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Title: Memoirs of the Jacobites of 1715 and 1745 - Volume II.
Author: Thomson, Mrs.
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Memoirs of the Jacobites of 1715 and 1745 - Volume II." ***

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OF 1715 AND 1745.





Publisher in Ordinary to Her Majesty.


Printed by S. & J. BENTLEY, WILSON, and FLEY,
Bangor House, Shoe Lane.




(with a Portrait of the Countess of Nithisdale)                        1

WILLIAM GORDON, VISCOUNT KENMURE                                      71

WILLIAM MURRAY, MARQUIS OF TULLIBARDINE                               92

SIR JOHN MACLEAN                                                     124

ROB ROY MACGREGOR CAMPBELL                                           155

SIMON FRASER, LORD LOVAT (with a Portrait)                           208



It is happily remarked by the editor of the Culloden Papers, with regard
to the devotion of many of the Highland clans to the exiled family of
Stuart, that "it cannot be a subject requiring vindication; nor," adds
the writer, "if it raise a glow on the face of their descendants, is it
likely to be the blush of shame." The descendants of William Maxwell,
Earl of Nithisdale, have reason to remember, with a proud interest, the
determined and heroic affection which rescued their ancestor from
prison, no less than the courage and fidelity which involved their chief
in a perilous undertaking, and in a miserable captivity.

The first of that ancient race, who derived their surname from the
Lordship of Maxwell, in the county of Dumfries, was Robert de Maxwell of
Carlaverock, who, in 1314, was killed at the battle of Bannockburn,
fighting under the banners of King James the Third. From that period
until the seventeenth century, the house of Maxwell continued to enjoy
signal proofs of royal favour; it was employed in important services and
on high missions, extending its power and increasing its possessions by
intermarriages with the richest and noblest families in Scotland. An
enumeration of the honours and privileges enjoyed by this valiant race
will show in how remarkable a degree it was favoured by the Stuarts, and
how various and how forcible were the reasons which bound it to serve
that generous and beloved race of Scottish monarchs.

Herbert, who succeeded John de Maxwell, was one of the Commissioners
sent by Alexander the Second to England, to treat for a marriage with
one of the daughters of that crown; and, having concluded the
negotiation favourably, was endowed with the office of Lord Great
Chamberlain of Scotland, which he held during his life-time, and which
was afterwards bestowed on his son.

Eustace de Maxwell, in the time of Robert de Bruce, was among those
patriots who adhered to the Scottish King. The Castle of Carlaverock,
one of the most ancient possessions of the brave Maxwells, stands a
memento, in its noble ruins, of the disinterested loyalty of its owners.

The remains of Carlaverock afford but a slight notion of its former
strength. The importance of its situation is, however, undoubted.
Situated on the south borders of the Nith, near to Glencapel Quay, it
constituted a stronghold for the Scottish noble, who scarcely feared a
siege within its walls, and when the army of Edward advanced to invest
it, refused to surrender; "for the fortress was well furnished," says
Grose, "with soldiers, engines, and provisions."

But this defiance was vain; after sustaining an assault, Carlaverock was
obliged to capitulate; when the generosity of Edward's measures excited
the admiration of all humane minds. The troops, only sixty in number,
were taken into the King's service, as a token of his approval of their
brave defence; they were then released, ransom free, and received each a
new garment, as a gift from the King.

Carlaverock was, some time after, retaken by the Scotch, and Sir Eustace
de Maxwell resumed his command over the garrison. It was again invested
by King Edward; but, on this occasion, Eustace drove the English from
the attack, and retained possession of the fortress.

Afterwards, of his own free will, he demolished the fortress, that no
possession of his might favour the progress of the enemy. He was
rewarded by several grants of lands, and twenty-two pounds in money.

In the fifteenth century, Herbert de Maxwell marrying a daughter of the
Maxwells of Terregles (Terre Eglise), the son of that marriage was
ennobled, and was dignified by the title of Lord de Maxwell. His
successor perished at Flodden, but the grandson of the first Lord had a
happier fortune, and was entrusted by James the Fifth to bring over
Mary of Guise to Scotland, first marrying her as the King's proxy.

The house of Maxwell prospered until the reign of James the Sixth; by
whom John, Lord Maxwell, was created Earl of Morton, and made Warden of
the Marches: but a reverse of fortune ensued. From some court intrigue,
the Warden was removed from office, and his place supplied by the Laird
of Johnstones; all the blood of the Maxwells was aroused; a quarrel and
a combat were the result; and, in the scuffle, the new-made Earl of
Morton was killed. The injury was not forgotten, and John, who succeeded
the murdered man, deemed it incumbent upon him to avenge his father. In
consequence, the Laird of Johnstone soon fell a sacrifice to this notion
of honour, or outbreak of offended pride. The crime was not, however,
passed over by law; the offender was tried, and executed, in 1613, at
the Cross in Edinburgh; and his honours were forfeited. But again the
favour of the Stuarts shone forth; the title of Morton was not restored,
but Robert, the brother of the last Earl of Morton, was created Earl of
Nithisdale, and restored to the Lordship of Maxwell; with precedency, as
Earl, according to his father's creation as Earl of Morton.

This kindness was requited by a devoted loyalty; and, in the reign of
Charles the First, the Earl of Nithisdale suffered much, both by
sequestration and imprisonment, for the royal cause.

In 1647, in consequence of failure of the direct line, the title and
estates of the Nithisdale family devolved on a kinsman, John Lord
Herries, whose grandson, William, the subject of this memoir, proved to
be the last of the Maxwell family that has ever enjoyed the Earldom.

He was served heir male, and of line male and entail of his father, on
the twenty-sixth of May, 1696; and heir male of his grandfather, the
Earl of Nithisdale, on the sixteenth of the same month.[1] At his
accession to his title, the Earl of Nithisdale possessed no common
advantages of fortune and station. "He was allied," says the Scottish
Peerage, "to most of the noble families in the two kingdoms." His
mother, the Lady Lucy, was daughter to the Marquis of Douglas; his only
sister, Lady Mary Maxwell, was married to Charles Stewart, Earl of
Traquair; and he had himself wedded a descendant of that noble and brave
Marquis of Worcester who had defended Ragland Castle against Fairfax.

In addition to these family honours, Lord Nithisdale possessed rich
patrimonial estates in one of the most fertile and luxuriant counties in
Scotland. The Valley of the Nith, from which he derived his title, owned
his lordship over some of its fairest scenes. Young, rich, and happily
married, he was in the full sunshine of prosperity when, in the year
1715, he was called upon to prove the sincerity of that fidelity to the
house of Stuart for which his family had so greatly suffered, and for
which it had been so liberally repaid.

It is remarkable that the adventurers in the unfortunate cause of the
Chevalier St. George were, with rare exceptions, men of established
credit, men who had vast stakes in their country, and who had lost no
portion of their due consideration in the eyes of others by extravagance
or profligacy. This fact marks the insurrection of 1715, as presenting a
very different aspect to that of other insurrections raised by faction,
and supported by men of desperate fortunes. So early as the year 1707,
it appears by Colonel Hooke's secret negotiations in favour of the
Stuarts, that the bulk of the Scottish nobility had their hearts engaged
in the cause, and that their honour was pledged to come forward on the
first occasion. In the enumeration given by one of the agents employed
in traversing the country, Lord Nithisdale and his relatives are
mentioned as certain and potent allies. "In Tweedale," writes Mr.
Fleming to the Minister of Louis the Fourteenth, "the Earl of Traquair,
of the house of Stuart, and the Laird of Stanhope are powerful. In the
shires of Annandale, Niddesdale, and Galloway, are the Earl of
Niddesdale, with the Viscount of Kenmure, the Laird of Spinkell, with
the numerous clan of the Maxwells; and there is some hope also of the
Earl of Galloway; Thus the King's party is connected through the whole
kingdom, and we are certain of being masters of all the shires, except
Argyleshire, Clydesdale, Renfrew, Dumbarton, and Kyle."[2] "An affair
of this nature," adds Mr. Fleming, "cannot be communicated to all the
well affected; and it is a great proof of the zeal of those to whom it
is trusted, that so many people have been able to keep this secret so
inviolably." Such was the commencement of that compact which, held
together by the word of Scotchmen, was in few instances broken; but was
maintained with as scrupulous a regard to honour and fidelity by the
poorest Highlander that ever trod down the heather, as by the great
nobleman within his castle hall.

Among the list of the most considerable chiefs in Scotland, with an
account of their disposition for or against the Government, the Earl of
Nithisdale is specified by contemporary writers as one who is able to
raise three hundred men, and willing to employ that force in the service
of the Pretender.[3]

In the resolution to carry the aid of his clansmen to the service of
either side, the chieftain of that day was powerfully assisted by the
blind devotion of the brave and faithful people whom he led to battle.
Unhappily, the influence of the chief was often arbitrarily, and even
cruelly exerted, in cases of doubtful willingness in their followers.

It will be interesting to scrutinize the motives and characters of those
who occupied the chief posts in command, upon the formation of this
Southern party in favour of the Chevalier. Although some of these
chiefs have obtained celebrity in history, yet their efforts were
sincere; their notions of patriotism, be they just, or be they
erroneous, deserve a rescue from oblivion; their sufferings, and the
heroism with which they were encountered, show to what an extent the
fixed principle to which the Scotch are said ever to recur, will carry
the exertions, and support the fortitude, of that enduring and
determined people.

To William Gordon, Viscount Kenmure and Baron of Lochinvar, was
entrusted, in a commission from the Earl of Mar, the command of the
insurgents in the south of Scotland. This choice of a General displayed
the usual want of discernment which characterized the leaders of the
Rebellion of 1715. Grave, and as a contemporary describes him, "full
aged;" of extraordinary knowledge in public affairs, but a total
stranger to all military matters; calm, but slow in judgment; of
unsullied integrity,--endowed, in short, with qualities truly
respectable, but devoid of energy, boldness, and address, yet wanting
not personal courage, there could scarcely have been found a more
excellent man, nor a more feeble commander. At the head of a troop of
gentlemen, full of ardour in the cause, the plain dress and homely
manners of Lord Kenmure seemed inappropriate to the conspicuous station
which he held; for the exercise of his functions as commander was
attended by some circumstances which required a great combination of
worldly knowledge with singleness of purpose.

George Seaton, the fifth Earl of Wintoun, was another of those noblemen
who raised a troop of horse, and engaged, from the very first
commencement of the rebellion, in its turmoils. The family of Seaton, of
which the Earl of Wintoun was the last in the direct line, "affords in
its general characteristics," says a celebrated Scottish genealogist,
"the best specimen of our ancient nobility. They seem to have been the
first to have introduced the refined arts, and an improved state of
architecture in Scotland. They were consistent in their principles, and,
upon the whole, as remarkable for their deportment and baronial
respectability, as for their descent and noble alliances."[4]

In consequence of so many great families having sprung from the Seatons,
they were styled "_Magnæ Nobilitatis Domini_;" and their antiquity was
as remarkable as their alliances, the male representation of the family,
and the right to the honours which they bore, having been transmitted to
the present Earl of Eglintoun, through an unbroken descent of seven
centuries and a half.

The loyalty of the Seatons was untainted. The first Earl of Wintoun had
adopted as one of his mottoes, "_Intaminatis fulget honoribus_," and the
sense of those words was fully borne out by the testimony of time. The
Seatoun Charter Chest contained, as one of their race remarked, no
remission of any offence against Government, a fact which could not be
affirmed of any other Scottish family of note. But this brave and
ancient house had signal reason for remaining hitherto devoted to the
monarchs of the Scottish throne.

Four times had the Seatons been allied with royalty: two instances were
remarkable. George Seatoun, second Earl of Huntly, married the Princess
Annabella, daughter of James the First, and from that union numerous
descendants of Scottish nobility exist to this day: and George, the
third Lord Seaton, again allied his house with that of Stuart, by
marrying the Lady Margaret Stuart, daughter of the Earl of Buchan, and
granddaughter of Robert the Second. In consequence of these several
intermarriages, it was proverbially said of the house of Seaton, "the
family is come of princes, and reciprocally princes are come of the
family." And these bonds of relationship were cemented by services
performed and honours conferred. The devotion of the Seatons to Mary,
Queen of Scots, has been immortalised by the pen of Sir Walter Scott.
George, the seventh Lord Seaton, attended on that unhappy Princess in
some of the most brilliant scenes of her eventful life, and clung to her
in every vicissitude of her fate. He, as Ambassador to France,
negotiated her marriage with the Dauphin, and was present at the
celebration of the nuptials. He afterwards aided his royal mistress to
escape from Lochleven Castle, in 1568, and conducted her to Niddry
Castle, his own seat. When, in gratitude for his fidelity, Mary would
have created him an Earl, Lord Seaton declined the honour, and
preferred his existing rank as Premier Baron of Scotland. Mary
celebrated his determination in a couplet, written both in French and in

    "Il y a des comtes, des rois, des ducs aussi,
    Ce't assez pour moy d'estre Signeur de Seton."

The successor of Lord Seaton, Robert, judged differently from his
father, and accepted from James the Sixth the patent for the Earldom of
Wintoun; distinguishing the new honour by a courage which procured for
him the appellation of "Greysteel."[5]

George, the fifth Earl of Wintoun, and the unfortunate adherent to the
Jacobite cause, succeeded to the honours of his ancestors under
circumstances peculiarly embarrassing. His legitimacy was doubted: at
the time when his father died, this ill-fated young man was abroad, his
residence was obscure; and as he held no correspondence with any of his
relations, little was known with regard to his personal character. In
consequence partly of his absence from Scotland, partly, it is said, of
an actual hereditary tendency, a belief soon prevailed that he was
insane, or rather, as a contemporary expresses it, "mighty subject to a
particular kind of caprice natural to his family."[6]

The Viscount Kingston, next heir to the title of Wintoun, having
expressed his objections to Lord Wintoun's legitimacy, the young man, in
1710, took steps to establish himself as his father's heir. Two
witnesses were produced who were present at the marriage of his
parents, and bonds were found in the family chests, designating Lord
Wintoun as "our eldest lawful son," by Dame Christian Hepburn Countess
of Wintoun, "our spouse." This important point being established, Lord
Wintoun served himself heir to his father and became the possessor of
the family estates, chiefly situated in East Lothian, their principal
residence being the palace of Seaton, so recognized in the royal
charters, from its having been the favourite resort of royalty, the
scene of entertainment to Mary of Scots, and her court, and the
residence of Charles the First, when in Scotland in 1633. It was
afterwards the place of meeting for the Jacobite nobles, and their

Differing from many of his companions in arms, Lord Wintoun was a
zealous Protestant; but without any regard to the supremacy of either
mode of faith, it appears to have been a natural consequence of his
birth and early associations that he should cling to the house of the
Stuarts. One would almost have applied to the young nobleman the term
"recreant," had he wavered when the descendant of Mary Stuart claimed
his services. But such a course was far from his inclination. It was
afterwards deemed expedient by his friends to plead for him on the
ground of natural weakness of intellect; "but," says a contemporary,
"Lord Wintoun wants no courage, nor so much capacity as his friends find
it for his interest to suggest."[8] He was forward in action, and
stimulated the military ardour of his followers, as they rushed with
their ancient cry of "Set-on" to the combat. The earliest motto borne on
these arms by the Seatons, "Hazard, yet forward," might indeed be
mournfully applied to all who engaged in the hopeless Rebellion of 1715.

Lord Wintoun, like Lord Derwentwater, was in the bloom of his youth when
he summoned his tenantry to follow him to the rendezvous appointed by
Lord Kenmure. He took with him three hundred men to the standard of
James Stuart; but he appears to have carried with him a fiery and
determined temper,--the accompaniment, perhaps, of noble qualities, but
a dangerous attribute in times of difficulty.

Robert Dalzell, sixth Earl of Carnwath, was another of those Scottish
noblemen whose adherence to the Stuarts can only be regarded as a
natural consequence of their birth and education. The origin of his
family, which was of great antiquity in the county of Lanark, but had
been transplanted into Nithisdale, is referred to in the following
anecdote. In the reign of Kenneth the Second, a kinsman of the King
having been taken and hung by the Picts, a great reward was offered by
Kenneth, if any one would rescue and restore the corpse of his relation.
The enterprise was so hazardous, that no one would venture on so great a
risk. "At last," so runs the tale, "a certain gentleman came to the
King, and said, 'Dalziel,' which is the old Scottish word for 'I dare.'
He performed his engagement, and won for himself and his posterity the
name which he had verified, and an armorial bearing corresponding to the

To James the First and to Charles the First the Dalziels owed their
honours, and had the usual fortune of paying dearly for them, during the
Great Rebellion, by sequestration, and by the imprisonment of Robert,
first Earl of Carnwath, after the battle of Worcester, whither he
attended Charles the Second. Undaunted by the adversities which his
house had formerly endured, Robert Dalzell, of Glenæ, sixth Earl of
Carnwath, again came forward in 1715 to maintain the principles in which
he had been nurtured, and to assist the family for whom his ancestors
had suffered. During his childhood, the tutor of this nobleman had made
it his chief care to instil into his mind the doctrine of hereditary
right, and its consequent, passive obedience and non-resistance. At the
University of Cambridge, young Dalzell had imbibed an affection for the
liturgy and discipline of the Church of England; whilst his attainments
had kept pace with the qualities of his heart, and the graces of his
deportment. He was, in truth, a young man of fair promise, and one whose
fate excited great interest, when a sombre tranquillity had succeeded to
the turbulence of rebellion. Gentle in his address, affable,
kind-hearted, Lord Carnwath had a natural and ready wit, and a great
command of language, to which his English education had doubtless
contributed. He was related by a former marriage between the families to
the Earl of Wintoun, whose troop was commanded by Captain James Dalzell,
the brother of Lord Carnwath. This young officer had served in the army
of George the First, but he threw up his commission at the beginning of
the Rebellion,--a circumstance which saved him from being shot at
Preston as a deserter.[9]

Robert Balfour, fifth Earl of Burleigh, was among the chiefs who,
shortly after the outbreak, avowed their adherence to the Pretender's
party. He was one of the few Jacobites whose personal character has
reflected discredit upon his motives, and disgraced his compeers: his
story has the air of romance, but is perfectly reconcilable with the
spirit of the times in which Lord Burleigh figured.

When a very young man he became attached to a girl of low rank, and was
sent abroad by his friends in hopes of removing his attachment. Before
he quitted Scotland, he swore, however, that if the young woman married
in his absence, he would kill her husband. Upon returning home, he found
that the unfortunate object of his affections had been united to Henry
Stenhouse, the schoolmaster at Inverkeithing. The threat had not been
uttered without a deep meaning: young Balfour kept his word, and
hastening to the school where Stenhouse was pursuing his usual duties,
he stabbed him in the midst of his scholars. The victim of this
murderous attack died twelve days afterwards.

Nearly eight years had elapsed since the crime had been perpetrated, and
the wretched murderer had encountered, since that time, his trial, in
the Court of Justiciary, and had received sentence of death by
beheading; but he escaped from prison a few days previously, by
exchanging clothes with his sister. He was then a commoner; but in 1714,
the title of Lord Burleigh, and an estate of six hundred and
ninety-seven pounds yearly, devolved upon him. When the Rebellion broke
out, his restless spirit, as well, perhaps, as the loss of reputation,
and the miseries of reflection, impelled him to enter into the contest.

Such were the principal promoters of the insurrection in the south of
Scotland; they were held together by firm bonds of sympathy, and their
plans were concerted in renewed conferences at stated periods.

The twenty-ninth of May was, of course, religiously observed by this
increasing and formidable party. During the previous year (1714) the
Jacobite gentry had met at Lochmaben, under pretence of a horse-racing;
and, although it does not appear that the Earl of Nithisdale was among
those who assembled on that occasion, yet several of his kinsmen
attended. The plates which were the prizes had significant devices: on
one of them were wrought figures of men in a falling posture; above them
stood one "eminent person," the Pretender, underneath whom were
inscribed the words from Ezekiel, xxi. 27, "I will overturn, overturn,
overturn it: and it shall be no more, until he come whose right it is,
and I will give it him." When the races were ended, Lord Burleigh, then
Master of Burleigh, led the way to the Cross of Lochmaben, where, with
great solemnity, drums beating, and colours displayed, those there
colected drank to "_their King's health;_" the Master of Burleigh
giving the toast, and uttering an imprecation on all such as should
refuse to pledge it. These meetings had been continued for several
years, and, during the reign of Queen Anne, without any molestation from
Government.[10] Lord Nithisdale took a decided part in all these
measures, and was one of those who were considered as entirely to be
trusted by the Earl of Mar, with regard to the projected arrival of the
Pretender in Scotland. On the sixth of August, 1715, that project was
communicated by Mar to the Earl of Nithisdale, through the medium of
Captain Dalzell, who was despatched likewise to Lord Kenmure, and to the
Earl of Carnwath. Lord Nithisdale obeyed the summons, and met the great
council of the Jacobite nobles at Braemar, where the decisive and
irrevocable step was taken.

Lord Nithisdale, in common with the other members of what was now termed
the Jacobite Association, had been diligently preparing the contest.
Meetings of the Association had been frequent, and even public. The
finest horses had been bought up at any cost, with saddles and
accoutrements, and numbers of horse-shoes. Many country gentlemen, who
were in the habit of keeping only two or three saddle-horses at a time,
now collected double the number; and a suspicion prevailed that it was
the intention of some, who were Jacobites, to mount a troop. But no
seizure had been made of their property in the last reign, there being
few justices of the peace in Dumfriesshire, nominated by Queen Anne, who
were not in the service of the Chevalier.[11] Trained bands were,
however, soon raised by the well-affected gentry of the county for the
protection of the neighbourhood; and Nithisdale was traversed by armed
bands,--Closeburn House, then the residence of Sir Thomas
Kirkpatrick,[12] being a frequent point of union for the friends of the
Hanoverian interests to assemble.[13] At Trepons, in the upper part of
Nithisdale, was the first blood drawn that was shed in this disastrous
quarrel, Mr. Bell of Nimsea, a Jacobite gentleman, being there shot
through the leg by one of the guards, on his refusing to obey
orders.[14] The occurrence was typical of the remorseless cruelty which
was afterwards exhibited towards the brave but unfortunate insurgents.

By a clause in the act "for encouraging loyalty in Scotland," passed on
the thirtieth of August, power was given to the authorities to summon to
Edinburgh all the heads of the Jacobite clans, and other suspected
persons, by a certain day, to find bail for their good conduct. Among
the long list of persons who were thus cited to appear, was the Earl of
Nithisdale. Upon his non-appearance, he was, with the rest, denounced,
and declared a rebel.[15] This citation was followed by an outbreak on
the part of Lord Kenmure and his followers, simultaneous to that on
which the Northumberland Jacobites had decided. And the borders now
became the chief haunts of the insurgents, who continued moving from
place to place, and from house to house, in order to ripen the scheme
which involved, as they considered, their dearest interests.

The loyal inhabitants of Dumfries were engaged, one Saturday, in the
solemnities of preparation for the holy sacrament, when they received
intimation of a plot to surprise and take possession of the town on the
following sabbath, during the time of communion. This project was
defeated by the prompt assembling of forces, notwithstanding that Lord
Kenmure, with one hundred and fifty-three horsemen, advanced within a
mile and a half of the town, on his march from Moffat. Upon being
advised of the preparations made for defence, this too prudent commander
addressed his troops, and said, "that he doubted not there were, in the
town, as brave gentlemen there as himself, and that he would not go on
to Dumfries that day." He returned to Lochmaben, where, on the following
Thursday, the Pretender's standard was proclaimed: Lochmaben is a small
market-town about fifteen miles from Dumfries; it served for some time
as the head-quarters of the Jacobite party. "At their approach," relates
the historian of that local insurrection, "the people of that place had
put their cattle into a fold to make room for their horses; but the
beasts having broken the fold, some of them drew home to the town a
little before day; and a townsman, going to hunt one of 'em out of his
yeard, called on his dog nam'd 'Help.' Hereupon the sentries cried
'Where?' and apprehending it had been a party from Dumfries to attack
them, gave the alarm to the rebels, who got up in great confusion."

Lord Kenmure, attended by the Jacobite chiefs, and Lord Nithisdale, soon
quitted the town of Lochmaben; and proceeding to Ecclefechan, and thence
marching to Langholme, reached Hawick on the fifteenth of September, and
determined on proceeding from that place into Teviotdale. Meantime
measures were taken by the Duke of Roxburgh, who was Lieutenant Governor
of Dumfriesshire, to prevent the Castle of Carlaverock being made
available for the Jacobite forces. The Duke gave orders that the back
bridge of the isle should be taken off, and a communication thus cut off
between the Papists in the lower part of Galloway and the rebels in the
borders. The inhabitants of the parish of Carlaverock were also strictly
watched, being tenants, mostly, of the Earl of Nithisdale; and the same
precaution was taken with regard to his Lordship's tenantry in Traquair,
Terregles, and Kirkcunyean; yet, according to the statement of Mr. Reay,
a most violent partisan against the Jacobites, the humble dwellers on
these estates were but little disposed to follow their chieftain, who
took, so the same account declares, "only two or three domestic servants
with him."[16] This, however, is contradicted by the assertion of Mr.
Patten, who specifies that Lord Nithisdale was followed by three hundred
of his tenantry; and also by the expectations which were founded, upon
a close survey and scrutiny, by the agents of the Chevalier before the

Lord Nithisdale had now taken a last farewell of the beautiful and
smiling country of his forefathers; with what bright hopes, with what
anticipations of a successful march and a triumphant return he may have
quitted Terregles, it is easy to conjecture. Unhappily his enterprise
was linked to one over which a man, singularly ill-fitted for the office
of command, presided: for it was decreed that the Jacobite forces, under
the command of Lord Kenmure, should proceed to the assistance of Mr.
Forster's ill-fated insurrection in the north of England.

The history of that luckless and ill-concerted enterprise has been
already given.[18] The Earl of Nithisdale was taken prisoner after the
battle of Preston, but little mention is made of his peculiar services
at that place.

Lord Nithisdale was, with other prisoners of the same rank, removed to
London. The prisoners of inferior rank were disposed of, under strong
guards, in the different castles of Lancaster, Chester, and Liverpool.
The indignities which were wreaked upon the unfortunate Jacobites as
they entered London have been detailed in the life of Lord Derwentwater.
Amid the cries of a savage populace, and the screams of "No warming
pan," "King George for ever!" an exclamation which proves how deeply the
notion of spurious birth had sunk into the minds of the people, the
Earl of Nithisdale was conducted, his arms tied with cords, and the
reins of his horse taken from him, with his unfortunate companions, into
the Tower. He arrived in London on the 9th of December, 1715.[19]

Of the manner in which the State prisoners of that period were treated,
there are sufficient records left to prove that no feeling of compassion
for what might be deemed a wrong, but yet a generous principle of
devotion to the Stuarts, no high-toned sentiment of respect to bravery,
nor consideration for the habits and feelings of their prisoners,
influenced the British Government during that time of triumph. The mode
in which those unfortunate captives were left in the utmost penury and
necessity to petition for some provision, after their estates were
escheated, plainly manifests how little there was of that sympathy with
calamity which marks the present day.[20]

But if the State prisoners in London were treated with little humanity,
those who were huddled together in close prisons at Preston, Chester,
Liverpool, and the other towns were in a still more wretched condition.

In the stores of the State Paper Office are to be found heartrending
appeals for mercy, from prisoners sinking under dire diseases from too
close contiguity, or from long confinement in one apartment. Consumption
seems to have been very prevalent; and in Newgate the gaol fever raged.
For this rigorous confinement the excuse was, that it had been found
impossible to give the prisoners air, without risk of escape. In
Chester, the townspeople conspired to assist the poor wretches in this
endeavour; and perhaps, in regard to those of meaner rank, the
authorities were not very averse to the success of such efforts, for the
prisons were crowded, and the expense of even keeping the unfortunate
captives alive began to be a source of complaint on the part of

The great majority of the prisoners of the north were country gentlemen,
Roman Catholics, from Cumberland and Northumberland,--men who were
hearty and sincere in their convictions of the righteousness of their
cause--men, whose ancestors had mustered their tenantry in the field for
Charles the First. To those whose lives were spared, a petition was
recommended, and taken round for signature, praying that their sentence
of death or of imprisonment might be exchanged for transportation. But,
whether these high-spirited gentlemen expected that another insurrection
might act in their favour, or whether they preferred death to a final
farewell, under circumstances so dreadful, to their country, does not
appear. They mostly refused to sign the petition, which was offered to
them singly: and the commandant at Preston, Colonel Rapin, in his
correspondence with Lord Townshend, expresses his annoyance at their
obstinacy, and expatiates on the inconvenience of the numbers under his
charge at Preston. At length, after Captain John Dalzell, brother to the
Earl of Carnwath, had signed the petition, a large body of the
prisoners were ordered to be transported without their petitioning, and
to be put in irons. They were hurried away to Liverpool, to embark
thence for the Colonies, gentlemen and private soldiers mingled in one
mass; but orders were afterwards sent by Lord Townshend to detain the
gentlemen. Three hundred and twenty-seven prisoners had, however, been
already shipped off. Those who remained were not permitted to converse,
even with each other, without risk,--one Thomas Wells being appointed as
a spy to write to the Jacobites, and to discourse with them, under the
garb of friendliness, in order to draw out their real sentiments.[21]

From this digression, which may not be deemed irrelevant, since it marks
the spirit of the times, we return to the unhappy prisoners in the
Tower, which was now thickly tenanted by the fallen Jacobites.

Lord Nithisdale had the sorrow of knowing that many of his friends and
kinsmen were in the same gloomy and impenetrable fortress to which he
had been conducted. It is possible that the Jacobite noblemen were not
hopeless; and that remembering the clemency of William the Third to
those who had held a treasonable correspondence with the Court of St.
Germains, they might look for a similar line of policy from the reigning

It must be acknowledged, however, that Government had been greatly
exasperated by acts of violence and of wanton destruction on the part of
the Jacobites throughout the country; and that the general disaffection
throughout the North, and, in particular, the strong Tory predilections
at Oxford, must have greatly aggravated the dangers, and consequently,
in a political view, have enhanced the crimes of the Chevalier's
adherents. "The country," writes Colonel Rapin to Lord Townshend, "is
full of them [the Jacobites], and the same spirit reigns in London."

"Oxford," writes an informant, under the name of _Philopoliticus_, "is
debauched by Jacobitism. They call the Parliament the Rump; and riots in
the street, with cries of 'Down with the Rump!' occur daily." Even the
fellows and heads of the colleges were disposed to Jacobite opinions;
and the Jacobites had expected that the city would become the
Chevalier's head-quarters as it had been that of Charles the First.[22]

But that which hastened the fate of the Earl of Nithisdale and of his
friends, was the landing of James Stuart, at Peterhead, in Scotland, on
the twenty-second of December,--an event which took place too late for
his friends and partisans, and fatally increased the calamities of those
who had suffered in his cause. On Monday, the ninth of January, he made
his public entry into Perth, and, on the same day, the reigning monarch
addressed his Parliament.[23]

"Among the many unavoidable ill consequences of this Rebellion," said
the King, "none affects me more sensibly than that extraordinary burden
which it has, and must, create to my faithful subjects. To ease them as
far as lies in my power, I take this first opportunity of declaring that
I freely give up all the estates that shall become forfeited to the
Crown by this Rebellion, to be applied towards defraying the
extraordinary expense incurred on this occasion." As soon as a suitable
address had been returned by both Houses, a debate concerning the
prisoners taken in rebellion ensued, and a conference was determined on
with the House of Lords. Mr. Lechmere, who was named to carry up the
message to the Lords, returned, and made a long and memorable speech,
concerning the rise, depth, and extent of the Rebellion; after which it
was resolved, _nemine contradicente_, to impeach the Earl of
Derwentwater, William Lord Widdrington, William Earl of Nithisdale,
Robert Earl of Carnwath, George Earl of Wintoun, William Viscount
Kenmure, and William Lord Nairn, of high treason.

The same evening, a committee was appointed to draw up articles of
impeachment; and so great was the dispatch used, and so zealous were the
committee, that in two hours the articles were prepared, agreed to, and
ordered to be engrossed with the usual saving clause. During this time,
the Lords remained sitting, and before ten o'clock the articles were
presented before that assembly.

On the following day, the prisoners were conducted before the Bar of the
House, where the articles of impeachment were read to them, and they
were desired to prepare their replies on the sixteenth day of the month.
Thus only six days were allowed for their answers; upon application,
however, two days more were granted. The prisoners were allowed to
choose counsel, and also to have a free communication with any persons,
either peers or commoners, whom they might name.

On the twenty-first of January, the King again addressed his Parliament,
and referred to the recent landing of the "Pretender" in Scotland. The
reply of the two Houses to this speech emphatically declares, "that the
landing of the Pretender hath increased their indignation against him
and his adherents, and that they were determined to do everything in
their power to assist his Majesty, not only in subduing the present
Rebellion, but in destroying the seeds and causes of it, that the like
disturbance may never rise again to impair the blessings of his
Majesty's reign."[24]

On the ninth of February the six impeached lords were brought, at eleven
in the morning, to the Court erected in Westminster Hall, wherein both
Lords and Commons were assembled. The ceremonial of opening this
celebrated Court was conducted in the following manner:--

The Lords being placed on their proper seats, and the Lord High Steward
on the woolsack, the Clerk of the Crown in the Court of Chancery, after
making three reverences to the Lord Steward, presented, on his knees,
the King's commission; which, after the usual reverences, was placed on
the table. A proclamation for silence was then heard. The High Steward
stood up and addressed the Peers, "His Majesty's commission is going to
be read; your Lordships are desired to attend."

The Peers hereupon arose, uncovered themselves, and stood while the
commission was being read. The voice of the Sergeant-at-arms exclaimed,
"God save the King!" The Herald and Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod,
after three reverences, kneeling, then presented the White Staff to his
Grace, the High Steward; upon which his Grace, attended by the Herald,
the Black Rod, and Seal Bearer, removed from the woolsack to an armed
chair which was placed on the uppermost step but one next to the throne.

The Clerk of the Crown ordered the Serjeant-at-arms to make another
proclamation for silence; and amidst the stillness, the Lieutenant of
the Tower brought in, amid an assembly of their compeers, his prisoners.
Lord Wintoun was alone absent; for he had obtained a few days of

The Earl of Nithisdale pleaded guilty, with his companions in
misfortune. On Thursday, the nineteenth of January, when called upon for
his answer, his defence was couched in the following terms: "It is with
the greatest confusion," he began, "the said Earl appears at your
Lordships' Bar, under the weight of an impeachment by the Commons of
Great Britain for high treason." He went on to declare that he had ever
been a zealous assertor of the liberties of his country, and never
engaged in any design to subvert the established Government and good
laws of the kingdom.

When summoned by those who were entrusted with the administration of the
government in Scotland to Edinburgh, he did, he alleged, not obey the
summons, being assured that if he went thither he would be made a close
prisoner. He was therefore forced to abscond; for being at that time in
ill-health, a confinement in Edinburgh Castle would have endangered his
life. The Earl also stated that he had remained in privacy, until
several of the persons mentioned in the impeachment had appeared in arms
very near the place where they had lain concealed. He then
"inconsiderately and unfortunately" joined them, with four domestics
only, and proceeded in their company to the places named in the
indictment; but knew nothing of the intended insurrection until the
party "were actually in arms." After some expressions, stating that he
was deeply sensible of his offence, he confessed, with "a sorrow equal
to his crime," that he was guilty; "but referred to his hopes of mercy,
grounded on his having capitulated at Preston, where he performed the
duty of a Christian in preventing effusion of blood; and on his reliance
on his Majesty's mercy."

On being further asked by the Lord High Steward whether he had anything
to say "why judgment should not pass upon him according to law," Lord
Nithisdale recapitulated the points in his answer in so weak a voice,
that the Lord Steward reiterated the former question: "Have you pleaded
anything in arrest of judgment?" "No, my Lord, I have not," was the

The Earl of Nithisdale received the sentence of condemnation with the
other Lords; and, like them, had the misery of hearing his doom prefaced
by a long and admired harangue. The sentence was then pronounced in all
its barbarous particularities; the law being in this, as the Lord High
Steward declared, deaf to all distinctions of rank, "required that he
should pronounce them." But his Grace intimated the most ignominious and
painful parts of the sentence were usually remitted.

Lord Nithisdale, unlike Lord Widdrington and Lord Kenmure, who had
referred in terms of anguish to their wives and children, had made no
appeal on the plea of those family ties, to which few of his judges
could have been insensible. He returned to the Tower, under sentence of
death, to be saved by the heroism of a woman; according to some
accounts, of his mother;[26] but actually, by the fearless, devoted
affection of his wife.

Winifred, Countess of Nithisdale, appears, from her portrait by Kneller,
to have conjoined to an heroic contempt of danger a feminine and
delicate appearance, with great loveliness of countenance.[27] She was
descended from a family who knew no prouder recollection than that
their castle-towers had been the last to welcome the unhappy Charles the
First in the manner suited to royalty. Her mother was the Lady Elizabeth
Herbert, daughter of Edward, the second Marquis of Worcester, and author
of "The Century of Inventions." Lady Nithisdale was therefore the
great-granddaughter of that justly honoured Marquis of Worcester whose
loyalty and disinterestedness were features of a character as excellent
in private life, as benevolent, as sincere, as it was conspicuous in his
public career. Yet, so universal, so continual has been the popular
prejudice against Popery in this country, that even the virtues of this
good man could scarcely rescue him from the imputation, as Lord
Clarendon expresses it, of being "that sort of Catholics, the people
rendered odious, by accusing to be most Jesuited."

The maternal family of Lady Nithisdale were, therefore, of the same
faith with her husband, and, like his family, they had suffered deeply
for the cause of the Stuarts; and it is remarkable that, with what some
might deem infatuation, many descendants of those who had seen their
fairest possessions ravaged, their friends and kindred slain, should be
ready to suffer again. It is impossible for any reasoning to dispel the
idea that this must be a true and fixed principle, independent, in many
noble instances, of the hope of reward,--a far less enduring motive, and
one which would be apt to change with every change of fortune.

Lady Nithisdale, on her father's side, was descended from the Herberts
of Powis Castle, who were ennobled in the reign of James the First. She
was the fourth daughter of William, Marquis of Powis, who followed James
the Second, after his abdication, to France, and was created by that
monarch Duke of Powis, a title not recognised in England.[28] The
titular Duke of Powis, as he is frequently called in history, chose to
remain at St. Germains, and was at length outlawed for not returning
within a certain period. He died at St. Germains in 1696. Upon the death
of her father, Lady Winifred Herbert was placed with her elder sister,
the Lady Lucy, in the English convent at Bruges, of which Lady Lucy
eventually became Abbess. A less severe fate was, however, in store for
the younger sister.

Under these adverse circumstances, so far as related to the proper
maintenance of her father's rank in England, was Winifred Herbert
reared. How and where she met with Lord Nithisdale, and whether the
strong attachment which afterwards united them so indissolubly, was
nurtured in the saloons of St. Germains, or in the romantic haunts of
Nithisdale, we have no information to decide, neither have the
descendants of the family been able even to ascertain the date of her

It is not improbable, however, that, before his marriage, Lord
Nithisdale visited Paris and Rome, since the practice of making what was
called "the grand tour" not only prevailed among the higher classes, but
especially among the Jacobite nobility, many of whom, as in the case of
Lord Derwentwater, were educated abroad; and this is more especially
likely to have been the case in the instance of Lord Nithisdale, since,
as Lady Nithisdale remarks in her narrative, her husband was a Roman
Catholic in a part of Scotland peculiarly adverse to that faith, "the
only support," as she calls him, "of the Catholics against the
inveteracy of the Whigs, who were very numerous in that part of

In her participation of those decided political opinions, which were
inbred in Lady Nithisdale, she appears not to have departed from that
feminine character which rises to sublimity when coupled with a fearless
sacrifice of selfish considerations. It was the custom of the day for
ladies to share in the intrigues of faction, more or less. Lady
Fauconbridge, the Countess of Derwentwater, Lady Seaforth, all appear to
have taken a lively part in the interests of the Jacobites. The Duchess
of Marlborough was, politically speaking, extinct; but the restless love
of ascendancy is never extinct. The fashionable world were still
divided between her, and the rival whom she so despised, Catherine
Sedley, Duchess of Buckingham.

But Lady Nithisdale, living in the North, and possibly occupied with her
two children, remained, as she affirms, in the country, until the
intelligence of her lord's committal to the Tower brought her from her
seclusion years afterwards; she writes thus to her sister, the Lady Lucy
Herbert, Abbess of the English Augustine Nuns at Bruges, who had, it
seems, requested from her an account of the circumstances under which
Lord Nithisdale escaped from the Tower.

"I first came to London," Lady Nithisdale writes, "upon hearing that my
lord was committed to the Tower. I was at the same time informed that he
had expressed the greatest anxiety to see me, having, as he afterwards
told me, no one to console him till I came. I rode to Newcastle, and
from thence took the stage to York. When I arrived there, the snow was
so deep that the stage could not set out for London. The season was so
severe, and the roads so bad, that the post itself was stopped: however,
I took horses and rode to London, though the snow was generally above
the horses' girths and arrived safe without any accident."

After this perilous journey, the determined woman sought interviews with
the reigning Ministers, but she met with no encouragement; on the
contrary, she was assured that, although some of the prisoners were to
be saved, Lord Nithisdale would not be of the number.

"When I inquired," she continues, "into the reason of this distinction,
I could obtain no other answer than that they would not flatter me. But
I soon perceived the reasons, which they declined alleging me. A Roman
Catholic upon the frontiers of Scotland, who headed a very considerable
party, a man whose family had always signalized itself by its loyalty to
the royal house of Stuart, would," she argued, "become a very agreeable
sacrifice to the opposite party. They still," so thought Lady
Nithisdale, "remembered the defence of the castle of Carlaverock against
the republicans by Lord Nithisdale's grandfather, and were resolved not
to let his grandson escape from their power."

Upon weighing all these considerations, Lady Nithisdale perceived that
all hope of mercy was vain; she determined to dismiss all such
dependance from her mind, and to confide in her own efforts. It was not
impossible to bribe the guards who were set over the state prisoners:
indeed, from the number of escapes, there must either have been a very
venal spirit among the people who had the charge of the prisoners
generally, or a compassionate leaning in their favour.

Having formed her resolution, Lady Nithisdale decided to communicate it
to no one, except to her "dear Evans," a maid, or companion, who was of
paramount assistance to her in the whole affair.

Meantime, public indications of compassion for the condemned lords,
seemed to offer better hopes than the dangerous enterprise of effecting
an escape.

On the eighteenth of February, orders were sent both to the Lieutenant
of the Tower and to the Sheriffs of London and Middlesex for the
executions of the rebel lords.[29] Great solicitations had, meantime,
been made for them, and the petitions for mercy not only reached the
Court, but came down to the two Houses of Parliament, and being seconded
by some members, debates ensued. That in the Commons ended in a motion
for an adjournment, carried by a majority of seven only, and intended to
avoid any further interposition in that House. Many who used to vote
with the Government, influenced, says a contemporary writer, by "the
word _mercy_, voted with the contrary party." In the House of Peers,
however, the question being put, whether the petitions should be
received and read, it was carried by a majority of nine or ten voices.

But the sanguine hopes of those who were hanging upon the decisions of
the Lords for life or death, were again cruelly disappointed. After
reading the petitions, the next question was, whether in case of an
impeachment, the King had power to reprieve? This was carried by an
affirmative, and followed by a motion to address his Majesty, humbly to
desire him to reprieve the lords who lay under sentence of death. These
relentings, and the successive tides of feeling displayed in this high
assembly, prove how divided the higher classes were on the points of
hereditary monarchy, and others also at issue; but the Whig ascendancy
prevailed. There was a clause introduced into the address, which
nullified all former show of mercy; and the King was merely petitioned
"to reprieve such of the condemned lords as deserve his mercy; and that
the time of the respite should be left to his Majesty's discretion."
This clause was carried by five votes only.

To the address the following inauspicious answer was returned from King
George: "That on this, and other occasions, he would do what he thought
most consistent with the dignity of his Crown, and the safety of his

This struggle between the parties ended, says the author of the
Register, "in the execution of two of these condemned lords, and the
removal of some others from their employments, that had been most
solicitous for their preservation."

The objects of this petty tyranny could well afford to succumb under the
workings of that mean and revengeful spirit, whilst they might cherish
the conviction of having used their efforts in the true spirit of that
Christianity which remembers no considerations of worldly interest, when
opposed to duty. Lady Nithisdale's relation of this anxious and eventful
day, the twenty-third of February, is far too animated to be changed in
a single expression. She had refused to remain confined with Lord
Nithisdale in the Tower, on the plea of infirm health; but actually,
because she well knew that she could better aid his cause whilst herself
at liberty. She was then forbidden to see her husband; but by bribing
the guards, she often contrived to have secret interviews with him,
until the day before that on which the prisoners were condemned.

"On the twenty-second of February, which fell on a Thursday, our general
petition was presented to the House of Lords, the purport of which was
to interest the Lords to intercede with his Majesty to pardon the
prisoners. We were, however, disappointed. The day before the petition
was to be presented, the Duke of St. Albans, who had promised my Lady
Derwentwater to present it, when it came to the point, failed in his
word. However, as she was the only English Countess concerned, it was
incumbent on her to have it presented. We had but one day left before
the execution, and the Duke still promised to present the petition; but
for fear he should fail, I engaged the Duke of Montrose to secure its
being done by one or the other. I then went in company with most of the
ladies of quality then in town, to solicit the interest of the Lords as
they were going to the House. They all behaved to me with great
civility, but particularly the Earl of Pembroke, who, though he desired
me not to speak to him, yet he promised to employ his interest in my
favour, and honourably kept his word, for he spoke very strongly in our

"The subject of the debate was, whether the King had the power to pardon
those who had been condemned by Parliament: and it was chiefly owing to
Lord Pembroke's speech that it was carried in the affirmative. However,
one of the Lords stood up and said that the House could only intercede
for those who should prove themselves worthy of their intercession, but
not for all of them indiscriminately. This salvo quite blasted all my
hopes, for I was assured that it was aimed at the exclusion of those who
should refuse to subscribe to the petition, which was a thing I knew my
lord would never submit to; nor, in fact, could I wish to preserve his
life on those terms. As the motion had passed generally, I thought I
could draw from it some advantage in favour of my design. Accordingly I
immediately left the House of Lords, and hastened to the Tower, where,
affecting an air of joy and satisfaction, I told the guards I passed by,
that I came to bring joyful tidings to the prisoners. I desired them to
lay aside their fears, for the petition had passed the House in their
favour. I then gave them some money to drink to the Lords and his
Majesty, though it was trifling; for I thought if I were too liberal on
the occasion, they might suspect my designs, and that giving them
something would gain their good will and services for the next day,
which was the eve of the execution."

On the following day Lady Nithisdale was too much occupied in
preparations for her scheme to visit the Tower; the evening of the
eventful twenty-third of February arrived; and when all things were put
in readiness, this resolute and well-judging woman threw herself upon
the confidence of one in whose power she was, to a certain degree, and
whose co-operation she could only secure by such a proceeding. She sent
for the landlady of the house in which she lodged, and told her that she
had made up her mind to effect Lord Nithisdale's escape, since there was
no chance of his being pardoned. She added those few but thrilling
words: "This is the last night before his execution!" While she spoke,
perhaps, the condemned nobleman was supplicating on his knees to God for
that mercy which was withheld by man. Imagination paints the despondency
of Lord Derwentwater; the calm and dignified sorrow of the justly pitied

Lady Nithisdale then made a request calculated to alarm a woman of an
ordinary character; but she seems to have understood the disposition of
the person whom she thus addressed.

    "I told her that I had every thing in readiness, and that I trusted
    she would not refuse to accompany me, that my lord might pass for
    her. I pressed her to come immediately, as we had no time to lose."
    This sudden announcement, which a less sagacious mind might have
    deemed injudicious, had the effect which Lady Nithisdale expected;
    the undertaking was one of such risk, that it could only be an
    enterprise of impulse, except to her whose affections were deeply
    interested in the result. The consent of Mrs. Mills was carried by
    storm, as well as that of another coadjutor, a Mrs. Morgan, who
    usually bore the name of Hilton, to whom Lady Nithisdale dispatched
    a messenger, begging her to come immediately. "Their surprise and
    astonishment," remarks Lady Nithisdale, speaking of these, her two
    confidantes, "made them consent, without ever thinking of the
    consequences." The scheme was, that Mrs. Mills, who was tall and
    portly, should pass for Lord Nithisdale; Mrs. Morgan was to carry
    concealed the bundle of "clothes that were to serve Mrs. Mills when
    she left her own behind her." After certain other preparations, all
    managed with infinite dexterity and shrewdness, these three heroines
    set out in a coach for the Tower, into which they were to be
    admitted, under the plea of taking a last leave of Lord Nithisdale.
    Lady Nithisdale, even whilst her heart throbbed with agitation,
    continued to support her spirits. "When we were in the coach;" she
    relates, "I never ceased talking, that they her companions might
    have no leisure to repent.

    "On our arrival at the Tower, the first I introduced was Mrs. Morgan
    (for I was only allowed to take in one at a time). She brought in
    the clothes which were to serve Mrs. Mills when she left her own
    behind her. When Mrs. Morgan had taken off what she had brought for
    my purpose, I conducted her back to the staircase; and in going I
    begged her to send my maid to dress me, that I was afraid of being
    too late to present my last petition that night if she did not come
    immediately. I dispatched her safe, and went partly down stairs to
    meet Mrs. Mills, who had the precaution to hold her handkerchief to
    her face, as is natural for a woman to do when she is going to take
    her last farewell of a friend on the eve of his execution. I had
    indeed desired her to do so, that my lord might go out in the same
    manner. Her eyebrows were rather inclined to be sandy, and my lord's
    were very dark and very thick. However, I had prepared some paint of
    the colour of hers, to disguise his with; I also brought an
    artificial head-dress of the same coloured hair as hers, and I
    painted his face and his cheeks with rouge to hide his long beard,
    which he had not had time to shave.

    "All this provision I had before left in the Tower. The poor guards,
    whom my slight liberality the day before had endeared me to, let me
    go quietly out with my company, and were not so strictly on the
    watch as they usually had been; and the more so, as they were
    persuaded, from what I had told them the day before, that the
    prisoners would obtain their pardon. I made Mrs. Mills take off her
    own hood, and put on that which I had brought for her. I then took
    her by the hand and led her out of my lord's chamber; and in passing
    through the next room, in which were several people, with all the
    concern imaginable I said, 'My dear Mrs. Catherine, go in all haste,
    and send me my waiting-maid; she certainly cannot reflect how late
    it is. I am to present my petition to-night, and if I let slip this
    opportunity I am undone, for to-morrow is too late. Hasten her as
    much as possible, for I shall be on thorns till she comes.'
    Everybody in the room, who were chiefly the guards' wives and
    daughters, seemed to compassionate me exceedingly, and the sentinel
    officiously opened me the door. When I had seen her safe out, I
    returned to my lord and finished dressing him. I had taken care that
    Mrs. Mills did not go out crying, as she came in, that my lord might
    better pass for the lady who came in crying and afflicted; and the
    more so, as he had the same dress that she wore. When I had almost
    finished dressing my lord in all my petticoats except one, I
    perceived it was growing dark, and was afraid that the light of the
    candles might betray us, so I resolved to set off. I went out
    leading him by the hand, whilst he held his handkerchief to his
    eyes. I spoke to him in the most piteous and afflicted tone,
    bewailing bitterly the negligence of Evans, who had ruined me by her
    delay. Then I said, 'My dear Mrs. Betty, for the love of God, run
    quickly and bring her with you; you know my lodging, and if you ever
    made dispatch in your life, do it at present: I am almost distracted
    with this disappointment.' The guards opened the door, and I went
    down stairs with him, still conjuring him to make all possible
    dispatch. As soon as he had cleared the door I made him walk before
    me, for fear the sentinel should take notice of his walk, but I
    continued to press him to make all the dispatch he possibly could.
    At the bottom of the stairs I met my dear Evans, into whose hands I
    confided him. I had before engaged Mr. Mills to be in readiness
    before the Tower to conduct him to some place of safety, in case we
    succeeded. He looked upon the affair as so very improbable to
    succeed, that his astonishment, when he saw us, threw him into such
    a consternation that he was almost out of himself; which Evans
    perceiving, with the greatest presence of mind, without telling him
    anything, lest he should mistrust them, conducted him to some of her
    own friends on whom she could rely, and so secured him, without
    which we certainly should have been undone. When she had conducted
    him and left him with them, she returned to Mr. Mills, who had by
    this time recovered himself from his astonishment. They went home
    together; and having found a place of security, they conducted him
    to it. In the mean time, as I had pretended to have sent the young
    lady on a message, I was obliged to return up stairs and go back to
    my lord's room in the same feigned anxiety of being too late, so
    that everybody seemed sincerely to sympathise in my distress. When I
    was in the room, I talked as if he had been really present. I
    answered my own questions in my lord's voice, as nearly as I could
    imitate it. I walked up and down as if we were conversing together,
    till I thought they had time enough thoroughly to clear themselves
    of the guards. I then thought proper to make off also. I opened the
    door and stood half in it, that those in the outward chamber might
    hear what I said, but held it so close that they could not look in.
    I bade my lord formal farewell for the night, and added, that
    something more than usual must have happened to make Evans
    negligent on this important occasion, who had always been so
    punctual in the smallest trifles, that I saw no other remedy than to
    go in person. That if the Tower was then open, when I had finished
    my business, I would return that night; but that he might be assured
    I would be with him as early in the morning as I could gain
    admittance into the Tower, and I flattered myself I should bring
    more favourable news. Then, before I shut the door, I pulled through
    the string of the latch, so that it could only be opened in the

    "I then shut it with some degree of force, that I might be sure of
    its being well shut. I said to the servant as I passed by (who was
    ignorant of the whole transaction), that he need not carry in
    candles to his master till my lord sent for them, as he desired to
    finish some prayers first."[31]

Thus ended this singular, successful, and heroic scheme. It was now
necessary that the devoted Lady Nithisdale should secure her own safety.

She had, it seems, been bent upon proffering a last petition to King
George, in case her attempt had failed. She drove home to her lodgings,
where a friend, named Mackenzie, waited to take her petition. "There is
no need of a petition," were the words that broke from the agitated
woman; "my lord is safe, and out of the Tower, and out of the hands of
his enemies, though I know not where he is." Lady Nithisdale then
discharged the coach which had brought her to her lodgings, a precaution
which she always observed for fear of being traced,--never going in the
same vehicle to more than one place. She sent for a chair, and went to
the Duchess of Buccleugh, who had promised to present her petition,
having taken her precaution against all events. The Duchess expected
her, but had company with her; and Lady Nithisdale barely escaped being
shown into the room where her friend was with her company. She, however,
excused herself, and, sending a message to her Grace, proceeded to the
residence of the Duchess of Montrose. "This lady had ever," said Lady
Nithisdale, "borne a part in my distresses;" she now left her company to
see and console the wife of the rebel lord, of whom, she conjectured,
Lady Nithisdale must have taken, that night, a last farewell. As the two
friends met, the Duchess, to her astonishment, found her visitor in a
transport of joy; "she was extremely shocked and frightened," writes
Lady Nithisdale; "and has since confessed to me that she thought my
troubles had driven me out of myself." She cautioned Lady Nithisdale to
secrecy, and even to flight; for the King had been extremely irritated
by the petition already sent in by Lady Nithisdale. The generous Duchess
was, among those who frequented the Court, the only person that knew
Lady Nithisdale's secret. After a brief interview, Lady Nithisdale,
sending for a fresh chair, hurried away to a house which her faithful
attendant Evans had found for her, and where she was to learn tidings of
Lord Nithisdale. Here she learned that Lord Nithisdale had been removed
from the lodging to which he had at first been conducted, to the mean
abode of a poor woman just opposite the guard-house. Here the former
Lord of Carlaverock and of Nithisdale met his wife. Lady Nithisdale
hurries over the meeting, but her simple account has its own powers of

The good woman of the house had, it seems, but one small room up a pair
of stairs, and a very small bed in it. "We threw ourselves on the bed
that we might not be heard walking up and down. She left us a bottle of
wine and some bread, and Mrs. Mills brought us some more in her pockets
the next day. We subsisted on this provision from Thursday till Saturday
night, when Mr. Mills came and conducted my lord to the Venetian
Ambassador's. We did not communicate the affair to his Excellency, but
one of the servants concealed him in his own room till Wednesday, on
which day the Ambassador's coach-and-six was to go down to Dover to meet
his brother. My lord put on a livery, and went down in the retinue,
without the least suspicion, to Dover; where Mr. Michel (which was the
name of the Ambassador's servant) hired a small vessel, and immediately
set sail for Calais. The passage was so remarkably short, that the
captain threw out this reflection,--that the wind could not have served
better if the passengers had been flying for their lives, little
thinking it to be really the case.

"Mr. Michel might have easily returned without suspicion of being
concerned in my lord's escape; but my lord seemed inclined to have him
with him, which he did, and he has at present a good place under our
young master. This is an exact and as full an account of this affair,
and of the persons concerned in it, as I could possibly give you, to the
best of my memory, and you may rely upon the truth of it. For my part, I
absconded to the house of a very honest man in Drury Lane, where I
remained till I was assured of my lord's safe arrival on the Continent.
I then wrote to the Duchess of Buccleugh (everybody thought till then
that I was gone off with my lord) to tell her that I understood I was
suspected of having contrived my lord's escape, as was very natural to
suppose; that if I could have been happy enough to have done it, I
should be flattered to have the merit of it attributed to me; but that a
bare suspicion without proof, would never be a sufficient ground for my
being punished for a supposed offence, though it might be motive
sufficient for me to provide a place of security; so I entreated her to
procure leave for me to go about my business. So far from granting my
request, they were resolved to secure me if possible. After several
debates, Mr. Solicitor-General, who was an utter stranger to me, had the
humanity to say, that since I showed such respect to Government as not
to appear in public, it would be cruel to make any search after me.
Upon which it was resolved that no further search should be made if I
remained concealed; but that if I appeared either in England or
Scotland, I should be secured. But this was not sufficient for me,
unless I could submit to see my son exposed to beggary. My lord sent for
me up to town in such haste, that I had not time to settle anything
before I left Scotland. I had in my hand all the family papers, and I
dared trust them to nobody: my house might have been searched without
warning, consequently they were far from being secure there. In this
distress, I had the precaution to bury them in the ground, and nobody
but myself and the gardener knew where they were. I did the same with
other things of value. The event proved that I had acted prudently; for
after my departure they searched the house, and God only knows what
might have transpired from those papers! All these circumstances
rendered my presence absolutely necessary, otherwise they might have
been lost; for though they retained the highest preservation after one
very severe winter, (for when I took them up they were as dry as if they
came from the fire-side,) yet they could not possibly have remained so
much longer without prejudice."

Lord Nithisdale went to Rome, and never revisited his native country;
indeed, the project of the Rebellion of 1745, and the unceasing efforts
and hopes by which it was preceded on the part of the Jacobites, must
have rendered such a step impracticable to one who seems to have been
especially obnoxious to the house of Hanover.

His escape, according to Lady Nithisdale, both infuriated and alarmed
George the First, "who flew into an excessive passion," as she expresses
it, on the news transpiring; and exclaimed that he was betrayed, and
that it could not have been done without a confederacy. He instantly
dispatched messengers to the Tower, to give orders that the prisoners
who were still there, might be the more effectually secured. He never
forgave Lady Nithisdale; and the effects of his powerful resentment were
such, as eventually to drive her for ever from England.

Inexperienced, young, a stranger in the vast metropolis, Lady Nithisdale
was now left alone, to skulk from place to place that she might avoid
the effects of the royal displeasure. She absconded to the house of an
"honest man" in Drury Lane, where she remained in concealment until she
heard of her husband's safe arrival on the Continent. A report,
meantime, prevailed of her having been the means of Lord Nithisdale's
escape; and it was generally believed that she had gone with him. To the
surprise of the Duchess of Buccleugh, Lady Nithisdale one day appeared
before her, the object of that sudden and perhaps undesired visit being
to obtain, by the influence of the Duchess, leave to quit London; and to
disseminate, through her Grace, a belief that the safety of Lord
Nithisdale was not procured by his wife's means. It must have been one
of the most aggravating circumstances to that noble and affectionate
being, to have employed so much artifice in the conduct of this affair;
but, if ever artifice be allowable, it is when opposed as a weapon to
tyranny. Besides, Lady Nithisdale had now not only her own safety to
consider; she had to protect the interests of her son.

