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"Cloud," in a note, remind the reader that such statements are to be interpreted like those of James Skene, as a warning to persecutors rather than as manifestations of a revengeful spirit . The Rev. James Anderson, in his interesting volume, " The Ladies of the Covenant," in his notice of Marion Harvie, has very appropriately quoted a passage from a letter of Gray of Chryston, one who suffered much himself during those times, to Wodrow, which quite agrees with the views of the compilers:
"As to their leaving their blood upon their enemies in general, or upon particular persons accessory to their trouble, I could never understand that they meant more by it than the fastening a conviction upon a brutish, persecuting generation, who vainly justified themselves as acting by law, and inferred that not they, but the legislature, were answerable, if any injustice was done."
Marion Harvie's Testimony closes with an account of her last moments. She preserved her faith and hope and confidence to the end. When she came to the scaffold, she and Isabel Alison sang the Ixxxiv. Psalm, and it is said the tune they sung was the fine old tune, "Martyrs," verifying the rude lines—
"This is the tune the Martyrs sang
When they were gaun to die,
After reading what was said by her and her fellow-sufferer Isabel Alison, Peden's short but characteristic eulogium on them will be felt to be well merited: "They were two honest, worthy lasses."
No execution of those cruel times seems to have excited more sympathy or a deeper interest throughout the country. In the somewhat coarsely-executed, yet expressive engraving, prefixed to the first edition of Alexander Shields' "Hind Let Loose," published in 1687, "Women hanged," evidently Isabel Alison and Marion Harvie, occupy a place side by side with "The drowned at stakes at sea," viz., the Wigtown Martyrs, Margaret Wilson and Margaret M'Lauchlan. Fountainhall twice notices their end, and once tries to defend their execution. One of his chronological notes under 1680 is—
"Janet [Isabel] Alison in Perth, and one Harvie in Borrow
stounness, two Cameronian women, were hanged at Edinburgh, 26th January 1681; they called the king and bishops perjured bloody men. There were five other women executed with them for murder of their children."
In his "Historical Observes" he has this remark, under date —26th January 1681.—"There were hanged at Edinburgh, two women of ordinary rank, for their uttering treasonable words and other principles and opinions contrary to all our government; the one was named Janet [Isabel] Alison, a Perth woman, the other [Marion] Harvie, from Borrowstounness. They were of Cameron's faction, bigot and sworn enemies to the king and the bishops; of the same stamp with Rathillet, Skene, Stewart, and Potter; of whom supra, where we debate how far men (for women are scarce to be honoured with that martyrdom, as they think it), are to be punished capitally for their bare perverse judgment without acting. Some thought that threatening to drown them privately in the North Loch, without giving them the credit of a public suffering, would have more effectually reclaimed them than any arguments which were used; and the bringing them to a scaffold but disseminates the infection. However, the women proved very obstinate, and for all the pains taken would not acknowledge the king to be their lawful prince, but called him a perjured bloody man. At the stage, one of them told, so long as she followed and heard the curates, she was a swearer, Sabbathbreaker, and with much aversion read the Scriptures; but found much joy upon her spirit since she followed the conventicle preaching."
Mr George Johnston, referred to in the questions, was minister of Newbattle. He was deprived of his charge by the Act of Council at Glasgow, 1662. In April 1670, he was seized in Edinburgh on the charge of frequently keeping conventicles, and confined to the parish of Borthwick during the Council's pleasure. In August 1675 his name, along with Donald Cargill, James Frazer of Brea, and many others, occurs in the Letters of Intercommuning issued by the Council. Some time previous to the trial of Marion Harvie he must have accepted the Indulgence. He survived the Revolution.
As to the " rock, cod, and boboons" spoken of in her answers before the Privy Council, the rock was a distaff, the staff around which the flax is arranged, and from which it is drawn for spinning; the cod, i.e., the pincushion or pillow; and boboons, i.e., bobbins, the small pieces of wood with a head on which the thread is wound, in making lace. The phrase is thus equivalent to spinning and lace-making.
Marion Harvie leaves her testimony on "Andrew Cunningham, that gave me my doom." The Doomster, or Dempster, was at that time an officer of the Court of Justiciary, whose duty it was to proclaim formally the extreme sentence of the law on the prisoner at the bar. This odious office was usually held by the public executioner.—Ed.]
HE LAST SPEECH AND TESTIMONY of
An Account of her Answers before the
"They asked first, How long is it since ye saw Mr Donald Cargill? I said, I cannot tell particularly when I saw him.
