[History of Glasgow, &c. Contents]
The subject continued. – The commonwealth. – The restoration.
– Episcopacy re-established in 1660.
THE whole authority in Scotland, was at this period, in the hands of Argyle, and the covenanters, a party, which was most inimical to the interests of royalty. In their political conduct, however, they embraced opposite maxims, in consequence of their enmity to the independents, their respect to the covenant, by which they had engaged to defend the monarchical government, and their doubts with regard to the expediency of the republican system. Upon the vacancy of the throne, by the execution of the king, (against which they had always protested,) they immediately proclaimed his son and successor, Charles II. but upon condition of his good behaviour, and strict observance of the covenant.
Commissioners were sent to Charles, then at Breda. After a conference, in which he found that he had no resource, he agreed to the terms which had been proposed to him. To this he had been advised by his friends; but what chiefly determined him, was the account brought to him of the fate of Montrose. That nobleman, who had retired into France, and proceeded from thence to Germany, received from his young master a renewal of his commission, as captain-general of Scotland. Having gathered followers in the north of Germany, and received supplies from the king of Denmark, and others, he set out for the Orkneys, with about 500 men. In this expedition he expected to be joined by the highlanders, but was disappointed. The committee of estates sent a considerable force against him; and, being unexpectedly fallen upon by a body of cavalry under the command of colonel Strachan, his army were put to flight, and all killed, or taken prisoners. Montrose himself, in the disguise of a peasant, was delivered up to his enemies by a pretended friend, in whom he had confided.
He was now carried to Edinburgh, and there he experienced every insult and degradation which rage and success could instigate. Being carried before the parliament, where he made a most animated answer to a violent declamation of Loudon the chancellor, sentence of death was pronounced against him; and he was accordingly executed upon May 21st, 1650, in the 38th year of his age.
Upon the 23d June following, the king, in consequence of an agreement with the commissioners from Scotland, set sail for that country. He arrived in the frith of Cromarty, and was required, before landing, to sign the covenant. He afterward published such a declaration as was agreeable to these austere zealots, and consented to submit to the indignity of a public humiliation.
The English parliament now made preparations for a war with Scotland; and Cromwell was dispatched to in vade the country with an army of 16,000 men, after having been declared captain-general of the forces in England. He advanced to the Scottish army under Lesley, then entrenched in a fortified camp between Edinburgh and Leith; but, his endeavours to bring Lesley to a battle proving fruitless, and being reduced to difficulties, by the want of provisions, he retired to Dunbar.
Lesley followed, and encamped on the heights of Lammermuir. Cromwell was now hampered in such a manner, that he would have been obliged to get away by sea, had not the fanaticism of the Scots forfeited the advantages which they had obtained. Their ministers, by prayer, exhortation, and prophecy, instigated them to go down, and slay the Philistines in Gilgal,1 assuring them of success, and that Agag, meaning Cromwell, would be delivered into their hands.2 They quitted their ground accordingly, in spite of Lesley’s remonstrances. When Oliver saw them in motion, he exclaimed, “Praised be the Lord, he hath delivered them into the hands of his servant!” and ordered his troops to sing a psalm of thanksgiving, while they advanced in order to the plain. The Scots, though double in number to the English, were put to the flight, and pursued with great slaughter, about 3000 being slain, and 9000 taken prisoners. The remnant of the army escaped to Stirling.
This engagement happened, 3d September, 1650. Cromwell, pursuing his advantage, took possession of Edinburgh and Leith. But the approach of winter, and a violent fit of the ague, prevented him from pursuing the victory any further. He remained sometime in Edinburgh, endeavouring to conciliate the affections of the people; and then marched peaceably, by the way of Kilsyth, to Glasgow.
Concerning this important march, tradition gives the following story. – The city was still divided into two factions, presbyterians and sectaries; the former being royalists, the latter republicans. One of these parties fent intelligence to Cromwell, that his entry into Glasgow would be attended with the loss of his army; as, in their road to the city, they behoved to pass the castle, the vaults of which were filled with gun-powder, ready to be blown up, at their approach, in order to destroy them. Whether this intelligence was right or not, he prudently turned to the right, and entered the city by the way of Cowcaddens and Cow-loan. He took up his lodgings in Silvercraig’s house, on the east side of the Saltmarket. Here he sent for a person, of whom he heard notice as a leading man among the people, received him courteously, treated him with a good supper, and a long prayer; and sent him away so well pleased, that he reported to the gaping multitude, his firm belief, that the general was surely one of the elect.
