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an illiterate woman, such as Marion anything beyond that fact, his testiBrown, should be able, after many mony must be received with caution. years, accurately to repeat the par- Military executions are, under any ticular words which passed during circumstances, sufficiently horrible : such a scene of horror as, under any they are peculiarly so when they circumstances, the death of John take place during a civil war. But, Brown must have been. There are, before we come to any conclusion besides, inconsistencies and mistakes upon the conduct of Claverhouse in in the narrative which are easily this instance, we must inquire, first, detected: Thus, the neighbour who what was the temper of the times, visits the widow in her affliction, and what manner of men he had to is, in one copy of the Life, Eliza- deal with; and, secondly, what were beth Menzies, and in another, Jean the particular circumstances of the Brown, whilst she is still repre- individual case. With regard to the sented as the mother of Thomas first, we will content ourselves with Weir and David Steel, the latter of three instances, and they shall all whom is said to have been“ suddenly be of the most notorious kind, and shot when taken.” We know, how- proved by the most unexceptionever, that so far from this being able evidence. the fact, David Steele was neither On the 3d of May 1679, David taken nor shot, but fell beneath the Hackston of Rathillet, John Balbroadswords of the dragoons in a four of Kinloch, and seven others, fray, during which they attempted some of whom were gentlemen of to capture him.*
good family, set forth, mounted and We may, therefore, fairly take armed, for the purpose of waylayWalker's account as trustworthy, foring and murdering one Carmichael, the fact that John Brown fell by the sheriff-depute of the county of Fife,f carbines of the soldiers acting under who was obnoxious to the Covenanthe orders of Claverhouse ; but for ters, and whom they expected to find
LORD MACAULAY, making him and the better-disposed troops a cover to his robberies.” -Memoirs of Locheil, 243.
“ When it was objected that he “When he was reminded that Locheil's [i. c., Glengarry] would not be able to followers were in number nearly double make it good, since his followers were of the Glengarry men— No matter,' he not near equal to Locheil's in numbers, cried, “one M'Donald is worth two he answered that the courage of his men Camerons.'”_MACAULAY, iii. 341. would make up that defect.”—Memoirs of Locheil, 254
“The Lords replied, 'Nay, we all well “ Then the whole board broke forth, remember you particularly mentioned How dare you say so? We all rememthe flower-pots.'”-SPRAT's Narratire, ber it.'"-MACAULAY, iv. 252. 70.
“Lord President.--' Young, thou art "Man!' cried Carmarthen, wouldst the strangest creature that ever I did hear thou have us believe that the bishop of. Dost thou think we could imagine combined,'" &c. that the Bishop of Rochester would combine,” &c.--Sprar's Narratire, 71.
“I left him praying God to give him "God give you repentance,' answered grace to repent; and only adding that the bishop : for, depend upon it, you else he was more in danger of his own are in much more danger of being damnation than I of his accusation in damned, than I of being impeached.'”. Parliament."- Ibid., second part, p. 3. MACAULAY, iv. 253.
The actual meaning may not be much altered in these examples, but it is not Claverhouse, Glengarry, Carmarthen, or Sprat that speaks, but Lord Macaulay, and a slight change of phraseology converts a dignified remonstrance into a brutal insult, and a pious exhortation into something very like a vulgar oath, and that, too, put into the mouth of a bishop! Lord Macaulay's inverted commas are always to be regarded with extreme caution. * CRIGHTON's Memoirs.
+ WODROW, ii. 27.
