Tales of a Grandfather, by Walter Scott

Chapter 51

WE have said before, that Lauderdale, now the Chief Minister for Scotland, had not originally approved of the violent measures taken with the nonconformists, and had even recommended a more lenient mode of proceeding, by granting a toleration, or Indulgence, as it was called, for the free exercise of the Presbyterian religion. But being too impatient to wait the issue of his own experiment, and fearful of being represented as lukewarm in the King’s service, he at length imitated and even exceeded Middleton, in his extreme severities against the nonconformists.

The Duke of Lauderdale, for to that rank he was raised when the government was chiefly in trusted to him, married Lady Dysart, a woman of considerable talent, but of inordinate ambition, boundless expense, and the most unscrupulous rapacity.

Her influence over her husband was extreme, and, unhappily, was of a kind which encouraged him in his greatest errors. In order to supply her extravagance, he had recourse to the public fines for nonconformity, church penalties, and so forth, prosecutions for which, with the other violent proceedings we have noticed, were pushed on to such an extremity as to induce a general opinion, that Lauderdale really meant to drive the people of Scotland to a rebellion, in order that he himself might profit by the confiscations which must follow on its being subdued.1 The Scottish nobility and gentry were too wise to be caught in this snare; but although they expressed the utmost loyalty to the King, yet many, with the Duke of Hamilton, the premier peer of Scotland, at their head, remonstrated against courses which, while they beggared the tenantry, impoverished the gentry and ruined their estates. By way of answer to their expostulations, the western land-holders were required to enter into bonds, under the same penalties which were incurred by those who were actual delinquents, that neither they nor their families, nor their vassals, tenants, or other persons residing on their property, should withdraw from church, attend conventicles, or relieve inter-communed persons. The gentry refused to execute these bonds. They admitted that conventicles were become very frequent, and expressed their willingness to assist the officers of the law in suppressing them; but, as they could exercise no forcible control over their tenants and servants, they declined to render themselves responsible for their conformity. Finally, they recommended a general indulgence, as the only measure which promised the restoration of tranquillity.

Both parties, at that unhappy period (1678), were in the habit of imputing their enemies’ measures to the suggestions of Satan; but that adopted by Lauderdale, upon the western gentlemen’s refusing the bond,1 had really some appearance of being composed under the absolute dictation of an evil spirit. He determined to treat the whole west country as if in a state of actual revolt. He caused not only a body of the guards and militia, with field artillery, to march into the devoted districts, but invited, for the same purpose, from the Highland mountains, the clans by which they were inhabited. These wild mountaineers descended under their different chiefs, speaking an unknown language, and displaying to the inhabitants of the Lowlands, their strange attire, obsolete arms, and singular manners. The clans were surprised in their turn. They had come out expecting to right, when, to their astonishment, they found an innocent, peaceful, and unresisting country, in which they were to enjoy free quarters, and full license for plunder. It may be supposed, that such an invitation to men, to whom marauding habits were natural, offered opportunities not to be lost, and accordingly the western counties long had occasion to lament the inroad of the Highland Host. A committee of the Privy Council, most of whom were themselves chiefs of clans, or commanders in the army, attended to secure the submission of the gentry, and enforce the bonds. But the noblemen and gentry continuing obstinate in their refusal to come under obligations which they had no means of fulfilling, the Privy Council issued orders to disarm the whole inhabitants of the country, taking even the gentlemen’s swords, riding horses, and furniture, and proceeding with such extreme rigour, that the Earl of Cassilis, among others, prayed they would either afford him the protection of soldiers, or return him some of his arms to defend his household, since otherwise he must be subject to the insolence and outrages of the most paltry of the rabble.

To supply the place of the bonds, which were subscribed by few or none, this unhappy Privy Council fell upon a plan, by a new decree, of a nature equally oppressive. There was, and is, a writ in Scotland, called lawburrows, by which a man who is afraid of violence from his neighbour, upon making oath to the circumstances affording ground for such apprehension, may have the party bound over to keep the peace, under security. Of this useful law, a most oppressive application was now made. The King was made to apply for a lawburrows throughout a certain district of his dominions, against all the gentlemen who had refused to sign the bond; and thus an attempt was made to extort security from every man so situated, as one of whom the King had a natural right to entertain well-founded apprehensions!

These extraordinary provisions of law seem to have driven, not the Presbyterians alone, but the whole country of the west, into absolute despair.

