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

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the exauctorat bishops, for not praying for the Queen, and for his not being


qualified according to law. I did not j adge him obliedged to appear personally,
since I thought him exempted from their jurisdiction be vertue of the act [of]
Parliament, 1695, which priviledged all the Episcopall clergy who comply ed
with the law from owing any subordination to them. Yet he appeared by
proxy, which man of law very discreetly told them that he had a sufficient
answer for all the articles of their summonds, viz., that he was canonically
ordained by those who had power to confer h[oly] orders, and never prohibit[ed]
by any law to doe it. As for the other particulars, he exhibited to them ane
attestation under the hands of the minister, heretors, and elders, that he had
alwaies prayed for Queen Anne ; as also ane attestation of two justices of
peace that he had sworn the oath of alledgiance, and subscribed the assurance
to the Queen. But when the presbetery declared that they wer not satisfied
with all this, but wold sentence him as a contumacious person, the proctor in
his name appealled from them to her Majesty and her Brittish council. Yea,
the presbetery wer as good as their word ; for that very day they pronounced
a sentence of perpetual silence as to any part of the ministerial function upon
our contumacious assistant, as they termed him, and wrot very imperiously to
nie instantly to turn him off, otherwaies they wold come and hold a visitation
at my church, which I look upon as a direct violation of the act of parliament
which so expressly exempts us from their jurisdiction. Now, since I know
tliev will drive furiously, as tliey have threatned our assistant with the highest
censures of the chiu'ch if he doe not obey them, I most humbly intreat your
Lordships advice how I shall behave in that affair : for I think it is such a
direct violation of the law which promised us entire protection from them, that
it is my opinion that I ought to address some civill judge be way of complaint
upon such violators of the law, that they may be punished for their attempte,
at lest be restrained for the futur from doeing so, since, by that act of parlia-
ment, I am only accountable to the Queen and council for my futur deport-


meut. And I esteem it a very good providence that we have such a lord
justice generall in the time, who is so careful! to see the la^yes observed and
to administrat justice impartially to all sorts of persons : so that I wold cause
summond these violators of the law before your lordships court, if you think
it fit ; for I am ready to follow any method you will propose. And this is
that which I must humbly intreat — that you will let me know how soon your
leisure can serve, and I wold need to know it before the next diet of that
turbulent presbetery, which is the first Wedensday of January. I know I
need to crave pardon for such a tedious missive to one in your eminent sta-
tion, but I am assured your lordships goodness will overcome all my defects,
Therfor I commend your Lordship to the fountane of grace, and rests, my

Your Lordships most humble servant in Christ,

Ja^i. Goedon.

312. [Sir James Mackenzie, Loed Eoystox, to his father, George fiest

Earl of Ceomaetie.]

21 December 1708.
My Loed, — I hear now for certaine that 15/ gift for 3000/. is passing the
seals. He lies either much merit or good luck. But, in short, by giving him-
self out for somebody he hes imposed on others to believe him what really he
is not ; and this, joined with his assiduous importuning and flattering |l2|, hes
done his bussiness. Had he stayed at home with 34/, it had been yet to do ;
and 34/ friends are all of opinione that, if he yet come, something may be done
both as to himself and in his interest in [30|. But it must be now or not at all,

for if he comes not by the end of January, it will be to litle purpose, and I
vol. ii. l


doubt not but GOO/, of his money will be readie here for him. 35 was Sun-
day last with ll2| wdio asked civilie for 34/, and, as I said in my last, |l6|
assures me he is verie well both with 9/ and |12|. This day the Lords are
to be upon theire controverted elections ; but, since our two clerks are not
yet come, I know not what they can do. Saturday last there was a famous
tryall in the house of commons about the controverted electione for West-
minster ; and, contrary to everie bodies exspectation, one Medlicoat, the Duke
of Ormonds friend, caried it against Sir Henrie Button Colt, a noted court
Whigg, chieflie by our members, who unanunouslie were against Sir Henrie
on a nationall quarrell, he having appeared vehementlie formerlie against
our countrie. This unanimitie of theirs makes them courted by both parties,
for 45 votes is for the most part able to cast the ballance on either side. But
I do not see how they can long stick together, since they are divided in
parties as well as the South Britaines.

