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

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favours I have found by the letters you wer pleased to give me, than on the
arrivall of the wellcome news of the Master's being judicially acquitte. I
heartily congratulate the justice done to your Lordships family and the nation
by this process. My Lord Mellvill hath always, since I delivered your letters
to him, been very kind to me. I sent your Lordships other letter to the
Master of Stair to the camp in Flanders, and I make no doubt that he will,
upon your Lordships recommendation, doe me all kindness. The profession
of astronomic in Oxford is not yet disposed off, nor will it be untill the King



return, wliicli will be the first occasion of the electors being in town. I have,
my Lord, two competitors. The city mathematicians declare for the one, and
against the other, and Oxon University declares for the other against the first.
The determining votes will be these of my Lord of Canterbury and the Earle
of Xottingham, whom the rest will follow. I have hade many compliments
made me by the patrons of both contending parties, and characters given of
me by them to the electors, which I can only wish to deserve, but still salvo
jure of the man they wer recommending. Ther are none intirely for me
without reserve, but ]Mr. Newton of Cambridge.

]\Iy Lord, wer it not for grievances that I need not tell to your Lordship,
I should not be fond of changing, tho it wer in my choice ; and since all I
have done in it is by giving others occasion to talk of it by my being heir,
and by being acquainted with the virtuosi of the city and universities, I shall
not be concerned what may be the event, but shall still reckon my self happie
if I continue to have the honour of your Lordships countenance and protec-
tion. — I am, my Lord,

Your Lordships most humble and most oblidged servant,

D. Gkegokie.
The right honourable my Lord Viscount of Tarbat.

65. Colonel John Hill to GtEorge Viscount of Taebat.

Fort William, 2 8th December 1691.

]\Iy Lord, — ]My Majour hath acquainted me with the continuance of your
Lordships favour to me, which still doth more endeare me and oblige me to
all manner of thankfuUnes.

On the 25th Locheil came in to me, and is gon to the Sherife to take the
oath appoynted by the King's proclamacion, and soe straight for London to


assure the King of his fidelity and resolutions for the future to serve hi.s
Majestie to the vtmost of his power; and I beleeue hee will he a])le to bring
in Keppoch, IM'Laine, and Appin (if incouraged thereto). I pray your Lord-
ship assist him in any of his affaires. If the incouragement hee gets may
the better prevail with others to doe as he has done, I looke upon the worke
as done, the ice being now l>roken. It were well some allowance of tyme
were giuen beyond the first of January, to the end they may haue tyme to
setle. I expect more shortly to come in ; but wee shall neuer get the coun-
trey setle till wee haue a sherifdome as formerly, and all the sober people
are longing for itt. As more occurs, your Lordship shall haue account
thereof from, my Lord,

Your Lordships most humble servant,

Jo. Hill.

1 find orders giuen for men to come to this place, which will be exceed-
ing troublesome : and since Locheil is come in, and all the gentlemen [of] his
name haue sworne before not to rise in armes against the King and Queen
or Gouernmeut, there will [be] nothing to doe here ; and all Duke Gordons
tennents of the IM'Donalds in the Brae haue submitted, as doth also Bade-
noch ; soe that ther is none hereabouts to take course with but Keppoch, and
the men that follow him of ]\PIntosh tennents, and Glengary ; for there is
noe marching to Modiert and Knodiert or the Isles at this tyme. If Glen-
gary would haue been wise in t}me, hee might haue done well, but the forti-
fieing and keepeing out his house will ruin him ; I)ut they are all upon his toes
for setlement, but [he] very imprudently let the tyme elaps. Glencowe men
wee can easily be alike with; and the Appin people, except the laird and a few
of the broken men, are all for setlement ; but the ordors I haue I shall
For the riulit honorable the Lord Viscount Tarbat.


