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A Scottish Free-Lance: Sir Andrew Melville
By J G Alger from the Scottish Review (1895)


This account was extracted from the Scottish Review of 1895 and can be downloaded as a pdf file here.

Below is a rough ocr'ing of the text.

SCION of a leading Scottish family was sent in 1637 to Prussia to learn German. He gave his tutor the slip to go a-soldiering in Poland; but, disappointed in this, he returned to Scotland, where he found his parents dead and his patrimony confiscated by creditors. Turning freebooter, he was captured and imprisoned by peasants. He next went to France, where he entered the army and underwent many dangers and privations. He then joined Charles II. in Scotland, fought at Worcester, and was sheltered by villagers till his wounds were healed, when he effected his escape to the Continent. Agaiu in France, he commanded the Scottish body-guard of Cardinal de Retz. Thrown into prison, he was well nigh starved into abjuring Protestantism. Once more in the field, he was captured by Croats. He next served German princes, one of whom sent him to London to compliment Charles on the Restoration. He fought for Austria against the Turks, combatted the French at Treves, and after the peace of Nimegueu settled down as governor of a Hanoverian town. Yet strange io say, his autobiography, published in French at Amsterdam in 1704, a second edition appearing in the following year, has never been reprinted, nor translated into English. One reason of this is that the author gives no pedigree, nor even his Christian name, information unnecessary at the time but of importance to posterity, so that he is indistinguishable among a host of homonyms; consequently the British Museum catalogue leaves a blank for the Christian name, and an exhaustive history of the family from which he sprang, while containing a letter addressed to him, was unable to trace his relationship, or even to identify him as the autobiographer.

When these missing links are supplied, when we further find that this soldier of fortune accompanied the future George I. on his first visit to England, and when we see when and where he ended his days, the Memoires de M. le Chevalier de Melvill possesses a high degree of interest as depicting the life of a Scottish free-lance in the seventeenth century.

It is needless, after the Leven and Melville Papers (1843) and Sir William Fraser's Melvilles of Melville and Leven (1890) to go further back iu the history of the family than to Sir John Melville of Raith, executed at Stirling in 1529.1 One, probably the youngest, of his nine sons was Captain David Melville of Newmills, who married Mary, daughter of James Balfour, of the Montquhonny family, by Margaret Balfour, heiress of Burghly. David was one of the garrison of Edinburgh Castle in 1570. Despatched by his nephew, Kirkaldy of the Grange, on an unsuccessful attempt to capture the Earl of Morton at Dalkeith, he was mortally wounded, died in the Castle, aud was probably buried iu St. Giles's churchyard, Kirkaldy delivering a funeral oration. He left a son, James, who married Isabel, daughter of John Dury by Marion Marjoribanks. James had a son John, who married Janet, daughter of William Kelly by Barbara Lauder. John had two sons. We do not even know the name of the elder, who as we shall see fought at Worcester and was transported to the Colonies. The younger, Andrew, our hero, was born in May 1621. This Newmills branch, which Douglas's Baronage does not take the trouble to trace, must have been small lairds, yet, as we have seen, they intermarried with good families. John's mother descended from the Lundys, and his grandmother was a Balfour, while his wife descended from the Lauders, and was related to the Douglasses. John seems to have hoped for Court favour through her connections. Andrew, indeed, had an impression that, 'as long as there were Kings in Scotland, my ancestors filled important posts, but when James VI. went to England, my family, not following the Court, began to decline.' I cannot, however, discover that his grandfather or greatgrandfather held any high office, and his father, he tells us himself, was in 1624 living as a laird in easy circumstances. The brother-in-law, Kelly, however, was Chamberlain—probably a Sub-Chamberlain—to Charles I., and was unmarried, Janet being apparently his only heir; yet his office, so far from being lucrative, involved such expense that John Melville had repeatedly to assist him. Kelly died in his prime, with great expectations not realised, so that Melville had to satisfy the creditors partly out of his own means. He was glad, therefore, to be relieved of the cost of bringing up his youngest son by sending him, at thirteen years of age, to a kinswoman, who, after keeping him a few mouths, despatched him to Konigsberg to master the languages of Northern Europe. The knowledge of Dutch, German, and Polish thus acquired, proved, as we shall see, of essential service to him. Study, however, did not suit a lad already smitten with the love of arms, and enlisted by an officer who was recruiting for the King of Poland, Andrew gave his tutors the slip. But on reaching Poland he found that peace had been concluded, and though Ladislas IV. would gladly have accepted his services he resolved on returning to Scotland. Bad news awaited him there. His parents were dead, and creditors had seized on the property. His elder brother was already a Captain in Lord Gray's regiment of dragoons, and Gray promised Andrew the first vacant cornetcy. He was waiting for this when Charles I. gave himself up to the Scotch. ' Thereupon,' he says :—

