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Scotland, Social and Domestic

The inhabitants of ancient Scotland were different!} estimated. By one class of writers they are described as a demi-savage race, ["The people are proud, vain-glorious boasters, arrogant, bloody, barbarous, and inhuman butchers." See "A modern Account of Scotland, being an exact Description of the Country, and a True Character of the People and their manners, written from thence by an English Gentleman." Lond. 1714.]—a people selfish and calculating, incapable of culture, and inconstant in friendship. Others have commended the natives of North Britain for qualities of the very opposite character. By these, Scotsmen have been extolled for their manly independence, sterling integrity, honourable candour and vigorous perseverance. Though stern in manners and rude in speech, their apologists have discovered, under a harsh exterior, no inconsiderable warmth of affection and much genuine urbanity. These pages may cast a measure of light on those conflicting sentiments.

It would not be difficult to draw very opposite conclusions from the revelations of the national historians. Almost in the same page we read of Wallace the patriot and of the corrupt Menteith who betrayed him. In strange contrast with Robert Bruce, who resisted the inroads of southern domination, we read of the eight claimants to the throne, who acknowledged Edward I. of England as their liege lord.  In startling opposition to John Knox, who refused a bishopric, and was content to be poor in worldly estate, we discover a grasping nobility, who under the pretext of religion, plundered the church and starved the clergy. In the course of one century we find sovereign princes encouraging the people to resist the aggressions of England, and in the next we perceive Scottish monarchs using the English sceptre to crush the liberties of their northern subjects. The same century which produced the adherents of the Covenant, who struggled for religious liberty, was fruitful in tyrants who trampled on the dearest privileges of their fellow-countrymen. The worst persecutors of the Covenanters were recreant Presbyterians. The Marquis of Montrose swore to uphold the Covenant, but the smiles of Court favour led him to crush it. The treachery of Montrose towards the Covenanters evoked similar procedure towards himself: he was betrayed by M'Leod of Assynt, his trusted friend, James Sharp was leader of the moderate Presbyterians; the offer of a mitre changed him into a bigoted Episcopalian and a persecutor.

The happy event of the Revolution was materially promoted by the uncompromising spirit of the Scottish people in resisting the despotism of the Stuart kings; yet Scotland became the scene of three distinct insurrections in support of this exiled house. Sir John Dalrymple, a Scotsman, planned the Massacre of Glencoe, that deed which especially stains the fame of William III. Sir James Montgomery, one of the three commissioners who offered the Scottish crown to William in 1689, declared himself, in a few months, a supporter of King James. The Earl of Mar welcomed George I. on his arrival to assume the British sceptre; then hastened to Scotland to raise a revolt against his government. His lordship's brother, Mr. Erskine of Grange, prayed with the Presbyterians, got drunk with the Jacobites, and sent his wife into exile lest she should expose his inconsistencies. Lord Gray was a vehement loyalist, bat a cold reception from the Duke of Cumberland rendered him a Jacobite. The political Union in 1707 was a happy event; but it was achieved through the bribery of Scottish nobles.

The Reformation originated among the common people. They were most imperfectly acquainted with the principles for which they contended. There were no parish schools; inquiry into the doctrines of the church was prohibited ; no translation of the Scriptures had yet been printed in Scotland. Copies of the version published in England had indeed been imported; but these were exclusively possessed by the wealthy, and could be useful only to those able to read. The sacerdotal order were supreme. They possessed one-third of the lands, and exercised half the power of the state; they claimed profound reverence; they extorted confession, and gained the popular secrets. By their excommunications they denied to their opponents food and shelter on earth, and closed the gates of heaven upon them hereafter. Amidst such surroundings the people were not deterred from rallying round the banner of Reformation. They had begun to associate sacerdotal pretension with crushing imposts—ecclesiasticism with injustice. Before the Reformation churchmen levied the tenth of everything; they took the peasant's tenth egg  The people at length discovered that they were bound in a disgraceful servitude. They quitted Egypt and spoiled the Egyptians,—they pillaged cathedral churches; they helped the nobility to seize the revenues of a rapacious priesthood.

Not the people only, but their rulers, joined against the adherents of the ancient hierarchy. In 1561, when Queen Mary was residing at Holyrood, the Town Council of Edinburgh caused a proclamation to be published at the Cross, ordering "all and sundry monks, friars, priests, and all other papists and profane persons," to quit the city in twenty-four hours. The proclamation added that all who were found disobedient to the order should be "burned in the cheek," and "hailed through the town upon ane cart." In the following spring a Romish priest was tried at Edinburgh for baptizing and solemnising marriage according to the rites of his communion; and in another year the Catholic Archbishop of St. Andrews was put to an assize for celebrating mass, and on this account convicted and imprisoned. Within other two years a priest was, for exercising the offices of his religion, mobbed in the streets of the capital, pilloried, and egg-pelted. Prosecutions for being present at mass were common; and the offenders were subjected to imprisonment and forfeiture. For asserting the authority of the Pope, John Ogilvie, a Jesuit priest, was in 1615 seized by Archbishop Spottiswood, and hanged. The country mansion of the Lord Provost of Edinburgh was burned in the winter of 1668-9 ; the students of the university were believed to have been the perpetrators, to mark their sense of the magistrate's papistical leanings.

The Reformers associated the places of worship with the obnoxious rites which had been conducted under their roofs. Knox said, "Pull down the nests." It was enough. The religious houses were unroofed; some were thrown down; all were pillaged. Parish churches were deprived of their ornaments; the statuettes of saints were torn from their niches and bruised; the ancient oak furniture of cathedrals and convents was broken up, carried off, and burned. In 1574 the Kirk session of Aberdeen ordained "that the organis with all expeditioun be removit out of the kirk, and made profeit of to the use and support of the poore." Similar enactments were made everywhere. The Synod of Fife held periodical "visitations " for removing from the different parish churches "sindrie desks," "crosier staffes," "Bischops armis," and "divers crosses."

Monuments, cenotaphs, and tombstones, which, in the parish churches, commemorated the piety of churchmen, or the beneficence of members of the laity, were ruthlessly destroyed. The General Assembly condemned them as monuments of idolatry ; only a few escaped destruction. Their contents were rifled ; coffin mountings were torn off, and the dust of departed worthies scattered about. In 1640 the General Assembly ordained Presbyteries and Provincial Synods to complete the destruction of monuments in churches. The Act was renewed in 1643, with an additional prevision "inhibiting persons to hang pensils (little flags) or brods to affix honours or armis . . to the honour or remembrance of any deceased person within the kirk."

Many ancient Runic crosses stood in the vicinity of parish churches, whither they had been removed for greater safety. Presbyterian ecclesiastics associated these with Romish practices, and the General Assembly and the inferior judicatories ordered them to be demolished. Some were concealed in the earth, but the majority were destroyed.

Some persons were unwilling to remove their family tombstones at the bidding of the church. On such occasions strenuous measures were adopted by the ecclesiastical courts. On the 19th June, 1649, the Presbytery of Irvine held a special meeting at Kilmarnock, respecting a tomb in the church of that place, which had been condemned by the Kirk session as containing "a graven image." The following deliverance was passed:—"Anent ane superstitious image upon my Lord Boyd, his tomb, it was the Presbytery's mind, that his lordship should be written to that he would be pleased to demolish and drag it down, and if he did not, then the Presbytery was to take a farther course." That "further course" would have been a sentence of excommunication. So Lord Boyd removed the statue of his ancestor from the family tomb. [For a detailed account of prosecutions for non-conformity, see Pitcairn's Criminal Trials, vol. I., part L, p. 435, and part ii., p. 38. Edinb , 1833. 413.]

The zeal of the Reformers in the removal of objects of decorative art did not pause at the threshold of the parish church. In 1640 the Kirk session of Aberdeen ordered the removal of a portrait of "Reid of Pitfoddels" from the vestry of the church, because a military gentleman had denounced it "as smelling somewhat of Popery." The church likewise exercised a vigilant superintendence in respect of carvings or other ornaments in private houses. The Presbytery of St. Andrews, at their meeting on the 30th August, 1643, heard the report of two of the brethren, who had been appointed in a certain inquisitorial piece of business. The minute proceeds thus:—

"Mr. David Forrett shew that he and Mr. John Barron were at the house of Pitcullo, and declares there are upon the frontispiece of the house some monument of superstition. The presbytery appoints a letter to be .written to the Lord Burghley, intreating him to give orders for demolishing all monuments of the kind." No doubt. Lord Burghley had to part with the sculptured tablet on the front of his mansion.

During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries churches were erected without any semblance of ornament; and the sculptures and ornaments of the older structures were buried in the walls. The larger stones, which had formed altar-pieces, or been connected with the ancient tombs, were used as pavement. From those edifices which had escaped destruction, carved entablatures, niches, pinnacles, and mullions were carefully removed. Pillars and groined arches were besmeared with plaster and otherwise discoloured.

The Reformers abhorred the idea of consecrated places; they encouraged the people to enter places of worship with their heads covered. For nearly two centuries after the Reformation, the male members of every congregation sat on the forms, or in the pews, with their hats on till the minister entered the pulpit and announced the opening psalm. They remained uncovered during praise and prayer, but when the text was announced they resumed their hats. When the minister in his discourse said anything uncommonly striking, he was applauded by a beating on the pavement, or the clapping of hands. So lately as the commencement of the present century, the Reverend Sir Henry Moncreiff, Bart., an eminent evangelical clergyman at Edinburgh, walked from the vestry through the church covered, only removing his hat when he reached the pulpit. In rural parishes the peasantry still enter the church covered. Neither minister nor people engage in private prayer at the commencement or close of the service. When the benediction is pronounced, all rush from the building with alacrity, and often with confusion.

The Presbyterian clergy conducted divine worship long after the Reformation without any regard to external reverence. Country ministers wore in the pulpit "hodden grey." When the weather was cold, they enclosed themselves in plaids and cloaks. The latter practice was disallowed by Act of Assembly in 1575. By the same Act the clergy and their wives were enjoined to wear grave and becoming apparel, and were prohibited "all kind of light and variant hues in clothing, as red, blue, yellow, and such like," also "silk hats, and hats of divers and light colours," and "the wearing of rings, bracelets, buttons of silver, gold, and other metal."

After his accession to the English throne, James VI. was struck by the superior costumes of the English clergy, and sought to impress on Scottish pastors the propriety of adopting a more becoming attire while discharging their public duties. At his royal request, the Estates of Parliament passed a decree providing that "everie preacheour of Goddis Word sail hereafter wear black, grave, and comelie apparel;" and the king was further authorized to prescribe the precise style and character of the pulpit robe. The General Assembly enjoined the clergy to attend church courts in their gowns. But the Acts of the Estates and of the supreme ecclesiastical judicatory were both, habitually transgressed. During the last century few country ministers used either gown or band.

