John Murray Graham.

Annals and correspondence of the viscount and the first and second earls of Stair; (Volume 1) online

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THE LIBRARY

OF

THE UNIVERSITY
OF CALIFORNIA

LOS ANGELES



THE ST AI R ANNALS




F1RHT



AN N ALS



AND



CORRESPONDENCE



OF THE



VISCOUNT



AND THE



FIRST AND SECOND

EARLS OF STAIR



15Y



JOHN MURRAY GRAHAM



IN TWO VOLUMES
VOL. I.



WILLIAM BLACKWOOD AND SONS

EDINBURGH AND LONDON

MDCCCLXXV



All Rights reserved



DA



C ^ Q i

V. I



PREFACE.



I HAVE been induced to engage in this biographi-
cal work principally by the historical and personal
interest attaching to its subject. The first Viscount
Stair and the first and second Earls of Stair were,
in their respective walks, three of the most distin-
guished men of their time. The narrative of their
lives connects with the history of Great Britain dur-
ing an unbroken period of one hundred years, illus-
trating that history in various particulars, and clear-
ing up, if not supplying, some of the links in the
continuous chain of events.

Several valuable collections of hitherto unpublished
Letters and Papers have, by the courtesy of their
possessors, been placed at my disposal for this under-
taking. These are (i.) The ' Stair Papers,' in 28
volumes folio, in possession of the present Earl of
Stair at Oxenfoord Castle, relating chiefly to the second
Earl, and including the period of his celebrated em-
bassy at Paris ; (2.) A series of letters belonging to



.. ^. - .

JSNGLISd LuCAL



VI PREFACE.

the Marquis of Lothian, from the first Earl of Stair,
when Secretary of State for Scotland, to Robert,
fourth Earl and first Marquis of Lothian, Royal Com-
missioner to the second Assembly of the Scottish
Kirk after its establishment in the reign of William
and Mary ; (3.) Letters from the first Lord Stair to
Lord Arniston, and other letters in 1663 and 1664, in
possession of Mr Dundas of Arniston ; (4.) Letters
of the first Lord Stair to the Duke of Lauderdale
and others during the reign of Charles II., acquired
by Mr David Laing, of the Signet Library, Edin-
burgh, from the late Mr Dawson Turner's collection
of ' Lauderdale Papers ; ' (5.) Letters from the
second Earl of Stair, when campaigning with the
Duke of Marlborough, to John, Earl of Mar, then
Secretary of State for Scotland, copied from the
originals in the Mar charter-chest for the present
Earl of Stair, under the supervision of Mr William
Eraser, Edinburgh ; (6.) a State-paper or Letter of
the first Earl of Stair addressed to the Lord Treasurer
Godolphin in 1703, as to Scottish affairs in view of a
treaty of Union, and a letter from Lord Godolphin
on the same subject to the Chancellor of Scotland,
both acquired at the sale of the family papers of the
Duke of Leeds by Mr John Webster, Aberdeen.

In the biography of the first Lord Stair, lawyer
and statesman, a man of a career so varied as to have
been successively upon confidential terms with Gen-
eral Monck, the Duke of Lauderdale, and King Wil-
liam III., I have confined myself strictly to a narra-



PREFACE. Vll

tive of his life, interwoven as that was with the his-
tory of the country. The life of Lord Stair, who was
for many years President of the Court of Session in
Scotland, having been written not long since in a
somewhat elaborate form by Mr /Eneas J. Mackay
of the Scottish bar, I have made this biography
shorter than I otherwise might have done, at the
same time introducing what novelty I could into
the narrative, interspersing a number of hitherto
unprinted letters, and avoiding all irrelevant matter.

The life of his son, the first Earl of Stair, has
never, so far as I am aware, been written, though in
connection with the massacre of Glenco his actings
have been narrowly scrutinised and largely com-
mented on. Versatile in politics in the early portion
of his singular career, he settled down after the
Revolution into the confidential Scottish Minister of
King William, doing battle in the northern parlia-
ment with every one, Jacobite or Presbyterian, who
had not the word of the Government, and taking
a prominent part in the ecclesiastical proceedings
which resulted in the establishment of Presbytery.
His later time was chiefly distinguished by the con-
summate ability and powerful exertions he brought
to bear on the settlement of the Treaty of Union,
and the passing of the Act of Union through the
Scottish parliament, exertions which in the opinion
of many cost him his life.

