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

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English army in Scotland. ]\Ionck then resided at Dalkeith, having been
intrusted by Cromwell with the charge of Lady Mary Scott, the young
Countess of Buccleuch. We shall afterwards see the connection between

^ Pepys' Diary, vol. v. p. 360. ^ Original Contract at Tarbat House.



Ixxii SIE GEORGE MACKENZIE OF TAFBAT, BAROXET. [1630-



General Monck and Sir George Mackenzie in reference to the origin of the
proposal for the restoration of King Cliarles tlie Second.

The Eoyalists, who adhered to King Charles the Second, and declined to
live peaceably nnder Cromwell, were, at the time of the succession of Sir
George ]\Iackenzie to his father, engaged in a rising on behalf of the exiled
King, which is known as " the Earl of Glencairn's Expedition." The Earl, in
the year 1653, raised the royal standard in the West Highlands in the month
of August. Young Mackenzie, in the ardour of his loyalty, having had some
military experience in his youth, wished to assist in the expedition, and
solicited from King Charles a commission to raise forces in his favour. He
obtained that commission, and succeeded in raising a considerable force, with
which he immediately joined the expedition. After Glencairn had held the
command for some time, General John Middleton, who fought bravely for
King Charles at Worcester, and escaped to him from the Tower, returned to
Scotland, with full power from the King as the General of his forces.
Glencairn resigned his command to Middleton. The army was then at
Dornoch, the county town of Sutherland, the head- quarters. On assuming
the command, Middleton entertained the officers there. The Earl of Glen-
cairn, in return, invited Middleton and his general officers and colonels to
dine with him at the house of the Laird of Kettle or Cuthil, now part of the
estate of Skibo, four miles south of Dornoch. Glencairn gave them as good
a dinner as the place could afford, and plenty of wine. In the course of
the circulation of the bottle, Glencairn, addressing Middleton, said — " You see
wliat a gallant army I and these noble gentlemen with me have raised out
of nothing." Sir George Monro of Culrain, one of the party, who had been
made lieutenant-general, in place of Glencairn, v/ho naturally looked to have
l)een at least made second in command, immediately rose, and interrupting
Lord Glencairn, said — " By God, the men you speak of are no other than a



1714.] DUEL BETWEEN GLEXCAIRN AND MONRO. Ixxiii

pack of thieves and robbers. In a short time I will show you other sort
of men." Glengarry started up, thinking himself most concerned, but the
Earl of Glencairn stopped him, and said — " Forbear, Glengarry, 'tis I that am
levelled at ; " and directing himself to Monro, told him he was " a base liar."
A challenge was that night given by Monro, and it was agreed, as the nights
were short, that the parties should meet by grey day-light. They were
l)oth well mounted ; each of them was to have one pistol, and after
discharging them, they were to fight with broadswords. The pistols were
tired without doing hurt ; the combatants then engaged with their swords.
After a few passes, the Earl wounded Sir George severely in his bridle hand ;
Sir George then cried that " he was not able to command his horse," and
offered to continue the combat on foot. " Ye carle," says the Earl, " I will let
you know that I am a match for you either on foot or horseback." Where-
upon they both alighted, and at the first round the Earl gave Sir George a
severe stroke on the brow, about an inch above his eyes, which bled so much
that he could not see. His Lordship was to thrust him through the body ;
but John White, his man, pushed up his sword, and said, " You have enough
of him, my Lord." His Lordship, in a passion, gave John a stroke over
the shoulders, then mounted his horse, and rode to his quarters.^

This duel led to a more fatal one. Captain Living.ston and a gentleman,
James Lindsay, quarrelled on the merits of the case. They fought in the
morning on the links of Dornoch, where, at the very first bout, Lindsay
thrust his sword through Livingston's heart, who soon expired. Lindsay was
immediately taken. Lord Glencairn dealt earnestly with General Middleton
for Lindsay's release ; but nothing could prevail with him. He immediately
called a council of war, who sentenced Lindsa}' to be shot at the cross of
Dornoch before four that afternoon, which was accordingly done.

' Account of the Earl of Gleucairn's Expedition. Edinburgh, 1822. Pp. 176-178.

