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Domestic Annals of Scotland
Reign of Queen Anne: 1702 - 1714 Part 6

1711, Sep
The light-thoughted part of the public was at this time regaled by the appearance of a cluster of small brochures printed in blurred type on clingy paper, being the production of William Mitchell, tin-plate worker in the Bow-head of Edinburgh, but who was pleased on his title-pages to style himself the Tinklarian Doctor. Mitchell had, for twelve years, been employed by the magistrates of the city as manager of the lighting of the streets, at the moderate salary of five pounds. He represented that his predecessor in the office had ten pounds; but ‘I took but five, for the town was in debt.’ The magistrates, doubtless for reasons satisfactory to themselves, and which it is not difficult to divine, had deprived him of his post. ‘Them that does them a good turn,’ says he, ‘they forget; but they do not forget them that does them an ill turn; as, for example, they keep on a captain of the town-guard, probably for love of Queensberry, for making the Union—I believe he never did them a good turn, but much evil to me, as he would not let me break up my shop-door the time of the fire, before my goods was burnt.’ The poor man here alludes to a calamity which perhaps had some share in driving his excitable brain out of bounds. Being now in comparative indigence, and full of religious enthusiasm, he took up at his own hands an office of which he boasted that no magistrate could deprive him, no less than that of giving ‘light’ to the ministers of the Church of Scotland, who, he argued, needed this service at his hands— ‘otherwise God would not have raised me up to write to them.’ The ministers, he candidly informs us, did not relish his taking such a duty upon him, since he had never received any proper call to become a preacher: some of them called him a fool, and the principal of a college at St Andrews went the length of telling him to burn his books, But he acted under an inward call which would not listen to any such objections. He thought the spirit of God ‘as free to David and Amos the herds, and to James, John, and Simon the fishers, and Matthew and Levi the customers, as to any that will bide seven years at college.’ And, if to shepherds and fishermen, why not to a tin-plate worker or tinker? ‘Out of the mouths of babes,’ &c.

The Tinkler's Testament, which was the great work of Mitchell, was heralded by an lntroduction, dedicating his labours to Queen Anne. He claimed her majesty’s protection in his efforts to illuminate the clergy, and hinted that a little money to help in printing his books would also be useful. He would willingly go to converse with her majesty; but he was without the means of travelling, and his ‘loving wife and some small children’ hindered him. This brings him to remark that, while he lived upon faith, ‘my wife lives much upon sense,’ as the wives of men of genius are very apt to do. After all, ‘although I should come, I am nothing but a little black man, dull-like, with two scores upon my brow and a mole on my right cheek;’ which marks ‘I give to your majesty, in case any person come up in a counterfeit manner;’ nevertheless, ‘if I had clothes, I would look as big as some gentlemen.'

In this pamphlet, Mitchell abuses the ministers roundly for neglect of their flocks, telling that for six years the pastor of his parish had never once inquired for him. They would go and play at bowls, alleging it was for their health, and allow suffering souls to perish. It was as if he were employed by a gentleman to make lanterns—took the money—but never made the articles required, for want of which the gentleman’s servants were hindered in their work, and perished in pits. ‘Now whether think ye an immortal soul or my lanterns of most value? I will sell a good lantern at ten shillings Scots, though it be made of brass; but the whole world cannot balance one soul,’

The Tinker's  Testament he dedicated to the Presbyterian ministers of Scotland, telling them ‘not to be offended, although I be set over you by providence,’ nor ‘think that I shall be like the bishops that were before me—necessity gives me a right to be your overseer—necessity that hath neither law nor manners.’ ‘I know you will not hear of a bishop over you, and therefore I shall be over you, as a coachman to drive you to your duty.’ He saw their deficiencies in what had happened in his own case. In his evil days, they never told him sufficiently of his sins. He might almost have supposed he was on the way to heaven for anything they said to him. It was affliction, not their ministrations, which had loosed him from the bonds of sin. Their own preachings were cold and worthless, and so were those of the young licentiates whom they so often engaged to hold forth in their stead. Here he applied another professional parable. ‘You employ me to make a tobacco-box. I spoil it in the making. Whether is you or I obliged to pay the loss? I think ye are not obliged to pay it.    Neither am I obliged to take these sermons off your hand.’ ‘Perhaps,’ he adds, ‘you trust in your elders.’ But ‘I may keep strange women in my house for them; I may stay out till twelve o’clock at night and be drunk for them: a cart-horse, when he comes up the Bow, may teach them their duty, for it will do its duty to the outmost of its power; and before it will disobey, it will fall to the ground.’ In short, the Tinkler had been used by these clergy with a lenity which he felt to be utterly inexcusable.

