History of Leith, Edinburgh

December 20, 2011

Mr William Carstairs

(usual spelling Carstares), minister in Edinburgh, principal of the University of Edinburgh.
The son of the Covenanting minister of Cathcart in Lanarkshire, he was educated at University of Edinburgh (1663-7) and then at Utrecht (1669-72), having left Scotland after his father was outlawed. He came to London in 1672, probably as an agent of William of Orange, while France and England were trying to crush Holland, and was held as a political prisoner in Edinburgh castle 1674-9. During 1682-3 he was active in both England and Scotland helping to organise a rising by the Whigs and the Earl of Argyll. He was captured at Tenterden in Kent in 1683 and shipped to Scotland. There he was tortured with thumbscrews until he made a partial confession on the promise that it would not be used as evidence; but it was immediately used in the trial of George Baillie of Jeviswood, who was executed. for more click here

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