66. SiK John Maclaine to [George Viscount of Tarbat].

30 March 1692.
My Lord, — I hade a letter last night from my Lord Argyle, by which he
shewes me he used all the endeavoures he could to facilitate my business at
Court, and that he hade hitherto delayed doeing himself right, wayteing to
give me ane opportunity to procure favour ; but that now he was ordered to
use all expedition in reduceing the house off Dowart and fort of Kernburg,
if I did not instantlie deliver them ; and that he hade no further commission
to treate but in the said termes. I writte to your Lordship formerly, as alsoe
to the Earle Breadalbane, sheweing my designe to submitt to the Goverment,
which putt me out of apprehension of being putt to further difficulties till I
hade some returne, which as yet I hade not. I have writte to my Lord Argyle
to allowe me a competent tynie to addresse to the King, and that I may have
safe conduct to wayte on the King myself, and in the meane tyme delay all
acts off hostilitie, which could have no other effect then putting me to unne-
cessary straights, and the publick to needless expence, when by delayeing a
litle both may be shuned. I have sent this to let your Lordship knowe my
circumstances, and to have advyce accordingly, and I leave it to your Lord-
ship to take what methode yow thinke fitt to extricate me out off this difficulty.
I have ever hade such evident proofes off your Lordships extraordinar caire
of my concernes, that you may easily beleeve I'le lay hold firmlie on whatever
your Lordship advises, and shall wayte with impatience to heare from your
Lordship. There is also ane order, as I understand, for quartering on my
estate for all the publick dewes since this revolution, which, if exacted, will
of itself ruine the country, being alreadie impoverised by the violent courses
they of it have been trysted with, a greate part of it being layde waste this

ROBERT MAC KAY, 1692. 8-5

good tyme by past. I have given Mr. Alexander Macleoid a full account of
this, not to give your Lordship further trouble, but that I am, my Lord,
Your Lordships ever oblidged pupill and humble servant,

J, Maclaine.

67. From Egbert Mackay [Address wanting].

Genope, the 9 July 1G92.
Madam, — ^Beliuiug so greate a distance from what we most esteem ane
evill no less deficult to be express'd then supported, I vill not presume to
trouble your patience with the iteration; conjuring you only to beliue that I
feel the persecution of being so long depriw'd the felicity acquir'd be the
admyrable society of your noble person and family (so wery grivous), that my
present thraldom will scarce admitt the idea of my former freedom without
those piercing reflections most attend, that I ought not to pretend what I
never deserwed. But, Madam, men of my imploy desire alvays to be over-
come be those of greatest merite, and since I most acknowledge fortune has
extended its perfections in this respect, I cold haue vish'd all of you joy of
a more deserving victory, and me only of my former freedom. I alvays
indeawor to keep the best fellowshipe both of men and women of quality the
countrey I travell in doth afoord, and laying aside my particullar dutie (and
high esteem), I most declare I newer imbrac'd any that cold aryve to that
perfection of decency and discretion in adress and intertinment that your
splendid family afoords. In this countrey of Flanders, espetially in Ghent
(where I stay'd most befor I came to the fields), tliey are mighty oblidging
to strangeres, of ane agreeable conversation, pleasant in thier adresses, and
novise cockquett. They haue houses a purpose, where men and ladies of tlie
best quality do meet from seven to 10 at night, where they play freely, such


as please, and otheres conwerss ; in fyn all conforme to their fancy : and they
are so ^'ery civill as sometimes to leave of play, one purpose to intertine a
man that delights in their conversation. They have a particuUar talent for
advancing ane intrigue among otheres, being once of theire acquaintance, by
a smooth delivery of a pleasant raillery; yet in particullar fawoures much more
indulgent to those of there own countrey then strangeres, which we cannot
say in England, nor yet of Scotland, but more of Irland. I hade writt more
frequently to your Ladiship, but that I am alvays indispos'd since we came
to the fields with spitting of blood, which came by the vehement motion I
liade with the regiment in hott veather, by which some vaine is stress'd.
Por this, Madam, and my impatience of seing from under your sweet hand
the most acceptable newes of your selfe and order, I do humbly beg your
receipt ; yet I'm fully persuaded the happy sight of so ravishing objects can
only cure to perfection this bleeding breast of. Madam,

Your most faitlifull, most obedient, and humble servant,

KoB. Mackay.

I am so much a humble servant of all my noble cousenes, that the idea of
there perfections bears alvays the deepest impression upon a constant lower.

