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

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and tlie good of the Church. By the relation I had from the Archbishop of
Glas"Ow, I cannot say that our humble motion on my Lord Seaforths behalf


was without some effect ; but now, my Lord, I confess I am at a stand what
to think of this odd usage putt so publickly upon the Bishop, with whose
carriage and oblidging dealing towards those who hold of his see I have
heard you speak with much commendation. This putts me in mynd of an
expression which stuck with me yow had in freedom of discourse to me upon
a night in my chamber at Edinburgh about two years agone, that yow did
prognosticat I would hear complaints from some northern Bishops of the
contempt and injuries would be cast upon them. I shall not judge what
hath been the instigation to this, or what is designed by it, or what is at the
bottom where such smoak brakes forth, but am sorry e that such essayes and
shrewd experiments should be first attempted in Eoss, whence it was least
expected, which will give matter of various descanting to freinds and adver-
saries in this conjuncture of affaires ; and I leave it to be considered by yow
how it will be construed that, upon a causeles suggestion, a Bishop, who
is commissionated by the King and by the law of God and of the land, is
intrusted with the inspection of the clergy and layety in that precinct,
should be by the chief persons in the diocess, publickly in presence of the
most of the gentry, contemptuously interdicted from respect, freindship, and
correspondence of those whom the law hath put under his charge, which is a
sort of excommunication I know not where or when heard of befor in the
Christian Church, where respect to the lawes and publick setlement is not
disclaimed, and doeth upon the matter import a menacing and ignominious
dryving of him out of his diocess, wdiere the Earl of Seaforth and his freinds
enmity is knowin to be so significant. We are not yet brought to that pass
as to brook a precarious authority upon these termes. If his Majesty and
those intrusted by him will be satisfyed we be thus usit, after representa-
tion made of our case, we shall the more patiently digest such bafflings,
which are litle better then the throwing of stones or castocks by the rable ;


hwi so long as the lawes are in force, and our gracious Soveraign in condition
to protect ws, till a rebellion be commenced of new, we hope it will not be
expected that we wall be terrifyed from our endeavouring, by laufull and
Christian meanes, that the authority of Christ and the King, with which our
office is invested, doe not suffer in our persons and be thus exposed to such
ill boading beginnings, whatever lott we shall be cast upon therby. I have
wreatin to the Bishop of Eoss, that immediatly he come south, because we
have use for his service in the publick concernes of the Church this winter,
and have usit this freedom with your Lordship, which I desire yow may
construe to have proceidit from that value I bear to yow, and freindship
which yow shall alvayes have, if yow will leave to
Your very affectionat freind and servant,


I shall desire my service may be presented to ray Lord of Seaforth and
to Sir John Urquhart, who I hope are persons more generous and wise
then, after better consideration, to judge it fitt for them to be the first
in giving example and to lead in casting indignities upon the order
which they did own, and injuring persons who never disoblidged them,
but were ready upon all occasions to serve them and may yet be of some
use to them.

[Address wanting.]


9. Sir James Macdonald of Sleat, Baronet, to [Sir George Mackenzie, «

Lord Tarbat].

December 15, 1GG6.
My Lord, — -If I had Hews papers by me, I wokl have sent them ; since
I will not alter ani of the childreins bounds, being- I despair of ani guid I
can doe to this famalie. I know no reson whey the poor innosent childrine
should suffer for the extrawagancie of on person that did, and does daylie,
destroy himself and fortoune. I did oft tymes, boith be word and wreat,
admonish your Lordship of this, thinking ye wold have mead him forbear his
wayes ; but no souner wold yee see him but ye wold credit him, and he,
imagining that he did satisfie your Lordship, wold be carles of his owne weill
notwithstanding he was contious to himself that he wasted all. This now
hes mowed me to call here a number of our freinds from all places, that the
world may see his wayes at liom (as what he did abrod, tho now cum to light
more as ever was knoweu befor) ; yet had he caried rightlie heir, sum hopes
wold be leaft that bussines might be taken sum course with, that people
might have a breathing tyme to doe dewtie. And since w^ee have alvayes
had a dependancie on our freinds ther, and espetiallie on your Lordships
faniali, I have thought best to call Coull and Duvachmuloack and Reidcastle,
and heir I have mead choise of the Captaine of Clanranald and sum others.
These when they meit will inform all freinds of the miscariages heir ; with-
out the lyk of this it wer im]30ssable to ani people living at a distance to
know our behaviour. I did conceive be your lettres to me, that ye feard that
in regard my sonne was still disoblissing me that that ^^'old have mead me
tak sum course prejuditiall to the famali, ellis that it wold have mead me


