Picture of Daniel Defoe

Daniel Defoe


places mentioned

Letter 13, Part 1: Fife and Perth

Next Selection Previous Selection

LETTER XIII

CONTAINING A DESCRIPTION OF THE NORTH OF SCOTLAND

SIR,-I am now to enter the true and real Caledonia, for the country on the north of the firth is alone call'd by that name, and was antiently known by no other. As I shall give an account of it as it is, and not as it was; so I shall describe it as I view'd it, not as other people have view'd it; nor shall I confine myself to the division of the country, as the geographers have divided it, or to the shires and counties, as the civil authority has divided it, or into presbyteries and synodical provinces, as the Church has divided it: But noting the shires where I find them needful, I shall give an account of things in the order of my own progress, and as I pass'd thro', or visited them.

I went over the firth at the Queens-Ferry, a place mention'd before, seven miles west of Edinburgh; and, as he that gives an account of the country of Fife, must necessarily go round the coast, the most considerable places being to be seen on the seaside, or near it; so I took that method, and began at the Queens-Ferry. A mile from hence, or something more, is the burrough of Innerkeithin, an antient wall'd town, with a spacious harbour, opening from the east part of the town into the Firth of Forth; the mouth of the harbour has a good depth of water, and ships of burthen may ride there with safety; but as there is not any great trade here, and consequently no use for shipping of burthen, the harbour has been much neglected: However, small vessels may come up to the key, such as are sufficient for their business.

The town is large, and is still populous, but decay'd, as to what it has formerly been; yet the market for linnen not only remains, but is rather more considerable than formerly, by reason of the increase of that manufacture since the Union. The market for provisions is also very considerable here, the country round being very fruitful, and the families of gentlemen being also numerous in the neighbourhood.

There was a tragical story happen'd in this town, which made it more talk'd of in England, at that time, than it had been before. The Lord Burleigh (a young nobleman, but not then come to his estate, his father being living) had, it seems, had some love affair with a young woman in his father's family, but could not prevail with her to sacrifice her virtue to him; upon which the affair being made publick she was remov'd out of the family, and he was persuaded to travel, or whether he went into the army, I do not remember; he had declar'd it seems, before he went abroad, that he would marry her at his return; which, however, it seems the young woman declin'd too, as being too much below his quality, and that she would not be a dishonour to the family: But he not only declar'd he would marry her, but, upon that answer of hers, added, that if any one else marry'd her, he would murther them as soon as he came back: This pass'd without much notice, and the young woman was marry'd, before his return, to a schoolmaster in this town of Innerkeithen.

After some time the Young Master (so they call the eldest son of a lord, while his father is living) of Burleigh, returns from his travels, and enquiring for the young woman, and being told she was marry'd, and to whom, retaining his hellish resolution he rides away to the town, and up to the school door, and calling for the schoolmaster, the innocent man came out to him unarm'd in a gown and slippers; when, after asking if he was such a one, and flying out in some hard words upon him, he drew his pistol, and shot the poor man dead upon the spot, riding away in the open day, and no body daring to meddle with him.

But justice pursuing him, and a proclamation being issued, with a reward of 200l . for apprehending him, he was at last taken, and was tried at Edinburgh by the Lords of the Justitiary, and condemned to have his head cut off, and the day of execution appointed. Nor could all the intercession of his family and friends prevail with the queen, after Her Majesty had a true account of the fact laid before her, to pardon or reprieve him: But the day before the execution his friends found means for him to make his escape out of the Tolbooth of Edinburgh, disguis'd in his sister's clothes.

In return for this deliverance he appear'd in the late rebellion, and was in the battle of Dumblain or Sheriffmuir, but got off again; and his estate, which, however, was but small, was forfeited among the rest. But the murtherer is not yet brought to justice.

This tragedy, and its circumstances, I think, merits to be recorded, and the rather, because most of the circumstances came within the verge of my knowledge, and I was upon the spot when it was done; there are many other circumstances in it, but too long to be repeated.

Near Innerkeithin, a little within the land, stands the antient town of Dumfermling, as I may say, in my Lord Rochester's words, in its full perfection of decay; nay, the decay is threefold.

  1. Here is a decay'd monastery; for before the Reformation here was a very large and famous abbey, but demolish'd at the Revolution; and saving, that part of the church was turn'd into a parochial church, the rest, and greatest part of that also lyes in ruins, and with it the monuments of several kings and queens of Scotland, particularly that of Malcolm III. who founded the monastery, as does also the cloister and apartments for the religious people of the house, great part of which are yet so plain to be seen, as to be distinguish'd one from another.
  2. Here is a decay'd court or royal palace of the kings of Scotland. They do not tell us who built this palace, but we may tell them who suffers it to fall down; for it is now (as it was observ'd before all the royal houses are) sinking into its own ruins; the windows are gone, the roof fallen in, and part of the very walls moulder'd away by the injury of time, and of the times. In this palace almost all King James the VIth's children were born; as particularly King Charles I. and the Princess Elizabeth, afterwards Queen of Bohemia; and their mother, which was Queen Ann daughter of the Queen of Denmark, made this place her particular residence, which was also settled upon her as her dower or jointure; here she built herself an apartment, consisting of eight rooms over the arch of the great gate, which were her particular retirement, having a gallery reaching from that apartment to the Royal Lodgings.

    The figure of the house remains, but as for the lodgings they are all, as I have said, in their decay, and we may now call it the monument of a court.
  3. Here is a decay'd town, and we need go no farther for that part than the decay of the palace, which is irrecoverable; there might be something said here of what was done at this town, upon receiving and crowning King Charles II., by the Covenanters, &. and which might, perhaps, contribute to entail a disgust upon the house, and even upon the place; and if it did so, I see no reason to blame the king on that account, for the memory of the place could not be pleasant to his majesty for many reasons: But this is matter of history, and besides, it seems to have something in it that is not, perhaps so well to be remember'd as to be forgot.

The church has still a venerable face, and at a distance seems a mighty pile; the building being once vastly large, what is left appears too gross for the present dimensions; the church itself, they tell us, was as long as the cathedral of Carlisle, design'd by the model of that of Glasgow, though, I rather think, that at Glasgow, was design'd by the model of that at Dumfermling, for the last was, by far, the most antient.

The people hereabout are poor, but would be much poorer, if they had not the manufacture of linnen for their support, which is here, and in most of the towns about, carry'd on with more hands than ordinary, especially for diaper, and the better sort of linnen: The Marquess of Tweedale has a good estate in these parts, and is hereditary House-keeper, or Porter of the Royal House, and, in effect, Lord Chamberlain.

From hence, turning east, we see many seats of private gentlemen, and some of noblemen, as particularly one belonging to the said Marquess of Tweedale at Aberdour. It was formerly one of the many noble mansion houses of the great Earl Mortoun, regent; but with his fall the estates found new masters as that of Dalkeith has in the house of Bucclugh, and this of Aberdour in the house of Yester, or Tweedale. The house is old, but magnificent, and the lands about it, as all must do, that come into the managing hands of the family of Tweedale, have been infinitely improv'd by planting and enclosing.

This house of Aberdour fronts the firth to the south, and the grounds belonging to it reach down to the shores of it. From this part of the firth, to the mouth of Innerkeithen harbour, is a very good road for ships, the water being deep and the ground good; but the western part, which they call St. Margaret's Bay, is a steep shore, and rocky, there being twenty fathom water within a ship's length of the rocks: So that in case of a south east wind, and if it blow hard, it may be dangerous riding too near. But a south east wind blows so seldom, that the ships often venture it; and I have seen large ships ride there.

He that will view the country of Fife must, as I said before, go round the coast; and yet there are four or five places of note in the middle of the country which are superiour to all the rest, and must not be omitted; I'll take them as I go, though I did not travel to them in a direct line, the names are as follow. Kinross the house of Sir William Bruce, Lessly, Falkland, Melvil, Balgony, and Cowper; the last a town, the other great houses, and one a royal palace, and once the most in request of all the royal houses in Scotland: And here, since I am upon generals, it may not be improper to mention, as a remark only, that however mean our thoughts in England have been of the Scots Court in those times, the kings of Scotland had more fine palaces than most princes in Europe, and, in particular, many more than the Crown of England has now; for example, we see nothing in England now of any notice but Hampton-Court, Windsor, Kensington, and St James's.

