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

General History of the Highlands
1650 - 1660

HAVING arranged with the commissioners the conditions on which he was to ascend the Scottish throne, Charles II, with about 500 attendants, left Holland on the 2d of June, in some vessels furnished him by the Prince of Orange, and after a boisterous voyage of three weeks, during which he was daily in danger of being captured by English cruizers, arrived in the Moray frith, and disembarked at Garmouth, a small village at the mouth of the Spey, on the 23d of that month. Before landing, however, Charles readily gave his signature to the Covenant, which subsequent events showed he had no intention of observing longer than suited his purpose.

The news of the king’s arrival reached Edinburgh on the 26th of June. The guns of the castle were fired in honour of the event, and the inhabitants manifested their joy by bonfires and other demonstrations of popular feeling. The same enthusiasm spread quickly throughout the kingdom, and his majesty was welcomed with warm congratulations as he proceeded on his journey towards Falkland, which had been fixed upon by parliament as the place of his residence. The pleasure he received from these professions of loyalty was, however, not without alloy, as he was obliged, at the request of the parliament, to dismiss from his presence some of his best friends, both Scotch and English, particularly the Duke of Hamilton, the Earl of Lauderdale, and other "engagers," who, by an act passed on the 4th of June against "classed delinquents," were debarred from returning to the kingdom, or remaining therein, "without the express warrant of the Estates of parliament." Of the English exiles the Duke of Buckingham, Lord Wilmot, and seven gentlemen of the household were allowed to remain with him. In fact, with these exceptions, every person even suspected of being a "malignant," was carefully excluded from the court, and his majesty was thus surrounded by the heads of the Covenanters and the clergy. These last scarcely ever left his person, watched his words and motions, and inflicted upon him long harangues, in which he was often reminded of the misfortunes of his family.

The rulers of the English commonwealth, aware of the negotiations which had been going on between the young king and the Scots commissioners in Holland, became apprehensive of their own stability, should a union take place between the Covenanters and the English Presbyterians, to support the cause of the king, and they therefore resolved to invade Scotland, and by reducing it to their authority extinguish for ever the hopes of the king and his party. Fairfax was appointed commander-in-chief, and Cromwell lieutenant-general of the army destined for this purpose; but as Fairfax considered the invasion of Scotland as a violation of the solemn league and covenant which he had sworn to observe, he refused, notwithstanding the most urgent entreaties, to accept the command, which in consequence devolved upon Cromwell.

The preparations making in England for the invasion of Scotland were met with corresponding activity in Scotland, the parliament of which ordered an army of 30,000 men to be immediately raised to maintain the independence of the country. The nominal command of this army was given to the Earl of Leven, who had become old and infirm; but David Leslie his relative, was in reality the commander. The levies went on with considerable rapidity, but before they were assembled Cromwell crossed the Tweed on the 22d of July at the head of 16,000 well appointed and highly disciplined troops. On his march from Berwick to Musselburgh a scene of desolation was presented to the eyes of Cromwell, far surpassing anything he had ever before witnessed. With the exception of a few old women and children, not a human being was to be seen, and the whole country appeared as one great waste over which the hand of the ruthless destroyer had exercised its ravages. To understand the cause of this it is necessary to mention, that, with the view of depriving the enemy of provisions, instructions had been issued to lay waste the country between Berwick and the capital, to remove or destroy the cattle and provisions, and that the inhabitants should retire to other parts of the kingdom under the severest penalties. To induce them to comply with this ferocious command, appalling statements of the cruelties of Cromwell in Ireland were industriously circulated among the people; that he had given orders to put all the males between 16 and 60 to death, to cut of the right hands of all the boys between 6 and 16, and to bore with red-hot irons the breasts of all females of age for bearing children. Fortunately for his army Cromwell had provided a fleet in case of exigency, which kept up with him in his march along the coast, and supplied him with provisions.

The English general continued his course along the coast till he arrived at Musselburgh, where he established his head-quarters. Here he learnt that the Scots army, consisting of upwards of 30,000 men, had taken up a strong position between Edinburgh and Leith, and had made a deep entrenchment in front of their lines, along which they had erected several batteries. Cromwell reconnoitered this position, and tried all his art to induce the Sects to come to a general engagement; but as Leslie’s plan was to act on the defensive, and thus force Cromwell either to attack him at a considerable disadvantage, or to retreat back into England after his supply of provisions should be exhausted, he kept his army within their entrenchments.

As Cromwell perceived that he would be soon reduced to the alternative of attacking the Scots in their position, or of retracing his steps through the ruined track over which his army had lately passed, he resolved upon an assault, and fixed Monday the 29th of July for advancing on the enemy. By a singular coincidence, the king, at the instigation of the Earl of Eglinton, but contrary to the wish of his council and the commanders, visited the army that very day. His presence was hailed with shouts of enthusiasm by the soldiers, who indulged in copious libations to the health of their sovereign. The soldiers in consequence neglected their duty, and great confusion prevailed in the camp ; but on the approach of Cromwell sufficient order was restored, and they patiently waited his attack. Having selected the centre of the enemy’s position, near a spot called the Quarry Holes, about halfway between Edinburgh and Leith, as appearing to him the most favourable point for commencing the operations of the day, Cromwell led forward his army to the assault; but after a desperate struggle he was repulsed with the loss of a considerable number of men and horses. Cromwell renewed the attack on the 31st, and would probably have carried Leslie’s position bit for a destructive fire from some batteries near Leith. Cromwell retired to Musselburgh in the evening, where he was unexpectedly attacked by a body of 2,000 horse and 500 foot, commanded by Major-General Montgomery, son of the Earl of Eglinton, and Colonel Strachan, which had been despatched at an early part of the day by a circuitous route to the right, for the purpose of falling on Cromwell’s rear. If Balfour is to be credited, this party beat Cromwell "soundlie," and would have defeated his whole army if they had had an additional force of 1,000 men; but an English writer informs us, that the Scots suffered severely. According to the first-mentioned author the English had 5 colonels and 500 men killed, while the latter states the loss of the Scots to have been about 100 men, and a large number of prisoners. On the following day, Cromwell, probably finding that he had enough of mouths to consume his provisions, without the aid of prisoners, offered to exchange all those he had taken the preceding day, and sent the wounded Sects back to their camp.

These encounters, notwithstanding the expectations of the ministers, and the vaunts of the parliamentary committee of their pretended successes, inspired some of Leslie’s officers with a salutary dread of the prowess of Cromwell’s veterans. An amusing instance of this feeling is related by Balfour in the case of the earl of W. (he suppresses the name) who "being commandit the nixt day (the day after the last mentioned skirmish) in the morning, to rnarche out one a partey, saw he could not gee one upone service untill he had his brackefaste. The brackefaste was delayed above four hours in getting until the L. General being privily advertissed by a secrett frind, that my Lord was peaceably myndit that morning, sent him expresse orders not to marche, to save his reputation. One this, the gallants of the army raissed a proverbe, ‘That they weld not gee out one a parteyuntil they gate thor brackefaste."

For several days Cromwell remained inactive in his camp, during which the parliamentary committee subjected the Scots army to a purging operation, which impaired its efficiency, and, perhaps, contributed chiefly to its ruin. As the Solemn League and Covenant was considered by the Covenanters a sacred pledge to God, which no true Christian could refuse to take, they looked upon those who declined to subscribe it as the enemies of religion, with whom it would be criminal in the eye of Heaven to associate. Before the purgation commenced, the king received a hint, equivalent to a command, from the heads of the Covenanters to retire to Dunfermline, an order which he obeyed "sore against his own mind," by taking his departure on Friday the 2d of August, after spending the short space of two hours at a banquet, which had been provided for him by the city of Edinburgh. No sooner had the king departed than the purging process was commenced, and on the 2d, 3d, and 5th of August, during which the committee held their sittings, no less than 80 officers, all men of unquestionable loyalty, besides a considerable number of common soldiers, were expelled from the army.

Cromwell retired with his army to Dunbar on the 5th of August. Here he found the few inhabitants who had remained in the town in a state of starvation. Touched with commiseration, lie generously distributed among them, on his supplies being landed, a considerable quantity of wheat and pease.

