Records of a Family of Engineers eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 237 pages of information about Records of a Family of Engineers.
the mill-town of Roberton’), murdered in 1590; Archibald (’in Gallowfarren’), killed with shots of pistols and hagbuts in 1608.  Three violent deaths in about seventy years, against which we can only put the case of Thomas, servant to Hume of Cowden Knowes, who was arraigned with his two young masters for the death of the Bastard of Mellerstanes in 1569.  John (’in Dalkeith’) stood sentry without Holyrood while the banded lords were despatching Rizzio within.  William, at the ringing of Perth bell, ran before Gowrie House ’with ane sword, and, entering to the yearde, saw George Craiggingilt with ane twa-handit sword and utheris nychtbouris; at quilk time James Boig cryit ower ane wynds, “Awa hame! ye will all be hangit"’—­a piece of advice which William took, and immediately ‘depairtit.’  John got a maid with child to him in Biggar, and seemingly deserted her; she was hanged on the Castle Hill for infanticide, June 1614; and Martin, elder in Dalkeith, eternally disgraced the name by signing witness in a witch trial, 1661.  These are two of our black sheep. {3a} Under the Restoration, one Stevenson was a bailie in Edinburgh, and another the lessee of the Canonmills.  There were at the same period two physicians of the name in Edinburgh, one of whom, Dr. Archibald, appears to have been a famous man in his day and generation.  The Court had continual need of him; it was he who reported, for instance, on the state of Rumbold; and he was for some time in the enjoyment of a pension of a thousand pounds Scots (about eighty pounds sterling) at a time when five hundred pounds is described as ‘an opulent future.’  I do not know if I should be glad or sorry that he failed to keep favour; but on 6th January 1682 (rather a cheerless New Year’s present) his pension was expunged. {4a} There need be no doubt, at least, of my exultation at the fact that he was knighted and recorded arms.  Not quite so genteel, but still in public life, Hugh was Under-Clerk to the Privy Council, and liked being so extremely.  I gather this from his conduct in September 1681, when, with all the lords and their servants, he took the woful and soul-destroying Test, swearing it ‘word by word upon his knees.’  And, behold! it was in vain, for Hugh was turned out of his small post in 1684. {4b} Sir Archibald and Hugh were both plainly inclined to be trimmers; but there was one witness of the name of Stevenson who held high the banner of the Covenant—­John, ’Land-Labourer, {4c} in the parish of Daily, in Carrick,’ that ‘eminently pious man.’  He seems to have been a poor sickly soul, and shows himself disabled with scrofula, and prostrate and groaning aloud with fever; but the enthusiasm of the martyr burned high within him.

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Records of a Family of Engineers from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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