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

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take nottice to your Lordship formerly, that when all others who are in office
are nominat on any publik occasion, their office is mentiond in their desig-
nation, and mine on no occasion. If this be because non fanto sum dignv.s,


yet the office should not suffer. If it be because my office may by some [be]
judged pro libitu, yet others who are so, are designed in their office. If it be
as a preparatory to a new comission, yet others who have no new comission,
are yet designd. But if it [be] because others — exempli gratia, the president of
the session — is not changable in vertue of the claim of right, then much more I.
For he is vice president of a judicatur, and in absence ; I, certainly, president
of a sovereign court of judicatur, and of the first of the juridicall courts, and
in the fixednes of whose office the leidges are most concernd, as beeing judge
with others of lives and fortunes, and whose comission is not in the tearms
durante heneplacito, but indefinit as other judges are. I ever thought my
best charter to office was my sovereigns choise, and in offices of state it is
the only. But in judicatur I ever thought their fixednes the peoples best
security, and I cannot alter my opinion because it is in my owne favour.
And therfor, when I found my beeing of no faction was a cause of parties
hatred, and that in absence I could not warm enough against the haile of
hatred, by the Queens allowance, I choosed a station, which, tho it could not
inrich me, yet would secure me against adversares, if I were ane adversar
to my self by turning criminall. Now if this be in the pott, I plead not
guilty, and wiU stand for my innocence ; and this I tell by prevento, to a
patron, a freend, a cousigne, but primo loco to her Majesties secretarie, who I
doubt not will fairly lay befor herr Majesty the case (if it occurr) of
Your Lordship's faithfull humble servant,


287. The Same to [The Same].

21 Agust 1707.
My Lord, — Wee are heer tos't in our judgments twixt designs of persones
and severall views of the nature of the things. Its like that the African


Company beeing satisfied, and amongst them those who very frankly opposed
our vnion, then the other branches, whither these who were treaters, or yet
more, these who are and have been disappointed of their fees and salaries, by
the prudence of the sq[uadron], most ly out, till the parliament of Brittain,
at least this session of parliament most be over or any other can ; and then
they shall be best served who are true blews. But if such a cast should be
given, that the commissioners of equivalent should be ordored to dispatch their
trust ere they dissolwe, this would disappoint two designs : 1°- the squadron
will not be so numerous in the parliament as is bragg'd ; 2"- they most pay
others as weel as their freends, or they part. But 7umquam credita Teucris
Cassandra. My Lord, there was ane overtur for bringing in the pirats of
^ladgascar, who (for ought appears) could not be reduced, without more trouble
should be brought to be. Good subjects (what ever Christians they be) might
be pardon'd on their enacting themselfs to live peacably and loyally for heir-
after, and be lyable to reparations to herr Majesties subjects and herr allyes
ill Europe as law should provide.

This, with advise of herr Majesties Scots servants, was granted by the
Queen, on which wee justly hoped that ill men should become good men.
The apparent method seems to be that there should be a reasonable method
taken for certioratinge how much unpassible money is in Scotland, and
that a summe be sett aside to pay the loss, and that immediatly the unpas-
sible money be cryed down to the value of bullion, and on certificats of
the quota given in, the commissioners of the equivalent should pay the
loss, and so foorth. But since this will take up some tyme, and that the
commissioners of the equivalent are mostly, yea, almost all of them are
commissioners to the parliament, who will goe up befor the money can be
distributed, wherby the whole effaire will be cast of, and on the matter
England will have failed in makeing the equivalent effectuall. So, qucere,


whither will be worst ? Shall these members imployd in this commission
stay a while from parliament, or shall the satisfaction of all concernd in the
equivalent be disappointed ? Si riua cum vestris valuissent vota, and if the
samne course had been taken in April and May with the forreign money
which was taken with the English money, then the import of much forreign
money had been prevented, and the loss by decrying money had been justly
and easily repayd. But now wee are at writing herof in a perfect con-
fusion. My Lord, this is writt in the comittee, and so is confused. But if
the comission leave their work, and goe up and not leave a quorum, this nation
will be in confusion, and many in dissatisfaction. The remed is obvious- —
that a comission be keept up till it be distributed ; and as to the Madagascar,
if they can be reduced, its weell. But if it be fit to reduce them by pardon,
since it was once done in favours of Scotland, and that now Scotland and
England is all one, if Scotlands interest be left out in it, its hard. This is con-
sonant to my resolution of writing what occurs to