While the ministers were thanking God "for sending the sectarian army (for so they designated the Independents) back the way they came, and flinging such a terror into their hearts, as made them fly when none pursued," Cromwell suddenly re-appeared at Musselburgh, and thus put an end to their thanksgivings.

Seeing no hopes of the Scots army leaving its entrenchments, and afraid that farther delay might be injurious to him, Cromwell made a movement on the 13th of August to the west, as far as the village of Colinton, three miles south-west from Edinburgh, where he posted the main body of his army. The Scottish general thinking that Cromwell had an intention of attacking him in his rear, raised his camp and marched towards Corstorphine, about two miles north from Colinton, where he drew out his army. Both armies surveyed each other for several days, but neither attempted to bring the other to action. As he could not, from the nature of the ground which lay between the two armies, attack his opponents with any probability of success, Cromwell again returned to Musselburgh with his army on a Sunday, that he might not be harassed in his march by the Covenanters, who never fought but on the defensive on that day.

Although the king before his landing had subscribed the Solemn League and Covenant, and although they had purged the army to their heart’s content, still Argyle and his party were not satisfied, and they, therefore, required his majesty to subscribe a declaration "for the satisfaction of all honest men." On the 16th of August, after some hesitation and with slight modification of the terms, Charles was induced to sign a most humiliating declaration, which reflected upon the conduct of his father, lamented the "idolatry" of his mother, pledged him to renounce the friendship of all who were unfriendly to the Covenant, establish Presbyterianism in England, in short, made him a mere tool in the hands of the extreme Covenanters.

Although every sober and judicious person must have perceived that there was little probability that such a declaration would be regarded by the young monarch when released from his trammels, yet so greatly important was his majesty’s subscription to the instrument considered by the Covenanters, that they hailed it with the most lively emotions of joy and gratitude; and the ministers who, only two days before, had denounced the king from the pulpits as the root of malignancy, and a hypocrite, who had shown, by his refusal to sign the declaration, that he had no intention to keep the Covenant, were the first to set the example. The army, excited by the harangues of the ministers during a fast, which they proclaimed to appease the anger of heaven for the sins of the king and his father, longed to meet the enemy, and it required all the influence and authority of General Leslie to restrain them from leaving their lines and rushing upon the "sectaries ;" but, unfortunately for the Covenanters, their wish was soon to be gratified. 

It does not appear that the chiefs of the Covenanters were actuated by the same enthusiasm as the ministers and the common soldiers, or that the generals of the army were very sanguine of success. They were too well aware of the composition of Cromwell’s veteran host, to suppose that their raw and undisciplined levies, though numerically superior, could meet the enemy in the open field; and hence they deemed it a wise course of policy to act on the defensive, and to harass them by a desultory warfare as occasion offered. This system had been so successful as to embarrass Cromwell greatly, and to leave him no alternative but a retreat into England—a course which he was obliged to adopt more speedily, perhaps, than he would otherwise have done, in consequence of extensive sickness in his army. No indications of any movement had appeared up to the 29th of August, as on that day the Committee of Estates adjourned the meeting of parliament, which was to have then assembled, till the 10th of September, "in respecte that Oliver Cromwell and his armey of sectaries and blasphemers have iuvadit this kingdome, and are now laying within the bosome thereof."

On the 30th of August, however, Cromwell collected his army at Musselburgh, and having put all his sick on board his fleet, which lay in the adjoining bay, he gave orders to his army to march next morning to Haddington, and thence to Dunbar. He made an attempt to obtain the consent of the Committee of Estates to retire without molestation, promising never again to interfere in the affairs of Scotland; but they refused to agree to his proposal, as they considered that they would be able to cut off his retreat and compel him to surrender at discretion.

Next morning Cromwell’s army was in full retreat towards Haddington. The Scots army followed in close pursuit, but with the exception of some slight skirmishing between the advanced guard of the Scots and Cromwell’s rear, nothing important took place. Cromwell halted during the night at Haddington, and offered battle next day; but as the Scots declined, he continued his retreat to Dunbar, which he reached in the evening. With the intention of cutting off his retreat, Leslie drew off his army to the south towards the heights of Lammermuir, and took up a position on Doon hill. Having at the same time secured an important pass called the Peaths, through which Cromwell had necessarily to pass on his way to Berwick, the situation of the latter became extremely critical, as he had no chance of escape but by cutting his way through the Scots army, which had now completely obstructed his line of retreat. Cromwell perceived the danger of his situation, but he was too much of an enthusiast to give way to despair; he deliberately, and within view of the enemy, shipped off the remainder of his sick at Dunbar, on the 2d of September, intending, should Providence not directly interpose in his behalf, to put his foot also on board, and at the head of his cavalry to cut his way through the Scots army. But as, in an affair of such importance, nothing could be done without prayer, he directed his men to "seek the Lord for a way of deliverance and salvation. A part of the day was accordingly spent in prayer, and at the conclusion, Cromwell declared, that while he prayed he felt an enlargement of heart and a buoyancy of spirit which assured him that God had hearkened to their prayers.

While Cromwell and his men were employed in their devotional exercises, a council of war was held by the Scottish commander to deliberate upon the course to be pursued in the present crisis. As Leslie considered himself perfectly secure in his position, which could not be assailed by the enemy without evident risk of a defeat, and as he was apprehensive of a most formidable and desperate resistance should he venture to attack the brave and enthusiastic Independents, who were drawn out within two miles of his camp; he gave as his opinion that the Scottish army should not only remain in its position, but that Cromwell should be allowed to retire into England on certain easy conditions. The officers of the army concurred in the views of the general, but this opinion was overruled by the Committees of the Estates and kirk, who, anxious to secure their prey, lest by any possibility it might escape, insisted that the army should descend from the heights and attack the "army of sectaries and blasphemers," which they fully expected the Lord would deliver into their hands.

In pursuance of the orders of the Committees to attack Cromwell early the following morning, Leslie drew down his men on the evening of the 2d of September from the heights which they occupied to the level ground below, that he might be ready to commence the attack before the enemy should be fully on their guard. But nothing could escape the penetrating eye of Cromwell, who, though pondering with solicitude upon the difficulties of his situation, was not inattentive to the enemy, whose motions he personally watched with the utmost vigilance and assiduity. He was about retiring for the night, when looking through his glass for the last time that evening, he perceived, to his infinite joy, the Scottish army in motion down the hill. The object of this movement at once occurred to him, and in a rapture of enthusiasm he exclaimed, "They are coming down;—the Lord hath delivered them into our hands." A strong spirit of religious enthusiasm had in fact seized both armies, and each considered itself the peculiar favourite of heaven.

Unfortunately for the Scots their movements were considerably impeded by the state of the weather, which, during the night, became very rainy and tempestuous. Confident in their numbers, they seem to have disregarded the ordinary rules of military prudence, and such was the slowness of their movements, that they found themselves unexpectedly attacked at the dawn of day before the last of their forces had left the hill where they had been stationed. Cromwell had, during the night, advanced his army to the edge of a deep ravine which had separated the advanced posts of both parties, along which his troops reposed waiting in deep silence the order for attack. As soon as Cromwell was enabled by the approach of day to obtain a partial view of the position selected by the Scots, he perceived that the Scottish general had posted a large body of cavalry on his right wing near to a pass on the road from Dunbar to Berwick, with the evident intention of preventing the English from effecting an escape. To this point, therefore, Cromwell directed his attack with the main body of his horse, and some regiments of foot, with which he endeavoured to obtain possession of the pass; but they were charged by the Scottish lancers, who, aided by some artillery, drove them down the bill. Cromwell, thereupon, brought up a reserve of horse and foot and renewed the attack, but was again repulsed.. He still persevered, however, and the cavalry were again giving way, when just as the sum was emerging from the ocean, and beginning, through the mist of the morning, to dart its rays upon the armour of the embattled hosts, he exclaimed with impassioned fervour,—" Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered." In a moment Cromwell’s own regiment of foot, to whom his exclamation had been more particularly addressed, advanced with their pikes levelled, the cavalry rallied, and the Scottish horse, as if seized with a panic, turned their backs and fled, producing the utmost confusion among the foot, who were posted in their rear.

