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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: wbat follow have indeed only fallen on some single persons, yet are such, that your whole people apprehend, they may be all, upon the slightest occa, sions, 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 complaints 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) wbich was to whip 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 his 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 convention of the boroughs with the rest of that body which letter was advised by him who 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 whole 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 Rerwick 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 furnishing 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, whese 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 hath now been kept prisoner four years in the castle of Edinburgh, where he still remains, although he hath often petitioned for his liberty; and sir Patrick Holme hath been now a 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 him; and designed to have extorted some money 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 him 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 lord Hatton, with others, were appointed to examine the witnesses: and, when it was brought before the council, the duke of Hamilton, eurls 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, ni t 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, *y 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, without 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 i 676.
3. The council hath, upon many occasions, 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 lord 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 hath, 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 lord Cardross, the lady Lumsden, &c. and was again attempted in the year 1678, in the houses belonging to the lairds of Cosnok, Blagan, and 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, thai 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.
One Mitchell being put in prison upon great suspicion of his having attempted to murder the late archbishop of St. Andrews, and there being no evidence against bim, warrant was given by the duke of Lauderdale, then your Majesty's commissioner, and your council, to promise bim his life, if he would confess; whereupon, he did confess; and yet, some years after that, that person, wbo, indeed, deserved many deaths, if there had been any other evidence against bim, was, upon that confession, convicted of the crime, and the duke of Lauderdale, and his brother, being put to it by him, did swear, that they never gave, or knew of any assurance of life given him: and when it was objected, that the promise was upon record, in the council books, the duke of Lauderdale did, in open court, where he was presnt only as a witness, and so ought to have been silent, threaten them, if they should proceed to the examination of that act of council, which, as he then said, might infer perjury on them that swore, and so did cut off the proof of that defence, . which bad been admitted by the court, as good in law, and sufficient to save the prisoner, if proved. Thus was that man hanged upon that confession only, though the promise, that drew it from him, doth appear upon record, and can be proved by good and clear evidence. And from this your Majesty may judge, what credit may be given to sucb men.
We do not, at present, enlarge on other particulars, though of great importance ; such as monopolies, selling places and honours, turning men of known integrity out of their employments, to which they had a good and just right during their lives: the profits of one of the most considerable of these being sequestered for some time, and applied for the duchess of Lauderdale's use : the treating about, and receiv ng of, great bribes by the duke and duchess of Lauderdale, and the lord Hatton, and particularly from the towns of Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Lynlythgo, and many others, for procuring, from your Majesty, warrants for illegal impositions within these towns; the manifest and publick perverting of justice in the session; besides, the most signal abuses of the mint and copper coin, that are most grievous to all your subjects. But the number of these is so great, and they will require so many witnesses to be brought hither for proving them, that we fear it would too much trouble your Majesty now to examine them all; but your Majesty shall have a full account of them afterwards.
One thing is humbly offered to your Majesty, as the root of these and many other oppressions, which is, that the method of governing that kingdom for several years hath been, that the lord Hatton and his adherents frame any letter that they desire from your Majesty to your council, and send it to the duke of Lauderdale, who returns it signed; and this is brought to the council; upon which, if at any time a debate ariseth concerning the matter of that letter, 'as being against, or with law; and when it is proposed, that a representation of that should be made to your Majesty; then the lord Hatton, in his insolent way, calls to have it put to the question, as if it were a crime to have any warrant either debated or
represented to your Majesty, which is procured by the duke of Lauderdale, or himself; and this is ecchoed by his party, and, by this means, any further debating is stopped.
There are some other particulars relating to these heads, that are to be offered to your Majesty in other papers, which are not added here, lest your Majesty should now be troubled with too long a paper.
AN ESSAY ON WRITING,
ART AND MYSTERY OF PRINTING.
A TRANSLATION OUT OF THE ANTHOLOGY,
Quisquis erat, meruit senii transcendere metas, &c.
From a broad-side, printed at London, in the year 1696.
VORTHY that man to 'scape mortality,
And leap that ditch where all must plunging lie,
First writing-tables paper's place supply'd,