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ranald. They lay that night in yr Lordship’s castle and the tenants' houses thereabout. I had 40 of them, under command of two officers. My wife entertained them, but my brother and I went to the bills. Next morning the rebells went back to Dornoch, they being alarmed that Lord Loudoun was to attack them. They took away all yf Lordship's riding horses; only my Lady Sutherland's Irish Galloway remains.
The Countess, who was in the castle, had to provide entertainment for Highlanders who, not content with making a stable of her dining-room and stealing the silver snuffers, held a dirk to her fair bosom. Its edge just grazed her skin, "a wound as if done by a small pin,' writes the factor, adding, and she is not the least the worse for it.' The house and farm were much the worse, and only the presence off the coast of Captain Faulkner's sloop of warr,' and of the 'Hound,' discouraged these masterful rebels. The same correspondent proceeds to warn the Earl that the • Lords Cromartie and Barisdale had gone, last Monday, to ‘ryse all Caithiness.' While of Sutherland he says, 'this ‘shyre, and y' lordship’s country, is ruined.' With such wrongs to revenge, there can be no doubt but that the outraged chieftain, householder, and husband saw the propriety of frightening the Low-country Mackenzies, and in preparing lists of all Mackenzies who had been rebells, and
who now have lands to lose. The estates of the rebellious clans were what were aimed at, because the land grew men, to say nothing of horses and provender, and of woollen stuffs for a national dress, which was now to be forbidden or disused. The measures of repression employed were stern enough in some places; but at last the worst was over in the glens, and it only remained for the law to vindicate itself on the rebel lords. The Earl of Sutherland got the following command :
'La Chancellor Hardwicke to William, Earl of Sutherland.
My LORD,-I am commanded by the House of Lords to acquaint yr Lordship that they have appointed William, Earl of Kilmarnock, to be tryed on Monday, twenty eight of July, next, at 9 o' the clock of the morning, upon a bill of indictment for high treason found agt him; and George, Earl of Cromartie, to be tryed on the same day, at 2 o'clock of the forenoon; and Arthur, Lord Balmerino, to be tryed on the same day, at eleven o'clock in the forenoon, upon the bill of indictment for high treason found agt him.' It was evident that these proceedings were not intended to be lengthy; they were all to be discussed in one and the same day, two hours being the space allotted for disposing
of a gallant chieftain's life and worldly gear, with just one
iiday hour unaccounted for, and probably reserved for the dinner of the judges and of the accused. The letter added : * and that Lonship's appearance and attendances at
the same trials is required, upon pain of incurring the * utmost displeasure of the House.'
To London accordingly the Earl wended his way. About the guilt of the Earl of Cromartie no one knew as much as be did, for when that nobleman ceased to head the troops in Sutherland, and when, by the orders of Prince Charles Edward, he passed into Caithness, his son, Lord McLeod, took the command. Owing to the depredations of these kerns, tbe very necessaries of life had disappeared from the neighbourhood of Danrobin. Deeply dyed, therefore, was the guilt of both father and son. Yet tradition avers that Lord Satherland interceded for Cromartie's life, and asked for it as the rewand of his own unexampled services to the Crown. Perhaps this tale was invented lately, when the houses of Satherland and Cromartie had become one by marriage; considering the sack of New Tarbat at one time by the king's troops, and the disorderly occupation of Dunrobin at another date by the rebels, it is, to say the least of it, un. likely that the Earl interfered with the course of justice. So contemporary papers corroborate the report that he did so, and proofs rather point to the good offices of the Prince of Wales in behalf of a peer whose beautiful wife had just fallen at the king's feet to crave her husband's life, for the sake of her unborn babe 'and of her large small (young) • family. The reprieve for Cromartie was followed by a pardon. His son, disinherited and attainted, had to seek service in a foreign regiment, but Lady Cromartie's brother-in-law, the Lord President, Robert Dundas of Arniston, contrived to make things easier for the rebel earl and for his family, whose estates were eventually restored to them.
Before the eighteenth century closed the most important changes had taken place in the Highlands. The clans had been disarmed, heritable jurisdictions were abolished, roads had opened up the country, and the great lords could only be returned to the Parliament of the United Kingdom in limited numbers, and after an election among their peers. No longer was the old slogan to resound which used to rally the clan to the Little Bridge over the Golspie Burn : • Mofheur Chatt de chearn na drochaite big gairm Chlann • Chattigh nam buadh' (the great man of the Catts to the
babe for Cromartattainted, 1 Cro
head of the little bridge calls the Clan Cattaich of the victories). It followed, therefore, that the occupations of the chiefs were either gone or must suffer a complete change. Swords must positively be turned to ploughshares as the old order fell into disuse and decay.
In the good old fighting days of 'spulzies' and forays, the women of this noble house had naturally played but a secondary part. They had had their duties and their anxieties, and in the family councils probably a voice; but it was a voice, and nothing more. In a more civilised epoch we must expect to have to make room for the ladies; or, rather, to see the ladies make a place for themselves. Accordingly, the roll of the earls of Sutherland closes with a woman of no common intelligence and power of will.
The seventeenth earl and his countess died within a few days of each other, and were committed on the same day to a double grave in Holyrood. They left behind them an infant daughter.
