Charters and Documents Relating To the City of Glasgow 1175-1649 Part 1. Originally published by Scottish Burgh Records Society, Glasgow, 1897.
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On 13th February, 1636, a letter from the archbishop was produced to the magistrates and council, setting forth that he had subscribed a signature anent the patronage of the Blackfriars kirk and sent it up to the court to be expede under the king's hand, and that, when they presented to him a sufficient and qualified minister, he would perform all the duties devolving on him. (fn. 1) Accordingly on the 20th of the same month the council met to elect a minister to succeed James Elliot, who had been transferred from that kirk to Edinburgh in the previous December; four ministers were put on leet and voted upon; and John Bell, younger, minister at Eaglesham, was elected and appointed to be presented to the archbishop. (fn. 2) On 5th March representatives of the council appeared before the presbytery, and consented to Bell's admission to the kirk. (fn. 3) On 30th April it was reported that Alexander Lindsay, servitor to the archbishop, had been employed to "expede the signature anent the kirk," and that it had passed the king's hands; (fn. 4) and an instrument of resignation, in the hands of the lords of exchequer, followed on the contract between the town and the archbishop on 27th June. (fn. 5) On 1st July a charter under the great seal was granted by the king, whereby, on a recital of the contract, and the proceedings which followed upon it, he ratified the arrangements so made. Further, " for the good and faithful service rendered to him and his progenitors by the burgh and its inhabitants," the king conveyed to it and to the magistrates, council and community, and their successors, the kirk and right of patronage thereof, with power to them to present qualified men to the archbishop as often as it should become vacant by decease, dismissal, deprivation, inability, or in any other way. The kirk and right of patronage thus conveyed were appointed to be held of his Majesty and his successors for payment of a blench duty of one penny Scots, if asked only, the rendering of daily and earnest supplications to God for their continued prosperity, the repairing, enlarging, and re-edifying and upholding of the building so as to be sufficient for good and public divine service, the presenting of a qualified minister to serve the cure, the payment to him of one thousand merks for his stipend, and the providing of a sufficient and qualified reader with a competent stipend. The rights of the archbishop and his successors, and also of the college, to their whole properties and emoluments were moreover reserved. (fn. 6) On 10th August the charter was produced by the provost to the council, who directed the treasurer to pay £400 Scots (£33 6s. 8d. sterling) to Mr. Alexander Lindsay for his disbursements in passing it, and " for ane honest and honorabill reward for his paines." (fn. 7)
In anticipation of the Convention of Burghs being held in Glasgow in July, 1636, the master of works was ordered by the town council, on the 28th of May, to provide as much red cloth as was necessary for furnishing each of the town's officers with a suit of clothes, "for the greater honour and credit" of the city. On 4th June Patrick Bell, provost, and Colin Campbell, bailie, were elected commissioners, and John Anderson, younger, was elected assessor for the burgh at this convention; and James Hamilton and eight others were appointed to provide convenient lodging for the commissioners of such of the other burghs as attended the convention, and to see them "weill servet at thair fowr houris drink dureing thair aboid heir in the most comelie forme, for the credit of the toun." (fn. 8) The records of the convention from 3rd March, 1631, to 3rd July, 1649, are awanting, and the council records make no further reference to this meeting than to mention that £178 0s. 6d. were ordered to be paid, as the charges and expenses expended upon the commissioners during their meeting. (fn. 9)
In view of the abundant supply of water now possessed by the city, it is somewhat interesting to notice the early efforts of the town council to provide a supply for the inhabitants. In 1636 arrangements were made with the proprietors of a yard adjoining the Gallowgate burn and bridge for utilizing "a spring well," in the ground, "that runs out continually, unprofitable always to the owners." Under this arrangement the proprietors consented to the magistrates and council, "for the weal of the whole community and inhabitants," setting in pipes and conduits for conveying water to any place in the burgh they pleased for serving the inhabitants. In consideration of this privilege the council granted to one of the proprietors of the well a new charter and infeftment, dated 24th September, of half an acre of land in the Gallow muir, which had been possessed by her and her predecessors for many years. (fn. 10)
On 18th August the town council ordered a charter under the great seal to be applied for, which should contain "ane certain dewtie to be payet to his Majestie," (fn. 11) and on 24th September they approved of a report made by the provost as to what he had done in Edinburgh in regard to the matter. They also approved of a letter to the lord treasurer's clerk as to the passing of the charter, and authorised the following payments (all in Scotch money) to be made in connection with it:—(1) to the king's advocate, £33 12s., for advising and correcting the document; fifty-six shillings to his clerk; £39 4s. for docqueting it; and £5 12s. to his clerk; and (2) £22 8s. to John Nicoll for writing three copies of the charter, £5 12s. to his son, and 37s. 6d. to "his two boys." (fn. 12)