It is to be feared that the Tinkler was one of those censors whom no kind of conduct in persons of authority will please, for we find him in this brochure equally furious at the ministers for not preaching evangelical discourses, and for being so slack in telling their flocks of the weighty matters of the law. He threatens to tell very sad things of them at the great day, and yet he protests that it is not from hatred to them. If such were his feelings, he would not be at the pains to reprove them; still less would he have ever given Dean of Guild Neilson a speaking-trumpet for a seat in the kirk, not worth twenty shillings sterling, seeing it is but a back-seat, where he may fall asleep, and the minister never once call on him to sit up. ‘This, however, ‘is only a word by the by.’

One great charge which the Tinkler has to make against the clergy is, that they are afraid to preach freely to the consciences of men, for fear of angering the great. ‘If ye be feared to anger them, God will not be feared to anger you. “Cry aloud and spare not; tell the poor their transgressions, and the great folk their sins.”’ Then he proposes to relate something of the justice he had himself experienced. ‘The Laird of Cramond hath laid down a great cairn of stones before my shop-door, which takes away my light. They have lain near these two years (because he is rich). If I lay down but two carts-full, I believe they would not lie twenty-four hours. I pursued a man at court; I could both have sworn and proved that he was owing me; yet, because he had a blue cloak and a campaign wig, the judge would not take his oath, and would not take my word. I had a mind to buy a blue cloak, that I might get justice; but I was disap­pointed by the dreadful fire. I bought some wool from a man. He would not give it out of his house till I gave my bill. The goods was not weighed, and I feared they came not to so much money  yet the man persuaded use if it was not so, he would restore me the money back. I believed his word, because I am  a simple man. So I pursued the man, thinking to get my money.

The judge told me I would get no money, although there were a hundred pounds of it; so I went home with less money than I came out.       Ye will say, what is the reason there is so little justice; I shall tell you my opinion of it. I have a vote for choosing our deacon. A man comes to me and offers me a pint to vote for such a man. I take it because he never did me no ill, and because I am a fool-body. I ‘vote for the man. So fool-tradesmen make fool-deacons, and fool-deacons make fool-magistrates, and fool-magistrates make fool-ministers. That is the reason there is so little justice in the city.’ The crazy whitesmith has here touched a point of failure in democratic institutions which wiser men have overlooked.

This singular genius afterwards published a brochure, entitled The Great Tinklarian Doctor Mitchell his Fearful Book, to the Condmnation of all Swearers, at the end of which he announced another ‘concerning convictions;’ ‘the like of it ye have not heard since Cromwell’s days.’ But probably the reader has now heard enough of the effusions of the white-ironsmith of the Bowhead.’

1711, Nov 6
Notwithstanding the severity of the laws against Catholic priests, and particularly that of 1701, which a proclamation two years back put into fresh rigour, there was at least one minister of the hated faith of Rome sheltered in Edinburgh. It would be curious to learn under what disguise he contrived to live in a city where all, except a handful of people, were disposed to tear him in pieces. From its being mentioned that his paraphernalia for worship belonged to Lady Seaforth, it may be surmised that he lived under her protection. Thomas Mackie, being now at last apprehended by the magistrates, and ordained to remove immediately out of Britain, was so bold as to call for a suspension of their act in the Court of Session, setting forth that he had lived for many years inoffensively in Edinburgh—the vestments, char, crucifixes, &c., found in his house belonged to the Countess of Seaforth—he had not been taken in the act of saying mass, and it had not been proved that he was a priest—finally, and above all, the magistrates of Edinburgh were going beyond their powers in banishing any one forth of the island. The magistrates having answered these objections, the Lords ‘ordained him to enact himself to remove betwixt and a day out of the kingdom; and in ease of refusal, to be imprisoned till a ship was ready to transport him.'

1712, Jan 14
Immemorial custom gave a right to the steward-depute of the stewartry of Kirkcudbright to get a mart cow out of every parish in his jurisdiction, being twenty-nine in number. He was not required to observe any particular form or ceremony in raising this mail, beyond sending an officer to the parish to pitch upon and seize the cow, and offer the owner five shillings Scots, called the Queen’s Money, which entitled him to relief from his fellow ­parishioners, according to the value of their respective estates. In October 1711, William Lindsay of Mains, steward-depute under the Marquis of Annandale, principal steward, sent his officer, William Hislop, to take a cow from the parish of Southwick, and the man pitched upon a beast belonging to John Costein of Glensoane. John, however, did violently oppose the officer in the execution of his office to uplift the cow; and making a convo­cation of his tenants and others, his complices, by force of arms resisted the officer, whom he beat and bruised with many strokes, and rescued his cow.’

For this offence, Costein and his associates were now brought before the Court of Justiciary. They pleaded several objections to the custom, as a defence of their conduct; but all these were overruled by the Lords, and their offence was declared to be liable to an arbitrary punishment.’

‘About the beginning of this month, Whiston’s Primitive Christianity came down to Edinburgh, and was seized in the booksellers’ shops
by the magistrates.’

