Sayfadaki görseller
PDF
ePub

turned out, and took leave of their flocks, in one day. Among that number were Principal Gillespie, Messrs. Robert M'Ward, John Carstairs, and Ralph Rogers of Glasgow, Mr. Donald Cargill of the Barony Parish, and nine others, all in the Presbytery of Glasgow. The only Clergymen in that Presbytery who conformed, were Messrs. Hugh Blair, and George Young of Glasgow, and Mr. Gabriel Cunningham of Kilsyth.

The ejected Clergymen were of pious and worthy characters, many of them learned and able Ministers of the Gospel, all of them dear to their people; and among the number, there were many who had suffered under the Usurper for their loyalty to the King.

The Assembly having met in a Church in Edinburgh, Lieutenant-Colonel Cotterell surrounded it with horse and foot soldiers, and told the Members that his orders were to dissolve the Meeting; on this they protested, and rose up and followed him, while he led them more than a mile out of the Town, and interdicted them from meeting again in any place above three in number. Thus, says one of its most eminent Members, our General Assembly, the glorious strength of our Church upon earth, is by the English soldiery crushed and trod under foot, without the least provocation from us at this time, either in word or deed.

The Parliament of England, at this period, gave commission to the English Judges and Sequestrators in Scotland, to place and remove Ministers of Churches and Professors of Universities, as they should see cause. The exercise of this arbitrary power gave the Presbyterians great concern.

At this period, the whole country seems to have been in a miserable situation; Baillie emphatically says, "our nobility are ruined; one Duke of Hamilton executed, another slain, their estates forfeited, one part gifted to English soldiers, what remains will not pay the debt, little left to the heritrix; Huntly executed, his sons all dead except the youngest, there is more debt on the house than the land can pay; Lennox living as a E

VOL. II.

man buried in the house of Cobham; Douglas and his son Angus are quiet men, of no respect; Argyle almost drowned in debt, in friendship with the English, but in hatred with his country; Chancellor Loudon lives like an outlaw about Athol, his lands compromised for debt; under general disgrace, Marishal, Rothes, Eglinton and his three sons, Crawfurd, Lauderdale, and other persons detained in England, and their lands either forfeited or sequestrated, or gifted to the English soldiers; Balmerino died suddenly, and his son cannot keep the causeway, being drowned in debt; our Criminal and Civil Courts are all in the hands of the English; the Commissary and Sheriff Courts in the hands of the soldiers; strong garrisons are placed at Leith, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Ayr, Dumfries, Stirling, Linlithgow, Perth, Dundee, Bruntisland, Dunotter, Aberdeen, Inverness, Inverary, Dunstaffnage, &c.; and our countrymen who were taken prisoners at Worcester, are kidnapped and transported for profit."

Supplementary to this melancholy picture, disputes arose in the Synod of Glasgow, between the Presbyterians and Independents, by which a division took place, which prevented the communion from being dispensed in Glasgow for a number of years.

Under such circumstances, the adherence of the Clergy to the Covenant, and the Solemn League and Covenant*,

*The English Parliament being in great distress, in 1643, became desirous to form a confederacy with the Scotish nation. The person they principally trusted to, on this occasion, was Sir Harry Vane, who, in eloquence, address, and capacity, as well as in art and dissimulation, was not even surpassed by any one in that age so famous for active talents. By his persuasions, was framed at Edinburgh, the Solemn League and Covenant, which effaced all former protestations and vows taken in either kingdom, and maintained its credit and authority for a long period. In this Covenant, the subscribers, besides engaging mutually to defend each other against all opponents, bound themselves to endeavour, without respect of persons, the extirpation of Popery and Prelacy; superstition, heresy, and profaneness; to maintain the rights and privileges of Parliaments, together with the King's authority; and to discover, and bring to justice, all incendiaries

and their aversion to Episcopacy, were considered as crimes meriting all the punishment they received. They were deprived not only of their livings in time to come, but of the last year's stipend, and compelled in the midst of winter, with sorrowful hearts and empty pockets, to wander many miles with their numerous and small families; they were deposed without the smallest shadow of legal procedure, and without being heard upon the reasons of their non-conformation.