hunting in the neighbourhood of Archbishop, and they spurred their Scotstarbet. Carmichael was, how- horses to their utmost speed after the ever, warned of his danger" by a carriage. The coachman, alarmed at shepherd, and escaped. After spend their pursuit, quickened his pace, and ing the greater part of the morning the Archbishop, looking out, and, in a fruitless search, Rathillet and seeing armed men approaching, turned his party were about to disperse,when to his daughter and exclaimed, “Lord a boy came up and informed them have mercy upon me, my poor child, that the Archbishop's coach was in for I am gone!" He had scarcely a neighbouring village, and that he spoken when three or four pistols would soon pass near the spot where were fired at the coach, and the best they then were. Disappointed of mounted of the pursuers, riding up their intended victim, chance thus to the postilion, struck him over the threw in their way one who was even face with his sword, and shot and more the object of their hatred. It hamstrung his horse. The coach was true that there was no recent being thus stopped, the assailants or immediate cause for exasperation again fired into it upon the Archagainst Sharpe, but he was an apos- bishop and his daughter, and this tate,- he had abandoned Presby- time with more effect, for the former terianism for Episcopacy seventeen was wounded. The Archbishop openyears before,-he was an archbishop, ed the door, came out of the coach, -he had already once narrowly escap- and begged the assailants to spare ed the pistol of an assassin, the shot his life. “There is no mercy,” they which was intended for him having replied, " for a Judas, an enemy and taken effect upon his friend, the traitor to the cause of Christ." He Bishop of Orkney,-he was known to then begged for mercy for his child. have shown little mercy towards those The details of the butchery which who had shown none to him, - he followed are too revolting to be rewas old, unarmed, utterly defence- peated.* One of the murderers even less, accompanied by no one but his exclaimed in horror to his comrades, daughter and some domestic servants, to "spare those grey hairs.” The who were wholly unable to offer any daughter threw herself before her effectual resistance to nine men weil father, and received two wounds in a armed and mounted. The tempta- fruitless attempt to save him. When tion was too strong to be resisted. their bloody work was done, the Rathillet and his party had come out murderers remounted their horses, expressly to commit murder. Their and left her on the moor with the appetite for crime was sharpened by mutilated body of her father. disappointment, when the victim they Such was the murder of Archbishop had least hoped, but most desired to Sharpe. It is recorded by Sheilds, immolate, presented himself ready who, we are told by Wodrow, was for slaughter. Their resolution was “a minister of extraordinary talents immediately taken ; the pistols which and usefulness, well seen in most had been loaded, and the swords which branches of valuable learning; of a had been sharpened for the murder of most quick and piercing wit, full of Carmichael, were turned against the zeal and public spirit ; of shining and
* James Russell, one of the murderers, gives the following account of the final act of the tragedy: “Falling upon his knees, he said, “For God's sake, save my life;' his daughter, falling upon her knees, begged his life also.
John Balfour stroke him on the face, and Andrew Henderson stroke him on the band, and cut it, and John Balfour rode bim down; whereupon, he lying upon his face as if he had been dead, and James Russell, bearing his daughter say to Wallace (the Archbishop's servant) that there was life in him yet, in the time James was disarming the rest of the Bishop's men, went presently to bim, and cast off his bat, for it would not cut at first, and haked his head in pieces. Having done this, his daughter came to him and cursed him, and called him a bloody murderer; and James answered, they were not murderers, for they were sent to execute God's vengeance on bim." --James Russell's Account of the Murder of Archbishop Sharpe ; KIRKTON, 418.
+ See State Trials, x. 791; WODROW ; Russell's Narrative, KIRKTON; Sir W’m. Sharp's Letter, KIRKTON, App.
solid piety; a successful, serious, and end to the argument by slaughtering solid preacher, and useful minister in the unhappy prisoner in cold blood the Church, moved with love to souls, with his own hand. Seven years and somewhat of the old apostolic afterwards we find him exulting in spirit,”* in the following words :- the act. “None could blame me,” "That truculent traitor,James Sharpe, he says, to decide the controversy, the Arch-prelate, &c., received the and I bless the Lord for it to this just demerit of his perfidy, apostacy, day!”. This was the man whom sorceries, villanies, and murders - Lord Macaulay has truly designated sharp arrows of the mighty and coals as “the oracle of the Extreme Coveof juniper. For, upon the 3d of nanters,” and justly denounced as a May 1679, several worthy gentlemen, “ bloodthirsty ruffian.” That his with some other men of courage and conduct met with the sympathy and zeal for the cause of God and the approval of his followers, is shown good of the country, executed right by the fact that we find him still in cous judgment upon him in Magus command of the insurgent forces unMuir, near St Andrews.”+ At the der the title of General Hamilton, at same time, Hackston of Rathillet is the battle of Bothwell Brig, in concommemorated as a worthy gentle- junction with Hackston of Rathillet, man who suffered at Edinburgh the murderer of the Archbishop: The on the 30th of July 1680,” one of banner which floated over their heads a “cloud of witnesses for the royal is still in existence, || and, after the prerogatives of Jesus Christ!” Such desecrated motto, For Christ and is the language in which the fact His Truths,” bears, in blood-red letthat this infamous murderer was ters, the words, “ No Quarter for the hanged is recorded by the historians Active Enemies of the Covenant.” of the Covenant ! Something of the Reckoning upon certain victory, these same spirit seems still to survive. A champions of the Prince of Peace recent historian of the Church of had erected upon the battle-field a Scotland says, after giving an ac- high gallows, and prepared a cartcount of the Archbishop's murder, load of new ropes, in order that there " It was such a deed as Greece cele- might be no more such “ steppings brated with loudest praises in the aside" as had occurred when the five case of Harmodius and Aristogiton, prisoners were spared at Drumclog. and Rome extolled when done by It is somewhat inconsistent with the Cassius and Brutus." I
