his early training. After completing his education in Scotland he went to Paris to study law, among his fellow-students there being Sir David Hume of Crossrig [q.v.] (Hume of Crossrig, Domestic Details, p.43). Elected a member of parliament for the county of Berwick in 1665, soon after his return from France, he manifested a decided hostility to the extreme measures enforced by the government against the covenanters. In 1673 he spoke with great plainness in parliament in opposition to the policy of the Duke of Lauderdale (Wodrow, Sufferings of the Church of Scotland, ii. 228), and in the following year he accompanied the Duke of Hamilton and Lord Tweeddale to London to lay their grievances before the king. But although received with every mark of respect and good will, they only succeeded in discrediting themselves in the king's opinion. Polwarth resisted the project of the privy council for garrisoning the houses of the gentry in order more effectually to curb the covenanters, presented a petition against it, and refused in 1675 to pay the contribution levied for the support of the garrison in his shire. The language in which the petition was couched led to his committal to prison by the privy council till the king's pleasure should be known (ib. p. 294). The king commended the council's action, declared him incapacitated from all public trust, and directed the council to send him close prisoner to Stirling Castle until further orders (ib. p. 295). On 24 Feb. he was liberated, but was still declared incapable of public trust (ib. p. 357). Shortly afterwards he was again imprisoned, and on 4 Sept. 1678 was removed from the Tolbooth of Edinburgh to a more healthy prison, Dumbarton Castle (ib. p. 481). On 6 Feb. of the following year he was removed to Stirling (ib. iii. 4), but was liberated by order of the king, 17 July 1679 (ib. p. 172).
Thereupon, according to Crawford, Polwarth, `finding that he could not live in security at home, went to England, and entered into a strict friendship with the Duke of Monmouth, the Earl of Shaftesbury, and the Lord Russell, who was his near relation' (Officers of State, p. 241). Crawford asserts that Polwarth protested to him that `there never passed among them the least intimation of any design against the king's life or the Duke of York's' (ib. p. 242). Naturally, however, the government regarded Polwarth and his friends as more or less directly responsible for the Rye House plot. Polwarth returned to Scotland, and, fearing arrest in the autumn of 1684, took refuge in the family vault under the church of Polwarth, where his eldest daughter, Grizel, afterwards Lady Grizel Baillie, then only twelve years of age, secretly supplied him with food (Lady Murray, Memoirs, p. 36). Towards winter he removed to a place dug out below an under apartment of his own house, but an inflow of water compelled him to vacate it. Soon afterwards he escaped to London by byways, travelling in the character of a surgeon, in which art he had some skill. From London he crossed over into France, and travelled by Dunkirk, Ostend, and Bruges to Brussels, in order to have an interview with the Duke of Monmouth (`Narrative of the Earl of Argyll's Expedition' in Marchmont Papers, iii. 2). Failing to meet the duke, he stayed for a time at Rotterdam, and thence went to Utrecht, where he learned the news of the death of Charles II (ib. p. 3). Ascribing Charles's death to murder, and believing it to be part of a great conspiracy for the re-establishment of popery, Polwarth entered into communication with Argyll and the other Scottish leaders in exile. It was finally resolved by them to do their utmost for the `rescue, defence, and relief of their religion, rights, and liberties' (ib. p. 5). Argyll, who claimed an equality of authority with Monmouth, deprecated Monmouth's resolve to claim the throne of England. Some of their companions were moreover hostile to the re-establishment of a second monarchy. Polwarth therefore urged Monmouth to withdraw his claims to the crown (ib. p. 12), and Monmouth apparently accepted his advice.
Macaulay asserts that Polwarth's `interminable declamations and dissertations ruined the expedition of Argyll;' but it can scarcely be doubted that Argyll himself ruined his expedition by stubborn adherence to his own plans. Polwarth throughout took practical and common-sense views. He found Argyll jealous of Monmouth, and their `first difficulty was how to prevent mistakes arising between them ' (ib. iii. 15). This difficulty was surmounted by an agreement to have separate expeditions to England and Scotland commanded by Monmouth and Argyll respectively. Polwarth then used his utmost persuasion to induce Argyll to disclose his plans to the other leaders, but was unsuccessful. Though distrustful of Argyll's intentions and of his ability as a commander, Polwarth set sail with him from the Vlie on 2 May. He strongly opposed Argyll's proposal to land in the western highlands, and earnestly pressed him to permit at least a portion of the forces to proceed to the lowlands to encourage the friends who had promised to assist them there; but Argyll by excuses and promises delayed coming to a decision till it was too late. After `spend-