In a LETTER to a Friend.

Non potuit meamens, quinesset gratia teneri,
Sit, precor, officio non gravis ira pio.

LONDON: Printed for M. COOPER, at the Globe in Pater­noster-row. 1748.



YOU inform me that you had great Curiosity to be acquainted with all Provost Stewart's Story, and the Circumstances of his Conduct in Edinburgh, when that City was taken by the Re­bels in 1745: And that having got Copies of the In formations for and against him, you had been frightened from the Perusal of them by the Sight of two such long Law Papers, which, you im­agined, must be full of Citations and technical Terms, and abstract Reasonings, of which you are wholly ignorant. But allow me to tell you, your Delicacy is very ill founded. I shall say no­thing of the Information against him; and I doubt not, but, as it was drawn by a Lawyer of known Capacity, it is as good as the Subject would admit [Page 4] of. But the Information for him is really an ex­tream good Paper, and worthy of your Perusal. And could you doubt of it, when you know the Importance of the Cause, the Expectations of the Publick, and above all, when you saw, at the Foot, the Gentleman's Name who com­posed it?*

You desire me to give you an Abstract of the Story, in more familiar Terms, and in a Form, which would give you less Trouble to compre­hend it. I must own, I would not indulge your Laziness so far, at the Expence of my own, were it not that I had great Obligations to Mr. Stewart, as well as a great personal Regard for him; and am desirous of putting his Cause in a just Light to you, who had once been so far seduced by Ca­lumny and vulgar Reports, as to have entertained some Doubts of his Innocence.

Your former Prejudices are not at all surprize­ing. Whatever general Contempt we may en­tertain for popular Rumours, 'tis difficult, when they come full upon us, not to lend, at first, some Attention to them; and they fortify them­selves with so many Stories, and such numerous Circumstances, that it becomes difficult, at last, not to give even some Credit to them. But here is Mr. Stewart's Advantage, which he has now happily attained, after suffering the greatest Hard­ships, and after the most tedious Delays: He is placed before a Court of Judicature. His Ca­lumniators must cease their furious Obloquy and loose Accusations, and harken to the more sober Voice of his Prosecutors. These have reduced their Charge to Article and Proposition, which [Page 5] they are engaged to prove and defend. He has had an Opportunity to answer; and his Answer is so good, so solid, so convincing, that the good­natured Mob begin to retract their Calumnies; and even the furious Zealots confess with Regret, that he has been so cunning and sagacious, as to screen himself from all legal Proof and Punishment: The utmost Confession, surely, you will ever ex­pect from them.

As often as I heard this Subject handled in Con­versation (and nothing else almost was talked of for some time) I desired only every zealous De­claimer to consider the Force of the Garrison which the Provost commanded, and the Strength of the Place he was to defend. These are surely very obvious Considerations, and yet few People ever entered into them, otherwise it were impos­sible for such ridiculous Calumnies to have made such strong and durable Impressions. Let us run over them a little, in order to set the Matter in a just Light. This may lead us into some general, as well as particular Topics, that may not be un­instructive or unentertaining.

The great Difference betwixt the State of this Island at present, and what it was a few Centuries ago, is obvious to every one. At that time, the whole Defence of both Kingdoms was trusted to the People; who, tho' they received no Pay, yet never neglected the Use of Arms; tho' disperst in their own Houses, yet lived under a regular military Subordination to their Superiors and Chieftains; and tho' obliged to labour for their Subsistance, considered, all of them, their civil Occupations as a Drudgery they submit­ted to from mere Necessity, but regarded their [Page 6] military Atchievements as the only Source of Ho­nour and Glory. What Actions of desperate Valour have been performed by such Troops, and what well-disputed Fields they have fought, is known to every one that has the least Ac­quaintance with the History of this or of any other Nation. And the Behaviour of the present Highlander, who preserves but a small Part of these ancient Institutions, may set the Matter still more strongly before us.

The Highlanders are altogether as ignorant of Discipline as the Low-Country Ploughmen, and know as little the Nature of Encamp­ments, Marches, Ranks, Evolutions, Firing, and all the other Parts of military Exercise, which preserves Order in an Army, and renders it so formidable. They advance to Battle in a confused Heap, which some People have been pleased to call a Column: They can use no Weapon but the Broad-Sword, which gives not one Wound in ten that is mortal, and obliges each Combatant to occupy double the Ground that would suffice, did he employ the Pushing-Sword or the Bayonet. And they be­come weaker by their Victories; while they disperse to their Homes, in order to secure the Plunder they have acquired: But still, as long as they retain a devoted Obedience to their Chiestain, who is their Officer, and value them­selves upon military Courage above all Endow­ments, they can never justly be regarded as a contemptible Enemy.

When Men have fallen into a more civi­lized Life, and have been allowed to addict themselves entirely to the Cultivation of Arts [Page 7] and Manufactures, the Habit of their Mind, still more than that of their Body, soon ren­ders them entirely unfit for the Use of Arms, and gives a different Direction to their Am­bition. Every Man is then desirous to excel his Neighbour in Riches or Address, and laugh at the Imputation of Cowardice or Effemi­nacy. But the barbarous Highlander, living chiefly by Pasturage, has Leisure to cultivate the Ideas of military Honour; and hearing of nought else but the noble Exploits of his Tribe or Clan, and the renowned Heroes of his Li­neage, he soon fancies that he himself is born a Hero as well as a Gentleman. The Songs recited at their Festivals, the Fables transmit­ted from their Ancestors, the continual Strain of their Conversation; all this nourishes their martial Spirit, and renders them, from their Cradle, compleat Soldiers in every thing but the Knowledge of Discipline.

