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General History of the Highlands
1660 - 1689
Charles II, 1660 - 1685, James II, (VII of Scotland) 1685 - 1688


THE news of the king’s arrival was received in Scotland with a burst of enthusiasm not quite in accordance with the national character; but the idea that the nation was about to regain its liberties made Scotsmen forget their wonted propriety. Preparatory to the assembling of the Scottish parliament, which was summoned to meet at Edinburgh on the 1st of January, 1661, Middleton, who had lately been created an earl, was appointed his majesty’s commissioner; the Earl of Glencairn, chancellor; the Earl of Lauderdale, secretary of state; the Earl of Rothes, president of the council; and the Earl of Crawford, lord-treasurer.

It would be quite apart from the object of this work to detail the many unconstitutional acts passed by this "terrible parliament," as it is well named by Kirkton; but the trial of the Marquis of Argyle must not be overlooked. That nobleman had, on the restoration of the king, gone to London to congratulate his majesty on his return; but on his arrival he was immediately seized and committed to the Tower. He petitioned the king for a personal interview, which was refused, and, to get rid of his importunities, his majesty directed that he should be sent back to Scotland for trial. Being brought to trial, he applied for delay, till some witnesses at a distance should be examined on commission; but this also was refused. He thereupon claimed the benefit of the amnesty which the king had granted at Stirling. This plea was sustained by desire of the king; but as there were other charges against him, arising out of transactions subsequent to the year 1651, to which year only the amnesty extended, the trial was proceeded in. These charges were, that he had aided the English in destroying the liberties of Scotland — that be had accepted a grant of 12,000 from Cromwell — that he had repeatedly used defamatory and traitorous language in speaking of the royal family — and, lastly, that he had voted for a bill abjuring the right of the royal family to the crowns of the three kingdoms, which had been passed in the parliament of Richard Cromwell, in which he sat. Argyle denied that he had ever given any countenance or assistance to the English in their invasion of Scotland; but he admitted the grant from Cromwell, which he stated was given, not in lieu of services, but as a compensation for losses sustained by him, he, moreover, denied that he had ever used the words attributed to him respecting the royal family; and with regard to the charge of sitting in Richard Cromwell’s parliament, he stated that he had taken his seat to protect his country from oppression, and to be ready, should occasion offer, to support by his vote the restoration of the king. This defence staggered the parliament, and judgment was postponed. In the meantime Glencairn and Rothes hastened to London, to lay the matter before the king, and to urge the necessity of Argyle’s condemnation. Unfortunately for that nobleman, they had recovered some letters which he had written to Monk and other English officers, in which were found some expressions very hostile to the king; but as these letters have not been preserved, there precise contents are not known. Argyle was again brought before parliament, and the letters read in his presence. The Scottish "Maiden"He had no explanation to give, and his friends, vexed and dismayed, retired from the house and left him to his fate. He was accordingly sentenced to death on the 25th of May, 1661, and, that he might not have an opportunity of appealing to the clemency of the king, he was ordered to be beheaded within forty-eight hours. He prepared for death with a fortitude not expected from the timidity of his nature; wrote a long letter to the king, vindicating his memory, and imploring protection for his poor wife and family; on the day of his execution, dined at noon with his friends with great cheerfulness, and was accompanied by several of the nobility to the scaffold, where he behaved with singular constancy and courage. After dinner he retired a short time for private prayer, and, on returning, told his friends that "the Lord had sealed his charter, and said to him, "Son, be of good cheer, thy sins are forgiven." When brought to the scaffold he addressed the people, protested his innocence, declared his adherence to the Covenant, reproved "the abounding wickedness of the land, and vindicated himself from the charge of being accessory to the death of Charles I." With the greatest fortitude he laid his head upon the block, which was immediately severed from his body by the maiden. This event took place upon Monday, the 27th of May, 1661, the marquis being then 65 years of age. By a singular destiny, the head of Argyle was fixed on the same spike which had borne that of his great rival Montrose.

Argyle was held in high estimation by his party, and, by whatever motives he may have been actuated, it cannot but be admitted, that to his exertions Scotland is chiefly indebted for the successful stand which was made against the unconstitutional attempts of the elder Charles upon the civil and religious liberties of his Scottish subjects. He appears to have been naturally averse to physical pain, deficient in personal courage, the possession of which, in the times in which Argyle lived, "covered a multitude of sins," and the want of which was esteemed by some unpardonable. We believe that it is chiefly on this account that his character is represented by his enemies and the opponents of his principles in such an unfavourable light, contrasting as it does so strikingly with that of his great opponent, the brave and chivalrous Montrose. That he was an unprincipled hypocrite, we think it would be difficult to prove; genuine hypocrisy, in a mark of his ability, would have probably gained for its possessor a happier fate. That he was wary, cunning, reticent, and ambitious, there cannot be any doubt ;—such qualities are almost indispensable to the politician, and were more than ordinarily necessary in those times, especially, considering the men Argyle had to deal with. We believe that he was actuated all along by deep but narrow and gloomy religious principle, that he had the welfare of his country sincerely at heart, and that he took the means he thought best calculated to maintain freedom, and, what he thought, true religion in the land. As he himself said in a letter to the Earl of Strafford, he thought "his duty to the king would be best shown by maintaining the constitution of his country in church and state." On the whole, he appears to have been a well-meaning, wrong-headed, narrow-minded, clever politician. Mr. Grainger, in his Biographical History of England, justly observes, "The Marquis of Argyle was in the cabinet what his enemy, the Marquis of Montrose, was in the field, the first character of his age for political courage and conduct." Had he been tried by impartial judges, the circumstances of the times would have been considered as affording some extenuation for his conduct; but it was his misfortune to be tried by men who were his enemies, and who did not scruple to violate all the forms of justice to bring him to the block, in the hope of obtaining his vast possessions.

The execution of Argyle was not in accordance with the views of the king, who, to show his disapprobation of the death of the marquis, received lord Loin, his eldest son, with favour at court; from which circumstance the enemies of the house of Argyle anticipated that they would be disappointed in their expectations of sharing among them the confiscated estates of the marquis. To impair, therefore, these estates was their next object. Argyle had obtained from the Scottish parliament a grant of the confiscated estate of the Marquis of Huntly, his brother-in-law, on the ground that he was a considerable creditor, but as Huntly was indebted to other persons to the extent of 400,000 merks, the estate was burdened to that amount on passing into Argyle’s possession. Middlleton and his colleagues immediately passed an act, restoring Huntly’s estate free of incumbrance, leaving to Huntly’s creditors recourse upon the estates of Argyle for payment of their debts. Young Argyle was exasperated at this proceeding, and in a letter to Lord Duffus, his brother-in-law, expressed himself in very unguarded terms respecting the parliament. This letter was intercepted by Middleton, and on it the parliament grounded a charge of verbal sedition, or leasing-making, as the crime is known in the statutory law of Scotland, an offence which was then capital. Upon this vague charge the young nobleman was brought to trial before the parliament, and condemned to death. The enemies of the house of Argyle now supposed that the estates of the family were again within their grasp; but the king, at the intercession of Lauderdale, the rival of Middleton, pardoned Loin, released him from prison after about a year’s confinement, restored to him the family estates, and allowed him to retain the title of Earl.

After the suppression of Glencairn’s short-lived insurrection, the Highlands appear to have enjoyed repose till the year 1674, when an outbreak took place which threatened to involve the greater part of that country in the horrors of feudal war, the occasion of which was as follows. The Marquis of Argyle had purchased up some debts due by the laird of Maclean, for which his son, the earl, applied for payment; but the laird being unwilling or unable to pay, the earl apprised his lands, and followed out other legal proceedings, to make the claim effectual against Maclean’s estates. In the meantime the latter died, leaving a son under the guardianship of his brother, to whom, on Maclean’s death, the earl renewed his application for payment. The tutor of Maclean stated his readiness to settle, either by appropriating as much of the rents of his ward’s lands in Mull and Tirey as would be sufficient to pay the interest of the debt, or by selling or conveying to him in security as much of the property as would be sufficient to pay off the debt itself; but he required, before entering into this arrangement, that the earl would restrict his claim to what was justly due. The earl professed his readiness to comply with the tutor’s offer; but the latter contrived to evade the matter for a considerable time, and at length showed a disposition to resist the earl’s demand by force.

