"Mr. William Fraser says, that Sir Alexander Bennerman will not give his answer to Sir John M'Donell, till he return about the Prince's going to Beaufort; and that cannot be before Saturday morning. So I beg, my dearest child, you may consider seriously of this, not to let us be affronted; for after Sir Alexander and other gentlemen were entertained at your house, if the Prince should go and meet with no reception, it will be ane affront, and a stain upon you and me while we breathe. So, my dearest child, don't neglect this; for it is truely of greater consequence to our honour than you can imagine, tho' in itself it's but a maggot: but, I fancy, since Cumberland is comeing so near, that these fancy's will be out of head. However, I beg you may not neglect to acquaint me (if it was by ane express) when you are rightly informed that the Prince is going. I have been extreamly bad these four days past with a fever and a cough; but I thank God I am better since yesterday affernoon. I shall be glad to see you here, if you think it proper for as short or as long a time as you please. All in this family offer you their compliments: and I ever am, more than I can express, my dearest child, your most affected and dutiful father,
"P.S.—The Prince's reason for going to my house is, to see a salmon kill'd with the rod, which he never saw before; and if he proposes that fancy, he must not be disappointed.
"I long to hear from you by the glyd post some time this night. I beg, my dear child, you may send me any news you have from the east, and from the north, and from the south."
It was not until after the battle of Culloden that Charles Edward and Lord Lovat first met. In that engagement, Lovat's infirmities, as well as his precautions, had prevented his taking an active part; but his son, the Master of Lovat, whose energy in the cause which he had unwillingly espoused, met the praise of Prince Charles, led his clan up to the encounter, and was one of the few who effected a junction with the Prince on the morning of the battle. Fresh auxiliaries from the clan Fraser were hastening in at the very moment of that ill-judged action; and they behaved with their accustomed bravery, and were permitted to march off unattacked, with their pipes playing, and their colours flying. The great body of the clan Fraser were led by Charles Fraser, junior, of Inverlaltochy, as Lieutenant-Colonel in the absence of the Master of Lovat, who was coming up with three hundred men, but met the Highlanders flying. The brave Inverlaltochy was killed; and the fugitives were sorely harassed by Kingston's light horse.
The battle of Culloden occurring shortly afterwards, decided the question of Lord Lovat's political bias. Very different accounts have been transmitted of the feelings and conduct of Prince Charles after the fury of the contest had been decided. By some it has been stated, that he lost on that sad occasion those claims to a character for valour which even his enemies had not hitherto refused him; but Mr. Maxwell has justified the unfortunate and inexperienced young man.
"The Prince," he says, "seeing his army entirely routed, and all his endeavours to rally the men fruitless, was at last prevailed upon to retire. Most of his horse assembled around his person to secure his retreat, which was made without any danger, for the enemy advanced very leisurely over the ground. They were too happy to have got so cheap a victory over a Prince and an enemy that they had so much reason to dread. They made no attack where there was any body of the Prince's men together, but contented themselves with sabering such unfortunate people as fell in his way single and disarmed."
"If he did less at Culloden than was expected from him," adds this partial, but honest follower, "'twas only because he had formerly done more than could be expected." He justly blames the Prince's having come over without any officer of experience to guide him. "He was too young himself, and had too little experience to perform all the functions of a general; and though there are examples of princes that seem to have been born generals, they had the advice and assistance of old experienced officers, men that understood, in detail, all that belongs to any army."
Lord Elcho, in his manuscript, thus accounts for the censures which were cast upon the Prince by those who shared his misfortunes.
"What displeased the people of fashion (consequence) was, that he did not seem to have the least sense of what they had done for him; but, after all, would afterwards say they had done nothing but their duty, as his father's subjects were bound to do.
"And there were people about him that took advantage to represent the Scotch to him as a mutinous people, and that it was not so much for him they were fighting as for themselves; and repeated to him all their bad behaviour to Charles the First and Charles the Second, and put it to him in the worst light, that at the battle of Culloden he thought that all the Scots in general were a parcel of traitors. And he would have continued in the same mind had he got out of the country immediately; but the care they took of his person when he was hiding made him change his mind, and affix treason only to particulars."
After the battle was decided, and the plain of Culloden abandoned to the fury of an enemy more merciless and insatiable than any who ever before or after answered to an English name, the Prince retired across a moor in the direction of Fort Augustus, and, according to Maxwell, slept that night at the house of Fraser of Gortuleg; and there for the first time saw Lord Lovat. But this interview is declared by Arbuthnot, who appears to have gathered his facts chiefly from local information, in the Castle of Downie; and the testimony of Sir Walter Scott confirms the assertion. "A lady," writes Sir Walter, "who, then a girl, was residing in Lord Lovat's family, described to us the unexpected appearance of Prince Charles and his flying attendants at Castle Downie. The wild and desolate vale on which she was gazing with indolent composure, was at once so suddenly filled with horsemen riding furiously towards the Castle, that, impressed with the idea that they were fairies, who, according to men, are visible only from one twinkle of the eyelid to another, she strove to refrain from the vibration which she believed would occasion the strange and magnificent apparition to become invisible. To Lord Lovat it brought a certainty more dreadful than the presence of fairies or even demons. The tower on which he had depended had fallen to crush him, and he only met the Chevalier to exchange mutual condolences."
The Prince, it is affirmed, rushed into the chamber where Lovat, supported by men, for he could not stand without assistance, awaited his approach. The unhappy fugitive broke into lamentations. "My Lord," he exclaimed, "we are undone; my army is routed: what will become of poor Scotland?" Unable to utter any more, he sank fainting on a bed near him. Lord Lovat immediately summoned assistance, and by proper remedies the Prince was restored to a consciousness of his misfortunes, and to the recollection that Castle Downie, a spot upon which the vengeance of the Government was sure to fall, could be no safe abiding place for him or for his followers.
Such was the commencement of those wanderings, to the interest and romance of which no fiction can add. After this conference was ended, Prince Charles went to Invergarie; Lord Lovat prepared for flight.
