Historical preface: 1642-44

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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, 'Historical preface: 1642-44', in Charters and Documents Relating To the City of Glasgow 1175-1649 Part 1, (Glasgow, 1897) pp. cdxxviii-cdxlix. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/glasgow-charters/1175-1649/no1/cdxxviii-cdxlix [accessed 26 May 2024].

. "Historical preface: 1642-44", in Charters and Documents Relating To the City of Glasgow 1175-1649 Part 1, (Glasgow, 1897) cdxxviii-cdxlix. British History Online, accessed May 26, 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/glasgow-charters/1175-1649/no1/cdxxviii-cdxlix.

. "Historical preface: 1642-44", Charters and Documents Relating To the City of Glasgow 1175-1649 Part 1, (Glasgow, 1897). cdxxviii-cdxlix. British History Online. Web. 26 May 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/glasgow-charters/1175-1649/no1/cdxxviii-cdxlix.


As indicating the restraints which the town council at this time imposed upon the free expression of opinion as to public matters, it may noticed that one Robert Hogisyaird having presumed to circulate among some of the deacons of crafts letters as to the election of a minister for the burgh, the council, on 5th January, 1642, found that he, being "ane privat man, having no warrand of this place," had done "ane great wrang," for which he was called on to answer. And to prevent a repetition of such offence, it was ordained that no person within the burgh should presume thereafter "to tyst, intyse, or persuad" any person to subscribe any kind of writ concerning the public good without special warrant of the council. All contraveners of this order were certified that they would be held to be seditious persons and disturbers of the common peace; that they would be deprived of their freedom as burgesses, and be punished in conformity with their burgess ticket. (fn. 1)

On 9th September, 1641, both houses of the English parliament adjourned till 20th October, (fn. 2) on which latter day it renewed its meetings, and the struggle between it and the king was renewed. (fn. 3) That the action of the parliament was largely unconstitutional is unquestionable, but that of the king had been so shifty and unreliable, and his notions of prerogative were so offensive to the country that the house of commons were determined to curtail his powers. Mutual hostility and suspicion were thus engendered. On 23rd February, 1642, the queen left England with her daughter; on 2nd March the king proceeded to York despite the request of the parliament that he should remain near Westminster, and three days later they resolved that the kingdom should be put in a position of defence; on 5th March an ordinance by parliament appointed lords lieutenant for the several counties, and conferred on them the command of the militia "for the suppression of all rebellions, insurrections, and invasions;" and on the 9th an interview took place between the king and a deputation of parliament, which dissipated all hope of an understanding between them being arrived at. On 23rd April the king appeared before Hull, demanding admittance, which was, however, refused by Hotham, the governor, who held his appointment from the parliament; on 22nd April, and again on 2nd June, the Scottish privy council refused to assist the king against the English parliament; on 17th June Newcastle was taken possession of by the earl of Newcastle on behalf of the king, and preparations were made by the royalists and by the parliament for the war which seemed to be inevitable; on the 15th of July the first blood of the civil war was shed at Manchester; on 2nd August parliament issued a declaration of its reasons for taking up arms; on 9th August the king proclaimed Essex and the officers of the parliamentary troops to be traitors, but offered a free pardon to all who within six days laid down their arms; on the 12th he issued a proclamation inviting his loyal subjects to rally round the royal standard, which was to be set up at Nottingham on the 22nd; on the 18th both houses denounced as traitors all who aided the king; and on the afternoon of the 22nd the royal standard was erected amidst a flourish of trumpets. "The civil war, which had been practically begun when Hotham shut the gates of Hull against the king, was now openly avowed," (fn. 4) and in almost every shire of England two hostile factions appeared in arms against each other. It is not easy, remarks Macaulay, to say which of the contending parties was at first the most formidable, but the king had one advantage which, if he had used it well, would have more than compensated for the want of stores and money, in which the parliament had the advantage. This was in the composition of the respective forces. To both the science of war was unknown, but the royal army was largely composed of gentlemen, high spirited, ardent, accustomed to consider dishonour as more terrible than death, accustomed to fencing, to the use of fire arms, to bold riding, and to manly and perilous sport, which has been well called the image of war. Such gentlemen, mounted on their favourite horses, and commanding little bands composed of their younger brothers, grooms, gamekeepers, and huntsmen, were, from the first day on which they took the field, qualified to play their part with credit in a skirmish. The steadiness, the prompt obedience, the mechanical precision of movement, which are characteristic of the regular soldier, these gallant volunteers never attained. But they were at first opposed to enemies as undisciplined as themselves, and far less active, athletic, and daring. For a time, therefore, the cavaliers were successful in almost every encounter. (fn. 5)

At this time, as in the present day, Glasgow seems to have been largely resorted to by poor Irish people. On 12th February, 1642, an act of council ordained that, in respect of the great increase of the poor, especially of those who came from Ireland, two hundred merks should be paid to the master of work for distribution among them. (fn. 6) On 5th March proclamation was ordered to be made to the effect that whosoever would contribute to the supply of the distressed Irish should come forward on the following Wednesday at the ringing of the bells. At the same time the dean of guild and deacon convener, and two others, were ordered to meet at such times as they found to be convenient to distribute among these poor people whatever contributions might be given for their relief. (fn. 7) On 8th October James Bell reported that he had received £1,099 2s. 4d. Scots (£91 11s. 10d. sterling) in respect of the contributions thus authorised, and that he had disbursed the amount under the direction of the ministers, dean of guild, deacon convener, and others appointed to make the distribution. (fn. 8)

The merchants of Glasgow appear to have found that the market for wool at Ayr had the effect of enhancing the price of that commodity, and they accordingly entered into a mutual bond not to frequent that market. This was complained of by the town council of Ayr to the convention of burghs held at Dundee in July, 1642, and that body, in the exercise of a power which they then claimed to regulate the relations of the burghs to each other, annulled the bond complained of. What the effect of this was does not appear. (fn. 9)

On 27th July the general assembly met in St. Andrews, and the royal commissioner, the earl of Dunfermline, presented a gracious letter from the king. But the parliament of England also wrote invoking the friendly assistance of the assembly; and in the hope that the growing antipathy of a large and influential party in the English house of commons to episcopacy, and puritan sympathy with the presbyterian form of government, would lead to the extension of presbytery over the whole island, negotiations were opened to advance this object. Attached as he was to the church of England, the extinction of episcopacy was not a project to be then entertained by the king. (fn. 10) The English parliament, however, encouraged the aspirations of the Scots, and on 7th September approved of a letter in which they undertook to abolish episcopacy. But they did not in any way commit themselves to the system of ecclesiastical polity which was to succeed it. (fn. 11) In their profound faith in presbyterianism, it never occurred to the assembly that any other ecclesiastical system could be entertained, and so, without insisting on unequivocal acceptance of their form of church government, they threw in their lot with the opponents of the king, at a time when their aid seemed indispensable.

