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younger son of Glengary, and Macdonald of Barisdale, had attempted by force to raise the people of Urquhart, belonging to the laird of Grant, who, being firm in the interest of the government, had assembled five hundred' men, and was ready to revenge the insult upon the Frasers of Stratherrick, while lord Loudon at Inverness was accumulating rapidly an army superior to what Lovat could bring into the field; he was therefore under the necessity for the present of yielding a little, and, upon the president giving a verbal explanation of his letter to Lovat by Mr. Donald Fraser, his chaplain, wrote again to the president, repeating all his former excuses, and adding, “ Since I have not strength to mount a horseback and leave the country, I am resolved to live quietly and peaceably in my own house, and be a faithful subject to the king, and observe and obey the laws of my country. And to let your lordship farther see my sincere resolutions of encouraging no disturbance, but on the contrary, to keep the country peaceable and loyal, I intend to list two hundred of my men that stays at home, and put pretty gentlemen at their head, that they may watch and guard the country from all robbers, and thieves, and loose men that come from the Highland army, and to seize them and send them to Inverness. By this project I hope to contribute to the preservation and peace of the country as much as any two independent companies that are at Inverness. I hope this will not be disagreeable to your lordship, that wishes me and my country well. I know your lordship has, and will have, more power than what would save me and ten families like mine, otherwise the king and government will be most ingrateful to you, for your lordship has done more service to king George and to his family and government than if he bad an army of five thousand men in the north. For if it was not for your lordship’s great zeal and extraordinary and unheard of activity and fatigue, the venturer prince would have had ten thousand men before he went south, instead of two, and with that number would have marched straight to London without any opposition. So that the king owes more to your lordship on this occasion than to any subject in Britain; and I do assure your lordship, that the king's enemies are very sensible of it, and that you are more obnoxious to their
hatred and revenge than any man on earth. I wish with all my soul that you may always escape the fury of their resentment till you are happily and gloriously out of their reach, for my good wishes will attend your lordship wherever you are;* and I have firm hope that your lordship who has served the government in the north, by bringing in so many brave families to serve the king, that you would be so good as to save one family that was always friends to yours, and an old infirm man whom your lordship saw behave well enough in the king's service against the rebels. I will truly expect this great mark of your lordship's friendship, and I ever am, in all conditions of life, with unalterable attachment, gratitude, and respect, your lordship's most affectionate cousin and most faithful humble servant,”+ &c. &c.
This proposal of keeping up an array of two hundred men, was no doubt intended by Lovat as a blind whereby he should be able to send re-enforcements at pleasure to the rebels, or to take advantage of what might occur at hand; but the president in return observed, “ to me it appears your lordship does not at present see the natural and necessary consequences of things with the same clearness of sight as heretofore: for example, to obviate all jealousy of your lordship’s conduct, you propose to keep a guard of two hundred men to watch and preserve the peace of the country. Now, though this, were the clan to remain quiet at home, would be a very commendable purpose, and what the government would very readily bear the expense of, yet I submit it to your lordship, whether if the rest of the clan go into rebellion, that guard can be looked on with a favourable eye by the commanders of his majesty's troops in this country, and whether I should not draw even myself under suspicion if I pretended to justify the keeping them afoot.”I Finding bimself seen through in this proposal, Lovat made another of the same kind, but of a somewhat more modest tenor, still professing sorrow for the conduct of his son, and
• Notwithstanding of these good wishes, it was not long after this when Lovat sent a messenger to Charles, specially requesting him to send, if he did not come himself, a body of troops to the north, for the purpose of securing the lord president.— Trial of Lord Lovat, &c. &c. + Culloden Papers, pp. 241, 242.
Ibid. p. 213.
