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choly Court, and received from him fur- Scottish Peers of the southern counties, ther the patent of Duke, which was never setting out to join Forster with a small acknowledged in England. He died in band of retainers. Considering the prin. 1697, but his wife and daughter continued ciples of Lord Nithsdale in Church and to reside at St. Germains under the pro- State, his course could not be doubtful. tection of the Queen, Mary of Modena. He, too, at the head of a few horsemen,
William fifth Earl of Nithsdale had appeared in Forster's camp, and shared been left a minor by his father's untimely the subsequent fortunes of that little death, but was brought up by his surviv-army. To Lord Kenmure, who was a ing parent in the same principles of de- Protestant, was assigned the chief comvoted attachment to the house of Stuart mand of the Scottish !evies. But, as Mr. and to the Church of Rome. On attaining | Fraser tells us, “the Earl of Nithsdale, his majority he repaired to St. Germains, from his position, and from the devotion and did homage to the Prince, whom he of his family to the House of Stuart, continued to regard as his rightful King. would have been placed at the head of the A more tender motive arose to detain insurrection in the north of Scotland had him. He fell in love with Lady Winifred he not been a Roman Catholic.” But Herbert, who proved no inexorable though Mr. Fraser has printed “north," beauty. They were married in the spring he, beyond all doubt, means “south," of 1699, and he bore away his bride to There was never any question as to either his house and fair gardens of Terregles. Kenmure's or Nithsdale's command beSince her noble exploit in the Tower yond the Forth. these gardens have been examined with We need not relate in any detail the interest for any trace of the departed well-known fate of these hasty levies. heroine. But, as Mr. Fraser informs us, They found themselves encompassed at they have been greatly changed since her Preston by a regular force under General time. Only “some old beech hedges and Wills, and were compelled to surrender a broad green terrace still remain much without obtaining any better terms than the same as then."
the promise to await the orders of the We may take occasion to observe of Government and protect them from any the new-married pair that there was some immediate slaughter by the soldiery. It diversity in the spelling of their name. was only a short respite that most of the English writers have most commonly in-chiefs then obtained. They were at once serted an i, and made it Nithisdale ; but sent off as prisoners to London. The the Earl and Countess themselves signed painful circumstances of their entry are Nithsdaill.
described as follows in the journal of The Countess bore her lord five chil. Lady Cowper, the wife of the Lord Chandren, three of whom, however, died in cellor : early childhood. At the insurrection of 1715 they had but two surviving, - a son, | December 5. 1715. - This week the prison. William Lord Maxwell, and an infantlers were brought to town from Preston. They daughter, Lady Anne. And here in ordi- I came in with their arms tied, and their horses, nary course might close the record of her whose bridles were taken off, led each by a life, but for the shining events of 1715, soldier. The mob insulted them terribly, which called forth her energies both to carrying a warming-pan before them, and say. act and to endure.
ing a thousand barbarous things, which some It need scarcely be related even to the
of the prisoners returned with spirit. The least literary of our readers how, in 1715,
chief of my father's family was amongst them.
He is above seventy years old. A desperate the standard of the Chevalier — " James
fortune had drove him from home, in hopes to the Third,” as his adherents called him
have repaired it. I did not see them come - was raised, by Lord Mar in the High-into town, nor let any of my children do so. lands and by Mr. Forster and Lord Der- I thought it would be an insulting of the rela. wentwater in Northumberland. Lord (tives I had here, though almost everybody Kenmure gave the like example to the I went to see them.
The captive Peers being thus brought, York. There she found a place in the to London were sent for safe custody to coach for herself alone and was forced to the Tower, while preparations for their hire a horse for Evans. Nor did her trial by the House of Lords were making troubles end there, as she writes from in Westminster Hall. Here again we Stamford, on Christmas Day, to Lady may borrow from Lady Cowper's jour- Traquair,nal:
The ill-weather, ways, and other accidents, February 9, 1716. - The day of the trials. ) has made the coach not get further than GrenMy Lord was named High Steward by the tum (Grantham); and the snow is so deep it King, to his vexation and mine ; but it could is impossible it should stir without some not be helped, and so we must submit, though change of weather ; upon which I have again we both heartily wished it had been Lord hired horses, and shall go the rest of the Nottingham. ... I was told it was customary journey on horseback to London, though the to make fine liveries upon this occasion, but I snow is so deep that our horses yesterday had them all plain. I think it very wrong to were in several places almost buried in it. make a parade upon so dismal an occasion as . . . To-morrow I shall set forward again. I that of putting to death one's fellow-creatures, must confess such a journey, I believe, was nor could I go to the trial to see them receive scarce ever made, considering the weather, by their sentences, having a relation among them a woman. But an earnest desire compasses a - Lord Widdrington. The Prince was there, great deal with God's help. If I meet my and came home much touched with compas. dear Lord well, and am so happy as to be sion. What a pity it is that such cruelties able to serve him, I shall think all my trouble should be necessary!
