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Significant Scots
John Campbell

CAMPBELL, JOHN, duke of Argyle and GreenwichCAMPBELL, JOHN, duke of Argyle and Greenwich, a distinguished soldier and statesman, was the son of Archibald, first duke of Argyle, by Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Lionel Talmas of Helmingham, by Elizabeth, afterwards duchess of Lauderdale, daughter of William Murray, earl of Dysart. His grace was born, October 10, 1678; and on the day in which his grandfather, Archibald, earl of Argyle, fell a sacrifice to the tyranny of James VII., (some say at the very moment of his execution), the subject of this narrative, being then in his seventh year, fell from a window in the third story of the house of Dunybrissel, then possessed by his aunt, the countess of Murray, and, to the astonishment of the whole household, was taken up without having suffered any material injury; a circumstance which his relatives and friends considered as indicating not only future greatness, but that he was destined to restore the lustre of the house of Argyle, which at that moment was under a melancholy eclipse. The care of his education was confided to a licentiate of the Scottish church, named Walter Campbell, who, for his diligence, was afterwards rewarded by the family with a presentation to the parish of Dunoon. Under this gentleman he studied the classics, and some branches of philosophy. But he was distinguished by a restless activity, rather than a fondness for study, and his father, anxious to place him in a situation where he might have it in his power to retrieve the fortunes of the family, took an early opportunity of presenting him to king William, who, in 1694, bestowed upon the young nobleman the command of a regiment, he being yet in his sixteenth year. In this situation he continued till the death of his father in the month of December, 1703, when, succeeding to the dukedom, he was sworn of his majesty’s privy council, and appointed captain of the Scots horse guards, and one of the extraordinary lords of session. In 1704, the order of the thistle being revived in Scotland, his grace was installed one of the knights, which dignity he subsequently exchanged for the order of the garter.

In 1705, being exceedingly popular among his countrymen, the duke of Argyle was appointed her majesty’s high commissioner to the Scottish parliament, in order to prepare the way for the treaty of union, which her majesty, queen Anne, in concert with her English counsellors, had now determined to carry into effect. For his services in this parliament, he was created an English peer, by the titles of baron of Chatham and earl of Greenwich. His grace, after this, served four campaigns in Flanders, under the duke of Marlborough, where he rose to the rank of lieutenant-general, and was honourably distinguished in the battles of Ramilies, Oudinarde, and Malplaquet, in the last of which he narrowly escaped, having a number of balls shot through his coat, hat, and periwig. He was also employed at the sieges of Ostend, Menin, Lisle, Ghent, and Tournay.

On the change of ministry in 1710, Argyle veered with the wind of the court, and having become a declaimer against the duke of Marlborough, was by the tories appointed generalissimo in Spain, where there were great complaints of mismanagement on the part of the former ministry, and where it was now proposed to carry on the war with more than ordinary vigour. Here, however, his grace was completely overreached, the ministry having no intention of carrying on the war any where. On his arrival in Spain, he found the army in a state of perfect disorganization, without pay and without necessaries, and though the parliament had voted a large sum for its subsistence, not one farthing was sent to him. He was under the necessity of raising money upon his plate and personal credit for its immediate wants, and in a short time returned to England, having accomplished nothing. This treatment, with a report that a design had been laid to take him off by poison while he was on his ill-fated journey, and, above all, the superior influence of the earl of Mar, who, as well as himself, aspired to the sole administration of Scottish affairs, totally alienated him from his new friends, the tories. He became again a leading whig, and a violent declaimer for the protestant succession, in consequence of which he was deprived of all his employments. His grace had been a principal agent in accomplishing the union, by which his popularity was considerably injured among the lower orders of his countrymen; this he now dexterously retrieved, by joining with Mar and his Jacobite associates at court, for the dissolving of that treaty which he now pretended had completely disappointed his expectations. A motion for this end was accordingly made in the house of lords on the first of June, 1713, by the earl of Seafield, who also had been one of the most forward of the original supporters of the measure. The motion was seconded by the earl of Mar, and urged by Argyle with all the force of his eloquence. One of his principal arguments, however, being the. security of the protestant succession, he was led to speak of the pretender, which he did with so much acrimony, that several of the high Jacobites fled the house without waiting for the vote. This was the means of disappointing the project, which otherwise had most certainly been carried, it having been lost after all by no more than four voices.

On the illness of the queen in the following year, the zeal of his grace for the protestant succession was most conspicuous, as well as most happy. Nobody at the time entertained any doubt that Bolingbroke and his party had an intention at least to attempt the pretender’s restoration on the death of the queen; and to prevent any undue advantages being taken of circumstances, Argyle no sooner was apprized of her dangerous situation, than, along with the duke of Somerset, he repaired to the council-board, and prevailed to have all the privy counsellors in and about London, without any exceptions, summoned to attend, which, with the sudden death of the queen, so completely disconcerted the tories, that, for the time, there was not the smallest manifestation of one discordant feeling. The queen was no sooner dead, than the seven lords who had by a previous act of parliament been appointed to the regency, together with sixteen additional personages nominated by the heir apparent, in virtue of the same act of parliament, proclaimed the elector of Hanover king of Great Britain. They at the same time took every precaution for preserving tranquillity, and preparing for his majesty’s being peacefully and honourably received on his arrival. The services of Argyle on this occasion were not overlooked: he was made groom of the stole to the prince, while his majesty had advanced no further than Greenwich, and two days after was appointed commander-in-chief of his majesty’s forces for Scotland.

