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

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^Mackenzie, have infurm'd your Lordship of the sircumstance he and his lady


were in M^lien they came to Brussells, and of my readiness to serve them till
such tyme as they could be suply'd from home, being then without money or
credit in a Strang countrie, which vas occation'd, as they inform'd me, by the
loss they sustain'd at sea. I shall long for ane occation wherby I may say as
well as wryt how much I am, my Lord,

Your Lordships most oblidg'd cousen and servant,

M^. Mackay.

Pray give my humble duties to my Lady. I shall give the Master the
pictur I promised to her Ladyship.

89. Geoege Viscount of Taebat to Mr. William Caestares.^

May 16, 1695.
SiE, — I know too well the temper of our hott party, not to know with
that how inconvenient it were for you to be seen in my company ; yet, since
I am sure you wish them well, and the King at ease from their turbulent
designs, it will not displease you to carry to the King what may contribute
to both these ends, which, I can assure you, this inclosed will in some
measure do. I intreat you to represent to his Majesty that I am neither
afraid of my adversars, . . . for I am not guilty of a thought prejudicial to him,
nor wearied of serveing him ; but, if he judge it either fit or easy to please
a party, with allowing my address for a private lyfe, I can as willingly
quit a beneficial office to serve him as they can trouble him untill they get it.
Though 1 am afraid this will not cure the distemper, yet its all that I can
contribute to it. But when their heat cannot bear with the Earl Melvilles
family and with you, to whom they owe, under the King, all the power they

^ Carstares State-Papers and Letters (Edinburgh, 1774), p. 229.


have, I can little wonder of their fretting at me ; but I hope their folly will
not frighten the King from so faithful servants, nor you from giving him
counsell for their sakes, whose fire will hurry to self-prejudice, if not stopt by
prudence. I hope my fidelity in endeavouring to enlarge the bottom of his
Majestys government, and especially by bringing in of such of the northern
clergy as would qualify themselves for ecclesiastic office, according to the
present law, will not always be considered as undutifulness in me ; I wish the
holding of so many out be not. But I shall be best pleased if my fears for
the effects of these heats be disappointed. I will adventure to intreat the
favour of you to second my desire to the King in giving me a safe and easy
retreat, and to favour me with a letter, whereby those in the government may
know that my person, my little estate, and the pension which his Majesty
hath given me during my life, and not depending on my being in or out of
employment, may be secure by his Majestys protection ; and, if you please
to give him my faithful assurance of being as zealous for his person and
interest when in a private, as if I were in the highest, station, I will make
good your promise, and likewise assure you, that by doing tliis you will very
much oblige me, and ingage me to be. Sir,

Your faithful friend and servant,


Eight trusty Sir, — "We having allowed our right well beloved and right
trusty cousin and councellour, George, Viscount of Tarbat, to lay down the
office of clerk of our councels, registers, and rolls, and his old age rendering
him less able to attend frequently at our councell, it is our pleasure that he
be not called to attendance, but when he voluntarly comes, or on our express
call. And we likewise require the Lords of our Treasury, now in place, and
any who shall succeed them, to make the pension of £400 yearly, granted by


us under our privy seal to tlie said George, Viscount of Tarbat, during his
lyfe, to be effectually i)aid to him in manner as is contained in our letter of
gift and pension granted to him by us, in all points.

For our right trusty, etc., the Lord Chancellor, and
remanent Lords of our Treasury, etc.

90. Geoege Viscount of Tarbat to Mr. William Carstares.^

June 11, 1695.
Sir, — This is to trouble you with a new desire to prosecute my former
proposition, for, had I never wearied till now, I see now too much to make
me wearie. But I regrate the King, kingdomes, and interest of the church,
more than what concerns myself, for I pretend not to bigotry, yet I wish a
settled church ; and I am far mistaken if the present and promised heats doe
not prejudge all these. However, I think it both his Majestys and the
churches interest to have a firm and yet moderate presbyterian, who will be
above suspicion with the church, and yet be one to stop violent fury. And I
wish to have a return from my master as soon as can be. Another thing is
of importance, in my judgement, and that is, since the interest of the moderate
party is much weakened by what was done to the Earl of Melvill, which
renders him less able to do effectual service, it might be useful to the King
and country, if, by some demonstration of favour, others may be incouraged
to follow his directions, which would put many in a right road who goes
wrong. If I mistake, I assure you it is with no ill meaning. Mean while, if
you please, I wish to have a very general remission sent me, because I see
faults fisht for in others on no great grounds. If it come, let it contain