Those whom she had mortally offended were eager to punish her courage by

The Solicitor-General, however, showed a more compassionate spirit than
his employers, and in the course of several debates in the House of
Commons, submitted that if Lady Nithisdale paid so much respect to
Government as not to appear in public, it would be cruel to make any
farther search after her. It was therefore decided that unless the lady
were seen in England or Scotland, she should be unmolested; but if she
were observed in either of those countries, she should be secured. This
might be a decision of mercy, but Lady Nithisdale could not submit to
it, unless she left her son's estate to be ruined by waste and plunder.
Hurried as she had been to London, she had found time only to make one
arrangement, which proved to be of the utmost importance.

"I had in my hands," she relates, "all the family papers, and dared
trust them to nobody. My house might have been searched without warning,
consequently they were far from being secure there. In this distress I
had the precaution to bury them in the ground, and nobody but myself and
the gardener knew where they were: I did the same with other things of
value. The event proved that I had acted prudently to save these

Lady Nithisdale determined to return, at all risks, to Scotland; and it
was, perhaps, from her care in concealing the important documents to
which she refers, that the estates were not escheated. She soon put into
execution the heroic determination, of which she made no boast. Her
journey was full of perils; not only those incident to the time and
season of the year, but the great risk of being betrayed and discovered.
Little respect was paid, in that reign, when truly the spirit of
chivalry was extinguished, to the weaker sex. Ladies, active and
instrumental as they were in political intrigues, if found out, were
made to pay the penalty of their dissaffection with hard imprisonment;
or, if at large, wandered from place to place, conscious that the eye of
the law pursued their footsteps. Lady Seaforth, the wife of one of the
rebel lords, was reduced to necessity, even of the common necessaries of
life; and Lady Widdrington and her children shared the same cruel

Believing herself, also, to be an object of peculiar dislike to George
the First, Lady Nithisdale's courage in braving the royal displeasure a
second time, certainly appears to border upon folly and a rash temerity.
But she knew well that if she could once reach the land of the Maxwells,
the strict respect paid to the head of the clan, and the remarkable
fidelity of all ranks of the Scotch to those who trust to their honour,
would there prove her safeguard. The great danger was in making the
journey. But the young heroic Countess dismissed all fear from her mind,
and prepared for her enterprise.

"In short," she thus prefaces her narrative, "as I had once exposed my
life for the safety of the father, I could not do less than hazard it
once more for the fortune of the son. I had never travelled on horseback
but from York to London, as I told you; but the difficulties did not
arise now from the severity of the season, but the fear of being
discovered and arrested. To avoid this, I bought three saddle-horses,
and set off with my dear Evans and a very trusty servant, whom I brought
with me out of Scotland. We put up at all the smallest inns on the road,
that could take in a few horses, and where I thought I was not known;
for I was thoroughly known at all the considerable inns on the northern
road. Thus I arrived safe at Traquhair, where I thought myself secure,
for the lieutenant of the county being a friend of my lord's, would not
permit any search to be made after me without sending me previous notice
to abscond. Here I had the assurance to rest myself two whole days,
pretending that I was going to my own house with leave from Government.
I sent no notice to my house, that the magistrates of Dumfries might not
make too narrow enquiries about me. So they were ignorant of my arrival
in the country till I was at home, where I still feigned to have
permission to remain. To carry on the deceit the better, I sent to all
my neighbours and invited them to come to my house. I took up my papers
at night and sent them off to Traquhair. It was a particular stroke of
providence that I made the dispatch I did, for they soon suspected me,
and by a very favourable accident, one of them was overheard to say to
the magistrates of Dumfries, that the next day they would insist on
seeing my leave from Government. This was bruited about, and when I was
told of it, I expressed my surprise that they should be so backward in
coming to pay their respects; 'but,' said I, 'better late than never: be
sure to tell them that they shall be welcome whenever they choose to

"This was after dinner, but I lost no time to put everything in
readiness with all possible secrecy; and the next morning before
day-break, I set off again for London with the same attendants, and, as
before, put up at the smallest inns and arrived safe once more."[33]

The report of her journey into Scotland had preceded Lady Nithisdale's
return to London; and, if we may credit her assertions, which are stated
with so much candour as to impart a certain conviction of their
truthfulness, their King was irritated beyond measure at the
intelligence. Orders were immediately issued for her arrest; and the
Monarch protested that Lady Nithisdale did whatever she pleased in spite
of him; that she had given him more trouble than any other woman in
Europe. Again driven into obscurity, Lady Nithisdale took the opinion of
a very celebrated lawyer, whose name she does not specify, and, upon
his opinion, determined to retire to the Continent. The reasons which
her legal adviser assigned for this counsel was, that although, in other
circumstances, a wife cannot be prosecuted for saving her husband, yet
in cases of high treason, according to the rigour of the law, the head
of a wife is responsible for that of a husband. Since the King was so
incensed against Lady Nithisdale there could be no answering for the
consequences, and he therefore earnestly besought her to leave the

Lady Nithisdale, conscious of the wisdom of this recommendation, and
wearied, perhaps, of a life of apprehension, determined to adopt the
plan recommended.

It is evident that she joined Lord Nithisdale at Rome, whither he had
retired; for the statement which she has left concludes in a manner
which shows that the devoted and heroic wife had been enabled to rejoin
the husband for whom she had encountered so much anxiety, contumely, and
peril. Her son, it appears, also accompanied her, from her reference to
"our young Master," meaning the Master of Nithisdale; since, when she
wrote, the Prince Charles Edward could not be endowed with that
appellation, his father being then alive. Her narrative is thus

    "This is the full narrative of what you desired, and of all the
    transactions which passed relative to this affair. Nobody besides
    yourself could have obtained it from me; but the obligations I owe
    you, throw me under the necessity of refusing you nothing that is in
    my power to do. As this is for yourself alone, your indulgence will
    excuse all the faults which must occur in this long recital. The
    truth you may, however, depend upon; attend to that and overlook all
    deficiencies. My lord desires you to be assured of his sincere
    friendship. I am, with the strongest attachment, my dear sister,
    yours most affectionately,

                                              "WINIFRED NITHISDALE."

Little is known of the Earl of Nithisdale after his escape to Rome,
where he died in 1744. He thus lived through a period of comparative
quiet, till his native country was again on the eve of being embroiled
in a civil war, more replete with danger, sullied by greater crimes, and
more disastrous to his native country, than the short-lived struggle of
1715. An exile from his Scottish possessions, Lord Nithisdale possibly
implanted in the mind of his own son that yearning to establish the
rights of the Stuarts which appears not to have been eradicated from the
hearts of the Scottish Jacobites until their beloved and royal race had
become lineally extinct.

The descendants of William, Earl of Nithisdale, have never been able to
ascertain where his Lordship is buried. His noble and admirable wife
died at Rome, as well as her husband; but her remains were brought to
this country, and they are deposited at Arundel Castle.

John Maxwell, who assumed the title of Earl of Nithisdale, appears to
have remained absent from Scotland until the troubles of 1745 began. It
was probably on the death of his father in 1744, that he returned to
take possession of the family estates,--that this, the representative of
the family of Maxwell, ventured to appear in Dumfriesshire.

The following correspondence which passed between the Earl of
Nithisdale, popularly so called, and his friend, Mr. Craik, of
Arbigland[35] in Dumfriesshire, is a curious commentary upon the motives
and reasons which actuated the minds of the Jacobites in the second
attempt to re-establish the Stuart family. The first letter from Mr.
Craik is dated October the thirteenth, 1745, when Edinburgh Castle was
blockaded by Charles Edward, who was publishing his manifestoes from the
saloons of Holyrood House. The answer from Lord Nithisdale is written in
reply to one of remonstrance addressed to him by his friend. There is no
date, but it is obviously written at Edinburgh.

The remonstrances from Mr. Craik were instantly dispatched, to avert, if
possible, any decided step on the part of Lord Nithisdale. The arguments
which it contains shew the friendly intention of the earnest writer.
Lord Nithisdale had, in his former letter, challenged his friend to
assign his reasons for dissuading him from the enterprise.


    "My waiting for a safe hand to convey this to you has prevented my
    answering yours of the thirteenth sooner. It must give me great
    pleasure that you have not determined to engage in the present
    enterprize, which from several apparent symptoms I had reason to
    apprehend; and if you stick by your promise of doeing nothing rashly
    (fitt only for desperados indeed!) in a matter of such moment, I
    shall be sett at ease from the anxiety I felt on your account.

    "In mine which gave occasion to yours, I really had no intention to
    enter into the merits of the cause: all I meant was, to make
    experiment how far my interest with you could prevail to keep you
    undetermined till meeting, when I might promise myself more success
    in reasoning upon the subject, than while you remained in town,
    where the spirit of the place, the people you converse with, the
    things you hear and see, all unite to inflame your passions and
    confound your understanding. But since it has, beyond my intention,
    engaged you to explain your sentiments at large, and to call upon
    you to give my opinion, and since I suppose your arguments contain
    all that can be said by those of the party who would be thought to
    judge coolly and act reasonably at this juncture, I shall, with the
    freedom and openness of a friend, consider them as they lye before
    me in yours; and if I am forced to exceed the limits of a letter,
    you may blame yourself, who drew me in. You tell me you are ready to
    believe; I agree in opinion with you, that as matters are come to
    this length, it's now greatly to the interest of Scotland to wish
    success to the undertaking, and that nothing but the improbability
    of success should hinder every Scotsman to join in it. This tho' a
    verrie material point, you take for granted without assigning a
    single reason; but as I know it is one of their delusive arguments,
    now much in use where you are, and the chief engine of the party to
    seduce well-meaning men to concur in the ruin of the constitution
    and their country, I shall give you what I apprehend you must mean
    by it in the most favourable light it will bear; and then from an
    impartial stating of the fact as it truely stands, leave yourself to
    judge how far an honest man, a wise one, and a lover of his country,
    can justify either to himself or the worlde, his being of this
    opinion. The meaning of your argument I take to be this: that by the
    unaccountable success of the enterprize and the tame submission of
    the people in general, if the scheme misgive all Scotland becomes
    involved in the guilt, and may expect the outmost severitys this
    Government and the people of England can afflict them with; but on
    the other hand, should the undertaking be crowned with success, as
    Scotesmen have the merit of it, they must become the peculiar
    favourites of the family they have raised to the throne, and reap
    all the advantages they can promise themselves from a grateful and
    generous prince. I hope I have done justice to your argument, allow
    me allso to do justice to facts and truth.

    "The people of Great Britain having found, from repeated
    experiments, how precarious their libertys were in the hands of the
    princes who founded their title to govern them in hereditary
    right,--that however absurd the pretence was in itself, no example
    could make them forego a claim which so much flattered their
    ambition, and upon which only, with any shew of reason, arbitrary
    power and tyranny can be built at last,--determined to secure (as
    far as human prudence can) the possession of that inestimable
    blessing to themselves and posterity by fixing the royal power in a
    family whose only title should be the free choice of the people, and
    who, should they attempt, would be restrained from inslaving those
    they governed, and would not only act most absurdly, but might
    reckon upon having the same voice of the people against them.

    "The maxims by which our hereditary princes conducted themselves,
    were sufficiently felt to the sad experience of our forefathers;
    thank God we were reserved for happier times! History will inform
    you of their repeated and unwearied attempts to subvert the
    constitution and inslave a free people. Their sacrifizing the
    interest of the nation to France, their violating their oaths and
    promises, their persecutions and their schemes to establish a
    religion which in its nature is inconsistent with the toleration of
    any other, though reasons of state may make it wink at this on
    particular occasions,--but should I descend to particulars, it would
    lead me beyond the limites I have prescribed myself.

    "The present family have now reigned over us these thirty years, and
    though during so long a time they may have fallen into errors, or
    may have committed faults, (as what Government is without?) yett I
    will defy the most sanguin zealot to find in history a period equal
    to this in which Scotland possessed so uninterrupted a felicity, in
    which liberty, civil and religious, was so universally enjoyed by
    all people of whatever denomination--nay, by the open and avowed
    ennemys of the family and constitution, or a period in which all
    ranks of men have been so effectually secured in their property.
    Have not trade, manufactures, agriculture, and the spirit of
    industry in our country, extended themselves further during this
    period and under this family than for ages before? Has any man
    suffered in his liberty, life, or fortune, contrary to law? Stand
    forth and name him if you can. Tho' the King's person, his family,
    his government, and his ministers, have been openly abused a
    thousand times in the most scurrilous and reproachful terms, could
    it ever provoke him to one arbitrary act or to violate those laws
    which he had made the rule of his government? Look into the reigns
    of the James's and the Charles's, and tell me wither these divine
    and hereditary princes were guided by the same spirit of mildness
    and forgivness?

    "I am sensible how often and how many destructive designs have been
    imputed to the prince upon the throne and his ministers, of the cry
    raised against standing armies, of the complaints of corruption,
    long parliaments, and Hanoverian interest pursued in opposition to
    that of Britain; but I am allso sensible there is not a true friend
    to liberty, a dispassionate and sober man, but who (now the mask is
    laid aside) perceives they were, at bottom, the artifices and
    popular pretences of men struggling to force themselves into power,
    or of those who in the dark were aiming the destruction of our happy

    "Men endued with popular talents, of figure and fortune in the
    world, and without the advantages of apparent disinterestedness on
    their side, will allways have address enough, with a seeming
    plausibility, to pervert every act of Government at home, and to
    defame and run down every publick transaction abroad; and disciples
    will never be wanting of capacity and passions fitted to become the
    dupes of such false apostles. The corruption complained of is but
    too universal, and it's to be feared too deep-rooted to be cured; it
    is the constant attendant of peace and wealth; and such is the
    depravity of our natures, that these blessings cannot be enjoyed
    without having this plague, the most sordid and detestable of all
    vices, accompanying them. But if it is in our governours, it is also
    in the people, and change your kings and ministers as often as you
    please, whoever is in possession, or whoever is in quest of power,
    will allways lay hold of the vices, the follys, or the prejudices of
    mankind to exclude others from it or to acquire it to themselves.

    "It's to be hoped most people now perceive with what views they were
    taught to exclaim against and oppose a standing body of native and
    freeborn troops; but it is to be lamented their eyes were reserved
    to be opened only by the greatest of all publick calamitys."

It appears, however, from the following letter of Mr. Craik, that Lord
Nithisdale was really implicated in the insurrection:--

    "My Lord,

    "I am sincerely and deeply touched with your Lordship's situation,
    and can honestly assure you it would give me a real satisfaction
    could I any how contribute to save you on this unhappy occasion. As
    you have done me the honour to ask my opinion how you are to conduct
    yourself, and as the Doctor has informed me of the circumstances of
    your journey, I should but ill deserve the character of humanity and
    good nature you are pleased to give me, if I did not, with freedom
    and candour, lay before you what, after this day having fully
    considered it, appears to me most for your honour, and the safty and
    preservation of your life and family.

    "It is certain the Habeas Corpus Act is suspended, and I doubt not
    but as soon as the lenth you have gone and your being returned is
    known above, warrants will be issued to carrie you up to London; if
    you retire out of the kingdom, it will not prevent your being
    attainted; and I am afraid the unfortunate step you have made will
    putt your estate but too much within the reach of the law, and your
    family is undone. If you stay till you are apprehended, not only
    your estate, but your person is in the mercy of the Government, and
    how far severitys on this occasion may be carried, is not for me to
    prescribe; only I am apprehensive your religion, quality, and
    estate, will make you but too obnoxious to the Government, and when
    the affair is over, informers will not be wanting to furnish them
    with materials.

    "We are not ignorant what arts and industry have been employed to
    draw you out of the retirement and quiet you were well disposed to
    remain in. We are sensible you were imposed upon by those already
    embarked; and it will acquit you before God and every sober man, if
    you no longer keep measures with those who have deceived you in a
    matter of such moment, when your life and fortune were at stake. My
    lord, I have impartially laid before you the present circumstance
    you are in, as far as my abilities enable me to judge, that you may
    have it under your Lordship's consideration; I shall next take the
    freedom to suggest what to me appears the safest and most prudent
    part now left to you to act, and which I likeways submit to your
    Lordship's own judgment, without taking upon me to decide. What I
    mean is this, that your Lordship should, without loss of time,
    surrender your person to the Governor of Carlisle, and acquaint him
    you came to throw yourself upon the clemency of the Government; at
    the same time, your Lordship would, by express, have some proper
    friend at London advised of your intention, and one of some weight
    and interest, and who was fitt to put your conduct in the most
    favourable light. You will easily perceive that this confidence in
    the Government, and voluntary surrender of your person, and your
    preventing all others in an early repentance must distinguish you,
    in the eyes of the Government, from every other person who has
    embarked, and entitle you to its favour and protection: whereas, if
    you wait till you are apprehended, or leave the kingdom, your case,
    tho' quite different, will be ranked with those who have gone the
    greatest lengths. If your Lordship approve of this, if you think
    proper to lett me know by a line to-morrow, I shall not faill to be
    in town on Tuesday; and as I have a friend at London who I know is
    very capable and well disposed to serve you, if it be agreeable to
    you, shall, with the Doctor, concert the letter proper to be sent."

The answer of Lord Nithisdale contains a curious summary of some of the
motives which actuated the Jacobites of 1745.


    "Dear Sir,

    "I have both yours, giving your opinion on the present affairs,
    without assigning your reasons, and as I take it, urging an answer
    from me, whether I am determined to take a share in the present
    enterprise, which you seem to think I should not. I shall answer the
    last first, by telling you that I have not yet fully digested my
    thoughts on that matter; only be assured I'll do nothing
    rashly--that's only for desperados. As to the other, I'm ready to
    believe you agree in opinion with me, that as matters are come this
    length, it's now greatly the interest of Scotland to wish success
    to the undertaking; and that nothing but the improbability of
    success should hinder every Scotsman to join in it; and indeed I
    don't think there's great reason to fear that either, unless vast
    numbers of foreign forces are poured into the country for support of
    the party in possession.

    "The Militia of England are little to be feared, nor do I believe
    they'll be trusted with arms, as there's a chance what way they may
    be used, particularly by that part of the country who only know how
    to handle them. As to the Dutch who are come over, there's now
    greater reason to believe they'll be recalled, and it may be some
    time before others are sent in their place, if at all. I do believe
    the United States, if they dare, will give all the support they can;
    but if France shall really prove in earnest, I imagine they'll
    consider it necessary to be quiet. Other foreign forces may be sent
    in, but on the other hand there's a very great improbability; thir
    people will likewise get aid, and here there's assembling a very
    numerous resolute army. The prospect of the situation of the country
    for some time to come, must affect every well-wisher to it, and the
    consequences to this part, if the undertaking shall misgive, appear
    to me terrible; if it succeed, what have we to fear? You'll answer,
    the introduction of Popery and arbitrary government; but I don't
    imagine, considering the success and fate of his grandfather and
    uncle, that will be attempted; and as to any fear that we may be
    made dependant and tributary to the foreign powers giving aid to the
    present adventure, that I'm not apprehensive of, nor do I imagine
    it would be in his power to accomplish, tho' inclinable to it. I
    shall say no more on the subject; only it's easier preventing an
    evil than remedying, and that may be applyed to both sides; only
    this one further I observe, that I think it's the interest of the
    nation to have a sovereign settled whose title is unquestionable: we
    see the inconveniencys attending the other. You'll perhaps answer,
    there will still be a Pretender; but I reply, not so dangerous an
    one, if at all. You write, in your letter, that people may, without
    meaning, be treated and led away with popular arguments. I assure
    you I'm none of these--what I have said now, is on a Sunday
    forenoon. However, I should wish you communicate my mind to nobody.
    If any material news occur before the bearer leave Edinburgh, you
    shall have them; and to-morrow I'll mind your commission, and any
    other you shall give with respect to your nursery, &c., which I hope
    you're still carrying on, and that your garden-wall is now
    completed. If you had some pieces of cannon to place in it, would it
    not keep out against an army not provided with battering-pieces,
    seeing it's at a sufficient distance from the thundering of any
    castle? Were it not for fear of your horses, I should wish you came
    in here and saw the fortifications made on our city-wall, and the
    army against which they were intended; the last is worth your while.
    No Court in Europe is filled with such a set of well-look'd brave

    "I hope my dykers are going on, and beg you'll acquaint the tenants
    to have the rents ready, in regard I'm to be soon in the country,
    and won't make any stay above a day or two; this to you, but to
    yourself I can yet fix no time for coming out as I can't think of
    leaving Edinburgh till I see how matters turn, and it's also
    necessary to stay and take care of my house, furniture, papers, &c.
    I believe I shall eat my Christmas goose with you, if I don't go
    into England, which I would incline for sake of a jaunt, if I
    thought it safe and had a right set with me. I ever am, dear Sir,

                                                        "Your's &c."

Another letter from a kinsman of Lord Nithisdale's shews that he was not
alone in his inclination to join in the Insurrection of 1745.


                                                      "October 13th.

    "Dr. Willie,

    "By accounts this day from Edinburgh, allmost everybody is going
    along with the stream, so that a short delay wou'd lose all the
    merit. This has determined me to do the thing so suddenly, that I
    have not time to send for you, unless it were to see me go off,
    which is impossible. I depend upon your protection for those I leave
    behind. What gives me the greatest concern is least some such
    creditors as have still my father's security, should molest him in
    my absence. I recommend particularly to you, that if you can hear of
    any, you'll endeavour to make them sensible that they are as safe as
    before, and tell the comissary that I expect the same piece of
    friendship from him, who lyes more in the way of hearing what
    passes of that kind. I believe there are three or four thousand
    French or Irish landed in Wales, with Lord John Drummond. The
    Highland army marches south the beginning of the week. Farewell dear
    Willie. God bless you! Ever your's

                                              (Signed) Ja. Maxwell."

    "Saturday.--I set out before daylight to-morrow."

    From Mr. Maxwell of Carruchan, to Mr. Craik of Arbigland.

Since Lord Nithisdale's name did not appear in the list of the young
Chevalier's officers, we must conclude that he did not persevere in his
resolutions. There is no date to Mr. Craik's second letter, but it must
have been written after Carlisle had surrendered to the Duke of
Cumberland,--an event which took place on the thirtieth of December,

The Earl of Nithisdale, as he was styled, lived until the year 1776, and
possibly in peace and prosperity, since the family estates were spared
to him. He married his first cousin, Lady Catherine Stewart, daughter of
the Earl of Traquhair by Lady Mary Maxwell, and left an only daughter.

This lady, named after her celebrated grandmother Winifred, was also, by
courtesy, endowed with the honours of the forfeited rank, and styled
Lady Winifred Maxwell. Her Ladyship would have inherited the Barony of
Herries, of Terregles, but for the attainder of her grandfather. The
estates of Lord Nithisdale were inherited by her son, Marmaduke William
Constable, Esq., of Everingham Park, in the county of York; who, on the
death of his mother, assumed, by royal licence, the surname of Maxwell.
The title of Nithisdale, except for the attainder, would have descended
upon the next heir, Mr. Maxwell of Carruchan.[36]


[1] There is no statement of the date of Lord Nithisdale's birth in any
of the usual authorities, neither can his descendant, William Constable
Maxwell, Esq., of Terregles, supply the deficient information.

[2] Secret History of Colonel Hooke's Negotiations, by himself, p. 175.
London, 1740.

[3] Patten's History of the Rebellion, of 1715, p. 234.

[4] Service of the Earl of Eglintoun, as heir male of the Earl of
Wintoun. Printed for the family. Extract from "Peerage Law by Riddell,"
p. 201. Published in 1825.

[5] Service of the Earl of Eglintoun, p. 8.

[6] Buchan's Account of the Earls Marischal, p. 125.

[7] Eglinton Case.

[8] Patten, p. 52.

[9] Patten, p. 54. Life of the Earls Marischal, p. 130.

[10] Reay's History of the Late Rebellion. Dumfries, 1718.

[11] Reay, p. 139.

[12] Now of Sir Charles Stuart Menteath, Bart.

[13] Reay, p. 184.

[14] Id.

[15] Id. p. 211.

[16] Reay, p. 257.

[17] Patten, pp. 224-235. Colonel Hooke's Negotiations.

[18] In the Life of Lord Derwentwater.

[19] Reay, p. 326.

[20] See Letters in the State Paper Office from Lord Widdrington, and
many others of inferior rank, No. 3. 1715.

[21] State Papers, 1716, No. 3.

[22] State Papers, No. 3, July 26, 1715.

[23] Reay, p. 355.

[24] Reay, p. 359.

[25] A Faithful Register of the Late Rebellion, London, p. 65, 1718.

[26] Faithful Register, p. 86.

[27] Her picture, painted in the bloom of her youth, is still at
Terregles, in Dumfriesshire, the seat of William Constable Maxwell,
Esq., the descendant of Lord Nithisdale. To Mrs. Constable Maxwell, of
Terregles, I am indebted for the following interesting description of
the portrait of Lady Nithisdale, to which I have referred. "Her hair is
light brown, slightly powdered, and she is represented with large soft
eyes, regular features, and fair, rather pale complexion. Her soft
expression and delicate appearance give little indication of the
strength of mind and courage which she displayed. Her dress is blue
silk, with a border of cambric, and the drapery a cloak of brown silk."

[28] His son was restored to his father's honours. The title of Marquis
of Powis became extinct; but the estates devolved on Lord Herbert of
Cherbury, husband to the last Marquis's niece; and ultimately to Lady
Henrietta Herbert, who married Lord Clive, created Earl of
Powis.--_Burke's Extinct Peerage_.

[29] Faithful Register, p. 84.

[30] Faithful Register, p. 86.

[31] Burke's History of the Commoners of Great Britain and Ireland, vol.
i. p. 329.

[32] See Letters and Petitions in the State Papers, No. iii. p. 1716.

[33] See Burke's Commoners, vol. i. p. 333.

[34] See Burke's Commoners, vol. i. p. 334.

[35] I am indebted to the present Mr. Craik, of Arbigland, for this

[36] I am indebted for some of these particulars to the courtesy of
William Constable Maxwell, Esq., present owner of Terregles,
Carlaverock, and also of the beautiful hereditary property of Lincluden.


The origin of the distinguished surname of Gordon is not clearly
ascertained: "some," says Douglass, "derive the Gordons from a city of
Macedonia, named Gordonia; others from a manor in Normandy called
Gordon, possessed by a family of that name. The territory of Gordon in
Berwickshire was, according to another account, conferred by David the
First upon an Anglo-Norman settler, who assumed from it the name of

William Gordon, sixth Earl of Kenmure, was descended from a younger son
of the ducal house of Gordon; in 1633 Sir John Gordon of Lochinvar was
created Viscount Kenmure and Lord of Lochinvar; and the estates
continued in an unbroken line until they descended to William, the sixth
Viscount, who was the only Scottish peer in 1715 who suffered capital

This unfortunate nobleman succeeded his father in 1698; and possessed,
up to the period of his taking the command of the army in the south, the
estates belonging to his family in the Stuartry of Kirkcudbright.
Kenmure Castle, still happily enjoyed by the family of Gordon, stands
upon an eminence overlooking the meadows, at that point where the river
Ken expands into a lake. The Castle was originally a single tower, to
which various additions have been made according to the taste of
different owners. The Castle Keep is now ruinous and unroofed, but the
body of the house is in good repair. A fine prospect over the scenery of
the Glenhens is commanded by the eminence on which the castle stands. An
ancient avenue of lime-trees constitutes the approach to the fortress
from the road.

In this abode dwelt the Viscount Kenmure until the summons of Lord Mar
called him from the serene tenour of a course honoured by others, and
peaceful from the tranquillity of the unhappy nobleman's own
disposition; for his was not the restless ambition of Mar, nor the blind
devotion of the Duke of Perth; nor the passion for fame and ascendancy
which stimulated Lord George Murray in his exertions. Lord Kenmure was,
it is true, well acquainted with public business, and an adept in the
affairs of the political world, in which he had obtained that insight
which long experience gives. His acquaintance with books and men was
said to be considerable; he is allowed, even by one who had deserted the
party which Lord Kenmure espoused, to be of a "very extraordinary
knowledge."[37] But his calm, reflective mind, his experience, his
resources of learning, rather indisposed than inclined this nobleman
from rising when called upon to lend his aid to the perilous enterprise
of James Stuart. Beloved in private life, of a singularly good temper,
calm, mild, of simple habits, and plain in his attire, he was as it was
generally observed, the last man whom one might have expected to rush
into the schemes of the Jacobite party.

That one so skilled in human affairs should venture, even in a
subordinate degree, to espouse so desperate a cause as that of James was
generally reputed to be, might seem to prove that even the wise were
sanguine, or that they were carried away by the enthusiasm of the hour.
Neither of these circumstances appear to bear any considerable weight in
revolving the conduct of Lord Kenmure.

A stronger influence, perhaps, than that of loyalty operated on the
conduct of Viscount Kenmure. He was married: his wife, the spirited and
energetic Mary Dalzell, was the only sister of Robert, sixth Earl of
Carnwath. Her family were deeply imbued with the principles of
hereditary right and of passive obedience; and Lady Kenmure cherished
these sentiments, and bestowed the energies of her active mind on the
promotion of that cause which she held sacred. The house of Dalzell had
been sufferers in the service of the Stuarts. By her mother's side, Lady
Kenmure was connected with Sir William Murray of Stanhope, and with his
singular, and yet accomplished son, Sir Alexander Murray of Stanhope,
who was taken prisoner at Preston, fighting for the Jacobites. The Earl
of Carnwath, Lady Kenmure's brother, was one of those men whose virtues
and acquirements successfully recommend a cause to all who are under the
influence of such a character. Having been educated at Cambridge, he
had imbibed an early affection for the liturgy of the Church of England;
his gentle manners, his talents, and his natural eloquence, established
him in the affections of his friends and acquaintance. This nobleman
was, like his sister, ready to sacrifice everything for conscience sake:
like her, he was a sufferer for that which he esteemed to be justice. He
was afterwards taken prisoner at Preston, impeached before the House of
Peers in 1716, and sentenced to be executed as a traitor, and his estate
forfeited; but eventually he was respited and pardoned. He survived to
be four times married.

Another of Lady Kenmure's brothers, John Dalzell, was, it is true, a
captain in the army upon the breaking out of the Rebellion in 1715; but,
at the summons of him whom he esteemed his lawful Sovereign, he threw up
his commission, and engaged in the service of James.

When Lord Kenmure received a commission from the Earl of Mar to head the
friends of the Chevalier in the South, he had ties which perhaps were
among some of the considerations which led him to hesitate and to accept
the proffered honour unwillingly. On his trial he referred to his wife
and "four small children," as a plea for mercy. But Lady Kenmure,
sanguine and resolute, did not view these little dependent beings as
obstacles to a participation in the insurrection. If she might be
considered to transgress her duty as a mother, in thus risking the
fortunes of her children, she afterwards compensated by her energy and
self-denial for her early error of judgment.

It had been arranged that the insurrection in Dumfriesshire was to break
out in conjunction with that headed in Northumberland by Mr. Forster. To
effect this end, numbers of disaffected, or, as the Jacobite writers
call them, well-affected noblemen and gentlemen assembled in parties at
the houses of their friends, moving about from place to place, in order
to prepare for the event.

It was on the twelfth of October, 1715, that Viscount Kenmure set out in
the intention of joining the Earl of Wintoun, who was on his road to
Moffat, and who was accompanied by a party of Lothian gentlemen and
their servants. It is said by the descendants of Viscount Kenmure, on
hearsay, that his Lordship's horse three times refused to go forward on
that eventful morning; nor could he be impelled to do so, until Lady
Kenmure taking off her apron, and throwing it over the horse's eyes, the
animal was led forward. The Earl of Carnwath had joined with Lord
Kenmure, and rode forwards with him to the rencontre with Lord Wintoun.
Lord Kenmure took with him three hundred men to the field.[38]

At the siege of Preston, in which those who fell dead upon the field
were less to be compassionated than the survivors, Lord Kenmure was
taken prisoner. His brother-in-law, the Earl of Carnwath, shared the
same fate. They were sent with the principal state prisoners to London.
The same circumstances, the same indignities, attended the removal of
Lord Kenmure to his last earthly abode, as those which have been already
related as disgracing the humanity of Englishmen, when the Earl of
Derwentwater was carried to the Tower.

The subsequent sufferings of these brave men were aggravated by the
abuses which then existed in the state prisons of England. The condition
of these receptacles of woe, at that period, beggars all description.
Corruption and extortion gave every advantage to those who could command
money enough to purchase luxuries at an enormous cost. Oppression and an
utter carelessness of the well-being of the captive, pressed hardly upon
those who were poor. No annals can convey a more heartrending
description of the sufferings of the prisoners confined in county gaols,
than their own touching and heartfelt appeals, some of which are to be
found in the State Paper Office.

In the Tower, especially, it appears from a diary kept by a gentleman
who was confined there, that the greatest extortion was openly
practised. Mr. Forster and a Mr. Anderton, who were allowed to live in
the Governor's house, were charged the sum of five pounds a-week for
their lodging and diet,--a demand which, more than a century ago, was
deemed enormous. Several of the Highland chiefs, and among them the
celebrated Brigadier Mackintosh, were "clapped up in places of less
accommodation, for which, nevertheless, they were charged as much as
would have almost paid the rent of the best houses in St. James's Square
and Piccadilly." Mr. Forster, it must be added, was obliged to pay sixty
guineas for his privilege of living in the governor's house; and Mr.
Anderton to give a bribe of twenty-five guineas for having his irons
off. A similar tax was made upon every one who entered, and who could
pay, and they were thankful to proffer the sum of twenty guineas, the
usual demand, to be free from irons. It was, indeed, not the mere
freedom from chains for which they paid, but for the power of effecting
their escape. Upon every one who did not choose to be turned over to the
common side, a demand was made of ten guineas fee, besides two guineas
weekly for lodging, although in some rooms men lay four in a bed.
Presents were also given privately, so that in three or four months'
time, three or four thousand pounds were paid by the prisoners to their

Many of the prisoners being men of fortune, their tables were of the
most luxurious description; forty shillings was often paid for a dish of
peas and beans, and thirty shillings for a dish of fish; and this fare,
so unlike that of imprisonment, was accompanied by the richest French
wines. The vicious excesses and indecorums which went on in the Tower,
among the state prisoners, are said to have scandalized the graver
lookers on.[39] The subsequent distress and misery which ensued may, of
course, be traced, in part to this cause.

Lord Derwentwater, ever decorous and elevated in his deportment, was
shocked at the wayward and reckless conduct of some of the Jacobites on
their road to London, told one of the King's officers at Barnet that
these prisoners "were only fit for Bedlam." To this it was remarked,
that they were only fit for Bridewell. Whilst hopes of life continued,
this rebuke still applied. The prisoners were aided in their excesses by
the enthusiasm of the fair sex. The following extract from another
obscure work, "The History of the Press-yard," is too curious to be
omitted. "That while they [the prisoners] flattered themselves with
hopes of life, which they were made to believe were the necessary
consequences of a surrender at discretion, they did, without any
retrospect to the crimes they were committed for, live in so profuse a
manner, and fared so voluptuously, through the means of daily visitants
and helps from abroad, that money circulated very plentifully; and while
it was difficult to change a guinea almost at any house in the street,
nothing was more easy than to have silver for gold to any quantity, and
gold for silver, in the prison,--those of the fair sex, from persons of
the first rank to tradesmen's wives and daughters, making a sacrifice of
their husbands' and parents' rings, and other precious moveables, for
the use of those prisoners; so that, till the trial of the condemned
lords was over, and that the Earl of Derwentwater and Viscount Kenmure
were beheaded, there was scarce anything to be seen amongst them but
flaunting apparel, venison pasties, hams, chickens, and other costly
meats, with plenty of wine."

Meantime the trial of the attainted lords took place, and checked, like
the sudden appearance of a ghostly apparition, this horrible
merriment,--with which, however, few names which one desires to cherish
and to respect are connected. The same forms that attended the
impeachment and trial of his companions, were carried on at the trial of
Lord Kenmure. The unhappy nobleman replied in few and touching words,
and, in a voice which could not be heard, pleaded guilty; an
inconsistency, to express it in the mildest terms, of which he
afterwards sincerely repented.

At the end of the trial, to the question "What have you to say for
yourself why judgment should not be passed upon you according to law?"
"My lords," replied Lord Kenmure, "I am truly sensible of my crime, and
want words to express my repentance. God knows I never had any personal
prejudice against his Majesty, nor was I ever accessory to any previous
design against him. I humbly beg my noble Peers and the honourable House
of Commons to intercede with the King for mercy to me, that I may live
to show myself the dutifullest of his subjects, and to be the means to
keep my wife and four small children from starving; the thoughts of
which, with my crime, makes me the most unfortunate of all gentlemen."

After the trial, great intercessions were made for mercy, but without
any avail, as far as Lord Derwentwater and Lord Kenmure were concerned.
They were ordered for execution on the 24th of February, 1716.

The intelligence of the condemnation of these two lords, produced the
greatest dismay among their fellow sufferers in the Tower; and the
notion of escape, a project which was singularly successful in some
instances, was resorted to, in the despair and anguish of the moment, by
those who dreaded a cruel and ignominious death.

Lord Kenmure, meantime, prepared for death. A very short interval was,
indeed, allowed for those momentous considerations which his situation
induced. He was sentenced on the ninth of February, and in a fortnight
afterwards was to suffer. Yet the execution of that sentence was, it
seems, scarcely expected by the sufferer, even when the fatal day

The night before his execution, Lord Kenmure wrote a long and affecting
letter to a nobleman who had visited him in prison a few days
previously. There is something deeply mournful in the fate of one who
had slowly and unwillingly taken up the command which had ensured to him
the severest penalties of the law. There is an inexpressibly painful
sentiment of compassion and regret, excited by the yearning to live--the
allusion to a reprieve--the allusion to the case of Lord Carnwath as
affording more of hope than his own--lastly, to what he cautiously calls
"an act of indiscretion," the plea of guilty, which was wrung from this
conscientious, but sorrowing man, by a fond value for life and for the
living. So little did Lord Kenmure anticipate his doom, that, when he
was summoned to the scaffold the following day, he had not even prepared
a black suit,--a circumstance which he much regretted, since he "might
be said to have died with more decency."

The following is the letter which he wrote, and which he addressed to a
certain nobleman.

    "My very good Lord,

    "Your Lordship has interested yourself so far in mine, and the
    lords, my fellow prisoners' behalf, that I should be the greatest
    criminal now breathing, should I, whether the result of your
    generous intercession be life or death, be neglectful of paying my
    acknowledgments for that act of compassion.

    "We have already discoursed of the motives that induced me to take
    arms against the Prince now in possession of the throne, when you
    did me the honour of a visit three days since in my prison here; I
    shall therefore wave that point, and lament my unhappiness for
    joining in the rest of the lords in pleading guilty, in the hopes of
    that mercy, which the Generals Wills and Carpenter will do us the
    justice to say was promised us by both of them. Mr. Piggot and Mr.
    Eyres, the two lawyers employed by us, advised us to this plea, the
    avoiding of which might have given us further time for looking after
    the concerns of another life, though it had ended in the same
    sentence of losing this which we now lie under. Thanks be to the
    Divine Majesty, to whose infinite mercy as King of Kings, I
    recommend myself in hopes of forgiveness, tho' it shall be my fate
    to fail of it here on earth. Had the House of Commons thought fit to
    have received our petition with the same candour as yours has done,
    and recommended us to the Prince, we might have entertained some
    hopes of life; but the answer from St. James's is such as to make us
    have little or no thoughts of it.

    "Under these dismal apprehensions, then, of approaching dissolution,
    which, I thank my God for his holy guidance, I have made due
    preparation for, give me leave to tell you, that howsoever I have
    been censured on account of the family of the Gordons, which I am an
    unhappy branch of, that I have ever lived and will die in the
    profession of the Protestant religion, and that I abhor all
    king-killing doctrines that are taught by the church of Rome as
    dangerous and absurd. And though I have joined with some that have
    taken arms, of that persuasion, no other motive but that of
    exercising to the person called the Pretender, whom I firmly believe
    to be the son of the late King James the Second, and in defence of
    whose title I am now going to be a sacrifice, has induced me to it.
    Your Lordship will remember the papers I have left with you, and
    deliver them to my son. They may be of use to his future conduct in
    life, when these eyes of mine are closed in death, which I could
    have wished might have stolen upon me in the ordinary course of
    nature, and not by the hand of the executioner. But as my blessed
    Saviour and Redeemer suffered an ignominious and cruel death, and
    the Son of God, made flesh, did not disdain to have his feet nailed
    to the Cross for the sins of the world; so may I, poor miserable
    sinner, as far as human nature will allow, patiently bear with the
    hands of violence, that I expect suddenly to be stretched out
    against me.

    "Your Lordship will also, provided there is no hopes of a reprieve
    this night, make me acquainted with it as soon as possible, that I
    may meet that fate with readiness which, in a state of uncertainty,
    I expect with uneasiness. I must also be pressing with your Lordship
    that if, in case of death, any paper under my name should come out
    as pretended to have been written by me, in the manner or form of a
    speech, you will not believe it to be genuine; for I, that am
    heartily sorry for disowning my principles in one spoken before your
    Lordship and the rest of my peers, will never add to that act of
    indiscretion by saying anything on the scaffold but my prayers for
    the forgiveness of my poor self and those that have brought me to be
    a spectacle to men and angels, especially since I must speak in my
    last moments according to the dictates of my conscience, and not
    prevaricate as I did before the Lords, for which I take shame to
    myself. And such a method of proceeding might do injury to my
    brother Carnwath, who, I am told, is in a much fairer way than I am
    of not being excluded from grace. I have nothing farther than to
    implore your Lordships to charge your memory with the
    recommendations I gave you to my wife and children, beseeching God
    that he will so sanctify their afflictions, that after the pains and
    terrors of this mortal life they may with me be translated to the
    regions of everlasting joy and happiness, to which blessed state of
    immortality your Lordship shall also, while I am living, be
    recommended in the prayers of, my very good Lord, your most
    affectionate kinsman,


    "From my prison, in the Tower of London, Feb. 23, 1715."

The following paper, the original of which is still in the hands of his
descendants, was written by Lord Kenmure the night before his

    "It having pleased the Almighty God to call me now to suffer a
    violent death, I adore the Divine Majesty, and cheerfully resign my
    soul and body to His hands, whose mercy is over all His works. It is
    my very great comfort that He has enabled me to hope, through the
    merits and by the blood of Jesus Christ, He will so purifie me how
    that I perish not eternally. I die a Protestant of the Church of
    England, and do from my heart forgive all my enemies. I thank God I
    cannot accuse my selfe of the sin of rebellion, however some people
    may by a mistaken notion think me guilty of it for all I did upon a
    laite occasione; and my only desire ever was to contribute my small
    endeavour towards the re-establishing my rightfull Sovereigne and
    the constitutione of my countrie to ther divine rights and loyall
    setlment; and by pleading guilty I meant no more then ane
    acknowledgment of my having been in armes, and (not being bred to
    the law) had no notion of my therby giving my assent to any other
    thing contained in that charge. I take God to wittnes, before whom I
    am very soon to apear, that I never had any desire to favour or to
    introduce Popery, and I have been all along fully satisfied that the
    King has given all the morall security for the Church of England
    that is possible for him in his circumstances. I owne I submitted
    myselfe to the Duck of Brunswick, justly expecting that humantity
    would have induced him to give me my life, which if he had done I
    was resolved for the future to have lived peaceably, and to have
    still reteaned a greatfull remembrance of so greatt a favour, and I
    am satisfied the King would never have desired me to have been in
    action for him after; but the caice is otherways. I pray God forgive
    those who thirst after blood. Had we been all putt to the sword
    immediatly upon our surrender, that might have born the construction
    of being don in the heatt and fury of passion; but now I am to die
    in cold blood, I pray God it be not imputed to them. May Almighty
    God restore injured right, and peace, and truth, and may He in mercy
    receave my soull.


It was decreed that the Earl of Derwentwater and the Viscount Kenmure
should suffer on the same day. On the morning of the twenty-fourth of
February, at ten o'clock, these noblemen were conducted to the Transport
Office on Tower Hill, where they had separate rooms for their private
devotions, and where such friends as desired to be admitted to them
could take a last farewell. It had been settled that the Earl of
Nithisdale should also suffer at the same time, but during the previous
night he had escaped. Whether the condemned lords, who were so soon to
exchange life for immortality, were made aware of that event or not, has
not transpired. What must have been their emotions, supposing that they
were conscious that one who had shared their prison, was likely to be
restored to his liberty and to his family!

Lord Kenmure conducted himself with a manly composure and courage during
this last trial of his submission and fortitude. His reserve, however,
on the scaffold was remarkable. It proceeded from a fear, incidental to
a conscientious mind, of saying anything inconsistent with his loyalty
and principles; and from an apprehension, natural in the dying husband
and father, of injuring the welfare of those whom he was to leave at the
mercy of Government.

Lord Derwentwater suffered first: his last ejaculation, "Sweet Jesus be
merciful unto me!" was cut short by the executioner severing his head
from his body. Then, after the body and the head had been carried away,
the scaffold was decently cleared, and fresh baize laid upon the block,
and saw-dust strewed, that none of the blood might appear to shock the
unhappy man who was to succeed the young and gallant Derwentwater in
that tragic scene.

Lord Kenmure then advanced. He was formally delivered from the hands of
one sheriff to those of the other, who had continued on the stage on
which the scaffold was erected all the time, and who then addressed the
condemned man. The first question related to the presence of clergy, and
of other friends; and Lord Kenmure stated, in reply, that he had the
assistance of two clergymen, and desired the presence of some friends
who were below. These persons were then called up, and Lord Kenmure
retired with his friends and the two clergymen to the south side of the
stage, where they joined in penitential prayers, some of them written
for the occasion, and others out of a printed book, not improbably the
Book of Common Prayer, since Lord Kenmure was a Protestant and an
Episcopalian. Lord Kenmure employed himself for some time in private
supplications; and afterwards a clergyman, in a prayer, recommended the
dying man to the mercy of God. A requiem completed the devotions of the
unfortunate Kenmure.

Sir John Fryer, one of the sheriffs, then inquired if his Lordship had
had sufficient time; and expressed his willingness to wait as long as
Lord Kenmure wished. He also requested to know if Lord Kenmure had
anything to say in private; to these questions a negative was returned.

The executioner now came forward. Lord Kenmure was accompanied by an
undertaker, to whom the care of his body was to be entrusted; he was
also attended by a surgeon, who directed the executioner how to perform
his office, by drawing his finger over that part of the neck where the
blow was to be given. Lord Kenmure then kissed the officers and
gentlemen on the scaffold, some of them twice and thrice; and being
again asked if he had anything to say, answered, "No." He had specified
the Chevalier St. George in his prayers, and he now repeated his
repentance for having pleaded guilty at his trial. He turned to the
executioner, who, according to the usual form, asked forgiveness. "My
Lord," said the man, "what I do, is to serve the nation; do you forgive
me?" "I do," replied Lord Kenmure; and he placed the sum of eight
guineas in the hands of the headsman. The final preparations were
instantly made. Lord Kenmure pulled off, unassisted, his coat and
waistcoat: one of his friends put a white linen cap on his head; and the
executioner turned down the collar of his shirt, in order to avoid all
obstacles to the fatal stroke. Then the executioner said, "My Lord, will
you be pleased to try the block?" Lord Kenmure, in reply, laid down his
head on the block, and spread forth his hands. The headsman instantly
performed his office. The usual words, "This is the head of a traitor!"
were heard as the executioner displayed the streaming and ghastly sight
to the multitude.

The body of Lord Kenmure, after being first deposited at an undertaker's
in Fleet Street, was carried to Scotland, and there buried among his
ancestors. A letter was found in his pocket addressed to the Chevalier,
recommending to him the care of his children; but it was suppressed.[41]

Thus died one of those men, whose honour, had his life been spared,
might have been trusted never again to enter into any scheme injurious
to the reigning Government; and whose death inspires, perhaps, more
unmitigated regret than that of any of the Jacobite lords. Lord
Kenmure's short-lived authority was sullied by no act of cruelty; and
his last hours were those of a pious, resigned, courageous Christian. He
was thrust into a situation as commander in the South, peculiarly
unfitted for his mild, reserved, and modest disposition: and he was thus
carried away from that private sphere which he was calculated to

After her husband's death, the energies of Lady Kenmure were directed to
secure the estates of Kenmure to her eldest son. She instantly posted
down to Scotland, and reached Kenmure Castle in time to secure the most
valuable papers. When the estates were put up for sale, she contrived,
with the assistance of her friends, to raise money enough to purchase
them; and lived so carefully as to be able to deliver them over to her
son, clear of all debt, when he came of age. Four children were left
dependent upon her exertions and maternal protection. Of these Robert,
the eldest, died in 1741 unmarried, in his twenty-eighth year. James
also died unmarried. Harriet, the only daughter, was married to her
mother's cousin-german, Captain James Dalzell, uncle of Robert Earl of
Carnwath. John Gordon, the second and only surviving son of Lord
Kenmure, married, in 1744, the Lady Frances Mackenzie, daughter of the
Earl of Seaforth; and from this marriage is descended the present
Viscount Kenmure, to whom the estate was restored in 1824.

Lady Kenmure survived her husband sixty-one years. In 1747, she appears
to have resided in Paris, where, after the commotions of 1745, she
probably took refuge. Here, aged as she must have been, the spirit of
justice, and the love of consistency were shewn in an anecdote related
of her by Drummond of Bochaldy, who was mingled up in the cabals of the
melancholy Court of St. Germains. It had become the fashion among Prince
Charles's sycophants and favourites, to declare that it was not for the
interest of the party that there should be any restoration while King
James lived; this idea was diligently circulated by Kelly, a man
described by Drummond as full of trick, falsehood, deceit, and
imposition; and joined to these, having qualities that make up a
thorough sycophant.

It was Kelly's fashion to toast the Prince in all companies first, and
declare that the King could not last long. At one of the entertainments,
which he daily frequented, at the house of Lady Redmond, the dinner,
which usually took place at noon, being later than usual, Lady Kenmure,
in making an afternoon's visit, came in before dinner was over. She was
soon surprised and shocked to hear the company drinking the Prince's
health without mentioning the King's. "Lady Kenmure," adds Drummond,
"could not bear it, and said it was new to her to see people forget the
duty due to the King." Kelly immediately answered, "Madam, you are old
fashioned; these fashions are out of date." She said that she really was
old fashioned, and hoped God would preserve her always sense and duty
enough to continue so; on which she took a glass and said "God preserve
our King, and grant him long life, and a happy reign over us!"[43]

Lady Kenmure died on the 16th of August, 1776, at Terregles, in
Dumfriesshire, the seat of the Nithisdale family.


[37] Patten, p. 52

[38] Patten. Reay.

[39] "Secret History of the Rebels in Newgate;" a scarce Sixpenny Tract,
in the British Museum. Third Edition.

[40] For this interesting paper I am indebted to the Hon. Mrs. Bellamy,
sister of the present and niece of the late Viscount Kenmure.

[41] Faithful Register of the late Rebellion, p. 93; also State Trials.

[42] The impression on the minds of Lord Kenmure's descendants is, that
he was by no means a man of feeble character, but one of great fortitude
and resolution.

[43] Memoirs of Sir Ewen Cameron of Lochiel, p. 284. Presented to the
Abbotsford Club.


Among the nobility who hastened to the hunting-field of Braemar, was
William Marquis of Tullibardine and eldest son of the first Duke of

The origin of the powerful family of Murray commences with Sir William
De Moraira, who was Sheriff in Perth in 1222, in the beginning of the
reign of King Alexander the Second. The lands of Tullibardine were
obtained by the Knight in 1282, by his marriage with Adda, the daughter
of Malise, Seneschal of Stratherio. After the death of William De
Moraira, the name of this famous house merged into that of Murray, and
its chieftains were for several centuries known by the appellation of
Murray of Tullibardine. It was not until the seventeenth century that
the family of Murray was ennobled, when James the Sixth created Sir John
Murray Earl of Tullibardine.

The unfortunate subject of this memoir was the son of one of the most
zealous promoters of the Revolution of 1688. His father, nearly
connected in blood with William the Third, was appointed to the command
of a regiment by that Monarch, and entrusted with several posts of
great importance, which he retained in the time of Queen Anne, until a
plot was formed to ruin him by Lord Lovat, who endeavoured to implicate
the Duke in the affair commonly known by the name of the Queensbury
plot. The Duke of Athole courted inquiry upon that occasion; but the
business having been dropped without investigation, he resigned the
office of Privy Seal, which he then held, and became a warm opponent of
the Act of Union which was introduced into Parliament in 1705.

After this event the Duke of Athole retired to Perthshire, and there
lived in great magnificence until, upon the Tories coming into power, he
was chosen one of the representatives of the Scottish peerage in 1710,
and afterwards a second time constituted Lord Privy Seal.

It is singular that, beholding his father thus cherished by Government,
the Marquis of Tullibardine should have adopted the cause of the
Chevalier: and not, as it appears, from a momentary caprice, but, if we
take into consideration the conduct of his whole life, from a fixed and
unalienable conviction. At the time of the first Rebellion, the Marquis
was twenty-seven years of age; he may therefore be presumed to have been
mature in judgment, and to have passed over the age of wild enthusiasm.
The impulses of fanaticism had no influence in promoting the adoption of
a party to which an Episcopalian as well as a Roman Catholic might
probably be peculiarly disposed. Lord Tullibardine had been brought up a
Presbyterian; his father was so firm and zealous in that faith, as to
excite the doubts of the Tory party, to whom he latterly attached
himself, of his sincerity in their cause. According to Lord Lovat, the
arch-enemy of the Athole family, the Duke had not any considerable
portion of that quality in his character, which Lord Lovat represents as
one compound of meanness, treachery, and revenge, and attributes the
hatred with which Athole persecuted the brave and unfortunate Duke of
Argyle, to the circumstance of his having received a blow from that
nobleman before the whole Court at Edinburgh, without having the spirit
to return the insult.[44]

It appears, from the same authority, that the loyalty which the Duke of
Athole professed towards King William was of a very questionable
description. It becomes, indeed, very difficult to ascertain what were
really the Duke of Athole's political tenets. Under these conflicting
and unsettled opinions the young Marquis of Tullibardine was reared.

There seems little reason to doubt that his father, the Duke of Athole,
continued to act a double part in the troublous days which followed the
accession of George the First. It was, of course, of infinite importance
to Government to secure the allegiance of so powerful a family as that
of Murray, the head of whom was able to bring a body of six thousand men
into the field. It nevertheless soon appeared that the young heir of the
house of Athole had imbibed very different sentiments to those with
which it was naturally supposed a nobleman, actually in office at that
time, would suffer in his eldest son. The first act of the Marquis was
to join the Earl of Mar with two thousand men, clansmen from the
Highlands, and with fourteen hundred of the Duke of Athole's
tenants;[45] his next, to proclaim the Chevalier King. Almost
simultaneously, and whilst his tenantry were following their young
leader to the field, the Duke of Athole was proclaiming King George at
Perth.[46] The Duke was ordered, meantime, by the authorities, to remain
at his Castle of Blair to secure the peace of the county, of which he
was Lord-Lieutenant.

The Marquis of Tullibardine's name appears henceforth in most of the
events of the Rebellion. There exists little to shew how he acquitted
himself in the engagement of Sherriff Muir, where he led several
battalions to the field; but he shewed his firmness and valour by
remaining for some time at the head of his vassals, after the unhappy
contest of 1715 was closed by the ignominious flight of the Chevalier.
All hope of reviving the Jacobite party being then extinct for a time,
the Marquis escaped to France, where he remained in tranquillity for a
few years; but his persevering endeavours to aid the Stuart cause were
only laid aside, and not abandoned.

During his absence, the fortunes of the house of Athole sustained no
important change. The office of Privy Seal was, it is true, taken from
the Duke and given to the Marquis of Annandale; but by the favour of
Government the estates escaped forfeiture, and during the very year in
which the Rebellion occurred, the honours and lands which belonged to
the unfortunate Tullibardine were vested, by the intercession of his
father, in a younger son, Lord James Murray. The effect of this may have
been to render the Marquis still more determined in his adherence to the
Stuart line. He was not, however, the only member of the house of Murray
who participated in the Jacobite cause.

No less consistent in his opinions than the Marquis of Tullibardine,
William, the second Lord Nairn, came forward to espouse the cause of the
Stuarts. This nobleman was the uncle of Lord Tullibardine, and bore,
before his marriage with Margaret, only daughter of the first Lord
Nairn, the appellation of Lord William Murray. The title was, however,
settled by patent upon him and his heirs; and this obligation, conferred
by Charles the Second, was bestowed upon one whose gratitude and
devotion to the line of Stuart ceased only with his life. Lord Nairn had
been educated to the naval service, and had distinguished himself for
bravery. He refused the oaths at the Revolution, and consequently did
not take his seat in Parliament. His wife, Margaret, appears to have
shared in her husband's enthusiasm, and to have resembled him in
courage. In the Earl of Mar's correspondence frequent allusion is made
to her under the name of Mrs. Mellor. "I wish," says the Earl on one
occasion, "our men had her spirit." And the remembrances which he sends
her, and his recurrence to her, show how important a personage Lady
Nairn must have been. Aided by these two influential relations, the
Marquis of Tullibardine had engaged in the dangerous game which cost
Scotland so dear. Upon the close of the Rebellion, Lord Nairn was not so
fortunate as to escape to France with his relation. He was taken
prisoner, tried, and condemned to be executed. At his trial he pleaded
guilty; but he was respited, and afterwards pardoned. His wife and
children were eventually provided for out of the forfeited estate; but
neither punishment nor favour prevented his sons from sharing in the
Rebellion of 1745.

Another individual who participated in the Rebellion of 1715 was Lord
Charles Murray, the fourth surviving son of the Duke of Athole, and one
of those gallant, fine-tempered soldiers, whose graceful bearing and
good qualities win upon the esteem even of their enemies. At the
beginning of the Rebellion, Lord Charles was an officer on half-pay in
the British service; he quickly joined the insurgent army, and obtained
the command of a regiment. Such was his determination to share all
dangers and difficulties with his troops, that he never could be
prevailed upon to ride at the head of his regiment, but went in his
Highland dress, on foot, throughout the marches. This young officer
crossed the Forth with General Mackintosh, and joined the Northumbrian
insurgents in the march to Preston. At the siege of that town Lord
Charles defended one of the barriers, and repelled Colonel Dormer's
brigade from the attack. He was afterwards made prisoner at the
surrender, tried by a court-martial, and sentenced to be shot as a
deserter from the British army. He was, however, subsequently reprieved,
but died only five years afterwards.[47]

The Marquis of Tullibardine was not, however, the only Jacobite member
of the family who had been spared after the Rebellion of 1715, to renew
his efforts in the cause. His brother, the celebrated Lord George
Murray, was also deeply engaged in the same interests. In 1719, the
hopes of the party were revived by the war with Spain, and their
invasion of Great Britain was quietly planned by the Duke of Ormond, who
hastened to Madrid to hold conferences with Alberoni. Shortly afterwards
the Chevalier was received in that capital, and treated as King of
England. In March, 1719, the ill-fated expedition under the Duke of
Ormond was formed, and a fleet, destined never to reach its appointed
place of rendezvous, sailed from Cadiz.

The enterprise met with the usual fate of all the attempts formed in
favour of the Stuarts. With the exception of two frigates, none of the
ships proceeded farther than Cape Finisterre, where they were disabled
by a storm. These two vessels reached the coast of Scotland, having on
board of them the Earl of Seaforth, the Earl Marischal, the Marquis of
Tullibardine,[48] three hundred Spaniards, and arms for two thousand
men. They landed at the island of Lewes, but found the body of the
Jacobite party resolved not to move until all the forces under Ormond
should be assembled. During this interval of suspense, disputes between
the Marquis of Tullibardine and the Lord Marischal, which should have
the command, produced the usual effects among a divided and factious
party, of checking exertion by diminishing confidence.