Though by this strange combination of circumstances, viz, the sudden demise of the queen, the disunion of the Jacobites, with the prompt decision of the whip, among whom the subject of this memoir was a most efficient leader, the accession of the new dynasty was to all appearance easy and peaceable, the baffled faction very soon rallied their forces and returned to the charge with an energy and a perseverance worthy of a better cause. The cry of "Church in danger" was again raised, and for some weeks England was one scene of universal riot. Many places of worship belonging to dissenters were thrown down, and in several places most atrocious murders were committed. Through the energy of the government, however, open insurrection was for awhile prevented, and tranquillity in some measure restored. Still the activity of the Pretender at foreign courts, and the restlessness of his adherents at home, created strong suspicions that an invasion on his behalf was intended, and every preparation that could be thought of was taken to defeat it. A number of new regiments were raised, officers of doubtful character were displaced, suspected persons taken into custody, and lords-lieutenant, with the necessary powers, every where appointed. In the meantime Scotland, where the friends of the exiled family were proportionally much more numerous than in England, was by a strange fatality neglected. In the southern and western shires, through the influence of the Hanoverian club, at the head of which was the earl of Buchan, the attention of the people had been awakened, and right feeling to a considerable extent excited; yet even there Jacobitism was not a rare thing, and in the north, through the influence of the earl of Mar, it was altogether triumphant. That nobleman, indeed, had cajoled into his views almost all the clans, at the head of whom, to the amount of twelve thousand men, he had taken possession of Perth, and was ready to seize upon the fords of the Forth before the government had observed his manoeuvres, or taken any proper precautions to counteract them. Sensible at last of the danger, they proclaimed the law for encouraging loyalty in Scotland, summoned a long list of suspected persons to deliver themselves up to the public functionaries, and, to call forth those supplies of men and money which they had hitherto shown a disposition to forbid rather than to encourage, sent down the duke of Argyle, who had already been constituted commander-in-chief of the forces, with all the necessary powers for that purpose, His grace arrived in Edinburgh on the 14th of September, 1715, where his first care was to inspect the garrison, the fortifications, and the magazines, from the last of which he ordered thirty cart loads of arms and ammunition to be sent to Glasgow and Stirling for the use of the inhabitants. He then proceeded to review the army which had been assembled at Stirling, general Wightman having there formed a camp of all the disposable forces in Scotland, which fell short of two thousand men, a number altogether inadequate to the arduous duties they had to perform. The first care of his grace was, of course, to augment the forces by every possible means; for which end he wrote to the magistrates of Glasgow, and through them to all the well affected in the west of Scotland, to forward such troops as they might have in readiness without loss of time, and to have as many more provided against a sudden emergency as possible. Glasgow, which had been in expectation of such a catastrophe for a considerable time, immediately forwarded to Stirling upwards of seven hundred men well equipped, under the command of provost Aird, with whom they joined colonel John Blackadder, governor of Stirling castle. These seven hundred were instantly replaced at Glasgow by detachments from Kilmarnock, Irvine, Greenock, and Paisley, where, with the exception of detachments sent out to garrison the houses of Drummakill, Gartartan, and Cardross, they were allowed to remain for the convenience of provisions, which were rather scarce at Stirling. He also ordered levies to fill up every company in the regular regiments to fifty men, and to add two fresh companies to each regiment. But though he offered a strictly limited term of service, and a liberal bounty for that period (two pounds sterling for each man), he does not appear to have been successful in adding to his numbers. Nor, with all his earnestness of application, could he prevail on the government to spare him from England, where troops were plentiful, a single man. One regiment of dragoons and two of foot from Ireland was the utmost he could obtain, which, till he should be able to ascertain the intentions of the earl of Mar, were also stationed at Glasgow. While Argyle was thus struggling with difficulties, and completely hampered in all his operations, Mar had greater means than he had genius to employ, and could, without any exertion, keep his opponent in perpetual alarm. He had already, by a stratagem, nearly possessed himself of the castle of Edinburgh, ere the magistrates of that city were aware of his being in arms. A detachment from his army, by a night march, descended upon Burntisland, where a vessel loaded with arms for the earl of Sutherland, had been driven in by stress of weather. This vessel they boarded, carrying off the arms, with as many more as could be found in the town. A still bolder project was about the same time attempted in the north-west, where a numerous party of the Macdonalds, Macleans, and Camerons, under the orders of general Gordon, attempted to surprise the garrison of Inverlochy. They were, however, repulsed, after having made themselves masters of two redoubts and taken twenty men. They then turned south upon Argyleshire for the purpose of raising men, and general Gordon, who had the reputation of an excellent officer, threatened to fall down upon Dumbarton and Glasgow. This was another source of distraction to Argyle, whose small army could not well admit of being divided. Gordon, however, met with little encouragement in the way of recruiting, and after alarming Inverary, where the duke had stationed his brother, lord Hay, dropped quietly into Mar’s camp at Perth, where nearly the whole strength of the rebels was now concentrated.