On 4th October the bailies and council admitted Colin Campbell, elder, merchant, to be provost, on the nomination of the archbishop, who, from a leet of six merchants and three craftsmen, chose John Barnis, James Bell, and William Neilson to be bailies. Three days later thirteen merchants and twelve craftsmen were elected councillors; (fn. 13) and on the 12th James Hamilton was appointed dean of guild; Ninian Gilhagie, deacon convener; William Wilson, visitor; William Robinson, treasurer; William Hinschaw, master of work; and Colin Campbell, younger, water bailie. (fn. 14)
On 16th October the king granted to the city the charter under the great seal, which, on 18th August was agreed to be applied for. (fn. 15) It proceeds on a recital of the high antiquity of the burgh, and the advantages which the kingdom derived from its foreign trade and navigation, and the skilfulness of its burgesses and inhabitants; of the large proportion it bore of the burdens imposed on the burghs towards meeting the public expenditure of the kingdom; of its being the chief and most worthy burgh in the western parts of the kingdom, and eminently fitted for state and ornament; of the great charges and expenses it had incurred in rendering the Clyde navigable for ships, boats, and vessels (fn. 16)—in improving, repairing, and upholding the bridge of Glasgow (fn. 17)—in providing a minister for the Blackfriars kirk, and repairing and enlarging it (fn. 18)—in building a court house for the administration of justice (fn. 19)—in building and repairing the church in the Trongate, called the New Church, and the steeple (fn. 20)—in repairing the public ways and streets (fn. 21)—in building and repairing several bridges over rivers and waters in different districts, whereby the convenience and comfort of travellers and others frequenting these parts were promoted—in building large halls and markets for receiving and selling victuals and other provisions coming to market—in erecting a correction house (fn. 22)—and in upholding and improving the metropolitan church of the city. (fn. 23) By this charter his Majesty confirmed all the charters, writings, writs, and privileges previously granted to and enjoyed by the provost, bailies, deans of guild, treasurers, councillors, and community, and specially the charters of Alexander III., (fn. 24) Robert I., (fn. 25) Queen Mary, (fn. 26) and James VI.; (fn. 27) by the decree of 1469, (fn. 28) and the charter by James III. confirming the same; (fn. 29) by the act of the privy council, 10th September, 1600; the decrees of the court of session, 25th July, 1607, and 4th June, 1575; (fn. 30) and the charters of James VI., 21st December, 1613, (fn. 31) and Charles I., 1st July, 1636. (fn. 32) The king further confirmed to the burgh the liberty which it and its magistrates had to thirl and astrict the burgesses and inhabitants to the town's mills, (fn. 33) and to elect a water bailie to have jurisdiction over the Clyde where the sea ebbs and flows from the bridge of Glasgow to the Clochstane, for the correction of all injuries and enormities committed on the river within these bounds. (fn. 34) Moreover, he of new granted to the magistrates and councillors his burgh and city of Glasgow, with all lands, houses, &c., salmon and other fishings on the Clyde, hospitals, correction house, and all other privileges and immunities, ecclesiastical or secular, belonging to it, and with the liberty of the Clyde on both sides from the bridge of Glasgow to the Clochstane, and also with the liberty and immunity of ship stations, i.e., of the roads of Inchgreen, Newark, Pot of the Rig, or any other station for ships within the Clyde, between the bridge of Glasgow and the Clochstane, for loading and unloading merchandise and goods belonging to the burgh. And without prejudice to former rights, he of new erected and incorporated the burgh into a free royal burgh, with special power and liberty to its magistrates, community, burgesses, and freemen (but to no others than the freemen and burgesses), to exercise the trade of merchandise, as well native as foreign, within the bounds of the burgh and barony, and to hold and enjoy a merchant guildry, with courts of dean of guild and jurisdictions belonging thereto; (fn. 35) and also to hold public and open markets on every Monday, Wednesday, or Friday, or such other three days weekly as the magistrates and councillors might fix with common consent, with a free annual fair, on each of 13th January, Skyre Thursday, (fn. 36) Whitsun Monday, and 7th July, and continuing for eight days thereafter. Further, he constituted the provost and bailies justices of the peace within the burgh and its whole territories and liberties, and within the harbours of Inchgreen, Newark, and Pot of the Rig; and granted to the magistrates, councillors, and community the correction house, (fn. 37) the leper house called St. Ninian's hospital, with the gardens and pertinents of the same, (fn. 38) and all the customs of the burgh and its markets. He further empowered the magistrates to make acts, statutes, and ordinances for the good of the burgh, and to impose penalties on such persons as contravened these, and constituted the magistrates, councillors, and community patrons of the new church in Trongate. The burgh was appointed to be held in free burgage for payment to the crown of twenty merks annually, for service of burgh used and wont, and for payment to the archbishop of sixteen merks; but the charter reserved to the duke of Lennox and his successors the whole liberties and privileges within the burgh and regality of Glasgow which he or his predecessors had used or possessed in any time past, including those to which they and their bailies and deputes were accustomed in relation to the fair of Glasgow.