^ Cai'stares State-Papers and Letters, p. 231.


treason, perduellion, and a general of all crimes, though, on all that's sacred,
I know not myself guilty ; nor doe I fear any thing on this side of Irish
witnesses or evidence. I am, Sir,

Your faithful servant,


91. George Viscount of Tarbat to Mr. William Carstares.^

June 25, 1695.
Sir, — The methods of some men, and their heats, you (though you know
us well) cannot conceive, nor can the sad consequences be safely exprest. I
know you have account of the matters of fact ; my troubling of you shall be
of another subject. Its certain, if the presbyterian party would moderate
their designs, and were they managed by wise men, they are sure to the
King and against his enemies ; l;)ut as the Master of Stairs may repent his
successe against the Earl of Melvill, so may others, for he had the best
founded interest with that party, and, if he had not been loaded with marks
of disgrace, he had led that party to the Kings mind ; but, being put from
the secretar's office, — and without an exoneration either in that office or in
commissioners, which was never refused to any, — the preferring his juniors
in presiding in councel and parliament, the taking his sonnes regiment from
him, he and his sonne left out of the commission for auditing of accompts,
forcing a deputy on liis sonne in the castle, and all who come down from
court making it their worlv to lessen him. But I do not see a probable way
for the King to manage the true presbyterian party but by his family, and,
if they were countenanced by the King, they could doe more by their finger
than others can doe with both their hands ; yea, altho he be thus lessened,

1 Carstares State -Paper.s and Letters, p. 233.


tlie body of the presLyterians have more kindness for him than for all the
other officers of State. The hot party, who attackt him rudely enough at
first, and spoke loudly of it, found the respect of the presbyterians so strong
for him, that now they court him, whilst others see that he moderats many ;
in spyte of the heats, they all desire union with him. But he would be less
useful were he plunged in a party. In short, if this confusion and wrong
steps be retrievable, I see not so fixt a base to draw up on as him and his
family; for Lord Keith is certainly one of the sharpest, most judicious,
diligentest, in the nation. What past as to the Master of Stairs yesterday,
you will know by this post, and none could perswade the least delay until
his ]\Iajesty were acquainted. A short observe, drawn by a friend of his, I
have inclosed. I wish earnestly that the King may put Earl Melvill and his
children under such marks of his favour as may strengthen them to sett right
what is MTong ; and he is too long a filling of my post, for that would allay
some, and put others from their foolish expectations, for they roar and gape
in hopes of it. I wish a sober, faithful, and able man may get it, and he
whom I recommended is such. But they have twist him into a misprison of
Glenco affair, and will, no doubt, cast dirt on him, though I am sure he had
no more hand in it than you had ; but they will put a beasts skin on every
one that is not of their clubb, and then hound at him. And my relation to
iiim will not move me to urge the least inconvenience in the King's affairs ;
therfor take that post in the easiest accesse, — whether it be to one or two, I
leave to Earl Melvill and you to advise in that. So you see my own interest
weighs little with me ; but I hope the King will send me a letter, such as
will let all see I am in his protection, though not in publick service ; and
perhaps I will be as useful to him in recess, though not so profitably for
myself as when in publick. So go about, sir, consider our nation, and where
the strength of it lies, and then consider our present state, and what comes


next, and judge if wit and discretion be not necessar. Then view our trustee
governors, and take or offer what measure you judge fit. I wish the Lord
Keeper Summars and Earl INIelvill did correspond, and that the King and
E. P. would write kindly to him, for he got discouraging blows ; and you
know his reserved temper, and unwillingness to medle ; but he is ane ill man
if he refuse when he is so necessar. Duke Queensberry, Earl Argyle, Earl
Keith, and he, are very well ; and, by this inclosed scheme, you may guess
how to pack them right. I will retire so soon as the Parliament adjourns
(if I be not clapt up with E. Brod[albane]). My fault, as is said, is, that I
endeavoured to bring the episcopal clergy to addresse, as was prescribed to
me, and to take the oaths, which indeed I endeavoured diligently ; but its
two years since I quitt meddling in it, seeing it to little purpose, for these
two parties will never coalesce. What you writ to me, direct by Earl Melvill,
and it will come safe to the hand of

Your faithful servant.

