Patrick Lyon Strathmore.

The book of record, a diary written by Patrick first earl of Strathmore and other documents relating to Glamis castle, 1684-1689 online

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Online LibraryPatrick Lyon StrathmoreThe book of record, a diary written by Patrick first earl of Strathmore and other documents relating to Glamis castle, 1684-1689 → online text (page 16 of 22)
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he was chosen Dean of the Faculty, and was elected one of
the representatives of Lanarkshire in the Parliament of 1681.
When the division took place betwixt the Duke of York and
the Duke of Lauderdale, Sir George Lockhart sided with the
former, and thereby secured Court influence in his favour. On
the death of Sir David Falconer of Newton in 1685 Sir George
was chosen Lord President of the Court of Session, and was
made Privy Councillor and a Commissioner of Exchequer. He
has been accused of trimming, since he had held office under


Cromwell, Charles ii., James ii., and William iii. ; and it does
seem strange that he could have consistently sworn fidelity
to each of them. On the other hand it is claimed that it was
with a patriotic purpose that he retained his office, and that
his position materially assisted the progress of the country. It
was his misfortune, however, to meet with a tragic end. John
Chiesly of Dairy, near Edinburgh, had been a litigant in the
Court of Session, and a decree was pronounced against him by
Sir George Lockhart and by Lord Kemnay, awarding aliment
out of his estate to his wife and ten children, and Chiesly
had been so incensed against the Lord President that he had
openly avowed his intention of assassinating him. He had
even the hardihood to communicate his intention to Sir James
Stewart of Goodtrees, six months previous to the deed, and,
though that gentleman endeavoured to dissuade him from his
evil purpose,, he refused to abandon it. The Lord President
was informed of Chiesly''s purpose but paid no heed to the
warnings he received. On Easter Sunday, 31st March 1689,
Chiesly loaded two pistols and took his place in the choir of
St. Giles' church. When the service was over the Lord Presi-
dent, with two of his friends, took his way homewards to his
mansion in Old Bank Close, and as he was entering his own
door, Chiesly levelled his pistol, took deadly aim at his enemy
and shot him in the back. The bullet passed through his
body, and his death took place almost instantly. The assassin
was at once seized, though he made no effort to escape and
boasted of his infamous deed. On the following day the Con-
vention of Estates, which had been adjourned on Friday pre-
ceding and was not appointed to meet until Tuesday, was
hastily summoned, and, considering the enormity of the crime,
passed an Act ' granting power and warrand to the magis-
trates of Edinburgh anent the torturing of John Chiesly of
Dalrye, the actor of the horrid and inhumane murder of Sir
George Lockart, and of William Calderwood, writer, as acces-
sory therto. In regaird of the notoriety of the murder and
the execrable and extraordinary circumstances therof, the
Estates do appoynt and authorise the provost and two of the
bailzies in Edinburgh, and lykewayes the Earle of Erroll, lord
high constable, his deputs, if the said deputs shall please to


concurr, not only to cognosce and judge the murder, but to
proceed to torture John Chiesly of Dairy, for discovering if
ther were any accomplices, advysers, or assisters to him in
that horrid and most inhumane act. . . . And the Estates
declair that albeit in this extraordinary case they have
allowed torture, yet the samen shall be no preparative or
warrand to proceed to torture at any tyme hereafter, nor
homologatione of what hes bein done at any tyme by past/
Chiesly did not seek to evade the punishment of his crime,
and on the same day — Monday, 1st April 1689 — he was hur-
riedly tried before Sir Magnus Price, Lord Provost of Edin-
burgh, and condemned to death. He was drawn on a hurdle
to the Cross, where his right hand was struck off, and he was
thence conveyed to Drumsheugh, where he was hung in chains
with the pistol tied around his neck. (Hugo Arnot states
that the place of execution was at the Gallowlee, between Edin-
burgh and Leith.) The right hand of the murderer was affixed
to the West Port of Edinburgh, where it remained for some

^ Mr. Cheesly att Edenburgh. Page 15.