‘The end of this last and the beginning of this month, we have some accounts of a sickness in Fife, from some of the crew of a ship that came out before their quarantine was performed; but it seems the Lord hath hitherto prevented it. It’s, indeed, a wonder we are not visited with some heavy rod.’

The art of printing had fallen sadly off in Scotland during the latter half of the seventeenth century. James Watson points out truly that Bassandyne’s folio Bible of 1576, Arbuthnot’s first edition of Buchanan’s History in 1582, Andro Hart’s Bible of 1610, and the Muses’ Welcome to King James in 1618, were well printed books; the last of these Bibles so much so, that ‘many after-impressions of the Bible in folio, had, as the greatest com­mendation that could be made of them, at the foot of their title-pages, that they were “conform to the edition printed by Andro Hart.” Watson adds: ‘The folio Common Prayer-book, printed before the Troubles by Robert Young, then printer for this kingdom to the Royal Martyr, is a pregnant instance of this. I have with great pleasure viewed and compared that book with the English one in the same volume, printed about the same time by the king’s printer in England; and Mr Young’s book so far exceeded the other, that there could be no comparison made between them. You‘ll see by that printed here, the master furnished with a very large fount, four sheets being inset together; a vast variety of curiously cut head-pieces, finis’s, blooming letters, fac-totums, flowers, &e. You’ll see the compositor’s part done with the greatest regularity and niceness in the Kalendar, and throughout the rest of the book; the pressman’s part done to a wonder in the red and black, and the whole printed in so beautiful and equal a colour, that there is not any appearance of variation. But this good and great master was ruined by the Covenanters for doing this piece of work, and forced to fly the kingdom.’

After the Restoration, one Archibald Hislop, a bookseller, with William Carron as his workman, produced a neat edition of Thomas à Kempis and some other small books. Some Dutchmen, who had been brought over to assist Hislop’s successor, John Cairns, also printed a few respectable volumes, including the acts of parliament, and Sir Robert Sibbald’s Prodromus; but all tendency to attain or maintain the level formerly attained, was checked by a monopoly which was granted to one Andrew Anderson in 1671. This Anderson, who seems to have come from Glasgow, was early in that year condemned by the Privy Council for a very faulty edition of the New Testament; yet, for ‘payment of a composition in exchequer and other weighty reasons,’ they immediately after granted him, as king’s printer, an exclusive right to print all kinds of lawful books in Edinburgh, with a right of supervision over all other typographers within the kingdom. He died in 1679; but his widow succeeded to the monopoly, and exercised it for some years with the greatest rigour, persecuting all who attempted to interfere with the business of printing. As might be expected, the productions of her own press were miserable beyond all example; she both produced bad and erroneous editions of the Bible, and much fewer of them than were required to satisfy the demands of the public. A restriction was at length put upon her privilege, so as to allow general printing to be executed by others but she continued through the whole term of her patent to be the sole printer of the Scrip­tures in Scotland. Fac-similes of a few pages from her Bibles— in poor blurred type, almost unintelligible with errors, with italic letters employed wherever the Roman fount fell short; and some lines wholly without spaces between the words—would appal the reader. It plainly appears that no such functionary as a corrector was at any time kept by Mrs Anderson; nor was she herself able to supply the deficiency. The Bible being then almost the only school-book in use, we may imagine what unrequired diffi­culties were added to the task of gaining a knowledge of the elements of the English language. What, for example, was a poor child to make of the following passage in her duodecimo Bible of 1705 ‘Whyshoulditbethoug tathingincredi File wtyou, it God should raise the dead?’ Mrs Anderson’s Bibles being of such a character, there was a great importation of English and foreign copies, but only in despite of strenuous efforts on her part to keep them out. Strange to say, when now her government patent expired, she contrived to obtain the appointment of printer to the Church of Scotland. Her ability to buy up a heavy stock of acts of the General Assembly was what secured her this piece of otherwise most unmerited patronage.

Had the government patent expired a few years earlier, she might, for anything that appears, have obtained a renewal of it also. But, now that a Tory ministry was in power, this lucrative privilege was conferred on two zealous Jacobites—Mr Robert Freebairn, publisher, and Mr James Watson, printer. These gentlemen were better typographers than Mrs Anderson; and the Bibles they issued were much superior. But their Tory principles prevented them from long enjoying the privilege. Probably acting in the spirit of their patrons, they ‘seem to have exercised a discretionary power of declining to publish royal proclamations when they were not consonant with their own views; otherwise it is difficult to discover why the queen’s proclamation against unlawful intruders into churches and manses was printed, not by either of her majesty’s printers, but by John Reid. in Bell’s Wynd.’ This zeal led Freebairn, on the breaking out of the rebellion in 1715, to go to Perth with printing apparatus and materials, to act as printer for the person whom he called James the Eighth; and he consequently forfeited his patent, Polities now favoured Mrs Anderson. In partnership with an English­man named Baskett, the king’s printer for England, she once more became the exclusive printer of the Scriptures in Scotland, and for forty-one years more! The Bibles produced during the greater part of that time were indeed a little better than those under the former patent—the general progress of the country necessitated some little improvement—but they were still far inferior to the unpriviliged productions of the Scottish press during the same epoch.

