A Memoir of Lady Anna Mackenzie
[pp. 96 - 145]
[p. 96] It is not my wont to pause in the biographical comment on the events recorded; I rather leave make their own impression on the reader. But I cannot at this point, and after insertion of the preceding letter, withhold the remarks made upon it by a woman, a friend of my own, to whom I read it.
"It is grand," she said, "and how moderate! It is more like a man's writing than a woman's; she had evidently lived more with men than women, and the 'uses of adversity' had not been lost upon her.
It is on this latter point [p. 97] only that I dissent from this criticism. If the tenderness of womankind is a constituent element in the character of every noble and brave man, so is the strength and judgment of manhood equally inherent in the nature of the perfect woman -- of her whom God hath created to be the "helpmate" of man and a "mother in Israel." It needs only a somewhat sterner mental culture, a more simple existence, and it may be a touch of the sweet "uses of adversity" on a national scale, to produce women, in the present day, worthy of comparison with Anna of Seaforth, Balcarres, and Argyll.
It was at this time, shortly after her second marriage, that, as I before intimated, the Countess Anna once more wrote to Lauderdale. It seems he had taken her marriage with Argyll amiss; and other causes -- probably political, as the rule of Presbyterian repression became severer in Scotland -- may have contributed to aggravate his dissatisfaction. About four years had elapsed since their last communication. She addresses him in a formal manner, according to his rank as Lord High Commissioner, or Vice-Roy, at the time. Warm affection still survived, but the sense of injustice was strongly felt; and nothing probably but anxiety for her son would have induced the remonstrance:
"Inverary, the 7th of July, '70.
I know not whether this last and touching remonstrance and appeal elicited any resposne. I should think not, as no other letters from the Countess exist (as I before mentioned) in the Lauderdale correspondence.
Subsequently to this epistle, and, generally, after the Countess Anna's marriage with Argyll, we come but seldom into what I may call direct personal intercourse with her; I have no more letters to produce from her; it is only once in vindication, as we shall see, of her long-lost daughter Anna's truthful fame -- that her warm heart speaks out with the voice's utterance to our own. But we have many glimpses of her, more or less distinct, through family papers and the histories and memoirs of the time; and these may assist us in tracing the chequered history of her latter days.
Her residence while Argyll's wife was partly at Inverary, the castle of the MacCallummores, then in the beauty of its picturesque antiquity, and partly, and if I mistake not more frequently, at Stirling, in what was then called "the Great Lodging or Manor-place," "lying upon the north side of the High Street," formerly belonging to Adam, Commendator of Cambuskenneth, but which had been acquired by the Argyle family in the earlier part of the seventeenth century -- an edifice still existing and known as "Argyll's Lodging," and which has been of late years used as an hospital for the garrison quartered in the castle.
This edifice, with its [p. 100] garden, and another large house and various sn ments in the neighbourhood, together with "a garden, and another large house and various smaller tenements in the neighborhood, together with "a high loft and laigh seat within the Kirk of Stirling, just opposite to the pulpit," and an aisle or burial-place belonging property, had been conveyed to Argyll and the the Countess, "and the longest liver of them," in 1671, by an arrangement with the Marchioness of Argyll, (the widow of the Marquis who had been executed in 1661), and who thereupon removed to Roseneath. In October 1674 Argyll settled the "Lodging" and the above appendages more fo mally on the Countess Anna as her jointure-house; and on the 1st June 1680 he made over to her the entire "plendishing," furniture, and movables contained in it, for the great love she bears us," she was content (it is stated) to accept the same in lieu of the more ample provision in that character she would have been entitled to in the event of her surviving him. An inventory, signed by both, upon on the occasion; and a brief analysis of it may afford an interesting view of the domestic establishment i Scottish family in their town-house at that time.
The principal apartments consisted of the "Laigh Hall," -- the "High Hall," or "High Dining-room," provided with twelve folding tables and thirty chairs; the "Drawing-Roomor "Laigh Drawing-room," furnished with two "very great looking-glasses" and a " chair of state, with purple curtains or canopy; "my Lord and Lady's chamber;" "my Lady's closet" -- what we should now call her boudoir,or sitting room; the apartments of Lady Jean Campbell, Argyll's daughter, of Lady Sophia Lindsay (her sister Henrietta being then married), and of Lord Lorn, Argyll's eldest son, forming three suites, consisting each of an outer chamber or lobby, a central room, and an inner or smaller closet, Lady Jean's opening on the garden; the "Grey-room," with its closet; the "Wardrobe," apparently a very important room, furnished with massive fir chests containing stores of cloth, hangings, etc. etc., for the most part not made up with [p. 101] the "Tailzior's," or "Tailor's-room" adjacent, where the materials were shaped and put together as needed, -- while, among offices, we have the "Master of the Household's room," the "Glass-room," devoted to crockery, trenchers, etc. etc.; the "Great Kitchen," provided with two grates, and the "Little Kitchen," with a small one, and all the necessary materials for cookery; the "Pantry;" the "Ale- cellar;" the "Laigh Dining-room," or Servants' hall; and the "Woman-house," apparently a separate wing or building, of two storeys, provided with "stent-trees" or horses for linen, "owl" or "wool-wheels," for spinning wool, "lint- wheels" for flax, and gairne-roundills," or boards for making oat-cakes-- besides the bake-house and the brew- house, the invariable appendages of old Scottish mansions.
Among the "plenishing," or furniture for the rooms, every early stage of invention was represented, from the rude form and humble joint-stool, the first creations of civilisation, to the "black wooden chair," with its seat super induced of richly-wrought tapestry and "needle-work sublime," fraught to our recollection with
" . . . . . .the peony spread wide,
"Wand," or wicker chairs exhibited a step in progress which has escaped Cowper, but "cane chairs," the mark of "a generation more refined," were numerous; and there was even abundance of rich Russia-leather chairs, without and with arms, the latter doubtless sufficiently "restless " and uncomfortable, although "our rugged sires" never complained, howsoever
" . . . inconveniently pent in,
Beyond this, however, the luxury of "Argyll's Lodging," in the way of seats, did not soar, -- "the soft settee" and "the sofa," although already accomplished in France, had not [p. 102] apparently reached Stirling, for no articles of this description figure in the inventory. The tables were usually of fir, and except in the Countess' own bed-room and her "closet," there were no chests of drawers, their place being supplied by shelves fastened to the walls. Amid these homelier articles of use "sweet-wood" (or cedar ?) "boxes," "indented " (or inlaid) "cabinets" (one of them "with a clock, with an indented case" attached to it), "varnished" dressing-tables with glasses, and large looking-glasses -- many of these being provided with pairs "of standarts" (castors?) "conform" -- were scattered through the house, evidently of costly materials and superior taste and workmanship.
The principal rooms were carpeted, and all, of every description, hung with tapestry -- of Arras, or of "stamped or stuff, sometimes edged with gilded leather, in the better, and of common stuffs (plaiding, serge, etc.) in the inferior rooms. There were candlesticks for hanging on theh walls, brass candlesticks for the tables, and two small hand-candlesticks for the especial use (probably) of the Earl and Countess. Screens, lined with cloth to match with the hangings, gave protection from the wind; carpet contributed to the comfort of the cane chairs; and coverings of the same material ornamented the tables. All the rooms were provided with fire-places, two or three even with "purring-irons," or pokers, beside the mmore usual provision of shovel and tongs.
There was ample in the way of bedding -- feather-beds and "cods," or pillows,"palliasses," or straw mattresses -- "braidit" (embroidered?) blankets, and generally one "English blanket" to each principal bed -- the counterpanes of the superior bedrooms being frequently ornamented with strips of gilded leather. A very magnificent bed of embroidered purple velvet, with its appurtenances, and eight chairs to match, numerous "dornick" (or figured) and damask tablecloths and napkins, chair-covers of flowered velvet, white, Holland sheets, and such-like domestic treasures, to [p. 103] be produced, it is to be supposed, on state occasions, as for example, when the Duke of York was the Anna's guest in 1680, were preserved, along with stores of homelier materials (as above stated), in the "Wardrobe."
But the most interesting portion of this old inventory, as regards the Countess, is the section of it which describes her own peculiar "closet" or sitting-room. She had assembled in it and around her all her pretty things, simple enough in themselves, but in which she had indulged her natural taste for the graceful and beautiful -- forming a second supply or replacement (as it were) of that "womanly furniture" which Lord Balcarres speaks of as a thing of the past in the testamentary disposition mentioned in a former page.
Among the items enumerated are no less than three "sweet-wood boxes," and an escritoire, or writing-table, of "varnished" wood -- two little statues of "marable," "two little green and white statues" (probably of some species of earthenware) -- a mortar and pestle of marble -- "two crystal bottles, with two crystal candlesticks, with ane crystal fall, and ane crystal glass for essences -- "three crystal bottles, whereof two has silver heads" and "two-and-twenty counterfeit porcelain dishes" (Dutch imitation, I presume, of China ware), in which we may recognise the set of twenty-three which her friend Madame Henderson had sent her from Holland in 1664 -- one of them having evidently been broken since that year.