Jc



Ixxiv SIR GEORGE MACKENZIE OF TARE AT, BARONET. [1630-

One of the early steps taken in the Earl of Glencairn's expedition was
his ordering a proclamation to be read at the cross of Dumbarton, in December
1G53, threatening confiscation against all who afforded supplies to the garri-
son in the castle, then held by Cromwell's soldiers. After his duel with Monro,
Glencairn left the main body and returned to Dumbartonshire, whither also
]\Iiddleton gradually marched for the purpose of recruiting his forces. On
reaching the Castle of Eossdhu, the residence of Sir John Colquhoun of Luss,
an active Eoyalist, the army of Middleton was recruited, but not in sufficient
numbers to prevent the defeat which they sustained at Lochgair, on the 26th
of July 1654.^ Glencairn continued the war for a few weeks, and snatched an
advantage by a surprise at Dumbarton of Monck's forces, while quietly seated
at dinner. Monck, on hearing of this disaster, arranged for the completion
of a treaty with Glencairn, which was formerly begun, and it was carried
into effect at the foot of the Castle rock of Dumbarton, on the 4th of Sep-
tember 1654. The conditions were that the Eoyalist officers should be
secured in their lives and fortunes, and allowed their horses and arms ; that
the soldiers should be allowed their horses, but not their arms, for which,
however, they were to receive full value, and that all claiming the privilege
should receive passes to carry them back to their homes.

One of the most active officers in tliat expedition was Archibald Lord
Lome, the eldest son of the j\Iarquis of Argyll. The IMarquis himself had
submitted to Monck, and resolved to live peaceably, although still at heart
a Eoyalist. Middleton reported to the King the zeal of Lord Lome, and the
King addressed to his Lordship the following letter of thanks for his services : —

Collen [Cologne], December 30, 1651-.
My Lord Lorne, — I am very glade to hear from Middleton what afFectione
and zeall you show to my service, how constantly you adhere to him in all his

^ The Chiefs of Colquhoun, ISCO. Vol. i. ji. 2(37 d S(q.



ITU.] MIDDLETOy'S LETTERS TO LORNE.



distresses, and what good service you have performed upon the rebells. I assure
you you shall finde me very just and kinde to yow in rewarding what you have
done and suffered for me, and I hope you will have more credit and })ower with
those of your kindred and dependants upon your familie to engage them with you
for me, than any one else can have to seduce them against me ; and I shall look
upon all those who shall refuse to follow you as unworthy of any protectione hear-
after from me, which you will lett them know. This honest bearer M. will inform e
yow of my condition and purposes, to whom you will give credit, and he Avill tell
yow that I am very much your very affectionat freind,

Cha.i;les K.^

Two letters from General jMiddleton to Lord Lome also sliov*- the assist-
ance which he had rendered. One of tlieni, which is dated at Dun vegan, 31st
IMarch 1655, urges Lord Lome to " losse no tyme in taking such course
for his safetie ... by treatie and agreement or capitulatione as he shall
judge most fitt and expedient for the good of his persone, familie, and estate."
The letter contains a flattering eulogy on the conduct of Lord Lome during
the war. He is credited with enlivening the troops, and being one of the
chief and first movers. His deportment in relation to the enemy and the late
war is characterised as "beyond all parallel.""

On reaching Paris, General Middleton wrote again to Lord Lome on 17th
April 1655, extolling his services, and expressing great regret at not having
seen him before leaving Scotland, to settle a method of correspondence. " I
should," he adds, " been plaine in everie thing, and, indeed, have made your
Lordship my Confessor."^

But while Lord Lome was thus receiving the royal thanks, his services
had laid him open to attack from Monck, who made him enter into a bond
to keep the peace for the future, under a penalty of £5000 sterling.'*

On the defeat of General Middleton by General Morgan, Sir George

' Copj' Letter, Argyll Archives. ^ Ihvl.

- Argyll Archives. * The Chiefs of Colquhoiin, vol. i. p. 209.



Ixxvi SIR GEORGE MACKENZIE OF TARBAT, BARONET. [1630-

Mackenzie, witli Lord Balcarras, Sir Eobert Moray, and others, fled to the
Castle of Island Donan. Afterwards, as Dr. Mackenzie relates, Sir George
Mackenzie and Sir Robert Moray travelled through many of the Western
Isles, observing the tides, and fluxes and refluxes of the sea, the natural pro-
ducts of the Isles, and whatever else they could observe for the advancement
of Natural Philosophy. While so amusing themselves, they wrote several
letters to Eome, to Athanasius Kircher, then esteemed one of the greatest philo-
sophers and mathematicians of the age, who returned answers to their queries.
One of these letters is published by Kircher in his Mundus Subterraneus}

Sir George Mackenzie's taste for natural philosophy continued all his
life ; and the observations he made at this time are recorded by him in his
philosophical writings. When Sir Eobert Moray, at the Eestoration.
formed the project of the Eoyal Society of London for the promotion of
]^[athematical and Physical Science, Lord Tarbat was one of those whom he
consulted. He became an early member and a contributor, as appears from
a list of his works appended hereto. Henry 01denbui"g, the first secretary to
the Society, wrote to Lord Tarbat, thanking him for his contributions, and
requesting him to continue his communications.^ Professor Gregorie, the
inventor of the reflecting telescope, corresponded with him at the same time
on the theory of winds.^