The Presbyterians avoided every practice, whether in worship or private life, which could in any measure recall the usages of the Romish ritual. In reference to this peculiarity, Sir Andrew Weldon, an English satirist, who attended King James in a royal progress to the north, has used these bitter words :—"They (the Scots) christen without the cross, marry without the ring, receive the sacrament without repentance, and bury without Divine service." Had the ill-natured knight known all, he might have added that funeral sermons were proscribed, and that a little mound of earth was the only monument permitted to denote the burial-place of a departed friend. An Act of the General Assembly, passed in 1638, discharging funeral sermons, as savouring of idolatry, was afterwards negatived by common consent, and tombstones were permitted.

The question of postures in public worship is still unsettled. The early Presbyterians knelt during prayer, and stood while engaged in praise. When constituting the meetings of the court, the Moderator of the General Assembly prayed upon his knees. But the early Reformers, ever anxious to eschew imitation of ancient rites, contrived gradually to introduce a new system. During the seventeenth century, nearly every Scottish Presbyterian congregation retained their seats at praise, and stood while the pastor conducted their devotions. These practices continue, but there is some prospect of a salutary change. The irreverent manner of Scottish Presbyterian worshippers during public prayer is a scandal to the Christian world.

Before the Reformation the principal churches were provided with organs; in the smaller places of worship musical choirs conducted the department of praise. Many of the hymns chanted were in the Latin tongue, and both words and music were unintelligible to the people. The Scottish Reformers proceeded to an opposite extreme. They adopted the "Godlie and Spiritual Songs of James Wedderburne," composed some years before the Reformation, which adapted to devotional words the tunes which had heretofore been associated with the popular minstrelsy. The plan did not succeed, and the Reformers were compelled to fall back on sacred tunes, and to adapt these to a metrical version of the Psalms of David. In the earlier portion of the last century, when hymns were beginning to be used by other churches, it was suggested in the General Assembly that the church ought to possess a collection of sacred songs, apart from the metrical psalms, for the use of congregations. The proposal was resented as a dangerous innovation ; but it was agreed to appoint a committee to consider the proposition, and to report upon it. After the subject had been discussed in successive Assemblies, a small selection of paraphrases and hymns was adopted in 1745, and these have since, along with the Scottish version of the Psalms, been bound up with copies of the Bible published in North Britain. The older clergy positively refused to use the paraphrases ; but they have for upwards of half a century been sung in all the congregations. Modern attempts to add to the number of the paraphrases and hymns have uniformly failed.

The destruction of church organs at the Reformation has been referred to. No attempt at their restoration was made till 1617, when an organ was built, and choristers introduced into the chapel royal, by James VI. In 1631 Charles I. issued an edict ordering that organs should be erected in every cathedral church. Five years after this date we find the Town Council of Edinburgh entering into proposals for building an organ in St. Giles' church; but the celebrated General Assembly of 1638 put a stop to any further progress towards the restoration of instrumental music in Scottish churches.

The organ question remained quiescent till 1806, when the Rev. Dr. Ritchie, minister of St. Andrews church, Glasgow, resolved, with the entire approval of his people, to use an organ in his place of worship. An organ was accordingly built, and was used in St. Andrews church on the last Sunday of August, 1807. The boldness of this proceeding caused a profound sensation. Both the presbytery and the city council resisted what they characterized as a most dangerous innovation. Meanwhile Dr. Ritchie accepted a call to the High Church of Edinburgh, and the controversy was closed. Through the efforts of the late Dr. Robert Lee, minister of Greyfriars church, Edinburgh, and professor of theology, the organ question, along with the subject of postures in worship, and other ecclesiastical matters, was brought prominently under the notice of the church courts a few years ago. Dr. Lee first used a harmonium, and afterwards erected an organ in the Greyfriars church. The General Assembly was at first disposed to discountenance and crush the movement, but milder counsels prevailed; and it has been ruled in the supreme judicatory that any congregation desiring to use an organ in their public devotions, may be permitted to do so with the approval of the local presbytery. Many congregations have availed themselves of the indulgence.

For a century after the Reformation, Presbyterian church services were protracted to a length of which we can now hardly form a conception. In the western districts the churches were on Sundays opened at sunrise, and closed only at dusk. During the whole of that period religious services were conducted. An official called the reader read portions of Scripture, and when he was exhausted others took his place. There were occasional interludes of psalm-singing. The service conducted by the clergyman continued about four hours. Two clerical services were held. Both prayers and discourses were delivered without book or manuscript notes; and were, consequently, full of repetitions and commonplaces. Some of the more zealous clergy "insisted"—that is, expatiated in their discourses for two hours; others prayed for an hour without intermission. At the annual or biennial celebration of the communion, a succession of clergymen preached both in the church and from a tent in the churchyard. Tent preachings were not entirely discontinued at the commencement of the present century.

The church courts enforced attendance upon ordinances. Kirk sessions were enjoined to see that every parishioner was present at each diet of worship, and to "delate," or accuse those who absented themselves. The church likewise insisted that every adult should at least once a year partake of the communion. The latter regulation was ratified by the Estates of Parliament. In 1600 the Estates enacted that certain penalties should, for the use of the church, be inflicted on those who neglected the ordinance. From an earl was exacted the penalty of one thousand pounds Scots; a lord was mulcted in one thousand marks; a baron or landowner in three hundred marks; and a yeoman in forty pounds, Scottish money. Burgesses were held liable to pay such fines as their several corporations might impose.

When attendance on ordinances was compulsory, and the services were protracted, it may be supposed that many persons would seek rest in slumber. At the commencement of the seventeenth century sleeping in church, on the part of elderly females, was so common, that the General Assembly ordained Kirk sessions "to take order for the suppression of the habit and the punishment of offenders/' Accordingly, females were prohibited from wearing plaids or hoods upon their heads in time of Divine service, that they might not sleep unobserved. By several of the local judicatories it was ordained that sleepers should be wakened by the beadle, or sexton, who was provided with "ane long pole" wherewith to arouse them.

During the ascendancy of Episcopacy, the ecclesiastical tribunals were especially severe in punishing those disobedient to their authority. On his restoration to the throne, Charles II., who, in the days of his adversity, had consorted with the Scottish Presbyterians, and sworn to uphold the Covenant, proceeded to evince a deadly hatred to the Presbyterian cause. On the 10th July, 1663, the Estates of Parliament, at the king's instance, passed an Act, ordering all ministers who had entered on their livings from 1649 to procure presentation from the patron and collation from the bishop, on the pain of being held as seditious. Laymen who refused to conform to episcopacy were deprived of a fourth of their goods. The result is well known. A large proportion of the clergy renounced their livings; but these were not permitted to minister to that portion of their flocks who might adhere to them. They were banished to localities at least twenty miles from their former scenes of labour. The treacherous and unprincipled James Sharp, Archbishop of St. Andrews, on his accession to power in 1671, procured an Act of the Estates, which conferred on the bishops greater power against the Presbyterians than they ever ventured to exert. He established the notorious High Commission Court, which prosecuted without an indictment, suborned witnesses, allowed no one to plead till he had made some declaration that his conscience disapproved, and which sentenced Presbyterians to be scourged, branded with red-hot irons, and banished to Barbadoes.

On the 8th May, 16S5, the Estates of Parliament enacted, at the special request of James VII., that further penalties should be enforced against the frequenters of conventicles. The Presbyterians were now pursued by troopers, and shot like dogs; the Scottish bishops commending these acts of atrocity and bloodshed. Sir James Turner, an Englishman, who commanded a troop of horse in the work of suppression, afterwards declared that he could never satisfy Scottish churchmen that his severities were sufficient. The Earl of Lauderdale, one of the most violent of the persecutors, was a coarse sensualist; he would not have interfered in the concerns of religion, about which he cared nothing, unless for the mean flattery of the bishops. General Dalziel was partially insane; he loved war, and was willing to do the bidding of those who could recommend him to court favour. Grierson of Lag was a tool in the hands of the church. John Graham, of Claver-house, was not originally a man of blood. When he held the office of Constable of Dundee, he obtained permission from the Privy Council to inflict on delinquents milder punishments than those prescribed in the statute-book. But Graham possessed implicit faith in the episcopal clergy, and persuaded himself that the execution of a refractory Presbyterian was an act useful to society, to religion, and the church. In reference to this portion of the national history, we quote from the "History of Moray." ["History of the Province of Moray." By the Rev. Lachlan Shaw. Elgin, 1827.]

"In time of presbytery, after the year 1638, ministers who would not subscribe the Covenant, or who conversed with the Marquis of Huntly or the Marquis of Montrose, or who took a protection from them, were suspended, deprived, or deposed; and gentlemen who took part with Huntly or Montrose were tossed from one judicatory to another, made to undergo a mock penance in sackcloth, and to swear to the Covenant. Under Prelacy, on the other hand, after the Restoration, the Presbyterians, and all who opposed court measures, had no enemies more virulent than the clergy. They informed against them, made the court raise a cruel persecution, and made insidious and sanguinary laws for fining, imprisoning, intercommuning, and hanging them."

At the Revolution in 1688, Presbyterianism was reestablished, while those who adhered to the Episcopal church, by strongly attaching themselves to the cause of the exded Stuarts, lost the favour of the court, and were not even permitted to assemble for worship. In February, 1712, an Act was passed, which secured toleration to such of the Episcopal clergy as should take the oath of abjuration.. The enactment was keenly resisted by the Presbyterians. They contended that the Act dispossessed them of the power of enforcing uniformity of worship, which they conceived had been granted them at the Reformation.

Presbyterian discipline was rigid in the extreme. Church courts took cognizance of every species of offence;—they presented delinquents for punishment to the civil authorities. They met every Sunday to inquire concerning evil reports, on which they instituted proceedings rigorous and inquisitorial. Sir Andrew Weldon, the English satirist, writes, with a measure of truth, "Their Sabbath exercises are a preaching in the forenoon, and a persecuting in the afternoon." They condemned merry-making of every sort. The vocations of "minstrel" and "piper" were proscribed. In 1569 "two poets" were hanged.

Those arraigned before Kirk sessions were not permitted any legal counsel. They were urged to make confession—when they confessed, punishment uniformly followed. The modes of punishment were various. Those absent from a single diet of worship, or those who had committed some other minor offence, were "sharplie rebukit." Few escaped so easily; the majority were sentenced to stand one or more Sundays on a sort of pillory, about three feet in height, placed in front of the pulpit. In most parishes, those who were mounted upon the pillory, or repentance stool, were compelled to wear a dingy white dress, as an emblem of humility and penitence. Those who attempted to conceal their faces in the folds of their garments were subjected to further indignities. The jugs, and other instruments of ecclesiastical censure, are described in the seventh chapter of the present work.

For three centimes Presbyterianism has been the religion of the people. The yoke of its severe discipline has not retarded its acceptance. The introduction of the laity into the church courts has considerably tended towards its popularity. The parochial judicatory, or kirk-session, is constituted by the clergyman as perpetual moderator, with leading parishioners as ordinary members. These kirk-session courts formerly assessed for the poor, and generally administered the parochial affairs. In matters of discipline they exercised unlimited control, for though appeals to the superior judicatories were permitted, these were carried out with difficulty, and were therefore seldom attempted.

