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Elizabeth were deceived by their im- mistry and telling of fortunes ; inpostures. Both these monarchs, in- somuch, they pitifully cozened poor deed, (particularly the former), were country girls both of money, silver, too much accustomed to use religion, as spoons, and the best of their apparele, well as law, for a cloak to cover their or any goods they could make." own violent and criminal conduct, to They had a leader of the name of be easily imposed upon by the like Giles Hather, who was termed their artifices in others. We find them ac- king; and a woman of the name of cordingly using very little ceremony Calot was called queen. These riding with the Egyptian pilgrims,' who, through the country on horseback, and in several of their statutes, are describ- in strange attire, had a prettie traine ed by such designations as the follow- after them.” After mentioning some ing : Sturdy roags,'.' rascalls, vaca- of the laws passed against them, this bonds,'
'masterless men, ydle, va- writer adds :-“ But what numbers graunte, loyteringe, lewde, and yll- were executed on these statutes you disposed persons, going aboute usingę would wonder ; yet, notwithstanding, subtiltie and unlawful games or plaie,' all would not prevail, but they wan
such as faynt themselves to have dered as before uppe and downe, and knowledge in physiognomye, palmes- meeting once in a yeare at a place aptrie, or other abused sciences - tellers pointed ; sometimes at the Peake's of destinies, deaths, or fortunes, and Hole in Derbyshire, and other whiles such lyke fantasticall imaginatiouns.'- by Retbroak at Blackheath."*
In king Edward's journal we find It is probable that the gypsies enthem mentioned along with other tered Scotland about the same period
masterless men.' . The following as- in which they are stated by these acsociation of persons seems curious :- counts to have first pitched their tents * June 22, 1649. There was a privy in the sister kingdom. The earliest search made through Suffolk for all notice of them, however, that we have vagabonds, gipsies, conspirators, pro- been able to discover in our national phesiers, all players, and such like. * records, is contained in the celebrated
A more distinct account of the Eng- writ of Privy Seal, passed in the 28th lish gypsies, on their first arrival, is to year of James V. (1540), in favour of be found in a work quoted by Mr “ Johnne Faw, Lord and Erle of Litill Hoyland, which was published in the Egipt.” A complete copy of this doyear 1612, to detect and expose the cument, which has been carefully colart of juggling and legerdemain. “This lated with the original record in the kind of people," says the author, Register House, will be found in ano« about a hundred years ago, beganne ther department of our Magazine. to gather on head, at the first heere, This writ was renewed by the Earl of about the southerne parts. And this, Arran as Regent of Scotland in 1553, as I am informed, and can gather, was nearly in the same words. † It appears their beginning : Certain Egyptians from these very curious edicts, that banished their country, (belike not for John Faw, under the character of their good conditions,) arrived heere in Lord and Erle of Litill Egipt,' had England, who for quaint tricks and formerly obtained letters under the devices not known here at that time Great Seal, enjoining all magistrates, among us, were esteemed and had in &c. to support his authority "* in exegreat admiration;, insomuch, that cutioun of justice vpon his cumpany many of our English loyterers joined and folkis, conforme to the laws of with them, and in time learned their Egipt, and in punissing of all thaim crafty cozening.” “ The speach which that rebellis aganis him.” He comthey used was the right Egyptian plains that certain of his followers had, speach, with whom our Englishmen nevertheless, revolted from his jurisconversing, at last learned their lan- diction, robbed and left him, and guage. These people, continuing were supported in their contumacious about the country, and practising rebellion by some of the king's lieges; their cozening art, purchased them- “Sua that he (the said Johnne, thair selves great credit among the coun- lord and maister) on na wyse can aptry people, and got much by pal- prehend nor get thame, to have thame Appendix to Burnet's Hist. of Reforma
Hoyland's Historical Survey. tion, vol. ii.
