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forth, an eloquent man, took part with the accusers ;
but many of the rest could not bear to hear good
people run down at that rate without trial."

Mr John Maclellan craved that a committee
might be appointed to inquire into the disorders
complained of. At this the clamour and noise be-
came shameful and unbounded ; the moderator had
neither weight in his discourse, nor dexterity in

-vvitclips, above thirty being burnt in Fife in a few months, a
committee was appointed to think on that sin, the way to search
and cure it. The Scots of Ireland did petition for supply of
roiuiaters, and were well heard."

Heccuds of the Kirk of Scotland


guiding" the argument, so every one was allowed
to say what he chose. Neither side was favour-
able to Mr Maclellan's motion. Most of his
friends were afraid of marring- the peace of the
Church by too strict a scrutiny ; and the opposers
of private meetings were disposed to be content if
they could obtain a resolution condemning them in.

Mr Guthrie, however, succeeded in getting an
act passed respecting family worship, ordaining:

1st. "That Family worship be performed by those
of one family only, and not of different families,"

2d. "That reading prayers is lawful where none
in the family can express themselves properly ex-

3d. " That none be permitted to explain the
scriptures, but ministers and expectants approved
of by the presbytery."!

Much assiduous zeal was at this time displayed
by many of the clergy in the discharge of the in-
human duty of bringing witches to condign punish-
ment. 2

1 Stevenson, vol. iii. b. 3. cap. V.

2 Mr Sample was some time Minister of Carsephairn i

Being present when a neighbouring clergyman was distributing
tokens to his congregation, before the administration of the sa-
crament, he suddenly exclaimed, while the minister was reaching
one to a woman ; " Hold yonr hand, she hath gotten too many-
tokens already ; she is a witch." It is said the woman was
not suspected, though she afterwards confessed her guilt, and was
put to death. Another instance of gross superstition, mental
aberration, or arrogant imposition, was displayed about the same
time by the same clergyman. It is mentioned in his life, that
he was particularly successful svith his people on sacramental

occasions, and that the devil envied his success very much.

On one occasion, in particular, before administering the Lord's
Supper, when he had been peculiarly fortunate in lousing their
devotional feelings, he informed them that the devii was partieiiv.


At this superstitious period, the reality of sorcery,
or witchcraft was never for a moment called in ques-
tion. Those who had the misfortune to be viewed as
guilty of it, were accounted the votaries of Satan ;
and the means by which he had gained an ascen-
dency over them were seriously narrated in evi-
dence. To be suspected was generally sufficient
to subject the object of suspicion to punishment;
and even the unhappy beings themselves, some-
times from mental delusion, temporary derange-
ment, or permanent insanity, owned their imaginary
crimes, and acknowledged the justice of the sen-
tence which hurried them to a painful, a cruel, and
an unpitied death. Completely to secure the des-
tined victims of a lamentable superstition, laws
were gravely enacted, that, after their apprehension,

latly irritated on account of their "good work," and that he was
afraid Satan would be permitted to raise a storm, or "speat of rain,"
with the intention of drowning- some of them : " but," said he,
''it shall not be in his power to drown any of you." On Monday,
accordingly, the river was very laige, and when the congrega-
tion were dispersing, they beheld with amazement a map dress,
ed in black, enter the water a little above them. This rash indi-
vidual soon lost his footing and was cairied away by the stream,
floating upon his back, and waving his hands apparently for assist-
ance. The people, having procured a rope, ran and threw it to
him , and he seized it ; but though ten or twelve men were hold-
ing it; yet, it is said, they were in danger of being all drawn into
the river and drowned. Mr Semple, who was looking on, cried
out immediately ;" Quit the rope, and let him go: I see who
he is; it is the devil." It is added, that every inquiry was made
to discover if anv person in that quarter had been drowned, but
nose was heard of; and the deluded people were therefore more
aud more convinced that the peison whom they had seen in the
water wa3 the devil. Thus through the superstitions and per-
nicious influence of one man, did a congregation of Christian
worshippers, with the means of assistance within their power,
look calmly on, while a fellow creature, who was peiiahing in
the flood, solicited their aid. What blind infatuation, what in-
tellectual degradation! (Life of John Semple.— Scot*
Worthies, &c)


they were to be carefully watched by " discreet"
persons;" for they often endeavoured to escape by
suicide, from the brutal insult, the unrelenting 1 tor-
ture, and the excruciating' death, which no proofs
of innocence could enable them to avert. I It is
pleasant to reflect that the benign rays of ge-
nuine religion and rational education have dispel-
led from the human mind those dark mists which
concealed the existence of errors so prolific of e-
normities, so productive of horrors, so diffusive of

The Earl of Montrose had at first espoused the
cause of the Covenant, but, afterwards becoming-
dissatisfied with the conduct of its adherents, he
was gained over by the King. He, therefore, now
prepared, by some bold and irresistible enterprise,
to reduce Scotland to a state of obedience to its
lawful Sovereign ; but the timid counsels of Ha- '
milton prevailed with Charles, and the bold pro-
posals of Montrose were rejected.

