William Fraser.

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

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he come away or it came to hand. All here give their humble service to my
lady and yow, and I am ever your affectionat, A. M,

My mothers letter being dated 2 1 August, I am hopef uU he may be here or
you be in Fife. I am sure this will incite yow to come over, and I hope mod-
erate exercise will doe yow good. Your hauck is very good, and, if yow could
get a good spaniole, I hope we shall have good sport ; but I am scarce of them.

For the right honorable the Viscount of Tarbatt.

40. John Earl of Melfort to George, Viscount of Tarbat. Circa 1687.

]\Iy dear Lord, — I had the honor of your Lordships ; and in the first
place I most tell you that I made the uses your Lordship designed of all the
peapers ye sent me, and shal endeavour to serve your Lordship to the best
of my skill in uhat is hinted at in this — but no mony no cure ; if no mony can
be had, your Lordsliip shal not hav the truble of a jurney hither upon that
accompt. As for the joyneing of the lands, the King had no anger at you
that I sau, nor uas there reason for it ; but he apprehended the precedent,
and my Lord Pouis was zealous in the mater. Ye hav done valiantly, with
great truble to you, mor to the country, litle to the army ; and all to God
belongs the prayse of this warr ; and I liope the King uill reuard you, for I
kno that life, having bein in some such circumstances my self : and if it uer
in my pouer I uold not injure the King, and yet lett the uorld kno, that it is
a good thing t<j serve the King well. May God in his oun time sho the
King uho are his best servants, and preserve poor old land of kakes from all
that's ill ; The 3 Scots regiments uer seen by the King yesterday, and this
day he is so fond of them he uold see them againe, and bring tlie Queyn with


liim. Officers and soldjeurs look iiell and briske. I hope they shal not
returne to Holland in haste. Our rebellion is dying as it began, all the
rebells disperseing of themselves, without fighting ; so that nou ther forces
are reduced from 10 or 12 thousand rable to 4 or 5000, and they robbing the
country wher they come ; for at first they uer payed. If any neus come this
night, I shal send it. Your Lordship has aluays bein my freind, and God
knous if I could hav served you, I uold hav done it. Tell me playnely uhat
this is ayles my Lord Thesaurer at me, for I fancy his Grace is much mis-
taken in many things, taking things for my designes that are not so, as he
uill find ; but if you uill be so kinde as to lett me kno, I uill assure your
Lordship, that, directly or indirectly, I shal not on my part use uhat you say
otheruays then your Lordship commands me. If ye doe not this, yet I
cannot hinder myself from being with all cincerity imaginable, my Lord,
Your Lordship's most humble and most faithfuU servant,


41. George Viscount of Tarbat to his son John, Master of Tarbat,

16 January 1688.

Deare Sonne, — . . . As to the building, I find it very expensive both
their and heer, and am weary of it ; but to put the house of Tarbat to some
period in its shell, see what is to be done ther for provision of stone, and I
shall send lyme. I exspected that there was timber enough at Tarbat for
j easts and rooff and windowes ; but now that much of that is gone, cast up
what will be necessar for floors and rooff, and try if yee can be provided of all
att home ether be Bellnigown, Inercharron, or Alexander Eoss, and at what
rates. Yee will find it troublsome to cary them from Taine, so advise
whither yee will oblidge the sellers to deliver them at Tarbat or at Taine, for
if yee think to gett cariage to draw them over, it were weell ; for carying about


in a float seldome misses mischance : but as to the deals, bargan for them to
be delivered at Tarbat. Or yee conclud, try if Sir James Calder will furnish
yow ; perhaps he may, both better and cheaper.

The quality of the timber I will have as folio wes : the j easts a foot in
evry wall, and at least ten inch of good wood at the small end ; the rooff of
good wood, and at least eight inch at the small end, for good timber is the
strength of a building. Deals for sarking yee may have there, but I fear
yee will not gett sufficient clean deals for flooring. I would not desyre them
broad, but the longer the better, tho it were to 20 foot; so try what length
can be gott. I intend to box it all, at least the best part of it, with wanscott,
and to make the windows sash, so that the timber for that most be provided
from Holland, and I fear the carpenter from this. I likwise desyre to know
as true a measure of the grounds, for yairds, avenues, and orchards, as can be,
as I writt to you formerly ; and with all these I would have yow take a very
short start to speak with me in the very begining of March, that I may
speak with yow in all our concerns. And because your debts will trouble you
heer (and that it is not in my power to pay them because my owne stresses
me above what I can), I would meet yow in Balcasky, and goe over quietly,
at the day yow will assure me, and 3 dayes will doe our busines. Of this
none heer knowes, and none needs to know ther, but your wife, but as you
were come to meet some body at Elgin. If yee find any occasion at Inernes
or Cromarty in Februar of a vessel comeing to Leeth, send me as many willow
stakes for planting as you can, and a deall of privet sach ; and with the first
post send me grafts of pearlie and pitriach out of Lovitt. Your letters have
fallen by my hand, so that I cannot find them, and therfore it's like I may
have forgott to answer some particulars ; but that m[ay b]e amended heer-
after. Adieu.