Your Lordships servant,


288. The Same to [The Same].

25 September, 1707.
My Lord, — If I had matters to writt of, worth nottice or tyme, you had
not been so long unhearing from me ; nor should I now [write], if I judged
it not in some measure considerable, the greater dissatisfaction then ever, of
and for our vnion. Your Lordship may easily beleev that many who were
so, tho on severall accounts, are no converts as yett, but almost twice as
many are joind in their sentiments, and many of such as did concurr with
us for it — some for the matter of the seaz'd wines, some for salt, some for


seeing so litle, or rather nothing, of the English concuring or so much as be-
ginning any kind of fishery, tho our coasts be swarming with fish, and
albeit the Hollander[s] were not formerly so near to our capacity for fishing
as now they are, did wee allow the samne incovradgments for fishing as
they doe. This gives a handle for malcontents against the Vnion, to in-
sinuat, yea boldly to spread it abroad, that Englands are in compact with
the States of Holland never to sett up fisherie, a resolution which evry
wise and true Brittain will abhor, and therfor no good man should beleeve
that they will. And tho present circumstances doe oblidge us to keep fair
with our neighbours, and slacken to lay hold on the present occasion, whilst
Holland can fish with so much danger, and whilst they have so few bushes,
yett I shall never beleeve that they shall not hinder the Hollanders, or perhaps
others, to fish, — yet, I say, I cannot think wee will be so over civill to them,
or unjust to our selfs, as not to fish in our seas, yea, almost at our harbours,
and when wee can doe it with half the tyme that others can fish in, and not
half the danger that they fish under, our harbours beeing so near to our
fisheries both of herrin and codd. Another medium of discontent arises from
yett continueing Scotish disease of envy and emulation, and the grimm looks
of passion in the remaines of factions ; and tho nothing of that nature shall
make me out of love with the vnion, yett I have as much reason as any to
think that zeal for the vnion, or service for it, hath not been so acceptable to
our superiors as was given [out], since severals, who were so, gett the divel to
their thanks, whilst others come better speed in better coyne. But of all the
mediums used to irritat people none is so extensive then the needless delayes
of dividing of the equivalent, on the pretence that they most proceed in the
ordor appointed by parliament, which is certain. As to the preference in
payment, had the forreign money been numerat in the begining as the
English coyne was, and as was then urged oftner nor once, then it had been


certain what quota was needful to pay that loss, and wee had been safe from
a great quantity of both English and forreign coyne, that hath been brought
in since, and caryed 3 and | per 100, at least, out of Brittain, and dimiuisht
both the civill and military quota. And what hinders now a Hugeban, or any
who pleases, to cary in a million, and cary therby 100,000/. of the equivalent
out, a danger wherof the councell hath been weell advertised, for this blame
falls more naturally on the councell then on the commissioners of the equi-
valent. jMy Lord, yow cannot imagine how this irritats many, and I have
been, and am still earnestly invited to concurr to raise noise on this, and
homing against the commissioners, which I have resisted and hitherto dis-
waded. This is too long a letter, but I hope not altogether useless. I shall
only add a very short scheam to shew the needlesnes of delay. 398,000/.,
wherof 12,000, or so, may repay the loss of coynage — but allow 20,000 ; for
the remaines, 378,000/. To the African Company as per act of parliament
232,000/. — rests 146,000/.; to the wool this year 2,000/., rest 230,000/.;
to the commissioner, expenses for parliaments 18,000/., so rests 128,000/.
Allow 8,000/. for secret service; rests 120,000/. — the half wherof is for the
militarie ; rests to the civill 60,000/. Why is not this divided to pay
salaries and servants allowances, as farr as it will goe ? And sure it will
pay all, except gratuitous pensions, which by act of parliament is in the
last place. Now by the act of parliament the coynadge, African Company,
wool, and commissioners charges be preferrd, yet what de daro is beyond
these payments, why should the dividend of the certain quota be delayd
to be distributed ? Xow, my Lord, as to my litle particular, I am used with
contempt, and what looks like hatred. I hear I am to have none, till the
commissioners of treaty from the parliament ; if so, I will study for as
much to borrow as will cary my old bones up to complain, vale que vale, as
Squire Meldrum said. And I repyne especially, that the Queens favour in