His first place of retreat was to a mountain, whence he could behold the field of battle; he collected his officers and men around him, and they gazed with mournful interest upon the plain of Culloden. Heaps of wounded men were lying in their blood; others were still pursued by the soldiers of an army whose orders were, from their royal General, to give no quarter; fire and sword were everywhere; vengeance and fury raged on the moor watered by the river Nairn. Here, too, the unhappy Frasers and their chief might view Culloden House, a large fabric of stone, graced with a noble avenue of great length leading to the house, and surrounded by a park covered with heather. Here Charles Edward had slept the night before the battle. The remembrance of many social hours, of the hospitality of that old hall, might recur at this moment to the mind of Lovat. But whatever might be his reflections, his fortitude remained unbroken. He turned to the sorrowful clan around them, and addressed them. He recurred to his former predictions: "I have foretold," he said, still attempting to keep up his old influence over the minds of his clans, "that our enemies would destroy us with the fire and sword; they have begun with me, nor will they cease until they have ravaged all the country." He still, however, exhorted his captains to keep together their men, and to maintain a mountain war, so that at least they might obtain better terms of peace. Having thus counselled them, he was carried upon the shoulders of his followers to the still farther mountains, from one of which he is said, by a singular stroke of retributive justice, to have beheld Castle Downie, the scene of his crime, to maintain the splendour of which he had sacrificed every principle, and compassed every crime, burned by the infuriated enemy. Nine hundred men, under Brigadier Mordaunt, were detached for this purpose.
In one of the Highland fastnesses Lovat remained some time; but the blood-thirsty Cumberland was eager in pursuit. Parties of soldiers were sent out in search of Lovat, and he soon found that it was no longer safe to remain in the vicinity of Beaufort. He fled, in the first instance, to Cawdor Castle. In this famous structure, with its iron-grated doors, its ancient tapestry hanging over secret passages and obscure approaches, he took refuge. In one of its towers, in a small low chamber beneath the roof, the wretched old man concealed himself for some months. When he was at last obliged to quit it, he descended by means of a rope from his chamber.
He had still lost neither resolution nor energy. On the fourth of May, fifteen of the Jacobite chieftains, Lord Lovat among the number, met in the Island of Mortlaig, to concert measures for raising a body of men to resist the victorious troops. On this occasion Lord Lovat declared that they need not be uneasy, since he had no doubt but that they should be able to collect eight or ten thousand men to fight the Elector of Hanover's troops. Cameron of Lochiel, Murray of Broughton, and several other leaders of distinction were present; Lord Lovat was attended by many of his own clan, who were armed with dirks, swords, and pistols, and marked by wearing sprays of yew in their bonnets. But the conference broke up without any important result. The leaders embraced each other, drank to Prince Charles's health, and separated. On this occasion Lord Lovat headed that party among the Jacobites who still looked for aid from France, and abjured the notion of surrendering to the conqueror. Still hunted, to use his own expression, "like a fox," through the main land, Lovat now got off in a boat to the Island of Morar, where he thought himself secure from his enemies; but it was decreed that his iniquitous life should not close in peaceful obscurity. It was not long before he heard that a party of the King's troops had arrived in pursuit of him, and a detachment of the garrison of Fort William, on board the Terror and Furnace sloops, was also despatched, to make descents on different parts of the island. Lovat retreated into the woods; Captain Mellon, who commanded the detachment searched every town, village, and house; but not finding the fugitive, he resolved to traverse the woods, planting parties at the openings to intercept an escape. In the course of his researches he passed a very old tree, which, from some slits in its trunk, he and his men perceived to be hollow. One of the soldiers, peeping into the aperture, thought he saw a man's leg; upon which he summoned his captain, who, on investigating farther, found on one side a large opening, in which stood a pair of legs, the rest of the figure being hidden within the hollow of the tree. This was, however, quickly discovered to be Lord Lovat, for whom this party had then been three days in search. He was wrapped in blankets, to protect his aged limbs from the cold.
Thus discovered, Lovat was forced to surrender, but his spirit rose with the occasion: he told Captain Mellon that "he had best take care of him; for if he did not, he should make him answer for his conduct before a set of gentlemen the very sight of whom would make him tremble." He was taken, in the first instance, to Fort William, where he was treated with humanity, in obedience to the express orders of the Duke of Cumberland. From this prison Lovat wrote a letter to the Duke, reminding his Royal Highness of the services which he had performed in 1715, and of the favour shown him by George the First. "I often carried your Royal Highness," pursues the unhappy old man, "in my arms, in the palaces of Kensington and of Hampton Court, to hold you up to your royal grandfather, that he might embrace you, for he was very fond of you and the young princesses." He then represented to the Duke that if mercy were shown him, and he "might have the honour to kiss the Duke's hand, he might do more service to the King and Government than destroying a hundred such old and very infirm men like me, (past seventy, without the least use of my hands, legs, or knees,) can be of advantage in any shape to the Government."
He was conveyed soon after this letter, which is dated June the twenty-second, 1746, to Fort Augustus. He had requested that a litter might be prepared for him, for he was not able either to stand, walk, or ride. On the fifteenth of July he was removed, under a strong guard, to Stirling, where a party of Lord Mark Ker's dragoons received him. After a few days rest he passed through Edinburgh for the last time; thence to Berwick, and on the twenty-fifth he began his last journey under the escort of sixty dragoons commanded by Major Gardner. His journey to London was divided into twenty stages, and he was to travel one stage a day. It was, indeed, of importance to the Government that he should reach London alive, since many disclosures were expected from Lovat. On reaching Newcastle three days afterwards he appeared to be in a very feeble state, and walked from his coach to his lodgings supported by two of the dragoons. As he travelled along in a sort of cage, or horse-litter, the acclamations and hisses of the populace everywhere assailed him; but his spirits were unbroken, and he talked confidently of his return.
But as he drew near London this security diminished. He happened to reach London a few days before the unhappy Jacobite noblemen were beheaded on Tower Hill. On his way to the Tower he passed the scaffold which was erected for their execution. "Ah!" he exclaimed, "I suppose it will not be long before I shall make my exit there."
He was received in the Tower by the Lieutenant-Governor, who conducted him to the apartment prepared for his reception. Here, reclining in an elbow chair, he is said to have broken out into reflections upon his eventful and singular career. He uttered many moral sentiments, and expressed himself, as many other men have done on similar occasions, perfectly satisfied with his own intentions. Such was the self-deception of this extraordinary man.
