William Fraser.

The earls of Cromartie; their kindred, country, and correspondence (Volume 1) online

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valuable addition to the history of the numerous Clan Mackenzie.

Another History of the Mackenzies is that of Dr. George Mackenzie,
which was written about the year 1725. The Doctor was also the author of
" The Lives and Characters of the Most Eminent Writers of the Scots
Nation," a work of great research, in three volumes, folio, which were pub-
lished successively in 1708, 1711, and 1722. He was a son of the Honour-
able Colin Mackenzie, second son of the second Earl of Seaforth. His
History of the Mackenzie Family was never published, but copies of it are
found in the libraries of several of the Mackenzies.



HISTORIES OF THE MAGKENZIES.



xiix



The other Historians of the Family of Mackenzie were John Mackenzie
of Fairburn, John Mackenzie of Applecross, Mackenzie of Eedcastle, and
Hector Mackenzie, 1710. None of these Histories has ever been published,
with the exception of a portion of that by Applecross, which was printed at
the office of the " Dingwall Advertiser," in the year 1843, pp. 19, folio. That
print also included the short History by Lord Cromartie, written in the year
1669 ; but not having been distinguished from the Applecross portion,
which chiefly refers to the branches of the Mackenzies, the whole is called
by the name of the History by Applecross.^

The two places or properties of the same name of Cromartie require a
word of explanation. The barony of Cromartie, which is situated locally at
and around the town, and in the parish and county of Cromartie proper, was
originally the Crwmbawchty of which Macbeth was reputed Thane before he
became King of Scotland. The spellings of the name of Cromartie were very
various : — Crumbathyn, Cromarte, Cromardy, etc. etc. Fordun says that the
Northern or Crombathy Firth, by reason of the excellence of its hold-
ins ground, gets the name of Zikirsount from seamen. In the thirteenth
century the family of Mouat, then de Monte Alto, were the owners of Cromartie,
and in the beginning of the following century Cromartie had accrued to King
Kobert the Bruce, proljably from the Mouats submitting to Edward of
England. Bruce granted Cromartie to Sir Hugh Ross, eldest son of William
Earl of Ross. The Earl of Ross gave Cromartie to Adam Urquhart, and with
his descendants it remained for many generations.



^ Amongst the documents produced in the
service of Mr. Mackenzie of Allangrange, as
the heir-male of the Earls of Seaforth in 1829,
was one described as " an original MS., bound
in pai'chment cover, belonging to Alexander



Mackenzie of Woodside, entitled, ' Genealogy
of the Chiefs of the name of Mackenzie since
their coming into Scotland, containing 136
pages, with one index of 15 pages.' "



Xi\i PREFACE.

William Urquliart of Cromartie, who was the representative of the family
in the time of King James the Third, received from the King the following
warrant to build a castle on the ]Moot Hill of Cromartie : —

" Jacobus, Dei gracia Rex Scotorum, omnibus probis hominibus tocius terra
sue, clericis et laicis salutem. Sciatis nos dedisse, concessisse et hac presenti carta
nostra confirmasse dilecto nostro Willelmo Vrcharde de Crummaty militi, pro sue
fideli seruicio nobis impenso et impendendo, le mote et montem mansionis de
Crummaty, jacentes infra vicecomitatum de Crummaty : Tenendas eidem Willelmo
et heredibus suis de nobis et successoribus nostris in feodo et hereditate imper-
petuum, et adeo libere et quiete sicut dictus Willelmus, aut predecessores sui, aliquas
terras sine annuos reditus in burgagio infra burgum nostrum de Crummaty, retro-
actis temporibus, tenuit sen possedit, tenuerunt seu possederunt. Insuper conces-
simus ac tenore presencium concedimus dicto Willelmo de Vrcharde mUiti et
heredibus suis nostram licenciam et facultatem special em turrim sine fortalicium
super dicto le mote et monte de Crummaty edificandum et construendum, ac
dictam turrim in altum erigendum, portisque ferreis cum le machcoling et berm-
king firmandum, et in summitate eiusdem apj^aratibus bellicis et defensiuis pre-
parandum ; et omnia alia et singula facienda et perficienda que ad consummacionem
et edificacionem dicti turris sine fortalicii necessaria fuerint sine opportuna, absque
obstaculo seu reuocacione nostri vel successorum nostrorum quorumcunque. In
cuius Rei testimonium presentibus Uteris nostris magnum sigillum nostrum apponi
precepimus. Apud Edinburgh, sexto die mensis Aprilis, anno domini millesimo
quadringentesimo septuagesimo, et Regni nostri decimo."^

