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By Keith Sanger

On the 17th November 1510 at an assize held at 'Jedworthe', Selkirk, Robert Haw in Hevefyde (Heavyside), produced a Respite for, among other crimes: Item of art and part of the ‘Hereship of a horfe, houfehold goods, and a bagpipe, price 20 merks’, from George Weyr.

Sentence was pronounced that Haw should be warded by the sheriff for forty days - and if in the meantime he did not find sureties, that the should be hanged.

Source, Robert Pitcairn, Ancient Criminal trials in Scotland: compiles from original records and mss. Vol 1 p.70-71.

June 1599 Alexander Bruce, heir and appeirand of Auchenbowie and James M'Farlan, piper, were summoned by the Presbytery of Stirling for profaining the Sabbath by piping and dancing. Bruce who was M'Farlan's master made public repentance which was not lasting, for in the following year, on 16 April 1600, M'Farlan the piper was again examined by the Presbytery for Sabbath profanation with his pipes ‘be Playing thereon publicly on that craig callit the peace craig. Whereby many pepill was conveneit to danceing, at the quhilk tyme tulzeing and bludeshed fell out to the dishonour of God and the profanation of his holie Sababoth. The said James confessis that Alexr. Bruce, appeirand of Auchenbowey, his master, tuke him violently furth of his house and brak his small pip because he refusit to play, and thereafter compellit him to play on the great pip'. Later, that century in August 1609 in the same Presbytery, eight persons, a piper among them were summoned to ‘answer for prophanation of the Sabbath be making of flour treis, dansing about the samin and singing of superstitious and Prophane sangis with their swordis about thame'.

Source: Records of the presbytery of Stirling; quoted in the Introduction to The Poems of Alexander Hume, ed. By A. Lawson for the Scottish Text Society. (1902) p. XXXIII-XXXIV

October 30, 1714. 'Mr Gray came to preach but he no sooner advanced toward the Church than he was interrupted and stopt in this passage by a great many persons hired by David Lyndesay of Edzell to mob and rable him, and those that were with him, they did violently beat several with staves to the effusion of their blood, and thrust at breasts of others with knives and durks. Among the rablers to whome Edzell was said to have given money, ale and brandy were John Kinninment piper and Isabel Mathers, his wife'. The full list includes a tailor, merchant and Lindesay of Edzell's own servants, ‘an uncommon rable'. The real motive behind the exercise was clearly political and related to the events leading to the Jacobite rising.

Source: Edzell Parish Register, Extract printed in the Land of the Lindsays by Andrew Jervise (1882), Appendix p. 411-412.    

Keith Sanger