There is a reflection which must, or ought somewhat to modify our feeling regarding this monstrous absurdity; namely, that the printing of the Scriptures was kept upon the footing of a mono­poly, with the effect of poor work and high prices, till our own age, and that so lately as 1823 the patentees, in a legal document, set forth their expenses in erecting a printing-office and ‘other charges of various descriptions,’ as entitling them ‘to enjoy the relative profits and emoluments without interference from any quarter.’

Encouraged by the triumph of Mr Greenshields, and the popularity of the Tory administration, the Scottish Episcopalians began in many places to introduce the liturgy of the Church of England. The old Scottish horror for that form of devotion was excited in a high degree; church-courts were full of terror and grief; in some parts, the mob was ready to make a new reforma­tion. In the course of 1711, a good deal of pretty effectual work was done for the appeasing of the popular anxiety. According to a contemporary narration—’ Mr Honeyman, for using the Church of England liturgy at Crail, was prosecuted and deposed by the presbytery, and if the magistrates and people were not Episcopal, he had fallen under very severe punishments. It is but few months since Mr Dunbreck was libelled by the presbytery, prosecuted by the magistrates, and threatened by the Lord Advocate, for using the English liturgy in the Earl Marischal’s own house at Aberdeen, to whom he was chaplain. The Earl of Carnwath this summer was threatened to have his house burned over his head, if he continued the English service in it,
and his chaplain thereafter forced to leave his family. In November 1711, the presbytery of Perth deposed Henry Murray, a pre-Revolution incumbent of Perth hitherto undisturbed, because be used the English service at baptisms and burials, and the liturgy in worship.

At the date of the present article, the two parties had what Wodrow calls ‘a little ruffle’ at Auchterarder—a bleak parish in Strathearn, which has at various times contrived to make a pro­minent appearance in ecclesiastical politics. The trouble arose in consequence of an attempt to use the funeral-service of the English Church at a funeral. ‘The common people,’ says Wodrow, ‘though not very Presbyterian in their principles, yet they reckoned the ser­vice popery, and could not away with it. When the corpse came to the churchyard, the women and country-people began and made a great mutiny. The Lord Rollo, a justice of the peace, inter­posed, but to no purpose. The Duke of Montrose’s ‘bailie, Graham of Orcitil, was there; and writes it was not Presbyte­rians, but the whole of the common people there; and they chased off the liturgy-man, and they behoved to bury in their wonted manner.

Just at this crisis, the Tory administration of the Church-of-England-loving Anne interposed with an act of toleration for the distressed Episcopalians of Scotland, enabling clergymen, who had orders from Protestant bishops, and took the oaths of allegiance, assurance, and abjuration, to celebrate divine service—using, if they chose, the English liturgy—and to perform baptisms and marriages, without molestation; only further enjoining such clergymen to pray for the queen, the Princess Sophia, and the rest of the royal family, under a penalty of twenty pounds. The church commission had fasts, and prayers, and addresses against the measure—even spoke of reviving the Solemn League and Covenant—but their resistance was in vain.

Hitherto, the western section of the country had been clear of this abomination; but, in November, to the great distress of the serious people of Glasgow, an attempt was made there to set up the Episcopal form of worship. The minister officiating was one Cockburn, ‘an immoral profane wretch, and very silly,’ according to Mr Wodrow, ‘a tool fit enough for beginning such a work;’ who, however, had prepared well his ground by qualifying to the government. A number of persons of social importance joined the congregation. ‘The Earl of Marr, and [the Laird of ] Bannockburn were there lately with two coaches, and many go out of curiosity to see it. The boys took the matter up in their usual decisive manner, but the Toleration Act compelled pro­tection from the magistrates, and three town-officers stood guard at the chapel door. On the 27th of December, an English soldier having died, his officers wished to have him buried according to the solemn ritual of his church, and Mr Cockburn performed the ceremony in canonicals in the cathedral cemetery, the company all uncovered, and a rabble looking on with suppressed rage. The clergy took a look into the statute-book, to see if they should be obliged to endure this kind of Insolence as well as the liturgy. Wodrow had hopes that Cockburn’s congregation would tire of supporting him, though his ‘encouragement’ did not exceed twenty-two pounds a year, or that his free conversation and minced oaths would make them put him away. A foolish shoemaker who attended his chapel having lost his wife, Cockburn wished to have a second exhibition of the funeral-service; but the magistrates would not allow it. One day, he was baptising a soldier’s child at a house in the Gorbals, and great was the commotion which it occasioned among the multitude. On coming out, he was beset by a host of boys calling to him ‘Amen, Amen!’ the use of this word in the service being so odious to the public, that it had stuck to Cockburn as a nickname. For nearly two years were the religious feelings of the people outraged by the open and avowed practice of the ‘modified idolatry’ in the midst of them, when at length a relief came with the Hanover succession. As soon as it was known that Queen Anne was no more, occidental human nature could no longer be restrained. On the evening of the 6th of August 1714, the little chapel was fairly pulled down, and the minister and his wife were glad to flee for their lives. So ended Episcopalian worship in Glasgow for a time. A few verses from a popular ballad will assist in giving us some idea of the local feelings of the hour:

‘We have not yet forgot, sir,
How Cockburn’s kirk
was broke, sir,
The pulpit-gown was pulled down,
And turned into nought, sir.

