Memoirs of the Jacobites of 1715 and 1745. - Volume I.
by Mrs. Thomson
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Upon the death of the Duke of Queensbury in 1711, the office of Secretary of State for Scotland became vacant, and the Duke of Hamilton and the Earl of Mar were rival expectants for the high and important post. Government hesitated for some time before filling up the post, being disposed rather to abolish it than to offend any party by its disposal, and deeming it as an useless expense to the Government; nor was it filled up for a considerable time.

The tragical death of one who, with some failings, deserved the affection and respect of his country, procured eventually to the Earl of Mar the chief management of public affairs in Scotland. Whilst on the eve of embarking as Ambassador Extraordinary to France, upon the conclusion of the peace of Utrecht, the Duke of Hamilton fell in a duel with his brother-in-law, Lord Mohun,—a man whose course of life had been stained with blood, but whose crimes had met with a singular impunity.

The character of Lord Mohun seems rather to have belonged to the reign of Charles the Second, than to the sober period of William and Anne. The representative of a very ancient family, he had the misfortune of coming to his title when young, while his estate was impoverished. "His quality introduced him into the best company," says a contemporary writer, "but his wants very often led him into bad." He ran a course of notorious and low dissipation, and was twice tried for murder before he was twenty. His first offence was the cruel and almost unprovoked murder of William Mountford, an accomplished actor, whom Mohun stabbed whilst off his guard. The second was the death of Mr. Charles Coote. For these crimes Lord Mohun had been tried by his peers, and, strange to say, acquitted. On his last acquittal he spoke gracefully before the Peers, expressing great contrition for the disgrace which he had brought upon his order, and promising to efface it by a better course of life. For some time this able but depraved nobleman kept to his resolution, and studied the constitution of his country.[49] He became a bold and eloquent speaker in the House on the side of the Whigs; and he had attained a considerable popularity, when the affair with the Duke of Hamilton finished his career before the age of thirty.[50]

A family dispute, exasperated by the different sides taken by these two noblemen in Parliament, was the cause of an event which deprived the Jacobite party of one of their most valuable and most moderate leaders; for had the counsels of the Duke of Hamilton prevailed, the Chevalier would never have undertaken the futile invasion of 1708, nor perhaps have engaged in the succeeding attempt in 1715. Upon the fortunes of the Earl of Mar, the death of the Duke so far operated that it was not until all fear of offending the powerful and popular Hamilton was ended by his tragical death, that the appointment of Secretary was conferred upon his rival. The Whigs were calumniously suspected of having had some unfair share in the death of the Duke,—an event which took place in the following manner.

Certain offensive words spoken by Lord Mohun in the chambers of a Master in Chancery, and addressed to the Duke of Hamilton, brought a long-standing enmity into open hostility. On the part of Lord Mohun, General Macartney was sent to convey a challenge to the Duke, and the place of meeting, time, and other preliminaries were settled by Macartney and the Duke over a bottle of claret, at the Rose Tavern, in Covent Garden. The hour of eight on the following day was fixed for the encounter, and on the fatal morning the Duke drove to the lodgings of his friend, Colonel Hamilton, who acted as his second, in Charing Cross, and hurried him away. It was afterwards deposed, that on setting out, the Colonel, in his haste, forgot his sword; upon which the Duke stopped the carriage, and taking his keys from his pocket, desired his servant to go to a certain closet in his house, and to bring his mourning-sword, which was accordingly done. This was regarded as a fatal omen in those days, in which, as Addison describes, a belief in such indications existed.

The Duke then drove on to that part of Hyde Park leading to Kensington, opposite the Lodge, and getting out, walked to and fro upon the grass between the two ponds. Lord Mohun, in the mean time, set out from Long Acre with his friend, General Macartney, who seems to have been a worthy second of the titled bravo.

Lord Mohun having taken the precaution of ordering some burnt wine to be prepared for him upon his return from the rencounter, proceeded to the place of appointment, where the Duke awaited him. "I must ask your Lordship," said Lord Mohun, "one favour, which is, that these gentlemen may have nothing to do with our quarrel." "My Lord," answered the Duke, "I leave them to themselves." The parties then threw off their cloaks, and all engaged; the seconds, it appears, fighting with as much fury as their principals. The park-keepers coming up, found Colonel Hamilton and General Macartney struggling together; the General holding the Colonel's sword in his left hand, the Colonel pulling at the blade of the General's sword. One of the keepers went up to the principals; he found Lord Mohun in a position between sitting and lying, bending towards the Duke, who was on his knees, leaning almost across Lord Mohun, both holding each other's sword fast, both striving and struggling with the fury of remorseless hatred. This awful scene was soon closed for ever, as far as Mohun was concerned. He expired shortly afterwards, having received four wounds, each of which was likely to be mortal. The Duke was raised and supported by Colonel Hamilton and one of the keepers; but after walking about thirty yards, exclaimed that "he could walk no farther," sank down upon the grass, and expired. His lifeless remains, mangled with wounds which showed the relentless fury of the encounter, were conveyed to St. James's Square, the same morning, while the Duchess was still asleep.[51]

Lord Mohun, meanwhile, was carried, by order of General Macartney, to the hackney-coach in which he had arrived, and his body conveyed to his house in Marlborough Street, where, it was afterwards reported, that being flung upon the best bed, his Lady, one of the nieces of Charles Gerrard, Earl of Macclesfield, expressed great anger at the soiling of her new coverlid, on which the bleeding corpse was deposited.[52]

General Macartney escaped. It appeared on oath that he had made a thrust at the Duke, as he was struggling with Mohun; and it being generally believed that it was by that wound that the Duke died, an address was presented to her Majesty by the Scottish Peers, begging that she would write to all the kings and states in alliance with her, not to shelter Macartney from justice.[53]

A deep and general grief was shown for the death of the Duke of Hamilton. In Scotland mourning was worn, and the churches were hung with black. It was in vain that the Duchess offered a reward of three hundred pounds for the apprehension of Macartney; the murderer had fled beyond seas.

The Cavaliers lost, in Hamilton, an ornament to their party, from the strict honour and fidelity of his known character. But the crisis which the unfortunate Duke had in vain endeavoured to avert was now at hand, and the death of Queen Anne brought with it all those consequences which a long series of cabals, during the later disturbed years of the Queen's existence, had been gradually ripening into importance.

The Earl of Mar had openly espoused the High-church party in the case of Sacheverel; and he had on that account, as well as from the doubt generally entertained of his fidelity, little reason to expect from the House of Hanover a continuance in office. No sooner had the Queen expired, than those whom Lord Mar had long, in secret, been regarding with interest, expressed openly their disappointment at the result of the last reign.

"The accession of George the First," remarks Dr. Coxe, "was a new era in the history of that Government which was established at the Revolution. Under William and Anne the Stuart family can scarcely be considered as absolutely excluded from the throne; for all parties, except the extreme Whigs, looked forward to the possibility of the Stuarts returning to the throne. But, in fact, the Revolution was not completed till the actual establishment of the Brunswick line, which cut off all hopes of a return without a new revolution."[54]

When the news of Queen Anne's dangerous condition reached the Chevalier de St. George, he was at Luneville; but he repaired instantly to Barleduc, where he held a council. As he entered the council-chamber, he was heard to exclaim, "If that Princess dies, I am lost."[55] There was no doubt that a correspondence with the exiled family had been carried on with great alacrity, during the last few years of Queen Anne's reign, with the cognizance of the Sovereign;[56] and that large sums were spent by Mary of Modena, and by her son, in procuring intelligence of all that was going on in the English Court.

Immediately after the Queen's death, Atterbury, Bishop of Rochester, proposed to Lord Bolingbroke to proclaim James at Charing Cross, and offered, himself, to head the procession in lawn sleeves. But Bolingbroke shrank from the enterprise; and, with an exclamation of passion, Atterbury exclaimed,—"There is the best cause in Europe lost for want of spirit." The boldness of the proposition, and the ardent temper from which it originated, recall, with regret, the remembrance of one who, as Lord Hailes in his notes on Atterbury's Correspondence has remarked, was "incapable of dark conspiracies."[57]

The Chevalier was then residing at Barleduc, with a suite of sixty persons; some of whom boasted of having taken part in the conspiracies against William the Third, and were proud of having compassed the death of that Sovereign. From time to time, Englishmen of distinction travelled from Paris to Barleduc, under pretext of seeing the country, but in fact to proffer a secret allegiance to the Prince. The individual to whom these attentions were addressed, is described by an anonymous emissary of the English Court, as leading a regular life,—hunting when the weather permitted, and hearing mass every day with great precision and devotion. "Il est fort maigre," adds the same writer, "assez grand; son teint est brun, son humeur et sa personne ne sont pas desagreables." In another place, it is added, "Il paroit manquer de jugement et de resolution:" an opinion, unhappily, too correct.[58] On the question being put by Bolingbroke to the Duke of Berwick, whether the Prince was a bigot, the answer was in the negative. "Then," said Bolingbroke, "we shall have no objection to place him on the throne." This anecdote, which was told by the Chevalier himself to Brigadier Nugent, probably gave countenance to the rumour spread in England, that James was likely to renounce the Catholic faith, and conform to the English Church.[59]

The Earl of Mar and his brother, Lord Grange, were now the two most considerable men in Scotland. Lord Grange had been made Lord of Session in 1707, and afterwards Lord Justice Clerk, during the three last years of Queen Anne's reign. His character presents traits even more repulsive and more dangerous than the time-serving and duplicity of the Earl of Mar. Lord Grange was one of those men whom the honest adherents to either party would, doubtless, gladly have turned over to the other side. His abilities, if we judge of the high appointments which he held, must have been eminent; but he was devoid of all principle, and was capable, if the melancholy and extraordinary history of his unhappy wife be true, of the darkest schemes.

