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The political situation in Scotland at the Restoration of Charles II in 1660 would have taxed the vigour and prudence of the most experienced statesmen. At no previous period had the nation been more distracted in its aims or tom with conflicting passions. The great revolt against the ecclesiastical policy of James VI and Charles I, which had issued in the overthrow of the royal authority and the reestablishment of Presbyterianism, had eventually resulted in a national catastrophe. Triumphant Presbyterianism had been cleft in twain by its own internal divisions, and had lost the support of the nobility by whose aid alone it had successfully waged war with Charles I. Then came the domination of the Commonwealth and Protectorate, when for ten years the nation had to accept such institutions and methods of government as an alien power deemed to be in the interest of both countries. The domina­tion had on the whole been beneficent, but it had been the result of conquest, and no considerable section of the Scottish people were in sympathy with the political or religious ideas either of Commonwealth or Protectorate.

It was, therefore, with an enthusiasm almost as general and spontaneous as the feeling displayed in England that Scotland bailed the restoration of her ancient line of kings. The burst of loyalty was at once the expression of hope for the future and joy at the deliverance from a rule under which the national ideals could never be realised. But the momentary exaltation of feeling could not conceal the fact that no possible policy of the new government could satisfy all parties in the State or harmonise their divisions. The paramount public concern remained what it had been since the Reformation a century before—the question of the national religion in doctrine and polity. At the Reformation there had been two clearly defined parties—Protestants on the one side and Roman Catholics oh the other—and the issue between them could not be mis­understood. At the Restoration Protestantism was the religion of the nation, with the exception of a remnant that still clung to the old faith; but it was a Protestantism so divided in doctrine, spirit, and aspirations as virtually to create a number of distinct religious bodies incapable of harmonious action towards a common end. There was that section of the Presbyterians, known as the “ Protesters ” or “Remonstrants,” who in 1650 had rejected Charles as their King, till he should have furnished satisfactory evidence that in his heart as well as with his lips he had given his sanction to the National Covenant of 1638 and the Solemn League and Covenant of 1643. But, as Charles was never likely to afford this satisfaction, the Protesters from the beginning stood in irreconcilable opposition to his government On the other hand, the main body of the Presbyterians, known as the “Resolutioners,” who had sanctioned the coronation of Charles after his father’s death in 1649, were disposed to accept him as their King on easier terms: if he would guarantee Presbyterianism as the polity of the national Church, they would not rigorously insist on his acceptance of the Covenants. But in this main body itself there were degrees of strictness, alike regarding doctrine and forms of Church government. It was now more than twenty years since the signing of the National Covenant; and a new generation had arisen for,whom the Covenants were only a memory and not a palladium won by blood and tears. During the reign that had begun it was to be seen with what different degrees of rigour or steadfastness the new generation held to the faith of Andrew Melville and Henderson.

At the restoration of Charles, however, the salient fact was that in numbers and strength of conviction the Presbyterians were the dominant religious party in the country; and it was with this fact that Charles and his advisers had to reckon in whatever policy they chose to adopt. As to what that policy should be Charles had no hesitation from the first. Presbyterianism had dethroned his father, and, once more in the ascendant, it might take the same measures with himself. But, if Presbyterianism had been found incompatible with the Stewart conception of the royal prerogative, it had also been found alien to the spirit and traditions of the feudal nobility. It had been only by the support of the nobles that the revolt against Charles I had succeeded; but in the course of the struggle the nobles had discovered that the interests of their order were vitally bound up with the interests of the Crown. Thus, at the date when Charles ascended the throne, the Scottish nobles as a body were hostile to Presbyterianism and were prepared to support the royal authority in supplanting it. Had they been of the same mind as in the period preceding the National Covenant; Charles could not have carried out that ecclesiastical policy which was to be the absorbing object of himself and his successor, and which was eventually to end in the national rejection of the House of Stewart. In approving or abetting that policy, therefore, the nobility as an order must share the responsibility of the Crown.

The first measures of the new reign implied a direct return to the methods of government which James VI had bequeathed to Charles I. The Parliament, which met in 1641, had, in the presence and with the sanction of Charles, enacted that all officers of State, Privy Councillors, and Lords of Session should be chosen by the King “with the advice and approbation” of the Estates. Without waiting for the meeting of Parliament Charles II appointed his own Privy Council, and, following further the precedent of James VI, he arranged that a section of it should sit in London and that a part of this section should consist of Englishmen, of whom the most notable was Edward Hyde, afterwards Earl of Clarendon. Of the Scotsmen who were chosen, some had once been Covenanters, but all had since given satisfactory proofs of their attachment to the Crown. The man who was to be the dominating spirit of the Council and Charles’ chief instrument in the government of Scotland was John, second Earl of Lauderdale, once an ardent Covenanter, but who by his nine years’ imprisonment after his capture at the battle of Worcester had done full expiation for his backsliding from loyalty. To Lauderdale was given the office of Secretary, which involved residence in London, and thus placed him at an advantage over every other member of the Council. The “King of Scotland”—such was the current designation for the holder of the office; and no Secretary of the Council was more of a King than Lauderdale, who swayed, while he only seemed to approve, the mind of his master. Lauderdale’s ideal for the administration of Scottish affairs was “the good old form of government by his Majesty’s Privy Council”; and, in point of fact, it was through his Privy Council that Charles mainly governed Scotland from the beginning to the end of his reign.

It was on January 1,1660, that Monck had crossed the Tweed, and on May 25 that Charles had landed at Dover, but it was not till August that an ostensible executive body was established in Scotland. As the Privy Council was still in England and the meeting of Parliament was postponed till the beginning of the next year, a temporary executive body was found in the Committee of the Estates which had been captured by Monck in 1651. The proceedings of this Committee left little doubt as to the future policy of the Government. A body of “Protesters” which met in Edinburgh to draft a petition to Charles was broken up, and all but one of them were imprisoned in the Castle—an action which was followed the next day by a prohibition against all assemblies “without his Majesty’s official authority.” Protesters and Resolutioners were alike disquieted by these proceedings; but some comfort was found in a letter from Charles (August, 1660), in which it was ambiguously stated that the Church of Scotland, as it was settled by law, would be maintained “without violation.” When the Parliament at length met (January, 1661), it was brought home to the whole body of the Presbyterians that they had little to hope from a King to whom, with good reason, the Covenants and everything connected with them were a hideous remembrance. Carefully packed by the methods which had been devised by James VI, Parliament simply registered decrees which had been drafted by the King and his Privy Council in London. The Commissioner chosen to represent the royal authority was John, Earl of Middleton, who, as a renegade Covenanter, announced in his own person the intentions of the Government. The work of the Parliament may he briefly summarised: it restored the constitution which had been fashioned by James VI, and which, as inherited by his son, had provoked the revolt that had brought forth the Covenants. By a Rescissory Act the proceedings of every Parliament since 1633 (those of 1650 and 1651, over Which Charles himself had presided, hewing practically, though not nominally, included) were declared null and void, and the King was proclaimed “Supreme Governor of his Kingdom over all persons and in all causes.” As a substantial evidence of its loyalty, the Parliament further voted an annual grant of £40,000 to the King—an excess of liberality which, according to a contemporary loyalist, “became the ruin of this Kingdom.” It was an ancient custom of the Scots to nickname their Parliaments from some peculiarity that distinguished them; and the first Parliament of Charles came to be known as the “Drunken Parliament.”


