Search just our sites by using our customised search engine

Unique Cottages | Electric Scotland's Classified Directory

Click here to get a Printer Friendly PageSmiley

Memoirs of the Jacobites
William Murray, Marquis of Tullibardine

Among the nobility who hastened to the hunting-field of Braemar, was William Marquis of Tullibardine and eldest son of the first Duke of Athole.

The origin of the powerful family of Murray commences with Sir William Dee Moraira, who was Sheriff in Perth in 1222, in the beginning of the reign of King Alexander the Second. The lands of Tullibardine were obtained by the Knight in 1282, by his marriage with Adda, the daughter of Malise, Seneschal of Stratherio. After the death of William De Moraira, the name of this famous house merged into that of Murray, and its chieftains were for several centuries known by the appellation of Murray of Tullibardine. It was not until the seventeenth century that the family of Murray was ennobled, when James the Sixth created Sir John Murray Earl of Tullibardine.

The unfortunate subject of this memoir was the son of one of the most zealous promoters of the Revolution of 1688. His father, nearly connected in blood with William the Third, was appointed to the command of" a regiment by that Monarch, and entrusted with several posts of great importance, which he retained in the time of Queen Anno, until a plot was formed to ruin him by Lord Lovat, who endeavoured to implicate the Duke in the affair commonly known by the name of the Queensbury plot. The Duke of Athole courted inquiry upon that occasion; but the business having been dropped without investigation, he resigned the office of Privy Seal, which he then held, and became a warm opponent of the. Act of Union which was introduced into Parliament in 1705.

After this event the Duke of Athole retired to Perthshire, and there lived in great magnificence until, upon the Tories coming into power, he was chosen one of the representatives of the Scottish peerage in 1710, and afterwards a second time constituted Lord Privy Seal.

It is singular that, beholding his father thus cherished by Government, the Marquis of Tullibardine should have adopted the cause of the Chevalier: and not, as it appears, from a momentary caprice, but, if we take into consideration the conduct of his whole life, from a fixed and unalienable conviction. At the time of the first Rebellion, the Marquis was twenty-seven years of age ; he may therefore be presumed to have been nature in judgment, and to have passed over the age of wild enthusiasm. The impulses of fanaticism had no influence in promoting the adoption of a party to which an Episcopalian as well as a Roman Catholic might probably be peculiarly disposed. Lord Tullibardine had been brought up a Presbyterian; his father was so firm and zoalons in that faith, as to excite the doubts of the Tory party, to whom he latterly attached himself, of his sincerity in their cause. According to Lord Lovat, the arch-enemy of the Athole family, the Duke had not any considerable portion of that quality in his character, which Lord Lovat represents as one compound of meanness, treachery, and revenge, and attributes the hatred with which Athole persecuted the brave and unfortunate Duke of Argyle, to the circumstance of his havng received a blow from that nobleman before the whole Court at Edinburgh, without having the spirit to return the insult.

It appears, from the same authority, that the loyalty which the Duke of Athole professed towards King "William was of a very questionable description. It becomes, indeed, very difficult to ascertain what were really the Duke of Athole's political tenets. Under these conflicting and unsettled opinions the young Marquis of Tullibardine was reared.

There seems little reason to doubt that his father, the Duke of Athole, continued to act a double part in the troublous days which followed the accession of George the First It was, of course, of infinite importance to Government to secure the allegiance of so powerful a family as that of Murray, the head of whom was able to bring a body of six thousand men into the field. It nevertheless soon appeared that the young heir of the house of Athole had imbibed very different sentiments to those with which it was naturally supposed a. nobleman, actually in office at that time, would suffer in his eldest son. The first act of the Marquis was to join the Earl of Mar with two thousand men, clansmen from the Highlands, and with fourteen hundred of the Duke of Athole's tenants; his next, to proclaim the Chevalier King. Almost simultaneously, and whilst his tenantry were following their young leader to the field, the Duke of Athole was proclaiming King George at Perth. The Duke J was ordered, meantime, by the authorities, to remain at his Castle of Blair to secure the peace of the county, of which he was Lord-Lieutenant.

The Marquis of Tullibardine's name appears henceforth in most of the events of the Rebellion. There exists little to shew how he acquitted himself ;n the engagement of Sherriff Muir. where he led several battalions to the field; but he shewed his firmness and valour by remaining for some time at the head of his vassals, after the unhappy contest of 1715 was closed by the ignominious flight of the Chevalier. All hope of reviving the Jacobite party being then extinct for a time, the Marquis escaped to France, where he remained in tranquillity for a few years; but his persevering endeavours to aid the Stuart cause were only laid aside, and not abandoned.

