Andrew Lang.

Pickle the spy; online

. (page 18 of 23)
Online LibraryAndrew LangPickle the spy; → online text (page 18 of 23)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

how [who] luckly meet me here, that I am scarse
able to put pen to paper. I must here confess the
dimcultys I labour under since the loss of my worthy
great friend [Henry Pelham, recently dead] on whose
word I wholly relay'd. But now every thing comes
far short of my expectations. I am now to aquent you
that Alexr. [Lochgariy] meet me here, by order, to
desire my proceeding to Venice [Ld. Marshal] as every
thing without that trip will be imperfect. All I can
say at this distance and in so precarious a situation is
that I find they play Mrs. Strange [the Highlanders]
hard and fast. They expect a large quantity of the
very best Brasile snuff [the Clans] from hir, to
balance which severl gross of good sparkling Cham-
pagne [Arms] is to be smuggled over for hir Lady-
ship's use. The whole accounts of our Tobacco and
wine trade [Jacobite schemes] I am told, are to be laid
before me by my friend at Venice [Ld. Marshal]. But
this being a Chant [jaunt] I can't complay with,
without a certain suplay, I must beg, if this proposal
be found agreeable, that I have ane imediate pointed

' But if, when I leave Venice [Ld. Marshal] I go


to meet St. Sebastien [the Young Pretender], the re-
mittance must be more considerable that the sume I
mention'd whilest you were at Bath. . . .

' Yours most amy

' Alexr. Pickle.

' To Mr. Tamas Jones, at Mr. Chelburn's, a Chimmist in Scherwood
Street, Golden Square, London.'

Pickle wrote again from France on April ll. 1 His
letter follows :

* Dr. Sir, — I hope my last to you upon landing
came safe to hand. I will be very uneasy untill
you accknowledge the recet of it. Tho' you can't
expect an explicite or regular Corespondence from
me, least our smuguling [secret correspondence] so
severely punish'd in this country, should be any
ways discover'd. Mr. Davis [Sir James Harrington]
was here for a few hours last night, the particulars
I reffer till meeting. Great expectations from the
Norwegian fir trade [Sweden] which Merchants here
think will turn out to good account, by offering them
ane ample Charter to open a free trade ; but Davis [Sir
James Harrington] is not well vers'd in this Business,
but I believe my friend at Venice [Ld. Marshal] is :
I am certain that Mr. Oliver [King of Spain] and his
principal factors would harken to any proposals of
St. Sebastien's [the Young Pretender] upon this
topick. Mr. Davis [Sir James Harrington is of

1 These letters have been printed in full by Mr. Murray Rose
{Scotsman, March 15, 1895). Mr. Murray Rose attributes them to
James Mohr Macgregor, wrongly, of course.


opinion that a quantity of best mettle buttons [Parlia-
ment men] 1 could be readly and cheaply purchas'd :
Mr. Johnson [London] will make considerable ad-
vances, but I believe this can't arrive in time for the
Market, as aplication has not yet been made to
Monsr. la force [Paris Mont Martell]. I think I can
easily divert them from this, as I can convince St.
Sebastien [Young Pretender] in case I see him, that
they would leave him in the lurch. This proposal
comes from your side the watter. I find Mrs. Strange
[Highlanders] will readly except of any offer from
Rosenberge [King of Sweden] as that negotiant can
easily evade paying duty for any wine he sends hir.
I can answer for Mrs. Strange s [Highlanders] con-
duct, as it will wholly depend upon me, to promote
or discourage this branch of trade. But I can't be
answerable for other branches of our trade, as my
knowledge in them depends upon others. I will
drop this subject till meeting, and if then all
my burdens are discharged, and done otherwise for,
according to my former friend's intentions, and if
satisfactory, nothing will be neglected in the power
of Dr. Grand Papa

' Your oblidged affte, humble Servant

' Alexr. Pickle.

' 11 Aprile 1754.

' P.S. I can't conclude without declaring once
for all that I shant walk but in the old course, that

1 That is seats for Jacobites should be purchased at the General


is, not to act now with any other but Mr. Kenady
[the Duke of Newcastle] and yourself, the moment
any other comes in play, I drop all business ; But
nothing essential can be done without going to
Venice [Lord Marshal].

' To Mr. Tamas Jones, at Mr. Chelburn's, a Chymist, in Seher-
wood Street, Golden Square, London.'