Poor Lord Cumbernald dyed, Fryday. I was at his burriall, Sunday, in
St. Martins Church. He shortned his days by his excessive drinking of spirits.
He dyed perfectlie in his sences, and hardlie knowing he was dying.

I am afraide q k s s k h z will be fathers son, loved by everie body but
himself. His too great fondness for the o d i a r is a great grief to his a n q m,
who could not forbear regrating this to me. I wish he were at hrn
againe. George Stew^art is here in order to pass his tryall to be eligible [as] a
lieutenant, he having served four years. He is in good esteem, and minds
his bussiness ; and Lord Mark Ker and his officers speak well of his brother
John, who we hope will shortlie be relieved. My Lord Duffus brother, John,
is turned popish, and taken on with the Frensh, which is a great grief to his
brothers. He was captaine lieutenant to Lord Mark. The land tax [bill] is
sent up to the peers, and its thought will get the royall assent on Thursday
before the recess during the holydays. We have no news from abroad.


313. [The Same to The Same.]

London, 23 December 1708.
My Lokd, — I delivered your Lordships letter to my Lord Sunderland,
with the letter to j9[, after filling in the apologie for the misfortune of the ink
falling on it. His Lordship is verie well pleased with your Lordships part
in that affaire ; and there was no necessitie for any apollogie. It seems the
commons are resolved to have the wdiole matter of the invasion and tryalls
before them, and have adressed the Queen to that end. Its feared poor
Griffin must go to pott, there being particular mention made to know the
reason why he was so often reprieved. I wish they may stopp there, for the
two Midletons sakes ; but, at the same time that they design to punish the
guiltie, its but reasonable that enquirie be made why so many innocent men
have been so unjustlie harassed, imprisoned, and criminallie tryed. The
parliament was this day adjourned for a fortnight. The land tax bill got the
royall assent, v/hich was done by commissioners, the Queen not having gone
to the house. The commons are resolved to levie recruits by parishes ; but
it will only be by recomendation, and by encouragment of allowing them
an abatement of 3/. out of the laud tax for each man, but no penaltie if they do
not : so fearlie is our senate to dissoblige our s[overei]gn lord the mobb, and
to incroach on the libertie and propertie of true born Brittons ; in which I
easilie agree with them. But, at the same time, the parliament will do everie
thing to push on the war vigorouslie, and make a true use of our progress
this campaigne, which, tho long, hes ended gloriouslie by the takeing of
Ghent, the news of which came yesterday, and wiU infalliblie be followed by
that of Bruges, Placendall, Leffinghen, etc. We have not yet got the par-
ticulars of it, but the inclosed Gazette gives the best and truest account of


any of our prints. The Lords putt of theire controverted elections till after
the hollydays, because the clerks did not come till last night. Your Lord-
ship hes sent up a long catalogue of books. I am afraide my purse will
not reach them, and I believe it would be prettie hard to find them out,
few of them being of my acquaintance. I shall send doune some platanus
plants, etc.

I have presented my memoriall to my lord treasurer, and in a day or
two thereafter he told me he had read it, and would enquire into the matter
of fact ; which was only that I had my office for life, and that it is taken
away by the Union. I have spoke to Queensberrie, Mar, Wemyss, and Sir
D. Nairn to attest the truth of my allegations ; but what from his slow
temper, and the want of a true friend to back me, I exspect litle this bout.
And tho I can do litle, I resolve to go home and look after the young
tfentlemans concerns, which I wish with all my heart were in this session.
There is a great work in hand by Mr. Eymer, the Queens Historiographer,
viz., the whole treaties and transactions between England and other states,
in 14 vol. fol. The Queen disposes of all the copies, and none to be sold. I
desyred Sir David ISTairne (who hes begged for others who as litle deserve
them, either at his hands or on account of the subject) to gett one for your
lordship, but he seemed verie shy. If your Lordship write to Northesk,
Mar, and Wems, one of them will certainlie get them for you. It must cer-
tainlie be an excellent and curious work.

I proposed to 37 what 34 wrote to 35. He promised to sound his friends
about it; but, as I wrote formerlie, 34 would do it more effectuallie and
advantagiouslie for himself and others, if he were in 121.