The biography of John, second Earl of Stair, may
be said to form the piece de resistance of my bill of



VIII PREFACE.

fare. From the great amount of original MSS.
relating to him in the Stair Collection, materials for
the Annals of the second Earl were before me in
greater abundance than in the case of his father
and grandfather. He will be seen in a variety of
characters as the campaigner under Marlborough,
and the friendly correspondent of John, Earl of Mar
(to whom in the course of a short time after he stood
in a very different relation), as the ambassador at
Paris, of European celebrity, during the regency of
the Duke of Orleans, watching the proceedings of
the Jacobites and the Insurrection of 1715, nego-
tiating continental treaties, and quarrelling with his
adventurous countryman Law ; then relegated to his
estate in Scotland, joining the opposition against Sir
Robert Walpole, and finally invested with the chief
command of the British army, and fighting the battle
of Dettingen.

If the faults of these personages have not been
extenuated, nothing has been set down groundlessly
to their prejudice. Sufficient evidence has been
laid before the reader to enable him to form a judg-
ment of their characters. I might possibly have
abridged to a greater extent, and given more of my
own writing instead of quoting the original pieces ;
but it appeared to me that the value and race of
many curious and historical letters and documents
would thereby have been lost. Original letters, care-
fully preserved, in not a few of which the gold dust
formerly used for drying the ink still adheres to the



PREFACE. IX

paper, must (one would say), if any thing can do so,
show the very " form and pressure of the time."
Where materials crowded too much upon me, I have
made appendices to certain of the chapters, and have
endeavoured to render this frequently neglected por-
tion of a book more accessible and readable than it
sometimes is.

The spelling of the MSS. has been for the most
part modernised, for I found the original spelling,
even in letters of the same person, so irregular and
arbitrary that it could have answered no useful pur-
pose to preserve it exactly, while the sense of many
passages would have been less easy to follow.
Characteristic old words and modes of expression
I have not altered.

The only publications hitherto of Stair Letters or
Papers that I am aware of are the Journal and a
small portion of the Correspondence of the second
Earl of Stair during his embassy at Paris, 1715-1720,
printed in the second volume of the Hardwicke
' State Papers,' and an inconsiderable collection of
extracts of letters from Sarah, Duchess of Marl-
borough, to the same Earl, which had come into the
possession of Horace Walpole's correspondent, Miss
Berry, and were printed by her as illustrative of
' Walpole's Reminiscences. 1

Such as they are, the Annals I now venture to pre-
sent in these volumes are due in a considerable measure
to the Reports of the Historical MSS. Commission,
by which my attention was first drawn to the valu-



X 1'REFACK.

able collections in the possession of the Marquis of
Lothian, the Earl of Stair, and Robert Duntlas, Esq.
of Arniston ; to each of whom I take this opportunity
of tendering my grateful acknowledgments for the
unreserved manner in which they have placed their
family papers at my disposal. I have also very
sincerely to thank David Laing, Esq., and John
Webster, Esq., for the use they have granted me
of original letters in their possession.

J. M. G.

June 1875.



CONTENTS OF THE FIRST VOLUME.



VISCOUNT STAIR.
CHAPTER I.

PAGE

Genealogy of the Stair family Early Protestant reformers Birth
and education of James Dalrymple of Stair Accepts a com-
mission in Lord Glencairn's regiment Becomes a regent or
teacher of philosophy in Glasgow University Marries an
heiress Removes to Edinburgh, and exchanges philosophy
for the profession of the law, . . . . .3

CHAPTER II.

James Dalrymple goes to Holland as secretary of the Commission
sent by the Scottish Parliament to invite Charles II. to come
to Scotland to be crowned Judicial arrangements under the
Protectorate The " Tender " The Commonwealth judges
Dalrymple offered a judgeship by General Monck, which
he accepts The Restoration, . . . . .10

CHAPTER III.

James Dalrymple is knighted by King Charles, and made a judge
of the Court of Session Establishment of Episcopacy in
Scotland Declaration against the Covenant appointed to be
taken by all persons in public trust Sir James Dalrymple
refuses to take it without an explanation Is in danger of
losing his judgeship Letter to Lauderdale How the matter
was arranged He is made a baronet, . . . . 17



XII CONTENTS.