'We had orders to be in readiness to inarch against the English as soon as hostilities could be commenced. I was preparing with alacrity when an airur happened which upset all my plans, and which 1 am anxious to relate here in order that young men by reading it may learn what precautions they should take in time of war, especially when among people whom they have reason to distrust. There were in our regiment several unattached officers who, like me, were waiting for commissions. Their number being considerable, they were formed into a company, of which I was cornet; but a-s no pay was assigned us we helped ourselves wherever we were the strongest. The license we thus took raised all the peasants against ns. Seeing that we suspected nothing, they secretly assembled, surprised ns one night when asleep, and having seized our arms and horses, took us as prisoners to a castle three days journey from the spot where we were captured. We were compelled to go on foot, but what especially annoyed was seeing these peasants escorting us with our own arms and horses. What Ave felt in such circumstances may easily be imagined. We remained two months in that castle, exposed to all sorts of ill-usage, and not being accustomed to this, I know not what would have become of me if the hostess's chambermaid had not pitied my fate. There was fortunately something in my appearance which pleased her and induced her to pick me out from my comrades. She visited me every night as soon as her mistress was in bed, and always brought me food, of which 1 stood in great need. The girl was tall, a good figure, and very lively, and could sing well. This was more than enough to please a man of my age [22], and irrespective of my obligations to her it was not difficult for me to show affection for her. This made her actually fancy that I might marry her. She proposed this to me, promising me my liberty. Ardently as I longed for this, the price put upon it by this girl seemed to me worse than slavery. I did not think it well, however, to let her know my feeling, for fear of making her my enemy, so without committing myself I answered in such a way as to keep in her good graces. We were on these terms when the governor was ordered to release his prisoners. I, like my comrades, prepared to leave, but the girl objected, saying that I must fulfil the promise to marry her. Honour did not allow me to agree to what the girl demanded, but my conduct seemed very ungrateful. I stood firm, however, and was released, a friend being surety for me.'

It would be curious to know where this oue-sided courtship took place, but Melville is as careless of names of places as of dates. Thus liberated, he rejoined the army, but to his disappointment the time passed not in fighting but in negotiating, and the King being at length given up to the English, Melville's regiment was disbanded. In 1647 he and his brother repaired to France. his brother, not liking the country or his prospects in it, went on to Venice. Andrew joined the infantry as a sergeant. He took part under Gassion, the pupil of Gustavus Adolphus, in the siege of Lens, where he was severely wounded. Gassion being killed in this siege, Melville next served under Rantzau at the siege of Dixmude.

' I cannot,' he says, ' describe what we had to suffer during this campaign. Hunger and other privations did us more harm than the enemy whom we had to face.' Melville frankly relates that an empty purse, for pay was very irregular, drove him to an act of dishonesty. While he was roaming with a comrade in the outskirts of Dixmude, an officer riding past dropped his taffetas cloak trimmed with the silver lace then in fashion. They could not resist appropriating it, and though the officer, quickly discovering his loss, rode back and questioned them, they persisted that they had not seen the cloak. He disbelieved them, but resigned himself to the loss. ' Youth and penury are the only excuse, if they could excuse this.' Melville next took part in the siege of Ypres, under the famous Cond6. Here a Scottish captain, Meffer (?), took an interest in him, promoted him to be ensign, and had he not himself been killed in the siege would probably have done more for him. Without pay, having to live by plunder, Melville and some comrades were captured on one of their marauding expeditions by Croats of the garrison of Armentieres. To save themselves the trouble of guarding their prisoners, the Croats resolved on shooting them. Melville, knowing the language, heard their deliberations and apprised his comrades of their fate. Such were the hardships they had suffered that most of them accepted death without regret. Stripped of all but their shirts they were ranged along the wall of the house to which they had been taken. Each Croat had his appointed victim, but the musket ot Melville's executioner missed fire. The Croat in a rage knocked him down with the butt-end, and was reloading when Melville, following the example of a comrade, leaped into a ditch or canal, and though fired at, managed to reach the other side. Here he had to force his way through a hawthorn hedge, which tore his shirt and lacerated his skin ; but beyond the hedge was a wheatfield, and the corn was high enough to screen him. He was not a little afraid, however, of falling into the hands of the peasants, who naturally killed stragglers in revenge for the depredations which they experienced. But he walked on to a village which proved to be deserted, entered a cottage, threw himself on some straw, had a refreshing sleep, found a sack which served as a garment, and resumed his march. He was soon captured by some German soldiers, but speaking their language well, was taken by them for a countryman engaged on the opposite side, and was conducted to headquarters, where Archduke Leopold ordered that he should be treated as a prisoner of war. As such he had to march to Lille, but ou reaching the suburbs was so exhausted that he sat clown by a wall and slept till evening. Admitted after some demur into the town, he was directed to a hospital on the ramparts, a building unutterably filthy and loathsome. The inmates, however, told him of an Irish monastery which showed great kindness to Irish soldiers. Next morning, accordingly, he repaired thither, enjoyed a substantial meal, and then went on to the Spanish camp. There he found an Irish regiment with a Scottish Colonel, Cascar, who knew of the position of the Melvilles in Scotland, clothed him, and admitted him to his table. Melville was pressed to join the Spanish army, but he was in hopes of being ransomed by the French. Disappointed in this, he helped to raise for the Duke of Lorraine a regiment which was to assist the Prince of Wales, the future Charles II., in rescuing his father.

