Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 29.djvu/54

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
There was a problem when proofreading this page.

Irvine accordingly delivered himself up to Monro, by whom he was courteously received, but was detained a prisoner (ib. p. 283), and on the 11th was sent with other anti-covenanters to Edinburgh, where they were warded in the Tolbooth, Irvine being also fined ten thousand merks (ib. p. 288). While he was still a prisoner in Edinburgh he was again named sheriff of Aberdeen, but his lands were plundered by the covenanting soldiers (ib. p. 295), and on 23 July the tenants were required to pay their rents to the Earl Marischal (ib. p. 308). He obtained his liberty early in 1641, and, discouraged both by the disasters that had befallen him and by the absence of the Marquis of Huntly from the country, he conformed to the covenant. On 20 Nov. 1643 he, however, refused to subscribe the covenant at Aberdeen, affirming that it was sufficient to have subscribed it in his own parish church (ib. ii. 293). In January 1644 he refused to attempt the apprehension of the Marquis of Huntly (ib. p. 306), but refrained from actually assisting the royal cause. When Huntly on 26 March assembled a large force in Aberdeen in behalf of the king, Irvine—though his son Alexander (see below) was present—‘baid at hame, and miskenit all’ (ib. p. 330). In the beginning of the following year (1645) Argyll and the Earl Marischal paid a hostile visit to Drum. Irvine and his sons were absent; but although the visitors were welcomed by Irvine's ‘lady and his gude daughter, Lady Mary Gordon,’ both ladies were evicted from the house ‘in pitiful form,’ and with difficulty ‘got twa wark naigs [horses] which bure thame into Aberdeen’ (ib. p. 354). The place of Drum was then plundered by the soldiers, not only of its provisions, but of all its costly furniture, and left in charge of fifty musketeers (ib. p. 355). The reason for these forcible proceedings was that Irvine's two sons were giving active support to the royalists in the north, and although Irvine intimated his disapproval of their conduct, and ‘came to the lords in humble manner,’ his professions were not trusted and he received no redress, the only favour granted him being leave to go to his daughter's house at Frendracht (ib. p. 356). As evidence of his good faith he attended, on 24 May 1645, a meeting of the covenanting committee in Aberdeen (ib. p. 370), but on subsequently going to Edinburgh, where his sons were imprisoned in the Tolbooth, he was confined (November) within the town (ib. p. 431), and was not permitted to return home till 31 May in the following year (ib. p. 478). Being called in 1652 to subscribe the covenant by the presbytery of Aberdeen, he affirmed that neither in conscience nor honour could he agree to what was proposed. On being threatened with excommunication, he sent a protest to the presbytery (printed in Miscellany of the Spalding Club, iii. 205–7), and appealed to Colonel Overton, who commanded the parliamentary forces in the district. No further steps appear to have been taken against him. On 12 April 1656 Irvine supplemented his father's gift for the foundation of bursaries in Marischal College, Aberdeen (Fasti Maris. p. 207). He died in May 1658.

By his wife, Magdalene, eldest daughter of Sir John Scrimgeour, he had, besides other children, two sons, Alexander Irvine, tenth laird (d. 1687), and Robert Irvine (d. 1645), who were among the most persistent supporters of the cause of Charles in the north. They were excommunicated, and on 14 April 1644 a price was put upon their heads. After setting sail from Fraserburgh, they were compelled by stress of weather to put in at Wick, where they were apprehended and imprisoned in the castle of Keiss. Thence they were sent to Edinburgh, and confined in the Tolbooth. Robert died there on 6 Feb. 1644–5 (Spalding, ii. 446), but Alexander, after being removed to the castle of Edinburgh, obtained his liberty through the triumph of Montrose at Kilsyth in 1645. After the Restoration Charles II renewed to him the offer of the earldom of Aberdeen—of which a patent to his father had been prevented from passing the great seal by the outbreak of the revolution—but he declined the honour. He died in 1687, and was buried in Drum's aisle, in the parish church of St. Nicholas, Aberdeen. After the death of his first wife, Lady Margaret Gordon, fourth daughter of the first Marquis of Huntly, he married Margaret Coutts, a maiden of low degree, ‘the weel-faured May’ of the well-known ballad, ‘The Laird o' Drum.’

[Spalding's Memorialls of the Trubles (Spalding Club); Gordon's Scots Affairs (Spalding Club); Sir James Balfour's Annals; Miscellany of the Spalding Club, vol. iii.; Burke's Landed Gentry; Anderson's Scottish Nation.]

T. F. H.

IRVINE, ALEXANDER (1793–1873), botanist, son of a well-to-do farmer, was born at Daviot, Aberdeenshire, in 1793. He was educated at the grammar school at Daviot and at Marischal College, Aberdeen, which he left in 1819 to engage in private tuition. In 1824 he came to London in pursuit of the same profession. He afterwards acted as schoolmaster at Albury, in London, at Bristol, and at Guildford. He finally opened a school in 1851 at Chelsea. For eight or ten years toward the close of his life he held a ministerial office in the Irvingite church at White Notley, Essex, but did not reside