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An attempt had also been made, to give to high church bigotry the same importance, and the same ascendancy in Scotland. Dr. John Sage, who was, in the year 1705, constituted bishop of Dunblane, had for a number of years following the revolution, through the medium of the London press, kept that country, which, poor as it was, appears even then to have been a reading country, in a state of perpetual agitation, by an inundation of pamphlets, filled with the grievances of the bishops, and the groans of the curates; and now, emboldened by the example of Sacheveral, and the countenance shown him by persons of every degree, an episcopalian, of the name of Greenshields, set up the episcopal form of worship, in its most offensive shape, in the Scotish metropolis, under the very beards of the chief rulers, civil and ecclesiastic. After having repeatedly admonished him to no purpose, the magistrates of Edinburgh shut up his meetinghouse, and committed him to prison, as an intermeddling and seditious incendiary. Aided, and set on, by the influence of the Jacobites, who regarded the Scotish presbyterian establishment as the most insuperable barrier in the way of their favourite project, the restoration of the pretender, Greenshields brought his case efore the court of session, where the sentence of the magistrates was confirmed, and the case of the Jacobite episcopalians rendered hopeless, for any thing that could be done for them in Scotland. Determined, however, to leave no mean untried, the party persuaded and assisted Greenshields to carry the matter before the lords spiritual and temporal, where it arrived at the time of Dr. Sacheveral's trial, and of course was only tabled, and lay over till next session, when, by the change of the ministry, of the parliament, and of the popular voice, it could not fail to be most favourably entertained.
At the same time, the ministry, sensible that they could not obtain a decision upon this matter that would be agreeable to their own party, without at the same time encroaching upon the rights of the Scotish church, would most gladly have allowed it to sleep, and, had they been left to themselves, would rather have gratified Mr. Greenshields in some other way.* But a few of the leading Scotish Jacobites, Carnegy of Boisack,
* Lockhart Papers, vol. i. p. 366. Burnet's History of his Own Times, &c.
Mr. James Murray, Sir Alexander Areskine, lord lion-king-atarms, Sir Alexander Cuming of Cantar, and Lockhart of Carnwath, who, to serve the chevalier, had taken the oaths to the government, and obtained seats in the house of commons, having entered into a close correspondence, and engaged to stand by one another in the joint prosecution of whatever might tend to promote their views, which were all directed to the dissolving of the Union, and the restoration of the
pretender, considered this too good a subject to be lost sight of, as it afforded a fair opportunity of bringing into notice the almost forgotten curates, who were to a man enemies to the protestant succession, and of having a thrust at the presbyterians, whom the Jacobites hated, as having been, in their opinion, principally at the bottom of the revolution. Accordingly, they brought up Mr. Greenshields to London, supplied him with money, and adopted such powerful, though underhand, dealings with the lords, as could not have failed to produce a decision in his favour, though they had been much more impartial judges than they really were. The sentence of the court of session was, of course, reversed, and the magistrates of Edinburgh subjected to heavy damages, to the great joy of the Jacobites, who imagined that in this transaction they beheld the dawn of more propitious times.
The times were, indeed, more propitious for them than, probably, sanguine as they were, they had ever in reality hoped to see. The duke of Hamilton, the head of their faction, who, during the alarm of the late invasion, had sat up for three nights successively, that he might be in readiness to join the pretender upon his first landing, * was now a minister of state; the duke of Athol, a favourite at court; the earl Marischal, with almost all the peers that had been taken up and imprisoned for the late invasion, lords of parliament; and all the leading cavaliers, Lockhart of Carnwath, Carnegy of Boisack, Cuming, Murray, &c. &c. leading men in the house of commons, where the redoubted Bromley was now speaker. Harley figured as lord treasurer, and Mr. St. John as a secretary of state. What was still more cheering, Harcourt, the defender of Sacheveral, and the
* Lockhart Papers, vol. i. p. 247.