No supplication or remonstrance had the least effect on the impenetrable Lauderdale. When he was told that the oppression of the Highlanders and of the soldiery would totally interrupt the produce of agriculture, he replied, “ it were butter that the west bore nothing but windle-straws and sandy-laverocks,’ than that it should bear rebels to the King.” In their despair, the suffering parties determined to lay their complaints against the Minister before the King in person. With this purpose, not less than fourteen peers, and fifteen gentlemen, of whom many were threatened with writs of lawburrows, repaired to London, to lay their complaints at the foot of the throne. This journey was taken in spite of an arbitrary order, by which the Scottish nobility had been forbidden, in the King’s name, either to approach the King’s person, or to leave their own kingdom; as if it had been the purpose to chain them to the stake, like baited bears, without the power of applying for redress, or escaping from the general misery.

Lauderdale had so much interest at court, as to support himself against this accusation, by representing to the King that it was his object to maintain a large army in Scotland, to afford assistance when his Majesty should see it time to extend his authority in England. He retained his place, therefore, and the supplicants were sent from court in disgrace.1 But their mission had produced some beneficial effects, for the measures concerning the lawburrows and the enforced bonds were withdrawn, and orders given for removing the Highlanders from the west countries, and disbanding the militia.

When the Highlanders went back to their hills, which was in February 1678, they appeared as if returning from the sack of some besieged town. They carried with them plate, merchant-goods, webs of linen and of cloth, quantities of wearing apparel, and household furniture, and a good number of horses to bear their plunder. It is, however, remarkable, and to the credit of this people, that they are not charged with any cruelty during three months’ residence at free-quarters, although they were greedy of spoil, and rapacious in extorting money. Indeed, it seems probable, that, after all, the wild Highlanders had proved gentler than was expected, or wished, by those who employed them.

An event now occurred, one of the most remarkable of the time, which had a great effect upon public affairs, and the general feeling of the nation. This was the murder of James Sharpe, Archbishop of St Andrews, and Primate of Scotland. This person, you must remember, having been the agent of the Presbyterians at the time of the Restoration, had, as was generally thought, betrayed his constituents; at least he had certainly changed his principles, and accepted the highest office in the new Episcopal establishment. It may be well supposed that a person so much hated as he was, from his desertion of the old cause, and violence in the new, was the object of general hostility, and that amongst a sect so enthusiastic as the nonconformists, some one should be found to exercise judgment upon him -in other words, to take his life.

The avenger, who first conceived himself called to this task, was one Mitchell, a fanatical preacher, of moderate talents and a heated imagination. He fired a pistol, loaded with three bullets, into the coach of the Archbishop, and missing the object of his aim, broke the arm of Honeyman, Bishop of the Orkneys, who sat with Sharpe in the carriage, of which wound he never entirely recovered, though he lingered for some years. The assassin escaped during the confusion. This was in 1668, and in 1674 the Archbishop again observed a man who seemed to watch him, and whose face was imprinted upon his mind. The alarm was given, and Mitcheil was seized. Being closely examined by the Lords of the Privy Council, he at first absolutely denied the act charged against him. But to the Chancellor he confessed in private-having at first received a solemn promise that his life should be safe-that he had fired the shot which wounded the Bishop of Orkney. After this compromise, the assassin’s trial was put off from time to time, from the determined desire to take the life which had been promised to him. In order to find matter against Mitchell, he was examined concerning his accession to the insurrection of Pentland; and as he refused to confess any thing which should make against himself, he was appointed to undergo the torture of the boot.

He behaved with great courage when the frightful apparatus was produced, and not knowing, as he said, that he could escape such torture with life, declared that he forgave from his heart those at whose command it was to be inflicted, the men appointed to be the agents of their cruelty, and those who satiated their malevolence by looking on as spectators. When the executioner demanded which leg should be enclosed in the dreadful boot, the prisoner, with the same confidence, stretched out his right leg, saying, “ take the best; I willingly bestow it in this cause.” He endured nine blows of the mallet with the utmost firmness, each more severely crushing the limb. At the ninth blow he fainted, and was remanded to prison. After this he was sent to the Bass, a desolate islet, or rather rock, in the Frith of Forth, where was a strong castle then occupied as a state prison.

