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

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his jNIajesty's feet. I shall not trouble your Lordship with a detail of


what was done there for me — the bearer can informe you fully — but
shall now only intreat that your Lordship may be pleased to continue
your wonted goodness and friendship for me, and to make interest with
his Majesty and his ministers to consider the circumstances of a family
that has suffered so severly in his service. This, wishing your Lordship
all prosperity,

I remain, my Lord,

Your Lordships most humble and obedient servant,


101. Colonel John Hill to [The Same].

Fort William, the 1" November 1697.
My Loed, — Beinge told your Lordship designes for London, I hold it my
duty to follow yow with my good wishes wherever yow goe, withall prayinge
that (as the affaires of myselfe and regiment fall in discourse) your Lordship
will extend your former fauour to your old servant. I doe not know when
I was better in health, and (tho I could be well pleased to spend some tyme in
[my] owne countrey of Kent before I dye,) yet the considerration of the gentle-
men who haue served with mee makes me willinge, for their good, to line
and dye any where as the Kinge pleaseth. I sent lately to Glenmoriston to
setle with and sattisfie your Lordship, which hee promised to doe ; and if he
fail, I shall be a quick remembrancer to him. Wee are all peaceable, the
bussines of Captain Frazer being ended in the marryage of my Lady Lovett.
Some partes of the Brae of Lechabbor, and other partes, are beggered, and the
land wast, by paying the Justiciary decreits, and now charitie is soe cold
they must either steal or starve ; but when they doe, they pay dear for it.


Aplecros got 1000 inerkes worth of cowes lately from these partes upon a
decreit. The courts are sure to doe justice upon highlanders, right or
wronge, some of them commonly being judge and partie. I hope to see
the scene altered when your Lordship sees Scotland againe, after yow haue
seen the Kinge. I cease further trouble, and subscribe,

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

Jo. Hill.

102. E. Mackenzie, and twenty-four others of the Name of Mackenzie, to
[Geoege Viscount of Tarbat],

Fortrose, December the 1st, 1697.
Eight Honourable, — We haveing mett here, in obedience to the Marquise
of Seafort his call, to give our best advyce for setleing the affairs of his familie,
by such measures and methodes as best might contribute to the honour and
interest thereof, by payment of debts, and otherways ; and he haveing laide
before us his circumstances, we found that, to further the friendlie proposalls
made be us, it was most necessarie and proper to remove all grounds and
seeds of differences, or rather mistakes, that hitherto (to owr great regraite)
hath been entertained 'twixt him and your Lordship ; and findeing his
Lordship fuUie enclyn'd therto ; — therfore, by his allowance, we doe unani-
mouslie by this our conjunct letter, signifie to your Lordship how serious
and earnest we are to have a good understanding established betwixt yow ;
intreating your Lordship may make known to us your inclinations lyke-
wayes, and give your best directions, advyce, and assistance, for advanceing
my Lord Seafort his soe just resolutions and designes to a desireable sue-



cesse. Expecting your return in relation to the premises, we continow, right

Your Lordship's most humble servants,

E, M'Kenzie.
Al. M'Kenzie.
Geo. Mackenzie.
K. M'Kenzie.
Al. Mackenzie.
Will, Mackenzie.
E. M'Kenzie.
Ken. M'Kenzie.
MuR. M'Kenzie.

Geo. M'Kenzie.
Tho. Mackenzie.
A. M'Kenzie.
Hector M'Kenzie.
C. M'Kenzie.
M, M'Kenzie.
CoLiNE Mackenzie.
A. Mackenzie.

EoD. M'Kenzie.
Simon M'Kenzie.
A. M'Kenzie.
Ken. M'Kenzie.
Jo. M'Kenzie.
Al. M'Kenzie.
Sim. Mackenzie.
EoD. M'Kenzie.

103. Isabella Mackenzie, Countess of Seaforth, to her Brother, George
Viscount of Tarbat, with the preceding letter.

13 December [16] 9 7.
Dear Brother, — Soom days agoe seuerall of our frinds met at Fortrose,
which tym they recomended the inclosed to me to be sent south to yow ; but,
the sto[r]m fallen on so heauily, I could get non in this plas to undertak to
goe with it, the uswall posts being allready south. I am neutering now to
send it ; I wish it com safe to your hands. By this yee will perceaue how
willing all is to hau any diference betwixt yow and my sone Seafort taken
away ; and non will be glader of it then I will, howeuer I hau bein miscon-
structed in the thing. Beleiue me, I wad dy much the easier that wee war
all as wee owght to bee, frindly and kynd, so that I hop out of a Cristian
disposition yee will pas by and forgiue wherin yee think yee hau bein


wronged ; and this I will expecte from others to yow also ; and wherin I can
contribut to mak all ods euen, I asure yow will be efectually endeauored be
your afectionat sister and seruant,


My son continows ill of his grauill. On day of six he is not free of it. I
hau minted twys to goe see him ; but the storm is so great I was forst tu
turn back.
For the right honourabll the Vicount of Tarbat — thes.

