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The earls of Cromartie; their kindred, country, and correspondence (Volume 2) online

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them from minding them. All I can doe is to putt them in mind when
occassion offers ; so I hope any delay or stope in affairs will not be imputed
to me, tho I hear some people are not so charitable, but blame me for the
delay of the orders concerning the circuit, which is a leitle hard. I liad the
honour indeed to transmit the memoriall, but then it was out of my hands ;
and, had it not been mj^ regaird to the service, and my respect to your
lordships of the justiciary, it was non of my bussiness to meddle any further
in it. And since, notwithstanding of that, I did all I cou'd to have that


affair forwarded, tho even a litle officious in me, it is hard that the delay in
it shou'd be laid to my door. But this, as well as other accusations in which
I was as innocent, shall not keep me from doeing all in my power to for-
ward any service wherein my Queen and countrie are concerned. The pro-
clamation intimating the circuit was done before I cam here ; and I did not
know but the other necessary orders might have been given too, untill I
heard from Scotland. Munday last was the first time after that I gott the
treasurer fully discours'd concerning the memoriall. He promist to write to
my Lord Glasgow (the exchequer being up, and the barrons out of toun) to
imploie a fitt person to be treasurer or cashier to the circuits, and that he
wou'd send credet for the money. So I hope that affair is putt in such a
way that every thing concerning it will goe right. His lordship thinks
the lords' sallaries ought to be made sufficient, which he doubts not but the
Queen will doe ; but that will take some time to order and to gett finish'd.

I had my Lord Fountainhall's demission, with which I was indeed sur-
prysed and sorie for. I presented it to the Queen, but her Majestie wou'd
not receive it, and hopt he wou'd consider better, and not demitt an office
in which he was so capable and cou'd doe such service to his countrie. So
I have return'd it him, and I hope your Lordship and the other lords will
prevaill with him to keep it. It is very generously offer'd by your Lordship
to goe the north circuits, by which the service wou'd not suffer if he did
not goe.

I spoke to the Queen and the treasurer of your Lordship's memoriall
concerning your fishing, and her Majestie thinks your demand reasonable.
The treasurer took it from me very cheerfully, and promist to mind it, for
all papers concerning any part of the revenue pass his hand. I spoke also
of your other memoriall concerning what's oweing you by the goverment, but
he said that he cou'd say nothing to it till once he had spoke with the barrons


of the exchequer. I wish I cou'd doe your Lordship any service in this or
in any thing else, but I'm affraid the Queen will not pay any debt that can
be charged on the equivalent. The barrens are now come, and I shall putt
the treasurer in mind to speak to them of it.

We are in great expectations of news from abroad, which is all I'll now
trouble you with, but that I am, with all sincerity, my dear Lord,

Your Lordships most affecttionat cusine and most humble servantt.

Indorsed : " Copie — To the Earl of Cromarty, August 25th, 1708."

302. [George first Earl of Cromartie to John Earl of Mar.]^

4th October 1708.
My dear Lord, — Never was man more weary — at least not I, who was
never a very lazy worker in any station — then I am at this hour. About our
justice court, it hath really cost all of us much pains, travell, and expence ;
and, if hand had been holden to us, it had been sett on a better foot then
ever it was heer. If matters stand on a right base for North Brittains interest,
it is the court of most interest, comparatively speaking, now that there is no
councell : and in ane absolut consideration, it is the court wher all the concern
of the government lyes directly ; the privat interests betwixt man and man
beeing the trust of all the other courts. And give me leave to say that it hath
been but scurvily used now of a long tyme. My Lord, I scribled a letter
immediatly after wee had ended our narrative of our effaires, and was then
very, very weary. Now that I have recoverd breath, I called to mind that, as
this matter of the bafles of the justice court makes great noise heer, so I
find it is ane intended handle on particular designs. Wee have said nothing,
but have narrated bare point of fact to vindicat our selfs, w^hich cannot faile
' Original Letter in Mar Charter-chest.


us, except it be for our supererogation. But the Lord Eoss hath been these
3 dayes very busy in collecting all tlie bafles, afronts, and national dis-
appointments by it. I have been angry, but yett it hath not exceeded
iiioderamen inculpatm tutelce : not that I am insensible, but I have ill will to
break of absolutly from my old freends. I send yow word of his busy
fidling, that yow may be warnd of liis design, which may be in concert with
wiser heads. I hear he hath taken up a Porteous roll of accusations. If yow
have not better heads concernd, I doe not pity your freend : and yet, for all
that D[uke] Q[ueensberry], yowr Lordship, and others said to me to hinder
him and his from beeing members of parliament, which I think, yea, am
sure, is legally done, yet both exchecker and session did and doe sustain all
his interest in that matter against

Your humble servant and old freend.