The earl, therefore, resolved to enforce compliance, and armed with a decree of the Court of Session, and supported by a body of 2,000 of his tenants and vassals, he crossed into Mull, in which he landed at three different places without opposition, although the Macleans had 700 or 800 men in the island. The Macleans had sent their cattle into Mull for safety, a considerable number of which were killed or houghed by Lord Neil, brother to the earl, at the head of a party of the Campbells. The islanders at once submitted, and the earl having obtained possession of the castle of Duart, and placed a garrison therein, left the island. Although the Macleans had promised to pay their rents to the earl, they refused when applied to the following year, a refusal which induced him to prepare for a second invasion of Mull. In September, 16th, he had collected a force of about 1,500 men, including 100 of the king’s troops from Glasgow, under the command of Captain Crichton, and a similar number of militia-men, under Andrew M’Farlane, the laird of M’Farlane, the use of which corps had been granted to the earl on application to the Council. The Macleans, aware of their danger, had strengthened themselves by an alliance with Lord Macdonald and other chieftains, who sent a force of about 1,000 men to their aid; but Argyle’s forces never reached the island, his ships having been driven back damaged and dismantled by a dreadful hurricane, which lasted two days.

This misfortune, and intelligence which the earl received from the commander of Duart castle that the Macleans were in great force in the island, made him postpone his enterprise. With the exception of 500 men whom he retained for the protection of his coasts, and about 300 or 400 to protect his lands against the incursions of the Macleans, he dismissed his forces, after giving them instructions to reassemble on the 18th of October, unless countermanded before that time. The earl then went to Edinburgh to crave additional aid from the government; but receiving no encouragement, he posted to London, where he expected, with the help of his friend the Duke of Lauderdale, to obtain assistance. Lord Macdonald and the other friends of the Macleans, hearing of Argyle’s departure, immediately followed him to London, and laid a statement of the dispute before the king, who, in February, 1676, remitted the matter to three lords of the Privy Council of Scotland for judgment. The earl returned to Edinburgh in June following. A meeting of the parties took place before the lords to whom the matter had been referred, but they came to no decision, and the subsequent fate of Argyle put an end to these differences, although it appears that he was allowed to take possession of the island of Mull without resistance in the year 1680.

Except upon one occasion, now to be noticed, the Highlanders took no share in any of the public transactions in Scotland during the reigns of Charles the Second and his brother James. Isolated from the Lowlands by a mountain barrier which prevented almost any intercourse between them and their southern neighbours, they happily kept free from the contagion of that religious fanaticism which spread over the Lowlands of Scotland, in consequence of the unconstitutional attempts of the government to force episcopacy upon the people. Had the Highlanders been imbued with the same spirit which actuated the Scottish whigs, the government might have found it a difficult task to have suppressed them but they did not concern themselves with these theological disputes, and they did not hesitate when their chiefs, at the call of the government, required their services to march to the Lowlands to suppress the disturbances in the western counties. Accordingly, an army of about 8,000 men, known in Scottish history by the name of the "Highland Host," descended from the mountains under the command of their respective chiefs, and encamped at Stirling on the 24th of June, 1678, whence they spread themselves over Clydesdale, Renfrew, Cunningham, Kyle, and Carrick, and overawed the whigs so effectually, that they did not attempt to oppose the government during the stay of these hardy mountaineers among them. According to Wodrow and Kirkton, the Highlanders were guilty of great oppression and cruelty, but they kept their hands free from blood, as it has been correctly stated that not one whig lost his life during the invasion of these Highland crusaders. After remaining about eight months in the Lowlands, the Highlanders were sent home, the government having no further occasion for their services, but before their departure they took care to carry along with them a large quantity of plunder they had collected during their stay.

["But when this goodlly army retreated homeward, you would have thought by their baggage they had been at the sack of a besieged city; and, therefore, when they passed Stirling bridge every man drew his sword to show the world they hade returned conquerors from their enemies’ land; but they might as well have showen the pots, pans, girdles, shoes taken off country men's feet, and other bodily and household furniture with which they were burdened; and among all, none purchast so well as the two earles Airly and Strathmore, chiefly the last, who sent home the money, not in purses, but in bags and great quantities."— Kirkton, pp. 390]

After the departure of the Highlanders, the Covenanters again appeared upon the stage, and proceeded so far as even to murder some soldiers who had been quartered on some landlords who had refused to pay cess. The assassination of Archbishop Sharp, and the insurrection of the Covenanters under a preacher named Hamilton, followed by the defeat of the celebrated Graham of Claverhouse at Drumclog on the 1st of June, 1679, alarmed the government; but the defeat of the Covenanters by the king’s forces at Bothwell bridge, on the 22d of June, quieted their apprehensions. Fresh measures of severity were adopted against the unfortunate whigs, who, driven to despair, again flew to arms, encouraged by the exhortations of the celebrated Richard Cameron,—from whom the religious sect known by the name of Cameronians takes its name,—and Donald Cargill, another enthusiast; but they were defeated in an action at Airsmoss in Kyle, in which Cameron, their ecclesiastical head, was killed.

To cheek the diffusion of anti-monarchical principles, which were spreading fast throughout the kingdom under the auspices of the disciples of Cameron, the government, on the meeting of the Scottish parliament on the 28th of July, 1681, devised a test, which they required to be taken by all persons possessed of any civil, military, or ecclesiastical office. The parties taking this test were made to declare their adhesion to the true Protestant religion, as contained in the original confession of faith, ratified by parliament in the year 1560, to recognise the supremacy of the king over all persons civil and ecclesiastical, and to acknowledge that there "lay no obligation from the national covenant, or the solemn league and covenant, or any other manner of way whatsoever, to endeavour any alteration in the government in church or state, as it was then established by the laws of the kingdom."

The terms of this test were far from satisfactory to some even of the best friends of the government, as it was full of contradictions and absurdities, and it was not until the Privy Council issued an explanatory declaration that they could be prevailed upon to take it. The Dukes of Hamilton and Monmouth, however, rather than take the test, resigned their offices. Among others who had distinguished themselves in opposing the passing of the test, was the Earl of Argyle, who supported an amendment proposed by Lord Belhaven, for setting aside a clause excepting the Duke of York, brother to the king, and the other princes of the blood, from its operation. The conduct of Argyle gave great offence to the duke, who sat as commissioner in the parliament, and encouraged his enemies to set about accomplishing his ruin. The Earl of Errol brought in a bill reviving some old claims upon his estates, and the king’s advocate endeavoured to deprive him of his hereditary offices; but the Duke of York interposed, and prevented the adoption of these intended measures. To gratify his enemies, however, and to show the displeasure of the court at his recent opposition, Argyle was deprived of his seat in the Court of Session. But this did not sufficiently appease their resentment, and, anxious for an opportunity of gratifying their malice, they hoped that he would refuse to take the test. Accordingly, he was required to subscribe it: he hesitated, and craved time to deliberate. Aware of the plot which had been long hatching against him, and as he saw that if he refused he would be deprived of his important hereditary jurisdictions, he resolved to take the test, with a declaratory explanation, which, it is understood, received the approbation of the Duke of York, to whom the earl had submitted it. The earl then subscribed the test in presence of the council, and added the following explanation:-

"I have considered the test, and am very desirous of giving obedience as far as I can. I am confident that the parliament never intended to impose contradictory oaths: Therefore I think no man can explain it but for himself. Accordingly, I take it so far as it is consistent with itself and the Protestant religion. And I do declare, that I mean not to bind myself, in my station, in a lawful way, from wishing and endeavouring any alteration which I think to the advantage of Church or State, and not repugnant to the Protestant religion and my loyalty. And this I understand as a part of my oath." This declaration did not please the council, but as the Duke appeared to be satisfied, the matter was passed over, and Argyle kept his seat at the council board.