1660-1] Establishment of Episcopacy.


As Charles was now “Supreme Governor of his Kingdom over all persons and in all causes,” it only depended on his pleasure what Church should be imposed on the nation. It fell to the Privy Council, which met at Holyrood after the rising of the Parliament, to announce his momentous decision. In his letter of the previous year Charles had declared his intention of maintaining the Church “as it was settled by law”; and this Church, it was now decreed, was the Episcopal Church as it had been established by James VI and confirmed by his son. It was in September (1661) that the decree was announced; and, that no time might be lost in giving it effect, four persons were sent to England in the following December to receive consecration, as there were no bishops in Scotland to communicate it. Among the four there were two who were to play very different parts and to bequeath very different memories. The one was James Sharp, who had been a prominent Resolutioner and was now Archbishop-elect of St Andrews. In the beginning of 1660 Sharp had been sent to London by his brother ministers to promote their interests in view of the expected Restoration. They had misjudged their agent; for Sharp returned to Scotland as an instrument of the Court, whose ecclesiastical policy he was to promote with all the astuteness and persistency which were the leading traits of his character. If Sharp was a born ecclesiastic, Robert Leighton, subsequently Archbishop of Glasgow, was a natural saint—a “Christianised Plato,” Coleridge called him—whose unhappy destiny it was to be cast in a time when saintly attributes seemed but the timid hesitations of a character incapable of strenuous conviction. To Leighton the strife between Episcopalian and Presbyterian appeared but “ a drunken scuffle in the dark”; as, however, he had once been a Covenanting Presbyterian and eventually accepted an archbishopric, his former brethren had an obvious rejoinder.

The Privy Council had done its work in decreeing the reestablishment of Episcopacy; but the constitution required that Parliament should ratify its action. In May, 1662, therefore, Parliament again met, and completed the work of the Council by readmitting the Bishops to its sittings, and reinstating them in their “accustomed dignities, privileges, and jurisdictions, of which they had been deprived during the ascendancy of the Covenants.” Another Act, passed on June 11, was the direct occasion of the subsequent conflict between the Government and a section of the people which is the dominant fact of Charles’ reign. The Covenanting Parliament of 1649 had abolished lay patronage; and many of the existing ministers held their charges direct from their congregations and presbyteries. It was now enacted that by September 20 following all such ministers should receive presentation from their lawful patrons or demit their cures. When the appointed day came, it appeared that few of the ministers in the diocese of Glasgow had taken the prescribed step. At a sederunt in Glasgow, therefore, the Privy Council further ordained that, if any minister did not conform to the law by November 1, his parishioners should cease to attend his ministrations and to pay him his stipend. Even in the eyes of Sharp this action was “so rash a thing” that he could not have believed it “till he saw it in print.” Convinced of its own impolicy, the Council postponed the day of grace till February 1, 1663; but, even when that day came, about a third of the whole ministry had still refused to give in their submission.

Middleton had proved himself a rash and tactless administrator; and in the Secretary Lauderdale he had an enemy at Court who made the most of his blunders. Since the beginning of his administration there had been rivalry between the two for the first place in Charles’ councils; but the influence of Lauderdale at length prevailed, and Middleton was recalled from a position for which neither his character nor his previous career had even in a remote degree adapted him. Nevertheless the policy which he had inaugurated was the policy which the Government of Charles had deliberately adopted, and the action of his successors was but its logical and necessary consequence. It had been decreed that the Covenants were incompatible with the royal prerogative, and in the execution of the Marquis of Argyll and of the Protester, James Guthrie, the Government had proclaimed to the nation its judgment on the cause of which they had been the most prominent champions.

Middleton was succeeded in the commissionership by John, Earl of Rothes, a man, according to Burnet, of “quick apprehension, with a clear judgment,” but, as an illiterate debauchee, incapable of the serious statesmanship which his office demanded. Rothes was at first the tool of Lauderdale, but, as Lauderdale was to discover, not the most suitable instrument for giving effect to his Scottish policy. In June, 1663, the Restoration Parliament met in its third and last session—Lauderdale himself being present—and crowned the work which had been begun under the administration of Middleton. One of its Acts restored the method of choosing the Lords of the Articles which had been devised by James VI, and which, as was said, virtually converted Parliament into the “baron court” of the King; and another authorised the raising of a militia of 20,000 foot and 2000 horse for the double purpose of suppressing disorder in Scotland, and of being a serviceable instrument in England should Charles ever have occasion to require it. But it was another Act, significantly known as “the Bishops’ Dragnet,” which was to have the most momentous consequences during the remainder of the reign. By this Act “against separation and disobedience to the royal authority,” heavy fines were imposed on absentees from the parish churches, and a relation between subject and ruler was thus created which explains the chapter of woes that was to follow.