To exaggerate his own importance, Pickle gave here
a glowing account of the Prince's prospects. These
were really of the most gloomy character. A letter
forwarded by Dormer (March 18) had proved that
he was tracked down in Liege by the English
Government. He tried Lorraine, but found no refuge,
and was in Paris on April 14, when he wrote to the
Earl Marischal. He thought of settling in Orleans,
and asked for advice. But Goring now broke with
him for ever, on the strength, apparently, of a verbal
dismissal sent in anger by Charles, who believed,
or affected to believe, that Goring was responsible
for the discovery of his retreat. Goring wrote in
these terms :

Stouf to Charles.

' May 5, 1754.

'It is now five years since I had ye honour of
waiting on you in a particular manner, having made
your interest my only study, neglecting everything
that regarded myself. The people I have negotiated
your business with, will do me the justice to own
what you seem to deny, that I have honourably
acquitted myself of my charge. I do not now or ever


did desire to be a burthen on you, but I thank God
I leave you in a greater affluence of money than I
found you, which, though not out of my own purse,
has been owing to my industry and trouble, not to
mention the dangers I have run to effect it ; all I
desire now of you for my services is that you will be
so gracious as to discharge me from your service,
not being able to be of further use to you, yourself
having put it out of my power ; what I ernestly beg
of you, since you let me know that you cannot
support me further, [is] to give me at least what I
think my services may justly claim, viz, a gracious
demission, with which I will retire and try in some
obscure corner of ye world to gain the favour of
God, who will I hope be more just to me than you
have been ; though I despair of ever serving him so
well as I have done you. My prayers and wishes
shall ever attend you, and since I am able to do you
no more good I will never do you any harm, but
remain most faithfully yours

' Stouf.'

Charles answered angrily :

' May 10, 1754.

' Sir, — I have yrs of ye 5 th. May Directed " For
His Eoyal Highness the Prince of Wales. Signed

' I shoud think since the Begining was write (id
est, ye superficial superscription) the signing might
accompani it, but Brisons Stir Les Bagatelles, I must
speke French to you, since I am affraid you under-


stand no other Language ; for my part I am true
English, and want of no Equivocations, or Mental
resarvations : will you serve me or not ? will you
obey me ? have you any other Interest ? Say yes or
no, I shall be yr friend iff you will serve me ; Iff you
have anybody preferable to me to serve, Let me
alone, have you ye Interest of yr Contre at hart,
or a particular one, for my part I have but one God
and one Country, and Untill I compas ye prosperity
of my Poor Cuntry shall never be at rest, or Let any
Stone unturned to compas my Ends.'

Goring answered, and here his part of the
correspondence closes.

Stouf to the Prince.

' May 16.

' I reed ye most gracious letter you honoured me
with dated ye 10th. of this present, and must beg
your pardon if I do not rightly understand ye
Contents ; first it is so different from ye Orders you
were pleased to send me by Mr. Obrien who by your
Command told it to Mittie, 1 who Communicated it to
me, as well as I can remember in these words, or to
this purpose, " that you would neither see me, or
write to me neither would you send me any money
to Carry me out of this Town" [Paris]. This very
Town I am, as you well know, by a special order from
the King of France, under severe penalties never to
approach nearer than fifty leagues ; for no other

1 The surgeon of Luneville, with whom Charles had resided


crime than adhering to you when Abandoned by
every body ; this very town that was witness to my
zeal and fidelity to you at the utmost hazzard of
my life, is the very place where you abandoned me
to my ill fortune without one penny of money to get
out of the reach of the lettre de Cachet, or to subsist
here any longer in Case I could keep myself hid.
You conceive very well, Sir, ye terrible situation I
was in, had I not found a friend who, touched at my
misfortunes, supplied me for my present necessities,
and I know no reason for the ill usa^e I have now
twice received from you, but that I have served you
too well.

' Your friends on the other side of the water, at
least those who not long since were so, can, and
will when necessary, testifye with what zeal and
integrity I have negotiated your affairs with them,
and persons of undoubted worth on this side the
water have been witness to my conduct here ; and
when I examine my own breast I have, I thank God,
nothing to reproach myself with, nobody has been
discovered by any misconduct of mine, nobody taken
up, or even suspected by ye Government of having
any correspondence with you, whether this has been
owing to experience or chance I leave you Sir to
determine. Here are Sir no Equivocations, or
Mental reservations ; I have, I may justly say, the
reputation of a man of honour which I will carry
with me to ye grave. In spite of malice and detrac-
tion, no irood man ever did, nor do I believe ever


will, tax me with having done an ill thing and what
bad men and women say of me is quite indifferent. 1