[Address wanting.]


42. J. jNI'Dougall of Dunolich, and thirteen others of the name of
M'DouGALL, to Gp:oi!Ge, Viscount of Tarbat.

Dunollich, the ~ day of Apryll 1688.

My Lord, — Our freind Duncan ]\PDougall haveing come heir some
weeks agoe, and haveing given ws ane accompt of your Lordship's continved
kyndnes to Dunollich in matters befor the Exchequer, we could not with him
bot give your Lordship our sense of it, and as we acknowledg your Lord-
ship to have beine the onlie instrument, wnder God, of keiping tliat famihe
from being extinct, and ws of his name desolat, soe shall we reckon our
selves of all men the most vngrate, if on all occations we give not such
sutabell returnes as in some measure may answer the great things your
Lordship lies done for ws.

"We ar told that ther is ane new stop to that signature your Lord-
ship was pleased to procuir wnder his Majesties royall hand to Dunolich,
and that Blair Drumond lies occasioned it, on the accompt of ane pre-
tended debt dew be some of Dunolich's predicessors, and whervnto Blair
lies now right. All we can say to it is that Dunolich was ever most willing
to have satisfied all his just debt to creditors, soe far as his mean estat
could allow, and that such rationall offers hes been mead to Blair him-
selfe as might have satisfied the justnes of his claiiie, bot yett rejected ;
and nothing will please him wnles Dunolich harken to liis demands as ar
not possibell for him to performe. And since your Lordship lies beine
pleased to concern your selff for Dunollich and his familie hitherto, and
that it's by your selffe, and not by him or any of ws, that soe great ane
mark of his Majestis favour is confered wpon that familie, ve doe ther-
for humblie intreat your Lordship wold be pleased to look to the pasing
of the signature, and, if neid be, againe to recomend ws to such at court



as may, by your Lordship's intercession, procuir ane new letter from his
Majestie for its dispatch : which, with your Lordship's former acts of
kyndnes, shall be ane constant tye wpon ws ever to continew,
Your Lordship's most humbell and faithfuU servants,

J. M'^DoUGALL, Dunolich.

A. M'DouGALL, wncle to Ardincaple. Co^ M'Dougall, Tuttor of Ardin-

Jo. M'Dougall of Ardmor. capell.

Alexk. M'Dowgall of Kilmurie. Alexr. M'Dougall, Tutor of

Alexander M'Dougall of Barnabok. Gallanich.

Hew M'Dougall, feir of Barnabock. Alexr. M'Dougall of Corilorne.

Allan M'Dougall of Cregainch. Allan M'Dougall of Soroba.

Jo. M'Dougall, Dunaich. Dun. M'Dougall of Knipuch.

My Lord, we have desyred Georg M'Kenzie, on of the clerks of Exchequer,
to wait wpon your Lordship, and to give your Lordship such informatioune as
may be requisit in our affair.
For my Lord Viscount Tarbot.

43. Colonel John Hill to [George, Viscount of Tarbat].

Bellfast, 19th August 1688.
Eight honorable and my very good Lord, — I haue (by the hand of my very
good freind Andrew Monro) been made happy in the honour I had by your
Lordship's most kind and condiscendinge letter, of the 27th July, which giues
me soe many fresh intimations of the continuance of your wonted fauour and
goodnes. It is noe litle satisfaction to me, that a person of your honour and
worth should soe far (in my declineinge dayes) owne your soe much obhged
servant for your freind, and were I in proper circumstances to be justly cape-


able of tliat honour, I would not doubt to acquit myselfe (in some measure)
answerable to the title your Lordship is pleased to grace me with.