In the antient Civil Wars of Scotland, we find that the Highland Families were always of little Weight on either Side, and that the Battles were decided entirely by the Douglasses, Carrs, Humes, and the other Low-Country Borderers; who, preserving the same Manners and Institu­tions with their Countrymen in the Mountains, had acquired a superior Address and Bravery, by their frequent Skirmishes and Battles with the English.

We also find, that when all the Highlanders joined to all the Lowlanders, much more nume­rous and brave than they, invaded England, under the legal Authority of their Prince or Sovereign, that Nation were so far from being alarmed at the Storm, that it scarce sufficed to rouse them from their [Page 8] Indolence and Repose. The Militia of the Nor­thern Counties was commonly strong enough to repel the Invaders; and the Inhabitants of London, when Battles were fought in Northumberland, or the Bishoprick of Durham (for our Ancestors seldom advanced farther) heard of these Combats with as great Security, as now they read of the Wars betwixt the Persians and the Indians. 'Twas only when an ambitious Prince, like Ed­ward the First or Third, undertook the Conquest of Scotland, that the whole Force of England was mustered up against us.

But now, (how can we think of it without Shame and Indignation?) when not above a fifth Part of these miserable Highlanders (who are no braver than their Ancestors) rose in Rebel­lion, they trampled down the whole Low-Coun­tries, who were generally averse to their Cause, and whose Ancestors could have dissipated twenty times the Force of such Barbarians: They ad­vanced into the middle of England, without meeting any Resistance: They threw a prodigi­ous Alarm into the Capital itself, the greatest City in the Universe; they shook and rent the whole Fabrick of the Government, and the whole System of Credit on which it was built. And tho' there were three regular Armies in England, each of them much more numerous than they, they retreated back into their own Country; and still maintained their Ground. Nor can any reasonable Man doubt, that if these Armies had been removed, eight Mil­lions of People must have been subdued and reduced to Slavery by five Thousand, the bravest, but still the most worthless amongst them.

[Page 9] I shall never forget the Conversation on these Events, I had at that time with a Swiss Gentle­man, that could not sufficiently admire how so great a People, who really are Lords of the O­cean, and who boast of holding in their Hand the Ballance of Power in Europe, could be so im­potent and defenceless against so mean a Foe. Let those Highlanders, says he, have invaded my Country, and the Militia of three Swiss Parishes would have repelled, what the whole Force of your three Kingdoms is scarce able to master. And if we allow only a Battalion to a Parish (which seems reasonable in so populous a Country, and where every Man is disciplined) we shall find that this Boast contains no Exaggeration, but a seri­ous, and, to us, a very melancholy Truth.

Since then, the Disposition and Discipline of this Age and Nation is such; what reasonable Man could be surprized to hear, that the Rebels had become Masters of Edinburgh, while it was not defended, but deserted by its timid Inhabi­tants. Methinks, we should at first have ex­pected that Event as firmly as that they would enter Kelso, Penrith, or any defenceless open Vil­lage that lay upon their Road. I might add Lon­don to the Number, and suppose only, that the Rebels had advanced from Derby, and that Lord Stair, instead of encamping on Finchly Common, had led his Army down to Exeter or Plymouth. Would my Lord Mayor, who commands near a Million * of People, have ventured to give them the smallest Opposition; or, like a Drawcan­sir, have stood alone in their way, armed with [Page 10] his Mace and great Cap of Maintenance? For I take it for granted, that every Mortal, Citizen and Courtier, Laity and Clergy, Man and Wo­man, old and young, would have deserted him.

I wish his Majesty would be pleased to ho­nour me with the Command of either of the Highland Battalions, and that I had some honest Jesuitical Clergyman to lay my Scruples; I should think it a very easy Exploit to march them from Dover to Inverness, rob the Bank of England in my Way, and carry my Spoils, with­out Interruption, thro' the whole Nation; pro­vided the Army were disposed to continue mere Spectators of my Prowess.

To tell the Truth, one of the Persons whom I should be the most sorry to meet with on my Road, would be Mr. Stewart. For by all that I can learn of his Conduct, he acted the Part of so vigilant, active, and even brave a Migi­strate (so far as he was tried) that he might create me some Trouble: But still, if his Force was no greater than what it was during the last Rebel­lion, he would not be able to give me any great Interruption.

Let us ennumerate that Force, in order to judge the better of it, and determine whether it was likely to resist the Rebels. We shall surely find a List of Heroes equal to those of which Homer, has given us a Catalogue, if not in his Illiad, at least in his Batrachomyomachia, or Battle of the Frogs and Mice.

There were of the Town Guards ninety six Men, augmented at that Time to 126. These are rather elderly Men, but pretty well dis­ciplined; and indeed, the only real Force the Provost was Master of. The rest were, in a [Page 11] Word, undisciplined Britons, which implies just as formidable an Idea as undisciplined Romans, or undisciplined Indians. They were nominally di­vided into the Trained-Bands, the Edinburgh Re­giment, and the Volunteers. But this Division was really what the Schoolmen call a Distinction without a Difference. For with Regard to mi­litary Prowess, they were much the same.