104. Kenneth Mackenzie to George Viscount of Tarbat.

Dochmaluak, the IS December 1697.
My Lord, — I receiued your Lordships letter from John M'Leoud, and it
seimes by quhat you urett therin that your Lordship did not receiue the one
sent with Mr. ^neas, for I mett uith him conforme to your Lordships direc-
tion from Elgin ; and, accordingly, did showe him a vay liou that money
uold be secured, and peayed to Prestounhall ; quhicli vas, that Mr. George
jM'Kenzie, Eosehavghs nepheu, should advance the samen to your Lordship
upon Prestounhalls accounte, prouyding alvayes your Lordship should be
satisfied with that transactione. And I ame hopefull as yett, iff I cann gett
Prestounhall good security, and pairte off peayment nou, that j^our Lord-
ship vill be plesed to cavse him accepte off it. For I allvays presume your
Lordship neuer desyned my ruine by that affaire ; bot upon the contrair, I
have experience hou you have ceuerall tyms preueined the samne, espetially
by your Lordships aduyce sent by ^neas M'^Leod, quhich I have soe farre
obeyed that I used all methods to gett the samen effectuate. And nou, iff
Prestounhall uill not be satisfied uitliout possessing that inconsiderable


intrest I have in Strapeffer, its uerie hard ; for, albeit it be not off great
valoue, its my only bread, and by vant off it I could expect nothing hot to
line in misery. Yett by the dayly experience I have, and euer hed, off your
Lordships protectione off my poore family (to uhose cair my father left it
uhen dying), I doubte not in the lest bot your Lordship uill continoue to
protecte the samen from ruin ; and I uill uith all possible diligence giue
Prestouuhall suffitient security off his monie, against Februarii nixt, in the
terms of your Lordships letter. And iff he doe not condisend to this, your
Lordship will be plesed to aquent me, and I uill use all uther methods to
plese him. Bot I expecte your Lordship will prevaill with him ; and as
hitherto will persuad him not to ruine, my Lord,

Your Lordships most oblidged and uerie humble servant,

K. IVrivENZiE.

105. Sir Donald Macdonald of Sleat to [George Viscount of Tarbat].

Dunturn, February 16, 1698.
]\Iy Lord, — It is not once that my predecessors and I owe the standing
of my poor family to your Lordships and predecessors affectionat activeness
for us, which if we did forgett, we might justly be number'd with the most
ungrate ; and tho hitherto any returns we were able to make to soe great
kindness and candor have been little valuable, yet your Lordship may be
assur'd to finde you have ty'd us intirely to the interests of your family when
you make tryall of us. I will not trouble your Lordship with reading the
fashious account of my circumstances with Mudoirt and others here, since
my brother goes there, and will wait upon you when you tell him to finde you
at leasure. But for that debt of ]\Iiddletouns, wherin your Lordship stands


cautioner for me, I'm resolved to aj^ply the next jMartimass rents for your
reliefe. The one of the bonds is allreddie pay'd off, and the discharge of it
with Cramount, and I hope your Lordship will gett me the other at ane easie
rate, for therby it may be pay'd the sooner. I expect, if the King comes
down in May to be crown'd (as we are told here), that we most all wait upon
him ; at which tyme I hope to have better opportunity of adviseing with your
Lordship of all my concerns, which, as your Lordship minds, are in too
great confusion, and I therby in danger enuch. But I'm the less apprehensive,
that I have the honour and happiness of soe good a director to extricatt me
out the laberinth of thir difficulties. All those of my family your Lordship
was pleas'd to minde soe kindly, are your most humble servants, as is.
My Lord,
Your most faithfull and affectionat cousin and servant.

Sir D. Mackdonald.

If I be not put to a necessity of goeing there, your Lordship will be
trubled with greater ley bells of my affairs that I have forborn at this tyme.

