George Winram, Lord Libbertoun

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George Winram, Lord Libbertoun

Death: September 11, 1650 (Severely wounded at Battle of Dunbar)
Immediate Family:

Son of James Winram, of Libberton and Jean Winram
Brother of Margaret Stewart

Managed by: Alisdair James Smyth
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About George Winram, Lord Libbertoun

Biographical Summary

"WINRAM, GEORGE, Lord Libbertoun (d. 1650), Scottish judge, son of James Winram of Liberton in Midlothian, was admitted advocate on 20 Dec. 1620. He was a friend of James Hamilton, third marquis (afterwards first Duke) of Hamilton [q. v.], and after the abolition of episcopacy by the general assembly in 1638 he undertook the dangerous task of presenting the assembly's petition to the king in London. On receiving the petition Charles replied bitterly, ‘When they have broken my head, they will put on my cowl.’ During his stay in England Winram was active in the cause of the covenant. His public letters, which were liable to be opened, ‘were full of great feares and English braggs;’ but in his secret communications he made the Scots acquainted with the king's real weakness (Baillie, Letters and Journals, i. 115, 187). He was one of the commissioners for Midlothian in the parliaments of 1643 and 1649, and was a member of numerous parliamentary committees. On 26 Aug. 1643 he was nominated colonel of one of the regiments to be raised in Midlothian for the English war (Acts of Scottish Parl. vi. i. 52), and on the same day he was appointed a member of the committee to which it was entrusted to put the country in a posture of defence (ib. vi. i. 57). He was a member of the various committees appointed to carry on the war and to administer the functions of the executive. He was also selected by the general assembly as one of their representatives at the Westminster assembly of divines, and on 23 Feb. 1647 he received an allowance from parliament in that capacity, which on 25 March was ordered to be discontinued when the Earl of Lauderdale reached London (ib. vi. i. 704, 813). In February 1649, when the execution of Charles I rendered a breach with England probable, Winram was again nominated colonel of one of the regiments to be raised in Midlothian (ib. vi. ii. 186, 187, 317, 411). In the same year eight of the ordinary lords of session were removed, and Winram was one of those appointed in their stead on 8 March (ib. vi. ii. 283; Balfour, Annals, iii. 390)...

...In the meantime profound dissatisfaction was felt in Scotland at the course of events in England. Parliament, under the influence of Hamilton, resolved to attempt to open negotiations with Charles II, whom already on 5 Feb. they had conditionally proclaimed at Edinburgh. On 6 March Winram was chosen one of the commissioners to treat with Charles. The conditions proffered, however, were so severe that Charles, who had hopes in Ireland, declined to accede to them, and the deputation returned in June without success (Baillie, iii. 86–8, 510–21; Acts of Scottish Parl. vi. ii. 232; Balfour, Annals, iii. 408). In the course of the summer, however, Charles made new overtures to Argyll, and on 7 Aug. Winram was appointed to reopen negotiations. When, however, his instructions came to be drawn, they proved so unbending in the matter of the covenant that he refused to undertake the mission (Acts of Scottish Parl. vi. ii. 538, 739, 740; Balfour, iii. 417; Baillie, iii. 90). He was finally induced to set out in October when the news of Cromwell's success in Ireland raised hopes that Charles would prove less obdurate. Winram's reluctance to undertake the mission is not surprising, for Sir John Berkeley in a letter to Hyde remarks: ‘I believe Libbertoun will think he hath made a good voyage if he escape with a broken pate. The gallants in Jersey talkt of throwing him over the wall.’ He sailed from Leith on 11 Oct., passed through Holland, where he held conferences with the English presbyterian exiles, and, accompanied by their agent, Silius Titus [q. v.], found Charles in Jersey. Charles was desirous of uniting the covenanters, engagers, and royalists in Scotland in one common movement, and, feeling that his presence would greatly assist such a project, he showed himself less obdurate than formerly on the matter of conditions. Winram returned to Edinburgh on 2 Feb. 1649–50, with the intelligence that Charles would receive commissioners for further treaty at Breda (Balfour, iv. 2, 5). In conjunction with John Kennedy, sixth earl of Cassilis [q. v.], and the other delegates, he took part in the conferences at Breda, and, although hindered by the presence of such a zealot as John Livingstone [q. v.], among the commissioners, signed the final agree- ment off Heligoland on 21 June 1650. On returning to Scotland he joined the army and fought in the battle of Dunbar on 3 Sept., where he was so severely wounded that he died eight days later (Balfour, iv. 98)."

SOURCE: 'Winram, George (DNB00)', Wikisource, The Free Library, 17 June 2011, 19:26 UTC, <,_George_(DNB00)&oldid=2962528> [accessed 21 November 2012]

"George Winram of Liberton - Son of James Winram of Liberton was admitted advocate on the 20th December 1626. Being a friend of the Marquis of Hamilton he undertook in 1639 the somewhat dangerous task of carrying to London the petition of the General Assembly, which abolished episcopacy in 1638, justifying their proceedings, but expressing the utmost loyalty and submission. The petition was received, but the only answer it obtained, was the bitter remark of the king, "when they have broken my head they will put on my cowl". Mr Winram did considerable service to the cause of the covenant during his residence in England. His public letters, liable to be opened, "were full of great fears and English brags;" but his secret despatches betrayed the true state of the court, which, says Baillie, "was not very terrible". He was one of the commissioners for the shire of Edinburgh, in the Parliaments of 1643 and 1649, and a member of the various committees of estate and war, which were formed from time to time for the defence of the country. He was appointed colonel of one of the regiments for the county of Edinburgh, in the army ordered to be raised for the defence of the country in February 1649, and in the following month was sent by the General Assembly as a ruling elder, to accompany the Commissioners from the Estates appointed to treat with Charles II. then in Holland, as to the terms on which he could be allowed to assume the government of Scotland. These not proving satisfactory to the king, Mr Winram was again sent as the bearer of a letter from the Estates, urging Charles to comply with their requests, in November 1649, and he was a third time employed by the Estates, in conjunction with the Earl of Cassilis and others, to conclude the treaty of Breda. He was admitted as an Ordinary Lord on the 22d June 1649, immediately after his first return from the continent. Lord Libbertoun was present at the battle of Dunbar, and was so severely wounded there, that he died within eight days afterwards."

SOURCE: An Historical Account of the Senators of the College of Justice: From Its Institution in MDXXXII, by George Brunton, David Haig; 1832; Page 341-342

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George Winram, Lord Libbertoun's Timeline

September 11, 1650