The prime object of the Government was now to exact obedience to the new constitution in Church and State. It was in the case of the Church, however, that it had to encounter its chief difficulties; two-thirds of the public business, it was said by a statesman of the time, directly or indirectly concerned religion. To enforce acceptance of the new religious order the Court of High Commission, which had proved so obnoxious in the reigns of James VI and Charles I, was revived (1664) at the suggestion of Archbishop Sharp. But more drastic means were required to coerce the spirit of resistance which had been evoked by the Restoration policy; and these means were now conveniently at hand. In the body of dragoons which had been levied with the sanction of Parliament the Government had an instrument which it could use with convincing effect on contumacious recusants. The Privy Council sought to enforce its decrees by the imposition of heavy fines; and, to ensure that the fines should be forthcoming, the dragoons were quartered on recalcitrant parties till they were “eaten up.” It was in the south-western counties—Ayrshire, Wigtownshire, and Dumfriesshire— that the Government was most persistently defied; and it was in these shires that the Protesters had found the most numerous following, and where the largest body of ministers had demitted their cures rather than accept them at the hands of a lay patron. In place of these ejected ministers, incumbents had been substituted (1663) who, for the most part, had had no previous training for their office, and whom a colleague of Lauderdale described as “insufficient, scandalous, imprudent fellows.” Thus the Westland Whigs, as they came to be called, had the choice of three alternatives—to attend the ministrations of “the King’s curates,” to pay a heavy fine, or to be “eaten up” by the dragoons. The dilemma had again arisen with which Scotland had been familiar since the Reformation—allegiance to a legitimate King or obedience to the dictates of conscience. The memory of the successful revolt against Charles I was an encouraging precedent; and, as the history of the reign proves, the recusants of the west were at all times prepared to follow it. The occasion came in November, 1666, when Sir James Turner, one of the commanders of the dragoons, who had made himself specially obnoxious, was seized and made prisoner by a party of the men of Galloway. This action proved to be the signal for revolt; joined by increasing numbers, the insurgents marched through Ayrshire and Lanarkshire, and in a body some 3000 strong, amid incessant winter rains, made their way towards Edinburgh. At Colinton, three miles to the west of the capital, they found themselves in a critical position; the inhabitants of the surrounding country were hostile; the forces of the Government were closing in upon them; and their only safety lay in a rapid retreat. At Rullion Green, on the southern slope of the Pentland Hills, they were overtaken and dispersed by the royal troops led by Sir Thomas Dalziel, fifty falling in the action and about eighty being taken. The haunting dread of the statesmen friendly to the Restoration was the possibility of a national uprising such as had overthrown the authority of Charles I; and it was in cruel fear that the Privy Council proceeded to the punishment of the leaders of the rebellion. Over thirty were hanged in different towns; the rank and file were for the most part transported to the Barbados, and the agents of the Government were enriched by fines and confiscations.


Letters of Indulgence, [1666-9


The results of Rothes’ administration had not commended him to Charles, and he had, moreover, made an enemy of Lauderdale, whom he and Archbishop Sharp had been endeavouring to supplant. Again Lauderdale triumphed, and Rothes was deprived of the commissionership (September, 1667), Lauderdale himself taking his place. It had been the contention of Lauderdale that the Pentland Rising was the result of the oppressive measures of the late administration, and it was in a spirit of conciliation that he entered on his charge. Two military agents of the late Government, Sir James Turner and Sir William Bellenden, were disgraced and removed from their posts; and by what is known as the First Letter of Indulgence (1669) permission was given to such ejected ministers as had lived “peaceably and orderly” to occupy charges which happened to be vacant. But to accept the Indulgence implied the acceptance of Episcopacy, and only forty-two ministers succumbed to the temptation. Conventicles, hot-beds of sedition, as the Government regarded them, became more numerous than ever; and, which gave special ground for alarm, those who frequented them now began to carry weapons along with their Bibles. Against his will, therefore, Lauderdale was driven to a succession of measures which surpassed in severity those of his predecessor Rothes. In the second session of a Parliament, which had met in 1669, he passed what he called a “clanking act” against conventicles, which in spite of its stringency signally failed in its object.

A second Indulgence (1672) equally missed its aim of bringing over the majority of the recalcitrant ministers, and only intensified the zeal of those who refused to profit by it. But there were other weapons at Lauderdale’s disposal which might prove more effectual. Since the Reformation a succession of repressive statutes had been passed against Roman Catholics, which in their case had operated with deadly effect and which might be equally successful in the case of refractory Protestants. In 1674 all heritors and masters were declared responsible for the conformity of their tenants and servants; and in the following year “Letters of Intercommuning” (the Scottish form of the “boycott”) prohibited all intercourse with above a hundred persons, eighteen of whom were ministers. But, in the districts against which they were specially aimed, even these enactments proved of no avail; and in 1667 an Act of the Privy Council imposed a bond on heritors and masters for the loyal behaviour of all persons whatever who resided on their lands. To enforce this Act, which exasperated many who had shown no signs of disloyalty, Lauderdale took a step which was the crowning act of his coercive policy. To avert another rising, which every year made more probable, he quartered in Ayrshire a host of 6000 highlanders and 3000 lowland militia, with instructions to help themselves to whatever accommodation and necessaries they might find to their taste. The special business of the “Highland Host” was to disarm the denoted districts and to exact the bond from all who had hitherto refused it—tasks which, after a month’s luxurious living at free quarters, they performed to the satisfaction of the Government.


1679] Murder of Archb. Sharp.


A succession of tragic events (1679) brought Lauderdale’s satrapy to a close. On Magus Muir, near St Andrews, Archbishop Sharp was murdered by a band of zealots, who in their own eyes were the instruments of Heaven in taking off an apostate and a persecutor of the saints. Within a month after Sharp’s assassination the long-anticipated rising came to a head in the disaffected west. On May 29, the anniversary of the Restoration, a band of eighty armed recusants entered the village of Rutherglen, extinguished the festal fires, and burned all the Acts which had overthrown the Church of the Covenants. Three days later, at Drumdog in Ayrshire, they defeated John Graham of Claverhouse, who at a later day was to be their avenger of blood. Their next movement was on Glasgow, where they had many sympathisers; but the town was well garrisoned, and they were forced to retreat to Hamilton in Lanarkshire. Ever in dread of an uprising such as had produced the Covenants, the Government took vigorous measures to suppress the revolt before it attained more formidable proportions. Orders were issued for the levy of 15,000 men; and the Duke of Monmouth, who had married the heiress of Buccleuch, and was known to disapprove of the policy of Lauderdale, was sent down from England to command them. On June 22 the two armies faced each other at Bothwell Bridge on the Clyde, and a vain attempt was made by the insurgents to gain con­cessions that would have stultified all the past policy of the Government. Their supplication refused, they chose to abide the issue of battle; but the increase of their numbers had turned their camp into a debating assembly, and the ministers “ preached and prayed against each other.” Against such an enemy Monmouth had an easy task; and, though a resolute stand was made at the Bridge, his victory was complete.—about 400 being slain and 1200 taken. Bound two and two, the prisoners were led to Edinburgh, where for five months the majority of them were kept in Greyfriars’ Churchyard, exposed day and night to the weather. By the end of July 400 of them had been allowed to return home on the condition of their remaining peaceable subjects; but others, 250 in number, refusing to give the necessary pledge, were shipped to Barbados—never to reach their destination, as the vessel in which they sailed was wrecked off the Orkneys, and the majority of them perished.