Two pair of "raised" (or embossed) "silver candlesticks," a silver ink-horn, and "a bell of bell-metal" for summoning her attendants (suspension-bells being of subsequent, indeed recent introduction), are enumerated, as also her taper-holder for sealing letters -- for such, I think, must have been the article described as "ane candlestick, with ane roll of wax candle," -- the roll or coil of taper resting below on a plate-like bason, twining round a slender upright silver stem, and rising at the top through a holder or beak projecting at right angles to the stem, the beak holding it tight, but [p. 104] opening by the pressure of the fingers, like a pair of scissors, so as to allow of the coil being drawn out from time to time as rendered necessary by its consumption. These last-named articles, the taper, the ink-horn, the hand-bell, and the two raised silver candlesticks, have evidently stood upon the escritoire, or writing-table, above mentioned, in the most comfortable corner of the room.
Another interesting item, "a case of wooden tae-cups" -- tea-cups! (modelled seemingly after the fashion of quaichs) -- probably stood on a side-table, together with her little stock of plate, consisting of six large and six smaller silver "tumblers," a silver tumbler gilded, and a gilded spoon, knife, and fork, with two gilded "salts," or salt-cellars; while on a large fir-table, in the centre of the room, provided as usual with "standarts," and covered with a table-cover, reposed (I have little doubt) her "Cambridge Bible, in two large volumes in folio, with Ogleby's cuts," an edition published in 1660, of remarkable magnificence, and beside it (a singular companion, but characteristic of the owner), the " Acts of Parliament."
On the walls, and doubtless in honourable places, hung "my Lord's picture, in a little gilded frame," and Mr. Baxter's picture," while "fifteen painted fancies" further decorated the apartment. The hangings were of stamped purple, and the tablecloth to match. Such was the Countess Anna's "sanctum;" such were her " Lares et Penates," her household gods, some of them probably dear to her from old Balcarres associations, in her new home.
I may add that of five other pictures which hung in the Dining-room, viz. a portrait of Argyll in his robes (by Lely), her own portrait, that of her father Earl Colin of Seaforth (by Riley), and portraits of her two daughters, the first and third are now preserved among our family pictures. The only musical instrument in the house was "a fine harp," "upon standarts," which stood in the Drawing-room; but whether its strings rendered eloquent response to the Countess Anna's touch I cannot determine.
[p. 105] I do not like to turn from this glimpse of peace and repose to public matters, rife as they were with disquiet and turmoil during the latter half of the seventeenth century. The fortunes of Anna Countess of Argyll were still, as those of Anna of Balcarres had been during the early days of the Covenant, bound up with the interests of the Scottish Kirk and the cause, as it ultimately became once more, of constitutional liberty. A few words on the course of ecclesiastical matters in Scotland during the twenty-eight years which elapsed between 1660 and 1688 must therefore introduce what I have yet to say.
Charles II. returned to Britain a limited, not an absolute monarch, -- the Restoration was the triumph of Constitutionalism. I have alluded to the joy of the country at the King's return, but the expression but feebly expresses the enthusiasm, the frenzied excitement, with which that return was greeted in Scotland. Kirkton, the (Presbyterian) church historian and a contemporary, describes it in vivid terms. The Scots, as a nation, were thoroughly sickened of the tyranny of Cromwell and the Commonwealth; their hopes had become centred year after year more and more earnestly on their exiled king, knowing him to be courteous and kind, believing him to be not disinclined to Presbyterianism, and viewing him as the symbol and representative of freedom and civil security.
A tender sentiment further attached to him through "the compassions the world had for his father's misfortunes and sufferings," and his own youth being spent in continual toil, attended with loss, dishonour, and grief," "which were enough," says the above authority, "to make a gentle nature to pity him." " Their affections to his person were" thus "equal to their discontent with the republican government." And "in fine, the eagerness of their longing was so great, [that] some would never cut their hair, some would never drink wine, some would never wear linen, till they might see the desire of their eyes, the King."
In the midst of these aspirations, [p. 106] however, the more zealous Scottish Presbyterians, trustees (as they esteemed themselves) of the Solemn League and Covenant, were not without grave misgivings as to the future. When Monk commenced his memorable march for London, they sent with him Mr. James Sharpe, one of their ablest ministers, to watch over the interests of the Kirk in any revolution which might ensue. The two laymen on whom they most relied for protection Lauderdale and Crawford-Lindsay, still at that time prisoners, but who were released by the authority of Monk, and appointed (as I have stated), Lauderdale Secretary of State, and Crawford-Lindsay (as before) High Treasurer after the Restoration. Of these three men Crawford-Line was true to the Covenant, Lauderdale and Sharpe were not.
It soon appeared that Presbyterianism had but few friends at court. The King's experience of it during his residence in Scotland had made him bitterly dislike it; his Englshi councillors looked upon the Covenant as the source the sufferings of the last twenty years; Lauderdale, his countrymen well, and viewing the question as one policy rather than principle, strongly dissuaded the King from pressing Episcopacy upon them; but the advice of more ardent spirits, and especially of the High Church party in England, prevailed; Middleton was sent to Edinburgh as High Commissioner with full authority to rest the Episcopal polity; and Sharpe returned to Scot Archbishop of St. Andrews.
The clergy throughout Scotland were now required to accept presentation from lay patrons and induction from the prelates, both these requisitions being diametric opposed to the cherished principles of the Kirk. Between three and four hundred ministers at once resigned their livings, and the church, to use the language of the tims, fled into the wilderness.
Crawford-Lindsay, the champion and sole hope Presbyterians, maintained a long and gallant struggle on behalf [p. 107] of the Kirk and the Covenant, but was at last, in the summer of 1663, forced, as an honest man, to resign the Treasurer-ship and to retire from political life -- although against the advice of Lauderdale and Sir Robert Moray, who saw matters differently. The King -- always partial personally to the Scottish friends and adherents of his earlier and suffering years -- was loath to accept his resignation, and at Crawford's request, prompted by Lauderdale and Moray, appointed his son-in-law the Earl (afterwards Duke) of Rothes Treasurer in his stead.
It is by no means easy to form a judgment of the motives and actions of those who took the leading part in these transactions. At first sight it would appear as if the measures just detailed were a mere wanton aggression upon the liberties, civil and ecclesiastical, of Scotland; but a dispassionate inquiry will prove that such was not the case.
The real fact was, that while the more enthusiastic Presbyterians cherished the Covenant as a living law of truth and life, their more moderate brethren whether among the ministry or the laity treated or at least thought of it as "an old almanack," which had done good service in its day, but was now out of date. The latter were, with the exception of Crawford-Lindsay, the men brought into power by the Restoration. Their conviction and that of Charles and his Scottish council in 1661 was much what that of James VI. and his advisers had been in 1597, namely, that the extreme pretensions of the Presbyterian church were irreconcilable with the legitimate rights of personal and civil liberty. No government could, in fact, be carried on, no individual freedom could subsist, under the tyranny of a theocracy such as that of 1650.
The revelations of the last few years had further proved that not only had theological learning, till lately the ornament of the Scottish Episcopal Kirk, ceased from the land, but that license in thought and depravity in morals, whether rampant before the sun or veiled over by hypocrisy, had been developed in Scotland [p. 108] no less than in England in exact proportion to the severity of church discipline, and this to an extent undreamt of in more moderate times, -- a depravity destined to expand into that wide-spread profligacy which disgraced Britain during the latter years of the seventeenth century, and which, far from being attributable (as commonly supposed) to limited influence of Charles II.'s court at Paris or in London, was in a proximate degree the positive and immediate sequence of that merciless, iron-like, spiritual despotism, whether of the Kirk in Scotland or of the Puritan regime in England, which had been felt to be intolerable even at time except by those whose blameless and holy lives exempted them from suffering from its severity.
On every ground, therefore -- on that of the necessary rights of civil magistrate, on that of individual freedom, in interests of learning and of public morality -- and at a time too when the whole head was faint and the whole heart sick with the throes of mortal agony through which Britain struggled to the Restoration -- men might have been counted wise who thought that a return to the constitution of the Kirk as settled in 1597 and subsequently would be "advantageous to all parties and not upon the whole distasteful to those who were to be relieved by it, the laity and the moderate section of the clergy of Scotland.
The joy of the nation at the recovery of their freedom after the tyranny of Cromwell and the Independents may even have induced a belief in such statesmen that the restoration church polity as it had stood during the period previous to the imposition of the obnoxious Service-Book in 1637, would be accepted without difficulty. They were deceived in this expectation, but it is difficult to say that, in the generous reaction of sentiment, they were not warranted in entertaining it. They would unquestionably have been justified in providing for such securities to the government and to the liberties of the subject against the despotism of the Kirk as the experience of the past proved to be needful.