On 4th October the town council took into consideration the act of parliament (1641, c. 103) as to the election of their magistrates, (fn. 12) and ordained that in future the old provost, i.e., he who had held office during the immediately preceding year, should be first voted before being put on leet with the others to be presented to the duke or to his commissioner, and that he who had been in office two years successively should not be voted on or put on leet for the third year. They also ordained that in future the old provost, and the three old bailies who had borne office with him, should set down the new leets, out of which those who were to bear office for the year following should be elected. Afterwards the councillors withdrew from the council table, leaving there William Stewart, the old provost, John Anderson, James Bell, and Manasses Lyill, old bailies, to set down the leets, and when these had been prepared, they returned, and the election was proceeded with. William Stewart, James Bell, and James Hamilton were put on the leet for the provostship, and four councillors, with the town-clerk, proceeded to the castle to present it to the duke or his commissioner. On arriving there they found Sir Walter Stewart of Mynto, Sir William Cochrane of Cowdone, and many other friends and servants of the duke, and asked them to exhibit his grace's commission, in terms of the statute. A commission by him was then submitted in favour of four persons, empowering them conjunctly and severally to choose the magistrates of the burgh. The deputation, however, protested that this commission was not in conformity with the statute, which specified only one commissioner, and empowered him simply to nominate one of the three on the leet to be provost. Having taken instruments on this protest, the deputation left the castle, and reported what they had done to the council, who thereupon elected William Stewart to be provost. He then, with the advice of the council, put forward leets for the bailies, when Walter Stirling and James Hamilton, merchants, and John Anderson, craftsman, were elected. On the 7th the magistrates of this and the two preceding years elected thirteen merchants and twelve craftsmen to be on the council for the following year, and the record bears that all persons, with the exception of the then provost and bailies, and those who had held these offices during the immediately preceding year were removed "vicissim, as they were voted conform to the common order." On the following day it was ordered that every absentee from ordinary meetings of the council, after due warning, without lawful excuse or permission of the magistrates, should pay six shillings to the box. On 12th October John Barnes was elected dean of guild; William Neilson, deacon convener; Thomas Pollock, treasurer; Walter Neilsone, visitor of maltmen; Thomas Glen, water bailie; and William Hyndschawe, master of work. (fn. 13) On the 22nd the council resolved that, in all future elections, the provost of the immediately previous year should be put in leet only for the following year, so that no one should be leeted or elected save for two years successively at most, and on the supplication of the dean of guild and his brethren, the town council ordered that, in future, no stranger should be admitted guild brother unless he paid £60 Scots (£5 sterling) to the hospital. (fn. 14)

The indebtedness of the committee of the estates to the town at this time is indicated in an act of the town council of 28th January, 1643, which sets forth the receipt of £2,823 Scots (£235 5s. sterling) as interest on £18,411 14s. 8d. Scots (£1,534 6s. 2d. sterling) of advances made by citizens to the committee for public purposes; (fn. 15) and, on 11th February, a committee was appointed to pay to those who had made these advances the interest due to them. (fn. 16)

In the beginning of 1643 negotiations took place between the king and commissioners of the Scottish privy council and the church, and Charles was urged to consent to the abolition of episcopacy in England, and the substitution of presbytery. But to this he would not listen. The presbyterian party in Scotland then resolved to convene the estates despite the opposition of the king, but after they had met on 22nd June, the king determined, under the pressure of necessity, to sanction the meeting, provided it restrained itself within certain specified limits. The convention, however, asserted its right to transact whatever business it deemed proper; it received and thanked the commission of assembly for an application to it to look upon the cause of their brethren in England as their own, and while not yet prepared for active intervention in the affairs of England, it resolved to raise armed levies ostensibly for the repression of disorder on the borders. (fn. 17) A committee of the estates was also appointed to administer Scottish affairs, and local committees in the several counties were required to take action for the defence of the country.

On 20th May the council appointed a committee of their number to meet and receive offers from such as would lend money to the public for the supply of the Irish army. (fn. 18) About this time Irish and French frigates appear to have been hovering about the west coasts, and to drive these off ships were ordered to be fitted out. To meet the cost of two of these, the commissioners of Glasgow, Ayr, and Irvine advanced 5,000 merks (£277 15s. 6d. sterling), and on 4th August the estates ordered the magistrates of these burghs to relieve their commissioners of the advances so made by them. (fn. 19)

Meanwhile the queen, who had been actively engaged in Holland, though without much success, in endeavouring to secure assistance for the king, took ship for Yorkshire, and landed at Bridlington Quay on 22nd February, 1643, (fn. 20) where she met Montrose, who, on 16th November, 1642, had been liberated from the castle of Edinburgh, to which, in the previous June, he, with three of his friends, had been consigned as state prisoners. (fn. 21) After a short rest she proceeded to York, whence, on 3rd July, she set out for Oxford, meeting the king at Edgehill on the 13th, and entering Oxford with him on the following day. Here, Montrose had further interviews with the queen, (fn. 22) and explained to her the understanding which existed between the estates and the parliament, and the hopelessness of the king's anticipations of receiving assistance from the Scots. (fn. 23) He also urged that he should be allowed to raise a highland force in Scotland, with which, supported by drafts from Ireland, he might so operate as to compel the Earl of Leven to return with his troops for the defence of their own country, and so leave the royalists in England to cope with the parliamentary troops alone. But his representations were neutralised by Hamilton. (fn. 24)