I have been borrowing money just now to pay the Queens servants goeing
to the circuit court, who els would not have gone. This was to me extra

I hear that the lord treasurer hath ordored payment for others, judges in
that court.

303. The Same to [The Same].^

Edinburgh, 26 October 1708.
My Lord, — Your Lordships haveing writt so litle (if any) as to our circuit
courts made it dubious if I should have troubled you with this short pre-
cursor of what I doubt not all of us, when mett together, will give to the
Queen and her ministers, and to your Lordship, when they all return hither.

1 Orioinal Letter in Mar Charter-chest.


Wee are returned, and weell, except my old self, which I attribut more to
that epithet then to any more trouble then evry one els did take, or indeed
the task at this suddain occasion did require. My lord, I dare say wee have
done all wee (or perhaps any others) could doe on this occasion ; for (one too
ordinar morall sinne excepted) wee did not find in these farr largest districts
— viz., Aberdeen and Perth, which comprehends all twixt Forth and Spey —
we did not find 20 accused of crimes, and no prooft' against 6 of the, twenty.
And wee have discoverd severall things in these matters, which necessarly
recjuire statutory correctory lawes, aryseing from the severall new laws made
since these courts were in desuetude, and partly from our constitution in and
by the Ynion. But I will not adventur to offer or mention my litle thoughts
on particulars until our colledge meet together, and then your lordship may
be farther troubled with a letter from, my dear lord.

Your Lordships most obedient and faithful! servant,
■ ■ ' " ■ Cromertie.

This is writt with a bad hand and a wearied body.

304. [Sir James Mackenzie, Lord Royston, to his Father, George first

Earl of Cromartie.]

London, 28 October 1708.
My Lord, — I came hither five or six days ago, but have not seen manie
of our statesmen yet. We are now all in tears for the death of the Prince,
who dyed this day about one, afternoon, at Kensingtoune. His ashma and
manie other diseases carried him off, and, indeed, it is much he keept out so
long. Your Lordship will easilie believe the Queen is inconsolable ; his
breath was no sooner out then she came streidit to St. James. This will no


doubt produce considerable changes and speculations. They talk that Pem-
brook will be Admirall, and Wharton Lieutenant of Ireland, whicli he lies
long aimed at.

Now that God lies blessed me with a boy, we must endevour to get him
his own estate. I must lay the conduct of that important affaire at your
Lordships door, which will be much better managed then by me : so I in-
treat your Lordship to call Mr. Innes, who will bring Mr. Macleod, Sir
Walter Pringie, and my other lawyers, to waite on your Lordship and my
Lord Prestonhall, to give advice what is to be done either by raiseing briefes
for serving him lieire of tailzie and provisione to the late Eosehaugh, or by
raising a declarator for denuding my Lord Mount Stewart ; in prose[c]uting
whicli [I] would have no charges spared.

So soon as I learn what our Scots statesmen are doing, I shall not faile to
acquaint your Lordship.

305. [The Same] to The Same.

London, 6 November 1708.
My Lord, —I delivered your Lordships to my Lord Wemyss and Sir D.
Xairne, and shall be sure to keep them in mind of the contents. I am con-
fident the Queen will have another notion of it then what Sir David seemed
to have by his letter to your Lordship ; for they are hardlie worth asking, far
less refusing, which I easilie perswaded Wemyss of. But the Princes death
will put a stop to all bussiness for some time. Its now confidentlie talked
that the treasurer and juncto (so they call the seven lords) are fullie agreed,
by which they are to have the disposall of everie thing. Its lookt on as cer-
taine that Pembroke is to be Admirall, Wharton Lieutenant of Ireland, and