Upon the promise of the English Parliament to
reduce Episcopacy, to receive the Covenant, and to •
maintain, or pay the Scottish forces, an auxiliary
army of eighteen thousand infantry and three thou- '
sand cavalry was sent into England in 1644,2 to
raise the drooping cause of the Parliamentary fac-
tion : the Scots thus became parties in the war.

1 Punted Acts of Assembly.

2 In the Scottish Parliament which assembled in 1044, were
the Earl of Cassillis and Lord Kirkcudbright; Sir Robert Griersoa
of Lagg, and James Douglas of Mousewald from Dumfries shire j
William Grierson of'Bargatton from the Stewaitry of Kirk.
cudbright ; Junes M'Dowall of Uai thland and Andrew Agnew
of Lochnaw, from Wigtownshire ; John Crosbie from the town
of Kirkcudbright, and Patiick Hannay from the burgh of Wig-
town : Whithorn, and New Galloway had no commissioners

Its proceedings throw some light on the condition of Gallowav,


When General Leslie, (now Earl of Leven,} its
commander, had reached Morpeth, he remained
five days in that place in order to refresh his
troops. He then advanced upon Newcastle, which
he summoned to surrender. The Marquis, of
Newcastle, one of the King's friends, had thrown
himself into the town, and by his presence and
language invigorated the minds of the defend-
ers. A resolute defiance was returned to the
summons, and the suburbs were set on fire as a
proof of their determination. After the flames
had raged for two days, a sortie was made on
two regiments commanded by Lord Kirkcudbright
and Lord Balg-onie. The Scots at first were
thrown into some confusion and began to give

On Tuesday the 2 of July ; " The housse ordained commis-
sions and letters of intercoaiuning to be directed against them
that are tugitiues, and wer cited to the committee of Drumfreis,
in the rebellion e of the southe.

The housse ordaines Jardine, the Lord Harries seiuant, to be
proceidit aganist by way of dittay.

The housse ordaines Dauid Wallace to be sett at liberty, and
Thomas Brune lykwayes,

Roger Lindesaye3 man to be proceidit aganist, by way
of dittay.

The housse ordaines a committee of 3 of cache estait, to tray
the Earle of Hartfell, the Laird of Hempsefeild, and prouest of
Drumfreis." —

On Monday 22nd July ; " The housse, in respecte of the re-
bellione of Robert, Earle of Nidisdaill and hes deputtes, quho are
Steuarts of Kircubright, none being ther nou to administer jus-
tice to hes Majesties leidges ; auisandum till to morrow."

On Thursday 25th July; " The housse makes and creettes
[creates] the Lord Kircubright, steuart of that steuartrey, and
grantes him a commissione to iudure till the nixt triennial par-
liament wotted [voted] and past,"

Saturday the 27th July; " The proucst of Dumfreis enlarged
under the paine of 5,000 merkes, and he ordained to pay hes
jynne of 10,000 merkes befor hes inlargement."

The Maxswolls that wer comitted 2 dayes befor war also in.
;arged, and confynnd one catione." Balfour.


way. Some English forces were despatched to in- -
tercept their retreat, or attack them in the rear ;
but they were suddenly checked, by finding that
the Scottish regiments had countermarched, and
were presenting a firm and determined front. — -
When Colonel Brandling, the English commander,
observed this, he rode out in front of his soldiers,
and, in the attitude of defiance flourished his pistol
Lieutenant Elliot accepted the challenge. Both
fired and missed, and they were preparing to en-
counter sword in hand, when Brandling's horse
stumbled, and ere he could recover his seat, his an-
tagonist pushed him to the ground and made him
prisoner. His men, discouraged by the fate of their
commander, took to flight, and left the Scots the
honour of the victory.!