appointing by 3 severall letters, that I should be payed of 1500Z. for my dear
bought equippage, and loss by my fatall voyag with my family to London ;
and herr Majesty haveing fixt that on the customs of Aberdeen, which what-
ever herr Royal successors might quarrell in that, herr servants in herr lyftyme
(which may God long continne) cannot disappoint me, and the customs free-
dome from former debts is a cheef design of the equivalent ; so that, if I be
forct to raise legall diligence to affect tliat branch with my 1 500/., [it] will not
be pleasant. And this beeing the Duke of Queensberry[s] case for much
more then my concern, viz., 1000 for 100, I hope for his just and prudent
favour, and kindness to boot, in my concern ; and allow me to presume that
in so just a cause your Lordship will not forsake

Your most humble and faithful servant and old freend,


I doubt these members of parliament who are on the commission will not
doe twice as much good there as their leaving us in discontent will doe harm ;
for they will certainly have the pass of ane address from a good many, with
them, or after them.

All this to your Lordship only, from your freend and servant.

289. The Same to [The Same].

7 October 1707.

My dear Lord, — I have writt too much unregarded stuff, especially of

my own litle concerns, so no more of that. There is a weeping afternoon as

weell as fornoon. Patienter ferre memento is a Christian tone from a heathens

rurall reed. Now, my Lord, paulo majora canamus. This is a new scene


and a comencment. Yow were actors on the high stage, are under observino-
eyes ; all have a share in the interest : and tho in some former, the shares
of the box was principally considered, but now, my dear Lord, if ought be
gaind with trick or comedy, it may perhaps be dear bought. It is a matter
of great honor, if any shall act a heroick and prudent part, especially in the
first act, et h contra. I am much prest by men to whom I am not much
oblidged, and (to tell truth) whom I doe not much love, to make a London
recreative journey ; and under specious pretences of a generous design, I had
almost resolved by a motion of privat anger to goe ; but the other project is
too great to be weell seen by so old eyes. I am hopefull the Earl of I\Iarr
will mind the greater prospect of Britain, and next to that, what will be the
true interest of old North Caledonia, which was counted a part of Brittain evn
in the Romans tyme. A present blinds to many of mankind evn in compe-
tition with eternity ; no wonder it doe then on whats on ane equall foot ;
yet evn in that, the esteem of beeing ane honest man is preferable to that of
beeing a rich man, which is almost synonimus with beeing a great man.
My Lord, as I was writing this, the Earl of Weems came to see me, and told
that 20 ministers had told him that I was on a plott to move for a tolera-
tion in the Brittish Parliament. This gave the first brangle to my new wish
for it. I know not if any thing could make the vnion more gratefull, or the
progresse of Christianity more successful! ; yet this is the first motion I made
or thought on for it. In this period I may wish it, but ! in vain. Mr.
Carstairs will be against it, and so I think the chancier will not be for it.
I doe not exspect, and therefore I doe not desyre, to know publick matters
but from Madid ; yet that is the only matter I am Popish in, viz., implicittt
fide, to wish your resolves may be for what yow truly tliink to be Brittains
good in church, state, and army. As for what concerns lands and seas
abroad, I leave these to the conduct of these demy-gods whose province it


is to govern amidst these waves ; and I pray that they may govern above
my hopes and fully to my wishes, and better for Brittaine, and with more
benigne aspects then they have influenced the effairs or litle concerns of
Your Lordships most humble and faithfull servant,

I have been hideously soUicited to a London jour [n]ey, but I will see good
way and a good guide for ane old traveller.