CHAPTER IV.

Lord Arniston deprived of his judgcship on refusing to sign the
Declaration as to the Covenants without a written explanation
adjected to his subscription Letters of Stair and of Arniston
upon this occasion Letter of Lauderdale to the latter, and
his answer Was Lord Arniston over-scrupulous or Lord
Stair too easy in their respective views of the difficulty ? . 29

CHAPTER V.

Lord Stair's opinion of the hazards attending the establishment
of Episcopacy Disposal of the office of Chancellor Contem-
porary notices of Stair in the letters of Archibald Earl of
Argyle His places of residence Acquisitions of land Mar-
riage of his daughter Janet to Dunbar of Baldoon Letters of
Lord Rothes Assists in improving the constitution and
practice of the courts of law, . . . . -38

CHAPTER VI.

Lord Stair made President of the Session and a Privy Councillor
Is in favour of lenient measures towards the Covenanters
Lord Kincardine Stair's sphere of action, the Civil Bench
His character as a judge Question of Appeals to Parliament
Letters, . . . . . . -50

CHAPTER VII.

Arrival of the Duke of York in Scotland as Royal Commissioner
President Stair takes up a position antagonistic to the Gov-
ernment The Test Oath He is deprived of his office with-
out cause shown Retires to the country, and is annoyed with
a judicial persecution Goes into exile Publication of his
Institutions of Scottish Law His occupation at Leyden
Physiologia Nova Experimentalis Views of the Prince of
Orange Sir James Dalrymple accompanies the Prince to
England, . . . . . . . .61

CHAPTER VIII.

Sir James Dalrymple principal adviser in Scottish affairs at the
time of the Revolution Convention of Estates Letters to
Lord Melvill Murder of President Sir G. Lockhart Stormy
proceedings of the Convention Parliament Opposition to the
Dalrymplesby the "Club" Sir James Dalrymple reappointed
President of the Session Constitutional questions as to jucli-



CONTENTS. xiil

cial appointments President Stair attacked in a pamphlet by
Ferguson the Plotter and Sir James Montgomery Vindicates
himself in his ' Apology ' A Jacobite plot, . . 76

CHAPTER IX.

President Stair not in favour of appeals to Parliament His un-
popularity Views as to the king visiting Scotland He is
raised to the peerage Settlement of Presbytery Question as
to calling out the militia Death of Lady Stair Attack on
Lord Stair in Parliament He is in danger of conflict with the
Presbyterian clergy on the oath of allegiance and the royal
supremacy His death And character Posthumous work
on the Divine Perfections His surviving descendants, . 94



FIRST EARL OF STAIR.



CHAPTER I.

Early life of John Dalrymple Travels, and is knighted His
marriage to Elizabeth Dundas, heiress of Newliston Early
training in the profession of the law Trial of the Earl of
Argyle Persecution of Sir John Dalrymple by the Duke
of York's Administration Hand-to-hand encounter with
Graham of Claverhouse Imprisoned and fined, and at last,
with difficulty, liberated, , 115

CHAPTER II.

Sir John Dalrymple, entering into King James's views as to the
dispensing power, is suddenly promoted to be King's Advo-
cate Royal Proclamations suspending the penal laws against
Nonconformists Moderation of the new Lord Advocate He
is withdrawn from his office, and raised to the bench, . 124

CHAPTER III.

Revolution of 1688 Sir John Dalrymple actively espouses the
cause of William of Orange Is distinguished in the Scottish
Convention of Estates, and takes a principal part in the
measures for settling the Crown Is made Lord Advocate
Manages for the Government in the Convention Parliament
Difficulty of his position Votes of the Parliament Unpopu-
larity of the Lord Advocate with the " Club" Jacobite plot, 129



XIV CONTENTS.



CHAPTER IV.

Intention of the king to open the Scottish Parliament in person
State of parties Management of the Parliament Establish-
ment of Presbyter)- Part taken in it by Sir John Dalrymplc
First General Assembly of the Kirk after the Revolution, . 144

CHAPTER V.