It would be difficult to reconcile, in any other man, the discrepancy of Lord Grange's real opinions and of his subsequent efforts to restore the House of Stuart; but, in a brother of the Earl of Mar, the difficulty ceases, and all hopes of consistency, or rather of its origin, sincerity, vanish. Lord Grange is declared to have been a "true blue republican, and, if he had any religion, at bottom a Presbyterian;" yet he was deeply involved in transactions with the Chevalier and his friends.[60]

Lord Grange was united to a lady violent in temper, of a dauntless spirit, and a determined Hanoverian. Their marriage had been enforced by the laws of honour, and was ill-omened from the first; therefore, where respect has ceased, affection soon languishes and expires. The daughter of Cheisly of Dalry, a man of uncontrolled passions, who shot Sir George Lockhart, one of the Lords of Session, for having decided a law-suit against him, Mrs. Erskine of Grange, commonly called Lady Grange, inherited the determined will of her father. It was said that she had compelled Lord Grange to do her justice by marrying her, and "had desired him to remember, by way of threat, that she was Cheisly's daughter." For this menace she suffered in a way which could only be effected in a country like Scotland at that period, and among a people held in the thraldom of the clans. Her singular history belongs to a later period in the annals of those events in which so much domestic happiness was blasted, never to be recovered.[61]

With his brother, Lord Mar was in constant correspondence, during his own residence in London; and although Lord Grange was skilful enough to conceal his machinations, and to retain his seat on the bench as a Scottish judge, there is very little reason to doubt his secret co-operation in the subsequent movements of the Earl.

Acting as if "he thought that all things were governed by fate or fortune,"[62] George the First remained a long time to settle his own affairs in Hanover, before coming to England. This delay was employed by the Earl of Mar, in an endeavour to extenuate the tenor of his political conduct of late years in the eyes of the Sovereign, and in placing before the King the merit of his services and his claims to favour. The letter which he addressed to George the First, when in Holland, was printed by Tonson, during the year 1715, with prefatory remarks by Sir Richard Steele, whose comments upon this production of a man who, scarcely a year after it was written, set up the standard of the Pretender at Braemar, are expressed in these terms:

"It gives me a lively sense of the hardships of civil war, wherein all the sacred and most intimate obligations between man and man are to be torn asunder, when I cannot, without pain, represent to myself the behaviour of Lord Mar, with whom I had not even the honour of any further commerce than the pleasure of passing some agreeable hours in his company: I say, when even such little incidents make it irksome to be in a state of war with those with whom we have lived in any degree of familiarity, how terrible must the image be of rending the ties of blood, the sanctity of affinity and intermarriage, and the bringing men who, perhaps in a few months before, were to each other the dearest of all mankind, to meet on terms of giving death to each other at the same time that they had rather embrace!" Thus premising, and declaring that he could with difficulty efface from his mind all remains of good will and pity to Lord Mar, Sir Richard Steele subjoins a document, fatal to the reputation of Lord Mar—the following letter, which Lord Mar addressed to the King, in explanation of his conduct.



"Having the happiness to be your Majesty's subject, and also the honour of being of your servants, as one of your Secretaries of State, I beg leave by this to kiss your Majesty's hand, and congratulate your happy accession to the Throne; which I should have done myself the honour of doing sooner, had I not hoped to have had the honour of doing it personally ere now. I am afraid I may have had the misfortune to be misrepresented to your Majesty, and my reason for thinking so is, because I was the only one of the late Queen's servants whom your Ministers here did not visit, which I mentioned to Mr. Harley and the Earl of Clarendon, when they went from hence to wait on your Majesty; and your Ministers carrying so to me was the occasion of my receiving such orders as deprived me of the honour and satisfaction of waiting on them and being known to them. I suppose I had been misrepresented to them by some here upon account of party, or to ingratiate themselves by aspersing others, as one party here too often occasion; but I hope your Majesty will be so just as not to give credit to such misrepresentations.

"The part I acted in bringing about and making of the Union when the succession to the Crown was settled for Scotland on your Majesty's family, when I had the honour to serve as Secretary of State for that kingdom, doth, I hope, put my sincerity and faithfulness to your Majesty out of dispute. My family had had the honour for a great tract of years to be faithful servants to the Crown, and have had the care of the King's children (when King of Scotland) entrusted to them. A predecessor of mine was honoured with the care of your Majesty's grandmother, when young; and she was pleased afterwards to express some concern for our family, in letters I now have under her own hand.

"I have had the honour to serve her late Majesty in one capacity or other ever since her accession to the Crown. I was happy in a good mistress, and she was pleased to have some confidence in me and regard for my services. And since your Majesty's happy accession to the Crown, I hope you will find that I have not been wanting in my duty in being instrumental in keeping things quiet and peaceable in the country to which I belong and have some interest in.

"Your Majesty shall ever find me as faithful and dutiful a subject and servant as ever any of my family have been to the Crown, or as I have been to my late mistress the Queen. And I beg your Majesty may be so good not to believe any misrepresentations of me, which nothing but party hatred and my zeal for the interest of the Crown doth occasion; and I hope I may presume to lay claim to your royal favour or protection. As your accession to the Crown hath been quiet and peaceable, may your Majesty's reign be long and prosperous; and that your people may soon have the happiness and satisfaction of your presence amongst them, is the earnest and fervent wish of him who is, with the humblest duty and respect, Sir, your Majesty's most faithful, most dutiful and most obedient subject and servant,


"Whitehall, August thirtieth, 1714, o. s."

This disgraceful letter was ineffectual. The Monarch, "whose views and affections were, according to Lord Chesterfield, singly confined to the narrow compass of his Electorate," and for "whom England was too big," acted with a promptness and decision which gave no time for the workings of faction. An immediate change of ministry was announced by Kryenberg, the Hanoverian resident, at the first Privy Council; and among other changes, Lord Townshend was appointed in the place of Lord Bolingbroke. Well might Bolingbroke exclaim, "The grief of my soul is this; I see plainly that the Tory party is gone."[63]

For many months Lord Mar continued to maintain such a demeanour as might blind those of the opposite party to his real intentions. It seems, indeed, certain that at first he hoped to ensure a continuance in office by exerting his influence in Scotland to procure the good conduct of the clans: he was successful in obtaining even from some of those Highland chieftains who were afterwards the most deeply implicated in the Rebellion, an address declaring that they were "ready to concur with his Lordship in faithfully serving King George." "Your Lordship," states that memorial, "has an estate and interest in the Highlands, and is so well known to bear good will to your neighbours, that in order to prevent any ill impression which malicious and designing people may at this juncture labour to give of us, we must beg leave to address your Lordship, and entreat you to assure the Government, in our names, and in that of the rest of our clans, who, by distance of the place, could not be present at the signing of our letter, of our loyalty to his sacred Majesty, King George."[64] This address was signed by Maclean of that Ilk, Macdonald of Glengary, Mackenzie of Fraserdale, Cameron of Lochiel, and by several other chiefs of clans, who afterwards fought under the banners of the Earl of Mar. It furnishes a proof of the great influence which the Earl possessed in his own country, but he had not the courage to present it to the King. His Majesty, on the contrary, on hearing of this address was highly offended, believing that it had been drawn up at St. Germains in order to insult him, and his refusal to receive it was accompanied by an order to Lord Mar to give up the seals.

The Earl lingered, nevertheless, for some time in London, where he had now some attractions which to a less ambitious mind might have operated in favour of prudence. In the preceding year, July, 1714, he had married, at Acton in Middlesex, the Lady Frances Pierrepoint, the second daughter of Evelyn, first Duke of Kingston, and the sister of Lady Mary Wortley. The Countess of Mar was, at the time of her marriage, thirty-three years of age, being born in 1681. She does not appear to have been endowed with the rare qualities of her sister's mind; but that she was attached to her husband, her long exile from England on his account, sufficiently proves. Her married life was embittered by his career, and her latter days darkened by the direst of all maladies, mental aberration.

It is singular that so recently before his final effort, Lord Mar should have connected himself with a Whig family. The Marquis of Dorchester, who was created, by George the First, Duke of Kingston, was a member of the Kit Cat Club, and received early proofs of the good will of the Hanoverian Sovereign. It is true that Lady Mary Wortley augured ill of the match between her sister and Lord Mar, detesting as she did the Jacobite party, and believing that her sister was "drawn in by the persuasion of an officious female friend," Lord Mar's relation. But there is no reason to conclude that the Duke of Kingston in any way objected to a match apparently so dissonant with his political bias.[65]

Whilst Lord Mar remained near the court, the discoveries made by the Earl of Stair in France, communicated the first surmise of an intended invasion of England. Several seizures of suspected people warned one who was deep in the intrigues of St. Germain, not long to delay the open prosecution of his schemes. The melancholy instance of Mr. Harvey, who was apprehended while he was hawking at Combe, in Surrey, alarmed the Jacobite party. Mr. Harvey being shown a paper written in his own hand, convicting him of guilt, stabbed himself, but not fatally, with a pruning-knife which he had used in his garden. Upon some hope of his confessing being hinted, it was answered that his Majesty and the Council knew more of it than he did. The celebrated John Anstis, the heraldic writer, was also apprehended, and warrants were issued for the seizure of other suspected persons.

