William Fraser.

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

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merks, coviunihus annis ; and besides it wall take of a part of the chamberlan
fee yearly, quhilk safes better then 3 or 4 chalders to the Queen.

This is the proposal, and I would gladly know if it will hold ; for if it doe,
the commissioner most be instructed to gett my few duties dissolved :
for my owne few duties of the lands which I hold of the King in capite
will goe near to pay all, except the 2000/. to the Earl of Marr.
Indorsed by the Earl of Mar : " E. of Cromartie to the E. of Weems anent
exchanging Eoiston."

351. [The Same to James second Duke of Ormond.] Copy.

February 1713.
May it please your Grace, — Neither distance in place nor time could
hinder fame from notifying to the world the glories of your Grace's actions
and counsells in this last campaign, where, in the service of your Sovereign,
to the honour and advantage of the Brittish empire, you mantain the royall
honour, the interest of Brittain, and the safety of the bravest army, wdien so
circumveen'd in many dangers both by open and vigilant, and by secret and
treacherous and (tliereby) more dangerous enemies. And by a manadge-
ment in prudent silence, you not only prevented but quell'd the open hos-


tilities of these who acted above board, but smothered up all the dark mines
which were contriv'd to blow up your Brittains, whilst they were standing
on the very ground where they had defended, nay, too much advanc'd, the
honour and interest of ungrate associates. In all which your Grace has
shown that, albeit force and fury can, and hath done great things, and that
many generals have perform'd actions accounted great and honourable, yet
with less treasure and almost no blood, in a calm and silent conduct, and by
the evident effects of that conduct, you have drawn our open opposers with
sword in hand to submission, bragging opponents to recantation, and secret
designers to disappointments and confusion, and now have brought the
tragical state of Europe into the safe and pleasant epilogue wherein we see
the umpire Queen of Europe standing on the stage of honour, giving peace
to all, generous friendship to generous enemies, and if not too much reward
to unsatiable assistants, security to the timerous, pity to her own offenders,
pardon to the penitent, and disappointment to all dark malice. And in this
most pleasant catastroph, I adventure to kiss your Grace's hands, and amidst
all these honours to others, I begg that of continuing in the rank of

Your Grace's most humble and faithfull servants, and very old friend.

P.S. — -I have made choice of this bearer, wdio, tho' in no high station, yet,
since a station in honour can never be thought low, I hope and humbly wish
he may obtain admittance to tell your Grace what he is, and what his friends
pretend he should be : for we know him to be an honest m.an, and both
friends and enemies think him brave. Yet I dare say did he know that I
write so, he would not w^illingly have been the bearer, for admittance within
a view of your notice was what he desir'd, and I promis'd, which I hope your
Grace will pardon if not allow.

Indorsed : " Coppie letter to Duke of Ormond, Februar 1713."


352. Alexais'der Bruce, Advocate, to George first Earl of Cromartie.

Edinburgh, 1 2tli Marcli 1713.
My Lord, — I presume to present your Lordship with a copie of a com-
pend of the feudal customes which I have compiled.'- I know not if these
gentlemen who took in subscriptions did trouble your Lordship for one. How-
ever, I flatter myself that the small tract will not be altogether unacceptable
to your Lordship, when it is considered that the great designe of publishing-
it was for defending the antiquity, liberty, and independence of Scotland, in a
language understood all Europe over, whereby strangers (who are misled by
English writers upon the head of the old pretended homage) might be in-
formed and undeceived. And as no man in this island is better qualify ed to
judge in that controversie than your Lordship, so (however weak the per-
formance may be) I hope your Lordship will not condemne the designe, nore
will the present be any less acceptable, that the author has the honour to
have been nearly related to the Countess of Wemyss. I am, my Lord,
Your Lordship's most obedient humble servant,

Al. Bruce.
To the rjo'ht honourable the Earle of Cromartie.