But they were [p. 109] not justified in imposing Episcopacy, with the attendant tests and requisitions insisted upon in connection with it, upon a reluctant Kirk and people, and still less in prosecuting this object and crushing down opposition by the series of measures adopted for the purpose, although in no respect more peremptory or severe in their character and tendency than those previously inflicted by the Kirk on Episcopalians, Papists, Independents, Quakers, and in a word, all who differed from them. The result was, what might have been expected, an aggravation of those ever-jealous susceptibilities of national independence which had lain quite as much as religious principle at the root of the resistance to Charles I., and which, after twenty-eight years of either active or passive resistance, were to determine the ultimate establishment of Presbyterianism in exclusive de-Catholicised independence as the Church of Scotland after the Revolution of 1688.
This of course was not dreamt of in 1661. A deep conviction lay then at the root of all men's minds that the Kirk had, as a theocratic power, been tried and found wanting; and so much of this remembrance survived in 1688 that, in the final settlement which took place after the Revolution, the Kirk was practically bridled with one hand while established with the other -- a consummation of Erastianism very different from that contemplated by the Melvilles and Braces of 1596, the Protesters of 1651, and the Cameronians of Both well Brig. The Secession Church of last century and the Free Church of the present, are thus the only legitimate representatives now of the spirit of the Covenant. My own belief, speaking from an external point of view, is clear, that the limited Episcopacy of 1597-1610, which secured to the Kirk of 1560 the Apostolical succession and the privileges of Catholicity, and preserved it from excess and self-rupture though securing its due relative position to the civil power, might, with any needful modifications, have [p. 110] been retained with advantage. But . . . . "Dis aliter visum est!"
It will hardly be wondered at that considerations like these had little influence on the heirs and representatives -- the trustees, as I have called them, for so they esteen themselves -- of the Solemn League and Covenant in Scotland in the years following upon the Restoration. The compulsory resignation of the ministers, the enforced retirement of Crawford-Lindsay, and the promotion of men who, like Sharpe, had apostatised, as it was held, from faith and betrayed their duty, contributed to exasperate passions and inflame the religious enthusiasm of the more zealous Presbyterians.
From this time forward conventicles were held in the glens and caverns of the wilder regions of Scotland; the dispossessed ministers led the worship; sentries were posted to give warning in case the military band whose duty it was to disperse such assemblages, should appear; and women of all classes, and not unfrequently those belonging to what were called the "court families" attended these meetings, and drank in the impassione exhortations of their persecuted pastors, while beside them were piled the weapons which their stronger companions were ready to wield, if necessary, against any who should interrupt them.
Among these ladies the most prominent and influential was one to whom the Presbyterians looked up with ext ordinary deference and veneration, Lady Anne Lindsay, Duchess of Rothes, Crawford-Lindsay's daughter. Lauderdale, who. persecuting out of policy, never, I believe, forgot that he had once been a Covenanter, and Sir Robert Moray had known their man when they recommended Rothes as Crawford-Lindsay's successor. Even Wodrow mention instances of his lenity.
It is still remembered that the Duchess frequently concealed the nonconformist preachers in the neighbourhood of her husband's castle of Leslie. A quiet understanding subsisted between husband and wife [p. 111] on the subject. When under the necessity of acting with vigour against the recusant preachers, the Duke's usual warning was, "My hawks will be put to-night, my Lady, take care of your blackbirds!" And the tradition is that she warned the "blackbirds" of the coming storm by a white sheet suspended from a tree on the hill above the house of Leslie, which could be seen for a considerable distance.
But none sympathised more warmly with the oppressed fugitives than Earl Colin's two sisters, Lady Sophia and Lady Henrietta Lindsay. Widely different in character, the one being as gentle and retiring as the other was energetic and enterprising, they were united in one faith, one love, to their Saviour, their widowed mother, and each other. In her diary, still preserved, Henrietta, the younger, ascribes to the cheerful piety of her mother's servants, as well as to that mother's early instruction, the love of religion which sprang up in her heart in childhood, and, at sixteen years of age, induced her solemnly to dedicate herself, after her best endeavour, to the service of her Redeemer. For many weeks afterwards, she says, it was one of her chief enjoyments to sing the forty-fifth psalm while walking in the retired plantations at Balcarres. Solitude and seclusion in which she could commune with her own heart and be still -- had ever a peculiar charm for her. But in course of time the oppressions of the hour worked upon her spirit till a tinge of enthusiasm disturbed her natural common sense, and, as in many other cases in that day, she became the subject of visions and dreams which, although she never herself notices them, those who were made acquainted with them understood as the results of direct supernatural intervention.
Of this nature was a dream which I shall hereafter mention concerning the Revolution of 1688, and an apparition to her of the Great Enemy recorded, on the report of a Mr. John Anderson, by Wodrow, to the effect that for a long time she "was under a severe temptation of slavish fear of Satan's appearing in a bodily shape, which turned [p. 112] so violent as to fright her much from secret duty, yet: she continued at it, till one day, when at secret prayer, Satan did appear (if I mind) under the shape of a black lyon roaring; but then there appeared likewise a chainabout him, which perfectly commanded him. This vision," he adds, "perfectly cured" her "of slavish fear." Her enthusiasm, I must add, never betrayed her into fanaticism, or, at least, the malignity which usually accompanies that phase of spiritual error; not a word of bitterness against others has escaped her throughout the diary above mentioned.
Her sister, on the contrary, Lady Sophia, was a creature of daylight and brightness as much as Lady Henrietta was of twilight and reserve. She is spoken of as a woman remarkable for the brightest faculties, cheerful and witty, irrepressible in energy, and endowed with that presence mind in the hour of need which is worth more even courage in moments of emergency.
I shall have occasion to illustrate this hereafter, -- an instance of her playful vivacit in her earlier years, is recorded by a son of Mr. Blackader, who had been shut up in Stirling Castle for refusing to sign the Black Bond, one of the numerous tests by which consciences of the Presbyterians were probed about 1674: --
"While I was in prison," he says, "the Earl of Argyll daughters-in-law, Lady Sophia and Lady Henrietta, Lady Jean, his own daughter, did me the honour and came to see me, where I remember Lady Sophia stood up on bench and arraigned before her the Provost of Stirling, then sentenced and condemned him to be hanged for keeping me in prison; which highly enraged the poor fool provost, though it was but a harmless frolic. It seems he complained to the Council of it, for which the good Earl was like have been brought to much trouble about it."
It was same Blackader, I think, who led the devotions at a greeat preaching on the Craig of Balcarres, then, as I have mentioned, bare of trees, and capable of accommodating thousands upon thousands of hearers ranged, in concentric [p. 113] circles, round the minister preaching, like John the Baptist, from the summit of the rock to his weeping audience.
I do not find the Countess Anna's own name mentioned in connection with any meetings of this impassioned kind, nor does her name once figure in the "Analecta" or miscellaneous jottings of Wodrow -- that repertory of the religious gossip of the zealots of the time. It would have been strange indeed had it beenso. Warmly attached to the Presbyterian church, her mind was of too masculine, too sober, I might almost say too Catholic a cast, and she had had too much experience of life in the historical developments of her time, to rush into fanaticism, or even, so far as I can perceive, to slide into the milder error of enthusiasm, which certainly captivated the more youthful imagination of Lady Henrietta, at least, of her two daughters.
We should scarcely otherwise have seen her on terms of cordiality, if not of friendship -- at all events in intercourse -- with Bishop Gunning, a man noted for his boldness in continuing to read the liturgy at his chapel in Exeter House' London, when the Parliament was most predominant and throughout the usurpation, and this in opposition to Cromwell's frequent rebuke -- and with Archbishop Sharpe of St. Andrews, at a time when prelacy was abhorred by presbyterians, and the name of Sharpe was a byword among his former brethren. Her sympathy was rather, like the Apostle's, with all who loved the Lord Jesus with sincerity.
If Baxter was her personal friend in one direction, Dr. Earles, the excellent Dean of Westminster and Bishop of Salisbury -- whose "innocent wisdom," "sanctified learning," and "pious peaceable temper," are the theme of Isaac Walton's eulogy -- was, as we have seen, her "old kind friend" on the other; and if the "Divine Life" and "Saints' Rest" were dear to her alike from their subject and their author, the writings of Robert Boyle and Isaac Barrow were equally objects of her admiring familiarity.
Nothing indeed is more remarkable than the mutual [p. 114] understanding and cordiality, and even the affection, which we constantly find to have subsisted in those days between individuals belonging to parties in church and state which we are accustomed in the retrospect to consider as at deadly enmity. As partisans, doubtless, they would have fought a l'outrance when arrayed in the opposing ranks of pplemical or political controversy; but in their individual relations in the intercourse of life they seem to have thought the points of agreement than those of difference, those points a sufficient basis for a common and kindly understanding. It would be well for ourselves in the present day did we cultivate the like charity -- which is as different from a cold indifferentism as the glow of the summer day in Italy from the wintry torpor of Nova Zembla.
I have spoken of course, in the preceding observatons, of the more enlightened and liberal of their time, those whose hearts had been rendered cosmopolitan -- "large sands upon the sea-shore," like Solomon's -- by that exended knowledge of the world which promotes charity and induces sympathy, the one the silver zone, the other the crown of Christianity.