John Chiesly of Dairy, whose execution is referred to in the
preceding note, belonged to a family of burgesses in Edin-
burgh, who acquired the barony of Dairy in the sixteenth
century. His father was Walter Chiesly, merchant and bur-
gess of Edinburgh, and his mother was Catherine Todd, who
died 27th January 1679, and was buried in the Greyfriars
Churchyard. During his father's life John Chiesly obtained
the lands of Gorgie in 1672, and ten years afterwards he had
succeeded to the estate of Dairy. It is a curious coincidence
that the names of Sir George Lockhart and of his assassin,
John Chiesly, should appear on the same page of the Booh
of Recoi'd, written six years before the deed was committed ;
and it is noteworthy that even at that time Lord Strathmore
candidly expresses his opinion of the future assassin by calling
him ' a bas uncivil raskel.' Rachel Chiesly, the daughter
of this atrocious criminal, is known in history as that Lady
Grange who was imprisoned by her ruthless husband for a
considerable time in one of the islands of the Hebrides.


^^ Earl of Morton. P. 16.

William Douglas, Earl of Morton, was the son of Robert,
Lord Dalkeith and Earl of Morton, and succeeded his father
in 1649. His grandfather, William, Earl of Morton, had
obtained a gift of the lands of Orkney and Shetland, in
acknowledgment of the large sums of money which he had
expended in support of the Royalist cause, but the charter thus
granted was repudiated by Charles ii., and this munificent
gift was re-annexed to the Crown. There are several refer-
ences throughout the Book of Record to the dealings of Lord
Strathmore and his father with the father and grandfather of
the Earl of Morton. The marriage of the Earl of Morton
with Lady Grizel Middleton, sister of the wife of the first Earl
of Strathmore, brought the two families into close contact,
and Lord Strathmore accuses his mother-in-law of showing
undue favouritism toward Lord Morton (see page 28). The
only son of the Earl of Morton, Charles, Lord Dalkeith, died
when an infant, and the title, at the Earl's death in 1681,
devolved on his uncle. Sir James Douglas of Smithfield. The
subsidiary title of Lord Dalkeith was renounced by the Earl
of Morton in 1672, and was ratified to the Duke of Buccleuch
and Monmouth at that date.

*o Earl ofMidlton. P. 16.

The career of General John Middleton may be regarded as
that of the typical soldier of fortune of the period. He was
the eldest son of John Middleton of Caldhame, in Kincardine-
shire, and of Helen, daughter of John Strachan of Thurton.
His father was slain by Montrose's men in 1645, while sitting
in his chair within his own dwelling. John Middleton began
his military life as a pikeman in Hepburn's Regiment, and
served with his troops in France. Returning to England, he
joined the Parliamentary army in 1642, obtained the com-
mand of a troop of horse, and became Lieutenant-General
under Sir William Waller. Shortly afterwards he came north
to Scotland, and took service with the Presbyterians under
General David Leslie. He was present at the battle of Philip-


haugh on 13th September 1645, and took so prominent a share
in the defeat of Montrose at that time, that the Scottish Par-
liament rewarded him with the gift of 25,000 merks. In the
succeeding year he marched against Montrose to the north,
raised the siege of Inverness, and compelled the Marquess to
retreat and capitulate. So complete was his victory at this
period, that Montrose was forced to leave the country. It
was whilst Middleton was making preparations for this suc-
cessful expedition that he visited Dundee, and was specially
honoured by having his name placed on the burgess-roll on
23d March 1646. Dundee being then a defended town, was
regarded as the most convenient rendezvous for the Presby-
terian forces, and when the army was remodelled in the follow-
ing year, under General Middleton's supervision, the ' Dundee
Regiment "* was specially exempted from the order for disband-
ment. The Act of Parliament ordering this re-arrangement of
the troops is in the following terms : —

