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BRIEF relation of the Persecutions and Death of that worthy gentleman, Henry Hall of Haughhead, who suffered martyrdom at Queensferry, June 3d, 1680. [For a further account of the Queensserry paper found upon Henry Hall, see page 35. In the following Relation it is abridged to about a fifth of its original size, and like most abridgments, it gives but
an imperfect idea of the document itself, or of the power with which it states rights and liberties then denied to the subject, but now regarded as a heritage which no ruler can take away.--ED.
Henry Hall of Haughhead, having had religious education, began early to mind a life of holiness; and was of a pious conversation from his youth. He was a zealous opposer of the Public Resolutions, insomuch that when the minister of the parish where he lived complied with that course, he refused to hear him, and went to Ancrum, to hear Mr John Livingstone. Being oppressed with the malicious prosecutions of the curates and other malignants for his nonconformity with the profane courses of abomination that commenced at the unhappy restoration of that most wicked tyrant Charles the Second, [he] was obliged to depart his native country, and go over the border into England in the year 1665, where he was much renowned for his singular zeal in propagating the Gospel among that people, who, before his coming among them, were very rude and barbarous; many of them became famous for piety after.
In the year 1666, he was taken on his way to Pentland, coming to the assistance of his covenanted brethren, and was imprisoned with some others in Cessford Castle; but by the Divine goodness he soon escaped thence, through the favour of the Earl of Roxburgh, to whom the castle pertained, the said Earl being his friend and relation, from which time till about the year 1679 he lived in England, much
beloved of all that knew him, for his concern in propagating the knowledge of Christ in that country ; insomuch that his blameless and shining Christian conversation drew reverence and esteem from his very enemies.
But about the year 1678, the heat of the persecution in Scotland obliging many to wander up and down through Northumberland and other places, one Colonel Struthers, intending to seize any Scotsman he could find in those parts, and meeting with Thomas Ker of Hayhope, one of Henry Hall's nearest intimates, he was engaged in that encounter upon the account of the said Thomas Ker, who was killed there ; upon which account he was forced to return to Scotland, and wandered up and down during the hottest time of the persecution, mostly with Mr Richard Cameron and Mr Donald Cargill ; during which time, besides his many other Christian virtues, he signalised himself for a real zeal in defence of the persecuted Gospel preached in the fields, and gave several proofs of his valour and courage, particularly at Rutherglen, Drumclog, Glasgow and Bothwell Bridge ; whereupon, being forfeited and violently pursued, to eschew the violent hands of his indefatigable persecutors, he was forced to go over to Holland; where he had not stayed long when his zeal for the persecuted interest of Christ, and his tender sympathy with the afflicted remnant of his covenanted brethren in Scotland, then wandering through the desolate caves and dens of the earth, drew him home, choosing rather to undergo the utmost efforts of persecuting furies than to live at ease, when Joseph was in affliction; making Moses' generous choice, rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, that he might be partaker of the fellowship of Christ's sufferings, than to enjoy what momentary pleasure the ease of the world could afford ; nor was he much concerned with the riches of the world, for he stood not to give his ground to hold the prohibited field-preachings upon, when none else would do it. was a lover and follower of the faithfully-preached Gospel, and was always against the Indulgence; he was with Mr Richard Cameron at these meetings where he was censured.
About a quarter of a year after his return from Holland, being in company with the reverend Mr Donald Cargill, they were taken notice of by two bloodhounds, the curates of Borrowstounness and Carriden, who went to Middleton, governor of Blackness Castle, and informed him of them ; who, having consulted with these bloodthirsty ruffians, ordered his soldiers to follow him at a distance by
two or three together, with convenient intervals for avoiding suspicion, and he (the said Middleton) and his man riding up, observed where they alighted and stabled their horses; and coming to them, pretended a great deal of kindness and civility to Mr Donald Cargill and him, desiring that they might have a glass of wine together. When they were set (i.e., seated) and had taken each a glass, Middleton laid hands on them, and told them they were his prisoners, commanding, in the king's name, all the people in the house to assist, which they all refused save a certain waiter [i.e., excise officer), through whose means the governor got the gates shut, till his soldiers came up; and when the women of the town, rising to the rescue of the prisoners, had broke up the outer gate, Henry Hall, after some scuffle with the governor in the house, making his escape by the gate, received his mortal blow upon the head with a carabine, by Thomas George, waiter ; and being conveyed out of the town by the assistance of the women, walked some pretty space of way upon his foot, but unable to speak much, save only that he made some short reflection upon a woman that, interposing between him and the governor, hindered him to kill the governor, and so to make his escape timeously.
So soon as he fainted, the women carried him to a house in the country, but notwithstanding the care of chirurgeons (i.e., surgeons) he never recovered the power of speaking more. General Dalziel being advertised, came with a party of the guards, and carried him to Edinburgh. He died by the way. His corpse they carried to the Canongate Tolbooth, and kept it there three days without burial, though a number of friends convened for that effect, and thereafter they caused bury him clandestinely in the night. Such was the fury of these limbs of antichrist, that, having killed the witnesses, they would not suffer their dead bodies to be decently put in graves.
There was found upon him a rude draught of a paper containing a mutual engagement to stand to the necessary duty of the day against its stated enemies; which was called by the persecutors Mr Cargill's covenant, and frequently in the foregoing testimonies, the Queensferry Paper, because there it was seized by the enemies. This paper Divine Providence seems to have made, as it were, the dying words and testimony of that worthy gentleman, and the enemies made it one of the captious and ensnaring questions they constantly put to the sufferers ; and therefore it will not be impertinent here to insert the heads of it, as they are compendised by the learned author of the