353. Alexander ninth Earl of Caithness to [The Same].

Murkle, March 26, 1713.
My Lord, — I am heartilie sorry that my condition of health does not
allow me to attend the Parliment, and it greives me the more that your lord-
ship has writen to me, and that I am not able to obey it. If it please God to

^ Mr. Bruce was author of several works, one of which is entitled " Principia Juris Feu-
dalis." 12mo. Edinburgh, 1713. . . .


restore me to any iiieasnre of health this spring, I intend to be up at Edin-
burgh. Your Lordship knowes I am neither papist, nor republican, nor
fanatick, but how much a presbiterian I doe not now determine ; but I suppose
your lordship may guess how much I am of that. I was never inclined to be
factious any further than to evince my duety and affection to the royall
familie, so that no self-intrest shall drive me, God willing, from that point.
Sir Archbald Stewart has been with me this last night, he being on his
journey to attend the parliment, with whom I have discoursed, and has let
him know my inclinations annent what your lordship was pleased to write to
me, who will, if your lordship please, impart the same to yow. Wheron I
would have insisted heir, if I had not been straitned with time, and that he
is bearer lieirof, who knowes what further I have to say. I receaved a lyne
from your lordship's son, Mr. James, annent his affair here, and has given a
return to it, which your lordship may call for. I shall not trouble yow any
further at this time, but only I presume to shew your lordship that Breadal-
bane treats me somewhat unjustlie. Thus, he once offered me the seall of
some lands that lay nearest me, which offer I accepted, and was as ready as
any to have payed money for it. After the treatie had continued a year and
more he shooke it off, and now is selling it to others. And now I projected to
have had a little convenience of that bargane that lay nearest me, which I am
like to be disappointed of also. My lord, excuse this freedome of mine, which
I had not used if I had not been assured of your lordship's kindness and
freindship to me, as your lordship may be assured of the good wishes and
service of, my Lord,

Your verie affectionat cousine and faithfull servant,

I am straitned in my friedom, because I am necessitat at present to make
use off an amanuensis.


354. [George fiest Earl of Cromartie to Queen Anne, with a copy of his
Treatise on the Gowrie Conspiracy.] Copy.

June 1713.

May it please your most sacred Majestie

To accept my small performance of a piece of duty, small as to
its bulk and as to my work in it, but of import enough to the honour
and reputation of that great and happy king, King James the Sixth of
Scotland and First of Britain, who, crown'd in it, did crown it with more
glory, peace, and riches, by far than any ; yea (nor is it a great hyperbole
to say), almost then all that former kings had done. Nor did his favours
to Britain terminate Avith his life : for, above sixty years after his death,
one hath sprung of his race who certainly hath pull'd England from under
the heaviest burdens which ever it did or could bear, and rescued her king-
domes from the greatest danger that hell or her enemyes dar'd threaten.
The occasion of my little task was this : where ever there is any image of
divinity, the devill cannot forbear endeavours to deface it, but (to be sure) to
defame it, — he being a liar from the very beginning. In which humour he
did stirr up the young Earle of Gowrie, with a brother and five or six other
partizans, to murder this young king, thereby to prevent the many goods to
church and state which were the predestin'd glory of the happy James. But
tlie wisdome and power which had so ordain'd to be his lot was too hard and
unsurmountable by the force or plots of hell and its ministry.

The hellish plot was so dark that it was hid, not only from view, but from
suspicion, and the accidence which did prevent the blow, had so little connec-
tion with the important design, and so void of all concatenation in the series of
a project which requir'd so much craft, as to remove not only all probability,
but even possibility, of a counter plot, or any design to prevent the mischief.


And in this never was there a paralell more circumstantiated to it than
the other atack made against the same darling of Providence by the gun-
powder treason. • ■

The devil's force fail'd, but he could still lie ; his armyed troops did fail
and fall ; yet he knew that a lying spirit might be put in the mouths of pro-
phets. Since he could not Icill, he would at least defame ; and for that he
found ready tools in some schismatick clergymen, some factious noblemen
and incenst relations of the traitor who with impudence, and indeed redicu-
lously, did transpose the hymns for deliverance without rhyme or reason,
advancing by whispers at that time as if the King should have been the
ploter and murderer in this tragick scene.

Tho then it was only whisper'd, yet the heirs and successors of these
schismatick and factious persons did thereafter foment the comment, and
when they design'd the rebellion against King Charles the First of glorious
memory, some of tliem impudently, others ignorantly, did make use of this
calumnie amongst other false and filthy inventions to bespater the brightness
of the royal race.