This served as an approach to the fortress, the clergy, who had for many years ruled the roast, and governed their hearers in their duty to the church and state. – The presbyterians, at this time, were in power. Cromwell, however, knew how to conquer without the sword; and, in order to fight them at their own weapons, went in state, to the cathedral church. Here it so happened, that the celebrated paraphrast, Mr. Zacharias Boyd, preached in the forenoon, and railed so bitterly against Cromwell, that his secretary, Thurloe, asked leave, in a whisper, “to pistol the scoundrel.” No, no, says the general, we will manage him in another way. – In the evening he asked the clergy to sup with him, and concluded the entertainment with a prayer, which, it is said, lasted till three in the morning.
Upon Cromwell’s approach to the city, the magistrates and part of the ministers, fled. “I,” says principal Bailie, “got to the isle of Cumbray, with the lady Montgomery, but left all my family and goods to Cromwell’s courtesy, which indeed was great. He took such a course with his soldiers, that they did less displeasure at Glasgow, than if they had been at London. I took this extraordinary favour, from their coming alone to gain the people, and to please Strachan, with whom he was keeping correspondence; and by whom he had great hopes to draw over the western army, at least to a cessation with him.”
At this time there lay in the west a considerable body of cavalry, which had been raised by an association of the chief gentlemen, and clergy, of the sheriffdoms of Ayr, Clydesdale, (or Lanark,) Renfrew, and Galloway. The command of this force was entrusted to four colonels, viz. Kerr, Strachan, Robin Halket, and Sir Robert Adair. Strachan, the person mentioned by Bailie, was a man of singular character. He had led a very dissolute life; and, after his amendment, he inclined very much toward the sectaries. “The labours of Guthrie and Gillespie brought him to give satisfaction to the kirk, for all the scandals known against him. His eminent services against James Graham, and others, got him the church’s extraordinary favour, to be helped with 100,000 merks, out of their purses, for the mounting him a regiment, the greatest offering which the churchmen made at one time.”3
The appointment of such a person to a command in the Scottish army, was equal to the wishes of the designing Cromwell, who accordingly entered into a correspondence with Strachan; and this intercourse being accompanied by money, and other powerful motives, was the means of enabling the latter to throw the whole army, and committee of the west, into confusion, and to render the army, as Bailie expresses it, “altogether useless.” By these, and other means, Cromwell’s influence in this country was considerably extended.
His army, at this time, were for the most part indenpendents; and, among them, were some quakers, of whom, the churchmen, of those days speak with abhorrence, and say, they were possessed with devils. – The proselytes they made in this city, and neighbourhood, built a place of worship, entering by a lane on the south side of Cannon-street, at the back of lord Dundonald’s garden. It stands due north and south, in the manner they inter their dead. This sect, who were once numerous, are now reduced to a few; and their meeting-house, in which the beautiful May Drummond, used to preach in the course of her circuits, and where she commanded the attention of people of almost every rank and description, is now converted into a weaver’s shop.
Cromwell spent some time at Glasgow, and to very good purpose. Principal Gillespie was his fast friend, and privy counsellor; and, in several negociations, managed so well for Cromwell, that he became master of the south of Scotland, without drawing the sword, except at the battle of Dunbar. His army now enjoyed a short respite from their fatigues.4
Great part of Cromwell’s troops consisted of tradesmen; a number of whom having settled here, brought the arts to a degree of perfection before unknown in this country. And it is to the large garrison he left at Ayr, that the inhabitants of that county are indebted, for their superiority over their neighbours in agriculture. To curb the people, large fortifications were erected, which cost immense sums. These, together with the pay of a numerous army, produced a very considerable circulation of cash in the country. His stay and influence in Scotland were also attended with the salutary consequence, of preventing our furnishing a proportion of the militia levy, for the expedition to England, in the latter end of 1651, when a great part of the Scottish army fell under the victorious arms of Cromwell, at the battle of Worcester, of which we shall speak in its proper place. Perhaps the recollection of the fate of the army of loyalists, in 1648, under the duke of Hamilton, in Lancashire, with the capture of that nobleman, and his tragical end on the scaffold, had also a strong influence on the minds of the people, and contributed to deter them from engaging in a second expedition, after the unfortunate issue of the first.