Notwithstanding his strong family interest, the Earl of Mar could scarcely consider himself secure under the present state both of the country and the metropolis. The events of the last year had succeeded each other with an appalling rapidity. The flight of Bolingbroke had scarcely ceased to be the theme of comment, before the general elections excited all the ill blood and fanaticism which such struggles at any critical era of our history have always produced. Riots, which have been hastily touched upon in the histories of the period, but which the minute descriptions of memoirs of that period show to have been attended with an unusual display of violence and brutality on both sides, broke out upon every anniversary which could recall the Stuarts to recollection. On St. George's day, in compliment to the Chevalier, who, according to an observer of those eventful days, "had assumed the name of that far-famed Cappadocian Knight, though every one knew he has nothing of the valour, courage, and other bright qualities of the saint," a tumult was raised in London, and among other outrages, passengers through the streets of the City were beaten if they would not cry "God bless the late Queen and the High Church!" Sacheverel and Bolingbroke were pledged in bumpers by a mob, who burnt, at the same time, King William in effigy.[66] A similar contagion spread throughout the country; Oxford took the lead in acts of destruction; her streets were filled with parties of Whigs and Tories, both of them infuriated, until their mad rage vented itself in acts of murder, under the pretence, on the one hand, of a dread of popery, on the other, on a similar plea of religious zeal. A Presbyterian meetinghouse was pulled down, and cries of "An Ormond!" "A Bolingbroke!" "Down with the Roundheads!" "No Hanover!" "A new Restoration!" accompanied the conflagration. On the same day similar exclamations were again heard in the streets of London; and all windows not illuminated were broken to pieces. The tenth of June, the anniversary of the Chevalier's birthday, was the signal for a still more decisive manifestation. On that day three Scottish magistrates went boldly to the Cross at Dundee, and there drank the Pretender's health, by the name of King James the Eighth, for which they were immediately apprehended and tried.

The impeachment of Lord Oxford still further exasperated the country, which rang with the cry, "No George, but a Stuart." The peaceable accession of the first monarch of the Brunswick line has been greatly insisted upon by historians; but that stillness was ominous; it was the stillness of the air before a storm; and was only indicative of irresolution, not of a diminished dislike to the sway of a foreigner.

It is supposed that an intercepted letter which the Duke de Berwick, the half-brother of the Chevalier, addressed to a person of distinction in England, first gave the intelligence of an intended invasion.[67] The burden of that letter was to encourage the riots and tumults, and to keep up the spirits of the people with a promise of prompt assistance. The impeachment of Viscount Bolingbroke and of the Duke of Ormond followed shortly afterwards; and although these noblemen provided for their own safety by flight, they were degraded as outlaws, and in the order in Council were styled, according to the usual form of law, "James Butler, yeoman," and "Henry Bolingbroke, labourer," and the arms of Ormond were taken from Windsor Chapel, and torn in pieces by the Earl Marshal.

The English fleet, under the command of Sir George Byng, was stationed in the Downs, in case of a surprise. Portsmouth was put in a state of defence; and, during the month of July, the inhabitants of London beheld once more a sight such as had never been witnessed by its citizens since the days of the Great Rebellion. In Hyde Park the troops of the household were encamped, according to the arrangements of General Cadogan, who had marked out a camp. The forces were commanded by the Duke of Argyle. In Westminster the Earl of Clare reviewed the militia, and the trained bands were directed to be in readiness for orders. At the same time fourteen colonels of the Guards, and other inferior officers were cashiered by the King's orders, on suspicion of being in James Stuart's interest; so deep a root had this cause, which many have pretended to treat as a visionary scheme of self-interest, taken in the affections even of the British army.

A proclamation ordering all Papists and reputed Papists to depart from the cities of London and Westminster, was the next act of the Government. All persons of the Roman Catholic persuasion were to be disarmed and their horses sold; a declaration against transubstantiation was to be administered to them, and the oath of abjuration to non-jurors.[68] After such mandates, it seems idle to talk of the tyranny of Henry the Eighth.

There is no doubt but that the greatest alarm and consternation reigned at St. James's. The stocks fell, but owing to the vigilance of the Ministry, information was obtained of the whole scheme of the invasion, in a manner which to this day has never been satisfactorily explained.

The Earl of Mar must have trembled, as he still lingered in the metropolis. It is probable that he waited there in order to receive those contributions from abroad which were necessary to carry on his plans. He was provided at last with no less a sum than a hundred thousand pounds; and also furnished with a commission dated the seventh of September, 1715 appointing him Lieutenant General and Commander in Chief of the forces raised for the Chevalier in Scotland.[69] Large sums were already collected from Switzerland, Italy, Germany, and France, to the amount, it has been stated, of twelve millions. It has been well remarked by Sir Walter Scott, in his notes on the Master of Sinclair's MS., that "when the Stuarts had the means, they wanted a leader (as in 1715); when (as in 1745) they had a leader, they wanted the means."

With the eye of suspicion fixed upon him, his plans matured, his friends in the north prepared, the Earl of Mar had the hardihood, under such circumstances, to appear at the court of King George. A few weeks before the Habeas Corpus Act had been suspended; but the Earl trusted either to good fortune, or to his own well-known arts of insinuation. He braved all possibility of detection, and determined to carry on the game of deep dissimulation to the last moment.

On the first of August, 1715, the Earl of Mar attended the levee of King George. One can easily suppose how cold, if not disdainful, must have been his reception; but it is not easy to divine with what secret emotions, the subject on the eve of an insurrection could have offered his obeisance to the Monarch. Grave in expression, with a heavy German countenance, hating all show, and husbanding his time, so as to avoid all needless conversation; without an idea of cultivating the fine arts, of encouraging literature, or of even learning to speak English, George the First must have presented to his English subjects the reverse of all that is attractive. A decided respectability of character might have redeemed the ungainly picture; but, although esteemed a man of honour, and evincing liberal and even benevolent tendencies, the Monarch displayed not only an unblushing and scandalous profligacy, but a love for coarse and unworthy society. His court is said to have been modelled upon that of Louis the Fifteenth; but it was modelled upon the grossest and lowest principles only, and had none of the elegance even of that wretched King's depraved circles; and public decency was as much outraged by the three yachts which were prepared to carry over King George's mistresses and their suite,[70] when he visited Hanover, as by the empire of Madame de Pompadour. It must, independent of every other consideration, have been galling to Englishmen to behold, seated on their throne, a German, fifty-four years of age, who from that very circumstance, was little likely ever to boast, like Queen Anne, "of an English heart." "A hard fate," observes a writer of great impartiality, "that the enthronement of a stranger should have been the only means to secure our liberties and laws!"[71]

A week after he had been received at the levee of King George, the Earl embarked at Gravesend in a collier, attended by two servants, and accompanied by General Hamilton and Captain Hay. They were all disguised, and escaping detection, arrived on the third day afterwards at Newcastle. It has been even said, that in order the better to conceal his rank, the Earl of Mar wrought for his passage.[72] From Newcastle Lord Mar proceeded northward in another vessel; and landing at Elie, in Fifeshire, went first to Crief, where he remained a few days. He then proceeded to Dupplin, in the county of Perth, the seat of his brother-in-law, the Earl of Kinnoul, and thence, on the eighteenth of August, crossing the river Perth, he proceeded to his own Castle of Kildrummie, in the Braes of Mar. He was accompanied by forty horse.

On the day after the arrival of the Earl at Kildrummie, he despatched letters to the principal Jacobites, inviting them to attend a grand hunting-match in Braemar on the twenty-seventh of August. This summons was couched in this form, for fear of a more explicit declaration being intercepted, revealing the design; but the great chiefs who were thus collected together were aware that "hunting" was but the watchword.

A gallant band of high-spirited chieftains answered the call. It is consolatory to turn to those who, unaffected by the intrigues of a Court, came heartily, and with a disinterested love, to the cause of which the Earl of Mar was the unworthy leader.

First in rank, was the Marquis of Huntly, eldest son of George, the first Duke of Gordon, and of that daring Duchess of Gordon, a daughter of the house of Howard, who, in 1711, had presented to the Dean and Faculty of Advocates in Edinburgh a silver medal, with the head of the Chevalier on one side, and on the other the British Islands, with the word "Reddite." The learned body to whom the Duchess had proposed this dangerous gift, at first hesitated to receive it: after a debate, however, among their members, it was agreed that the donation should be accepted, and a vote was passed to return thanks to the Duchess. The Advocates then waited in a body upon the Duchess, and expressed their hopes that her Grace would soon have occasion to present the Faculty with a second medal on the Restoration.[73] The Duke of Gordon, notwithstanding his having been brought up a Roman Catholic, was neutral in the troubles of the Rebellion of 1715, but his son took a force of three thousand men into the field,—the clan siding with the young Marquis rather than with their chief. The Marquis of Huntly was, probably for that reason, spared in the subsequent proceedings against the Jacobites, his participation in their schemes being punished only by a brief imprisonment.

William Marquis of Tullibardine, one of the most constant friends to the House of Stuart, the Earl of Nithisdale, and the Earl Marischal, also appeared at the time appointed. It was the fortune of the Marquis of Tullibardine, like that of the Marquis of Huntly, afterwards to appear in the field unsanctioned by his father, the Duke of Athol, who either was, or appeared to be, in favour of Government, whilst his son headed the clan to the number of six thousand. Lord Nairn, the younger brother of the Marquis, also joined in the undertaking. Of these distinguished Jacobites, separate lives will hereafter be given in this work: it therefore becomes unnecessary any further to expatiate upon them here. Of some, whose biography does not present features sufficiently marked to constitute a distinct narrative, some traits may here be given.

