscounts, and earls followed in order of rank and date, the Earl of Buchan carrying the sword, and Rothes the sceptre; after whom came the Marquis of Douglas (lately Earl of Angus) bearing the crown, and with the Duke of Hamilton on his right hand, and the Marquis of Hamilton on his left. All the nobles rode in scarlet furred robes, with footmantles. ‘Then cam his majesty riding upon ane gallant chestnut-coloured horse having in his head ane fair bunch of feathers, with ane foot-mantle of purpour velvet. His majesty made choice to ride in King James IV.’s robe-royal, whilk was of purpour velvet, richly furrit and lacit with gold, hanging over his horse-tail ane great deal,’ and borne by five grooms in a line. The king ‘had upon his head ane hat and ane rod in his hand. The lion heralds, pursuivants, macers, and trumpeters followed his majesty in silence.’ At the Nether Bow, where he entered the bounds of the city, the king was sainted by the provost, who attended him closely the rest of the way. Within the city there was a space of the street staked off, sanded, and lined with a guard of armed citizens. At a style or passage in the Luckenbooths, the king lighted, and was conducted by the Lord High Constable, the Earl of Errol, to ‘the outer door of the Heich Tolbooth,’ where ‘the Earl Marischal, as Marischal of Scotland, with all humility received him, and convoyed him to his tribunal.’ On the second day of the parliament, the king went in his coach, and after the business was ended, walked back to the palace, moving so swiftly as to throw his foot-guard into a perspiration, ‘being ane able footman as was within the town.’—Spal. The whole reception of King Charles was magnificent to a degree unprecedented. The people viewed their sovereign as a stranger of great distinction, and were more awed than won by his grandeur, while under all lurked the dread of that constant tampering with the national church and worship which for some years had been so conspicuous.

June 23
(Sunday) ‘the king came to St Giles’s Church to hear sermon, and after he was set down in his awn place, the ordinary reader being [engaged in] reading the word and singing psalms, before sermon, Mr John Maxwell, minister of Edinburgh, came down from the king’s loft, caused the reader remove from his place, and set down there two English chaplains, clad with surplices, who with the help of other chaplains and bishops there present, acted their English service. This being ended, in came Mr John Guthrie, Bishop of Moray, clad also with a surplice, went up to the pulpit, and taught a sermon. At thir things many marvelled.

‘Sermon being ended, the king and all his nobles goes into the banqueting-house, prepared by the town of Edinburgh, that they might feast him. The banqueting-house was so near the kirk, and so great noise in it of men, musical instruments, trumpets, playing, singing, also shooting of cannon, that no service was had in the afternoon, either in the greater or lesser kirk of St Giles.’—Row.

Another contemporary says: ‘The people of Edinburgh, seeing the bishop teach in his rochet, whilk was never seen in St Giles’s Kirk sin’ the Reformation, and by him who sometime was ane of their awn town’s puritan ministers, were grievit, thinking the same smellit of popery.’ Here lay the canker of this flowery scene. Could any one have foretold that, in the course of a series of circumstances flowing from these matters of dress and ceremonial, the youthful king now present in such grandeur would perish on a scaffold; that Bishop Guthrie would, for what he did this very day, be deposed and excommunicated; and that Maxwell, who was now on the eve of being made a bishop, would be deposed and frightened out of his country, be half cut to pieces in a massacre in Ireland, and finally die of grief on account of his sovereign’s irretrievable misfortunes—how strange it would have appeared!

June 24
This day, being St John’s Day, the king went in state to the Chapel Royal, Holyroodhouse, and there, after a solemn offertory, touched about a hundred persons for the king’s evil, ‘putting about every one of their necks a piece of gold, coined for the purpose, hung at a white silk riband.’—Bal.

