It is unnecessary to describe the action.[note:See the account of a Covenanting Officer in the Appendix to the Scots Worthies. See also Sir Waiter Scott's Old Mortality, where the battle of Bothwell Brig is described. ]

The Covenanters, notwithstanding their inferior force, resisted the cannonade and musketry of the enemy with great courage. They defended the bridge until their ammunition failed. When the English Guards and the artillery crossed the bridge, the battle was lost. The Covenanters gave way, and fled in all directions; Claverhouse, burning with revenge for his defeat at Drumclog, made a terrible slaughter of the unresisting fugitives. One of my ancestors brought from the battlefield the remnant of the standard; a formidable musquet -- "Gun Bothwell" we afterwards called it; an Andrea Ferrara; and a powder-horn. I still preserve these remnants of the civil war.

My ancestor was condemned to death in his absence, and his property at Netherton was confiscated. What became of him during the remainder of Charles II.'s reign, and the reign of that still greater tormentor, James II., I do not know. He was probably, like many others, wandering about from place to place, hiding "in wildernesses or caves, destitute, afflicted, and tormented." The arrival of William III. restored religious liberty to the country, and Scotland was again left in comparative peace.

My ancestor took refuge in Edinburgh, but he never recovered his property at Netherton. The Duke of Hamilton, one of the trimmers of the time, had long coveted the possession of the lands, as Ahab had coveted Naboth's vineyard. He took advantage of the conscription of the men engaged in the Bothwell Brig conflict, and had the lands forfeited in his favour. I remember my father telling me that, on one occasion when he visited the Duke of Hamilton in reference to some improvement of the grounds adjoining the palace, he pointed out to the Duke the ruined remains of the old residence of the Naesmyths. As the first French Revolution was then in full progress, when ideas of society and property seemed to have lost their bearings, the Duke good-humouredly observed, "Well, well, Naesmyth, there's no saying but what, some of these days, your ancestors' lands may come into your possession again!"

Before I quit the persecutions of "the good old times," I must refer to the burning of witches. One of my ancient kinswomen, Elspeth Naesmyth, who lived at Hamilton, was denounced as a witch. The chief evidence brought against her was that she kept four black cats, and read her Bible with two pairs of spectacles! a practice which shows that she possessed the spirit of an experimental philosopher.

In doing this she adopted a mode of supplementing the power of spectacles in restoring the receding power of the eyes. She was in all respects scientifically correct. She increased the magnifying power of the glasses; a practice which is preferable to using single glasses of the same power, and which I myself often follow. Notwithstanding this improved method of reading her Bible, and her four black cats, she was condemned to be burned alive! She was about the last victim in Scotland to the disgraceful superstition of witchcraft.

The Naesmyths of Netherton having lost their ancestral property, had to begin the world again. They had to begin at the beginning. But they had plenty of pluck and energy. I go back to my great-great- grandfather, Michael Naesmyth, who was born in 1652. He occupied a house in the Grassmarket, Edinburgh, which was afterwards rebuilt, in 1696. His business was that of a builder and architect. His chief employment was in designing and erecting new mansions, principally for the landed gentry and nobility. Their old castellated houses or towers were found too dark and dreary for modern uses. The drawbridges were taken down, and the moats were filled up. Sometimes they built the new mansions as an addition to the old. But oftener they left the old castles to go to ruin; or, what was worse, they made use of the stone and other materials of the old romantic buildings for the construction of their new residences.

Michael Naesmyth acquired a high reputation for the substantiality of his work. His masonry was excellent, as well as his woodwork. The greater part of the latter was executed in his own workshops at the back of his house in the Grassmarket. His large yard was situated between the back of the house and the

  By PanEris using Melati.

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