Cromwell, during his residence in Scotland, engaged in a paper war against the Scots clergy, and wrote them some polemical letters, maintaining the principal doctrines of the independent theology. In these, he retorted upon them their favourite argument of providence, and affirmed, that, in his late successes, the Lord had declared in his favour.
The defeat which the Scots experienced at Dunbar, was regarded by the king, as a favourable event, as both parties were almost equally his enemies, and the vanquished were now compelled to give him more authority. The parliament was summoned to meet at St. Johnston or Perth, and the ceremony of his coronation was resolved upon.
Previous to the sitting of the parliament, principal Gillespie called a solemn meeting at Glasgow, consisting of gentlemen and officers; and, in a separate room of the tolbooth, there was a meeting of ministers, who called themselves the presbytery of the western army. A remonstrance, concerning the propriety of treating with Cromwell, was laid, by the ministers, before the other meeting, for subscription, but was generally declined. At this meeting, the temporizing Strachan was commanded to go no more to the army; but this order he expressly refused to obey. A motion was thereupon made for confining him, in order to prevent his joining Cromwell; but this was over-ruled, lest it should give offence to Kerr, and many others, in the western army. A number of the inferior officers were suspected to have been tampered with by Strachan, and some were cashiered.
Principal Gillespie, and others, were very industrious, about this time, in exclaiming, wherever they went, that “a hypocrite (meaning the king) ought not to reign over us; that we ought to treat with Cromwell, and give him security not to trouble England with a king; and that whoever marred this treaty, the blood of the slain, in the quarrel, should be upon their heads.”5
Meanwhile, the state fent colonel Montgomery, with his forces, to join the cavalry of the western army, in order to make an attack on the English, then lying at Hamilton. He sent notice of his commission to Kerr, and, on his march toward Glasgow, arrived upon the night of Sunday, December 23d, at Campsie. Kerr, however, (who was the only officer of the western army, uncorrupted by Cromwell and Strachan,) was determined to prevent Montgomery’s approach; and resolved, with his own troops, consisting of above 1500, or, as some say, 3000, to attack the English, who were in number 1200, with 3000 horse under Lambert.
This attack was made on Saturday, December 1st, at four in the morning, and, by some supposed treachery, the English were prepared for it. Lieutenant-colonel Ralston, with a small party of horse, entered Hamilton, and most gallantly carried all before him, clearing the town of the English, and killing several. Kerr, with fewer than 200, seconded him; but, at the end of the town, the English drew up again in the field of battle, and Kerr, finding it difficult to pass, was obliged to retreat for a little. That part of his army, which remained behind, taking this for a flight, turned their backs; the rest followed; and the English pursued as far as Paisley and Kilmarnock. About twenty only were killed, and not more than eighty taken prisoners, whereof Kerr himself made one. The next day, two or three hundred, who rallied in Kyle, were disbanded by Strachan’s persuasion.
This miscarriage increased the power of Cromwell, whose army overspread the country without opposition, destroying cattle and corn, putting Glasgow, and other places, under grievous contributions.6
The king’s coronation took place at Scone, on January 1st, 1651, and was performed with great solemnity. The royal party considered this as the work of God; for it was Cromwell’s intention to have prevented it by arms. The king swore to the covenant, the league and covenant, and the coronation oath; and received an exhortation, to observe with sincerity the oaths he had taken, accompanied by a denunciation of plagues against him, in the event of failure.
Charles, notwithstanding his coronation, found himself little better than a prisoner, and exposed to great rudeness and indignity from the clergy. He made an attempt, therefore, to escape to general Middleton, then in the mountains, at the head of a party of royalists; but, being pursued, and overtaken, by colonel Montgomery, he returned, and experienced better treatment.
The Scots army being assembled under Hamilton and Lesley, the king joined them, and encamped at the Torwood. Being soon reduced to difficulties, in consequence of the movements of Cromwell, he resolved to march into England; and accordingly his army, to the amount of 14,000 men, advanced by great journies toward the south.
Cromwell wrote immediately to the English parliament, to turn out the militia to oppose these invaders; and, leaving general Monk, with 7000 men, to complete the reduction of Scotland, he followed the king, and arrived, by swift marches, in England, where he contributed, by his presence, to enforce the parliamentary orders. His army increasing to 30,000 men, he fell upon Worcester, on the 3d September, 1651, and attacking it upon all sides, broke in upon the disordered royalists. Hamilton was mortally wounded; the king, after many acts of gallantry and valour, was obliged to fly; and the whole Scots army was either killed or taken prisoners. The streets of the city were strewed with dead bodies; and the few who escaped from the field of battle, were pursued by the country people with scythes and pitch-forks, and fell victims to national antipathy.
