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Diary of Sir Archibald Johnston, Lord Wariston. 1639, The preservation of the honours of Scotland, 1651-52, Lord Mar's Legacies, 1722-27, Letters concerning Highland affairs in the 18th century (Volum online

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Online LibraryScottish History SocietyDiary of Sir Archibald Johnston, Lord Wariston. 1639, The preservation of the honours of Scotland, 1651-52, Lord Mar's Legacies, 1722-27, Letters concerning Highland affairs in the 18th century (Volum → online text (page 1 of 32)
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3 1833 00668 9373

Gc 941 . 00 05 Scol p v, 2 6

Diary of Sir Archibald
Johnston, Lord War is ton







December 1896

This Volume is presented to the members

of the Scottish History Society by

T. and A. Constable

December 1896

from the portrait by Jaincsone in the /'Osscsiiun of Sir Jdiita Gibson-Crai^, Bari.











Printed at the University Press by T. and A. Constable

for the Scottish History Society


P ^ V


J 1389456


February 1896

^^" ' The Secretary read a letter . . . making offer on behalf
' of Messrs. T. and A. Constable to print at their own
' ' cost, and to present to the Society, in October next, a
' volume of Miscellanies, in commemoration of the Tenth
' Anniversary of the Society's institution. The offer was
' cordially accepted, and the Chairman was requested to
' convey to Messrs. Constable the CounciPs appreciation of

' the generous gift.' T. G. L.

Hon. Sec.



TON, 16.39, Edited by George M. Paul 1

IN DuNNOTTAR Castle, 1651-1652,

Edited hxj Charles R. A. Howden 99



Edited by The Hon. Stuart Erskine 139


Edited by J. R. N. Macphail 249




MAY 2 I -JUNE 25


Edited from the Original Manuscript with

Introduction and Notes by


M.A., F.S.A. SCOT.


WoDROw relates^ that Mr. Ridpath^ informed him that he
had been ' imployed by Secretary Johnstoun to goe throu his
' father, my Lord Wariston's papers, and put them in order ;
' which he spent severall dayes and weeks upon. That amongst
' other papers of the greatest value to the Church of Scotland,
' he fell upon my Lord Wariston''s Dyary, which he sayes he read
' over. There is a great deal of it, and all bound up in difFer-
' ent boundels. It conteans many valuable passages with
* relation to the history of these times, noe where else to be
' found."" Secretary Johnston lived during the latter years of
his life at Twickenham, and died in May 1737. What became
of his papers after his death is not known ; and probably his
father's Diary is irretrievably lost. A fragment has fortunately
been preserved in a separate manuscript volume. It covers
the short period of thirty-six days, from the 21st of May to
the 25th of June 1639, and contains the details of the nego-
tiations which ended in the pacification of Berwick, and the
conclusion of the first Bishops' War.

The manuscript was submitted to this Society by its owner,
Mr. Maxtone Graham of Cultoquhey and Redgorton, the
nephew and heir of the late Mr. Robert Graham of Balgowan,

^ Afialecta, ii. 218.

- Mr. George Ridpath was a well-known political writer in the reigns of King
William in. and Queen Anne. He was the translator from the Latin ms. of
Sir Thomas Craig's Treatise against the Eight of the Crown of England to
Homage from the Kingdom of Scotland, 1695, which he dedicated to Secretary
Johnston ; and he was the author of an Account of the Rights and Powers of
the Parlia7ne7it of Scotland, 1705, to which Secretary Johnston is said to have
written the Preface. — Atwood's The Scotch Patriot Unmasked, 1705 ; Wodrow,
Analecta, ii. 267. See also Carstares' State Papers, 216.


