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The Life and Diary of Lieut. Col. J. Blackader
Of the Cameronian Regiment, and Deputy Governor of Stirling Castle; who served with Distinguished Honour in the Wars under King Willian, Duke of Marlborough and afterwards in the Rebellion of 1715 in Scotland by Andrew Crichton (1824)


 

PREFACE

The principal 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.

Edinburgh
September 10, 1824.

CONTENTS

Chapter I.
Genealogical Remarks.—Family of Blackader...Notices of the Colonel’s early life...He studies at Edinburgh...Enters the Army...Anecdotes of Dr. William Blackader

Chapter II.
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 patriotic spirit

Chapter III.
The Revolution.—General Remarks... Re volution in England... In Scotland...Cameronians guard the Convention of Estates... Conduct of Viscount Dundee.

Chapter IV.
Cameronian Regiment.—Formation of the Regiment...Preliminary conditions of their service...Quartered at Perth...Rebellion in the Highlands...Siege of Edinburgh Castle

Chapter V.
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

Chapter VI.
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

Chapter VII.
The Diary.—Peace Establishment...Object of the Diary...Critical Remarks...On the character and views of the Writer... Extracts

Chapter VIII.
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.

Chapter IX.
Campajgn Second, 1703.—Opening of the Campaign...Captain Blackader kills a brother Officer...Declines a Challenge...Strictures on Duelling... Extracts... Successes of the Allies.

Chapter X.
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.

Chapter XI.
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.

Chapter XII.
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

Chapter XIII.
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.

Chapter XIV.
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 Rotterdam.

Chapter XV.
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.

Chapter XVI.
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.

Chapter XVII.
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 Utrecht.

Chapter XVIII.
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 George I.

Chapter XIX.
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 Rebellion.

Chapter XX.
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.

Chapter XXI.
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.


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