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The Old Scots Navy from 1689 to 1710
The Revolution and War with France, from August, 1689, to December, 1694


INTRODUCTION

 

 With the capture of the two hired frigates, the Pelican and Janet, and with the raising of the siege of Londonderry, the Scots Navy for the time being ceased to exist. The death of Dundee at Killiecrankie in the hour of victory on 27th July, 1689, the defeat of his successor Brigadier Cannon at Dunkeld, and his subsequent retreat in the winter of 1689-90 to Mull, on the dispersal of the Jacobite Highlanders, eased the military situation in Scotland for William. That situation, however, still rendered a careful policing of the western seas necessary so long as James ruled in Dublin. These narrow seas continued to be held by a small squadron of the English fleet which was for some time under the command of Captain Rooke. On 12th October, 1689, the squadron [Admiralty 3, No. 2 (Minutes), P.R.O.],detailed for this and Irish Channel duty was the Monck third rate, the St. Albans, the Dover and the Advice fourth rates, and the Dartmouth and Sapphire fifth rates. These kept the Jacobites in the west of Scotland in awe, and under their cover William continued to send over from England and Scotland considerable reinforcements to Ireland. In 1690 Captain Pottinger of the Dartmouth commanded the squadron on the western station of Scotland one of which was the Lark, commanded by Captain Andrew Douglas, late of the Phoenix privateer. The Dartmouth and the Lark, with the assistance of a small hired Scots ship the Lamb of Glasgow, did valuable service in 1690 in reducing the western Highlanders. The Dartmouth, which had distinguished herself under Leake at the relief of Londonderry, was lost on 9th October, 1690, in the Sound of Mull, Captain Pottinger[See also Charnock's Biographia Navalis, vol. ii, p. 363] and most of the crew being drowned.

 

The beginning of 1690 saw the reinauguration of a policy, practised during the Continental wars of Charles I and Charles II, of recruiting part of the personnel of the English Navy from the seamen and fishermen of Scotland on terms favourable to Scots shipping. These conditions were freedom of Scots seamen from impressment into the English Navy, equality with England in the exchange of prisoners of war, and the same rates of naval pay for Scots and English. Though an account of this policy may be more germane to a history of the English Navy, it may not be out of place to include it here. This policy was repeated in Scotland in the spring of 1692, and in March, 1693, when the same benefits of hospital treatment as English seamen received were extended to Scotsmen serving in the English Navy. The supply of seamen was however inadequate, and on 2nd May, 1693, the Privy Council had recourse to the ballot to secure the necessary quota. The protection granted by the Privy Council on 13th February, 1690, to the Scots merchantman Rachel of Dundee against the impressment of her crew, arose out of the concession against the press, as did also the incident of 8th November, 1692, when the Privy Council ordered the release of seamen belonging to another Scots merchant­man the Swallow of Leith who had been pressed by Captain Kiggens of the Greyhound frigate.

 

The complete dependence of Scotland on the English fleet was for several reasons not satisfactory. The presence of English men-of-war in Scottish territorial waters, notwithstanding the desire of the Scots Privy Council to get them on to the Scottish station, and a strong desire to co-operate with them when so employed, gave rise from time to time to difficulties and conflicts of jurisdiction, which nothing but the creation of an independent Scots Navy, or a corporate union, could solve. On 7th April, 1690, the Privy Council credited Captain Pottinger with six weeks' provisions for the use of his three ships in case he had not got payment from England. On the other hand, his arrest of two Glasgow vessels in September, 1690, for bringing tobacco pre­sumably from the English Colonies in America without entering the same in England gave rise to acrimonious diplomatic correspondence. On 9th December, 1690, the Scots Privy Council represented that in their opinion no ship in Scots harbours could be summarily seized by an order from England, Scotland being an independent nation. In June, 1691, a similar question arose when Captain Ivory of H.M.S. Pembroke on the Scottish station seized and attempted to carry away to England from Port Glasgow the John, belonging to Thomas Weir merchant, Glasgow, which had arrived from Bilboa. On 28th April, 1692, Captain Roope of H.M.S. Sheerness was cited to appear before the Lord High Chancellor of Scotland for seizing in the road of Leith a neutral ship the Emanuell of Flenburgh in Denmark, and seeking to carry her as prize to England without trial by the High Court of Admiralty of Scotland. The Scots Privy Council strongly resented English pretensions and asserted Scots jurisdiction and sovereignty. This stretch of jurisdiction on the part of England was the more resented when in May, 1693, a vessel with an English privateer's commission began to search Scots ships in the Firth of Forth for French goods and for tobacco from the Plantations. This and other complaints were again the subject of serious correspondence with the crown, and the prerogative of Scotland was so far maintained that the privateer's actions, according to the Queen's letter of 19th August, 1693, were disallowed by the English Court of Admiralty. Scots merchants on the Clyde were also in like manner harassed. In September, 1693, William Corss and other merchants of Glasgow—who had for  some  time been troubled by a small privateer with an English commission boarding Scots ships and threatening to carry to England all Scots ships coming from America to be judged and made prize of by the Admiralty Court there—offered to equip a ship of 20 guns to protect Scots shipping from such unwarrantable interference ; and the Scots Privy Council recommended the Duke of Hamilton, who had been appointed on 3rd March, 1692, Lord High Admiral of Scotland, [State Papers (Scotland) Warrant Books, vol. xv, p. 118, P.R.O.] to grant the necessary commission. These difficulties and complications of jurisdiction hastened the building up again of a small Scots navy ; but the war with France and the depredations of French privateers on Scots shipping were even more effective in bringing again into being something in the nature of a Scots naval force. On the 30th of June, 1690, the French fleet under Tourville defeated the allied Dutch and English fleets at Beachy Head. Thereafter French naval effort in fitting out privateers to prey on the shipping of England and Scotland was encouraged. Even the sea victory of La Hogue in May 1692, which restored the predominance of the allied navies of England and Holland in the Channel, did not free the Scots coasts of French privateers. The destruc­tion of their regular fleet drove the French more than before to the fitting out of privateers, which were a menace to the shipping of England and Scotland until the peace of 1697. There was therefore a continual call to provide protection for the sea-borne commerce of Scotland. On 11th February, 1690, the Privy Council issued a commission to Captain Bosswell, of the Providence of Kirkcaldy, to operate against the French and Irish in rebellion. The Lamb of Glasgow has already been referred to. On 9th July, 1690, letters of marque were issued to James Dalgleish, captain of the James of Queensferry, and to John Robertson, captain of the Reid Lyon of Queensferry. In March 1691 the William and Mary was bought and commissioned for the use of the garrison of Fort William. In May 1691 the Lamb of Glasgow was again commissioned and also the Grizell of Glasgow. On 10th June, 1692, commissions were issued to Mathew Campbell, master of the William and George of Glasgow, and to Hugh Campbell for the Elizabeth of Argyll. This latter ship soon after received a commission from England, and, judging from the Privy Council minute of 20th March, 1693, was the privateer complained of by William Corss and other Glasgow merchants as interfering with Scots shipping. Captain Mathew Campbell[See also Charnock's Biographia Navalis, vol. iv, p. 39.]afterwards received a regular commission in the Scots Navy on 17th July, 1703, as captain of the Dumbarton Castle.

 

During this revolutionary period Robert Dunbar, a Scots Jacobite skipper, commanded a French privateer and was in March, 1693, proceeded against for the crime of perduellion.[Treason.]  Alexander Smith of Aberdeen was also, in December, 1693, ordered by the Privy Council to be examined on the charge of using a ship as a French ' privateer against his countrymen.

 

Mediterranean passes or safe conducts to go abroad, required by the articles of peace between England and the Barbary States of Algiers, Tunis and Tripoli, [Admiralty 3, No. 2 (Minutes) in the P.R.O.] were issued by the Crown to Scots traders. One, dated 28th February, 1693, issued in favour of Thomas Gordon, master of the Margaret of Aberdeen, [See the Stirling- Home- Drummond-Moray papers in the Historical MSS. Commission Report, 1885, p. 185.] is given as an example of such documents, which were in reality letters of marque and reprisal. Thomas Gordon had a remarkable career. The account books of the shipmasters' society of Aberdeen show that he was trading from Aberdeen between 1688, when their oldest extant book begins, and 1693. His voyages embraced such distant places as Shetland, Stockholm, Norway, and Holland. On 17th July, 1703, he received a regular commission in the Scots Navy as captain of the Royal Mary.
CHAPTER II

 

Minutes of the Privy Council of Scotland (résumé).

Edinburgh.    6th August, 1689.

 

A Declaration of war is made against the French King and against his subjects, who have, among other things, invaded Ireland and maintained a rebellion there against his Majesty and sent ships to bring Irish forces for the invasion of Scotland.

 

 

Edinburgh.    23rd August, 1689.

 

In a letter to Major General McKay from the Council he is informed that ' The four frigates which came down hither are several days ago gone on their voyage north about to cruise betwixt Scotland and Ireland. What they may do on the way in relation to their descent into any of the islands is much at their own discretion.'

 

 

Ibidem.

Edinburgh.    9th January, 1690.

Letter from His Majesty anent the Army, Levying of Seamen, &c.

 

The letter underwritten from his Majesty to the Lords of his Privy Council of the kingdom of Scotland anent the army, and levying of seamen, . . . &c.,' was read and ordered to be recorded, whereof the tenor follows :—

(Sic suprascribitur) WILLIAM R.—Right trusty and entirely beloved cousin and councillor, &c

. . . . Our service at sea requiring more seamen than can be conveniently raised here at this time, we recommend to you to find out a way for raising a competent number of seamen, being resolved that the Scotsmen (if prisoners) shall be equally relieved with the English, and that Scots trading ships shall have protection for preventing their men being pressed. ... So we bid you heartily farewell. Given at our Court at Kensington, the 4th day of January, 1689-90, and of our reign the first year.    By his Majesty's command (sic subscribitur),

MELVILL.

 

 

Ibidem.

Edinburgh.    9th January, 1690.

Committee anent Seamen.

 

 

Recommended to the Earl of Leven, [David, second son of George first Earl of Melvill, succeeded as third Earl of Leven on 27th July, 1681.] the President of Session, [Sir James Dalrymple of Stair.] the Lords Aberurchell[Sir Colin Campbell, Senator of the College of Justice.] and Fountainhall, [Sir John Lauder, Senator of the College of Justice.] Major-General McKay, the Laird of Blackbarony, [Sir Archibald Murray.]and Sir John Hall,[ Lord Provost of Edinburgh]. to draw an answer to his Majesty's most gracious letter, and a proclamation if necessary upon the King's letter, and to consider what method shall be taken for raising the seamen, and for that effect, if need be, to call some skippers before them and to hear what overtures they will offer for making his Majesty's design effectual.

 

Ibidem.

Edinburgh,    10th January, 1690.

Letter to His Majesty.

 

The letter underwritten from the Lords of his Majesty's Privy Council direct to his most excellent Majesty was read and subscribed by the Earl of Crafurd, chosen president of Council in absence of the Duke of Hamilton, their president, of the which letter the tenor follows :—

May it please your Majesty,—Your gracious letter of the fourth instant gives a fresh undoubted evidence of your Majesty's great affection and care towards this kingdom. More than could be expected on your Majesty's part hath been done to content and protect your subjects here. The entertainment of so many forces for our defence at your Majesty's charge with so tender a regard that the country be paid by the soldiers, your Majesty's gracious intention to secure our trading seamen from being pressed, and the assurance that your Majesty will take care that they will be released and exchanged when they are taken prisoners equally with your English subjects, must convince the world of your Majesty's extraordinary favour to this nation in all its concerns.

. . We have provided a committee for providing of seamen for your Majesty's service. We have ordered drums to be beaten at all maritime places for listing of such seamen as are willing to engage, and for their further encouragement we have assured them (what we find to have been given formerly upon the like occasions) forty shillings sterling of advance, sixpence a day after they are enrolled till they be put aboard of the fleet, and thereafter the full pay which the English do receive. We have likewise written to all the magistrates of the maritime burghs to do exact diligence  for raising what numbers of seamen they can, and to transmit lists of all the able seamen that are in their towns or alongst the coast. . . . This is signed in the name and at the desire of your Majesty's Privy Council by, may it please your Majesty, your Majesty's most dutiful and obedient subject and servant (sic subscribitur),

CRAFURD, I.P.D.S. CON.

 

Ibidem.

Edinburgh, 10th January, 1690.

Letters to Burghs anent Seamen.

 

The letter underwritten from the Lords of his Majesty's Privy Council direct to the magistrates of Kirkaldy for themselves and Peithhead was read and subscribed by the Earl of Crafurd, president of Council for the time, anent the levying of seamen, of the which the tenor follows:—

His Majesty having by his royal letter of the 4th current recommended to the Lords of Privy Council to find out a way for raising a competent number of seamen for his Majesty's service, [narrative of conditions as in letter to his Majesty of 10th January, 1690] [the Council] require you to give in a report of what seamen you have so taken on in the towns foresaid, with an exact list of the whole other seamen and fishermen within your bounds and places abovementioned betwixt and the day of that the Council may consider how far the seamen to be furnished to his Majesty's navy falls short, that so the same may be made up in a just proportion by lot out of the said other list of seamen without any levy or advance money to be given by his Majesty to those who shall be taken by lot and who shall not voluntarily list themselves, and the Council will take special care that just and due consideration be had of such towns wherein the seamen shall voluntarily list themselves when the Council falls upon the other method abovementioned for effectuating the said levy. This by warrant and in name of the Council is signified to you by your humble servant (sic subscribitur)

CRAFURD, I.P.D.S. CON.

 

The tenor of the which letter was subscribed by the said Earl of Crafurd and sent to the magistrates of the said Burgh and others after-mentioned, [The spelling of the burghs as given in the MS. is retained.]  viz :—

 

1        To the magistrates of Dysert for themselves, Easter and Wester Weymes, and Buckhaven.

2        To the magistrates of Pittenwyme for them­ selves and for Leven, Largo, and Earlsferrie.

3        To the magistrates of Enstruther Wester for themselves, and St. Ninians, [Probably St. Monans.] Ellie and Killranie.