As soon as the Scots perceived the defeat and flight of their cavalry, they were seized with a feeling of consternation, and throwing away their arms, sought their safety in flight. They were closely pursued by Cromwell’s dragoons, who followed them to the distance of many miles in the direction of Edinburgh, and cut them down without mercy. Out of a force of 27,000 men, who, a few hours before, had assured themselves of victory, not more than 14,000 escaped. 3,000 of the Scots lay lifeless on the fertile plains of East Lothian, and about 10,000 were taken prisoners, of whom not less than 5,000 were wounded. All the ammunition, artillery, and baggage of the Scots army fell into the hands of the conquerors. The loss on the side of Cromwell was trifling, not amounting to more than 30 men killed. The battle of Dunbar took place on the 3d of September, 1650, and was long familiarly known among the Scots by the name of "the Tyesday’s chase."

Cromwell spent the following day at Dunbar writing despatches to the parliament. He ordered all the wounded to be taken particular care of; and after their wounds were dressed they were released on their parole. The remainder of the prisoners were sent to England, where about 2,000 of them died of a pestilential disease, and the rest were sent as slaves to the English plantations in the West Indies. Cromwell, of course, now abandoned his intention of returning to England. In furtherance of his design to subject Scotland to his authority, he marched to Edinburgh, which he entered without opposition.

In the meantime, the Scottish horse and the few foot which had escaped from the slaughter of Dunbar were collected together at Stirling. Here the Commissioners of the General Assembly held a meeting on the 12th of September, at which they drew up a "declaration and warning to all the congregations of the kirk of Scotland," exhorting the people to bear the recent disaster with becoming fortitude, and to humble themselves before God that he might turn away his anger from them; at the same time ordaining a "soleme publicke humilatione upone the defait of the arrney," to be kept throughout the kingdom.

It is probable that this "declaration and warning" had little effect upon the minds of the people, whose enthusiasm had been somewhat cooled by Cromwell’s success, and although they did not, perhaps, like their unfortunate countrymen, who were taken captives on the 3d of September and sent into England, curse the king and clergy for insnaring them in misery, as Whitelock observes, they could not but look upon the perpetual meddling of the ministers with the affairs of the State, as the real source of all the calamities which had recently befallen the country. As to the king he had become so thoroughly disgusted with the conduct of the Argyle faction, whose sole object seemed to be to use him as a tool for their own purposes, that he regarded the recent defeat of the Covenanters in the light of a triumph to his cause, which, by destroying the power of Argyle, would pave the way for the due exercise of the royal authority.

The king now entertained the idea of forming a party for himself among the numerous royalists in the Highlands; for which purpose he opened up a correspondence with Huntly, Moray, and Athole, and other chiefs; but before matters were fully concocted, the negotiation was disclosed to Argyle, who took immediate means to defeat it. Accordingly, on the 27th of September, the Committee of Estates ordered the whole cavaliers who still remained about the king’s person, with the exception of three, one of whom was Buckingham, to quit the court within 24 hours, and the kingdom in 20 days.

As Charles was to be thus summarily deprived of the society and advice of his friends, he took the resolution of leaving Perth, and retiring to the Highlands among his friends. Accordingly, under the pretence of hawking, he left Perth about half-past one o’clock in the afternoon of the 4th of October, accompanied by five of his livery servants, and rode at full gallop, until he arrived at Dudhope near Dundee, which he did in an hour and a half. He then proceeded to Auchter-house along with Viscount Dudhope, whence he was conveyed by the Earl of Buchan and the Viscount to Cortuquhuy, the seat of the Earl of Airly. After partaking of some refreshment he proceeded the same night up the glen, under the protection of 60 or 80 Highlanders, to a poor cottage, 42 miles from Perth, belonging to the laird of Clova. Fatigued by such a long journey, he threw himself down on an old mattress, but he had not enjoyed many hours repose when the house was entered, a little before break of day, by Lieutenant-Colonel Nairne, and Colonel Baynton, an Englishman, who had been sent by Colonel Montgomery in quest of him. Shortly after Montgomery himself appeared, accompanied by the laird of Scotscraig, who had given him information of the place of his Majesty’s retreat, and Sir Alexander Hope bearing one of the king’s hawks. This party advised the king to get on horseback, offered to attend him, and promised to live and die with him if necessary.

Perceiving their intention to carry him back to Perth, the king told Montgomery that he had left Perth in consequence of information he had received from Dr. Fraser, his physician, that it was the intention of the Committee of Estates to have delivered him up to the English, and to hang all his servants: Montgomery assured his Majesty that the statement was false, and that no person but a traitor could have invented it. While this altercation was going on, Dudhope and the Highlanders who attended the king strongly advised him to retire instantly to the mountains, and they gave him to understand that a force of 2,000 horse and 5,000 foot was waiting for him within the distance of five or six miles ready to execute his orders; but before his Majesty had come to any resolution as to the course he should adopt, two regiments of covenanting horse appeared, on observing which, says Balfour, "Buchan, Dudhope and ther begerly guard begane to shecke ther cares, and speake more calmley, and in a lower strain." The king thereupon gave his consent to return to Perth, whither he was accordingly conducted by Montgomery at the head of his horse.

This attempt of the king to escape (familiarly known by the name of "the Start") produced a salutary effect upon the Committee of Estates, and they now began to treat him with more respect, admitting him to their deliberations, and even suspending the act they had issued ordering the English cavaliers to leave the kingdom.

As a considerable part of the Highlands was now up in arms to support the king, the committee induced him to write letters to the chief leaders of the insurrection desiring them to lay down their arms, which correspondence led to a protracted negotiation. An act of indemnity was passed on the 12th of October, in favour of the people of Athole, who had taken up arms; but as it was couched in language which they disliked, and contained conditions of which they disapproved, the Earl of Athole and his people presented a petition to his majesty and the committee, craving some alteration in the terms.

In order to enforce the orders of the king to the northern royalists, to lay down their arms, Sir John Brown’s regiment was despatched to the north; but they were surprised during the night of the 21st of October, and defeated by a party under Sir David Ogilvie, brother to Lord Ogilvie. On receiving this intelligence, General Leslie hastened to Perth from Stirling, and crossed the Tay on the 24th, with a force of 3,000 cavalry, with which he was ordered to proceed to Dundee and scour Angus. At this time General Middleton was lying at Forfar, and he, on hearing of Leslie’s advance, sent him a letter, inclosing a copy of a "bond and oath of engagement" which had been entered into by Huntly, Athole, Seaforth, Middleton, and other individuals, by which they had pledged themselves to join firmly and faithfully together, and neither for fear, threatening, allurement, nor advantage, to relinquish the cause of religion, of the king and of the kingdom, nor to lay down their arms without a general consent; and as the best undertakings often did not escape censure and malice, they promised and swore, for the satisfaction of all reasonable persons, that they would maintain the true religion, as then established in Scotland, the National Covenant, and the Solemn League and Covenant; and defend the person of the king, his prerogative, greatness, and authority, and the privileges of parliament, and the freedom of the subject. Middleton stated that Leslie would perceive from the terms of the document inclosed, that the only aim of himself and friends was to unite Scotsmen in defence of their common rights, and that the grounds on which they had entered into the association were precisely the same as those professed by Leslie himself. As the independence of Scotland was at stake, and as Scotsmen should unite for the preservation of their liberties, he proposed to join Leslie, and to put himself under his command, and he expressed a hope that Leslie would not shed the blood of his countrymen, or force them to the unhappy necessity of shedding the blood of their brethren in self-defence. The negotiation thus begun was finally concluded on the 4th of November at Strathbogie, agreeably to a treaty between Leslie and the chief royalists, by which the latter accepted an indemnity and laid down their arms.

Cromwell did not follow up his success as might have been expected, but contented himself with laying siege to the castle of Edinburgh, and pushing forward his advanced posts as far as Linlithgow.

