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Publications of the Scottish History Society, Vol. 36 by Sir John Lauder

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MAY 1900

[Illustration: LORD FOUNTAINHALL.]



Edited, with Introduction and Notes, by
Sheriff of Aberdeen, Kincardine, and Banff

(Lord Fountainhall's Father.)]





Journal in France, 1665-1667,


1. Notes of Journeys in London. Oxford, and Scotland, 1667-1670,

2. Notes of Journeys in Scotland, 1671-1672,

3. Chronicle of events connected with the Court of Session, 1668-1676,

4. Observations on Public Affairs, 1669-1670,



i. Accounts, 1670-1675,

ii. Catalogue of Books, 1667-1679,

iii. Letter of Lauder to his Son,



II. SIR JOHN LAUDER, first Baronet, Lord Fountainhall's father

III. JANET RAMSAY, first wife of Lord Fountainhall

IV. SIR ANDREW RAMSAY, Lord Abbotshall

All reproduced from pictures in the possession of Lady Anne Dick Lauder.



There are here printed two manuscripts by Sir John Lauder, Lord
Fountainhall, and portions of another. The first[1] is a kind of journal,
though it was not written up day by day, containing a narrative of his
journey to France and his residence at Orleans and Poictiers, when he was
sent abroad by his father at the age of nineteen to study law in foreign
schools in preparation for the bar. It also includes an account of his
expenses during the whole period of his absence from Scotland. The
second,[2] though a small volume, contains several distinct portions. There
are narratives of visits to London and Oxford on his way home from abroad,
his journey returning to Scotland, and some short expeditions in Scotland
in the immediately following years, observations on public affairs in 1669-
70, and a chronicle of events connected with the Court of Session from 1668
to 1676; also at the other end of the volume some accounts of expenses. The
third[3] may be described as a commonplace book, for the most part written
during the first years of his practice at the bar and his early married
life, but it also contains some notes of travel in Fife, the Lothians, and
the Merse in continuation of those in MS. H., and a list of the books which
he bought and their prices, brought down to a late period of his life.
These manuscripts have been kindly made available to the Scottish History
Society by the owners. The first is in the Library of the University of
Edinburgh. The second is the property of the late Sir William Fraser's
trustees. The third has been lent by Sir Thomas North Dick Lauder,
Fountainhall's descendant and representative.

[1] Referred to as MS. X.

[2] Marked by Fountainhall H.

[3] Marked by Fountainhall K.

It was Lord Fountainhalls practice, during his whole life, to record in
notebooks public events, and his observations upon them, legal decisions,
and private memoranda. He kept several series of notebooks concurrently
with great diligence and method. In all of those which have been preserved
there is more or less matter of value to the student of history. But at his
death his library was sold by public auction. The MSS. were dispersed,
though their existence and value was known to some of his
contemporaries.[4] Some are lost, in particular the series of _Historical
Observes_, 1660-1680, which, judging from the sequel, which has been
preserved and printed by the Bannatyne Club, would have been of great
value. According to tradition the greater part of what has been recovered
was found in a snuff-shop by Mr. Crosby the lawyer, the supposed original
of Scott's Pleydell, and purchased at the sale of his books after his death
by the Faculty of Advocates.[5]

[4] Preface to Forbes's _Journal of the Session_, Edinburgh, 1714.

[5] MS. Genealogical Roll of the Family of Lauder by the late Sir
Thomas Dick Lauder, in possession of Sir T.N. Dick Lauder.

Eight volumes came into the possession of the Faculty of Advocates, and
under their auspices two folio volumes of legal decisions from 1678 to 1712
were published in 1759 and 1761.[6] In 1837 the Bannatyne Club printed _The
Historical Observes_, 1680-1686, a complete MS. in the Advocates' Library,
and in 1848 they printed two volumes of _Historical Notices_, 1661-1688.
These are after 1678 selections from the same MSS. from which the folio of
1759 was compiled, and the additions to the text of the folio are not
numerous, though the historical matter, which was buried among the legal
decisions, is presented in a more convenient form. But from 1661 to 1678
(about half of vol. i.) and especially from 1670 (for the previous entries
occupy only a few pages) the notices are all new and many of them of
considerable interest. In printing these volumes, which I believe are
acknowledged to contain some of the best material for the history of
Scotland at the time, the Bannatyne Club carried out a design which had
been long cherished by the late Sir Thomas Dick Lauder,[7] though he did
not live to see its complete fulfilment, and he was helped in his efforts
by Sir Walter Scott. The story[8] is worth telling more fully than has yet
been done. In the winter of 1813-14 Sir Thomas, then a young man, met Sir
Walter at a dinner-party. Sir Walter expressed his regret 'that something
had not been done towards publishing the curious matter in Lord
Fountainhall's MSS.,'[9] and urged Sir Thomas to undertake the task. In
1815 Sir Thomas wrote to Scott asking about a box in the Advocates' Library
believed to contain MSS. of Fountainhalls. Sir Walter replied as follows:--

[6] See Mr. David Laing's Preface to the _Historical Notices_,
p. xx, Bannatyne Club.

[7] Author of _The Moray Floods, The Wolf of Badenoch_, and other
well-known books.

[8] The original correspondence was bound up by Sir Thomas in a volume
along with Mylne's book (see _infra_), and is in the
possession of Sir T.N. Dick Lauder.

[9] Letter, Sir T.D. Lauder to Sir W. Scott, 22nd May 1822,

'Dear Sir,--I am honoured with your letter, and should have been
particularly happy in an opportunity of being useful in assisting a
compleat edition of Lord Fountainhall's interesting manuscripts. But I
do not know of any in the Advocates' Library but those which you
mention. I think it likely I may have mentioned that a large chest
belonging to the family of another great Scottish lawyer, Sir James
Skene of Curriehill, was in our Library and had never been examined. But
I could only have been led to speak of this from the similarity of the
subject, not from supposing that any of Lord Fountainhall's papers could
possibly be deposited there. I am very glad to hear you are
busying yourself with a task which will throw most important light upon
the history of Scotland, and am, with regard, dear sir, your most obedt.

'_Edinr., 19 February 1815._'

After a further interchange of letters in 1816 the matter slumbered till
1822 when there appeared a volume entitled _Chronological Notes of Scottish
Affairs from 1680 till 1701, being chiefly taken from the Diary of Lord
Fountainhall_ (Constable, 1822), with a preface by Sir Walter Scott, who
had evidently forgotten his correspondence with Sir Thomas.[10] The volume
in reality contained a selection, comparatively small, from Fountainhall's
notebooks in the Advocates' Library, with copious interpolations by the
author, Robert Mylne (who died in 1747), not distinguished from the
authentic text of the notes, and greatly misrepresenting Fountainhall's
opinions. The next stage in the correspondence may be given in Sir Thomas's
own words:--

[10] The preface and Mylne's interpolations are appended to Mr. Laing's
preface to the _Historical Notices_.

'Having been much astonished to learn, from a perusal of the foregoing
review,[11] that Sir Walter Scott had stolen a march on me, and
published a Manuscript of Lord Fountainhall's, at the very time when he
had reason to believe me engaged in the work, and that by his own
suggestion, and being above all things surprised that he had not thought
it proper to acquaint me with his intention before carrying it into
effect, I sat down and wrote to him the following letter, in which,
being aware how much he who I was addressing was to be considered as a
sort of privileged person in literary matters, I took special care to
give no offence, to write calmly, and to confine myself to such a simple
statement of the facts as might bring a blush into his face without
exciting the smallest angry feeling. I hoped, too, that I might prevail
on him, as some atonement for his sins, to lend a helping hand to bring
forth the real work of Lord Fountainhall in a proper style.'

[11] In Constable's Magazine. See _infra_.


'_Relugas, near Forres_,
_22nd May 1822_.

'DEAR SIR,--From _Constable's Magazine_ for last month, which has this
moment fallen into my hands, I learn, for the first time, with some
surprise, but with much greater delight than mortification, that you
have condescended to become the Editor of a portion of my Ancestor Lord
Fountainhall's MSS. From this I am led to believe, that the circumstance
of my having been engaged in the work since 1814 must have escaped your
recollection, otherwise I think you would have informed me of _your_
intention or inquired into _mine_. In the winter 1813-14, I had the
happiness of meeting you at the table of our mutual friend, Mr. Pringle
of Yair, where you expressed regret to me that something had not been
done towards publishing the curious matter contained in Lord
Fountainhall's MSS., urging me at the same time to undertake the task.
Having also soon afterwards been pressed to perform this duty by Mr.
Thomas Thomson, Mr. Napier, and several other literary friends, I was
led to begin it, and Lord Meadowbank having presented my petition to the
Dean and Faculty of Advocates, they were so liberal as to permit me to
have the use of the MSS. in succession at Fountainhall, where I then was
on a visit to my Father, and where I transcribed everything fit for my
purpose. Emboldened by the remembrance of what passed in conversation
with you at Mr. Pringle's, I took the liberty of trespassing on you in a
letter dated 18th February 1815, to beg you would inform me whether you
knew of the existence of any of Lord Fountainhall's MSS. besides the
eight Folio volumes I had then examined. You did me the honor to write
me an immediate reply, in which you stated that you knew of no other
MSS. but those I had mentioned, and you conclude by saying, that you
were glad to hear that I was busying myself in a task which would throw
much light on the history of Scotland. In May 1816, whilst engaged here
in arranging and retranscribing the materials I had collected for the
work in the order of a Journal, I met with a little difficulty about the
word FORRES, which the sense of the passage led me to read FORREST,
meaning ETTRICK FORREST. Knowing that you were the best source from
which true information on such subjects was to be drawn, and presuming
upon your former kindness, I again addressed you, 23rd May 1816, begging
to know whether I was right in my conjecture. To this I received a very
polite answer in course of post, in which you express great pleasure in
complying with my request, and are so obliging as to conclude with the
assurance that at any time you will be happy to elucidate my researches
into my ancestors' curious and most valuable Manuscripts with such hints
as your local knowledge may supply.

'Since the period to which I have just alluded, I have continued to
prosecute the work, but only at intervals, having met with frequent
interruptions, among which I may mention an excursion to Italy; and
after having finished about two-thirds of it in my own handwriting, it
is only now that I have been able to complete it, by the aid of an
amanuensis. I do not much wonder that, employed as you are in
administering fresh draughts of enjoyment from the exhaustless spring of
your genius to the ever-increasing thirst of a delighted public, you
should have forgotten my humble labours. But whilst I regret that they
should have been so forgotten, inasmuch as they might have contributed
to aid or lessen yours, I beg to assure you, that every other feeling is
absorbed in that of the satisfaction I am now impressed with in learning
that you have taken Lord Fountainhall under your fostering care, as I am
well aware that, independent of the honor done him and his family by his
name being coupled with that of Sir Walter Scott, there does not now,
and perhaps there never will, exist any individual who could elucidate
him so happily as your high talents and your deep research in the
historical anecdote of your country must enable you to do. I am
naturally very desirous to see your publication, of which I cannot
procure a copy from the booksellers here. I should not otherwise have
intruded on you until I had seen the book, as I am at present ignorant
how far it clashes or agrees with the plan of the work I have prepared.
As business calls me to Edinburgh, I can now have no opportunity of
perusing it before my departure, as I leave this on Tuesday the 28th
instant I observe, however, with great gratification, from a quotation
in the _Magazine_ from your preface, that you hold out hopes of a
farther publication, and I am consequently anxious to avail myself of
being in Edinburgh to have the honor of an interview with you, that I
may avoid any injudicious interference with your undertaking, and rather
go hand in hand with you in promoting it. As I shall be detained on the
road, I shall not be in Edinburgh until the evening of Friday the 31st,
and my present intention is to remain in town only Saturday and Sunday,
unless unavoidable circumstances occur to prevent my leaving it on the
Monday. If you could make it convenient to grant me an audience on
either of the days I have mentioned, viz., on Saturday, or Sunday, the
1st or 2nd of June, you would very much oblige me, and it will be a
further favor if you will have a note lying for me at Mrs. President
Blair's, or at my Agent, Mr. Macbean's, 11 Charlotte Square, stating the
precise time when you can most conveniently receive me, that I may not
be so unfortunate as to call on you unseasonably. With the highest
respect, and with very great regard, I have the honor to be, dear sir,
very truly yours,


