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MEMOIRS OF THE LIVES AND CHARACTERS OF THE RIGHT HONOURABLE GEORGE BAILLIE OF JERVISWOOD, AND OF LADY GRISELL BAILLIE. BY THEIR DAUGHTER, LADY MURRAY OF STANHOPE. PRINTED AT EDINBURGH, MDCCCXXII.
Ix rescuing from obscurity the Me- will, we are confident, be read with moirs of the illustrious family of the purest and most unmingled deJerviswood, Mr Thomson * has es- light. tablished a strong claim to our gra- Mr George Baillie, the son of Rotitude, and added another to the bert Baillie of Jerviswood, a man many favours already bestowed by equally eminent for learning +, pahim on the literature of Scotland. triotism, and virtue, who « fell a It is
, therefore, with singular satis- victim to the vindictive tyranny of faction that we proceed to lay before the government he had felt himour readers an account of this inter- self compelled to resist, and laid esting volume, which the learned and down his life with the serene firmaccorn plished Editor has enriched ness of a Stoic philosopher, and the with a preface, and a short but spi- meekness of a Christian martyr," rited account of the fair author, was born on the 16th day of March Lady Murray of Stanhope, whose 1664 ; and, consequently, was only pious record of the characters and about twenty years of age at the pevirtues of her distinguished parents riod of his father's execution 1. A
* Thomas Thomson, Esq. Advocate, Deputy Clerk Register.
+ " He was in the Presbyterian principles, but was a man of great piety and virtue, learned in the law, in mathematics, and in languages."
Burnet, I. 301. The circumstances of Baillie's condemnation, in point of perfidy, profligacy, and contempt of law and justice, are hardly to be matched, even in the annals of the Inquisition. When in jail, loaded with irons, denied all cornmunication with his friends, and upon the point of death from the severity of the treatment he had received, “ an accusation was sent him, not in the form of an indictment, nor grounded on any law, but on a letter of the king's, in which he charged him, not only for a conspiracy to raise rebellion, but for being engaged in the Rye-plot ; of all which he was now required to purge himself by oath, otherwise the Council would hold him guilty of it, and proceed accordingly. He was not, as they said, now in a criminal Court upon his life, but before the Council, who did only fine and imprison. It was to no purpose for him to say, that by, no law, unless it was in a Court of Inquisition, a man could be required to swear against himself; the temptation to perjury being so strong, when self-preservation was in the case, that it seemed against all law and religion to lay such a snare in a man's way. But to answer all this, it was pretended that he was not now on his life, and that whatsoever he confessed, was not to be made ise of against his life ; as if the ruin of his family, which consisted of nine children, and perpetual imprisonment, were not more terrible, especially to one so near his end
coincidence of opinion on the sub- ate hand, she has delineated the chajects of civil and religious liberty, racters, and recorded the private virand an equal devotedness to the sa- tues of her father and mother, as well cred cause of their country, against as of her grandfather, the Earl of the most vindictive and profligate Marchmont; and with which she tyranny ever exercised on any people, has interwoven some of the many had united, in the bonds of the clos- singular incidents of their varied and est friendship, the families of Jer- eventful lives.” viswood and of Sir Patrick Home of After the judicial murder of his Polwarth, (afterwards Earl of March- father, and the forfeiture of bis mont); a connection which was des- estate, Mr George Baillie was destitined to become still more intimate, tute of every thing but friends, many by the subsequent union of the only of whom were in circumstances as son of the martyred Baillie, to the hopeless as himself, and therefore in eldest daughter of his friend : their no condition to assist him. In this attachment having been first formed melancholy plight, he thought only of in circumstances at once melancholy retiring to Holland, at that time the and romantic, but which we must al- asylum of the persecuted and oppresslow their accomplished daughter to ed; but before setting out, he went describe, when we come to speak of to his estate, to take leave of his teher mother.
nants and friends in that neighbour“Of the marriage between Mr hood. Here, however, an incident George Baillie and Lady Grisell of the most affecting kind occurred. Home, (we quote from the editor's From the love they bore to the meexcellent preface,) there were two mory of his father, as well as their daughters, Grisell and Rachel. The attachment to the youth himself, the former was married to Mr Murray, tenants not only paid him all the afterwards Sir Alexander Murray of rents that were resting in their hands, Stanhope ; the latter to Charles Lord but also advanced half-a-year's rent, Binning, eldest son of Thomas, sixth “ though they had then another Earl of Haddington, from whom are master, the Duke of Gordon, to descended the present families of whom the estate was given !" Upon Haddington, and of Baillie of Jer- the sum thus generously furnished, viswood. To Lady Murray, the and the credit he had in Holland, eldest daughter, we are indebted for Baillie subsisted three years, till he the papers contained in this volume; returned, with the Prince of Orange, in which, with a pious and affection- at the Revolution.
as he was, than death itself. But he had to do with inexorable men : so he was required to take this oath within two days. And by that time, he not being able to appear before the Council, a Committee of Council was sent to tender him the oath, and to take his examination. He told them he was not able to speak, by reason of the low state of his health, which appeared very evidently to them: for he had almost died while they were with him. He in general protested his innocence, and his abhorrence of all designs against the King, or the Duke's life : for the other interrogatories, he desired they might be left with him, and he would consider them. They persisted to require him to take the oath : but he as firmly refused it. So, upon this report, the Council construed his refusal to be a confession, and fined him £.6000, and ordered him to lie in prison till it was paid.” (Burnet, I. 325.) Not satisfied with this, however, two informers, Tarras and Murray, were suborned to depose to some “ discourses that Baillie had with them before he went to London, disposing them to rebellion ;” and upon this evidence, the dying man was hurried to his trial, condemned, and executed the same day : “ So afraid were they," says Burnet, “ lest death should be too quick for them!!!” “ Thus,” adds the same able, learned, and pious prelate, “ thus a learned and worthy gentleman, after twenty months' hard usage was brought to such a death, in a way so full, in all the steps of it, of the spirit and practice of the Courts of Inquisition, that one is tempted to think that the methods taken in it were suggested by one well studied, if not practised in them.” Does it not seem strange, or rather inexplicable, that, in the very country where these murders, under the forms of law, were perpetrated, men should have after wards been found insane enough to draw their swords in he cause of that cruel and arbitrary House by which they were sanctioned and patronized ?