On the same day, the city gave a banquet to the English nobility, ‘with music and much merriment. After dinner, the provost, bailies, and councillors, ilk ane in others’ hands, with bare heads, cam dancing down the High Street with all sort of music, trumpeters, and drums. The nobles went to the king, and told him their entertainment, joy, and gladness, whereat the king was weel pleasit.’—Spal.

July 8
After a sporting tour by Linlithgow, Dunfermline, and Falkland, ‘his majesty came to Perth, and was weel receivit with tenscore of men for guard, all in white doublets and red breeks, with partisans. Mr William Bell delivered him a speech.... There was ane sword-dance dancit to his majesty the morn after his coming, upon an island made of timmer on the water of Tay, and certain verses spoken to his majesty by ane boy, representing the person of the river Tay, and some conference in his majesty’s praise betwixt Tay and another representing Perth, made by Andrew Wilson, bailie.’—Chron. Perth.

The king on this occasion lodged in the house which had belonged to the late Earl of Gowrie, and where his father had had a memorable adventure in 1600. The arrangement for the sword-dance is more particularly described in the record of the corporation of glovers. His majesty ‘went down to the garden, and being set upon the wall next the water of Tay, whereupon was ane fleeting stage of timber clad about with birks, upon the whilk thirteen of this our calling of glovers, with green caps, silver strings, red ribbons, white shoes, and bells about their legs, shewing rapiers in their hands, and all other abulyiement, dancit our sword-dance, with mony difficile knots, five being under and five above, upon their shoulders, three of them dancing through their feet and about them, drinking wine and breaking glasses. Whilk, God be praisit, was actit and done without hurt or skaith till any. Whilk drew us till great charges and expenses, amounting to the sum of 350 merks.’

We have no actual account of Highlanders present on this occasion; but it fully appears that Charles, ten days before, caused a letter to be sent to the Laird of Glenurchy, desiring that there might be a ‘show and muster’ of that class of his subjects at Perth, ‘in their country habit and best order.’ The laird was requested to ‘single out and convene a number of [his] friends, followers, and dependers, men personable for stature, and in their best array and equipage, with trews, bows, dorlochs [swords], and others their ordinary weapons and furniture, and to send them to the burgh of Perth,’ for the king’s contentment.

If these mountaineers made their appearance as, requested, there must have been precisely the same mixture of Highland and more civilised costumes at Perth on this occasion, as was presented in Edinburgh at the visit of George IV. in 1822.

July 10
On his return to Edinburgh, the king crossed the Firth of Forth, in fair weather; nevertheless, a boat perished in his sight, containing thirty-five of his domestics, all of whom excepting two were drowned. ‘His majesty’s silver plate and household stuff perished with the rest; a pitiful sight, no doubt, to the king and the haill beholders . . . . betokening great troubles to fall betwixt the king and his subjects, as after does appear.’—Spal.

July 12
The aged Marquis of Huntly desired to take advantage of the king’s presence in Scotland to interest him in the affair of Frendraught; but in his journey from the north to Edinburgh he fell sick at Candechyll, a country-house he had on Dee-side, and could go no further. ‘He sent his lady with the Lady Aboyne [his daughter-in-law] to complain unto his majesty anent the fire of Frendraught; who took their own time as commodiously as they could, and, accompanied with some other ladies in mourning weed, pitifully told the king of the murder . . . . humbly craving at his hands justice. The king with great patience heard this complaint, whilk he bewailed, comforted the ladies the best way he could, and promised justice.’ They could get no more for the present, but humbly took their leave at the king, and returned to their lodgings.—Spal.

This mourning procession for justice was in imitation of similar incidents which took place while James lived in Holyrood. The two ladies were not altogether unsuccessful, as they did not return from Edinburgh till they had urged on the trial of John Meldrum, and seen him executed. He ‘died but any certain or real confession, as was said, anent this doleful fire.’—Spal.

The king left Edinburgh on the 13th of July, on his journey to London. ‘It is said his majesty commendit our Scottish enterteinment and brave behaviour, albeit some lords grudgit with him.’—Spal.