' 12 Feb. 1647.— The Estates of Parliament ordainis these
companies of foote q^^ ar to be keipt vp of Colonell Stuart,
the Viscount of Kenmure, Lieut.-Gen^^ baillie, Earle of cas-
sillis. Lord couper, Earle of murray, and Lord Chancelloris
Regiments, and that Regiment in dundie, for making vp of
the gen" of artillarie his Regiment of the new modelled forces,
— To marche the readiest and straightest way from there
quarters To dundie and mak there Randezvous their q^ they
ar to ressave further orderis for thair farder marche."*

At this period Middleton was still in the service of the
Parliamentarians, but in the succeeding year he abandoned
them and joined the Royalists. When troops were raised for
the purpose of rescuing Charles i., he was appointed Lieuten-
ant-General of Cavalry, and made a diversion in favour of the
king in the west country. Thence he marched into England,
in company with the first Duke of Hamilton, and fought with
great gallantry under him at the battle of Preston (17th
August 1648). He was taken prisoner there and sent to
Newcastle, but effected his escape, and shortly afterwards he
attempted to raise a Royalist army in the Highlands, but was
defeated, after a daring struggle, in 1650. When Charles ii.
marched from Stirling into England at the head of a numerous





army, Middleton accompanied him, and was present with him
at the battle of Worcester (3d September 1651), where he made
the chief resistance to the CromweUians. In this engagement
he was womided and taken prisoner, and having provoked the
resentment of Cromwell by his conversion to the Royalist
cause, the Protector committed him to the Tower of London,
and endeavoured to have him executed as a deserter from the
Parliamentarian army. Middleton succeeded in escaping even
from this secure place of confinement, and made his way to
France, where he joined the fugitive king at Paris. In 1653
he was despatched to Scotland to command the Royalist troops
there, but was defeated by General Monck at Lochgarry, on
26th July 1654. Again he escaped to the Continent, and
once more found refuge with Charles ii. at Cologne. His
services to the Royalists had been so great that he was speci-
ally excepted from CromwelFs Act of Grace and Pardon (1654),
and he remained abroad until the Restoration in 1660.

So devoted an adherent of the Royalist party might well
anticipate honour and reward when the star of the king was
in the ascendant ; and in this respect he was not disappointed.
On 1st October 1660 he was created Earl of Middleton, was
appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Forces in Scotland, and
Royal Commissioner to the Scottish Parliament. Two years
afterwards he was made an Extraordinary Lord of Session,
and for a brief period he held almost undisputed sway over
Scottish affairs. His administration, however, was disgraced
by the grossest tyranny, and his life was spent in scenes of the
vilest debauchery and licentiousness. ' Aided by the base
subserviency of the Estates,' writes Dr. James Taylor, ' he
annulled all the proceedings of the various parliaments that
had been held since 1633, and in a brief space of time over-
turned the entire fabric of the civil and religious liberties of
the country, his chief opponent at this time was John Mait-
land, afterwards Duke of Lauderdale, and the reckless conduct
of Middleton afforded him ample opportunity to facilitate
his rival's downfall. The Earl seriously offended the King by
procuring the passing of the Act of Billeting, by which many
of the principal Royalist noblemen were incapacitated from
holding prominent offices ; and he was suddenly disgraced and


deposed from the elevated position which he had held, ' to the
joy of the nation,' writes Sir Robert Douglas, 'as his admini-
stration had become odious from his severities, and con-
temptible from his riotous excesses."* By his appointment as
Governor of Tangier, in North Africa, he was carried into
honourable exile in 1663, and never more returned to Scotland.
Ten years afterwards (1673) he was killed by falling from his
horse at Tangier.