Battle of Bothwell Bridge. [1679-80


Lauderdale had failed, as Bothes had failed, to give a satisfactory account of his stewardship; the revolt that had resulted in Bothwell Bridge had been more formidable than the Pentland Rising. Both in England and Scotland he had made many enemies, and the English Commons demanded his removal from the King’s councils on the ground that he had assailed the liberties of both countries. Lauderdale had at least been a faithful servant of his master; and it was against his own will, as he knew it was against his own interests, that Charles deprived him of the commissionership and put in his place James, Duke of York, afterwards James VII. The policy of the three successive Commissioners had not made Scotland a happy and peaceable country, but it had succeeded in breaking the once mighty power of Presbyterianism. The three Acts of Indulgence (Monmouth had procured the third) had cut deep into the ranks of nonconformity, as had been woefully shown in the camp at Bothwell Bridge. Of the irreconcilable recusants of the west only a remnant was now left after fines, confiscations, slaughter, and transportation. Outlaws with a price upon their heads, this intractable remnant still bade defiance to authority, and on the mountains, moors, and mosses flocked to hear their preachers in armed conventicle. Of these preachers two hold a supreme place in the Covenanting martyrology—Donald Cargill and Richard Cameron. Under the inspiration of these two leaders, a section of the proscribed recusants formed themselves into a body, known as the “Society People,” or Cameronians, with a definite set of tenets and a definite programme of action. In a Declaration, affixed to the market-Cross of Sanquhar (1680) they formally disowned Charles as their King on the ground “of his perjury and breach of Covenant to God and Kirk.” The doctrine of the Declaration—that rulers might be dethroned when they failed in their duty to their subjects—was no novelty in the history of the Christian Church, but it was a doctrine that involved internecine war between people and king. Extirpation of the dreaded sect, therefore, was the only policy left to a Government whose existence was bound up with a definite form of ecclesiastical establishment; and the hunting of conventiclers became the special work of the dragoons. Little more than a year after the Sanquhar Declaration, Cameron and Cargill had finished their course. At Airds Moss, in Ayrshire, a band of the “Wanderers” was defeated by the royal troops, Cameron being among the slain; and Cargill, captured in the following year, was executed in Edinburgh, hailing the day of his death as the most joyful of his pilgrimage on earth.


1680-1] Duke of York Royal Commissioner


It was not till July, 1681, that the Duke of York made his appearance in his capacity of Royal Commissioner. He had already been twice in Scotland, and had made himself acceptable to the leading loyalists, and specially to the Highland chiefs, who at a later day were to give notable proof of their attachment to the House of Stewart. It was considered a propitious step that shortly after his arrival he summoned a meeting of Parliament—the first that had assembled for nine years; but the Acts it was required to pass were a gloomy portent of what was to come. By one of these Acts—the Act of Succession—it was declared that “no difference in religion ... can alter or divert the right of succession and lineal descent of the Crown.” As the Duke was a known Roman Catholic and the presumptive heir to the throne, the drift of this Act could not be mistaken. But it was another Act that raised the greatest alarm—even among well-disposed loyalists. This was a Test Act to be imposed on all persons holding offices of trust in Church and State. So self-contradictory were its terms that, in the general opinion he who took it implied that he was Presbyterian, Episcopalian, and Roman Catholic at once. On this ground Sir James Dalrymple, President of the Court of Session, demitted his office rather than come under an impossible obligation—eighty of the Episcopalian clergy similarly refusing to do injury to their consciences. The Earl of Argyll agreed to take the Test “as far as it was consistent with itself”; but this conditional pledge was not found satisfactory, and he was committed for trial, which he eluded by escaping from the Castle of Edinburgh where he had been confined. To introduce Catholicism and to prepare the way for his own succession to the throne—such were the manifest ends to which James’ action was tending. But, divided as Scottish Protestants might be among themselves, they were united in their dread and hatred of Rome; and various popular manifestations might have warned James of the dangerous path he was treading. The students at the University of Edinburgh burned the Pope in effigy, and those of Glasgow ostentatiously wore the blue riband of the Covenant (1680)—significant indications of the drift of public opinion.

While James was thus alienating many who had hitherto been faithful supporters of the Throne, the struggle between the Government and the Westland Whigs proceeded with increasing exasperation on both sides. Armed conventicles were still held in various parts of the country; and, goaded to desperation, their frequenters at length virtually declared open war against authority. In their Apologetical Declaration (1684) they announced that, if attacked, they would defend themselves with weapons in their hands. As they had thus openly proclaimed themselves outlaws, the commanders of the Government troops, the most noted of whom were Graham of Glaverhouse and Sir Thomas Dalziel, received simple instructions for dealing with their prisoners. If they refused to abjure the “Apologetical Declaration,” they were shot; if they abjured it, they were detained for further examination.

The reign of Charles II, which had begun amid such exuberant manifestations of loyalty, closed amid the gloomy forebodings of every class in the country. “Though we change the governors,” wrote a moderate loyalist, “yet we find no change in the arbitrary government.” No class or order in the country had reason to be satisfied with the policy that had followed the Restoration, in the affairs of either Church or State. Presbyterians, of every shade of opinion had been more stringently treated than in the reigns of James VI or Charles I. Nor had Episcopalians, though their Church had received the sanction of the State, found themselves in a position compatible with the dignity and credit of religion—their clergy in all ranks being the nominees of the Crown, and retaining their charges on the condition of absolute obedience to its mandates. For the trading and commercial classes the reign had been disastrous owing to two principal causes. Free trade with England, which had been enjoyed during the Commonwealth and Protectorate, was abolished at the Restoration, with the result that the country lost its best market for com and cattle. Still more calamitous had been England’s ten years’ war with Holland, which had begun in 1664. Holland had for centuries been the main outlet for Scottish exports, and by the closing of its ports foreign trade was for the time practically annihilated. No class had hailed the Restoration with greater fervour than the nobles; but their hopes also had been disappointed by a policy which had ignored their order as a whole and given places of authority and trust to a favoured few, who were prepared to be the facile instruments of every new fiat of the royal pleasure. When Charles II died on February 6,1685, it was with unhappy memories of the past and grave uneasiness for the future that the nation saw James VII ascend the throne.


1685-7] Accession of James VII.—Argyll’s invasion.


It was an ominous beginning of the new reign, that James on assuming the Crown did not take the Coronation oath—an omission which was made the gravest charge against him at the crisis of his fate. An Indemnity granted at his accession hardly affected the existing situation, as every nonconformist was expressly excluded from its operation. The first year of his reign, indeed, was marked by greater severities against these persons than at any previous period; and among the people who were the principal sufferers it was known as the “Black Year,” the “Killing Time.” On April 23, 1685, James’ first and only Parliament met, with William, Duke of Queensberry, as Commissioner. The chief reason why it had been summoned (so its members were informed in a royal letter) was that it might have an opportunity “of being exemplary to others”—the “others” being the English Parliament which was about to meet. “Exemplary” the Estates proved, and in a high degree. They pledged themselves to provide a national army whenever it was required, voted the excise to the Crown in perpetuity and (most stringent of all measures of the kind) enacted that all persons proved to have attended a conventicle should be punished with death and confiscation.