It will not create surprise that Earl Colin's sisters, domesticated as they now were with Argyll, should both have espoused Campbells. Sophia married, but not till about 1689, Charles Campbell, a younger son of her stepfather, and Henrietta became the wife of Sir Duncan Campbell of Auchinbreck, chieftain of an ancient branch of the "sons of Diarmid." This latter match took place, I believe in 1678, and about a year afterwards Lady Henrietta and Sir Duncan paid a visit to Inverary, where their "little Jamie" was nursed, as Lady Henrietta says in her diary, by "his grandmother," the Countess Anna, with the greatest affection and tenderness," -- a visit she always looked back upon with tender remembrance of "the mutual affection, sympathy, and concord that was among us at this time."
Once only afterwards did they assemble together in this manner, [p. 115] and that was in 1680, shortly before events which I shall have to mention presently; when, as Lady Henrietta states, "most of the late Earl's family and my mother's, being a numerous company, had a cheerful meeting at Cantyre, the sacrament being administered there two days following together. And indeed, as this meal was doubled to many, so there wanted not a long journey to many to go in the strength of it," it being the last they partook of for many weary days, -- "the growing desolation and trouble daily increasing, to the putting a further restraint on ministers and people, many of whom were imprisoned, harassed, chased to the hazard of their lives, violating the consciences of others, and to the fearful bloodshed of many; retrenching our liberties, so that it was made a crime to meet or convene to the worship of the living God except in such a manner as our nation was solemnly sworn against, -- laying bonds on ministers not to preach, or people to hear, under such and such penalties, fines, hazards, as were endless to rehearse; things running to such a height to the introducing of popery itself, if the Lord had not prevented, that no thinking persons but mostly were under the dread and fear of this approaching judgment."
During these many years of Presbyterian depression, Argyll had maintained the quiet tenor of his path, inconspicuous in action, and untroubled by those in power. A royalist on the Highland hills in 1653, he had been from the first, like Balcarres and Crawford-Lindsay, the friend of constitutional, not of despotic monarchy. After the Restoration, foreseeing the course of events, he "disengaged himself" (to use the words of a biographer) "as much as possible from all public affairs except those which related to his religious profession," -- to that, indeed, "through the whole of his life, he devoted himself with a consistency and earnestness so pure, as almost totally to reject the usual alloy of political party-spirit; and thus his affection to monarchy and the regularity of his allegiance remained [p. 116] undisturbed."
This state of things was finally interrupted by the imposition of a new test, or oath, which the Scot nobility were required to take after the murder of Archbishop Sharpe in 1679 and the subsequent insurrection in the west country, -- an oath by which the juror professed acquiescence in the confession of faith agreed to in the year 1560, and at the same time acknowledged the King as the supreme head of the Church, an admission incompatible with the former. When this test was tendered to Argyll as a member of the Privy Council, he declared that he it "in so far as it was consistent with itself and with Protestant religion," -- a qualification for which he was cast into prison, tried, found guilty of treason and lese-majesty and sentenced to death and forfeiture.
He was lying in Edinburgh Castle in daily expectation of the order arriving for his execution when woman's wit intervened for his safety. It was not however his wife, but his favourite step-daughter, the sprightly Lady Sophia, who accomplished his escape. Her mother, it is true, had ample experience of disguise and stratagem in the old of the rebellion, and her counsel doubtless guided and seconded Lady Sophia's bold and successful enterprise.
Having obtained leave to visit him for one half-hour, she brought with her a tall, awkward, country clown as a page, wiih a fair wig, and his head tied up as if he had engaged in a fray. On entering she made them change clothes. and at the expiration of the allotted half-hour bade farewell in a flood of tears to her supposed step-father and walked out of the prison with the most perfect dignity and with a slow pace, escorted from the door of the cell by a gentleman of the castle. The sentinel at the drawbridge, a sly Highlander, eyed Argyll hard, but her presence of mind did not desert her; she twitched her train of embroidery, carried in those days by the page, out of his hand, and dropping it in the mud, exclaimed, dashing it across his face, "Varlet! take that for knowing no better how to carry your lady's garment." [p. 117] This ill-treatment so confounded the sentinel that he let them pass unquestioned. They had still to pass the main guard, but were not stopped; and then, after the great gate was opened and the lower guard drawn out double, to make a lane for Lady Sophia and her attendants to pass, one of the guard who opened the gate took Argyll by the arm "rudely enough, and viewed him," but he again escaped discovery. At the outer gate Lady Sophia stepped into her coach which was waiting for her, handed in still by the gentleman from the castle. Argyll stepped up behind in his character of lackey, but on reaching the weigh-house, or custom-house, slipped quietly off, dived into one of the wynds or narrow streets contiguous to it, and "shifted for himself." This cleverly executed rescue was effected about nine o'clock in the evening of the 2oth December 1681.
Argyll was conducted by a clergyman of the name of Veitch through unfrequented roads to London, where he lay concealed for some time till means were found for his escape to Holland, in which country he resided the remainder of Charles II.'s reign. Charles was aware of Argyll being in London, but he was not ungenerous, and moreover, as Fountainhall observes, "ever retained some kindness for him;" and when a note was put into his hand signifying where he was to be found, he tore it up, exclaiming, Pooh, pooh! hunt a hunted partridge? Fye, for shame!" Argyll beguiled some of the weary hours of his concealment by writing an epistle in rhyme to his fair preserver, beginning
"Daughter, as dear as dearest child can be,
and ending, after a dreary rhapsody of church and state politics in a more familiar and pleasant strain: --
"The noble friends I found here greet you well;
Lady Sophia, it seems, narrowly escaped a public whhipping through the streets of Edinburgh; but the Duke of York, afterwards James II., with his wonted humanity, interposed to protect her, saying " that they were not wont to dearl so cruelly with ladies in his country." It was an argument perhaps somewhat beyond the mark, for the lenity exhibited towards Lady Sophia is dwelt upon by Fountainhall years afterwards, when noting the fact of "one Mistress Gaunt" being "condemned to death and burnt at Tyburn for assisting one of the Western rebels with Monmouth to escape, and giving him money, -- "this," he observes,! Lady Sophia Lindsay's guilt in conveying away Ar all her punishment with us" (i.e. the Scots) "was only some time's imprisonment."
Such were the times, heroisn ferocity alternately predominant -- vices and virtues in strong salient opposition. The sharply-defined devices and scriptions of the gold and silver coinage of the reigns preceding the Revolution might be cited to typify characteristics, just as the smooth and featureless surface of King William's and Queen Mary's shillings might be understood to foreshadow the dull flat of moral uniformity to which society has been tending ever since the commencement of the last century.
This prosecution, or rather persecution of Argyll, and the fate he was sentenced to, were viewed with mingled feelings in Scotland, but those of pity and indignation predominated. [p. 119] His dealings with the creditors (partly his own and partly his father's) on the Argyll estates had been considered harsh and unjust; and his policy in the Highlands and Hebrides, especially against the Macleans -- prosecuting the objects of aggrandisement and superiority, traditional in his family, by the help alike of legal machinery and of letters of fire and sword under the authority of the State -- had occasioned a confederation of Highland chiefs, including Seaforth, Athol, Glengarry, Macleod, and others, for the purpose of "bearing him down," primarily in self-defence, remotely in the hope of profiting by his fall. It is difficult to reconcile the character thus exhibited of him with that of religious sincerity and personal amiability which undoubtedly attached to him; but such (I repeat) were the contrarieties of the time -- or rather, such are the inconsistencies of human nature; they exist still, but in diminished prominence, and hence attract less attention. It is admitted that he had "walked legally and warily enough in all he had done," -- but that would only aggravate the offence of an Argyll in the eyes of his contemporaries.
From the above causes, Earl Archibald had been very unpopular up to the time of his forfeiture; nor had he escaped obloquy through his being a member of the Privy Council, which was held in such odium by the recusant Presbyterians. The fact, however, that he suffered at last for the Protestant interest -- for, as a contemporary expresses it, "a slender paper used as a salvo for his conscience" in accepting a test which every one abhorred -- sufficed to make him at once the object of warm sympathy, and his escape the subject of general satisfaction. And, added to this, a sentiment, honourable to human nature and always strongly felt in feudal times, further contributed to engage public feeling on his side -- pity and pain at seeing a great noble crushed (for every one knew that this was an element in Argyll's case) through the jealousy and dread entertained by the Crown of his power and greatness.
Like the more [p. 120] ancient Scottish Earls and Barons -- of March, of Marr, of Strathearn, of Douglas, of Angus, of Crawford, and others -- the Earls of Argyll were invested, in their baronial city, with rights of Regality, which conferred the exclusive power of administering law and justice to their vassals (e in cases of high treason), in their own courts, without appeal to those of the realm, rendering them thus in reality sovereign princes holding of a suzerain, like the Earls Palatine of Chester in England, and the Margraves and Pfalzgraves of the Continent. The office of High Justiciary, or Justice-General of Scotland, was also hereditary in the Argyll family, and although their justiciary power had been stricted to Argyllshire by recent enactments, they were still, as such, supreme within that extensive territory. And further, as chiefs of the race of Diarmid, or Clan Campbell MacCallummore1 ruled over the hearts and wills of his people with a patriarchal sway, which, while analogous in kind to that exercised by the Lochiels and Glengarrys of the north, was strengthened in the case of the Earls of Argyl] something very like a superstitious faith in the luck or fortune that usually attended the peculiar and subtle genis of the family -- ever wise, wary, and politic -- differing this respect, as they possibly did in race, from all the Highland tribes.
