William Fraser.

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

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God my wife is now in a much more probable way of recovery, but, upon
my word, she runn a great risque indeed. Dear Cromartie, there was noe
trick in it, nor any accident I could ascribe it to. She still continues, tlio' in
such state of health that she visits none, nor is very willing to runn the
fatigue of receiving any. We have been here in town all this summer, but
how soon I can carry her out of town we intend to goe to Thistleworth for a
few weeks. I have been so good a nurse, and attended so closely, that I've
been but one night at Windzour ever since the Queen went there, and had
not gone then if I had not want'd to speak to the Queen ; and I was not so
much as seen there by any body else.

I'm sorry to find by none of your letters soe much as the least mention of
any thoughts you have of being in London. I shall not hear again trouble
yee with my oppinion att large of the necessity, I take it, for your interests.
I have often pleed hard witli yee, and, upon my word, I continue to doe so
still. The Queen, I daresay, lies great esteem and kindness for yee, which,
by your own presence, may turn to your service, and certainlie to doe yee
justice. People's demands are much easier shifted when they are not eye
witnesses to what passes in there concerns, and your presence might turn
luekwarm kindnesses to reall services, and enemies that are so for nothing
not to venture to resist what they may only now doe by delays. But beleive
me, that I cannot bring myself to beleive all these to be your enemies, who
you may very well imagine to be so by there not doing what is in there
power to serve yee. Many people are passively one's friends ; that is, in
my oppinion, barely not to wish one ill, which I'm apt to beleive is the case ;
for, to my knowlege, lazyness, or the fear of being troublesom to the higher
powers, is the great rock whereon almost all business spletts : and to my
knowlege likewayes, there are few or noe friends that can shake off these two


evill fears. I'm sure I may say so to my own experience, even of these very
people you think uses you after the same manner. But, my dear lord, I doe
beg you'l think of this, and let me know your resolutions upon it.

All that's here goe in the usuall rutine of the summer. How soon I'm
entirely settled in what I have both hopes and assurances shall be, I shall
acquaint yee.

The story is how we shall have the citadell of Tournay. We are [to] force
the French lines, so that by there retireing into there old camp of Leus we
shall then demolish there lines betwen Valenciens and Doway, and after
that attacque these two places, wliicli we don't question will be ours ; and by
that time the season will be over : so if there happens noe treaty, we shall
keep the field all winter, as Prince Eugen proposed last year. But Mr. de
Torey and the President de Rouliew's being hanging still about Vallancien all
this summer, and sending severall times letters to the Duke [of] Marlbrough,
makes us imagine we shall have a treaty renew'd early ; and some people
attributes our not marching already from Tournay proceeds from that.

I understand there are clei'ks in the severall countys appointed for taking
up the rolls of the crimes in the respective shires. My chamberlain at the
Weems, who is my relation and a sencible man bred to the law, having serv'd
long in Gibson of Duries chambers, I beleive may answer your lordship's
purposes very well in such a station. He is very diligent and capable ; so
if you'l order the clerk of the justiciary to name him, I may say I've recom-
mend'd one to yee of sufficiency.

I wonder I never hear from the Dutchess of Monmouth. I wish her very
well and shall ever doe so.

I'm sure you'r weary now reading my long letter.


322. George Feasee, Eegent, King's College, Aberdeen, to The Same.

King's College, 29 August 1709.
My Lord,— It is my great comfort to heare of your Lordship's good health.
I am obliged to give your Lordship the trouble of this line in favoures of ane
honest episcopal minister, whom seing malicious persones cannot reach in
point of loyaltie, they do fish out and invent other crimes, without any ground
but malice, to staine his reputation. The man is Mr. George White, minister
of Mary Cowter. He was once Eegent in the Marischal, and since, for 47
yeares, in the ministrie, living loyally in all goverments, and without reproach
among his brethren and all his neighboures. I remember when I entered
Eegent in this [college], in the [16]82 yeare of God, one of his parishoners, the
laird of Kincowsie, thorow some mistakes fell amongst them, — too tedious to be
here narrated,— pursued Mr. White on the head of simony ; but M-ith disgrace
Kincowsie lett fall his processe. But ane opportunitie now offering of the
Porteous EoU, whether the old jarres awakening or new ones gott up, the
Porteous Eoll is found fitt enough to raise a scandal upon a poore episcopal
old man, especially when the informers, be who they will, groundlesly per-
swade themselves some may be on the bench who will favour the pursuite
meerly for the scandal sake : and the false informer goes free without pro-
bation, sufficiently satisfyed that the scandal is raised, and the honest man put
to trouble and expence he hade more need to bestow on a numerous family.
Now, my Lord, what to demand or intreat in this affaire I know not, seing Mr.
White's honesty was sufficiently tryed in Bishops Scowgal and Haliburton's
time, and that his innocencie still prompts him to undergoe a new trial, if there
were any way for repairing the scandal, his trouble and expense, when found
not guiltie. Therefore [I] must referre it to your Lordship's own prudence


