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Baillie, Robert

BAILLIE, ROBERT. Two noted characters of this name from history:

BAILLIE, ROBERT (1602-1662), Scottish divine, was born at Glasgow. Having graduated there in 1620, he gave himself to the study of divinity. In 1631, after he had been ordained and had acted for some years as regent in the university, he was appointed to the living of Kilwinning in Ayrshire. In 1638 he was a member of the famous Glasgow Assembly, and soon after he accompanied Leslie and the Scottish army as chaplain or preacher. In 1642 he was made professor of divinity at Glasgow, and in the following year was selected as one of the five Scottish clergymen who were sent to the Westminster Assembly. In 1649 he was one of the commissioners sent to Holland for the purpose of inviting Charles II. to Scotland, and of settling the terms of his admission to the government. He continued to take an active part in all the minor disputes of the church, and in 1661 was made principal of Glasgow University. He died in August of the following year, his death being probably hastened by his mortification at the apparently firm establishment of episcopacy in Scotland. Baillie was a man of learning and ability; his views were not extreme, and he played but a secondary part in the stirring events of the time. His Letters, by which he is now chiefly remembered, are of first-rate historical importance, and give a very lively picture of the period.

A complete memoir and a full notice of all his writings will be found in D. Laing's edition of the Letters and Journals of Robert Baillie (1637-1662), Bannatyne Club, 3 vols. (Edinburgh, 1841-1842). Among his works are Ladensium "autokatakrisis", an answer to Lysimachus Nicanor, an attack on Laud and his system, in reply to a publication which charged the Covenanters with Jesuitry; Anabaptism, the true Fountain of Independency, Brownisme, Antinomy, Familisme, etc., a sermon; An Historical Vindication of the Government of the Church of Scotland; The Life of William (Laud) now Lord Archbishop of Canterbury Examined (London, 1643); A Parallel of the Liturgy with the Mass Book, the Breviary, the Ceremonial and other Romish Rituals (London, 1661).

BAILLIE, ROBERT (d. 1684), Scottish conspirator, known as , was the son of George Baillie of St. John's Kirk, Lanarkshire. He incurred the resentment of the Scottish government by rescuing, in June 1676, his brother-in-law Kirkton, a Presbyterian minister who had illegally been seized and confined in a house by Carstairs, an informer. He was fined £500, remaining in prison for four months and then being liberated on paying one-half the fine to Carstairs. In despair at the state of his country he determined in 1683 to emigrate to South Carolina, but the plan came to nothing. The same year Baillie, with some of his friends, went to London and entered into communication with Monmouth, Russell and their party in order to obtain redress; and on the discovery of the Rye House Plot he was arrested. Questioned by the king himself he repudiated any knowledge of the conspiracy, but with striking truthfulness would not deny that he had been consulted with the view of an insurrection in Scotland. He was subsequently loaded with irons and sent back a prisoner to Scotland. Though there was no evidence whatever to support his connexion with the plot, he was fined £6000 and kept in close confinement. He was already in a languishing state when on the 23rd of December 1684 he was brought up again before the high court on the charge of treason. He was pronounced guilty on the following day and hanged the same afternoon at the market cross at Edinburgh with all the usual barbarities. His shocking treatment was long remembered as one of the worst crimes committed by the Stuart administration in Scotland. Bishop Burnet, who was his cousin, describes him as "in the presbyterian principles but ... a man of great piety and virtue, learned in the law, in mathematics and in languages." He married a sister of Sir Archibald Johnston, Lord Warriston, and left a son, George, who took refuge in Holland, afterwards returning with William III. and being restored to his estates.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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