The house of Argyll was thus, in fact , from the combination of these concentering sources of influence, very formidable; and in striking at their power in the person of Earl Archibald in 1681, the government acted, almost avowedly, on the policy which had been in force, on repeated occasions, against the great Earls of regality above enumerated during preceding centuries, of which a recent example had been exhibited in forfeiture and ruin of the house of Ruthven, Earls of Goil after the celebrated conspiracy in 1600. It was on last precedent, and in the view of similar results, that Aryll's ruin was determined upon by the Scottish administration in [p. 121] 1681, his estates confiscated, and his hereditary jurisdictions assigned to others that over Argyllshire, in particular, being entrusted to his especial enemy, the Marquis of Athol, with the direct object, according to Fountainhall, "to engage him to their party and perfect Argyll's ruin; for parcelling out his lands and jurisdiction in the hands of so many great persons, is the high-way to lay a perpetual bar on the hopes of a restitution to Argyll, for all the sharers will obstruct it." It is not indeed likely that it was intended to take his life in 1681; King James (then Duke of York, and High Commissioner at Edinburgh) expressly asserts the contrary in his memoirs, stating (and there is no doubt it is the truth) that it was the King's and his own object to get him more into their power and deprive him of those "jurisdictions and superiorities which he and his predecessors had surreptitiously acquired and most tyrannically exercised," and which the King "thought too much for any one subject" -- thus confirming in all respects the independent testimony of Fountainhall.
Argyll and his friends undoubtedly thought that his head was in danger, and his escape was arranged accordingly. The effect of this escape, thus thwarting the policy of the government, produced effects which had not been calculated upon. Dread of his power had animated the administration -- his qualification of the test offered an opportunity for "lowing " or depressing him; his previous unpopularity had encouraged them to avail themselves of that opportunity; but when the sentence was announced, the severity of the punishment as contrasted with the slightness of the offence, his subsequent escape as it was supposed from death, the civil death actually inflicted upon him by forfeiture, the confiscation of his property, and the ruin of his family and friends, contributed to turn the tide of public feeling and elevate him into the rank of a martyr for political and religious liberty, while this again reacted upon himself and his family through the exasperation of the government, an exasperation aggravated [p. 122] in bitterness month after month during the four years through the disquiet in which the country was kept by the rumours constantly arriving from abroad ofa meditated invasion from Holland.
As regards the question of Argyll's "explication" or qualification test, on which the whole of this process of iniquity proceeded, the feeling of the public mind in England was sufficiently expressed by a saying of the Earl of Halifax to King Charles, "that he knew not the Scots law, but by the law of England that explication could not hang his dog;" while the general sentiment in Scotland expressed it a sufficiently droll manner, as narrated by Fountainhall. It seems "the children of Heriot's Hospital, finding that the dog which keeped the yairds of that Hospital had a public charge and office, they ordained him to take the Test, offered him the paper; but he, loving a bone rather than it, absolutely refused it; then they rubbed it over with butter (which they called an explication of the Test, in imitation of Argyll), and he licked off the butter but did spit out paper; for which they held a jury on him, and in derision of the sentence against Argyll, they found the dog guilty of treason, and actually hanged him."
A period of suffering for the whole of Argyle's family, and for the Countess Anna in particular, ensued upon his flight. Argyll's forfeiture cut off their means of subsistence; they were, by Scottish law, forfeited along with him,and were reduced for a time to great distress -- the "children," according to Macky, "starving," in so much so that Lothian, Lady Jean's cousin-german, married her, according to that authority, "purely out of a principle of honour, believing that they suffered wrongfully." The Countess's house at Stirling remained apparently untouched, but her income lapsed, and nothing remained to her except her revenue from the small estate of Wester Pitcorthie adjacent to Balcarres, amounting to four thousand marks a year, which had been settled on her as her jointure by her first husband. [p. 123]
The memory however of early days was fresh at Whitehall in the midst of all this sanctioned injustice; and King Charles interfered for her behoof by a "signature," or order, on the commissioners appointed for administering the forfeited estates, on the 4th March 1682, (followed by a charter under the Great Seal, bearing the same date,) securing to her a provision of seven thousand marks per annum out of the Argyll revenues, -- a sum, that is to say, equivalent to that which had been previously provided as her jointure in the event of Earl Archibald's death -- precedency being assigned to her claims over those of any other creditor; the grant proceeding, as is stated, on the consideration of the King's recollection of the many and faithful services done to him by the late Earl of Balcarres, and the severe hardships which Anna Countess of Balcarres (lately Countess of Argyll) had herself suffered after her husband's death; and for the reason, moreover, that she and her first husband's family had constantly stood up for and vindicated the royal authority during the late abominable usurpation under Cromwell.
Here again, however, the poverty of the country, or at least the exhaustion of the estates administered, interfered with the King's wish and the Countess's benefit; for the commissioners had only, in April 1684, paid her four thousand six hundred marks; and, although there was then remaining due to her four thousand four hundred more "of bygones preceding the year 1683," her petition for payment was only satisfied to the extent ot two thousand four hundred. The consequence of all this was, under the circumstances, much privation; and the token of its pressure within the first year after Argyll's forfeiture and flight is exhibited in a touching manner by the fact that in a fresh inventory of her movables at "Argyll's Lodging" in Stirling, drawn up in 1682, almost all her pretty things, her "womanly furniture," the graceful garniture of her "closet," or bower, had disappeared -- only eight, for example, of her porcelain pots remained to her -- the rest [p. 124] had been parted with, probably (as on the former occasion) for the supply of her husband's need in his difficulties and foreign exile, or for the support of his family in the destitution at home; at all events she and her household gods i were once more parted, -- while it is equally notewothy that, while sternly sacrificing her own belongings, she left the rich hangings, cabinets, and other articles of luxury intact, as being still in her opinion her husband's by right, and not to become her own till after his death -- holding, as she of course did, his forfeiture to be unjust, and looking forward to its rescission and his return home under happier auspices.
The only notice of the Countess Anna as appearing and acting in public during this period occurs in December 1683, on some letters of Argyll, written in cypher, having been intercepted and sent down to Scotland, implicating him in the Rye House plot. She was summoned the Privy Council to give the key to the cypher figures in which the letters in question were written, stated that for a long while past, ever since her husband's difference with the Macleans about the island of Mull, when his correspondence had been similarly intercepted, he been accustomed to write to her and his friends, even of his private affairs, in cypher, and to that cypher she had a key; "but upon the breaking out of the English plot, she, judging such a way of corresponding dangerous and liable to suspicion, she burnt it four months ago; and she cannot read nor expound them; but that all the letters she got" ("so," observes the annalist in a parenthesis, "she acknowledges corresponding, which in a wife from a traitor husband is in strict law still criminal") -- "contained nothing of the plot, but anent his own private affairs and his friends; it were a cruel law if a wife were obliged to detect and reveal these."
"The Junto," adds Fountainhall, "were not satisfied with her answers, as disingenuous to their thoughts." Her remonstrance seems, however, to have silenced them [p.. 125] for the time; but, having got a clue to the cypher subsequently, and those who supplied it "touching," as is said, "the Earl of Balcarres" as indicated by a particular "hieroglyph," they again sent for the Countess, who, finding "her own son thus touched," explained that the symbol in question "was only a relative particle in the key between her husband and her," -- which unluckily, through the supposed context, brought Lord Maitland, a son-in-law of Argyll's, into suspicion. The final result proved that the key in which the letters under suspicion had been written was a different one from that in which the Countess and her husband had corresponded, and had only been confided to three persons, of whom the Countess was not one; and thus she had no further trouble in the business.
Matters continued in this state of suspense and misery so far as the Countess Anna and her daughters were concerned -- till 1685, when they attained their climax. Charles II. was then dead, and the jealousy and dread with which James II.'s accession was viewed alike by the Presbyterians in Scotland and the Anglicans and Protestant dissenters in England, encouraged Argyll and the Duke of Monmouth to invade Britain in concert, in hopes of shaking off the yoke of a Roman Catholic sovereign. The enterprise, both in Scotland and England, turned out an utter failure. Monmouth was taken prisoner and executed; Argyll was equally unfortunate in the north. Neither of them was supported in the manner he had expected. "Argyll," says Fountainhall, "minding the former animosities and discontents in the country, thought to have found us all alike combustible tinder, that he had no more ado than to hold the match to us, and we should all blaze up in a rebellion; but the times are altered, and the people are scalded so severely with the former insurrections that they are frightened to venture on a new one."