in whose library it was found. Nothing is known of its history
prior to its discovery in Mr. Graham's library. It is contained
in a small folio which is bound in white vellum, eleven and
a half inches long, by eight and three quarters broad, and
has attached to it the roots of four vellum strings or ties.
The volume is written from both ends — the Diary being
written from one end, and some interesting miscellaneous
notes and papers from the other. On the front page of this
end is written in Wariston's handwriting, ' The names of the
books q^. I talk to the airmee with me.' Then follow: 1.
' Memorandum of paperis takine with me to the Campe in
' July 1640."' 2. ' The new and constant plote of planting
' the whole kirks of Scotland penned to be presented to the
' Kinge and the estaits in anno 1596."' This extends to
eleven and a half closely written pages. 3. ' Ane schort note
' of the decisiones and interloquitors given be the Lords of
' Counsell since the moneth of Januar IGlO.' The latest date
is 30th July 1646. The cases are arranged in alphabetical
order according to the subjects, and are reported very briefly.
There are sundry markings on the margin in Wariston's hand-
writing. This digest occupies ninety-seven pages. 4. Notes
from 'the books of the register of Session beginning 4th
February 1531,' and ending on 1st February 1545. This
occupies sixteen pages. 5. Papers relating to the scheme for
' the erecting of a comon fishing ' for England and Scotland in
1630. They contain notes upon the Fishery Laws of some of
the Continental nations. 6. Some notes entitled ' Avisandum
anent the Union.' 7. Acts and orders of the Commissioners
for administration of justice in Scotland, 27th June 1655 to
8th November 1656.

The Diary, which is the only writing from the other end of
the book, is written in a small but neat and legible seventeenth
century hand. It is not that of Wariston, but it is abundantly
clear from internal evidence that the Diary was his.

During the whole of the eventful period, from the uprising


of the Scottish people against the Service Book and the
Bishops in 1637 until the Restoration, Sir Archibald John-
ston of Wariston (Lord Wariston) was in the very front rank
of the Presbyterian party. He was perhaps the most remark-
able Scotsman of that very troubled period of British history.

The family to which he belonged seems to liave been an
offshoot from the noble house of Annandale.^ He has been
described as a son of James Johnston of Beirholm in Dumfries-
shire, but that was not so. In 1608 James Johnestoun, who is
described as ' of Beirholme,'' was served heir of Gavin Johne-
stoun ' in ' (i.e. tenant of) ' Kirkton of Kirkpatrick Juxta ' in
Dumfriesshire, his grandfather, and heir of his father, ' James
Johnestoun, in " (i.e. tenant of) ' Midilgill."' ^ Neither grand-
father nor father is described as ' of Beirholm."' How or when
James Johnston became possessed of Beirholm does not appear,
but it seems clear that he did not inherit it from either of
them. And from what follows it will be seen that he was not
Wariston''s father, although he may have been a relation.

Archibald Johnestoun (Wariston\s grandfather) was a native
of Kirkpatrick Juxta. By his will ^ he left ' ane hundreth
' merks to help the repairing and completing of ye kirk callit
' Kirkpatrick Juxta, where my predecessors'" bonis lyes.""

This Archibald Johnestoun was an eminent merchant and
leading citizen of Edinburgh during a considerable part of the
reign of James vi. On 22nd April 1589 the King wrote to
Archibald Douglas, thanking him ' for his services in behalf of
' Archibald Johnestoun, son-in-law of the Provost of Edin-
' burgh ' ; * and on 31st May 1595, he wrote to Queen Elizabeth

^ He, as well as his uncle Johnston of Hilton in Berwickshire, carried the
principal arms of the Annandale family, but for a difference engrailed the
saltier. — Nisbet, i. 144 ; Tke British Herald, by Robson, vol. ii. voce Johnston.

The Editor unfortunately did not see The Annandale Family Book, by Sir
William Fraser, K.C.B, , until this Introduction was written. Portions of
Wariston's family history which follow, and which have been collected from the
original sources, will be found in that work.

2 Printed Special Retours, Dumfriesshire, 28th April 1608, Nos. 51, 52.

* Register of Confd. Test., Edinburgh, 28th April 1619.