Although the Duke of York had been heard to declare that no honest man could take the test,—a declaration which fully justified the course Argyle had pursued,—yet the enemies of that nobleman wrought so far upon the mind of his royal highness as to induce him to think that Argyle’s declaration was a highly criminal act. The earl, therefore, was required to take the test a second time, without explanation; and having refused, he was committed a prisoner to the castle of Edinburgh, and on the slight foundation of a declaration which had been sanctioned by the next heir to the crown, was raised a hideous superstructure of high treason, leasing-making, and perjury.

Argyle was brought to trial on Monday, the 12th of December, 1681, before the High Court of Justiciary. The Earl of Queensberry, the justice-general, and four other judges, sat upon the bench and fifteen noblemen acted as jurors. The absurdity of the charges, and the iniquity of the attempt to deprive a nobleman, who had, even in the worst times, shown an attachment to the royal family, of his fortune, his honours, and his life, were ably exposed by the counsel for the earl; but so lost was a majority of the judges to every sense of justice, that, regardless of the infamy which would for ever attach to them, they found the libel relevant; and on the following day the assize or jury, of which the  Marquis of Montrose, cousin-german to Argyle, was chancellor, found him guilty. Intelligence of Argyle’s condemnation was immediately sent to the king, but the messenger was anticipated in his arrival by an express from the earl himself to the king, who, although he gave orders that sentence should be passed against Argyle, sent positive injunctions to delay the execution till his pleasure should be known. Argyle, however, did not wish to trust to the royal clemency, and as he understood preparations were making for his execution, he made his escape from the castle of Edinburgh, disguised as a page carrying the train of Lady Sophia Lindsay, his step-daughter, daughter of Lord Balcarres, whose widow Argyle married.

["He was lying a prisoner in Edinburgh castle in daily expectation of the order arriving for his execution, when woman’s wit intervened to save him, and he owed his life to the affection of his favourite step-daughter, the sprightly Lady Sophia, who, about eight o’clock in the evening of Tuesday, the 20th of December, 1681, effected his escape in the following manner, as related to Lady Anne Lindsay, by her father, Earl James, Lady Sophia’s nephew:—’Having obtained permission to pay him a visit of one half-hour, she contrived to bring as her page a tall, awkward, country clown, with a fair wig procured for the occasion, who had apparently been engaged in a fray, having his head tied up. On entering she made them immediately change clothes; they did so, and, on the expiration of the half-hour, she, in a flood of tears, bade farewell to her supposed father, and walked out of the prison with the most perfect dignity, and with a slow pace. The sentinel at the drawbridge, a sly Highlander, eyed her father hard, but her presence of mind did not desert her, she twitched her train of embroidery, carried in those days by the page, out of his hand, and, dropping it in the mud, "Varlet," cried she, in a fury, dashing it across his face, "take that—and that too," adding a box on the ear, "for knowing no better how to carry your lady’s garment." Her ill-treatment of him, and the dirt with which she had besmeared his face, so confounded the sentinel, that he let them pass the drawbridge unquestioned.’ Having passed through all the guards, attended by a gentleman from the castle, Lady Sophia entered her carriage, which was in waiting for her; ‘the Earl,’ says a contemporary annalist, ‘steps up on the hinder part of her coach as her lackey, and, coming forgainst the weighhouse, slips off and shifts for himself."’—Lives of the Lindsays, vol. ii. p. 147.]

He went to London, where he lay some time in concealment, whence he went over to Holland. On the day of his escape, being the 21st of December, he was proclaimed a fugitive at the market cross of Edinburgh, and, on the 24th, the Court of Justiciary passed sentence of death against him, ordered his arms to be reversed and torn at the market cross of Edinburgh, and declared his titles and estates forfeited.

In exculpation of their infamous proceedings, the persecutors of Argyle pretended that their only object in resorting to such unjustifiable measures, was to force him to surrender his extensive hereditary jurisdictions, which, they considered, gave him too great authority in the Highlands, and the exercise of which in his family, might obstruct the ends of justice; and that they had no designs either upon his life or fortune. But this is an excuse which cannot be admitted, for they had influence enough with the Crown to have deprived Argyle of these hereditary jurisdictions, without having recourse to measures so glaringly subversive of justice.

The only advantage taken by the king of Argyle’s forfeiture was the retention of the heritable jurisdictions, which were parcelled out among the friends of the court during pleasure. Lord Loin, the earl’s son, had the forfeited estates restored to him, after provision had been made for satisfying the demands of his father’s creditors.

During the latter years of Charles II., a number of persons from England and Scotland had taken refuge in Holland, to escape state prosecutions with which, they were threatened. Among the Scottish exiles, besides Argyle, were Sir James Dalrymple, afterwards Earl of Stair, the celebrated Fletcher of Salton, and Sir Patrick Home of Polwarth,—all of whom, as martyrs of liberty, longed for an opportunity of vindicating its cause in the face of their country. The accession of James II., in 1685, to the crown of his brother, seemed an event favourable to their plans, and at a meeting which some of the exiled leaders held at Rotterdam, they resolved to raise the standard of revolt in England and Scotland, and invited the Duke of Monmouth, also an exile, and the Earl of Argyle, to join them. Monmouth, who was then living in retirement at Brussels, spending his time in illicit amours, accepted the invitation, and having repaired to Rotterdam, offered either to attempt a descent on England, at the head of the English exiles, or to go to Scotland as a volunteer, under Argyle. The latter, who had never ceased since his flight to keep up a correspondence with his friends in Scotland, had already been making preparations, and by means of a large sum of money he had received from a rich widow of Amsterdam, had there purchased a ship and arms, and ammunition. He now also repaired to Rotterdam, where it was finally arranged that two expeditions should be fitted out,—one for England, under Monmouth, and the other for Scotland, under the command of Argyle, who was appointed by the council at Rotterdam captain-general of the army, "with as full power as was usually given to generals by the free states in Europe."

On the 2d of May, 1685, the expedition under Argyle, which consisted of three ships and about 300 men, left the shores of Holland, and reached Cairston in the Orkneys on the 6th, after a pleasant voyage. The seizure, by the natives, of Spence, the earl’s secretary, and of Blackadder, his surgeon, both of whom had incautiously ventured on shore, afforded the government the necessary information as to the strength and destination of the expedition. A proclamation had been issued, on the 28th of April, for putting the kingdom in a posture of defence, hostages had been taken from the vassals of Argyle as sureties for their fidelity, and all persons whose loyalty was suspected were either imprisoned or had to find security for their fidelity to the government; but as soon as the council at Edinburgh received the intelligence of Argyle’s having reached the Orkneys, they despatched troops to the west, and ordered several frigates to cruise among the Western Isles. After taking four Orcadians as hostages for the lives of his secretary and surgeon, Argyle left the Orkneys on the 7th of May, and arrived at Tobermory in the isle of Mull on the 11th, whence he sailed to the mainland, and landed in Kintyre. Here he published a declaration which had been drawn up in Holland by Sir James Stuart, afterwards king’s advocate, full of invective against the government, and attributing all the grievances under which the country had laboured in the preceding reign to a conspiracy between popery and tyranny, which had, he observed, been evidently disclosed by the cutting off of the late king and the ascension of the Duke of York to the throne. It declared that the object of the invaders was to restore the true Protestant religion, and that as the Duke of York was, from his religion, as they supposed, incapable of giving security on that head, they declared that they would never enter into any treaty with him. The earl issued, a few days thereafter, a second declaration, from Tarbet, reciting his own wrongs, and calling upon his former vassals to join his standard. Messengers were despatched in all directions, bearing aloft the fiery cross, and in a short time about 800 of his clan, headed by Sir Duncan Campbell of Auchinbreck, rallied around their chief. Other reinforcements arrived, which increased his army to 2,500 men; a force wholly insufficient to meet a body of about 7,000 militia and a considerable number of regular troops already assembled in the west to oppose his advance.