' You say, Sir, you will be my friend if I will
serve you, and obey you. I have, Sir, served and
obeyed you, in everything that was just, at the hazard
very often of my life, and to the intire destruction of
my health, must I then, Sir, beginn again to try to
gain your favour ? I am affraid, Sir, what five years
service has not done, five hundred years M T ill not
attain to. I have twice, Sir, been turned off like a
Common footman, with most opprobrious language,
without money or cloaths. As I am a bad courtier
and can't help speaking truth, I am very sure it
would not be long before I experienced a third time
your friendship for me, if I was unadvized enough to
make the tryall. No, Sir, princes are never friends,
it would be too much to expect it, but I did believe
till now that they had humanity enough to reward
Good services, and when a man had served to the
utmost of his power, not to try to cast dishonour on
him to save the charges of giving him a recompense.
Secure in my innocence and Content with a small
fortune, having no ambition (nor indeed ever had
any but of seeing my Prince great and good) I with
your leave, Sir, shall retire, and spend the rest of my
life in serving God, and wishing you all prosperity,
since I unfortuneately cannot be for the future of any
use to you. ' Stouf.'

1 ' Women ' refers to Miss Walkinshaw. It is clear that Charles
had rejected MacNamara's request for her dismissal, described by

Dr. King.



Charles now invited the Lord Marischal to com-
municate with him through a fresh channel, as
Goring was for ever alienated. But the Earl replied
in a tone of severe censure. He defended Goring :
he rebuked Charles for not attending to English
remonstrances about Miss Walkinshaw, and accused
him of threatening to publish the names of his
English adherents. Charles answered, ' Whoever told
you I gave such a message to Ed. as you, mention,
has told you a damned lie, God forgive them. I
would not do the least hurt to my greatest enemy,
were he in my power, much less to any one that pro-
fesses to be mine.' He had already said, ' My heart
is broke enough without that you should finish it.' l

This was, practically, the end of the Jacobite party.
Goring went to Berlin, and presently died in Prussian
service. The Scottish adherents, in the following
year, made a formal remonstrance in writing, but the
end had come. Pickle (May 11) reported the
quarrel with Lord Marischal to his employers. Lord
Albemarle (May 29) mentioned his hopes of catching
Charles by aid of his tailor ! This failed, but Charles
was so hard driven that he communicated to Walsh
his intention to retreat over the Spanish frontier.
After various wanderings he settled with Miss
Walkinshaw in Basle, where he gave himself out
for an English physician in search of health.

There are some curious notes by Charles, dated
November 26, 17-54. Among them is this :

1 Browne, iv. 120, 121.


' Cambel : his plot : ye poison, and my forbiding
instantly by Cameron."

Had Mr. Campbell, selected by Goring as a model
of probity, proposed to poison ' the Elector ' ? Not
once only, or twice, perhaps, had the Prince refused
to sanction schemes of assassination. We need not
forget these last traces of nobility in this 'man

T ?




Progress of Pickle — Charles's last resource — Cluny called to Paris —
The Loch Arkaig hoard — History of Cluny — Breaks his oath to
King George — Jacobite theory of such oaths — Anecdote of Cluny
in hiding — Charles gives Pickle a gold snuff-box — 'A northern
' — Asks for a pension — Death of Old Glengarry — Pickle be-
comes chief — The curse of Lochgarry — Pickle writes from Edin-
burgh — His report — Wants money — Letter from a ' Court Trusty ' —
Pickle's pride — Eefused a fowling-piece — English account of
Pickle — His arrogance and extortion — Charles's hopes from
France — Macallester the spy — The Prince's false nose — Pickle still
unpaid — His candour — Charles and the Due de Eichelieu — A
Scottish deputation — James Dawkins publicly abandons the
Prince — Dawkins's character — The Earl Marischal denounces
Charles — He will not listen to Cluny — Dismisses his servants —
Sir Horace Mann's account of them — ' The boy that is lost ' —
English rumours — Charles declines to lead attack on Minorca —
Information from Macallester — Lord Clancarty's attacks on the
Prince — On Lochgarry — Macallester acts as a prison spy — Jesuit
conspiracy against Charles.

As the sad star which was born on the Prince's
birth-night waned and paled, the sun of Pickle's
fortunes climbed the zenith. He came into his
estates by Old Glengarry's death in September 1754,
while, deprived of the contributions of the Cocoa
Tree Club, Charles fell back on his last resource, the
poor remains of the Loch Arkaig treasure. On
September 4, 1754, being ' in great straits,' he sum-
moned Cluny to Paris, bidding him bring over ' all

CLUNV -271

the effects whatsoever that I left in your hands, also
whatever money you can come at.'