to bespeak the Lords that come here to give him all the reparation that can
be, if it be insisted upon. Begging pardon for this trouble, I am

Your Lordship's most dutyfuU and obliged humble servant,

Geo. Fkasek.

To the right honorable the Earle of Cromartie, Justice General of
N"orth Britaine, Edinburgh — These.

323. Eemonstrance from the Congeegation of Ckamond to the Presbytery
OF Edinburgh, against the removal of their INIinister, Mr. William

[1st September 1709.]
Eight Eeverend, — Wee being informed, by a paper of ane extraordinary
nature, and directed in a more extraordinarie manner, partaking partly of
ane edictall citation, partly of ane authoritative intimation, said to lie pro-
mulgat by the comands of the magistrats of Edinburgh, — but as such we
could not well nottice it, for we cannot think that they would forgett either
what we are, or what they themselves are. In comon neighbourhood and
ordinar civility, persons of equall degrees would intimat their desires or
intentions to one another, and far more when the degrees are unequall, as
between burgers and a considerable number of nobility and barons, and in
ane important concern, both ecclesiastick and civil. On which account we
had not notticed it, if it had not caryed in it the account of ane address made
by them to your wisedoms ; tho' we doubt not that ere you hade proceeded in
so weightie a matter, and so much your concern and interest, that, or you had
entered into it, you would have acquainted us in suitable manner, and to

1 Mr. William Hamilton was loosed from fessor of Divinity in tlie University of Edin-
his charge of the church and parish of Cra- burgh, 21st September 1709. — Fasti Ecdes'uc
mond in order to his being admitted Pro- Scotkance, part i. p. 134.


which we would certainly give all due respect. But for preventing incon-
veniencies, in the verie first beginning, we thought it incumbent for us to
represent our thoughts with due good will to all parties concerned. But we
think the proport of the forsaid peaper both extraordinary in itself and in-
jurious to us ; its proport containing a design of pulling our lawful! minister
and pastor from us, for in both these respects wee are mutualy tyed by a
ligament not only sacred, but of divine institution. And in this sentiment
wee humbly presume your wisedoms and w^e are of one mind : and if so, a
necessar consequence is, that no less authority will dissolve it than what
instituted it, if that philosophicall assertion be true — that the measures of dis-
solution should be suitable to the measures of constitution. Eight Eeverend,
we have just right and title to our pastor ; and what is our right cannot
justlie be taken from us but either for our crime or with our consent. We
hope the first is not incurred by us nor our pastor ; and for our consent, we
should not, and therefore will not, give it without good reasons. It is a
spirituall concern, and the exercise of charity in this case may fairly begin
at home. For giving a stop to our hurt in the verie begining, we crave
leave to mention that by ane act of a Generall Assembly the minister of a
paroch where a noble man resides (therefore, a fortiori, where there is a
pluralitie of them), cannot be call'd from it to the ministerial function in any
other paroch : and if the height and weight of ministeriall function cannot
sustain such a removeall, far less can it be done in favour of a secular imploy-
ment — and such a profession of Theologie doth appear to be. We are
obleidsed to think so, because the Kirk of Scotland did sustain what we sav,
in the case of Mr. John Wilkie, who was a Principle of a colledge, who
ordinarly in those tymes, did teach in Theologie, and in the case of Mr. George
Buchanan — both these in the tymes of our first reformation ; as also in the
case of Doctor Colvil, who taught in Theologie from the year 1642 to the year


1652, in St. Andrewes : not one of these three having been ever in holy orders.

This, we presume, will be enough for prevention of further trouble in this

matter, since they are steps that we hope will not be readily gone over.