The principal concern of kirk-sessions in the earlier times was the suppression of witchcraft. It is a deplorable illustration of the inconsistency of human nature to find the Presbyterian clergy, who were striving to uproot Romish superstition, evincing a credulity respecting demoniacal possession such as had not been cherished by the Papacy in its worst times. They were the chief promoters of prosecutions for witchcraft, and were ready to condemn without proof all who were accused. Prickers of witches were rewarded by kirk-sessions, which likewise voted supplies of fuel to consume the miserable victims. Committees of the clergy attended every burning, and none were more unmoved by the screams of the sufferers.

When nearly every other description of educated persons were satisfied that the crime of witchcraft had no real existence, the clergy continued to urge the reality of the offence, and insisted on its punishment. In 1702, a witch was hanged at Edinburgh. One of the ministers of the city, with a humanity greater than was ordinarily manifested by those of his profession, approached the convict, and requested her to repeat after him the Lord's prayer. The poor victim assented. "Our Father which art in heaven," said the clergyman. "Our Father which wart in heaven," said the woman. "Say," added the minister, "I renounce the devil." "I unce the devil," said the woman. The clergyman retired, and informed the bystanders that the case was hopeless, since the witch had invoked the devil twice. The poor woman had spoken her mother tongue! On the repeal of the statutes against witchcraft, in 1735, many of the Scottish clergy strongly remonstrated. In 1743, the Synod of the Secession Church issued a declaration denouncing the measure as invoking the displeasure of Heaven.

The rigid discipline of the Church did not materially ameliorate the manners even of the clergy themselves. John Kello, minister of Spott, was executed, in 1570, for poisoning his wife. For the infraction of his marriage vow, Paul Methven, minister of Jedburgh, sought pardon from the General Assembly, in 1563. For a similar offence Robert Menteith,* minister of Duddingston, was,

* The following notice of Robert Menteith, by a contemporary, we have discovered among the Harleian MSS. in the British Museum :—

"Upon the 17th of September, 1633, the lewd lyfe and sinful and most filthy^ presumption of Maister Robert Menteith, son to Alex. Menteith, mercht burges in Edr-, cam to licht by falling with ane honorable Ladie Dam Annas Hepburn, dochter to the Laird of Wanchloun, and spous to ane worthy and Nobill man, Sr. James Hamiltoun, son to Sir Thos. Hamiltoun, who was president of Scotland. True it is the foresaid Maister Robert Menteith was minister in Duddingstoun when this noble woman was one of his Parochiners, for she dwelt in Priestfield." She is described as "the maist beautifull woman that was in 1633, deprived of his charge, and sentenced to outlawry; he found refuge and promotion in the Catholic Church, of France. Thomas Boss, minister of Cargill, proceeded to Oxford to study for the Church of England; he was found guilty of lampooning his countrymen, and was hanged and quartered for the offence. Two grandchildren of Sir John Erskine, superintendent of Angus, were executed for the murder of two relatives. Many of the early Presbyterian clergy kept alehouses to supplement their emoluments; the behaviour of these brethren was a source of anxiety to the Assembly. our country." It is added, "Upoun that day, being the last of October the year forsaid, the said Mr. Robert Menteith" was charg'd at the croce of Ed. to compeir to answer to the Lawes of the country, but did not appeir. The Lord forgive him, for he has been a great sckandall to our kirk."

The degraded condition of the clergy was mainly due to the rapacity of the nobles. In resuming possession of lands wrested from their ancestors, the nobility were indifferent with respect to the worldly condition of the Reformed teachers. In 1275, the revenues of the bishopric of St. Andrews were equal to £37,000 of modern money, and, at the Reformation, they had reached the value of £45,000. Eleven other bishoprics were also most liberally endowed. Many of the abbeys and monasteries were celebrated for their opulence. In 1561, a regulation was made by which the rents of benefices were to be divided into three parts, two of which were to be retained by the Roman Catholic bishops and clergy, while the remaining third was to be dedicated to the support of the Reformed Church, and towards supplementing the ordinary revenues of the country. Nominally a third of the third was set apart for the maintenance of the new teachers. In reality the grant for ecclesiastical purposes was limited to £2,400 Scottish money, which, had all the thousand parishes been supplied with ministers, [In 1567 there were about 289 ministers and 715 readers. Many of the readers had been parish priests, and were probationers for the Reformed pastorate. In some of the rural parishes the priest renounced his status to become reader to his flock in the Reformed Church. John McVicar, priest of Inverary, suited himself to the two parties of his parishioners—those who embraced the Reformed doctrines, and those who remained in the old faith. He continued to conduct ordinances according to both systems. The further appointment of reader was forbidden by the General Assembly in 1581, but the office was not entirely abolished till 1645.] would have allotted not more than thirty-six marks, or less than two pounds sterling, to each incumbent. As one of the ministers of the city of Edinburgh, John Knox was allowed a stipend of 400 marks, or £20. The ministers of Glasgow, St. Andrews, Perth, Aberdeen, Stirling, and Dundee received incomes varying from £12 to £15. But the parochial clergy seldom possessed an income exceeding a hundred marks, or five pounds sterling.

From a return made to the General Assembly about the middle of the last century, it appears that the stipends of 40 parish ministers were under £40, 40 under £45, 126 under £50, 84 under £55, 119 under £60, 94 under £65, and 119 under £70. So recently as 1810, 196 livings were under the annual value of £150. These have been raised to £150 by an Exchequer grant.

Presbyterian discipline did not improve the morals of the nobility any more than extend their liberality. The nobles paid an external respect to ordinances, but were really unconcerned about every description of religious belief. They carried arms, and used them against each other on the slightest provocation. They accepted bribes in dispensing justice, and offered them in return. When compelled to undergo an assize they brought their followers to court, and overawed the jury. They changed from Popery to Presbytery, and then to Prelacy, as their interests prompted. They subscribed the Covenant to avoid the censure of the Kirk, and joined Episcopacy to gain the favour of the Kmg. "The Staggering State of Scottish Statesmen" was an appropriate title given, by a witty Scotsman, to a work on the political history of his country. Church discipline was equally lost on the humbler classes of society. Knox styled those who destroyed the cathedrals "the rascal multitude." The people long continued in brutish ignorance. A comet, an eclipse, the occurrence of an earthquake, moved them to consternation. They ascribed pestilential diseases, witchcraft, and storms and tempests to the devil. Convictions for witchcraft were accomplished by means of witch-finders, who were rewarded with half the goods of the accused. There were persons in every district who would swear to anything. Slander, uncleanness, and blasphemy abounded everywhere.

The Scots regarded every domestic and social occurrence fit occasion for indulging in the national beverages. These were originally of an inoffensive character. The Highlanders punctured the birch trees in spring, and extracted from them a liquid which fermented, and became a gentle stimulant. The ancient Lowlanders prepared a species of liquor from the mountain heath. At what period usquebaugh or whisky was introduced cannot be discovered. It was certainly distilled in the fifteenth century. Onward from that period copious libations of ale and whisky have attended the infant in his cradle and the aged in his shroud. The peasant-sire has hailed his first-born in the foaming bicker and when he has lost wife or child has again resorted to it in the hope of comfort.

From discharging her duties at a birth the midwife was not expected to retire perfectly sober, and "neibour wives" congratulated the parents at banquets of "butter-saps" and whisky. The christening was a merry occasion. The only guests who left retaining perfect self-command were the minister and his "leddy." Marriage feasts continued several days, and the dissipation which they occasioned was a scandal. The lykewake, or watching of a corpse after death till burial, was attended with revolting intemperance; recreation being forbidden, drinking was the only employment permitted to the watchers. At funerals men drank so hard that occurrences were not rare in which funeral parties dropped the body in their progress to the churchyard. Bargains and transactions of all sorts were commenced or ratified with libations of ale or whisky. "Here's to the gude cause," said a Scottish soldier to his comrade, as he quaffed a gill of whisky immediately before a battle. "Oh, man, an' drinkin' wad do it!" heartily responded his associate.

Alehouses were abundant everywhere. Forty public breweries in a town of 3,000 inhabitants was a common average. In addition to these, every community possessed a body of dames known as brewster wives. These made the "home-brewed," which they retailed to "particular freens," as they affectionately termed those who patronized their taverns.

Drinking was confined to no particular class. All tippled, from the prince t to the gaberlunzie. Till 1780 claret was imported free of duty; it was much used by the middle and upper classes. Noblemen stored hogsheads of claret in their halls, making them patent to all visitors. Guests received a cup of the wine when they entered, and another on their departure. Claret was described as a cure for all ailments; in winter it diffused warmth, in summer it negatived the bad effects of more potent beverages. The aristocracy dined early. During the sixteenth century, twelve o'clock was a dinner hour in highest fashion. Two o'clock in the following century was more common among the upper ranks. A later hour was not adopted till long afterwards. The substantiate of dinner were consumed without liquor; drinking set in afterwards. The potations of those who frequented dinner-parties were enormous ; persons who could not drink remained at home. There was a system of toasts and sentiments, which prevented any member of the company escaping without his proportion of liquor. Every guest was expected to name an absent lady, while to each lady was assigned an absent gentleman. Both were toasted in a glass which must be drunk off, and upturned in evidence of enthusiasm. The sentiments were legion; some were coarse, others ingenious. When the guests were voiciferously celebrating the sentiment, "May ne'er waur be amang us," there were some in a helpless condition under the table. A landlord was considered inhospitable who permitted any of his guests to retire without their requiring the assistance of his servants. Those who tarried for the night found in their bedrooms a copious supply of ale, wine, and brandy, to allay the thirst superinduced by their previous potations. Those who insisted on returning home were rendered still more incapable of prosecuting their journeys by being compelled, according to the inexorable usage, to swallow a deoch-an-doruis or stirrup-cup, which was commonly a vessel, like the Lion bicker of Glammis, of very formidable dimensions.

The Edinburgh clubs were scenes of dissipation in its most revolting forms. The Poker club was composed of men of letters, whose social indulgences ill corresponded with their literary tastes. From their club the members staggered home more or less intoxicated. Their conversation was most unworthy of those who could compose elegant essays and produce volumes of philosophy. "Where does John Clark reside?" imperfectly articulated the celebrated advocate of that name, to one of "the guard," at four in the morning. "Why, you're John Clark himsel'," answered the guardsman. "Yes," said the querist, "but I was not asking for John Clark, but for his house." All public business in Edinburgh was transacted in the tavern. When clients applied for the advice of learned counsellors, the parties retired together from the Parliament House to one of the taverns in "the square," and the learned gentleman first consulted as to what his client would have to drink. The Glasgow clubs were very numerous, and very drunken. At these gatherings there was neither art nor science to restrain the levity of wit, or check the profanity of the conversation. The clubs of provincial places were worse, if a worse state of society could exist. The levity of the club-house stalked abroad, and poisoned social manners.