Cluny's history was curious. The Culloden
Papers prove that, when Charles landed in Moidart,
Cluny had recently taken the oaths to the Hano-
verian Government. He corresponded with the Lord
President, Duncan Forbes of Culloden, and was as
loyal to George II. as possible. But, on August 29,
1745, Lady Cluny informed Culloden that her lord
had been captured by the Prince's men. A month
later, however, Cluny had not yet ' parted with his
commission ' in a Highland regiment. 1 Hopes were
still entertained of his deserting the Prince, ' for if
Cluny could have an independent company to guard
us from thieves, it's what I know he desires above all
things.' 2 Cluiry, however, continued faithful to the
Jacobite party. Like Lord George Murray, he was a
Whig in August, a partisan of the Stuarts in Sep-
tember. They had, these gentlemen, a short way
with oaths, thus expressed by one of their own
poets :

' Let not the abjuration

Impose upon our nation,
Restrict our hands, whilst he commands,

Through false imagination :

For oaths which are imposed

Can never be supposed
To bind a man, say what they can

While justice is opposed.'

Acting on these principles, Cluny joined in the

1 Culloden Tapers, p. 412.

2 Robertson of Inerchraskie to Forbes of Culloden. September 23,


march to Derby, and was distinguished in the fight
at Clifton. After Culloden he stayed in Scotland, by
Charles's desire, dwelling in his famous Cage on Ben
Alder, so well described by Mr. Stevenson in ' Kid-
napped.' The loyalty of his clan was beyond praise.
A gentleman of Clan Vourich, whose grandfather
fought at Culloden, gives me the following anecdote.

The soldiers were, one day, hard on Cluny's
tracks, and they seized a clansman, whom they com-
pelled to act as guide. He pretended an innocence
bordering on idiot cy, and affected to be specially
pleased with the drum, a thing of which he could
not even conceive the use. To humour him, they
slung the drum over his shoulders. Presently he
thumped it violently. Cluny heard the warning and
escaped, while the innocence of the crafty gillie was
so well feigned, that he was not even punished.

Cluny came over to France in the autumn of
1754, with what amount of treasure he could collect.
In later days, a very poor exile, he gave a most
eloquent tribute to Charles's merits. ' In deliberations
he found him ready, and his opinions generally best ;
in their execution firm, and in secrecy impenetrable ;
his humanity and consideration show'd itself in strong
light, even to his enemies. ... In application and
fatigues none could exceed him.' l

While Charles retired in 1755 with Miss Walkin-
shaw to Basle, where he passed for an English

1 Manuscripts in the Charter Chest at Cluny Castle. Privately


physician in search of health, Pickle was not idle,
He had sent in a sheet of notes in April 1754.
' Colonel Buck was lately in England, he brought
Pickle a fine gold snuff-box from the Young Pretender,
which Pickle showed me,' that is, to the official who
received his statement. In later years, the family of
Glengarry may have been innocently proud of the
Prince's gift. Pickle added that ' there could be no
rising in Scotland without the Macdonnells : he is
sure that he shall have the first notice of anything < >f
the kind, and he is sure that the Young Pretender
would attempt nothing without him.' At the French
Court Pickle only knew the financier, Paris Mont-
martell, and d'Argenson (not the Bete, but his brother),
through d'Argenson's mistress, Madame de Pierre-
court. ' Pickle wishes to be admitted to an audience,
and so do I,' writes an English official, ' as he grows
troublesome, and I don't care to have any corre-
spondence witli him or any other northern ! '

To this report is appended an appeal of Pickle's.
He asks for a regular annuity of 500/., being out of
pocket by his 'chants' — Highland for 'jaunts.'
Pickle never got the money ; so ungrateful are

On May 11, Pickle congratulated his employers
on having made Charles ' remove his quarters.' He
adds that Charles and Lord Marischal have quarrelled.
About this time, after Henry Pelham's death in March
1754, Pickle favoured his employers witli a copy of
an English memorial to Charles. It was purely


political ; the Prince was advised to purchase seats
in Parliament for his friends. But in May, Charles
had neither friends nor money, and he never cared
for the constitutional measures recommended.