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

[4th January 170g.]
My Lord, — If I thought old Tarbat or new Cromerty were worth your
nottice, or his litle concerns capable to be favourd, I would adventur to
mind the Earle of Marr of them. But I suspect old springs gives no price.

Indorsed by the Earl of Mar : " E[arl] of Cromertie, January 4th, 170f."

315. [Sir James Mackenzie, Lord Eoyston, to his father, George first

Earl of Cromartie.]

London, 11 January 170|.
My Lord, — There is still much talk of changes, but so incertaine, that
what is said to day is contradicted the next, even amongst those who pre-
tend to be best informed. And I reallie believe |9| is as much at a loss
as others, for since h v r is so denied as not to act by v r g z own will, but
by that of others, especiallie |12|, who is the most ixbdgdkh man alive,
whatever shape 26 takes, he, cameleon-like, changes his colour. Hence it
is that one day its said 4 is to have a considerable post at court, and con-
sequently 22 to be againe in the sadle, and that |10| does not go to x g a n c q z
but hvgvkhorgm, because 1 2 finds no thing wiU please 2 1 but to part
with all his s g x r c q h, and then they can easilie get rid of himself. But
I cannot be brought to believe this, for I do not see how 12 can turn back :
tur][)e est devorare iovem, etc. As to that part of politicks that concerns

1 Original Letter in Mar Charter-chest.


46, we are assured that it was once concluded to make 14,' hrpgringm ;
but if 21 prevaile, 40 will be the man. But, rather then the last should
get it, the matter will stand for some time.

Tlie Lords have comitted the controverted elections. 41 is to be with
12 this night about what 34 recomended to him and 35. I cannot com-
prehend why the barons scruple to state your claime, especiallie since
Queensberrie got payment of his, which was allocat in the same manner.
I am doing what I can to make friends and agents in my grand affaire
with Bute, in caise it come up hither. But I flatter my self I shall be so
liappie as to have your Lordship here nextt winter, for your litle godsons
sake, and that, with what you have to do of your own, is, I think, of as
great consequence to your familie as any thing that lies hapned to it of
a great while. And, if I prevaile, I will willingly bear 34/ charges, which
I will think well bestowed. I desyred your Lordship to send up a letter
of attornie to Sir David Nairne, or any other person, to receive COO/., being
a years sallarie as justice generall. There seems no more talk of any
change in 30 to 34/ dissadvantage. Our great storm is now broke, which
will make bad travelling. I pity my Lord Haddo, who took post yester-
day. He will bring your Lordship all the news. My Lord lies gained much
reputation, but truelie no more then he deserves ; and, if I am not mis-
taken, he is verie much your friend, and more then others who are more
obliged to be so, both in gratitude and blood. Nothing keeps me here but
till I get up my money out of the treasury. Sir Alexander Bran, who is
certainly bnq, is angry that your Lordship does not pay his house rent,
which he did not exspect after so many good offices received from him.
And, tho I put him in mind that it was arrested, he said that was nothing,
for the barons of exchequer had payed him notwithstanding, and wonders
he had no answer of two letters he wrote to you.


316. [The Same to The Same.]

• London, 25 January 1709.
My Lokd, — I was verie much surprized with a letter I had fi-om Mr.
Stewart, wherein he tells me that he had a message from the barons, by Mr.
Tarver, telling him that they thought that neither Sir Thomas Moncreiff nor
I had no right to the register of signatures, but that it ought to be kept in
the remembrancers office. I thought I had a good title to have the losses
of my perquisites made up ; but instead thereof to take away the small
remaines of my place is hard, especially since it is done without the least
shadow of justice, the register of signatures never having been a part nor
branch of the exchequer, to which only they can aclaime a right and power ;
for by the same pretence they may ingross the signet, etc.,. through which
these signatures pass. And, tho it were a branch or record of exchequer (as
it is not), my right to it is as good as our law, nay, the treaty of Union, can
make it, having right to it by a patent under the seal, ratifyed in parliament.
It is hard that your Lordship and your familie should be the first sufferers
by the Union, tho many (unjustlie enough) will say well war'd. Now, I
intreat your Lordship would argue the case fairlie with Mr. Baron Smith,
and the other barons, upon the unjustice I should sustaine ; and I liope they
will desist from so hard a prosecutione, — at least not forfault me summarly
till heard. I have spoke to all our great folks here. The chief argument I
made use of was the ill consequence of it ; that, while the Queen and parlia-
ment are endevouring to make the union agreable to both nations, the
barons in Scotland shall do so gross an act to a familie that had so great a
hand in making it. I shall try if they will write to the barons about it, and
speak to the treasurer; but the litle experience I have of the world con-
vinces me sufficientlie how litle is to be relyed on justice. If all faile, I


must raise a declarator before the session, the x a a / best we have, the its a
litle hard that I nmst work out whats justly mine by dint of law.