At public entertainments there were usages of an outrageous character. One custom which prevailed till the close of the last century may be noticed. When the company had drunk deeply, but were not quite intoxicated, they relieved the monotony of the evening by engaging in a pastime which had nothing, save its barbarity, to recommend it. The landlord introduced farm spades and shovels, and on these the members of 'the dinner-party endeavoured to raise each other by turns. The more robust succeeded in elevating the weaker, whom they next endeavoured to throw to the greatest distance. The person thrown was supposed to be protected by his neighbours from falling heavily, but he would occasionally be deposited upon the table, whence he scattered the shivered glass upon the floor of the apartment.

Apart from the Estates of Parliament, the Convention of Royal Burghs regulated the concerns of trade. The corporations of the different towns, composed, as they generally were, of the most enterprising and prosperous merchants, framed enactments more practical in character and more adapted to the public weal than were the edicts of Romish churchmen. These burghal institutions early countenanced the promoters of the Reformation, and became important bulwarks in defence of the new faith. At a meeting of the Town Council of Edinburgh, held on the 2nd of January, 1593, it was unanimously resolved that the proceedings of future meetings should be opened with prayer. At the same time a form of prayer was submitted, and agreed to, of the following tenor:—"O gratious God our loving Father, we humblie beseik ye hallie majtie for ye Chrystes saik to be present in mercie wie us, in geving ane blessing to all or effaires, and seing thou art onlie wyse be thou oure wisdome in all or adoiss, and grant that p'tialatie and all corrupt affections quhatsumevir set asyde, we deill in all materis presented to us w' upright hairts and singill eyes, as in ye presence sua, yet ye frewill of or travellis by ye speciall grace, may always tend to the glorie of ye name, the weilfaire of this our native toun, and th' fort of everie member of ye saim, throw Jesus Christ or Lord and Savior, to quhome with the indwg ye holie speiritt be all prayse, glorie, and honor, for now and evir."

Like the other national institutions, Town Councils latterly degenerated. The principal business of civic corporations was, during the eighteenth century, conducted by "committees," who assembled in chosen taverns. These committees bore designations sufficiently imposing. "The Session," at Stirling, still holds occasional sittings; "the Presbytery," at Falkirk, has ceased but recently: and the "Cupar Parliament" was not long since in active operation. Discussions were conducted with considerable decorum, for no depth of drinking could induce any member to address his neighbour by a designation more familiar than that of his municipal office. Distinctions of rank were absorbed under the imposing titles of Provost, Bailie, Dean of Guild, Councillor, or Deacon.

At many of the clubs, drinking was regulated by the game of "High Jinks." "This game," writes Sir Walter Scott, "was played in several different ways. Most frequently the dice were thrown by the company, and those upon whom the lot fell were obliged to assume and maintain, for a time, a fictitious character, or to repeat a certain number of Fescennine verses in a particular order. If they departed from the characters assigned, or if their memory proved treacherous in the repetition, they named forfeits, which were either compounded for by swallowing an additional bumper, or by paying a small sum towards the reckoning."

By our late friend, Dr. Strang, the condition of the Glasgow clubs a hundred years ago is thus described: ["Glasgow and its Clubs," by John Strang, LL.D. Loncl. 1857. 4 to. Pp. 1, 2.] "In 1750, and for many years previous, it was the custom for persons of all ranks and conditions to meet regularly in change-houses, as they were called, and there to transact business, and hold their different clubs. The evening assemblies were passed in free and easy conversation, and without much expense,—persons of the first fashion rarely spending more than from fourpence to eightpence each, including their pipes of tobacco, which were then in general use. In some of those clubs the members played at backgammon, or 'catch the ten,' the stake exceeding but rarely one penny a game. In the forenoon all business was transacted or finished in the tavern. The lawyers were there consulted, and the bill was paid by the client. The liquor in common use was sherry, presented in mutchkin stoups, every mutchkin got being chalked on the head of the stoup or measure. The quantity swallowed was, on such occasions, almost incredible."

Municipal and parliamentary electioneering was rotten to the core. Money achieved everything. "What are your terms?" was a question put to the agent of every candidate for parliamentary or municipal honours. Candidates bribed in person. A hairdresser had received five pounds from a candidate for shaving him. The day after the candidate ascertained that the hairdresser had shaved his rival with a similar recompense.

"You have been shaving Lord------," said the candidate to his quondam friend. "Yes," replied the hairdresser, "I wanted to pleasure ye baith."

The celebrated George Dempster, of Dunnichen, obtained his seat in Parliament, in 1762, by bribing the magistrates and councillors of the Fife and Forfar burghs. Having been opposed by an opulent competitor, he had to dispose of two estates to secure his seat. The city of St. Andrews was one of the chain of burghs. On his retirement from public life, Mr. Dempster occasionally resided at this ancient seat of learning. Visiting an old friend one morning, he found him employed in his garden. "I am sorry I canna shake hands wi' ye, Maister Dempster," said his friend, "for my hands are soiled; I've been diggin'." "Don't heed," said the ex-member; "many a dirty hand I've shaken in St. Andrews." Mr. Dempster referred to the hands which had accepted bribes.

In 1775, the Court of Session disfranchised the burgh of Stirling, for corrupt practices, a judgment which was confirmed by the House of Lords. The particulars of this case may not be unacceptable. Several burgesses of Stirling brought a complaint against the magistrates and council, alleging that certain of their number had bound themselves by an illegal compact, and for their personal gain, to bear permanent authority in the burgh. The instrument of compact, which was discovered by the complainers, was in the following terms :—

"We, Henry Jaffray, James Alexander, and James Burd, all presently members of the Town Council of Stirling, considering that we have each of us at present a considerable interest in the said Council, and that, by joining together and modelling the Council at the next and other Michaelmas elections in time coming, we may secure to ourselves the total management of the burgh during our lives, and that this will be much for the benefit of us and our friends, do therefore solemnly agree, and bind, and oblige ourselves to the following articles :—

"Imprimis:—That we shall stand by and support each other during our lives in the politics and election matters of the burgh, and particularly that each of us shall have an equal number of friends in the merchant council, as near as may be, who are to be brought in under engagements to support our joint interest; and no person is to be named by any of us without the consent of all the three; and in order more effectually to carry this our plan into execution, we here agree to weaken the interest of Nicol Bryce, and by degrees to exclude him and his friends from the Council altogether; and in general we are to unite and consider ourselves as one man in managing the elections of the burgh, and to take no step but for the mutual interest and with the concurrence of each other.

"Secondly. —That we shall likewise be united in the administration of the affairs of the burgh, and of the hospitals; and that each of us shall have an equal share in the disposal of all such offices as are dependent upon the Council, and shall bestow them upon our friends ; but in such manner that they shall go in rotation among them, and shall not be too long enjoyed by the friends of any one of us, to the prejudice of the friends of the others. 3rdly. Whereas we have agreed to elect John McGibbon, junior, into the office of town clerk, jointly with his father, and to succeed to the said office upon his death, on condition that a part of the emoluments of said office shall be at our disposal, and that it appears to us that £25 sterling is a reasonable sum to be paid by him to us ; we do therefore agree to divide the said £25 per annum equally among us, or that the sum shall be equally at our disposal; and the said John McGibbon is to grant bond to us accordingly. 4thly. Whereas it will be in our power, in time coming, at every election of a member of Parliament for the district, during our lives to give the vote of the burgh of Stirling to any candidate for the said district who shall be most acceptable to us; and that we will be entitled, at every such election, to receive money and rewards suitable to the occasion, and which rewards it is reasonable we should divide equally among us; we do therefore bind and oblige ourselves to make an equal division of all moneys so to be received by any of us upon occasion of any election for the district, and of all profits and emoluments arising from offices conferred upon any of us by the members of Parliament, or by any person or persons standing candidate to represent us in Parliament during our joint lives. 5thly. In order to render ourselves popular in the burgh, and that our management may be acceptable to the whole inhabitants, we engage that when a vacancy happens in the charge of any of the town's ministers, we shall procure the same to be filled up by an evangelical minister or preacher, such as shall be most agreeable to the bulk of the people. And, lastly. We do solemnly engage that each and all of us shall keep this bond an inviolable secret from every other person. In witness whereof," &c. In addition to this remarkable document, the complaining burgesses produced a list of councillors who had promised to vote in every municipal question precisely as they might be asked by the persons subscribing the compact. The Court of Session pronounced the compact "illegal, unwarrantable, and contra bonos mores;" reduced the two preceding elections of town councillors, severely reproved the three "bondsmen," and deprived the burgh of its municipal privileges.

A prosperous merchant at Stirling, named Cowan, had early in the seventeenth century bequeathed his estate to the Guildry for the support of decayed burgesses. The bequest included a considerable estate in the vicinity. For many years the administrators of the charity conserved their individual benefit, in farming the lands, and dispensing the bounties. An Act of Parliament was procured, which put a check to these discreditable practices.

Town Councils were liberal in granting honorary privileges to those who could not use them. They were reluctant to confer municipal rights upon those who proposed to engage in trade. Heavy imposts were exacted. By a minute, dated 4th March, 1543, the Town Council of Haddington authorized the provost and bailies to lock up all persons' doors that are not burgesses, until they be made such. When the celebrated James Watt started as a mathematical instrument maker in Glasgow, in 1757, he was so strongly opposed by the trading corporation that he was obliged to abandon his shop, and seek refuge and employment within the walls of the university. When the imposts were paid, permission was granted to enter upon a particular branch of trade ; but the new trader was warned that he must, under the penalty of additional payment, strictly confine himself within the limits of his craft.

New burgh settlers were expected to place themselves under the guidance of those who regulated the municipal concerns. A course of independence was dangerous. Calumny was a weapon always ready to assail the unyielding stranger. An evil report speedily gained ground when many were concerned in its propagation, and under its blighting influence the new settler generally fell. Old burgh politicians resisted every proposal for physical improvement. Innovators were not tolerated; they were deemed unfit for municipal employment. Those burgesses who sought to lodge their families in commodious dwellings were subjected to ridicule and insult.

Burgh magistrates rejoiced to see streets, lanes, sewers, and dust-heaps, preserved in the condition in which they remembered them in boyhood. With a feeling of affection they recollected the thistles which had sprung up in the streets since childhood, and they desired that the national symbol might be spared. The long grass of the causeway fed the burgh sheep. The boulder-stones which protruded in the main thoroughfares formed useful stepping-stones, when the intervening spaces were, after showers, converted into pools. The timber dwellings which bordered leading streets were combustible, but comfortably warm. The porches of lumbering tenements narrowed the thoroughfare, but they contained outside stories to upper floors, and concealed the jaw-hole. The latter was a somewhat inconvenient substitute for underground sewage; but it was less costly. Occasionally the water of the public wells gave forth an unpleasant odour, but a little whisky or a sprinkling of oatmeal was deemed a sufficient deodorizer. When dung-heaps were removed, and cesspools cleansed, the air was foul for a season; but the occasion was embraced for a pleasant trip into the country.