Long-necked Peggie II[ome], sir,
Did weep and stay at home, sir,
Because poor Cockburn and his wife
Were forced to flee the town,

The chess-window did reel, sir,
Like to a spinning-wheel, sir,
For Dagon he is fallen now;
I hope he‘11 never rise, sir.’

A Dumfriesshire minister communicated to Wodrow an account he had got from the Laird of Waterside, a factor of the Duke of Queensberry, of a spectacle which the laird and many others had seen about sunset one evening in this month, about a mile from Penpont. ‘There appeared to them, towards the sea, two large fleets of ship; near a hundred upon every side, and they met together and fairly engaged. They very clearly saw their masts, tackling, gun; and their firing one at another. They saw several of them sunk; and after a considerable time’s engagement they sundered, and one part of them went to the west and another to the south.’

Wodrow goes on to relate what Mr James Boyes told him of shootings heard one morning about the same time in Kintyre. ‘The people thought it had been thunder, and went out to see what sort of day it was like to be. All appears clear, and nothing like thunder. There were several judicious people that saw, at some distance from them, several very great companies of soldiers marching with their colours flying and their drums beating, which they heard distinctly, and saw the men walking on the ground in good order; and yet there were no soldiers at all in that country, nor has been a long time. They heard likewise a very great shooting of cannon, so distinct and terrible, that many of the beasts broke the harrow and came running home.’

Wodrow notes, at this time, a piece of bad taste on the part of Sir James Hall of Dunglass, whose family had in recent times acquired by purchase that ancient possession of the Home family. The old burial-place of the Earls of Home had been turned by Sir James into a stable, and be resisted both the clamour of the public and the private remonstrance of the aggrieved family on the subject. ‘Because the minister shewed some dislike at this unnatural thing, he is very uneasy to him.’

This act of Sir James Hall necessarily shocked Episcopalians; and to such an extent was the feeling carried, that a distinct pamphlet on the subject was published in London. The writer of this tells us, that, having made an excursion into Scotland in the summer of 1711, he tarried for a while at the post-house of Cockburnspath, and thus had an opportunity of seeing the ‘pretty little church’ near Dunglass House. He found that Sir James had gathered off all the grave-stones from the churchyard, to give scope for the growing of grass. He had the nave of the church a stable for his coach-mares, and dug up the graves of the dead, throwing away their bones, to make way for a pavement for his horses.   He has made the choir a coach-house, and broken down the great east end wall, to make a great gate to let his coaches in, that they may stand where the altar of God did stand. The turret is a pigeon-house, and over this new stable he has made a granary. There is also a building called an aile, adjoining the north side of the church, which is still a burying-place (still belonging to the Earl of home), in which Sir James keeps hay for his horses, though his own first lady, who was daughter to Sir Patrick home of Polwarth (now Earl of Marchmont), and his own only son, lie buried there.’

The writer states that Sir James’s father, though of no family, but only a lord mayor of Edinburgh, had kept this church in good repair all his lifetime, and bestowed upon it a new pulpit. The neighbouring gentlemen had remonstrated against the desecration, and one had offered to build for him separate conveniences such as he wanted, provided be would spare the church; but all in vain. He adds: ‘Sir James is still as well esteemed by the whole party as ever he was, and in full communion with their kirk; nor could I learn of any reproof he ever had from his spiritual guides, the Mass Johns, upon this account; though ‘tis most apparent that, had his Presbyterian holders-forth interposed, as they might and ought to have done, and as in other cases they are very apt to do when religion or even morality are not near so much concerned as here, Sir James durst not have attempted the doing this wicked thing.’