I have sent inclosed the heads on which the council are to be heard to
morrow on our controverted peers case. Who hes the justice on theire side
I know not, nor does it import much, for party will carrie it ; witness Sir

Sy n Har — c — t's case, who, tho' he had certainly the majoritie, was

turned out because he was a T y. I am impatient to be at home, but

this extraordinary stormy weather makes travelling impracticable.

The advocat, by his behaviour in printing the late tryall with his ani-
madversions, hes done what in him lyes to ruin the justice-court; but thats
not the first good turn he hes done. Humane things are uncertain. Is it fitt
or practicable to ntgrr with 25 ?

317. Obligation by George first Earl of Cromartie to George Strachan,
Stationer, London, for £20, with Discharge by the latter annexed.

Wheras I have imployd Mr. Georg Strachan, stationer in London, to
print about sexteen sheets for me, at twenty five shillings per sheet, and that
I have left the said sheets, at three hunder coppies, with the said Mr. Georg,
to be sold, I oblidge my self to pay in to him at London, or to his ordor, the
price therof, at twenty pound sterling in all, and that once in Agust next,
he accounting to me for what he shall sell of the said papers, at eighteen pence
in quares for each book. Witnes these, at Westminster, 1 May 1705.


Edinburgh, May 6th 1709. — Then received payment of the within twenty
pounds sterling, and discharges the same.

- . Geo. Strachan.


318. [George first Earl of Cromartie to William first Lord Cowper,
Lord Chancellor of Great Britain.] Holograph Draft.

Letter to the Lord Chancellor of Brittain. 19 May 1709.

jNIy Lord, — I had the honor of your lordships letter, date May 10th, and
gives yow my humble thanks, for that is a duty to be payed by the governed
to the governours ; and in this part of Brittain there is much justice and favour
in not beleeving the informations given by one partie against the other, whither
the parties be of greater or lesser consideration. And severall accounts %vee
have of our contradictory accusationes shews as if it w^ere a trade taken up
with more industry since our vnion then before, contrare farr to my litle
exspectation, for I hop't that the vnion should have diminisht if not extin-
guisht it ; and, tho I still hope, yet I feare that the suporting or favouring
of our greater or lesser factions may prove a great cause of mischeefs. Our
old proverb say[s] that the mother of mischeef is no more then a midge wing.
My Lord, pardon this (perhaps) too great familiarity, for it is prompted by a
sincer zeal to a full vnion : nether my old age nor the litle changes in the
face of that mistris have yet chang'd my affection. My Lord, in the matters
relating to Rosshire yow have prevented my wish ; it cannot be unfitt (what-
ever be informed on or by whom) to hear the other partie. Your lordship
desyres ane impartiall account : I faithfully resolve it ; but that disease is so
epidemick, and I think contagious, that I fear it in my self. But I shall be
sure to tell matter of fact truly, and my opinion ingenuously. In one thing-
wee are safe, that the import of few or many justices for the peace in Boss
can be of no great weight. My lord, I have put my poor opinion as to that
shyre in the paper heerwith transmit'd, and, as the best testimony I can give
of my owne veracity, I have signd it. If it be too long, your Lordships

vol. n. M


comand for it will excuse it, and that (I hope) it will hinder no further busines

heerafter, will excuse,

my Lord.

