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History of the Burgh of Dumfries
Chapter XL


THE REBELLION OF 1715-JACOBITE GATHERING AT LOCHMABEN -LOYAL MOVEMENTS AND MEETINGS IN 1'11E DISTRICT-PREPARATIONS MADE FOR DEFENDING DUMFRIES -VISCOUNT KENMURE, AND WILLIAM, EARL OF NITHSDALE, ESPOUSE THE PRETENDER'S CAUSE-ESTIMATE OF THE EARL'S CHARACTER FROM HIS PORTRAIT AT TERREGLES-THE BURGH MENACED BY THE INSURGENTS-LOYAL REINFORCEMENTS ARRIVE FROM NEIGHBOURING TOWNS-THE PRETENDER PROCLAIMED BY THE INSURGENTS AT LOCHMABEN --A LUDICROUS INCIDENT HASTENS THEIR DEPARTURE FROM THAT BURGH.

WE have now reached that eventful period of British history when the first attempt was made by the exiled royal family to recover the throne from which James VII. was driven, under the circumstances described in a previous chapter. The Earl of Mar, resenting his dismissal from office by George I., readily undertook the leadership of a movement designed to " bring the auld Stuarts back again;" and, having retired to his estates, he convened a meeting of such Highland chiefs and Lowland lords as were supposed to be favourable to the undertaking.

To this gathering, held on the 26th of August, 1715, under the pretext of a great hunting match, the chivalrous house of Maxwell sent its chief; there repaired to it also "the bonniest lord that ever Galloway saw;" and, in presence of the assembled thanes, the standard of the Pretender-the flag of insurrection -was planted "on the braes of Mar." Some time before this daring step was taken, several provincial meetings of Jacobites had been held, for the purpose of manifesting their views, and ascertaining the state of public feeling regarding them. One of these is thus described by Rae, in his "History of the Rebellion:" ["The History of the late Rebellion ; Rais'd against His Majesty King George by the Friends of the Popish Pretender. Drumfries : Printed by Robert Rae, and sold by him, and by Mr. John Martin, in the Parliament Gloss, Edinburgh, &c. MDCCXVIII." The author, the Rev. Peter Rae, was minister of Kirkconnell, in Upper Nithsdale. He published several treatises in divinity, and was deemed a good scholar and philosopher, as well as an able divine. His brother, who printed the volume, was at that time the only typographer in the south of Scotland.]  -" Upon Saturday, the 29th of May, 1714 [the anniversary of the Restoration], there was a great confluence of gentlemen and country people at Lochmaben, on the occasion of a horse-race there. Two plates, which were the prizes, had peculiar devices: the one had a woman with balances in her hand, the emblem of justice, and over the head was Justitia, and at a little distance Suum cuique. The other had several men, with their heads downwards, in a tumbling posture; and one eminent person, erected above the rest, with that Scripture, Ezek. xxi. 27, ` I will overturn, overturn, overturn it : and it shall be no more, until he come whose right it is; and I will give it him.' After the race, the Popish and Jacobite gentry, such as Frances Maxwell of Tinwald, John Maxwell, his brother, Robert Johnston of Wamphray, Robert Carruthers of Rammerscales, the Master of Burleigh (who is under sentence of death for murder, and made his escape out of the tolbooth of Edinburgh a little before he was to have been execute), with several others I could name, went to the Cross, where, in a very solemn manner, before hundreds of witnesses, with drum beating and colours display'd, they did upon their knees drink their King's health," the Master of Burleigh prefacing the toast by invoking perdition on the heads of those who refused to drink it, [Rae's History, pp. 49-50.] The same historian states that, in the year before, there was a similar demonstration, though less defiant, in the same burgh; and laments that these warning presages were left unheeded by the Government.

[The gathering at Lochmaben was celebrated by a Jacobite minstrel in the following spirited strains:

As As I came by Lochmaben-gate,
It's there I saw the Johnstones riding;
Away they go, and they feared no foe,
With their drums a-beating, colours flying.
All the lads of Annandale
Came there, their gallant chiefs to follow:
Brave Burleigh, Ford, and Rammerscales,
With Winton and the gallant Rollo.