The king escaped, in company with fifty or sixty of his friends, and secreted himself, for forty-one days, in various parts of the country. In the course of his concealments, he mounted an oak tree, afterward called the royal oak, where he sheltered himself for twenty-four hours, though several soldiers passed, who were intent in searching for him. At last he embarked at Shoreham, in Sussex, and arrived at Fescamp, in Normandy.
The Scots were now entirely subdued under Monk. That general laid siege to Stirling castle, and obliged it to surrender. He there obtained possession of the records of the kingdom, which he sent to England. He soon afterward possessed himself of Dundee, Aberdeen, and several other towns and forts, at the first of which places, he, in order to strike general terror, put the inhabitants to the sword. English judges were appointed to determine causes in the Scottish courts; justice was strictly administred;7 and the whole country was put into a state of severe and complete subordination.
After the dissolution of the long parliament, in 1653, Cromwell was appointed protector of the kingdom, and a deed called the instrument of government, was prepared and voted. By that instrument, the protector was appointed the supreme magistrate of the commonwealth, with powers little short of the regal authority. He was to enjoy the office during life; and, upon his death, the place was immediately to be supplied by the council.
We now proceed to a detail of circumstances, some of which relate immediately to the history of Glasgow, and others to the state of Scotland in general.
In the month of July 1653, a dreadful fire had consumed a great proportion of the lower part of the city. In consequence of this lamentable occurrence, applications for assistance were made, not only to the council of the commonwealth, but also to all the foreign presbyterian congregations in Europe, who had formerly seconded that sect in Scotland and England, in their endeavours to establish their religious liberties. Contributions were accordingly made, and remitted from various quarters; and principal Baillie, in acknowledging the receipt of a comfortable supply from a presbyterian congregation at London, expresses himself in the following terms, which show the distress of the inhabitants, as well as their gratitude for the favour: “For this charitable supply to this distressed people, all of us are much obliged to bless God in your behalf, who has made you instrumental in procuring a liberal support, both from your congregation, and from all the city of London, to the many families in this wrecked people, with that strangest fire that ever was heard of in our land.”
On the 20th day of the same month, the General Assembly being met at Edinburgh, lieutenant colonel Cotterell beset the church in which they had met, with some companies of horse and foot; and, informing them, that his orders were to dissolve them, commanded them to follow him, otherwise he threatened to drag them out of the room. Under protestation, they rose and followed him. He led them through the streets of Edinburgh, and to the distance of a mile from the city, “all the people gazing and mourning, as at the saddest spectacle they had ever seen.”8 They were then prohibited from meeting again in any place above three in number, and ordered against eight o’clock next morning to depart the city, under the pain of imprisonment. “Thus,” says principal Baillie, “our General Assembly, the glorious strength of our church upon earth, is by the English soldiery, crushed and trod under foot, without the least provocation from us at this time, in either word or deed.”
In the following year, 1654, the parliament of England gave commission to the English judges and sequestrators in Scotland, to place and remove ministers of churches, and professors in universities, as they should see cause. The exercise of this power produced to the presbyterians great concern. Mr. Patrick Gillespie was appointed principal of Glasgow college, and the calls of a few remonstrants and independents in, favour of ministers, were always attended to, though opposed by a greater number of presbyterians.
At this period, the whole country appears to have been in a miserable situation, of which the following description is given by principal Baillie: “Our nobility are ruined: Dukes Hamilton, the one executed, the other slain; their estate forfeited; one part of it gifted to English soldiers; what remains will not pay the debt; little left to the heritrix; almost the whole name undone with debt. Huntley executed; his sons all dead, except the youngest – there is more debt on the house than the land can pay. Lennox is living as a man buried, in the house of Cobham. Douglas, and his son Angus, are quiet men, of no respect. Argyle almost drowned in debt, in friendship with the English, but in hatred with the country. He courts the remonstrants, who were and are averse from him. – Chancellor Loudon lives like an out-law about Athol; his lands, comprised for debt, under a general very great disgrace. Marischal, Rothes, Eglinton, and his three sons, Crawford, Lauderdale, and others, prisoners in England; and their lands all either sequestrated estates, or forfaulted, and gifted to English soldiers. Balmerino suddenly dead, and his son, for public debt, comprisings, and captions, keeps not the causeway. Warriston, having refunded much of what he had got for places, lives privily in a hard enough condition, much hated by the most, and neglected by all, except the remonstrants, to whom he is guide. Our criminal judicatories are all in the hands of the English; our civil courts also; only some of the remonstrants are adjoined with them. The commissariot and sheriff courts are all in the hands of English soldiers, with the adjunction, in some places, of some few remonstrants. Strong garrisons in Leith, Edinburgh town and castle, Glasgow, Ayr, and Dumbarton, Stirling, Linlithgow, Perth, Dundee, Bruntisland, Dunnottar, Aberdeen, Inverness, Inverary, Dunstaffage,” &c.