Greenwich and Nonsuch are demolished.

Richmond quite out of use, and not able to receive a Court.

Winchester never inhabited, or half finished.

Whitehall burnt, and lying in ruins, or, as we may say let out into tenements.

Westminster, long since abandon'd: So that I say nothing remains but, as above, St. James's, Kensington, Windsor, and Hampton-Court.

Whereas the kings of Scotland had in King James the VIth's time all in good repair, and in use, the several Royal palaces of

Haly-Rood House,
The castle,
}at Edinburgh.
The royal palace in the castle at Sterling.
Linlithgow.
Dumfermling.
Falkland.
Scoon.
Besides lesser seats and hunting-houses, of which King James V. had several; and besides the several palaces of the Earl Mortoun and others, which were forfeited into the king's hands, and which afterwards became royal.

Having seen Aberdour, I took a turn, at a friend's invitation, to Lessly; but by the way stopp'd at Kinross, where we had a view of two things worth noting. I. The famous lake or lough, call'd Lough Leven, where, in an island, stands the old castle where Queen Mary, commonly known in England by the name of Queen of Scots, was confin'd by the first reformers, after she had quitted, or been forc'd to quit her favourite Bothwel, and put herself into the hands of her subjects. One would have thought this castle, standing as it were in the middle of the sea, for so it is in its kind, should have been sufficient to have held her, but she made shift to get out of their hands, whether by a silver key, or without a key, I believe is not fully known to this day.

The lough itself is worth seeing; 'tis very large, being above ten miles about, and in some places deep, famous for fish. Formerly it had good salmon, but now chiefly trouts, and other small fish; out of it flows the River Leven, which runs from thence to Lessly.

At the west end of the lake, and the gardens reaching down to the very water's edge, stands the most beautiful and regular piece of architecture, (for a private gentleman's seat) in all Scotland, perhaps, in all Britain, I mean the house of Kinross. The town lies at a little distance from it, so as not to annoy the house, and yet so as to make it the more sociable; and at the town is a very good market, and the street tolerably well built. The house is a picture, 'tis all beauty; the stone is white and fine, the order regular, the contrivance elegant, the workmanship exquisite. Dryden's lines, intended for a compliment on his friend's poetry, and quoted before, are literally of the house of Kinross.

Strong dorick columns form the base,
Corinthian fills the upper space;
So all below is strength, and all above is grace.

Sir William Bruce, the skilful builder, was the Surveyor-General of the works, as we call it in England, or the Royal Architect, as in Scotland. In a word, he was the Kit Wren of North Britain; and his skill in the perfect decoration of building, has many testimonials left upon record for it; such as the palace of Haly-Rood at Edinburgh; the house of Rothess, and this at Kinross, besides several others.

The situation of this house of Kinross would be disliked by some for its being so very near the water, and that sometimes when the lake is swelled by winter rains and melted snows, the water comes into, or at least unto the very gardens; but as the country round is dry, free from stagnated boggs, and unhealthy marshes; this little mediterranean sea gives them very little inconvenience, if any. Sir William, according to the new and laudable method of all the Scots gentlemen, has planted innumerable numbers of firr-trees upon the estate round his house, and the present possessor Mr. Bruce, is as careful to improve as his predecessor: Posterity will find the sweet of this passion for planting, which is so happily spread among the people of the south-parts of Scotland, and which, if it goes on, will in time make Scotland a second Norway for firr; for the Lowlands, as well as the Highlands, will be overspread with timber.

?or may it require so many ages as some people imagine, for many of the largest and most considerable improvements are already of fifty to seventy and eighty years standing as at Melvil, Lessly, Yester, Pinkey, Newbattle, and several other places; and others follow apace; so that in forty or fifty years more, as slow a growing wood as firr is, yet there may be a quantity of large grown trees to be found to begin upon, so as to cutt out deal-boards in great numbers, besides sparrs, bauks, poles, oars &. which the branches will supply.

From Kinross, I came to Lessley, where I had a full view of the palace of Rothess, both inside and outside, as I had before of that of Bruce. The magnificence of the inside at Lessly is unusually great; but what is very particular, is the long gallery, which is the full length of one side of the building, and is fill'd with paintings, but especially (as at Drumlanrig) of the great ancestors of the house of Rothes or Lessly at full lengths, and in their robes of office or habits of ceremony; particularly the late Duke of Rothess, who built the house, and who was Lord High Chancellor of Scotland.

I do not forget that the rooms of state at Kinross are well supply'd with pictures and some very fine and valuable pieces, as particularly those of King Charles I. and Henrietta Maria his queen daughter of France. But almost if not all the full lengths in this gallery of Rothess, are of the family, and the immediate ancestors from whom in a direct line the present earl is descended, having been peers, and in some or other of the greatest offices of trust in Scotland, from the year 1320 to 1725; so that there may well be enough to cloath a gallery, and they are there to be distinguished by their robes and different habits down to the great founder of the house, who was Lord High Commissioner to the Parliament, Lord High Treasurer, and Lord Chancellor; and was created a duke for his own life only, so that his successors are now but earls: But the family are still in the highest esteem, and have gone thro' divers posts of honour and trust. The house indeed is magnificent, I cannot say the situation is so much to advantage as some other seats; nor is there any large avenue or prospect from the entrance, but it is a prospect in it self; it is situated on the banks of the Leven just where another smaller river joins it, and the park on the south side of the house is very beautiful, six miles in circumference, walled about, and in several parts, little woods of firr-trees planted with vistas reaching to them from the house, which gives a very beautiful prospect. The gardens are at the E. end of the house well planted, and well designed, extending to the angle or point, where the two rivers meet; so that the gardens are as it were watered on the north and on the east side, and on the south side are parted from the park with a wall; the west end of them beginning from the house.

This house was built for the duke mentioned above, in the reign of King Charles II. by that man of art and master of building Sir William Bruce mentioned there also, so that the building is wholly modern. It is a square, and the fronts every way are plain, that is, without wings, and make a square court within: Here it was King James II. lodged, most part of the time,, when he was oblig'd by his brother, King Charles II. to retire into Scotland while he was Duke of York; and his apartments are marked in the house and call'd the Duke of York's Lodgings to this day. They had a communication with the long gallery, and with the great staircase at the other end.

The town of Lessly is at a small distance west from the house or a little north-west. There is a good market, but otherwise it is not considerable. The house is the glory of the place, and indeed of the whole province of Fife.

From Lessly, we turn'd away south to the coast, and came to Bruntisland; this is a port upon the Firth of Forth, and lies opposite to Leith, so that there is a fair prospect as well of the road of Leith, and the ships riding there, as of the city and castle or Edinburgh. There is a very good harbour which enters as if it had been made by hand into the center of the town; for the town is as it were built round it, and the ships lay their broad sides to the very houses. There is water enough at spring-tides, for ships of good burthen to come into the basin; but at low-water some of the ships lye a-ground: But want of trade renders all this useless; for what is the best harbour in the world without ships ? And whence should ships be expected without a commerce to employ them; it is true, the ships of several other towns on the coast frequently put into this harbour, to lay up, as we call it, and to lye by in the winter: But this does not so much better the town as to make it be call'd a trading town; so that, indeed, the place is unhappy, and must decay yet farther, unless the trade revive, which, I confess, I do not yet foresee.

Here is, however, a manufacture of linnen, as there is upon all the coast of Fife, and especially for that they call green-cloth, which is now in great demand in England for the printing-trade, in the room of callicoes, which were lately prohibited.