4        To the magistrates of Enstruther Easter.

5        To the magistrates of Craill.

6        To the magistrates of St. Andrewes.

7        To the magistrates of Dundie for themselves and   Ferrie   Partancraig   and   South   Ferrie   of Dundie, Broughtie, Monifuith and Barrie.

8        To the magistrates of Pearth.

9        To the magistrates of Aberbrothick[Arbroath.] for themselves and Parbroth.

10   To the magistrates of Montross.

11   To the magistrates of Aberdein for them­ selves, Newburgh, Peetterhead, Crimon, Lonmay, and Frazersburgh.

12      To the magistrates of Banff for themselves and Portsoy, Whythills and Downe. [Now Macduff.]

13   To the magistrates of Bervie for the sea towns in the shire of Kincardin.

14   To the magistrates of Rothsay for them­selves and the sea towns of Buit.

15   To the magistrates of Dumbartoune for themselves and the town of Killpatrick.

16   To the magistrates of Glasgow.

17   To the magistrates of Renfrew for them­selves, Greenock and the rest of the coast.

18   To the magistrates of Dunbarr for them­selves, and   Eymouth,  Coldingham,   Ross,   and Northfield.

19   To the magistrates of North Berwick and Aberladie.

20   To the magistrates of Edinburgh   and baillies   of  Leith   for   South   and  North   Leith, Prestonpannes, Cockenie, Musleburgh, Fisherrow, and Newheaven.

21   To the magistrates of South Queenferrie for themselves and Cramound.

22   To the magistrates of Linlithgow   for themselves and Blacknes.

23   To the magistrates of Borrowstouness for themselves, Graingpans,[Grangemouth] and other   sea  towns thereabouts.

24   To the magistrates of Stirling for themselves and Cambuskeneth.

25   To the magistrates of Cullross for themselves and the towns of Alloway and Clackmanan.

26   To the magistrates of Innerkeithing for themselves and North Ferry.

27   To the magistrates of Dumfermling for themselves and Lymkills.

28   To the magistrates of Burntisland   for themselves and Aberdour.

29   To the magistrates of Kinghorne.

30   To the magistrates of Irving for themselves, Largs, Ferrie,[probably Fairlie] Kellbarrie[Probably Kelburne] and Saltcoats.

31   To the magistrates of Air for themselves, Corsbie, Mounktoune, Prestick, Cove, and Turneberrie.

32   To the magistrates of Stranraer for themselves and for Girvan, Balintrie and Portpatrick.

33   To the magistrates of Wigtoune.

34   To the magistrates of Whithorne.

35   To the magistrates of Kirkcudbright.

36   To the magistrates of Cullen for themselves, Rathven, Buckie, Greenock, and Sandend.

37   To the magistrates of Dornock for them­ selves, Portmahomock and parish of Craith.

38   To the magistrates of Fores for themselves, Cousie and Earnehill, Finhorne, Stotfauld, Burgh,[Burghead] Cubbin, and Dalmassie.

39   To the magistrates of Nairne.

40   To the magistrates of Innerness.

41   To the magistrates of Cromartie for themselves, Tarbatnes and Wilkhaven.

42   To the magistrates of Week for themselves and Thurso.

 

Ibidem (résumé).

Edinburgh.    10th January, 1690.

 

Letter to the Earl of Argyll anent levying of seamen, in similar terms to that to the Burghs, promising to reimburse his Lordship from the excise of Argyllshire for his expenses.

Similar letter to the Steward of Orkney and Zetland.    

 

 

Ibidem.

Edinburgh.    8th February, 1690.

Letter to Lord Melvill, Secretary of State.

 

The letter underwritten from the Council to the Lord Melvill, sole Secretary of State for the kingdom of Scotland, was read, voted and approven and subscribed by the Earl of Crafurd, elected president of the Council for the time, and was ordered to be insert in their books, whereof the tenor follows :—

My Lord,—The Council had a letter from Sir James Montgomery of Skelmorlie with the deposition of John Boyd, merchant in Belfast, takeit before him and the Provost of Irvine, the copy whereof is herewith transmitted and which is confirmed by the Earl of Argyll's intelligence from his countries this day, by all which the Council is very sensible of the necessity there is of hasting down the frigates[General Mackay's Memoirs, pp. 84, 305, .325]. mentioned in a former letter from his Majesty to them. Therefore they again seriously recommend to your Lordship to interpose with his Majesty to hasten down these frigates to the western coasts of this kingdom, thereby to prevent the transport, either of  men, arms or ammunition  from Ireland [ General Thomas Buchan landed in Scotland from Ireland in the spring of 1690.] hither for the future and for facilitating their designs, which may be set on foot for the advancement of his Majesty's forces. . . . Signed by warrant and in name of the Council by your most humble servant (sic subscribitur),

CRAFURD, P.

 

Ibidem.

Edinburgh,    11th February, 1690.

Commission to Captain Bosswell

[ Sometimes written  ' Boswall,'   ' Boswell,'   ' Boisual'  and ' Bosuall,' &c.]

 

The commission underwritten granted by the Council to the said Captain Bosswell in the terms of his Majesty's letter, was read and subscribed by the Earl of Crafurd, president for the time, and was ordained to be sealed with the cachet of Council, whereof the tenor  follows:—

William, Earl of Crafurd, Lord Lindsay, etc., elected president of their Majesties' Privy Council of the kingdom of Scotland, in absence of William, Duke of Hamilton, their president, and the remanent Lords of their Majesties' Privy Council for the said kingdom, to all and sundry kings, princes, dukes, marquises, governors of republics, magistrates of burghs, commanders of navies, governors of ports and castles, and to all and sundry whom these presents do or may concern :— Forasmuch as his Majesty by his letter of the date the twenty-eighth day of January, 1689-90, direct to the Lords of Privy Council hath signified to them that whereas his Majesty hath given no commissions as yet to any person or persons for managing the office of Lord High Admiral[The Duke of Hamilton was appointed Lord High Admiral on 3rd March, 1692.] in the kingdom of Scotland, who might grant letters of mark and general reprisal against the vessels and goods belonging to the subjects of the French King and to the Irish now in rebellion, and that his Majesty was informed that John Bosswell in Kirkaldie hath provided a ship with men and guns for taking and apprehending ships or goods belonging to the French or Irish and desired his Majesty's commission for that effect, and that his Majesty hath authorised and granted warrant to the said Lords of his Majesty's Privy Council to grant a commission and letters of mark and general reprisal unto the said John Bosswell against the ships and goods belonging to the subjects of the French king and to the Irish rebels, .-and hath appointed them to grant protection to the said Captain John Bosswell and his company against all presses and seizures in manner and to the effect aftermentioned: Therefore the said Lords of his Majesty's Privy Council, in compliance with and obedience to his Majesty's commands expressed in his royal letter of the date abovementioned, do hereby give full power, warrant and commission to the said Captain John Bosswell in Kirkaldie, to be captain of the good ship or frigate called the Providence of Kirkaldie, of the burden of one hundred and sixty tons or thereabouts and carrying twelve pieces of ordnance and the number of twenty-two seamen or thereabouts, and ammunition proportionable such as a man of war commissioned in their Majesties' actual service is in use to carry, giving, granting and committing to the said Captain John Bosswell full power, warrant, commission and charge to order and command the officers, soldiers and mariners of the said ship with men, victual, arms, artillery great and small, and all other warlike munition and provisions whatsoever, and therewith to set forth and go to sea and to search for, apprehend and, in case of resistance, to fire, burn, sink and destroy the ships and goods belonging to the subjects of the French King and to the Irish rebels, as also to stay and arrest all other ships and vessels of whatsoever other kingdom, country, nation or people, conveying any goods or merchandise in them belonging to the French King or to his subjects or inhabitants or belonging to any person within the kingdom of Ireland in rebellion against their Majesties, or of such as shall carry to them any soldiers, horses, ships, vessels or any arms offensive or defensive, or any munitions or provisions, or any contraband goods or merchandise whatsoever, and to bring the said ships so apprehended and arrested to any port or harbour of the said kingdom of Scotland without breaking bulk or altering the property thereof, to be proceeded against and judged according to law in the High Court of Admiralty of the kingdom of Scotland, or in such other court or courts as by particular or special warrant and commission shall be sufficiently authorised for doing the same, and after such proceeding and adjudication to be sold and disposed of as of right appertains : Authorising the said Captain John Bosswell generally to do and perform all and everything towards the execution of the whole premises necessary and requisite, promising to hold firm and stable all and whatsoever things shall be lawfully done by the said Captain John Bosswell by virtue of these presents : Requesting you and everyone of you the said kings, princes, dukes, governors of republics, magistrates of burghs, commanders of navies,  governors  of ports and castles,  friends and confederates to our sovereign Lord and Lady, William and Mary, by the Grace of God King and Queen of Great Britain, France and Ireland, Defenders of the faith, etc., to acknowledge the said captain and the company of his ship as good and lawful subjects of their Majesties authorised with this our commission for the execution of the premises : And if the said captain shall come into your or any of your harbours, bounds, castles or territories with or without any prize or prizes to be taken by him, that ye furnish him with victuals and other necessaries upon his reasonable expenses, and that ye resist all violence that may be offered to him, his company and equipage, to their ships or goods, and that ye show all other rights of common friendship and alliance to our sovereign Lord and Lady in treating the said captain and company as ye may expect the like from their Majesties, or that those entrusted with the management of the public affairs of the kingdom shall be careful on all occurrences of the like nature to cause the like be shown to you and your subjects. Ordaining this our commission to continue and endure aye and until the same be recalled fry the King's Majesty or by us. And the said Lords of his Majesty's Privy Council do, conform to his Majesty's special warrant and authority foresaid given unto them, hereby grant unto the said Captain John Bosswell and his company protection against all presses and seizures of any sea-captains or other officers of their Majesties' navy at sea, and of any press masters or others within any of their Majesties' ports; and that in respect the said Captain John Bosswell hath granted bond and found caution that out of such ships and vessels as shall be taken by him and also out of all such goods, wares and merchandise whatsoever as shall be judged lawful prize, that there shall be paid to their Majesties the just fifteenth thereof or such customs as shall be required by the Lords Commissioners of his Majesty's Treasury, and the tenth to the Lord High Admiral, or to any who shall have sufficient warrant and power to receive the same, or of such proportions of the said prizes as are due by the laws and custom of the kingdom of Scotland, and that he shall prosecute the said commission in the whole heads, tenors and contents thereof. Signed by warrant from and in name of the Lords of his Majesty's Privy Council for the kingdom of Scotland by the said William, Earl of Crafurd, elected president in absence of the president of Council, at Edinburgh the eleventh day of February, 1690 years, by virtue of an Act of Council of the date the fifth day of December, 1689 years, authorising the president of Council for the time being to subscribe all commissions of Council and others, and which is ratified and approven by his Majesty by his royal letter of the date the twentieth day of January, 1690 [See vol.  xiv,  p.  438 of State Papers   {Scotland)   Warrant Books, P.R.O.] years; and they have appointed this commission to be sealed with the cachet of Council.

 

 

Ibidem.

Edinburgh.    13th February, 1690.

 

Follows the tenor of the protection [to a Scots ship] granted in the terms of the proclamation of Council made anent levying of seamen:—

 

The Lords of his Majesty's Privy Council, considering that his Majesty by his royal letter of the date at Kensington, the fourth day of January last bypast, 1690, hath recommended to the said Lords to find out a way for raising a competent number of Scots seamen for his service, being resolved that Scotsmen, if prisoners, shall be equally relieved with the English, and that Scots trading ships shall have protection on board for preventing their men being pressed ; and that the said Lords of Privy Council, by their proclamation of the date the tenth day of the said month of January last bypast, have appointed the magistrates of the several maritime burghs, royal and other sea towns to cause beat drums and levy seamen for serving in their Majesties' fleet in the way and manner and upon the conditions particularly expressed in the said proclamation, by which they have promised to such who shall affectionately show their forwardness on that occasion that they shall have particular protections on board each one of their ships given them to be free of any pressure here or by any of their Majesties' men-of-war in any of their ports:   and the Council understanding that, besides the number of thirty-four seamen who voluntarily listed themselves and are presently in their Majesties' actual service, belonging to the town of Dundee, that the magistrates of that burgh have presently taken on eleven other volunteer seamen and have paid them their levy money and maintenance and have sent up a list of all the other seamen within their bounds, that the Council may give further directions anent them : Therefore they by virtue of the power and warrand granted to them and in the terms of the former proclamation of Council, hereby grant protection to Robert Kinloch, skipper and master of the good ship called the Rachell of Dundee, and to the seamen afternamed aboard the same, to wit, William Oliphant, Andrew Rutherfoord, Thomas Gibsone, John Gibsone, and John Knoxs, mariners in Dundee, with a boy, presently bound for London upon the account of James Fletcher, present provost of Dundee, or any other seamen to the number of five who afterwards shall sail, the said ship to be free from any pressure in this kingdom or from any pressure from any of his Majesty's men-of-war, or in any of their Majesties' ports :   And they do hereby request all the commanders of their Majesties' men-of-war, press masters and all other officers, civil and military, and others whom it shall or may concern, to suffer and permit the said ship, with her loading and ship's crew, freely and quietly to sail from the port of Dundee to London or any where else, and to return  again to any port within this kingdom or to any other port belonging to their Majesties or any in alliance with them without any let, trouble or molestation whatsoever, they behaving and demeaning themselves according to their duty and their allegiance to their Majesties and their royal authority. And they declare that this protection shall only continue and endure for the space of one year after the date hereof. Signed by warrant and at command of the Lords of his Majesty's Privy Council, by William, Earl of Crafurd, elected president of Council in absence of their president, and sealed with the cachet of Council at Edinburgh, the day and year aforesaid, and of their Majesties' reign the first year. (Sic subscribitur),

CRAFURD, I.P.D.S. CON.