Sir Thomas Urquhart of Cromartie was a celebrated Knight. He was the
son of Sir Thomas Urquhart of Cromartie and the Honourable Christian Elphin-
stone, daughter of Alexander fourth Lord Elphiustone, and was born in the
year 1613. Amongst the other gifts of Sir Thomas, the son, was that of
a great genealogical genius. He traced his family from Adam and Noah in
an unbroken line of descent. When he was questioned about the accuracy

* Original Warrant, Seaforth Forfeited notice after tlie chapter on the Castle and
Estate Papers, P^egister House. The above barony of Cromartie had been printed,
interesting warrant only came under my



TWO C ROM ART IBS AND TWO SIR GEORGE MACKEXZIES. ^t

of his pedigree, which was considered but lusus ingenii, Sir Thomas was wont
to remark that the present age would mock that genealogy, the succeeding age
would doubt it, and the third would be heavily inclined to believe it.

The other property of Cromartie is that which was inherited and formed
by the first Earl of Cromartie, separate from the original Crombathyn or
Cromartie above referred to. The Cromartie-Mackenzie estate consisted of
Tarbat, Castleleod, Strathpeffer, Coigeach, and other lands in Eoss-shire,
which were disjoined from the shire of Eoss and annexed, by Act of Parlia-
ment, to the shire of Cromartie. With the exception of Tarbat and some
others which were sold, these estates are still known by the name of Crom-
artie, and the proprietors are designated of Cromartie in the same way as
the proprietors of the other estate are also designated of Cromarty, the only
diiference being that the latter call their property Cromari!y, while the final
termination of the other is tie. Both are idem sonans, and the difference is
very small after the great variations which have occurred since the Crwm-
bawchty of Macbeth.

Two persons of the same name, as well as the two properties, also require
a word of explanation. These are Sir George Mackenzie, Lord Tarbat,
afterwards Earl of Cromartie, and Sir George Mackenzie of Eosehaugh, Lord
Advocate to King Charles the Second. Being of the same Christian and sur-
names, both connected with Eoss-shire, and contemporaries in the public
service, they have been frequently mistaken, the one for the other.

Lord Tarbat was born in 1630, six years before his kinsman the Lord
Advocate, whom he survived for twenty-two years. They were frequently
associated in the public transactions of the reign of King Charles the Second,
and the subscriptions of their names are to be found alongside each other in
public documents. The following woodcuts afford a specimen of these. The



x^i



PEE FACE.



lirst simature is that of Sir Georcre Mackenzie the Lord Advocate, and the
second is that of Sir George Mackenzie, Lord Tarbat.



J^Ur^'l^




It will be observed that the signature of the former of the first half of
his surname is J\Iac in full, while the latter is W. This difference is one
way of identifying these two public officers of the same name.

The profession of the law has often been a favourite and successful
one with persons of the name of Mackenzie. Besides the two Sir George
Mackenzies now mentioned, Eoderick Mackenzie, Lord Prestonhall and Lord
Justice-Clerk, and Sir James Mackenzie, Lord Eoyston, were both younger
sons of the Tarbat branch. Within my own time I have known three Lords of
Session under the title of Lord Mackenzie. The first was Joshua Henry Mac-
kenzie, an able, upright, and amiable judge, with much of the mildness of
manner of his father, the author of the " Man of Feeling." The second was
Thomas Mackenzie, author of "Studies in the Pioman Law," and an alJe
lawyer.^ The third was the late Donald Mackenzie, a very accomplished
judge and genial gentleman, whose too early removal has been much lamented.



