The admission of ALEXANDER GIBSON, Senior, as a Burgess of Dundee, is recorded under date 23rd. September, 1599 (vide page 81). His eldest son and namesake, whose name is here entered, became his rival in the profession of the Law, and gained a very eminent place amongst the leading men of his time. Having served some time as Clerk to the Privy Council, he ultimately became Lord Clerk Register, in November, 1641, and was made an Ordinary Lord of Session on 2nd July, 1646. These two offices he filled with credit till 1649, at which time he was superseded by the PROTECTOR CROMWELL. Before this time he had been employed by the Presbyterian party to oppose the establishment of Episcopacy, and when the KING's Declaration was published at Edinburgh, on 4th July, 1637, he protested against it in name of the Barons. After the memorable Assembly of 1638 had abolished the rule of the Bishops, he was commissioned to collect evidence against them, and thereby aroused the opposition of the High Church party. The feelings with which he was then regarded by the Episcopalians is shown by a contemporary lampoon, in which he is thus referred to
From Sandie Hay, and Sandie Gibsone,
Sandie Kinneir, and Sandie Johnstoun,
Whase knaverie made them Covenanters
To keep their necks out of the halteris,
Of falshood, greid, whan you'll it name,
Of treacherie they think no shame.
Yet thes, the mates of Catharus,
Frome whome good Lord deliver us."
Finding that he was suspected by both parties, SIR ALEXANDER, who had been Knighted by CHARLES I, in 1641, for his adherence to the Royalists, cultivated the favour of the Crom¬wellians when they were in power. According to NICOL (Diary, page 121, edition 1836), he and the EARL OF TRAQUAIR "went up to Court, being, as reported, sent for to be preferrit; my LORD DURIE also followit to the lyke end, and upon the lyke scoir; bot both were disappoynted." The method by which he obtained his post of Lord Clerk Register was severely animadverted upon at the time by his envious contemporaries. SIR JOHN SCOT of Scotstarvit says that, "having been long a Clerk of Session, he was made Clerk Register when the KING came last to Scotland, by the moyen of WILLIAM MURRAY, now EARL OF DYSART, to whom, it is said, he gave a velvet cassock lined with fine furrings, and a thousand double pieces therein." This incident, whether true or calumnious, was utilised against SIR ALEXANDER GIBSON by the lampooners of the period, as the following pasquil, written by SAMUEL COLVIL, the author of The Whig's Supplication, sufficiently shows:
" Colvil's Pasquil on Sir Alexander Gibson.
"At first a Puritane commander,
Now a forsuorne seditious bander,
Quhill ther was houpes for brybes and budding,
You courted God for caikes and pudding.
Thy evill contrived and desparat matters
Makes thee fische in drumley waters,
Or forseing some tragical closse,
Thou leaves ARGYLL to find MONTROSE."
(Book of Scotish Pasquils, page 144).
Though the poems quoted show that he had not the complete confidence of the two political parties that divided the kingdom at the time, the assertion of SIR ROBERT DOUGLAS (Baronage of Scotland, page 569), that he was "a man of great abilities and worth," is well supported. He continued in his office, despite the rage of contending parties, till his death, which took place in June, 1656.
There is some dissension amongst the genealogists as to his marriage. DOUGLAS states that he was "married, first to MARJORIE MURRAY, daughter of ANDREW, LORD BALVAIRD, father of DAVID, fourth VISCOUNT OF STORMONTH, by whom he had a daughter, ANN, married to JOHN MURRAY of Polmaise. He married secondly, CECILIA, daughter of THOMAS FOTHERINGHAM Of Powrie, by whom he had a Son, SIR JOHN GIBSON of Durie." STODART, on the other hand, states that SIR ALEXANDER was married to CECILIA FOTHERINGHAM, and that his son, SIR ALEXANDER, was married to the daughter of LORD BALVAIRD (Scottish Arms, Vol. IL, p. 397). The latter account is accepted by FOSTER, on the authority of DOUGLAS' Peerage (Scots M.P.'s, page 147), though DOUGLAS himself contradicts it in his later work. In any case, it is certain that SIR JOHN GIBSON, who was admitted as Burgess of Dundee on the same day as his brother, ultimately succeeded to the estate of Durie, and carried on the line of the family. He is described as "a great loyalist, a steady friend to the Royal Family, and of singular resolution and spirit. He attended KING CHARLES I. in all his vicissitudes of fortune, and accompanied KING CHARLES II. to the unfortunate battle of Worcester, 1651, where, for his gallant behaviour, he had the honour of knighthood conferred upon him under the Royal banner. He lost his leg in that action."He was married to MARGARET HAY, a daughter of the noble house of KINNOUL, and was succeeded by his eldest son, SIR ALEXANDER GIBSON of Pentland and Adiston.