It appears, however, that the Marquis had a commission from the
Chevalier to invade Scotland; in virtue of which he left the island of
Lewes, whence he had for some time been carrying on a correspondence
with the Highland chieftains, and landed with the three hundred
Spaniards on the main land. The Ministers of George the First lost no
time in repelling this attempt by a foreign power, and it is singular
that they employed Dutch troops for the purpose; and that Scotland, for
the first time, beheld her rights contested by soldiers speaking
different languages, and natives of different continental regions. The
Government had brought over two thousand Dutch soldiers, and six
battalions of Imperial troops from the Austrian Netherlands, and these
were now sent down to Inverness, where General Wightman was stationed.
As soon as he was informed of the landing of the Spanish forces, that
commander marched his troops to Glenshiel, a place between Fort Augustus
and Benera. He attacked the invaders: the Highlanders were quickly
repulsed and fled to their hills; the Spaniards were taken prisoners;
but the Marquis of Tullibardine and the Earl of Seaforth escaped, and,
retreating to the island of Lewes, again escaped to France.

During twenty-six years the Marquis of Tullibardine, against whom an act
of attainder was passed, remained in exile. He appears to have avoided
taking any active part in political affairs. "These seven or eight
years," he says in a letter addressed to the Chevalier, "have
sufficiently shewn me how unfit I am for meddling with the deep concerns
of state."[49] He resided at Puteaux, a small town near Paris, until
called imperatively from his retreat.

During the period of inaction, no measures were taken to reconcile those
whom he had left, the more gallant portion of the Highlanders, to the
English Government. "The state of arms," says Mr. Home, "was allowed to
remain the same; the Highlanders lived under their chiefs, in arms; the
people of England and the Lowlanders of Scotland lived, without arms,
under their sheriffs and magistrates; so that every rebellion was a war
carried on by the Highlanders against the standing army; and a
declaration of war with France or Spain, which required the service of
the troops abroad, was a signal for a rebellion at home. Strange as it
may seem, it was actually so."[50]

During the interval between the two Rebellions of 1715 and 1745, the
arts of peace were cultivated in England, and the national wealth
augmented; but no portion of that wealth altered the habits of the
Highland chieftains, who, looking continually for another rebellion,
estimated their property by the number of men whom they could bring into
the field. An anecdote, illustrative of this peculiarity, is told of
Macdonald of Keppoch, who was killed at the battle of Culloden. Some
low-country gentlemen were visiting him in 1740, and were entertained
with the lavish hospitality of a Highland home. One of these guests
ventured to ask of the landlord, what was the rent of his estate. "I can
bring five hundred men into the field," was the reply. It was estimated,
about this time, that the whole force which could be raised by the
Highlanders amounted to no more than twelve thousand men; yet, with this
inconsiderable number, the Jacobites could shake the British throne.

The danger which might arise to the Government, in case of a foreign
war, from the Highlanders, was foreseen by Duncan Forbes of Culloden,
and a scheme was formed by that good and great man, and communicated to
Lord Hay, adapted to reconcile the chieftains to the sovereignty of the
house of Hanover, and at the same time to preserve the peace of the
country. This was, to raise four or five Highland regiments, appointing
an English or Scotch officer of undoubted loyalty to King George, to be
colonel of each regiment, and naming all the inferior officers from a
list drawn up by President Forbes, and comprising all the chiefs and
chieftains of the disaffected clans. Most unhappily this plan was
rejected. Had it been adopted, the melancholy events of the last
Rebellion might not have left an indelible stain upon our national
character. The Highlanders, once enlisted in the cause of Government,
would have been true to their engagements; and the fidelity of the
officers, when serving abroad, would have been a guarantee for the good
conduct of their relations at home. It was not, however, deemed
practicable; and the energies of a determined and unemployed people were
again brought into active force. It is said to have met with the decided
approbation of Sir Robert Walpole, but it was negatived by the

The year 1739 witnessed the revival of the Jacobite Association, which
had been annihilated by the attainders and exiles of its members after
the last Rebellion. The declaration of war between Spain and England,
induced a belief that hostilities with France would follow; and
accordingly, in 1740, seven persons of distinction met at Edinburgh, and
signed an association, which was to be carried to the Chevalier St.
George at Rome, together with a list of those chiefs and chieftains who
were ready to join the association, if a body of French troops should
land in Scotland. This was the commencement of the second Rebellion; and
it was seconded with as pure a spirit of devotion to the cause, as
exalted an enthusiasm, as if none had bled on the scaffold in the
previous reign, or attainders and forfeitures had never visited with
poverty and ruin the adherents of James Stuart.

The Marquis of Tullibardine was selected as one of the attendants of
Charles Edward, in the perilous enterprise of the invasion. He was the
person of the highest rank among those who accompanied the gallant and
unfortunate adventurer in his voyage from the mouth of the Loire to
Scotland, in a little vessel, La Doutelle, with its escort of a ship of
seven hundred tons, the Elizabeth. During this voyage the strictest
incognito was preserved by the Prince, who was dressed in the habit of
the Scotch College, at Paris, and who suffered his beard to grow, in
order still better to disguise himself. At night the ship sailed without
a light, except that which proceeded from the compass, and which was
closely covered, the more effectually to defy pursuit. As it tracked the
ocean, with its guardian, the Elizabeth, the sight of a British
man-of-war off Lizard Point excited the ardour of the youthful hero on
board of La Doutelle. Captain D'Eau, the commander of the Elizabeth,
determined to attack the English ship, and requested the aid of Mr.
Walsh, who commanded the Doutelle. His request was denied, probably from
the responsibility which would have been incurred by Walsh, if he had
endangered the safety of the vessel in which the Prince sailed. The
attack was therefore made by the brave D'Eau alone. It was succeeded by
a fight of two hours, during which the Doutelle looked on, while the
Prince vainly solicited Walsh to engage in the action. The commander
refused, and threatened the royal youth to send him to his cabin if he
persisted. Both ships were severely damaged in the encounter and La
Doutelle was obliged to proceed on her way alone, the Elizabeth
returning to France to refit.

On the twenty-first of July, La Doutelle approached the remote range of
the Hebrides, comprehending Lewes, Uist, and Barra, often called, from
being seen together, the Long Island. As the vessel neared the shore, a
large Hebridean eagle hovered over the masts. The Marquis of
Tullibardine observed it, and attributed to its appearance that
importance to which the imagination of his countrymen gives to such
incidents; yet, not wishing to appear superstitious, or to show what is
called a "Highland freit," it was not until the bird had followed the
ship's course for some time, that he drew the attention of the Prince to
the circumstance. As they returned on deck after dinner, he pointed out
the bird to Charles Edward, observing at the same time, "Sir, I hope
this is a happy omen, and promises good things to us; the king of birds
is come to welcome your Royal Highness, on your arrival in Scotland."

The Prince and his followers landed, on the twenty-third of July, at the
island of Eriska, belonging to Clanranald, and situated between the
Isles of Barra and of South Uist, their voyage having been accomplished
in eighteen days. Here all the party landed, with the exception of the
Marquis, who was laid up with the gout, and unable to move. His
condition was supposed to be one of peril, for two ships had been
espied, and the Prince and his associates hurried off, with all the
expedition they could, to shore. The long boat was got out, and sent to
procure a pilot, who was discovered in the person of the hereditary
piper of Clanranald, who piloted the precious freight safely to shore.
The two vessels which had produced so much alarm, proved afterwards to
be only merchant-vessels.

In these "malignant regions," as Dr. Johnson describes them, referring
to the severity of the climate and the poverty of the soil, Prince
Charles and his adherents were lodged in a small country house, with a
hole in the roof for a chimney, and a fire in the middle of the room.
The young adventurer, reared among the delicacies of the palace at
Albano, was often obliged to go to the door for fresh air. "What a
plague is the matter with that fellow," exclaimed Angus Macdonald, the
landlord, "that he can neither sit nor stand still, nor keep within nor
without doors?" The night, it must be observed, was unusually wet and
stormy, so that the Prince had no alternative between smoke and rain.
The pride of the Scotch, in this remote region, was exemplified in
another trifling occurrence: The Prince, who was less fatigued than the
rest of the party, with that consideration for others, and disregard of
his own personal comfort, which formed at this period so beautiful a
part of his character, insisted that his attendants should retire to
rest. He took a particular care of Sir Thomas Sheridan, his tutor, and
examined closely the bed appropriated to him, in order to see that it
was well aired. The landlord, indignant at this investigation, called
out to him, "That the bed was so good, and the sheets were so good, that
a prince might sleep in them."[52]

The farm-house in which this little incident took place, and which first
received the Prince, who was destined to occupy so great a variety of
dwellings in Scotland, was situated in Borrodale, a wild, mountainous
tract of country, which forms a tongue of land between two bays.
Borrodale, being difficult of access, was well-chosen as the
landing-place of Charles; whilst around, in most directions, were the
well-wishers to his cause.

The Marquis of Tullibardine accompanied Charles in his progress until
the Prince landed at Glenfinnin,[53] which is situated about twenty
miles from Fort William, and forms the outlet from Moidart to Lochaber;
here the standard of Charles Edward was unfurled. The scene in which
this ill-omened ceremonial took place is a deep and narrow valley, in
which the river Finnin runs between high and craggy mountains, which are
inaccessible to every species of carriage, and only to be surmounted by
travellers on foot. At each end of the vale is a lake of about twelve
miles in length, and behind the stern mountains which enclose the glen,
are salt-water lakes, one of them an arm of the sea. The river Finnin
empties itself into the Lake of Glenshiel, at the extremity of the glen.
On the eighteenth of August Prince Charles crossed this lake, slept at
Glensiarick, and on the nineteenth proceeded to Glenfinnin.

When Charles landed in the glen, he gazed around anxiously for Cameron
of Lochiel, the younger, whom he expected to have joined him. He looked
for some time in vain; that faithful adherent was not then in sight, nor
was the glen, as the Prince had expected, peopled by any of the clansmen
whose gathering he had expected. A few poor people from the little knot
of hovels, which was called the village, alone greeted the ill-starred
adventurer. Disconcerted, Prince Charles entered one of the hovels,
which are still standing, and waited there for about two hours. At the
end of that time, the notes of the pibroch were heard, and presently,
descending from the summit of a hill, appeared the Camerons, advancing
in two lines, each of them three men deep. Between the lines walked the
prisoners of war, who had been taken some days previously near Loch

The Prince, exhilarated by the sight of six or seven hundred brave
Highlanders, immediately gave orders for the standard to be unfurled.

The office of honour was entrusted to the Marquis of Tullibardine, on
account of his high rank and importance to the cause. The spot chosen
for the ceremony was a knoll in the centre of the vale. Upon this little
eminence the Marquis stood, supported on either side by men, for his
health was infirm, and what we should now call a premature old age was
fast approaching. The banner which it was his lot to unfurl displayed no
motto, nor was there inscribed upon it the coffin and the crown which
the vulgar notion in England assigned to it. It was simply a large
banner of red silk, with a white space in the middle. The Marquis held
the staff until the Manifesto of the Chevalier and the Commission of
Regency had been read. In a few hours the glen in which this solemnity
had been performed, was filled not only with Highlanders, but with
ladies and gentlemen to admire the spectacle. Among them was the
celebrated Miss, or, more properly, Mrs. Jeanie Cameron, whose
passionate attachment for the Prince rendered her so conspicuous in the
troublous period of 1745. The description given of her in Bishop
Forbes's Jacobite Memoirs destroys much of the romance of the story
commonly related of her. "She is a widow," he declares, "nearer fifty
than forty years of age. She is a genteel, well-looking, handsome woman,
with a pair of pretty eyes, and hair black as jet. She is of a very
sprightly genius, and is very agreeable in conversation. She was so far
from accompanying the Prince's army, that she went off with the rest of
the spectators as soon as the army marched; neither did she ever follow
the camp, nor ever was with the Prince in private, except when he was in

Soon after the unfurling of the standard, we find the Marquis of
Tullibardine writing to Mrs. Robertson of Lude, a daughter of Lord
Nairn, and desiring her to put the Castle of Blair into some order, and
to do honours of the place when the Prince should come there. The
Marquis, it is here proper to mention, was regarded by all the Jacobites
as still the head of his house, and uniformly styled by that party the
"Duke of Athole," yet he seldom adopted the title himself; and in only
one or two instances in his correspondence does the signature of Athole

On the thirty-first of August the Prince visited the famous Blair
Athole, or Field of Athole, the word _Blair_ signifying a pleasant land,
and being descriptive of that beautiful vale situated in the midst of
wild and mountainous scenery.

After riding along a black moor, in sight of vast mountains, the castle,
a plain massive white house, appears in view. It is seated on an
eminence above a plain watered by the Gary, called, by Pennant, "an
outrageous stream, which laves and rushes along vast beds of gravel on
the valley below."

The approach to Blair Castle winds up a very steep and high hill, and
through a great birch wood, forming a most picturesque scene, from the
pendent form of the boughs waving with the wind from the bottom to the
utmost summits of the mountains. On attaining the top, a view of the
beautiful little Straith, fertile and wooded, with the river in the
middle, delights the beholder. The stream, after meandering in various
circles, suddenly swells into a lake that fills the vale from side to
side; this lake is about three miles long, and retains the name of the

When Prince Charles visited Blair, it was a fortified house, and capable
of holding out a siege afterwards against his adherents. Its height was
consequently lowered, but the inside has been finished with care by the
ducal owner. The environs of this beautiful place are thus described by
the graphic pen of Pennant,[56] whose description of them, having been
written in 1769, is more likely to apply to the state in which it was
when Prince Charles beheld it, than that of any more modern traveller.

"The Duke of Athoel's estate is very extensive, and the country
populous; while vassalage existed, the chieftain could raise two or
three thousand fighting-men, and leave sufficient at home to take care
of the ground. The forests, or rather chases, (for they are quite
naked,) are very extensive, and feed vast numbers of stags, which range
at certain times of the year in herds of five hundred. Some grow to a
great size. The hunting of these animals was formerly after the manner
of an Eastern monarch. Thousands of vassals surrounded a great tract of
country, and drove the deer to the spot where the chieftains were
stationed, who shot them at their leisure.

"Near the house is a fine walk surrounding a very deep glen, finely
wooded, but in dry weather deficient in water at the bottom; but on the
side of the walk on the rock is a small crystalline fountain, inhabited
at that time by a pair of Naiads, in the form of golden fish.

"In a spruce-fir was a hang-nest of some unknown bird, suspended at the
four corners to the boughs; it was open at top an inch and a half in
diameter, and two deep; the sides and bottom thick, the materials moss,
worsted, and birch-bark, lined with hair and feathers. The stream
affords the parr,[57] a small species of trout seldom exceeding eight
inches in length, marked on the sides with nine large bluish spots, and
on the lateral line with small red ones. No traveller should omit
visiting Yorke Cascade, a magnificent cataract, amidst most suitable
scenery, about a mile distant from the house. This country is very
mountainous, has no natural woods, except of birch; but the vast
plantations that begin to cloath the hills will amply supply these

With what sensations must the Marquis of Tullibardine have approached
this beautiful and princely territory, from which he had been excluded,
his vassals becoming the vassals of a younger brother, and he a
proscribed and aged man, visiting as an alien the home of his youth!

Sanguine hopes, however, perhaps mitigated the bitterness of the
reflections with which the faithful and disinterested Marquis of
Tullibardine once more found himself within the precincts of his proud

Several anecdotes are told of Prince Charles at Blair; among others,
"that when the Prince was at the Castle, he went into the garden, and
taking a walk upon the bowling-green, he said he had never seen a
bowling-green before; upon which Mrs. Robertson of Lude called for some
bowls that he might see them, but he told her that he had had a present
of bowls sent him, as a curiosity, to Rome from England."[59]

On the second of September, the Prince left Blair and went to the house
of Lude, where he was very cheerful, and took his share in several
dances, such as minuets and Highland reels; the first reel the Prince
called for was, "This is no' mine ain House;" he afterwards commanded a
Strathspey minuet to be danced.

On the following day, while dining at Dunkeld, some of the company
happened to observe what a thoughtful state his father would now be in
from the consideration of those dangers and difficulties which he had to
encounter, and remarked that upon this account he was much to be pitied,
because his mind must be much upon the rack. The Prince replied, that he
did not half so much pity his father as his brother;[60] "for," (he
said) "the King has been inured to disappointments and distresses, and
has learnt to bear up easily under the misfortunes of life; but, poor
Harry!--his young and tender years make him much to be pitied, for few
brothers love as we do."

On the fourth of September, Prince Charles entered Perth; the Marquis of
Tullibardine, as it appears from several letters addressed to him by
Lord George Murray, who wrote from Perth, remained at Blair, but only,
as it is evident from the following extract from a letter by Lord George
Murray, whilst awaiting the arrangement of active operations. On the
twenty-second of September he received a commission from the Prince,
constituting and appointing him Commander-in-Chief of the forces north
of the Forth; the active duties of the post were, however, fulfilled by
Lord George Murray, who writes in the character of a general:[61]

    "Dear Brother,

    "Things vary so much from time to time, that I can say nothing
    certain as yet, but refer you to the enclosed letter; but depend
    upon having another express from me with you before Monday night.
    But in the meantime you must resolve to be ready to march on Tuesday
    morning, by Keinacan and Tay Bridge, so as to be at Crieff on
    Wednesday, and even that way, if you do your best, you will be half
    a mark behind; but you will be able to make that up on Thursday,
    when I reckon we may meet at Dumblane, or Doun; but of this more
    fully in my next. It is believed for certain, that Cope will embark
    at Aberdeen.

    "I hope the meal was with you this day, thirty-five bolls,--for it
    was at Invar last night. It shall be my study to have more meal with
    you on Monday night, for you must distribute a peck a man; and cost
    what it will, there must be frocks made to each man to contain a
    peck or two for the men to have always with them.

    "Buy linen, yarn, or anything, for these frocks are of absolute
    necessity--nothing can be done without them. His Royal Highness
    desires you to acquaint Glenmoriston and Glenco, if they come your
    way of this intended march, so that they may go by Taybridge (if you
    please, with you), and what meal you can spare let them have. You
    may please tell your own people that there is a project to get arms
    for them. Yours. Adieu.

                                                    "George Murray."

From his age and infirmities, the Marquis was precluded from taking an
active part in the long course of events which succeeded the unfurling
of the standard at Glenfinnin. He appears to have exercised a gentle,
but certain sway over the conduct of others, and especially to have
possessed a control over the high-spirited Lord George Murray, whose
conduct he did not always approve.[62]

Whilst at Blair, the Marquis was saluted as Duke of Athole by all who
entered his house; but the honour was accompanied by some
mortifications. His younger brother, the Duke of Athole, had taken care
to carry away everything that could be conveyed, and to drive off every
animal that could be driven from his territory. The Marquis had
therefore great difficulty in providing even a moderate entertainment
for the Prince; whilst the army, now grown numerous, were almost
starving. "The priests," writes a contemptuous opponent, "never had a
fitter opportunity to proclaim a general fast than the present. No bull
of the Pope's would ever have been more certain of finding a most exact
and punctual obedience."

After the battle of Culloden had sealed the fate of the Jacobites, the
Marquis of Tullibardine was forced, a second time, to seek a place of
refuge. He threw himself, unhappily, upon the mercy of one who little
deserved the confidence which was reposed in his honour, or merited the
privilege of succouring the unfortunate. The following are the
particulars of his fate:--

About three weeks after the battle of Culloden the Marquis of
Tullibardine traversed the moors and mountains through Strathane in
search of a place of safety and repose: he had become a very infirm old
man, and so unfit for travelling on horseback, that he had a saddle made
on purpose, somewhat like a chair, in which he rode in the manner ladies
usually do.

On arriving in the vicinity of Loch Lomond he was quite worn out, and
recollecting that a daughter of the family of Polmain (who were
connected with his own) was married to Buchanan of Drumakiln, who lived
in a detached peninsula, running out into the lake, the fainting
fugitive thought, on these accounts, that the place might be suitable
for a temporary refuge. The Marquis was attended by a French secretary,
two servants of that nation, and two or three Highlanders, who had
guided him through the solitary passes of the mountains. Against the
judgment of these faithful attendants, he bent his course to the Ross,
for so the house of Drumakiln is called, where the Laird of Drumakiln
was living with his son. The Marquis, after alighting, begged to have a
private interview with his cousin, the wife of Drumakiln; he told this
lady he was come to put his life into her hands, and what, in some
sense, he valued more than life, a small casket,[63] which he delivered
to her, intreating her, whatever became of him, that she would keep that
carefully till demanded in his name, as it contained papers of
consequence to the honour and safety of many other persons. Whilst he
was thus talking, the younger Drumakiln rudely broke in upon him, and
snatching away the casket, he said he would secure it in a safe place,
and went out. Meantime the French secretary and the servants were
watchful and alarmed at seeing the father and son walking in earnest
consultation, and observing horses saddled and dispatched with an air
of mystery, whilst every one appeared to regard them with compassion.
All this time the Marquis was treated with seeming kindness; but his
attendants suspected some snare. They burst into loud lamentations, and
were described by some children, who observed them, to be 'greeting and
roaring like women.' This incident the lady of Drumakiln (who was a
person of some capacity) afterwards told her neighbours as a strange
instance of effeminacy in these faithful adherents.

At night the secretary went secretly to his master's bedside, and
assured him there was treachery. The Marquis answered he could believe
no gentleman capable of such baseness, and at any rate he was incapable
of escaping through such defiles as they had passed; he told him in that
case it could only aggravate his sorrow to see him also betrayed; and
advised him to go off immediately, which he did. Early in the morning a
party from Dumbarton, summoned for that purpose, arrived to carry the
Marquis away prisoner. He bore his fate with calm magnanimity. The fine
horses which he brought with him were detained, and he and one attendant
who remained were mounted on some horses belonging to Drumakiln. Such
was the general sentiment of disgust with Drumakiln, that the officer
who commanded the party taunted that gentleman in the bitterest manner,
and the commander of Dumbarton Castle, who treated his noble prisoner
with the utmost respect and compassion, regarded Drumakiln with the
coldest disdain. The following anecdotes of the odium which Drumakiln
incurred, are related by Mrs. Grant.[64]

"Very soon after the Marquis had departed, young Drumakiln mounted the
Marquis's horse, (the servant riding another which had belonged to that
nobleman,) and set out to a visit to his father-in-law Polmaise.

"When he alighted, he gave his horse to a groom who, knowing the Marquis
well, recognised him--'Come in poor beast (said he); times are changed
with you since you carried a noble Marquis, but you shall always be
treated well here for his sake.' Drumakiln ran in to his father-in-law,
complaining that his servant insulted him. Polmaise made no answer, but
turning on his heel, rang the bell for the servant, saying, 'That
gentleman's horses.'

"After this and several other rebuffs the father and son began to shrink
from the infamy attached to this proceeding. There was at that time only
one newspaper published at Edinburgh, conducted by the well-known
Ruddiman; to this person the elder Drumakiln addressed a letter or
paragraph to be inserted in his paper, bearing that on such a day the
Marquis surrendered to him at his house. This was regularly dated at
Ross: very soon after the father and son went together to Edinburgh, and
waiting on the person appointed to make payments for affairs of this
nature, demanded their reward. It should have been before observed,
that the Government were at this time not at all desirous to apprehend
the Marquis, though his name was the first inserted in the proclamation.
This capture indeed greatly embarrassed them, as it would be cruel to
punish, and partial to pardon him. The special officer desired Drumakiln
to return the next day for the money. Meanwhile he sent privately to
Ruddiman and examined him about the paragraph already mentioned. They
found it on his file, in the old Laird's handwriting, and delivered it
to the commissioner. The commissioner delivered the paragraph, in his
own handwriting, up to the elder, saying, '_There_ is an order to the
Treasury, which ought to satisfy you,' and turned away from him with
marked contempt."

"Soon after the younger laird was found dead in his bed, to which he had
retired in usual health. Of five children which he left, it would shock
humanity to relate the wretched lives, and singular, and untimely
deaths, of whom, indeed, it might be said,

    "On all the line a sudden vengeance waits,
    And frequent hearses shall besiege their gates."

And they were literally considered by all the neighbourhood as caitiffs,

               "Whose breasts the furies steel'd
    And curst with hearts unknowing how to yield."--POPE.

The blasting influence of more than dramatic justice, or of corroding
infamy, seemed to reach every branch of this devoted family. After the
extinction of the direct male heirs, a brother, who was a captain in
the army, came home to take possession of the property. He was a person
well-respected in life, and possessed some talent, and much amenity of
manners. The country gentlemen, however, shunned and disliked him, on
account of the existing prejudice. This person, thus shunned and
slighted, seemed to grow desperate, and plunged into the lowest and most
abandoned profligacy. It is needless to enter into a detail of crimes
which are hastening to desired oblivion. It is enough to observe that
the signal miseries of this family have done more to impress the people
of that district with a horror of treachery, and a sense of retributive
justice, than volumes of the most eloquent instruction could effect. On
the dark question relative to temporal judgments it becomes us not to
decide. Yet it is of some consequence, in a moral view, to remark how
much all generous emulation, all hope of future excellence, is quenched
in the human mind by the dreadful blot of imputed infamy."[65]

This account of the retributive justice of public opinion which was
visited upon Drumakiln, is confirmed by other authority.[66] It is
consolatory to reflect that the Marquis of Tullibardine, after a life
spent in an honest devotion to the cause which he believed to be just,
was spared, by a merciful release, from the horrors of a public trial,
and of a condemnation to the scaffold, which age and ill-health were not
sufficient pleas to avert. After remaining some weeks in confinement at
Dumbarton, he was carried to Edinburgh, where he remained until the
thirteenth of May, 1746. He was then put on board the Eltham man-of-war,
lying in the Leith Roads, bound for London. His health all this time was
declining, yet he had the inconvenience of a long sea voyage to sustain,
for the Eltham went north for other prisoners before it sailed for
London. But at length the Marquis reached his last home, the Tower,
where he arrived on the twenty-first of June. He survived only until the
ninth of July.

Little is known of this unfortunate nobleman, except what is honourable,
consistent, and amiable. He had almost ceased to be Scotch, except in
his attachments, and could scarcely write his own language. He seems to
have been generally respected; and he bore his reverses of fortune with
calmness and fortitude. In his last moments he is said to have declared,
that although he had been as much attached to the cause of James Stuart
as any of his adherents, if he might now advise his countrymen, it
should be never more to enter into rebellious measures, for, having
failed in the last attempt, every future one would be hopeless.[68]

The Marquis died in the fifty-eighth year of his age, and was buried in
the chapel in the Tower, which has received few more honest men, or
public characters more true to the principles which they have professed.

The following letter, written in March, 1746, during the siege of Blair
Castle, when it was commanded by a garrison under Sir Andrew Agnew, and
addressed to Lord George Murray, shows the strong sense which the
Marquis entertained of what was due to his country and his cause.

    "Brother George,

    "Since, contrary to the rules of right reason, you was pleased to
    tell me a sham story about the expedition to Blair, without further
    ceremony for me, you may now do what the gentlemen of the country
    think fit with the castle: I am in no concern about it. Our
    great-great-grandfather, grandfather, and father's pictures will be
    an irreparable loss on blowing up the house; but there is no
    comparison to be made with these faint images of our forefathers and
    the more necessary publick service, which requires we should
    sacrifice everything that can valuably contribute towards the
    country's safety, as well as materially advancing the royal cause.
    Pray give my kind service to all valuable friends, to which I can
    add nothing but that, in all events, you may be assured I shall ever
    be found with just regard, dear brother, your most affectionate
    brother and humble servant."

     "March 26, 1746."

    "PS. At the upper end of the door of the old stable, there was
    formerly a gate which had a portcullis into the castle; it is half
    built up and boarded over on the stable side, large enough to hold a
    horse at hack and manger. People that don't know the place imagine
    it may be much easier dug through than any other part of the wall,
    so as to make a convenient passage into the vaulted room, which is
    called the servants' hall."

Of the fate of this princely territory, and upon the fortunes of the
family of which the Marquis of Tullibardine was so respectable a member,
much remains to be related; but it appertains more properly to the life
of the warlike and ambitious brother of the Marquis, the celebrated Lord
George Murray.


[44] Lord Lovat's Memoirs, p. 39.

[45] Wood's Peerage.

[46] Reay, p. 78.

[47] Wood's Peerage.

[48] See Brown's History of the Highlands. But Home, in his History of
the Rebellion, speaks of Lords Tullibardine and Seaforth as coming from
a different quarter. "Most of these persons," he says, "came privately
from France."

[49] Athol Correspondence. Printed for the Abbotsford Club. App. 229.

[50] Home's History of the Rebellion, p. 19.

[51] Home, pp. 22, 23.

[52] Jacobite Memoirs.

[53] Glenfinnin is in the shire of Inverness, and the parish of Glenelg.
It is situated at the head of Loch Shiel.

[54] Jacobite Memoirs, p. 23.

[55] Introductory Notice, Athol Correspondence, p. ix.

[56] Pennant's Scotland, vol. i. p. 118.

[57] It has lately been proved, beyond doubt, that the parr is a young
salmon, not a distinct fish.

[58] Pennant, p. 119.

[59] Jacobite Memoirs, pp. 26, 27.

[60] Henry Benedict, afterwards Cardinal York.

[61] Jacobite Memoirs, p. 31.

[62] See Forbes's Jacobite Memoirs, p. 51.

[63] This casket was never more seen. It was supposed to contain family

[64] Mrs. Grant's MS. For which I am indebted for the whole of this

[65] Mrs. Grant's MS.

[66] Note in Forbes's Jacobite Memoirs, p. 3.

[67] Wood's Peerage.

[68] Athole Correspondence. Introductory Notice.


The name Maclean, abbreviated from Mac Gillean, is derived from the
founder of the clan, "Gillean n'a Tuaidh," Gillean of the Battle-axe, so
called from his carrying with him as his ordinary weapon, a battle-axe.
From this hero are descended the three principal families who compose
the clan Maclean, who was also designated Gillean of Duart.

It is related of Gillean that, being one day engaged in a stag-hunt on
the mountain of Bein't Sheala, and having wandered away from the rest of
his party, the mountain became suddenly enveloped in a deep mist, and
that he lost his track. For three days he wandered about; and, at length
exhausted, threw himself under the shelter of a cranberry bush,
previously fixing the handle of his battle-axe in the earth. He was
discovered by his party, who had been vainly endeavouring to find him,
insensible on the ground, with his arm round the handle of the
battle-axe, whilst the head of the weapon rose above the bush. Hence,
probably, the origin of the crest used by the clan Maclean, the
battle-axe surrounded by a laurel-branch.[69]

To Gillean of the Battle-axe various origins have been ascribed; truly
is it observed, that "there is little wisdom in attempting to thread the
mazes of fanciful and traditionary genealogies."[70] Like other families
of importance, in feudal times, the Macleans had their seneachie, or
historian; and, by the last of these, Dr. John Beaton, the descent, in
regular order, from Aonaglius Turmi Teanebrach, a powerful monarch of
Ireland, to Fergus the First, of Scotland, is traced.

A tradition had indeed prevailed, that the founder, of the house of
Maclean was a son of Fitzgerald, an Earl of Kildare,--a supposition
which is contemptuously rejected by the historian of this ancient race.
"In fact," he remarks, "from various sources, Gillean can be proved to
have been in his grave, long before such a title as Earl of Kildare was
known, and nearly two hundred years before the name of Fitzgerald
existed."[71] It appears, indeed, undoubted, from ancient records and
well-authenticated sources, that the origin of Gillean was derived from
the source which has been stated.

When the lordship of the Isles was forfeited, the clan Maclean was
divided into four branches, each of which held of the Lords of the
Isles; these branches were the Macleans of Duart, the Macleans of
Lochbuy, the Macleans of Coll, and the Macleans of Ardgour. Of these,
the most important branch was the family of Duart, founded by Lachlan
Maclean, surnamed Lubanich. This powerful chief obtained such an
ascendant at the court of the Lord of the Isles, as to provoke the
enmity of the Chief of Mackinnon, who, on the occasion of a stag-hunt,
formed a plot to cut off Lachlan and his brother, Hector Maclean. But
the conspiracy was discovered by its objects; Mackinnon suffered death
at the hands of the two brothers for his design; and the Lord of the
Isles, sailing in his galley towards his Castle of Ardtorinsh in Morven,
was captured, and carried to Icolumb-kill, where he was obliged, sitting
on the famous black rock of Iona, held sacred in those days, to swear
that he would bestow in marriage upon Lachlan Lubanich his daughter
Margaret, granddaughter, by her mother's side, of Robert the Second,
King of Scotland: and with her, as a dowry, to give to the Lord of
Duart, Eriska, with all its isles. The dowry demanded consisted of a
towering rock, commanding an extensive view of the islands by which it
is surrounded, and occupying a central situation among those
tributaries.[72] From the bold and aspiring chief was Sir John Maclean
of Duart descended. The marriage of Lachlan Lubanich with Margaret of
the Isles took place in the year 1366.[73]

Between the time of Lachlan Lubanich and the birth of Sir John Maclean,
the house of Duart encountered various reverses of fortune. It has been
shown how the chief added the rock of Eriska to his possessions; in the
course of the following century, a great part of the Isles of Mull and
Tirey, with detached lands in Isla, Jura, Scarba, and in the districts
of Morven, Lochaber, and Knapdale, were included in the estates of the
chiefs of Duart, who rose, in the time of James the Sixth, to be among
the most powerful of the families of the Hebrides. The principal seats
of the chiefs of the Macleans were Duart and Aros Castles in Mull,
Castle Gillean in Kerrara, on the coast of Lorn, and Ardtornish Castle
in Morven. In 1632, on occasion of the visit of one of the chiefs,
Lachlan, to the Court of Charles the First, he was created a Baronet of
Nova Scotia, by the title of Sir Lachlan Maclean of Morven. But various
circumstances, and more especially the enmity of the Argyle family, and
the adherence of Maclean to the Stuarts, had contributed to the decline
of their pre-eminence before the young chief, whose destiny it was to
make his name known and feared at the court of England, had seen the

The family of Maclean in all its numerous and complicated branches, had
been distinguished for loyalty and independence during the intervening
centuries between the career of Gillean and the birth of that chieftain
whose devotion to the Jacobite cause proved eventually the ruin of the
house of Duart. Throughout the period of the Great Rebellion, and of the
Protectorate, the chief of the Macleans had made immense sacrifices to
support the interests of the King, and to bring his clan into the field.
In the disgraceful transactions, by which it was agreed that Scotland
should withdraw her troops from England upon the payment of four hundred
thousand pounds, in full of all demands, the faithful Highland clans of
the north and west, the Grahams, Macleans, Camerons, and many others,
had no participation. One main actor in that bargain, by which a monarch
was bought and sold, was the Marquis of Argyle, the enemy and terror of
his Highland neighbours, the Macleans of Duart. Upon the suppression of
the royal authority, domestic feuds were ripened into hostilities during
the general anarchy; and few of the oppressed and harassed clans
suffered more severely, or more permanently than the Macleans of Duart.

Archibald, the first Marquis of Argyle, fixed an indelible stain upon
his memory by acts of unbridled licence and aggression, in relation to
his Highland neighbours; the unfortunate Macleans of Duart especially
experienced the effects of his wrath, and suffered from his

In the time of Cromwell, Argyle having procured from the Lords of the
Treasury, a grant of the tithes of Argyleshire, with a commission to
collect several arrears of the feu-duty, cesses, taxation, and supply,
and some new contributions laid on the subject by Parliament, under the
names of ammunition and contribution money, the power which such an
authority bestowed, in days when the standard of right was measured by
the amount of force, may readily be conceived. On the part of Argyle,
long-cherished views on the territories of his neighbour, Maclean of
Duart, were now brought into co-operation with the most remorseless
abuse of authority.

Sir Lachlan Maclean of Duart, the great-grandfather of Sir John Maclean,
was then chief of the clan. The Marquis of Argyle directed that
application should be made to this unfortunate man for his quota of
these arrears, and also for some small sums for which he had himself
been security for the chief. Sir Lachlan was in no condition to comply
with this demand; for he had suffered more deeply in the royal cause
than any of his predecessors. During the rule of Argyle and Leslie in
Scotland, a rule which might aptly be denominated a reign of terror, the
possessions of the chief in Mull had been ravaged by the parliamentary
troops, without any resistance from the harmless inhabitants, who had
been instructed by their lord to offer no retaliation that could furnish
a plea for future oppression. The castle of Duart had been besieged, and
surrendered to Argyle and Leslie, upon condition that the defenceless
garrison, and eight Irish gentlemen, inmates of the hospitable
Highlander's home, should be spared. Still more, the infant son of Sir
Lachlan had been kidnapped from his school at Dumbarton by Argyle, and
was paraded by the side of the Marquis to intimidate the chief, who was
made to understand that any resistance from him would be fatal to his
child,--"an instrument," observes the seneachie, "which the coward well
knew might be used with greater effect upon the noble father of his
captive, than all the Campbell swords the craven lord could muster."
Under these circumstances, Sir Lachlan Maclean was neither in the temper
nor the condition to comply with the exactions of those whom he also
regarded as having usurped the sovereign authority. He refused; and his
refusal was exactly what his enemy desired.

The next step which Argyle took was to claim the amount due to him from
the chief, which, by buying up all the debts, public and private, of
Maclean, he swelled to thirty thousand pounds, before a court of law.
Such was the state of Scottish judicial proceedings in those days, that
the process was ended before Sir Lachlan had even heard of its
commencement. He hastened, when informed of it, to Edinburgh, in order
to make known his case before the "Committee of Estates," then acting
with sovereign authority in Scotland. But he was intercepted at
Inverary, cast into prison upon a writ of attachment, issued and signed
by Argyle himself, and immured in Argyle's castle of Carrick, for a debt
due to Archibald, Marquis of Argyle. It was there required of him that
he should grant a bond for fourteen thousand pounds Scots, and sign a
doqueted account for sixteen thousand pounds more, bearing interest.

For a time the unhappy chief refused to sign the bond thus demanded; for
a year he resisted the oppression of his enemy, and bore his
imprisonment, with the aggravation of declining health. At last his
friends, alarmed at his sinking condition, entreated him, as the only
means of release, to comply with the demand of Argyle. Sir Lachlan
signed the document, was set free, and returned to Duart, where he
expired in April, 1649. To his family he bequeathed a legacy of
contention and misfortune.

His successor, Sir Hector Maclean, the young hostage who had been
kidnapped from Dumbarton, was a youth of a warlike and determined
spirit, who resisted the depredations of the plundering clan of
Campbells in Lorn and Ardnamuchan, and, on one occasion, hung up two of
the invaders at his castle of Dunnin Morvern. Such, in spite of this
summary mode of proceeding, were Sir Hector's ideas of honour, that,
notwithstanding his doubts of the validity of the bond obtained from his
father, he conceived that the superscription of his father's name to it
rendered it his duty to comply with its conditions as he could. He is
declared by one authority to have paid ten thousand pounds of the
demand; by another that fact is doubted, since, when Sir John Maclean's
guardians investigated it, no receipts for sums alleged to have been
paid on account were to be found.[75] But this is again accounted for by
the seneachie or family historian.

Sir Hector Maclean fell in the battle of Inverkeithing, where, out of
eight hundred of his clan who fought against General Lambert, only forty
escaped. He was succeeded by his brother Allan, a child, subject to the
management of guardians. By their good care, a great portion of the debt
to Argyle was paid, but there still remained sufficient to afford the
insatiable enemy of his house a fair pretext of aggression. The case was
again brought before the Scottish Council; it was even referred to
Charles the Second; but, by the representations of the Duke of
Lauderdale, the Argyle influence prevailed. The famous Marquis of Argyle
was, indeed, no longer in existence; he had perished on the scaffold:
but his son still grasped at the possessions of his neighbour; and,
although King Charles desired that Lauderdale "should see that Maclean
had justice," the Duke, who was then Scottish Lord Commissioner, on his
return to Scotland, decided that the rents of the estates should be made
payable to Argyle on account of the bond, a certain portion of them
being reserved for the maintenance of the chief.

Sir Allan died a little more than a year after this decision had been
made, ignorant of the decree; and left, to bear the buffeting of the
storm, his son, Sir John Maclean, a child only four years of age, who
succeeded his father in 1677.[76] His estates had been placed under the
care of two of his nearest kinsmen, Lachlan Maclean of Brolas, and
Lachlan Maclean of Torloisk, men of profound judgment and of firm
character, from whose guardianship much was expected by the clan. But
the minor possessed a friend as true as any kinsman could be, and one of
undoubted influence and sagacity, in the celebrated Sir Ewan Cameron of
Lochiel. Against his interest, in despite of Argyle, that brave and
noble man espoused the cause of the weak and of the fatherless,
notwithstanding that he was himself a debtor to Argyle, of whose power
and will to injure he had shortly a proof. Finding that Lochiel was
resolved to protect and assist the young Maclean, the Earl of Argyle[77]
sent to demand from Sir Ewan the payment of the debt he owed, assuring
him that it was his intention to follow out the law with the greatest
rigour. Sir Ewan answered that he had not the money to pay, neither
would he act against his friends. This threat, however, obliged Sir Ewan
to continue in arms, contrary to proclamation, and also to obtain a
protection from the Privy Council in Edinburgh, against the vengeance of

But that which occasioned the greatest vexation to Sir Ewan, was an
opportunity which he conceived that the tutors or guardians of the young
Maclean had lost the power of emancipating their ward from the clutches
of Argyle's power. This, he thought, might have been effected upon the
forfeiture of the Marquis of Argyle to the Crown, when he considered
that an opportunity might have been afforded to Maclean's guardians to
release their ward from Argyle's hands, by a transaction with certain
creditors of that nobleman, to whom the sum claimed by Argyle from
Maclean had been promised, but never paid. Thus, by an unaccountable
oversight, the power of the Argyle family over the fortunes of the
Macleans was continued.

Under these adverse circumstances, Sir John Maclean succeeded to his
inheritance. His principal guardian, although bearing a high reputation
among the clan, was esteemed by Sir Ewan as "a person who seems to have
been absolutely unfitt for manageing his affairs att such a
juncture;"[78] and soon proved to be far too easy and credulous to
contest with the crafty Campbells. Full of compassion for the helpless
infant chief, Sir Ewan now resolved never to abandon the Macleans until
matters were adjusted between them. He passed the winter of the year in
Edinburgh, where he was, at one time, so much incensed against the Earl
of Argyle for his cruelty to the Macleans, and so indignant at his
conduct to himself, that the valiant chief of the Camerons was with
difficulty restrained by his servant from shooting Argyle as he stepped
into his coach to attend the council.[79]

Whilst the counsels of Sir Ewan Cameron prevailed with the guardians,
the Macleans remained merely on the defensive; but when the insinuations
of Lord Macdonald, who had much influence with one of the young heir's
guardians, were listened to, the Macleans were incited to reprisals and
plunder, to which it was at all times no difficult matter to stimulate

At length the powerful and mortal foe succeeded to his heart's content
in his scheme of oppression. Argyle, in his capacity of Hereditary
Justiciary of the Isles, summoned the clan Maclean to appear and stand
their trials for treasonable convocations, garrisoning their houses and
castles, &c.; the unfortunate clansmen, knowing their enemy to be both
judge and evidence, did not obey. Immediately they were declared rebels
and outlaws, and a commission of fire and sword was issued against them.
All communication between them and the Privy Council, who might have
redressed their wrongs, was cut off: those who happened to fall into the
hands of the Campbells, were cruelly treated; and those who styled
themselves Maclean were blockaded in the Islands, and almost starved for
want of provisions. Reduced in strength by the battle of Inverkeithing,
the clan was but ill-prepared to resist so formidable a foe as Argyle,
whose men, therefore, landed without opposition, the people flying to
their mountains as the enemy approached. The young chief was sent, for
protection, first to the fortified island of Thernburg, and afterwards
to Kintail, under the care of the Earl of Seaforth, who had, not long
previously, acted as a sort of arbitrator in the affairs of the

While Sir John Maclean was thus, probably, unconscious of his wrongs and
dangers, secured from personal injury, the strong old Castle of Duart
was taken possession of by Argyle, who, finding it garrisoned, was
obliged to publish an indemnity, which he had obtained on purpose,
remitting all crimes committed by the Macleans since the eighteenth of
September, 1674, on condition that the castle should be delivered to
him,--a demand with which the islanders were forced to comply. But in
vain did Argyle endeavour to prevail upon the honest and simple clansmen
to renounce their allegiance to their chief, and to become his
vassals.[81] Every species of indignity and of plunder was inflicted
upon these hapless, but faithful Highlanders in vain; a "monster," as he
is termed, "bearing the stamp of human appearance, named Sir Neill
Campbell," in vain chased the poor inhabitants to the hills, and there
exhibited acts of cruelty too shocking to be related. A promise,
however, of payment of rents was at last obtained by Argyle, and he left
the island, after garrisoning the castles. But this tribute was never
paid. The Macleans could neither bear to see the halls of Duart and of
Aros Castle tenanted by their foes, nor would they submit to pay to them
their rents. A league of defence was again formed; letters of fire and
sword were, in consequence, issued; but Argyle was baffled by a
hurricane in his second invasion of Duart. Nature conspired with the
injured in their protection; and, after some time, the guardians of Sir
John Maclean, accompanied by Lord Macdonald, proceeded to London in
order to appeal to the Privy Council. The appeal thus made was prolonged
until the year 1680, when it was at last settled by the Scottish
Council; and the island of Tyrie was given to the Earl of Argyle, in
full payment of his claim upon the estates of Sir John Maclean.

The character of the young chief was, meantime, formed under the
influence of these events, of which, when he grew up, whilst yet the
storm raged, he could not be ignorant. One principle he inherited from
his ancestors--a determined fidelity to the Stuart cause. When he was
fifteen years of age, the death of his guardians threw the management of
his affairs into his own hands; this was in the years 1686 and 1687, one
of the most critical periods in English history. Having appointed
certain gentlemen his agents, or factors, the young chief went,
according to the fashion of his times, to travel. He first repaired to
the Court of England, at that time under the sway of James the Second;
he then crossed to France, and returned not to the British dominions
until he accompanied James into Ireland.

The character of Sir John Maclean, as he attained manhood, and entered
into the active business of life, has been drawn with great felicity by
the author of "The Memoirs of Lochiel."[82]

"He was," says this writer, "of a person and disposition more turned
for the court and the camp, than for the business of a private life.
There was a natural vivacity and politeness in his manner, which he
afterwards much improved by a courtly education; and, as his person was
well-made and gracefull, so he took care to sett it off by all the
ornaments and luxury of dress. He was of a sweet temper, and
good-natured. His witt lively and sparkeling, and his humour pleasant
and facetious. He loved books, and acquired the languages with great
facility, whereby he cultivated and enriched his understanding with all
manner of learning, but especially the belles lettres; add to this, a
natural elegancy of expression, and ane inexhaustible fancy, which, on
all occasions, furnished him with such a copious variety of matter, as
rendered his conversation allways new and entertaining. But with all
these shining qualitys, the natural indolence of his temper, and ane
immoderate love of pleasure, made him unsuiteable to the circumstances
of his family. No persons talked of affairs, private or publick, with a
better grace, or more to the purpose, but he could not prevail with
himself to be att the least trouble in the execution. He seemed to know
everything, and from the smallest hint so penetrated into the
circumstances of other people's buisiness, that he often did great
services by his excellent advice; and he was of a temper so kind and
obligeing, that he was fond of every occasion or doeing good to his
friends, while he neglected many inviteing opportunities of serveing

The first hostilities between France and England, after the Revolution,
broke out in Ireland, whence it was the design of James the Second to
incite his English and Scottish subjects to his cause. And there was,
apparently, ample grounds for hope; England was rent with factions, Lord
Dundee was raising a civil war in Scotland, and half Europe was in
contention with the other, whether the late King of England should be

"I will recover my own dominions with my own subjects," was the boast of
James, "or perish in the attempt." Unhappily, like his son, his
magnanimity ended in expressions.

Sir John Maclean accompanied James when he landed, on the twelfth of
March, 1689, in Ireland; after the siege of Derry, the chief returned to
Scotland, accompanied by Sir Alexander Maclean of Otter, and there very
soon showed his determination in favour of the insurrection raised by

Sir John Maclean's first step was to send Maclean of Lochbuy as his
lieutenant with three hundred men to join Dundee. His party encountered
a major of General Mackay's army at Knockbreak in Badenoch; a conflict
ensued, and Mackay's men were put to flight. This was the first blood
that was shed for James the Second in Scotland.

Sir John Maclean soon afterwards joined Dundee in person, leaving his
castle of Duart well defended. This fort, which had witnessed so many
invasions, was besieged during the absence of the chief by Sir George
Rooke, who cannonaded it several days without effect. Its owner,
meantime, had joined Dundee, and was appointed to the command of the
right wing of the army.

At the battle of Killicrankie, Sir John Maclean distinguished himself,
as became the descendant of a brave and loyal race, at the head of his
clan; he probably witnessed the death of Dundee. Few events in Scottish
history could have affected those who followed a General to the field so
severely. Lord Dundee had been foremost on foot during the action; he
was foremost on horseback, when the enemy retreated, in the pursuit. He
pressed on to the mouth of the Pass of Killicrankie to cut off the
escape. In a short time he perceived that he had overrun his men: he
stopped short: he waved his arm in the air to make them hasten their
speed. Conspicuous in his person he was observed; a musket-ball was
aimed at that extended arm; it struck him, and found entrance through an
opening in his armour. The brave General was wounded in the arm-pit. He
rode off the field, desiring that the mischance might not be disclosed,
and fainting, dropped from his horse. As soon as he was revived, he
desired to be raised, and looking towards the field of battle asked how
things went. "Well," was the reply. "Then," he said, "I am well," and

William the Third understood the merits of his brave opponent. An
express was sent to Edinburgh with an account of the action. "Dundee,"
said the King (and the _soldier_ spoke), "must be dead, or he would
have been at Edinburgh before the express." When urged to send troops to
Scotland, "It is needless," he answered; "the war ended with Dundee's
life." And the observation was just: a peace was soon afterwards

Sir John Maclean, nevertheless, continued in arms under the command of
Colonel Cannon, and lost several brave officers by the incapacity of
this commander. After the peace was signed, he returned to live upon his
estates, until Argyle, having procured a commission from William to
reduce the Macleans by fire or sword, invaded the island of Mull with
two thousand five hundred men. Sir John being unprepared to resist him,
after advising his vassals to accept protection from Argyle, again
retired to the island of Thernburg, whence he captured several of King
William's vessels which were going to supply the army in Ireland.[84]

The massacre of Glencoe operated in some respects favourably, after the
tragedy had been completed, upon the circumstances of the Jacobites.
Terrified at the odium incurred, a more lenient spirit was henceforth
shown to them by Government. Many persons were exempted from taking the
oaths, and were allowed to remain in their houses. Early in the year
1792, Sir John Maclean took advantage of this favourable turn of
affairs, and, after obtaining permission through the influence of
Argyle, and placing the castle of Duart under that nobleman's control,
he went to England.

He soon became a favourite at the Court of one who, if we except the
massacre of Glencoe, evinced few dispositions of cruelty to the Scottish
Jacobites. King William is said, nevertheless, to have had a real
antipathy to the Highlanders; and Queen Mary, whose heart turned to the
adherents of her forefathers, was obliged to conceal her partiality for
her Northern subjects. It had appeared, however, on several occasions,
during the absence of her consort, and was now evinced in her good
offices to the chief of the clan Maclean. That the chief was of a
deportment to confirm the kind sentiments thus shown towards him, the
character which has been given of him amply proves.

Sir John Maclean was, as the author of Sir Ewan Cameron's life relates,
"the only person of his party that went to Court, which no doubt
contributed much to his being so particularly observed by the Queen, who
received him most graciously, honoured him frequently with her
conversation, and said many kind and obliging things to him. Sir John on
his part acquitted himself with so much politeness and address, that her
Majesty soon began to esteem him. He took the proper occasions to inform
her of the misfortunes of his family, and artfully insinuated that he
and his predecessors had drawn them all upon themselves by the services
they had rendered to her grandfather, father, and uncle. She answered,
that the antiquity and merit of his family were no strangers to her
ears; and that, though she had taken a resolution never to interpose
betwixt her father's friends and the King her husband, yet, she would
distinguish him so far as to recommend his services to his Majesty by a
letter under her own hand; and that she doubted not but that it would
have some influence, since it was the first favour of that nature which
she had ever demanded."

Sir John is, however, declared by another authority to have declined the
commission thus offered to him. Although he had received King James's
permission to reconcile himself with the Government, he did not, it
appears, choose to bear arms in its defence. Such is the statement of
one historian.[86] By another it is said that "Sir John was much
caressed while he continued in the army,"[87]--a sentence which
certainly seems to imply that he had assented to King William's offer.
At all events, he managed to engage the confidence of the King so far,
that William "not only honoured him with his countenance, but told
Argyle that he must part with Sir John's estate, and that he himself
would be the purchaser."

The nobleman to whom William addressed this injunction was of a very
different temper from his father and grandfather, who had both died on
the scaffold. Archibald, afterwards created by William Duke of Argyle,
had in 1685 become the head of that powerful family; he was of a frank,
noble, and generous disposition. "He loved," says the same writer, "his
pleasures, affected magnificence, and valued money no further than as
it contributed to support the expence which the gallantry of his temper
daily put him to. He several times offered very easy terms to Sir John;
and particularly he made one overture of quitting all his pretentions to
that estate, on condition of submitting to be the Earl's vassall for the
greatest part of it, and paying him two thousand pounds sterling, which
he had then by him in ready money; but the expensive gayety of Sir
John's temper made him unwilling to part with the money, and the name of
a vassall suited as ill with his vanity, which occasioned that and
several other proposals to be refused. However, as the generous Earl was
noways uneasy to part with the estate, so he, with his usewall
frankness, answered King William that his Majesty might always command
him and his fortunes; and that he submitted his claim upon Sir John's
estate, as he did everything else, to his royal pleasure."

A tradition exists in the family, that when Argyle sent messengers with
his proposals to the Castle of Duart, Sir John pushed away the boat, as
it neared the shore, with his own hands. This was worthy the pride of a
Highland chieftain.

To such a height, in short, did William's favour amount, and so far did
he in this instance carry his usual policy of conciliating his enemies
by courtesy and aid, that he ordered Maclean to go as a volunteer in his
service, assuring him that he would see that no harm was done to his
property in his absence. Sir John, previous to his intended departure
from England, went to Scotland to put his affairs in order. On his
return he was told by Queen Mary that there were reports to his
prejudice; he denied them, and satisfied the Queen that all suspicions
of his fidelity were unfounded. Upon the strength of this assurance the
Queen wrote in Maclean's favour to the King, in Holland, whither Sir
John then proceeded to join his Majesty. But this profession of fidelity
to one monarch soon proved to be hollow. Maclean was truly one of the
politicians of the day, swayed by every turn of fortune, and cherishing
a deep regard for his own interest in his heart. To inspire dislike and
distrust wherever he desired to secure allegiance was the lot of
William, of whom it has been bitterly said, that in return for having
delivered three kingdoms from popery and slavery, he was, before having
been a year on the throne, repaid "with faction in one of them, with
rebellion in the other, and with both in the third." How expressive was
the exclamation wrung from him, "that he wished he had never been King
of Scotland." Sir John Maclean was one of those who added another proof
to the King's conviction, "that the flame of party once raised, it was
in vain to expect that truth, justice, or public interest could
extinguish it."[88]

On arriving at Bruges, Maclean heard of the battle of Landau, in which
the French army had proved victorious against the Confederates; and at
the same time a report prevailed that a counter revolution had taken
place in England, and that William was already dethroned. Sir John
changed his course upon this intelligence, and hastened to St. Germains,
where he was, as might be expected, coldly received. He remained there
until the death of William, and then he married the daughter of Sir
Enæas Macpherson of Skye.

Upon the accession of Anne, Sir John took advantage of the general
indemnity offered to those who had gone abroad with James the Second,
and resolved to avail himself of this opportunity of returning home;
but, unluckily, he was detained until a day after the act had specified,
by the confinement of his wife, who was taken ill at Paris, and there,
in November 1703, gave birth to a son, who afterwards succeeded to the
baronetcy. Although there was some risk in proceeding, yet Sir John,
trusting to the Queen's favourable disposition to the Jacobites,
embarked, and with his wife and child reached London. There he was
immediately committed to the Tower, but his imprisonment had a deeper
source than the mere delay of a few weeks. The Queensbury plot at that
time agitated the public, and produced considerable embarrassment in the
counsels of state.[89]

It appears that Sir John Maclean had taken no part in this obscure
transaction which could affect his honour, or impair his chance of
favour from Queen Anne; for, so soon as he was liberated, she bestowed
upon him a pension of five hundred pounds a-year, which he enjoyed
during the remainder of his life.

For some years Sir John Maclean continued to divide his time between
London and the Highlands, where he frequently visited his firm friend
Sir Ewan Cameron of Lochiel, at his Castle of Achnacarry. His estates
had not been materially benefited by the brief sunshine of King
William's favour. Upon finding that Maclean had gone to St. Germains,
that monarch had confirmed to the Duke of Argyle the former grant of the
island of Tyrie, which the successors of the Duke have since
uninterruptedly enjoyed until the present day. Its value was, at the
time of its passing into the hands of the Campbells, about three hundred
pounds sterling per annum.[90] The chief of the clan Maclean was certain
never to escape the suspicions of the Government, after the death of
Anne, during whose reign the Highlanders experienced an unwonted degree
of tranquillity. Upon her demise the whole state of affairs was changed;
and none experienced greater inconveniences from the vigilance of
Government than Sir Ewan Cameron and his friend Maclean. Lochiel, as his
biographer observes, "drank deeply of this bitter cup."[91]

It was during one of Maclean's visits to Achnacarry, when in company
with his now venerable friend, that the Governor of Fort William
attempted to take him and Sir Ewan prisoners, but they made their
escape. During the night of their flight, however, Sir Maclean caught a
severe cold, which ended afterwards fatally.

When the Earl of Mar raised the standard of the Chevalier in Scotland,
Sir John joined him at Achterarder, some days before the battle of
Sherriff Muir. In that engagement the clan Maclean distinguished
themselves, and some of their brave chieftains were killed in the
battle. After the day was over, Sir John retired to Keith, where he
parted from his followers, never to rejoin them. A consumption, incurred
from the cold caught in his escape, was then far advanced. He declined
an offer made to receive him on board the Chevalier's ship, bound for
France, and went to Gordon Castle, where, on the twelfth of March, 1716,
he expired.

Thus ended a life characterized by no ordinary share of vicissitude and
misfortune. If the fate of Sir John Maclean be less tragical than that
of other distinguished Jacobites, it was, it must be acknowledged, one
replete with anxiety and disappointment. He may be said to have been
peculiarly "born to trouble." To our modern notions of honour and
consistency, his conduct in becoming a courtier of William the Third,
appears to betray that unsoundness and hollowness of political principle
which, more or less, was the prevalent moral disease of the period, and
which was attributable to some of the most celebrated men of the day. It
undoubtedly forms an unfavourable contrast to the stern independence of
Sir Ewan Cameron of Lochiel, and of other Highland chieftains, and too
greatly resembles the code of politics adopted by the Earl of Mar. But
those who knew Sir John Maclean intimately, considered him a man of
straightforward integrity; they deemed him above dissimulation, and have
placed his name among those who despised every worldly advantage for the
sake of principle, and who loved the cause which he had espoused for its
own sake. The broken towers of Duart and of Aros, the ruins of those
once proud lords of the soil, attest the sacrifices which they made, and
form a melancholy commentary upon their history.

The castle of Aros, in the Island of Mull, "is interesting," says
Macculloch,[92] "from the picturesque object which it affords to the
artist; the more so, as the country is so devoid of scenes on which his
pencil can be exerted. Still more striking, from its greater magnitude
and more elevated position, is Duart Castle, once the stronghold of the
Macleans, and till lately garrisoned by a detachment from Fort William.
It is fast falling into ruin since it was abandoned as a barrack. When a
few years shall have passed, the almost roofless tenant will surrender
his spacious apartments to the bat and the owl, and seek shelter, like
his neighbours, in the thatched hovel which rises near him. But the
walls, of formidable thickness, may long bid defiance even to the storms
of this region; remaining to mark to future times the barbarous
splendour of the ancient Highland chieftains, and, with the opposite
fortress of Ardtornish, serving to throw a gleam of historical interest
over the passage of the Sound of Mull."