Next to this is Kinghorn upon the same coast, where, not the sea, but the manufacture upon the land may be said to maintain the place; for here is a thread manufacture, which they make very good, and bleach or whiten it themselves. The women, indeed, chiefly carry on this trade, and the men are generally seamen upon all this coast, as high as the Queens-Ferry. Where I observ'd the men carry'd on an odd kind of trade, or sport rather (viz.) of shooting of porpoises, of which very great numbers are seen almost constantly in the firth; when they catch them thus, they bring them on shore, and boil the fat of them as they do of whales, into train-oil, and the like they do with several other great fish, which sometimes they find in the sea there; and sometimes they have grampusses, finn fish, and several species of the small whale kind which come up there, and which they always make the best of, if they can take them. One year in particular there came several such fish on shore, which they could find no name for; there was eight or nine of them, which I saw lying on the shore of Fife, from Kinghorn to the Easter Weems, some of which were twenty foot long and upward.

But this sort of fishing is but by accident, and the profit's not certain; the firth affords a much more certain and profitable fishery lower down, of which in its place. The ferry, from Leith to the shore of Fife, is fix'd in this town, though sometimes the boats in distress, and by force of wind and weather, are driven to run into Borunt Island: This constant going and coming of the ferry-boat, and passengers, is also a considerable benefit to the town of Kinghorn, and is a very great article in its commerce.

East of this town is Kirkcaldy, a larger, more populous, and better built town than the other, and indeed than any on this coast. Its situation is in length, in one street running along the shore, from east to west, for a long mile, and very well built, the streets clean and well pav'd; there are some small by streets or lanes, and it has some considerable merchants in it, I mean in the true sense of the word merchant. There are also several good ships belonging to the town: Also as Fife is a good corn country, here are some that deal very largely in corn, and export great quantities both to England and Holland. Here are great quantities of linnen shipp'd off for England; and as these ships return freighted either from England or Holland, they bring all needful supplies of foreign goods; so that the traders in Kirkcaldy have really a very considerable traffick, both at home and abroad.

There are several coal-pits here, not only in the neighbourhood, but even close to the very sea, at the west end of the town, and where, one would think, the tide should make it impossible to work them. At the east end of the town is a convenient yard for building and repairing of ships, and farther east than that several salt-pans for the boyling and making of salt.

Kirkcaldy is a member of the royal burroughs, as are also Bruntisland, Kinghorn, and Dysert, tho' almost all of them together are not equal to this town: So that here are no less than four royal burroughs in the riding of five miles.

Dysert is next, a town that gives the title of noble or baron to the Lord Dysert, who resides in England, tho' the property both of the town and the lands adjoining, belong to the Lord Sinclare or St. Clare: but be the estate whose it will, the town, though a royal burgh, is, as I said before of Dumfermling, in the full perfection of decay, and is, indeed, a most lamentable object of a miserable, dying Corporation; the only support which, I think, preserves the name of a town to it, is, that here is, in the lands adjoining, an excellent vein of Scots coal, and the Lord Dysert, the landlord, has a good salt-work in the town; close to the sea there is a small peer or wharf for ships, to come and load both the salt and the coal: And this, I think, may be said to be the whole trade of the town, except some nailers and hardware workers, and they are but few.

I take the decay of all these sea-port towns, which 'tis evident have made a much better figure in former times, to be owing to the removing of the court and nobility of Scotland to England; for it is most certain, when the court was at home, they had a. confluence of strangers, residence of foreign ministers, being of armies, &. and consequently the nobility dwelt at home, spent the income of their estates, and the product of their country among their neighbours. The return of their coal and salt, and corn and fish, brought them in goods from abroad and, perhaps, money; they sent their linnen and other goods to England, and receiv'd the returns in money; they made their own manufactures, and though not so good and cheap as from England, yet they were cheaper to the publick stock, because their own poor were employ'd. Their wool, which they had over and above, went to France, and return'd ready money. Their lead went to Holland, and their cattle and sheep to England, and brought back in that one article above I00,000l . sterling per Ann.

Then it was the sea-port towns had a trade, their Court was magnificent, their nobility built fine houses and palaces which were richly furnish'd, and nobly finish'd within and without. They had infinitely more value went out than came back in goods, and therefore the balance was evidently on their side; whereas, now their Court is gone, their nobility and gentry spend their time, and consequently their estates in England; the Union opens the door to all English manufactures, and suppresses their own, prohibits their wool going abroad, and yet scarcely takes it off at home; if the cattle goes to England, the money is spent there too. The troops rais'd there are in English service, and Scotland receives no premio for the levies, as she might have done abroad, and as the Swiss and other nations do at this time.

This I take to be the true state of the case; and as this is not foreign to the design of this work, I am the longer upon it. I gave a particular account in my description of Glasgow, Irwin, and Dumfries, to shew you how those places were enrich'd by the increase of their commerce, and how the commerce was encreas'd by the Union of the two kingdoms. I must likewise, in justice, demonstrate how and why these sea-ports, on the east coast, decline and decay by the same occasion, and from the same cause.

It is true, Scotland would have an advantagious trade with England, and not the worst for the Union, were not the Court remov'd, and did not their nobility dwell abroad, and spend their estates abroad: Scotland has a plentiful product for exportation, and were the issue of that product return'd and consum'd at home, Scotland would flourish and grow rich, but as it is, I may venture to say, it is not to be expected. For example; The product of Scotland, I say, is very considerable, I mean that part of it which is exported to foreign parts, for what. is consum'd at home is nothing, that is to say adds nothing to the publick stock of the nation, speaking of Scotland as a nation by herself.

All the product of Scotland which is sent abroad, and exported to foreign countries, and consum'd there, is so much clear gain to the publick stock, excepting only the cost of its manufacturing at home, or curing and sending out; and except so much as is brought back in goods of the growth, and manufacture of foreign countries, and is consum'd in Scotland, which is not reckon'd as gain, because consum'd; if it is exported again, the article goes to the account of publick gain again. Now to state the case briefly between the exportation and importation of goods in Scotland, that the difference, which is the balance of the trade, may appear.

The product of Scotland, which it exports into foreign countries, England included, for I am now considering Scotland as if not united, is as follows.

Corn
Black Cattle
Sheep
Wool,
Linnen of several
   
sorts
Some woollen
   
manufactures,
   
stockings in
   
particular.
} All these carry'd to England and that
   
in great quantities.
Corn
Lead
Salt
Coal
Barrell'd pork
Salmon.
} To Holland, Bremen, and Hambrough.
N.B. The Dutch buy the barrell'd pork from Aberdeen for victualling their East-India ships, it being much better cur'd than from any other country.
Salt
Oatmeal
Salmon
Lead
Stockings
Linnen.
} To Norway.
Salt
Woollen manufac-
   
tures of Sterling and
   
Aberdeen.
} To Sweden, Dantzick, and to Riga,
   
&.
Herrings pickl'd.
Barrell'd and dry'd
   
salmon.
Herring and white
   
fish.
} To Spain and the Straits.
Coal
Salt
Lead
Herrings
White fish
Wool.
} To France.

For all these exportations the returns are, or at least were before the Union:

Pewter
Block-tin
Wrought iron
Glass ware
Sugars
Tobacco
Drugs and dyers'
   
stuffs.
} From England.

N.B. All the English woollen and silk manufactures were prohibited upon the several penalties; so that the returns from England, in goods, were very small; the grand return from thence was in specie: And 'tis known, that above an hundred thousand pounds a year was paid into Scotland every year; for cattle only.

Fine linnens, not much,
   
because of their own
Lace and fine threads,
   
gimp, incle, &.
East-India goods
Linseed, and lint or
   
flax
Linseed-oil, train-oil,
   
and whalebone.
} From Holland.
Pitch and tar
Deals and firr-timber
} From Norway.
Iron in bars and copper
Deals and timber.
} From Sweden.
Plank, call'd east
   
country
Clap-board, or
   
wainscot
Oak timber, and
   
in quarters.
Hemp
Pitch
Tar
Turpentine
Sturgeon
Flax.
} From Dantzick, Koningsberg, Riga,
   
Narva, and Petersburg.
Wine Brandy
Apples (rennets)
Rosin
Cork
Paper
Wrought silks
Raw silk
Toys
Perfumes, &.
} From France
Oil and Italian pickles
   
from Leghorn,
   
way of
} The Royal Canal thro' France.
Staves for casks
Clap-board
Rhenish wine
Old hoch.
} From Hamburgh.
All these goods, indeed, come to Scotland, but then the quantities are very small: 'Tis evident, the chief articles are, to sum up all in a little,
Sugar and tobacco
Wine and brandy
Naval stores
Swedes iron and
   
copper
Deals and timber
Lint and linseed
} From { England,
France,
The east country,
Sweden,

Norway,
Holland.