Among the leading Covenanters both in parliament and the church, there were some whose political ideas were pretty similar to those of Cromwell, respecting monarchical government, and who had not only approved of the execution of the late king, hut were desirous of excluding his son from the crown of Scotland. This party, though a minority, made up for its numerical inferiority, by the talents, fanaticism, and restless activity of its partisans ; but formidable as their opposition in parliament was, they found themselves unable effectually to resist the general wish of the nation in favour of the king, and yielded to the force of circumstances. By excluding, however, the royalists from the camp, and keeping the king in a state of subjection to their authority, they had succeeded in usurping the government, and had the disaster of Dunbar not occurred, might have been enabled to carry their designs against the monarchy into effect; but notwithstanding this catastrophe, they were not discouraged, and as soon as they had recovered from the temporary state of alarm into which the success of Cromwell had thrown them, they began to concert measures, in accordance with a plan they now contemplated, for making themselves altogether independent of parliament. For this purpose, under the pretence of opposing the common enemy, they solicited and obtained permission from the Committee of Estates to raise forces in the counties of Dumfries, Galloway, Wigton, Ayr, and Renfrew, the inhabitants of which were imbued with a sterner spirit of fanaticism, and therefore more ready to support their plans than those of any other parts of Scotland. By bringing in the exhortations of Gillespie and others of the more rigid among the ministers to their aid, they succeeded in a short time in raising a body of nearly 5,000 horse, over which Strachan, Kerr, and two other colonels, all mere tools of the party, were placed.

As soon as the leaders of this faction, of whom Johnston of Warriston, the clerk-register, was chief, had collected these levies, they began to develop the plan they had formed of withdrawing themselves from the control of the Committee of Estates by raising a variety of objections against the line of conduct pursued by the Committee, and, till these were removed, they refused to unite "the western army," as this new force was called, with the army under Leslie. Cromwell, aware of this division in the Scottish army, endeavoured to widen the breach by opening a correspondence with Strachan, who had fought under him at Preston, the consequence being that Strachan soon went over to the English army with a body of troopers. Leslie complained to the Estates of the refusal of the western forces to join him, and solicited to be recalled from his charge; but they declined to receive his resignation, and sent a deputation, consisting of Argyle, Cassilis, and other members to the western army, "to solicit unity for the good of the kingdom." So unsuccessful, however, was the deputation in bringing about this desired "unity," that, on the 17th October, an elaborate paper, titled, "the humble Remonstrance of the Gentlemen-Commanders, and Ministers attending the forces in the west," addressed to the Committee of Estates, was drawn up and presented by Sir George Maxwell to them at Stirling, on the 22d. The compilers of this document proposed to remove from the presence of the king, the judicatories and the armies, the "malignants," whom many of the committee were accused of having received "into intimate friendship," admitting them to their councils, and bringing in some of them to the parliament and committees, and about the king, thereby affording "many pregnant presumptions," of a design on the part of sonic of the Committee of Estates, "to set up and employ the malignant party," or, at least, giving "evidences of a strong inclination to intrust them again in the managing of the work of God." The Committee of Estates paid no regard to this remonstrance, a circumstance which gave such umbrage to Warriston and the leaders of the western army, that they drew up another, couched in still stronger language, on the 30th of October, at Dumfries, whither they had retired with the army on a movement made by Cromwell to the west. In this fresh remonstrance the faction declared that as it was now manifest that the king was opposed to the work of God and the Covenants, and cleaving to the enemies of both, they would not regard him or his interest in their quarrel with the invaders; that he ought not to be intrusted in Scotland with the exercise of his power till he gave proofs of a real change in his conduct; and that an effectual course ought to be taken for preventing, in time coming, "his conjunction with the malignant party," and for investigating into the cause of his late flight; and that the malignants should be rendered incapable in future of hurting the work and people of God.

A petition having been presented to the Committee of Estates on the 9th of November, requiring a satisfactory answer to the first remonstrance, a joint declaration was issued by the king and the committee on the 25th, declaring "the said paper, as it related to the parliament and civil judicatories, to be scandalous and injurious to his majesty’s person, and prejudicial to his authority." The commission of the General Assembly having been required to give their opinion upon the remonstrance, in so far as it related to religion and church judicatories, acknowledged that, although it contained "many sad truths," nevertheless, the commission declared itself dissatisfied with the remonstrance, which it considered apt to breed division in kirk and kingdom." This declaration of the commission was not only approved of by the General Assembly, but what was of equal importance, that venerable body passed a resolution declaring that in such a perilous crisis all Scotsmen might be employed to defend their country. An exception of persons "excommunicated, forfeited, notoriously profane, or flagitions, and professed enemies and opposers of the Covenant and cause of God," was no doubt made, but this exemption did not exclude all the "malignants." A breach was now made in the unity of the Scottish church, and the nation was split into two parties—a division which paved the way for the subjugation of Scotland by Cromwell. The party which adhered to the king was distinguished by the name of Resolutioners, and the other was denominated Protesters, a distinction which was kept up for several years.

Nothing could be more gratifying to Cromwell than to see the Sects thus divided among themselves, and keeping up two distinct armies in the field, mutually opposed to each other. He had by negotiation and intrigue contributed to increase the irritation between the two parties, and had even succeeded in sowing the seeds of dissension among the leaders of the western army itself. Strachan, his old friend, had resigned the command which had been conferred on Kerr, who was by no means hearty in the cause. In this situation of matters Cromwell resolved, in the meantime, to confine his attention to the operations of the western army, with the intention, if he succeeded in defeating it, of marching north with the whole of his forces, and attacking the royal army. As the castle of Edinburgh was still in the hands of the Covenanters, Cromwell could only spare a force of about 7,000 horse, which he accordingly sent west about the end of November, under Lambert, to watch Kerr’s motions. Intelligence of this movement was received by the parliament then sitting at Perth, on the 30th of November, in consequence of which Colonel Robert Montgomery was despatched with three regiments to support the western army, the command of which he was requested by the parliament to take; and, to enforce this order, the committee on military affairs was directed to send a deputation to the western forces to intimate to them the command of the parliament. Before the arrival, however, of Montgomery, Kerr was defeated on the 1st of December, in an attack he made on Lambert at Hamilton, in which he himself was taken prisoner, and the whole of his forces dispersed. This victory gave Cromwell quiet possession of the whole of Scotland, south of the Clyde and the Forth, with the exception of Stirling, and a small tract around it; and as the castle of Edinburgh surrendered on the 24th of December, Stirling castle was the only fortress of any note, south of the Forth, which remained in the possession of the royalists at the close of the year.

A considerable time, however, elapsed before Cromwell found himself in a condition to commence his intended campaign beyond the Forth. His inactivity is to be ascribed partly to an ague with which he was seized in February, 1651, and which had impaired his health so much that in May he obtained permission to return to England to recruit his debilitated constitution; but a sudden and favourable change having taken place in the state of his health, he gladly remained with the army, which he put in motion towards Stirling on the 3d of July.

The Scottish parliament was fully aware of the impending danger, and made the necessary preparations to meet it, but the Engagers and the party of Argyle did not always draw together; yet the king had the address, by his accommodating and insinuating behaviour, to smooth down many differences, and thus prepared the way for that ascendency which his friends, the Hamiltons, afterwards obtained. The coronation of the king took place at Scone, on the 1st of January, 1651, in pursuance of an order of the parliament. His conduct on that occasion added greatly to his growing popularity. The first trial of strength, to borrow a modern parliamentary phrase, which took place in the parliament, was on the 23d of December, 1650, on the nomination of colonels to the different horse and foot regiments then in the course of being raised. A list of them had been submitted to the house on the 20th, which contained about an equal number of royalists and Covenanters. This gave rise to a long debate, but the list was finally approved of.

Among the colonels of foot, were the Earls of Athole and Tulliebardine, and the Master of Gray for Perth; the lairds of Maclean and Ardkinlass for Argyle and Bute; the laird of Grant and the sheriff of Moray for Nairne, Elgin, and "Grant’s Lands ;" the lairds of Pluscardine, Balnagowan, the master of Lovat, and the laird of Lumlair, for Inverness and Ross; Lord Sutherland and Henry Mackay of Skowrie, for Sutherland and Strathnaver; the master of Caithness for Caithness; and Duncan Macpherson for Badenoch. The clans in the Highlands and the Isles were to be cornmanded respectively by Macdonald, the tutor of Macleod, Clanranald, the tutor of Keppoch, the laird of Lochaber, the tutor of Maclean, Lochiel, Macneil of Barra, Lauchlane Mackintosh, and the laird of Jura.

