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LADY GRIZEL BAILLIE (1665-1746)

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Originally appearing in Volume V03, Page 219 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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LADY GRIZEL BAILLIE (1665-1746), Scottish song-writer, eldest daughter of Sir Patrick Hume or Home of Polwarth, afterwards earl of Marchmont, was born at Redbraes Castle, Berwickshire, on the 25th of December, 1665. When she was twelve years old she carried letters from her father to the Scottish patriot, Robert Baillie of Jerviswood, who was then in prison. Home's friendship for Baillie made him a suspected man, and the king's troops occupied Redbraes Castle. He remained in hiding for some time in a churchyard, where his daughter kept him supplied with food, but on hearing of the execution of Baillie (1684) he fled to Holland, where his family soon after joined him. They returned to Scotland at the Revolution. Lady Grizel married in 1692 George Baillie, son of the patriot. She died on the 6th of December 1746. She had two daughters, Grizel, who married Sir Alexander Murray of Stanhope, and Rachel, Lady Binning. Lady Murray had in her possession a MS. of her mother's in prose and verse. Some of the songs had been printed in Allan Ramsay's Tea-Table Miscellany. " And werena my heart light I wad dee," the most famous of Lady Grizel's songs, originally appealed in Orpheus Caledonius (1725). Memoirs of the Lives and Characters of the Right Hon. George Baillie of Jerviswood and Lady Grisell Baillie, by their daughter, Lady Murray of Stanhope, were printed in 1822. George Baillie's Correspondence (1702–1708) was edited by Lord Minto for the Bannatyne Club in 1842. " The Legend of Lady Grizelda Baillie " forms one of Joanna Baillie's Metrical Legends of Exalted Character.
End of Article: LADY GRIZEL BAILLIE (1665-1746)
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ROBERT BAILLIE (1602-1662)

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I am a decendant of Lady Grizell Baillie, and have the following stry as told by her daughter. Memoir of Lady Grisell Baillie 1664 – 1746 1. Lady Grisell's Early life In Briefly transcribing this story of Lady Grisell Baillie's life, taken from the memoirs by her daughter, Grisell, Lady Murray, Who received it from her mother, I have hoped that it may be of interest to succeeding generations, who may not have access to the book But in order to understand the following story, and the driving force which led Scottish men and women of that period to endure torture, imprisonment and death, we must realize their almost fanatical devotion to the Presbyterian religion which, for the time, they tried to enforce also on England. That historical document, "The Solemn League and covenant, 1663", being the outward expression of their faith. This was signed by thousands of the Scottish people, some more prominent men at that time signing in their own blood, one of whom was Thomas Hamilton, second earl of Haddington. This copy is in possession of the present earl. 2. Whatever ones own religious views, one can hardly fail to envy that stern, unfaltering devotion to what they believed to be the true religion, for which they were prepared to sacrifice everything in this life. Grisell Hume, Born at Redbraes castle in Berwickshire on December 25th 1665, was the eldest daughter of Sir Patrick Hume, a strong adherent of the covenant. When she was twelve years old she was sent by her father to Edinburgh, a journey of between thirty and forty miles, to visit his friend and neighbor, Robert Baillie of Jerviswich who was imprisoned as a covenanter (it being considered a child would attract less suspicion than an adult) to gain admittance to the prison, deliver him a letter and obtain any information she could. Later Robert Baillie was released, but some time after the persecution began anew, so Grisell’s father thought it advisable to keep concealed and soon found he had good reason for so doing, parties of soldiers being continually sent out in search for him. 3. For greater safety he removed to the vaults of Polwarth church, two miles distant, Lady Hume, Grisell and a faithful retainer, Jamie winter, alone knowing of his hiding place amongst the lead coffins of his ancestors where he was concealed for a month, and for light had only a slit at one end. Grisell, who shared the belief of that age in witches and ghouls, had a terror of churchyards, but overcoming all these fears, went by herself in the wintry nights, stumbling over graves, carrying food, would stay with him as long as possible, to get home before daybreak, to evade the bands of soldiers in search of her father, telling him news and any amusing family storied she could collect. Food was only procurable by stealing it off her plate at meals and slipping it into her napkin on her knees. As this gloomy habitation was not to be long endured, another place of safety had to be found, i.e., under a bed which drew out from the wall, in a room on the ground floor of which Lady Hume kept the key, she and Jamie winter digging a hole in the earth which they did by scratching up with their hands to avoid any noise, till her nails were worn down to the quick, Jamie making a box at his own house, large enough for his master to lie in and boring holes in the boards for air. At this time the tragic news came of Robert Baillie’s execution in December 1684 at Edinburgh, who wrote to his son George, asking him not to be present, as it would take a stout heart to see him nagled. Young George did not go, but Robert did not die alone among his enemies. In Mellerstain gallery there is a portrait of a lady dressed in deepest mourning, with a haunting expression of sadness on her face. This is Mrs. Kirkton, Robert Baillie’s Sister, who had the amazing courage to stay by her brother and witness the work of hangman and butcher Shortly after a band of dragons visited the neighboring castle in search of Grisell’s father (his friend, the owner, plied them with intoxicating drink). The lady of the house, who secretly favored the Presbyterian interest, wrapped up a feather in black pieces of paper, and calling for her most trustworthy servant, bade him ride for all his life to Redbraes bearing a message to lady Hume in the form of a feather, and who immediately understood the warning, i.e. – Fly. 4 They immediately set about