In another place, he says, “The commonalty are oppressed with the English army. Strange want of money upon want of trade; and, what is worse, the English possess it. Victual is cheap. We are in want of justice; without baron-courts; our sheriffs have little skill, being in general English soldiers; our Lords of session, being a few, inexperienced in our law.” He mentions also several violences committed on the liberty of the subject; and, among others, the transportation and sale of a number of our countrymen, who had remained prisoners in England since the fatal battle of Worcester.8
Supplementary to this melancholy picture, we may mention, that, in the synod of Glasgow, disputes having arisen betwixt the presbyterians and independents, the former withdrew from the meeting, and formed a separate synod. The independents, however, continued to meet, in what was called by the other party, the anti-synod, and named several committees, with powers to place and remove ministers. The presbyterians also appointed committees for the same purposes; and these committees having acted in opposition to each other, produced considerable confusion. In consequence of these disorders, the communion was not celebrated in Glasgow, Edinburgh, St. Andrews, Dundee, &c. for a number of years.
Amidst all these jarrings, the temporal interests of the country were not altogether forgotten. In the year 1655, principal Gillespie went to London, as a deputy from the college of Glasgow, and prevailed with the protector to make a donation in favour of the college, of the superiorities which belonged to the see of Galloway, and of 2900 merks per annum, out of the customs of Glasgow, for the support of bursars of their own nomination, beside an allowance to the town, for the use of the poor, who had been injured by the fire in 1653. For this service, the city gave Mr. Gillespie a gratuity of thirty pieces. He stated his expences, however, during the half year in which he had been employed in that business, at 250l. sterling, a considerable sum in those days. He had received from Cromwell 100l. sterling, and the college voted him 3000 merks Scots, besides 1000 merks for books which he had purchased for the library, 1000 merks for other disbursements, and his salary of 2000 merks.
Notwithstanding these allowances, he was thought to be no gainer, as he had lived sumptuously in London, in order to maintain the dignity of his character, not only as principal of the college, but as the friend and counsellor of the protector. He had been highly caressed at court, had preached in the chapel before his highness, and returned loaded with many promises of favour. But the service he had done to the college, was not so well received by the presbyterians, when they found it accompanied by an order to the English judges, not to allow any stipend to intrant ministers, except those who had the testimony of a certain number of the remonstrants, at the time of their appointment; an injunction, which was strongly opposed by the greater part of the synods in Scotland. About this time, the presbyterians complained much of the intrusion of sectaries, and that even the quakers were allowed to rail on the ministers, in the face of their congregations, on the sabbath-day, without being punished.
Public prayer for the king being prohibited, the presbyterian clergy had several conferences with general Monk, with a view to obtain liberty to pray for their monarch. This was opposed by principal Gillespie, and the remonstrants. In consequence of that opposition, and the power exercised by the remonstrants, in supplying churches, a paper war ensued betwixt the parties, and many disputes took place in the spiritual courts.
Of the mode followed by the remonstrants, in placing and removing ministers, principal Baillie gives, among others, the following instances: They removed Mr. James Ramsay from the parish of Lenzie or Kirkintilloch, where he had given general satisfaction; and they deposed Mr. Archibald Dennistoun of Campsie. In one of these parishes, they placed one of mean parts, a Mr. Henry Forsyth, lately a baxter boy, “a little very feckless like thing in his person, and mean in his gifts;” and, in the other, Mr. James Law, who, says Baillie, “was within these three years brought from a pottinger to be laureat.” In Rutherglen, they forced from his pastoral office, old Mr. Robert Young, and placed “a little manikin of small parts, whom I never saw.” In Glasgow, Mr. Andrew Gray, being lately dead, the magistrates, as patrons, wished to call Mr. James Law from Campsie; Mr. Durham, however, at the head of the remonstrants, brought in, without the ordinary trials, Mr. Robert McWard, formerly a professor in the university, but who had resigned on account of infirmities.