In this prison Lovat remained during five months without being brought to trial. But the delay was of infinite importance; it prepared him to quit, with what may be almost termed heroism, a life which he had employed in iniquity. Without remembering this interval, during which ample time for preparation had been afforded, the hardihood which could sport with the most solemn of all subjects, would shock rather than astonish. In consideration of the conduct of many of our state prisoners on the scaffold, we must recollect how familiarized they had previously become with death, in those gloomy chambers whence they could see many a fellow sufferer issue, to shed his blood on the same scaffold which would soon be re-erected for themselves.
During his imprisonment, Lovat had the affliction of hearing that his estates, after being plundered of everything and destroyed by fire, were given by the Duke of Cumberland to James Fraser of Cullen Castle. He was therefore left without a shilling of revenue during his confinement, and was thus treated as a convicted prisoner. In this situation he was reduced to the utmost distress, and indebted solely to the bounty of a kinsman, administered through Governor Williamson, for subsistence. At length, early in the year 1747, upon preferring a petition to the House of Lords, these grievances were in a great measure redressed. Yet the unhappy prisoner had sustained many hardships. Among others the legal plunder of his strong box, containing the sum of seven hundred pounds, and of many valuables.
After much deliberation on the part of the Crown lawyers, Lord Lovat was impeached of high treason. "We learn," says Mr. Anderson, "from Lord Mansfield's speech in the Sutherland cause, that much deliberation was necessary. It was foreseen that his Lordship would have recourse to art. If he was tried as a commoner he might claim to be a peer; if tried as a peer he might claim to be a commoner. Everything was fully considered; the true solid ground upon which he was tried as a peer, was the presumption in favour of the heirs male."
On Monday, the ninth of March, the proceedings were commenced against Lord Lovat; and a renewal took place of that scene which Horace Walpole declared to be "most solemn and fine;—a coronation is a puppet-show, and all the splendour of it idle; but this sight at once feasted the eyes, and engaged all one's passions."
Lord Lovat was now dragged forth to play the last scene of his eventful life. His size had by this time become enormous, so that when he had first entered the Tower it was jestingly said that the doors must be enlarged to receive him. He could neither walk nor ride, as he was almost helpless; he was deaf, purblind, eighty years of age, ignorant of English law, and it was therefore not a matter of surprise that the high-born tribes, who thronged to his trial, were disappointed in the brilliancy of his parts, and in the readiness of his wit. "I see little of parts in him," observes Walpole, "nor attribute much to that cunning for which he is so famous; it might catch wild Highlanders." Singular, indeed, must have been the contrast between Lord Lovat and the polished assembly around him: the Lord High Steward, Hardwicke, comely, and endowed with a fine voice, but "curiously searching for occasions to bow to the Minister, Henry Pelham," and asking at all hands what he was to do. The rude Highland clansmen, vassals of Lord Lovat's, but witnesses against him; above all, the blot and scourge of the Jacobite cause, Murray of Broughton, who was the chief witness against the prisoner, must have formed an assembly of differing characters not often to be seen, and never to be forgotten.
The trial lasted five days; it affords, as has been well remarked, a history of the whole of the Rebellion of 1745. Robert Chevis of Muirtown, a near neighbour of Lovat's, but, as the counsel for the Crown observed, a man of very different principles, gave testimony against the prisoner. At the end of the third day, Lord Lovat, pleading that he had been up at four o'clock in the morning, "to attend their Lordships," and declaring that he would rather "die on the road than not pay them that respect," prayed a respite of a day, which was granted. It appeared, indeed, doubtful in what form death would seize him first, and whether disease and age might not cheat the scaffold of its victim.
Lord Lovat spoke long in his defence, but without producing any revulsion in his favour. Throughout the whole of the proceedings he appears not to have dreaded the rigour of the law; when the defence was closed, and the Lord High Steward was about to put the question, guilty or not guilty, to the House, the Lieutenant of the Tower was ordered by the Lord Steward to take the prisoner from the bar, but not back to the Tower.
"If your Lordships," said Lovat, "would send me to the Highlands, I would not go to the Tower any more." He was pronounced guilty by the unanimous votes of one hundred and seventeen Lords present. He was then informed of his sentence, and remanded to his prison. On the following day, March the nineteenth, he was brought up to receive sentence. On that occasion, in reply to the question "why judgment of death should not be passed upon him," he made a long and, considering his fatigues and infirmities, an extraordinary speech, giving the Lords "millions of thanks for being so good in their patience and attendance," and drawing a parallel between the two different men of the name of Murray, who had figured in the trial. The one was Murray of Broughton; the other, Murray afterwards Lord Mansfield. He then went into the history of his life; or, at least, into such passages of it as were proper for the public ear. He was interrupted by the Lord High Steward, whose conduct to the unhappy State prisoner is said to have been peevish and overbearing.
Judgment of death was then pronounced upon him, and the barbarous sentence which had been passed upon the Earl of Wintoun was pronounced; "to be hanged by the neck, but not till you are dead," &c. The prisoner then spoke again; hoping by this reiterated reference to his services, to obtain a mitigation of the sentence; but he spoke to those who heard, without compassion, the petitions for mercy which fell from an aged, tottering, and miserable old man. Well has it been said, "Whatever his character or his crimes might be, the humanity of the British Government incurred a deep reproach, from the execution of an old man on the very verge of the grave."
At last, the Lord High Steward put the final question; "Would you offer anything further?"
"Nothing," was the reply, "but to thank your Lordships for your goodness to me. God bless you all; I bid you an everlasting farewell. We shall not meet all again in the same place,—I am sure of that."
Lord Lovat was reconducted to the Tower—that prison on entering which he had boasted, that if he were not old and infirm they would have found it difficult to have kept him there. The people told him they had kept those who were much younger. "Yes," he answered, "but they had not broken so many gaols as I have."