■* Historical Manuscripts, Hatfield Collection, iii. 407.


soliciting her good offices with reference to a suit in which
Archibald Johnestoun was engaged before her Council.^
Bishop Burnet, his great-grandson, described him as ' the
greatest merchant'' of his time, and said that he left to his
wife an estate of cfSOOO a year, a large fortune in those days,
' to be disposed of among his children as she pleased,' '^ By his
will he bequeathed a legacy to the University of Edinburgh,
which still has a bursary of dS'll, 2s. 2d, sterling, a year, bearing
his name,^ His wife was Rachel Arnot, a daughter of Sir
John Arnot of Birswick, who was Lord Provost of Edinburgh
from 1587 till 1589, and for some years Treasurer-Depute, and
a Privy Councillor, Sir John Arnot is said by Burnet to have
been ' a man in great favour,' * Rachel Arnot died on 20th
March 1626,^

Archibald Johnestoun and Rachel Arnot had three sons and
two daughters, viz, : 1, James, a merchant burgess of Edin-
burgh, who married Elizabeth Craig, second daughter of Sir
Thomas Craig of Riccarton, the most eminent lawyer of his
time, and author of the very learned Latin treatise on Feudal
Law.^ 2, Samuel, who was an advocate, succeeded on the

^ Historical Manuscripts, Hatfield Collection, v, 223.

- Burnet's History of his own Titne, 8vo. vol. i. p. 31.

' Register of Confd. Test., ut supra; Edinburgh University Calendar, 1895-6,
pp. 329-333. '• Burnet, tU supra.

^ Register of Confd. Test., Edinburgh, 23rd August 1626.

^ Her mother's name was Helen Heriot. Tytler and others, following the
Biography of Craig prefixed to the third edition of they«j- Feudale, have errone-
ously described her as daughter of Heriot, Laird of Trabroun. She was second
daughter of Robert Heriot of Lumphoy or Lymphoy, an estate in the parish
of Currie, near to Craig's estate of Riccarton. The mansion-house of the old
estate is now in ruins, and is called Lennox Tower. Robert Heriot was also
rentaller under the Archbishop of Glasgow of the lands of Ramshorn, Meadow-
flat, and Cardarroch. Helen Swinton, his wife, was probably the eldest
daughter of John Swinton of that Ilk (Douglas Baronage, p. 130). Heriot's eldest
daughter and heiress was Agnes, wife of James Foulis, Baron of Colinton. Helen
Swinton, after Robert Heriot's death, married Edward Henryson, a learned
Doctor of Laws, to whom she had a son. Sir Thomas Henryson, Lord Chesters
in the Court of Session. See Reg. Eccl. Colleg. Sancte. Trinit. Edinburgh, pp.
118-132 ; Netv Statist. Account, ' Currie,' 546 ; also Diocesan Register of Glasgow,
Grampian Club, vol. i. pp. 161-172 ; Brown's Monumental Inscriptions in
Greyfriars Churchyard, Edinburgh (Henryson), p. 76.


death of his mother to the property of Sheens (Sciennes), now
part of Edinburgh, and to the estate of Dunglass in Berwick-
shire. 3. Joseph, who succeeded to the estate of Hilton in
Berwickshire, was founder of the family of Johnston of Hilton
in that county.^ 4. Rachel, married (first) John Jaksone,^
and (secondly) Sir William Bruce of Stenhouse, whom she
survived.^ 5. Jonet, married (first) Sir James Skene of Currie-
hill, Lord President of the Court of Session from 1626 till
1633 ; and (secondly) James Inglis of Ingliston.*

James Johnston, the eldest son,^ and Elizabeth Craig had
eight children, of whom four seem to have died in infancy.
The four who survived their grandfather were : one son, the
celebrated Archibald Johnston of Wariston, and three
daughters,^ of whom the eldest, Rachel, married Robert
Burnet, Advocate (afterwards Lord Crimond in the Court of
Session), the editor of the first edition of Craig's Jus Feudale ;
and Beatrix, the youngest, married, in 1639, Patrick Congal-
ton of that Ilk.'' Of the other daughter, Margaret, nothing
has been discovered.

