Capt. William BLACKADER

Person Sheet

Name Capt. William BLACKADER  [1704], [1705], [1706]
Death 1569, Scotland [1706]
Father Stephen BLACKADDER Laird of West Blackadder
Mother Elizabeth ARMSTRONG
Notes for Capt. William BLACKADER
We seem to have a discrepancy here as to which branch of the family William belonged. AKB's data indicates that William was from the elder (Berwickshire) branch, while Crichton indicates that William was from the Tulliallan branch. Needless to say, one of these is in error (unless there were two Captain William BLACKADDERs). The compilation of data from these sources suggests William was from the Berwickshire branch.

From the book "The Crime of Mary Stuart" by George Malcolm Thompson (1967), we have the following on page 109: [1707]
"French Paris {aka Nicholas Hubert, a servant of Mary's} , in his second and mor forthcoming deposition, said that the Queen sent him to Bothwell on Saturday, February 8, with the message: 'It seems to me it would be better if Lord Robert Stewart and William Blackadder went to the King's room to do what Bothwell knows.'
William Blackadder was a sea-captain and probably an associate of Bothwell's. He was certainly in Edinburgh on the night of the murder, in which he had no part whatever, as he insisted strenuously later, on his way to the scaffold."

as well as the following passages on pages 128-9: [1707]
"While the Lords pondered the problem, their follwers scoured Edinburgh for likely murderers of Darnley. They dod not labour in vain. Among other suspects, they pulled Captain William Blackadder, who had been drinking in Katy's Tam's on the night of the explosion and was seen in the street near Blackfriars' Wynd soon afterwards.
Blackadder had appeared in court a few months earlier as an aggrieved person seeking justice. He complained that six Leith fishermen had attacked him and mutilated his servant. When the six found sureties for their reappearance in court they were allowed to go to the herring fishing in Loch Broom.
If the outcome of his case seemed unduly lenient to Blackadder, he had quite different grounds to complain of the treatment now given to him as a suspect. His story was that he had been innocently drinking when he heard the explosion and, through natural curiosity, went outside. However, it was a bad moment for a known dependent of Lord Bothwell's to be visible in the streets. Blackadder was convicted of being art and part of the murder and was executed, protesting his innocence.
It seems likely that the Captain was, in factm innocent. But he was one of those who might have had a hand in the business. the Captain paid a heavy price for keeping wild company."

From the book "Memoirs of Sir James Melville of Halhill" edited by Gordon Donaldson (1969), we have the following account about Mary Queen of Scots - from the time shorty after the murder of Henry Stewart, Lord Darnley, son of the Earl of Lennox: [1708]
"Shortly after Her Majesty went to Stirling, and in her back-coming betwixt Linlithgow and Edinburgh the Earl of Bothwell rencountered her with a great company and took Her Majesty's horse by the bridle; his men took the Earl of Huntly, the secretary Lethington and me, and carried us captives to Dunbar; all the rest were permitted to go free. Then the Earl of Bothwell boasted he would marry the queen, who would or would not; yea whether she would herself or not. Captain Blackater, who had taken me, alleged that it was with the queen's own consent. The next day in Dunbar I obtained permission to go home. Afterwards the court came to Edinburgh; and there a number of noblemen were drawn together in a chamber within the palace, where they all subscribed that the marriage between the queen and the Earl Bothwell was very meet, he having many friends in Lothian and upon the Borders, to cause good order to be kept.* And then the queen could not but marry him, seeing he had ravished her and lain with her against her will. I cannot tell by how nor by what law he parted with his own wife, sister to the Earl of Huntly.
* - This is apparantly a reference to the bond usually said to have been signed in 'Ainslie's Tavern'. [1708]
- In two concurrent cases, before different courts, the Countess of Bothwell obtained a decree of divorce on the ground of her husband's adultery and he obtained a decree of nullity on the ground of consanguinity." [1708]