During his absence, the fortunes of the house of Athole sustained no important change. The officio of Privy Seal was. it is true, taken from the Duke and given to the Marquis of Annandale; but by the favour of Government the estates escaped forfeiture, and during the very year in which the Rebellion occurred, the honours and lands which belonged to the unfortunate Tullibardine were vested, by the intercession of his father, in a younger son, Lord James Murray. The effect of this may have been to render the Marquis still more determined in his adherence to the Stuart line. He was not, however, the only member of the house of Murray who participated in the Jacobite cause.

Xo less consistent in his opinions than the Marquis of Tullibardine, William, the second Lord Nairn. came forward to espouse the cause of the Stuarts. This nobleman was the uncle of Lord Tullibardine, and bore, before his marriage with Margaret, only daughter of the first Lord Nairn, the appellation of Lord William Murray. The title was, however, settled by patent upon him and his heirs; and this obligation, conferred by Charles the Second, was bestowed upon one whose gratitude and devotion to the line of Stuart ceased only with his life. Lord Nairn had been educated to the naval service, and had distinguished himself for bravery. He refused the oaths at the Revolution, and consequently did not take his seat in Parliament. His wife, Margaret, appears to have shared in her husband's enthusiasm, and to have resembled him in courage. In the Earl of Mar's correspondence frequent allusion is made to her under the name of Mrs. Mellor. "I wish," says the Earl on one occasion, "our men had her spirit." And the remembrances which he sends her, and his recurrence to her, show how important a personage Lady Nairn must have been. Aided by these two influential relations, the Marquis of Tullibardine had engaged in the dangerous game which cost Scotland so dear. Upon the close of the Rebellion, Lord Nairn was not so fortunate as to escape to France with his relation. lie was taken prisoner, tried, and condemned to be executed. At his trial he pleaded guilty; but he was respited, and afterwards pardoned. His wife and children were eventually provided for out of the forfeited estate; but neither punishment nor favour prevented his sons from sharing in the Rebellion of 1745.

Another individual who participated in the Rebellion of 1715 was Lord Charles Murray, the fourth surviving son of the Duke of Athole, and one of those gallant, fine-tempered soldiers, whose graceful bearing and good qualities win upon the esteem even of their enemies. At the beginning of the Rebellion, Lord Charles was an officer on half-pay in the British service; he quickly joined the insurgent army, and obtained the command of a regiment. Such was his determination to share all dangers and difficulties with his troops, that he never could be prevailed upon to ride at the head of his regiment, but went in his Highland dress, on foot, throughout the marches. This young officer crossed the Forth with General Mackintosh, and joined the Northumbrian insurgents in the march to Preston. At the siege of that town Lord Charles defended one of the harriers, and repelled Colonel Dormer's brigade from the attack, lie was afterwards made prisoner at the surrender, tried by a court-martial, and sentenced to be shot as a deserter from the British army. He was, however, subsequently reprieved, but died only five years afterwards.

The Marquis of Tullibardine was not, however, the - only Jacobite member of the family who hail been spared after the Rebellion of 1715, to renew his efforts in the cause. His brother, the celebrated Lord George Murray, was also deeply engaged in the same interests. In 1715), the hopes of the party were revived by the war with Spain, and their invasion of Great Britain was quietly planned by the Duke of Ormond, who hastened to Madrid to hold conferences with Alberoni. Shortly afterwards the Chevalier was received in that capital, and treated as King of England. In March, 1710, the ill-fated expedition under the Duke of Ormond was formed, and a fleet, destined never to reach its appointed place of rendezvous, sailed from Cadiz.

The enterprise met v Ith the usual fate of all the attempts formed in favour of the Stuarts. With the exception of two frigates, none of the ships proceeded farther than Cape Finisterre, where they were disabled by a storm. These two vessels reached the coast of Scotland, having on board of them the Earl of Seaforth, the Earl Marischal, the Marquis of Tullibardine, three hundred Spaniards, and arms for two thousand men They landed at the island of Lewes, hut found the body of the Jacobite party resolved not to move until all the forces under Cramond should be assembled. Boring this interval of suspense, disputes between the Marquis of Tullibardine and the Lord Marischal. which should have the command, produced the usual effects among a divided and factious party, of checking exertion by diminishing confidence.