To this Sir Walter replied:--

'MY DEAR SIR,--I am sorry you could for a moment think that in printing
rather than publishing Lord Fountainhall's Notes or rather Mr. Milne's,
for that honest gentleman had taken the superfluous trouble to write the
whole book anew, I meant to interfere with your valuable and extensive
projected work. I mentioned in the advertisement that you were engaged
in writing the life of Lord Fountainhall, and therefore declined saying
anything on the subject, and I must add that I always conceived it was
his life you meant to publish and not his works. I am very happy you
entertain the latter intention, for a great deal of historical matter
exists in the manuscript copy of the collection of decisions which has
been omitted by the publishers, whose object was only to collect the law
reports and who appear in the latter volume entirely to have disregarded
all other information. There is also somewhere in the Advocates'
Library, but now mislaid, a very curious letter of Lord Fountainhall on
the Revolution, and so very many other remains of his that I would fain
hope your work will suffer nothing by my anticipation, which I assure
you would never have taken place had I conceived those Notes fell within
your plan. The fact was that the letter on the Revolution was mislaid
and the little Ma[nuscript] having disappeared also, though it was
afterwards recovered, it seemed to me worth while to have it put in a
printed shape for the sake of preservation, and as only one hundred
copies were printed, I hope it will rather excite than gratify curiosity
on the subject of Lord Fountainhall. I expected to see you before I
should have thought of publishing the Letter on the Revolution, and
hoped to whet your almost blunted purpose about doing that and some
other things yourself. I think a selection from the Decisions just on
the contrary principle which was naturally enough adopted by the former
publishers, rejected[12] the law that is and retaining the history,
would be highly interesting. I am sure you are entitled to expect[13] on
all accounts and not interruption from me in a task so honorable, and I
hope you will spare me a day in town to talk the old Judge's affairs
over. The history of the Bass should be a curious one. You are of course
aware of the anecdote of one of your ancestors insisting on having the
"auld craig back again."

'Constable undertook to forward to you a copy of the Notes with my
respects, and it adds to my piggish behaviour that I see he had omitted
it. I will cause him send it by the Ferry Carrier.

'I beg to assure you that I am particularly sensible of the kind and
accomodating view you have taken of this matter, in which I am sensible
I acted very thoughtlessly because it would have been easy to have
written to enquire into your intentions. Indeed I intended to do so, but
the thing had gone out of my head. I leave Edin'r in July, should you
come after the 12 of that month may I hope to see you at Abbotsford,
which would be very agreeable, but if you keep your purpose of being
here in the beginning of June I hope you will calculate on dining here
on Sunday 2d at five o'clock. I will get Sharpe to meet you who knows
more about L'd Fountainhall than any one.--I am with great penitence,
dear Sir Thomas, your very faithful humble servant,


[12] _sic_ for rejecting.

[13] A word is omitted, perhaps 'assistance.'

'N.B.--The foregoing letter from Sir Walter, written in answer to mine of
the 25th May,[14] sufficiently shows the extent of the dilemma he found
himself thrown into. It is full of strange contradictions. He talks of
"_printing_ rather than _publishing_" a book which was _publickly_
advertised _and publickly_ sold. He assures me that he believed that it was
_Fountainhall's Life_, and not his _works_ I meant to publish, though the
former part of the correspondence between us must have made him fully aware
that it was _the works_ I had in view; and he unwittingly proves to me
immediately afterwards that he had not altogether forgotten that it was
_the works_ I had taken in hand to publish, for he says, "I expected to see
you before I should have thought of publishing the letter on the
Revolution, and hoped to _whet your almost blunted purpose about doing that
and some_ other things yourself." And again afterwards--"it would have been
easy to have written to enquire into your intentions, indeed _I intended to
do so_, but the thing had gone out of my head." Why did you intend to write
to me, Sir Walter, about intentions which you have said you were
unconscious had any existence? But who can dare to be angry with Sir Walter
Scott? Who could be savage enough to be angry with the meanest individual
who could write with so much good nature and bonhommie as he displays in
his letter? Had one particle of angry feeling lurked in my bosom against
him, I should have merited scourging. My answer was as follows....'

[14] _sic_ for 22nd May.

Sir Thomas was unable to accept Sir Walter's invitation, but proposed to
call on him, and received the following reply:--

'My dear Sir Thomas,--I am much mortified at finding that by a
peremptory message from my builder at Abbotsford, who is erecting an
addition to my house, I must set out there to-morrow at twelve. But we
must meet for all that, and I hope you will do me the honour to
breakfast here, though at the unchristian hour of _Nine o'clock_, and if
you come as soon after eight as you will, you will find me ready to
receive you. I mention this because I must be in the court at _Ten_. I
hope this will suit you till time permits a longer interview. I shall
therefore expect you accordingly.--Yours very sincerely,


'_Castle Street, Friday_'

'It gives me sincere regret that this unexpected news[15] prevents my
having the pleasure of receiving you on Monday.'

[15] This word doubtful. It is indistinctly written.

Sir Thomas proceeds in his narrative:--

'N.B.--I kept my appointment accurately to the hour and minute, and found
the Great Unknown dashing off long foolscap sheets of what was soon to
interest the eyes, and the minds, and the hearts of the whole reading
world; preparing a literary food for the voracious maw of the many-headed
monster, every mouth of which was gaping wide in expectation of it. He
received me most kindly, though I could not help secretly grudging, more
than I have no doubt he did, every moment of the time he so good-naturedly
sacrificed to me. He repeated in words, and, if possible, in stronger
terms, the apologies contained in his letter. I offered him my Manuscript
and my humble services. He insisted that he would not rob me of the fruits
of my pious labours. "As I know something of publishing," said he, with an
intelligent smile on his countenance, "I shall be able to give you some
assistance and advice as to how to bring the work properly and respectably
out." I thanked him, and ventured to entreat that he would add to the
obligation he was laying me under by giving me a few notes to the proposed
publication. In short, the result of an hour's conversation was that he
undertook to arrange everything about the publication with a bookseller,
and to give me the notes I asked, and, in fact, to do everything in his
power to assist me, and I left him with very great regret that a matter of
business prevented me from accepting of his pressing invitation to
breakfast. Before parting, he wrote for me the ensuing letter to Mr.
Kirkpatrick Sharpe, which I was deprived of an opportunity of delivering by
the shortness of my visit to Edinburgh.'

Sir Thomas soon afterwards completed his transcript, and on 7th June 1823
he wrote:--

'_Relugas, near Forres,
7th June_ 1823.

'MY DEAR SIR WALTER,--Can you pardon me for thus troubling you, in order
to have my curiosity satisfied about our old friend Fountainhall, whose
work I gave you in July last. I hope you received the remainder of the
Manuscript in October from my agent, Mr. Macbean. If you can spare time
to say, in a single line, what is doing about him, you will confer a
great obligation, on yours very faithfully,


Sir Walter replied:--

'MY DEAR SIR,--We have not taken any steps about our venerable friend
and your predecessor, whose manuscript is lying safe in my hands.
Constable has been in London this long time, and is still there, and
Cadell does not seem willingly to embark in any enterprize of
consequence just now. We have set on foot a sort [of] Scottish Roxburgh
Club[16] here for publishing curiosities of Scottish Literature, but
Fountainhall would be a work rather too heavy for our limited funds,
although few can be concerned which would come more legitimately under
the purpose of our association, which is made in order to rescue from
the chance of destruction the documents most essential to the history
and literature of Scotland.

'We are having a meeting on the 4th July, when I will table the subject,
and if we possibly can assist in bringing out the worthy Judge in good
stile, we will be most ready to co-operate with your pious endeavours to
that effect. I should wish to hear from you before that time what you
would wish to be done in the matter respecting the size, number of the
impression, and so forth. Whatever lies in my limited power will be
gladly contributed by, dear sir, your very faithful servant,

_'Castle Street, 18 June 1823.'_

[16] The Bannatyne Club was instituted on 15th February 1823. Its
object was to print works of the history, topography, poetry, and
miscellaneous literature of Scotland in former times. Sir Walter
Scott was president till his death. The Club's last meeting was in
1861, but there were some publications till 1867.

And in answer to further inquiry he again wrote on 10th July 1823:--

'MY DEAR SIR THOMAS,--You are too easily alarmed about the fate of your
ancestors. I did not mean it would not be published--far less that I
would not do all in my power to advance the publication--but only that
the size and probable expense of the work, with the limited sale for
articles of literature only interesting to the Scottish Antiquaries,
rendered the Booksellers less willing to adopt the proposal than they
seemed at first. However I thought it as well to wait until Constable
himself came down from London, as I had only spoken with his partner,
and I have since seen him, and find him well disposed to the
undertaking. I told him I would give with the greatest pleasure any
assistance in my power in the way of historical illustration, and that I
concluded that you, to whom the work unquestionably belongs, would
contribute a life of the venerable Lawyer and some account of his
family. Mr. Thomson has promised to look through the Manuscript and
collate it with that of Mr. Maule, and is of opinion (as I am) that it
would be very desirable to retrench all the mere law questions which are
to be found in the printed folios. Indeed the Editors of those two
volumes had a purpose in view directly opposed to ours, for they wished
to omit historical and domestic anecdotes and give the law cases as
unmixed as possible, while it would be our object doubtless to exclude
the mere law questions in favour of the other. No doubt many of
the law cases are in themselves such singular examples of the state of
manners that it would be a pity not to retain them even although they
may be found in the printed copy because they are there mixed with so
much professional matter that general readers will not easily discover

'The retrenching of the mere law will entirely advantage the general
sale of the work besides greatly reducing the expense, and in either
point of view it will make it a speculation more like to be
advantageous. I think Constable will be disposed to incur the expense of
publishing at his own risque, allowing you one half of the free profits
which the established mode of accounting amongst authors and booksellers
circumcises so closely that the sum netted by the author seldom exceeds
a 3'd or thereabout. But then you have no risque, and that is a great
matter. My experience does not encourage me to bid you expect much
profit upon an undertaking of this nature, in fact on any that I have
myself tried I have been always rather a loser; but still there may be
some, and I am sure the descendant of Lord Fountainhall is best entitled
to such should it arise on his ancestor's work. I think you had better
correspond with Constable, assuring him of my willingness to help in any
thing that can get the book out, and I am sure Mr. Thomson will feel the
same interest I have to leave here to-morrow for four months, but as I
am only at Abbotsford I can do any thing that may be referred to me.

'As for Milne's notes, there are many of them that I think worth
preservation as describing and identifying the individuals of whom
Fountainhall wrote, although his silly party zeal makes him, like all
such partizans of faction, unjust and scurrilous.

'I have only to add that the Manuscript is with Mr. Thomson for the
purpose of collation, and that I am sure Constable will be glad to treat
with you on the subject of publication, and that I will, as I have
always been, be most ready to give any notes or illustrations in my
power, the only way I suppose in which I can be useful to the
publication. The idea of retrenching the law cases, which originates
with Thomson, promises, if you entertain it, to remove the only possible
objection to the publication, namely the great expense. My address for
the next four months is, Abbotsford, by Melrose, and I am always, dear
Sir Thomas, very much your faithful, humble servant,


_'Edin'r, 10 July 1823.'_

Again on 27th November 1823:--

'Dear Sir Thomas,--I have sent the Manuscript to Mr. Macbean, Charlotte
Square, as you desire. It is a very curious one and contains many
strange pictures of the times. Our ancestors were sad dogs, and we to be
worse than them, as Horace tells us the Romans were, have a great stride
to make in the paths of iniquity. Men like your ancestor were certainly
rare amongst them. I had a scrap some where about the murder of the
Lauders at Lauder where Fountainhall's ancestor was Baillie at the time.
After this misfortune they are said to have retired to Edinburgh.
Fountainhall's grandfather lived at the Westport. All this is I hope
familiar to you, I say I hope so, for after a good deal of search I have
abandoned hope of finding my memorandum.