Though Argyle was thus circumscribed in his means, he displayed ceaseless activity and considerable address in the application of them, and the great reputation he had acquired under Marlborough, rendered him, even with his scanty means, formidable to his opponent, who was altogether a novice in the art military. One talent of a great general too his grace possessed in considerable perfection, that of finding out the plans and secret purposes of his adversary, of all whose movements he had generally early and complete intelligence; Mar, on the contrary, could procure no intelligence whatever. He knew that a simultaneous rising was to take place under Thomas Foster of Etherstane, member of parliament for the county of Northumberland, and another in Nithsdale under viscount Kenmure; but how they were succeeding, or to what their attention had been more immediately directed, he was utterly ignorant. To ascertain these points, to stimulate his friends in their progress, and to open up for himself an easier passage to the south, he detached two thousand five hundred of his best troops under the laird of Borlum, the bravest and the most experienced officer perhaps in his whole army. This detachment was to force its way across the Firth below Edinburgh, and through the Lothians by the way of Kelso till it should find Kenmure or Foster upon the English border. This romantic project the old brigadier, as he was called in the army, accomplished with great facility, one boat with forty men being all that in crossing the Firth fell fell into the hands of the enemy. A few with the earl of Strathmore were cut off from the rest, but made their escape into the isle of May, whence in a day or two they found their way back to Perth. The principal part of the expedition, consisting nearly of two thousand men, landed between Tantalon, North Berwick and Aberlady, and for the first night quartered in Haddington. Early next morning, the 13th of October, the whole body marched directly for Edinburgh. This threw the citizens into the utmost consternation, and an express was sent off directly to Stirling for troops to protect the city. Two hundred infantry mounted upon country horses and three hundred cavalry arrived the same evening; but had Borlum persisted in his original design, they had certainly come too late. On his arriving, however, within a mile of the city, and meeting with none of the citizens, a deputation of whom he had expected to invoke his aid, and perhaps secretly dreading the movements of Argyle, Borlum turned aside to Leith, which he entered, as he would in all probability have entered Edinburgh, without the smallest opposition. Here the insurgents found and liberated their forty companions who had been taken the previous day in crossing the Firth. They also seized upon the Custom-house, where they found considerable quantities of meal, beef, and brandy, which they at once appropriated to their own use, and possessing themselves of the citadel, with such materials as they found in the harbour, they fortified it in the best manner they could for their security through the night. Next morning Argyle, with his three hundred cavalry, two hundred infantry, and a few militia, marched against Borlum, accompanied by generals Evans and Wightman, giving him a summons under pain of treason to surrender, adding that if he waited for an attack, he should have no quarter. The laird of Kynnachin, who was spokesman for the rebels, haughtily replied, that the word surrender they did not understand, quarter they would neither take nor give, and his grace was welcome to force their position if he could. Sensible that without artillery no attack could be made upon the place, barricaded as it was, with any prospect of success, the duke withdrew to prepare the means of more efficient warfare, and Borlum, disappointed in his views upon Edinburgh, and perhaps not at all anxious for a second interview with the king’s troops, took the advantage of an ebb tide and a very dark night, to abandon his position, marching round the pier by the sands for Seaton house, the seat of the earl of Winton, who was in the south with Kenmure and his associated rebels. This place, after sundry accidents, they reached in safety about two o’clock in the morning. Here they were joined by a number of their companions, who having crossed the Firth farther down were unable to come up with them on the preceding day. Forty of their men, who had made too free with the custom house brandy, some stragglers who had fallen behind on the march, with a small quantity of baggage and ammunition, fell into the hands of a detachment of the king’s troops. Argyle, in the meantime, aware of the strength of Seaton house, sent off an express to Stirling for cannon to dislodge its new possessors, when he was informed that Mar was on his march to force the passage of the Forth. This compelled him to hasten to Stirling, where he found that Mar had actually commenced his march, and had himself come as far south as Dunblane, whence hearing of the arrival of the duke, he returned to Perth, having attained his object, which was only a safe retreat for his friends from Seaton house.