supposed ferocity of the commanders The skirmish at Drumclog, im- of the royalist troops that these mortalised in Old Mortality, took preparations were not turned against place on the 1st of June 1679, within the insurgents upon their defeat. I a month after the Archbishop's mur- Such were the leaders of the Coveder. The insurgents were commanded nanters--men of rank, station, and by Robert Hamilton, a near connec- education. As may well be supposed, tion and pupil of Bishop Burnett. their example was not thrown away Following the example of the Cove- upon their more humble and ignorant nanters at Tippermuir, whose watch- followers. Of the numberless outword was Jesus and no quarter,” rages committed by them, we will he gave, as he himself informs us, select one only, and
narrate the facts strict orders that“ no quarter should as they came from the mouths of the be given.” Ş These orders were, perpetrators of the crime. however, disobeyed during his ab- Peter Peirson, the curate of Carssence, and five prisoners were spared. phaim, was a bold and determined Hamilton, returning from the pursuit man, and had the courage to reside of Claverhouse, found his followers alone, without even a servant, in the debating whether mercy should be solitary manse belonging to that shown to a sixth, when he put an parish. His offence consisted in be
WODROW, iv. 233.
+ Hind Let Loose. *HETHERINGTON's History of the Church of Scotland, 94, as to Sharpe's murder. S HAMILTON's Letter to the Sectaries-Dec. 7, 1685. || NaP., Memoirs of Dundee, 228.
| Crichton's Memoirs.
ing suspected of favouring "Popery, at Tippermuir-who felt that they Papists, and purgatory," and in hav- had forfeited the favour of God being been heard to declare that “he cause they had abstained from “dashfeared none of the Whigs, nor any- ing the brains of the brats of Babel thing else, but rats and mice.” On against the stones” at Drumclogthis provocation, James M‘Michael who fought under the “bluidy banand three others, one night in the ner,” and prepared the gibbet and the middle of November 1684, went to new ropes at Bothwell Brig,—we can the manse, knocked at the door, and readily understand. But that any upon its being opened by Mr Peir- historian should be found, in the son, immediately shot him dead on middle of the nineteenth century, his own tbreshold.*
deliberately to adopt such a stateInstances of the most cold-blooded ment, we confess, fills us with surmurder might be multiplied by thou- prise. sands. But we must now consider Yet such, unhappily, is the fact. the second question, and inquire, Year after year, and edition after what were the circumstances, and edition, Lord Macaulay has given the what the conduct, of Claverhouse in trash of Wodrow to the public, the particular case of John Brown. backed by his own high authority. Lord Macaulay's assertion that he It was in vain that Professor Aytoun was sentenced to death because he laid before him the evidence which
convicted of nonconformity proved, in the most conclusive manis pure invention.
Neither Wod- ner, that Wodrow was contradicted row nor Walker assign any cause; by contemporary authorities,--that the former, indeed, expressly says, even by his own party his History
Whether he (Claverhouse) had got was denounced as a collection of “lies any information of John's piety and and groundless stories.” It was in nonconformity, I cannot tell ;” and vain that his attention was directed we shall presently see that Lord to the fact that Sir Walter Scott, Macaulay might just as truly have though himself adopting a view by said that John Thurtel was hanged no means favourable of the character for reading Bell's Life in London. of Claverhouse, rejected the story
John Brown was a fugitated re- told by Wodrow, and adopted that bel.” His name appears a year before told by Walker, and had distinctly in a list appended to a proclamation pointed out the fact that John Brown of those who had been cited as rebels was an avowed rebel, amenable to in arms, or rather of rebels who had the law, such as it then was-that not appeared.t Sir Walter Scott the assertion that he was "convicted says, with perfect truth, “While we of nonconformity,” and had comread this dismal story, we must re- mitted no offence except that he abmember Brown's situation was that sented himself from the public worof an avowed and determined rebel; ship of the Episcopalians," was not liable as such to military execution. only unsupported by any evidence What then does Lord Macaulay mean whatever, but betrayed a want of by asserting that "he was blameless in knowledge of the state of Scotland life, and so peaceable that the tyrants at the time. Still the story of the could find no offence in him, except Christian carrier appeared over and that he absented himself from the over again without even a note or a public worshipof the Episcopalians”? hint from which the reader could surThat he was blameless and peaceable mise that its authenticity had ever in the eyes of those who regarded been even questioned. It appeared Hackston of Rathillet as one of as the sole evidence on which Lord Sion's precious mourners and faith- Macaulay relied for painting Claverful witnesses of Christ, a valiant and house with the features of a fiend, much - honoured gentleman,” who and bestowing upon him the nickshouted “Jesus and no quarter !" name of "The Chief of Tophet!"