It appears, however, that the Marquis had a commission from the Chevalier to invade Scotland ; in virtue of which he left the island of Lewes, whence he had for some time been carrying on a correspondence with the Highland chieftains, and landed with the three hundred Spaniards on the main land. The Ministers of George the First lost no time in repelling this attempt by a foreign power, and it is singular that they employed Dutch troops for the purpose; and that Scotland, for the first time, beheld her rights contested by soldiers speaking different languages, and natives of different continental regions. The Government had brought over two thousand Dutch soldiers, and six battalions of Imperial troops from the Austrian Netherlands, and these were now sent down to Inverness, where General Wightman was stationed. As soon as he was informed of the landing of the Spanish forces, that commander marched his troops to Glenshiel, a place between Fort Augustus and Penera. lie attacked the invaders: the Highlanders were quickly" repulsed and fled to their hills; the Spaniards were taken prisoners ; hut the Marquis of Tuilibardine and the Earl of Seaforth escaped, and, retreating to the island of Lewes, again escaped to France.

During twenty-six years the Marquis of Tullibardine, against whom an act of attainder was passed, remained in exile. He appears to have avoided taking any active part in political affairs. "These seven or eight years," he says in a letter addressed to the Chevalier, "have sufficiently shewn me how until I am for meddling with the deep concerns of state." He resided at Puteaux, a small town near Paris, until called imperatively from his retreat.

During the period of inaction, no measures were taken to reconcile those whom he had left, the more gallant portion of the Highlanders, to the English Government. "The state of arras," says Mr. Home, "was allowed to remain the same; the Highlanders liived under their chiefs, in arms; the people of England and the Lowlanders of Scotland lived, without arms, under their sheriffs and magistrates; so that every rebellion was a war carried on by the Highlanders against the standing army; and a declaration of war with France or Spain, which required the sen ice of the troops abroad, was a signal for a rebellion at home. Strange as it may seem, it was actually so."

During the interval between the two Rebellions of 1715 and 1745, the arts of peace were cultivated m England, and the national wealth augmented ; but no portion of that wealth altered the habits of the Highland chieftains, who, looking continually for another rebellion, estimated their property by the number of men whom they could bring into the field. An anecdote, illustrative of this peculiarity, is told of Macdonald of Keppoch, who was killed at the battle of Culloden. Some low-country gentlemen were visiting him in 1740, and were entertained with the lavish hospitality of a Highland home. One of these guests ventured to ask of the landlord, what was the rent of his estate. "I can bring five hundred men into the field," was the reply. It was estimated, about this time, that the whole force which could be raised by the Highlanders amounted to no more than twelve thousand men ; yet, with this inconsiderable number, the Jacobites could shake the British throne.

The danger which might arise to the Government, in case of a foreign war, from the Highlanders, was foreseen by Duncan Forbes of Culloden. and a scheme was formed by that good and great man, and communicated to Lord Hay, adapted to reconcile the chieftains to the sovereignty of the house of Hanover, and at the same time to preserve the peace of the country. This was, to raise four or five Highland regiments, appointing an English or Scotch officer of undoubted loyalty to King George, to be colonel of each regiment, and naming all the inferior officers from a list drawn up bv President Forbes, and comprising all the chiefs and chieftains of the disaffected clans. Most unhappily this plan was rejected. Had it been adopted, the melancholy events of the last Rebellion might not have left an indelible stain upon our national character The Highlanders, once enlisted 'n the cause of Government, would have been true to their engagements ; and the fidelity of the officers, when serving abroad, would have been a guarantee for the good conduct of their relations at home. It was not, however, deemed practicable; and the energies of a determined and unemployed people were again brought into active force. It is said to have met with the decided approbation of Sir Robert Walpole, but it was negatived by the Cabinet.

The year 1739 witnessed the rev ival of the Jacobite Association, which had been annihilated by the attainders and exiles of its members after tho last Rebellion. The declaration of war between Spain and England, induced a belief that hostilities with France would follow ; and accordingly, in 1740, seven persons of distinction met at Edinburgh, and signed an association, which was to be carried to the Chevalier St. George at Rome, together with a list of those chiefs and chieftains who were ready to join the association, if a body of French troops should land in Scotland. This was the commencement of the second Rebellion ; and it was seconded with as pure a spirit of devotion to the cause, as exalted an enthusiasm, as if none had bled on the scaffold in the previous reign, or attainders and forfeitures had never visited "with poverty and ruin the adherents of James Stuart.