Although Argyle’s obvious plan was at once to have dashed into the western Lowlands, where the spirit of disaffection was deeply prevalent, and where a great accession of force might have been expected, he, contrary to the advice of some of his officers, remained in Argyle a considerable time in expectation of hearing of Monmouth’s landing, and spent the precious moments in chasing out of his territories a few stragglers who infested his borders. Amid the dissensions which naturally arose from this difference of opinion, the royalists were hemming Argyle in on all sides. Whilst the Duke of Gordon was advancing upon his rear with the northern forces, and the Earl of Dumbarton with the regular troops pressing him in front, the Marquis of Athole and Lord Charles Murray, at the head of 1,500 men, kept hanging on his right wing, and a fleet watched his ships to prevent his escape by sea. In this conjuncture Argyle yielded to the opinion of his officers, and, leaving his stores in the castle of Allangreg, in charge of a garrison of 150 men, he began his march, on the 10th of June, to the Lowlands, and gave orders that his vessels should follow close along the coast. The commander of the castle, on the approach of the king’s ships under Sir Thomas Hamilton, abandoned it five days thereafter, without firing a single shot, and the warlike stores which it contained, consisting of 5,000 stand of arms and 300 barrels of powder, besides a standard bearing the inscription "Against Popery, Prelacy, and Erastianism," fell a prey to the royalists. The vessels also belonging to Argyle were taken at the same time.

On the 16th of June Argyle crossed the Leven near Dumbarton, but finding it impracticable, from the numerous forces opposed to him, and which met him at every point, to proceed on his intended route to Glasgow by the ordinary road, he betook himself to the hills, in the expectation of eluding his foes during the darkness of the night; but this desperate expedient did not succeed, and next morning Argyle found his force diminished by desertion to 500 men. Thus abandoned by the greater part of his men, he, in his turn, deserted those who remained with him, and endeavoured to secure his own safety. Disguised in a common dress he wandered for some time in the company of Major Fullarton in the vicinity of Dumbarton, and on the opposite side of the Clyde, but was at last taken prisoner by a few militiamen in attempting to reach his own country. About 100 of the volunteers from Holland crossed the Clyde in boats, but being attacked by the royalists were dispersed. Thus ended this ill concerted and unfortunate expedition.

Ninth Earl of ArgyleArgyle was carried to Glasgow, and thence to Edinburgh, where he underwent the same ignominious and brutal treatment which the brave Montrose had suffered on being brought to the capital after his capture. As the judgment which had been pronounced against Argyle, after his escape from the castle of Edinburgh, was still in force, no trial was considered necessary. He was beheaded accordingly on the 26th of June, evincing in his last moments the fortitude of a Roman, and the faith of a martyr. "When this nobleman’s death," observes Sir Walter Scott, "is considered as the consequence of a sentence passed against him for presuming to comment upon and explain an oath which was self-contradictory, it can only be termed a judicial murder." His two sons, Lord Loin and Lord Keil Campbell, were banished. Monmouth. who did not land in England till the 11th of June, was equally unfortunate, and suffered the death of a traitor on Tower Hill on the 15th of July.

The ill fated result of Argyle’s expedition, and the suppression of Monmouth’s rebellion, enabled James to turn the whole of his attention to the accomplishment of an object more valuable, in his opinion, than the crown itself —the restoration of the Catholic religion. In furtherance of this design, the king adopted a series of the most unconstitutional and impolitic measures, which destroyed the popularity he had acquired on his accession, and finally ended in his expulsion from the throne.

It was not, however, till the Scottish parliament, which met on the 28th of April, 1686, and on the obsequiousness of which the king had placed great reliance, had refused to repeal the test, that he resolved upon those desperate measures which proved so fatal to him. This parliament was prorogued by order of the king on the 15th of June, and in a few months thereafter, he addressed a succession of letters to the council,—from which he had previously removed some individuals who were opposed to his plans,—in which he stated, that in requiring the parliament to repeal the penal statutes, he merely meant to give them an opportunity of evincing their loyalty, as he considered that he had sufficient power, by virtue of his prerogative, to suspend or dispense with those laws; a most erroneous and dangerous doctrine certainly, but which could never be said to have been exploded till the era of the revolution. In these letters the king ordered the council to allow the Catholics to exercise their worship freely in private, to extend the protection of government to his Protestant as well as Catholic subjects, to receive the conformist clergy in general to livings in the church, and to admit certain individuals whom he named to offices in the state without requiring any of them to take the test.

But these letters, though disapproved of in part by the council, were merely preparatory to much more important steps, viz., the issuing of two successive proclamations by the king on the 12th of February and the 5th of July in the following year, granting full and free toleration to Presbyterians, Catholics, and Quakers, with liberty to exercise their worship in houses and chapels. He also suspended the severe penal statutes against the Catholics, which had been passed during the minority of his grandfather; but he declared his resolution to preserve inviolate the rights and privileges of the then established (Episcopal) church of Scotland, and to protect the holders of church property in their possessions.

By the Presbyterians who had for so many years writhed under the lash of persecution, these proclamations were received with great satisfaction; and at a meeting which was held at Edinburgh of the Presbyterian ministers, who had assembled from all parts of the country to consider the matter, a great majority not only accepted the boon with cheerfulness, but voted a loyal address to his majesty, thanking him for the indulgence he had granted them. Some there were, however, of the more rigorous kind, who denounced any communication with the king, whom they declared "an apostate, bigoted, excommunicated papist, under the malediction of the Mediator; yea, heir to the imprecation of his grandfather," and who found warm abettors in the clergy of the Episcopal church in Scotland, who displayed their anger even in their discourses from the pulpit.

Although the Presbyterians reaped great advantages from the toleration which the king had granted, by being allowed the free and undisturbed exercise of their worship, and by being, many of them, admitted into offices of the state, yet they perceived that a much greater proportion of Catholics was admitted to similar employments. Thus they began to grow suspicious of the king’s intentions, and, instead of continuing their gratitude, they openly declared that they did not any longer consider themselves under any obligation to his majesty, as the toleration had been granted for the purpose of introducing Catholics into places of trust, and of dividing Protestants among themselves. These apprehensions were encouraged by the Episcopal party, who, alarmed at the violent proceedings of the king against the English universities, and the bishops who had refused to read his proclamation for liberty of conscience in the churches, endeavoured to instil the same dread of popery and arbitrary power into the minds of their Presbyterian countrymen which they themselves entertained. By these and similar means discontent spread rapidly among the people of Scotland, who considered their civil and religious liberties in imminent danger, and were, therefore, ready to join in any measure which might be proposed for their protection.

William, Prince of Orange, who had married the Princess Mary, the eldest daughter of James, next in succession to the Crown, watched the progress of this struggle between arbitrary power and popular rights with extreme anxiety. He had incurred the displeasure of his father-in-law, while Duke of York, by joining the party whose object it was to exclude James from the throne, by the reception which he gave the Duke of Monmouth in Holland, and by his connivance, apparent at least, at the attempts of the latter and the Earl of Argyle. But, upon the defeat of Monmouth, William, by offering his congratulations on that event, reinstated himself in the good graces of his father-in-law. As James, however, could not reconcile the protection which the prince afforded to the numerous exiles from England and Scotland who had taken refuge in Holland, with the prince’s professions of friendship, he demanded their removal; but this was refused, through the influence of the prince with the States, and though, upon a hint being given that a war might ensue in consequence of this refusal, they were removed from the Hague, yet they still continued to reside in other parts of Holland, and kept up a regular communication with the Prince. Another demand made by the king to dismiss the officers of the British regiments serving in Holland, whose fidelity was suspected, met with the same evasive compliance; for although William displaced those officers, he refused commissions to all persons whom he suspected of attachment to the king or the Catholic faith. The wise policy of this proceeding was exemplified in the subsequent conduct of the regiments which declared themselves in favour of the prince’s pretensions.