On 3rd August three members of the town council were appointed to meet with the laird of Cowdone as to purchasing from him, as tutor to lord Blantyre, his lordship's right of the teind of the town's common. (fn. 25)

On the 26th of the same month George Duncan of Barrowfield gave 600 merks for the purchase of a bell to be hung in the steeple of Blackfriars kirk, to be rung every morning at 5 o'clock, for morning and evening prayers, and on Sabbath and other preaching days in the week at such times as the other town bells were rung, and every night at 8 and 10 o'clock, and oftener as the provost, bailies, and council might appoint. The council rendered Duncan thanks for his gift. (fn. 26)

The meeting of the convention of estates in the beginning of the year was followed on 2nd August by a meeting of the general assembly, which, as Dr. Cunningham observes, was then really the governing body of Scotland. The lord advocate, Sir Thomas Hope, appeared as royal commissioner at this assembly, and is, according to Dr. Cunningham, "the only instance of a commoner holding this high post." (fn. 27) A few days later a deputation from the English parliament attended, and, after reporting what had been already done in England in the direction of extirpating every relic of popery, by abolishing the court of high commission, removing bishops from the house of peers, abolishing episcopacy, and convoking an assembly of divines at Westminster, (fn. 28) appealed not only for the prayers but for the material assistance of the Scottish brethren. This appeal was supported by letters from puritan clergymen and from the Westminster assembly. The general assembly, however, declined to enter into a civil league with England, and insisted that the people there should accept a solemn league and covenant which was prepared by Henderson. The English commissioners suggested that independency should be tolerated, but to this the assembly would not agree, and the covenant, as it had been prepared, was subscribed by all the members of assembly on 17th August, and, on the same afternoon, was accepted by the convention of estates which was still sitting. (fn. 29) This document, however, only pledged the subscribers to strive for the reformation of the churches of England and Scotland according to the word of God, and however clear the original subscribers might be that presbytery alone met that requirement, others might conscientiously subscribe and still decline to recognise any obligation upon them to accept presbyterianism. Be that as it may, the solemn league and covenant was taken to England, submitted on 22nd September in St. Margaret's church at Westminster to both houses of parliament, the assembly of divines, and the Scottish commissioners, and there solemnly subscribed. Copies were afterwards sent down to every county in England and signed there; and to complete in Scotland the good work thus effected, every person was ordered to subscribe the document under pain of confiscation of goods—a most potent means of securing external conformity. (fn. 30) Of the high handed claims of the kirk to dominate not only in all ecclesiastical matters, but within that practically unlimited range of affairs in which the kirk might consider its interests affected, and of its merciless intolerance of everything which did not accept presbytery and the covenant, it is needless here to say more than that it must be judged with reference to the spirit and circumstances of the times. (fn. 31)

In August the civil war in England had lasted for upwards of a year, and the royalists held the advantage, while dissension and discontent had manifested itself in the ranks of their opponents. But the tide turned when the king laid siege to Gloucester, the gallant defence of which by its inhabitants and garrison stimulated the parliamentary party into raising a force which compelled the siege to be abandoned on 5th September. (fn. 32) At this juncture the party known as "Independents"—the soul of which was Cromwell—became prominent both in the army and in the house of commons, and from their ranks he first formed his own regiment, and afterwards, as lieutenant-general, under the earl of Manchester, to which position he was appointed in February, 1644, he organised the parliamentary army, establishing a discipline and inspiring an enthusiasm with which the royalists were unable to cope.

Provost Stewart died during his term of office, and on 3rd October, 1643, the bailies and council prepared a leet for the provostship, which was sent to the castle in order that the Duke of Lennox, or his commissioner, might select one of the nominees. But the duke was absent, and the commission exhibited to the deputation not being in conformity with the act of Parliament, they reported the matter to the council, who thereupon elected James Bell to be provost. John Barnes and Colin Campbell, merchants, and Gavin Neisbit, craftsman, were afterwards elected bailies, and on the 6th, thirteen merchants and twelve craftsmen were appointed councillors. On the following day the council's act of 8th October, 1642, as to the attendance of councillors, was ratified, and it was ordered that no member of council should leave the council "without licence craved and granted until the provost and bailies had risen." (fn. 33) On the 11th, Harry Glen was elected dean of guild, Manasses Lyill, deacon-convener, Walter Neilsone, treasurer, James Moriesone, visitor of maltmen, Thomas Glen, water bailie, and William Hyndschawe, master of work. (fn. 34)

It is foreign to the present purpose to refer in detail to the varying fortunes of the royalists and parliamentarians in the civil war; to the fruitless negotiations which were commenced, at first by the king and afterwards by the English parliament, to secure an amicable settlement of the disputes which distracted the country; and to the anxieties of the parliament, occasioned by royalist successes, to secure the co-operation of the Scots.

Towards the close of the year the king issued a declaration to all his "loving subjects of his kingdom of Scotland," in which he appealed to them not to suffer themselves to be misled and corrupted in their affection and duty to him by the cunning, malice, and industry of seditious persons and their adherents, but to look on them as persons who would involve them in their guilt, and sacrifice the honour, fidelity, and allegience of his native kingdom to their private end and ambition." (fn. 35) It does not appear whether it is to this declaration and appeal, or to a proclamation ordered by the estates on 18th August appointing all men to be in readiness in arms, (fn. 36) that reference is made in the minute of the town council of 2nd October of that year, but on the latter date the council, taking to their consideration the king's proclamation as to putting the kingdom in a "posture of war," thought good that in each of the four quarters of the town the provost or a bailie with two considerable men of the council, and under them two captains and four sergeants, should cause every man to be in readiness at all times with sufficient arms. Captains for the several quarters were then appointed and made subject to the orders of the provost, bailies, and councillors, and were directed to choose their sergeants. At the same time the royal proclamation was ordered to be proclaimed at the cross by sound of drum, and all the inhabitants were commanded to be ready at "tuck of drum" to come out when ordered, under such penalties as might be prescribed. (fn. 37)