On the 7th January, 1678, ten years after the deed was committed, and four years after he was made prisoner, Mitchell was finally brought to his trial; and while his own confession was produced against him as evidence, he was not allowed to plead the promise of life upon which he had been induced to make the fatal avowal. It is shameful to be obliged to add, that the Duke of Lauderdale would not permit the records of the Privy Council to be produced, and that some of the privy counsellors swore, that no assurance of life had been granted, although it had been accurately entered, and is now to be seen on the record. The unfortunate man was therefore condemned. Lauderdale, it is said, would have saved his life; but the Archbishop demanding his execution as necessary to guard the lives of privy counsellors from such attempts in future, the Duke gave up the cause with a profane and brutal jest, (18th Jan. 1678) and the man was executed, with more disgrace to his judges than to himself the consideration of his guilt being lost in the infamous manoeuvres used in bringing him to punishment.

I have already said, that in the commencement of Lauderdale’s administration, Archbishop Sharpe was removed from public affairs. But this did not last long, as the Duke found that he could not maintain his interest at court without the support of the Episcopal party. The primate’s violence of disposition was supposed to have greatly influenced the whole of Lauderdale’s latter government. But in Fife, where he had his archiepiscopal residence, it was most severely felt; and as the nonconformists of that county were fierce and enthusiastic in proportion to the extremity of persecution which they underwent, there was soon found a band among them who sent abroad an anonymous placard, threatening that any person who might be accessary to the troubles inflicted upon the Whigs in that county, should be suitably punished by a party strong enough to set resistance at defiance.

The chief person among these desperate men was David Hackston of Rathillet, a gentleman of family and fortune. He had been a free liver in his youth, but latterly had adopted strong and enthusiastic views of religion, which led him into the extreme opinions entertained by the fiercest of the Whig party.1 John Balfour of Kinloch, called Burley, the brother-in-law of Hackston, is described, by a covenanting author, as a little man of stern aspect, and squint-eyed; none of the most religious,1 but very willing to engage in any battles or quarrels which his comrades found it necessary to sustain. He was at this time in danger from the law, on account of a late affray, in which he had severely wounded one of the life-guards. It is alleged that both these persons had private enmity at Archbishop Sharpe. Balfour had been his factor in the management of some property, and had failed to give account of the money he had received, and Hackston, being bail for his brother-in-law, was thrown into jail till the debt was made good. The remainder of the band were either small proprietors of land, or portioners, as they are called in Scotland, or mechanics, such as weavers and the like.

These enthusiasts, to the number of nine, were out, and in arms, on 3d May, 1679, with the purpose of assaulting (in the terms of their proclamation) one Carmichael, who acted as a commissioner for receiving the fines of the nonconformists. This person had indeed been in the fields hunting that morning, but chancing to hear that there was such a party looking” out for him, he left his sport. and went home.

When Rathillet and his friends were about to disperse, in sullen disappointment, the wife of a farmer at Baldinny sent a lad to tell them, that the Archbishop’s coach was upon the road returning from Ceres towards St Andrews. The conspirators were in that mood when our own wishes and thoughts, strongly fostered and cherished, are apt to seem to us like inspiration from above — Balfour, or Burley, affirmed he had felt a preternatural impulse forcing him to return to Fife, when it was his purpose to have gone to the Highlands, and that on going to prayers, he had been confirmed by the Scripture text, “ Go, have not I sent thee? “ Russell, another of the party, also. affirmed he had been long impressed with the idea that some great enemy to the church was to be cut off, and spoke of some text about Nero, which assuredly does not exist in Scripture.

They all agreed, in short, that the opportunity offered was the work of Heaven; that they should not draw back, but go on; and that, instead of the inferior agent, for whom they had been seeking in vain, it was their duty to cut off the prime source of the persecution, whom heaven had delivered into their hands. This being determined upon, the band chose Hackston for their leader; but he declined the office, alleging, that the known quarrel betwixt him and the Archbishop would mar the glory of the action, and cause it to be imputed to private revenge. But he added, with nice distinction, that he would remain with them, and would not interfere to prevent what they felt themselves called upon to do. Upon this Balfour said, “ Gentlemen, follow me.”