Charles Earl of Traquair, who hastened to Braemar, was one of those Scottish nobles who claimed kindred with royalty. He was descended from Sir James Stewart, commonly called the Black Knight of Lorn, and from Jane, daughter of John Earl of Somerset, and widow of King James the First. One of Lord Traquair's ancestors, the first Earl, had levied a regiment of horse, in order to release Charles the First from his imprisonment in the Isle of Wight; but, marching at the head of it at the battle of Preston, he and his son, Lord Seatoun, were taken prisoners and conveyed to Warwick Castle, where they languished four years in imprisonment, with the knowledge that their estates had been sequestered.

Connected with the family of Seatoun, on his mother's side, the Earl of Traquair had married the sister of Lord Nithisdale, being thus nearly related to two of those chiefs who gladly obeyed the summons of Lord Mar to the hunting-field. The Earl of Traquair appears to have escaped all the penalties which followed the Rebellion of 1715, perhaps because he does not appear to have taken any of his tenantry into the field.

Less prudent, or less fortunate, William Mackenzie, Earl of Seaforth, joined the standard of James Stuart with a body of three thousand men. He was attainted when the struggle was over, and his estates, both in Scotland and England, forfeited. He escaped to the Continent; but, in 1719, again landed with the Spaniards at Kintail; and was wounded at the battle of Glenshiels, but being carried off by his followers, again fled to the Continent, with the Marquis of Tullibardine and the Earl Marischal. Lord Seaforth was one of those to whom the royal mercy was shown. George the First reversed his attainder, and George the Second granted him arrears of the feu duties due to the Crown out of the forfeited estates. The title has been eventually restored.

James Livingstone, Earl of Linlithgow, was amongst the many who experienced less clemency than the Earl of Traquair. He had been chosen one of the sixteen representative peers of Scotland, on the death of the Duke of Hamilton; and enjoyed the possession of considerable family estates, which were eventually forfeited to the Crown. He led a band of three hundred clansmen to the field.

Perhaps one of the most sturdy adherents of the Chevalier St. George was James Maule, fourth Earl of Panmure. In his youth this nobleman had served as a volunteer at the siege of Luxembourg, where he had signalized his courage. In 1686, he succeeded his brother, and added to the honours of a peerage those of a character already established for bravery. To these distinctions was added that of being a Privy Councillor to James the Second; but he was removed upon his opposing the abrogation of the penal laws against Popery. Whilst thus protesting against what might then be deemed objectionable innovations, Lord Panmure was a firm adherent of James, and vigorously supported his interests in the convention of estates in 1689.

The accession of William and Mary drove this true Jacobite from the Scottish Parliament. He never appeared in that assembly after that event, having refused to take the oaths. Of course he disapproved of the Union; and the next step which he took was to join the standard of the Chevalier.

After that decisive proceeding, the course of this unfortunate nobleman's life was one of misfortune, in which his high spirit was sustained by a constancy of no ordinary character. At the battle of Sherriff Muir, the brave Panmure was taken prisoner, but was rescued by his brother Harry, who, like himself, had engaged in the rebellion. Panmure escaped to France: he was attainted of high treason,—his estates, which amounted to 3456l. per annum, and were the largest of the confiscated properties, were forfeited, as well as his hereditary honours. Twice were offers made to him by the English Government to restore his rank and possessions, if he would take the oath of allegiance to the House of Hanover; but Panmure refused the proffered boon, and preferred sharing the fortunes of him whom he looked upon as his legitimate Prince. When he joined the Jacobites at Braemar, Lord Panmure was no longer a young, rash man: he was in the sixty-fifth year of his age. His wife, the daughter of William Duke of Hamilton, was, after his attainder, provided for by act of Parliament in the same manner as if she had been a widow. His brother, Harry Maule, of Kellie, a man of considerable accomplishments, was so fortunate as to be enabled to return to his native country, and died in Edinburgh in 1734. But Lord Panmure, like most of the other brave and honest men who preferred their allegiance to their interest, finished his days in exile, and died at Paris, in 1723.[74]

Kenneth Lord Duffus was another of those noblemen who had already established a character for personal bravery. He was a person of great skill in maritime affairs, and was promoted by Queen Anne to the command of the Advice ship of war, with which, in 1711, this gallant Highlander engaged eight French privateers, and after a desperate resistance of some hours, he was taken prisoner, after receiving five balls in his body.

He was, however, released in time to engage in the Rebellion of 1715; and though it does not appear that he took any followers to fight beneath the Chevalier's standard, he was included in the Act of Attainder. The intelligence was communicated to Lord Duffus when he was in Sweden. He resolved immediately to surrender himself to the British Government, and declared his intention to the British Minister at Stockholm, who notified it to Lord Townshend, Secretary of State. Notwithstanding this manly determination, Lord Duffus was arrested on his way to England, at Hamburgh, and was detained there until the time specified for surrendering had expired. He thence proceeded to London, where he was confined more than a year in the Tower, but released in 1717, without being brought to trial. Lord Duffus died, according to some accounts, in the Russian service; to others, in that of France. He married a Swedish lady, and attained to the rank of Admiral.[75]

Such were some of those Jacobite chieftains whose history has sunk into obscurity, partly from the difficulty of obtaining information concerning their career, after the contest was at an end. Amongst those who met Lord Mar in the hunting-field, but who afterwards became neutral,[76] although most of his clan joined in the Rebellion, was the Earl of Errol, one of a family whose fame for valour was dated from the time of the Danish invasion. The origin of the House of Errol is curious, and marks the simplicity of the times. An aged countryman, named Hay, and his sons, had arrested the progress of the ruthless conquerors in a defile near Lanearty in Perthshire. The old man was rewarded by Kenneth the Third with as much land in the Carse of Gowrie as a falcon from a man's hand flew over until she lighted. The bird flew over a space of six miles, which was thence called Errol, and which is still in possession of the family; and the old man and his sons were raised from the rank of plebeians by the assignment of a coat of arms, on which were three escutcheons, gules, to denote that the father and the two sons had been the shields of Scotland. The family grew in wealth and estimation, and the office of Hereditary High Constable of Scotland was added to their other honours.

The Countess of Errol, the mother of the High Constable, and sister of the Earl of Perth, had already taken a decided part in the affairs of the Jacobite party. When Colonel Hooke had been sent over in 1707 to Scotland, she had met him at the sea-coast, and had there placed in the hands of that emissary several letters from her son, expressing his earnest intention to support the cause of the Chevalier. The Earl of Errol had also received Hooke at his castle, and had entertained him there several days, and employed that time in initiating Hooke into the various characteristics and views of the Jacobite nobility in Scotland. He was thus deeply pledged to aid the undertaking at that time (the year 1707); and in a letter to the Chevalier, the Earl expressed his hopes that he might have the happiness of seeing his Majesty, "a happiness for which," he adds, "we have long sighed, to be delivered from oppression." The Countess of Errol also addressed a letter to the mother of James Stuart, as the Queen of England, declaring that the delays which the Scotch had suffered had not "diminished their zeal, although they had prolonged their miseries and misfortunes."[77] Whether, upon the rising in 1715, the views of Lord Errol were altered, or that female influence had been lessened by some circumstance, does not exactly appear. He kept himself neutral in the subsequent outbreak, notwithstanding his appearance at Braemar, and although his clan were for the most part against the Government.[78] The Earl of Errol died, unmarried, in 1717: his adherence to his Jacobite principles were not, therefore, put to the test in 1745.

To these noblemen were united Seaton, Viscount of Kingston, whose estates were forfeited to the Crown; Livingstone Viscount of Kilsyth, one of the representative peers, who died an exile at Rome in 1733; Lord Balfour of Burleigh; Lord Ogilvy, afterwards Earl of Airly, and Forbes, Lord Pitsligo. This last-mentioned nobleman was a man of a grave and prudent character, whose example drew many of his neighbours to embark in an enterprise in which so discreet a person risked his honours and estate. He was the author of essays, moral and philosophical; and either from respect to his merits, or from some less worthy cause, his defection in 1715 passed with impunity. But, in 1745, the aged nobleman again appeared in the field, infirm as he was: and one of the most pleasing traits in Charles Edward's noble, yet faulty character was his walking at the head of his forces, having given up his carriage for the use of this tried adherent of his father. Attainder and forfeiture followed this last attempt, but the sentence was reversed by the Court of Session, from a misnomer in the attainder; and the venerable Lord Forbes, surviving many who had set out on the same course with him, had the comfort of breathing his last in his native country. He died at Auchiries in Aberdeenshire, in 1762.[79]

Several of these noblemen had been long contemplating the possibility of James's return to Scotland. Like the Earl of Errol, they had been dissatisfied with the prudence of the Duke of Hamilton, whose policy it had been to postpone the risk of a precarious undertaking, and whose foresight was acknowledged when it was too late. Lord John Drummond, Lord Kilsyth, and Lord Linlithgow, had been all deeply concerned in the schemes and speculations which had been formed in 1707, on the subject of the Restoration; but the zeal of Lord Kilsyth had been doubted, from his intimacy with the Duke of Hamilton, who was then objectionable to the violent Jacobite leaders.[80]

These chieftains were not unworthy to come into the same field with Tullibardine, Nithisdale, Marischal, and their brave associates. A still nobler band of associates was formed in the different members of the house of Drummond, a family who could boast of being derived from "the ancient nobility of the kingdom of Hungary:" and from the daughters of whose house Charles the Second was lineally descended in the ninth and sixth degree. Well may it be called "the splendid family of Drummond," even if we regard only its proud antiquity, or the singular "faithfulness of the family, or the accomplishments and virtues which characterised many of its members." Nothing can be finer than the manner in which the claims of birth are placed before us, in the address of William Drummond of Hawthornden to "John Earle of Perthe," in his manuscript "Historie of the Familie of Perthe:"

"Though, as Glaucus sayes to Diomed (in Homer),

'Like the race of leaves The race of man is, that deserves no question: nor receaves His being any other breath; the wind in autumn strowes The earth with old leaves; then the spring the woods with new endowes,'

"yet I have ever thought the knowledge of kindred and genealogies of the ancient families of a country a matter so far from contempt, that it deserveth highest praise. Herein consisteth a part of the knowledge of a man's own selfe. It is a great spurr to vertue to look back on the worth of our line. In this is the memory of the dead preserved with the living, being more firm and honourable than any epitaph. The living know that band which tyeth them to others. By this man is distinguished from the reasonless creatures, and the noble of men from the base sort. For it often falleth out (though we cannot tell how) for the most part, that generositie followeth good birth and parentage."[81] The two members of the Drummond family who attended Lord Mar in his famous hunting-field were James Earl of Perth, and William Drummond, Viscount Strathallan.