July 30
Licence was given to one Edward Graham to have the keeping of a camel belonging to the king, and to take the animal throughout the kingdom that it might be shewn to the people, ‘by tuck of drum or sound of trumpet, from time to time, without trouble or let,’ he and his servants engaging to behave themselves modestly, and not exhibit the camel on the Sabbath-day.-.—
P.C. R.

Aug 19
The moral wildness which still clung to the Highlands was evinced by a rude incident which happened in the course of a deer-stalking adventure of Alexander Gordon of Dunkintie and his eldest son. Having gone into the savage wilderness at the head of Strathaven, the two gentlemen suddenly lighted upon a party of natives, believed to be of the Clan Chattan, who were sleeping upon the hillside. Suspecting these men to be rogues, the two gentlemen shot at them, and wounded one. The men then set upon Gordon and his son, and killed both, but not before two more of their party had fallen. The servants of the Gordons then retreated to give an alarm.

When Dunkintie’s second son soon after came to the spot with a few friends, he found his father’s and brother’s bodies lying on the ground, beside one of the slain Highlanders, while the other two slain men were very cunningly buried in one hole. The young man piously disposed the bodies of his father and brother in two chests, to be taken to Elgin for interment. Then cutting off the head of one of the Highlanders, he caused it to be erected on a pointed stick, and carried before the coffins on their way to the grave. ‘Upon the 22d day of August, with great lamentation, they were buried within the Marquis’s Aisle, and immediately thereafter this limmer’s head was set up on ane iron stob, upon the end of the Tolbooth of Elgin, in example of others to do the like.’

The Marquis of Huntly took the death of these his near relatives greatly to heart, and used his utmost influence to detect the offenders and bring them to justice, but in vain: ‘some thought this strange that the great marquis should see his blood destroyed without trial or reparation.’—Spal.

The parish of Duddingstone, near Edinburgh, had for its pastor Mr Robert Monteath, who came to have a strange history. Of Arminian tendencies, and perhaps further infected with Romanism from his parishioner the Marchioness of Abercorn, he incurred the enmity of the Calvinists in consequence of pasquinading them. Such a walk as his would have required great circumspection; he, on the contrary, fell under the serious blame of adultery with the wife of another parishioner, Sir James Hamilton of Priestfield. The unfortunate minister fled to France, there joined the Catholic church, and attached himself to the service, first of M. de la Porte, Grand Prior of France, and afterwards of the famous Cardinal du Retz, who, forming a high opinion of his talents, bestowed on him a canonry in Notre Dame. He wrote Histoire des Troubles de la Grande Bre’tagne depuis l’an 1633 jusques 1649 (Paris, fol. 1661), of which an English translation appeared in 1735, bearing the words ‘by Robert Monteth of Salmonet.’ It is told of him that, on arriving in France, being asked of what family he was, and finding that ‘blood’ was essential to his prospering there, he described himself as one of the Monteaths of Salmonet - word that sounded well, while the fact was that his father was a mere fisherman (user of a salmon-net) on the Forth at Stirling but another account denies this story, and makes Salmonet a real house of that age, and one in tolerable esteem, being a branch of the Monteaths of Kerse.

William Coke and Alison Dick were burnt for witchcraft on the sands of Kirkcaldy. An account, which has been preserved in the session records of the parish, of the expenses incurred on the occasion, reveals some parts of the process of witch-prosecution, including the lamentable fact of the concern borne in such matters by the ministers of religion. There is first paid, for the kirk’s part, £117, 10s., composed as follows: Mr John Miller, when he went to Preston for a man to try them, £2, 7s.; to the man of Culross, when he went away the first time [probably a pricker], 12s.; for coals for the witches, £1, 4s.; in purchasing the commission, £9, 3s.; for one to go to Finmouth for the laird to sit upon their assize as judge, 6s.; for harden to be jumps to them, £3, 10s.; for making of them, 8s. Then, of the town’s part, for ten loads of coal to burn them, 5 merks, £3, 6s. 8d.; for a tar-barrel, 14s.; for tows, 6s.; to him that brought the executioner, £2, 18s.; to the executioner for his pains, £8, 14s.; for his expenses here, 16s. 4d.; for one to go to Finmouth for the laird, 6s.; in all, £17, 1s. Sum of the expense, £34, 11s. Scots.