And all these put together, if I am rightly inform'd, do not balance the lead, coal, and salt, which they export every year: So that the balance of trade must stand greatly to the credit of the account in the Scots commerce.

And what then, would not such an annual wealth in specie do for Scotland in a year, if there was not a gulph, into which it all runs as into a sink ?

I know this is abundantly answer'd, by saying that Scotland is now establish'd in a lasting tranquillity; the wars between the nations are at an end, the wastings and plunderings, the ravages and blood are all over; the lands in Scotland will now be improv'd, their estates doubled, the charges of defending her abroad and at home lies upon England; the taxes are easy and ascertain'd, and the West-India trade abundantly pours in wealth upon her; and this is all true; and, in the end, I am still of opinion Scotland will be gainer: But I must add, that her own nobility, would they be true patriots, should then put their helping hand to the rising advantages of their own country, and spend some of the large sums they get in England in applying to the improvement of their country, erecting manufactures, employing the poor, and propagating the trade at home, which they may see plainly has made their united neighbours of England so rich.

Why might not the wool, which they send to England, be manufactur'd in Scotland? If they say they know not how to make the goods, or how to dispose of them when made, my answer is short; I know 'tis not the work of gentlemen to turn manufacturers and merchants: And I know also a number of projectors, that is to say, thieves and cheats, have teas'd and hang'd about them, to draw them into manufacturing, only to bubble them of their wool and money.

But here is a plain scheme, let the Scots gentlemen set but their stewards to work to employ the poor people to spin the wool into yarn, and send the yarn into England; 'tis an easy manufacture, and what the Scots are very handy at, and this could never be difficult. They may have patterns of the yarn given them here, a price agreed on, and good security for payment: This can have no difficulty; the Irish are fallen into this way, to such a degree, that 40,000 packs of wool and worsted yarn are brought into England now every year, and sold here, where, about thirty years ago, not a pound of it was imported ready spun.

This, and many such advantages in trade, Scotland might find in her own bounds, her gentlemen assisting the poor only with their stocks of wool; by which means the poverty and sloth of the meaner people would be remov'd, and Scotland enrich'd: But I have done my part, and have not room to enlarge; nature will d?ctate enough to the gentlemen to go to work upon it, if they have any design to do their country good, and if a narrow and selfish spirit does not continue to prevail among them.

The decay'd burghs being pass'd, we came to a village call'd the Weems, or by way of distinction, the Wester Weems, or Wemys. This is a small town, and no burrough, belonging to the Earl of Weemys, whose house stands a little farther east, on the top of a high cliff, looking down upon the sea, as Dover Castle looks down upon the strait, between it and Calais, tho' not so high.

The account given lately of this noble castle of the Weemys is very romantick, and must necessarily be laugh'd at by the family itself who know the house. It is a very good house, and has one large front to the sea, but without any Windsor-like terrass between the house and it, as is represented. At the west end, upon the same cliff, is a small plain, where had been a bowling-green, and where the late earl, being admiral, had some small field-pieces planted to answer salutes. Behind the house is a small and irregular court-yard, with two wings of building, being offices to the house on one side, and stables on the other. Nor is there any gardens, or room for any, much less a spacious park, on the north side of the house; but the road from the Wester Weemys to the Easter passing between, there is a large, well planted orchard, and it is no other, nor otherwise intended; and as to a spacious park, there is nothing like it. There is a piece of wast ground planted with firr-trees, at the east end of the house, but they do not thrive; nor would any man call it a park, especially for a nobleman too, that had seen what a park means in England; but, indeed, in Scotland they call all enclos'd grounds parks, whether for grass or corn: And so they call all gardens yards; as St. Ann's Yards, at the palace of Haly-Rood House, and the like in other places.

From hence you pass through the East Weemys to another village, call'd Buckhaven, inhabited chiefly, if not only, by fishermen, whose business is wholly to catch fresh fish every day in the firth, and carry them to Leith and Edinburgh markets. And though this town be a miserable row of cottage-like buildings, and people altogether meer fishermen, as I have said, yet there is scarce a poor man in the town, and in general the town is rich.

Here we saw the shore of the sea cover'd with shrimps, like the ground cover'd with a thin snow; and as you rode among them they would rise like a kind of dust, being scar'd by the footing of the horse, and hopping like grasshoppers.

The fishermen of this town have a great many boats of all sorts and sizes, and some larger, which lye upon the beach unrigg'd, which every year they fit out for the herring season, in which they have a very great share.

Beyond this is the Methuel, a little town, but a very safe and good harbour, firmly built of stone, almost like the Cobb at Lime, though not wholly projecting into the sea, but standing within the land, and built out with two heads, and walls of thick strong stone: It stands a little on the west side of the mouth of the River Leven; the salmon of this river are esteem'd the best in this part of Scotland.

Here my Lord Weemys brings his coal, which he digs above two miles off, on the banks of the River Leven, and here it is sold or shipp'd off; as also what salt he can make, which is not a great deal. Nor is the estate his lordship makes from the said coal-works equal to what it has been, the water having, after an immense charge to throw it off, broken in upon the works, and hinder'd their going on, at least to any considerable advantage. The people who work in the coal mines in this country, what with the dejected countenances of the men, occasion'd by their poverty and hard labour, and what with the colour or discolouring, which comes from the coal, both to their clothes and complexions, are well describ'd by their own countryman Samuel Colvil, in his famous macaronick poem, call'd, Polemo Midinia; thus,

Cole-hewersNigri , Girnantes more Divelli. Pol. Mid.

They are, indeed, frightful fellows at first sight: But I return to my progress from the Methuel; we have several small towns on the coast, as Criel or Crail, Pitten-Ween, Anstruther, or Anster, as 'tis usually call'd: these are all Royal Burghs, and send members to parliament, even still upon the new establishment, in consequence only that now they join three or four towns together to choose one or two members, whereas they chose every town for itself.

Over against this shore, and in the mouth of the Forth, opposite to the Isle of the Bass, lyes the Isle of May, known to mariners by having a light-house upon it; the only constant inhabitant; is said to be the man maintain'd there by the Government, to take care of the fire in the light-house.

Here (you may observe) the French fleet lay with some assurance, when the Pretender was on board: And here the English four-a-clock-gun, on board their approaching squadron, unhappily gave them the alarm; so that they immediately weigh'd, got under sail, and made the best of their way, the English pursuing them in vain, except only that they took the Salisbury , which was a considerable way behind the fleet, and could not come up with the rest; the story is well known, so I need not repeat it.

The shore of the firth or frith ends here, and the aestuarium or mouth opening, the land of Fife falls off to the north, making a promontory of land, which the seamen call Fife-Ness, looking east to the German ocean, after which the coast trends away north, and the first town we saw there was St Andrew's, an antient city, the seat of an archbishop, and an university.

As you must expect a great deal of antiquity in this country of Fife, so you must expect to find all those antient pieces mourning their own decay, and drooping and sinking in ashes. Here it was, that old limb of St. Lucifer, Cardinal Beaton, massacred and murther'd that famous sufferer and martyr of the Scots Church, Mr. William Wishart, whom he caus'd to be burnt in the parade of the castle, he himself sitting in his balcony to feed and glut his eyes with the sight of it.

The old church here was a noble structure; it was longer than St. Paul's in London, by a considerable deal, I think, by six yards, or by twenty-five foot. This building is now sunk into a simple parish church, though there are many plain discoveries of what it has been, and a great deal of project and fancy may be employ'd to find out the antient shape of it.

