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

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long much to have the satisfaction to see your lordship in Scotland — tho' I
believe it will be long er I shall have that pleasure, for I doe assure your
lordship that I am really in truth, with great esteeme and affection, unalter-
ably, my dear Lord,

Your Lordship's most faithffull and most obedient humble servant,


341. Sir John Macleans to [The Same].

He of Mull, February 2d, 1711.
]\Iy Lord, — Hade the affliction I have been in for the losse I have sustained,
allowed me to think of anything else, your Lordship hade mett sooner with
the trouble I now give yow. My circumstances requireing my application to
my friends, and as the long experemented proofs I have hade of your lord-
ship's favour to me convinces me of your generous simpathie, so I would
beginne with yow in layeing my present state before yow. Your lordship is
entirely known to my former difficulties. I have now, as an addition, seven
children, the eldest scarce eight yeares old, left to my single caire, haveing
lost the best of wives and tlie most tender of mothers. I am at the head of


a sinkeing familye, on the brink of ruin onlie because of there inviohible
adhereance to the crown. This is my condition, and I think a very proper
object of a Souveraigne's compassion. I knowe the Queen's naturall goodnesse,
of which I have found effects which shall be ever harboured in my breast
with the greatest gratitude. I knowe that royal quality inheerent to her
temper of pittyeing those that suffer, so that I shall never doubt of her
pittyeing a ffamily whose miseries onlie proceed from there constant fidelitie
to her predecessors. I shall therfore begge your lordship would be pleased to
laye my case before her Majestic. There is no body better known to the
actions and sufferings of the familye of Macleane for the crown than your
lordship, nor no body so weell know^n to my circumstances. I laid formerlie
my son at her Majestie's feett, to be disposed of as she thought fitt : I now
laye him again. If there be any regiments to be raised in Scotland, it would
help him to education that her Majestic would be graciouslie pleased to give
him a companye ; and, least there should be any objection made of his age, I
would pleace my cousin Brollos, who has been several yeares in the service,
livtennant under him. This, my lord, would be a very strict tye on the
familye — my son and the next heir to him engaged in her Majestie's service.
I shall relye on your lordship's w^onted goodnesse to me to represent my case
to her Majestic, whom your lordship may asseure of a regiment of the family
of Macleane still left, after all there suffereings, who will be reddie to adde
there blood to that already spilt in the service of the crown, whenever her
Majestie's interest requires it. And let me asseure your lordship of ane in-
violable gratitude, and that I will ever be, my Lord,

Your Lordship's most faithfuU and most humble servant,

Mr. Weems, to whom I have addrest this, will transmitt your Lordships
orders to me.


342. [SiK James ]Mackenzie, Lord Eoystox, to his Father, Geoege first

Earl of Ckomaetie.]

Edinburgh, 15 March 1711.

]\Iy Lord, — I have several] times writt to your lordship concerning the
28112121112732 of the 19302829191315 171523: and, now that Chief Baron
Smith is gone up to London, S. and ]\I. may talk with him about it, and
then he and his brother Scroop will be convinced that the former warant is
sufficient, or otherwise a new one must be procured — the sooner the better
— for without it no money, and how necessar that is I need not proof.
Xeither hes B. 112332 2429181527 16302314 to 112328301527 A., all
being 153118113028291514.

I wrote to Charles Kinross about one Smith's claime on Sir Ar. C.['s]^
effects in Mr. Gordon's hands, that I lookt on it as a cheat, and, at best, an ill
founded claime ; for, tho' I am ignorant of what vouchers or proof he hes, yet
I do not see how a debt, tho' contracted on his account, being during minoritie,
can bind him or his heirs. But, however, I think your lordship, as creditor for
the funerall charges, should take out letters of administration, and I presume
funerall charges are every where privileged and preferable debts. I believe
Dr. Cockburn, and one Catherine Browne, then my wife's woman, can give
some light into this old patcht up debt. As to Mr. Paterson's claime, I have
spoke of it to a great many, but, as it always happens in publick concerns,
where many should be concerned, none really is. If Mr. Paterson succeed,
this will indeed be a happy project ; but I do not well apprehend how his
claime is founded, nor how it comes in before the parliament — at least how

^ Sir Archibald Cockburn of Langton. His daughter Anne was the wife of Sir George
Steuart, second baronet of Graudtully.



it can reach any part of what is ah^eady payed out, since that can regularly be
only done before the judge ordinary, in the first instance.