* WoDrow, vol. ii., p. 467.
+ WODROW, App., vol. ii. p. 110. Brown of Priestfield, for Reset."
The entry is as follows : "Muirkirk, John
I bave ac
So the matter stood at the time of on Sunday morning. In the time he the appearance of the last edition of was making this confession the soldiers Lord Macaulay's History. Within found out a house in the hill, under the last year, however, a valuable ground, that could hold a dozen of men, addition has been made to the mate
and there were swords and pistols in it; rials previously before the world for longed to his uncle, and that he had
and this fellow declared that they bethe history of that period of Scottish
lurked in that place ever since Bothwell, annals. The Queensberry Papers, where he was in arms. He confessed preserved among the archives of the
that he had a halbert, and told who gave Buccleuch family, have been ex- it him about a month ago, and we have amined, and amongst the extracts the fellow prisoner. from those valuable documents which quitted myself when I have told your have been recently published by Mr Grace the case. He has been but a Mark Napier, in his Memoirs of Dun- month or two with his halbert; and if dee, is the original despatch which
your Grace thinks he deserves no mercy, Claverhouse sent to the Duke of justice will pass on him : for I, having Queensberry, then the High Treasurer delivered him up to the Lieutenant
no commission of justiciary myself, have of Scotland and head of the Govern- General, to be disposed of as he pleases. ment, on the 3d of May 1685, giving “I am, my Lord, your Grace's most an account of the execution of John humble servant, Brown only two days after the event.
“J. GRAHAME." One might almost fancy that the spirit of the hero had been awakened It must not be supposed that the from its slumbers by the sound of the Abjuration Oath here referred to had only voice whose slanders he deigned anything whatever to do with the to answer :
religious tenets of the person to
whom it was administered. As mis“May it please your Grace, "On Friday last, amongst the hills conception upon this point is not unbetwixt Douglas and the Ploughlands, common, and as that misconception we pursued two fellows a great way
may possibly have led to Lord Macthrough the mosses, and in the end seized aulay's assertion that Brown was them. They had no arms about them,
“convicted of nonconformity,” it and denied they had any, But beiný may be well to examine what the arked if they would tuke the ahjuration, Oath of Abjuration was, and to inthe eldest of the two, called John Brown, quire into its history. refused it; nor would he swear not to rise On the 28th of October 1684, a in arms against the King, but said he declaration was published by the knew no king. Upon which, and there Covenanters, and affixed very genebeing found bullets and match in his rally upon the church - doors and house, and treasonable papers, I caused shoot him dead; which he suffered
other public places, " disowning the very unconcernedly. The other, a
authority of Chas. Stuart, and all young fellow and his nephew, called authority depending upon him ;+ Johu Brownen, offered to take the oath; declaring war against him and his but would not swear that he had not accomplices, such as lay out thembeen at Newmills in arms, at rescuing selves to promote his wicked and the prisoners. So I did not know what hellish desigus” – denouncing all to do with him; I was convinced that he bloody counsellors, justiciaries, genewas guilty, but saw not how to proceed rals, captains, all in civil or military against him. Wherefore, after he bad power, bloody militiamen, malicious said his prayers, and carabines pre- troopers, soldiers, and dragoons, sented to shoot him, I offered to him, viperous and malicious bishops and that if he would make an ingenuous curates, and all witnesses who should confession, and make a discovery that might be of any importance for the appear in any courts, as enemies to King's service, I should delay putting God, to be punished as such. This him to death, and plead for him. Upon was met by the Government by a which he confessed that he was at that proclamation denouncing the penattack of Newmills, and that he had alty of death against all who should come straight to this house of his uncle's not renounce the declaration, and
* NAPIER's Memoirs of Dundee.
+ WODROW, ii. App. 137.