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1600 entreaties, and the threatenings of the King, was

banished for his disobedience. The spirit of incre. dulity'naturally spread from the pastor through the flock, and it continued to be fostered by the more bigotted of the clergy during the civil wars, which rent the state for a great part of the last century: in. deed, with the different factions, a belief or disbelief in Gowry's conspiracy, became a touchstone of party. When the nation was no longer distracted by virulent contention between Church-man and Covenanter, Loyalist and Republican, Whig and Jacobite; when the minds of men were disposed to receive the truth, a circumstance purely accidental has tended to continue this delusion. An eminent historian appeared, whose writings have stamped a deserved im. pression upon the opinions of the public. Attached to the order to which he belongs, it was natural for him to entertain a higher respect for the opinion and authority of those fathers of the church than they deserved, and consequently to imbibe in part their sceptical notions concerning Gowry's conspiracy. These he has delivered with a subtility of argument, an engaging and persuasive manner,* which captivate the attention, and rivet the wavering opinion, 1600 while perhaps they are unable to convince upon a solid investigation of the judgement.

* Human nature is liable to error, from partiality of affection, as well as frailty of judgement; but candour is in every man's power. It is therefore my duty to observe, that incontestible evidence is recorded in the books of Sederunt of the Court of Session, of the Earl of Gowry, at the time of his death, being creditor to the King in 196,4651. 18s. 6d. of accumulated sum of principal and interest. By the King's inability to pay him, the Earl was so much embarrassed in his circumstances, that the Court of Session granted him for a twelvemonth a personal protection from the diligence of his creditors, just forty-six days before he was killed. And from the common law, as well as the silence

of the public records, it is probable the Earl's creditors were never paid. I am aware that this fact may make a forcible impression upon those who have been accustomed to doubt of the reality of this conspiracy. But a consideration of the following circumstance will entirely remove every suspicion. Lord Gowry was creditor to the King in this sum, as representing his father, the late Earl, who was Treasurer of Scotland, and that, by accompt fitted on the 10th of May, 1583, the balance then resting to the Earl being 48,0631. which (as Scottish money was greater by the half at that time than it is now) was 72,094). 175. of our pre. sent Scottish money of principal, besides seventeen years interest at the then rate of ten per cent. On the 4th of May, 1584, the elder Gowry was convicted, condemned, and beheaded for trea. son, and his estate forfeited. King James, by a solemn act, restored his son, the latter Gowry, against the forfeiture, and rati. fied the debt he owed him, which that forfeiture had proscribed, in December, 1585. The personal protection to Gowry was granted on the 20th of June, and his Lordship was killed on the 5th of August, 1600. Can it therefore be alledged that the King made an attempt upon Gowry, with a view of getting quit of this debt, without maintaining that his Majesty restored to the heir, the estate of a person justly condemned, that he might af. terwards murder the innocent heir, in order to wrest back the estate he had conferred from his royal clemency! Gowry was re. stored by two acts of the Parliament, which sat on the 1st, 4th, and 10th December, 1585; the one a general act of indemnity and restoration of all persons who had been forfeited since the King's coronation, excepting the murderers of Darnley, and some others, The other was a special statute in favour of the widow and chil. dren of William Earl of Gowry. MSS. Acts of Sederunt, vol, IV. 20th June, 1600; Records of Parliament, 1st, 4th, 10th De. cember, 1585; Spottiswood's Hist. p. 331. See the Act of Se. derunt which I bate printed in Appendix, No. I.

Robert Logan of Restalrig, for Accession to Gowry's


1600 IN the year 1608, George Home, Earl of Dunbar,

was informed by a gentleman of his acquaintance, that there was one Sprott, a notary at Eyemouth, who had communicated to him some particulars relative to Gowry's conspiracy, which this Sprott had kept secret till the persons concerned in it were dead.* The Earl

The Earl acquainted the Lord Advocate, and Sprott was instantly apprehended. He was examined before the Privy Council on the 5th of July, 160s, and afterwards underwent frequent examinations. His voluntary confession was made the subject of an indictment against him before the Court of Justiciary, as being in the treasonable foreknowledge of Gowry's conspiracy. He was tried capitally on the 12th of August, 1608, upon his own confession alone. He was convicted. He was condemned to be hanged that very day at the cross of Edinburgh, and lis head to be put up on the tolbooth, beside the traitor Gowry's. He confessed he perfectly knew that Logan of Restalrig was in the foreknowledge of Gowry’s conspiracy: that letters passed between the Earl and Restalrig on the subject, in the beginning of July, 1600; that a servant of Restalrig's, commonly called Laird Bour, was the messenger employed in these dispatch


Logan of Restalrig, and his servant, Laird Bour, died about the year


es, had some of them in his keeping, and showed 1600 them to the prisoner in the house of Fastcastle, wo among

other papers, he, Bour, being unable to read, and that he took the opportunity to secret them.* He confessed that he was often in company with Restalrig, as well as with Laird Bour, heard the conference which passed between them relative to a letter which' Bour had brought back to his master from Lord Gowry: that he afterwards enquired of Bour what was going on between his master and the Earl of Gowry? to which Bour answered, He be• lieved that the Laird should get Dirleton without either gold or silver, but feared that it should be as

dear unto him;' and Sprott enquiring how that could be? Bour said, they had another pye in hand

nor the selling of any land; but prayed Sprott, for God's sake, he would let be, and not trouble

himself about the Laird's business; for he feared, 'within few days, the Laird would be either landless

or lifeless. By this declaration he uniformly abode. He adhered to it on the scaffold, when he was performing the last solemn duties of penitence and prayer; and he declared that he should give the people a signal of its truth after he was thrown over the ladder; accordingly, to the astonishment of the


* The summons of forfaulture against Logan's heirs, explains more particularly how Sprott came by these letters: that Laird Bour, when he got them back from the Earl of Gowry to be returned to Restalrig, detained the letters; that Sprott stole them from him, and Restalrig becoming apprehensive that Sprott or Bour would betray him, bribed them both with many presents, to keep the secret. See an excerpt from this summons in Appen dix, No.2.

1600 tators, he clapped his hands thrice when he was sug

pended on the gallows. All this is testified in the Records of Parliament under the subscription of the Lords of the Privy Council, the Archbishop of Glasgow, many noblemen, and the magistrates and ministers of Edinburgh, who were upon the scaffold during the time of his execution.

The queue being thus given to Restalrig's guilt, a summons of treason was executed against Robert Logan, bis eldest son and heir, and all others con. cerned, on the 15th of February, 1609, to appear before the King and estates of Parliament, on the 12th of April, and defend themselves from the charge of high treason exhibited against the late Logan of Restalrig.

The cause was brought before Parliament on the 24th of June, and his Majesty's Advocate, for prov. ing of the charge, produced George Sprott's declarations, and confessions before the Privy Council, the Court of Justiciary, and on the scaffold. His Lordship also produced the depositions of witnesses examined before the Privy Council, and the Lords of Articles; and the following letters of the deceased Logan of Restalrig.


Right Honourable Sir, my duty, with service re. membered. Please you understand, my Lord of Gowrie, and some others his Lordship’s friends and well-wishers, who tenders his Lordship's preferment,

Register of Parliament, 24th June, 1609.

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