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EDINBURGH EPISODES, 1664-65. (FROM THE FOUNTAINHALL FOLIO.) Part 3. UNRULY ‘PRENTICES., N. A. J., (Mar., 1895), pp.152-154.

“ON [lacuna] day of Novr 1664 happened that unlucky accident of the merchands-prentizes, which occasioned thus: The Exchequer having tane notice upon the complaint or information of Sir Walter Seaton, generall fermer or collector of Custome and excise, that since the extraordinary imposition of 80 per cent upon English commodities they fand his Majesties revennue much lessened, and yet thesse commodities as frequently imported as before: wheirupon it was resolved by the Lords of Exchequer to order all merchand goods such as stuffs and cloathes to be sealed from tyme to tyme in prosecution of several Acts of Parl: both old and moderne to that effect, especially of Act 24 Parl: 1600; which when they were to practize the wholle merchands-sellers of thesse commodities shut up their shop doors and addressed themselfes to the Provest that he might deal with his majesties commissioner for a delay while they ware heard before his majesties Exchequer, which was chearfully granted and a day assigned for ther hearing: the merchands notwithstanding keipt their Shops closed till the day of hearing which was but delayed from the Wedenisday till the friday next; on the Thursday the Shops being closse, the prentisses of thosse merchands being idle had oppurtunitie to meit and drink, and about 7 a cloak in the evening some 20 or 30 of them being in drink resolved to affront Sir Walter S. for his strait dealing as they supposed with their masters in this particular, and before any could be aware of it they entred James Cockburnes house (who was a partner with Sir Walter in all busines and came better speid than he) and asked for Sir Walter, and made James sit doune on his knees and swear he should never after be a customer, and heir they made a great garboyll for ane hower or 2 but did no prejudice, only brook some lossens.1 Upon notice of this My Lord Commissioners grace commanded my Lord Lyon to bring doune some Castle Sojors as the readiest remeid, but tendernesse of bloodsheding made him that the men ware only set in a posture to fall on if necessity should be found, and before falling on it was concluded that my Lord Provest should essay all fair means of persuading them to dismisse and quietly go home, which after some time he obtained and they convoyed him to his house put up their swords and gave him their promise and oath that they should not appear on the street again that night and at parting gave a great shout God save the King; Now they had not all followed the Provest home, but 5 or 6 of the basest stayed behind which beginning to make some stir the guard came and acquainted the Provest, who coming out to sie what they ware that had stayed behind, ere he came their he who commanded the Castle Sojors had mad ane assault upon the house wheir they still ware, and in the entring one was killed, a poor young man but who fought very resolutely: and 2 was taking, a baxters boy and a taylors, who ware both processed for their life and most vigorouslie pershued by the Kings Advocat, but no such probation could be had against them. The merchands ware all examined to, and it was lookt upon as a matter pessimi exempli [of worst example] that his majesties laws and orders should have been so contemned. But the great brunt of the battell lighted upon Sir Androw, who was openly sclandred by his ennemies and illwillers as being upon the contrivance of that uproar, at the leist to have countenanced and owned the same; and my Lord Ballantyne showed to the very extremity of malice against him. Nather was Sir William Thomsone and his agents slack in aggreging2 his accession at London: whereupon Sir Androw thinking it not fit for him to stay at home till the throat of his Reputation ware cutt, he hasts to London wheir with his prudence he dispells all thesse clouds that seimed to threaten him some storme, and cleared his innocency so fully to his majesty that my Lord Ballenden and his adversaries relented with shame. Burnet Archbischop of Glascow was his stout frend in the S[ecreit] Counsell when his accession to that commotion was under triall. My Lord Rothes then Comissioner had no hearty kindnes for Sir Androw, he could have wished he had been disgraced. Sir Androw is not unmindfull of nor unthankfull for Mr Burnet’s kindnes.

N. A. J.”


1 Lossens, panes of glass. 
2 Aggreging, aggravating, exaggerating. 
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