290. The Same to [The Same].

1 ISTovember 1707.
My Lord, — Albeit paine (which hath tyed me to my chamber for 8
weeks) had not interveend, yett the great civility and yett greater kindnes
in your Lordships letter, dated October 16, made me too stupid to writt a
suitable answer. My Lord, I give yow my most humble acknowledgment
and thanks for the obligations put on me in it. It was my province to begg
pardon for troubling your Lordship with my former writings. All my true
excuse is, that the irritationes from others, and the honor of your relatione,
and a presumeing of your favour, prompted me to writ more then I should
have done. And now in self defence I most presume your pardon also. I
did and doe think that some have used me ill as to my dues when secretare,
and since ; and have not amended but added to it in my concern in the equi-
valent ; and tho I silently suffered my low ranking, I hoped I would not have
been so litle regarded. And I will boldly say that, if I had minded the
vnion less, then I might have joined, on frequent soUistations, to have stopt
some particular persones designs, and ether brought back their rank or ad-
vanced my owne. But if in that I had given the least advantage to any


who opposed the vnion, I had now repented more then I doe what I loss by
my freends unkindnes. My Lord, had I been worth any esteem, what I
proposed for delivering me from some uneasines had never been of prejudice
to any publick concern ; and this I did too sollicitously represent to Sir David
Nairn, and by him to others. I am sensible of his kindnes, and am so of
others contempt. But I am sorry that I troubled yow with the faggend of
that matter. I shall have patience in hopes of a just event, and on fur[t]her
I shall have as litle as I can.

My Lord, I earnestly concurr with your Lordships prayer for the happy
event of this parliament ; and, with other things, I hope they will consumat
our vnion in all its essentials, so as not to leave gapps at which malignant
rivolets may find entry to sapp our works againe, which I am sure is waited
for. But I hope the wisdome of a Brittish parliament will be more soUici-
tous to prevent tendency to breaches then any comissiones have been. No
doubt her Majesty did weell not to medle in what w^as comitted, and I hope
that will make them as carefull to shunn partiality. I can not regrat that
prudence is so wary of angring 18, and so cannot but thinke that the samne
prudence will not irritat twice 18. As to the toleration, I dare give no
advice. To propose it might anger some governours ; the want of it will, I
am sure, anger many thousands, and will give ane handle on some occasiones
to some who are already anxious to increase disaffection to what I am con-
fident your Lordship and many good men have helpt to establish for Brit-
tains good. Your Lordship is fair in the right to be against too bold
stroaks or too apparent alterations ; yett, on the other hand, that things
should grow heavier on dissenting protestants heer, or old Torie exspect less
justice heer then they hopt from the equality promised by union, may be
heavier on the effect then is (perhaps) imagined.

It may be this is a foolish fear ; for the fearing north may hope for no


heavy hand in a government, when many thousands (as is said, for I have it
from Modie) in the west have in bodies issued out declarationes and associa-
tiones against parliaments of Brittain, Q. A. K. J., and all their servants
and associats ; and yett farr less noise, or nottice of this, then for the very
lowest of the people in the parish of Dingwall protesting or interpelling a
Presbitry to force a minister on them without their call or consent. I would
think both guilty ; but, in comparison, I wonder a litle at severity against tlie
one, and not a hush of the other. But many advert to it with joy ; I swear
I doe not.

My dear Lord, I have ever hated factions, clubing, and squading, and
I curse the inventars of Whigg and Tory. But God keep a parliament, who
should curb these names and things, from supporting, much more from descend-
ing into them. I hate whats advanced by any of them to divid protestants,
or mak divisive chink in Brittaine, whither it be self-designing parties, by
preestry, or parties. Lett all these unchristned names perish and extinguish,
and may we find the true effects of ^'uion. ]\Iy Lord, I did formerly trouble
your Lordship with a pernitious design, said, and more as said, of procuring
from the Queen to make the Lord Eoss in the west to be Earl of Eoss in the
north, and so to subject as much as tenn Lord Eosses to one, and both steall
from the Queen many good vassels from the crown, and many good protes-
tants from the church, and to make these vassels to the Lord Eosse and
converts to Mr. Welsh and Mr. Camerons religion, a la mod of West, for on
that score 7 ministers are importunat in their prayers for this donation from
herr Majesty, and the consequent reformation. I assure your Lordship, as
secretar of state, as a Scots peer, and as a freend and relation to very many
coucernd, that very many would esteem this no less then a forfaltur. And
as the interposing of men twixt the crown and its vassals is against law and
all prudence, ether by making them vassals or fewars, especially to less men


then themselfs ; so to make any, the Kings second sonne excepted, to be Eavl
of Ross, is against ane very deliberat and express act of parliament, printed
in King James the 3d acts ; and I hope your Lordship will excuse my
acquainting yow of this designe, both as a concern of the crown, of the state,
and of very many noblmen and gentlmen, and, amongst others, very much
the concern of, my Lord,

Your Lordship's most humble and most faithfuU servant,


My Lord, the best apologie I can make for this very long letter is to
promise to amend, and yett not by a. totall silence ; and, on the other hand,
I doe not exspect but forbid answers but when yow please, as to what yow
please, and a[s] short as your Lordship pleases.

