Lord John Balmerino -- his treason trial and its aftermath
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Lord John Balmerino (c. 1589-1649) was a Scottish noble whom Charles I ordered tried for treason. Charles I visited Scotland in 1633 to be crowned and to convene the Scottish Parliament. He wanted two specific measures enacted into law, but some of the members of Parliament, including Lord Balmerino, opposed the laws and the manner in which they were enacted. They composed a protest which Charles later termed a "scandalous libel." Balmerino was tried and convicted for his part in writing the libel, but was later pardoned by Charles when rebellion threatened. The fear that other nobles might be tried for treason for opposing the king led to the alienation of many nobles and Charles' subsequent attempts to change portions of the Scottish church alienated some of the clergy. By 1637, these nobles, including Ba1merino closed ranks against Charles. The subsequent clash between Charles and the dissenters led directly to the Bishop's Wars. Balmerino played an important role in bringing about the war and developing the battle tactics. Research was based on numerous church records, official state papers, private memoirs and letters, and selected secondary works. Old English has been retained in quotations from the primary sources.
Balmerino, John Elphinstone, -- Baron, -- d. 1649