neo-liaent in doeing that whicli I miglit have done. Allace, my Lord, I was
never that foolish or base as to omitt ani guid I could doe, albeit I was not
leating him know of it. I not only imployed my rent to the relieffe of the
famali, but I advanced monej that I had by me, and monej that was resting
me, and contracted not a sexspence since my sonnes homcuming ; whar as to
the contrar, I Avill mak it apeir, that ther is debt contracted be him, nothing
payed, but almost all levisslie put away, projects brok and willepended.
Mv Lord, it is great confidence to me to alledg this befor freinds meit, iff
it shall be found heirefter to be ane wntrewth. My Lord, if I be short in not
making cleir everie thing that I have wreatten heir to yow, ye sail heirefter
luik wpon me as ane w^nfamous man to whom no credit should be given.
As for my sonnes deportment to me, suirlie, iff ye knew it aright, ye wold
pitie me that is the sufferer, or him that is so foolish as so to miscarie
to ane indulgent father. For me, I thank God I can hold my head
abowe the water, tho he wold offer to doe moir ; but certainli ther is eneuch

I know my sonne is now" gon to wait wpon your Lordship, since he heirs
that ye intend to goe wher he may not have occatione to see your Lordship
in heast. Ther was a tyme that it wold be thought I wold not be short of my
dewtie, or behind with ani man to serve yow or yours, and yet I know your
Lordship wishis my famalie weill, but I fear it is in ane other mans person,
as Argyll said to Ardcattan ; but since I am contious to my self to bee free
of ani thing that might justli offend yow, I will the rather tell that ther
is non of your relationes that loves boith your person and famalie so weill
as I doe, and is so much greived for your present resolution e, if it be that
is told w^s, yea, tho ye had given me just occatione [of] offence, it wold not
have altered my resolutione. Let God be witnes to the integritie of my
hart in this.


I iutreat your Lordships patience till the returne of the freinds. If it he
mead out what I heir have wreaten relating to my sonne, I will be the
moir bold to goe kisse your hands. Wishing your Lordship and yours all
happiness, I am,

My Lord,

Your Lordships cussen and servant,

S'- J. M-'DONALD of Sleatt.

I know my sonne will alledg that he offred to doe dewtie, and he was
redie to heir freinds and willing they should meit. I pray your Lordship
notice nothing of vhat he sayes in that kynd ; your Lordship will find them
but sillie discourses and superfuges to see iff it will clock westrie and mis-
deminours. Eemember, my Lord, that albeit I have not manie qualificatione,
yet that I am so censable as that I wold wreat in this kynd if it wer not

I pray your Lordship hinder Scattuall and Arbo from offering to abuse
themselfs, not me ; which, iff it cum to light, will maik them perpetuall
wnfamous. It was wpon your Lordships accompt and your famalies that I
spared Scattual for severall things he owes me. God knows I wold honor
the meinest of them, so far as I could, — I meine your Lordships famali, not
Arbo. This now that Scattuall wreatts of is old bounds that Scattualls
father had, which I sent him vhen he was taking course for me in Eoss in
your fathers absence in pul)lick bussiness. Scattuall himself sent me lettres,
desyring me to send for them since they wer taken course with othervayes ;
and this sam Scatuall sent me word he had them to be sent me. Indeed, the
last yeir, I was willing that Arbo should tak Scatuall for vhat I thought was
wnpayed of the four thousand mark bonnd, vliich Avas all that ever Arbo
could ask or creiv, or could creiv.
[Address w^anting.]



10. John first Earl of Middleton to Sir George Mackenzie,
Lord Tarbat.

London, June 16, 1668.

My Lord, — I have in my papers fvllie jvstified yow in evrie thing yow

did in the imployment I trvsted yow with, and by this express I doe declare

that yow did nothing bvt according to yovr instrvctions. I hope no mis-

tVn'tvne that heas or can befall me can render me vnvorthie of the esteem of

honest men ; nor shall I ever condemne anie innocent person for excvseing

anie escape in me. Yow have manie wittneses of yovr fathfuU and loyall

deportment, and if my testimonie be of anie weight, I will never be [wan]ting

to give it in all places wher yow are [concerjned, being with much affection,

]\Iy Lord,

Your most fathfvll servant,

For my Lord Tarbitt.