It seems some amongst us are afraide that the British Parliament will
not soon enough overturn our private laws, and therefor they have begun to
petitione for prettie considerable innovations : particularly some Aberdeen
gentlemen have sent a memoriall to Sir Alexander Cuming, theire represen-
tative, complaining of the tediousness of our judiciall procedure, especially in
rankings, etc., and therefor desyring him to move that we in North Britaine
may have the laudable laws of England concerning bankrupts extended to
us. Now, tho' it must be owned there may be too much truth in what they
complaine off, yet I do by no means approve of the cure. First, I am con-
fident those gentlemen know verie litle of the law they so fondly desyre to
have introduced, and, as I am told, that statute of bankrupt is much com-
plained off by the English themselves : and I am perswaded our own laws in
that matter, especially our later acts, are much better. And, as to the form, the
judges are now verie bussie in frameing proper acts of sederunt for remeding as
much as possible what is amiss. And sure I am, if a remedie can be had at
home, as I hope it may, no true Scotsman should apply elsewhere ; for, if
once that barriere be opened, we will not all be able to shutt it : so, if possible,
our countriemen should consult together, and endevour to hinder this or
the like motions to be made. For our good neighbours are but too ready to
embrace all opportunities to make our laws the same, on pretence, forsooth,
of rendring the union more compleat ; and our law, ill as it is, is as good, even
in what they complaine [of], as any of our neighbours. The lords of Session
had this day a meeting on this subject, and have appointed some of our number
to draw a memoriall to be sent to Sir Alexander Cuming about it, and, if pos-
sible, to delay moving the affaire this session ; and we hope before next session
to make such regulations as may satisfy, if possible, those gentlemen, tho', be


the by, these are but a few and no verie extraordinary men. The chief is Sir
Samuel Forbes of Foverin, and the most of the gentlemen even in that shyre
are against it.

Since writing what is above, I have spoke with Mr. Stewart, the Queen's
remembrancer. He tells me he hes got an order from the committee on ]Mr.
Paterson's affaire, to transmitt the proceedings of the Barons in that matter.
He tells me that they have actually determined it, and found he had no claime :
but by the form of theire court there is scarce any record kept of theire
proceedings in such matters, or at most but a short minute, which hes not
been so much as done in this case. So he is at a loss what to do to ansuer the
committee's order. He is to write to the Barons now in London about it, and
they can satisfie the committee. Your Lordship's suspicion of 272427191528
having a hand in it is too well grounded. Some weeks before he left this
place, the Commissioners of the Equivalent called for the books of the Afr[ican]
Company from him, which he refused : upon which they applyed to the Ad-
vocat and then to the justice court for a warrant to aprehend him, and oblige
him to produce them. We found it not competent before us, so they aplyed
to the Exchequer. He apeared severall times before them, and at last, finding
they intended to oblige him to deliver up the books, he fairlie slipt off.
Wliether the Barons will complaine of this above, I know not.

We have this night sent up the two commissions of chamberlanrie and
bailerie of Dalkeith to be signed by the Duchess. The fee is not mentioned,
for I thought it better that it should be by a warrant apart ; for, since her
Grace resolves to make it something more then ordinary, it is not to be a
precedent to others. The sallary I formerly wrote of was 75/. — too much,
indeed, in one sence, tho' litle enough to him, and I hope he will be M^orth
it. I intend to be at the land's setting this spring, which my circuit falling
to be in the south gives me an opportunitie to do.


343. [The Same to The Same.]

Edinburgh, 20 March 1711.
My Lord, — Looking amongst Langtoune's papers, I have verie luckily
found Smith's account discharged, which I have inclosed. He must be an
arrant cheat, for he believed that, Langtoune and his son being dead, no body
could discover that it was formerly payed. It will be fitt to send for him and
show him his own discharge, which I think will confound him ; but it must
not be delayed, least he steal out a decree.

The Dutchess of B[uccleuch] seemed inclined to have the bailie of Dal-
keith lodged in the house in her Grace's absence. If so, it will be fitt to send
directions to the housekeeper where he is to lodg. There is this advantage in
having him there, that the house wiU be the more secure from thieves, and
the exspence of watchmen will be lessened. We are bussie in adjusting the
articles of the roup of the coales of Sheriffhall and Coudoune. We intend to
be at Haick about the 20 of next month.