Hitherto Iona had received the last remains of the Lords of Duart; but
Sir John Maclean was not carried to the resting-place of his
forefathers. He was buried in the church of Raffin in Bamffshire, in the
family vault of the Gordons of Buckie. In Iona, that former "light of
the western world," are the tombs of the brave and unfortunate Macleans.
Their bones are interred in the vaults of the cathedral, which, after
coasting the barren rocks of Mull, buffeted by the waves, the traveller
beholds rising out of the sea, "giving," as it is finely expressed, "to
this desolate region an air of civilization, and recalling the
consciousness of that human society which, presenting elsewhere no
visible traces, seems to have abandoned these rocky shores to the
cormorant and the gull." On the tombs of the Highland warriors who
repose within St. Mary's Church in Iona, are sculptured ships, swords,
armorial bearings, appropriate memorials to the island lords, or, as the
Chevalier not inaptly called them, "little kings;" and,
undistinguishable from the graves of the chiefs, are the funereal
allotments of the Kings of Scotland, Iceland, and Norway.[93]

Sir John Maclean left one son and six daughters. His son Hector was born
in France, but brought to Scotland at the age of four, and placed under
the care of his kinsman, Maclean of Coll, where he remained until he was
eighteen years of age; when he repaired to Edinburgh, and in the college
made considerable progress in the usual course of studies in that
institution. After various journeys abroad, chiefly to Paris, Sir Hector
Maclean returned in 1745 to Edinburgh, intending again to lead his
clansmen to the standard of Prince Charles; but a temporary
imprisonment, occasioned by the treachery of a man in whose house he
lodged, prevented his appearance in the field. He was detained in
confinement until released as a subject of the King of France. He died
at Rome in the year 1758, in the forty-seventh year of his age. At his
death the title of Baronet devolved upon Allan of Brolas, great-grandson
of Donald, first Maclean of Brolas, and younger brother of the first

Although the chief was thus prevented from following Prince Charles to
the field of Culloden, many of his clan distinguished themselves there;
Charles Maclean of Drimnin appeared at the head of five hundred of the
clan, and his regiment, which was under the command of the Duke of
Perth, was among those that broke forward with drawn swords from the
lines, and routed the left wing of the Duke of Cumberland's army. The
whole of the front line of this gallant regiment was swept away as they
presented themselves before their foes. They were afterwards overpowered
by numbers, and obliged to retire. Their leader, as he retreated,
inquired for one of his sons, who was missing. "I fear," said an
attendant to whom the inquiry was addressed, "that he has fallen." The
fate of the father is well told in these few words,[94] "If he has, it
shall not be for naught," was his reply; and he rushed forward to avenge

Many of the clan fell in the massacre after the battle of Culloden Muir.
Hundreds of the Highlanders who escaped the inhumanity of their
conquerors, died of their wounds or of hunger, in the hills, at twelve
or fourteen miles' distance from the field of battle. "Their misery,"
says a contemporary writer, "was inexpressible." While the cannon was
sounding, and bells were pealing in the capital cities of England and
Ireland, for the united events of the Duke of Cumberland's birth and the
battle of Culloden Moor, fires were seen blazing in Morvern, in which
numerous villages were burned by order of the victorious Cumberland. The
Macleans who came from Mull, seem generally to have escaped; they made
off in one of the long boats for their island, the night after the
engagement, and were fortunate enough to carry with them a cargo of
brandy and some money.[95]

A calmer, though less interesting career has, since 1745, been the fate
of the chiefs of the clan Maclean.[96] Sir Allan, respected and
beloved, became a colonel in the British army. He retired eventually to
the sacred Isle of Inch Kenneth, in Mull, where he exercised the
hospitality characteristic, in ancient times, of the Lords of Duart. Dr.
Johnson has handed down the memory of the venerable chief, not only in a
few descriptive pages of a Tour to the Hebrides, but in a Latin poem,
translated by Sir Daniel Sandford.[97] In the lines he refers to Sir
Allan in these terms.

    "O'er glassy tides I thither flew,
    The wonders of the spot to view;
    In lowly cottage great Maclean
    Held there his high ancestral reign."[98]

Sir Allan Maclean died in 1783: he was succeeded by his nearest male
relation, Sir Hector Maclean, of the family of Brolas. The brother of
Sir Hector, Sir Fitzroy Grafton Maclean, a distinguished officer, and
formerly Governor of the island of St. Thomas, is now chief of the clan
Maclean. Two sons continue the line. Of these, the eldest, Colonel
Charles Fitzroy Maclean, has chosen, like his father, the profession of
arms. He commands the eighty-first foot: and has, by his marriage with
a daughter of the Hon. and Rev. Dr. Marsham, an heir to the ancestral
honours of the house. The youngest son of Sir Fitzroy Maclean is Donald
Maclean, of Witton Castle, Durham, the member for Oxford, married to
Harriet, daughter of General Frederick Maitland, a descendant of the
Duke of Lauderdale, whose former injustice to the clan Maclean has been
noticed in this work. It is remarkable, that the same fidelity, the same
loyalty, that sacrificed every possession to the cause of James Stuart,
has been, since the extinction of that cause, worthily employed, with
distinguished talent and success, in the service of Government. Such
instances are not uncommon in the history of the Jacobites.


[69] Historical and Genealogical Account of the Clan Maclean, by a

[70] Brown's Highlands.

[71] Historical Account of the Clan Maclean, p. 4.

[72] "Eriska is interesting as having been the first place where Charles
Edward landed in Scotland. It is the boundary of Ottervore toward the
north, and is separated from South Uist by a narrow rocky sound. Upon a
detached and high rock at its southern end are to be seen the remains of
a square tower, the abode of some ancient chieftain."--_Macculloch_,
vol. i. p. 87.

[73] Hist. Account.

[74] Memoirs of Lochiel, p. 193. This account is preferable to that
given by the historian of the house of Maclean, as it is of course a
more dispassionate statement, although the facts stated are nearly the
same. See Hist. and Gen. Acct. pp. 140, 141.

[75] Memoir of Lochiel, p. 194.

[76] According to the Memoirs of Lochiel, it appears that Sir Allan must
have died in 1673 or 1674; since the author speaks, in 1674, of the
"late Sir Allan."

[77] Archibald, ninth Earl, was only restored to the Earldom.

[78] Memoirs of Lochiel, p. 196.

[79] Id. p. 198.

[80] Mem. of Lochiel, p. 195. Hist. Acct. of the Clan, p. 174.

[81] Memoirs of Lochiel.

[82] Supposed to be John Drummond of Balhaldy.

[83] Dalrymple's Memorials, p. 358.

[84] Hist. Acct. p. 198.

[85] Memoirs of Lochiel, p. 326.

[86] Hist. Account of the Maclean Family, p. 198.

[87] Memoirs of Lochiel, p. 326.

[88] Dalrymple, p. 383.

[89] Dalrymple's Memorials. See Collection of Original Papers, p. 31.
Sir John Maclean's Discovery, Part II. p. 4.

[90] Mem. of Locheil, p. 352.

[91] Id. p. 204.

[92] Macculloch's Western Islands of Scotland, vol. i. p. 535.

[93] Macculloch, vol. i. p. 13.

[94] Hist. Notices of the Macleans, p. 206.

[95] Hist. of the Rebellion, p. 199. From the Scots' Magazine. Aberdeen,

[96] An accomplished descendant of the Macleans of Lochbuy, Miss Moss,
of Edinburgh, has left a beautiful tribute to the valour of her clan in
a ballad of the forty-five. The following passage occurs in Dr. Brown's
History of the Highlands, vol. iv. part II. p. 493, relative to the
Macleans of Lochbuy, Coll, and Ardgour:--"Their estates being afterwards
restored, they listened to the persuasions of Professor Forbes, and
remained quiet until the subsequent insurrection of 1745, when a general
rising of the clans would most probably have placed the crown upon the
head of the descendant of their ancient line of kings." This reproach
rests only on the three houses just mentioned, and not on the Macleans
of Brolas, nor of Mull, who were at the battle of Culloden.

For a portion of the materials of the foregoing narrative I am greatly
indebted to the Historical and Genealogical Account of the Clan Maclean,
by a Seneachie. The work is compiled chiefly from the Duart Manuscripts.

[97] Hist. Notices, p. 209.

[98] See History of Iona by Lachlan Maclean, Esq., Glasgow.


"The Clan Gregiour," according to an anonymous writer of the seventeenth
century, "is a race of men so utterly infamous for thieving,
depredation, and murder, that after many Acts of the Council of Scotland
against them, at length in the reign of King Charles the First, the
Parliament made a strict Act suppressing the very name." Upon the
Restoration, when, as the same writer declares, "the reins were given to
all licentiousness, and loyalty, as it was called, was thought
sufficient to compound for all wickedness, the Act was rescinded. But,
upon the late happy Revolution, when the nation began to recover her
senses, some horrid barbarities having been committed by that execrable
crew, under the leading of one Robert Roy Macgregiour, yet living, the
Parliament under King William and Queen Mary annulled the said Act
rescissory, and revived the former penal statute against them."[99]

Such is the summary account of one who is evidently adverse to the
political creed, no less than to the daring violence, of the clan
Macgregor. Little can, it is true, be offered in palliation for the
extraordinary career of spoliation and outrage which the history of
this race of Highlanders presents; and which terminated only with the
existence of the clan itself.

The clan Gregor, anciently known by the name of clan Albin, dated their
origin from the ninth century, and assumed to be the descendants of King
Alpin, who flourished in the year 787: so great is its antiquity, that
an old chronicle asserts, speaking of the clan Macarthur, "that none are
older than that clan, except the hills, the rivers, and the clan Albin."

Among the conflicts which for centuries rendered the Highlands the
theatre of perpetual strife, the clan Albin, or, as in process of time
it was called, the clan Gregor, was marked as the most turbulent members
of the state. It was never safe to dispute with them, and was deemed
idle to inquire whether the lands which they occupied were theirs by
legal titles, or by the right of the sword. Situate on the confines of
Scotland, and protected by the inaccessible mountains which surrounded
them, they could defy even their most powerful neighbours, who were
always desirous of conciliating allies so dangerous in times of peace,
so prompt in war. The boundaries which they occupied stretched along the
wilds of the Trosaëhs and Balquhidder, to the northern and western
heights of Mannach and Glenurely, comprehending portions of the counties
of Argyle, Perth, Dumbarton, and Stirling, which regions obtained the
name of the country of the Mac Gregors. A part of these domains being
held by the _coir à glaive_, or right of the sword, exposed the clan
Gregor to the enmity of their formidable neighbours, the Earls of Argyle
and Breadalbane, who, obtaining royal grants of such lands, lost no
opportunity of annoying and despoiling their neighbours, under legal
pretexts. Hence many of the contests which procured for the Macgregors a
character of ferocity, and brought upon them 'letters of fire and
sword.' A commission was granted first in the reign of Queen Mary, in
1563, to the most powerful clansmen and nobles, to pursue, and
exterminate the clan Gregor, and prohibiting, at the same time, that her
Majesty's liege subjects should receive or assist any of the clan, or
give them meat, drink, or clothes. The effect which such an edict was
likely to produce upon a bold, determined, desperate people may readily
be conceived. Hitherto the clan Gregor had been a loyal clan. From the
house of Alpin had descended the royal family of Stewart, with whom the
Macgregors claimed kindred, bearing upon their shields, in Gaelic, the
words, 'My tribe is royal.' They had been also in favour with the early
Scottish monarchs, one of whom had ennobled the Macgregors of Glenurely,
who could cope with the most elevated families in Scotland, in
possessions and importance. But, after the edict of Mary, a palpable
decline in the fortunes of the clan Gregor was manifest, until it was
for ever extinguished in modern days. Henceforth the Macgregors
exhibited a contempt for those laws which had never afforded them
protection. They became, in consequence of the cruel proclamation
against them, dependent for subsistence upon their system of predatory
warfare. They grew accustomed to bloodshed, and could easily be
'_hounded out_,' as Sir Walter Scott expresses it, to commit deeds of
violence. Hence they were incessantly engaged in desperate feuds, in
which the vengeance of an injured and persecuted people was poured out
mercilessly upon the defenceless. Hence they became objects of hatred to
the community, until the famous contest of Glenfruin, between the
Macgregors and the Colquhouns of Luss, brought once more the royal
displeasure upon them in the reign of James the Sixth.

The sequestered valley, which obtained, from the memorable and tragical
events of the combat, the name of the Glen of Sorrow, is situated about
six miles from Loch Lomond, and is watered by the river Fruin which
empties itself into that lake. In the spring of the year 1603, Alexander
of Glenstrae, chief of the Macgregors, went from the country of Lennox
to Balquhidder, for the express purpose of conciliating the feuds which
subsisted between his brother and Sir Humphrey Colquhoun of Luss. After
a conference, apparently pacific, but well understood by the Macgregors
to augur no friendly intentions, the assembled members of that clan
prepared to return to their homes. They were followed by the Laird of
Luss, who was resolved to surprise them on their route. But his
treachery was secretly known by those whom he pursued.

The right bank of Loch Lomond is so steep and woody that before the
formation of roads, the Highlanders found it impossible to pass that
way. The way to Argyleshire, therefore, ran along the vale of Fruin in a
circuitous direction to the head of Loch Long, and again turned eastward
towards Loch Lomond. In the middle of the glen the Macgregors, who were
peacefully returning home, were attacked by the Colquhouns. The
assailants were four to one; but the valour of the Macgregors prevailed,
and two hundred Colquhouns were left dead on the field. The very name of
Colquhoun was nearly annihilated. The account of the battle was
transmitted by the Laird of Luss to James the Sixth, at Edinburgh; and
the message was accompanied by two hundred and twenty shirts, stained
with blood, which were presented to the King by sixty women, widows of
those slain in the Glen of Sorrow. These ladies rode on white poneys,
and carried in their hands long poles, on which were extended the
stained garments. But the shirts, it is said, were soiled by the way,
and the widows were hireling mourners, who comforted themselves with the
loved beverages of their country on their return, and were in many
instances obliged to be carried to their homes.[100]

The indignation of James the Sixth, unmitigated by any friendly
representations on behalf of the Macgregors, burst forth fatally for
the clan. The Macgregors were formally outlawed by Act of Parliament;
they were pursued with blood-hounds, and when seized, were put to death
without trial. Their chief, the unfortunate Alexander of Glenstrae
surrendered to his enemy the Earl of Argyle, with eighteen of his
followers, on condition that he might be taken safely out of Scotland.
But the severity of Government stopped not here. The very name of Gregor
was blotted out, by an order in Council, from the names of Scotland.
Those who had hitherto borne it were commanded to change it under pain
of death, and were forbidden to retain the appellations which they had
been accustomed from their infancy to cherish. Those who had been at
Glenfruin were also deprived of their weapons, excepting a pointless
knife to cut their victuals. They were never to assemble in any number
exceeding four; and by an Act of Parliament passed in 1617, these laws
were extended to the rising generation, lest as the children of the
proscribed parents grew up, the strength of the clan should be restored.

For these severe acts, the only apology that can be offered is the
unbridled fury and cruelty of the Macgregors, when irritated; of which
it is necessary to mention one instance, as an example of the many left
on record, of which the clan were convicted.

In the battle of Glenfruin, which James had visited so rigorously upon
the Macgregors, the greater part of those who bore the name of Colquhoun
were exterminated. Yet a still more savage act was perpetrated after
the day was won.

The town of Dumbarton contained, at that time, a seminary famous for
learning, where many of the Colquhouns, as well as the sons of the
neighbouring gentry, were sent for education. Upon hearing of the
encounter at Glenfruin, eighty of these high-spirited boys set off to
join their relatives; but the Colquhouns, anxious for the safety of
their young kinsfolk, would not permit them to join in the fight, but
locked them up in a barn for safety. Here they remained, until the event
of the day left the Macgregors masters of what might well be called "the
Glen of Sorrow." The boys, growing impatient for their release, became
noisy; when the Macgregors, discovering their hiding-place, and
thirsting for vengeance, set fire to the barn, and the young inmates
were consumed. According to another account, they were all put to the
sword by one of the guard, a Macgregor, whose distinctive appellation
was Ciar Mohr, "the mouse-coloured man." When the chief of the
Macgregor's clan repaired to the barn, and, knowing that the boys were
the sons of gentlemen, was desirous of ensuring their safety, he asked
their guards where they were. When told of what had occurred, Macgregor
broke out into the exclamation, that "his clan was ruined." The sad
event was commemorated, until the year 1757, by an annual procession of
the Dumbarton youths, to a field at some distance from their school,
where they enacted the melancholy ceremonial of a mock funeral, over
which they set up a loud lamentation. The site of the farm where this
scene was enacted is still pointed out; and near it runs a rivulet, the
Gaelic name of which signifies "the burn of the young ghosts:" so deep
was the memory of this horrible deed.[101]

A fearful retribution followed the clan for years. They had no friend at
Court to plead their cause; and the most cruel hardships became the lot
of the innocent, as well as the guilty, of their clan. The country was
filled with troops ready to destroy them, so that all who were able,
were forced to fly to rocks, caverns, and to hide themselves among the
woods. Few of the Macgregors, at this period of the Scottish history,
were permitted to die a natural death.

As an inducement to the murder of these wretched people, a reward was
offered for every head of a Macgregor that was conveyed to the Privy
Council at Edinburgh. Those who died a natural death were buried in
silence and secrecy by their kinsfolk, for the graves of the persecuted
clan were not respected; the bodies of the dead being exhumed, and the
heads cut off, to be sent to the Council. Never has there been, in the
history of mankind, a more signal instance of national odium than that
which pursued this brave, though violent race. The spirit in which they
were denounced has in it little of the character of justice, and reminds
us of the vengeance of the Jewish people upon the different hostile
tribes to whom they were opposed.

In process of time, the last remnant of the lands pertaining to the
Macgregors was bestowed upon Archibald, seventh Earl of Argyle, whose
family had profited largely by the destruction of the clan: for every
Macgregor whom they had destroyed, they had received a reward. In 1611,
the Earl was commanded to root out this thievish and barbarous race; a
commission which he executed remorselessly, dragging the parents to
death, and leaving their offspring to misery and to revenge; for the
deep consciousness of their wrongs grew up with the young, and prepared
them for deeds of violence and vengeance.

Notwithstanding the severities of the Stuarts towards the Macgregors,
the loyalty of the clan continued unimpeachable. It was appreciated by
one who is not celebrated for remembering benefits. Charles the Second
had, in 1663, the grace to remove the proscription from the Macgregors,
by an Act which was passed in the first Scottish Parliament after his
Restoration. He permitted them the use of their family name, and other
privileges of his liege subjects, assigning as a reason for this act of
favour, that the loyalty and affection of those who were once called
Macgregors, during the late troubles, might justly wipe off all former
reproach from their clan. This act of grace, according to the anonymous
writer quoted in the commencement of this memoir, was to be accounted
for by the prevalent licentiousness of that monarch's reign. It gave,
indeed, but little satisfaction to the nonconforming Presbyterians, who
saw with resentment that the penalties unjustly imposed upon themselves
were relaxed in favour of the Macgregors. But this dissatisfaction was
of short duration. After the Revolution, "an influence," says Sir Walter
Scott, "inimical to this unfortunate clan, said to be the same with that
which afterwards dictated the massacre of Glencoe, occasioned the
reaction of the penal statutes against the Macgregors."[102] It is,
however, consolatory to find that the proscription was not acted upon
during the reign of William. The name of Macgregor was again heard in
public halls, in parliament, and courts of justice. Still, however,
whilst the statutes remained, it could not legally be borne. Attempts
were made to restore the appellation of clan Alb, but nothing was
decided; when, at length, all necessity for such an alteration was done
away by an Act of Parliament abolishing forever the penal statutes
against the clan.

Whilst the Macgregors were still a proscribed race, Robert Macgregor
Campbell, or Robert Roy, so called among his kindred, in the adoption of
a Celtic phrase, expressive of his ruddy complexion and red hair,
appeared as their champion. At the time of his birth, to bear the name
of Macgregor was felony; and the descendant of King Alpin adopted the
maiden name of his mother, a daughter of Campbell of Fanieagle, in order
to escape the penalty of disobedience. His father, Donald Macgregor of
Glengyle, was a lieutenant-colonel in the King's service: his ancestry
was deduced from Ciar Mohr, "the mouse-coloured man," who had slain the
young students at the battle of Glenfruin.

After the death of Allaster Macgregor of Glenstrae, the last chieftain,
the office of chief had ceased to be held by any representative of the
scattered remnant of this hunted tribe. Various families had ranged
themselves under the guidance of chieftains, which, among Highlanders,
signifies the head of a branch of a tribe, in contradistinction to that
of chief, who is the leader of the whole name.[103] The chieftain of
Glengyle lived in the mountainous region between Loch Lomond and Loch
Katrine; his right to his territories there might or might not be legal;
it was far more convenient to his neighbours to waive the question with
any member of this fierce race, than to inquire too rigidly into the
tenure by which the lands were held.

Rob Roy, though he deduced his origin from a younger son of the Laird of
Macgregor, was one of a family who had, within the preceding century,
been of humble fortunes. His great-grandfather had been a cotter; from
his grandfather he inherited the generous temper and the daring spirit
which, more or less, characterized the clan. Callum, or Malcolm, had
been outlawed for an attempt to carry off an heiress, but obtained his
pardon for saving the life of his enemy, the Duke of Argyle. The date of
Rob Roy's birth is uncertain, but is supposed to have taken place about
the middle of the seventeenth century; consequently, after the period
when his clan had endured every variety of fortune, from the cruel
edicts of James the Sixth to the consolatory acts of Charles the Second.

The education of this extraordinary man was limited; and he is said not
to have exhibited in his youth any striking traits of the intrepidity
which distinguished him in after life. But he was endowed with a
vigorous intellect, and with an enthusiasm which had been deepened by
the peculiar circumstances of his clan and kinsfolk. It is impossible to
comprehend the character of Rob Roy, unless we look into the history of
his race, as we have briefly done, and consider how strong must have
been the impressions which hereditary feuds, and wrongs visited upon
father and child, had made upon a mind of no common order.

His youth was occupied in acquiring the rude accomplishments of the age.
In the management of the broadsword the ardent and daring boy soon
acquired proficiency; his frame was robust and muscular, and his arm of
unusual length. At an early age he is said by tradition to have tried
his powers in a predatory excursion, of which he was the leader. This
was in the year 1691, and it was called the herdship, or devastation of
Kippen, in the Lennox. No lives were sacrificed, but the marauding
system was carried to its extent.

The young Macgregor was educated in the Presbyterian faith. "He was
not," says his biographer,[104] "free from those superstitious notions
so prevalent in his country; and, although few men possessed more
strength of mind in resisting the operation of false and gloomy tenets,
he was sometimes led away from the principles he had adopted, to a
belief in supernatural appearances." Nor was it likely that it should be
otherwise; for the wildest dreams of fancy were cherished in the
seclusion of the region, then inconceivably retired and remote, in which
Rob Roy is said to have passed days in silent admiration of Nature in
her grandest aspects; for the man who afterwards appeared so stern and
rugged to his enemies, was accessible to the tenderest feelings, and to
the most generous sympathies.[105]

Although his father had succeeded in military life, Rob Roy was destined
to a far more humble occupation. The discrepancy between the Scottish
pride of ancestry and the lowly tracks which are occasionally chalked
out for persons of the loftiest pretensions to origin, is manifest in
the destination of Rob Roy. He became a dealer in cattle. It was, it is
true, the custom for landed proprietors, as well as their tenantry, to
deal in the trade of grazing and selling cattle. In those days, no
Lowlanders, nor any English drovers, had the audacity to enter the

"The cattle," says Sir Walter Scott, "which were the staple commodity of
the mountains, were escorted down to fairs, on the borders of the
Lowlands, by a party of Highlanders, with their arms rattling round
them; and who dealt, however, in all faith and honour with their
southern customers." After describing the nature of the affrays which
were the result of such collision, Sir Walter remarks, "A slash or two,
or a broken head, was easily accommodated, and as the trade was of
benefit to both parties, trifling skirmishes were not allowed to
interrupt its harmony."

For some time, the speculations in which Rob Roy engaged were
profitable; he took a tract of land in Balquhidder for the purpose of
grazing, and his success soon raised him in the estimation of the
county. But his cattle were often carried away by hordes of big robbers
from Inverness, Ross, and Sutherland, and he was obliged, in defence, to
maintain a party of men to repel these incursions. Hence the warlike
tastes which were afterwards more fully displayed.

The death of his father placed Rob Roy in an important situation in his
county; he became, moreover, guardian to his nephew, Gregor of Macgregor
of Glengyle,--a position which gave him great influence with the clan.
He had now become the proprietor of Craig Royston; but his ordinary
dwelling was at Inversnaid, from which place he took his appellation,
Macgregor of Inversnaid. These estates were of considerable extent, but
of small value: they extended from the head of Loch Lomond twelve miles
along its eastern border, and stretched into the interior of the
country, partly around the base of Ben Lomond. From these estates Rob
Roy assumed sometimes the title of Craig Royston, sometimes that of
Baron of Inversnaid,--a term long applied in Scotland to puisne

The influence of an energetic and powerful mind was now plainly
exhibited in the celebrity which Rob Roy soon acquired in the
neighbouring counties. The Macgregors had a peculiar constitution in
their clanship, which rendered them compact and formidable as a body. In
all the forays so common at that period, Rob Roy took little or no part;
yet the terror of his name caused him to receive all the credit of much
that occurred in the vicinity.

Three great noblemen, bitter enemies, sought his alliance; of these one
was James the first Duke of Montrose, and Archibald tenth Earl of
Argyle, who were opposed to each other not only in political opinions,
but from personal dislike. Montrose deemed it essential to conciliate
Rob Roy as a matter of speculation, and entered into a sort of
partnership with the far-famed drover in the buying and selling of
cattle, of which Rob Roy was considered an excellent judge. Argyle, on
the other hand, was conscious of the injuries which his ancestors had
inflicted on the Macgregors, and was inclined to befriend Rob Roy from
compassion, and a sense of justice. The Earl was also flattered by the
Laird's having assumed the name of Campbell, which he regarded as a
compliment to himself. But the overtures of Argyle were at first
spurned by Rob Roy, whose alliance with the Marquis of Montrose
increased his hatred of Argyle. He was afterwards won over to more
moderate sentiments, and a lasting friendship was eventually formed
between him and Argyle.

The friendship and patronage of Montrose were secure until money
transactions, the usual source of alienations and bickerings, produced
distrust on the one hand, and bitterness on the other. Montrose had
advanced Rob Roy certain sums to carry on his speculations: they were
successful until the defalcation of a third and inferior partner
prevented Rob Roy from repaying the Marquis the money due to him. He was
required to give up his lands to satisfy the demands upon him. For a
time he refused, but ultimately he was compelled by a law-suit to
mortgage his estates to Montrose with an understanding that they were to
be restored to him whenever he could pay the money. Some time afterwards
he made an attempt to recover his estate by the payment of his debts;
but he was at first amused by excuses, and afterwards deprived of his
property. Such is the simple statement of his partial biographer; but
Sir Walter Scott gives the story a darker colouring. In his preface to
Rob Roy he mentions that Rob Roy absconded, taking with him the sum of
one thousand pounds which he had obtained from different gentlemen in
Scotland for the purpose of buying cattle. In 1712 an advertisement to
that effect was put into the daily papers repeatedly; but the active
Highlander was beyond the reach of law. To this period we must assign a
total change in the habits and characteristics of Rob Roy, who now began
a lawless and marauding course of life. He went up into the Highlands
where he was followed by one whose character has been variously
represented--Mary Macgregor of Comar, his wife. According to one
account, she was by no means the masculine and cruel being whom Scott
has so powerfully described; yet, from several traits, it is obvious
that she was one of the most determined of her sex, and that her natural
boldness of spirit was exaggerated by an insult which was never
forgiven, either by herself or by her husband. This was the forcible
expulsion of herself and her family from their home at Inversnaid by
Graham of Killearn, one of Montrose's agents; and the cruel act was
accompanied by circumstances which nothing but death could blot from the
memory of the outraged and injured Macgregor. The loss of property was
nothing when compared with that one galling recollection.

The kind and once honourable Rob Roy was now driven to desperation. His
natural capacity for warlike affairs had been improved in the collection
of the black mail, or protection fees; a service of danger, in which
many a bloody conflict with freebooters had shown the Macgregors of what
materials their leader was composed. The black mail was a private
contribution, often compulsatory, for the maintenance of the famous
black watch, an independent corps of provincial militia, and so called
from the colour of their dress, in contradistinction to the red
soldiers, or _leidar dearag_. "From the time they were first embodied,"
writes General Stewart, "till they were regimented, the Highlanders
continued to wear the dress of their country. This, as it consisted so
much of the black, green, and blue tartan, gave them a dark and sombre
appearance in comparison with the bright uniform of the regulars, who,
at that time, had coats waistcoats, and breeches of scarlet cloth. Hence
the term _dhu_, or black, as applied to this corps."[107]

In collecting both the imposts laid on for the maintenance of this
corps, and in enforcing the black mail, Rob Roy had already gained the
confidence of the better classes, whilst, by his exploits, he had taught
the freebooter to tremble at his name. His journeys to England had not,
either, been unprofitable to him in gaining friends. By a strict regard
to his word, a true Highland quality, he had gained confidence; whilst
his open and engaging demeanour had procured him friends.

Soon after his expulsion from his property, Rob Roy travelled into
England to collect a sum of money which was due to him. On returning
through Moffat, his generous indignation was aroused by seeing the
penalty of the law inflicted upon a young girl for fanaticism: two of
her kinsmen had already suffered. As a party of soldiers were preparing
to carry the girl, bound hand and foot, to a river, Rob Roy interposed;
and, receiving an insolent reply, he sprang upon the soldiers and in an
instant released the young woman, by plunging eight of her guards into
the water. He then drew his claymore, and cut the cords which bound the
intended victim. A short skirmish left him master of the field.

Rob Roy now prepared to remove from his dwelling at Inversnaid, into one
more remote, and protected by its natural position. This was Craig
Royston, or, as it is sometimes spelt, Craigrostan, whither Rob Roy
removed his furniture and other effects. A tract, entitled "The Highland
Rogue," published during the lifetime of Rob Roy, contains a striking
description of this almost inaccessible retreat. It is situated on the
borders of Loch Lomond, and is surrounded with stupendous rocks and
mountains. The passages along these heights are so narrow, that two men
cannot walk abreast; "It is a place," adds the same writer, "of such
strength and safety, that one person well acquainted with it, and
supplied with ammunition, might easily destroy a considerable army if
they came to attack him, and he, at the same time, need not so much as
be seen by them." For this romantic scene, Rob Roy quitted Inversnaid;
henceforth his occupation as a grazier and drover, and his character as
a country gentleman, were lost in that of a freebooter. Many anecdotes
have been related of his feats in the dangerous course which he
henceforth adopted: but of these, some are so extraordinary, as to be
incredible; others are perfectly consistent with the daring spirit of a
man who had vowed to avenge his wrongs.

The Duke of Montrose was the first object of his wrath; accordingly,
hearing that the tenantry of the Duke had notice to pay their rents, he
mustered his men, and visiting these gentlemen, compelled them to pay
him the money, giving them, nevertheless receipts, which discharged them
of any future call from Montrose. This practice he carried on with
impunity for several years, until a more flagrant outrage drew down the
anger of his enemy.

This was no less than the abduction of the Duke's factor, Killearn, who
had formerly expelled the family of Rob Roy from Inversnaid. Killearn
had gone to Chapellaroch in Stirlingshire, for the purpose of collecting
rents; he anticipated, on this occasion, no interruption to his office,
because Rob Roy had caused it to be given out, by proclamation, some
days before, that he had gone to Ireland. Towards evening, nevertheless,
he made his appearance before the inn at Chapellaroch, his piper playing
before him; his followers were stationed in a neighbouring wood. The
rents had just been collected, when the sound of the bagpipes announced
to Killearn the approach of his enemy. The factor sprang up, and threw
the bags, full of money, into a loft. Rob Roy entered, with the usual
salutations, laid down his sword, and sat down to partake of the
entertainment. No sooner was the repast ended, than he desired his piper
to strike up a tune. In a few minutes, by this signal, six armed men
entered the room; when Rob Roy, taking hold of his sword, asked the
factor, "How he had prospered in his collection of the rents?" "I have
got nothing yet," replied the trembling Killearn; "I have not begun to
collect." "No, no, Chamberlain," cried Rob Roy, "falsehood will not do
for me. I demand your book." The book was produced, the money was found
and delivered to Rob Roy, who gave his usual receipt. After this, the
unfortunate factor was carried off to an island near the east of Loch
Katrine, where he was confined a considerable time; and when he was
released, was warned not to collect the rents of the country in future,
as Rob Roy intended to do so himself,--the more especially as the lands
had originally belonged to the Macgregors, and he was, therefore, only
reclaiming his own.[108]

This predatory war against the Duke of Montrose was carried on for a
considerable time. It was favoured by the nature of the country over
which the freebooter ruled triumphant, and by the secret good wishes of
the Highlanders who resided in the neighbourhood. No roads were at that
time formed in this region of singular beauty. Narrow valleys, thinly
inhabited, and surrounded by forests and wilds, and guarded by rocks,
passes, and other features of natural strength, afforded to Rob Roy all
those advantages which he, who knew every defence which Nature gave to
marauders in those retired haunts, could well appreciate.

The habits of the Highlanders were also, at this time, essentially
warlike. "The use of arms," to borrow a description from an anonymous
writer, "formed their common occupation, and the affairs of war their
ordinary pursuit. They appeared on all public occasions, at market, and
even at church, with their broadswords and their dirks; and, more
recently, when the use of fire-arms became general, they seldom
travelled without a musket and pistol." The clan Macgregor possessed
these military tastes in an inordinate degree; and the wars of the
foregoing century had accustomed them to a degree of union and
discipline not, at that period, common among the Highlanders, who were
considered, in those respects, as superior to their Lowland
brethren.[109] The vicinity of the rich districts of the Lowlands gave a
rich stimulus to the appetite for plunder natural to a martial and
impoverished people. Above all, their energies were inspired by an
undying sense of ancient and present injuries, and the remembrance of
their sufferings was never erased from their minds. At this time, the
most disturbed districts in Scotland were those nearest to the Lowlands;
the bitterness of political feelings was added to the sense of
injustice, and the loss of lands. Rob Roy knew well how to avail himself
of this additional incentive to violence; he avowed his determination to
molest all who were not of Jacobite principles; and he put that
resolution into active practice.

The character of the individual who exercised so singular a control over
his followers, and over the district in which he lived, had changed
since his early, dreamy days, or since the period of his honest
exertions as a drover. Rob Roy had become in repute with Robin Hood of
the Lowlands. His personal appearance added greatly to the impression of
his singular qualities. The author of "the Highland Rogue" describes him
as a man of prodigious strength, and of such uncommon stature as to
approach almost to a gigantic size. He wore a beard above a foot long,
and his face as well as his body was covered with dark red hair, from
which his nick-name originated. The description given by Sir Walter
Scott does not entirely correspond with this portraiture. "His stature,"
says that writer, "was not of the tallest, but his person was uncommonly
strong and compact." The great peculiarity of his frame was the great
length of his arms, owing to which he could, without stooping, tie the
garters of his Highland hose, which are placed two inches below the
knee. His countenance was sternly expressive in the hour of peril; but,
at calmer moments, it wore that frank and kindly aspect which wins upon
the affections of our species. His frame was so muscular, that his knee
was described as resembling that of a Highland bull, evincing strength
similar to that animal. His exercise of the broadsword was, even in
those days, superlative; and his intimate knowledge of the wild country
over which he may be said to have ruled, gave him as great an advantage
as his personal prowess. To these qualifications may be added another,
perhaps more important still,--that quick perception of character, and
that penetration into human motives, without which no mind can obtain a
mastery over another.

To these characteristics were added a fearless and generous spirit, a
hatred of oppression, and compassion for the oppressed. Although
descended from the dark murderer of the young students, Rob Roy had none
of the ferocity of his race in his composition. He was never the cause
of unnecessary bloodshed, nor the contriver of any act of cruel revenge.
"Like Robin Hood," says Scott, "he was a kind and gentle robber, and
while he took from the rich, he was liberal to the poor. This might in
part be policy, but the universal tradition of the country speaks it to
have arisen from a better motive. All whom I have conversed with, and I
have in my youth seen some who knew Rob Roy personally, gave him the
character of a benevolent, humane man, in his way."

That "way" was certainly not followed out on the most approved
principles of morality, and he is well described as resembling in his
code of morals an "Arab chief." But if ever man may be excused for a
predatory course of life, the chieftain, as he was now called, of the
Macgregors may be pardoned for actions which, in those who had suffered
less from wrong and oppression, would be deemed unpardonable.

The revival of that latent affection for the Stuarts which ever existed
in the Highlands, greatly favoured the success of Rob Roy in his
unsettled and exciting career. Many of the chieftains were now arraying
their people to follow them to the field upon a summons from their
rightful Prince; and even the Duke of Argyle, who had at first attached
himself to the Prince of Orange, was wavering in his resolutions, never
having been restored to his property and jurisdiction since the
attainder and death of his father. Under these circumstances the
assistance of Rob Roy became of infinite importance to Argyle. The most
deadly feuds raged between him and Montrose, who, upon hearing that Roy
was on friendly terms with Argyle, had sent to offer to the freebooter
not only that he would withdraw his claims on his estate, but also that
he would give him a sum of money if he would go to Edinburgh and give
information against Argyle for treasonable practices. But this base
overture was indignantly rejected by Rob Roy, who deigned not even to
reply to the letter, but contented himself with forwarding it to Argyle.
Hence the bitter enmity of Montrose towards the Macgregors, during the
whole course of his future life.[110]

From this time Rob Roy kept no measures with his enemies, and his
incursions were so frequent and so dreaded, that in 1713 a garrison was
established at Inversnaid to check the irruptions of his party. But Rob
Roy was too subtle and too powerful for his enemies. He bribed an old
woman of his clan, who lived within the garrison, to distribute whiskey
to the soldiers. Whilst they were in a state of intoxication, he set
fire to the fort. He was suspected of this outrage, but still it passed
with impunity, for no one dared to attack him; the affair was passed
over in silence, and the Government re-established the fort of

Numbers of the desperate and vagrant part of his clansmen now crowded
around Rob Roy at Craig Royston, and swore obedience to him as their
chieftain. The country was kept in continual awe by these marauders, who
broke into houses and carried off the inmates to Craig Royston, there to
remain until heavy ransoms were paid. Their chieftain, meantime, laughed
at justice, and defied even the great Montrose. He had spies in every
direction, who brought him intelligence of all that was going on. No
person could travel near the abode of this mountain bandit without risk
of being captured and carried to Craig Royston. In many instances the
treatment of the prisoners is said to have been harsh; in some it was
tempered by the relentings of Rob Roy. On one occasion, having seized
upon a gentleman whose means had been reduced by great losses, he not
only set him at liberty, but gave him money to pay his travelling
expenses, and sent him in one of his own boats as far as he could travel
by water.

The incursions of this Scottish Robin Hood were contrived with the
utmost caution and secrecy, and executed with almost incredible
rapidity. No one knew when he would appear, nor in what direction he
would turn his dreaded attention. He is even said to have threatened the
Duke of Montrose in his own residence at Buchanan. His enterprises were,
however, not always contrived for a serious end, but sometimes partook
of the love of a practical joke, which is a feature in the Scottish

"The Highland Rogue" gives the following account of one of his

"Rob Roy's creditors now grew almost past hopes of recovering their
money. They offered a large reward to any that should attempt it
successfully; but not an officer could be found who was willing to run
such a hazard of his life; till at length a bailiff, who had no small
opinion of his own courage and conduct, undertook the affair.

"Having provided a good horse and equipt himself for the journey, he set
out without any attendance, and in a few hours arrived at Craigroiston,
where, meeting with some of Rob Roy's men, he told them he had business
of great importance to deliver to their master in private. Rob Roy
having notice of it, ordered them to give him admittance. As soon as he
came in, the Captain demanded his business. 'Sir,' (says the other)
'tho' you have had misfortunes in the world, yet knowing you to be in
your nature an honourable gentleman, I made bold to visit you upon
account of a small debt, which I don't doubt but you will discharge if
it lies in your power.' 'Honest friend,' (says M'Gregor) 'I am sorry
that at present I cannot answer your demand; but if your affairs will
permit you to lodge at my house to-night, I hope by to-morrow I shall be
better provided.' The bailiff complied, and was overjoyed at the success
he had met with. He was entertained with abundance of civility, and went
to bed at a seasonable time.

"Rob Roy then ordered an old suit of clothes to be stuffed full of
straw, not wholly unlike one of the Taffies that the mob dress up and
expose upon the 1st of March, in ridicule of the Welshmen; only, instead
of a hat with a leek in it, they bound his head with a napkin. The
ghastly figure being completely formed, they hung it upon the arm of a
tree directly opposite to the window where the officer lay: he rising in
the morning and finding his door locked, steps back to the window and
opens the casement, in expectation of finding some of the servants,
when, to his great astonishment, he cast his eye upon the dreary object
before him: he knew not what to make of it; he began to curse his
enterprise, and wished himself safe in his own house again. In the midst
of his consternation, he spied one of the servants, and calling to him,
desired him to open the door. The fellow seemed surprised at finding it
locked, begged his pardon, and protested it was done by mistake. As soon
as the bailiff got out, 'Prithee friend,' (says he) 'what is it that
hangs upon yonder tree?' 'O sir,' (says the other) ''tis a bailiff, a
cursed rogue that has the impudence to come hither to my master, and dun
him for an old debt; and therefore he ordered him to be hanged there
for a warning to all his fraternity. I think the impudent dog deserved
it, and in troth, we have been commended by all his neighbours for so
doing.' The catchpole was strangely terrified at this account, but
hoping that the servant did not know him to be one of the same
profession, he walked away with a seeming carelessness, till he thought
himself out of sight, and then looking round and finding the way clear,
he threw off his coat and ran for his life, not resting, nor so much as
looking behind him, till he came to a village about three or four miles
off; where, when he had recovered breath, he told the story of his
danger and escape, just as he apprehended it to be. Rob Roy was so
pleased with the success of his frolic, that the next day he sent home
the bailiff's coat and horse, and withal let his neighbours know that it
was only a contrivance to frighten him away; by which means the poor
rogue became the common subject of the people's diversion."

This adventure was immediately recounted to the Governor of Stirling
Castle by the messenger, who hastened to that fortress. A party of
soldiers was ordered out to seize Rob Roy; but the chieftain gained
intelligence of their approach, and Rob Roy retreated to the hills;
whilst the country of the Macgregors was roused, and put into a state of
defence. The soldiers, meantime, worn out with their search among the
hills, took possession of an empty house and filled it with heath for
beds. The Macgregors, always active and watchful, set fire to the house,
and drove their enemies from their post. Thus Rob Roy escaped the
pursuit of justice, the troopers being obliged to return to Stirling
Castle. He was not always so fortunate as to avoid imminent danger; yet
he had a faithful friend who watched over his safety, and who would have
willingly sacrificed his life for that of Macgregor. This was the
chieftain's lieutenant, Fletcher, or Macanaleister, "the _Little John_
of his band," and an excellent marksman. "It happened," writes Sir W.
Scott, "that MacGregor and his party had been surprised and dispersed by
a superior force of horse and foot, and the word was given to 'split and
squander.' Jack shifted for himself; but a bold dragoon attached himself
to pursuit of Rob Roy, and overtaking him, struck at him with his
broadsword. A plate of iron in his bonnet saved Mac Gregor from being
cut down to the teeth; but the blow was heavy enough to bear him to the
ground, crying as he fell, 'O Macanaleister, there is naething in her,'
(_i.e._ in the gun:) the trooper at the same time exclaiming, 'D--n ye,
your mother never brought your nightcap;' had his arm raised for a
second blow, when Macanaleister fired, and the ball pierced the

His feats had, however, in most instances, the character of an
unwarrantable oppression, notwithstanding that they were sometimes
accompanied by traits of a generous and chivalric spirit. Very few of
those who lived in his neighbourhood could depend upon an hour's
security, without paying the tax of black mail, which he audaciously
demanded; and the licentiousness of his reckless troop was the theme of
just reprobation, and the cause of terror to many innocent and peaceable
inhabitants in the west of Perth and Stirlingshire. On one occasion
Campbell, of Abernchile, who had found it convenient to submit to the
assessment of the black mail, neglected the regular payment of the tax.
Rob Roy, angry at his disobedience, rode up to his house, knocked at the
door, and demanded admittance. A party of friends was at dinner with the
host, and the door was closed against Macgregor. Rob Roy sounded his
horn; instantly his followers appeared in view. Rob Roy ordered them to
drive off the cattle from the estate: Abernchile was forced to make an
humble apology in order to avert his wrath, and to pay the exaction.

Another enterprise of Rob Roy's was directed to the welfare of his ward
and relative, Macgregor of Glengyle. The estates of Glengyle were
pledged, or, as it is called in Scotland, "under a contract of wadset."
The creditor was a man of influence and fortune; but, like most other
Scottish proprietors who were enabled to take advantage of the wadset
rights, he was grasping and merciless. It was not uncommon, in those
times, for men to whom estates had been pledged, to take the most unfair
advantages of small and needy proprietors; and from the great
superiority which a superior claimed over his vassals, it became almost
impossible for his inferiors to resist his rapacity, or to defeat his

Some months before the period of redemption had expired, Rob Roy, aware
of the danger to which his ward was exposed, raised a sum of money in
order to redeem the pledge. It was pretended by the creditor, that the
bond securing the power of redemption was lost; and since a few months
only of the period remained, a plan was formed by him for protracting
the settlement of the affair. Rob Roy, unhappily, was elsewhere
occupied: the period expired; the young Macgregor ceased, therefore, to
be the proprietor of his estate; he was ordered to leave it, and to
remove his attendants, cattle, and tenants within eight days. "But law,"
as Dr. Johnson observes, "is nothing without power." Before those eight
days had elapsed, Rob Roy had assembled his _gillies_, had followed his
creditor into Argyleshire, had met him, nevertheless, in Strathfillan,
and had carried him prisoner to an inn. There the unjust creditor was
desired to give up the bond, and told to send for it from his castle.
The affrighted man promised all that could be required of him; Rob Roy
would not trust him, but sent two of his followers for the bond, which
was brought at the end of two days. When it was delivered to Macgregor,
he refused to pay the sum of redemption, telling the creditor that the
money was too small a fine for the wrong which he had inflicted; and
that he might be thankful to escape as well as he might.

Against all acts of oppression, except those which he thought proper to
commit himself, Rob Roy waged war. He was the avenger of the injured,
and the protector of the humble; and lest his own resources should prove
insufficient for these purposes, a contract was entered into with
several neighbouring proprietors to combine, for the purposes of
defence, and protection to others.

The Duke of Montrose and his agent, Graham of Killearn, were still the
especial objects of Macgregor's hatred. When a widow was persecuted by
the merciless factor, and distrained for rent, Rob Roy intercepted the
officers who went out against her, and gave them a severe chastisement;
and a similar excursion was made in favour of any poor man who was
obliged to pay a sum of money for rent. The collectors of the rent were
disarmed, and obliged to refund what they had received. Upon the same
principle of might against right, Rob Roy supported his family and
retainers upon the contents of a meal-store which Montrose kept at a
place called Moulin; and when any poor family in the neighbourhood were
in want of meat, Rob Roy went to the store-keeper, ordered the quantity
which he wanted, and directed the tenants to carry it away. There was no
power either of resistance or complaint. If the parks of Montrose were
cleared of their cattle, the Duke was obliged to bear the loss in
silence. At length, harassed by constant depredations, Montrose applied
to the Privy Council for redress, and obtained the power of pursuing and
repressing robbers, and of recovering the goods stolen by them. But, in
this act, such was the dread of Rob Roy's power, that his name was
intentionally omitted in the order in Council.

The retreat into which Rob Roy retired, in times of danger, was a cave
at the base of Ben Lomond, and on the borders of the Loch. The entrance
to this celebrated recess is extremely difficult from the precipitous
heights which surround it. Mighty fragments of rock, partially overgrown
with brushwood and heather, guard the approach. Here Robert de Bruce
sheltered himself from his enemies; and here Rob Roy, who had an
enthusiastic veneration for that monarch, believed that he was securing
to himself an appropriate retirement. It was, indeed, inaccessible to
all but those who knew the rugged entrance; and here, had it not been
for the projects which brought the Chevalier St. George to England, Rob
Roy might have defied, during his whole lifetime, the vengeance of
Montrose. From this spot Macgregor could almost command the whole
country around Loch Lomond; a passionate affection to the spot became
the feeling, not only of his mind, but of that of his wife, who, upon
being compelled to quit the banks of Loch Lomond, gave way to her grief
in a strain which obtained the name of "Rob Roy's Lament."

Of the exquisite beauty, and of the grandeur and interest of the scene
of Rob Roy's seclusion, thousands can now form an estimate. Dr. Johnson
was no enthusiast when he thus coldly and briefly adverted to the
characteristics of Loch Lomond. "Had Loch Lomond been in a happier
climate, it would have been the boast of wealth and vanity to own one
of the little spots which it incloses, and to have employed upon it all
the arts of embellishment. But as it is, the islets which court the
gazer at a distance, disgust him at his approach, when he finds instead
of soft lawns and shady thickets, nothing more than uncultivated

From this retreat Rob Roy frequently emerged upon some mission of
destruction, or some errand of redress. His name was a terror to all who
had ever incurred his wrath; his depredations were soon extended to the
Lowlands. One night a report prevailed in Dumbarton, that Rob Roy
intended to surprise the militia and to fire the town. It was resolved
to anticipate this attack, and accordingly the militia made their way to
Craig Royston; and having secured the boats on Loch Lomond, which
belonged to the Macgregors, they proceeded to seek for Rob Roy. But the
chieftain had collected his followers, and, retreating into his cave, he
laughed at his enemies, who were forced to retire without encountering
him, the object of their search.

It is indeed remarkable, that outrages so audacious, and a power so
imperative as that of Rob Roy, should have defied all control within
forty miles of the city of Glasgow, an important and commercial city.
"Thus," as Sir Walter Scott observes, "a character like his, blending
the wild virtues, the subtle policy, and unconstrained licence of an
American Indian, was flourishing in Scotland during the Augustan age of
Queen Anne and George the First. Addison, it is probable, and Pope,
would have been considerably surprised if they had known that there
existed, in the same island with them, a personage of Rob Roy's peculiar
habits and profession."

To the various other traits in the character of Rob Roy, there was added
that tenacity of purpose, that obstinate and indefatigable hatred, which
were common to the Highlanders. Their feuds were, it is true,
hereditary, and were implanted in their minds before the reason could
calm the passions. The fierce, implacable temper of the Macgregors had
been aggravated by long-standing injuries and insults; among those who
might be considered the chief foes of their race were the heads of the
house of Athole. An uncontrolled, vehement spirit of revenge against
that family burned in the breast of Rob Roy Macgregor; nor did he lose
any opportunity of proving the sincerity of his professions of hatred.

Hitherto the wild feats of the marauder had met with continual success;
no reverse had lessened his control over his followers, nor lowered his
individual pride. But at length his enemy, the Earl of Athole, had a
brief, but signal triumph over the dreaded chief. The circumstances
under which it occurred are the following:--

Emboldened by his continued success, Rob Roy had descended into the
plains, and headed an enterprise which was attended with the direst
consequences: so desolating were its effects, that it is known by the
name of the "Herriship of Kilrane." The outrage was severely taken up by
Government, and a reward was offered for the head of the freebooter. It
was even resolved to explore his cave. One day, when on the banks of
Lochearn, attended by two of his followers, Rob Roy encountered seven
men, who required him to surrender; but the freebooter darted from their
view, and climbed a neighbouring hill, whence he shot three of the
troopers, and dispersed the rest. This occurrence drove him, for some
time, from his stronghold on Loch Lomond.

The Earl of Athole had deeply felt the insults of Rob Roy, and he now
took advantage of this temporary change of fortune to ensnare him. On a
former occasion he had made an ineffectual attempt to overcome
Macgregor. The scene had taken place on the day of the funeral of Rob
Roy's mother. This was at Balquhidder: when Rob Roy had beheld the party
of the Earl's friends approaching, he grasped his sword, yet met the
Earl with a smile, and affected to thank him for the honour of his
company. The Earl replied, that his was not a visit of compliment: and
that Rob Roy must accompany him to Perth. Remonstrance was vain, and Rob
Roy pretended compliance; but, whilst his friends looked on indignant
and amazed, Macgregor drew his sword; the Earl instantly discharged a
pistol at him: it missed its mark, and, during a momentary pause, the
sister of Rob Roy, and the wife of Glenfalloch, grasped Athole by the
throat and brought him to the ground. The clan meantime assembled in
numbers, and the Earl was thankful to be released from the fierce amazon
who held him, and to retire from the country of the Macgregors.

The Earl of Athole now judged force to be unavailing, and he resolved to
try stratagem. After wandering, in consequence of the proclamation of
Government, from place to place, Rob Roy was greeted by a friendly
message from the Earl of Athole, inviting him to Blair Athole. Macgregor
had not forgotten the day of his mother's funeral. He acted, on this
occasion, with the frankness of an honest and unsuspecting nature. He
doubted the Earl's sincerity; and he wrote to him, freely stating that
he did so. He was answered by the most solemn assurances of protection,
notwithstanding that all this time Athole was employed by Government to
bring Rob Roy to justice. Macgregor was, however, deceived: he rode to
Blair, attended only by one servant, and was received with the utmost
professions of regard, but was requested to lay aside his dirk and
sword, as the Countess of Athole would not suffer any armed man to enter
the castle. Rob Roy complied with Lord Athole's entreaty. What was his
surprise when the first remark made by Lady Athole was her surprise at
his appearing unarmed; Rob Roy then felt that he was betrayed. Angry
words, followed by a scuffle, ensued: the freebooter was overpowered;
for sixty men, armed, entered before he could strike a blow.

Rob Roy was carried towards Edinburgh. He had proceeded as far as
Logierait, under a strong guard, when he contrived, with his usual
address and good luck, to make his escape. But the dangers which
attended his eventful career were not at an end. He was surprised as he
retired to the farm of Portnellan, near the head of Loch Katrine, by his
old enemy, the factor of Montrose, with a party of men, who surrounded
the house in which Rob Roy slept before he was out of bed; yet, the
moment that he appeared, sword in hand, they fled in dismay. These, and
many other incidents, rest so much upon tradition, and are so little
supported by authority, that they belong rather to romance than to
history. It is with the part which Rob Roy took in the actual concerns
of his country that his biographer has most concern.

This brave but reckless individual was exactly the man to adopt a
dangerous cause, and to play a desperate game. Proscribed, hunted,
surrounded by enemies, burning under the consciousness of wrong, and
unable to retrace his path to a peaceable mode of life, Rob Roy was a
ready partisan of the Jacobite cause.

In 1713, he had transactions with two emissaries of the house of Stuart,
and was called to account for that negotiation before the
commander-in-chief in Edinburgh. He escaped punishment; and prepared, in
1715, to lead his clans to the field, headed by Macgregor of Glengyle,
his nephew.[113] Upon Michaelmas day, having made themselves masters of
the boats in Loch Lomond, seventy of the Macgregors possessed themselves
of Inch-murrain, a large island on the lake. About midnight they went
ashore at Bonhill, about three miles above Dumbarton. Meantime the alarm
was spread over the country; bells were rung, and cannon fired from
Dumbarton Castle. The Macgregors, therefore, thought fit to scamper away
to their boats, and to return to the island. Here they indulged
themselves in their usual marauding practices, "carrying off deer,
slaughtering cows, and other depredations." Soon afterwards they all
hurried away to the Earl of Mar's encampment at Perth; here they did not
long remain, but returned to Loch Lomond on the tenth of October.[114]

They now mustered their forces. Such was the terror of their name, that
both parties appear to have been afraid of the Macgregors, and to think
"it would be their wisdom to part peaceably with them, because, if they
should make any resistance, and shed the blood of so much as one
Macgregiour, they would set no bounds to their fury, but burn and slay
without mercy." This was the opinion held by some; by others resistance
was thought the more discreet as well as the more honourable part. A
body of volunteers was brought from Paisley, and it was resolved, if
possible, to retake the boats captured by the Macgregors, who could now
make a descent wherever they pleased. A singular spectacle was beheld on
the bosom of Loch Lomond: four pinnaces and seven boats, which had been
drawn by the strength of horses up the river Levin, which, next to the
Spey, is the most rapid stream in Scotland, were beheld, their sails
spread, cleaving the dark waters which reflected in their mirror a sight
of armed men, who were marching along the side of the loch, in order to
scour the coast. Never had anything been seen of the kind on Loch Lomond
before. "The men on the shore," writes an eyewitness, "marched with the
greatest ardour and alacrity. The pinnaces on the water discharging
their patararoes, and the men their small arms, made so very dreadful a
noise thro' the multiply'd rebounding echoes of the vast mountains on
both sides the loch, that perhaps there never was a more lively
resemblance of thunder." This little fleet was joined in the evening by
the enemy of the Macgregors, Sir Humphrey Colquhoun of Luss, followed by
"fourty or fifty stately fellows, in their short hose and belted plaids,
armed each of 'em with a well-fixed gun on his shoulder." At Luss a
report prevailed that the Macgregors were reinforced by Macdonald of
Glengarry, and had amounted to fifteen hundred strong: but this proved
to be an idle rumour; their numbers were only four hundred.

This falsehood did not dishearten the men of Paisley. "They knew," says
the chronicler of their feats, "that the Macgregiours and the devil are
to be dealt with after the same way; and that if they be resisted, they
will flee."

On the following morning the party from Paisley went on their
expedition, and arrived at Inversnaid. Here, in order to "arouse those
thieves and rebels from their dens," they fired a gun through the roof
of a house on the declivity of a mountain; upon which an old woman or
two came crawling out, and scrambled up the hill; but no other persons
appeared. "Whereupon," adds the narrator,[115] "the Paisley men, under
the command of Captain Finlason, assisted by Captain Scot, a half-pay
officer, of late a lieutenant of Colonel Kerr's regiment of dragoons,
who is indeed an officer, wise, stout, and honest; the Dumbarton men,
under the command of David Colquhoun and James Duncanson, of Garshark,
magistrates of the burgh, with several of the other companies, to the
number of an hundred men in all, with the greatest intrepidity leapt on
shore, got up to the top of the mountain, and drew up in order, and
stood about an hour, their drums beating all the while: but no enemie
appearing, they thereupon went in quest of the boats which the rebels
had seized; and having casually lighted on some ropes, anchors, and oars
hid among the shrubs, at length they found the boats drawn up a good
way on the land, which they hurled down to the loch. Such of them as
were not damaged, they carried off with them; and such as were, they
sunk or hewed in pieces. And that same night they return'd to Luss, and
thence next day, without the loss or hurt of so much as one man, to
Dumbarton, whence they had first set out altogether, bringing along with
them the whole boats they found in their way on either side the loch,
and in creeks of the isles, and moored them under the cannon of the
castle. And thus in a short time, and with little expense, the
M'Greigours were towed, and a way pointed how the Government might
easily keep them in awe."

The historian remarks, as a good augury, that a violent storm had raged
for three days before. In the morning, notwithstanding this much
magnified triumph on the part of his enemies, neither Rob Roy nor his
followers were in the least daunted, but went about "proclaiming the
Pretender," and carrying off plunder. "Yesternight,[116] about seven,"
writes the same historian, "we had ane accountt from one of our
townsmen, who had been five miles in the country, in the paroch of
Baldernock, that three or four hundred of the clans, forerunners of the
body coming, had at Drummen, near Dunkeld, proclaimed the Pretender; but
no accountt to us from these places, nor from Sterling. Our magistrates
sent fitt men at eight yesternight for information, and can hardly
return till afternoon, if they have access to the three garrisons, of
which they are I hear ordered to goe to to-day. I hear by report,
without sufficient authority, that it's the M'Grigors come with a party,
proclaimed the Pretender, tore the exciseman's book, and went away.

                                                              H. E."

       *       *       *       *       *

In a letter from Leslie, dated the twentieth of January, 1716, it is
stated that the country did not oppose the incursions of Rob Roy, being
mostly in his interest, or indifferent. Emboldened by this passive
conduct, Rob Roy marched to Falkland on the fourth of January, 1716, and
took possession of the palace for a garrison. He afterwards joined the
Earl of Mar's forces at Perth, yet, whether from indolence or caution,
took but little share in the signal events of the day. He hovered
sometimes in the Lowlands, uncertain whether to proclaim peace, or to
embark with his Macgregors in the war: some said he declined fighting
under Lord Mar, from the fear of offending the Duke of Argyle; at all
events he had the wiliness to make the belligerent powers each conceive
him as of their respective parties.