1634, Mar 25
James Smith, ‘servitor to the Earl of Winton,’ having to build some houses in the village of Seaton, found that he could not obtain the proper timber required without sending for it to Norway. It occurred to him that the wood might most conveniently be paid for by sending thirty-six bolls of wheat of his own growth, the one article to be exchanged against the other. This was a very rational idea; but how to carry it out? In those days, exportation, as already explained, was a thing generally unpopular, as being supposed to cause scarcity at home; and the sending out of corn was forbidden by particular laws. It affords a curious idea of the difficulties which might then attend the simplest movements in life, through the efficacy of erroneous doctrines in political economy, that James Smith had to petition the government before he could get the Norwegian timber for those houses about to be built at Seaton. By favour probably of the Earl of Winton, who sat in the Council, he was permitted to export the thirty-six bolls of wheat to ‘Birren [Bergen] in Norway.’—P.
C. R.

Thomas Menzies, burgess of Aberdeen, who had been driven into exile on account of popery some years before, now petitioned the king for leave to return for a few months, to dispose of his estate and recover some money owing to him, in order ‘that be may abandon the kingdom, without staying any longer to give offence to the present professed religion.’ The king, seeing that Thomas had comported himself modestly during his exile, was pleased to recommend the case to his Scottish Council, by whom the necessary permission and protection were granted.—P.
C. R.

June 3
A fulmination took place in the Privy Council concerning the south-country papists. They gave final decision in the case of Robert Rig, wright at the Brig-end of Dumfries, who had been more than once before the presbytery of that district for marrying Elspeth Maxwell, ‘ane excommunicat papist.' Robert, on being questioned, owned that ‘he was married by a popish priest, upon the 17th of November last, being Sunday, at night, with candIe-light, above the bridge of Cluden, in the fields, and that four were present at the marriage, beside the priest, whereof some were men and some were women, whom he knew not, because they had their faces covered.’ Mr Thomas Ramsay, minister of Dumfries, was present to support the proceedings of the presbytery in the case. Robert himself was full of contrition, and humbly craved pardon for his offence. The lords, having fully considered everything, found that ‘Robert Rig has violat and contravened the laws of this kingdom, in marrying ane exeommnnicat woman, by a priest who has no power to exerce any function within this kingdom,’ and they sentenced him to be imprisoned during their pleasure in the Tolbooth of Edinburgh; ‘no person from the said Elspeth Maxwell, his wife, to have access to him by word or write.’

The Council, soon after, had in hands the case of Elspeth herself who for some time had been expiating her candle-light nuptials by imprisonment in Dumfries jail. A group of people, fourteen of them women, mostly wives of tradesmen in Dumfries, were also now or had lately been, prisoners in the same jail, ‘for hearing of mass and being present thereat sundry times within thir twelve-months bygane, as their confessions bears.’ The Council ordered that all these people should be ‘exhibit’ before them, on a certain day, ‘to the intent such order may be ta’en with them as may give terror to others to commit the like.’