well repaid. But were they necessary ? Certainly not, The writer adds : “I think myself according to the temper of present times ; most fortunate in having complied with while in 1716, on the contrary, far from your kind desire of leaving my little girl exceeding, they seem rather to have with you. Had I her with me, she would fallen short of the popular expectation have been in her grave by this time, with and demands.
the excessive cold.” It was indeed a The trials were quickly despatched. season of most unusual rigour. The None of the prisoners could deny that Thames was fast bound in ice, and they had risen in arms against the King. many wayfarers throughout England It only remained for them to plead were, it is said, found frozen to death. “ Guilty," and throw themselves on the The Countess reached London in Royal mercy. They were condemned to safety, but, on her arrival, was thrown by death as traitors ; and the execution of the hardships of the journey into " a vioLord Nithsdale, with that of others, was lent sickness,” which confined her for appointed to take place upon Tower Hill some days to her bed. All this time she on Wednesday the 24th of the month. was anxiously pleading for admittance to
While Forster's insurrection lasted her Lord in the Tower, which at last, Lady Nithsdale remained with her chil-thongh with some difficulty and under dren at Terregles. But on learning her some restrictions, she obtained. As she Lord's surrender and his imprisonment writes : “ Now and then by favour I get in London, she resolved at once to join a sight of him.” There are some hurried him. Leaving her infant daughter in the notes from her at this period to Lady charge of her sister-in-law, the Countess Traquair. But her proceedings are far of Traquair, and burying the family more fully to be traced in a letter which papers in a nook of the gardens, she set some years afterwards she addressed to out, attended only by her faithful maid, her sister, Lady Lucy Herbert, the Abwho had been with her ever since her bess of an English Convent at Bruges. marriage, a Welsh woman, Cecilia Evans It thus commences: “Dear sister, my by name. A journey from Scotland in Lord's escape is such an old story now, mid-winter was then no such easy task. that I have almost forgot it; but since She made her way on horseback across you desire the account, to whom I have the Border, and then from Newcastle to too many obligations to refuse it, I will
endeavour to call it to mind, and be as an evil-minded race, alas ! to whom, in exact in the relation as I can possible." many cases, the eighth commandment And so the narrative proceeds.
| appears to be quite unknown. This most interesting letter had re- This letter is not dated. The omission mained unknown for many years. It was might seem to be sufficiently supplied by not till 1792 that it was published by the a copy in the library at Terregles, which, Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, in the as Mr. Fraser assures us, is “finely bound first volume of their “ Transactions.” in morocco," and which bears the date But it came from a faulty, or, rather we“ Royal Palais de Rome, April 16, 1718." may call it, a touched-up copy, putting This date is accordingly accepted by “the King," for example, where Lady Mr. Fraser. We must confess, howNithsdale bad written “the Elector,' and ever, that we see very strong objections often interspersing the phrase “ His Ma- to it, which, though derived from Mr. jesty," which she would never have ap- Fraser's volumes, have not, it appears, plied to George the First. In the same occurred to Mr. Fraser himself. spirit a few trifling inaccuracies of gram- In the first place, although Lord Nithsmar and language are corrected.
dale was at Rome in April 1718, Lady Sometimes, also, it might be desired Nithsdale certainly was not. This may to soften some roughness of tone. Thus, be shown beyond dispute from the corfor example, the published letter makes respondence now before us. In 1717 the Countess say, in reference to the Lady Nithsdale had gone to a place she joint petition which it was intended to lay calls “ Flesh," that is, La Flèche, in Anbefore the House of Lords, “ We were, jou. There she received a visit from her however, disappointed, for the Duke of nephew, Lord Linton, eldest son of the St. Albans, who had promised my Lady Earl of Traquair. We find her writing to Derwentwater to present it, failed in his her sister-in-law on the ist of September, word.” But what Lady Nithsdale really 1717, “ I hope you have heard something wrote was this : “ Being disappointed from my nephew L., who came to take his because the Duke of — I forget which leave of me on Friday last, to begin his of the bastard Dukes."