Melville gives a vivid picture of the insubordination of these recruits—Scottish, Irish, German, and French. While on board a vessel off Embden his life was in constant peril, and nothing but his nerve saved him. He spent the summer of 1848 on the Isle of Borcom, drilling his company,, mostly English and Irish. The execution of Charles I. caused the abandonment of the expedition, and the Duke of Lorraine thereupon offered the regiment to Spain, to be shipped for San Sebastian, but the officers rebelled and landed at Ostend. The Duke, who was at Brussels, had already received payment from Spain, but he could not help himself, and kept the regiment in his service. Pay, however, was in arrear, and Melville was despatched to Brussels to extract money. But the Duke could not or would not pay up, and he at length handed over the regiment to Archduke Leopold, under whom the officers were willing to serve. By this time, desertions had reduced Melville's company to thirty men, other companies being still smaller. He took part in the unsuccessful siege of Guise, but in 1650, anxious to accompany Charles II. to Scotland, he repaired to Breda, where he was well received. The Archduke reluctantly released him from his engagement, writing to Charles in his favour, as also did the Duke of Lorraine. Tired of waiting at Ypres for an escort to Holland, especially as Charles was already in Scotland, Melville went alone and on foot to Bruges. The country was covered with soldiers and freebooters, but he went in a coarse dress, with his money in a belt fastened round his left arm, as though on account of a wound. He was searched, indeed, and his hat and shoes were taken from him, but he managed to reach Bruges. There he looked so destitute that lodgings were everywhere refused him, till an old woman, after scrutinizing him closely, agreed to take him in. He bespoke a good meal and bed, and, on her looking distrustful of his ability to pay, he took off his belt and showed her some gold coins. Next day he reached Rotterdam, where he joined a German Captain bound like himself for Scotland. The English fleet was scouring the North Sea, but a Scottish pilot engaged to make the passage, and enlisted a few sailors.

After eight days at sea they came in sight of the English fleet, but were unobserved or at any rate unmolested, and on the twelfth day landed at Montrose. Melville went to St. Johnstone [Perth], presented to Charles his two letters of recommendation, and was promised a commission. After waiting a fortnight he was sent to the Earl of Hamilton, who was raising troops in the north. He stayed -five or six weeks and then went back to Charles to report progress. On the way he had to cross a ferry, aud unable to make the ferryman hear, he fired a pistol. Thereupon the man came over, but told him he had killed his child. Melville could not believe that a pistol could carry so far, but on reaching the other side he saw the child dead in its mother's arms. He showed much concern, and pacified the parents with money. He found Charles at Stirling, and marched with him to Worcester. There lie was ordered to join the Earl of Derby, who was to raise a regiment in the Isle of Man, but Cromwell's army was closing in on Worcester, and he had to turn back to inform Charles of their advance.

The Battle of Worcester lasted from nine in the morning of the 3rd September, 1(551, till eight at night. The Royalists had at first a slight advantage, but lost it, Melville says, by their own fault, were thrown into disorder, and were forced to retreat towards the town in a fashion much resembling flight :—

' We had sufficient reasons for believing that Cromwell would be satisfied with this, and would not risk his already wearied troops in the night by pursuing us into a town which sympathised with us. But we had to deal with a man well aware of his advantage and knowing how to make the most of it. He pursued us so hotly that confusion set in among our men, who began openly to flee. He pursued them pell-mell into the town.2 I as yet knew nothing of it, for I had followed the King, who was among the first who entered the town. On leaving him. I perceived what turn things were taking, and instead of going to have a wound in the arm dressed. I bade my orderly fetch my clothes from my lodgings and join me in the street. While waiting on horseback for him I heard a horseman order the townspeople to put lights in their windows. I imagined that these men were all of our side, and I began to shout like them. This made them look at me, and seeing my white badge they exclaimed that I was a royalist and advanced in order to capture me. I escaped into another street, where I found a tr<Bp which I rushed into the midst of, shouting "There is the enemy ! " But in trying to avoid a lesser evil I fell into a greater. One of the officers of this troop, knowing that I was on the King's side, came towards us. I suspected nothing, otherwise I could easily have avoided him or else shot him with the pistol I had in my hand. With a stroke of his sword he pierced my saddle girths and made me fall from my horse. In a moment I was surrounded by several soldiers, who, each tugging at me in a different direction, would soon have stripped me, if a cornet, pitying me, had not come up and asked who I was. I told him I was an officer, and begged him not to allow me to be treated otherwise than as a prisoner of war. The good fellow, touched by my appeal, began to drive the soldiers off, lmt one of them, indignant at their prey being taken from them, exclaimed, "at any rate nobody shall benefit by it," and fired his pistol at my breast. 1 fell, weltering in my blood, which issued in streams from the wound, but I did not lose consciousness, for on the cornet, aghast at being the innocent cause of my misfortune, asking me whether I thought I could get over it, I replied that I believed I could if taken care of. Thereupon lie made his servant raise me, helped to place me on a horse, and in this way took me out of the town to the foot of a hill, already in the enemy's possession.3 When in sight of a guard posted there, the cornet asked them to come down, as ho had a prisoner to hand over to them. A sergeant then appeared. My generous protector hesitated at giving me up to him, but nobody else coming, he did so, and bidding him take good care of me, and promising to come and see me next day, he went away. The sergeant, assisted by a private, dragged me up the hill, and thought he had done enough by placing me on a gun carriage, where I passed the night without any attentions. Mappilj7 they had laid me on the wounded side, so that the blood flowed freely and did not coagulate. I was however parched with thirst, and nobody was charitable enough to relieve it, though I repeatedly begged for water and though there was a well quite near, from which I heard water at times being drawn, which increased my longing for it.'

