Memoirs of the Jacobites of 1715 and 1745 - Volume II.
by Mrs. Thomson
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"I am sensible how often and how many destructive designs have been imputed to the prince upon the throne and his ministers, of the cry raised against standing armies, of the complaints of corruption, long parliaments, and Hanoverian interest pursued in opposition to that of Britain; but I am allso sensible there is not a true friend to liberty, a dispassionate and sober man, but who (now the mask is laid aside) perceives they were, at bottom, the artifices and popular pretences of men struggling to force themselves into power, or of those who in the dark were aiming the destruction of our happy constitution.

"Men endued with popular talents, of figure and fortune in the world, and without the advantages of apparent disinterestedness on their side, will allways have address enough, with a seeming plausibility, to pervert every act of Government at home, and to defame and run down every publick transaction abroad; and disciples will never be wanting of capacity and passions fitted to become the dupes of such false apostles. The corruption complained of is but too universal, and it's to be feared too deep-rooted to be cured; it is the constant attendant of peace and wealth; and such is the depravity of our natures, that these blessings cannot be enjoyed without having this plague, the most sordid and detestable of all vices, accompanying them. But if it is in our governours, it is also in the people, and change your kings and ministers as often as you please, whoever is in possession, or whoever is in quest of power, will allways lay hold of the vices, the follys, or the prejudices of mankind to exclude others from it or to acquire it to themselves.

"It's to be hoped most people now perceive with what views they were taught to exclaim against and oppose a standing body of native and freeborn troops; but it is to be lamented their eyes were reserved to be opened only by the greatest of all publick calamitys."

It appears, however, from the following letter of Mr. Craik, that Lord Nithisdale was really implicated in the insurrection:—

"My Lord,

"I am sincerely and deeply touched with your Lordship's situation, and can honestly assure you it would give me a real satisfaction could I any how contribute to save you on this unhappy occasion. As you have done me the honour to ask my opinion how you are to conduct yourself, and as the Doctor has informed me of the circumstances of your journey, I should but ill deserve the character of humanity and good nature you are pleased to give me, if I did not, with freedom and candour, lay before you what, after this day having fully considered it, appears to me most for your honour, and the safty and preservation of your life and family.

"It is certain the Habeas Corpus Act is suspended, and I doubt not but as soon as the lenth you have gone and your being returned is known above, warrants will be issued to carrie you up to London; if you retire out of the kingdom, it will not prevent your being attainted; and I am afraid the unfortunate step you have made will putt your estate but too much within the reach of the law, and your family is undone. If you stay till you are apprehended, not only your estate, but your person is in the mercy of the Government, and how far severitys on this occasion may be carried, is not for me to prescribe; only I am apprehensive your religion, quality, and estate, will make you but too obnoxious to the Government, and when the affair is over, informers will not be wanting to furnish them with materials.

"We are not ignorant what arts and industry have been employed to draw you out of the retirement and quiet you were well disposed to remain in. We are sensible you were imposed upon by those already embarked; and it will acquit you before God and every sober man, if you no longer keep measures with those who have deceived you in a matter of such moment, when your life and fortune were at stake. My lord, I have impartially laid before you the present circumstance you are in, as far as my abilities enable me to judge, that you may have it under your Lordship's consideration; I shall next take the freedom to suggest what to me appears the safest and most prudent part now left to you to act, and which I likeways submit to your Lordship's own judgment, without taking upon me to decide. What I mean is this, that your Lordship should, without loss of time, surrender your person to the Governor of Carlisle, and acquaint him you came to throw yourself upon the clemency of the Government; at the same time, your Lordship would, by express, have some proper friend at London advised of your intention, and one of some weight and interest, and who was fitt to put your conduct in the most favourable light. You will easily perceive that this confidence in the Government, and voluntary surrender of your person, and your preventing all others in an early repentance must distinguish you, in the eyes of the Government, from every other person who has embarked, and entitle you to its favour and protection: whereas, if you wait till you are apprehended, or leave the kingdom, your case, tho' quite different, will be ranked with those who have gone the greatest lengths. If your Lordship approve of this, if you think proper to lett me know by a line to-morrow, I shall not faill to be in town on Tuesday; and as I have a friend at London who I know is very capable and well disposed to serve you, if it be agreeable to you, shall, with the Doctor, concert the letter proper to be sent."

The answer of Lord Nithisdale contains a curious summary of some of the motives which actuated the Jacobites of 1745.


"Dear Sir,

"I have both yours, giving your opinion on the present affairs, without assigning your reasons, and as I take it, urging an answer from me, whether I am determined to take a share in the present enterprise, which you seem to think I should not. I shall answer the last first, by telling you that I have not yet fully digested my thoughts on that matter; only be assured I'll do nothing rashly—that's only for desperados. As to the other, I'm ready to believe you agree in opinion with me, that as matters are come this length, it's now greatly the interest of Scotland to wish success to the undertaking; and that nothing but the improbability of success should hinder every Scotsman to join in it; and indeed I don't think there's great reason to fear that either, unless vast numbers of foreign forces are poured into the country for support of the party in possession.

"The Militia of England are little to be feared, nor do I believe they'll be trusted with arms, as there's a chance what way they may be used, particularly by that part of the country who only know how to handle them. As to the Dutch who are come over, there's now greater reason to believe they'll be recalled, and it may be some time before others are sent in their place, if at all. I do believe the United States, if they dare, will give all the support they can; but if France shall really prove in earnest, I imagine they'll consider it necessary to be quiet. Other foreign forces may be sent in, but on the other hand there's a very great improbability; thir people will likewise get aid, and here there's assembling a very numerous resolute army. The prospect of the situation of the country for some time to come, must affect every well-wisher to it, and the consequences to this part, if the undertaking shall misgive, appear to me terrible; if it succeed, what have we to fear? You'll answer, the introduction of Popery and arbitrary government; but I don't imagine, considering the success and fate of his grandfather and uncle, that will be attempted; and as to any fear that we may be made dependant and tributary to the foreign powers giving aid to the present adventure, that I'm not apprehensive of, nor do I imagine it would be in his power to accomplish, tho' inclinable to it. I shall say no more on the subject; only it's easier preventing an evil than remedying, and that may be applyed to both sides; only this one further I observe, that I think it's the interest of the nation to have a sovereign settled whose title is unquestionable: we see the inconveniencys attending the other. You'll perhaps answer, there will still be a Pretender; but I reply, not so dangerous an one, if at all. You write, in your letter, that people may, without meaning, be treated and led away with popular arguments. I assure you I'm none of these—what I have said now, is on a Sunday forenoon. However, I should wish you communicate my mind to nobody. If any material news occur before the bearer leave Edinburgh, you shall have them; and to-morrow I'll mind your commission, and any other you shall give with respect to your nursery, &c., which I hope you're still carrying on, and that your garden-wall is now completed. If you had some pieces of cannon to place in it, would it not keep out against an army not provided with battering-pieces, seeing it's at a sufficient distance from the thundering of any castle? Were it not for fear of your horses, I should wish you came in here and saw the fortifications made on our city-wall, and the army against which they were intended; the last is worth your while. No Court in Europe is filled with such a set of well-look'd brave fellows.

"I hope my dykers are going on, and beg you'll acquaint the tenants to have the rents ready, in regard I'm to be soon in the country, and won't make any stay above a day or two; this to you, but to yourself I can yet fix no time for coming out as I can't think of leaving Edinburgh till I see how matters turn, and it's also necessary to stay and take care of my house, furniture, papers, &c. I believe I shall eat my Christmas goose with you, if I don't go into England, which I would incline for sake of a jaunt, if I thought it safe and had a right set with me. I ever am, dear Sir,

"Your's &c."

Another letter from a kinsman of Lord Nithisdale's shews that he was not alone in his inclination to join in the Insurrection of 1745.


"October 13th.

"Dr. Willie,

"By accounts this day from Edinburgh, allmost everybody is going along with the stream, so that a short delay wou'd lose all the merit. This has determined me to do the thing so suddenly, that I have not time to send for you, unless it were to see me go off, which is impossible. I depend upon your protection for those I leave behind. What gives me the greatest concern is least some such creditors as have still my father's security, should molest him in my absence. I recommend particularly to you, that if you can hear of any, you'll endeavour to make them sensible that they are as safe as before, and tell the comissary that I expect the same piece of friendship from him, who lyes more in the way of hearing what passes of that kind. I believe there are three or four thousand French or Irish landed in Wales, with Lord John Drummond. The Highland army marches south the beginning of the week. Farewell dear Willie. God bless you! Ever your's

(Signed) Ja. Maxwell."

"Saturday.—I set out before daylight to-morrow."

From Mr. Maxwell of Carruchan, to Mr. Craik of Arbigland.

Since Lord Nithisdale's name did not appear in the list of the young Chevalier's officers, we must conclude that he did not persevere in his resolutions. There is no date to Mr. Craik's second letter, but it must have been written after Carlisle had surrendered to the Duke of Cumberland,—an event which took place on the thirtieth of December, 1745.