The writer goes on to remark what he calls the inconsistency of the Presbyterians in insisting that baptism shall always be performed in a church. ‘There are instances to be given, if need were, of their letting infants die without their baptism, rather than sprinkle them out of a church.’ I shall mention but one other of their inconsistencies; ‘tis that of their Judaical, if not Phari­saical observation of the Lord’s Day, which they call the Sabbath. This they set up most rigidly as their characteristic, though they pretend to admit of nothing as a principle, nor allow of any stated practice ecclesiastic, for which they have not a positive command in the Holy Scriptures. They despise the decrees and canons of the church, even in the early ages of it; nor does the unanimous consent of the primitive fathers of the first three centuries weigh with them; and yet I humbly think they must either take the observation of the first day of the week as the Lord’s Day or weekly Easter from the authority of the church; else it would puzzle them to get clear of the observation of the seventh day or Jewish Sabbath from the morality of the fourth commandment by any positive gospel precept’

May 28
An ingenious piece of masked Jacobitism is described in a news­
paper as taking place in the neighbourhood of Edinburgh. ‘Thurs­day last’—so runs the paragraph—’ being the anniversary of the birth and happy restoration of King Charles II., of ever-blessed memory, was solemnly observed by Charles Jackson, merchant in Edinburgh, who had the honour to have his majesty stand godfather to him in the church of Keith at his baptism; and his majesty, by assuming the name of Jackson, was happily preserved from his enemies’ hands, after his escape out of the Royal Oak. In consideration of these honours conferred upon him by his sacred majesty, and being lineally descended from a stock of the loyalists, he invited all such, by public advertisement, to solemnise that memorable day, at an enclosure called Charles’s Field, lying a mile south from this city (where he hath erected a very useful bleaching-field), and there entertained them with diversity of liquors, fine music, &c. He had likewise a splendid bonfire, and a spacious standard erected, with a banner displayed upon it, whereon was very artfully drawn his sacred majesty in the Royal Oak, the bark wherein he made his escape, and the colonel who conducted him on board, taking leave of his majesty. The company round the bonfire drank her majesty, Queen Anne’s, and the memory of the happy Restoration, with great joy and demonstrations of loyalty. The night concluded with mirth; and the standard being brought back to Mr Jackson’s lodgings, carried by a loyal gentleman bareheaded, and followed by several others with trumpets, hautboys, and bagpipes playing before them, where they were kindly entertained.’

June 10
Whatever might be the personal delinquencies and short-comings of the judges, they never could be charged with a dispo­sition to let other people off too easily. On the contrary, one is always struck by the appearances of severity in their treatment of those who fell into their hands. Two men of a humble order, named Rutherford and Gray, had been induced by a low agent, named Alexander Pitblado, to adhibit their names as witnesses to a paper bearing to be a guarantee by Dean of Guild Warrender for the rent of a house occupied by one Isabel Guild, being the insignificant sum of £25 Scots. It became Pitblado’s fortune— doubtless, not undeservedly—to be carried away as a recruit to Flanders. The guarantee was detected to be a forgery. Ruther­ford and Gray were taken into custody, and carried before the magistrates, where they readily admitted that Pitblado had induced them to give their signatures, on the assurance that Warrender had signed the paper.

The Lord Advocate thought the case worthy of the notice of the judges; so the two men were brought up to the court, with a statement of their offence against the 5th act 1681. It was determined that the matter was proper to be decided summarily, and the culprits made no objection to this course, for, as they said, they had not means of living in jail to wait for a more deliberate trial. It was also determined that the Lords could decide in the case with shut doors. Rutherford, now fearing that his fault inferred death, withdrew his former confession, but was at length prevailed on to confess once more, telling, what we can well believe to have been the truth, that he had been ensnared by Gray to do what he did in pure simplicity. The Lords con­sidered that, though it was a very small sum, yet it was a dangerous case to let witnesses escape on pretence of simplicity, where they neither see the party sign nor own the subscription; therefore resolved to impose some stigma and censure to terrify others; and so ordained them to be brought on Wednesday, being the market-day, to the great door of the Parliament House, by the hand of the hangman, with a paper on their breasts bearing their crime, and there to stand betwixt ten and eleven in the forenoon, and from that to be conducted to the pillory at the Tron, and there to stand the other hour between eleven and twelve, with papers on their breast: and in regard Gray had seduced Rutherford to sign, they ordained his lug to be nailed to the Tron; and being informed that Rutherford was a notar, they deprived him, and declared them both infamous.

Four days later, having in the interval undergone their sentence, they petitioned for liberation from jail, which was granted. Then, however, came in George Drummond, the Goodman of the Tolbooth, with a claim, for his dues, which they were totally unable to pay. Before the Union, the Lords in such a case could throw the expense upon the Treasury; but now they were without any such resource, and neither could they force the jailer to pass from his demand. In this dilemma, they after all acted a humane part, and made up the necessary sum out of their own pockets.

June 21
The Edinburgh Courant intimated, in an advertisement, that ‘Robert Campbell, commonly known by the name of Rob Roy Macgregor, being lately intrusted by several noblemen and gentle­men with considerable sums for buying cows for them in the Highlands, has treacherously gone off with the money, to the value of £1000 sterling, which he carries along with him.’ This is the first public reference to a person who has become the theme of popular legend in Scotland to an extent little short of Robin Hood in England, and finally has had the fortune to be embalmed in a prose fiction by one of the greatest masters in modern literature.

