William Fraser.

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

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jNIy Lord, — I promised, in my last letter from Berlin, to write again from
this place. I have delayed it hitherto, in hopes of having been able before
now to acquaint you with the success of Velt Marechal Keith's applications
to the Court of Sweden in my favour. I received a letter some time ago
from M : Keith, inclosing a copie of Count Tessin's answer to his letter
recommending me. The Swedish minister gives the strongest assurances of
his doing all in his power for me. Since I have been here, I have payed my
respects, from time to time, to the Prince Piadzivil, the prince and bishop of


Warmia, and to some others of tlie Polish noliility now in this city. Thev
are all very courtious and affable, and give me the strongest assurances of
assisting me with all their interest in case I go into their country, &c. I am,
my Lord,

Your most affectionate and dutiful son,


Stockholm, January 16th, 1750, O.S.
]\Iy Lord, — I left Dantzick the 1 1 of last month ; and as I had but a
few hours' warning, I had not time to write. I wrote you about a fortnioht
before I came here, three weeks ago. I was introduc'd the 8th instant to the
king, to the prince, and to madame royale, by his excellency Count Tessin,
and was very graciously received. All the other senators, as well as the first
minister, are extremly obliging to me. ]\Iy affair is alraidy over, and in a
few days I will get my commission as captain in the regiment of foot com-
manded by Major General Baron Hamilton. Baron Hamilton, the elder
brother of my colonel, is my zealous friend : he is high chancellor of this
kingdom. A great number of the Swedish nobility are originaly Scots.
Besides the Hamiltons, there are the Counts Fercen, who are MTliersons, and
the familys of Douglas, Stuart, Spens, M'^Dugal, and several others. I am
greatly obliged to INIessrs. Jennings and Finlay, two rich English merchants
to whom I was recommended from Dantzick. I lodge with them in Mr.
Jennings house. ]\Ir. Jeiniing's second daughter is the chancellor's bride : his
eldest is likewise soon to be married to the governor of one of the provinces,
and the youngest wHl probably soon follow the example of her sisters, as
she has plenty of lovers. The court here is very brilliant; some of the
nobility and maids of honor act a play every week, which is followed by a ball
in domino. There['s] a[n] assembly for dancing and cards every Wedsenday
at Count Tessin's. I offer my affectionate duty to my mother, &c. I am.
VOL. 11. 2 G


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

London, April 20tL, 1751.
SiR^ — I told you in my last that the goods sent in Captain Reid's ship
were received, but that the head piece of the sconce, and a piece of one of
the heads of one of the peer glasses was not come ; and desired that you
might look out for them to be sent by the first occasion. In looking over
the things since, there are amissing the cushin of the easie chair, which is of
a particular shape for the chair, the damask cover and haratain cover are
come, but not the cushin itself There is likewise missing one of the pillows
of the couch cover'd with damask. Those you will likewise send by the first
occasion of a ship, which I hope will be soon, as we long extreamly for Peggy
coming up, which 1 most again insist for being as soon as possible. The
shovells were foregot, but it is no matter, as allso the small grate that was
wrote for is not come, but another that was good for no more then so much
old iron. There are some more of the maliogony brackets for candlesticks at
the sides of chimnys — let them be sent. Now that this is over, you'll make
out exact and particular inventarys of all that remain, where ever they are,
whither at Tarbat, Castleleod, Invergorden, Belnagowan, or where else they
may be. As soon as I receive that, I will send you a particular note of
what things are to be keept, and where, as also of what are to be sold, witli
prices afixed to such as I can here put a value upon ; and those that no
prices are afixed to, to be sold for what can be got for them. In the mean-
time, let all the care that is possible be taken of every thing, especially of
such things as are aptest to be spoilt by being moulded and moth-eaten for
want of air, such as pictures, tapestry, beds and beding. I shall send you an
infallible recept for preventing and destroying mothes, viz., black pepper
pounded very small and sprink[l]ed throw a drudging box pritty thick all over


the tapit;try and betwixt the Mds, and folded np -with tliat in them destroye?-:
and absolutely prevents any mothes. I beg you will take care that this be
done : the same Mill ansuer with blankets, or any thing else that is liable to
be moth-eaten. I hope Mr. B — y will take care to keep the houses water
tight ; and that you will take care of other things without doors, I make no
doubt. Compliments to all friends. We shall meet ere hills meet. 1 am,

Your affectionate friend,


I shall send you some franks as soon as I can get them. I have not yet
received the £15, nor heard from Mr. Urquhart since you sent it.

