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of the innocent kindred; nor do I think that the fact itself, lo compel him to tell whatever he knew of the things charged though mentioned by ancient lawyers, was ever admitted to against him. He was accordingly severely tortured; but proof in the proceedings against Auchindrane.
the result only served to show that such examinations are It is certain, however, that Auchindrane found himself as useless as they are cruel. A man of weak resolution, or so much the object of suspicion from this new crime, that of a nervous babit, would probably have assented to any he resolved to fly from justice, and suffer himself to be de confession, however false, rather than bave endured the clared a rebel and outlaw rather than face a trial. But his extremity of sear and pain to which Mure was subjected. conduct in preparing to cover bis flight with another motive But young Auchindrane, a strong and determined ruflian, than the real one, is a curious picture of the men and manners endured the torture with the utmost firmness, and by the of the times. He knew well that if he were to shun his trial constant audacity with which, in spite of the intolerable for the murder of Dairymple, the whole country would con- pain, he continued to assert his innocence, he spread so sider him as a man guilty of a mean and disgraceful crime favourable an opinion of his case, that the detaining him in in putting to death an obscure lad, against whom he had prison, instead of bringing him to open trial, was censured no personal quarrel. He knew, besides, that his powerful as severe and oppressive. James, however, remained firmly friends, who would have interceded for him had his offence persuaded of his guilt, and by an exertion of authority quite been merely burning a house, or killing a neighbour, would inconsistent with our present laws, commanded young Aunot plead for or stand by him in so piliíul a concern as the chindrane to be still detained in close custody till further slaughter of this wretched wanderer.
light could be thrown on these dark proceedings. He was Accordingly, Mure sought to provide himself with some detained accordingly by the King's express personal comostensible cause for avoiding the law, with which the feelings mand, and against the opinion even of his privy counsellors. of his kindred and friends might sympathize; and none oc This exertion of authority was much murmured against. curred to him so natural as an assault upon some friend and In the meanwhile old Auchindrane, being, as we have adherent of the Earl of Cassilis. Should he kill such a one, seen, at liberty op pledges, skulked about in the west, feelit would be indeed an unlawful action, but so far from ing how little security he had gained by Dalrymple's murder, being infamous, would be accounted the natural consequence and that he had placed himself by that crime in the power of the avowed quarrel between the families. With this of Bannatyne, whose evidence concerning the death of Dalpurpose, Mure, with the assistance of a relative, of whom rymple could not be less fatal than what Dalrymple might he seems always to have had some ready to execute his worst have told concerning Auchindrane's accession to the conspipurposes, beset Hugh Kennedy of Garriehorne, a follower racy against Sir Thomas Kennedy of Cullayne. But though of the Earl's, against whom they had especial ill-will, lired the erent had shown the error of his wicked policy, Auchintheir pistols at him, and used other means lo put him to drane could think of no better mode in this case than that death. But Garriehorne, a stout-hearted man, and well w bich had failed in relation 10 Dalrymple. When any armed, defended himself in a very different manner from man's life became inconsistent with his own safety, no idea the unfortunate Knight of Cullayne, and beat off the assai seems to have occurred to this inveterate ruffian, save to lants, wounding young Auchindrane in the right hand, so murder the person by whom he might himself be in any that he wellnigh lost the use of it.