I am sorrie A. 282911231428 2824 22301318 in 23151514 2416
22242332, since B. knows not how to 2830252132 181922; but I exspect
131129122421 every day.
Indorsed : " E. Cromertie."

344. [The Same to The Same.]

Edinburgh, 26 March 1711.

My Lord, — I sent enclosed to your Lordship this day seven night, a
litted and discharged account betwixt Langtoune, and Smith the taylor, of
all furnishing, etc., preceeding 1702. I hope it came safe, for it is the prin-
cipall. He must certainly be a rogue, so he must be cautiously dealt withall.

I had the enclosed letter from Mr. Melville, chamberlane of Eskdale, Math
the inclosed double of ]\Ir, Eobinson's letter ; but I do not well understand


why he did not send me the principall, as he promised. I have againe
wrote to him to send it. I did formerly write my opinione of Mr. Robin-
son's accounts, that, after they are revised above, they might be transmitted
hither, and we should endevour to make what discovery we can, if fairly and
honestly stated. One of the chief things to be done in her Grace's affaires
is the state of the tennants, both in relation to the rests, and of the rentall,
the first being verie considerable, and many complaints of the later ; but V»oth
are verie nice and maturely to be gone about. For my part, tho' I have all
the inclination imaginable to serve the Dutchess, I am but litle versant in
such matters : the evil grows dayly greater, but yet I hardly think that they
can be effectually cured untUl her Grace come domie.

I hope you have taken care to get S['s]. 301127112.329 271-5231.5301514,
for otherwise I know how A. will be 2527243019141514. 30^* 2224231532.

The famous Treasurer Fislier ^ dyed here yesterday. They tell a prettie
odd passage about it. He dyed about six in the morning, at which time
Heriot's work bell is always rung. The porter, according to custome, going to
ring it, he pulled the rope, but in vaine, for, do his best, the bell would not
ring. Upon which (not knowing of Mr, Fisher's illness, for he was sick but
one day), the man went to acquaint him of it, when to his surprize he found
he was dead. How true this is I know not.

I cannot tell if the Tatlers which I send are worth reading. They say
they are writt by a litle clubb of young lads, with the help of Mrs. Mary
Cockbnrn, whom my sister Anne knows.

None of our seed merchants have sweet bay berries, or of any flowring
shrubs to sell ; so I wish your Lordship would send doune a few by land
cariage, which is best now that the season is far advanced : the purchass
will not stand much.

^ Treasurer of Heriot's Hospital.


345. [The Same to The Same.]

Edinburgh, 19 April 1711.

My Lord, — George is now prettie well againe : the feaver hes left him,
but he is verie lean. I intend to get an ass for him, if one can be had, for
they are verie scarce. I intend to begin my journie to Hawick this after-
noon ; but we have such raines these two days, and yet continues, that the
waters will be hardly passable. The Earl of Bute was maried last Saturday
at Eosneth. Our parish of Cramond hes ill luck to a minister; for the
president's chaplane, who got a call from many of the heretors, upon
examination before the presbitrie, hes been found so grossly ignoramus that
they found him not qualifyed for the ministrie. But whether the presidents
interest may yet prevaile with the presbitrie to admitt [him], I know not. He
had not my vote, and severall considerable heretors were against his call. If
this act that now is before the parliament pass, concerning the election of
members, if it is true that it requires 400/. of valued rent in the electors, it
will put an end to our Eoss debates. I have againe and againe writt to
CatboU to have money readie, and that he should be here the beginning of
June. I have sold some of your bear, but the mercats have been so low
here that I could hardly get any to bid for it till it came to Leith, where
some hes been sold at 4/., 10s. I have got 5/. to be delivered at Portma-
homack, which is the far best price that any north countrie bear hes given
since Christmass.

2232 30191613 hes delayed 181527 design of going to 291815 12112918,
not that 281815 is 30^^ 1318192114, but 281815 finds 181527 28152116
22301318 121529291527, and the 1219171723152828 in 181527 1215212132
much lessened. 281815 is in 30152732 17242414 181511212918, but some-
what 161129291527 then before.