In obedience to the charge of the Council, Mr Thomas Ramsay, minister of Dumfries, and John Williamson, one of the bailies, appeared on the 3d of July, and exhibited nearly the whole of these delinquents. Eight ‘declared that they were heartily sorrowful for the scandal they had given to the kirk by hearing of mass, and craved pardon for the same;’ adding a faithful promise ‘in all time coming to obey the laws, and for that effect to resort to the kirk, bear preachings and to communicate, and that they should not hear mass nor reset Jesuits.’ These were commanded to remain in their lodgings in Edinburgh till further orders. Seven, wholly women, ‘refused to conform to the religion presently professed within the kingdom; in respect whereof, the Lords ordains them to be committed to ward within the Tolbooth of Edinburgh, therein to remain upon their awn expenses till they be freed and relieved by the said Lords.’ Five days after, the whole were committed to the hands of Patrick, Archbishop of Glasgow, to be dealt with as he might think fit.’—P. C. R.

June 11
Walter, first Earl of Buccleuch, who had died in London towards the close of the preceding year, was buried in the magnificent manner then customary. His body, having been embalmed, was sent down to Scotland ‘in one John Simpson’s ship of Kirkcaldy;’ but the ship, meeting a storm, was driven to the coast of Norway, and only with great difficulty, and after a long delay, reached Leith. After resting twenty days in the church there, the corpse ‘were thence, by his honourable friends, transported to his awn house of Branxholm, where they remained till the 11th of June,’ when the funeral was at length solemnly effected at Hawick.

A striking sight it must have been, that long heraldic procession which went before the body of the deceased noble, along the banks of the Teviot, on that bright June day. First were forty-six saulies in black gowns and hoods, with black staves in their hands, headed by one called a conductor, who was attended by an old man in a mourning-gown; a trumpeter in the Buccleuch livery following, and sounding his trumpet. Next came Robert Scott of Howshaw, fully armed, riding on a fair horse, and carrying on the point of a lance a little banner of the defunct’s colours, azure and or. Then a horse in black, led by a lackey in mourning, a horse with a crimson velvet foot-mantle, and ‘three trumpets in mourning on foot, sounding sadly.’ Then, the great gumpheon of black taffeta carried on a lance, the deceased’s spurs carried by Walter Scott of Lauchope, his sword borne by Andrew Scott of Broadmeadows, his gauntlets by Francis Scott of Castleside, and his coat of honour by Mr Lawrence Scott.

The next great section of the procession was a purely heraldic display. Eight gentlemen of the Clan Scott bore each the coat of arms of one of the various paternal and maternal ancestors of the defunct. Other gentlemen of the name—Scott of Harden, Scott of Scotstarvet, &c.—carried the great pencil, the deceased’s standard, his coronet, and his ‘arms in metal and colour.’ Near whom were three more trumpets, and three pursuivants, all in mourning. ‘Last of all cam the corps, carried under a fair pall of black velvet, decked with arms, larmes [tears], and cipress of sattin, knopt with gold, and on the coffin the defunct’s helmet and coronet, overlaid with cipress, to shew that he was a soldier. And so in this order, with the conduct of many hononrable friends, marched they from Branxholm to Hawick Church, where, after the funeral-sermon ended, the corps were interred amongst his ancestors.’

June 14
An arrangement was made by royal authority for putting the sale of tobacco under some restriction, so as to insure that only a good and wholesome article should be presented to the public. Sir James Leslie, knight, and Thomas Dalmahoy, servant to the Marquis of Hamilton, were to sell licences to retailers, and account to the royal revenue for the proceeds, as might be arranged between the parties. Thus it was hoped that the great abuses from ‘the ungoverned sale and immoderate use of tobacco’ might be abated.—P. C. R. Numberless entries in the Record shew that great difficulty was experienced in carrying out this arrangement.