Charles at last empowered the Earl of Mon-
trose to take up arms against the Scottish Cove-
nanters ; and he raised the royal standard at Dum-
fries. 2

This heroic chief hurried on from victory to vic-
tory, until he had defeated his enemies in no fewer
than six battles. Being, however, suddenly attacked
at Philiphaugh, near Selkirk, on the 13th of Sep-
tember, 1645, by Major General David Leslie, with
a superior force, he was totally routed, but effect
ed his escape, with about one hundred and^fifty fol-
lowers, to Athole.3 In this battle, John, third Lord
Kirkcudbright, commanded a regiment which he had
raised at his own expense, chiefly among his numer-
ous tenants in Galloway. James Agnew was Lieu-

1 Aikman.

2 Clarendon's History of the Irish Rehellion, &c Laing.

3 Some yeais afterwards he was taken prisoner and executed
in b mean, vindictive, and cruel manner, (Napier, &c.)


tenant Colonel ; and Sir Andrew Agnew afterwards
obtained an order of the Scottish Parliament for
payment of 3750 marks as his brother's share of
15,000 marks, which were awarded out of the
forfeited estate; of Lord I Terries, to Lord Kirk-
cudbright's regiment for their bravery and valuable
services at the victory of Philiphaugh.l Several
of the most distinguished prisoners taken in this
battle, were ordered by Parliament to be executed/ 2

1 In 1648, John Maclellan of Borgue, succeeded to the title
of Lord Kirkcudbright. He : property to a vast ex-
tent in Galloway. He was a zealous Presbyterian and a vio-
lent opponent of Cromwell and the Independents. He raised
at his own expense, from among his vassals and tenants a regi-
ment of foot,* who fought so bravely at the battle of Philip-
hangh, on loth September, lfi45, that as a reward for their
good services on that day, tlic Scottish Parliament awarded
them 15,000 marks, out of the forfeited estate of Lord Hemes. f
Loid Kirkcudbright proceeded subsequently with his regiment
to Ireland, but at Lissnegarvy in Ulster, on 6th December,
1619, they were attacked by the Parliamentary forces anil nearly
cut off. J Mr John Govans was chaplain to the regiment. The
expense incurred by his Lordsh'p during the civil wars, involved
him in much d bt. For the sum then expended he was never
remum s being seized by his creditors, he
was reduced to a slate of comparative indigence.

John Fleming eldest son of the Earl of Wigtown, was like-
wise in this battle. Having joined Montrose when he first took
-,ip arms in behalf of Charles, Tie never deserted his cause until
the defi '>.. after which he was obliged to flee to

the Highlands, and thei : himself until his friends could

compound for his

2 Parliament according to adjournment, had met on the 7'h pf
January .1645. The Earls of Cassillis and Galloway, Lord
Kirkcudbright, Provost Glendinning of Kirkcudbright, the Laird
of Cardoness, commissioner for the Stewartry, Agnew, sheriff of
"Wigtown, and Patrick Hannay, weie members.

In the Recosdsare the following entries.

Monday the 27th day of January *' The house, befor they did

* Forsyth's Beauties of Scotland vol. ii. p. 381.
f Acts of Parliament, vi. p. 53.

\ Sir James Wares Gesta Hibernorum, Dublin Edit. I705_
p, 18?.


The result of this battle produced in the minds
of the people of Galloway the most lively emotions
of gratitude and delight. 1

euter to the reading of Sir Robert Spottiswoods processe, did
repell the defenses giuen in by him anent quaiters, quoad eum ;
only the Earles of Cassillis and Dumfermliue craued pardon of
the house, tlint they were not cleir in that poynt""

Saturday the 15th Feb; "Acte ratifinng seuerall donations
and mortifications of lies Maiesties, of certaine bischuprickes
and chuiche laudes, to the vniversities of St. Andrewes, Edin.
hrughe, Aberdeine and Glasgow, wotted and past."

Friday 21st February; "Mr Johne Fletcher remitted to furd.
or trayell, and lies depositions wer imediately therafter read in
the housse, ;. . t Ogilueyes cschape. In thesse depositions he
attacked the ides Carnegy, St. Claire, and Kircubiight. —
Item, That the Laird of Hempsfill and the Prouest of Dumfreis,
ther process to be examined and report therof made to the

"The petitione exhibitt to the housse by James Maxswoll, sone
to the forefalted Erie of Nidisdeall, desyring to be set at libertie
and to have the arayrs for hismentinence payed."

"The housse ordaned him to be sett at libertie, on catione for
hes good behaviour in tymes coming."

"The housse lykunyes oidaines the farenamd persones fyned,
and ordained to find caution by the committee of process, to doe
the same befor the first of March, utherwayes to enter their bo-
die within the toubuth of Edinbrughe, and ther first surties to
stand till this be don ; as aiso the housse aloues the comittee
of process,"

Saturday the 1st of March ; " The housse remits Mr Jo: Cor-
ser of Drumfreis backe againe to the committe of proces to be
furder tiayi d."