 

 

General Mackay's Memoirs, p. 85.

News being come of one of the frigates being cast away, he [Mackay] proposed to the Committee to hire a little frigate of about 20 guns newly built at Glasgow.

 

 

Minutes of the Privy Council of Scotland.

Edinburgh.    7th April, 1690.

Order for furnishing Provisions to Captain Pottinger, [Sometimes written 'Potinger,' 'Porringer,' and 'Portinger.'] and other things,  etc.

 

Their Majesties' High Commissioner and Lords of Privy Council do hereby remit to the Earl of Argyll, Sir Colin Campbell of Aberurchell, one of the Senators of the College of Justice, and Sir James Montgomery, of Skelmorlie, and Sir Patrick Home[Created Baron Polwarth on 26th December, 1690; and Earl of Marchmont on 23rd April, 1697.] of Pollwart to call for Walter Gibsone, late provost of Glasgow, and Gibsone, his brother, or either of them, and to treat with them anent the furnishing and providing of the ship[The Lamb of Glasgow.] now built by them at Greenock and hireing of her to be employed in their Majesties' service upon a present expedition ; and in the meantime recommend to the Earl of Argyll to write  to   the  said Walter  or  Gibsone to repair to this place with all diligence in order to a settlement thereanent, and that they use all endeavours to have the ship in readiness and hasten all provisions which may be necessary for that effect: And they grant warrant to and ordain the present magistrates of Glasgow, who are tacksmen of the excise of the six western shires, to give credit for six weeks' provisions to Edward Pottinger, commander of their Majesties' frigate the Dartmouth for the use of the two frigates and ship under his command sent down to cruise on their coasts, which shall be allowed out of their excise, in case payment be not gotten from England ;   and recommend to the former committee to write to the said Captain Pottinger to give him an account thereof and to acquaint him that he order the pursers of the said ships to send a list of the kinds and quantities of provisions he will stand in need of for that time, and to desire him to write to the Lords Commissioners for executing the office of Lord High Admiral of England that they may be pleased to give order for the payment thereof; and they remit to the said committee to call for the list of the seamen sent in to the clerks of Council from the western shires and consider out of what places such seamen as may be necessary for sailing of Walter Gibsone's ship and making up the fifty seamen desired by Captain Pottinger can be best provided, and to call for William Greive, late lieutenant of the Pelican under the command of Captain Hamilton and Drummond in the Lord Newbotle's troop, and to speak with them in order to their engaging in their Majesties' service on board the said ship now at Greenock in case the committee shall find they desire that trust.

 

 

Ibidem

Edinburgh.    23rd June, 1690.

Letter  to  the  Queen's  Majesty.

 

The letter underwritten from the Board direct to the Queen's Majesty was read and subscribed by the Earl of Melvill, their Majesties' Commissioner, and the Earl of Crafurd, president of Council for the time, whereof the tenor follows :—

   May it please your Majesty. . . . Since the seasonable defeat of the most forward of the Highland rebels by Sir Thomas Livingstone [Succeeded as Commander-in-Chief in Scotland when Major-General Mackay resigned in November, 1690].   in the beginning of this season,[At Cromdale] we have not heard that they have appeared in great bodies towards the Lowlands. It seems they wait the approach of your Majesty's army in their almost inaccessible hills, which is presently in readiness to march towards them, and there was a detachment some time ago sent aboard on your Majesty's frigates which are now scouring the Islands. . . .

 

 

Ibidem (résumé).

Edinburgh.    9th July, 1690.

 

Commission by the Privy Council to James Dalgleish, skipper in Queensferrie, who is presently employed in their Majesties' service to be captain of the good ship or frigate called the James of the Queensferrie, of the burden of one hundred and ninety tons or thereby, and six pieces of ordnance with all ammunition proportionable as a man-of-war commissioned in H.M. service.

 

The like commission to John Robertsone in Queensferrie to be captain of the good ship called the Reid Lyon of Queensferrie of two hundred tons burden or thereby, with fourteen pieces of ordnance.

 

 

Leven and Melville Papers (Bannatyne Club, 1843), pp. 470-2.

Captain Pottinger to the Earl of Melvill.

Aboard the Dartmouth in Duart Road.    19th July, 1690.

 

May it please your Grace,—My last to your Grace was the 12th of May from Greenock, and the 14th we sailed thence to these coasts, since which time our being scarce 48 hours in one place without motion prevented my giving your Grace the account of our proceeding. . . . The Major-General [MacKay] conceiving my blockading these sounds not so necessary now, since the garrison is in such perfection . . . referring the cruising part to me where [I] conceive most necessary for the preservative of these coasts, your Grace shall not fail of account of my proceedings, . . . since our being upon this coast and amongst these isles. . . . Since our being here it hath been my care to keep cruising where most necessary, first in dividing our squad (the Major-General favouring me with in­structions communicatively with Major Ferguson), so that we divided our squads and boats, they burning and destroying one way; our ships with the Major left nothing undone that was to be done the other way, in burning houses, breaking boats and  wasting the substance of such as were in actual rebellion. . . . Some letters passed betwixt Sir Donald McDonald Junr [Of Sleat in Skye] and me before his submission, as also the Earl of Seafort . . . , and of late betwixt  Sir  Donald Senr- and me who escaped us, although Capt. Douglas[Of H.M.S. Lark] was twice out and myself twice out ;   but since our slender number of frigates and the passages we had to secure admitted us not to do what we would do, we must rest satisfied with what we could do.

Sir Donald in his answer belching out defiances to authority and power etc., in my last trip I was advised of a vessel in his possession. Passing his house I complimented the same with 30 or 40 shot, sending the guards thereof to the hills and destroying a birline hauled up. Not having time then, I passed the horrible Sound of Kelachie[Probably Kyleakin] to the Collihoe [Probably Kyle Rhea in Sleat Sound].Stone where the ship was ;   and lest they might fire or sink her I sent away my pinnace, which they perceived from the hills ; by Sir Donald's order she was fired. However I brought thence, and staved six boats, only three men slightly wounded, she being burned down to the water. I returned taking the slack of the same tide through that prodigious current and strait. . . . From thence I repaired to Sir Donald's, the Lamb by order joining me. We anchored as near the shore as conveniently we could. By springs and guys I laid up her broad­side to the house, playing smartly upon the same for two or three hours with our best guns, and the Lamb upon his harlots [In its original meaning of bold young men].; the walls abiding battering ; landed our men under protection of my guns, burned both houses with a bark and boat of Sir Donald's to the ground in the High­landers' view, the whistling nine pounders sending them scampering to the hills to overlook what they could not prevent. ... I am to lay my frigate ashore to repair some damage. ...   I am, etc.,

EDWARD POTTINGER.

 

 

Ibidem (résumé) p. 473.

 

Captain Pottinger aboard the Dartmouth in Duart Road on 21st July reported to Major-General MacKay that he and Captain Douglas2[Of. H.M.S. Lark].  had given order to weigh for Greenock for pro­visions and repairs and that he had left the Scots frigate. [The Lamb of Glasgow.]

 

 

Minutes of the Privy Council of Scotland (résumé).

Edinburgh.    6th August, 1690.

 

Petition by James Gibsone, merchant in Glas­gow, stating that he has freighted a ship called the Lamb of Glasgow to James Dunlop, one of their Majesties' general receivers, for the public service for three months, which expire on the 10th instant, and craving that their Lordships would either discharge the said ship, as the other ships have been that went out with her, or continue her in service on a new agreement with him. The Lords remit this matter to the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury with a recommendation to continue the engagement for another month.

 

 

Leven and Melville Papers, p. 526.

Whitehall.    6th September, 1690.

The Earl of Nottingham to the Earl of Melvill.

 

My Lord,—The Queen having commanded me to signify her pleasure to your Grace concern­ing two vessels secured at Glasgow, I send you enclosed the original Order of Council, which will best acquaint you with what her Majesty would have done.    I am . . . ,

NOTTINGHAM.

Ld. Comr. of Scotland.

 

The following is the Order of Council referred to:—

At Whitehall the 6th of September, 1690. Present, the Queen's most excellent Majesty in Council.—Her Majesty in Council was this day pleased to order that the Right Honourable the Earl of Nottingham, principal Secretary of State should give intimation to his Grace the Lord High Commissioner of Scotland that her Majesty has ordered Captain Pottinger, commander of their Majesties' ship the Dartmouth, to bring away the two vessels he has secured at Glasgow, which have unloaden their tobacco without entering the same in England, that his Grace may be assisting to the said Captain Pottinger in executing the said order.

CHA. MONTAGUE.

 

 

Minutes of the Privy Council of Scotland.

Edinburgh.    7th October, 1690.

Order for Securing some Seamen. [Scots seamen serving on an English man-of-war].

 

Their Majesties' High Commissioner and Lords of Privy Council being informed that John Sinclar, James Peacock, formerly seamen in Culross, Daniel Magneach, William Bruce and John Halkett, seamen in Aberdeen, Thomas McKiny, seaman in Perth, James Dewar, seaman in Burntisland, who were formerly engaged in their Majesties' service under the command of Captain Edward Pottinger, commander of the Dartmouth yacht, have deserted their service and have run away, they hereby grant warrant to and ordain the magistrates of Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Culross, Burntisland, and all other magistrates, sheriffs and their deputes, justices of peace, and other members of the law, to search for and seize the prisoners abovenamed and to commit them to prison, therein to remain until the Council's further order, and to report an account of their diligence herein with all conveniency.

 

 

Leven and Melville Papers, p. 539.

The Earl of Crafurd to the Earl of Melvill.

 

My Lord,— . . . Yesterday night in Council it was judged highly convenient that two frigates should be quickly dispatched hither for cruising on our western and northern Highland coasts. They would be a terror to those people beyond many thousand men, and fully determine them to that which they seem inclined to, the sub­mitting entirely to the present Government, for they are all scattered and out of heart, if the two ships which are said to come from Dunkirk with arms and ammunition do not give them new life and courage.

CRAFURD.

Edinburgh.    9th October,  1690.

 

 

The London Gazette.

Edinburgh.    23rd October, 1690.

 

We hear from the Isle of Mull that on 9th inst., the Dartmouth being at anchor in the Sound of Mull, there arose a very violent storm which forced the said frigate from her anchors and drove her upon a rock, where she broke to pieces, and Captain Pottinger the commander and most of the men were drowned.

 

 

Minutes of the Privy Council of Scotland.

October, 1690.

Petition by Seamen belonging to the Dartmouth.

 

Anent a petition given in to the Lords of their Majesties' Privy Council by Richard Crosdale, John Roach, Jaffray Solme, Ralph Haid, seamen belonging to the Dartmouth frigate, showing that the petitioners being shipwrecked through storm at sea in the Western Islands the ninth of October instant, and having lost all that they had, and now being poor and having nothing to subsist by having no money to carry them to England, and therefore humbly craving the said Lords to order the cashkeeper to give such a competency to them for carrying them to London for their subsistence to that place, as the said Lords should think fit as the petition bears, the Lords of their Majesties' Privy Council, having considered the above petition and that the Commissioners of their Majesties' Treasury have adjourned their meeting for some time yet to come, and that the petitioners are ship­wrecked as above, do therefore recommend to William, Earl of Crafurd, president for the time of their Majesties' Privy Council, to draw a precept in name of the Lords of Council upon their Majesties' general receivers for payment of forty shillings sterling to each of the four petitioners abovenamed to the effect above-mentioned, and ordain this order to be recorded in the books of their Majesties' Treasury before payment.

 

Ibidem.

Edinburgh.    9th December, 1690.

Letter ordered to be written to the Secretary anent a Ship taken by Captain Pottinger.

 

A letter from [Andrew] Douglas, Captain of H.M.S. Lark, direct to the Earl of Crafurd as president of the Council, giving account that he had received orders from the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty of England, to take with him to England the two vessels that were seized on by Captain Pottinger at New Port, Glasgow, for not entering in England, read and recommended  to  the  Lord  Raith to write to the Earl of Melvill, sole Secretary of State, that it is the desire of this Board that my Lord Secretary will be pleased to speak with the Earl of Nottingham, Secretary of State, one of the Commissioners of Admiralty in England, and acquaint him it is their opinion that no ship in Scots harbours can be summarily seized by an order from England, Scotland being an independent nation, but if England have any pretences to ships in the Scots harbours the same shall be fairly and legally tried.

 

 

Ibidem.

Edinburgh.    23rd December, 1690.

Order arresting the Ships to be carried to England.

 

The Lords of their Majesties' Privy Council being informed by a letter from Captain Douglas, commander of their Majesties' frigate called the Lark frigate, that he has received an order from the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty of England to take away with him to England the two vessels that were seized on by Captain Pottinger at New Port, Glasgow, for the not entering in England : And the said Lords, con­sidering that it is against the laws of this kingdom that any ships should be taken out of the ports or harbours thereof by any persons but these to whom they properly belong or who have taken the said ships and obtained them legally adjudged prizes : Therefore the said Lords of Privy Council do hereby give warrant and order to the magis­trates of Glasgow, in case the said ships whose names are ... be hang at New Port, Glasgow, or any other seaport within their jurisdiction to stop, detain and arrest the said ships in these ports, and for that effect to take the sails from the ' raes'[The plural of ra, ray, or rea, meaning sail-yard (Longmans' Edition of ' Jamieson's Dictionary,' 1885). Robands : the small pieces of rope by means of which the sails are secured to the yards, was perhaps originally ' raebands.']and to do every other thing usual and com­petent in such cases ; and in case those ships be at any other ports not within the jurisdiction of the said magistrates of Glasgow, the said Lords of Privy Council do hereby give order to the magistrates within whose jurisdiction these ports lie to stop, detain and arrest the foresaid vessels in manner above written.

 

Ibidem (résumé). 