The lie was loudly enough given for redarguing of the calumny by the
judicial proceses wherein sentances were given in methods faire and open
above suspicion, the juries being men of undoubted truth and honour, and
many of them in near relation to the nnfortunat Earle Avho would have
defended him against any adversar or opposer, except truth and loyalty, to
both which, in this matter, as they owed, so tliey owned just submission
and did their duty.

In the punie rebellious attempted against King Charles tlie Second (that
Hercules against rebellion, tho' oftener with a staff of mercy than the club
of justice), when ever the whigish serpent began to stirr its tail, its heads (for
they had monstrously many and were indeed legion) did always hiss lies

VOL. II. s


and calumnies — the musick or rather alarms of their warlick trumpet : nor
was there any tune more frequent than the rondelay of Gowrie's murder.

In the year one thousand six hundred and eighty two, when I was em-
ployed as a servant to the King and a trustee for the people, in keeping
of the Publick Eecords of the nation, which had been alwaj^s keept in the
securest repositories that the kingdome could afford, so that they were never
violented nor expos'd to danger but by the two Englishmen, King Edward
and Oliver Crummle ; and even by these the records of judiciall proceeding
in the courts of justice were left untuch'd, and are so to this day.

As it was my duty, so I made it my work to serve both my master and
fellow citicens faithfully, as matters did occur in my office. The records were
in great confusion by their being carried from one repository to another for
their preservation in times of rebellion. This made my task tlie greater, but
my search the stricter.

In this search, the first considerable thing that occurr'd to me was these
records and papers which did to a demonstration evince that Elizabeth Muire
was the lawfuU and first wife of Kobert the Second, and first king of the race
of Stewarts, and consequently which did disprove a notable and almost a
Catholick lie entertain'd (to astonishment) both by historians and lawyers
here and in severall other nations. And yet by these papers and records
nothing can be more true, and appear so, than that she was both his lawfull
and first wife, and espous'd to him in and with more solemn acts than per-
haps any marriage in Europe can pretend to have, and by the most authentick
avouchers than any other case can shew.

I did then dutifully print and publish tliat vindication of the royall
family from the forg'd stain cast on our crown and on all the other crown'd
heads in Europe. I did not print many copyes thereof, and therefore I have
now order'd a second addition thereof.


The next thing that occiirr'd in my office was the records and papers now
printed, vindicating King James and his race from the stain of Gowrie's
murder, and the parliament and judicaturs of tlie nation in their irreproach-
able justice executed on GoMTie and his complices.

I once intended to have printed it then, but the hissing serpents did
shrink into their caverns, friglited with other wapons than paper ones. But
hearing some months agoe that this Cadmus was reviving by vertue of some
preternaturall heats which would warm them into life again, I thought I could
not [better] employ my present repose, which I enjoyed by your Majestie's
favour, in a removal from all publick service, then in exposing the little fruit
of my former labours as usefull antidotes against the posionous weeds when
they seem to bud.

Humbly hoping that my small offering may be graciously accepted, and
tliat your ]\Iajestie would protect me and my little labours, which I am sure
are faithfully perform'd by

Your sacred Majestie's most liumble, most obedient and faithfuU subject
and servant.

Indorsed : " Coppie letter to the Queen, June 1713."

355. [The Same to The Same.] Copy.

5 Xovember 1713.
May it please your most sacred IMajestie

To allow, at lest to pardon, the boldness of an old servant, who, tho

he does not pretend to merit, yet does with confidence enough claim the

esteem of having been, and being now, for sixty years past, a faithfull, loyall.

