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The Great Historic Families of Scotland
The Strathallan Drummonds

THE Drummonds of Strathallan are descended from JAMES DRUMMOND, second son of David, second Lord Drummond. He was educated along with James VI., with whom he seems to have been a favourite through life, and was appointed one of the Gentlemen of the Royal Bedchamber in 1585. He was present with James at Perth, 5th August, 1600, when the Earl of Gowrie and his brother lost their lives in their attempt to obtain possession of the King’s person. He obtained the office of commendator of the Abbey of Inchaffray, which was founded A. D. 1200 by Gilbert, Earl of Strathern, and his Countess, Matilda. Maurice, abbot of this religious house, was present at the battle of Bannockburn, and, before the conflict commenced, he passed bareheaded, and barefooted, through the ranks of the Scottish army, and, holding aloft a crucifix, in a few forcible words exhorted them to fight bravely for their rights and liberties. The Abbey shared the fate of the other monastic establishments of Scotland, and its lands were formed into a temporal barony in favour of James Drummond, who was raised to the peerage 31st January, 1609, by the title of LORD MADDERTY, the name of the parish in which Inchaffray is situated. He obtained the lands of Inverpeffray also, by his marriage with the heiress—a daughter of Sir James Chisholme of Cromlix—which descended to her through her mother from Sir James Drummond. The elder of his two sons—

JOHN DRUMMOND, became second Lord Madderty. Though, like all his family, a Royalist, he did not take up arms in behalf of Charles I. until after the battle of Kilsyth in 1645, which had completely prostrated the cause of the Parliament in Scotland. He then repaired to the standard of Montrose at Bothwell, along with the Marquis of Douglas, the Earls of Linlithgow, Annandale, Hartfell, and other ‘waiters on Providence,’ who had held back until they saw which side was likely to prove the strongest. He does not appear to have accompanied Montrose to the Border, but he was afterwards imprisoned for the adherence which he had professed to the royal cause, and in 1649 he bound himself, under a heavy penalty, not to oppose the Parliament. He was succeeded by his eldest son, David; his fifth son, William, became the first Viscount Strathallan.

DAVID DRUMMOND, third Lord Madderty, suffered imprisonment in 1644, along with other Royalists, by order of the Committee of Estates. His two sons by his second wife, Beatrice, sister of the great Marquis of Montrose, died young, and he was succeeded by his youngest brother—

WILLIAM DRUMMOND. He took an active part on the royal side in the Great Civil War, was an officer in the army of the ‘Engagement’ raised for the rescue of Charles I. in 1648, and had the command of a regiment at the battle of Worcester in 1651, where he was taken prisoner, but made his escape. He succeeded in making his way to the Highlands, and joined there the force which had been collected under the Earl of Glencairn, but when they were surprised and defeated by General Morgan at Lochgarry in 1654, Lord Madderty fled to the Continent. He subsequently entered the Muscovite service, in which he attained the rank of lieutenant-general. As he himself said, he ‘served long in the wars, at home and abroad, against the Polonians and Tartars.’ After the Restoration he was recalled to his own country by Charles II., who appointed him in 1666 Major-General of the Forces in Scotland. He was sent in the following year, along with General Tom Dalzell, another Muscovite officer, to scour the shires of Ayr, Dumfries, and Galloway, and to complete the ruin of the Presbyterian party. But in 1675, on the suspicion that he had corresponded with some of the exiled Covenanters in Holland, he was imprisoned for a whole year in Dumbarton Castle. On his release he was restored to his command, and, in 1684, was appointed General of the Ordnance. On the accession of James VII. in the following year, General Drummond was nominated Commander of the Forces in Scotland, and appointed a Lord of the Treasury. ‘He was a loose and profane man,’ says Lord Macaulay, ‘but a sense of honour, which his own kinsmen wanted, restrained him from a public apostasy. He lived and died, in the significant phrase of one of his countrymen, "a bad Christian but a good Protestant."’ In 1686, along with the Duke of Hamilton and Sir George Lockhart, he strenuously opposed the attempt of King James to grant an indulgence to the Roman Catholics which he refused to the Scottish Covenanters. He succeeded his brother as Lord Madderty in 1684, and was created Viscount of Strathallan and Lord Drummond of Cromlix in 1686. He was the Lord Strathallan who wrote; in 1681, a history of the Drummond family, to which reference has already been made. The work remained in manuscript till the year 1831, when one hundred copies were printed for private circulation. In the preface to the volume the editor states that ‘the author enjoyed the best advantages in the prosecution of his labours, not only in obtaining the use of the several accounts drawn up by previous writers, but in having free access to original papers, and to every other source of information regarding the collateral branches of a family to which he himself was nearly related, and of which he became so distinguished an ornament.’ His lordship had, however, adopted without inquiry the traditional account of the origin of the Drummond family, and does not appear to have scrutinised the charters in their possession.

Lord Strathallan died in January, 1688, and was, therefore, spared the sight of the expulsion of the Stewart family from the throne. Principal Munro, who preached his funeral sermon, said of him, ‘Now we have this generous soul in Muscovia, a stranger, and you may be sure the cavalier’s coffers were not then of great weight; but he carried with him that which never forsook him till his last breath—resolution above the disasters of fortune, composure of spirit in the midst of adversity, and accomplishments, proper for any station in court or camp, that became a gentleman.’ The Covenanters in Galloway who were ‘harried’ by General Drummond would have probably added some qualities to this panegyric which the courtly Principal has omitted.