In the beginning of the seventeenth century Edinburgh was a
comparatively small town. It was then as now ' the metropolis
of law,' as Jedediah Cleishbotham termed it, and its leading
citizens were, consequently, mostly connected with the Law
Courts. Wariston's grandfather was Sir Thomas Craig, the
eminent feudal lawyer; his wife's grandfather was Sir John
Skene of Curriehill, who had been one of the Octavians, Lord
Clerk Register, and a Lord of Session ; and her father was Sir
Alexander Hay, Lord Foresterseat, also a Lord of Session.^

^ There was, and still is, another family of Johnston of Hilton in Aberdeenshire,
2 Register Confd. Test., Edinburgh, 28th April 1619.
2 Register Great Seal, Printed Abridg., 5th July 1627, No. IIOI.
* Ibid. 13th March 1637.

^ Died 24th April 1617. Reg. Confd. Test., Edinburgh, 2nd July 1618.
s Reg Confd. Test., supra.

^ Douglas Baronage, p. 523. It is there said that she was a daughter of Wari-
ston, but that is obviously a mistake.

^ Register Great Seal, Abridg., 1 169, nth July 1642.


Wariston's great-aunt, Marion Arnot, was the wife of (first)
James Nisbet, a brother of Patrick Nisbet, Lord Eastbank, and
uncle of Sir John Nisbet of Dirleton, Lord Advocate and a Lord
of Session in the time of Charles ii. ; ^ and (secondly) Sir Lewis
Stewart, the famous Advocate, who was a loyal adherent of
Charles i., and legal adviser of the Royal Commissioner at the
General Assembly of 1638. Margaret Craig, his mother's eldest
sister, was the wife of Sir Alexander Gibson, the first Lord Durie,
and mother of Sir Alexander Gibson, the second Lord Durie.^
His uncle, Samuel Johnston of Sheens, married Helen Morison,
a sister of Lord Prestongrange,^ and granddaughter of John
Preston of Fentonbarns, Lord President of the Court from
1609 till 1616; and his aunt, Jonet Johnstoun, was, as has
been mentioned, the wife of Sir James Skene of Curriehill, Lord
President of the Court.* Wariston was thus closely related to,
and from his childhood must have been intimately acquainted
with, the leading men of Edinburgh.

His nearest relations were probably all Presbyterians ; some
of them at least were zealous for the cause. Of his grand-
mother, Rachel Arnot, Burnet ^ wrote that being a very rich
woman, and much engaged to the Presbyterian party, she was
most obsequiously courted by them. ' Bruce lived concealed
' in her house for some years : and they all found such advan-
' tages in their submissions to her, that she was counted for
' many years the chief support of the party. . . . My father '
(Lord Crimond), ' marrying her eldest grandchild, saw a great
' way into all the methods of the puritans."' She was, no doubt,
the friend referred to by Kirkton,^ at whose house at Sheens,
in the year 1621, the Presbyterian ministers, who had been
ordered to depart from Edinburgh for refusing to observe the
Five Articles of Perth, met to spend in fasting and prayer the
day on which these Articles were to be ratified by Parliament

1 Dirleton Writs. "- Tytler's Life of Craig, p. 323.

3 Reg. Confd. Test., Edinburgh, 6th March 1627.

* Ibid. 2Sth April 1619. ^ Burnet, vol. i. p. 31. '^ P. 16.


— the Black Parliament as it was called. When Sir James
Skene, President of the Court, failed, notwithstanding the
King's orders, to be present at the Kirk of Edinburgh on
Easter Day 1619 to receive the Communion kneeling as pre-
scribed by one of the Articles of Perth, his absence was
ascribed by some ' not to conscience, but to dissuasions of his
mother-in-law ' (Rachel Arnot) ' and her daughter, his wife "*
(Jonet Johnstoun), 'a religious gentlewoman.''^ The other
daughter, Rachel, was no doubt of the same way of thinking.
Her eldest son. Sir William Bruce of Stenhouse, was a ruling
elder in James Guthrie's separate Presbytery, which was com-
posed of the most extreme or Remonstrant members of the
party.- And Burnet wrote of his own mother, ' Guthry, the
' chief of their preachers, was hid in my mothers house, who
' was bred to her brother Waristoun's principles, and could
' never be moved from them.' ^ The steadfastness of some of
Wariston's own children to his principles will be afterwards

Wariston was born in 1611, probably in the month of
March, as he was baptized on the 28th of that month.*

He was educated at the University of Glasgow, and received
the degree of Master of Arts from that University. The year
when he went to College is nowhere stated, but the College books
note the receipt ' fra Archibald Johnstoun for his buird for
the spaice of five moneths IIP" lib.,'^ and on 1st March 1630
he was matriculated as a student in one of the higher classes,^
The muniments of the University contain a list of books,
which ' Archibaldus Jonstonus laurea donandus Accademiae

1 Calderwood's Hist. AfSS. viii. 838. ^ Baillie, iii. 257.

^ Burnet, vol. i. p. 434.

