THE QUHILK DAY SIR ADAM HEPBURNE OF HUMBIE, ANE OF THE SENATORS OF THE COLLEGE OF JUSTICE; THOMAS HEPBURNE Yr OF HUMBIE; SIR THOMAS HAMILTOUN OF PRESTENE ; JAMES HAMILTOUN, BROTHER TO THE EARL OF HADINTOUNE; PAT. HAMILTOUN, SON TO THE LAIRD OF PRESTENE; AND JAMES HAMILTON, SECOND SON TO PRESTENE, WERE ALL ADMITTIT BURGESSES AND BRETHER OF THE GUILD OF This BURT, AND GAVE THEIR OATHES IN USUALL FORME.
This entry is of special interest, as it is the last of importance made in the Burgess Roll before the Siege of Dundee. It is of historical value, as showing the political attitude of the Burgh at this critical time.
SIR ADAM HEPBURN Of HUMBIE was one of the most consistent opponents of the tyrannical encroachments upon the liberty of the subject made by CHARLES I. at this eventful period. He was appointed Clerk to the Committee of Estates in June, 1640, and was elevated to the Bench as an Ordinary Lord of Session, and knighted in the following year. He represented the Constabulary of Haddington in the Convention of 1643-4, and in the Parliaments of 1648 and 1650-51. On the 17th of August, 1643, he was made Collector General and Treasurer of the Army, and, acting in this capacity, he uplifted the fine of 40,000 merks imposed upon the EARL OF TRAQUAIR, in 1646.
After the capitulation of York, he was sent by the Scottish Parliament to London for the purpose of representing the impoverished condition of the Presbyterian army to the Commonwealth; and was frequently employed upon the various Committees of the Estates who had then the ruling of Scottish affairs. He is described as having been "the most active and zealous of his party." Believing, with many of his fellow politicians, that CHARLES II. would respect his repeated promises, and govern the country in a constitutional manner, he assisted at the coronation of that Monarch at Scone; but when the KING disappointed the expectations of the Moderate Party, he at once withdrew from supporting his pretensions.
His presence in Dundee at the time of his admission as Burgess is thus accounted for. The advance of CROMWELL into Scotland at the head of an English army had alarmed the Presbyterians, and they were making strong efforts to resist him in the North. In less than two months after the date of the entry on the Burgess Roll, SIR ADAM and his son were taken prisoners by the English, together with many of the Members of the Committee of Estates, at Alyth, conveyed to Broughty Castle, sent thence to Tynemouth Castle and despatched to London (vide page 113). He was afterwards permitted to return to Scotland, and died according to a passage in NICOL'S Diary in June, 1656.
Some confusion has arisen amongst his biographers regarding the date of' his death through the mis reading of a passage in LAMONT'S Diary, which is in these terms.
"1658, Dec The Lord Humbie, in Lowthian, sone in law to the Lord Warestoun, depairted out of this life at his owne house, and was interred at . . . the 24 of December. He bracke the taylie, and left his lands to his daughter, being only of the age of two yeares."
The son in law of SIR ARCHIBALD JOHNSTONE of Warriston was THOMAS HEPBURN, Son of LORD HUMBIE, who was entered as a Burgess of Dundee on the same day as his father. His widow, ELIZABETH JOHNSTONE, afterwards married WILLIAM, first VISCOUNT STRATHALLAN; and his daughter, HELEN, became the wife of WALTER SCOTT, first and last EARL OF TARRAS
The HAMILTONS of Preston were descended from a younger Son of SIR GILBERT DE HAMILTON, ancestor of the DUKES OF HAMILTON, and one of the foremost nobles at the Court of ALEXANDER II. SIR THOMAS HAMILTON of Preston was Member for the Constabulary of Haddington in the Conventions of 1661-3, 1665, and 1667, and died in 1672. His son PATRICK, who is here recorded as a Burgess of Dundee, was married to ELIZABETH, daughter of SIR JAMES MACGILL of Cranstoun Riddell, first VISCOUNT OF OXFURD. The present representative of the family is SIR WILLIAM HAMILTON, Bart. of Preston, son of the celebrated SIR WILLIAM HAMILTON, Professor of Logic and Metaphysics in the University of Edinburgh.
SIR JAMES HAMILTON of Priestfield, who is described in the Burgess Roll as "brother to the EARL OF HADINTOUNE," was the son of the famous Sir THOMAS HAMILTON, LORD BINNING, and afterwards first EARL OF HADDINGTON. He was born on 29th May, 1603, and served in Sweden with the Scottish contingent, under the MARQUESS OF HAMILTON, in 1631. He was married to ANNE, daughter of SIR PATRICK HEPBURN of Wauchton, and was succeeded by his eldest surviving son, in 1666.