As to the Trained-Bands,* in what Condi­tion that formidable Body may be in at present, or might have been in, at the time of the Rebel­lion, I cannot tell; but I remember, when I was a Boy, I had a very contemptible Idea of their Courage. For as they were usually drawn out on Birth Days, and marched up through the main Street, it was very common for any of them, that was bolder than usual, and would give him­self Airs before his Wife or Mistress, to fire his Piece, in the Street, without any Authority or Command from his Officers. But I always ob­served, that they shut their Eyes, before they ven­tured on this military, Exploit; and I, who had at that time been accustomed to fire at Rooks and Magpyes, was very much diverted with their Timorousness. However, I question not, but there are many very honest substantial Tradesmen amongst them, and as long as that is granted, I suppose they will allow any one to make as merry as he pleases with their mili­tary Character.

[Page 12] His Majesty's Warrant to raise the Edinburgh Regiment was not delivered to the Provost, till the 9th of September, seven Days before the Re­bels entered the Town. The oldest enlisted, therefore, were now Veteran Troops of seven Days standing: the youngest not less than a Quarter of an Hour. Their Number might amount to about 300. I am told, that their Appearance resembled very much that of Fal­staff's Tatterdemallion Company, which his Friend supposed he had leviod by unloading the Gibbets and pressing the dead Bodies. But the merry Knight defended his Company, by saying, Tut, mortal Men, mortal Men, good enough to toss, Food for Powder. Tho' it is my humble Opinion, that had the Mortality of the Regiment abovementioned depended on their being Food for Powder, they would have deserved the Epithet of the immortal Body, as much as the King of Persia's Guards, who, as Herodotus tells us, were dignified with that Appellation. But not to be too hard upo [...] our Countrymen, I shall allow, that notwithstanding their Pover­ty, they would have behaved as well as the Million Regiment of London, so called from the Property of the Soldiers, which, it seems, a­mounted to that Sum.

The Volunteers, who come next, to the Number of 400, and close the Rear, the Post of Honour in all Retreats, will, perhaps, expect to be treated with greater Gravity and Respect: And no doubt they deserve it, were it only for their well meant Endeavours in De­fence of their King and Country. As to their Discipline and Experience, it was much the same with that of the others. I need not add [Page 13] their Courage: For these are Points almost inseparable. Religious Zeal makes a mighty Addition to Discipline; but is of no Moment when alone. Cromwell's Enthusiasts conquered all the Nobility and Gentry of England; and at the Battle of Dunkirk struck the French and Spaniards with Admiration, even under a Tu­renne and a Condé. But their Brethren at Bothwell-Bridge fled before they came within Sight of the Enemy. Which of these Ex­amples our Volunteers were most likely to imitate, I leave to their own Conscience to determine. A Friend of mine, who has a poe­tical Genius, has made a Description of their March from the Lawn-Market to the West-Port, when they went out to meet the Rebels; and has invented a very magnificent Simile to illus­trate it. He compares it to the Course of the Rhine, which rolling pompously it Waves through fertile Fields, instead of augmenting in its Course, is continually drawn off by a thou­sand Canals, and, at last, becomes a small Rivu­let, which loses itself in the Sand before it reaches the Ocean.

Such were the Forces over whom the Pro­vost had some Authority. His Auxiliaries were two Regiments of Dragoons, under Mr. F [...] then a Brigadier General, now hap­pily a Major General, in his Majesty's Service. Of what Importance these were to the De­fence of the Town, shall be considered after­wards.

I remember Cardinal de Retz says, that a great Prince made very merry with the new levied Troops of Paris, during the Civil Wars; and when he mentioned the Defence that [Page 14] might be expected from the City against the King's Troops, usually called it, La guerre des pots de chambre, The War of the Chamber-pots. As it is well known, that a Chamber-pot is a very formidable Machine in Edinburgh, I won­der it has not been comprized amongst Pro­vost Stewart's Forces; at least, amongst his Auxiliaries, in Conjunction with the rest above­mentioned.

Having thus given a faithful Account of the Garrison, let us now bestow some Considerations on the Place, the Defence of which was expec­ted from Mr. Stewart, and which he is supposed to have lost by Negligence or bad Intentions. A weak or no Garrison, in a Place weakly forti­fied, or not fortified at all, must be the Con­summation of all Weakness. We are forbid by Philosophy to seek for more Causes then are re­quisite to explain any Phaenomenon. And I think it will fairly be allowed, that if these two Circumstances are admitted, 'twill be quite super­fluous to have recourse to a third, viz. a weak or a treacherous Governor, in order to account for the Surrender of the Place.

You know, that the City of Edinburgh is sur­rounded for the greatest part, by a plain Wall about twenty Foot high, where highest, and a­bout two and a half or three Foot thick, where thickest. It is not, in many Places, flanked by any Bastions: It has not Strength or Thickness enough to bear Cannon. The Besieged would not even have room to handle or charge their Pieces; but must be set up aloft as Marks to the Enemy, who can annoy them infinitely more and receive less Harm from them, than if both stood in an open Field.

[Page 15] You know, that this Wall, tho' near two Miles in Length, surrounds not the whole Town, but is supplied on the North by a Lake which is fordable in many Places.

You know, that this Wall, for a very con­siderable Space, is overlooked by Houses, which stand within five or six Paces of it, and which it was impossible to destroy because of their Num­ber and Value.