Police regulations were lamentably defective. Even in the capital, streets were unmarked by numbers till late in the eighteenth century. In 1702, a landed proprietor in Morayshire was, during a visit to Edinburgh, addressed by a correspondent in these terms :—

"For Mr. Archibald Dumbair, of Thundertane, to be left at Capt. Dunbair, entry chamber at the iron revel third storie below the Cross north end of the crose at Edin."

When the magistrates of Edinburgh had at length determined that every house in the city should be denoted by a number, William Glass, poet and house-painter, undertook to inscribe numerals on the houses of the Canongate, for the recompence of a glass of whisky for each numeral depicted by his brush.

Preservation of order at Edinburgh was entrusted to a body of red-haired Gael, denominated the Highland Guard. The minor burghs employed old pensioners as guardians of property. The municipal rulers of Stirling enjoined the inhabitants to watch by turns—two being expected to mount guard every evening. When the present writer entered on a ministerial office in this place in 1855, he was waited upon by an officer of the corporation with the message, that it was his turn to keep watch. He was somewhat disconcerted, since the following day was Sunday, when he had to conduct service. His anxiety was allayed by the assurance that a payment of two shillings would provide a substitute.

About the commencement of the present century there was a movement towards burghal reformation. The first crusade was against trees, which municipal authorities resolved to uproot from their streets and suburbs. Thousands of the monarchs of the forest perished by the woodman's axe. The noble limes and birches, which adorned St. Andrews in its leading thoroughfares, were hewn down. Many fine old trees at Glasgow were subjected to the hatchet. In 1816, the town council of Stirling sold the trees skirting their suburban streets, to a carpenter in the place. A neighbouring proprietor purchased the trees from the carpenter, and so preserved them from destruction. A poem of fourteen stanzas was addressed to the town council of Stirling, with reference to their ruthless intentions. The poet makes the trees offer a petition that they might be spared:—

O ye who in your hands have now
Power to condemn and power to save;
Need ye be told how oft to you
In early life we pleasure gave?

* * * * *

And ever and anon we've been,
To all who built beneath our shade,
A constant and a powerful screen
From eastern blasts that oft invade.

* * * * *

To some, perchance, our forms recall
The dear loved spot that gave them birth,
A tree that near their father's hall
Was rooted in their native earth.

To some, when autumn browns the vale
And lays their leafy honours low,
A whisper floats upon the gale,
How frail the state of man below!

In spring, when nature's charms abound,
And leaves break forth upon the tree,
The meditative mind will find
The hope of immortality.

During the eighteenth century, municipal rulers and others completed the deformity of the ancient churches. In executing repairs on these venerable fabrics, the workmen were instructed to remove or obliterate all traces of sculpture. The authorities deemed that they were advancing the cause of Presbyterian doctrine.

Rural hamlets were in a deplorable condition. Piggeries were erected in every corner, and dunghills were spread at every threshold. The streets were besmeared with ordure. Offensive exhalations issued from the alleys. Noisome weeds sprang up everywhere. The different dwellings were altogether wretched. An English tourist, who visited Dunkeld in 1746, thus describes the domestic condition of the peasantry in that neighbour-hood:—

"The Highland houses hereabouts are very oddly built, and look most miserable and desolate, they being composed of blocks of peat, stones, and broom. As to chimneys, they are little acquainted with them; there is sometimes a little hole left open in the top, for the smoke's exit; other times it is in the end, and most frequently the door performs this office. Nay, what is more odd, in coming into this town, I saw in one house a chimney made of a cart-wheel, and out of the hollow for the axle passed the smoke."

In the Lowlands, the huts of the peasantry were commonly reared of stone and mortar; in other respects the description of the English tourist is applicable to the whole country. There were no ceilings; there was no ventilation; the windows were in the lower sills filled with immoveable timber-boards; the glass frames of the upper sills were covered with spiders' webs, the removal of which implied "bad luck." The earthen floors were seldom swept, and so accumulated the rubbish of generations. The fireplace occupied the centre of the apartment. The fuel rested upon the floor; and when "a blazing ingle" was designed, the members of the family stretched themselves on their faces, and blew upon the fagots. The smoke was intended to find egress by an aperture in the roof, but it more frequently encircled the room, ultimately issuing from the door, which was seldom closed. The cooking process was simple. Most of the peasantry subsisted on brose, which consisted of oatmeal moistened with hot water, and seasoned with salt. Each meal was a repetition of the former, till the introduction of potatoes, which were used at supper.

The burial-ground was commonly situated in the centre of the hamlet. It was surrounded by dwellings, to the lower windows of which the soil was raised by successive interments. The occupants of these dwellings did not complain; for they were familiar with damp walls, and they could view from their windows the sepulchres of their fathers. The parish church, which stood in the burial-ground, displayed on its inner walls a green mould, but it could be removed by the sexton's broom, and the musty atmosphere of the place was familiar to all worshippers. Landowners, the clergy, and other persons of quality, were, as they died, buried under their pews. Graves were ordinarily four feet in depth; but in certain districts it was deemed respectful to the deceased to place their coffins within one foot from the surface. Mr. Aulay Macaulay, minister of Harris, in the Isle of Lewis, was, according to his wish, interred in the passage near the door of the church in which he had ministered. According to the practice which obtained in Harris, the shell containing his remains was placed only a few inches under the soil. About twenty years after his interment, the sexton, in sweeping the earthen floor of the church, raised a skull, which he recognised as that of the deceased clergyman. [The practice of interring in churches was prohibited by order of the General Assembly in 1643, but was continued by many of the landowners long after. The Kirksession Records of Dunfermline contain an account of the forcible entrance of the parish church of that place in 1660, for the interment of the "Laird of Rossyth," a deceased landowner in the district.]

In opening new graves, the sexton gathered up the fragments of decayed coffins, which he deposited in a corner, to be collected as fuel by poor parishioners. The ashes of the dead have been treated with similar irreverence. When the new parish church of Dunino, Fifeshire, was erected in 1825, the remains of the heritors and parochial clergymen, who had been interred in the former structure for successive generations, were sold for £3 to a neighbouring farmer, for manuring his fields. An aisle of Glasgow Cathedral was used as the burying place of the parish ministers since the Reformation. About twenty years ago the aisle was opened up, and the mould ruthlessly scattered.

The old Scottish hamlet was generally situated on the margin of a stream. Bridges were rare; they were unnecessary, for the women who ordinarily dispensed with shoes and stockings, contrived, by an easy arrangement of their garments, to carry their male friends across the water upon their shoulders. [James VI. was wont facetiously to inform his English courtiers that he had in his native kingdom a town of 500 bridges. He alluded to the hamlet of Auchterarder, where every house in the long street had an entry bridged over the public strand.] The rivulet was the common sewer and the general lavatory. In its waters "gudewives" washed their linens, and "gude men " cleaned their faces on Sundays. When "sow day" came round, a day on which the hogs were slaughtered, the river served the purpose of carrying off the accumulated refuse of the piggeries.

Epidemic diseases were common. During the seventeenth century eight or ten plagues visited the country, and swept off half the population. The terrible nature of these scourges can hardly be conceived. Within a few clays the messenger of death would visit almost every dwelling. Here a parent, there a child, would lie uncoffined. During some of the visitations, as these epidemics were termed, many persons left their homes for tents in the open fields. Town Councils, Kirks-sessions, and other public bodies suspended their sittings. The Kirksession of Stirling held no meetings on account of "the plague" between the 14th August, 1606, and the 29th January, 1607. In 1604 a pestilence raged at Edinburgh with such severity that it was found essential to compel those elected as magistrates to accept and execute their offices. Attributing these visitations to sorcery or the direct agency of Satan, the Church was content to redouble its exertions against witchcraft and the power of the evil eye. Sanitary measures were unthought of. The people believed as they were taught.

The sanitary condition of the Scottish capital in 1730 has been described by a contemporary. At that period the gentlewomen of Edinburgh and their cooks cast the household slops into the public streets.

In allusion to this practice, a gentleman who accompanied the Duke of Cumberland to Scotland in 1746, writes:—"It is not a little diversion to a stranger to hear all passers by cry out with a loud voice, sufficient to reach the tops of the houses (which are generally six or seven stories high, in the front of the High Street), 'Hoad yare hoand! i. e., hold your hand, and means, 'Do not throw till I am past.'"

The practice of scattering refuse from the windows on the public streets having at length become obnoxious to the citizens, many of whom were daily soused in the polluted waters, the civic authorities enacted that an open tank should be placed at the entrance of every dwelling for the reception of refuse. But the new scheme was no adequate improvement, since the odour of the tanks was only less offensive than the being drenched in their contents. Swine moved about the streets in droves. The children of respectable citizens rode upon their backs. The daughters of Lady Maxwell of Monreith, including Jane, afterwards Duchess of Gordon, were among the last of Scottish maidens who practised this amusement.

The present condition of the peasantry in some of the Western Isles is sufficiently degrading. In the island of Lewis, agricultural labourers live under the same roof with their cattle. There are two apartments, in one of which the family are accommodated, the other is the byre or cowhouse. The latter presents, after the half-yearly cleansing in spring and summer, a considerable hollow, which is supposed to be conducive to the welfare of the kine. The hollow is gradually filled up by the accumulation of straw and manure, the existence of which is believed to generate a healthful warmth. There are no windows in Hebridean cottages, but a little light is admitted from apertures at the lower portion of the roof. The constant smoke and improper ventilation of these huts are most prejudicial to the young. One-third of the children born in the Hebrides, and in certain districts of the Highlands, die under the age of twelve.

In one respect the discipline of the Scottish Church has proved beneficial. To this cause may be ascribed the reverent observance of Sunday, which has so long been a characteristic of the people. This observance has occasionally assumed a morose character, and tended to present religion, especially to the young, in forbidding aspects; but on the whole it has been salutary, especially in a country where potent beverages are used so unsparingly. The early plantation of parish schools, due to the sagacity of Knox, has mainly conduced to the success of natives of Scotland in countries other than their own. To a native of the north a little learning is not a dangerous thing; it prompts him to aspire to higher attainments and greater proficiency.

The civilization of Scotland is largely due to the genial influences of her English neighbours. In the eleventh century came the Saxon refugees who fled from Norman invaders. At their head was Margaret, niece of Edward the Confessor, who, espousing Malcolm Canmore, became queen. This admirable woman taught the people to spin; she introduced the industrious arts. During his long captivity, James I. acquired a fund of knowledge in England, which he applied, on his return, in the promotion of learning, and in the equitable dispensation of justice. English artists were invited to settle in Scotland by James III. The queen of James IV., daughter of Henry VII. of England, largely promoted English manners at the Scottish court. During the reign of Queen Mary, and the minority of her successor, intercourse with England was close and constant.

The reformation of Scottish manners was greatly accelerated by the accession of James VI. to the English throne. That sovereign had no sooner been established in his new possessions, than thousands of adventurers from the north flocked to London to solicit the royal protection. Some claimed payment of old debts; others preferred claims for personal service to the monarch or to his progenitors.