"They said, Did ye see him within these three months? I said, It may be I have.
"They said, Do ye own his Covenant? I said, What Covenant? Then they read it to me; and I said, I did own it.
"They said, Do ye own the SaHquhar Declaration? I answered, Yes.
"They said, Do ye own these to be lawful? I said, Yes; because they are according to the Scriptures and our Covenants, which ye swore yourselves, and my father swore them.
"They said, Yea; but the Covenant does not bind you to deny the king's authority. I said, So long as the king held by the truths of God, which he swore, we were obliged to own him; but when he brake his oath, and robbed Christ of His kingly rights, which do not belong to him, we were bound to disown him and you also.
"They said, Do ye know what ye say? I said, Yes.
"They said, Were ye ever mad? I answered, I have all the wit that ever God gave me. Do you see any mad act in me?
"They said, Where were you born? I answered, In Borrowstounness.
"They asked, What was your occupation there? I told them I served.
"They said, Did ye serve the woman that gave Mr Donald Cargill quarters? I said, That is a question which I will not answer.
"They said, Who did ground you in these principles? I answered, Christ, by His word.
"They said, Did not ministers ground you in these? I answered, When the ministers preached the word, the Spirit of God backed and confirmed it to me.
"They said, Did ye ever see Mr John Welch [i.e., of Irongray]? I said, Yes; my soul hath been refreshed by hearing him.
"They asked, If ever I heard Mr Archibald Riddell? I answered, Yes; and I bless the Lord that ever I heard him.
"They said, Did ever they preach to take up arms against the king? I said, I have heard them preach to defend the Gospel, which we are all sworn to do.
"They asked, If ever I sware to Mr Donald Cargill's Covenant? I said, No; but we are bound to own it.
"They said, Did ye ever hear Mr George Johnston? I said, I am not concerned with him. I would not hear him, for he is joined in a confederacy with yourselves.
"They said, Did ye hear the Excommunication at the Torwood? I said, No; I could not win [i.e., get] to it.
"They asked, If I did approve of it? I answered, Yes.
"They asked, If I approved of the killing the Lord St Andrews? I said, In so far as the Lord raised up instruments to execute His just judgments upon him, I have nothing to say against it; for he was a perjured wretch and a betrayer of the Kirk of Scotland.
"Then they asked, What age I was of? I answered, I cannot tell
"They said among themselves that I would be about twenty years of age, and began to regret my case, and said, Would I cast away myself so? I answered, I love my life, as well as any of you do; but would not redeem it upon sinful terms; for Christ says, 'He that seeks to save his life, shall lose it.'
"They said, A rock, the cod and boboons, were as fit for me to meddle with as these things. Then one of them asked when the assize should sit? and some other of them answered, on Monday.
"Then they asked, If I could write? I answered, Yes.
"Will you subscribe, said they, what you have said? I answered, No. They bade the clerk set down that I could write, but refused to subscribe.
"Then they asked, If I desired to converse with any of our ministers? I said, What ministers?
"They said, Mr Riddell. I said, What would ye have me to do with him?
"They said, He might convince you of that sin. I said, What sin?
"They said, The sin of rebellion. I smiled, and said, If I were as free of all sin as the sin of rebellion, I should be an innocent creature.
"They asked, If they should bring Mr Riddell to me. I said, It was an evidence he was not right, since they had him so much at their will And I told them, I would have none of their ministers. This is all I can remember at this present."
ARION HARVIE'S DISCOURSE before the Justiciary Court:
"First, I was brought and set'in the pannel [i.e., at the bar], with the murderers, and they read over my indictment, and asked me, If I did confess with these things? I answered, Yes.
"Then they read the Sanquhar Declaration, and asked, If I owned it? I answered, Yes.
"They read that paper which they call the New Covenant, and asked, If I owned it? I answered, Yes.
"Then I protested they had nothing to say against me, as to matter of fact; but only because I owned Christ and His truth, and persecuted Gospel and members, 'of which [I said] ye have hanged some, others you have beheaded and quartered quick' [i.e., alive, as Hackston of Rathillet]. To that they replied -nothing ; but called the assizers, [i.e., jurymen], who had no will to appear, till they were about to fine them, and then they came forward.
"One of them said, he did not desire to be one of the assize, but they would have him. He bade them read our confession; for he knew not what they had to say against us. They bade him hold up his hand. and swear that he would be true, and he could not, but fell on trembling.
"The Advocate bade the assizers look if I had anything to say