346. Benjamin Eobinson, Factor to Anne Duchess of Buccleuch and
Monmouth, to [Geoege first Eael of Cromaktie].

17th July 1711.

My Lord, — I have sent your Lordship the registrate submission and
decreet arbytrall between her Grace and the Earles of Melvill and Leven, to
which I added marginal! notes directing to every paragraff. By this decreet
your Lordship will see the intrecasye of that affaire, and consequently the
great paines that must have been taken to bring that gTeat claime to a head.

There is one reflection cast upon me in that affair, which of all others is
the most unworthy, and is made an argument of my supine negligence in her
Grace's afiairs ; and that is, the omission of regestering the Earl of Leven's
assignation to her Grace. Xow, my Lord, for that and all the rest that have
been laid to my charge, insinuating the neglect of my duty, I will clear [to]
your Lordship and all the world that I have not only done dilligence, but
taken indifatigable paines to preserve and promote her Grace's interest, and,
in every objection made against [me], when examined, [this] \s'\Vl be made
evident. As to this assignation, there is not the least shaddow of reason
for its beeing registered ; for, when it was procured, her Grace had a great
many depending pleas in the Session against Mr. David Scrimseor's debitors
and others, and, least any person for a delator, as severalls did, pretend that
her Grace had no title, wee judged it necessary to have that assignation to
remove such objections.

It was not by way of further security to her Grace, for that is abundantly
ffixt by the decreet arbytrall, to the praise, be it spoken, of my lord precident,
whose regard to her Grace, and justice of the cause, had taken infinit paines
to make it perfect.

So these processes being ended, there was, nor is, any need of registrating


this paper, it beeing to no purpose to do it ; for the decreet, which is the
foundation, being registrat, her Grace's right is made secure.

As to the blame I lye under of delaying my accounts, I hope there shall
be litle reason for it when your Lordship considers it. The delay has not
been to bring in articles to my discharge, but to fix and compose a regular
charge against myselfe of the lordship of Dalkeith, of which I never saw, nor
I believe any of her Grace's comissioners, a regular rentall since her Grace's
time, before this that I have made. I intended it as good service to her
Grace and her successors, and an addition to the records of my industry ;
but, to my mortification, [I] must sit downe with haveing every thing mis-

As to the balance of my accounts, I beg leave to say it is justly due to
me ; and, if I had clear'd accounts at that time when Smeiton was bought, her
Grace would have owed me double as much. It seemes it is my misfortune
that I am not owing her Grace two or three thousand pounds, as others
before liave done, and which her Grace has frequently lost — witness Bowhill,
Mangerton, Eanelburne, not to speak of Sir James Stansfield and Mr. David
Scrimseour (for those losses are too great to speak of) ; but it is not her
Grace's interest, nor should I have found it for my credit to have been soe.

My Lord, I humbly desire your Lordship to represent these things to her
Grace, and let my accounts be cleard. Make what exceptions or reservations
you please : I know my accounts are just, and will stand the test of all
honest men. My Lord, I do not deserve to be hardly used. I have done her
Grace more service — I beg leave to say it without detracting from any — then
all the meniall servants that ever served her ; the effect of which will be con-
tinued for ages to come. I beg pardon, and hopes your Lordship will forgive
Your Lordship's most obedient and dutyfull servant,



347. David third Earl of Leven to [The Same].

Balgonie, October 23, [1711].

My dear Lord, — I want words to express the sence I have of your
frindship. I am informed that my enemies are never idle, and that ther is
sume talk as if I wer to lose the castle. I confess I doe not give anie
credite to those reports : I rely upon the Queen's protection, which hir Majesty
has ever honured me with, and which, whither in employment or out of it,
I shall ever study to deserve. If I shall be so unhappy as to be laid asyde
at this time, I must blame my unfortunate stars. I have disobleidged the
Whigs by my adhearing to the court, and my declaring against ther principles ;
and therfor, if my enimies prevaill against me during the present adminis-
tration, I cannot but esteem my selfe very unfortunat.

My dear Lord, I must beg that you will be so kind as to enquire into

these reports. And if your health will allow, I wish you wold wait upon hir

j\Iajesty, and say from me, or of me, what you think fit. I dare not presume

to trouble hir Majesty with a letter every time that ther are such reports

going, and therfor I forbear at present. Forgive this trouble, my dear Lord, to

Your most affectionat cousing and most humble servant,


348. James first Earl of Seafield to The Same.

Cullen House, Julie 8, 1712.