He now met his approaching fate with a composure that it is difficult not to admire, even in Lovat. And yet reflection may perhaps suggest that the insensibility to the fear of death—an emotion incident to conscientious minds—bespeaks, in one whose responsibilities had been so grossly abused, an insensibility springing from utter depravity. Let us, however, give to the wretched man every possible allowance. He wrote, in terms of affection, a letter full of religious sentiments to his son, after his own condemnation. When the warrant came down for his execution, he exclaimed, "God's will be done!" With the courtesy that had charmed and had betrayed others all his life, he took the gentleman who brought the warrant by the hand, thanked him, drank his health, and assured him that he would not then change places with any prince in Christendom. He appears, indeed, to have had no misgivings, or he affected to have none, as to his eternal prospects. When the Lieutenant of the fortress in the Tower asked him how he did? "Do?" was his reply; "why I am about doing very well, for I am going to a place where hardly any majors, and very few lieutenant-generals go."
Some friends still remained warmly attached to this singular man. Mr. William Fraser, his cousin, advanced a large sum of money to General Williamson, to provide for his wants; and, after acting as his solicitor, attended him to the last. But Lord Lovat felt deeply the circumstance of his having been convicted by his own servants: "It is shocking," he observed, "to human nature. I believe that they will carry about with them a sting that will accompany them to their grave; yet I wish them no evil."
He prayed daily, and fervently; and expressed unbounded confidence in the Divine mercy. "So, my dear child," he thus wrote to his son, "do not be in the least concerned for me; for I bless God I have strong reasons to hope that when it is God's will to call me out of this world, it will be by his mercy, and the suffering of my Saviour, Jesus Christ, to enjoy everlasting happiness in the other world. I wish this may be yours." After he had penned this remarkable letter, he asked a gentleman who was in his room how he liked the letter? The reply was, "I like it very well; it is a very good letter." "I think," answered Lord Lovat, "it is a Christian letter."
In this last extremity of his singular fortunes, the wife, whom he had so cruelly treated, forgetful of every thing but her Christian duty, wrote to him, and offered to repair immediately to London, and to go to him in the Tower, if he desired it. But Lord Lovat returned an answer, in which, for the first time, he adopted the language of conjugal kindness to Lady Lovat, and refused the generous proposal, worthy of the disinterestedness of woman's nature. He declared that he could not take advantage of it, after all that had occurred.
Meantime, an application was made in favour of Lovat by a Mr. Painter, of St. John's College, Oxford, in the form of three letters, one of which was addressed to the King, another to Lord Chesterfield, a third to Henry Pelham. The courage of the intercession can scarcely be appreciated in the present day; in that melancholy period, the slightest word uttered in behalf of the Insurgents, brought on the interceder the imputation of secret Jacobitism, a suspicion which even President Forbes incurred. The petitions for mercy were worded fearlessly; "In a word," thus concludes that which was addressed to the King, "bid Lovat live; punish the vile traytor with life; but let me die; let me bow down my head to the block, and receive without fear the friendly blow, which, I verily believe, will only separate the soul from its body and miseries together." In his letter to Lord Chesterfield the Oxonian repeats his offer of undergoing the punishment instead of the decrepid old man: "This I will be bold to say," he adds: "I will not disgrace your patronage by want of intrepidity in the hour of death, and that all the devils in Milton, with all the ghastly ghosts of Scotsmen that fell at Culloden, if they could be conjured there, should never move me to say, coming upon the scaffold, 'Sir, this is terrible.'" To Mr. Pelham he declared, that "the post that he wanted was not of the same nature with other Court preferments, for which there is generally a great number of competitors, but may be enjoyed without a rival."
The observations which Lord Lovat made upon this well-meant but absurd proposal, show his natural shrewdness, or his disbelief in all that is good and generous. "This," he exclaimed, on being told of these remarkable letters, "is an extraordinary man indeed. I should like to know what countryman he is, and whether the thing is fact. Perhaps it may be only some finesse in politics, to cast an odium on some particular person. In short, Sir, I'm afraid the poor gentleman is weary of living in this wicked world; in that case, the obligation is altered, because a part of the benefit is intended for himself."
In his last days, Lovat avowed himself a Roman Catholic; but his known duplicity caused even this profession of faith to be distrusted. It is probable that like many men who have seen much of the world, and have mingled with those of different persuasions, Lord Lovat attached but little importance to different modes of faith. He was as unscrupulous in his religious professions as in all other respects. Early in his career, he thought it expedient to obtain the favour of the Pope's nuncio at Paris by conforming to the Romish faith. He declared to the Duke of Argyle and to Lord Leven that he could not get the Court of St. Germains to listen to his projects until he had declared himself a papist. One can scarcely term this venal conversion an adoption of the principles of any church. The outward symbols of his pretended persuasion had, however, become dear to him, from habit: he carried about his person a silver crucifix, which he often kissed. "Observe," he said, "this crucifix! Did you ever see a better? How strongly the passions are marked, how fine the expression is! We keep pictures of our best friends, of our parents, and others, but why should we not keep a picture of Him who has done more than all the world for us?" When asked, "Of what particular sort of Catholic are you? A Jesuit?" He answered to the nobleman who inquired, (and whose name was not known,) "No, no, my Lord, I am a Jansenist;" he then avowed his intimacy with that body of men, and assured the nobleman, that in his sense of being a Roman Catholic, he "was as far from being one as his Lordship, or as any other nobleman in the House."
"This is my faith," he observed on another occasion, after affirming that he had studied controversy for three years, and then turned Roman Catholic; "but I have charity for all mankind, and I believe every honest man bids fair for Heaven, let his persuasion be what it may; for the mercies of the Almighty are great, and his ways past finding out."
The allusion to his funeral had something touching, coming from the old Highland chieftain. Almost the solitary good trait in Lovat's character was the fondness for his Highland home—a pride in his clan—a yearning to the last for the mountains, the straths, the burns, now ravaged by the despoiler, and red with the blood of the Frasers. "Bury me," he said, "in my own tomb in the church of Kirk Hill; in former days, I had made a codicil to my will, that all the pipers from John O'Groat's house to Edinburgh should be invited to play at my funeral: that may not be now—but still I am sure there will be some good old Highland women to sing a coronach at my funeral; and there will be a crying and clapping of hands—for I am one of the greatest of the Highland chieftains." The circumstance which gave him the most uneasiness was the bill then depending for destroying the ancient privileges and jurisdiction of the Highland chiefs. "For my part," he exclaimed, when referring to the measure, "I die a martyr to my country."
