Tax and Justice under Cromwell

Welcome to the new look website. I’m quite excited about it and hope everyone can enjoy browsing. I’m still looking into the Struart era for story lines for aa historical novel and found these comments in Sir Walter Scott’s, Tales of a Grandfather under the section on Cromwell. One thing I’ve learned about history is that it can’t be whitewashed. You can ignore the bits you don’t like but that distorts the picture so this is as much part of Scottish history as Robert Bruce.

“To regulate the administration of public justice, four English and three Scottish judges, were appointed to hear causes … The English judges, it may be supposed were indifferently versed in the law of Scotland; but they distributed justice with an impartiality to which the Scottish nation had been entirely a stranger, which ceased to be experienced from the native judges after the Restoration. The peculiar rectitude of the men employed by Cromwell being pointed out to a learned judge, in the beginning of the next century (The 18th), his lordship composedly answered, “Devil take them for their impartiality! a pack of kinless loons – for my part, I can never see a cousin or a friend in the wrong.”

To add to this – “In point of taxation, Oliver Cromwell’s Scottish government was intolerably oppressive, since he appears to have screwed out of the miserable country and assessment of £10,000 per month … Some of which was alleviated by the circulation of money with which England paid her soldiers and civil establishment, which was at one time calculated at half a million yearly …”

So, who paid the tax and who gained from the soldiers spending? The nobility were taxed and the people who sold the soldiers their daily needs got paid. From that it’s not a big step to who were Jacobites and why did they find little support in the central belt of Scotland.