materials from which the following Life is compiled, are the Diary
and Letters written by the Colonel himself during the Campaigns in
which he was engaged. These manuscripts, it would appear, were
committed to the hands of his widow, who was married to Sir James
Campbell of Ardkinglas, Bart. After her death, they were thrown
aside, as papers of no value, and lay neglected for many years. When
the descendants of Sir James quitted the family residence near
Stirling, a quantity of papers, supposed to he useless, were sold to
a tobacconist in that town ; and among these, his curiosity
discovered, and rescued from destruction, the Diary and Letters
referred to. The manuscripts thus, as it were, accidentally
preserved, happily came into the possession of those who perceived
their worth, and were anxious to make their usefulness more
extensively known. Part of them were shewn to the Rev. John Newton,
then (1799) Rector of St. Mary’s, Lombard-street, London, who
expressed his opinion that their publication might do good, and
agreed to write a recommendatory preface With this view they were
put into the hands of Mr. John Campbell, then resident in Edinburgh,
now Minister of Kingsland Chapel, near London, and well known by his
Missionary Travels in South Africa. Mr. Campbell transcribed many of
the Letters and made several Extracts—a task of no small difficulty,
from the smallness and faintness of the character in which they are
written; but his various engagements hindered him from preparing
them for the Press. He committed them to the care of Dr. Charles
Stuart, of Dunearn, who, ever ready and zealous to promote the
interests of religion, willingly undertook to superintend their
publication. The volume made its appearance about twenty years ago,
and was printed for the benefit of the Magdalene Asylum, Edinburgh,
as originally intended by Mr. Campbell. It comprehended, however,
only twelve years of the Diary, being, as appears, all that had come
into the Editor’s possession at the time of publishing.
By his diligent inquiries among the Colonel’s surviving friends and
relatives, Dr. Stuart collected various particulars of his family
and parentage, which he prefixed to the Extracts ; illustrating the
whole with short historical notes and explanations. He likewise
recovered twelve additional years of the Diary, which made the
series complete from 1701 to 1725. For these he acknowledged himself
indebted to the Colonel’s grand-nephew and representative, the late
John Blackader, Esq. Accomptant General of Excise.
The whole of the original Manuscripts, comprising many unpublished
Letters, and the remainder of the Diary from 1700 to 1728 inclusive,
are in the hands of the present Compiler. The former Extracts have
been revised and enlarged, various Letters and Select Passages
inserted, so as to render the Life as complete and interesting as
the nature of the materials will admit. A chasm of fifteen years in
the Colonel’s history is here supplied; historical illustrations
have been more copiously introduced, so as to render the subject
intelligible without the labour of consulting the political or
military annals of the times. The peculiar’ formation of the
Cameronian Regiment—the character of the religious Sect from which
it was originally composed—and the distinguished share they took in
the memorable Revolution, are dwelt upon at considerable length; not
altogether from their connection with the Colonel’s personal
history, for he then acted in a very subordinate capacity; but
because they throw light on the principles and conduct of the party
with whom he was associated in arms—a party which has been much
traduced and misunderstood.
Of the execution of the work, the public must judge; of its fidelity
to truth and fact the Author'can speak with confidence. The dates
and form of the Diary have been preserved; which may give it a
desultory and disconnected appearance; but the spirit and expression
of the original must have been impaired had it been thrown into the
form of a continued narrative.
Of the utility and entertainment to be derived from “Biography in
general, not a word need be said—more especially from the Lives of
those military men who have acted upon Christian principles, and
while fighting under the banners of an earthly sovereign, have not
forgotten that they were soldiers of the Cross.
The favourable reception of Dr. Stuart’s Extracts, encouraged the
present Publisher to undertake the work on a more full and
comprehensive plan. He had, besides, other inducements; as various
attempts to republish Colonel Blackader’s Life and Diary have, from
time to time, been made, by those who had not access to the original
sources of information, and were therefore in danger of obtruding
upon the world defective and inaccurate editions. In the present
work, these faults have been avoided, so far as care and research
could accomplish it.
The engraving of the Colonel is taken from the original Family
Painting; which appears from the style and superior manner of
execution, to be the workmanship of some foreign artist.
Subjoined is a Poem, by Colonel Blackader, intituled, “A Vision of
the Last Judgment,” though it is more properly a vision of the
latter days, deerib-ing the degeneracy of man, the dissolution of
the material universe, &c. It seems only the commencement of a
larger poem; but the piece, so far as it goes, gives strong
indications of an original mind, and of a poetical imagination.
September 10, 1824.