He became much attached to one of his warders, and the usual influence which he seems to have possessed over every being with whom he came into collision, attracted the regards of this man to him. "Go with me to the scaffold," said Lovat—"and leave me not till you see this head cut off the body. Tell my son, the Master of Lovat, with what tenderness I have parted from you." "Do you think," he exclaimed, on the man's expressing some sympathy with his approaching fate, "I am afraid of an axe? 'Tis a debt we all owe, and what we must all pay; and do you not think it better to go off so, than to linger with a fever, gout, or consumption? Though my constitution is so good, I might have lived twenty years longer had I not been brought hither."
During the week which elapsed between the warrant for his being brought down to the Tower, and his death, although, says a gentleman who attended him to the scaffold, "he had a great share of memory and understanding, and an awful idea of religion and a future state, I never could observe, in his gesture or speech, the least symptom of fear, or indeed any symptoms of uneasiness." "I die," was his own expression, "as a Christian, and a Highland chieftain should do,—that is, not in my bed." Throughout the whole of that solemn interval, the certainty of his fate never dulled the remarkable vivacity of his conversation, nor the gay courtesy of his manners. No man ever died less consistently with his life. "It is impossible,"—such is the admission of a writer who detests his crimes,—"not to admire the fearlessness even of this monster in his last moments. But, in another view, it is somewhat difficult to resist a laugh of scorn at his impudent project of atoning for all the vices of a long and odious career, by going off with a fine sentiment on his lips."
On Thursday, the ninth of April, and the day appointed for his death, Lord Lovat awoke about three in the morning, and then called for a glass of wine and water, as was his custom. He took the greatest pains that every outward arrangement should bear the marks of composure and decency,—a care which may certainly incline one to fancy, that the heroism of his last moments may have had effect, in part, for its aim, and that, as Talleyrand said of Mirabeau, "he dramatized his death." But, it must be remembered, that in those days, it was the custom and the aim of the state prisoners to go to the scaffold gallantly; and thus virtuous men and true penitents walked to their doom attired with the precision of coxcombs. Lord Lovat, who had smoked his pipe merrily during his imprisonment with those about him, and had heard the last apprisal of his fate without emotion, was angry, when within a few hours of death and judgment, that his wig was not so much powdered as usual. "If he had had a suit of velvet embroidered, he would wear it," he said, "on that occasion." He then conversed with his barber, whose father was a Muggletonian, about the nature of the soul, adding with a smile, "I hope to be in Heaven at one o'clock, or I should not be so merry now." But, with all this loquacity, and display of what was, perhaps, in part, the insensibility of extreme age, the "behaviour that was said to have had neither dignity nor gravity" in it at the trial, had lost the buffoonish character which characterized it in the House of Lords.
At ten o'clock, a scaffold which had been erected near the block fell down, and several persons were killed, and many injured; but the proceedings of the day went on. No reprieve, no thoughts of mercy ever came to shake the fortitude of the old man. At eleven, the Sheriffs of London sent to demand the prisoner's body: Lord Lovat retired for a few moments to pray; then, saying, "I am ready," he left his chamber, and descended the stairs, complaining as he went, "that they were very troublesome to him."
He was carried to the outer gate in the Governor's coach, and then delivered to the Sheriffs, and was by them conveyed to a house, lined with black, near to the scaffold. He was promised that his head should not be exposed on the four corners of the scaffold, that practice, in similar cases, having been abandoned: and that his clothes might be delivered with his corpse to his friends, as a compensation for which, to the executioner, he presented ten guineas contained in a purse of rich texture. He then thanked the Sheriff, and saluted his friends, saying, "My blood, I hope, will be the last shed upon this occasion."
He then walked towards the scaffold. It was a memorable and a mournful sight to behold the aged prisoner ascending those steps, supported by others, thus to close a life which must, at any rate, soon have been extinguished in a natural decay. As he looked round and saw the multitudes assembled to witness this disgraceful execution, "God save us!" he exclaimed; "why should there be such a bustle about taking off an old grey head, that cannot get up three steps without two men to support it?" Seeing one of his friends deeply dejected, "Cheer up," he said, clapping him on the shoulder; "I am not afraid, why should you be?"
He then gave the executioner his last gift, begging him not to hack and cut about his shoulders, under pain of his rising to reproach him. He felt the edge of the axe, and said "he believed it would do;" then his eyes rested for some moments on the inscription on his coffin. "Simon Dominus Fraser de Lovat, decollat. April 9, 1747. AEtat 80." He repeated the line from Horace:—
"Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori."
Then quoted Ovid:—"Nam genus et proavos, et quae non fecimus ipsi, vix ea nostra voco."
He took leave of his solicitor, Mr. William Fraser, and presented him with his gold cane, as a mark of his confidence and token of remembrance. Then he embraced another relative, Mr. James Fraser. "James," said the old chieftain, "I am going to Heaven, but you must continue to crawl a little longer in this evil world." He made no address to the assembled crowds, but left a paper, which he delivered to the Sheriffs, containing his last protestations. After his sentence, Lovat had accustomed his crippled limbs to kneel, that he might be able to assume that posture at the block. He now kneeled down, and after a short prayer gave the preconcerted signal that he was ready; this was the throwing of a handkerchief upon the floor. The executioner severed his head from his body at one blow. A piece of scarlet cloth received his head, which was placed in the coffin with his body and conveyed to the Tower, where it remained until four o'clock. It was then given to an undertaker.
In the paper delivered to the Sheriff there were these words, which would have partly been deemed excellent had they proceeded from any other man:—"As it may reasonably be expected of me that I should say something of myself in this place, I declare I die a true but unworthy member of the Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Church. As to my death, I cannot look upon it but as glorious. I sincerely pardon all my enemies, persecutors, and slanderers, from the highest to the lowest, whom God forgive as I heartily do. I die in perfect charity with all mankind. I sincerely repent of all my sins, and firmly hope to obtain pardon and forgiveness for them through the merits and passion of my blessed Lord and Redeemer, Jesus Christ, into whose hands I recommend my soul. Amen.
"In the Tower, April 9, 1747."
* * * * *
The public might well contrast the relentless hand of justice, in this instance, with the mercy of Queen Anne. She, like her brother the Chevalier, averse from shedding blood, had spared the life of an old man, who had been condemned in her reign for treason. Many other precedents of a similar kind have been adduced. But this act of inhumanity was only part of a system of what was called justice; but which was the justice of the heathen, and not of the Christian.
