Judicial Proceeding: against the laird of Haddo
The laird of Haddo, his processe and fynes

Anent our soverane lordis letteres raiseit at the instance of Sir Thomas Houp of Craighall, his maties advocat for his mates entres, and Alexander Jaffray, baillie of Aberdein, and Johne Jaffray, his brother, provest, baillies and counsell of Aberdein for thair entresses, makand mentioun that quher the disaffectioun of Sir Johne Gordoun of Haddo to the goode of kirk and common wealth this long time bypast is not wnknawin to the noblemen and comissioners of the estaits presently conveined, wheroff the burgh of Aberdein hes fund many greivous prooffes and experiences, of which the particular following is not on[e] of the least, namelie: upon the tuentie day of May last Thomas Hay, servant to the said laird of Haddo, haveing cruellie wounded almost to the death Alexander Barnett, fermorer in the said toun, the said Alexander Jaffray, baillie for the tyme, out of the duetie of his place, causeit apprehend the said Thomas (but in a verie discreit way) and keipit him in firmance in the Laich Counselhous till he should find cautione for observeing his maties peace and answering to the wrong; and upon this cautioune, within four houres, set him frie. And albeit the said baillie, his courteous dealling thairin, deserved thankfull acknowledgement from the said laird of Hado, nevertheles, shortlie therefter, he, accompanied with a great number of his friends, followers and servants, came to the mercatte croce of Aberdein, to have fund and affronted the baillie ther, but missing him, he fell out in oppen railling, sweareing with greate othes that he wald goe and tak the baillie out of his awin house and thair tak ordour with him, thairefter shott pistolls and gunes at the croce, and hes ever since herboured ane deip rancour and malice against the said baillie, with a resolutione upon his best advantage to tak his lyffe. For quhilk purpose, understanding that upon the first of July the said baillie and his said brother had bein at the buriall of Mr Patrik Gordoun of Bracco at the chappell of Garioch, the said laird, accompanied with Johne Gordoun, James Schand, William Halyburtoun and another Johne Gordoun, his servants, all airmed with swords, gunes and double pistolls, and awaited from the baillies returne from the buriall in the toun of Kintore. And howsowne they perceaved him rydding by, the said laird and his compleices foresaids followed on horsebak, and howsowne he came neir, he said to the baillie, 'Knave, how durst thow be so pairt as to put my man in waird'. And with these words, he gave him diverse stroakes (or he was awar) over the heid with a tree. Thairefter first bended and fired ane pistoll, then another to his breist, which happilie misgave; then tooke another pistoll from on[e] of his servantis and shott the same at the baillie, but the providence of God diverted the bullett. And so haveing spent all his shott without his desyreit successe, then the said laird and all his men drew thair swords and cruellie pursewed the baillie and his said brother of thair lyffes, wounded the baillie on the head to the effusioun of his bloode and hazard of his lyffe, and his brother on the left airme, quhilk be appearance wilbe muttellatt. And when as the said Andro Birnie reproved the said laird for this base and foull attempt against a magistrate for dischairge of his office, telling him that the estaits wer sitting and wald tak notice thairoff, he proudlie and disdainfully answerit he caired not for the saids estaits: he hoped to sie a change shortlie and to be avenged upon all his enemies. And he hes laitlie since sent diverse bad words to the said baillie, threatning that if he would not be content that the bussines wer tane up at home, but would insist befoir any judge quhatsomever, that he should come and tak the baillie out of his awin house and use him in another way nor he hes yet done. And farther he and the said Johne Schand, his servant, hes vowed if the said laird be trubled for this mater, that the said baillie, nor nane that belangs him, shalbe able to keip the sommer mercattis. Wherin the saids estaits doe cleirly perceave ane extraordinare contempt with ane heich hand done to authoritie in generall, and to the magistrats of Aberdein in particular, be the said laird of Haddo, the impunitie wheroff will not faill to animate him and others of his lawles dispotione to goe on in the lyk or worse affronts of justice to the breache of the peace of the cuntrey and contempt of the authoritie. And anent the charge geven to the said Sir Johne Gordoun, Johne Gordounes, younger and elder, William Halyburtoun and Johne Schand, to have compeired presently befoir the saids estaits at a certane day bygaine, to have underlyen thair deserved punischment for the saids proud attempts, under the paine of rebellioun and putting them to the horne; with certificatioun to them and thei falyed letters sould be direct simplar to put them thairto, lykas at mair lenth is contained in the saids letters, executiounes and indorsatiounes thairoff. Whilks being called, and Patrik Leslie, provost of Aberdein, compeirand presently for himselff and in name of the baillies and counsell of Aberdein, and the said Alexander Jaffray compeirand personally for himselff and Johne Jaffray, his brother, who was excuset by a testimoniell of his seiknes; and the saids defenderes being often tymes called and not compeirand, the reasounes proponed be the perseweres, togidder with the depositiounes of certane persounes produced be them, purged of partiall counsell, sworne and admitted as witnesses in this mater, being red, hard and considered be the saids estaits, and they advyseit thairwith, the saids estaits find and declaire that the said laird of Haddo caried himselff in a most insolent and bragging way in the toun of Aberdein by shooteing of pistolls when his servant was committed for the wrong to be cleired, and that upon the first of July last the said laird of Haddo, Johne Gordoun, younger, William Halyburtoun and Johne Schand pursewed the saids Alexander Jaffray, baillie, and John Jaffray, his brother, as they wer comeing from the buriell abovementionat; and the said laird of Haddo strak the baillie over the heid with a trie and fyred tuo pistolls at him, quhilk misgave, and shot the third, quhilk missed, and then gave him a stroake on the heid with a suord, to the effusioun of his bloode; and wounded the said John Jaffray on the airme with ane drawin sworde; and that thairby they have committed ane greate insolencie and hich offence against authoritie and of dangerous consequent. For the quhilk, ordaines letters to be direct chargeing the said Johne Gordoun of Haddo, Johne Gordoun, younger, his servant, Williame Halyburtoun and Johne Schand to enter thair persounes in waird within the tolbuith of Edinburgh, thairin to remaine upon thair awin expensses till ordour be taken with them for the said insolence be the saids estaits, within fyftein dayes efter the charge under the paine of rebellione; and if they falye, to denunce. And farder the saids estaits fynes the said Johne Gordoun of Haddo in the sowme of 10,000 lib. to be payit to Williame Thomsoune, comissere of the airmie in Ireland, or Johne Jossie, his deput, for the use of the publict, to be imployed be order from the saide estaits. As also fynes him in the sowme of 5,000 merks to the said Alexander Jaffrey, baillie, and his said brother; and ordaines letters to be direct heirupon, if neid beis, in forme as effeires; and modifies tuentie pundis to every witnes being a horseman, and ten pund to the footemen, to be payit be the producer, becaus the said complaint, being admitted to the perseweres probatione, and diverse persounes being producet be him, resaveit, sworne and admitted as witnesses in this mater, they have sufficientlie verifeid and proven the said complaint in manor as is above fund and declaired, for the quhilk cause the estaits have decerned, ordained and modified as said is.

  1. NAS. PA8/1, f.61r-63r. Back
  2. Sic. 'for' in APS. Back