Among the documents of the State Paper Office relating to Scotland in this reign, is a letter from Sir George Calvert to Secretary Staunton, dated Greenwich, June 2ist, 1619, in which the writer proceeds :—"Sir,—This is the man who solicits for the merchants of Scotland, on whose behalf I moved the Board yesterday, by his Majesty's commandment. It was referred, as you may remember, to the Commissioners of the Treasury. I pray you give him what despatch you may, for he will also importune and trouble his Majesty." Repressive measures became essential for the protection of the weak monarch against the supplications of his northern subjects. The MS. "Register of Letters of Sir William Alexander," preserved in the Advocates' Library, contains a manifesto dated April, 1619, and despatched in the king's name to the Scottish Secretary of State, in which the monarch discharges "all manner of persons from resorting out of Scotland to this our kingdome, unlesse it be gentlemen of good qualitie, merchands for traffiques, or such as shall have a generall license from our Counselle of that kingdome, with expresse prohibitions to all masters of shippes that they transport no such persones." The proclamation further informs his Majesty's Scottish subjects that "Sir William Alexander, Master of Requests, had received a commission to apprehend and send home, or to punish all vagrant persons who came to England to cause trouble, or bring discredit on their country." This royal edict was proclaimed at the crosses of the principal towns; but the exodus could not be stopped. Scotsmen still proceeded to the southern marts, some as pedlars, others as workmen, and so commenced that amalgamation of the two races, which has proved most salutary to the empire. The plain rough manners of the strangers were destined, long after the termination of repressive measures, to evoke the ridicule of their more favoured neighbours. A couplet composed at their expense we have excavated from an oblivion in which, perhaps, some northern readers may conceive it might have been allowed to rest.

"Bonny Scot, all witness can,
England has made thee a gentleman."

The political union of 1707 proved the last and most important epoch in the history of Scottish civilization. With a view to the discharge of their duties in the British Parliament, many of the more considerable nobles and landowners were called on to reside a portion of the year in London, where, with their families, they acquired new habits of culture. Salutary as were its results, the union was accomplished by means which proved the degraded condition of those who were taken into partnership by their more civilized and more opulent neighbours. The sum of £20,000 was brought from England, and deposited in the castle of Edinburgh, to induce Scottish barons to come to easy terms in. a settlement of the international compact. To the Earl of Marchmont was handed a bribe of 1,100 guineas, while Lord Banff was content with the sop of eleven pounds!

Lord Seafield, the Scottish Chancellor, objected to his brother, Colonel Ogilvie, dealing in cattle, as being derogatory to his rank. "Tak your ain tale hame, my lord," said the colonel; "I sell nowt, but ye sell nations." An English satirist improved the occasion in these lines :—

"I wondered not when I was told
The venal Scot his country sold,
But very much I did admire
That ever it could find a buyer."

One of the first legislative enactments in reference to Scotland was not creditable to the united Parliament. The restoration, in 1712, of lay patronage in the Established Church was fraught with disastrous consequences to the best interests of the country. Formerly the depraved habits of the multitude were kept in check by the pious teaching and virtuous example of the clergy, who, deriving their livings from the direct invitation of the people, sought to consecrate their gifts to the spiritual well-being of their flocks. The restoration of patronage led to the appointment of a new order of teachers,—men who were, indeed, enemies of superstition, but to whom evangelical doctrine was equally obnoxious. For a century subsequent to the passing of the Act restoring patronage, no inconsiderable portion of the clergy ignored the doctrine of justification by faith, and ridiculed the devoted ardour of their covenanting progenitors. Many of them were avowed Arians. A parish minister in the county of Peebles composed a work in support of the doctrine of Socinus, which was published posthumously. Among the rural clergy were some who adopted a course of life inconsistent with the sacred office. They were habitual topers.

The judicious exercise of patronage by the lay impropriators might have resulted in a better state of things. But church patronage was notoriously maladministered. One clergyman obtained his living by helping his patron at the curling rink; another got his cure because he remained sober "at a dinner-party, when his constituent and his other guests got quite drunk. Another received his presentation because he showed his independence, when tutor in his patron's family, by refusing, when company was in the house, to take dinner in his own chamber. [See our "Illustrations of Scottish Life" and "Traits and Stories of the Scottish People" passim.]

In his interesting work, "Social Life in Moray," ["Social Life in Former Days, chiefly in the Province of Moray," by E. Dunbar Dunbar, Edinburgh. 1865. 8vo.] Captain Dunbar has presented, from the repositories of the patron of Duffus, several letters written on the part of candidates for that living during a vacancy which occurred in 1748. An adjacent proprietor pleads the cause of his protege, by offering to become bound that he should "demit" the living whenever the patron was tired of him. The reverend assistant to the late incumbent, writing from the "manse of Duffus," makes his proposals in a business-like fashion. Assuming that his application would succeed, he begins by the minor promise, "that should he receive the presentation, so that he might be settled before Michaelmas," he would allow the patron a half-years stipend "for any particular pious use or other just intention." Then follows the more substantial part of his engagement:—"And if ye shall judge it proper to bestow any particular friend or relative of yours upon me as my wife, I also hereby promise not only to keep my affections free, but also, with God's assistance, to accept of her preferably to any other person whatever, as my future spouse; and for this effect I also hereby promise to take and re-enter (at least) the twenty pounds sterling class in the Widows' Fund, as the same is established by Act of Parliament; and I shall always consider that, along with your relation, you have also given me one thousand pounds Scots yearly to maintain her."

Towards the close of the last century, Mr. Alexander Brodie, minister of Dunino, Fifeshire, was presented by the Earl of Kellie to the neighbouring parish and better living of Carnbee, on the condition, stipulated in writing, that he would not trouble his patron for repairs on the church property, or for an augmentation of stipend. Mr. Brodie, having entered on his new living, proceeded to claim the full rights of the cure. In defence, Lord Kellie produced the minister's letter, and the subject was discussed in the Court of Session. The court ruled that the compact was illegal, and gave a decree in favour of the incumbent. "A minister is not obliged to keep his word," indicates the case in the margin of the Court Records.

Appointed to their livings under a system obnoxious to the people, the clergy began to lose that firm hold on the affections of their parishioners which Presbyterian pastors had formerly possessed. Disputed settlements were frequent. The members of Presbytery, who assembled to induct obnoxious presentees, were often debarred from performing the ceremony in the churches. At least one hundred of the clergy were, in the course of the last century, settled in their cures under the protection of a military escort.

Acrimonious feelings on the part of reclaiming congregations were, it must be acknowledged, generally proportioned to the unreasonable character of the opposition. When a congregation set their affections on a particular clergyman, and determined to secure him as their pastor, they could not be persuaded that any other could minister to their edification. When another clergyman appeared as presentee, they prepared to resist his induction. During a recent vacancy at Dunbog, Fifeshire, the parishioners were disappointed in obtaining the minister of their choice. The settlement of the presentee was resisted without success, but an attempt was afterwards made to effect a new vacancy by the explosion of a grenade at the window of the minister's sitting-room.

About one-half of the population have, at different times, seceded from the Established Church, and nearly every secession has been promoted by what the dissentients characterized as "the burden of patronage." The first secession took place in 1733, when four ministers, soon joined by four others, constituted the Associate Presbytery, the nucleus of the United Presbyterian Church. The last secession took place in 1843, when 474 ministers renounced their livings, and established themselves as the Free Church of Scotland.

The division of the people into different sects may have proved beneficial in promoting emulation, but the effect has, on the whole, been pernicious. So long as the clergy were chosen by the people and supported by the State, parishioners attached themselves to the pastors whom they had invited to labour among them; while they were convinced that any undue interference with the privileges of the ministerial office might be efficiently resisted. But when the people came both to appoint and support their own pastors, a different relationship ensued, which has often resulted unhappily. The Free Church has wisely constituted a sustentation fund, to which the more opulent members contribute, and from which the clergy derive the chief portion of their revenues.

The diminished fervour of the clergy, and a relaxed ministerial supervision, revived early in the last century those degrading practices which had been in abeyance since the Reformation. The love of potent liquors increased among all classes. Ribald songs and profane ballads were sung everywhere. The Falkirk Chapmen books, impure in every page, constituted the literature of the people. Social irregularities became lamentably prevalent. In the rural parishes, the clergyman, the schoolmaster, and the elders, were almost the only persons who were of untainted lives. The delicacy of Scottish maidens was blunted by the limited accommodations of their cottage homes. In domestic service they were unwisely prohibited by housewives from all companionship with men of their own age and rank. They consequently held in secret those interviews with their lovers which ought to have been permitted openly. The clandestine character of these meetings degraded the moral sentiment and proved unfavourable to virtue.

From country parishes the social evil migrated into the populous centres. Except in the county of Aberdeen, illegitimacy is now diminishing in rural districts. In Edinburgh social irregularities maintain a dark pre-eminence. An intelligent writer, who from philanthropic motives explored "the dens" of Edinburgh a few years ago, thus describes what he personally witnessed:— "Old and young are mixed up together,—the former with their lives shrivelled into nothing; the latter rushing with blinded eyes to accomplish the desperate determination they have come to of abandoning themselves to their violent passions. The end is never far out of sight. The poor creatures hurry themselves out of the world, and many, like her who sought the ' Bridge of Sighs,' may be glad to go. Were all the tragedies thus enacted in one city known, the death-bell might never cease ringing. . . . Those who have seen suffering in these resorts of wickedness may have some idea of the horrors attending it; those who have not can have none, however graphic may be the description presented to them. There may be comparative quiet in the daytime, but the scenes within and around the 'sick chamber' at night are terrible. The boisterous and unceasing conversation is almost maddening. The foetid, stifling air can find no escape; and even the change from life to death may pass unobserved by those who have been accustomed to associate there for the gratification of their mean and gross desires. The places of the victims are quickly filled up. One night the 'mistress of the house' is found ill and helpless; the next night she has been removed and her place taken by another."

The administration of justice in ancient Scotland might form an interesting chapter in the history of jurisprudence. When James I. returned from his English captivity in 1424, he found the country so misgoverned that robbery and spoliation were rampant in every hamlet. The strong plundered the weak without remorse, and the retention of property and goods being so uncertain, industry was completely paralyzed. James, in redressing the wrongs of his injured subjects, dispensed with the ordinary forms. He suspended purses of money in the public places, and employed persons to keep guard in their vicinity. When a purse was taken down, the thief was suspended in its place. The executioners of the law proceeded everywhere gibbeting sturdy marauders, highway robbers, and notorious thieves. These active measures produced a restoration of civil order, and afforded security to property; and it can hardly be doubted that if the life of the monarch had been prolonged, he would have effectually stemmed that torrent of vagabondism which, owing to his early death, continued to devastate the kingdom. The short lives of the three succeeding sovereigns prevented their materially aiding in the suppression of felony. But the youthful James V., as soon as he had attained freedom of action, raised a powerful force of cavalry, at the head of which he proceeded to the border counties to seek the extermination of those who subsisted by plunder. He was on the borders with his mounted followers in June, 1529; he then apprehended and hanged forty-eight notable thieves, including their leader, the celebrated Johnnie Armstrong.