journey into Italie, and was to leave AnIn all these cases the motive of the giers yesterday in order to it.” On the finishing touches seems perfectly clear. Ist of January, 1718, we find her writing But there are some other changes that again : “My husband was very well the really seem made only for the love of last letter I had from him. ... I hope change. Is the phrase, as Lady Niths- very soon to hear of your son's being dale wrote, “I took the resolution to en- happily arrived at his journey's end." deavour his escape," improved by making And on the ist of May following: “In it, “I formed the resolution to attempt one of the Toth of March from my hushis escape”? Or, again, when the Count- band, he expected his nephew the next ess describes how, when at St. James's day." On the 22nd of June Lord Linton Palace, she presented the separate peti- writes himself from Rome as follows: “I tion to George the First, he turned from am glad to hear that the good lady I saw her while she clung to the skirts of his at La Flèche is well, though I have not as coat, and in that manner was dragged yet received any letter from her; yet I along the passage on her knees until she did not fail to deliver the commission she fell back fainting, and the petition dropped gave me for her husband.” It is quite to the ground in the “struggle” – Lady clear from these extracts that Lady NithsNitbsdale calls it — then why alter it to dale was not in the Eternal City during "scuffle" ?
any part of the period mentioned ; and The original, meanwhile, in Lady that the date of * Rome, April 16, 1718," Nithsdale's own handwriting, was still assigned to her letter is entirely erropreserved at Bruges. It was broughtneous. from thence so recently as 1828, as al There is another circumstance which present from the English nuns, and is leads us to think that the real date was now among Lord Herries's papers. As several years later. Lady Nithsdale menMr. Fraser informs us, it consists of tions in this letter -- as we shall presently eleven closely-written pages of paper see — a servant of the name of Mitchell, quarto size. At the foot of the last leaf a who followed Lord Nithsdale abroad, and small piece has been cut out, which is who, she adds, “is now very well placed thought to have contained the signature with our young Master.” The allusion of the writer, and to have been abstracted is, of course, to the exiled Royal Family. by some one of the autograph-collectors But “the Chevalier de St. George," or, as we used to call him, the “Old Pre-, we will endeavour, with Mr. Fraser's aid, tender," was in 1718 about thirty years of to deduce from it a narrative of her age. He had no especial claim to this Lord's escape which shall be more condistinguishing epithet as “our young cise and equally clear. Master;” and is constantly mentioned in Lord Nithsdale was confined in the this correspondence as “our Master,” house of Colonel D'Oyly, Lieutenant without any epithet at all. It is probable, Deputy of the Tower, in a small room therefore, that the allusion is rather to which looked out on Water Lane, the ramhis son Charles Edward, who was born in parts, and the wharf, and was 60 feet from December 1720, and who from his early the ground. The way from the room was boyhood appears, according to the custom through the Council Chamber and the of princes, to have had a small household passage and stairs of Colonel D'Oyly's assigned him. It may also perhaps be house. The door of his room was thought that a longer interval would bet- guarded by one sentinel, that floor by ter accord with that failure of recollection two, the passages and stairs by several, on some points, which in her opening and the outer gate by two. Escape sentence Lady Nithsdale mentions. under such circumstances seemed to be
Passing from this point in chronology, impossible, and, as Lady Nithsdale notes, in which we cannot help thinking that it was one of her main difficulties, when the editor might have shown a little more the moment came, to persuade her Lord critical care, we have further to complain to acquiesce in an attempt which, as he of a slight injustice that he does to, we believed, would end in nothing but ignoadmit, not a very great historian. In one minious failure. of his notes to the first volume, he re- The Countess still placed some relimarks : “ It is certainly necessary here to ance on the proceedings that impended notice that Smollett was so ignorant of in the House of Lords. There on the this fact, that, in his ‘History of Eng- 22nd of February, only two days before land,' he says that the Earl of Nithsdale that fixed for the execution, a petition made his escape in woman's apparel, fur- was presented, praying the House to innished or conveved to him by his own tercede with the King in favour of the mother." No doubt that Smollett did Peers under sentence of death. Lady commit the error here described. But if Nithsdale herself stood in the lobby, with Mr. Fraser had been more widely con- many other ladies of rank, imploring the versant with the other writers of that or compassion of each Peer as he passed. the next ensuing period he would have A motion to the same effect as the petiknown that such was then the common/tion was made in the House, and, notimpression or belief. As the agent in withstanding the resistance of the GovLord Nithsdale's escape, his wife is not ernment, it was carried through the unmentioned, but his mother instead, by expected aid of Lord Nottingham and by Bover, John Wesley, and, above all, Tin- a majority of five. But there was added dall in his valuable -- History of England.”' to it a proviso limiting the intercession So far as we can see, it was not till the with the King to such of the condemned publication of Lady Nithsdale's own nar- | Lords as should deserve his mercy. The rative that the true facts of the transac-i meaning was that those only should be tion were established. It seems a little recommended for pardon who would give hard, therefore, to single out Smollett for information against others who had enespecial blame, when he did no more gaged, although less openly, in the same than repeat the current and accepted unprosperous cause. This extinguished story of his time.