It is generally admitted that Rob Roy was a man of good birth and connections, though belonging to a family or clan which for upwards of a century had been under proscription, and obliged to live a rather skulking kind of life. He had become possessed in an honourable manner of certain lands on the skirts of Ben Lomond, in the county of Stirling, composed wholly of mountain-ground, and of little annual value, yet sufficient to maintain him, the principal place being Inversnaid, on the isthmus between the Lochs Lomond and Katrine, where hundreds of tourists now pass every summer-day, but which was considered a very outlandish situation in the time of Queen Anne. His family name being illegal by act of parliament, he had adopted that of Campbell, in compliment to the Argyle family, which patronised him. The business of purchasing Highland cattle at the Crieff and other markets, and getting them transferred to England, where they were to he fattened and consumed, was for some years after the Union a favourite one amongst gentlemen of good rank, and it attracted the sagacious and active mind of Robert Macgregor Campbell. With some funds supplied by his neighbours, and part of which, at least, is said to have come primarily from the Duke of Montrose, on an understanding that the lenders were to share in the profits, he entered on the traffic with spirit, and conducted it for a time with success; but the defalcations of a subordinate agent or partner, named Macdonald, cut short his career in trade, and left him in serious pecuniary difficulties. The aspect which the affair took at the Court of Session in Edinburgh was, that Robert Macgregor Campbell drew bills on Graham of Gorthie and other gentlemen for cattle he was to buy for them, realised the money, and then ‘did most fraudulently withdraw, and fled, without performing anything on his part, and thereby became unquestionably a notour and fraudulent bank­rupt;’  while in reality he was probably only the victim of a fraud, and obliged to keep out of the way in consequence of the unrea­sonable severities of the law towards men in his situation. It was a sufficiently barbarous measure to advertise an unfortunate man as a fraudulent bankrupt seeking to screen himself from justice; but the Duke of Montrose—in some other respects but a poor representative of his illustrious great-grandfather—went further: he caused his factor, Mr Graham of Killearn, to fall upon Macgregor’s poor little holding of Craigrostan and Inversnaid, and thrust out from it the wife and family of the late owner.

This treatment turned the milk of Macgregor’s nature to bitterness, and it is not surprising, when the general condition of the country, and the ordinary strain of men’s ideas in that age are considered, that he sought in a wild and lawless way to right himself with his oppressors—above all with the Duke of Montrose. From the rough country round Ben Lomond, he could any night stoop upon his Grace’s Lowland farms, and make booty of meal and cattle. Strange to say, while thus setting the law at defiance, he obtained a certain steady amount of countenance and protection from both of the great Campbell chiefs, Argyle and Breadalbane. The government made an effort to impose a check upon his career by planting a little fort at Inversnaid but Rob Roy, nevertheless, continued in his lawless course of life. On the side of Loch Lomond, near Inversnaid, there is a cave formed by a flexure in the stratification of the mountain: here Rob occasionally took refuge when hard pressed. It is curious to reflect that this strange exemplification of predatory life was realised in a not very remote part of our island in the days when Addison and Pope were regaling the refined people of London with the productions of their genius. Rob is described as a short, robust man, with bushy hair and beard, and legs covered so thickly with red hair as to resemble those of a High­land bull. His cognomen ‘Roy’ expresses his ruddy complexion. It is admitted that, amidst his wild life, he was not without humanity or feeling for the unfortunate, and, what is perhaps more strange, that he was a sagacious and politic sort of person who never would go into any quarrel or contention which was not likely to result in some practical benefit or advantage. It was probably owing to this cool temperament, that, though he mustered a body of clansmen for the Stuart cause in 1715, he yet stood neutral at the battle of Sheriffmuir, alike afraid to offend King James, on the one hand, and his patron, the Duke of Argyle, on the other.

A singular and not very decent lawsuit took place at this time between the Earl of Bute and his stepmother, the Dowager Countess, widow of the first earl, by whom this family was first raised to any considerable distinction. When the deceased peer went to Bath in the spring of 1710, a few mouths before his death, he granted a liferent of 3300 merks (£183, 6s. 8d. sterling) to his lady. The present peer—father, by the way, of George III.’s celebrated minister—refused to pay this annuity, and the countess raised an action against him for it, and also for the annual rents of her own son’s patrimony. The only objection presented by the earl in his defence was, that the lady had profited unduly already out of her husband’s property, having at his death appro­priated large sums of ‘lying money.’ The matter being referred to her oath, she acknowledged having had in hand at her lord’s death forty pounds, with a purse containing sundry medals and purse-pennies given by the earl and others to her and her son, in which number there were some guineas; and the whole might be about £60 sterling.’ She averred that ‘she had nothing as the pro­duct of any trade she drove, except two or three ells of alaniode; she had made nothing in her husband’s lifetime by lending money; there had been presents from the tenants in kind and in money, and her husband had given them to her. The peer seems to have gained nothing by challenging the claims of his stepmother beyond the forty pounds of lying money.’