The Earls of Southesk and Carnwath, the Viscounts Kenmure and Stormont, and the Lord Rollo, complete the list of Scottish peers who were present on this memorable occasion. But perhaps the more remarkable feature of the hunting-match was the arrival of twenty-six gentlemen of influence in the Highlands, men of sway and importance, of which it is impossible, without a knowledge of Highland manners, to form an adequate notion. The constitution of the clans is thus pourtrayed by one who knew it well.

"In every narrow vale where a blue stream bent its narrow course, some hunter of superior prowess, or some herdsman whom wealth had led to wealth and power to power, was the founder of a little community who ever after looked up to the head of the family as their leader and their chief. Those chains of mountains which formed the boundings of their separate districts had then their ascents covered with forests, which were the scene of their hunting-excursions: when their eagerness in pursuit of game led them to penetrate into the districts claimed by the chief of the neighbouring valleys, a rash encounter was the usual consequence, which laid the foundation of future hostilities."[82]

These petty wars gave room for a display of valour in the chiefs, and led to a mutual dependence from the followers. Alliances offensive and defensive were formed among the clans, and intermarriages were contracted between the confederated clans, who governed their followers by a kind of polity not ill regulated. The chief had the power of life and death over his large family, but it was a power seldom used. A chieftain might be cruel to his enemies, but never to his friends. Nor were those paternal rulers by any means so despotic as they have been represented to be; of all monarchs their power was the most limited, being allowed to take no step without permission of their friends, or the elders of their tribe, including the most distant branches of their family. The kind and conciliatory system adopted towards their clansmen accounts for the warm attachment and fidelity displayed towards their chiefs; and these sentiments were heightened to enthusiasm by the songs and traditions of the bards, in which the exploits of their heroes were perpetuated. Still there is nothing, as it has been justly said, so remarkable in the political history of any country, as the succession of the Highland chiefs, and the long and uninterrupted sway which they held over their followers.[83] The system of clanship gives all the romantic interest which the Rebellions of 1715 and 1745 inspire;—it perfects a picture which would only otherwise be a factious contention for power; it was annihilated only after the last of the Stuarts had fled for ever from the mountains of Scotland.

It was at the head of the clans that the Earl of Mar frequently placed himself, at the battle of Sherriff Muir: he now welcomed their chieftains to the field. Among these were General Hamilton, General Gordon, Glengary, Campbell of Glendarvel, and the lairds of Auchterhouse and Aldebar.

So great an assembly of those whom the Chevalier afterwards not inaptly termed "little kings," was by no means unusual at that period. It was the custom among the lords and chieftains in the Highlands to invite their neighbours and vassals to a general rendezvous to chase the deer upon the mountains, and after the diversion was over, to entertain the persons of note in the castle hall. This expedient would, therefore, have excited but little attention, had it not been for several years the practice of the Jacobites to hold these hunting-parties annually, in order to maintain the spirit of the association, which had been carried on since the peace of Utrecht.

The halls of Kildrummie received the noblemen and chieftains that day beneath its roof, and the Earl of Mar addressed his guests in a long, premeditated harangue. He is described as having little pretension to eloquence; but his hearers were probably not very fastidious judges, and from the influence which the Earl acquired over those whom he led on to the contest, it may be inferred that he understood well how to address himself to the passions of a Highland audience.

At first the Earl was heard with distrust,—at least if we may credit the account of one on whom, perhaps, too great a reliance has been placed.[84]

"It is true, that at first," says Mr. Patten, "he gained little or no credit among them, they suspecting some piece of policy in him to ensnare them; but some were weak enough to suck in the poison, and particularly some of those who were with him at his house, called Brae-Mar. These, listening to him, embraced his project, and, as is reported, engaged by oath to stand by him and one another, and to bring over their friends and dependants to do the like."[85]

The Earl began his harangue by expressing a deep regret for having promoted the Union, which had delivered his countrymen into the hands of the English, whose power to enslave them was far too great, and whose intentions to do so still further were manifest from the proceedings of the Elector of Hanover ever since he ascended the throne. That Prince regarded, according to Lord Mar, neither the welfare of his people, nor their religion, but solely left the management of affairs to a set of men who made encroachments in Church and State. Many persons, he said, were now resolved to consult their own safety, and determined to defend their liberties and properties, and to establish on the throne of these realms the Chevalier St. George, who had the only undoubted right to the Crown, who would hear their grievances, and redress their wrongs. He then incited his hearers to take arms for the Chevalier, under the title of King James the Seventh; and told them, that for his part, he was determined to set up his standard and to summon all the fencible men of his own tenants, and with them to hazard his life in the cause. To this declaration he added the assurance, that a general rising in England and assistance from France would aid their undertaking; that thousands were in league and covenant with him to establish the Chevalier and depose King George.

To these inducements were added others. Letters from the Chevalier were read to the assembly, promising to come over in person; with assurances that ships, arms, and ammunition would be dispatched to their aid.[86]

The proposals of Lord Mar were unfolded with such address, and his popularity was at that time so great, that one might have supposed an immediate assent to his schemes would have followed. On the contrary some degree of persuasion was required: the Highlanders are slow to promise, but sure to fulfil. The very chieftains who hung back from a too ready consent, never deserted the cause which they once undertook. The universal fidelity to the part which they espoused was violated in no instance during the first Rebellion.

At length the assembled chiefs swore an oath to stand by the Earl of Mar, and to bring their friends and dependants to do the same. However, no second meeting was at that time determined upon: every man went back to his own estate, to take measures for appearing in arms after again hearing from the Earl of Mar, who remained among his own people with few attendants. But the Jacobites were not idle during that interval. They employed themselves in collecting their servants and kindred, but with the utmost secrecy, until everything was ready to break out. Nor were they long kept in suspense. On the third of September, another meeting at Abbone, in Aberdeenshire, was held, and there the Earl directed his adherents to collect their men without loss of time. He returned to Braemar, and continued for several days gathering the people together, until they amounted, according to Reay, to two thousand horse; although some have said that there were only sixty followers at that time assembled.[87]

On the sixth of September, the standard of the Pretender was set up at Braemar, by the Earl of Mar, in the presence of the assembled forces. The superstitious Highlanders remarked with dismay, that, as the standard was erected, the ball on the top of it fell off; and they regarded this accident as an ill omen. "The event," says a quaint Scottish writer, "has proven that it was no less."[88]

This grave accordance in the verification of the omen, was a feature of the times and country. "When a clan went upon any expedition," observes Dr. Brown in his valuable work upon the Highlands, "they were much addicted to omens. If they met an armed man they believed that good was portended. If they observed a deer, fox, hare, or any four-footed beast of game, and did not succeed in killing it, they prognosticated evil. If a woman, barefooted, crossed the road before them, they seized her, and drew blood from her forehead." This mixture of fear of visionary evils, and courage in opposing real ones, of credulity and distrust, strength and weakness, presents a singular view of the Highland character. It had, however, in many respects, no inconsiderable influence upon the contests of 1715 and 1745.

From Braemar the Earl proceeded to Kirk Michael, a small town, where he proclaimed the Chevalier, and set up his standard. He then marched to Moulin in Perthshire, where he rested some time, collecting his forces.

It is a remarkable fact, that up to this period the Earl of Mar was acting without a commission from the Chevalier. The disposition which is too predominant in society, and which leads men always to add the bitterness of invective to the mortification of failure, has attributed to the Earl of Mar, relatively to this commission, a line of conduct from which it is agreeable to be able to clear his memory. It was not very long after the meeting in Braemar, that Lord Mar discovered that there was what he called "a devil" in his camp, in the person of the Master of Sinclair, whose manuscript strictures upon the unfortunate and incompetent leader of the Jacobites have contributed to blacken his memory.

According to the Master of Sinclair, the Earl of Mar produced at the meeting a forged commission; but this statement is not only contradicted by Lord Mar's own account, but completely invalidated by the fact that the commission is in existence, among various other curious documents and letters, many of which place the character of Lord Mar in a much fairer light than that in which it has hitherto been viewed. The Earl of Mar, in a justification of his conduct, printed at Paris, and added to Patten's History of the Rebellion, gives the following account of the affair:

"It was near a month after the Earl of Mar[89] set up the Standard before he could produce a commission, and it is no small proof of the people's zeal for their country that so great a number followed his advice and obeyed his orders before he could produce one. It must, though, be owned, and it is the less to be wondered at, that his authority being thus precarious, some were not so punctual in joining him, and others performed not so effectually the service they were sent upon, which, had they done, not only Scotland, but even part of England, had been reduced to the Chevalier's obedience, before the Government had been in a condition to make head against us."[90]

The commission was, however, at that time written, although it had not been sent over to Scotland. It is dated the seventh of September, 1715, and is superscribed James R.[91] The Earl of Mar was doubtless aware that such an instrument was in preparation.