During the rule of the Commonwealth, Sir George Mackenzie also applied
liiniself to the study of the laws, in which he made such progress, that
(luring the Usurpation he was of great use to his country and friends in their
private animosities and quarrels, these being generally referred to him, and
his decisions adhered to by both parties.*

1 Athanasii Kircheri Mundus Subterraneus, '^ Ibid. p. 20.

Amsterdam, 1G78. Tom. i. cap. vii. disq. vi.
r,. 154. * Hiistory of the Mackenzies, MiS.. by

- Letter, dated May 24, 1675, vol. i. p. 22. Dr. George Mackenzie.



1714.] Ixxvii

CHAPTEK SECOND.

SIR GEORGE MACKENZIE'S POSITION AND PROMOTION AT THE RESTORATION IN
1660 ; HIS CONNECTION WITH THE ACT OF INDEMNITY AND THE BILLETINGS
UNDER IT ; HIS DISMISSAL FROM PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT, AND RETIREMENT
TILL 1678.

J\.T the close of the previous chapter, Sir George Mackenzie was left at his
philosophical and legal studies.

During the six years which still intervened till the Eestoration of King
Charles the Second, Sir George had little opportunity of taking an active
part in public affairs. But his time for activity was fast approaching.

At the Eestoration, the Earl of Middleton was appointed the King's
Commissioner in Scotland, and was intrusted with the management of
Scottish affairs. Having had ample experience of the abilities of Sir
George Mackenzie, the Earl made him his principal adviser, and he was
considered a rival to the Earl of Lauderdale. On the reconstitution of
the Court of Session, in June 1661, Sir George Mackenzie was nominated
one of the Lords of Session, the Earl of Glencairn was made Lord Chancellor.
Sir John Gilmour was appointed Lord President ; and the other Lords then
nominated were Sir Archibald Primrose, Sir Eobert Moray, Sir Archibald
Stirling of Garden, Sir James Foulis of Colinton, Sir James Dalrymple,
afterwards Lord Stair, and others. Sir George Mackenzie adopted the
judicial title of Lord Tarbat.^

Having been made the principal confidant of the Eoyal Commissioner.
Lord Tarbat was called on to take a very active and prominent part in all
proceedings at the Eestoration. Sir George Mackenzie of Eosehaugh, Lord

1 Books of Sederunt, vol. vi. pp. 1, 2, 4th June 1661.



Ixxviii .S7/.^ GEORGE MACKENZIE OF T ABB AT, BABOXET. [1630-

Advocate, lias given a very minute account of these proceedings in his
History of Scotland ; and as that was considered necessary in a general
history of the country, so a summary of these proceedings appears to he
necessary and appropriate in this memoir of Lord Tarbat.^

At the Eestoration of King Charles the Second, in 1660, the Lord Chan-
cellor Hyde was made the chief minister of State in England. He was
himself a keen cavalier, and attached to Episcopalian principles. In his
opinion, none Imt those holding principles similar to his own were Avorthy to
he intrusted with office under his Majesty. It was l)y his advice that the
Earl of Middleton was made Commissioner in Scotland.

]\Iiddleton was bred a soldier, and was considered a brave officer ; luit it
was soon found that he had not an equal talent for the high offices of State.
The Earl of Eothes was made President of the Council, all parties approving.
Xewburgh became Captain of His jMajesty's Guards. The Earl of Crawford
was continued Treasurer. Marischal was made Lord I'rivy Seal, in room of
tlie Earl of Sutherland. Bellenden was Treasurer-Depute. Sir John
Eletcher was made Lord Advocate. Being junior in his profession to many
others, his appointment created dissatisfaction, and his keen prosecution of
several of those whom Middleton had marked as victims, fixed on him the
name of Inquisitor-General.

In the bestowal of the other principal Scotch offices. Lord Chancellor
Hyde had considerable influence. But his intentions were frustrated respect-
ing the office of the Scotch Lord Chancellor, which he wished to be bestowed
on the Earl of Lauderdale, on the pretence of rewarding him for his sufferings
on Ijehalf of the King. His real motive however was to prevent Lauderdale
from holding the office of Secretary of State for Scotland, Avhich involved

' INIemoirs of the Affairs of Scotland, l)y Sir George Mackenzie of Rosehaiigh. Etlinlnu-gli,

1S24. Vy. \ -■!'.), (;;m .-:;.-).



