صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

sary possessed of less confidence, would have been considerably nonplussed. Sober reflection, however, was never either the act, or the attribute of a Scotish Jacobite, and Hooke had drunk deeper into the spirit and manners of that country which had adopted him, than to be put out by the appearance of any inconsistency in the conduct of his employers, or the discovery of a little presumption in his own pretensions. Instead of being warned by these monitory intimations, and standing aloof from a negotiator who was only able to draw them into danger, having evidently no power to benefit either them, or the person whom they pretended to honour as their king, the party among whom he had fallen, clung to him the closer, and seemed only anxious that he should not come into contact with the duke of Hamilton, or any of his particular friends. Accordingly, we find, that when, by the advice of the duke her husband, Hooke wrote to the dutchess of Gordon, who was supposed, since the defection of the duke of Hamilton, to be in the confidence of the Presbyterians, she wrote him in return, a very flattering letter, boasting of her intimacy with them, of their friendly dispositions, and the reasonableness of their demands, inviting him also to come and be introduced to their leading men, but requiring a positive promise, that he would not trust the duke of Hamilton, she having in her hand certain proofs, that that duke had been the cause of all the misfortunes in Scotland. She took care, however, at the same time, to recommend the duke's agent, Mr. Hall, as an honest man he was a papist, and a priest-only advising her friend Hooke to be upon his guard with him, as he “saw only with the duke of Hamilton's eyes."* Hooke in return, begged the dutchess to “ keep the Presbyterians in their present good disposition,” promising " to keep their secret, not only from the duke of Hamilton, whom they particularly distrusted, but from all others.” At the same time, he sent her a justification of that celebrated person, written by the queen at St. Germains, who ascribed the misfortunes of Scotland, not to any individual, but generally to " the want of succours.”

Satisfied in his own mind, from what he had heard from so

* Hooke's Secret Negotiations, p. 31.

many quarters, that the duke of Hamilton was out of credit with the friends of James, Hooke professes he would have given him up, but that “ he believed he had still interest to intrigue with the Presbyterians, respecting his own elevation to the throne, which,” says he,“ in my first journey, * I understood he had very

much at heart.” Mr. Hall, of course, was admitted to an audience in behalf of the duke his master; but, after much shuffling, if we may credit Hooke, on the part of Mr. Hall for the duke, and still more of impertinent vanity, and frothy insolence on the part of Hooke for the king of France, nothing was concluded between them. The duke of Hamilton had always supposed the aid of 10,000 auxiliaries necessary for establishing James upon the throne of his fathers, and without this aid, refused to take any active part in attempting it. At the mention of this, Hooke pretended to be highly offended, wondered how he could be so unreasonable ! and told Mr. Hall, that it was in vain to talk more about it, till he was more fully instructed. Mr. Hall was dismissed with a few fine words, evidently intended to operate upon the duke's self love, and an assurance, that, out of respect for his grace, Hooke would wait yet four days, before he entered into any negotiation with the other lords, and, in the meantime, would expect his answer at the marquis of Drummond's.

While he was in waiting for the duke of Hamilton's answer to his message, and the queries that accompanied it, Hooke was gratified by the entire devotion of the Drummonds and their friends, who seem to have regarded him as the very breath of their nostrils, as also by the arrival of one of his associates, who had been sent by the way of Holland. Mr. Hall's answer for the duke of Hamilton, gave a most melancholy account of the state of his grace's health, and repaid Mr. Hooke's obliging compliments in the kindest manner; but he begged to be excused for not answering immediately, the letters from the king of France, and James, for whose restoration he would concur in all reasonable measures, though it was still his opinion, that that prince ought not to risk himself without a con

* Hooke had been in Scotland, upon a message of the same kind, the preceding year.

[ocr errors]

siderable body of troops, and he concluded, by wishing Hooke a good voyage.*

On the receipt of this letter, and comparing it with some other letters written by the duke of Hamilton, which fell into his hands, probably by design, Hooke was so incensed, that he would write no more, either to the duke, or to Mr. Hall. Reflecting, however, upon an assertion of the duke, that he could put the king upon his throne, without any assistance from France, while, at the same time, he endeavoured to hinder him from coming over to Scotland, Hooke was persuaded, “ that he had still an intention of seizing the throne himself;" and being assured, that in such an attempt, the Presbyterians behoved to be his only resource, resolved to give his whole attention to know them thoroughly, that if they were so disposed, he might take his measures accordingly. In pursuance of this plan, a courier was despatched to the dutchess of Gordon, begging to be informed of all the particulars respecting the chiefs of the Presbyterians, and of all they had proposed to her.