68. Makgarp:t Countess of Wemyss to [George Viscount of Tarbat].

Leith, the loth Jully [16]92.
]\Iy Lord, — The occasion of my giving you this trouble is to informe you
how the state of the calling a minister to South Leith is now contraverted. I
shall in the first place intret your Lordship to be pleass'd to read the petition,
which will informe you better then I can do by a letter, of this affair ; only
this r most say, if ]\Ir. Wishart be sent away, or rather forced away, from


this people, it will be the strangest thing ever was done of this kincle, for he
has a call from the whoU elders and majestrats of Edinburgh and Leith, and
from the major part of the heritours. And altho there is a call for one INIr.
Gray to the parish of South Leith, yit this gentleman, Mr. Wishart, has much
law and reason upon his side ; and the other being a nieer stranger to all
this people, at lest to most of them, it is imposible that my good friend, my Lord
Tarbat, can refuse so just a desire as to disoune Mr. Key and his pretended
illegell session ; and in your Lordships favouring this poor people here with
your concurring to Mr. Wisharts call, your Lordship will extreamly oblidge,
my Lord,

Your most faithfull servant and affectionat cousin,

M. Wemyss.
[Address wanting.]

69. [John, Master, afterwards Earl, of Stair], to George Viscount of


Genep, July yV' 1692.
My Lord, — Yow can not beleiv how different your opinion of the trew
cure of our disseas is from that others uho hav mor influence hav of our
affairs. The bringing in any that wer not jure dirino, that wer ill tooUs in
former goverments, and not sur to this bot to mischeiv it, thats the cans
our affairs ar ill feebly manadged by thos who have nothing so remarkable
as ther skill to driv when they please. Shortly tlier must be som things
determined by the King, bot the far greatest must ly over till his return. I
see not weill how any thing don by the Stats or ther grand committy, whither
impoured to thes speciall matters or not, can be taken in consideration by
the counsell. I think it's necessary to stop forder procedurs contrair to the


command of the King's letter. Bot for tlie givin releifs, even wher they
may be just, I wish it may be as slow as can be, and I do not consider the
difference at this tim of sentences by civill or ecclesiastick courts ; for all
the pouer the presbiterians hav to judge thes whom they will not allow to
be a part of them, must be asscribed to the Act of Parliament impouring
them to judg the maners and doctrin of the episcopall clergy, who otherwys
could not bein subject to ther censur, not bein of ther church. I see that
ther ar great apprehensions of alterations of measurs, and that the addressing
clergy will be neglected and left to the others mercy, and that yow new
incombers to the Stat will either be throuen out again or rendred insignifi-
cant ; bot I knov no ground for thes phansys. I see weill enuch such things
ar desingned, but whatever retardments thes projects make to busines, yett
I never saw the King chang his sentiments or resolv on courses so contrair
to his interest, on the reiterat assurances he hath givin to thes uho had
apply ed to him for his protection. All the whispers thats transmitted heir
do alwys stat my father ranked with yow new intrants, and yett yow see
hes as much to wash the black as can be. I wish my colleag may be satis-
fyed of the reception he has with you, and that he may hav a fair trew light
of the interest of the nation, and of the capacitys and inclinations of the
partys in it. I must tell yov that the miscariadg of a letter from Duke
Hamilton, daited the 3 of March, directed to my Lord Portland, hath bein
the only cans that his conduct in the tim of danger was not as might hav
bein expected. Thers nobody mor willing to giv a bredg or help his Grace
with a shift to cover what no man can justify then I, if he had not layd the
sham excuse to much upon me, for he complains that Mr. Elphistoun, the
Master of Stair's deput, gott this letter from him ; bot I am so much con-
vinct Mr. Elphisstoun wold not hav presumed such a thing, that I, with many
mor, do not at all beleiv ther was any letter miscaryed ; nor can that either

Xa,nULLho'A.7* - ^^> ^h

'flu dLpiciL'-,


a.ni Und yn. t^lUurw tht^^mj, f, y / /./


excuse or justify tlie conduct, the it wer trew. Your letle freincl hath beiii
so unnecessarly uneasy to herself for the danger of the campain, that she
nather eat meat nor converst, whereby she is extreemly low. I present my
humble deuty to my Lady Tarbat. My dear Lord, adieu.

For my Lord Viscount of Tarbatt.

70. John Tillotson, Archbishop of Canterbury, to [George Viscount of


Lambeth house, September 24th 1692.
My Lord, — I received your Lordships very kind letter, together with the
inclosed declaration, which is such wild incoherent stuffe, that I am amazed
to find that, after above fifty yeares experience, men should continue still
possess'd with the same frenzie. But I hope tlie number of these senseles
people is not great, and that a very litle time will put an end to them. I
am very sorry to understand, from so good a judge f>f your affaires as your
Lordship, that they are so much out of order, which makes me afraid that
things are not in so good a disposition and preparation for a new parlia-
ment as were to be wish'd ; but I hope that time and the good conduct
of the wiser among you may bring things to a better temper. God grant
that both here and with you we may know the things of our peace in this
our day, before they be hid from our eyes. For, if we do not come in a very
litle while to a better understanding and agreement among our selves, there
is one stands by and looks on who waits for the opportunity to swallow us
up, which God avert. I entreat your Lordship to give my very humble



service to my Lord Chancellour, and the Duke of Queensberry, and my Lord

Lithgow. I am, with great respect, my Lord,

Your Lordships most faithfull and humble servant,

Jo. Qk^t.
[No address.]