If the character of Lord Lovat cannot be deduced from his actions, it must be impossible to understand the motives of man from any course of life; for never was a career more strongly marked by the manifestation of the passions, than that of this unworthy descendant of a great line. His selfishness was unbounded, his rapacity insatiable; his brutality seems incredible. In the foregoing narrative, the mildest view has been adopted of his remorseless cruelty: of his gross and revolting indulgences, of his daily demeanour, which is said to have outraged everything that is seemly, everything that is holy, in private life, little has been written. Much that was alleged to Lovat, in this particular, has been contradicted: much may be ascribed to the universal hatred of his name, which tinted, perhaps too highly, his vices, in his own day. Something may be ascribed to party prejudice, which gladly seized upon every occasion of reproach to an adversary. Yet still, there is too much that is probable, too much that is too true, to permit a hope that the private and moral character of Lord Lovat can be vindicated from the deepest stains.
By his public life, he has left an indelible stain upon the honour of the Highland character, upon his party, upon his country. Of principle he had none:—for prudence, he substituted a low description of time-serving: he never would have promoted the interests of the Hanoverians in the reign of George the First, if the Court of St. Germains had tolerated his alliance: he never would have sided with Charles Edward, if the Court of St. James's had not withdrawn its confidence. His pride and his revengeful spirit went hand in hand together. The former quality had nothing in it of that lofty character which raises it almost to a virtue, in the stern Scottish character: it was the narrow-minded love of power which is generated in a narrow sphere.
In the different relations of his guilty life, only one redeeming feature is apparent,—the reverence which Lord Lovat bore to his father. With that parent, seems to have been buried every gentle affection: he regarded his wives as slaves; he looked upon his sons with no other regard and solicitude, than as being heirs of his estates. As a chief and a master, his conduct has been variously represented; the prevailing belief is, that it was marked by oppression, violence, and treachery: yet, as no man in existence ever was so abandoned as not to have his advocates, even the truth of this popular belief has been questioned, on the ground that the influence which he exercised over them, in being able to urge them to engage in whatsoever side he pleased, argues some qualities which must have engaged their affections.
He who pleads thus, must, however, have forgotten the hereditary sway of a Highland chieftain, existing in unbroken force in those days: he must have forgotten the sentiment which was inculcated from the cradle, the loyalty of clanship,—a sentiment which led on the brave hearts in which it was cherished to far more remarkable exertions and proofs of fidelity than even the history of the Frasers can supply.
But the deepest dye of guilt appears in Lord Lovat's conduct as a father. It was not only that he was, in the infancy and boyhood of his eldest born, harsh and imperious: such was the custom of the period. It was not only that he impelled the young man into a course which his own reason disapproved, and which he undertook with reluctance and disgust throwing, on one occasion, his white cockade into the fire, and only complying with his father's orders upon force. This was unjustifiable compulsion in any father, but it might be excused on the plea of zeal for the cause. But it appeared on the trial that the putting forward the Master of Lovat was a mere feint to save himself at the expense of his son, if affairs went wrong. In Lord Lovat's letters to President Forbes the poor young man was made to bear the brunt of the whole blame; although Lord Lovat had frequently complained of his son's backwardness to certain members of his clan. On the trial it appeared that the whole aim of Lord Lovat was, as Sir John Strange expressed it, "an endeavour to avoid being fixed himself and to throw it all upon his son,—that son whom he had, in a manner, forced into the Rebellion."
Rare, indeed, is such a case;—with that, let these few remarks on the character of Lord Lovat, conclude. Human nature can sink to no lower depth of degradation.
Lord Lovat left, by his first wife, three children:—Simon, Master of Lovat; Janet, who was married to Ewan Macpherson of Cluny,—a match which Lord Lovat projected in order to increase his influence, and to strengthen his Highland connections. This daughter was grandmother to the present chief, and died in 1765. He had also another daughter, Sybilla.
This daughter was one of those rare beings whose elevated minds seem to expand in despite of every evil influence around them. Her mother died in giving her birth; and Lord Lovat, perhaps from remorse for the uncomplaining and ill-used wife, evinced much concern at the death of his first lady, and showed a degree of consideration for his daughters which could hardly have been expected from one so steeped in vice. Although his private life at Castle Downie, after the death of their mother was disgusting in detail, and therefore, better consigned to oblivion, the gentle presence of his two daughters restrained the coarse witticisms of their father, and he seemed to regard them both with affection and respect, and to be proud of the decorum of their conduct and manners. Disgusted with the profligacy which, as they grew up, they could not but observe at Castle Downie, the young ladies generally chose to reside at Leatwell, with Lady Mackenzie, their only aunt; and Lord Lovat did not resent their leaving him, but rather applauded a delicacy of feeling which cast so deep a reproach upon him. He was to them a kind indulgent father. When Janet, Lady Clunie, was confined of her first child, he brought her to Castle Downie that she might have the attendance of physicians more easily than in the remote country where the Macphersons lived. He always expressed regret that her mother had not been sufficiently attended to when her last child was born.
The fate of Sybilla Fraser presents her as another victim to the hardness and impiety of Lovat. "She possessed," says Mrs. Grant, "a high degree of sensibility, which when strongly excited by the misfortunes of her family, exalted her habitual piety into all the fervour of enthusiasm." When Lovat passed through Badenoch, after his apprehension, Sybilla, who was there with Lady Clunie, followed him to Dalwhinney, and there, in an agony of mind which may be readily conceived, entreated her aged father to reconcile himself to his Maker, and to withdraw his thoughts from the world. She was answered by taunts at her "womanish weakness," as Lovat called it, and by coarse ridicule of his enemies, with a levity of mind shocking under such circumstances. The sequel cannot be better told than in these few simple words: "Sybilla departed almost in despair; prayed night and day, not for his life, but for his soul; and when she heard soon after, that 'he had died and made no sign,' grief in a short time put an end to her life."