When the Earl had first arrived in Scotland, he found, as he himself alleges, the people far more eager to take arms than his instructions allowed him to permit; but before actual steps were commenced, that ardour was cooled by two circumstances: first, by the Chevalier's not landing in England, as the Jacobites had confidently hoped; and, secondly, by the Duke of Berwick's not coming to Scotland.[92] The vigorous measures adopted by Government made, therefore, a far greater impression on the public mind than could have been expected had the Earl of Mar been boldly seconded by him who was most of all interested in the event of the contest. The Lord Advocate summoned all the principal Jacobites to appear at Edinburgh within specified periods, in order to give bail to Government for their allegiance. "Many," says Lord Mar, "seemed inclined to comply." Yet the number of those who did comply with the summons was inconsiderable; the rest, including the most honoured names in Scotland, rushed into the insurrection. The different heads of noble houses dispersed, and each in the district in which he had most power, and in the principal towns proclaimed the Chevalier King. The Fiery Cross was sent throughout the country, with blood at one end, and fire at the other; and it was afterwards asserted by some of the rebels who were tried at Liverpool, that they were forced into the service of the Chevalier, the person who bore that cross assuring them that, unless they hastened to Mar's camp, they were to perish by blood and fire.[93]

Intelligence of the death of Louis the Fourteenth, which had happened during the preceding August, reached Scotland at this time, and cast an universal gloom over his party. It was even disputed whether the Jacobite leaders should not disperse until news of the Chevalier's landing should reassure them, or the certainty of a rising in England should give vigour to their proceedings. At this critical moment Lord Mar published a declaration which has been printed in most of the histories of the period, exhorting all those who were well-affected to the good cause to put themselves under arms, and summoning his confederates to the Tower of Braemar, on the eleventh of September, promising them, in the name of the King, their pay from the moment of setting out.

"Now is the time," said the Earl, "for all good men to show their zeal for his Majesty's service, whose cause is so deeply concerned, and the relief of our native country from oppression and a foreign yoke too heavy for us and our posterity to bear.

"In so honourable, good, and just a cause," he added, "we cannot doubt of the assistance, direction, and blessing of Almighty God, who has so often rescued the royal family of Stuart, and our country from sinking under oppression.

"Your punctual observance of these orders is expected, for the doing of all which, this shall be to you, and all you employ in the execution of them, a sufficient warrant."

In a very different tone was a letter, written the same night by the Earl to his baillie of Kildrummie: from this epistle, so characteristic of the politic Earl of Mar, it was manifest that his own followers were more tardy in the field than those of the other chieftains of the Highlands. The means taken to intimidate and compel them are strongly characteristic of the state of society in Scotland at that period.[94] The reluctance of his clan must have been a subject of deep mortification to Lord Mar, when, in one evening, the summons of the Fiery Cross, paraded round Loch Tay, a distance of thirty-two miles, could assemble five hundred men, at the bidding of the Laird of Glenlyon, to join the Earl of Mar.[95]

A few days after the assembling of the forces, the Earl of Mar, assisted by his Jacobite friends, published a manifesto, asserting the right of James the Eighth, by the grace of God, King of Scotland, &c., and pointing to the relief of the kingdom from oppression and grievances.[96]

Whilst the adherents of James were thus assembling in the North, a brave but unsuccessful attempt was made to surprise the castle of Edinburgh. Ninety chosen men, under the command of Lord Drummond, were engaged in this undertaking, of which the design was, to seize the citadel and to place it under the command of Lord Drummond; then the artillery within the castle was to be employed in firing their rounds by way of signal to different posts, in concert. Fires were to be lighted up on the hills as a signal to Lord Mar to march and take possession of the city. The failure of this design was owing to the disclosure of one Dr. Arthur, a physician in Edinburgh, to his wife, who gave information of the whole plan to the Lord Justice Clerk, to whom she sent an unsigned letter the evening she had gained from her unwilling husband intelligence of the scheme. This failure, the first of those adverse events which disheartened the spirits of the Jacobites, was, however, less deplored than it would have been, had not the progress of the Earl of Mar's exertions borne the most flattering aspect. In September, the Earl marched to Logaret, where his forces still increased, and thence into the beautiful region around Dunkeld; here he was joined, with fourteen hundred men, by the Marquis of Tullibardine, and by five hundred Campbells from the Breadalbane territory, headed, not by their chief, but by Campbell of Glenderule, Campbell of Glenlyon, and John Campbell, the Earl's chamberlain. Enforced also by the addition of two hundred Highlanders from different quarters, the Earl of Mar resolved to make the town of Perth his head-quarters.

This was a wise resolution: the situation of that fine city presented the most important advantages to the General of the Jacobite forces. Seated on the river Tay, and near the sea-coast, it gave the Earl the control of the East Lowlands, of the rich counties of Angus, the Carse of Gowrie, Mearns, Murray, Aberdeen, and Banff, and also of the Shire of Fife. It also cut off the communication between the north and the south of Scotland, so that the friends of Government could neither act nor fly from the enemy. Thus all the usual posts were stopped. The revenues of the public fell into the hands of the insurgents who gave receipts for them in the name of James the Eighth, and the landowners in the counties subject to the Earl were taxed at whatever rate he chose to impose. Perth continued to be the head-quarters of the Lieutenant General until a few days before this disastrous contest was finally closed.

At the first general review at Perth, the forces of Lord Mar amounted only to five thousand men; but a few weeks afterwards, by the accession of his friends in the north, they were increased to the number of twelve thousand, both horse and foot, of well appointed men. That Lord Mar's hopes were high, and, at this period, not without reason of, at any rate, a partial success, the following letter addressed by him to Captain Henry Straiton,[97] at Edinburgh, is a proof. It relates, in the first instance, to the insurrection in Northumberland, under the guidance of Mr. Forster, a gentleman of suspected zeal and little discretion, to whom Lord Mar unwisely trusted the conduct of the gallant but ill-fated bands who fell at Preston:—

"From the Camp of Perth, October 12th, 1715."[98]


"It was yesterday afternoon as I got yours of the ninth, which you may be sure was very acceptable, and also the others you sent me. Tom Forster tells me in his of the sixth, that they had taken the field that day with a hundred and sixty horse; that he had sent to the gentelmen of Lancaster who he expected to join him, and also the gentilmen from the scots side, that he expected two thousand foot from my camp and five hundred horse, that the town of Newcastle had promist to open their gates to them, and that they intended to take possession of Tinmouth.

"They have been better than their word in coming together so soon, and I would fain hope it has been occasioned by some consort with our friends further south, who are to join them, and that the Duke of Ormond is in England before this time, as I have reason to believe he is.

"My letters by M^{r}. E——ne[99] had not then reached those on the boarder, but when they do, I hope it will put the project of shooting themselves up in Tinmouth out of their thoughts; what good could they do there? I have wrote so fully by M^{r}. E——ne upon the subject of the way of their disposeing of themselves, that I need say little of it now. You certainly know of the detachment of two thousand foot, lying these severall dayes on the coast of Fife, to get over, if possible; but now that there's five men of warr in the Firth, I'm afraid it is not; however, they are stile about it, and will do what they can: but for finding horse that way, you will easily see is impracticable, unless the passage were open, and I hope our friends on the boarder will not want horse from us. I was very fond of the project of getting the passage of the whole armie opened, when I wrote by Mr. E——ne; but since that time, beside that of more men of warr comeing into the Firth, there's another thing I know since, which makes me alter my thoughts about it, at least of doing it soon, were it in my power. Mr. Ogilvie of Boin arrived here from France on the sixth, as perhaps you have heard, with my new commission, of which I send you a copie inclosed, and letters from Lord Bolingbroke; but I know you have accounts of a latter date at Edinb. so I need say the less of them. Lord Bolingbroke tels me, that in all probability, the King wou'd land very quickly in the north of Scotland; so until we be so happie that he comes to us, or at least we hear from him again, which by those letters I expect every day, I judge it were not prudent for me to pass the armie at Leith or Queensferry, were it in my power, for that wou'd be leaveing the enimie bewint the King and us, and he might have difficulty in passing over to us, and being in danger of the enimie; but this of passing the whole armie at any of these places seems not likely to be in our power.

"Lord Huntly and Earl Marishall are come up to us with their people in very good order, but Lord Seafort is not, being deteaned by forceing Earl Sutherland to submitt before he left that country, which he has done by this time, and will be with us soon. I make his not being come up the reason of our lying still here, but that of our expecting the King or one from him, is the true one; and I think we must do, until that happen, so as long as we loose no credit by it. I thought it was necessary to let you know this, the better to advise our friends in the South what meassurs to take; which they had best determine by the success of our detachment getting over to them,—what expectation they have of friends in England joining them, and what is to be expexted about Edinburgh. If they should be prest in England, which I hope will not be the case, and could do nothing at Edinbrugh, they can march throw the south and west of Scotland to Dumbartonshire, where before they can be, Generall Gordon's armie or a considerable detachment of it, will be before they can reach it, which they will aply join and be saif til we meet them. Glengarry is actually marcht from Auchalator that way alreddy. I have taken care to have detachments at all the places on the coasts, where I judge the King can land, so I hope all is safe for him when he comes on it; and so many of the cruisers being in the Frith make the coast pretty clear, which is one good our detachment in Fife has done, should they do no more. We have this day sent two gentelmen to France (I hope) a safe way with a letter to the Regent from the noblemen and gentelmen here, which we had resolved on before Boin arrived; but should the King be come off before it arrives in France it can do no hurt and may do good.