They then set off at speed in pursuit of the carriage, which was driving along a desolate heath, about three or four miles from St Andrews, called Magus–Moor.’ Fleming and Russell, two of the assassins, rode into a farm-yard, and demanded of the tenant, If the equipage on the road before them was the Archbishop’s coach? Guessing their purpose, he was too much frightened to answer; but one of the female servants came out and assured them with much appearance of joy, that they were on the right scent. The whole party then threw away their cloaks, and pursued as fast as they could gallop, firing their carabines on the carriage, and crying out “ Judas, be taken!” The coachman drove rapidly, on seeing they were pursued by armed men; but a heavy coach on a rugged road could not outstrip horsemen. The servants who attended the carriage offered some resistance, but were dismounted and disarmed by the pursuers. Having come up with the carriage, they stopped it by cutting the traces, and wounding the postilion; and then fired a volley of balls into the coach, where the archbishop was seated with his daughter. This proving ineffectual, they commanded the prelate to come forth, and prepare for death, judgment, and eternity. The old man came out of the coach, and creeping on his knees towards Hackston, said, “ I know you are a gentleman-you will protect me?” “ I will never lay a hand upon you,” said Hackston, turning away from the suppliant.

One man of the party, touched with some compassion, said, “ Spare his grey hairs.”

But the rest of the assassins were unmoved. One or two pistols were discharged at the prostrate Archbishop without effect; when conceiving, according to their superstitious notion, that their victim was possessed of a charm against gun-shot, they drew their swords, and killed him with many wounds, dashing even his skull to pieces, and scooping out his brains. The lady,1 who made vain attempts to throw herself between her father and the swords of the assassins, received one or two wounds in the scuffle. They rifled the coach of such arms and papers as it contained. They found some trinkets, which they conceived were magical; and also, as they pretended, a bee in a box, which they concluded was a familiar spirit.

Such was the progress and termination of a violent and wicked deed, committed by blinded and desperate men. It brought much scandal on the Presbyterians, though unjustly; for the moderate persons of that persuasion, comprehending the most numerous, and by far the most respectable of the body, disowned so cruel an action, although they might be at the same time of opinion, that the Archbishop, who had been the cause of violent death to many, merited some such termination to his own existence. He had some virtues, being learned, temperate, and living a life becoming his station ; but his illiberal and intolerant principles, and the violences which he committed to enforce them, were the cause of great distress to Scotland, and of his own premature and bloody end.

The Scottish Government, which the Archbishop’s death had alarmed and irritated in the highest degree, used the utmost exertions to apprehend his murderers; and failing that, to disperse and subdue, by an extremity of violence greater than what had been hitherto employed, every assembly of armed Covenanters. All attendance upon field-conventicles was declared treason; new troops were raised, and the strictest orders sent to the commanding officers to act against nonconformists with the utmost rigour. On the other hand, the intercommuned persons, now grown desperate, assembled in more numerous and better armed parties, and many of them showed a general purpose of defiance and rebellion against the King’s authority, which the moderate party continued to acknowledge, as being that of the supreme civil magistrate. These circumstances soon led to a crisis.

Several of the murderers of the Archbishop of Saint Andrews found their way, through great dangers, to the west of Scotland; and their own interest, doubtless, induced them to use such influence as they had acquired among the zealots of their sect by their late action, to bring matters to extremity.

Hackston, Balfour, and others, seem to have held council with Donald Cargill, one of the roost noted of the preachers at conventicles, and particularly with Robert Hamilton, brother to the Laird of Prestonfield; in consequence of which they appeared at the head of eighty horse, in the little burgh of Rutherglen, on the 29th of May, appointed to be held as a holiday, as the anniversary of the Restoration of Charles II. They quenched the bonfires, which had been kindled on account of this solemnity, and, drawing up in order at the market-cross, after prayer, and singing part of a psalm, they formally entered their protest, or testimony, as they called it, against the acts abolishing Presbytery, and establishing Episcopacy, together with the other defections of the time, all of which they renounced and disclaimed. After this bravado, they affixed a copy of their testimony to the cross, closed their meeting with prayer, and then evacuated the town at their leisure, Hamilton harbouring the Fife gentlemen, that is, those who had killed the Archbishop.

We have already mentioned John Graham of Claverhouse as a distinguished officer, who had been singularly active against the nonconformists. He was now lying in garrison at Glasgow, and on the first of June, drew out his own troop of dragoons, with such other cavalry as he could hastily add to it, and set off in quest of the insurgents who had offered such a public affront to Government.

