Page images
PDF
EPUB

past the seals to read in councel, we shall meet on Tuesday morning. * * * This morning wee met in councel, and Si James Turner waite ted on, I having sent him word that the King's ans, in his business was come. The Ch. Exoneratione was first read, then the letter, and St James was called in and told the King's pleasur, to which he spoke both hansomly and submissively, and delayvered up his comissions.'

In his Memoirs, Sir James has repeatedly referred, with evident marks of sore feeling, to the nameless libeller,' the author of a statement of the oppressions suffered in Galloway and Nithsdale, which was extensively circulated in manuscript after the insurrection was suppressed, and, by the impression which it made on the public mind, led to the investigation of which we have spoken.* Sir James drew up an answer to this statement, addressed to the Lords of the Committee, which is now before us. It consists generally of a simple denial of the charges; but when he enters into a particular defence of himself, he more than once makes admissions which draw deep.' The following is one instance of oppression complained of in the libel:

· 10, In the same paroch (Balmaclellan) ane ould deaf man was soe tossed, what by being drawine before thé hie Commissione, what by ruide useadge at home, that he took sickness and dyed, and having first payed 52 rix dollars, and then givene bond for 350 lbs. Scots. And notwithstanding, the poore widdow, since his death, bath paid 120 lbs. being quartered upon manie dayes, till she was forst to leave her hous, and now through coald and double grieff hath contracted seiknes, and is at the poynt of death.'

To this charge Sir James replies as follows: • The old deaff man he meant in his 10 instance, never payed more than a 100 lbs. Scots, and his penalty extendit to 600 lbs. He was a most malicious fellow, and I pray your lordships observe bow the lybeller useth the Commissione for church affaires. That fellow left a legacy to bis familie to pay their penalties with for not goeing to church, and his curses to all them if they did goe. It's true, I caused his wyff pay 120 lb. Scots in the latter end of the last May, a tyme when people ordinarly doe not catch cold.'

Before concluding the article, we may shortly advert to Sir James Turner's conduct after he was deprived of his military commission. Whether he succeeded in his humble supplication to his Majesty for a “gratuity,' in consideration of services performed to him and his royal father, we do not know. It is probable he was unsuccessful; for it appears, from the letters appended to his Memoirs, that he attached himself to the Duke of

* Copies of this statement are still preserved in manuscript; and the substance of it is to be found printed in Naphtali, pe 266_274.

Hamilton, who was in opposition to the ministry. From 1668 to 1680 he resided privately in Glasgow; and Bishop Barnet, who knew him at that period, says, he had then come to himself,' and confessed, that it went often against the grain with 5 him to serve such a debauched and worthless company as the clergy generally were. But the restless knight came to him

self again, and once more resumed active measures against his old friends, the fanatics. On the fall of Lauderdale, the Duke of Hamilton was received into favour, and Turner obtained the double appointment of commander of a company of dragoons, and commissioner, with justiciary powers, to try the rebels within the sbires of Lanerk and Dumbarton. In the exercise of his powers in the latter capacity, which were no less illegal than those under which he had formerly acted, he was concerned in proceedings of a most unjustifiable character.* As a military officer, he was employed in hunting out and seizing those who were to be brought before him as a criminal judge. In the correspondence which he carried on at this period, and which is printed at the end of his Memoirs, we find frequent mention of the noted troopers, (so frightful to the country,) Inglis, Kennoway, and Creighton; and the same documents give us a glimpse of the shameful arts employed, by persons high in rank and command, to screen from punishment such of their subora dinate officers and men as had been guilty of illegal and oppressive acts.t

Sir James being again allowed to handle a sword,' was determined also to make use of his pen,' at which the privy councillors bad pronounced him so dexterous. In 1680, the Cameronians, (who have been erroneously identified with the main body of Presbyterians, or Covenanters,) inflamed by persecution, put forth the Sanquhar Declaration, in which they disowned the king, and advanced some sentiments of a dangerous description. Soon after, there appeared a paper entitled Hackston's Ghost, professing to come from one of these ultracovenanters, and asserting that the principles of the Sanquhar

• Wodrow, ii. 338, 348, 372.

See particularly two letters from Lord Ross to Turner, pp. 292, 293. The correspondence, too, between the Earl of Arran and Sir James, relative to a regiment which his lordship was raising for the Dutch service, discloses some very dishonourable transactions, to which noblemen at that time were not ashamed to be accessory, by kidnapping men, or throwing them into prison as rebels, and then shipping them off to Holland as re« cruits,

Declaration were those held by Presbyterians in general during the late civil war, and especially in the years 1648 and 1649. This squib was ascribed at the time to Bishop Paterson; but we have no doubt that it proceeded from the pen of Sir James Turner. It is certain that he followed it up by different controversial pieces—whether printed or not we cannot say, but extensively circulated-in which he carried the attack much farther than had been done by the Ghost ; charging Knox, Buchanan, and their coadjutors, with antimonarchical principles, and representing the whole procedure in the Scottish Reformation as a course of rebellion against lawful authority. We mention this fact, because it presents us with the prototype of those tirades, which, in the form of satire or history, proceeded from the Jacobites after the Revolution, and betrayed a spirit and sentiments not previously evinced by Episcopalians either in Scotland or England.

