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A history of Scotland from the Roman occupation (Volume 2) online

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ciliatory manners. It seems certain that he much disliked the
policy towards the Kirk with which he was entrusted. Cranstoun,
now Lord Cranstoun, succeeded him in his Border lieutenancy ;
the treasurership was practically placed in the hands of a com-
mission of eight, " the New Octavians," with Dunfermline for
chief, and Lord Advocate Hamilton for one of the members.
Cranstoun was succeeded in the Border lieutenancy by Ker of
Ancrum : the new favourite of James — (Ker, later Rochester, later
Somerset), being supposed to have influenced the royal choice.
After a series of changes the King's Advocate became Secretary of
State, and Sir Alexander Hay, Clerk Register, The only great
noble of position in James's administration was the young Marquis
of Hamilton, of the third generation from the Duke of Chatelherault
of Queen Mary's reign.^

It was in 1610 that James crowned his prelatical edifice by
having Spottiswoode and two bishops consecrated by three English
bishops (York and Canterbury being excluded). The consecrated


three could now pass on any apostolical virtue which Anglican
bishops are able to confer to their brethren in Scotland. These
were no longer mere parliamentary officials, but bishops with as
much mystical quality as Scotland could desire or dislike. Oc-
casionally a minister who preached in a semblance of the old tone
was put at; but between banishments, imprisonments, and other
inflictions, the watchmen of the Kirk were practically reduced to
silence — the hearts of such as Calderwood burning within them.

In the matter of public order James took a lesson from England,
and, in 16 10, appointed a number of Commissioners or Justices of
the Peace, — " godly, wise, and virtuous gentlemen, of good quality,
estate, and repute." ^° Their duties were much what they so long
continued to be, they were coiinty magistrates having constables
under them. The Selkirkshire justices complain of the unruliness
of the town, the want of money, the depression in sheep-farming,
the numbers of sturdy men who will not work, and of willing
workers for whom there is no employment. They suggest the
making of public roads. ^'^ The system, though opposed now by
the towns, now by the recalcitrant gentry, struck root, though the
constabulary was scanty and probably as inefficient as that of Dog-
berry. Meanwhile the settlement of Ulster by Scottish immigrants
was being worked out, though the enterprisers were obviously, from
their names and ranks, but a feeble folk, with more speculative ten-
dency than capital. In 16 ri the lists of enterprisers contain nobler
names. The house of Ochiltree (the house of the daring captain who
overthrew Morton, and of the bride of Knox), with the Abercorn
Hamiltons, emigrated to Ulster. Among other noted names of ad-
venturers whose families did not emigrate are those of Lennox,
Balfour of Burleigh, Stewart of Minto, and Murray of Broughton,
while Andrew Knox, that warlike preacher and prelate, became
Bishop of Raphoe. As the settlers brought over hosts of their work-
men and dependants, Ulster rapidly became sufficiently Scotticised.

The year 161 2 was clearly marked by nature as portentous.
•" A cow brought forth fourteen great dog whelps instead of calves,"
a circumstance inexplicable to the naturalist. Another cow
expired in giving birth to a human infant, which did not survive,
and a third cow's calf had two heads.^^ These things do not occur
without some mysterious reason, but nothing very remarkable
happened till the Parliament in October, which ratified the Acts of
the Episcopalian General Assembly of 16 10, without retaining the


subjection of bishops to General Assemblies. The old "caveats"
dropped out of view, and it may be taken as the orthodox Presby-
terian theory that the bishops never had a really legal existence. ^^
They remained, it will be found, subject to excommunication by a
General Assembly, as soon as the political condition of the country
gave a General Assembly freedom of action. The death of the
heir to the throne, Prince Henry, on November 6, was the heaviest
stroke in that kind since the death of the Maid of Norway. Like
all young and handsome princes who perish in their bloom, he was
reckoned of great promise. That promise may have been illusive,
but, from what is known of him, it seems that he would not, at
least, have entered the path of his unhappy brother, the Prince
Charles. The marriage of the hardly more fortunate Princess
Elizabeth was celebrated on February 14, 16 13. This year, with
those which followed, was remarkable for turbulence in the islands,
and in the Orkneys, but is more noted in the home districts for
persecution of Catholics. For three years, as Dr Masson says,
" there was a kind of frenzied run upon persecution." If the object
was to please the Presbyterians of the old school the measures
were unsuccessful ; in- the violence of the bishops they only saw
Satan divided against himself. It is to be noted that the Kirk
Episcopal was given the reins more freely than the Kirk Presby-
terian as to persecution, and yet was deemed infinitely too lenient
by good Presbyterians like Calderwood.