While the Estates were sitting, an attempt was made to effect a revolution. In concert with the Duke of Monmouth, the Earl of Argyll, who had fled to Holland in the previous reign, had approached the west coast at the head of an armament, in the expectation of being joined by his own clansmen and the disaffected people of the west. In this expectation he was disappointed; and delay and mismanagement on the part of the leaders of the expedition doomed it to failure. Captured at Inchinnan in Renfrewshire, Argyll was conveyed to Edinburgh, where he met the same fate as his father, the Covenanting Marquis. Connected with Argyll’s enterprise is one of the black pages in the national history. As a precautionary measure it was deemed necessary to bestow in a safe place all who were in ward for religious offences. But secure prisons were not numerous in Scotland. About 200 men and women, therefore, were committed to the vaults of Dunnottar Castle in Kincardineshire, and there confined for two months amid conditions which made their lives a prolonged torture. The danger past, the survivors were offered the alternative of recantation or the Plantations: the majority chose the Plantations.

The proceedings in connection with the second session of the Parliament, which met at the end of April, 1687, left the country in no doubt as to James’ ultimate intentions. As Queensberry, the Commissioner of the previous year, had refused to become a Roman Catholic, the office had been conferred on Viscount Melfort who had been more compliant. This in itself was a significant circumstance, but it was a letter from James to the Parliament that raised the gravest alarm. In this letter the Parliament was recommended to repeal the penal laws against his innocent subjects, those of the Roman Catholic religion.” The Estates replied that they would take his recommendation into their “serious and dutiful consideration” and “go as great lengths therein,” as their consciences would allow, but expressed their assurance that “His Majesty will be careful to secure the Protestant religion established by law.” After this rebuff James resolved to have done with Parliaments, and he turned to the Privy Council as the convenient instrument for enforcing his desires. He had in mere courtesy, the Council was informed, requested the Parliament to abolish the penal laws against Roman Catholics; but this request had been wholly unnecessary. The Council was, therefore, commanded to rescind the laws in question, to permit the Catholics the free practice of their religion, and to set apart the Chapel Royal of Holyrood for their special use. Even in the Council, however, there was opposition, and James found it necessary to remove eleven Protestants and to put in their places Catholics, among whom were the Earl of Traquair and the Duke of Gordon.

These were sufficiently clear indications of the object James had in view, and there were other circumstances equally fitted to warn the nation that its religion was in danger. The Lord Chancellor, James, Earl of Perth, and the two Secretaries of State, Viscount Melfort, and Alexander, Earl of Moray, had all become Catholics. A Catholic press was set up in Holyrood under the management of the pamphleteer Sir Roger l’Estrange, and Catholic worship was celebrated in the Chapel. It was not only the Presbyterians who were alarmed at James’ policy; their fears were equally shared by the Episcopalians. The Episcopal clergy of the diocese of Aberdeen, the most intensely Episcopalian part of the kingdom, represented to their Bishop the iniquity of abolishing the penal laws against Roman Catholics; and the Bishop of Dunkeld and the Archbishop of Glasgow were deprived because of their opposition to James’ action. James could not shut his eyes to the storm he was evoking, and to avert it he took the same step as he had found necessary in England. He published three successive Letters of Indulgence, in the last of which he offered freedom of worship to all nonconformists, Protestant and Roman Catholic alike, provided they taught nothing “to alienate the hearts” of his subjects. By the main body of the Presbyterians this last Letter was accepted, and many of them who had fled to Holland now returned to their own country. To the followers of Cameron, however, the Indulgence brought no respite; only a Covenanted king could satisfy their ideal of a State and Church which had the sanction of Heaven. But their deliverance from the dragoons at least was fast approaching, though they were to yield one more victim to the political necessities of the Restoration. In February, 1688, the year that was to prove fatal to the Stewarts, James Renwick, who had succeeded Richard Cameron as the leader of the devoted remnant, was executed in Edinburgh. In his last words from the scaffold he uttered the warning and prophecy that Scotland “must be rid of Scotland before the delivery came”—words which were to be literally fulfilled in the transformation which she was to undergo in the impending revolution.


1688-9] Dethronement of James.


The birth of a Prince of Wales (June 30,1688), which involved a Catholic succession and the eventual dominion of Rome, raised the same forebodings in Scotland as in England. England was now tinning to William of Orange as a deliverer, and in William Scotland also saw her best hope. It was on September 18 that the news of his coming was received; on December 18 William was in Whitehall. Without a struggle James’ authority came to an end in Scotland, and for a time law was in abeyance. The Catholic Chapel in Holyrood was sacked by the Edinburgh populace, and the Presbyterians of the west “rabbled” and evicted the obnoxious King’s curates with a harshness which showed that their own sufferings had not taught them charity. At length, on the petition of about thirty nobles and eighty gentlemen, William issued a summons for the meeting of the Estates, which duly assembled on March 14, 1689, with a decisive majority in favour of the Revolution. Without and within the Convention, the situation showed that the country was at a turning-point in its destinies. The Castle of Edinburgh was held for James by the Duke of Gordon; and Graham of Claverhouse, now Viscount Dundee, had come down from London at the head of a troop of sixty horse, prepared to act for the exiled King. On their part the supporters of William had introduced armed men from the west to be ready for battle if the occasion should arise. Unmolested, however, the Convention proceeded with the momentous business for which it had met; and its action proved that the cause of William was in the ascendant. By a majority of fifteen the Duke of Hamilton was chosen President; and, when two days after, letters came from William and James, William’s was at once read, while before James’ was opened it was voted that nothing it contained should invalidate the Convention.

On April 11 the House agreed to a formal “Declaration,” consisting of two parts—a Claim of Right, and an offer of the Crown to William and Mary. The Claim asserted that the Estates had the constitutional right to dethrone a ruler who had violated the laws of the kingdom; and it was found that in fifteen cases James had infringed the constitution. On these grounds he was declared to have “forefaulted” the throne; and representatives were commissioned to proceed to London and make formal offer of the Scottish Crown to William and Mary. The ceremony was held at Whitehall on May 11, when William and Mary took the Coronation Oath which James had ignored. To one of its clauses, which bound the sovereign to be “careful to root out all heretics,” William raised a demur; but the words were explained to his satisfaction, and that they could be so explained significantly denoted the fact that a new age had begun. Thus Scotland had cast out her native prince—the 109th of his line, as was her proud boast to the nations. In widely different circumstances and with widely different results, the same national inspiration had dethroned James as had over­thrown his father. It was the dread of Rome that had inspired the revolt against Charles I, and it was the same dread that had brought disaster to his son. With the Revolution the spectre of Rome ceased to haunt the spirit of the nation, and new cares and new interests were henceforth to determine its future destinies.