]\Iy Lord, — I cannot express the sense I have of your Lordships friend-
ship to me att court since I left London, which will oblidge me ever to be a
servant to you and your familie ; and therfor att present I doe with freedom
apply to your Lordship for your assistance. I have alreadie got promises
from the Dukes of Hamilton and Argyl, and the Earls of Mar and Hay, and
several others, to be for me at the nLxt election in place of the Earl of Mare-



schal ; neither would I attempt this, if I thought it disagreable to the
Queen, and if I wer not resolved to serve her Majestie with the greatest
fidelitie. I know your Lordship can be of great use to me with manie of the
peers, for they have verie justlie a respect for your Lordship's opinion. I
resolve verie soon to have the honour to wait of you at Edinburgh. My son
Deskfoord rekons himselfe extremlie oblidged to your Lordship for your
civilitie to him when he was last at Edinburgh. I hope you doe me the
justice to belive that I am, with the greatest esteem, my Lord,

Your Lordship's most humble and most obedient servant,


For the right honorable the Earl of Cromertie.

349. [Geokge fikst Earl of Cromartie to The Eoyal Company of

Archers.] Copy.

Eight Honorable, — The strength of my desire to waite on you did
support my hope to have obtain'd it this day ; but my desire is disappointed,
not by my fault but my fate. I cannot : necessity is a chain stronger than
what power can break. Wliat is committed or omitted from that invincible
lett needs no excuse, for it is no fault. Yet this my omission carries in it,
and with it, a punishment. For such is whatever detaines a lover from what
is loved. This misfortune may hide my respect from others ; but even
necesity cannot lessen, and far less extinguish that in me, unless it ex-
tinguish me with it. To be of your Eoyall Society was an exceeding favour ;
but the rank I was honoured with in it, is an honour above my merit. I
was always sensible of my impotence for performing duties suitable to it ;
but to retain it whilst I can do nothing, is what I ought not, what I cannot,
bear. To be sett where a head should stand, without capacity to perform or


to direct, is to make my defects if not the greater yet the more conspicuous.
If your generosity will not cutt me of, yet I think discretion obliges me to
slip of, so that for and in place of dissatisfaction, I may have the pleasure to
see you have a captain general worthy of so great an honour. That consular
paludament is fitter to adorn a tryumph then to decora a buriall. I imagine
that the good old King, when the royall robs were too heavy for him, when
the royall duties were impracticable, yea even when Abishai's embraces did
lose their charming powers, yet he found satisfaction in knowing his qualified
successor before he died. j\Iy great esteem of this noble station I have
evidenc'd in demitting many, whilst I keep'd this. Nor can I disown a re-
luctancie in my present offer, tlio' I think it a duty : but I presume that in a
few days I may have strength to carry it myseK to your meetting at Edin-
burgh, and courage and resolution to give it a fareweell. And indeed it is to
lay down what I cannot hold up. I need not tell you that tho' absent, yet
with a friend or two this day I will remember you ; for indeed you cannot
be forgott by him who is att once

Your old captain, your faitlifull friend, and most humble servant.

Indorsed by the Earl of Cromartie : " Coppie of my Letter
to the Eoyal Company of Archers in anno 1712."

3o0. Geoege first Eael of Ceomartie to David third Earl of Wemyss


My Lord, — My proposition for Eoyston was, that a villa for the chancier
or prime minister heer, neer to Edinburgh, wherin he might stay in tyme of
vacance at the seat of the government, wher indeed any considerable absence
is of evil consequence to Queen and people. — I say such a thing were desyr-

^ Original Letter in Mar Cliarter-cliest.


able. The rent of it miglit be as usefull, if not more, then any so much of
his salary, so in so farr the Queen nor chancier have no losse. All the
expence is in buying the house and litle gardens. I will give for 5000 lb. ster-
ling what he cannot build for 7, nay 8000^. And to make the payment easy,
lett them take of the Earl of Marr of me for 2000Z. sterling ; and for the other
3000Z., I will take my owne few duties of remote bad Ross victuall at
20 years' purchas : and for the rent, I take it at ilk chalder, and gives of
Lothian rent 100 merks per chalder, and the Rosse chalder will not give 5