The Earl of Middleton was twice married. His first wife was
Grizel, only daughter of Sir James Durham of Pitkerro and
Luffness, by whom he had a son, Charles, afterwards second
Earl of Middleton, and two daughters — Grizel, married to
William, tenth Earl of Morton, and Helen, married to Patrick,
first Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne. The second wife was
Lady Martha Gary, daughter of the Earl of Monmouth, by
whom he had no issue. There is an excellent portrait of the
Earl of Middleton in the drawing-room at Glamis Castle, in
the possession of the Earl of Strathmore.

*i Earl ofErrol Page 16.

Gilbert, tenth Earl of Errol, was the son of William, ninth
Earl of Errol, and of Lady Anne Lyon, only daughter of
Patrick, first Earl of Kinghorne. He was therefore full cousin
of the Earl of Strathmore. On page 16 of the Bool: of Record
allusion is made to the fact that the father of Lord Strath-
more, John, second Earl of Kinghorne, died from the plague,
having been infected by the governor of the Earl of Errol,
who was then staying in charge of the young nobleman in
Lord Kinghorne's house at St. Andrews. The Earl of Errol
was engaged in support of Charles i. in 1648, and raised a
regiment for the service of Charles ii. In acknowledgment of
his efforts, he was made a member of the Privy Council in
1661, and obtained a charter from the king on 13th November
1666, enabling him to appoint by will the heir who should
succeed to his title and hereditary offices. He was married to
Lady Catherine Carnegie, youngest daughter of James, second
Earl of Southesk, on 7th January 1658, but there was no
issue of this marriage. He died in 1674, and nominated as


his successor his kinsman, Sir John Hay of Killour, who became
eleventh Earl of Errol.

^2 £f^j.i ofAhoyn. Page 17.

Lord Charles Gordon was the fourth son of George, second
Marquess of Huntly. His mother was Lady Anne Campbell,
sister of the first Marquess of Argyll, and he was born circa
1620. He is described as ' a man of great honour and loyalty,
who adhered firmly to the interests of Charles i. and Charles ii.
during the Civil Wars, often exerting himself in their service,
on which account he suffered many hardships.' His faithful-
ness was recognised at the Restoration, and he was raised to
the Peerage by patent, dated 10th September 1660, with the
titles of Earl of Aboyne and Lord Gordon of Strathavon and
Glenlivet. He gained some reputation as an author, although
his poems were not printed, but were largely circulated in
manuscript amongst his friends in the north. There is a
volume in the library at Skene House, entitled, ' A Collection
of Severall Satyrs, Lampoons, Songs, and other Poems,' which
contains some of his poems, amongst them being one called,
' A Satyre on the Duke of Lauderdale,"* which commences in
this strain : —

' The scepter and crown.

With the gospell and gown.
Are now turned all to confusion.

The Hector of State

Is the rascall we hate.
And his plots we will treat in derision.'

One of his cleverest pieces is amongst the Fountainhall mss.
in the Advocates' Library, and was published in Maid men t's
Booli of Scotish Pasquils. It is entitled, ' On the Tymelie
death of little Mr. Andrew Gray, Late Minister of Coul,

' This narrow hous, and room of clay.
Holds little Mr. Andrew Gray,
Who from this world disappears
Though voyd of witt yett full of yeires.


To point him forth requyres some skill,,
He knew so little good or ill,
Yet, that his memory may live.
Some small accompt I mean to give.

He had a church without a roof,
A conscience that was cannon proof.
He was Prelatick first, and then
Became a Presbyterian.

For he with Menzies, Row, and Cant,
Roar'd fiercelie for the Covenant.
Episcopall once more he turn'd.
And yet for neither would be burn'd.

A Rechabite he did decline.
For still he loved a cup of wyne.
No Papist — for he had no merit —
No Quaker — for he wanted spirit.

No infidel — for he believed
That ministers by stipends lived.
No Jew he was — for he did eat
Excessivelie, all kynds of meat.

Although in pulpit still he had
Some smattering of the preaching trade.
Yet, at each country feast and tryst
Rav'd nonsense like an Antichrist.