The Marquis of Tullibardine was selected as one of the attendants of Charles Edward, in tho perilous enterprise of the invasion. He was the person of the highest rank among those who accompanied the gallant and unfortunate adventurer in his voyage from the mouth of the Loire to Scotland, in a little vessel, La Doutelle, with its escort of a ship of seven hundred tons, the Elizabeth. During this voyage the strictest incognito was preserved by the Prince, who was dressed in the habit of the Scotch College, at Paris, and who suffered his beard to grow, in order still better to disguise himself. At night the ship sailed without a light, except that which proceeded from the compass, and which was closely covered, the more effectually to defy pursuit. As it tracked the ocean, with its guardian, the Elizabeth, the sight of a British man-of-war off Lizard Point excited the ardour of the youthful hero on board of La Doutelle. Captain D'Eau, the commander of the Elizabeth, determined to attack the English ship, and requested the aid of Mr. Walsh, who commanded the Doutelle. His request was denied, probably from the responsibility which would have been incurred by Walsh, if he had endangered the safety of the vessel in which the Prince sailed. The attack was therefore made by the brave D'Eau alone. It was succeeded by a fight of two hours, during which the Doutelle looked on, while tlio Prince vainly solicited Walsh to engage in the action. The commander refused, and threatened the royal youth to send him to his cabin if he persisted. Both ships were severely damaged in the encounter, and La Doutelle was obliged to proceed on her way alone, the Elizabeth returning to Prance to relit.

On the twenty-first of July, La Doutelle approached the remote range of the Hebrides, comprehending Lewes, List, and Barra, often called, from being seen together, the Long Island. As the vessel neared the shore, a large Hebridean eagle hovered over the masts. The Marquis of Tullibardine observed it, and attributed to its appearance that importance to which the imagination of his countrymen gives to such incidents; yet, not wishing to appear superstitious, or to show what is called a "Highland freit," it was not until the bird had followed the ship's course for some time, that he drew the attention of the Prince to the circumstance. As they returned on deck after dinner, he pointed out the bird to Charles Edward, observing at the same time, "Sir, I hope this is a happy omen, and promises good things to us ; the king of birds is come to welcome your Royal Highness, on your arrival in Scotland."

The Prince and his followers landed, on the twenty-third of July, at the island of Eriska, belonging to Clanranald, and situated between the Isles of Barra and of South Uist, their voyage having been accomplished in eighteen days. Here all the party landed, with the exception of the Marquis, who was laid up with the gout, and unable to move. His condition was supposed to be one of peril, for two ships had been espied, and the Prince and his associates hurried off, with all the expedition they could, to shore. The long boat was got out, and sent to procure a pilot, who was discovered in the person of the hereditary piper of Clanranald, who piloted the precious freight safely to shore. The two vessels which had produced so much alarm, proved afterwards to be only merchant-vessels.

In these "malignant regions," as Dr. Johnson describes them, referring to the severity of the climate and the poverty of the soil, Prince Charles and his adherents were lodged in a small country house, with a hole in the roof for a chimney, and a fire in the middle of the room. The young adventurer, reared among the delicacies of the palace at Albano, was often obliged to go to the door for fresh air. "What a plague is the matter with that fellow," exclaimed Angus Macdonald, the landlord, "that he can neither sit nor stand still, nor keep within nor without doors!" The night, it must be observed, was unusually wet and stormy, so that the Prince had no alternative between smoke and ram. The pride of the Scotch, in this remote region, was exemplified in another trifling occurrence : The Prince, who was less fatigued than the rest of the party, with that consideration for others, and disregard of his own personal comfort, which formed at this period so beautiful a part of his character, insisted that his attendants should retire to rest, he took a particular care of Sir Thomas Sheridan, his tutor, and examined closely the bed appropriated to him. in order to see that it was well aired. The landlord, indignant at this investigation, called out to him, "That the bed was so good, and the sheets were so good, that a prince might sleep in them".

The farm-house in which this little incident took place, and which first received the Prince, who was destined to occupy so great a variety of dwellings in Scotland, was situated in Borrodale, a wild, mountainous tract of country, which forms a tongue of land between two bays. Borrodale, being difficult of access, was well-chosen as the landing-place of Charles ; whilst around, inmost directions, were the well-wishers to his cause.

The Marquis of Tullibardine accompanied Charles in his progress until the Prince landed at Glenfinnin, which is situated about twenty miles from Fort "William, and forms the outlet from Moidart to Lochaber ; here the standard of Charles Edward was unfurled. The scene in which this ill-omened ceremonial took place is a deep and narrow valley, in which the river Finnin runs between high and craggy mountains, which are inaccessible to every species of carriage, and only to be surmounted by travellers on foot. At each end of the vale is a lake of about twelve miles in length, and behind the stern mountains which enclose the glen, are salt-water lakes, one of them an arm of the sea. The river Finnin empties itself into the Lake of Glenshicl, at the extremity of the glen. On the eighteenth of August Prince Charles crossed this lake, slept at Glensiarick, and on the nineteenth proceeded to Glenfinnin.