On his sudden departure for Stirling, Argyle left the city of Edinburgh and Seaton house to the care of general Wightman and colonel Ker, with a few regular troops and the neighbouring militia. Finding Seaton impregnable to any force they could bring against it, they retired from it, to save themselves the disgrace of making an unsuccessful attack. Borlum finding himself unmolested, and in a country where he could command with ease all kinds of provision, proposed nothing less than to establish there a general magazine for the pretender, and to enlist an army from among the Jacobites of Edinburgh and the adjacent country; but before he left the citadel of Leith, he despatched a boat with intelligence to Mar; and, firing after her, the king’s ships took her for one of their own boats, and allowed her to pass without molestation. In consequence of this notice, Mar had made a feint to cross the Forth, merely to allow him to escape, and now he had an answer at Seaton house, with express orders to proceed south, and to put himself under the orders of Kenmure or Foster, without a moment’s delay. He accordingly proceeded next day towards Kelso, where he met with Foster and Kenmure on the 22d of October, when, after all the desertion they had experienced by the way, which was very considerable, the whole formed an army of fourteen hundred foot, and six hundred horse. Here they were threatened with an attack from general Carpenter, who was within a day’s march of them, and became violently divided in opinion respecting the course they ought to pursue. Foster and his Northumbrian friends were anxious to transfer the scene of their operations to England, where they promised themselves a prodigious increase of numbers. The Highlanders, on the contrary, were anxious to return and join the clans, taking the towns of Dumfries and Glasgow in their way. The contention was so hot that it had almost come to blows, and it ended in five hundred Highlanders adopting the latter plan, who, separating from their companions, and taking their route for the heads of the Forth, were either famished, killed, or taken prisoners by the way. The remainder followed the former, and proceeded as far as Preston, where on the 13th of November, the very day on which the main armies met on the Sheriffmuir, they were all made prisoners and delivered over, some to the executioner, and the remainder to be slaves in the plantations.

Argyle all this while continued at Stirling, and Mar at Perth, carrying on an insignificant war of manifestoes, equally unprofitable to both parties; and perhaps equally harassing to the country. On the 23d of October, however, the duke, having learned that a detachment of rebels was passing by castle Campbell, towards Dunfermline, sent out a body of cavalry, which came up with the party, and defeated it, taking a number of gentlemen prisoners, with the trifling damage of one dragoon wounded in the cheek, and one horse slightly hurt. Nothing further occurred between the armies till Mar, finding that without action it would be impossible to keep his army together, called a council of all the chiefs on the 9th of November, in which it was resolved to cross the Forth without loss of time. Nor could this be, one would have supposed, to them any thing like a difficult undertaking. After having disposed of three thousand men in the different garrisons along the coast of Fife, they had still twelve thousand effective troops for the attack, which they proposed should be made in the following manner.—First, with one division of one thousand men to attempt the bridge of Stirling—with a second of an equal number the Abbey Ford, a mile below the bridge—with a third of an equal number, the ford called the Drip Coble, a mile and a half above the bridge. These three attacks, they supposed, would amply occupy the duke’s whole army, which did not exceed three thousand men, and, in the meantime, with their main body, consisting of nine thousand men, they intended to cross the river still higher up, and push directly for England, leaving the other three divisions after having disposed of the duke, to follow at their leisure. Argyle, however, having acquainted himself, by means of his spies, with the plan, took his measures accordingly. Aware that if he waited for the attack on the Forth, he would, from the nature of the ground, be deprived of the use of his cavalry, upon which he placed his principal dependence, he determined to take up a position in advance of that river, and for this purpose, having appointed the earl of Buchan with the Stirlingshire militia, and the Glasgow regiment to guard the town of Stirling, commenced his march to the north on the morning of Saturday the 12th of November, and in the afternoon encamped on a rising ground, having on his right the Sheriff-muir, and on his left the town of Dunblane.

Mar, having committed the town of Perth to the care of colonel Balfour, on the 10th had come as far south as Auchterarder, with an effective force of ten thousand five hundred men, the cavalry in his army being nearly equal to Argyle’s whole force. The 11th he devoted to resting the troops, fixing the order of battle, &c., and on the 12th, general Gordon, with eight squadrons of horse, and all the clans, was ordered to occupy Dunblane. The remainder of the rebel army had orders to parade early in the morning on the muir of Tullibardine, and thence to follow general Gordon. This part of the army, which was under the command of general Hamilton, had scarcely begun to move, when an express came to the general that the royal troops had already occupied Dunblane in great force. On this the general halted, and drew up his men in the order of battle on the site of the Roman camp, near Ardoch. Mar himself, who had gone to Drummond castle, being informed of the circumstance, came up with all speed, and nothing further having been heard from general Gordon, the whole was supposed to be a false alarm. The troops, however, were ordered to be in readiness, and the discharge of three cannons was to be the signal for the approach of the enemy. Scarcely had these orders been issued, when an express from general Gordon informed the earl of Mar that Argyle had occupied Dunblane with his whole force. The signal guns were of course fired, and the rebel army, formed in order of battle on the muir of Kinbuck, lay under arms during the night.