Of the state of the country in the year 1656, we extract from Baillie the following account: “Our state is in a very silent condition; strong garrisons over all the land, and a large standing army, for which there is no service at all: our nobles lying in prison, and under forfeitures, and debts, private or public, are, for the most part, bankrupt: the president, Broghill, is reported by all to be a wise and moderate man, and by profession, a presbyterian. He has gained more on the affections of the people, than all the English that ever were among us. He has been very civil to Mr. Douglas, and Mr. Dickson, and very intimate with Mr. James Sharp. By this means we have an equal hearing in all we have ado with the council; yet their way is exceeding tedious; every thing must be done first at London. All the advocates are returned to the bar. The great seal of Scotland, with Cromwell’s large statue on horseback: Oliverius, Dei gratia, reip. Angliæ, Scotiæ, et Hiberniæ, protector, under the arms of Scotland, pax quæritur bello, is given to Desborough; the signet, with the great fees of the secretary’s place, to colonel Lockhart; the registers to judge Smith; and the rest of the places of state to others. The expenses, delays, and oppressions in law suits, are spoken of to be as great as ever.”
“The Spanish war has wrecked many of our merchants, although, in God’s mercy, as little loss has befallen our neighbours of this town, as on any in the isle. The taxes with us are great. It is said the excise will be double; so that the revenue will be above 300,000l. sterling per year, the half whereof is never in the country at one time. Our town, in its proportion, thrives above any in the land. The word of God is well loved and regarded, albeit not as it ought, and we desire; yet in no town of our land better. Our people have much more trade in comparison than any other. Their buildings increase strangely, both for number and fairness. The city is more than doubled in our time.
“The king is so far forgot here, that few or none keep any correspondence with him, in so much, that his friends do not know what he intends, or what he is about. If men, however, of lord Broghill’s parts be among us, they will make the present government more beloved than some men wish.”
At this time, we find principal Gillespie warmly interested in favour of the English government under Cromwell, and highly censured for countenancing the English circuit courts, and for preaching before the judges.
On Sunday the 17th of August 1656, at four in the morning, a shock of an earthquake was felt through all parts of the city. Five or six years preceding, there had been another more sensibly felt, which was followed by the great fire already mentioned. These were considered as judgments too well deserved.
Cromwell did not long enjoy his new dignity of protector. Notwithstanding his elevation to that station, and the success of his arms abroad, he enjoyed but little satisfaction; perpetual uneasiness and inquietude attended him, in consequence of the situation of affairs at home. The royalists were engaged in plans of conspiracy and insurrection. He was apprehensive of assassinations, and distrustful of every person around him. Each action of his life betrayed the terrors under which he laboured; and society and solitude were to him equally uncomfortable. The contagion of his mind affected his body, and his health declining, he was seized with a slow fever, which changed into a tertian ague. The symptoms having assumed a fatal aspect, a deputation was sent from the council, in order to know his will with regard to his successor. His senses, however, were gone; and, when he was asked, whether he intended that his eldest son, Richard, should succeed him in the protectorship, a simple affirmative was, or seemed to be, extorted from him. Soon after, on the 3d of September, 1658, he expired, in the fifty-ninth year of his age.
For the character of Cromwell, we refer our readers to the celebrated historian, Mr. Hume, who justly describes him, as possessing great courage, signal military talents, eminent dexterity, and address. We have only, in addition, to remark, that Cromwell was possessed of some degree of liberality, which he exercised in the encouragement of literature; an instance of which we have in the following anecdote.