The archbishop and chapter and the authorities of the college seem to have been apprehensive that the extensive grants conferred by this charter were prejudicial to their rights. To remove their objections the town council accordingly granted a bond, dated 6th December, 1636, by which it was declared that the charter should in no respect prejudice either the archiepiscopal see or the college, and that the rights conferred by it should not, so far as these parties were concerned, extend beyond those granted to the burgh by king James VI. on 8th April, 1611, (fn. 39) and 21st December, 1613. (fn. 40)
On 18th October, the Liturgy, as adjusted by Laud and Wren, was sanctioned by the king, who addressed a letter to archbishop Spottiswood, lord chancellor, requiring him to command, by open proclamation, all subjects ecclesiastical and civil to conform themselves to its practice, "it being the onlie forme of worshippe quhilk wee, having taken the counseall of our cleargie, thinks fitt to be wsed in God's publicke worshippe ther." (fn. 41) He also required the chancellor to enjoin all archbishops, bishops and others, presbyters and churchmen, to take care that it was duly observed, and that the contraveners were condignly censured and punished. In consequence of this order the privy council established the service book, and by proclamation in every head burgh required all subjects to conform themselves to it. (fn. 42) The book reached Scotland in the spring of 1637, and in May every minister was required, under pain of outlawry, to buy two copies. To impugn or disregard it was therefore dangerous, yet some of the ministers were bold enough to remonstrate. The general feeling of the country, moreover, was hostile. The book, it was said, "was more popish than the English one," and had no authority either from assembly or parliament. The puritan and national feeling of antagonism to it grew stronger from day to day. (fn. 43) Other elements were also at work.
The old Scottish nobility, whom Charles' interference with his father's grants to them of church property had alienated, could not tamely brook their practical subordination to the bishops; the presbyterian instincts of the burghers of many of the towns was deeply offended, and from all quarters remonstrances and protestations against the enforcement of the king's order were addressed to the privy council. These were emphasised by the resistance which was openly manifested in Edinburgh, in the West of Scotland, and in other places where the royal command was sought to be carried out. Foreseeing the consequences of insistence, the privy council hesitated to enforce it, but the king was obdurate, and ordered proclamation to be made, at the market cross of Edinburgh on 17th October, of his determination to enforce obedience to his order. The simple officer who read the formal words of that proclamation, says Gardiner, "was the messenger of ill to Charles. He was pointing to the track which led to the battle field, the prison, and the scaffold." (fn. 44)
In June, 1637, Patrick Bell, provost of the previous year, was appointed commissioner to the convention of burghs to be held in Aberdeen, and he was directed to vote and consent to a "constant council" being in every burgh "for answering to the head and article set forth in the general missive direct to the burgh to that effect." (fn. 45)
On 19th August, the magistrates and council—considering that for many years previously no uniform practice had existed as to the quality and number of the persons by whom the town council was elected, and, with a view to obviate the evils and inconveniences of the absence of a solid and constant form of election—ordained that, after the magistrates had been elected at the accustomed time, the newly elected provost and three bailies, and the persons who had been provost and bailies during the immediately preceding year, and the year preceding that, making in all twelve persons, should be personally warned by an officer of the burgh to attend and make the necessary election. If, however, it should happen that any of these twelve persons had died, or left the town, or had been of new elected provost or bailies, or were sick, or absent from any cause, then the remanent of the twelve present should elect as many persons as might be required to supply the place of the absentees, whether merchants or craftsmen, and proceed to the election of the new council. But it was declared that no election should be valid till the full number of twelve had been made up, and had voted. (fn. 46) On 2nd September, it was further declared that the act should not prejudice either the merchants or craftsmen in regard to the number which either had on the council in previous years. (fn. 47)
By the letter of guildry it was provided that the moneys received for the entry of guild brethren should be divided between the dean of guild and the deacon-convener—the entries of merchants being paid to the dean, and those of craftsmen to the deacon—and be applied by them for behoof of their respective hospitals and decayed brethren, or to any other good and godlie work tending to the advancement of the common weal of the city. In 1610, however, the dean and his council of merchant rank, and the deaconconvener and the remanant deacons of crafts having regard to the great debt and burdens "drawn upon the city by the injuries of the times," agreed, for its relief, that the fine of £30 payable by each "outintounis man stranger" entering as guild brother should be uplifted by the treasurer of the burgh for a period of eight years, but should, after the expiry of that time, revert to the merchants' and trades' hospitals. The burgh treasurer had, however continued to uplift these fines for the intervening twenty-seven years. On 19th August, 1637, the dean and deacon-convener represented these facts to the council, and stated that through the "stratnes of thois hard tymes thir divers yeiris bygane they and thair predicessouris hes bein constrainit to give weri learglie for the help of thair puir dekayit britherine within the saidis tua hospitallis and vthers quorum interest, quhairby the revenewes of the samen ar greatlie diminischitt and impairit, and that the deane of gild and his britherine of the merchand rank ar of intention to build ane lytill chappell adjacent to thair hospitall, with ane pirameitt or steiple thairon, for the glorie of God and weill of thair puir within thair said hospitall, vther inhabitantis thairabout, good and decoirment of this citie, and that the deacone convenar and deacones of crauftis hes allreadie wairit and bestowit grait chairgis and expensis in building of ane pirameitt, quhairin thair bell hingis, bying of ane new bell, and repairing of thair said hospitall." The council therefore ordered the fines of all guild brethren entered as strangers to be uplifted by the dean and deacon-convener and their collectors after Michaelmas following, and to be applied in terms of the letter of guildry. (fn. 48)
