The Interrogation of John Potter for Treason in 1680

On 17 November, 1680, one of the Society people, John Potter of Uphall parish in Linlithgowshire, was interrogated by a committee of the privy council…

‘John Potter, late Servant to the Lord Cardrose, being examined whether or not he owns and justifies the Declaration in Sanchar [of 1680]? Declares he owns and justifies it; and the double thereof being read unto him, he owned the same.

Confesses he was present at a Field-Conventicle near Carnwath Sunday was a fortnight [i.e., 31 October, 1680], where [Donald] Cargill Preached. But denies that he was at the Conventicle at Torwood.

Being questioned if he was at Bothwel-Bridge [in 1679] and Airdsmosse [in 1680]? He refuses to answer.

Denies that he was at the Murder of [James Sharp] the Archbishop of St Andrews [in 1679].

Being interrogated if he owns the King [Charles II] to be King? He declares he owns no Authority that is against the Law of God, and he thinks the Authority now exercised is against the Law of God, and that the King having broken the Covenant, he owes no Obedience to Him.

There being a Paper produced of the nature of a Bond and Combination [before Sanquhar], Relative to the Declaration at Rutherglen, disclaiming the Declaration at Hamilton, especially because it takes in the Kings Interest, from which it says they are loosed by the Kings Perfidy and Covenant breaking, &c. which wants a date, and is Subscribed by Mr. Richard Cameron, Mr. Thomas Douglas, John Potter, and divers others; Declares he owns that Paper, and the whole Contents of it; and declares that the Names John Potter subjoined to it, is his Subscription, and that the same was signed in a Moore near to Galloway in Summer last [i.e., in June, 1680].

He confesses the truths of all this, but refuses to Sign it; therefore it is Signed by the Committee of Council, viz. The Earl of Linlithgow, the Earl of Perth, [George Ross] The Lord Rosse, [Lord Hatton] the Lord Treasurer Depute, the Lord Register, and Lieutenant-General [Thomas] Dalzel.’ (Anon., A True and Impartial Account Of the Examinations and Confessions Of several Execrable Conspirators Against the King & His Government In Scotland, 10-11.)

Additional Text © Copyright Dr Mark Jardine. All Rights Reserved.

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~ by drmarkjardine on December 15, 2012.

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