And, if need require, we doe not doubt to be heard, for we have much more to

say, which, we doubt not, will weigh with your wisedoms' justice and kindness

to. Right Eeverend,

Your affectionat and most humble servants.

Eight Eeverend, if further reasons be required, wee are ready to offer
them, on a competent tyme.

Indorsed : " Letter to the Presbytery on Mr. Will. Hamilton's Case."

324. George first Duke of Gordon to George first Earl of Cromartie.

Citadaill, 8 September 1709.
My Lord, — I send this express off purpos to enquer off your Lordships
liealth. Last ueek I expected to haw uaited on yow, as your letter men-
tioned, iff I uas not mistaken, as Kinerage uas lykuays, uhos help I uas forcesed
to tak to read your Lordship's letter, for indead my eayes ar faild. I can
nott goe a courcing uith your Lordship for on day or tuo, the dog I had
beeing taken up aboutt his mariage att Edenburgh. I believ hee uill cacth
rabattes, did uee know uher abondance ar to bee found. You hau quitt
forgot your apuntment to goe to Hoptoun-hous. I am quitt in concett to see
itt by Sir William Brus, ulio I uas to uisit t'other day. He is realy ill, butt
nott in sudain danger, as I uas tould : deuly strenthed meen ar nott soen
taken auay, tho' lean and languishing. Your Lordship and I haw knowen
him a uigurus littel man as culd bee. Hopping to gett nues off your health,
uhich I uish as an antiant friend and humbel servant to your lordship and
tamely. , . . Gordon.


325. [Gp:okge first Earl of Cromartie to Sidney Godolphin, first Earl
OF Godolphin, Lord High Treasurer of England.] Copy.

[6 October 1709.]
The Lord Eoss, on a little purchasse made by him in Eosseshyre, fancyed,
from the sound of the words (for other pretence in nature or in law he had
none), that he should be Earle of Eosse. This was legally impossible, if
law can make ane impediment. The first possession he attempted was to
require the whole shyre to chuse members of parliament for shyre and
borrow at his prescription. T had the misfortune that my little interest
would have a lesion by it, and having so many friends in that shyre who
notticed that sooner than I could, being at a distance, did prevent that pre-
judice before I could advise it, tho' I did kindly thank them for it. Yet his
revenge hath done them more hurt then I can well compense. His resent-
ments did appear airly in the observators and other lybells ; but his threat-
nings of vengeance from the court and parliament was so loud that the
hissing of little lybellers were neither much notticed nor heard. But I was
surpreized when, by the Lord Advocat, I came to know that his complaint
had reached her Majesties knowledge, and attain'd to be so much noticed as
to obtain a further inquirie by a commission sent hither. I could not think
but he had some thing to say against those whom he accused, whither in those
he openly named, or me, the real object of the secret spell. But as all the
calumnies were generall and indefinit, neither condescending on persons,
crimes, tymes, nor places (the great character of ane infamous lybell), and when,
on the 2d and 3d repreizes being put to the application of his generalls, and in
order to that, having provided himself with some verie notable affidavits taken
by the persuers themselves for avouching of what they had [been] informed


from tlieir own tennents and servants, yet to find them so unfortunat in their
contreivance as not to frame on single accusation which, in the full tenor of the
affidavits, wovild amount to a ten pennie fyne, and to see the proposition aim
at one person or persons and tlie conclusion not to touch any one person
named in the proposition, but the proposition being against Eobert, tlie con-
clusion against Ritchard, and (which was yet worse) to find treason and
rebellion to be the generall attribut in the proposition ; and that the act
which is call'd treason in the proposition — the verie same individuall act,
when apply'd to the conclusion, to be truely a vertue and meritorious ; such
a bull as sufficiently demonstrats that there was more heat than prudence in
the whole designe. And, on my outmost hazard, what is above said is true in
all that was publickly spok or produced before the commission. But, if there
be anie secret annectidot said or writte in the dark, I shall not answer them
in conjecture, tho' that were verie suitable to the nature of their accusation,
^ly Lord, I did think of never seeing London— a resolution suitable enough
to 78 ; but a less danger than ane accusation of high treason and treacherie
[was sufficient] to loose dumb Atus his tongue. My zeal is not so generous :
his was for a father ; mine was for myself. Patientia Icisa fitt furor. I hope
mine shall not run so high ; but its heat will move my old limbs towards London
to beg justice on the criminall, even if I be he. My Lord, self defence stands
upon the oldest law, and makes the indeavour lawfull. What brings me up
being, as to the subject, privat, I shall not intrud with any interruption on
the more publick matters which are above my sphere. But I humbly hope
that her majestie's royall goodness and her ministers' justice will excuse my
earnest desires to go at the theater whereon I have walked so long, if not
with applaudity, yet with a pleasing silence, which is the highest station aimed
at by, ray Lord,

Your Lordship's most humble and obedient servant.