When the sovereign was required summarily to interfere in the punishment of crime, it may be concluded that judicial arrangements were incomplete. The precise character of ancient Scottish judicatories has not been ascertained. There were three chief justiciars. These are mentioned in chartularies so early as the twelfth century. They possessed both civil and criminal jurisdiction. There were likewise inferior justiciaries, whose appointments were hereditary. The office of sheriff, which is of great antiquity, was attended with considerable authority. The Court of Session, with its fifteen judges, was institute;! by James V. in May, 1532, for the cognizance of those offences, and of civil causes, which had formerly been determined by the King and Council, or a Committee of the Estates.

The greater number of civil and criminal causes were decided by the feudal barons and lords of regality. The barons exercised a powerful jurisdiction; their courts consisted of a seneschal, a chamberlain, a dempster or doomster, and other officials; they adjudicated in momentous civil causes, and in criminal cases passed and executed sentence of death. As a rule, every landowner was a lord of regality, and possessed j urisdiction over the property and persons of those who resided on his estate. Originally the feudal courts were styled justice-aires, and were held on the high places ; many hills are still known in the lowlands as "laws." Subsequently the barons constructed justice-rooms in their castles and manors. The hall of justice at Doune Castle is tolerably entire.

The barons were exempted from personally attending to their judicial duties. They appointed deputies or bailies, who presided in their absence, and always occupied the judicial bench in outlying districts. The punishment of felony was death. Sentence was pronounced by the doomster, and execution speedily followed. Latterly the doomster discharged the twofold office of pronouncing sentence and executing it.

Capital sentences pronounced in baronial and regality courts were carried out by two methods. The lowland convicts were hanged; in highland districts condemned females were allowed the alternative of perishing in the water. The Baron Court of Sir Robert Gordon of Gordonston, held at Drainie, Morayshire, on the 25th August, 1679, sentenced Janet Grant, on a charge of theft, to which she pleaded guilty, to be drowned next day in the Loch of Spynie. Heritable jurisdictions were abolished in 1747.

The assize courts were, in dispensing justice, less governed by the evidence than by the character previously borne by the accused. The Circuit Court at Jedburgh was chiefly engaged in the trial of persons accused of plunder, and the proof which insured conviction was so slender that Jeddart or Jedburgh justice passed into a proverb.

Magistrates of burghs were chosen by municipal corporations. Tliose who ruled in the country towns were seldom able to subscribe their sentences, but they claimed judicial capacity by imitating the rural barons in the severity of their judgments. Each burgh retained an executioner or hangman. He was known by the milder designation of lochnan, on account of his receiving a lock or small quantity of meal from every sack of grain exposed in the market-place. The Dumfries executioner took his loch from the sacks with an iron ladle; the Stirling hangman used a timber cap. From their treasurer's accounts it appears that the Edinburgh town council amply remunerated the lock-man for particular services. In October and November, 1703, William Donaldson, lockman for the city, received from the treasurer the following payments :—

"For executing Marion Dalglish.........£7 7 4
For setting Andrew Drummond on the Tron 2 0 0
For scourging Mary Graham ......... 1 0 0"

On the 10th December, 1538, the magistrates of Haddington sentenced one Howm or Hume, for an act of theft, "to be bundyn at the erss of ane cart, and to gang trow all the streittis of the town, and the lockman to stryik hym with ane vand, and that the servands se that he execut his office on him and to haif ane fresche vand at ylk streit end and to forsweir the towne and obliss him to be hangit be the sheriff and ever he cum in the towne again."

Humanity had not made much progress among burgh magistrates after the lapse of two centuries, for the magistrates of Elgin, in 1700, paid their marshal twenty shillings, Scots, for "scourging two, lugging two, and burning two thieves." The punishment of "lugging," or depriving the criminal of his ears, was inflicted only on serfs or notorious felons. Branding was a common punishment; it was inflicted chiefly by the regality courts. The branding iron of Dunfermline was a rod two feet long, having a square lump of iron at the end, on which were engraved the letters Dun + Reg— Dunfermline Regality. The square end of the instrument was made hot and then thrust against the brow or right hand of the offender. The impression could not be obliterated.

Females were branded on the cheek by an instrument called the hey. The Burgh Records of Haddington contain the following;—

"29th Octr. 1544. The qlk. day, Issobell Gowinlock was ordainit to be banist the towne f<Jr steling of Patrik Shairpis caill, and gyf evir sche cum in it againe the key to be sett on her cheik."

Burgh magistrates inflicted severe penalties on those who refused their jurisdiction. In 1663 the Town Council of Dumfries deprived a burgess's wife of her municipal privileges for appealing to the sheriff against a judgment of the Burgh Court. The minute is curious:— "Dumfries, 5th September, 1663. The Council, considering the great abuse of their authoritie by Elizabeth Gibson, relict of Thomas Crawford, by writing an address to the sheriff-depute of Nithsdaill for repairing a wrong done by one of our burgesses to her, whereby she has endeavoured to move the sheriff-depute to encrotch upon the privileges of this burgh, contrairie to the bound prerogative of a burgess's wife ; therefore the magistrates and counsel discharge hir of aney privilege or libertie she can claim of freedom of trade within this burgh."

In 1650 the magistrates of Linlithgow inflicted penalties on certain burgesses who had been wanting in respect to municipal authority. One burgess is fined for "not giffing reverence," or taking off his hat in obeisance to a bailie; another, for "in his great raschnes and suddantie destroying the head of the toun's drum," is "discharged the freedom of the burgh," fined £50 Scots, and obliged to "sitt doune upon his knees at the croce at ten houres before noone, and crave the provost, bail-lies, and counsall pardone."

The provincial sheriffs were disposed to inflict milder sentences, but occasionally they caught the spirit of the times, and sentenced barbarously. On the 8th May, 1758, Agnes Blyth was, by decree of the sheriff, whipped through the city of Edinburgh, and afterwards banished the country. Her offence was hen-stealing. The Justiciary Courts possessed the power of commuting the punishment of death for that of perpetual servitude. On the 5th December, 1761, four men were tried at Perth by the Circuit Court. Having been convicted, they were liable to the punishment of death; but the sentence was mitigated "into perpetual servitude at the Court's disposal." One of the convicts was bestowed upon Sir John Erskine, of Alva, with a view to his being employed in the silver mines on his estate. Some years ago a metal collar was dredged up in the Firth of Forth; it bore the following inscription:—"Alexr. Stewart found guilty of death for theft at Perth, 5th of December, 1761, and gifted by the Justiciars as a perpetual servant to Sir John Arskine of Alva." The unhappy convict, depressed by the degrading character of his punishment, had no doubt in a fit of frenzy plunged into the sea.

Till 1775 miners and salt-workers remained in a condition of villenage, being bound to reside on the same estate and follow the same employment from one generation to another. They were transferred with the works on which they laboured, when these were sold. The following anecdote is related by Dr. Robert Chambers, in his "Domestic Annals." In the year 1820 the late Mr. Robert Bald, of Alloa, was on a visit to his friend, Mr. Colin Dunlop. at the Clyde Iron-works, near Glasgow. Among the workers was an old man, commonly called "Moss Nook." In Mr. Bald's presence, Mr. Dunlop asked this individual to state how he became connected with the establishment. "Nook" proceeded to relate that he had formerly been with a Mr. McNair, of the Green, but that his master taking a fancy to a pony possessed by Mr. Dunlop's father, he was niffered [Exchanged.] for the beast, and sent to the works.

Personal liberty was not generally respected. Between 1740 and 1746 one of the bailies and the town-clerk-depute of Aberdeen, with some others, kidnapped persons in the rural districts, and despatched them to the American plantations, where they were sold as slaves. A vessel sailed from Aberdeen for America in 1743, containing sixty-nine kidnapped persons, and it has been estimated that in the six years during which the Aberdeen slave trade was at its height, six hundred individuals were illegally transported to the plantations. Against assaults on their persons or property the old barons and highland chiefs were more indebted to arrangements among themselves than to the majesty of the law. Highland and lowland landowners constituted two separate interests. Among the former, the chief of every powerful clan possessed a body of retainers in his kinsmen, who resided on his estate, bore his family name, and owed him a patriarchal supremacy. In addition to these he commanded the services of his allies or native men—the adherents or kinsmen of neighbouring and less powerful chiefs. These by bonds of manrent undertook to make common cause with him against all his enemies, on the condition that they personally received his protection in seasons of emergency. But these engagements were not undertaken solely for defensive purposes. Highland chiefs of high rank conceived themselves warranted in levying black-mail from lowland barons ; that is, they assumed a right to appropriate their cattle unless they received a stipulated annual payment to forbear. When such payments were made, the recipients undertook to defend the property of the taxed against the forays of other marauding clans. Illegal as the impost was, highland chiefs did not hesitate to enforce payment in the courts of the lowland barons, who were moved by personal considerations to decide against the statute. At a Quarter Sessions Court held at Stirling on the 3rd February, 1689, the Laird of Touch and other Justices of the Peace ordered the inhabitants of certain parishes "to pay black mail to Captain MacGregor," for protecting their goods and gear,"

Mr. Abercromby, of Tullibody, father of the celebrated Sir Ralph, though living on the banks of the Forth, about twenty miles from the highland border, felt himself obliged, consequent on the frequent loss of cattle, to offer payment of black-mail to Rob Roy. The laird of Westerton, Stirlingshire, who persistently refused payment of the impost, was carried off to a distance of twenty miles from his residence, and then permitted to return without his shoes.

Parish schools were established at the Reformation, but little progress was made in the education of the masses. The gentry discouraged their tenantry, who, in their turn, discountenanced their hinds from seeking other than the rudiments of learning for their children. Indeed, the schoolmaster was not often competent to communicate extensive knowledge. His emoluments did not justify the expectation, for his salary was one hundred pounds Scots (£8 6s. 8d.), with such fees as his pupils could afford to pay.

In the highlands and islands the wide extent of the parishes, and the consequent distance of many families from the parish school, together with the want of Gaelic literature, kept the body of the people in lamentable ignorance. About the commencement of the present century, the late Principal Baird, of Edinburgh, induced the General Assembly to plant schools in the less favoured districts of the highlands. The venerable Principal was wont to relate this anecdote. When he was examining one of the schools, a young urchin burst into a paroxysm of crying, which he made no effort to subdue. Having been coaxed to communicate the cause of his distress, he made the sobbing reply, "I have trappit grandfather in spelling synagogue, and he winna let me abune him." The schoolboy was clamorous because, having spelt a word more correctly than his grandsire, his ancestor refused to allow him a higher place in the class, according to the rule.

