« ForrigeFortsæt »
SOME PARTICULAR MATTERS OF FACT
RELATING TO THE
ADMINISTRATION OF AFFAIRS IN SCOTLAND,
UNDER THE DUKE OF LAUDERDALE.
Polio, containing one sheet.
Humbly offered to your Majesty's Consideration, in Obedience to your
duke of Lauderdale did grosly misrepresent to your
majesty the condition of the western countries, as if they had been in a state of rebellion, though there had never been any opposition made to your majesty's authority, nor any resistance offered to your forces, nor to the execution of the laws. But he, purposing to abuse your majesty, that so he might carry on his sinister designs by your authority, advised your majesty to raise an army against your peaceable subjects; at least, did frame a letter, which he sent to your majesty to be signed by your royal hand, to that effect ; which being sent down to your council, orders were thereupon given out for raising an army of eight or nine-thousand men, the greatest part whereof were Highlanders; and, notwithstanding that, to avert this threatening, the nobility and gentry of that country did send to Edinburgh, and, for the security of the peace, did offer to engage, that whatsoever should be sent to put the laws in execution, should meet with no affront, and that they would become hostages for their safety: yet this army was marched and led into a peaceable country, and did take free quarters, according to their commissions; and, in most places, levied great sums of money, under the notion of dry quarters
, and did plunder and rob your subjects ; of which no redress could be obtained, though complaints were frequently made; all which were expresly contrary to the laws of the kingdom.
II. In their quarters, it was apparent, that regard was only bad to the duke's private animosities; for the greatest part of those places, that were most quartered on and destroyed, had not been guilty of any of the field-conventicles complained of; and many of the places, that were most guilty, were spared upon private considerations.
III. The subjects, at that time, were required to subscribe an exorbitant and illegal bond, which was impossible to be performed
by them: that they, their wives and children, and servants, should live orderly according to law, not go to conventicles, nor entertain vagrant preachers, with several other particulars; by which bond, those that signed it were made liable for every man's fault, that lived upon their ground.
IV. Your majesty's subjects were charged with laborrows, de. nounced rebels, and captions were issued out for seizing their persons, upon their refusing to sign the aforesaid bond; and the no bility and gentry there, who have ever been faithful to your majesty, and had appeared in arms for suppressing the last rebellion, were disarmed upon oath. A proclamation was also issued, forbidding them, upon a great penalty, to keep any horses above four pounds ten groats price.
V. The nobility and gentry of the shire of Aire were also indicted, at the instance of your majesty's advocate, of very high crimes and misdemeanors, whereof some did import treason. These indictments were delivered them in the evening, to be answered by them the next morning upon oath ; and, when they did demand two or three days to consider of their indictments, and craved the benefit of lawyers, to advise with in matters of so high concerns ment, and also excepted to their being put to swear against themselves, in matters that were capital (which was contrary to all law and justice) those their desires were rejected, though the like bad never been done to the greatest malefactor in the kingdom : and it was told them, they must either swear instantly, or they would repute them guilty, and proceed accordingly.
VI. The noblemen and gentlemen, kuowing themselves innocent of all that had been surmised against them, did purge themselves, by oath, of all the particulars that were objected to them, and were thereupon acquitted ; and, though the committee of the council used the severest mander of inquiry to discover any seditions, or treasonable designs, which were pretended as the grounds of leading in that army into those countries, yet nothing could ever be proved : so false was that suggestion concerning a rebellion then designed, that was offered to your majesty, and prevailed with you for sending the aforementioned letter.
VII. The oppressions and quarterings still continued. The noblemen and gentry of those countries went to Edinburgh to represent to your council the heavy pressure, that they and their people lay under, and were ready to offer to them all, ihat in law or reason could be required of them, for securing the peace. The council did immediately, upon their appearing there, set forth a proclanation, requiring them to depart the town within three days, upon all highest pains; and, when the duke of Hamilton did petition for leave to stay two or three days longer, for some very urgent affairs, that was refused him..
VIII. When some persons of quality had declared to the duke of Lauderdale, that they would represent their condition to your majesty, if they could not have justice from your ministers, for preventing that, a proclamation was set forth, forbidding all the subjects to depart the kingdom without licence, that so your majesty might not be acquainted with the said condition of your subjects, from making their applications to your majesty, no less contrary to your majesty's true interest (who must always be the refuge of your people) than to the natural right of the subject,
The former particulars relate to the invasion of the rights of great numbers of your subjects all at once: what follow have indeed only fallen on some single persons, yet are such, that your whole people apprehend, they may be all, upon the slightest occasions, brought under the like mischiefs.
1. The council hath, upon many occasions, proceeded to a new kind of punishment, of declaring men incapable of all publick trust; concerning which, your Majesty may remember what com. plaints the said duke made, when, during the earl of Middleton's administration, he himself was put under, and incapacitated by an act of parliament. The words of his paper against the earl of Middleton are (incapacitating] which was to wbip with scorpions, a punishment to rob men of their honour, and to lay a lasting stain upon them and their posterity. And, if this was complained of, when done by the highest court of parliament, your Majesty may easily conclude, it cannot be done in any lower court; but yet, notwithstanding, it is become of late years an ordinary sentence in council, when the least complaints are brought against any, with whom the duke of Lauderdale and his brother are offended.
Instances of this are: The declaring thirteen worthy citizens of Edinburgh incapable of publick trust, against whom no complaint was ever made to this day, as your Majesty will perceive by a paper more fully concerning that affair. The true cause of it was, that, those men being in the magistracy, the duke and bis brother could not get a vast bribe from them out of the town's money, which was afterwards obtained, when they were removed.