It was originally intended that the use of the service book should be introduced at Easter, 1637, but the indignation with which the project was received throughout the country generally induced delay, and it was only on the 23rd of July in that year, that an attempt was made to introduce it at the morning service in the Middle Church of St. Giles in Edinburgh. The archbishop of St. Andrews, lord chancellor, was present; Dr. Lindsay, bishop of Edinburgh, was to preach; and Dr. Hanna, the dean, was to read the service of the day. But the dean had scarcely commenced when a riot arose, and books, stools, and other missiles were thrown at him. (fn. 49) The efforts of the bishop and archbishop to appease the uproar proved futile, and ultimately the magistrates who were present had to descend from their gallery and eject the rioters. The service was then proceeded with, while the angry passions of the infuriated presbyterians surged outside; and at its conclusion bishop Lindsay had to be protected on his way home by the earl of Wemyss. On the bishop's return from the afternoon's service, in the coach of the earl of Roxburgh, he was protected from extreme danger only by the intervention of the armed servants of the earl. Attempts to use the service book in the Greyfriars Church and other churches of the city were met and defeated by similar proceedings. (fn. 50) On the following day the privy council issued a proclamation denouncing the rioters; but five days later the chancellor archbishop and the bishops determined not to continue the use of either the old or new service book till the king's pleasure was ascertained, and this determination was approved of by the privy council. The king, however, insisted on the establishment of the new service book, and the privy council, on 4th August, ordered its use to be renewed on Sunday, the 13th. Excuses were found, however, for not obeying the order. But the bishops enjoined the liturgy to be used in their dioceses, and the archbishop of Glasgow requested Robert Baillie, then minister of Kilwinning, afterwards principal of the university of Glasgow, to preach to the diocesan synod on the last Wednesday of August, and to urge his hearers to conform to the canons and service book. Baillie, however, declined, but was commanded on his canonical obedience to preach, though the archbishop afterwards relieved him by appointing William Annan, minister at Ayr, to do so. Annan's experiences, however, and the treatment he received at the hands of the women of the city, are more indicative of their combative presbyterianism than of their delicacy. (fn. 51)
In consequence of the opposition which had arisen to the canons and service book, and which was supported by many noblemen and gentlemen, the privy council on 25th August again wrote the king representing the popular discontent; but on 10th September he expressed his dissatisfaction with their remissness, and ordered the bishops to cause the liturgy to be read in their respective dioceses. No fewer than sixtyeight petitions, or "supplications" as they were termed, against it were then presented to the council, and one of these was signed by the earl of Sutherland in name of the nobility, barons, ministers, and burgesses. (fn. 52) These were forwarded to the king through the duke of Lennox, who had come to Scotland to his mother's funeral, and was returning to England through Edinburgh; and it was hoped that he might be able to impress his Majesty with a sense of the intense antipathy which existed to the course of action he was pursuing. This hope was, however, speedily disappointed, for on 9th October Charles wrote the privy council simply postponing an answer to their petitions, and on the 17th they, in obedience to his orders, issued three proclamations, by the first of which the petitioners who had assembled in great numbers to receive an answer to their supplications were required to leave Edinburgh within twenty-four hours. By the second the courts of justice were ordered to be removed first to Linlithgow and afterwards to Dundee; and by the third all copies of a book by George Gillespie, entitled a "Dispute against popish ceremonies obtruded upon the Church of Scotland," were directed to be brought to the privy council and publicly burned. (fn. 53). This was followed in Edinburgh by proceedings both towards members of the privy council and the magistrates which indicated the popular exasperation, and afterwards by the presentation to the privy council of a complaint against the bishops, and a supplication that they should be subjected to trial. (fn. 54) This document was forwarded to the king, and the petitioners agreed to meet again on the 15th of November. In the course of a heated discussion before the privy council then assembled in Linlithgow, bishop Sydserf (fn. 55) and Sir John Hay suggested that the petitioners should choose sixteen commissioners of their own number to communicate with the privy council, and report the result to their constituents, and that the others should return to their homes. The suggestion was at once accepted, and a committee was afterwards appointed. (fn. 56) The body thus constituted consisted of four noblemen, four esquires or lairds, four burgesses, and four ministers. (fn. 57) On 15th November the petitioners, as previously arranged, returned to Edinburgh, and the committee was reconstituted. In the new form it was composed of six or more noblemen, two gentlemen from each shire, one townsman from each burgh, and one minister from each presbytery; (fn. 58) and as so organised it soon took active steps in opposition to the policy of the king.
