SIBBALD, WILLIAM (d. 1650), royalist, of Scottish family, may be identical with William Sibbald who entered King's College, Aberdeen, in 1634, and graduated M.A. in 1639 (Fasti Aberdonenses, Spalding Club, pp. 462, 511). In early life he attached himself to James Graham, fifth earl and first marquis of Montrose [q. v.], from whom he received many favours. He served under Montrose in the cause of the covenanters. On 30 June 1640 Sibbald was entrusted with the charge of the house of Airlie, which Montrose had just taken from James Ogilvy, second earl of Airlie [q. v.] Within a week, however, the Earl of Argyll ordered Sibbald to deliver the place to him, and rased it to the ground. When Montrose became a royalist, Sibbald adopted the same cause, and in 1644 accompanied Montrose in his secret journey to Scotland. They left Carlisle on 18 Aug., accompanied only by Sir William Rollo [q. v.], Montrose being disguised as Sibbald's groom. Holding the commission of lieutenant-colonel, he accompanied the marquis on his highland campaign. At the close of the year, however, when Argyll brought Montrose to bay at Fyvie Castle, Sibbald, perhaps despairing of the cause, deserted to the enemy. On hearing this, Montrose, who was on the point of marching towards Badenoch, halted his troops and remained stationary for several days in order to discredit any information as to his plans that Sibbald might furnish to his opponents.
Whatever were Sibbald's motives for his desertion, he soon returned to his old allegiance, and readily obtained pardon for his pusillanimity. After the battle of Philiphaugh (September 1645) he sought refuge in Holland. In 1649 he crossed to Scotland, bearing letters from Montrose to Prince Rupert, James Butler, marquis (afterwards duke) of Ormonde [q. v.], and Sir George Monro [q. v.] He was also charged to foment the discontent which the Act of Classes had roused among the lowland gentry. But soon after landing he was arrested at Musselburgh. On his examination he refused at first to give information, but, being tortured, he is said to have confessed to a plot to seize Edinburgh Castle. He was beheaded, with Hay of Dalgetty, on 7 June 1650 at the Mercat Cross, Edinburgh. He had composed a dying speech, but did not deliver it. After talking a little ‘to the disorderly rabble about him,’ says one author, ‘he march'd to the block with such an heroick gesture as if he had been to act a gallant in a play’ (Montrose Rediv. pp. 175, 187).
[Gardiner's Civil War, ii. 134; Gardiner's Commonwealth, i. 233, 260; Last Speech of Sibbald; Wishart's Memoirs of Montrose, ed. 1819, p. 492; Wishart's Deeds of Montrose, ed. Murdoch and Simpson, pp. 19, 50, 244; Turner's Memoirs, p. 92; Acts of Scottish Parl. vol. vi. pt. ii. pp. 564, 572, 573; Graymond to Brienne, Harl. MS. 4551, f. 515.]
SIBBES, SIBBS, or SIBS, RICHARD, D.D. (1577-1635), puritan divine, eldest son of Paul Sibs, wheelwright, by his wife Johan, was born at Tostock, Suffolk, in 1577. Sibbes was educated at the grammar school of Bury St Edmunds, and by help of John Knewstubs [q. v.], rector of Cockfield, and others, he was sent to St. John's College, Cambridge, where he was admitted in 1595. He was elected scholar of his college, commenced B.A. 1599, was admitted fellow 3 April 1601, and proceeded M.A. 1602. His permanent religious convictions he owed to the preaching of Paul Baynes [q. v.], lecturer (1603-6) at St. Andrew's the Great, Cambridge. In 1608 he was appointed taxator, and, having taken orders, was made one of the college preachers on 25 April 1609. He commenced B.D. in 1610, and was appointed lecturer at Holy Trinity, Cambridge. In consequence of his puritanism he was deprived in 1615 of both professorship and lectureship by the high commission. On 5 Feb. 1817, through the influence of Sir Henry Yelverton [q. v.], he was chosen preacher at Gray's Inn, where he had a remarkable auditory. William Gouge, D.D. [q. v.], who often heard him, told Samuel Clarke (15R9-1683) [q. v.] that 'he sometimes had a little stammering in the time of his preaching, but then his judicious hearers alwaies expected some rare and excellent notion from him.' In 1626, on the death of John Hills, D.D., he was elected master of St. Catharine's Hall, Cambridge, still retaining his post at Gray's Inn. 'The wheel of St.. Katharine,' says Fuller, 'having stood still (not to say gone backward) for some years, he left it replenished with scholars, beautified with buildings, better endowed with revenues.' He was one of the twelve feoffees under the short-lived schema (1626-33) for fostering a puritan ministry by buying up impropriations. As early as 1620 he had become a correspondent of James Usher or Ussher [q. v.], who by letter (10 Jan. 1627) made him the offer of the provostship of Trinity College, Dublin. Sibbes declined the prospect. The overture was renewed (19 March) by Archbishop Abbot, but nothing came of it, though there is ground for Grosart's inference that Sibbes visited Dublin. In 1627 he proceeded D.D. He joined in the petition (2 March 1628) promoted by John Davenport [q. v.] on behalf