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him with a most gracious reception; and Prince George, her husband, complimented him by declaring that he was fit to represent the queen at any court in Europe. After a short stay in Eng-mained for a period of four years at
on one side the arms of Poland, and, on the other, a naked figure brandishing a drawn sword, with the legend, "Vis tandem inequalis." The earl re
land, during which he was re-elected a representative peer of Scotland, he returned to the seat of war with several young noblemen and gentlemen, who accompanied him as volunteers. He assisted at the siege of Lille; and at the head of only a hundred men, attacked and carried Haut-pont, the garrison of which amounted to double the number of his own force. After acquiring further distinction as a soldier, at Ghent and Bruges, he was raised, on the 1st of January, 1709, to the rank of majorgeneral in the army.
Warsaw, during which he lived so profusely, that, on being suddenly recalled, he was unable to discharge his debts, although they amounted only to £1,500; and his plate and carriages would have been publicly sold to defray them, had not a lieutenant in his regiment advanced him the necessary
He now revisited England, but soon afterwards joined the allies again, and assisted at the siege of Tournay and the battle of Mons. During the attack on Lanière, he mounted the breach at the head of only ten followers, and captured a fort without the loss of one of them. At the close of the campaign, he received the thanks of both houses of parliament; was made a lieutenant-general; and despatched, as envoy extraordinary, to Augustus, King of Poland. He made a most splendid entry into Warsaw, which, however, he soon afterwards quitted to join the Duke of Marlborough, before Douay; where he was invested with the order of the Thistle, by a special commission, and was directed to return, as plenipotentiary of her Britannic majesty, to the court of Warsaw.
The Polish monarch, who was absurdly vain of his bodily strength, one day, in a pretended fit of abstraction, at the earl's table, doubled up a silver plate by mere manual exertion; and, at another time, doubtless with a view to astonish Lord Stair, broke a sword blade from its handle, by some peculiar mode of flourishing it; observing, at the same time, that he had never met with a weapon which he could not use in a similar manner. The earl, however, produced a Highland broadsword, which resisted the king's utmost efforts. "The Scotch sword has defied me," said his majesty; "and, therefore, I will strike a medal in honour of its master." Accordingly, he shortly afterwards presented a medal to Lord Stair, bearing
The Tories having now succeeded to office, Lord Stair was stripped of all his employments, and lived in retirement, until the return of the Whigs to power, on the accession of George the First, when he was appointed a lord of the bedchamber, member of the privycouncil, and commander-in-chief of the forces in Scotland. In the following year, 1715, he was again elected one of the Scotch representative peers, and appointed ambassador to the French king, with instructions "to behave as he should see fit." After peremptorily insisting on the demolition of the harbour of Dunkirk, pursuant to the treaty of Utrecht, he devoted his whole attention to the discovery of the Pretender's political intrigues. For this purpose, he frequented the coffeehouses in disguise, and, mixing with the Jacobites, occasionally obtained from them information of importance. He also dexterously extracted from the ambassadors of other powers their views with regard to the intentions of the exiled prince; and, by courteously losing his money to some of the principal ladies about the court, learnt from one of them, the Duchess de Villars, that another attempt would, in a short time, be made "in favour of the poor fugitive." Following up his success, he courted the intimacy of the princes of the blood, to whom he made handsome presents, and, at length, engaged in his pay one of the lords of the council, by whose treachery he obtained immediate intelligence of all that passed in the French cabinet. After the death of Louis, he continued the same crafty measures, and astonished the Duke of Orleans, who was then regent, with the accurate information he possessed of all the
proceedings meditated by the court of Versailles in support of the Pretender; who, by the earl's firmness and diplo matic tact, was, at length, compelled to quit France.
Shortly afterwards, suspecting that Count Gillenburgh had, with the regent's knowledge, negotiated an arrangement between the Jacobites and two of the northern courts, by which the former had agreed to advance large sum of money to assist the latter in an intended attempt on behalf of the Chevalier, Lord Stair endeavoured to engage the affections of the Countess Gillenburgh, in order to obtain from her the particulars of the transaction in which her husband was engaged. Finding her proof against his gallantry, he next attempted his old measure of ingratiating himself into her confidence by losing money to her at cards. This scheme also proving abortive, he contrived to become her partner at whist, and, apparently by accident, involved her in a series of losses, which he paid as the game proceeded, so that, when the party broke up, she was several thousands in debt to him. Her husband being avaricious, though rich, she was glad to satisfy the earl's pecuniary claims on her honour, by imparting to him the secret he so ardently desired, and of which he was no sooner in possession, than he ordered a chaise, and proceeded, without a single attendant, to Versailles.