On 11th November sixteen persons were elected stent-masters, to stent the inhabitants for payment of the sums which the burgh was required to provide for the public service; and which were fixed at £9,000 Scots (£750 sterling). (fn. 38)

On 22nd December the council, considering how the burgh was injured by strangers craving to be admitted burgesses on a modification of the ordinary fine of one hundred merks, and how the magistrates and councillors were troubled by requests from gentlemen in the country on the subject, ordained that no stranger should be admitted a burgess without payment of the ordinary fee; that no reference should be made by magistrates or councillors to the dean of guild or his council; and that no petition made by any man on the subject should be afterwards entertained. It was, however, declared that the act only applied to strangers, and not to the sons of burgesses or those who married the daughters of burgesses. (fn. 39) Further, the council, on consideration of a representation by the dean of guild, ordained that every stranger who should afterwards enter guild brother should pay for his admission to the collector of the hospital of his calling £100 Scots, without modification. This order was, however, not to apply to the sons or sons-in-law of guild brethren. It was further ordained that no person should be admitted guild brother unless he was known to the dean of guild to be worth, if a merchant, six hundred merks, and if a craftsman was certified by the deacon convener, in writing, to be worth three hundred merks, beside his calling. This order was appointed to receive effect after 4th January, 1649. (fn. 40)

In the later months of 1643 measures were taken in Scotland to raise an army to co-operate with the English parliament in the suppression of the royalists, and, it was fondly hoped, in the establishment of presbytery south of the Tweed. With this view the several local war committees were required to furnish their respective contingents, and in the end of December, 1643, or beginning of January, 1644, 21,000 men under the command of the earl of Leven entered England, as Cunningham observes, "to seek for conformity of religion among the horrors of civic warfare." (fn. 41) This army was accompanied by David Leslie—a nephew of the earl, and a greater soldier than his uncle—in the capacity of major-general. It crossed the Tweed on 19th January, 1644, (fn. 42) entered Sunderland, and on the 5th of February proceeded to blockade Newcastle, which was carried by assault, after which the castle capitulated on 27th October. Only a small portion of the Scottish army was, however, employed in this service. In March Leven and the larger portion of his army advanced to Tadcaster, where they joined the parliamentary army under Manchester, Fairfax, and Cromwell, and proceeded to invest York, then held by the royalists under the command of the marquis of Newcastle.

In obedience to the call upon them, the town council of Glasgow, on 22nd December, 1643, appealed to the inhabitants to enrol themselves in this expedition, certifying that from those who responded to the call the requisite officers would be chosen. At the same time it was intimated that if any men from the country were found to be hiring soldiers within the burgh they would be reported to the magistrates, in order to being presented to the committee. Captain George Porterfield was again appointed to command the town's company, but he and they were ordered to be subject in all things to the magistrates so long as they remained in the town. (fn. 43) On 2nd January, 1644, Porterfield, who had been elected, on 25th December, commissioner for the burgh to the convention of estates appointed to meet at Edinburgh on the 3rd, was ordered to buy forty muskets for the town to be given to the soldiers going out; and, on the 18th, £360 were authorised to be paid him for the muskets so bought, and sent with the town's company, £32 for an ensign, and £36 as his charges for fourteen days in Edinburgh acting as commissioner, and for his horse hire. (fn. 44) On 16th April the convention ordered George Mitchelsone, a surgeon, and Dr. Mayne, both of Glasgow, to go with this force to England. (fn. 45) The following payments were also authorised to be made:—on 10th February, £160 for eighteen additional muskets bought in Edinburgh for the town; (fn. 46) on the 24th, £40 for the horse on which James Kincaid rode with the soldiers to England, and £2,296 Scots (£191 6s. 8d. sterling) for "outreiking" the soldiers, baggage men, and horses, and the charge of two carriers who helped to take the arms of the first companies to Lauder; (fn. 47) on 23rd March, the sums owing by the soldiers to the hoislar wyfes, (fn. 48) and £782 16s. 4d. for "entertainment" to lord Sinclair's regiment when quartered in the town; on the 30th, £20 13s. 4d. to James Kincaid for his charges in going to England with the soldiers in February; (fn. 49) on 5th April, £49 6s. 8d. to Colin Campbell "for the charges warit be him and his companie to Edinburgh with the Marqueis of Argyll and the chancellars bairnis." (fn. 50)

Towards the close of 1643 the position of the king was such that he had to give heed to the representations which Montrose had been ineffectually pressing upon him for months. The action in Scotland of Hamilton, whom Charles had created a duke, and of his brother, the earl of Lanark, secretary of state there, opened the eyes of the king to their folly, if not treachery, and he turned to Montrose. But by that time the condition of affairs had become well nigh desperate. Still Montrose was prepared to do his utmost, and having, on 1st February, 1644, received a commission as lieutenantgeneral under prince Rupert, he set out for Scotland. (fn. 51) Passing through the camp of Newcastle, he crossed the Border at Durham on 13th April, with a small following, and occupied Dumfries whence—deserted by his principal force, and attacked by the covenanters of Teviotdale—he fell back on Carlisle. Meanwhile the committee of estates were raising a force to crush him and the royalists of the border, and the earl of Calendar—who had previously professed the utmost loyalty to the king—accepted the command of that force, which was conferred upon him by the estates on 8th June, (fn. 52) and marching with 5,000 men into England joined the Scottish army before Newcastle. While in and near Carlisle, Montrose, who had received some additions to his force, captured the castle of Morpeth, stormed a fort near the mouth of the Tyne, both held by the covenanters, and threw supplies into Newcastle. While thus engaged, however, he received an urgent message from prince Rupert, then marching to the relief of Oxford, to join him with all the men he could muster. This he did on the evening of the 2nd of July, the afternoon of the day on which the forces of the king, under the prince, were destroyed on Marston Moor, (fn. 53) five miles to the west of York, by the combined English and Scottish armies. (fn. 54) At this time all the lowlands of Scotland, from the Forth to the Solway, were in the hands of the covenanters, and Argyle had crushed the royalists in the north. But Montrose, who had again retired to Carlisle, determined to strike a bold stroke for the king in the Highlands. Disguised as a groom, and accompanied only by Sir William Rollo and colonel Sibbald—whom he pretended to serve—who wore the dress of troopers of the earl of Leven, he passed northwards without detection, and reached Tulliebelton, between Perth and Dunkeld, where he rested for a time with his kinsman Patrick Graham of Inchbrakie. (fn. 55)