Early in the year 1687, William perceived that matters were approaching to a crisis in England, but he did not think that the time had then arrived for putting his intended design of invasion into execution. To sound the dispositions of the people, he sent over in February, that year, Dyckvelt, an acute statesman, who kept up a secret communication with those who favoured the designs of his master. Dyckvelt soon returned to Holland, with letters from several of the nobility addressed to the prince, all couched in favourable terms, which encouraged him to send Zuleistein, another agent, into England to assure his friends there that if James attempted, with the aid "of a packed parliament," to repeal the penal laws and the test act, he would oppose him with an armed force.

Although the king was aware of the prince’s intrigues, he could never be persuaded that the latter had any intention to dispossess him of his crown, and continued to pursue the desperate course he had resolved upon, with a pertinacity and zeal which blinded him to the dangers which surrounded him. The preparations of the prince for a descent on England went on in the meantime with activity; but a temporary damp was cast on his hopes by reports of the pregnancy of the queen, an event which, if a son was the result, might prevent the accession of his wife, the Princess Mary. On the 10th of June, 1688, the queen gave birth to a prince, afterwards known as the Pretender.

It was not till the month of September, when James was on the verge of the precipice, that he saw the danger of his situation. He now began, when too late, to attempt to repair the errors of his reign, by a variety of popular concessions; but although these were granted with apparent cheerfulness, and accepted with indications of thankfulness, it was evident that they were forced from the king by the necessity of his situation, and might be withdrawn when that necessity ceased to exist, an idea which appears to have prevailed among the people.

Being now convinced that the Prince of Orange contemplated an invasion of England, James began to make the necessary preparations for defence. In September, 1688, he sent down an express to Scotland to the members of the Privy Council, acquainting them with the prince’s preparations, and requiring them to place that part of his dominions on the war establishment. The militia was accordingly embodied, the castles of Edinburgh, Stirling, &c. provisioned, and orders were sent to the chiefs of the Highland clans to be ready to assemble their men on a short notice. Many persons at first discredited the report of an invasion from Holland, and considered that it was a mere device of the king either to raise money or to collect an army for some sinister purpose but their suspicions were allayed by intelligence being brought by some seamen from Holland of the warlike preparations which were making in the Dutch ports. The jealousies which were entertained of the king’s intentions were dissipated by the dread of a foreign invasion, and addresses were sent in to the Privy Council from the different towns, and from the country gentlemen, with offers of service.

Whilst the Privy Council were engaged in fulfilling the king’s instructions, they received an order from his majesty to concentrate the regular army, and despatch it without delay into England. This force, which did not exceed 3,000 men, was in a state of excellent discipline, and was so advantageously posted throughout the kingdom that any insurrection which might break out could be easily suppressed. As the Prince of Orange had many adherents in Scotland, and as the spirit of disaffection to the existing government in the western counties, though subdued, had not been extinguished, the Privy Council considered that to send the army out of the kingdom under such circumstances would be a most imprudent step; and they, therefore, sent an express to the king, representing the danger of such a movement, of which the disaffected would not fail to avail themselves, should an opportunity occur. They proposed that the army should remain as it was then stationed, and that, in lieu thereof, a body of militia and a detachment of Highlanders, amounting together to 13,000 men, should be despatched to the borders, or marched into the north of England, to watch the movements of the king’s enemies in that quarter, and to suppress any risings which they might attempt in favour of the prince. But, although the Council were unanimous in giving this advice, the king disregarded it altogether, reiterated the order he had formerly given, and intimated, that if any of them were afraid to remain in Scotland, they might accompany the army into England.

Accordingly, the Scottish army began its march early in October, in two divisions. The first, consisting of the foot, at the head of which was General Douglas, brother of the Duke of Queensberry, who had the chief command of the army, took the road to Chester; and the second, consisting of the horse, under the direction of Graham of Claverhouse, as major-general, marched by York. These detachments, on their arrival at London, joined the English army under the command of the Earl of Feversham, about the end of October.

To supply the absence of the regular troops, and to prevent the disaffected from making the capital the focus of insurrection, a large body of militia, under the command of Sir George Munro, was quartered in Edinburgh and the suburbs; but no sooner had the army passed the borders, than crowds from all parts of the kingdom congregated, as if by mutual consent, in the metropolis, where they held private meetings, which were attended by the Earls of Glencairn, Crawford, Dundonald, and others. The objects of these meetings were made known to the council by spies, who were employed to attend them; and although they were clearly treasonable, the council had not the courage to arrest a single individual. Among other things, the leaders of these meetings resolved to intercept all correspondence between the king and the council, a task which Sir James Montgomery undertook to see accomplished, and which he did so effectually that very few despatches reached their destination.

For several weeks the Privy Council, owing to this interruption, was kept in a state of painful uncertainty as to the state of the king’s affairs in England; but at last an express arrived from the Earl of Melfort, announcing the important intelligence that the Prince of Orange had landed in England with a considerable force, and that his majesty had gone to meet him at the head of his army.

The landing of the prince, which was effected without opposition on the 5th of November 1688, at Torbay in Devonshire, excited the greatest alarm in the mind of the king, who had entertained hopes that a well appointed fleet of thirty-seven men-of-war, and seventeen fire-ships which had been stationed off the Gun-fleet under the Earl of Dartmouth, an old and experienced commander, would have intercepted the prince in his voyage. Unfortunately, however, for the king, the cruisers which the admiral had sent out to watch the approach of the enemy had been driven back by the violence of the wind, and when the fleet of the prince passed the Downs towards its destined place of disembarkation, the royal fleet was riding at anchor abreast of the Longsand, several miles to leeward, with the yards and topmasts struck; and as twenty-four hours elapsed before it could be got ready to commence the pursuit, the commander, on the representation of his officers, desisted from the attempt.

As soon as the king had recovered from the panic into which the news of the prince’s arrival had thrown him, he ordered twenty battalions of infantry and thirty squadrons of cavalry to march towards Salisbury and Marlborough, leaving six squadrons and six battalions behind to preserve tranquillity in the capital. The prince, who had been led to expect that he would be received with open arms by all classes on his arrival, met at first with a very cold reception, and he felt so disappointed that he even threatened to re-embark his army. Had James therefore adopted the advice given him by the King of France, to push forward his troops immediately in person and attack the invader before the spirit of disaffection should spread, he might, perhaps, by one stroke, have for ever annihilated the hopes of his son-in-law and preserved his crown; but James thought and acted differently, and he soon had cause to repent bitterly of the course he pursued. Owing to the open defection of some of his officers and the secret machinations of others, the king soon found, that with the exception perhaps of the Scottish regiments, he could no longer rely upon the fidelity of his army. On the 20th of November he arrived at Salisbury, and reviewed a division of the army stationed there; and intended to inspect the following day, another division which lay at Warminster; but being informed that General Kirk, its commander, Lord Churchill and others, had entered into a conspiracy to seize him and carry him a prisoner to the enemy’s camp, he summoned a council of war, at which these officers were present, and without making them aware that he was in the knowledge of such a plot, proposed a retreat beyond the Thames. This proposition met with keen opposition from Churchill, but was supported by the Earl of Feversham, his brother the Count de Roye, and the Earl of Dumbarton, who commanded one of the Scottish foot regiments. The proposal having been adopted, Churchill and some other officers went over to the prince during the night.

The army accordingly retired behind the Thames, and the king, without leaving any particular instructions to his officers, proceeded to London, to attend a council of peers which he had summoned to meet him at Whitehall. The departure of the king was a subject of deep regret to his real friends in the army, and particularly to the Earl of Dumbarton, and Lord Dundee, who had offered to engage the enemy with the Scots troops alone. This offer his majesty thought proper to decline, and in a conference which Dundee and the Earl of Balcarras afterwards had with him in London, when he had made up his mind to retire to France, he gave them to understand that he meant to intrust the latter with the administration of his civil affairs in Scotland, and to appoint the former the generalissimo of his forces.

