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SINCE the publication of this edition of the SCOTTISH BIOGRAPHICAL DIC-
TIONARY was commenced, a considerable number of eminent individuals have
been added to the list of the illustrious dead. The names of Gordon, Ward-
law, Wilson, Montgomery, Lockhart, &c., will occur to every one as among
the more prominent requiring to be recorded in a collection like the present.
Had such names been passed over unnoticed, the Work would have been
deservedly esteemed imperfect. But the introduction of so many important
Memoirs, not originally calculated upon, and the necessity for which could
not be foreseen, has demanded a small extension to the assigned limits of
the Work. This augmentation, however, extending only to a single Part,
the Publishers believe will meet with the cordial approbation of the pur-
chasers of the SCOTTISH BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY, as the Work is thereby
rendered much more perfect as a book of reference than it would have been
had a too rigorous regard to the considerations of space caused the omission
of the worthy names above noted.


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attendants, and Mary surrendered to her subjects. She, indeed, continued to
love him to the last ; but they never met again.

Brief though the rest of Bothwell's history is, it reads the most solemn of
warnings to princes and politicians. One month only he had held the empty
title of king, for which he had sinned so deeply; and now, not even the poor
shelter of the monk's cell or anchorite's cave over the whole wide land was
ready to receive him. Almost alone, he hastened to his sea-girt castle of Dun-
bar, intending there to await the change of events, which he hoped would end
in his restoration; but Mary, no longer a queen, was a Helpless prisoner in the
hands of those who were busied in framing a new government, while a price
was set upon his own head. Thus finding that at any hour he might be plucked
from his place of strength, he fled with three ships to the Orkneys; but such
was the barrenness of these islands, that he was obliged to have recourse to
piracy for the subsistence of himself and his followers. And even this miser-
able shift soon failed, for a naval squadron was sent against him, under the
command of Kirkcaldy of Grange, who captured two of the vessels, and obliged
the third, with the pirate-king on board, to take to flight. But his ship, one ol
the largest in the Scottish navy, struck upon a sandbank ; and when he took
to shelter in a pinnace, he was driven by a storm to the coast of Norway, and
there taken by a Danish man-of-war. He was asked for his papers, but having
none, he was arrested as a pirate, and carried to Denmark. There it was not
long before he was recognized as the notorious Both well of Scotland ; upon
which Frederic II., the Danish king, instead of surrendering him to the Scottish
regency or Elizabeth of England, threw him into close prison in the castle of
Malmoe, where he languished ten years in misery and privation, mingled with
attacks of insanity, until death at last threw open the gate of his dungeon.
Never was the avenging Nemesis of the Greek drama more terribly realized, or
poetical justice more completely fulfilled.

HERIOT, JOHN. This talented and industrious writer in miscellaneous
literature, was the son of the sheriff-clerk in East Lothian, and was born at
Haddington, on the 22d of April, 17GO. He belonged to a literary family, his
elder brother George having been the author of a poem on the West Indies, and
Travels in Canada. At the age of twelve, the subject of this memoir was sent
to the High School of Edinburgh, from which, after having studied the usual
course, he was transferred to the University of Edinburgh. But whatever
might have been the profession for which he was educated, the plan was frus-
trated by domestic misfortune, and the consequent dispersion of his father's
family. This event obliged him, in 1778, to repair to London, and afterwards
to betake himself to the naval service, by enlisting in the marines. In this
capacity he first served in the Vengeance, afterwards in the Preston, and finally
in the Elizabeth. During these changes, his experience of a nautical life was
chiefly confined to cruises upon the coast of Africa and the West Indies ; but
in the Elizabeth, commanded by Captain Maitland, he saw more active service,
both at Port Royal, and in the engagement of the British fleet, commanded by
Sir George B. Rodney, and that of France under de Guichen, on the 17th of
April, 1780. On this occasion the action was indecisive ; for although the
French line was broken, many of the British captains hung back, from their
political dislike to Rodney, because he was a Tory, so that he was fully seconded
by only five or six ships. Of these the Elizabeth, in which Heriot served as ,i
subaltern officer of marines, was one ; and in the unequal contest, in which hid

v. 2 P


ship bore up against two of the enemy, he was among the wounded. During
the same year, having exchanged into the Brune frigate of thirty-two guns, he
was exposed off the coast of Barbadoes to that tremendous hurricane of the 10th
of October, 1780, by which the island was so fearfully devastated, and nearly
reduced to ruin. So imminent was the danger to which the Brune was exposed
on this occasion, that Heriot ever afterwards commemorated the return of that
day as one of solemn festival and devout gratitude. After continuing in the
service till the peace of 1733, Mr. Heriot, in consequence of the general reduc-
tion, retired with the rank aiid half-pay of a first lieutenant, after he had been
afloat five years.