The French chancellor, meeting him on the road, offered him his carriage; which, however, the earl declined, observing that he wanted no equipage when diverting himself as Lord Stair. On reaching the palace, he was informed that a visit from the British ambassador had not been expected. "But Lord Stair," replied he, " is not, of course, debarred." He then hurried on to the apartment of the regent; who, observing his approach, retired to an inner room; whither, however, the earl boldly followed him, and on entering his presence, roundly accused him of having taken a part in the Jacobites' intrigues with the northern courts. Finding the earl acquainted with the whole transaction, the regent endeavoured to make a merit of exposing the overtures which, he said, had been made to him on the subject, adding,
"Nothing, though ever so secretly transacted, can be hid from so prying an ambassador; and, through poverty, one half of the French nation have become spies on the other."
The earl was soon afterwards recalled, but retained his seat in the privy-council, and, shortly after the accession of George the Second, was appointed to the post of lord high admiral of Scotland; from which he was dismissed, in 1733, for opposing Walpole's excise scheme. The queen, it is said, on this occasion, asked him why he had thwarted the minister's views. "I wished your royal family better," replied the earl," than to support such a project." He continued in active opposition to government until the summer of the following year, when, after protesting against the minister's interference at elections, he retired to his estate in Scotland, and occupied himself wholly in agricultural pursuits.
Emerging from his seclusion, in 1741, when his party returned to power, he was appointed, early in the following year, field-marshal of the forces, and ambassador extraordinary to the States General. While abroad, he succeeded in detaching Austria and Spain from the proposed league with France against England. He subsequently commanded the army destined to support the Queen of Hungary; and, on one occasion, while reconnoitring the position occupied by Marshal Noailles, received a shot in his hat. George the Second, at length, joined the British troops, and the battle of Dettingen was soon afterwards fought, in which the French were completely defeated. During the contest, the regiment of Blues, which he had despatched to support the right wing, having been repulsed by the French artillery, Lord Stair rode after them, and conducted them to a second attack, in which, being rather shortsighted, he was on the brink of dashing forward alone into the midst of the enemy, when a trooper seized the bridle of his horse, and, by pointing out his error, saved him from certain capture or death.
The king having opposed his plan of future operations against the enemy, and brought forward another, of which
Stair did not approve, a coolness ensued between them; and the earl, at length, asked permission "to return to his plough;" which being granted, he hastened back to England, and immediately attached himself to the party of the heir-apparent; but, on the breaking out of the rebellion in Scotland, he zealously tendered his services to government; and, it is said, materially assisted the Duke of Cumberland, with his advice, in the campaign which ended at Culloden. After having, for some time, commanded the forces in the south of Britain, and obtained his election again as one of the Scotch representative peers, he terminated his public career, by warmly and eloquently protesting against the unmerciful course adopted by government against the unfortunate adherents of the Pretender. His death took place on the 7th of May, 1747, and his remains were interred in the family vault at Kirklistown, "with very little pomp," it is said, "but universal mourning."
In person, Lord Stair was tall, graceful, and majestic; he had blue eyes, fair hair, and handsome features. The expression of his countenance was prepossessing, and his manners were exceedingly agreeable. He is described as having been the most perfect gentleman in Europe. The French king once purposely subjected his consummate good-breeding to a severe ordeal: being invited to accompany his majesty on an excursion, the monarch desired him to enter the royal carriage first, and Stair, without a moment's hesitation, silently obeyed. "The world is right," observed his majesty, "in the character it gives Lord Stair for being pre-eminently polite; any other man would have troubled me with ceremony and excuses."