In the Scottish Privy Council there were several persons who were inimical to the king, and who only waited for a favourable opportunity of offering their allegiance and services to the Prince of Orange. These were the Marquis of Athole, the Viscount Tarbet, and Sir John Dalrymple, the Lord-president of the Court of Session. The two latter, in conjunction with Balcarras, had been appointed by the council to proceed to England, to obtain personally from the king the necessary instructions how to act on the landing of the prince, but on some slight pretext they declined the journey, and Balcarras, a nobleman of undoubted loyalty, was obliged to go alone, and had the meeting with his majesty to which allusion has been made. These counsellors were duly apprised of the advance of the prince, the defection of some of the king’s officers, and of his return to London; but as the result of the struggle seemed still to be dubious, they abstained from openly declaring themselves. In order, however, to get rid of the chancellor, the Earl of Perth, and get the government into their own hands, as preliminary to their designs, Viscount Tarbet proposed that, with the exception of four companies of foot and two troops of horse to collect the revenue, the remainder of the troops should be disbanded, as he considered it quite unnecessary to keep up such a force in time of peace, the Prince of Orange having stated in a declaration which he had issued, that that was one of the grievances complained of by the nation. The chancellor, not foreseeing the consequences, assented to the proposal, and he had the mortification, after the order for dismissal had been given, to receive an intimation from the Marquis of Athole and his party, who waited personally upon him at his lodgings, that as they considered it dangerous to act with him and other Catholic counsellors who were incapacitated by law, they meant to take the government into their own hands in behalf of the king, and they demanded that he and his party should retire from the administration of affairs. The Duke of Gordon and the other Catholic members of the council, on hearing of this proceeding, assembled in the chancellor’s house to consult with him as to the nature of the answer which should be given to this extraordinary demand. As they saw resistance hopeless, they advised the chancellor to submit, and, probably to avoid personal danger, he retired immediately to the country.

The Marquis of Athole called a meeting of the council, and proposed an address of congratulation to the Prince of Orange, strongly expressive of gratitude to him for his generous undertaking to relieve them from popery and arbitrary power, and offering a tender of their services; but this address was warmly opposed by the two archbishops, Sir John Dalrymple, Sir George Mackenzie and others, and was finally negatived. They even opposed the voting of any address under existing circumstances, but the marquis and his party succeeded in carrying a short address, drawn up in general terms. Lord Glammis was sent up with it, but it was so different from what the Prince expected, that it met with a very cold reception.

The fate of the unfortunate monarch had by this time been decided. Before his return to London a great defection had taken place among the officers of the army, and he had at last the mortification to see himself deserted by his son-in-law, Prince George of Denmark, and by his daughter the Princess Anne, the wife of the Prince. "God help me my very children have forsaken me ;" such was the exclamation uttered by the unhappy monarch, his countenance suffused with tears, when he received the afflicting intelligence of the flight of Anne from Whitehall. When the king saw he could no longer resist the torrent of popular indignation, and that an imperious necessity required that he should leave the kingdom, his first solicitude was to provide for the safety of the queen and his son, whom he managed to get safely conveyed to France.

The resolution of the king to quit the kingdom was hastened after a fruitless attempt at negotiation with the Prince of Orange, by the appearance of an infamous proclamation against Catholics, issued under the signature of the prince, and which, though afterwards disowned by him, was, at the time, believed to be genuine. Having, therefore, made up his mind to follow the queen without delay, the king wrote a letter to the Earl of Feversham, the commander of the forces, intimating his intention, and after thanking him and the army for their loyalty, he informed them that he did not wish them any longer to run the risk of resisting "a foreign army and a poisoned nation." Shortly after midnight, having disguised himself as a country gentleman, he left the palace, and descending by the back stairs, entered into a hackney coach, which conveyed him to the horse-ferry, whence he crossed the river, into which the king threw the great seal. Having arrived at Emley ferry near Feversham by ten o’clock, he embarked on board the custom-house boy, but before she could be got ready for sea the king was apprehended, and placed under a strong guard.

When the king’s arrest was first reported in London, the intelligence was not believed; but all uncertainty on the subject was removed by a communication from James himself in the shape of a letter, but without any address, which was put into the hands of Lord Mulgrave by a stranger at the door of the council chamber at Whitehall. A body of about thirty peers and bishops had, on the flight of the king, formed themselves into a council, and had assumed the reins of government, and many of these, on this letter being read, were desirous of taking no notice of it, lest they might, by so doing, displease the prince. Lord Halifax, the chairman, who favoured the prince’s designs, attempted to quash the matter, by adjourning the meeting, but Mulgrave prevailed on the members of the council to remain, and obtained an order to despatch the Earl of Feversham with 200 of the life-guards to protect the person of the king.

On the arrival of Feversham the king resolved to remain in the kingdom, and to return to London, a resolution which he adopted at the urgent entreaty of Lord Winchelsea, whom, on his apprehension, he had appointed lord-lieutenant of Kent. James was not without hopes that the prince would still come to terms, and to ascertain his sentiments he sent Feversham to Windsor to invite the prince to a personal conference in the capital, and to inform him that St. James’s palace would be ready for his reception. The arrival of the earl with such a proposal was exceedingly annoying to William and his adherents, the former of whom, on the supposition that the king had taken a final adieu of the kingdom, had begun to act the part of the sovereign, while the latter were already intriguing for the great offices of the state. Instead of returning an answer to the king’s message, William, on the pretence that Feversham had disbanded the army without orders, and had come to Windsor without a passport, ordered him to be arrested, and committed a prisoner to the round tower, an order which was promptly obeyed.

At Rochester, whence he had despatched Feversham, the king was met by his guards, and thence proceeded to London, which he entered on the 16th of December amidst the acclamations of the citizens, and the ringing of bells, and other popular manifestations of joy, a remarkable proof of the instability and inconstancy of feeling which actuate masses of people under excitement.

As James conceived that the only chance he now had of securing the confidence of his subjects and preserving his crown, consisted in giving some signal proof of his sincerity to act constitutionally, he made the humiliating offer to Lewis and Stamps, two of the city aldermen, to deliver himself up into their hands on receiving an assurance that the civil authorities would guarantee his personal safety, and to remain in custody till parliament should pass such measures as might be considered necessary for securing the religion and liberties of the nation. But Sir Robert Clayton dissuaded the common council from entering into any engagement which the city might possibly be unable to fulfil, and thus a negotiation was dropt, which, if successful, might have placed William in a situation of great embarrassment.

But although James did not succeed in his offer to the city, his return to Whitehall had changed the aspect of affairs, and had placed William in a dilemma from which he could only extricate himself by withdrawing altogether his pretensions to the crown, or by driving his uncle out of it by force. William considered that the most safe and prudent course he could pursue would be to force James to leave the kingdom; but in such a manner as to induce the belief that he did so freely and of his own accord. Accordingly, to excite the king’s alarms, a body of Dutch guards, by order of the prince, marched into Westminster, and, after taking possession of the palace of St. James’s, marched with their matches lighted to Whitehall, of which they also demanded possession. As resistance, owing to the great disparity of numbers, was considered by the king to be unavailing, he, contrary to the opinion of Lord Craven, the commander of his guards, who, though eighty years of age, offered to oppose the invaders, ordered the guards to resign their posts, of which the Dutch took possession. This event took place late on the evening of the 16th of December.

