Patrick Lyon Strathmore.

The book of record, a diary written by Patrick first earl of Strathmore and other documents relating to Glamis castle, 1684-1689 online

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Online LibraryPatrick Lyon StrathmoreThe book of record, a diary written by Patrick first earl of Strathmore and other documents relating to Glamis castle, 1684-1689 → online text (page 1 of 22)
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University of California.









September 1890










Edited from the Original MSS. at Glamis with

Introduction and Notes by

A. H. MILLAR, F.S.A.Scot.


Printed at the University Press by T. and A. Constable

for the Scottish History Society









Introduction, . . . .


Contract with Jacob de Wet,

AccoMPT OF Jacob de Wet,

Estimate for repairing the Organ at Glamis,

Notes, .....




Patrick, first Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne, Frontispiece
Castle Lyon (now Castle Huntly), . . to face 32

Glamis Castle,







The papers contained in this volume have been chosen as
illustrative of the social life of Scotland two hundred years
ago. They consist of the Book oj Record^ an autobiographical
diary, written by Patrick, first Earl of Strathmore, between
the years 1684 and 1689 ; a Contract betwixt the Earl
of Strathmore and Jacob de Wet for the execution of
decorative pictures used in the enrichment of Glamis Castle ;
the Account for this artistic work rendered by de Wet, with
the deductions made thereon by Lord Strathmore ; and an
Estimate for the repairing of Lord Strathmore's Organ at
Glamis Castle. It was intended to include in this volume the
Itinerary of Thomas Crombie, the valet who accompanied Lord
Strathmore's son to the Continent, but as it would have
carried the subject-matter of the volume to a much later date
than was contemplated, this document has been reserved. It
was also intended to have published with the Book of Record
the Household Account-Book of Lady Helen Middleton, wife
of the first Earl of Strathmore, but the original manuscript
has unfortunately been misplaced, and could not be obtained
in time to be published in this volume. The Editor has to
acknowledge the valuable assistance he has received in the
transcribing and annotation of these papers from the Right
Hon. the Earl of Strathmore, the Rev. S. G. Real, M.A.
Oxon., Rector of Romald-Kirk, who was for many years chap-
lain at Glamis Castle, and A. C. Lamb, Esq., F.S.A.Scot.,
Dundee. It is hoped that the comprehensive index appended
to this volume will make it useful as a book of reference.


The Book of Record.

The manuscript of the Booh of Record is contained in a
vellum-bound folio, consisting of unruled pages of antique
paper, extending to 300 folios. It has evidently been pre-
pared for the purpose of being used as a daily journal of events,
both of private and public life, and as a record of business
affairs, payments made by tenants, cash transactions, and
memoranda such as one would expect to find in a modern
day-book. During the course of the period over which it
extends the original intention has been altered though not
abandoned, and Lord Strathmore has written a large portion
of his own life in the volume, giving minute and interesting
particulars as to the earlier incidents in his career. Especially
has he entered into great detail regarding the alterations
effected by him upon Glamis Castle and Castle Lyon (now
Castle Huntly), and to students of the period his book is
extremely valuable as showing the cost of work of this kind,
the method of payment adopted, and the relationship betwixt
capital and labour at a time of transition.

The whole appearance of this volume shows that it was con-
structed in a way which made it convenient for transportation
from one place to another with safety. The strong vellum
cover is made with an elongated flap, which comes up over the
front edges of the book and is tied to the top cover, thus
encasing the whole of the manuscript within an indestructible
covering. The portion of the volume written upon extends to
129 pages, the rest of the folios being left blank. The earlier
part of the volume, up to folio 110, was written by Thomas
Crombie, who seems to have been a confidential servant of
Lord Strathmore, and who was afterwards, as already stated,
intrusted with the charge of the EarFs second son when on his
travels. Crombie''s writing is in the crabbed style of the
period, and is frequently indistinct, whilst the orthography,
though faulty, is really much better than one would expect


from a mere valet. In 1685 Crombie's work in the Booh of
Record ceased, and the remainder of the volume is written in
the clear, bold, legible handwriting of Lord Strathmore himself.
Between the period of Crombie's departure for Paris until the
Earl resumed the function of diarist three years elapsed, and it
was with a feeling of regret that his lordship found that public
affairs had prevented him from continuing the writing of the
Book oj" Record with regularity. The remarks which he makes,
on taking up the pen himself on 28th March 1688, are most
interesting, as showing the feelings which had actuated him in
conceiving the idea of making such a volume, and as indicating
that sentiment of profound responsibility towards posterity
which was one of the salient features of his character : —