Somniers President of the Council, Sir Richard Onslow speaker : and it.^
whispered that (115) and his partie will be given up a sacrifice to please the
(21), that they make room for theire northern friends, which, to be sure, will
afflict your Lordship, because of the many obligations you have had to (15),
etc. The parliament will sitt on the 16. I have given in my petition, and
my case is generallie thought to lie faire. My Lord Duffus and his ladie are
come, but have not seen any bodie yet ; they say she is a hansom woman.
The prince will be interred this day sevenight. We have nothing materiall
from the armie, and we know not when the campaigne will end, nor how.
However, we hope all will be well, and that, how soon the citadell is taken,
we shall drive the enemie from the posts on the Scheld, and, if we can, from
Ghent and Bruges. If you please, I shall send you the prints, and, to save
charges, get the letters franked by a member. My absence does not at all
make me uueasie as to my process, since your Lordship is my agent, but I
want to hear what is done in it.

To the right honourable the Earl of Cromertie, Edinborough.

306. [The Same to The Same.]

London, 11 November 1708,
j\Iy Lord, — I have litle farther to trouble your Lordship with as to
British affairs ; everie thing being at a stand upon the Princes death, whose
body is this night to be caried to the painted chamber, and interred Saturday
next, privatelie, in the same manner as King Charles 2d was. Its thought
the Queen will come to council, Sunday, when the admiraltie, etc., will be
setled in the same manner as I mentioned in my last. The Queen lies
renewed Wemyss commission of vice admirall of North Brittaine, the former


having fallen by the Princes death. Wemyss is to meet with |l6| about
J33's| bussiness, and |35| and |36| are to be with them. Theres an idle storie
as if D[uke] Ham[ilton] were to be master of horse ; but this is verie impro-
bable, since Sommersett will hardlie part with it. The parliament certainlie
meets, Tuesday next ; but when Marlborough will end the campaigne, is yet
as uncertaine as ever. I find Kilravack wants a great manie papers that
may be usefull in disscussing his controverted election. He lies writt to his
father for some of them ; and I promised to desyre the favour of your Lord-
ship to send such as you have relating to that matter, viz., your charter of
Davachcarlie, by which it will appear that the legall is expyred ; an extract
from the register of signatures of my charter of Drummeddat, etc. They
may be put in a wooden box and sent by the carrier, directed to Mr. ]\Iacul-
locli's, in Bedford Court, Covent Garden, and I think will come soon enough.
I have lodged my petition. My greatest loss is the want of witnesses to
prove my allegations, since the house of commons have little regard to
instruments or depositions taken elsewhere ; but we commoners are verie
hopefull to prevail in our maine argument against peers eldest sons. I be-
lieve it would be to no purpose for |33! to write to |l4|, Il6|, or any other, in
favours of |3G| for the L n p n d m / tfld z x d z n v r |3l| ; for tho it is delayed,
yet they are all preingaged in favour of others. I know not whether to wisli
|33| here or not; for, tho, on the one hand, it would further |36| interest to
have him in |2|, yet his presence is absolutelie necessarie elsewhere in the
grand affaire with |25|.

We have a report, but needs confirmation, that the King of Sweeden,
after Lewenhopt defeat, atackt the Czar and intirelie rooted him. Your
Lordship mentions the ryot committed by Ballnagown. I wish we had the
particulars. It may be of use to counter theire false stories of our attempts
at the electione, and afterwards against Fowls ; and I would know how the



Tayne election went. If it were possible, I wish 1 had an extract of Strath -
naver's age out of the books of Dunrobing. I hope they are not still kept
out of the way. I am afraid the reduction of Mo untste warts service will
be long a disscussing; but, since there is no other way to do it, there is no
help for it.

Since I am not returned a member, the letters directed for me will not be
exeemed from postage. Therfor let them be directed for Hugh Eose of
Kilravack, Esqr., member of parliament, to be left at Oldman's coffee house.
Charing Cross, Westminster, who promises likewise to frank the letters I send
to Edinborough.

The additionall cyphers are explained in my wife's letter.

I was forced to tear the half of the sheet because it was abused.

307. [The Same to The Same.]

