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

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pleised to recommend the conditione of Mr. CoUine Dalgieish to my care ;
and althogh (Madame) ther war noe vther consideratione to press that business,
your Ladyships favour to him shall obtain for him all my respectis, whenever
anie fitt occation shall be offered for his accommodatione ; which for the
present does not occur in my diocess. Madame, if your Ladyship's best
conueniencie can allow me ane line anent my good Lord joxvc husbandis


southerne good aspect viider the superior orbes, and your hopfull familie's

weelfare (whoe are happy, as weell as honorable, in haueing youe for ther

mother), it will werie much refresh me in this sequestrat corner of the world ;

and oblidge me yet more (if more can lie) to subscribe my selff, Madame, your

Ladyship's most humble seruant,

MURDO, Bishop of Orknay.

]\Iadame, my selff with my whole familie ar in good health since our
arriwal to this place, blessed be God ; but my eldest dochter, Jean, tackis
not weell vith this climat, which is werie wake and moistie.

For my Lady Tarbote — theis.

1 7. Donald Macdoxald, and eleven others of the name of Macdonald,

to Lord Tarbat.

Portrie, the 2 February 1678.
My Lord, — When wee, though bot a few of the branches of the familie
of M'Donald (yet the nearest), does consider and weigh with ourselves,
that through the discrepances arysing dayly betwixt Sir James and Sir
Donald his son,-^ ther has been little or no progTess at all made in the pay-
ment of ther wast debts, wee find it no less then our dewtie and concerne,
both for ther owne and our preservation, to put on a resolution, as now we
are resolved to doe, to seperat, with your Lordships adwice and concurrance,
the estate from them both, except so much as in reason may be a compe-
tencie to eatch of them. Wee have too long been dormant, and leaned too

^ The Sir James and Sir Donald here re- James in December 1G78, succeeded him as

ferred to are apparently Sir James Macdonald the third baronet, and also to the ancient

of Sleat, Baronet, and his eldest son, Sir family inheritance of Sleat.
Donald Macdonald, who, on the death of Sir


faiT upon promishes that produced noe performance, and we know ther has
not a few been made of them to yourself, as well as to ous ; and all wee
suppose to the same effect. Therfor, my Lord, let ous intreat you, as the
principall pillar this familie leans most on, that yee concur and joyne with
ous, in the preserwation of it ; and what your grandfather did happily begin
wee hope yee will putt a close to it : since our endeavors will not be wanting
to second yow, be the hazard newer so great of our lives and fortunes. Bot
if, my Lord, at this werie instant, this be not adwerted to, wee sie inevit-
ably the ruine of it, as this on consideration wee offer yow will infallabilly
demonstrat. What if Sir James (which God forbid) shortly dy, his Ladyes
joynture, the great provision of her son, and the patrimonies of the first
mariage, the wast debts owing without them, the necessitie of the present
education of the air of the family and the rest of the children God has blest
Sir Donald with : if all these should at once fall on, as it would in this cace,
what would become of the air and of all of ous, that through the decay of the
stock could not bot wither as branches ? When, my Lord, you have pon-
dered these things, wee hope you will not think it unfit, that wee come now
to practice what for the most part before has been bot in the theorie.

Therfore wee have made this adress to your Lordship, that yee may send
ous, as wee hear yee and Pitcarlie was noblie resolved befor, a power be law
to wairand ous to goe about this waightie affair. Wee fear little if we have
(as we doubt not) your patronage in this ; and dreads the less our success
that wee have gained Sir Donald to our purpose : and wee will doe him this
justice, that fi'om the werie begining he alwayes prest this methode ; which
if followed, things had not come to this sad pass. Wee will not reflect on
that method led at Edinbrough, bot this much with fridome wee will say,
that if wee followed but the same the work wold be endless, and a dwyning
disease would be put upon the family, of which at last it could not but dy ;