Sailing round the north of Scotland, Argyll landed in his own country of Argyllshire, and was immediately joined by Sir Duncan Campbell of [p. 126] Auchinbreck with two hundred of his men, partly out of zeal for the Protestant cause, partly out of fidelity and affection to his chief, and as holding his lands by charter from the Argyll family on the obligation of acting as their lieutenant-General, -- a feudal duty which he afterwards pleaded, but unavailingly, in as much as the higher obligation of obedience to the sovereign controlled it. About two thousand men, chiefly of his clan and vassals, came in at Argyll's summons; and with this and other contingents he descended upon the Lowlands; but his wish to engage the royal troops, and, failing that, to march on Glasgow, being overruled, the army melted away; and at last, bidding the remnant disperse, and wholly unattended, he attempted to make his escape on a pony, disguised in the country dress and bonnet of a peasant.
Near Paisley, and in the dusk of the evening, he was noticed by two servants of Sir John Shaw of Greenock, who were driving a saddle-horse, and their beast being weary, they summoned him to surrender his own, as being fresher, for their purpose. Misconceiving their object, and supposing himself to be known, he resisted and fired at them; a drunken weaver, wakened, by the noise, came out of his cottage with a rusty broad-sword, and. crying that he must be one of Argyll's men, struck "him on the head so violently that he fell to the ground, betraying his quality by the exclamation, "Unfortunate Argyll!" uttered in his fall. He was taken prisoner to Glasgow, and the next day, the 20th June, to Edinburgh, where he was warded in the Castle.
On the news reaching the Privy Council, on the 15th of May, of Argyll having landed in arms, they at once despatched messengers to Stirling to arrest his wife, the Countess Anna, and Lady Sophia Lindsay; they were brought to Edinburgh and imprisoned there, the Countess in the Castle, and Lady Sophia in the Tolbooth, or common gaol. The activity and energy of both these ladies render objects, doubtless, of jealousy and suspicion, and might [p. 127] justify their separate confinement; but the incarceration of Lady Sophia among common felons was admittedly, according to Fountainhall, "because by her means Argyll had formerly escaped," and they feared that she and her mother, Lord Neill Campbell, Argyll's brother, and his son James, who were taken up at the same time, might join with him.
And a further indignity was offered them. When touching at the Orkneys, two of Argyll's gentlemen having been captured, he had sent a long-boat on shore and carried off seven gentlemen by way of reprisals, threatening that if any injury was done to his friends he would retaliate. The Countess and her fellow-prisoners were now informed that "as he used the Orkney prisoners, so should they be used," and there can be little doubt the Council would have kept their word had the former been ill treated. Charles Campbell, Argyll's second son, was in his father's company, and, although Lady Sophia was not as yet his wife, their engagement seems to have been known, and her anxieties must have been much augmented by the knowledge of his danger.
Lady Henrietta, in the meanwhile, had had the pain of parting with her husband when he left Auchinbreck to join his chief at the first news of his arrival. In a few days, having received sure intelligence that all was lost, she started forthwith for Edinburgh in the greatest anxiety about him, -- at Falkirk she came up with Argyll, who was thus far on his road to Edinburgh as a prisoner -- "a mournful sight," she says, "for one who bore him so great affection," -- but being in deep disguise, she dared not approach him. She kept up with him however in the rear, till her horse failed. The following morning (the 21st June) she reached Edinburgh, and in the course of that day was relieved by hearing of her husband having effected his escape. He had in fact been seen and recognised in the Canongate of Edinburgh at the very moment when Argyll was coming in, on the evening of the 20th; but the strict [p. 128] search made for him by the myrmidons of the government was unsuccessful; and he probably remained in close hiding for some days afterwards. "I was then," says Henrietta, "more enabled to make inquiry after my dear afflicted mother, who was harshly treated; and seeing her under so great affliction by the approaching suffering of such an endeared husband (and had no access to him" -- although both were prisoners in the same castle -- "till eight days after this fatal stroke), this did again renew a very mournful prospect of matters, which at this time had a very strange aspect, so that, if the Lord of life had not supported, we had sunk under the trouble."
Matters were now pursued to extremity with the recaptured prisoner. Argyll's recent invasion would have rendered him amenable to the pains of treason in their most aggravated form, had he not been previously legally dead in virtue of his original sentence, and thus (it was held) incapable of crime subsequently thereto. He was therefore ordered for execution on the old offence, the qualification of the Test oath of 1681.
"The day," proceeds Lady Henrietta, and I shall transcribe the passage verbatim
"the day being appointed for his suffering, she (the Countess Anna) "had access to him, and, though under deep distress, was encouraged by seeing the bounty and graciousness of the Lord to him, in enabling him, with great courage and patience, to undergo what he was to meet with; the Lord helping him to much fervency in supplication and nearness in pouring out his heart with enlargedness of affection, contrition, and resignation; which did strangely fortify and embolden him to maintain his integrity before his merciless enemies; and by this he was helped at times to great cheerfulness, and fortified under his trial and the testimony he was to give of his zeal and fervour to that righteous cause he was honoured to suffer for.
To complete this sad story -- the last melancholy episode [p. 130] in the life of the subject of this memoir -- I must have recourse to the History of the Sufferings of the Church of Scotland by Wodrow, -- the narratives may easily be combined, and I am unwilling to alter either. I will merely premise that, his death having been determined upon, "all the civility imaginable " was shown to Argyll by the government which condemned him to the block.
"The time came when the Earl must for ever leave the Castle and go out to his execution; and he was accompanied with several of his friends down the street to the Laigh Council-house, where he was ordered to be carried before bis execution. Here I find the Earl writing his last letter to his dear and excellent lady, which is so valuable a remain of this dying saint that I should wrong the reader not to insert it:
It was for favour to this son, John Campbell, that, according to Fountainhall, Argyll interceded earnestly during his rest at the Laigh Council-house, pleading that he had only accompanied him "without arms, not being able [p. 132] to fight through a debility in his hands." He "pled much at the same time for all his children, and for the people" who had been with him, his clansmen and as having been for the most part constrained to follow hit in his late rebellion.
After writing the preceding letters he proceeded to thel place of execution. On reaching " he midst of the scaffold," he "took leave of his friends, heartily embracing some of them in his arms, and taking others by the hand. He delivered some tokens to the Lord Maitland, to be given to his lady and children; then he stripped himself of his clothes and delivered them to his friends, and, being ready to go to the block, he desired the executioner might not be permitted to do his office till he gave the sign by his hand; and, falling down on his knees upon the stool, embraced the maiden (as the instrument of beheading is called) very pleasantly, and with great composure he said, "it was the sweetest maiden ever he kissed, it being a mean to finish his sin and misery, and his inlet to glory, for which he longed." And in that posture, having prayed a little space within himself, he uttered these words three times, "Lord Jesus, receive me into thy glory!" and then gave the sign by lifting up his hand, and the executioner did his work, and his head was separated from his body."
"Thus died," adds Wodrow, "this excellent and truly great and good man." "Thus fell," exclaims Fountainhall, "that tall and mighty cedar in our Lebanon, the last of an ancient and honourable family, who rose to their greatness in King Robert the Brace's time by their constant adherence to the king, being then Knights of Lochow, and continued doing good services to their king and country till this man's father proved disloyal; and ever since state policy required the humbling of it, being turned too formidable in the Highlands with their vast jurisdictions and regalities."
It is always interesting to observe the views taken by contemporaries, and to contrast them with those [p. 133] of critical historians -- not always indeed more just in recent times. To Wodrow Argyll was the impersonation and martyr of Protestantism and civil liberty -- to Fountainhall that of feudal power and individual independence. Both were right in the partial aspect they took of an event which made a great impression at the time on the public mind. The more sober and limited verdict of posterity has been well expressed in Sir Walter Scott's judgment, -- When this nobleman's death is considered as the consequence of a sentence passed against him for presuming to comment upon and explain an oath which was self-contradictory, it can only be termed a judicial murder."
It was noted at the moment that "about the time of Argyll's execution one of his grandchildren, a son of Lorn's, threw himself, being six or seven years old, over a window at Lethington, three storeys high, and was not the worse; from which miracle this inference was made that the said family and estate would yet again recover and overcome this sour blast." The gossips were right. The child lived to become the illustrious John Duke of Argyll and Greenwich, the
"Argyll, the state's whole thunder born to wield,
of the poet Pope and of the Heart of Midlothian.
I would note here with satisfaction that, after Argyll's death, and when his son Lord Lorn, afterwards the first Duke of Argyll, was in great difficulties in London through the forfeiture of the family, Colin, the "dear Earl of Balcarres" of Argyll's letter to Lady Sophia, interceded with James II. and obtained for him a pension of l800 a-year. Many years afterwards, when the rival star was in the ascendant, and Colin's head was in danger through his share in the rebellion of 1715 on behalf of the exiled Stuarts, John Duke of Argyll, Lord Lorn's son (the child mentioned above), to whose military skill the defeat of the Jacobites was mainly owing, was reminded of this good turn, and [p. 134] repaid it by arranging with Colin's and his own common friend the Duke of Marlborough that, on Colin's surrendering himself, he should be sent to Balcarres under charge of a single dragoon, without further liability. Colin resided there, thus guarded, till the indemnity; and the two men the grey-headed Cavalier and statesman and the young Hanoverian trooper -- thus strangely made companions, are remembered in local tradition to this day as being constantly seen skating together, a friendly pair, during the ensuing winter, on the Loch of Kilconquhar.
