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October 14th 1659

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An unwise loan?

The coronation of Charles 2nd at Scone was a hastily arranged affair. The King was naturally anxious that the ceremony should be as impressive as possible but unfortunately he had little money of his own. He was therefore forced to borrow from any who were prepared to lend. It is believed that he raised about 100,000 merks in this manner of which some 40,000 came from Andrew Reid, a rich merchant from Perth.

Later the same year Cromwell marched on Perth which, after a short resistance surrendered to him. He was received by the Provost, who took Cromwell to the house of John Davidson the notary. It is said that among those with the Provost was Andrew Reid, who presented the bond for the 40,000 merks from the King and asked for payment. Cromwell returned it with the remark that it was nothing to do with him as he was neither Charles’ heir or his executor. “In that case,”  said Reid, “you are surely a vitious intermitter (That is to say a person who without authority takes over the possession of another man’s property.)”  Cromwell contented himself with the rather mild observation that he had never heard such a bold tale told him.

Andrew Reid never did receive payment for his bond. He died rather mysteriously in 1659. “October 14th betwixt six and seven hours in the morning. Andro Reid, merchant, Burgess of Perth, was drownit in the Miln Leid, and fundin (found) abone the over Miln. That same day the Provincial Assembly sat at Perth. Buried that same day, at three hours in the afternoon.” 

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