+ Registrum Secreti Sigilli, vol. xxv. fol. 62.
hame agane within thair awin cuntre,” jugglers. The following passages, pre" howbeit he has biddin and remanit scribing the mode of punishment, and of lang tyme vpon thame, and is specifying some of the various sorts of bundin and oblist to bring hame with vagrants against whom it is denounced, him all thame of his company that ar are particularly curious :-" That sic on live, and ane testimoniale of thame as makis thame selffis fuilis, and ar that ar deid ;"—the non-fulfilment of bairdts, or vtheris siclike rynarris awhich obligation, he pretends, will bout, being apprehendit, salbe put in subject him to.“ nevy dampnage and the kingis waird and yrnis, sa lang as skaith, and gre perell of tynsell they haue ony guidis of thair awin to (loss) of his heretage."--The names leif on; and fra they haue not quhairof these rebellious Egyptians are exact- upoun to leif of their awin, that thair ly the same in both edicts, and having earis be nailit to the trone, or to ane been given in to the Scottish govern- vther trie, and thair earis cuttit of, and ment by the chieftain himself, may be banist the cuntrie; and gif thairefter supposed to be correctly reported. We that they be found agane that they be shall be glad if any of our learned hangit.” "And that it may be knawin readers can help us to trace their ety- quhat maner of personis ar meanit to mology.
be strang and idle beggaris, and vagaIt affords a striking evidence of the boundis, and worthie of the pwnishaddress of these audacious vagrants, ment before specifiit, it is declairit, and of the ignorance of the times, to that all ydle personis ganging about in find two of our sovereigns imposed ony cuntrie of this realme, vsing subupon by this gypsey chieftain's story, till, crafty, and vnlauchfull playis, as about his band' and 'heretage.' juglarie, fast and lowis, and sic vthers; This was at least 120 years after the the idle people calling thame selffis Efirst arrival of these hordes in Europe. gyptianis, or ony viheris that fenzies -We hear no more of the return of thame selffis to have knawledge of proEarl John and his company to thair phecie, charmeing, or vtheris abusit awin cuntre.'
sciences, quhairby they persuaid the In the following year (1554), “ An- people that they can tell their weardis dro Faw, capitane of the Egiptianis," deathis, and fortunes, and sic vther and twelve of his gang, specified by fantasticall imaginationes ;"_" and name, obtained a remission for “ the all menstrallis, sangstaris, and tailtellslauchter of Niniane Smaill, comittit aris, not avouit in speciall service be within the toune of Lyntoune, in the sum of the lordis of parliament, or moneth of March last bypast, vpoun greit barronis, or be the leid burrowis suddantie.”
and cities, for thair commoun mensThe gypsies appear to have kept trallis ;”—“ all vagabund scholaris of their quarters in the country without the vniuersities of Sanctandrois, Glasfurther molestation for the next twen- gw, and Abirdene, not licencit be the ty-five years; and their enormities, as rector and deane of facultie. to ask well as their numbers, it would seem, almous,” &c. &c. * had greatly increased during the long This statute was repeatedly renewed, political and religious struggles that and strengthened with additional occupied the greater part of Mary's clauses, during the twenty-five years disastrous reign. At length, in 1579, ensuing, “anent the counterfaict Egypthe government found it necessary to tianis;" +-all which, however, proved adopt the most rigorous methods to so utterly ineffectual in restraining the repress the innumerableswarm of strol- crimes and depredations of these banling vagabonds of every description, ditti, that in 1603, the Lords of Privy who had overspread the kingdom. A Council judged it expedient to issue a new statute was enacted by parliament, decree and proclamation, banishing “ For pwnishment of the strang and the whole race out of Scotland for ever, ydle beggaris, and relief of the puir under the severest penalties. This and impotent.” In the comprehen- edict is not extant, (that part of the sive provisions of this act, we find record which contained it being lost), bards, minstrels, and vagabond scholars, but it was ratified and enforced in 1609, (lachrymabile dictu !) conjoined in ignominious fellowship with the Egyptian
Acta Parl. vol. iii. p. 139.
