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"" will offer such laws as may best secure your CHAPTER

Majesty's sacred person, the royal family, and government, and be so exemplary loyal, as to raise your honour and greatness to the utmost of our power, which we shall ever esteem both our

duty and interest. Nor shall we leave any thing “ undone for extirpating all fanaticism, but espe

cially those fanatical murtherers and assassins, and " for detecting and punishing the late conspirators; “ whose pernicious and execrable designs did so • much tend to subvert your Majesty's government,

and ruin us and all your Majesty's faithful subjects. “ We can assure your Majesty, that the subjects of

this your Majesty's ancient kingdom are so desi- rous to exceed all their predecessors in extraordinary marks of affection and obedience to

your Majesty, that, (God be praised,) the only way to “ be popular with us, is to be eminently loyal. Your Majesty's care of us, when you took us

your special charge, your wisdom in extinguishing the seeds of rebellion and faction

amongst us, your justice, which was so great, as to be for

ever exemplary, but above all, your Majesty's “ free and cheerful securing to us our religion, “ when you were the late King's, your Royal Bro" ther's Commissioner, now again renewed, when

to be

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CHAPTER

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you are our Sovereign, are what your subjects here can never forget, and therefore your Majesty

may expect that we will think your commands “ sacred as your person, and that your inclination “ will prevent our debates; nor did ever any who

represented our Monarchs as their Commissioners, (except your royal self,) meet with greater respect, or more exact observance from a Parliament, than the Duke of Queensberry, (whom your Majesty has so wisely chosen to represent you in

this, and of whose eminent loyalty, and great • abilities in all his former employments, this nation “ hath seen so many proofs,) shall find from

May it please your Sacred Majesty, “your Majesty's most humble, most faithful, and “ most obedient subjects and servants,

PERTH, Cancell."

Its tyrannimal acts.

Nor was this spirit of loyalty, (as it was then called,) of abject slavery, and unmanly subservience to the will of a despot, as it has been justly denominated by the more impartial judgment of posterity, confined to words only. Acts were passed to ratify all the late judgments, however illegal or iniquitous, to indemnify the privy council, judges, and all

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a

officers of the Crown, civil or military, for all the CHAPTER violences they had committed; to authorize the privy council to impose the test upon all ranks of people under such penalties as that board might think fit to impose; to extend the punishment of death, which had formerly attached upon the preachers at field conventicles only, to all their auditors, and likewise to the preachers at house conventicles; to subject to the penalties of treason, all persons who should give, or take the covenant, or write in defence thereof, or in

any

other way own it to be obligatory; and lastly, in a strain of tyranny, for which there was, it is believed, no precedent, and which certainly has never been surpassed, to enact, that all such persons as, being cited in cases of high treason, field or house conventicles, or church irregularities, should refuse to give testimony, should be liable to the punishment due by law to the criminals against whom they refused to be witnesses. It is true that an act was also passed, for confirming all former statutes in favour of the Protestant religion as then established, in their whole strength and tenour, as if they were particularly set down and expressed in the said act ; but when we recollect the notions which Queensberry at that time entertained of the King's views, this proceeding forms no exception to the general

T

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CHAPTER system of servility which characterized both mini

sters and parliament. All matters in relation to revenue were of course settled in the manner most agreeable to his Majesty's wishes, and the recommendation of his Commissioner.

While the legislature was doing its part, the executive government was not behind hand in pursuing the system which had been so much commended. A refusal to abjure the Declaration in the terms prescribed, was every where considered as sufficient cause for immediate execution. In one part of the country, information having been received, that a corpse had been clandestinely buried, an enquiry took place : it was dug up, and found to be that of a person proscribed. Those who had interred him, were suspected, not of having murdered, but of having harboured him. For this crime, their house was destroyed; and the women and children of the family being driven out to wander as vagabonds, a young man belonging to it was executed by the order of Johnston of Westerraw. Against this murder even Graham himself is said to have remonstrated, but was content with protesting, that the blood was not upon his head; and not being able to persuade a Highland officer to execute the order of Johnston, ordered his own men to shoot the unhappy victim.* In another

Cruelty of
Government.

* Woodrow, II. 507.

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a

county, three females, one of sixty-three years of CHAPTER age, one of eighteen, and one of twelve, were charged with rebellion; and refusing to abjure the Declaration, were sentenced to be drowned. The last was let off, upon condition of her father's giving a bond for a hundred pounds. The elderly woman, who is represented as a person of eminent piety, bore her fate with the greatest constancy, nor does it appear that her death excited any strong sensations in the minds of her savage executioners. The girl of eighteen was more pitied; and after many entreaties, and having been once under water, was prevailed upon to utter some words, which might be fairly construed into blessing the King, a mode of obtaining pardon not unfrequent in cases where the persecutors were inclined to relent. Upon this it was thought she was safe ; but the merciless barbarian who superintended this dreadful business, was not satisfied; and upon her refusing the abjuration, she was again plunged into the water, where she expired.* It is to be remarked, that being at Bothwell-bridge and Air’s-moss were among the crimes stated in the indictment of all the three, though, when the last of these affairs happened, one of the girls was only thirteen, and the other not eight years of age. At the time of the Bothwell

* Woodrow, II. 506.

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