June 23
The stricter Presbyterians, commonly called Cameronians—the people chiefly involved in the persecutions of the Stuart reigns— had been left unsatisfied by the Revolution, and were now as antagonistic to the presbyterian church as they had ever been to the late episcopacy. For years they held together, without ministers, or the means of getting any trained in their peculiar walk of doctrine; but at length one or two schismatics cast off by the church put themselves at their head, the chief being Mr John Macmillan, formerly minister of Balmaghie in Galloway. Oaths to the state, neglect of the Covenant, and general com­pliances with the spirit of the times, were the stumbling-blocks which these people regarded as disqualifying the national establishment for their allegiance.

The Cameronians chiefly abounded in the counties of Lanark, Dumfries, and Kirkcudbright, and their Canterbury was the small burgh of Sanquhar in Nithsdale. Whenever any remarkable political movement was going on in the country, these peculiar people were pretty sure to come to the cross of Sanquhar and utter a testimony on the subject. The last occasion when this was done was at the Union, a measure which it pleased ‘the Antipopish, Antiprelatie, Antierastian, Antiseetarian, True Pres­byterian Church of Scotland’ (for so they styled themselves), to regard as ‘sinful,’ because it involved a sanction to that English prelatic system which the Solemn League and Covenant had bound the Scottish nation to extirpate.

While still brooding over the ‘land-ruining, God-provoking, soul-destroying, and posterity-ensnaring-and-enslaving Union,’ the act of toleration, so manifestly designed for a relief to the pre­latists, came like a bellows to blow up the fire. Sundry meetings were held, and at length a general one at the upland village of Crawford-John (26th of May 1712), where it was finally decided on that the faithful and true church should renew the Solemn League and Covenant.

It was at a place called Auchensaugh, on the top of a broad mountain behind the village of Douglas, that the meeting was held for this purpose. The transaction occupied several days. On the first, there was a prayer for a proper frame of spirit, followed by a sermon, as this was again by an engagement to duties, amongst which the uprooting of all opinions different from their own was the most conspicuous. The people were dismissed with an exhortation from Mr Macmillan upon their ‘unconcerned carriage and behaviour.’ On the second day, it was reckoned that about seventeen hundred were present, including, however, many onlookers brought by curiosity. There was now read an acknow­ledgment of sins, and the people were invited to clear their consciences by declaring any of which they had been guilty. One confessed having made a rash oath; another that he had attended the Established Church; several that they had been married by the Erastian clergy. One, hearing of the sinfulness of tests and oaths, rather unluckily confessed his having sworn the Covenant at Lesmahago. A number had to deplore their having owned William and Mary as their lawful sovereigns. Mr Macmillan seems to have been a little perplexed by the innocent nature of their sins. After all this was at an end, the Solemn League was read and sworn to, article by article, with uplifted hands. A day of interval being allowed, there was a third of devotion. On the fourth, a Sunday, there was an administration of the communion, which must have been a striking sight, as eight tables were set out upon the moor, each capable of accom­modating sixty persons. ‘It was a very extraordinary rain the whole time of the action.’

Even Wodrow, who has taken such pains to commemorate the sufferings of these people under prelacy, seems to have been unable to look with patience on their making such demonstrations against the church now established. Such earnestness in intoler­ance, such self-confidence in opinion, cannot be read of in our age without strange feelings. After all, the Covenanters of Auchensaugh were good enough to invite the rest of the community to join them, ‘being anxious to get the divisions which have long wrecked this church removed and remedied;’ nay, they were ‘willing, for peace and unity, to acknowledge and forsake whatever we can rationally be convinced to be had in our conduct and management,’ though it would have probably been a serious task for a General Assembly of augcls to produce such a conviction.

About this time, and for long after, there flourished an enthu­siast named John Halden, who considered himself, and a friend of his named James Leslie, as above all and peculiarly the proper representatives of the martyrs Cameron, Cargill, Hackston, Hall, Skeen, Balfour, &c., according to the tenor of the Rutherglen, Sanquhar, and Lanark Declarations. John, like his predecessors, declared not merely spiritual but temporal war against all the existing powers, seeing they had declined from the Covenant, exercised an Erastian power in the church, and were tyrants over the state. Nay, he declared war against ‘the enemies of Christ’ all over the world, denouncing the curse of Meros against all who would not join him. Halden and Leslie, since there was no government they could submit to, professed their desire and endeavour to ‘set up a godly magistracy, and form a civil state’ themselves; and it is to be feared that the community remained grievously insensible to the offered blessing. The Lord Advocate did not even do them the honour to consider them dangerous. The only active step we hear of John Halden taking was to burn the Abjuration Oath at the Cross of Edinburgh, on the point of a dagger (October 28, 1712), proclaiming with a loud voice, as he went off up the High Street: ‘Let King Jesus reign, and let his enemies be scattered!’

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