The Countess Anna was released from prison after her husband's execution, and immediately started for England with her daughter Henrietta, whose husband Sir Duncan had effected his escape to Dantzig; they spent three months at Windsor and London in attendance at the Court, "endeavouring," says Lady Henrietta, any favour that could be obtained for him, both as to liberty and maintenance, when sequestrate as to our fortune." Sir Duncan being a prime offender, nothing could be effected for him, and mother and daughter parted, the mother to return to Scotland, Lady Henrietta to cross to Holland, where her husband awaited her.
A few months afterwards she too returned to Scotland to fetch over her only child,
"and to look after our little concerns, that had then a very ruined-like aspect. The times being troublesome, this obliged me," says she, "to come in disguise to a dear friend Mr. Alexander Moncrieff his house, where I had much kind welcome and sympathy from some who are now in glory and others of them yet alive, whose sympathy and undeserved concern is desired to be borne in mind with much gratitude. But any uncertain abode I had was with my dear mother at Stirling, whose tender care and affection has been greatly evidenced to all hers, and particularly to such as desire to have more of the sense thereof than can be expressed as the bounden duty of such; and I cannot but reckon it among my greatest earthly blessings to have been so trusted, having early lost [p. 135] my dear father, eminent in his day, when insensible of this stroke; and when so young, not two years old, and deprived of his fatherly instruction, it may justly be ground of acknowledgment that the blessed Father of the fatherless, in whose care I was left, did preserve so tender-hearted a mother, whose worth and exemplariness in many respects may be witness against us if undutiful or unthankful to the great Giver of our mercies."
After her return to Holland, Sir Duncan and Lady Henrietta resided at Rotterdam till the Revolution -- in difficulties certainly, but cheered in their distress by the substantial kindness of Mary Princess of Orange and her husband. Sir Duncan accompanied William to England when he sailed on the eventful expedition which worked so marvellously on the destinies of Britain. Lady Henrietta followed them to the sea-side and witnessed the embarkation, but she often described afterwards, with gratitude for the Divine interposition, the check and reverse which the gallant fleet sustained in being driven back by a tremendous storm, and thus saved from encounter with the French squadron which lay in wait for them, while their boats and other matters necessary for effecting their landing in England had likewise been left behind by accident.
William's ship was the first to return to port, and Lady Henrietta had the relief of hearing from her husband's lips of his safety. They proceeded together by water to Helvoetsluys that night, but it was three or four days before they could get accommodation in a country village in the neighbourhood, so crowded was the place with Scots and English. They remained there till the final embarkation on the 1st November 1688, on the day after which, in Lady Henrietta's words, "we who were left behind journeyed to our respective homes, some of us on foot and some in waggons, with more cheerfulness and hope as to the matters in hand, so as the former pressure of mind and anxiety was strangely removed."
Everything in those days [p. 136] among the Presbyterians had a touch of superstition inhe in it, and although Lady Henrietta has not mentioned it herself, the garrulous Wodrow reports that after her band had "embarked with the Prince," on the first or false start which, as above mentioned, the storm defeated, "and after she came back, she sleeped but little that night, -- that in the morning after she fell to a slumber and had this markable dream, which she communicated to the Countess of Sutherland (Sunderland) and the Princess of Orange, who were much taken with it. She thought she was at the fleet, and they came safe to the coast of England, and at place where they landed there was a great brazen wall before them. She thought they resolved to land, and when they were endeavouring to get over it, it fell all down before them in Bibles. She could not but reflect afterwards, upon the success of the expedition, upon this as some emblem of that clear knowledge and the settlement of the gospel and the use-makers of the Scripture in opposition to Popery, that followed the happy Revolution. This person," add Wodrow, "is a lady of great piety and good sense, and no visionary."
Charles Campbell, the future husband of Lady Sophia Lindsay, was also one of the party of exiles who returnen from Holland in 1688. His adventures during the interval had been sufficiently remarkable. He had been sent on shore by his father to send the crois-tara, or fiery cross through the country and levy troops, but fell ill of a fever, and was seized in that state by the Marquis of Athol, who in virtue of his newly-acquired justiciary power, resolved hang him, ill as he was, at his father's gate of Inverary. The Privy Council, however, at the intercession of sevealr ladies who believed that he was married, as he was in reality, I believe, engaged, to Lady Sophia, stopped the execution, and ordered him to be carried prisoner into burgh. He was tried before the Justiciary Court on 21st of August 1685, forfeited on his own confession, [p. 137] sentenced to banishment, never to return on pain of death. His forfeiture, like that of Sir Duncan and the rest of Argyll's family and adherents, was rescinded at the Revolution; and his marriage with Lady Sophia followed shortly afterwards.
I may add one word more respecting Lady Henrietta and her husband. Sir Duncan's friends and vassals had defended his castle against the Marquis of Athol's men in 1685 for some time, and at length agreed with them to surrender it on condition that the furniture, papers, etc., should be preserved, and they allowed to convey them safe to Lady Henrietta.
"These terms," I quote Wodrow's memoranda, "they broke; and, instead of that, they killed some of Auchinbreck's relations, garrisoned the house, and rifled all in it. The commander of the party, after he had taken away and destroyed most of what was in the house, he cast his eyes upon the charter-chest, which was of a very peculiar make, and very curious. He broke it open, and turned out the papers on the chamber-floor where it stood, and sent away the chest for his own use. After all was thus disposed of, there were a party of soldiers lay in the house, I think eight or ten weeks.
[p. 138] The family of Auchinbreck was thus more fortunate than that of Lauderdale. When the Civil War broke out into intensity, their family papers were buried for security in the "close," cloister, or court, of Balcarres, and remained there till the Restoration, when, on being disinterred, they were found to have been almost entirely destroyed by damp.
The Countess Anna, victim of so many trials, survived these varied events for many years -- years, however, still of incomplete satisfaction, of sorrow and anxiety, the Revolution that restored her daughters and their husbands to her arms having deprived her of her son Earl Colin. Colin, as I mentioned, after the defeat of Killiecrankie and his release from imprisonment in Edinburgh Castle, retired to the Continent, where he passed eight years in exile -- rendered agreeable in some respects by his friendship and pleasant intercourse with the learned men of the day -- in France and Holland.
Eight years at the Countess Anna's time of life were a long period to look forward to, yet their parting in 1692 was not their last. Towards the end of 1700, being a great pedestrian, Colin walked from Utrecht to the Hague to solicit the interest of Carstares, Secretary of State for Scotland, and a member of a family belonging to the neighbourhood of Balcarres. Carstares represented his case to the king, William of Orange, Colin's early friend, as that of "a man whom he had once favoured, and who was now in so low a condition that he had footed it from Utrecht that morning to desire him to speak for him." "If that be the case," replied William, "let him go home; he has suffered enough." His mother had thus the happiness of embracing him again before her death.
During these eight years of hope deferred, the Countess Anna had ever the "salt-sea foam" of the German Ocean, before her eyes, separating her from the land of her son's exile. In 1689, on Earl Colin's imprisonment, followed his expatriation, she removed from Stirling and settled definitively at Balcarres, invested by her son with supreme [p. 139] direction over all his home affairs as "factrix," or administrator, in his absence.
She now once more devoted herself to her familiar task of redeeming incumbrances and paying off such burdens as still remained upon the estate of Balcarres; and this she did in many instances out of her own means; while at the same time, in 1692, she voluntarily restricted her jointure of seven thousand marks per annum from the Argyll estate to five thousand, "for the love and favour," as the document states, "which she has and bears to the said Earl of Argyll" and his family, and for the standing thereof," -- the Argyll estates being still at that time greatly embarrassed. Her economy had before this, in 1690, enabled her to pay from her own funds a sum of ten thousand marks, the dowry of her namesake Lady Anna Lindsay, Earl Colin's eldest daughter, when married to the Earl of Kellie; and she that same year renounced in Earl Colin's favour various sums of money in which he was personally indebted to her. She had some years previously, I do not know at what precise date, made over to Colin the pension of one thousand a year settled upon her and her two sons by Charles II.; and this Earl Colin had forfeited at the Revolution by "following an interest which" (I quote his own words) "in gratitude I thought I was bound to do," -- her means must therefore have been much less now than formerly. -- And thus she proceeded on her pilgrimage, as I have said, for these eight years more -- years of active usefulness, although of advancing age and infirmity, but bright still, and cheerful in spirit -- herself the centre of love to all around her.