The duke of Argyle, having certain intelligence before he left Stirling of Mar’s movements, was perfectly aware, that before his army had finished its encampment the watch guns of the rebels would be heard, disposed every thing exactly in the order in which he intended to make his attack next morning; of course no tent was pitched, and officers and men, without distinction, lay under arms during the night, which was uncommonly severe. The duke alone sat under cover of a sheep cote at the foot of the hill. Every thing being ready for the attack, his grace, early in the morning of Monday, the 13th, rode to the top of the hill, where his advanced guard was posted, to reconnoitre the rebels’ army, which, though it had suffered much from desertion the two preceding days, was still upwards of nine thousand men, disposed in the following order—Ten battalions of foot, comprising the clans commanded by Clanronald, Glengary, Sir John Maclean, and Campbell of Glenlyon. On their right were three squadrons of horse; the Stirling, which carried the standard of the pretender, and two of the marquis of Huntley’s; on their left were the Fifeshire and Perthshire squadrons. Their second line consisted of three battalions of Seaforth’s, two of Huntley’s, those of Panmure, Tullibardine, lord Drummond, and Strowan, commanded by their respective chieftains, Drummond’s excepted, which was commanded by Strathallan and Logie Almond. On the right of this line were Marischal’s dragoons, and on their left those of Angus. Of the left of their army his grace had a tolerable view, but a hollow concealed their right, and, being masters of the brow of the hill, he was unable to discover the length of their lines.

While the rebels, notwithstanding their great superiority of force, were losing their time in idle consultation whether they should presently fight or return to Perth, the duke had an opportunity of examining their dispositions, but for a considerable time could not comprehend what was their plan, and was at a loss how to form his own. No sooner had they taken the resolution to fight, however, than he perceived that they intended to attack him in front with their right, and in flank with their left, at the same time; the severity of the frost through the night having rendered a morass, which covered that part of his position, perfectly passable: he hastened to make his dispositions accordingly. Before these dispositions, however, could be completed, general Witham who commanded his left, was attacked by the clans, with all their characteristic fury and totally routed, Witham himself riding full speed to Stirling with tidings of a total defeat. In the meantime, Argyle, at the head of Stair’s and Evans’ dragoons, charged the rebel army on the left, consisting mostly of cavalry which he totally routed in his turn, driving them, to the number of five thousand men, beyond the water of Allan, in which many of them were drowned attempting to escape. General Wightman, who commanded the duke’s centre followed with three battalions of foot as closely as possible. The right of the rebels were all this time inactive, and seeing, by the retreat of Argyle’s left, the field empty, joined the clans who had driven it off, and crossing the field of battle, took post, to the number of four thousand men, on the hill of Kippendavie. Apprised by general Wightman of his situation, which was now critical in the extreme, Argyle instantly wheeled round—formed the few troops he had, scarcely one thousand men, the Grays on the right, Evans’ on the left, with the foot in the centre, and advancing towards the enemy, took post behind some fold dykes at the foot of the hill. Instead of attacking him, however, the rebels drew off towards Ardoch, allowing him quietly to proceed to Dunblane, where, having recalled general Witham, the army lay on their arms all night, expecting to renew the combat next day. Next day, finding the enemy gone, he returned to Stirling, carrying along with him sixteen standards, six pieces of cannon, four waggons, and a great quantity of provision, captured from the enemy. The number of the slain on the side of the rebels has been stated to have been eight hundred, among whom were the earl of Strathmore, Clanranald, and several other persons of distinction. Panmure and Drummond of Logie were among the wounded. Of the royal army there were killed, wounded, and taken prisoners upwards of six hundred. The lord Forfar was the only person of eminence killed on that side.

The obvious incapacity of both generals, though, from his great superiority of forces, Marr’s is by far the most conspicuous, is the only striking feature of this battle; both claimed the victory at the time, and both had suffered a defeat, yet the consequences were decisive. The rebels never again faced the royal troops, and for any thing they effected might have separated that very lay. The period indeed was fatal in the extreme to the Pretender. The whole body of his adherents in the south had fallen into the hands of generals Willis and Carpenter at Preston, and Inverness, with all the adjacent country, had been recovered to the government, through the exertions of the earl of Sutherland, lord Lovat, the Rosses, the Monros, and the Forbeses, nearly on this same day; and though Marr, on his return to Perth, celebrated his victory with Te Deums, thanksgivings, sermons, ringing of bells, and bonfires, his followers were dispirited, and many of them withdrew to their homes in disgust. Owing to the paucity of his numbers and the extreme rigour of the season, Argyle was in no great haste to follow up his part of the victory, and the government, evidently displeased with his tardy procedure, sent down general Cadogan to quicken, and perhaps to be a spy upon his motions. He, however, brought along with him six thousand Dutch and Swiss troops, with Newton’s and Stanhope’s dragoons, by which the royal army was made more than a match for the rebels, though they had been equally strong as before the battle of Dunblane. On the arrival of these reinforcements, orders were issued to the commander in Leith roads, to cannonade the town of Bruntisland, which was in possession of a large body of the rebels, which he did with so much effect, that they abandoned the place, leaving behind them six pieces of cannon; a number of small arms, and a large quantity of provisions. Several other small garrisons on the coast were abandoned about the same time, and a detachment of the Dutch and Swiss troops, crossing over at the Queensferry, took possession of Inverkeithing, Dunfermline, and the neighbouring towns, in consequence of which Fife was entirely abandoned by the rebels. Some trifling skirmishes took place, but no one of such magnitude as to deserve a formal detail.