The Town is supplied with Water entirely by Pipes. Its Bread is even, strictly speaking, its daily Bread. For the Bakers never have by them more Flower than serves them a Day, but bring it continually from their Milns on the Water of Leith, as Occasion requires.

Besides, as happens in all Civil Wars, there were so many disaffected Persons in Town, that had it been held out but for three Hours (which indeed was impossible) it was justly feared, that it would have been set on fire from within, in order to facilitate the Entry of the Rebels; nay, it was easily possible for the Rebels themselves to set fire to it from without, and force it, by that means, to a speedy Surrender.

It is obvious to every one, however igno­rant of military Affairs, that any Governor who incloses himself in such a Place, fights with Disadvantage, and has infinitely better Chance for Success, if he fairly opens his Gates, and marches forth to combat his Enemy in an equal Battle. For not to insist on the other Dis­advantages above mentioned, the Circuit of these Walls is too large to be guarded by any mode­rate Garrison; the Enemy can draw them toge­ther to any one Place by a false Alarm, in the Night, or even in the Day; while he breaks in [Page 16] at a distant Place, that is weakly defended, and the Garrison, entangled among the Houses and Garden-Walls, must be cut in Pieces, almost without Resistance.

This Measure therefore, of meeting the Re­bels before they reached Edinburgh, was very prudently resolved on by General Guest, on the sixteenth of September, when Intelligence was brought, that the Highlanders were approach­ing; and he ordered Brigadier F [...] to ad­vance with his Dragoons to the Colt-Bridge for that Purpose; he also desired Mr. Stewart to join what Infantry he could to sustain the Dragoons. The Provost ordered upon this Du­ty all the Town Guards, and all the Edinburgh Regiment that were fit for Service. He had no Power to order the Volunteers out of Town: He only consented, that, as many as pleased, should be allowed to march out. But, it seems, they had as little Inclination to go, as he had Pow­er to order them; a few of them made a faint Effort; but, 'tis said, met with Opposition from some of the zealously affected, who represented to them the infinite Value of their Lives, in com­parison of those Ruffians, the Highlanders. This Opposition they were never able to overcome.

Brigadier F [...] (whose Conduct in this whole Affair is too remarkable to be forgot*) tho' [Page 17] he had only two Regiments of Dragoons, and a very few Infantry, was still a formidable Enemy to the Rebels. For, as much as regular veteran Infantry are superior to Cavalry, as much are Ca­valry, especially in an open Field, superior to an irregular Infantry, such as the Highlanders; who cannot keep their Ranks, wherein consists all the Force of Foot; who cannot fire regularly in Platoons; who know not the Use of the Bayonet, and whose sole Weapon is their Broad-Sword, in which a Horseman, by his very Si­tuation, has an infinite Advantage above them. Or if it were too sanguine to hope for a Victory from such a Force as the Brigadier commanded, a leisurely and a regular Retreat might at least have been made, tho' he had advanced within a Musket-shot of the Enemy.

But before the Rebels came within Sight of the King's Forces, before they came within three Miles distance of them, Orders were issued to the Dragoons to wheel; which they immedi­ately did, with the greatest Order and Regula­rity imaginable. As 'tis known, nothing is more beautiful than the Evolutions and Motions of Ca­valry, the Spectators stood in Expectation what fine warlike Manaeuvre this might terminate in; when new Orders were immediately issued to retreat. They immediately retreated, and be­gan to march in the usual Pace of Cavalry. Or­ders were repeated, every Furlong, to quicken their Pace; and both Precept and Example concurring, they quickened it so well, that be­fore they reached Edinburgh, they had come to a pretty smart Gallop. They passed, in an in­expressible Hurry and Confusion, through the narrow Lanes at Barefoot's Parks, in the Sight [Page 18] of all the North Part of the Town, to the in­finite Joy of the Disaffected, and equal Grief and Consternation of all the other Inhabitants. They rushed like a Torrent down to Leith; where they endeavoured to draw Breath: But some unlucky Boy (I suppose, a Jacobite in his Heart) calling to them that the Highlanders were approaching, they immediately took to their Heels again, and galloped to Prestonpans about six Miles further. Here in a literal Sense, Timor addidit alas, their Fear added Wings; I mean to the Rebels. For otherwise, they could not possibly imagine, that these formidable Enemies could be within several Miles of them. But at Prestonpans, the same Alarm was renewed, The Philistines be upon thee Sampson, they gal­loped to Northberwick; and being now about twenty Miles on the other Side of Edinburgh, they thought they might safely dismount from their Horses, and look out for Victuals. Ac­cordingly, like the antient Grecian Heroes, each of them began to kill and dress his Provisions. Egit amor dapis atque pugnae, they were actua­ted by the Desire of Supper and a Battle. The Sheep and Turkies of Northberwick paid for this warlike Disposition. But behold! the Un­certainty of human Happiness; when the Mut­ton was just ready to be put upon Table, they heard, or thought they heard, the same Cry of the Highlanders. Their Fear proved strong­er than their Hunger; they again got on Horse­back, but were informed time enough of the Falseness of the Alarm, to prevent the spoiling of their Meal.

By such Rudiments as these, the Dragoons [Page 19] were trained; till at last they became so perfect in their Lesson, that at the Battle of Preston, they could practise it of themselves; tho' even there the same good Example was not wanting.

