So we have seen reports of the rebellion, pursuit and capture of the Dunbarton’s Regiment and Edward Kings account left them imprisoned, but for two of their number dead and two more fleeing through hostile country.
Our next document is “A Full and True ACCOUNT OF THE Tryal, Conviction, & Condemnation of the SCOTCH REBELS, OFFICERS in the L. Dunbartons Regiment; At Bury St. Edmunds in SUFFOLK, (On Wednesday, July 31st, 1689) For High-Treason.” [Licens’d, according to Order, 1689. LONDON, Printed for J. Pardo in St. James’s street, 1689]. This is a two page pamphlet, differing in format and printer from any of the previous accounts as well as much (if not quite all) of their Williamite sychophancy.
After a recap of recent their rebellion and capture, interestingly saying that they were ” made Prisoners of War” – I’m curious as to the nuances of that in context and brought to London. Forty “of the most notorious Criminals” were imprisoned in Newgate and the Gatehouse (presumably the one then next to Westminster Abbey) and eight came to trial in Bury St. Edmunds, after a July 13th adjournment.
Here, for the first time, we have names attached to the rebels. The eight tried were:
Captain —– Sutherland,
Cp. John Auchmonty,
Cp. Wiliam Deanes,
Cp. John Livingston,
Alexander Gawne, adj.,
and Robert Johnson
Certainly some good “Scotch” names there and I will see if any other record exists of these men. There was a Leiutenant John Auchmonty who left the Jacobite garrison at Edinburgh castle before the siege by Royalist forces. Could this be the same man? Another avenue for investigation
Captain Surtherland was “so indisposed as he could not be moved without Hazard to Life” so did not attend the trial, frustratingly we are not told whether this is due to illness, or whether, perhaps he was one of the Sleaford fugitives.
The jury were selected, it seem from 168 elligable persons “of devers Ranks and Qualities but not one who had less than Forty Pounds a Year in Land”. The defendants object to the selection of several jurors (presumably as they were county people through whose locality they had recently passed riotously through), the King’s Solictior only objected to two.
The indictment was for “High Treason, in Rebelling and Levying War against their Majesties, their Crown and Dignity,&c.”
Auchmonty was tried first, perhaps suggesting his being the ringleader. Witnesses included officers of the regiments (sadly the reproduction of the pamphlet is poor here, but including a Lieutenant Robert Bruce) and 16 others from Ipswich and along the Rebels march route complaining of their “Pressing Men, Horses and Carts”
Auchmonty’s various defences, that the troops mutinied against him a, forcing his actions and that the monarchs were uncrowned were duly dismissed and he was convicted of High treason.
This prompted the other six present to change their pleas to guilty throwing themselves at the King’s mercy, begging the Judges to intercede with the King for them (as they had with the King’s Officers at their capture). They cited their previous good service and undertook to serve the King for the rest of their lives. Adjutant Gawne was a “Romanist” and could “do as other to assure his Fidelity”, presumably a Test Act-like oath offered to pay a security instead. It is notable that whilst elsewhere, particularly in parliament this was seen as a Catholic conspiracy, only one of the seven ring leaders was a confessed Catholic.
The pamphleteer then raises the hope for the accused, before dashing it with almost comical suddenness
They did indeed all of them behave themselves with great Modesty and Prudence as Gentlemen and Souldiers, and seemed really inclined to give all Demonstrations that Men could of their future intentions of Loyalty, &c.
In Conclusion, Sentence of Death was passed on them all as in Cases of High Treason
There is reason to believe that all sentences were not carried out-the court would have had no choice but to pass the death sentence, mercy, as the officers were aware, lay with the King. There is reason to believe that not all of the were executed, but I’m not yet clear who survived and who died.
So this concludes my initial look at the four sources I have found on the Dunbarton’s Rebellion. It leaves a lot of gaps in the tale and has peaked my interest in a few related topics. I will be returning to the Dunbartons’ Rebellion periodically.