The Autobiography of Anne Halkett

[Amid Royalist politicking and plans, Sophia Moray dies so Anne Murray must move to separate lodgings; now Bampfield heads further north, pp. 80 - 84]

[p. 80] Some time affter this I was advised to writte to C. B. [Colonel Bampfield] to come to Edb [Edinburgh]; which hee did as soone as was posible affter the receit of my letter, and had a lodging provided for him and his man in a private howse neere my Lord Tweedale's howse, where hee might come withoutt beeing seene upon the street.

Every night in the close of the evening hee came in, and that was the time apointed where those persons mett with him who were contriving some meanes to asert there loyalty,1 and free there country from continuing inslaved. Those who most frequently mett was E. Dunferrneline [Charles Seton, 2nd Earl of Dunfermline], Lord Belcarese [Alexander Lindsay, 1st Lord Balcarres], Sir James H. [Halkett] and Sir George Mackery [Mackenzie] of Tarbott, who Sir R. [Robert] Moray had a great opinion of (though hee was then very young),2 and brought him into there caball as one whose interest and parts might make him very usefull to there designes.3 Affter they had formed itt in the most probable way to be succesfull, they found itt nesesary to bee armed with the King's authority for what they did, and therfore sentt to aquaint his Majestie with what they intended, and to desire commission for severall persons nominate, and some blancke for such as might afterwards bee found fitt for the imploymentt.

A few days affter these letters were sentt (the materiall part whereof was writt in white inck, and what was writt in ordinary incke was only to convey the other withoutt suspittion), Sir G. Makery of Tarbott [George Mackenzie of Tarbat], came in to dinner to Sir R. M. [Robert Moray] and told him hee had beene in a stationer's shop, and, taking up a booke accidentally, the first thing hee saw in itt was derection to writt withoutt beeing discovered, and there found the same way which they had beene making use of in there adrese to the King, which putt them in some desorder; butt Sir R. M. [Robert Moray] said the only hopes hee had was that if that booke came into the English hands, they would nott beleeve any thing so common as to bee in print would be made use of in any busynese of consequence; butt nott long affter they receaved an accountt of there letters comming safe to his Majestie's hands, and a full complying with there desire in sending the commissions with a safe hand to the North of Scottland, where those persons were to attend there arrivall.4

In the meane time Sir G. M. [George Mackenzie] was preparing [p. 81] for his journy North, and C. B. [Colonel Bampfield] was to goe with him under another name, for hee needed noe other disguise, beeing knowne to none in the kingdome butt those persons I have mentioned, who was too much his friends and mine to have done him any prejudice. Amongst all his aquaintance none proffest more freindship to him then Sir James H. [Halkett] and made itt good in all circumstances wherein hee could make itt apeare, giving him severall presentts usefull for the imploymentt hee was going aboutt, and a fine horse durable for service.

C. B. [Colonel Bampfield] understood very well upon what accountt itt was that he receaved these testimonys of kindness, and did regrett the misfortune of nott having itt in his power to obleige him, for hee knew noe thing could doe itt more than his resigning his interest in mee, and that was nott posible for him to doe, though hee would offten tell mee if any thing should arive to deprive him of mee, hee thought in gratitude I was obleiged to marry Sir J. H. [James Halkett]. I could nott butt owne a very great sence of his civilitys, butt nothing could bee more disagreeable to mee then speaking either in jest or earnest of my marrying him, for nothing butt the death of C. B. [Colonel Bampfield] could make mee ever thinke of another (for what affter fell outt I had noe beleefe of, and therfore could nott aprehend itt as a reason for my change).5

The day beeing come apointed for Sir G. M. [George Mackenzie] and C. B. [Colonel Bampfield's] departure, some interuption interveened, and therfore itt was delayed for a time.

Upon Christmas day [1652]6 an English woman who had beene a servantt to my Lady Belcarese (Sir Robert Moray's lady's mother), according to the English coustome, had prepared (in her owne house where shee kept a change) better fare then ordinary, and amongst the rest a dish of minced pies, of which when wee were att dinner shee brought over two, and said one shee intended for Sir Ro. [Robert] and his lady [Sophia], and the other for Sir J. H. [James Halkett] (who was then there) and mee. All the table smiled att what shee said, butt I looked very gravely upon itt, and rather wished itt with him that had more interest in mee.

All the company beeing in a better humour, then ordinary, wee were all extreamely mery.