At the battle of Sherriff Muir, Macgregor had the address to make both
the Jacobites and Hanoverians conceive, that, had he joined them, the
glory of the day would have been secured.

The inhabitants of Leslie, who had heard, with dismay, the news of the
burning of Auchterarder and Blackford, were now affrighted by a rumour
that Rob Roy had a commission to burn Leslie, and all between that place
and Perth. But, whilst the burgesses of Leslie were daily looking for
this dreaded event, Rob Roy was forced to retreat to Dundee, by the
approach of the King's troops. He left behind him a character of
reckless rapacity, and of a determined will, notwithstanding some
generous and humane actions. He was, nevertheless, esteemed to be among
the fairest and discreetest of the party to whom he was attached,
notwithstanding his favourite speech, "that he desired no better
breakfast than to see a Whig's house burning." The people could not,
indeed, trust any man's assurances after the recent and cruel
devastation at Auchterarder.

When the fortune of the battle was decided, he was heard to say, in
answer to demands that he should send his forces to the attack, "If they
cannot do it without me, they cannot do it with me," and he immediately
left the field. Such is the popular account of his conduct on that

The partizans of Rob Roy have, however, given a very different version
of his conduct. The Duke of Argyle was the patron and friend of
Macgregor; and he could neither, therefore, openly adopt a course which
the Duke disapproved, nor would he altogether retire from a cause to
which he was disposed to be favourable. With the true Gaelic caution Rob
Roy waited to see which side prevailed, and then hastened to avail
himself of an opportunity of that which had become the darling pursuit
of his existence--plunder.

He retired from Sherriff Muir to Falkland, carrying terror wherever he

       *       *       *       *       *

The following letter, descriptive of his progress affords a curious
picture of the state of that harassed and wretched country:--

    "D. B.

    "I received yours this evening, but I find you have been quit
    mistaken about our condition. You datt our freedom and libertie from
    the rebels long befor its commencement, and for profe take the
    folowing accompt of what past heir these last ten days. Upon the
    fourth instant Rob Roey, with one hundred and fifty men, com to
    Falkland, and took possession of the place for a garrison, from
    which they came through the countrey side and robs and plunder,
    taking cloaths and victuals, and every thing that maks for them, nor
    to oposs them till this day eight days. The sixth instant there coms
    thirty-two Highland men (I had almost said devils) to Leslie; we saw
    them at Formand Hills and resolved to resist, and so man, wife, and
    child drew out.

    "The men went to the east end of the town, and met them in the green
    with drawn swords in the hands, and we askt them what they were for;
    they said they wanted cloaths and money; we answeared they should
    get neither of them heir, at which they stormed and swore terribly,
    and we told them if they were come for mischeif they should have
    thee fill of it; at which ther were some blows. But they seeing us
    so bold, they began to feear that we should fall upon them, and so
    they askt libertie to march through the town, which we granted, but
    withall told them if they went upon the least house in the town,
    ther should never a man go back to Fackland to tell the news, though
    we should die on the spot, and so they marsht through the town and
    got not so much as the rise of a cap. And they were so afraid that
    they did not return, but went down over the Hank Hill, and east to
    the minister's land; and their they faced about and fired twenty
    shots in upon the peple that were looking at them, but, glory to
    God, without doing the least hurt. And so they went off to the
    Formand Hils, and plundred all the could carry or drive, and
    threatned dreadfully they should be avenged on Leslie and burn it."

The pursuit of plunder was considered by Rob Roy as a far more venial
offence than if he had fought against Lord Mar, or offended Argyle, with
whom he continued on such convenient terms, that he did not leave Perth
until after the arrival of that General. He then retired with the spoils
he had acquired, and continued for some years in the practice of the
same marauding incursions which had already proved so troublesome and
distressing to his neighbours.

In the subsequent indemnity, or free pardon, the tribe of Macgregor was
specially excepted; and their leader, Robert Campbell, alias Macgregor,
commonly called Robert Roy, was attainted.

The severities which followed the Rebellion of 1715, drove Rob Roy to a
remote retreat in the Highlands, where he lived in a solitary hut, half
covered with copsewood, and seated under the brow of a barren mountain.
Here he resided in poverty, and what was worse to his restless spirit,
in idleness. Here he was in frequent dread of pursuit from the agents of
the law; and several anecdotes are told with what veracity it is
difficult to judge, of his dexterity in evading justice. Attainted,
disappointed, aged, and poor, he had one grievous addition to his
sorrows, which it required a cheerful and energetic mind to
sustain,--that of a family devoid of principle.

Among the five sons of Macgregor, Coll, James, Robert, Duncan, and
Ronald, four were known to be but too worthy of the name given by the
enemies of the Macgregors to the individuals of that tribe--"devils." Of
Coll, the eldest, little is ascertained. Robert, or Robbiq, or the
younger, as the Gaelic word signifies, inherited all the fierceness,
without the generosity, of his race. At sixteen years of age, he
deliberately shot at a man of the name of Maclaren, and wounded him so
severely that he died. His brothers were implicated in this murder. On
their trials, they were charged with being not only murderers, but
notorious thieves and receivers of stolen goods. Robert was proved to
have boasted of having drawn the first blood of the Maclarens; and the
brothers were all accused of having followed this murder by houghing and
killing forty head of young cattle belonging to a kinsman of the

Robert Roy, the principal party in the crime, did not appear before the
High Court of Justiciary, to which he was summoned: he was therefore
outlawed. The other brothers were tried, and the prosecution was
conducted by the celebrated Duncan Forbes, of Culloden. The prisoners
were acquitted of being accessory to the murder of Maclaren; but the
jury were unanimous in thinking that the charge of being reputed thieves
was made out, and they were ordered to find caution for their good

Robert Roy was advised to retire to France: his brother James remained
in Scotland, and took an active part in the Rebellion of 1745; when,
with the assistance of his cousin Glengyle, he surprised the fort of
Inversnaid; he afterwards led to the battle of Preston Pans six
companies of his clan. His thigh-bone was broken in that battle; yet he
appeared again at Culloden, and was subsequently attainted.

The life of James Macgregor was spared only to present a tissue of
guilty schemes, and to end in infamy and exile. That of Rob Roy was dyed
yet deeper in crimes, of which a second trial and an ignominious death
were the dreadful result. He was hung in the Grass Market in Edinburgh,
in the year 1754. James, his brother, being reduced to the most
humiliating condition, died in France, after exhibiting in his conduct,
whilst in Scotland, if possible, almost a deeper shade of depravity than
that displayed by his brother.

Their father was, however, released from his existence before these
desperate men had sullied the name which he transmitted to them by their

As he declined in strength, Rob Roy became more peaceable in
disposition; and his nephew, the head of the clan, renounced the enmity
which had subsisted between the Macgregors and the Duke of Montrose. The
time of this celebrated freebooter's death is uncertain, but is
generally supposed to have occurred after the year 1738. "When he found
himself approaching his final change," says Sir Walter Scott, "he
expressed some contrition for particular parts of his life. His wife
laughed at these scruples of conscience, and exhorted him to die like a
man, as he had lived. In reply, he rebuked her for her violent passions
and the counsels she had given him. "You have put strife," he said,
"betwixt me and the best men of my country, and now you would place
enmity between me and my God.""

Although he had been educated in the Protestant faith, Rob Roy had
become a Catholic long before his death. "It was a convenient religion,"
he used to say, "which for a little money could put asleep the
conscience, and clear the soul from sin." The time and causes of his
conversion are only surmised; but when he had resolved on this
important step, the freebooter left his lovely residence in the
Highlands, and repairing to Drummond Castle, in Perthshire, sought an
old Catholic priest, by name Alexander Drummond. His confessions were
stated by himself to have been received by groans from the aged man to
whom he unburthened his heart, and who frequently crossed himself whilst
listening to the recital.

Even after this manifestation of penitence, Rob Roy returned to his old
practices, and accompanying his nephew to the Northern Highlands, he is
stated to have so greatly enriched himself, that he returned to the
Braes of Balquhidder, and began farming.

He is said in the decline of life to have visited London, and to have
been pointed out to George the Second by the Duke of Argyle, whilst
walking in the front of St. James's Palace. He still had an imposing and
youthful appearance, and the King is said to have declared that he had
never seen a handsomer man in the Highland garb.[117] But this, and
other anecdotes, rest on no better authority than tradition. His
strength, always prodigious, continued until a very late period; but at
last it was extinguished even before the spirit which had stimulated it
had died away. He is acknowledged, even by his partial biographer, to
have declined one duel, and to have been worsted in another; but
impaired eyesight, and decayed faculties are pleaded in defence of a
weakness which cast dishonour on Macgregor.

His deathbed was in character with his life: when confined to bed, a
person with whom he was at enmity proposed to visit him. "Raise me up,"
said Rob Roy to his attendants, "dress me in my best clothes, tie on my
arms, place me in my chair. It shall never be said that Rob Roy
Macgregor was seen defenceless and unarmed by an enemy." His wishes were
executed; and he received his guest with haughty courtesy. When he had
departed, the dying chief exclaimed: "It is all over now--put me to
bed--call in the piper; let him play '_Ha til mi tulidh_' (we return no
more) as long as I breathe." He was obeyed,--he died, it is said, before
the dirge was finished. His tempestuous life was closed at the farm of
Inverlochlarigbeg, (the scene, afterwards, of his son's frightful
crimes,) in the Braes of Balquhidder. He died in 1735, and his remains
repose in the parish churchyard, beneath a stone upon which some admirer
of this extraordinary man has carved a sword. His funeral is said to
have been attended by all ranks of people, and a deep regret was
expressed for one whose character had much to recommend it to the regard
of Highlanders.

He left behind him the memory of a character by nature singularly noble,
humane, and honourable, but corrupted by the indulgence of predatory
habits. That he had ever very deep religious impressions is doubted; and
his conversion to popery has been conjectured to have succeeded a
wavering and unsettled faith. When dying, he showed that he entertained
a sense of the practical part of Christianity, very consistent with his
Highland notions. He was exhorted by the clergyman who attended him to
forgive his enemies; and that clause in the Lord's prayer which enjoins
such a state of mind was quoted. Rob Roy replied: "Ay, now ye hae gien
me baith law and gospel for it. It's a hard law, but I ken it's gospel."
"Rob," he said, turning to his son, "my sword and dirk lie there: never
draw them without reason, nor put them up without honour. I forgive my
enemies; but see you to them,--or may"--the words died away, and he

Reason may disapprove of such a character as that of Rob Roy, but the
imagination and the feelings are carried away by so much generosity,
such dauntless exertion in behalf of the friendless, as were displayed
by the outlawed and attainted freebooter. He was true to his word,
faithful to his friends, and honourable in the fulfilment of his
pecuniary obligations. How many are there, who abide in the sunshine of
the world's good opinion, who have little claim to similar virtues!


[99] From the Wodrow MS. in the Advocate's Library.

[100] Macleay's History of the Macgregors, p. 110.

[101] Historical Memoir of the Clan Macgregor, by Dr. Macleay, p. 109.

[102] Preface to Rob Roy. Waverley Novels.

[103] Sir W. Scott.

[104] Macleay.

[105] Id.

[106] Macleay.

[107] Stewart's Sketches, vol. i. p. 224.

[108] Macleay, p. 188.

[109] Trials of the Macgregors, xxiv.

[110] Macleay, p. 181.

[111] See Trials, &c. p. 76.

[112] Tour to the Hebrides.

[113] Macleay.

[114] This account of what is called in history the "Loch Lomond
Expedition," is taken from the Wodrow MSS. in the Advocate's Library in
Edinburgh. Extracts from these MSS. have been printed by James
Dennistoun, Esq., to whose work I am indebted for this narrative of Rob
Roy's martial career.

[115] The Loch Lomond Expedition, p. 9.

[116] Loch Lomond Expedition. Wodrow Correspondence, p. 30. Also Reay's
History of the Rebellion, p. 286.

[117] Macleay, p. 279.


The memoirs of Simon Fraser, Lord Lovat, have been written in various
forms, and with a great diversity of opinions. Some have composed
accounts of this singular, depraved, and unfortunate man, with the
evident determination to give to every action the darkest possible
tinge; others have waived all discussion on his demerits by insisting
largely upon the fame and antiquity of his family. He has himself
bequeathed to posterity an apology for his life, and from his word we
are bound to take so much, but only so much, as may accord with the
statements of others in mitigation of the heinous facts which blast his
memory with eternal opprobrium.

As far as the researches into the remote antiquity of Scotland may be
relied upon, it appears that the name of Fraser was amongst the first of
those which Scotland derived from Normandy, and the origin of this name
has been referred to the remote age of Charles the Simple. A nobleman of
Bourbon--such is the fable,--presented that monarch with a dish of
strawberries. The loyal subject, who bore the name of Julius De Berry,
was knighted on the spot, and the sirname of Fraize was given him in
lieu of that which he had borne. Hence the ancient armorial bearing of
the Frasers, a field azure, semé with strawberries: and hence the
widely-spreading connection of the Frasers with the noble family of
Frezeau, or Frezel, in France, a race connected with many of the royal
families in Europe. For a considerable period after the elevation of
Julius de Berry, the name was written Frezeau, or Frisil.

The period at which the Frasers left Normandy for Scotland has been
assigned to the days of Malcolm Canmore, where John, the eldest of three
brothers of the house, founded the fortunes of the Frasers of Oliver
Castle in Tweedale, by marrying Eupheme Sloan, heiress of Tweedale:
whilst another brother settled beyond the Forth, and became possessed of
the lands of Inverkeithing. Eventually those members of this Norman race
who had at first settled in Tweedale, branched off to Aberdeenshire, and
to Inverness-shire;[118] and it was in this latter county, at Beaufort,
a property which had been long held by his family, that the famous Lord
Lovat was born.

Such is the account generally received. According to others, the family
of Fraser is of Scandinavian origin. When the Scandinavians invaded the
eastern coast of Britain, and the northern coast of France, one branch
of the family of Frizell, or Fryzell, settled in Scotland; another in
Normandy, where the name has retained its original pronunciation.[119]

The castle of Beaufort, anciently a royal fortress, had been bestowed
upon the Frasers, in the year 1367. It is situated in the beautiful
neighbourhood of Inverness, in the district of the Aird; it was besieged
by the army of Edward the First during the invasion of Scotland by the
usual method of throwing stones from catapultæ, at a distance of seven
hundred yards. A subsidiary fortress, Lovat, heretofore inhabited by one
of the constables of the Crown, whom the lawlessness of the wild
inhabitants and the turbulence of their chieftains had rendered it
necessary to establish in the west of Scotland, also fell into the
possession of the Frasers.

The present seat of the family of Lovat, still called Beaufort, is built
on a part of the ground originally occupied by a fortress. It lies on a
beautiful eminence near the Beauly, and is surrounded by extensive

The race, thus engrafted upon a Scottish stock, continued to acquire
from time to time fresh honours. It was distinguished by bravery and
fidelity. When Edward the First determined to subdue Scotland, he found
three Powers refuse to acknowledge his pretensions. These were, Sir
William Wallace, Sir Simon Fraser, commonly called the Patriot, and the
garrison of Stirling. When Bruce, with an inconsiderable force fought
the English army at Methven, near Perth, and was thrice dismounted, Sir
Simon Fraser thrice replaced him on his saddle; he was himself taken
prisoner and ordered to be executed. And then might be witnessed one of
those romantic instances of Highland devotion, which appear almost
incredible to the calmer notions of a modern era. A rumour went abroad
that the stay of the country, the gallant Fraser, was to suffer for his
fidelity to his country's interests. Herbert de Norham, one of his
followers, and Thomas de Boys, his armour-bearer, swore, that if the
report were true, they would not survive their master. They died
voluntarily on the day of his execution.

In 1431, the Frasers were ennobled; the head of the house was created a
Lord of Parliament by James the First, and the title was preserved in
regular succession, until, by the death of Hugh, the eleventh Lord
Lovat, it reverted, together with all the family estates, now of
considerable value and extent, to Thomas Fraser, of Beaufort, great
uncle of the last nobleman. This destination of the property and honours
was settled by a deed, executed by Hugh, Lord Lovat, in order to
preserve the male succession in the family. It was the cause of endless
heart-burnings and feuds. Hugh had married the Lady Emelia Murray,
daughter of John, Marquis of Athole, and had daughters by that
marriage. He had, in the first instance, settled upon the eldest of them
the succession, on condition of her marrying a gentleman of the name of
Fraser. But this arrangement agreed ill with the Highland pride; and
upon a plea of his having been prevailed on to give this bond, contrary
to the old rights and investments of the family, he being of an easy
temper, having been imposed on to grant this bond, he set it aside by a
subsequent will in favour of his great uncle, dated March 26th,

The families of Murray and Fraser were, at the time that the title of
Lovat descended upon Thomas Fraser, united in what outwardly appeared to
be an alliance of friendship. Their politics, indeed, at times differed.
The late Lord Lovat had persisted in his adherence to James the Second
of England after his abdication, and had marshalled his own troops under
the banners of the brave Dundee. The Marquis of Athole, then Lord
Tullibardine, on the other hand, had adopted the principles of the
Revolution, and had received a commission of Colonel from William the
Third, to raise a regiment of infantry for the reigning monarch.[121]
Thus were the seeds of estrangement between these families, so nearly
united in blood, sown; and they were aggravated by private and jarring
interests, and by manoeuvres and intrigues, of which Lord Lovat, who has
left a recital of them, was, from his own innate taste for cabals, and
aptitude to dissimulation, calculated to be an incomparable judge.

Of the character of Thomas of Beaufort, the father of Simon, little idea
can be formed, except that he seems to have been chiefly guided by the
subtle spirit of his son Simon. The loss of an elder son, Alexander,
after whose death Simon was considered as the acknowledged heir of the
Frasers, may have increased the influence which a young, ardent temper
naturally exercises over a parent advanced in years. Of his father,
Simon, in his various memoirs and letters, always speaks with respect;
and he refers with pride and pleasure to his mother's lineage.

"His mother," he remarks, writing in the third person, "was Dame Sybilla
Macleod, daughter of the chief of the clan of the Macleods, so famous
for its inviolable loyalty to its princes."[122]

During his life-time his great nephew, Thomas Fraser of Beaufort, had
borne the title of Laird of Beaufort. "He now took possession," says his
biographer, "without opposition, of the honours and titles which had
descended to him, and enjoyed them until his death." According to other
authorities, however, Thomas Fraser never assumed the rank of a
nobleman, but retired to the Isle of Sky, where he died in 1699, three
years after his accession to the disputed honours and estates.

The family of Thomas of Beaufort was numerous. Of fourteen children, six
died in infancy; of the eight who survived, Simon Fraser only mentions
two,--his elder brother, Alexander, and his younger, John. Alexander,
who died in 1692, was of a violent and daring temper. A determined
adherent of James the Second, he joined Viscount Dundee in 1689, when
the standard was raised in favour of the abdicated monarch. During a
funeral which had assembled at Beauly, near Inverness, Alexander
received some affront, which, in a fit of passion, he avenged. He killed
his antagonist, and instantly fled to Wales, in order to escape the
effects of his crime. He died in Wales, without issue. John became a
brigadier in the Dutch service, and was known by the name of Le
Chevalier Fraser. He died in 1716, "when," says his brother, Lord Lovat,
in his Memoirs, "I lost my only brother, a fine young fellow."[123]

Simon Fraser, afterwards Lord Lovat, was born at Inverness,--according
to some accounts in 1668, to others in 1670: he fixes the date himself
at 1676. He was educated at the University of Aberdeen, where he
distinguished himself, and took the degree of Master of Arts. During his
boyhood he shewed his hereditary affection to the Stuarts,--an affection
which was probably sincere at that early age: and he was even
imprisoned for his open avowal of that cause, at the time when his elder
brother repaired to the standard of Dundee. Deserting the study of the
civil law, to which he had been originally destined, Simon Fraser
entered a company in the regiment of Lord Tullibardine, his relation;
nevertheless, he twice attempted to benefit the Jacobite cause,--once,
by joining the insurrection promoted by General Buchan, and a second
time by forming a plan, which was rendered abortive by the famous
victory at La Hogue, for surprising the Castle of Edinburgh, and
proclaiming King James in that capital.

This plot escaped detection; and the young soldier pursued his military
duties, until the death of Hugh Lord Lovat drew him from the routine of
his daily life into intrigues which better suited his restless and
dauntless character.

Although his father, it is clearly understood, never bore the title of
Lord Lovat, Simon, immediately upon the death of Lord Hugh, took upon
himself the dignity and the offices of Master of Lovat. He seems,
indeed, to have assumed all the importance, and to have exercised all
the authority, which properly belonged to Lord Lovat. He was at this
time nearly thirty years of age, and he had passed his life, not in mere
amusement, but in acquiring a knowledge of the world in prosecuting his
own interests. It is true, his leisure hours might have been more
innocently bestowed even in the most desultory pursuits, than in the
debasing schemes and scandalous society in which his existence was
passed: it is true, that in studying his own interests, he forgot his
true interest, and failed lamentably; still, he had not been idle in his

He is said, on tradition, to have been one of the most frightful men
ever seen; and the portrait which Hogarth took of him, corroborates that
report. He inherited the courage natural to his family, and his
character, in that single respect, shone out at the last with a radiancy
that one almost regrets, since it seemed so inconsistent that a career
of the blackest vice and perfidy should close with something little less
than dignity of virtue. He seems to have been endowed with a capacity
worthy of a better employment than waiting upon a noble and wealthy
relative, or inflaming discords between Highland clans. If we may adduce
the Latin quotations which Lovat parades in his Memoirs, and which he
uttered during his last hours, we must allow him to have cultivated the
classics. His letters are skilful, even masterly, cajoling, yet
characteristic. It is affirmed that in spite of a physiognomy vulgar in
feature, and coarse and malignant in expression, he could, like Richard
of Gloucester, obliterate the impression produced by his countenance,
and charm those whom it was his interest to please. His effrontery was
unconquerable: whilst conscious of the most venal motives, and even
after he had displayed to the world a shameless tergiversation, he had
the assurance always to claim for himself the merit of patriotism. "For
my part," he said on one occasion, in conversation with his friends, "I
die a martyr to my country."[124]

In after life, Lovat is described by a contemporary writer, "to have had
a fine comely head to grace Temple Bar." He was a man of lofty stature,
and large proportion; and in the later portion of his life, he grew so
corpulent, that "I imagined," says the same writer, "the doors of the
Tower must be altered to get him in."[125]

"Lord Lovat," says another writer, "makes an odd figure, being generally
more loaded with clothes than a Dutchman: he is tall, walks very
upright, considering his great age, and is tolerably well shaped; he has
a large mouth and short nose, with eyes very much contracted and
down-looking; a very small forehead, covered with a large periwig,--this
gives him a grim aspect, but on addressing any one, he puts on a smiling
countenance: he is near-sighted, and affects to be much more so than he
really is."

"His natural abilities," remarks the editor of the Culloden Papers,
"were excellent, and his address, accomplishments, and learning far
above the usual lot of his countrymen, even of equal rank. With the
civilized, he was the modern perfect fine gentleman; and in the North,
among his people, the feudal baron of the tenth century."[126]

It seems absurd to talk of the religious principles of a man who
violated every principle which religion inculcates; yet the mind is
naturally curious to know whether any bonds of faith, or suggestion of
conscience ever checked, even for an instant, the career of this base,
unprincipled man. After much deception, much shuffling, and perhaps much
self-delusion, Lord Lovat was, by his own declaration, a Roman Catholic:
his sincerity, even in this avowal, has been questioned. In politics, he
was in heart (if he had a heart) a Jacobite; and yet, on his trial, he
insisted strongly upon his affection for the reigning family.

Such were the characteristics of Simon Fraser, when, by the death of
Hugh Lord Lovat, his father and himself were raised from the
subservience of clansmen to the dignity of chieftains. To these traits
may be added a virtue rare in those days, and, until a long time
afterwards, rare in Highland districts;--he was temperate: when others
lost themselves by excesses, he preserved the superiority of sobriety;
and perhaps his crafty character, his never-ending designs, his
remorseless selfishness, were rendered more fatal and potent by this
singular feature in his deportment. There was another circumstance, less
rare in his country, the advantage of an admirable constitution. It was
this, coupled with his original want of feeling, which sustained him in
the imprisonment in the Tower, and enabled him to display, at eighty,
the elasticity of youth. Lord Lovat was never known to have had the
headache, and to the hour of his death he read without spectacles. A
very short time after the death of Hugh Lord Lovat elapsed, before those
relatives to whom he had bequeathed his estates were involved in the
deadliest quarrel with the family of Lord Tullibardine.

The family of Lord Tullibardine, at that time called Lord Murray,
furnish one of those numerous instances which occur in the reign of
William the Third, of an open avowal of Whig principles, joined to a
secret inclination to favour the Jacobite party. The Marquis of Athole,
the father of Lord Tullibardine, had been a powerful Royalist in the
time of Charles the First; but had, nevertheless, promoted the
Revolution, and had hastened, in 1689, to court the favour of the Prince
of Orange, with whom his lady claimed kindred.

Disappointed in his hopes of distinction, the Marquis returned to his
former views upon the subject of legitimacy; and finally retired into
private life, leaving the pursuit of fortune to his son, Lord John,
afterwards Earl Tullibardine, and Marquis of Athole. The disgust of the
old Marquis towards the government of William the Third, and the evident
determination which his son soon manifested to ingratiate himself with
that monarch, had, at the time when the death of Hugh Lord Lovat took
place, completely alienated the Marquis from his son, and produced an
entire separation of their interests.[127]

In his zeal for the King's service, Lord Tullibardine had endeavoured to
raise a regiment of infantry; and it happened, that at this time Simon
Fraser, as he expresses it, "by a most extraordinary stroke of
Providence, held a commission in that regiment." This commission had
been procured for him by his cousin, Lord Lovat, who looked upon it as
the best means of "bringing him out in the world," as he expressed
himself. The mode in which Simon was induced by Lord Murray to accept of
this commission, and the manner in which he was, according to his own
statement, induced to support a scheme which was adverse to the
interests of King James, is narrated in his own Memoirs. If we may
believe his account, he opposed the formation of this regiment by every
exertion in his power: he aided the Stewarts and Robinsons of Athole,
devoted Jacobites, and determined opposers of Lord Murray, whose claims
on them as their chieftain they refused to admit; and when Lord Murray,
on being appointed one of the Secretaries of State, resolved to give up
the colonelcy of the troop, he tried every means in his power to
dissuade his cousin, Hugh Lord Lovat, to whom it was offered, from
accepting the honour which it was inconsistent with his principles to
bear. This conduct, according to the hero of the tale, was highly
applauded by the old Marquis of Athole, who even engaged his young
relative, Simon, to pass the winter in the city of Perth with the
younger son of the Marquis, Lord Mungo Murray, in order that they might
there prosecute together the study of mathematics.

Simon accepted the invitation; and whilst he was at Perth, he was,
according to his own statement, cajoled by Lord Murray into accepting
the commission, which "he held by a stroke of Providence;" and which was
represented by Lord Murray, as Simon affirms, to be actually a regiment
intended for the service of King James, who, it was expected, would make
a descent into Scotland in the following summer. And it was observed
that since the Laird of Beaufort was so zealous in his service, he could
not do his Majesty a greater benefit than in accepting this commission.

Influenced by these declarations, Simon had not only accepted the
commission, but had used his influence to make up a complete company
from his own clan: nevertheless, the command of the company was long
delayed. His pride as a Highlander and a soldier was aggrieved by being
obliged to sit down content, for some time, as a lieutenant of
grenadiers; and, at last, the company was only given upon the payment of
a sum of money to the captain, who made room for the Laird of Beaufort.
Nor was this all; for upon the Lord Murray being made one of the
Secretaries of State, he insisted upon the regiment taking oath of
abjuration, which had never before been tendered to the Scottish

Such had been the state of affairs when Hugh Lord Lovat was taken ill,
and died at Perth. The manner in which Simon Fraser represents this
event, is far more characteristic of his own malignant temper, than
derogating to the family upon whom he wreaks all the luxury of vengeance
that words could give. Simon, it appears, had persuaded Lord Lovat to
go to Dunkeld, to meet his wife, the daughter of the Marquis of Athole,
in order to conduct her to Lovat. Lord Lovat, disgusted by the treachery
of the Earl of Tullibardine in respect to the regiment, had refused to
have anything more to do with "this savage family of Athole," as he
called them, "who would certainly kill him."[129] According to an
account more to be relied on than that of the scheming and perfidious
Simon, the aversion which Lord Lovat imbibed during his latter days to
his wife's kindred, was implanted in his mind by Simon Fraser, in order
to gain his weak-minded relative over to that plot which he had formed
in order to secure the estates of Lovat to his own branch of the
house.[130] This, however, is the account given by Fraser of his
kinsman's last illness:--

"In reality he had been only two days at Dunkeld, when he fell sick, and
the Atholes, not willing to be troubled with the care of an invalid, or
for some other reasons, sent him to an inn in the city of Perth, hard by
the house of Dr. James Murray, a physician, the relation or creature of
the Marquis of Athole, upon whom the care of Lord Lovat's person was

"The moment the Laird of Beaufort heard the news that Lord Lovat had
been conducted, very ill, to the town of Perth, he set out to his
assistance. But before his arrival, in consequence of the violent
remedies that had been administered to him, he lost the use of his
reason, and lay in his bed in a manner incapable of motion,--abandoned
by his wife and the whole family of Athole, who waited for his
dissolution in great tranquillity, at the house of Dr. Murray, their

Lord Lovat, however, recollected his cousin, and embracing him said,
"Did not I tell you, my dear Simon, that these devils would certainly
kill me? See in what a condition I am!" Simon could not refrain from
tears at this melancholy spectacle. He threw himself on the bed beside
Lord Lovat, and did not quit him till he died the next morning in his
arms. Meanwhile, not an individual of the Athole family entered his
apartment after having once seen him in the desperate condition in which
he had been found by the Laird of Beaufort.

Such was the state of family discord when Lord Lovat died; and it was
discovered, to the consternation of the Marquis of Athole and his sons,
that he had made a will in favour of his relation Thomas of Beaufort,
and to the exclusion of his own daughter.

The right of Thomas of Beaufort was deemed incontestable; and not a man,
it was presumed, dreamed of disputing it. Yet it was soon obvious that
the Earl of Tullibardine, who had now acquired the title of Viceroy of
Scotland, was determined to support a claim in behalf of the daughter of
Lord Lovat, and to have her declared heiress to her father. This scheme
was coupled with a design of marrying the young lady also to one of Lord
Tullibardine's own sons,[131] of whom he had five, and, according to
Simon Fraser, without fortune to bestow on any of his children.

The Master of Lovat, Simon Fraser, as he rightfully was now,
communicated this scheme to his father, and entreated him to resist this
claim. Recourse was had to several of the most able lawyers of the
kingdom, and their opinion unanimously was, that Lord Tullibardine had
no more right to make his "niece heiress of Lovat than to put her in
possession of the throne of Scotland: that the right of Thomas of
Beaufort to those honours and estates was incontrovertible, and that the
King himself would not deprive him of them, except for high treason." It
appears that Lord Tullibardine was satisfied of the justice of the
opinion as far as the title was concerned, but he still considered that
the property of the last Lord Lovat ought to descend to his daughter and
heiress. The point was warmly viewed between the Earl and the Master of
Lovat; but the conference ended with no farther satisfaction to either
of the gentlemen than that of having each a full opportunity of reviling
the other: such, at least, is the account given by one of the parties;
no reasonable person will venture wholly to vouch for its accuracy, yet
the dialogue does not appear improbable. This firmness and spirit threw
the Lord Commissioner into a violent passion; he exclaimed in a furious
tone, "I have always known you for an obstinate, insolent rascal; I
don't know what should hinder me from cutting off your ears, or from
throwing you into a dungeon, and bringing you to the gallows, as your
treasons against the Government so richly deserve." Simon, having never
before been accustomed to such language, immediately stuck his hat on
his head, and laying his hand upon the hilt of his sword, was upon the
point of drawing it, when he observed that Lord Tullibardine had no
sword: upon this he addressed him in the following manner.

"I do not know what hinders me, knave and coward as you are, from
running my sword through your body. You are well known for a poltroon,
and if you had one grain of courage, you would never have chosen your
ground in the midst of your guards, to insult a gentleman of a better
house, and of a more honourable birth than your own; but I shall one day
have my revenge. As for the paltry company that I hold in your regiment,
and which I have bought dearer than ever any company was bought
before,--it is the greatest disgrace to which I was ever subject, to be
a moment under your command; and now, if you please, you may give it to
your footman."[132]

Such was the beginning of a long course of hostilities which were
thenceforth carried on between the Murrays and the clan of Fraser, and
which was productive of the deepest crimes on the part of the Master of
Lovat. That he was fully prepared to enter into any schemes, however
desperate, to ensure the succession of the estates of Lovat, cannot be
doubted. He prosecuted his designs without remorse or shame. The matter
of surprise must be, that he found partisans and followers willing to
aid him in crime, and that he possessed an influence over his followers
little short, on their part, of infatuation.

The first suggestion that occurred to the mind of this bold and reckless
man was, perhaps, a natural and certainly an innocent method of securing
tranquillity to the enjoyment of his inheritance. He resolved to engage
the affections of the young daughter of the late Lord Lovat, and, by an
union with that lady, to satisfy himself that no doubt could arise as to
his title to the estates, nor with regard to any children whom he might
have in that marriage; nor was the hand of the Master of Lovat, if we
put aside the important point of character, a proffer to be despised.
The estate of Beaufort had long been in the possession of his father, as
an appanage of a younger son; and had only been lent as a residence to
Hugh Lord Lovat, on account of the ruinous state of the castle of Lovat.
Downie Castle, another important fortress, also accrued to the father of
Simon Lovat; and the estate of Lovat itself was one of the finest and
best situated in Scotland.[133] In addition to these, the family owned
the large domain of Sthratheric, which stretches along the western banks
of the Ness, and comprises almost the whole circumference of that
extensive and beautiful lake. The pretensions of the Master were,
therefore, by no means contemptible; and as he was young, although,
according to dates, ten years older than he states himself to be, in his
Memoir of his life, he had every reason to augur success.

For a time, this scheme seemed to prosper. The young lady, Amelia
Fraser, was not averse to receive the Master of Lovat as her suitor; and
the intermediate party, Fraser, of Tenechiel, who acted as interpreter
to the wishes of the Master, actually succeeded in persuading the young
creature to elope with him, and to fix the very day of her marriage with
the Master, to whom Fraser promised to conduct her. But either she
repented of this clandestine step, or Fraser of Tenechiel, dreading the
power of the Athole family, drew back; for he reconducted her back to
her mother at Castle Downie, even after her assurance had been given
that she would marry her cousin.[134]

The circumstances of this elopement are obscurely stated by Lord Lovat
in his account of the affair; and he does not refer to the treachery or
remorse of his emissary Fraser of Tenechiel, nor does he dwell upon a
disappointment which must have gratified his mortal enemies of the house
of Athole. Yet it appears, from the long and early intimacy to which he
alludes as having subsisted between himself and the Dowager Lady Lovat,
that he may have had many opportunities of gaining the regard of the
young daughter of that lady,--an idea which accounts, in some measure,
for her readiness to engage in the scheme of the elopement. At all
events, he expresses his rage and contempt, and makes no secret of his
determined revenge on those who had, as he conceived, frustrated his

The young lady was at first placed under the protection of her mother
at Castle Downie, the chief residence of the clan Fraser; but there it
was not thought prudent to allow her to abide, and she was therefore
carried, under an escort, to Dunkeld, the house of her uncle, the
Marquis of Athole. And here another match was very soon provided for
her, and again her consent was gained, and again the preliminaries of
marriage were arranged for this passive individual. The nobleman whom
her relations now proposed to her was William, afterwards eleventh Lord
Salton, also a Fraser, whose father was a man of great wealth and
influence, although referred to by the Master of Lovat as the
"representative of an unconsiderable branch of the Frasers who had
settled in the lowlands of the county of Aberdeen."[135] This match was
suggested to the Athole family by one Robert Fraser "an apostate
wretch," as the Master of Lovat calls him, a kinsman, and an advocate;
and he advised the Marquis of Athole, not only to marry the young lady
to the heir of Lord Salton, but also, by various schemes and manoeuvres,
to get Lord Salton declared head of the clan of Frasers. This plot was
soon divulged; disappointment, rage, revenge were raised to the height
in the breast of the Master of Lovat. His pride was as prominent a
feature in this bold and vindictive man, as his duplicity. Throughout
life, he could, it is true, bend for a purpose, as low as his designs
required him to bend; but the fierce exclusiveness of a Highland
chieftain never died away, but rankled in his heart to the last.

It must be admitted that he had just cause of irritation against the
Murrays, first for disputing the claim of his father to the Lovat title
and estates, a claim indisputably just; nor was their project for
constituting Lord Salton the head of the clan Fraser, either a wise or
an equitable scheme. It was heard with loud indignation in that part of
the country where the original stock of this time-honoured race were,
until their name was stained by the crimes of Simon Fraser, held in love
and reverence. It was heard by the Master of Lovat perhaps with less
expression of his feelings than by his followers; but the meditated
affront was avenged, and avenged by a scheme which none but a demon
could have devised. It was avenged; but it brought ruin on the head of
the avenger.

Perhaps in no other country, at the same period, could the wrongs of an
individual have been visited upon an aggressor with the same dispatch
and ruthless determination as in the Highlands. Until the year 1748,
when the spirit of clanship was broken, never to be restored, those
"hereditary monarchies founded on custom, and allowed by general consent
rather than established by laws,"[136] existed in their full vigour. The
military ranks of the clans was fixed and continual during the rare
intervals of local quiet, and every head of a family was captain of his
own tribe.[137] The spirit of rivalry between the clans kept up a taste
for hostility, and converted rapine into a service of honour. Revenge
was considered as a duty, and superstition aided the dictates of a
fiery and impetuous spirit. A people naturally humane, naturally
forbearing, had thus, by the habits of ages immemorial, become
remorseless plunderers and resolute avengers. When any affront was
offered to a chieftain, the clan was instantly summoned. They came from
their straths and their secluded valleys, wherein there was little
intercourse with society in general to tame their native pride, or to
weaken the predominant emotion of their hearts,--their pride in their
chieftain. They came fearlessly, trusting, not only in the barriers
which Nature had given them in their rocks and fastnesses, but in the
unanimity of their purpose. Each clan had its stated place of meeting,
and when it was summoned upon any emergency, the fiery cross, one end
burning, the other wrapt in a piece of linen stained with blood, was
sent among the aroused clansmen, traversing those wild moors, and
penetrating into the secluded glens of those sublime regions. It was
sent, by two messengers, throughout the country, and passed from hand to
hand, these messengers shouting, as they went, the war-cry of the clan,
which was echoed from rock to rock. And then arose the cry of the
coronach, that wail, appropriate to the dead, but uttered also by women,
as the fiery cross roused them from their peaceful occupations, and
hurried from them their sons and their husbands.

Never was the fiery cross borne throughout the beautiful country of
Invernessshire, never was the wail of the coronach heard on a more
ignoble occasion, than on the summons of the Master of Lovat, in the
September of the year 1698. After some fruitless negotiation, it is
true, with Lord Salton, and after availing himself of the power of his
father, as chieftain, to imprison Robert Fraser, and several other
disaffected clansmen whom that person had seduced from their allegiance,
the Master of Lovat prepared for action. The traitors to his cause had
escaped death by flight, but the clan were otherwise perfectly faithful
to their chieftain. Fear, as well as love, had a part in their
allegiance; yet it has been conjectured that the hereditary devotion of
the Highlanders must, originally, have had its origin in gratitude for
services and for bounty, which it was the interest of every chieftain to

The Master of Lovat, or, as he was called by his people, the chieftain,
first assembled his people at their accustomed place, to the number of
sixty and seventy, and bade them be in readiness when called upon. He
thanked them for their prompt attendance, and then dismissed them.
During the next month, however, he was met, coming from Inverness, by
Lord Salton and Lord Mungo Murray, who were returning from Castle
Downie. Such was the preparation for the disgraceful scenes which
quickly followed. As soon as the Master of Lovat and his father were
informed of the flight of their treacherous clansmen, they wrote a
letter to Lord Salton, and conjured him, in the name of the clan, to
remain at home, and not to disturb their repose nor to interfere with
the interests of their chief; and they assured him, that though a
Fraser, he should, if he entered their country, pay for that act of
audacity by his head. Such is Lord Lovat's account: it is not borne out
by the statements of others; yet since the affair must have been
generally discussed among the clan, it is probable, that he would not
have given this version of it without foundation. Lord Salton, according
to the same statement, at first received this letter in good part; and
wrote to Lord Lovat and to the Master, giving his word that he would
only interfere to make peace; and that, for this reason, he would
proceed to the seat of the Dowager Lady Lovat, at Beaufort.[138] Upon
afterwards discovering that this courtesy was a mere feint, and that
this new claimant to the honours of chief was in close correspondence
with the Murrays, who were with him and the Dowager at Beaufort, the
Master of Lovat wrote to his father, who was at Sthratheric, to meet him
at Lovat, which was only three miles' distance from Beaufort, whilst he
should himself proceed to the same place by way of Inverness, where he
trusted that Lord Salton would grant him an interview for the purpose of
explaining their mutual differences.[139]

No sooner had the Master arrived at Inverness, than he found, as he
declares, so much reason to distrust the assurances of Lord Salton, that
he wrote him a letter, sent, as he says, "with all diligence by a
gentleman of his train, to adhere to his word passed to his father and
himself, and to meet him the next day at two in the afternoon, three
miles from Beaufort, either like a friend, or with sword and pistol, as
he pleased."[140]

Such is the account transmitted by Lord Lovat, and intended to give the
air of an "affair of honour" to a desperate and lawless attack upon
Fraser of Salton, and on those friends who supported his pretensions to
the hand of the heiress of Lovat.

The real facts of the case were, that Fraser of Salton was to pass
through Inverness on his way to Dunkeld, where the espousals between him
and the heiress of Lovat were to be celebrated. Whether Simon Fraser
purposed merely to prevent the accomplishment of this marriage, or
whether he had fully matured another scheme:--whether he was incited by
disappointment to rush into unpremeditated deeds of violence, or whether
his design had been fostered in the recesses of his own dark mind,
cannot be fully ascertained. In some measure his revenge was gratified.
He was enabled, by the events which followed, to delay the marriage of
Fraser of Salton, and to retard the nuptials,--which, indeed, never took
place. "This wild enterprise," observes Arnot, in his Collection of
Criminal Trials in Scotland, "was to be accomplished by such deeds, that
the stern contriver of the principal action is less shocking than the
abject submission of his accomplices."[141]

Lord Salton dispatched an answer, saying, that he would meet the Master
of Lovat at the appointed time, as his "good friend and servant." But
the bearer of that message distrusted the reply, and informed the Master
that he believed it was Fraser of Salton's intention to set out and to
pass through Inverness early in the morning, in order to escape the
interview. Measures were taken accordingly, by the Master of Lovat. At a
very early hour he was seen passing over the bridge of Inverness,
attended by six gentlemen, as he himself relates, and two servants,
completely armed. This is the Master's statement; but on his subsequent
trial, it appeared that the fiery cross and the coronach had been sent
throughout all the country; that a body of four or five hundred men in
arms were in attendance, and that they had met in the house of one of
the clansmen, Fraser of Strichen, where the Master took their oaths of
fidelity, and where they swore on their dirks to be faithful to him in
his enterprise.[142] "The inhabitants of Inverness," says Lord Lovat,
"observing their alert and spirited appearance, lifted up their hands to
heaven, and prayed God to prosper their enterprise." These simple and
deluded people, doubtless, but partially understood the nature of that
undertaking which they thus called on Heaven to bless.

The Master of Lovat and his party had not proceeded more than four or
five miles from Inverness, than they observed a large party of "runners
issuing out of the wood of Bonshrive, which is crossed by the high
road." "It is a custom," adds Lord Lovat, "in the north of Scotland,
for almost every gentleman to have a servant in livery, who runs before
his horse, and who is always at his stirrup when he wishes to mount or
to alight; and however swift any horse may be, a good runner is always
able to match him."

The gentlemen who attended the Master of Lovat, were soon able to
perceive that Lord Salton was one of the leaders of the party who was
quitting the Wood of Bonshrive, and emerging into the high road; and
that his Lordship was accompanied by Lord Mungo Murray, a younger son of
the Marquis of Athole, and, as the Master of Lovat intimates, an early
friend of his own. The account which Lord Lovat's narrative henceforth
presents, of that which ensued, is so totally at variance with the
evidence on his trial, that it must be disregarded and rejected as
unworthy of credit, as well as the boast with which he concludes it, of
having generously saved the lives of Lord Salton, and of his own
kinsman, Lord Mungo. It appeared afterwards, that his followers had
orders to seize them, dead or alive.

These two young noblemen were, it seems, almost instantly overpowered by
numbers, notwithstanding the attendance of the "runners," on whom Lord
Lovat so much insists. Lord Mungo was taken prisoner by the Master
himself. They were then deprived of their horses, and being mounted on
poneys, were conducted to Fanellan, guards surrounding them, with their
muskets loaded, and dirks drawn, to a house belonging to Lord Lovat,
where they were kept in close confinement, guarded by a hundred
clansmen. Gibbets were erected under the windows of the house, to
intimidate the prisoners; and at the end of a week they were marched off
to Castle Downie,--the Master of Lovat going there in warlike array,
with a pair of colours and a body of five hundred men. From Castle
Downie, Lord Salton and Lord Mungo were led away into the islands and
mountains, and were treated with great indignity.

These adversaries being thus disposed of, the Master of Lovat invested
the castle of Downie with an armed force, and soon took possession of a
fortress, tenanted only by a defenceless woman, the Dowager Lady Lovat.
But that lady was a Murray; one of a resolute family, and descended on
her mother's side from a Stanley. She was the grand-daughter of
Charlotte de la Tremouille, who defended Latham House against the
Parliamentary forces in 1644. Notwithstanding that armed men were placed
in the different apartments of the castle, she was undaunted. Attempts
were made by the Master of Lovat to compel her to sign certain deeds,
securing to him that certainty of the right to the estates, for which he
was ready to plunge in the deepest of crimes. She was firm--she refused
to subscribe her name. Her refusal was the signal, or the incentive, for
the completion of another plot, of a last resource,--a compulsory
marriage between the Master of Lovat and herself.

The awful and almost incredible details of that last act of infuriated
villany, prove Lady Lovat to have been a woman of strong resolution,
and of a deep sensibility. The ceremony of marriage was pronounced by
Robert Monro, Minister of Abertaaffe. The unhappy Lady Lovat's
resistance and prayers were heard in the very court-yard below, although
the sound of bagpipes were intended to drown her screams. Morning found
the poor wretched being, to make use of one of the expressions used by
an eye-witness, "out of her judgment; she spoke none, but gave the
deponent a broad stare." For several days reason was not restored to
her, until, greeted by one of her friends with the epithet "Madam," she
answered, "Call me not Madam, but the most miserable wretch alive." The
scene of this act of diabolical wickedness[143] is razed to the ground:
Castle Downie was burned by the royal troops, in the presence of him who
had committed such crimes within its walls, and of three hundred of his
clansmen, shortly after the battle of Culloden.

It appears from a letter written by Thomas Lovat, the father of the
Master, to the Duke of Argyle, that he and his son were shortly
"impeached for a convocation," and for making prisoners of Lord Salton
and Lord Mungo Murray, for which they were charged before him, were
fined, discharged their fines, and "gave security to keep the
peace."[144] So lightly was that gross invasion of the liberty that
threatened the lives of others at first treated! "We have many
advertisements," adds Thomas Lovat, "that Athole is coming here in
person, with all the armed men he is able to make, to compel us to duty,
and that without delay. If he come, so we are resolved to defend
ourselves; the laws of God, of nature, and the laws of all nations, not
only allowing, but obliging all men, _vim vi repellere_. And I should
wish from my heart, if it were consistent with divine and human laws,
that the estates of Athole and Lovat were laid as a prize, depending on
the result of a fair day betwixt him and me."[145] It was, perhaps, an
endeavour to avert the impending ruin and devastation that followed,
that the Master of Lovat gave their liberty to Lord Saltoun and Lord
Mungo Murray, although not until he had threatened them both with
hanging for interfering with his inheritance, and compelling Lord
Saltoun to promise that he would, on arriving at Inverness, send a
formal obligation for eight thousand pounds, never more to concern
himself with the affairs of the Lovat estate, and that neither he nor
the Marquis of Athole would ever prosecute either Lord Lovat or his son,
or their clan in general, for the disgrace they had received in having
been made prisoners, for any of the transactions of this affair.[146]

But it was evident that, in spite of this concession, the vengeance of
the Marquis of Athole never slept; and that he was resolved to wreak it
upon the head of the wretch who had for ever blasted the happiness of
his sister.

The Master of Lovat was shortly aware that it would no longer be
prudent to remain with his victim in the castle of Downie. His wife, as
it was then his pleasure to call her, remained in a condition of the
deepest despair. She would neither eat nor drink whilst she was in his
power; and her health appears to have suffered greatly from distress and
fear. In the dead of night she was summoned to leave Castle Downie, to
be removed to a more remote and a wilder region, where the unhappy
creature might naturally expect, from the desperate character of her
pretended husband, no mitigation of her sorrows. Since rumours were
daily increasing of the approach of Lord Athole's troops, the clan of
Fraser was again, when Lady Lovat was conveyed from the scene of her
anguish, called forth to assist their leader, and the wail of the
coronach was again heard in that dismal and portentous night: for
portentous it was. This crime, the first signal offence of Simon Fraser,
stamped his destiny. Its effects followed him through life: it entailed
others: it was the commencement of a catalogue of iniquities almost
unprecedented in the career of one man's existence.

Crushed, broken-spirited, afraid of returning to her kindred, whose high
fame she seems to have thought would be sullied by her misfortunes, Lady
Lovat was conducted by Fraser to the Island of Aigas. They stole thither
on horseback, attended by a single servant, and arriving at the
sea-shore, they there took a boat, and were carried to the obscure
island which Fraser had chosen for his retreat. Thomas Fraser of
Beaufort, the father of Simon, thus writes to the Duke of Argyle
respecting this singular and revolting union.

"We have gained a considerable advantage by my eldest son's being
married to the Dowager of Lovat; and if it please God they live together
some years, our circumstances will be very good. Our enemies are so
galled at it, that there is nothing malice or cruelty can invent but
they design and practice against us; so that we are forced to take to
the hills, and keep spies at all parts; by which, among many other
difficulties, the greatest is this,--that my daughter-in-law, being a
tender creature, fatigue and fear of bloodshed may put an end to her,
which would make our condition worse than ever."[147]

And now there took place, in the mind of Lady Lovat, one of those
singular revulsions which experience teaches us to explain rather than
induces us to believe as neither impossible nor uncommon. Lady Lovat, it
is said upon the grave authority of a reverend biographer, became
attached to the bonds which held her. "Here," says Mr. Arbuthnot, in his
Life of Lord Lovat,[148] "he continued a month or six weeks, and by this
time the captain had found means to work himself so effectually into the
good graces of the lady, that, as he reported, 'she doated on him, and
was always unhappy at his absence.'" However true or however false this
representation may be, the marriage service was again, as it was said,
solemnized, at the suggestion of the Master of Lovat, and with the free
consent of Lady Lovat.[149] On the twenty-sixth of October, 1697, we
find Simon Fraser writing in the following terms to the Laird of
Culloden. The answer is not given in the Culloden Papers, but it not
improbably contained a recommendation to repeat the marriage

                                  "Beaufort, the 26th of Oct., 1797.

    "Dear Sir,

    "Thir Lords att Inverness, with the rest of my implacable enemies,
    does so confound my wife, that she is uneasy till she see them. I am
    afraid that they are so madd with this disapointment, that they will
    propose something to her that is dangerous, her brother having such
    power with her; so that really, till things be perfectly
    accommodatt, I do nott desire they should see her, and I know not
    how to manage her. So I hope you will send all the advice you can to
    your oblidged humble servant,

                                                       SIM. FRASER."

    "I hope you will excuse me for not going your lenth, since I have
    such a hard task at home."


                                                   "Nov. 23rd, 1697.


    "I pray you receive the inclosed acompt of my business, and see if
    your own conscience, in sight of God, doth not convince you that it
    is literally true. I hade sent it to you upon Saturday last, but you
    were not at home; however, I sent it that day to the Laird of
    Calder, who, I hope, will not sitt down on me, but transmitt it to
    my best friends; and I beseech you, Sir, for God's sak, that you do
    the like. I know the Chancellour is a just man, notwithstanding his
    friendship to my Lord Tilliberdine. I forgive you for betraying of
    me; but neither you, nor I, nor I hope God himself, will forgive him
    that deceived you, and caused you to do it. I am very hopeful in my
    dear wife's constancey, if they do not put her to death. Now I ad no
    more, but leaves myself to your discretion; and reste, Sir, your
    faithful friend and servant,

                                                       SIM. FRASER."

Lady Lovat lived to hear her husband deny that he had ever sought her in
marriage, and to see him married to two different wives; and he scrupled
not to represent the unfortunate Lady Lovat as the last possible object
of his regard--as a "widow, old enough to be his mother, dwarfish in her
person, and deformed in her shape."[150] This, as far as related to
disparity of years, was untrue; the Dowager was only four years older
than the Master of Lovat.

Meantime justice had not slumbered; and one morning, a charge "against
Captain Simon Fraser, of Beaufort, and many others, persons mostly of
the clan Fraser, for high treason, in forming unlawful associations,
collecting an armed force, occupying and fortifying houses and
garrisons, &c.," was left by the herald, pursuant to an old Scottish
custom, in a cloven stick which was deposited at the river side,
opposite to the Isle of Aigas.[151] Of this no notice was taken by
Simon, except to renew his addresses to his clan, and to hasten, as far
as he could from his secluded retreat, a systematic resistance to the
Marquis of Athole, and even to the royal troops, whose approach was
expected. But his fears were aroused. Again he sought to avert the
coming danger by concession; and he determined, in the first instance,
on restoring Lady Lovat to her friends.

It is stated by Mr. Arbuthnot, but still on the authority of the Master
of Lovat, that Lady Lovat had now become reluctant to return to her
relations. Nor is it improbable that this statement is true, without
referring that reluctance to any affection for the wretch with whom her
fate was linked. She complied, nevertheless, with the proposal of the
Master; and leaving the Island of Aigas, she proceeded first to Castle
Downie, and afterwards to Dunkeld, where, according to Arbuthnot, she
was obliged by her brother, the Marquis, to join in a prosecution
against her husband, for a crime which she had forgiven. According to a
letter from the Duke of Argyle, addressed to the Rev. Mr. Carstares,
chaplain to King William, she fully exculpated the Master from the
charges made against him on her account.[152] This exculpation was
doubtless given when the unhappy woman was under the influence of that
subtle and powerful mind, which lent its aid to its guilty schemes.
Simon Fraser himself, as we have seen, in writing to Duncan Forbes,
declared--"I am very hopeful in my dear wife's constancy, if they do not
put her to death." This might be only a part of his usual acting,--a
trait of that dissimulation which was the moral taint of his character;
or it may have been true that the humiliated being whom he called his
wife had really learned to cherish one who seemed born to be distrusted,
hated, and shunned.

The return of Lady Lovat to her family was of no avail in mitigating the
indignation of the Marquis of Athole. By his influence with the Privy
Council, who were, it is said, completely under his control, he procured
an order from King William for the march of troops against the clan of
Fraser, with instructions, according to Simon Fraser, to overrun the
country, to burn, kill, and to destroy the whole clan, without
exception; and, without issuing a citation to Thomas Fraser of Beaufort,
or to his son, to appear--without examining a single witness--a printed
sentence was published against all the Frasers, men and women and
children, and their adherents. Even the sanctuary of churches was not to
be respected: "in a word," says Lord Lovat's Manifesto, "history, sacred
or profane, cannot produce an order so pregnant with such unexampled
cruelty as this sentence, which is carefully preserved in the house of
Lovat, to the eternal confusion and infamy of those who signed it."[153]
The Government which sanctioned the massacre of Glencoe was perfectly
capable of issuing a proclamation which confounded the innocent with the
guilty, and punished before trial.

The Master of Lovat assembled his clan. That simple and faithful people,
trusting in the worth and honour of their leader, swore that they would
never desert him, that they would leave their wives, their children, and
all that they most valued, to live and die with him. An organized
resistance was planned; and the Master of Lovat intreated his father, as
he himself expressed it, with tears, "to retire into the country of his
kinsmen, the Macleods of Rye." The proposal was accepted, and Thomas of
Beaufort, for he never assumed the disputed title of Lord Lovat, took
refuge among that powerful and friendly clan.

The prosecution against the Master of Lovat was, in the mean time,
commenced in the Court of Justiciary; "the only case," so it has been
called, "since the Revolution, in which a person was tried in absence,
before the Court of Justiciary, a proof led, a jury inclosed, a verdict
returned, and sentence pronounced; forfeiting life, estate, honours,
fame, and posterity."[154] None of the parties who were summoned,
appeared. The jury returned a verdict finding the indictment proved, and
the Court adjudged Captain Fraser and the other persons accused, to be
executed as traitors; "their name, fame, memory, and honours, to be
extinct, and their arms to be riven forth and deleted out of the books
of arms; so that their posterity may never have place, nor be able
hereafter to bruite or enjoy any honours, offices, titles, or dignities;
and to have forfeited all their lands, heritages, and possessions

After this sentence, a severer one than that usually passed in such
cases, the Master of Lovat, for the period of four years, led a life of
skirmishes, escapes, and hardships of every description. He retired into
the remote Highlands, then almost impenetrable; and, followed by a small
band of his clansmen, he wandered from mountain to mountain, resolved
never to submit, nor yield himself up to justice. Since his father's
estates were forfeited, and he could draw no means of subsistence from
them, he was often obliged to the charity of the hospitable Highlanders
for some of their coarse fare; and when that resource failed, or when he
had lived too long on the bounty of a neighbourhood, he and his
companions made nightly incursions into the Lowlands, and, carrying off
cattle and provisions, retreated again to their caverns, there to
satisfy hunger with the fruits of their incursions.[156]

During the four years of misery and peril in which the Master of Lovat
continued to evade justice, his father died, among his relations in the
island of Skye. His decease was caused, according to the representation
of his son, by a hasty march made to escape the King's troops, who, he
heard, were coming to the islands to pursue him. Among the few humane
traits in the character of Simon Fraser, the habitual respect and
affection borne by the Highlanders to parents appears to have been
perceptible. He speaks of Thomas of Beaufort in his Life with regret and
regard; but seals those expressions of tenderness with an oath that he
"would revenge himself on his own and his father's enemies with their
blood, or perish in the attempt." Such were his notions of filial piety.

The Master of Lovat had now attained the rank for which he had made such
sacrifices of safety and of fame; and had the hollow satisfaction of a
disputed title, with an attainted estate, and a life over which the
sword of destiny was suspended.

A sentence of outlawry followed that of condemnation, and letters of
fire and sword were issued against him. He was forbidden all
correspondence or intercourse with his fellow subjects: he was cast off
and rejected by his friends, and in constant danger either of being
captured by the officers of justice, or assassinated by his enemies. The
commission for destroying the clan of Fraser was not, indeed, put into
execution; but that wild and beautiful district which owned him for its
lord, was ravaged by the King's troops stationed at Inverness, or
intimidated by the Highland army, commanded by Lord Lovat's early
companions, but now deadly foes,--Lord James and Lord Mungo Murray. At
length, after gaining a complete victory, according to his own account,
at Stratheric, over the tributaries of Lord Athole, and extracting from
the prisoners an oath by which they "renounced the claims on our
Saviour and their hopes in Heaven if ever they returned to the
territories of his enemy, the guilty and unfortunate man grew weary of
his life of wandering, penury, and disgrace."

