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anyof my predecessors before me'; and it is not us you contemn, but His Majesty’s authority.’
“ Silence being commanded, Crawford, the other witness, was called in, who, being duly sworn, and no objection being made against him, he deponed negative, ‘ that he did not see Cesnock for a considerable time, either before or after Bothwell-Bridge ; that he does not remember that Cesnock spake any thing to him, either about the West‘land army, orl who commanded them.’ i
“ ‘.Whereupon there was another great cry made, and clapping of hands, which put the J ustice-General and Advocate into a great rage, at what they reckoned an irreverent insulting of the Court. Then Cesnock’s advocate craved the probation might be remitted to the knowledge of the assize, which could not be refused ; and, after a short speech made to them by Cesnock’s lawyers, they, inclosed themselves, and very soon returned their verdict, ‘ Not Guilty.’ ” Notwithstanding this .verdict, the two Campbells were sent back to prison; and being afterwards condemned by the Scotch Par‘ liament, James the Second annexed their lands to the Crown, and confined them as prisoners at the Isle of Bass.*
It is to the honour of Scotland, that no witnesses came forward, voluntarily, to accuse their associates, as had been done in England, by Rumsey and Lord Howard. The cruel means of torture were, therefore, used to obtain the convictions of those who were peculiarly obnoxious to the Court: and, even with the assistance of such dreadful engines, the ministers of the Crown were obliged to promise a pardon to the greater number, in order to obtain the execution of one or two individuals.
Spence, upon whose person some letters, written in cyphers, were found, was offered his pardon, ‘if he would read them. He refused to do so; but would not say upon oath that he could not. Upon this, he was tortured and put in the boots, and then, being delivered into the hands of General Dalziell, he was, by means of a hair shirt and pricking, kept without sleep, as it was said, for five nights. All this proving ineffectual he was tortured with thumbikins, a new discovery, reported to have been brought by Generals Dalziell and Drummond from Muscovy. These barbarous means at length forced from him a confession, in which he owned, amongst other particulars, that Mr. William Carstairs, a clergyman who was in custody, had one of the three keys which were necessary to explain the cypher. This led to the torture.. of Carstairs. He with
to amount to a sentence of imprisonment for life. But the Court, not satisfied as long as Baillie lived, had no sooner prevailed on Lord Tarras and Murray to give evidence against him, than they brought him to trial for his life. The garbled confession of Carstairs, which they had promised not to make use of as evidence, was produced, and two clerks of council brought to swear to its accuracy. He was found guilty, and executed in great haste, lest death should prevent the work of vengeance. *
I have related these particulars concerning those who suffered for the Rye-‘House plot, that the reader may the more easily be enabled to follow the remarks I am about to make on the real nature of that plot. If my opinion is well founded, there existed, indeed, both in the higher and the lower orders, a great number of discontented persons: this discontent produced consultations on the state of the nation, and the practicability of resistance amongst the leaders, and wild talk about taking ofi‘ the King and Duke, amongst indigent and unprincipled men.