An Act of Parliament was passed in 1662, imposing fines on all the nobility, gentry, merchants, and monied men of Scotland, to whom the Bill of Indemnity, which had been then granted, did not extend; the reason assigned for these exactions was, that relief might be given to the King's good subjects who suffered in the late troubles. Nine hundred persons in all were fined in the sum of 1,017,3531. 6s. 8d. Scots; of these, 439 persons were connected with the See of Glasgow, and were fined in 350,490l. Scots. On 2d November 1663, Archbishop Fairfowl died at Edinburgh, and was buried with great solemnity in the Abbey Church of Holyrood-House; he was succeeded by Bishop Burnet, from Aberdeen. A great part of the Churches were now filled with young men from the north, who had not completed their studies, which caused a gentleman in Aberdeenshire to exclaim, "If the Bishops gang on at this rate, we'll no hae a young man in the kintra to herd our cows." The severe laws which were enforced against Conventicles, and the cruelties exercised upon those who were supposed to frequent those meetings, or who absented themselves from Church, and other acts of violence committed against the people, irritated them to such a degree, that they rose in arms in support of the covenant. At one period, the insur

and malignants; they bound themselves, also, to preserve the Reformed Religion established in the Church of Scotland. But, by the artifice of Vane, no declaration more explicit was made, with regard to England and Ireland, than that these kingdoms should be reformed according to the Word of God, and the example of the purest Churches.

gents amounted to 2000, but afterwards diminished to 800. Having advanced to Dunbar, near Edinburgh, they were attacked by the King's forces, upon 28th November 1666, when 40 men were killed, and 130 taken prisoners.

The Prelates took care to load the whole body of the Presbyterians as concerned in the rising, and represented those in arms as rebels and enemies to the Government; measures were therefore taken to prevent escape; those who fled from the field of battle were most cruelly murdered by the country people, and the severest vengeance was taken on the prisoners; some were hanged in Edinburgh, and others in Glasgow; at the latter place, the barbarous practice of beating drums on the scaffold was made use of, in order to prevent the devoted victims from addressing the populace, or expressing their complaints.

In 1667, at the conclusion of the Dutch war, the treasury being greatly exhausted, the King, to the great mortification of the Bishops, disbanded a considerable part of the Scotish army. Alexander Burnet, Archbishop of Glasgow, and Privy Counsellor, said, on that occasion, "Now that the army is to be disbanded, the Gospel will go out of my Diocese *."

*The English Parliament met on the 4th of February 1673. They began with repressing some of the King's extraordinary stretches of prerogative, and taking means for uniformity in religious matters. A law was passed, entitled, "The Test Act," imposing an oath on all who should enjoy any public benefice. Besides taking the oaths of allegiance and the King's supremacy, they were obliged to receive the sacrament once a-year in the Established Church, and to abjure all belief in the doctrine of transubstantiation. As the Dissenters had seconded the efforts of the Commons, against the King's declaration of indulgence to Roman Catholics, a Bill was passed for their ease and relief; which, however, went with difficulty through the House of Peers.

In 1678, the Parliament determined to check the growth of Popery, by striking at the root of the evil, and, therefore, brought in a Bill for the total exclusion of the Duke of York from the Crown of England and Ireland; which passed the Lower House by a majority of seventy-nine. They next voted the King's stand

* The King's brother, who was a Papist.

The Magistrates of Glasgow were fined 100l. for allowing Mr. Andrew Martin and others to keep a Conventicle; and Mr. James Dunlop of Househill was summoned before the Privy Council, in 1676, and, on the information of Archbishop Burnet, fined 1000 merks for neglect of his duty as Baillie Depute of the Regality of Glasgow, in allowing Conventicles to be held at Partick, Woodside, &c. and was declared incapable of holding his office, although he was not accused of maleadministration. On the 2d of May, this year, Colonel Brothwick, commanding the forces at Glasgow, received orders to place guards at the City-gates on the Sabbath mornings, so as to prevent people from going to Conventicles in the fields.

The Council being now determined to crush the Conventicles, issued out an order on 1st of November, that the nearest Highlanders, viz. the nobility and gentry, with their vassals and tenants, should meet at Stirling, when they would receive arms and ammunition. At this period, a number of the heritors of the Counties of Ayr and Renfrew, met at Irvine, and resolved to inform the Council, that it was not in the compass of their power to suppress Conventicles. When this information was communicated, the Council prepared a Bond, to be subscribed by noblemen, heritors, and others, by which they were to bind and oblige themselves, that they, their wives, families, and servants, should not be present at any Conventicle, and that their tenants and cotters, and their wives, &c.

ing army and guards to be illegal. They proceeded to establish limits to the King's power of imprisoning delinquents at will. It was at this period that the celebrated Statute, called "The Habeas Corpus Act," passed, which confirms the subject in an absolute security from oppressive power. These inestimable benefits, however, were not procured with unanimity, for the party-spirit of political faction had well nigh reached its height. Whig and Tory were now first used as terms of reproach. The Whigs were so denominated from a cant name given to the sour Presbyterian Conventiclers. (Whig being milk turned sour.) The Tories were denominated from the Irish banditti, so called, whose usual manner of bidding people deliver, was by the Irish word "Toree," or "Give me,"

« ÖncekiDevam »