Sir John Dalrymple, now Master of Stair, becomes Secretary for
Scotland Measures for restraining the hostile depredations
of the Highlanders Secretary Stair accompanies the king to
the Continent Proclamation of indemnity and pardon to the
Highlanders upon certain conditions The Macdonalds of
Glenco, too late with their submission, are out of the letter
of the proclaimed pardon Proceedings thereupon Tenor of
the letters of the Master of Stair King William's Instructions
to the military officers Was the atrocity of the affair of
Glenco realised by the parties to it ? . . . 152

CHAPTER VI.

The General Assembly's Commission and the Episcopal Clergy
Views of the king and of the Master of Stair The meeting of
the Assembly adjourned by royal mandate to an inconvenient
season of the year The Earl of Lothian High Commissioner
Ill-humour of the Assembly Letters of the Master of Stair
to the Earl of Lothian on the affairs of the Assembly The
king's letter to the Assembly recommends union with Epis-
copal ministers on certain conditions Resistance of the As-
sembly to the wishes of the king, . . . .163

CHAPTER VII.

The Commissioner, in compliance with the .King's instructions,
dissolves the Assembly Letters of the Master of Stair from
London and the seat of war on the Continent to the Earl of
Lothian The Scottish Parliament pass Acts " for settling the
quiet and peace of the Church " The General Assembly again
called to meet after a long interval Expected collision with
the civil power on the question of obliging the Presbyterian
ministers to take an oath acknowledging William and Mary
as king and queen de jure Part taken by Lord Stair and
Lord Tarbet The Rev. Mr Carstairs The king and the
Assembly come to terms All's well that ends well, . . 177



CONTENTS. XV



CHAPTER VIII.

A royal Commission issued for inquiring into the massacre of
Glenco Their Report eagerly taken into consideration by
Parliament Substance of the Report, and inconsistent pro-
ceedings of the Parliament Address to the king for measures
to be taken against the Master of Stair His retirement from
office, ........ 192

CHAPTER IX.

The Master becomes by his father's death Viscount Stair, but
refrains from taking his seat in Parliament The king grants
him a remission and pardon, as not having been accessary to
the barbarous manner or mode in which the actors in the
massacre of Glenco had executed their orders After an inter-
val of years resumes his part in public affairs Is created an
Earl by Queen Anne Writes on the state of parties to Lord
Godolphin And on the Union negotiations to Secretary the
Earl of Mar Takes a prominent part in furthering the treaty
of Union His death and character, .... 199



SECOND EARL OF STAIR.



CHAPTER I.

Early life and training of John Dalrymple, second Earl of Stair
His destination for the army Accompanies his father to
Flanders, and commences his military career under King
William Serves in the army of Marlborough, and receives
the colonelcy of the Scots Greys Letters to the Earl of Mar,
Secretary of State for Scotland, from the seat of war Becomes
Earl of Stair on the death of his father A representative peer
of Scotland in the first British Parliament,

CHAPTER II.

Lord Stair again with the army under Marlborough Bearer of
the despatch announcing the victory of Oudenarde Letters
to Lord Mar Stair sent in a diplomatic capacity to Warsaw
Is present at the siege of Lille His domestic affairs With



XVI CONTENTS.

the change of ministry the war draws to a close Lord Stair
sent on a mission for supplies to the Earl of Oxford Pre-
liminaries of peace concluded Stair forced to sell out, and
deprived of his command, ..... 234

CHAPTER III.

Lord Stair marries the Viscountess Primrose Letter of Lord
Finch Change of circumstances upon the death of Queen
Anne Letters of the Dowager-Countess of Stair to her son
Appointment of Stair to the British Embassy at Paris, . 250

CHAPTER IV.

Lord Stair arrives in Paris, and commences his duties as British
ambassador The leading objects of his mission His firm
tone in negotiating Is disliked by Louis and his ministers,
and takes the part of conciliating the Duke of Orleans Let-
ters of Lord Halifax and others John Law of Lauriston
Stair remonstrates against the attack on Majorca by the
Spanish and French fleets, in violation of the Treaty of
Utrecht Letter of Secretary Stanhope Wanted, a cook for
the Spanish ambassador, . . . . .259

CHAPTER V.