"I asked a man what meant the fray
`Good sir,' said he, `you seem a stranger;
This is the twenty-ninth of May
Far better had you shun the danger.
These are rebels to the Throne
Reason have we all to know it;
Popish knaves and dogs each one!
Pray, pass on, or you shall rue it.'

"I looked the traitor in the face,
Drew out my sword and ettled at him:
`Deil send a' the Whiggish race
Downward to the dad that gat 'em!'
Right lair he gloomed, but naething said,
While my heart was like to stunner:
Cowards are they born and bred,
Ilka whingeing, praying sinner.

"My bonnet on my sword I bare,
And fast I spurred by knight and lady;
And thrice I waved it in the air,
Where a' our lads stood ranked and ready.
'Long live King James!' aloud I cried,
'Our nation's King, our nation's glory!
'Long live King James!' they all replied -
'Welcome, welcome, gallant Tory!'

"Then I shook hands wi' lord and knight,
And mony a brave and buskined lady;
But lang I'll mind Lochmaben-gate,
And a' our lads for battle ready.
And when I gang by Locharbriggs,
And o'er the moor at e'en or morrow,
I'll send a curse unto the Whigs
That wrought us a' this dool and sorrow."

Hogg, after quoting Rae's account of the demonstrations at Lochmaben, says:-" Mr. Rae does not mention that the Lords Winton and Rollo were present there at either of the meetings. I find, however, from another part of his history, that they were both in Annandale that year first mentioned, else the elated ballad-monger would not have included them." - Jacobite Relics,  vol. i., p. 294.]

On the other hand, several noblemen and gentlemen in the south and west, fearing that the success of the Pretender-who was, like his father, a Roman Catholic-would, among other evils, lead to the re-establishment of Popery, and an arbitrary form of government, adopted various precautionary measures in view of the threatened outbreak, They met at Dalmellington on the 18th of March, 1714, and passed resolutions to the effect that a general correspondence be entered into among the well-affected nobility, gentry, and citizens "within the shires of Clydesdale, Renfrew, Ayr, Galloway, Nithsdale, and the Stewartries and bailiaries thereof;" that meetings be held in each of these districts, for furtherance of the common object; that each district shall be invited to send representatives to general quarterly meetings, the first of which was fixed to be held at Dalmellington; that intercourse by letter or otherwise be kept up with their friends in Great Britain and Ireland; and that " it be earnestly recommended to each of the said particular meetings to fall upon such prudent and expeditious methods to put their people in a defensive posture, in such a manner as they shall see most proper and conform to law." [Rae's History, p. 42.] Sir Thomas Kirkpatrick of Closeburn (descended from a long line of heroes), Mr. Alexander Fergusson of Craigdarroch (whose father fell fighting against Claverhouse at Killiecrankie), and other influential men in Nithsdale, took an active part in this defensive movement; the magistrates of Dumfries and the ministers of the Presbytery gave to it their cordial cooperation ; money for the purchase of arms and ammunition was liberally contributed in the district; and the people of each parish were placed under military drill, and accustomed to the use of fire-arms : so that, when the rebellion actually broke out, the Dumfriesians and their neighbours were in a fit condition to cope with it.

We have seen how resolutely the inhabitants of the Burgh and  their rulers opposed the Union; and if their sentiments on that subject had not been kept in check by a counter feeling, they would perhaps have encouraged rather than opposed the pretensions of Prince James. But their antipathy to the Union was feeble as compared with their sense of the wrongs done towards them by the Stuart race, and their zeal for Protestantism. Claverhouse and Lag foreclosed the success of any attempt that might be made in Nithsdale or Galloway to restore the exiled family; and it is not too much to say, that the bloody Persecution instituted by Charles II. foredoomed the Rebellion raised by his nephew to a hopeless failure. Had it not been for that circumstance, the descendant of Scotland's ancient kings would have met with a better reception from its inhabitants generally, when he claimed their allegiance, and his enterprise would have had a greater chance of success.