On 3rd October, 1637, the bailies and council, at the desire of the archbishop, admitted James Stewart of Floack, merchant and burgess, to be provost for the ensuing year; and on the same day the archbishop, from a leet of nine, elected John Anderson, Ninian Anderson, and Colin Campbell to be bailies. On the 6th the provost and bailies of that and the preceding years, with one person chosen to make up the number of twelve, conform to the act of 19th August, elected thirteen merchants and twelve craftsmen to be councillors; (fn. 59) and on the 11th James Hamilton was appointed dean of guild; Richard Allan, deacon convener; Robert Hoggisyard, treasurer; William Hynschaw, master of work; Archibald Faullis, water bailie; and John Gilhagie, visitor of maltmen and mealmen. (fn. 60)
The action of the king and his advisers in regard to the enforcement in Scotland of uniformity in public worship, and the use of the book of common prayer, was regarded in Glasgow as elsewhere with deep interest. On 14th October Walter Stirling and Mr. Robert Wilkie (apparently the minister of the Blackfriars kirk) were appointed by the town council to ride to Edinburgh and "attend ane gracious answer of his Majestie anent the buik of commoun prayer." On 11th November Mathew Hamilton and Mr. Robert Wilkie received a similar commission from the council. (fn. 61)
On the application of Robert Fleming, merchant, and his partners, who were desirous to establish a manufactory in the city, wherein a number "of the poorer sort of people" might be employed, the magistrates and council, on 31st January, 1638, recognising the benefit which would accrue to the burgh thereby, agreed to let Fleming their great lodging and yard in the Drygate (with the exception of the two low "foir" vaults and back galleries behind the same, situated to the east of the entry to the great lodging) and the booth under the Tolbooth, then occupied by James Wood, all free of rent or any other kind of payment, for a period of fifteen years, and also to uphold the roof of the great lodging during that time. (fn. 62) The establishment of this manufactory seems, however, to have alarmed the freemen weavers of the burgh, who made representations to the council on the subject; whereupon Patrick Bell, one of the undertakers, engaged for himself and his partners that, during the endurance of the tack and the use by them of the booth, "thair suld be no woovis wovin of townis folkis thairin be thair servandis in hurt and prejudice of the said friemen, bot by thais onlie wha ar frie with the calling." The council accordingly ordered this engagement to remain in force during the tack. (fn. 63)
Unwarned by the hostility of the country to the infatuated course he was pursuing, and disregarding the advice of the earl of Traquair, whom he consulted, the king caused a proclamation to be issued on 19th February, declaring that the liturgy had been compiled with his sanction; censuring those who had petitioned that the bishops should be brought to trial; and forbidding unlawful convocations of the people under pain of treason. This proclamation was made in Stirling, where the privy council then were, but no sooner had the herald performed his duty than a protest, on behalf of the petitioners, was issued. They treated the proclamation as emanating from the privy council, from which they refused to accept any orders till the bishops were removed from it, and demanded to have recourse to their sovereign "to present their grievances, and in a legal way to prosecute the same before the ordinary competent judges, civil or ecclesiastical." The publication of this proclamation throughout the country created great indignation, (fn. 64) and on the 24th of February the town council of Glasgow appointed Colin Campbell, bailie, Gabriel Cuningham, Richard Allan, and George Porterfield to ride to Edinburgh, and, as commissioners for the town, to concur with the remanant burghs of the kingdom, so far as might lawfully be done, "anent the buikis of canones and commoun prayer." (fn. 65) This was followed two days later by an instruction to the town clerk to prepare and subscribe a commission to them to concur with the commissioners of the other burghs "in humbly supplicating" the king "concerning the buikes of canones and commoun prayer urgit to be brought in in our kirk of Scotland, and anent the hie commissioun, swa far as concernis Godis glorie, his Majesties honour, and preservatioun of trew religioun professit within this kingdome, and approvine be laudable lawis thairof, and to go on and conclud with the noblemen, barownes, borrowes, ministeris, and utheris his Majesties loyal subjectis convenit to that effect, swa far as lawfully may be done." (fn. 66) About this time the committee of Covenanters appointed in November to act as a central authority was found to be too large. "From time to time," says Gardiner, "a select committee had been appointed to communicate with the [privy] council, and that committee had been naturally selected from the different classes of which the nation was composed. Four separate committees were now appointed; one formed of all noblemen who might choose to attend, the other three of four gentlemen, four ministers, and four burgh representatives respectively. These committees might meet either separately or as one body. Sometimes to them, and sometimes to the larger body of the commissioners, the name of 'the Tables' was given, in the popular language of the day." (fn. 67)
On 17th March, again, the town council elected Walter Stirling to attend a meeting of the burghs, and directed a commission to be given him in terms similar to that granted to Colin Campbell and the others. (fn. 68) That the excitement which the king's high-handed action produced throughout the country was largely felt in Glasgow is further indicated by an act of the town council, dated 2nd April, ordering a watch to be kept nightly in the town for a month, "at the discretion of the magistrates." (fn. 69)