326. [Geoege Mackenzie, afterwards of Eosehaugh,] to George first

Earl of Cromartie.

Edinburgh, 5 November 170'J.
My Lord, — I wTote to your lordshii3 by Tuesday's post, under Mr. Macul-
loch's cover. The Lords have appointed Wedensday next for hearing my
grand cause, so that it will be quickly determined. I beg of your lordsliip to
take up Mr. Cooper, the chancellor's brother, who will be of great use to us,
the sooner the better, least we be prevented. Our friend, Rod. African., will
do me the favour to inform himself, in caise of an appeal, how it is to be gone
about, and let me have directions how to go about it. Xeither Bute nor his
friend Glasgow are come to toune, but no doubt they will before Wedensday.
God grant us a good deliverance. I am at an unspeakable loss in wanting your
lordship's help, but that can not be helped. My lord Leven took journie [on]
Wedensday. I gave him your lordship's letter. He told me he would adjust
with your lordship the method of ending that affaire amicablie, but lie hes
said as much severall years ago. I told him the loss you was att in paying-
annual rent all this while, even for the annual rent of the first summ, for
you did alreadie pay 200/. I have spoke with our friends here about our
Eoss affaires, and have sent north an exspress witli letters to them, giving
them a full account how matters are like to go. At the same time I told
them that I would not believe that either of the Kilravacks would be guilty
of so ill a thing : but, however, it was fitt not to neglect the information, but
to arm ourselves in all events, especiallie when it run so narrow the last
election, that we caried it only by one, and tliat severall of our voters were
liable to objections, nor were we sure of all againe. Therefor, how necessary
it was to have as many freeholders as we could, particularly young Scatwall
and Bellmaduthy. But all this will not do without Seaforth's concurrance.


We have represented the case fully to him, but this he says in generall, that
he looks on it as his own concern, and that he will do every thing that
can in reason be asked of him. Yet I am afraid he will proceed with the
same prudentiall caution as last year, when your Lordship proposed the
same thing to liim ; and, if so, it will be in vaine to strugle in it, and
to put yourself to so much fatigue, charges, and a hundre other incon-
veniences in fighting for a familie that will not either concurr or thank you.
And, if they do not at this juncture bestirr themselves, I am apt to believe
your Lordship will medle no more with them, but confine your concern to
your own shyre ; which I should really be sorrie for, but who can help it ?

Captaine lioss is gone north to negotiate that matter with his brother
and nephew, but Seaforth says that he saw the young laird the day he came
from Chanrie, and, talking of that affaire, he said that as long as one Mac-
kenzie would stand by him he would not quite ; and really I am apt to believe
him, for to act otherwise would be contrary to honour and the character of a
gentleman. I had a letter from CatboU telling me that he is offered 8 merks
and a half, payable at AVhitsunday, the victuall to be delivered at Cromertie ;
therefor desyres orders from your Lordship what to do. I have already
acquainted him with what your Lordship writt on that subject : it is fitt he
have directions thatt there may be a fund to supply you. However, the
price offered is certainly much too litle, for Wintoune lies refused 111. for
wheat and barley overhead, and exspects 14 at least. I am confident, if there
be no prohibition to export, victuall will be at a great rate ; so pray let us
have orders about it. I had at lenth an account from my brother of his
treatment at Inverness, at which he is not a litle displeased. It would
appear that one of the judges acted by partie principles and with eager
resentment. It's said that he told one that the advocat was not there to
banter the judges. He says he was much obliged to the other judge, your


Lordship's friend. Tliey had the Episcopall ministers before them who
preach in the Eoss meeting houses ; but, it appearing that they all prayed for
the Queen, the advocat deput told the judges he had orders not to trouble
them ; reclaiaante 0., but the other approved of the advocat's opinione.