["A day or two after his return, Earl Colin (of Balcarras) and his friend Dundee waited on his Majesty. Colin had been in town but three or four days, which he had employed in endeavours to unite his Majesty’s friends in his interest. ‘He was received affectionately,’ says his son, ‘but observed that there were none with the king but some of the gentlemen of his bed-chamber. L— came in, one of the generals of his army disbanded about a fortnight before. He informed the king that most of his generals and colonels of his guards had assembled that morning upon observing the universal joy of the city upon his return; that the result of their meeting was to appoint him to tell his Majesty that still much was in their power to serve and defend him; that most part of the army disbanded was either in London or near it; and that, if he would order them to beat their drums, they were confident twenty thousand men could be got together before the end of next day.—’ My lord,’ says the king, ‘I know you to be my friend, sincere and honourable; the men who sent you are not so, and I expect nothing from them. ‘—He then said it was a fine day—he would take a walk. None attended him but Colin and Lord Dundee. When he was in the Mall, he stopped and looked at them, and asked how they came to be with him, when all the world had forsaken him and gone to the Prince of Orange? Colin said their fidelity to so good a master would ever be the same; they had nothing to do with the Prince of Orange,—Lord Dundee made the strongest professions of duty ;—‘ Will you two, as gentlemen, say you have still attachment to me?’—’ Sir, we do.’— ‘Will you give me your hands upon it, as men of honour?’ they did so,—’ Well, I see you are the men I always took you to be; you shall know all my intentions. I can no longer remain here but as a cypher, or be a prisoner to the Prince of Orange, and you know there is but a small distance between the prisons and the graves of kings ; therefore I go for France immediately; when there, you shall have my instructions,—you, Lord Balcarres, shall have a commission to manage my civil affairs, and you, Lord Dundee, to command my troops in Scotland.’ "—Lives of the Lindsays, vol. ii. pp. 161, 162.]

The king now received orders from William to quit Whitehall by ten o’clock next morning, as the latter meant to enter London about noon, and that he should retire to Ham, a house in Surrey belonging to the dowager duchess of Lauderdale, which had been provided for his reception. The king objected to Ham as a residence being uncomfortable, but stated his willingness to return to Rochester. Permission being granted by the prince, James left Whitehall about twelve o’clock noon, after taking an affectionate adieu of his friends, many of whom burst into tears. He embarked on board the royal barge, attended by Viscount Dundee and other noblemen, and descended the river, surrounded by several boats filled with Dutch guards, in presence of an immense concourse of spectators, many of whom witnessed with sorrow the humiliating spectacle.

The king arrived at Rochester the following day from Gravesend, where he had passed the previous night. Having remained four days at Rochester, he, accompanied by two captains in the navy, his natural son the Duke of Berwick, and a domestic, went on board the Eagle fireship, being unable to reach, on account of the unfavourable state of the weather, a fishing smack which had been hired for his reception. On the following morning he went on board the smack, and after a boisterous voyage of two days, arrived at Ambleteuse, in France, on the 25th of December, and joined his wife and child, at the castle of St. Germain’s, on the 28th. Thus ingloriously and sadly ended the reign of the last of the unfortunate and seemingly infatuated royal race of Stuarts.

Considering the crisis at which matters had arrived, the course which the king pursued, of withdrawing from the kingdom, was evidently the most prudent which could be adopted. All his trusty adherents in England were without power or influence, and in Scotland the Duke of Gordon was the only nobleman who openly stood out for the interests of his sovereign. He had been created a duke by Charles II. James had appointed him governor of the castle of Edinburgh, and he had been thereafter made a privy-counsellor and one of the lords of the treasury. Though a firm and conscientious Catholic, he was always opposed to the violent measures of the court, as he was afraid that however well meant, they would turn out ruinous to the king; not indeed that he did not wish to see the professors of the same faith with himself enjoy the same civil privileges as were enjoyed by his Protestant countrymen, but because he was opposed to the exercise of the dispensing power at a time when the least favour shown to the professors of the proscribed faith was denounced as an attempt to introduce popery. The king, influenced by some of his flatterers, received the duke coldly on his appearance at court in March, 1688, and curtailed some of his rights and privileges over the lands of some of his vassals in Badenoch. Even his fidelity appeared to be questioned, by various acts of interference with the affairs of the castle, of which he disapproved. He resented these indignities by tendering his resignation of the various appointments he held from the crown, and demanded permission from the king to retire beyond seas for a time; but James put a negative upon both proposals, and the duke returned to his post at Edinburgh.

Notwithstanding the bad treatment he had received, the duke, true to his trust, determined to preserve the castle of Edinburgh for the king, although the Prince of Orange should obtain possession of every other fortress in the kingdom. He requested the privy council to lay in a quantity of provisions and ammunition, but this demand was but partially attended to, for though the garrison consisted only of 120 men, there was not a sufficiency of materials for a three months siege. The duke shut himself up in the castle, and invited the Earl of Perth, the chancellor, to join him; but the earl declined the offer, and, in attempting to make his escape to the continent, was seized near the Bass, in the Frith of Forth, by some seamen from Kirkcaldy, under a warrant from the magistrates of that burgh, and. committed to Stirling castle, where he remained. a close prisoner for nearly four years. A few days after the duke had retired to the castle, an attempt was made by some of the prince’s adherents to corrupt the fidelity of the garrison, by circulating a false report that the duke meant to make the whole garrison, who were chiefly Protestants, swear to maintain the Catholic religion. A mutiny was on the eve of breaking out, but it was detected by the vigilance of some officers. The duke, thereupon, drew out the garrison, assured them that the report in question was wholly unfounded, and informed them that all he required of them was to take the oath of allegiance to the king, which was immediately done by the greater part of the garrison. Those who refused were at once dismissed. To supply the deficiency thus made, the duke sent notice to Francis Gordon of Midstrath to bring up from the north 45 of the best and most resolute men he could find on his lands; but, on their arrival at Leith, a hue and cry was raised that the duke was bringing down Papists and Highlanders to overawe the Protestants. To calm the minds of the people, the duke ordered these men to return home.

As soon as the news of the arrival of the Prince of Orange in London, and the departure of the king, was received in Edinburgh, an immense concourse of persons, "of all sorts, degrees, and persuasions," who "could (says Balcarras) scrape so much together" to defray their expenses, went up to London, influenced by motives of interest or patriotism. The Prince of Orange took the wise expedient of obtaining all the legal sanction which, before the assembling of a parliament, could be given to his assumption of the administration of affairs in England; obtaining the concurrence of many of the spiritual and temporal peers, and of a meeting composed of some members who had sat in the House of Commons during the reign of Charles II., as also of the Lord-Mayor of London, and. 50 of the common council. He now adopted the same expedient as to Scotland, and taking advantage of the great influx into the capital of noblemen and gentlemen from that country, he convened them together. A meeting was accordingly held at Whitehall, at which 30 noblemen and 80 gentlemen attended. The Duke of Hamilton, who aimed at the chief direction of affairs in Scotland, was chosen president. At this meeting a motion was made by the duke that a convention of the estates should be called as early as possible, and that an address should be presented to the prince to take upon him the direction of affairs in Scotland in the meantime; but this motion was unexpectedly opposed by the Earl of Arran, the duke’s eldest son, who proposed that the king should be invited back on condition that he should call a free parliament for securing the civil and religious liberties of Scotland. This proposition threw the assembly into confusion, and a short adjournment took place, but on resuming their seats, the earl’s motion was warmly opposed by Sir Patrick Hume, and as none of the members offered to second it, the motion was consequently lost, and the duke’s being put to the vote, was carried.

A convention of the estates, called by circular letters from the prince, was accordingly appointed to be held at Edinburgh, on the 14th of March, 1689, and the supporters of the prince, as well as the adherents of the king, prepared to depart home to attend the ensuing election. But the prince managed to detain them till he should be declared king, that as many as might feel inclined might seal their new-born loyalty by kissing his hand but William had to experience the mortification of a refusal even from some of those whom he had ranked amongst his warmest friends. The Earl of Balcarras and Viscount Dundee, the former of whom had, as before mentioned, been invested by the king with the civil, the latter with the military administration of affairs in Scotland, were the first of either party who arrived in Scotland, but not until the end of February, when the elections were about to commence. On their arrival at Edinburgh they found the Duke of Gordon, who had hitherto refused to deliver up the castle, though tempted by the most alluring offers from the prince, about to capitulate, but they dissuaded him from this step, on the ground that the king’s cause was not hopeless, and that the retention of such an important fortress was of the utmost importance.