t. Acta Parl, vol. iii. p. 576. vol. iv. pr. Regist. Secreti Sigilli, vol. xxvii. fol. 3 36.
by an act of parliament to the same very severe penalties.* The nature of effect—"Commanding the vagabound- these acts will be better understood is, sorneris, and commoun thieffis, from the following extract from that commounlie callit Egyptianis, to pas of 4th July 1816, which also very well furth of this realme, and nevir to re- explains the way in which the gypsies turne within the samyn, vnder the contrived to maintain their footing in paine of death,”-and declaring it law- the country, in defiance of all the efful to all his Majesty's subjects, to ap- forts of the legislature to extirpate prehend and execute any of them that them.--"Itis of treuthe, that the theivis might be found in the country after a and lymmaris foirsaidis, haueing for certain day, “ as notorious and con- some shorte space after the said act of demned thieffis-by ane assyse only to parliament (1609),.............dispersit be tried that they are callit, knawin, thame selffis in certane darne and obe repute, and haldin Egiptianis."* scure places of the cuntrey,............. It appears, that not only the lower thay wer not
knawne to wander abroad classes, but also many persons of note, in troupis and companies, according to either out of compassion, or from less thair accustomed maner; yitt shortlie reputable motives, still continued, af, thairefter, finding that the said act of ter the promulgation of this law, and parliament wes neglectit, and that no in spite of repeated reprehensions from inquirie nor.... ...Wes maid for the Privy Council, to afford shelter thame, thay begane to tak new breth and protection to the proscribed Egyp- and courage, and .....
vnite tians. In February 1615, we find a thame selffis in infamous companies remission under the Privy Seal, grant- and societies vnder.... ed to William Auchterlony of Cayrnie, manderis, and continuallie sensyne hes for resettingt of John Faw and his fole remanit within the cuntrie, commitlowers. On the 4th July 1616, the ting alsweill oppin and avowed reiffis Sheriff of Forfar is severely reprimand- in all partis
murtheris, as ed for delaying to execute some gyp- pleine stouthe and pykarie, quair sies who had been taken within his thay may not be maisterit ; and thay jurisdiction, and for troubling the do shamefullie and meschantlie abuse Council with petitions in their behalf. I the simple and ignorant people, by In November following, appears a telling of fortunes, and® vsing of “proclamatioun aganis Egyptianis and charmes, and a nomber of jugling their ressettaris;f--in December 1619, trikis and falsettis, vnworthie to be we find another proclamation against hard of in a cuntrey subject to reli• resetters' of them ;//-in April 1620 gioun, law, and justice ; and thay ar another proclamation of the same encourageit to remane within the cunkind ; 1-and in July 1620, a com- trey, and to continew in thair thevish mission against 'resetters ;' all with and jugling trickes and falsettis, not
default of the executioun of Acta Parl. vol. iv. p. 440.
the said act of parliament, bot whilk + The nature of this crime, in Scotch is worse, that gritt nomberis of his Ma. Law, is fully explained in the following jestie's subjects, of whom some outeextract from the original, which also ap. wardlie pretendis to be famous and vnpears curious in other respects : The pardon spotted gentilmen, hes gevin and gevis is granted—“pro receptione, supportatione, oppen and avowed protectioun, resett, et detentione supra terra suas de Balmadie, supplie, and mantenance vpon thair et infra eius habitationis domum, aliaq. edi. ground and landis, to the saidis vagaficia eiusdem, Joannis Fall, Ethiopis, lie boundis, sorenaris, and condampned Egiptian, eiusq. vxoris, puerorum, servorum, et associatorum ; Necnon pro mini- thevis and lymmaris, and sufferis strando ipsis cibum, potum, pecunias, hos- thame to remane dayis, oulkis, and picium, aliaq. necessaria, quocunq. tempore monethis togidder thairvpoun, without vel occasione preterita, contra acta nostri controlement and with connivence and Parliamenti vel Secreti Concilii, vel contra oversicht,” &c.—“So thay do leave a quecunq. leges, alia acta, aut constitutiones foull, infamous, and ignominious spott huius nostri regni Scotiæ in contrarium facta." —Regist. Secreti Sigilli, vol. Ixxxiii, teritie, that thay ar patronis to thievis
vpoun thame, thair houses, and posfol. 291. Regist. Secreti Concilii, Jul 4. 1616.
and lymmaris," &c. &c. Ś Ibid. Nov. 9. 1616.
