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And where the battle fiercest raged,
Their mighty swords are felt; And bloody tokens strew the path
Where'er their blows are dealt. But soon they fall, these spirits bold,
And see, their eyes grow dim ! He lies like winter, white and cold,
And they like spring with him.
“ Farewell, ye earth and heavens so bright !
Your wailings, comrades, cease! We bravely die in open fight,
And gain eternal peace.” Brave spirits go! your wreaths we 'll weave,
Your deeds shall live in story ; With hero's deaths the crowns receive
Of deathless peace and glory.
This grim S . is marked in ali nema pression of the cour (now Amisfield) ape Haddington, in Las of broad-cloth establecer about to be related.
Sir James Stansfo . After Cromwell's vir woollen manufactory At the Restoration, pro . Colonel Stansfield, on hood. His prospects, found murdered, as was me, disinherited for his dresses for trial, February, 6, js.
The indictment set
« That whereas by the was and seditious words, to la of his royal government : bien Majesty, is high treason. ha sinating of a parent, is puna under trust, is punishable Stansfield, shaking off the or one or other of the days September last, in the kitches avowed traitor, begin a brand native sovereign; and did a same.
« That although his father la taken ill courses, and had been Southwark, and in the public places; from whence his said fat standing, he fell to his debauche upon, his father signifying his is estate upon John Stansfield, his
VOL. 1., NO. XXI.
declare he would cut his father's throat : particularly, that upon the 1st, 2d, or 3d, or one or other of the days of the months of January, February, March, and remaining months of January, February, March, and remaining months of the year of God, 1680, 1681, 1682, 1683, and 1684 years, or one or other of them; he did attempt to assassinate his father by pursuing him in the highway, &c., and firing pistols upon him: which the said Sir James, his father, had declared to several persons of honour in his lifetime.
“ And that upon the — day of November last, the said Sir James Stansfield, coming from Edinburgh to his house at New Milns, and going into his chamber to rest about ten o'clock at night, and being alone in the room, under the credit, trust, and assurance of the said Philip, his son, and his own servants within his family : the said Philip did consult with one George Tomson, and divers other persons, how to murder him : and that accordingly, they did murder and strangle hin in his bed-chamher; and in the dead of the night carried him from the said room, and threw him into a pond near the house. That the next morning when the body was found, the said Philip caused it to be buried in haste, and refused to stay till his friends and physicians viewed it. That the body being taken up again by authority, and inspected by surgeons, it appeared to have been strangled and not drowned. And that his nearest relations being required to lift the corpse into the coffin after it had been inspected ; upon the said Philip Stansfield touching of it (according to God's usual method of discovering murder, says the framer of the indictment) it bled afresh upon the said Philip, and that thereupon he let the body fall, and fled from it in the greatest consternation ; crying Lord have mercy upon me.
" And that the said Philip being found by an assize to be actor, art and part of the aforesaid crimes, one or other of them, he ought to be punished for the treasonable crimes above specified, with forfeiture of life, lands, and goods : and for the other crimes above mentioned capitally, and with the pains of death, and confiscation of moveables, to the terror and example of others, &c.”
The trial of Philip Stansfield took place at Edinburgh, before the supreme criminal court, called the High Court of Justiciary; the judges on the bench being George Earl of Linlithgow, who held the long sinecure and now abolished office of Lord Justice General, and the Hon. Sir John Lockhart of Castlehill, Sir David Balfour of Forret, Sir Roger Holge (or Hog) of Harcase, and John Murray of Drumcairne, styled Commissioners or Lords of Justiciary. The then second, and now presiding, judge of the court, the Lord Justice Clerk, does not appear to have been present.
The first day, Monday, the 6th of February, was occupied in arguing and considering what is called in the Scottish law the relevancy of the facts libelled or charged, that is to say, their sufficiency to infer the conclusion affirmed in the indictment or criminal letters. The decision of this purely legal question belongs solely to the judges of the court.
The pursuers, or counsel, who appeared for the prosecution, were Sir John Dalrymple, Lord Advocate (the same who afterwards became Secretary of State, and first Earl of Stair), and Sir George Mackenzie, the well-known writer on Scottish law and antiquities. The counsel for the prisoner (or pannel, as called in Scotland), styled procurators in defence, were Sir David Thoirs, Sir Patrick Hume, Mr. William Monie
penny, and Mr. William Dundas-the three last, names that have continued to be eminent in connexion with the bar and courts of Scotland down to our dav.
Sir Patrick Hume alleged in the prisoner's defence, that as to the drinking confusion to the King it was an improbable calumny, he having upon all occasions testified his lovalty; particularly in Monmouth's rebellion, when he entered himself a volunteer in the Earl of Dunbarton's regiment ; where he continued till the rebels were defeated.