Lord Strathallan left by his wife, a daughter of the celebrated leader of the Covenanters, Johnstone of Warriston, one daughter, who became Countess of Kinnoul, and a son—

WILLIAM, second Viscount of Strathallan, of whom nothing worthy of note is recorded. He died in 1702. On the death of his only son—

WILLIAM, third Viscount, in his sixtieth year (26th May, 1711), the family estates passed to the Earl of Kinnoul as heir of line, while the titles reverted to the heir male, WILLIAM DRUMMOND, descended from Sir James Drummond of Machany, second son of the first Lord Machany, a Royalist, like all his family. He was colonel of the Perthshire Foot in the army of the ‘Engagement,’ and died before the Restoration. His eldest son, also named Sir James, the only one of eight who had issue, was fined £500 by Cromwell, and died in 1675. The three eldest of his six sons predeceased him, and the fourth son—

WILLIAM DRUMMOND, succeeded his cousin as fourth Viscount of Strathallan. Along with his youngest brother Thomas, he repaired at once to the standard of the Earl of Mar in 1715; indeed the whole Drummond clan were most zealous in the cause of the exiled family. The Viscount was taken prisoner at the battle of Sheriffmuir, but, for some unexplained reason, he escaped both personal punishment and the forfeiture of his estate. The lenity shown him by the Government, however, produced no change in his attachment to the Stewarts, for in 1745, within a fortnight after the standard of Prince Charles had been raised in Glenfinnan, he was joined by Lord Strathallan at the head of his retainers. When the Jacobite army, after their victory at Preston, marched into England, his lordship was left in command of the forces stationed in Scotland. At the battle of Culloden he was stationed on the right wing, and, when it gave way, he was cut down by the English dragoons and killed on the spot. His wife, a daughter of the Baroness Nairne, who bore him seven sons and six daughters, for her devotion to the Jacobite cause was imprisoned in the castle of Edinburgh from the beginning of February to the end of November, 1746.

JAMES DRUMMOND, eldest son of Viscount Strathallan, took part along with his father in this ill-starred attempt to restore the Stewarts to the throne, but he succeeded in making his escape to the Continent after the ruin of the cause. He was included in the Act of Attainder passed against his father, but though he was at that time de jure in possession of the titles and estates of the family, he was designated James, eldest son of the Viscount of Strathallan. The Act of Attainder was not passed until the 4th of June, 1746, nearly seven weeks after his father’s death at Culloden. It was strenuously contended before the House of Lords that the attainder was vitiated by this erroneous description, but it was held by an absurd fiction of English law that all the Acts passed in any one Parliament must be regarded as passed on one day, and that day the first on which the Parliament assembled. The language of the attainder was therefore held to be sufficiently correct—a decision repugnant at once to justice and common sense. The decision in the Strathallan case, however, attracted so much notice, and was so universally condemned, that the practice was immediately thereafter altered, and every act has since been dated from the day on which it passed.

James Drummond died at Sens, in Champagne, in 1765. He left two sons, both of whom died unmarried. The younger, Andrew John Drummond, was an officer in the British army, and served with distinction in America under Sir William Howe in 1776 and 1777 and on the Continent in the campaigns of 1793 and 1794. He was appointed Governor of Dumbarton Castle, and attained the rank of General in 1812. The family estates had been repurchased in 1775, and on the death of General Drummond in 1817 they devolved on James Andrew John Laurence Charles Drummond, second son of William Drummond, third son of the fourth Viscount of Strathallan. He held for a good many years the position of chief of the British settlement at Canton. On his return to Scotland he was elected member for Perthshire, by a small majority, in March, 1812, and a second time a few months later, after a spirited contest with Mr. Graham of Balgowan (afterwards Lord Lynedoch). He was subsequently returned without opposition in July, 1818, and in March, 1820, and continued to represent the county until the year 1824, when he was restored by Act of Parliament to the forfeited titles of his family, of Viscount Strathallan, Lord Madderty, and Drummond of Cromlix. He was soon after elected one of the sixteen representative peers of Scotland, and continued to hold that position till his death in 1851. He left by his wife, a daughter of the Duke of Athole, five sons and two daughters. His eldest son, WILLIAM HENRY DRUMMOND, sixth Viscount, born in 1810, is a representative peer, and has been on two occasions a Lord-in-Waiting to the Queen.

The famous banking-house of the Drummonds, in London, was founded by a cadet of the Strathallan family—Andrew, the fifth son of the third Viscount. His connection with the Jacobites obtained for him the support of the great nobles and influential landed proprietors in England belonging to that party, and raised his house to a foremost position among the banking establishments of the metropolis. Several members of the Strathallan family have been partners in the bank, the most noted of whom was Henry Drummond of Albury Park, member of Parliament for West Surrey, a remarkably shrewd and sagacious man of business, and the head of the ‘Catholic Apostolic’ Church—a believer in the gift of tongues, and a patron of Edward Irving, and at the same time the founder of the Professorship of Political Economy at Oxford. Edward, second son of Charles Drummond, of Cadlands, another of the partners in the bank, was private secretary to Sir Robert Peel, and was assassinated in the street, near Charing Cross, while in company with Sir Robert, by a lunatic named M’Naghton, who intended to shoot that eminent statesman.

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