319. SIDNF.Y GoDOLPHiN, Eael OF GoDOLPHiN, Lord High Treasurer of
England, to [Geoege first Earl of Cromartie].

June i4th, 1709.
My Lord, — Tho' I have been long without acknowledging the favour
of your Lordship's 2 last letters, I have, however, taken an opportunity to
reade them to the Queen, who, I believe, is very well convinced of the truth
of all that is contained in them, especially of those particulars relating to the
manner of the Union's being accomplished in Scotland ; and I can assure
your lordship she remembers you with the same kindness as when you were
nearer to her person ; and, if the peace were so near as wee thought it a month
since, I believe she would yett encoradge you to take the trouble of a London
jorney, to have your assistance in such measures as will then bee proper for
settling the future commerce of that part of the kingdome. But during the
warr those things may bee thought of, but nothing will bee done to any
purpose till a peace comes, which I hope may yett bee before winter. I am
always, with great truth and respect, my Lord,

Your Lordship's most obedient servant,


320. [David third Earl of Wemyss] to The Same.

London, June 2, 1709.
My dear Lord, — I would have write to yee before now, but ray wife has
been very ill and continues so. She's with child about three months, and I
doubt extreamly that she can keep it a few dayes. How soon this incon-


venience is over one way or another, I goe to Tliistleworth to stay most of the
smnmer. My dear lord, I thank yee heartylie for your good advice in
returning to Scotland, and I dare say you give it with great affection to me
and my family. But severall things concurred to make it impossible for me
to doe [so] this summer, since my stay here was absolutly necessar ; as
likewayes impossible for me to carry my wife there : and I must beg leave
so far to differ from your oppinion as to be really persuad'd I live with full
less expence here then I could doe there. I have bought a house here in
Soho Square, one of the greatest pennyworths ever I see. I have reduced
my family to as narrow a compass as is possible, and I'm sure noe body lives
more private. My cook hes noe occassion to show his skill, and my equipage
cannot be plainer then it is. I keep noe table, nor noe company eats with
me but very rarely, when I desire it, and these only the admiralls and gentle-
men that are concern'd in the sea and admiralty office, and with this design
only — not to loose my friendship and interest with them, so as I may still be
as serviceable as I can to serve my country or countrymen. Now dear Cro-
martie, I believe when you are inform'd of this, you'l be somewhat more of
my mind. As for the rattle and pleasures of London, noebody is or can be
less affected with these then I am, and my Avife hes as little taste of them as
one could wish. Playes and operas and park are places either of us are very
seldom seen in, and, baiting vissits, which we have noe fondness for, but must
just keep up mannerly with the world, we live as retir'd as if we were in the
Highlands of Scotland. But the main thing of all is how could I pretend
to retire from the parliament so long as I am in the Queen's service, and
favour to[o], I hope. That w^ould indeed be ane effectuall way to loose both ;
and then I doubt my estate would suffer more by my being throuen upon it,
then all the advantage my overseeing of it could amount to. I shall only
say one thing as to that, that noe Earle of Weems ever was, that spent so


little out of his own estate by a half and more then I've clone these four
year past, which I reckon very good service done the family. And should I
now retire, when, suppose I'm not very young, yet but in a manner entering
into the world, I know, and you know, both that one is pritty much forgott,
and often more neglect'd. This is not [to] say I've turned my back upon
Scotland, for I doe resolve to be as much and as often there as I can. Xow
I know you'l expect some news, notwithstanding this long letter. There is a
present stand to the peace, for the French king wiU not sign these articles
]\Ir. Torey agreed to. He now demand[s] the article relating to the Spanish
monarchy to runn thus : that he shall withdraw his troops to ane indefinte
time, since the distance straittens him to name it, and that he shall not,
directly nor indirectly, assist his grandson. He complains likewayes of the
liardship upon [him] in giving up all the Upper Alsace to the empire. The
time of his signing expires on Saturday, so a little time will clear us. I don't
believe, nor doe I find our ministry knows one jott more then this. The
town sayes this is but a show of bargaining, and that he must sign, since
we are not to part with one jott of our demands. Other people say his
geting in the corn fleet and the clergy's offer of there plate ammusses him
once more to try his fortune a few months.

Dear Cromertie, God bliss yee !
I remember of a blond ston my mother had ; if your Lordship lies it in
your custody I would beg it, for it would be of great use now in my little

321. [The Same to The Same.]

London, July 31st, 1709.
I shunn'd writing a melancholly letter to my dear lord Cromerty all this
while, because I knew you are too sencibly toucht with what concerns me and


mine ; so I would not give yee any disquiet upon ane uncertainty. I thank