Cadogan, writing to the duke of Marlborough at this period says, that he found the duke anxious to invent excuses for sitting still and endeavouring to discourage the troops, by exaggerating the numbers of the enemy, and the dangers and difficulties of the service. Now, however, having received from London, Berwick, and Edinburgh, a sufficient train of artillery, pontoons, engineers, &c. no excuse for inaction was left, but the inclemency of the weather; and this, in a council of war, it was determined to brave. Colonel Guest was accordingly sent out, on the 21st of January, 1716, with two hundred horse, to view the roads and reconnoitre the positions of the enemy. The colonel reported the roads impassable for carriages and heavy artillery, in consequence of which several thousands of the country people were called in and employed to clear them. A sudden thaw, on the 24th, followed by a heavy fall of snow, rendered the roads again impassable; but the march was determined upon, and the country men had to clear the roads a second time. But, besides the impassability of the roads, there were neither provisions, forage, nor shelter, (frozen rocks, and mountains of snow excepted,) to be found between Perth and Dunblane; the Chevalier, having ordered every village with all that could be of use either to man or beast, to be destroyed. Provisions and forage for the army were therefore to be provided, subsistence for twelve days being ordered to be carried along with them, and more to be in readiness to send after them when wanted. In the meantime, two regiments of dragoons and five hundred foot were sent forward to the broken bridge of Doune, in case the rebels might have attempted to secure the passage; and, on the 29th, the main army began its march, quartering that night in Dunblane. On the night of the 30th, the army quartered among the ruins of Auchterarder, without any covering save the canopy of heaven, the night being piercingly cold and the snow upwards of three feet deep. On this day’s march the army was preceded by two thousand labourers clearing the roads. Next morning they surprised and made prisoners fiftymen in the garrison of Tullibardine, where the duke received, with visible concern, if we may credit Cadogan, the news of the Pretender having abandoned Perth on the preceding day, having thrown his artillery into the Tay, which he crossed on the ice. Taking four squadrons of dragoons, and two battalions of foot, whatever might be his feelings, Argyle hastened to take possession of that city, at which he arrived, with general Cadogan and the dragoons, about one o’clock on the morning of the 1st of February. The two colonels, Campbell of Finab, and Campbell of Lawers, who had been stationed at Finlarig, hearing of the retreat of the rebels, had entered the town the preceding day, and had made prisoners of a party of rebels who had got drunk upon a quantity of brandy, which they had not had the means otherwise to carry away. Eight hundred bolls of oat meal were found in Marr’s magazine, which Argyle ordered to be, by the miller of the mill of Earn, divided among the sufferers of the different villages that had been burned by order of the Pretender. Finab was despatched instantly to Dundee in pursuit of the rebels; and entered it only a few hours after they had departed. On the 2d, his grace continued the pursuit, and lay that night at Errol. On the 3d, he came to Dundee, where he was joined by the main body of the army on the 4th. Here the intelligence from the rebel army led his grace to conclude that they meant to defend Montrose, where they could more easily receive supplies from abroad than at Perth; and, to allow them as little time as possible to fortify themselves, two detachments were sent forward without a moment’s loss of time; the one by Aberbrothick, and the other by Brechin. Owing to the depths of the roads the progress of these detachments was slow, being under the necessity of employing the country people to clear away the snow before them. They were followed next day by the whole army, the duke, with the cavalry and artillery, taking the way by Brechin, and Cadogan, with the infantry, by Aberbrothick. On this day’s march they learned that the Chevalier, Marr, and the principal leaders of the rebel army had embarked the day before at Montrose, on board the Maria Teresa, and had sailed for France, while their followers had marched to Aberdeen under the charge of general Gordon and earl Marischal. On the 6th, the duke entered Montrose, and the same day the rebels entered Aberdeen. Thither his grace followed them on the 8th; but they had then separated among the hills of Badenoch, and were completely beyond the reach of their pursuers. A number of their chieftains, however, with some Irish officers, being well mounted, rode off in a body, for Peterhead, expecting there to find the means of escaping to France. After these a party of horse were sent out, but they had escaped. Finab was also sent to Frazerburgh in search of stragglers, but found only the Chevalier’s physician, whom he made prisoner.