92. George Earl of Sutherland to [George Viscount of Tarbat].

Abby, 1st Jully 1695.
My Lord, — The sadd circumstances that I anie now in, with the loss of
my only daughter, and she lying yet unburied, retards me from waiting on
your Lordship, to informe you of how great importance it is that my petitione
to the parliament be read and granted, for without it the familie of Arbuth-
nott is ruined ; and I hope your Lordship will find the arguments therein so
pungent, just, and reasonable, as cannot well be denyed to a survyving parent,
who is willing to be at pains for my seven orphants, and the good of their
affairs and educatione, and to prevent their falling under the hand of a
tutor in law, who is known to be every way unfitt for so great a trust and


luannagement. Yet wee seclude him not as a friend. Therefor I earnestlie
beseech your Lordship to have pity and regard to the destitute conditione of
these seven orphants, that ane act may be granted in their favours, according
to the premises in my petitione, whereby I and the friends therein named
may be put in a cappacitie to prevent their ruine ; by which you will doe
ane act extreamlie just in it selfe, and very obliging upon, my Lord,
Your Lordships most humble servant,


93. Address to George Viscount of Taebat by the Magistrates, Council,
and Community of the Burgh of Fortrose.

7 September 1695.
Eight Honorable, — Wee had your letter, and full information from
Daniell Simson, our comissioner, of your Lordships help, favor, and kynd-
ness to this poor place, and people in it ; and for no reason that wee know
(save that lyk your selfe ye did it, and continowes in so doeing), from ane
principall of goodness, justice, honor, charitie, and pietie, accompanied with
pittie. And since wee have no other reward to give yow, wee pray to the
good and only wise God to reward yow, bless, prosper, and direct yow and
yours in all your adoes and concerns ; and our blessing and good will, with
our good wishes, wee give your Lordship and yours, as wee shall ever doe.
Wee for our seKes, and in name of this poor place and people, doe begg for
the continowance of your Lordships favor and kyndness to ws, particularlie
to be aiding and assisting for getting the gospell preached to ws, and ane
setled ministrie in this place. The rest wee leave to Mr. Bernard and Daniell
Simson, to be told your Lordship ; and ane act from our magistrats and elder-
ship for ane dask in our church to yow and yours, shall l>e sent your Lord-


ship in the best dress wee can; and so wee rest, and in all duetie and

Your Lordship's most humble and most affectionat, obleidged servants,
The Magistrats, Councill, and Comunitie of the Brugh of Fortross.

Subscryved at ther comand, by

Ar. Speidiman, bayllzie. Egbert Wilson.

Geo. Grahame. David M'Culloch.

Hugh Baillie. A. Gair.

Wi. Holme. Da. Monipennie.

William Thomsone. Donald Davidsone, Elder.

Donald Davidson, younger. James Eeid.

Eor the right honorable the Viscount of Tarbat, Lord Eegister — thess.

94. John first Marquis of Tweeddale to [his son, John Lord Yester].

Edinburgh, December 8, 1695.
By this days packett we have an account, that on Moonday last the King
had called all the Scots councellors to wait upon him at six a clock at night.
There were eleven of them called into his closet at seven, of whom he asked
an account of what had past in parliament which occasioned so much debate
and heat. After some times silence, my Lord Stairs broke off, and spoke to the
particulars which had occasioned it, which was manadged by my Lord Annan-
dale and the secretarie, as to the bussiness of Glenco, Bradalbins bussiness,
and severall others bussiness, pointing at persons ; and as to the supplies, he
said they would have been granted for life but for my Lord Polwarth, in
which discourse he asserted, as if he had been present, the unjust and false


reports of the parliaments proceedings, — which discourse my Lord Annandale
fully answered. My Lord Argyle seconded my Lord Stairs, to whom my
Lord Annandale replied. My Lord Lothian offered tuice to speak in his
accustomed manner ; then Secretary Johnstoun concluded with the best
account could be made of the wdiole proceedings. In all this conference, the
King said that he had allowed the Glenco bussiness to be enquired into,
because of the noise it had made at home and abroad. We do expect a full
and exact account by Tuesday's packett.