The city is not large, nor is it contemptibly small; there are some very good buildings in it, and the remains of many more: The colleges are handsome buildings, and well supply'd with men of learning in all sciences, and who govern the youth they instruct with reputation; the students wear gowns here of a scarlet-like colour, but not in grain, and are very numerous: The university is very ancient as well as the city; the foundation was settled, and the publick buildings appointed in the beginning of the fifteenth century by King James I. 'Tis true, they tell us here were private schools set up many ages before that, even as far back as 937; but I see no evidence of the fact, and so do not propose it for your belief, though 'tis very likely there was some beginnings made before the king came to encourage them, so far as to form an university.

There are three colleges in all; the most antient, and which, they say, was the publick school so long before, is call'd St. Salvadore. How it was made to speak Portuguese, I know not, unless it might be that some Portuguese clergymen came over hither as the first professors or teachers; in English it is St. Saviour's, in Spanish it would be call'd Nostra Seigniora, or Our Lord; and so St. Mary's would be call'd Nostra Dame de St. Andrew, or Our Lady of St. Andrew's. This college of St. Mary's is call'd the New College, and the middle-most (for age) is call'd St. Leonard's College.

The old college, as I have said, though it was a school, as they affirm, above 200 years before, was turn'd into a college, or founded as such by James Kennedy, the son of the Lord Kennedy by Mary, daughter of King Robert III. This James Kennedy was a clergyman of great fame in those days, and rose by the reputation of his wisdom, prudence, and beneficence to all mankind, to the highest posts of honour in the state and dignity in the Church; for he was Lord Chancellor of Scotland under James II. and archbishop of this See of St. Andrew's. He was a great lover of learning, and of learned men; and was the first who encourag'd men of learning from abroad, to come there and take upon them the governing and instructing the youth in the great school, which, as I say above, had been there so long, as that it was then call'd the antient school of St. Andrew. These learned men put him upon founding and endowing a college, or rather turning the school into a college or academy, which he did.

The building is antient, but appears to have been very magnificent considering the times it was erected in, which was 1456. The gate is large, and has a handsome spire over it all of stone. In the first court, on the right side as you go in, is the chapel of the college, not extraordinary large, but sufficient. There is an antient monument of the archbishop the founder, who lyes buried in the church of his own building. Beyond the chapel is the cloister, after the antient manner, not unlike that in Canterbury, but not so large. Opposite to this are offices, and proper buildings for the necessary use of the colleges. In the second court are the schools of the college, on the same spot where stood the antient grammar school, mention'd above, if that part is to be depended upon. Over these schools is a very large hall for the publick exercises, as is usual in other universities; but this is a most spacious building, and far larger than there is any occasion for.

In the same court are the apartments for the masters, professors, and regents, which (as our fellows) are in sallary, and are tutors and governors to the several students; were this college supported by additional bounties and donations, as has been the case in England; and were sufficient funds appointed to repair and keep up the buildings, there would few colleges in England go beyond it for magnificence: But want of this, and other encouragements, causes the whole building to seem as if it was in its declining state, and looking into its grave: The truth is, the college wants nothing but a good fund to be honestly apply'd for the repair of the building, finishing the first design, and encouraging the scholars. Dr. Skeen, principal of this college, shew'd the way to posterity to do this, and laid out great sums in repairs, especially of the churches, and founded a library for the use of the house.

They tell you a story here of nine maces found under the archbishop's tomb, after the restoration of King Charles II. But to me the story does not tell well at all. First, it does not appear of what use, or to what purpose so many maces were made and kept there, the like not being known to be us'd in any cathedral or college in other countries: And in the next place how came they to rummage the good founder's grave, and that in King Charles the IId's time too; if it had been in Oliver Cromwell's domination, it would have seem'd rational to expect it; but after the Restoration to ravage the monuments of the dead, is something extraordinary: But be that as it will, there are three maces kept in the college; whether they were found in the king's tomb or not, that I leave to tradition, as I find it. One of these maces is of very fine workmanship, all of silver, gilt, and very heavy, of fine imagery, and curious workmanship, made at Paris by the archbishop's special directions, as appears by an inscription on a plate, fasten'd to the mace by a little chain, and preserv'd with it.

The story of St. Andrew and of his bones being buried here; of the first stone of the cathedral church being laid upon one of St. Andrew's legs or thigh-bone, and of those bones being brought from Patras in the Morea, near the Gulph of Lepanto; these things are too antient, and sound too much of the legend for me to meddle with.

In the second college, which is call'd St. Leonard's, is a principal, who must be a Doctor of Divinity by the foundation ; but the present Church Government insisting upon the parity of the clergy, are pleas'd to dispense with that part: There are also four Professors of Philosophy, to whom the late Sir John Scot, a bountiful benefactor to this college, has added a Professor of Philology, and has settled a very handsome stipend upon the professor: Also the same gentleman augmented the college library with several valuable books to a very considerable sum. And since that Sir John Wedderburn, a gentleman of a very antient family, and a great lover of learning, has given a whole library, being a great and choice collection of books, to be added to the library of this college.

The revenue of this college is larger than that of the old college; it has also more students. It was founded and endow'd by the Earl of Lenox, being before that a religious house, of the Order of St. Benedict, as appears by the register and Charter of the Foundation.

It is not so large and magnificent as St. Salvador originally was; but 'tis kept in much better repair. It has but one court or square, but it is very large. The old building of the monastery remains entire, and makes the south side, and the old cells of the monks make now the chambers for the students: The chapel takes up the north side, and a large side of more modern apartments on the west, which are nevertheless old enough to be falling down; but they are now repairing them, and adding a great pile of building to compleat the square, and join that side to the north where the chapel stands.

This college has large yards, as they call them, that is to say gardens, or rather orchards, well planted, and good walks in them as well as good fruit.

This college has many benefactors, which makes it flourish much behond the first; and they talk of a large gift yet to come from a noble family, which, if it falls, will enable them to put the whole house in compleat repair.

The new college, call'd St. Mary's, was founded by Cardinal Beaton Archbishop of St. Andrew's, and is very singular in its reserv'd and limited laws. Here are no scholars at all; but all those scholars who have pass'd their first studies, and gone through a course of philosophy in any of the other colleges, may enter themselves here to study Hebrew and the mathematicks, history, or other parts of science.

It was in this college King Charles I. held a parliament; the place is call'd the Parliament Room to this day, and is a very large, spacious room, able to receive 400 people, plac'd on seats to sit down; the form is reserv'd very plain, and the place, where the tables for the clarks and other officers were set, is to be seen. There is a library also to this college, but not very valuable, or so well furnish'd as that of St. Leonard's. Here are, however, two Professors of Divinity; one is call'd the Principal Professor of Theology, and the other barely the Professor of Theology: To these was afterwards added a Professor of the Mathematicks; and he that was the first who enjoy'd the place, viz. Dr. Gregory, obtain'd an observatory to be erected, and gave them abundance of mathematical and astronomical instruments: But it is not now made use of, for what reason I know not.

In the new church in this city lyes the body of the late Archbishop Sharp, who was assassinated upon a moor or heath, as he was coming in his coach home to this city from the Court. There is a fine monument of marble over his grave, with his statue kneeling on the upper part, and the manner of his murther is cut in bass relief below. This murther is matter of history, but is so foolishly, or so partially, or so imperfectly related by all that have yet written of it, that posterity will lose both the fact and the cause of it in a few years more. It would require too large a space in this work to give a fresh and impartial account of it, and for that reason I cannot enter upon it, though I have the most exact account that, I believe, is left in the world, which I had from the mouth of one of the actors, and have since had it confirm'd from several others, thoroughly acquainted with the particulars of it.

I shall only say here, that the archbishop had been a furious and merciless persecutor, and, indeed, murtherer of many of the innocent people, merely for their keeping up their field-meetings, and was charg'd in particular with two actions; which, if true will, though not justify, yet take off much of the black part, which the very murther itself leaves on the memory of the actors.