'I have seen Constable who promises to send me the sheets as they are
thrown off, and any consideration that I can bestow on them will be a
pleasure to, dear Sir Thomas, your most obedient servant,


_'Edin'r, 2d December.'_

The last letter on the subject, written apparently by Mr. Cadell, is as

_'Edinburgh, 28 July 1824._

'Dear Sir,--We duly received your much esteemed letter of 16 instant,
and beg to assure you that we are as willing as ever to do what we
stated last year in bringing out your MS. in a creditable way. The
reason, and the only reason of delay, has been the indisposition of Mr.
Constable, who has from last November till about a month ago been unable
to give his time to business.

'Having communicated your letter to him we beg now to state that we
shall take immediate steps for getting the work expedited. The MS. is
still in Mr. Thomson's hands, but we shall see him on the subject
forthwith. It is proposed to print the work in 2 vols. octavo
handsomely, the number 500 copies.--We remain, sir, with much respect,
your most,


'Sir Thos. Dick Lauder, Bart.'

'The publication,' as Mr. Laing says in his Preface, 'intended to form two
volumes in octavo, under the title of _Historical Notices of Scottish
Affairs_, had actually proceeded to press to page 304 in 1825, when the
misfortunes of the publisher put a stop to the enterprise. After an
interval of several years the greater portion of Sir Thomas's transcripts
was placed at the disposal of the Bannatyne Club.' The result was the
publication of the _Observes_ and the _Historical Notices_. Mr. Laing adds,
'If at any subsequent time some of his missing MSS. should be discovered,
another volume of Selections, to include his early Journal and extracts
from his smaller notebooks, might not be undeserving the attention of the
Bannatyne Club.' The Journal in France, though never printed, was reviewed
by Mr. Cosmo Innes in 1864 in the _North British Review_, vol. xli. p. 170.


A short relation of Lord Fountainhall's life is given in Mr. David Laing's
preface to the _Historical Notices_. He was born in 1646. His father was
John Lauder, merchant and bailie of Edinburgh, of the family of Lauder of
that Ilk.[17] He graduated as Master of Arts in the University of Edinburgh
in 1664. He went to France to study in 1665, and returned from abroad in
1667. He was 'admitted' as an advocate in 1668. He was married in 1669 to
Janet, daughter of Sir Andrew Ramsay of Abbotshall,[18] Provost of
Edinburgh, afterwards a Lord of Session. In 1674, along with the leaders of
the bar and the majority of the profession, he was 'debarred' or suspended
from practising by the king's proclamation for asserting the right of
appeal from the decisions of the Court of Session, and was restored in
1676. He was knighted in 1681. In the same year his father, who was then
eighty-six years old, purchased the lands of Woodhead and others in East
Lothian. The conveyance is to John Lauder of Newington in liferent, and Sir
John Lauder, his son, in fee. The lands were erected into a barony, called
Fountainhall. In 1685, he was returned as member of Parliament for the
county of Haddington, which he represented till the Union in 1707. In 1686
his wife, by whom he had a large family, died. In 1687 he married Marion
Anderson, daughter of Anderson of Balram. He was appointed a Lord of
Session in 1689, and a Lord of Justiciary in 1690. He resigned the latter
office in 1709, and died in 1722. His father had been made a baronet in
1681 by James VII. The succession under the patent was to his son by his
third marriage; but in 1690, after the Revolution, a new patent was granted
by William and Mary to Sir John Lauder, senior, and his eldest son and his
heirs. The first patent was reduced in 1692, and in the same year
Fountainhall succeeded on his father's death.

[17] 'Sir John Lauder of Fountainhall is deschended of the Lauders of
that ilk, and his paternall coat is immatriculate and registrate
in the Lyons Book of Herauldrie.'--Unprinted MS. by Lauder, in
possession of Sir T.N. Dick Lauder. A Genealogical Roll in MS., of
the Lauder Family, compiled by Sir T. Dick Lauder, also in the
present baronet's possession, has afforded much useful
information; and for Lauder's family connections, I have also
consulted Mrs. Atholl Forbes's _Curiosities of a Scottish Charter
Chest_, and Mrs. Stewart Smith's _Grange of St. Giles_.

[18] See Appendix III.

The following estimate of his character in Forbes's Preface to the _Journal
of the Session_ (1714), a rare book, is quoted by Mr. Laing, but is too
much in point to be omitted here. 'The publick and private character of
this excellent judge are now so well known that I need say no more of him
than that he signalized himself as a good patriot and true Protestant in
the Parliament of 1686 in defence of the Penal Laws against Popery. This
self-denyed man hath taken no less pains to shun places that were in his
offer than some others have been at to get into preferment. Witness his
refusing to accept a patent in the year 1692 to be the King's Advocate, and
the resigning his place as a Lord of Justiciary after the Union, which Her
Majesty with reluctancy took off his hand. In short, his lordship is (what
I know by experience) as communicative as he is universally learned and
knowing. He hath observed the decisions of the Session from November 1689
till November 1712, which I have seen in Manuscript; but his excessive
modesty can't be prevailed on to make them publick.'

There are no materials for expanding Mr. Laing's sketch of Fountainhall's
life, except in so far as the notes of his travels and his expeditions into
the country, and the accounts, here printed, give some glimpses of his
habits and his domestic economy in his early professional years. He lived
in troubled times, but his own career was prosperous and comparatively
uneventful. The modesty which Professor Forbes truly ascribes to him
disinclined him to take a part, as a good many lawyers did, in public
affairs, except for a short period before the Revolution, as a member of
Parliament; and, together with his prudence and strong conscientiousness,
preserved him from mixing in the political and personal intrigues which
were then so rife in the country. The same modesty is apparent in his
writings in mature life to a tantalising degree. It may not be so
conspicuous in his boyish journal, when he was ready enough to throw down
the gauntlet in a theological discussion; but in the later voluminous MSS.,
when even dry legal disputes are enlivened by graphic and personal touches,
the author himself rarely appears on the scene. We miss the pleasant
details of Clerk of Penicuik's _Memoirs._[19] We learn little of the
author's daily walk and conversation. It does not even appear (so far as I
know) where his house in Edinburgh was. We do not know how often he went to
Fountainhall, or whether he there realised his wish to spend half his time
in the country.[20] We do not know how he occupied himself there, though it
may be gathered that he took much interest in the management of his
property and in country business, and he records with much gratification
his appointment as a justice of the peace. He tells us nothing of his wife,
except how much money she got for housekeeping, and nothing of his
children, except when he records their births or deaths. Nothing of his
personal relations with his distinguished contemporaries at the bar, or
with the men who, as officers of State and Privy Councillors, still
governed Scotland in Edinburgh.

[19] Scottish History Society.

[20] Journal, p. 21.

On the other hand, his opinions on all subjects, on public affairs and
public men, on such questions of speculation or ethical interest as
astrology and witchcraft, often strikingly expressed in language always
racy and sincere, are scattered through the published volumes of his
writings, all printed without note or comment. It may at least be a tribute
to Fountainhall's memory to present a short view of his opinions, and for
that purpose I have not scrupled to quote freely, especially from the
_Historical Observes,_ a delightful book, which deserves a larger public
than the limited circle of its fortunate possessors. Fountainhall's
political opinions were moderate, in an age when moderation was rare. We
are tempted to think, if I am not mistaken, that in that dark period of
Scottish history, every man was a furious partisan, as a Royalist or a
Whig, or as an adherent of one or other of the chiefs who intrigued for
power. But it may be that Lauder's attitude reflects more truly the average
opinions of educated men of the time.


His political position has perhaps been imperfectly understood by the few
writers who have had occasion to refer to it. Mr. Laing's statement, that
prior to the Revolution 'he appears generally to have acted only with those
who opposed the measure of the Court,' is not, I venture to think, wholly
accurate. It is true that on one occasion, no doubt memorable in his own
life, he incurred the displeasure of the government. When James VII. on
his accession proposed to relax the penal laws against Roman Catholics,
while enforcing them against Presbyterians, Lauder, who had just entered
Parliament, opposed that policy and spoke against it in terms studiously
moderate and respectful to the Crown. The result, however, was that he
became a suspected person. As he records in April 1686, 'My 2 servants
being imprisoned, and I threatened therewith, as also that they would seize
upon my papers, and search if they contained anything offensive to the
party then prevailing, I was necessitat to hide this manuscript, and many
others, and intermit my Historick Remarks till the Revolution in the end of

Hence the Revolution was perhaps welcome to him. As an adherent of
character and some position he met with marked favour from the new
sovereigns, who promoted him to the bench, and corrected the injustice
which had been done to him in the matter of the patent of his father's
baronetcy, and also granted him a pension of L100 a year, an addition of
fifty per cent. to his official salary. Shortly afterwards he was offered
the post of Lord Advocate, but declined it, because the condition was
attached that he should not prosecute the persons implicated in the
Massacre of Glencoe.[21] From these facts it has been sometimes inferred
that Lauder was disaffected to the Stewart dynasty, and that his
professional advancement was thereby retarded. In reality his career was
one of steady prosperity. Having already received the honour of knighthood
while still a young man, and being a member of parliament for his county,
he became a judge at the age of forty-three. So far from holding opinions
antagonistic to the reigning house, Lauder was an enthusiastic royalist. He
was indeed a staunch Protestant at a time when religion played a great part
in politics. In his early youth the journal here published shows him as
perhaps a bigoted Protestant. But he was not conscious of any conflict
between his faith and his loyalty till the conflict was forced upon him,
and that was late in the day. In this position he was by no means singular.
Sir George Mackenzie, who as Lord Advocate was so vigorous an instrument of
Charles II.'s policy, refused, like Lauder, to concur in the partial
application of the penal laws, and his refusal led to his temporary
disgrace. Lauder was not even a reformer. He was a man of conservative
temperament, and while his love of justice and good government led him to
criticise in his private journals the glaring defects of administration,
and especially the administration of justice, there is no evidence that he
had even considered how a remedy was to be found. There was indeed no
constitutional means of redress, and all revolutionary methods, from the
stubborn resistance of the Covenanters, to the plots in London, real or
imaginary, but always implicitly believed in by Lauder, and the expeditions
of Monmouth and Argyll, met with Lauder's unqualified disapproval and

[21] It has been said that there is no sufficient evidence of this
honourable incident in Fountainhall's career. But Sir Thomas Dick
Lauder (MS. Genealogical Roll, _supra_) reproduces it in a poem to
the Memory of Sir John Lauder, published in 1743, and attributed
to Blair, the author of 'The Grave,' in which the following lines
occur. He

'Saw guiltless blood poured out with lavish hand,
And vast depopulated tracts of land;
And saw the wicked authors of that ill
Unpunished, nay, caressed and favoured still.
The power to prosecute he would not have,
Obliged such miscreants overlooked to save.'

[Sidenote: H.O. 148]

[Sidenote: H.O. 6]

[Sidenote: Decisions, p. 232.]