Bate, in his Elenchus Metauin, speaks in a few lines of Latin of the scene in the town, of the victors striking, capturing, and vociferating, of the vanquished fleeing and supplicating, of the townspeople beseeching and lamenting, of the streets covered with the killed and wounded, of the latter imploring help or drawing their last breath ; but how much more vividly we realise this when we read what befel a single man. .Melville goes on to say :—

' As soon as it was daylight, the soldiers on guard came up to nie. Some questioned me, but I was too weak to answer. Others stripped me of all that remained to me from the previous day, so that I was left naked, but one of those who had stripped me, touched with pity, covered me with a bit of blanket which he found there. In rendering me this service he noticed that my lips moved. This made him put his ear to my mouth, and I begged him in God's name to let me speak to an officer. The soldier was kind enough to go to the officer in command of the post, and the officer was ....... enough to come. I stretched out my hand, and drawing him to me as well as my weakness would allow, I thanked him for coming to see me, told him that I was an officer, and that being apparently at the point of death I was glad to see a kind man, as he seemed to be, and that I had one request to make, which was that he would send to a certain house in the town for a portmanteau I had left there, that it contained money and clothes which were quite at his service, but also papers which would be useless to him and which I begged him to send to my relatives. The officer went away without answering, but presently returned with some soldiers, who, placing me on pikes, carried me to a neighbouring cottage. The officer's attentions did not end there. He fetched a bed, on which he laid me, and sent for a surgeon, but none could be found, and in short he treated me like a beloved brother. I had not long, however, the good fortune of his presence. An hour after rendering me these services he was ordered elsewhere, and all he could do was to recommend me strongly to a poor woman living in the house, after which he took leave of me with marks of sincere regret. After he had gone the village was pillaged, my hostess's cottage not escaping this misfortune. Even the bed on which I was lying was taken from her, I being pitilessly dragged off and rolled into a trench dug for the foundations of a house. My mishaps did not end there. A dead man was thrown into the same spot, and his legs lying over me T could not stir. How long I remained in this plight I cannot say, for I soon fainted, but I doubt not it would have been for ever but for what I am about to relate. My hostess and her two daughters had been stripped by the soldiers, and while looking for some rags to cover them they perceived me in the trend). They recognised me, and as I had been strongly recommended to them they drew me out, and seeing some signs of life carried me indoors, laid me on straw, and covered me as well as they could. 1 do not know what restoratives these good women used, but consciousness soon returned. After telling them what had happened to me, and the result of the battle, I asked one of them to go to the town and inquire whether General Douglas was not among the prisoners.4 "If you learn that he is there," I said, "try and speak with him and inform him of my fate." The woman performed her mission cleverly. She learned that General Douglas was a prisoner, and had lost an eye, and discovering a means of speaking to him unobserved, she gave him my message. Douglas was a near relation on my mother's side, and my true friend. He was touched by my misfortunes, and secretly sent the same night a surgeon who continued visiting me at night for four or five weeks. One night he came with a countenance indicating what he had to tell me. He told me he had come for the last time, but as my wound was not yet healed he had brought me the wherewithal to dress it myself till it was well, that he was forced to accompany his master, who was about to be sent he knew not whither. As for the other prisoners, among whom was my brother, they had been condemned to the sugar and tobacco plantations of the West Indies.'

Melville remained more than three months in the cottage, two of the women begging for him from door to door, apparently in Worcester, while the third watched by him. One day while they were away, one of Cromwell's soldiers, peeping into the cottage, insisted on entering, and swore at him and his nurse; but on Melville's confession of being a Royalist soldier, and of having been in Holland, the man said he also had been there. They exchanged a few words in Dutch, and were presently the best of friends :—

' He began by telling me that at heart he was as good a Royalist as T, but that soldiers took sides as best they could, without thinking of anything but the pay, and that in proof of his sincerity he should be glad to serve me. Thereupon he sent the woman to buy some beer, that we might drink together, and he offered to divide his purse, containing some halfpence, with me. After staying a couple of hours in the cottage he left, promising to tell nobody of me.'

Could anything be more natural or charming than this episode? Macaulay says of Buuyan's swearing in boyhood, 'But a single admonition cured him of this bad habit for life, and the cure must have been wrought early, for at eighteen he was in the army of the Parliament, and if he had carried the vice of profanenes into that service he would doubtless have received something more than an admonition from Sergeant Bind-their-kings-in-chains, or Captain Hew-Agag-in-pieces-before-the-Lord.' But here we find a Cromwellian soldier swearing, and the mixture of brutality and kindness among his comrades bears out what worthy Thomas Fuller said at the time :—

' Think not that the King's army is like Sodom, not ten righteous men in it—no, not if righteous Lot himself be put into the number—and the other army like Zion, consisting all of saints. No, there be drunkards on both sides, and swearers on both sides, and whoremongers on both sides, pious on both sides and profane on both sides. Like Jeremiah's figs, those that are good are very good, and those that are bad are very bad, in both parties.5