On September 1, 1754, Old Glengarry died,
and Pickle, accompanied by a ' Court Trusty,' went
North to look after his private affairs, for he was
now Chief of the Macdonnells. 1 He wrote from
Edinburgh on September 14. Pickle wants money,
as usual, and brags as usual : he tells us that Spain
had recently supplied Charles with money. The
Young Lochgarry of whom he speaks is Lochgarry's
son, who took service with England. The Old
Lochgarry threw his dirk after the youth, adding
a curse on Locho-arrv House as lono- as it sheltered
a servant of the Hanoverian usurper. Family legend
avers that the house was henceforth haunted by a
rapping and knocking ghost, which made the place
untenable. 2 Part of Pickle's letter follows :

Add. 32,736. ' Edinburgh : September 14, 1754.

' Dr. Sir, — I have heard fully from Lochgarv,
who acquaints me that the Young Pretender's affairs
take a very good turn, and that he has lately sent two
Expresses to Lochgary earnestly intreating a meeting
with Pickle, and upon Lochgary's acquainting him
of the great distance Pickle was off, he commanded

1 Pickle was inducted into his estates, before the Bailies of Inver-
ness and a jury, on February 2, 1758. The ' Eetour ' is cited in Mr.
Mackenzie's History of the Macdonalds.

- The story is in Mr. Mackenzie's History of the Macdonalds.


Lochirarv to a rendezvous, and he set out to meet
me the 4th. Instant, and is actually now with me. I
shall very soon have a particular account of the
present plan of operation. I have now the ball at
my foot, and may give it what tune I please, as T am
to be allowed largely, if I fairly enter in Co-partner-
ship. The French King is in a very peaceable
humour, but very ready to take fire if the Jacobites
renew their address, which the Young Pretender
assures him of, and he will the readier bestirr himself,
as the English Jacobites hourly torment him. Troops,
Scotch and Irish, are daily offered to be smuggled
over ; but I have positively yet refused to admit any.
The King of Spain has lately promised to add greatly
to the Young Pretender's patrimony, and English
Contributors are not wanting on their parts. 1 I
suspect that my letters of late to my friends abroad
are stopt, pray enquire, for I think it very unfair

' I am in a few weeks to go north to put some
order to my affairs. I should have been put to the
greatest inconveniency if "21 " had not lent his friendly
assistance ; but as I have been greatly out of pocket
by the Jants I took for Mr. Pelham, I shan't be in
condition to continue trade, if I am not soon enabled
to pay off the Debts then contracted. I have said
on former occasions so much upon this head to no
effect that I must now be more explicit, and 1 beg
your friendly assistance in properly representing it

1 All this is probably false.


to the Duke of Newcastle . If lie thinks that my
services, of which I have given convincing proofs,
will answer to his advancing directly eight hundred
Pounds, which is the least that can clear the Debts
of my former Jants, and fix me to the certain payment
yearly of Five hundred at two several terms, he may
command anything in my power upon all occasions.
I am sorry to be forced to this explanation, in which
I always expected to be prevented. I am so far
from thinking this extravagant, that I am perswaded
it will save them as many thousands, by discarding
that swarm of Videts, which never was in the least
trusted. If the Duke of Newcastle's constituent was
acquainted with this, I daresay he would esteem the
demand reasonable, considering what he throws
away upon others of no interest or power on either
side. . . .

' P.S. Pray let me not be denied the Arms I
wanted, and I hope in case of accidents, you'll take
care of young Lochgary.'

Now comes a letter of the ' Court Trusty ' who
accompanied Pickle to Scotland, a spy upon a spy.
The Trusty's real name was Bruce, and, what with
Pickle's pride and General Bland's distrust, he was
in a very unpleasant quandary.

Add. 32,737. ' October 10, 1754.

' Dr. Sir, — I have only to acquaint you since my
last, that by my keeping company with Pickle, the
General has upon several occasions expressed himself


very oddly of me, all which might have been
prevented by a hint to him. You must perceive
what a pleasant pickle I am in ; It is really hard that
I should suffer for doing my duty. Pickle has pro-
mised to write to you this night, if he neglects it I
cannot help it. I have done what I judged right by
him. I have all the reason in the world to think he
will be advised by me, but he now finds his situation
altered, and as such must be managed accordingly.
You know him well, all therefore I shall say is, that
he is naturally proud, and his Father's Death makes
him no less so. I wrot you long ago for advice,
whether I should go north with him, or not, to which

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 18 20 21 22 23

Online LibraryAndrew LangPickle the spy; → online text (page 18 of 23)