The Earl of Nithisdale, as he was styled, lived until the year 1776, and possibly in peace and prosperity, since the family estates were spared to him. He married his first cousin, Lady Catherine Stewart, daughter of the Earl of Traquhair by Lady Mary Maxwell, and left an only daughter.

This lady, named after her celebrated grandmother Winifred, was also, by courtesy, endowed with the honours of the forfeited rank, and styled Lady Winifred Maxwell. Her Ladyship would have inherited the Barony of Herries, of Terregles, but for the attainder of her grandfather. The estates of Lord Nithisdale were inherited by her son, Marmaduke William Constable, Esq., of Everingham Park, in the county of York; who, on the death of his mother, assumed, by royal licence, the surname of Maxwell. The title of Nithisdale, except for the attainder, would have descended upon the next heir, Mr. Maxwell of Carruchan.[36]


[1] There is no statement of the date of Lord Nithisdale's birth in any of the usual authorities, neither can his descendant, William Constable Maxwell, Esq., of Terregles, supply the deficient information.

[2] Secret History of Colonel Hooke's Negotiations, by himself, p. 175. London, 1740.

[3] Patten's History of the Rebellion, of 1715, p. 234.

[4] Service of the Earl of Eglintoun, as heir male of the Earl of Wintoun. Printed for the family. Extract from "Peerage Law by Riddell," p. 201. Published in 1825.

[5] Service of the Earl of Eglintoun, p. 8.

[6] Buchan's Account of the Earls Marischal, p. 125.

[7] Eglinton Case.

[8] Patten, p. 52.

[9] Patten, p. 54. Life of the Earls Marischal, p. 130.

[10] Reay's History of the Late Rebellion. Dumfries, 1718.

[11] Reay, p. 139.

[12] Now of Sir Charles Stuart Menteath, Bart.

[13] Reay, p. 184.

[14] Id.

[15] Id. p. 211.

[16] Reay, p. 257.

[17] Patten, pp. 224-235. Colonel Hooke's Negotiations.

[18] In the Life of Lord Derwentwater.

[19] Reay, p. 326.

[20] See Letters in the State Paper Office from Lord Widdrington, and many others of inferior rank, No. 3. 1715.

[21] State Papers, 1716, No. 3.

[22] State Papers, No. 3, July 26, 1715.

[23] Reay, p. 355.

[24] Reay, p. 359.

[25] A Faithful Register of the Late Rebellion, London, p. 65, 1718.

[26] Faithful Register, p. 86.

[27] Her picture, painted in the bloom of her youth, is still at Terregles, in Dumfriesshire, the seat of William Constable Maxwell, Esq., the descendant of Lord Nithisdale. To Mrs. Constable Maxwell, of Terregles, I am indebted for the following interesting description of the portrait of Lady Nithisdale, to which I have referred. "Her hair is light brown, slightly powdered, and she is represented with large soft eyes, regular features, and fair, rather pale complexion. Her soft expression and delicate appearance give little indication of the strength of mind and courage which she displayed. Her dress is blue silk, with a border of cambric, and the drapery a cloak of brown silk."

[28] His son was restored to his father's honours. The title of Marquis of Powis became extinct; but the estates devolved on Lord Herbert of Cherbury, husband to the last Marquis's niece; and ultimately to Lady Henrietta Herbert, who married Lord Clive, created Earl of Powis.—Burke's Extinct Peerage.

[29] Faithful Register, p. 84.

[30] Faithful Register, p. 86.

[31] Burke's History of the Commoners of Great Britain and Ireland, vol. i. p. 329.

[32] See Letters and Petitions in the State Papers, No. iii. p. 1716.

[33] See Burke's Commoners, vol. i. p. 333.

[34] See Burke's Commoners, vol. i. p. 334.

[35] I am indebted to the present Mr. Craik, of Arbigland, for this correspondence.

[36] I am indebted for some of these particulars to the courtesy of William Constable Maxwell, Esq., present owner of Terregles, Carlaverock, and also of the beautiful hereditary property of Lincluden.


The origin of the distinguished surname of Gordon is not clearly ascertained: "some," says Douglass, "derive the Gordons from a city of Macedonia, named Gordonia; others from a manor in Normandy called Gordon, possessed by a family of that name. The territory of Gordon in Berwickshire was, according to another account, conferred by David the First upon an Anglo-Norman settler, who assumed from it the name of Gordon."

William Gordon, sixth Earl of Kenmure, was descended from a younger son of the ducal house of Gordon; in 1633 Sir John Gordon of Lochinvar was created Viscount Kenmure and Lord of Lochinvar; and the estates continued in an unbroken line until they descended to William, the sixth Viscount, who was the only Scottish peer in 1715 who suffered capital punishment.

This unfortunate nobleman succeeded his father in 1698; and possessed, up to the period of his taking the command of the army in the south, the estates belonging to his family in the Stuartry of Kirkcudbright. Kenmure Castle, still happily enjoyed by the family of Gordon, stands upon an eminence overlooking the meadows, at that point where the river Ken expands into a lake. The Castle was originally a single tower, to which various additions have been made according to the taste of different owners. The Castle Keep is now ruinous and unroofed, but the body of the house is in good repair. A fine prospect over the scenery of the Glenhens is commanded by the eminence on which the castle stands. An ancient avenue of lime-trees constitutes the approach to the fortress from the road.

In this abode dwelt the Viscount Kenmure until the summons of Lord Mar called him from the serene tenour of a course honoured by others, and peaceful from the tranquillity of the unhappy nobleman's own disposition; for his was not the restless ambition of Mar, nor the blind devotion of the Duke of Perth; nor the passion for fame and ascendancy which stimulated Lord George Murray in his exertions. Lord Kenmure was, it is true, well acquainted with public business, and an adept in the affairs of the political world, in which he had obtained that insight which long experience gives. His acquaintance with books and men was said to be considerable; he is allowed, even by one who had deserted the party which Lord Kenmure espoused, to be of a "very extraordinary knowledge."[37] But his calm, reflective mind, his experience, his resources of learning, rather indisposed than inclined this nobleman from rising when called upon to lend his aid to the perilous enterprise of James Stuart. Beloved in private life, of a singularly good temper, calm, mild, of simple habits, and plain in his attire, he was as it was generally observed, the last man whom one might have expected to rush into the schemes of the Jacobite party.

That one so skilled in human affairs should venture, even in a subordinate degree, to espouse so desperate a cause as that of James was generally reputed to be, might seem to prove that even the wise were sanguine, or that they were carried away by the enthusiasm of the hour. Neither of these circumstances appear to bear any considerable weight in revolving the conduct of Lord Kenmure.

A stronger influence, perhaps, than that of loyalty operated on the conduct of Viscount Kenmure. He was married: his wife, the spirited and energetic Mary Dalzell, was the only sister of Robert, sixth Earl of Carnwath. Her family were deeply imbued with the principles of hereditary right and of passive obedience; and Lady Kenmure cherished these sentiments, and bestowed the energies of her active mind on the promotion of that cause which she held sacred. The house of Dalzell had been sufferers in the service of the Stuarts. By her mother's side, Lady Kenmure was connected with Sir William Murray of Stanhope, and with his singular, and yet accomplished son, Sir Alexander Murray of Stanhope, who was taken prisoner at Preston, fighting for the Jacobites. The Earl of Carnwath, Lady Kenmure's brother, was one of those men whose virtues and acquirements successfully recommend a cause to all who are under the influence of such a character. Having been educated at Cambridge, he had imbibed an early affection for the liturgy of the Church of England; his gentle manners, his talents, and his natural eloquence, established him in the affections of his friends and acquaintance. This nobleman was, like his sister, ready to sacrifice everything for conscience sake: like her, he was a sufferer for that which he esteemed to be justice. He was afterwards taken prisoner at Preston, impeached before the House of Peers in 1716, and sentenced to be executed as a traitor, and his estate forfeited; but eventually he was respited and pardoned. He survived to be four times married.

Another of Lady Kenmure's brothers, John Dalzell, was, it is true, a captain in the army upon the breaking out of the Rebellion in 1715; but, at the summons of him whom he esteemed his lawful Sovereign, he threw up his commission, and engaged in the service of James.

When Lord Kenmure received a commission from the Earl of Mar to head the friends of the Chevalier in the South, he had ties which perhaps were among some of the considerations which led him to hesitate and to accept the proffered honour unwillingly. On his trial he referred to his wife and "four small children," as a plea for mercy. But Lady Kenmure, sanguine and resolute, did not view these little dependent beings as obstacles to a participation in the insurrection. If she might be considered to transgress her duty as a mother, in thus risking the fortunes of her children, she afterwards compensated by her energy and self-denial for her early error of judgment.

It had been arranged that the insurrection in Dumfriesshire was to break out in conjunction with that headed in Northumberland by Mr. Forster. To effect this end, numbers of disaffected, or, as the Jacobite writers call them, well-affected noblemen and gentlemen assembled in parties at the houses of their friends, moving about from place to place, in order to prepare for the event.