Argyle and his party made several attempts, afterwards, to check the rising influence of the Hamiltons, by opposing the different plans submitted to the parliament for rendering the army more efficient, but they were outvoted. The finishing blow was given to their hopes by the appointment of the king to the chief command of the army, and by the repeal of the "act of classes," which excluded the royalists from having any share in the administration of the affairs of the kingdom, and from serving their country.

In expectation of Cromwell’s advance, the Scots had raised, during the spring, strong fortifications along the fords of the river Forth, to obstruct his passage, and had entrenched themselves at the Torwood, having the town of Stirling at their back, in which position Cromwell found them when he advanced west in July. As he considered it dangerous to attempt to carry such a strong position in the face of an army of about 20,000 men, (for such it is said was the number of the Scots), he endeavoured, by marches and countermarches, to draw them out; but although they followed his motions, they took care not to commit themselves, by going too far from their lines of defence. Seeing no chance of bringing them to a general engagement, Cromwell adopted the bold plan of crossing the Frith of Forth at Queensferry, and of throwing himself into the rear of the Scottish army. While therefore, he continued, by his motions along the Scottish lines, to draw off the attention of the Scottish commanders from his plan, he, on the 20th of July, sent over Lambert, with a large division of his army in a number of boats which had been provided for the occasion. He landed without opposition, and proceeded immediately to fortify himself on the hill between the North Ferry and Inverkeithing. General Holburn was immediately despatched with a large force to keep Lambert in check, and though the Scots fought with great bravery, they were defeated. A body of Highlanders particularly distinguished themselves. The loss of the Scots was considerable; and among the slain were the young chief of Maclean and about 100 of his friends and followers. This victory opened a free passage to Cromwell to the north of Scotland. He immediately, therefore, crossed the Forth with the remainder of his army, and proceeded to Perth, of which he took possession on the 2d of August.

While the Scottish leaders were puzzled how to extricate themselves from the dilemma into which they had been thrown by the singular change which had lately taken place in the relative position of the two armies, the king alone seemed free from embarrassment, and at once proposed to his generals, that, instead of following Cromwell, or waiting till he should attack them, they should immediately invade England, where he expected to be joined by numerous royalists, who only required his presence among them at the head of such an army, to declare themselves. Under existing circumstances, the plan, though at once bold and decisive, was certainly judicious, and, therefore, it is not surprising that it should have received the approbation of the chiefs of the army. Having obtained their concurrence, the king immediately issued a proclamation on the 30th of July, to the army, announcing his intention of marching for England the following day, accompanied by such of his subjects as were willing to give proofs of their loyalty by sharing his fortunes. This appeal was not made in vain, and Charles found himself next morning in full march on the road to Carlisle, at the head of 11,000, or, as some accounts state, of 14,000 men. Argyle, as was to be expected, excused himself from accompanying the army, and obtained permission to retire to his castle.

Although Cromwell was within almost a day’s march of the Scottish army, yet, so sudden and unexpected had been its departure, and so secretly had the whole affair been managed, that it was not until the 4th of August that he received the extraordinary intelligence of its departure for England. Cromwell was now as much embarrassed as the Scottish commander had lately been, for he had not the most distant idea, when he threw himself so abruptly into their rear, that they would adopt the bold resolution of marching into England. As soon, however, as he had recovered from the surprise into which such an alarming event had thrown him, he despatched letters to the parliament, assuring them of his intention to follow the Scottish army without delay, and exhorting them not to be discouraged, but to rely on his activity. He also sent Lambert with a force of 3,000 cavalry to harass the rear of the Scottish army, and forwarded orders to Harrison, who was then at Newcastle, to press upon their flank with a similar number; and, in a few days, he himself crossed the Forth with an army of 10,000 men, and proceeded along the eastern coast, in the direction of York, leaving Monk behind him with a force of 5,000 horse and foot to complete the reduction of Scotland.

The Scottish army reached Worcester on the 22d, and on being mustered the king found that he had at his command only 14,000 men, 2,000 of whom were Englishmen. To attack this force, large bodies of parliamentary troops were concentrated at Worcester, and on the 28th of August, when Cromwell arrived to take the command, the army of the republic amounted to upwards of 30,000 men, who hailed the presence of their commander with rapture. The two armies met on the 3d of September, the anniversary of the battle of Dunbar, and the disastrous result is well known, it being out of place here to enter into details. The king himself, at the head of the Highlanders, fought with great bravery: his example animated the troops, and had he been supported by Leslie’s cavalry, as was expected, the issue of the struggle might have been different. As it was, the royal army was completely defeated, and the king had to provide for his personal safety by flight.

This battle, which Cromwell admits "was as stiff a contest for four or five hours as ever he had seen," was very disastrous to the royalists, 3,000 of whom were killed on the spot, and a considerably larger number taken prisoners, and even the greater part of the cavalry, who escaped from the city, were afterwards taken by detachments of the enemy. The Duke of Hamilton was mortally wounded in the field of battle; the Earls of Derby, Lauderdale, Rothes, Cleveland and Kelly, Lords Sinclair, Kenmure and Grandison, and Generals Leslie, Middleton, Massey and Montgomery, were made prisoners after the battle. When the king considered himself free from immediate danger, he separated, during the darkness of the night, from the body of cavalry which surrounded him, and with a party of 60 horse proceeded to Whiteladies, a house belonging to one Giflard a recusant and royalist, at which he arrived at an early hour in the morning, after a ride of 25 miles. After a series of extraordinary adventures and of the most singular hair-breadth escapes, he landed in safety at Fecamp in Normandy, on the 17th of October.

While Cromwell was following the king through England, Monk proceeded to complete the subjugation of Scotland. He first laid siege to Stirling castle, into which he threw shells from batteries he had raised, the explosion of which so alarmed the Highlanders who composed the garrison, that they forced the governor to surrender. All the records of the kingdom, the royal robes, and part of the regalia, which had been locked up in the castle as a place of perfect security, fell into the hands of the captors, and were sent by Monk to England. He next proceeded to Dundee, which was strongly fortified and well garrisoned, and contained within it an immense quantity of costly furniture and plate, besides a large sum of money, all of which had been lodged in the town for safety. Monk, hearing that the Committees of the Estates and of the kirk were sitting at Alyth in Angus, sent a company of horse, who surprised the whole party and made them prisoners.

When the necessary preparations for an assault had been completed, Monk sent a summons to Lumsden, the governor of Dundee, to surrender, but he rejected it with disdain. The obstinacy of Lumsden exasperated Monk, who ordered his troops to storm the town, and to put the garrison and all the inhabitants, without regard to age or sex, to the sword. The town was accordingly carried by assault on the 1st of September, and was followed by all the horrors which an infuriated soldiery could inflict upon a defenceless population.

The townsmen gave no aid to the garrison, and when the republican troops entered the town, they found the greater part of them lying drunk in the streets. The carnage was stayed, but not until 800 males, including the greater part of the garrison, and about 200 women and children, were killed. Among the slain, was Lumsden the governor, who, although he had quarter given him by Captain Kelly, was nevertheless shot dead by Major Butler as Kelly was conducting him along the street to Monk. Besides the immense booty which was in the town, about 60 ships which were in the harbour of Dundee with their cargoes, fell into the hands of the English.

The capture of Dundee was immediately followed by the voluntary surrender of St. Andrews, Montrose and Aberdeen. Some of the Committee of Estates who had been absent from Myth, held a meeting at Inverury, to deliberate on the state of matters, at which the Marquis of Huntly presided, and at which a motion was made, to invest him with full authority to act in the absence of the king, but the meeting broke up on hearing of Monk’s approach. The committee retired across the Spey, but Huntly went to Strathdon along with his forces. Monk did not proceed farther north than Aberdeen at this time.

