Dunnottar Prisoners Attempting to Escape at Leith are put in Irons #History #Scotland

Dunnottar

On 31 October, 1685, nineteen prisoners, some of whom were suspected of attempting to escape from Leith Tolbooth, were brought to Edinburgh Tolbooth and put in irons.

What makes the list intriguing is that most of the prisoners from Leith had previously been imprisoned in Dunnottar Castle. Many of them had been given to George Scot of Pitlochie for banishment to PerthAmboy/East Jersey in mid August. Some of them are recorded as having their banishment stopped before Pitlochie’s ship, the Henry & Francis, departed at the beginning of September.

The nineteen prisoners on the list were mainly women or the old, the sick or those who were simply left behind when the ship sailed. One intriguing aspect of the list is that it includes the names of five Dunnottar prisoners who are often recorded as having been banished on the Henry & Francis and said to have reached Perth Amboy. As these prisoners were in Leith on 30 October, is it clear that they were not transported.

LeithLeith

Under the records of Edinburgh Tolbooth for 31 October, 1685:

Colin Alisone (Dunnottar, Banished 17 Aug. Stopped 25 Aug.)
William Hanna (Dunnottar, Banished 17 Aug. Stopped 25 Aug.)
David Scott (Dunnottar.)
John Kollie i.e., John Kellie (Dunnottar, Banished 17 Aug. Said to have reached Perth Amboy.)]
William Douglas (Dunnottar, Banished 17 Aug. Said to have reached Perth Amboy.)
Patrick Cunninghame (Dunnottar, Banished 17 Aug. Said to have reached Perth Amboy.)
John King (Dunnottar, Banished 17 Aug. Said to have reached Perth Amboy.)
Christian Cavie (Dunnottar, Banished 17 Aug. Said to have reached Perth Amboy.)
Jonett Scott
Elizabeth Maitland (Dunnottar.)
Margaret Maitland
Jean Sempill (Dunnottar.)
Jean Mcgie (Dunnottar, Banished 17 Aug. Stopped 21 Aug.)
Helen Smith
Marion fforrester
Elspeth Walker i.e., Elizabeth Walker (Dunnottar.)
Elspeth Corss, i.e., Elizabeth Corse/Corss (Dunnottar, Banished 17 Aug. Stopped 21 Aug.)
Christian Scott (Dunnottar, Banished 17 Aug. Stopped 21 Aug.)
Grissell Gardiner
All brought from the Tolbuith of Leith by ane ordor ffrom his Majesties privie Councill wherof the tennor ffollowes

Edr 30 of October 1685
The Lords of the Committie of his Majesties privie Councill for publict affairs having receaved information ffrom the Baillie of Leith that severall of the persones in their prison vpon the publict accompt had bein attempting to make their escape and in order therto had gott instruments and towes carryed in to them doe therfore heirby give order to the Lord Provist of Edinburgh to causs a pairty of the toun guaird to transport the saids prisoners from the Tolbuith of Leith to the Tolbuith of Edinburgh and to cause putt them in the iron houss and in the irones till furder ordor Sic Sub Will Paterson (Book of the Old Edinburgh Club, XII, 184-5.)

On 12 November, one of the former Dunnottar prisoners, John Kellie, baxter in Dunbar, was liberated. (Book of the Old Edinburgh Club, XII, 185.)

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Text © Copyright Dr Mark Jardine. All Rights Reserved. Please feel free link to this post on Facebook or other social networks or retweet it, but do not reblog in FULL without the express permission of the author @drmarkjardine

Photograph: Dunnottar Castle © Copyright Jjhake and licensed for reuse.

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~ by drmarkjardine on November 30, 2016.

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