' Here is a long surcease of what I am very unaccountable
for ; for this three years I have neglected to wreat memorialls
of my transactions. But I conceave it is a thing very necessar
both for the ease of one^s own memory, and ther present satis-
faction, to the end when all is recorded posterity may see and
be convinced of ther not being unprofitable in there generation,
and may be induced by good example to follow the good and
to eschew what may be amiss in the management, Tho. I take
God to witness it has been and is the outmost indeavour of
my life to order all my aifairs both for the honour credit and
preservation of my family."

From this period the Diary was written with some attempt
at regularity, the commercial items being interspersed as for-
merly with recollections of the past and opinions on the current
events of the day. It is probable also that one of the principal
reasons which Lord Strathmore had for continuing the Booh of
Record in his own handwriting was the troubled state of public
affairs. It was not then safe for one in his position to confide
his inmost thoughts to any one in his employment, as he might
thereby place life, liberty, and goods in the power of a menial,
who might prove a traitor. This idea is at least suggested by
the following allusion to his position on page 92 : —


' The servant who wrote the former part of this book went
abroad w* my second son, after w^^ Having six moneths at leave,
and in some more disuse of pains and application from that
tyme till now I was instant enow and at the head of my own
affairs, but delayed making or continuing the record of what I
did, trusting the same to my memory. But that now finding
myself at a loss therby, and being resolved to sett all down
w* my own hand and not to com mitt it to a serv*^ wreating,
who may be here to day and away the morrow, I hope by
being punctuall therin, and by what is writ^ne before and here-
after shall make up the loss of thes three years memor''s, for
from the tyme I left and discontinued my wreating till now it
is no less then full three years and some odd moneths.'

The Booh of Record comes to an abrupt termination on 18th
June 1689. The reason for this sudden stop may be found in
the fact that in that month Lord Strathmore was engaged in a
conspiracy with the Earl of Southesk, the Earl of Callender,
Lord Livingstone, and his own son. Lord Glamis, for the pur-
pose of raising troops to create a diversion in the north of
Scotland in favour of James ii. Of this project there is not
the slightest hint given in the volume, unless it be found in
the purchase of horses for the levy of horse, referred to on
page 102. After his return to Glamis as a reconciled supporter
of King William, Lord Strathmore wrote nothing further in
his Diary, and we are thus deprived of his opinions regarding
the new state of affairs and the leading men who ruled Scot-
land from the time of the Revolution till the death of Lord
Strathmore in 1695.

In transcribing the manuscript great care has been exercised
to preserve the original spelling and phraseology, and the
printed copy is an exact facsimile of the original. The side-
headings are given exactly as in the manuscript volume, and
the folios are indicated in the text, so that cross references
made by his lordship to written pages in his manuscript may
be easily followed.


The Book of Record — Its Author.

Patrick Lyon, third Earl of Kinghorne and first Earl of
Strathmore, was the only son of John, second Earl of Kinghorne,
by his second wife, Lady Elizabeth Maule, only daughter of
Patrick, first Earl of Panmure. He was born on 29th May
1642, and succeeded to the title of Earl of Kinghorne on the
death of his father on 12th May 1646. From a reference on
page 16 it appears that his father died of the plague, with which
he had been infected at St. Andrews, whilst in the house of his
ward, the Earl of Errol. The infant nobleman succeeded to an
unfortunate inheritance. Shortly before his death the second
Earl of Kinghorne had been engaged with the Presbyterian
party, and had held a commission under the great Marquess of
Montrose when that general liad command of the Covenanting
Army. In the expedition against the Marquess of Huntly
Lord Kinghorne was actively engaged, and was present at the
Battle of the Bridge of Dee. A contemporary ballad relating
to this engagement associates the names of Montrose and Kin-
ghorne in a very peculiar fashion, and indicates the high esteem
with which Kinghorne was regarded by the Covenanters : —

' God bless our Covenanters in FyiFe and Lothean,
In Angus and the Mearnis quho did us first begin
With muskit and with carabin, with money^ speare, and shield.
To take the toune of Aberdeen and make our Marques yield.