on would have too much, the other little or nothing at all. Bot the methode
we intend to take is, to consider the urgent debts, and to lay asyd as much
as can be of the fortune towards its defrayment, and to destribut amongst
themselves the rest as they are severally burdened. We hope, my Lord, as
this sutes with reason, it will with your opinion also ; and therfor wee in-
treat, that wee may be claide with a power to intromet with all the estate.
Ther is another thing wee desyre as much as this, that all handes may be
tyed up, that it may not be in any of ther power to undoe what wee are going
about and mak our endeavours fruitless, and it is this, that the conveyance
be presently put a close to ; els, if it be in ther capacitie to contract and add
more debt, all comes to nothing, and the work infinit. Bot since self-
preserwation is naturall to all, your Lordship will not think it strange that
wee desyre in the bosome of it, wee bee particularly preserved, as the estate
stands severally ingaged to ous ; els wee ly by; and it wer unjust to expect
of ous anie service or concurrance to advance a familie that would mine our-
selves. My Lord, wee haue reasons to ward this blow, since it was aimed at
ous before. We haue wretten to Pitcarly and your brother, Master Eorie, to
the same purpose ; and has sent on of the bearers your way, that your Lord-
ship may wret to Pitcarlie and your brother to accelerat the conveyance and
(3ur power of intromission, and what els your Lordship thinks fit to this pur-
pose, since the tyme of seting the land is so near. The other boy wee have
sent to bring a return of this wretten be

My Lord, your Lordship's most humble servants,

Ja. Mackdonald. H. M'Donald. H. McDonald.

Ea''- Mackdonald. A. M'^Donald. Donald M'Donald.

Ar. M'^Donald. Donald M'Donald. James M'Donald.

Alexander M'Donald. H. M'Donald. A. M'^Donald.

For the ryght honorable my Lord Tarbet — these.


1 8. Kenneth, third Earl of Seaforth, to Sir George Mackenzie,

Lord Tarbat,

Brahan, the 7th Agust 1678.
My Lord, — Haueing occasione of my Lord Duffus, I could not hot wryt,
tho I haiie not muche to say hot to congratulatt the kyndnesse ye haue from
the Duke of Lauderdaill. I know your meritt will bring yow to preferrment,
and if ye gett any title of honour, I hope will not interfier with me. Thatt
which makes me use this freedome is the damned wullgar report, who sayes
more then I will wryt, and I swear 20 tymes more then I will beleiue, for I
ame of the same resolutione, and it is hard to know how soon I may giue a
testimonie of it, that I was still, which is to trust yow be any on breathing
with all that concerns

Your affectionatt brother and servant,

For my Lord Tarbart — thes.

19. Donald M'Donald of Moydart, Captain of Clanranald, to Sir George
Mackenzie, Lord Clerk Eegister.

Castelltirholme,^ 8 Junnii 1682.

My werie noble Lord, — Yowrs I receaved of the daitt the 20th of Maij

lastt, w^herby I find yowr Lordships cair, kyndnes, and favowrs, unrequyttable.

I thowghtt to have had the honor as to have kistt yowr Lordships hands

befoir the Duikis comeing to Scottland, Ijott I was stormestedd in Uistt ever

^ " Castle-tirrum " was the principal mes- and many other lands. [The Acts of Parlia-
.suage of the barony of that name. The barony ment, vol. viii. p. 546.]
included Moydart, Arresack, Benbecula, Eigg,


since the 8 of Appryll untill this tyme. Bott I find, yowr Lordship hes done
alseweill as give I had bein presentt, whillc I wishe God may revard yow
and yowrs for yowr being the instrumentt of releiveing of me and myne from
the tliralldome and slaverie we were bound to vtheris. Itt deserves to be
chronickled upon yow and yowr familie, and shall be in perpetuall remem-
brance be me and myne sua long as we live, and our posterittie eftir us.
All the money due be me to Argyll was onely the lastt years few dewtie.
My Lord, as to the cautionrie, I hoope yowr Lordship will doe all yow can to
see me fred thereof as yow have writtme. As to whatt is betuixtt us, I have
ordered yowr Lordship ane thowsand powndis Scottis, whilk is to litle, bott
yowr Lordship knowes how I am used with Grahame, wdiom I took to be
mostt sufiicientt ; bott, whitther I live or dye, yowr Lordship shall be both
verie honesttly and tymeously satisfied of the restt. I hoope yowr Lordship
will take all in good pairtt and putt ane period to thatt affair, for I have none
under God to recomend or trustt my affairs to bott yowr Lordship : therfor I
committ them quhollie unto yow. I restt, my verie noble Lord,
Yowr Lordships humblestt servantt quhile I live,


For my verie noble Lord, my Lord Eegister of the
kingdome of Scottland.

20. John Werhen to Sin George Mackenzie, Lord Clerk Eegister.

St. James's, 4th January [16]%^.

My Lord, — I should haue answered your Lordships of the 21st December
sooner, but that I haue wayted a good opportunity to make the proposall
mentioned in your letter about the east part of New Jersey.