And lest ye think I doe him wrong.
He being short, to be too long.
No more the matter to obtrude
I with this Epitaph conclude.

Here lyes Mr. Andrew Gray
Of whom I have no more to say ;
But fiftie years he preach'd and lyed.
Therefore God d — d him when he dyed.'

Lord Aboyne was married to Lady Elizabeth Lyon, only
daughter of John, second Earl of Kinghorne, and sister of the
first Earl of Strathmore. He died in March 1681. His eldest
son Charles, second Earl of Aboyne, was married to Lady
Elizabeth Lyon, second daughter of the Earl of Strathmore.


43 Earl ofSeqfort. Page 19.

George Mackenzie, second Earl of Seaforth, was the son of
Kenneth Mackenzie of Kintail by his second wife, Isabel,
daughter of Sir Gilbert Ogilvy of Powrie. He succeeded his
brother Colin, as Earl of Seaforth, in 1633, and was an ardent
Royalist. He was one of the Association which met at Cum-
bernauld, in 1641, for the purpose of concerting measures to
support the cause of Charles i. Joining with Montrose in
1646, he incurred the displeasure of the General Assembly of
that year, and was excommunicated by that meeting. In the
following year he was included in the list of those to whom
clemency was to be extended on condition of their finding
caution, and it is probable that it was at this time that Lord
Strathmore's father incurred the liability alluded to in the
text. If so, this ' cautionerie ' must have been undertaken very
shortly before the death of the Earl of Kinghorne, and was
thus left as an inconvenient legacy to his infant son, after-
wards the first Earl of Strathmore. The execution of Charles i.
seriously damped the hopes of the Royalists, and Lord Seaforth,
together with many of his companions-in-arms, retired to the
Hague, which was then and long afterwards the principal Con-
tinental asylum for political refugees. He was favourably
received by Charles ii., who nominated him as principal Secre-
tary of State for Scotland, but he did not survive to exercise
the functions of his office in his native land. He died in
Holland in 1651, and was succeeded by his elder son, Kenneth,
third Earl of Seaforth.

** Laird of Dun. Page 19.

Sir Alexander Erskine of Dun was the son of Sir Alexander
Erskine, and succeeded his father circa 1630. He was Com-
missioner to Parliament for Forfarshire in 1630, and from
1639 to 1641. Though originally a supporter of the Cove-
nanters, strong attempts were made to induce him to join
Montrose and the Royalists. Charles i. granted him a pension
of £9^00 yearly ' for the services of himself and his predecessors
to the king and his progenitors,' but this seems to have had


no effect whatever. The House of Dun was attacked by Mon-
trose, as the following notice in Spalding''s ' Memorialls of the
Trubles in Scotland ' clearly shows : —

' Montroiss seing he is not follouit be Argyll, he leaves the
wod of Abirnethie and to the wod of Rothimvrcouss saiflie gois
he, and thair remanes a while. Fra that he marchis to the
heid of Strathspey, throw Badzenocht, throw Atholl, quhair
many of these countreis met him and follouit him ; and round
about cumis he agane into Angouss, quhair it is said he raisit
sum fyre, about Covper of Angouss, of landis pertening to the
Lord Covper, ane arch covenanter and brother to the Lord
Balmyrrinoche. He marchis to the place of Dun, quhair the
burgesses of Montroiss and countrie people had put in thair
best gudes for saiftie, being ane strong hous, and him selfe a
grite covenanter. Bot Montroiss takis in this houss, plunderis
the haill govdis and armes.**

Sir Alexander Erskine held a commission as colonel of horse,
and was on the Committee of War in 1644-48. Having been
captured along with the Master of Gray, Sir John Car-
negie of Craig, and Sir James Ogilvie of Newgrange, he was
imprisoned with them, but was liberated in February 1646, on
finding caution for 6^*10,000 Scots. This evidently was the
' cautionrie ' which Lord Strathmore''s father had undertaken,
and which had not been recovered from the Laird of Dun
in 1683. The exact year of Sir Alexander's death is not
recorded, but he was succeeded by David Erskine of Dun, who
is described as laird in 1 669.