The magistrates of Dumfries having, on the 23rd of July, 1715, been apprised, by letters from London, of the Pretender's design to land in Scotland, communicated this intelligence to the Council, and forthwith means were taken to mature the defences of the Burgh. It was deemed probable that the debarkation would take place on the shores of Lochryan, or, nearer still, at the harbour of Kirkcudbright; and that afterwards an attempt would be made to seize Dumfries, as the chief town of the district. Hence the necessity for proceeding promptly with protective measures on a large scale. The various trained bands were drawn out; strong guards were posted at the four ports; and seven companies, corresponding in number to the Incorporated Trades, were formed, composed of sixty effective men each, the Provost officiating as commanderin-chief of this municipal force. It was carefully trained almost daily; " and," says Rae, " for the more effectual training of the younger sort, a company of bachelors was formed out of the rest, who assumed the title of the Company of Loyal Bachelors." [Rae's History, pp. 182-3.]

Stimulated by the example of Dumfries, and the sense of a common danger, many County gentlemen, ministers of the district, and others, made extensive arrangements to protect themselves, and defeat the machinations of the enemy. Towards the end of July, Major James Aikman arrived in the district from Edinburgh, commissioned to superintend and promote the military preparations. On the 10th of August, in company with Sir Thomas Kirkpatrick of Closeburn, Mr. Gordon of Earlston, and others, he reviewed the fencible men of Upper Nithsdale, at a general rendezvous on Marjory-muir. Proceeding to Closeburn, he assisted at a meeting held there representing some parishes in Lower Nithsdale, at which it was resolved that a volunteer company should be formed in each parish; and that, when the period for action arrived, Sanquhar should be the place of rendezvous for the western shires.

In accordance with a resolution come to at the Braemar gathering, on the 26th of August, the Jacobite chiefs held a second meeting at the same place, on the 6th of September, with about two thousand followers, and proclaimed the Pretender, King of Scotland, England, France, and Ireland. On marching to Dunkeld, they were largely enforced by the people of the district, by two thousand clansmen under the Marquis of Tullibardine, by fourteen hundred from the braes of Athole, and by five hundred sent by the Earl of Breadalbane. Mar himself mustered no fewer than three thousand additional followers; and the insurgent army, thus swelled to about eight thousand men, boldly pushed down to Perth, which city they occupied without resistance, the Earl of Rothes not finding himself able to offer them any effectual opposition. Whilst the Prince's friends in the North were thus employed, William, fifth Earl of Nithsdale, [On the death of the second Earl of Nithsdale, in 1667, without issue, his title and estates devolved upon John, seventh Lord Herries. The son of the latter was the fourth earl, and had, by Lady Lucy Douglas, his wife, William, the fifth Earl, and a daughter, Lady Mary Maxwell, Countess of Traquair.] and William, sixth viscount of Kenmure, raised his standard in the Border counties, to co-operate with the Jacobite forces under Forster and Derwentwater in England. Maxwell, on account of his great local influence, and the services rendered by his family to the Stuarts, would have been placed at the head of the rebel movement in the South had it not been that he was a devoted Romanist, whom it would have been imprudent to appoint to that office.

And, in truth, if we may judge from the portrait of Earl William at Terregles House, as painted by Sir Godfrey Kneller, he was not designed by nature for such a warlike enterprise. The armour in which the figure is attired is out of keeping with the face, which is that of a peace-loving, ardent, warm-hearted man. There is no trace of wile or craft in the countenance; the brow is well-developed; the nose of such size and breadth as betokens mental strength, but it has no lines of combativeness; and when the noble lord was led into the rebellious fray, it must have been from no love of fighting, but from chivalrous enthusiasm, mingling with a sober sense of duty. The eyes are so prominent, that he must have been a fluent speaker; and wit -perhaps poetry - is visible in the full, rounded lips. Altogether, if our inferences be correct, he would have been more in his element at home, or in the social circle, or shining at the Court of his sovereign, than in the camp or battle-field.

