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

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to his correspondents in the goverment that he knowes no accession S[ir]
J[ohn] had to that affair. This is what Easter in justice owes to Sir John, if
it be true that he has not heard that S[ir] J[ohn] had any hand in it. Nay,
even telling in generall that ther were landed men assisting these men that
gave him opposition in Straglass will be sufficieent to the goverment to con-
clude the Chisolm, Fairburn and Sir John quickly.

My Lord, here that paragraph ends. Your Lordship may be easily con-
vinced how pernicious this may prove to me. Sir John, as he oft was oblidged
to do, may run to ane hill side ; but alas I'm not able to stir hardly out of
my chamber, and such ane information as this is enough to get ane other
garison planted here. What will Easter Fern be the better of this ? His
factory of this estate is over, and Collin factor ; so that he has nothing to do
with this estate. Had Sir John been the fool to have any hand in the opposi-
tion he mett Mdth, I will not say but he would have reason to resent the loss
and injury he receaved ; but if for imaginations he will persecute innocence,
he acts surely not as a good man or a man of conscience. And it is suffi-
ciently known Sir Jolm's unwildy body was not able to be there, and as little
he knew of it, till it was told him by some person [who] had come from
Michelmas mercat. And to satisfy Easter Fern, let him but send any minister
of Eoss-shire he pleases hither, and I will make Sir John tryst with him ;
and if he does not solemnly depone on the holy Bible that he had no hand in
tliat affair, directly or indirectly, I shall not plead, or desire, your Lordship to


plead, with Easter Fearn for him. So, my Lord, I hop, to prevent the dis-
mall effects of this story, you will call without delay for Easter Fearn, and
comune with him on this affair, and prevail with him to give a declaration
under his hand that he has no point of accusation to give in against Sir
John as to the opposition he mett with. But if he has done it allready,
as Mr. Collin would insinuate, I know he'll be arch to give such ane absolute
declaration : but he may declare that, being informed of Sir John's having
ane hand in it, but finding the contrar, he does exculpate him of it freely.
Sure if Easter Fearn has any conscience with him, he will yeeld to this, and
the rather that your Lordship will be pressing with him upon it.

]\Iy Lord, if your Lordship came up to Strap epher, it would be a satisfac-
tion to me to see you, and show you some more of this letter. Now that
Mr. Collin is factor, he is something kinder then Easter Fearn ; for since he
is, by this letter, resolved to have me and mine out of this place, he advises
(I believe your Lordship will be a little surprised att the proposition) that
S[ir] J[ohn] should plead with your Lordship to let him have some part in
Cogich, or with Collonell Mackenzie — some part in Assint to shelter himself
and family in till the times are settled, for two or 3 years. The meeckle
Deel's in the man, nothing will please him but to putt us all in the

My Lord, I believe I need not press you to be earnest with Easter [Fear]n
on this. If he does absolutely deny it, Sir John can find affidavitts [that] he
was els where att that time, and phisitians' declarations [that] it was not possible
he could be ther. I hop the subject matter will be a sufficient appology for
the trouble of reading this long letter. I would gladly, if possible, have this
declaration to send south by next week's post, and am allwayes, my Lord,
Tour Lordship's most affectionate humble servant,

Hellen Mackenzie.


382. Alexandek fouetii Lord Elibank to [George Lord Taebat, afterwards
THIRD Earl of Cromartie].

Edinburgh, July 26tli, 1722.
My dear Lord, — Being just now in Edinburgh, I cannot send you the
double of that letter, and the inventar of those papers, as I promised your
Lordship in my last, they being at Balencrieffe ; but expecting to see you
very soon here, you shall have them than. I am sorry to acquaint [you] that,
after all the indeavours I have used, I find it intierly in vain ever to expect
to get any thing done in your bussinesse without you are present yourselfe ;
and therefor I intreat you to make all the haste up here you possibly can, for
this seems to be the very criticall time for the preservation of your family, and
for your own wellfare and settlement ; and if this is slighted and neglected, I
am affraid you will not have such ane opportunity again. There is a proposall
made whereby you may have ten thousand j^ounds sterling, be sent abroad to
travail, and maintained as a person of your quality and station in the world ;
but unlesse you come here yourselfe, those to whom this is proposed will
certainly stick and marr this proposall. This is all I am at freedom to write
to you on this head. There is another proposall by a very sufficient person
to form your whole estate, — the victuall rent at 5/. per boll, and the money
rent, as it stands just now, set to the severall tennents, provided your father
and you consent, and each of you take your separate parts and allowances of
the estate, and a proportionall part be set aside, to be touched by neither of
you, for extinguishing those debts that your grandfather left the estate bur-
dened with. And the person who makes this offer being to go in twinty days
from Edinburgh, you see this absolutely requires your presence. Now I know
I need use no other arguments to perswade you to haste here, since your own
interest and the preservation of your family intierly depend on it. Be sure