Meanwhile the necessity of appealing to the masses of the people had been recognised by "the Tables." Many who regarded with comparative indifference the substitution of episcopalian for presbyterian forms of church government were indignant at the idea of having their worship arbitrarily interfered with, and determined, at all hazards, to resist, as a national insult, dictation in such a matter by the prelates of the English church. To enlist the active co-operation of these, as well as of all lovers of presbytery, the document known as the "National Covenant" was prepared, and by it the subscribers became bound to defend the true Reformed religion, to oppose all "novations" and corruptions in the worship or government of the church, unless approved of in a free assembly and parliament, and condemned the innovations which the king sought to impose on the country. (fn. 70) This document was first signed in the Greyfriars church and church yard of Edinburgh on the 28th of February, 1638, and copies were afterwards distributed throughout the country, and were numerously signed in Edinburgh, St. Andrews, Glasgow, and Lanark. The ministers of St. Andrews and Aberdeen, however, formally condemned it, and the clergy of Aberdeen averred their determination to support the policy of the king. Dismayed by the intensity and extent of the popular opposition thus evinced, the privy council appealed to the king, who had now to learn unmistakeably—from a statement of the grievances of the covenanters, which, on 28th April, was signed by the earls of Rothes, Cassillis, and Montrose,—that they would not be satisfied with the withdrawal of the book of canons and service book, but demanded the abolition of the court of high commission, and the summoning of a lawful and free national assembly and parliament. Simultaneously with these proceedings, the covenanters, who were actively engaged throughout the country in having the national covenant accepted and signed, frequently exhibited towards those who held opinions contrary to theirs an intolerance of spirit and action as decided as that of the king and Laud, but it has to be remembered that to reject the covenant was, in the view of the covenanters, treason to the country. Advised by the representatives of the privy council, and by such of the Scottish bishops as had proceeded to London, the king in the end of May dispatched the marquis of Hamilton to Scotland to endeavour to restore tranquility, but on his arrival on the 6th of June he found the southern districts of the country under the control of the covenanters, who had ordered supplies of arms from the continent, and threatened to take possession of the castle of Edinburgh. Along with other burghs Glasgow actively promoted this movement. On 26th May, Colin Campbell, bailie, and four others were appointed to ride to Edinburgh and "give their best advice for settling of the present comotiounes of the kingdom;" (fn. 71) on 23rd June, John Barnis and three others were appointed to attend the meeting of the burghs in Edinburgh, and free Gabriel Cuning hame and the three other commissioners who were in attendance; on the same day Colin Campbell was elected commissioner to the general convention of burghs to be held at Stirling on 3rd July, and William Neilson was appointed assessor; and on 21st July the council authorised £477 12s. 8d. Scots (£39 16s. sterling) to be paid as the expenses of the commissioners who had represented the burgh at the conventions of burghs since 4th July previous, "attending ane gracious ansuer of his Majestie anent the present grievances of the countrie." (fn. 72) When the marquis met the covenanters he learned that they refused to formulate their complaints to any authority other than a general assembly and parliament. He had, therefore, to represent to the king that he must either accede to the demands of his subjects or suppress them by force of arms. Under these circumstances he sought to temporise, and, after allowing the courts of justice to return to Edinburgh, proceeded to England to confer with the king. He was told, however, ere he left, that if he did not return by the 5th of August, with a favourable answer, the covenanters would adopt such course as they might consider best.
Meanwhile Glasgow was taking measures to meet such contingencies as might arise. On 1st August the town council issued an order prohibiting every person within the burgh from lending armour to any person resident therein, and requiring all fencible persons to have their armour ready "for schawing of thair musteris" on twenty-four hours' warning; all persons not provided with arms were also required to get them with diligence, under a penalty of £20. (fn. 73) On the 11th of the same month William Hynschaw, master of works, who had gone to Flanders, was requested to purchase there, for the town's use, fifty muskets, with stalfis, (fn. 74) and bandoliers conform, and fifty pikes, (fn. 75) and on 8th September sixty young men were ordered to be selected and trained up in the "handling" of arms. For this purpose a man was engaged to come from Edinburgh and drill them, and he was appointed to receive forty shillings a day, with his horse hire "hom and afield." (fn. 76)
It would appear that bailie Campbell, who, on 23rd June, had been elected one of the commissioners for the burgh to the convention of burghs to be held at Stirling on 3rd July, had "abstracted himself thairfra" and had "disapoyntit the toun thairanent without ony lawfull excuise, and neglecting the publick effairis, quhairby this brugh might have been endangerit and onlawit in severall onlawis, and as also in thir evill dayis discreditit." The town council, therefore, on 4th August ordained that at his "homcumming he be onlawit and punishit so far as may be in law." John Barnis was then appointed commissioner for the burgh at the convention on 7th August, and William Neilson was elected his assessor. (fn. 77) Having regard to the great expense to which the town had been put in sending commissioners to Edinburgh to attend to public affairs, the council, on 25th August, ordered that in future two of their number should proceed there weekly on their own charges. James Crane and John Anderson, younger, were accordingly appointed to attend for the first week. (fn. 78)