When Charles landed in the glen, he gazed around anxiously for Cameron of Lochiel, the younger, whom he expected to have joined him. lie looked for some time in vain; that faithful adherent was riot then in sight, nor was the glen, as the Prince had expected, peopled by any of the clansmen whose gathering he had expected. A few poor people from the little knot of hovels, which was called the village, alone greeted the ill-starred adventurer. Disconcerted, Prince Charles entered one of the hovels, which are still standing, and waited there for about two hours. At the end of that time, the notes of the pibroch were heard, and presently, descending from the summit of a hill, appeared the Camerons. advancing in two lines, each of them three men deep. Between the lines walked the prisoners of war, who had been taken some days previously near Loch Lochiel.

The Prince, exhilarated by the sight of six or seven hundred brave Highlanders, immediately gave orders for the standard to be unfurled.

The office of honour was entrusted to the Marquis of Tullibardine, on account of his high rank and importance to the cause. The spot chosen for the ceremony was a knoll in the centre of the vale. Upon this little eminence the Marquis stood, supported on either hide by men, for his health was infirm, and what we should now call a premature old age was fast approaching. The banner which it was his lot to unfurl displayed no motto, nor was there inscribed upon it the coffin and the crown which the vulgar notion in England assigned to it. It was simply a large banner of red silk, with a white space in the middle. The Marquis held the staff until the Manifesto of the Chevalier and the Commission of Regency had been read. In a few hours the glen in which this solemnity had been performed, was filled not only with Highlanders, but with ladies and gentlemen to admire the spectacle. Among them was the celebrated Miss, or, more properly, Mrs. Jeanie Cameron, whose passionate attachment for the Prince rendered her so conspicuous "In the troublous period of 1745. The description given of her in Bishop Forbes's Jacobite Memoirs destroys much of the romance of the story commonly related of her. " She is a widow," he declares, " nearer fifty than forty years of age. She is a genteel, well-looking, handsome woman, with a pair of pretty eyes, and hair black as jet. She is of a very sprightly genius, and is very agreeable in conversation. She was so far from accompanying the Prince's army, that she went off with the rest of the spectators as soon as the army marched ; neither did she ever follow the camp, nor ever was with the Prince in private, except when he was in Edinburgh."

Soon after the unfurling of the standard, we find the Marquis of Tullibardine writing to Mrs. Robertson of Lude, a daughter of Lord Nairn, and desiring her to put the Castle of Blair into some order, and to do the honours of the place when the Prince should come there. The Marquis, it is here proper to mention, was regarded by all the Jacobites as still the head of his house, and uniformly styled by that party the "Duke of Athole," yet he seldom adopted the title himself; and in only one or two instances in his correspondence does the signature of Athole occur.

On the thirty-first of August the Prince visited the famous Blair Athole, or Field of Athole, the word Blair signifying a pleasant land, and being descriptive of that beautiful vale situated in the midst of wild and mountainous scenery.

After riding along a black moor, in sight of vast mountains, the castle, a plain massive white house, appears in view. It is seated on an eminence above a plain watered by the Gary, called, by Pennant, an outrageous stream, which laves and rushes along-vast beds of gravel on the valley below.

The approach to Blair Castle winds up a very steep and high hill, and through a great birch wood, forming a most picturesque scene, from the pendent form of the boughs waving with the wind from the bottom to the utmost summits of the mountains. On attaining the top, a view of the beautiful little Straith, fertile and wooded, with the river inn the middle, delights the beholder. The stream, after meandering in various circles, suddenly swells into a lake that fills the vale from side to side; this lake is about three miles long, and retains the name of the river.

When Prince Charles visited Blair, it was a fortified house, and capable of holding out a siege afterwards against his adherents. Its height was consequently lowered, but the inside has been finished with care by the ducal owner. The environs of this beautiful place are thus described by the graphic pen of Pennant, whose description of them, having been written in 176D, is more likely to apply to the state in which it was when Prince Charles beheld it, than that of any more modern traveller.

"The Duke of Athole's estate is very extensive, and the country populous; while vassalage existed, the chieftain could raise two or three thousand fighting-men, and leave sufficient at home to take care of the ground. The forests, or rather chases, (for they are quite naked,) are very extensive, and feed vast numbers of stags, which range at certain times of the year 1 tt herds of five hundred. Some grow to a great size. The hunting of these animals was formerly after the manner of an Eastern monarch. Thousands of vassals surrounded a great tract of country, and drove the deer to the spot where the chieftains were stationed, who shot them at their leisure.

"Near the house is a line walk surrounding a very deep glen, finely wooded, but in dry weather deficient in water at the bottom; but on the side of the walk on the rock is a small crystalline fountain, inhabited at that time by a pair of Naiads, in the form of golden fish.