It was on the twelfth of October, 1715, that Viscount Kenmure set out in the intention of joining the Earl of Wintoun, who was on his road to Moffat, and who was accompanied by a party of Lothian gentlemen and their servants. It is said by the descendants of Viscount Kenmure, on hearsay, that his Lordship's horse three times refused to go forward on that eventful morning; nor could he be impelled to do so, until Lady Kenmure taking off her apron, and throwing it over the horse's eyes, the animal was led forward. The Earl of Carnwath had joined with Lord Kenmure, and rode forwards with him to the rencontre with Lord Wintoun. Lord Kenmure took with him three hundred men to the field.[38]

At the siege of Preston, in which those who fell dead upon the field were less to be compassionated than the survivors, Lord Kenmure was taken prisoner. His brother-in-law, the Earl of Carnwath, shared the same fate. They were sent with the principal state prisoners to London. The same circumstances, the same indignities, attended the removal of Lord Kenmure to his last earthly abode, as those which have been already related as disgracing the humanity of Englishmen, when the Earl of Derwentwater was carried to the Tower.

The subsequent sufferings of these brave men were aggravated by the abuses which then existed in the state prisons of England. The condition of these receptacles of woe, at that period, beggars all description. Corruption and extortion gave every advantage to those who could command money enough to purchase luxuries at an enormous cost. Oppression and an utter carelessness of the well-being of the captive, pressed hardly upon those who were poor. No annals can convey a more heartrending description of the sufferings of the prisoners confined in county gaols, than their own touching and heartfelt appeals, some of which are to be found in the State Paper Office.

In the Tower, especially, it appears from a diary kept by a gentleman who was confined there, that the greatest extortion was openly practised. Mr. Forster and a Mr. Anderton, who were allowed to live in the Governor's house, were charged the sum of five pounds a-week for their lodging and diet,—a demand which, more than a century ago, was deemed enormous. Several of the Highland chiefs, and among them the celebrated Brigadier Mackintosh, were "clapped up in places of less accommodation, for which, nevertheless, they were charged as much as would have almost paid the rent of the best houses in St. James's Square and Piccadilly." Mr. Forster, it must be added, was obliged to pay sixty guineas for his privilege of living in the governor's house; and Mr. Anderton to give a bribe of twenty-five guineas for having his irons off. A similar tax was made upon every one who entered, and who could pay, and they were thankful to proffer the sum of twenty guineas, the usual demand, to be free from irons. It was, indeed, not the mere freedom from chains for which they paid, but for the power of effecting their escape. Upon every one who did not choose to be turned over to the common side, a demand was made of ten guineas fee, besides two guineas weekly for lodging, although in some rooms men lay four in a bed. Presents were also given privately, so that in three or four months' time, three or four thousand pounds were paid by the prisoners to their jailers.

Many of the prisoners being men of fortune, their tables were of the most luxurious description; forty shillings was often paid for a dish of peas and beans, and thirty shillings for a dish of fish; and this fare, so unlike that of imprisonment, was accompanied by the richest French wines. The vicious excesses and indecorums which went on in the Tower, among the state prisoners, are said to have scandalized the graver lookers on.[39] The subsequent distress and misery which ensued may, of course, be traced, in part to this cause.

Lord Derwentwater, ever decorous and elevated in his deportment, was shocked at the wayward and reckless conduct of some of the Jacobites on their road to London, told one of the King's officers at Barnet that these prisoners "were only fit for Bedlam." To this it was remarked, that they were only fit for Bridewell. Whilst hopes of life continued, this rebuke still applied. The prisoners were aided in their excesses by the enthusiasm of the fair sex. The following extract from another obscure work, "The History of the Press-yard," is too curious to be omitted. "That while they [the prisoners] flattered themselves with hopes of life, which they were made to believe were the necessary consequences of a surrender at discretion, they did, without any retrospect to the crimes they were committed for, live in so profuse a manner, and fared so voluptuously, through the means of daily visitants and helps from abroad, that money circulated very plentifully; and while it was difficult to change a guinea almost at any house in the street, nothing was more easy than to have silver for gold to any quantity, and gold for silver, in the prison,—those of the fair sex, from persons of the first rank to tradesmen's wives and daughters, making a sacrifice of their husbands' and parents' rings, and other precious moveables, for the use of those prisoners; so that, till the trial of the condemned lords was over, and that the Earl of Derwentwater and Viscount Kenmure were beheaded, there was scarce anything to be seen amongst them but flaunting apparel, venison pasties, hams, chickens, and other costly meats, with plenty of wine."

Meantime the trial of the attainted lords took place, and checked, like the sudden appearance of a ghostly apparition, this horrible merriment,—with which, however, few names which one desires to cherish and to respect are connected. The same forms that attended the impeachment and trial of his companions, were carried on at the trial of Lord Kenmure. The unhappy nobleman replied in few and touching words, and, in a voice which could not be heard, pleaded guilty; an inconsistency, to express it in the mildest terms, of which he afterwards sincerely repented.

At the end of the trial, to the question "What have you to say for yourself why judgment should not be passed upon you according to law?" "My lords," replied Lord Kenmure, "I am truly sensible of my crime, and want words to express my repentance. God knows I never had any personal prejudice against his Majesty, nor was I ever accessory to any previous design against him. I humbly beg my noble Peers and the honourable House of Commons to intercede with the King for mercy to me, that I may live to show myself the dutifullest of his subjects, and to be the means to keep my wife and four small children from starving; the thoughts of which, with my crime, makes me the most unfortunate of all gentlemen."

After the trial, great intercessions were made for mercy, but without any avail, as far as Lord Derwentwater and Lord Kenmure were concerned. They were ordered for execution on the 24th of February, 1716.

The intelligence of the condemnation of these two lords, produced the greatest dismay among their fellow sufferers in the Tower; and the notion of escape, a project which was singularly successful in some instances, was resorted to, in the despair and anguish of the moment, by those who dreaded a cruel and ignominious death.

Lord Kenmure, meantime, prepared for death. A very short interval was, indeed, allowed for those momentous considerations which his situation induced. He was sentenced on the ninth of February, and in a fortnight afterwards was to suffer. Yet the execution of that sentence was, it seems, scarcely expected by the sufferer, even when the fatal day arrived.

The night before his execution, Lord Kenmure wrote a long and affecting letter to a nobleman who had visited him in prison a few days previously. There is something deeply mournful in the fate of one who had slowly and unwillingly taken up the command which had ensured to him the severest penalties of the law. There is an inexpressibly painful sentiment of compassion and regret, excited by the yearning to live—the allusion to a reprieve—the allusion to the case of Lord Carnwath as affording more of hope than his own—lastly, to what he cautiously calls "an act of indiscretion," the plea of guilty, which was wrung from this conscientious, but sorrowing man, by a fond value for life and for the living. So little did Lord Kenmure anticipate his doom, that, when he was summoned to the scaffold the following day, he had not even prepared a black suit,—a circumstance which he much regretted, since he "might be said to have died with more decency."

The following is the letter which he wrote, and which he addressed to a certain nobleman.

"My very good Lord,

"Your Lordship has interested yourself so far in mine, and the lords, my fellow prisoners' behalf, that I should be the greatest criminal now breathing, should I, whether the result of your generous intercession be life or death, be neglectful of paying my acknowledgments for that act of compassion.

"We have already discoursed of the motives that induced me to take arms against the Prince now in possession of the throne, when you did me the honour of a visit three days since in my prison here; I shall therefore wave that point, and lament my unhappiness for joining in the rest of the lords in pleading guilty, in the hopes of that mercy, which the Generals Wills and Carpenter will do us the justice to say was promised us by both of them. Mr. Piggot and Mr. Eyres, the two lawyers employed by us, advised us to this plea, the avoiding of which might have given us further time for looking after the concerns of another life, though it had ended in the same sentence of losing this which we now lie under. Thanks be to the Divine Majesty, to whose infinite mercy as King of Kings, I recommend myself in hopes of forgiveness, tho' it shall be my fate to fail of it here on earth. Had the House of Commons thought fit to have received our petition with the same candour as yours has done, and recommended us to the Prince, we might have entertained some hopes of life; but the answer from St. James's is such as to make us have little or no thoughts of it.

"Under these dismal apprehensions, then, of approaching dissolution, which, I thank my God for his holy guidance, I have made due preparation for, give me leave to tell you, that howsoever I have been censured on account of the family of the Gordons, which I am an unhappy branch of, that I have ever lived and will die in the profession of the Protestant religion, and that I abhor all king-killing doctrines that are taught by the church of Rome as dangerous and absurd. And though I have joined with some that have taken arms, of that persuasion, no other motive but that of exercising to the person called the Pretender, whom I firmly believe to be the son of the late King James the Second, and in defence of whose title I am now going to be a sacrifice, has induced me to it. Your Lordship will remember the papers I have left with you, and deliver them to my son. They may be of use to his future conduct in life, when these eyes of mine are closed in death, which I could have wished might have stolen upon me in the ordinary course of nature, and not by the hand of the executioner. But as my blessed Saviour and Redeemer suffered an ignominious and cruel death, and the Son of God, made flesh, did not disdain to have his feet nailed to the Cross for the sins of the world; so may I, poor miserable sinner, as far as human nature will allow, patiently bear with the hands of violence, that I expect suddenly to be stretched out against me.