Finding the rebels completely dispersed, Argyle divided his troops and dispersed them so as he thought best for preserving the public tranquillity; and, leaving Cadogan in the command, set out for Edinburgh, where he arrived on the 27th of February, and was present at the election of a peer to serve in the room of the marquis of Tweeddale, deceased. On the 1st of March, after having been most magnificently entertained by the magistrates of the Scottish capital, his grace departed for London, where he arrived on the 6th, and was, by his majesty, to all appearance, most graciously received. There was, however, at court a secret dissatisfaction with his conduct; and, in a short time, he was dismissed from all his employments, though he seems in the meantime to have acted cordially enough with the ministry, whose conduct was, in a number of instances, ridiculous enough. They had obtained an act of parliament for bringing all the Lancaster rebels to be tried at London, and all the Scottish ones to be tried at Carlisle, under the preposterous idea that juries could not be found in those places to return a verdict of guilty. Under some similar hallucination, they supposed it impossible to elect a new parliament without every member thereof being Jacobite in his principles; and, as the parliament was nearly run, they brought in a bill to enable themselves, as well as all other parliaments which should succeed them, to sit seven years in place of three. The bill was introduced into the house of lords, on the 10th of April, by the Duke of Devonshire, who represented triennial parliaments as serving no other purposes than the keeping alive party divisions and family feuds, with a perpetual train of enormous expenses, and particularly to encourage the intrigues of foreign powers, which, in the present temper of the nation, might be attended with the most fatal consequences. All these dangers he proposed to guard against, by prolonging the duration of parliaments from three to seven years. He was supported by the earls of Dorset and Buckingham, the duke of Argyle, the lord Townshend, with all the leaders of the party; and though violently opposed by the tories, who, very justly, though they have been its zealous advocates ever since, denounced it as an inroad upon the fundamental parliamentary law of the kingdom, the measure was carried by a sweeping majority, and has been parliamentary law from that time.

Previously to this, Argyle had honourably distinguished himself by a steady opposition to the schism bill, against which, along with a number of the greatest names England has ever produced, he entered his protest upon the journals of the house. Subsequently, in a debate on the bill for vesting the forfeited estates in Britain and Ireland in trustees for the public behoof, we find him speaking and voting against it with the Jacobite lords North and Grey, Trevor, and Harcourt, but he was now out of all his employments and pensions, and the Jacobite Lockhart was every day expecting to hear that he had declared for James VIII. which there is every probability he would have done, had that imbecile prince been able to profit by the wisdom of his advisers. In the beginning of the year 1718, when the Pretender became again a tool in the hands of Cardinal Alberoni for disturbing the tranquillity of the British government, Argyle was restored to favour, appointed steward of the household, and created duke of Greenwich, when he again lent his support to the ministry in bringing forward the famous peerage bill; another insane attempt to subvert the balance of the constitution. By this bill the peerage was to be fixed so as that the number of English peers should never be increased above six, more than their number at that time, which, on the failure of heirs male, were to be filled up by new creations. Instead of the sixteen elective Scottish peers, twenty-five were to be made hereditary on the part of that kingdom, to be also kept up by naming other Scottish peers on the failure of heirs male. This bill was introduced by the duke of Somerset, seconded by Argyle, and being also recommended by his majesty, could not fail of passing the lords, but met with such violent opposition in the commons that it was found expedient to lay it aside for the time. When again brought forward it was rejected by a great majority. After this his grace seems for a long period to have enjoyed his pensions, and to have lived for the most part on peaceable terms with his colleagues. Only, in the year 1721, we find him, in order to supplant the Squadrone and secure to himself and his brother the sole and entire patronage of Scotland, again in treaty with Lockhart of Carnwath, and the tories, in consequence of which, Lockhart assures the king (James) that if there is to be a new parliament, the tories will have the half of the sixteen peers, and Argyle’s influence for all the tory commons they shall be able to bring forward as candidates. "I also inserted," he adds, "that matters should be made easy to those who are prosecuted for the king’s (James) sake, and that Argyle should oppose the peerage bill, both of which are agreed to." The ministry; however, contrived to balance the Squadrone and his grace pretty equally against one another, and so secured the fidelity of both, till 1725, when the Squadrone were finally thrown out, and the whole power of Scotland fell into the hands of Argyle and his brother Hay; they engaging to carry through the malt tax, as the other had carried through the forfeiture of the rebels’ estates. From this, till the affair of captain Porteous, in 1737, we hear little of his grace in public. On that occasion we find him again in opposition to the ministry; defending the city of Edinburgh, and charging the mob upon a set of upstart fanatical preachers, by which he doubtless meant the seceders. The effect, however, was only the display of his own ignorance, and the infliction of a deeper wound upon the Scottish church, by the imposition of reading what was called Porteous’ Paper upon all her ministers. Edinburgh, however, contrary to the intentions of the court, was left in the possession of her charter, her gates and her guards; but the lord provost was declared incapable of ever again holding a civil office, and a mulct of two thousand pounds sterling was imposed upon the city funds for the captain’s widow. In the succeeding years, when the nation was heated into frenzy against Spain, his grace made several appearances on the popular side; and, in 1740, after an anti-ministerial speech on the state of the nation, he was again deprived of all his employments. On the resignation of Sir Robert Walpole, his grace was, by the new ministry, once more restored to all his places. The ministry, however, were unable to maintain their popularity, and Argyle finally quitted the stage of public life. From this time forward he affected privacy, and admitted none to his conversation but particular friends.