As instances of Catholic sufferers we find, first, a Logan of Restal-
rig. Robert Logan of Restalrig, that genial ruffian, and suspected
Gowrie conspirator, seems to have had leanings both towards Rome
and Gei^eva. The truth apparently was that whether a Kirkman or a
Catholic was engaged in any desperate or lawless act, whether godly
Mr Bruce, or Bothwell, or George Ker was in a strait, Logan was
equally ready to lend them the shelter of Fastcastle, or offer them
the " fine hattit kits " of Restalrig. It may have been a son of his
who, in the year of the Logan forfeiture for the Gowrie Plot (1609),
appears as John Logan, portioner of Restalrig, accused of attending
mass celebrated by John Burd, priest. He w^as tried for this
offence in 161 3, and was fined ^tooo Scots, though he had
repented and become an elder of the Kirk.^'^ Even the old
Countess of Sutherland, the wife of the famous Bothwell of Queen
Mary, was harried for her religious opinions, and shut up with Mr
Robert Bruce in Inverness. The most celebrated victim in these



persecutions was Father Ogilvie, S.J. His case proves that the
high Presbyterians' theory of Church and State came perilously near
to that of their most detested opponents of the old faith. Ogilvie
entered Scotland, disguised as a soldier, in 16 13. He had two
companions : one, Father Moffat, gained a rich harvest of souls in
St Andrews ; the other, Father Campbell, laboured in Edinburgh,
whither Father Ogilvie later came. He ministered to the spiritual
needs of Sir James Macdonald (Macsorley, cf. p. 435), who was
still a prisoner in the Castle. In August 16 14 Ogilvie ventured
to Glasgow, the seat of Archbishop Spottiswoode. About October 5
he was arrested, being betrayed by a false convert, rich, and of
good family. Spottiswoode, after the arrest, struck the prisoner ; the
standers-by fell on Ogilvie, beat him, and stripped him. This fact
is given by Father Forbes Leith as part of Ogilvie's own narrative. -^^

The abominable story of Spottiswoode's blow is corroborated by
Calderwood : "the bishop buffeted him."'^ Against a priest and a
prisoner the prelate was more fierce than Andrew Melville against a
king. Spottiswoode himself does not mention the circumstance.
But he did write to James recommending that Ogilvie should be
tortured by the boots, and asking for the half of ajiy fines that might
be inflicted.^'' Spottiswoode wrote thus on October 5, and an inquest
as to Ogilvie was held on the same day. Spottiswoode expressed
his irritation against the negligence of the ministers which favoured
Popery, and he anticipated, or affected to anticipate, a plot against
the life of the king. He still (November 12, 16 14) insisted on the
need of torture.^^ Yet the enthusiastic Calderwood regards the
dealings against Catholics as " counterfeit." Some fourteen Glasgow
people were tried in December for hearing mass, and the report
ran that they were to be executed, " but they were in no danger."
In modern controversy some Presbyterian writers argue that the
Episcopalians were the real persecutors. They were bad enough,
but they could not satisfy Calderwood and people of his stamp.

In December Ogilvie was taken to Spottiswoode's house in
Edinburgh. " Mud, snow, and curses " were hurled at him as he
rode, and a woman cursed his ugly face. " The blessing of Christ
on your bonny face ! " replied the gallant Jesuit, whereon the woman
apologized. At Spottiswoode's house he was threatened with the
boots and cross-examined on many matters. He would not give up
the names of his friends or converts. As even James did not
approve of ordinary torture, these cruel parsons kept the good father

508 MARTYRDOM OF OGILVIE (1614-1615).

awake for eight days and nine consecutive nights, as they were wont
to do with witches. They pinched him, and ran pins and needles
into his flesh. Calderwood says that " his brains became hghtsome."
He himself declares that he scarce knew what he said or did, or in
what city he was. Nothing could be extracted from him (the
official account says that he gave up some names) either by cruelty
or offer of reward. Moffat, another Jesuit, was tempted with " the
Abbey of Coldingham, which . . . still retains its leaden roof."
As a rule that last poor plunder of a ruined church had been
stripped off and sold long ago.