and dilligent servant. It were both presumption and indiscretion to offer an

interruption to your Majestie's great and royall thoughts, or to consume any


part of your precious time with a little detail [of what] I have done or could
do. May I be excused to say this far, that since I had the happyness to he
providentially introduc'd to General Monk's acquaintance in the year 1658,
and thereby to an opportunity of being (in my small capacity) one of the
instruments who perswaded him to undertake that glorious and never enough
renown'd action whereby the Eoyall Family was rais'd from the deepest
abyess of rebellion and confusion to a glorious establishment in its legal and
lineal succession ; whereby, as it were with one stroke, rebellion and faction
were quash'd, and peace and justice restor'd. I humbly say that from that
time to this day, having been continued in some post of publick service, and
through most of the greatest stations, yet my conscience doth not accuse me
that ever I fail'd in duty to my Prince (would that I could say so to my
God) ; nor did ever man accuse me therein, one miscreant excepted, who
with his complices could only have been pardoned by your Majestie's unex-
haustable clemency. But, in place of pardons, I thank God and my Princes,
I have sufficient approbations : nor did I fear the want of them ; so bold is
innocence even in low situation. I was by your Majestie's royall commands
instrumentall with all my possible (and not very ineffectuall) zeal, in carry-
ing on the Union of Britain, nor do I yet repent that, notwithstanding of the
black clouds rais'd in it by malevolent designs, which I fear will not stop
there, if a stope be not given to the designers, which I hope and wish that
your Majestic, who have more advanc'd that great and healing work than
all your royall predecessours did (tho oftimes attempted by them), will bring
it to perfection, and will dissipate these magicall mists which do as yet
darken it. Tho 1 do not deny that the settling of a conquest is as glorious
as conquering itself. Yet by that Union none of your Majestie's servants
have lost so much in particular as I have done, all of these who did serve in
my stations having been fully rewarded (which I grudge not), and also all


their arrears of sallaries and allowances due to them by the crown (mine
only excepted) are payed. But why ? I perhaps too vainly think that my
ill willers cannot tell. This hath forc'd me to adventure on so bold and so
long a letter, which I humbly beg your Majestie to pardon, and to cast your
gracious eye on this enclos'd memorial, and to give your royall will in it,
which I hope may be such as shall prevent the least further trouble to your
Majestie, and a too great journey for an old man who hath need enough of
retreat and quiet, and who was, is, and ever shall be.

Your Majestie's most humble, most obedient, and most faithfull subject
and servant.

356. Memorial by George first Earl of Cromartie to Qltien Anne,
respecting Arrears of his Official Salary. [Copy.]

5th November 1713.
A Memorial offer'd, with all humble submission, by G[eorge] E[arl] of
To Her Most Sacred Majestie.
When the Union of Brittain was concluded, all the officers of state wlio
had serv'd in the same or like station with him had this justice done them,
that what was due to them for sallaries or services was, or is, payed, he only
(who was unfortunately honoured with serving in most of them) excepted.
He will not pretend to merit, but he dares assert his fidelity and dilligence.
And tho, perhaps, his allowances were of more value than liis work, yet he
doth advance as a truth, that now, after sixty years publick service, lie hatli
not added sixty crowns to his private fortune, albeit he never did live at a
lower rate as he did when he was in publick stations. He did enjoy for some
while the Eegister's office, which was lucrative : but five other lean cowes did


devour and eat up that fat one, — nor did that cure tlie leanness. But his last
journey to London was his most sensible hurt, because it was the last, and
his former weakness did render him the less able to bear it. It is true her
JMajestie favour'd him with allowance to part with his office on a gratification,
as was allowed to severall others who had not crime enough to be punish'd
nor merit enough to be continued. He did receive 5000 lb., whereof (on truth)
he left four at London, having stayed there near three years : and the Lord
Treasurer liath since favour'd him with 600 lb., which was more than made his
journey down be 400 ; so that he is reimburss'd 400 of 4000. Thus is he
stated by that journey. He had not the least favour from those who stated
his debentures of his former sallaries and allowances. However, the crown
is stated debitor to him by the court of exchequer for 3072 1b. of principall
in June 1708, with the interest at 5 per cent, to November 1713, which is
8421b. As also for his sallary as justice general at Whitsunday 1707, for
half a year, is 300 lb., making in all 4214 lb. I say four tliousand two hundred
and fourteen pounds.

The Earle of Cromertie's straits by the want of this money doth earnestly
call for a present relief; but, if it be more pleasing to her Majestie, it is
humbly propos'd that a half of it may be now order'd, because of his present
straits, and for the other half, since the Earle of Cromerty is her Majesties
chamberlain for the earledom of Eoss, out of which he hath retention of 4001b.
yearly for liis life, which he had from his royall master King Charles 2d, and
(as his jMajestie did judge) for a most onerous cause, there will be a superplus
yearly payable by him to the Exchequer out of these rents, which may extend
to betwixt 2 or 300 lb. yearly, as the prices of the victuall shall be high or low.