On coming ashore, Heriot found that his life was to be commenced anew.
Upon this occasion, his first proceeding was one of such filial piety as to insure
him both long life and success in whatever career he might select ; he mort-
gaged his half-pay that he might assist his parents in their reduced circum-
stances, although he thereby left himself wholly destitute. Having learned no
regular occupation before he went to sea, and having now neither time nor
means for such a purpose, he proceeded to turn such scholarship and experience
as he had acquired to their best account, by becoming author ; and for several
years his life was that precarious scramble to which authorship is often doomed
before it attains its proper footing. Among his attempts in this way, he wrote
a poem entitled " Sorrows of the Heart," and two novels, one of which, entitled
" The Half-pay Officer," contained an account of several adventures in which he
had been personally engaged ; and from the profits of these works he contrived to
subsist nearly two years. His next occupation was that of journalism, and he was
employed in the "The Oracle," until a misunderstanding with the proprietor
occurred, when he removed his services into "The World," of which he became
sole editor. This " World," however, was so completely a falling one, that no
literary Atlas could have propped it up ; and in a short time he was glad to
escape from the burden. Still it was fortunate that while journalism was
now obtaining that ascendency which the keen and public discussion of great
political questions had occasioned, Heriot, by practice, had become an able
journalist. His support was therefore worth having ; and being a staunch Con-
servative, and opposed to the over-liberal opinions which the French revolution
had engendered in Britain, it was natural that the officers of government should
secure the services of such an efficient advocate. Accordingly, one of the secre-
taries of the Treasury, who admired his talents, proposed that he should start
a daily paper, while two other influential government functionaries engaged to
support it with funds from their own pockets. Thus assisted, Mr. Heriot,
on the 1st of October, 1792, issued the first number of " The Sun," a daily
paper, that soon outstripped its contemporaries in the rapidity and wideness of
its circulation. Animated by this success, he also started, on the 1st of January,
1793, a daily morning paper called " The True Briton," and continued to edit
both journals with great success until 1806, when he was relieved from this
oppresive double labour, by being appointed a commissioner of the Lottery.
Lven while employed in superintending his two daily newspapers, he gave, in
1798, a proof of his indefatigable industry and application, by publishing an in-
teresting account of the battle of the Nile, drawn up from the minutes of aa
officer of rank in the squadron, which passed through several editions.

After this, the career of Mr. Heriot was one of honour, profit, and comfort.
In 1809 he was appointed deputy-paymaster to the troops in the Windward


and Leeward Islands, where he resided till 181C, and discharged the duties of
the office so much to the satisfaction of the Duke of York, that at his return to
England he was appointed comptroller of Chelsea Hospital. In this tranquil
situation he remained till his death, which occurred on the 29th of July, 1833.

IJEUGII, REV. HUGH, D.D. This estimable divine was born at Stirling,
on the 12th of August, 1782. He was the ninth child of the Rev. John Ileugh,
minister of a Secession congregation in Stirling. In his education he was so
fortunate as to have for his teacher Dr. Doig, Avho presided over the Grammar-
School of Stirling, and was one of the most accomplished scholars of his day.
After having made considerable proficiency in classical learning under this able
preceptor, Mr. Heugh, who, from his earliest years, had selected the ministerial
office as his future destination, repaired at the age of fifteen to the University
of Edinburgh, and after undergoing the prescribed course of study, was licensed
as a preacher by the General Associate or Antiburgher Presbytery of Stirling,
on the 22d of February, 1804. His youth and timidity at the outset, on one
occasion at least, had nearly marred his prospects. Having preached in a
church at Leslie, at that time unprovided with a minister, and being obliged to
deliver his discourse memoriter, without which compliance he would not have
been allowed to enter the pulpit, his recollection suddenly failed ; lie was at
once brought to a dead stop, and no remedy remained but to give out a psalm,
while he refreshed his memory during the interval of singing. This disaster
sealed his fate so far as that vacancy was concerned ; and though his father,
fifty years before, had received a call to the same church, the son was rejected.
Two years of preaching overcame this timidity, and made him so acceptable
to his auditories, that three different congregations presented calls to him to be
their minister. Of these calls, that from Stirling, where he was invited to
become the colleague of his aged father, was preferred ; and accordingly he was
ordained to this charge by the General Associate Presbytery of Stirling, on the
14th of August, 1806.