And now I am to desire a little further explanation of what is aymed at

_ i


in this proposall, that is, whither the proprietors of East New Jersey designe

to joyiie that to New Yorke (as heretofore) as a part of that Governement,

and soe share in it by sending theire representatives to the assembly at

New Yorke (in such number as may be agreed on, if it be thought fit), and

contributeing to the publicke chardge in proportion, etc. ? — or else, whither

haueiug theire Governement in East New Jersey, holden by charter from

his Eoyall Highnesse immediately rather than by transmission from theire

authors (as your letter expresses it), and being under the Dukes protection,

be to be understood only of the Dukes confirmation of theire rights and

possessions there as they are derived unto them from Sir G. Carteret or

his heires by vertue of the Duke's graunt heretofore to him and them ?

Moreouer, for the ease of negociateing this affayre, I desire your Lordship

will appoint some one (well instructed) impowred to answer such objections

as may be started by His Eoyall Highnesses commissioners here, when this

is layd before them ; for Mr. Barcklay is not heir, and I haue noe knowledge

of any one concerned herein besides your Lordship, to whom I with perfect

truth subscribe myselfe,

My Lord,

Your Lordships most faythfuU humble servant,

Jo. Weeden.

Eor the rifjht honourable the Lord Eegister in Edenbourgh.

21. Egbert Barclay of Ury, Author of "Apology for the Quakers,"
to Sir George Mackenzie, Lord Clerk Eegister.

Ury, the 8 of the 7th month, 1684.
Dear Frind,— According as the Chancelor desired me and thy self
adviced, I wrott to Calder, and have since had opportunity to meet with him,

C (Vi^-

/yyynj OAvT^^yur noon 'Ir^r^


X^^ t^-MPn


and find liim very inclinable to doe that, which he himseK has of a long-
time deseined ; but there are some things previous thereto wherein he expects
thy advice and assistance, and therefore is to send a bearer expresse to thee.
I hope I need not solicit thee to be at some paines to ansuere his desire,
wliom thou knowes to be so much thy frind, and who expects thine, as
having a particular relyance upon thee, nor will thou be lesse zealous in it

that it is also intreated of thee by thy affectionat frind.

Pi. Barclay.

Since it is now certain that Midletone is in Godolfins place, I wish thou
would recommend to him our affair of Jersy, and I shall order W. Dockraw
to wait upon him to give him full information.

For the Lord Eegister — These.

]S;"iNE Letters from Sir George Mackenzie, Viscount of Tarbat, to John
FIRST Marquis of Athole, Lord Privy Seal, chiefly in reference to his
proceedings as Lord Lieutenant of Argyllshire.-^

22. From Sir George Mackenzie and other Lords of the Secret Committee.

28 Agust 1684.
My Lord, — The Committee rather have Ardkinlas at Glasgow then Stir-
lin, because he most lie sent hither, with a strong guard. As to the gentl-
men who were to l)e secured, wee cannot so weell know who are most dan-
gerous as your Lordship being on the place, and therfore wee referr to your
Lordship to pitch on these who are of greatest importance and most suspect,
and that yow send those with guards hither, together with what probation

^ The originals of these nine letters are in the Athole Charter-chest.



can be had of any crime or guilt against any who shall be so taken, that wee
may the better know how to deall with them.
We are, my Lord,

Your humble servants,

Perth. J. Drummond.


Da. "Falconar. Geo. M'Kenzie.^
For my Lord Marquis of Athole, Lord Privy Seall
for the kinodome of Scotland.

23. From Sir George Mackenzie and other Lords of the Secret Committee.

Edinburgh, 6 September 1684.
My Lord, — Wee are very weell satisfied with your Lordship's procedures,
and are glad of your successe as to the charter chest. Wee look on the band
as on good expedient for secureing these people ; but when there late cheeff
intends so much mischeeff, all men most excuse the King's servants to take
all rationall methods for preventing him. It will be fitt that the writts be
sent to Edinburgh and put ther in publick custody. As to the allowing of the
country people to cary armes, wee dare not adventure on it at present, untill
your Lordship try further in ther temper, and untill some further resolutiones
be taken for securing against Argyle's designs. By what is discovered in
Argyl's papers since your parting, ther is grovnd for the more and more
vigorous prosecuting what may break of his hopes, and wee are confident your
Lordship will continue to end what yow have so weell begunn. I have
acquainted the Duke by the secretar of what is done by yow. We shall

' Sir George Mackenzie of Eosehaugli, Lord Advocate.
- Sir George Mackenzie, Lord Tarbat.


examine Arkinlas as yow desyre ; meane while try what probation as weell
as information can be had of his roguery, Goe on against the indulged
ministers ; and your Lordship would indeavour to find out honest men to
plant in these churches, to recomend them to the bishop for these parodies
wherof he is patron, and such as are the King's, acquaint the Lord Trea-
surer with those persones you judge fitt for them. In the band there are two
things to be amended, viz., the obligation most be to the Lord Treasurer and
not to the Councell for the failie, and the citation of 10 dayes most be at the
paroch kirk, and the kirk exprest in the band. All we have to add further
is, to acquaint your Lordship that the Earl of Midlton is made Secretar for
England in place of Godolphin, who is president of the Treasury in place of
Eochester, who is president of the Councell.
"Wee are, my Lord,

Your most humble servants,

Perth. J. Drummond.