June 19
The Privy Council had under its consideration a supplication from the Bishops of Orkney and Caithness, setting forth the miserable condition to which those districts were like to be reduced by famine. Owing to tempestuous weather, the corns of the bypast year had not filled, or proved answerable to the people’s expectation, ‘the boll of aits in many parts not giving ane peck of meal.’ In the consequent deficiency of seed, ‘the thrid rig lyeth
unsown, and in many parts the half is not sown.’ Even now, from the scarcity of victual, ‘multitudes die in the open fields, and there is none to bury them, but where the minister goeth furth with his man to bury them where they are found. The ground,’ it was said, ‘yields them no corns, and the sea affords no fishes unto them as it wont to do. The picture of Death is seen in the faces of many. Some devour the sea-ware, some eat dogs, some steal fowls. Of nine in a family, seven at once died, the husband and wife expiring at one time. Many are reduced to that extremity that they are forced to steal, and thereafter are execut, and some have desperately run in the sea and drowned themselves. So great is the famine, that the people of mean estate have nothing, and those of greater rank nothing that they can spare.’

The lords recommended the case of these poor people to the charity of their countrymen generally.—P. C. R. Supplies of food were soon after sent, but not in time or quantity to save a deplorable mortality.

A project was submitted to the government by Colonel Robert Monro, for erecting in Scotland an hospital for the reception of disabled Scottish soldiers. It received some encouragement, and a general contribution was authorised under the colonel’s care; but it does not appear that the scheme was ever in any degree realised.—P. C. R.

‘About this time, a pot [eddy-pool] of the water of Brechin, called South Esk, became suddenly dry, and for a short space continued so, but bolts up again, and turns to its own course; which was thought to be an ominous token for Scotland, as it so fell out.’

A sudden desiccation or stoppage of the flow of rivers, is a phenomenon not unknown to modern science. The rivers Teviot, Clyde, and Nith, were all of them reduced, on the 27th of November 1838, to such a smallness that the mills everywhere ceased to work. The small feeding-streams were observed on this occasion to be completely dried up. The phenomenon was variously attributed to an earthquake (though none was felt), to a high wind obstructing the current, and to a frost. Mr David Milne made some careful inquiries into the subject, and ascertained that on the previous evening the thermometer had suddenly sunk to 26 degrees all over the south of Scotland, producing a very low temperature. He considered the depletion to be caused by the frost, arresting the small rills in the upper parts of the rivers, and yet not sufficient to prevent the water further down from flowing away.’

Tired of the slow march of legal vengeance, and enraged that only John Meldrum could be brought to death for the Frendraught tragedy, the Gordons commenced this year to execute what they called justice with their own hand. The plan they followed was to take advantage of the propensity of the neighbouring Highland clans to despoil the country of Moray. The broken men of the Clan Gregor, the Clan Cameron under its chief Allan M’Ian Dhui, the Macdonalds of Glengarry and Clanranald, the Clan Lachlan, were all ready instruments to their hands; and bands of them, to the amount of several hundreds, were easily mustered. ‘They came to the house of Chalmers of Ormiston, bound himself and his wife hand and foot, spoiled his house, and reft and away took ane thousand pounds or thereby... They in like manner spoiled and herried the house of Andrew Geddes in Gairmonth.... They came to the house of John Mair in Braemurray, and robbed and spoiled the said John of his goods, and gave Mr James Cumming (being in the house for the time) eleven wounds with his own durk.... They violently lifted and took away ane hership of fifty head. of oxen off the mount of Dallas.... They stole three mares from Thomas Gilyean in Halton, together with ane black horse, and . . . . they violently drove away eleven horse and mares belonging to John Hay in Orton; . . . . by the whilk and many more grievous oppressions and depredations, committed upon his majesty’s good subjects in the in-country of Moray by thir broken limmers and somers, who go about the country in great troops and companies, with unlawful weapons, the haill inhabitants in these bounds are in continual fear of their lives and spoiling of their goods, and dare not keep their horse or cattle in the country.’

A gentleman having come from Moray to Edinburgh, on purpose to give information of these outrages, the Privy Council granted a commission to fifteen men of name in the country, not one of them a Gordon, to raise armed forces for the purpose of pursuing the ‘limmers’ and bringing them to justice.