I shall cite some passages in illustration. When Charles II. died and James
was proclaimed, Lauder writes that 'peoples greiff was more than their joy,
having lost their dearly loved king'; then after a gentle reference to 'his
only weak syde,' he says, 'he was certainly a prince indued with many
Royall qualities, and of whom the Divine providence had taken a speciall
care by preserving him after Worcester fight in the oak.' ... 'A star
appeared at noon day at his birth; he was a great mathematician, chemist,
and mechanick, and wrought oft in the laboratories himselfe; he had a
natural mildnesse and command over his anger, which never transported him
beyond an innocent puff and spitting, and was soon over, and yet commanded
more deference from his people than if he had expressed it more severely,
so great respect had all to him. His clemencie was admirable, witnesse his
sparing 2 of Oliver Cromwell's sones, tho on of them had usurped his
throne. His firmnesse in religion was evident; for in his banishment he had
great invitations and offers of help to restore him to his croun if he
would turne Papist, but he always refused it. As for his brother James, now
our present King, he is of that martiall courage and conduct, that the
great General Turenne was heard say, if he ware to conquer the world, he
would choise the Duke of York to command his army,' Such were Lander's
loyal sentiments, as set down in a private journal a year before his
servants and clerks were arrested, and the seizure of his papers
threatened. But his Protestantism and his jealousy of Popery were equally
strong. In 1680 he notes that the minister of Wells in Nithsdale had
'turned Roman Catholic: so this is one of the remarkable trophees and
spoils the Papists are beginning to gain upon our religion.' A little
further on he is indignant at ridicule being thrown on the Popish Plot 'Not
only too many among ourselves, but the French, turned the Plot into matter
of sport and laughter: for at Paris they acted in ther comedy, called
Scaramucchio, the English tryall, and busked up a dog in a goune lik Chief
Justice Scrogs.' Again, 'A Papist qua Papist cannot be a faithful subject,'
He had, however, no sympathy with the Covenanters, a name which he does not
use, but he describes them as 'praecise phanaticks.' He did not consider it
unjust to bring them to capital punishment, because they denied the right
of the king to govern, though on grounds of humanity and policy he was
inclined to mercy. In 1682 he observes on the execution of Alexander Home,
a small gentleman of the Merse, who had commanded a party at the
insurrection of Bothwell Bridge, 'tho he came not that lenth,' 'It was
thought ther was blood eneuch shed on that quarrell already ... for they
are like Sampson, they kill and persuade mo at ther death than they did in
ther life.' He couples the Roman Catholics and Presbyterians together as
troublesome citizens. 'These foolish people that assume the name of
Presbyterians have unwarily drunk in these restles principles from the
Jesuites and seminary priests, who have had a hand in all our troubles and
blown the coall.' Apart, however, from the political attitude of the
Covenanters, whom he regarded as disaffected subjects, there is no evidence
that he concerned himself with the controversy as to the Episcopal or
Presbyterian form of Church government, or that he regretted the re-
establishment of Presbytery after the Revolution. He was not interested in
Church matters. In 1683 he writes, 'The Synod of Edinburgh' [which was then
Episcopalian] 'sat down, and not having much else to do, enacted 1'o that
ministers should not sit in the pulpit, but stand all the time they are in

[22] A devotional diary, for 1700, apparently one of a series,
preserved in the Edinburgh University Library, No. 274, and an
undated letter in the Dick Lauder MSS. about the election of a
'godly, primitive, and evangelicall pastor,' lead me to think that
his views were Calvinistic, and not out of sympathy with the
Presbyterian Establishment of the Revolution.

In the present volume, p. 229, there is a striking example of his sympathy
with the royal prerogative. He says it was believed that the project of
Union was 'mainly set on foot by his Majestie and so much coveted after by
him that he may rid himselfe of the House of Commons, who have been very
heavy on his loines, and the loins of his predecessors.... I confesse the
king has reason to wrest this excessive power out of the Commons their
hand, it being an unspeakable impairment of the soveraintie, but I fear it
prosper not.'

His repugnance to anything savouring of revolutionary methods, combined
with his always candid recognition of merit, appears in his observation
when Sidney was executed.

[Sidenote: H.O. p. 110.]

He was a gallant man, yet had he been so misfortunat as ever to be on the
disloyal side, and seemed to have drunk in with his milk republican
principles.' In December 1684 Baillie of Jerviswood was prosecuted for
being art and part in a treasonable conspiracy in England, along with
Shaftesbury, Russell, and others. Lauder and Sir George Lockhart were
commanded on their allegiance to assist the King's Advocate in the
prosecution. The Court, after deliberating from midnight till three in the
morning, brought in a verdict finding 'his being art and part of the
conspiracy and design to rise in arms, and his concealing the same proven,'
He was hanged and quartered the same day. Fountainhall did not disapprove
of his condemnation. He says, 'he carried all this with much calmness and
composure of mind; only he complained the time they had given him to
prepare for death was too short, and huffed a little that he should be
esteemed guilty of any design against the life of the King or his brother,
of which he purged himself, as he hoped to find mercy, so also he denied
any purpose of subverting the monarchial government, only he had wished
that some grievances in the administration of our affairs might be
rectified and reformed; but seeing he purged not himself of the rest of his
libel, his silence as to these looked like a tacit confession and
acknowledgment thereof.'

[Sidenote: Decisions, i. 366.]

[Sidenote: H.O. 74]

[Sidenote: H.N. 11]

[Sidenote: H.O. 184]

[Sidenote: Decisions, i. 160.]

[Sidenote: H.O. 55.]

A still more striking illustration of Lauder's political views is afforded
by his numerous observations on Argyll, who played so great a part in
public affairs during the period covered by the manuscripts until his
execution in 1685. Argyll was not a sympathetic figure to Lauder, but, as
usual, he does justice to his qualities, and recognises the tragedy of his
fate. On the day of his execution he notes, 'And so ended that great man,
with his family, at that time.' He had a more cordial personal admiration
for a very different statesman, Lauderdale, though he often disapproved of
his policy. At his death he writes, '24 of August, 1682, dyed John
Maitland, Duke of Lauderdale, the learnedest and powerfullest Minister of
State of his age, at Tunbridge Wells. Discontent and age were the
ingredients of his death, if his Dutchesse and Physitians be freed of it;
for she had abused him most grosely, and got all from him she could
expect.... The Duke of York was certainly most ungrate to Lauderdale; for
Lauderdale was the first who adventured in August 1679 to advise the King
to bring home the Duke of York from Flanders.'[23] Argyll he deemed to be
wanting in magnanimity. In 1671 he writes on the subject of a point in a
lawsuit being decided in Argyll's favour, 'This was my Lord President's
doing [Stair], he being my Lord Argyle's great confidant. It was admired by
all that he blushed not to make a reply upon his Father's forfaultor, and
whow he had committed many treasonable crimes before the discharge, and to
see him rather than tyne his cause, suffer his father rather to be
reproached and demeaned as a traitor of new again, by his own advocats,' So
fourteen years later he writes, 'Whatever was in Argile's first
transgression in glossing the Test (which appeared slender), yet God's
wonderfull judgements are visible, pleading a controversie against him and
his family, for the cruall oppression he used, not only to his father's,
but even to his oune creditors. It was remembered that he beat Mistris
Brisbane done his stairs for craving hir annuelrents, tho he would have
bestowed as much money on a staff or some like curiosity.' He was, however,
one of Argyll's counsel when he was prosecuted for taking the Test, with
the explanation 'that he conceived that this Test did not hinder nor bind
him up from endeavouring alterations to the better either in Church or
State.' Argyll, who had escaped, was sentenced to death in his absence,
attainted, and his estates forfeited. Lauder strongly disapproved of the
proceedings. He writes, 'There was a great outcry against the Criminal
Judges, their timorous dishonesty....' These words, 'consistent with my
loyalty, were judged taxative and restrictive, seeing his loyalty might be
below the standard of true loyalty, not five-penny fine, much less eleven-
penny,' ... 'The design was to low him, that he might never be the head of
a Protestant party, and to annex his jurisdiction to the Crown, and to
parcel out his lands; and tho' he was unworthily and unjustly dealt with
here, yet ought he to observe God's secret hand, punishing him for his
cruelty to his own and his father's creditors and vassals, sundry of whom
were starving.' Lauder speaks of 'that fatal Act of the Test.' He had no
favour for it, and he narrates with glee how 'the children of Heriot's
Hospitall, finding that the dog which keiped the yairds of that Hospitall
had a publick charge and office, they ordained him to take the Test, and
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 Argile), and he licked of the
butter, but did spite out the paper, for which they hold a jurie on him,
and in derision of the sentence against Argile, they found the dog guilty
of treason, and actually hanged him.'

[23] Sir George Mackenzie also, who criticises Lauderdale's proceedings
very freely, pays a fine tribute to one trait in his character,
'Lauderdale who knew not what it was to dissemble.'--_Memoirs_, p.

[Sidenote: H.O. 166]

[Sidenote: H.0. 196.]

[Sidenote: H.O. 189.]

Although Lauder considered that Argyll had been unjustly condemned in the
matter of the Test, his opinion about the expedition of 1685 was very
different. He did justice to his capacity. He writes, 'Argile had always
the reputation of sense and reason, and if the Whigs at Bothwell Bridge in
1679 had got such a commander as he, it's like the rebellion had been more
durable and sanguinarie' But as soon as the news of Argyll's landing on
the west coast came, this is his note, 'Argile, minding the former
animosities and discontents in the country, thought to have found us all
alike combustible tinder, that he had no more adoe then to hold the match
to us, and we would all blow up in a rebellion; but the tymes are altered,
and the peeple are scalded so severely with the former insurrections, that
they are frighted to adventure on a new on. The Privy Council, though they
despised this invasion, yet by proclamations they called furth the whole
heritors of Scotland,' and so on. 'Some look on this invasion as a small
matter, but beside the expence and trouble it hes put the country to, if we
ponder the fatall consequences of such commotions, we'll change our
opinions: for when the ramparts of government are once broke down, and the
deluge follows, men have no assurances that the water will take a flowing
towards their meadows to fructify them; no, no, just in the contrare.'
Argyll was discovered and apprehended in his flight by a weaver near
Paisley, of whom Lauder says, 'I think the Webster who took him should be
rewarded with a litle heritage (in such a place wher Argile's death will
not be resented), and his chartre should bear the cause, and he should get
a coat of arms as a gentleman, to incouradge others heirafter.' It does not
appear that this suggestion was acted upon.

But while Lauder was a supporter of the existing order of government and
opposed to all revolutionary plans, his journals disclose that in the state
of public affairs he found much matter for criticism and ground for
anxiety. In 1674 he tells of what will happen 'whenever we get a fair and
unpraelimited Parliament, which may be long ere we see it.' In 1683 he
writes sadly: 'Though we change the Governors, yet we find no change in the
arbitrary government. For we are brought to that pass we must depend and
court the Chancelor, Treasurer, and a few other great men and their
servants, else we shall have difficulty to get either justice or despatch
in our actions, or to save ourselves from scaith, or being quarrelled on
patched up, remote and innocent grounds. This arbitrary way Lauderdale
attempted, but did not attain so great a length in it as our statesmen do
now; and they value themselves much in putting the military and
ecclesiastic Laws to strict and vigorous execution, so that, let soldiers
commit as great malversations and oppressions as they please, right is not
to be got against them. Witness John Cheisly of Dalry's usage with Daver
and Clerk, in the Kings troupe, and Sir John Dalrymple's with Claverhouse.'
In the same year he says of James, then Duke of York, and Monmouth, 'We
know not which of their factions struggling in the womb of the State shall
prevail.' He regarded these political evils and dangers as beyond his power
to remedy. It was not till after he had entered Parliament in 1685 that he
made any public utterance on politics. In the last two years of James's
reign the Test Act was enforced against Nonconformist Protestants but not
against Roman Catholics. Lauder, being then in Parliament, considered it
his duty to take a part, and he made one or two very moderate speeches,
which, although expressed with studious respect to the sovereign, were
doubtless highly displeasing to the government.



[Sidenote: H.N. 40.]

