Page images
PDF
EPUB

Merchant Bailies---Peter Duff, David Morison, William Blair.

Trades Bailie--- John M'Ewen mason.
Town Treasurer---David Beatson merchant.

1st October, 1804. Provost---Thomas Hay Marshall, Esq. Dean of Guild---Laurence Robertson.

Merchant Bailies---Peter Duff, David Morison, David Beatson.

Trades Bailie---Robert Morton baker.
Town Treasurer..-Charles Angus baker.

1st October, 1805. Provost Thomas Hay Marshall, Esq. Dean of GuildDavid Morison.

Merchant Bailies--Laurence Robertson, Robert Ross, David Beatson.

Trades Bailie- Alexander M-Farlane watchmaker. Town Treasurer-Duncan Spotiiswood merchant.

MEMO.

MEMORABILIA OF PERTH.

SECT. III.

The TradITIONAL Account in the Town of Perth,

concerning the DEATH of John, Earl of Gowrie, and bis Brother, Mr ALEXANDER RUTHVEN, in the Year 1600.

BY THE LATE REV. ALEXANDER DUFF,

OF TIBBERMUIR.

In the year 1584, during the minority of King James the Sixth, William, the first Earl of Gowrie, was executed at Stirling. After the King had come to the full years of majority, he found the Gowrie family under John, the third Earl, who was a younger son of the said William, possessed of wealth and power beyond the other nobility of the kingdom ; and growing apprehensive that this Earl Gowrie might at some time avail himself of this circumstance to revenge the death of his father, it is firmly believed, by those who have had best access to be well informed about this matter, that his Majesty went from FalkP 4

land

land to Perth, with design to destroy Earl Gowrie and his family:

On the 5th August, 1600, King James set off from Falkland for Perth. On the road, he gave

the following account of his journey to some of them who accompanied him. That Mr Alexander Ruthven, Earl Gowrie's brother, had met with him privately that morning, when he was going out to the chace, and told him that the Earl and he had the day before apprehended a foreign monk in the neighbourhood of

erth, with a great .quantity of gold coin in an earthen pot, and that they had secured him, on suspicion of his being sent over to employ this money to sow discord, and support the interest of Popery; and he had come to inform his Majesty, that he might go himself and examine the matter. That he (the King) having resolved to delay the affair till they had finished a chace, Mr Alexander Ruthven, who acted with great secrecy, was returned to Perth ; and his Majesty inquired at those who were with him, if Mr Ruthven was altogether solid in his judgement ? to which it was answered, that he always behaved himself as a man of prudence and worth.

About dinner-time, word was brought to the Earl, who was attending a marriage between a young man of the name of Lamb, and a young woman called Bell, the daughter of a respectable citizen of Perth, that the King and a company with him had come to his house ; on which Earl Gowrie's countenance changed, and he appeared to be a good deal perplex, ed; and being asked by the bride's father, in whose house he was, what ailed him, he said he was distressed for a dinner to the King and his retinue, who

had

had come upon him unexpectedly. Mr Bell urged him to accept of the dinner that was prepared for the wedding, and it is believed he did accept of it. The Earl of Gowrie went to meet the King, and conducted him into his house, where his Majesty dined in a room by himself; and about the end of dinner, the King, looking stedfastly to Lord Gowrie, said he would make free to tell him he had imported some foolish customs from France, to the neglect of some good social customs that pertained to his own country. Earl Gowrie having asked what he meant, Why don't you shake hands with your guests,” said the King, “and bid them welcome?” The Eart on this took the King by the hand, and bade him welcome. "Go now," said liis Majesty, “and do the same with the rest of the company.” And when Lord Gowrie had gone for this purpose to the King's attendants, who were dining in a different apartment, the King said, That Mr Alexander Ruthven suggested to him that now was the proper time to go and examine the monk. They passed through the room where the Court-people were dining, his Majesty saying, “ Sit ye merry, gentlemen, and much good may it do you.” They then went through three other apartments, the doors of which Mr Ruthven locked behind them, and came at last to the fatal closet, where the tragedy that day was performed. The stories of their finding a man in armour, instead of a monk; of Mr Ruthven making the King to swear, that in his absence he would not move nor call out for assistance; of his then going to advise with the Earl his brother, and telling the King on his return, that there was no help, he must die ; have been con

sidered

sidered at Perth as having no other support but the King's assertion ; for the declaration of Andrew Henderson, who, after three other persons, concerning whom the King had said he was certain that one of them was the man in armour, had made it appear that neither of them was that man, affirmed that he was the man in armour shut up with his Majesty in the closet, was looked on as false, and Henderson was held as infamous. It is even affirmed, that after swearing he was the man found in the closet, he ne. ver had the courage to look a man in the face, but always had the appearance of a crest-fallen dejected creature, whose countenance seemed to confess the justice of that general and great contempt which was cast upon him.

When the King's retinue had dined, one of his servants told them that his Majesty had set off a little before for Falkland ; on which they ran to get their horses, and having mounted, when they were near the Port, they heard the King's voice from a window in Earl Gowrie's house, which he had got half opened, crying “ Treason, treason.” They immediately returned, and tried to get into the closet from which the voice had come, but the doors were barricaded, and it took some time to break them open with hammers from an adjoining smith's shop, and such other instruments as they could first procure. Earl Gowrie, being alarmed at the uproar, ran up by a private stair to a smaller entrance, accompanied with some servants, and armed with a sword in each hand. He found the King in the closet, and along with him his surgeon, called Herris, his page Ramsay, and his groom Murray, which three men had got into the

close

« PreviousContinue »