Three years before her son's return in 1697, or shortly afterwards, the memory of her long-lost daughter Anna, who had been converted to Roman-Catholicism the year of the Restoration, was brought vividly back to the aged Countess by the publication of Richard Baxter's posthumous autobiography in that year. Baxter in his narrative of the event speaks of Lady Anna's ecclesiastical doubts as "pretended," [p. 140] -- he states that on a servant, being sent after her coach, and overtaking her in Lincoln's Inn Fields, after she had left her mother's house to return no more, she said that she merely went to see a friend, and would return, which he represents as a falsehood; and he further states that "she complained to the Queen-mother of her mother, as if she used her hardly for religion, which was false; in a word," says Baxter, "her mother told me that before she turned Papist she scarce ever heard a lie from her, and since then she could believe nothing that she said."
Baxter's memory may probably have deceived him, writing of the matter many years afterwards, and strong prejudice pervades every line he has written on the subject; but her daughter's character, in its simple earnestness and truth, and every slight incident of the sad affair of 1660, even to the day and hour of the consummation of her bereavement, was vividly present to the mother's recollection after the lapse of thirty-six years; and with a trembling and feeble hand she inscribed on the margin of the volume the following lines:
"I can say with truth I never in all my life did hear her lie, and what she said, if it was not true, it was by others suggested to her, as that she would come back on Wednesday; she believed she would, but they took her alas! from me, who never did see her more. The minister of Cupar," she adds, "Mr. John Makgill, did see her at Paris in the convent, -- said she was a knowing and virtuous person, and had retained the saving principles of ouf religion."
I do not know when "Sister Anna Maria" went to her final rest, -- it was during Baxter's lifetime; but I have little doubt that mother and daughter, parted thus untimely for ever in this world, continued praying each for the other, night and day, till that hour arrived; and that both looked forward with calm confidence to future reunion in that brighter world where all that is accidental and false falls off like scales from the enfranchised spirit, and truth alone remains manifest in the light of eternal day.
[p. 141] The volume which contains this touching vindication of a daughter's honesty belonged after the Countess's death to her daughter Henrietta, and was purchased at a stall in Glasgow many years ago by the father of the gifted author of the Horae Subsecivae more popularly known as the biographer of Rab and his Friends. It has subsequently been associated by the kind gift of the owner with the other ancestral relics of the Crawford and Balcarres family.
My task is now almost over. After Earl Colin's return in 1700 I find few notices of the Countess Anna, but, such as they are, they are in keeping with her character, loving, and kindly, and generous to the last. Her granddaughter Lady Elizabeth Lindsay, the "Lady Betty" of her brother Earl James's tender affection, so touchingly shown in their correspondence, was then a little maiden of about thirteen or fourteen, glancing, like a beam of light, (as is the wont, generation after generation, in such old houses,) with her bright smile and her waving hair, through the wainscoted chambers and across the sun-flecked corridors of Balcarres; and the last notices I have of the aged friend of the elder and younger Lauderdale, of the Rothes of 1640, and of Sir Robert Moray, are mixed up with accounts incurred, in June 1706, for a silk lutestring gown, bought by her as a present for the little Elizabeth, and with an additional provision for her of a thousand marks, dated the ist October that same year, in token of "the singular love, favour, and affection we have and bear to the said Lady Elizabeth, our grandchild." Her signature in June is uncertain and broken, as if the result of a stroke of palsy; but that of October is again firm and bold, as it had been originally.
After this latter date, however, her name disappears from our family papers, and, I presume, she died, probably from a second paralytic stroke, soon afterwards. Whenever the summons might come, she was ready for it; and, like Christiana's, her token was assuredly "an arrow sharpened by love." Her Mr. Greatheart, indeed, had crossed the river long before [p. 142] her. to the enjoyment of that "Saints' Rest" which is in English thought so imperishably connected with his name. But she had many friends to accompany her to the banks of Jordan. And it might have been said of her ending as is told of that elder and fair pilgrim of Bunyan's immortal Dream.
"Now the day drew on that Christiana must be gone. So the road was full of people to see her take her journey. But, behold, all the banks beyond the river were full of horses and chariots, which were come down from above to accompany her to the city gate. So she came forth, and entered the river, with a beckon of farewell to those that followed her to the water-side. The last words that she was heard to say were, 'I come, Lord, to be with thee, and to bless thee.' So her children and friends returned to their places, for that those that waited for Christiana had carried her out of their sight. So she went, and called, and entered in at the gate, with all the ceremonies of joy that her husband Christian had entered with before her. At her departure her children wept. But" others "played upon the well-tuned cymbals and harps for joy. So all departed to their respective places."
She was buried beside the husband of her youth, and her young son Earl Charles, in the Chapel of Balcarres, -- this at least is to be presumed, dying as she did at Balcarres, and no record of the interment appearing in the parish books. I infer therefore that the last rites were performed over her grave by her son Earl Colin's dear friend, the nonjuring Bishop of Glasgow, who was a constant resident at Balcarres. However that may be, one thing may be accepted as certain, that her end was peace. Few lots in life have been so chequered as hers, and few doubtless ever laid down their head on the pillow of death with more heartfelt satisfaction.
I need not attempt to analyse or appreciate a character which must have painted itself incidentally to the reader, [p. 143] line by line and touch by touch, in the foregoing pages. It may have been less than perfect in some respects (although I hardly feel justified in making even so limited an admission),but it is not my province, at least, to "peep and botanise" on a "mother's grave." A broader moral may however be safely drawn from the retrospect of the entire narrative, to wit, that the maxim "Whatever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might" is the only true rule for action, -- that labour, the common lot of humanity, is not without its profit under the sun, when undertaken in the cause of truth, justice, and charity, -- that wisdom is justified of her children even in this world, -- that steady adherence to principle and unflinching fulfilment of duty bring peace at the last, -- and that deep personal piety is not necessarily allied with bigotry and intolerance.
It is always interesting to trace the connection of those whom we revere in past ages with their living representatives, in whose veins the blood that inspired their life and passions still circulates. The Countess Anna's descendants are numerous in the three kingdoms. My father, James Earl of Crawford and Balcarres, her great-great-grandson, is her present lineal representative, and heir-of-line likewise, through her, of the ancient Mackenzies of Kintail, as representative of Colin Ruadh, first Earl of Seaforth -- a highly prized honour. Her daughter Sophia died without children, but Lady Henrietta had one son, Sir James Campbell of Auchinbreck, whose male line becoming extinct in the person of a later Sir James in 1812, her representation centered (if I mistake not) in the descendant of her granddaughter Anne, the wife of Donald Cameron, the gallant and celebrated Lochiel of 1745, great-greatgrandfather of the present chief of the Camerons. Sir Robert Anstruther, Bart, of Balcaskie, and John Anstruther Thomson, Esq. of Charlton, are representatives of our heroine's [p. 144] granddaughter Lady Anna Lindsay, Countess of Kellie.
The memory of Anna of Seaforth and of Lady Sophia in particular long lingered in our family recollection, and the charms and virtues of the latter had been commended by her nephew James Earl of Balcarres to the admiration on female members of the family still surviving in my boyhoods. In the presence of these ladies and of some other ancient friends of our house the imagination was wonderfully transported across the gulf of time to very distant days, to scenes familiar to us indeed still, but under their ancient aspect, and to personages usually viewed as beings of anothe! world through the mist of history. One of these friends, the late Bishop of Ross, Moray, and the Isles, the last survivor of the nonjuring Episcopal Clergy who had prayed for the exiled family of Stuart, was till very recently a living witness of tradition extending beyond the 'forty-five and the 'fifteen to Bothwell Brig, the Great Rebellion, the wars of Montrose and the Covenant, and the promulgation of the Service Book; while the relationship of the Lindsays of Fife and Angus to these events was constantly on his tongue.
Other members of the family circle, of the gentle sex, stood in such near kindred to the subject of this memoir,, her first husband, and her daughters, that it was impossible not to feel almost face to face with them in such a presence. The widow of the grandson of the Countess Anna, Earl James of Balcarres, survived her husband above fifty years, and one of Countess Anna's great-granddaughters, the late Elizabeth Lindsay, Countess of Hardwicke, died only eight years ago. The former survived till 1820, and the latter venerable lady was competent to speak in 1858 of her father having been "out" in the year 'fifteen, of Charles II. having given away the bride at her grandfather Earl Colin's wedding, and of the merry monarch standing godfather to that grandfather's brother, her greatuncle, the Countess Anna's eldest son, Earl Charles, in the February of the year which witnessed his memorable escape after his defeat by [p. 146] Cromwell at Worcester, 1651.
The map thus opens could even have been unrolled yet further in the such a chronicler of the past, and with equally approximation. Most of us of course have seen our grand-sires, many have seen those of a yet remoter ascending degree, -- there is nothing in this to excite surprise; and yet it would be strange to hear any one say complacently, as Lady Hardwicke might have done only the other day with reference to the first husband of the heroine of this biography, that one born in the reign of the son of Mary Queen of Scots, in the lifetime of Lord Bacon, one year after the execution of Sir Walter Raleigh, two years after the comparatively early death of Shakespeare, and when Milton was only ten years old, was her great-grandfather.
1 Properly "MacCailean Mor," i.e. "Son of the Great Colin."