This countrey, my Lord, is hona terra, but generally mala gens, which
detracts from the sweetnes of it ; and tho' sometyme of late in a condition of
growing opulent, yet now inclineing to poverty. Tlie trade (which formerly
suported us), being abated, the commoditys of the countrey lye dead upon
the peoples hands by reason they can get noe valluable price for them ; by
which meanes the rents (which formerly were wont to be well paid) are now
either obtain'd wdth great difficulty (and that many tymes but partly), or in
danger to be wholly lost, a great deal of land being forsaken by the tennents,
and turned wast vpon the Landlords hands, and more like to vnderly the
same fate. The government endeavors to make people of all perswations
easie, saueinge what the fear of future events may lessen it : this is in short
the sum of our present condicion. My Lord, I haue still a true love and
freindship for your countrey, (because allwayes kind and civill to me), and
could with all my heart lay my bones amongst them, had I but such gentle
suports in that countrey as might render me easie and acceptable ; for I pre-
sume not to ambition great matters (small being more suiteable both to my
person and desires.) I thanke God I am as healthy as euer, and not much
any wayes declin'd, (tho' years will bespeake themselues.)

I should doe yow wronge to beg your pardon for this trouble, since I
know your generosity such as to pardon greater faults ; only giue me leaue to
assure your Lordship that as I allways was (since I had the honour to be
knowne to yow) your obliged servant, now you haue bored my ear to your
doore, and I am your servant for euer, and therefore give me leaue to sub-
scribe, my Lord,

Your Lordship's faithfull, obedient and most humble servant whilst

Jo. Hill.


44. J. M^DouGALL, Dimolich, and nine others of tlie name of ]\rDouGALL,
to Geoege, Viscount of Taebat.

Dunollicli, the 15 September 1G88.
]\Iy Lord, — I offer your Lordship the trouble of this, that I may hold out
the trew sense I have of your Lordship's kyndnes to me and my famely,
particularlie in that affair of ours befor the Exchequer ; and as your Lordship
was pleased to give the first ryse to that gift, soe I am told your Lordship
hes not beine wanting in any thing that might hasten the perfyting of it,
which shall be ane constant ty on all concerned in me to serve your Lord-
ship and your noble familye efter yow. It 's littell els I can doe your Lord-
ship at the tyme, bot to trouble yow with such fant expressions, which I beg
your Lordship to accept of wntill providenc put me in a condition to doe
greater things. Your Lordship knowes the state I and my name ar brought
too by the practises of wicked men, soe that we cannot doe that for your
Lordship which might be expected from such large sharers of your goodnes.
Yett I assure your Lordship, the notice your Lordship hes had of ws at the
tyme may make the generation after ws be of wse for your Lordship and
your noble successors. This hes the subscriptions of

Your Lordship's humble and obedient servants,

Co''\ M'DovGALL, tutor of Ardin- J. M'Dougall, Dunolich.

capell. Allan M'Dougall of Cregainch.

Dun. M'Dougall of Kneipoch. Jo. M'Dougall, Dunaich.

Alex""'. M'Dougall of Corilorn. Alex. M'Dougall, tutor of

Hew M'Dougall of Barnabock. Gallanich.

Jo. M'Dougall of Ardmoir. A. M'Dougall of Soroba.

For my Lord Wiscunt of Tarbert — thes.


45. Kenneth fourth Eap.l of Seaforth to his uncle, George,
Viscount of Tarbat.

Edinburgh Castle, October 25 [circa 1688].
My Lord, — I hav receav'd both yours ; and as your asistance in mv
present trouble is what I expected, and allways relay'd most on, so you may
[assure] your self it meets with a just resentment, and that no body's advice
shall weigh more with me, tho for this time I haue delay 'd writing to Port-
land, having nither acquantance nor interest with him. I judged my friends
in that place speaking to him might be as succesfull ; and for the petition,
I doubt not but my brother Montgomrie, as he was desired, hes advised
and comunicat it with your Lordship before this time, so that now remains
only your concurrence with my friends ther to effectuat the affair ; which I
shall not press you to by arguments, since you kno so weel how much niy
circumstances requer it, and that nothing can be a greater obligation on,
My Lord,