There is still, however, sufficient evi-, || Ibid. Dec. 21. 1619. Ibid. Apr. 19. 1620.
* Ibid. Jul. 6. 1620.
dence on record, of the summary roote quent law which rendered the characand-branch justice that was frequently ter of gypsey equal, in the judicial executed upon this unhappy race, in balance, to that of common and habitu. terms of the above statute. The al thief, and prescribed his punishment following may serve for specimens :- accordingly. Notwithstanding the seIn July 1611, four Faas were sentence verity of this and other statutes, the ed to be hanged—as Egyptians. They fraternity prospered amid the distresses pleaded a special licence from the Privy of the country, and received large ac, Council, to abide within the country; cessions from among those whom fa- but they were held (from failure of mine, oppression, or the sword of war, their surety,) to have infringed the had deprived of the ordinary means of terms of their protection, and were ex- subsistence. They lost, in a great ecuted accordingly.--In July 1616, measure, by this intermixture, the natwo Faas and a Baillie were capitally tional character of Egyptians, and be convicted on the same principle.--In came a mingled race, having all the January 1624, Captain John Faa and idleness and predatory habits of their seven of his gang (five of whom were eastern ancestors, with a ferocity which Faas,) were doomed to death on the they probably borrowed from the men statute_and_hanged.-A few days of the north who joined their society, after, Helen Faa, relict of the captain, They travelled in different bands, and Lucretia Faa, and other women, to the had rules among themselv
by which number of eleven, were in like manner each tribe was confined to its own convicted, and condemned to be drown- district. The slightest invasion of the ed.*-A similar case occurs in 1636.+ precincts which had been assigned to This we have inserted at length in another tribe, produced desperate skiranother department of our present mishes, in which there was often Number, as a fair specimen of these much bloodshed. sanguinary proceedings. In later “ The patriotic Fletcher of Saltoun times, the statute began to be inter- drew a picture of these banditti about preted with a more merciful spirit a century ago, which my readers will towards these wretched outcasts, and peruse with astonishment. they were hanged only when convicted There are, at this day, in Scota (as happened, however, pretty fre- land (besides a great many poor faquently,) of theft, murder, and other milies, very meanly provided for by violent offences against public order. the church boxes, with others who, by
Instead of carrying forward, in this living upon bad food, fall into various manner, our own desultory sketch, we diseases) two hundred thousand people shall place at once before our readers, begging from door to door. These are the accurate and striking account given not only no way advantageous, but a of the Scottish gypsies, by a celebrated very grievous burden to so poor a anonymous author of the present day, country. And though the number of and by the distinguished person whose them be perhaps double to what it authority he has quoted. Considering was formerly, by reason of this prehow very unnecessary, and how diffi- sent great distress, yet in all times cult it would be to convey the same there have been about one hundred information in other words and al- thousand of these vagabonds, who lowing due attention to the conveni- have lived without any regard or subency of those who may not have the jection either to the laws of the land, book at hand to refer towe do not. or even those of God and nature; apprehend that any apology is necessary
No magistrate for availing ourselves of the following could ever discover, or be informed, passage from the well-known pages of which way one in a hundred of these Guy Mannering
wretches died, or that ever they were " It is well known,” says the author, baptized. Many murders have been " that the gypsies were, at an early discovered among them; and they are period, acknowledged as a separate and not only a most unspeakable oppression independent race by one of the Scoto to poor tenants (who, if they give not tish monarchs; and that they were less bread, or some kind of provision, to favourably distinguished by a subse- perhaps forty such villains in one day,
are sure to be insulted by them), but * Hume on Crim. Law, vol. ii. p. 339. they rob many poor people who live + Regist. Secreti Concilii, Nov. 10. 1636. in houses distant from any neighbour
hood. In years of plenty, many thou- offended them. These tribes were in sands of them meet together in the short the Parias of Scotland, living mountains, where they feast and riot like wild Indians among European for many days; and at country wed- settlers, and, like them, judged of dings, markets, burials, and other the rather by their own customs, habits, like public occasions, they are to be and opinions, than as if they had been seen, both man and woman, perpetual- members of the civilized part of the ly drunk, cursing, blaspheming, and community. Some hordes of them fighting together.