Edinburgh.    30th December, 1690.

 

The Lords ordain the keepers of any of their Majesties' magazines within this kingdom to deliver to the order of Captain Andrew Douglas, captain of their Majesties' frigate called the Lark, three barrels of powder to be transported to the said ship at Greenock or wherever it may be, Captain Douglas giving his receipt, and payment to be made for the same by the lieutenant of the Tower of London.

 

 

Ibidem.

Edinburgh.    17th March, 1691.

Remit to the Treasury to buy a  Vessel for Fort  William.

 

            The Lords of their Majesties' Privy Council do hereby recommend to the Lords of their Majesties' Treasury to provide and buy a vessel [The William and Mary]. of about thirty tons burden for their Majesties' service for the use of the garrison in Fort William, and other places thereabout, and particularly a vessel of about that burden now lying at Glasgow which belongs to, or any other .' vessel which their Lordships shall think most proper for the service foresaid about the above burden, and to cause send the said vessel to the said Fort William.

 

 

Ibidem (résumé).

Edinburgh.    4th May, 1691.

Commission to Ninian Gibson to Command a Frigate.

 

The Lords of their Majesties' Privy Council for the Kingdom of Scotland to all and sundry kings, . . . Forasmuch as Ninian Gibson, merchant in the city of Glasgow has offered to serve their Majesties . . . with the ship called the Lamb of Glasgow, whereof he is master, against their Majes­ties' enemies . . . the said Lords . . . having special trust and confidence in the loyalty, courage and conduct of the said Ninian Gibson, have therefore nominated and appointed and hereby nominate and appoint the said Ninian Gibson to be captain of the good ship or frigate called the Lamb of Glasgow of the burden of 100 tons or thereabouts, and twenty pieces of ordnance, with all ammunition proportionable as a man-of-war commissioned in his Majesty's actual service : Giving, granting and committing ... At Edin­burgh the 4th day of May, 1691.

(Signed)         STAIR, P.[Sir James Dalrymple, created Viscount Stair on 21st April, 1690]

ARGYLL,

MORTOUN,

FORFAR,

RAITH,

BEILHAVEN,

C. CAMPBELL,

JO. MAITLAND,

THO. LIVINGSTONE.

 

 

Ibidem.

Edinburgh.    4th May, 1691.

Commission to Command a Frigate.

 

The like commission granted to…to be captain of the ship or frigate called the Grizell of Glasgow, of the burden of fifty tons or thereabout with…pieces of ordnance.

 

 

Leven and Melville Papers, pp. 620-1.

Fort William.    9th June, 1691.

Colonel Hill [A Scoto-Ulsterman,  sometime Constable of the Castle of Belfast, Colonel at Fort William, where he was in command at the time of the massacre of Glencoe in February 1692.] to the Earl of Leven.

 

My Lord,—Since my last there are four French men-of-war come from Ireland to Skye (whereof one of fifty guns), who have brought with them the Earl of Dumfermline[The fourth Earl, a zealous Jacobite, was outlawed in 1690. He died in exile in 1694.] and some officers with arms, ammunition, provisions and some money and clothes, but no men . . . Buchan and Glengarry are gone to Skye ... I have sent advice to any of their Majesties' men-of-war that I hear are in Clyde water. It is probable Sir Donald McDonald and Glengarry may stir, (though Sir Donald's people are willing to be quiet), as also Sir John McLaine ; but the rest of their clans (except a very considerable force come) will not stir. . . .

JO. HILL.

 

 

Minutes of the Privy Council of Scotland.

Edinburgh.    9th June, 1691.

Order anent Thomas Weir's Ship seized by an English Frigate.

 

            The Council having considered a letter from Thomas Weir, merchant in Glasgow, to one of their number, representing that he had a ship lately arrived at Port Glasgow in Clyde from Bilboa, which he has entered legally, and that there is an English frigate come into that river which he is told intends to trouble her as if he had been trading with France, they ordain the magistrates of Glasgow, within whose jurisdiction the said harbour of New Port Glasgow lies, to protect and secure the said Thomas Weir his said ship called the John from the said English man-of-war which is called the Pembroke or any other men-of-war, from any violence or wrong which the said men-of-war shall offer against the said ship ; and if there be grounds to fear that the man-of-war has a design to carry away the said ship to England or elsewhere from this kingdom, appoints the said magistrates to detain and arrest the said ship, to take the sails from the ' raes ' thereof and to do every other thing usual and competent in such cases. And in case the said ship do lie in any port or harbour not within the jurisdiction of the said magistrates of Glasgow, the Council gives the same orders to the governor of Dumbarton Castle, and any judges and magistrates within whose jurisdiction she is lying, and allows the commander of the man-of-war to pursue any action competent to him against the owners or master of the said ship or cargo or any other ships or cargo that are or shall be found within the ports or waters of this kingdom belonging to or in possession of the inhabitants thereof before the judges or judicatures in this kingdom as accords of the law. And, in case the said ship called the John shall sail from the port where she now lies, ordains him before he so sail to find caution before the judge ordinary of the place that he shall answer to any suits that shall be commenced against him by the said captain of the man-of-war according to the laws of this kingdom.

 

 

Ibidem.

Edinburgh,    11th June, 1691.

Act: Thomas Weir against Captain Ivory. [ Sometimes written ' Ivorie,' ' Evorie,' ' Every.']

 

Anent a petition given in to the Lords of their Majesties' Privy Council by Thomas Weir, merchant in Glasgow, and James Gibsone, mer­chant there, shewing that where there being a ship arrived in Clyde from Bilboa called the John of Greenock, which was duly entered at the cus­tom house, and for which the petitioners have paid no less than twenty-two thousand merks to the King, yet Captain Ivory, commander of the Pembroke frigate, being in Clyde, doth threaten to carry away the foresaid ship ; whereof the petitioners having given information [nar­rating as in their former order] . . . , but since that information and before their Lordships' order could be intimated, the captain of the said frigate did summarily seize the said ship by way of fact and force, shooting great guns at the said ship and putting out their Majesties' flag ; and having turned out the waiters put in by the custom office did put several of his own men aboard and did also violently seize and possess himself of three gabards or lighters that were sailing up the water with a part of the said lading, . . . withal refusing to show any warrant or com­mission for such a procedure, but on the contrary threatening to throw the surveyor of New Port Glasgow overboard for refusing the same, and using other rude and undecent expressions ; and therefore humbly craving their Lordships to give such further orders in the said matter as their Lordships shall think fit. ...:—The said Lords . . . ordain the above Captain Ivory to remove his men out of the above ship called the John of Greenock, and to restore and redeliver the said ship and three gabards or lighters with the above loading seized on by him to the owners of the same ; and ordain the magistrates of Glasgow to protect and secure the said ship [repeating their former order]. . . .

 

 

Ibidem.

Edinburgh.    15th June, 1691.

Letter from the Earl of Crafurd to Captain Ivory.

 

The Council recommended to the Earl of Craufurd to write to Captain Ivory anent the ship seized by him and likewise to write to the Earl of Melvill, Secretary of State, to know what are Captain Ivory's instructions. Follows the letter to Captain Ivory :—

The ships of war formerly employed by his Majesty to cruise upon the coasts of this kingdom, and particularly Captain Pottinger had instruc­tions from his Majesty and the Admiralty of England to receive and obey the orders of the Council of Scotland as the same should be given to them from time to time upon the exigencies of the government, and the commanders of these ships did communicate their instructions to the Council, which, seeing you have not done, the Council have appointed me in their name to write to and require you to send in to their clerks a true account of what instructions you have from his Majesty and the Admiral of England in order to this kingdom and the subjects thereof, that their Lordships may know what is fit to be done therein for their Majesties' service, with the evidences you have to believe that any of the merchant ships of this kingdom have trade with unfree nations, and also to acquaint you that they are of opinion it was more for the service and interest of their Majesties and the government that you were cruising between Scotland and Ireland or about the islands than lying within Clyde or other rivers. Signed by warrant and in name of the Council by (sic subscribitur)

CRAFURD.

 

Directed for Captain Ivory, commander of the Pembroke frigate.

 

Follows the letter [Given also in the Leven and Melville Papers, p. 623.] to the Secretary :—

My Lord,—The commander of the Pembroke frigate, Captain Ivory, since his arrival in Clyde hath molested several of the merchants trafficking to the port of that river, and seized upon a ship and some boats with their loading upon pretence of unfree trade. The Council upon application of the persons therein concerned issued an order direct to the said captain requiring him to cease from troubling the said persons or their goods, and acquainting [him] with the law and privilege competent to the subjects in such cases, whereunto obedience cannot be so punctually exacted from him as if he had instructions and commands from the Admiralty of England to receive orders and obey the directions of his Majesty's Privy Council for this kingdom, while he cruises upon the coasts or lies within the rivers or creeks thereof : Where­fore I was appointed by the Council Board to desire your Lordship to cause make enquiry what instructions the said Captain Ivory has from the Admiralty of England, and, if they have not already, that they may send to him or any others who come to cruise on this coast orders to receive and obey the commands of the Privy Council here during their abode upon the coasts of this kingdom, according as Captain Pottinger had his instructions the former year. This in name of the Council is signified to your Lordship by, my Lord, your Lordship's humble servant (sic subscribitur),

CRAFURD.

Directed thus for the Earl of Melvill, one of the Secretaries of State for the kingdom of Scotland, Edinburgh, 18th June, 1691.

 

 

 

Ibidem.

Edinburgh.    23rd June, 1691.

Letter to the Secretaries[Lord Melvill and Sir John Dalrymple, Master of Stair, the latter of whom was appointed Joint Secretary of State in 1691.] anent Captain Ivory.

 

The letter underwritten was by the Earl of Crafurd, president of the Council for the time, at the Council's command sent to the Lord Secretary, whereof the tenor follows :—

 

My Lord,—What the Council resolved about Captain Ivory, commander of the Pembroke frigate lying in the river of Clyde, and the progress they had made for redressing the abuses com­mitted by him upon the merchants of this nation trading to the ports of that river were, conform to order, communicated to your Lordship by a former letter, and this day complaints being renewed by several hands to the Council against the said Captain Ivory for his continued injuries against   several   merchantmen   by   seizing   their goods and carrying their men from aboard their ships and suffering a French privateer cruising on these seas to seize one of their ships though advertised thereof, and for his insolent contempt of  the  orders  and commands  direct  from the Council Board to him, the Lords of Council for a more speedy remedy have thought it necessary your Lordship should be acquainted therewith, and earnestly intreated to implore their Majesties' commands to the said captain for obtempering and observing the orders of their Majesties' Privy Council for this kingdom, and that the instructions necessary  from  the  Admiralty  of  England  for that end may be hastened to him, or, in case any instructions be already given to him, that he may be ordered to show the same and send a copy thereof to the Council of this kingdom, which hitherto he has refused to do ;   and that he may be ordered to cruise about the isles and not to loiter within the river of Clyde, as he has done  since   his   arrival   on   these   coasts.    The carriage and deportment of this Captain  Ivory has occasioned so much clamour and noise that the Council find themselves concerned to entreat a speedy answer with your first convenience both from her Majesty and the Admiralty of England for regulating of the abuses committed by him as a matter highly importing both the interest of the nation, the liberty of the subjects and the honour and justice of their Majesties' government, which in name and at command of the Council is signified to your Lordship by, my Lord, your Lops humble servant,

CRAFURD, P.

Directed thus for the Earl of Melvill, one of the Secretaries of State for the kingdom of Scotland.

 

Ibidem

Edinburgh.    30th June, 1691.

Letter from the Secretaries anent Captain Ivory.

 

The letter underwritten from the Secretaries of State being read was ordered to be recorded, whereof the tenor follows :—

 

My Lord, — I perceive by yours of the eighteenth instant that your Lordship was ap­pointed by the Council to desire me to make enquiry what instructions Captain Ivory has from the Admiralty of England, and if they have not already, that they may send to him or any others who may come to cruise on your coasts orders to receive and obey the commands of the Privy Council of that kingdom during their abode on these coasts, as Captain Pottinger had the former year. According to which I went to several of the Commissioners of the Admiralty, and having acquainted them with the desire of the letter, and having enquired of them if also Captain Ivory and the other ships that were appointed to cruise upon that coast had any instructions from the Admiralty to obey the command of the Privy Council of Scotland as Captain Pottinger had, to which they answered they neither had nor could give any such orders to Captain Ivory and those other ships because they had no such order from his Majesty, and insinuated as the reason thereof, that the King had use for these ships as well upon the coast of Ireland and other places as upon the coast of Scotland, and that Captain Ivory was sent for to give account of what has been his behaviour in Scotland.    This is all the account I can give your Lordship at present.    I am, my Lord, your Lordship's most humble servant (sic subscribitur),

MELVILL.

Whitehall, 26th June, 1691. Directed to the Earl of Crafurd.

 

 

Ibidem.

Edinburgh, 31st August, 1691.

Recommendation to the  Duke of Hamilton   anent a Ship seized by a Dutch Frigate.

 

The Lords of their Majesties' Privy Council being acquainted by his Grace the Duke of Hamilton, their president, that he had this day received a letter which he produced and caused the clerk read to the Board written in Dutch from Captain Cornelius Waissmair, commander of the Dolphin frigate, belonging to the States of Holland, now lying in the road of Leith, bearing that the said captain had seized upon a Danish ship loaded with wine, brandy and other French commodities and made her prize, which he has done without intention of any reflection on their Majesties' government, and that therefore he might not be mistaken in so doing, because by the acknowledgment of the master of the said ship he was to sell these French goods into this kingdom, the said Lords do hereby recommend to his Grace to deal with the captain of the said Dolphin frigate to deliver the said ship and goods seized by him to such merchants of this kingdom and city as own and pretend any interest and right thereto, upon their finding sufficient caution to the value of the said ship and goods, to answer, obey and fulfil any action to be intended against  them for the same before the High Court of Admiralty or any other competent judicatory at their Majesties' instance or at the instance of the said captain of the Dolphin frigate, and that they shall make the same forthcoming to such who shall be found to have best right.