On the 10th of August the marquis of Hamilton returned to Edinburgh empowered to summon both an assembly and a parliament, under limitations intended to secure as much as possible the existing ecclesiastical polity and ritual. But when he met the covenanters he found that they would be satisfied with nothing short of the abolition of episcopacy and the Perth articles, and the enforcement of the covenant on all persons under pain of excommunication. Hamilton had therefore to return and represent this to the king, who was induced, on 9th September, to revoke the canons, service book, and high commission, to promise his assent to the repeal of the statute confirming the Perth articles, and to make a variety of other concessions diametrically opposed to what he had previously insisted on. The archbishop of St. Andrews was also to be asked to resign his chancellorship, and was to be compensated for loss of office. Proclamation was accordingly made, on 22nd September, of the king's intentions; a general assembly was appointed to meet at Glasgow (fn. 79) on 21st November; and a parliament was ordered to be summoned to meet in Edinburgh on 15th May. Even this, however, did not now satisfy the covenanters who protested against the royal proclamation. (fn. 80)
On 2nd October, Patrick Bell was elected provost on the nomination of the archbishop, who also, from a leet of nine, nominated Henry Glen, Mathew Hamilton, and William Neilson to be bailies. On 5th October thirteen merchants and twelve craftsmen were elected councillors; (fn. 81) and on 10th October Walter Stirling was appointed dean of guild; Richard Allan, deacon convener; Walter Neilson, visitor; Andrew Martin, treasurer; William Hynschaw, master of work; and Thomas Glen, water bailie. (fn. 82)
In consequence of the king's sanction to the holding of the assembly on 21st November, the town council, on 8th October, anticipating the repair to the town of many noblemen, commissioners from presbyteries, and other commissioners, prohibited the burgesses and inhabitants from letting or promising to let, for rent or otherwise, or from lending to friends, any house, chamber, or stable, without previously obtaining license to do so from persons appointed by the magistrates and council. The object of this order, it was explained, was to secure that every person who came to the town to attend the assembly might be lodged according to his quality and the ability of the city, and violation of it was appointed to be punished by the infliction of a fine of £100, loss of the liberty of the offender, and imprisonment during the will of the magistrates. All householders were farther required, under a similar penalty, to obey the orders of the persons appointed to survey the houses and premises, and were prohibited from charging more rent than was authorised by the magistrates. (fn. 83) Orders were also given, on the 20th of the same month, to prepare the High Kirk for the meeting of the assembly, by repairing the floor of the outer kirk, opening up for light certain windows in the inner kirk, which had previously been "biggit up with stone, and putting glass therein," and executing other necessary works, and James Colquhoun, wright, was appointed to superintend the operations. (fn. 84) Farther, in anticipation of the number of people who were expected to repair to the town, a guard was ordered to be kept during the day and a watch by night, (fn. 85) and all the inhabitants were required "to put out candles and bowattis" [lanterns] during the time of the assembly. (fn. 86)
Inspired by the "Tables," the covenanters took immediate and active steps to secure the return, as members of assembly, of persons who would support them, and they prepared a formal accusation of the fourteen bishops, which accusation contained, it must be said, many scandalous charges which subsequently no attempt was made to substantiate, and could only have been introduced to foster popular prejudice. This accusation was presented to the presbytery of Edinburgh, which obviously had no jurisdiction over the bishops as a class, but it was nevertheless referred by the presbytery to the assembly. The "Tables" also issued instructions to their supporters as to their attendance at the assembly, but the privy council issued a proclamation forbidding all commissioners to repair to the assembly with other attendance than their ordinary retinue, or armed otherwise than as allowed by law. Against this reasonable proclamation, however, the covenanters protested, and entered the city in large numbers and armed. On the 8th of November the town council, understanding that great and weighty matters which might concern them very much would be dealt with by the assembly, resolved, before appointing a commissioner to represent the burgh, that he should not vote on any material matter till he had first intimated it to the council and obtained their advice, upon which he should act. Upon this footing Patrick Bell, provost, was elected commissioner, and on the 15th Richard Allan was appointed his assessor. (fn. 87)
The assembly met in the cathedral on the 21st of November, and, large as the building was, the crowd was so great as to make it difficult for the members to get to their places. But though Baillie complains indignantly of the "disorder, din, and clamour" which prevailed, the gathering was one of profound national interest. The marquis of Hamilton, (fn. 88) as royal commissioner, occupied a chair of state under a canopy, surrounded by the chief officers of state. In front was the table for the moderator and clerk. The peers and other territorial barons who attended as lay elders sat at a long table running down the centre of the church, while round it on seats placed one above the other were the ministers and commissioners of burghs. In all, the assembly consisted of one hundred and forty ecclesiastics and one hundred laymen, but no bishops or church dignitaries were present. Above, in one of the aisles, sat young nobles and men of rank who were non-members, and the galleries were filled with members of all classes, among whom were many ladies. One or two ministers wore gowns, the rest appeared in cloaks. The lay members wore their ordinary dress, and the noblemen and gentlemen carried their swords. John Bell, one of the ministers of the city, acted as interim moderator, and after the royal commission