Nov 13
It soon after appears, from the proceedings of the Privy Council, that the real authors of these disorders were believed to be the Marquis of Huntly and a certain number of men of his house, lairds respectively of Buckie, Carnbarrow, Tulloch, Lesmore, Letterfour, Ardlogie, Innermarky, Park, Cluny, &c. together with the Earl of Athole, Lord Lovat, Innes of Balveny, the Lady Rothiemay, and a few other persons. And the grand aim of the outbreak bad developed itself in an attack upon the lands of Frendraugbt. These lands had been visited with fire and sword, and swept of all cattle and other ‘geir’ that could be carried away. The act of Council speaks also of the laird’s servants killed and maimed, his tenants and domestics frightened away from him, and himself at the hazard of his life stealing away under night to claim the protection of the Council in Edinburgh. The disorders of the country, it further says, are come to such a height, ‘that almost nowhere in the north country can his majesty’s subjects promise safety to their persons or means... the very burghs and towns themselves are in continual fear of some sudden surprise, by fire or otherwise, from thir broken men.’

It appears, however, that Frendraught had not passively yielded to these assaults. On a hership of goods being taken away in September, ‘he with some horsemen followed sharply, and brought back his haill goods again but strake of sword.' In October, a hership of threeseore nolt and elevenscore sheep was successfully taken away; but shortly thereafter, on six hundred of the limmers coming into his neighbourhood, he raised a force of two hundred foot and a hundred and forty horsemen, and falling upon them by surprise, dispersed them in flight. It was in November that, seeing the overpowering force which was mustering against him, he went to claim the protection of the Council. While the law was there issuing writs in his favour, the Gordon openly broke out and took away another large hership of cattle and sheep. ‘To hold siller among their hands,’ they took their prey to a fair, and sold it, accepting a dollar for each cow, and a groat for each sheep. Among other violent acts, finding one of Frendraught’s men on the outlook for information, they hanged him as a spy. The quantity of plunder they took from Frendraught almost reaches a fabulous amount. After all they had already done, they ‘raised out of the ground thirteenscore of nolt and eighteenscore of sheep,’ which they took and stored in the Castle of Strathbogie, with a view to obtaining the protection of the marquis for their misdeeds. They also burnt fourscore stacks on his home-farm..---Spal.

It was fully believed in the country that these violences were committed under the sanction of the Lady Rothiemay, who had the death of both a husband and a son to avenge upon Frendraught. At her trial in Edinburgh, two years after, it was charged against her, that she had received and entertained the Highlanders and their leaders, on their coming to make the attack on Frendraught. Certain it is, they now came with their prey to Rothiemay, entered the house, and began to live in riotous style upon Frendraught’s bestial, killing at once threescore bullocks and a hundred sheep. ‘Some they salted, some they roasted, and some they ate fresh.’ They also compelled Frendraught’s tenants to supply them with meal, malt, and poultry. According to Spalding, there was an appearance of force exercised on the lady and her two daughters, who were thrust into a kiln-barn to be out of the way of the depredators. But no one doubted that, in reality, the lady was happy to see them in her house. In her dittay, it is alleged that, on their return from the first day’s adventures, she had tables spread for them, and she and her daughters received them with salutations. On the evening of the day when they burned Frendraught’s stackyard, with twelvescore bolls of corn, the lady expressed herself as well pleased with their success; and at Christmas ‘she dancit with the licht horsemen in the place of Rothiemay, the cushion-dance, [bearing the cushion] upon her shoulder.’ Till the house, indeed, was summoned and rendered to the sheriff of Banff, in January 1635, she had given no token of disrelish for any of the proceedings of the depredators.