The Protestant Lord Kenmure, who was raised to the chief command, was of a more warlike temperament. He was, however, but indifferently conversant with military affairs-had, indeed, received no soldierly training-a sad want for one in his position; but he had all the indomitable bravery of his race -

"There ne'er was a coward of Kenmure's blood,
Nor yet of Gordon's line!"-

was prudent withal, and possessed sufficient intellectual capacity for the perilous and onerous trust assigned to him. When, after bidding a last adieu to his lady, he endeavoured to mount his favourite charger, the horse, usually docile, repeatedly baffled his efforts. Disconcerted by this inauspicious omen, a gentle voice reassured him with the words, "Go on, my lord! go on! you are in a good cause ! Remember, faint heart never won fair lady!" Having at length leaped into the saddle, the noble Viscount rode off, never to return-never to hear again the voice which, with more than trumpet's power, stirred his blood-as he hastened to encounter the enemies of his Prince, and, alas! meet with " dusty death," in its most repulsive form, upon the scaffold.

Mar expected to receive a supply of both men and arms from France; but in this he was disappointed: and it soon became obvious that if James VIII. was ever to be more than a nominal king, he would owe his success solely to " native swords, and native ranks." With the view of preventing Mar from marching into the Lowlands, and also, if possible, of extinguishing the Rebellion at its birth-place, the Duke of Argyle, the Royalist commander-in-chief, formed a camp at Stirling, and summoned the friends of King George throughout the country to meet him there.

Letters to this effect were sent by his Grace to the well-affected burghs, including Dumfries; and also to particular individuals on whose services he thought he could depend. The zealous and influential Laird of Craigdarroch, who was looked upon as the leading loyalist in Nithsdale, received from Argyle a communication dated Edinburgh, 16th September, 1715, announcing the outbreak of the insurrection, and stating that the writer recognized the necessity of raising volunteer forces to assist the King's army in coping with it:- "Your Lord Lieutenant not being yet come down," proceeds the Duke, " to give orders for drawing out such other of the well-affected people as should be thought necessary, and I being convinced of your zeal and good inclinations to serve our King and country, and looking upon you as my particular friend, I apply to you on this occasion, and desire you would forthwith come to Stirling, with what number of well-arm'd men you can get together to join the King's regular forces. This will be of infinite service to his Majesty, and will not fail to be acknowledged as such." [Rae's History, pp. 230-31.]
If Argyle had suspected the existence of serious danger in the South, he would not have summoned Mr. Fergusson to Stirling ; and that gentleman not thinking that his services would soon be pressingly required at home, proceeded to Keirmoss, Penpont, with about sixty well-armed recruits, raised in the parishes of Glencairn and Tynron. At that place he met with many from neighbouring parishes, assembled in arms under Sir Thomas Kirkpatrick, James Grierson of Capenoch, John Dalrymple of Waterside, Thomas Hunter of Bateford, Provost Crosbie of Dumfries, and other gentlemen, including several ministers. After patriotic addresses from Mr. Fergusson and Sir Thomas Kirkpatrick, many more volunteers were obtained for the King's army; and Mr. Crosbie announced that Dumfries was enlisting a hundred men, who would be ready to set out with him in a few days for Stirling. Next day, Craigdarroch, accompanied by Mr. Hunter of Bateford, Air. M'Gachan of Dalquhat, and by Mr. Simon Riddell, Mr. John Pollock, and Mr. James Hunter, ministers of Tynron, Glencairn, and Dornock respectively, marched with his men towards the royal camp. The company he brought to Stirling proved a valuable acquisition to Argyle ; but hearing soon afterwards of the Jacobite movement in Dumfriesshire, Mr. Fergusson, at the Duke's instance, retraced his steps, that he might defend the King's interests in his native County.