^ Lord Mackenzie, when at the Bar, was a
very successful pleader. On one occasion,
■when debating a Bill Chamber Case before
Lord Dundrennan, in his own house in George
>Street, Mr. Mackenzie was opjiosed by another
eminent pleader now on the bench. Both



the counsel pleaded their respective cases with
energy, and made a good fight. Lord Dun-
drennan complimented them in more homely
than judicial phrase by the remark that they
were a " couple of capital terriers."



MACKENZIE LA WYERS.



xw



The advanced age of the first Earl of Cromartie has been mentioned. In
the course of my researches into the history of the Mackenzie Family, I have
found notices of great longevity amongst them. Alexander Mackenzie of
Saintfield died at Belfast, in Ireland, in the one hundred and twentieth year
of his age, leaving a widow only four years younger than himself.^ Katharine
Mackenzie died at Fowlis Castle, Ross-shire, on 24th December 1758, in the
one hundred and eighteenth year of her age. She was a servant there for
one hundred and three years.^ Mrs. Mackenzie of Kildonan, Eoss-shire, died
there on 14th December 1805, aged one hundred and nine years, retaining
her faculties to the last.^ George JNIackenzie of Inchcoulter died at his seat
in Eoss-shire, on 1st April 1760, aged ninety-eight years. He was a nephew
of Sir George Mackenzie, Lord Advocate.^

Besides the assistance which I have received from the Historians of the
Mackenzies already mentioned, 1 must acknowledge my deep obligations for
the valuable aid which has been accorded to me by many of those who are
interested in this work. The noble owners of the Cromartie Muniments
placed them at my service without reserve, and with the most generous con-
fidence. His Grace the Duke of Sutherland heartily promoted the excavations
at the Cromartie monument at Dingwall, which resulted in the discovery
there of the grave of George first Earl of Cromartie, as explained in his memoir.

Following the good example of his father, the late ]\Ir, Loch, M.P.,
who, during his long and honourable connection with the noble family of
Sutherland, promoted several literary works, his son and successor, the pre-
sent ]\Ir. Loch, Q.C., has promoted this Book, and assisted in the progress
of it in every form, with great cordiality.^



1 The Scots Magazine, vol. XAa. p. 155.
"^ Ihid. vol. XX. p. 661.
^ Ibid. vol. Ixviii, p. 78.
* Ibid. vol. xxii. p. 158.



^ The ancestors of Mr. Loch, as owners of
the estate of Drylaw, were neighbours of the
first Earl of Cromartie, when he was resident
at Royston. Drylaw and Eoyston have both



XWi PREFACE.



Mr. Colin Mackenzie, W.S., who has so many connections with Eoss and
Cromartie, and knows so much of their history, has been very patient under
my repeated requisitions to him for information, which he has always
readily communicated to me.

The Eev. Dr. Joass of Golspie, who is well known for his great learning
in connection with the history and antiquities of the northern counties, has
rendered me great service in the revisal of many of the proof sheets.

Mr. Murray of Geanies greatly assisted in my inspection of the parishes
of Tarbat and Tain, and he placed at my service his ancient Charters. One
of these disclosed the fact that his property of Sealield was originally called
Wester Tarbat, That name had been so long disused that it was unknown,
except through the Charters.

Mr. Kenneth Matheson, younger of Ardross, has taken much interest in
this work, and has been always ready to assist me with his knowledge of the
Kintail country.

Captain Mackenzie of Findon and Mountgerald allowed me the use of the
genealogical collections of the Mackenzies in his possession.

Mr. Eoss of Pitcaluie, who is the generally acknowledged heir-male of the
ancient Earls of Eoss, courteously opened to me his Charter Collections.

Major Monro of Fowlis also assisted me with much information about the
County of Eoss, with which his family have been so long connected. On a house
of a Monro near Delny, where the ancient Earls of Eoss had one of their prin-

passed from the descendants of their respec- the sale was nearly broken off. Next year,

tive owners. An incident connected with the being the first of his acquisition, the purchaser

sale of Dry law shows how little the value of realised £4000 from the Craigleith quarry as

underground property is sometimes known. the price of blocks for the London docks.