In consequence, probably, of the disturbed state of the country, and the absence of the town's company, the town council, on 2nd March, 1644, ordered a watch of the half of each quarter of the town to be kept nightly from 6 o'clock p.m. till 5 o'clock a.m.; (fn. 56) and on 31st August all persons were prohibited from going into any house to drink or stay during the time of the night watch, under pain of imprisonment in the Tolbooth. (fn. 57)

On 23rd July, the Estates ordered the markets, previously kept in Glasgow on Mondays, to be held on Wednesdays in future. (fn. 58) On the following day the committee of war within the presbytery of Glasgow was appointed to meet in the city, (fn. 59) and on the same day an act was passed by the estates ordering the country to be put in a position of defence against invasion, and appointing every man to be ready in arms, with thirty days' provision, under pain of being held to be a disobeyer of the orders of parliament, and contemner of the country's safety. (fn. 60) In obedience to this order, the town council on 31st August ordered proclamation to be made commanding, under pain of death, all persons between sixteen and sixty years of age to be in readiness with their best arms, and to come out with their several captains, provided with match, powder, and lead, and provisioned for twenty days' march, as they should receive orders. (fn. 61) On 14th September a guard was ordered to be kept at all the ports of the burgh during the day, and the Saltmarket port was ordered to be removed and placed "nearer the water" at the end of the house of the then deceased Colin Campbell. (fn. 62)

On 1st October, the town council, from a leet of three persons named by the magistrates, elected James Bell to be provost and John Anderson and Matthew Hamilton, merchants, and William Neilson, craftsman, to be bailies for the following year. On the 4th thirteen merchants and twelve craftsmen were appointed councillors; (fn. 63) and on the 9th Harry Glen was elected dean of guild; Manasses Lyill deacon-convener; John Fleming, treasurer; Walter Neilsone, visitor of maltmen; John Wilson, water bailie, and John Anderson, master of work. (fn. 64)

On 26th October the officers of the burgh were ordered to carry in future each a sword and halbert, and the master of works was directed to send to Holland for one hundred and twenty sword blades. (fn. 65)

In 1643 and 1644 England had its first experience of a disease described as "war typhus," but which had been familiar to the countries of Europe for a century and a half, and had reached its greatest prevalence during the "thirty years' war." This epidemic developed first in Oxfordshire and Berkshire, and attacked the forces both of the king and parliament, but after a time appears to have changed its character and been recognised as the plague. It broke out in Newcastle after the Scottish army captured the town in October, 1644, but had previously scourged various places in the vicinity. (fn. 66) In view of its extension northwards, the town council, on 9th November, 1644, ordered the inhabitants of the burgh to fence and build up their "close foots and yards," so as to prevent passage through the closes, and not to suffer strangers to enter the burgh, or to be received in houses, without exhibition of testimonials to the magistrates. Such of the inhabitants as were at the time in infected districts were also prohibited from returning to the burgh until their testimonials had been so exhibited. (fn. 67)

By an order of the committee of estates the following furnishings were made by the town for outreiking the "Eight Whelpe" ship, commanded by captain Kerse, (fn. 68) which was to accompany the expedition to the Western Isles, under the command of the marquis of Argyle, against the Irish force which had landed there to support the cause of the king:—On 5th October eight tuns of beer, at a cost of £192; (fn. 69) on 7th December ten hogsheads of beef, at a cost of five hundred merks, and seventy-five merks for candles; (fn. 70) on 21st December seventeen tuns of beer, at a cost of £408; (fn. 71) and on 1st March, 1645, £16 paid to captain Kerse towards the "outreik" of his ship. (fn. 72)

During the spring and early summer of 1644, the trial of archbishop Laud for treason took place before a handful of peers. But their hesitation to convict induced the commons to resolve, on 31st October—as in the case of Strafford—to proceed against him by an ordinance of attainder, which was sent up to the lords on 22nd November. After some delay, which was resented by the commons, the lords voted in effect that Laud had endeavoured to subvert the fundamental laws of the kingdom, to alter religion as established by law, and to invade the rights of parliament. (fn. 73) This was followed, on 2nd January, 1645, by a conference between the two houses, which resulted, on 4th January, in the lords assenting to the ordinance. Laud then pleaded a royal pardon, sealed in April, 1643, but this plea was rejected. In compliance, however, with his request, his sentence to be executed in accordance with the usual mode of execution on the gallows, with the accompanying barbarities, was commuted into beheading, and he was executed on 10th January. (fn. 74)