By the beginning of October, matters began to wear a very serious aspect. Mar had put his army in motion ; and the rebels under Kenmure, after being reinforced from England, were hovering menacingly in Cumberland, as if they intended to attack Dumfries. As yet, there had been no serious fighting -nothing approaching to a trial of strength ; but that, to all appearance, could not be long deferred, as Argyle was fully alive to the necessity of confronting the rebel chief before he could effect a junction with his friends in the South. In view of the pending struggle, the militia of several shires were called out, and formed with the volunteers a large force, apart altogether from the regular army at Stirling. At this time the lord-lieutenancy of Dumfriesshire was held by the head of an old Border house-William Johnstone, first Marquis of Annandale; [When, by the death, in 1685, of James Murray, Earl of Annandale, that title became extinct, it was revived for the purpose of being conferred on James Johnstone of Lochwood, the second Earl of Hartfell (who, as we have seen, fought under Montrose). His son William was the second Johnstone who bore the title of Earl of Annandale. In 1701 he was created Marquis of Annandale. By his wife Sophia, heiress of John Fairholm, of Craigiehall, Linlithgowshire, he had James, second Marquis of Annandale, two other sons, who died unmarried, and two daughters, the eldest of whom married Charles Hope, afterwards created Earl of Hopetoun. William, the first Marquis, had, by Charlotte van Lore, only child of John Vanden Bempde, of Pall Mall, London, his second wife, George, third Marquis of Annandale, and John, who died young. "James, the second Marquis of Annandale," says the "Scottish Nation," "resided much abroad, and dying unmarried at Naples, 21st February, 1730, was buried in Westminster Abbey. The estate of Craigiehall went to his nephew, the Honourable Charles Hope; and his titles and the other estates to his half brother, George, third Marquis of Annandale, born 29th May, 1720. The loss of his brother, Lord John, in 1742, occasioned a depression of spirits which-finally deranged his mind. He died 24th April, 1792, when the title of Marquis of Annandale became dormant-claimed by Sir Frederic John William Johnstone of Westerhall, Baronet, and by Mr. Goodinge Johnstone. It is understood that the titles of Earl of Annandale and Hartfell devolved upon James, third Earl of Hopetoun, who, however, did not assume them, but took the name of Johnstone in addition to that of Hope." The earldom was also claimed by Mr. Hope Johnstone of Annandale. ] and he had as deputies, to act with him during the crisis, the representatives of other ancient families - Kirkpatrick of Closeburn, Fergusson of Craigdarroch, Johnstone of Corehead, Grierson of Capenoch, Maxwell of Dalswinton, and Johnstone of Broadholm. The first decisive step taken by the Marquis was to call a meeting of the "fencible men" of the County, which accordingly took place on Locharbridge-hill: a great wappenschaw it was, numerically large, and pervaded by the utmost enthusiasm.

On Saturday the 8th of October, when the people of the Burgh were at worship in St. Michael's Church-it being the preparation day for the communion Sabbath-they were somewhat disturbed by seeing a messenger entering and handing a packet to Mr. Gilchrist, one of the bailies, which induced the latter to withdraw. The communication was well fitted to excite the alarm of the congregation, had they known its nature; as it informed the magistrate of a Jacobite plot to seize the town next day, during the celebration of the sacrament. Bailie Gilchrist consulted with the Provost on the subject; and they, concluding that the letter-which was dated from Locharbridge, and professed to be written by a loyal countryman-was a forgery, and that its author wished to create a false alarm, took no action upon it, except to double the guards. The writer was perfectly honest, however, in so far as he indicated the approach of danger; and on Monday (the loth) another warning communication was received by the magistrates from certain parishioners of Tinwald and Torthorwald, who had assembled at Locharbridge with arms, and who offered their instant services to defend the town. Provost Crosbie, unwilling to cause any undue excitement among the inhabitants, stated in answer that the parties might retire home for the night, though they might hold themselves in readiness to come to Dumfries when called upon.

A third warning was received on the following day-one which could not be disregarded, coming, as it did, in the form of the following letter, from the Lord Justice-Clerk, addressed to the Provost:- "Edinburgh, October 8th, 1715.-Sir,-Having good information that there is a design framed of rising in rebellion in the southern parts against his Majesty and the Government, I send this express to advise you thereof, that you may be upon your guard : For by what I can rely upon, their first attempt is to be suddenly upon your town. I heartily wish you may escape their intended visite. - I am, sir, your well-wisher and humble servant, - AD: Cockburn.