QuEEXSBEKRy. Geo. M'Kexzie.

Da. Falcoxar.

My Lord, its absolutly necessare that Mr. Bannerman be hasted heer as
soon as is possible, for his presence is necessare.

Argyl's letters now discoverd show a plaine, open, violent intended rebel-
lion both in England and heer. Spence's help hath opend all the letters
plainly. Carstairs is just now comeing to a confession also ; when he hath
deponed by the next your Lordship shall know what it is.

Since the writting of the letter, Arkinlas is examiud. He acknowledges
that there was 50"' sterl. collected for the late Argyle in the end of the yeare
1682. Dugall Campbell of Saddell, bayly of Kintyre, gave S"' ster., the
Captaine of Denoon 5"^ ster. Dugall Campbell in Kintyre, brother to Car-


dell, gave 50 merks, and about 300 merks out of Ila and Kintyre, but lie
knowes not tlie persones. The Comittee desyres that those three, or any
other your Lordship can have information of in this crime, be apprehended
and sent to Edinburgh, and that all inquiry be made of this or any other

24. From Sir George Mackenzie, Secretary to the Secret Committee.

17 September [16]84.
My Lord, — Your letter dated the 10th, sent hither by Mr. Banner-
man, I read to the Secret Committee. They resolve to forbear medling any
further with Arkinlas, or to ordor any thing concerning the houses, till your
Lordship and they meet. Yours of the 14 came just now to hand. The
Chancellor is gone, the Councell adjourned, the Commissioners all home to
iitt themselfs for ther expedition, but I shall show your letter to the Lord
Treasurer. In my owne opinion, haveing taken those appointed to be taken,
with such others as yow know guilty or dangerous, your Lordship may
returne, but lett them know yee will speedily return to keep them in fear of
the fleuett. The plott for riseing in Scotland is now fully discovered ; many
more are guilty nor wee imagind, and it is a great danger which God
deliverd this nation from. The whole confession of severals of the conspira-
tors are sent up to the King. Many are apprehended ; but severals guilty
who were conscious, keept them selfs out of our grips. Philiphach's ingenuity,
I hope, will safe him, but he was deeply in. Since some of Argyle's papers
are found, I wish all were. I am goeing to speak the Treasurer in Arkinlas
intelligence, and so cease writting till I see what shall be done. Wee have
examind, and find all as your Lordship informs of Arkinlas intelligence, tho'
^ The address is wanting. The letter is holograph of Lord Tarbat.


it appears he be no very honest man himself. So lett your Lordship look
out for all that are guilty in that contribution.

The Secret Committee comanded me to writt that of all things your Lord-
ship should press, by such mediums as yow think fitt, to see if the shyre, at
least the suspected in the shyres of Argyle and Tarbat, will consent to pay
a company to stay constantly ther, to prevent the farr more troublsome way
of having forces sent still amongst them ; and during the standing of that
company they will have no other quartering, and also be free of ther owne
militia, which cannot but be expensive to them if they [be] oft called out with
provisiones, as certainly they will be. This all the committees are to indea-
vour in the severall districts. Lord Neill Campbell is heer ^\\t\\ us, and
consents for his owne part, and promises to be active in it with others. Its
no matter tho they condiscend to it but for a yeare, to bring it on. On
this account he is allowed to goe home. My Lord, the confusion wee are in
allowes me to say no more but what you know, that I am your servant,

Geo. M'Kenzie.

For my Lord Marquis of Athole, Lord Leuvtenant of Argylshyre.

25. [From George, Viscount of Taebat].

Edinburgh, 22 May 1685.
My Lord, — The Lord Commissioner and Earl Dumbarton will tell yow
that all busines goes on heer as yow left them, and the ammunition is ordered
to be sent to Balqhidder. No stirr in the least appears in England. I pray
God send yow a fair opportunity, for if Argyll fix in Argyle, he is twLxt yow
and the ships. Pray acquaint the ships to beware of fyreships and Argyle's
knacks, for I feare these litle ships may be some such. Hast on by some
way to forwarne them ; nothing can be fitter for all effects then frequent


intelligence. The magistrats of Stiiiin are ordored to have posts ready to
come and goe, but spare not expresses. The Lord Commissioner and Com-
mittee hath nothing to say, and so yee will excuse not writting. Spare
your meall weell. Adieu.