In the matter of the administration of justice he writes with much less
reserve in his journals. The system was bad. The jurisdiction of the Privy
Council, who tried a considerable number of causes, was ill-defined. The
judges since the time of Charles I. were removable magistrates, entirely in
the dependence of the Crown. Even the ordinary Lords of Session were not
always trained lawyers--Lauder's father-in-law, for example, Sir Andrew
Ramsay, long Provost of Edinburgh, became a judge with the title of Lord
Abbotshall. There were besides four extraordinary lords who were never
lawyers, and were not bound to attend and hear causes pleaded, but they had
the right to vote. At the Revolution one of the reasons assigned for
declaring the Crown vacant was 'the changing of the nature of the judges'
gifts _ad vitam aut culpam_, and giving them commissions _ad bene placitum_
to dispose them to compliance with arbitary sourses, and turning them out
of their offices when they did not comply.' Thus in 1681, when the Test Act
was passed, five judges were dismissed, four ordinary, including the
President, Stair, and one extraordinary, Argyll, and a new commission
issued. When the Court was so constituted, it could hardly inspire implicit
confidence, and the instances are numerous in which Lauder complains that
injustice has been done, and the principles of the law perverted through
the influence of political and private motives. Even the most eminent of
the judges were not in his opinion clear from this blot. I have quoted one
passage in which Lauder hints at Stair's partiality for Argyll. In another
case in which Argyll was concerned he observes, 'Every on saw that would be
the fate of that action, considering the pershewar's probable intres in the
President.'[24] In 1672 when, as he considered, a well-established rule of
law had been unsettled, he writes, 'This is a miserable and pittiful way
of wenting our wit, by shaking the very foundations of law, and leaving
nothing certain. The true sourse of it all is from the wofull divisions in
the House, especially between the President and the Advocat [Mackenzie],
each of them raking, tho from hell, all that may any way conduce to carry
the causes that they head, _Flectere si neque superos_,' etc. One decision
which excited his warm indignation was given in a suit by Lord Abbotshall
against Francis Kinloch, who held a wadset over the estate of Gilmerton,
which Abbotshall maintained was redeemable. He lost the case. After an
extraordinary account of the way in which the decision was arrived at
Lauder proceeds, 'the Chancelor's [Rothes] faint trinqueting and
tergiversation for fear of displeasing Halton (who agented passionately for
Francis) has abated much of his reputation. The 2d rub in Abbotshall's way
was a largesse and donation of L5000 sterling to be given to Halton and
other persons forth of the town's revenue for their many good services done
to the toune. By this they outshot Sir Androw in his oune bow, turned the
canon upon him, and _justo Dei judicio_ defait him by the toune's public
interest, with which weapone he was want to do miracles and had taught them
the way[25].... This decision for its strangeness surprised all that heard
of it; for scarce even any who once heard the case doubted but it would be
found a clear wodsett, and it opened the mouths of all to cry out upon it
as a direct and dounright subversion of all our rights and properties.'

[24] Lauder was a very young man at the bar when he wrote these
strictures on Stair. They may be compared with and in part
corrected by a passage in Sir G. Mackenzie's _Memoirs_, p. 240,
which also bears on the appointment of incompetent judges.
'Lauderdale by promoting four ignorant persons, who had not been
bred as lawyers, without interruption, and in two years' time, to
be judges in it [the Session], viz., Hatton, Sir Andrew Ramsay,
Mr. Robert Preston, and Pittrichie, he rendered thereby the
Session the object of all men's contempt. And the Advocates being
disobliged by the regulations did endeavour, as far as in them
lay, to discover to the people the errors of those who had opprest
them: and they being now become numerous, and most of them being
idle, though men of excellent parts, wanting rather clients than
wit and learning, that society became the only distributor of
fame, and in effect the fittest instrument for all alterations:
for such as were eminent, did by their authority, and such as were
idle, by well contrived and witty raillery, make what impressions
they pleased upon the people. Nor did any suffer so much as the
Lord Stairs, President of the Session; who, because of his great
affection to Lauderdale, and his compliance with Hatton, suffered
severely, though formerly he had been admired for his sweet temper
and strong parts. And by him our countrymen may learn, that such
as would be esteemed excellent judges must live abstracted from
the court; and I have heard the President himself assert that no
judge should be either member of Council or Exchequer, for these
courts did learn men to be less exact justiciars than was

[25] See Appendix III.

It is not to be inferred from such strictures on the administration of
justice, a matter on which, as an upright lawyer, Lauder was keenly
sensitive, that he was an ill-natured critic of his professional brethren
or of public men. On the contrary, the tone of his observations, though
shrewd and humorous, is kindly and large-minded. He admired Lockhart, who
was his senior at the bar, and whom he perhaps regarded more than any other
man as his professional leader and chief, though he does not escape a
certain amount of genial criticism. His enthusiastic eulogy of Lockhart's
eloquence has been often quoted. In his estimation of Mackenzie it is easy
to see, that while he doubted the wisdom and humanity of his relentless
prosecutions, and while his arrogance comes in for criticism in a lighter
vein, respect for his capacity, learning, and industry was the
predominating element. It is pleasant to see the constant interest that he
took in Bishop Burnet's books and movements, though they do not appear ever
to have met. 'Our Dr. Burnet,' as he calls him. But that only means that he
was a Scotsman, for he describes Ferguson the Plotter in the same way.
There is nowhere a touch of jealousy or envy in those private journals.

The influence of Lander's period of youthful travels, his _Wanderjahre_, on
his future development is seen in various ways. He always kept up his
interest in foreign countries and foreign literature. He bought a great
many books, a list of which year by year is preserved, and he read them.
The law manuscripts, though they embrace a pretty wide field, are confined
to domestic affairs. But in the _Observes_ there are every year notes and
reflections on the events passing in every part of Europe, and especially
France. There is some interest in the following passage, almost the last
sentence in the _Historical Observes_, 'In regard the Duke of Brandenburgh
and States of Holland have not roume in ther countries for all the fugitive
Protestants, they are treating with Pen and other ouners of thesse
countries of Pensylvania, Carolina, etc., to send over colonies ther; so
that the purity of the Gospell decaying heir will in all probability passe
over to America.' The foreign schools of law where he had studied naturally
affected his treatment of legal questions. Until the publication of the
great work of Stair, the common civil law of Scotland was in a
comparatively fluid state, though there were some legal treatises of
authority, such as Craig's _Feudal Law_. Mackenzie's _Criminalls_ was
published in 1676, and is often referred to by Lauder. Many of his
contemporaries at the bar had studied like himself in the foreign schools
of the Roman Civil Law, and in his reports of cases the original sources
are quoted with enviable familiarity and appositeness.


In questions of social ethics, such as torture, and of popular belief, such
as astrology and witchcraft, Lauder was not much in advance of his age. He
frequently mentions the infliction of torture without any comment. When
Spence and Carstairs were tortured with the thummikins, he describes them
as 'ane ingine but lately used with us,' and possibly he had some
misgiving. The subjects of astrology and witchcraft had an attraction for
his inquiring and speculative mind.[26] He believed in the influence of the
heavenly bodies, and more firmly in witchcraft, for which many unhappy
women were every year cruelly put to death. These trials at times evidently
gave him some uneasiness. But usually, with regard to both topics, his
doubts do not go beyond a cautious hint of scepticism tinged with humour.
He was fundamentally a religious man, and where he touches on the great
issues of life, and the relation of man to his Maker, it is in a tone of
deep solemnity. But he loves to discourse in a learned fashion
on the influence of the stars. 'Charles the 2d,' he says, 'fell with few or
no prognosticks or omens praeceeding his death, unlesse we recur to the
comet of 1680, which is remote, or to the strange fisches mentioned, supra
page 72, or the vision of blew bonnets, page 74,[27] but these are all
conjecturall: vide, supra Holwell's prophecies in his Catastrophe Mundi,'
and so on. In 1683 'we were allarumed with ane strange conjunction was to
befall in it of 2 planets, Saturn and Jupiter in Leo.... Our winter was
rather like a spring for mildnes. If it be to be ascrybed to this
conjunction I know not.' In the case of comets there was less room for
scepticism. In December 1680, 'a formidable comet appeared at Edinburgh.'
In discoursing on this comet he remarks that Dr. Bainbridge observed the
comet of 1618 'to be verticall to London, and to passe over it in the
morning, so it gave England and Scotland in their civill wars a sad wype
with its taill. They seldom shine in wain, though they proceed from
exhalations and other natural causes.'

[26] Mr. Andrew Lang has pointed out to me that Lauder's remarks on the
identity of the popular legends in France and Scotland (_Journal_,
p. 83) are a very early instance of this observation, now
recognised to be generally applicable.

[27] P. 74, i.e. of his MS. For the vision of blue bonnets, compare
H.O., p. 142, and Wodrow's _History_, iv. 180.

[Sidenote: H.N. 198.]

[Sidenote: H.N. 146.]

Lauder relates several trials for witchcraft in much detail, and they
evidently gave him some uneasiness. Some of the women commonly confessed
and implicated other persons. In one such case the women, who among other
persons, accused the parish minister, said that the devil sometimes
transformed them 'in bees, in crows, and they flew to such and such remote
places; which was impossible for the devil to doe, to rarefy the substance
of their body into so small a matter ... thir confessions made many
intelligent sober persons stumble much what faith was to be adhibite to
them.' In another case from Haddington a woman confessed and accused five
others and a man. Lauder saw the man examined and tested by pricking. He
says, 'I remained very unclear and dissatisfied with this way of triall,
as most fallacious: and the man could give me no accompt of the principles
of his art, but seemed to be a drunken foolish rogue.' Then, according to
his custom, he cites a learned authority, Martino del Rio, who lays bare
the craft and subtlety of the devil, and mentions that 'he gives not the
nip to witches of quality; and sometimes when they are apprehended he
delets it....' 'The most part of the creatures that are thus deluded by
this grand impostor and ennemy of mankind are of the meanest rank, and are
ather seduced by malice, poverty, ignorance, or covetousness.' But he finds
comfort in the pecuniary circumstances of the Tempter. 'It's the
unspeakable mercy and goodness of our good God that that poor devill has
not the command of money (tho we say he is master of all the mines and hid
treasures of the earth) else he would debauch the greatest part of the


It has already been mentioned that Lauder's later journals, when he came to
chronicle public affairs and legal decisions, though they are full of
graphic detail, contain little that is personal to himself. The manuscripts
here printed, besides giving a picture of a Scottish student's life in
France during the seventeenth century, include a narrative of his visits to
London and Oxford on his return from abroad, his journey by coach and post
from London to Edinburgh, and various expeditions in Fife, the Lothians,
and the Merse, Glasgow, and the Clyde district, places where he had
connections. He travelled on horseback. He kept one horse at this time,
which appears in the Accounts. Considering his evident relish for
travelling, it is remarkable that in his long life he never seems to have
left Scotland after his return in 1667, though many of his more political
brethren at the bar were constantly on the road between Edinburgh and

He kept his accounts with great care. There were no banks, and his method
was to account for each sum which he received, detailing how it was spent
in dollars, merks, shillings sterling and Scots, pennies, etc. We have both
his accounts during his period of travel, which are included in the first
manuscript, and those during the years 1670 to 1675. From the latter
copious extracts are given, and they are informatory as to the prices of
commodities, and the mode of life of a young lawyer recently married. There
was settled on him by his father in his marriage contract an annuity of
1800 merks (L100), secured on land. His wife's marriage portion was 10,000
merks (about L555), half of it paid up and invested, the remainder bearing
interest at 6 per cent. His 'pension' as one of the assessors of the burgh
was L12 (sterling). His house-rent was L20 (sterling): in one place it is
stated a little higher; and he sublet the attics and basement. The wages of
a woman servant was nearly L2 (sterling). We find the prices of cows, meal,
ale, wine, clothing, places at theatres, etc., the cost of travelling by
coach, posting, fare in sailing packet to London and so on.

[Sidenote: H.O. 137.]

[Sidenote: Genealogical Roll.]

There are many illustrations throughout Lauder's manuscripts of the poverty
of Scotland, relatively not only to the present time but to England. The
official salary of a judge before the Union was L200, and it only reached
that figure during his lifetime. Some time after the Union it was raised to
L500. On the appointment of the Earl of Middleton as joint Secretary of
State for England with Sunderland, in place of Godolphin, Lauder notes,
'This was the Dutchesse of Portsmouth's doing, and some thought Midleton
not wise in changing (tho it be worth L5000 sterling a year, and 3 or 4
years will enrich on), for envy follows greatnesse as naturally as the
shadow does the body, and the English would sooner bear a Mahometan for
ther Secretar than a Scot, only he has now a good English ally, by marrieng
Brudnell Earle of Cardigan's sister.' Thus the salary of a Secretary of
State in England was the same in 1684 as it is now, whereas the salary of a
Scottish judge was only one eighteenth part of its present amount: Lauder
in his will gives a detailed account of his own investments. Sir Thomas
Dick Lauder computes that he left about L11,000 besides the estate of
Fountainhall, which he inherited. He was, however, the son of a wealthy
man. At his marriage before he had any means of his own, 90,000 merks were
settled by his father, who had several other children, on the children of
the marriage (L5000 sterling, representing a sum many times as large in the
present day).