* '1611, 28 Martii, James Johnestoun, Merchant, Elizabeth Craig a s(on)
' n(amed) Archibald, w(itnesses) Archibald Johnestoun, David Johnestoun.'
/y/i Register of Baptisme Alinistrat itt the Kirks of Edinburgh after the First
Reformation, 2nd September 1610-llth December 1621, General Register

^ Munimenta Universitatis Glasguetisis, iii. 530. ^ Ibid. 82,


Glasguensi donavit in evxapi-crTia^ T€Kfjirjpiovy but the year is
unfortunately not stated.^ He passed through his College
classes under Baillie (afterwards Principal Baillie) as regent.
Baillie, whose mother was one of the Gibson of Durie family
(Letters i. xxii.), was connected with Wariston, whose aunt,
Margaret Craig, married Sir Alexander Gibson of Durie.
They maintained a close friendsliip for many years. In a
letter to James Sharp (afterwards Archbishop of St. Andrews)
about Wariston, Baillie ^ wrote of the friendship professed
by him 'to me constantly since he was a child and my

Wariston passed Advocate at the Scottish Bar on 6th
November 1633.

His marriage with Lord Foresterseat's eldest daughter,
Helen Hay, must have taken place soon after he passed, as
at least one child had been born to them before 1636.^

They had a large family. Lady Wariston, in petitioning
the King, in 1660, for a pardon for her husband, stated that
she ' and her 12 children were reduced to a poore and
desolate condition,' * and at least two of her daughters were
then married.^ The following were their children, but pro-
bably not their whole family :

1. Archibald, the eldest son. He was alive in 1643, but
must have died young.^

2. James, first of that name, died in infancy.^

3. Alexander, who, in 1672, was ' eldest son and apparent
heir ' of his father.^ He was, at least at one time, the black

^ Munimtnta Universitatis Glasguensis, iii. 412. ^ Baillie, iii. 336.

^ See p. 12. ■* British Museum Addl. mss. 23, 114.

^ Wariston died deeply in debt. It was ascertained after his death that his
debts exceeded the value of his estate by 12,361 merks Scots. — Ads of Parlia-
ment, vii. 62 1 .

After his death Kirkton wrote of him : ' He left his lady and numerous family
' in mean estate, the' afterward the Lord provided better for many of them than
' if their father hade stood in his highest grandeur,' p. 174.

® Reg. Great Seal, Abridg., 20th November 1643, No. 327.

'' Wodiow's Analecta, ii. 219. ^ Acts of Parliament, ix. 213.


sheep of the family. Brodie^ wrote of him, ' 1671, Nov. 17th,
' I heard that Alexander, Waristoun's son, had brok, and

* through cheating, lying, wrong ways. My brother and

* others had suffered much by him." He married Francisca
Cuninghame, daughter of Captain James Cuninghame of
Ballichan, in Ireland, son of Sir James Cuninghame of Glen-
garnock and Lady Catherine Cuninghame, daughter of
James Earl of Glencairn. Her sister, Penuel, married Sir
James Colquhoun of Balvie, afterwards of Luss.- Alexander
seems to have been bred a lawyer, but for some time he made
a livelihood by buying and selling tallies at the Treasury,
Exchequer, etc., equivalent to Exchequer bills. This he after-
wards gave up, and devoted himself to secret service under
William in., and the discovering of the plots which were then
being hatched for the assassination of that King and the
return of King James.'