"Your Lordship will also, provided there is no hopes of a reprieve this night, make me acquainted with it as soon as possible, that I may meet that fate with readiness which, in a state of uncertainty, I expect with uneasiness. I must also be pressing with your Lordship that if, in case of death, any paper under my name should come out as pretended to have been written by me, in the manner or form of a speech, you will not believe it to be genuine; for I, that am heartily sorry for disowning my principles in one spoken before your Lordship and the rest of my peers, will never add to that act of indiscretion by saying anything on the scaffold but my prayers for the forgiveness of my poor self and those that have brought me to be a spectacle to men and angels, especially since I must speak in my last moments according to the dictates of my conscience, and not prevaricate as I did before the Lords, for which I take shame to myself. And such a method of proceeding might do injury to my brother Carnwath, who, I am told, is in a much fairer way than I am of not being excluded from grace. I have nothing farther than to implore your Lordships to charge your memory with the recommendations I gave you to my wife and children, beseeching God that he will so sanctify their afflictions, that after the pains and terrors of this mortal life they may with me be translated to the regions of everlasting joy and happiness, to which blessed state of immortality your Lordship shall also, while I am living, be recommended in the prayers of, my very good Lord, your most affectionate kinsman,


"From my prison, in the Tower of London, Feb. 23, 1715."

The following paper, the original of which is still in the hands of his descendants, was written by Lord Kenmure the night before his execution:—

"It having pleased the Almighty God to call me now to suffer a violent death, I adore the Divine Majesty, and cheerfully resign my soul and body to His hands, whose mercy is over all His works. It is my very great comfort that He has enabled me to hope, through the merits and by the blood of Jesus Christ, He will so purifie me how that I perish not eternally. I die a Protestant of the Church of England, and do from my heart forgive all my enemies. I thank God I cannot accuse my selfe of the sin of rebellion, however some people may by a mistaken notion think me guilty of it for all I did upon a laite occasione; and my only desire ever was to contribute my small endeavour towards the re-establishing my rightfull Sovereigne and the constitutione of my countrie to ther divine rights and loyall setlment; and by pleading guilty I meant no more then ane acknowledgment of my having been in armes, and (not being bred to the law) had no notion of my therby giving my assent to any other thing contained in that charge. I take God to wittnes, before whom I am very soon to apear, that I never had any desire to favour or to introduce Popery, and I have been all along fully satisfied that the King has given all the morall security for the Church of England that is possible for him in his circumstances. I owne I submitted myselfe to the Duck of Brunswick, justly expecting that humantity would have induced him to give me my life, which if he had done I was resolved for the future to have lived peaceably, and to have still reteaned a greatfull remembrance of so greatt a favour, and I am satisfied the King would never have desired me to have been in action for him after; but the caice is otherways. I pray God forgive those who thirst after blood. Had we been all putt to the sword immediatly upon our surrender, that might have born the construction of being don in the heatt and fury of passion; but now I am to die in cold blood, I pray God it be not imputed to them. May Almighty God restore injured right, and peace, and truth, and may He in mercy receave my soull.


It was decreed that the Earl of Derwentwater and the Viscount Kenmure should suffer on the same day. On the morning of the twenty-fourth of February, at ten o'clock, these noblemen were conducted to the Transport Office on Tower Hill, where they had separate rooms for their private devotions, and where such friends as desired to be admitted to them could take a last farewell. It had been settled that the Earl of Nithisdale should also suffer at the same time, but during the previous night he had escaped. Whether the condemned lords, who were so soon to exchange life for immortality, were made aware of that event or not, has not transpired. What must have been their emotions, supposing that they were conscious that one who had shared their prison, was likely to be restored to his liberty and to his family!

Lord Kenmure conducted himself with a manly composure and courage during this last trial of his submission and fortitude. His reserve, however, on the scaffold was remarkable. It proceeded from a fear, incidental to a conscientious mind, of saying anything inconsistent with his loyalty and principles; and from an apprehension, natural in the dying husband and father, of injuring the welfare of those whom he was to leave at the mercy of Government.

Lord Derwentwater suffered first: his last ejaculation, "Sweet Jesus be merciful unto me!" was cut short by the executioner severing his head from his body. Then, after the body and the head had been carried away, the scaffold was decently cleared, and fresh baize laid upon the block, and saw-dust strewed, that none of the blood might appear to shock the unhappy man who was to succeed the young and gallant Derwentwater in that tragic scene.

Lord Kenmure then advanced. He was formally delivered from the hands of one sheriff to those of the other, who had continued on the stage on which the scaffold was erected all the time, and who then addressed the condemned man. The first question related to the presence of clergy, and of other friends; and Lord Kenmure stated, in reply, that he had the assistance of two clergymen, and desired the presence of some friends who were below. These persons were then called up, and Lord Kenmure retired with his friends and the two clergymen to the south side of the stage, where they joined in penitential prayers, some of them written for the occasion, and others out of a printed book, not improbably the Book of Common Prayer, since Lord Kenmure was a Protestant and an Episcopalian. Lord Kenmure employed himself for some time in private supplications; and afterwards a clergyman, in a prayer, recommended the dying man to the mercy of God. A requiem completed the devotions of the unfortunate Kenmure.

Sir John Fryer, one of the sheriffs, then inquired if his Lordship had had sufficient time; and expressed his willingness to wait as long as Lord Kenmure wished. He also requested to know if Lord Kenmure had anything to say in private; to these questions a negative was returned.

The executioner now came forward. Lord Kenmure was accompanied by an undertaker, to whom the care of his body was to be entrusted; he was also attended by a surgeon, who directed the executioner how to perform his office, by drawing his finger over that part of the neck where the blow was to be given. Lord Kenmure then kissed the officers and gentlemen on the scaffold, some of them twice and thrice; and being again asked if he had anything to say, answered, "No." He had specified the Chevalier St. George in his prayers, and he now repeated his repentance for having pleaded guilty at his trial. He turned to the executioner, who, according to the usual form, asked forgiveness. "My Lord," said the man, "what I do, is to serve the nation; do you forgive me?" "I do," replied Lord Kenmure; and he placed the sum of eight guineas in the hands of the headsman. The final preparations were instantly made. Lord Kenmure pulled off, unassisted, his coat and waistcoat: one of his friends put a white linen cap on his head; and the executioner turned down the collar of his shirt, in order to avoid all obstacles to the fatal stroke. Then the executioner said, "My Lord, will you be pleased to try the block?" Lord Kenmure, in reply, laid down his head on the block, and spread forth his hands. The headsman instantly performed his office. The usual words, "This is the head of a traitor!" were heard as the executioner displayed the streaming and ghastly sight to the multitude.

The body of Lord Kenmure, after being first deposited at an undertaker's in Fleet Street, was carried to Scotland, and there buried among his ancestors. A letter was found in his pocket addressed to the Chevalier, recommending to him the care of his children; but it was suppressed.[41]

Thus died one of those men, whose honour, had his life been spared, might have been trusted never again to enter into any scheme injurious to the reigning Government; and whose death inspires, perhaps, more unmitigated regret than that of any of the Jacobite lords. Lord Kenmure's short-lived authority was sullied by no act of cruelty; and his last hours were those of a pious, resigned, courageous Christian. He was thrust into a situation as commander in the South, peculiarly unfitted for his mild, reserved, and modest disposition: and he was thus carried away from that private sphere which he was calculated to adorn.[42]

After her husband's death, the energies of Lady Kenmure were directed to secure the estates of Kenmure to her eldest son. She instantly posted down to Scotland, and reached Kenmure Castle in time to secure the most valuable papers. When the estates were put up for sale, she contrived, with the assistance of her friends, to raise money enough to purchase them; and lived so carefully as to be able to deliver them over to her son, clear of all debt, when he came of age. Four children were left dependent upon her exertions and maternal protection. Of these Robert, the eldest, died in 1741 unmarried, in his twenty-eighth year. James also died unmarried. Harriet, the only daughter, was married to her mother's cousin-german, Captain James Dalzell, uncle of Robert Earl of Carnwath. John Gordon, the second and only surviving son of Lord Kenmure, married, in 1744, the Lady Frances Mackenzie, daughter of the Earl of Seaforth; and from this marriage is descended the present Viscount Kenmure, to whom the estate was restored in 1824.