Country squires were not much better informed than their inferiors in social rank. Heading was confined to the clergyman, the lawyer, and the physician. In 1683 Scotland possessed only one printing press, and when it was proposed to license a second printer, the widow of Andrew Anderson, of Edinburgh, King's printer, endeavoured to keep David Lindsay out of the field, alleging among other reasons against a licence being granted him, that she had hitherto possessed the sole privilege, and that "one press is sufficiently able to supply all Scotland." A century ago few of the country gentlemen could spell or compose an ordinary letter without a succession of grammatical blunders. The following communication, printed verbatim from the original, was addressed by Mr. Grant of Dalvey, afterwards Sir Ludovick Grant, Bart., to Mr. Archibald Dunbar, of Thundertoun. It is dated "Dalvey, 14th March, 1764:"—

"Dr. Sir,—Your kind favers of no Deat I was faverd with this afternoon your servt Brought to my miller 6 Mots of badly Drest smuty whit. Vpon my Exemininge itt I found itt would dow discredit to my milen to mak flour of such whit till such time as its washed on wh. actt I have sent you the same quantity of my Good flour that yours would a produst had itt been Ground and Entirely Brest and free from smut to mantien the Caractor of my millen in the first please and then the satisfaction to think that you and the lady will Eat Good holsum Bread------ As to your plants my Gardners Laft at me when I asked for them they say that at this season thers no such thinge the only time for plantinge them is in the month of June or July in that season you may have as many as you ehuse from my gardin thers sent you p berar a duzon more of lickras plants wh. is all that can be speard from my small plantation att this time. I have Been makinge all the Enquery I Culd for a Turkie Cok to your hen tho as yete to no purpos. I apryed Lady Kelraiek who has some turkis, but she Could spear non so I am afrayed I shall have wers findinge a Cok then I had a hen—forgive Erors I am much thronged with Company Mrs Grant and daughter joines me in our Respectful Complments to you your Lady and miss Dunbar and I am Sir

"Your most obtt. Hbll Servtt,

" Lud. Grant."

Public opinion was in Scotland originally expressed by placarding. When Darnley was murdered, a writing was affixed to the door of the Tolbooth or Parliament House of Edinburgh, naming Bothwell, Chambers, and "black" Mr. John Spence as the perpetrators. Another followed, naming as inferior actors Signor Francis Bastiat, John of Bordeaux, and Joseph Rizzio. The marriage of Queen Mary with the infamous Bothwell was denounced after the same fashion.

The first Scottish newspaper, designated Mercurius Caledonius, was established in 1661; but it soon died from insufficient support. The Edinburgh Gazette was originated in 1680, and continued to maintain a precarious existence. In 1689 the Town Council of Linlithgow arraDged to despatch a weekly messenger to Edinburgh to obtain "ye Newes Letters, and Gazets," and to pay two-thirds of the cost—the remaining third having been undertaken by one of the burgesses, who proposed to establish a news-room. The arrangement proved unsatisfactory. After a year's trial, the enterprising burgess was relieved from his engagement, "considering he made little or no advantage by ye Newes Letters," and in the month of November following the Council resolved "to be at noe more expenses for newes letters in tyme to come." Till 1707 communication between Edinburgh and Glasgow was conducted by a foot post. A mounted post was afterwards employed.

The news of public and other events was carried into the rural districts by the smuggler, the chapman, and the gaberlunzie. Smuggling was conducted along the entire seaboard, and venders of contraband wares perambulated every portion of the country. Illicit distillation was prosecuted in the Highlands and outlying districts. Every Highlander conceived that the principles of charity and good neighbourhood required him to protect the smuggler and his goods from the grasp of the excise, while those who robbed the public revenues were liberal in rewarding their protectors with rum and whisky.

The chapman pursued a calling profitable to himself and most useful to society. He belonged to an ancient brotherhood ; for in a country where there were few towns, a scattered population, and limited means of conveyance, itinerant merchants met with early encouragement, and were readily hailed as an institution. In exchange for his commodities the chapman accepted poultry, eggs, bacon, meal, and potatoes, which he converted into coin on his return to commercial centres. He was prolific of news, could communicate the latest tidings from London, and detail every particular of the latest scandal at "the place" or "big house." He sold for a penny the latest ballad; and supplied the delighted children with halfpenny broadsheets, detailing the wonderful histories of Jack the Giant-Killer, Sir William Wallace, and Cock Robin. A more affluent class of chapmen proceeded abroad on horseback, carrying their merchandise on pack-saddles. These had transactions with the country gentry, to whom they gave long credit on accounts, in which the prices were doubled. Mr. Robert Heron t relates an anecdote of a chapman and a Highland laird, so illustrative of the manners of ancient Scotland that we owe no apology for reproducing it. A chapman proceeded from Perth to the residence of a Highland landowner with the view of craving him for payment of a debt. He arrived at the laird's residence in the evening, and was hospitably received and accommodated for the night. Looking from the window of his apartment next morning he saw an object, which seemed the body of a man, suspended on a tree. Inquiring of a servant what the spectacle meant, he received the reply that a chapman from the low country had come to crave the laird for a debt, and as the fellow had been insolent, the laird, in a fit of passion, had hung him up. This was enough. After breakfast the visitor expressed his obligations to the laird for his hospitality, and hastened off without referring to his claim. The object suspended was a lay figure, which the laird retained to alarm those whose claims he found it inconvenient to discharge. The Scottish chapman has migrated into the more promising region of the south, where he generally succeeds in realizing a competency and attaining position. Scottish hawkers, as they are termed, possess headquarters in the principal towns of England, from which they make periodical circuits into the country.

The poverty of the soil, the lack of trade, and the want of any well-defined system of relieving able-bodied persons out of employment, constituted a body of mendicants, who derived a precarious subsistence by begging. Andrew Fletcher, of Saltoun, represents the eleemosynary condition of the country in 1698 in the following terms:—"There are at this day in Scotland two hundred thousand people begging from door to door. These are not only no way advantageous, but a very grievous burden to so poor a country. And though the number of them be perhaps double to what it was formerly, by reason of this present great distress, yet in all times there have been about one hundred thousand of these vagabonds, who have lived without any regard or subjection either to the laws of the land, or even those of God and nature. No magistrate could ever discover or be informed which way one in a hundred of these wretches died, or that ever they were baptized. Many murders have been discovered among them; and they are not only a most unspeakable oppression to poor tenants (who, if they give not bread or some kind of provision to perhaps forty such villains in one day, are sure to be insulted by them), but they rob many poor people, who live in houses distant from any neighbourhood. In years of plenty, many thousands of them meet together in the mountains, where they feast and riot for many days; and at country weddings, markets, burials, and other the like occasions, they are to be seen, both men and women, perpetually drunk, cursing, blaspheming, and fighting together. These are such outrageous disorders that it were better for the nation they were sold to the galley's or West Indies, than that they should continue any longer to be a burden and a curse upon us. Now what I would propose upon the whole matter is, that for some present remedy of so great a mischief every man of a certain estate in this kingdom should be obliged to take a proportionate number of these vagabonds, and either employ them in hedging and ditching his grounds, or any other sort of work in town or country; or if they happen to be children and young, that he should educate them in the knowledge of some mechanical art. Hospitals and almshouses ought to be provided for the sick, lame, and decrepit, either by rectifying old foundations or instituting new. And for example and terror, three or four hundred of these villains that we call jockies might be presented by the Government to the State of Venice, to serve in the galleys against the common enemy of Christendom."

The impetuous character of the writer is sufficiently conspicuous in these observations. George Martin, of Claremont, Secretary of Archbishop Sharp, a contemporary of Mr. Fletcher, has described the jockies as descendants of the ancient minstrels, and as persons of reputable lives. He was informed, he writes, that "there were not above twelve of them in the whole isle."

The gaberlunzie, or ancient beggar, would seem to have been a decent sort of personage,—a good retailer of news, and one who might be entrusted with family secrets. Girded with a wallet, the first and fifth Jameses made incognito visits to their subjects, and performed those acts of gallantry which have been associated with their names. Two songs, entitled "The Gaberlunzie Man," and "We'll gang nae mair a-rovin'," were composed by James V. in celebration of his adventures as a mendicant. One kind of beggars was sanctioned by the Court. These were the King's bedesmen, or blue gowns. Their number was regulated by the age of the sovereign. They received annually a cloak of coarse blue cloth, a pewter badge, and a leathern purse, containing as many Scottish shillings or "pennies sterling" as the years of the monarch's life. Many of the older ballad-makers were of the mendicant order; they rewarded their more conspicuous benefactors by celebrating them in verse, Highland bards were supported in the halls of the chiefs, when the order had disappeared from Lowland districts. The last wandering minstrel of the Lowlandt was Edward Aitchison, the bard of Peebleshire. Ht died in 1856, and was interred in the rural churchyard of Tweedsmuir. A tombstone, erected to his memory, is inscribed with a poetical epitaph, composed by the late Mr. John Wilson, tenant at Billholm, son of the author of "The Isle of Palms."

Travellers of all ranks were regarded with veneration in those times, when locomotion was attended with much cost and many difficulties, and when few even of the yeomanry left their native district unless circumstances of unusual exigency compelled them. In 1763 one stage-coach proceeded monthly between Edinburgh and London, and the journey occupied between fifteen and eighteen days. Even at the commencement of the present century, the journey from Edinburgh to London could not be completed in less than a week; and as casualties were not infrequent, prudent persons executed a settlement of their affairs before setting out. When the laird returned from his English tour, his tenantry and retainers were eager to learn and to comment on every incident which had befallen him in his travels. Some landowners practised on the credulity of their neighbours by narrating adventures which had not happened. When the imposition was detected, the bards took vengeance. A Fife baronet had in this manner transgressed, and these stanzas, and others, were written at his cost:—

"Ken ye aught o' Sir John Malcolm?
Igo and ago.
If he's a wise, man I mistak him,
Irani, coram, dago.
"To hear him o' his travels talk;
Igo and ago;
To go to London's but a walk,
Iram, coram, dago.
"To see the leviathan skip;
Igo and ago,
And wi' his tail ding owre a ship,
Iram, coram, dago."

Since the commencement of the present century, Scottish civilization has marched onward with a steady pace. The native rudeness of the peasantry has been somewhat subdued. The licentious habits of the upper and middle classes have decreased. Scotsmen marry, obtain baptism for their children, and carry their dead to burial, without expending their substance on ardent spirits, and causing their neighbours to become intoxicated. Manly exercises are encouraged. There are village libraries and reading-rooms, mechanics' institutions, schools of art, and Christian associations. At the Saturday evening concerts, songs elevating, alike in sentiment and music, are sung and enjoyed. 

The sanitary condition of towns and hamlets has been improved. Every hind possesses a house of two or more apartments, and the internal arrangements are convenient. Cottage gardening societies have stimulated the cultivation of flowers and vegetables. The thistle is cut down without compunction, and the rose is cultivated in its place. National jealousies have departed.

In one respect only does the distinctive character of the Scotsman remain unchanged. He retains the enterprising spirit of his sires. He passes into all lands, and engages in stupendous undertakings. No impediment can check his progress or diminish his aspirations. Prompt in device and vigorous in action, he meets difficulties with patience, and overcomes them by energy of purpose. His ardour renders him conspicuous, and his indomitable resolution and unbending integrity secure him confidence and friendship.

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