"I have wrote to Lord Bolingbroke (who is to remain in France to negotiate the King's affairs there during his absence,) a full account of things here; and if the King be come off, which I hope in God he is, he is to lay it before the Queen, to whom I have likewise wrote. I'm exceeding sorry for the loss of honest Keith's son, but these gentelmen will have it yet payd home to them.

"As to your going to the South, or staying at Edinbrugh, I scarce know what to say. I wish you could be in both places; but since that cannot be, I leave it to yourself to do which you think will be of most use to the service. If you go South I beg you may settle a correspondence 'twixt Edin^{b} and this, and acquaint me with it.

"I heard to-day that my letters to our friends in the West, desireing they might go immediately South to join Lord Kenmore, came safe to hand, so I hope they will be with him soon. I have sent you some of the manifestos which were printed at Aberdeen, and are finely done: I wish they may come to you saif. I also send you encloset a letter to Sir Rich. Steele, which I leave open for you to read and take a copie of. Pray seal it and get it put into the post-house; and I wish you could get it printed at Edinburgh, tho' let me not seen it; and if you send a copie to any of your correspondants at London and Newcastle, to get if printed there it would do no hurt. I'm endeavouring to get a correspondence settled by barks from the point of Fife to Newcastle, which may be of use to us, especially if the communications twixt us and Ed^{r} should be stopt."

On the very day of the Earl's arrival at Perth, Mr. James Murray, second son of Lord Stormont arrived from St. Germains, bringing assurances of support, and letters from the Chevalier, who had appointed him Secretary of State for the affairs of Scotland. Mr. Murray is said also to have presented the Earl of Mar with a patent, creating him Duke of Mar, Marquis of Stirling and Earl of Alloway: "And though," observes an historian, "there was little more said about it, yet the relation seems justified by this, that in some of the papers printed at Perth, he is styled the Duke of Mar."[100]

Extensive preparations were also declared to be in progress for the invasion of England. Twelve large ships were actually at that time at anchor in Havre, St. Malos, and other places. These vessels, with several frigates of good force, were loaded with ammunition, and manned with generals, officers, and soldiers. A particular account of the "Pretender's Magazine" is extant. But these preparations were all frustrated by the remonstrances of the Earl of Stair at the Court of the Regent of France. Admiral Byng was sent with a squadron to cruise on the coast of France, and the ships ready to sail for the enterprise against England were obliged, by command of the Regent, in order not to implicate the French Government, to declare that they were thus employed without the sanction or knowledge of the Regent. Thus, even whilst Mr. Murray was raising the sanguine hopes of the Jacobites to the highest pitch, their evil star had again prevailed. They were, indeed, singularly unhappy in those in whom they placed confidence. Their schemes perpetually got wind: whether it were owing to the irresolution of some of their partisans, or to the great participation which the female sex took in the affairs of the Chevalier's party, it is difficult to determine.

The Jacobite ladies were as fearless as they were persevering. The Duchess of Gordon, whose present of a medal to the Faculty of Advocates denoted her principles, and whose son, the second Duke of Gordon suffered a brief imprisonment on account of his share in the insurrection, was one of the most approved channels of communication between the two parties. She generally resided in Edinburgh, where she occupied herself as a mediator between some of the Presbyterians and the friends of James. Colonel Hooke mentions her as one of the depositories of all that was going on during his mission.

The Earl of Mar, in his letters, refers repeatedly to different ladies with approval of their zeal and courage, and mentions one of his fair confederates in the north of Scotland, through whose hands many of his letters were sent to different chieftains; but these channels may not, in all cases, have been so secure as the Earl conceived.[101]

The proceedings of the English Government were, meantime, marked with energy and judgment. The various movements of the insurgent party were met in every direction by a systematic resistance, the details of which have been minutely detailed by historians, and belong not to a narrative which is chiefly of a personal nature.

On the fourteenth of September, the Duke of Argyle, Commander in Chief of his Majesty's Forces in Scotland, and General of the army, arrived in Edinburgh. The interest of this able and powerful nobleman in the Western Highlands, his zeal for the Protestant succession, were sufficient reasons for his appointment to this important office. The following original letter from George the Second, then Prince of Wales, gives an insight into the views which were entertained by George the First upon the mode of conducting the warfare in Scotland. It is among various other papers in the Mar Correspondence.

"St. James's, 7th October, 1715."

"I have learned, my dear Duke, by your two last expresses, the embaras you are in through the want of regular troupes. We have used such efforts that the King has consented last Wednesday to detach to you four batallions from Ireland, to reinforce your camp. Orders have been given to cause those marche who are nearest, and to cause them embarque as they come up, without waiting for their conjunction. It appeares yet by the departure of the Duke of Ormond, from Paris, that the malcontents continue in their wicked design of raiseing up troubles in this kingdom here, which is the cause that hinders me from sending you Campbell yet, untill that I see if he will not be necessary for his post, where I think that it is best every body should be fixed. As soon as all appearance of Rebellion is ended here, I shall dispatch you him, if you shall have need of him there. With respect to the orders you demand, it would be very difficult to give you them positive, not knowing the situation of your affairs, as you may judge yourself. The King remits himself entirely to your judgment, and to your conduct. All that I can say to you is not to hazard an action without a probable appearance of carrying it,—rather to shune an engadgment, and to yeild to them the ground, than to expose the affairs of the King to such ill consequences as would follow from a defeat. In case that my Lord Mar march into England before that you receive your reinforcement, I think you would do very well to allow him at least with your cavalery, and to harass him untill that we march to meet him. This last reasoneing is my own properly, but which you will judge yourself, if practicable or not. Farewell, my dear Duke; be assured of my esteem, and my sincere friendship."

(Signed) "GEORGE P."

The Earl of Mar now began to fortify Perth, and brought up fourteen pieces of cannon for that purpose from Dundee and Dunotter Castle. His time and thoughts were at this time occupied in concerting and encouraging the movements of the southern insurrection conducted by Viscount Kenmure. There can be no better means of showing the state of the Earl's hopes and feelings at this time, than by giving them in his own words.


"My Lord,

"I wish your Lordship and Mr. Forster may have gott my letters, which I took all the care I could to send safe. I wrote last by a lady on the twenty-third, and she is so discreet and dextrous, that I make little doubt of its going right. I have since had two from an indisposed friend of ours on your side the water, and with them one of the twenty-second from Brigadier Mackintosh to him, where he tells of his being joined by your Lordship and five hundred horse with you,—Lords Withrington and Derwentwater, Mr. Forester, and about six hundred English gentlemen. Your Lordship may be sure this was very agreeable news to me, and now, with the blessing of God, if we do not mismanage, I think our game can scarce fail. By Brigadier Mackintosh's letter, it seems the English are all for your going to England in a body to put into execution a certain design, and our countrymen are for first having the Pass of Stirling opened, and our armies joined. I apprehended there would be difference about this before I saw that letter, as your Lordship would easily see by what the lady carried. It is indeed a difficult point to know or advise which of the two is the best for the King's affairs; and we on this side Forth being so ignorant of your situation on the other side, and also of the condition of England, that I could not take it upon me to determine in it, or to give any positive orders what your Lordship should do; but after stating the advantages of both, and what might happen according as the enemy should act, I left it to be advised and determined among yourselves on that side, who could not but know a great deal more, as you should judge it best for the King's interest in generall.

"I know our indisposed friend, for whose judgment I have a very great regard, advised coming to Dalkeith, and we have a report from Fife last night that you have done so.

"I long impatiently to know what resolution your Lordship and the noblemen and gentlemen with you have come to. It is of great consequence and deserves to be well weighed. If you are now come to Dalkeith, I will adventure to tell my thoughts in it, which I was not quite so clear in before when you were at a greater distance from it. That place was a far way from the other, where I judge the secret design was to be put in execution; and I am afraid before you can get there they'll have so strengthened the place, and filled it with troops, that the design would prove impracticable with the small army you have,—and it might prove, too, (especially if the Dutch troops come to England,) that you could not penetrate farther into that country with safety, and retiring back into Scotland would have many inconveniences.

"Dalkeith is but a short way from Stirling, where we on this side must pass (I mean near it), and I hope we shall attempt it very soon; and when we do, your being in the rear of the enemy could not but very much incommode them, and be of great advantage to us. The Duke of Argyle would be so hemmed in at Stirling by your being on the one hand of him and our being on the other, that I scarce see what I can do but to intrench myself, and by that our passage over Forth and joining of you might be very easy; nor do I see how the Duke of Argyle in those circumstances can subsist long there. Were we once past Forth and joined on the south side, we should soon make our way good to England, and then should be much more able to put in execution the project of our English friends, without being in any danger of returning back to Scotland. It would be of great consequence to have possession of Edinburgh, but I hear just now that the Duke of Argyle has sent two regiments of dragoons, so tho' perhaps that may prevent your getting possession of that town, yet I scarce believe that they will be able with all the detachments that the Duke of Argyle dare adventure to send from Stirling to make any attempt against you at Dalkeith, which is so strong a place naturally; and should the enemy return again from Stirling, you might either follow them in their rear without danger, or take possession of Edinburgh. Were once Lord Seaforth come up to us and General Gordon with the clans which I expect every day, I shall not be long of leaving this place, and I shall likewise be able to send more foot over the water, as I sent the last, if you want them, and your being at Dalkeith, they could easily join you. Should most of the Dutch troops come to Scotland, as is probable they will, it would be very hard for us here to pass Forth without your assistance, which would be a great loss and a grateing thing. I hear to-day from about Stirling that Sir William Blacish is upon the head of several thousands in the North of England, but your Lordship and our English friends will know the truth of this better: be it as it will, I do not think it alters the case much. The main and principal thing is for us to get soon joined all in one body, then I am sure we should be more considerable than all the force the Government, with the six thousand Dutch, can bring against us, and when once the British troops see so considerable a force together, asserting their King's and their country's cause, I cannot believe they will, but rather join us, and restore their country to peace and liberty.