II. James Sharp, Archbishop of St. Andrews, to Sir George Mackenzie,

Lord Tarbat.

London, November 21, [16]74.
My Lord, — This is to pay my acknowledgment of the favour of yours of
the 7th which I receaved last week under my brothers covert. The observa-
tion I made of your way, ever since I had the happines of your acquaint-
ance, possessed me with a strong beleef that, from principle and inclination,
you had just measures relating to the Church, King, and Countrey, and
accordingly I found your endeavoures bent, when yow were stated in capacity,
to serve these publick interests, from which no temptation of the infelicity of
your l)eing incapacitated for many years hath been able to make yow swerve ;

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and though to the churches great loss your share was great in publick
changes, yet my value of your worth and good wishes for your wellbeeing I
can say ever did and shall keep steaddy, though I could signify litle to your
service. From this motive the first opportunity I could lay hold upon was
after my Lord of Glasgow had gone from England, in conference with my
Lady Dutchess of Lawderdale at Ham, when I might without imper-
tinency, or seeming design, make tryall how her Grace might be disposed
towards yow : after some discourse about your sone-in-law Clackmannan,
and then of yourself, I sayed that to her which found such acceptance, that
her Grace gave me commission at my return to Scotland, ^^'hich then I
expected would have been soon after, to give.[assur]ance of her inclinations to
doe yow all the good offices in her power, and when she should see yow and
Clackmannan, who she thinks has of late carryed somewhat strangely to her,
yow should find her endeavours friendly. This is the summe of Avhat passed
then ; the circumstances and particulars I cannot in this way signifye to yow.
Twice since that tyme I had occasion to mention yow to my Lord Duke of
Lawderdale, and spoke of the apprehensions you might be under, that
through mistakes intertained of yow, prejudice might be done by confyning
and sending yow^ to the North ; to which he sayed he knew no cause, and
nether he nor any else heir meant yow hurt : and, by any collection I can make,
I shall say freely, I could wish, whyl I were here, your conveniency could
have allowed your making a journey for seeing your Prince and your freinds
of this Church, and that yow knew my reasons for such a wish ; when pro-
bably yow might find matters in a more hopefull tendency to your satisfac-
tion then when yow were heir some years agone, and perceive that some
now see it ther interest to own the Church who formerly did not. Yow may
remember that I have professed to yow, as I have done to other freinds,
when I had occasion to speak of that head, that the measure of my freind-


ship and service, if it can signify to any man, is according as I find them
affected and concerned for the Church as now constituted, and may say I
have done every man right who has been so, and shall doe for the future,
however persons may change towards me. I doe not mistake if I beleeve I
know on what side you are to be found, and desire yow may beleeve that,
wherin I can be of use to yourself and your interest, I will imploy my best
endeavours in much sincerity as,

My Lord,
Your assured true freind and humble servant,

ScT. Andrews.

I will not allow that any thing by this expressed be made known to any
person safe to my Lord of Glasgow.
For my Lord Tarbett at Edinburgh.

12. Mr. James Gregorie, Professor of Mathematics, Edinburgh University,^
to Sir George Mackenzie, Lord Tarbat.

Edinburgh, 27 January 1675.

My Lord, — If in any thinge I can be serviceable to yov in this place,
ther is non more obliged, and without all complement more willing to serve
your Lordship than I. Yea, I wiU esteem myself happie, if yee will grant
mee the opportunity of testifying that I am not vnsensible of your favors.

It is no easie mater to give a satisfactorie theorie of winds. Without
question subterraneous stems have a great influence on them, which the

1 Professor Gregorie was the celebrated in- engaged iu pointing out to his pupils with a

ventor of the reflecting telescope. He was telescope the satellites of Jupiter, he was sud-

appointed professor at Edinburgh in 1674. denly struck blind. He died iu the course of

In October of the following year, after being three days thereafter, in his 37th year.


terrene west or north-west wind (according to your observation) doeth mani-
fest in the Late storme. I could wish yee had had an baroscope : for I have
alwayes hitherto observed, that in great storms the mercuric falls extremlie
low, and consequentlie the aire is much lighter. I doe fancie from this, that
heavie aire is able to keep vp in it heavie and thick clouds and damps,
which (the aire becoming lighter) falls with violence, and causeth storms
and winds. This alteration in the weight of the aire (for it is an mater of
fact) may come from the mixture of subterraneous stems, which ar agi-
tated by severall degrees of the heat of the sune, other celestial influences,
and perchance ewen some changes made by men on the surface of the earth.