"In a spruce-fir was a hang-nest of some unknown bird, suspended at the four corners to the boughs; it was open at top an inch and a half in diameter, and two deep ; the sides and bottom thick, the materials moss, worsted, and birch-bark, lined with hair and feathers. The stream affords the part a small species of trout seldom exceeding eight niches in length, marked on the sides with nine large bluish spots, and on the lateral line with small red ones. No traveller should omit visiting Yorke Cascade, a magnificent cataract, amidst most suitable scenery, about a mile distant from the house. This country is very mountainous, has no natural woods, except of birch; but the vast plantations that begin to cloath the hills will amply supply these defects."

With what sensations must the Marquis of Tullibardine have approached this beautiful and princely territory, from which he had been excluded, hi« vassals becoming the vassals of a younger brother, and he a proscribed and aged man, visiting as an alien the home of his youth!

Sanguine hopes, however, perhaps mitigated the bitterness of the reflections with which the faithful and disinterested Marquis of Tullibardine once more found himself within the precincts of his proud domain.

Several anecdotes are told of Prince Charles at Blair; among others, "that when the Prince was at the Castle, he went into the garden, and taking a walk upon the bowling-green, he said he had never seen a bowling-green before; upon which Mrs. Robertson of Lude called for some bowls that he might see them, but he told her that he had had a present of bowls sent him, as a curiosity, to Rome from England.''

On the second of September, the Prince left Blair and went to the house of Lude, where he was very cheerful, and took his share in several dances, such as minuets and Highland reels; the first reel the Prince called for was, "This is no' mine ain House he afterwards commanded a Strathspey minuet to be danced."

On the following day, while doing at Dunkeld, some of the company happened to observe what a thoughtful state his father would now be in from the consideration of those dangers and difficulties which he had to encounter, and remarked that upon this account he was much to be pitied, because his mind must be much upon the rack. The Prince replied, that he did not half so much pity his father as his brother; "for," (he said) "the King has been inured to disappointments and distresses, and has learnt to bear up easily under the misfortunes of life; but, poor Harry—his young and tender years make him much to be pitied, for few brothers liye as we do."

On the fourth of September, Prince Charles entered Perth; the Marquis of Tullibardine, as it appears from several letters addressed to him by Lord George Murray, who wrote from Perth, remained at Blair, but only, as it is evident from the following extract from a letter by Lord George Murray, whilst awaiting the arrangement of active operations. On the twenty-second of September he received a commission from the Prince, constituting and appointing him Commander-in-Chief of the forces north of the Forth; the active duties of tho post were, however, fullilled by Lord George Murray, who writes in the character of a general:

"Dear Brother,

"Things vary so much from time to time, that I can say nothing certain as yet, but refer you to the enclosed letter; but depend upon having another express from me with you before Monday night. But in the meantime you must resolve to be ready to march on Tuesday morning, by Keinacan and Tay Bridge, so as to be at Crieff on "Wednesday, and even that way, if you do your best, you will be half a mark behind; but you will be able to make that up on Thursday, when I reckon we may meet at Dumblane, or Doun; but of this more fully in my next. It is believed for certain, that Cope will embark at Aberdeen.

"I hope the meal was with you this day, thirty-five bolls,—for it was at Invar last night. It shall be my study to have more meal with you on Monday night, for you must distribute a peck a man; and cost what it will, there must be frocks made to each man to contain a peck or two for the men to have always with them.

"Buy linen, yarn, or anything, for these frocks are of absolute necessity—nothing can be done without them. His Royal Highness desires you to acquaint Glenmoriston and Glencoe, if they come your way of this intended inarch, so that they may go by Tay-bridgc (if you please, with you), and what meal you can spare let them have. You may please tell your own people that there is a project to get arms for them. Yours. Adieu. "Georoe Murray."

From his age and infirmities, the Marquis was precluded from taking an active part in the long course of events which succeeded the unfurling of the standard at Glenfinnin. He appears to have exercised a gentle, but certain sway over the conduct of others, and especially to have possessed a control over the high-spirited Lord George Murray, whose conduct he did not always approve.

Whilst at Blair, the Marquis was saluted as Duke of Athole by all who entered his house; but the honour was accompanied by some mortifications. His younger brother, the Duke of Athole, had taken care to carry away everything that could be conveyed, and to drive off every animal that could be driven from his territory. The Marquis had therefore great difficulty in providing even a moderate entertainment for the Prince; whilst the army, now grown numerous, were almost starving. "The priests," writes a contemptuous opponent, "never had a litter opportunity to proclaim a general fast than the present. No bull of the Pope's would ever have been more certain of finding a most exact and punctual obedience."