Just before Christmas, 16 14, Ogilvie was taken back to Glasgow,
and fettered to an iron pole. Spottiswoode and others received a
commission to ask Ogilvie questions about the royal supremacy and
the Pope's claims to jurisdiction. He maintained (says the official
account) that the Pope was supreme over the king in spiritual matters,
and has power to excommunicate the king, just as (according to some
authorities) the General Assembly had. As to whether the Pope
could depose the king, Ogilvie refused to answer, nor would he say
whether it was lawful to slay an excommunicated prince. He was
tried, on these replies, before the provost, bailies, Spottiswoode, and
some nobles, on February 28, 1 61 5. The charge was, not that of say-
ing mass, nor anything that could "touch him in conscience properly,"
but " for declining his majesty's authority." He refused to acknow-
ledge the jurisdiction, or to admit that his opinions were treasonable
He bearded the court: his ideas, he said, as regards royal supremacy
in spiritual matters were those " of the best ministers of the land,
and if they be wise, they will continue so." The Jesuit agreed with
those enemies of the Kirk who called it Jesuitical. A council of
the Church, he said, had not determined the point as to whether
excommunicated princes might be killed. On this point Knox and
other preachers, had shown a hankering after some privileged Jehu,
to slay tyrannical princes. Ogilvie was convicted — there was no help
for it — and was hanged. The official account does not say what
Father James Brown, S.J., does say, that a preacher was com-
missioned to offer Ogilvie, aloud and publicly, life, the hand of Miss
Spottiswoode, and a very rich prebend, if he would turn Presbyterian
(Douay, February 23, 1672). Father Brown was rector of Douay
in 1688. He must have told this legend on the strength of tradi-
tion derived from his father, who, it seems, like Crito in the case of
Socrates, had tried to induce Ogilvie to break prison. A public



offer of the hand of the Archbishop's daughter could scarcely have
been omitted by Calderwood, who must have seen the archiepiscopal
absurdity. The anecdote is cited by Father Forbes Leith.^^

An effort was made to prove that Ogilvie did not die for his religion,
but for his politics. In fact, had an atheist, or a Presbyterian, or an
Anglican, gone about teaching, and declined to say whether or
not the king might, in any circumstances whatever, be lawfully slain,
he would have been hanged. Knox, with his prayers for a Phineas,
was exactly in Ogilvie's position. Religion had caused too many
murders of eminent victims ; too many hot heads were ready to act
on the doctrine which Father Ogilvie refused to disclaim. Ap-
parently he might, without dishonour, have disclaimed it, as no
council had pronounced on the subject. He deserves our sympathy,
like other brave men of all creeds, but his ideas could not be
endured. Calderwood says that some took the hanging of Ogilvie
as done " to be a terror to the sincerer sort of ministers not to
decline the king's authority in any cause whatsoever." He was the
second priest or Jesuit that was executed since the bastard Arch-
bishop of Glasgow was hanged,-*^ for Buchanan speaks of a priest
who was hanged for his religion — the very priest who, on evidence
received under seal of confession, accused Archbishop Hamilton of
Darnley's murder.-^

It must, in fairness, be said for the ruling classes of Protestant
Scotland, that they, in opposition to the preachers, laboriously
avoided carrying religious persecution to the death penalty. It was
the error of James that in ecclesiastical matters he could not obey
the proverb, " Let sleeping dogs lie." He was determined that
nobody should live in the realm who was not of the same religion
as himself, and his majesty's religion was a thing of rapid develop-
ment. He now reached a stage of fairly high Anglicanism of an
ornate kind. This he began to force upon his Scottish subjects,
who liked their religion bald and bleak. Preachings thrice a week
(Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays), very rare communion services,
not much music, and no works of art in church except the heraldic
decorations of the lairds' pews, recommended themselves to the
Scots. The communion was taken sitting, as in the first institution
of the Lord's Supper, and the bread, apparently, was broken by the
communicants as they passed it from each to each. The purpose
was to preserve the original aspect of a common though sacred meal.
Kneeling was deemed to imply adoration of the sacred elements,


and the Scottish communion avoided the sacred seasons of the
old faith, such as Easter and Christmas.