 

Ibidem.

Edinburgh.    25th August, 1691.

Recommendation to the Provost of Edinburgh anent some Capers.

[Caper or Kaper from the Dutch word Kaper—a light armed vessel used for privateering.]

 

            The provost of Edinburgh presented a letter to the Council (which being read he took back again) written from the town of Old Aberdeen, giving account that there are seven French capers on this coast and that they had taken a guny ship out of that road. The Council thereupon recom­mended to the said provost to write to the towns upon the sea coasts of this firth and give them advertisement of these privateers, which he declared he has already done.

 

 

A Short History of the Shipmasters' Society of Aberdeen, by Alexander Clark, (1911,) p. 45.

The ' Capers.'

 

During the period we are now dealing with, the latter half of the 17th . . . century, there was little intermission in the warfare with the French, and . . . the books of the Seamen's Box exhibit ... an extraordinary number of cases of poor distressed seamen who had been taken by the French and cast adrift. . . . Take for example the following entries from the books extracted at random :—

 

 

£    s    d

1690.

To 5 Englishmen which were taken by the French capers, by the master's orders 

6    0    0

  “   “

To 5 Englishmen who were taken by the French capers

7    8    0

  “   “

2   distressed seamen who were taken by ye French

5  18    0

1691

To a family taken by the French kapers

2    0    0

1693

8 seamen taken by the French 

9  18    0

  “   “

Ane   Englishman taken wt. the French

1    8    0

  “   “

Two Dundee men  taken wt. the French 

3    4    0

 

 

 

Minutes of the Privy Council of Scotland.

Edinburgh.    16th January, 1692.

Remit:   Major Forbes anent a Frigate to Fort William.

 

Anent a petition given in to the Lords of their Majesties' Privy Council by Major Forbes in Colonel Hill his regiment, shewing that where the William and Marie frigate attending the garrison of Fort William is sent by Colonel Hill to Greenock for transporting the whole clothes and accoutrements and other necessaries of the said Colonel's regiment in order to the going to the fields against the Highlanders, [Probably refers to the Glencoe affair.] and the said frigate having in her voyage from Ireland to the garrison with provisions lately brought thither lost her sails and much of her rigging through stress of weather and tempest at sea,  so that she cannot sail from Greenock to the garrison with the goods foresaid without hazarding both men's lives and the ship, unless she be provided with cables, sails and rigging, and also provided with victuals for the commander and his crew, as the master of the ship here present on the place can verify and instruct,  and therefore humbly craving   their  Lordships  to recommend  to  the Lords of their Majesties' Treasury to order forty or fifty pounds sterling to be given to the com­mander of the said frigate to pay the cable, sails and rigging which he hath secured in Glasgow for the use of the said ship and also for the de­fraying of the expense of the master and crew's wages and victuals, since the date of their last precept  from  the  Lords  of the  Treasury,  and providing victuals for this present voyage from Greenock to Fort William, least through the want thereof the master and crew refuse to sail the said frigate back to Fort William with the goods abovementioned and thereby his Majesty's service be retarded as the said petition bears ; the said Lords of their Majesties' Privy Council, having heard  this  petition  given  in   to   them by   the above Major Forbes, read in their presence, they hereby remit the  same  to  the  Lords   of  then-Majesties' Treasury, and recommend to their Lord­ships that they take special care and give peremp­tory orders for providing without delay whatever things in this petition their Lordships shall find to be necessary or useful for the service of their Majesties and the government.

 

 

Ibidem

Edinburgh 28th January 1692

Letter anent Seamen

 

A letter from the King's Majesty to the Council anent levying of seamen read and ordered to be recorded, whereof the tenor follows:—

 

Suprascribitur, WILLIAM R.— Right trusty and right well beloved cousin and councillor, etc., we greet you well. Whereas we have seen a letter from you directed to our Secretary complaining that your seamen are pressed contrary to the freedom of that our ancient kingdom and to the prejudice of your trade, we are resolved to give strict orders that no such thing be done for the future, but we do expect from you that, being engaged in a war which concerns not only our kingdom of England but likewise Scotland and almost all Christendom, you will contribute what you can for our assistance in providing to our navy a thousand seamen or more, and for their encouragement we will pay to each seaman at his entry forty shillings sterling and full pay thereafter as our English seamen do receive. Therefore we do recommend to you to use your utmost endeavours to provide a thousand seamen as quickly as can be in the same methods which have been used formerly in the like oc­casions, or what other way you shall find most expeditious, and to advertise our Secretary when you have such competent numbers together at Leith, that we may send ships to transport them. And we have given orders to have the entry money ready there, which so much concerns our service, and so we bid you heartily farewell. Given  at  our Court  at   Kensington,  the   nineteenth day of January, 1692, and of our reign the third year. By his Majesty's command (sic subscribitur),

JO. DALYRYMPLE.

 

The Lords of their Majesties' Privy Council recommend a committee to prepare a draft of a proclamation for raising of the said seamen offering them all encouragement as in his Majesty's said letter ; and also to prepare a draft of a letter to be written from the Council to the magistrates of the several sea towns, desiring them to send to Leith such of their seamen as they can engage in their Majesties' service ; and to consider what methods were followed in raising the former levy of seamen, and what will be necessary to be followed in this levy for making the same timeously effectual; . . . and recommend to them to make their report against the next meeting of Council.

 

 

Ibidem.

Edinburgh.    29th January, 1692.

Proclamation for Levying of Seamen.

 

A proclamation for levying of seamen in prosecution of his Majesty's commands in his letter to the Council, of the date the nineteenth day of January instant, being prepared and presented to the Board, was read, approven and signed, and appointed to be published the morrow with the usual solemnities. Follows the pro­clamation :—

WILLIAM AND MARY by the Grace of God King and Queen of Great Britain, France and Ireland, Defenders of the faith, to ... macers of our Privy Council, messengers-at-arms, our sheriff  in  that   part,   conjointly  and  severally specially constitute, greeting. Forasmuch as we have seen a letter direct to our Secretaries from the Lords of our Privy Council complaining that the seamen of this our ancient kingdom are pressed [narrating as in King's letter of 28th Jan­uary, 1692]: Therefore we with advice of the Lords of our Privy Council strictly require and com­mand all the magistrates of the several maritime burghs royal and other sea towns to cause beat drums and make intimation upon a market day for levying seamen to serve in our fleet within their own jurisdiction and the next adjacent sea towns expressed in the several letters sent to them for that effect, and to engage and take for the said service such as voluntarily offer themselves : And we with advice foresaid require and command the said magistrates of maritime burghs royal and other sea towns to give in a report to the Council what number of seamen they have so taken on and engaged, with an exact and sub­scribed list of the whole other seamen and fisher­men within their jurisdiction and other sea towns and bounds expressed in their respective missive letters upon oath betwixt and the days following, viz : all on this side of Tay and this side of the Largs upon the mouth of Clyde between and the twentieth day of February next, and all to Aberdeen inclusive and bewest the river of Clyde and the Largs between and the first day of March thereafter, and all the rest of the kingdom between and the tenth day of the same month ; with power to the said magistrates to take the oaths of the masters of ships, boats, barques and others and use all other effectual means for making up the said lists, that the Lords of our Privy Council may consider how far the number of seamen to be levied for our fleet falls short, that so they may complete the said number of a thousand seamen for our service by lot out of the said lists of seamen and have them in readiness before our fleet shall go to sea. And we, with advice foresaid, do certify and give assurance to all and every one of the magistrates and others who shall take on any of the said seamen who list themselves voluntarily for our service, that how soon and whensoever the lists of the said voluntary seamen shall be returned to our Privy Council, forty shillings sterling money shall be immediately sent to the said magistrates for each seaman of these who volun­tarily list themselves, to be paid and delivered to them before they shall march from their own homes to Leith, where they are to be shipped, and sufficient provisions shall be made or pay advanced to them from that time to their being shipped for our fleet; with certification to such of the said magistrates who shall fail or delay in the exact deliverance thereof they shall be reputed negligent in their duty and disaffected to our government and proceeded against accordingly. And to the effect our pleasure in the premises may be known our will is, and we charge you strictly and command that incontinent, these our letters seen, ye pass to the market cross of Edinburgh and whole other market crosses of the burghs royal and of regalities, stewartries and bailiaries within this kingdom, and there in our name and authority make intimation and publication of the premises, that none may pretend ignorance, as ye will answer to us thereupon. Given under our signet at Edinburgh, the twenty-ninth day of January, and of our reign the third year, 1692. Subscribittir ut sederunt.

 

The Draft of a Letter to the Magistrates of Maritime Towns anent Seamen.

A draft of a letter from the Council to the magistrates of the several maritime burghs of this kingdom to take on and engage seamen for their Majesties' service read, and recommended to the Lord Chancellor to sign the particular letters, and likewise to sign a letter to the Laird of Ardkinglass, sheriff-depute of Argyll, for that shire, and another to the Steward of Orkney and Zetland or his deputes for that bounds, conform to the list of the letters formerly sent at the last levy of seamen in 1690.

 

Ibidem.

Edinburgh.    19th February, 1692.

Anent Seamen.

 

The Council ordained the commanders of two of their Majesties' ships of war lying in the road of Leith not to levy any seamen in this kingdom for serving in their ships until first the thousand seamen required by his Majesty be completely levied, and that they take no Scots men aboard, and particularly these three they have engaged at Musselburgh, and that such as [are] aboard (if any be now taken on) be sent ashore, which if they fail in, the government will take other effectual course for hindering these commanders, that their Majesties' commands for levying the above thousand seamen (which the Council according to their duty are forward to obey) may not be frustrated or retarded.

 

 

Ibidem (résumé)

Edinburgh.    25th February, 1692.

 

The Lords recommend to the Earl of Mortoun, Lord Polwarth, Sir Thomas Burnet of Leys and the Laird of Brodie[James Brodie, of Brodie, Morayshire] to consider the reports from the burghs and other places anent the levying of seamen, to prepare a list of the volunteers, and if they do not number 1000 to consider how that number as required by his Majesty may be made up.

 

 

Ibidem.

Edinburgh.    1st March, 1692.

Recommendation for the Magistrates of the Several Burghs anent Payment of Seamen.

 

The Lords of their Majesties' Privy Council do hereby recommend to the Lords Commissioners of their Majesties' Treasury to cause present pay­ment be made to the magistrates of the several burghs following, who have engaged seamen for their Majesties' service, of the sum of forty shillings sterling for each seaman whom they have engaged, . . . viz: to the magistrates of Kinghorne for six seamen ; to the magistrates of Dunbar for that town, Coldinghame, Northfield, Ross, and Eymouth, two seamen ; to the magis­trates of Queensferrie for that town, four seamen, and for Cramond one seaman ; to the magistrates of Craill for that town, three seamen ; to the magistrates of Kirkaldie thirty-nine seamen ; to the magistrates of Burntisland for that town and the town of Aberdour, six seamen ; to the magis­trates of Innerkeithing for that town and North Queensferrie,   five seamen ;   to  the magistrates of Dysert for that town, sixteen seamen, and for Wester Weems, five seamen, and Buckhaven, three seamen; to the magistrates of Pittenweeme for that town ten seamen, and for Enster Easter, three seamen, and for Gairdbridge one seaman; to the magistrates of Aberbrothwick for two seamen; and to the magistrates of Aberdein for eight seamen—[114 seamen in all]: And the said Lords ordain the magistrates of the several burghs foresaid to take sufficient surety from each seaman to whom they shall advance the said forty shillings sterling that he shall be in readiness at Leith to embark for their Majesties' service how soon and whensoever he shall be called for ; and declare that the said magistrates to whom the said levy money is to be advanced are hereby obliged to refund to the said Lords Commissioners of Treasury the said sum of forty shillings sterling for each seaman reported by them to have taken on for their Majesties' service and for whom they shall receive the like sum, in case the said seamen shall not be in readiness at Leith and embark for their Majesties' service, as said is, reserving to the magistrates their relief against the said seamen and their sureties to be taken by the magistrates, as said is.

 

 

Ibidem.

Edinburgh,    1st March, 1692.

Committee to Draw Two Drafts of Letters anent Seamen.

 

The Lords of their Majesties' Privy Council do hereby recommend to the Lord Viscount Stair, Enstruther of that ilk, one of the Senators of the College of Justice, and Sir Patrick Murray of Saltcoats, or any two of them, to meet this after­noon and consider the lists of seamen and fishermen sent in to the clerks of Privy Council from the several burghs of this kingdom and other places within the same, and to prepare the draft of a letter from the Council to these burghs who have sent in lists of seamen, and have therein offered as volunteers such a number as will extend to or exceed the fourth part of the seamen and fishermen in their bounds, returning them the Council's thanks, and appointing them to send in these and what more volunteers they can to Leith to be shipped for the fleet royal, and assuring them of forty shillings sterling of levy money for each volunteer and of sufficient provisions to these volunteers upon the way from their homes to Leith ; and also a draft of another letter to these burghs and places who have either sent in no lists or who have not with these lists returned the names of as many volunteers as extends to the fourth part of the whole seamen and fishermen within their bounds, commanding them to fix upon by lot and secure the fourth person of all seamen and fishermen in their bounds and to send them under a sufficient guard to Leith, and promising forty shillings sterling of levy money for each person so secured and sent, and appoint these persons to be sixteen years of age at least and not above sixty years at most, and that no sick nor infirm persons be amongst these to be sent in, but that such be counted off and remain amongst the other three parts who are to stay at home.

 

 

Ibidem (résumé).

Edinburgh.    15th March, 1692.

 

The Lords ordain their Majesties' Solicitor and his assistants to frame letters of horning [A Scots legal term meaning outlawry—called horning because part of the formality in outlawing was for a messenger at arms to give three blasts on a horn at the Cross of Edinburgh]against the magistrates or chief persons of the sea towns and royal burghs, who have failed to give up lists of their seamen, charging them per­emptorily to do so before 19th April next.