"These, my Lord, are my humble thoughts, but they are with submission to your Lordship's and the King's friends with you who are equally concerned with us, and I know equally zealous, and you all certainly know a great deal more than me here.

"I beg your Lordship may make my compliments to our countrymen, with you, and to those noblemen and gentlemen of England who have so handsomely and generously joined you. I long impatiently to be with you, and with all the haste I can.

"I send copies of this three different ways, that one or other of them may certainly come to your hands.

"I also send by one of them, if not two, a power for your Lordship to raise money for the use of your armie, which my commission for the King fully empowers me to do and give.

"I wish this may come to your hand, and I long to hear from your Lordship, which it being necessary I should soon, I am, with all respect, my Lord, your Lordship's most obedient humble servant,


It was the intention of Lord Mar to remain at Perth until all the Jacobite clans should have joined his army; but having gained the intelligence that some arms for the use of the Earl of Sutherland were put on board a vessel at Leith, to be taken northwards, he determined to take possession of them. The master of the vessel had dropped anchor at Brunt Island, for the purpose of seeing his wife, who was there: Lord Mar sent a detachment to surprise the harbour, which succeeded in carrying off the spoil, back to Perth. A report was at the same time raised in Stirling: that the Earl was marching to Alloa, the Duke of Argyle forthwith ordered out the picquets of horse and foot, and, also, all the troops to be ready to march out to sustain them, if required. But the Jacobite army did not appear; and the report of their advance to Stirling was believed to be a false alarm, contrived by Mar in order to draw off the attention of the Duke of Argyle from the expedition to Brunt Island.

The insurgents were now masters of the eastern coasts of Scotland from Brunt Island to the Murray Frith, an extent of above one hundred and sixty miles along the shore. On the western side, the Isle of Skye, Lewis, and all the Hebrides were their own, besides the estates of the Earl of Seaforth, Donald Mac Donald, and others of the clans. So that from the mouth of the river Lochie to Faro-Head, all the coast of Lochaber and Ross, even to the north-west point of Scotland, was theirs: theirs, in short, was all the kingdom of Scotland north of the Forth, except the remote counties of Caithness, Strathnaver and Sutherland beyond Inverness, and that part of Argyleshire which runs north-west into Lorn, and up to Lochaber, where Fort William continued in possession of the Government.

The Earl of Mar had resolved to impose an assessment upon the large extent of country under his sway, to raise money for the use of his army. It was of course an unpopular, though doubtless a necessary measure. The sum of twenty shillings sterling was to be paid by each landholder upon every hundred pounds Scots of valued rent; and, if not paid by a certain day, the tax was to be doubled. In levying this assessment, the friends of the Government were far more severely treated than those of the Chevalier; and the Presbyterian Ministers, who had dared to raise their voices in their churches against the Pretender, as they called the Chevalier, were commanded to be silent on that subject; their houses were plundered, and many of them were driven by tyranny from their homes.[103]

The northern clans were now on their march to join the camp at Perth. First came the famous Laird of Mackintosh, better known as Brigadier Mackintosh, chief of that numerous clan in Invernesshire. His regiment, composed of five hundred men, whom he had persuaded to join in the insurrection, was considered the best that the Earl of Mar could boast. The Marquis of Huntley, with five hundred horse and two thousand foot, next arrived; and the Earl Marischal shortly afterwards brought a thousand men to the camp. But Lord Seaforth, afraid lest in his absence the Earl of Sutherland should invade his country, was still absent; and the anxiety of the Earl of Mar for his arrival is expressed in more than one of his letters. The whole strength of the army amounted to sixteen thousand seven hundred men; this number was afterwards diminished by the detachment sent southwards by the Earl, and by the number of three thousand who were dispersed in garrisons. But it was no common force that was now encamped at Perth.

At this critical moment where was the individual for whom these great and gallant spirits had ventured their all, the hills so dear to them, their homes, the welfare of their families, to say nothing of that which Highlanders least consider, their personal safety? At this moment, the ill-advised and irresolute James Stuart, was absent. What could have been his counsels? who were his advisers? of what materials was he made? why did he ever come? are questions to which the indignant mind can scarcely frame a reply. The fact, indeed, seems to be that his heart was never really in the undertaking; that he for whom the tragedy was performed, was the only actor in it who did not feel his part; it was reserved for a nobler and a warmer nature to experience the ardour of hope, and the bitter mortifications of disappointment.

It was not until the middle of October that the Earl of Mar took any personal share in the contest between the Jacobite army and that of the Government. Hitherto he had remained at Perth, acting with an ill-timed caution, and apparently bestowing far more attention upon the ill-fated insurrection in Northumberland, aided by the low country Scots under Lord Kenmure, than upon the proximate dangers of his own army. The detachment of a body of troops under Brigadier Mackintosh, sent in order to assist the Lowlanders, who were marching back into Scotland, accompanied by the forces under Mr. Forster and the Earl of Derwentwater, was the immediate cause of the two armies coming to an engagement. The Earl of Mar in his narrative thus explains his plans and their failure.

The detachment under Brigadier Mackintosh having been sent, "occasioned," Lord Mar says, "the Duke of Argyle's leaving Stirling, and going with a part of his army to Edinburgh. Now, had the Scots and English horse, who were then in the south of Scotland, come and joined the fifteen hundred foot, (under Brigadier Mackintosh) as was expected; had the Highland clans performed, as they promised, the service they were sent upon in Argyleshire, and marched towards Glasgow, as the Earl of Mar marched towards Sterling, he had then given a good account of the Government's army, the troops from Ireland not having yet joined them, nor could they have joined them afterwards. But all this failing by some cross accidents, Lord Argyle returned with that part of his army to Scotland, and the Earl of Mar could not then, with the men he then had, advance further than Dumblane, and for want of provisions there, was soon after obliged to return to Perth."

"But immediately after that we had got provisions, and that the clans and Lord Seaforth had joined us, we marched again towards the enemy; and notwithstanding the many difficulties the Earl of Mar had upon that occasion with some of our own people, he gave the enemy battle: and, as you saw in our printed account of it, had not our left wing given way, which was occasioned by mistake of orders and scarcity of experienced officers, that being composed of as good men, and marched as cheerfully up to the field of battle as the other, our victory had been complete. And as it was, the enemy, who was advanced on this side the river, was forced to retire back to Sterling."[104]

Such is the Earl of Mar's comment upon the battle of Sherriff Muir, of which the friends of Government gave a very different representation.

The Earl had, it is evident, no disposition to risk a general engagement before the Chevalier arrived in Scotland. He had sent two gentlemen to the Prince to learn his determination, and had resolved to remain at Perth until their return. During his continuance in that city he employed himself not only in throwing up entrenchments round the town, but in publishing addresses to the people, to keep up the spirits of the Jacobites. Since the Earl was never scrupulous as to the means of which he availed himself, we may not venture to reject the declaration of an historian of no good will to the cause, that he ordered "false news" to be printed and circulated; and published that which he hoped would happen, as having already taken place. "The detachment," he related, "had passed the Forth, had been joined by the army in the South, were masters of Newcastle, and carried all before them; and their friends in and about London had taken arms in such numbers, that King George had made a shift to retire." These falsehoods were printed by Freebairn, formerly the King's printer at Edinburgh, whom the Earl had established at Perth, and provided with the implements brought by the army from Aberdeen.[105]

In the beginning of November, the Earl of Seaforth arrived at Perth, and the Mac Invans, the Maccraws, the Chisholmes of Strath-Glass, and others, completed all the forces that Lord Mar expected to join him. Truly might the Earl say, "that no nation in such circumstances, and so destitute of all kind of succour from abroad, ever made so brave a struggle for restoring their prince and country to their just rights."[106] But the usual fate of the Stuarts involved their devoted adherents in ruin: or rather, let us not call that fate, which may be better described by the word incapacity in the leaders of their cause.

The want of ammunition, which was to have been supplied from abroad, was now severely felt. "I must here add one thing," says Lord Mar, "which, however incredible the thing may appear, is, to our cost, but too true: and that is, that from the time the Earl of Mar set up the Chevalier's standard to this day, we never received from abroad the least supply of arms and ammunition of any kind; though it was notorious in itself, and well known, that this was what from the first we mainly wanted; and, as such, it was insisted upon by the Earl of Mar, in all the letters he writ, and by all the messengers he sent to the other side."[107]

On the ninth of November it was determined, at a great council of war, to march straight to Dumblane with the ultimate view of following the Brigadier Mackintosh into England, with the main body of the army, amounting to nine thousand men, whilst a detachment of three thousand should, if possible, gain possession of Stirling.

The engagement which ensued, and which was called the battle of Sherriff Muir, was fought on a Sunday; after both armies had been under arms all night. No tent was pitched for the Duke of Argyle's men, either by officer or soldier, on that cold November evening. Each officer was at his post, nor could they much complain whilst their General sat on straw, in a sheepcote, at the foot of the hill, called Sherriff Muir, which overlooks Dumblane, on the right of his army. In the dead of the night, the Duke, by his spies, learned where the enemy were; for, although on account of the hills and broken ground, they could not be seen, they were not at two miles' distance. This was at Kinback; at break of day, the army of Argyle was completely formed, and the General rode up to the top of the hill to reconnoitre the foe.[108]

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