*^ Earl of Traquair. Page 20.

Sir John Stewart, first Earl of Traquair, succeeded to the
estate of his grandfather in 1606. He represented the county
of Peebles in Parliament in 1621 and 1625, and was created
Lord Stewart of Traquair on 19th April 1628. Charles i.
made him Treasurer-Depute of Scotland on 7th May 1631,
when that office was resigned by Lord Napier of Merchiston.
When Charles came to Scotland in 1633, and was crowned at
Holyrood, he raised Lord Stewart in the Peerage, by making
him Earl of Traquair, Lord Linton and Caberstoun, by patent


dated 23d June 1633. The Earl was appointed Lord High
Treasurer on 21st May 1636, and was Commissioner to the
General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in 1639. In that
same year he was Commissioner to the Scottish Parliament,
and dexterously managed the prorogation of Parliament, under
the pretext of a declaration of war issued by the king. In
1641 he was impeached as an incendiary by the Scottish Par-
liament, the charges against him being that he had stirred up
jealousies between the king and the Estates of Scotland ; had
intercepted a letter from certain of the Scottish nobility to the
king of France, and had falsely represented it as an act of dis-
loyalty to King Charles ; he had influenced the king to refuse
a hearing to the Commissioners from the Estates of Scotland,
who had gone to London at his Majestie"'s request; he had
falsely reported the proceedings of the Scottish Parliament ;
had secretly conveyed ammunition by night into the castles of
Edinburgh and Dalkeith ; and had committed malversations
in his office of Treasurer of Scotland. As his punishment was
left to the king, and as he was necessary to Charles, no serious
result followed his impeachment. In 1648 he took part in the
' Engagement,' and marched with the army to England, but
was made prisoner at the battle of Preston, and confined in
Warwick Castle for four years. He returned home in 1652,
and survived till 1659, dying, it is said, of starvation, through
lack of the merest necessaries of life. Lady Traquair was
Catherine Carnegie, third daughter of David, first Earl of
Southesk, and the sinister motives imputed to her in the text
may have arisen from the family feud that existed between the
Southesks and the Lyons of Strathmore. ' Veitch of Daick,'
alluded to, was Sir John Veitch, Member of Parliament for
Peeblesshire, who was an intimate friend of the Traquair family.

^^ Lord Spinie. Page 20.

Alexander Lindsay, second Lord Spynie, was the son of Sir
Alexander Lindsay, Lord Spynie, and grandson of David, Earl
of Craufurd. His mother was Lady Jean Lyon, daughter of
John, Lord Glamis, and aunt of the second Earl of Kinghorne,
so that Lord Strathmore's father was full cousin to Lord Spynie.


He succeeded his father in 1607, and though there were exten-
sive properties belonging to him in Forfarshire, he chose rather
the adventurous life of a soldier of fortune. He joined the
army of Gustavus Adolphus, and fought throughout a portion
of the Thirty Years' War. He died in March 1646, and was
succeeded by his second son, George, third Lord Spynie. The
latter was a devoted supporter of the Royalist cause, and,
according to Douglas {Peerage, vol. ii. page 518), ' After the
death of Charles, Lord Spynie ruined his patrimonial estate
by raising forces for the service of his son. He accompanied
King Charles ii. to the battle of Worcester, was taken prisoner
there, and sent to the Tower of London. He was excepted
out of Cromwell's Act of Grace and Pardon 1654.' Although
the Lord Spynie for whom the Earl of Kinghorne was surety
must have been the second Lord, it is evident that the conduct
of his successor would prevent Lord Strathmore from obtaining
payment of the debts due to his father. The third Lord

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