He was always fertile in expedients, and audacious in proffering his
petitions for mercy. During his father's life, a petition in the form of
a letter, written by Thomas of Beaufort, and signed by seven Frasers,
had been addressed to the Duke of Argyle, appealing to his aid at Court,
upon the plea of that "entire friendship which the family of Lovat had
with, and dependence upon, that of Argyle, grounded upon an ancient
propinquity of blood, and zealously maintained by both through a tract
and series of many ages."[157] The Duke of Argyle had, it was well
understood, made some applications on behalf of the Frasers; and Lord
Lovat now resolved to push his interest in the same friendly quarter,
and to endeavour to obtain a remission of the sentence out against his

His efforts were the more successful, because King William had by this
time begun to suspect the fidelity of Lord Tullibardine, and to place a
strong reliance upon the integrity and abilities of the Duke of Argyle.
The Duke represented to his Majesty not only the ancient friendship
subsisting between the house of Campbell and that of Fraser, but also
that the King might spend "a hundred times the value of the Fraser
estate before he could reduce it, on account of its inaccessible
situation and its connection with the neighbouring clans."[158] The
Duke's account of his success is given with characteristic good sense in
the following letter:--


                                          "Edinburgh, Sept. 5, 1700.


    "In complyance with your desyre and a great many other gentlemen,
    with my own inclination to endeavour a piece of justice, I have made
    it my chief concern to obtain Beaufort's (now I think I may say Lord
    Lovatt's) pardon, and the other gentlemen concerned with him in the
    convocation and seizing of prisoners, which are crymes more
    immediately against his Majesty, which I have at last obtained and
    have it in my custody. I designe to-morrow for Argyllshire; and,
    there not being a quorum of Exchequer in town, am oblidged to delay
    passing the remission till next moneth. We have all had lyes enuf of
    his Majestie before: his goodness in this will, I hope, return my
    friend Culloden to his old consistency, and make E. Argyll appear to
    him as good a Presbiterian and a weel wisher to his country in no
    lesse a degree then Tullibardine, who plundered my land some tyme
    agoe, and Culloden's lately. Pray recover the same spiritt you had
    at the Revolution; let us lay assyde all resentments ill founded,
    all projects which may shake our foundation; let us follow no more
    phantasms (I may say rather divells), who, with a specious pretext
    leading us into the dark, may drownd us. I fynd some honest men's
    eyes are opened, and I shall be sorie if Culloden's continue dimm.
    You have been led by Jacobitt generales to fight for Presbiterie and
    the liberty of the country. Is that consistent? If not speedily
    remedied, remember I tell you the posteritie of such will curse
    them. Let me have a plain satisfactorie answer from you, that I may
    be in perfect charitie with Culloden. Adieu."

Accordingly, the Duke having obtained his pardon, Lord Lovat was
enjoined to lay down his arms, and to go privately to London. That
sentence, which had followed the prosecution on the part of Lady Lovat,
was not, at that time, remitted, for fear of disobliging the Athole
family. Upon arriving in London, Lord Lovat found that Lord Seafield,
the colleague of the Earl of Tullibardine, was disinclined to risk
incurring the displeasure of the Athole family. He put off the signing
of the pardon from time to time. He was even so much in awe of the Earl
of Tullibardine, that he endeavoured to get the King to sign the pardon
when he was at Loo; that Mr. Pringle, the other Secretary of State,
might bear the odium of presenting it for signature. During this delay,
Lord Lovat, not being able with safety to return to Scotland, resolved
to occupy the interval of suspense by a journey into France.

Whilst Lord Lovat's affairs were in this condition, the Marquis of
Athole, resolved for ever to put it out of Lord Lovat's power to gain
any ascendancy over the young heiress of Lovat, Amelia Fraser, was
employed in arranging a marriage for that lady to the son of Alexander
Mackenzie, Lord Prestonhall. It was agreed, by a marriage settlement,
that Mr. Mackenzie should take the name and title of Fraserdale, and
that the children of that marriage should bear the name of Fraser. The
estate of Lovat was settled upon Fraserdale in his life, with remainder
to his children by his wife.[159] It indeed appears, that the estate of
Lovat was never surrendered to Lord Lovat; that he bore in Scotland,
according to some statements, no higher title than that of Lord of
Beaufort; and that a regular receiver of the rents was appointed by the
guardians of Amelia Fraser:[160] so completely were the dark designs of
Simon Fraser defeated in their object! He was, however, graciously
received at St. Germains, whither he went whilst yet, James the Second,
in all the glory of a sanctified superstition, lived with his Queen, the
faithful partner of his misfortunes. Lord Lovat ascribes this visit to
St. Germains to his intention of dissipating the calumnious stories
circulated against him by the Marquis of Athole. The flourishing
statement which he gives in his memoirs of King James's reception, may,
however, be treated as wholly apocryphal. James the Second, with all his
errors, was too shrewd a man, too practised in kingcraft, to speak of
the "perfidious family of Athole," or to mention the head of that noble
house by the title of that "old traitor." Lord Lovat's incapacity to
write the truth, and his perpetual endeavour to magnify himself in his
narrative, cause us equally to distrust the existence of that document,
with the royal seal affixed to it, which he says the King signed with
his own hand, declaring that he would protect Lord Lovat from "the
perfidious and faithless family of Athole."[161]

The fact is, and it redounds to the credit of James the Second, that
monarch, eager as he ever remained to attach partisans to his interests,
never received Lord Lovat into his presence.[162] The infamy of the
exploits of the former Master of Lovat had preceded his visit to France:
the whole account of his own reception at St. Germains, written with
astonishing audacity, and most circumstantially worded, was a

Lord Lovat's usual readiness in difficulties did not fail him; he was a
ruined man, and it was puerile to shrink from expedients. He applied to
the Pope's nuncio, and expressed his readiness to become a Roman
Catholic. The suit was, of course, encouraged, and the arch hypocrite,
making a recantation of all his former errors, professed himself a
member of the holy Catholic Church, and acknowledged the Pope as its
head. This avowal cost him little, for he was by no means prejudiced in
favour of any specific faith; and it gained him for the time, some
little popularity in the gay metropolis in which he had taken refuge.

King James, indeed, to his honour, was still resolute in declining his
personal homage; but Louis the Fourteenth was less scrupulous, and the
Marquis de Torcy, the favourite and Minister of the French King,
presented the abjured of England and Scotland at the Palais of
Versailles. It is difficult to picture to oneself the savage and
merciless Fraser, the pillager, the destroyer, the outlaw, conversing,
as he is said to have done, with the saintly and sagacious Madame
Maintenon. It is scarcely possible to conceive elegant and refined women
of any nation receiving this depraved, impenitent man, with the rumour
of his recent crimes still fresh in their memory, into their polished
circles. Yet they made no scruple in that dissolute city, to associate
with the abandoned wretch who dared not return to Scotland, and who only
looked for a pardon for his crimes through the potent workings of a

Lord Lovat well knew the value of female influence. He dressed in the
height of fashion--he adapted his language and sentiments to the tone of
those around the Court. He was a man of considerable conversational
talents; "his deportment," says his biographer, "was graceful and
manly." When he was first presented to Louis the Fourteenth, who was
desirous of asking some questions concerning the invasion of Scotland,
he is said to have prepared an elaborate address, which he forgot in the
confusion produced by the splendour around him, but to have delivered an
able extempore speech, with infinite ease and good taste, upon the spur
of the moment, to the great amusement of Louis, who learned from De
Torcy the circumstance.[163]

His advancement at the Court of Versailles was interrupted by the
necessity of his return to England, in order to obtain at last a final
pardon from the King for his offences. It is singular that the
instrument by whom he sought to procure this remission was William
Carstairs, that extraordinary man, who had suffered in the reign of
James the Second the thumb-screw, and had been threatened with the iron
boot, for refusing to disclose the correspondence between the friends of
the Revolution. Mr. Carstairs was now secretary to King William, and he
little knew, when he counselled that monarch to pardon Lovat, what a
partisan of the Jacobite cause he was thus restoring to society.

His mediation was effectual, perhaps owing to a dislike which had arisen
in the mind of William against the Athole family; and a pardon was
procured for Lord Lovat. The affair was concluded at Loo, whither Lovat
followed the King from England. "He is a bold man," the Monarch is said
to have observed to Carstairs, "to come so far under sentence of death."
The pardon was unlimited, and that it might comprise the offence against
Lady Athole, it was now "a complete and ample pardon for every
imaginable crime." The royal seal was appended to it, and there remained
only to get that of Scotland also affixed.

Lovat entrusted the management of that delicate and difficult matter to
a cousin, a Simon Fraser also, by whose treachery it was suppressed; and
Lord Seafield caused another pardon to pass the great seal, in which the
treason against King William was alone specified; and other offences
were left unpardoned. Upon this, Lord Lovat cited the Marquis of Athole
before the Lords Justiciary in Edinburgh to answer before them for a
false accusation: but on the very day of supporting his charge, as the
biographer of his family relates, his patron the Duke of Argyle was
informed that the judges had been corrupted, and that "certain death
would be the result if he appeared."[164] This statement is taken from
Lord Lovat's own complication of falsehoods, his incomparably audacious
"Manifesto." Notwithstanding that Lovat had appeared with a retinue of a
hundred armed gentlemen, "as honorable as himself," with the intention
of intimidating the judges;--in spite of the Duke of Argyle's powerful
influence, the friends of the outlawed nobleman counselled him again to
retreat to England, and to suffer judgment to go by default. The Duke of
Argyle, he says, would not lose sight of him till he had seen him on
horseback, and had ordered his own best horse to be brought round to the
door. There was no remedy for what was called by Lord Lovat's friends,
the "rascality" of the judges:--and again this unworthy Highlander was
driven from his own country to seek safety in the land wherein his
offences had received their pardon. The inflexibility of the justiciary
lords, or their known integrity, form a fine incident in history; for
the Scottish nation was at this period, ridden by Court faction, and
broken down by recent oppression and massacre.

Lord Lovat, meeting the Duke of Argyle on the frontiers, accompanied his
Grace to London; and here, notwithstanding his boast, "that after his
arrival in London he was at the Duke's house every day," he appears,
about this time, to have been reduced to a state of miserable poverty,
and merited desertion.

In the following letter to Mr. Carstairs, he complains that nothing is
done for him--he applies to Mr. Carstairs for a little money to carry
him home, "having no other door open."


                                           "London, June 20th, 1701.

    "Dear Sir,

    "I reckon myself very unhappy that my friends here do so much
    neglect me; and I believe my last journey to England has done me a
    vast prejudice; for if I had been at home, I would have got
    something done in my Lord Evelin's business, and would have got
    money before now, that might serve me to go a volunteer with the
    King, or maintain me anywhere; but my friend at home must have worse
    thoughts now of my affairs than ever, having staid so long here, and
    got nothing done. However, I now resolve to go to Scotland, not
    being able to subsist longer here. I have sent the inclosed note,
    that, according to your kind promise, I may have the little money
    which will carry me home, and it shall be precisely paid before two
    months; and I must say, it is one of the greatest favours ever was
    done me, not having any other door open, if you were not so generous
    as to assist me, which I shall alwise gratefully remember, and
    continue with all sincerity, Dear Sir, Your faithful and obliged


The death of William the Third revived the hopes of the Jacobite party;
and to that centre of attraction the ruined and the restless, the
aspiring and the profligate, alike turned their regards. Never was so
great a variety of character, and so great a diversity of motives
displayed in any cause, as in the various attempts which were made to
secure the restoration of the Stuarts. On some natures those opinions,
those schemes, which were generally known under the name of Jacobitism,
acted as an incentive to self-sacrifice--and to a constancy worthy of
better fortune. In other minds the poison of faction worked irremediable
mischief: many who began with great and generous resolves, sank into
intrigue, and ended in infidelity to the cause which that had espoused.
But Lord Lovat came under neither of these classes; he knew not the
existence of a generous emotion; he was consistent in the undeviating
selfishness and baseness of his career.

If he had a sincere predilection, he was disposed to the interest of
King James. Hereditary tendencies scarcely ever lose their hold upon the
mind entirely: notions on politics are formed at a much earlier age
than is generally supposed. The family of Fraser had been, as we have
seen, from ages immemorial employed in defence of the Stuart Kings; and
early prepossessions were imbibed by the unworthy descendant of a brave
race, before his passions had interfered to warp the generous sentiment
of loyalty. As he grew up, Lord Lovat learned to accommodate himself to
any party; and it was justly observed by Lord Middleton, one of the
favourite courtiers at St. Germains, that though he boasted so much of
his adherence to his Sovereign, he had never served any sovereign but
King William, in whose army he had commanded a regiment.[165]

The period was now, however, approaching, when he whose moral atmosphere
was, like his native climate, the tempest and the whirlwind, might hope
to glean some benefit from the impending storm which threatened the
peace of the British empire.

On the sixth of September, 1701, James the Second of England expired at
St. Germains. This event was favourable to those of the Jacobite party
who wished to bring forward the interests of the young Prince of Wales.
James had long been infirm, and had laid aside all schemes of worldly
elevation. He had passed his time between the diversion of hunting and
the duties of religion. His widowed Queen retained, on the contrary, an
ardent desire to see her son restored to the throne of England. She
implanted that wish in his own breast; she nourished it by the society
of those whom she placed around him; and she passed her time in
constantly forming new schemes for the promotion of that restoration to
which her sanguine anticipations were continually directed.

The death of James was succeeded by two events: one, the avowed
determination of Louis the Fourteenth to take the exiled family of
Stuart under his protection, and the consequent proclamation of the
young Prince of Wales as King of England; the other, the bill for the
attainder of the pretended Prince of Wales, in the English Parliament,
with an additional clause of attainder against the Queen, Mary of
Modena, together with an oath of abjuration of the "Pretender." The
debates which impeded the progress of this measure, plainly prove how
deeply engrafted in the hearts of many of the higher classes were those
rights which they were thus enforced to abjure.[166]

This was one of the last acts of William. His death, in 1702, revived
the spirits of the Jacobites, for the partiality of Anne to her brother,
the young Prince, was generally understood; and it appears, from the
letters which have been published in later days to have been of a far
more real and sisterly character than has generally been supposed. The
death of the young Duke of Gloucester appeared, naturally, to make way
for the restoration of the Stuart family; and there is no doubt but that
Anne earnestly desired it; and that on one occasion, when her brother's
life was in danger from illness, her anxiety was considerable on his

It is, therefore, no matter of reproach to the Jacobites, as an
infatuation, although it has frequently been so represented, that they
cherished those schemes which were ultimately so unfortunate, but which,
had it not been that "popery appeared more dreadful in England than even
the prospect of slavery and temporal oppression," would doubtless have
been successful without the disastrous scenes which marked the struggle
to bring them to bear.

Lord Lovat was at this time no insignificant instrument in the hands of
the Jacobite party. When he found that the sentence of outlawry was not
reversed; when he perceived that he must no longer hope for the
peaceable enjoyment of the Lovat inheritance, his whole soul turned to
the restoration of King James; and, after his death, to that of the
young Prince of Wales. Yet he seems, in the course of the extraordinary
affairs in which the Queen, Mary of Modena, was rash enough to employ
him, to have one eye fixed upon St. James's, another upon St. Germains,
and to have been perfectly uncertain as to which power he should
eventually dedicate his boasted influence and talents.

Lord Lovat may be regarded as the first promoter of the Insurrection of
1715 in Scotland. Whether his exertions proceeded from a real endeavour
to promote the cause of the Jacobites, or whether they were, as it has
been supposed, the result of a political scheme of the Duke of
Queensbury's, it is difficult to determine, and immaterial to decide;
because his perfidy in disclosing the whole to that nobleman has been
clearly discovered. It seems, however, more than probable, that he could
not go on in the straightforward path; and that he was in the employ of
the Duke of Queensbury from the first, has been confidently stated.[167]

Early in 1702, Lord Lovat went to France, and pretending to have
authority from some of the Highland clans and Scottish nobility, offered
the services of his countrymen to the Court of St. Germains. This offer
was made shortly before the death of James the Second, and a proposal
was made in the name of the Scottish Jacobites to raise an army of
twelve thousand men, if the King of France would consent to land five
thousand men at Dundee, and five hundred at Fort William. His proposals
were listened to, but his integrity was suspected.[168]

According to his own account, Lord Lovat, being in full possession of
his family honours, upon the death of King William, immediately
proclaimed the Prince of Wales in his own province, and acting, as he
declares, in accordance with the advice of his friend, the Duke of
Argyle, repaired to France, "in order to do the best that he could in
that country."[169]

He immediately, to pursue his own statement, engaged the Earl Lord
Marischal, the Earl of Errol, Lord Constable of Scotland, in the cause;
and then, passing through England and Holland, in order to go to France
through Flanders, he arrived in Paris with this commission about the
month of September.

Sir John Maclean, cousin-german of Lord Lovat, had resided ten years at
the Court of St. Germains, and to his guidance Lovat confided himself.
By Maclean, Lovat was introduced to the Duke of Perth, as he was called,
who had been Chancellor of Scotland when James the Second abdicated, and
whose influence was now divided at the Court of St. Germains, by the
Earl of Middleton. For never was faction more virulent than in the Court
of the exiled Monarch, and during the minority of his son. The Duke of
Perth represented Lord Middleton as a "faithless traitor, a pensionary
of the English Parliament, to give intelligence of all that passes at
the Court of St. Germains." It was therefore agreed that this scheme of
the invasion should be carried on unknown to that nobleman, and to this
secrecy the Queen, it is said, gave her consent. She hailed the prospect
of an insurrection in Scotland with joy, and declared twenty times to
Lord Lovat that she had sent her jewels to Paris to be sold, in order to
send the twenty thousand crowns,[170] which Lord Lovat represented would
be necessary to equip the Highland forces. Hitherto the Court of St.
Germains had been contented merely to keep up a correspondence with
their friends, retaining them in their principles, though without any
expectation of immediate assistance. The offer of Lord Lovat was the
first step towards more active exertions in the cause of the Stuarts. It
is in this sense that he may almost be considered as the father of the
Rebellion of 1715. He first excited those ardent spirits to unanimity
and to action; and the project of restoration, which only languished
whilst Anne lived, was never afterwards abandoned until after the year

Either through the indiscretion of Queen Mary of Modena, or through some
other channel, the plot of the invasion became known to Lord Middleton.
Jealous of the family of Perth, his avowed enemies, Lord Middleton,
according to Lord Lovat, was enraged at the project, and determined to
ruin the projectors. It is very true that the antipathies between the
prevailing factions may have excited Lord Middleton's anger; but it is
evident, from his lordship's letters and memoranda, that his dislike had
a far deeper source--the profligacy of the agent Lovat; a profligacy
which had deterred, as it was afterwards found, many of the Highland
chiefs from lending their aid to the cause. Party fury, however, ran
high, and before the affair of the insurrection could be settled, Lord
Middleton, declaring that the last words of King James had made a
powerful impression on his mind, retired into the convent of
Benedictines at Paris, to be satisfied of some doubts, and to be
instructed in the doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church. But this
temporary retirement rather revived than decreased the favour of the
Queen towards him. She trusted to his advice; and, as the statement
which Lord Lovat gave of the affairs of Scotland appeared too favourable
to the excluded family to be believed, Louis the Fourteenth counselled
the Court of St. Germains to send with Lord Lovat, or, as he is
invariably called in all contemporary documents, Simon Fraser, a person
who could be trusted to bring back a genuine account. Accordingly, James
Murray of Stanhope, the brother of Sir David Murray, was employed to
this effect. "He was," says Lord Lovat, "a spy of Lord Middleton's, his
sworn creature, and a man who had no other means of subsistence."[171]
From other accounts, however, Mr. Murray is shown to have been a man of
probity, although in great pecuniary difficulties, as many of the
younger members of old families were at that time.[172] Mr. James Murray
was sent forward into Scotland six weeks before Lord Lovat set out from
France; and the Court had the wisdom to send with the latter another
emissary in the person of Mr. John Murray, of Abercairney.

After these arrangements were completed, Lord Lovat received his
commission. He set out upon his expedition by way of Brussels, to
Calais. Not being furnished with passports, and having no other pass
than the orders of the Marquis De Torcy to the commandants of the
different forts upon the coast, he was obliged also, to wait for an
entire month, the arrival of an English packet for the exchange of
prisoners,--the captain of the vessel having been bribed to take him and
his companions on board as English prisoners of war, and to put them on
shore during the night, in his boat, near Dover.

Through the interest of Louis the Fourteenth, Lovat had received the
commission from King James of major-general, with power to raise and
command forces in his behalf:[173] and thus provided, he proceeded to
Scotland, where he was met by the Duke of Argyle, his friend, and
conducted by that nobleman to Edinburgh. Such was the simple statement
of Lovat's first steps on this occasion. According to his memorial,
which he afterwards presented to Queen Mary, he received assurances of
support from the Catholic gentry of Durham, who, "when he showed them
the King's picture, fell down on their knees and kissed it."[174] This
flattering statement appeared, however, to resemble the rest of the
memorial of his proceedings, and met with little or no credence even in
the quarter where it was most likely to be well received.

From the Duke of Queensbury, Lord Lovat received a pass to go into the
Highlands, which was procured under feigned names, both for him and his
two companions, from Lord Nottingham, then Secretary of State. After
this necessary preliminary, Lord Lovat made a tour among some of the
principal nobility in the Lowlands. He found them, even according to
his own statement, averse to take up arms without an express commission
from the King. But he remarks, writing always as he does in the third
person, "My Lord Lovat pursued his journey to the Highlands, where they
were overjoyed to see him, because they believed him dead, having been
fourteen months in France, without writing any word to his country. They
came from all quarters to see him. He showed them the King's
instructions, and the King of France's great promises. They were
ravished to see them, and prayed to God to have their King there, and
they should soon put him on the throne. My Lord Lovat told them that
they must first fight for him, and beat his enemies in the kingdom. They
answered him, that, if they got the assistance he promised them, they
would march in three days' advertisement, and beat all the King's
enemies in the kingdom."[175] This statement, though possibly not wholly
untrue, must be taken with more than the usual degree of allowance for
the exaggeration of a partisan. Many of the Highland noblemen and
chieftains were, indeed, well disposed to the cause of which Lord Lovat
was the unfortunate and unworthy representative; but all regretted that
their young King, as they styled him, should repose trust in so bad a
character, and in many instances refused to treat with Lovat. And,
indeed, the partial success which he attained might be ascribed to the
credit of his companion Captain John Murray, a gentleman of good family,
whose brother, Murray of Abercairney, was greatly respected in his

The embryo of the two Rebellions may be distinctly traced in the plain
and modest memorial which Captain Murray also presented, on his return
from Scotland, at the Court of St. Germains. "The Earl and Countess of
Errol," he relates, "with their son Lord Hay, were the first to whom I
spoke of the affairs of the King of England." "Speaking at Edinburgh
with the King's friends, about his Majesty's affairs, in a more serious
way than I had done before, I found that these affairs had not been
mentioned among them a long time before, and that it was to them an
agreeable surprise to see some hopes that they were to be revived by my

The greatest families in Scotland were, indeed,[176] ready to come
forward upon condition of a certain assistance from France; and a scheme
seems even to have been suggested for the invasion of England, and to
have formed the main feature in one of those various plots which were as
often concerted, and as often defeated, in favour of the excluded

In France, these continual schemes, and the various changes in the
English Government, were regarded with the utmost contempt. "The
people," writes the Duke of Perth, Chancellor of Scotland, "are kept
from amusement, frameing conceits of government and religion, such as
our giddy people frame to themselves, and make themselves the scorn and
reproach of mankind, for all are now foes under the name of English,
and we are said to be so changeable and foolish, that nothing from our
parts seems strange. Beheading, dethroning, and banishing of kings,
being but children's play with us."[178]

But all the promise of this plan was defeated, as it is generally and
confidently asserted, by the character of Lord Lovat. A general distrust
prevailed, of his motives and of his authority, even in that very
country where he had once led on his clansmen to crimes for which they
had paid dearly in the humiliation and devastation of their clan. He was
indeed, prevented from lingering near the home of his youth, from the
decrees which had been issued against him, and the risk of discovery.
Disappointed in his efforts, unable to raise even fifty men of his own
clan, and resolved upon gaining influence and favour in some quarter or
another, he determined upon betraying the whole scheme, which has since
obtained in history the name of the Scottish Plot, to the Duke of

It was on pretext of obtaining a passport for France, that Lord Lovat
now sought an interview with the Duke in London. He there discovered to
that able and influential minister, then Secretary of State for
Scotland, the entire details of the meditated insurrection, together
with the names of the principal Scottish nobility concerned in the
conspiracy. The Duke, it appears, perfectly appreciated the character
of his informant. He seems to have reflected, that from such materials
as those which composed the desperate and hardened character of Lovat,
the best instruments of party may be selected. He consented, it is
generally believed,--although historians differ greatly according to
their particular bias, as to the fact,--to furnish Lovat with a
passport, and to employ him as a spy in the French Court, in order to
prosecute his discoveries still farther.

When Lovat was afterwards charged with this act of treachery, he
declared, that he had told the Duke of Queensbury little more than what
had escaped through the folly or malice of the Jacobites; but
acknowledged that a mutual compact had passed between him and the Duke
of Queensbury.[179]

Somerville, in his history of the reign of Queen Anne, remarks, that it
is doubtful whether Fraser of Lovat had ever any intention of performing
effectual service to the Chevalier. "No sooner had he set foot in
England," adds the same historian, "than he formed the nefarious project
of counter-plotting his associate, and betraying the trust which he had
procured through the facility and precipitate confidence of the

The Duke of Queensbury immediately communicated the plot, disclosed by
Lovat, to Queen Anne. In the main points the conduct of that able and
influential Minister appears to have been tolerably free from blame
during the inquiry into the Scottish plot which was afterwards
instituted; but it is a proof of the horror and suspicion in which Lord
Lovat was held, that the Duke of Queensbury's negotiations with so
abandoned a tool for some time diminished the political sway which he
had heretofore possessed in Scotland.[181]

Lord Lovat returned to Paris, where he had the effrontery to hand in a
boasting memorial of his services, written with that particularity which
gives an air of extreme accuracy to any statement. In this art he was
generally accomplished, yet he seems on this occasion to have failed.
For some time he flourished; alternately, one day at Versailles--one day
at St. Germains; and, whilst an under-current of dislike and suspicion
marked his course, all, apparently, went on successfully with this great
dissembler. The Earl of Middleton, indeed, was undeceived.

"I doubt not," he writes to the Marquis De Torcy, "you will be as much
surprised at Lord Lovat's memorial as we have been; for although I never
had a good opinion of him, yet, I did not believe him fool enough to
accuse himself. He has not, in some places, been as careful as authors
of romance to preserve probability."

"If the King thinks proper to apprehend him," concludes Lord Middleton,
"it should be done without noise. His name should not be mentioned any
more, and at the same time his papers should be seized."[182] Such were
the preparations for the secret incarceration which it was then the
practice of the French Court to sanction.

Lord Lovat was not long in ignorance of the intrigues, as he calls them,
which were carried on to blast his reputation at the Court of St.
Germains. In other words, he perceived that the double game which he had
been playing was discovered, and discovered in time to prevent any new
or important trust being committed to his command. He fell ill, or
perhaps feigned illness, probably in order to account for his absence
from Court; and, although backed by the influence of the Earl of
Melfort, brother of the Duke of Perth, and by the Marquis De Torcy, he
found that he could never recover the confidence of the Queen Mother.

He took the usual plan adopted by servants who perceive that they are on
the eve of being discarded--he announced his determination to retire.
"My Lord," he wrote to Lord Middleton, "I am daily informed, that the
Queen has but a scurvy opinion of me, and that I did her Majesty bad
rather than good service by my journey. My Lord, I find that my enemies
have greater power with the Queen than I can have; and to please them,
and ease her Majesty, I am resolved to meddle no more with any affairs
till the King is of age."[183]

There seemed to have been little need of this voluntary surrender of his
employments; for, after undergoing an examination, in writing from the
Pope's Nuncio, and after several letters had passed between Lord
Middleton and himself, the altercation was peremptorily closed by a
_lettre de cachet_, and Lord Lovat was committed, according to some
statements, to the Bastille,--as others relate, to the Castle of
Angoulême.[184] Upon this occasion the hardihood of Lord Lovat's
character, which shone out so conspicuously at his death, was thus

"As they went along the Captain (by this name he was generally called
among his friends) discoursed the officer with the same freedom as if he
had been carrying him to some merry-meeting; and, on observing on his
men's coats a badge all full of points, with this device--_monstrorum
terror_,--'the terror of monsters,' he said wittily, pointing to the
men, 'Behold there the terror, and here the monster!' meaning himself.
'And if either of the Kings had a hundred thousand of such, they would
be fitter to fright their enemies than to hurt any one of them.' He took
occasion, also, to let his attendants know of what a great and noble
family he was, and how much blood had been spent in the cause of the
Monarchs by his ancestors."[185]

According to Lord Lovat's manifesto, he was at dinner at Bourges,
whither he had been sent on some pretext by the French Government, when
"a grand fat prevôt, accompanied by his lieutenant and twenty-four
archers, stole into the drawing-room, and seized Lord Lovat as if he
had been an assassin, demanding from him his sword in the King's name.
The villain of a prevôt," adds his Lordship, "was so obliging as to
attend Lord Lovat, with his archers, all the way to Angoulême. He had
the luck to procure a cursed little chaise, where Lord Lovat was in a
manner buried alive under the unwieldy bulk of this enormous porpoise."
This relation, so different from that given by Mr. Arbuthnot, weakens
the veracity of both accounts, and leads one to infer that the long
narrative by the reverend gentleman of Lord Lovat's adventures in the
Bastille were written upon hearsay.[186]

In the Castle of Angoulême Lord Lovat continued for three years; at
first, being treated with great severity: "thirty-five days in perfect
darkness, where every moment he expected death, and prepared to meet it
with becoming fortitude. He listened with eagerness and anxiety to every
noise, and, when his door screached upon its hinges, he believed that it
was the executioner come to put an end to his unfortunate days."

In this predicament, finding that the last punishment was delayed, he
"thought proper to address himself to a grim jailoress, who came every
day to throw him something to eat, in the same silent and cautious
manner in which you would feed a mad dog."[187] By the "clink of a louis
d'or," the prisoner managed to subdue the fidelity of this fair
jailoress; she supplied him with pens and paper, and he immediately
began a correspondence with his absent friends at the French Court.

After a time, the severity of Lord Lovat's imprisonment was mitigated.
The Castle of Angoulême was, in a manner, an open prison, having an
extensive park within its walls, with walks open to the inhabitants; and
here, through the influence of Monsieur De Torcy, Lord Lovat was
permitted to take exercise. His insinuating manners won upon the
inhabitants, and the prison of Angoulême became so agreeable to him,
that he was often heard to say, that "if there was a beautiful and
enchanting prison in the world, it was the Castle of Angoulême."

Meantime, the scheme of invasion was by no means relinquished on the
part of the Jacobites, although it had received a considerable check
from the treachery of its agents.

It is stated by some historians that scarcely had Lord Lovat quitted
England, than Sir John Maclean, his cousin-german, and Campbell, of
Glendarnel, disclosed the plot to Lord Athole and Lord Tarbat. These
noblemen instantly went to Queen Anne, and accused the Duke of
Queensbury of high treason, in carrying on a villanous plot with the
Court of St. Germains. Queensbury defended himself before the House of
Lords, and the accusation, which rested chiefly on the assertions of
Ferguson, the famous hatcher of plots, was declared false and
scandalous, and Ferguson was committed to Newgate. The reluctance of the
Duke of Queensbury to give up the correspondence, excited, however,
suspicions of his integrity; which, as Harley, Lord Oxford, expressed
it, could only be cleared up by Fraser, Lord Lovat;[188] but Lord Lovat
was not then to be found.

In all this singular and complicated affair, it is impossible to help
wondering at the folly and audacity which Lord Lovat had shown in
returning to France, conscious of having placed himself at the mercy of
ruthless politicians, and aware that in that country he could expect no
redress nor protection from law. But the original crime for which he had
been sent forth, an outlaw from his country, was the source of all his
subsequent mistakes and misfortunes. France was open to him; Scotland
was closed; and England was a scene of peril to one who trod on fragile
ice, beneath which a deep gulf yawned.

Lord Lovat had been two years in prison before any of his former
friends, for even he was not wholly devoid of partisans, interfered with
success in his behalf; and it was the good, old-fashioned feeling of
kindred that finally moved the Marquis De Frezelière, or Frezel, or
Frezeau de la Frezelière, to interest himself in the fate of his
despised, and perhaps forgotten, relative.

"The house of Frezelière, which ascends," says Lord Lovat, "in an
uninterrupted line, and without any unequal alliance, to the year 1030,
with its sixty-four quarterings in its armorial bearings, and all noble,
its titles of seven hundred years standing in the Abbey of Nôtre Dame de
Noyers in Touraine, and its many other circumstances of inherent
dignity," was, as we have seen, derived from the same blood with the
family of Frezel, or Fraser. In former, and more prosperous days, a
common and authentic Act of Recognition of this relationship had been
drawn up at Paris by the Marquis and his many illustrious kinsmen, the
three sons of the Marshal Luxembourg de Montmorenci; and executed, on
the other hand, by Simon Fraser, Lord Lovat, and by his brother, and
several of their nearest kin.

The Marquis De Frezelière appears to have been a fine specimen of that
proud and valiant aristocracy, not even then wholly broken down in
France by the effeminacy of the times. He was haughty and determined,
"an eagle in the concerns of war," and of a spirit not to be subdued. By
his powerful intercession, checked only by the disgust which Mary of
Modena felt towards Lovat, he procured from the King of France
permission for his relative to repair to the waters of Bourbon for the
restoration of his health. This order was signed by Louis the
Fourteenth, and countersigned by the Marquis De Torcy, as "Colbert."
Four days afterwards, a second order was received by the authorities at
Angoulême, by which his Majesty commanded that Lord Lovat, after the
restoration of his health, should repair to his town of Saumur, until
further orders. "At the same time," says Lord Lovat, "he was permitted
to take with him the Chevalier De Frezel, his brother." These orders
were dated August the second and August the fourteenth, 1707.

The brother, whom Lord Lovat always designates as the Chevalier de
Fraser, had been placed with a Doctor of the Civil Law at Bourges, in
order to learn French, and the profession of a civilian. He had been
arrested at the same time with Lord Lovat; and was now, after a
temporary separation, permitted to share the pleasures of a removal to
Bourbon. According to Lord Lovat, a pension from the French Government
was settled upon this young man as long as he resided in France; and
Lord Lovat received also the ample income of four thousand francs, (one
hundred and sixty-six pounds, thirteen shillings and fourpence,) from
the same quarter: nor was it in the power of his enemies at St. Germains
to induce Louis the Fourteenth to withdraw this allowance.[189]

The Marquis de Frezelière continued firm in his regard towards Lord
Lovat. On his road to Saumur, Lord Lovat was received and entertained at
the château of the Marquis with hospitality and kindness, and no
opportunity was omitted by which the Marquis could testify the sincerity
of his interest in the fate of his relative. Meantime daily reports were
circulated that the projected insurrection, far from being abandoned,
had been revived, and that the Chevalier was going to undertake the
conduct of the invasion in person. But that young Prince was still
inexorable to any petition in favour of Lovat, and was wisely resolved
not to let him participate in the operations. "Were he not already in
prison," he is stated by Lovat himself to have said, "I would make it my
first request to the King of France to throw him into one." This fixed
aversion was owing to the determined dislike of the Queen to abdicate,
as it was her resolution, if there were no other person to be employed,
never to make Lord Lovat an instrument of her affairs.

Lovat, therefore, now clearly perceived that, during the life of the
Queen and of Lord Middleton, he must look for nothing favourable from
the Court of St. Germains. That of Versailles, although, by his account,
decidedly friendly to his release, refused to support those whom the
Chevalier had renounced. He resolved, therefore, to make every exertion
to return to his own country, and to place himself once more at the head
of his clan, who, in spite of his crimes, in spite of his long absence
and imprisonment, had still refused to acknowledge any other chief. The
attempt was indeed desperate, but Lovat resolved to risk it, and to
escape, at all events, from France.

To the vengeance of the Athole family, Lord Lovat always imputed much of
the severity shown him by the Court at St. Germains: and it is probable
that the representations of that powerful house may have contributed to
the odium in which the character of Lord Lovat was universally held. His
own deeds were, however, sufficient to ensure him universal hatred. The
great source of surprise is, that this unscrupulous intriguer, this
unprincipled member of society, seems, at times, during the course of
his eventful life, to have met with friends, firm in their faith to him,
and to have enjoyed, in that respect, the privilege of virtue.

The young heiress of Lovat, Amelia Fraser, was now married to Alexander
Mackenzie, son of Lord Prestonhall; Mr. Mackenzie had adopted the title
of Fraserdale; and a son had been born of this marriage, who had been
named after his grandfather, Hugh. Fraserdale and his lady had taken
possession both of the title and estates of Lord Lovat, during his
absence; but, since the dignity and estates had always been enjoyed by
an heir-male, from the origin of the house of Fraser, these claimants to
the estate of the outlawed Lovat spread a report that the honours and
lands had, in old times, belonged to the Bissets, whose daughter and
only child had married a Fraser, from whom the estates had descended to
the heir of that line. A suit was instituted against Lord Lovat and, on
the ninth of March, 1703, Lord Prestonhall, the father of Fraserdale,
himself adjudged the Lordship and Barony of Lovat to Amelia Fraser. An
entail of the estates and honours upon the heirs of the marriage between
Amelia Fraser and Mackenzie of Fraserdale, was then executed, and the
former assumed the title of Lady Lovat, whilst her son was designated
the Master of Lovat.[190]

Lord Prestonhall seems to have acted with the same unscrupulous spirit
which characterizes most of the business transactions of those who
intermeddled with the forfeited or disputed estates. It was his aim, as
the Memorial for the Lovat case, subsequently tried, sets forth, to
extirpate the clan of the Frasers, and to raise that of the Mackenzies
upon its ruins. "Accordingly," says Mr. Anderson, in his curious and
elaborate account of the house of Fraser, "he framed a deed, with the
sly contrivance of sinking the Frasers into the Mackenzies, by
encouraging the former to change their names, and providing, as a
condition of the estate, that should they return to, and reassume their
ancient name of Fraser, they should forfeit their right."[191]

The arms of Mackenzie, Macleod of Lewis, and Bisset, were to be
quartered with those of Fraser, in this deed, which bore the signature
of Robert Mackenzie, and was dated the twenty-third of February, 1706.

This decision, and the deed which followed it, appeared to complete the
misfortunes of the disgraced and banished Lord Lovat. But, in fact, the
act of injustice and rapacity, so repugnant to the spirit of the
Highlanders,--this attempt to force upon the heirs of Fraser a foreign
name, and thus to lower the dignity of the clan, was the most
auspicious event that could happen to the wretched outlaw. What was his
exact condition, or what were his circumstances, during the seven years
of his imprisonment, three of which were passed under strict, though not
harsh control, in the Castle of Angoulême, and four, apparently on his
parole, in the Fortress of Saumur, it is not easy to describe. The cause
of the obscurity of his fate at this time, is not that too little, but
that too much, has been stated relative to his movements.

It is always an inconvenience when one cannot take a man's own story in
evidence. According to Lord Lovat's own account, these weary years were
spent in visits to different members of the nobility. The charming
Countess de la Roche succeeded the Marquis de la Frezelière as his
friend and patroness, after the death of the Marquis in 1711, an event
which, according to Lord Lovat's statement, brought him nearly to the
grave from grief. The Countess was a woman of a masculine understanding,
and of admirable talents, bold, insinuating, and ambitious. Her
education in the household of the great Condé, and her long attendance
upon the Princess de Conti, the hero's daughter, had qualified her for
those arduous and delicate intrigues, without which no woman of
intellect at that period in France might think herself sufficiently

The appointment of the Duke of Hamilton as ambassador at the Court of
Louis, rendered such a friend as Madame de la Roche, who was also
distantly related to him, very essential for the prosecution of Lord
Lovat's present schemes, which were, to obtain his release, and to
procure employment in any enterprise concerted by the Jacobites against

Fate, however, relieved Lord Lovat from one apprehension. The Duke of
Hamilton was killed in a duel by Lord Mohun, in Hyde Park; and this
fresh source of danger was thus annihilated. The kindness which the
famous Colbert, Marquis de Torcy, had shown to Lord Lovat, and the
promise which he had given to that nobleman, not to break his parole,
and to return to England, seems to have been the only check to a
long-cherished project on the part of Lord Lovat to escape to London,
and to risk all that law might there inflict. It is uncertain in what
manner, during the tedious interval between intrigues and intrigues, he
solaced his leisure. It has been stated by one of his biographers that
he actually joined a society of Jesuits,--by another, that he took
priest's orders, and acted as parochial priest at St. Omers. Of course,
in compiling a defence of his life, the wary man of the world omitted
such particulars as would, at any rate, betray inconsistency, and beget
suspicion. His object in becoming a Jesuit, is said to have been to hear
confessions and to discover intrigues. With respect to the report of his
having entered the order of Jesuits, it is justly alleged in answer,
that no Jesuit is permitted to hear confessions until he has been
fifteen years a member of the society, or, at least, in priest's

The rumour of his having become an ecclesiastic, in any way, no doubt
originated in Lord Lovat's joke on a subsequent occasion, when "he
declared that had he wished it, and had remained in priest's orders,
which he did not deny having assumed for some purpose, he might have
become Pope in time."[193]

Whilst Lord Lovat, contrary to the advice of Madame la Roche, was
deliberating whether he should not leave France, he was surprised, in
the summer of 1714, by a visit from one of the principal gentlemen of
his clan, Fraser of Castle Lader, son of Malcolm Fraser, of Culdelthel,
a very considerable branch of the family of Lovat. This gentleman
brought Lord Lovat a strong remonstrance from all his clan at his
absence--an entreaty to him to return--a recommendation that he would
join himself in an alliance with the Duke of Argyle, who was disposed to
aid him; he added affectionate greetings from some of the principal
gentry of his neighbourhood, and, among others, from John Forbes, of
Culloden. This important ally was the father of the justly celebrated
Duncan Forbes, afterwards Lord President. These messages decided Lord
Lovat. After some indecision he left Saumur, and being allowed by his
parole to travel to any place in France, he went on the twelfth of
August, 1714, to Rouen, under pretence of paying a visit there. From
Rouen he proceeded to Dieppe, but finding no vessel there, he travelled
along the coast of Normandy, and from thence to Boulogne. From that port
he sailed in a small smack, in a rough sea, during the night, and landed
at Dover, November the eleventh, 1714.

He met his kinsman, Alexander Fraser, on the quay at Dover, and with him
proceeded to London. His former friend, the Duke of Argyle, was now
dead; but alliances, as well as antipathies, are hereditary in Scotland,
and John, Duke of Argyle, was well disposed to assist one whose family
had been anciently connected with his own. Besides, the state of public
affairs was now totally changed since Lord Lovat had left England, and
it was incumbent upon the Government to avail themselves of any tool
which they might require for certain ends and undertakings.

Queen Anne was now dead,--the last of the Stuart dynasty in this
kingdom. Whatever were her failings and her weaknesses as a woman, she
has left behind her the character of having loved her people; and she
was endeared to them by her purely English birth, her homely virtue of
economy, and her domestic unpretending qualities. Her reign had been one
of mercy; no subject had suffered for treason during her rule: she had
few relations with foreign powers; and when, in her opening speech to
the Parliament, she expressed that her heart was "wholly English," she
spoke her real sentiments, and described, in that simple touch the true
character of her mind.

She was succeeded by a German Prince, who immediately showered marks of
his royal favour upon the Whigs; whilst the Tories, who formed so large
a party in the kingdom, were alienated from the Government by the
manifest aversion to them which George the First rather aimed to evince
than laboured to conceal.

The Jacobites differed in some measure from the Tories, inasmuch as the
latter were generally well affected to the accession of the Hanoverian
family, until disgusted by the choice of the new administration.
Dissensions quickly rose to their height; and when the Government was
attacked in the House of Commons by Sir William Wyndham, the unusual
sounds, "the Tower! the Tower!" were heard once more amid the inflamed

The spirit of disaffection quickly spread throughout England; the very
life-guards were compelled by an angry populace, when celebrating the
anniversary of the Restoration of the Stuarts, to join in the cry of
"High Church and Ormond!" Lord Bolingbroke had withdrawn to
France--treasonable papers were discovered and intercepted on their way
from Jacobite emissaries to Dr. Swift, tumults were raised in the city
of London and in Westminster, and were punished with a severity to which
the metropolis had been unaccustomed since the reign of James the
Second. All these manifestations had their origin in one common
source,--the deeply concerted schemes which were now nearly brought into
maturity at the Court of St. Germains.

The following extract of a letter dated from Luneville, and taken from
the Macpherson Papers, shows what was meditated abroad; it is in
Schrader's hand.


                                         "Luneville, June 5th, 1714.

    "It is likely the Chevalier St. George is preparing for some great
    design, which is kept very private. It was believed he would drink
    the waters of Plombière for three weeks, as is customary, and that
    he would come afterwards to pass fifteen days at Luneville; but he
    changed his measures; he did not continue to drink the waters, which
    he drank only for ten days, and came back to Luneville on Saturday
    last. He sets out to-morrow very early for Bar. Lord Galmoy went
    before him, and set out this morning. Lord Talmo, who came lately
    from France, is with him, and some say that the Duke of Berwick is
    incognito in this neighbourhood.

    "The Chevalier appears pensive,--that, indeed, is his ordinary
    humour. Mr. Floyd, who has been these five days at the Court of his
    Royal Highness, told a mistress he has there, that when he leaves
    her now, he will take his leave of her perhaps for the last
    time:--in short, it is certain that everything here seems
    sufficiently to announce preparations for a journey. It is said,
    likewise, in private, that the Chevalier has had letters that the
    Queen is very ill. I have done everything I could to discover
    something of his designs. I supped last night with several of his
    attendants, thinking to learn something; but they avoid to explain
    themselves. They only say that the Chevalier did not find himself
    the better for drinking the waters; that he would now go to repose
    himself for some time at Bar, until he goes, the beginning of next
    month, to the Prince De Vandemont's, at Commercie, where their Royal
    Highnesses will come likewise. They say they do not know yet if they
    will remain in this country or not; that they will follow the
    destiny of the Chevalier, and that it is not known yet what it shall

When Lord Lovat thus precipitately threw himself once more on the mercy
of his country, he could not have been ignorant that the cabals which
had long been carried on against the Hanoverian succession, were now
shortly to break out in open rebellion; and it was, without doubt, in
the hope of profiting in some measure during the confusion of the coming
troubles, that he had hastened, at the risk of his life, to England.

He entrusted the secret of his arrival immediately to the Duke of
Argyle, whom he met in London. That nobleman, one of the few
disinterested men whose virtues might almost obtain the name of
patriotism in those days, saw the danger which Lord Lovat would incur if
he returned to Scotland. Sentence of death had been passed upon him; it
might be acted upon by an adverse judge at any moment. He besought Lovat
to remain in England until a remission of that sentence could be
obtained; and for this purpose addresses to the Court for mercy were
circulated for signature throughout the northern counties of
Scotland.[195] To further the success of this scheme, Lord Lovat had
recourse to his neighbour and early friend, John Forbes, laird of
Culloden, whose after-services in the royal cause, and whose strict
alliance of friendship with the Duke of Argyle, secured to him a
considerable influence in that part of Scotland in which he resided.

    "Much honoured and dear Sir,"--thus wrote Lord Lovat to the
    Laird,--"The real friendship that I know you have for my person and
    family makes me take the freedom to assure you of my kind service,
    and to entreat you to join with my other friends between Sky and
    Nesse, to sign the addresse which the Court requires, in order to
    give me my remission. Your cousin James, who has generously exposed
    himself to bring me out of chains, will inform you of all steps and
    circumstances of my affairs since he saw me. I wish, dear Sir, from
    my heart, you were here; I am confident you would speak to the Duke
    of Argyle and to the Earl of Isla, to let them know their own
    interest, and their reiterated promises to do for me. Perhaps they
    may have, sooner than they expect, a most serious occasion for my
    service. But it is needless to preach now that doctrine to them;
    they think themselves in ane infallible security; I wish they may
    not be mistaken. However, I think it's the interest of all who love
    this Government, betwixt Sky and Nesse, to see me at the head of my
    clan, ready to join them; so that I believe none of them will refuse
    to sign ane adresse to make me a Scotsman. I am perswaded, dear Sir,
    that you will be of good example to them on that head. But secrecy,
    above all, must be keept; without which all may go wrong. I hope you
    will be stirring for the Parliament, for I will not be reconciled to
    you if you let Prestonall outvote you. Brigadier Grant, to whom I am
    infinitely obliged, has written to Foyers to give you his vote, and
    he is ane ungrat villian if he refuses him. [If] I was at home, the
    little pitiful barons of the Aird durst not refuse you. But I am
    hopefull that the news of my going to Brittain will hinder
    Prestonall to go north; for I may come to meet him when he lest
    thinks of me. I am very impatient to see you, and to assure you most
    sincerely how much I am, with love and respect, Right Honourable,
    your most obedient and most humble servant,


    "The 24th of Nov. 1714."

The nature of the address to which this letter refers was not only an
appeal to the King in behalf of Lord Lovat, but also an engagement, on
the part of his friends, to answer for the loyalty of Lord Lovat, in any
sum required. It is remarkable that when James Fraser, the kinsman of
Lovat, arrived in the county of Inverness, and declared the purpose of
his journey, the lairds who were well-affected to the nobility, joined
in giving their subscriptions; and the Earl of Sutherland, the Lord
Strathallan, and the nobility of the counties of Ross and Sutherland,
signed them also. The Duke of Montrose, however, boldly opposed them,
and described Lord Lovat as a man unworthy of the King's

A year, however, had elapsed, whilst Lovat was hanging about the Court,
before the address was brought to London by Lord Isla, brother of the
Duke of Argyle, and afterwards Archibald, Duke of Argyle. The address
was presented on Sunday, the twenty-fourth of July, 1715. "The Earl of
Orkney," says Lord Lovat, "who was the lord in waiting, held out his
hand to receive them from the King, according to custom. The King,
however, drew them back, folded them up, and, as if he had been
pre-advised of their contents, put them into his pocket."[197] And with
this sentence, denoting that the crisis of his affairs was at hand, end
the memoirs which Lord Lovat either wrote or dictated to others, of the
early portion of his life.

Meantime, the Earl of Stair, the English ambassador at Paris, had
discovered the embryo scheme of invasion, and had communicated it to the
British Court, although, unhappily for both parties, not in sufficient
time to damp the hopes of the unfortunate Jacobites. On the sixth of
September, 1715, the Earl of Mar set up his standard at Braemar.
Consistent with the usual fatality attending every attempt of the
Stuarts, this event was preceded only five days by the death of Louis
the Fourteenth--the only real friend of the excluded family; but the
Jacobites had now proceeded too far to recede.[198]

Lord Lovat resolved, however, to profit in the general disasters. His
influence among his clansmen was obvious: whether for good or, in some
instances, for evil, there is much to admire in the resolute adherence
of those faithful mountaineers, who had resisted the assumption of a
stranger, and invited back to their hills the long-absent and ruined
chief, whom they regarded as their own.

Lord Lovat now found means to represent to the English Government, that
if he could have a passport to go into the Highlands, he might be
instrumental in quelling the rebellion. The Ministry, in their
perplexities, availed themselves of his aid, and a pass was granted to
him, under the name of Captain Brown.

He once more set out for his own country, and reached Edinburgh in
safety, attended only by his kinsman, Major Fraser. From Edinburgh he
resolved to proceed in a ship--when he could procure one, for the
country was all in commotion. Meantime he took up his abode, still
maintaining his disguise, in the Grass Market.

His real name was soon discovered, and information was given to the Lord
Justice Clerk, who granted a warrant for his apprehension, as a person
"outlawed and intercommuned;" and to prevent any difficulty in
apprehending the prisoner, a party of the town guard was ordered to
escort the peace officers to the lodgings of Lord Lovat.

The officer who had the command of the town guard happened, however, to
be acquainted with Lovat, and he interposed his aid on this occasion. He
listened to the account which Lovat gave of the business which had
brought him to Edinburgh. The Provost was next gained over to the
opinion, that it would be wrong to oppose any obstruction to one who had
his Majesty's passport: he ordered Lord Lovat to be set at liberty; and
in order to give some colour of justice to this act, he declared that
the information must have been wrong, it being laid against Captain
Fraser,--whereas, the person taken appeared to be Captain Brown.

Lovat was once more in safety: he changed his lodgings, however; and, as
soon as possible, set sail for Inverness. Again danger, in another form,
retarded his arrival among his clan. A storm arose, the ship was obliged
to put into the nearest harbour, and Lord Lovat was driven into
Fraserburgh, which happened to be within a few miles of the abode of his
old enemy and rival Lord Saltoun.

Mr. Forbes, one of the Culloden family, was now fortunately for Lord
Lovat, with him on his Majesty's service. After some consultation
together, he and Lovat decided to make themselves known to Mr. Baillie,
town-clerk of Fraserburgh: they did so, were kindly received, and
provided with horses to convey them to Culloden House, the seat of the
future Lord President of Scotland, Duncan Forbes. Here they arrived in
November, after incurring great risks from the Jacobite troops, who were
patroling in parties over the country.[199]

Culloden House, famed in history, was inhabited by a race whose views,
conduct, and personal character present a singular contrast, with those
of Lord Lovat, or with those of other adventurers in political life. The
head of the family was, at the period of the first insurrection, John
Forbes, a worthy representative of an honourable, consistent, and
spirited family. The younger brother of John Forbes was the celebrated
Duncan Forbes, a man whose toleration of Lord Lovat, not to say
countenance of that compound of violence and duplicity, seems to be the
only incomprehensible portion of his lofty and beautiful character.

"Duncan Forbes was born," observes a modern writer, "of parents who
transmitted their estate to his elder brother, and to all their children
an hereditary aversion to the house of Stuart, which they appear to have
resisted from the very commencement of the civil wars, and upon the true
grounds on which that resistance ought to have been made."[200] By a
singular fortune the hereditary estates of Culloden and Ferintosh had
been ravaged, the year after the Revolution, by the soldiers of Buchan
and Cannon, on account of the Jacobite principles of the owners. A
liberal compensation was made in the form of a perpetual grant of a
liberty to distil into spirits the grain of the Barony of Ferintosh,--a
name which has become almost as famous as that of Culloden. It was the
subsequent fate of Culloden to witness on its Moors the total
destruction of that cause which its owners had so long resisted and

Duncan Forbes, who, during a course of many years, was bound by an
inexplicable alliance with Lovat, was at this period about thirty years
of age. He had already attained the highest reputation for eloquence,
assiduity, and learning at the Scottish bar, and during his frequent
opportunities for display before the House of Lords. But it was his
personal character, during a period of vacillating principles, and
almost of disturbed national reason, which obtained that singular and
benignant influence over his fellow-countrymen for which the life of
Duncan Forbes is far more remarkable, far more admirable, than for the
exercise of his brilliant and varied talents. He had "raised himself,"
observes the same discriminating commentator on his life and
correspondence, "to the high station which he afterwards held by the
unassisted excellence of a noble character, by the force of which he had
previously won and adorned all the subordinate gradations of
office."[201] He adorned this unenvied and unsullied pinnacle of fame
by virtues of which the record is ennobling to the mind. "He is,"
observes another writer, "in every situation, so full of honour, of
gentleness, of kindness, and intrepidity, that we doubt if there be any
one public man in this part of the empire, or of the age that is gone,
whose qualities ought to be so strongly recommended to the contemplation
of all those who wish to serve their country."

It was in such society as this that Lord Lovat, by a rare fortune, was
brought, after his long and disgraceful exile. It was to such a home of
virtue, of intelligence, of the purest and best affections, that he was
introduced after a long course of contamination in the lowest scenes of
French corruption, which had succeeded an equally demoralising
initiation into the less graceful vices of the Court of George the
First. The inestimable privilege came too late in one sense. Lord Lovat
had gained nothing but wariness by the lapse of years; but the benefit
to his worldly condition was considerable.

From this time until a few years before the insurrection of 1745, Lord
Lovat may be regarded as a jealous partisan of the house of Hanover. No
doubt, a general survey of the state of society in Scotland would,
independent of his own personal views, have satisfied him that in such a
course was the only chance of permanent safety. The wretchedness of the
state of things at that period, can scarcely be adequately comprehended
by those who live in times when liberty of opinion is universally an
understood condition of civilized intercourse.

It is difficult for any person who lives now to carry himself back, by
reading or conversation, into the prospects or feelings of the people of
Scotland about a hundred years ago. The religious persecutions of the
Stuarts had given a darker hue to the old austerity of their Calvinism.
The expectation of change constantly held out by that family divided the
nation into two parties, differing on a point which necessarily made
each of them rebels in the eyes of the other; and thus the whole kingdom
was racked by jealousies, heart-burnings, and suspicions. The removal,
by the Union, of all the patronage and show of royalty, spread a gloom
and discontent, not only over the lower, but over the higher ranks. The
commencement of a strict system of general taxation was new, while the
miserable poverty of the country rendered it unproductive and unpopular.
The great families still lorded it over their dependants, and exercised
legal jurisdiction within their own domains; by which the general police
of the kingdom was crippled, and the grossest legal oppression
practised. The remedy adopted for all these evils, which was to abate
nothing and to enforce everything under the direction of English
counsels or of English men, completed the national wretchedness, and
infused its bitterest ingredient into the brim full cup.

The events of the year 1715 present but a feeble exemplification of the
truth of this description compared with the annals of 1745, for the
first Rebellion was, happily, soon closed.

Lord Lovat did not hesitate long on which side he should enlist himself;
and the intelligence that his rival, Mackenzie of Fraserdale, had taken
up arms in favour of the Chevalier, decided his course.[202] On the
fifth of November he assembled all those of his clan who were still
faithful to him, and who had been warned of his approach by his friends.
He was received among them with exclamations of joy; and, hearing that a
body of Mackintoshes, a Jacobite clan, were marching to reinforce Sir
John Mackenzie, who commanded the castle at Inverness, he marched
forward with his adherents to intercept them, and to prevent their
joining what he then called "the rebel garrison."

The citadel of Inverness, built in 1657 by Oliver Cromwell, and called
Oliver's Fort, stood on the east bank of the river Ness, and was a
regular pentagon, with bastions, ramparts, and a moat; the standard of
the Protectorate, with the word "Emmanuel" inscribed upon it, had
formerly been displayed upon its ramparts. It was calculated to hold two
thousand men, and was washed on one side by the river. As a fortress it
had many inconveniencies; approaches to it were easy, and the town
afforded a quarter for an enemy's army. In 1662 it had been partly
dismantled by Charles the Second, because it was the relic of
usurpation, and constituted a check upon the adjacent Highlanders, who
were then considered loyal.[203] It is said by one who saw it after the
Restoration to have been a very superb work, and it was one of the
regular places for the deposition of arms at the time of the Rebellion
of 1715. Subsequently it was much augmented and enlarged, and bore,
until its destruction after the battle of Culloden, the name of Fort
George, an appellation now transferred to its modern successor on the
promontory of Ardesseil.

It was against this important fortress that Lord Lovat now marched with
as much zeal and intrepidity as if he had been fighting in the cause of
that family for whom his ancestors had suffered. He proceeded straight
to Inverness, and placing himself on the west side of the town
despatched a party of troops to prevent any supply of arms or provisions
from approaching the castle by the Firth. Forbes of Culloden lay to the
east, and the Grants, to the number of eight hundred, to the south side
of the town. Sir John Mackenzie finding himself thus invested on all
sides, took advantage of a spring tide that came up to the town and made
the river navigable, to escape with all his troops; and Lord Lovat
immediately gained possession of the citadel. The fame of this
inglorious triumph has, however, been divided between Lovat and Hugh
Rose of Kilravock,[204] whose brother, in pursuing the Jacobite guard to
the Tolbooth, was shot through the body. But whoever really deserved
the laurel, Lord Lovat profited largely by his dishonest exertions in a
cause which he began life by disliking, and ended by abjuring.