106. John first Earl of Breadalbane to George Viscount of Tarbat.

Taymouth, March 17, [16J98.
Mv Lord,- — Your accompt of our confused uorld is a most acceptible
delegat to me, who am so reteerd ; and as I uish not to see, nather do I hear,
uhat is acted on our vncertun theatre. When pairties ar named to me, I
ask uho they be. They ar lyk the Knightbridge armie in the Eehearsall. I
concluded the deaths and removealls of D. Q., E. L., V. S., yourself, and poor
me, but, abov all, the loss of our gracious Queen, had extinguished that
pairtie, that ther uas not on left to gainsay ; but uhat is ordaind to be done
will be done, and instruments uill never be w^anting.



My Lord, I am endevouring to recover in my privat affairs some of the
time I lost by attending the publict. The bearer uill informe yow of on
particular wherin your Lordship can assist me to be extricat. Pray yow giv
yourself the trouble to allow him to uait of yow for setling of it, wherin yow
wdl oblidge

Your fixed and faithfull freind and humble servant,


I am my Ladyes most humble servant. Your old freind, my uife, is
sevearly handled uith this long and hard winter, but you ar ever green.
For the Viscount of Tarbat.

107. James Leslie to [George Viscount of Tarbat].

London, April 21th, 1698.
My Lord,— I have received the honour of yours, and find that neither
misfortune nor distance makes you lessen your friendship to your friends.
I am very sensible of the favour you have done me in procuring me the fir-
seed, but have not been able to get it here. I had the misfortune to have
two falls by the way comeing for London ; by the first I sprained my left
arm, so that I have lost the use of it as yet ; and by the second I got a great
wound in my head, that it was a hundred to one I escaped with life. I
remained five months in York, and never stured out but the last five days.
But I bless God I am come safe to London. I have taken the advice of three
doctors, and they all advise me to goe to the Bath ; therefor I resolve to
doe it about the 8th or 9th of May, but am yet but very weak, and doe not
stur much abroad. I am in hopes that your Lordships affairs may require
you to come to London (I mean the Kings service) ; but how that affair is


disposed of as yet is not known. When I come from the Bath, if you judge
me capable of serving you in any thing, pray command, for non is more
affectionately, my Lord,

Your most obedient humble servant,

James Leslie.

My humble respects to your Lady and all your noble family.

108. Patrick Count Leslie ^ to [George Viscount of Tarbat].

Fettermer, 19 August [16]98.
My Lord, — My oun hand is now so illegible that I most, in the first
plaice, beg pardone for this borrowed ane ; and in the nixt, vpon the constant
favour and protectione your Lordship hes allwayes bein pleased to allow to
me and my freinds, I am encouraged to recomend the concerne off my
cusine the Laird of Pitcaiple, my sone, and brother-in-law, which is to come
in befor your Lordshipe and the rest off the lords off privie councill ; the
informatione wherof I leive to himself e, least it might be teydious for your
Lordshipe for me to impairt it. But I am hopfull he will make out it comes
upon just and provocked grounds, and thairfor imboldens me the mor ear-
nestly and humbly to beg your Lordships protectione therin ; wherby your
[.ordshipe will singularlie honour and obleidge.
My Lord,
Your Lordships most obedient and most humble servant,

Patrick Count Leslie.

' Patrick Count Leslie was the fifteenth viving son of Alexander Count Leslie. On

Baron of Balquhain. The e.state and barony the death of his eldest brother James Count

of Balquhain had remained in the possession Leslie, in 1604, he succeeded to the Leslie

of this branch of the family of Leslie from estates in (xermany, and acquired the title of

the beginning of the fourteenth century. He Count Leslie. He -vvas made a privy coun-

was born in IG40, and was the second sur- cillor in 16S6.