* Elizabeth, Countess of Sutherland, was born at Leven Lodge, Bruntsfield, Edinburgh, May, 1765. She was only a year and a half old when she succeeded to the titles and estates of Sutherland. The failure of male heirs to the body of the seventeenth earl, and the succession of the Countess to the peerages and representation of the Sutherland family, with the subsequent creation of her husband as Duke of Sutherland, were held to fulfill the traditional prediction of the Sagart Ruadh, or red friar of Durness, regarding the house :“When after John comes George, and after him comes John,
And after William comes William, after him comes none." In spite of this prophecy and of the precautions taken by tutors and curators, the rights of the infant Elizabeth were contested by the descendants of Sir Robert Gordon, though in truth no kinsfolk ought to have been as well acquainted with that family precedent which seemed to clinch the infant's rights, and to certify them of losing their cause célèbre, viz. the case of a former Countess Elizabeth, who in 15—had married their own ancestor, Adam Gordon. The petitions of the different claimants were referred by the king to the House of Lords, and the news of its decision in favour of the little orphan gave rise to popular demonstrations of joy, not only in the Highlands, but in many parts of Scotland. Secured in her rights and in the dignity of the premier earldom of Scotland, the education of the heiress was the next important concern. Her English studies were directed by Dr. Robertson, the historian, and the eyes of Sir Walter Scott were delighted by the youthful appearance of this heiress of Sutherland cantering alongside of the carriage of the old Lady Alra, the grandmother in whose charge she lived.
It was towards the close of 1782, and surely with no common emotion, that Countess Elizabeth passed the old gathering-place of the clan, and saw Dunrobin for the first time. When she sat down to dinner the iron portcullis was drawn across the gate, and this custom continued in force at the castle for half a century. In 1785 she married George Granville Leveson-Gower, Viscount Trentham, eldest son of Earl Gower, and afterwards created, in his own right, Duke of Sutherland. The letters of Countess Granville have shown us the English life of this couple. The notices are, on the whole, unfavourable to both husband and wife : the heiress is described as hard, the mari de sa femme as pompous.
We beg leave to say that Countess Elizabeth deserved more consideration at the writer's hands. Hers was one of the remarkable personalities of the day. No doubt her husband's tastes and habits were very magnificent, especially if contrasted with the narrow housekeeping of Lady Alva; but few women have possessed a shrewder judgment, and few with no pretensions to sentiment have filled a great station with more dignity. By a curious freak of fate the neighbouring estates of Seaforth and of Cromartie had also passed into the hands of heiresses, women who were equally jealous of the head of the Clan Cattaich, but women very dissimilar in character and position. The Honourable Maria Murray of Elibank, granddaughter and heiress of the attainted earl, and known in the Highlands as Mrs. Hay Mackenzie of Cromartie, was a narrow-minded and provincial woman. The other great neighbour, Mary Frederica, widow of Sir Samuel Hood, and recognised in Ross-shire as Mrs. Stewart Mackenzie of Seaforth, was a majestic and delightful personage. Quite as able and willing as the Sutherland chieftainess to browbeat a factor or manipulate an election, she could only admit Countess Elizabeth's superiority when she thought of the Embassy in Paris.
Those months—the crisis of the Revolution and of the flight to Varennes-were indeed momentous ones for an English Ambassadress. Lord Ronald Gower says that the letters which Countess Elizabeth wrote during Lord Gower's official residence in Paris were few and short. Prudence would naturally render them so. But the fact is to be regretted, the more so as Lord Ronald's 'Reminiscences,
and quotations from papers now in Stafford House, clash with the account of the flight to Varennes as given by one of the fugitives—by the Duchesse de Tourzel, governess to the royal children. Lord Ronald infers that clothes of the little Lord Trentham were for the Dauphin's use. In telling how the poor child was awakened, his governess adds :
'I had some time before had the precaution to have made for my Pauline (afterwards Duchesse Des Cars) a little linen frock and cap, so as to dress up Monseigneur the Dauphin as a little girl, if circumstances were to render such a transformation needful. We made use of them with success.' From this testimony we are inclined to think that the gifts of linen and of Lord Trentham's suits were not made by Lord and Lady Gower till after the hapless Dauphin and his still more miserable mother were prisoners in the Temple. Whenever the charitable gift did take place, it was never forgotten by the Dauphin's sister, for, in referring to it sixteen years later, she almost cried.'
Among the other curious souvenirs of Elizabeth Sutherland's life was the day in Rome when the English Ambassador arranged that she should catch a sight of Prince Charles Edward. It could not be more than a sight, for the heiress of Sutherland could never have been a persona grata to the man who was vanquished at Culloden; and Charles Edward, like many members of his family, had a peculiar dislike to being seen or stared at by passers-by. The clever young Scottish chieftainess admitted that she took a good look at him. What she saw was a man, old, sad and forgotten, who ate at the table of his brother, the Cardinal; a man whose very wife was not faithful to him, and whom English Ministers hardly calumniated when they styled him a drunkard. Elizabeth was wont to describe his slow step as he left the palace of Cardinal de Bernis, his heavy gait, and his face, which bore witness to the habits which soddened and saddened the last years of a prince whose name had once raised hundreds of Highlanders to arms, and whose soldiery had slept in her grandfather's rooms at Dunrobin.
One of the points which Lady Granville enlarged upon when she discussed Lord Gower and his wife was their preoccupation about business. They were always busy, she complains, with their Scotch agents. In truth, there was
* Mémoires de Madame la Duchesse de Tourzel, 1789-95. Publiés par le Duc Des Cars, vol. i. p. 305. Paris, 1883.