As soon as he was strong enough to walk Melville resolved on going to London, and by the advice of his kind hostesses he represented himself as a German tailor, probably assuming a German accent. The women wept, wished him God speed, and accompanied him a short distance. 'Providence sometimes,' remarks Melville, who is usually chary of reflections, 'puts noble and lofty principles in the minds of persons of the humblest rank.' One would have liked to hear that ou revisiting England, nine years afterwards, he found and rewarded his benefactresses, but he seems to have had a soldier's easy forgetfulness alike of benefits and injuries, and he does not even tell us whether he ever ascertained his brother s fate. He had to beg his way to London. While resting at the door of a tavern near the end of his journey, a lady in a fine carriage drove up. The footman questioned him, told his mistress what he had said, brought him sixpence from her, and arranged to meet him at a certain spot in London. In this way Melville secured cheap, but not very clean or respectable, lodgings. He went every day to the Thames to look for some Dutch ship which would give him a passage, and 10 talk with Dutch sailors. One day he there met, dressed like a sailor, au old Royalist comrade, by whose advice he called on a Melville kinsman, a Roundhead. The latter, on being satisfied of his identity, embraced him, sent out for good clothes, introduced him to his wife, and advanced him money for his passage. A third Royalist soldier was to join Melville and his friend, but whereas Melville pretended to speak nothing but Dutch, the third man was foolish enough to talk Scotch, whereupon he was arrested.

Landing at Rotterdam, Melville went on to Brussels, where Cascar, now Major-General of the Lorraine troops, Welcomed him and promised him the first vacant Captaincy. Cascar took him to France, but failed to perform his promise, and his wife looked askance on the needy adventurer. When near Paris, therefore, Melville asked for dismissal, and entered the city alone, with money for only two days subsistence. Happily, as he imagined, he was recognised on the morrow by an ex-Captain of the Lorraine troops, who took him to an inn where some acquaintances were regaling themselves. Deep potations led to a quarrel, swords were drawn, and Melville was trying to make peace when the watch came up and seized the whole party. Melville was thrown into a cell, in company with Hamilton, a Scotchman who had come with him to Paris. Every morning a priest came to the prison to say mass, and a nun brought bread, the only food distributed. After a week's detention the two Scotchmen were interrogated, and were told they could be discharged on paying the jailor's fees. But they had no money, and two Jesuits offered to pay their fees on condition of their becoming Catholics. Threats and promises alternated, but the prisoners stood firm. At last the Jesuits ordered the nun to stop the supply of bread, and all that the good woman could do was occasionally, when unobserved, to throw into the cell just enough bread to keep off starvation. So at least Melville thought at the time, but his subsequent belief was that the Jesuits and the nun were iu collusion, not intending to starve him to death but only to reduce him to a capitulation. Hamilton's constancy gave way, and Melville was taken to the cell to which he had been removed, to see the ample fare allowed him, but all was ineffectual, and Melville was at length released. He heard nothing more of Hamilton.

During Melville's incarceration the battle at St. Antoine's gate, on the 2nd July, 1652, had been fought, and on account of the ferment in Paris, Cardinal de Retz resolved on having a Scottish body-guard. Melville volunteered to join it, his sole duty being to escort the Cardinal in his drives. The Cardinal took a fancy to him, and on the head of the force resigning, promoted him to the post, his pay being thus doubled. But soon, on the young King's return to the city, Retz had to disband his guard. Schomber, the future hero of the Boyne, who under the Duke of York (the future James II.), commanded the Scottish men-at-arms, then sent for him and despatched him to his winter quarters iu Poitou. The country, however, had been devastated, the peasants were reduced to living on chestnuts, and but for game the soldiers would have well-nigh starved.

In 1656 Melville served under Turenne in the relief of Arras. He was next at Quesnoy, where, on a foraging expedition, he was captured by Croats, but his knowledge of Polish procured him an audience of the Colonel, who admitted him to his mess. Mistaken for an Irishman who had deserted, he narrowly escaped being shot, but he was exculpated and ransomed, and rejoined Schomberg. Seeing little prospect of promotion, however, he and a fellow Scot, Mollison, asked for their discharge and went to Konigsberg.

Here I may remark that though sometimes wounded, and though repeatedly disappointed in his hopes of advancement, Melville was never again subjected to privations. The interest of the narrative somewhat falls off. We hear more of battles and sieges, but less of picturesque and affecting incidents. 1 may therefore pass more rapidly over his military expeditions.

At Konigsberg, while Melville and Mollison were watching the men employed in erecting the citadel, they were introduced to Count Waldeck, who was serving under the Elector of Brandenburg, 'the Great Elector,' Frederick II.'s grandfather, in his alliance with Charles X. of Sweden. Melville's services were accepted by Waldeek, and under a Scottish Colonel—he met fellow-countrymen under every flag—he was employed in levying contributions. One town which closed its gates against him he entered at night through a sewer. Whde fighting against Casimir, King of Poland, before Warsaw, some Jews deluded him with stories of hidden treasure, and while he was away on one of these bootless quests the town which he should have been watching was entered by Cossacks in the Swedish service, who burnt the

Jewish synagogue, worshippers included, and captured some Polish ladies, whom they would have held to ransom had not the French Ambassador insisted on their release. Count Frederic Waldeck died, but recommended Melville to his brother, Josiah, who commissioned him to raise a cavalry regiment, and sent him to assist Charles X. iu Holstein, against the Danes. Cromwell, however, as mediator, effected a peace between them. On returning to Germany Melville heard of Charles II.'s accession, and Waldeck, who had rendered Charles services in his exile, sent him to London to compliment him. Charles had not forgotten Melville, asked what had befallen him at Worcester, and assured him he should ever remember both Waldeck's services and his own, but there, to Melville's disappointment, the embassy ended.