On the thirteenth of November Lord Lovat was joined by the Earl of
Sutherland; and, leaving a garrison in Inverness, the two noblemen
marched into the territory of the Earl of Seaforth, where they
intimidated the natives into submission. Lord Lovat also despatched a
friend to Perth, where the main portion of the Jacobite army lay, to
claim the submission of his clansmen, who were led by his rival,
Mackenzie of Fraserdale. They complied with his summons to the number of
four hundred, and Lovat, after entering Murray and Strathspey, and
exacting obedience to the King's troops in these districts, prepared to
attack Lord Seaforth, who was threatening to invest Inverness. But
Duncan Forbes, who was then serving with the army, restrained the ardour
of his neighbour, and hostilities were terminated in the North without
further bloodshed.[205]

Lord Lovat was quickly repaid for his exertions. From George the First
he received three letters of thanks, and an invitation to go to Court;
and in March, 1716, a remission of the sentence of death which had been
passed upon him, received the royal signature. He was appointed governor
of Inverness, with a free company of Highlanders. What, perhaps, still
more gratified his natural thirst for vengeance was the fate of his
rival, the husband of Amelia Lovat, Mackenzie of Fraserdale, who was
attainted of high treason, and whose life-interest in the lands and
barony of Lovat were forfeited and escheated to the Crown. To complete
the good fortune of Lovat, the King was graciously pleased, in June,
1716, to make him a present of the forfeited lands; and Lovat
immediately took possession of the estate, and entered his claim to the
honours and dignities which were appended to the lands.[206] It was now
that he added another motto to the arms of the Frasers, and struck out
the quarterings of the Bisset family, which had been made a plea for his
adversary. The ancient Frasers, or Frizells, had for their motto "_Je
suis prest_," to which this honour to their house now added the words,
"_Sine sanguine victor_," denoting that he had come peaceably to the

He was now the undisputed Lord Lovat; hitherto he had borne, generally,
the convenient name of Captain Fraser, given to him in his military
capacity; and it appears, in spite of all his boastings, that he had
scarcely been called by any other title at the French Court than that of
Fraser of Beaufort. He had now an admirable opportunity of obliterating
the remembrance of his past life, and of conciliating good opinion by
the consistency and regulation of his present conduct. Notwithstanding
his crimes his clansmen turned towards him gladly; his neighbours were
willing to assist him in the support of his honours, and he enjoyed what
he had never before experienced, the confidence of his Sovereign.

Lord Lovat began his season of prosperity by litigations, which lasted
between twelve and fourteen years. His first aim was to set aside the
pretensions of Hugh Fraser, the son of Mackenzie of Fraserdale, who
claimed the title of Lord Lovat after his father's death; and also, by
virtue of settlements, asserted rights to the estate. The contest was
finally decided by the House of Lords in favour of Lord Lovat's enjoying
the honours and lands during his life, the fee remaining with
Fraserdale, who died in 1755.

Vexatious and expensive suits occupied the period between 1715 and 1732,
when they were brought to a final conclusion.

Lovat now assumed a state corresponding to his station, and suitable to
the turn of his mind for display. Not only the lands, heritages,
tenements, annual rents, &c., of the unfortunate Mackenzie of Fraserdale
were bestowed on him for his services in suppressing what in the deed of
gift was termed "the late unnatural rebellion in the north of Scotland;"
but also the "goods, jewels, gear, utensils and _domecills_, horses,
sheep, cattle, corn," and, in short, whatsoever had belonged to the
Mackenzies, together with five hundred pounds of money, which had fallen
into the King's hands. It was, indeed, some time before all this could
be accomplished, as the correspondence between Lord Lovat and his
friend Duncan Forbes sufficiently shows.

                                    "Inverness, the 5th March, 1716.

    "My Dearest General,[208]

    "I send you the inclosed letter from the name of Macleod, which I
    hope you will make good use of; for it's most certain, I keep'd the
    M'Leods at home, which was considerable service done to the
    Government. The Earle went off from Cullodin to Cromarty last night;
    and tho' he got a kind letter from Marlbrugh, congratulating him on
    his glorious actions, yet he was obliged to own to General Wightman,
    that his Lordship would have got nothing done in the North without
    my dear General and me. I wish he may do us the same justice at
    Court: if not, I am sure, if I live, I will inform the King in
    person of all that passed here since the Rebellion. The Earle's
    creatures openly speak of the Duke of Argyle's being recalled. I
    could not bear it. You know my too great vivacity on that head. I
    was really sick with it, and could not sleep well since. I expect
    impatiently a letter from you to determinal my going to London, or
    my stay here, where I am very well with General Wightman, but always
    much mortified to see myself the servant of all, without a post or
    character. I go to-morrow to Castle Grant to take my leave of my
    dear Alister Dow. Your brother is to follow and to go with Alister
    to London this week. I find the Duke was gone before you could be at
    London. I hope, my dear General, you will take a start to London to
    serve his Grace, and do something for your poor old corporal; and,
    if you suffer Glengarry, Frazerdale, or the Chisholm, to be
    pardoned, I will never carry a musquet any more under your command,
    though I should be obliged to go to Affrick. However, you know how
    obedient I am to my General's orders. You forgot to give the order,
    signed by you and the other depicts, to meddle with Frazerdale's
    estate for the King's service. I intreat you send it me, for ---- is
    afraid to meddle without authority. Adieu, mon aimable General; vous
    savez que je vous aime tendrement; et que je suis mille fois plus à
    vous qu'à moy-même pour la vie.


In another letter, he observes--"The King has been pleased, this very
day, to give me a gift of all Fraserdale's escheat." Still, however, one
thing was wanting; the rapacious Lovat had not obtained his former
enemy's plate; General Wightman had taken possession of it as from the
person with whom it was deposited; and he was celebrated for his
unwillingness to part with what he had gained. At last, however, the
greediness of Lovat was appeased if not satisfied by a present from
General Cadogan of the plate which he had taken, belonging to
Fraserdale; and by a compromise with General Wightman, Lovat paying the
General one-half of the value of the plate which was worth only one
hundred and fifty pounds. Thus were the remains of the unhappy Jacobites
parcelled out among these military plunderers.

During this year, the avocations of Lord Lovat's turbulent leisure were
pleasingly varied by the cares of a love suit. The young lady who was
persuaded to link her fate to his, was Margaret, the fourth daughter of
Ludovick Grant, of Grant; she is said to have been young and beautiful.
But several obstacles retarded for awhile her union with Lord Lovat. In
the first place, he was not wholly unmarried to the Dowager of Lovat,
who was still alive. The family of Athole had, it is true, annulled that
marriage, yet there were still legal doubts and difficulties in the way
of a fresh bond. Lord Lovat was now, however, according to his own
report to his "dearest General" at Culloden, in high favour with King
George and the Prince of Wales; and to them he broached the subject of
his marriage.

"I had a private audience of King George this day; and I can tell you,
dear General, that no man ever spoke freer language to his Majesty or to
the Prince than I did." "They still behave to me like kind brothers; and
I spoke to them both of my marriage, they approve of it mightily, and my
Lord Islay brother of the Duke [of Argyle], is to make the proposition
to the King; and, so that I believe it will do, with that agreement that
my two great friends wish and desire it."[209]

He could, however, do nothing except in a sinister manner; nor was
there ever one motive which sprang from a right source. Again he thus
addresses Duncan Forbes:--

"I spoke to the Duke and my Lord Islay about my marriage, and told them
that one of my greatest motifs to that design, was to secure them the
joint interest of the North." This must have been a pleasing
consideration for the young lady, but that which follows is scarcely
less promising and agreeable.

"They [the Duke and Lord Islay] are both to speak of it to the King; but
Islay desired me to write to you, to know if there would be any fear of
a poursuit of adherence from that other person [the Dowager Lady Lovat],
which is a chimirical business, and tender fear for me in my dear Islay.
But when I told him that the lady denyed, before the Justice Court, that
I had anything to do with her, and that the pretended marriage is
declared nul (which Islay says should be done by the Commissarys only),
yet, when I told him that the witnesses were all dead who were at the
pretended marriage, he was satisfyed that they could make nothing of it,
though they would endeavour it."[210]

This letter, which shows in too clear colours how unscrupulous even men
of reputed honour, such as Lord Islay, were on some points in those
days, seems to have removed all obstacles; and, during the following
year (1717), Lord Lovat was united to Margaret Grant. Her father was the
head of a numerous and powerful clan, and this marriage tended greatly
to increase the influence of Lord Lovat among the Highlanders. Two
children, a son and a daughter, were the result of this union.
Prosperity once more shone upon the chieftain of the Frasers; and he now
restored to his home, Castle Downie, all the baronial state which must
so well have accorded with that ancient structure. The famous Sergeant
Macleod, in his Memoirs, gives a graphic account of his reception at
Castle Downie by Lord Lovat, where the old soldier repaired to seek a
commission in the celebrated Highland company, afterwards called the
Highland Watch.[211]

"At three o'clock," says the biographer of Macleod,[212] "on a summer's
morning, he set out on foot from Edinburgh; and about the same hour, on
the second day thereafter, he stood on the green of Castle Downie, Lord
Lovat's residence, about five or six miles beyond Inverness; having
performed in forty-eight hours a journey of a hundred miles and upwards,
and the greater part of it through a mountainous country. His sustenance
on this march was bread and cheese, with an onion, all which he carried
in his pocket, and a dram of whiskey at each of the three great stages
on the road,--and at Falkland, the half-way house between Edinburgh, by
the way of Kinghorn and Perth. He never went to bed during the whole of
this journey; though he slept once or twice for an hour or two together,
in the open air, on the road side.

"By the time he arrived at Lord Lovat's park the sun had risen upwards
of an hour, and shone pleasantly, according to the remark of our hero,
well pleased to find himself in this spot, on the walls of Castle
Downie, and those of the ancient abbey of Beaulieu in the near
neighbourhood. Between the hours of five and six Lord Lovat appeared
walking about in his hall, in a morning dress, and at the same time a
servant flung open the great folding doors, and all the outer doors and
windows of the house. It is about this time that many of the great
families of the present day go to bed.

"As Macleod walked up and down on the lawn before the house, he was soon
observed by Lord Lovat who immediately went out, and, bowing to the
Sergeant with great courtesy, invited him to come in. Lovat was a
fine-looking tall man, and had something very insinuating in his manners
and address. He lived in the fullness of hospitality, being more
solicitous, according to the genius of the feudal times, to retain and
multiply adherents than to accumulate wealth by the improvement of his
estate. As scarcely any fortune, and certainly not _his_ fortune, was
adequate to the extent of his views, he was obliged to regulate his
unbounded hospitality by rules of prudent economy. As his spacious hall
was crowded by kindred visitors, neighbours, vassals, and tenants of
all ranks, the table, that extended from one end of it nearly to the
other, was covered at different places with different kinds of meat and
drink--though of each kind there was always great abundance. At the head
of the table the lords and lairds pledged his Lordship in claret, and
sometimes champagne; the tacksmen, or demiwassals, drank port or
whiskey-punch; tenants, or common husbandmen, refreshed themselves with
strong beer; and below the utmost extent of the table, at the door, and
sometimes without the door of the hall, you might see a multitude of
Frasers, without shoes or bonnets, regaling themselves with bread and
onions, with a little cheese, perhaps, and small beer. Yet amidst the
whole of the aristocratic inequality, Lord Lovat had the address to keep
all his guests in perfectly good humour. 'Cousin,' he would say to such
and such a tacksman or demiwassal, 'I told my pantry lads to hand you
some claret, but they tell me you like port or punch best.' In like
manner to the beer drinkers he would say, 'Gentlemen, there is what you
please at your service; but I send you ale because I understand you like
ale.' Everybody was thus well pleased; and none were so ill bred as to
gainsay what had been reported to his Lordship.

"This introduction was followed by still further condescension on the
part of Lord Lovat. He looked at the veteran who had served in Lord
Orkney's regiment, under Marlborough, at Ramilies and Malplaquet, with

"'I know,' said his Lordship, 'without your telling me, that you have
come to enlist in the Highland Watch; for a thousand men like you I
would give an estate.' Donald Macleod then, at Lovat's request, related
his history and pedigree,--that subject which most delights the heart of
a Highlander. Lord Lovat clasped him in his arms, and kissed him, and
then led him into an adjoining bedchamber, where Lady Lovat then lay, to
whom he introduced the Sergeant. Lady Lovat raised herself in her bed,
called for a bottle of brandy, and drank prosperity to Lord Lovat, to
the Highland Watch, and to Donald Macleod. 'It is superfluous to say,'
adds the Sergeant, 'that in this toast the lady was pledged by the

In contradiction to this attractive account of Lord Lovat's splendour
and hospitality we must quote a very different description, given by the
astronomer Ferguson. Lord Lovat's abode, according to his account,
boasted, indeed, a numerous feudal retinue within its walls, but
presented little or no comfort. It was a rude tower with only four
apartments in it, and none of these spacious. Lord Lovat's own room
served at once as his place for constant residence, his room for
receiving company, and his bedchamber. Lady Lovat's bedchamber was
allotted to her for all these purposes also. The domestics and a herd of
retainers were lodged in the four lower rooms of the tower, a quantity
of straw constituting their bed-furniture. Sometimes above four hundred
persons were thus huddled together here; the power which their savage
and ungrateful chieftain exercised over them was despotic; and Ferguson
himself had occasionally the pleasurable sight of some half dozen of
them hung up by the heels for hours, on a few trees near the house.[213]

The pretended loyalty of the chief to the exiled family constituted a
strong bond of union between Lovat and his followers; and having them
once under his command, "that indefinable magic by which he all his life
swayed those who neither loved nor esteemed him," to borrow Mrs. Grant's
expression, caused them afterwards to follow his desperate fortunes. "He
resembled, in this respect," says the same admirable writer, "David when
in the cave of Adullam, for every one that was discontented, and every
one that was in debt, literally resorted to him." Lovat, once settled in
the abode of his ancestors, did all that he could do to efface the
memory of the past, and to redeem the good opinion of his neighbours.
One thing he alone left undone,--he did not amend his life. Crafty,
vindictive, gross, tyrannical, few men ever continued long such a career
with impunity.

He was long distrusted by the good of both parties; by the one he was
regarded as a spy of Government, by the other as one whose Jacobite
loyalty was only a pretext to win the affections of the honest and
simple Highlanders. Yet, at last, he succeeded in obtaining influence,
partly by his real talents, partly by his artifices and knowledge of
character. "When one considers," observes Mrs. Grant, "that his
appearance was disgusting and repulsive, his manners, except when he had
some deep part to play, grossly familiar, and meanly cajoling, and that
he was not only stained with crimes, but well known to possess no one
amiable quality but fortitude, which he certainly displayed in the last
extremity, his influence over others is to be regarded as inexplicable."
Although the most valuable possessions of his family were on the Aird,
the chief centre of his popularity was in Stratheric, a wild hilly
district between Inverness and Fort Augustus. There he was beloved by
the common people, who looked upon him as a patriot, and there he made
it his chief study to secure their affections, often going unlooked for
to spend the day and night with his tenants there, and banishing
reserve, he indulged in a peculiar strain of jocularity perfectly suited
to his audience. His conversation, composed of ludicrous fancies and
blandishments, was often intermingled with sound practical advice and
displays of good sense. The following curious account of his table
deportment, and ordinary mode of living, is from the pen of Mrs. Grant
of Laggan, who was well acquainted with those who had personally known
Lord Lovat.

"If he met a boy on the road, he was sure to ask whom he belonged to,
and tell him of his consequence and felicity in belonging to the
memorable clan of Fraser, and if he said his name was Simon to give him
half-a-crown, at that time no small gift in Stratheric; but the old
women, of all others, were those he was at most pains to win, even in
the lowest ranks. He never was unprovided with snuff and flattery, both
which he dealt liberally among them, listened patiently to their old
stories, and told them others of the King of France, and King James, by
which they were quite captivated, and concluded by entreating that they
impress their children with attachment and duty to their chief, and they
would not fail to come to his funeral and assist in the coranach _keir_.
At Castle Downie he always kept an open table to which all comers were
welcome, for of all his visitors he contrived to make some use;--from
the nobleman and general by whose interest he could provide for some of
his followers, and by that means strengthen his interest with the rest,
to the idle hanger-on whose excursions might procure the fish and game
which he was barely suffered to eat a part of at his patron's table.
Never was there a mixture of society so miscellaneous as was there
assembled. From an affectation of loyalty to his new masters Lovat paid
a great court to the military stationed in the North; such of the
nobility in that quarter as were not in the sunshine, received his
advances as from a man who enjoyed court favour, and he failed not to
bend to his own purposes every new connection he formed. In the mean
time the greatest profusion appeared at table while the meanest
parsimony reigned through the household. The servants who attended had
little if any wages; their reward was to be recommended to better
service afterwards; and meantime they had no other food allowed to them
but what they carried off on the plates: the consequence was, that you
durst not quit your knife and fork for a moment, your plate was snatched
while you looked another way; if you were not very diligent, you might
fare as ill amidst abundance as the Governor of Barataria. A surly
guest once cut the fingers of one of these harpies when snatching his
favourite morsel away untasted. I have heard a military gentleman who
occasionally dined at Castle Downie describe those extraordinary
repasts. There was a very long table loaded with a great variety of
dishes, some of the most luxurious, others of the plainest--nay,
coarsest kind: these were very oddly arranged; at the head were all the
dainties of the season, well dressed and neatly sent in; about the
middle appeared good substantial dishes, roasted mutton, plain pudding
and such like. At the bottom coarse pieces of beef, sheeps' heads,
haggiss, and other national but inelegant dishes, were served in a
slovenly manner in great pewter platters; at the head of the table were
placed guests of distinction, to whom alone the dainties were offered;
the middle was occupied by gentlemen of his own tribe, who well knew
their allotment, and were satisfied with the share assigned to them. At
the foot of the table sat hungry retainers, the younger sons of younger
brothers, who had at some remote period branched out from the family;
for which reason he always addressed them by the title of 'cousin.'
This, and a place, however low, at his table, so flattered these
hopeless hangers-on, that they were as ready to do Lovat's bidding "in
the earth or in the air" as the spirits are to obey the command of

"The contents of his sideboard were as oddly assorted as those of his
table, and served the same purpose. He began,--'My lord, here is
excellent venison, here turbot, &c.: call for any wine you please;
there is excellent claret and champagne on the sideboard. Pray, now,
Dunballock or Killbockie, help yourselves to what is before you; there
are port and lisbon, strong ale and porter, excellent in their kind;'
then calling to the other end of the table,--'Pray, dear cousin, help
yourself and my other cousins to that fine beef and cabbage; there is
whiskey-punch and excellent table-beer.' His conversation, like his
table, was varied to suit the character of every guest. The retainers
soon retired, and Lovat (on whom drink made no impression) found means
to unlock every other mind, and keep his own designs impenetrably
secret; while the ludicrous and careless air of his discourse helped to
put people off their guard; and searchless cunning and boundless
ambition were hid under the mask of careless hilarity."

But darker deeds even than these diversified the pursuits of a man who
had quitted the prisons of Angoulême and of Saumur only to wreak, upon
his own faithful and trusting clansmen, or his neighbours, as well as
his foes, the vindictive cruelty of a nature utterly depraved, not
softened even by kindness, still less chastened by a long series of

Lovat's re-establishment at the head of his clan seems to have
intoxicated him, and the display of his power to have risen into a
ruling passion. Above all, he boasted of it to Duncan Forbes, whose
endurance of this wretched ally's correspondence lasted until the
pretended friendship was succeeded by avowed treachery to the Government
to which he had professed such gratitude, and to the King and Prince
whom he was wont to call "the bravest fellows in the world."[214]

In accordance with this spirit of self-glorification was Lovat's
erection of two monuments,--filial piety dictating the inscription on
one of them, that dedicated to his father, and his own audacious vanity
assisting in the composition of the tribute to his own virtues.

It was his Lordship's favourite boast that at his birth a number of
swords which hung up in the hall of his paternal home leaped themselves
out of their scabbards, denoting that he was to be a mighty man of arms.
The presage was not fulfilled, but Lord Lovat's ingenuity suggested the
following means of imposing upon the credulity of his simple clansmen,
by the composition of an epitaph which he erected in the old church of
Kirkhill, a few miles from Castle Downie.

                         TO THE MEMORY OF

                    THOMAS LORD FRASER, OF LOVAT,

    Who chose rather to undergo the greatest hardships of fortune than
    to part with the ancient honours of his house, and bore these
    hardships with undaunted fortitude of mind.

                    This monument was erected by


    Who, likewise, having undergone many and great vicissitudes of good
    and bad fortune, through the malice of his enemies, he, in the end,
    at the head of his clan, forced his way to his paternal inheritance
    with his sword in his hand, and relieved his kindred and followers
    from oppression and slavery; and both at home and in foreign
    countries, by his eminent actions in the war and the state, he has
    acquired great honours and reputation.

              Hic tegit ossa lapis Simonis fortis in armis,
              Restituit pressum nam genus ille suum:
              Hoc marmor posuit cari genitoris honori,
              In genus afflictum par erat ejus amor.

Sir Robert Munro, who was killed at the battle of Falkirk, being on a
visit to Lord Lovat, went with his host to see this monument. "Simon,"
said the brave and free-spoken Scotsman, "how the devil came you to put
up such boasting romantic stuff?" "The monument and inscription,"
replied Lovat, "are chiefly for the Frasers, who must believe whatever I
require, their chief, of them, and then posterity will think it as true
as the Gospel." Yet he did not scruple, when it suited his purpose, to
designate his clansmen, the lairds around him, as "the little pitiful
barons of the Aird;"--this was, however, when writing to his friends of
opposite politics to the Frasers, generally to Duncan Forbes.

The devotion of his unfortunate adherents can hardly be conceived in the
present day. In the early part of his career, before his rapacity, his
licentiousness, and falsehood were fully known, one may imagine a
fearless and ardent young leader, of known bravery, engaging the
passions even of the most wary among his followers in his personal
quarrels: but it is wonderful how, when the character of the man stood
revealed before them, any could be found to lend their aid to deeds
which had not the colour of justice, nor even the pretence of a generous
ardour, to recommend them to the brave. But Lovat was not the only
melancholy instance in which that extraordinary feature in the Highland
character, loyalty to a chieftain, was employed in aiding the darkest
treachery, and in deeds of violence and cruelty.

For many years, Lovat revelled in the indulgence of the fiercest
passions; but he paid in time the usual penalty of guilt. His name came
to be a bye-word. Every act of violence, done in the darkness of
night,--the oppressions of the helpless, the corruption of the
innocent,--every plot which was based upon the lowest principles, were
attributed to him. His vengeance was such, that while the public knew
the hand that dealt out destruction, they dared not to name the man. The
hated word was whispered by the hearth; it was muttered with curses in
the hovel; but the voice which breathed it was hushed when the band of
numerous retainers, swift to execute the will of the feudal tyrant, was
remembered. His power, thus tremblingly acknowledged, was fearful; his
wrath, never was appeased except by the ruin of those who had offended
him. With all this, the manners of Lord Lovat were courteous, and, for
the times, polished; whilst beneath that superficial varnish lay the
coarsest thoughts, the most degrading tastes. His address must have been
consummate; and to that charm of manner may be ascribed the wonderful
ascendancy which he acquired even over the respectable part of the

Something of his ready humour was displayed soon after Lord Lovat's
restoration to his title, in his rencontre with his early friend, Lord
Mungo Murray, in the streets of Edinburgh. Lord Mungo had sworn to
avenge the wrongs and insults inflicted by Lord Lovat on himself and
Lord Saltoun, whenever he had an opportunity. Seeing Lord Lovat
approaching, he drew his sword and made towards him as fast as he
could. Lord Lovat, being near-sighted, did not perceive him, but was
apprised of his danger by a friend who was walking with him; upon which
his Lordship also drew, and prepared for his defence. Lord Mungo, seeing
this, thought proper to decline the engagement, and wheeled round in
order to retire. The people crowded about the parties, and somewhat
impeded Lord Mungo's retreat; upon which Lord Lovat called out to the
people, "Pray, gentlemen, make room for Lord Mungo Murray," Lord Mungo
slank away, and the affair ended without bloodshed.

An affair with the profligate Duke of Wharton, was very near ending more
fatally. Lord Lovat, during the year 1724, happening to be in London,
mingled there in the fashionable society for which his long residence in
France had, in some measure, qualified him. In the course of his
different amusements, he encountered one evening, at the Haymarket, the
beautiful Doña Eleanora Sperria, a Spanish lady who had visited England
under the character of the Ambassador's niece. His attentions to this
lady, and his admiration of her attractions, were observed by the
jealous eye of the Duke of Wharton, who immediately sent him a
challenge. Lord Lovat accepted it, replying, that "none of the family of
Lovat were ever cowards," and appointing to meet the Duke with sword and
pistol. The encounter took place in Hyde-park. They first fired at each
other, and then had recourse to the usual weapon, the sword. Lovat was
unlucky enough to fall over the stump of a tree, and was disarmed by
Wharton, who gave him his life, and what was in those days perhaps even
still more generous, never boasted of the affair until some years

Lovat lived, however, chiefly in Scotland. Four children were born to
writhe under his sway; the eldest, Simon, the Master of Lovat, gentle,
sincere, of promising abilities, and upright in conduct, suffered early
and late from the jealousy of his father, who could not comprehend his
mild virtues. This unfortunate young man was treated with the utmost
harshness by Lord Lovat, who kept him in slavish subjection to his own
imperious will, and treated him as if he had been the offspring of some
low-born dependant, instead of his heir. Still, those who were
well-wishers to the Lovat family, built their hopes upon the virtues of
the young Master of Lovat, and they were not deceived. Although forced
by his father to quit the University of St. Andrews, where he was
studying in 1745, and to enter into the Rebellion, he retrieved that
early act by a subsequent respectability of life, and by long and
faithful services.

But there was another victim still more to be pitied, and over whose
destiny the vices of Lord Lovat exercised a still more fatal sway than
on those of his son. The story of Primrose Campbell is, perhaps, the
saddest among this catalogue of crimes and calamities.

She was the daughter of John Campbell, of Mamore, and the sister of John
Duke of Argyle, the friend and patron of Duncan Forbes; and she had
been, by Lovat's introduction, for some time a companion of his first
wife.[215] Lord Lovat, about the year 1732, became a widower. He then
cast his eyes upon the ill-fated Miss Campbell, and sought her in
marriage. The match was of great importance to him, on account of the
family connection; and Lord Lovat had reason to believe, that whatever
the young lady might think of it, her friends were not opposed to the
union. She was staying with her sister, Lady Roseberry, when Lovat
proffered his odious addresses. She to whom they were addressed, knew
him well: for she entertained the utmost abhorrence of her suitor, and
repeatedly rejected his proposals. At last, he gained her consent to the
union which he sought, by the following stratagem. Miss Campbell, while
residing still with her sister in the country, received a letter,
written apparently by her mother, and, beseeching her immediate
attendance at a particular house in Edinburgh, in which she lay at the
point of death. The young lady instantly set out, and reached the
appointed place: here, instead of beholding her mother, she was received
by the hated and dreaded Lovat.[216] She was constrained to listen to
his proffers of marriage; but she still firmly refused her assent. Upon
this, Lord Lovat told the unhappy creature that the house to which she
had been brought was one in which no respectable woman ought ever to
enter;--and he threatened to blast her character upon her continued
refusal to become his wife. Distracted, intimidated by a confinement of
several days, the young lady finally consented. She was married to the
tyrant, who conveyed her to one of his castles in the North, probably to
Downie, the scene of his previous crimes. Here she was secluded in a
lonely tower, and treated with the utmost barbarity, probably because
she could neither conceal nor conquer her disgust to the husband of her
forced acceptance. Yet outward appearances were preserved: a lady, the
intimate friend of her youth, was advised to visit, as if by accident,
the unhappy Lady Lovat, in order to ascertain the truth of the reports
which prevailed of Lord Lovat's cruelty. The visitor was received by
Lovat with extravagant expressions of welcome, and many assurances of
the pleasure which it would afford Lady Lovat to see her. His Lordship
then retired, and hastening to his wife, who was secluded without even
tolerable clothes, and almost in a state of starvation, placed a costly
dress before her, and desired her to attire herself, and to appear
before her friend. His commands were obeyed; he watched his prisoner and
her visitor so closely, that no information could be conveyed of the
unhappiness of the one, or of the intentions of the other.[217] This
outrageous treatment, which Lord Lovat is reported, also, to have
exercised over his first wife, went on for some time. Lady Lovat was
daily locked up in a room by herself, a scanty supply of food being sent
her, which she was obliged to devour in silence. The monotony of her
hapless solitude was only broken by rare visits from his Lordship.
Under these circumstances, she bore a son, who was named Archibald
Campbell Fraser, and who eventually succeeded to the title. In after
years, when he frowned at any contradiction that she gave him, Lady
Lovat used to exclaim, "Oh, boy! Dinna look that gate--ye look so like
your father." These words spoke volumes.

The character of the lady whose best years were thus blighted by
cruelty, and who was condemned through a long life to bear the name of
her infamous husband, was one peculiarly Scotch. Homely in her habits,
and possessing little refinement of manner, she had the kindest heart,
the most generous and self-denying nature that ever gladdened a house,
or bore up a woman's weakness under oppression. The eldest son of Lord
Lovat, Simon, was a sickly child. His father, who was very anxious to
have him to his house, placed him under Lady Lovat's charge; and,
whenever he went to the Highlands, left her with this pleasing
intimation, "that if he found either of the boys dead on his return, he
would shoot her through the head." Partly through fear, and partly from
the goodness and rectitude of her mind, Lady Lovat devoted her
attentions so entirely to the care of the delicate and motherless boy,
that she saved his life, and won his filial reverence and affection by
her attention. He loved her as a real parent. The skill in nursing and
in the practical part of medicine thus acquired, was never lost; and
Lady Lovat was noted ever after, among those who knew her, as the "old
lady of the faculty."

Family archives, it is said, reveal a tissue of almost unprecedented
acts of cruelty towards this excellent lady. They were borne with the
same spirit that in all her life guided her conduct,--a strict
dependance upon Providence. She regarded her calamities as trials, or
tests, sent from Heaven, and received them with meek submission. In
after years, during the peaceful decline of her honoured life, when a
house near her residence in Blackfriars Wynd, Edinburgh, took fire, she
sat calmly knitting a stocking, and watching, occasionally, the progress
of the flames. The magistrates and ministers came, in vain, to entreat
her to leave her house in a sedan; she refused, saying, that if her hour
was come, it was in vain for her to think of eluding her fate: if it
were not come, she was safe where she was. At length she permitted the
people around her to fling wet blankets over the house, by which it was
protected from the sparks.

She seems, however, to have made considerable exertions to rid herself
from an unholy bond with her husband. Like many other Scottish ladies of
quality, in those days, her education had been limited; and it was not
until late in life that she acquired the art of writing, which she then
learned by herself without a master. She never attained the more
difficult process of spelling accurately.

She now, however, contrived to make herself understood by her friends in
this her dire distress: and to acquaint them with her situation and
injuries, by rolling a letter up in a clue of yarn, and dropping it out
of her window to a confidential person below. Her family then
interfered, and the wretched lady was released, by a legal separation,
from her miseries. She retired to the house of her sister, and
eventually to Edinburgh. When, in after times, her grand nephews and
nieces crowded around her, she would talk to them of these days of
sorrow. "Listen, bairns," she was known to observe, "the events of my
life would make a good novel; but they have been of sae strange a
nature, that I'm sure naebody wad believe them."[218]

But domestic tyranny was a sphere of far too limited a scope for Lord
Lovat: his main object was to make himself absolute over that territory
of which he was the feudal chieftain; to bear down everything before
him, either by the arts of cunning, or through intimidation. Some
instances, singular, as giving some insight into the state of society in
the Highlands at that period, have been recorded.[219] Very few years
after the restitution of his family honours had elapsed, before he
happened to have some misunderstanding with one of the Dowager Lady
Lovat's agents, a Mr. Robertson, whom her Ladyship had appointed as
receiver of her rents. One night, during the year 1719, a number of
persons, armed and disguised, were seen in the dead of night, very busy
among Mr. Robertson's barns and outhouses. That night, the whole of his
stacks of corn and hay were set on fire and entirely consumed. Lord
Lovat was suspected of being the instigator of this destruction; yet
such was the dread of his power, that Mr. Robertson chose rather to
submit to the loss in silence than to prosecute, or even to name, the

A worse outrage was perpetrated against Fraser of Phopachy, a gentleman
of learning and character, and one who had befriended Lord Lovat in all
his troubles, and had refused to join with Fraserdale in the Rebellion
of 1715. Mr. Fraser had the charge of Lord Lovat's domestic affairs,
more especially of his law contests, both in Edinburgh and in London.
When accounts were balanced between Lord Lovat and Mr. Fraser, it was
found that a considerable sum was due to the latter. Among his other
peculiarities Lord Lovat had a great objection to pay his debts. As
usual, he insulted Fraser, and even threatened him with a suit. Mr.
Fraser, knowing well the man with whom he had to deal, submitted the
affair to arbitration. A Mr. Cuthbert of Castlehill was chosen on the
part of his Lordship; the result was, a decision that a very
considerable sum was due to Fraser. Lord Lovat was violently enraged at
this, and declared that Castlehill had broken his trust. Not many days
afterwards, Castlehill Park, near Inverness, was invaded by a party of
Highlanders, armed and disguised; the fences and enclosures were broken
down, and a hundred of his best milch-cows killed. Again the finger of
public opinion pointed at Lovat, but pointed in silence, as the author
of this wicked attack. None dared to name him; all dreaded a summary
vengeance: his crimes were detailed with a shudder of horror and
disgust; their author was not mentioned.

Lord Lovat, moreover, instantly commenced a law-suit against Fraser, in
order to set aside the arbitration. This process, which lasted during
the lifetime of the victim, was scarcely begun when one night Fraser's
seat at Phopachy, which, unhappily, was near the den of horrors, Castle
Downie, was beset by Highlanders, armed and disguised, who broke into
the house and inquired for Mr. Fraser. He was, luckily, abroad. The
daughters of the unfortunate gentleman were, however, in the house; they
were bound to the bed-posts and gagged; and, doubtless, the whole
premises would have been pillaged or destroyed, had not a female servant
snatched a dirk from the hands of one of the ruffians; and although
wounded, defended herself, while by her shrieks she roused the servants
and neighbours. The villains fled, all save two, who were taken, and
who, after a desperate resistance, were carried off to the gaol at
Inverness; they were afterwards tried, and capitally convicted of
housebreaking, or _hamesaken_, as it is called in Scotland, and
eventually hung. It appeared, from the confession of one of these men to
a clergyman at Inverness, that the same head which planned the
destruction of Mr. Robertson's stacks had contrived this outrage, and
had even determined on the murder of his former friend, Mr. Fraser. But
the hour was now at hand in which retribution for these crimes was to
be signally visited upon this disgrace to his species.[220]

One more sufferer under his vile designs must be recorded, the unhappy
Lady Grange. In that story which has been related of her fate, and which
might, indeed, furnish a theme for romance, she is said to have ever
alluded to Lord Lovat as the remorseless contriver of that scheme which
doomed her to sufferings far worse than death, and to years of
imbecility and wanderings.[221] The subtlety of Lord Lovat equalled his
fierceness; it is not often that such qualities are combined in such
fearful perfection. He could stoop to the smallest attentions to gain an
influence or promote an alliance: a tradition is even believed of his
going to the dancing-school with two young ladies, and buying them
_sweeties_, in order to conciliate the favour of their father, Lord

His habitual cunning and management were manifested in his discipline of
his clan. It was his chief aim to impress upon the minds of his vassals
that his authority among them was absolute, and that no power on earth
could absolve them from it; that they had no right to inquire into the
merits or justifiableness of the action they were ordered to engage in;
his will ought to be their law, his resentment a sufficient reason for
taking his part in a quarrel, whether it were right or wrong.

One can hardly conceive that it could be requisite for the Frasers to
give any fresh proof of their obedience and fealty; yet it seems to have
required a continual effort on the part of Lord Lovat to establish his
authority and to keep up his dignity among the Frasers. The reason
assigned for this is, that though they were his vassals, tenants, and
dependants, yet they must be brought to acknowledge his sovereignty;
otherwise, when on some emergency he might require their assistance,
they might assume their natural right of independence, and refuse to
rise. It was Lord Lovat's policy, therefore, to discourage all
disposition in his clansmen to enter trade or to go to sea and seek
their fortunes abroad, lest they should both shake off their dependence
on him, and also, by emigrating, diminish the broad and pompous retinue
with which he chose to appear on all occasions. It was therefore his
endeavour to check industry, to oppose improvement, to preach up the
heroism of his ancestors, who never stooped to the meannesses of
commerce, but made themselves famous by martial deeds. "Never," thus
argued the chieftain, "had those brave men enervated their bodies and
debased their minds by labours fit only for beasts or stupid drudges.
Should not the generous blood which flowed in their veins still animate
the brave Frasers to deeds of heroism?"[222]

Notwithstanding all these exalted sentiments, the chief, who was set
upon this pinnacle of power, hesitated not to retain a hired assassin
for the purpose of executing any of his dark projects. Donald Gramoach,
a notorious robber, was long in the employ of Lovat, who lavished large
sums upon him. At length, in the year 1742, this man was apprehended,
lodged in Dingwall Gaol; and being convicted of robbery, was sentenced
to be hanged. Lord Lovat immediately despatched a body of his
Highlanders to rescue the prisoner; but the magistrates were aware of
his intentions; the prison was doubly guarded, and the culprit met with
his due punishment.

Lord Lovat had long thrown off the mask of courtesy, and had laid aside
the arts of fawning to which he had had recourse before his claims to
the honours and estates had been fully acknowledged. His tenants now
felt the iron rule of a merciless and necessitous master; for Lord
Lovat's expenditure far exceeded his means and revenue. He raised his
rents, and many of the farmers were forced to quit their farms; but his
_vassals by tenure_ were even more ruinously oppressed by suits of law,
compelling them to make out their titles to their estates; if they
failed in so doing, he insisted on forfeiture or escheate; and, in some
instances, these suits were so expensive that it was almost wiser to
relinquish an estate, than to be plundered in long and anxious

At last, to prevent their utter ruin, the gentlemen who held lands under
Lord Lovat determined upon resistance; after twenty-seven years of
bondage they resolved to free themselves. They met together, and
unanimously resolved to unite their arms, and to deliver themselves by
their swords; to this extremity were reduced these brave and devoted
adherents, who had blindly rushed into every crime and every danger at
the command of their ungrateful chieftain. Their resolution alarmed the
tyrant; he ordered the suits against his vassals to be stopped, and
excused, as well as he could, and with his usual odious courtesy, the
severities into which he had been led. He was playing a desperate game;
and the adherence of these unhappy dependants was soon to be put to the

His oppression of his stewards and agents was consistent with the rest
of his conduct. They could rarely induce him to settle his accounts; and
if they ventured to ask for sums due to them, he threatened them with
actions at law. He was all powerful, and they were forced to submit. His
inferior servants were treated even still more oppressively. If they
wished to leave his Lordship's service, or asked for their wages, he
alleged some crime against them, which he always found sufficient
witnesses to prove. They were then sent off to the cave of Beauly, a
dismal retreat, about a mile from his castle, where they were confined
until they were reduced to submission. That such enormities should have
been tolerated in a land of liberty, seems almost incredible; but the
slavery of the clans, the poverty and ignorance of the people, the vast
power and influence of the chief, account, in some measure, for this
degrading bondage on the one hand, this absolute monarchy on the

This long-endured course of tyranny had not tended to humble the heart
of him who indulged in such an immoderate exercise of power. The
ambition of Lord Lovat, always of a low and personal nature, increased
with years. He watched the state of public affairs, and built upon their
threatening character a scheme by which he might, as he afterwards said,
"be in a condition of humbling his neighbours."

His allegiance was henceforth given to the Jacobites, and his fidelity,
if such a word could ever be used as applied to him, seems actually to
have lasted two years,--that is from 1717 to 1719, when a Spanish
invasion was undertaken in favour of the Pretender. To that Lord Lovat
promised to lend his aid, and wrote to Lord Seaforth, promising to join
him. But the invasion was then defeated, and Lovat continued to enjoy
royal favour at home. On this occasion the letter which Lord Lovat had
written to Lord Seaforth, was shown to Chisholm of Knoebsford before it
was delivered, and an affidavit of its contents was sent up to Court.
Upon Lord Lovat becoming acquainted with this, he immediately got
himself introduced at Court, possibly with a view to deceiving the
public mind. Lady Seaforth having asked some favour from him, he refused
to grant it, unless she would return that letter, which had been
addressed to her son. With his usual cunning he had omitted to sign the
letter, which he thought could not therefore be fixed upon him. Upon
receiving it back, Lovat showed it to a friend, who remarked that there
was enough in it to condemn thirty lords. He immediately threw it into
the fire.

During many years of iniquity, Lord Lovat had preserved, to all
appearance, the good will of Duncan Forbes. That great lawyer had been
Lovat's legal advocate during the long and expensive suits for the
establishment of his claims, and had generously refused all fees or
remuneration for his exertions. The letters addressed by Lovat to him
breathe the utmost regard, and speak an intimacy which, as Sir Walter
Scott observes, "is less wonderful when we consider that Duncan Forbes
could endure the society of the infamous Charteris."[224] Lovat's
expressions of regard were frequently written in French. "Mon aimable
General:" he writes to Mr. John Forbes, also, the President's elder
brother.--"My dear Culloden." "Your affectionate friend, and most
obedient and most humble servant."

To the President, whom he always addressed with some allusion to his
brief military service,--"My dear General." "Your own Lovat." In 1716
such professions as these are made to Mr. John Forbes.

"My dearest Provost (we must give you your title, since it is to last
but short), my dear General's letter and yours are terrible; but I was
long ere now prepared for all that could happen to me on your
illustrious brother's account: I'll stand by him to the last; and if I
fall, as I do not doubt but I will, I'll receive the blow without
regret. But all I can tell you is this, that we are very like to see a
troublesome world, and my Generall and you will be yet useful; and I am
ready to be with you to the last drop, for I am yours eternally, Lovat."
His frequent style to the President was thus,--"The most faithfull and
affectionat of your slaves." It is indeed evident, in almost every
letter, what real obligations Lovat received from both Culloden and his
brother; and how strenuously they supported his claim against

At the hospitable house of Culloden he was a frequent guest,--"a house,
or castle," says the author of "Letters from the North," written
previous to the year 1730, "belonging to a gentleman whose hospitality
knows no bounds. It is the custom of that house, at the first visit or
introduction, to take up war freedom, by cracking his nut, as he terms
it; that is, a cocoa-shell, which holds a pint, filled with champagne,
or such other sort of wine as you shall chuse. You may guess, by the
introduction, of the contents of the volume. Few go away sober at any
time; and for the greatest part of his guests, in the conclusion, they
cannot go at all."

"This he partly brings about artfully, by proposing, after the public
healths (which always imply bumpers), such private ones as he knows will
pique the interest or inclination of each particular person of the
company, whose turn it is to take the lead, to begin it in a brimmer;
and he himself being always cheerful, and sometimes saying good things,
his guests soon lose their guard, and then--I need say no more."[226]

In this hospitable house, a strange contrast to the penuriousness and
despotic management of Castle Downie, Lord Lovat was on the most
intimate footing. His professions of friendship to the laird were
unceasing. "I dare freely say," he observes in one of his characteristic
letters, "that there is not a Forbes alive wishes your personal health
and prosperity more than I do, affectionate and sincerely; and I should
be a very ungrateful man if it was otherways, for no man gave me more
proofs of love and friendship at home and abroad than John Forbes of
Colodin did.

"As to carrying your lime to Lovat, I shall do more in it than if it was
for my own use. I shall give the most pressing orders to my officers to
send in my tenants' horses; and to show them the zeal and desire that I
have to serve you, I shall send my own labouring horses to carry it,
with as much pleasure as if it was to build a house in Castle Downie."

Even his wife and his "bearns" are "Colodin's faithful slaves--" "I'll
never see a laird of Culodin I love so much," he declares in another
letter;--in which, also, he reminds Mr. Forbes of a promise that he
"will do him the honour, since he cannot himself at this time be
present, to hold up his forthcoming child to receive the holy water of
baptisme, and make it a better Christian than the father. I expect this
mark of friendship from my dear John Forbes of Culodin."[227]

Yet all these professions were wholly forgotten, when Lord Lovat, being
fairly established in his honours, no longer deemed the friendship of
the Forbes family necessary to him. An occasion then occurred, in which
Mr. Forbes's "grateful slave" showed the caprice inherent in his nature.
Forbes of Culloden had long been the representative of Inverness,
chiefly through the interest of Lord Lovat; but when Sir William Grant
came forward to oppose the return of Forbes, to the dismay of that
gentleman, Lord Lovat turned round, and, upon the plea of consanguinity,
used his interest in favour of the new candidate. The disappointment
resulting from this defeat is said to have preyed upon the spirits of
the worthy Laird of Culloden, and to have caused his death.[228]

The decline of this alliance between the Forbes family and Lord Lovat,
was the prelude to greater changes.

In order to repress the local disturbances in the Highlands, Government
had adopted a remedy, well termed by Sir Walter Scott, "of a doubtful
and dangerous character." This was the raising of a number of
independent companies among the Highlanders, to be commanded by
chieftains, and officered by their sons, by tackmen, or by _Dnihne_
vassals. At the period when those great military roads were formed in
the Highlands between the year 1715 and 1745, these companies were
better calculated, it was supposed, to maintain the repose of a country
with which they were well acquainted, than regular troops. But the
experiment did not succeed. The Highland companies, known by the famous
name of the Black Watch, traversed the country, it is true, night and
day, and tracked its inmost recesses; they knew the most dangerous
characters; they were supposed to suppress all internal disorders. But
they were Highlanders. Whilst they looked leniently upon robberies and
outrages to which they had been familiarized from their youth, they
revived in their countrymen the military spirit which the late Act for
disarming the clans had subdued. Upon their removal from the Highlands,
and their exportation to Flanders, the mischief became apparent; and no
regular force being sent to the Highlands in their stead, those
chieftains who were favourable to the exiled family, found it easy to
turn the restless temper and martial habits of their clansmen to their
own purposes.

Lord Lovat was one of those who thus acted. The Ministry, irritated by
his patronage of Sir William Grant's interests, in preference to those
of Forbes, at the election for Inverness, suddenly deprived him of his
pension in 1739, and also of the command of the free company of
Highlanders. This was a rash proceeding, and contrary to the advice of
President Forbes. Lord Lovat, who had caused his clansmen to enter his
regiment by rotation, and had thus, without suspicion, been training his
clan to the use of arms, soon showed how dangerous a weapon had been
placed in his hand, and at how critical a period he had been incensed to
turn it against Government.

He had long been suspected. Even in 1737, information had been given of
his buying up muskets, broadswords, and targets, in numbers. When
challenged to defend himself from the imputation of Jacobitism by a
friend, he insisted upon the services he had done in 1715 as a reason
why he should for ever be free from the imputation of disloyalty; and he
continued to play the same subtle part, and to pretend indifference to
all fresh enterprises, to his friends at Culloden, as that which he had
always affected.

"Everybody expects we shall have a war very soon," he writes to his
friend John Forbes in 1729--"which I am not fond of; for being now
growne old, I desire and wish to live in peace with all mankind, except
some damned Presbyterian ministers who dayly plague me."[229] Yet, even
then he was engaged in a plot to restore the Stuarts. In 1736, when he
was Sheriff for the county, he received the celebrated Roy Stuart, who
was imprisoned at Inverness for high treason, when he broke out of gaol,
and kept him six weeks in his house; sending by him an assurance to the
Pretender of his fidelity, and at the same time desiring Roy Stuart to
procure him a commission as lieutenant-general, and a patent of dukedom.

This was the secret spring of his whole proceeding. It is degrading to
the rest of the Jacobites, to give this double traitor an epithet ever
applied to honourable, and fervent, and disinterested men. The sole
business of Lovat was personal aggrandizement; revenge was his

Henderson, in his "History of the Rebellion," attributes to Lord Lovat
the entire suggestion of the invasion of 1745. It is true that the
Chevalier refused to accede to the proposal made by Roy Stuart of an
invasion in 1735, not considering, as he said, that the "time for his
deliverance was as yet come." But, after consulting the Pope, it was
agreed that the present time might be well employed in "whetting the
minds of the Highlanders, and in sowing in them the seeds of loyalty
that so frequently appeared." In consequence of this, Lord Lovat's
request was granted; a letter was written to him from the Court, then at
Albano, giving him full power to act in the name of James, and the title
of Duke of Fraser and Lieutenant-General of the Highlands was conferred
upon the man who seems to have had the art of infatuating all with whom
he dealt.[230]

Lord Lovat immediately changed the whole style of his deportment. He
quitted the comparative retirement of Castle Downie; went to Edinburgh,
where he set up a chariot, and lived there in a sumptuous manner, though
with little of those ceremonials which we generally associate with rank
and opulence. He now sought and obtained a very general acquaintance.
Few men had more to tell; and he could converse about his former
hardships, relate the account of his introduction to Louis the
Fourteenth, and to the gracious Maintenon. He returned to Castle Downie.
That seat, conducted hitherto on the most penurious scale, suddenly
became the scene of a plenteous hospitality; and its lord, once
churlish and severe, became liberal and free. He entertained the clans
after their hearts' desire, and he kept a purse of sixpences for the
poor. As his castle was almost in the middle of the Highlands, it was
much frequented; and the crafty Lovat now adapted his conversation to
his own secret ends. He expatiated to the Highlanders, always greedy of
fame, and vain beyond all parallel of their country, upon the victories
of Montrose on the fields of Killicrankie and Cromdale.

"Such a sword and target," he would say to a listener, "your honest
grandfather wore that day, and with it he forced his way through a
hundred men. Well did I know him; he was my great friend, and an honest
man. Few are like him now-a-days;--you resemble him pretty much."

Then he began to interpret prophecies and dreams, and to relate to his
superstitious listeners the dreams their fathers had before the battle,
in which they fought. He would trace genealogies as far back as the
clansmen pleased, and show their connection with their chieftains. They
were all his "cousins and friends;" for he knew every person that had
lived in the country for years.

Then he spoke of the superiority of the broad-sword and target over the
gun and the bayonet; he sneered at the weakness of an army, after so
many years of peace, commanded by boys; he boasted of the valour of the
Scots in Sweden and France; he even unriddled the prophecies of Bede and
of Merlin. By these methods he prepared the minds of those over whom he
ruled for the Rebellion; but in the event, as it has been truly said,
"the thread of his policy was spun so fine that at last it failed in the
maker's hand."[231]

The shrewdness of Lovat's judgment might indeed be called in question,
when he decided to risk the undisturbed possession of his Highland
property for a dukedom and prospect. But there were many persons of rank
and influence who believed, with Prince Charles Edward, that "the
Hanoverian yoke was severely felt in England, and that now was the time
to shake it off." "The intruders of the family of Hanover," observes a
strenuous Jacobite,[232] "conscious of the lameness of their title and
the precariousness of their tenure, seem to have had nothing in view but
increasing their power, and gratifying their insatiable avarice: by the
former, they proposed to get above the caprice of the people; and by the
latter, they made sure of something, happen what would." "Abundance of
the Tories," he further remarks, "had still a warm side for the family
of Stuart; and as for the old stanch Whigs, their attachment and
aversion to families had no other spring but their love of liberty,
which they saw expiring with the family of Hanover: they had still this,
and but this chance to recover it. In fine, there was little opposition
to be dreaded from any quarter but from the army,--gentlemen of that
profession being accustomed to follow their leaders, and obey orders
without asking any questions. But there were malcontents among them,
too; such as were men of property, whose estates exceeded the value of
their commissions, did by no means approve of the present

Upon the whole the conjuncture seemed favourable, and Lord Lovat, whose
political views were very limited, was the first to sign the association
despatched in 1736, according to some accounts, by others in 1740, and
signed and sealed by many persons of note in Scotland, inviting the
Chevalier to come over to that country. His belief was, that France had
at all times the power to bring in James Stuart if she had the will;
that, indeed, was the general expectation of the Jacobites.

"Most of the powers in Europe," writes Mr. Maxwell, "were engaged,
either as principals or auxiliaries, in a war about the succession to
the Austrian dominions. France and England were hitherto only
auxiliaries, but so deeply concerned, and so sanguine, that it was
visible they would soon come to an open rupture with one another; and
Spain had been at war with England some years, nor was there the least
prospect of an accommodation. From those circumstances it seemed highly
probable that France and Spain would concur in forwarding the Prince's

Influenced by these considerations, Lovat now became chiefly involved in
all the schemes of the Chevalier. In 1743, when the invasion was
actually resolved upon, Lovat was fixed upon as a person of importance
to conduct the insurrection in the Highlands. Nor did the failure of
that project deter him from continued exertions. During the two
succeeding years, and until after the battle of Preston Pans, he acted
with such caution and dissimulation, that, had his party lost, he might
still have made terms, as he thought, with the Hanoverians.

In the beginning of the year 1745, Prince Charles despatched several
commissions to be distributed among his friends in Scotland, with
certain letters delivered by Sir Hector Maclean, begging his friends in
the Highlands to be in readiness to receive him, and desiring, "if
possible, that all the castles and fortresses in Scotland might be taken
before his arrival."[234] On the twenty-fifth of July,[235] the gallant
Charles Edward landed in a remote corner of the Western Highlands, with
only seven adherents. Lord Lovat was informed of this event, but he
continued to play the deep game which his perfidious mind suggested on
all occasions. He sent one of his principal agents into Lochaber to
receive the young Prince's commands, as Regent of the three kingdoms,
and to express his joy at his arrival. He sent also secretly for his
son, who was then a student at the University of St. Andrews, and
compelled him to leave his pursuits there, appointing him colonel of his
clan. Arms, money, and provisions were collected; and the fiery cross
was circulated throughout the country.

Such proceedings could not be concealed, and the Lord Advocate, Craigie,
wrote to Lord Lovat from Edinburgh, in the month of August, calling upon
him to prove his allegiance, referring to Lovat's son as well able to
assist him, and asking his counsels on the state of the Highlands. The
epistle alluded to a long cessation of any friendly correspondence
between the Lord Advocate and Lord Lovat.

It was answered by assurances of loyalty. "I am as ready this day (as
far as I am able) to serve the King and Government as I was in the year
1715, &c. But my clan and I have been so neglected these many years
past, that I have not twelve stand of arms in my country, though I thank
God I could bring twelve hundred good men to the field for the King's
service if I had arms and other accoutrements for them." He then
entreats a supply of arms, names a thousand stand to be sent to
Inverness, and promises to engage himself in the King's service. He
continues,--"Therefore, my good Lord, I earnestly entreat that as you
wish that I would do good service to the Government on this critical
occasion, you may order immediately a thousand stand of arms to be
delivered to me and my clan at Inverness, and then your Lordship shall
see that I will exert myself for the King's service; and if we do not
get these arms immediately, we will certainly be undone; for these
madmen that are in arms with the pretended Prince of Wales, threaten
every day to burn and destroy my country if we do not rise in arms and
join them; so that my people cry hourly that they have no arms to defend
themselves, nor no protection or support from the Government. So I
earnestly entreat your Lordship may consider seriously on this, for it
will be an essential and singular loss to the Government if my clan and
kindred be destroyed, who possess the centre of the Highlands of
Scotland, and the countries most proper, by their situation, to serve
the King and Government."

"As to my son, my Lord, that you are so good as to mention, he is very
young, and just done with his colleges at St. Andrews, under the care of
a relation of yours, Mr. Thomas Craigie, professor of Hebrew, who I
truly think one of the prettiest, most complete gentlemen that I ever
conversed with in any country: and I think I never saw a youth that
pleased him more than my eldest son; he says he is a very good scholar,
and has the best genius for learning of any he has seen, and it is by
Mr. Thomas Craigie's positive advice, which he will tell you when you
see him, that I send my son immediately to Utrecht to complete his
education. But I have many a one of my family more fitted to command
than he is at his tender age; and I do assure your Lordship that they
will behave well if they are supported as they ought from the

This artful letter, wherein he talks of sending his son to Utrecht, when
he was, at that time, by threats and persuasion driving him into the
field of civil war, is finished thus:--

"I hear that mad and unaccountable gentleman" (thus he designates the
Prince) "has set up a standard at a place called Glenfinnin--Monday
last. This place is the inlet from Moydart to Lochaber; and I hear of
none that joined him as yet, except the Camerons and Macdonells."

But this masterpiece of art could not deceive the honest yet discerning
mind of him to whom it was addressed.

Since the death of Mr. Forbes, the President had resided frequently at
Culloden, now his own property; his observing eye was turned upon the
proceedings of his neighbour at Castle Downie, but still appearances
were maintained between him and Lovat. "This day," writes the President
to a friend, "the Lord Lovat came to dine with me. He said he had heard
with uneasiness the reports that were scattered abroad; but that he
looked on the attempt as very desperate; that though he thought himself
but indifferently used lately, in taking his company from him, yet his
wishes still being, as well as his interest, led him to support the
present Royal Family; that he had lain absolutely still and quiet, lest
his stirring in any sort might have been misrepresented or misconstrued;
and he said his business with me was, to be advised what was to be done
on this occasion. I approved greatly of his disposition, and advised
him, until the scene should open a little, to lay himself out to gain
the most certain intelligence he could come at, which the situation of
his clan will enable him to execute, and to prevent his kinsmen from
being seduced by their mad neighbours, which he readily promised to do."

Consistent with these professions were the letters of Lovat to the

"I have but melancholy news to tell you, my dear Lord, of my own
country; for I have a strong report that mad Foyers is either gone, or
preparing to go, to the West; and I have the same report of poor
Kilbockie; but I don't believe it. However, if I be able to ride in my
chariot the length of Inverness, I am resolved to go to Stratherrick
next week, and endeavour to keep my people in order. I forgot to tell
you that the man yesterday assured me that they were resolved to burn
and destroy all the countries where the men would not join them, with
fire and sword, which truly frights me much, and has made me think of
the best expedient I could imagine to preserve my people.

"As I know that the Laird of Lochiel has always a very affectionate
friendship for me, as his relation, and a man that did him singular
services, and as he is perfectly well acquainted with Gortuleg, I
endeavoured all I could to persuade Tom to go there, and that he should
endeavour in my name to persuade Lochiel to protect my country; in which
I think I could succeed; but I cannot persuade Gortuleg to go; he is so
nice with his points of honour that he thinks his going would bring upon
him the character of a spy, and that he swears he would not have for the
creation. I used all the arguments that I was capable of, and told him
plainly that it was the greatest service he could do to me and to my
country, as I knew he could bring me a full account of their situation,
and that is the only effectual means that I can think of to keep the
Stratherrick men and the rest of my people at home. He told me at last
he would take some days to consider of it until he comes out of
Stratherrick; but I am afraid that will be too late. I own I was not
well pleased with him, and we parted in a cooler manner than we used to

In all his letters he characterizes Charles Edward, to whom he had just
pledged his allegiance, as the "pretended Prince." His affectation of
zeal in the cause of Government, his pretence of an earnest endeavour to
arrest the career of the very persons whom he was exciting to action,
his exertions with my "cousin Gortuleg," and his delight to find that
"honest Kilbockie," whom he had been vilifying, had not stirred, and
would do nothing without his consent, might be amusing if they were not
traits of such wanton irreclaimable falsehood in an aged man, soon to be
called to an account, before a heavenly tribunal, for a long career of
crime and injury to his neighbours.

If any further instance of his duplicity can be read with patience, the
following letter to Lochiel, who, according to Lovat, had a very
affectionate friendship for him, affords a curious specimen of


    "Dear Lochiel,

    "I fear you have been over rash in going ere affairs were ripe. You
    are in a dangerous state. The Elector's General, Cope, is in your
    rear, hanging at your tail with three thousand men, such as have not
    been seen here since Dundee's affair, and we have no force to meet
    him. If the Macphersons will take the field I would bring out my
    lads to help the work; and 'twixt the two we might cause Cope to
    keep his Christmas here; but only Cluny is earnest in the cause, and
    my Lord Advocate plays at cat and mouse with me; but times may
    change, I may bring him to Saint Johnstone's tippet. Meantime look
    to yourselves, for ye may expect many a sour face and sharp weapons
    in the South. I'll aid when I can, but my prayers are all I can give
    at present. My service to the Prince, but I wish he had not come
    here so empty-handed. Siller would go far in the Highlands. I send
    this by Evan Fraser, whom I have charged to give it to yourself; for
    were Duncan to find it, it would be my head to an onion. Farewell!

                                          "Your faithful friend,

    "For the Laird of Lochiel.

But perhaps the most odious feature in this part of Lovat's career was
his treachery to Duncan Forbes, whose exertions had placed his unworthy
client in possession of his property, and whose early ties of
neighbourhood ought, at any rate, to have secured him from danger. A
party of the Stratherric Frasers, kinsmen and clansmen of Lovat's,
attacked Culloden House, as there was every reason to believe with the
full concurrence of Lovat. Forbes, who was perfectly aware of the source
whence the assault proceeded, appeared to treat it lightly, talked of it
as an "idle attempt," never hinting that he guessed Lovat's
participation in the affair, and only lamenting that the ruffians had
"robbed the gardener and the poor weaver, who was a common benefit to
the country." Lovat, as it has been sagaciously remarked, the guilty
man, took it up much more knowingly.