The Marquis of Argyle, who had given great offence to Cromwell, by his double dealing, seeing now no chance of opposing successfully the republican arms, made an attempt at negotiation, and sent a letter by a trumpeter to Monk, proposing a meeting at some convenient place, "as a means to stop the shedding of more Christian blood." The only answer which Monk gave to the messenger, who arrived at Dundee on the 19th of October, was, that he could not treat without orders from the parliament of England. This refusal on the part of Monk to negotiate, was a sore disappointment to Argyle, as it disappointed the hopes he entertained of getting the English government to acknowledge a debt which he claimed from them.

Monk now turned his whole attention to the state of matters in the North, where some forces were still on foot, under the command of the Marquis of Huntly and Lord Balcarras. With the former he concluded an agreement on the 21st of November, under which Huntly consented to disband his men; and on the 3d of December, a similar treaty was entered into between Balcarras and Colonels Overton and Lilburn. Shortly after the English army crossed the Spey and entered Inverness, where they planted a garrison; so that before the end of the year, the whole of the Lowlands and a part of the Highlands had submitted to the arms of the republic. To complete the destruction of the independence of Scotland, a destruction accomplished less by the power of her enemy than by the perversity of her sons, and to reduce it to a province of England, the English army was augmented to 20,000 men, and citadels erected in several towns, and a long chain of military stations drawn across the country to curb the inhabitants. All the crown lands were declared public property by the English parliament, and the estates of all persons who had joined in the English invasions, under the king and the Duke of Hamilton, were confiscated by the same authority. A proclamation was issued, abolishing all authority not derived from the English parliament: all persons holding public appointments, whose fidelity to the new order of things was suspected, were dismissed, and their places supplied by others of more subservient principles; the supreme courts of justice were abolished, and English judges appointed to discharge the judicial functions, aided by a few natives.

As several bodies of Highlanders still remained under arms in the interior of the Highlands, Monk directed three distinct parties to cross the mountains, simultaneously, in the summer of 1652. While Colonel Lilburn advanced from Inverness towards Lochaher on one side, General Dean led his troops from Perth in the same direction on the other, and Colonel Overton landed in Kintyre with a force from Ayr. But they were all obliged speedily to retrace their steps, amid the jeers and laughter of the Highlanders.

The administration of the affairs of Scotland was committed to Monk, than whom a more prudent person, and one better calculated to disarm the indignant feelings of the Scots at their national degradation, could not have been selected. But as it was evident that order could not be restored, or obedience enforced, as long as the clergy were allowed to continue their impertinent meddling in state affairs, he prohibited the meetings of the General Assembly, and, in one instance, dispersed that body by a military force. In doing so, it was afterwards admitted by some of the clergy themselves, that he had acted wisely, as the shutting up of the assembly tended greatly to allay those fierce contentions between the protesters and resolutioners, which, for several years, distracted the nation, and made them attend more to the spiritual concerns of their flocks. The spirit of dissension was not, however, confined to the clergy, but extended its withering influence to many of the laity, who, to gratify their revenge, accused one another of the most atrocious crimes before the newly constituted tribunl. The English judges were called to decide upon numerous acts alleged to have been committed twenty or thirty years before, of which no proofs were offered, but extorted confessions in the kirk, and no less than sixty persons were brought before them accused of witchcraft, who had been tortured into an admission of its practices. All these cases were dismissed, and the new judges administered the laws throughout with an equity and moderation which was almost unknown before in Scotland, and which formed a singular contrast with the disregard of justice, and the extreme violence which had of late disgraced the Scottish tribunals.

William, Ninth Earl of GlencairnWith a short interruption, occasioned by an insurrection, under the Earl of Glencairn, in the Highlands, Scotland now enjoyed tranquillity till the restoration of Charles II., and comparative prosperity and happiness, a compensation in some degree for the loss of her liberties. The interruption alluded to took place in the year 1653, on the departure of Monk from Scotland to take the command of the English fleet.

In the month of August, 1653, a meeting was held at Lochearn, which was attended by Glencairn, the Earl of Athole, Lord Loin, eldest son of the Marquis of Argyle, Glengarry, Lochiel, Graham of Duchray, Donald Macgregor tutor of Macgregor, Farquharson of Inverey, Robertson of Strowan, Macnaughton of Macnaughton, and Colonel Blackadder of Tullyallan. At this meeting, which continued several days, it was ultimately agreed that the persons present should assemble their vassals and dependents with as little delay as possible, and place themselves under the command of Glencairn, who was to wait in the neighbourhood of Lochearn till the different parties should collect and bring together their respective forces. Six weeks were, however, allowed to expire before any assemblage took place, during all which time Glencairn roamed through the neighbouring mountains, attended only by one companion and three servants. The first who made his appearance was Graham of Duchray, at the head of 40 men. He was followed, in two or three days, by the tutor of Macgregor, and 80 of that clan. With this force he went to Duchray house, in Stirlingshire, near Loch Ard, where he was joined by Lord Kenmure, and about 40 horsemen, and by Colonel Blackadder, with 30 more from Fife. The Laird of Macnaughton also arrived with 12 horse, and a party of between 60 and 80 lowlanders, under the command of Captain Hamilton, brother to the laird of Milntown. The earl’s force thus amounted to nearly 300 men.

On hearing of the assemblage of this body, Colonel Kidd, the governor of Stirling castle, at the head of the greater part of a regiment of foot, and a troop of horse, marched towards Aberfoyle, which was within three miles of Glencairn’s camp; but having received notice of his approach, the earl took care to secure the adjoining pass. He posted his foot to the best advantage on both sides, and he drew up the horse under Lord Kenmure in the centre. Although Kidd must have perceived the great risk he would run in attempting to carry the pass, he nevertheless made the attempt, but his advance was driven back at the first charge by the lowlanders and Duchray’s men, with whom they first came in contact, with the loss of about 60 men. The whole of Kidd’s party, thereupon, turned their backs and fled. They were hotly pursued by Glencairn’s horse and foot, who killed about 80 of them.

The news of Kidd’s defeat, trifling as it was, raised the hopes of the royalists, and small parties of Highlanders flocked daily to Glencairn’s standard. Leaving Aberfoyle, he marched to Lochearn, and thence to Loch Rannoch, where he was met by several of the clans. Glengarry brought 300, Lochiel 400, and Macgregor about 200 men. The Earl of Athole appeared at the head of 100 horse, and brought also a regiment of foot, consisting of about 1,200 men, commanded by Andrew Drummond, brother to Sir James Drummond of Mechaney, as his lieutenant-colonel. Sir Arthur Forbes and some officers, with about 80 horsemen, also joined the royal army.

Having despatched some officers to the lowlands, with instructions to raise forces, Glencairn marched north to join Farquharson of Inverey, who was raising a regiment in Cromar. In the course of his march, several gentlemen of the adjoining country joined him. Morgan, the English general, who was lying at the time in Aberdeen, being apprised of Farquharson’s movements, collected a force of 2,000 foot and 1,000 horse, with which he advanced, by forced marches, towards Cromar, and a brisk attack upon the outposts of Glencairn’s army was the first intelligence they received of Morgan’s approach. In the situation in which Glencairn thus found himself unexpectedly placed, he had no remedy but an immediate retreat through a long and narrow glen leading to the forest of Abernethy, which he was enabled to reach chiefly by the bravery of Graham of Duchray, who, at the head of a resolute party of 40 men, kept in check a body of the enemy who had entered the glen before the royalists, and prevented them from securing the passes. Morgan pursued the fugitives through the glen very closely, and did not desist till prevented by the darkness of the night. He thereafter returned to Aberdeen.