While at Inchbrakie, Montrose received intelligence that Alaster Macdonald, known as Colketto, (fn. 75) who had come from Ireland early in July, with about 1,200 indifferently armed Irishmen, to support the cause of the king, had, after various wanderings in the Highlands, made for Badenoch, in the Upper Spey, and was still there. (fn. 76) This contingent Montrose ordered to proceed immediately to Blair Athole, where he joined it in time to prevent a rupture with the Scottish royalists there assembled. Here the royal commission to him, as the king's lieutenant, was read, the royal standard was unfurled, and the "fiery cross" was sent through the glens to call out the Highlanders. (fn. 77) But the difficulties he had to meet would have overwhelmed any ordinary man. To his force of not more than 2,300 men, mostly armed with the rudest weapons, and unsupported by cavalry, were opposed three armies—one under lord Balfour of Burleigh at Aberdeen, another under lord Elcho at Perth, and a third under the marquis of Argyle in the west. It does not appear from the records of the burgh whether Glasgow contributed to any of these covenanting forces, but it is obvious that Argyle, at least, looked to it for supplies to the army under his command, for, on 7th September, one hundred bolls of meal were ordered by the town council to be sent to him in accordance with his request to the magistrates. (fn. 78) Be that as it may, Montrose decided to operate at once against Elcho, and marching through Glen Almond, where he was joined by 500 men, he hurried on to Perth. But at Tippermuir, four miles west of that city, he was confronted by Elcho, on Sunday, 1st September, 1644, with an army of 6,000 foot, 700 horse, and a small park of artillery. These Montrose attacked with a rush, before which the covenanters broke and fled, and he entered Perth without the loss of a single man. (fn. 79) Remaining there till the 4th, and levying a fine on the town, where his force secured arms, clothing, and ammunition, he proceeded, notwithstanding many desertions, to Aberdeen, on his way to which he was joined by a small body of 50 troopers, well mounted and armed. Appearing in the vicinity of Aberdeen with a force reduced to 1,500 foot, 50 horse, and a few field pieces, he, on 12th September, summoned it to surrender. The city was then held by lord Balfour, with a force of 2,000 foot and 500 horse, and they and the townsmen had fortified the bridge over the Dee. But Montrose crossed the river at a ford fifteen miles above the city, and on the following day attacked and defeated the covenanting forces, and entered Aberdeen along with the fugitives. Here for three days a merciless slaughter took place, which disgusted all moderate men, royalists as well as covenanters. (fn. 80) Followed by Argyle for some weeks through the Grampians with 3,000 Campbells, two regiments from the army in England, and a strong force of cavalry, Montrose was surprised in October, near Fyvie castle, in the north-east corner of Aberdeenshire. But though his force was diminished by the absence of Colketto with one-half of his men in the Western Highlands, he stood at bay with such effect that Argyle was driven back and withdrew, and Montrose marched to Blair Athole. (fn. 81) Argyle then returned to Edinburgh, and, resigning his commission, retired to Inveraray. The way to the Lowlands being thus open, and Montrose's forces being strengthened by the return of Colketto and the accession of reinforcements, he determined to descend to the Lowlands, and so compel the covenanting army in England under Leven to return to Scotland. But this project was distasteful to his lowland officers, who, under the pretence of being unable to face the hardships of a winter campaign, took their leave. The Highland portion of his force was also unwilling to forego its desire to operate against Argyle and his Campbells. In the first week of December, therefore, Montrose began his march through mountain defiles to the country of Argyle, and during the latter part of that month and the whole of the succeeding January his Highlanders wreaked vengeance on the unhappy Campbells, whom their chief had left at the first rumour of Montrose's approach. (fn. 82) Having finished his work there, Montrose returned to the north through Lochaber. While at the head of Lochness, however, he learned that Seaforth barred his way with 5,000 men, while Argyle, at the head of his diminished clan and some lowland levies, followed him. To meet these Montrose had only about 1,500 men, but nevertheless he determined to attack Argyle, who lay with 3,000 men at Inverlochy, and striking southward through snow, over wild wastes, he came in sight, from Ben Nevis, on the night of 1st February, 1645, of Inverlochy and Loch Eil, and the encampment of his foes. During the night Argyle went on board of his galley, which was moored in the lake, and from it witnessed on the following morning the attack of his enemy, which carried everything before it. To the unfortunate Campbells no quarter was given. 1,500 of them, including Sir Duncan Campbell of Auchinbreck, Argyle's cousin, and many other gentlemen, were slain, while their chief, sailing down the lake, escaped. (fn. 83) Resuming his march northward through the valley of the Ness, Seaforth retired, and when Montrose reached Elgin, presented himself as a suppliant for the royal pardon, and Montrose received important reinforcements from chiefs who had previously held back. (fn. 84) Disregarding the sentence of death and forfeiture passed on him by the estates on 11th February, 1645, (fn. 85) and the excommunication hurled at him by the irate kirk, he resolved to meet the strongest force which had yet been sent against him, consisting largely of disciplined troops detached from Leven's army in England, and led by General Baillie and Sir John Hurry or Urry.