In ascending the throne of Scotland William had not behind him the general popular enthusiasm which had hailed Charles II at the Restoration. The first Parliament of Charles was virtually unanimous, and in the exuberance of its loyalty gave its sanction to all the royal measures. Very different was the temper of the first Parliament of William. It was not thought prudent to risk a new election; and the Convention that had dethroned James was continued as a Parliament under the new King. To the chagrin of the Duke of Hamilton, who had been President of the Convention, his place was given to the Earl of Crawford, an ardent Presbyterian. With him, for the management of business, was associated as Lord Advocate Sir James Dalrymple, who had no preference for any form of polity, whether in Church or State, but was simply a statesman of cold, clear, and large intelligence. That William associated these two men as his representatives shows that he saw the necessity of a tentative policy. On Dalrymple devolved the task of upholding the rights of the Crown, which William was fully resolved to maintain. The Parliament met in June, 1689; and Dalrymple found that all his great powers would be taxed to secure his master’s interests. Three different sections in the House were bent on giving trouble— Jacobites, who desired the recall of James, Whigs who aimed at curtailing the royal prerogative, and a body of dissatisfied politicians, who came to be known as the Club or the Country Party, ready to play fast and loose, as opportunity offered. It was on the mode of electing the Lords of the Articles that the opposition was mainly concentrated. The later Stewart Kings had virtually assumed the privilege of appointing these officials and thus made themselves masters of the Parliament. William in his instructions offered a remedy for this grievance; instead of twenty-four Lords there should be thirty-three, of whom the Estates, from which the Bishops were excluded as the result of the Revolution, should each choose eleven—the remainder to be made up from officers of State without election. The Opposition refused to accept the compromise, and the question remained in abeyance. But the main concern of the session was the settlement of the question whether Presbyterianism or Episcopacy was to be the national Church. William’s recommendation was that, if the Presbyterians proved the predominant body in the nation, theirs should be the chosen Church. The decision at which the Parliament actually arrived showed the uncertainty of the public mind. Episcopacy was abolished, but Presbyterianism was not put in its place— .a conclusion which cut off the hopes of the one party and could not satisfy the other.


1689-90] Killiecrankie.—Establishment of Presbyterianism


While Parliament was still sitting, the supporters of James made a bold stroke for his restoration. The hero of the adventure was Viscount Dundee, whom both his instincts and his interests attached to the House of Stewart. In the Highlands, henceforward to be the stronghold of Jacobite hopes, he succeeded in collecting a force with which he threatened to descend into the Lowland country. Met at Killiecrankie (July 27) by General Mackay, he fell in the hour of a brilliant victory, and, as there was no one equal to carrying on his enterprise, the danger to the Government passed as quickly as it had arisen.

The Government was safe from immediate danger; but the most critical question with which it had to deal—the settlement of religion—had yet to be faced. The predominance of national feeling in favour of Presbyterianism was not so decisive as to make it clear which form of polity should receive the preference. Moreover, the difficulties of William and his advisers were increased by the fact that the Church of England had declared her resolution to stand or fall with her sister Church in Scotland. In his uncertainty William took the advice of one who of all men was best fitted to give it—William Carstares, a Presbyterian minister who had been exiled in the reign of Charles II, and had made William’s acquaintance in Holland. Mainly on the counsel of Carstares, William resolved to establish Presbyterianism as the national Church; and with this object the Parliament met in its second session (1690). The same parties appeared as in the previous year; but the extreme Whigs were conciliated by the abolition of the Lords of the Articles; and the Government succeeded in giving effect to its ecclesiastical measures. The assumption of the later Stewarts that the King was “supreme over all persons and in all causes ecclesiastical” was declared unconstitutional; sixty ministers, the survivors of those who had been ejected since 1661, were restored to their parishes; and Presbyterianism was established as the national Church. Finally, against the wishes of William, patronage was annulled and the right of electing ministers conferred on the congregations.

In spite of the sanction which had thus been given to Presbyterianism, it was with grave apprehensions that William and his advisers looked forward to the meeting of the General Assembly, which had been fixed for the following October. It was the first Assembly since that which had been broken up by the officials of the Commonwealth in 1653; and the natural dread was that the now triumphant Presbyterians would mete out such treatment to the Episcopalians as might endanger the peace of the country. A hundred and eighty members, laymen and divines, appeared on the appointed day, but among them were none from the north—the stronghold of Episcopacy; and, though three Cameronian ministers were received at their own express desire, they did not represent the majority of that body, to whom the Revolution Settlement was an unblessed compromise. The main business of the Assembly was to make arrange­ments for setting the new Church in order; and with this object it appointed two Commissioners, one for the north and the other for the south of the river Tay. The duty of the Commissioners was to restore church order and to extrude such ministers, Presbyterians and Episcopalians alike, as failed to give satisfaction in their doctrines and practices.

The Commissioner for the south had a comparatively easy task, as there he had the sympathy of clergy and people; but in the Episcopalian north the work of purification met with determined opposition, and so harsh were the measures employed that the Government had to control the zeal of the inquisition.


Massacre of Glencoe. [1692


So far as the Lowland country was concerned, the Government had no reason to fear a serious rising in favour of the exiled King; but in the Highlands there were symptoms of unrest which demanded vigorous measures if the public peace was to be secure. For various reasons the sympathies of many of the Highland chiefs went with the Stewart. James, we have seen, had, while Commissioner under his brother, made a special effort to conciliate them; and in the eyes of the chiefs of the west, the ascendancy of the House of Argyll, assured by the Revolution, was a hateful fact that made them the natural enemies of the new Government. As the disaffected chiefs were led to believe that a French armament was about to arrive in the interests of James, their attitude became more and more menacing; and it was necessary to take measures to avert a probable rising.

First, as a means of conciliating the impecunious chiefs, over £12,000 was distributed among them, but with so little effect that Dalrymple was in doubt whether the money would not have been better employed “to settle the Highlands or to ravage them.” This measure having failed, an order was issued commanding all chiefs who had not yet done so to take the oath of allegiance by January 1,1692, under “the utmost penalty of the law.” All the chiefs took the oath by the prescribed date except Macdonald of Glencoe, who in bravado postponed the obnoxious act till the day of grace was past. As in Dalrymple’s opinion the Clan Macdonald was “the worst in all the Highlands,” he resolved, with unconcealed satisfaction, that it should be made an example of what the Government could effect against its enemies. Through his action as prime mover, a troop of a hundred and twenty men were quartered in the vale of Glencoe, and were hospitably entertained by the inhabitants for nearly a fortnight. On the morning of February 13, the errand of blood on which they had come was accomplished. The chief and thirty-seven of his clan were butchered, and the remainder escaped massacre only through the darkness of the morning and the neighbourhood of the hills. Had the Massacre of Glencoe occurred at any period previous to the Revolution, it would have been regarded merely as another of the long list of atrocities recorded in Highland history; but it was the interest of the Jacobites to stigmatise the existing Government, and at home and abroad they denounced the crime as an example of the iniquity of which it was capable. It was against Dalrymple, detested for other reasons, that the clamour was loudest; and, though William himself had signed the letters of fire and sword against the Macdonalds, he was at length (1695) constrained to grant a commission for an enquiry. As its result, Dalrymple resigned his office of Secretary, and remained in privacy till the next reign, when his remarkable gifts were to be signally displayed in the service of his country.