way endangered. He therefore altempted the life of James But though Auchindrane's purpose did not entirely suc Bannatyne by more agents than one. Nay, he had nearly ceed, he availed himself of it to circulate a report, that is he ripened a plan, by which one Pennycuke was to be emcould obtain a pardon for firing upon his feudal enemy with ployed to slay Bannatyne, wbile, after the deed was done, pistols, weapons declared unlawful by act of Parliament, he it was devised that Mure of Auchnull, a connexion of Banwould willingly stand his trial for the death of Dalrymple, natyne, should be instigated to slay Pennycuke; and thus respecting which he protested his total innocence. The close up this train of murders by one, which, flowing in the King, however, was decidedly of opinion that the Mures, ordinary course of deadly feud, should have nothing in it so both father and son, were alike guilty of both crimes, and particular as to attract much attention. used intercession with the Earl of Abercorn, as a person But the justice of Heaven would bear this complicated of power in those western counties, as well as in Ireland, train of iniquity no longer. Bannatyne, knowing with what to arrest and transmit them prisoners to Edinburgh. In sort of men he had to deal, kept on his guard, and, by his consequence of the Earl's exertions, old Aucbindrane was caution, disconcerted more than one attempt to take his life, made prisoner, and lodged in the tolbooth of Edinburgh. while another miscarried by the remorse of Pennycuke, the
Young Aucbindranc no sooner heard that his father was agent whom Mure employed. Al length Bannatyne, liring in custody, than he became as apprehensive of Bannalyne, of this state of insecurity, and in despair of escaping such the accomplice in Dalrymple's murder, telling tales, as ever repeated plots, and also feeling remorse for the crime to his father had been of Dalrymple. He, therefore, hastened which he had been accessory, resolved rather to submit to him, and prevailed on bim to pass over for a while to himself lo the severity of the law, than remain the object the neighbouring coast of Ireland, finding him money and of the principal criminal's practices. He surrendered himmeans to accomplish the voyage, and engaging in the mean self to the Earl of Abercorn, and was transported to Edintime to take care of his affairs in Scotland. Secure, as they burgh, wbere be confessed before the King and council all thought, in this precaution, old Auchindranc persisted in the particulars of the murder of Dalrymple, and the altempt his innocence, and bis son found security lo stand his trial. 10 hide his body by committing it to the sea. Both appeared with the same confidence at the day appoint When Bannatyne was confronted with the two Mures beed, and braved the public justice, hoping to be put to a fore the Privy Council, they denied with vehemence every formal trial, in which Auchindrane reckoned upon an ac part of the evidence he had given, and allirmed that the quillal for want of the evidence which he had removed. witness had been bribed to destroy them by a false tale. The trial was, however, postponed, and Mure the elder was Bannatyne's behaviour seemed sincere and simple, that of dismissed, under high security lo return when called for. Auchindrane more resolute and crafty. The wretched ac
But King James, being convinced of the guilt of the ac complice fell upon his knees, invoking God to witness that cused, ordered young Auchindrane, instead of being sent all the land in Scotland could not have bribed him to bring to trial, to be examined under the force of torture, in order ! a false accusation against a master whom he bad served,
loved, and followed in so many dangers, and calling upon Dule-tree of Auchindrane! I will sooner die in the worst Auchindrane to honour God by consessing the crime he had | dungeon of your prison." In this luckless character the committed. Mure the elder, on the other hand, boldly re line of Auchindrane ended. The family, blackened with plied, that he hoped God would not so far forsake him as the crimes of its predecessors, became extinct, and the to permit him to confess a crime of which he was innocent, estate passed into other hands. and exhorted Bannatyne in his turn to confess the praclices by which he had been induced to devise such falsehoods against him.
DRAMATIS PERSONÆ. The two Mures, father and son, were therefore put upon
JOON MURE OF AUCHINDRANE, an Ayrshire Baron. He has been a foltheir solemn trial, along with Bannatyne, in 1611, and,
lower of the Regent, Earl of Morton, during the Civil Wars, and hides after a great deal of evidence had been brought in support an oppressive, ferocious, and unscrupulous disposition, under soine of Bannatyne's confession, all three were found guilty.'
pretences to strictness of life and doctrine, which, however, never in
fiuence bis conduct. He is in danger from the law, owing to bis having The elder Auchindrane was convicted of counselling and been formerly active in the assassination of the Earl of Cassilis. directing the murder of Sir Thomas Kennedy of Cullayne,
PEILIT MUNE, bis Son, a wild, debauched Profligate, professing and prac
tising a contempt for bis Father's hypocrisy, while he is as fierce and and also of the actual murder of the lad Dalrymple. Ban
licentious as Auchindrane bimsell. natyne and the younger Mure were found guilty of the
GIFFORD, tbeir Relation, a Courtier.
QUENTIN BLANE, a Youth, educated for a Clergyman, but sent by AUCUINlatler crime, and all three were sentenced to be beheaded.