In the town of Hamilton he made prisoner John King, a preacher, and with him seventeen countrymen who were attending on his ministry; and hearing of a larger assembly of insurgents who were at Loudon-hill, a short distance off, he pushed forward to that place. Here Claverhouse was opposed by a large body in point of numbers, but

very indifferently armed, though there were about fifty horse tolerably appointed, as many infantry with guns, and a number of men armed with scythes, forks, pikes, and halberds. The immediate spot on which the parties met was called Drumclog. It is a boggy piece of ground, unfit for the acting of cavalry, and a broad drain, or ditch, seems also to have given the insurgents considerable advantage. A short but warm engagement ensued, during which Balfour, and William Cleland, to be afterwards mentioned, crossed the ditch boldly, and outflanking the dragoons, compelled them to fly. About thirty of the defeated party were slain, or died of their wounds. An officer of the name of Graham, a kinsman of Claverhouse, was among the slain. His body, mistaken, it is reported, for that of his namesake, was pitifully mangled. Claverhouse’s own horse was laid open by the blow of a scythe, and was scarcely able to bear him off the field of battle. As he passed the place where he [51–241] had left his prisoners, King, the preacher, when he beheld his captor in this pitiful plight, hollo’d out to him to stay and take the afternoon sermon. Some Royalist prisoners were taken, to whom quarter was given, and they were dismissed. This clemency on the part of his soldiers, greatly disgusted Mr Hamilton, who now assumed the command of the insurgents. To show a good example, he killed one of the defenceless captives with his own hand, lenity being, according to his exaggerated ideas, the setting free the brats of Babel, after they had been delivered into their hands, that they might dash them to the stones. The insurgents lost only five or six men; one of whom, named Dingwall, had assisted at the murder of the Archbishop.

After having gained this victory, the insurgents resolved to keep the field, and take such future fortune as Heaven should send them. They marched to Hamilton after the action, and the next day, strongly reinforced by the numbers which joined them on all sides, they proceeded to attack the town of Glasgow.

The city was defended by Lord Ross and Claverhouse, with a small but regular force. The insurgents penetrated into the town from two points, one column advancing up the Gallowgate, the other entering by the College and the Wynd Head. But Claverhouse, who commanded the King’s troops, had formed a barricade about the cross, Townhouse, and Tolbooth, so that the Whigs, in marching to the attack, were received with a fire which they could not sustain, from an enemy who lay [51–242] sheltered and in safety.1 But although they were beaten fur the present, the numbers of the insurgents begun to increase so much, that Ross and Claverhouse judged it necessary to evacuate Glasgow, and march eastward, leaving all the west of Scotland at the mercy of the rebels, whose numbers speedily amounted to five or six thousand men. There were among them, however, very few gentlemen, or persons of influence, whose presence might have prevented them from falling into the state of disunion to which, owing to the following circumstances, they were speedily reduced. They erected a huge tall gallows in the centre of their camp for the execution of such enemies as they should make prisoners, and hanged upon it at least one citizen of Glasgow, who had joined in the defence of the town against their former attack. But this vindictive mode of proceeding did not meet with general approbation in their army.

The discord was now at its height between the moderate Presbyterians, who were willing to own the King’s government, under the condition of obtaining [51–243] freedom of conscience; and the more hot-headed and furious partisans, who would entertain no friendship or fellowship with those who owned and supported prelacy, and who held the acknowledging the Government, or the listening to the preachers who ministered by their indulgence or connivance, as a foul compromising of the cause of Presbytery, and professed it their object to accomplish a complete revolution in Church and State, and render the kirk as triumphant as it had been in 1640.

The preachers likewise differed amongst themselves. Mr John Welsh, much famed for his zeal for Presbytery, together with Mr David Hume, headed the Moderate, or, as it was called by their opponents, the Erastian party; whilst Donald Cargill, Thomas Douglass, and John King, espoused with all ardour the more extravagant purposes, which nothing short of a miracle could have enabled them to accomplish. These champions of the two parties preached against each other from the pulpit, harangued and voted on different sides in councils of war, and had not the sense to agree, or even to adjourn their disputes, when they heard that the forces of both England and Scotland were collecting to march against their undisciplined army, ill-provided as it was with arms, and at variance concerning the causes which had brought them into the field.

While the insurgents were thus quarrelling among themselves and incapable of taking any care of their common cause, the Privy Council [51–244] ordered out the militia, and summoned to arms the vassals of the Crown; many of whom, being inclined to Presbytery, came forth with no small reluctance. The Highland chiefs who lay near the scene of action, were also ordered to attend the King’s host with their followers.