  1. The keeping back the reprieve, which was sent down by King Charles IId's express order, and which was actually receiv'd for stopping the execution of twelve persons, under sentence of death; I say keeping it back in his pocket till they were executed. I know Bishop Burnet charges this upon another hand; but these men were assur'd the archbishop was the man, perhaps, the other might be consenting.
  2. The shipping 200 poor men on board a vessel, on pretence of transportation to the English colonies in the West-Indies; but ordering the ship to be run on shore and lost. I say it is said to be order'd, and generally so believ'd, because, when the ship was bulg'd upon the rocks, the master and seamen, and the officers, appointed to confine the banish'd people, all got on shore, but lock'd all the rest down under the hatches, and would not suffer one of them to come out, by which means they every one perish'd.

These two things they charg'd directly on the archbishop, besides many other cruelties, which they call'd murthers; and if they were acted, as is related by others as well as they, I must acknowledge they could be no other.

Now 'tis as certain that these men knew nothing of meeting with the archbishop at that time; but being themselves outlaw'd men, whom any man that met might kill, and who (if taken) would have been put to death: They always went arm'd, and were, at that time, looking for another man, when unexpectedly they saw the bishop coming towards them in his coach, when one of them says to the other, we have not found the person we look'd for; but lo, God has deliver'd our enemy, and the murtherer of our brethren into our hands, against whom we cannot obtain justice by the law, which is perverted: But remember the words of the text, If ye let him go, thy life shall be required for his life.

In a word, they immediately resolv'd to fall upon him, and cut him in pieces; I say they resolv'd, all but one (viz.) Hackston of Rathellet, who was not willing to have his hand in the blood, though he acknowledg'd he deserv'd to die: So that when they attack'd the bishop, Hackston went off, and stood at a distance: ?or did he hold their horses, as one has ignorantly publish'd; for they attack'd him all mounted; nor could they well have stopp'd a coach and six horses, if they had been on foot. I mention this part, because, however providence order'd it, so it was, that none of the murtherers ever fell into the hands of justice, but this Hackston of Rathellet, who was most cruelly tortur'd, and afterwards had his hands cut off, and was then executed at Edinburgh.

I have not time to give the rest of this story, though the particulars are very well worth relating, but it is remote from my purpose, and I must proceed. The city of St. Andrew's is, notwithstanding its many disasters; such as the ruin of the great church, the demolishing its castle, and the archbishop's palace, and Oliver Cromwell's citadel; yet, I say, it is still a handsome city, and well built, the streets straight and large, being three streets parallel to one another, all opening to the sea.

They shew among other remains of antiquity the apartments of the palace where Cardinal Beaton stood, or sat in state to see the martyrdom of Mr. Wishart, who, at the stake, call'd aloud to him, and cited him to appear at the bar of God's justice within such a certain time, within which time he was murther'd by the famous Norman Lessley, thrown into the square of the court, and his body dragged to the very spot where the good man was burn'd at the stake, and also they shew us the window where they threw him out; which particular part of the building seems to have been spar'd, as if on purpose to commemorate the fact, of which, no doubt, divine justice had the principal direction.

The truth is, Cardinal Beaton was another Sharp, and A. B. Sharp was a second Beaton, alike persecutors for religion, alike merciless in their prosperity, and alike miserable in their fall, for they were both murther'd, or kill'd by assassination.

From St. Andrew's we came to Cowper, the shire town, (as it would be call'd in England) where the publick business of the country is all done. Here are two very agreeable seats belonging to the present Earl of Leven; one is call'd Melvile, and the other Balgony. Melvil is a regular and beautiful building, after the model of Sir William Bruce's house at Kinross, describ'd before. Balgony is an antient seat, formerly belong'd to the family of Lessly, and if not built, was enlarg'd and repair'd by the great General Lessly, who was so fam'd in Germany, serving under the glorious king of soldiers Gustavus Adolphus.

The River Leven runs just under the walls, as I may say, of the house, and makes the situation very pleasant; the park is large, but not well planted, nor do the avenues that are planted thrive, for the very reason which I have mention'd already.

From hence we went north to Cowper above-nam'd, and where, as I said, the Sheriff keeps his Court. The Earl of Rothess is hereditary sheriff of the shire of Fife, and the Duke of Athol was chancellor of the university of St. Andrew's, in the times of the Episcopal Government; but that dignity seems now to be laid aside.

We now went away to the north east part of the county, to see the ruins of the famous monastery of Balmerinoch, of which Mr. Cambden takes notice; but we saw nothing worth our trouble, the very ruins being almost eaten up by time: the Lord Balmerinoch, of the family of Elphingston, takes his title from the place, the land being also in his possession; the monastery was founded by Queen Ermengred, wife of King William of Scotland.

Hence we came to the bank of another firth or frith, call'd the Firth of Tay, which, opening to a large breadth at its entrance, as the Firth of Edinburgh does, draws in afterwards as that does at the Queens-Ferry, and makes a ferry over at the breadth of two miles to the town of Dundee; and then the firth widening again just as that of the Forth does also, continues its breadth as four to six miles, till it comes almost to Perth, as the other does to Sterling.

This River Tay is, without exception, the greatest river in Scotland, and of the longest course, for its rises out of the mountains, on the edge of Argyle Shire; and running first north into the shire of Bradalbin, there receiving many other rivers, it spreads itself into a large lake, which is call'd Lough Tay, extending for forty miles in length, and traversing the very heart of Scotland, comes into the sea near this place: Now, as I design to keep in this part of my work to the east coast of the country, I must for the present quit the Tay itself, keeping a little on the hither side of it, and go back to that part of the country which lies to the south, and yet east of Dunbarton and Lenox shires; so drawing an imaginary line from Sterling Bridge, due north, through the heart of the country to Inverness, which I take to lye almost due north and south.

In this course then I mov'd from the ferry, mention'd above, to Perth, lying upon the same River Tay, but on the hither bank. It was formerly call'd St. Johnston, or St. Johns Town, from an old church, dedicated to the evangelist, St. John, part of which is still remaining, and is yet big enough to make two parochial churches, and serve the whole town for their publick worship.

The chief business of this town is the linnen manufacture; and it is so considerable here, all the neighbouring country being employ'd in it, that it is a wealth to the whole place. The Tay is navigable up to the town for ships of good burthen; and they ship off here so great a quantity of linnen, (all for England) that all the rest of Scotland is said not to ship off so much more.

This town was unhappily for some time, the seat of the late rebellion; but I cannot say it was unhappy for the town: For the townsmen got so much money by both parties, that they are evidently enrich'd by it; and it appears not only by the particular families and persons in the town, but by their publick and private buildings which they have rais'd since that; as particularly a new Tolbooth or Town-hall.

The salmon taken here, and all over the Tay, is extremely good, and the quantity prodigious. They carry it to Edinburgh, and to all the towns where they have no salmon, and they barrel up a great quantity for exportation: The merchants of this town have also a considerable trade to the Baltick, to Norway, and especially, since as above, they were enrich'd by the late rebellion.

It seems a little enigmatick to us in the south, how a rebellion should enrich any place; but a few words will explain it. First, I must premise, that the Pretender and his troops lay near, or in this place a considerable time; now the bare consumption of victuals and drink, is a very considerable advantage in Scotland, and therefore 'tis frequent in Scotland for towns to petition the government to have regiments of soldiers quarter'd upon them, which in England would look monstrous, nothing being more terrible and uneasy to our towns in England.

Again, as the Pretender and his troops lay in the neighbourhood, namely at Scone, so a very great confluence of the nobility, clergy, and gentry, however fatally, as to themselves, gather'd about him, and appear'd here also; making their court to him in person, and waiting the issue of his fortunes, till they found the storm gathering from the south, and no probable means to resist it, all relief from abroad being every where disappointed, and then they shifted off as they could.

While they resided here, their expence of money was exceeding great; lodgings in the town of Perth let for such a rate, as was never known in the place before; trade was in a kind of a hurry, provision dear: In a word, the people, not of the town only, but of all the country round, were enrich'd; and had it lasted two or three months longer, it would have made all the towns rich.