his determination to live in peace; but in the meantime his clan was marching south, many of them being forced out of their beds for that purpose, which induced lord Loudon, on Tuesday the tenth of December, to march eight hundred men to his lordship's seat of Castle Downie, to take some further security for his lordship's behaving in a dutiful and loyal manner. Next day, the eleventh, he was prevailed upon to come into Inverness, and there to live under the eye of the earl till his people should deliver up their arms, which he engaged they would do in the course of three days. His son, and some of the mad young men of his name, he acknowledged, had already gone to Perth, but as there was no evidence before the earl that Lovat was accessary to the treason of his son, of which he was perpetually complaining, and as committing to prison, upon suspicion, a man so aged and seemingly so infirm, would have had an appearance of cruelty, it was resolved to deal gently with him, and await the delivery of the arms. When the time arrived, however, no arms were delivered. Apologies were offered, and abundance of promises made, from day to day, for the better half of a week, when, finding himself duped, lord Loudon placed sentinels upon the house where Lovat was lodged, intending next day to commit him to the castle. Lovat, however, made his escape during the night by a back passage which had not been secured, no one dreaming that in his state of health an escape would have been attempted.*
While the friends of Charles were thus ineffectually exerting themselves, being baffled by the energies of one distinguished individual in the north, he was himself with his council equally busy, and upon the whole equally unsuccessful in Edinburgh. Marauding parties scoured the country in all directions in search of arms, and as there was no force to oppose them, they carried off all they had the good fortune to fall in with. They even wandered as far west as Douglas, where they found some small pieces of cannon, and thirty stand of arms, which, taking a circuit by Hamilton, and taking up what they found there, they carried safe into Edinburgh.
As a measure of finance they summoned, on the thirtieth of
• Culloden Papers, p. 461.
September, the magistrates of all the royal boroughs in Scotland to repair to Holyrood house, to have there the contribution to be paid by each borough respectively ascertained, which was to be done in proportion to the duties of excise arising out of the borough, for the repayment of which contribution the said duty was to be assigned. This they were ordered to do under the pain of rebellion. The collectors of the land tax for all the shires in Scotland, and the collectors and comptrollers of customs, were the same day ordered by letters to repair to Holyrood house, to pay in whatever balance was in their hands, or upon their books, for the use of his royal highness the prince, as he was styled, all under the pain of high treason, and military execution to be done against their persons and effects. With these demands great numbers found themselves obliged to comply, having no means of protection. All the goods in the customhouse at Leith were sold out at the same time for the use of the pretender.
Having thus the power of all the towns in Scotland, it was, strongly urged upon Charles to think of nothing farther for the present than enjoying the possession he had so easily obtained, and by every possible mean securing himself in the government of his ancient kingdom, and preparing for defence against the armies from England that would most certainly be sent against him. As the first and most necessary step in his progress, it was advised that he should at once declare the Union dissolved, as having been carried into effect by a cabal of Scotish peers, bought over to the English interest by the force of gold, contrary to the declared wishes of the whole nation, by all ranks of which the treaty was still held in abhorrence. Such a step, it was alleged, would be highly gratifying to all Scotishmen, and the mere consideration of being freed from the English yoke would produce an universal feeling in his favour. In this case too it was urged, that the courts of France and Spain would find their interest in maintaining him on the throne, and would exert themselves to the utmost to prevent the kingdom from again falling under the power of England.
TheUnion, other of his counsellors insisted, being an act passed during the usurpation, and highly injurious to the house of Stuart, was necessarily void, and it became the imperious duty of
Charles to issue writs for the immediate meeting of the Scotish parliament. This, while it would have been highly gratifying to the people, would have enabled him to impose taxes for the support of his dignity at least with the appearance of law and justice, and would have saved him the disagreeable necessity of supplying himself by military contributions imposed by his own sole authority, which at once alarmed the fears, and awakened the jealousies of all reflecting minds, by bringing before them the worst part of the characters of his predecessors, whose mistakes, it might have been hoped, he would endeavour to avoid, and from whose misfortunes he ought to have reaped abundantly the fruits of practical wisdom. Charles, however, was as great a stickler for prerogative as any of his fathers had been, and though from the cradle nursed by adversity, seems to have imbibed little of that prudence which she has been supposed peculiarly skilful in teaching. He boasted of his lineage and his ancient kingdom of Scotland, but he regarded that kingdom no farther than as a step to the throne of England, and he was fearful of doing any thing that might prejudice him in the eyes of that people, in consequence of which the soundest advice that he ever appears to have received was not attended to. Day after day was consumed in bustling but useless activity, till after long and arduous deliberation, he prevailed upon the chiefs to agree upon marching into the richer kingdom, which from the first had been the principal object of his ambition.
While these deliberations which were long, desultory, and violent--for the counsellors often differed in opinion with one another, and even with Charles--were going on, and while the clans were waiting upon re-enforcements from the north, the city of Edinburgh was amused with various proclamations, viz. one for encouraging such as were disabled by age and infirmity from serving Charles personally, to assist him with money, horses, and arms, which they were directed to send to his secretary, John Murray, wherever he might be—a second forbidding the peers and commoners, who were summoned to parliament on the seventeenth of the month, to meet in obedience to that summons, or if they did meet, forbidding any regard to be had to their resolutions. Two long and laboured manifestoes were