you bring up with you a full and compleat rentall of all your estate, both

victuall and money rent, miln rents, salmond fishing, and kens, and every

thing else. Expecting to see you here very soon, I am, my dear Lord,

Your Lordship's most affectionate uncle, and most obedient humble



P.S. — I hope you'l excuse my sending Pete[r]'s letter under your Lordship's
cover, for I did not know where to direct to him. He will wait on you south,
and I desire you may come strait to Balencrieffe. I offer my service to your
brother Eorie, and all your other brothers and sisters.

383. Chaeles Delafaye, Secretary to the Lords Justices, to [John second

Earl of Ceomaetie].

Whitehall, November 30th, 1723.
My Loed, — The Lords Justices having received a representation of the
commission of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, setting forth
the restless endeavours of popish emissarys in perverting many to the errors
and superstitions of the Church of Eome, and withdrawing them from their
duty and allegiance to his Majesty, and the industry of others also who call
themselves protestants to promote the interest of a popish Pretender, one
great means of which is the erecting of meeting houses contrary to law in
many places, wherein the j^reachers neither pray for his Majesty and the
royal family, nor are qualifyed by taking the oaths to his Majesty which the
law requu'es, their excellency s have commanded me to signify to your Lord-
ship their directions that you be vigilant and exact in discharging the duty
incumbent upon you, and the trust which the laws have reposed in your
Lordship in respect of your office, for the punishing and preventing these


abuses which are of so evil and pernicious consequence to the establisht
religion in that part of his Majesty's realm, and to the safety of his Majesty's
person, the security of his government, and the peace and welfare of his sub-
jects : and more particularly, that your Lordship be carefuU and diligent to
suppress popish schools and seminarys within your bounds ; to apprehend
persons suspected to be trafficking priests or Jesuits, and to require them to
take the oath or formula prescribed by the act made in the year 1700 for
preventing the growth of popery ; to commit them pursuant to law, in order
to their tryal before the court of justiciary or circuit courts ; and when any
of them are denounced fugitive or outlawed before the court of justiciary or
circuit courts for not appearing, to apprehend and seize them, if found within
your jurisdiction ; to see the Letters of Orders of preachers or pastors who
hold meeting houses within your bounds duly recorded, as the law requires ;
to call before you such of them as are not qualifyed in terms of law, and upon
conviction, to shut up their meeting houses as the law directs ; and in case
of obstinacy, to apply the penalty of six months imprisonment. All which
you are required punctually and strictly to perform, as you will answer the
contrary. I am, my Lord,

Your Lordship's most obedient humble servant,

Ch. Delafaye.

384. Sir William Gordon of Ixveegordon, Baronet, to [John second Earl

OF Cromartie].

Edinburgh, 25 June 1724.
My Lord, — My Lord Tarbat will acquaint your Lordship by this post
that he is now a bridegroom. Your Lordship has so often and lately expressd
your desire and inclination, and in the most obleiging manner, in favor of


his alliance with me as must lay me under the strongest obligations to con-
sult the honor and prosperity of your family,

No arguments were necessary to induce me to go as far in money as my
circumstances could at present allow me in favor of the young lord, of whom
I have very great expectation, and for whom personaly I have the highest
honor and esteem. The disposition which your Lordship has had the good-
ness so often to express in his favor, and your family, give me a very hope-
full prospect of success to the endeavors which shall be us'd for retrieving
the present weights and intricacies under which it labors. In my daughter
I have given your family the most valuable pledge of friendship I was
capable off ; and as I have no doubt the happiness of the young folks will be
very compleat, your Lordship will find that I will render you my outmost
assistance in every step that can tend to the welfare and prosperity of your
family. My wife and the bride join me in the tender of their most humble
duty to my Lady, your Lordship, and all the family. I ever am,
Your Lordship's most faithfull and most obedient servant,

Will. Gordon.