I have seen an Italian Opera called Caesare in Egitto, or Caesar in Egypt; where in the first Scene Caesar is introduced in a great Hurry, giving Orders to his Soldiers, Fugge, fugge: a'llo scampo. Fly, fly: to your Heels. This is a Proof, that the Commander at the Colt-Bridge is not the first Hero that gave such Orders to his Troops.

'Twas in Consideration of such great Example, I suppose, that he has been so honourably acquit­ted*, and since promoted; while Mr. Stewart has been imprisoned for fourteen Months, forced to give a Recognizance of 15000 l. for his Appearance, and three times, in a manner, brought upon his Trial. So true the old Proverb, That it is safer for one Man to steal a Horse, than for another to look over a Hedge.

But Mr. Stewart asserts, very justly, that he neither stole the Horse, nor looked over the Hedge. He neither incurred any real Guilt, nor gave the smallest Foundation for any such Suspici­on; the only adviseable Expedient for saving the Town was tried; and failing, with such multipli­ed Circumstances of Terror and Consternation, it left him, if possible, in a worse Situation than before, by that Discouragement, with which it imprest every one. The Volunteers, before that time, had thought fit of themselves to give up their [Page 20] Arms to the Castle; the Edinburgh Regiment had also given up their Arms: The Burghers or Trained-Bands, deserted by the regular Forces, refused to expose their Lives, when they under­stood, by repeated Threatnings from the Rebels, that every Man, who made any Resistance, should be put to Death. In short an universal Panic, and that not groundless, had seized the People. 'Tis what the bravest and best disciplined Forces have been subject to, and what is, with great Difficulty cured, by the most expert Commanders. But 'tis unavoidable in every undisciplined Multitude, and is there perfectly incurable.

What tho' some faint Glimpse of Hope was afforded, by the Intelligence received, towards the Evening of this fatal Day, that Sir J [...] C [...] with his Army had been seen at Sea, off Dunbar. This Succour was too distant to relieve them from an Enemy, who was at their Gates. And the Minds of Men were now unbent, and had, with great Reason, abandoned all Thoughts of De­fence, which they could not resume again, in such immediate Danger, and without any pro­bable or possible View of Success.

In this Confusion, when nobody did his Duty, when nobody but Mr. Stewart seemed to think he had now any Duty to do, the Town always ungarrisoned, always unfortified, now in an universal Consternation, perhaps divided with­in itself, was entered without Resistance by the Rebels.

I should think it an Affront on your Un­derstanding to shew you more particularly how unavoidable this Event is to be esteemed; and therefore having put this main Point in [Page 21] a just Light, I shall touch, tho' briefly, on the other Articles of Accusation. They are, I own, like the Provost's Forces, pretty nume­rous; but surely the most disorderly, undisci­plined Rabble that ever were led into the Field. They are rather the Subject of Ridi­cule than of any serious Opposition. For In­stance.

The Lord Justice Clerk, several of the Judges, along with the King's Council, gave it unanimously as their Opinion, that the levy­ing of a Regiment, without his Majesty's War­rant, was illegal: His Majesty, when applied to, confirmed that Doubt by granting that Warrant: And the plain Words of the Sta­tute requires such an Authority; yet the rai­sing a Doubt upon this Head is deemed a Crime; tho' that Doubt, or any other Doubt, were it ever so ill grounded, must be allowed intirely in­nocent*.

The Provost also is said to have raised a Doubt about the Legality of inlisting the Volunteers. And indeed, this Case is so much alike, or so much the same with the other, of raising a Regi­ment, that no wonder such a Scruple did arise. But he took Care, immediately, to consult the Lord Advocate; and he also took Care, imme­diately, to acquiesce in his Lordship's Judgment. Yet this is one Article of Charge against him.

The Town-Council intrusted the Inspec­tion and Care of the Work to a Committee under another Person: The Works projected were all finished before the Arrival of the Re­bels. Are you not surprized he must answer for them, as if they were unfinished; or, as [Page 22] if they had chiefly been put under his Direc­tion*.

Some Zealots had proposed to set up Marks of Distinction, from mere Suspicion on several Citizens, who behaved themselves peaceably. The Provost rejected so imprudent, so pernicious a Measure. Is he therefore criminal§? He of­fered Pay and Victuals to some Volunteers, that came from the Country; need I repeat the Question, if this Proposal renders him cri­minal?

A Gentleman, Mr. Alves, travelling on the Road towards Edinburgh, passes the Rebels; and the Duke of Perth gives him a threatning Message to deliver to the Provost: The Provost does not immediately commit him; both because it did not appear, that he was any way guilty, in relating to the Chief Magistrate, a Story in which he had been involuntarily engaged; and because there was Danger of spreading the Story the fas­ter, and intimidating the Inhabitants, by such a Commitment. Hearing a few Hours afterwards, that the Gentleman had been so imprudent as to tell his Message to others, he immediately com­mitted him. You are not surprized, I suppose, after what you have read above, to find, that this is an Article of Accusation.

He is also charged with receiving a Petition from the Inhabitants, keeping a Meeting with them, and hearing a Letter read from the Preten­der's Son. The receiving the Petition was inno­cent, and also unavoidable, unless he had shut himself up in his Closet. The calling a Meeting of the Inhabitants at such a Juncture, would also [Page 23] have been innocent. But he called no such Meeting. The Inhabitants, under Terror of the approaching Danger, pressed in upon him wherever he went, and would have their Com­plaints and Remonstrances heard; and the Pro­vost, so far from consenting to read the Letter, openly and strongly opposed it, and left the Com­pany to avoid hearing it*. All these Facts are public and notorious.