Lauder mentions a great variety of coins both in his Journal in France and
in his Accounts after his return home. Some explanation of the principal
coins may be useful. It is necessary to keep in mind that the value of
coins was in a perpetual flux. There were during the century frequent
changes in the value of coins relatively even to those of the same country.

1. _In France._

(1) _Livre_. The livre used by Lauder, and called by him indifferently
'frank,' was the livre tournois,[28] of 20 sous. It was, subject to
exchange, of the same value as the pound Scots,[29] 1s. 8d. sterling, which
greatly simplifies calculations. The L s. d. French was equal to the
L s. d. Scots, and one twelfth of the value of the L s. d. English or

[28] The livre parisis contained 25 sous.--Major's _Greater
Britain_ (S.H.S.), p. 32, note.

[29] See pp. 3 and 4 and _passim_.

(2) _Ecu, ecu blanc_, or _d'argent_, a silver coin worth 3 livres,[30] or
5s. sterling, thus of the same value as the English crown, and sometimes
called crown by Lauder.

[30] The value varied a little, but it was three livres in 1653.--
_Memoires de l'Academie des Inscriptions et de Belles Lettres_
(1857), Tome 21, 2'me partie, p. 350.

(3) _Ecu d'or_, or _couronne_, golden crown. It was worth about 5 livres 12
sous,[31] equal to 9s. 4d. sterling. (P. 155, 'I receaved some 56 ll. in 10
golden crowns.')

[31] The exact value in 1666 in livres tournois was 5 ll. 11s. 6d.--
_Memoires, ut supra_, p. 256.

(4) _Pistole_. A Spanish gold coin current in France. Its standard value
was 10 livres tournois, equal to 16s. 8d. That fairly corresponds with a
proclamation in Ireland in 1661 fixing it at 16s. Littre (_Dict._ s.v.),
states the value of the coin a good deal higher, though he gives the
standard as above. But its value gradually increased, like that of other
gold coins, and in later Irish proclamations is much higher.

The British gold coins _Jacobus_ and _Carolus_ were also used by Lauder in
France, and are explained below.

2. _In Scotland and England._[32]

[32] See Cochran Patrick's _Records of the Coinage of Scotland_
(1876); Ruding's _Annals of the Coinage_ (1817); and _Handbook of
the Coins of Great Britain and Ireland_ in the British Museum, by
H.A. Grueber (1899); Burns, _Coinage of Scotland_.

(1) _Jacobus_ (2) _Carolus_. James VI. on his accession to the throne of
England, with a view to the union of the kingdoms, issued a coinage for
both countries, which was in this sense uniform that each Scottish coin was
commensurable and interchangeable with an English coin. The ratio of the
Scots to the English L s. d., which during centuries was always becoming
lower, was finally fixed at 1 to 12. The English 20s. and Scots 12 l.
pieces of equal value now issued were called the unite. The double crown or
10s. piece was the Scots 6 l. piece, the crown the Scots 3 l. piece, and so

The unite was so called from the leading idea of union, just as the double
crown had the legend, _Henricus Rosas Regna Jacobus_. As Henry VII. united
the Red and White Roses, James was to unite the two kingdoms. It seems
probable that James intended the unite as a 20s. or pound piece to be the
standard and pivot of the coinage of both countries, as the pound or
sovereign has now become. This enlightened policy, though it had lasting
effects, soon broke down in detail. In England the shilling proved too
strong for the unite, and in Scotland the merk maintained its hold. To
prevent the exportation of gold, the value of the unite of 154 grains[33]
was raised to 22s. in 1612, though the king had himself proposed rather to
lower the weight of silver. That caused confusion, 'on account of the
unaptness for tale' of the gold pieces at their enhanced value, and a
lighter 20s. piece of 140 grains was issued in 1619 for England only, known
as the laurel piece, from the wreath round the king's head. In Scotland the
original unite remained, and was sometimes called the 20 merk piece, to
which value it roughly corresponded. It was repeated in the coinage of
Charles I., the last sovereign who coined gold in Scotland prior to the
Revolution. Thus it was the only Scottish 20s. sterling piece. Charles I.'s
unite or double angel (20s. piece) for England was of the same lighter
weight as the laurel. In 1661 the value of the gold coin was again
heightened, the old unite to 23s. 6d., and the lighter English unite to
21s. 4d.

[33] The weights are given in round numbers.

The above information is necessary in order to identify the two gold coins
which Lauder used. He generally calls the larger the Jacobus and the
smaller the Carolus. At p. 80 the one is mentioned as 'the Scotes and
English Jacobuses, which we call 14 pound peices,' and the other as 'the
new Jacobus, which we cal the 20 shiling sterling peice.' At p. 154 he
speaks of '10 Caroluses, or 20 shiling peices,' so that the new Jacobus and
the Carolus are the same. While there was only one weight of Scots gold
piece of the issue value of 20s. sterling, in England during the reigns of
James I., Charles I., and Charles II. there were four: 1, the sovereign of
James I. (172 grains); 2, the unite or double angel of James (154 grains),
the same as in Scotland; 3, the laurel of James, the unite of Charles I.,
and the broad of Charles II. (140 grains); 4, the guinea[34] of Charles
II., first struck in 1663 (131 grains). Now Lauder's larger coin was a
Scots or English Jacobus, therefore it is the unite of James VI.; and his
smaller coin is called both a Carolus and a new Jacobus, therefore it is
the coin of 140 grains. The two pieces are mentioned in a proclamation by
the Privy Council in 1661 heightening certain coins.[35]

[34] Once mentioned by Lauder, p. 220.

[35] This table may be compared with Louis XIII.'s valuation of some of
these coins (p. 80). The Scots piece there mentioned with two
swords, and the legend _Salus_, etc., is no doubt the sword and
sceptre piece of James VI. (1601-4). But the issue value of the
whole piece, not the half piece, was 611. Scots.

L s. D. Scots. L s. D. Scots.
formerlie current at now to be current at
The Double Angel [36] 13.06.08 14.04.08
The Single Angel 6.13.04 7.02.04
The Dager Peice 6.13.04 7.02.04
The Scots Ryder 6.13.04 7.02.04

The New Peice[37] 12.00.00 12.16.00
The Halfe 6.00.00 6.08.00
The Quarter 3.00.00 3.04.00

The Rose Noble, Scots
and English. 10.13.04 11.07.04

The Hary Noble 9.06.08 9.19.00

[36] Lauder's Jacobus.

[37] Lauder's Carolus.

(3) _Dollar_. In Lauder's accounts the reader is struck by the prominent
position of the dollar. While debts and obligations were calculated in
pounds Scots or merks, dollars supplied the currency for household and
other payments, just as pounds do at the present day. They were foreign
coins of various denominations and various intrinsic value, but of inferior
fineness to the Scots standard of silver money, which was eleven penny
fine--eleven parts silver to one part alloy. They passed current for more
than their intrinsic value, and the native silver money was withdrawn from
the country. All through the reigns of Charles I. and Charles II. the
subject gave great concern to the Mint, the Parliament, the Privy Council,
and bodies with commercial interests like the Convention of 'Burrowis.' In
1631 the Privy Council issued a proclamation 'considering the greit
skarsitie of His Majestie's proper coynes ... occasioned by the frequent
transport theirof and importing of dollours in place of the same,'
prohibiting the receipt of any dollars for coal or salt after 1st November
next to come. 'That in the mean tyme the maisters and owners of the
coalhewes and saltpans may give tymous advertisement to the strangers
trading with them for coal and salt that they bring no dollours with them
for the pryce of the salt and coal,' and that merchants exporting bestial
or other commodities to England are to 'make return of the pryces' not in
dollars, but either in H.M. proper coin or in the following foreign coins,
the value and weight of which is fixed by the proclamation: Spanish
pistolet, French crown, rose noble, half rose noble, quartisdiskue, single
ryall. The proper method of dealing with the difficulty was matter of great

In 1633 George Foulis, master coiner, says in a memorial, 'In the first it
is to be considerit that _the most pairt of the moneys presently in
Scotland is only dollouris_.

'Secondlie, these dollouris are not all alike in wecht, some wheirof are 15
drops wecht, some 14-1/2 and many others lesser in wecht.

'Thirdlie, they are different in fineness, some 10, some 10-1/2, others
baser. The best 15 drop and 10 1/2 fineness will not answer to the King's
money in wecht or fynness to 54s. Scots.'

The best of these dollars was the Rex or Rix Dollar (Reichsthaler, dalle
imporiale). In the reign of Charles I. the baser dollars which gave most
trouble to the authorities were the dog dollars and the cross dollars. In
the reign of Charles II. we hear more of the leg dollar, which approached
the rex dollar in value, and had got a pretty strong footing.

On 14th January 1670, the Privy Council issued a proclamation on the
narrative, 'Forasmuch as there hath been of late imported into this kingdom
great numbers of those dollars commonly called leg dollars Haveing the
impression of a man in armes _with one leg _and a shield ... covering the
other leg ... which does usually pass at the rate of 58s. Scots money, and
seeing that upon tryall of the intrinsick worth and value thereof they are
found to fall short of the foresaid rate, and that in the United Provinces
where the forsaid dollars are coyned, the passe only at the rate of crosse
dollars, Therupon the King's Mtie with advice of his P.Cs. doth declare
that (the rex or bank dollars now passing at 58s. Scotts) the true and just
value at which the forsaids legs dollars ought to passe and be current in
this kingdome is 56s. Scotts money....'

Thus we get the authorised value of these dollars at the period of Lauder's
accounts. The accounts themselves show that the current value varied
indefinitely, and is sometimes different in two consecutive items.[38]

[38] With regard to the etymology of 'leg,' Mr. Hallen in his
introduction to the _Account Book of Sir John Foulis of Ravelston_
(S.H.S.), p. xxxiii, gives some strong and perhaps convincing
reasons in favour of Liege. But the descriptions in the
Proclamation above quoted, and the fact that Lauder sometimes
calls them 'legged,' seem to show that the popular etymology in
Scotland was the man's leg on the coin.

Charles II. struck four merk-pieces at the issue value of 53s. 4d. Scots in
two issues, the first in 1664, the second in 1675-1682. The second, and
only the second issue, came at some later but unknown period to be known to
numismatists as dollars. But I do not think there is any reason to suppose
that Lauder called those pieces dollars. The accounts are in the period of
the first issue, and Lander's dollar was of higher value. Probably his
dollars were all foreign coins, generally rex dollars, as he often calls
them. When they are leg dollars, he appears always so to distinguish them.

(4) _The Merk_, 13s. 4d. Scots, was raised in value by James VI. to 13-
1/2d. sterling, to make it interchangeable with English money. He coined
none after his accession to the throne of England, and probably intended
that no more should be coined. But the merk had too strong a hold in
Scotland, and half merks were struck by Charles I., and various multiples
and parts of merks by Charles II. at the old issue value of 13s. 4d. the
merk. On the other hand, in 1651 Parliament 'cryed up' the 12s. Scots
piece--equal to the English shilling--to one merk; and in 1625 the Britain
crown or 31. Scots piece is officially described as 'known as the five merk
piece,' though its issue value was only five shillings. This illustrates
the confusion and uncertainty of the relative value of coins, of which
parenthetically two other examples may be given. On 20th June 1673 Lauder
notes the receipt of his year's salary as one of the assessors for the
burgh, 'being 150 lb. Scots, which is about 229 merks,' whereas with the
merk at 13s. 4d. (the standard value), 150 lb. is exactly 225 merks. In the
same way he constantly states the same salary indifferently at 1501. Scots
or L12 sterling, whereas 1501. Scots ought to have been equal to L12, 10s.