Lady Kenmure survived her husband sixty-one years. In 1747, she appears to have resided in Paris, where, after the commotions of 1745, she probably took refuge. Here, aged as she must have been, the spirit of justice, and the love of consistency were shewn in an anecdote related of her by Drummond of Bochaldy, who was mingled up in the cabals of the melancholy Court of St. Germains. It had become the fashion among Prince Charles's sycophants and favourites, to declare that it was not for the interest of the party that there should be any restoration while King James lived; this idea was diligently circulated by Kelly, a man described by Drummond as full of trick, falsehood, deceit, and imposition; and joined to these, having qualities that make up a thorough sycophant.

It was Kelly's fashion to toast the Prince in all companies first, and declare that the King could not last long. At one of the entertainments, which he daily frequented, at the house of Lady Redmond, the dinner, which usually took place at noon, being later than usual, Lady Kenmure, in making an afternoon's visit, came in before dinner was over. She was soon surprised and shocked to hear the company drinking the Prince's health without mentioning the King's. "Lady Kenmure," adds Drummond, "could not bear it, and said it was new to her to see people forget the duty due to the King." Kelly immediately answered, "Madam, you are old fashioned; these fashions are out of date." She said that she really was old fashioned, and hoped God would preserve her always sense and duty enough to continue so; on which she took a glass and said "God preserve our King, and grant him long life, and a happy reign over us!"[43]

Lady Kenmure died on the 16th of August, 1776, at Terregles, in Dumfriesshire, the seat of the Nithisdale family.


[37] Patten, p. 52

[38] Patten. Reay.

[39] "Secret History of the Rebels in Newgate;" a scarce Sixpenny Tract, in the British Museum. Third Edition.

[40] For this interesting paper I am indebted to the Hon. Mrs. Bellamy, sister of the present and niece of the late Viscount Kenmure.

[41] Faithful Register of the late Rebellion, p. 93; also State Trials.

[42] The impression on the minds of Lord Kenmure's descendants is, that he was by no means a man of feeble character, but one of great fortitude and resolution.

[43] Memoirs of Sir Ewen Cameron of Lochiel, p. 284. Presented to the Abbotsford Club.


Among the nobility who hastened to the hunting-field of Braemar, was William Marquis of Tullibardine and eldest son of the first Duke of Athole.

The origin of the powerful family of Murray commences with Sir William De Moraira, who was Sheriff in Perth in 1222, in the beginning of the reign of King Alexander the Second. The lands of Tullibardine were obtained by the Knight in 1282, by his marriage with Adda, the daughter of Malise, Seneschal of Stratherio. After the death of William De Moraira, the name of this famous house merged into that of Murray, and its chieftains were for several centuries known by the appellation of Murray of Tullibardine. It was not until the seventeenth century that the family of Murray was ennobled, when James the Sixth created Sir John Murray Earl of Tullibardine.

The unfortunate subject of this memoir was the son of one of the most zealous promoters of the Revolution of 1688. His father, nearly connected in blood with William the Third, was appointed to the command of a regiment by that Monarch, and entrusted with several posts of great importance, which he retained in the time of Queen Anne, until a plot was formed to ruin him by Lord Lovat, who endeavoured to implicate the Duke in the affair commonly known by the name of the Queensbury plot. The Duke of Athole courted inquiry upon that occasion; but the business having been dropped without investigation, he resigned the office of Privy Seal, which he then held, and became a warm opponent of the Act of Union which was introduced into Parliament in 1705.

After this event the Duke of Athole retired to Perthshire, and there lived in great magnificence until, upon the Tories coming into power, he was chosen one of the representatives of the Scottish peerage in 1710, and afterwards a second time constituted Lord Privy Seal.

It is singular that, beholding his father thus cherished by Government, the Marquis of Tullibardine should have adopted the cause of the Chevalier: and not, as it appears, from a momentary caprice, but, if we take into consideration the conduct of his whole life, from a fixed and unalienable conviction. At the time of the first Rebellion, the Marquis was twenty-seven years of age; he may therefore be presumed to have been mature in judgment, and to have passed over the age of wild enthusiasm. The impulses of fanaticism had no influence in promoting the adoption of a party to which an Episcopalian as well as a Roman Catholic might probably be peculiarly disposed. Lord Tullibardine had been brought up a Presbyterian; his father was so firm and zealous in that faith, as to excite the doubts of the Tory party, to whom he latterly attached himself, of his sincerity in their cause. According to Lord Lovat, the arch-enemy of the Athole family, the Duke had not any considerable portion of that quality in his character, which Lord Lovat represents as one compound of meanness, treachery, and revenge, and attributes the hatred with which Athole persecuted the brave and unfortunate Duke of Argyle, to the circumstance of his having received a blow from that nobleman before the whole Court at Edinburgh, without having the spirit to return the insult.[44]

It appears, from the same authority, that the loyalty which the Duke of Athole professed towards King William was of a very questionable description. It becomes, indeed, very difficult to ascertain what were really the Duke of Athole's political tenets. Under these conflicting and unsettled opinions the young Marquis of Tullibardine was reared.

There seems little reason to doubt that his father, the Duke of Athole, continued to act a double part in the troublous days which followed the accession of George the First. It was, of course, of infinite importance to Government to secure the allegiance of so powerful a family as that of Murray, the head of whom was able to bring a body of six thousand men into the field. It nevertheless soon appeared that the young heir of the house of Athole had imbibed very different sentiments to those with which it was naturally supposed a nobleman, actually in office at that time, would suffer in his eldest son. The first act of the Marquis was to join the Earl of Mar with two thousand men, clansmen from the Highlands, and with fourteen hundred of the Duke of Athole's tenants;[45] his next, to proclaim the Chevalier King. Almost simultaneously, and whilst his tenantry were following their young leader to the field, the Duke of Athole was proclaiming King George at Perth.[46] The Duke was ordered, meantime, by the authorities, to remain at his Castle of Blair to secure the peace of the county, of which he was Lord-Lieutenant.

The Marquis of Tullibardine's name appears henceforth in most of the events of the Rebellion. There exists little to shew how he acquitted himself in the engagement of Sherriff Muir, where he led several battalions to the field; but he shewed his firmness and valour by remaining for some time at the head of his vassals, after the unhappy contest of 1715 was closed by the ignominious flight of the Chevalier. All hope of reviving the Jacobite party being then extinct for a time, the Marquis escaped to France, where he remained in tranquillity for a few years; but his persevering endeavours to aid the Stuart cause were only laid aside, and not abandoned.

During his absence, the fortunes of the house of Athole sustained no important change. The office of Privy Seal was, it is true, taken from the Duke and given to the Marquis of Annandale; but by the favour of Government the estates escaped forfeiture, and during the very year in which the Rebellion occurred, the honours and lands which belonged to the unfortunate Tullibardine were vested, by the intercession of his father, in a younger son, Lord James Murray. The effect of this may have been to render the Marquis still more determined in his adherence to the Stuart line. He was not, however, the only member of the house of Murray who participated in the Jacobite cause.

No less consistent in his opinions than the Marquis of Tullibardine, William, the second Lord Nairn, came forward to espouse the cause of the Stuarts. This nobleman was the uncle of Lord Tullibardine, and bore, before his marriage with Margaret, only daughter of the first Lord Nairn, the appellation of Lord William Murray. The title was, however, settled by patent upon him and his heirs; and this obligation, conferred by Charles the Second, was bestowed upon one whose gratitude and devotion to the line of Stuart ceased only with his life. Lord Nairn had been educated to the naval service, and had distinguished himself for bravery. He refused the oaths at the Revolution, and consequently did not take his seat in Parliament. His wife, Margaret, appears to have shared in her husband's enthusiasm, and to have resembled him in courage. In the Earl of Mar's correspondence frequent allusion is made to her under the name of Mrs. Mellor. "I wish," says the Earl on one occasion, "our men had her spirit." And the remembrances which he sends her, and his recurrence to her, show how important a personage Lady Nairn must have been. Aided by these two influential relations, the Marquis of Tullibardine had engaged in the dangerous game which cost Scotland so dear. Upon the close of the Rebellion, Lord Nairn was not so fortunate as to escape to France with his relation. He was taken prisoner, tried, and condemned to be executed. At his trial he pleaded guilty; but he was respited, and afterwards pardoned. His wife and children were eventually provided for out of the forfeited estate; but neither punishment nor favour prevented his sons from sharing in the Rebellion of 1745.

Another individual who participated in the Rebellion of 1715 was Lord Charles Murray, the fourth surviving son of the Duke of Athole, and one of those gallant, fine-tempered soldiers, whose graceful bearing and good qualities win upon the esteem even of their enemies. At the beginning of the Rebellion, Lord Charles was an officer on half-pay in the British service; he quickly joined the insurgent army, and obtained the command of a regiment. Such was his determination to share all dangers and difficulties with his troops, that he never could be prevailed upon to ride at the head of his regiment, but went in his Highland dress, on foot, throughout the marches. This young officer crossed the Forth with General Mackintosh, and joined the Northumbrian insurgents in the march to Preston. At the siege of that town Lord Charles defended one of the barriers, and repelled Colonel Dormer's brigade from the attack. He was afterwards made prisoner at the surrender, tried by a court-martial, and sentenced to be shot as a deserter from the British army. He was, however, subsequently reprieved, but died only five years afterwards.[47]

The Marquis of Tullibardine was not, however, the only Jacobite member of the family who had been spared after the Rebellion of 1715, to renew his efforts in the cause. His brother, the celebrated Lord George Murray, was also deeply engaged in the same interests. In 1719, the hopes of the party were revived by the war with Spain, and their invasion of Great Britain was quietly planned by the Duke of Ormond, who hastened to Madrid to hold conferences with Alberoni. Shortly afterwards the Chevalier was received in that capital, and treated as King of England. In March, 1719, the ill-fated expedition under the Duke of Ormond was formed, and a fleet, destined never to reach its appointed place of rendezvous, sailed from Cadiz.