On the 15th of September, the Provost was called in the Evening to Lord Justice Clerk's, where Lord Advocate, General Guest, Briga­dier F [...], and several other Officers, were pre­sent. A Proposal was there made, that the Dragoons should be brought into Town, with a View to give them some Rest and Refresh­ment, and have their Horses fed in the Streets. But upon Reflection it appeared, that the A­venues of the Town might be taken possession of by the Rebels, and the Streets barricadoed, the Houses lined, and the Dragoons by that means fall into the Hands of the Enemy. This Pro­posal, therefore, was most justly rejected. Next Day, after the near Approach of the Rebels, af­ter the Flight of the Dragoons, after the univer­sal Consternation of all Ranks, Mr. Stewart refu­sed to sign any Order to these Dragoons, over whom he had no Authority, to return and enter into the Town; tho' he promised them all Kind of good Reception and Entertainment, if they thought proper to come. When I find the Refusal to sign such an Order, stated as an Article of Accusation against the Provost, I cannot think but the Accuser, foreseeing the [Page 24] Circumstances of Merit, which the Accused would plead, laid immediate Claim to them as his own Right; like a prudent General, who takes Possession of those Eminences or strong Grounds, that may be of Service to the Ene­my. This Observation is, indeed, applicable to almost all the Articles; there is scarce any of them but might be cited as a Proof of Mr. Stewart's Vigilance, Prudence, Activity, or Moderation.

If the Volunteers, in the Hurry of so active a Day, as the 16th of September, waited some time for Orders, without receiving any; this is also made an Article of Charge*.

The 10th Article is of the same Force with all the rest; tho' I shall not tire either you or myself, by narrating or refuting it. I shall only add a few Words, with regard to the Eleventh Article, which charges him with allowing the City Arms to fall into the Hands of the Rebels; because some People think there is a Foundation for this Charge, tho' they frankly allow all the rest to be frivolous, and even ridiculous,

First, Without mentioning the Insignificancy of these Arms, Mr. Stewart pleads, with regard to this Article, and with regard to all Articles, that have been, or may ever be charged against him, that, tho' Chief Magistrate, and President of the Town-Council, he was really but one Member, and had but one Vote. The supreme Command was in the Council. They were cri­minal, if there be any Crime. It is not, nor can it be pretended, that he, in this or any other In­stance, opposed, or over-ruled, or contradicted their Determination.

[Page 25] Secondly, There had several Messages come from the Rebels, threatning Destruction, if the City either resisted or secreted their Arms. It is a Question whether the Magistrates, for the saving of a few rusty Arms, ought in Prudence to have run the Risque of having these Threats executed, considering the known Barbarity of the Clans, and the then unknown Moderation of their Chief­tains. But it is no Question, however the Magi­strates had determined, that the People would not have consented; and consequently, that the secreting these Arms was absolutely im­practicable.

Thirdly, Mr. Stewart showed all along a particular Attention to keep Arms out of the Hands of the Rebels. When it was proposed, after the News arrived of Sir J [...] C [...]'s being seen off Dunbar, to desire back again from the Castle, the Arms which the Volunteers and the Edinburgh Regiment had carried thither; the Provost, apprehensive of the Consequences, re­jected the Proposal; till he should see, as he said, a better Disposition in the Inhabitants, to make use of Arms. And he even sent a Message to General Guest in the Castle, informing him of the Consternation of the Town, and the little Au­thority which the Magistrates had, to force the Trained-Bands to deliver up their Arms; and de­siring, at the same time, the General to send down a Party to carry up the Arms, or use some other Expedient to that Purpose.

Fourthly, It is proper to consider, in this Case, the Uncertainty of the Situation to which the Magistrates and Council were reduced, during the last and most distressing Scene of this unlucky [Page 26] Affair: Sometimes terrified with the immediate Approach of the Rebels; at other times, in­couraged with some Prospect of Relief; even to­wards the End of this Period there were some Hopes of the Return of the Dragoons. Nor was that Expectation quite over in the Meeting of the Council; until they heard the Rebels had en­tered the Town. Had the Dragoons returned to the City, and animated the People in its Defence, the Charge against the Provost then, would have been inverted: Why did he send up the Arms to the Castle? Why did he carry them out of the way, when they might be instantly wanted for the Defence of the Town, and the near Ap­proach of the Rebels made a Moment's Delay of great Consequence? And the Citation might have been adduced, which has been misapplied in the present Case, Quod puncto saepe temporis maxi­marum rerum occasiones amittuntur, That Success in the greatest Affairs, frequently depends on a Moment.

But, Fifthly, what if Mr. Stewart should say (which indeed he has here no manner of Occa­sion for) that he was in the wrong, and that in the general Hurry and Consternation, it was dif­ficult not to forget something. Would any Man lay this as a criminal Accusation against him. I grant, in War, it is never allowed a General to say, Non cogitavi, I did not think of it. Marl­borough or Eugene might be ashamed of such an Excuse: But the Provost was bred to a different Profession. And I dare affirm, that even these great Generals, had they been ingenuous, might, twenty times in their Lives, have made use of this Apology.