It seemed easy for James to leave these things as they were.
What he had a right to secure, if he could, was immunity from
clerical interference with the State, and freedom from the insults of
the pulpit. In these respects he had now no ground of complaint.
His two " Courts of High Commission " (the name being of evil
association in England) had been set up in 16 10, had enforced
ecclesiastical and moral discipline, and in 161 5 had been con-
solidated into one court. In the same year, in June, the death of
Archbishop Gledstanes left St Andrews and the primacy of Scotland
open to Spottiswoode, who preached himself in on August 5 and 6.
Law succeeded him in Glasgow ; Graham, of Dunblane, took the
Orkneys; and Bannatyne, once a foul-mouthed opponent of bishops,
obtained the see of Dunblane.^^ In August 16 16 a General
Assembly was held at Aberdeen. This was thought to be for the
conveniency of the northern and less precise preachers, but we have
already seen that the north could boast her precisians at Nig and
elsewhere. They were much offended by the novelty of the D.D.
degree conferred at St Andrews on the Principals of St Leonard's,
St Salvator's, and St Mary's, with other ministers ; this prejudice
against the degree has long been obsolete.-^

The Assembly was directed by the king to take strong measures
against Popery, a step which never did conciliate the remnant of the
old leaven, who thought Episcopal persecutions of Catholics a mere
farce. Spottiswoode was moderator, not by free election, and neither
the ministers nor the nobles, " with silks and satins," were regarded
as having " lawful commission to vote." Time was protracted in
treating of penalties against Papists to weary the faithful from the
south. Such Assemblies were not regarded by the Presbyterians of
the old stamp as legal and binding. Family prayers were imposed
on all, " and that the minister of every parish haunt their houses to
see the same observed," so that Scottish Episcopacy by no means
meant an end of clerical espiotinage. The name " Presbytery " was not
abolished : it occurs in an article against schoolmistresses. Justices
of the Peace were to apprehend people who made pilgrimages to the
holy wells, but the practice is not extinct yet in the Highlands, or
even in the Lowlands. Ministers were to detect and expose minor
poets, " songsters, and minstrels " ; they, too, have survived these
severities, like Scott's hero : —


The bigots of the iron time

Had called his harmless art a crime.

There was some dealing with Huntly, who, after a recent excom-
munication by the Kirk, had been absolved in England by the
Archbishop of Canterbury — a bad precedent. " He did it of brotherly
affection, and not as claiming any superiority over the Kirk of
Scotland." A new Confession, less rigid than " the King's Con-
fession," was submitted to the Assembly. Finally, a number of the
southern precisians being wearied out, royal instructions as to the
discipline and policy of the Kirk were rapidly passed in a thin house.
The rigid declared that they could not speak or vote freely, " having
the king's guard standing behind our backs." A Catechism called
" God and the King " was ordered to be used in schools.^'* Worse,
a Liturgy was to be read in common prayer, though the minister was
still allowed to " conceive his own prayer " afterwards. The com-
munion was to be celebrated quarterly, " and one of the times to be
Easter," a festival of man's invention, and having no certain warranty
in Holy Writ. In the Confession it is averred that " the body and
blood of Jesus Christ are truly present in the holy supper," but that
" we participate in them only spiritually and by faith, not carnally or
corporally," a rather delicate distinction. In October a new
outrage occurred. " The organs which were to be set up in the
chapel royal were brought to Leith." The Abbey kirk at Holy-
rood and the chapel royal were also repaired and redecorated
against the coming of the king.^^

The Acts of the Assembly, except one ordaining the confirmation
of the young by bishops, were, his majesty said, " a mere hotch-
potch " — " hotch-potch " being the name of an excellent broth of
promiscuous elements. He wished that — (i) the communicants
should kneel, not sit; (2) that the communion might be admin-
istered to the dying at home ; (3) that baptism should be admin-
istered on the first Sunday after birth, and, if necessary, at home
(this was the common practice in Presbyterian families down to
very recent times) ; (4) that the chief anniversaries, such as
Christmas, Easter, Pentecost, should be observed ; (5) confirmation
and instruction were insisted upon. Spottiswoode remonstrated :
it would be difficult to get these articles admitted.