I have nothing of moment more to add. My wife and bairns are verie
well, and the young chevalier appears with a chearfulness that bodes success.

To the Earl of Cromertie.

327. [The Same to The Same.]

8 November 1709.

^Iy Lord, — I told your lordship in my last that my cause was to be heard
to morrow, so that next week we may see how it Avill go. In the meantime
I intreat your Lordship to take on my lord chancellor's brother, and to advise
me how to order an appeal (for we should provyde against the worst). I
know the lords do not much regard whether it be protested for here or not.

I got the letters by Mr. Eeid, but not the cypher. There is an idle story
in toune that I am to be a lord of Session on Prestonhall's demission. Blair-
hall told publickly that he had it from ]\L If so, it could not be told on a
good design. I acquainted S. of it, but he imputes it rather to a levitie then

p r e p o s e s s e d

plott. B. is afraid O may be 25 27 15252428 15 28 28 15 12 against

him h a r m d e 1 a y i u g

(18 19 22) and much 18 11 27 22 x may be done by U 15 21 11 32 19 23 17


till S. 1724 X 3025, which w411 not be this 29 15 23 x 14 11 32 28. I spoke
of this to S., but he seemed not to apprehend any danger ; but I wish M.
may be true.

Mr. Greensheilds, the minister who is still kept in prison by the magis-
trates for reading the English servise, ga\'e in a suspension to the Session in


order to his liberation : but it was refused upon this ground — that he had no

legall ordination, since he had it from an exauctorat bishop, by which theire

lordships have determined one of the nicest questions in the subject of ordi-

Poll o c k
nation. 25 24 21 21 24 13 20 said that a bishop deposed by the civil

magistrat had no more right to exerse any part of his function then a captaine
of dragoons after his commission is taken from him. I dare say the topicks
on which the bench went will please neither one church nor other, for they
were altogether Erastian. It 's true three of the Judges voted for passing the
bill, viz., Prestonhall, Grange, and Blairhall, and tho' Yla did not vote, yet he
argued verie strongly for it. I doubt not but application will be made above,
and the enemies of our kirk will be apt to call it persecution. Seaforth
promises fair, but nothing yet done. Culloden's brother, who is maried to
Kilravacks daughter, came to toune this day. He tells me he told his father-
in-law that there was such a report. His answer was that then he must be
lookt on as the arrantest rascall alive ; so that he assures me that neither of
these gentlemen will hearken to any such proposition.

328. [The Same] to The Same.

10 December 1709.
My Lord, — It is now late that I write, having been drinking all this
afternoon with 21113014152714112115. I told your Lordship our cause was
delayed till Tuesday next, when I hope it will be determined. I fear the
worst, but am not without hopes. Kilravack is at lenth come hither. He
abhorres the thoughts of altering his former engagements to us, but if others
had not stood up for his election, his inclination would have availed litle.
There is a paper come doun, said to be done by your lordship on that affaire ;
it hes netled R not a litle, and — which is worse — 24 27 22 19 28. 29 24


30 23 15 thinks that it was imprudentlie done to irritate so considerable a
person as L*. G. Koss, since it may create enemies to the chevaliere. I cannot
exspress how much I am obliged to 22 19 23 29 24. He lies exspressed
himself with as much concern for your grandson as possible, and runs out on
the obligations he owes your Lordship. I depend much on his opening in
that case. My next will bring good or bad news.

To the Earl of Cromertie, London.

329. [Sm James Mackenzie, Lord Eoyston, to his Father, Geoege first

Earl of Cromartie.]

13 December 1709.
My Lord, — Your Lordship will be well enough satisfyed when I tell you
that your young chevalier is this night Laird of Eosehaugh ; for this after-
noon the Lords, by theire interlocutor, have found that Sir George's nomina-
tion does import a fidei commiss. on the defender, as being the eldest son of
the eldest daughter, to denude in favours of the pursuer, as being the second
son of the second daughter. These are the words of the interloquitur ;
whether they will alter theire opinione I know not. The vote was shortly
put — Denude or Not ; and here follows the Lords' names as they voted : —

Denude. Not.

Fontainehall. Bouhill.

Minto. Cullen.

Anstruther. Pollock.

Forgian. Cessnock.