The great problem for William in the government of Scotland was to conciliate the Episcopalians who composed such a formidable body of his subjects. On the loyalty of the Presbyterians he could securely reckon, since, however they might grumble and protest, they would in no event find it their interest to prefer the Stewart to himself. The Episcopalians, on the other hand, who had lost their status through his accession and had no prospect of recovering it, were his natural enemies, and their one aim must be to undo the Revolution. It was thus evidently William’s interest ,to make their position as tolerable as was consistent with the maintenance of his own authority. In 1693 the Parliament again met—the first time since 1690; and his representatives succeeded in carrying two measures intended to improve the existing situation. From the peculiar tenure by which William held the Crown the Jacobites had found a convenient ambiguity in the terms of the Oath of Allegiance: they might swear that he was King in fact, but with the mental reservation that he was not King of right. To remove the ambiguity it was enacted that to the Oath of Allegiance there should be added an “Assurance” affirming that William was King of right as well as in fact. It reveals the difficulty of William’s position that the “Assurance” was as obnoxious to the Presbyterians as to the Episcopalians against whom it was specially aimed; in the eyes of the former the exaction of such a pledge was an assumption of the Crown over the Church which had been the damning offence of William’s predecessors. The other important Act of the session equally failed in its object of improving the ecclesiastical situation. By the terms of this Act all ministers were to be admitted into the national Church who should subscribe the Confession of Faith, the Oath of Allegiance, and the Assurance. To the Presbyterians the Act seemed only a deep-laid scheme to swamp the Church with Episcopalians, and to the Episcopalians the conditions it offered were incompatible at once with their principles and their aspirations. Thus abortive proved William’s well-meant scheme of comprehension, and alike for religion and the State its failure was to be a national disaster in the years that were to come.


The Darien Expedition. [1695-17oo


The last important event of William’s reign was one which is written large in Scottish annals and, in its origin and its effects, is to be regarded as one of the most significant in the national history. In the process of public affairs since the Revolution, it had become evident that a new spirit reigned in the councils of the statesmen who were responsible for the conduct of the country; and in no sphere of their action had the change been more conspicuous than in their settlement of religion. The framers of the Solemn League and Covenant had sought to impose Presbytery on the three nations on the ground that it was the one form of polity which had the sanction of Heaven; the authors of the Revolution Settlement had established. Presbytery as the national Church, because it was the most expedient policy in the interests of the new regime. Thus in the minds of statesmen secular had overridden theological considerations; and it was now to be proved that a similar change had come over the spirit of the nation. In the year 1695 James Paterson brought forward his scheme for the founding of a Scottish colony on the Isthmus of Darien : the scheme received the sanction of the Scottish Parliament and of the King; and subscriptions were promised from Holland, always on good terms with Scotland, and at first from London. But the enterprise, so promisingly begun, evoked the commercial jealousy of English traders; and, to the bitter indignation of the Scots, William was persuaded to withdraw his sanction. Thrown upon their own resources, the promoters of the scheme in Scotland appealed to their own countrymen; subscription lists were opened, and the response by all ranks and classes of the nation recalled the days of the signing of the National Covenant. The enterprise thus launched proved a temporary national calamity. A pestilential climate, the active opposition of the English merchants, and the hostility of the Spaniards, who claimed possession of the Isthmus, baffled the efforts of the colonists to effect a settlement; and three successive expeditions experienced the same fate. The immediate result of the tragical failure of what was a national enterprise was exasperation against William and England; and this remained an abiding feeling to the close of the reign. But in the national development the Darien scheme has a wider significance. That the nation which for a century and a half had been dominated by theological interests should have thrown itself with such enthusiasm into a purely secular enterprise was a striking proof that a revolution had been wrought in the public mind. Scotland, following the example of other countries in Europe, had in fact entered on a stage of development in which material interests had become the prime consideration, alike in her foreign relations and in her internal economy.

Such being now the dominant national preoccupation, the result of the Darien scheme could not but suggest to responsible statesmen both in England and Scotland that the existing relations of both countries could not remain as they were—that complete separation or a closer union lay in the necessity of things. During the closing years of William’s reign the state of opinion in Scotland pointed to the former alternative as the more probable event. Yet amid all the clamour against William and the English there was one consideration that held the majority of the nation fast to the Revolution Settlement—the dread of the return of the Stewart with absolutism and Roman Catholicism as its inevitable result. A common Protestantism, a common political ideal, and common material interests, on the one hand, and national sentiment and national antipathies, on the other—between these warring forces the two nations had to decide whether their destinies were to lie apart or to be joined in indissoluble union.


1702-3] Accession of Anne.—Meeting of Estates.


Throughout the reign of Anne (1702-14) the dominant concern of Scotland was the Union—first, as an impending and, afterwards, as an accomplished fact. It had been the dying counsel of William that, in the interest of both countries, the Union should be effected at the earliest date possible; and, as it chanced, the Tory Queen Anne was of the same opinion as her Whig predecessor. Anne’s first action in Scottish affairs decisively showed that she and her advisers had the great object at heart. In her first speech to the English Parliament she expressly suggested that Commissioners from both countries should be appointed to treat regarding the conditions under which the Union might be accomplished. The Commissioners were actually appointed (1702); but public opinion in neither country was sufficiently ripe for the momentous transaction, and their meetings led to no immediate result. It was the proceedings in the successive sessions of the Scottish Parliament which at length convinced both nations that there was no other alternative than complete severance or closer union.