451. Lord George Murray, signing " De Valignie," to John Lord


Emmerick, 25th April, N.S., 1751.

Mv Lord, — I had the pleasure of your lordship's of the 15th March, and
by last post, that of the 26th. Lin glad to find you have keept your health
well all this winter. I most heartely aprove of your intention of passing to
Findland, if there be an inbarcation, tho' you have not an immediat call,
for it may prove very usfull to you in sevral respects.

Your lordship will not doubt of my inclinations to serve you in anything
in my power ; but realy, I am deficulted how to make another application to
the King, for I told you formerly I had never done it for any person else.
And I am much affraid, if done, it will not have tlie success we wish ; for
his Majesty has abundance of dencultys to strugle with, and is often much
pinch'd ; tho without doubt he is as desirous and willing to assist his
suffering and distressd subjects as any prince on earth. I am the more


nuwilling to ask favours for my friends that the returns I mett with for my
services and best indeavours to advise the prince, when in Scotland, were not
very incouraging ; yet nothing can alter my way of thinking for the King
and my country's service, so I shall always continow to act in evry situation
as becomes an honest man. And as I believe I can write more in your lord-
ship's favours than your modesty woud permit yourself to do, I undertake
it with more willingness than hopes of success. I have therfor, by this post,
wrote to Mr. Edgar all I can think most proper to atean what you desire,
and which he will lay before his Majesty, and I expect in less as two months
to send you an answer. At the same time, you had best not lay your account
upon any thing : if it comes, it will always be usfuU ; and let not the want
of it hinder your putting your design in execution. Please let me hear from
you, from time to time. Evry thing that concerns you I will always take
parte in ; and if there be any thing of moment transacted in your partes
which you think will not be in the publick papers, I shall be glad you let me
know. My wife goes soon for Scotland ; she desires her compliments to your
lordship, and we both wish all health, and success in your affairs. I remain,

my lord,

Your lordship's most obedient and humble servant,

De Yalignie.

A my Lord, my Lord Macleod, dans le regement de General Comte
d' Hamilton a ]\Ialmoe, in Scania. • •

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

London, July 4th, 1752.
Sir, — I have received yours of the 19th June. I was, several months
ago, aware of what INIr. Baillie has now wrote to you. I knew that was an



event that ^yas to happen, and, of consequence, what would inevitably follow
upon it. That was the reason that I so frequently wrote in so pressing a
manner that you should peremptorily execute what I recommended to you.
I could not explicitly give you reasons for what I hinted ; but you may now
expect that person who succeeds my old friend upon you imawares ; so I
need not tell you what will naturaly occur to yourself is to be don. "What
is lost in point of time is irrecoverably so : and that is what I was alwise
afraid of. In short, let all the things that are to be sent hither be directly
lodged at Cromertie, if you should hire a room for them till a ship offers.
The tapestry, pictures, and all the other things that are to be keep't, to be
lodged in the same place. I am persuaded Captain Urquhart will not refuse
to give a place for them, of which I have wrote to Mr. Gorry : but at any
rate, let them be removed to a safe place. And what remains of the things,
to be sold directly to the best avail : take what you can get for them. Take

wliat you are offered for the red bed at C ; and what you are offered for the

little chimney glass you mention is anougli for it, and it is better sold then
the large glasses would be at the prices I affixed to them. Take what you
are offered for the pale bed, and for everything that remains at that place ;
take what you can get for them, that they may be disposed of without loss
of time. And sell these boring irons ; I suppose you will get no more for
them then what iron sells there for by weight. Tlie time of Mr. Eoss's coming

to Bell n may be uncertain, and it is as uncertain whither he will buy

anything. Do not trust to it, except you haA'e been spoke to by commission
from him, and in that case the things can be lodged in a safe place near him ;
for there is an absolute necessity for removing them from where they now
are, and that immediately. I believe that Mr. C. H. G., besides the four
sconces he has already bought, will buy the four glasses that are contained
in the list I sent you the 25th of April last ; viz., a large chimney