7L John Marquis of Athole to The Same.

Dunkeld, 23d January [16]93.
My Lord, — I have written to my Lord Kinnaird since I received yours,
and I have hade a returne from him. T find him very civill and discreett.
He desyres four or fyve hundred pound sterling at Whitsunday next, and the
rest within a year or tuo after. I am resolved to doe the one, and give him
security to his satisfaitione for the rest ; and he is to be with me affter
Candlesmess, soe I hope that affair your Lordship is soe anxious about is
now att ane end. Soe yee may see I have done as much as I cane for your
Lordships ease and Lovetts good ; and I hope yee will use noe further dili-
gence against Lovett, which will doe noe good to your Lordship, but ruine
his credditt. For I expect, since this is att ane end, yee will doe all yee
cane for the standing of his familly, as yee have done formerly. His servant,
Mr. Eobertsone, will give your Lordship ane accompt of all this. I hade almost
forgott to tell you that your brother, Prestonehall, hes given the Lord
Lovett a summonds, tho Lovett knowes not for what ; soe it seemes all his
freinds are conspireing to his ruine. I will not trouble your Lordship with
what useage I have mett with from your brother in assigneing my bond, and
giveing me a charge of horning, without soe much as accquanting me. Your
Lordship knows the bussines very weill, for yee was concerned in it. It will


be very harde to make me pay for a litle writting, since I gott noe good of
that estate, it being taken away by ane act of parliament. I am, my Lord,
Your Lordships faithfull humble servant,


For the Viscount of Tarbatt.

72. William first Duke of Queensberry to [The Same].

Sanquhar, 23d February [16]93.
My dear Lord,— This is to acknouledge yours of 18 current, and doe
conclude that, befor this tyme, the last resolutions about our parliaments
sitting, what's to be done, and who ar to be comissioner, ar known wher yow
ar ; whereof I expect account from thence with great impatience, and doe
heartily wish that such measurs be taken as may continue us in peace and
quiet, which is all I'm concern'd in. I heard lately from my sone Drum-
langrig, hot I find, that letters being soe frequently open'd, and soe bad use
made of discoveries, that he does not wreat what he kuowes. Howiver, I
hope he shall be here verie soon, for which 1 long extreamly. I'm not
resolv'd to be at Edinburgh till nieds I must, which short tyme will now
determine. The uncertainty of my sone Georges health^ does not a little
disturb me, as I'm apprehensive it may disappoint his late designes touching
the disposall of himselfe, for he tells me that his posting doun brought all
this upon him, and he dare not hazard to returne that way, bot is to goe in
coach, which makes me conclud the King will be over befor he can be there.

1 Lord George Douglas, here referred to. Faculty of Advocates in Edinburgh ; and in

was the third son of the Duke. He died at their library the presses containing the books

Sanquhar, in the month of July after the are appropriately inscribed as the gift of the

date of this letter. The Duke presented the Duke,
books which belonged to Lord George to the


Mr. James Smith is not yet come here, and what stays him I cannot imagin,
for I'm told he parted from Edinburgh on Munday last. It's possible that
his advice may be as dear to me, as they say the insewing parliament will
prove both in the busness of sess and excyse, and tho' I sufficiently know
the madness of this magitt, yet I cannot resist it ; and heireof James will
give yow an account at his returne. Soe, my dear Lord, adiew, and have the
justice to consider me, without possibility of change.

Your Lordships most faithful! and humble servant,


[Address wanting.]