When this cloud was dispers'd, and all the party fled and gone, the victors enter'd, the general officers and the loyal gentlemen succeeded the abdicated and routed party; but here was still the head quarters, and afterwards the Dutch troops continued here most part of the winter; all this while the money flow'd in, and the town made their market on both sides; for they gain'd, by the Royal Army's being on that side of the country, and by the foreigners being quarter'd there, almost as much, tho' not in so little time as by the other.

The town was well built before, but now has almost a new face; (for as I said) here are abundance of new houses, and more of old houses new fitted and repair'd, which look like new. The linnen trade too, which is their main business, has mightily increas'd since the late Act of Parliament in England, for the suppressing the use and wearing of printed callicoes; so that the manufacture is greatly increased here, especially of that kind of cloth which they buy here and send to England to be printed, and which is so much us'd in England in the room of the callicoes, that the worsted and silk weavers in London seem to have very little benefit by the Bill, but that the linnen of Scotland and Ireland are, as it were, constituted in the room of the callicoes.

From Perth I went south to that part of the province of Fife, which they call Clackmanan, lying west from Dumfermling, and extending itself towards Sterling and Dumblain, all which part I had not gone over before, and which was antiently accounted to be part of Fife.

From Perth to Sterling there lyes a vale which they call Strathmore, and which is a fine level country, though surrounded with hills, and is esteem'd the most fruitful in corn of all that part of the country: It lies extended on both sides the Tay, and is said to reach to Brechin north east, and almost to Sterling south west. Here are, as in all such pleasant soils you will find, a great many gentlemen's seats; though on the north side of the Tay, and here in particular is the noble palace of Glames, the hereditary seat of the family of Lyon, Earls of Strathmore; and as the heir in reversion now enjoys the title and estate, so it very narrowly escap'd being forfeited; for the eider brother, Earl of Strathmore, having entertain'd the Pretender magnificently in this fine palace, and join'd his forces in person, and with all his interest, lost his life in that service, being kill'd at the battle of Sheriff-Moor; by his fall, the estate being entail'd, descended to the second son, or younger brother, who is now Earl of Strathmore.

Glames is, indeed, one of the finest old built palaces in Scotland, and by far the largest; and this makes me speak of it here, because I am naming the Pretender and his affairs, though a little out of place; when you see it at a distance it is so full of turrets and lofty buildings, spires and towers, some plain, others shining with gilded tops, that it looks not like a town, but a city; and the noble appearance seen through the long vistas of the park are so differing, that it does not appear like the same place any two ways together.

The great avenue is a full half mile, planted on either side with several rows of trees; when you come to the outer gate you are surpriz'd with the beauty and the variety of the statues, busts, some of stone, some of brass, some gilded, some plain. The statues in brass are four, one of King James VI. one of King Charles I. booted and spurr'd, as if going to take horse at the head of his army; one of Charles II. habited ? la hEro , which the world knows he had nothing of about him; and one of King James VIL after the pattern of that at Whitehall.

When the Pretender lodg'd here, for the Earl of Strathmore entertain'd him in his first passage to Perth with great magnificence: There were told three and forty furnish'd rooms on the first floor of the house; some beds, perhaps, were put up for the occasion, for they made eighty beds for them, and the whole retinue of the Pretender was receiv'd, the house being able to receive the court of a real reigning prince.

It would be endless to go about to describe the magnificent furniture, the family pictures, the gallery, the fine collection of original paintings, and the nobly painted ceilings of the chapel, where is an organ for the service after the manner of the Church of England. In a word, the house is as nobly furnish'd as most palaces in Scotland; but, as I said, it was at the brink of destruction; for had the earl not been kill'd, 'tis odds but it had been gutted by the army, which presently spread all the country; but it was enough, the earl lost his life, and the present earl enjoys it peaceably.

From hence I came away south west, and crossing the Tay below Perth, but above Dundee, came to Dumblain, a name made famous by the late battle fought between the army of King George, under the command of the Duke of Argyle, and the Pretender's forces under the Earl of Marr, which was fought on Sheriff-Moor, between Sterling and Dumblain: The town is pleasantly situated, and tolerably well built, but out of all manner of trade; so that there is neither present prosperity upon it, or prospect of future.

Going from hence we took a full view of the field of battle, call'd Sheriff-Muir, and had time to contemplate how it was possible, that a rabble of Highlanders arm'd in haste, appearing in rebellion, and headed by a person never in arms before, nor of the least experience, should come so near to the overthrowing an army of regular, disciplin'd troops, and led on by experienc'd officers, and so great a general: But when the mistake appear'd also, we bless'd the good Protector of Great Britain, who, under a piece of the most mistaken conduct in the world, to say no worse of it, gave that important victory to King George's troops, and prevented the ruin of Scotland from an army of Highlanders.

From this place of reflection I came forward in sight of Sterling bridge, but leaving it on the right hand, turn'd away east to Alloway, where the Earl of Marr has a noble seat, I should have said had a noble seat, and where the navigation of the Firth of Forth begins. This is, as I hinted before, within four miles of Sterling by land, and scarcely within twenty by water, occasion'd by those uncommon meanders and reaches in the river, which gives so beautiful a prospect from the castle of Sterling.

This fine seat was formerly call'd the castle of Alloway, but is now so beautify'd, the buildings, and especially the gardens, so compleat and compleatly modern, that no appearance of a castle can be said to remain. There is a harbour for shipping, and ships of burthen may come safely up to it: And this is the place where the Glasgow merchants are, as I am told, erecting magazines or warehouses, to which they propose to bring their tobacco and sugars by land, and then to ship them for Holland or Hamburgh, or the Baltick, or England, as they find opportunity, or a market; and I doubt not but they will find their advantage in it.

The gardens of Alloway House, indeed, well deserve a description; they are, by much, the finest in Scotland, and not outdone by many in England; the gardens, singly describ'd, take up above forty acres of ground, and the adjoining wood, which is adapted to the house in avenues and vistas, above three times as much.

It would be lessening the place to attempt the description, unless I had room to do it compleatly; 'tis enough to say it requires a book, not a page or two: There is, in a word, every thing that nature and art can do, brought to perfection.

The town is pleasant, well built, and full of trade; for the whole country has some business or other with them, and they have a better navigation than most of the towns on the Firth, for a ship of 300 ton may lye also at the very wharf; so that at Alloway a merchant may trade to all parts of the world, as well as at Leith or at Glasgow.

The High Street of Alloway reaches down to this harbour, and is a very spacious, well built street, with rows of trees finely planted all the way. Here are several testimonies of the goodness of their trade, as particularly a large deal-yard, or place for laying up all sorts of Norway goods, which shews they have a commerce thither. They have large warehouses of naval stores; such as pitch, tar, hemp, flax, two saw milis for cutting or slitting of deals, and a rope-walk for making all sorts of ropes and cables for rigging and fitting of ships, with several other things, which convinces us they are no strangers to other trades, as well by sea as by land.

It is a strange testimony of the power of envy and ambition, that mankind, bless'd with such advantages, for an easy and happy retreat in the world, should hazard it all in faction and party, and throw it all away in view, and even without a view of getting more: But I must not phylosophize, any more than launch out into other excesses; my business is with the present state of the place, and to that I confine myself as near as I can.

From Alloway, east, the country is call'd the Shire of Clackmannan, and is known for yielding the best of coal, and the greatest quantity of it of any country in Scotland; so that it is carry'd, not to Edinburgh only, but to England, to Holland, and to France; and they tell us of new pits, or mines of coal now discover'd, which will yield such quantities, and to easy to come at, as are never to be exhausted; tho' such great quantities should be sent to England, as the York-Buildings company boast of, namely, twenty thousand ton a year; which, however, I take it as it is, for a boast, or rather a pretence to persuade the world they have a demand for such a quantity; whereas, while the freight from Scotland is, as we know, so dear, and the tax in England continues so heavy, the price of these coals will always be so high at London, as will not fail to restrain the consumption; nor is it the interest of Scotland to send away so great a quantity of coal as shall either make a scarcity, or raise the price of them at home.