291. Barbaea Mackenzie to [her Uncle, Geoege fiest Eael of Ceomaetie].

{Circa 1707.]

My Loed, — T took the freedom to writ in sommer with my husbands
brother to your Lordship, who owns himself much bound and oblidged to your
favour and civility, and I no less, who flatter my self with the fancy that a
share of them were on my account, for which I render your Lordship my
cordiall thanks, and intreats your protection and friendship to him in an
action he has befor your Lordship, wherin he pursues Braco for the death
of his wife. I need not enter on the detail of the affair, you'll be suffi-
ciently acquainted with it ; but one thing I must say, the poor gentilman has
but too great raison to pursue Braco in this affair, he having occasioned the
death of a wery good wife, my particular friend, their being no room left to
doubt, but his affrighting of her was certainly the occasion of her death, who


was known befor that, particularly to my self, to be one of tlie strongest and
healthfullest women in the countrey. My Lord, I must soUicitt your favor,
and beg your justice, not only in my brother-in-law's behalf, but likwise in
my own and all women who are bearing children, for how can we secure our-
selves against the being affrighted out of our lives, if this go unpunished ?
These people with whom my brother has to do, boast so much of their wealth
that they undervalue and despise men of meaner fortvms, and think to do all,
and secure themselves against all events with their money. But I have no
fears on that head, being long agoe convinced of your Lordship's judgement,
integrity, and justice. ]\Iy Lord Achintoulle, who presents you with this,
can inform you better then any man, having been witnesse to all the sad
tragedie ; and I'le assure you, my Lord, that nothing, no, not his sons con-
cern, will make him say any thing contrary to truth.

I'm always giaid to hear of your Lordship's health, and wishes and prays
for the continuance of it. My husband kisses your hands, and longs to be
known to you. My sister Mary do's the same, but particularly, my Lord,
Your most obedient neece and humble seruant,

Barbara ]\I°Kenzie.

292. [George first Earl of Cromartie to John Earl of Mar.]^

10 November 1707.
My Lord, — Now that I despair of ever finding too much court favour,
and that matters which ly in any sphear above my assignd post, and yet your
Lordship desyring me to writ sometymes to yow, my duty to your Lordship

^ Original Letter in Mar Charter-chest.


and to your station is to tell vow the most notable of the litle passages in our
court ; for I think the secretar may, if not should, know what passes in all
courts, and this requireing no return, will render what I writt the more wel-
come. This day one James Gordon, a somie of the quondam Lord Achintowl,
had a persuit against Duff of Braco for comeing with 29 or 30 armed men to
seaz the said Jamq^ on account of a ryot commited by him on Alexander
Alexander. Braco defended himself, as beeing oblidged, as a baron, to seaz
any comitters of ryot, as also he had the shirrefs warrand to search and
seaz the said James. The advocats for James alleadges this to be a gross
ryot in Braco, and ane iufringment of our act of Habeas Corpus, etc. But.
unhappily, by Braco's clamorous irruption into the house, his lady, who was
a while befor brought to bed, did from the fright fall into a feaver, and dyed,
l^ow that which is notable in tliis process is, that Braco did raise a lybell
against Gordon for raising so scandalous lybel against him, and, befor any
procedur, he pleaded that Gordon, the persuer, should also enter the pannell.
Go[r]dons advocats clamord against it. Xow our law is, that if the party per-
sued doe raise a lybel on a criminal conclusion different from what is persued
against him, then both enter the pannell. But it beeing persued only because
of the lybel persued Braco, untill wee judged the lybel, it was ane anticipation

Online LibraryWilliam FraserThe earls of Cromartie; their kindred, country, and correspondence (Volume 2) → online text (page 8 of 56)