A woman beeing in the house called Jane Hambleton, who they say had the Second Sight, observing all very well [p. 82] pleased, said to my Lady M's [Sophia Moray's] woman and mine, "There is a great deale of mirth in this howse today, butt before this day eight days there will bee as much sadnese;" which too truly fell outt, for within 3 or 4 days my Lady Moray tooke her paines, butt they all struck up to her hart, and all meanes beeing unsuccesfull shee died, with as much regrett as any person could have. Though her patience was as great as was imaginable for any to have upon the racke, and her love to her husband great as her other qualifications were, yett shee earnestly desired death many howres before itt came; and Sir R. [Robert] satte constantly upon her bedside feeling her pulce, and exhorting her cheerefully to indure those momentts of paine which would soone bee changed to everlasting pleasure. And though noe doupt her death was the greatest misfortune could arive to him, yett hee did speake so excellently to her as did exceed by farre what the best ministers said who frequently came to her; and was so composed both att and affter her death, that neither action nor word could discover in him the least of passion. Hee imediately tooke care for transporting her body to Belcarese [Balcarres],7 to bee bueried there with her child, which shee caried with her to her grave, beeing never seperated.

This was a sad lose to mee, for, besides the advantage I had in her obleiging converse, I had the assistance of Sir R. [Robert's] advise in any deficulty in my busynese, and hee wentt offtimes to consultations with mee, and imployed his interest as farre as itt could bee use full to mee. And when hee wentt away, hee very earnestly recomended mee and my concernes to his cousin Sir J. [James] Halkett, who was nott ill pleased with the imploymentt. This for some time putt a stop to Sir G. M. [George Mackenzie] going North, because Sir R. [Robert] had some thoughts of going with him; which hee either did, or followed soone affter.

Upon Monday 7. of February, 1652-3, Sir G. M. [George Mackenzie] and C. B. [Colonel Bampfield] began there journy from Ed [Edinburgh]. The night before the Earl of Dunfermeline [Charles Seton, 2nd Earl of Dunfermline] supt with him [Joseph Bampfield] and mee att my chamber, and then ordered the way of keeping corespondence, and what advise hee thought fitt for the action hee was going aboutt.

Itt is nott to bee imagined butt my trouble was great to part with him, considering the hazards hee [p. 83] was exposing himselfe to, butt I must confese itt was increased by reflecting upon what Jane Hambleton had severall times said to Crew: that shee had observed a gentleman come privately to my chamber, and sayd shee knew that I and severalls looked upon him as one I intended to marry, butt hee should never bee my husband. And remembring how truly butt sadly fell outt what shee had foretold before, made mee the more aprehencive of this seperation, though I was one that never allowed my selfe to inquire or beleeve those that pretended to know future eventts.

I had of late beene so used to good company, that I was the more sencible now of the wantt of itt; and finding itt would bee more for my advantage to bee in some private howse, where my meatt might be dresed, then to have itt from the cookes, or keepe one for that use, therefore I resolved to take another lodging ; and having returned the furniture I borrowed, with my humble thanks for there use and the use of the howse, I tooke two roomes in Mr. Hew Walace howse in the foot of Blacke-fryar Wind.8

Butt one remarkeable passage I mett with before I left the Earle of Tweedale's howse, which I cannott butt mention. One evening, towards the close of daylight, there came a tall proper man into the roome where I was, and desired hee might speake to mee. I went towards him, and hee told mee hee was one who had nott beene used to seeke, butt now was reduced to that nesesity that hee was forced to aske my charity to keep him from starving. His lookes were so suitable to his words, that I could nott butt compasionate his condittion, and regrett my own; for all I had was butt one poore shilling, nor knew I where to borrow two pence. I thought to give him all I had might apeare vanity if any one should know itt, and to give him lese could nott suply his wantt, and therfore I resolved to give itt him all, and refferred my selfe to His hands for whom I did itt (concluding that perhaps some would lend mee that would nott give him); and I doupted nott butt God would provide for mee. So I gave him the shilling, which raised so great a joy in him that I could nott butt bee highly pleased to bee the instrumentt [p. 84] of that which brought such praises to the God of Mercy; who left mee nott withoutt a recompence, for the next morning, before I was ready, the Earle of Roxborough [Sir William Ker, originally Drummond] came to my chamber, who was newly come from London, and brought mee a very kind letter from my sister [Elizabeth, Lady Newton], and twenty pound sterling for a testimony of her affection, which I receaved as a reward for my last night's charity.9