Glencairn passed about five weeks in Cromar and Badenoch, waiting for additional reinforcements and as Lord Loin had not yet joined him, he despatched Lord Kenmure with 100 horse into Argyleshire to urge him to hurry forward the levies in that quarter. Loin soon arrived in Badenoch with 1,000 foot and about 50 horse; but he had not remained above a fortnight in the field when, on some pretence or other, he (January 1st, 1654) clandestinely left the army, and carried off his men along with him, taking the direction of Ruthven castle, which was then garrisoned by English troops. Glencairn was greatly exasperated at Loin’s defection, and sent a party of horse, under the command of Glengarry and Lochiel, with instructions either to bring him and his men back to the army, or, in case of refusal, to attack them. Glengarry followed the Campbells so hard that he came up with them within half a mile of the castle. Lord Loin escaped, and was followed by his horse, of whom about 20 were brought back by a party sent in pursuit by Glengarry; the foot halted on a hill, and offered to return to the camp. Glengarry, who had had a great antipathy to the whole race of the Campbells ever since Montrose’s wars, would, contrary to his instructions, have attacked them; but Glencairn fortunately arrived in time to prevent bloodshed, and having ordered Graham of Duchray to acquaint them that he could not receive any proposals from them with arms in their hands, they delivered them up. Glencairn, along with some officers, then rode up to them, and having addressed them on the impropriety of their conduct, they all declared their willingness to serve the king and to obey him as their commander, a declaration which both officers and men confirmed with an oath. Their arms were then restored to them, but they all deserted within a fortnight.

About this time Glencairn was joined by a small party of English royalists, under Colonel Wogan, an enterprising officer, who had landed at Dover, and having raised a body of volunteers in London, traversed England under the banners of the commonwealth, and entered Scotland by Carlisle.

Notwithstanding the desertion of the Campbells, Glencairn’s army was so increased by daily accessions of force that he considered himself in a condition to cope with the enemy, and, by the advice of his officers, resolved to descend into Aberdeenshire, and beat up the quarters of the English. Another reason which urged him to leave the Highlands was a scarcity of provisions in the districts which had been occupied by his army, and which could no longer afford to support such a large body of men. Descending by Balveny, he took up his quarters at Whitelums, near the castle of Kildnunmie, belonging to the Earl of Mar, then garrisoned by the English. After lying about a fortnight at Whitelums unmolested, Glencairn raised his camp, and marching into Morayshire, took possession of Elgin, where he established his head quarters. Here he was joined by the Marquis of Montrose, Lord Forrester, and some country gentlemen.

After spending a month at Elgin, where, according to Graham of Duchray’s narrative, the army had "very good quarters, and where they made themselves merry," the earl received letters from General Middleton, who had some time before made his escape from the tower of London, where he had been imprisoned after the battle of Worcester, announcing his arrival in Sutherland, with a commission from the king, appointing him generalissimo of all the royal forces in Scotland. Some dissensions had existed among the royalists respecting the chief command of the army, which had been finally conceded to Glencairn; but neither he nor the nobility who were with him, were prepared to expect that the king would have appointed, to such an important charge, a man so much their inferior in station as Middleton. The intelligence was accordingly received with discontent; but, as the king’s commission could not, without serious injury to the royal cause, be disputed, in the present juncture they stifled their displeasure, and Glencairn, in terms of the instructions he had received from Middleton to march north, put his army in motion. Morgan, the English commander, having drawn together a body of troops, followed Glencairn, between whose rear and Morgan’s advanced guard many warm skirmishes took place.

Glencairn and his men crossed the river Ness, eight miles above Inverness. The earl having placed guards along the northern bank of the river to watch the approach of the enemy, hastened to Dornoch to meet Middleton. In a few days a grand muster of the army took place, when it was found to amount to 3,500 foot, and 1,500 horse. Glencairn then resigned the command to Middleton, in presence of the army, and, riding along the lines, acquainted the troops that he was no longer their general, and expressed a hope that they would find themselves happy in serving under such a commander as Middleton. The troops expressed great dissatisfaction at this announcement by their looks, and some, "both officers and soldiers, shed tears, and vowed that they would serve with their old general in any corner of the world."

After the review, the earl gave a sumptuous entertainment to Middleton and the principal officers of the army, at which an occurrence took place which soured the temper of the officers, and sowed the seeds of new divisions in the camp. On the cloth being removed, Glencairn proposed the health of the commander-in-chief, whom he thus addressed :—" My lord general, you see what a gallant army these worthy gentlemen here present and I have gathered together, at a time when it could hardly be expected that any number durst meet together: these men have come out to serve his majesty, at the hazard of their lives and all that is dear to them: I hope, therefore, you will give them all the encouragement to do their duty that lies in your power." Scarcely had these words been uttered when Sir George Munro, who had come over with Middleton from France to act as his lieutenant-general, started up from his seat, and addressing himself to the earl, swore by G— that the men he had that day seen were nothing but a number of thieves and robbers, and that ere long he would bring a very different set of men into the field. These imprudent observations called up Glengarry, but he was restrained by Glencairn, who said that he was more concerned in the affront put upon the army by Munro than he was, and, turning to Munro, he thus addressed him :—" You, Sir, are a base liar; for they are neither thieves nor robbers, but brave gentlemen and good soldiers." A meeting took place in consequence early next morning between Glencairn and Munro, about two miles to the south of Dornoch, when the latter was severely wounded. The parties then returned to head-quarters, when Glencairn was put under arrest in his chamber, by orders of Middleton, and his sword taken from him.

The partiality thus shown to Munro, who was the aggressor, and who had sent the challenge to Glencairn, was exceedingly mortifying to the earl, which being followed by another affair which soon took place, and in which the same partiality was displayed, made him resolve to retire from the army. The occurrence was this :—A dispute having taken place on the merits of the recent quarrel between a Captain Livingston, a friend of Munro, and a gentleman of the name of Lindsay, who had accompanied Lord Napier from the continent, in which Livingston maintained that Munro had acted properly, and the contrary insisted upon by Lindsay; mutual challenges were given, and the parties met on the links of Dornoch to decide the dispute by the sword. Lindsay, being a superior swordsman, run Livingston through the heart at the first thrust, and he expired immediately. Lindsay was immediately apprehended, and although Glencairn, backed by other officers, used every exertion to save him, he was brought to trial before a court-martial, by order of Middleton, and condemned to be shot at the cross of Dornoch, a sentence which was carried into execution the same day.

These unfortunate disputes divided the officers of the army into two parties, and afforded but a sorry prognostic of the prospects of the royalists. Glencairn, no longer able to curb his displeasure, slipped off about a fortnight after Lindsay’s death, with his own troop of horse, and a few gentlemen volunteers—100 horse in all—and took the direction of Assynt. The laird of Assynt, who had betrayed Montrose, on the arrival of Glencairn’s party on his lands, offered to assist him to secure the passes, so as to prevent him from being overtaken that night, of which offer Glencairn though distrustful of Macleod, agreed to accept. Middleton indeed sent a party in pursuit, but they did not come up with Glencairn, who reached Kintail the following day, where he was well received by the Earl of Seaforth’s people. He remained there a few days, and afterwards traversed the Highlands till he arrived at Killin, at the head of Loch Tay, where he was successively joined by Sir George Maxwell, the Earl of Selkirk, and Lord Forrester, each of whom brought a small party of horse along with him, by which additions his force was increased to 400 horsemen. The earl now appears, for the first time, to have seen the impropriety of his conduct in withdrawing from the army; but as he could not endure the idea of returning himself, he endeavoured to make some reparation by sending this body north to join Middleton, and sought a retreat with the laird of Luss at his castle of Rossdhu, when he despatched some officers to raise men in the lowlands for the king's service.

In the meantime Monk had returned to Scotland, and had brought along with him a strong reinforcement of troops from England, with which he joined Morgan in the north, and marched directly into the Highlands in search of Middleton. It was the intention of the latter to have remained for some time in the Highlands, to have collected all the forces he possibly could, to make occasional descents upon the lowlands, and by marches and countermarches to have distracted the enemy; but the advance of Monk into the very bosom of the Highlands, with a large army, frustrated his design. Middleton soon found himself sorely pressed by his able adversary, who brought forward his army in separate divisions, yet not so isolated as not to be able to support each other in case of attack. In an attempt to elude his pursuers, Middleton was surprised in a defile near Lochgarry, by one of these divisions under the command of Morgan. His men were either slain or dispersed, and he himself escaped with difficulty. The chiefs of the insurrection immediately made their peace with Monk, who treated them with great lenity.