The provosts of Glasgow, Aberdeen, and Jedburgh were put under the same sentence for signing a letter to your Majesty, in the con vention of the boroughs with the rest of that body; which letter was advised by him wbo is now your Majesty's advocate, as that which had nothing in it, which could bring them under any guilt; and yet those three were singled out of the wbole number, and incapacitated, besides an high fine and a long imprisonment, as to your Majesty will more fully appear by another paper.
Sir Patrick Holme of Polworth, being sent by the shire of Berwick to complain of some illegal proceedings, and to obtain a legal remedy to them, which he did only in the common form of law, was also declared incapable of publick trust, besides many months imprisonment.
The provost of Linlythgo, being complained of for not furnisbing some of your forces with baggage horses, was called before the council; and, because he said they were not bound in law to furnish
horses in such manner, he was immediately declared incapable of publick trust, and was both fined and imprisoned.
There are also fifty of the town of St. Johnston's incapacitated upon a very slight pretence, so that it is very impossible for them to find a sufficient number of citizens for the magistracy of that town.
2. Your subjects are sometimes upon slight, and sometimes upon no grounds imprisoned, and often kept prisoners many months and years, nothing being objected to them, and are required to enter themselves prisoners; which is contrary to law. It was in the former article expressed, that many of these person, declared incapable of publick trust, did also suffer imprisonment; and, besides these instances, lieutenant general Drummond, whose eminent loyalty and great services are well known to your Majesty, was required to enter himself a prisoner in the castle of Dumbarton; where he was kept one year and a half, and was made a close prisoner for nine months, and yet nothing was ever objected to him, to this day, to justify that usage.
The lord Cardross was, for his lady's keeping two conventicles in her own house, at which he was not present, fined one hundred and ten pounds, and bath now been kept prisoner four years in the castle of Edinburgh, where he still remains, although he hath often petitioned for bis liberty; and sir Patrick Holme hath been now second time almost one year, and nothing is yet laid to his charge.
Besides these illegal imprisonments, the officers of your Majesty's forces carry frequently warrants with them, for apprehending persons that are under no legal censure, nor have been so much as cited to appear; which hath put many of your subjects under great fears, especially, upon what was done in council three years ago : capt. Carstayres, a man now well enough known to your Majesty, did entrap one Kirkton, an outed minister, into his chamber at Edinburgh, and did violently abuse bim; and designed to have extorted some inoney from him. The noise of this coming to the ears of one Baily, brother-in-law to the said Kirkton, he came to the house, and hearing bim cry murder, murder! forced open the chamber door, where he found his brother-in-law and the captain grappling; the captain pretended to have a warrant against Kirkton, and Baily desired him to shew it, and promised, that all obedience should be given to it: but, the captain refusing to do it, Kirkton was rescued. This was only delivering a man from the hands of a robber, which nature obliged all men to do; especially, when joined with so near a relation. The captain complained of this to the council
, and the Jord Hatton, with others, were appointed to examine the witnesses : and, when it was brought before the council, the duke of Hamilton, earls of Moreton, Dumfries, and Kincarden; the lord Cocheren; and Sir Archibald Primrose, then lord register, desired, that the report of the examination might be read; but that, not serving their ends, was denied. And, thereupon, those lords delivered their opinion, that, since Carstayres did not shew any warrant, nor was clothed with any publick character, it was no opposing of your Majesty's authority in Baily, so to rescue the said Kirkton; yet Baily was for this fined in six-thousand marks, and kept long a prisoner.
Those lords were, upon that, so represented to your Majesty, that, by the duke of Lauderdale’s procurement, they were turned out of the council, and all command of the militia. And, it can be made appear, that the captain had, at that time, no warrant at all against Kirkton, but procured it after the violence committed ; and it was antedated, on design to serve a turn at that time. This manner of proceeding hath, ever since, put your subjects under sad apprehensions.
There is one particular further offered to your Majesty's consideration, concerning their way of using prisoners.
There were fourteen men taken at a field conventicle, who, with out being legally convicted of that, or any other crimes, were secretly, and in the night, taken out of prison, upon a warrant signed by the earl of Lynlythgo, and the lords Hatton and Collington, and were delivered to capt. Maitland, who had been page to the duke of Lauderdale, but was then a French Officer, and was making his levies in Scotland, and were carried over to the service of the French king, in the year 1676.
3. The council hath, upon many o casions, proceeded to most unreasonable and arbitrary fines, either for slight offences, or for offences where the fine is regulated by law, which they have never considered, when the persons were not acceptable to them. So the ford Cardross was fined in one-thousand one-hundred and eleven pounds, for his lady's keeping two conventicles in his house, and christening a child by an outed minister without his knowledge. The provost formerly mentioned, and Baily, with many more, were also fined without any regard to law,
The council bath, at several times, proceeded to the taking of gentlemen's dwelling houses from them, and, putting garisons in them, which, in time of peace, is contrary to law. In the year 1675, it was designed against twelve of your Majesty's subjects, and was put in execution in the houses of the earl of Calender, the Jord Cardross, the lady Lumsden, &c. and was again attempted in the year 1678, in the houses belonging to the lairds of Cospok, Blagan, aud Rowall, which were possessed by soldiers, and declared garisons. Nor did it rest there, but orders were sent from the council, requiring the countries about their houses, to furnish them for the soldiers' use, and to supply them with necessaries, much contrary to law. It was against this, that sir Patrick Holme came. to desire. a remedy; and, common justice being denied him, he used a legal protestation, in the ordinary form of law, and was, thereupon, kept for many months a prisoner, and declared incapable of all publick trust, &c.
There is another particular, which, because it is so odious, is unwillingly touched; yet it is necessary to inform your Majesty about it; for thereby it will appear, that the duke of Lauderdale, and his brother, have, in a most solemn manner, broken the publick faith, that was given in your Majesty's name.