In the meantime, Hooke proceeded to the house of lord Stormont, where he was waited upon by Lyon of Auchterhouse, who brought an answer from Lockhart of Carnwath, to a letter that had been sent by him, stating, “ That he came from his estate in the west country, where he had carefully endeavoured to inform himself of the disposition of the Presbyterians, and he had been agreeably surprised to find an alteration in their sentiments almost miraculous. You cannot imagine,” he adds, “ the surprising change happened in that country, in the maxims and inclinations of the inhabitants, the justness of their opinion with regard to the state of affairs, their zeal, and their eagerness to undertake something for their king and their country, and this disposition does not prevail in some corners only, but is universal throughout all the counties. Can it be possible that so fine an opportunity will not be laid hold of?”+

[ocr errors]

* Hooke's Secret Negotiations, p. 38. + Hooke sets forth the dignity and wealth of this laird, as he styles him, with great pomp, and states, that he was one of the commissioners for the treaty of union, and that he protested against all their proceedings, which latter circumstance he could hardly fail to know was not true, as it was matter

The same things were, according to Hooke, repeated of the Presbyterians by the laird of Stanhope, and confirmed by the laird of Desterenson,* whom he calls “a great Presbyterian," who, coming to Scoon, assured Hooke, “that his vassals--Presbyterians they were of course--earnestly pressed him to take off the mask, and to join the friends of the k- of England.” Even the national assembly of the Presbyterians, then sitting, he informs us, approved of every thing that the provincial synods and presbyteries had done against the union, and rejected a motion by the royal commissioner, for congratulating the queen upon the conclusion of the treaty; but, if he did not intend to deceive, he ought to have told, that they approved of all that had been done for it too, and though they dared not, for fear of increasing the odium they had already incurred, to speak pointedly upon the union, they did address her majesty in terms sufficiently submissive and panegyrical, which, if they were not intended to apply to that treaty, appear to be altogether without meaning.t

of reproach against Mr. Lockhart among the Jacobites, that he had not done 80; and from this reproach, Lockhart is at pains to vindicate himself

very fally, in his Memoirs of the Affairs of Scotland. Lockhart Papers, vol. i. pp. 142, 143.

Colonel Hooke's work bears every mark of authenticity, and is abundantly corroborated by The Stuart Papers, The Lockhart Papers, &c. &c. but he has been so careless of his names, that it is sometimes impossible to discover the individuals couched under them.

" But your Majesty hath also been concerned to preserve Christian unity and harmony amongst us, by manifesting a pious care, not to straiten us in any thing, wherein

your Majesty did judge our principles were concerned. We have such grateful impressions of this your Majesty's wise and tender management, as will not only influence ourselves to a firm and steady loyalty, but put us upon using our utmost endeavours in our stations, to maintain and promote it amongst all in whom we have an interest; in wbich we crave liberty to assure your Majesty that we shall not be wanting, for we cannot but acknowledge, that we are under the highest obligations, not only as subjects, but as Protestants, to be constant and fervent in our addresses to the sovereign God that he would richly bless, long preserve, and prosper your Majesty, whose zeal for maintaining of our holy religion, and restoring to their just rights those that have been unjustly oppressed for adhering to it, hath been in the course of your glorious reign, manifested to the world, and which, to our great joy, hath signally appeared in your Majesty's most gracious answer to

In the exercise of all this successful activity, falling sick, and unable to travel from the seat of one nobleman to that of another, Hooke despatched messengers to inform them of his illness, and request them to wait upon him, or send their several proposals in writing. The dutchess of Gordon, who had taken the Presbyterians especially under her protection, and who insisted upon seeing Hooke, was particularly apprized of the circumstance, and reminded of the necessity of sending an accredited person, to communicate all she had to say without loss of time. She immediately despatched, with a very ample letter of credence, a gentleman of the name of Strachan, possessing, as Hooke was made to believe, the entire confidence of the Presbyterians, and from whom he received a memorial, written by Ker of Kersland, whom he styles, the leading man in that body, and “ chief of one of the most considerable families in Scotland.” Having considered the heads of this extraordinary memorial, of which, it may safely be presumed, the Presbyterians were perfectly ignorant, Hooke told Mr. Strachan, “ that he might assure those gentlemen, that their zeal and their design was most agreeable to the king of England; that his desire is, that they should take arms; and that he would represent their good dispositions and their demands, and would inform them how they were to act; that Kersland would do well to keep himself in readiness to go over to France in case of need; that he himself would regulate the manner of writing to Mr. Strachan, to Kersland, and to Mr. Walkinshaw, who was to receive the ship load of powder mentioned in their memorial,” and he begged of them to let him hear from them before his departure. He wrote also to the same purpose to the dutchess of Gordon, to be communicated by her to the chiefs of the Presbyterians.*

The Presbyterians being thus disposed of, Hooke hasted to bring his treaty with the other lords to a conclusion; but, entirely devoted to the interests of France, and determined to engage Louis to nothing, he found this a matter of more diffi

the late address of our brethren, the distressed and persecuted Protestants of France.” Printed Acts of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, 1707.

# Hooke's Secret Negotiations, p. 47.

« السابقةمتابعة »