  • 1. Council Records, I., pp. 436, 437.
  • 2. Macaulay, I., p. 89. Gardiner, X., p. 18.
  • 3. From that day dates the corporate existence of the two great parties which have ever since alternately governed the country [Macaulay, I., p. 77]. During some years they were designated as Cavaliers and Roundheads. They were subsequently called Tories and Whigs; nor does it seem that these appellations are likely soon to become obsolete [Ibid., I., p. 79]. This was written in 1848.
  • 4. Gardiner, X., p. 220.
  • 5. Macaulay, I., pp. 89, 90.
  • 6. Council Records, I., p. 437.
  • 7. Ibid., I., p. 438.
  • 8. Council Records, II., p. 51.
  • 9. Printed Records of Convention, IV., p. 548.
  • 10. Spalding, II., pp. 172–174. Cunningham, II., pp. 38, 39.
  • 11. Gardiner's Civil War, I., p. 19.
  • 12. Supra, pp. ccccxxiv.–v.
  • 13. Council Records, II., pp. 49–51.
  • 14. Ibid., II., p. 52.
  • 15. This sum of £18,411 14s. 8d. is stated to be made up as follows:—£5,869 6s. 8d. lent from Whitsunday, 1640, to Martinmas, 1642; £3,632 8s. owing for silver plate from Martinmas, 1640, till Martinmas, 1642; and £8,910 being the contribution of guilders from 1641 to Martinmas, 1642 [Council Records, II., p. 54].
  • 16. Ibid, II., p. 55.
  • 17. Cunningham, II., pp. 42, 43.
  • 18. Council Records, II., p. 57.
  • 19. Acts of Parliament, VI., part i., p. 21.
  • 20. Spalding, II., p. 233.
  • 21. Antea, p. ccccxix. Spalding, II., pp. 47–49. Napier's Montrose, p. 169, et seq. Gardiner, IX., pp. 396, 397.
  • 22. The king had engaged, ere he left Edinburgh on 18th November, 1642, never to employ Montrose without the consent of the estates, or even to suffer him to approach his presence.
  • 23. Napier's Montrose, p. 228. Burton, VI., pp. 363, 364.
  • 24. Napier, p. 229, et seq.
  • 25. Council Records, II., p. 59.
  • 26. Ibid., II., p. 60.
  • 27. Acts of Assembly (1842), p. 73. Spalding, II., p. 239. Cunningham, II., p. 43.
  • 28. Though not very directly connected with Scotland—but doubtless instigated by the demand of the Scottish leaders for uniformity of worship in England as well as Scotland on a presbyterian basis—it may here be noticed that the assembly of divines at Westminster was appointed by the lords and commons of England on 12th June, 1643, "to consult and advise of matters and things so touching the government in the church, as was most apt to procure and preserve peace at home, and nearer agreement with the Church of Scotland and other reformed churches abroad, and when thereto required to give their advice and counsel thereon to both or either of the houses of Parliament" [The Confession of Faith, &c., Edinburgh, 1855, pp. 12–14]. The assembly consisted of ten peers and twenty members of the commons as lay assessors, and twenty-one clergymen, and met on 1st July notwithstanding a prohibitory royal proclamation. Episcopacy was not represented, but Erastianism, Independency, and Presbyterianism were. "The Erastians," says Dr. Cuninghame, "were weak in the assembly but strong in the parliament; and their weakness in the assembly was in some measure redeemed by the great names of Lightfoot, Coleman, Selden, Whitelock, and St. John. The Independents did not count more than ten or twelve divines, but they were mostly men of piety and learning, enthusiastically attached to their opinions, loud in their praises of universal toleration, and already beginning to acquire an ascendancy in the army. Their principal oracles were Goodwin, Nye, Burroughs, and Bridge. The Presbyterians formed the great majority of the assembly, as at this period they probably formed a majority of the nation" [Church History of Scotland, II., p. 51]. Certain commissioners for Scotland were invited to attend, and attended the discussions under a commission from the General Assembly, dated 19th August, 1643 [Ibid., p. 15], but they did not exercise their right to vote. Meeting at first in Henry VII.'s chapel, they subsequently removed to Jerusalem Chamber, in the Abbey of Westminster, and on 8th August had under consideration "the lawfulness" of the covenant. The result of the discussion which followed upon it was that, on the 31st, a report was made to parliament that the covenant might be lawfully taken, with certain explanations which had been agreed upon. The scheme of the assembly for the government of the church was also fully discussed in parliament, and on 14th March, 1646, an ordinance was passed by which "the book of common prayer was removed, and a Directory of public worship was established." The foundation was laid of presbyterial government in every congregation, with subordination to classical, provincial, and national assemblies, but all of these were subjected to parliament. This non-recognition of the Scots book of common order, and subordination of the church to parliament, was very disappointing to the Scottish commissioners, but they were powerless. The changes which had taken place in England during the sittings of the assembly had reduced the influence of the Scots; and the Independents, who had greatly increased in numbers and influence, and were opposed to presbyterianism as well as prelacy, had to be conciliated. The Directory thus approved in England was submitted to the general assembly in Edinburgh; was sanctioned on 3rd February, 1645, and ordered to be observed by all ministers in Scotland [Acts of General Assembly (1842), pp. 115, 116]; and was ratified by parliament on 6th February and 2nd August [1645, c. 60, Acts of Parliament, vol. VI., I., pp. 309, 446]. Another result of the deliberations of the Westminster assembly, in which Scotland shared, was the adoption, in a somewhat amended form, of a psalter prepared by Francis Rous, a member of the Long Parliament, and lay member of assembly, and its subsequent approval by the English parliament. In the beginning of 1650 it was adopted for Scotland by the general assembly and commission of estates; and on 1st May of that year was directed by the presbytery of Glasgow to be used for the first time in the city, "on Sunday come fifteen days." Another and still more important contribution by the Westminster assembly to the life and religious service of Scotland was the preparation by them of "The Confession of Faith, the Larger Catechism, and the Shorter Catechism," which— examined and approved by the general assembly in Scotland on 27th August, 1647 [Acts of General Assembly, pp. 158, 159, and ratified by parliament on 7th February, 1649 (1649, c. 59, Acts of Parliament, vol. VI., part ii., p. 161), and again on 7th June, 1690 (1690, c. 7, Acts of Parliament, vol. IX., p. 133) Ap. 147]—has largely stereotyped the doctrines of the presbyterian churches for nearly two hundred and fifty years. [See also Baillie's Letters, vol. II. Neal's History of the Puritans, vol. II.].