James, therefore, deferred them till his own visit to his native
country. His "salmon-like instinct," he said, had long made him
wish to see his own country. There his loyal subjects supposed


that he had pardoned Somerset for the murder of Overbury, because
Somerset had been privy to the poisoning of Prince Henry ! This
is reported by Calderwood : it is only one example of the charity of
Scottish opinion.-^ A man who would have gilded figures of the
apostles set up in the royal chapel (and that was James's intention)
was capable of anything. First, an organ; then images; then murder,
then the mass ! The images were the substance of remonstrance by
the bishops, whom James answered angrily (March 13, 16 17). He
did not erect the figures, but merely because there was not time
enough to have the work well done. The bishops' ignorance
amazed James. They did not object to figures of " lions,
dragons, and devils," only to those of patriarchs and apostles.-'^

The visit of James, with the preparations of every kind for a
retinue of 5000 persons, perturbed Scotland. Beggars were to be
driven out of Edinburgh, game was to be preserved, ruins were to
be pulled down, new dwellings erected, and all this would have been
good for business if tradesmen could have cherished a confident
hope of being paid. On this point they were gravely sceptical.

The king crossed the Tweed on May 13, 161 7. Space does not
serve for a minute account of the royal progress.^ Bacon came,
and Lennox, Arundel, and Shakespeare's Southampton, William
Herbert, Earl of Pembroke, and the young favourite, Villiers, Earl
of Buckingham, and, among other divines, Dr William Laud, like
the evil fairy at the christening, like Discord at the banquet of
the Olympians. On Friday, May 16, James entered Edinburgh.
The pageants and pedantries were of the usual kind. James made
for Falkland and Dundee, and his old hunting grounds, and every
palace spoke to him of raids by Bothwell or Gowrie, of imprison-
ment and escape. At Holyrood he may have slept in a bed of gold
and silver work, wrought by his mother's hand : he must have held
court in the rooms that had reeked with the blood of Riccio. After
a stately visit to Morton at Dalkeith, Parliament was " ridden " on
June 1 7, and the holding of Parliament in a prison (the Tolbooth)
may have surprised the English visitors.

The most important fact in James's visit to Scotland
was his dealing with the Kirk. He had promised to make
no alterations ; publicly he had promised, privately he had told
Spottiswoode that he would clarify the hotch-potch of the Assemh'
of Aberdeen in 1616. He began by making the Council kne
the sacrament in the royal chapel. Laud wore a surplice at'


burial of one of the Guards — that harmless-looking surplice which
has an effect so maddening on many minds. In the Parliament
discontent was shown. James's list of Lords of the Articles was
not accepted. The very first article ran, " That whatsoever conclu-
sion was taken by his majesty with advice of the archbishops and
bishops in matters of external police, the same should have the
power and strength of an ecclesiastical law." The very bishops
themselves said that " advice and consent of presbyters " were
necessary, so " a competent number of the ministry " was added
in a new clause. The preachers began to agitate. One Struthers
prayed God to save Scotland from Anglican rites. On June 27
fifty-five preachers signed a protest against the practical abolition of
the powers of the General Assembly. The signatures did not come
to James's hands, but the protest did. His INIajesty, hearing a
dispute outside his dressing-room door, rushed forth, in an unaffected
costume, and found Spottiswoode squabbling with Hewat, who had
the copy of the protest. The leaders, repenting, had asked Spottis-
woode not to let it reach James, but Hewat was for presenting it.
James looked at the paper, asked where the signatures were, and
then in Parliament caused the article protested against to be
dropped.-^ But that night James summoned the most noted
preachers to meet him, on July 13, in the castle chapel of St
Andrews, now scarcely traceable among the ruins. Spottiswoode
gives the king's speech on this occasion. He asked why his
five points, as to kneeling at the communion and the rest, had
not been accepted by last year's Assembly at Aberdeen, Again,
they had " mutinously " protested against the first article in the
June Parliament at Edinburgh. What, he demanded, were their
scruples, what their reasons ? The preachers asked leave to with-
draw and discuss, which they did in the Town Kirk in South Street.
They then asked that a General Assembly might first consider the
king's new articles. Patrick Galloway is said, by Spottiswoode, to
have offered his assurance that the Assembly would be obedient,
and an Assembly was fi.xed for November 25 at St Andrews.^*'

The High Commission also sat, and Calderwood, the historian,
was called before it. He was now a man of forty-two, and he played
the part of Andrew Melville and his other heroes. The charge was
that he kept the protest of the ministers drawn up in June with all
the signatures. He said that he had given the roll to Andrew
Simpson, another preacher, then warded in Edinburgh Castle. He

VOL. II. 2 K


was next accused of attending the " mutinous " meeting of the

Online LibraryAndrew LangA history of Scotland from the Roman occupation (Volume 2) → online text (page 53 of 60)