The Master of Lovat was implicated, as we have shown, in the troubles of 1745. Early in that year, he had the misery of discovering the treachery of his father, by accidentally finding the rough draught of a letter which Lord Lovat had written to the President, in order to excuse himself at the expense of his son. "Good God!" exclaimed the young man, "how can he use me so? I will go at once to the President, and put the saddle on the right horse." In spite of this provocation, he did not, however, reveal his father's treachery; whilst Lord Lovat was balancing between hopes and fears, and irresolute which side to choose, the Master at last entreated, with tears in his eyes, that "he might no longer be made a tool of—but might have such orders as his father might stand by."
Having received these orders, and engaged in the insurrection, the Master of Lovat was zealous in discharging the duties in which he had thus unwillingly engaged. His clan were among the few who came up at Culloden in time to effect a junction with Prince Charles. In 1746 an Act of Attainder was passed against him; he surrendered himself to Government, and was confined nine months in Edinburgh Castle. In 1750 a full and free pardon passed the seals for him. He afterwards became an advocate, but eventually returned to a military life, and was permitted to enter the English army. In 1757 he raised a regiment of one thousand eight hundred men, of which he was constituted colonel, at the head of which he distinguished himself at Louisbourg and Quebec. He was afterwards appointed colonel of the 71st foot, and performed eminent services in the American war.
The title of his father had been forfeited, and his lands attainted. But in 1774 the lands and estates were restored upon certain conditions, in consideration of Colonel Fraser's eminent services, and in consideration of his having been involved in "the late unnatural Rebellion" at a tender age. Colonel Fraser rose to the rank of lieutenant-general, and died in 1782 without issue; he was generally respected and compassionated. He was succeeded in the estates by his half-brother, Archibald Campbell Fraser, the only child whom Lord Lovat had by his second wife. This young man had mingled, when a boy, from childish curiosity among the Jacobite troops at the battle of Culloden, and had narrowly escaped from the dragoons.
He afterwards entered into the Portuguese service, where he remained some years; but, being greatly attached to his own country, he returned. He could not, however, conscientiously take the oaths to Government, and therefore never had any other military employment. "With much truth, honour, and humanity," relates Mrs. Grant, "he inherited his father's wit and self-possession, with a vein of keen satire which he indulged in bitter expressions against the enemies of his family. Some of these I have seen, and heard many songs of his composing, which showed no contemptible power of poetic genius, although rude and careless of polish." He sank into habits of dissipation and over-conviviality, which impaired a reputation otherwise high in his neighbourhood, and became careless and hopeless of himself. What little he had to bequeath was left to a lady of his own name to whom he was attached, and who remained unmarried long after his death.
It is rather remarkable that Archibald Campbell Fraser, generally, from his command of the Invernessshire militia, called Colonel Fraser, should survive his five sons, and that the estates which Lord Lovat had sacrificed so much to secure to his own line should revert to another family of the clan Fraser,—the Frasers of Stricken, the present proprietors of Lovat and Stricken, being in Aberdeenshire the twenty-second in succession from Simon Fraser of Invernessshire.
 Anderson's Historical Account of the Family of Frisel or Fraser, p. 5.
 One of Lord Lovat's family—it is not easy to ascertain which—emigrated after the Rebellion of 1745 into Ireland, and settled in that country, where he possessed considerable landed property, which is still enjoyed by one of his descendants. There is an epitaph on the family vault of this branch of the Frizells or Frazers, in the churchyard of Old Ross, in the County of Wexford, bearing this inscription:—"The burial place of Charles Frizell, son of Charles Fraser Frizell of Ross, and formerly of Beaufort, North Britain." For this information I am indebted to the Rev. John Frizell, of Great Normanton, Derbyshire, and one of this Irish branch of the family, of which his brother is the lineal representative.
 Anderson's Historical Account of the Family of Fraser.
 Memoirs of the Life of Lord Lovat, written by himself in the French Language, p. 7.
 Memoirs of the Life of Lord Lovat, p. 7.
 In speaking of the other members of the family, Mr. Anderson remarks:—"The parish registers of Kiltarlity, Kirkill, and Kilmorack, were at the same time examined with the view of tracing the other children of Thomas of Beaufort, but the communications of the various clergymen led to the knowledge that no memorials of them exist. The remote branches called to the succession in General Fraser's entail proves, to a certainty, that these children died unmarried."—Anderson's Historical Account of the Family of Fraser. It appears, however, from a previous note, that a branch of the family still exists in Ireland.
 See State Trials. Lovat.
 Letter from Fort Augustus in Gentleman's Magazine for 1746.
 Introduction to Culloden Papers, p. 36. Gentleman's Magazine, vol. xvi. p. 339.
 See Lord Lovat's Memoirs, p. 7. Also Anderson and Woods.
 Lord Lovat's Memoirs, p. 18.
 Lord Lovat's Memoirs, p. 27.
 Chambers's Biography.
 Anderson, p. 120.
 Lord Lovat's Memoirs, p. 75.
 Lord Lovat's Memoirs, p. 75.
 Arnot on the State Trials, p. 84.
 Stewart's Sketches, p. 21.
 Brown's Highlands, vol. i. p. 120.
 Memoirs, p. 51.
 Id. p. 53
 Memoirs, p. 53.
 Arnot, p. 84.
 Arnot, p. 84. Anderson, p. 121.
 Arnot, p. 89.
 Anderson, p. 124.
 Lord Lovat's Manifesto, p. 72.
 Anderson, p. 124.
 Life and Adventures of Lord Lovat, by the Rev. Archibald Arbuthnot, one of the Society for propagating Christian Knowledge, and Minister of Killarlaty, Presbytery of Inverness. London, 1748.
 Life and Adventures, p. 42.
 Arnot, p. 79.
 Chambers's Dictionary.
 Manifesto, p. 71.
 Arnot, p. 79.
 Arnot, p. 90.
 Life of Lord Lovat, p. 47.
 Anderson, p. 123.
 Manifesto, p. 99.
 Arbuthnot, p. 53.
 Macpherson. Stuart Papers, vol. i. p. 665.
 Arbuthnot, p. 55.
 Arbuthnot, p. 52.
 Anderson, p. 130.
 Macpherson Papers.
 See Smollet, vol. ix. pp. 245 and 255.
 Lockhart Memoirs, vol. i. p. 75.
 Macpherson. Stuart Papers, vol. i. p. 629.
 Manifesto, p. 116.