all Lady Nithsdale's hopes. She well Full of interest as is Lady Nithsdale's knew, as she says, that her Lord would letter, we do not propose to give any fur- never purchase life on such terms. ther extracts from it in this place, since i “ Nor," adds the high-minded woman, it has several times already, though with “would I have desired it." verbal variations, appeared in print. It The axe, as we have seen, was apmay be found, for instance, in the Ap- pointed to do its bloody work on the next pendix to the second volume of Lord day but one, and there was no time to Mabon's " History of England.” More. I lose if Lady Nithsdale sought to carry over, it is a little confused in its arrange- out the project she had secretly formed ment. Thus the delivery of her petition of effecting her Lord's escape in woman's to the King, which should stand first of clothes. No sooner was the debate conthe events in order of time, stands by cluded than she hastened from the House retrospect the last in her relation. But of Peers to the Tower, where, putting on
a face of joy, she went up to the guards with her two companions, so as to leave at each station and told them that she them no time to reflect. brought good news. “No more fear for On arriving at their destination the the prisoners," she cried, “ since now Countess found that, as usual, she was their petition has passed." Nor, in say- allowed to take in but one person at a ing this, was she without an object. She time. She first took Mrs. Morgan, and rightly judged that the soldiers believing while they went up stairs spoke, so as to that the prisoners were on the point of be overheard, of the necessity that, bebeing pardoned would become, of course, sides the Lords' vote, she should present less vigilant. Moreover, at each station a separate petition of her own. Within she drew some money from her pocket, the prisoner's chamber she bade Mrs. and gave it to the guards, bidding them i Morgan take out and leave the ridingdrink the King's health and the Peers’.” hood that she had brought beneath her But she was careful, as she says, to be clothes, and then conducted her out sparing in what she gave; enough to put again, saying as she went, “ Pray do me the guards in good humour, and not the kindness to send my maid to me that enough to raise their suspicions as though I may be dressed, else I shall be too late their connivance was desired.
with my petition." All this time she had never acquainted Having thus dismissed Mrs. Morgan, the Earl with her design. This plainly the Countess next brought in Mrs. Mills. appears from a letter which Lord Herries As they passed she bade Mrs. Mills hold has published, dated on this very day, her handkerchief to her face, as though the 22nd. It is addressed by Lord Niths- in tears, designing that the Earl should dale to his brother-in-law, the Earl of go forth in the same manner, and thus Traquair, and bids an affectionate fare conceal, in part at least, his face from well to him and to his sister, speaking of the guards. When alone with him in his himself as fully expecting and calmly re- chamber, they proceeded as they best signed to death.
could to disguise him. He had a long The next morning, the last before the beard, which there was not time to shave, intended execution, was spent by Lady but the Countess daubed it over with Nithsdale in the needful preparations, some white paint that she had provided. and, above all, in securing the assistance in like manner she put some red paint on of one Mrs. Morgan, a friend of her faith- his cheeks and some yellow on his eveful Evans. When she was ready to go, brows, which were black and thick, while she sent for Mrs. Mills, at whose house Mrs. Mills's were blonde and slight; and she was lodging, and said : “Finding now she had also ready some ringlets of the there is no further room for hope of my same coloured hair. Next she made Lord's pardon, nor longer time than this Mrs. Mills take off the riding-hood in night, I am resolved to endeavour his which she came and put on instead that escape. I have provided all that is requi- which Mrs. Morgan had brought. Finally site for it ; and I hope you will not re- they proceeded to equip Lord Nithsdale fuse to come along with me to the end in female attire by the aid of the riding. that he may pass for you. Nay, more, I hood which the guards had just before must beg you will come immediately, be- seen on Mrs. Mills — by the aid also of cause we are full late.” Lady Nithsdale all Lady Nithsdale's petticoats but one. had, with excellent judgment, delayed Matters being so far matured, Lady this appeal to the last possible moment; Nithsdale opened the door and led out so that her landlady might be put to an 'the real Mrs. Mills, saying aloud, in a immediate decision on the spur of pity, tone of great concern, “ Dear Mrs. Cathand have no leisure to think of the dan- erine, I must beg you to go in all haste ger she was herself incurring by any and look for my woman, for she certainly share in the escape of a man convicted of does not know what o'clock it is, and has treason. Mrs. Mills having in this sur. forgot the petition I am to give, which prise assented, Lady Nithsdale bade Mrs. should I miss is irreparable, having but Morgan, who was tall and slender - her this one night ; let her make all the haste height not unlike Lord Nithsdale's - to she can possible, for I shall be upon put under her own riding-hood another thorns till she comes." In the antewhich Lady Nithsdale had provided, and room there were then eight or nine perafter this all three stepped into the coach, sons, the wives and daughters of the which was ready at the door. As they guards ; they all seemed to feel for the drove to the Tower Lady Nithsdale has Countess, and quickly made way for her noted that she never ceased to talk companion. The sentry at the outer