This tissue of artifice was carried on for some weeks; first by a
vehement desire to have arms sent in order to repel the rebels, then by
hints that the inclinations of his people, and the extensive popularity
of the cause began to make it doubtful whether he could control their
rash ardour. "Your Lordship may remember," he wrote to Forbes, "that I
had a vast deal of trouble to prevent my men rising at the beginning of
this affair; but now the contagion is so general, by the late success of
the Highlanders, that they laugh at any man that would dissuade them
from going; so that I really know not how to behave. I really wish I had
been in any part of Britain these twelve months past, both for my
health and other considerations."[238] The feebleness of his health was
a point on which, for some reasons or other, he continually insisted. It
is not often that one can hear an aged man complain, without responding
by pity and sympathy.

"I'm exceeding glad to know that your Lordship is in great health and
spirits: I am so unlucky that my condition is the reverse; for I have
neither health nor spirits. I have entirely lost the use of my limbs,
for I can neither walk nor mount a horseback without the help of three
or four men, which makes my life both uneasy and melancholy. But I
submit to the will of God." This account, indeed, rather confirms a
tradition that Lord Lovat, after the separation from his wife, sank into
a state of despondency, and lay two years in bed previous to the
Rebellion of 1745. When the news of the Prince's landing was brought to
him, he cried out, "Lassie, bring me my brogues.--I'll rise too."[239]

At length, this wary traitor took a decisive step. His dilatoriness had
made many of the Pretender's friends uneasy, and showed too plainly that
he had been playing a double game. He was urged by some emissaries of
Charles Edward "to throw off the mask," upon which he pulled off his hat
and exclaimed "there it is!" He then, in the midst of his assembled
vassals, drank "confusion to the white horse, and all the generation of
them."[240] He declared that he would "cut off" in a moment any of his
tenants who refused to join the cause, and expressed his conviction that
as sure as the sun shined his "master would prevail."

This was in the latter part of the summer: on the twenty-first of
September the battle of Preston Pans raised the hopes of the Jacobites
to the highest pitch, and Alexander Macleod was sent to the Highland
chieftains to stimulate their loyalty and to secure their rising. Upon
his visiting Castle Downie he found Lovat greatly elated by the recent
victory, which he declared was not to be paralleled. He now began to
assemble his men, and to prepare in earnest for that part which he had
long intended to adopt; "but," observes Sir Walter Scott, "with that
machiavelism inherent in his nature, he resolved that his own personal
interest in the insurrection should be as little evident as possible,
and determined that his son, whose safety he was bound, by the laws of
God and man, to prefer to his own, should be his stalking-horse, and in
case of need his scape-goat."[241]

Lord President Forbes, who had been addressing himself to the Highland
chieftains, exhorting the well-affected to bestir themselves, and
entreating those who were devoted to the Pretender not to involve
themselves and their families in ruin, expostulated by letter with Lord
Lovat upon the course which his son was now openly pursuing, pointing
out how greatly it would reflect upon the father, whose co-operation or
countenance he supposed to be impossible. The letters written on this
subject by Forbes are admirable, and show a deep interest not only in
the security of his country, but also in the fate of the young man, who
afterwards redeemed his involuntary errors by a career of the highest

"You have now so far pulled off the mask," writes the President, "that
we can see the mark you aimed at." "You sent away your son, and the best
part of your clan," he adds, after a remonstrance full of good sense and
candour, "to join the Pretender, with as little concern as if no danger
had attended such a step. And I am sorry to tell you, my Lord, that I
could sooner undertake to plead the cause of any one of those unhappy
gentlemen who are actually in arms against his Majesty; and I could say
more in defence of their conduct, than I could in defence of your

Can any instance of moral degradation be adduced more complete than
this? The implication of a son by a father, who had used his absolute
authority to drive his son into an active part in the affairs of the

"I received the honour of your Lordship's letter," writes Lovat, in
reply, "late last night, of yesterday's date; and I own that I never
received any one like it since I was born; and I give your Lordship the
thousand thanks for the kind freedom you use with me in it; for I see
by it that for my misfortune of having ane obstinate stubborn son, and
ane ungrateful kindred, my family must go to destruction, and I must
lose my life in my old age. Such usage looks rather like a Turkish or
Persian government than like a British. Am I, my Lord, the first father
that had ane undutiful and unnatural son? or am I the first man that has
made a good estate, and saw it destroyed in his own time? but I never
heard till now, that the foolishness of a son, would take away the
liberty and life of a father, that lived peaceably, that was ane honest
man, and well inclined to the rest of mankind. But I find the longer a
man lives, the more wonders, and extraordinary things he sees.

"Now, my Lord, as to the civil war that occasions my misfortune; and in
which, almost the whole kingdom is involved on one side or other. I
humbly think that men should be moderate on both sides, since it is
morally impossible to know the event. For thousands, nay, ten thousands
on both sides are positive that their own party will carry; and suppose
that this Highland army should be utterly defeat, and that the
Government should carry all in triumph, no man can think that any king
upon the throne would destroy so many ancient families that are engaged
in it."

Upon the news of the Pretender's troops marching to England, the
Frasers, headed by the Master of Lovat, formed a sort of blockade round
Fort Augustus; upon which the Earl of Loudon, with a large body of the
well-affected clans, marched, in a very severe frost during the month of
December, to the relief of Fort Augustus. His route lay through
Stratherric, Lord Lovat's estate, on the south side of Loch Ness. Fort
Augustus surrendered without opposition; and the next visit which Lord
Loudon paid was to Castle Downie, where he prevailed on Lord Lovat to go
with him to Inverness, and to remain there under Loudon's eye, until his
clan should have been compelled to bring in their arms. Lord Lovat was
now very submissive; he promised that this should be done in three days,
and highly condemned the conduct of his son. But he still delayed to
surrender the arms; and, at last, found means, in spite of his lameness
which he was always lamenting, to get out of the house where he was
lodged by a back passage, and to make his escape to the Isle of Muily,
in Glenstrathfarrer. Here he occupied himself in exciting all the clans,
especially his own Frasers, to join in the insurrection. A scheme having
been submitted to the Duke of Cumberland, for the prevention of all
future disturbances by transporting all those who had been found in arms
to America, Lord Lovat had this document translated into Gaelic, and
circulated in the Highlands, in order to exasperate the natives against
the Duke, and to show that that General intended to extirpate them root
and branch. Unhappily, the event did not serve to dispel those
suspicions. This manifesto, as it was called, was read publicly in the
churches every Sunday.

The march of the rebels to Inverness drove Lord Loudon to retire into
Sutherland early in 1746, and President Forbes had accompanied him in
his retreat. It was, therefore, again practicable for Lord Lovat to
return to his own territory; and we find him, before the battle of
Culloden, alternately at Castle Downie, or among some of his adherents,
chiefly at the House of Fraser of Gortuleg, from which the following
letter which exemplifies much of the character of Lovat, appears to have
been written.

                                                    "March 20, 1746.

    "My dearest Child,

    "Gortulegg came home last night, with Inocralachy's brother; and the
    two Sandy Fairfield's son, and mine: and I am glad to know, that you
    are in perfect health, which you may be sure I wish the continuance
    of. I am sure for all Sandy's reluctance to come to this country, he
    will be better pleased with it than any where else; for he has his
    commerade, Gortuleg's son, to travell up and down with him; I shall
    not desire him to stay ane hour in the house but when he pleases.

    "My cousin, Mr. William Fraser, tells me that the Prince sent notice
    to Sir Alexander Bennerman, by Sir John M'Donell, that he would go
    some of these days, and view my country of the Aird, and fish salmon
    upon my river of Beauly, I do not much covet that great honour at
    this time as my house is quite out of order, and that I am not at
    home myself nor you: however, if the Prince takes the fancy to go,
    you must offer to go along with him, and offer him a glass of wine
    and any cold meat you can get there. I shall send Sanday Doan over
    immediately, if you think that the Prince is to go: so I have
    ordered the glyd post to be here precisely this night.

    "Mr. William Fraser says, that Sir Alexander Bennerman will not give
    his answer to Sir John M'Donell, till he return about the Prince's
    going to Beaufort; and that cannot be before Saturday morning. So I
    beg, my dearest child, you may consider seriously of this, not to
    let us be affronted; for after Sir Alexander and other gentlemen
    were entertained at your house, if the Prince should go and meet
    with no reception, it will be ane affront, and a stain upon you and
    me while we breathe. So, my dearest child, don't neglect this; for
    it is truely of greater consequence to our honour than you can
    imagine, tho' in itself it's but a maggot: but, I fancy, since
    Cumberland is comeing so near, that these fancy's will be out of
    head. However, I beg you may not neglect to acquaint me (if it was
    by ane express) when you are rightly informed that the Prince is
    going. I have been extreamly bad these four days past with a fever
    and a cough; but I thank God I am better since yesterday affernoon.
    I shall be glad to see you here, if you think it proper for as short
    or as long a time as you please. All in this family offer you their
    compliments: and I ever am, more than I can express, my dearest
    child, your most affected and dutiful father,


    "P.S.--The Prince's reason for going to my house is, to see a salmon
    kill'd with the rod, which he never saw before; and if he proposes
    that fancy, he must not be disappointed.

    "I long to hear from you by the glyd post some time this night. I
    beg, my dear child, you may send me any news you have from the east,
    and from the north, and from the south."[243]

It was not until after the battle of Culloden that Charles Edward and
Lord Lovat first met. In that engagement, Lovat's infirmities, as well
as his precautions, had prevented his taking an active part; but his
son, the Master of Lovat, whose energy in the cause which he had
unwillingly espoused, met the praise of Prince Charles, led his clan up
to the encounter, and was one of the few who effected a junction with
the Prince on the morning of the battle. Fresh auxiliaries from the clan
Fraser were hastening in at the very moment of that ill-judged action;
and they behaved with their accustomed bravery, and were permitted to
march off unattacked, with their pipes playing, and their colours
flying. The great body of the clan Fraser were led by Charles Fraser,
junior, of Inverlaltochy, as Lieutenant-Colonel in the absence of the
Master of Lovat, who was coming up with three hundred men, but met the
Highlanders flying. The brave Inverlaltochy was killed; and the
fugitives were sorely harassed by Kingston's light horse.

The battle of Culloden occurring shortly afterwards, decided the
question of Lord Lovat's political bias. Very different accounts have
been transmitted of the feelings and conduct of Prince Charles after
the fury of the contest had been decided. By some it has been stated,
that he lost on that sad occasion those claims to a character for valour
which even his enemies had not hitherto refused him; but Mr. Maxwell has
justified the unfortunate and inexperienced young man.

"The Prince," he says, "seeing his army entirely routed, and all his
endeavours to rally the men fruitless, was at last prevailed upon to
retire. Most of his horse assembled around his person to secure his
retreat, which was made without any danger, for the enemy advanced very
leisurely over the ground. They were too happy to have got so cheap a
victory over a Prince and an enemy that they had so much reason to
dread. They made no attack where there was any body of the Prince's men
together, but contented themselves with sabering such unfortunate people
as fell in his way single and disarmed."[244]

"If he did less at Culloden than was expected from him," adds this
partial, but honest follower, "'twas only because he had formerly done
more than could be expected." He justly blames the Prince's having come
over without any officer of experience to guide him. "He was too young
himself, and had too little experience to perform all the functions of a
general; and though there are examples of princes that seem to have been
born generals, they had the advice and assistance of old experienced
officers, men that understood, in detail, all that belongs to any

Lord Elcho, in his manuscript, thus accounts for the censures which
were cast upon the Prince by those who shared his misfortunes.

"What displeased the people of fashion (consequence) was, that he did
not seem to have the least sense of what they had done for him; but,
after all, would afterwards say they had done nothing but their duty, as
his father's subjects were bound to do.

"And there were people about him that took advantage to represent the
Scotch to him as a mutinous people, and that it was not so much for him
they were fighting as for themselves; and repeated to him all their bad
behaviour to Charles the First and Charles the Second, and put it to him
in the worst light, that at the battle of Culloden he thought that all
the Scots in general were a parcel of traitors. And he would have
continued in the same mind had he got out of the country immediately;
but the care they took of his person when he was hiding made him change
his mind, and affix treason only to particulars."[246]

After the battle was decided, and the plain of Culloden abandoned to the
fury of an enemy more merciless and insatiable than any who ever before
or after answered to an English name, the Prince retired across a moor
in the direction of Fort Augustus, and, according to Maxwell, slept that
night at the house of Fraser of Gortuleg; and there for the first time
saw Lord Lovat. But this interview is declared by Arbuthnot, who appears
to have gathered his facts chiefly from local information, in the
Castle of Downie; and the testimony of Sir Walter Scott confirms the
assertion. "A lady," writes Sir Walter, "who, then a girl, was residing
in Lord Lovat's family, described to us the unexpected appearance of
Prince Charles and his flying attendants at Castle Downie. The wild and
desolate vale on which she was gazing with indolent composure, was at
once so suddenly filled with horsemen riding furiously towards the
Castle, that, impressed with the idea that they were fairies, who,
according to men, are visible only from one twinkle of the eyelid to
another, she strove to refrain from the vibration which she believed
would occasion the strange and magnificent apparition to become
invisible. To Lord Lovat it brought a certainty more dreadful than the
presence of fairies or even demons. The tower on which he had depended
had fallen to crush him, and he only met the Chevalier to exchange
mutual condolences."[247]

The Prince, it is affirmed, rushed into the chamber where Lovat,
supported by men, for he could not stand without assistance, awaited his
approach. The unhappy fugitive broke into lamentations. "My Lord," he
exclaimed, "we are undone; my army is routed: what will become of poor
Scotland?" Unable to utter any more, he sank fainting on a bed near him.
Lord Lovat immediately summoned assistance, and by proper remedies the
Prince was restored to a consciousness of his misfortunes, and to the
recollection that Castle Downie, a spot upon which the vengeance of the
Government was sure to fall, could be no safe abiding place for him or
for his followers.[248]

Such was the commencement of those wanderings, to the interest and
romance of which no fiction can add. After this conference was ended,
Prince Charles went to Invergarie; Lord Lovat prepared for flight.

His first place of retreat was to a mountain, whence he could behold the
field of battle; he collected his officers and men around him, and they
gazed with mournful interest upon the plain of Culloden. Heaps of
wounded men were lying in their blood; others were still pursued by the
soldiers of an army whose orders were, from their royal General, _to
give no quarter_; fire and sword were everywhere; vengeance and fury
raged on the moor watered by the river Nairn. Here, too, the unhappy
Frasers and their chief might view Culloden House, a large fabric of
stone, graced with a noble avenue of great length leading to the house,
and surrounded by a park covered with heather. Here Charles Edward had
slept the night before the battle. The remembrance of many social hours,
of the hospitality of that old hall, might recur at this moment to the
mind of Lovat. But whatever might be his reflections, his fortitude
remained unbroken. He turned to the sorrowful clan around them, and
addressed them. He recurred to his former predictions: "I have
foretold," he said, still attempting to keep up his old influence over
the minds of his clans, "that our enemies would destroy us with the fire
and sword; they have begun with me, nor will they cease until they have
ravaged all the country." He still, however, exhorted his captains to
keep together their men, and to maintain a mountain war, so that at
least they might obtain better terms of peace. Having thus counselled
them, he was carried upon the shoulders of his followers to the still
farther mountains, from one of which he is said, by a singular stroke of
retributive justice, to have beheld Castle Downie, the scene of his
crime, to maintain the splendour of which he had sacrificed every
principle, and compassed every crime, burned by the infuriated enemy.
Nine hundred men, under Brigadier Mordaunt, were detached for this

In one of the Highland fastnesses Lovat remained some time; but the
blood-thirsty Cumberland was eager in pursuit. Parties of soldiers were
sent out in search of Lovat, and he soon found that it was no longer
safe to remain in the vicinity of Beaufort. He fled, in the first
instance, to Cawdor Castle. In this famous structure, with its
iron-grated doors, its ancient tapestry hanging over secret passages and
obscure approaches, he took refuge. In one of its towers, in a small low
chamber beneath the roof, the wretched old man concealed himself for
some months. When he was at last obliged to quit it, he descended by
means of a rope from his chamber.

He had still lost neither resolution nor energy. On the fourth of May,
fifteen of the Jacobite chieftains, Lord Lovat among the number, met in
the Island of Mortlaig, to concert measures for raising a body of men
to resist the victorious troops. On this occasion Lord Lovat declared
that they need not be uneasy, since he had no doubt but that they should
be able to collect eight or ten thousand men to fight the Elector of
Hanover's troops. Cameron of Lochiel, Murray of Broughton, and several
other leaders of distinction were present; Lord Lovat was attended by
many of his own clan, who were armed with dirks, swords, and pistols,
and marked by wearing sprays of yew in their bonnets. But the conference
broke up without any important result. The leaders embraced each other,
drank to Prince Charles's health, and separated. On this occasion Lord
Lovat headed that party among the Jacobites who still looked for aid
from France, and abjured the notion of surrendering to the
conqueror.[249] Still hunted, to use his own expression, "like a fox,"
through the main land, Lovat now got off in a boat to the Island of
Morar, where he thought himself secure from his enemies; but it was
decreed that his iniquitous life should not close in peaceful obscurity.
It was not long before he heard that a party of the King's troops had
arrived in pursuit of him, and a detachment of the garrison of Fort
William, on board the Terror and Furnace sloops, was also despatched, to
make descents on different parts of the island. Lovat retreated into the
woods; Captain Mellon, who commanded the detachment searched every town,
village, and house; but not finding the fugitive, he resolved to
traverse the woods, planting parties at the openings to intercept an
escape. In the course of his researches he passed a very old tree,
which, from some slits in its trunk, he and his men perceived to be
hollow. One of the soldiers, peeping into the aperture, thought he saw a
man's leg; upon which he summoned his captain, who, on investigating
farther, found on one side a large opening, in which stood a pair of
legs, the rest of the figure being hidden within the hollow of the tree.
This was, however, quickly discovered to be Lord Lovat, for whom this
party had then been three days in search. He was wrapped in blankets, to
protect his aged limbs from the cold.

Thus discovered, Lovat was forced to surrender, but his spirit rose with
the occasion: he told Captain Mellon that "he had best take care of him;
for if he did not, he should make him answer for his conduct before a
set of gentlemen the very sight of whom would make him tremble." He was
taken, in the first instance, to Fort William, where he was treated with
humanity, in obedience to the express orders of the Duke of Cumberland.
From this prison Lovat wrote a letter to the Duke, reminding his Royal
Highness of the services which he had performed in 1715, and of the
favour shown him by George the First. "I often carried your Royal
Highness," pursues the unhappy old man, "in my arms, in the palaces of
Kensington and of Hampton Court, to hold you up to your royal
grandfather, that he might embrace you, for he was very fond of you and
the young princesses." He then represented to the Duke that if mercy
were shown him, and he "might have the honour to kiss the Duke's hand,
he might do more service to the King and Government than destroying a
hundred such old and very infirm men like me, (past seventy, without the
least use of my hands, legs, or knees,) can be of advantage in any shape
to the Government."

He was conveyed soon after this letter, which is dated June the
twenty-second, 1746, to Fort Augustus. He had requested that a litter
might be prepared for him, for he was not able either to stand, walk, or
ride. On the fifteenth of July he was removed, under a strong guard, to
Stirling, where a party of Lord Mark Ker's dragoons received him. After
a few days rest he passed through Edinburgh for the last time; thence to
Berwick, and on the twenty-fifth he began his last journey under the
escort of sixty dragoons commanded by Major Gardner. His journey to
London was divided into twenty stages, and he was to travel one stage a
day. It was, indeed, of importance to the Government that he should
reach London alive, since many disclosures were expected from Lovat. On
reaching Newcastle three days afterwards he appeared to be in a very
feeble state, and walked from his coach to his lodgings supported by two
of the dragoons. As he travelled along in a sort of cage, or
horse-litter, the acclamations and hisses of the populace everywhere
assailed him; but his spirits were unbroken, and he talked confidently
of his return.

But as he drew near London this security diminished. He happened to
reach London a few days before the unhappy Jacobite noblemen were
beheaded on Tower Hill. On his way to the Tower he passed the scaffold
which was erected for their execution. "Ah!" he exclaimed, "I suppose it
will not be long before I shall make my exit there."

He was received in the Tower by the Lieutenant-Governor, who conducted
him to the apartment prepared for his reception. Here, reclining in an
elbow chair, he is said to have broken out into reflections upon his
eventful and singular career. He uttered many moral sentiments, and
expressed himself, as many other men have done on similar occasions,
perfectly satisfied with his own intentions. Such was the self-deception
of this extraordinary man.[250]

In this prison Lovat remained during five months without being brought
to trial. But the delay was of infinite importance; it prepared him to
quit, with what may be almost termed heroism, a life which he had
employed in iniquity. Without remembering this interval, during which
ample time for preparation had been afforded, the hardihood which could
sport with the most solemn of all subjects, would shock rather than
astonish. In consideration of the conduct of many of our state prisoners
on the scaffold, we must recollect how familiarized they had previously
become with death, in those gloomy chambers whence they could see many a
fellow sufferer issue, to shed his blood on the same scaffold which
would soon be re-erected for themselves.

During his imprisonment, Lovat had the affliction of hearing that his
estates, after being plundered of everything and destroyed by fire,
were given by the Duke of Cumberland to James Fraser of Cullen
Castle.[251] He was therefore left without a shilling of revenue during
his confinement, and was thus treated as a convicted prisoner. In this
situation he was reduced to the utmost distress, and indebted solely to
the bounty of a kinsman, administered through Governor Williamson, for
subsistence. At length, early in the year 1747, upon preferring a
petition to the House of Lords, these grievances were in a great measure
redressed. Yet the unhappy prisoner had sustained many hardships. Among
others the legal plunder of his strong box, containing the sum of seven
hundred pounds, and of many valuables.[252]

After much deliberation on the part of the Crown lawyers, Lord Lovat was
impeached of high treason. "We learn," says Mr. Anderson, "from Lord
Mansfield's speech in the Sutherland cause, that much deliberation was
necessary. It was foreseen that his Lordship would have recourse to art.
If he was tried as a commoner he might claim to be a peer; if tried as a
peer he might claim to be a commoner. Everything was fully considered;
the true solid ground upon which he was tried as a peer, was the
presumption in favour of the heirs male."[253]

On Monday, the ninth of March, the proceedings were commenced against
Lord Lovat; and a renewal took place of that scene which Horace Walpole
declared to be "most solemn and fine;--a coronation is a puppet-show,
and all the splendour of it idle; but this sight at once feasted the
eyes, and engaged all one's passions."

Lord Lovat was now dragged forth to play the last scene of his eventful
life. His size had by this time become enormous, so that when he had
first entered the Tower it was jestingly said that the doors must be
enlarged to receive him. He could neither walk nor ride, as he was
almost helpless; he was deaf, purblind, eighty years of age, ignorant of
English law, and it was therefore not a matter of surprise that the
high-born tribes, who thronged to his trial, were disappointed in the
brilliancy of his parts, and in the readiness of his wit. "I see little
of parts in him," observes Walpole, "nor attribute much to that cunning
for which he is so famous; it might catch wild Highlanders." Singular,
indeed, must have been the contrast between Lord Lovat and the polished
assembly around him: the Lord High Steward, Hardwicke, comely, and
endowed with a fine voice, but "curiously searching for occasions to bow
to the Minister, Henry Pelham," and asking at all hands what he was to
do. The rude Highland clansmen, vassals of Lord Lovat's, but witnesses
against him; above all, the blot and scourge of the Jacobite cause,
Murray of Broughton, who was the chief witness against the prisoner,
must have formed an assembly of differing characters not often to be
seen, and never to be forgotten.

The trial lasted five days; it affords, as has been well remarked, a
history of the whole of the Rebellion of 1745. Robert Chevis of
Muirtown, a near neighbour of Lovat's, but, as the counsel for the Crown
observed, a man of very different principles, gave testimony against the
prisoner. At the end of the third day, Lord Lovat, pleading that he had
been up at four o'clock in the morning, "to attend their Lordships," and
declaring that he would rather "die on the road than not pay them that
respect," prayed a respite of a day, which was granted. It appeared,
indeed, doubtful in what form death would seize him first, and whether
disease and age might not cheat the scaffold of its victim.

Lord Lovat spoke long in his defence, but without producing any
revulsion in his favour. Throughout the whole of the proceedings he
appears not to have dreaded the rigour of the law; when the defence was
closed, and the Lord High Steward was about to put the question, guilty
or not guilty, to the House, the Lieutenant of the Tower was ordered by
the Lord Steward to take the prisoner from the bar, but not back to the

"If your Lordships," said Lovat, "would send me to the Highlands, I
would not go to the Tower any more." He was pronounced guilty by the
unanimous votes of one hundred and seventeen Lords present. He was then
informed of his sentence, and remanded to his prison. On the following
day, March the nineteenth, he was brought up to receive sentence. On
that occasion, in reply to the question "why judgment of death should
not be passed upon him," he made a long and, considering his fatigues
and infirmities, an extraordinary speech, giving the Lords "millions of
thanks for being so good in their patience and attendance," and drawing
a parallel between the two different men of the name of Murray, who had
figured in the trial. The one was Murray of Broughton; the other, Murray
afterwards Lord Mansfield. He then went into the history of his life;
or, at least, into such passages of it as were proper for the public
ear. He was interrupted by the Lord High Steward, whose conduct to the
unhappy State prisoner is said to have been peevish and overbearing.

Judgment of death was then pronounced upon him, and the barbarous
sentence which had been passed upon the Earl of Wintoun was pronounced;
"to be hanged by the neck, but not till you are dead," &c. The prisoner
then spoke again; hoping by this reiterated reference to his services,
to obtain a mitigation of the sentence; but he spoke to those who heard,
without compassion, the petitions for mercy which fell from an aged,
tottering, and miserable old man. Well has it been said, "Whatever his
character or his crimes might be, the humanity of the British Government
incurred a deep reproach, from the execution of an old man on the very
verge of the grave."[254]

At last, the Lord High Steward put the final question; "Would you offer
anything further?"

"Nothing," was the reply, "but to thank your Lordships for your
goodness to me. God bless you all; I bid you an everlasting farewell. We
shall not meet all again in the same place,--I am sure of that."

Lord Lovat was reconducted to the Tower--that prison on entering which
he had boasted, that if he were not old and infirm they would have found
it difficult to have kept him there. The people told him they had kept
those who were much younger. "Yes," he answered, "but they had not
broken so many gaols as I have."

He now met his approaching fate with a composure that it is difficult
not to admire, even in Lovat. And yet reflection may perhaps suggest
that the insensibility to the fear of death--an emotion incident to
conscientious minds--bespeaks, in one whose responsibilities had been so
grossly abused, an insensibility springing from utter depravity. Let us,
however, give to the wretched man every possible allowance. He wrote, in
terms of affection, a letter full of religious sentiments to his son,
after his own condemnation. When the warrant came down for his
execution, he exclaimed, "God's will be done!" With the courtesy that
had charmed and had betrayed others all his life, he took the gentleman
who brought the warrant by the hand, thanked him, drank his health, and
assured him that he would not then change places with any prince in
Christendom. He appears, indeed, to have had no misgivings, or he
affected to have none, as to his eternal prospects. When the Lieutenant
of the fortress in the Tower asked him how he did? "Do?" was his reply;
"why I am about doing very well, for I am going to a place where hardly
any majors, and very few lieutenant-generals go."

Some friends still remained warmly attached to this singular man. Mr.
William Fraser, his cousin, advanced a large sum of money to General
Williamson, to provide for his wants; and, after acting as his
solicitor, attended him to the last. But Lord Lovat felt deeply the
circumstance of his having been convicted by his own servants: "It is
shocking," he observed, "to human nature. I believe that they will carry
about with them a sting that will accompany them to their grave; yet I
wish them no evil."

He prayed daily, and fervently; and expressed unbounded confidence in
the Divine mercy. "So, my dear child," he thus wrote to his son, "do not
be in the least concerned for me; for I bless God I have strong reasons
to hope that when it is God's will to call me out of this world, it will
be by his mercy, and the suffering of my Saviour, Jesus Christ, to enjoy
everlasting happiness in the other world. I wish this may be yours."
After he had penned this remarkable letter, he asked a gentleman who was
in his room how he liked the letter? The reply was, "I like it very
well; it is a very good letter." "I think," answered Lord Lovat, "it is
a Christian letter."[255]

In this last extremity of his singular fortunes, the wife, whom he had
so cruelly treated, forgetful of every thing but her Christian duty,
wrote to him, and offered to repair immediately to London, and to go to
him in the Tower, if he desired it. But Lord Lovat returned an answer,
in which, for the first time, he adopted the language of conjugal
kindness to Lady Lovat, and refused the generous proposal, worthy of the
disinterestedness of woman's nature. He declared that he could not take
advantage of it, after all that had occurred.[256]

Meantime, an application was made in favour of Lovat by a Mr. Painter,
of St. John's College, Oxford, in the form of three letters, one of
which was addressed to the King, another to Lord Chesterfield, a third
to Henry Pelham. The courage of the intercession can scarcely be
appreciated in the present day; in that melancholy period, the slightest
word uttered in behalf of the Insurgents, brought on the interceder the
imputation of secret Jacobitism, a suspicion which even President Forbes
incurred. The petitions for mercy were worded fearlessly; "In a word,"
thus concludes that which was addressed to the King, "bid Lovat live;
punish the vile traytor with life; but let me die; let me bow down my
head to the block, and receive without fear the friendly blow, which, I
verily believe, will only separate the soul from its body and miseries
together."[257] In his letter to Lord Chesterfield the Oxonian repeats
his offer of undergoing the punishment instead of the decrepid old man:
"This I will be bold to say," he adds: "I will not disgrace your
patronage by want of intrepidity in the hour of death, and that all the
devils in Milton, with all the ghastly ghosts of Scotsmen that fell at
Culloden, if they could be conjured there, should never move me to say,
coming upon the scaffold, 'Sir, this is terrible.'"[258] To Mr. Pelham
he declared, that "the post that he wanted was not of the same nature
with other Court preferments, for which there is generally a great
number of competitors, but may be enjoyed without a rival."

The observations which Lord Lovat made upon this well-meant but absurd
proposal, show his natural shrewdness, or his disbelief in all that is
good and generous. "This," he exclaimed, on being told of these
remarkable letters, "is an extraordinary man indeed. I should like to
know what countryman he is, and whether the thing is fact. Perhaps it
may be only some _finesse_ in politics, to cast an odium on some
particular person. In short, Sir, I'm afraid the poor gentleman is weary
of living in this wicked world; in that case, the obligation is altered,
because a part of the benefit is intended for himself."

In his last days, Lovat avowed himself a Roman Catholic; but his known
duplicity caused even this profession of faith to be distrusted. It is
probable that like many men who have seen much of the world, and have
mingled with those of different persuasions, Lord Lovat attached but
little importance to different modes of faith. He was as unscrupulous in
his religious professions as in all other respects. Early in his career,
he thought it expedient to obtain the favour of the Pope's nuncio at
Paris by conforming to the Romish faith. He declared to the Duke of
Argyle and to Lord Leven that he could not get the Court of St. Germains
to listen to his projects until he had declared himself a papist. One
can scarcely term this venal conversion[259] an adoption of the
principles of any church. The outward symbols of his pretended
persuasion had, however, become dear to him, from habit: he carried
about his person a silver crucifix, which he often kissed. "Observe," he
said, "this crucifix! Did you ever see a better? How strongly the
passions are marked, how fine the expression is! We keep pictures of our
best friends, of our parents, and others, but why should we not keep a
picture of Him who has done more than all the world for us?" When asked,
"Of what particular sort of Catholic are you? A Jesuit?" He answered to
the nobleman who inquired, (and whose name was not known,) "No, no, my
Lord, I am a Jansenist;" he then avowed his intimacy with that body of
men, and assured the nobleman, that in _his_ sense of being a Roman
Catholic, he "was as far from being one as his Lordship, or as any other
nobleman in the House."

"This is my faith," he observed on another occasion, after affirming
that he had studied controversy for three years, and then turned Roman
Catholic; "but I have charity for all mankind, and I believe every
honest man bids fair for Heaven, let his persuasion be what it may; for
the mercies of the Almighty are great, and his ways past finding out."

The allusion to his funeral had something touching, coming from the old
Highland chieftain. Almost the solitary good trait in Lovat's character
was the fondness for his Highland home--a pride in his clan--a yearning
to the last for the mountains, the straths, the burns, now ravaged by
the despoiler, and red with the blood of the Frasers. "Bury me," he
said, "in my own tomb in the church of Kirk Hill; in former days, I had
made a codicil to my will, that all the pipers from John O'Groat's house
to Edinburgh should be invited to play at my funeral: that may not be
now--but still I am sure there will be some good old Highland women to
sing a coronach at my funeral; and there will be a crying and clapping
of hands--for I am one of the greatest of the Highland chieftains." The
circumstance which gave him the most uneasiness was the bill then
depending for destroying the ancient privileges and jurisdiction of the
Highland chiefs. "For my part," he exclaimed, when referring to the
measure, "I die a martyr to my country."

He became much attached to one of his warders, and the usual influence
which he seems to have possessed over every being with whom he came into
collision, attracted the regards of this man to him. "Go with me to the
scaffold," said Lovat--"and leave me not till you see this head cut off
the body. Tell my son, the Master of Lovat, with what tenderness I have
parted from you." "Do you think," he exclaimed, on the man's expressing
some sympathy with his approaching fate, "I am afraid of an axe? 'Tis a
debt we all owe, and what we must all pay; and do you not think it
better to go off so, than to linger with a fever, gout, or consumption?
Though my constitution is so good, I might have lived twenty years
longer had I not been brought hither."

During the week which elapsed between the warrant for his being brought
down to the Tower, and his death, although, says a gentleman who
attended him to the scaffold, "he had a great share of memory and
understanding, and an awful idea of religion and a future state, I never
could observe, in his gesture or speech, the least symptom of fear, or
indeed any symptoms of uneasiness."[260] "I die," was his own
expression, "as a Christian, and a Highland chieftain should do,--that
is, not in my bed." Throughout the whole of that solemn interval, the
certainty of his fate never dulled the remarkable vivacity of his
conversation, nor the gay courtesy of his manners. No man ever died less
consistently with his life. "It is impossible,"--such is the admission
of a writer who detests his crimes,--"not to admire the fearlessness
even of this monster in his last moments. But, in another view, it is
somewhat difficult to resist a laugh of scorn at his impudent project of
atoning for all the vices of a long and odious career, by going off with
a fine sentiment on his lips."[261]

On Thursday, the ninth of April, and the day appointed for his death,
Lord Lovat awoke about three in the morning, and then called for a glass
of wine and water, as was his custom. He took the greatest pains that
every outward arrangement should bear the marks of composure and
decency,--a care which may certainly incline one to fancy, that the
heroism of his last moments may have had effect, in part, for its aim,
and that, as Talleyrand said of Mirabeau, "he dramatized his death."
But, it must be remembered, that in those days, it was the custom and
the aim of the state prisoners to go to the scaffold gallantly; and thus
virtuous men and true penitents walked to their doom attired with the
precision of coxcombs. Lord Lovat, who had smoked his pipe merrily
during his imprisonment with those about him, and had heard the last
apprisal of his fate without emotion, was angry, when within a few hours
of death and judgment, that his wig was not so much powdered as usual.
"If he had had a suit of velvet embroidered, he would wear it," he said,
"on that occasion." He then conversed with his barber, whose father was
a Muggletonian, about the nature of the soul, adding with a smile, "I
hope to be in Heaven at one o'clock, or I should not be so merry now."
But, with all this loquacity, and display of what was, perhaps, in part,
the insensibility of extreme age, the "behaviour that was said to have
had neither dignity nor gravity"[262] in it at the trial, had lost the
buffoonish character which characterized it in the House of Lords.

At ten o'clock, a scaffold which had been erected near the block fell
down, and several persons were killed, and many injured; but the
proceedings of the day went on. No reprieve, no thoughts of mercy ever
came to shake the fortitude of the old man. At eleven, the Sheriffs of
London sent to demand the prisoner's body: Lord Lovat retired for a few
moments to pray; then, saying, "I am ready," he left his chamber, and
descended the stairs, complaining as he went, "that they were very
troublesome to him."

He was carried to the outer gate in the Governor's coach, and then
delivered to the Sheriffs, and was by them conveyed to a house, lined
with black, near to the scaffold. He was promised that his head should
not be exposed on the four corners of the scaffold, that practice, in
similar cases, having been abandoned: and that his clothes might be
delivered with his corpse to his friends, as a compensation for which,
to the executioner, he presented ten guineas contained in a purse of
rich texture. He then thanked the Sheriff, and saluted his friends,
saying, "My blood, I hope, will be the last shed upon this occasion."

He then walked towards the scaffold. It was a memorable and a mournful
sight to behold the aged prisoner ascending those steps, supported by
others, thus to close a life which must, at any rate, soon have been
extinguished in a natural decay. As he looked round and saw the
multitudes assembled to witness this disgraceful execution, "God save
us!" he exclaimed; "why should there be such a bustle about taking off
an old grey head, that cannot get up three steps without two men to
support it?" Seeing one of his friends deeply dejected, "Cheer up," he
said, clapping him on the shoulder; "I am not afraid, why should you

He then gave the executioner his last gift, begging him not to hack and
cut about his shoulders, under pain of his rising to reproach him. He
felt the edge of the axe, and said "he believed it would do;" then his
eyes rested for some moments on the inscription on his coffin. "Simon
Dominus Fraser de Lovat, decollat. April 9, 1747. Ætat 80." He repeated
the line from Horace:--

    "Dulce et decorum est pro patriâ mori."

Then quoted Ovid:--"Nam genus et proavos, et quæ non fecimus ipsi, vix
ea nostra voco."

He took leave of his solicitor, Mr. William Fraser, and presented him
with his gold cane, as a mark of his confidence and token of
remembrance. Then he embraced another relative, Mr. James Fraser.
"James," said the old chieftain, "I am going to Heaven, but you must
continue to crawl a little longer in this evil world." He made no
address to the assembled crowds, but left a paper, which he delivered to
the Sheriffs, containing his last protestations. After his sentence,
Lovat had accustomed his crippled limbs to kneel, that he might be able
to assume that posture at the block. He now kneeled down, and after a
short prayer gave the preconcerted signal that he was ready; this was
the throwing of a handkerchief upon the floor. The executioner severed
his head from his body at one blow. A piece of scarlet cloth received
his head, which was placed in the coffin with his body and conveyed to
the Tower, where it remained until four o'clock. It was then given to an

In the paper delivered to the Sheriff there were these words, which
would have partly been deemed excellent had they proceeded from any
other man:--"As it may reasonably be expected of me that I should say
something of myself in this place, I declare I die a true but unworthy
member of the Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Church. As to my death, I cannot
look upon it but as glorious. I sincerely pardon all my enemies,
persecutors, and slanderers, from the highest to the lowest, whom God
forgive as I heartily do. I die in perfect charity with all mankind. I
sincerely repent of all my sins, and firmly hope to obtain pardon and
forgiveness for them through the merits and passion of my blessed Lord
and Redeemer, Jesus Christ, into whose hands I recommend my soul. Amen.


"In the Tower, April 9, 1747."

       *       *       *       *       *

The public might well contrast the relentless hand of justice, in this
instance, with the mercy of Queen Anne. She, like her brother the
Chevalier, averse from shedding blood, had spared the life of an old
man, who had been condemned in her reign for treason. Many other
precedents of a similar kind have been adduced.[263] But this act of
inhumanity was only part of a system of what was called justice; but
which was the justice of the heathen, and not of the Christian.

If the character of Lord Lovat cannot be deduced from his actions, it
must be impossible to understand the motives of man from any course of
life; for never was a career more strongly marked by the manifestation
of the passions, than that of this unworthy descendant of a great line.
His selfishness was unbounded, his rapacity insatiable; his brutality
seems incredible. In the foregoing narrative, the mildest view has been
adopted of his remorseless cruelty: of his gross and revolting
indulgences, of his daily demeanour, which is said to have outraged
everything that is seemly, everything that is holy, in private life,
little has been written. Much that was alleged to Lovat, in this
particular, has been contradicted: much may be ascribed to the universal
hatred of his name, which tinted, perhaps too highly, his vices, in his
own day. Something may be ascribed to party prejudice, which gladly
seized upon every occasion of reproach to an adversary. Yet still, there
is too much that is probable, too much that is too true, to permit a
hope that the private and moral character of Lord Lovat can be
vindicated from the deepest stains.

By his public life, he has left an indelible stain upon the honour of
the Highland character, upon his party, upon his country. Of principle
he had none:--for prudence, he substituted a low description of
time-serving: he never would have promoted the interests of the
Hanoverians in the reign of George the First, if the Court of St.
Germains had tolerated his alliance: he never would have sided with
Charles Edward, if the Court of St. James's had not withdrawn its
confidence. His pride and his revengeful spirit went hand in hand
together. The former quality had nothing in it of that lofty character
which raises it almost to a virtue, in the stern Scottish character: it
was the narrow-minded love of power which is generated in a narrow

In the different relations of his guilty life, only one redeeming
feature is apparent,--the reverence which Lord Lovat bore to his
father. With that parent, seems to have been buried every gentle
affection: he regarded his wives as slaves; he looked upon his sons with
no other regard and solicitude, than as being heirs of his estates. As a
chief and a master, his conduct has been variously represented; the
prevailing belief is, that it was marked by oppression, violence, and
treachery: yet, as no man in existence ever was so abandoned as not to
have his advocates, even the truth of this popular belief has been
questioned, on the ground that the influence which he exercised over
them, in being able to urge them to engage in whatsoever side he
pleased, argues some qualities which must have engaged their

He who pleads thus, must, however, have forgotten the hereditary sway of
a Highland chieftain, existing in unbroken force in those days: he must
have forgotten the sentiment which was inculcated from the cradle, the
loyalty of clanship,--a sentiment which led on the brave hearts in which
it was cherished to far more remarkable exertions and proofs of fidelity
than even the history of the Frasers can supply.

But the deepest dye of guilt appears in Lord Lovat's conduct as a
father. It was not only that he was, in the infancy and boyhood of his
eldest born, harsh and imperious: such was the custom of the period. It
was not only that he impelled the young man into a course which his own
reason disapproved, and which he undertook with reluctance and disgust
throwing, on one occasion, his white cockade into the fire, and only
complying with his father's orders upon force. This was unjustifiable
compulsion in any father, but it might be excused on the plea of zeal
for the cause. But it appeared on the trial that the putting forward the
Master of Lovat was a mere feint to save himself at the expense of his
son, if affairs went wrong. In Lord Lovat's letters to President Forbes
the poor young man was made to bear the brunt of the whole blame;
although Lord Lovat had frequently complained of his son's backwardness
to certain members of his clan. On the trial it appeared that the whole
aim of Lord Lovat was, as Sir John Strange expressed it, "an endeavour
to avoid being fixed himself and to throw it all upon his son,--that son
whom he had, in a manner, forced into the Rebellion."

Rare, indeed, is such a case;--with that, let these few remarks on the
character of Lord Lovat, conclude. Human nature can sink to no lower
depth of degradation.

Lord Lovat left, by his first wife, three children:--Simon, Master of
Lovat; Janet, who was married to Ewan Macpherson of Cluny,--a match
which Lord Lovat projected in order to increase his influence, and to
strengthen his Highland connections. This daughter was grandmother to
the present chief, and died in 1765. He had also another daughter,

This daughter was one of those rare beings whose elevated minds seem to
expand in despite of every evil influence around them. Her mother died
in giving her birth; and Lord Lovat, perhaps from remorse for the
uncomplaining and ill-used wife, evinced much concern at the death of
his first lady, and showed a degree of consideration for his daughters
which could hardly have been expected from one so steeped in vice.
Although his private life at Castle Downie, after the death of their
mother was disgusting in detail, and therefore, better consigned to
oblivion, the gentle presence of his two daughters restrained the coarse
witticisms of their father, and he seemed to regard them both with
affection and respect, and to be proud of the decorum of their conduct
and manners. Disgusted with the profligacy which, as they grew up, they
could not but observe at Castle Downie, the young ladies generally chose
to reside at Leatwell, with Lady Mackenzie, their only aunt; and Lord
Lovat did not resent their leaving him, but rather applauded a delicacy
of feeling which cast so deep a reproach upon him. He was to them a kind
indulgent father. When Janet, Lady Clunie, was confined of her first
child, he brought her to Castle Downie that she might have the
attendance of physicians more easily than in the remote country where
the Macphersons lived. He always expressed regret that her mother had
not been sufficiently attended to when her last child was born.

The fate of Sybilla Fraser presents her as another victim to the
hardness and impiety of Lovat. "She possessed," says Mrs. Grant, "a high
degree of sensibility, which when strongly excited by the misfortunes of
her family, exalted her habitual piety into all the fervour of
enthusiasm." When Lovat passed through Badenoch, after his
apprehension, Sybilla, who was there with Lady Clunie, followed him to
Dalwhinney, and there, in an agony of mind which may be readily
conceived, entreated her aged father to reconcile himself to his Maker,
and to withdraw his thoughts from the world. She was answered by taunts
at her "womanish weakness," as Lovat called it, and by coarse ridicule
of his enemies, with a levity of mind shocking under such circumstances.
The sequel cannot be better told than in these few simple words:
"Sybilla departed almost in despair; prayed night and day, not for his
life, but for his soul; and when she heard soon after, that 'he had died
and made no sign,' grief in a short time put an end to her life."[265]

The Master of Lovat was implicated, as we have shown, in the troubles of
1745. Early in that year, he had the misery of discovering the treachery
of his father, by accidentally finding the rough draught of a letter
which Lord Lovat had written to the President, in order to excuse
himself at the expense of his son. "Good God!" exclaimed the young man,
"how can he use me so? I will go at once to the President, and put the
saddle on the right horse." In spite of this provocation, he did not,
however, reveal his father's treachery; whilst Lord Lovat was balancing
between hopes and fears, and irresolute which side to choose, the Master
at last entreated, with tears in his eyes, that "he might no longer be
made a tool of--but might have such orders as his father might stand

Having received these orders, and engaged in the insurrection, the
Master of Lovat was zealous in discharging the duties in which he had
thus unwillingly engaged. His clan were among the few who came up at
Culloden in time to effect a junction with Prince Charles. In 1746 an
Act of Attainder was passed against him; he surrendered himself to
Government, and was confined nine months in Edinburgh Castle. In 1750 a
full and free pardon passed the seals for him. He afterwards became an
advocate, but eventually returned to a military life, and was permitted
to enter the English army. In 1757 he raised a regiment of one thousand
eight hundred men, of which he was constituted colonel, at the head of
which he distinguished himself at Louisbourg and Quebec. He was
afterwards appointed colonel of the 71st foot, and performed eminent
services in the American war.

The title of his father had been forfeited, and his lands attainted. But
in 1774 the lands and estates were restored upon certain conditions, in
consideration of Colonel Fraser's eminent services, and in consideration
of his having been involved in "the late unnatural Rebellion" at a
tender age. Colonel Fraser rose to the rank of lieutenant-general, and
died in 1782 without issue; he was generally respected and
compassionated. He was succeeded in the estates by his half-brother,
Archibald Campbell Fraser, the only child whom Lord Lovat had by his
second wife. This young man had mingled, when a boy, from childish
curiosity among the Jacobite troops at the battle of Culloden, and had
narrowly escaped from the dragoons.

He afterwards entered into the Portuguese service, where he remained
some years; but, being greatly attached to his own country, he returned.
He could not, however, conscientiously take the oaths to Government, and
therefore never had any other military employment. "With much truth,
honour, and humanity," relates Mrs. Grant, "he inherited his father's
wit and self-possession, with a vein of keen satire which he indulged in
bitter expressions against the enemies of his family. Some of these I
have seen, and heard many songs of his composing, which showed no
contemptible power of poetic genius, although rude and careless of
polish." He sank into habits of dissipation and over-conviviality, which
impaired a reputation otherwise high in his neighbourhood, and became
careless and hopeless of himself. What little he had to bequeath was
left to a lady of his own name to whom he was attached, and who remained
unmarried long after his death.

It is rather remarkable that Archibald Campbell Fraser, generally, from
his command of the Invernessshire militia, called Colonel Fraser, should
survive his five sons, and that the estates which Lord Lovat had
sacrificed so much to secure to his own line should revert to another
family of the clan Fraser,--the Frasers of Stricken, the present
proprietors of Lovat and Stricken, being in Aberdeenshire the
twenty-second in succession from Simon Fraser of Invernessshire.[266]


[118] Anderson's Historical Account of the Family of Frisel or Fraser,
p. 5.

[119] One of Lord Lovat's family--it is not easy to ascertain
which--emigrated after the Rebellion of 1745 into Ireland, and settled
in that country, where he possessed considerable landed property, which
is still enjoyed by one of his descendants. There is an epitaph on the
family vault of this branch of the Frizells or Frazers, in the
churchyard of Old Ross, in the County of Wexford, bearing this
inscription:--"The burial place of Charles Frizell, son of Charles
Fraser Frizell of Ross, and formerly of Beaufort, North Britain." For
this information I am indebted to the Rev. John Frizell, of Great
Normanton, Derbyshire, and one of this Irish branch of the family, of
which his brother is the lineal representative.

[120] Anderson's Historical Account of the Family of Fraser.

[121] Memoirs of the Life of Lord Lovat, written by himself in the
French Language, p. 7.

[122] Memoirs of the Life of Lord Lovat, p. 7.

[123] In speaking of the other members of the family, Mr. Anderson
remarks:--"The parish registers of Kiltarlity, Kirkill, and Kilmorack,
were at the same time examined with the view of tracing the other
children of Thomas of Beaufort, but the communications of the various
clergymen led to the knowledge that no memorials of them exist. The
remote branches called to the succession in General Fraser's entail
proves, to a certainty, that these children died unmarried."--_Anderson's
Historical Account of the Family of Fraser._ It appears, however, from a
previous note, that a branch of the family still exists in Ireland.

[124] See State Trials. Lovat.

[125] Letter from Fort Augustus in Gentleman's Magazine for 1746.

[126] Introduction to Culloden Papers, p. 36. Gentleman's Magazine, vol.
xvi. p. 339.

[127] See Lord Lovat's Memoirs, p. 7. Also Anderson and Woods.

[128] Lord Lovat's Memoirs, p. 18.

[129] Lord Lovat's Memoirs, p. 27.

[130] Chambers's Biography.

[131] Anderson, p. 120.

[132] Lord Lovat's Memoirs, p. 75.

[133] Lord Lovat's Memoirs, p. 75.

[134] Arnot on the State Trials, p. 84.

[135] Memoirs.

[136] Stewart's Sketches, p. 21.

[137] Brown's Highlands, vol. i. p. 120.

[138] Memoirs, p. 51.

[139] Id. p. 53

[140] Memoirs, p. 53.

[141] Arnot, p. 84.

[142] Arnot, p. 84. Anderson, p. 121.

[143] Arnot, p. 89.

[144] Anderson, p. 124.

[145] Lord Lovat's Manifesto, p. 72.

[146] Ibid.

[147] Anderson, p. 124.

[148] Life and Adventures of Lord Lovat, by the Rev. Archibald
Arbuthnot, one of the Society for propagating Christian Knowledge, and
Minister of Killarlaty, Presbytery of Inverness. London, 1748.

[149] Life and Adventures, p. 42.

[150] Manifesto.

[151] Arnot, p. 79.

[152] Chambers's Dictionary.

[153] Manifesto, p. 71.

[154] Arnot, p. 79.

[155] Arnot, p. 90.

[156] Life of Lord Lovat, p. 47.

[157] Anderson, p. 123.

[158] Manifesto, p. 99.

[159] Arbuthnot, p. 53.

[160] Macpherson. Stuart Papers, vol. i. p. 665.

[161] Manifesto.

[162] Arbuthnot, p. 55.

[163] Arbuthnot, p. 52.

[164] Anderson, p. 130.

[165] Macpherson Papers.

[166] See Smollet, vol. ix. pp. 245 and 255.

[167] Lockhart Memoirs, vol. i. p. 75.

[168] Macpherson. Stuart Papers, vol. i. p. 629.

[169] Manifesto, p. 116.

[170] Two thousand five hundred pounds.

[171] Manifesto, p. 152.

[172] See Murray Papers. Advocate's Library in Edinburgh.

[173] Lockhart Memoirs, vol. i. p. 80.

[174] Stuart Papers. Macpherson, vol. i. p. 641.

[175] Stuart Papers. Macpherson, vol. i. p. 646.

[176] Stuart Papers. Macpherson, vol. i. p. 678.

[177] Ibid. p. 682.

[178] Letter from James Earl of Perth, Chancellor of Scotland,
&c.--Edited by William Jerdan, Esq., and printed for the Camden Society,
p. 50.

[179] Arbuthnot, p, 63.

[180] Somerville, p. 177.

[181] Somerville, p. 182. Also, Lockhart's Memoirs, p. 180; Macpherson,
vol. i. p. 640.

[182] Stuart Papers, p. 652.

[183] Id. p. 655.

[184] Anderson. Chambers.

[185] Arbuthnot, p. 89.

[186] Of the two accounts of Lord Lovat's imprisonment, namely, Mr.
Arbuthnot's and Lord Lovat's, the latter bears, strange to say, the
greatest air of truth. Mr. Arbuthnot's, independent of his erring in the
place of imprisonment, appears to me a pure romance.

[187] Manifesto, p. 301.

[188] Carstares. State Papers, p. 718.

[189] Manifesto, p. 328.

[190] Anderson, p. 137.

[191] Id. p. 138.

[192] Free Examination of the Memoir of Lord Lovat, quoted in Arbuthnot,
p. 201.

[193] Anderson, p. 136.

[194] From the Macpherson Papers, vol. ii. p. 622.

[195] Culloden Papers, p. 32.

[196] Manifesto, p. 466.

[197] Ibid. p. 468.

[198] Smollet, p. xi. Patten's History of the Rebellion, p. 2.

[199] Arbuthnot, p. 210.

[200] Edinburgh Review, No. li. art. _Culloden Papers_, 1826. This
article is attributed to the Honourable Lord Cockburn.

[201] See Introduction to the Culloden Papers.

[202] Arbuthnot, p. 211.

[203] Shaw's Hist. of Moray, p. 252.

[204] Ibid.

[205] Anderson, p. 141.

[206] Arbuthnot, p. 218.

[207] Shaw, p. 186.

[208] Such was the style in which Lovat, to be complimentary, usually
addressed Duncan Forbes, on account of the military capacity in which
the future Lord President had acted during the Rebellion.

[209] Culloden Papers, p. 55.

[210] Culloden Papers, p. 56.

[211] Sergeant Macleod served in 1703, when only thirteen years of age,
in the Scots Royals, afterwards under Marlborough, then at the battle of
Sherriff Muir in 1715. After a variety of campaigns he was wounded in
the battle of Quebec, in 1759, and came home in the same ship that
brought General Wolf's body to England. Macleod died in Chelsea Hospital
at the age of one hundred and three. His Memoirs are interesting.

[212] Memoirs of the Life of Sergeant Donald Macleod, p. 45. London,

[213] Anderson. From King's Monumenta Antiqua.

[214] Culloden Papers.

[215] Mrs. Grant's MS.

[216] Anderson, p. 159. From family archives.

[217] Chambers's Traditions of Edinburgh.

[218] Chambers's Traditions of Edinburgh, p. 21.

[219] Culloden Papers, "Quarterly Review," vol. xiv. This article is
written by Sir Walter Scott, and the anecdote is given on his personal

[220] Arbuthnot, p. 249.

[221] Lady Grange's Memoirs.

[222] Arbuthnot, p. 241.

[223] Arbuthnot.

[224] Quarterly Review, vol. xiv. Culloden Papers.

[225] Culloden Papers, p. 72.

[226] Burt's Letters from the North, vol. xxi.

[227] Culloden Papers, p. 106.

[228] Arbuthnot, p. 250.

[229] Culloden Papers, p. 106.

[230] Henderson's History of the Rebellion, p. 8.

[231] Henderson, p. 10.

[232] James Maxwell, of Kirkconnell; his narrative, of which I have a
copy, has been printed for the Maitland Club, in Edinburgh; it is
remarkably clear, and ably and dispassionately written, and was composed
immediately after the events of the year 1745, of which Mr. Maxwell was
an eye-witness.

[233] Maxwell of Kirkconnell's Narrative of the Prince's Expedition, p.

[234] See Lord Elcho's Narrative. MS.

[235] Some say the fifteenth. See Henderson.

[236] Culloden Papers, pp. 211, 372.

[237] Anderson, p. 150.

[238] Culloden Papers, p. 230.

[239] Chambers's Traditions of Edinburgh, p. 9.

[240] Explained in the trial, by Chevis, one of the witnesses, to be in
allusion to the royal arms.

[241] Quarterly Review, vol. xiv. p. 327.

[242] Edinburgh Review, 1816, vol. xxvi. p. 131.

[243] State Trials, vol. xviii.

[244] Maxwell of Kirkconnel, p. 167.

[245] Id.

[246] Lord Elcho's MSS.

[247] Quarterly Review, vol. xiv. p. 328.

[248] Arbuthnot, p. 270.

[249] State Trials, vol. xviii. p. 734.

[250] Arbuthnot, p. 279.

[251] Chambers's Biography. Art. _Fraser_.

[252] State Trials.

[253] Anderson, p. 153.

[254] Laing's History of Scotland, p. 299.

[255] State Trials, vol. xviii. p. 846.

[256] Chambers's Traditions of Edinburgh, p. 12.

[257] Gentleman's Magazine, vol. xvii. p. 184. These letters were
afterwards collected and sold for a guinea.

[258] In allusion to the expression of agony and dismay used some time
before by Lord Kilmarnock.

[259] Somerville's Reign of Queen Anne, p. 175, 4to edition; from
Lockhart and Macpherson.

[260] State Trials.

[261] Edinburgh Review, vol. xxvi. p 132.

[262] Horace Walpole.

[263] State Trials, vol. xviii. p. 326.

[264] Free Examination of the Life of Lord Lovat; London 1746.

[265] Mrs. Grant's MS.

[266] Anderson, p. 187.


       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's Note: The following errors in the original have been

Page 8 - Willian Gordon changed to William Gordon

Page 13 - missing quotation mark added after to the action.

Page 29 - missing quotation mark added after he was guilty

Page 32 - Lady Winifrid Herbert changed to Lady Winifred Herbert

Page 37 - missing quotation marked added after their preservation.

Page 44 - they cold not changed to they could not

Page 71 - missing quotation mark added after name of Gordon.

Page 119 - missing quotation mark added before Soon after

Page 121 - missing footnote marker for footnote 67 between "pleas to
avert" and "would be hopeless"

Page 134 - a high a reputation changed to a high reputation

Page 142 - missing footnote marker for footnote 85 between "He soon
became" and "never to interpose"

Page 164 - themselves was relaxed changed to themselves were relaxed

Page 199 - now affrighed changed to now affrighted

Page 204 - missing quotation mark added after me and my God."

Page 224 - missing quotation mark added after for high treason.

Page 228 - referred to the changed to referred to by the

Page 229 - missing quotation mark added before hereditary monarchies

Page 234 - missing quotation mark added after high road.

Page 237 - missing quotation mark added before gave security

Page 238 - extra quotation mark removed from after without delay.

Page 239 - Thomas Fraser of Beufort changed to Thomas Fraser of Beaufort

Page 241 - extra quotation mark removed from after "Beaufort, the 26th
of Oct., 1797.

Page 249 - missing quotation mark added after neighbouring clans.

Page 255 - missing quotation mark added before as honorable as missing
quotation mark added before certain death

Page 264 - missing quotation mark added after means of subsistence.

Page 270 - missing comma added after Marquis De Torcy

Page 283 - missing apostrophe added to priests orders

Page 301 - missing quotation mark added after cattle, corn,

Page 308 - missing quotation mark added before This introduction

tacksmen or demiwassal changed to tacksman or demiwassal

Page 322 - 'Oh, boy! changed to "Oh, boy!

Page 354 - under London's changed to under Loudon's

Page 362 - Jacobites chieftains changed to Jacobite chieftains

Page 374 - missing single quotation mark added after this is terrible.

Page 376 - missing quotation mark added before and leave me

Page 386 - missing quotation mark added before he might no longer

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