The Twelfth, and last Article is, if possible, still [Page 27] more extraordinary than all the rest. It makes the Provost the Scape Goat, and charges him with the Sins of the whole People; because the People want Charity, and judge him criminal, therefore he must really be so. You may read, indeed, in your Machiavel, that, by a very peculiar and very absurd Law in the Republick of Florence, where­ever the popular Opinion condemned a Man, it was lawful for a certain Magistrate, called the Gonfalioneré, immediately to put him to death, without any Trial or Form of Process. I have no Intention to deny, that Mr. Stewart would have fared very ill, had he been in Florence two Years ago; and had the present Provost been Gonfalioneré. Tho' now I believe he would have no Reluctance to submit himself to a popular Tri­bunal.

The People's Voice is odd,
It is, and it is not the Voice of God.

But tho' popular Clamours are not here, as in Florence, authorized by Law, it is plain, that, in Practice, at least in Mr. Stewart's Case, they draw very terrible Consequences after them. He was sensible of the Disadvantage he lay under; yet this would not discourage him from attending his Duty in Parliament. He put himself into the Hands of his Enemies; for such the Ministry had become; nor need we be in the least surprized at it. He suffered a severe Confinement for some time; and tho' this was by Degrees remitted, yet still it continued a Confinement for fourteen Months, very grievous to any Man, and very prejudicial to a Man of Business.

I have been certainly informed, that, very often [Page 28] when the Ministry, in prosecution of their usual Lenity, was resolved to give Mr. Stewart his Li­berty, their Hands were continually stopped by a fresh Cargo of Lies and Calumnies imported to them from Scotland; and which it required some time to examine and discuss.

But when, at last, he got his Liberty, and had the Prospect of a fair Trial, this happy Time, which should put a Period to all his Sufferings, was continually protracted, in the most unaccount­able Manner in the World. At the first Diet in March, he was put off till June, and afterwards till August. When every Thing was then ready for a Trial, the Prosecutor deserted the Diet, and Mr. Stewart, as well as the Public, im­agined, that all was over, and that his Enemies, conscious of his Innocence, were to free him from all farther Prosecution. But he is again, it seems, to be brought on his Taial with additional Ex­pence, and Vexation and Trouble. How long this may yet last is uncertain; and 'tis evident any Man might me ruined by the Continuation and Repetition of such a Practice: For which, it seems, our Law provides no Remedy.

All these vexatious Measures gave the more In­dignation, when we consider again it whom, and by whom, they are exercised. You are perfectly well acquainted with Mr. Stewart, and know him to be a good Magistrate, a good Friend, a good Companion, a fair Dealer: A Man in every Ac­tion of his Life, full of Humanity, Justice and Moderation.

The Government too, is surely the fullest of Mildness, Equity and Justice in the World. The present Instance is, I believe, the only one, in near sixty Years, of an innocent Man, [Page 29] that has ever lain under the least Oppression. If our Government is faulty in any Thing, 'tis ra­ther in the opposite Extreme; and the present Times show sufficient Examples of it.

The Town of Edinburgh was lost; a most un­expected, and most unaccountable Event surely! But what was it when the Battle of Falkirk was lost; when a numerous, a veteran and a brave Army fled before a Handful of Highlanders, whom they had scarce seen? I never heard that the Au­thor of that Calamity has been punished, or even questioned, or has met with the smallest Discou­ragement; I mean, from the higher Powers. For I was very well diverted, t'other Day, by the Ac­count of a Sarcasm, he met with from a private Hand, which was the severest in the World.

When the Army fled to Linlithgow, they immediately quartered themselves about in all the Houses, and even in the Palace, where there dwelt, at that Time, a Lady noted for Wit and Beauty; who observing their disorderly Proceed­ings, was apprehensive they would fire the Pa­lace. She immediately went to remonstrate to a certain great General, and was received pro so­litâ suâ humanitate, with his usual Humanity. Finding her Remonstrances vain, she took her Leave in these Words, To take care, says she, of the King's House, is your Concern: For my Part, I can run from Fire as fast as any of you.

So spoke the Cherub, and her grave Rebuke,
Severe in youthful Beauty, added Grace
Invincible. Abash'd the Devil stood, &c. &c.

It would be cruel to mention the unfortunate K [...]t; and, I believe, since we live in an ac­quitting [Page 30] Age, every Body is glad he was acquit­ted. I have heard, that all the Winter after the Battle of Preston, he was carried about London in his Chair, with the Curtains drawn, to escape the Derision of the Mob; till the News of the Battle of Falkirk arrived, and then he pulled back the Curtains, and showed his Face and his r [...] R [...] to all the World. Thus the Reputa­tion which the Hero of the Colt-Bridge was the chief Cause of depriving him of, the Hero of Falkirk, in a great Measure restored to him.

Saepe, premente Deo, fert Deus alter open.

I need not insist on the Mayor of Carlisle, Mr. Pattison (not Paterson) who defended so glori­ously a fortified Town against the Rebels.

I shall only say, If all these Enormities pass unpunished, and Mr. Stewart alone the Victim, there are some People, to make Use of the Al­lusion of a witty Author, that resemble very much the Monster in Rabelais, that could swal­low a Wind-mill every Morning to Breakfast, and was at last choaked with a Pound of Fresh-Butter hot from an Oven.

I am, &c.