London, 18 November 1708.
My Lokd, — The house having mett to day, the former commissioners sent
for the commons, who came and presented theire new speaker. Then my
lord chancellor made them a speech in the Queens name in tlie usuall
straine, setting forth tlie advantages gained this campaign by the takeing of
Lisle, Sardinia, Minorca, etc. ; desyring money, recomending good laws, espe-
ciallie such as might render the Union more com pleat : to-morrow we shall
have it in print. Duke Hamilton made a long speech, complaining of the
undue methods in the election of the peers, and craving redress ; and theire
lordships have resolved to take that affaire under theire consideration, Thurs-
day next, and have ordered Sir James Dalrymple and Mr. John Mackenzie to
attend them this day month, with all the records and papers relative to that


matter. I believe theire Lordships could not have lighted on two more un-
willing to make a London journie. The commons are qualifying themselves,
and will do nothing else for 3 or 4 days. They say w^e shall have a new
chamberlane in Kents place. Its thought Manchester (who is come to Hol-
land on his return from his embassie from Venice) stands fairest for it. Some
talk of Duke Hamilton to it. I have sent inclosed a print, which contains
all that we have materiall, by our last maile. Its thought the cittadelle is
by this time in our hands ; but the Frensh are not idle, and Brussels is in
danger, etc. ; in short, this is like to be truelie la campagna maravigliosa,
both as to its lenth and the new way of acting.

In caise it happen that the commons do not sustaine neither Strath [navejrs
election nor mine, its fitt Sir James Dumbar be spoke to, to continue my
friend, as he was before. Both Morton and his brother promise to stand
by me. . -

308. [The Same] to The Same.

London, 23 November 1708.
My Lord, — I have not yet been able to see 8. I must endevour to get
some of his confidents to introduce me to him ; for, without it, a stranger will
have but a cold reception ; and, if he will then hear me, I shall offer what is
contained in 34 letter. I think the 9^ h errp vzh 26 gives a faire occasion
to the motion, tho I think a memoriall from 30 would have great weight.
There are many obstacles and inconveniencies in 34 comeing to |2|, but it
would most effectually do his bussiness, for, out of sight out of mind. The two
clerks owe theire journie to a blundering speech of 15. 38 and his colleages
are verie hopefuU to defeat 17, etc., in the 26 ; and 16 and 17 are in danger of
looseing theire h n g a h. Now a word of our great news, which I send your
Lordship inclosed : all I shall add is that the account comes from General


Earl, who assures my lord treasurer lie may depend on the truth of it. We
impatientlie look for a particular account of it by some person of note from
my Lord Marl [borough]. Everie body must be perswaded that it is of the
greatest consequence, and that our heros happie star or angel lies been pro-
pitious to him both in getting the victorie and in timeing it so luckilie in the
opening of the parliament, and for preserving Brussells, which was capitu-
lating. The Erensh were packing up bag and bagage at Ghent and Bruges,
to escape, if possible, through the canall of Neuport, in which Leffinghen
will be of great use to them. Its thought Mr. Louis must now cry cock,
and that Bouflers and his garison will be forced to surrender prisoners of
war ; so it may be I may see the famous dragoon here this winter.

If 35 get not into 27, 1 do not see he can exspect either to be on 31 or 32,
since he hes not xcirgrhi enough with either 23 or 24.

To the right honorable the Earl of Cromertie.

309. [The Same to The Samk]

London, November 27, 1708.
My Lord, — By the inclosed your Lordship will see how far the account
of our late victorie at the passing the Scheld is true ; but now it appears
the Erensh would not stay to be beaten, nor, till they get more courage, are
they like ever to stand a faire bout : quantu^n onutati. The commons have
appointed days for the severall controverted elections before, and mine will
not come in till the midle of March. So I would know your Lordships
opinion what to do ; for I would gladlie be at home, and yet to be obliged to
come up againe is troublesome ; but since I am liere I will try what justice
they will do me for the loss of my place. I will first try her Majestie, and
if that will not do — as my Lord Mar gives me small hopes to do, I must be