Your affectionat nevoy, and oblidged servant,

For the rifrht honourable the Yicecount of Tarbat — Thes. London,

46. Major-Gexeral Hugh Mackay to [George, Viscount of Tarbat].

Elgin, the 8 May 1689.
My Lord, — According to your desyre, I have wryten to the Earle of
Portland that you apprehended that you might be misrepresented to the
King, assuring him that I never disco ver'd in your Lordship but a most
fervent zeale and desyre to see the Government of this Kingdom establish'd
in the persons of their Majesties ; and in short, that his Majestic cannot


doe better then hold himself to the testimony of my Lord Melvill, who is so
attached to his Majestie's service and the interest of the protestant religion,
that he wold not recommend his son, if he thought him capable to act against
those principles : adding further, that I did commit to your direction and
prudence the management of the difference betuixt the Highland clans and
Argile, who was the first mover of it. I pray you then, my Lord, loose no
tyme to gain Locheyl, assuring him from me of the King's favour and con-
sideration if he shew himself active in breaking the Highland combination. I
doe not beleeve the newes of a French fleet vpon the English coasts, because
by this tyme both the Dutch and English are at sea. It is good tliat I cam
to this countrey, for otherwyse I have raison to beleeve that the most parte
of those northern shires wold by this tyme, willingly or forcedly, have been
in armes against vs, — the mater of seven or eight hundert of the Macdonalds
having joyn'd with Dundie by Invernesse, which made me march 25 mile in
one day with the feu forces I had by me, to be at Elgin before them, where I
have till now waited the arryvall of the liors which I left at Brechen. This
day I march to Fores, and so to Invernesse, where (if they stay) I doubt not
but wee shall have som action, but I apprehend they will betake them to the
hills. I shall put a sufficient garison at Invernes before I leave the north,
to free those partes (together with Grant's Eegement, which they tell me shall
be presently compleet) from the lyck attempts hereafter. I am, my Lord,
Your Lordship's most humble and obedient servant,

H. Mackay.

47. The Same to the Same.

Invernesse, the 20th May 1689.
My Loud, — Vpon som iiiformations that your son, the ^Master, was very
suspect if ther wer a party sufficient to secure him, I sent my nephew to


seize his person, so that I keep him now at Invernesse, not so closse as others
were keept at Edinbrugh. As to Ballnagowen's pretension to the shirifJoni
of Eosse, 'tis certain som body ought to have it vpon whom wee may relye ;
for none of the name of Mackenzie came neare me, but Coule and Eed Castel
passing through. Men's too much policie may as readyly ruine as precipitat
resolutions soratymes ; for God catcheth the wyse in the snares they laye. I
wish all were of a disposition to doe things now as in the presence of God, to
whom wee must shortly answer for all that wee shall doe in the flesh, whether
good or bad ; and I am sure that no indifferencie will content the papist party,
if by a judgement of God (though it be not apparent as to humane vnder-
standing as maters stand), they should have the beter of vs. Your Lordship
ought to wryt earnestly vpon the head to them all, and presse it home vpon
their consciences, being sure that one convinceing pas that you shall make in
th'advancement of the present service shall plead more for your justification
to the King against any your accusers (if such there be) then all that I can
say or doe, though most inclined to shew my self all way es and vpon all
occasions, my Lord,


H. Mackay.

48. Kenneth fourth Earl of Seaforth to his uncle, George, Viscount

OF Tarbat.

January 17th [circa 1690].

My Lord, — When my relations wrot to you from Fortrose, my reason of

not joining with them was your shuning to see me as you went south, and

no backwardness or aversion to what they proposed. As to thos things

your Lordship complains so much of in me, as misinformation maks you


belive them, I am persvaded on a free comuning tvixt us, you'd be con-

vinct how much I'm wrongd in them ; which I hop shortly to doe, since

I'm just goeing south on the acount of the hard measur is threatned my bail,

tho this tvel weeks bygon, I hav not been in condition to put on my cloaths.

Most of the bail being your Lordship's friends, I doubt not but you'l prevent

ther trouble as much as you can. — I am,

Your Lordship's affectionat nevoy and humble servant,

For the right honourable The Vicecount of Tarbat — Thes.

49. Kenneth fourth Earl of Seaforth to Colonel John Hill.

May 30, 1690.

Sir, — Whilst I was in Irland, my good friend, the Earle of Langford, did

aquant me of the great kindness you still expresst for my father's memory ;

and since my coming hear, I understand from all hands the proofs you've

giv'n of it, not only towards my friends and relations, but also to my oun

privat concerns ; which you may be sure I am very sensible of, and shall on

all occasions indevour gratfuly to return. For which purpose I have sent

this bearer express your lenth, that he may, by word of mouth, give you my

particular acknoledgments : Therfor you may credit him as from

Your oblidged friend and servant,

For Collonell John Hill at Inverness — Thes.