109. Sir Doxald Macdonald of Sleat to [George Viscount of Tarbat].

Dunturn, December 8th, 1698.
My Lord, — Amongst all your relations I beleev ther are non that owe
more to your kindness than I, and I dare say there are non of them have
greater inclinations to serve you, whatever incapacity I lay under to perform
to my wishes, and am from my heart sory if your ingagements for my family
should bring you to any trouble or danger of credite, which I'm resolved to
prevent by all the methods I can use. But, my Lord, I most tell you that I
labour under greater difficulties than you know of, and it is no inconsiderable
break to a man of my condition, and to my defraying of debts or reliveing of
friends that are ingag'd for me, to be forcibly keept out of the best part of
all the free patrimony I have, as I am now by Mudoirt thir two years
bypast; soe that I hope your Lordship will not wonder if at present I
applay my indeavours to recover soe considerable a part of my interst, but
that you'le concurr with me in it, wherby I may be in better condition to
relive yourselfe, besids what els I may have to doe. But be this as it will,
or your Lordship were put from the street, I wod paund my little plate and
what more I hade ; yett, notwithstanding (if possible), I wod wish to have as
much respite in it as that I might gett ridd of the few debts that keep me
out of my debt of Mudoirt. I beleeve your Lordship does not minde that
one of the bonds in which you were surty is pay'd allreddie, and I left the
discharge of it at Edinburgh to be shown you. As to that debt of Newhalls,
without I pay'd all myselfe, I could doe noe more than I did, haveing first,
when we could not sattle it at home, desir'd that dilligences might be done
for my relife against the lady ; and to that end sent the obligements I hade
of her to Mr. John MacKenzie (which I acquainted your Lordship of, tho it


seems you have forgott to call for tliem), but lie and Mr. Alexander Mack-
Leod advis'd to submitt it and our debeat anent the pretended inlaik of her
joy[n]ture lands to them. This I yealded to, and subscrib'd the submission
with j\Ir. ]\Ioore. But for all this they obstructed the arbriters to give sen-
tence, soe as I thinke it most now come to a law suite, which I was soe farr
willing to evite, that our arbiters will confess I was very frank on my part,
and willing to have pay'd whatever they hade determin'd. This, my Lord,
you may see how I'm tosst twixt your craveing of me and their backwardness
to relive me, that are every way oblig'd to doe it. j\Ir. John (for both claims)
offer'd 4000 merks in my name, which I thought too much, but that liaveing
sumitted in it, I wod not limite them to determine but as they pleas'd, and,
to be free with your Lordship, I wod choise to pay 100 lib. to any man or I
pay'd fiftie for the price of Balconie, of which I never hade a farthing. But I
expect that this winter will put ane end to it, either by a friendly satlement,
or a sentence of the Lords, any of which two ways that will be taken your
Lordship will be acquainted of be, my Lord,

Your most faithfull and affectionat cousine and servant,

Sir D. Mackdonald.

My Lord, I presume to trouble you to give your Lady and childeren mine
and my wifes humble service.

110. George Fraser, Regent of King's College, Aberdeen, to [George
Viscount of Tarbat].

Kings Colledge, 15 April [16J99.
My Lord, — I hade the favour of your Lordships, and I am much re-
freshed to find matters are not as were reported here. And as on all occa-


sions, so I am much instructed as to quhat methods I should follow anent
Bishop Elphinstons History. I am resolved, God willing, to push at some
on or other of the proposals. I hade some thoughts of going north in Ma}'
but this day we are advertised of a commitee of visitation to sitt at our
rolledge, ij of May, my lord treasurer depute to come in ; and some alleadge
lie proposes to himself to be worth his paines. I am much troubled at poor
]\Ir. John M'^Kenzie of Kildonans sufferings. Your Lordship gives a very
satisfying account of the divels imposing upon the judgments of those and
other silly people emancipate to him ; they being commonly simple, and of
the weaker sex, are the more lyable to have the stronger delusions, and their
imagination and senses wrought upon, and so beleive they are capable to
do things and produce effects produced by other causes. Theire voluntar
confessions, and taking guilt upon them by owning the facts as the causes
of maladies and deaths, and desire to be gone to their master otherwayes
then by burning ; as they are deluded in the first, ascribing those effects to the
silliest of litle tricks, without any uaturall ground or dependence, which were
to befall the patient by the temperature of his body, or by a secret applica-
tion of things noxious upon the sign given, so their seeming willingnesse to
die any other way then by fire flowes from some assurance the deluder gives
tliem of living in the same pleasure they are, if their bodyes be not brunt or
spoiled otherwayes then quhat hanging or drowning procures, it being more
])lausible to them, that their intire bodies may be sooner restored to life,
then when brunt to ashes and evaporate in smoke. I go also alongst with
your Lordships decision as to the poor creatures curiosity that lookt upon
their operations, accidentally coming to their elaboratory (a sort of leger de
riwine many could look on), providing she was under no compact or promise
with them or him, except secrecy. I am apt to beleive that all are not so
uncircumspect as to admitt of strangers, without notice ; and certainly some


motive most be for such a toleration. But I am most stumbled at the litle
horse his speaking, then any other part of the relation, it being reasonably
lookt on as supernatural that brutes, Avhose organs are not fitted for articulate
pronunciation, should in ane instant speake distinctly. The Bishop of Cam-
bray's book is condemned in 32 points hereticall, aud the author no wayes
touch'd, having made a solemn submission to the Holy Father in on of his
sermons. The particulars of the French persecutions yet amongst them were
tedious, but our merchants that come home assure us there is one.