  • 29. Acts of Parliament, VI., I., p. 43. Baillie's Letters, II., p. 91. Spalding, II., p. 263–266.
  • 30. Cunningham, II., p. 45.
  • 31. In illustration of the high pretensions of the kirk, and its persecuting spirit at this time and afterwards, reference might be made to Peterkin's Records of the Kirk, pp. 505, 506; Nicoll's Diary; and Spalding, II., p. 271. It also directed its fulminations against witchcraft, and sent to the stake hundreds of poor creatures suspected of that crime [Baillie, II., p. 88; Peterkin, pp. 279–354].
  • 32. Gardiner, I., pp. 205, 206.
  • 33. Council Records, II., p. 62.
  • 34. Ibid., II., p. 63.
  • 35. Burton, VI., pp. 355, 356.
  • 36. Acts of Parliament, VI., I., p. 43. On the same day £40,000 were authorised to be borrowed to "outreik the troops," and on the 26th the earl of Leven was appointed lieutenantgeneral [Ibid., p. 59].
  • 37. Council Records, II., pp. 61, 62.
  • 38. Ibid., I., p. 63.
  • 39. Council Records, II., pp. 64, 65.
  • 40. Ibid., II., p. 65.
  • 41. Spalding, II., pp. 273, 279, 283, 293, 298, 302. Cunningham, II., p. 45.
  • 42. Burton, VI., pp. 357–360. Gardiner's Civil War, I., p. 294.
  • 43. Council Records, II., p. 64.
  • 44. Council Records, II., p. 66.
  • 45. Acts of Parliament, VI., i., p. 89. For Mitchelsone, and two of his men, horses were provided; and his chests and baggage were sent on to Dumfries. The cost of the horses and transport amounting to £101 was ordered to be paid on 4th May, 1644 [Council Records, II., p. 70]. It would also appear that the town council had to borrow muskets for the force then sent out, for, on 10th August, the council ordered muskets to be given to those who had lent them, while those who had bought muskets for the use of the soldiers were ordered to be refunded the price they had paid [Ibid., II., p. 71].
  • 46. Council Records, II., p. 66.
  • 47. Council Records, II., p. 68. Of this amount, one hundred and seventy-nine soldiers got £954 13s. 4d.; thirty-three soldiers received £704; six baggage men, £32; and the seventh baggage man was paid by the town; fourteen baggage horses, at fifty merks each, cost £466 13s. 4d.; three other baggage horses (of which the town bought two for £88) cost £120; £5 6s. 8d. were paid to the last two baggage men with the three last horses; and £13 6s. 8d. to two carriers who helped to carry the arms of the first companies to Lauder [Ibid.].
  • 48. Ibid., p. 69.
  • 49. Ibid.
  • 50. Ibid., p. 70.
  • 51. Napier, pp. 243–248. Burton, VI., p. 365. Gardiner's Civil War, I., p. 299.
  • 52. Acts of Parliament, VI., i., p. 100. Balfour, III., pp. 172, 175, 179, 186, 187, 190. Spalding, II., p. 377. Britanes Distemper, p. 49.
  • 53. Rushworth, V., p. 482. Napier, pp. 249– 256. Burton, VI., p. 365.
  • 54. Burton, VI., pp. 350–362. Gardiner's Civil War, I., pp. 372–382.
  • 55. Napier, pp. 259, 260. Gardiner's Civil War, II., pp. 134. Burton, VI., pp. 365, 366.
  • 56. Council Records, II., p. 69.
  • 57. Ibid., II., p. 72.
  • 58. 1644, c. 185, Acts of Parliament, VI., part i., pp. 194, 195.
  • 59. 1644, c. 203, Ibid., VI., part i., p. 201.
  • 60. 1644, c. 212, Acts of Parliament, VI., part i., p. 209. On 29th July the estates adjourned till 7th January, 1645, but empowered the committee of estates to convene it earlier if occasion required [1644, c. 314, Ibid., VI., part i., p. 283].
  • 61. Council Records, II., p. 72.
  • 62. Ibid., II., p. 73.
  • 63. Council Records, II., 73.
  • 64. Ibid., II., 74.
  • 65. Ibid.
  • 66. Creighton's History of Epidemics, I., pp. 547, 564. Spalding, II., p. 425.
  • 67. Council Records, II., pp. 74, 75.
  • 68. This captain Kerse conveyed to Scotland, in his ship "The Eight Whelpe," eighteen chests containing part of £30,000 paid by the English parliament to the Scottish estates to account of arrears due by England to the Scottish army in Ireland, and for which a discharge was granted by the latter on 16th July, 1644 [1644, c. 140, Acts of Parliament, VI., i., p. 161]. On 9th July he petitioned the estates to pay him 2,000 merks in respect of the loss of his ship "The Blessing of Crammond," which had been captured in March while carrying provisions from London to Sunderland for the Scottish army in England; and in consideration of his previous services, and of having brought home the money from England, the commissary-depute was ordered to pay him the sum asked [1644, c. 118, Ibid., p. 142]. He was afterwards ordered to go with his ship to the Western Isles to assist the marquis of Argyle in the expedition which, on 16th July, he was appointed to conduct against the Irish force, brought over to the west coast of Scotland by Alaster Macdonald, to aid in sustaining the cause of the king [1644, c. 139, Ibid., p. 159].
  • 69. Council Records, II., pp. 74, 75.
  • 70. Ibid., p. 75.
  • 71. Ibid.
  • 72. Ibid., p. 76.
  • 73. Gardiner's Civil War, II., pp. 102, 103. For his speech on the scaffold see Spalding, II., pp. 437–441.
  • 74. Spalding, II., pp. 436–441. Grub, III., pp. 111, 112. Gardiner's Civil War, II., p. 107.
  • 75. Britanes Distemper, pp. 63–66.
  • 76. Ibid., p. 67.
  • 77. Burton, VI., p. 366. Gardiner's Civil War, II., pp. 136–139.
  • 78. Council Records, II., p. 73.
  • 79. Spalding, II., p. 403. Britanes Distemper, pp. 73–75. Napier's Montrose, pp. 269–272. Memorabilia of Perth, p. 107. Burton, VI., pp. 366, 367. Gardiner's Civil War, II., pp. 140–142.
  • 80. Spalding, II., pp. 403–407. Britanes Distemper, pp. 80–85. Napier, pp. 276–279. Burton, VI., pp. 367, 368. Gardiner's Civil War, II., pp. 145–149.
  • 81. Spalding, II., p. 426. Napier, pp. 283– 285. Burton, VI., p. 369. Gardiner's Civil War, II., p. 150.
  • 82. Spalding, II., pp. 442, 443. Britanes Distemper, pp. 96–99. Napier, pp. 290, 291. Burton, VI., pp. 369, 370. Gardiner's Civil War, II., pp. 151, 152.
  • 83. Spalding, II., pp. 443, 445. Britanes Distemper, pp. 99–102. Napier, pp. 293–297. Burton, VI., p. 370. Gardiner's Civil War, II., pp. 153–155.
  • 84. Spalding, II., pp. 447–449. Britanes Distemper, p. 109. Napier, p, 310. Gardiner's Civil War, II., p. 216.
  • 85. Balfour, III., pp. 270, 271. Napier, p. 306. Gardiner's Civil War, II., p. 216.