By an Act of the previous reign (1696), similar to one passed in the Parliament of England, it had been settled that the existing Parliament should meet twenty days after the King’s death, and should continue to sit for six months thereafter. As the Parliament did not meet within the prescribed period, the Duke of Hamilton protested that it could not be held a legal body; and, at the head of fifty-seven members, he marched out of the House. The members who remained, a hundred and twenty in number and contemptuously nicknamed the “Rump,” were virtually unanimous in passing a succession of Whig measures, and, what is specially noteworthy, in response to the Queen’s request desired her to nominate Scottish Commissioners to treat regarding union with a similar body representing England. But it was not this Parliament that was to have the responsibility of consummating the Treaty of Union. In 1703 a new Parliament was returned—the first elected since 1689, and destined to be the last in its succession. In the previous year the English Bill against Occasional Conformity, which would have deprived Dissenters of civic status, had been introduced into the English Parliament; and, though it was defeated by the Lords, it had been ardently supported by the Commons. In the eyes of the Scottish Presbyterians the approval which the Bill had received could only portend the eventual triumph of Episcopacy in both countries; and to avert the dreaded event they spared no effort to secure a majority in the new Parliament. Their efforts were successful, and it was a Parliament with a Whig and Presbyterian majority that carried the Union. This was to be its great achievement; but its action during its three antecedent sessions gave little promise of such a result. The one motive animating all parties was hostility to England and the determination to let her know that Scotland was an independent kingdom. The Duke of Queensberry, who was continued as Commissioner in the new Parliament, was instructed in the first place to obtain a grant of supply, and, next, to secure the passing of an Act of Settlement similar to the English Act which devolved the Crown on the Electress Sophia and her heirs. In neither object did he succeed; what the Parliament did, Whig and Tory agreeing, was to pass an Act of Security, which declared that, twenty days after the death of the reigning sovereign without issue, the Estates were to name a successor who should be a Protestant and a descendant of the House of Stewart: whoever this successor might be, he or she must not be the person designated by the Parliament of England unless under conditions that secured to Scotland complete freedom of government, religion, and trade. To such an Act, which virtually declared Scotland an independent kingdom, the Government could not give its sanction; and the session closed amid mutual recrimination between the Commissioner and the House.

When this refractory Parliament met in the following year (1704), the new Commissioner, the Marquis of Tweeddale, found it as resolute as ever to have its own way: no supply would be granted till the Act of Security received the royal sanction. As the less of two evils, Godolphin, the English Treasurer, advised the Queen to yield; and the Act was passed. It was intended as a defiance to England, but by the irony of events it was the chief immediate cause in furthering union. As a direct reply to Scotland’s challenge, the Tory House of Lords and the Whig House of Commons passed an Act which declared that, unless the Crown of Scotland were settled by Christmas Day, 1705, all Scotsmen would be declared aliens and the importation of Scottish commodities prohibited. By the same Act, however, the Queen was empowered to appoint Com­missioners to negotiate a union between the two countries, never less disposed to fraternal feelings than at this moment. But the threat contained in the English Alien Act had the desired result. The Scottish Estates were satisfied with having asserted the national feeling in the Act of Security; and, when they met in the following year (1705) under the presidency of the Earl of Argyll, they passed an “Act for a Treaty with England,” by which the Queen was desired to appoint Commissioners to negotiate the terms on which the union might be concluded.

The two Commissions, each consisting of thirty-one representatives, met on April 16, 1706, and in nine weeks accomplished a task which in the opinion of the majority of both nations had seemed “a chimera of the English ministry.” By the terms of the proposed Treaty, as it finally emerged from their hands, the two kingdoms were to be united under the name of Great Britain; the United Kingdom was to be represented by one Parliament; and the Crown was to devolve on the House of Hanover in accordance with the English Act of Settlement. There was to be complete freedom of trade between the two countries, both at home and abroad; in the case of certain commodities—malt, salt, stamped paper, vellum and parchment, etc., Scotland was for a time to be partially exempt from duties; and her proportion of the land-tax was to be one-fortieth of that of England. In compensation for her losses at the hands of various English trading companies and of her share in England’s national debt, she was to receive an “equivalent” of £398,085. 10s. 0d., which was to be expended in recouping the parties who had suffered these losses and in encouraging trade and industry.

In the United Parliament sixteen Scottish peers, elected by their own body, were to sit in the House of Lords, and forty-five Scottish members in the House of Commons. Scotland was to retain her own Courts of Law, with the addition of a Court of Exchequer which was to deal exclusively with fiscal questions. The privileges of the Royal Burghs and the feudal jurisdictions of the nobles were to remain intact; and, finally, as sign and symbol of the completed union, the arms of the two countries were to be conjoined, as her Majesty saw fit, on “all flags, banners, standards, and ensigns both at sea and land.”

The Articles, as drafted by the two Commissions, had now to receive the sanction of the Parliaments of both countries, and, as the greatest opposition was anticipated from the Parliament of Scotland, it was deemed prudent that it should first sit in judgment on the Treaty. The last of Scottish Parliaments, it met in its last session on October 3, 1706, with Queensberry as Commissioner, Lord Seafield as Chancellor, and the Earl of Mar as Secretary of State. In the teeth of a hostility which threatened civil war, the Government addressed itself to the task of passing the Treaty into law. From the Convention of Burghs and from every royal burgh except Ayr, petitions poured in, denouncing the proposed union; in Edinburgh and Glasgow there were open riots, and at Dumfries the Treaty was publicly burned. It was from the national Church, which dreaded union as inevitably involving the ruin of Presby­tery, that the most dangerous opposition was anticipated; but its leaders were appeased by an Act of Security which guaranteed the existing establishment “to continue without any alteration to the people of this land to all generations.” Opposed at almost every step by the different parties in the House, the Articles were at length successfully carried without essential modification; and on January 16,1707, Queensberry touched the Act of Union with the royal sceptre, and at the same time, as inviolably bound up with it, the Act for the security of the national Church. In the English Parliament, the Articles had met with little opposition, and on March 6 the Queen gave the royal assent to the Act in the presence of the Lords and Commons.

The Treaty of Union, which had thus been sanctioned by the Parliaments of both nations, was not to result in immediate and fraternal operation. How the Treaty was regarded by the general educated opinion of Scotland, it is difficult to determine; for, as a leading Jacobite of the time admitted, the petitions against it were in general inspired and even manufactured by the Jacobite party. By the mass of the people, influenced by national sentiment and traditional dislike of England, it was long considered as a disgraceful transaction—the work of venal statesmen and traitors to their country. And in the years that immediately followed there was not a class which did not find ground for alarm in the treatment it received from a legislature in which English influence was necessarily predominant. The nobility were irritated by what they considered infringements of their order; the Church saw in an Act that restored patronage a deliberate intention of reviving Episco­pacy; the traders and merchants were exasperated by taxation which they declared to be at once unjust and a breach of the Treaty of Union. Not till towards the middle of the eighteenth century did the national prosperity become so apparent as to convince the majority of Scotsmen that the Union had been a necessity and a blessing. The preeminent advantage that Union brought to both countries, had, indeed, been the same—strength and security as the result of their combined resources. Had Scotland become an independent kingdom retaining her ancient traditions, England would have been seriously crippled in the course she was to run. On the other hand, Scotland, to hold her own in the conflict of material interests in which the nations were now engaged, would have required a fleet and an army, the maintenance of which would have overstrained her resources and permanently retarded their development. Relieved from this necessity and no longer dominated by theological preoccupations, she was at liberty to pursue the new paths on which she had entered at the Revolution; and it was only these new conditions that rendered possible her growth in material prosperity and her contribution to the world’s thought, which make the close of the eighteenth century the most distinguished period in her annals.