DRANE to serve in a Band of Auxiliaries in the Wars of the Netherlands, Bannatyne, however, the accomplice, received the King's and lately employed as Clerk or Comptroller to the Regiment - Disbanded,
however, and on his return to his native Country. He is of a mild, pardon, in consequence of his voluntary surrender and con
gentle, and rather feeble cbaracter, liable to be influenced by any person fession. The two Mures were both executed. The younger of stronger mind who will take the trouble lo direct bim. He is somewas affected by the remonstrances of the clergy who ata
what of a nervous temperament, varying from sadness 10 gately, accord
ing to ibe impulse of the moment; an amlable hypochondriac, tended him, and he confessed the guilt of which he was ac HILDEBRAND, a stout old Englisbman, who, by leals of courage, bas raised
bimself to the rank of Sergeant-Major, (then of greater consequence cused. The father, also, was at length brought to avow the
Ihan at present. ! De, too, has been disbanded, but cannot bring himfact, but in other respects died as impenitent as he had self to believe that he bas lost bis command over his Regiment.
ABRAHAM, Privalos dismissed from the same Regiment in wbich lived ;-—and so ended this dark and extraordinary tragedy.
WILLIAMS, QUENTIN and HILDEBRAND bad served. These are muThe Lord Advocate of the day, Sir Thomas Hamilton, JENKIN.
tinous, aud are much disposed to remember former quar. afterwards successively Earl of Melrose and of Haddington,
And others, rels with tbeir late officers.
NIEL MACLELLAN, Keeper of Auchindrane Forest and Game. seems to have busied himself much in drawing up a state
EARL OF DUNBAR, commanding an Army as Lieutenant of James I., for ment of this foul transaction, for the purpose of vindicating
execution of Justice on Olfenders,
Guards, Attendants, etc. etc. to the people of Scotland the severe course of justice observed by King James VI. He assumes the task in a bigh MARION, Wife of NIEL MACLELLAN.
ISABEL, their Daughter, a Girl of six years old. tone of prerogative law, and, on the whole, seems at a loss
Oiber Children and l'easant Women. whether to attribute to Providence, or to his most Sacred Majesty, the greatest share in bringing to light these mysterious villanies, but rather inclines to the latter opinion.
AUCHINDRANE; There is, I believe, no printed copy of the intended tract, which seems never to have been published; but the curious will be enabled 10 judge of it, as it appears in the next fas
THE AYRSHIRE TRAGEDY. ciculus of Mr. Robert Pitcairn's very interesting publications from the Scottish Criminal Record. 2
ACT I. The family of Aucbindrane did not become extinct on the death of the two homicides. The last descendant existed
SCENE I. in the eighteenth century, a poor and distressed man. The
A rocky Bay on the coast of Currick, in Ayrshire, not far from following anecdote shows that he had a strong feeling of his the point of Turnberry. The Sea comes in upon a bold situation.
rocky shore. The remains of a small half-ruined Tower There was in front of the old castle a huge ash-tree, are seen on the right hand, orerhanging The Sea. There called the Dule-tree (mourning-tree) of Auchindrane, pro
is a Vessel at a distance in the offing. bably because it was the place where the Baron executed
A Boat at the bottom of the Stage lands eight or ten Peribe criminals who fell under bis jurisdiction. It is de
sons, dressed like disbanded, and in one or two cases scribed as having been the finest tree of the neighbourhood. like disabled Soldiers. They come straggling forward This last representative of the family of Auchindrane had
with their knapsacks and bundles. HILDEBRAND, the the misfortune to be arrested for payment of a small debt) Sergeant, belonging to the Party, a stout elderly man, and, unable to discharge it, was preparing to accompany stands by the boat, as is superintending the disembarthe messenger (bailid) to the jail of Ayr. The servant of
kation. QUENTIN remains apart. the law had compassion for his prisoner, and offered to accepl of this remarkable tree as of value adequate to the dis Abraham. Farewell, the flats of Holland, and right charge of the debt. "What!” said the deblor; “Sell the
1 " Efter the pronunceing and declairing of the quhilk determination and delyuerance of the saidis persones of Assyse, • The Justice, in respect thairof, be the mouth of Alexander kennydie, dempster of Court, decernit and adiudget tho saidis Johnne Mure of Aucbiodrane elder, James Mure of Auchiodrane younger, bis eldest sone and appeirand air, and James Bapuatyne, callit of Chapel-Donane, aud ilk ane of thame, to be tane to the mercat croce of the burcht of Edioburgh, and thair, upone ane scaffold, thair heidis to be strukia frome thair bodeyis : And all thair landis, heritages, takis, steidingis, row mes, possessiones, leyndis, coirnes, cattell, insicht plenissing, guidis, geir, tyullis, profseitis, commoditeis, and richtis qubatsumcuir, direcule or indirectlie perteniog to thame, or ony of thame, at the committing
of the saidis tressonabill Murthouris, or sensyne; or to the qullkis tbay, or
PITCAIRN'S Criminal Trials, vol. ill. p. 156. ]
The cliffs of Scotland! Fare thee well, black beer
lant field, and “Forward, pikemen!”