The Emperor Leopold had applied for assistance to all the Princes of the Empire, and even to France also, to drive the Turks out of Hungary, and the Elector of Cologne commissioned Count Josiah to raise a regiment of infantry. The Count wished for Melville as Lieutenant-Colonel, especially as he himself had no experience of infantry, but the Elector had promised the post to someone else. Melville consequently agreed to be Major, but with the pay of Lieutenant-Colonel. His supplanter was ere long killed, and he then succeeded him. After passing the winter in Styria, Melville helped to storm Turkisken. He became Quartermaster-General of the Rhenish division, but a quarrel with the General in command, ' Count Holac,'—a spelling under which it is difficult to recognise Hohenlohe—soon led to his resignation, and but for Waldeck's entreaties he would have quitted the army, in lieu of resuming his former post. Fortunately he soon recovered Hohenlohe's good graces. He was assigned the recapture with 500 men of a position near Kanissa, and here is what passed:—

' I waited till night, and then leaving the town I detached a captain with fifty troopers with instructions to approach the enemy, but to retire as soon as he gave the alarm towards a demilune on my left. My design was to cut off the pursuers between their camp and this demilune, where I lay in ambush. On taking up my position I resolved, according to the advice of the Governor of the town, to put on my armour, but on donning my helmet I found it so cumbersome, especially as it prevented me from hearing, that I took it off and gave it to one of my orderlies, who immediately stuck it on his own head. The captain gave the alarm as directed, but instead of retiring in the direction ordered he came at full gallop towards me, in great disorder, the Turks hotly pursuing him. Although I saw my whole plan foiled by this blunder, I did not let the Turks perceive this, and they were so disconcerted that after killing several I drove the rest back to their camp, and then withdrew in good order towards the town. On approaching it I heard a cry from the ramparts to advance. I supposed it to be an order to turn back towards the enemy, and without reflecting on the rashness of the step I advanced towards a troop of Janissaries who were pursuing me at some distance, and whom I could easily have avoided. My men, who reluctantly followed me, shamefully fled at the first onset and deserted me. I was left in the lurch with my orderly, and the Turks, imagining him to be the officer on account of the helmet, cut off his head, and taking no notice of me, retired. I was fortunate enough to withdraw unperceived, and to find a retired spot, where I passed the rest of the night. At daybreak I presented myself at the town gates, where I was joyfully welcomed, for the soldiers who had deserted me had reported, apparently to excuse their flight, that I had been killed.'

Melville witnessed the raising of the siege of Kanissa,6 the siege of Zrinevar by the Turks, and their passage of the Raab at St. Gothard, where entire regiments of the Imperialists, panic struck, allowed themselves to be slaughtered without resistance. ' They contented themselves with loud cries to the Blessed Virgin for help, but the clash of arms,' says Melville with grim irony, ' apparently prevented her from hearing them.' He does not mention the camels, which the Turks, as we know from other sources, had brought with them, nor does he speak of the famous Commander-in-Chief, Montecuculi.f

In 1664 peace was concluded, and Melville, presented with a medal by the Emperor, had to conduct his regiment through Vienna and Bohemia back to Bonn. In Bohemia he had to be on his guard against attacks by the peasants, for though he allowed no pillage, he paid them nothing for his requisitions, but gave them drafts on the Elector of Cologne. The latter on his arrival at Bonn presented him with his portrait, set in diamonds, and offered him the governorship of that town on condition of turning Catholic. Declining this, Melville requested Waldeck to recommend him to George William, Duke of Hanover, who, resigning Hanover to his brother John Frederick, took possession of Celle, which had fallen to him by the death of his elder brother, Christian Louis. George William made him Governor of Celle, and refused him permission to accompany his old patrons, Waldeck and Mollison, to Venice, to fight once more against the Turks. Melville was at first chagrined at this, but when Waldeck died on the way was glad that he had been detained. A period of inactivity gave him an opportunity in 1667 of revisiting England :—

' I found King Charles still very courteous and kind, but unable, as he himself naively told me, to do anything for those who had served and succoured him in adversity. It is true that those then most in favour at Court were those who had most contributed to his misfortunes. I admit that it was polite for him to do this, but the consideration shown them was no sufficient reason for paying mere empty compliments to men who had lost their fortunes and repeatedly risked their lives in his service; but it must be added that the good prince had no thought except for his mistresses.'

Despairing of employment in England, Melville returned to Celle, and in 1674 Georgv William despatched him to help the Dutch against the French. The former were tiding to recapture Treves, and Marshal Crequy endeavoured to relieve it. At Conzbruck the German cavalry fled in confusion at the first onset of the French, and Melville says :—

' Deserted by my regiment I received 18 wounds, and as I had fallen, the French troops passed over me in their pursuit of the fugitives. When all had passed 1 tried to rise, but know not whether I should have succeeded had it not been for an officer of my regiment who, not having fled like the rest, had been wounded in the arm. He helped me as well as he could, and happily, when we did not know what direction to take, we saw an orderly on horseback, whom the officer recognised as in the service of a captain of my regiment. We immediately hailed him, and he dismounted, put me on his horse, with the officer's assistance, and they took me to a post across the river. I fell from the horse on arriving, loss of blood having weakened me, but my wounds were bound up with a piece of my shirt, a bottle of wine was held to my mouth, which I almost emptied at a draught, and in a moment I felt so strong that it seemed as if I had undergone nothing. ... I was told at first that we had lost the day, but presently I was assured that we had won it.'