In November, a herald with a trumpeter, sent by the Privy Council, came to summon the misdoers at the market-crosses of the northern burghs. Between Banff and Elgin, ‘he meets with Captain Gordon [brother to the Laird of Park, and one of the chief delinquents], to whom he told his commission, and made intimation of his charges . . . . who at the giving thereof was wed fearit of his life. Captain Gordon discreetly answered, their blood was taken maist cruelly within the house of Frendraught—justice is sought, but none found; whilk made them desperately to seek revenge upon the Laird of Frendraught, his men, tenants, and servants, at their own hands; but as to the rest of the king’s lieges they would offer no injury... The herald, glad of this answer, and blyth to win away with his ljfe, took his leave, and the trumpeter sounded . . . . to whom the captain gave five dollars of wages.’ The herald also went to the Bog to summon the marquis, an extraordinary piece of audacity: however, the marquis, who, in reality, had taken no active part in the business, entertained the poor man civilly, and allowed him to go on to Elgin, Forres, and Inverness, for the fulfilment of his mission, as well as to return peaceably through Moray when all was done.

The marquis represented to the Council that, from age and infirmity, he was unable to obey their summons; but he sent several of the gentlemen of his house who had been called upon to appear, and these were all put into the Tolbooth of Edinburgh. The Council at the same time caused the sheriff of Aberdeen to raise two hundred men and proceed to the disturbed country. This officer found no violators of the law in his own county, but learned that there was a host of them at Rothiemay, in the county of Banff. These, being beyond his own bounds, he was obliged to leave to the sheriff of Banff. The latter officer soon after went in similar force to the place of Rothiemay, and, past expectation, ‘found open yetts, enterit the place, sought the haul rooms, but no man was there, for they had fled about twa hours before the sheriff’s coming; whereupon he disbanded the gentlemen... But the sheriff was no sooner gone, but they came all back again to Rothiemay, where they held house in wonted form.’

it is briefly noted in a manuscript written about 1720, that the family of Frendraught, which once possessed three parishes (Forgue, Inverkeithny, and Aberchirder), was by these inroads of their enemies reduced to poverty, and in seventy years, was ‘stripped of all, and extinguished.’

The spring of this year was cold and dry. During the months of April and May, there was no rain for seven weeks; consequently, the seed in some places never germinated. The summer, however, proved so fine, that after all there was a tolerable harvest.

‘The gose-summer was matchless fair in Moray, without winds, wet, or any storm; the corn was well won; the garden herbs revived, July flowers and roses springing at Martinmass, whilk myself pulled. The kale shot and came to seed, and the March violets were springing as in April.’—Spal.

A specimen of religious courtship of this age is given by Mr John Livingstone in his Memoirs. The lady was daughter to Bartholomew Fleming, merchant in Edinburgh. ‘When I went a visit to Ireland in February 1634, Mr Blair propounded to me that marriage. I had seen her before several times in Scotland, and heard the testimony of many of her gracious disposition, yet I was for nine months seeking, as I could, direction from God about that business; during which time I did not offer to speak to he; who, I believe, had not heard anything of the matter only for want of clearness in my mind, although I was twice or thrice in the house, and saw her frequently at communions and public meetings, and it is like I might have been longer in such darkness, except the Lord had presented me an occasion of our conferring together; for in November 1634, when I was going to the Friday meeting at Ancrum, I met with her and some others going thithe; and propounded to them by the way to confer upon a text whereupon I was to preach the day after at Ancrurn, wherein I found her conference so judicious and spiritual, that I took that for some answer to my prayer to have my mind cleared, and blamed myself that I had not before taken occasion to confer with her. Four or five days after I propounded the matter to her, and desired her to think upon it; and after a week or two, I went to her mother’s house, and being alone with her desiring her answer I went to prayer and urged her to pray, which at last she did; and in that time I got abundance of clearness that it was the Lord’s mind that I should marry her and then propounded the matter more fully to her mother. And although I was fully cleared, I may truly say it was above a month before I got marriage affection to her, although she was for personal endowments beyond many of her equals; and I got it not till I obtained it by prayer. But thereafter I had a great difficulty to moderate it.’

From this union proceeded a family which has made a distinguished figure in the United States of America.

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