Most fortunate it was that the Provost never had been able to go, as he intended, with a hundred men to Stirling, seeing that there was now so much need for his directing head and their stout arms at home. Though slow to apprehend peril, be had all along zealously promoted defensive measures; and he acted with unhesitating promptitude when the real juncture arrived. He forthwith called a meeting of the Town Council and other influential burgesses, laid before them the letter he had received, and pointed out the imminency of the danger with which they were menaced, and the necessity of obtaining aid from a distance to enable them to ward it off. The Provost's representations received unanimous approval; and as a general meeting of the fencible men of the Stewartry was being held that very day at Leaths-moor, a deputation was forthwith sent to it from Dumfries soliciting assistance. Before the application was made, the gathering was partially dispersed; but the deputy-lieutenants and other gentlemen, about fifty in all, proceeded to the town that night, and expresses were despatched to various quarters, which had the effect of bringing to it next day numerous volunteers from both Nithsdale and Galloway. As showing the promptitude with which the appeal of the Dumfriesians was responded to, it is worthy of notice that Captain Hugh Fullerton, Provost of Kirkcudbright, Mr. Samuel Ewart, and Sergeant Currie, set out from thence with a company of foot on the morning of the 12th of October, and arrived at their destination that night, though twenty-eight miles of bad road lay between the two towns; whilst Abrahm Creighton of Gareland, Provost of Sanquhar - who was later in receiving a notice of how matters stood-hearing a vague rumour on the 14th that the enemy had invested Dumfries, called out a company of foot, mounted them on country horses, and arrived at their head without drawing bridle-the distance in this case being also twenty-eight miles.

Among others who appeared at the Locharbridge rendezvous, was Sir James Johnstone of Westerhall, with a body of militia. He had also provided a large supply of arms, seventeen stand of which, temporarily left by him at Broadchapel, near Lochmaben, were seized and carried off by a party of rebels, headed by none other than Viscount Kenmure himself: so that it was no unfounded report which represented the Jacobite chief as being in the district, bent on mischief. The exulting captors of this unlooked-for and most welcome prize, after being reinforced by some friends at Mid-Annandale, hurried northward to Moffat, which they made their headquarters for a short while; and where they were, that same night, joined by the Earl of Winton, with a party of gentlemen and their followers from the Lothians.

On the 11th of this memorable month, when all strangers appearing in the town were viewed with suspicion, the notorious Simon, Lord Lovat, who had been out of the kingdom for several years, arrived with a few friends, and was immediately apprehended. He declared that the Marquis of Annandale would be ready to assure them of his loyalty; and one of the magistrates, Bailie Currie, having gone to Lochwood to consult the Marquis in the matter, returned with the request that Lord Lovat should be detained till he saw him at Dumfries. Mr. Currie also bore an order from the Lord-Lieutenant requiring the magistrates to repair with an escort to his residence next day and conduct him to the Burgh; as his lordship had been put to peril by Winton's party, and had also narrowly escaped being intercepted by the rebels under Kenmure when on their way through Upper Annandale.

Mr. Currie having delivered his message, the town-crier proceeded through the principal streets at eleven o'clock that night, and in the usual way warned such burgesses and residents as possessed horses, to appear mounted and with their best arms at next beat of drum. All that night through, great excitement prevailed; few of the inhabitants closed their eyes; the windows looking into the leading thoroughfares were illuminated, for the double purpose of supplying light for the warlike muster, and affording a greater sense of security; [Rae's History, p. 251.] and when, about an hour after midnight, the roll of the drum again reverberated through the town, followed by the neighing of steeds, the ring of their hoofs upon the pavement, as they hastened to the Market Cross, the jangling of arms, and the less discordant calls of the bugle, those of the lieges who did not know precisely how matters stood might well be excused for believing that the dreaded enemy had, favoured by the darkness, stolen a hurried march upon the town: and, sure enough, the rebels had moved from Moffat soon after that terrible midnight hour, for the purpose of attacking Dumfries, and would have carried their resolution into effect had not discretion got the better of their valour.