Wee are tristed with a curious season ; tho cold, yet no frost since March.
The borrowing dayes were stormie to a wish. Salmon does not sweeme in
our rivers no way wel as yet : imputed to the plenty of snow water comes
from the hills, which are yet covered with snow. I need not trouble your
Lordship with any accounts we may have of the African Company ; your
Lordships concerne and paines in that affaire making it familiar and sent
from better hands. The president and Kings advocate are gone, being call'd
to court, as some say to support, others to betray, our Scotts Company : the
resident of Spaine having addressed the King upon their landing in Port
Darien, and, as some say, put upon it in England, tho it be talked that the
Spaniards have made reprisal of sex English ships in the Indies. Spanish
salt is scarce and deare at present in this place, at the rate of 20 merks ; but
the expectation of a ship we have at Lisbon gives hopes it may be cheaper
upon her safe arrival. Which, with my dutyfull respects, is all that occurrs
at present to be write by

Your Lordships most oblidged humble servant,

Geo. Feasek.

For the right honourable the Viscount of Tarbat, to the care of the post
master of Innerness — these.


111. George Yiscouis't of Takbat to [Patkick first Earl of Marchmont,

Lord Chancellor]. [Copy.]

15 May 1699.
Eight Honourable, — Duty oblidges me to inform your Lordship of what
occurs in this remote country, which may concern his Majesties interest or
the C|uiet of the Government, and I presume your Lordship will excuse the
trouble I give you on this account. When I retired to the north, I saw all
people in great quiet, only the Highland robbers were doeing hurt to many of
the peacable subjects, wherof, and of a suitable remedy as to the 5 northern
shy res and a part of Nairn, I acquainted your Lordship ; and I doe 3^ett wish that
the posting of some 80 or 100 of the forces, from April to December, twixt
Invermoriston, at the east, and the head of Lochuirn, at the west sea, may be
ordored, which would safe these shyres, who now repyne that the souldiers,
who live in sloath and idlnes, are not doeing this good of&ce to a considerable
part of the nation, who give their money as frankly as any does, for pay to
these forces ; and who, knowing that their losse might be prevented so easily,
and is not done, are ready to feare that the governours forgett that they are
a part of the kingdome, — and a part who affoorded not only their quota of all
burden in proportion, but four tymes as many souldiers to his Majesties
armies dureing the late warrs as any so much elswher of the kingdome ; — and
this is certainly true. This your Lordship may consider. Another matter is,
that your Lordship may remember when the bishopricks were a setting in
tack, I represented in writt to the Lords of Treasury how the maner and form
of the tacks did take from the King a half or more of the bishopricks. I
presumed that I made it plain, and I twice offered the plan in Exchecker.
Greater effaires shufled it out then, but now I find that I was in the right to
a demonstration, as I did then and can now make evident. This I now writt


of, that, if your Lordship please, that matter may be considered and adverted
to before the Last tacks be cleared for and discharged or a new one sett, for
there is apparent trick in it on the matter to the Kings great loss in proportion
to that fond of his revenue. A thrid effaire is, what hath presently occurred :
the episcopall clergy, who are qualified according to law, and have owned
and evidenced their loyalty to the King, their peacable inclinationes in the
country, and are a satisfying branch of the ministery to most of the people,
and who did very reasonably look on themselfs as secure in the exercise of
their holy function, and in the fruites of their legall benefices, by the act
of the Sess. of this current parliament, and cheefly by their beeing

therby plac'd under the Kings speciall protection, with reiterated assurances
that their declared adversares should not be their judges ; for in that case
they could forsee that all the other securities were only amusments. My
Lord, by this they judged themselfs safe, many peoples grudgings were
removed, and I beleeve there was never so much quiet in the Kirk of Scot-
land as this did hitherto procure. But when the General Assembly did sitt,
these ministers and their congregationes were alarumd by reports that the
Assembly were to fall on them, and at any rate to cast them out. But the
Assembly, rysing without any motion toward this design, removed the fears ;
and albeit it was noised that it was forborn least it should meet with obstruc-