Sir Ewan Cameron of LochielThere was one chief, however, whom Monk could neither bribe, cajole, nor threaten into submission; this was the brave and intractable Sir Ewen or Evan Cameron of Lochiel in the north-west of Argyleshire, now about 25 years of age. Having been left an orphan, he was brought up till his 18th year under the care of the Marquis of Argyle, who, endeavouring to instil into him the unsavoury principles of the Covenanters, put him to school at Inverary under the guardianship of a gentleman of his own principles. "But young Lochiel preferred the sports of the field to the labours of the school," and Argyle finding him totally intractable and utterly disgusted with covenanting principles, allowed him to return to Lochaber, to head his clan in the 18th year of his age. In 1651, Charles II. having written to Lochiel inviting him and his clan to take arms and come to the aid of his country and his sovereign, he, early in spring 1652, was the first to join Glencairn’s expedition.

Monk left no method untried to induce Lochiel to submit, but, in spite of his friends entreaties, he refused to lay down his arms. Monk, finding all his attempts useless, resolved to plant a garrison at Inverlochy, (now Fort William,) in order to keep the country in awe and the chief at home. Lochiel resolved that Monk should find it no easy matter to accomplish his task, and took up his station at Achdalew, 3 miles west of Inverlochy, on the north side of Loch Eli. He kept spies in and around the garrison, who informed him of all that was going on. Lochiel, having been informed that the governor was about to despatch 300 of his men, in two vessels, westward, to cut down wood and carry off cattle, resolved that they "should pay well for every tree and every hide." He had at the time only 38 men beside him, the rest having been sent off to secure their cattle and other goods. In spite of the disparity of numbers, he resolved to watch and attack the governor’s men at a favourable opportunity.

"The Camerons being some more than 30 in number, armed partly with musquets, and partly with bows, kept up their pieces and arrows till their very muzzles and points almost touched their enemies breasts, when the very first fire took down above 30. They then laid on with their swords, and laid about with incredible fury. The English defended themselves with their musquets and bayonets with great bravery, but to little purpose. The skirmish continued long and obstinate: at last the English gave way, and retreated towards the ship, with their faces to the enemy, fighting with astonishing resolution. But Lochiel, to prevent their flight, commanded two or three of his men to run before, and from behind a bush to make a noise, as if there was another party of Highlanders to intercept their retreat. This took so effectually, that they stopped, and animated by rage, madness, and despair, they renewed the skirmish with greater fury than ever, and wanted nothing but proper arms to make Lochiel repent of his stratagem. They were at last, however, forced to give way, and betake themselves to their heels; the Camerons pursued them chin deep in the sea; 138 were counted dead of the English, and of the Camerons only 5 were killed.

"In this engagement, Lochiel himself had several wonderful escapes. In the retreat of the English, one of the strongest and bravest of the officers retired behind a bush, when he observed Lochiel pursuing, and seeing him unaccompanied with any, he leaped out, and thought him his prey. They met one another with equal fury. The combat was long, and doubtful. The English gentleman had by far the advantage in strength and size; but Lochiel exceeding him in nimbleness and agility, in the end tript the sword out of his hand: upon which, his antagonist flew upon him with amazing rapidity; they closed, and wrestled till both fell to the ground in each other’s arms. The English officer got above Lochiel, and pressed him hard; but stretching forth his neck by attempting to disengage himself, Lochiel, who by this time had his hands at liberty, with his left hand seized him by the collar, and jumping at his extended throat, he bit it with his teeth quite through, and kept such a hold of his grip, that he brought away his mouth full; this, he said, was the sweetest bite he ever had in his life time. Immediately afterwards, when continuing the pursuit after that encounter was over, he found his men chin deep in the sea; he quickly followed them, and observing a fellow on deck aiming his piece at him, plunged into the sea, and escaped, but so narrowly that the hair on the back part of his head was cut, and a little of the skin ruffled. In a little while a similar attempt was made to shoot him: his foster-brother threw himself before him, and received the shot in his mouth and breast, preferring his chief’s life to his own.

After Lochiel had joined General Middleton, he heard that the governor of Inverlochy, taking advantage of his absence, was cutting down the woods and collecting all the provisions he could lay hold of. Middleton allowed him to return to Lochaber, but with only 150 men. He soon found that the information was quite correct, and in order to obtain revenge, on the day after his arrival, he posted his men in different parts of a wood, about a mile from the garrison, to which the soldiers resorted every day, to cut down and bring in wood. Lochiel soon observed upwards of 400 approaching the wood, and at the most favourable moment gave his men the signal of attack. A terrible slaughter ensued among the governor’s men; 100 fell on the spot, and the pursuit was carried on to the very walls of the garrison. The officers were the only persons who resisted, and not one of them escaped.

Lochiel, in this manner, continued for a long time to harass the garrison, frequently cutting off small detachments, partly by stratagem and partly by force, until the garrison became so wary that they ultimately gave him few opportunities of pouncing upon them. Even after Middleton and the other chiefs had capitulated and come to terms, Lochiel refused to give in. At last, however, after long cajoling, the obstinate chief was induced to come to terms, the Marquis of Argyle becoming his surety. He was asked simply to give his word of honour to live in peace, on which condition, he and his clan were allowed to keep their arms as before the war broke out. Reparation was to be made to Lochiel and his tenants, for whatever losses they had sustained from the garrison, and an indemnity was granted for all past offences. In fact, the treaty was a very liberal bribe to Lochiel to be quiet. All that was demanded of Lochiel was, that he and his clan should lay down their arms in the name of Charles II., before the governor of Inverlochy, and take them up in the name of the Commonwealth, no mention being made of the Protector; promising at the same time to do his best to make his clan behave themselves.

It would be out of place in a History of the Highlands to enter into a detailed account of the general history of Scotland during the Commonwealth, and of the various intrigues for the restoration of Charles II. There appears to have been no events of any importance during this period in the Highlands, which at that time were so remote and inaccessible as to be almost beyond the influence of the many wise measures introduced by Cromwell for the government of Scotland, as well as the by no means beneficial strictness of the presbyterian clergy. Baillie thus sadly describes the state of some of the noble families of Scotland about this time: "The country lies very quiet; it is exceeding poor; trade is nought; the English has all the moneys. Our noble families are almost gone: Lennox has little in Scotland unsold; Hamilton’s estate, except Arran and the Baronrie of Hamilton, is sold; Argyle can pay little annual rent for seven or eight hundred thousand merks; and he is no more drowned in debt than public hatred, almost of all, both Scottish and English; the Gordons are gone; the Douglasses little better; Eglintoun and Glencairn on the brink of breaking; many of our chief families estates are cracking; nor is there any appearance of any human relief for the time. What is become of the king and his family we do not know." Nicoll writes in the same strain:-

"The condition of this nation of Scotland yet remains sad, by reason of poverty and heavy burdens." "At the same time," says Dr. Chambers, "that so great poverty prevailed, there was such a protection to life and property as had never before been known. It was not we believe without cause, that the famous Colonel Desborough, in a speech in the House of Commons (March 17th, 1659), made it a boast for his party, that a man may ride over all Scotland, with a switch in his hand and a hundred pounds in his pocket, which he could not have done these five hundred years." In some of the letters sent home by the English soldiery, we get a slight glimpse into the condition of the Highlands at this time, which shows that the people generally had made but little advance in civilization. Their houses, we are told, were built of earth and turf, and were so low that the horsemen sometimes rode over them; the people generally, both men and women, wore plaids about their middles; they were "simple and ignorant in the things of God," and some of them as brutish as heathens; nevertheless "some did hear the English preachers with great attention and groaning."

By the tact and management of General Monk, who gradually detached himself from the cause of the parliament, and espoused that of the exiled king, and a few other royalists, the Long Parliament, now reduced to a "Rump," after having sat nineteen years and a half, dissolved itself by its own act, on the 16th of March, 1660. A new parliament, in which the cavaliers and moderate presbyterians had the majority, met on the 25th of April, and carried out the wishes of the nation, by inviting his majesty to come and take possession of his inheritance. The king was not long in obeying the invitation. He was received at Dover by Monk, at the head of the nobility, whence he proceeded to London, which he entered on the 29th of May, 1660, amidst the acclamations of the citizens.

Previous Part | Index | Next Part


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