The Jacobites were now preparing to make a last effort to destroy that spirit of freedom which was so rapidly annihilating their hopes. They had all along believed that Argyle, could he have reconciled them with his own, was not unfriendly to their interests, and now that he was old, idle, and disgusted, hoping to work upon his avarice and his ambition at the same time, they prevailed upon the Chevalier, now also approaching to dotage, to write him a friendly letter. The time, however, had been allowed to go by. Argyle had acquired a high reputation for patriotism—he was now old and paralytic, utterly unfit for going through those scenes of peril that had been the pride of his youth; and he was too expert a politician not to know, that from the progress of public opinion, as well as from the state of property and private rights, the cause of the Stuarts was utterly hopeless. The letter was certainly beneath his notice; but to gratify his vanity, and to show that he was still of some little consequence in the world, he sent it to his majesty’s ministers. The Jacobites, enraged at his conduct, and probably ashamed of their own, gave out, that the whole was a trick intended to expose the weakness of the ministry, and to put an affront upon the duke of Argyle. The loss to either party was not considerable, as his grace’s disorder now began rapidly to increase. He fell by degrees into a state of deep melancholy, and departed this life on the 3d day of September, 1743, in the sixty-fifth year of his age.

His grace was twice married—first to Mary, daughter of John Brown, Esq., and niece to Sir Charles Duncombe, lord mayor of London, by whom he had no issue. Secondly, to Jane, daughter of Thomas Warburton of Winnington, in Cheshire, by whom he had four daughters. He was succeeded in his Scottish titles and estates by his brother lord Hay, but wanting male issue his English titles became extinct.

From the brief sketch we have given of his life, the reader, we apprehend, will be at no loss to appreciate the character of John duke of Argyle. Few men have enjoyed such a large share of popularity—fewer still have, through a long life, threaded the mazes of political intrigue with the same uniform good fortune. The latter, however, illustrates the former. He who has had for life the sole patronage of a kingdom, must have had many a succession of humble servants ready to give him credit for any or for all perfections, and he must have exercised that patronage with singular infelicity, if he has not benefited many individuals who will think it a duty they owe to themselves, if not to extenuate his faults, to magnify his virtues. Such a man can never want popularity, especially if he has an assistant upon whom he can impose the drudgery, and the less dignified duties of his place, reserving to himself more especially the performance of those that flatter public opinion, and conciliate public affection. Such a man was Argyle, and such an assistant he had in his brother, lord Hay, who, supported by his influence, had the reputation, for upwards of thirty years, of being the king of Scotland. In early life he acquired considerable military reputation under the duke of Marlborough, and when he was paying court to the tories had the temerity, on a military question, to set up his opinion in the house of lords, in opposition to that most accomplished of all generals. How justly, let Sheriffmuir and the hill of Kippendavie say! Happily for his grace there was no lord George Murray with the rebels on that occasion. If there had, Sir John Cope might at this day have been reputed a brave man, and a great general. His eloquence and his patriotism have been highly celebrated by Thomson, but the value of poetical panegyric is now perfectly understood; besides, he shared the praises of that poet in common with Bubb Doddington, the countess of Hertford, and twenty other names of equal insignificance. General Cadogan, who accompanied him through the latter part of his northern campaign, seems to have made a very low estimate of his patriotism. He charges him openly with being lukewarm in the cause he defended, and of allowing his Argyleshire men to go before the army, and plunder the country, "which," says he, "enrages our soldiers, who are not allowed to take the worth of a farthing out of even the rebels’ houses." What was taken out of houses by either of them we know not; but we know that our army in its progress north, particularly the Dutch part of it, burnt for fuel ploughs, harrows, carts, cart-wheels, and barn doors indiscriminately, so that many an honest farmer could not cultivate his fields in the spring for the want of these necessary implements, which to us proves pretty distinctly, that there was a very small degree of patriotism felt by either of them. Of learning his grace had but an inconsiderable portion; still he had a tolerable share of the natural shrewdness of his countrymen, and though his speculative views were narrow, his knowledge of mankind seems to have been practically pretty extensive. His disgraceful truckling to, and trafficking with the Tories and the Jacobites, at all times when he was out of place, demonstrates his principles to have been sordid, and his character selfish. His views of liberty seem to have been very contracted, the liberty of lords and lairds to use the people as might suit their purposes and inclinations. In perfect accordance with this feeling, he was kind and affectionate in domestic life, particularly to his servants, with whom he seldom parted, and for whom, in old age, he was careful to provide. He was also an example to all noblemen in being attentive to the state of his affairs, and careful to discharge all his debts, particularly tradesmen’s accounts, in due season. We cannot sum up his character more appropriately than in the words of Lockhart, who seems to have appreciated very correctly the most prominent features of the man with whom he was acquainted. "He was not," says he, "strictly speaking, a man of sound understanding and judgment, for all his natural endowments were sullied with too much impetuosity, passion, and positiveness, and his sense lay rather in a flash of wit, than a solid conception and reflection—yet, nevertheless, he might well enough pass as a very well-accomplished gentleman."

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