glass in a gilt frame, with brandies — £12, 12s., a large new pier glass in a
silt frame — £12, 12s., a smaller ditto in a gilt frame — £6, Gs.,a new fashioned
chimney glass, gilt frame — £4, 10s. ; and the 17 large brass locks that fix on
plates of iron. I have heard from Mr. Hamilton abont these things, and
have agreed to let him have them, provided that yon have not sold them
before this comes to hand. So yon will deliver them to any person that lie
appoints to receive them ; bnt that mnst be done without delay.

Let all the other locks except these 17 remain on the doors at botli
places. As to the chimuey glass that Fairburn has got, without regard to
what it cost me, let him send the exact dimentions of the two sheets of
glass to his doer at Edinburgh, to enquire at the people there who deal in
glasses, to know what they would give for it ; and my friend Fairburn shall
pay me no more then what he could, if he had a mind, sell it to them for.

I am well persuaded that the person whom you mention will be exact to
a title, in so much that I believe there will be no benefit had from the grase-
ings ; so [I] think the best thing can be don is to sell the whole stoke of

As to the beds at T[arba]t, sell them for any tolerable price, without regard
to the prices I affixt to them : and in this I leave a discreationary power in
yourself. But if no tolerable price can be got for them, have no scrouple
about dismounting them ; that is, in pulling all the stuff of the coumbs of
the velvet, and blue sowed beds, because, if ever we were to use them again,
they would be made up in a quite different way, and, of consequence, dis-
mounted before they were so made up. Therefore it can be of no loss, if
they are to be keept, to take them down so ; on the conterary, it will be an
advantage, because they'll pack easier and take up less room. You know
that the camblet showed bed is to be keept at any rate ; and if you do not
get an adequate price for the two above niention'd, and for the green turk-


upon-turk, they also are to be keept, but all their bedsteds to be sold.
Every thing elce to be sold for what you can get for them ; and in doing that,
and removing every thing, there is not an hour to be lost.

With compliments and best wishes to jNIrs. INIackenzie and you, and all
uther friends in the country, I am sincerely yours,

For Meddet.

453. Lord George Murray, signing " de Valligxie," to John Lord


Emmerick, 1st Aprile 1753.

My Lord, — I receiv'd the honor of your lordship's letter of 30 Jully
last : but as you then told me you was resolvd to make a tour to Britain, I
imagind any letter I could write would not find you in Sweden. I have now
your lordship's of the 14th February O.S., by which I see your reasons for
not having made that journy ; which, indeed, could not have profitted you
as your affairs are situat, and therfore I think you have judg'd it very well
not to have put yourself to so unnecessarry an expence.

I'm sorry to find your lordship is still troubl'd from time to time with
that wricked distemper the ague. I believe if you acoustomd yourself to
bitters, and dyet drinks, it would be of use to you : had your ague been put
right away at Berlin, I don't think it would have recur'd so often.

What ever may turn out as to pace or war, your lordship can do nothing
that will be of more advantage to you than applying yourself closs to your
business, and makeing yourself intirly master of ev'ry thing requisite for an
officer. Your lordship has all the disposition and oppertunitys necessarry for
that end, and, whenever a war should brake out, you will be no novice. I


own it is my oppinion that, notwithstanding all the rmnores we have, they
will blow over for the present.

I wish you may have opportunitys of finding good books of history, the
reading carfuUy of which will be of the utmost service to you in after life.
Your lordship may be assurd that I shall ever take a particular concern in
evry thing that regards you ; and if at any time I can be of any use to you
nothing shall be wanting on my parte that's in my power.

Pray, send me an account of the country you live in. I'm told evry thing
is plentifull, except money, and in gineral it is a cheap country. I have been
long thinking of making a toure to Sweden. I have acquaintance at Gotten-
berg, and also at Stockholm. I believe travling is chape there, for otherways
I could not atempt it ; but, if I shovild, I would not pass by my own name.

My wife and Lady Sinclair have been with me these ten months, but I
believe will return home before winter nixt. They desire to make their
compliments to your lordship.