I doe not hazarde (not being there my self) for an telescope above 9 or
10 foot longe, which may be had for 50s. or at most £3 sterling; it may
magnify the object in lenth or breadth betwixt 60 or 70 times. The concave
glasse for your sight may be had for 4 or 5 shillings set in an ivory frame ;
sealed glasse tubes for barrowmeters may be had for [ ] shillings a peece
or litle more ; an wheelbarrowmeter may stand 6 shillings or perchance some
more ; the thermometers hermeticallie sealed may be some cheaper.

If yee will writte to Hector Mackenzie to draw the money, I sail give
instructions to his correspondent, and write to the workmen with whom I am
acquaint to doe ther work well and to tak no more than they did from mee ;
and if I can doe any more, in that also I sail strive to acquite my self,

My Lord,
Your Lordships most humble and most obliged servant,

For the right honorable my Lord Tarbot — these.



13. Hexky Oldenburg/ Secretary to the Eoyal Society, to Sir George
Mackenzie, Lord Tarbat.

London, May 24, 1675.

Sir, — The communications concerning the contry where you have an
interest, imparted by you to the learned Mr, James Gregory, and by him con-
veyed to me, and by me exhibited to the E. Society, were so well received by
that illustrious body, that they commanded me to return you their very
affectionat thanks for your care and concern in contributing to that Philo-
sophical Magazin they are about to lay in, in order to make in time such a
structure of Natural Philosophy as may be more solid in the theory and
more beneficial for practice and the uses of human life. They entertain
great hopes. Sir, that as you have begun this good work, so you will continue
and pours ae it, by communicating to them whateuer shall occurr further to
you belonging to the natural history of that contry, and the oeconomy of the
inhabitants thereof; not doubting but all such observations shall be pre-
served in our Eegister-books with great care, and with due respect to your
person and merit, as well as it shall be always duely acknowledged with all
ingenuous gTatitude.

AVe doubt not. Sir, but as the observations you make yourself are exact,
so you take care that such as you receive from others may come from judi-
cious and veracious persons, as well attested as may be, to the end that we
may lay vp nothing in our pliilosophical storehouse but what is supported

1 (Jldenburg was the friend and correspondent of Milton and of many other eminent men.


by truth. Whateuer you judge me capable of to serve you iu these parts,
you may freely command.

Your very liumble and faithfull servant,

Henky Oldenburg, Soc. Eeg. Secret.

For Sir George Makenzie, knight, at Edinburg — These.
Recommended to the care of Mr. James Gregory.

14. Mr. James Gregorie, Professor of Mathematics, Edinburgh University,
to Sir George Mackenzie, Lord Tarbat, with the preceding letter from
the Secretary of the Eoyal Society enclosed.

Edinburgh, 8 June 1G75.
]\Iy Lord, — This is onlie to convoy the enclosed to your Lordship from
the Secretarie of the E. Societ}^ by whose letter to mee I perceive they ar
werie desirous to entertein a correspondence with yov. I have received
verie cordial thanks for these letters yov wer pleased to honour mee with,
and am intreated by them to be as instrumentall as I can in continuing this
correspondence which they have begun. I need not use any motive with
your Lordship for this effect, seeing yov know much lietter than I can tell
yov what advantage learning may reape Ijy such correspondence, which in
thes is the only aim of,

My Lord,
Your Lordships most humble and most obliged servant,

J. Gregorie.
For my Lord Tarbot at Tarljot in Eoss — tliese.


15. [Sir John Campbell of Glenorchy ^] to the Laird of Cromartie.