385. Alexander fourth Lord Elibank to George Lord Tarbat, afterwards

THIRD Earl of Cromartie,

Balencrieffe, 15th June 1726.

My Lord, — I received your Lordship's, dated in May, some time ago ;
and I this day received your other letter, dated the 10th instant, with the
melancholy account of your sister Mary's death, which indeed is a very great
losse. Since I received your first, the truth is, I have not yet had ane
opportunity to speak to Bailly Fall, but I know that, at your brother's entry
to him, there must be £100 sterling payed down with him as prentice fee.

vol. ii. z



So when your Lordship once determiues to have that money ready at Edin-
burgh on demand, I shall talk to Mr. Tall about him ; for it is needles to
speak to him before that is agreed on. Your brother, Mr. William, is just
now here, but it is impossible he can see anybody till once you order mourn-
ings to him for his sister ; for all my family are in mourning for her. My
wife and I offer our most humble duty to my Lady Tarbat, my Lady Gordon,
and Mrs. Anne : and I am, with great sincerity, my Lord,
Your Lordship's most affectionate uncle and most obedient humble servant,

To the right honorable my Lord Tarbat, at Inver Gordon.

386. John foueth Maequis of Tweeddale to John second Eael of


Yester, September the 1st, 1727.
My Loed,

Having had the honnour to be one of the number who did
represent the Peers of Scotland in the last Parliament, and having a design to
offer my service again att the ensuing election, will, I hope, plead my excuse
for giving your Lordship this trouble, which is, to beg the favour of your vote
and interest ; in which, if I have the happiness to succeed, you '11 do me the
justice to believe none shall more willingly embrace every opportunity of
acknowledging thatt honnour then myself, who am, with much esteem.

My Lord,
Your Lordship's most obedient humble servant,
• - Tweeddale.

Earle of Cromarty. .


387. Sir James Mackenzie, Lord Eoyston, to his Nephew, George Lord
Tarbat, afterwards third Earl of Cromartie.

Edinburgh, 5 March 1731.
My Lord,— I am justly much affected with my dear brother's death. His
vigour promised a much longer life, but the distemper which caried him off
com only attacks the strongest.

As for the question in which your Lordship is pleased to ask my opinione,
whether your son should be designed Tarbat or Macleod, upon your grand-
father's death I was of opinione the title of Tarbat was best, because it is the
originall title of the familie, by which it was longest known, and to which
that of Viscount is anexed. On the other hand, as your Lordship justlie
notices, since you are the representative of Macleod of Lewis, an honorable
and antient familie, and certainly the chief of that clann, it is full as honor-
able to keep that title as that which is but a cadet of another familie. So
your Lordship may well use either — both being in the patent of honor. I
am, with great affection, my Lord,

Your Lordship's most humble servant and uncle,

Ja. Mackenzie.
To the right honourable my Lord Tarbat, Dingwall.
To the care of the Laird of Tulloch.

388. George third Earl of Cromartie to [John Mackenzie of Meddat]

Edinburgh, 30th June 1737.
Sir, — Kilcoy wrote to me last week that some people from Glenmore
had come over to the forest of Eanich and drove away 4 or 500 dear into the


forest of Freivater. I advis'd it here, and in consequence of that, by last post,
send Kilcoy directions, which was, that he shoud apply to the sheriff of Eoss
for a warrand to seise the people concern'd in the tlieift ; and allso that the
sherife shoud order the dear to be return'd. I'm surprys'd how such a thing
shoud happen. I saw the Master of Eoss t'other day, and when I told him of
it, he was much surprys'd and concern'd that such a thing shou'd be don. He
is to write by this post to Mr. Baillie, to desire him to finde out the people,
that they may be punish'd as such a crime deserves. And as jMr. Eoss and I
are in strict friendship, and as I am convinc'd there cou'd be no orders for
doing such an act of violence, we are both agreed that the best way to put a
stop to such actings is to have those severly punished that take upon them-
selfes to committ such outrages. So you'll meet with Mr. Baillie on this
affair, and acquaint Kilcoy that the Master of Eoss has sent orders to his doer
to concurr with him in having these people detected, that they may undergo
tlie law.