God bliss Montrois our General,
The stout Earl of Kinghorne,
That we may long live and rejoyce
That ever they were borne. *

The connection of the Earl of Kinghorne with the Presby-
terians brought great misfortune, not only upon himself, but
upon his innocent child, and there is something pathetic in the
judgment which Lord Strathmore pronounces upon his father''s
career, whilst he was himself suffering from the punishment
with which it was visited. As a pronounced Royalist and
Episcopalian, Lord Strathmore had little sympathy with the


Presbyterians, and vigorously denounced their dealings with
the martyred king. But he exonerates to some extent his
father for the share which he unwillingly took in the doings of
the Presbyterian Army, and indicates that it was through his
facility and desire to please his first wife. Lady Margaret
Erskine (who was a daughter of the Earl of Mar) and his
younger brother, James Lyon of Aldbarr. The passage in the
Booh of Record is interesting as a historical incident, and as
exhibiting the devoted loyalty of Lord Strathmore.

'But of all the actions of my father's life there was on which
I am sorrie to mention since he is so inexcusable for it, but
that the fault was truly more his brother'^s. The Laird of Ald-
barr, then his, who was in his owne nature a man of a noble
dispositione and feared no ill designe from any man, because he
had none himselfe, only it was his misfortune to be easie to be
in treated, and it was painfull for him to refuse to relieve his
freind when in distress, not considering the hazard of the
event, for indeed he was a man not fitted for the time he
lived^in, fraud and deceit rageing in the transactions of privat
busines, and the purpose of rebellion in the publick. All
which prov'd too true by the ruin of many good families in
their privat fortune and the murder of the best of Kings, but
my father was preveen^d by death and did not behold this
Tragedie, but was sufficiently convinced of the error of the
times — tho. att the beginning he was carried away by the speat
and by the influence of his first Lady and his brother Aldbarr,
two mightie Covenanters, was induced to goe on too far, and
was ingaged in persone with his regiment of Angus to march
four severall times and companyed with many of his freinds to
the North, which expeditions and the buying of arms I have
seen by the reall accompts thereof stood him no less then
Fourtie thousand merks. This and the lyke advancements for
the propagating the good cause (for the rebellious covenant
was so called at that time) were thought meritorious, and no
less then heaven was the purchase, tho, it was the Divill in


Masquerad, and my father's wyfe, who was the E. of Marr's
daughter, dyeing and his brother Aldbarr soon after did dis-
cover the wicked designs against King and Kingdome which
were carried on under the pretence of Religione, and in
the parliament sometime before his owne death declared no
less, and opposed as much as in him lay the preventing partie
at that time, and when his countrie-men (an unpardonable sin
in those who received the pryce q*^^ will certainly prove a snare
and a curse to their posteritie and does remain an everlasting
reproach to the natione, tho. many there was in it honest and
blamless) sold there King and voted in Parliament to delyver
him up to the Inglish att Newcastle, and not only past his
vote against it, and there was but a feu in Parliament did so,
but entered his protestatione thereupon boldlie enough but
honestlie done att that time.'