17U.] THE REBELLION PARLIAMENTS. Ixxix

constant attendance on his Majesty ; and Lauderdale preferred this post,
with tlie chance of governing all the other Ministers, to that of Chancellor,
which removed him from constant access to the King. The Earl of Glencairn
was made Chancellor. Lord Tarbat was much consulted by Middleton, and
the public business was chiefly transacted by them. The offices being
thus settled, the King desired that the nobility and others should meet for
the appointment of a Privy Council and other institutions in Scotland. At
that meeting it was carried by the Presbyterians, being then in the majority,
tliat the Committee of Estates, which was nominated by the Parliament at
Stirling in the year 1650, should manage all aftairs till the assembling of
Parliament. Lord Tarbat, however, opposed this view with great energy. He
contended that the Parliament of 1650, from which the Committee of Estates
derived its authority, was not a legal Parliament. All those who had served
under the Marquis of Montrose were excluded from it ; and it was in effect
])ut a continuation of the late rebellion, and, therefore, after his Majesty's
restoration, none authorised by them should be intrusted with the Government.
This overture gave great dissatisfaction, and led to much disputation.

Glencairn, in whose house the meeting was held, succeeded in arranging
that all the nobility and gentry in town should be consulted on such an
important point. The meeting, when held, was equally divided. It was
agreed that both sides should be equally represented in bringing the
subject before his Majesty by seven of their number. Lord Tarbat had
been thanked by his Majesty for the interest which he had manifested in the
case ; but though the King had promised that he would adopt Lord Tarbat's
views, yet, through the influence of the Earls of Lauderdale and Crawford,
that promise was not kept, and the Committee of Estates was allowed to
meet. The non-fulfilment of the promise was owing to a representation made
by Lauderdale and Crawford to this effect, that if his Majesty disowned the



Ixxx SIB GEORGE MACKENZIE OE TARBAT, BARONET. [1630-

aiitliorit}' of the Committee, the far greater part of Scotland would believe that
their destruction was imminent. This was the first breach between Lauderdale
and Lord Tarbat, and they remained unreconciled for many years.

Parliament met on the 1st of November 1660, when a sermon was
preached by Mr. Eobert Douglas. On the Parliament proceeding to choose
Lords of Articles, Lord Tarbat opposed that institution. He maintained that
as there was no law for appointing Lords of Articles, it was therefore
optional to the Parliament to continue them or not ; and he further main-
tained that it was unreasonable they should be continued, as the Parlia-
ment was thereby prelimited in its judgment by the vote of the Lords of
the Articles. Yet it was carried to elect Lords of Articles ; although many
eminent lawyers were of opinion that these Lords should only prepare measures
for the consideration of Parliament, without themselves voting for them.

Lord Tarbat, although not always successful in Parliament, continued his
activity unabated. His kinsman of the same name, Sir George Mackenzie,
Lord Advocate, says that he was a passionate cavalier, and resolved to rescind
all the Parliaments since the year 1640, because they were all rebellious.
Lord Tarbat's argument was, that in the year 1637 Scotland began to extir-
pate Episcopacy, and raised an army to accomplish their design. When
confronted by King Charles the First and his army on the Borders, in the
year 1639, they succeeded in forcing the King, at the Birks, in Berwickshire,
to agree to summon a Parliament. The Covenanters having established the
(Jovenant by a special Act against his Majesty's negative voice, the Earl of
Traquair, as Commissioner, adjourned the Parliament. At the Parliament which
was held in the year 1641, the same party forced upon his Majesty, who was
present, the passing of an Act for Triennial Parliaments, and they continued to
asseml)le in pretended Parliaments till the year 1650. Lord Tarbat further
contended that all these I^arliaments had their origin in force and usurpation.



1714.] THE ACT RESCISSORY OF 1661.



The Commissioner at first opposed the overture of Lord Tarbat ; but as
he urged that they could never secure his Majesty's prerogative in sum-
moning and dissolving Parliaments without rescinding the illegal Parliaments,
it followed that the Parliaments which sat after the King had dissolved them,
and without his Commissioner, must be declared unlawful. Middleton ulti-
mately yielded so far to these arguments of Lord Tarbat, that Sir Mungo
Murray,-^ the brother of John, then Earl of Athole, afterwards created Marquis,
was despatched to Court to consult his ]\Iajesty on the business.

