John Milbourne

16??-16??

Born: 16?? and died 16??
Son of: not known.
Brother of: not known.
John married: not known.
John had issue:
1. John Milbourne (16??-1722).
2. Possibly others.

John Milbourne: An Overview

We know of John from the diary of his grandson George Marsh (1722-1800).  The relevant section reads as follows:

. . . John Milbourne Esq. had a capital fortune in the North of England, where he resided when the great Marquis of Montrose defeated by the Kings enemies, who after suffering very great hardships in living in disguise in woods and Barnes several days, escaped from the very great extraordinary search made all over the country for him, and came to his house by night for protection, in a most wretched condition as he well knew he was a faithful subject of the Kings, and that he had a very great respect and affection for himself; but before he would - he nobly told him the consequences, namely that if he should be found under his protection it would be death to him and all his family; who nevertheless was very happy to see him safe, and eagerly  expressed his earnest desire of taking him under his care, who thereupon wished to be put in some secret place as soon as possible arguing that he was certain they were hunting for him in every house and place in the Country; and therefore would most probably soon come to his. For that purpose; Mr Milbourne was in the habit of buying most of the Scotch Cattle and had a Farm yard or home field of near three acres of ground in which he kept them till sold to London dealers, to be sent to Romney Marsh in Kent to fatten, which was well furnished with Barns and outhouses for that purpose. In one part of this Ground was a large pen of partly dryed up in which was a large broken useless trough to where straw used to be kept for them, in a great degree covered with mud and dirt, laying not quite upright which he prepared and laid him in, after a short refreshment, with lose clean straw, throwing some which was dirty ---lessly on, and about the same, after which he had just washed and wiped his hands, when a small party of his enemies came to his house in quest of him, who immediately examined all the outhouses in a very particular manner and going from them to the house to do the like, one of them in a kind of frolick cryed what is in there, and immediately ran into the mud and jabbed his sword between the Marquis's legs, but concluded he was not in so filthy a thing, did not run his sword in a second time, but proceeded with the party to the house and examined every room and place about it, behaving with great insolence and cruelty in running their swords in the beds and after eating and drinking what ..(page 5 ends) what they pleased to seize, they departed in the morning from it, but not without violent threats to him and his family, if it should ever appear he had secreted the Marquis. The house was so situated that they could see any Passengers for near a mile around it. So that soon after they were gone, he placed a faithful person to look out, and give timely notice if he should observe anybody coming towards it, and then took the Marquis out of the trough, when he found him all over in a violent perspiration, who exclaiming in tears O' my dear friend Milbourne I never knew I was a cowing before, I endangered the lives of you and yours, in the manner I have done, to save my own, and said he was however determined never to do the like again, having death, of which he thanked god he was not afraid. Then taking a little more refreshment he begged to have a prayer book and to go into a private room to prepare himself for it, and to make his peace with God and at night took his leave and kissed Mr. Milbourne and all his family leaving him with thanks and all possible gratitude for his particular kindness and friendship to him and signified he would go a contrary way from the house to prevent suspicion, to Lord Custon's with whom he wished to speak about his family affairs, as having been a friend and follower of his:- but added he had fixed a revelation that he would afterwards go and deliver himself up to his enemies to do with him whatever they pleased, for he said he shuddered (?) on reflecting how narrowly he escaped being found  in the trough when the sword went between his legs, and that he was affected to his heart in thinking how nearly death and destruction was to him and his family for his friendship to him. And not withstanding any argument wavered  to dissuade him and that his narrow escape in the trough seemed to presage Providence and preserved his life for Noble purposes, he could not be prevailed upon to change his mind:- Upon his entering Lord Aston's house he treacherously, either through fear or from meaness through sake of the reward, seized and delivered him up to his enemies at Edinburgh where he was shamefully and ignominiously hanged on a gallows thirty feet high for the space of three hours; his head cut off and fixed upon Edinburgh Toll booth, his legs and arms on the gates of the cities of Stirling, Dundee, Glasgow and Aberdeen and his body buried. The Marquis's progenitors were of ancient extraction and had held the highest places in Scotland and had been allied to the Crown. He was a man of intrepid courage and his virtues far exceeded his faults, and well deserved to have his memory preserved amongst the illustrious persons of the age, which Mr. Milbourne used to say he should adore to his last moments, and always kept the print of him in his chamber which is now in the Family of his descendents. On the 28th May 1661 eleven years after his execution the Marquis of Argyle, his avowed enemy and principle promoter of his degradation and cruel death was hanged at Edinburgh, his head and limbs fixed up in the same places, and the remains of the Marquis's of Montrose's taken down, and a most pompous princely burial made for them attended with all possible magnificence, which the Marquis of Argyle had the mortification of seeing just before himself was executed:- soon after the death of the Marquis of Montrose, Mr Milbourne had intimation from friends that it was known he had secreted him, and that therefore it would not be safe to continue in his house. Who thereupon buried all his plate and valuables in an old dry well, and flew with his family into an obscure part of Scotland; of which information having been given, a party came to his house in a few days after he was gone, opened the well, took possession of his effects, burnt his house and all his barns and outhouses and almost ruined him and his family; with which, however, he often declared he was not so much concerned of as he was by the approbrious and treatment of the most noble Marquis, for whom he had the utmost affection, which so prayed on his mind that he fell into a decline and died in a few months after.

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