The magistrates, putting themselves at the head of the troop summoned under such exciting circumstances, proceeded to Lochwood, returning next forenoon with the Lord-Lieutenant, who allowed Lord Lovat to depart for the North on being satisfied of his steady loyalty to King George. They came back in good time to have received the rebels under Kenmure, if the latter had carried their designs into execution. By two o'clock the enemy were within a mile and a half of the town, exulting in the idea that they would soon be masters of it. They just numbered one hundred and fifty-three-all horsemen; and must have been kept in complete ignorance of the Dumfries preparations, or they would never have moved out of Moffat with so slender a force on such an undertaking. Hastening along, they would certainly have fallen into the snare they were preparing for others, had they not learned from a sure source that the Burgh, half full of armed men, was ready to give any assailant, however powerful, a hot reception. With this unwelcome news they were furnished in the following way. One afternoon a half-witted rustic named James Robson presented himself at the rebel camp with the curious intimation that he had come to make a present of his broad blue bonnet to Lord Kenmure. Another similar head-piece is celebrated in song as acquiring renown on account of its wearer:-

"It was na the bonnet, but the head that was in it,
Made a' the warld talk o' Rab Roryson's bonnet."

But in this case it was really the bonnet, and not its owner - "Daft Jamie" - that was of any consequence to Kenmure; and the noble Viscount surmising as much, at once dissected the homely present made to him, and found within its lining a letter from Lord Nithsdale urging him to be off, as Dumfries was armed to the teeth. The bearer of the warning note, unconscious of the service he was performing, had been bribed to perform it by the Terregles people. How provoking the intelligence he brought to the Jacobite leader and his friends, dissipating, as it did, their dream of conquest like a column of mist! So far from their being on the point of seizing the chief town of the South, they were in deadly danger of being captured themselves.

Some of the more adventurous of the party were for making a stand, in the expectation that many friends would flock to their aid, and that, when thus reinforced, they might after all make a bold dash at Dumfries with some likelihood of success. Viscount Kenmure, however, who best knew the feeling of the town, and fully realized the consequences of failure, paid no heed to such foolish counsels ; and declared emphatically that he feared too truly the place was defended by gallant gentlemen, and that he would therefore defer his intended visit to it. Thereupon he ordered his force to wheel about and retire to Lochmaben. Whilst going to that burgh they captured Bailie Paterson, Mr. Johnston, postmaster, and Mr. Hunter, surgeon, who had been sent from Dumfries to reconnoitre them. The prisoners were civilly treated, and set at liberty on the Burgh agreeing to liberate three of their friends who had been seized as suspected Jacobites.

When it was known in Dumfries that the rebels were so near at hand, the entrances were barricaded, earth-work entrenchments were formed, the guards were strengthened, and the trained bands were called out; and had the enemy numbered thousands instead of scores, they would have encountered a stout resistance. Just when the inhabitants expected that the threatened onset would be made, word was brought that the rebels had called a halt, and then that they had beat a retreat. "Let us follow and give them battle!" was the general cry. "Not so," said the wary Lord-Lieutenant; and so excessively cautious was he, that when a party of gentlemen, headed by Lord Lovat, asked leave to set out and surprise the enemy next day at Lochmaben, he refused his consent, declaring that under existing circumstances a defensive policy was the best.

Fearing that the people's anxiety for aggressive measures might prompt them to some rash movement, he summoned to his residence the ministers, who had much influence with them, and there pointed out the hazards that would be run if in a premature encounter the rebels should be victorious. " They would then," he said, " readily get possession of Dumfries, and might justly give out that they were masters of the south of Scotland-an announcement that would encourage their friends all around to join them, and a force would be raised that might endanger the Government. If," continued his lordship, speaking in a style worthy of his ancestry, "the people will only be patient till things are in proper order, I shall go forth at their head, and venture my life and lands in assisting them to defend our religion, our country, and our king." He closed by intreating his clerical hearers to impress these sentiments on the inhabitants. He had an opportunity of doing so himself when reviewing them at the Moat a few days afterwards; and so effective was his address, that it was greeted with a round of hearty cheers. [Rae's History, pp. 253-4.] Probably the Lord-Lieutenant was not aware at the time of the numerical weakness of the rebels, or he would really have attempted to capture them in their retreat - no very rash venture: failure would not, as he fancied, have involved the loss of the town; and success would have been a death-blow to the Pretender's cause in Dumfriesshire.