 

Ibidem.

Edinburgh.    28th April, 1692.

Order Anent a Danish Ship seized in the Road of Leith by an English Man-of-War.

 

The Lords of their Majesties' Privy Council being informed that Captain Anthony Roope, captain of the Sheerness, one of their Majesties' men-of-war, hath seized upon a ship belonging to Hans Jesperze, subject to the King of Denmark, called the Emanuell of Flenbergh, laden with wine, brandy, writing paper and prunes the time she was in the road of Leith, and the said Lords considering that it is against the rights and privileges of this kingdom for the subjects of any other kingdom or commanders of ships belonging thereto to seize upon any ship within the lochs or rivers of this kingdom and carry the same away as prizes without legal trial and adjudging the same as such before the High Court of Admiralty thereof, therefore the said Lords require and command the said Captain Roope to deliver back the said Danish ship to the said Hans Jesperze and put him and his company in the peaceable possession of the same and lading thereof, to be by him brought in to the harbour of Leith and delivered to the water baillie there, who is to detain the said ship and lading aye and until sufficient caution be found / in the books of Privy Council for answering and obeying any process and sentence to be intented and pronounced in the said matter before the High Court of Admiralty of this kingdom ; for all which this shall be a sufficient warrant.

 

Warrant for bringing Captain Roope to the Lord-Chancellor.

 

Order given to the macers[Macers are in Scotland, officers attending on any Court whose duty it is to preserve silence, and to execute the orders of the judges, &c.    They were mace-bearers]. of Council warranting and requiring them to repair to the town of Leith and there to make enquiry for Captain Roope, captain of his Majesty's ship the Sheerness, and in case he be not on his way or immediately about to repair to the Lord High Chancellor, conform to his Lordship's letter direct to him for that effect, then to call for assistance of the magistrates of Leith and take the person of the said Captain Roope in custody and detain him till further order.

 

 

Ibidem (résumé).

Edinburgh.    10th June, 1692.

 

Commission granted by the Lords of Privy Council to Captain Mathew Campbell, master of the ship or frigate called the William and George of Glasgow, who has offered to serve their Majesties with the said ship against their enemies, appointing him captain of the said ship, which is of the burden of one hundred and eighty tons or thereby, and to have sixteen guns with all ammunition proportionable, as a man-of-war in their Majesties' service against the French or other their enemies or rebels.

Similar commission to Captain Hugh Campbell to be captain of the good ship or frigate called the Elizabeth of Argyll, of the burden of sixty tons or thereby, and to have fifteen guns and all ammunition proportionable.

 

 

Ibidem.

Edinburgh.    8th November, 1692.

Liberation for some Seamen seized by Captain Kiggens.

 

The Lords of their Majesties' Privy Council being informed by the Lord Chancellor that his Lordship having notice that Captain-------- Kiggens, captain of the Greyhound frigate, had violently pressed Robert Reidhead, John Dickisone, Thomas Lyndsay, Henrie Newtoun and Jacomy, a cook, from out of the ship called the Swallow of Leith, and carried them aboard of his frigate, his Lord­ship called for the said captain, and after shewing him that his Majesty had signified his royal pleasure that the seamen of this country should be free from press in respect of their voluntary levies, he prevailed with the said captain to set the said seamen ashore, and ordained the magistrates of Leith to secure and detain them until his Lordship should acquaint the Council. And the said Lords considering that the said Captain Kiggens stands in need of about twenty-five seamen and a pilot for sailing his frigate, they hereby recommend to and require the magistrates of Edinburgh and of the several burghs upon this Firth to be assistant to the said Captain Kiggens in support­ing him with the above number of seamen upon reasonable terms. And the said Lords do hereby give order and warrant to the baillies of Leith to set at liberty the foresaid seamen forth of their tolbooth that the ship whereto they belong called the Swallow of Leith may go on in the voyage which she is designing for the Madairie Islands; and recommend to Sir Patrick Murray to give in to the Lords of their Majesties' Treasury a list of the burghs which have failed to furnish their proportion of the late levy of seamen, that their Lordships may give order for supplying the said Captain Kiggens with the above number of seamen out of the said burghs, if they shall see cause.

 

Edinburgh.    27th December, 1692.

Warrant to  give  up  Captain Hugh  Campbell's Bond.

 

Anent the petition given in to the Lords of their Majesties' Privy Council by Captain Hugh Campbell, master of the ship called the Elizabeth of Argyll, Mr. John Campbell, brother to the Earl of Argyll, and Sir Colin Campbell of Arkinlayes, shewing that whereas the said Lords in June last having granted a commission to the said Captain Campbell to go out as a privateer and he, as principal, and the said Mr. John Campbell and Sir Colin Campbell, as cautioners, [In Scots law, the person who is bound for another to the performance of an obligation.] having given bond for faithful observing and performing of all things requisite on his part, according to the true meaning of the said commission, and now seeing their Lordships have suspended the said com­mission so that the said Captain Hugh Campbell cannot act any more by virtue thereof, and there­fore craving to the effect underwritten as the said petition bears ; the said Lords of their Majesties' Privy Council, having considered this petition given in to them by the above Captain Hugh Campbell and others, they hereby allow the clerks of Privy Council to deliver up to the petitioners or either of them the above bond of cautionary, the petitioner first delivering back to the said clerks the above commission of Council granted to the said Captain Hugh Campbell.

 

 

State Papers (Scotland) Warrant Books, vol. XV., No. 334.

A Mediterranean Pass to Thomas Gordon, Master of the Margaret of Aberdeen.

[See the  Stirling- Home- Drummond-Moray  papers,  Hist. MSS. Commission, 1885, p. 185.]

 

[LOCUS  SlGILLI]

Gulielmus et Maria Dei gratia Magnae Britannise Franciae et Hiberniae Rex et Regina, Fidei Defensores, &c Serenissimis Imperatoribus et Regibus, Celsissimis Illustrissimis Principibus, Ducibus, Statibus, Comitibus, Thalasiarchis, Dynastis, Strategis, Itemque portuum navium fluviorum pontium viarumque Praefectis, aut quocunque alio magistratus munere prestantibus, cunctisque aliis ad quorum manus hasc pervenerint salutem : Quandoquidem haec nostra navis Margareta Aberdoniae in regno nostro Scotiae appellata centum nautas triginta tormenta bellica quatuorque paterara in navi portans sub ductu Thomae Gordon naucleri a Campheer [The Scots staple port in Holland, Campvere—now Veere. See The Scottish Staple at Veere, by J. Davidson and A. Gray.] in Belgia per mare mediterraneum navigatura est: Liceat ergo pace vestra praedictam nostram navem in obeundo sua negotia quiete et in securitate sine molestia interpellatione ullove alio impedimento ire et redire. Nos etiam his praesentibus huic nostrse navi veniam auctoritatemque concedimus contra omnes alias naves ad inimicos nostros pertinentes, ipsamque invadentes sese defendere easque capere, submergere, ullove alio modo quocunque potuerit destruere. Hoc sub chirographo sigillisque nostris regiis huic commeatui appositis datur in regia nostra Albaulensi vigesimo octavo die mensis Februarii Anno Dni millesimo sexcentesimo nono-gesimo tertio, anno regni nostri quarto.

GULIELMUS, R.

Ex mandato Regiae Majtatis,

JO. DALRYMPLE.

 

 

Minutes of the Privy Council of Scotland.

Edinburgh.    6th March, 1693.

Letter from the King anent Seamen.

 

The subsequent letter from the King's Majesty to the Council being read, was ordered to be recorded, and appointed the clerks of Council to seek out and produce to the Council at their meeting the morrow the former orders of Council emitted for levying seamen the last year with the whole procedure of the committee appointed in that affair.    Follows the tenor of the letter :—

(Sic suprascribitur) William R.,—Right trusty and right well beloved cousins and councillors, right trusty and entirely beloved, etc., we greet you well. Whereas our safety and the com­mon safety and welfare of our kingdoms doth require that our fleet be provided sufficiently with seamen, we do assure ourselves of all the assistance from that our ancient kingdom that they did last year or are now able to afford us. Therefore it is our pleasure, and we do recommend it to your care, to fall upon the most speedy and effectual means for providing what numbers of seamen you are able to levy in that our kingdom, for whose encouragement there are bills ordered for payment of forty shillings to each seaman that shall be received at or before the last day of April next, at which time there shall be convoys in the river of Forth to transport them, and they are to have the same pay, entertainment and encourage­ments from their entry that our English seamen do receive. As also for the further security and encouragement of the free trade of that our ancient kingdom we have ordered a rule to be made in our Admiralty of England to be published in the gazettes, that no pressmaster shall have power to press or seize any seamen aboard any ships belonging to Scotland, whereby they will be in great safety for the future. We doubt not of your utmost endeavours in this matter which we con­sider of importance to the public service, and so we bid you heartily farewell. Given at our Court at Kensington, the twenty-eight day of February, 1693, and of our reign the fourth year, by his Majesty's command (sic subscribitur),

JO. DALRYMPLE.

 

 

Minutes of the Privy Council of Scotland.

Edinburgh.    6th March, 1693.

Letter from the King anent Seamen.

 

The subsequent letter from the King's Majesty to the Council being read, was ordered to be recorded, and appointed the clerks of Council to seek out and produce to the Council at their meeting the morrow the former orders of Council emitted for levying seamen the last year with the whole procedure of the committee appointed in that affair.    Follows the tenor of the letter :—

(Sic suprascribitur) William R.,—Right trusty and right well beloved cousins and councillors, right trusty and entirely beloved, etc., we greet you well. Whereas our safety and the com­mon safety and welfare of our kingdoms doth require that our fleet be provided sufficiently with seamen, we do assure ourselves of all the assistance from that our ancient kingdom that they did last year or are now able to afford us. Therefore it is our pleasure, and we do recommend it to your care, to fall upon the most speedy and effectual means for providing what numbers of seamen you are able to levy in that our kingdom, for whose encouragement there are bills ordered for payment of forty shillings to each seaman that shall be received at or before the last day of April next, at which time there shall be convoys in the river of Forth to transport them, and they are to have the same pay, entertainment and encourage­ments from their entry that our English seamen do receive. As also for the further security and encouragement of the free trade of that our ancient kingdom we have ordered a rule to be made in our Admiralty of England to be published in the gazettes, that no pressmaster shall have power to press or seize any seamen aboard any ships belonging to Scotland, whereby they will be in great safety for the future. We doubt not of your utmost endeavours in this matter which we con­sider of importance to the public service, and so we bid you heartily farewell. Given at our Court at Kensington, the twenty-eight day of February, 1693, and of our reign the fourth year, by his Majesty's command (sic subscribitur),

Jo. Dalrymple.

 

 

Ibidem

Edinburgh.    6th March, 1693.

Anent David Dunbar, Skipper.

 

The Council appoint their clerks to make search if there be bail found for David Dunbar, skipper, or upon what other terms he is liberated, in respect the Council is informed that he is com­manding a French privateer and has taken some Scots ship or ships.

 

Ibidem.

Edinburgh.    7th March, 1693.

Anent Robert Dunbar, Skipper.

 

The Lords of their Majesties' Privy Council do hereby appoint Sir James Ogilvie, [Afterwards first Earl of Seafield and fourth Earl of Findlater, was appointed their Majesties' Solicitor on 31st January, 1693] advocate, their "Majesties' Solicitor, to look out the horning raised against Robert Dunbar, skipper, and his cautioners and to report to the Council what diligence is done upon the bond whereupon that horning is raised, that the penalty may be forfeited and exacted, in respect they are informed that the said Dunbar is now commanding a French privateer and has taken some Scots vessels and made prize of them.

 

 

Ibidem (résumé).

Edinburgh.    7th March, 1693.

 

A Committee of the Privy Council is appointed to see to the speedy raising of the levy of seamen.

 

 

Ibidem.

Edinburgh.    14th March, 1693.

Memorial:  Mr.  William Erskine anent Seamen.

 

Mr. William Erskine, lieutenant-governor of Blackness Castle, gave in the following overtures anent seamen, viz:—Primo, that the King shall order his pressmasters to press no seamen out of any ships who shall have his pass or declaration that they have given in their proportion of number of seamen ; Secundo, that the King will order the Scottish seamen to be equally exchanged with the English when taken out of their Majesties' ships by the French ; Tertio, that they shall have the same benefit with the English of hospitals when disabled in their Majesties' service ; Quarto, that there shall be forty shillings allowed for each seaman and what necessary expenses and charges he is at in procuring of them and for his pains he shall refer it to the King or Council.

 

Committee anent Seamen.

The Lords of their Majesties' Privy Council, having heard the report  of the  Council anent seamen with the above overtures given in by Mr. William Erskine, lieutenant-governor of Black­ness Castle, read in their presence, they recommend to the committee formerly appointed in this matter to meet again and to speak with Mr. Erskine anent the several particulars in his overture and to prepare a proclamation for levying of seamen, and add the Lord Viscount Stair to the foresaid committee and continue the quorum as formerly ; and appoint them to meet to-morrow at ten in the forenoon.

 

 

Ibidem.

Edinburgh.    20th March, 1693.

 

Letter from the Council to Secretary Johnstounl 1[Secretary of State for Scotland from the spring of 1692 {State Papers Scotland Warrant Books, vol. xv, p. 100) to 1696. Was Lord Clerk Register from 2nd June, 1704, to April, 1705],anent Robert Dunbar and the Earl of Argyll's Privateer.