Acquaint Corry that I am taking all the care I can of him in the admirall
court. There are havie complents made of him, which, if they are true, will
go very hard with him. They lybell no less then £1000 sterling for damages.
I do't know what will come of it.

When there are as maney stones as will finish the sunimerhouse and the
wall, let the rest be laid to the brea head above the cowfold, and all along to
the firr bank, and keep the stone boat bussy, for I will need more stones then
they will be able to carry in five seasons. Mr. Dallas' dela3^s in my exonera-
tion is intoUerable.

I am your assured friend,



389. Patrick fifth Lord Elibank to [George third Earl of Cro.martie].

London, December 23d, 1739.

My dear Lord, — 1 think it my duty to give you some information about
what you will think concerns you much.

My Lord Illay, Avith whom I have had very little eonnnunication of late,
took an opportunity and made a most grievous complaint to me of your Lord-
ship. I think his words were, " I had a most extraordinary letter t'other day
" from your friend Lord Cromertie. He writes me that truly unless I procure
" him a discharge of the few duties in Ross for which he is summoned to account
" by the Exchequier, he desires to give up his pension. Why, is the man mad ?
" What if I should take him at his word," etc., with mucli to this purpose. I
told my Lord that I had not had much correspondence with your Lordship of
late, and declined undertaking to advise your Lordship in a thing of that con-
sequence, where you must be the only judge : and so we parted. But give me
leave to assure you that now is the time for you to insist on what you want.
They may give themselves airs, but they cannot do without you, and you may
make your own terms. I understand his Lordship w^ants to gull you by pro-
mises and fair words, and by procuring you a sist from the Exchequier. If
this contents you, you will be the dupe, and when the elections are over, and
they have no further use for you, the thing will fall on you with double force.
Give me leave, too, to put you in mind that, even when they grant you what
you want, they have you cheaper than any body of your interest. And indeed
it will be your own fault if you submit to this ; and if you do, no body will
pity you, whatever may be the consequences. You know that I have a double
interest in this alTair as your friend and cautioner ; but be assured it is the



first of these characters that determines me to give you this hint : for what-
ever I may seem in business, you shall ever find me, with truth and esteem,
my dear Lord,

Your most obedient slave and affectionat cousin,


Why have you not applied for a commission for Lord MX'leod ? or if you
have, why has it been refused you ?

I offer my compliments to my Lady. My address is at the Smirna Coffee

390. Charles Gordon, son of Sir William Gordon, Baronet, to his brother-in-
law [George third Earl of Cromaktie].

London, January the 2d, 1 74^.
My Lord, — The sudden and melancholy accounts of my father's illness
wdll lessen your surprise in hearing that I am now at London, where I am
greatly apprehensive I shall not long remain in an attendance upon him.
His symptoms are very dangerous, his cough violent to the greatest degree ;
no rest without the aid of opium, and his legs twice their usual size ; and his
pliisycians say that, tho' he may survive for some months, yet his death in
48 hours would give them no surprise. And this blow of Providence at a
time his steady behaviour in the house in going to the Westminster election,
supported by Macleod and Mr. Edwin, the present member, has gaind him
the universal applause of all London ; so that, next to Vernon, Sir William's
health is both the city and Westminster toast, — a conduct which, considering
the turn that politicks must now inevitably take, would be equally for the


interest of his family and friends. T offer my kind and best compliments to
Lady Cromertie and Lady Bell, and am, my dear Lord,

Your most affectionate and obedient servant,

Ch. Gokdox.

Neither Lady Ann, Mr. Eory, or Peter, have so much as once call'd or
sent to enquire about him.

391. Leoxakd Ukquhart, Writer, Edinburgh, to [George third Earl of


Edinburgh, 7tli January 1742.

My Lord, — When I had the honour to write to you some weeks ago, I
sent your summonds against John MackBean's representatives and cautioners
to John Dunbar, a messenger at Inverness, but he has not yet return'd it
executed to me : and I, at the same time, promis'd that a summons against
Bourmaden should soon be sent you ; but as I never got any matterials to
draw it from, I could not send any. I understand Mr. Baillie is to undertake
the mannagment of that affair ; so that I did not enquire furder about it.