The facile disposition of the Earl of Kinghorne not only led

him into political difficulties but brought him into extensive

commercial obligations which plunged his family deeply into

debt. Lord Strathmore throughout the Bool<: of Record refers

to many instances of this over-obliging disposition on the part

of his father, and blames him severely for incurring debts and

granting bonds of caution for which he obtained no equivalent

and which were incurred merely for friendship's sake. From

the brief yet trenchant remarks which he makes it is easy to

understand the character of his father, and though Lord

Strathmore was too young to have any personal recollections of

his parent, his own sufferings and privations led him by bitter

experience to appreciate the weakness of his father. Left

thus an infant of four years, and with the prospect of a long

minority, it might have been imagined that the young Earl of

Kinghorne would in ordinary circumstances find himself a

wealthy nobleman on attaining his majority. Such, however,

was far from being the case. His father's military actions

had roused the resentment of Oliver Cromwell, and a fine of

=£^1000 was imposed by the Protector upon the estate that


belonged by inheritance to this helpless infant, that he might
endure the punishment due for his father's crime. The
Royalist predilections of the author are firmly expressed with
reference to this fine. He writes — 'It was my misfortune
being a child at that time not to be in that capacitie to act
against him [Cromwell] w^^ had I been a man I would have
done to my utmost hazard.' The long period of dissension and
unrest that afflicted Scotland for the thirty years preceding the
Restoration told severely upon the estate of the Earl of Kin-
ghorne. Both his father and grandfather had been compelled
to raise money for the exigencies of war by borrowing upon
the security of their real estate, and every available piece of
ground, even to the very Mains of Glamis, was mortgaged or
pledged in some form to numerous creditors throughout the
land. The magnificent pile of Glamis Castle was almost
denuded of furniture, and the noble house of Castle Lyon in
the Carse of Gowrie was literally uninhabitable. The
guardians who had charge of the young nobleman were
unwilling to undertake on their own responsibility the rescue
of a property so deeply involved ; and though his uncle, the
Earl of Panmure, did much to preserve a remnant sufficient to
start him in life, it seemed an almost hopeless task to secure
an income adequate to his rank in society. To add to his
misfortune, his mother married a second time, in 1650, whilst
he was only eight years of age, and her new husband, the Earl
of Linlithgow, treated his step-son with harsh cruelty and
unconscionable extortion. Throughout the earlier portion of
the Book of Record the dealings of the Earl of Linlithgow are
severely animadverted upon, although the writer does not
greatly blame her for her second marriage. Under all these
discouragements the boyhood and youth of Patrick Lyon could
not have been a happy time, and only a mind well-principled
and just, courageous and upright, could have faced the diffi-
culties with which he was confronted. The spirit in which he
regarded them long years afterwards is thus indicated : —


' I had a verie small and a verie hard begining and if I had
not done so great and good things as I might or willingly
would have done I desyre that my posteritie whom God has
bless'd me with may excuse these my endeavours for the reasone
before mentioned/

Having completed his studies at St. Andrews University
Lord Kinghorne returned to his estate in 1660, when he was
seventeen years of age, and even at this time he had formed
the resolution of restoring as far as possible the honours and
estates of his family. With this end in view he refrained from
making the tour of the Continent, which was then considered
necessary for the completion of the education of a young noble.
The lamentable condition in which he found Castle Lyon on
his return from college is graphically described at page 29.
There was literally not a bed in the Castle for him to sleep in,
and he was compelled to borrow a bedstead from the minister
of Longforgan to set up in the dreary waste of this uninhabited
fortalice, and to wait patiently for the arrival of his humble
student's furniture from St. Andrews. His inhuman step-
father had taken possession of some of the paraphernalia that
had belonged to Lord Kinghorne's mother, and his aunt. Lady
Northesk, succeeded in buying back ' att a deere enough rate '
from Lord Linlithgow the furniture of one room, and some pieces
of silver plate that were immediately necessary for household
use. It would be difficult to find in fiction a more touching or
pathetic delineation of high life than is afforded by the simple
description which the young nobleman gives of his early days
at Castle Lyon. The heir of a name that had been famous in
Scottish history for centuries was reduced to a condition of
extreme privation through no fault of his own but through the
crushing weight of circumstances over which he had no control.
His barns, his byres, and his stables at Castle Lyon were alike
tenantless, and, as he quaintly puts it, ' att that time I was
not worth a four-footed beast, safe on little dog that I keeped
att and brought with me from St. Andrews.' The empty