The Lord High Chancellor acquainted the Council that Robert Dunbar, a Scotsman, who commands a French privateer, has now lately seized a ship with Spanish wine belonging to Scots merchants, and after he has put a price or ransom upon the ship and loading has sent home the same, but detains the skipper or master as surety for the price or ransom ; and the Lord Chancellor having produced a letter from the Laird of Howstoun to Sir Archibald Muir, late provost of Edinburgh, tacksman of their Majesties' customs that a privateer belonging to the Earl of Argyll having an English commission lies at the bay of Gourock, searches all ships for unfree goods from Bilboa and places in the West Indies, whereby the whole merchants in the western parts are in a consterna­tion and all trade there will be certainly stopped, which being read, a letter was appointed to be sent to the Secretaries of State by a flying packet to acquaint his Majesty with this affair, and desire two fifth or sixth rate ships or two Dutch ships for securing the Scots coast, and this king­dom will pay the men ; which being instantly drawn was read, voted, approven and ordered to be recorded, and recommended to the Lord Chan­cellor to sign the same in name of the Council and dispatch it between and ten of the clock: The tenor whereof follows :—

Right honourable,—We are this day informed that one Captain Dunbar, who hath a commission from the French King and came lately and sup­plied the Bass and carried away two vessels laden with corn out of our Firth, hath taken a vessel belonging to our merchants laden with Spanish wine off Buchanness, whereby the trade of this kingdom is like to be much interrupted in prejudice both of our merchants and of the King's customs ; and we have caused try if any of our ships might be found fit to be rigged out for to cruise on the east coast but find none ; and therefore you are desired to represent the matter to the King that it may please his Majesty to order two English fifth or sixth rate frigates to be sent down to cruise between Tinmouth and Dungsbayhead [Tynemouth and Duncansbay] Head for our security ; and if his Majesty will lend us the ships we will furnish and pay the men, for there is a necessity that the ships be subject to our orders, lest otherwise they trouble our merchants' ships in such manner as the trade of this kingdom cannot suffer. If English ships cannot be spared it is thought the King may procure us two Dutch small frigates who will be less troublesome to our merchants, and when they come they shall have all the encouragement can be given them, or otherwise they shall be free to return.

We have likewise a report from the west that the Earl of Argyll's frigate (as she is called) under the command of Captain Hugh Campbell, lies in the Bay of Greenock, and sends armed men aboard our vessels that come to Clyde, and searches them also exactly for all goods as if they were enemies, and therefore we have ordered the captain to be brought in and his ship secured until we know his warrant; and we hope his Majesty will give orders that no commission shall be given by the Admiralty of England to trouble ships within our seas and waters, specially ships belonging to our merchants, unless the users of such commissions receive rules from and be subject to this Board, and that if any such commission be given that it may be recalled.

These things being very concerning to our merchants and to their Majesties' customs and excise we expect your diligence and care to have his Majesty's orders therein so soon as possible. Signed in name and at command of the Council by your humble servant (sic subscribitur),

TWEEDDALE* Cancel:   I.P.D.

[*John, second earl, was created Lord High Chancellor of Scotland on 5th January, 1692. He was created Marquess of Tweeddale on 17th December, 1694, and was Commissioner  to the Scots Parliament of 1695.    He died on 11th August, 1697].

 

 

Ibidem (résumé).

Edinburgh.    20th March, 1693.

 

The Lords recommend to Sir James Steuart[Sir James Steuart of Coltness was appointed Lord Advocate on 20th December, 1692, and continued in that office until after the Union in 1707]. their  Majesties'   Advocate to  prosecute  Robert Dunbar, skipper, before the High Court of Justiciary for the crime of perduellion1 against their Majesties and the government by com­manding a French privateer and seizing ships belonging to the subjects of their Majesties.

 

 

Ibidem.

Edinburgh.    20th March, 1693.

Order for Seizing Hugh Campbell and his Ship.

 

The Lords of their Majesties' Privy Council having heard and considered a complaint made to them by the tacksmen of their Majesties' customs of the oppressions committed by Hugh Campbell, master or captain of a ship of some force said to belong to the Earl of Argyll, upon several of the ships of the merchants of Glasgow trading in the river of Clyde, by searching them and stopping and detaining them in their voyages, to the great obstruction of the traffic of this nation and detriment of their Majesties' revenue arising therefrom ; therefore they hereby give power, order and warrant to the tacksmen and farmers of their Majesties' customs, or any one of them and such as they shall employ (for whom they are to be answerable), to seize upon and secure the said Hugh Campbell, commander of the said ship, and the ship under his command, and detain him in custody until he find sufficient caution to appear before the said Lords of Privy Council upon the first Tuesday of April next and give an account of his proceedings and answer for his oppressions committed upon the merchant ships under the penalty of one hundred pounds sterling, and to take the ' raes' and sails from the said ship and detain her in a safe harbour till his said appearance. And the said Lords require and command all  sheriffs of shires, magistrates of burghs and officers of their Majesties' forces to concur with and give assistance to the said tacksmen or any of them or these commissioned by them in the speedy and punctual execution of the premises, as they will be answerable.

 

Ibidem.

Edinburgh.    27th March, 1693.

Liberation of Hugh Campbell.

 

 

The Lords of their Majesties' Privy Council do hereby give order and warrant to the magis­trates of Edinburgh and keeper of their tolbooth to set at liberty Hugh Campbell, commander of the frigate called the Elizabeth of Argyll, pre­sently prisoner therein, in respect he has given bond and found sufficient caution acted in the books of Privy Council that he shall keep the public peace and that he do no hurt or prejudice to any particular person or persons, and that he shall appear before the said Lords of Privy Council upon the fourth day of April next under the penalty of two thousand merks in case he shall transgress in any part of the premises.

 

 

Ibidem.

Edinburgh.    4th April, 1693.

Letter from the Secretary anent Two Frigates to the Firth, and Commission for Searching Scots Ships. . . .

 

A letter from James Johnstoun, Esquire, Secretary of State, to the Lord High Chancellor, giving account . . . that two frigates will be sent to the mouth of the Firth and the commissions authorising the search of Scots ships under the pretence of trafficing with France will be recalled. . . .

 

 

The Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, Vol. IX, Appendix, pp. 70-71.

18th April, 1693.

Speech of William, Duke of Hamilton, H.M. High Commissioner to Parliament.

 

. And for recovery of trade and support thereof in time of war, it will be worthy of your most deliberate and serious consultations to fall upon the readiest means of effectuating the same, as how some ships of war of competent force to defend our coast from privateers and to convoy our merchant ships may be provided now, and more built hereafter, which may not only serve for that use in time of war, but be employed for trade in the time of peace.

 

 

Minutes of the Privy Council of Scotland (résumé).

Edinburgh.    28th April, 1693.

 

The Council add the Earl of Linlithgow, Lord Raith, Treasurer Depute, and the Lord Advocate to the Committee anent seamen, and to meet to­morrow and arrange measures for completing the levy.

 

 

Ibidem.

Edinburgh.    2nd May, 1693.

Proposal the Council to the Parliament anent Seamen.

 

The subsequent recommendation or proposal being  drawn was immediately carried into the Parliament[The Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, vol. ix, p. 254]. unsigned, and the same is engrossed in an Act of Parliament upon the fourth day of this same month. Follows the recommendation or proposal:—

The Lords of their Majesties' Privy Council in compliance with his Majesty's letter for that effect recommend to their Majesties' High Commissioner and Honourable Estates of Parliament that an order of Parliament may be emitted appointing the magistrates of all the burghs royal, burghs of regality and baronies upon the sea coasts of this kingdom, and others the heritors upon the sea coasts, to make up lists of the whole seamen, fishermen and boatmen within the bounds of their respective jurisdictions, and cause cast lots for the fourth man that is between sixty and sixteen in all such burghs and places, which furnished no seamen the last year in obedience to the Council's orders for that effect, and thereafter to cast lots for the eighth man contained in the said lists to be made up by oath or any other legal method by the said magistrates within the whole bounds re­spectively abovenamed ;  and the magistrates and heritors are likewise to cast lots for the wilfully absent  or unwilling  seamen, and  which fourth and eighth man the said magistrates and heritors are immediately to seize and deliver to Captain William Erskine, lieutenant-governor of Blackness, or such as he shall depute and give commission to for that effect, who (for the better ease of the magistrates respective foresaid) is to be instructed for receiving and transporting the said seamen immediately after they are listed, and to carry them to Leith, where every seaman that engages in the service is to receive twenty-four pounds of gratification, by and attour their constant pay thereafter, conform to the English establishment ; and the said Captain Erskine is to transport the seamen to be levied from Largs to Dundee in­clusive before the twenty day of May instant and the seamen of other places between and the first of June next.

 

 

Ibidem.

Edinburgh.    8th May, 1693.

Recommendation to His Majesty's Commissioner Anent a Vessel in the Firth with an English Commission.

 

The Lord High Commissioner and Lords of their Majesties' Privy Council being informed that there is a vessel with an English commission to be a privateer presently within the Firth, whereof Meek is commander, and who searches Scots ships not only for French goods but even for tobacco or other goods come from the Planta­tions, albeit these goods were imported some years ago, the said Lords do hereby recommend to his Grace, his Majesty's High Commissioner, as Lord High Admiral [The Duke of Hamilton].of Scotland to call the commander of the said vessel before his Grace, and examine him anent his deportment and the terms of his commission, and to give such orders and commands to the said commander as his Grace shall find just, that Scots vessels may not be searched for goods coming from the Plantations nor troubled nor hindered in any ports belonging to this kingdom.

 

Edinburgh.    13th May, 1693.

The Lord Commissioner's Report anent the Ship with the English Commission in the Road of Leith.

 

The Lord High Commissioner acquainted the Council he had called for the commander of the ship of war now lying in the road of Leith and had taken inspection of his commission, and find it to run thus—that he fall upon all the King's enemies, but mentions nothing of searching Scots ships—and having examined the commander, he told him he used no such practice, but would not give a particular promise or engagement against it, and that his Grace is informed he has since promised so much to the merchants.

 

Ibidem.

Edinburgh.    22nd May, 1693.

Act: Mr. John Duncan and other Merchants Trafficking in Foreign Parts.

 

Anent the petition given in to the Lords of their Majesties' Privy Council by James Grahame and Mr. John Duncan for themselves and the remanent merchants trading into foreign parts, showing that where in the time of war the peti­tioners pursue their trade only in these methods which have been accustomed, which is not only their interest and that of the whole kingdom, but particularly the great interest of their Majesties' custom and foreign excise, and yet, contrary to the right and dignity of the nation and honour of the government, their ships when come within Scots waters and even within their own harbours and entries made and the King's waiters on board are violently seized by English men-of-war, which may also lawfully be done by Dutch Danes or any other foreigners, it being most certain that as Scotland is an absolute kingdom so neither English nor other foreigners have the least power within the Scots waters and harbours, and that any attempts made by them of this kind is a high violation of the law of nations ; and seeing that it belongs to the Council to provide some remedy for this great disorder, and that now is the season that the petitioners ought to have some just assurance for following out their trade with entire safety from all such attempts in time coming ; and therefore humbly craving that for the past as well as for the future they may have a declaration that they and their ships and goods shall have the full protection of the government. The Lords declare and assure them that they shall have the full protection of the government for the future.

 

Ibidem.

Edinburgh.    26th May, 1693.

The Seamen to be Offered by way of Instrument.

 

The Lord High Commissioner acquainted the Council that his Grace is informed that the com­mander of the Centurion, now lying in the road of Leith and who should have received the seamen, from this kingdom, has refused to receive the same, and Mr. William Erskine, who had been ordered by the Parliament to levy the seamen, being called in, the Council ordered him to carry the seamen he has in readiness to the Centurion and make offer of them to the captain-commander of that ship by a notary and take instruments upon his offer and the answer which shall be made thereto and report to the Council.

 

 

Seafield Correspondence (Scottish History Society), p. 104.

For Sir James Ogilvie of Church-hill, their Majesties' Solicitor, these.

Right Honourable,—For ten or twelve days past, there have been privateers on this coast under French colours, and one Scots trading ship has been taken at Findhorn and another in Gamrie bay. We judged it therefore fit to acquaint your Honour, that you may procure some frigate or other to cruise on this coast and the Buchan Heads, otherwise it will be impossible for ships to travel.

JOHN GORDON,

ALEXr WALLACE,

R. SANDERS.[Magistrates of Banff.]

Banff.    12th June, 1693.

 

 

Ibidem, p. 105.

For the Earl of Findlater.

 

My Lord,—. . . I was at Slains on Friday and my Lady Erroll told me that there was a vessel that belonged to Sir James Ogilvie was chased into the Bullers of Buchan by a caper, and was very nearly taken. . . . There are just now very many capers on this coast. . . .

PATRICK OGILVIE.

Cairnbulg.    25th June, 1693.

 

 

Minutes of the Privy Council of Scotland.

Edinburgh.    29th June, 1693.

Letters to the King and Queen anent seizing Scots Ships in our own Ports.

 

            The two letters, whereof the one to the King and the other to the Queen's Majesty complaining that our merchant ships are seized by English and Dutch men-of-war or privateers in the Scots ports and waters, which were formerly read in Council, read again this day and subscribed and appointed to be recorded : Follows the tenor of the letters :—

 

LETTER TO THE KING.

May it please your sacred Majesty.—Albeit that your Majesty by your former letter was pleased to order that no English ship should search for goods but only for persons aboard of our ships, which certainly implies that our ships should not be seized, yet Captain Thomas Wilkiesone, commander of an English ship called the Countess of London hath had the boldness to seize a ship called the Fortune of Flenburg, Laurence Patersone, master, within the river of Forth, and when ordered to restore instead of obedience did set sail and took her away ; where­upon having for the time in the road of Leith the Sweepstakes, one of your Majesty's ships of war, we required Captain [Andrew] Douglas, commander, to go after Captain Wilkiesone and oblige him to his duty, but when Captain Douglas came up to him they soon agreed, and Captain Wilkiesone delivered him the foresaid vessel and took his receipt and obligement to bring her to the river of Thames and present her to the Lords of your Majesty's Admiralty. And this is not the only instance of this sort, but both in our east and west seas and in the ports and harbours thereof our merchant ships have been seized and some of them carried away by English and Dutch privateers as if they were our enemies.