I Intended to have sent this by [...] but not being able to meet him before he left this Country, I was obliged to keep it by me till this time, when I hear, to my great Sa­tisfaction, that Mr. Stewart has been acquitted by the Jury Nemine contradicente, and that all the Facts contained in his Information, and in the foregoing Letter, were proved with an Evi­dence and Conviction, even beyond what he himself imagined. The Trial was the longest and most solemn that ever was known in this Country; and the Judges were even obliged, by Necessity, to break through an established Custom and Law, and adjourned the Court, on Account of the absolute Impossibility of suppor­ting, without Interruption, the Fatigues of so long a Trial. Mr. Stewart intended to have abridged their Trouble, by resting his Defence intirely on the Pursuer's Evidence, without ad­ducing a single Witness of his own: But he was over-ruled in this by his Council, who approved of the Confidence arising from Innocence, but still insisted upon having two Witnesses adduced, for all the principle Facts, upon which he ground­ed his Defence.

Several of the Jury had been Volunteers during the Rebellion, and all of them were particularly distinguished by their warm Zeal for the Go­vernment. As some People had been foolish e­nough to make this Trial a Party Business, all [Page 32] Mr. Stewart's Friends were alarmed, when the [...] saw the Names of the Jury. For tho' they wer [...] sensible of the Probity of these Gentlemen, ye [...] they dreaded their Prejudices, and were afraid▪ that Truth and Innocence would not obtain so full a Triumph (as they did afterwards) over Passion and Party-Zeal.

I can assure you the King's Advocate did no [...] want Keenness in this Affair, to give the mildes [...] Appellation to his Conduct. And here I mus [...] inform you, that what I heard of his Speech suggested to me a Remark, which I had often made▪ to the Honour of our Age and Nation, in one Particular, above the antient Times of Greec [...] and Rome. Mr. Grant was very copious in in­sisting on the Suspicions this Country lay under with Regard to Jacobitism, the apparent Diffi­dence the Ministry had shewn to trust us with the Trials of the Rebels, the strong Conviction e­very one in England had of Mr. Stewart's Guilt, and the great Scandal his Acquital would bring on the Country; to which he added, that a very slight Punishment was intended, a few Days Im­prisonment, and a small Fine, which one so rich as Mr. Stewart could easily bear. But though you know that such extraneous and popular To­picks as these, are very usual in all the Poems and Epilogues of Cicero, and even of Demosthenes; yet I can assure you this Imitation of the an­tient Orators was not at all approved of, either by the Jury or the By-standers.

You will be very much surprized, I suppose, to hear, that many of the Whigs have betrayed such a furious Zeal on this Occasion, that they are mortified, or rather indeed inraged to the last Degree, that an innocent Man has been found [Page 33] innocent: And this has given Occasion to the [...]pposite Party, to make his Acquital a Matter of infinite Triumph and Rejoicing; as much al­most as the Defeat of Val, or the Surprizal of Bergen-op-zoom, or any other publick Calamity, [...]hat has ever befallen us. Whatever opposes or [...]isappoints the Government will always be, with­out Distinction, a great Satisfaction to them.

But I shall further explain to you the great Difference betwixt a political and a religious Whig, in Order to account for these odd Tran­ [...]actions. The Idea I form of a political Whig is, [...]hat of a Man of Sense and Moderation, a Lover of Laws and Liberty, whose chief Regard to particular Princes and Families, is founded on a Regard to the publick Good: The Leaders of this Party amongst us, are Men of great Worth, [...]he President, for instance, and Lord Justice Clerk, especially the Former. I fay, especially [...]he Former: for tho' 'tis certain the Conduct of the Justice Clerk was altogether commendable, as far as the Circumstances and Situations, in which he was placed, would admit; yet that of the President has been so singularly good and great, [...] to be the Subject of Admiration, and even of Envy, if Virtue could ever excite that Passion.

The religious Whigs are a very different Set of Mortals, and in my Opinion, are much worse than the religious Tories; as the political Tories are inferior to the political Whigs. I know not how it happens, but it seems to me, that a Zeal for Bishops, and for the Book of Common-Prayer, tho' equally groundless, has never been able, when mixt up with Party Notions, to form so virulent and exalted a Poison in human Breasts, as [...]he opposite Principles. Dissimulation, Hypocrisy, [Page 34] Violence, Calumny, Selfishness are, generall [...] speaking, the true and legitimate Offspring of th [...] Kind of Zeal.

This Species of Whigs, whatever they ma [...] imagine, form but the Fag-end of the Party▪ and are, at the Bottom, very heartily despised b [...] their own Leaders. Once on a Time, indeed the Breech got over the Head; when Cromwel [...] ▪ Ireton, Warriston, &c. ruled our Councils an [...] Armies; and then there was fine Work indeed▪ But ever since, though their Assistance has bee [...] taken at Elections, and they have been allowed▪ in Return, to rail and make a Noise as much a [...] they please, they have had but little Influence o [...] our publick Determinations; and long may [...] continue so.

These are Mr. Stewart's greatest, and indeed▪ only Enemies. The political Whigs are, man [...] of them, his personal Friends; and all of them are extremely pleased with his Acquital, becau [...] they believe, what is, indeed, undeniable, th [...] it was founded on his Innocence. I am charitabl [...] enough to suppose, that the Joy of many of th [...] Tories flowed from the same Motive. And as t [...] those, if there were any such, who had a different Motive, he will not, I believe, give the [...] any Thanks for a Concern, which is more like [...] to hurt than to serve him.


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