(5) _Shilling_. Lauder applies the name without distinction to the English
shilling, 12s. Scots piece, which at page 80 he calls our shilling, and to
the shilling Scots. The context generally shows which he means.

(6) _Groat_. Lauder's groat is the English groat of four pence, sterling.
The groat Scots of less value had not been coined for a century.

(7) _Penny_. As in the case of the shilling, Lauder uses the name
indifferently for English pence and pennies Scots, but more often English.

Such coins as testoons, placks, bodles, bawbees and turners, do not appear
in his accounts, but some of them are casually mentioned in the text of the
MSS., and are explained in footnotes.


No alteration has been made on the text of the MSS. except the substitution
of capital letters for small ones, where capitals would now be used. In
this matter Lauder's practice is capricious, and it may safely be said that
it was governed by no rule, conscious or unconscious. He spells the pronoun
I with a capital, and usually begins a sentence with one. But names of
persons and places are very often spelt with small letters. The use of
capitals was not yet fixed, as it is now, and the usage of different
languages, such as English, French and German, as it came to be fixed, is
not identical. Some changes in the punctuation have also been made in
transcription for the sake of clearness, but the punctuation, which is
scanty, has not been systematically altered. In the MSS. some single words
have been erased, or rubbed off, at the top and the foot of the page. The
blanks are indicated, and as a rule, but not quite invariably, explained in
footnotes. MSS. X and H are printed entire, with two unimportant omissions,
one in each, which are noted and explained, and as regards MS. H, with the
exception of some detached pages of accounts, and a catalogue of some
books. Of these it was thought that the Appendix contains enough. From MS.
K only extracts are given. The remainder contains more accounts, and a
further catalogue of books, without the prices, and other memoranda and
reflections, now of no interest. The spelling is to a large extent
arbitrary.[39] It is less regular than, for example, the contemporary Acts
of Parliament, but more regular than the letters of some of Lauder's
contemporaries, in high positions.[40] A word is often spelt in different
ways on the same page. There are, however, many constant peculiarities,
some of which may have a linguistic interest, thus 'laugh' 'rough' 'enough'
'through' are spelt with a final _t_. The use of a final but silent _t_ Mr.
Mackay in his introduction to Pitscottie,[41] p. cxl, says is a distinct
mark of Scots of the middle period. 'Voyage,' 'sponge,' and 'large' are
sometimes spelt without the final _e_. 'Knew,' 'slew,' 'blew' are spelt
'know,' 'slow,' 'blow.' 'Inn' is spelt 'innes.' 'See' is always spelt 'sy'
or 'sie,' and 'weigh,' 'wy.' But these are only examples, taken at random.
'One,' 'off,' 'too,' 'thee' are spelt 'on,' 'of,' 'to,' 'the,' a snare to
the unwary reader. 'V' and 'W' are frequently interchanged.

[39] Lauder's French in the Journal in France is full of mistakes,
both of grammar and spelling. He was only learning the language.

[40] Cf. Bishop Dowden's introduction to Lauderdale Correspondence
(S.H.S.), _Miscellany_, vol. i. p. 230.

[41] _Historic and Chronicles of Scotland_, by Robert Lindesay of
Pitscottie (Scottish Text Society, 1899).

Lauder's language is idiomatic, and he uses many Scottish words which were
not common in the written literary language of his time. A few of these
words are now rare and even difficult to trace.[42] Most of them are quite
intelligible to persons who have been accustomed to hear Lowland Scots
spoken, but for the sake of other readers I have been convinced that
occasionally interpretation is not superfluous.

[42] One of them is 'dron,' p. 146. With reference to the words '_7
arbres_,' in the description of the Mail at Tours, p. 20, Mr. A.
Lang has suggested to me that _arbres_ might be a term in the _Jeu
de Mail_. Mr. H.S.C. Everard has kindly sent me the following
quotations from Joseph Lauthier's book on the game (1st ed.,
1717): 'C'est quand deux ou plusieurs jouent a qui poussera plus
loin, et quand l'un est plus fort que l'autre, le plus foible
demande avantage, soit par distance d'arbres, soit par distance de
pas.' 'On finit la Partie en touchant un arbre ou une pierre
marquee qui sert de but.' If certain trees were marked as goals,
that would be a better explanation than the one given in the note.

The thanks of the Society and my own are due to the owners of the MSS. I am
grateful to Sir T.N. Dick Lauder and Sir William Fraser's Trustees (Sir
James Balfour Paul, Lyon King of Arms, and the late Mr. James Craik, W.S.),
for intrusting me with their MSS. for a long time, which made my work much
easier; and more satisfactory. The Society is also indebted to Mr. David
Douglas for the use of his transcript of MS., and for the first suggestion
that the MS. should be printed.

By the kindness of Lady Anne Dick Lauder four portraits in her possession
are reproduced. 1. Lord Fountainhall, in ordinary dress, a different
picture from the one in robes published by the Bannatyne Club. 2. His first
wife, Janet Ramsay, an attractive picture, which suffers in the
photographic reproduction. 3. Sir John Lauder, Fountainhall's father. 4.
Sir Andrew Ramsay, Lord Abbotshall, his father-in-law.

I have received constant assistance and advice from Mr. T. Graves Law,
Librarian of the Signet Library. I have also to thank Sir Arthur Mitchell,
who read some of the proofs, and gave me valuable suggestions, Mr. J.T.
Clark, Keeper of the Advocates' Library, for ready help on many points, Mr.
H.A. Webster, Librarian of Edinburgh University, Mr. W.B. Blaikie, of
Messrs. T. and A. Constable, and Mr. Alex. Mill of the Signet Library, who
in transcription and otherwise has given me efficient and obliging

I am particularly grateful to Miss Cornelia Dick Lauder, for the interest
which she has taken in the book, and the help which she has given me in
obtaining the necessary materials for it.


EDINBURGH, _March_ 1900.





JOURNAL 1665-1667.

[The first leaves of the Manuscript are wanting. Lauder left Edinburgh on
20th March 1665, travelling by Berwick and Durham, and arrived in London on
1st April. See page 154.]

* * * * *

We saw also the fatall chair of Scotland wheirin our kings for many ages
used to be croune. I fand it remarkable for nothing but its antiquity, it
being thought to have come from Egypt some 3,000 years ago.

I went in the nixt place to the Tower, wheir on our entrin according to
custome I left my sword. Heir first we saw a very strong armory for weapons
of all sorts, as many as could furnish 20,000 men; we saw great field
pieces of ordinance as also granadoes; we saw also many coats of maill, and
among the rest on[43] very conceity all joined like fines of fisches on to
another, which they informed me came as a present from the great Mogull who
comands over 36 kings. The[re] ware hinging their as Trophees several
peices of armour that they had taken from the french in their wars wt them.
Their we saw the huge armour of John of Gaunt, duke of Lancaster. We came
nixt and saw the honors, wheir we saw the sword and seipter of honor; the
croun was not their, by reason the parliament had use for it at Whitehal.
We saw also a most rich Globe of christal beset wt most precious diamonds.
We came in the 3d place to sie the Lyons, the Leopards, the aigle, and a
long skine of a snake.

[43] One. Lauder's usual spelling.

We arrived London on Saturday 1 of April, we left it on Thursday 6 of
April; about 4 a cloack we took boat, and landed at Gravesend about 10 a
cloack at night, in which space we ware so merry in singing never but some
of us singing and sometymes all, that the rowers protested that they never
carried so merry a company doune the Thames. On the way we was tuise stoopt
by men of war to know whither their ware any seamen in it, that they might
be sent to the fleet: at which we alleadged Captain Blawprine[44] G. Moor
was much troubled, for he was exceeding skipper like. To morrow tymously we
tooke post about 6 a cloack, and reach Dover about one; yet we got not
passage til ij at night. What a distressed brother I was upon the sea neids
not hear be told, since its not to be feared that I'l forget it, yet I
cannot but tell whow[45] Mr. John Kincead and I had a bucket betwixt us
strove ... who should have the bucket first, both being equally ready; and
whow at every vomit and gasp he gave he cried Gods mercy as give he had
bein to expire immediately.

[44] Compare Blawflum (Jamieson), a deception. 'Prine' may be prein,
pin, a thing of little value. Moor is playfully described as
captain or skipper.

[45] How.

About 5 in the morning we landed on France the land of graven images. Heir
we divided into 8 companies: Joseph Marior wt one Mr. Colison went into
Flanders; Mr. Dick Moor and Kinkead went to Deip and so to Roan. Mr.
Strachan, Hamilton, and I stayed in Calais til Monday, 10 of April, and
joined wt the messenger for Paris one Pierre, a sottish fellow, yet one
that entertained us nobly; their went also wt him besides us on Mr. Lance
Normand, Newwarks gouernor and a son of my Lord Arreray or Broll,[46] a
very sharp boy wt his governour Doctor Hall. In our journey we passed
severall brave tounes as Bulloigne, Monstrul, Abewill, Poix, Beauveaus,
wheir is the most magnificent church I had ever then sien. We chanced to
lay a night at a pitty vilage called Birny, wheir my chamber was contigue
to a spatious pleasant wood that abounded wt nightingales, small birds to
look upon; who wt the melodiousnesse of their singing did put sleip quit
from me. The great number we meit of souldiers all the way begat in us
great fears of wooling [robbing],[47] yet it pleased God to bring us most
safely to Paris 14 of April at night. Mr. Strachan led Mr. Ham[ilton] and
me to one Turners, a Scotsman, wheir I lay that night, and wheir I
recountred wt several of our countrimen, as Patrick Mein, Mr. Castellaw,
Mr. Murray, Mr. Sandilands, a man wonderfully civil, Mr. Wilky, Mr. Gibson,
and Mr. Colt. The day following I made my addresse to F. Kinloch, and
brought wt me a letter containing my safe anivall to go in his packet for
Scotland, I not having written any thing since I wrot at my parting from
London. I delivered him also my fathers letter, B.[48] Kinlochs letter, and
Thomas Crafurds, wt the bill of exchange; my fathers is as followeth:

[46] Roger Boyle, 1621-1679, first Baron of Broghill and Earl of
Orrery, M.P. for Edinburgh, 1656-58, member of Cromwell's House of
Lords. He was succeeded by his son Roger, 1646-1710.

[47] 'Robbing' interlined. 'Wooling' may mean 'shearing,' so robbing.

[48] Bailie.

_Edinborough, March_ 15, 1665.

SIR,--The bearer heirof, my sone, inclining to study the french tongue
and the Laws, I have theirfor thought it expedient to direct him to you,
being confident of your favour and caire, intreating[49] ...
recommendation by a few lynes to one Monsieur Alex.[49] ... [pr]ofessor
of the Laws at Poictiers to which place I intend he sould go: as also to
place him their for his diet in the most convenient house but especially
wt on of our profession and Religion. He hes a bill drawen on you wt a
letter of advice and credit; which I hope ye will obey. I have bein
desired by severalls to have direct him to our Mr. Mowat and have bein
profered to cause answer him what money he sould neid for 20 shiling the
Frank: but I inclined rather to send him to you (whilk I hope ye will
not take as trouble) tho I have payed Thomas Crafurd 21 shiling.[50]
What he stands in neid of during his abode I hope ye wil answer him, and
upon your advertisment and eis receipt I sal either advance or pay the
money upon sight. I most without vanity or flattery say hitherto he hes
not bein inclined to any vice or evill way and I hope sall so continue.
I know not positively what may defray his charges in his studies, diet,
and otherwise, but I conceive about 7 or 8 hundred franks a year may do
it; whowever I entreat you let me hear from you what ye think
wil do it and what ye will take for the frank. So being confident of
your cair heirof, and in doing wheirof ye sall very much oblidge him who
is, Sir,--your reall friend,


[49] Page torn.

[50] See Introduction, p. xlviii.

The bill of exchange is as followeth:

_Edinburgh, 17 March 1665_, for 400 livres T.L.[51]

Sir,--4 dayes after sight of this my first bill of exchange (my 2 not
being payed) please pay to Mr. John Lauder or his order 400 livres TL
value receaved heir from his father B. John Lauder. Make punctuall
payment and please it to account, as by the advice of your humble


For Mr. Francis Kinloch, Merchant in Paris.