The enterprise met with the usual fate of all the attempts formed in favour of the Stuarts. With the exception of two frigates, none of the ships proceeded farther than Cape Finisterre, where they were disabled by a storm. These two vessels reached the coast of Scotland, having on board of them the Earl of Seaforth, the Earl Marischal, the Marquis of Tullibardine,[48] three hundred Spaniards, and arms for two thousand men. They landed at the island of Lewes, but found the body of the Jacobite party resolved not to move until all the forces under Ormond should be assembled. During this interval of suspense, disputes between the Marquis of Tullibardine and the Lord Marischal, which should have the command, produced the usual effects among a divided and factious party, of checking exertion by diminishing confidence.

It appears, however, that the Marquis had a commission from the Chevalier to invade Scotland; in virtue of which he left the island of Lewes, whence he had for some time been carrying on a correspondence with the Highland chieftains, and landed with the three hundred Spaniards on the main land. The Ministers of George the First lost no time in repelling this attempt by a foreign power, and it is singular that they employed Dutch troops for the purpose; and that Scotland, for the first time, beheld her rights contested by soldiers speaking different languages, and natives of different continental regions. The Government had brought over two thousand Dutch soldiers, and six battalions of Imperial troops from the Austrian Netherlands, and these were now sent down to Inverness, where General Wightman was stationed. As soon as he was informed of the landing of the Spanish forces, that commander marched his troops to Glenshiel, a place between Fort Augustus and Benera. He attacked the invaders: the Highlanders were quickly repulsed and fled to their hills; the Spaniards were taken prisoners; but the Marquis of Tullibardine and the Earl of Seaforth escaped, and, retreating to the island of Lewes, again escaped to France.

During twenty-six years the Marquis of Tullibardine, against whom an act of attainder was passed, remained in exile. He appears to have avoided taking any active part in political affairs. "These seven or eight years," he says in a letter addressed to the Chevalier, "have sufficiently shewn me how unfit I am for meddling with the deep concerns of state."[49] He resided at Puteaux, a small town near Paris, until called imperatively from his retreat.

During the period of inaction, no measures were taken to reconcile those whom he had left, the more gallant portion of the Highlanders, to the English Government. "The state of arms," says Mr. Home, "was allowed to remain the same; the Highlanders lived under their chiefs, in arms; the people of England and the Lowlanders of Scotland lived, without arms, under their sheriffs and magistrates; so that every rebellion was a war carried on by the Highlanders against the standing army; and a declaration of war with France or Spain, which required the service of the troops abroad, was a signal for a rebellion at home. Strange as it may seem, it was actually so."[50]

During the interval between the two Rebellions of 1715 and 1745, the arts of peace were cultivated in England, and the national wealth augmented; but no portion of that wealth altered the habits of the Highland chieftains, who, looking continually for another rebellion, estimated their property by the number of men whom they could bring into the field. An anecdote, illustrative of this peculiarity, is told of Macdonald of Keppoch, who was killed at the battle of Culloden. Some low-country gentlemen were visiting him in 1740, and were entertained with the lavish hospitality of a Highland home. One of these guests ventured to ask of the landlord, what was the rent of his estate. "I can bring five hundred men into the field," was the reply. It was estimated, about this time, that the whole force which could be raised by the Highlanders amounted to no more than twelve thousand men; yet, with this inconsiderable number, the Jacobites could shake the British throne.

The danger which might arise to the Government, in case of a foreign war, from the Highlanders, was foreseen by Duncan Forbes of Culloden, and a scheme was formed by that good and great man, and communicated to Lord Hay, adapted to reconcile the chieftains to the sovereignty of the house of Hanover, and at the same time to preserve the peace of the country. This was, to raise four or five Highland regiments, appointing an English or Scotch officer of undoubted loyalty to King George, to be colonel of each regiment, and naming all the inferior officers from a list drawn up by President Forbes, and comprising all the chiefs and chieftains of the disaffected clans. Most unhappily this plan was rejected. Had it been adopted, the melancholy events of the last Rebellion might not have left an indelible stain upon our national character. The Highlanders, once enlisted in the cause of Government, would have been true to their engagements; and the fidelity of the officers, when serving abroad, would have been a guarantee for the good conduct of their relations at home. It was not, however, deemed practicable; and the energies of a determined and unemployed people were again brought into active force. It is said to have met with the decided approbation of Sir Robert Walpole, but it was negatived by the Cabinet.[51]

The year 1739 witnessed the revival of the Jacobite Association, which had been annihilated by the attainders and exiles of its members after the last Rebellion. The declaration of war between Spain and England, induced a belief that hostilities with France would follow; and accordingly, in 1740, seven persons of distinction met at Edinburgh, and signed an association, which was to be carried to the Chevalier St. George at Rome, together with a list of those chiefs and chieftains who were ready to join the association, if a body of French troops should land in Scotland. This was the commencement of the second Rebellion; and it was seconded with as pure a spirit of devotion to the cause, as exalted an enthusiasm, as if none had bled on the scaffold in the previous reign, or attainders and forfeitures had never visited with poverty and ruin the adherents of James Stuart.

The Marquis of Tullibardine was selected as one of the attendants of Charles Edward, in the perilous enterprise of the invasion. He was the person of the highest rank among those who accompanied the gallant and unfortunate adventurer in his voyage from the mouth of the Loire to Scotland, in a little vessel, La Doutelle, with its escort of a ship of seven hundred tons, the Elizabeth. During this voyage the strictest incognito was preserved by the Prince, who was dressed in the habit of the Scotch College, at Paris, and who suffered his beard to grow, in order still better to disguise himself. At night the ship sailed without a light, except that which proceeded from the compass, and which was closely covered, the more effectually to defy pursuit. As it tracked the ocean, with its guardian, the Elizabeth, the sight of a British man-of-war off Lizard Point excited the ardour of the youthful hero on board of La Doutelle. Captain D'Eau, the commander of the Elizabeth, determined to attack the English ship, and requested the aid of Mr. Walsh, who commanded the Doutelle. His request was denied, probably from the responsibility which would have been incurred by Walsh, if he had endangered the safety of the vessel in which the Prince sailed. The attack was therefore made by the brave D'Eau alone. It was succeeded by a fight of two hours, during which the Doutelle looked on, while the Prince vainly solicited Walsh to engage in the action. The commander refused, and threatened the royal youth to send him to his cabin if he persisted. Both ships were severely damaged in the encounter and La Doutelle was obliged to proceed on her way alone, the Elizabeth returning to France to refit.

On the twenty-first of July, La Doutelle approached the remote range of the Hebrides, comprehending Lewes, Uist, and Barra, often called, from being seen together, the Long Island. As the vessel neared the shore, a large Hebridean eagle hovered over the masts. The Marquis of Tullibardine observed it, and attributed to its appearance that importance to which the imagination of his countrymen gives to such incidents; yet, not wishing to appear superstitious, or to show what is called a "Highland freit," it was not until the bird had followed the ship's course for some time, that he drew the attention of the Prince to the circumstance. As they returned on deck after dinner, he pointed out the bird to Charles Edward, observing at the same time, "Sir, I hope this is a happy omen, and promises good things to us; the king of birds is come to welcome your Royal Highness, on your arrival in Scotland."

The Prince and his followers landed, on the twenty-third of July, at the island of Eriska, belonging to Clanranald, and situated between the Isles of Barra and of South Uist, their voyage having been accomplished in eighteen days. Here all the party landed, with the exception of the Marquis, who was laid up with the gout, and unable to move. His condition was supposed to be one of peril, for two ships had been espied, and the Prince and his associates hurried off, with all the expedition they could, to shore. The long boat was got out, and sent to procure a pilot, who was discovered in the person of the hereditary piper of Clanranald, who piloted the precious freight safely to shore. The two vessels which had produced so much alarm, proved afterwards to be only merchant-vessels.