Part of Drylaw consisted of the quarry of Since then the greater part of the houses in

Craigleith. When arranging for the sale, Mr. the New Town of Edinburgh have been built

Loch's ancestor valued it at £800. But the out of the quarry, which helped to enrich the

sum was considered to be so extravagant, that owners, the Ramsays of Barnton.



CONTRIBUTORS.



xxx



cipal residences, there is an inscription, which is a travestie of the well-known
precept to " Fear God and honour the King," as it reads, " Fear God and
honour the family of Fowlis," who were thus substituted for their sovereign.

Mr. Gunn, the factor on the Cronmrtie-Mackenzie estates, and Mr. Andrew
Smith, Solicitor in Dingwall, both greatly facilitated my inquiries in Eoss-shire,
and furnished me with much information about the Barony of Coigeach, and
its early owner, Sir Eorie Mackenzie, the Tutor of Kintail.

The assistance of Mr. Dempster, late of Skibo, now of Ormiston Hall,
requires my special acknowledgments. When he parted with his Highland
home in 1866, after having possessed it for fifty-six years from his succession
in 1810, he was the oldest landed proprietor in the four counties of Suther-
land, Inverness, Eoss, and Cromartie. He had seen every estate in these
counties change hands by sale or succession at least once, and in very many
cases oftener. From his intimacy with the Sutherland, Seaforth, Cromartie,
and other families, he knows much of their history, and has communicated
to me his information in the most generous manner.

The originals of the Mar letters already mentioned form part of the valu-
able collection of the Earl of Mar and Kellie. When engaged in the recent
successful claim made by the Earl of Kellie to the title of Earl of Mar, the
Cromartie Correspondence in that Collection came under my notice. It was
placed at my service for the present work by the Earl of Mar and Kellie in
the most liberal manner. The Dukes of Buccleuch, Argyll, Montrose, and
Athole have also allowed me to draw upon their respective collections.

A very distinguished author. Sir William Stirling Maxwell, Baronet, M.P.,
has favoured me with valuable suggestions on several portions of this work.
His own books are the admiration of the age for unexampled wealth, variety,
and beauty of illustration.

The Earl of Crawford and Balcarres, who has achieved many literary



VWi PREFACE.



Mr. Colin Mackenzie, W.S., who has so many connections with Eoss and
Cromartie, and knows so much of their history, has been very patient under
my repeated requisitions to him for information, which he has always
readily communicated to me.

The Rev. Dr. Joass of Golspie, who is well known for his great learning
in connection with the history and antiquities of the northern counties, has
rendered me great service in the revisal of many of the proof sheets.

Mr. Murray of Geanies greatly assisted in my inspection of the parishes
of Tarbat and Tain, and he placed at my service his ancient Charters. One
of these disclosed the fact that his property of Seafield was originally called
Wester Tarbat. That name had been so long disused that it was unknown,
except through the Charters.

Mr. Kenneth Matheson, younger of Ardross, has taken much interest in
this work, and has been always ready to assist me with his knowledge of the
Kintail country.

Captain Mackenzie of Findon and Mountgerald allowed me the use of the
genealogical collections of the Mackenzies in his possession.

Mr. Ross of Pitcalnie, who is the generally acknowledged heir-male of the
ancient Earls of Ross, courteously opened to me his Charter Collections.

Major Monro of Fowlis also assisted me with much information about the
County of Ross, with which his family have been so long connected. On a house
of a Monro near Delny, where the ancient Earls of Ross had one of their prin-

passed from the descendants of their respec- the sale was nearly broken off. Xext year,

tive owners. An incident connected with the being the first of his acquisition, the purchaser

sale of Drylaw shows how little the value of realised £4000 from the Craigleith quarry as

underground property is sometimes known. the price of blocks for the London docks.

Part of Drylaw consisted of the quarry of Since then the greater part of the houses in

Craigleith. When arranging for the sale, Mr. the New Town of Edinburgh have been built

Loch's ancestor valued it at £800. But the out of the quarry, which helped to enrich the

sum was considered to be so extravagant, that owners, the Ramsays of Barnton.