And further we are informed that several other merchant English ships have taken out com­missions of mart from the Admiralty against unfree traders, which we see they mostly make use of against our ships coming from the Planta­tions and in our seas and rivers, albeit [it] be certain that before this late war none of our ships could be attacked or molested on that account at sea, but only in the ports and harbours of America. But these abuses are now gone to that height that the farmers of your Majesty's customs, complaining of the interruption of trade, have given over, and our merchants are so much discouraged and prejudiced by these attempts that many of them already have given over trade, and the rest must follow their example if your Majesty do not order a speedy remedy. Therefore we most humbly intreat your Majesty to give the necessary orders for causing the foresaid vessel with its cargo carried away by the Sweep­stakes to be restored to our merchants her owners, and also to issue forth orders to all ships of war, privateers or others, that for hereafter they attempt not to seize or meddle with any ships (not open enemies) within our rivers and ports upon their highest peril; as also to move the Estates General of the United Provinces to give the like orders, which, being not only necessary for the security and freedom of the trade of this kingdom and the interest of your Majesty's customs, but likewise for preserving the rights and honour of this your ancient kingdom, which is undoubtedly absolute and independent, we are most assured that your Majesty's princely care of us will fully satisfy in this matter as in all others the earnest expectation of all your good subjects.    May   it   please   your   Majesty,   your Majesty's most humble, most faithful and most obedient subjects and servants,

(Sic subscribitur)                  TWEEDDALE, CANCEL.,

HAMILTON,

ERROLL,

LLNLITHGOW,

STRATHMORE,

KINTORE,

BREADALBANE,

TARBAT,

POLLWARTH,

JOHNSTOUNE,

JA. STEUART,

AD. COCKBURNE,

ANSTRUTHER.

 

LETTER TO THE QUEEN IN SIMILAR TERMS.

 

 

Ibidem,

Edinburgh.    3rd August, 1693.

Committee upon  the proposal for securing trade against French capers.

 

The Lords of their Majesties' Privy Council, having considered a proposition offered by the merchants for securing their trade and trading ships against the French capers, they hereby recommend to the Earls of Linlithgow and Annandale, the Lord Raith, Viscount Tarbat, Lord Pollwarth and Sir Thomas Livingstone to meet and consider the necessity of the proposal, with what other overtures may be offered for the preservation and safety of trade, and declare any three of the above committee to be a quorum and recommend to them to meet in the after­noon.

 

 

Seafield Correspondence (Scottish History Society), p. 113.

Edinburgh.    7th August, 1693.

Sir James Steuart, Lord Advocate, to Sir James Ogilvie, Solicitor-General.

 

Sir,—. . . But the business which [in the Privy Council] took us up was in the very entry a proposal [which] was made by the Lord Chan­cellor for a ship to defend the coast; but Duke Hamilton moving that its commission must be from the Admiralty, and the Chancellor not naming the Duke on the committee, occasioned a mistake that spent time and frustrated the matter, the Duke contending that it was a matter of charges and belonged to the Treasury. . . .

JA. STEUART.

 

The London Gazette, No. 2898.

Edinburgh.    12th August, 1693.

 

Vessel arriving at Leith from the north reported engagement of their Majesties' ship Centurion with 6 French privateers for several hours, and that the Kingsfisher, which was within noise of the guns, took 3 of the privateers into Orkney where she left them, and herself sailed away.

 

 

Minutes of the Privy Council of Scotland.

Edinburgh.    25th August, 1693.

Letter from the Queen to the Council in answer to theirs.

 

The subsequent letter being read was ordered to be recorded whereof the tenor follows:-

 

(Suprascribitur) Marie R.—Right trusty and right  well  beloved  cousin  and  councillor,  etc., we  greet  you   well.     Whereas   by  your  letter dated  the  twenty-ninth  of  June last  you  did represent the seizure of a ship by an English privateer within the river of Forth as an encroach­ment upon the rights of that our ancient kingdom and a great discouragement to your trade and prejudice to our customs there,  we gave them orders to enquire into that matter that all justice and right might be done to you.    Till now that the business was determined in the court of our Admiralty we could make no return to yours, but now by admitting your plea to return the ship  to  be  judged there  in  our  Admiralty of Scotland you may be well satisfied of our care and concern we take of the rights, immunities and honour of our ancient kingdom as well as of its welfare and trade.    You may be assured upon all occasions we will be ready to give the evidences of a particular regard to that kingdom of which we are, and where our royal ancestors have ruled by the  succession  of   so  many   ages,   and not doubting of your zeal and care for our service and the public good,  especially at this time of the King's  absence,   we  bid  you  heartily  farewell. Given at our Court at Kensington, the 19th day of August, 1693, and of our reign the fourth year.

(Sic subscribitur) M. R.

 

 

Ibidem.

Edinburgh,    26th September, 1693.

Committee for seeing the Answers made to the Interrogators anent a ship carried out of Forth to England right worded.

 

The Lords of their Majesties' Privy Council being informed that there is a commission directed from the Admiralty of England to the magistrates of Edinburgh for examining witnesses anent the ship seized in the river of Forth and carried to England by an English man-of-war or privateers, and that among the interrogators sent from England to be asked at the witnesses this is one, viz. whether or not Scotland be a free nation independent of the kingdom of England, and whether or not the Admiralty Court of Scotland be a supreme court independent of England, they recommend to the Viscount of Tarbat, Lord Register and Sir James Steuart, their Majesties' Advocate, to see the right wording and extending of the answer to the said interrogators.

 

 

Ibidem.

Edinburgh.    27th September, 1693.

Act: William Corss and others anent a Ship.

 

            Anent the petition given in to the Lords of their Majesties' Privy Council by William Corss and partners, merchants in Glasgow, shewing that where there is a small vessel of ten guns cruising in Clyde, the master thereof, under a pretence of a commission from the Admiralty of England for searching after goods from France or from America, enters aboard all ships coming out from or going into Clyde and takes provisions and what else he finds for him at his pleasure, and not only so, but threatens to carry all the ships belonging to Scots men coming from America to be judged and made prize of by the Admiralty of England, which is very prejudicial to trade and to their Majesties' revenues, which might be easily prevented if a ship of force were speedily equipped at the charge of the public for appre­hending the said vessel or others and secure the river of Clyde from all such who may disturb their trade, and because there is no ship of force there belonging to their Majesties, the petitioners are content to equip a ship of their own of twenty guns now lying in Clyde, now ready to go to sea and serve with her two or three months tear and wear for nothing, which the petitioners estimated at two hundred pounds sterling, if their Lordships will be pleased to furnish thirty land soldiers with a sergeant and thirty seamen with an expert captain and mate, to be paid and victualled by the Treasury, and the ship to be commanded by . . . . commissioned what is necessary to the number of six or eight barrels of powder and two chests of small shot; and therefore humbly craving their Lordships in regard of the petitioners' offer, the tear and wear for nothing of their ship, to take the premises to their consideration and to take speedy course against the violence threatened,  as said is, by the  said   small   vessel   or  any  other,   whereby the petitioners have ground to hope that not only their own ships may be safe but also the concerns of other merchants may be free from danger threatened in their own rivers by any vessels whatsoever,  as the said petition bears. The said Lords of their Majesties' Privy Council having considered this petition given in to them by  the said  William  Corss and partners,  mer­chants in Glasgow,  with a reference thereon to the Lords of the Treasury, and the Lord High Chancellor his report from the said Lords, they recommend to his Grace the Duke of Hamilton, Lord High Admiral of Scotland, to grant a com­mission to any person sufficiently qualified for commanding as  captain  of the said ship,  and recommend   to   Sir   Thomas   Livingstone,   commander-in-chief of their Majesties' forces within this  kingdom,  to  give orders  and  command  a sergeant  with  thirty  soldiers  to  go  aboard  of the said ship and there to receive and obey the commands of the said captain during their abode in the said ship ;  and recommend to Mr. Francis Montgomery and Sir John Maxwell of Pollock to call for and make use of such skilled persons as they shall think fit and by them to value and put an estimate upon the said ship, furniture and tackling, upon oath of the said skilled persons to be employed by them, and recommend like­wise to  the  said  Sir Francis  Montgomery  and by his Grace the Duke of Hamilton, [The Duke of Hamilton died on 19th April, 1694, and the Admiralty thereafter passed into commission.] Lord High Admiral of Scotland. And for making the desire of the petitioners the more easy to their Lord­ships, they are satisfied to advance money for buying provisions for the sea and landmen, paying the seamen their advance wages and defraying all other charges during the service, providing the Commissioners of the Treasury will give orders to the farmers of their Majesties' customs to allow the same to the petitioners in part of the custom and excise of goods to be imported by them, and if the ship should be seized by enemies during the service or lost any manner of way, that their Lordships may order the said farmers to allow her value and worth in the first end of duty and excise of goods to be imported by them and that commission for the value of the ship for that effect. And because they have no sufficient quantity of ammunition, their Lordships may cause supply what is necessary to the number of six or eight barrels of powder and two chests of small shot; and therefore humbly craving their Lordships in regard of the petitioners' offer, the tear and wear for nothing of their ship, to take the premises to their consideration and to take speedy course against the violence threatened,  as said is, by the  said   small   vessel   or  any  other,   whereby the petitioners have ground to hope that not only their own ships may be safe but also the concerns of other merchants may be free from danger threatened in their own rivers by any vessels whatsoever,  as the said petition bears. The said Lords of their Majesties' Privy Council having considered this petition given in to them by  the said  William  Corss and partners,  mer­chants in Glasgow,  with a reference thereon to the Lords of the Treasury, and the Lord High Chancellor his report from the said Lords, they recommend to his Grace the Duke of Hamilton, Lord High Admiral of Scotland, to grant a com­mission to any person sufficiently qualified for commanding as  captain  of the said ship,  and recommend   to   Sir   Thomas   Livingstone,   commander-in-chief of their Majesties' forces within this  kingdom,  to  give orders  and  command  a sergeant  with  thirty  soldiers  to  go  aboard  of the said ship and there to receive and obey the commands of the said captain during their abode in the said ship ;  and recommend to Mr. Francis Montgomery and Sir John Maxwell of Pollock to call for and make use of such skilled persons as they shall think fit and by them to value and put an estimate upon the said ship, furniture and tackling, upon oath of the said skilled persons to be employed by them, and recommend like­wise to  the  said  Sir Francis  Montgomery  and Sir John Maxwell to deal with and endeavour to bring any other merchants in Glasgow or upon the river of Clyde, who may have benefited by the said ship and commission, to contribute for her expenses and charge and men aboard of the same, to be reported to the Lords of Treasury with their first conveniency; and recommend to the said Lords of the Treasury to order six barrels of powder and two chests of lead to be delivered to the petitioners upon their receipt out of his Majesty's stores for the service of the said ship.

 

 

Ibidem (résumé).

Edinburgh.    28th December, 1693.

 

The Council appoint Sir James Steuart, Lord Advocate, to examine Alexander Smith (who was recently brought hither from Aberdeen and im­prisoned for using expressions against the Govern­ment, and thereafter liberated) with regard to his design to hire or buy a ship and use her as a French caper against the ships of this country; also to imprison Smith, if he see cause.

 

 

Ibidem.

Edinburgh.    19th June, 1694.

Recommendation to the Lord Chancellor and Advocate anent Privateers in Orkney.

 

The Lords of their Majesties' Privy Council, having considered a letter from----- Grahame of Grameshall, direct to the Lord High Chancellor dated the twelfth day of June instant, giving an account that two privateers had been at Orkney, one of forty-two and another of twenty guns, that they had fallen upon three English ships whereof they took and carried away one, ransomed a second and burnt a third, that they landed at the Isle of Lambsound, plundered some of the inhabitants and threatened they should shortly return and do more prejudice, the said Lords recommend to the Lord High Chancellor to acquaint the Secretaries of State with the contents of his Lordship's letter, and to Sir James Steuart, their Majesties' Advocate, to prepare a draft of a letter from their Lordships to the Steward of Orkney and Zetland, requiring him to take care of the country and to do what he can for security of the place, and to encourage the inhabitants, and return account to the Council of the condition of the country and its inhabitants in order to secure and defend themselves against their Majesties' enemies, and to present the same to the Council against Thursday next.

 

 

Ibidem.

Edinburgh.    3rd August, 1694.

Recommendation for Securing the Sea Coasts against Privateers.

 

The Lords of their Majesties' Privy Council do hereby recommend to the Lord High Chancellor to write to Sir Thomas Livingstone, commander-in-chief of their Majesties' forces within this king­dom, that he dispatch a competent number of the forces lying nearest to Aberbrothick to quarter there for the security of the place against any attempts that may be made thereupon by French privateers or others ; and likewise recommend to the said Lord High Chancellor with his first convenience to speak with the said Sir Thomas anent the fittest measures and places for quarter­ing the rest of the forces for securing the rest of the sea coasts. This was extended and delivered instantly to the Lord Carmichaell to carry it out to Sir Thomas Livingstone to whom he was going to Piltoune.

Nota:   This was not subscribed, neither by the Chancellor nor any other Privy Councillor.

 

 

Ibidem.

Edinburgh,    11th October, 1694.

Recommendation to ship Six Seamen taken from a French Privateer at Stranraer.

 

The Lords of their Majesties' Council do hereby recommend to Sir James Steuart, their Majesties' Advocate, to cause ship aboard in the first man-of-war which shall sail from the river of Forth to the kingdom of England, the persons following, viz: Lieutenant Michaell Carmick, Richard Dobin, Barnaby Wedd, Bryan McGrae, Robert Playhay, Evis Jarden and Simeon Morgan, who had been aboard a French privateer lying before Stranraer and having come ashore were seized and are now prisoners in the tolbooth of Edinburgh; and in the meantime to write to the Secretaries of State that when the said persons are shipped and shall come to England in case they shall be changed with other prisoners to endeavour that the persons who shall be exchanged for them be Scots men.


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