The Lord Chancellor, Hyde, took the same view of the question as Lord
Tarbat. Hyde sent an express to Middleton, ordering him to pass the
Act at once, as most conducive to the interests of the King, and blaming
the Commissioner for his scruples in passing it. Many objections were
made to the passing of the Act Eescissory, and even by several moderate
Cavaliers. They deemed it dishonourable to the memory of King Charles
the Pirst to rescind the Acts of the Parliament of 1641, in which the King
was present ; and also a bad precedent, as the people were made to believe
that a Parliament, in which the King was present, and which was counten-
anced by him, was warranted and beyond question.

To satisfy these scruples, a clause provided that all persons who had
obtained private rights or securities from these Parliaments should be secure,
unless they were called in question before the Act of Indemnity. But this
salvo was not to apply to the Parliament of 1649.

The second session of Parliament met on the 8th of May 1662. An
Act was passed re-establishing Episcopacy; and another ordaining a de-

1 The Honourable Sir Mungo Murray was Giles' Church there.— [Letter from Thomas

M. P. for Perth, and Lieutenant of King Steuart to John Steuart, younger of Grand -

Charles the Second's Guards at the Eestora- tully, dated Edinburgh, 6th December 1670,

tion. He died, unmarried, at Edinburgh, on at Murthly.]
5th December 1670, and was buried in Saint

I



Ixxxii SIB GEORGE 2IACKENZIE OF TARE AT, BARONET. [1630-



claratioii to be taken by all persons in public trust against Leagues and
Covenants. The great design of the second Act was to incapacitate the
Earl of Crawford from being Treasurer, and the Earl of Lauderdale from
being Secretary. The latter, however, laughed at the contrivance, and
said that he would sign a cartful of such oaths rather than lose his office.
Crawford was dismissed, and Middleton aimed at being his successor, but
unsuccessfull}^ and he was disappointed at the want of success of his scheme
of the oath.

Lauderdale pressed for the passing of the Act of Indemnity. Middleton
made another attempt under it to incapacitate Lauderdale for holding any
public ofiice. As Lauderdale, Crawford, and several other keen Presbyterians,
opposed all that was arranged for the establishment of Episcopacy, Middleton
resolved to ask the King to except some persons from being capable of
holding office under him. In June 1662, a meeting was held in the house of
the Lord Chancellor Glencairn, which was attended by the Lord Commissioner,
the Lord Chancellor, the Lord Eegister, and the Lord Advocate. They re-
solved on sending Lord Tarbat to the King, with instructions anent the
Act of Indemnity. On acquainting Lord Tarbat with their resolution, he
earnestly declined acting as envoy in the business ; but being charged by
tliem with want of courage, or fidelity to his friends, he did at last consent
to be their envoy. He was sworn a Privy Councillor on the same afternoon,
and set out for London on the following morning with written Instructions.
Tlie Instructions are signed by the Commissioner Middleton, and are said
to have been dictated by the Lord Clerk Eegister, Primrose. The original
Instructions are in the Cromartie Charter-chest, and are printed in full (pro-
bably for the first time) in this volume. ^

A double of the Instructions in the Lauderdale Correspondence in the

^ Instructions, vol. i. p. 1.



17U.] LORD TARBAr;S MISSION TO KING CHARLES, 1G62. Ixxxiii

British Museum has been collated with these. The only differences are,
" into places of jiuhlick trust," instead of " into 2'>ublick trust," and " commissioner
and, jJttrliamcnt " instead of " commissioner," both in Instruction 4. The
double is attested by Lord Tarbat thus: "This is the just double of my
Instructiones, written at Holyrudhouse the i of July 1663."

It was not surprising that a young man, as Lord Tarbat then was,
hesitated about undertaking such a mission to his Majesty, when he would
be confronted with the powerful opposition of Lauderdale, whose exclusion
from office was aimed at under the disqualifying clause in the Act of Indem-
nity. On arriving in London, Lord Tarbat waited on the Lord Chancellor,
Hyde, and was admitted to kiss the King's hand before Lauderdale was
aware of his arrival. This roused the jealousy of Lauderdale. The King-
considered the Instructions given to Lord Tarbat, and had much consultation
with him on the subject. The King requested a meeting with his Council
for Scotland. Previous to the meeting, Lord Tarbat waited upon Lauderdale,
and informed him of his mission, delivering to him, at the same time, a copy
of the Act of Indemnity, without the clause of exclusion of persons from
public trust.

At the Council Lord Tarbat told his Majesty that his commissioner in
Scotland had passed the Indemnity to that nation, but that he felt it neces-
sary to consult his Majesty thereon. Hence he had sent a copy of the Act
to his Majesty, together with special Instructions. Both were read, and
when Lauderdale found reference to excepted persons, he inveighed, with
much passion, against Lord Tarbat for his disingenuousuess, since the Act
presented to him had no clause referring to such persons. Lord Tarbat