Item. "That the Laird of Garthland be sent with instruc-
tions to Generall Maior Munro to lrland."

On the i-th of March, Parliament was proiogued until the
id Tuesday of July.

Parliament met attbe time appointed, and, having sat a U-\v
! Stirling, it adjourned. It again met at Perth on the 24th
of July.

Monday the 4th August ; " A draught of a letter read in the
housse to the Englische commissioners, desyring them to stay at
Beruick till they did heir from the pari: in respecte of the lag-
ing plauge of pestilence in Edinbrughe, and diuers places els„
quher in the countrcy, and the present adiorning of the parlia-

1 Acta, Pari. — Caledonia Heron,


In the summer of 1615, a grievous pestilence
desolated the south of Scotland and prevented "
the Estates from assembling in Edinburgh. 1

] The housse ordanes, since that it pleasscd God to call the •
Laird of Craigies off of the pest: quho was lodged in the shriffe
clercks housse, Mr Patrick Maxswoll, that thesse that are with-
in the said housse shall interre him in a remott place of the or.
dinarey huiiall place ot the touue."
Owing to the prevalence of the plague the house soon adjourned.
Parliament again met at St Andrews on 26th November.
The following are some of its proceedings. Monday the 1st
of December ; " One of eache essait this day sent by the housse
to the commissioners of the kirke, to craue that eache day in •
the pari: housse they may haue at prayers at 8 in the morning,
a poitione of scripture exponded, wicli exercisse is to indure the
6pace of halffe anc houre."

The Members sent were
Kob: Bar:

Earle of Cassiles. Laird of Garthland.

Bur :
Mr Ro : Barclay.
Friday 5th December ; " A remonstrance from the commis-
sioners of the geneiall assembley to the heigh courte of pari: for
justice vpone delinquents and malignants, quho hes shed the blood
of ther brethren, &c. read.

Four petitions and remonstrances of the same nature, and for
justice to be execut one malignants, delinquents, &c. exhibit to
the housse this afternoone, from the prowinciall assembleys and
shyres of Fyffe, Drumfreis, Mers, Teuiotdaile, and Galloway. 1 '
Monday 8th December ; "The estaits oHanes Commissarey
Leuingstone to give to the Ladey Harries for this zeir, in re-
specte of her necessities, 2000 meikes."

Monday 15th; "The housse orders Colonell Steuarts regiment
to marche to Arbrothe.

Orders to Vis: Kenrnurcs regiment to marche to Montrosse.

20th December ; "The estates grants a comissione of justicia-

rey to certane persons, to tray the bchauior of the comissarey of

Kircubright, and some others insolent persons quho had impriss.

oned the magistrats of the said toune."

Tuesday 23d December; "The housse ordanes the Iiische-
prissoners takin at and after Philiphaughe, in all the prissons of
the kiivdome, especially in the prissons of Selkirke, Jedbrughe,
Glaso-ou, Dumbartane, and Perth, to be execut without aney
assyse or processe, conforme to the trettey betuix both king-
domes, past in acte."

Friday 26th of December; "The Earle of Cassiles chossen pre-


These transactions had extended over a space
of nearly four years, during which period the
war had been carried on so successfully for the
English Parliament, and so disastrously for Charles,
that at last he was left with scarcely an army to
protect his person.

The clouds of adversity at length completely clos-
ed around the unfortunate Charles ; and, in the
midst of his misfortunes, he formed the desperate
resolution of delivering himself into the hands of
the Scottish army. The Scots received the fallen
Sovereign — who came disguised as a postilion, —
with much outward respect; and it is not improbable,
if he had agreed to accept the Solemn League and
Covenant, all Scotland would have espoused his
cause ; but this course neither his conscience nor his
honour would allow him to pursue. The Scottish
forces had a long arrear of pay due to them by the
English Government. Upon receiving two hun-
dred thousand pounds, the person of Charles was
delivered up by the Scots to Commissioners from
the English Parliament, and they marched home.
Discontent now began to prevail among the Eng-
lish soldiers, and Cromwell, Ireton, and Fleet-
wood, officers of high rank and influence, secretly
encouraged their mutinous disposition. The army
at last determined to shake off the power of the
Parliament, and to gain possession of the King's

sident this flay, in iespccte of the absence of the. Earle ^f Crau.
furd and Lindsay."

Friday, 30th Jan. 1640 ; "The housse this day agane assumes
tin- debait anent the dectione of the committee ofestaits during
the interuall betuix sessions of pail: and by vvoyces make3
chcysse of 12 of cache esfait."