We have occasionally looked into Sir James's literary effusions, of which a list is given at the beginning of the Memoirs; comprehending disquisitions on history, morals, religion, &c., in prose and verse. These thc editor has wisely allowed to remain in manuscript. The poetry is wretched, the prose passable as to style, the sentiments commonplace; always excepting his doctrine as to the duty of subjects, to which we do not know well what name to give. As held by others, it has been called passive obedience ; but, as pleaded for and practised by Sir James Turner, it is entitled to the more intelligible name of active obedience ; nor is the reader perplexed with those nice casuistical distinctions between legal and illegal, constitutional and unconstitutional, just and unjust, with which other writers have thought it necessary to guard their doctrine on this head. Murder and assassination become innocent, and even glorious deeds, when sanctioned by the authority of a crowned head. Speaking of General Wallenstein, Duke of Friedland, and his assassination during a feast, by Gordon, Leslie, and Devereux, agents of the Emperor of Germany, Sir James says - This act of theirs was, in my opinion, noble and generous, • though many have bene pleasd to give it the contrarie carac

ter.' And having occasion to speak of the person who murdered the patriotic William, Prince of Orange, he expresses himself in the following terms :- I am farre from reckoning him • among martirs, for all his patience; neither can I call him an • assassin, since he had a public warrand from his soveraigne, the King of Spane, for dispatching that revolted prince.'

Art. III.-1. An Introduction to the Latin Tongue. For the Use of

Youth. A new Edition, carefully revised and improved. Eton, 1829. 2. Grece Grammaticis Rudimenta, in usum Regiæ Schole Etonensis. Editio nova, accuratissime recognita. Etonæ, 1829. 3. Scriptores Romani, in usum Regiæ Scholæ Etonensis. Etonæ, 1829. 4. Scriptores Græci, in usum Regie Schola Etonensis. Editio altera recognita, et cum multis notis evulgata. A. J. W. NiBLOCK, A.B. ex Aula Sancti Edmundi, Oxoniæ. Etonæ, 1821.

recognita et aucta. Etone, 1828. 6. A comparatire Atlas of Ancient and Modern Geography, from original authorities, and upon a new Plan, for the use of Eton School. By A. ARROWSMITH, Hydrographer to his Majesty. London, 1828. 7. Index to the Eton Comparative Atlas of Ancient and Modern Geography. By A. ARROWSMITH, Hydrographer to his Majesty. London, 1828. 8. A List of Eton College, taken at Election. Eton, 1829.

"The judge is condemned when the guilty man is acquitted,'

1 says our motto. This maxim, though some have thought it too severe, may be fairly applied in courts of literature; as these tribunals only judge persons who offer themselves for judgment on their own testimony. In some cases, however, in default of other information, we are compelled to act both as advocate and judge; and, like the Ephors of Sparta, to collect the facts, to make the charge, and decide upon its truth or falsehood. The assumption of this double character, we are aware, imposes a double necessity of attention to the fairness of our proceedings; and it shall be our endeavour to keep this obligation steadily in view, in attempting to lay before our readers an account of the system of education pursued at one of the chief Public Schools of England,-a seminary cqually renowned for its antiquity, its wealth, and the number of its students.

We shall not at present enter upon the early history of the College of Eton, or examine its statutes and charters.* Our

* For which see Appendix (A) to the Fourth Report from the Select Committee on the Education of the Lower Orders, 1818. Besides the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, and their several Colleges, tlie three Colleges of Eton, Winchester, and Westminster, are alone excepted from the Mortmain Act.

VOL. LI. NO. CI.

only object is to give a faithful picture of that ancient establishment as it actually exists ;-to describe the mode of education, and the system of moral and religious discipline there adopted, so as to enable our readers to form an opinion on the amount of intellectual and moral improvement to be expected from a residence in it.

The College of Eton is formed of the Provost and Fellows, who do not directly interfere in the government of the school, but have the privilege of nominating the upper and lower Masters, who have respectively the management of the upper and lower Schools. Besides these masters, there were in 1829 ten assistant masters, eight in the upper and two in the lower school. These two divisions are not, however, of equal size : thus, in the summer of last year, the former contained 556, the latter only 56 boys. The upper school is divided into four classes, or forms; viz. the 6th and 5th forms, the remove, and the 4th form. Besides this division of schools, there is also a division of orders. Seventy King's scholars, or (as they are usually termed) Collegers, are maintained gratuitously on the foundation; they sleep in three large rooms forming part of the college. The Collegers wear a dress to distinguish them from the other and more numerous portion of the boys, who are called Oppidans. These either live in Dame's houses, or in the houses of their Tutors, whom the parents or guardians are allowed to select at pleasure, and are not forced (as at Oxford and Cambridge) to take the person appointed by the head of the college. This difference of habitation naturally, in some measure, estranges these two orders, and unfortunately a considerable enmity prevails between them. King's College at Cambridge was founded in connexion with Eton, that it might receive as fellows the students on the foundation of the latter institution. As vacancies occur at King's College, those of the King's scholars at Eton who are first in the school, are nominated to the vacant fellowships. This choice is determined not by merit, but by seniority; and as seniority is obtained by long residence at Eton, and as a long residence there is sometimes a great obstacle to the acquirement of knowledge, * the lot often misses the most deserving candidates. But the mischief does not end here; for the undergraduates at King's College being supposed to arrive at Cambridge with uncommon attainments, are not required to pass the University examination, which, in all other cases, is a

* We believe that it is generally remarked at Eton, that the boys at the top of the forms are less well-instructed than those at the bottom.

« PreviousContinue »