Attitude of the Jacobite party towards the Government Death of
Louis XIV. Schemes of the Jacobites counteracted by Stair
Notices of the Insurrection of 1715 in letters to Lord Stair
from the Duke of Montrose, the Lord Advocate Sir David
Dalrymple, and Secretary Stanhope, .... 272

CHAPTER VI.

Lord Stair appointed to the colonelcy of the Enniskillen Dragoons
Correspondence with Marlborough Purchase in the Army
Contraband trade between Paris and London in articles of
dress Aided by the employe's of the Embassy Lady Lou-
doun's birthday gown The Duke of Argyle's silk stockings
The Duchess of Marlborough's boddices Anecdotes of Stair,
whether authentic, ... . 286

CHAPTER VII.

The Chevalier's journey through France, and embarkation at
Dunkirk Memorials by Stair, and equivocal conduct of the
French government The Chevalier in Scotland Notices of



CONTENTS. XV11

the rebellion in letters of the Duke of Montrose, the Lord
Advocate, and Sir Hew Dalrymple Measures of the British
government to prevent the Jacobites being harboured in con-
tinental states Despatch from Secretary Stanhope, . . 296

CHAPTER VIII.

Anomalous position of the British Ministry and of the Regent
Motives dictating the negotiation which resulted in the Triple
Alliance Conduct of the treaty transferred from Paris to the
Hague and Hanover Secretary Stanhope and the Abbe
Dubois The Regent takes a more decided part against the
Jacobites Conclusion of the treaty Importance of its pro-
visions The Lord Advocate dissatisfied with the measures
taken by Government subsequent to the Insurrection Family
letters of Lady Stair and others Burning of Castle Kennedy, 312



APPENDIX.

(LIFE OF VISCOUNT STAIR.)
CHAP.

IV. Letters from Sir Alexander Hume, Lord Glcncairne, Lords

Arniston and Stair, . . . . . 331

VII. Test-Oath, 1681 "Apology for Sir James Dalrymple, by

Himself," ....... 343

IX. "Information" by Viscount Stair as to proposed Acts of
Parliament Notice of Lord Hailes Note as to Stair
Arms, . 361

(LIFE OF FIRST EARL OF' STAIH.)

I. Sir John Dalrymple's Defence and Plea for Earl of Argyle, 371
VII. Letters from First Earl Stair and Lord Godolphin, . 378

(LIFE OF SECOND EARL OF STAIR.)

IV. Letters, Joseph Addison, Prince Eugene, Col. Ligonier,

Second Earl of Stair, ..... 385
VII. Letters, Chevalier de St George, King George I. Earl

Stair's Bill of Extraordinaries, 1716, . . . 389

VIII. Despatches and Letters, Secretary Stanhope, lion. C. Cath-

cart, George Prince of Wales, . . . 392



XVIII



ILLUSTRATIONS IN THE FIRST VOLUMK.



PORTRAIT OF SIR JAMES DALRVMPLE, FIRST VISCOUNT
STAIR from a Picture in the possession of the Earl
of Stair at Oxenfoord Castle, Midlothian, . Frontispiece.

VIEW OF STAIR HOUSE, AYRSHIRE from a Pencil-Drawing

by Charles Elphinstone Dalrymple, Esq., . . Opposite page 6.

FACSIMILE OF AN AUTOGRAPH LETTER OF VISCOUNT STAIR
TO THE EARL OF LAUDERDALE in the possession of
David Laing, Esq., Signet Library, Edinburgh, Opposite page 38.

PORTRAIT OF JOHN, FIRST EARL OF STAIR from a Picture
by Sir John Medina, in the possession of the Earl of
Stair at Oxenfoord Castle Opposite page \ \ 3.

FACSIMILE OF PORTION OF A LETTER (with Signature) FROM
THE FIRST EARL OF STAIR TO LORD GODOLPHIN,

Opposite page 208.

PORTRAIT OF JOHN, SECOND EARL OF STAIR from a Pic-
ture by Sir Godfrey Kneller, in possession of the Earl of
Stair at Oxenfoord Castle Opposite page 221.

COAT OF ARMS BORNE BY THE VISCOUNT AND THE FIRST

EARL OF STAIR Page 367.