Genealogical Remarks.—Family of Blackader...Notices of the Colonel’s
early life...He studies at Edinburgh...Enters the Army...Anecdotes
of Dr. William Blackader
The Cameronians.—Their Name and Origin...Causes of their
secession...Their Tenets, political and religious...Their
sufferings, an apology for their conduct...Their independent and
The Revolution.—General Remarks... Re volution in England... In
Scotland...Cameronians guard the Convention of Estates... Conduct of
Cameronian Regiment.—Formation of the Regiment...Preliminary
conditions of their service...Quartered at Perth...Rebellion in the
Highlands...Siege of Edinburgh Castle
Rattle of Dunkeld.—Colonel Canon succeeds Dundee...Cameronian
Regiment petition for redress...They are posted at Dun-Keld...
Attacked by the whole Highland Army...Narrative of the
Action.,.Letter of Lieutenant Blackader
War in Flanders. Cameronian Regiment embark for Flanders ...They are
disowned by the United Societies...Causes of the War...Preparations
on both sides...Siege of Namur...Battle of Steinkirk...Battle of
Nerwinden or Landen...Retaking of Namur... Peace of Ryswick
The Diary.—Peace Establishment...Object of the Diary...Critical
Remarks...On the character and views of the Writer... Extracts
War of the Succession.—Causes of the War...Disputed Succession of
Spain...Pretender Proclaimed in France...Grand Alliance...
Cameronian Regiment embarks for Holland...Captain Blackader rejoins
the Army...Success of the Allies.
Campajgn Second, 1703.—Opening of the Campaign...Captain Blackader
kills a brother Officer...Declines a Challenge...Strictures on
Duelling... Extracts... Successes of the Allies.
Campaign Third, 1704.—The War carried into Germany...Extracts...
Battle of Schellenberg,.. Battle of Blenheim or Hoch-stet...Captain
Blackader wounded...Returns to Scotland...Success of the Campaign.
Campaign Fourth, 1705.—Preparations and Sketch of the
Campaign-Captain Blackader embarks for Holland...Rejoins the
Regiment...Letters... Army march to the Moselle...Return
disappointed...French lines forced...Misconduct of the Allies...
Captain Blackader’s Remarks...Letters...He returns to
Rotterdam...Obtains a Major’s Commission.
Campaign'Fifth, 1706.—Major Blackader leaves Rotterdam and joins the
Army... Plan of operations... Battle of Ramillies... Consequences of
the Victory...Siege of Menin...Siege of Dender-mond,..Siege of Aeth...Troops
retire to Winter Quarters
Campaign Sixth, 1707-—--Major Blackader’s attention to the
Regiment...Receives the thanks of the General...Overtures for peace
unsuccessful...The Enemy declines an engagement... Marching and
manoeuvring of both Armies...Close of the Campaign.
Campaign Seventh, 1708....Invasion of Scotland...Failure of the
Expedition...The ' Campaign...Battle of Oudenard...Siege of
Lisle...Major Blackader wounded...Action at Wynendale... Surrender
of Lisle...Passage of the Scheldt... Major Blackader returns to
Campaign Eighth, 1709.—-Events of the Campaign...Major Blackader
joins his Regiment...Siege of Tournay...Battle of Malplaquet...Letters...Surrender
of Mons...Major Blackader made Lieutenant Colonel.
Campaign Ninth, 1710....Colonel Blackader in garrison...Over-turesfor
Peace *.Remarks on their failure...Campaign...French Lines
carried...Siege of Douay...Letters...Reduction of Douay Defeat of a
British Convoy...Surrender of St. Venant and Aire.
Campaign Tenth, 1711.—Continuation of Hostilities...Colonel
Blackader proposes to esign... ampaign... Passing of the French
Lines...Siege of Bouchain...Letters...Colonel Black-adei* sells his
Commission, and leaves the Army...Arrives in London...Peace of
Domestic Sketches, 1712—1714.—Colonel Blackader leaves
London...Resides in Edinburgh...Is made a Member of the Society for
Propagating Christianity... And a Member of the General
Assembly...Settles at Stirling...Death of Queen Anne ...Accession of
Rebellion in Scotland, 1715—1716.—Preliminary Remarks...
Extracts...General Assembly...Rumour of Invasion...Death of Louis
XIV....Preparations to repel the Invasion...Colonel Blackader
commands the Glasgow Regiment...Rebels seize Leith Fort...Battle of
Sheriffmuir...Flight of the Pretender, and suppression of the
Miscellaneous Extracts.—1716—1721.—Colonel Blackader’s private
pursuits...His Speeches in the General Assembly...Is appointed
Deputy Governor of Stirling Castle...His observations on Legal and
Evangelical Preaching...Speech at the Synod of Ayr...Ormond’s
Invasion...Oath of Abjuration enforced... Visiting, Amusements, &c.
Conclusion, 1722—1729.—Remarks on the last years of the Colonel’s
Life...Death of particular friends, his Brother, Lord Rothes,
&c....His opinions on Preachers and Professors of Religion...His
endeavours to get crimes punished and suppressed... Death of his
Father-in-law...Close of the Diary...His Death and Character.
Appendix. A Vision of the last Judgment, a Poem.