Abr. My tongue shall never need to smooth itself To such poor sounds, while it can boldly say, “ Stand and deliver !"
Wil. Hush, the sergeant hears you !
Abr. And let him hear; he makes a bustle yonder. And dreams of his authority, forgetting We are disbanded men, o'er whom his halberd Has not such influence as the beadle's baton, We are no soldiers now, but every one The lord of his own person.
Wil. A wretched lordship-and our freedom such As that of the old cart-horse, when the owner Turns him upon the common.
I for one
Abr. I scorn them both. I am too stout a Scotsman
rades jar thus, And on the verge of parting, and for ever! Nay, keep thy temper, Abraham, though a bad one. — Good Master Quentin, let thy song last night Give us once more our welcome to old Scotland.
Abr. Ay, they sing light whose task is telling money, When dollars clink for chorus.
[Abraham, Quentin. I've done with counting silver, 'honest As thou, I fear, with pouching thy small share on't. But lend your voices, lads, and I will sing As blithely yet as if a town were won; As if upon a field of battle gain'd, Our banners waved victorious.
[le sings, and the rest bear chorus.
Jack Steele to his anvil and hammer;
The weaver shall find room
At the wight-wapping loom, And your clerk shall teach writing and grammar. Abr. And this is all that thou canst do, gay QuenTo swagger o'er a herd of parish brats,
[ tin ? Cut cheese or dibble onions with thy poniard, And turn the sheath into a ferula ?
Quen. I am the prodigal in holy writ;
Abr. Clerk Quentin, if of fighting thou art tired,
Wil. Thou dost belie him, I have seen him fight Bravely enough for one in his condition. [boy?
Abr. What he ? that counter-casting, smock-faced What was he but the colonel's scribbling drudge, With men of straw to stuff the regiment roll; With cipherings unjust to cheat his comrades, And cloak false musters for our noble captain ? He bid farewell to sword and petronel ! He should have said, farewell my pen and standish. These, with the rosin used to hide erasures, Where the best friends he left in camp behind him,
Quen. The sword you scoff at is not far, but scorns
Shall it e'er he said,
[Raises his halberd. Abr.
Comrades, have you ears To hear the old man bully ? Eyes to see His staff rear'd o'er your heads, as o'er the hounds The huntsman cracks his whip ?
Wil.Well said-stout Abraham has the right on't.I tell thee, sergeant, we do reverence thee, And pardon the rash humours thou hast caught, Like wiser men, from thy authority. 'Tis ended, howsoe'er, and we'll not suffer A word of sergeantry, or halberd-staff, Nor the most petty threat of discipline. If thou wilt lay aside thy pride of office, And drop thy wont of swaggering and commanding,
Once slaves to the drum,
Adieu to the wars,
With their slashes and scars, The march, and the storm, and the battle.
There are some of us maim'd,
And some that are lamed,
But we'll take up the tools,
Which we flung by like fools, 'Gainst Don Spaniard to go a-campaigning.
Dick Hathorn doth vow
[ MS.-" I've done with coupling dollars," etc. 1
Thou art our comrade still for good or evil.