When you write me, direct to j\Ionsr. de Vallignie, here, par Hamburg.
This is better as by Minden.

My second son is apointed an aide-du-camp to one of the generals that
are to command in the camp that is to be formd near Dresde this summer,
but I shall have the utmost deficulty to equipe him in horse, &c. Their pay
there is very small, as first leutenant not above 14 rix dollers a month ; and
he stands me fifty each month more, which brings me into great deficultys.
I ever am, my dear lord,

Your lordship's most humble and obedient servant,

DE Vallignie.

A my Lord, my Lord Macleod, capitain dans le regement du General Comte
d'llammilton, a Barsebeck par Landscrona, en Scanie, par Hamburg.



454. The Same to The Same.

Emmericli, 29th October 1753.

My Lokd,- — Your letters of the 17th May, 22d July, both from Barsebeck,
and that of 20th September from Helsingfors, came all to my hands in cours
of post. I wonld certainly have wrote to your Lordship before now, but as
by your two first letters I observ'd that you were to return to Finland, I post-
pond writeing, not thinking a letter could come safe to your hands untile
youraryvale with the regement : besides, your lordship gave me no adress in
either of them letters. I shall on this occasion observe that I imagine your
lordship's letters to me are open'd by the way — perhaps at Hamburgh. Be
that as it will, I take it to be the best methode, both for you and me, to
inclose our letters to some other person ; that is to say, the single letter with
a Seal or wafer derected as ordinary, and the envelop derected as I propose,
so that the postage will be stile the same. The envelop of the letters you
adress to me may be derected a Monsieur Ercrsman, Maitre de Post, a
Emmerich, dans le Duche de Clcvc ; and your lordship may let me know
how I shall derect the envelop of my letters to you.

I find by your letter of 2 2d July your lordship had made a trip to Copen-
hagen with your general, and seed the camp that was there formd, and the
manuvres of the Danish troups. I am oblig'd to you for the particular account
you then wrote me of what you had seen, and I agree with your Lordship in
the observation you made as to their exposing their flank when form'd in
batle, tho' it was to be supos'd it was as in sight of an enemy. Nothing is
more advantagious for officers, and even the common souldiers, than these
camps in time of pace, and they seem to be pritty much a la mode at present.
I imagine your lordship would have been content to have seen the encamp-
ment of the Prussian troups near Potsdame. They say there could not be a

VOL. II. 2 H


liner sight, not only upon account of the troups, which I believe are not to
be equald any where, but also the justness of all the different manouvres, as
well as the variety. I own I had a vast inclination to have been there, and
I had the kindest invitation imaginable some time before from our worthy
friend the V[elt] M[arechal] Keith, who made me an offer, not only of his
house, but also horses to mount me ; but my affairs did not permit me to embrace
so agreable an offer. My second son came here the midle of JuUy after the
revevv at Dresde. He had a very good opportunity of instructing himself,
having serv'd as aide-du-camp to the General Quartermaster, who derected the
whole detaile of that encampment under the V[elt] M[arechal]. 1 find him
much growen, and he does not want toung : he is equally master of the French
and High Germans, which last he spakes full as well as his mother toung.
But I can't say the same as to his writeing, for he is too giddy, and wants
reflection. He went from this with his mother and sister the end of Jully for
Scotland ; and he is to be back here once this month. I propose putting
him in some proper place to learn some exersises, particularly the mathi-
maticks, for a cuple of years. Dresde is a place of too much deversion ; so
that a young person has over much occasion to be dissipat : besides it is one
(if the most expensive places in Europ. I have the Velt Marechal Potu-
wiski's permission and aprobation to place the young man for a cuple of
years where I may see convenient ; and I don't fear that he will meet with
any injustice, but that he will advance in his turn. There are alcove thirty
leutenants in the regement younger in commission than him.

My eldest son was, I believe, married the 23d October, to his cusen Lady
Chariot, the Duke of Atholl's only child. If he have no other, they will have
all except the titles, which will be sunk by my attender. But there is a
British peerage which will be in Lady Chariot's person, if her father have
no sons.