In these "malignant regions," as Dr. Johnson describes them, referring to the severity of the climate and the poverty of the soil, Prince Charles and his adherents were lodged in a small country house, with a hole in the roof for a chimney, and a fire in the middle of the room. The young adventurer, reared among the delicacies of the palace at Albano, was often obliged to go to the door for fresh air. "What a plague is the matter with that fellow," exclaimed Angus Macdonald, the landlord, "that he can neither sit nor stand still, nor keep within nor without doors?" The night, it must be observed, was unusually wet and stormy, so that the Prince had no alternative between smoke and rain. The pride of the Scotch, in this remote region, was exemplified in another trifling occurrence: The Prince, who was less fatigued than the rest of the party, with that consideration for others, and disregard of his own personal comfort, which formed at this period so beautiful a part of his character, insisted that his attendants should retire to rest. He took a particular care of Sir Thomas Sheridan, his tutor, and examined closely the bed appropriated to him, in order to see that it was well aired. The landlord, indignant at this investigation, called out to him, "That the bed was so good, and the sheets were so good, that a prince might sleep in them."[52]

The farm-house in which this little incident took place, and which first received the Prince, who was destined to occupy so great a variety of dwellings in Scotland, was situated in Borrodale, a wild, mountainous tract of country, which forms a tongue of land between two bays. Borrodale, being difficult of access, was well-chosen as the landing-place of Charles; whilst around, in most directions, were the well-wishers to his cause.

The Marquis of Tullibardine accompanied Charles in his progress until the Prince landed at Glenfinnin,[53] which is situated about twenty miles from Fort William, and forms the outlet from Moidart to Lochaber; here the standard of Charles Edward was unfurled. The scene in which this ill-omened ceremonial took place is a deep and narrow valley, in which the river Finnin runs between high and craggy mountains, which are inaccessible to every species of carriage, and only to be surmounted by travellers on foot. At each end of the vale is a lake of about twelve miles in length, and behind the stern mountains which enclose the glen, are salt-water lakes, one of them an arm of the sea. The river Finnin empties itself into the Lake of Glenshiel, at the extremity of the glen. On the eighteenth of August Prince Charles crossed this lake, slept at Glensiarick, and on the nineteenth proceeded to Glenfinnin.

When Charles landed in the glen, he gazed around anxiously for Cameron of Lochiel, the younger, whom he expected to have joined him. He looked for some time in vain; that faithful adherent was not then in sight, nor was the glen, as the Prince had expected, peopled by any of the clansmen whose gathering he had expected. A few poor people from the little knot of hovels, which was called the village, alone greeted the ill-starred adventurer. Disconcerted, Prince Charles entered one of the hovels, which are still standing, and waited there for about two hours. At the end of that time, the notes of the pibroch were heard, and presently, descending from the summit of a hill, appeared the Camerons, advancing in two lines, each of them three men deep. Between the lines walked the prisoners of war, who had been taken some days previously near Loch Lochiel.

The Prince, exhilarated by the sight of six or seven hundred brave Highlanders, immediately gave orders for the standard to be unfurled.

The office of honour was entrusted to the Marquis of Tullibardine, on account of his high rank and importance to the cause. The spot chosen for the ceremony was a knoll in the centre of the vale. Upon this little eminence the Marquis stood, supported on either side by men, for his health was infirm, and what we should now call a premature old age was fast approaching. The banner which it was his lot to unfurl displayed no motto, nor was there inscribed upon it the coffin and the crown which the vulgar notion in England assigned to it. It was simply a large banner of red silk, with a white space in the middle. The Marquis held the staff until the Manifesto of the Chevalier and the Commission of Regency had been read. In a few hours the glen in which this solemnity had been performed, was filled not only with Highlanders, but with ladies and gentlemen to admire the spectacle. Among them was the celebrated Miss, or, more properly, Mrs. Jeanie Cameron, whose passionate attachment for the Prince rendered her so conspicuous in the troublous period of 1745. The description given of her in Bishop Forbes's Jacobite Memoirs destroys much of the romance of the story commonly related of her. "She is a widow," he declares, "nearer fifty than forty years of age. She is a genteel, well-looking, handsome woman, with a pair of pretty eyes, and hair black as jet. She is of a very sprightly genius, and is very agreeable in conversation. She was so far from accompanying the Prince's army, that she went off with the rest of the spectators as soon as the army marched; neither did she ever follow the camp, nor ever was with the Prince in private, except when he was in Edinburgh."[54]

Soon after the unfurling of the standard, we find the Marquis of Tullibardine writing to Mrs. Robertson of Lude, a daughter of Lord Nairn, and desiring her to put the Castle of Blair into some order, and to do honours of the place when the Prince should come there. The Marquis, it is here proper to mention, was regarded by all the Jacobites as still the head of his house, and uniformly styled by that party the "Duke of Athole," yet he seldom adopted the title himself; and in only one or two instances in his correspondence does the signature of Athole occur.[55]

On the thirty-first of August the Prince visited the famous Blair Athole, or Field of Athole, the word Blair signifying a pleasant land, and being descriptive of that beautiful vale situated in the midst of wild and mountainous scenery.

After riding along a black moor, in sight of vast mountains, the castle, a plain massive white house, appears in view. It is seated on an eminence above a plain watered by the Gary, called, by Pennant, "an outrageous stream, which laves and rushes along vast beds of gravel on the valley below."

The approach to Blair Castle winds up a very steep and high hill, and through a great birch wood, forming a most picturesque scene, from the pendent form of the boughs waving with the wind from the bottom to the utmost summits of the mountains. On attaining the top, a view of the beautiful little Straith, fertile and wooded, with the river in the middle, delights the beholder. The stream, after meandering in various circles, suddenly swells into a lake that fills the vale from side to side; this lake is about three miles long, and retains the name of the river.

When Prince Charles visited Blair, it was a fortified house, and capable of holding out a siege afterwards against his adherents. Its height was consequently lowered, but the inside has been finished with care by the ducal owner. The environs of this beautiful place are thus described by the graphic pen of Pennant,[56] whose description of them, having been written in 1769, is more likely to apply to the state in which it was when Prince Charles beheld it, than that of any more modern traveller.

"The Duke of Athoel's estate is very extensive, and the country populous; while vassalage existed, the chieftain could raise two or three thousand fighting-men, and leave sufficient at home to take care of the ground. The forests, or rather chases, (for they are quite naked,) are very extensive, and feed vast numbers of stags, which range at certain times of the year in herds of five hundred. Some grow to a great size. The hunting of these animals was formerly after the manner of an Eastern monarch. Thousands of vassals surrounded a great tract of country, and drove the deer to the spot where the chieftains were stationed, who shot them at their leisure.

"Near the house is a fine walk surrounding a very deep glen, finely wooded, but in dry weather deficient in water at the bottom; but on the side of the walk on the rock is a small crystalline fountain, inhabited at that time by a pair of Naiads, in the form of golden fish.

"In a spruce-fir was a hang-nest of some unknown bird, suspended at the four corners to the boughs; it was open at top an inch and a half in diameter, and two deep; the sides and bottom thick, the materials moss, worsted, and birch-bark, lined with hair and feathers. The stream affords the parr,[57] a small species of trout seldom exceeding eight inches in length, marked on the sides with nine large bluish spots, and on the lateral line with small red ones. No traveller should omit visiting Yorke Cascade, a magnificent cataract, amidst most suitable scenery, about a mile distant from the house. This country is very mountainous, has no natural woods, except of birch; but the vast plantations that begin to cloath the hills will amply supply these defects."[58]

With what sensations must the Marquis of Tullibardine have approached this beautiful and princely territory, from which he had been excluded, his vassals becoming the vassals of a younger brother, and he a proscribed and aged man, visiting as an alien the home of his youth!

Sanguine hopes, however, perhaps mitigated the bitterness of the reflections with which the faithful and disinterested Marquis of Tullibardine once more found himself within the precincts of his proud domain.

Several anecdotes are told of Prince Charles at Blair; among others, "that when the Prince was at the Castle, he went into the garden, and taking a walk upon the bowling-green, he said he had never seen a bowling-green before; upon which Mrs. Robertson of Lude called for some bowls that he might see them, but he told her that he had had a present of bowls sent him, as a curiosity, to Rome from England."[59]

On the second of September, the Prince left Blair and went to the house of Lude, where he was very cheerful, and took his share in several dances, such as minuets and Highland reels; the first reel the Prince called for was, "This is no' mine ain House;" he afterwards commanded a Strathspey minuet to be danced.

On the following day, while dining at Dunkeld, some of the company happened to observe what a thoughtful state his father would now be in from the consideration of those dangers and difficulties which he had to encounter, and remarked that upon this account he was much to be pitied, because his mind must be much upon the rack. The Prince replied, that he did not half so much pity his father as his brother;[60] "for," (he said) "the King has been inured to disappointments and distresses, and has learnt to bear up easily under the misfortunes of life; but, poor Harry!—his young and tender years make him much to be pitied, for few brothers love as we do."