had been read, and the commissions of members had been lodged, Alexander Henderson, (fn. 89) was appointed moderator, and Archibald Johnston of Warriston, (fn. 90) clerk. The royal commissioner then urged that the declaration of the bishops should be read, but this was not done till the 27th, when a document signed by the archbishops of St. Andrews and Glasgow and by the bishops of Edinburgh, Galloway, Ross, and Brechin, with their reasons of dissent and protest, was read. The bishops of Dunkeld, Orkney, Caithness, Argyle, Dunblane, Aberdeen, Moray, and the Isles had not subscribed it. On the 28th a discussion took place as to the bishops' declinature, after which the moderator declared that he would take the vote of the assembly as to whether they could lawfully decide in the accusation of the bishops, notwithstanding the reasons contained in their declinature. Upon this declaration being made, the royal commissioner addressed the assembly, and, in name and by authority of the king, commanded it not to proceed farther, protesting that what afterwards might be done should not be reported as an act of the assembly. To this command the moderator replied, but the royal commissioner dissolved the assembly, and left the cathedral along with the lords of the council while the clerk was reading a protestation against his procedure. On the following day the royal commissioner issued a proclamation which was published at the market cross of Glasgow, setting forth the grounds of his action; prohibiting all further meetings of the assembly; and requiring the members "to depart furth of the city within the space of twenty-four hours, and to repair home to their own houses, or go about their private affairs in a quiet manner." (fn. 91) Nevertheless, the earl of Argyle, who had accompanied the commissioner as one of his assessors, but refused to concur with the other members of the privy council in the proclamation dissolving the assembly, returned to it, and intimated his sympathy with its proceedings. (fn. 92) On the 29th the provost of Glasgow convened the town council and, in obedience to their act of the 8th, intimated that on the previous evening he had been called on to vote on the question as to whither the assembly should dissolve, being discharged by authority, or whither he should adhere to the protestation by the members as to not dissolving. He stated also that he had been asked to vote on the question as to whither the assembly should sit as judges on the bishops and their adherents notwithstanding their declinature. He therefore craved the instructions of the council as to how he should act, and they, after mature deliberation, "by plurality of voittis," ordained him, "for thame and in thair name, to voit that the assemblie sould sitt and not desolve, not withstanding of any mandat or proclamatioun maid or to be maid in the contrar;" "to adhair to the protestatioun maid be the members thairof anent the not desolving of the samein;" to "sitt and continow with the assemblie to the full desolving thairof;" and to "voyce for establisching of the said assemblie judges to the saidis bischops and thair adhairrance notwithstanding of the declinator proponit to thame in the contrar thairof. (fn. 93) The assembly thereafter resolved, notwithstanding the opposition of a few who retired, to proceed with its business, and on 4th December declared the last six great assemblies, viz., those of Linlithgow in 1606 and 1608, of Glasgow in 1610, of Aberdeen in 1616, of St. Andrews in 1617, and of Perth in 1618, to have been unfree, unlawful, and null. (fn. 94) It also on the 6th condemned the service book, the book of canons, the book of ordination, and the court of high commission. (fn. 95) The two archbishops and the four bishops who had signed the declinatures were then deposed and excommunicated. (fn. 96) A similar sentence was pronounced as regarded the bishops of Aberdeen and Dunblane. (fn. 97) The bishops of Moray, Orkney, Argyle (or Lismore) and the Isles, (fn. 98) and the bishops of Dunkeld and Caithness, (fn. 99) were also deposed, but were to be excommunicated only in the event of their not professing repentance and making submission to the assembly. (fn. 100) On the 8th the assembly declared episcopacy to have been abjured by the confession of faith, 1580, and ordered it to be removed out of the kirk. (fn. 101) A similar declaration and order were made on the 10th as regarded the articles of Perth. (fn. 102) On the following day the judicatories of the kirk were restored and several former acts were revived and ratified. (fn. 103) Among other acts passed by the assembly were—(1) one on 18th December ordaining presbyteries to proceed with the censures of the kirk, to excommunication, against those ministers who, being deposed by the assembly, did not acquiesce in their sentences, but continued to exercise some part of their ministerial functions; (2) one on the 19th against the civil power and places of kirkmen; (fn. 104) (3) one on 20th December asserting the right of the kirk to have assemblies yearly and oftener, pro re nata, and appointing the next general assembly to be held on the third Wednesday of July in the following year; (fn. 105) and (4) one on the last mentioned date appointing an humble supplication to be transmitted to the king, craving his approval and ratification of its proceedings. (fn. 106)
The presentation of this supplication to the king—whose authority had been so conspicuously set at naught—was, not unnaturally, felt to be a matter of considerable danger. "Howsoever," says Baillie, "manie would have ventured to have gone with it, though their head should have gone therefor; yet, understanding the increase of the king's wrath, and the danger there was, . . . . also hearing afterwards from court of great spyte against the very lyves of most of our nobles, gentrie, and ministrie, who were able to agent our business; it was resolved that none of note or parts should go up, without greater assurance for their returne, than could for that tyme be expected." (fn. 107) Mr. George Winrahame, however, undertook the risk, and got the marquis of Hamilton to present the supplication to the king, but no answer was made to it. (fn. 108)