On this shore of the firth, farther down, stands the town of Culross, a neat and agreeable town, lying in length by the water side, like Kirkcaldy, and being likewise a trading town, as trade must be understood in Scotland. Here is a pretty market, a plentiful country behind it, and the navigable firth before it; the coal and the linnen manufacture, and plenty of corn, such exportations will always keep something of trade alive upon this whole coast.

Here is a very noble seat belonging to the Bruces, Earls of Kincairn, and is worth description; but that I have nam'd so many fine houses, and have yet so many to go over before I go through the whole tour of Scotland, that it is impossible to give every fine house a place here, nor would it do any thing but tire the reader, rather than inform him; as I have done therefore in England I must be content to name them, unless I should make my journey a meer visit to great houses, as if Scotland had nothing else worth notice.

This calling at Culross, call'd vulgarly Cooris, finishes my observations upon the province of Fife. They told me of mines of copper, and of lead, lately discover'd in Fife, and of silver also: But I could not learn that any of them were actually wrought, or, as they call it in Darbyshire, at work. It is, however, not improbable, but that there are such mines, the country seeming very likely for it by many particular tokens.

The two Lomons in this province are two remarkable mountains, which particularly seem to promise metal in their bowels, if they were thoroughly search'd. They rise up like two sugar-loaves in the middle of a plain country, not far from Falkland, and give a view of the Firth of Edinburgh South, and the Firth of Tay North, and are seen from Edinburgh very plain.

Having made this little excursion to the south from Perth, you may suppose me now return'd northward again; and having give you my account of Perth, and its present circumstances, I now proceed that way, taking things as well in their ordinary situation as I can; we could not be at Perth and not have a desire to see that antient seat of royal ceremony, for the Scots kings, I mean of Scone, where all the kings of Scotland were crown'd.

Scone lyes on the other side of the Tay, about a mile north west from Perth; it was famous for the old chair in which the kings of Scotland were crown'd, and which Edward I. King of England, having pierc'd through the whole kingdom, and nothing being able to withstand him, brought away with him. It is now deposited in Westminster, and the kings of Scotland are still crown'd in it, according to an old Scots prophecy, which they say, (mark it, I do but tell you they say so) was cut in the stone, which is enclos'd in the lower part of the wooden chair in which the kings are crown'd.

Ni fallat fatum, Scoti quocunque locatum
Inveniunt Lapidem, regnare tenentur ibidem.

Englished thus;

Or Fates deceived, and Heaven decrees in vain,
Or where this Stone is found, the Scots shall reign.

This palace was in those days a great monastery, and famous on occasion of this stone in the chair; the monks appropriating to themselves not the custom only, but the right of having all the kings crown'd on it, as if it had been a sacred right, and instituted in heaven; and that the kings would not prosper if they were crown'd any where else.

Process of time rais'd it from a monastery to a royal palace, in honour of the ceremony, and of King Kenneth, who, having fought a bloody battle there with the Picts, and given them a great overthrow, sat down to rest him upon this stone, after he had been tir'd with the slaughter of the enemy, upon which his nobles came round about him to congratulate his success, and, in honour to his valour, crown'd him with a garland of victory; after which he dedicated the stone to the ceremony, and appointed, that all the kings of Scotland should be crown'd sitting upon it as he had done, and that then they should be victorious over all their enemies.

But enough of fable, for this, I suppose, to be no other; yet, be it how it will, this is no fable, that here all the kings of Scotland were crown'd, and all the kings of Great Britain have been since crown'd on it, or in the chair, or near it ever since.

The palace of Scoon, though antient, is not so much decay'd as those I have already spoken of; and the Pretender found it very well in repair for his use: Here he liv'd and kept his court, a fatal court to the nobility and gentry of Scotland, who were deluded to appear for him; here I say, he kept his court in all the state and appearance of a sovereign, and receiv'd honours as such; so that he might say he reign'd in Scotland, though not over Scotland, for a few days: But it was but a few (about twenty) till he and all his adherents were oblig'd to quit, not the place only, but the island, and that without fighting, though the royal army was not above ten thousand men.

The building is very large, the front above 200 foot in breadth, and has two extraordinary fine square courts, besides others, which contain the offices, out-houses, &. The royal apartments are spacious and large, but the building, the wainscotting, the chimney-pieces, &. all after the old fashion.

Among the pictures there, the Pretender had the satisfaction to see his mother's picture, an original, done in Italy, when she was Princess of Modena only, and was marry'd by proxy, in the name of King James VII. then Duke of York, represented by the Earl of Peterborough. Here is the longest gallery in Scotland, and the ceiling painted, but the painting exceeding old.

From Scoon to Dunkel is so little a way we desir'd to see it, being the place where the first skirmish was fought between the forces of King William, after the Revolution, and the Laird of Claverhouse, after call'd Viscount Dundee, and where the brave Lieutenant-Colonel Cleeland was kill'd: but Dundee's men, tho' 5,000, were gallantly repuls'd by a handful, even of new rais'd men.

The Duke of Athol has an old house here, and it was in one of the courts of that house that part of the action was; and the gentleman above-nam'd was shot from out of a window, as he was ordering and encouraging his men; we were almost tempted to go on this way, to see the field of battle, between the same Dundee and the great Leiutenant-General Mac-Kay, wherein the latter, though with regular troops, was really defeated by the Highlanders: But Dundee being kill'd by an accidental shot after the fight, they could not improve the victory, and the resistance ended soon after; whereas, indeed, had not that accident happen'd, Dundee, who was a bold enterprising man, had certainly march'd southward, and bid fair to have given King William a journey into the north, instead of a voyage to Ireland; but providence had better things in store for Great Britain.

But our determin'd rout lay up the eastern shore, and through the shires, adjacent on that side, as particularly Angus, Mearns, Marr, Aberdeen, Buchan or Bucquhan, &. So as I laid it out before to Inverness.

Mr Cambden tells us, that the Firth of Tay was the utmost bounds of the Roman Empire in Britain. That Julius Agricola, the best of generals under the worst of emperors, Domitian, though he pierc'd farther, and travers'd by land into the heart of the Highlands, yet seeing no end of the barbarous country, and no advantage by the conquest of a few Barbarian mountaineers, withdrew and fix'd the Roman eagles here; and that he frequently harass'd the Picts by excursions and inroads, and destroy'd the country, laying it waste, to starve them out of the fertilest part of it, but always return'd to his post, making the Tay his frontier.

But our English Caesars have outgone the Romans; for Edward I. as is said, pass'd the Tay, for he rifled the Abbey at Scoon; and, if we may believe history, penetrated into the remotest parts, which, however, I take to be only the remotest parts of what was then known to the English; for as to the Highlands, the mountains of Loquhaber, Ross, Murray, Sutherland, and Caithness, we read nothing of them: And from these retreats the Scots always return'd, AntŠus like, with double strength after every defeat, till in the next reign they overthrew his successor Edward II. at Bannockbourn, and drove the English out of the whole country; nay, and follow'd them over Tweed into England, ravaging the countries of Northumberland and Cumberland, and paying them in their own kind of interest.

Oliver Cromwell, indeed (according to the motto of a noble house in Scotland, (viz.)Ride through) , rode through; he penetrated to the remotest part of the island, and that he might rule them with a rod of iron in the very letter of it, he built citadels and forts in all the angles and extremes, where he found it needful to place his stationary legions, just as the Romans did; as at Leith, at St. Andrew's, at Inverness, Irwin, Innerlochy, and several other places: and just now we find King George's forces marching to the remotest corners, nay, ferrying over into the western, and north-western islands; but then this is not as a foreigner and conqueror, but as a sovereign, a lawful governor and father of the country, to deliver from, not entangle her in the chains of tyranny and usurpation.

But where armies have march'd, private travellers may certainly pass; and with that assurance we chearfully pass'd the Tay, trusting very much to that natural, known civility, which the Scots, in the remotest parts, always shew to strangers.

Daniel Defoe, A tour thro' the whole island of Great Britain, divided into circuits or journies (London: JM Dent and Co, 1927)

Next Selection Previous Selection