Answer to the Reasons of Protest and Dissent, Taken on 9 May, To be Inserted in the Minutes of the University Meeting, 10 Jun 1769

Author(s): Anonymous


The Meeting gave
the following answers to the
reasons of protest and diſsent taken by Dr Traill,
Mr Hamilton, Mr Millar, and Dr Wight upon the 9th May
and given in by Dr Traill on
Thursday last week.

1mo. It needs not appear even a little extraordinary
that the application from Mr Woodburn to review and
alter the sentence of expulson paſsed against him
should be rejected for the following reasons.

First. There is not a single rgument urged in the said
application to convince the meeting that Mr. Woodburn
had met with amy injustice or hard dealing in his

Secondly. There is not a single fact or reason alledged
to exculpate him, or to alleviate his guilt.

Thirdly. There is not the least expreſsion of his
being sensible of his having committed any fault at

Fourthly. The argument by which he enforces his
request is not a little extraordinary "He would wish, he
"says, to have relief from thejustice and humanity of the
"meeting rather than to seek redreſs else where." Would
It not have been very extraordinary if the Meeting had
reviewed and altered their sentence without having
any reasons offered to convince them that the sentence
was wrong: If they had mollified their sentence without
the least acknowlegement or signs of repentance on the
part of the offender: Or if they had been intimidated
by his menaces of seeking redreſs elsewhere?

The protestors lay streſs upon this circumstance that
seven out of fifteen members, of which the meeting consisted,
eclared in favour of the desired review. It is proper
however to observe that six of thes seven did not think
it worth their while to attend regularly upon the trial, though called to

very one of the may meetings held upon this cause.
It is also wekk known that when this protest was entered
only one of the six had ever looked into the whole of
the minutes which contained the proof and proceedings
of the Meeting and Committee and though this
one wa not only summoned on the precedeing
day in common with all the rest but repeatedly on
the morning before sentence was past yet he would not
come to the Meeting. It is evident therefore that five
of the seven who declared for a review of the sentence
knew little but by hearsay of the grounds upon which
it was paſsed; and what is very remarkable of all the
protesters not one but Dr. Traill had seen the whole
evience upon which the sentence was founded. It is
also to be observed that Dr. Traill neither protested
nor diſsented when sentence was past and that afterwards
there were only four diſsenters in a Meeting of
fifteen so that whatever inclination there may be to
magnify four to seven yet according to the practice
of al Indicatories those who do not diſsent must be
undestood to acquiesce in the sentence given.

Fifthly. Whether the sentence past on the 6th of May
against Mr. Woodburn was right or wrong it was altogether
incompetent for the meeting on the 9th of May
to review and alter it and for the following reasons.

First. Because a protest was entered against that
sentence by the party, and liberty demanded to seek
redreſs before a superior Court. Extracts were also
demanded and granted by the Meeting; and to alter
a sentence after an appeal from it to a higher Court
was taken, must have rendered the meeting [¿]
ridiculous, and obnoxious to just censure.

Secondly. Supposing Mr Woodburn had withdrawn
his protest and appeal, which he never did nor offered
to do, it was incompetent for the meeting of May the 9th

to alter a sentence regularly paſsed in a former

It is granted indeed that if there had been a nullity
in te sentence of May the 6th, the Meeting of May
the 9th might have found and declared that nullity, and
might have proceeded as if no such sentence had
been paſsed. But as this was not so much as pretended,
it is evident that no cause could ever be
brought to an end, if a final sentence pronounced
and executed may be reviewed and altered
by the same Court that paſsed it. Mr Woodburn
may be again received as a member of this University
by a new sentence if they shall Judge it
proper from new facts or evidences laid before them;
but if a superior power shall not undo or alter
the sentence already paſsed it seems to be altogether
incompetent for this meeting to do either. Though
it is the practice of the Court of Seſsion to paſs [
] sentences in civil causes, which by the
forms of the Court ly open to a review when new
matter is offered, yet this can afford no reason
for a review in the present case, because it was
a cause of a different nature, from those which are thus reviewed by the Court of Seſsion, because no new
matter was offered, and because no such form, so
far as we known, of reviewing and altering a
sentence after it is past was ever adopted in this

IIdo. The second reason of protest expreſses only
the opinion of the protesters without giving the
reasons on which that opinion is founded, to which
it is sufficient to say that the University Meeting
is of a contrary opinion.

IIItio. The third reason like the former expreſses

the apprehension of the Protesters without aſsigning
any reason for that apprehension; to which
it i sufficient to say that the Meeting has a contrary

IVto. The fourth reason of protest is that during the
proceedings in this trial, many groſs indecencies have
been alledged with respect to persons under the jurisdiction
of this University, which have been suffered
to paſs without any enquiry. To which it is answered

First supposing the fact alledged to this that because
some groſs indecencies have been suffered to paſs without
enquiry therefore they protest against censuring
other groſs indecencies.