CONTRIBUTORS.



X\X



cipal residences, there is an inscription, which is a travestie of the well-known
precept to " Fear God and honour the King," as it reads, " Fear God and
honour the family of Fowlis," who were thus substituted for their sovereign.

Mr. Gunn, the factor on the Croniartie-Mackenzie estates, and Mr. Andrew
Smith, Solicitor in Dingwall, both greatly facilitated my inquiries in Eoss-shire,
and furnished me with much information about the Barony of Coigeach, and
its early owner, Sir Eorie Mackenzie, the Tutor of Kintail.

The assistance of Mr. Dempster, late of Skibo, now of Ormiston Hall,
requires my special acknowledgments. When he parted with his Highland
home in 1866, after having possessed it for fifty-six years from his succession
in 1810, he was the oldest landed proprietor in the four counties of Suther-
land, Inverness, Eoss, and Cromartie. He had seen every estate in these
counties change hands by sale or succession at least once, and in very many
cases oftener. From his intimacy with the Sutherland, Seaforth, Cromartie,
and other families, he knows much of their history, and has communicated
to me his information in the most generous manner.

The originals of the Mar letters already mentioned form part of the valu-
able collection of the Earl of Mar and Kellie. When engaged in the recent
successful claim made by the Earl of Kellie to the title of Earl of Mar, the
Cromartie Correspondence in that Collection came under my notice. It was
placed at my service for the present work by the Earl of Mar and Kellie in
the most liberal manner. The Dukes of Buccleuch, Argyll, Montrose, and
Athole have also allowed me to draw upon their respective collections.

A very distinguished author. Sir William Stirling Maxwell, Baronet, M.P.,
has favoured me with valuable suggestions on several portions of this work.
His own books are the admiration of the age for unexampled wealth, variety,
and beauty of illustration.

The Earl of Crawford and Balcarres, who has achieved many literary



XX PREFACE.

triumphs, including the popular History of his own House, has, with his
usual courtesy, readily responded to my inquiries on the origin of the
Mackenzies of Kintail and Seaforth, of whom he is the heir-general.

These prefatory remarks may be fitly concluded by a reference to the
changes on the Estate and Mansion of Eoyston, now Caroline Park, which
was the Lothian residence of the first Earl of Cromartie. The present
noble and patriotic owner of Eoyston, looking upon it probably as the
Lord High Admiral of England did in the time of Queen Mary, as a
place for a safe anchorage, has constructed there the magnificent harbour of
Granton. That great undertaking has necessarily changed the character and
complexion of Lord Cromartie's estate of Eoyston, and of his mansion there,
which he adorned with his classic taste, and moulded in some aspects into a
miniature Tuileries. That retreat, which in his correspondence with the Earl
of Mar he showed so great anxiety to have secured as a permanent official
residence for the Lord Chancellors of Scotland, has recently been converted
into offices in connection with the manufacture of printing ink in the adjoin-
ing grounds. The very letters wliich Lord Cromartie wrote at Eoyston, called
in his Latin inscription there his little cottage, the Memoir of himself, and,
indeed, this entire work, have been printed \di\\ the Eoyston ink. The claims
of commerce in connection with the great harbour have led to Eoyston House
being the abode of manufacturing chemists instead of Lord Chancellors, as
desired by Lord Cromartie. But this is only one of the many changes which
are disclosed in these Chronicles of the Eaels of Cromartie.

WILLIAM EEASEE.

Edinburgh, 32 Castle Street,
June 187G.



Contentj3 of Volume Jfirjst

TITLE-PAGE, with Armorial Shields of the Mackenzies and

MACLEODS.

PREFACE, ........

GENERAL TABLE OF CONTENTS, ....

PEDIGREE OF THE Mackenzies, Earls of Seaforth,
PEDIGREE of the Mackenzies, Earls of Cromartie,
HISTORY OF THE EARLS OF CROMARTIE.

Introduction. — Origin of the Mackenzies,

The Tarbat or Cromartie Branch, .....