There is a letter come from the King to the councill about the recruits ;
and, it is said, the Duke of Queensberrie intends to go for England on Thurs-
day, and my Lord Tarbatt goes with him. Their coach is taken for that day,
tho Tarbat conceals his going ; and it is thought strange yow have been so
long absent now, when with difficulty w^e can make a quorum. If you cannot
gett on a boot, yow would cause make a gramash, or come from the church of
Dalgety to the South Ferrie, and a coach shall be sent for yow there. Therfor
lett me know by this bearer if yow can come befor the councill meets on
Twesday, wdiere there will be matters of importance and requiring the pre-
sence of as many as can be. Dear son, adieu.


It was by Mr. Secretary Johnstoun that the King called that meeting,
and the letter for the recruits was putt off till this moneth, tho all the instance
was made that could be to have it sent the last moneth. And Eankillor
every day presses to have his suspension past, which hath made me keep the
session all this week, and I intend to bring it in to the councill on Twes-
ilav. I must think that I had that paper since my Lord Dirletoun died,
and I desire yow to call to mind if ever yow saw it or heard any thing
of it since.


95. The Same to Thomas Tenisox, Archbishop of Canterbury.

Edinburgh, December 21, 1695.
May it please your Grace, — My endeavours to serve the King in this
last session of parliament, with no small success, both in the concerns of the
church and civill government, being in danger of disappointment by somt^
ill-minded countreymen of ours taking hold of the displeasure some in the
House of Lords have expressed at our Act of Trade, I found it necessary to
send up my son to satisfie the King with my behaviour therein, and, as far
as is possible for liim, to allay the ill humour and consequences therof. 1
must therfor entreat your pardon, that I addresse him to your Grace, that
yow would be pleased to give him a hearing, and interpose with the Kint;
for me, that he vill not condemn me unheard, but vill allow me to come up
to vindicate my selfe ; wherein your Graces assistance will exceedingly
oblidge, may it please your Grace,

Your Graces most humble and obedient servant,

Indorsed : " The Earl of Tweedale to the Archbi.shop of Canterbury.'"'

96. [The Same to his Son.]

Edinburgh, February 8, 1696.
I shall not be able to part from this till the week after the next, there
being so many necessarie affairs of the treasurie to be dispatched, and onlie
a quorum here, as I have wrote fully to my lord secretarie, wdiom I liave
desired to impart it to the King ; and possibly he will show it yow, if yow
ask hmi about my coming. I have so many private affairs of no small
importance to be followed here, that I doubt I shall bring your son alongst


with me. We have gained the bussiness of Craiglascar, and my Lord Lau-
derdale seems to be so desirous to be in good understanding with me and
my familie, that I am verrie hopefull the bussiness of the teinds of Pinkie
and of the teinds of Inuerkeithing may be setled, and way made for the
purchase in your uncles favours, if yow act your part vigourouslie there with
the Dutchess ; in which I shall make yow all the help I can, when I come.

I was visiting my Lady Eothes this afternoon, and speaking about a
meeting of the commissioners of supply on the 15th of March, about the
valuation. She sayes of the thirty which she and yow had named to be
added to that list, there is but on of hers who refuses to qualifie himseKe,
and there are but three of those yow named who will qualifie themselves ;
but she will send you the list her selfe, that yow may write to those who
reconnnended them, to deal with them to qualifie themselves befor the 15
day of March. And by her sheriff- deputs Industrie the cesse and pole money
are lifted according to the old valuation. And now my Lord Eaith is going
to law with her about a piece of land which she was bargaining for, which
he hath a mind to purchase, and which she hath already a security upon, and
hath been engadged in a great while befor Eaith knew or had any thoughts
therof : and the Earle of Melvill complains in all companies of the submission
he was made to make to her. Learn, if yow can, if he hath also to the King.
So adiew.
Indorsed : " Tweeddale to his son."

97. [The Same to The Same.]

Edinburgh, February 13, 1696.
A FiTT of the gravell continuing with me, I past tuo stones on Wednes-
lay, and liappily my Lord Eaith and Sir John Maxwell came not till this day.