The chief design of my writing you now, is to give your Lordship an
account of the melanchoUy and hopless case Sir William Gordon is in, that
you may, in your own prudent way, communicat it or not as you please to
my Lady, who cannot fail to be affected with it, but much more at its con-

In short, he is so far gone with an asthma, a cough, and swelling in his
belly and legs, that his phisicians have given over any hopes of recovery,
and think he cannot live many weeks. His son, Mr. Charles, is gone up to
him, and writes that his condition is so very doubtfull that it is impossible


he can leave him, tho' he thought to have done so ere it was known that he
was there ; and that he has reason to suspect a sudden death. This is a piece
of disagreeable news, but it is what I thought myself bound in duty to in-
form your Lordship of. God grant that I may soon have better accounts to
give of him.

My lord M'^Leod and the young ladies are well. I beg leave, with my
wife, to offer our complements to my Lady Cromarty, your Lordship, and Lady
Bell ; and wishing all the family a good new year, I am, my Lord,
Your Lordship's much obliged and most obedient servant,

Leonard Ukquhart.

Inclosd is a copy of a letter from John Garden I this day received.

392. William twentieth Earl of Sutherland to [Sir John Cope].^

Edinburgh, March the 24th 174f.
Sir,— At this critical conjuncture when his Majesty, our present happy
establishment, and all that can be dear to any Briton, has been threaten'd
with an invasion, it becomes all his Majesty's subjects to exert themselves
for his service. And as I have no small interest in that part of the island
where possibly disorders might be endeavour'd to be rais'd, in case any such
desperate attempt shou'd be hereafter carried on, I took the liberty, some
time ago, to represent that tho' I was able to bring a considerable body of
men into the field, if his Majesty's service shou'd require it, yet the country
having been disarm'd, and those who are suppos'd to be disaffected in the
Highlands being generally very well arm'd, the numbers of men that I might
have it in my pow'r to assemble cou'd be of very little use, and must ev'n

^ Original Letter at Yester.


become a prey to the enimies of the government, unless arms be put into
their hands. And I then mention'd that, upon an emergency, I hop'd I
shou'd be able to bring five hundred men immediately together, who might
be employ 'd as his Majesty shou'd think proper. I have since that time
been enquiring how many men can be brought out of the shire of Sutherland
by the sheriff, or more properly by a lord lieutenant, when such officer shall
be appointed by his Majesty ; and as near as I can judge, the number may
amount to eighteen hundred. But beside the interest I have in that county,
I am pretty well assur'd that from the neighbouring county of Caithness, in
defence of his Majesty and his royal family, I might depend upon four
hundred effective men of the name of Sutherland, who wou'd follow me as
their chief. But, sir, two things appear to me to be wanting ; first, that a
lord lieutenant shoud be nam'd, since he is the proper officer under the crown
to assemble the militia of the country ; and, in the next place, that arms be
provided to be distributed. This I have taken the freedom to mention to
you now, as the person chiefly entrusted by his Majesty in all military
matters in this part of Great Britain, that you may give such directions and
do therein as to you shall seem the most proper for the support of his
Majesty's crown, and the defence of the country and its liberty. As to the
number of arms necessaiy to be put into the hands of his Majesty's faithfull
subjects in Sutherland, and those of Caithness who wou'd follow me as their
leader, I shall not presume, after having laid the circumstances before you,
to mention precisely what wou'd be requisite at this juncture ; but I believe
a thousand arms wou'd be very well plac'd for his Majesty's service amono-
my friends, beside what they have abeady ; which, indeed, are but very few.
If that number shou'd be thought too great to be giv'n immediately, I submit
it to your consideration how many may be proper at present for that service.
Sir, as zeal for his Majesty's service and government is the motive that

VOL. II. 2 A


prompts me to write this letter, I am persuaded you'll pardon the trouble I
give you : and I beg that you'll believe I shall be ready on all occasions to
show that I am, with the greatest esteem, sir.

Your most obedient and most humble servant,

Online LibraryWilliam FraserThe earls of Cromartie; their kindred, country, and correspondence (Volume 2) → online text (page 18 of 56)