The elections commenced. The inhabitants of the southern and western counties (for every Protestant, without distinction, was allowed to vote), alarmed for the extinction of their religious liberties, and excited by the recollection of the wrongs they and their forefathers had suffered, gave their suffrages to the popular candidate, and the adherents of the king soon perceived that the chances were against him. Yet, when the convention met, a respectable minority seemed, notwithstanding, to be in favour of the king, but they had neither the courage nor address to oppose the popular current. To overawe, as is supposed, the friends of the king, or to prevent the convention from being overawed by the troops in the castle, the Duke of Hamilton and his friends, a few days before the meeting of the convention, introduced a considerable number of armed men into Edinburgh, some of whom were concealed in cellars and houses, ready to act as occasion might require. The first trial of strength between the two parties took place on the election of a president. To the Duke of Hamilton the adherents of the king opposed the Marquis of Athole, who, in consequence of being slighted by the prince, had promised his support to the royal party; but the duke was elected by a considerable majority. This vote sealed the fate of the Tory party, and many who had hitherto wavered in their allegiance now openly abandoned the cause of James. The consequence was, that within a few days, the number of the adherents of the king was greatly reduced.

The first act of the convention was to send the Earls of Tweeddale and Leven, with an order to the Duke of Gordon to deliver up the castle within twenty-four hours. The duke, overcome by the smooth and insinuating behaviour of Tweeddale, reluctantly yielded, and promised to surrender the castle next morning at ten o’clock. When this answer was brought to the convention, Balcarras and Dundee were alarmed, and immediately despatched a confidential servant to the duke reminding him of his promise to hold out, and imploring him not to give way. The duke wavered, but on obtaining a writing which he required under the hands of these noblemen that the retention of the castle was absolutely necessary for the success of the king’s affairs, and being visited the following morning by Lord Dundee, who impressed on him the importance of holding out, he resolved to break with the convention. To prepare matters in the north he despatched thither the Earl of Dunfermline, his brother-in-law, to whom he granted a written commission, authorising him to raise his friends and vassals in support of the king.

In consequence of the refusal of the duke to deliver up the castle, he was, by order of the convention, summoned by the heralds at the gate of the castle to surrender, and a proclamation was read at the same time prohibiting all persons from having any communication with him, and promising a reward of six months’ pay to the Protestants in the garrison who should seize him and deliver him and the castle up to the convention. The duke addressed the heralds from within the gate, and told them, that he kept the castle by commission from their common master, and would defend it to the last extremity; and after handing them some guineas, which he requested they would spend in drinking the king’s health, and the healths of all his loyal subjects, he facetiously advised them not to proclaim men traitors with the king’s coats on their backs till they had turned them. Upon the departure of the heralds, the duke drew out the garrison and gave them their option, either to remain in the castle and share with him the dangers that awaited them, or to depart. Upwards of a third of the garrison took advantage of the permission to depart, and left the castle on that and the following day.

As the king’s friends saw that any efforts they could make in the convention would be quite unavailing, they agreed at a private meeting which they held on the 17th of March, to repair to Stirling and there hold a convention by themselves. This resolution was adopted agreeably to the wish of the king himself, who had sent a written authority, dated from Ireland, empowering the Archbishop of St. Andrews, the Earl of Balcarras, and Viscount Dundee, to call a meeting of the estates at Stirling. Balcarras and Dundee received an assurance from the Marquis of Athole, who, ever since the cold reception he had met with from William, had been wonderfully loyal, that he would accompany them, and a similar promise was obtained from the Earl of Mar, governor of Stirling castle. Athole, however, began to waver, a circumstance which deferred the departure of the king’s friends.

Here it may not be improper to notice a circumstance which probably had its weight in the deliberations preceding the departure of Dundee. On the morning of 16th March, just as Lord Dundee was on the point of going to the convention, he was waited upon by James Binnie, a dyer, who informed him that he had overheard a conversation the day before among some persons of their intention of murdering him and Sir George Mackenzie, and Binnie offered, if a warrant were granted him, to apprehend them. Dundee immediately went to the convention and applied for protection, but they refused to act in the matter, and passed to the order of the day. Whether this affair was the device of the Whig party, as has been supposed, to get quit of two individuals particularly obnoxious to them, there are no means of ascertaining; but when the circumstances of the times, and the opinions then held by many of the people are considered, the design of assassinating them is far from improbable.

But be this as it may, Dundee resolved to remain as short as possible in a place where he might be every moment exposed to the dagger of the assassin; and, accordingly, he and his friends fixed on Monday the 18th of March for their departure for Stirling. With the exception of Dundee, they all assembled at the appointed place of rendezvous in the city at the hour which had been fixed; but as the Marquis of Athole, who had promised to accompany them and to protect them on their arrival at Stirling with a body of his vassals, wished them to postpone their departure till the following day; they consented to remain, and were in the act of dispersing and proceeding to the convention when Dundee made his appearance. Such an unexpected resolution greatly surprised him, but he told Balcarras, that whatever were the views of his friends, he would not remain another day in Edinburgh. Balcarras remonstrated with him, and represented, that his departure would give the alarm to their enemies, who would not fall to take advantage of the discovery; but he replied, that as he had a select body of between forty and fifty troopers ready mounted and prepared to start, he would not remain any longer within the city, but would clear the walls with his party and wait without for such friends as might choose to join him. Dundee accordingly left the city at the head of his troopers, to go, as he is said to have emphatically replied to a friend who put the question to him, wherever the spirit of Montrose should direct. After passing the Nether Bow port, he turned to the left down Leith Wynd, and after clearing the suburbs of the Calton, he faced to the west, and proceeded along the line of road known at the time by the name of the Lang-gate, and which now forms the splendid terrace of Princes’ street. On arriving opposite the castle, Dundee ordered his men to halt, and alighting from his horse, he clambered up the steep precipice on the west side of that fortress, and from the bottom of the wall held a conference with the Duke of Gordon, who stood in an adjoining postern gate immediately above. No account has been preserved of the nature of the conversation which passed between these two devoted adherents of the king, but it is understood that the viscount entreated the duke to hold out the castle as long as he could, and that he would endeavour to raise the siege as soon as he had collected sufficient forces.

[It is to this interview that Sir Waiter Scott alludes in his well-known and stirring ballad of "Bonnie Dundee."

—"The Gordon has asked of him whither he goes? 
‘Wherever shall guide me the soul of Montrose! 
Your grace in short space shall have tidings of me, 
Or that low lies the bonnet of Bonnie Dundee!

‘There’s lands beyond Pentland, and hills beyond Forth, 
If there‘s lords in the South-land, there‘s chiefs in the North,
And wild dunnie-wassels three thousand times three, 
Will cry hoigh for the bonnet of Bonnie Dundee?

‘Away to the hills, to the woods, to the rocks— 
Ere I own an usurper I’ll couch with the fox; 
So, tremble, false Whigs, though triumphant ye be, 
For ye ‘re not seen the last of my bonnet or me!’

He waved his proud arm and the trumpets were blown,
The kettle-drums clashed, and the horsemen rode on,
Till by Ravelston craigs and on Clermiston-lea
Died away the wild war-note of Bonnie Dundee.

—‘ Come fill up my cup, come fill up my can, 
Come saddle my horses and call up my men, 
Fling all your gates open and let cue go free, 
For it ‘s up with the bonnets of Bonnie Dundee!’"

The convention despatched a Major Bunting with a party of horse in pursuit, but although he overtook Dundee, he had not the courage to attack him, alarmed by a threat with which, it is said, Dundee menaced him, that he would send him (Bunting) back to the convention, in a pair of blankets, did he dare to molest him. Dundee crossed Stirling bridge the second day of his departure, and proceeded to his residence of Dudhope, near Dundee, to ruminate over the events which had just passed, and to concoct his plans, under the new and extraordinary circumstances in which he was placed, for the restoration of James.


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