The life of a country minister is seldom one of public interest. Let him be
as talented as he may, he is confined within a particular locality, and fixed to
a particular routine of duty ; and thus it often happens, that the very men from
whom society receives its prevailing impress, live unnoticed and die without
record. Such was the case of Mr. Heugh while labouring at Stirling ; and to
the common eye he was nothing more than a diligent, pains-taking, Dissenting
minister, instant in his daily occupations, and anxious for the spiritual interests
of his flock. But in his diary there is ample evidence to be found that his
exertions and struggles were to the full as heroic as those which insure dis-
tinction to the best men of every-day life. His twofold aim, of which he never
lost sight, was self-improvement, and the improvement of his people, the former
closely connected with, and stimulated by the latter ; and the result was his
own advance in wisdom, eloquence, efficiency, and spiritual-mindedness, accom-
panied with the increasing attachment of his people, and their growth in reli-
gious wisdom and piety. While thus employed, he was married, in 1809, to
Isabella Clarkson, only daughter of a minister of his own religious denomination ;
and on the following year his father died, leaving him sole minister of the con-
gregation. The important charge which had thus devolved upon him only
doubled his diligence, and increased his acceptability among his flock ; while
his diary at this period is filled with notices of his daily and hourly labours,
and his earnest desire to be continually doing good. In this way the life of



Mr. Heugh went onward for years, alternated by two visits to London upon
ministerial duties, in which he showed himself a sharp observer of public cha-
racters and the signs of the times, and by his earnest labours to promote that
union between the t\vo bodies of the Secession, which was afterwards happily

As Mr. Ileugh had now attained a distinction that placed him in the foremost
rank of the religious community to which he belonged, the town of Stirling,
venerable though it be from its ancient historical remembrances, was thought
too limited a sphere for his exertions; and accordingly, in 1819, an attempt was
made to secure his services for the populous and growing city of Glasgow.
This was done by a call from the newly-formed congregation of Regent Street,
Glasgow. But this call, and another from the same congregation, which fol-
lowed soon after, was refused ; his people in Stirling had become so endeared to
his affections, that he could not reconcile himself to the pain of parting, or the
uncertainties of a new career. Bent, however, upon what they considered a
point of most vital interest, by securing him for their minister, the congregation
of Regent Street made a third call ; and the Secession Synod, overcome by this
determined perseverance, agreed, though with reluctance, to transfer their valued
brother to the great mercantile metropolis of Scotland. Accordingly, he was
inducted into his new charge on the 9th of October, 1821. But how to part
from his old congregation, among whom he had officiated so long among whom,
indeed, he had been born ! " The feelings of tenderness," he said in his farewell
discourse from the pulpit, " which this crisis awakens, I dare not attempt to
express ; but these may well be allowed to give place to this most solemn and
paramount consideration the responsibilities incurred both by you and by me
for the opportunities which are now over. Eight hundred Sabbaths have well
nigh elapsed since my ministry in this place began. What have you and I
been doing on so many days of the Son of Man ? " His personal adieus from
house to house were also of the most painful description. " I enter no house,"
he writes, "connected with the congregation, in which tears are not shed; and
the looks, and language, and grasp of the hand of some of the poor especially
altogether overcome me. ... It is, indeed, a sort of living death." " Never,"
he added a few days afterwards, "have I passed through such a scene, and I
often start and ask myself, is it real ? But I must yield myself to the necessity.
I have now no control over arrangements which were made without any agency
of mine. Over these arrangements the Lord of the church has presided, and his
grace is sufficient for me, and his strength can be made perfect in my weakness."
In these feelings he tore himself from Stirling, and commenced his labours in a
new field.

The transition of this affectionate-hearted pastor from Stirling to Glasgow
was, in the first instance at least, anything but a change to greater ease and
comfort ; and at the commencement, Mr. Ileugh had large demands upon his
secular prudence, as well as Christian liberality. In the communion to which
he belonged, there still lingered in Glasgow some of those old prejudices which
had disappeared from other parts of the country. It was not allowed, for
instance, for a family to pass from one pastoral superintendence to another,
unless they removed their residence within an imaginary boundary line belong-
ing to that other congregation, which had been fixed by the church courts.
Then, too, in public worship there were certain trifles insisted upon as stiffly
and keenly as if they had formed part of the creed or the decalogue. Thus, a