I 'ill sorry to observe by your lordship's last letter that your sircuni-
stances are not so good as I most heartely wish they were to your owu
contentment ; and I am the more coiicernd that I doe not see that what you
propose can answer your expectations. I sent you an exerpt of the King's
letter, when you got the last remittance ; so that, after what his Majesty
than wrote, it would, I conceive, be to no purpose to make a further appli-
cation. T shall tell your lordship further that, above five years past, the
King ill a letter he was gratiously pleasd to write me, had the goodness to
say that he intended to augment the allouance he gives me by 1200 livers a
year. I had made no application for that augmentation, and no doubt his
Majesty intended it, but I have not lieard any more of it. I realy believe
his oun situation does not permit his doing it, and I have never once taken
leave to put him in mind of it ; being perswaded he would, if he conveniently
could, since he once said it. I supose what money or subsidy the court of
France gives is to the Prince. This is my thought. I always am, my lord.
Your lordship's most obedient, etc.

G. M.

As I found that I was too leat for the post last Saturday, I did not finish
my letter till this day, 3d Xovember. I should be glad to know if your
lordsliip has a company, and what your pay may amount to in the month.
If I can think of any proper method to let your sircumstances be known
more fully to his Majesty, assure yourself I will indeavour to do it, tlio, after
what he wrote me, I cannot derectly to himself. I would not have your
lordship make much dependance upon any pecuniarry assistance from the
King ; and, as I formerly mentiond to you, I doubt not at a proper juncture
he may fall upon some methode of procuring you strong recommendations.
If any conjuncture of that nature should offer which may have a probabilety


of success, if you think that I can in any how be servisable to yow, I shall
with much pleasure and frankness embrece the ocasion. If your lordship
derect to me (and under Mons^. Eversman's cover) you may adress to me a
Mons''. Moils'. U C[h]evaUcr (TAtholl. Believe me to be ahvays,
Your lordship's most affectionat humble servant,

LE Chevalier d'Atholl.

A my Lord, my Lord Macleod dans le regement de Leuteuant General
Comte d'Hamilton a Barsebeck en Finland, Suede, par Hamburgh.

455. Field-Marshal the Honourable James Keith, second son of William
ninth Earl jMarischal, to [John Lord Macleod].

Dresden, March 13th, 1757.
My dear Lord, — I ask you a thousand pardons for having employed so
often Miss Eve in our correspondence, but my illness will plead my excuse.
I have been so troubled this wholle winter with the asthma that I was quite
out of condition to write myself ; but as it is now over, I take the first opor-
tunity to assure you liow charmed I am with the hopes of seeing you in our
army, where, if you arrive by the 15 or 20 of April, you will be in time
enough. I believe I need not desire you not to encumber yourself with much
baggage. Some linnen, two suits of uniforme, ane iron bedsted, is all, I think,
you want. A couple of riding horses will be necessary to be bought before
you come here, where it will be very dificult to get any. A servant's
horse, and one for a packsadle, you will find means to buy here. You see I
propose a very small equipage to you ; but as I hope you will share my table
and quarters, I think it will be sufficient. I have already returned the King
of Sweden thanks for the letter he did me the honour to write me, and I



believe our King lias already acquainted his sister of the permission he has
granted you of assisting here. I wish you a good journey, and am, with the
greatest regard, my dear lord,

Your lordship's most humble and most obedient servant,

James Keith.

456. Pateick fifth Lord Elibank^ [address wanting].

Balencrief, near Hadington, April 2d, 1757.

Sir, — So high are the expectations of the honest part of mankind from
the principles you profess, and the steps you have already taken towards the
relief of your injured country, that, however much the publick distress may
require your attention, I flatter my self you will, at least, pardon me for put-
ting you in mind of a w^ong done a private man, in so publick a manner, and
on so publick an account, that it cannot be unworthy even of your publick
spirit to redress it. I mean the case of Alexander Murray, my brother. Six
months' imprisonment, and perpetual exile, have been the recompense of an
honest endeavour to exert the priviledge of a free born subject, — the last of
these severities exercised on him, after an acquittal of a supposed crime, by a
jury, and the laws of his country.

It has been my fate to pass my life in constant opposition to men in
power, and my want of practice in the arts of sollicitation must appear in this