Though the Earl of Nithsdale was fully committed to it, comparatively few of his dependants took part in the Rebellion, and many of them enrolled themselves as loyal volunteers. Soon after the arrival of the Lord-Lieutenant, he took steps to overawe the Maxwell tenantry in Carlaverock parish-a large proportion of whom were Roman Catholics, and therefore deemed more likely to favour Prince James. Mr. John Sommerville, minister of the parish, was ordered to remove the Back-bridge of the Isle, in order to cut off the communication between the tenants and the rebels in Galloway and the Western Border; and Mr. Patrick Linn, one of the Dumfries ministers, was empowered to co-operate with his brother clergymen in maintaining a guard at Bankend, near to where Carlaverock parish joins that of Dumfries. "As my Lord Nithsdale's tenants in Carlaverock," says Rae, "so likewise his other tenants in Troqueer, Terregles, and Kirkgunzeon, with those of the Viscount of Kenmure and Earl of Carnwath, were in arms at Dumfries, and manifested a great deal of zeal against the Rebellion; nor were there any with these noblemen in the Rebellion but two or three domestic servants with each. And this I thought just to make known to the candid reader, to wipe off a calumny cast upon these people by a late historian [Mr. Patten] who was also a rebel, who speaking of the chiefs in Scotland, and what men they could raise, says --'The Earl of Nithsdale, 300 men, with their chief, against the Government; the Earl of Carnwath, 300 men, most with their chief, against the Government, and in the Rebellion: and the same he affirms of the Viscount Kenmure." [History, pp. 256-7]

When Lord Kenmure, with his small party of followers, reached Lochmaben, on the evening of Thursday the 13th, he caused the Pretender to be proclaimed at the Market Cross of the burgh. On the approach of the unwelcome visitors, the inhabitants placed their cattle in a fold to make room for their horses, which arrangement led to a ludicrous episode. The cattle, not liking their unwonted quarters, broke through the enclosure, and some of them strayed into a townsman's yard during the dusk of the following morning. " Help!" cried the owner of the invaded territory, at the top of his voice, "Help! Help! Help!" This was simply a summons to his dog, which bore that name ; but the terrified sentries, interpreting the word differently, sounded an alarm-their belief being that the Dumfries loyalists had entered Lochmaben. In the utmost consternation, the rebels-many of them only half-dressedprepared to evacuate the town; and it was some time before the mistake was discovered, and order restored. Rae, who has probably exaggerated this incident, seems to have relished it vastly. Some of the terrified troopers, he tells us, "cut up their boots, in haste to get them on;" others, who could not get their horses in an instant, left them that they might flee on foot; and some, who managed to mount their chargers, "almost dropt off for fear." [Ibid., p. 254] Next day, at Ecclefechan, the rebels were nearly thrown into another panic, by the sudden arrival of a party of fifteen horsemen. These, however, proved to be friends, not assailants; their leader, Sir Patrick Maxwell of Springkell, [The Maxwells of Springkell are a branch of the Auldhouse family, of which Maxwell of Pollok is the senior representative. George Maxwell of Auldhouse had by his first wife one son, whose son succeeded to the Pollok estates. By his second wife, Jane, daughter of William Muir of Glanderstone, he had, among other issue, a son, William, who acquired in 1609 the barony of Kirkconnel (scene of Fair Helen's tragical fate), and Sprinkell, in Annandale. His son, Patrick, it was who joined the rebel army in 1715. Patrick was created a Nova Scotia baronet in 1683. Lieutenant-General Sir John Maxwell, the fourth baronet in direct descent from him, married Mary, only surviving child and heiress of Patrick Heron of Heron, in the Stewartry; and on the death of his father-in-law, he added the surname and arms of Heron to his own. His eldest son, Sir Patrick Heron Maxwell, who succeeded him, died unmarried in 1844, and was succeeded by the present baronet, Sir John Heron Maxwell, born in 1808.] having brought them to prove his devoted attachment to the interests of the Prince.

The Jacobites, continuing their march, entered Langholm on the 15th, Hawick on the 16th, Jedburgh on the 17th; obtaining considerable reinforcements as they went along, and proclaiming the Pretender at all these towns. On the 18th they crossed the Border; on the 19th they joined their north of England friends at Rothbury, the united forces proceeding next day to Wooler. Here they waited two nights, and having re-entered Scotland, effected a junction with a body of Highlanders, under Brigadier M`Intosh, on the 22nd, at Kelso, by which means their strength was raised to two thousand men.


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