On the fourth of September, Prince Charles entered Perth; the Marquis of Tullibardine, as it appears from several letters addressed to him by Lord George Murray, who wrote from Perth, remained at Blair, but only, as it is evident from the following extract from a letter by Lord George Murray, whilst awaiting the arrangement of active operations. On the twenty-second of September he received a commission from the Prince, constituting and appointing him Commander-in-Chief of the forces north of the Forth; the active duties of the post were, however, fulfilled by Lord George Murray, who writes in the character of a general:[61]

"Dear Brother,

"Things vary so much from time to time, that I can say nothing certain as yet, but refer you to the enclosed letter; but depend upon having another express from me with you before Monday night. But in the meantime you must resolve to be ready to march on Tuesday morning, by Keinacan and Tay Bridge, so as to be at Crieff on Wednesday, and even that way, if you do your best, you will be half a mark behind; but you will be able to make that up on Thursday, when I reckon we may meet at Dumblane, or Doun; but of this more fully in my next. It is believed for certain, that Cope will embark at Aberdeen.

"I hope the meal was with you this day, thirty-five bolls,—for it was at Invar last night. It shall be my study to have more meal with you on Monday night, for you must distribute a peck a man; and cost what it will, there must be frocks made to each man to contain a peck or two for the men to have always with them.

"Buy linen, yarn, or anything, for these frocks are of absolute necessity—nothing can be done without them. His Royal Highness desires you to acquaint Glenmoriston and Glenco, if they come your way of this intended march, so that they may go by Taybridge (if you please, with you), and what meal you can spare let them have. You may please tell your own people that there is a project to get arms for them. Yours. Adieu.

"George Murray."

From his age and infirmities, the Marquis was precluded from taking an active part in the long course of events which succeeded the unfurling of the standard at Glenfinnin. He appears to have exercised a gentle, but certain sway over the conduct of others, and especially to have possessed a control over the high-spirited Lord George Murray, whose conduct he did not always approve.[62]

Whilst at Blair, the Marquis was saluted as Duke of Athole by all who entered his house; but the honour was accompanied by some mortifications. His younger brother, the Duke of Athole, had taken care to carry away everything that could be conveyed, and to drive off every animal that could be driven from his territory. The Marquis had therefore great difficulty in providing even a moderate entertainment for the Prince; whilst the army, now grown numerous, were almost starving. "The priests," writes a contemptuous opponent, "never had a fitter opportunity to proclaim a general fast than the present. No bull of the Pope's would ever have been more certain of finding a most exact and punctual obedience."

After the battle of Culloden had sealed the fate of the Jacobites, the Marquis of Tullibardine was forced, a second time, to seek a place of refuge. He threw himself, unhappily, upon the mercy of one who little deserved the confidence which was reposed in his honour, or merited the privilege of succouring the unfortunate. The following are the particulars of his fate:—

About three weeks after the battle of Culloden the Marquis of Tullibardine traversed the moors and mountains through Strathane in search of a place of safety and repose: he had become a very infirm old man, and so unfit for travelling on horseback, that he had a saddle made on purpose, somewhat like a chair, in which he rode in the manner ladies usually do.

On arriving in the vicinity of Loch Lomond he was quite worn out, and recollecting that a daughter of the family of Polmain (who were connected with his own) was married to Buchanan of Drumakiln, who lived in a detached peninsula, running out into the lake, the fainting fugitive thought, on these accounts, that the place might be suitable for a temporary refuge. The Marquis was attended by a French secretary, two servants of that nation, and two or three Highlanders, who had guided him through the solitary passes of the mountains. Against the judgment of these faithful attendants, he bent his course to the Ross, for so the house of Drumakiln is called, where the Laird of Drumakiln was living with his son. The Marquis, after alighting, begged to have a private interview with his cousin, the wife of Drumakiln; he told this lady he was come to put his life into her hands, and what, in some sense, he valued more than life, a small casket,[63] which he delivered to her, intreating her, whatever became of him, that she would keep that carefully till demanded in his name, as it contained papers of consequence to the honour and safety of many other persons. Whilst he was thus talking, the younger Drumakiln rudely broke in upon him, and snatching away the casket, he said he would secure it in a safe place, and went out. Meantime the French secretary and the servants were watchful and alarmed at seeing the father and son walking in earnest consultation, and observing horses saddled and dispatched with an air of mystery, whilst every one appeared to regard them with compassion. All this time the Marquis was treated with seeming kindness; but his attendants suspected some snare. They burst into loud lamentations, and were described by some children, who observed them, to be 'greeting and roaring like women.' This incident the lady of Drumakiln (who was a person of some capacity) afterwards told her neighbours as a strange instance of effeminacy in these faithful adherents.

At night the secretary went secretly to his master's bedside, and assured him there was treachery. The Marquis answered he could believe no gentleman capable of such baseness, and at any rate he was incapable of escaping through such defiles as they had passed; he told him in that case it could only aggravate his sorrow to see him also betrayed; and advised him to go off immediately, which he did. Early in the morning a party from Dumbarton, summoned for that purpose, arrived to carry the Marquis away prisoner. He bore his fate with calm magnanimity. The fine horses which he brought with him were detained, and he and one attendant who remained were mounted on some horses belonging to Drumakiln. Such was the general sentiment of disgust with Drumakiln, that the officer who commanded the party taunted that gentleman in the bitterest manner, and the commander of Dumbarton Castle, who treated his noble prisoner with the utmost respect and compassion, regarded Drumakiln with the coldest disdain. The following anecdotes of the odium which Drumakiln incurred, are related by Mrs. Grant.[64]

"Very soon after the Marquis had departed, young Drumakiln mounted the Marquis's horse, (the servant riding another which had belonged to that nobleman,) and set out to a visit to his father-in-law Polmaise.

"When he alighted, he gave his horse to a groom who, knowing the Marquis well, recognised him—'Come in poor beast (said he); times are changed with you since you carried a noble Marquis, but you shall always be treated well here for his sake.' Drumakiln ran in to his father-in-law, complaining that his servant insulted him. Polmaise made no answer, but turning on his heel, rang the bell for the servant, saying, 'That gentleman's horses.'

"After this and several other rebuffs the father and son began to shrink from the infamy attached to this proceeding. There was at that time only one newspaper published at Edinburgh, conducted by the well-known Ruddiman; to this person the elder Drumakiln addressed a letter or paragraph to be inserted in his paper, bearing that on such a day the Marquis surrendered to him at his house. This was regularly dated at Ross: very soon after the father and son went together to Edinburgh, and waiting on the person appointed to make payments for affairs of this nature, demanded their reward. It should have been before observed, that the Government were at this time not at all desirous to apprehend the Marquis, though his name was the first inserted in the proclamation. This capture indeed greatly embarrassed them, as it would be cruel to punish, and partial to pardon him. The special officer desired Drumakiln to return the next day for the money. Meanwhile he sent privately to Ruddiman and examined him about the paragraph already mentioned. They found it on his file, in the old Laird's handwriting, and delivered it to the commissioner. The commissioner delivered the paragraph, in his own handwriting, up to the elder, saying, 'There is an order to the Treasury, which ought to satisfy you,' and turned away from him with marked contempt."

"Soon after the younger laird was found dead in his bed, to which he had retired in usual health. Of five children which he left, it would shock humanity to relate the wretched lives, and singular, and untimely deaths, of whom, indeed, it might be said,

"On all the line a sudden vengeance waits, And frequent hearses shall besiege their gates."

And they were literally considered by all the neighbourhood as caitiffs,

"Whose breasts the furies steel'd And curst with hearts unknowing how to yield."—POPE.

The blasting influence of more than dramatic justice, or of corroding infamy, seemed to reach every branch of this devoted family. After the extinction of the direct male heirs, a brother, who was a captain in the army, came home to take possession of the property. He was a person well-respected in life, and possessed some talent, and much amenity of manners. The country gentlemen, however, shunned and disliked him, on account of the existing prejudice. This person, thus shunned and slighted, seemed to grow desperate, and plunged into the lowest and most abandoned profligacy. It is needless to enter into a detail of crimes which are hastening to desired oblivion. It is enough to observe that the signal miseries of this family have done more to impress the people of that district with a horror of treachery, and a sense of retributive justice, than volumes of the most eloquent instruction could effect. On the dark question relative to temporal judgments it becomes us not to decide. Yet it is of some consequence, in a moral view, to remark how much all generous emulation, all hope of future excellence, is quenched in the human mind by the dreadful blot of imputed infamy."[65]

This account of the retributive justice of public opinion which was visited upon Drumakiln, is confirmed by other authority.[66] It is consolatory to reflect that the Marquis of Tullibardine, after a life spent in an honest devotion to the cause which he believed to be just, was spared, by a merciful release, from the horrors of a public trial, and of a condemnation to the scaffold, which age and ill-health were not sufficient pleas to avert. After remaining some weeks in confinement at Dumbarton, he was carried to Edinburgh, where he remained until the thirteenth of May, 1746. He was then put on board the Eltham man-of-war, lying in the Leith Roads, bound for London. His health all this time was declining, yet he had the inconvenience of a long sea voyage to sustain, for the Eltham went north for other prisoners before it sailed for London. But at length the Marquis reached his last home, the Tower, where he arrived on the twenty-first of June. He survived only until the ninth of July.

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