After the battle of Culloden had sealed the fate of the Jacobites, the Marquis of Tullibardine was forced, a second time, to seek a place of refuge. He threw hint-self, unhappily, upon the mercy of one who little deserved the confidence which was reposed in his honour, or merited the privilege of succouring the unfortunate. The following are the particulars of his fate :—

About three weeks after the battle of Culloden the Marquis of Tullibardine traversed the moors and mountains through Strathane in search of a place of safety and repose : he had become a very infirm old man, and so unfit for travelling on horseback, that he had a saddle made on purpose, somewhat like a chair, in which he rode in the manner ladies usually do.

On arriving in the vicinity of Loch Lomond he was quite worn out, and recollecting that a (laughter of the family of Polmain (who were connected with his own) was married to Buchanan of Drumakiln, who lived in a detached peninsula, running out into the lake, the fainting fugitive thought, on these accounts, that the place might be suitable for a temporary refuge. The Marquis was attended by a French secretary, two servants of that nation, and two or three Highlanders, who had guided him through the solitary passes of the mountains. Against the judgment of these faithful attendants, he bent his course to the Ross, for so the house of Drama kiln is called, where the Laird of Drumakiln was living with his son. The Marquis, after alighting, begged to have a private interview with his cousin, the wife of Drumakiln; he told this lady he was come to put his life into her hands, and what, :n some sense, he valued more than life, a small casket,* which he delivered to her, intreating her, whatever became of him, that she would keep that carefully till demanded in his name, as it contained papers of consequence to the honour and safety of many other persons. Whilst he was thus talking, the younger Drumakiln rudely broke in upon him, and snatching away the casket, he said he would secure it in a safe place, and went out. Meantime the French secretary and the servants were watchful and alarmed at seeing the father and son walking in earnest consultation, and observing horses saddled and dispatched with an air of mystery, whilst every one appeared to regard them with compassion. All this time the Marquis was treated with seeming kindness; hut his attendants suspected some snare. They burst into loud lamentations, and were described by some children, who observed them, to be 'greeting and roaring like women.' This incident the lady of Drumakiln (who was a person of some capacity) afterwards told her neighbours as a strange instance of effeminacy in these faithful adherents.

At night the secretary went secretly to his master's bedside, and assured him there was treachery. The Marquis answered he could believe no gentleman capable of such baseness, and at any rate he was incapable of escaping through such defiles as they had passed; he told him in that case it could only aggravate his sorrow to see him also betrayed; and advised him to go off immediately, which he did. Early in the morning a party from Dumbarton, summoned for that purpose, arrived to carry the Marquis away prisoner. He bore his fate with calm magnanimity. The fine horses which he brought with him were detained, and he and one attendant who remained were mounted en some horses belonging to Drumakiln, Such was the general sentiment of disgust with Drumakiln, that the officer who commanded the party taunted that gentleman in the bitterest manner, and the commander of Dumbarton Castle, who treated his noble prisoner with the utmost respect and compassion, regarded Drumakim with the coldest disdain. The following anecdotes of the odium which Drumakiln incurred, are related by Mrs. Grant.

"Very soon after the Marquis had departed, young Drumakiln mounted the Marquis's horse, (the servant riding another which had belonged to that nobleman,) and set out to a visit to his father-in-law Polmaise.

''"When he alighted, he gave his horse to a groom, who. knowing the Marquis well, recognised him—'Come in poor beast (said he) ; times are changed with you since you carried a noble Marquis, but you shall always be treated well here for his sake.' Drumakiln ran in to his father-in-law, complaining that his servant insulted him. Polmaise made no answer, but turning on his heel, rang the bell for the servant, saying, ' That gentleman's horses.'

''After this and several other rebuffs the father and son began to shrink from the infamy attached to this proceeding. There was at that time only one newspaper published at Edinburgh, conducted by the well-known Ruddiman: to this person the elder Drumakiln addressed a letter or paragraph to be inserted in his paper, bearing that on such a (lay the Marquis surrendered to him at his house. This was regularly dated at Ross: very soon after the father and son went together to Edinburgh, and waiting on the person appointed to make payments for affairs of this nature, demanded their reward. It should have been before observed, that the Government were at this time not at all desirous to apprehend the Marquis, though his name was the first inserted in the proclamation. This capture indeed greatly embarrassed them, as it would be cruel to punish, and partial to pardon him. The special officer desired Drumakiln to return the next day for the money. Meanwhile he sent privately to Ruddiman and examined him about the paragraph already mentioned. They found it on his file, in the old Laird's handwriting, and delivered it to the commissioner. The commissioner delivered the paragraph, in his own handwriting, up to the elder, saying, 'There is an order to the Treasury, which ought to satisfy you,' and turned away from him with marked contempt."