advocate of divine and indefeasible hereditary right, was now lord chancellor of England, so that there was but another step to take, and all would be entirely to their minds. Believing, no doubt, that this step would immediately be taken, and, as a mean to hasten it on, they celebrated the pretender's birth-day, June the fifteenth, at Edinburgh, and various other places, with great solemnity, as if he had already been recognised king of Great Britain. *
About this time a silver medal, having on one side a head of the chevalier de St. George, with this inscription, Cujus est, and on the reverse the British Islands, with the motto Reddite, was handed about among his friends on the continent, and especially among his favourites in Britain. One of these medals was presented by the dutchess of Gordon, through the medium of Mr. Robert Bennet their dean, to the faculty of advocates, which, after a warm debate, at a meeting, ostensibly called for admitting a new member of faculty, but designed, by the tories among themselves, for the purpose of promoting the interests of the pretender, was accepted of, and an address of thanks voted to her grace for the distinguished favour she had bestowed upon the body. The reception of this medal was warmly opposed by Mr. Alexander Stevenson, who moved, that the medal should be returned to her grace, as the receiving thereof was to “throw dirt in the face of the government." Mr. Stevenson was seconded by Mr. Robert Alexander of Blackhouse, who affirmed that to receive the medal was to acknowledge a right contrary to that of her majesty. He was replied to by a Mr. Fraser, who remarked, that the medal of Oliver Cromwell, who deserved to have been hanged, and the arms of the commonwealth of England, which he probably did not esteem more highly, had been received by them, and why should they not receive this? The insolence of this interrogation raised the indignation of all the loyal members of the faculty who were present, especially of Mr. Duncan Forbes, afterwards the famous lord president, Mr. Hugh Dalrymple, Mr. James Ferguson, Sir James Stuart of Goodtrees, her majesty's solicitor-general, and Mr. Joseph Hume of Nineholes,
* Burnet's History of his own Times.
who, adverting to the witty remark of Mr. Fraser, with regard to Oliver Cromwell, said, it would be time enough to receive the pretender's medal when he was hanged. Dundas of Arniston, however, aware how the meeting was constituted, and that by the number of votes he would carry
his cause in the end, concluded with a speech to the following extraordinary effect :-“ Whatever these gentlemen may say of their loyalty, I think they affront the queen, whom they pretend to honour, in disgracing her brother, who is not only a prince of the blood, but the first thereof; and if blood can give any right, he is our undoubted sovereign. I think too they call her majesty's title in question, which it is not our business to determine. Medals are the documents of history, to which all historians refer; and, therefore, though I should give king William's, stamped with the devil at the right ear, I see not how it could be refused, seeing that an hundred years hence it would prove, that such a coin had been in England. But, dean of faculty,” he continued, borrowing vigour from the applause of his numerous friends, and the desponding and horrified countenances of his opponents,
66 what is the use of speeches ? None oppose the receiving the medal, and returning thanks to her grace, but a few scoundrel vermin and mushrooms, not worthy of our notice; let us, therefore, proceed to name some of our number to return thanks to the dutchess of Gordon !”
Whatever, in a legal point of view, the learned members might think of the logic of this speech, they could not but admire the confidence and the devotion of the speaker, and, accordingly, they appointed him, with the assistance of Mr. Horne of Westhall, to return thanks to her grace, in whatever terms he should find convenient, which, three days after, he did in the following extraordinary manner :-“ Madam, We are here deputed by the dean of the faculty of advocates, in their name, and for ourselves, to return our most hearty thanks to your grace for all your favours, and particularly for the honour you did us in presenting us with a medal of our sovereign lord the king. We shall always be proud of any occ ion to testify our loyalty to his majesty, and the respect and honour we have for your grace. Madam, I hope, and am confident
so do my constituents, that your grace shall very soon have an opportunity to compliment the faculty with a second medal, struck upon the restoration of the king and royal family, and the finishing rebellion, usurping tyranny and whiggery !"*
Violence and extravagant zeal have a natural tendency to defeat their own purposes. Had Dundas and Horne conducted themselves with a little more prudence and moderation, the end they had in view might have been in some degree promoted; but the manner in which they went about it, perhaps more than the thing itself, made so much noise, and created so much speculation, besides exciting the notice of Sir David Dalrymple, her majesty's advocate, that the faculty, becoming alarmed, called a general meeting, which disavowed the whole business by an act dated at Edinburgh, the eighteenth day of July, 1711: “ The dean and faculty of advocates, understanding that several malicious reports have been raised and industriously spread, concerning a medal, said to have been lately sent to one of their servants, in order to be kept along with other curiosities belonging to that society, met yesterday, extraordinarily upon that occasion. And it appeared to them, that a medal was sent to one of their servants, who being called, acknowledged his having the same, and justified that it never was put into the faculty's collection of medals, nor had ever been out of his custody. The said dean and faculty did, at the said meeting yesterday, unanimously declare, that they rejected the offer of the said medal, and ordered the said servant to deliver up the same into the hands of the lord advocate, which was done in their presence. And further, the dean and faculty of advocates did unanimously appoint a committee, to bring an act of faculty, containing a narration of the fact as above, and a declaration of their duty and loyal affection to her majesty's person and government, and the protestant succession, as by law established, and their detestation of all practices that directly or indirectly may contain the least insinuation to the contrary, or may give encouragement to the pretender. The committee having met, and made a report, the faculty in a very frequent
• North British Memoirs, pp. 255, 260.