[1 That Bampfield is accepted into this cabal speaks well of the trust these powerful men have in him. In Loftis's edition of the Anne's Memoirs, he repeats Clarendon's point of view and argues these men were wrong to trust Bampfield; he says Anne's renewed trust in Bampfield also comes from the misplaced confidence and friendship of these men. Loftis has since changed his mind. See Loftis's "biographical supplement" to Bampfield's Apology, 238-52. EM]

[2 Sir George Mackenzie (1630-1714) of Tarbat; an active "Royalist intriguer," he "took part in the campaigns of Lord Balcarres and Glencairn; he felt to the continent (1654) and remained there until after the Restortion" (Loftis, Memoirs, 256n). For the Glencairn uprising, Balcarres's failure, and the climate and doings Anne Murray was pursuing her fate in, see Dow, Cromwellian Scotland, 74-114. EM]

[3 We can see how daring is Anne Murray, how she is party to "treasonable" intrigues at the highest level. Simon Couper in the 1701 Life, p. 26, writes that Lord Tweedale's house in Edinburgh, where Moray, his wife and Anne were living together "was the place of rendez-vous to the best and most Loyal of the Kingdom, where were held frequent meetings of such who were contriving means to assert their Loyalty, and free their Country." See also Loftis, Memoirs, 203n. This all occurred around late summer/fall 1652. EM]

[4 In his biographical supplement, Loftis says "subsequent events reveal that Bampfield was not among the persons named for whom the king's commission was requested," Bampfield's Apology, 161 Bampfield was in danger because the king had not named him; he was clearly still outcast and could be betrayed by anyone with impunity. EM]

[5 It is reasonable to suppose Anne Murray and Joseph Bampfield have been lovers again, this time clandestinely (see just below: "Jane Hambleton had severall times said to Crew: that shee had observed a gentleman come privately to my chamber, and sayd shee knew that I and severalls looked upon him as one I intended to marry, butt hee should never bee my husband"). Halkett has made his desire to replace Bampfield and intentions to marry Anne so clear Bampfield says if he (Bampfield) should die, Anne should marry Halkett, and she won't listen to such things as jests or earnest. EM]

[6 Nichols added the 1652 in brackets; it coheres with the date Anne cites (just below, p. 88) for her and Bampfield's parting. EM]

[7 Balcarres House, the seat of her brother, Alexander Lindsay, 1st Earl of Balcarres. Sophia Moray's death deprives Anne of a conventionally-acceptable reason to be living with Robert Moray. Robert Moray was also an active conspirator and shortly after Bampfield and Mackenzie left for the Highlands, Moray followed them (Bampfield's Apology, 167). Robertson remarks that Moray "maintained a somewhat unnatural calm" (Life of Moray, 80. EM]

[8 According to Loftis, Memoirs, 204n, "a then aristocratic street near the Netherbow, leading southward from the thoroughfare of which the Netherbow was a part" (Loftis 204n). For a description of the area in the medieval period and the early to mid-17th century, see George Scott-Moncrieff, Edinburgh (London: Batsford, 1947), 33-34 (it was low and in danger of winds and floods), 40-41, and some of the harsh cruelties and destruction of buildings (as well as the theatre) all the conflicts of the period led to, 48-57. EM]

[9 Anne had visited Floors, home of the fervent Royalist, Lady Isabel Ker (born Douglas), Countess of Roxburghe, the 3rd wife and widow of Robert Ker, 1st Earl of Roxburghe on her way to London. See Bampfield's interception of Anne The second Earl is Sir William Ker (originally Drummond) who succeeded his grandfather; Lady Isabel is his grandfather's widow. This Earl was an active Royalist, but the connection is familial. Lady Isabel was third wife to Robert Ker, 1st Earl of Roxburghe; Ker's first wife, Jean Ker (born Drummond) had been governess to the children of Charles I; Anne Murray's mother, Jane Drummond had replaced Jean Ker when she went with the royal children to Holland. We can note the name Drummond, Anne's mother's birth or maiden name. See Childhood and Adolescence. Anne's very disclaimers show how anxious she is living alone, having lost her "natural" place as Lady Sophia Moray's companion, and her husband or bethrothed now heading back into the dangers of England. She is broke too. EM]

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