Ser. Thou dream'st, young man. Unreal terrors Else take thy course apart, or with the clerk there As I have noted, giddy brains like thine [haunt, A sergeant thou, and he being all thy regiment. Flighty, poetic, and imaginative
Ser. Is't come to this, knaves ? And think you not, To whom a minstrel whim gives idle rapture, That if you bear a name o’er other soldiers,
And, when it fades, fantastic misery. It was because you follow'd to the charge
Quen. But mine is not fantastic. I can tell thee, One that had zeal and skill enough to lead you Since I have known thee still my faithful friend, Where fame was won by danger?
In part at least the dangerous plight I stand in. Wil. We grant thy skill in leading, noble sergeant; Ser. And I will hear thee willingly, the rather Witness some empty boots and sleeves amongst us, That I would let these vagabonds march on, Which else had still been tenanted with limbs Nor join their troop again. Besides, good sooth, In the full quantity; and for the arguments
I'm wearied with the toil of yesterday,
Yes, I may aid thee, comrade, and perchance
[friend, Ser. Conform to you? Base dogs! I would not lead Quen. May it prove well for both!—But note, my A bolt-flight farther to be made a general. (you I can but intimate my mystic story. Mean mutineers ! when you swillid off the dregs Some of it lies so secret, -even the winds Of my poor sea-stores, it was, 66 Noble Sergeant That whistle round us must not know the wholeHeaven bless old Hildebrand-we'll follow him, An oath !-an oath!-At least, until we safely see him lodged
That must be kept, of course. Within the merry bounds of his own England! I ask but that which thou mayst freely tell.
Wil. Ay, truly, sir; but, mark, the ale was mighty, Quen. I was aa orphan boy, and first saw light And the geneva potent. Such stout liquor
Not far from where we stand-my lineage low, Makes violent protestations. Skink it round, But honest in its poverty. A lord, If you have any left, to the same tune,
The master of the soil for many a mile, And we may find a chorus for it still.
Dreaded and powerful, took a kindly charge
Ser. Out, mutineers ! Dishonour dog your heels! The knight was proud of me, and, in his halls,
Give to the humble, whom they love to point to (The Soldiers go off laughing, and taking leave, As objects not unworthy their protection,
with mockery, of the SERGEANT and QUENTIN, Whose progress is some honour to their patronwho remain on the Stage.
A cure was spoken of, which I might serve, Ser. (after a pause.) Fly you not with the rest ?- My manners, doctrine, and acquirements fitting. fail you to follow
Ser. Hitherto thy luck Yon goodly fellowship and fair example ?
Was of the best, good friend. Few lords had cared Come, take your wild-goose flight. I know you Scots, if thou couldst read thy grammar or thy psalter. Like your own sea-fowl, seek your course together. Thou hadst been valued couldst thou scour a harness,
Quen. Faith, a poor heron I, who wing my slight And dress a steed distinctly. In loneliness, or with a single partner ;
My old master And right it is that I should seek for solitude, Held different doctrine, at least it seem'd soBringing but evil luck on them I herd with.
But he was mix'd in many a deadly feudSer. Thou’rt thankless. Had we landed on the coast, And here my tale grows mystic. I became, Where our course bore us, thou wert far from home : Unwitting and unwilling, the depositary But the fierce wind that drove us round the island, Of a dread secret, and the knowledge on't Barring each port and inlet that we aim'd at,
Has wreck'd my peace for ever. It became Hath wafted thee to harbour ; for I judge
My patron's will, that I, as one who knew This is thy native land we disembark on. [I look on, More than I should, must leave the realm of Scotland,
Quen. True, worthy friend. Each rock, each stream And live or die within a distant land." Each bosky wood, and every frowning tower,
Ser. Ah! thou hast done a fault in some wild raid, Awakens some young dream of infancy.
As you wild Scotsmen call them. Yet such is my bard hap, I might more safely
Comrade, nay; Have look'd on Indian cliffs, or Afric's desert, Mine was a peaceful part, and happ'd by chance. Than on my native shores. I'm like a babe, I must not tell you more. Enough, my presence Doom'd to draw poison from my nurse's bosom. Brought danger to my benefactor's house.