gown and b;imls, however becoming in the eyes of the younger portion of the
congregation, as proper clerical distinctions in the performance of the duties of
the pulpit, were, in the judgment of the older members, an utter abomination, as
the badges of Erastianism, Prelacy, or even downright Popery. Psalmody also had
of late been somewhat attended to (and verily there was need!) ; and not only
was the slavish practice of reading the psalm line by line, while singing, begin-
ning to be discontinued, but new tunes were introduced, in which the last line,
or part of the line, of each verse, was repeated. This was astounding to the
orthodox: it was like the introduction of the Liturgy itself in the dnys of
Charles I.; and although no joint-stools flew on the occasion, it was only, per-
haps, because such modes of church controversy could no longer be available.
These prejudices, so silly, and worse than silly, were even tolerated and con-
nived at by not a few of the Secession ministers, who were afraid, by a more
manly course of action, to thin their congregations and lessen their influence.
Such was one of the inevitable consequences of the Voluntary system, by which
Dissenterism will be hampered to the end. It speaks not a little for the intrepid
disinterestedness of Mr. Heugh, that in spite of these obstacles he held onward
in his own course, both in gown-wearing and psalmody, as well as in the more
important dogma of territorial distinction, to which some of the most dis-
tinguished leaders of his own party were obstinately wedded. Another duty,
in which he was worthy of the highest commendation, consisted in the faithful
diligence of his pulpit preparations. On being transferred from one charge to
another, it is natural for a minister to draw upon his old stock of sermons,
while few think of blaming him for such a convenient substitution. But Mr.
Ileugh could not be thus satisfied. Although he brought with him to Glasgow
about two thousand discourses, which he had written during the fifteen years
of his past ministry, scarcely more than twenty of these were delivered during
the quarter of a century over which the rest of his labours extended. Com-
bined with all this diligence, he possessed the true spirit of an orator, in never
rising to address an audience without a certain degree of anxious diffidence
and tremor. " I scarcely ever enter a pulpit," he said, " without a temporary
hectic." Such a preacher can never be dull or uninteresting ; independently of
feeling the sacred nature of his message, he is keenly sensitive to the propriety
and effectiveness of its delivery. Accordingly, his hearers were in the habit of
remarking the singular equality of his pulpit labours, where every sermon was
essentially a good one. All this was nothing more than the result of that care-
ful preparation that would not permit him either to trust to extemporaneous
oratory, or delay the study of his subject to the last. In 1831, he enjoyed one
of the earlier drops of that thunder-shower of Doctors' caps which has lately
crossed the Atlantic, and descended upon our island whether to fertilize or im-
poverish our literary spirit, time will reveal. The degree of Doctor of Divinity
was conferred upon him by the college of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. Such dis-
tinctions he seems to have estimated at their real worth and nothing more.
"Considering all things," he said, "they are of vastly little value; a mere
tinsel shoulder-knot neither helmet, sword, nor shield, much less brawny arm
or valorous soul."

Such was the character and such were the labours of Dr. Heugh in Glasgow
an earnest, diligent, pains taking minister, and eloquent instructor in the
truths of the gospel, while every year added to the affection of his flock and
the esteem of the public at large. Of his share in the ecclesiastical controversies


of the day, and his visits to England and the Continent, important though they
were to himself, it is unnecessary to speak in a short biographical sketch. He
died at Glasgow, on the 10th of June, 184G, in the sixty-fourth year of his age.

HOGG, JAMES. This delightful poet of nature's own rearing, who, of all our
national bards under similar circumstances, ranks nearest to Burns, was born in
Ettrick Forest, on the 25th of January, 1772. Whence he derived his most
unpoetical of names it is not easy to determine, unless we are to suppose that
it was the name of some honoured follower of the Conqueror, subsequently
fattened into its present form by the rich fruits of the conquest, or finally by
a profitable emigration into Scotland in the days, it may be, of Malcolm Can-
more. But upon this dangerous question we have no particular wish to enter.
At all events, we know that James Hogg was fully sensible of this grunting
incongruity in connection with the tuneful avocation of minstrel, and therefore
chose for himself the name of the Ettrick Shepherd as the more fitting appella-
tive. Whatever may have been the good fortune of his earliest ancestors in Scot-
land, we well know that none of it descended to himself ; for his predecessors
had been shepherds as far back as he could trace them. His father, who followed
the same humble calling, had been so successful in it as to save some money,
which he invested in a farming speculation soon after James was born. The
young poet, who was the second of four sons, was therefore sent to school, and
would probably have received the usual amount of education bestowed upon the
children of our Scottish peasantry, had it not been for a reverse of fortune, by
which his father was stripped of all his earnings. This happened when James
was only six years old ; and he was taken from school in consequence of his
parents and their children being "turned out of doors," as ne informs us,
" without a farthing in the world." After a resting-place had been found,
James was obliged to enter into service at the early age of seven. His occupa-
tion was to herd a few cows, upon a half-year's wage of a ewe lamb and a pair
of new shoes. In this lonely occupation, with nothing but his cows for com-
panions, the imaginative boy could find no better amusement than to run races
against time, or rather against himself. For this purpose he was wont to strip
like a regular athlete, until his clothes were lost piece by piece, so that he was
reduced to primitive nudeness ; and it was only by a diligent search of the other
servants that the lost articles were found. After a year spent in this kind of
servitude, he was sent once more to school. Hitherto his education had ad-
vanced so far as reading in the " Shorter Catechism " and the Proverbs of Solo-
mon; but now he was transferred into a higher class, where the Bible itself was
the text-book of lessons. He also learned writing, after a fashion, in a large
coarse hand, where every letter was nearly an inch in length. A quarter of a
year spent in this way completed his education ; all that was afterwards to be

Online LibraryRobert ChambersA biographical dictionary of eminent Scotsmen (Volume 9) → online text (page 1 of 60)