yet remain, chiefly in such situations “ Notwithstanding the deplorable as afford a ready escape either into a picture presented in this extract, and waste country, or into another juriswhich Fletcher himself, though the diction. Nor are the features of their energetic and eloquent friend of free character much softened. Their numdom, saw no better mode of correcting bers, however, are so greatly dimithan by introducing a system of do- nished, that, instead of one hundred mestic slavery, the progress of time, thousand, as calculated by Fletcher, and increase both of the means of life it would now perhaps be impossible to and of the power of the laws, gradually collect above five hundred throughout reduced this dreadful evil within more all Scotland." narrow bounds. The tribes of gypsies, Having, in the preceding pages, enjockies, or cairds,---for by all these deavoured to give our readers a general denominations such banditti were outline of what may be termed the known,-became few in number, and public annals of our Scottish Gypsies, many were entirely rooted out. Still, we now proceed to detail some of those however, enough remained to give oc- more private and personal anecdotes, casional alarm and constant vexation. concerning them, with which we have Some rude handicrafts were entirely been furnished chiefly from local tradiresigned to these itinerants, particu- tions, or the observation of intellilarly the art of trencher-making, of gent individuals. These we shall remanufacturing horn-spoons, and the late without much regard to arrangewhole mystery of the tinker. To these ment, and, for the present, without they added a petty trade in the coarser any further remarks of our own than sorts of earthen-ware. Such were their may be requisite merely for connectostensible means of livelihood. Each ing or explaining them. It may tribe had usually some fixed place of proper generally to mention, that rendezvous, which they occasionally though we deem it unnecessary to occupied and considered as their stand- quote our authorities by name in every ing camp, and in the vicinity of which particular case, or for every little athey generally abstained from depre, necdote, yet we can very confidently dation. They had even talents and pledge ourselves, in every instance, accomplishments, which made them for the personal credibility of our inoccasionally useful and entertaining. formers. Many cultivated music with success ; The intrigue of the celebrated and the favourite fiddler or piper of a Johnnie Faa with the Earl of Cassilis' district was often to be found in a lady, rests on ballad and popular augypsey town. They understood all thority. Tradition points out an old out-of-door sports, especially otter- tower in Maybole, as the place where hunting, fishing, or finding game. In the frail countess was confined. The winter, the women told fortunes, the portrait shown as hers in the Abbey of men showed tricks of legerdemain; Holyroodhouse, however, is not geand these accomplishments often help- nuine.-Of this affair of gypsey galed away a weary or a stormy evening in lantry, Mr Finlay, in his notes to the the circle of the “farmer's ha'.” The old ballad of the Gypsie Laddie, gives wildness of their character, and the the following account, as the result of indomitable pride with which they his inquiries regarding the truth of despised all regular labour, command- the traditionary stories on the subject : cd a certain awe, which was not dimi- -" The Earl of Cassilis had married nished by the consideration, that these a nobleman's daughter contrary to her strollers were a vindictive race, and wishes, she having been previously were restrained by no check, either of engaged to another ; but the persuafear or conscience, from taking despe- sion and importunity of her friends rate vengeance upon those who had at last brought her to consent. Sir VOL. I.