obliged to give in a petition to the house of commons. Tuesday next we
shall know what the commons will do with the peers eldest sons, whether
they will throw them out or not. They have alreadie granted her Majestic
4 millions, and, no doubt, will do everie thing thats asked, to which the
happie conclusion of the campaigne will contribut much, I have been told
from Scotland that I am setting up to be a judge, and, if I cannot be it other-
wise, to try to get my uncles gown, which indeed I never thought on, and it
is much better filled. But after all, considering his age and state of liealth,
it would be no disadvantage to his familie to resign in my favours, and he
should comand what part of the sallarie he pleases. If your Lordship thinks
this reasonable, try him about it, but not as from me. In caise I can get
anie part of your Lordships sallarie, you may send me a letter of attornie to
receive it : ]Mr. Stewart will draw one for that purpose. It's thought we
shall have some regulations in our judicatours, especiallie in criminalls, but
what, I know not yet. Some talk that my Lord Seafield lies got a pension on
the post office, but I think its hardlie yet done. ]\Iy Lord Duffus gives his
humble service to your Lordship. He is fullie bent to relieve his fathers
estate if he can, but he will find great difficultie in it, especiallie since he lies
missed the opportunitie of entring cum Icncficio Invcnfarii. If your Lordship
and Prestonhall could prevaill with his brother, Sir James, to do him reason,
as he ought to do, it would contribute much to bring that affaire about. And,
since the only objectione he had not to do it formerlie is now removed — viz.,
that his brother wanted money to relieve him of his engagements, I hope and
wish he would no longer delay it ; otherwise he will certainlie suffer in his
reputation, and he should consider he is second brother. Your Lordship may
be pleased to speak to him, that, in caise tliere be a new election for the five
northern boroughs, he would secure Wick for me, as he verie kindlie did before.
I shall write to him on this head.


310. [The Same to The Same.]

London, November 30, 1708.
My Lord, — I thought to have given your Lordship an account what fate
the question about the peers eldest sons had in the house of commons, but
the controversie about the Dumfreis election took up all theire time, in which
William Johnston caried it against your friend, Projector Paterson. But, Fry day
next, we shall know wdiether Strathnaver and his brethrreen can sitt or not :
its thought they will be cast out. But whether my electione will be sus-
tained now or not, I know not ; but if it be delayed till my petition come in,
which is not before the 27 of March, I hope your Lordship will approve of
my resolution to go home till then, after trying what her Majestic and my
lord treasurer will do in a memoriall I am to present concerning the loss of
my place ; in which I neither liave incouragement, nor do I expect assistance
from any of my countriemen. Sir David Nairne tells me the Queen is to
sign warrant for the exspense of the circuits, by which each of the judges are
to have 100 lib. for theire equipage. I told him T thought it strange the
justice generall should have no greater allowance then the restt. His answer
was, if your account had amounted to more, he believes it had been allowed,
but since it did not exceed 80 lib., he believes your Lordship would be satis-
fyed. I told him you never did intend to make any advantage that way,
since you only undertook a tedious winter journie to serve her Majestie, even
when you was not obliged to it. He gives me hopes all on the civil list
will get a years sallarie ; but for the 1500 lib., there is but small ground to
exsp[ect] it till you come up. I had the honour to see the D[uke] of Ptoxburgh,
who bid me give your Lordship his humble service, and wished with all his
heart you were here. Whether he said this in compliment, I know not, but
he spoke it with great earnestness and with an aire of sinceritie ; but none


of the other side mentioned you with that kindness. The house of lords
were Fry day last on this question — whether the 4 Peers objected against
should sitt during the dependence of the controversie. They delayed it
till the papers come up. D[uke] Hamilton and Mar had a scolding match
about it. Pray keep Sir James Dumbar to my interest in caise of a new

Grants and Strathnavers regiments have orders to embark for Holland
immediatelie. The last is to stay, and Grant commands both regiments.

311. PtEV. James Goedon, Minister of Banchory, to [The Same].

Banchory, 20 December 1708.
My Lord, — I have had so many repeated experiences of your Lordships
undeserved favours towards me, that the remembrance of them hath emboldned
me to give your Lordship the trouble of this line. The case is this. Diverse
years agoe I found, by decay of bodily health, a necessity to employ ane assist-
ant in that holy ministration, there being a young man with me who had been
our schoolmaster for diverse years, and had by the divine aid [been] fitting him-
seK for the holy function whenever Divine Providence sliould give him a call.
I sent him with sufficient attestation to one of our bisliops, in order to his
ordination as a presbiter, which was done ; and [lie] hath officiat in this churcli
these diverse years bygone with abundant satisfaction to all the parish, and
never quarrelled by our presbyterian brethren, till within these very few dayes
(even since the removall of your Lordship from this countrey) the presbetery
of Aberdeen sent him a summonds to appear before them upon the account of
schismatical practises in presuming to exerce the ministery by a license from