73. James second Earl of Airlie to The Same.

Banffe, 13th Mail 1693.
My Lord, — Since ever I had the good fortune of your acquantance, I
ever found your favour in all my concerues, which makes me give yow this
trouble, intreating yow may be pleased to iaterpone with my lord com-
missioner, my lord chancellour, and the rest of the members of parliament,
to have me excused for my absence in respect of my imbicility and old age.
For the truth is, all this winter I have had a defluctione in my eyes, and hes
never gone furth to my owen gardine this spring unsupported, wher I sat in
a chair to take the aire. Excuse this borrowed pen, which the trouble of my
eyes hes occasioned, which you may beleive for a truth from, my Lord,
Your Lordships most aftectionat humble servant,


For the right honorable the Viscount of Tarbet, lord register — these.


74. James first Viscount of Stair to The Same.

Stair, July 17, 1693.
My Lord, — I receaved years by Mr. Gibson. I am very sory for the loss of
his father, who was so fitted for his place. There is now non alyve of thes
wer set on the binch at King Charles restitutione bot year selfe and I ; and
non of the then clerks remaine. I am so intangled in bussines, after ten
years' absence, that I can not goe east at present ; bot I have wrytten to m}'
son David, to move Fowntanhall and others of the lords in towne to give a
meetting for receaving Mr. George. I doe weell approve of year choice,
and am confident he hath therby full right to that place. Yet, seing Mr.
Jone M'^Enzie was entred in the vacance, I thinke it may prevent impor-
tunitie to doe the lyke. If I could have so much tyme, it would only be at
the next counsell day ; bot that needs mak no delay of calling a meeting of
the Lords. I sail say no mor at present, bot that in all sincerity I am,
My Lord,
Your Lordships faithfuU freind and most humble servant.

For the right honorable the Viscount of Tarbet,
clerk register.

75. [John, Master, afterwards first Earl, of Stair,] to The Same.

London, July 20, 1693.
My Lord, — I hav yours by my brother. When I consider all, I think
the tricks so gross, and so plainly desingned to distroy ther Magestys in -
terest, that I phansy it can not faill to open the blindest eyes. Bot when I
consider who advised the meeting of parliament, who will sustean and pallia t
all thats don, then I must fear matters may pase as formerly, and that the


litle displeasur will go over without a sufficient amendment. Already the
Bishop of Salisbury is com, to run tlioro the wordle with the admiration that
his cusin had so great address and interest with the presbiterians as to bring
them to the act which now maks the comprehension certain, if the epis-
eopall clergy be not to blaim, and if ill men hav not to much pouer to keep
them off. Be assured the King hath frie plain viewes of all the procedurs
ther ; and I do not see that he hath yett mad any steps to allow or follow
them. If all be intyr till his return, it's wele. Trust me, the wanting of
papers by the drouning of the packett bowt was another sham. I hav learnt
nothing of the consultation at Kinneell. I beleiv it was to take measur how
to justify ther procedurs, for they ar advertized of all that lyed to ther charg.
I doubt not yow will hav intelhgence of what pases at Glasgow to. Time
drawes neer they will deny every thing, as they do ther protestation taken
ther. I think thers no body els now in toun.- — My dear Lord, adiew.

For my Lord A^'iscount of Tarbatt.^

7G. Patrick thikteenth Lord GlamiMIS, afterwards Earl of Strathmore
and of KiNGHORN, to The Same,

Castle Lyon, Agust 14, 1693.
My Lord, — When I waited on you at Eoyston, I gave you ane account
of my brothers amour. Wee then thought your son-in-law would have been
consulted in it, but I fear he has not, for I am confident Lord Balcaskie
would have been freindly to us, and the rather since your Lordship knowes
the thing is more then equall on my brothers part. However, very unex-
pectedly, my brother had a letter yesterday from his freind, young Pourie,

1 This letter is not signed. It appears to has a seal bearing the Stair arras, with a
be liolograph of the Master of Stair, and it label of three points.


with on inclosed in it from his aunt, the old Lady Ady, wherein she declines
the proposition, and sayes she do's it upon many considerations. Whither it
be upon preference of som other, or upon malevolous information, I know not.
The first would be a new thing, for att first she declared to Pourie that her
daughter was not ingadged ; and for the last, I cannot imagine whence it
proceeds, except it be from these overruling phanaticks that are about the
old lady. My brother indeed do's not pretend to be on. We have no diffi-
dence of Pouries fidelity, and Balnomoon also pretends very fairly. Now,
albeit my brother has writtne back to young Pourie that he shall be very
easilie discharged, yet a given over play was never won, which makes me give
your Lordship the trouble of this ; and, if you please, to acquaint my Lord
Balcaskie with it, and to try if it will please him to endeavour to give this