 Two thousand five hundred pounds.
 Manifesto, p. 152.
 See Murray Papers. Advocate's Library in Edinburgh.
 Lockhart Memoirs, vol. i. p. 80.
 Stuart Papers. Macpherson, vol. i. p. 641.
 Stuart Papers. Macpherson, vol. i. p. 646.
 Stuart Papers. Macpherson, vol. i. p. 678.
 Ibid. p. 682.
 Letter from James Earl of Perth, Chancellor of Scotland, &c.—Edited by William Jerdan, Esq., and printed for the Camden Society, p. 50.
 Arbuthnot, p, 63.
 Somerville, p. 177.
 Somerville, p. 182. Also, Lockhart's Memoirs, p. 180; Macpherson, vol. i. p. 640.
 Stuart Papers, p. 652.
 Id. p. 655.
 Anderson. Chambers.
 Arbuthnot, p. 89.
 Of the two accounts of Lord Lovat's imprisonment, namely, Mr. Arbuthnot's and Lord Lovat's, the latter bears, strange to say, the greatest air of truth. Mr. Arbuthnot's, independent of his erring in the place of imprisonment, appears to me a pure romance.
 Manifesto, p. 301.
 Carstares. State Papers, p. 718.
 Manifesto, p. 328.
 Anderson, p. 137.
 Id. p. 138.
 Free Examination of the Memoir of Lord Lovat, quoted in Arbuthnot, p. 201.
 Anderson, p. 136.
 From the Macpherson Papers, vol. ii. p. 622.
 Culloden Papers, p. 32.
 Manifesto, p. 466.
 Ibid. p. 468.
 Smollet, p. xi. Patten's History of the Rebellion, p. 2.
 Arbuthnot, p. 210.
 Edinburgh Review, No. li. art. Culloden Papers, 1826. This article is attributed to the Honourable Lord Cockburn.
 See Introduction to the Culloden Papers.
 Arbuthnot, p. 211.
 Shaw's Hist. of Moray, p. 252.
 Anderson, p. 141.
 Arbuthnot, p. 218.
 Shaw, p. 186.
 Such was the style in which Lovat, to be complimentary, usually addressed Duncan Forbes, on account of the military capacity in which the future Lord President had acted during the Rebellion.
 Culloden Papers, p. 55.
 Culloden Papers, p. 56.
 Sergeant Macleod served in 1703, when only thirteen years of age, in the Scots Royals, afterwards under Marlborough, then at the battle of Sherriff Muir in 1715. After a variety of campaigns he was wounded in the battle of Quebec, in 1759, and came home in the same ship that brought General Wolf's body to England. Macleod died in Chelsea Hospital at the age of one hundred and three. His Memoirs are interesting.
 Memoirs of the Life of Sergeant Donald Macleod, p. 45. London, 1791.
 Anderson. From King's Monumenta Antiqua.
 Culloden Papers.
 Mrs. Grant's MS.
 Anderson, p. 159. From family archives.
 Chambers's Traditions of Edinburgh.
 Chambers's Traditions of Edinburgh, p. 21.
 Culloden Papers, "Quarterly Review," vol. xiv. This article is written by Sir Walter Scott, and the anecdote is given on his personal knowledge.
 Arbuthnot, p. 249.
 Lady Grange's Memoirs.
 Arbuthnot, p. 241.
 Quarterly Review, vol. xiv. Culloden Papers.
 Culloden Papers, p. 72.
 Burt's Letters from the North, vol. xxi.
 Culloden Papers, p. 106.
 Arbuthnot, p. 250.
 Culloden Papers, p. 106.
 Henderson's History of the Rebellion, p. 8.
 Henderson, p. 10.
 James Maxwell, of Kirkconnell; his narrative, of which I have a copy, has been printed for the Maitland Club, in Edinburgh; it is remarkably clear, and ably and dispassionately written, and was composed immediately after the events of the year 1745, of which Mr. Maxwell was an eye-witness.
 Maxwell of Kirkconnell's Narrative of the Prince's Expedition, p. 10.
 See Lord Elcho's Narrative. MS.
 Some say the fifteenth. See Henderson.
 Culloden Papers, pp. 211, 372.
 Anderson, p. 150.
 Culloden Papers, p. 230.
 Chambers's Traditions of Edinburgh, p. 9.
 Explained in the trial, by Chevis, one of the witnesses, to be in allusion to the royal arms.
 Quarterly Review, vol. xiv. p. 327.
 Edinburgh Review, 1816, vol. xxvi. p. 131.
 State Trials, vol. xviii.
 Maxwell of Kirkconnel, p. 167.
 Lord Elcho's MSS.
 Quarterly Review, vol. xiv. p. 328.
 Arbuthnot, p. 270.
 State Trials, vol. xviii. p. 734.
 Arbuthnot, p. 279.
 Chambers's Biography. Art. Fraser.
 State Trials.
 Anderson, p. 153.
 Laing's History of Scotland, p. 299.
 State Trials, vol. xviii. p. 846.
 Chambers's Traditions of Edinburgh, p. 12.
 Gentleman's Magazine, vol. xvii. p. 184. These letters were afterwards collected and sold for a guinea.
 In allusion to the expression of agony and dismay used some time before by Lord Kilmarnock.
 Somerville's Reign of Queen Anne, p. 175, 4to edition; from Lockhart and Macpherson.
 State Trials.
 Edinburgh Review, vol. xxvi. p 132.
 Horace Walpole.
 State Trials, vol. xviii. p. 326.
 Free Examination of the Life of Lord Lovat; London 1746.
 Mrs. Grant's MS.
 Anderson, p. 187.
END OF THE SECOND VOLUME.
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Transcriber's Note: The following errors in the original have been corrected.
Page 8 - Willian Gordon changed to William Gordon
Page 13 - missing quotation mark added after to the action.
Page 29 - missing quotation mark added after he was guilty
Page 32 - Lady Winifrid Herbert changed to Lady Winifred Herbert
Page 37 - missing quotation marked added after their preservation.
Page 44 - they cold not changed to they could not
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Page 121 - missing footnote marker for footnote 67 between "pleas to avert" and "would be hopeless"
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Page 164 - themselves was relaxed changed to themselves were relaxed
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