On proper occasions, the earl supported his dignity as an ambassador with an unexampled nicety of etiquette. One day, the Duke of Orleans, while regent, arriving at his door in a state carriage, and with a splendid retinue, the earl advanced to meet him; but, perceiving that the duke remained with one foot on the ground, and the other on the lower step of the coach, he abruptly drew back, and inquired if the regent had come to visit the British
ambassador, or to see Lord Stair. the latter," continued he, "I shall deem it an honour to receive him at the door of his carriage: but, if the former, I should think myself unworthy of the trust reposed in me by my sovereign, if I went another step further than I have done." On receiving this message, the duke re-entered his carriage; and, after stating that he did not wish to see the earl again at court, indignantly drove off. Lord Stair, however, afterwards obtained such influence over him, that, on being asked how he intended to act with regard to the troubles in the north, the regent replied, "Just as the British ambassador pleases."
At a diplomatic dinner party, while Lord Stair was in Holland, De Ville, the French plenipotentiary, a man of vivacity, and fond of punning, proposed, as a toast, in allusion to the device and motto of Louis the Fifteenth, "The rising sun, my master!" Baron Reisbach, ambassador from the empress queen, next drank to his royal mistress, as "the moon ;" and lastly, Lord Stair quaffed a bumper to William the Third, by the title of Joshua, the son of Nun, who made both the sun and moon stand still."
Either from commiseration, or natural politeness, he treated the exiled Jacobites, while he resided in France, with great courtesy; and frequently, on meeting the coach of the queen of James the Second, in the streets, he alighted from his own, and remained on foot until that of the royal exile had passed. On one occasion, he dismissed a young officer, who was attached to the embassy, and even caused him to be deprived of his commission, for reviling her name, and grossly abusing her family. "She was once Queen of England," said the earl, "and certainly ought to be spoken of with decency, in a country where she is so nearly related to the reigning monarch."
In private life, his conduct appears to have been deserving of considerable praise. He was a constant attendant on public worship, and though warmly attached to presbyterian doctrines, invariably treated the religious opinions of others with respect. His veracity was unimpeachable; his demeanour
condescending; and his generosity at least equal to his means. It is related of him, that having been visited, while suffering under some severe complaint, at his residence, by a physician from Edinburgh, whose morbid delicacy would, as he knew, prevent him from accepting a fee in the usual manner, the earl requested him to carry a note to a gentleman at Edinburgh; the contents of which, as the physician, on presenting it, learnt, to his astonishment, were as follows:-"Sir, pay the bearer thirty guineas, which is but a small compliment for his care of me.-STAIR."
As a commander and a diplomatist, he was certainly one of the greatest men of his age. To extraordinary valour, and a high degree of skill in the field, he added such acuteness, vigilance, and political wisdom, in the cabinet, as few men, either in ancient or modern times, can justly be said to have possessed. His zeal was quite equal to his ability: he was not only lavish of his official emoluments, but profuse in the expenditure of his private income for the benefit of his country. With him, the end sanctified the means; and he was, consequently, far from fastidious as to the expedients which he adopted, for obtaining intelligence of such projects as were, from time to time, meditated, by open or
secret enemies to the British government. He contrived to become acquainted with every intrigue of the French court, which, on many occasions, he completely awed by his mysterious knowledge of its most wary proceedings; and, by means of his emissaries, kept so constant a watch on the motions of the Pretender, that he was accused, it need scarcely be said, most unjustly, of an intention to assassinate him. Great Britain owed much to his exertions as a general; but more to his conduct as a negotiator: on the gratitude of the house of Brunswick, he had the strongest possible claim; for it may safely be said, that his dignified firmness, his unwearied watchfulness, his political forecast, and intense attachment to a protestant succession, tended materially to establish the new monarch on the throne to which he had been elevated. He bore a leading share in effecting several important and advantageous treaties; counteracted, in many respects, the designs of Bolingbroke, Ormond, and others of the exiled Jacobites; either quashed or neutralized the attempts of foreign courts to assist the Chevalier; and though opposed to nearly all the most crafty politicians of the day, rarely, if ever, suffered a diplomatic discomfiture.