As to his firing pistols at his father in 1683 and 1684, it might be proved there was an entire friendship between him and his father at that time: but if those facts were true, as they had been pardoned by the act of indemnity, so they could not be made use of as instruments now, to infer that he was guilty of this murder.
That as to the corpse bleeding when the prisoner touched it, it was a superstitious observation, founded neither upon law or reason: and quoted ('arprorius and Mattheus de Criminibus to be of the same opinion: and said, the bleeding was occasioned by the moving of the body, and the incision the surgeons had made; and that other people touching the body at the same time, it could no more be ascribed to the prisoner than to them.
That the other circumstances laid in the indictment were but idle stories, for that it could be proved the prisoner went to bed in his own chambes the night his father was murdered, and did not stir out of his bed till called up by his father's servant next morning.
His Majesty's advocate replied, that the drinking or wishing confusion to his Majesty (which fact was not expressly controverted) did clearly infer treason, and came within the intention of the act. All speeches in disdain and contempt of his Majesty (as this was being by that act made 80. And although the prisoner having engaged voluntarily in his Majesty s service ; it was urged that these words could not be spoken deliberately and maliciously, yet they being proved to be reiterated, and the prisoner forcing others to drink the same health : the crime once committed could not be wird off by any speeches or actions afterwards, and that the prisoner had due sense of the importance of the words, having conjured the company to secresv; and threatened to beat ard brain them that should discover what they had done.
Whereas it is said all crimes before the vear 1685, are pardoned by the indemnity, it is answered, the crime of cursing of parents was not included in a general act of indemnity; for the words of the act against curse of parents being, that the cursets of parents shall be put to death without merry, there required a special remission in the act of indemnity, especially where private persons are more interested than the public, as here the parent is : and also for that the indemnity extended only to those who were under the degree of an heritor, wodsetter, or burgess, wbich the prisoner could not pretend to be.
Although it is said, the son threatening to cut his fnther's throat was but a remote circumstance, and that it could not be concluded from thence that he had actually murdered him ; vet he thought it such a circumstance, that unless the prisoner could shew that some other person killed him, he must be reputed the murderer.
Here the King's advocate opened the evidence, and then went on. That as the body bleeding, although several persons touched it, none of their hands were besmeared with blood but the prisoner's; and that the body having lain two days in the grave in a cold season, the blood must naturally be congealed. That the lifting about the body, and even the incision that was made, causing no such effusion before, but only of some water or gore, and should upon the prisoner's first touching begin to bleed afresh ; he must ascribe it to the wonderful Providence of God, who in this manner discovers murder ; especially since no natural reason could be assigned for it : and that the horrible impressions it made on the prisoner, not withstanding his resolution to the contrary, might be urged as another argument of his guilt.
And that although Sir James Stansfield was melancholy and frantic in the year 1679, yet, he was known to have recovered his health, and to be of a composed, sedate temper of mind for several years past, and so capable of business, as to be intrusted by the wisest men in the kingdom ; nor at the time of his death had any sickness or returning frenzy upon him: besides, it appearing plainly that he was strangled, it could not be presumed that he afterwards walked out and drowned himself. And as to the prisoner's surrendering himself, it was indeed suitable to the rest of his imprudence, and he might imagine by that means to make the world believe he was innocent.
The court at Edinburgh, the 7th February, 1688, met, and the assize consisting of fifteen merchants and tradesmen, being sworn without any challenge or exception to any of them, his Majesty's advocate produced his witnesses.
John Robertson, servant to the deceased, deposed, that he saw the prisoner a little before harvest last in the kitchen at New Milns, drink confusion to the Pope, Antichrist, the Chancellor, and the King, and commanded the deponent to drink it on his knees, and that the prisoner was not drunk at that time : and, that the deponent saying it was treason, the prisoner answered, you dog, what are you concerned, you do not understand to whom you speak?
Agnes Bruce deposed, that a little before harvest last, in the kitchen at New Milns, she saw the prisoner drink confusion to the Pope and the King, and made Samuel Spofforth drink the same on his knees; and it being talked of in the house about a week after, he said to this deponent, God -- him, if he knew who divulged it, he would be their death.
John Robertson aforesaid, further deposed, that since harvest last, he heard the prisoner wish the devil might take his father. And at another time, the deponent telling the prisoner he was going to such a place with his father, he prayed the devil might let none of them come back, either horse or man. And on other occasions he had heard the prisoner say of his father, the devil damn him, the devil rive him, &c., and said, his father girned upon him like a sheep's head in a tongs.
William Scot deposed, he heard the prisoner wish the devil might take his father.
Agnes Bruce, above said, further deposed, that she had often heard the prisoner vow and swear he would kill any person that offended him. That he conversed much with Janet Johnston, George Tomson and his wife (charged with being concerned in this murder), and used, after supper at his father's, to go to these persons. That she has frequently heard the prisoner curse his father, and express his hatred and abhorrence of him,