50. Colonel John Hill to Kenneth fourth Earl of Seaforth. [Copy.]

19th June 1690.
My Lord, — My old kindnes to your family presses me to advise yow of
any injury that may attend yow, and to request your Lordship to haue a care








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how yow joyne any of those who are now in armes in the hills against the
King and Queen, or siiffring them to come to yow ; for I fintle, if yow doe, yow
will be looked on as an enemy, and proceeded against accordingly, by the
destruction of your country and interest, and to the great injury of your
freinds ; for which I should be very sorry, for I am, my Lord,

Your Lordship's most humble servant,

J. H.

[The following copy is on the same sheet as the above, No. 50.]

19 June 1690.
My Lord, — I haue your Lordships by Sir Thomas Southwell, to whom (on
your Lordship's accouni as well as his owne) I will sliew all the respect and
kindnes I know how to expresse. I haue used (as hee will tell yow) all the free-
dome with him imagineable, and as becomes your true freind and servant. And
for any thing that lookes like a greivance to yow, I hope to get it all remoued,
aboute which I haue writen both to my Lord Comistioner and your vncle my
Lord Tarbat, this night, from whom I had a letter assureing me that the sherif-
dome of Eosse would soone l)e taken out of the hands it now is in ; and for
your house at Brawne, that will, I hope, soone be remoued. For the souldiers
presently quartered at Chanory, they are very civill men, and will be as
respectfuU to your Lordship as can be desired ; but they are shortly to be
remoued ; and I doe assure your Lordship noe parte of the army hath l)een
or is designed against your Lordship or country, euen before your resolucion
was knowne, — for that I took care of. And because the former letter I writ
to Majour Ferguson seemed to be limitted to a tyme, I haue sent another to
him more indefinite, in case hee should returne that wayes ; as alsoe a passe
for your Lordship and retinue to come to Chanory, this towne, or any other
parte in Eosse (w^hich may be made use of as your Lordship sees cause), tho


I thinke Chanory the fittest place, as most safe and free from suspition, till all
be setled to your satisfaccion (wliicli I hope will quickly be) ; for, my Lord,
your stay where yow are may render yow suspitious in these tymes of jealosie,
and giue advantage to your opposites, and here yow shall hau all the civillity
and freedome in the world, and nothing shall affect yow more then your
enemyes shall be suffred to hurt yow. And therefore I pray your Lordship,
as soone as this reacheth yow, to come from that place, where yow are neither
soe safe nor soe convenient. . . .

My Lord,
Your Lordships most faithfull and most humble servant.

5 1 . Isabella Countess of Seafoeth to her brother, George Viscount of


Chanry, 28 Jun 1690.
Dear Brothere, — Befor I can meit with my sone, the day will be elapsed
to which I am limeted, and my tutor, Hewgh, will not let me meit without a
writen warant ; so I beseich yow get mee on to the end of Jully or soom day
in Agust. I hop ther neids be no scrupU in giuing it, for, God be thanked,
all is peasabll hear. I sent up to see how he was, and to know if he wad
com doun a pairt of the way to meit mee. I sent him a sight of your leter
to me. His answear to me is, that he imbrases your kynd offer and expects
a proof of it. In the first plase, I wish ye wad get the garison remooued from
Brahan, and get this plas freied from qwartering of sojers, which if don, I
am in hops he will com doun and liue ; for ye know his unhappy perswastion
may mak his sei'uants and them fall foull. I wad wish all that might be
shund. Any other thing for his safety and aduantag I neid not writ ; ye can
beter doe it your self, and I hop the comistioner will not be auerse. On


thing I most mynd and desyr, if posibill, that soom tym may be giiien me to
prouyd the four mounlhs cess presently apoynted to be payed. Ye know
at this tym of year no mony is to be had of our rent, and the last years rent
is not yet efectuall, nor is it to be got hear to borrow ; so that I most send to
the Lewes and try if I can get so much on way or other, which wall reqwyre
soom tym. So I intreat yow procure a munths forbearanc or mor. This
is enewgh of trubll at on tym from your affectionat sister and seruant,


I am so weary with my jurny that I could not think of going up the
contry yet. I wish my [son] John wad be alowed to com hom, for I can get
no mony to send him. I pray yow giu him your aduys in the mean tym.

For the Viscount of Tarbat — thes.

52. Ann Sinclair, Viscountess of Takbat, to her Husband,

Castalleoud, the 21 of Juli [circa 1690].
j\Iy dear Love, — I recued the horses, coues, and all as yoa wrot, uery
will. I am uery sori of the disapoyntments you haue mett with. By the
acount I haue sene from Sir Georg Sinclair, Maye's moni was long ago redi,
and I hope or this tyme you haue recued it. I am told ther was a ship of
gret burdin brok to pices as she entered the Suteres, which I wonderd much