Tor my Lord Marquis of Athole, Lord Leivtenant of
Argyle and Tarbatt.

26. [From Geokge, Viscount of Tarbat].

Edinburgh, 27 May 1685.
My Lord, — Since the publick letter caries all the good news from Eng-
land, I shall not repeat what was there exprest. I writt this to teU your
Lordship that the least mischance to your party would be of prejudice. I
writt not this for your sake only, but for the King's interest. What your
strength is or the enimies I know not, but contemn no enimy, especially if
they be numerous and weell armed. On the other hand, if ye withdraw, the
rebels may fall downe on Stirlin, or passe thorough to the western shyre,
where he may lurk and hover amongst the mosses, till the rebels convocat
in multitudes. to him : so if yee fight him and beat him, that is best of all;
and next to that is, if yee manadge so as to draw out the rebels from the
coast, so as the army from Glasgow may move towards and after him, without
the hazard of Argyl's beeing in case to ship over to the west coast ; then put
him once betwixt yow, I will think him in a bad state. But if he fortify in
Tarbat or any other strong place, I know not how untrained men will at first
attack forts. Yett yee can keep him in if yee have but meat. But the L.
Generall dare not divide any of the standing force untill they be out of
hazard of Argyl's goeing over to the west ; but if once the ships were in the
seas about Kintyre, especially were cruising within veiw of Kintyre and the


west, then at your clesyr I presume the Comander in cheeff heer on your
desyre will, in that case, send you some standing forces of the foot and
granadeers, to the effect yow may force that fort. My care for yow makes
me writt thus, tho all I can say is only on conjectur. I recomend yow
heartily to God's care, and hope for those news which I hope may produce
honor to yow and something els to Lord Charles.

For my Lord jMarquis of Athole, Lord Leivtenant of
Argyll and Tarbat.

27. From Geoege, Viscount of Tarbat.

Edinburgh, 5 June 1685.
My Loed, — Wee have account that the Mermaid, on of his Maiesties
frigats, went in by the sound of Mull ; if there were two or three of them in
the seas, on of them would doe weell to cruise on the back of Kiutyre.
I am, my Lord, your faithfull servant,

For my Lord Marquis of Athole, Lord Leivtenant of
Argyll and Tarbat.

28. From George, Viscount of Tarbat.

Edinburgh, 24 June 1685.

My deaee Loed, — If yow want meall I have lost labour and care, for

I never omitted to pouse it to be sent evry way. I am hopefull to see yow

heer shortly, and will referr all history till then, and then there will be a

tale of two drinks. I heare my sonne and many others are neare yow, and


are altogether in want of bread. It is not possible for to say any thing till

I see yow, and therfore nothing shall be said by,

My Lord, your faithfull humble servant,

For the Marquis of Athole, Lord Leivtennant of

Argyll and Tarbatt.

29. From George, Viscount of Tarbat.

Edinbursrh, 6 Agust 1685.
■My Lord, — Yow should justly challenge me if I had heard any thing of
so much importance to yow as what is in your Lordship's letter, ether from
Lochiell or any other, and not acquaint yow. But I assure yow, my Lord, I
never heard any thing like it. Lochiel, if he spok such things to another,
lie was so discreet as to speak farr otherwayes to me, for he regrated exceed-
ingly that yow accused him, or was angry at him, and all that ever I heard
him say, was, that as to intelligence or correspondence with the rebels he
would defy the world, and that he was sure you would witnes his earnestnes
to be at them ; and, as to busines of the party wdiich he comanded, that
Argyle %vas crost neare be the tyme he was sent out from yow, and long or
he could come at them, that his not overtaking them he counted his greatest
misfortune. He blames the disobedience of severall of those he comanded
and the guide which yow gave him ; but for a word reflecting on yow I never
heard of him. The Treasurer hath writt to yow of his goeing up, and hopes
to see yow. I did not know of it till the letter allowing it came to the
Secret Committee yesternight. I shall leave other litis stories till meeting,
since he makes me hope for it.

For the right honorable the Marquis of Athole,
Lord Leivtenant of Argyle and Tarbat.


30. From George, Viscount of Tarbat. Circa 1685.

My Lord, — Your letter to the Earl Dumbarton most ether be on mis-

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