[51] See Introduction, p. xlii.

Francis having read thir, out of his kindnese would suffer me to stay no
wheir but in his oune house, wheir I stayed all the space I was at Paris,
attended and entertained as give I had bein a Prince. While I was heir I
communicated my intentions and directions for going straight to Poictiers
to these countrymen fornamed, who ware all unanimously against it, not
sieing what good I could do their since the Colledge was just upon the
point of rising; they conceived theirfor that I might imploy my tyme much
better either in Orleans at Mr. Ogilvyes house, or Saumur at Mr. Dualls;
for in either of these I could have a richer advantage in reference to the
language, both because its beter spoken their [then at] Poictiers, as also
fewer Scotsmen their then in Poictiers. I sould also have for a pistoll[52]
a month a master to give me a lesson on the Instituts once a day, which I
could not so have at that rate at Poictiers. Thus they reasoned, and I fand
Mr. Kinloch to be of the same mind. I considering that it was not expedient
for me to step one step wtout direction from my father, I wrot the
Vednesday following, 19 of Aprill, acquainting him wt it; and that I sould
attend his answer and will at Orleans.

[52] See Introduction, p. xliii.

While I was at Paris I went and saw the new Bridge, and Henry 4 his stately
statue in brasse sent as a present by the King of Denmark. I was also at
the Place Royalle wheir stands Lewis the 13, this king of France
his father, caused to be done by that great statesman in his tym, Cardinall
Mazarin, whom he left tutor to the young king during his minority.

I was also at the Palais Cardinal and that Palais wheir the Lawyers pleads.
The choops[53] their have great resemblance wt those in the hie exchange at
London. I saw also that vast stupendious building, the Louwre, which hath
layd many kings in their graves and yet stands unfinished; give[54] all be
brought to a close that is in their intentions I think the Grand Seigniours
seraglio sall bear no proportion to it. All we saw of it was the
extrinsecks, excepting only the king's comoedy house which the force of
mony unlocked and cost open; which truly was a very pleasant sight, nothing
to be sein their but that which by reason of gilding glittered like gold.
But the thing that most commended it was its rare, curious, and most
conceity machines: their they had the skies, boats, dragons, vildernesses,
the sune itselfe so artificially represented that under night wt candle
light nothing could appear liker them.

[53] Shops.

[54] Give for gif, if.

The day before I left Paris, being according to the French account the 5 of
May, according to the Scots the 25 of Aprill, Mr. Kinloch wt his wife and
daughter Magdalen took Mr. Mein, Mr. Dick,[55] Mr. Moor and me in coach 4
leagues of Paris to Ruell to sie the waterworks their, which wtout controll
be the best of any about Paris, by the way we passed thorow one of the
pleasantest woods or Parks that ever my eyes did sie, called the Park of
Boloigne. We saw Madrid also, but not that in Spaine; the occasion of the
building wheirof was this: Francis, one of the kings of France, became
Spaines prisoner, who demanded ...[56] ransome 8 milions. The french king
payes him 4, and ...[56] promises him upon the word of a king that having
once lifted it in France he sould come in person to Madrid and pay it. Thus
vinning home he caused build a stately house a litle from Paris, which he
named Madrid, and so wrot to the Spaniard that he had bein at Madrid and
payed what he owed, according to that, '_qui nescit dissimulare nescit
regnare_' We saw also Mount Calvary, which the Deluded Papists will have to
be the true representative of that Calvary wheir our Saviour suffered: its
situate at that same distance from Paris that the true's from Jerusalem, of
that same hieght, and so in all the circumstances.

[55] This may be James Dick, who was born in the same year as Lauder,
1646, afterwards Sir J. Dick of Priestfield, Lord Provost of
Edinburgh, and created a baronet.

[56] Page torn.

Thus we come to Ruell, wheir so many gallant sights offered themselfes that
I know not wheir to begin; first the pleasant ponds abounding wt fishes of
divers sorts, as carps, picks, etc., comes to be considred. But the rich
waterworks are the main commendation of the place. It is not to be
forgotten whow finely the fellow that showed us them, and set them on work
by his engines did wet Mr. Dick, and followed him in the litle house (the
Grotto) whethersoever he could stir. The thing that mainly moved my
admiration was the hie ascendance of the water: what secret hidden power
could carry the water clean contrary to its natural inclination which is to
deschend, as every other heavy body, so hy that in some of them a man wt a
speir could not reach its top.

The most wonderfull thing ever I saw is the infinit art that some curious
painter hath showen on a large timber broad, standing in a corner of the
yard: a small distance from it their is a revell put up which makes it
appear the more lively, so that we win no nearer then the revell would let
us. At this distance ye would think ye saw the heavens thorow the wal on
the other syde of it, so wonderously is the blew skie drawen; so that bring
me a man without acquainting him wt the devce he sal constantly affirme he
sies the lift on the other syde of the wall. On the same broad beneath the
skie on the earth, as ye would think, is drawen a woman, walking thorow a
montain in a trodden path, the woman, the mountain, the way, so cunningly
drawen that I almost thought I saw a woman walking on the other syde of the
wall over a hil throw the beaten rod. I constantly asserted also that the
broad was wery inaequall and that it had many utraisings[57] because I
seimed to sie as lively as ever I saw any thing pillars coming furth and
standing out wt a great deal of prominency from that which seimed to be the
skie, that at least I judged it halfe a ell farder out; yet it was but a
mistake; for its certainly knowen that the broad is as smooth and aequall
as can be. We also went out wtout the yeard to the back of the wall, wheir
by the back and sydes of the broad we discerned it to be of such thinnesse
that it could not admit any utcomings, as these pillars seimed to us.

[57] Outraisings, reliefs.

In our coming home from Ruell we went in and saw the king's brother the
Duke of Orleances house, Sainct Low: it hath also a wery pretty yard, wheir
we saw many water-works also, and in the pond several swanes. We saw also
many orange trees, some of which had their ripe fruit, some very green,
some betwixt the 2, according to the natur of the orange tree. The house we
fand wery rich; many brave portraicturs; our kings portraitur is their
better done then ever I saw it in my life. The partition that divides one
roome from another is of strange glasse that showes a man his body in some
of them 5 tymes, so that I saw in one of them 5 John Lauders. After this we
came back to Paris, on the morrow after, being the 6 of May according to
the French account, the 26 of April according to the Scots. I joined wt the
messenger for Orleans severall accompanieng me to my horse, their went 4
Englishes alongs also, one of which was the doctor whom his cometicall face
told to have the clap.

We came to Orleans May 7 at night. I straight directed my course to Mr.
Ogilvyes, which I did that I might get the better accomodation knowing that
the Doctor also intended their. I delivered him the letter I brought him
from F. Kinloch, which was as followeth:

Mr. John Ogilvy.

_Paris, May 6, 1665._

SIR,--Thesse are to accompany the bearer heirof, Mr. John Lauder, whose
father is my wery much honored friend, his mother my neir kinswomen, and
himselfe a very hopful youth inclined to vertue every way. He intends to
stay som tyme wt you, theirfor I do earnestly recommend him to your best
advice and counsell in what may concerne his welfare to assist him
theirin, in all which I recommend him to you againe and againe as give
he were my oune sone, assuring you that what favor or friendship you
sall be pleased to show him, I sall ever acknowledge it as done to my
selfe. He intends to improve his tyme in the study of the Laws, and
having got some knowledge of the french tongue, he intends for Poictiers
some moneths hence. Help him to a master that may come to him once a day
and give him a lesson on the Instituts; and for the language I beseich
you assist him in it. If their be no accommodation for him at your
house, I pray you place him wheir he may be weil used and in good
company. Let him not want what he stands in neid of for monyes or other
necessaries, all which I sall make good to you thankfully upon advice
from you. Thus recommending him to your care as my oune. Kissing your
hand wt madam Ogilvyes, your daughters, and al your families, I rest
your real friend and servant,


At my arrival heir I fand in pension wt him the Mr. of Ogilvy[58] wt his
servant, a very civil lad[59] James Hunter, young Thirlestan[60] wt his man
Patrick Portues: besides them also their ware English, French, and Germans.
The city (called Aurelia ather _a bonitate auroe_, or from Aurelian the
emperor who keipt a station heir) I fand to be as big as Edinborough laying
wt it also the next greatest citty of Scotland. I discovered likewise the
city to abound wt such a wast number of lame folk, both men and women, but
especially women, even many of them of good quality, that I verily beleive
their are more lame women their at Orleans then is in all Scotland or much
of France. Enquiring what the reason of this might be, the general woice
was that it proceeded from the nature of the Aurelian wine, which they
alledge to have such influence on the sperm of man as to produce a creature
imperfect in their legs. Others sayd it was the purity of the air about
Orleans whence the city has the name of Aurelia. But what influence the air
can have in this point is hardly explicable. Monsieur Ogilvy more
rationally informed me that he took it to be a race and generation of
peaple who transmitted it haereditarly to their posterity, for which I meit
after[6l] a wery strong presumption: I saw a mother lame, not only the
daughters lame, but in the very same faschion that the mother; and this I
saw confirmed seweral tymes.

[58] Apparently David, afterwards third Earl of Airlie. His
grandfather was already dead, and he is afterwards called Lord
Ogilvy in the Journal.

[59] Probably the servant, though the punctuation is as in the text.

[60] Thirlestan, probably Thurston in East Lothian, belonging to the
family of Hunter.

[61] Meit after, i.e. met afterwards.

Just the morrow after my arrival was keipt very solemly by the whole toune
in remembrance and commemoration of the valiant maid of Orleans, who, when
the English had reduced al France excepting only Orleans to their
obedience, and ware so fair for Orleans that they gained to the mids of the
bridge over Loyer, most couragiously animated the citizens and beat them
shamelesslie back: for which when the English got hir in their power they
brunt hir at Roan quick.

The ceremony we saw consisted of a procession partly spiritual or
Ecclesiastick, partly civil or Temporal. To make the spirituall their was
their all that swarm of grassopers which we are fortold sould aschend out
of the bottemlese pit; all these filthy frogs that we are fortold that
beast that false prophet sould cast out of his mouth, I mean that rable of
Religious orders within the body of that Apostolical and Pseud-apostolicall
Church of Rome. Only the Jesuits was wanting; the pride of whose hearts
will not suffer them to go in procession with the meaner orders. In order
went the Capuchines, then the Minimes, which 2 orders tho they both go
under the name of Cordeliers by reason of that cord they wear about their
midle, on whilk cord they have hinging their string of beads, to the end of
their string is hinging a litle brazen crosse, tho also they be both in on
habit, to wit long broun gowns or coats coming doune to their feet, a cap
of that same coming furth long behind just like a Unicornes horne, tho the
go both bar leged only instead of shoes having cloogs of wood (hence when I
saw them in the winter I pitied them for going bar leged; on the other
hand, when I saw them in the summer I pitied them that they ware necessitat
by the first institution of their orders never to quate their gounes which
cannot be but to hot for them; yea, never to suffer any linnen only wooll
to come neirest their skine), notwithstanding of this its easy to
distinguish them by the Clerical Tonsure, you sall never find a capuchin
but wt a very liberall bard: for the Minime he most not have any. Again in
their diet and other such things they differ much: the Minime most renounce
for ever the eating of fleche, their only food is fishes and roots; hence
Erasmus calles them fischy men (homines piscosos). Not so wt the
Capuchines. Their be also many other differences that tyme most discover to
me. Thir 2 orders our Bucanan means when he names _nodosa canabe
cinctos_.[62] To returne to our purpose their came also the Dominicans or
Jacobins, which are but one order having 2 names; then came the Chartereus
or Carthusians: both which go in a long white playding robe. Only the
Jacobins hood is black; the Carthusians is white: then followed the
Franciscans, who now are called Recollects because being al banished France
by reason of their turbulency and intromitting wt the state (of which wery
stamp they seim to have bein in the tyme of our James the 5, when he caused

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