Sir Rorie Mackenzie of Coigeach, Knight, grandfather of the First
Earl of Cromartie, 1574-1626, ....

Sir John Mackenzie of Tarbat, Baronet, father of the First Earl
of Cromartie, 1608-1654, .....

Sir George Mackenzie of Tarbat, First Earl of Cromartie, 1630-1714,

Chapter First, 1630-1660. — His birth and education — the Earl of Glencairn's
Expedition, .......

Chapter Second, 1660-1678. — The Restoration in 1660 — Made a Lord of
Session — Act of Indemnity and Billeting — Retirement,

Chapter Third, 167S-1685. — Retui-n to Public Employment, 1678 — Made
Lord Justice-General — Lord Clerk-Register 1681 — Chief Manager of
Scottish Affairs, 1 678- 1685, .....

Chapter Fourth, 1685-1688. — Made Viscount of Tarbat, 1685 — Revolution
of 1688, .......

Chapter Fifth, 1688- 1703. — Employments under King William — Death of
Ann Viscountess of Tarbat — Marriage with Margaret Countess of
Wemyss, 1700, ....

Chapter Sixth, 1703-1707. — Made Earl of Cromartie, 1703 — Death of Coun-
tess of Wemyss and Cromartie — the Union,

Chapter Seventh, 1707-1714. — Death of Lord Cromartie in 1714,

Chapter Eiglith. — Cliaracter and Works of Lord Cromartie,



Pagti



I

V
vii

ix

XXV



liv
Ixvii

Ixvii



cxlvi
clviii
clxxx



CONTENTS OF VOLUME FIRST.



History of the Earls of Cromartie — continued.
John, Second Earl of Cromartie, 1656-1731,
George, Third Earl of Cromartie, 1 702-1 766,
John Lord Macleod, Count Cromartie in Sweden, 1727-1789,
Successors of John, Lord Macleod, in the Cromartie Estates,
Armorial Bearings, .....

THE CROMARTIE CORRESPONDENCE from the Year 1662 to
THE Year 1705 — {continued in Volume Second),

Abstract of that Correspondence, . . . . .



Page
CXCV

ccxi

ccxxxvi

cclix

cclxii

1-314
315-354



ILLUSTRATIONS IN VOLUME FIRST.



I.— PORTRAITS
Sir Rorie Mackenzie of Coigeach, Knight,
Sir John Mackenzie of Tarbat, Baronet,
George, First Earl of Cromartie
Anne Sinclair, his wife,
John, Second Earl,
Hon. Mary Murray, his wife,
George, Third Earl, .
Isabel Gordon, his Countess,
John Lord Macleod, .
Marjory Forbes, Lady Macleod
Edward Hay-Mackenzie of Cromartie,
Hon. Mrs. Maria Hay-Mackenzie, his wife,
John Hay-Mackenzie of Cromartie, .
Her Grace Anne Hay-Mackenzie, Countess of Cromartie,

Duchess of Sutherland, ....

Lady Elizabeth Mackenzif:, afterwards Broun of Coalston,



beltoeen xlviii and xlix

liv and Iv

Ixvi and Ixvii

)i "

cxciv and cxcv

ccx and ccxi

cclviii and cclix

5) 11

cclx and cclxi



cxl and cxli



CONTENTS OF VOLUME FIRST.



Illustrations in Volume First — continued.



II.— CASTLES, ETC.

Ellan Donan Castle, the residence of the Barons of Kintail, bchvecn xxiv andxw

Castle Leod — two Fie7(is, ..... xHi and xliii

The Cromartie Monument at Dingwall, . . \

Plan and Section of the Graves, . . . .V clxxiv and clxxv

Lead Coffin of George, First Earl of Cromartie, . ;

LocHSLYNE Castle, ...... Ixviii andlxix

Tarbat House, formerly the residence of the Earls of Cromartie, clxxii and clxxiii

The Present Mansion-House of Tarbat, . . cclvi and cclvii



LETTERS.

Sir Rorie Mackenzie to Sir John Grant, 2d March 1624, . xxvi and \x.\\i