XIX



General George Monck, afterwards Duke of Albemarle



Sir James Dalrymple, first Lord Stair,



Sir James Dundas, Lord Arniston,

Sir Alexander Hume, cousin of Sir James Dundas,

King Charles II., ....

John Duke of Lauderdale,
John Duke of Rothes, .



THE Correspondence contained in these volumes, of which
by much the larger portion is now for the first time printed
from the originals, includes Letters and Despatches from
the following persons :

ThurloJs State Papers,

vol. vi.

'Arniston MSS. Laing
MS S. Court of Ses-
sion Books ofSedenint
Melvill Papers
{printed for the Ban-
natyne Club).
Arniston MSS.

Do.
\ Court of Session Books

of Sederunt,
Arniston MSS.
Lauderdale Papers,

British Museum.
Letters of the Earl of
Archibald, ninth Earl of Argyle,



The first, second, and third Earls of Marchmont,
William, sixteenth Earl of Crawford, .

John, first Earl of Stair,



King William III., .

Sol. -Gen. Ogilvie, afterwards Earl of Seafield,

The Lord Treasurer Godolphin,

Duncan Forbes (the elder) of Culloden,



John, second Earl of Stair, Field Marshal, &c.,



Argyle {printed for
the Bannatyne Club}.

( Melvill Papers Stair

\ (MS.) Papers.
Melvill Papers.

{Lothian MSS. Mar
MSS. Leeds Family
Papers Papers Illus-
trative of the High-
lands (MaitlandClub).
Melvill Papers.

Do.

Leeds Family Papers.
( Marchmont Papers
\ (printed in 3 vols. 8vo. )
/ Mar MSS. Stair(MS. )
Papers Marchmont
Papers Hardwicke
State Papers ( II. )
(printed in 2 vols. 4/0.)



XX



LIST OF CORRESPONDENCE.



Hon. Sir Hew Dalrymplc, Hart., of North Berwick,

James, first Earl Stanhope,

The first and second Countesses of Stair,

The first and second Earls of Halifax, .

The Rt. Hon. Paul Methucn,

George Bubb Doddington (Lord Melcombc), .

James, first Duke of Montrose,

Hon. Sir David Dalrymplc, of Hailcs, '(Lord Ad

vocate), .....
John, first Duke of Marlborough,
Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough,
The eighth and ninth Lords Cathcart,
Viscount Finch, afterwards seventh Earl of Winchcl

sea and third Earl of Nottingham,

Henry St John, Viscount Bolingbrokc,



The Abbe Dubofe,

Mr Secretary Addison,

Prince Eugene of Savoy,

The Chevalier de St George (old Pretender), .

King George I. and King George II., . . .

The British Ministers at Vienna, Genoa, and Venice, .

Charles Mordaunt, Earl of Peterborough,

Mr Secretary Craggs, ...

Cardinal Alberoni, . . .

John Willes, Esq., K.C.,

Mr Sergeant Hanbury,

John first Duke of Roxburgh, .

Admiral Sir George Byng, .

Colonel William Stanhope, afterwards Earl of Har-
rington, ......

James, fifth Earl of Galloway, ....

General Wightman, ....

Arouet de Voltaire, .....

The land-stewards of the second Earl of Stair,

Hon. James Erskine of Grange,

Charles Lord Binning, eldest son of the sixth Earl of
Haddington, .

Lady Murray of Stanhope, ....

Alexander, fourth Earl of Balcarres,

Charles, third Duke of Quccnsljcrry, .

Lord Drummore, ....

Philip Dormer Stanhope, Earl of Chesterfield,



Stair Papers.
Do.
Do.
Do.
Do.
Do.
Do.

\ Do.

Do.
Do.
Do.

\ Do.

( Stair Papers Stuart
1 / Capers (A pp. to Vol.
J I of Earl Stanhope's

England).

( Stair Papers Sevelin-
( grs' Memoira Secrets.
Stair Papers.

Do.

Do.

Do.

Do.

Do.

{ Stair Papers Hard-
( ivuk<: Papers.
Stair Papers.

Do.

Mar MSS.
Stair Papers.

Do.

Do.
Do.
Do.
Do.
Do.

Do.



Online LibraryJohn Murray GrahamAnnals and correspondence of the viscount and the first and second earls of Stair; (Volume 1) → online text (page 1 of 28)