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A History of the Gipsies by Walter Simson

Were four persons of the name of Faa

[80] The reader will see that the Gipsies, at this time, were not greater "vagabonds" than great numbers of native Scotch, if as great. But, being strangers in the country, sojourners according to their own account, the king would naturally enough banish them, as they seem always to have been saying that they were about leaving for "their own country." Their living in tents, a mode of life so different from that of the natives, would, of itself, make them obnoxious to the king personally.--ED.

[81] The English Gipsies say that native names were assumed by their race in consequence of the proscription to which it was subjected. German Gipsies, on arrival in America, change, at least modify, their names. There are many of them who go under the names of Smith, Miller, and Waggoner. Jews frequently bear names common to the natives of the countries in which they are to be found, and sometimes, at the present day, assume Christian ones. I knew two German Jews, of the name of Cohen, who settled in Scotland. One of them, who was a priest, retained the original name; but the other, who was a watchmaker, assumed the name of Cowan, which, singularly enough, the priest said, was a corruption of Cohen.--ED.

[82] It is stated by Paget, in his Travels in Hungary, that the Gipsies in that country have a profound regard for aristocracy; and that they invariably follow that class in

the matter of religious opinions. Grellmann says as much in regard to the Gipsy's desire of getting hold of a distinguished old coat to put on his person.--ED.

Baron Hume, on the criminal law of Scotland, gives the following account of some of the trials and executions of the Gipsies:

"The statute (1609) annuls at the same time all protection and warrants purchased by the Egyptians from his majesty's privy council, for their remaining within the realm; as also all privileges purchased by any person to reset, entertain, or do them any favour. It appears, indeed, from a paper in the appendix to McLaurin's Cases, that even the king's servants and great officers had not kept their hands entirely pure of this sort of treaty with the Egyptian chiefs, from whom some supply of money might in this way be occasionally obtained.

"The first Gipsies that were brought to trial on the statute, were four persons of the name of Faa, who, on the 31st July, 1611, were sentenced to be hanged. They had pleaded upon a special license from the privy council, to abide within the country; but this appearing to be clogged with a condition of finding surety for their appearance when called on, and their surety being actually at the horn, for failure to present themselves, they were held to have infringed the terms of their protection.

"The next trial was on the 19th and 24th July, 1616, in the case of other two Faas and a Baillie, (which seem to have been noted names among the Gipsies;) and here was started that plea which has since been repeated in almost every case, but has always been overruled, viz: that the act and proclamation were temporary ordinances, and applicable only to such Egyptians as were in the country at their date. These pannels, upon conviction, were ordered by the privy council to find caution to the extent of 1,000 merks, to leave Scotland and never to return; and having failed to comply with this injunction, they were in consequence condemned to die.

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