Soon after the younger laird was found dead in his bed, to which he had retired in usual health. Of five children which he left, it would shock humanity to relate the wretched lives, and singular, and untimely deaths, of whom, indeed, it might be said,

"On all the line a sudden vengeance waits,
And frequent hearses shall besiege their gates."

And they were literally considered by all the neighbourhood as caitiffs,

"Whose breasts the furies steel'd
And curst with hearts unknowing how to yield."—Hope.

The blasting influence of more than dramatic justice, or of corroding infamy, seemed to reach every branch of this devoted family. After the extinction of the direct male heirs, a brother, who was a captain in the army, came home to take possession of the property. He was a person well-respected in life, and possessed some talent, and much amenity of manners. The country gentlemen, however, shunned and disliked him, on account of the existing prejudice. This person, thus shunned and slighted, seemed to grow desperate, and plunged into the lowest and most abandoned profligacy. It is needless to enter into a detail of crimes which are hastening to desired oblivion. It is enough to observe that the signal miseries of this family have done more to impress the people of that district with a horror of treachery, and a sense of retributive justice, than volumes of the most eloquent instruction could effect. On the dark question relative to temporal judgments it becomes us not to decide. Yet it is of some consequence, in a moral view, to remark how much all generous emulation, all hope of future excellence, is quenched in the human mind by the dreadful blot of imputed infamy"

This account of the retributive justice of public opinion which was visited upon Drumakiln, is confirmed by other authority. It is consolatory to reflect that the Marquis of Tullibardine, after a life spent in an honest devotion to the cause which he believed to be just, was spared, by a merciful release, from the horrors of a public trial, and of a condemnation to the scaffold, which age and ill-health were not sufficient pleas to avert. After remaining some weeks in confinement at Dumbarton, he was carried to Edinburgh, where he remained until the thirteenth of May, 1746. lie was then put on board the Eltham man-of-war, lying in the Leith Roads, bound for London. His health all this time was declining, yet he had the inconvenience of a long sea voyage to sustain, for the Eltham went north for other prisoners before it sailed for London. But at length the Marquis reached his last home, the Tower, where he arrived on the twenty-first of June. He survived only until the ninth of July.

Little is known of this unfortunate nobleman, except what is honourable, consistent, and amiable. He had almost ceased to be Scotch, except in his attachments, and could scarcely write his own language. He seems to have been generally respected ; and he bore his reverses of fortune with calmness and fortitude. In his last moments he is said to have declared, that although he had been as much attached to the cause of James Stuart as any of his adherents, if he might now advise his countrymen, it should be never more to enter into rebellious measures, for, having failed -n the last attempt, every future one would be hopeless.

The Marquis died in the fifty-eighth year of his age, and was buried in the chapel in the Tower, which has received few more honest men, or public characters more true to the principles which they have professed.

The following letter, written in March. 1745, during the siege of Blair Castle, when it was commanded by a garrison under Sir Andrew Agnew, and addressed to Lord George Murray, shows the strong sense which the Marquis entertained of what was due to his country and his cause.

"Brother Georoe,

"Since, contrary to the rules of right reason, you was pleased to tell me a sham story about the expedition to Blair, without further ceremony for me, you may now do what the gentlemen of the country think fit with the castle: I am in no concern about it. Our great-great-grandfather, grandfather, and father's pictures will be an irreparable loss on blowing up the house; but there is no comparison to be made with these faint images of our forefathers and the more necessary publick sendee, which requires we should sacrifice everything that can valuably contribute towards the country's safety, as well as materially advancing the royal cause. Pray give my kind sendee to all valuable friends, to which I can add nothing but that, in all events, you may be assured I shall ever be found with just regard, dear brother, your most affectionate brother and humble servant."

"Inverness, " March 26, 1746."

"PS. At the upper end of the door of the old stable, there was formerly a gate which had a portcullis into the castle; it is half built up and boarded over on the stable side, large enough to hold a horse at hack and manger. People that don't know the place imagine it may be much easier dug through than any other part of the wall, so as to make a convenient passage into the vaulted room, which is called the servants' hall."

Of the fate of this princely territory, and upon the fortunes of the family of which the Marquis of Tullibardine was so respectable a member, much remains to be related; but it appertains more properly to the life of the warlike and ambitious brother of the Marquis, the celebrated Lord George Murray.

Return to the Book Index Page


This comment system requires you to be logged in through either a Disqus account or an account you already have with Google, Twitter, Facebook or Yahoo. In the event you don't have an account with any of these companies then you can create an account with Disqus. All comments are moderated so they won't display until the moderator has approved your comment.

comments powered by Disqus