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Archibald Cornwall, Toun-Officer in Edinburgh, for
attempting to hang up the King's Picture on the Gallows.
As this trial is nonpareil, I present it neat. Archi. 1600 m. bald Cornwall, town-officer, dilaited* of the igno
'miniously dishonouring and defaming of his Ma. • jesty, in taking off his portrait, and laying of the same, and setting thereof to the stoops and upbearers of the gibbet, pressing to fix up the same thereupon.'
• Pursuer, Mr. Thomas Hamilton,t advocate to our Soveraigne Lord.'
Then follow the names of the assize; they are mostly tailors; two of them are designed fruitmen.
The assize, by plurality of voices, choose John • Ranken, (tailor, burgess of Edinburgh,) chancellor.
• The assize, for the most part, file and convict • Archibald Cornwall, officer, of the treasonable setting of his Majesty's portrait to the stoops of the gibbet, and putting of the same to be hung forth upon an nail infixt in the said gibbet.
• The justice-depute, by the mouth of Robert Galbraith, dempsters of the said Court, decerned and
ordained the said Archibald Cornwall to forfeit life, • lands, and goods, and to be taken to the said gibbet, whereupon he pressed to hang his Majesty's
ż. e. accused. + Records of Just. 25th April, 1601. | Executioner, from the word doom; or perhaps from the Latin verb demo, dempsi.
• portrait, and there to be hanged quhill he be dead, 1600 • and to hang thereupon by the space of twenty-four me hours, with an paper on his forehead, containing that vile crime committed by him, which was pro
nounced for doom!'- A man hanged for attempting to fix up a paultry daubing, or a halfpenny print upon the gallows, or even a halfpenny itself; for it also bears the image and superscription of Cesar.' Dii boni!
But this, bad as it is, is not the worst point of light in which this trial must be viewed. For to hang a man on account of transgressing a law, annexing a capital punishment to the knotting of straws, is not so repugnant to liberty and justice, as the hanging him upon no law at all, but merely at the caprice of a tyrant. Now, there is nothing in the Scottish statutes upon which this indictment could have been founded. The idea, indeed, must have been borrowed from the Roman law; yet, even upon the Imperial edicts, this man could not have been legally convicted: for there is hardly an analogy between the images of the Roman Emperors and a modern picture; Emperors, who themselves were deified, and whose consecrated statues were the objects of reli. gious adoration. Nay, were the analogy complete between the Imperial images, and the pictures of a modern prince; and, were the sanguinary edicts that guarded the majesty of Rome, suitable to a limited monarchy, still the prisoner must, by law, have been acquitted; for “Non videri contra majestatem fieri ob imaginest Cesaris nondum consecratas venditus.'
+ Digest. Lib. 48. Tit. 4. Lex 5. 9 2.
Doom pronounced over the Dead Body of Francis
Mowbray, a prisoner, who was killed in his attempt to escape from Edinburgh Castle.
1603 A Royal warrant was directed to Sir William Hart, www.and the other Judges of the Court of Justiciary, set
ting forth, in the usual bombast stile of treasonable indictments, that the deceased had been guilty of most high, horrible, and detestable points of treason:* that the same was verified by two or three witnesses; but that the deceased obstinately persisted to deny the charge: that he attempted to make his escape from Edinburgh Castle, which rendered his guilt the more manifest; and that, in the attempt, he had brought about his own miserable and shameful death. The warrant, therefore, required the Court to pronounce sentence on the deceased Francis Mowbray, $ now presented on pannel,' (i. e. produced at the bar,) to be dismembered as a traitor; his body to be hanged on a gibbet, and afterwards quartered; his head and limbs stuck on conspicuous places in the city of Edinburgh; and his whole estate to be forfeited. The warrant is dated at Holyroodhouse, 31st January, 1603, and is subscribed James Rex, Montrose Cancellar, Marr, Herreis, Halyrudhouse. Doom was pronounced accordingly.
This, perhaps, exceeds every act of King James's tyranny. For, ist, this sentence of forfeiture, pro
* Rec. of Just. ult. Jan. 1603.
nounced after death, was not adjudged by Parlia- 1603 ment, but by the Court of Justiciary, in consequence of a royal edict. 2d, No summons of treason was executed against the heirs of the deceased, nor ally defender cited, unless the corpse, which was produced at the bar, can be called a defender. 3d, No specific charge was exhibited against the deceased; nor any thing but a general accusation of treason and laese. Majesty, which, in those days, was so far from conveying any precise and definite idea, that it might have been any thing which occurred to the whim of the King's Advocate, or that of his Royal Master. 4th, No proof was adduced in Court, no jury called, nor verdict returned, establishing the charge upon which the sentence of forfeiture was pronounced.
Nothing can impress us with a worse opinion of those times, than to behold the people stupid, yet whimsical, abject, yet insolent. When aroused by the clergy, on the score of speculative doctrines, or even forms of religion, they would break forch into the wildest outrages against their governors; yet they would remain supinely indifferent to the wanton invasion of the most established principles of law, and of the most sacred rights of mankind.
Trial of NÍr. Andrew Crichton, for Declining the Au
thority of the King and Priry Council,
1610 THE prisoner, who was brother to the Laird of W Innernytie, was prosecuted at the instance of Sir
Thomas Hamilton, his Majesty's Advocate, for treasonably* declining the jurisdiction of the King and Privy Council. The indictment set forth, that the prisoner being brought before the Privy Council,“to “ be examined upon such matters concerning his Ma* jesty and the estates of this his kingdom, and re
quired by their Lordships to give your oath to them, " that you should faithfully and truly answer to them,
and declare the verity of such things as should be • demanded of you: Ye treasonably refused to acknowledge his Majesty, and the said Lords of his most honourable Privy Council, to be your judges; but most treasonably declined their judgement.'
The act of Parliament, A. D. 1584, c. 129. con. firming the authority of the King and Privy Council, in all cases, and over all persons, and annexing the pain of treason to the denial of the same, was then read over to the prisoner: but he persisted in declining the jurisdiction of the King and Privy Council, and judicially ratified his declinature.
The Court sentenced him to be taken to the Cross of Edinburgh, and to be hanged, his body to be dismembered as a traitor, and his whole estate to be
* Rec. of Just. 29th Auglist, 1610.