Sir John Maxwell came to see me so soon as he came, and was at councill,
but my Lord Eaith hath not appeared. I know not if he will to morrow at the
meeting of the treasurie, but we shall have more bussiness to do than we are
able to dispatch in severall dayes, so that tho yow be long a getting an
audience, I resolve to stay till yow gett it ; and do not forbear writing till I
forbid yow. I think it strange that the advocat sees yow not, nor writes not
to me, and that he should give it out that I am upon the road, as if he heard
from me. When Sir James Ogilvie comes, yow will be able to make greater
discoveries. It is talked here, that in place of expedients the advocat sayes
the act must be repealed, or not medled with during the warre. I think yow
should not forbear to speak to him, for you are not to expect civilities from
him as from other men ; but wherever yow see him, frankly ask him ques-
tions, without being concerned at what he answers or resenting his incivility
in not seeng yow. I may ask whither Carstairs hath seen yow, for I hear he
hath been severall times with ]\Ir. Johnstoun. I have this day ended the
purchase of Maristoun, and not befor, and am like to engadge in another of
Smeatouns coal about Musselburgh, not being able to purchase the servitude
of my oun ground without taking in Prestongrange his whole bargain. The
Earle of Lauderdale makes great professions of kindness and friendship, and I
design the setling of the bussiness of Pinkie teinds with him, and the bygones
of Inuerkeithin teinds ; but this will be the work of the vacation or next

98. William Hay, Bishop of Moray, to George Viscount of Tarbat.

Kessock, July Gth, [16]96.
My Lord, — I congratulate your Lordships safe arryvealle to your owne
country. Being reduced to this primitive way of subsisting, by tilling ane



vther mans peece of ground, I am forced to pick up my crumbs, which will
excuse my telling your Lordship, that ther being a small few-duty resting
me for 88, from the lands of CatboU, as I told the Master some time
agoe, I expect ye wilbe so good as to pay it to the bearer, quho hath ane
discharge, quherby ye will much oblige.

My dear Lord,
Your Lordships most humble servant,

Will. Mokavien.
For the right honourable the Viscount of Tarbat.

Eeceived from the ryght honourable the Viscount of Tarbat sixteen
pounds Scots, as few duty for the lands of Catboll, crope (88), and discharges
him therof, and all concerned, for now and ever. Written and subscribit
with my hand at Kessock, July 20th, 1696.

Will. Mokavien.

99. Sir Patrick Hume, Lord Polwaiith, Lord Chancellor, to George

Viscount of Tarbat.

Edinburgh, 7 December 1696.
a\lY Lord, — His Majestic, by his royal letter off the first off December
instant, haveing acquainted the councel that ther is some ground to appre-
hend the French intend ane invasione vpon this kingdome ; for withstand-
ing wheroff it is necessarie that such as are off his Majesties privie councell
doe attend and frequentlie meet to lay downe and prosecute such measures
as shall be thought most effectuall for defeating that designe ; in order to
which your presence is expected here with all possible diligence, to be assist-


ing in his Majesties service vpon this exigent, which in name of the councill
is signified to your Lordship by, my Lord,

Your Lordships verie humble servant,

PoLWARTH, Cancellar.
For the right honorable the Lord Viscount off Tarbet.

100. George third Lord Eeay, to [George Viscount of Tarbat].

Bommell, the 20th July, old style, 1697.
My Lord, — Should I neglect to assure your Lordship of my service, by
the bearer, Mr. Hay (your Lordships most faithfull servant), I should be
unworthy of your Lordships civilities, in particular to my self, as weel as
unjust to the friendship you showed in generall to all those of the family I
represent, — a family lyes now very low by its sufferings, both in its persons
and interest. But I need not mention this to your Lordship, who knows it
in all its circumstances better than L The removeall of my uncles lyes very
severe upon me, especially Collonel -iEneas's, whose care for me in my educa-
tion was in every manner fatherly, that his death is like to defeat the hopes
I had of doing any service to my family, — my education being the only way
I proposed to my self, by which I could be rendred capable of doing any thino-
to retrive the losses of my family or serve my country ; being willing to
sacrifice my repose, how soone I were capable, for the rest of my dayes, to
these two. What may become of me or it now, providence allone can deter-
mine, upon whom only I depend for a true solace : nor would I neglect the
means, so long as I could perceive any probability of succeeding. How
soone I heard of my uncle's removeall, I lost no time to cast my self at

Online LibraryWilliam FraserThe earls of Cromartie; their kindred, country, and correspondence (Volume 1) → online text (page 35 of 53)