The fact was that the French, too eager in pursuit, had been outflanked, their camp had been captured, and the fugitives rallying, the French had been caught between two fires. Treves surrendered, and Melville continues :—

' Next day my wounds were dressed. They were more serious than I supposed, and I was told that my right hand was lamed for life, but in a month I was well enough to go to the Duke's headquarters and thence to Cologne to complete my cure.'

'Melville did well,' wrote the Duke to his wife, 'but his regiment was defeated.' At Celle in the winter he entirely recovered, and he served in the next campaign against the Swedes. His memoirs virtually end here, but in 1680 he was among the numerous auditors at a conference between Antony Olrich, Duke of Brunswick Wolfenbuttel, and Joachim, general superintendent, a sort of bishop, on an eucharistic dispute which was then disturbing German Protestants. Duke Antony, who became a Catholic in 1710, seems to have had a more serious taste for theological controversy than the Eiectress Sophia, who thought it good sport to pit an heretical visitor against one of her chaplains, and who was herself so latitudinarian that she is said to have given her daughters no religious teaching till she knew the creed of their expectant husbands. In the winter of 1680 Melville accompanied to England her son, afterwards George I., then twenty years of age, destined to succeed not only his father as Duke of Calenberg, but his uncle as Duke of Celle, and his distant cousin Anne as King of England. His mother, the Electress Sophia, told Lord Dartmouth that she was once ' likely ' to have married her cousin Charles II., but she speaks less positively in her Memoirs, yet during the Civil Wars she was certainly looked upon as the most eligible match for Charles.'7 She now apparently wished her son to marry the Princess Auue, aud Anne was believed to be willing to accept him, but he was suddenly recalled by his father, who had arranged a marriage for him with his cousin Sophia Dorothea. She was the daughter of Eleanor d'Olbreuse, originally the mistress, and eventually the wife, of George William, Duke of Brunswick, his brother Ernest Augustus, Duke and afterwards Elector of Hanover, releasing him from his engagement not to marry, on condition that Sophia Dorothea, the only surviving child, should have no claim to the succession. Poor Sophia Dorothea's alleged intrigue with Ivonigsmark and her thirty-two years of captivity are well known. Curiously enough, Prince George of Denmark had been one of her suitors. Sophia of Hanover was at first strongly opposed to the marriage, despising Sophia Dorothea for her low origin, and she wrote to her niece the Duchess of Orleans, ' It would have been an honour for her had I married her to my head valet;' but in September 1082 she withdrew her opposition. But to return to George and Melville in England. They went to Oxford in February 1681, when the prince was made a D.C.L., and Melville, oddly enough, an M.D. Melville was also knighted by Charles II., though Metcalfe's Book of Knights ignores him, just as the Oxford register (but not Anthony Wood) ignores his medical degree.

In 1683 Melville obtained from Charles a long Latin diploma, which, without being in the form of a pedigree, gave his paternal and maternal descent for several generations, and recommended him to any foreign potentate to whom he might offer his services.8 He was apparently not then resigned to ending his days in the comparatively obscure post of Governor of Gifhorn, to which he had been appointed in 1677, or he may have found it necessary to silence contumelious remarks on his lineage. About this time he probably made the acquaintance of Sir John Cochrane of Ochiltree, second son of the first Earl of Dundonald. Implicated in the Ryehouse Plot, Cochrane fled to Holland, and he apparently visited Celle. In 1685 he took part in Argyle's rising, and from Amsterdam on the 23rd April he wrote to Melville, announcing the departure of the expedition, to be followed by Monmouth's landing in England. In this letter he speaks of James II. as an ' apostate Papist who had murdered his brother.' Officers were needed, and he desired Melville to acquaint fellow-countrymen in foreign service that they might be well provided for at home :—

' I dare not invite you [he added], although I am persuaded of your good affection to our cause, the weakness of your body disabling you for the field; but if you incline to come you shall carve out your own hand.

Do me the favour to put my humble service to General Shavott,* and when you see your Prince give my duty to him. . . .

* Chan vet (not Shavott) was a Huguenot refugee in Brunswick, who had been promoted over Melville's head, but whose capacity Melville frankly acknowledges. After campaigns in Portugal and the Palatinate he served the Duke of Brunswick from 1G70 to 1693, when he became Field-Marshal in S.ixony. He died at a great age in 1696.

Give my service and my son's to your good lady and children, and to Colonel Lamott, his lady and her sister. I pray God bless you for the kindness shown to me.'