From the book "Memorials of Edinburgh in the Golden Time" by Daniel Wilson, LL.D. we have the following: [1709]
"During the long minority of James VI. that suceeded the forced
abdication of Queen Mary, his residence was almost entirely at
Stirling, and Edinburgh ceased to be enlivened with the presence
of royalty, though it was still the scene of many of the principal
events connected with the national history of the period. Immediately
on the departure of the Queen from Holyrood, diligent search was
made throughout the city for the murderers of Darnley. Sebastian,
a French attendant of the royal household, and Captain William
Blackadder, were siezed and lodged at the Tollbooth : and, as appears
by the Record of the Privy Council {1}, three others were shortly
afterwards placed in the same durance on this charge. Sebastian
contrived to escape, but the others were ordered 'to be put in the
irins and tormentis, {2} for furthering of the tryall of the veritie;'
and although they persisted in denying all knowledge of the crime, they
were drawn backward on a cart to the Cross, and there hanged and
quartered on the 24th June 1567. {3}"

{1} Keith, vol. ii. p. 652
{2} i.e., Tortured.
{3} Birrel's Diary, pp. 10, 11.

Then there is the following email from Dave BLACKADAR: [1710]
Original Criminal Trials in Scotland
from the Original Records & MSS
with Historical Illustrations &c.

Robert Pitcairen, Esq.

Vol 1
First Part

Printed for the Maitland Club

p. 490

"Jun 14 Captaine William Blacader wes Convict and Fyllit be ane Assyse of
airt and pairt of the crewill, odious, treasonable, and abominable Slaughter
of the King's father, under silence of night, in his awin ludging within
Burgh of Edinburgh, byside the (Kirk of) Field: And of treasonalbe raising
of fyre within the samyn, with ane great quantitie of Powder; throw force of
whilk, the said haill lodging was raisit and distroyit be the said Captaine;
upon set purpose, provisioun, and foirthought fellonie. And this he did
upon the nynth day of Feberij, 1567. For the whilke cryme the said Captaine
William wes execute."

Birrel in his Diarey informs us "the 24 day of Junij Captane Villiam
Blacketer was drawn backward, in ane cairte, from ie Tolbuith to the Crosse,
and ther wes hangit and quartred, for being on the King's Murther." It will
be seen by the Appendix to this reign, that his legs and arms were sent to
Stirling, Glasgow, Perth and Dundee on Jul 26, 1567. His quarters were
fixed on the Tolbooth of Edinburgh, &c.

(Anyone have a copy of Birrel's Diary handy??) Also, in the Memoirs of Rev.
John Blackader by Crichton p. 12 we read:

"The next baron after Patrick was John. In 1532, he undertook a pilgrimage,
probably to expiate his father's sacrilege; and during his stay beyond seas,
King James granted a warrant of protection to all his domestics, tenants,
and vassals. He adhered to the interests of the unformtunate Mary; and a
letter from her own hand was addressed to him, "to meet her at Stirling, on
the 13th of August 1565, with his kin, friends, and household, to pursue the
rebels, (as they were called,) who had directed their march southward."
This alludes to an insurrection of some of the nobles, who were discontented
at her marriage with Darnley; but disagreeing among themselves, they durst
not hazard an engagement with the queen's forces, but fled from Edinburgh,
and took their way through Biggar to Dumfries, "the king all the while
dogging them at their heels." This was called the Runaway Rode, or
Wild-goose Chase, (Hist. of Angus, ii, 155.) He had a son, Captain William
Blackader, who was with the queen's army at Langside; and after that defeat,
was taken and executed. He was also accused of being accessory to Darnley's
murder; - and people flocked to his eecution, epecting to hear some great
discovery made at his last confessions, but were disappointed, (Crawford's
Mem. p. 41.)
Last Modified 17 Jul 2001 Created 19 Aug 2001 by the BLACKADDER researchers: © on all pages

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