This committee included Lord Kirkcudbright, the Laird of
Garthland, aud William Gleudiuuing, Provost of Kirkcudbright.


person. These objects were accordingly effected,
and Charles endeavoured to gratify 'he principal of-
ficers by liberal promises. To Cromwell he offered
the garter, a peerage, and the chief command of the
army ; to Ireton, the lieutenancy of Ireland. 1 Con-
cessions and promises were now too late. The un-
fortunate monarch was accused of treason2 against
the people of England, before a court consisting of
a hundred and fifty-three persons, chosen from the
army, the Parliament, aud such of the citizens of
London as were friendly to a change of govern-
ment from a monarchy to a republic. Charles dis-
owned the authority of this self constituted tri-
bunal. All his efforts were vain; he was in the
hands of his enemies. Sentence of death being

1 Russel's Modern Europe.

2 "While the solicitor, Mr Cooke, was commencing to read the
accusation, the king wishing to stop him, tapped him on the shoul.
der with his staff, the silver head of which fell off; and one of his
attendants having stooped to lift it, it l oiled away to the place
where the king stood, and he had to lift it himself. This was con-
sideied as a fatal omen ; so apt are superstitious minds to pre-
dict fatal consequences from trifles, and to overlook their own
misconduct, the surest augury of all misfortune. This ridiculous
propensity to receive as oracles accidental circumstances, which
could have no rational connexion with future events, was very
prevalent in Charles' court, and their love for the marvellous
produced or invented many strange coincidences. Among those
of apocryphal authority, is the stoiy of a large cake of wax
which Charles had always set in a silver basin to burn in his-
chamber during the night ; it went out, and the Earl of Lindsay,
who slept in the chamber as his attendant, observed it. but durst
not rise to relight it, lest he should awaken his majesty; he
then fell asleep; but when he awoke, to his astonishment tha
lamp wa3 burning brightly! He mentioned the circumstance to
the king, who told him he also had observed it, and considered
it as a prognostic of God's power and mercy towards him or his,
that although he was at that time so eclipsed, he or they might
shine out bright again ! Alas ! lor the omen ! — the taper of his
f.tmily was re lighted; but it was only to blaze for a moment,
and then be extinguished for ever" Aikman.


pronounced, he was executed in front of his own
palace. 1 At the tragic spectacle the populace burst

1 Some month? previous to the execution of Charles, an abor.
tive attempt was marie by the moderate party in Scotland, to
effect his release, or an amelioration of his condition. The Duke
of Hamilton eagerly exerted himself in the cause of the unfortu-
nate Sovereign, by endeavouring to revive loyalty in the breasts
of the people. He so far prevailed as to gain a majority of Par-
liament to coincide in his views. Commissioners were appointed
to treat v. ith the King, who bound himself to confirm by act
of Parliament the Covenant, and to establish the Presbyterian
polity. This treaty is known by the name of the ''Engage-
ment ;" it met with violent opposition from the clergy, who
were extravagant in their demands, and thought that Charles
should acknowledge himself their abject slave. At length,
however, Parliament decided to raise an army, and the com-
mand of it was given to the Duke of Hamilton. It proceeded
to England, but was defeated at Preston, and the Duke made
prisoner. A curious account is given in Patrick Walker's Life
of John Semple, of the proceedings of some of the depraved
soldiers, on their march through Carsephairn to join it, and the
prophetic visions of this gifted minister.

" The soldiers of some Scots Regiments in the year 1648, in
their March through Caisepheru for Preston in England, to the
Duke's Engagement (as it was called) being informed, that the
Sacrament of the Lord's Supper was to be administrated there
the next Lord's Day, went and put iheir horses in the Kirk and
also went to the Manse, and destroyed the Communion Ele-
ments in a very profane manner. Mr Semple being from home

at that time, complained next day to the commanding officer

In his complaint he represented the vileness of such au action so
pathetically, that it made a great impression on the foresaid per-
son, who not only regretted what was done, but punished the
most guilty, and gave money liberally forfurnishing the elements
again. After which Mr Semple said with great concern of spi-
rit to the foresaid officer, he was sorry for the errand he was °-o-
ing, for he would not prosper, the profanity of their Army
would ruin them. And all may sep, that many were the com-
plaints of the .General Assembly, in their faithful warnings in
these times, of the sins and snares of that unlawful En^a^ement
and great wickedness of that army going to England; tiieir great
Profanity of the Sabbath, and abusing women comiti"- from or-
dinances, and many other ways. After the news came to Caise-

Online LibraryWilliam MackenzieThe history of Galloway, from the earliest period to the present time .. (Volume 2) → online text (page 8 of 61)