Balloch, May 18th, [16]77.
Sir, — By Conadge servant this day I receavd yours, but was sorie to see
it with ane other hand, which maiks me aprehend yow ar groun lasie ; yet
I know your stile, — the voyce is yours. But that yow suffer prejudice on my
accompt surpryses me, for I know no quarrell any hav to me, nor vpon my
accompt to my freind, and if without on they will be so injust, I hop God
will disapoynt them. You must be the mor fortunat, for although I avow
the being your freind as much as you can be mine, yet therby hav I suffered
noe damage. Conadge his wreat to me of the Mr. of Eheas oblidging desyr,
which T accept with all my heart, and I did to that purpose wreat to him
from Edinburgh, but had noe return ; I sought him therfor first, as reason
uer, and shall continow. I may and I will serv him if he allow me, but its
easier for me to doe it by not disoblidging my freinds in Caithnes then other-
uayes. I think I may serv both, and you can not contriv the links of that
chaine so as therwith to vnite your self and your freinds with me, but I will
be content to be bound with it. I know yow will desyr nothing to my pre-
judice, which uer to vntye what yow desyr to hav made firme, for, the mor
considerable my freindship be in that cuntree, the more able will I be to serv
you and such as will be pleasd to accept of my freindship. "Wliat further
I hav to say I hav recomended to Conadge. I find the Caithnes men blame
you much for the disapoyntments they hav met with, and they expect my
assistance for redress. Its hard for me how to cary in the wholl matter,
but if uhat Conadge hes to say might hav place, then I uould be doubted

1 This letter is not signed by the writer, but it is holograph of Sir John Campbell of Glen-
orchy, who was created Earl of Breadalbane.


by natlier, nor uould atlier of the pairties except against my actions, and
what particular cement uer to be made uer fitt to be done or that cause
come in again which I desyr. Untill then you may order the Mr. of Ehea
taik not ill my actions, for as ther are endevours to render me jealousd by
the Caithnes men, so I doubt not but ther will be persons to increase the
Masters recentments against my moderat way of representing that affair to
the Lords of the Session. I hop its not ther desyn to maik vse of your pouer
over me to lay me aside in this cause, and ther after they ar at libertie how
to oun me ; but the lyk hes been so often practisd in the uorld abroad
amongst princes that no marvell subjects taik example uhen ther is noe
nearer obligation. I hope to be north in September, and uhatever uill be
told you, or they see or hear, of me, I will cary myself as on that beleevs
my self to be in good freindship with my Lord Ehea and his familie ; and
on of the best services at present I can doe him is to endevour ane imposing
vpon both pairties ane accomodation of soe chargable and dangerous ane pro-
cess as the event of this one may prove to ather, if not to both the pairties,
and nather of these doe I think my intrest. Wherfor I judge myself oblidged
to prevaine it, and therby the sport others uould maik of it. I am glaid you
so influence the Master of Ehea, and I think I hav some pouer with the other
pairtie, and I imagine may get them to referr it to us tuo ; but if ther be
great expectations on the Masters side 1 uill not medle in it, seing I can not
serv him therin. I leav the uholl matter befor you, and expects your con-
stant continoued correspondence in this league untill you accomplish it, and I
uish the duration of it to be longer then that of the triple league. — I am,

Your most affectionat freind and humble servant.

For the Laird of Cromartie.


16. MuEDOCH Mackenzie, Bishop of Orkney, to Anne Sinclair,
Lady Tarbat, circa 1677.

Eycht Honorable and my (dear) Madame, — I had the honore of your
Ladieship's letter, in absence of your (wageing) Lordship, wharvith I was
much refreshed, haveing found therin much kyndness, pertinencie and dis-
cretione, werie lyck the compliet subscriber : and I can not bot much applaud
the happyness of that honorable husband whom God has blest vith such ane
perfect consort, to be the mother of his hopfull familie, and supply his absence,
so as I find nothing vanting but his Lordships personall charecter. I pray
God be his chief councellor, to direct his courses soundly and saifly in this
nick of time and crisis of publict affaires, wharein (to speak efter the dictione
of this countray) vind and tide seemes to goe contrare ; and then ther is a
great sea which callis for ane skilfuU, steddie steirsman. He is nowe, I believe,
sailing (as we say) in the streitis. The Lord retourne him to youe, to his
worthy familie, and poore friendis, in saiftie, leadened vith precious com-
modities : and if it should happen vtherwayes (which God forbid), I am
perswaded he can not lay the blame in the leist vppon his worthy Ladye's
wisdome, prudence, and circumspect warrines in thir times : which may
conuince him (thogh ther var not too manie argumentis besides), that the good
Gode heath granted him ane Lady fitted to be his helper. Your Ladyship was