It is therefore humbly propos'd that for payment of his debentures,
amounting as aforsaid, there may be 300 lb. yearly order'd to be pay'd to
him or his assigneys out of the rents of the earledom of Eoss, the Lewes, and


Isle of Sky, untill he or they be payed of his said debentures and interest
thereof. And this by a privy seah

But he humbly hopes that a half or so of the debentures be order'd in
money, whereby the lease will be the shorter.

And for this he humbly offers an assignation of the forraention'd 300 lb.
due to him for his "Wliytsimday sallarie 1707, and to sign his debentures on
the Equivalent to any ]3erson propos'd that they may come in his vice on that
fond. And perhaps severalls may be found to whom this payment may be
assign'd who have not so very h^oxy a claim on the Crown as he presumes to
pretend to.

This now desired by him is the same locality wdiich was possesst lately
by the Earl of Hyndfoord in a gratuitous pension, and fallen by his death,
but now humbly beged for the payment of a most just debt.

His former pension may perhaps be ubraided by some ill willers. It was
first granted on the following account. When Generall Monk resolv'd to
invade the English rebells, he was in great want of money. The E[arl], being
in the secreet, did advance 1000 lb. sterline. The King did then repay
such services by pensions : that conferral upon E[arl] C[roinartie], then Sir
George M'^Ivenzie, was 300 lb. per annum, which General Monk diswaded him
from accepting in view to have it doubl'd. But some Avhile thereafter, tlie
E[arl] of Lauderdale, then Secretar, falling in misunderstanding with the
other Scots ministers, on account of Lauderdale's taking then the AVhifo- bv
the hand, the E[arl] of Cromerty his gift was stop'd. But he coming in to
help Lauderdale at a dead lift in the Convention of Estates, anno 1678, the
King did both renew and increase his gift, on consideration of its first cause.
And that he wanted it for so many years, he did conferr a pension of 400 lb. on
him during life, both under the seals and acts of court, with an express clause
in his gift of chamberlainry to retain it in the first end of his intromission.


This gift is renewed and ratified to him by King James 7th, by King
William and Queen Mary, and by her present Majesty, whom God bless.
This trouble I have given to prevent misinformation.

357. John Lord Macleod to [his Father, George first Earl of Cromaetie].

Coull, 26th February 1714.

My Lord, — ^My wife continues still ill ; Doctor[s] Mackenzie and Banner-
man are frequently with her ; botli your Lordship's advice and their direc-
tions are punctualy observ'd, particularly my keeping her merry and easie.
As your lordships last advice in takeing the aire once a day aither in coach or
chair, which the doctors advis'd, contributes very much to her ease : — this
made her resolve to come up the countrey the length of lier sister Coull's, the
weather being very fair, as was the most part of winter ; but it alter'd of a
sudden, and continues so stormy that we cou'd not look out of doors. It w^as
■^^•ith great difficulty that I gott the length of Dingwell the other day, to meet
wdth the lairds of Tulloch and their friends according to your lordship's

I told Tulloch your complaint, Coull, Applecross, Knockbaine, Captain
Baine, and the archdean. I had nonne with me but Inchculter. All of them
were satisfied of your lordship's just and neighboorly intentions, but nothing
cou'd prevail with Tulloch, I mean the young laird. He says he has a good
right, and if your lordship show a better, he'l cede, and no otherwise. I
likewise communicate[d] to him that part of the memoriall relating to the miln
of Delny. He says that he 's in no hazard as to that, seeing your lordship's
last charter of confirmation to INIr. John Bayne of Delny includes the miln.
There remains nothing to be done in this affair, according to your lordship's
orders, but to acquaint the Marques of Seaforth, wliich (God willing) I'le doe


to-morrow. For ought I see, your lordship will never be rid of some pleaing
laird or other in Eoss : like the hydra, when one head's cutt off, two starts up.
I'm perswaded that young Tulloch will by far outstripp both Aldie and
Auchnacloich, This was told him by CouU and other gentlemen the otlier
day att Dingwell, to which he made no returns.