preparing for Sir Patrick’s escape. They were obliged to trust John Allan, their bailiff, who fainted when he was told his master was in the house, and that he was to set out with him on horse back before day to pretend that he had orders to sell some horses at Morpeth fair. Hume and John Allan set out in the dark. It was a sorrowful parting for all concerned Hume wrapped in thought, wend as his horse carried him, and found himself by the side of the great river Tweed at a place not fordable and with servant. Ultimately he found means to get over to the other side where after some time, his servant joined him. He showed inexpressible joy at their re-union and told him he thought his master was following him, until he heard the sound of many horses hoofe. This was a party of dragoons coming from the Redbraes which they had searched very narrowly. Possibly hearing horses were gone from the house; they suspected the truth and follows. Obtaining no satisfaction from Allan the soldiers had ridden off. 5 After such a miraculous escape Hume quitted the high road and made his way to London, sending Alan back to Redbraes with the joyful news of his escape. From London he found his way to France and traveled on foot to Holland, from where he sent for his wife and children to join him. One daughter, Julia, was too ill to travel with her family, so Grisell returned later from Holland to bring her over. Grisell had agreed for the cabin bed and was well provided with food and other necessaries. The captain behaved outrageously, having previously let the cabin to others and finally took possession of it for himself, stealing all their provisions. After a dreadful and stormy voyage they arrived at Brill at night and set out on foot to Rotterdam, accompanied by a kindly gentleman who carried their baggage. Soon Julia’s strength gave out and she lost her shoes in the mud. Grisell carried her no her back until they reached Rotterdam where their father and brother were waiting for them. From that moment all their troubles seemed forgotten. They continued to live in Holland for three and a half years in happiness and safety, but in the great poverty, as sir Patrick’s estates had been forfeited, but friends in Scotland periodically sent them consignments of food and money and sir Patrick, assuming the name of Doctor Wallace on board the ship that carried him to France and traveling to Holland (see page 64 Lady Murray’s Memoirs). During this time Grisell was the light and life of the home, and the mainstay of her parent and nine brothers and sisters, not only carrying out the humbler but necessary duties of daily marketing, coking etc, but also transacting all the family business, it being considered unsafe for her father to appear in public, but who found his time fully employed carrying on the education of his family, being very highly educated himself. And this home was the rendezvous for many other exiles where they were entertained with all the hospitality the Hume's could offer, which included singing and playing on a small spinet which they had purchased with great difficulty. George Baillie, son of Robert Baillie, also being an exile since his father execution joined them. The Prince of range, afterwards William III, made him and Patrick Hume, Grisell's brother, members of his bodyguard. Grisell sat up at night to patch and darn her brother’s lace cuffs and cravats and declared that no gentleman in the bodyguard should turn out more smartly than her brother. The prince of Orange often dined in public. His subjects were admitted to see him. Patrick and George always contrived to be on guard at the same time, and when any pretty girl sought admission, they set their halberds across the door and exacted a kiss before allowing her to pass, which caused the girls to call them very pert Scottish soldiers. Now came the revolution, when James II fled from England. This was followed by the accession of Mary and William of Orange to the Throne of England. The queen wished to make Grisell one of her lady in waiting, but Grisell's heart was already given to George Baillie, and she refused them. The whole family returned to England, sir Patrick was again put in possession of the estates by the king (created lord Polwarth 1690 – earl of Marchmont 1697) Two years later in 1691, Grisell and George Baillie were married, and she went to live at Mellerstain. Then follows almost fifty years of unbroken happiness, until his death at Oxford in 1738. During this period Lady Grisell and her husband entertained royalty, and a most unique book entitled (Lady Grisell’s Household Book) which contains a minute record of her expenditure, menus, also very detailed instructions to *** and housekeeper on their respective duties, all this throwing a most interesting and surprising light on the running of a large scotch country of that century. 7 Lady Marchmont dies on October 11th 1703 at Edinburgh. Her children were all round her. Grisell in an agony of grief had hidden herself behind the bed curtains and her mother said where is Grisell? Blessed be to you above all, for a helpful child you have been to us. Grisell and George Baillie had three children, one son and two daughters. The son died young, so Grisell, the elder daughter inherited Mellerstain. She married Sir Alexander Murray, and died Childless. The property passed to her younger sister Rachael, Who married Charles Lord Binning, eldest son of the sixth earl of Haddington, to whom lady Grisell was profoundly attached. He died before his father, and the estates of Tyningham and title automatically passed to his eldest son, as seventh earl of Haddington, which Rachael left Mellerstain to her second son, on condition that he assumed the name of Baillie. When Thomas, Ninth earl died Childless, the Tyningham property and title passed to the nearest kin, the present lady Grisell’s grandfather, George Baillie, and the family name became Baillie Hamilton. The heroine of this story died in London in December 1746 and was buried on her birthday in the family burial place at Mellerstain. Tradition has it that as they bore her to her last resting place, the trees were covered with hoar frost sparkling in the winter sunshine that Christmas morning, with an almost unearthly radiance. This story of a devoted wife and mother records a character of supreme courage, great abilities and a most lovable nature
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