The front of the college of Glasgow was begun in the reign of Charles I. who subscribed 100l. sterling, toward defraying the expense; but, as this happened only a short time before the civil wars, the subscription was not paid in the life-time of that monarch. When Cromwell was in Glasgow, he visited the college, upon which occasion, one of the professors turned up to him the king’s subscription, and gave a modest hint, that the payment of it would be acceptable; Cromwell immediately gave a draught for the money. The sequel of this anecdote may probably be thought entertaining. Sometime afterward, one of the bailies of Perth who happened to be introduced to Cromwell, informed him, that the king had subscribed a considerable sum, toward the expense of erecting some public work in that town, and, with less modesty than had been displayed in the former instance, he demanded payment of the money. Cromwell, however, observing that the building, for which the king had subscribed, was not intended for a public seminary, and probably suspecting, that another exertion of generosity might subject him to a number of demands of the same nature, answered abruptly, “I am not Charles’ executor.” The bailie, not intimidated by this answer, replied, “Deil care, ye’re a vitious intromitter with his goods and gear.” But this reply had no effect upon Cromwell, who did not understand the meaning of this phrase, which is peculiar to the Scots law; and it was lucky for the bailie, that it was so unintelligible, otherwise he might have met with the punishment due to his temerity.
Upon Cromwell’s death, the succession of his son Richard was immediately recognised. The government of Ireland was entrusted to Henry, Richard’s brother, and Monk was continued in his authority in Scotland. Richard, a young man of no experience, of moderate, unambitious character, did not possess the qualifications necessary for his important situation. In consequence of certain cabals in the army, a rupture was produced betwixt the parliament and the military, which was followed by the dissolution of parliament, on the 22d of April, 1659, and soon after by the demission of the protector. The rump, or long parliament, which had dethroned Charles I. was now restored. The presbyterians, and the royalists, equally disdaining it, united to destroy it. A general conspiracy was formed in the nation; and if this combination had not been betrayed, the event seemed infallible. The parliament being apprised of the plot, Lambert, by their orders, soon destroyed all the resources of the royalists; and Monk, in Scotland, apprehended and imprisoned several of the nobility. But the army and the parliament did not long agree, and the rump was dissolved by Lambert, as easily as it had been by Cromwell.
Monk, at this time, had, by his politeness, integrity, and other virtues, gained the love of the soldiers, and the confidence of the people of Scotland. Whether he meant only to oppose the ambitious Lambert, or secretly meditated the restoration of the king, he declared in favour of the parliament, against those who dismissed it. He called together an assembly, consisting of commissioners from part of the shires of Scotland, the magistrates of burghs, and several of the nobility of the kingdom, who met in the parliament-house, Edinburgh, on the 15th of November, 1659. He communicated, in an ambiguous speech, his design of marching to England, and received a supply of money.
Monk entered England at the head of his army. People joined him from all quarters. They implored him to restore the government, and to put an end to the anarchy that subsisted. At first he appeared to be zealous for the rump; but, at length, he reproached the parliament with tyranny, and joined the city of London, with a view of repairing the public evils. The rump retired in confusion, and after calling a free parliament, dissolved itself.
The people, in general, being cured of their prejudices against the crown, Monk introduced to the parliament, on the 1st of May, 1660, Sir John Granville, with dispatches from Charles. The house was in an ecstasy of joy, and the king was immediately proclaimed. Monk soon went to Dover, to meet the prince, was received by him with open arms, distinguished by the name of FATHER, created duke of Albemarle, and had the glory to place his sovereign on the throne.
Charles, for sometime after his restoration, was entirely occupied with the affairs of England. It was not till the month of August, that he turned his attention to Scotland, when the chief offices of state were filled up as follow: The earl of Glencairn, chancellor; Lauderdale, secretary of state; Crawford, lord treasurer; Sir John Gilmour, president of the session; and Mr. (afterward Sir) John Fletcher lord advocate. To these a few were joined, under the character of lords of the articles, with the sole power of introducing bills into parliament.
On the 23d of August, a meeting was held at Edinburgh, consisting of ministers, and some elders, who drew up an address and supplication to the king, “congratulating his return, expressing their entire and unfeigned loyalty, humbly putting him in mind of his own and the nation’s covenant with the Lord, and earnestly praying, that his reign might be like those of David, Solomon, Jehostaphat, and Hezekiah.”9 The committee of estates, having been informed of the meeting, caused their papers to be seized, and the whole members, save one who escaped, were committed to prison.
This step, which was considered as illegal and unprecedented, was “a preamble to that horrid scene of arbitrary proceeding, oppression, and cruelty, which now began to open.”10 It was remarked, that it took place on the very day, exactly a century after the abolition of popery, and the establishment of the reformation.