chambers within the prison-like Castle were bare of furniture,
and it was here that he and his only sister, Lady Elizabeth
Lyon, began their first attempt at housekeeping on a most
parsimonious scale. For his sister he seems ever to have had
profound respect and affection, and she worked for him in this
matter of furnishing with unselfish devotion. Having scrambled
together from the deserted Castle of Glamis ' some old potts
and pans q^^ were verie usefull,"' and collected odd furni-
ture which plenished two rooms in an incoherent fashion,
he and his sister began to decorate with their own hands their
lonely dwelling-place, and to make it, in appearance at least,
fit for habitation. Looking back upon this period of his life
twenty-five years afterwards. Lord Strathmore was as keenly
impressed by the sisterly affection of Lady Elizabeth during
this trying period, as he had been at the time of its occur-
rence. ' Her companie,' he writes, ' was of great comfort to
me, so young as were both we consulted together, and partlie
by our owne conclusions and partlie by advice, in two years
time I gott togither as much of cours furniture as in a verie
mean and sober way filled all the rowms of my house, some on
way some another.' With his sister he remained until his
marriage, w^hich took place in 1662.

The Restoration in 1660 seemed to promise great advantages
to one who had suffered so much for the Royalist cause, and
the Earl of Kinghorne was induced to repair to the Court at
Whitehall to kiss his Majesty ''s hand. He remained in London
for six weeks, making the journey back and forward upon the
three first horses he possessed, and he quaintly states that
' tuo of them as I was comeing hom and ryding thorrow ffyfe
failed me even there and dyed poor beasts in the cause.' The
whole journey to London and back, with a six weeks' residence
there, cost him only ,£'200 sterling, principally because he
refrained from purchasing those works of decorative art to-
wards which his fancy inclined. There is a touch of humour
in the reflection which he makes upon the small expense of


this expedition. ' Had I been as moderate in all my severall
jorneys to that place since, from q''^ I have brought things of
great value for the furniture of my houses, I had saved many a
pond and pennie, but I acknowledge a great dale of weakness
in my humour that way, inclining to be verie profuse upon all
things of ornament for my houses as I have beea upon building.
Let this only serve to excuse me if in this I have exceeded,
that what has been bestowed upon the first, or expended upon
the second has been acquyrM with pains and industrie and per-
formed with much care and labour and will be tok'ns of both
(being things of long indurance) to my posterity who I hope
shall enjoy the pleasure of it, whereas indeed I have suffered
the toil.'

One of the epochs in Lord Kinghorne's life was his mar-
riage, which took place on 23rd August 1662. Lady Helen
Middleton was the second daughter of John, first Earl of
Middleton, and of his first wife, Grizel, daughter of Sir James
Durham of Pitkerro and LufFness. The career of her father,
the Earl of Middleton, is sketched in the Notes to this
volume, page 135, to which the reader is referred. Her elder
sister. Lady Grizel, was married to the Earl of Morton, and on
page 28, it will be seen that Lady Middleton was inclined to
favour the suitor of her elder daughter rather than Lord
Kinghorne, regarding Morton as the weaker of the two. The
marriage of Lady Helen and Lord Kinghorne was in every
way a happy one, though begun under such unpropitious cir-
cumstances. Wherever throughout the volume he has occasion
to refer to his wife, he does so in the most affectionate terms,
showing that he had found her not only a skilful housewife
and manager of domestic affairs, but a wise counsellor in times
of difficulty, and a devoted mother, who reared her family
with discretion. He was himself of a disposition framed to
appreciate highly the domestic virtues, and was ever ready to
sacrifice his own pleasure and convenience for the sake of his
children and their posterity. Thus we find him writing, a



quarter of a century after his marriage, with reference to his
family circle in these terms : —

' I have reason dayly to adore and magnify the name of my
God who out of his infinit goodness to me, more than I deserve,
and to my family, has blest me with good and vertewous sons
and daughters, of good dispositions and frugall and moderat as
much as my heart can desyre. Blessed be he who has made
me happy by them, and make me thankfull and exemplar to
them in what is good. Nor can I deny the great advantage I
have by their mother who's care has been of her children and
to stay at home and guide w*in the house her part.**

The marriage took place at the Abbey of Holy rood, the
ceremony having been performed by Archbishop Sharpe. The
home-coming was made a kind of triumphal progress. During
the first winter of their married life the Earl and Countess
remained at Edinburgh, and there is a beautiful and character-
istic sketch given of the surprise which he had prepared for his

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Online LibraryPatrick Lyon StrathmoreThe book of record, a diary written by Patrick first earl of Strathmore and other documents relating to Glamis castle, 1684-1689 → online text (page 1 of 22)