4. James (2nd) born 9th September 1655.* His father
recorded in the lost Diary that this ' was to be the stay and
support of his family.'' ^ After his father's death he was sent
to Holland where he was educated. ' He had the character
' of the greatest proficient in the civil law that ever was in
' Utrecht."' ^ He was introduced into political life through his
cousin-german Bishop Burnet, and was from time to time
employed on important political missions. He was Secretary of
State for Scotland from 1692 till 1696. In the latter year he
married as his second wife, Catherine, daughter of John, second
Baron Poulett.'' In writing to Carstares he spoke of his first
wife as having been related to Adam Cockburn of Ormiston,
the Lord Justice Clerk, but who she was has not been dis-

1 Diary, p. 322.

- Printed General Retoiirs, 29th April 1682, No. 6385 ; Fountainhall's His-
torical Notices, vol. ii. pp. 778-9 ; Douglas Baronage, p. 26.

^ See Carstares' State Papers, 200-225. ^ Brodie's Diary, 155.

^ Wodrow's Analecta, ii. 218.

® Macky's Memoirs, 204. Macky described him as ' a tall fair man. '

' Collins's Peerage, iv. 12.


covered. He had a son by that former marriage.^ He was
Lord Clerk Register in the reign of Queen Anne 1704-5.
After retiring from public business he resided at Orleans
House, Twickenham. Mr. John M'Claurin said of him to
Wodrow that ' he keeps out a very great rank, and frequently
' has Mr. Walpool and the greatest courtiers with him at his
' country house near London ; and the King sometimes does
' him the honour to dine with him.' ^ He was a great favourite
with Queen Caroline, ' who was much entertained with his
humour and pleasantry."' ^ He is described as ' a person of
' learning and virtue, perfectly sincere, but,"" like his father,
' hot and eager, too soon possessed with jealousy, and too
' vehement in all he proposed.' * ' The freedom of his manners
' was rather disgusting to King William."' ^ He died at Bath
in 1737, and was buried at Twickenham on the llth of that
month.® The Scots Magazine of the time stated that he
died at the age of ninety-five, but that is impossible, as Brodie
of Brodie who was present at his baptism has noted in his
Diary that he was born on 9th September 1655.'^ His son
James Johnston was served as heir-general to him on 13th
March 1744.

5. ElizxVbeth, married Thomas, eldest son of Sir Adam
Hepburn of Humbie^ to whom she had one child Helen,
who married Walter Scott of Highchester, Earl of Tarras.^
Elizabeth married, secondly. General William Drummond
of Cromlix, created Viscount Strathallan in 1686. She died
in 1679, before her husband"'s elevation to the peerage, and was
buried in St. George's Church, South wark.^*^

6. Rachel married the noble Robert Baillie of Jerviswood —

^ Carstares' State Papers, 155-6. - Wodrow's Analecta, iii. 206.

^ Carstares, 93.

•* The Jerviswood Correspondence, Bannatyne Club. Preface.

'•' Carstares, tit supra.

® Lysons's Environs of London, vol. iii. pp. 563, 594. '' Brodie's Diary, 155.

8 Act. Par. vii. 20-64 ; General Retours, 25th Jan. 1659, Nos. 4415, 16, 17.

9 Douglas Peerage, vol. ii. p. 5SS. 10 Ibid. 552.


the Scottish Sidney, as he has been called — who after suffering
cruel imprisonment by order of the King and Privy Council,
was executed on 24th December 1684 on the groundless charge
of compassing the death of the King and his brother the Duke
of York. Rachel died before 18th September 1707.^

7. Helen married George Home of Graden, in the parish
of Earlston. Her husband and she were both warm supporters
of the principles of the Covenanters. In the last days of her
brother-in-law Robert Baillie, when his wife, owing to feeble
health, was unable to attend him, she devoted herself to the
alleviation of his sufferings in prison, where she remained with
him in close confinement. She accompanied him to the place

Online LibraryScottish History SocietyDiary of Sir Archibald Johnston, Lord Wariston. 1639, The preservation of the honours of Scotland, 1651-52, Lord Mar's Legacies, 1722-27, Letters concerning Highland affairs in the 18th century (Volum → online text (page 1 of 32)