The day after the ministers were seized, the committee of estates published a proclamation, prohibiting and discharging all unlawful meetings and conventicles, and all seditious petitions and remonstrances. On the 14th of September, by order of the committee, John Graham provost, and John Spreul town-clerk of Glasgow, who had been reckoned favourers of the remonstrance, were imprisoned in Edinburgh tolbooth. The committee also sent an order to the magistrates of Glasgow, to oblige principal Gillespie to appear before them, which he did; and, on September 15th, he was committed prisoner to the castle of Edinburgh. From thence he was removed to Stirling castle, where he continued till the parliament met. Several ministers were likewise committed to prison.
It deserves to be noticed here, that the registers and records of the kingdom of Scotland, which had been taken up to London, by Cromwell were sent down in a ship for Kirkaldy, which unhappily perished at sea on the 18th of December. There were eighty-five hogsheads of papers, besides many original records. It was unaccountable, that such a treasure should have been sent down by sea; and its loss was considered as a great national calamity, as well as ominous.
Notwithstanding the imprisonments of the clergy, already mentioned, a few had the boldness, in their sermons before parliament, to urge them do nothing against the work of reformation in the church. This freedom was so displeasing to the court, that time-servers and sycophants were afterward employed; among these were Mr. Hugh Blair of Glasgow, and others, whose sermons, carefully printed, sufficiently show their sentiments. Several ministers, in various parts of the country, were apprehended, tried, and punished, for similar offences, in the beginning of the year 1661.
That year is also remarkable for the execution of the marquis of Argyle, which took place upon the 27th of May. He was tried only for compliance with the usurpation, a crime common to him with the whole nation; but, as he was known to have been the chief instrument in the civil wars, several iniquitous circumstances in his trial, and the irregularity of his sentence, were thought, upon that account, to admit of some apology.11 In the same year, principal Gillespie was brought before the parliament, and indicted for his correspondence with Cromwell; but, having made an acknowledgment of his offence, he was liberated.
On the 1st of August, the privy council of Scotland met, and proceeded with considerable rigour against the earl of Tweddale, and several gentlemen, and ministers, for their adherence to the usurper. These proceedings were instigated by Mr. James Sharp, who had been sent to London as commissioner from the church of Scotland, to represent the loyalty of the Scots clergy, and to obtain a confirmation of the freedom and privileges of the church; but who, apostatizing from the principles he had professed, joined with some other interested persons, in persuading the king, that episcopacy was agreeable to the bulk of the people in Scotland.
Accordingly, the king, resolving to re-establish this form of government in the church, appointed Mr. Sharp archbishop of St. Andrews; and, on the 14th of August, sent a letter to the privy council in Scotland, intimating his resolution, to interpose the royal authority, for restoring the church to its government by bishops, and requiring obedience to his royal pleasure. This was followed by an act of council, discharging presentations to presbyteries. Mr. Andrew Fairfoul was appointed archbishop of Glasgow, and the other bishopricks were filled up.
Sharp, and three other bishops, were consecrated in London; and, on April 8th, 1662, came to Berwick. They were met by considerable numbers of noblemen, gentlemen, and others, upon the road to Edinburgh, and received with great solemnity. The earl of Middleton, as the king’s commissioner, came to Holyrood-house, upon Sunday, May 4th. The rest of the prelates were consecrated, in his presence, on the 7th of the same month, by the two archbishops, and the next day were received in parliament with much pomp.
Thus the government of the church, by bishops, was restored, not by the church or the state, the clergy or the laity, but by the king’s royal prerogative, which ratified in parliament anno 1662. To compel the people to a compliance with this change, it was thought necessary to have recourse to cruelties, and oppressions, almost unparalleled in the history of any civilized country. Of these it will be our chief business in the ensuing chapter, to give an account.
4 On the north side of the road from Glasgow to Edinburgh, and nearly opposite to Carmyle, is a rivulet, with a small island in the middle, planted with larches, called Cromwell’s watering pond. To this place his cavalry were walked out every day, during his stay in Glasgow.
7 It has been said, that the decisions of the English judges were more agreeable to the spirit and principles of the law of Scotland, than the previous decisions of the judges of this country. A young lawyer made this observation to a Scots judge, who died many years ago, and received this very curious and singular answer: “De’il mean them, they had neither kith nor kin in this country. Take that out of the way, and I think I could be a good judge myself.”
8 So late as the year 1747, the practice of kidnapping and transporting was a profitable business, in the hands of the mayor and aldermen of the English corporations. The Scots were not behind-hand with their English neighbours, in this abominable traffic in human flesh.
9 Wodrow’s history of the church of Scotland.