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clergy, whose complaints the king disregarded, had BOOK acquired the friendship of the popular leaders in a the English parliament, to an insurrection has been too hastily ascribed to their correspondence and combination to renew the events of the preceding reign. A memorable speech of the earl of Shaftesbury's, that popery was intended to introduce slavery into England, but that slavery was the har- March 25. binger of popery in Scotland, was transmitted to Edinburgh, and eight thousand fanatical Scots are represented as starting to arms at the sound of a trumpet.'!' Doubtless the Scots were encouraged by the impeachment of Danby, by the vigorous opposition in England to the duke of York, and by the attempts to limit or to exclude his succession to the throne. But as no trace exists of their correspondence with the popular leaders in England, so the marvellous operation of a distant speech diffused by the pen, is refuted by an intermediate series of domestic events. The cruel and iniqui. · tous prosecution of the popish plot, had inflamed the court party with revenge, and the covenanters with the obstinate fury of despair. The highlanders were removed, but they were replaced with five thousand additional troops. The western
10 « Some of our lords and gentry made acquaintance with “the English dissenters, which stuck to them while they live' med.” Kirkton. Such is the only evidence I have found, in Scottish historians, of a correspondence with the English.
ii See Note III.
BOOK and southern shires were filled with garrisons in
private houses; or with troops permitted to range 1679.
at large in quest of conventicles, and indemnified
ind, with a single, transient exception, every ad- BOOK ministration was worse than the preceding. Per. om secution and fanaticism continued mutually to 1679. exasperate and to augment each other, but it is the nature of persecution to vitiate the human heart, and to debase and contaminate the national character wheresoever it prevails. The unhappy victims whom it reduces to despair, become vindictive, cruel, and unrelenting as their persecutors; and if inferior in open force, more insidious in their revenge. The covenanters had already begun to retaliate on the military, of whom some were murdered at night in their quarters, when an event which threatened to revive the practices of the ancient Scots, impelled each party to the most desperate extremes. 2
Under the primate's jurisdiction and influence, Murder of Carmichael, one of the commissioners appointed Mays. to exterminate conventicles, was peculiarly noted for his cruelties in Fife. If we may believe his enemies, he was accustomed among other enormi. ties to beat and abuse the women and children, and to torture the servants with lighted matches, that they might be compelled to reveal where their husa bands, or their fathers, or their masters were con'cealed. Nine of these unhappy fugitives, who wandered in small parties, intercommuned and interdicted from society, determined to intercept
12 Wodrow's MS. Collections, vol. 43. 4to. Hist. ii. 9. 27. Burnet, ii. 182.
BOOK and to chastise his person, if not to avenge their www. wrongs on his life. When about to separate, after 1679.
an ineffectual search, they were informed of the archbishop of St. Andrews' approach. As he was slightly attended, the opportunity was embraced as a divine call, and the temptation to perpetrate a detestable deed was interpreted a special disa pensation from heaven. They pursued and overtook his coach upon Magus-Moor, within a few miles of St. Andrews; dismounted his attendants, and as their shots proved ineffectual, they dragged the archbishop from his daughter's arms. His offers and entreaties for life were unavailing. They protested that they were actuated by no motives of personal revenge ; - reproached him with his perjury in Mitchel's trial; admonished him of the blood of the saints, in which his hands were embrued, and, amidst the shrieks and struggles of his daughter to save him, left his dead body in the highway, transfixed, and covered with the most barbarous wounds.13
From the first beginning of the reformation in Scotland, Sharp was the third archbishop of St. Andrews who had suffered from popular or from private revenge. The assassination of Cardinal Beaton, was a crime congenial to the manners of the nation and the vices of the age. The execution of archbishop Hamilton was sanctioned by the forms of a legal attainder: but the murder of Sharp
13 Wodrow's MS. vol. iv. 8vo. Hist. ii. 30. Sharp's Life.
'was regarded even by his enemies as an inhuman BOOK act, that redeemed his memory from some share of the detestation which he had incurred when 1079. alive. 14 That he was decent, if not regular in his deportment, endued with the most industrious diligence, and not illiterate, was never disputed; that he was vain, vindictive, perfidious, at once haughty and servile, rapacious and cruel, his friends have never attempted to disown. His apostacy was never forgiven by the presbyterians; but instead of disarming their resentment by moderation, he became an unrelenting persecutor, like most apostates, actuated by a hatred to the sect which he had deserted and betrayed. 15 Indifferent to the doctrines of his former party, and therefore the more feelingly alive to their reproaches, he ap. pears, under the mask of religious zeal, to have uniformly consulted and gratified his private re venge. His death was acceptable to none but the wilder fanatics, who discovered, in a crime of which they durst not have previously approved, the execution of righteous judgment by private men.
The assassination of a prelate and privy coun- Iusurrection sellor, might be expected to excite a severe inquisition; but the government was inspired with the most frantic revenge. The people were prohibited the use or possession of arms; and in the procla.
14 Burnet, ii. 266. Crawford's MS. Hist. ii. 143..
ış Omnis apos.'ata sur secie nsor, was applied also to Lana derdale.
in the Westo: