Home
  By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon


We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Viscount Dundee
Author: Barbé, Louis A.
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 "Viscount Dundee" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.



Rowland and the Online
  FAMOUS SCOTS SERIES

  THOMAS CARLYLE. By HECTOR C. MACPHERSON.
  ALLAN RAMSAY. By OLIPHANT SMEATON.
  HUGH MILLER. By W. KEITH LEASK.
  JOHN KNOX. By A. TAYLOR INNES.
  ROBERT BURNS. By GABRIEL SETOUN.
  THE BALLADISTS. By JOHN GEDDIE.
  RICHARD CAMERON. By Professor HERKLESS.
  SIR JAMES Y. SIMPSON. By EVE BLANTYRE SIMPSON.
  THOMAS CHALMERS. By Professor W. GARDEN BLAIKIE.
  JAMES BOSWELL. By W. KEITH LEASK.
  TOBIAS SMOLLETT. By OLIPHANT SMEATON.
  FLETCHER OF SALTOUN. By G. W. T. OMOND.
  THE “BLACKWOOD” GROUP. By Sir GEORGE DOUGLAS.
  NORMAN MACLEOD. By JOHN WELLWOOD.
  SIR WALTER SCOTT. By Professor SAINTSBURY.
  KIRKCALDY OF GRANGE. By LOUIS A. BARBÉ.
  ROBERT FERGUSSON. By A. B. GROSART.
  JAMES THOMSON. By WILLIAM BAYNE.
  MUNGO PARK. By T. BANKS MACLACHLAN.
  DAVID HUME. By Professor CALDERWOOD.
  WILLIAM DUNBAR. By OLIPHANT SMEATON.
  SIR WILLIAM WALLACE. By Professor MURISON.
  ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON. By MARGARET MOYES BLACK.
  THOMAS REID. By Professor CAMPBELL FRASER.
  POLLOK AND AYTOUN. By ROSALINE MASSON.
  ADAM SMITH. By HECTOR C. MACPHERSON.
  ANDREW MELVILLE. By WILLIAM MORISON.
  JAMES FREDERICK FERRIER. By E. S. HALDANE.
  KING ROBERT THE BRUCE. By A. F. MURISON.
  JAMES HOGG. By Sir GEORGE DOUGLAS.
  THOMAS CAMPBELL. By J. CUTHBERT HADDEN.
  GEORGE BUCHANAN. By ROBERT WALLACE.
  SIR DAVID WILKIE. By EDWARD PINNINGTON.
  THE ERSKINES, EBENEZER AND RALPH. By A. R. MACEWEN.
  THOMAS GUTHRIE. By OLIPHANT SMEATON.
  DAVID LIVINGSTONE. By T. BANKS MACLACHLAN.
  THE ACADEMIC GREGORIES. By AGNES GRAINGER STEWART.
  JOHNSTON OF WARRISTON. By WILLIAM MORISON.
  HENRY DRUMMOND. By JAMES J. SIMPSON.
  PRINCIPAL CAIRNS. By JOHN CAIRNS.
  VISCOUNT DUNDEE. By LOUIS A. BARBÉ.

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————


[Illustration: Title page]


  VISCOUNT
  DUNDEE

         BY
  :   LOUIS
  A : BARBÉ

  FAMOUS
  •SCOTS•
  •SERIES•

  PUBLISHED BY
  OLIPHANT ANDERSON
  & FERRIER EDINBVRGH
  AND LONDON

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————



  The designs and ornaments of this
  volume are by Mr Joseph Brown,
  and the printing is from the press of
  Messrs Turnbull & Spears, Edinburgh.



  TO
  MY SONS
  LOUIS AND ADRIEN

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————



  CONTENTS


                                          PAGE
  CHAPTER I
  FAMILY, BIRTH AND EARLY LIFE               9

  CHAPTER II
  THE COVENANT AND THE COVENANTERS          21

  CHAPTER III
  DISPERSING THE CONVENTICLERS              36

  CHAPTER IV
  REJECTED ADDRESSES                        59

  CHAPTER V
  MATTERS CIVIL, MILITARY AND MATRIMONIAL   73

  CHAPTER VI
  THE KILLING TIME                          95

  CHAPTER VII
  UNDER KING JAMES                         110

  CHAPTER VIII
  BEFORE THE STRUGGLE                      125

  CHAPTER IX
  THE HIGHLAND CAMPAIGN                    141

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————



  VISCOUNT DUNDEE



  I

  FAMILY, BIRTH AND EARLY LIFE


THE Grahams of Claverhouse were a younger branch of an old and
illustrious family which, from the twelfth century onwards, bore an
important part in Scottish affairs, and of which several members figured
prominently in the history of the nation prior to the time when the fame
of the house was raised to its highest point by the ‘Great Marquis,’ the
ill-fated Montrose.

The Claverhouse offshoot was connected with the main stock through Sir
Robert Graham of Strathcarron, son of Sir William Graham of Kincardine
by his second wife, the Princess Mary, daughter of King Robert III.
During the early years of the sixteenth century, John Graham of
Balargus, third in descent from Sir William, acquired the lands of
Claverhouse, in Forfarshire, a few miles north of Dundee. From these his
son took the territorial title which, a few generations later, was to
become so feared and so hated throughout covenanting Scotland, and
which, even at the present day, after the lapse of more than two hundred
years, is still a bye-word and a shaking of the head to many.

John Graham, the ‘Bloody Claverhouse’ of Whig denunciators, and the
‘Bonnie Dundee’ of Jacobite apologists, was the son of William Graham of
Claverhouse and Lady Magdalene Carnegie, fifth and youngest daughter of
John, first Earl of Northesk. On the authority of Charles Kirkpatrick
Sharpe and of Mark Napier, successive writers have stated that the
mother of the future Viscount was Lady Jean Carnegie. Sir William Fraser
has pointed out, however, that Lady Jean was only his maternal aunt, and
that she married, not a Claverhouse, but the Master of Spynie. This
mistake as to the name of the mother of Viscount Dundee, adds the author
of the ‘History of the Carnegies,’ is the more remarkable that she bore
the same Christian name and surname as her cousin, Lady Magdalene
Carnegie, first Marchioness of Montrose.

The precise date of Claverhouse’s birth is not known. Biographers,
accepting Napier’s computation, almost unanimously assume that it took
place about 1643. That is based on an erroneous deduction from a note to
a decision of the Court of Session, quoted by Fountainhall under date of
the 21st of July 1687. The matter under litigation was a claim put
forward by Fotheringham of Powrie to levy fish from the boats passing by
Broughty Castle. The Lords decided that his charter gave him sufficient
right and title ‘if so be he had possessed forty years by virtue of that
title.’ With special reference to one of the three defendants, it was
added, ‘as for Clavers, he was seventeen years of these forty a minor,
and so they must prove forty years before that.’ Napier assuming the
seventeen years of Claverhouse’s minority to have been coincident with
the first seventeen of the forty referred to, argued that, as a period
of forty years prior to 1687 leads back to 1647, Claverhouse was not
twenty-one years of age until seventeen years after 1647; in other
words, that he was of age about the year 1664, and, consequently, born
about 1643. The calculation is ingenious, and the result plausible; but
the marriage contract of Claverhouse’s parents proves the fallacy of the
original assumption from which everything depends. That authoritative
document, for the discovery of which we are indebted to Sir William
Fraser, was subscribed in 1645; the objection which that raises to the
date worked out by Napier is obviously insurmountable.

For the approximation thus shown to be erroneous, the ‘Dictionary of
National Biography’ substitutes another which has the merit of being
more in accord with the known dates of some of the events in
Claverhouse’s career. A memorandum preserved at Ethie and noted in the
‘History of the Carnegies,’ supplies the scrap of positive evidence upon
which it is founded. It shows that, in 1653, Lady Claverhouse, as
tutrix-testamentar to her son, signed a deed relating to a disposition
which she was bound to make to two of her kinsmen. It is not improbable
that this was done shortly after her husband’s death. If such were the
case, their eldest son, who, according to the note to the decision of
the Court of Session, was a minor for the space of seventeen years,
would have been four years of age at the time, and must therefore have
been born about the year 1649.

The only information now available concerning the future Viscount
Dundee’s early life, prior to his matriculation as a student, is
supplied by the Roll of the Burgesses of Dundee, which sets forth that,
on the 22nd of September 1660, ‘John Graham of Claverhouse and David
Graham, his brother, were admitted Burgesses and Brethren of the Guild
of Dundee, by reason of their father’s privilege.’ The register of St
Leonard’s College establishes the fact that the two brothers went up
together to the University of St Andrews towards the beginning of 1665.

This may be looked upon as a strong confirmation of the date which we
have assigned as that of Claverhouse’s birth. That he should begin his
academic course in his twenty-second year and continue it up to the age
of twenty-five, would have been quite contrary to the custom of a period
when Scottish undergraduates, more particularly those belonging to the
leading families of the country, were even more youthful than many of
them are at the present day.

It has generally been assumed that Claverhouse remained at St Andrews
for the full period of three years; but the University register supplies
no evidence in support of this. On the contrary, the absence of John
Graham’s name from the list of those of his class-mates who graduated in
due course, justifies the belief that his studies were brought to a
premature close before 1668. To what extent he availed himself of the
opportunities afforded him during such stay as he may have made at St
Andrews, is a matter with regard to which proof is wholly wanting and
testimony only bare and vague.

Dr Monro, the Principal of the College of Edinburgh, in his answer to
the charge brought against him on the ground of ‘his rejoicing the day
that the news of Claverhouse his victory came to the town,’ admitted
that he had not ‘rejoiced at the fall of my Lord Dundee,’ for whom he
‘had an extraordinary value’; and he challenged any ‘gentleman, soldier,
scholar or civilized citizen’ to find fault with him for holding the
fallen leader’s memory in respect. From this, the utterance of one well
qualified by personal acquaintance to form a competent judgment, and
unlikely, from his training and education to express it in inconsiderate
terms of meaningless exaggeration, it has been argued that the subject
of Monro’s eulogy must have possessed the attainments upon which men of
culture naturally set store. In support of this warrantable inference,
there is the statement of a writer who, though not a contemporary, is
undeniably a well-informed chronicler. The author of the Memoirs of Sir
Ewan Cameron says that Claverhouse ‘had ane education suitable to his
birth and genius.’ According to the same authority, he ‘made a
considerable progress in the mathematicks, especially in those parts of
it that related to his military capacity; and there was no part of the
Belles Lettres which he had not studyed with great care and exactness.
He was much master in the epistolary way of writeing; for he not onely
expressed himself with great ease and plaineness, but argued well, and
had a great art in giving his thoughts in few words.’

Burnet, who, though a connection of Claverhouse’s, is very far from
displaying any partiality for him, allows that he was ‘a man of good
parts.’ Dalrymple records that ‘Dundee had inflamed his mind from his
earliest youth, by the perusal of antient poets, historians and orators,
with the love of the great actions they praise and describe.’ Finally,
there is the testimony of the ‘officer’ who wrote the ‘Memoirs of
Dundee’ published in 1714, and who makes direct reference to his
‘liberal education in humanity and in mathematicks.’

The question of Claverhouse’s scholarship is not one of special moment
in itself; yet it acquires some interest from the animated controversy
to which it has given rise, and which originated in a hasty comment made
by Sir Walter Scott. The novelist, after referring to a newly published
letter, casually added, ‘Claverhouse, it may be observed, spells like a
chambermaid.’ Subsequent writers, interpreting this into a general
estimate of Dundee’s educational acquirements, repeated the petty and
irrelevant charge, in season and out of season, almost as though the
quality of his orthography constituted a test by which his whole
character was to be estimated. That Claverhouse was erratic in his
spelling cannot be denied. It may be questioned, on the other hand,
whether, in this respect, he displayed greater disregard for orthography
than the average gentleman of his day. If he wrote ‘I hop’ for ‘I hope,’
‘deuk’ for ‘Duke,’ ‘seased’ for ‘seized,’ ‘fisik’ for ‘physic,’ and
‘childring’ for ‘children,’ it does not require a very extensive
acquaintance with the correspondence of the seventeenth century to know
that dukes and earls, and even lawyers and divines, indulged in vagaries
equally startling. But, if the arbitrary and occasionally whimsical
spelling of his letters affords no proof of exceptional ignorance, the
vigour, clearness, and directness of the style in which they are written
give them a place rather above than below the epistolatory standard of
the time.

After leaving St Andrews, Claverhouse, following the example set by so
many generations of his countrymen, and notably by his illustrious
kinsman, the Marquis of Montrose, repaired to the Continent, with the
intention of devoting himself to a military career. According to his
earliest biographer, ‘an Officer of the Army,’ he ‘spent some time in
the French service as a volunteer, with great reputation and applause.’
This is repeated rather than confirmed by the author of the ‘Memoirs of
Sir Ewan Cameron of Lochiel,’ with the addition, it is true, of the
statement that it was ‘under the famous Marishall Turenne’ the young
soldier received his first training. Dalrymple, without supplying
precise information, records that Claverhouse ‘entered the profession of
arms with an opinion he ought to know the services of different nations,
and the duties of different ranks,’ that, ‘with this view he went into
several foreign services,’ and that ‘when he could not obtain a
command,’ he served as a volunteer.

The most trustworthy evidence in support of the statement that
Claverhouse served and fought in the armies of France, is that of James
Philip of Almerieclose, his standard-bearer at Killiecrankie, who, in
later years, devoted a Latin epic to the memory and the praise of the
gallant Graham. Referring to his hero, he says, ‘The French camps on the
Loire, where Orleans lifts her towers, and on the Seine, where her
increased waters lave the city of Paris, have beheld him triumphant over
the defeated enemy, stained with the blood-marks of relentless war.’ The
passage is, unfortunately, one in which the author has so obviously
taken poetical liberty with historical facts, that his words cannot be
taken literally. As the editor and translator of the poem points out,
‘there could have been no fighting on the Seine or Loire.’ Whether, on
the other hand, it be probable that ‘camps of instruction were there,
from which young soldiers were sent to the front,’ is a matter of little
moment. Even without such explanation the passage is valuable as
evidence. It may be accepted as definitively establishing the fact that
it was in France Claverhouse first learnt the art of war.

It has been further conjectured that he may have belonged to the
contingent of 6000 English and Scottish troops, which, under the
leadership of Monmouth, joined Turenne’s army in 1672. If such were the
case, the duration of his service must have been brief. There is
evidence to prove that, by the summer of 1674, he had transferred his
allegiance to William of Orange, and that he was present at the battle
of Seneff, fought in August of that year; and there are grounds for
believing that he was directly instrumental in rescuing the Prince from
a perilous situation.

Macaulay, it is true, rejects the story as ‘invented’ by some Jacobite
many years after both William and Dundee were dead. That, however,
appears to have been hastily done, on the erroneous assumption that the
account of the alleged incident went no further back than the Memoirs of
1714. They, indeed, do state of Claverhouse, that, ‘at the battle of St
Neff, 1674, when the Prince of Orange was dismounted, and in great
danger of being taken, he rescued him, and brought him off upon his own
horse.’ But this does not constitute the sole authority. In addition to
it, there is that of the Memoirs of Lochiel. It is the more valuable
that the author bases his own narrative on the Latin epic to which, in
the following passage, he refers as one of the sources of his
compilation. ‘Besides the assistance I have from the Earl of Balcarres
his memoirs of the wars, and the several relations I have had of them
from many who were eyewitnesses, I have before me a manuscript copy of
an historical Latin poem called “The Grameis,” written in imitation of
Lucan’s “Pharsalia,” but unfinished, by Mr Philips of Amryclos, who had
the office of standard-bearer during that famous expedition’ in the
Highlands. From Philips he not only draws the incident of Seneff, but
also gives a rough translation in English verse, of the passage
commemorating this ‘vigorous exploit.’ It runs thus:—

         ‘When the feirce Gaule, thro’ Belgian stanks yow fled,
         Fainting, alone, and destitute of aid,
         While the proud victor urg’d your doubtfull fate,
         And your tir’d courser sunk beneath your weight,
         Did I not mount you on my vigorous steed,
         And save your person by his fatal speed?’

Until recently, Philips’ poem existed in manuscript only. That
circumstance consequently gives the value of distinct contemporary
evidence to another effusion, of which the author cannot be suspected of
having drawn from the ‘Grameis’ his allusion, unfortunately only a vague
one, to the exploits of Claverhouse whilst serving under the Prince of
Orange. Moreover, it was as early as January 1683, that is several years
before the occurrence of the leading events celebrated in the ‘Grameis,’
that the anonymous rhymer published ‘The Muse’s New Year’s Gift, and
Hansell, to the right honoured Captain John Graham of Claverhouse.’ In
that poem the following lines are to be found:—

           ‘I saw the man who at St Neff did see
            His conduct, prowess, martial gallantry:
            He wore a white plumach that day; not one
            Of Belgians wore a white, but him alone;
            And though that day was fatal, yet he fought,
            And for his part fair triumphs with him brought.’

Once, at least, during the period of his military service under the
Dutch, Claverhouse returned to Scotland. He was in Edinburgh in March
1676. From there he wrote two letters to John Stewart, younger of
Garntully, about the purchase of a horse and the gift of a ‘setting
dogue.’ By the beginning of the following month he had again left the
country; for, in a letter written by his directions after his hurried
departure, and dated the 4th of April, the hope is expressed that ‘this
day hie is in Holland.’ He was not to continue in the pay of the
States-General much longer. The very next year he resigned his
commission, and came home to solicit employment in the British Army. To
account for this apparently sudden determination, the author of the
Memoirs of Lochiel relates a highly dramatic incident, for which, it
must be added, there is no authority but his own, and of which the
details are not such as to command unhesitating belief. After having
given his account of William’s rescue by Claverhouse, at Seneff, the
chronicler continues:—

‘The Prince, in reward of this service, gave him a Captain’s commission,
and promised him the first regiment that should fall in the way; and
some years thereafter, there happening a vacancy in one of the Scotch
regiments, he stood candidate for it, not only upon the assurance of
that promise, but also of the letters he procured from King Charles and
the Duke of York, recommending him to the Prince, in very strong terms.
But, notwithstanding of all this, the Prince preferred Mr Collier, a son
of the Earl of Portmore, to the regiment. The Prince then resided at his
Palace of the Loo; and Captain Grahame, who was absent while this
intrigue was carrying on, chanceing to meet Mr Collier in the Palace
Court, expostulated the matter in very harsh terms, and gave him some
blows with his cane.

‘The Prince either saw or was soon informed of what passed, and ordering
Captain Grahame, who had been seized by the officer of the guards, to be
brought before him, he asked him how he dared to strick any person
within the verge of his Palace? The Captain answered, that he was indeed
in the wrong, since it was more his Highness his business to have
resented that quarrel than his; because Mr Collier had less injured him
in disappointing him of the regiment, than he had done his Highness in
making him breck his word. Then replyed the Prince, in an angry tone, “I
make yow full reparation, for I bestow on yow what is more valuable than
a regiment, when I give yow your right arm!” The Captain subjoyned, that
since his Highness had the goodness to give him his liberty, he resolved
to employ himself elsewhere, for he would not serve a Prince longer that
had brock his word.

‘The Captain having thus thrown up his commission was preparing in haste
for his voyage, when a messenger arrived from the Prince with two
hundred guineas for the horse on which he had saved his life. The
Captain sent the horse but ordered the gold to be distributed among the
grooms of the Prince’s stables. It is said, however, that his Highness
had the generosity to wryte to the King and the Duke recommending him as
a fine gentleman, and a brave officer, fitt for any office, civil or
military.’

In the “Life of Lieutenant-General Hugh Mackay,” the account given is
more summary: ‘About this time,’ it is said, ‘the lieutenant-colonelcy
of one of the regiments, forming the Scottish brigade, falling vacant,
two candidates started for the appointment, both excellent officers, but
men of characters widely different. These were Graham of Claverhouse,
then an officer in the Prince’s service, afterwards notorious for his
unrelenting cruelties to the Covenanters in the West of Scotland, and
Mackay, characterised by Bishop Burnet, as the most pious military man
he ever knew. The Prince preferred Mackay, which gave such mortal
offence to his rival, that he instantly quitted the service and returned
to Scotland, burning with resentment against the authors of his
disappointment.’

Neither of these two narratives is contemporary. But the more
circumstantial embodies the Jacobite legend current in the early years
of the eighteenth century, whilst the briefer is founded on the
tradition preserved in the family of Claverhouse’s Whig opponent. The
one point on which they both agree may therefore be accepted with some
confidence; and it seems plausible to ascribe Captain Graham’s
withdrawal from the Dutch service to the dissatisfaction which he felt
at the inadequate recognition of his claims to promotion.

Claverhouse experienced no difficulty in obtaining employment under his
own sovereign. Two letters bearing on the subject have been preserved.
They are both written by his relative, the Marquis of Montrose; one of
them is addressed to him, the other to the Laird of Monorgan, who was
also a Graham. The former is as follows:—

                     ‘FOR THE LAIRD OF CLAVERHOUSE.

‘SIR,—You cannot imagine how overjoyed I should be, to have any
employment at my disposal that were worthy of your acceptance; nor how
much I am ashamed to offer you anything so far below your merit as that
of being my Lieutenant; though I be fully persuaded that it will be a
step to a much more considerable employment, and will give you occasion
to confirm the Duke in the just and good opinion which I do assure you
he has of you; he being a person that judges not of people’s worth by
the rank they are in.

‘I do not know, after all this, in what terms, nor with what confidence,
I can express my desire to have you accept this mean and inconsiderable
offer; whether by endeavouring to magnify it all I can, and telling you,
that it is the first troop of the Duke of York’s regiment; that I am to
raise it in Scotland; and that I pretend that none but gentlemen should
ride in it; or, by telling you that I am promised to be very quickly
advanced, and that you shall either succeed to me, or share with me in
my advancement. I can say no more, but that you will oblige me in it
beyond expression.

‘I do not expect any answer to this while I am here; for I do resolve to
be in Edinburgh against the first or second day of the next month;
where, if you be not already, I earnestly entreat you would be pleased
to meet me.—Sir, Your most affectionate cousin and servant,

  'LONDON, _February 19th_ [1677-8].'                      MONTROSE.'

From this letter, it has been assumed that Claverhouse had previously
made application to his kinsman and titular chief. There can, indeed,
hardly be a doubt that it is a reply to a previous request. On the other
hand, however, the second letter, written on the same day, does not
altogether bear out this view. It was thus:—

                      ‘FOR THE LAIRD OF MONORGAN.

‘SIR,—I hope now to be able, within a week or ten days, to give you an
account, by word of mouth, of my resolutions, and the reasons I have for
accepting a troop in the Duke of York’s regiment of horse; so I shall
forbear troubling you with a long letter; only I must tell you that I
have all along met with a great deal of favour from his Royal Highness,
and that he has assured me that this shall be but a step to a more
considerable employment.

‘He has a very good opinion of Claverhouse, and he bid me endeavour by
all means to get him for my Lieutenant. Therefore, I most earnestly beg
that you would be pleased to represent to him the advantages he may have
by being near the Duke, and by making himself better known to him. And
withal assure him from me, that, if he will embrace this offer, he shall
also share with me in my advancement and better fortune. I need not use
many words to show you the disparity that is betwixt serving under me
and anybody else, though of greater family, he being of my house, and
descended of my family.

‘You may say more to this purpose than is fit for me to do. I shall say
no more but that by this you will infinitely oblige.—Sir, Your most
affectionate cousin and servant,

  'LONDON, _February 19th_ [1677-8].'                      MONTROSE.'

It is not necessary to look upon this, with Napier, as ‘conclusive
against the conjecture that Claverhouse had _applied_ for this service,’
and as affording proof that the commission was spontaneously offered him
in recognition of his military abilities. It is more plausible in
itself, and more in accordance with the purport of both letters, to
believe that Claverhouse had solicited employment from the Duke of York,
with whom a recommendation from the Prince of Orange, who had lately
become his son-in-law, was likely to possess considerable influence;
that James had referred the applicant to the young Marquis, who was then
raising a troop for the Duke’s regiment of horse-guards; and that he
had, at the same time urged Montrose to secure the services of an
officer so brave and so able as Claverhouse had already shown himself to
be.

It is not clear whether Claverhouse was really called upon to do duty as
a mere subaltern. If so, it was but for a few months. As early as the
21st of November 1678, the Marquis of Montrose superseded the Marquis of
Athole as commander of the Royal Horse Guards in Scotland; and the
opportunity thus afforded of fulfilling the promise recently made to his
kinsman was not neglected. Claverhouse was at once promoted to the
vacant post, and thus began that part of his career which was to make
him so prominent in the history of his country.

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————



  II

  THE COVENANT AND THE COVENANTERS


ON the 14th of May 1678, a letter addressed to the King by his Privy
Council in Scotland, contained a suggestion of which the adoption was
destined to exercise an important influence on Claverhouse’s career. It
was written in answer to a prior communication, which it sufficiently
explains, and ran as follows:—

‘We have of late had divers informations of numerous field-conventicles
kept in several places of the kingdom, who, with armed men, have in many
places resisted your authority, and which by your letter, we find has
reached your ears, and seeing these insolences are daily iterated, and
are still upon the growing hand, and that your Majesty is graciously
pleased to ask our advice, for raising of more forces,—It’s our humble
opinion that, for the present exigent, there may be two company of
dragoons, each consisting of one hundred, presently raised, whose
constant employment may be for dissipating and interrupting those
rendezvouses of rebellion; and therefore we have recommended to the
Major-General, the speedy raising of them; and your Majesty may be
pleased to give commissions to such qualified persons as the
Major-General hath, at our desire, given in a list, to command these two
companies; or to what other persons your Majesty shall think fit.’

In accordance with the advice conveyed in this letter, measures were
forthwith taken for raising two additional companies. When formed and
officered they were sent to join the troop which Claverhouse already
commanded. At the head of this body of some three hundred men he was
entrusted with the difficult task of ‘dissipating and interrupting’ the
conventicles in the western and south-western districts of Scotland.

To understand the principles, motives, and aims of those against whom
Claverhouse was now called upon to take action, it is necessary to
recall the circumstances which accompanied and some of the events which
followed the signing in 1643, of the ‘Solemn League and Covenant for
Reformation and Defence of Religion, the Honour and Happiness of the
King, and the Peace and Safety of the three kingdoms of Scotland,
England and Ireland.’

In the month of August of that year, the respective committees of the
General Assembly and of the Convention of Estates had submitted to those
bodies a draft of the document, as it had been drawn up by them, after
consultation and deliberation with the Committee of the English
Parliament. It had been duly sanctioned, and adopted as the most
powerful means, by the blessing of God, for settling and preserving the
true Protestant religion, with a perfect peace in all his Majesty’s
dominions, and propagating the same to other nations, and for
establishing his Majesty’s throne to all ages and generations.

Two months later—on the 11th of October—the commissioners of the General
Assembly issued an ordinance for the solemn receiving, swearing, and
subscribing of the League and Covenant. It contained special injunctions
to the Presbyteries that they should take account of the performance
thereof in their several bounds; that they should proceed with the
censures of the Kirk against all such as should refuse or shift to swear
and subscribe, as enemies to the preservation and propagation of
religion; and that they should notify their names and make particular
report of them to the Commission.

On the next day, the Commissioners of the Convention of Estates, in
their turn issued a proclamation by which, supplementing the censures of
the Church, they ordained as a penalty on those who should ‘postpone or
refuse,’ that they should ‘have their goods and rents confiscate for the
use of the public,’ and that they should not ‘bruik nor enjoy any
benefit, place nor office within this kingdom.’

The Covenant, which these ordinances thus required the people of
Scotland to subscribe, consisted in an oath binding them to support the
reformed religion in the Church of Scotland, in doctrine, worship,
discipline and government, according to the Word of God, and the example
of the best reformed Churches; to endeavour to bring the Churches of God
in the three kingdoms to the nearest conjunction and uniformity in
religion, confession of faith, form of Church government, directory for
worship, and catechising; to strive, without respect of persons, for the
extirpation of popery, prelacy (that is, Church government by
archbishops, bishops, their chancellors and commissaries, deans and
chapters, archdeacons, and all other ecclesiastical officers depending
on that hierarchy), superstition, heresy, schism, profaneness and
whatsoever should be found to be contrary to sound doctrine and the
power of godliness; to endeavour to preserve the rights and privileges
of the Parliaments, and the liberties of the kingdoms, and to preserve
and defend the King’s person and authority, in the preservation and
defence of the true religion and liberties of the kingdoms; to endeavour
to discover all such as had been, or should be, incendiaries,
malignants, or evil instruments, by hindering the reformation of
religion, dividing the King from his people, or one of the kingdoms from
another, or making any factions or parties amongst the people, contrary
to the League and Covenant, that they might be brought to public trial,
and receive condign punishment, as the degree of their offences should
require or deserve, or the supreme judicatories of both kingdoms,
respectively, or others having power from them for that effect, should
judge convenient; and, finally, to assist and defend all those that
entered into this League and Covenant, and not to suffer themselves,
directly or indirectly by whatsoever combination, persuasion, or terror,
to be withdrawn from this blessed union and conjunction, whether to make
defection to the contrary part, or to give themselves to a detestable
indifference, or neutrality.

If, at its origin, the Covenant of 1643 was practically a treaty between
the heads of the Presbyterian party in Scotland and the leading
Parliamentarians in England, it entered upon a new phase after the
execution of Charles I. Notwithstanding the hostile attitude of the
Presbyterians towards the King himself, they were strongly opposed to
the subversion of the monarchical form of government. On the 5th of
February, six days after the King’s death, and one day earlier than the
formal abolition of the monarchy by the English House of Commons, the
Scottish Estates of Parliament passed an Act by which Prince Charles,
then in Holland, was proclaimed King, in succession to his father.
Following upon this, a deputation was sent to the Hague to invite
Charles to come over and take possession of the throne of his ancestors.
As a preliminary condition, however, it was required that he should give
adhesion to the principles set forth in the Solemn Covenant. This he
hesitated to do; and the commissioners returned, well pleased, indeed,
with “the sweet and courteous disposition” of the Prince, but
disappointed at the failure of their mission, owing to the pernicious
influence of the “very evil generation, both of English and Scots,” by
whom he was surrounded.

A second deputation, sent shortly after this, to treat with the Prince
at Breda, was more successful. Charles, seeing no other way open to him
of regaining possession of the throne, gave his consent to the demands
of the commissioners. In June 1650, he returned to Scotland. On the 1st
of January 1651, he was crowned at Scone. Before taking the oath of
coronation, and after the full text of the Solemn League and Covenant
had been distinctly read to him, kneeling and lifting up his right hand,
he assured and declared, on his oath, in the presence of Almighty God,
the searcher of hearts, his allowance and approbation of all it set
forth, and faithfully obliged himself to prosecute the ends it had in
view, in his station and calling. He bound himself in advance to consent
and agree to all Acts of Parliament establishing Presbyterial
government; to observe their provisions in his own practice and family;
and never to make opposition to them or endeavour to make any change in
them.

It was not till nearly ten years later that Charles II. was really
restored to the throne. The event was hailed with joy by the
Presbyterians, who looked upon it as the accession of a covenanting
king, and who founded their hopes, not only on the promise made at
Scone, but also on a letter which Charles had forwarded, through Sharp,
to the Presbytery of Edinburgh, to be communicated to all the
Presbyteries in Scotland, and in which he expressed his resolve to
protect and preserve the government of the Church of Scotland, as
settled by law, without violation.

But the law itself was to be modified in such a manner as to enable the
King to violate the spirit of his promise whilst leaving him a verbal
quibble with which to justify his breach of faith. On the 9th of
February an Act was passed annulling the Parliament and Committees of
1649, that is, declaring those proceedings to be illegal, by which
Presbyterianism had been established on its firmest foundations. Less
than three weeks later, two other Acts were passed with a view to
preparing the way for a complete revolution in Church matters. The first
of them, known as the Act Rescissory, had for its objects the annulling
of the ‘pretended Parliaments’ of the years 1640, 1641, 1644, 1645,
1646, and 1648—a measure which Principal Baillie described at the time
as ‘pulling down all our laws at once which concerned our Church since
1633.’ The other, which purported to be ‘concerning religion and Church
government,’ was substantially an assertion and recognition of the
King’s claim to be considered as head of the Church. It declared that it
was his full and firm intention to maintain the true reformed Protestant
religion in its purity of doctrine and worship, as it had been
established within the kingdom during the reigns of his father and of
his grandfather; to promote the power of godliness; to encourage the
exercises of religion, both public and private; and to suppress all
profaneness and disorderly walking; and that, for this end he would give
all due countenance and protection to the ministers of the Gospel, ‘they
containing themselves within the bounds and limits of their ministerial
calling and behaving themselves with that submission and obedience to
his Majesty’s authority and commands that is suitable to the allegiance
and duty of good subjects.’ A concluding clause provided that,
notwithstanding the Rescissory Act, the ‘present administration by
sessions, presbyteries, and synods—they keeping within bounds and
behaving themselves’—should, ‘in the meantime’ be ‘allowed.’

The official toleration of Presbyterianism lasted till the 27th of May
1662. On that day an Act of Parliament, after declaring in its preamble
that the ordering and disposal of the external government and policy of
the Church properly belonged to the King, as an inherent right of the
Crown, and by virtue of his royal prerogative and supremacy in causes
ecclesiastical, proceeded to re-establish the ancient government of the
Church by the sacred order of Bishops. A further step was taken on the
5th of September of the same year by the imposition of a test on all
persons in public trust. Before entering upon the duties of any office
under the Crown, they were called upon to subscribe a declaration
setting forth that they judged it unlawful in subjects, under pretence
of reformation, or for any motive, to enter into leagues and covenants;
that they more especially considered the Solemn League and Covenant to
have been contrary to the fundamental laws and liberties of the kingdom;
and that they repudiated any obligation laid upon them by their former
sworn recognition and acceptance of this bond.

As a sequel, an Act not of Parliament but of Council, ordained that the
Covenant should be burnt by the hand of the common hangman. Prior to
this, however, on the 11th of June 1662, an Act concerning such
benefices and stipends as had been possessed without presentations from
the lawful patrons deprived the Church of the right claimed by it of
calling and choosing its own ministers. Under its provisions, no
minister admitted subsequently to the year 1649 could possess any legal
claim to his stipend unless he obtained a new presentation, and
collation from the bishop of the diocese.

The number of those that consented to make the required application was
so small that it was thought necessary to have recourse to the Privy
Council for the purpose of enforcing the new law. On the 1st of October,
an order was issued which deprived the recusant ministers of their
parishes, and required them, with their families, to remove beyond the
bounds of their respective presbyteries before the first day of the
following November. The Archbishop of Glasgow, at whose instance this
coercive measure was adopted, had asserted that there would not be ten
in his diocese who refused compliance, under dread of such a penalty.
The result falsified his prediction. Nearly four hundred ministers
throughout Scotland abandoned their benefices, and subjected themselves
and their families to the hardships and privations of banishment rather
than recognise the new modelling of the Church.

In many cases the ejection of the ministers and the loss of their
stipends did not prevent them from continuing the duties of their
office. Secret meetings, either in private houses or in secluded
localities, replaced the ordinary services of the Church. For the
purpose of checking this violation of the law, the Council, on the 13th
of August 1663, again intervened with an Act. It commanded and charged
all ministers appointed in, or since, the year 1649, who had not
subsequently obtained presentations from the patrons, and yet continued
to preach or to exercise any duty proper to the functions of the
ministry, either at the parish churches or in any other place, to remove
themselves, their families and their goods, within twenty days, out of
their respective parishes, and not to reside within twenty miles of
them, nor within six miles of Edinburgh or any cathedral church, or
three miles of any burgh within the kingdom.

In 1665, this Act was extended so as to include the older ministers,
that is, those who had obtained their livings prior to the year 1649;
and, on the same day, a proclamation against conventicles and meetings
for religious exercises was published. It warned all such as should be
present at these unlawful gatherings, that they would be looked upon as
seditious persons, and should be punished by fining, confining and other
corporal punishments, according to the judgment of the Privy Council, or
any having the King’s authority.

To replace the recusant clergy, a number of ministers, King’s curates,
as they were called, had been appointed by the bishops. They were so
coldly received by the people that, to provide them with congregations,
the Privy Council commanded all loyal subjects to frequent the ordinary
meetings of public worship in their own parish churches; and required
magistrates to treat those who kept away as though they were Sabbath
breakers, and to punish them by the infliction of a fine of twenty
shillings for each absence. These measures having proved ineffective,
the pecuniary penalty was greatly increased by a subsequent Act of
Parliament. For refusing to recognise the curates, each nobleman,
gentleman or heritor was to lose a fourth part of his yearly revenue;
every yeoman, tenant or farmer was to forfeit such a proportion of his
free moveables (after the payment of the rents due to the master and
landlord) as the Privy Council should think fit, but not exceeding a
fourth part of them; and every burgess was to be deprived of the
privilege of merchandising and trading, and of all other ‘liberties
within burgh,’ in addition to the confiscation of a fourth part of his
moveable goods. Further, to prevent any evasion of the law against
conventicles, proclamations issued at various times, prohibited all
preaching and praying in families, if more than three persons, besides
the members of the household, were present; and made landlords,
magistrates and heads of families answerable for the default of those
under their charge to conform to the episcopal government and ritual.

It was not the intention of those who had instigated this coercive and
penal legislation that it should remain a dead letter. As a means of
enforcing obedience to it and of levying the fines imposed upon those
who would not yield dutiful submission, troops were sent into the
discontented districts. The south-western counties, in which the
Covenanters were most numerous and most determined, were entrusted to
Sir James Turner. His orders were to punish recalcitrant families by
quartering his men on them, and, if they remained obstinate, to distrain
their goods and gear, and to sell them in discharge of the fines
incurred. It was the carrying out of these instructions that first led
to armed resistance on the part of the Covenanters.

The immediate cause of the rising, however, is conflictingly stated by
different writers. Kirkton’s version of the occurrence, which has been
reproduced almost literally by Wodrow, is to the effect that, on the
13th of November 1666, four of the men who had abandoned their homes on
the appearance of the military, coming, in the course of their
wanderings, towards the old clachan of Dalry, in Galloway, to seek
refreshment after long fasting, providentially met, upon the highway,
three or four soldiers driving before them a company of people, for the
purpose of compelling them to thresh the corn of a poor old neighbour of
theirs, who had also fled from his house, and from whom the church
fines, as they were called, were to be exacted in this way. ‘This,’ says
Kirkton, ‘troubled the poor countrymen very much, yet they passed it in
silence, till, coming to the house where they expected refreshment, they
were informed the soldiers had seized the poor old man, and were about
to bind him and set him bare upon a hot iron gird-iron, there to torment
him in his own house. Upon this they ran to relieve the poor man, and
coming to his house, desired the soldiers to let the poor man go, which
the soldiers refused, and so they fell to words; whereupon two of the
soldiers rushing out of the chamber with drawn swords, and making at the
countrymen, had almost killed two of them behind their backs, and
unawares; the countrymen having weapons, one of them discharged his
pistol, and hurt one of the soldiers with the piece of a tobacco pipe
with which he had loaded his pistol instead of ball. This made the
soldiers deliver their arms and prisoner.’

The accuracy of the account given by Kirkton has been denied. Burnet
distinctly asserts that ‘this was a story made only to beget
compassion’; that after the insurrection was quashed, the Privy Council
sent commissioners to examine into the violences that had been
committed, particularly in the parish where this was alleged to have
been done; that he himself read the report they made to the Council, and
all the depositions taken by them from the people of the district, but
that no such violence on the part of the military was mentioned in any
one of them. The wounded soldier himself, one George Deanes, a corporal
in Sir Alexander Thomson’s company, from whose body ten pieces of
tobacco pipe were subsequently extracted by the surgeon, told Sir James
Turner that he was shot because he would not take the covenanting oath.

Whether premeditated and concerted, or merely ‘an occasional tumult upon
a sudden fray,’ this attack on the military was the signal for a
gathering of the discontented peasantry of the district. On the morrow,
the four countrymen, one of whom was M’Lelland of Boscob, being joined
by six or seven others, fell upon a second party of soldiers. One of
these, having offered resistance was killed; his comrades, about a dozen
in number, according to Kirkton, quietly gave up their arms. Within two
days the insurgents had recruited about fourscore horse and two hundred
foot. Proceeding to Dumfries, where Turner then lay with only a few of
his soldiers, the greater number of them being scattered about the
country in small parties, for the purpose of levying the fines, they
seized him, together with the papers and the money in his possession,
and carried him off as a prisoner. After this, ‘in their abundant
loyalty,’ as Wodrow characterises it, they went to the Cross and
publicly drank to the health of the King and the prosperity of his
Government.

In daily increasing numbers the insurgents marched towards Edinburgh. At
Lanark, where all the contingents they could expect from the south and
west had already joined them, and where ‘this rolling snow-ball was at
the biggest,’ they were estimated at some three thousand. Here they
renewed the Solemn League and Covenant. In spite of repeated warnings
from men who, whilst fully sympathising with them, yet understood the
hopeless nature of the enterprise in which they were engaged, the
leaders determined to push on towards the capital. But the enthusiasm of
many amongst their followers was beginning to wane; and by the time
Colinton was reached, the ill-armed and undisciplined crowd had dwindled
down again to a bare thousand. Then at length, even those who had
previously rejected the well-meant advice of their more cautious
friends, and had declared that, having been called by the Lord to this
undertaking, they would not retire till he who bade them come should
likewise command them to go, became conscious of their desperate plight,
and consented to a retreat towards the west. Turning the eastern
extremity of the Pentland hills, they directed their march towards
Biggar.

But it was too late. Dalziel, the governor of Edinburgh, who, at the
head of a hastily mustered body of regulars, had been sent out to
intercept them, came upon them at Rullion Green, on the evening of the
28th of November. A sharp engagement followed. Twice in the course of it
success seemed to favour the insurgents; but in the end the military
training and the superior weapons of their opponents prevailed, and the
Covenanters were scattered in headlong flight. Of the soldiers, only
five fell. On the other side there were about forty killed and a hundred
and thirty taken. These prisoners were next day marched into Edinburgh.
They might all have saved their lives if they had consented to renounce
the Covenant; but their refusal to do so was severely punished.
According to Burnet, who certainly does not exaggerate the number who
suffered the death penalty, ten were hanged upon one gibbet in
Edinburgh, and thirty-five more were sent to be hanged up before their
own doors. Many were transported across the seas. The torture of the
boot and of the thumbkins—the latter said to have been introduced by
Dalziel, who had learnt their use in Russia, where he served for a
time—was freely applied in the hope of wringing from the prisoners the
admission that the rising was part of a concerted plot for the
subversion of the existing government. They all strenuously denied it.

That shortly prior to this, a conspiracy had been formed for this object
is a well established fact. A document discovered by Dr M’Crie in the
Dutch archives and published by him in his edition of the Memoirs of
Veitch, shows that a plan was formed, in July 1666, for seizing on the
principal forts in the kingdom, and that ‘the persons embarked in this
scheme had carried on a correspondence with the Government of the United
Provinces then at war with Great Britain, and received promises of
assistance from that quarter.’ Another document referred to by the same
writer asserts that the castles of Edinburgh, Stirling, and Dumbarton
were amongst those to be taken possession of. Whether this Dutch plot
and the Galloway insurrection were connected with each other, is a point
with regard to which historians have maintained conflicting opinions in
accordance with their own sympathies. The strongest evidence that Napier
is able to adduce, on the one side, is the fact that a Mr Wallace is
mentioned as one of those in correspondence with Holland, and that
Colonel James Wallace was the leader of the insurgents whom Dalziel
routed at Rullion Green. But, on the other hand, it is pointed out by Dr
M’Crie that, as the other names are obviously fictitious, this
coincidence affords no ground for supposing that the Colonel was the
person referred to.

For many months after the Pentland rout, the harrying of the late
insurgents continued; but, at length, the political changes which placed
the administration of the country into the hands of Lauderdale, also
marked the inauguration of a more lenient policy towards the
Presbyterians. On the 15th of July 1669, a letter was communicated to
the Council, in which the King signified his desire that it should
authorise as many of the ejected ministers as had lived peaceably in the
places where they had resided, to return and preach, and exercise the
other functions of their office in the parish churches which they
formerly occupied, providing these were vacant. Ministers who took
collation from the bishop of the diocese and kept presbyteries and
synods, might be allowed to receive their stipends. The others were not
to be permitted ‘to meddle with the local stipend, but only to possess
the manse and glebe.’

This concession proved of little effect. The few who availed themselves
of the ‘Indulgence’—two and forty in all, according to Wodrow—were
looked upon as renegades by the irreconcilables, and found no more
toleration at their hands than the curates had done. The moderate
Presbyterians who accepted the ‘indulged’ clergy were denounced as
traitors to the cause. The conventicles which it had been hoped the new
measure would suppress, began to assume a more desperate character, as
the gatherings of those who, in their unbending determination to abide
by the very letter of the Covenant, declared themselves freed from their
allegiance to a king whom they considered as perjured, and against whose
agents, as malignant persecutors of the true religion, they believed
themselves justified in adopting the most violent measures. It is of
these extremists that the covenanting party now consisted.

It has been urged that these new developments were too natural, in the
circumstances of the time, not to have been anticipated, by some, at
least, of those who were responsible for the government of the country.
They have consequently been credited with the deliberate intention not
only of causing a disruption in the ranks of the Presbyterians, but also
of making the expected refusal of the indulgence a pretext for further
and sterner measures of coercion. If such were the case, the
machiavellian policy was successful. Within six months, the old system
of penal legislation was again adopted. On the 3rd of February 1670, a
proclamation prohibiting conventicles under heavy penalties was issued
by the Council. It was followed in August by an Act of Parliament which
made it illegal for outed ministers not licensed by the Council or for
any other persons not authorised or tolerated by the bishop of the
diocese, to preach, expound Scripture, or pray in any meeting, except in
their own houses and to members of their own family. Such as should be
convicted of disobedience to this law were to be imprisoned till they
found security, to the amount of five thousand merks, for their future
good behaviour. Persons attending meetings of this kind were to be
heavily fined, according to their respective conditions, for each
separate offence. Against outdoor meetings, or ‘field conventicles,’ the
law was still more severe. Death was to be the penalty for preaching or
praying at them, or even for convening them. A reward of five hundred
merks was offered to any of his Majesty’s subjects who should seize and
secure the person of an active conventicler. As a further inducement, a
subsequent proclamation made over to the captor the fine incurred by the
offender he secured.

Amongst the many devices resorted to at this time, with a view to
enforcing conformity, there is one which, because of its immediate
consequences, is deserving of special mention. In October 1677, the
Council addressed a letter to the Earls of Glencairn and Dundonald and
to Lord Ross, requiring them to call together the heritors of the shires
of Ayr and Renfrew, and to urge on them the necessity for taking
effective measures to repress conventicles. The answer given to the
three noblemen and forwarded by them to Edinburgh was practically a
refusal though it took the form of a plea of inability on the part of
those whose co-operation had thus been invoked. This alleged
powerlessness was made an excuse for the next step taken by the
Government, that of quartering a body of eight thousand Highlanders in
the disaffected counties, on those who refused to subscribe a bond by
which every heritor made himself answerable, not only for his wife,
children, and servants, but also for his tenants.

The commission for raising the Highlanders authorised them to take free
quarters, and, if need were, to seize on horses as well as on ammunition
and provisions. They were indemnified against all pursuits, civil and
criminal, which might at any time be intented against them or anything
they should do, by killing, wounding, apprehending, or imprisoning such
as should make opposition to the King’s authority, or by arresting such
as they might have reason to suspect. For two months the clansmen
availed themselves to the full of the arbitrary powers with which the
royal warrant invested them. At length the Duke of Hamilton appealed
directly to the King to put an end to the oppression exercised in his
name by the Highland men; and an express was sent down from London,
requiring the Council to disband them and to send them back to their
homes. This brings events down to 1678, the year in which Claverhouse
was appointed to the command of the dragoons who were to make another
effort to disperse the conventicles against which so many Acts of
Parliament and decrees of Council had been directed in vain, and which
even the depredations of the Highland host had failed to check.

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————



  III

  DISPERSING THE CONVENTICLERS


BY the end of 1678 Claverhouse was at Moffat, expecting to be joined
by one of the newly-levied troops of dragoons—that under Captain
Inglis. From that town he forwarded to the Earl of Linlithgow,
Commander-in-chief of the King’s forces, the first of a series of
despatches which contain a precise and detailed account of his
movements at this time. As indicating the spirit in which he had
undertaken the duties assigned to him, and the strict and literal
obedience to orders that characterised his execution of them, the
document is both interesting and valuable. It is dated the 28th of
December, and runs as follows:—

‘My Lord,—I came here last night with the troop, and am just going to
march for Dumfries, where I resolve to quarter the whole troop. I have
not heard anything of the dragoons, though it be now about nine o’clock,
and they should have been here last night, according to your Lordship’s
orders. I suppose they must have taken some other route. I am informed,
since I came, that this country has been very loose. On Tuesday was
eight days, and Sunday, there were great field-conventicles just by
here, with great contempt of the regular clergy, who complain extremely
when I tell them I have no orders to apprehend anybody for past
misdemeanours. And besides that, all the particular orders I have being
contained in that order of quartering, every place where we quarter must
see them, which makes them fear the less. I am informed that the most
convenient post for quartering the dragoons will be Moffat, Lochmaben
and Annan; whereby the whole country may be kept in awe. Besides that,
my Lord, they tell me that the end of the bridge of Dumfries is in
Galloway; and that they may hold conventicles at our nose and we not
dare to dissipate them, seeing our orders confine us to Dumfries and
Annandale. Such an insult as that would not please me; and, on the other
hand, I am unwilling to exceed orders, so that I expect from your
Lordship orders how to carry in such cases. I send this with one of my
troop, who is to attend orders till he be relieved. I will send one
every Monday, and the dragoons one every Thursday, so that I will have
the happiness to give your Lordship account of our affairs twice a week,
and your Lordship occasion to send your commands for us as often. In the
meantime, my Lord, I shall be doing, according to the instructions I
have, what shall be found most advantageous for the King’s service, and
most agreeable to your Lordship.—I am, my Lord, your Lordship’s most
humble and obedient servant,

                                                            J. GRAHAME.’

‘My Lord, if your Lordship give me any new orders, I will beg they may
be kept as secret as possible; and sent to me so suddenly as the
information some of the favourers of the fanatics are to send may be
prevented, which will extremely facilitate the executing of them.’

On the 6th of January 1679, Claverhouse, now at Dumfries, again
addressed a despatch to the Commander. He appears to have, in the
meantime, received an explanation of the Council’s intention, and an
intimation that his conscientious regard for the exact terms of his
commission did not meet with unqualified approval. This may be gathered
from the following paragraph in his letter:—

‘My Lord, since I have seen the Act of Council, the scruple I had about
undertaking anything without the bounds of these two shires, is indeed
frivolous, but was not so before. For if there had been no such Act, it
had not been safe for me to have done anything but what my order
warranted; and since I knew it not, it was to me the same thing as if it
had not been. And for my ignorance of it, I must acknowledge that till
now, in any service I have been in, I never enquired farther in the
laws, than the orders of my superior officers.’

In another passage, having to report various incidents of recent
occurrence, with respect to some of which it was intended to make formal
complaint, he again gives proof of his respect for discipline, and
manifests his determination not only to enforce it, but also to
compensate those upon whom injury might be inflicted by any breach of it
on the part of the men under his command. At the same time, he does not
hesitate to make it clearly understood that, whilst ready to answer for
his own conduct, he repudiates responsibility for the actions of others.
His own words are as follows:—

‘On Saturday night, when I came back here, the sergeant who commands the
dragoons in the Castle came to see me; and while he was here, they came
and told me there was a horse killed just by, upon the street, by a shot
from the Castle. I went immediately and examined the guard, who denied
point blank that there had been any shot from thence. I went and heard
the Bailie take depositions of men that were looking on, who declared,
upon oath, that they saw the shot from the guard-hall, and the horse
immediately fall. I caused also search for the bullet in the horse’s
head, which was found to be of their calibre. After that I found it so
clear, I caused seize upon him who was ordered by the sergeant in his
absence to command the guard, and keep him prisoner till he find out the
man,—which I suppose will be found himself. His name is James Ramsay, an
Angusman, who has formerly been a lieutenant of horse, as I am informed.
It is an ugly business, for, besides the wrong the poor man has got in
losing his horse, it is extremely against military discipline to fire
out of a guard. I have appointed the poor man to be here to-morrow, and
bring with him some neighbours to declare the worth of the horse, and
have assured him to satisfy him if the Captain, who is to be here
to-morrow, refuse to do it. I am sorry to hear of another accident that
has befallen the dragoons, which I believe your Lordship knows better
than I, seeing they say that there is a complaint made of it to your
Lordship or the Council; which is, that they have shot a man in the arm
with small shot, and disenabled him of it, who had come this length with
a horse to carry baggage for some of my officers; but this being before
they came to Moffat, does not concern me.

‘The Stewart-Depute, before good company, told me that several people
about Moffat were resolved to make a complaint to the Council against
the dragoons for taking free quarters; that if they would but pay their
horse-corn and their ale, they should have all the rest free; that there
were some of the officers that had, at their own hand, appointed
themselves locality above three miles from their quarter. I begged them
to forbear till the Captain and I should come there, when they should be
redressed in everything. Your Lordship will be pleased not to take any
notice of this, till I have informed myself upon the place.

‘This town is full of people that have resetted, and lodged constantly
in their houses intercommuned persons and field preachers. There are
some that absent themselves for fear; and Captain Inglis tells me there
are Bailies have absented themselves there at Annan, and desired from me
order to apprehend them; which I refused, for they are not included in
all the Act of Council. Mr Cupar, who is here Bailie and Stewart for my
Lord Stormont, offered to apprehend Bell that built the meeting-house,
if I would concur. I said to him that it would be acceptable, but that
the order from the Council did only bear the taking up the names of
persons accessory to the building of it.’

The meeting-house referred to was situated in the neighbourhood of
Castlemilk, and had been built at the expense of the common purse of the
disaffected. It is described as a good large house, about sixty feet in
length and between twenty and thirty in breadth, with only one door and
with two windows at each side, and one at either end. After its purpose
had become known to the authorities, it was fitted up with stakes and
with a ‘hek’ and manger, to make it pass for a byre. In spite of this,
an order for its destruction was issued by the Privy Council, shortly
before Claverhouse’s arrival in the district.

The first duty he was called upon to perform was that of supplying the
squad that was to serve as an escort to James Carruthers, the
Stewart-Depute, who had been commissioned to carry out the order. The
dragoons themselves took no part in the actual demolition; but their
presence was necessary, not only to overawe resistance, but also to
compel the ‘four score of countrymen, all fanatics,’ whom Carruthers
brought with him, to pull down the building. ‘The Stewart-Depute,’
Claverhouse reported, ‘performed his part punctually enough. The walls
were thrown down, and timber burnt. So perished the charity of many
ladies.’

In subsequent despatches Claverhouse gives the most minute particulars
as to the manner in which he has carried out his orders for the
apprehension of various persons; and does not spare his comments on the
lack of adequate support in the discharge of his arduous and ungrateful
duties. A point upon which he lays great stress is the insufficiency of
the arrangements made for supplying his men with proper quarters and
with forage for their horses. He was obliged, he said, to let the
dragoons quarter at large; and he was convinced that this was extremely
improper at a time when the Council seemed resolved to proceed
vigorously against the disaffected. He thought it strange, too, that
they who had the honour to serve the King should have to pay more for
hay and straw than would be asked from any stranger. He was determined
for his part, that his troop should not suffer from the neglect or
indifference of the commissioners appointed to treat with him. Though
very unwilling to disoblige any gentleman, if his men ran short, he
would go to any of the commissioners’ lands that were near, and
requisition what was required, offering the current rates in payment.
This, he thought, was a step which he was justified in taking, and he
was ready to defend his conduct if called upon to do so.

Another serious ground for complaint was the want of proper information.
Good intelligence, he said, was the thing most wanted. The outlawed
ministers, men like Welsh of Irongray, were preaching within twenty or
thirty miles, yet nothing could be done for want of spies to bring
timely and trustworthy information concerning their movements. On the
other hand, the conventiclers received regular and speedy knowledge of
any expedition intended against them. There was reason to suppose that
their informants were sometimes the troopers entrusted with orders. Of
the treachery of one of these, who did not deliver till the twentieth a
despatch dated the fifteenth, he was so convinced that, had it not been
for the man’s influential patrons, he would have turned him out of the
troop with infamy, instead of merely putting him under arrest. The
result of such insufficient and unsatisfactory service was well
exemplified in the case of a number of persons whom he had been
instructed to seize in Galloway. He had set out the very night he
received his orders, and had covered forty miles of country. Of those
for whom search was made, only two were apprehended, and that because
they refused to take the same precautions as the rest for their safety.
‘The other two Bailies were fled, and their wives lying above the
clothes in the bed, and great candles lighted, waiting for the coming of
the party, and told them they knew of their coming, and had as good
intelligence as they themselves; and that if the other two were seized
on, it was their own faults, that would not contribute for
intelligence.’

Claverhouse’s complaints produced but slight effect, though they were
repeated until he grew weary of making them. Failing to obtain
satisfaction, he bluntly declared that he would never solicit more, but
that, if the King’s service suffered in consequence, he would let the
blame lie where it should.

About this time, however, an important measure, and one which brought
down upon him the jealous displeasure of the Marquis of Queensberry, who
resented it as an infringement of his rights, was adopted in
Claverhouse’s favour. Even if all the magistrates in the disaffected
districts had been men of unimpeachable loyalty to the Government, the
necessity for obtaining their co-operation would frequently have
hampered and delayed the military authorities. But many of them were
soon discovered to be lukewarm partisans at best; whilst not a few, if
they did not openly side with the conventiclers, aided and abetted them
by a deliberate and studied inactivity. To remedy this, and to give
Claverhouse freer hand, he was, in March 1679, appointed sheriff-depute
of the shires of Dumfries and Wigtown, and also of the stewartries of
Annandale and Kirkcudbright. Andrew Bruce of Earlshall, the lieutenant
of his own troop of horse, was given him as a colleague. They were not,
however, wholly to supersede the sheriffs previously in office, but only
to sit with those judges or to supply them in their absence. Moreover,
their powers were limited to putting the laws into execution only
against withdrawers from the public ordinances, keepers of conventicles,
and such as were guilty of disorderly baptisms and marriages, resetting
and communing with fugitives, and intercommuned persons and vagrant
preachers.

Claverhouse had not been long in the exercise of his twofold duties
before he began to realise that his efforts were far from producing the
desired results. Not only were conventicles as numerous as before, but
there were also signs which convinced him that passive resistance was
not all he would soon have to encounter. In a despatch which he wrote
from Dumfries on the 21st of April 1679, he informed the Earl of
Linlithgow that Mr Welsh was accustoming both ends of the country to
face the King’s force, and certainly intended to break out into an open
rebellion. In view of this, he pointed out that the arms of the militia
in Dumfriesshire as well as in Wigtownshire and Annandale, were in the
hands of the country people, though very disaffected; and that those
taken from the stewartry were in the custody of the town of
Kirkcudbright, the most irregular place in the kingdom. He consequently
suggested that they should be entrusted to his keeping, and also that
his own men should be provided with more suitable weapons, those which
they had got from the Castle being worth nothing.

A few days later, Lord Ross, writing from Lanark, conveyed a similar
warning. He could learn nothing, he said, but of an inclination to rise,
although there were none yet actually in arms. This was on the 2nd of
May. On the 5th he forwarded another despatch in which he had to report
an encounter between a small party of troopers and some peasants of the
district. The soldiers had been sent out to apprehend a man who was
reported to have in his possession some of the ‘new-fashioned arms,’
that is, halberts which were provided with a cleek, or crooked knife,
for the purpose of cutting the dragoons’ bridles, and of which the
manufacture was in itself an indication of what was intended. After
seizing the young fellow, who did not deny that he had been enlisted as
one of those who were to defend the conventicles in arms, the troopers,
instead of returning with their prisoner stabled their horses and fell
a-drinking. Some of the neighbours, availing themselves of the
opportunity, attacked them with forks, and the like, and wounded one of
them ‘very desperately ill.’

The next day Claverhouse also forwarded his report from Dumfries. It
contained, in addition to an account of his own movements, the following
comment on orders which he had just received, and which indicated that
the Earl of Linlithgow was also alive to the dangers of the situation:—

‘My Lord, I have received an order yesterday from your Lordship, which I
do not know how to go about on a sudden, as your Lordship seems to
expect. For I know not what hand to turn to, to find those parties that
are in arms. I shall send out to all quarters, and establish spies; and
shall endeavour to engage them Sunday next, if it be possible. And if I
get them not here, I shall go and visit them in Teviotdale or Carrick;
where they say, they dare look honest men in the face.’

On the 3rd of May, a few days before Lord Ross and Claverhouse drew up
their respective reports, there had happened an event which was destined
to bring matters to an immediate crisis, and which proved the signal for
another, and a far more serious rising than that of 1666. James Sharp,
Archbishop of St Andrews and Primate of Scotland, was murdered on Magus
Muir, by a party of Covenanters.

Of this terrible tragedy, each side has its own account. On the one
hand, there is that which is based on the narrative subsequently drawn
up by Russell, one of the leading actors in it. According to this
version, no premeditation existed on the part of the nine men concerned.
They were in search of William Carmichael, the Sheriff-depute of
Fifeshire, a man who had made himself obnoxious by the unrelenting
severity which he displayed in carrying out the laws against the
Covenanters. Having missed him, they were about to separate, when
information was brought them that Sharp’s carriage was approaching.
Interpreting this into ‘a clear call from God to fall upon him,’ they
there and then resolved ‘to execute the justice of God upon him for the
innocent blood he had shed.’

But if the Archbishop’s murder was not determined upon until the actual
moment when circumstances cast him into the hands of his enemies,
Russell’s account shows that it had been discussed a short time prior to
its perpetration. He states that, on the 11th of April, a meeting was
held to consider what course should be taken with Carmichael to scare
him from his cruel courses; that it was decided to fall upon him at St
Andrews; and that when ‘some objected, what if he should be in the
prelate’s house, what should be done in such a case, all present judged
duty to hang both over the post, especially the Bishop, it being by many
of the Lord’s people and ministers judged a duty long since, not to
suffer such a person to live, who had shed and was shedding so much of
the blood of the saints, and knowing that other worthy Christians had
used means to get him upon the road before.’ He further represents
himself as urging the murder of Sharp, in the course of the hurried
consultation held as the primate’s carriage was approaching, on the
ground that ‘he had before been at several meetings with several godly
men in other places of the kingdom, who not only judged it their duty to
take that wretch’s life, and some others, but had essayed it twice
before.’

Whilst it would appear from this account that no definite plan had been
formed, to be carried out on the 3rd of May, though some of the more
desperate of the Covenanters had come to a general understanding not to
neglect any favourable opportunity ‘to execute the justice of God’ upon
the wretch whom the Lord delivered into their hands, the other version,
accepting the official narrative published immediately after the murder,
asserts a distinct and premeditated purpose on the part of the
assassins. It founds this on the ‘informations’ which were sent from St
Andrews to the Privy Council, and which purported to embody the evidence
of persons alleged to have been in communication with the men who
perpetrated the crime.

In these it was stated that his Grace was waylaid by divers parties and
could not escape, whether he went straight to St Andrews or repaired to
his house at Scotscraig; that three days before the murder, several of
those concerned in it met in Magask, at the house of John Miller, one of
the witnesses, where they concerted the business; that the next night
they put up with Robert Black, another witness, whose wife was a great
instigator of the deed; that at parting, when one of them kissed her,
the woman prayed that God might bless and prosper them, adding, ‘if long
Leslie’—the episcopalian minister of Ceres—‘be with him, lay him on the
green also,’ to which the favoured individual whom she more particularly
addressed, holding up his hand, answered, ‘this is the hand that shall
do it’; and that further, on the morning of the 3rd of May, the nine men
followed the coach for a considerable distance, intending to attack it,
first on the heath to the south of Ceres, and then at the double dykes
of Magask, though owing to various circumstances, duly detailed, they
did not get what seemed an available opportunity of doing so until it
reached Magus Muir.

Standing thus, the question of premeditation gave rise to a long and
acrimonious controversy in which recriminations and invectives were
freely bandied, and which, being characterised, on either side, rather
by a determination to uphold a preconceived opinion than by a desire to
arrive at the plain truth, naturally led to no satisfactory conclusion.

The murder of Archbishop Sharp was followed by further proclamations
against the Covenanters, to whom, as a body, the Government attributed
the crime; and the episcopalian agents throughout the country, actuated
partly by a desire for revenge, partly by fear for their own safety,
displayed increased zeal in carrying out the repressive enactments of
the Privy Council. This was met on the other side with corresponding
measures for self-defence. Even before the tragedy at Magus Muir, a
determination to repel force by force had been noted and reported, and
conventicles had ceased to be merely peaceful gatherings of unarmed men.
They now began to assume the appearance of military camps, to which the
numerous smaller congregations that joined together for mutual
protection gave formidable proportions.

That with a view to bringing matters to an issue and saving themselves
by a general rising, Balfour and the other outlaws who had fled as he
had, for protection, to the west, after the murder of the primate, were
further instrumental in stirring up a spirit of rebellion, scarcely
admits of doubt, and is, indeed, conceded by Wodrow. But it is probable
that they only helped to precipitate what would not long have been
delayed under any circumstances, and what Robert Hamilton, brother to
the Laird of Preston, and others who, like him, were violently opposed
to the indulgence, had for some time been working to bring about.
Towards the end of May, these men put forth a manifesto, in which they
declared it to be their duty ‘to publish to the world their testimony to
the truth and cause which they owned, and against the sins and
defections of the times.’

In accordance with this proclamation, they decided that a party of armed
men should go to some public place and burn the Acts of Parliament
passed since 1660 ‘for overturning the whole covenanted reformation.’
Amongst these was included ‘that presumptuous Act for imposing an holy
anniversary day to be kept yearly upon the 29th of May, as a day of
rejoicing and thanksgiving for the King’s birth and restoration,’
whereby the appointers had ‘intruded upon the Lord’s prerogative,’ and
the observers had ‘given the glory to the creature that is due to our
Lord Redeemer, and rejoiced over the setting up an usurping power to the
destroying the interest of Christ in the land.’

The 29th of May was at hand; and it was thought fitting that the
obnoxious anniversary should witness the public protest and
demonstration. Glasgow was the place originally chosen for the
‘declaration and testimony of some of the true Presbyterian party in
Scotland,’ and for burning ‘the sinful and unlawful Acts’ passed against
them, just as their own ‘sacred covenant’ had been burned. But a
considerable number of the royal troops previously quartered in Lanark
having been sent up to the city, it was thought prudent to go no nearer
to it than Rutherglen. A party of the irreconcilables accordingly
marched to the royal burgh. After burning the hated Acts in the bonfire
with which the day was being solemnised, they put it out as a further
protest against the celebration, publicly read their own declaration and
testimony, and affixed a copy of it to the Market Cross.

On that same Thursday, Claverhouse, now at Falkirk, sent the Earl of
Linlithgow a despatch containing the following paragraph:—

‘I am certainly informed there is a resolution taken among the Whigs,
that eighteen parishes shall meet Sunday next in Kilbride Moor, within
four miles of Glasgow. I resolve, though I do not believe it, to
advertise my Lord Ross, so that with our joint force we may attack them.
They say they are to part no more, but keep in a body.’

At once taking measure to carry out the plan thus indicated, Claverhouse
set out for Glasgow. On his way he received information of the
proceedings at Rutherglen Cross, and thought it his duty to proceed,
with his men, to the scene of the demonstration. The sequel is told in
the next despatch to the Earl of Linlithgow:—

                                           ‘GLASGOW, _June 1st, 1679_.

‘MY LORD,—Upon Saturday’s night, when my Lord Rosse came into this
place, I marched out; and because of the insolency that had been done
two nights before at Ruglen, I went thither, and inquired for the names.
So soon as I got them, I sent out parties to seize on them, and found
not only three of those rogues, but also an intercommuned minister
called King. We had them at Strathaven about six in the morning
yesterday; and resolving to convey them to this, I thought that we might
make a little tour, to see if we could fall upon a conventicle; which we
did little to our advantage. For, when we came in sight of them, we
found them drawn up in battle, upon a most advantageous ground, to which
there was no coming but through mosses and lakes.

‘They were not preaching, and had got away all their women and children.
They consisted of four battalions of foot and all well armed with fusils
and pitchforks, and three squadrons of horse. We sent both parties to
skirmish; they of foot and we of dragoons: They run for it, and sent
down a battalion of foot against them: We sent threescore of dragoons,
who made them run shamefully: But, in the end (they perceiving that we
had the better of them in skirmish), they resolved a general engagement,
and immediately advanced with their foot, the horse following: They came
through the loch, and the greatest body of all made up against my troop:
We kept our fire till they were within ten pace of us: They received our
fire, and advanced to shock: The first they gave us brought down the
Cornet Mr Crafford and Captain Bleith: Besides that, with a pitchfork,
they made such an opening in my sorrel horse’s belly, that his guts hung
out half an ell; and yet he carried me off a mile; which so discouraged
our men, that they sustained not the shock, but fell into disorder.

‘Their horse took the occasion of this, and pursued us so hotly that we
got no time to rally. I saved the standards; but lost on the place about
eight or ten men, besides wounded. But the dragoons lost many more. They
are not come easily off on the other side, for I saw several of them
fall before we came to the shock. I made the best retreat the confusion
of our people would suffer; and am now laying with my Lord Ross. The
town of Strathaven drew up as we was making our retreat, and thought of
a pass to cut us off; but we took courage and fell on them, made them
run, leaving a dozen on the place. What these rogues will do, yet I know
not; but the country was flocking to them from all hands. This may be
counted the beginning of the rebellion, in my opinion.—I am, my Lord,
your Lordship’s most humble servant,

                                                          J. GRAHAME.’

‘My Lord, I am so wearied, and so sleepy, that I have written this very
confusedly.’

As to the respective numbers of the combatants engaged in the battle of
Drumclog, as it is commonly called from the place near which it was
fought, and which Claverhouse forgot to name in his despatch, it is
difficult to arrive at a definite conclusion. Russell, who was in the
ranks of the Covenanters, sets down the ‘honest party’ as consisting of
‘about fifty horse and about as many guns, and about a hundred and fifty
with forks and halberts’; but that is not consistent with the details
which he himself gives of the fighting. Sir Walter Scott, who has been
followed by most modern writers, computes the forces opposed to
Claverhouse at about one thousand, horse and foot, and the regulars at
no more than two hundred and fifty. But even this estimate of the latter
is probably excessive. In a letter written from Mugdock on the 30th of
May, the Marquis of Montrose informed the Earl of Menteith that he had
that day met with Claverhouse, who had been sent ‘with his troop and a
troop of dragoons, to guard some arms and ammunition transported to this
country.’ That may be taken to mean an escort of about two hundred men.
But Captain Creichton, who was then serving as a lieutenant under
Claverhouse, states that he, with Captain Stewart’s troop of dragoons
remained in Glasgow, when his commanding officer set out to enquire into
the Rutherglen demonstration; and he adds that those who fought at
Drumclog were about one hundred and eighty strong. Apart from the fact
that there is no reason for doubting his veracity, the number which he
gives exactly agrees with that which may be deduced from the casual
reference in Montrose’s letter; and there is, consequently, good reason
for accepting it as correct. With regard to the insurgents, it is less
easy to make even an approximative calculation. It is generally
admitted, however, that they greatly outnumbered their adversaries; and
this seems implied by the despatch which Lord Ross forwarded to the
commander-in-chief immediately after Claverhouse’s return to Glasgow on
the memorable Sunday. ‘Be assured,’ he wrote to the Earl, ‘if they were
ten to one, if you command it, we shall be through them if we can.’
Moreover, it is difficult to believe that the Covenanting forces could
have increased to some six thousand within a week after Drumclog, as
Hamilton, one of their leaders, boasts they did, if, on the 1st of June,
they numbered no more than the mere handful of Russell’s estimate.

The passage in which Claverhouse mentions the officers killed in the
engagement has always been read as referring to only two; and it has
caused some surprise that he should have omitted to report the loss of a
third, about whose death there cannot be a doubt, and who, moreover, was
a kinsman of his—Cornet Graham. Captain Creichton who, it must be
remembered, is speaking of a comrade, and whose words alone might be
looked upon as absolutely authoritative, states, in his Memoirs, that
‘the rebels finding the cornet’s body, and supposing it to be that of
Clavers, because the name of Graham was wrought in the shirt-neck,
treated it with the utmost inhumanity; cutting off the nose, picking out
the eyes, and stabbing it through in a hundred places.’ Andrew Guild, in
his Latin poem, ‘Bellum Bothwellianum,’ records the same barbarity.
‘They laid savage hands on him,’ he says, ‘and mutilated his manly face;
having cut off his tongue, his ears, and his hands, they scattered his
brains over the rough stones.’ In an old ballad on the Battle of Loudon
Hill—another name for the fight of Drumclog—Claverhouse’s cornet and
kinsman is twice made to foretell his own death:—

                   ‘I ken I’ll ne’er come back again,
                     An’ mony mae as weel as me.’

In another Covenanting poem, ‘The Battle of Bothwell Brig,’ Claverhouse
is represented as avenging young Graham’s death on the fugitives:—

                ‘Haud up your hand,’ then Monmouth said;
                   ‘Gie quarters to these men for me;’
                 But bloody Claver’se swore an oath,
                   His kinsman death avenged should be.

Russell, too, states that Graham was killed, and refers to the
mutilation of the lifeless body, though he accounts for it in a very
remarkable way. The passage is as follows: ‘One Graham, that same
morning in Strevan his dog was leaping upon him for meat, and he said he
would give him none, but he should fill himself of the Whig’s blood and
flesh by night; but instead of that, his dog was seen eating his own
thrapple (for he was killed), by several; and particularly James Russell
after the pursuit, coming back to his dear friend James Dungel, who was
severely wounded, asked at some women and men who it was; they told that
it was that Graham, and afterwards they got certain word what he said to
his dog in Strevan.’

In the face of such evidence, it is hardly possible to deny the actual
fact of Graham’s death. Neither can it be looked upon as probable that
his kinsman had no knowledge of it when he wrote his despatch. If,
therefore, Claverhouse really did omit to report it amongst the other
casualties, his silence is difficult to understand. But, it must be
pointed out that the whole question may, after all, resolve itself into
one of punctuation. The insertion of a single comma makes three persons
of ‘the Cornet, Mr Crafford and Captain Bleith.’ A matter so utterly
trifling in itself would not be deserving of notice if some of
Claverhouse’s irrational detractors, no less than some of his irrational
apologists, had not magnified it out of all proportion.

Throughout the engagement Claverhouse made himself conspicuous by his
courage, and was exposed to special danger because of the attention
which he attracted. One of the Covenanters, a Strathaven man, was
subsequently wont to relate that he had concealed himself behind a
hillock and fired eight shots at the leader of the royal troops; and it
may be assumed that, in those days, want of skill on the part of the
marksman was not considered the cause of his failure. It is also stated
by De Foe, that William Cleland, who, in later years distinguished
himself as a soldier and rose to be Lieutenant-Colonel of the Cameronian
regiment, actually succeeded in catching hold of Claverhouse’s bridle,
and that the latter had a narrow escape of being taken prisoner. Thanks
to his coolness and presence of mind no less than to his good fortune,
he left the field unscathed, but only when the discomfiture of his men
had become so complete as to render any effort to rally them wholly
hopeless. Like them, he galloped back to Strathaven; and local tradition
still points out the spot where he shot down one of the townsmen who
endeavoured to stay him in his flight. Some accounts relate that on his
road he had to pass the house where the outlawed minister King had been
left under guard, when the soldiers set out for Drumclog, and that, as
he did so, his prisoner of the morning ironically invited him to remain
for the afternoon sermon.

Before the engagement, Hamilton, who had assumed the command of the
Covenanters, gave out the word that no quarter should be given. In spite
of this, five out of seven men who had been captured, were granted their
lives and allowed to depart. ‘This,’ writes a contemporary, ‘greatly
grieved Mr Hamilton, when he saw some of Babel’s brats spared, after
that the Lord had delivered them into their hands, that they might dash
them against the stones.’ When he returned from the pursuit of the
routed royalists, a discussion had arisen as to the fate of the two
remaining prisoners. Hamilton settled it, in so far at least as one of
them was concerned, by killing him on the spot. ‘None could blame me,’
he wrote in a letter of justification published five or six years later,
‘to decide the controversy; and I bless the Lord for it to this day.’

Wodrow gives it as ‘the opinion of not a few,’ that if the ‘country men’
had pushed their success, followed their chase, and gone straight to
Glasgow that day, they might easily, with the help of the reinforcements
that would have come to them on the road, as soon as their success
became known, have driven out the garrison, ‘and very soon made a great
appearance.’

Without entering into a futile discussion as to what might have
happened, it may be pointed out that the actual circumstances of the
case scarcely justify so sanguine a view. When Claverhouse and his
troopers rode back to Glasgow, they had no certainty that, in the flush
of victory, the Covenanters would not continue the pursuit right up to
the city, and endeavour to take the fullest advantage of their success.
Indeed, the conduct of the royalist officers rather seems to imply that
they recognised the possibility of such a course on the part of the
enemy, for they caused half the men to stand to their arms all night.
If, therefore, the few horsemen on the Covenanting side, who alone could
possibly perform the distance of nearly thirty miles before dusk, even
on a long June day, had ventured on an attack, it may be believed that
they would have met with a reception calculated to make them regret
their rashness.

There is no occasion to assume that any reason but that dictated by
common prudence induced the foremost of the pursuers to halt at a
considerable distance from Glasgow, in order to await the coming of the
unmounted men, with such recruits as they might have been able to gather
on the way. Statements differ as to the precise place where the greater
number of them determined to stay for the night; but Wodrow is probably
accurate in saying that they did not press further forward than
Hamilton, and that it was from that town they resumed their march on the
morrow.

In the meantime Lord Ross and his officers, Major White and Captain
Graham, had not been idle. With carts, timber, and such other materials
as could be hastily requisitioned, they erected four barricades in the
centre of the city, and posted their men behind them to await the
expected onset. At daybreak next morning, Creichton, with six dragoons,
was sent out to take up his station at a small house which commanded a
view of the two approaches to Glasgow, so that he might at once be able
to report which of them the Covenanters decided to take. About ten
o’clock he saw them advance to the place which he had been instructed to
watch, and there, by a most injudicious manœuvre, divide themselves into
two bodies. Of these, one, under Hamilton, marched towards the
Gallowgate; whilst the other took a more circuitous road ‘by the
Wyndhead and College.’ There may have been a vague intention of taking
the military between two fires, but the movements were ill concerted,
and resulted in two disjointed attacks, which were both easily repulsed.

As Creichton returned to inform Claverhouse of the enemy’s dispositions,
he was followed close to the heels by that detachment which was making
for the Gallowgate bridge. When they reached the barricade which had
been raised on that side, they were received by Claverhouse and his men
with a volley which killed several, and threw the remainder into
confusion. The soldiers following up this first advantage, and jumping
over the carts that formed the obstruction, then charged the wavering
Covenanters, and drove them out of the town. They had time to do this
and to return to their original position before those of the ‘country
men,’ who had marched round by the north, came down by the High Church
and the College. These were allowed to come within pistol shot; and when
the soldiers fired into them at such close range, it was with the same
effect as before.

The second party was also forced to fall back. They appear to have done
so in better order than Hamilton’s men, for they were able to rally in a
field behind the High Church, where they remained till five o’clock in
the afternoon, unmolested by the soldiers, from whose sight they were
concealed, and who, not knowing when they might again be attacked, and
fully aware that the majority of the citizens were hostile to them,
contented themselves with remaining on the defensive. Prudence prevailed
with the Covenanters too, and without making any further attempt to
carry the barricade, they retired to Toll Cross Moor. Finding that
Claverhouse, who had been informed of the movement, had come out after
them, they continued their retreat as far as Hamilton, protecting their
rear so effectively with their cavalry, that Graham deemed it advisable
to fall back upon Glasgow.

At Drumclog, and subsequently at Glasgow, unforeseen circumstances had
imposed a leading and conspicuous part on Claverhouse. The measures
which the Government was now called on to adopt for the purpose of
quelling an insurrection of formidable proportions, were necessarily of
such magnitude, that he naturally fell back to his own subordinate
position, that of a captain of dragoons. To represent him as having
incurred the displeasure of his chiefs, and as having been superseded in
consequence, is contrary to fact, and wholly unfair to him. Proof is at
hand that no blame was laid upon him for the defeat of Drumclog. In a
letter written by the Council to Lauderdale on the 3rd of June, it was
admitted that he had been overpowered by numbers; and six days later,
through Lauderdale, the Chancellor conveyed the King’s thanks to Lord
Ross and to Claverhouse for their great diligence and care, and his
assurance that he would be very mindful of their conduct on all
occasions.

Creichton, who did not supply Swift with the materials for his memoirs
till many years later, and who, therefore, cannot always be implicitly
depended upon as regards details of minor importance, states that the
morning after the attack ‘the Government sent orders to Claverhouse to
leave Glasgow and march to Stirling.’ But Wodrow, who founds his
narrative on letters which he met with in the Council Registers, and
which he duly quotes, makes no special reference to Claverhouse. He
simply records the fact that ‘my Lord Ross and the rest of the officers
of the King’s forces, finding the gathering of the country people
growing, and expecting every day considerable numbers to be added to
them, and not reckoning themselves able to stand out a second attack,
found it advisable to retire eastward.’ He indicates, day by day, the
marching and counter-marching of the royalist troops, and narrates all
the steps that were taken to bring together a body sufficiently strong
to disperse the Covenanting insurgents.

From all this it is evident that there was no room for independent
action on the part of Claverhouse from the time of his leaving the West
to that of his return to it with the Duke of Monmouth, who had been
appointed Commander-in-Chief, and who, on the 22nd of June, encountered
the Covenanters at Bothwell Bridge. In the course of the engagement
which followed, no opportunity was given him of playing a prominent
part. Sir Walter Scott asserts on two different occasions, that the
horse were commanded by Claverhouse; and, in his well-known description
of the battle, he adds the detail that ‘the voice of Claverhouse was
heard, even above the din of conflict, exclaiming to the soldiers—“Kill,
kill—no quarter—think of Richard Grahame.”’ The historical truth is,
that Claverhouse was simply a captain of horse, as were also the Earl of
Home, and the Earl of Airlie, and that he was himself under the command
of his kinsman Montrose, Colonel of the Horse Guards. Beyond stating
this no accounts of the encounter make any reference to him. In so far
as he is personally concerned there is no reason for recalling the
incident of the fight which effectively put an end to the Covenanting
insurrection. His presence at it is the single, bare fact that requires
mention.

There are no official documents extant to enable us to follow
Claverhouse’s movements during the period immediately subsequent to
Bothwell Bridge. All that has been stated with regard to his doings at
this time rests on the authority of Wodrow, who himself admits, though
not, it is true, for the purpose of questioning their accuracy, that the
traditions embodied in his narrative were vague and uncertain.
‘Everybody must see,’ he says, ‘that it is now almost impossible to give
any tolerable view to the reader, of the spulies, depredations and
violences committed by the soldiers, under such officers as at that time
they had. Multitudes of instances, once flagrant are now at this
distance lost; not a few of them were never distinctly known, being
committed in such circumstances as upon the matter buried them.’

The order of the Privy Council, in accordance with which Claverhouse
again proceeded to the Western Counties, to begin his ‘circuit,’ as
Wodrow styles it, a few days after the engagement which had proved so
disastrous to the Covenanters has disappeared. It may, however, be
assumed that the powers conferred upon him were wide; and there is no
reason to suppose that he was instructed to deal leniently with those
who had been in arms against the royal troops. Although no proof can be
adduced in support of Wodrow’s statement, that Claverhouse ‘could never
forgive the baffle he met with at Drumclog, and resolved to be avenged
for it’; and although it would be rash to accept, except on the very
strongest evidence, the further assertion that he was one of those who
solicited Monmouth ‘to ruin the West Country, and burn Glasgow, Hamilton
and Strathaven, to kill the prisoners, at least, considerable numbers of
them, and to permit the army to plunder the western shires, who, they
alleged, had countenanced the rebels,’ the principles which he
unhesitatingly set forth in subsequent despatches, and in accordance
with which in the following July, he consented to go to London, as an
envoy from the Privy Council, to represent to the King the unwisdom of
adopting Monmouth’s more conciliatory policy, and of granting the
Covenanters favours, ‘to soften the clamour that was made upon the Duke
of Lauderdale’s conduct,’ quite justify the assumption that he fully
approved of severe measures against the actual rebels, and felt neither
scruple nor compunction in carrying them out.

But, when this has been admitted, it is only fair to bear in mind that
there were others besides Claverhouse, and ‘more bloody and barbarous
than he,’ engaged in the odious work of hunting down and punishing the
Bothwell outlaws, and preventing their friends and sympathisers from
harbouring and concealing them. If, instead of indiscriminately
attributing to him every alleged act of cruelty and rapacity, as
partisan writers have not unfrequently done, care had been taken to
ascertain whether he was even indirectly concerned in it, and whether he
was so circumstanced that he could prevent the perpetration of it, there
can be but little doubt that the list of atrocities imputed to him at
this date would assume less terrible proportions.

Nor should it be forgotten that many of the instances of severity
recorded against Claverhouse, harsh as they may have been, did not go
beyond the letter, or, indeed, the spirit of the law. It was his duty to
yield implicit obedience to the commands of his superiors. To condemn in
him that loyalty which has always been looked upon as the essential
quality of a soldier, and to hold him personally responsible for
carrying out with all the zeal and energy of his nature the policy of
the Government to which he owed allegiance, is inconsistent and unjust.

To object that, even as a soldier, he was not bound to support a cause
which he knew to be bad, is to ignore what his very enemies
recognised—that he was no reckless and ungodly persecutor of religion,
but, on the contrary, a man of deep convictions and of strict, almost
puritanical, practice. No estimate of his character can be adequate and
impartial, which does not take into account the essential fact that he
was as sincere—as fanatical, if the word be insisted upon—as those whom
he treated as rebels.

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————



  IV

  REJECTED ADDRESSES


THERE is a section of the extant correspondence of Claverhouse which
opens about the end of 1678 and extends through several years, and which
stands in remarkable contrast with the military despatches of the same
period. It consists of letters addressed to William Graham, eighth and
last Earl of Menteith. That nobleman, though twice married, had no
issue. His nearest male relative was his uncle, Sir James Graham, whose
only children were two daughters. With a view to settling the succession
to the earldom, Menteith favoured a matrimonial alliance between Lady
Helen, the younger of them, and some member of the Graham family. Sir
William Fraser, who discovered and published the letters, is of opinion
that the first thoughts of such a scheme were suggested to the Earl by
his kinsman, John Graham of Claverhouse. The following passage in the
earliest letter of the extant collection, though obviously not the first
of the correspondence, seems to bear out this view:—

‘My Lord, as your friend and servant, I take the liberty to give you an
advice, which is, that there can be nothing so advantageous for you as
to settle your affairs, and establish your successor in time, for it can
do you no prejudice if you come to have any children of your own body,
and will be much for your quiet and comfort if you have none; for
whoever you make choice of will be in place of a son. You know that
Julius Cæsar had no need to regret the want of issue, having adopted
Augustus, for he knew certainly that he had secured to himself a
thankful and useful friend, as well as a wise successor, neither of
which he could have promised himself by having children; for nobody
knows whether they beget wise men or fools, besides that the ties of
gratitude and friendship are stronger in generous minds than those of
nature.

‘My Lord, I may, without being suspected of self-interest, offer some
reasons to renew to you the advantage of that resolution you have taken
in my favour. First, that there is nobody of my estate and of your name
would confound their family in yours, and nobody in the name is able to
give you those conditions, nor bring in to you so considerable an
interest, besides that I will easier obtain your cousin german than any
other, which brings in a great interest, and continues your family in
the right line. And then, my Lord, I may say without vanity that I will
do your family no dishonour, seeing there is nobody you could make
choice of has toiled so much for honour as I have done, though it has
been my misfortune to attain but a small share. And then, my Lord, for
my respect and gratitude to your Lordship, you will have no reason to
doubt of it, if you consider with what a frankness and easiness I live
with all my friends.

‘But, my Lord, after all this, if these reasons cannot persuade you that
it is your interest to pitch on me, and if you can think on anybody that
can be more proper to restore your family and contribute more to your
comfort and satisfaction, make frankly choice of him, for without that
you can never think of getting anything done for your family: it will be
for your honour that the world see you never had thoughts of alienating
your family, then they will look no more upon you as the last of so
noble a race, but will consider you rather as the restorer than the
ruiner, and your family rather as rising than falling; which, as it will
be the joy of our friends and relations, so it will be the confusion of
our enemies.’

Claverhouse’s proposal found favour with the Earl of Menteith. He wrote
a very earnest letter to his ‘much honorrd Unkle,’ who resided in
Ireland; and formally made an offer of marriage in Claverhouse’s name.
He described the ‘noble young gentleman’ in glowing terms. He was, the
Earl said, ‘exceeding well accomplished with nature’s gifts,’—as much so
as any he knew. ‘All that is noble and virtuous’ might be seen in him;
and as a further and not inconsiderable recommendation, it was added
that he had ‘a free estate upwards of six hundred pound sterling yearly
of good payable rent, near by Dundee,’ and also that he was ‘captain of
the standing troops of horse in this kingdom,’ which was ‘very
considerable.’ To crown all this, he was a Graham; and it would be ‘a
singular happiness’ to the family to form an alliance with ‘such a
gentleman as he.’ To persuasion the matchmaking Earl added something not
very far removed from a menace, and concluded his letter with the
following vigorous words:—

‘For if ye give and bestow that young lady on any other person bot he, I
sall never consent to the mariag unless it be Cleverus, whom I say again
is the only person of all I know fitest and most proper to marie yor
daughter.’

Claverhouse, notwithstanding the important matters that were engaging
his attention at the time, was willing to go over to Ireland to
prosecute his suit in person. He would not, however, presume to do so
until a line from Sir James and his lady brought the assurance that he
should be welcome. In the meantime, he sent a messenger, probably with
letters of his own, whose delay in returning with an answer called forth
the following rather desponding letter, which bears date, Dumfries,
February 14th, 1679:—

‘MY DEAR LORD,—I have delayed so long to give a return to your kind
letter, expecting that my man should return from Ireland, that I might
have given your Lordship an account of the state of my affairs; but now
that I begin to despair of his coming, as I do of the success of that
voyage, I would not lose this occasion of assuring your Lordship of my
respects. I have received letters from my Lord Montrose, who gives me
ill news, that an Irish gentleman has carried away the Lady, but it is
not certain, though it be too probable. However, my Lord, it shall never
alter the course of our friendship, for if, my Lord, either in history
or romance, either in nature or the fancy, there be any stronger names
or rarer examples of friendship than these your Lordship does me the
honour to name in your kind and generous letter, I am resolved not only
to equal them, but surpass them, in the sincerity and firmness of the
friendship I have resolved for your Lordship. But, my Lord, seeing it
will, I hope, be more easy for me to prove it by good deeds in time to
come, than by fine words to express it at present, I shall refer myself
to time and occasion, by which your Lordship will be fully informed to
what height I am, my dear Lord, your Lordship’s most faithful and most
obedient servant,

                                                          J. GRAHAME.’

Claverhouse’s fears were not without foundation. His offer was declined.
As the letter conveying Sir James’s refusal has not been preserved, it
is impossible to learn what reasons he assigned for it. The first
intimation to be found of his adverse decision occurs in a letter
addressed to him, in the following November, by his nephew, who again
approached him with a matrimonial scheme, this time in favour of
Montrose. The terms of the wholly unromantic proposal were, that the
Earldom of Menteith should, failing heirs male, be entailed upon the
young Marquis, and that he, in return, should marry Helen Graham, and
should allow the Earl a life annuity of a hundred and fifty pounds.
Matters went so far that the necessary charter had been submitted to the
King for signature, when Montrose broke off his engagement under
circumstances which Claverhouse details in an indignant letter addressed
from London to the Earl of Menteith, on the 3rd of July 1680:—

‘MY LORD,—Whatever were the motives obliged your Lordship to change your
resolutions to me, yet I shall never forget the obligations that I have
to you for the good designs you once had for me, both before my Lord
Montrose came in the play and after, in your endeavouring to make me
next in the entail, especially in so generous a way as to do it without
so much as letting me know it. All the return I am able to make is to
offer you, in that frank and sincere way that I am known to deal with
all the world, all the service that I am capable of, were it with the
hazard or even loss of my life and fortune. Nor can I do less without
ingratitude, considering what a generous and disinterested friendship I
have found in your Lordship.

‘And your Lordship will do me, I hope, the justice to acknowledge that I
have shown all the respect to your Lordship and my Lord Montrose, in
your second resolutions, that can be imagined. I never inquired at your
Lordship nor him the reason of the change, nor did I complain of hard
usage. Though really, my Lord, I must beg your Lordship’s pardon to say
that it was extremely grievous to me to be turned out of the business,
after your Lordship and my Lord Montrose had engaged me in it, and had
written to Ireland in my favour; and the thing that troubled me most was
that I feared your Lordship had more esteem for my Lord Montrose than
me, for you could have no other motive, for I am sure you have more
sense than to think the offers he made you more advantageous for the
standing of your family than those we were on.

‘Sir James and I together would have bought in all the lands ever
belonged to your predecessors, of which you would have been as much
master as of those you are now in possession; and I am sorry to see so
much trust in your Lordship to my Lord Montrose so ill-rewarded. If you
had continued your resolutions to me, your Lordship would not have been
thus in danger to have your estate rent from your family; my Lord
Montrose would not have lost his reputation, as I am sorry to see he has
done; Sir James would not have had so sensible an affront put upon them,
if they had not refused me, and I would have been, by your Lordship’s
favour, this day as happy as I could wish. But, my Lord, we must all
submit to the pleasure of God Almighty without murmuring, knowing that
everybody will have their lot.

‘My Lord, fearing I may be misrepresented to your Lordship, I think it
my duty to acquaint your Lordship with my carriage since I came hither,
in relation to those affairs. So soon as I came, I told Sir James how
much he was obliged to you, and how sincere your designs were for the
standing of your family; withal I told him that my Lord Montrose was
certainly engaged to you to marry his daughter, but that from good hands
I had reason to suspect he had no design to perform it; and indeed my
Lord Montrose seemed to make no address there at all in the beginning,
but hearing that I went sometimes there, he feared that I might get an
interest with the father, for the daughter never appeared, so observant
they were to my Lord Montrose, and he thought that if I should come to
make any friendship there, that when he came to be discovered I might
come to be acceptable, and that your Lordship might turn the tables upon
him. Wherefore he went there and entered in terms to amuse them till I
should be gone, for then I was thinking every day of going away, and had
been gone, had I not fallen sick. He continued thus, making them formal
visits, and talking of the terms, till the time that your signature
should pass; but when it came to the King’s hand it was stopped upon the
account of the title.

‘My Lord Montrose who, during all this time had never told me anything
of these affairs, nor almost had never spoken to me, by Drumeller and
others, let me know that our differences proceeded from mistakes, and
that if we met we might come to understand one another, upon which I
went to him. After I had satisfied him of some things he complained of,
he told me that the title was stopped, and asked me if I had no hand in
it; for he thought it could be no other way, seeing Sir James concurred.
I assured him T had not meddled in it, as before God, I had not. So he
told me he would settle the title on me, if I would assist him in the
passing of it. I told him that I had never any mind for the title out of
the blood. He answered me, I might have Sir James’s daughter and all. So
I asked him how that could be. He told me he had no design there, and
that to secure me the more, he had given commission to speak to my Lady
Rothes about her daughter, and she had received it kindly. I asked how
he would come off. He said upon their not performing the terms, and
offered to serve me in it, which I refused, and would not concur. He
thought to make me serve him in his designs, and break me with Sir James
and his Lady: for he went and insinuated to them as if I had a design
upon their daughter, and was carrying it on under hand. So soon as I
heard this, I went and told my Lady Graham all. My Lord Montrose came
there next day and denied it. However, they went to Windsor and secured
the signature, but it was already done. They have not used me as I
deserved at their hands, but my design is not to complain of them, and
they had reason to trust entirely one whom your Lordship had so strongly
recommended. After all came to all, that Sir James offered to perform
all the conditions my Lord Montrose required, he knew not what to say,
and so, being ashamed of his carriage, went away without taking leave of
them; which was to finish his tricks with contempt.

‘This is, my Lord, in as few words as I can, the most substantial part
of that story. My Lord Montrose and some of his friends endeavoured to
ruin that young lady’s reputation to get an excuse for his carriage. But
I made them quickly quit those designs, for there was no shadow of
ground for it. And I must say she has suffered a great deal to comply
with your Lordship’s designs for her; and truly, my Lord, if you knew
her, you would think she deserved all, and would think strange my Lord
Montrose should have neglected her.

‘My Lord, I know you want not the best advice of the nation, yet I think
it not amiss to tell you that it is the opinion of everybody that you
may recover your estate, and that you ought to come and make your case
known to the King and Duke. Your family is as considerable as Caithness
or Maclean, in whose standing they concern themselves highly. My Lord,
you would by this means recover your affairs; you would see your cousin;
and you and Sir James would understand one another, and take right
measures for the standing of your family. If you let your title stand in
the heirs male, your family must of necessity perish, seeing in all
appearance you will outlive Sir James, and then it would come to the
next brother, who has neither heirs nor estate, so that your only way
will be to transfer the title to that young lady, and get the father and
mother to give you the disposing of her. The Duke assures me, that if my
Lord Montrose would have married her, the title should have passed, as
being in the blood, and that it may be done for anybody who shall marry
her with your consent.

‘My Lord, if I thought your Lordship were to come up, I would wait to do
you service; for your uncle is old and infirm. My Lord, I hope you will
pardon this long letter, seeing it is concerning a business touches you
so near, and that of a long time I have not had the happiness to
entertain your Lordship. Time will show your Lordship who deserves best
your friendship.

‘My Lord, things fly very high here; the indictments appear frequently
against the honest Duke, and I am feared these things must break out. I
am sorry for it; but I know you, impatient of the desire of doing great
things, will rejoice at this. Assure yourself, if ever there be
barricades again in Glasgow, you shall not want a call; and, my Lord, I
bespeak an employment under you, which is to be your lieutenant-general,
and I will assure you we will make the world talk of us. And, therefore,
provide me trews, as you promised, and a good blue bonnet, and I will
assure you there shall be no trews trustier than mine.

‘My Lord, despond not for this disappointment, but show resolution in
all you do. When my affairs go wrong, I remember that saying of Lucan,
“Tam mala Pompeii quam prospera mundus adoret.” One has occasion to show
their vigour after a wrong step to make a nimble recovery. You have done
nothing amiss, but trusted too much to honour, and thought all the world
held it as sacred as you do.

‘My dear Lord, I hope you will do me the honour to let me hear from you,
for if there be nothing for your service here I will be in Scotland
immediately, for now I am pretty well recovered. I know my Lord Montrose
will endeavour to misrepresent me to your Lordship, but I hope he has
forfeited his credit with you, and anything he says to you is certainly
to abuse you. My Lord, I have both at home and abroad sustained the
character of an honest and frank man, and defy the world to reproach me
of anything. So, my Lord, as I have never failed in my respect to your
Lordship, I hope you will continue that friendship for me which I have
so much ambitioned. When I have the honour to see you I will say more of
my inclination to serve you. I will beg the favour of a line with the
first post.

‘I am, my Lord, your Lordship’s most faithful and humble servant,

                                                           J. GRAHAME.

‘Excuse this scribbling, for I am in haste, going to Windsor, though I
write two sheets.’

This long letter was followed at short intervals, by others to the same
effect, full of protestations on the part of Claverhouse of his desire
to serve the Earl. It would appear, however, that Menteith was not fully
satisfied as to his correspondent’s sincerity and disinterestedness. No
direct reply to the latter’s denunciation of Montrose has been
preserved; but there is a communication addressed to the young Marquis
himself, in which the Earl expresses himself very strongly and very
plainly with regard to the ‘malicious letters’ too often written to him,
and in which he assures him that his generous actings and noble
endeavours for the standing and good of the Menteith family, vindicate
to the world his Lordship’s honour and reputation from the false and
unjust aspersions that some unworthy and seditious persons, though they
were of no mean quality, would make all men believe.

It is true that the Earl of Menteith himself had good reason for wishing
to conciliate Montrose. He was not without hope that the Marquis would
‘effectuate a speedy and right course and method for the relieving of
the pressing debts of his poor, though ancient, family.’ Moreover, he
had a special favour to beg, and one which illustrates how greatly
fallen from its high estate the noble house of Menteith really was. The
wording and the spelling of the letter which contained it are scarcely
less remarkable than the request itself.

‘MY DEIR LORD,—After cerious consideration with myself, I thinck most
fiting and proper for me that I com to Edinburgh, God willing, agane the
siting of the Parliment, the twenti-awght of the nixt month. In ceass
that I should stay from the Parliment, his Royall Hyghnes might tak
exceptiones, and be offended at me if I ware not at the doune sitting
thairoff, and possablie might doe me much hearme in that bussines your
Lordship hes in hand conserning my affaer with the King. Therfor I am
fullie resolued to be at Edinburgh agane the twenty of Jwllay at
fardast, wherfor I humblie intreat your Lordship to prowid and get the
lene from sume Earle thair robs, fite mantle, and wellwat coats, and all
things that belongs to Parliment robs. I will heave four footmen in
liwra. Ther is no doubt but ther is sewerall Earles that will not ryd
the Parliment. Therfor be humblye pleased to get the lene to me of sume
Earle’s robes onley for a day to ryde in the Parliment, and they shall
be cearfulie keipt be me that none of them be spoylt, for all the robs
that belonged to my grandfather was destroyed in the Einglish tyme. The
last tyme when I reid the Parliment, I cearied the Secepter, and I head
the lene of the deces’d Earle of Lowdian’s robes, but it may be that
this Earle will reid himself. I hop your Lordship will get the lene of
robs to me from sume Earle or other, as also the lene of a peacable
horse, because I am werie unable in both my foot and both my hands as
yet. I thought good to acqwant your Lordship of this beforhand in a
letter by itself. Hoping to receave tuo lines of ane answer of returne
thairto from your Lordship, I pray let me know iff his Hyghnes will be
Woiceroy at this Parliment, or who it is that will represent the King. I
expect all the news from your Lordship, but on no termes doe not keip
the bearar heirof, who is my gardner; he must surlie be at hom agan
Thursdays night, so not willing to give farder trouble, I remaine
wncheangablie, my deir Lord,—Your Lordship’s most affectionat cousine
and faithful servant,

                                                           ‘MENTEITH.’

The intricacy of a wooing in which there does not seem to have been an
excess of love-making, is made more puzzling by a letter addressed by
Isabella, wife of Sir James Graham, to the Earl of Menteith. It was
written about a month later than his own obsequious epistle to Montrose;
and yet it shows that at that time a match between Claverhouse and Lady
Helen was again under consideration. Lady Isabella informed his Lordship
that she had so far complied with his desires as to waive the
propositions of two matches, though the worse of the suitors had two
thousand pounds a year, besides a troop of horse, and a fair prospect of
many thousands more. At the same time, she bade him bear in mind that,
unless he were very willing to assist as far as he could towards the
recovering of such lands as formerly belonged to his ancestors, she
would decline all thoughts of matching her daughter in Scotland, where
she would be a daily spectator of the ruin of the noble family she came
from. Her Ladyship’s very outspoken letter also referred to the
dilatoriness that had so far marked the whole course of the
negotiations, and let it be understood that, in her opinion, the
responsibility for much of it lay with the Earl.

The delay with which Lady Graham found fault may, in its most recent
phase at least, have been due to rumours and reports which had reached
Menteith, to the effect that Claverhouse had spoken disparagingly of him
to the Duke of Lauderdale; for the next letter in the correspondence
contains an energetic, almost passionate denial of such conduct. The
writer swears before Almighty God, and upon his salvation, that he has
never given either a good or a bad character of the Earl to Lauderdale,
and that he has not even mentioned his person or affairs to him; he
declares himself ready to spend his blood in revenge of so base and
cowardly an injury on the ‘infamous liar’ who has traduced him, and to
whom he begs his letter may be shown. From Claverhouse’s special
insistence on the fact that he had never cast a doubt on the Earl’s
capacity for affairs, it may be presumed that this was one of the points
with regard to which he was charged with having ‘said things.’ Another
letter to the Earl, written on the same day, but as a distinct and more
confidential communication, suggests a suspicion that Menteith had been
very near committing disastrous blunders in his efforts to urge
Claverhouse’s suit. In answer, doubtless, to Lady Isabella’s pointed
letter, the Earl had written both to her and to her daughter, and had
commissioned the suitor himself to deliver these communications to the
ladies. Claverhouse, however, thought it wiser to refrain from doing so,
for reasons which he thus explained:—

‘I have not dared to present them (the letters) because that in my
Lady’s letter you wished us much joy, and that we might live happy
together, which looked as if you thought it a thing as good as done. I
am sure my Lady, of the humour I know her to be, would have gone mad
that you should think a business that concerned her so nearly, concluded
before it was ever proposed to her; and in the daughter’s you was
pleased to tell her of my affections to her, and what I have suffered
for her; this is very galant and obliging, but I am afraid they would
have misconstrued it, and it might do me prejudice; and then in both, my
Lord, you were pleased to take pains to show them almost clearly they
had nothing to expect of you, and took from them all hopes which they
had, by desiring them to require no more but your consent.’

The question of conditions and settlements being thus approached,
Claverhouse hastens to affirm his own absolute disinterestedness. ‘I
will assure you,’ he writes, ‘I need nothing to persuade me to take that
young lady. I would take her in her smock.’ He is not sure, however, of
such unselfish and generous treatment from the other side; and he
consequently requests the Earl to hold out hopes to them, though without
binding himself in any way. ‘When you say you give them your advice to
the match,’ he writes, ‘tell them that they will not repent it, and that
doing it at your desire, you will do us any kindness you can, and look
on us as persons under your protection, and endeavour to see us
thrive—which obliges you to nothing, and yet encourages them.’

This plain suggestion of a course which it would tax a casuist’s
ingenuity to distinguish from double-dealing and deception, is hardly
creditable to Claverhouse under any circumstances. For his sake it may
be hoped that the excuse for it lay in the fact that by this time he had
really fallen in love, and was, as he said, anxious to win the young
lady for her own sake. If such were not the case, there would be an
almost repulsive insincerity in his closing appeal, ‘For the love of God
write kindly of me to them. By getting me that young lady you make me
happy.’

Two months later negotiations were still dragging on—they had now
extended, from first to last, through fully three years, from the end of
1678 to the end of 1681. On the 11th of December, Claverhouse again
appealed to the Earl to come to some settlement of his affairs, either
one way or the other, for, in the meantime, his own age was slipping
away, and he was losing other occasions, as he supposed the young lady
also was doing. The Grahams, he feared, had gone back to Ireland; and,
if it were so, he proposed to invite them to come over to his house in
Galloway. But it would be necessary to offer something definite to
induce them to do so, for, ‘my Lady Graham was a very cunning woman, and
certainly would write back that she would be unwilling to come so far
upon uncertainties.’ He therefore further suggested that the Earl should
communicate directly with her Ladyship. That ‘they would take it much
more kindly, and be far the readier to comply’ was the reason urged for
this. But another was hinted. Claverhouse was ashamed to write, not
knowing what to say, seeing that after all he had promised on Menteith’s
behalf, his Lordship had not yet come to a final decision.

Claverhouse’s letter does not appear to have produced any effect. As
late as the beginning of March 1682, matters were still in the same
unsettled and unsatisfactory state. The Earl had not yet resolved on any
decisive action, and was doubtless endeavouring to make a bargain as
favourable as possible to himself, when he received a short but urgent
letter from Claverhouse. It asked for an early meeting, and indicated
the reason for it in these words: ‘I have had one in Ireland whom I
shall bring along with me, and you shall know all. Send nobody to
Ireland; but take no new measures till I can see you.’

There are no letters from Claverhouse relative to subsequent
negotiations. It appears from other documents, however, that Sir James
Graham had come to believe in the existence of a plot between the two
suitors, to get the better of both him and the Earl. Everything, he
declared, had been contrived by the hand of Claverhouse; and it was his
ambitious desire to make himself the head of their ancient family that
had brought them all the trouble of my Lord Montrose’s business. There
was, he asserted, an agreement that Montrose should use his interest
with the Earl for a settlement of his honours and estates upon
Claverhouse, who, on his side, had bound himself to make over the
estates privately to Montrose. The letter setting all this forth in
tones of the bitterest resentment was written from Drogheda in March
1683. Before that, however, Lady Helen had made further matrimonial
arrangements impossible. She had married Captain Rawdon, son of Sir
George Rawdon, and nephew, as well as heir apparent to the Earl of
Conway. And so an Irish gentleman, who was possibly no myth when
Montrose wrote about him four years earlier, carried away the lady.

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————



  V

  MATTERS CIVIL, MILITARY AND MATRIMONIAL


THE letters which enable us to trace the course of Claverhouse’s
matrimonial negotiations are also the documents upon which we have
mainly to depend for our knowledge of his movements during the period
immediately subsequent to the ‘circuit’ which he made in the
south-western counties after the Battle of Bothwell Bridge. From these
we learn that he was in London during the summer of 1680; and a letter
from Charles Maitland of Hatton to Queensberry, suggests a probable
motive for the journey to town. ‘Claverhouse’s commission as to the
rebels’ goods,’ he wrote, ‘is recalled by the Council; so your man will
have room for his payment; that ye need not fear.’ This measure, with
which, to judge from the tenor of Maitland’s remarks, Queensberry was
not improbably connected, appears to have followed upon a charge of
misappropriation of public monies, brought against Claverhouse by the
Treasurer, and intended to supply an excuse for preventing him from
entering into possession of the forfeited estate of Patrick Macdowall of
Freugh, bestowed upon him by royal grant in consideration of ‘his good
and faithful services.’ It is warrantable to suppose that the immediate
object of his journey to London was to appeal from the Council’s
decision to the King himself. In any case, there is evidence that he
availed himself of his stay in the English capital to bring the matter
before his sovereign, and to plead his cause in person. The result may
be gathered from a letter addressed by Charles to the Lords
Commissioners of the Treasury, on the 26th of February 1681. ‘As to what
you have represented concerning Claverhouse, particularly in reference
to the commission granted by you unto him for uplifting and
sequestrating not only the rents, duties, and movables belonging to
Freugh, but of all the rebels in Wigtownshire who have been in the
rebellion, whereof you say he hath made no account yet, we have spoke to
him about it, and he doth positively assert, that, while he was in
Scotland, he received not one farthing upon that account, and that if
anything have since been recovered by those whom in his absence he hath
entrusted with the execution of that commission, he believes it to be so
inconsiderable as it will not much exceed the charges that must
necessarily be laid out in that affair. However, we do expect that he
will meet with no worse usage from you, upon that occasion than others
to whom you have granted the like commissions.’ The letter also conveyed
his Majesty’s ‘express pleasure’ that the Commissioners should remove
the stop that was put upon the gift of forfeiture, and should cause the
same to be passed in the Exchequer at their very next meeting.

In October 1681, also, Claverhouse was in London; and though there is
nothing to show whether his stay there had been continuous, the fact
that there is no record of his doings in Scotland during the interval,
may be taken as negative, yet strong, evidence of his absence from the
country. There is a curious document to prove that, on the 26th of the
next month he crossed the Firth of Forth from Burntisland to Leith. It
is a poem entitled ‘The Tempest,’ and written by Alexander Tyler, the
minister of Kinnettles, who describes it as ‘being an account of a
dangerous passage from Burntisland to Leith in a boat called the
_Blessing_, in company of Claverhouse, several gentlewomen, ministers
and a whole throng of common passengers upon the 26th of November 1681.’
On the 11th of the following month, Claverhouse dates a letter from
Edinburgh; and, from that time, his activity and his influence again
begin to be felt.

The Earl of Queensberry, writing from Sanquhar to Lord Haddo on the 2nd
of January 1682, reports that in his part of the country all is
peaceable, ‘save only that in the heads of Galloway some rebels meet.’
Their numbers being inconsiderable, and their business ‘only to drink
and quarrel,’ neither Church nor State need, in his judgment, fear them;
still, he is of opinion that ‘the sooner garrisons be placed, and a
competent party sent with Claverhouse for scouring that part of the
country, the better.’ ‘Besides,’ he adds, ‘I’m told field-conventicles
continue in Annandale and Galloway, but all will certainly evanish upon
Claverhouse’s arrival, as I have often told.’ It would appear from this,
that Captain Graham had returned to Scotland for a special and definite
purpose; and this view is borne out by his appointment on the 31st of
January to be heritable sheriff of Wigtownshire, in the place of Sir
Andrew Agnew of Lochnaw, and heritable bailie of the regality of
Tongland, instead of Viscount Kenmure, both the former possessors having
been deprived of their commissions in consequence of their refusal to
take the prescribed test. In terms of his appointment, Claverhouse was
to have jurisdiction within the shire of Dumfries and stewartries of
Kirkcudbright and Annandale; but, with regard to these districts, it was
specially provided that the powers conferred upon him were in no way to
be prejudicial to the rights of the heritable sheriff or steward, and
that he was ‘only to proceed and do justice,’ when he was ‘the first
attacher,’ that is to say, only in cases with regard to which no legal
proceedings had already been taken.

Claverhouse had not long assumed his new duties before he discovered
that the ‘rebels’ and ‘conventiclers’ were not the only people with whom
he had to deal, and that a task far more difficult than hunting them
down or scattering their meetings would be to expose the connivance of
some of the leading families, and to check the disorders arising from
it. As early as the 5th of March, in a letter to Queensberry, he wrote,
‘Here, in the shire, I find the lairds all following the example of a
late great man, and still a considerable heritor among them, which is,
to live regularly themselves, but have their houses constant haunts of
rebels and intercommuned persons, and have their children baptized by
the same; and then lay all the blame on their wives; condemning them and
swearing they cannot help what is done in their absence. But I am
resolved this jest shall pass no longer here; for it is laughing and
fooling the Government; and it will be more of consequence to punish one
considerable laird, than a hundred little bodies. Besides, it is juster;
because these only sin by the example of those.’

At the date of this communication, Claverhouse had already begun to
carry out the policy to which it referred; and a letter written four
days earlier supplies important details as to the course which he had
adopted. ‘The way that I see taken in other places, is to put laws
severely, against great and small, in execution, which is very just; but
what effects does that produce, but more to exasperate and alienate the
hearts of the whole body of the people? For it renders three desperate
where it gains one; and your Lordship knows that in the greatest crimes
it is thought wisest to pardon the multitude and punish the ringleaders,
where the number of the guilty is great, as in this case of whole
countries. Wherefore, I have taken another course here. I have called
two or three parishes together at one church, and after intimating to
them the power I have, I read them a libel narrating all the Acts of
Parliament against the fanatics; whereby I made them sensible how much
they were in the King’s reverence, and assured them he was relenting
nothing of his former severity against dissenters, nor care of
maintaining the established government; as they might see by his
doubling the fines in the late Act of Parliament; and, in the end, told
them that the King had no design to ruin any of his subjects he could
reclaim, nor I to enrich myself by their crimes; and, therefore, any who
would resolve to conform, and live regularly, might expect favour;
excepting only resetters and ringleaders. Upon this, on Sunday last,
there was about three hundred people at Kirkcudbright church; some that
for seven years before had never been there. So that I do expect that
within a short time I could bring two parts of three to the church.’

But though there seemed to be some hope of influencing the people, if
they were left to themselves, Claverhouse was fully alive to the fact
that it was vain to think of any settlement so long as their
irreconcilable ministers were able to exercise their influence. No
sooner was he gone, than they came in, he said, and all repented and
fell back to their old ways. With a view to remedying this, he strongly
and repeatedly urged the necessity of having a constant force of
dragoons in garrison; and, in the meantime, he took vigorous measures to
carry out the work entrusted to him. To quote his own summary of a
report presented by him to the Committee of the Privy Council, ‘The
first work he did, was to provide magazines of corn and straw in every
part of the country, that he might with conveniency go with the whole
party wherever the King’s service required; and, running from one place
to another, nobody could know where to surprise him; and in the meantime
quartered on the rebels, and endeavoured to destroy them by eating up
their provisions, but that they quickly perceived the design, and sowed
their corns on untilled ground. After which he fell in search of the
rebels; played them hotly with parties; so that there were several
taken, many fled the country, and all were dung from their haunts; and
then rifled so their houses, ruined their goods, and imprisoned their
servants, that their wives and children were brought to starving; which
forced them to have recourse to the safe conduct; and made them glad to
renounce their principles, declare Bothwell Bridge an unlawful
rebellion, swear never to rise in arms against the King, his heirs and
successors, or any having commission or authority from him, upon any
pretext whatsomever, and promise to live orderly hereafter.’

Three months of this repressive and coercive policy produced results
which Claverhouse himself declared to be beyond his expectation. Writing
to Queensberry, on the 1st of April 1682, he said, ‘I am very happy in
this business of this country, and I hope the Duke will have no reason
to blame your Lordship for advising him to send the forces hither. For
this country now is in perfect peace: all who were in the rebellion are
either seized, gone out of the country, or treating their peace; and
they have already so conformed, as to going to the church, that it is
beyond my expectation. In Dumfries, not only almost all the men are
come, but the women have given obedience; and Irongray, Welsh’s own
parish, have for the most part conformed; and so it is over all the
country. So that, if I be suffered to stay any time here, I do expect to
see this the best settled part of the Kingdom on this side the Tay. And
if those dragoons were fixed which I wrote your Lordship about, I might
promise for the continuance of it.

‘Your Lordship’s friends here are very assisting to me in all this work;
and it does not contribute a little to the progress of it, that the
world knows I have your Lordship’s countenance in what I do. All this is
done without having received a farthing money, either in Nithsdale,
Annandale, or Kirkcudbright; or imprisoned anybody. But, in end, there
will be need to make examples of the stubborn that will not comply. Nor
will there be any danger in this after we have gained the great body of
the people; to whom I am become acceptable enough; having passed all
bygones, upon bonds of regular carriage hereafter.’

The measures adopted by Claverhouse met with the fullest approval of the
Government, and the results achieved through them were deemed so
satisfactory as to call for special recognition. Wodrow states that on
the 15th of May, ‘Claverhouse got the Council’s thanks for his diligence
in executing his commission in Galloway.’

Further evidence of the favour in which Claverhouse was held is afforded
by the instructions given by the Council to General Dalziel, in view of
the military visitation of the shires of Lanark and of Ayr, which he was
appointed to hold. He is directed ‘to repair to the town of Ayr, and
there to meet with the Earl of Dumfries, and the Commissioners of that
shire, where the laird of Claverhouse is to be present, and there to
confer with them anent the security of that shire.’ After having
complied with this, he is to return to the shire of Lanark, and the
laird of Claverhouse with him, ‘and there to consider what further is
necessary to be done, as to the settling of the peace of both these
shires.’ Finally, when these matters have been fully considered and
discussed by them, he and Claverhouse ‘are to come in with all possible
diligence, and give an account to the Lord Chancellor’ of their
procedure, ‘to be communicated to his Majesty’s Privy Council.’

When Claverhouse was returning from Edinburgh to Galloway, at the
conclusion of this mission, there occurred an incident which must have
convinced him that, even if, as he said, he had become acceptable enough
to the great body of the people, there was a remnant of desperate men,
whom his repressive measures had only inspired with a still fiercer
hatred of him. His own account of it is contained in a letter to
Queensberry, to whom he says: “I thought to have waited on your Lordship
before this, but I was stayed at Edinburgh two days beyond what I
designed, which has proved favourable for me. Yesterday when I came at
the Bille, I was certainly informed that several parties of Whigs in
arms, to the number of six or seven score, were gone from thence but six
hours before. They came from Clydesdale upon Monday night, and passed
Tweed at the Bille, going towards Teviotdale, but went not above three
miles farther that way. They stayed thereabout, divided in small
parties, most all on foot, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, till Friday
morning, when they passed the hills towards Clydesdale. Some say they
had a meeting with Teviotdale folks; others would make me believe that
they had a mind for me. They did ask, in several places, what they heard
of me, and told they were sure my troop was far in, in Galloway. Others
say they were flying the West for fear of the diligence the gentry is
designed to use for their discovery. I could believe this, were they not
returned. I spoke with the minister, and several other people in whose
houses they were; but he kept out of the way. They did no prejudice in
his house, further than meat and drink. They gave no where that I could
learn any account of their design there; only, I heard they said they
were seeking the enemies of God, and inquired roughly if anybody there
kept the church. The country keeps up this business. I heard nothing of
it till I was within two miles of the Bille, and that was from a
gentleman on the road, who had heard it at a burial the day before.
There was a dragoon all Tuesday night at the change-house at the Bille,
and the master of the house confessed to me he let him know nothing of
it. They pretend it is for fear of bringing trouble to the country. I
sent from the Bille an express to acquaint my Lord Chancellor with it;
for I thought it fit the quarters should be advertised not to be too
secure, when these rogues had the impudence to go about so.’

Queensberry was as fully convinced as Claverhouse that there had been a
plot, which the unforeseen delay in Edinburgh had alone prevented from
being put to execution. Writing to the Chancellor a few days later, he
said: ‘I doubt not but your Lordship has full account of Clavers’
re-encounter at the Bille. It was good he did not come a day sooner; for
certainly their design was against him.’

In the course of the year 1682, the jealousy aroused by Claverhouse’s
appointment as Sheriff-Principal of Wigtownshire, and by the special
power bestowed upon him to hold criminal courts, culminated in an open
quarrel between him and the family of Stair, of which the head was Sir
James Dalrymple, who, but a short time previously, had fallen into
disgrace, and had been virtually deposed from his office of President of
the Court of Session, for not conforming with the Test Act. According to
the summary given of the case by Fountainhall, who was one of the
counsel for the Stair family, Captain Graham of Claverhouse having
imprisoned some of the Dalrymples’ tenants in Galloway for absenting
themselves from the parish church and attending conventicles, Sir John,
the ex-president’s son, took up the matter, and presented a bill of
suspension to the Privy Council, alleging that he, as heritable Bailie
of the Regality of Glenluce, within which the peasants lived, had
already taken cognizance of their case; and that Claverhouse, not being
the first attacher, was precluded by the limitations and restrictions of
his commission, from taking action in the matter, and had no claim to
the ‘casualities and emoluments of the fine.’

Claverhouse replied that it was he who had first cited the offenders,
and that Sir John’s action was collusive. When the matter was first
brought before the Privy Council, it was ordained that the imprisoned
tenants should be set at liberty, after consigning their fines, which
Fountainhall denounces as ‘most exorbitant,’ into the hands of the
clerk. The point of jurisdiction was reserved; but in the meantime, the
Council administered a reprimand to the Dalrymples, and told them in
very plain terms, that ‘heritable Bailies and Sheriffs who were
negligent themselves in putting the laws in execution, should not offer
to compete with the Sheriffs commissioned and put in by the Council, who
executed vigorously the King’s law.’

But it was not Claverhouse’s intention that his opponent should escape
so easily. He met the charges made against him with a bill of complaint,
in which the gravest accusations followed each other in overwhelming
array. The leading counts in the indictment bore that Sir John Dalrymple
had weakened the hands of the Government in the county of Galloway, by
traversing and opposing the commission which the King’s Council had
given Claverhouse; that he had done his utmost to stir up the people to
a dislike of the King’s forces there; that he kept disloyal and
disaffected persons to be bailies and clerks in his regality, and had
not administered the test to them till long after January 1682, contrary
to the Act of Parliament; that he had imposed on delinquents mock fines,
not the fiftieth or sixtieth part of what the law required, for the sole
purpose of anticipating and forestalling Claverhouse; that he and his
father had offered Claverhouse a bribe of £150 sterling, out of the
fines, to connive at the irregularities of his mother, Lady Stair, of
his sisters, and of others; that he had laughed insolently at the
proclamation of a court, made by Claverhouse, and had ordered his
tenants not to attend it; that he had traduced and defamed Claverhouse
to the Privy Council; and that he had accused him of cheating the King’s
Treasury, by exacting fines and not accounting for them.

When Sir John Dalrymple’s answers to these charges had been read, the
Chancellor gave some indication of the temper and feeling of the Council
by reproving him ‘for his tart reflections on Claverhouse’s ingenuity,’
and by denying his right to adduce witnesses, whilst, on the other side,
Claverhouse was allowed to call whom he chose, in support of the charges
brought by him against Sir John. Fountainhall states that ‘there was
much transport, flame, and humour in this cause;’ and he mentions that,
at one phase of the proceedings, when Dalrymple alleged that the people
of Galloway had turned orderly and regular, Claverhouse, alluding to the
latest Edinburgh novelty of the time, replied that there were as many
elephants and crocodiles in Galloway as loyal subjects. According to Sir
John himself, Claverhouse went much further than a direct denial of his
opponents’ assertions, and, in the presence of the Committee of Council
appointed to examine witnesses, threatened to give him a box in the ear.

As might have been foreseen from the tone and tenor of the whole
proceedings, the judgment of the Council, pronounced on the 12th of
February 1683, was a complete triumph for Claverhouse. Not only was it
found that he had done nothing but what was legal and consonant with his
commission and instructions; but, in addition to that, the Chancellor
complimented him, and, expressing wonder that he, not being a lawyer,
had walked so warily in so irregular a country, conveyed to him the
Council’s thanks, as an encouragement. With regard to Sir John
Dalrymple, on the other hand, the finding of the Council, set forth
under five specific heads, was, generally, to the effect that he had
exceeded his commission, weakened the authority of the King and of the
Council, and interfered with the due administration of the law. In
punishment of his conduct, he was deprived of his jurisdiction and
office, as bailie of the regality of Glenluce, and fined in the sum of
£500 sterling. Further, it was ordered that he should be submitted
prisoner in the Castle of Edinburgh, and detained there, not merely till
the money was paid, but during the Council’s pleasure. His incarceration
was not, however, of long duration. He was liberated on the 20th of the
same month, after paying the fine, acknowledging his rashness, and
craving the Council’s pardon.

Whilst the matter between Claverhouse and Dalrymple was still pending,
neither the Duke of York nor the King appears to have felt conscious of
any impropriety in giving expression to his personal sentiments and
sympathy. The former, writing to Queensberry at the beginning of
December, said: ‘I am absolutely of your mind as to Claverhouse; and
think his presence more necessary in Galloway than anywhere else; for he
need not fear anything Stairs can say of him, his Majesty being so well
satisfied with him.’ On the 25th of the same month, Charles, to show his
appreciation of Claverhouse’s ‘loyalty, courage, and good conduct,’
appointed him to be Colonel of a regiment of horse, which was formed for
his special benefit, and also gave him the captaincy of a troop in the
same regiment.

Shortly after his promotion Claverhouse undertook a journey to the
English court, partly on public business, as the bearer of despatches
from the Council, and partly as a private suitor, not only on his own
behalf but also in the interest of others who had not been slow to
recognise the favour in which he stood, and were anxious to avail
themselves of his influence. At this time, the Committee which, in June
1682, had been appointed to investigate the charges of peculation and
malversation brought against Charles Maitland of Hatton, younger brother
and heir presumptive to the Duke of Lauderdale, whom the family
influence had raised to the responsible position of General of the
Scottish mint, had not yet presented its report; but there existed no
doubt that the decision would prove adverse to Hatton, who had, in the
meantime, become Earl of Lauderdale, and greedy suitors were already
preparing to put forward their claims to a share of the spoils which the
ruin of the family would place at the King’s disposal. Amongst these
were Queensberry who, though but lately raised to a marquisate, already
aspired to a dukedom, and Gordon of Haddo, who was anxious to obtain a
grant of money, either a thousand pounds sterling a year, or twenty
thousand pounds sterling, which were thought to be the equivalent, to
enable him to maintain the double dignity of High Chancellor and of Earl
of Aberdeen recently conferred upon him.

Claverhouse, too, meant to avail himself of the opportunity thus offered
him, for the purpose of adding to his own estates in Forfarshire the
neighbouring lands of Dudhope, and of obtaining the constabulary of
Dundee. The main object of his visit to England was to look after these
several interests; and the letters written by him from Newmarket, where
the King and the Duke of York were staying at the time, give his
correspondents in Scotland a full and detailed account of the manner in
which he discharged his commission, in the intervals of ‘cock-fighting
and courses.’

When he returned to Scotland, about the middle of May 1683, he was able
to convey to those concerned satisfactory assurances, which the sequel
justified, as to the success of the extensive job which they had planned
between them. He had been preceded by a royal letter in which Charles
informed his ‘right trusty and right well-beloved cousins and
counsellors’ of his desire that Colonel John Graham of Claverhouse, in
consideration of his loyalty, abilities, and eminent services, should be
received and admitted a Privy Councillor. Claverhouse was accordingly
sworn in, on the 22nd of the month, and at once took an important part
in carrying out the further punitive measures which had been determined
upon during his stay at the English Court, and of which he was, in all
probability, the instigator.

More than twelve months earlier, on the report that an ‘indulgence’ was
to be granted, he had protested to Queensberry against such a course,
and had expressed a hope that nobody would be so mad as to advise it.
There is every reason to suppose that, as soon as the opportunity
occurred, he laid before the King opinions consonant with this, and was
directly instrumental in the appointment of a Circuit Court of
Justiciary for the enforcement of the Test Act. It was his views which
the royal proclamation embodied in the statement that the indemnities,
indulgences, and other favours granted to the fanatic and disaffected
party had hitherto produced no other effect than to encourage them to
further disorders and to embolden them to abuse the royal goodness; it
was his conviction to which it gave utterance in the assertion that
neither difference in religion, nor tenderness of conscience, but merely
principles of disloyalty and disaffection to the Government moved them
to disturb the quiet of the King’s reign and the peace of his kingdom;
and it was his experience of the evasions and subterfuges used by them
which dictated the steps to be taken, not only for the punishment of
obstinate recusants, but also for the encouragement of the
well-intentioned whom circumstances might hitherto have prevented from
formally signifying their submission and promising obedience.

The first sitting of the Circuit Court of Justiciary was to be held at
Stirling on the 5th of June. A few days previously, the Privy Council
issued an order that Colonel John Graham of Claverhouse should go along
with the Justices during their whole progress in the Justice Air, and
should command the forces in every place visited by them, with the
exception of Glasgow and Stirling, where it was supposed the
Lieutenant-General would be present. To this circumstance we owe it that
a report of the only case in which sentence of death was pronounced, can
be given in his own words. It is contained in a letter to the Lord
Chancellor, and is deserving of notice, not merely on account of the
facts which it relates, for those may be gathered from other documents,
but also because of the sentiments and principles which the writer found
opportunity to express in it, and which help us to understand the spirit
by which Claverhouse was actuated, and the view which he took of both
duty and expediency in carrying out the law.

As a brief recapitulation of Boog’s case, the writer says: ‘He was
actually in the rebellion; continued in that state for four years; and
now comes in with a false, sham certificate to fool the judges. For,
being desired to give his oath that he had taken the bond, he positively
refused. Being asked if Bothwell Bridge was a rebellion, refused to
declare it so. Or the Bishop’s murder, a murder. And positively refused,
in the face of the Court, the benefit of the King’s indemnity by taking
the Test. Upon which the Judges, moved by the outcry of all the
bystanders, as by their conviction of the wickedness of the man,
referred the matter to the knowledge of an inquest, who brought him in
guilty. After which, he begged to acknowledge his folly; and offered to
take the Test, with the old gloss,—“as far as it consisted with the
Protestant religion, and the glory of God.” And after that was refused
him, offered in end to take it any way. By all which it clearly appears,
that he would do anything to save his life, but nothing to be reconciled
to Government.’

After having thus summarised the heads of the case, Claverhouse proceeds
to justify the action of the Government in not allowing men to take the
Test after they were condemned. All casuists agree, he says, that an
oath imposed where the alternative is hanging cannot in any way be
binding; and it may consequently be supposed that they who refused it
when they had the freedom of choice, and took it after being condemned,
did it only because they thought themselves not bound to keep it. In
point of prudence, too, he argues, such leniency would be misplaced and
pernicious; it would leave it in the power of the disaffected to
continue all their tricks up to the very last day fixed for taking
benefit of the indemnity, and then, if they should be apprehended and
condemned, enable them to escape the punishment of their treason by
taking the Test. Against this he protests as turning the whole thing
into ridicule; ‘for great clemency has, and ought to be, shown to people
that are sincerely resolved to be reclaimed, but the King’s indemnity
should not be forced on villains.’ As to the effect which severity in
Boog’s case might produce, Claverhouse scouts the idea that it would
deter others from ‘coming in’; and in support of his opinion to the
contrary, he points to the actual fact that twenty have taken the Test
since the man was condemned, and that the ‘terror of his usage’ is
generally looked upon as likely to induce many more to submit.

Referring to the rescue of a prisoner, which had recently been effected
by a party of armed men, and in the course of which one of the King’s
guards had been killed—a crime for which Wharry and Smith were
subsequently executed in Glasgow and hung in chains near
Inchbellybridge, between Kirkintilloch and Kilsyth, where their
‘monument’ may still be seen—Claverhouse continues, ‘If this man should
not be hanged, they would take advantage, that they have disappointed us
by rescuing the other, and give us such apprehensions that we durst not
venture on this.’ Then he gives expression to a sentiment which should
never be lost sight of in forming an estimate of his character and
conduct: ‘I am as sorry to see a man die, even a Whig, as any of
themselves. But when one dies justly, for his own faults, and may save a
hundred to fall in the like, I have no scruple.’

At the beginning of July 1683, Claverhouse returned to Edinburgh. For
the next ten months his labours mainly consisted in attendance at the
meetings of the Privy Council, and do not bring him specially into
prominence. Towards the close of the comparatively quiet period he again
appears in the character of a suitor. On this occasion, his matrimonial
plans met with more success than those of which Lady Helen Graham had
been the object. By what may seem a singular freak of fate, Jean,
youngest daughter of the late Lord Cochrane, the lady on whom he had
bestowed his affections, belonged to a family of strong Covenanting
sympathies. Her father had, in the earlier days of the religious
troubles, refused the Bond, and protested against the illegality of the
clause which obliged masters to answer for their servants’ attendance at
church. Her mother, a Kennedy by birth, professed the stern and
uncompromising Presbyterianism of her house. Her grandfather, Lord
Dundonald, had been the subject of an inquisition for keeping a chaplain
who prayed God to bless the rebels in the West with success. And her
uncle, Sir John Cochrane, was an outlawed rebel and a suspected traitor.

The circumstances of Claverhouse’s wooing were not overlooked by his
enemies and ill-wishers. Amongst them was the Duke of Hamilton, whose
professed loyalty does not appear to have placed him above suspicion,
and whose daughter, Lady Susannah, was at this very time sought in
marriage by Lord Cochrane, Claverhouse’s prospective brother-in-law.
This coincidence afforded the Duke an opportunity of which he
ingeniously availed himself to direct attention to the nature of the
alliance contemplated by Claverhouse. The way in which he did so is
indicated by the following passage from a letter addressed by the latter
to Queensberry. Referring to his intended marriage, he says: ‘My Lord
Duke Hamilton has refused to treat of giving his daughter to my Lord
Cochrane till he should have the King and the Duke’s leave. This, I
understand, has been advised him, to goad me. Wherefore I have written
to the Duke, and told him that I would have done it sooner, had I not
judged it presumption in me to trouble his Highness with my little
concerns; and that I looked upon myself as a cleanser, that may cure
others by coming amongst them, but cannot be infected by any plague of
Presbytery; besides, that I saw nothing singular in my Lord Dundonald’s
case, save that he has but one rebel on his land for ten that the rest
of the lords and lairds of the South and West have on theirs; and that
he is willing to depone that he knew not of there being such. The Duke
is juster than to charge my Lord Dundonald with Sir John’s crimes. He is
a madman, and let him perish; they deserve to be damned would own him.
The Duke knows what it is to have sons and nephews that follow not
advice.

‘I have taken pains to know the state of the country’s guilt as to
reset; and if I make it not appear that my Lord Dundonald is one of the
clearest of all that country, and can hardly be reached in law, I am
content to pay his fine. I never pleaded for any, nor shall I hereafter.
But I must say I think it hard that no regard is had to a man in so
favourable circumstances—I mean considering others—upon my account, and
that nobody offered to meddle with him till they heard I was likely to
be concerned in him.’ After further comments and protests in this tone
of suppressed indignation, he concludes his letter with the following
emphatic words: ‘Whatever come of this, let not my enemies misrepresent
me. They may abuse the Duke for a time, and hardly. But, or long, I
will, in despite of them, let the world see that it is not in the power
of love, nor any other folly, to alter my loyalty.’

There is a remarkable proof of the annoyance which Claverhouse felt at
the attacks directed against him, and, perhaps, also of his secret
consciousness that if the political position of his intended bride’s
family did not wholly justify them, it at least supplied that element of
partial truth which makes slander doubly dangerous. On the same day he
wrote another letter to Queensberry, and dealt once more and at
considerable length with his approaching marriage. After again
expressing his opinion as to the real motive and meaning of Hamilton’s
ostentatious scruples, and repeating the assurance that he was proof
against the infection of Presbyterianism, he asserted, if not the
absolute at least the comparative, loyalty of the Cochrane family, in
which he saw very little but might be easily rubbed off, and added what
was even more important, an emphatic declaration of the soundness of
Lady Jean’s own sentiments. ‘And for the young lady herself, I shall
answer for her. Had she not been right principled, she would never in
despite of her mother and relations, have made choice of a persecutor,
as they call me. So, whoever thinks to misrepresent me on that head,
will find themselves mistaken. For both in the King’s and the Church’s
cause, drive as fast as they think fit, they will never see me behind.
However, my Lord, malice sometimes carries things far; so I must beg
your Lordship will defend me if you find anything of this kind
stirring.’

This was written on the 19th of May 1684. On the 9th of the following
month, the marriage contract between Colonel John Graham of Claverhouse
and Lady Jean Cochrane was signed in Paisley. The bride’s mother had,
apparently, proved relentless in her opposition to the ‘persecutor.’ Her
signature does not appear on the document.

The lady’s dowry consisted of forty thousand merks—rather more than two
thousand pounds sterling. Her jointure was fixed at five thousand merks,
or about two hundred and seventy-six pounds yearly. As heritable
security for it, the bridegroom’s lands and houses were set forth in
imposing array. Amongst them was included the estate of Dudhope which,
with the Constabulary of Dundee, had come into Claverhouse’s possession
a few months earlier, after prolonged litigation, and in spite of a
private bargain which Aberdeen and Lauderdale had made between them, and
which but for the direct interposition of the King’s authority, would
have prevented his acquiring the long coveted lands.

Whilst Claverhouse was in Paisley, events were leading up to a sudden
and dramatic interruption of the bridal festivities. On Sunday, the 8th
of June, that is, the day before that upon which the marriage contract
was signed, General Dalziel, the commander of the forces in Glasgow,
received information, as he was ‘at the forenoon’s sermon,’ that a
conventicle was being held near the Black Loch, a small lake in
Renfrewshire, about eight miles south-east of Paisley. He at once sent
out forty men, of whom twenty were dragoons, under the command of
Lieutenant-Colonel Winrhame. They were informed that a party of about a
hundred, mostly men armed with guns and swords, had assembled at
Drumlech-hill, and had thence proceeded through the moors, in a
south-westerly direction. But, though traces of them were found at
Allanton, at Cambusnethan, and at Crossford, where they passed the
water, the nature of the country made it impossible to come up with
them. After marching all night in fruitless pursuit, Winrhame returned
to Glasgow on the Monday with his wearied men.

On the previous Saturday, Claverhouse had informed Dalziel of his
departure for Paisley, so that there might be no delay in conveying
orders to him, if he were required for special duty. Possibly out of
consideration for the bridegroom, it was not to him, but to Lord Ross,
who was one of the wedding guests, and had acted as witness for his
brother-officer the day before, that, on the Tuesday morning, the
General sent information of what had taken place.

When the purport of the letter was communicated to Claverhouse, he had
no hesitation as to his own course of action. With a growl at the
‘dogs,’ who ‘might have let Tuesday pass,’ and a vow that he would, some
time or other, be revenged on them for ‘the unseasonable trouble’ they
were causing him, he made hasty preparation, and set out on the rebels’
track. Tuesday night and Wednesday all day he scoured the country,
leaving ‘no den, no knowe, no moss, no hill unsearched.’ Beyond catching
sight of two men, who were running to the hills, but who, on account of
the marshy nature of the ground, could not be overtaken he was not more
successful than Winrhame had been. On reaching Strathaven, he decided to
ride back to Paisley, and gave over the command to Colonel Buchan, with
instructions to follow more leisurely and, on his march, to search the
skirts of the hills and moors on the Clydesdale side.

On the Friday morning Buchan sent his superior officer a report of the
stirring incidents of the previous day. After Claverhouse had left him,
he had met a man from whom he learnt that there were numbers of rebels
in arms in the heart of the hills, on the Clydesdale side, and who gave
him a description of the two leaders—one a lusty, black, one-eyed man,
with a velvet cap; the other a good-like man, who wore a grey hat.
Buchan at once made for the place which had been indicated. On the way
to it, a party of foot, that he had sent out on his right, accidentally
came upon the armed Covenanters. Four soldiers, who formed a kind of
advance-guard, were fired on by seven men that started up suddenly, out
of a glen, and one of them was wounded. The other three, after
discharging their pieces without effect at their assailants, thought it
safer not to venture in pursuit over the treacherous ground. Hastening
back, they informed their colonel of the encounter; but, though Buchan
made all possible diligence, he could not succeed in even catching sight
of the fugitives. He could only learn that they had made for Cumnock,
and he himself proceeded with all speed in the same direction, in the
hope of preventing their passing into Galloway.

By noon that same Friday, Claverhouse had again taken a hurried leave of
his bride, and was on the road to Ayrshire. From that point his
movements may best be narrated in his own terse words: ‘I went
immediately to Mauchline, and from this to Cumnock, where we learned
that on Thursday night they had passed at the bog-head, near Airdsmoss,
and were then only fifty-nine in arms. They were running in great haste,
barefooted many of them, and taking horses in some places, to help them
forward. We heard they went from that to a place called the Hakhill,
within two miles of Cumnock, and from that to the Gap, which goes to the
hills lying betwixt the Sanquhar and Moffat. But we could never hear
more of them. I sent on Friday night for my troop from Dumfries, and
ordered them to march by the Sanquhar to the Muirkirk, to the
Ploughlands, and so to Straven. I sent for Captain Strachan’s troop from
the Glenkens, and ordered him to march to the old castle of Cumnock,
down to the Lorne, and through the country to Kilbride, leaving
Mauchline and Newmills on his left, and Loudon-hill on his right. By
this means they scoured this country, and secured the passages that way.

‘Colonel Buchan marched with the foot and dragoons some miles on the
right of my troop, and I, with the Guards and my Lord Ross and his troop
up by the (Shaire?). We were at the head of Douglas. We were round and
over Cairntable. We were at Greenock-head, Cummer-head, and through all
the moors, mosses, hills, glens, woods; and spread in small parties, and
ranged as if we had been at hunting, and down to Blackwood, but could
learn nothing of those rogues. So the troops being extremely harassed
with marching so much on grounds never trod on before, I have sent them
with Colonel Buchan to rest at Dalmellington, till we see where these
rogues will start up. We examined all on oath, and offered money, and
threatened terribly, for intelligence, but we could learn no more.’

No further information is available as to the result of Claverhouse’s
search. That a number of people residing in the district were
apprehended about this time, however, appears from the fact that the
next recorded appearance of the ‘rogues’ denounced by him had for its
object the rescue of some prisoners whom he had sent from Dumfries to
Edinburgh under the escort of a detachment of his dragoons. A carefully
planned ambush was laid by a number of armed men, amongst whom some
English borderers were said to be. The spot chosen as most favourable
for it was near Enterkin hill, ‘where there is a very strait road and a
deep precipice on both sides.’ Taken at a disadvantage in this narrow
pass, the soldiers of whom several were killed at the first discharge,
had but slight chance of success against superior numbers. The accounts
of the encounter differ from each other as regards several details; but
they leave no doubt about this one fact, at least, that the dragoons
were worsted, and that it was with at most two of their prisoners only
that they succeeded in reaching Edinburgh.

This daring act of aggression called forth fresh measures on the part of
the Government. On the 1st of August, the Privy Council passed an Act
redistributing the cavalry through the country, with a view to the more
effectual suppression of ‘all such rebellious courses for the future.’
Claverhouse’s troop of Guards, and that of his friend Lord Ross,
together with two troops of dragoons, respectively commanded by Captain
Inglis and Captain Cleland, were ordered for service in Ayrshire. In
addition to this, Claverhouse was appointed, with Lieutenant-Colonel
Buchan as his second, to command all the forces, ‘foot, and horse, and
dragoons, in the shires of Ayr and Clydesdale.’ Further, to the effect
that discovery might be made of the rebels in arms, and of such as had
been present at field conventicles, the two officers were empowered and
commissioned to call for and examine upon oath, all persons able to
supply any information, and to use all legal diligence for that purpose.

In accordance with his new commission, Claverhouse again swept the
south-western shires in every direction. If the actual capture of rebels
be taken as the standard by which to estimate the result of his efforts,
it appears to have been absolutely null. In spite of the promptitude of
his movements, and in spite, too, of the care which he took to conceal
them, it was impossible for him to secure secrecy. No sooner was his
arrival known at any point than the news of his presence was spread
through the surrounding country; and when his search through the wild
moorlands and over the pathless hills began, those whom he hoped to
surprise were either in safe hiding or beyond the reach of his troopers.
‘They have such intelligence,’ he wrote to Queensberry on the 5th of
August, ‘that there is no surprising them’; and he added, with something
of despondency in his tone, ‘I fear we do nothing.’ But, on the other
hand, his success in temporarily clearing the district of conventiclers
appears to have been rapid. Before the end of the same month he was able
to delegate his duties to his subordinates, and to retire for a short
time to Dudhope.

During his stay he had occasion to exercise, probably for the first
time, his power as Constable of Dundee. The way in which he did so is
set forth in the Register of the Privy Council:—‘Edinburgh, 10th
September 1684.—Whereas, it being represented to the Lords of his
Majesty’s Privy Council by Colonel Graham of Claverhouse, Constable of
Dundee, that there are several prisoners in the Tolbooth of that burgh
for petty or small thefts, or picking, which will be fitter to be
punished arbitrarily than by death; the said Lords do therefore give
full power and commission to the said Colonel Graham of Claverhouse,
Constable of Dundee, to restrict the punishment appointed by law,
against such persons within his jurisdiction already made prisoners, or
that shall hereafter be made prisoners upon account of the foresaid
petty and small thefts, or picking, to an arbitrary punishment, such as
whipping, or banishment, as he shall find cause.’

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————



  VI

  THE KILLING TIME


THE last year of the reign of Charles II. was marked by a recrudescence
of fanaticism on the part of the Covenanting extremists. It found
expression in an ‘apologetical declaration’ drawn up by Renwick, and
ordered to be affixed, as though it were a royal proclamation, ‘upon a
sufficient and competent number of the public market-crosses of the
respective burghs, and of the patent doors of the respective kirks
within this kingdom.’ This document disowned the authority of Charles
Stuart, and threatened to inflict the severest punishment, not only on
those who were actively employed in enforcing the penal laws, ‘such as
bloody militia men, malicious troopers, soldiers and dragoons,’ but also
on the ‘viperous and malicious bishops and curates,’ and all such sort
of counsellors and ‘intelligencers.’

This ‘declaration’ was dated the 28th of October 1684, and was
promulgated on the 8th of November. It appeared so outrageous even to
some of the Covenanters themselves, that they denounced it as ‘but a
State invention, set on foot by the soldiers, to make that party odious
and themselves necessary.’ But before many days these sceptics were to
be convinced ‘of the reality of this declared war.’ On the 20th of
November news reached Edinburgh that, the night before, some of the
desperate fanatics had broken in upon two of the King’s Life
Guards—Thomas Kennoway and Duncan Stewart—who were lying at Swyne Abbey,
beyond Blackburn, in Linlithgowshire, and murdered them most
barbarously. ‘This,’ adds Fountainhall, one of the contemporary
chroniclers of the incident, ‘was to execute what they had threatened in
their declaration.’

This was not the only act of violence by which Renwick’s proclamation
was followed. Within the next month there occurred two others, of which
the scene lay within the district committed to the care of Claverhouse.
The prompt and successful measures which he took to punish the
perpetrators supply the elements of fact which partisan writers have
distorted and exaggerated into one of the most wanton atrocities of the
‘killing times’; and much may be learnt from an examination of the whole
episode in its successive phases.

It opens with the murder of the curate of Carsphairn on the night
between the 11th and the 12th of December. The victim was Mr Peter
Peirson. The worst of the unsubstantiated charges brought against him by
Wodrow, who, whilst professing to abhor and detest the crime, is
nevertheless at great pains to find extenuating circumstances in the
‘unwarrantable provocations this ill man gave,’ amount to this, that he
was a surly, ill-natured man, and horridly severe; that he was very
blustering and bold, and used openly to provoke the poor people by
saying in public companies, ‘He feared none of the Whigs, nor anything
else but rats and mice’; that he was openly a favourer of popery, and
not only defended the doctrine of purgatory, but also declared openly
that Papists were much better subjects than Presbyterians; that he was a
notorious informer and instigator of all the violent measures resorted
to in that part of the country; and that he kept a number of fire-arms
loaded in his chamber—a precautionary measure for which justification
might be found in the fact that the curate lived at the manse alone,
without so much as a servant with him.

Towards the end of the year 1684, a number of the ‘wanderers’ who were
hiding in the neighbourhood ‘entered into a concert with an express
proviso of doing no harm to Mr Peirson’s person, to meet together and
essay to force him to give a written declaration that he would forbear
instigating their enemies and other violent courses, and deter him from
them in time to come, still expressly declaring they would do him no
bodily harm.’ In view of the sequel, even as it is narrated by Wodrow
himself, it would be superfluous to discuss the veracity of the whole
statement as to the innocent ‘concert,’ and still more so to inquire
into the sincerity of the alleged declaration. It may, however, be
incidentally recalled that the murderers of Archbishop Sharp were
asserted by Covenanting apologists to have come together for the
harmless purpose of intimidating the obnoxious Carmichael, or as it was
still more mildly expressed, of scaring him from his cruel courses, when
chance threw the prelate in their way.

On the occasion, now under consideration, the circumstances that led to
the tragic termination of the peaceful errand on which M’Michael,
Padzen, Mitchell, Herron, Watson and some others were engaged are thus
set forth: ‘One night, having notice that Mr Peirson was at home, they
came to the manse and sent those named above to desire Mr Peirson to
speak with some friends who were to do him no harm. One account says,
and it is not inconsistent with the other, that two of them who were
sent, got in and delivered the commission, which put Mr Peirson in a
rage, and, drawing a broadsword, and cocking a gun or pistol, he got
betwixt them and the door; upon which they called, and M’Michael and
Padzen came to the door and knocked. The other account makes no mention
of this circumstance, but says when they knocked at the door, Mr Peirson
opened it himself, and, with fury, came out upon them with arms; and
James M’Michael, as he said, laying his account with present death if he
had not done it, resolved, if he could, to be beforehand with him, and
firing a pistol at him, shot him dead on the spot. The rest, at some
distance, hearing a noise, came running up crying, “take no lives”; but
it was too late.’

A few days after the murder of the curate, a body of ‘Wanderers’
committed a more open act of violence in the town of Kirkcudbright.
According to Sir Robert Dalziel’s official report to Queensberry, upon
the Tuesday morning preceding the 18th of December, they invaded the
town, to the number of a hundred and eight, broke open the prisons,
carried away such prisoners as would go with them, and all the arms they
could seize on, together with the town drum. It was then that
Claverhouse set out in pursuit of the rioters. The accounts of his
expedition are interesting in their variations from each other and from
actual facts.

In the volume entitled ‘A Cloud of Witnesses for the Royal Prerogatives
of Jesus Christ,’ there is a section specially devoted to an enumeration
of those ‘who were killed in the open fields, without trial, conviction,
or any process of law, by the executioners of the Council’s murdering
edict.’ On the authority of ‘A Short Memorial of the Sufferings and
Grievances of the Presbyterians in Scotland,’ printed in the year 1690,
it is there stated that Claverhouse coming to Galloway, in answer to the
Viscount of Kenmure’s letter, with a small party, surprised Robert
Stewart, John Grier, Robert Ferguson, and James MacMichael, and
instantly shot them dead at the water of Dee. It is added that their
corpses having been buried, were, at his command, raised again.

The same incident is reported by De Foe, with the addition of certain
details that enhance its atrocity. In his summary of the cold-blooded
cruelties perpetrated by the most furious persecutor of the ‘poor
people,’ he has the following entry: ‘Four more men who were betray’d to
him, being hid in a house at the water of Dee, and were at the time his
men came praying together; he caused them to be dragged just to the
door, and shot them dead as they came out, without any enquiry whether
they were the persons that he came to apprehend; their being found
praying to God was, it seems, sufficient testimony of their party and
offence; after this, coming to the same place, at two or three days’
distance, and understanding the people of the town had buried the
bodies, he caused his men to dig them up again, and commanded that they
should lye in the fields: the names of these four were John Grier,
Robert Ferguson, Archibald Stewart, and Robert Stewart.’

It will be noticed that the name of Archibald Stewart figures in this
list instead of that of James MacMichael. Whether accidental or
intentional the substitution is of considerable importance, as the
sequel will show.

Without any intention of palliating the conduct of Claverhouse, Wodrow
helps to place it in a different light. ‘Let me add,’ he says, ‘that
December 18th, Claverhouse when ranging up and down Galloway, with a
troop, came to the water of Dee; and at Auchinloy, came upon some of the
people, who were lurking and hiding, unexpectedly, and surprised six of
them together; for what I can find, they had no arms. According to the
instructions lately given by the Council, he shot four of them upon the
spot in a very few minutes, Robert Ferguson and James MacMichan from
Nithsdale, and Robert Stewart and John Grier, Galloway men; afterwards
their friends carried off their bodies to Dalry and buried them. Some
accounts before me say that by orders from Claverhouse, a party came and
uncovered their graves and coffins, and they continued so open four days
till the party went off. And it appears certain, that James MacMichan’s
body, after it was buried, was taken up and hung up on a tree. This was
strange barbarity and spite. The other two, Robert Smith in Glencairn
parish, and Robert Hunter, Claverhouse carried with him to
Kirkcudbright, and called an assize, and made a form of judging them,
and caused execute them there. They would not permit these two to write
anything, not so much as letters to their relations. There were two more
in the company who escaped and happy it was for them it was so, for
probably they would have gone the same way.’

Wodrow admits that ‘it may be the rescue of some prisoners of
Kirkcudbright by some of the wanderers a little before this, was the
pretext for all this cruelty.’ But he says no word from which it can be
gathered that the party which broke open the Tolbooth of Kirkcudbright
could reasonably be suspected of including some of the men who murdered
Peirson. He gives no hint of his knowledge that it was whilst pursuing
these rioters that Claverhouse came upon the Deeside fugitives; and it
almost seems as though, by a slight change of name, he wished to conceal
the fact that the James Macmichan, whose body was treated with such
‘strange barbarity and spite,’ was no other than the James Macmichael
whom he himself names as the actual murderer of Peirson.

The information which he failed to supply may be got from Fountainhall,
who, in his ‘Historical Notices,’ under date of the 20th of December,
announces the receipt of letters from Claverhouse, reporting that he had
met with a party of the rebels, who had skulked, that he had followed
them, killed five, and taken three prisoners, some of whom were the
murderers of the minister of Carsphairn, and that he was to judge and
execute the three prisoners by his justiciary powers.

Such is the origin and development of one of those ‘atrocities’ to which
Claverhouse owes the opprobrious epithet of ‘bloody.’

For an impartial judgment of the extent of Claverhouse’s personal
connection with some of the incidents of this particular period, it must
be remembered that early in the year Colonel Douglas was appointed on
special duty against the ‘Western fanatics.’ In addition to this, on the
27th of March, the judicial powers previously held by Claverhouse were
also conferred on Douglas, as Justice in all the southern and western
shires. The instructions given him by the Privy Council contained a
special clause referring to the treatment of women that might be brought
before him or any of the members of his Commission. Only such as had
been active in a signal manner in treasonable courses were to be
examined; and those if found guilty, were to be drowned.

It was in accordance with this provision that Margaret Maclachlan and
Margaret Wilson were condemned to death. Whether the sentence was
actually carried out, or whether the account of their drowning on the
sands of the Solway Firth given by Wodrow and repeated by Macaulay be
wholly apocryphal, as Napier maintained, is a question into which it is
not necessary to enter, though the difficulty of believing that so
circumstantial a narrative can be a mere Covenanting fiction may readily
be admitted. But it is not unimportant to point out that Claverhouse was
neither directly nor indirectly concerned either in the trial, the
sentence, or the execution, and that, though still nominally a Privy
Councillor when Douglas superseded him, he was absent from the meeting
at which his rival was appointed Justice, and at which the drowning of
women was ordered.

From the command of his own regiment, Claverhouse had not been removed.
In the discharge of the duties which this position laid on him, he was
brought into immediate connection with another incident which is
commonly adduced as illustrative of the atrocities committed during the
‘killing time,’ but of which the real nature, terrible at best, it
cannot be denied, is materially affected by the truth or the falseness
of the details which have found their way into some accounts of the
event. Claverhouse’s report of the occurrence is contained in the
following despatch forwarded to Queensberry from Galston on the 3rd of
May 1685.

‘On Friday last, amongst the hills betwixt Douglas and the Ploughlands,
we pursued two fellows a great way through the mosses, and in the end
seized them. They had no arms about them, and denied they had any. But,
being asked if they would take the abjuration, the eldest of the two,
called John Brown, refused it. Nor would he swear not to rise in arms
against the King, but said he knew no king. Upon which, and there being
found bullets and match in his house, and treasonable papers, I caused
shoot him dead; which he suffered very unconcernedly.

‘The other, a young fellow and his nephew, called John Brownen offered
to take the oath; but would not swear that he had not been at Newmills
in arms, at rescuing of the prisoners. So I did not know what to do with
him. I was convinced that he was guilty, but saw not how to proceed
against him. Wherefore, after he had said his prayers, and carbines
presented to shoot him, I offered to him that if he would make an
ingenuous confession, and make a discovery that might be of any
importance for the King’s service, I should delay putting him to death,
and plead for him. Upon which he confessed that he was at that attack at
Newmills, and that he had come straight to this house of his uncle’s, on
Sunday morning.

‘In the time he was making this confession, the soldiers found out a
house in a hill, under ground, that could hold a dozen of men, and there
were swords and pistols in it; and this fellow declared that they
belonged to his uncle, and that he had lurked in that place ever since
Bothwell, where he was in arms. He confessed that he had a halbert, and
told who gave it him about a month ago, and we have the fellow prisoner.
He gave an account of the names of the most part who were there. They
were not above sixty, and they were all Galston and Newmills men, save a
few out of Straven parish. He gave also an account of a conventicle kept
by Renwick at the back of Cairntable, where there were thirteen score of
men in arms, mustered and exercised, of which number he was with his
halbert. He tells us of another conventicle, about three months ago,
kept near Loudon hill; and gives account of the persons who were at
both, and what children were baptized; particularly that at Cairntable,
which was about the time that Lieutenants Murray and Creichton let them
escape. He also gives account of those who gave any assistance to his
uncle; and we have seized thereupon the goodman of the upmost
Ploughlands; and another tenant, about a mile below that, is fled upon
it.

‘I doubt not, if we had time to stay, good use might be made of his
confession. I have acquitted myself, when I have told your Grace the
case. He has been a month or two with his halbert; and if your Grace
thinks he deserves no mercy, justice will pass on him. For I, having no
commission of Justiciary myself, have delivered him up to the
Lieutenant-General, to be disposed of as he pleases.’

Such a report is not that of a man anxious to urge excuses for an action
which he felt in his conscience to be unjustifiable. Nor can there be
any doubt that, from his point of view, Claverhouse had done nothing but
what a soldier’s duty required of him. Immediately after the
proclamation of Renwick’s manifesto, and the subsequent murder of the
two guardsmen at Swyne Abbey, it had been enacted that ‘Any person who
owns or will not disown the late treasonable declaration on oath,
whether they have arms or not, be immediately put to death, this being
always done in the presence of two witnesses, and the person or persons
having commission to that effect.’

Such was the law; and the blind obedience to orders which Claverhouse
looked upon as a part of his duty as a soldier, on which he prided
himself, and which, as has been seen, he declared in so many words to be
his one guiding principle, left him no option as to enforcing it in the
case of John Brown. With respect to the nephew, on the other hand, the
same spirit of strict discipline forbade him to inflict summary
punishment, not because he thought him less guilty than the uncle, but
because he had complied with the letter of the law. If further action
were to be taken in the case, it would have to be by those who possessed
that power of justiciary of which he had been deprived.

This John Brown who was executed in due form of martial law is the
‘Christian Carrier’ whom Wodrow accuses Claverhouse of having killed
with his own hand. After representing Brown as a man of ‘shining piety,’
who ‘was no way obnoxious to the Government, except for not hearing the
Episcopal minister,’ and after stating that he was apprehended whilst
‘at his work, near his own house in Priestfield, casting peats,’ the
historian continues: ‘Claverhouse was coming from Lesmahagow, with three
troops of dragoons: whether he had got any information of John’s piety
and nonconformity, I cannot tell, but he caused bring him up to his own
door, from the place where he was. I do not find they were at much
trouble with interrogatories and questions; we see them now almost
wearied of that leisurely way of doing business, neither do any of my
informations bear that the abjuration oath was offered him. With some
difficulty he was allowed to pray, which he did with the greatest
liberty and melting, and withal, in such suitable and scriptural
expressions, and in a peculiar judicious style, he having great measures
of the gift, as well as the grace of prayer, that the soldiers were
affected and astonished; yea, which is yet more singular, such
convictions were left in their bosoms, that, as my informations bear,
not one of them would shoot him, or obey Claverhouse’s commands, so that
he was forced to turn executioner himself, and in a fret shot him with
his own hand, before his own door, his wife with a young infant standing
by, and she very near the time of her delivery of another child. When
tears and entreaties could not prevail, and Claverhouse had shot him
dead, I am credibly informed the widow said to him, “Well, sir, you must
give an account of what you have done.” Claverhouse answered, “To men I
can be answerable, and as for God, I’ll take Him into mine own hand.” I
am well informed that Claverhouse himself frequently acknowledged
afterwards that John Brown’s prayer left such impressions upon his
spirit that he could never get altogether worn off, when he gave himself
liberty to think of it.’

A comparison of the two accounts might suffice to establish their
respective credibility. But another test is available. There is a third
version of the death of John Brown. It is given by Patrick Walker, a
pedlar and Covenanting martyrologist, who implies that he himself got it
from Brown’s widow, ‘sitting upon her husband’s gravestone.’ Apart from
minor discrepancies between his narrative and that of Wodrow, there are
at least three important points with regard to which it directly
confirms Claverhouse’s report. It not only asserts that the carrier,
when brought to his house, was examined by his captor, but it also adds
that though a man of a stammering speech, he yet answered distinctly and
solidly. In contradiction of the statement that ‘with some difficulty he
was allowed to pray,’ it represents Claverhouse as saying to him, ‘Go to
your prayers, for you shall immediately die.’ Most important of all,
however, it affirms distinctly and circumstantially that ‘Claverhouse
ordered six soldiers to shoot him,’ and that ‘the most part of the
bullets came upon his head, which scattered his brains upon the ground.’

Within a week after the shooting of John Brown, there occurred another
execution, the responsibility for which has been laid on Claverhouse by
several of the writers who chronicle the sufferings of the Covenanters
at this time The first of them is Alexander Shields. ‘The said
Claverhouse,’ he says, ‘together with the Earl of Dumbarton and
Lieutenant-General Douglas, caused Peter Gillies, John Bryce, Thomas
Young (who was taken by the Laird of Lee), William Fiddisone, and John
Buiening to be put to death upon a gibbet, without legal trial or
sentence, suffering them neither to have a Bible nor to pray before they
died.’ De Foe, whilst deepening the atrocity of the deed, allows no one
to share the guilt of it with Claverhouse. According to him, somebody
had maliciously told Graham that five men who lay in ‘several prisons,’
to which they had been committed by ‘other persecutors,’ were ‘of the
Whigs that used the field meetings; upon which, without any oath made of
the fact, or any examination of the men, without any trial or other
sentence than his own command, his bloody soldiers fetched them all to
Mauchline, a village where his headquarters were, and hanged them
immediately, not suffering them to enter into any house at their coming,
nor at the entreaty of the poor men would permit one to lend them a
Bible, who it seems offered it, nor allow them a moment to pray to God.’

The case of two of these men, that of Peter Gillies and John Bryce
has been cited by Macaulay as one of the instances of the crimes by
which Claverhouse and men like him, goaded the peasantry of the
Western Lowlands into madness. His account, based on that given by
Wodrow, refutes the statement made by De Foe as to the absence of
all legal formality. He admits that the two artisans were tried by a
military tribunal consisting of fifteen men; and thus sets aside
what both Shields and De Foe put forward as the crowning atrocity of
the deed. But, on the other hand, by mentioning the execution
amongst other alleged instances of Claverhouse’s cruelty, he leaves
the reader under the impression that it was he and his dragoons who
acted as judge and jury. Now Wodrow distinctly states that, on being
taken to Mauchline, Gillies and Bryce, ‘with some others, were
examined by Lieutenant-General Drummond,’ and that ‘an assize was
called of fifteen of the soldiers,’ with Drummond himself as
‘Commissioner of Justiciary.’ Claverhouse’s name does not once occur
in Wodrow’s detailed account of the incident, and evidence to
connect him directly and personally with the trial or execution is
consequently wanting.

The last instance drawn from ‘the history of a single fortnight,’ of
that lamentable month of May 1685, is the summary execution of Andrew
Hislop, in Eskdale Muir. There are two accounts of it. One of them is to
be found in ‘The Cloud of Witnesses.’ The other is given by Wodrow.
About Hislop himself, the latter tells us that he was but a youth, and
lived with his mother, to whom one of the ‘suffering people’ had come
for shelter, and in whose house he had died. For her charity towards the
proscribed Covenanter, and for affording his body burial, the poor widow
brought down upon herself the vengeance of the Laird of Westerhall, who
though ‘once a Covenanter, a great professor and zealot for the
presbyterian establishment,’ had become a violent persecutor of his
former brethren, ‘as all apostates generally are.’ To signalise his
loyalty, Westerhall pulled down the woman’s cottage, carried off
everything that was portable, and drove her with her children into the
fields. Her eldest son Andrew, however, was reserved for a worse fate,
as to the actual circumstances of which there are conflicting
narratives. That contained in the book commonly known as ‘The Cloud of
Witnesses’ states that Westerhall delivered him up to Claverhouse, ‘and
never rested until he got him shot by Claverhouse’s troops.’ Wodrow,
though he was acquainted with this account, and actually refers to it,
so far departs from it as to make Claverhouse the lad’s captor.
‘Claverhouse,’ he says, ‘falls upon Andrew Hislop in the fields, May
10th, and seizes him, without any design, as appeared, to murder him,
bringing him prisoner with him to Eskdale, unto Westerhall that night.’

To the first account, which is that favoured by Macaulay, there is this
objection, that Claverhouse had been deprived of his judicial power,
and, for that very reason had refused to deal with John Brown’s nephew,
and delivered him up to the Lieutenant-General. Westerhall, on the other
hand, is stated by Wodrow to have been ‘one empowered by the Council’;
and that is probably why the historian inverts the parts played by the
two respectively. But, against accepting his account, there is the
difficulty of understanding how Westerhall allowed Hislop to escape from
his clutches in the first instance. Whichever may be the true statement
of the case, the sequel is practically identical according to both
versions. ‘Claverhouse,’ says Wodrow, ‘in this instance was very
backward, perhaps not wanting his own reflections upon John Brown’s
murder, and pressed the delay of the execution. But Westerhall urged
till the other yielded, saying, the blood of this poor man be upon you,
Westerhall, I am free of it.’ Thereupon, it is stated, Claverhouse
ordered a Highland gentleman, who, with his company, was temporarily
under his orders, to provide the firing-party. But the Captain,
continues the account, peremptorily refused, and drawing off his men to
a distance, swore he would fight Claverhouse and his dragoons rather
than act the part of executioner. Three troopers were then called out,
and Hislop fell before their fire.

There are circumstances that make it difficult to accept this statement
of the case. If Claverhouse was averse to the summary execution of
Hislop, it may very safely be assumed, on the strength of what is known
concerning his character, that nothing but his respect for superior
authority and the blind obedience to it, which he repeatedly declared to
be his guiding principle as a soldier, would have induced him to take
any part in it. In that case, the whole responsibility would be removed
from him, and laid upon Westerhall, whose orders he merely carried out.
But this substitution is not possible. As Claverhouse cannot but have
known, Westerhall was not in a position to act as judge in the case; and
there would consequently have been no breach and no infringement of the
strictest discipline in disregarding commands which he was not justified
in giving.

Wodrow, as has been seen, states that Westerhall was ‘one empowered by
the Council.’ The commission to which this refers had been granted on
the 3rd of January 1684; and, it may be incidentally mentioned that the
power which it gave him to judge desperate rebels, could not be
exercised by him individually and alone, but in conjunction with two
other colleagues. But what Wodrow either overlooked or ignored, is the
fact that, on the 21st of April 1685, General Drummond was invested with
the whole authority previously held conjointly by the commissioners; and
that the royal warrant by which this supersession was effected,
expressly declared that all former commissions granted either by the
King or by the Privy Council for trying or punishing criminals, were
void and extinct. It consequently follows that if Claverhouse acted as
he is alleged to have done, he did not merely consent, sullenly or
otherwise, to the carrying out of a cruel and iniquitous, but strictly
legal sentence, he actually became an accomplice in a deliberate murder
of which he did not approve and which he could have prevented by taking
up the same position as the Highland gentleman is said to have assumed.
Were this the case, the shooting of Hislop would be one of the most
indefensible of the atrocities with which Claverhouse has been charged.
And yet we do not find that those who were watching his conduct at the
time with all the keenness of enmity, and who would gladly have availed
themselves of such an opportunity for doing him an ill turn, took any
notice of the occurrence.

Still more convincing is it, that the Covenanting writers who record the
incident, whilst bitter enough in their denunciations of Claverhouse’s
inhumanity, are absolutely silent as to the lawlessness of his action.
This difficulty has been met by the suggestion that there were probably
other proceedings, of which the accounts omit to make mention; that
Hislop was asked to take the oath, and, by refusing to do so, made
himself amenable to the full penalty of the law. Such an assumption
clears both Westerhall and Claverhouse of the actual guilt of murder. It
does not free the latter from the charge of having acted with a weakness
and a subserviency as unjustifiable in themselves as they seem foreign
to his nature. Under the circumstances, the least that can be claimed
for him is an open verdict. To convict him on such evidence as has been
adduced, and to do so for the purpose of vindicating the veracity of
writers who are not even in accord with each other would be palpably
unjust.

Matthew Meiklewrath is another of the victims of this terrible time; and
if the account of his death given by De Foe were as accurate as it is
circumstantial, no term but that of murder could be applied to the
outrage alleged to have been committed by Claverhouse. ‘At Comonel, in
the County of Carrick,’ states the chronicler of his misdeeds, ‘he saw a
man run hastily across the street before his troop, and as he might
suppose did it to escape from or avoid them, though, as the people of
the place related it, the poor man had no apprehensions of them, but as
he took all occasions for his bloody designs, he commanded his men to
shoot this person, without so much as examining him, or asking who he
was.’ The refutation of this charge of wanton barbarity is to be found
in the epitaph quoted in ‘The Cloud of Witnesses’ from a stone in the
churchyard where Meiklewrath was interred:—

                 ‘In this parish of Colmonel,
                  By bloody Claverhouse I fell,
                  Who did command that I should die,
                  For owning covenanting Presbytery.
                  My blood a witness still doth stand,
                  ‘Gainst all defections in this land.’

The cases that have been cited do not exhaust the black list that might
be drawn up from the accounts already referred to. They may suffice,
however, to show, not indeed that Claverhouse performed the odious
duties imposed upon him by his position otherwise than sternly and
remorselessly, but, at least, that the most notorious of the instances
which represent him as going far beyond even what the merciless laws
required or authorised, as delighting in suffering and revelling in
bloodshed, are demonstrably exaggerations, and that impartial
investigation, whilst it may lead us to deplore the relentless severity
with which he carried out the orders of the Government, does not justify
us in holding him up to obloquy as a monster of cruelty.

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————



  VII

  UNDER KING JAMES


CHARLES II. died at the beginning of February 1685, and was succeeded by
his brother. As Duke of York James had been Claverhouse’s chief patron;
as King, one of his first actions was to express his disapproval of the
conduct to which his favourite had been urged by a ‘high, proud and
peremptory humour.’ This was the result of a quarrel with Queensberry,
of which the origin, trifling in itself, went back to the beginning of
the previous December. At a meeting of the Privy Council, held on the
11th of that month, there was read a complaint presented by some
soldiers whom Queensberry’s brother, Colonel James Douglas had turned
out of his regiment, and who alleged that their commanding officer ‘had
taken the arrears of their pay, and clothed and shoed some of the rest
of the soldiers therewith.’ The complainant’s cause was taken up by
Claverhouse, on the ground that the treatment to which they had been
submitted would discourage others from entering into his Majesty’s
service. This the High Treasurer resented as reflecting on the manner in
which his brother had done his duty; and thus, says Fountainhall, grew
the difference between him and Claverhouse.

Whatever may have been the intrinsic merits of the case, and it is but
fair to state that Douglas had otherwise shown himself a zealous and
capable officer, there can be no doubt that Claverhouse had put himself
in the wrong, by allowing his temper to get the better of him. This he
himself admitted in a letter which he wrote to James, and in which he
endeavoured ‘to excuse his warmth by saying he took what was said as
levelled at him.’ But after reading this account and comparing it with
that which he also received, not from Queensberry, but from ‘both the
Chancellor and Lundy,’ the Duke was obliged to express his regret ‘that
Claverhouse was so little master of himself the other day at Council,’
and promised that when he came to Scotland he would let the offender
know that his behaviour was not approved of.

James’s accession prevented his leaving London at the time, as he had
apparently intended to do. It was also the cause of Queensberry’s being
summoned to Court. It may be assumed that during his stay the quarrel
with Claverhouse formed the subject of conversation between him and the
King; but there is nothing to show that he solicited further
satisfaction than had already been given him by the appointment of
Douglas to the command of the forces in the western shires, in
supersession of Colonel Graham. When he returned to Scotland at the end
of March as Lord High Commissioner to the Scottish Parliament, he does
not appear to have known that it was the King’s intention to take
further cognizance of the matter.

It was from Secretary Murray that he learnt Claverhouse’s exclusion from
the Privy Council, ‘to show him and others that his Majesty would
support his Minister, and not suffer any to do unfit or misbecoming
things.’ The letter conveying the information was written on the 5th of
April. Four days later a new Commission was produced at the Board, from
which none of the former Privy Councillors but Claverhouse was omitted.
Amongst the better informed, there was no doubt that this was ‘because
of the discords between him and the High Treasurer and his brother,’ as
Fountainhall asserts. But the same authority states the ‘pretence’ to
have been ‘that having married into the Lord Dundonald’s fanatic family,
it was not safe to commit the King’s secrets to him.’

While thus indicating his dissatisfaction with Claverhouse, James felt
that the whole quarrel was too petty to justify him in punishing with
lasting disgrace a faithful servant whose valuable help he had
repeatedly acknowledged. He was at special pains to let him understand
that if he tendered an apology to Queensberry he should be restored to
place and favour. There is no direct evidence of submission on
Claverhouse’s part; but, that his better sense, or, to put it at its
lowest, a saner appreciation of his own interest soon prevailed over his
pride may be gathered from the fact that a royal letter, dated the 11th
of May, reinstated him as Privy Councillor.

Within a fortnight of his reappointment he received further proof of the
value set on his services. About this time news had arrived of Argyle’s
intended invasion of Scotland, and it would seem that Claverhouse had
communicated some important information with regard to it, in a despatch
to the Lord Commissioner. The document is not known to be extant; but
its purport is indicated by the reply which it elicited from the Secret
Committee of Council, and which was written on the 23rd of May. ‘If
there be any danger by horse,’ he was told, ‘it must be from the
Border’; and he was authorised to propose what he judged expedient with
a view to meeting the emergency, and instructed to inform the Earl of
Dumbarton, who had just received his commission as Commander-in-Chief,
of the measures which he intended to adopt. He was also to keep in touch
with Fielding the deputy-governor of Carlisle. This clearly shows that
the danger which he apprehended and had pointed out threatened the
disaffected western counties.

The discretionary powers with which the letter of the Council invested
Claverhouse implied the recognition, not very willing, it may be
assumed, on the part of all the ‘affectionate friends and servants’ who
signed it, and at the head of whom Queensberry figured as Commissioner,
of his special fitness to cope with it. But the most striking and
interesting passage in the document consists of a couple of lines,
thrown in almost casually, and curtly announcing his promotion. ‘The
King has sent commissions to Colonel Douglas and you as Brigadiers, both
of horse and foot. Douglas is prior in date.’ When it is remembered in
what relation Claverhouse had stood to Queensberry and his brother, but
a short time before, the ungracious tone of this communication becomes
highly suggestive. The suspicions which it arouses are amply confirmed
by a full statement of the case, as it is set forth by Secretary Murray
in a confidential letter to Queensberry. There could be no more striking
proof of the feelings of ill-will and of envy which Claverhouse had to
contend against, on the part of the Government, or of the intrigues that
were resorted to by his opponents:—

‘The King ordered two commissions to be drawn, for your brother and
Claverhouse to be Brigadiers. We were ordered to see how such
commissions had been here, and in Earl Middleton’s office we found the
extract of one granted to Lord Churchill, another to Colonel Worden, the
one for horse, the other for foot. So Lord Melfort told me the King had
ordered him to draw one for your brother for the foot, and Claverhouse
for the horse. I told him that could not be; for by that means
Claverhouse would command your brother. To be short, we were very hot on
the matter. He said he knew no reason why Colonel Douglas should have
the precedency unless that he was your brother. I told him that was
enough; but that there was a greater, and that was, that he was an
officer of more experience and conduct, and that was the King’s design
of appointing Brigadiers at this time. He said Claverhouse had served
the King longer in Scotland. I told him that was yet wider from the
purpose; for there were in the army that had served many years longer
than Claverhouse, and of higher quality; and without disparagement to
any, gallant in their personal courage. By this time I flung from him,
and went straight to the King, and represented the case. He followed and
came to us. But the King changed his mind, and ordered him to draw the
commissions both for horse and foot, and your brother’s two days date
before the other; by which his command is clear before the other. I saw
the commissions signed this afternoon, and they are sent herewith by
Lord Charles Murray. Now, I beseech your Grace, say nothing of this to
any; nay, not even to your brother. For Lord Melfort said to Sir Andrew
Forrester, that he was sure there would be a new storm on him. I could
not, nor is it fit this should have been kept from you; but you will
find it best for a while to know, or take little notice; for it gives
him but ground of talking, and serves no other end.’

Even if Queensberry was as discreet as his correspondent advised him to
be, there is no reason for supposing that Melfort considered himself
bound to keep Claverhouse in ignorance of the stormy scene described by
Murray. But although the newly-promoted Brigadier must have been well
aware of the device by which his enemies had found means of coupling a
slight with what was intended to be a mark of royal favour, he had the
wisdom and the self-restraint to show no consciousness of it. A letter
which he wrote to Queensberry on the 16th of June, bears testimony to
his calm and self-respecting conduct, whilst, at the same time, it shows
that the Lord Commissioner was as spitefully intent as ever on finding
opportunities or excuses for annoying and humiliating him.

Documents for the reconstruction of the whole case are not available.
All that can be ascertained is that, in carrying out the precautionary
measures which his additional powers justified and which the emergency
required, he had requisitioned the assistance of some of Queensberry’s
tenants. This had been construed into an offence, and made the subject
of a report to the commander-in-chief who had no course open to him but
that of intimating the Duke’s displeasure to his subordinate. The reply,
addressed to Queensberry himself was respectful but dignified. ‘I am
sorry,’ he wrote, ‘that anything I have done should have given your
Grace occasion to be dissatisfied with me, and to make complaints
against me to the Earl of Dumbarton. I am convinced your Grace is ill
informed; for after you have read what I wrote to you two days ago on
that subject, I daresay I may refer myself to your own censure. That I
had no design to make great search there anybody may judge. I came not
from Ayr till after eleven in the forenoon, and went to Balagen, with
forty heritors against night. The Sanquar is just in the road; and I
used these men I met accidentally on the road better than ever I used
any in these circumstances. And I may safely say, that, as I shall
answer to God, if they had been living on my ground, I could not have
forborne drawing my sword and knocking them down. However, I am glad I
have received my Lord Dumbarton’s orders anent your Grace’s tenants,
which I shall most punctually obey; though, I may say, they were safe as
any in Scotland before.’

With this explanation, the matter appears to have been dismissed from
Claverhouse’s mind; and the remainder of his letter is taken up with
remarks concerning certain dispositions intended by the other commanders
who, like himself, were watching the progress of the threatened
invasion. His outspoken, but well-grounded criticism of them showed that
the rebuke administered to him had not reduced him to a condition of
cringing subserviency, and that the obedience which he was prepared to
yield to those in authority above him did not include a readiness to
bear responsibility for the result of measures which seemed to him
ill-advised.

The extant correspondence between Claverhouse and Queensberry closes
with a letter bearing date of the 3rd of July 1685. It is a report as to
the manner in which an order from the Secret Committee with regard to
the disposal of the moveables of rebels for the maintenance of the royal
forces had been carried out. It is a straightforward and business-like
statement, setting forth how the money already received had been laid
out, and requesting instructions with respect to the sums still due.

Apart from the desire which every honourable man would feel, and with
which Claverhouse may be credited, of placing himself above suspicion in
all that concerned the management of the funds that came into his hands,
he had special reason for exercising exceptional care in the matter in
view of the humiliating treatment to which he had been subjected shortly
before. In the preceding month of March, Queensberry, as High Treasurer
had given orders to the cash-keeper to charge Claverhouse on a bond he
had given to the Exchequer, for the fines of delinquents in Galloway.
Claverhouse had replied that his brother, the Sheriff-depute, was
gathering them in, and craved for delay, whereupon he was allowed five
or six days’ grace. He objected that considering the distance, such a
concession was as unreasonable as giving no time at all. To this the
Treasurer had retorted, ‘Then you shall have none.’

Claverhouse had paid the money; but he was not content to remain under
the imputation which Queensberry’s action towards him implied. He had
repeatedly applied for leave to proceed to London, for the purpose of
explaining his conduct to the King, both in this transaction and in
other matters which had been made the grounds of complaints against him,
and which had led to his temporary disgrace. He had been persistently
refused, and it was not till the end of the year that he had an
opportunity of pleading his cause before James. Then, however, he did it
to good purpose. According to Fountainhall, ‘the King was so
ill-satisfied with what the Treasurer had exacted of Claverhouse, that
he ordered the Treasurer to repay it.’

On the 24th of December 1685, Claverhouse returned to Edinburgh in
company with the Earl of Perth. The Chancellor had recently abjured
Protestantism, and stood in high favour with the King. But if, as
Halifax sarcastically remarked, his faith saved him at Court, it made
him impossible in Scotland. Within a few weeks of his arrival, on
Sunday, the 31st of January, there was a popular demonstration against
the avowed and public meetings for the celebration of Mass and other
acts of ‘Papish worship.’ The disorderly crowd, in which the apprentices
of Edinburgh figured conspicuously, fell upon one of the priests, and
compelled him, under threats of death, to renounce popery, and, on
bended knees, to take the test oath. Others, as they came from church,
were roughly treated and had mud thrown at them.

One of the victims of this popular violence was the Chancellor’s wife.
The Earl was so incensed at the outrage that he caused some of the boys
to be apprehended; and, next day, by order of the Council, one of them
was taken to be whipped through the Canongate. But whilst the sentence
was being carried out, the apprentices again mustered in large numbers,
assaulted the executioner, and rescued their companion. Encouraged by
their success, they became so riotous that the soldiers were called out.
The crowd was fired upon, and three persons were killed. Next day
further punishment was inflicted on the rioters. A woman and two men
were flogged through the city; but the authorities had become so
apprehensive of violence that the streets were lined with ‘two thick
ranks and defiles of musketeers and pikemen.’

Even the military could not be depended upon. A grenadier was remitted
to a court-martial for saying he would not fight in the quarrel against
the Protestants; and a drummer having been denounced by some Catholics
for drawing his sword and declaring that he could find it in his heart
to run it through them was summarily shot. Later, a fencing-master was
condemned to death and hanged for publicly giving expression to his
approval of the tumult. Another man who was brought before the
magistrates on a charge of speaking against the Papists, would perhaps
have shared the same fate, had it not been proved on his behalf, that he
was sometimes mad.

The protest of the street was taken up by the pulpit. A fortnight later,
‘Mr Canaires, lately Popish,’ but now minister at Selkirk, preached a
violent sermon in the High Church of Edinburgh. In the course of it he
gave utterance to the opinion ‘that no man, without renouncing his sense
and reason,’ could embrace such doctrines as those of the Pope’s
infallibility or of transubstantiation. At the next meeting of the
Council, the Chancellor moved that notice should be taken of this
seditious language. Fountainhall records that ‘Claverhouse backed the
Chancellor in this. But, there being a deep silence in all the rest of
the Councillors, it was passed over at this time.’

With this incident, which the unquestioned sincerity of his own
religious belief makes it impossible to regard in any light but that of
a protest against the insult offered to his sovereign, Claverhouse
disappears for a time from the scene. There is no record of personal
action on his part for a space of nearly three years. The only two
events that have to be chronicled are his promotion, in 1686, to the
rank of Major-General, still in subordination to his rival Douglas, and
his appointment, in March 1688, to be Provost of Dundee, a dignity
which, in conjunction with his Constable’s jurisdiction, made him
absolute there.

Early in the month of September 1688, a royal messenger arrived in
Edinburgh, bearing a letter in which James informed the Secret Committee
of the Privy Council of the Prince of Orange’s designs on England. The
news was wholly unexpected. So incredible did it at first seem, that
suspicions of a device for raising money were aroused by it. The
precautionary measures which the announcement made it incumbent on the
Government to take for the security of the country, were nevertheless
adopted without delay. On the 18th, a proclamation was issued, calling
out the militia regiments and requiring all fencible men to hold
themselves in readiness for active service as soon as they should see
the light of the beacons that were to be kindled the moment a hostile
fleet was sighted from the coast.

These preparations were nullified by a second despatch from London,
which ordered all the regular troops to proceed at once to England,
where they were to be under the orders of the Earl of Feversham, the
commander-in-chief of the King’s forces. This new plan of action,
suggested by James Stewart of Goodtrees, a notorious plotter who had
actually been condemned to death for his connection with Argyle’s
rebellion, and whose antecedents were not such as to justify the King’s
confidence in him, was received with consternation in Edinburgh. The
Council and Secret Committee, relying on the loyalty of the army, felt
satisfied of their power to keep the nation in due respect; but they
were fully alive to the danger which would arise if the country were
denuded of troops. They accordingly sent a remonstrance to the King, at
the same time that they submitted a feasible and efficient scheme of
defence of their own. Its main features consisted in the retention of
the regular forces in their several garrisons, for the maintenance of
internal order, and in the protection of the Border by means of an army
of thirteen thousand men, to be formed by a combination of the militia
with the Highland clans.

This judicious advice was summarily rejected; and a further command was
sent to the Council to carry out the former instructions. According to
Balcarres, the order was positive and short, advised by Mr James Stewart
at a supper, written upon the back of a plate, and immediately
dispatched by an express. In the memoirs which the same writer addressed
and presented to James in his exile, the sequel is thus narrated: ‘With
a sorrowful heart to all your servants, your orders were obeyed, and
about the beginning of October they began their march, three thousand
effective young men, vigorous, well-disciplined and clothed, and to a
man hearty in your cause, and willing out of principle as well as duty,
to hazard their lives for the support of the Government, as then
established, both in Church and State.’

Of the army that marched into England, Claverhouse led the cavalry,
which consisted of his own regiment of six troops, of Livingstone’s
troop of royal Horse Guards, and of Dunmore’s regiment of dragoons. The
infantry was under the orders of Douglas, who, in virtue of his rank as
Lieutenant-General, was also entrusted with the supreme command of the
whole force. The arrangements for the march appear to have been as
inadequate as the order for it had been ill-advised. Writing to
Queensberry on the 7th of October, Douglas reported that he had reached
Moffat the evening before, with considerable difficulty, owing to the
bad state of the roads. He was unprovided with ammunition, and all he
knew concerning his present business was, that horses for his baggage
were to be furnished him in England, during forty days, and that it was
the King’s wish that he should march to Preston and remain there till
further orders.

At Aleson Bank, which he reached three days later, further cause for
worry and annoyance awaited him. Conflicting instructions from the King
and from Dumbarton left him in doubt whether he was to take the east or
the west road to London. In any case, Claverhouse was to proceed to York
with the cavalry; and Douglas’s comment on this was that he had never
seen such a course adopted before, to send away all the horse, and leave
two regiments of foot open to the insults of foreigners, who were
expected to land horse and dragoons.

Fully a month had elapsed since the departure of Douglas and Claverhouse
from Scotland before they reached London. After a few days’ halt they
started for Salisbury, where James had assembled an army of twenty-four
thousand men, to oppose the Prince of Orange, who had landed at Torbay,
on the 5th of November, and was advancing towards the capital. It was
whilst on his march to join his sovereign that Claverhouse received a
further and final token of royal favour by being created Viscount
Dundee. He had left London on the 10th, and the patent of his peerage
bore the date of the 12th of November 1688.

Before setting out for the camp at Salisbury, James had summoned his
principal officers to him—Churchill, lately promoted Lieutenant-General,
Grafton, colonel of the First Guards, Kirke and Trelawny, colonels of
the Tangier regiments—and had received from them assurances of fidelity.
Before the end of the month they had all deserted to William. Amongst
the officers of the Scottish contingent, there was one also whose
loyalty was unequal to the strain which circumstances put upon it. This
was Lieutenant-General Douglas. When he went to England with the army,
he was ignorant of the treasonable designs of some of his English
brother officers; but he had not conversed long with Churchill, Kirke,
and the others before he grew ‘one of the hottest of the party.’

Balcarres, who brings the charge against him, asserts, on the authority
of Dundee himself, that he proposed to his subordinate to betray the
royal cause, and to take his regiment over with him. Before broaching
the subject, however, he took the precaution of exacting an oath of
secrecy. Though bound in honour to conceal his chief’s disloyal
overtures, Dundee may be supposed to have imposed conditions which
Douglas thought it prudent to accept, and in accordance with which he
maintained a show of allegiance for some time longer. The Earl of
Dumbarton was amongst the faithful few. In his sturdy loyalty he
offered, with his single regiment of Scottish infantry to make a stand
against the invading forces of William. A more practical suggestion was
made by Dundee. With a generous confidence, says Dalrymple in his
“Memoirs,” he advised his Majesty either to fight the Prince, or to go
to him in person and demand his business in England. But James chose to
adopt a more spiritless course, and retired from Salisbury. According to
the account given by Creichton, who was serving at the time in Dunmore’s
regiment of dragoons, Dundee was ordered to bring up the Scottish horse
to Reading, where he joined Dumbarton with his forces, and remained for
nine or ten days. ‘They were in all about ten thousand strong. General
Douglas, with his regiment of Foot Guards, passing by Reading, lay at
Maidenhead, from whence one of his battalions revolted to the Prince,
under the conduct of a corporal whose name was Kemp. However, Douglas
assured the King that this defection happened against his will; and yet
when the officers were ready to fire upon the deserters, his compassion
was such that he would not permit them.’ After this, continues the same
narrator, the Earl of Dumbarton and Dundee, with all the officers who
adhered to the King, were ordered to meet his Majesty at Uxbridge, where
he intended to fight the Prince.

When the forces had assembled at the place appointed, each party sent an
officer to the Earl of Feversham, to receive his commands. Creichton
says that it was he who attended on the part of Dundee, and that he was
ordered with the rest to wait till the King came to dinner, his Majesty
being expected within half-an-hour. But matters took an unexpected turn.
The Earl, to his great surprise, received a letter from the King,
signifying that his Majesty had gone off, and had no further service for
the army. When Creichton returned with this news, neither Dundee, nor
Linlithgow, nor Dunmore could forbear bursting into tears. It is further
stated that Dundee, acting upon a suggestion of which Creichton claims
the credit, had resolved to make his way back to Scotland, when the
townspeople, anxious to rid themselves as soon as possible of the
military, raised the report that the Prince of Orange was approaching.
After preparation to receive him had been hastily made, Creichton was
again dispatched by Dundee, to discover whether the alarm were true. The
orderly was met on the way by a messenger whom William had entrusted
with a letter, of which the contents, quoted from memory, are said to
have been as follows:—

‘MY LORD DUNDEE,—I understand you are now at Watford, and that you keep
your men together. I desire you will stay there till further orders, and
upon my honour, none in my army shall touch you.

                                             ‘W. H. PRINCE OF ORANGE.’

From this point, there is some doubt as to Dundee’s movements. He may,
very probably, have gone on to London; and there is evidence of his
having been there shortly after the King’s flight. He was one of those
who attended a meeting of the Scottish Privy Councillors, which had been
hastily summoned by Balcarres to consider the situation, but which
effected nothing beyond affording Hamilton an opportunity of displaying
his ‘usual vehemency.’ If an account quoted by Napier from ‘Carte’s
Memorandum Book’ is to be credited, Dundee must, shortly after this,
when the news of James’s arrest at Faversham reached the capital, have
gone to meet his luckless master at Rochester, and there advised him to
summon his disbanded army together again, undertaking to raise ten
thousand men himself, and to march through all England with the royal
standard at their head.

There is better evidence of a final interview with James after his
return to London. Besides Dundee himself, Colin Earl of Balcarres was
also present at it. The Earl had come for the purpose of making a last
attempt to move the King to active resistance, promising that if he
would but give the word, an army of twenty thousand men would be ready
to receive his orders. The King, however, had rejected the proposal;
and, as it was a fine morning, expressed a wish to take a walk.
Balcarres and Dundee accompanied him, ‘When he was in the Mall, he
stopped and looked at them, and asked how they could be with him, when
all the world had forsaken him, and gone to the Prince of Orange. Colin
said, their fidelity to so good a master would ever be the same, they
had nothing to do with the Prince of Orange. Lord Dundee made the
strongest professions of duty. “Will you two, as gentlemen, say you have
still attachment to me?” “Sir, we do.” “Will you give me your hands upon
it, as men of honour?” They did so. “Well, I see you are the men I
always took you to be; you shall know all my intentions. I can no longer
remain here but as a cypher, or be a prisoner to the Prince of Orange,
and you know there is but a small distance between the prisons and the
graves of Kings. Therefore, I go to France immediately; when there, you
shall have my instructions. You, Lord Balcarres, shall have a commission
to manage my civil affairs, and you, Lord Dundee, to command my troops
in Scotland.”’

After the departure of James, both the noblemen remained in London for a
time. It is stated by Dalrymple that both of them were asked by William
to enter his service. ‘Dundee,’ he says, ‘refused without ceremony.
Balcarres confessed the trust which had been put in him, and asked the
King if, after that, he could enter the service of another. William
generously answered, ‘I cannot say that you can;’ but added, ‘Take care
that you fall not within the law, for otherwise I shall be forced,
against my will, to let the law overtake you.’

Bishop Burnet puts a different complexion on the matter as regards
Dundee; and it is his account that has led Macaulay to accuse the latter
of having been less ingenuous than his friend Balcarres. The Bishop
distinctly states that he himself had been employed by Dundee to carry
messages from him to the King, to know what security he might expect, if
he should go and live in Scotland without owning his government. ‘The
King said, if he would live peaceably and at home, he would protect him:
to this he answered that, unless he was forced to it, he would live
quietly.’

It is not easy to believe that this is an absolutely accurate account of
what actually took place. But the result, which scarcely amounts to a
promise on the part of Dundee, as Macaulay interprets it, but rather
appears in the light of a compromise on either side, is probably not far
removed from the truth. It did not place Dundee in a special and
exceptional position; it only put him on the same footing as all who
were included in the general amnesty, not more generously than wisely,
granted by William to the former adherents of the dethroned King. Of a
personal interview between Dundee and William, there is no actual
evidence.

By the beginning of 1689 there was no reason for further stay in
England; and Dundee turned northwards again with Balcarres, and with the
remnant of the cavalry at the head of which he had ridden to London in
the autumn—a few troopers who had kept by their old chief even after
their regiment was disbanded.

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————



  VIII

  BEFORE THE STRUGGLE


WHEN Dundee reached Edinburgh, in the last days of February, the
disturbances that had broken out shortly before had been quelled, owing
mainly to the judicious and vigorous measures taken by the College of
Justice; and to all outward appearance, at least, the capital was in a
state of great tranquillity. But the excitement, though less
demonstrative than it had been in the earlier weeks of the year, was
still intense, and increased with the approach of the date fixed for the
meeting of the Convention of the Estates, which was to determine whether
England and Scotland were to be ruled by one sovereign, or whether there
was to be a renewal between them of the hostilities of former centuries.

The Duke of Hamilton, the most influential of the Scottish noblemen who
had offered their services to William, was making his arrangements in
view of the coming crisis. He had brought in several companies of foot,
which he billeted in the town. There seemed to be good reason to believe
that before long he would be able to quarter them in the Castle. The
command of the old fortress had been entrusted by James to the Duke of
Gordon, ‘a man weak and wavering in courage, but bound by shame and
religion.’ He had committed the almost inconceivable error of failing to
provision the Castle, when he determined to hold it, and whilst the
opportunity of procuring necessaries from the townspeople was still open
to him. He had learnt that all the castles and forts in England had been
given up, some of them, it was reported, by order of the exiled King
himself; and no communication from any of his own party had brought him
encouragement to further resistance. When, on the faith of a letter from
William, he was offered indemnity and full assurance of protection, he
agreed to what, under the circumstances, seemed to him to be an
honourable capitulation. He was in the very act of evacuating the
Castle, his furniture was actually being removed from it, when Dundee
and Balcarres came to him. By representing to him the service which he
might still render to the royal cause, and by appealing to his honour,
they succeeded in persuading him to hold out until the Convention had
given indications of its designs.

When the Estates met, on the 14th of March, Hamilton secured a first
victory for his party by getting himself appointed President. At his
suggestion, negotiations were again opened with Gordon, by the
intermediary of the Earls of Lothian and Tweeddale. They were so far
successful that the wavering Governor promised to surrender on the
following day. But, when the time came, he again evaded his engagement
by insisting upon terms which he knew could not be accorded him. It was
Dundee who had again worked the change. He had gone to the Castle and
assured Gordon that the King’s friends had resolved to desert the
Edinburgh Convention, and to summon another at Stirling, in virtue of
the powers given to the Archbishop of St Andrews, Balcarres, and himself
by a royal warrant received from Ireland. It is asserted by Dalrymple
that ‘Balcarres, but still more Dundee,’ then urged the Governor to fire
upon the city, in order to dissolve the Convention. From the account
given by Balcarres, however, it would appear that this advice was given
by the King’s ‘friends’ immediately after Dundee had ridden off with his
fifty troopers. For failing to keep his engagement with the Convention,
Gordon was declared a traitor. As the heralds made their proclamation in
due form, under the very walls of his fortress he spiritedly retorted
that they ought in decency to have doffed the King’s livery before they
proscribed the King’s governor.

It was true that, as Dundee had told Gordon, the adherents of James had
determined to desert the Convention. Their resolution was the result of
an incident that had taken place at a recent sitting of that Assembly.
Two letters had been received, one from the new King William, the other
from the late King James. The former was read and ‘answered in strains
of gratitude and respect.’ The latter met with a different reception.
The members of the Orange party were at first unwilling that its
contents should be made known. They urged that the nation would be in a
miserable condition if the despatch should prove to be an order for the
dissolution of the Convention. Many of their opponents admitted this.
But they were confident that James had written ‘in terms suitable to the
bad situation of his affairs in England,’ and had given such full
satisfaction in matters of religion and liberty as would induce even
most of those who had declared against him to return to their duty; and
they consequently pressed that the message should be heard. It was not,
however, until a unanimous vote had declared the Convention to be a
legal and free meeting, and, as such, not to be dissolved by any order
the letter might contain, that permission was granted. To the
consternation of the Jacobites, and the joy of their enemies, it was
found that the despatch, in which the hand and style of the obnoxious
Melfort were recognised, ‘was written in the terms of a conqueror and a
priest, threatening the Convention with punishment in this world and
damnation in the next.’ There could no longer be any doubt as to what
the result of the Convention would be.

The futility of making any further attempt to influence the Estates in
favour of James was not the only reason that made Dundee desire to leave
Edinburgh. He had received information that a number of his old enemies,
the Covenanters, had formed a plot to assassinate him and Sir George
Mackenzie. There can be no doubt that George Hamilton of Barns had
brought up four hundred armed citizens from Glasgow, and had lodged them
about the Parliament House; but it is alleged that the object of this
measure was merely to prevent Dundee himself from carrying out a design
which he had formed of seizing certain members of the Convention. At the
next meeting of the Estates he made known what he had learnt, offered to
point out the very house in which his intending murderers were
concealed, and demanded that they should be brought to justice. A
majority of the House refused to take cognisance of what was slightingly
described as a private matter, until affairs of greater moment had been
dealt with; and Hamilton, who saw a welcome chance of getting rid of a
troublesome adversary, cast sneering reflections upon the courage that
could be alarmed by imaginary dangers.

This was on the eve of the day fixed upon by the Jacobite members for
their departure from Edinburgh. In the meantime, however, the Marquis of
Athole had pleaded for a further delay, and this had been agreed to at a
meeting from which Dundee happened to be absent. When informed of the
new arrangement, he refused to be bound by it. In vain Balcarres urged
that his departure would give the alarm, and frustrate their designs. He
replied that he had promised to meet a number of his friends outside the
city, and that he did not wish to disappoint them. It was then that,
going forth, he gathered his fifty troopers about him and galloped
through the streets of Edinburgh. To a friend who called out to inquire
where he was going, he is reported to have cried back, as he waved his
hat, ‘Wherever the spirit of Montrose shall direct me.’

Dundee’s road to Stirling skirted the base of the Castle rock. As he
approached he was recognised by the Duke of Gordon, who was ‘in a manner
blocked up by the western rabble,’ and who signalled that he desired to
speak with him. Equipped as he was, he performed the almost incredible
feat of scrambling up the precipitous crag, as far as a postern gate, at
which he held conference with the Governor. In the course of the
conversation he urged the Duke to delegate the command of the stronghold
to his subordinate Winrhame, an experienced and trustworthy soldier, and
to retire into the Highlands for the purpose of raising his clansmen in
support of King James. But Gordon’s timidity suggested a ready and
plausible excuse. A soldier, he said, could not in honour quit the post
that had been assigned to him.

Whilst the two noblemen were conferring together under such unusual
circumstances, they were noticed from the city. The troopers who were
waiting below for their adventurous leader were magnified into a great
body of horse, and it was assumed that Dundee’s motive for braving the
danger of such a climb, and defying the outlawry under which the
Governor had been placed by the Convention, was to concert an attack in
which he would be supported by the fire of the Castle batteries. The
rumour spread and reached the ears of Hamilton. In all probability he
knew it to be unfounded; but he also saw how he could avail himself of
it to serve his own ends, and he did not neglect the opportunity which
chance offered him. The Convention was sitting. With assumed indignation
he exclaimed that it was high time they should look to themselves, since
their enemies had the audacity to assemble in force, with hostile
intent. Pretending to believe that there was danger within as well as
without, he commanded the doors to be shut and the keys to be laid on
the table before him, so that the traitors in their midst should be held
in confinement until all danger from them was over. Then, by his orders,
the drums were beat and the trumpets sounded through the city. At the
signal, the armed men who had been brought in from the west, and
hitherto kept concealed in garrets and cellars, swarmed out into the
streets, where their fierce and sullen looks further increased the alarm
of the townspeople, who gathered in great crowds about the Parliament
House.

When the tumult and confusion had lasted for some hours, and long after
the unconscious cause of it had resumed his ride, Hamilton, judging that
the proper pitch had been reached, caused the doors to be thrown open
again. As the members came out into the square, the Whigs ‘were received
with the acclamations, and those of the opposite party, with the threats
and curses of a prepared populace.’ The President had attained the
object he had in view. As Dalrymple reports, ‘terrified by the prospect
of future alarms, many of the adherents of James quitted the Convention
and retired to the country; more of them changed sides; only a very few
of the most resolute continued their attendance.’ The Whigs were left to
themselves to settle the government of the country.

Whilst the Convention was still sitting with doors closed to prevent the
egress of the Jacobite members, information was brought by Lord
Montgomery, that Dundee had been seen going towards Queensferry after
his defiant conference with the outlawed Duke of Gordon. Thereupon Major
Buntin with a troop of horse was dispatched in pursuit. At the same time
it was ordered that an express should be sent with a letter signed by
the President, calling upon the deserter to return to the meeting by the
following Friday. Whether it be true that the Major ‘never came within
sight’ of the fugitive, or that he was scared by a threat of being sent
back to his masters ‘in a pair of blankets,’ the result of his mission
was the same.

The messenger may have found the means of delivering his letter at
Linlithgow, where the Viscount made his first halt. It was possibly he
who brought back the information which, on the next day, the 19th of
March, caused the Convention to issue an order for the heritors and
militia of Edinburgh and Linlithgow to assemble and ‘dislodge’ Lord
Dundee. To give legal justification to these proceedings, an official
proclamation was made by herald, charging both Dundee and Livingstone
who accompanied him, to return to the Convention, within twenty-four
hours, under pain of treason. Next day, a further report was received in
Edinburgh, in consequence of which the Magistrates of Stirling were
called upon to take suitable measures for seizing on the Viscount, who
was understood to be in their neighbourhood. He had, in reality, ridden
straight through to Dunblane, where he had an interview with Drummond of
Balhaldy, who, as Lochiel’s son-in-law, was doubtless able to give him
useful information as to the condition of the Highlands, and where he
also wrote to the Duke of Hamilton, as President of the Convention, a
letter which has not been preserved, and which may never have reached
its destination. About the end of that eventful week, he reached his own
home, at Dudhope. But, even here, he was not out of reach of heralds and
their proclamations. On the 27th of March it was duly notified to him,
with official blast of trumpet, that he was to lay down his arms, under
penalty of being dealt with as a rebel to the State. His reply was
almost suggested by the terms of the herald’s summons. Dundee had no
thought of accepting the new Government, and had never made a secret of
his opposition to it. That he was fully prepared to take the field, if
he saw a favourable opportunity of doing so, may be looked upon as the
natural and necessary sequel to his acceptance of the trust verbally
committed to him at his last meeting with James. But, so far, he had
done nothing that justified the charge of having taken up arms. From
that point of view, he had no difficulty in giving an explanation and a
defence of his conduct. He did so in the following letter:—

                                            DUDHOPE, _March 27, 1689_.

‘MAY IT PLEASE YOUR GRACE,—The coming of an herald and trumpeter, to
summon a man to lay down arms that is living in peace at home seems to
me a very extraordinary thing, and, I suppose, will do so to all that
hears of it. While I attended the Convention at Edinburgh, I complained
often of many people being in arms without authority, which was
notoriously known to be true; even the wild hillmen; and no summons to
lay down arms under the pain of treason being given them, I thought it
unsafe for me to remain longer among them. And because a few of my
friends did me the favour to convey me out of the reach of these
murderers, and that my Lord Livingstone and several other officers took
occasion to come away at the same time, this must be called being in
arms. We did not exceed the number allowed by the Meeting of Estates. My
Lord Livingstone and I might have had each of us ten; and four or five
officers that were in company might have had a certain number allowed
them; which being, it will be found we exceeded not. I am sure it is far
short of the number my Lord Lorne was seen to march with. And though I
had gone away with some more than ordinary, who can blame me, when
designs of murdering me was made appear? Besides, it is known to
everybody that, before we came within sixteen miles of this, my Lord
Livingstone went off to his brother my Lord Strathmore’s house; and most
of the officers, and several of the company, went to their respective
homes or relations. And, if any of them did me the favour to come along
with me, must that be called being in arms. Sure, when your Grace
represents this to the Meeting of the States, they will discharge such a
groundless pursuit, and think my appearance before them unnecessary.
Besides, though it were necessary for me to go and attend the Meeting, I
cannot come with freedom and safety; because I am informed there are men
of war, and foreign troops in the passage; and, till I know what they
are, and what are their orders, the Meeting cannot blame me for not
coming. Then, my Lord, seeing the summons has proceeded on a groundless
story, I hope the Meeting of States will think it unreasonable I should
leave my wife in the condition she is in. If there be anybody that
notwithstanding of all that is said, think I ought to appear, I beg the
favour of a delay till my wife is brought to bed; and, in the meantime,
I will either give security, or parole, not to disturb the peace. Seeing
this pursuit is so groundless, and so reasonable things offered, and the
Meeting composed of prudent men and men of honour, and your Grace
presiding in it, I have no reason to fear further trouble.—I am, may it
please your Grace, your most humble servant,

                                                              DUNDEE.’

‘I beg your Grace will cause read this to the Meeting because it is all
the defence I have made. I sent another to your Grace from Dunblane,
with the reasons of my leaving Edinburgh. I know not if it be come to
your hands.’

It is hardly probable that Dundee seriously expected Hamilton and the
Convention to be influenced in the course they were bent on adopting by
a letter which, as regarded the past, contained little or nothing but
what they had heard already, and which in respect to the future, bound
the writer for a very limited period, in consideration of purely private
and domestic, and not of political circumstances, except, perhaps, the
circumstance that the instructions without which he was not to venture
on any act of open hostility had not yet come from Ireland.

He cannot have been greatly surprised to learn that on the 30th of March
he had formerly been declared a traitor.

Within less than a fortnight there occurred an incident which supplied
Hamilton not only with a justification of the action he had taken, but
also with a reason for adopting further measures against Dundee. The
Viscount’s commissions as Lieutenant-General and Commander-in-Chief in
Scotland had been dispatched from Ireland. They were accompanied with
letters from Melfort to both Dundee and Balcarres. To the former he
wrote, ‘You will ask, no doubt, how we shall be able to pay our armies:
but can you ask such a question while our enemies, the rebels, have
estates to be forfeited? We will begin with the great, and end with the
small ones.’ The same sentiments were expressed in even stronger terms
in his letter to the latter. ‘The estates of the rebels will recompense
us. You know there were several Lords whom we marked out, when you and I
were together, who deserved no better fates; these will serve as
examples to others.’ According to Balcarres, he added the senseless
threat, ‘when we get the power we will make these men hewers of wood and
drawers of water.’ Whether by the folly or the knavery of the bearer of
them, these compromising documents fell into the hands of Hamilton. He
communicated them to the Convention. When they had been read, he rose
and cried out in an impetuous voice, ‘You hear, you hear, my Lords and
Gentlemen, our sentence pronounced. We must take our choice, to die, or
to defend ourselves.’

The President had not waited for the decision of the Assembly. In virtue
of the power given him at an earlier meeting, to imprison whomsoever he
suspected to be acting against the common interest, he had sent a
hundred men of the Earl of Leven’s regiment into Fifeshire, and a like
number into Forfarshire, to apprehend the two noblemen. Balcarres had
already been brought back to Edinburgh and cast into prison. The
knowledge that Dundee still had a number of his old troopers with him,
did not help to stimulate the zeal of those to whom the duty of
effecting his capture had been committed. Moreover, there lay between
him and them two rivers, which necessitated a circuitous march. There
had, consequently, been ample time for him to be informed of their
approach; and when they reach Dudhope, they learnt that their errand
would be fruitless. Taking what was destined to be a last farewell of
his wife and of his infant son, he retired towards the north.

But his retreat was not a flight. One of those who sallied forth with
him, has described in scholarly Latin hexameters, how the gallant Graham
mounted on his charger, brilliant in scarlet, in the face of the town,
drew out in long line his band of brave youths, all mounted and in
bright armour; how, on the very top of the Law of Dundee, he unfurled
the royal banner for the Northern war; and how he triumphantly led the
little troop of those who dared stand for the King in his misfortunes,
over the lofty ridges of the Seidlaws, by Balmuir and Tealing, to his
wife’s jointure-house, in Glen Ogilvy. There he remained three days; and
Sir Thomas Livingstone, with his hundred men, marched after him, in the
hope of being able to take him by surprise. But, ‘though very well and
secretly led on,’ he was again too late. He returned to Dundee, whence
he sent information of ‘his mislucked design’ to Mackay, whom William
had appointed to the supreme command of the troops sent to Scotland, and
where he was told to await the arrival of the General himself.

In the meantime, Dundee, who, at his interview with Lochiel’s
son-in-law, had been assured that as soon as he could get a body of
troops together, the clans ‘would risk their lives and fortunes under
his command, and in King James’s service,’ was riding through the
Highlands in the hope of enlisting recruits for the Stuart cause. From
Dudhope, he had proceeded due north, through Glen Ogilvy, to the ‘bare
town’ of Kirriemuir. Then crossing the Esk at the North Water Bridge,
climbing the rugged heights of the Cairn-o’-Mount, and fording the Dee,
he reached Kincardine O’Neil. By the 21st of April he was north of the
Don, at Keith, where he made a brief halt, utilised for the purpose of
attempting negotiations with Lord Murray. His next halting-place was
Elgin, on the other side of the Spey, where the hospitality accorded him
brought down the anger of the Convention on Provost Stewart and two of
his bailies. Forres was the term of the rapid dash to the north, and
there the little band again rested for a brief space.

During his progress through the Highland provinces, Dundee had not
omitted the precaution of keeping up communication with the south; and
he had received from his wife important information in accordance with
which he at once devised a scheme of action. General Mackay was now in
Scotland. On reaching Edinburgh he had received orders to march the
forces which he had brought with him, and which consisted of three or
four regiments of foot, and one of horse, besides Sir Thomas
Livingstone’s dragoons, against Lord Dundee. Leaving Sir John Lanier to
carry on the siege of the Castle, he hastened across the Tay to the town
of Dundee, where he halted for a night or two.

Amongst the officers of the Scotch dragoons there were some who had not
forgotten their old chief, and who were ready to avail themselves of any
favourable opportunity that occurred to join themselves to him. One of
them was William Livingstone, a relative of the Colonel’s. Captain
Creichton, who had served with Claverhouse in the west, was another. It
was arranged between them to enter into communication with Lady Dundee;
and it was Creichton who undertook to act as messenger. Making his way
to Dudhope privately and by night, he assured the Viscountess that the
regiment in which he served would be at her husband’s command, as soon
as he pleased to give the word. This acceptable news was dispatched
north. Creichton, who did not belong to either of the two troops that
were left in Dundee, but had been obliged to follow Mackay into the
Highlands, received a reply to the effect that Dundee had written to
James to send him two thousand foot and one thousand horse out of
Ireland, and that, as soon as those forces had arrived, he would expect
his friends to join him with the dragoons.

In the hope of securing this important and welcome reinforcement, he
resolved to make his way south, towards Dundee, where a part of the
regiment was stationed. An intercepted despatch from Mackay to the
Master of Forbes having given him some information as to the plan by
which it was intended to check his movements, he waited at the
Cairn-o’-Mount till the General was within eight miles of him, near
Fettercairn. Understanding that it would be unsafe to advance further,
in view of the dispositions that had been taken to surround him, he
turned back again to Castle Gordon, where the Earl of Dunfermline joined
him with forty or fifty gentlemen.

It appears to have been from Castle Gordon that Dundee dispatched a
messenger to Lochiel to inform him of the situation. After consultation
amongst the neighbouring Highland chiefs, it was decided that a
detachment of eight hundred men, under Macdonald of Keppoch, should be
sent to escort him into Lochaber. But Keppoch, whom the poetical
chronicler describes as a man whom love of plunder would impel to any
crime, had his own ends to serve. He was at feud with the Macintosh, and
the town of Inverness had taken sides with the Macintosh. Instead of
marching to meet Dundee, he led his forces against the town, from the
magistrates of which he extorted the promise of a ransom of four
thousand merks. The hasty arrival of Dundee, to whom information of
Keppoch’s outrageous conduct had been conveyed, put an end to this state
of siege. But the weakness of his following obliged him to adopt a
conciliatory policy towards the freebooter. He assured the magistrates,
who appealed to him, that Keppoch had no warrant from him to be in arms,
much less to plunder. Beyond that, however, he could only give his bond
that, at the King’s return, the money exacted by Keppoch should be made
good. Having so far humoured the plundering laird, Dundee depended on
his help to engage Mackay. But Keppoch, to whom honour and glory meant
little, and for whom booty was everything, found various reasons for
refusing his co-operation; whilst his followers declared that they could
do nothing without the consent of their master. Their object was, in
reality, to add to their spoil, by harrying the country, and to retire
with it to their mountain fastnesses.

Dundee was sorely disappointed at this untoward incident. So fully did
he expect to be joined by Keppoch’s men that he had already written to
the magistrates of Elgin to prepare quarters for nine hundred or a
thousand Highlanders besides his own cavalry. And now, instead of
turning round on his pursuer, he was obliged to make his way through
Stratherrick to Invergarry and Kilcummin, and thence into the wilds of
Badenoch. Throughout this march, Dundee did not relax his efforts to
enlist recruits, and he succeeded in engaging the greater part of the
men of note to be ready at call to join in his master’s service. Feeling
that he might now depend on the active co-operation of the Highland
chiefs, about the sixth or seventh of May, from the isolated farm of
Presmukerach, in a secluded district between Cluny and Dalwhinnie, he
issued a royal letter, calling upon the clans to meet him in Lochaber on
the eighteenth of the month.

In the meantime, however, it was not Dundee’s intention to remain idle.
On the 9th of May, he was at Blair. Thence he advanced next day to
Dunkeld, where, coming unexpectedly upon an agent of the new Government,
who, with the help of the military, had been gathering the revenues of
the district, he relieved him of the money, and secured the arms of his
escort. This was but an incident. The real object of the raid was
seventeen miles further. Dundee had received information that William
Blair of Blair, and his lieutenant Pollock were raising a troop in the
county of Perth, for the new Government; and he had resolved to
interfere with their recruiting. Leaving Dunkeld in the middle of the
night, he was at Perth by two o’clock in the morning, with seventy
followers. No attack was expected, and no resistance was offered. Blair
and Pollock were taken prisoners in their beds; and several officers of
the new levies were also captured. Secure from surprise, the invading
troopers carried out their work deliberately and thoroughly; and when
they retired, about eleven o’clock next morning, the spoil they took
with them included arms, gunpowder, public-money, and forty horses. It
is said that, on being brought before Dundee, Blair had protested with
some indignation against the treatment to which he had been subjected,
and that the Viscount had curtly replied, ‘You take prisoners for the
Prince of Orange, and we take prisoners for King James, and there’s an
end of it.’

From Perth, Dundee retired to Scone, where an unwilling host, the
Viscount of Stormont, was obliged to accord him the hospitality of a
dinner. Knowing what pains and penalties were incurred by holding
intercourse with one who had been outlawed as a traitor and a rebel,
Stormont lost no time in informing the President of the Convention of
the untoward incident. But although he urged the excuses that the dinner
had been forced from him, and that his ‘intercommuning’ had been wholly
involuntary, the Committee was not satisfied. Stormont, together with
his uncle and his father-in-law, who happened to be staying with him at
the time, was subsequently put to considerable trouble for the
delinquency of having been compelled to entertain the unbidden and
unwelcome guest.

Dundee had not forgotten the errand on which he had originally started
from the north, but which Mackay’s advance had obliged him to abandon
for a time. By way of Cargill, Cupar-Augus, and Meigle, he worked his
way round to Glamis, within less than twenty miles of Dundee. He
utilised the circuitous march by detaching some of his troopers to
collect revenues, in the name of the King, from the neighbouring
villages; and not less acceptable than the money thus brought in, was
the accession of half a score of volunteers amongst whom were
Hallyburton, Fullerton, and a third whose is variously given as Venton,
Fenton, and Renton. But even with these added to it, the little force
with which he re-entered Glen Ogilvy did not amount to more than eighty.

In the afternoon of the 13th of May, the inhabitants of Dundee were
startled by the alarming intelligence that an armed force was advancing
over the Seidlaws to attack them. Hardly had they completed a rough and
hasty preparation for defence by barring the gates and barricading the
streets, when the redoubted leader appeared on the summit of the Law, of
which his troopers held the base and the declivities. What the scared
citizens took for a serious attack was merely a demonstration, devised
for the purpose of affording the friendly dragoons an opportunity of
effecting a junction with Dundee. William Livingstone appears to have
understood the hint; for, according to the poetical chronicle of James
Philip of Almerieclose, he endeavoured to head a feigned sortie at the
head of the dragoons and of three hundred citizens whom he had enlisted
for the Jacobite cause. But, by some means, of which there is no record,
Captain Balfour, who was a staunch partisan of the new Government,
succeeded in frustrating the attempt.

At nightfall Dundee retired to Glen Ogilvy, without the reinforcement
which he had hoped to secure. All that he was able to take back with him
as the result of his raid consisted in three hundred pounds of cess and
excise, which he succeeded in seizing, and the baggage of a camp which
lay outside the town, and which had been hastily abandoned at his
approach. By the other side, this demonstration was looked upon as a
daring attack. In the excitement which the news of it caused on reaching
Edinburgh, the Convention gave orders that six firkins of powder should
be sent from Bo’ness to Dundee, and that Hastings’s infantry, and
Berkley’s horse should reinforce the garrison. Urgent despatches were
also forwarded to Mackay, in Inverness, and brought less welcome than
trustworthy information as to the movements of the man in pursuit of
whom he was supposed to be.

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————



  IX

  THE HIGHLAND CAMPAIGN


THE date fixed for the meeting of the clans was drawing near; and, after
a brief rest, Dundee was again in the saddle. By way of Cupar, Dunkeld,
Comrie, and Garth, he shaped his course to Loch Rannoch, and thence over
the Grampians, through wild and rugged paths, to Loch Treig and
Lochaber. There he was received with all honour and respect by Sir Ewen
Cameron of Lochiel, who assigned to his use a house at a little distance
from his own, and supplied him with such conveniences as the country
afforded. The chief of the Camerons was the most remarkable Highland
figure of the time. He had always shown himself a staunch adherent of
the Stuart cause, and his veneration for the memory of its great
champion, Montrose, was proverbial amongst his kinsmen and friends. His
own loyalty was above temptation; and when, at the suggestion of
Mackenzie of Tarbat, Mackay made an attempt to bribe him into submission
to the new Government, the letters containing the proffered terms, were
contemptuously left unanswered. It was mainly through the influence of
Lochiel that the coalition of the clans had been effected. He himself
brought to the royal cause a contingent of a thousand men, whom he had
never led but to victory.

In accordance with the old Highland custom, Dundee sent round the fiery
cross, immediately on his arrival in Lochaber. During the week which
would have to elapse before the chieftains could all bring their
followers to the trysting-place, he utilised his enforced leisure by
drilling his small body of cavalry, and accustoming the horses to stand
fire. The time at his disposal was insufficient to allow of his putting
the infantry through a course of military training, and, on the advice
of Lochiel he refrained from interfering with the rude but effective
tactics of the Highlanders.

At length, about the 25th of May, the gathering of the clans was
complete, and Dundee held a review of his army in the plain of Macomer.
There was the brave Glengarry with three hundred warriors in the flower
of vigorous manhood; and following him closely was his brother with a
hundred more. Next came Glencoe, huge-limbed, but strong and active,
accompanied by another hundred claymores. Macdonald of Sleat headed a
body of five hundred clansmen from the Isles of which he was the Lord.
The men of Uist, of Knoydart, and of Moydart, marched under the
leadership of their youthful chief, Allan Macdonald, Captain of Clan
Ranald; and two hundred men, as wild as himself were gathered about
Keppoch, the notorious raider, the ‘Colonel of the Cows,’ as he was
dubbed by Dundee, because of his particular skill in finding out cattle,
when they were driven to the hills, to be out of his way.

All these, some fifteen hundred in the aggregate, belonged to the great
clan Donald. They were all armed alike, and carried into battle, as
their emblem, a bunch of wild heather, hung from the point of a spear.
Under Dundee, the Macdonalds formed one battalion of twenty companies.
The thousand men that composed the Cameron contingent doubtless included
the various septs of the great clan, as well as some of the proscribed
and scattered Macgregors, between whom and the Camerons there existed a
close friendship.

From the various branches of the Macleans, another thousand men gathered
around the blue standard of the tribe. The two hundred retainers of
Stewart of Appin, together with those of Macneill of Barra, of Macleod
of Raasay, of Fraser of Fayers, of Fraser of Culduthill, of Grant of
Urquhart, of Macnaughten, Macallister, Maclaughlane, and Lamont, helped
to swell the ranks of Dundee’s infantry, and to bring up its numbers to
a total, which, if the enumeration of one who was present, and bore the
leader’s standard, be not grossly exaggerated, must have amounted to
close on four thousand. Dundee’s own following consisted of some eighty
horse, composed of his veteran troopers, reinforced by a few noblemen
and gentlemen. The most notable of these were the Earl of Dunfermline,
Lord Dunkeld, Sir Alexander Innes, Edmonstone of Newton, Clelland of
Faskin, the three recruits who had joined Dundee after the raid on
Perth, a Bruce, who may have been Captain Bruce of Earlshall, Graham of
Duntroone, and David Graham, the leader’s own brother.

On the same day, after a stirring address from Dundee, who promised them
that they should see him in the van whenever he hurled their united
bands against the foe, the Highlanders marched forth towards Glen Spey.
Glengarry, accompanied by thirty horse, opened the march. The rear was
brought up by Fayers with his marshalled clan. By the evening of the
28th of May, Dundee had pitched his camp near the Castle of Raits, a few
miles from Kingussie.

The 29th of May was a date which the adherents of the Stuarts held in
special reverence. It was that of the birth of Charles II., and it was
also that of his entry into London, at the Restoration. A day marked by
two such events was considered specially auspicious; and its annual
recurrence was hailed by commemorative celebrations. It offered an
opportunity for a general and public expression of loyalty to the cause,
which Dundee did not neglect; and with impressive ceremony he himself
lighted a huge bonfire in the middle of the camp, and drank to the
memory of the late King, and the success of his brother.

But the day was to be kept in a more practical way. Within accessible
distance lay the Castle of Ruthven. In it Mackay had placed a garrison
under Captain John Forbes, for the purpose of facilitating communication
with Ramsay, who was expected with reinforcements from the south. Dundee
opened hostilities by sending a force under Keppoch to demand the
surrender of the Castle. Forbes returned a spirited answer to the
summons, and made a brave show of resistance; but perceiving how futile
it would be, in view of the preparations which were being made for the
assault, he came to terms, and promised to lay down his arms, if, within
three days, Mackay did not come to his relief. But the General remained
at Alvie, to which he had advanced from Inverness, and the Castle was
evacuated at the expiration of the delay agreed upon.

Forbes was treated with remarkable consideration by Dundee. He was
allowed to pass through the camp with his garrison; and having noticed
that the horses were all saddled and bridled, he concluded that
immediate action was intended, and reported accordingly when he reached
Mackay. On his way to join his chief, he met two of his troopers making
for Dundee’s camp. They alleged that they had been sent out to
reconnoitre; and though warned of the danger which they ran of being
captured, they pursued their way towards Raits. This circumstance having
also been communicated to Mackay, he opened an inquiry from which it
resulted that the troopers were messengers who had been sent to arrange
for the desertion of the Scots dragoons. By the measures which the
General at once adopted, the plan was again frustrated.

In the meantime, Dundee, whom rumours of an intended attack had reached,
sent Bruce with a dozen troopers to ascertain their truth. He returned
with the information that Mackay was encamped near Alvie, and did not
appear to have made any preparations for an advance. At this, Dundee
himself determined to move forward. As he was pressing towards Alvie, he
was startled to see that the Castle of Dunachton which he had passed
shortly before, and left unharmed, was in a blaze. The marauding Keppoch
had again been at work. After setting fire to Ruthven, as he had been
ordered to do, he had further gratified his own love of plunder and of
revenge by pillaging and destroying the old castle of his enemy the
Mackintosh.

If discipline was to be maintained, Dundee could not tolerate such
conduct, even on the part of so powerful a chieftain as Keppoch, and he
sharply called the offender to task for it. He told him in presence of
all the officers of his small army, that ‘he would much rather choose to
serve as a common soldier amongst disciplined troops, than command such
men as he, who seemed to make it his business to draw the odium of the
country upon him.’ Keppoch, whom no man had probably overawed before,
muttered an excuse, and promised to abide strictly by the commander’s
orders for the future.

On reaching Alvie, Dundee discovered that Mackay had broken up his camp
and was in full retreat. For four days he followed him so persistently
and so closely that, on one occasion parties of his Highlanders were
within shot of the rear-guard. If night had not come on, nothing, in all
probability, could have saved the retreating troops. But the ground was
dangerous, the march had been long, and the open country of Strathbogie,
now only three miles distant, would have given Mackay’s cavalry too much
advantage over their pursuers. Dundee ordered a halt.

Next morning, having learnt that Mackay had marched ten miles further,
he lay still all day. This was on the 5th of June. That same day, he
received information that Barclay and Lesly’s regiments, from Forfar and
Cupar-Angus, had joined Mackay at Suy Hill. His old friends in the
Scotch dragoons, who had dispatched the messenger with these tidings,
communicated the further intelligence, that the Duke of Berwick was
reported to have been captured, and that a party which had endeavoured
to effect a landing in Scotland was also said to have been beaten back.
They told him, too, that they were now surrounded by English horse and
dragoons themselves, and that, in spite of their desire to cast in their
lot with his, they could not avoid fighting against him, if there were
an engagement. Under these circumstances, they begged him to go out of
the way for a time, until better news should come.

The advice was judicious. Dundee adopted it, and turned back towards
Badenoch. His action was fully justified by the event. With the
reinforcements which he had received from the south, Mackay at once
turned back upon his pursuer, whom he hoped to take by surprise. But his
night march was in vain. When he reached Edinglassie, where the Highland
camp had been, it was only to find that Dundee was already on his way to
Cromdale. He sent a party of horse in pursuit; but the troopers never
came within sight of the rear-guard, though they succeeded in cutting
off some of the plundering stragglers.

During this retreat, there occurred an incident which helped to cheer
Dundee; for it was not with a glad heart that he had turned away from
the enemy, and, to add to the disappointment which he felt, he was so
prostrate through illness, at this critical moment, that his rate of
progress had to be reduced to a few miles a day—to less than six miles
in all on the 7th and 8th of June. On the 9th of June, whilst Dundee,
who had moved up the Spey, was in the neighbourhood of Abernethy, Mackay
gave orders to Sir Thomas Livingstone to cross the river with a
detachment of dragoons, for the purpose of supporting the Laird of
Grant’s men, who had been hard pressed by parties of the Highlanders.
Whilst on this mission, an advance guard of the troopers fell in with a
body of three hundred Macleans, who, under Lochbery, were on their way
to join Dundee. In the engagement that followed, the cavalry was
completely routed, and the clansmen, elated with victory and laden with
spoil stripped from the slain were enthusiastically welcomed in Dundee’s
camp.

It had been Dundee’s intention to take up a strong position in Rannoch,
but, as he wrote in one of his despatches, finding that the Lochaber men
were going away every night by forties and fifties, with droves of
cattle, and that all the rest, who were laden with plunder of Grant’s
land and others, were equally anxious to return home with it, he yielded
to necessity, came into Lochaber with them, and dismissed them to their
respective houses, with injunctions to be ready within a few days, if
the enemy pursued. If he did not, they were to lay still till further
orders. Mackay, on his side, seeing that Dundee had reached a district
where there were no good roads, and where it would be impossible to buy
the provisions without which no regular body of forces could subsist
together, also resolved to retire from the field for a time. In a
despatch forwarded to Ireland through Hay, the position at this time was
described as follows: ‘My Lord Dundee hath continued in Lochaber,
guarded only by two hundred, commanded by Sir Alexander Maclean. But,
being in the heart of Glengarry and Lochiel’s lands, he thinks himself
secure enough; though he had not, as he has, the Captain of Clanranald,
with six hundred men within ten miles of him, and Maclean, Sir Donald,
and Macleod marching towards him. So that he can march with near four
thousand; or refresh in safety, till such time as the state of affairs
of Ireland may allow the King to send forces to his relief: which if it
please God shall fall out, there is all appearance of forming a
considerable army, notwithstanding that the people are a little
disheartened by the unexpected surrender of the Castle of Edinburgh,
which, as said, was only by despair the Duke had of any relief, though
he wanted not from my Lord Dundee, by a third hand, all the
encouragement he could give.’ This brings the Highland campaign forward
to about the middle of June.

In spite of the circumstances which had made it necessary for him to
retire to Lochaber, Dundee entertained no doubt as to the ultimate
success of the cause which he championed. Though indecisive, the result
of his military operations was such as to inspire him with confidence in
himself, and in the fighting powers, if not in the discipline, of his
Highlanders. With them, he had more than held his own under difficulties
that might well have discouraged a less energetic and resourceful
leader. He had been obliged to begin the campaign with but fifty pounds
of powder, for all the great towns and sea-ports were hostile to him,
and would sell none. He had no money, and could raise none on his own
credit; and, worse than all, the help on which he depended, and on the
promise of which he had induced the chieftains to join him, had not
come. Yet, in spite of all this, he had suffered no reverse; and though
the bulk of his army was disbanded, he knew that a few days would
suffice to bring the clans about him again, in all their former
strength, and with more than their former devotion. For he had won their
respect by his own cheerful endurance of all the hardships of the
campaign, and their affection by the sympathy and the ready help which
he had given them to bear their share.

Of that which might, indeed, have discouraged him, of the true state of
affairs outside Scotland, he knew nothing. He had not only been kept in
ignorance, he appears to have been systematically deceived. As late as
the 23rd of June, writing to Macleod of Macleod to communicate to him
the news he had just received, he gave him a glowing account of what was
being achieved in Ireland. Hay, who had himself been at the siege of
Londonderry, had just reported, that more than three weeks before, the
inhabitants were reduced to such extremities that horse flesh was sold
for sixpence a pound, that, for cannon-balls they were shooting lumps of
brick wrapped in pewter plates, that an attempt at relief had been
defeated with great loss. Fifty-two sail of French warships were already
in Ireland; eighty more were on their way from Brest; some of the French
fleet had been seen amongst the islands, and had taken the two Glasgow
frigates; Edinburgh had lost heart, and offered to surrender if King
James would grant terms; in short, everything was so hopeful and so far
advanced, that if Macleod did not hasten to land his men, he would have
but little occasion to do the King much service.

In view of such hopeful accounts, Dundee who could have no means of
testing their truth, and who had no suspicion of their exaggeration,
might well feel confident of success, if only, as had repeatedly been
promised, King James would send him the reinforcements and the supplies
so anxiously expected, ‘ammunition, and three or four thousand arms of
different sorts, some horse, some foot.’ Even when he learnt, about the
middle of July, that the only succour to be got from Ireland, consisted
of three hundred ill-trained men, with whom Cannon had effected a
landing at Inverlochy, he did not lose confidence, and an attempt to
bring him to terms, of which his brother-in-law, Lord Strathnaver was
the intermediary, was met with a dignified refusal. Nor did his enemies
themselves seem to think that his power and influence had yet begun to
wane; for they thought it worth their while to set a price of twenty
thousand pounds sterling on his head.

But a crisis was now at hand. About the middle of July, Lord John
Murray, the Marquis of Athole’s eldest son, in accordance with an
agreement come to with Mackay, had gone into the Highlands, for the
purpose of raising a body of his father’s followers. He knew their
loyalty to the Stuart cause, and had no hope of being able to induce
them to take sides for the new Government. But he might devise means to
keep them neutral; and no more was required of him. ‘Keep the Athole men
from joining Dundee,’ Mackay had said to him, ‘and that is all I ask, or
can expect, from your father’s son.’ He succeeded in bringing together
twelve hundred men, with whom he intended to garrison the important
Castle of Blair.

Dundee had been duly informed of Murray’s levies; but he affected to
believe in the young chief’s loyalty, and wrote to him, from his
quarters in Struan, on the other side of the Garry, suggesting that they
should meet to concert what was fittest to be done for the good of the
country, and the service of their lawful King. Receiving no answer to
his letter, he gave orders to Stewart of Ballechin, a retainer of
Athole’s, and a staunch Jacobite, to occupy the Castle, in the name of
King James. Two further communications to Murray having been similarly
disregarded, Dundee dispatched two of his officers to him, with a final
appeal. They were instructed to deliver it into Murray’s own hands, and
to receive his positive answer; but Murray declined to grant them an
interview.

When this became known to the clansmen whom he had with him, and from
whom he had so far succeeded in concealing his real designs, they called
upon him to let them know what course of action he had resolved upon,
and plainly told him that if he meant to join Dundee they would follow
him, but that if he refused to do so, they would immediately forsake
him. In vain he attempted to threaten them into submission. They were
true to their word. Filling their bonnets with water, they drank the
King’s health, and turned their backs on the chief who had thought to
make them traitors, against their will, to the cause of the Stuarts.

In the meantime, Dundee had been active in other directions. His summons
to the clans had again been sent forth, and orders given for a general
meeting at Blair, where he himself arrived, at latest, on the 26th of
July. That same day Mackay marched from Perth to Dunkeld, with about
four thousand foot, and two troops of horse and dragoons.

There still remained two days to the date fixed for the gathering of the
claymores, when Dundee moved from the camp at Blair to meet Mackay’s
advance. He could not wait for the arrival of his full force; but he
hoped that the deficiency in numbers would be compensated by the mettle
and determination of those who had joined. To satisfy himself that the
martial ardour of the clans had not suffered from the long years of
inactivity which had elapsed since last they met an enemy, at
Philiphaugh, he put it to an effective test. At early dawn, when the men
were still sleeping in their plaids, in the heather, he caused the alarm
to be sounded. In an instant, every man had sprung to his feet, and
seizing his arms had run to take up his position in front of the camp.
When the Viscount perceived this, says one of the chroniclers who record
the incident, and that not a man of them retired, with full assurance,
he instantly began his march to meet the enemy.

Before deciding to leave Blair, Dundee had called together a council of
war composed of all the leading men who had joined him. The question to
be discussed was, whether it was wiser to remain encamped until the
arrival of all the Highland contingents, or to march forward at once to
meet Mackay. The old officers, who were accustomed to the command of
regular troops, favoured the former alternative, and urged that it would
be imprudent to risk an engagement against an army which exceeded theirs
by more than half, and was composed of trained soldiers, whilst their
own forces consisted of raw, undisciplined men, who had never seen
blood, whose strength was impaired by the sufferings and privations of a
long march, and whose spirit was damped by disappointments.

Glengarry, on the other hand, represented that, although the clansmen’s
endurance had been taxed by want of provisions as well as by fatigue,
they were but little affected by hardships to which their own way of
living inured them; and that, in spite of what they had gone through,
they were both able and ready to fight an equal number of the enemy’s
best troops, and had a fair chance of beating them. Still, even he did
not recommend a general engagement before the arrival of the remaining
claymores had brought their numbers more nearly to an equality with
those of their opponents. His advice, which met with the approval of
most of the chieftains, was that they should keep the army constantly in
sight of the enemy, and should post their men on strong ground, where
they would be safe from attack themselves, and whence they could easily
sally forth, at every available opportunity, to harass the foe.

Alone of those present, Lochiel had refrained from giving any sign of
adherence to the views of either party; and Dundee noticing this, called
upon him, in terms most flattering to the old chief, to declare his
opinion. It was given without hesitation: To fight the enemy. As he
supported this advice by pointing to the eagerness of the men, and by
enumerating the disadvantages of a delay, it was observed that Dundee’s
countenance brightened, and that he listened with obvious satisfaction
to his spirited yet wise words. When his turn came to speak, he told the
Council that his sentiments had just been expressed by one who added to
them the weight of long experience and of intimate knowledge, and that
his voice, like that of Lochiel, was for immediate and decisive action,
a course which was consequently resolved upon.

Before the Council broke up, the venerable chieftain again rose to
speak. He had promised, he said, and would yield implicit obedience to
all Dundee’s orders; but he requested that, before they separated, he
might be allowed to give one command, not in his own name, but in that
of the whole Council. It was the unanimous wish of all present that
Dundee should not engage personally, for on him depended the fate, not
only of their brave little army, but also of their king and of their
country. ‘If your Lordship deny us this reasonable demand,’ he added,
‘for my own part I declare that neither I, nor any I am concerned in,
shall draw a sword on this important occasion, whatever construction
shall be put on the matter.’ In his reply to this appeal, Dundee
admitted that, if he fell, his death might be a loss to them; but he
reminded his hearers of the temper of their men. If the least reason
were given them to doubt the personal courage of their leader, they
would lose their respect for him, and give him, at best, but grudging
obedience. For this reason, he begged to be permitted to give one
‘shear-darg’—that is, one harvest day’s work—to the King, his master,
that he might have an opportunity of convincing the brave clans that he
could hazard his life in that service, as freely as the meanest of them.
If this were granted him he pledged his word never again to risk his
person, so long as he had the honour of commanding them. Finding him
inflexible in the chivalrous resolution which he had couched as a
request, the Council reluctantly yielded.

On the morning of the 27th of July, Mackay left his quarters in Dunkeld.
By ten o’clock he had reached the southern extremity of the Pass of
Killiecrankie, where he halted for two hours. At noon he again gave the
order to advance. The Pass into which he led his army consisted of an
almost straight road, fully two miles in length, and so narrow that
barely half a dozen men could march abreast. To the right it was flanked
by lofty mountains. The precipitous banks of the Garry skirted it on the
left; and, on the other side of the river, a thickly wooded mountain
hemmed in the landscape. Through this wild and rugged defile Balfour,
Ramsay and Kenmore opened the march with their three battalions. Then
came Belhaven’s troop of horse, followed by Leven’s regiment, and a
battalion of the General’s. Over twelve hundred baggage horses formed a
long line behind them, protected by a rear-guard which consisted of the
Earl of Annandale’s troop of horse and Hastings’s regiment.

Impressed by the wildness of the surroundings, and conscious of the
danger to which it would be exposed in the event of an attack, the army
moved cautiously but cumbrously on. As it advanced without discovering
any sign of the presence of the enemy, his neglect to avail himself of
the obvious advantages which the nature of the ground offered him,
inspired a new fear. Some carefully prepared trap at the further end
seemed to afford the only intelligible explanation of his action in
leaving the pass free. Even Mackay himself did not realise that the only
stratagem which Dundee had devised was an engagement that should not
merely retard, but wholly scatter his opponent’s forces.

At length, the open ground on the bank of the Garry was reached. As his
men debouched into it, Mackay drew them up three deep, without changing
the relative position of the regiments. The extreme left was thus held
by Balfour. Ramsay and Kenmore came next, and were posted between him
and two troops of horse that occupied the centre. Leven, Mackay and
Hastings were on the right. Some short, portable leather cannon, that
could hardly be dignified with the name of artillery were placed behind
the horse. The whole line faced towards Blair, from which the enemy was
expected to move forward. And, indeed, before long, the General
perceived what he thought was the advance guard, coming down the valley
towards him. It was in reality but a small detachment that had been sent
on for the purpose of attracting his attention. Dundee, with his main
body had wound his way round to the left, and his Highlanders were soon
seen taking up their position on some elevated ground that commanded
Mackay’s right wing. Without altering the disposition of his line of
battle, the General wheeled it round to face the clansmen, a movement by
which he put the river and the steep ridge above it immediately in his
rear, and rendered his own position far more precarious in the event of
a defeat, whilst the rise of the ground towards the hills in his front
prevented him from attacking the enemy except under obviously
disadvantageous conditions.

In the meantime, Dundee was making his own dispositions for the coming
fight. Acting under the advice of Lochiel, who knew the spirit of
emulation by which the several clans were animated, he drew them up in
such a way that each of them should have a regiment in Mackay’s line
assigned to it The Macleans, under their youthful chief, were posted on
the extreme right. The Irish contingent, commanded by Colonel Pearson
occupied the next position, and had the Tutor of Clanranald with his
battalion on their immediate left. A fourth battalion, composed of the
men whom the stalwart Glengarry led to battle, made up the right wing.
The left consisted of two others, of which Lochiel’s was one, and Sir
Donald Macdonald’s the other. The only cavalry at Dundee’s disposal
consisted of a few Lowland gentlemen and some remains of his old troop,
not exceeding forty horse in all, and these ‘very lean and ill-kept.’ It
was posted in the centre, to face Mackay’s hundred sabres. It should
have been under the orders of the Earl of Dunfermline; but that very
morning, Sir William Wallace, a gentleman who had come over from
Ireland, produced a commission which appointed him to the command
hitherto held by the Earl. Though deeply mortified Dunfermline had
submitted without demur to the unjust and ill-advised supersession, for
which Melfort, Wallace’s brother-in-law, was probably responsible. His
loyalty to the cause which he served prevented him from raising a
dispute at so critical a time.

For two hours the armies stood facing each other, within musket-shot,
without engaging, though some desultory skirmishing appears to have been
going on towards the left, between some Macleans and the regiment
opposed to them, whilst the guns in Mackay’s centre kept up an
intermittent and harmless fire. During this long pause before the battle
both leaders addressed their troop. In spite of his superiority in
numbers, Mackay did not hide from his men that the task before them was
no easy one. In encouraging them to it, he pointed out that, in such a
place and with such foemen, they could not hope for safety in flight,
but must win it for themselves by the defeat of the enemy. His words
were greeted with a cheer, which to Lochiel who heard it, seemed wanting
in enthusiasm, and from which he drew for his own followers an omen of
victory.

In Dundee’s allocution there was a spirited appeal to the loyalty and
patriotism of the clansmen. He urged them to behave like true Scotsmen,
in defence of their King, their Religion, and their Country. He asked
nothing of them but what they should see him do before them. For those
who fell, there would be the comfort and the honour of having died in
the performance of their duty, and as became true men of valour and of
conscience; and to those who lived and won the battle, he promised a
reward of a gracious King, and the praise of all good men.

It was not till eight o’clock on that summer evening that Dundee gave
orders for the advance of his two thousand men. Casting off brogues and
plaids the clansmen moved forward down the slope. They were met with a
heavy fire, which grew more terrible as they approached the treble line
of their opponents. But with wonderful resolution they obeyed the orders
given them, and reserved their own till they came to within a few yards
of the enemy. Then they poured it in upon them ‘like one great clap of
thunder,’ and, throwing away their muskets, fell upon the infantry with
their claymores before it had time to fix bayonets to receive them.
‘After that,’ in the words of Lochiel’s ‘Memoirs,’ ‘the noise seemed
hushed; and the firing ceasing on both sides, nothing was heard for some
few moments but the sullen and hollow clashes of the broadswords, with
the dismal groans and cries of dying and wounded men.’

Dundee, who had joined his small body of horse, ordered Wallace to
attack the troopers whilst the clans were scattering the infantry, and
himself rode forward to take part in the charge. But Sir William, the
nominal commander, ‘not being too forward,’ Dundee would have met with
no support if the Earl of Dunfermline, taking in the situation at a
glance, had not dashed forward, with some sixteen volunteers who left
the laggard ranks. Mackay’s troopers did not stop to receive the shock
of this handful of men, but joined the infantry in their flight. Nor did
the gunners make a better stand; and their clumsy ordnance was captured
before Wallace came up. Then Dundee, wheeling to the enemy’s right,
charged Mackay’s own regiment, which, after delivering a last volley,
turned and fled like the rest, in spite of the General’s efforts to
rally it.

Pausing for a moment to look round the field, the victorious leader
perceived that Sir Donald Macdonald’s battalion, ‘which had not shown so
great resolution as the rest of the Highlanders,’ was hesitating in its
attack upon Hastings’s regiment. He was on his way to urge it forward,
when a shot struck him in the side and inflicted a mortal wound. He
reeled in the saddle, and was falling from his horse; but one of his
officers, named Johnstone, was at hand to catch him in his arms and to
help him to the ground. As he lay there, the dying leader asked how the
day went. ‘The day goes well for the King,’ replied Johnstone, ‘but I am
sorry for your Lordship.’ But Dundee felt the comfort which he had so
shortly before promised those who should fall; ‘it is the less matter
for me,’ he said, ‘seeing the day goes well for my master.’

Besides Dundee himself, there lay on the fateful field some nine hundred
men of his little army of hardly more than two thousand. Whether he died
on the scene of his dearly-bought victory, or whether he was removed
from it and survived long enough to dictate the letter which his
Jacobite admirers have regarded as a last tribute of loyalty to his
King, and his Whig opponents denounced as an unscrupulous forgery, are
questions upon which too little depends to justify a discussion of them.
He was buried at Blair.

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————



  INDEX


  ACT Rescissory, The, 25.

  BALCARRES, his final interview with James VII., 121
    —— retires to Scotland, 123.
  BALFOUR and the other murderers of Archbishop Sharp flee to the West,
     46.
  BOOG, the case of, 85.
  BOTHWELL BRIDGE, 56.
  BROWN, John, the Christian carrier, shooting of, 100.
  BRUCE of Earlshall appointed Sheriff-depute, 42.
  BRYCE, John, conflicting accounts of his case, 104.
  BUCHAN, Colonel, his unsuccessful pursuit of Covenanters, 91.

  CARSPHAIRN, Curate of, murdered, 95.
  CHARLES II. proclaimed King in Scotland, 24.
    —— accepts Covenant, 24.
    —— crowned at Scone, 24.
    —— establishes Episcopacy, 26.
    —— death of, 110.
  CLANS, meeting of the, in Lochaber, 141.
  COCHRANE, Lady Jean, 85.
    —— her covenanting family, 85.
    —— married to Claverhouse, 89.
  CONVENTICLES to be dispersed, 21.
  COVENANT of 1643, 22.
    —— signing the, 22.
    —— purport of, 23.
  COVENANTERS rise at Dalry, 30.
    —— proceed to Dumfries, 30.
    —— attack Turner, 30.
    —— march towards Edinburgh, 31
  COVENANTERS routed at Rullion Green, 31.
    —— meet at Rutherglen Cross, 47.
    —— defeat Claverhouse at Drumclog, 48.
    —— march to Glasgow, 50.
    —— defeated at Bothwell Bridge, 55.
    —— rescue prisoners at Enterkin, 92.

  DALRYMPLE, Sir James, his quarrel with Claverhouse, 79.
  DALZIEL, General, defeats Covenanters at Rullion Green, 31.
  DRAGOONS sent to the West, 21.
  DRUMCLOG, battle of, 48.
    —— numbers of combatants, 49.

  EDINBURGH, popular demonstration in, against the Chancellor, 115.

  GILLIES, Peter, case of, variously stated by De Foe and Macaulay, 104.
  GORDON, Duke of, holds Edinburgh Castle, 120.
  GRAHAM, Cornet, killed at Drumclog, 50.
  GRAHAM, Lady Helen, proposed marriage of, with Claverhouse, 59.
    —— with Montrose, 61.
  GRAHAM, John, of Claverhouse family, 9.
    —— date of birth, 10.
    —— made burgess of Dundee, 11.
    —— At St Andrews, 11.
    —— Acquirements, 12.
    —— serves in France, 13.
    —— in Holland, 14.
    —— at the Battle of Seneff, 14.
    —— resigns his commission, 17.
    —— offered a commission by Montrose, 18.
    —— sent with dragoons to the West, 21.
    —— at Dumfries, 37.
    —— dissatisfied with arrangements, 40.
    —— appointed Sheriff-depute, 43.
    —— defeated at Drumclog, 48.
    —— present at Bothwell Bridge, 56.
    —— his circuit in the West, 56.
    —— correspondence with regard to marriage with Lady Helen Graham,
       59.
    —— appointed Sheriff of Wigtownshire, 74.
    —— his repressive measures in the West, 75.
    —— thanked by Council, 77.
    —— plot against him, 78.
    —— quarrel with Dalrymple, 79.
    —— promoted to be Colonel, 82.
    —— marries Lady Jean Cochrane, 89.
    —— Constable of Dundee, 93.
    —— account of shooting of John Brown, 100.
    —— how far responsible for the shooting of Andrew Hislop, 105.
    —— quarrel with Queensberry, 110.
    —— excluded from Privy Council, 110
    —— restored to favour, 111.
    —— receives commission as Brigadier, 111.
    —— promoted to rank of Major-General, 117.
    —— marches to England with his regiment, 118.
    —— created Viscount Dundee, 119.
    —— his final interview with James VII., 121.
    —— retires to Scotland, 123.
    —— at the Convention of Estates, 126.
  GRAHAM, John, his interview with the Duke of Gordon, 126.
    —— retires to Dudhope, 130.
    —— his answer to the Duke of Hamilton’s summons, 130.
    —— his ride through the Highlands, 134.
    —— calls upon the clans to meet him in Lochaber, 136.
    —— his raid on Perth, 137.
    —— his feigned attack on Dundee, 138.
    —— assembles the clans in Lochaber, 141.
    —— advances against Mackay, 145.
    —— retires into Lochaber and dismisses the clans, 145.
    —— appoints a second meeting of the clans at Blair, 149.
    —— holds a Council of War, 149.
    —— prepares for battle, 153.
    —— attacks Mackay, 154.
    —— his death, 156.

  HAMILTON, Robert, heads the opposition to the Indulgence, 46.
    —— refuses quarter after Drumclog, 52.
  HIGHLAND HOST, the, 34.
  HISLOP, Andrew, responsibility for shooting, 105.

  INDULGENCE, the, 33.

  JAMES VII. succeeds to the throne, 110.
    —— his disapproval of Claverhouse’s conduct, 110.
    —— sets out for Salisbury, 119.
    —— disbands his army, 121.
    —— final interview with Dundee and Balcarres, 121.

  KEPPOCH, Macdonald of, attacks Inverness, 135.
    —— burns Dunachton, 143.
  KILLIECRANKIE, battle of, 154.
  KING’S CURATES, 28.
  KIRKCUDBRIGHT, attacked by party of Covenanters, 96.

  MACKAY, General, sent to command forces in Scotland, 134.
    —— encamped near Alvie, 143.
    —— retreats towards Strathbogie, 144.
    —— marches from Dunkeld to Killiecrankie, 151.
  MACLACHLAN, Margaret, drowned on Solway Sands, 99.
  M’MICHAEL, the case of James, murderer of Curate of Carsphairn, 97.
  MEETING-HOUSE at Castlemilk pulled down, 39.
  MEETING of the Convention of Estates, 125.
  MEIKLEWRATH, Matthew, the manner of his death, 108.
  MENTEITH, Earl of, corresponds with Claverhouse, 59.
    —— with Marquis of Montrose, 67.
  MINISTERS ejected, 27.
  MONMOUTH, Duke of, appointed Commander-in-Chief, 55.

  ORANGE, Prince of, lands in England, 119.
    —— writes to Dundee, 121.

  PENALTIES imposed on recusants, 28.
  PERTH, attacked by Dundee, 137.

  QUEENSBERRY, his quarrel with Claverhouse, 110.

  RENWICK, his apologetical declaration, 95.
  RULLION GREEN, Covenanters defeated at, 31.
  RUTHERGLEN, declaration at Cross, 47.
  RUTHVEN, Castle of, surrendered by Captain Forbes, 143.

  SHARP, Archbishop, murdered, 44.
  STEWART of Ballechin occupies Blair Castle, 148.
  SWYNE Abbey, soldiers murdered at, 95.

  WALLACE, Sir William, commands cavalry at Killiecrankie, 153.
  WESTERHALL, how far responsible for the shooting of Hislop, 106.
  WILSON, Margaret, drowned on Solway Sands, 99.

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————



  TRANSCRIBERS’ NOTES

This text has been preserved as in the original, including archaic and
inconsistent spelling, punctuation and grammar, except as noted below.

Obvious printers errors have been silently corrected.

Text in italics in the original work is shown herein as _text_.

Small capitals in the original work are shown herein as all capitals.

Pages are not numbered in the plain-text versions of this transcription
and may not be numbered in the ebook versions. Pages in the HTML version
are numbered. Links to pages are functional. Ereaders may not render a
complete book page on a single ereader page, therefore it may be
necessary to advance one or more ereader pages to locate items from the
index.

Contents reference page numbers were changed to correspond to the
chapter beginning page numbers as shown below:

  Chapter IV page 58 was changed to page 59.
  Chapter V page 72 was changed to page 73.
  Chapter VI page 94 was changed to page 95.
  Chapter VII page 109 was changed to page 110.
  Chapter VIII page 124 was changed to page 125.
  Chapter IX page 140 was changed to page 141.





*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Viscount Dundee" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



Home