JOHN CAMPBELL, DUKE OF ARGYLE
JOHN CAMPBELL, the Duke of Argyle commemorated by the author of Waverley, grandson of Archibald, Marquess of Argyle, who was beheaded for abetting Monmouth's rebellion, and son of the first Duke of Argyle, who took an active part in promoting the revolution, was born on the 10th of October, 1678. It is reported, that at the very hour of the day on which his grandfather was executed, he fell out of a three-pair of stairs window, without being hurt. At the age of fifteen he had made considerable progress in classical learning, and in some branches of philosophy; and, being encouraged by his father in the bias he evinced
towards a military life, he soon afterwards entered the army. In 1694, he obtained the command of a regiment of foot, and served on the continent with much courage and ability, under William the Third. In 1703, he succeeded to his father's honours and estate, and was soon after sworn in of the privy-council, appointed captain of the Scotch horse-guards, and one of the extraordinary lords of session. He was also made a knight of the Thistle, on the revival of that order in 1704.
powerful influence in preparing the way for the union between the two kingdoms. On his return to England he was created an English peer, by the titles of Baron of Chatham and Earl of Greenwich. In the following year, he acted as brigadier-general, at the battle of Ramillies, and distinguished himself by his gallant and able conduct at the siege of Ostend, and the attack on Menin. Returning soon afterwards to Scotland, although he declined acting as one of the commissioners for settling the union, he rendered himself unpopular among his own countrymen by his strong advocacy of that obnoxious
In 1708, he led the British infantry at Oudenarde, and, with unyielding courage, maintained his post against superior numbers. He also served at the sieges of Lille, Ghent, and Tournay; and, at the battle of Malplaquet, being then a lieutenant-general, performed extraordinary feats of valour, and escaped unwounded, although several musket balls penetrated his clothes, hat, and perriwig. At the siege of Mons he joined an attacking corps, at the moment it was shrinking from the onset; and rushing, open-breasted among the men, exclaimed, "You see, brothers, I have no concealed armour; I am equally exposed with you: I require none to go where I shall refuse to venture!" This brief, but spirited appeal, so animated the soldiers, that the assault was successful.
On the trial of Sacheverell, he pronounced that political divine guilty, but voted against the ministry, on the subsequent motions relative to his suspension and disqualification. In 1710, he was installed a knight of the Garter; and, during the parliamentary debates relative to the war in Spain, joined in the factious condemnation, by the Tories, of the preceding Whig ministry. In 1711, he was appointed ambassador to Charles of Spain, and commander-in-❘ chief of the British forces in that kingdom. On his arrival at Barcelona, he found affairs at the lowest ebb; and, having in vain solicited supplies from home, was compelled to raise money on his own credit, towards the subsistence of the troops. After suffering for some time from a violent fever, he quitted Spain, having, from want of
opportunity, accomplished no prise worthy of notice; and, on his way to England, touched at Minorca, of which he had been made governor.
In 1712, the queen appointed him general and commander-in-chief of all the land forces in Scotland, and captain of the foot company in Edinburgh castle. He soon, however, opposed the ministry with undisguised violence: voting against the bill by which a general resumption of lands, granted since the revolution, was intended to be made; maintaining that the protestant succession was in danger from the then administration; and disapproving of the peace of Utrecht. He also remonstrated with the queen on the proposed extension of the malt tax to Scotland, and supported the motion for leave to bring in a bill for the dissolution of the union. Being deprived of all his employments under the crown, in consequence of this conduct, he continued in opposition until the close of the reign. When Queen Anne was at the point of death, he attended the privy-council, without a summons, and, by his sudden and prompt appearance, added strength, at a doubtful moment, to the interests of the house of Hanover. On her majesty's demise, he was nominated one of the lords justices of the kingdom, until the arrival of George the First; on whose accession, he was not only restored to his former offices, but, in addition, became attached to the household of the Prince of Wales.
Having assumed the command of the royal forces in Scotland, during the rebellion in 1715, he encountered the insurgents, commanded by the Earl of Mar, at Dumblaine. His personal courage, on this occasion, animated his troops to great efforts, and, although he could not be said to have gained a victory, the rebels, with numbers three times greater than his own, sustained a check, which, in their situation, was equivalent to a defeat. Argyle, however, was suspected to be acting a very lukewarm part, by ministers; who, consequently, despatched General Cadogan to supersede him in the chief command.
In April, 1716, he supported the bill for septennial parliaments; but, soon after, resigned all his places, and arrayed himself in the ranks of opposition. In 1717, he spoke against the