That I, unwilling and unwitting, witnessed;
Tower after tower conceal'd me, willing still A dungeon or a grave.
I can do better for thee. Mark me, Quentin.
I took my license from the noble regiment,
Of no great purchase, but enough to live on,
Has call'd me owner since a kinsman's death. Where all beside were link'd by close alliances. It lies in merry Yorkshire, where the wealth At length I made my option to take service
Of fold and furrow, proper to Old England, In that same legion of auxiliaries
Stretches by streams which walk no sluggish pace, In which we lately served the Belgian.
But dance as light as yours. Now, good friend QuenOur leader, stout Montgomery, hath been kind This copyhold can keep two quiet inmates, tin, Through full six years of warfare, and assign'd me And I am childless. Wilt thou be my son ? More peaceful tasks than the rough front of war, Quen. Nay, you can only jest, my worthy friend ! For which my education little suited me.
What claim have I to be a burden to you ? Ser. Ay, therein was Montgomery kind indeed; Ser. The claim of him that wants, and is in danger, Nay, kinder than you think, my simple Quentin. On him that has, and can afford protection : The letters which you brought to the Montgomery, Thou wouldst not fear a foeman in my cottage, Pointed to thrust thee on some desperate service, Where a stout mastiff slumber'd on the hearth, Which should most likely end thee.
And this good halberd hung above the chimney ? Quen. Bore I such letters ?--Surely, comrade, no. But come, I have it—thou shalt earn thy bread Full deeply was the writer bound to aid me.
Duly, and honourably, and usefully. Perchance he only meant to prove my mettle ; Our village schoolmaster hath left the parish, And it was but a trick of my bad fortune
Forsook the ancient schoolhouse with its yew-trees, That gave bis letters ill interpretation.
That lurk'd beside a church two centuries older,Ser. Ay, but thy better angel wrought for good, So long devotion took the lead of knowledge; Whatever ill thy evil fate designed thee.
And since his little flock are shepherdless, Montgomery pitied thee, and changed thy service 'Tis thou shalt be promoted in his room; In the rough field for labour in the tent,
And rather than thou wantest scholars, man, More fit for thy green years and peaceful habits. Myself will enter pupil. Better late,
Quen. Even there his well-meant kindness injured Our proverb says, than never to do well. My comrades hated, undervalued me, [me. And look you, on the holydays I'd tell And whatsoe'er of service I could do them,
To all the wondering boors and gaping children, They guerdon'd with ingratitude and envy
Strange tales of what the regiment did in Flanders, Such ny strange doom, that if I serve a man
And thou should'st say Amen, and be my warrant, At deepest risk, he is my foe for ever!
That I speak truth to them. Ser. Hast thou worse fate than others if it were so ? Quen. Would I might take thy offer! But, alas! Worse even than me, thy friend, thine officer, Thou art the hermit who compellid a pilgrim, Whom yon ungrateful slaves have pitch'd ashore, In name of Heaven and heavenly charity, As wild waves heap the sea-weed on the beach, To share his roof and meal, but found too late And left him here, as if he had the pest
That he had drawn a curse on him and his, Or leprosy, and death were in his company ? By sheltering a wretch foredoom'd of heaven! Quen. They think at least you have the worst of Ser. Thou talk'st in riddles to me. plagues,
If I do, The worst of leprosies,—they think you poor. 'Tis that I am a riddle to myself.
Ser. They think like lying villains then. I'm rich, Thou know'st I am by nature born a friend And they too might have felt it. I've a thought To glee and merriment; can make wild verses; But stay-what plans your wisdom for yourself? The jest or laugh has never stopp'd with me, Quen. My thoughts are wellnigh desperate. But I When once 'twas set a rolling. purpose
I have known thee Return to my stern patron—there to tell him A blithe companion still, and wonder now That wars, and winds, and waves, have cross'd his Thou shouldst become thus crest-fallen. pleasure,
[me. Quen. Does the lark sing her descant when the falcon And cast me the shore from whence he banish'd Scales the blue vault with bolder wing than bers, Then let him do his will, and destine for me
And meditates a stoop? The mirth thou'st noted