Secondly. While the protestors seem desirous of
charging teh meeting with partiallity in their proceedings,
they acknowlege with regard to themselves
what we cannot help thihnking very inconsistent
with their duty as Profeſsors in this University.
For if they know that certain groſs indecencies
have been alledged which ought to have been enquired
into, it was their duty to demand such an enquiry unleſs
they are of opinion that there ought to be no
College discipline at all. If they have made no
such requisition, they must by their own acknowlegement
be chargeable with suffering such indecencies
to paſs without any enquiry.

It is true indeed that two facts were mentioned
by the protestors viva voce to support the allegation
contained in this reason of their protest and diſsent.
the first is that in the Committee on Mr. Woodburn's
affair March the 27th page 16 and 17
of the minutes of that Committee "It being moved that
"the declaration should be asked whether any other student
"or students of the Company besides Mr. Woodburn had
"given indecent toasts or sung indecent songs, the Committee

"judged that this question would be put more properly
"afterwards and therefore ordered it not to be put at that
"time for a reason there aſsigned but expreſsly declaring
"that it may be put afterwards, against which Dr Traill
"protested. Dr Traill however had acceſs to put that
question afterwards and it was actually put to the
same Declarant page 70 and 71. We
know of no other enquiry that was ever proposed by
any of the protestors previous to this protest, though
every member was called upon to say whether
he had any witneſses to examine either in
relation to the affair of Mr. Robison or Mr. Woodburn
or in relation to the misbehaviour of any of the students
and Mr. Anderson desired to have it marked page 113th.
that he was led to put the above question by what is
contained in pages 16th. and 17th. where Dr Traills protest
is recorded.

The other fact which was alledged by the protestors
viva voce in order to shew their zeal for enquiring
into groſs indecencies paſsed over by the Meeting, is
a requisition by Mr. Hamilton May the 9th to censure
all the Students without distinction who were at
McDonald's on St Patrick's day; with regard to which
requisition we observe.

First. That it was not seconded either by any of the
protesters, or by any other person in the meeting: And
this indeed is the leſs surprising when we consider

Secondly. That the meeting at the very time when
this requisition was made were going on with all
the dispatch they could in trying and punishing such
as appeared to have been guilty of irregularities on
St. Patrick's day and continued to carry on this busineſs
as long as any of the delinquents remained in town. Sentence
was paſsed against one in that very meeting wherein
this requisition was made and against three others
afterwards and in each of these four sentences the
meeting was unanimous. Since these trials were
finished no motion has been made by any of the

proestors for trying any other delinquent.

Thirdly it ought to be observed that whether any
regard was shewn to Mr Hamilton's requisition or not
the protestors can draw no argument from it to support
their protest for this plain reason that their protest
was taken before the requisition was made. Whether
the requisition was afterwards contrived to furnish
a reason for the protest we do not pretend to judge.

A General charge against the Meeting by particular
members of suffering groſs indecencies in some to paſs without
any enquiry while they too heavily censure them in
others is a hainous imputation which the protestors would
have done well to have weighed coolly before they threw
out. But while no one fact is offered in support of it,
while a motion made by Mr Anderson stands in the
minutes for appointing the four protesters a Committee
to enquire into the indecencies and irregularities of
all persons subject to the authority of the University,
which motion none of the protestors thought proper to
second, the impartial will judged whether a general imputation
of this kind does most hurt to those who made
it, or to those against whom it is aimed. TheMeeting is
not conscious of having given cause by any of their
proceedings for such a charge of partiallity and they
think themselves justly entitled to call upon those who
made it either to retract it or to make it good.


Cite this Document

APA Style:

Answer to the Reasons of Protest and Dissent, Taken on 9 May, To be Inserted in the Minutes of the University Meeting, 10 Jun 1769. 2019. In The Corpus of Modern Scottish Writing. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved January 2019, from

MLA Style:

"Answer to the Reasons of Protest and Dissent, Taken on 9 May, To be Inserted in the Minutes of the University Meeting, 10 Jun 1769." The Corpus of Modern Scottish Writing. Glasgow: University of Glasgow, 2019. Web. January 2019.

Chicago Style

The Corpus of Modern Scottish Writing, s.v., "Answer to the Reasons of Protest and Dissent, Taken on 9 May, To be Inserted in the Minutes of the University Meeting, 10 Jun 1769," accessed January 2019,

If your style guide prefers a single bibliography entry for this resource, we recommend:

The Corpus of Modern Scottish Writing. 2019. Glasgow: University of Glasgow.


Answer to the Reasons of Protest and Dissent, Taken on 9 May, To be Inserted in the Minutes of the University Meeting, 10 Jun 1769

Document Information

Document ID 596
Title Answer to the Reasons of Protest and Dissent, Taken on 9 May, To be Inserted in the Minutes of the University Meeting, 10 Jun 1769
Year group 1750-1800
Genre Administrative prose
Year of publication 1769
Place of publication Glasgow, Scotland
Wordcount 1776

Author information: Anonymous

Author ID 409
Surname Anonymous