How this document, endorsed ' Sir John Cochrane's letter to Sir Andrew Melville, 1685,' came among the Leven papers, it is not easy to understand. Sir William Fraser has printed it without having been able, as he kindly answered my inquiry, to identify the recipient with the writer of the memoirs, or to trace his tolerably remote connection with the elder branch of the Melville family. One would scarcely have expected to find Melville thus sympathising with two rebellions, Argyle's and Monmouth's, against the Stuart dynasty, from which he had received a knighthood. The reference to his wife and children requires explanations. Baron Melville van Carnbee, the descendant of a branch of the family settled for some centuries in Holland, has been good enough to inform me, but without specifying authorities, that Melville was twice married, first to Nymphe de la Chevalerie (this looks like a fancy name, and suggests a camp follower), and secondly in 1666 to Elizabeth Christina von Medefourt-Beneken. By his second wife he had a son, George Ernest, born at Celle in 16(58, aud who in 1717 married Lucy von Staffhorsten. George Eruest had three sons and a daughter—one of the sons was probably the ' Ger. Melville,' who was an elder of the French church at Celle iu 1723—but all died before their father, who expired at Celle in 1742. The daughter, Fraulein von Melville, was one of the two maids of honour to the Duchess Eleanor, her colleague being a Fraulein von Stafforsten, probably her cousin, and the Duchess in 1722 bequeathed each of them 4000 thalers. Sir Andrew had also a daughter, Charlotte Sophia Anna, who was born iu 1670, and in 1690 married Alexander von Schulenberg-Blumberg, ultimately a lieutenant-general iu the English army, and Governor of Stade, where he died iu 1733. He was probably related to George I.'s mistress, the Duchess of Kendal. His wife predeceased him in 1724. The name of Melville thus became extinct in Germany in 1742. The memoirs, like the diploma, are entirely silent on Melville's marriages.

Pensioned off, as one may say, by his appointment as Governor of the small town of Gifhorn, he wrote his autobiography at the request of the Electress Sophia. The dedication to her, ostensibly written by the Amsterdam publisher, but probably by oue of her courtiers, speaks of the book ' as containing instances of valour and courage worthy of a man who has had the honour of serving under princes of your august house.' It also speaks of his pure aud disinterested virtue, nearly always persecuted by blind Fortune, and of his ' ardent zeal for the true religion, to which he has been so much attached that neither promises nor threats have ever been able to shake his faith.' It is a pity that Melville wrote in French, for his French is very colourless, wholly wanting in indi v iduality ; but Sophia herself wrote her memoirs in that language, and our Queen Mary wrote to her likewise in French until told that Sophia would prefer English. ' I might have believed,' said Marvin excusing herself, 'that you had not forgotten English.'

Melville complains more than once of Avant of due appreciation, and he evidently deemed himself qualified for more important posts than were ever assigned him. It is impossible to say whether or not ' blind Fortune' denied him an opportunity of fully displaying his military abilities. He ought, with his varied experiences, to have been a shrewd judge of character, but his book contains few reflections. It is mostly a narrative without comment, but he may have written thus to please his patroness. The tranquility of which he speaks at the close of his work remained unbroken till his death in 1706. He was buried at Gifhoru, and as he had been for nearly thirty years its drost or governor, and oherhauptmann of the district, a monument was doubtless erected over his remains; but the church was burnt down in 1744.

J. G. Alger.

1 I may, however, mention that there are four villages in Normandy called Melville, besides a Melville in Haute Marne.

2 In his letter to Speaker Lenthall Cromwell speaks of ' our men entering (the town) at the enemy's heels, and fighting with them in the streets with very great courage.' Other contemporary accounts speak of thousands of prisoners being penned up in the cathedral, and of 'plucking lords, knights, and gentlemen from their lurking holes.' Melville's brother was perhaps one of the^.

3 Probably Redhill, just outside the gates, or perhaps Bunny Hill, mentioned by Bate.

4 Several Douglases seem to have been captured at Worcester. There was a Sir John Douglas, and also a James Douglas, Lord Mordington, who told his captors he had left a box of 115 ' old double pieces ' [doubloons ?] with one Demetrius in Worcester, whereupon messengers were sent for it. Cul. Mate I'apers, 1051. This shows that Melville was not alone in leaving his valuables in the town, its capture not being calculated upon.

5 Collected Sermons of Thomas Fuller, edited by J. E. Bailey, 1891.

6 The Turks had held that town since 1600. The Imperialists hoped to reduce it by famine, and on 3 prisoners refusing even under torture to reveal its straits, they were killed, and offal only was found in their stomachs. The officers alone had flour, and horseflesh was the only meat. On the approach of large Turkish reinforcements, the siege was raised, June 1, 1664.

t Alike for the horrors and the romance of the campaign we must turn to Coligny-Saligny, a collateral descendant of the great Coligny. There we read of the river Raab at St. Gothard becoming in a moment a floating cemetery, no water visible, but only a mass of men, arms, and horses. The Imperialists, too weak to pursue the enemy, were busy in stripping the bodies in the river of their jewels and trappings. There too we read

7 Charles paid her attentions at Breda in 1G50, and the Royalist refugees in Holland desired the match, as also did her mother, but Sophia suspected the penniless exile of having simply an eye to Lord Craven's large fortune, for she was Craven's favourite, and she consequently avoided Charles. Craven in 1688 was in command of the guard at Whitehall and was anxious to resist William of Orange's soldiers, who came up without warning to displace them ; but James II. shrank from using force and went to bed that night under a Dutch guard which, he said, could treat him no worse than his own subjects had done.

8 This is given in full in the llistorischc. Uemiihle, 179U, and is reprinted in the Neues Vaterlandisches Archiv, 1823.


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