But when the news of the insurrection reached London, Charles II; employing for a season his own good judgment, which he too often yielded to the management of others, seems to have formed an idea of conciliating the rebels, as well as of subduing them. For this purpose, he sent to Scotland, as commander-inchief, his natural son, James, Duke of Monmouth, at the head of a large body of the royal guards. This young nobleman was the King’s favourite, both from the extreme beauty of his person, and the amiableness of his disposition. Charles had taken care of his fortune, by uniting him with the heiress of the great family of Buccleuch, whose large estates are still enjoyed by their descendants. Wealthy, popular, and his father’s favourite, the Duke of Monmouth had been encouraged to oppose his own court influence to that of the King’s brother, the Duke of York; and as the latter had declared himself a Roman Catholic, so Monmouth, to mark the distinction betwixt them, was supposed to be favourable to Presbyterians, as well as dissenters of any sect, and was popularly called the Protestant Duke. It was naturally supposed that, having such inclinations, he was intrusted with some powers favourable to the insurgents.

[51–245] These unfortunate persons having spent a great deal of time in debating on church polemics, lost sight of the necessity of disciplining their army, or supplying it with provisions, and were still lying in the vicinity of the town of Hamilton, while numbers, despairing of their success, were every day deserting them. On the 21st of June, they were alarmed by the intelligence that the Duke of Monmouth was advancing at the head of a well-disciplined army. This did not recall them to their senses; they held a council, indeed, but it was only to engage in a furious debate, which lasted until Rathillet told them his sword was drawn, as well against those who accepted the Indulgence, as against the curates, and withdrew from the council after this defiance, followed by those who professed his principles.

The moderate party, thus left to themselves, drew up a supplication to the Duke of Monmouth, and after describing their intolerable grievances, declared that they were willing to submit all controversies to a free Parliament, and a free assembly of the Church.

The Duke, in reply, expressed compassion for their condition, and a wish to alleviate it by his intercession with the King, but declared, they must in the interim lay down their arms. When they received this message, the insurgent troops were in the greatest disorder, the violent party having chosen this unfortunate moment for cashiering the officers whom they had formerly appointed, and nominating others who had no taint of Erastianism or [51–246] Malignity; in other words, no disposition to acknowledge any allegiance to the King, or submission to the civil power. While they were thus employed, the troops of Monmouth appeared in sight.

The insurgents were well posted for defence. They had in front the Clyde, a deep river, not easily fordable, and only to be crossed by Bothwell bridge, which gives name to the battle.(22nd June, 1679) This is (or rather was, for though it still exists, it is now much altered) a high, steep, and narrow bridge, having a portal, or gateway, in the centre, which the insurgents had shut and barricaded. About three hundred men were stationed to defend this important pass, under Rathillet, Balfour, and others. They behaved well, and made a stout defence, till the soldiers of Monmouth forced the pass at the point of the bayonet. The insurgents then gave way, and the royal army advanced towards the main body, who, according to the historian Burnet, seem neither to have had the grace to submit, the courage to fight, nor the sense to run away. They stood a few minutes in doubt and confusion, their native courage and enthusiasm frozen by the sense of discord amongst themselves, and the sudden approach of an army superior in discipline. At length, as the artillery began to play upon them, and the horse and Highlanders were about to charge, they gave way without resistance, and dispersed like a flock of sheep.

The gentle-tempered Duke of Monmouth gave strict orders to afford quarter to all who asked it, [51–247] and to make prisoners, but spare lives. Considerable slaughter, it is said, took place, notwithstanding his orders, partly owing to the unrelenting temper of Claverhouse, who was burning to obtain vengeance for the defeat of Drumclog, and the death of his kinsman, who was slain there,1 and partly to the fury of the English soldiers and the Scottish Highlanders, who distinguished themselves by their cruelty.

Four hundred men were killed at the battle of Bothwell bridge, and about twelve hundred made prisoners. These last were marched to Edinburgh, and imprisoned in the Greyfriars’ churchyard, like cattle in a pen-fold, while several ministers and others were selected for execution. The rest, after long confinement there, and without any shelter save two or three miserable sheds, and such as they found in the tombs, were dismissed, upon giving bonds for conformity in future; the more obstinate were sent as slaves to the plantations. Many of the last were lost at sea. And yet, notwithstanding these disasters, the more remote consequences of the battle of Bothwell bridge were even more calamitous than those which were direct and immediate.


Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 12:00