After that memorable event, he and the strength of his affection for the was restored to the full possession of loss of those he loved, has made the tears his patrimony, and was employed by run down his cheeks ; when in all other King William during the whole of appearance he was firm and resigned, and his auspicious reign. By Queen by words and actions, was the comfort Anne he was appointed Treasurers and support of his family and all about Depute, and Member of the Privy
him. Council of Scotland, and after the
Though he could bear, without hesi. Cnion, was ma one of the Commis
tation or shrinking, any pain or operation sioners of Trade. Upon the Acces to himself, he could not bear to see the sion of George the First, he was,
cut of a finger in another. without solicitation, made one of the he thought right; though it was a great
He was firm and steady in doing what Lords of the Admiralty, and, soon uneasiness to him, when he saw he difafter, one of the Lords of the Trea
fered in opinion from those he had an sury, at the express and spontaneous esteem and affection for. request of the Earl of Stanhope, then He was strict in his own principles; and at the head of administration. In when at home, was constant in saying this office he continued till the year prayers every night in his own family. 1725, when, at his own earnest de- At London, where that was impossible; sire, and to the extreme regret of the without greatly restraining his family in Sovereign, who duly appreciated his their hours, or making it known to every talents and his integrity, he was
body, which he carefully avoided, he said suffered to retire to a private station, prayers at eight in the morning ; which and to spend the remainder of his
no hurry of business hindered him from, life in the exercise of the purest vir
nor any thing interrupted ; till his deaftue and the most exalted devotion.
ness increased with his bad' health, in the He died at Oxford, whither he had year 1728, that he was not master of his
own voice, from scarce hearing it, and then repaired to superintend the education
had a chaplain. of his grandsons, on the 6th of Au
He had the most universal charity, and gast 1738, being then in the 75th the greatest allowance to give to others. year of his age.
If any body told him good of another, his Never was there a man of milder constant answer was, “ I am glad of it ;" manners, or sterner virtue, than if bad, he said, “ How do you know that? George Baillie of Jerviswood : and You should not repeat nor believe things to those who are so prone to calum- you are not sure of.” But this was only niate the Covenanters and Presbytes to his own family, or those he was perrians of Scotland, -to whom, underfectly free with ; since he was far from God, we are indebted for the inesti- assuming the character of a general cor. mable blessing of that measure of civil and religious liberty which we
He had not the smallest tincture of reenjoy,—by representing them as a set venge, or resentment, even to them he of morose, gloomy, and ferocious bi- very well knew had injured him ; having
a much lower opinion of his own merit gots, strangers to the graces, chari
and judgment than any one else had, and ties, and humanities of life, and into
was constantly disposed and desirous of lerant of every thing but the grim finding others in the right. austerity of a cynical fanaticism, we He was disinterested in every instance recommend the attentive perusal of of life, or he might, even with the strictthe following character of this virtu- est justice, have left a much better forous and excellent man, drawn, in- tune to his family. deed, by his daughter, but never in- He was impartially just ; which his tended for the public eye:
friends and relations often suffered by,
when he was in offices where he might With a rough and manly countenance, have served them : yet he never missed he had the most tender and affectionate an opportunity of doing it, when they had heart, which, with his purse, was ever right on their side, or he thought they open to all in distress.
He could never deserved it, though his great modesty in resist an object of charity. To his friends asking made it always a pain to him. I that wanted his assistance, I have known have seen him uneasy for a week, when several instances where he has borrowed he had any thing in view he thought was the money to let them have it.
fit for him to ask for a friend of his own; I have three times in my life been and so pleased when he obtained it, that sitness, where the tenderness of his heart, those that were to have the benefit of it
could not have more joy in receiving it. made a bustle to get in, and then absentHe had an infinite pleasure in giving ed themselves upon any pretence ; which even little trifling presents to his friends; he never did upon any account, but when but did not like receiving. If it was from his health necessarily required it. He any he thought had a view to his interest never failed writing to my mother every for them, he would not suffer it, though post, and often to his children, though ever so trifling. He made us return a young, with great ease and freedom, but parrot given us, when he was in the Ad- always mixed with instruction and good miralty, by a gentleman who was solicit- advice; which he insinuated, by coming something there. Of such things I mending us for having the disposition to could give many instances.
do those things he wanted us most earThough 'he was no joker himself, no- nestly to pursue, and that with infinite body relished a joke more, nor was more tenderness and condescending affection. easy, cheerful, and pleased in company So desirous was he of having every one that he liked ; and often went in, with the he was concerned in do their duty in all same good humour, to the diversions that stations, that he generally brought with pleased his company, though it was not him, from London, some hundreds of quite suitable to his own temper.
little instructing books and catechisms, When we came first to London, and which he distributed amongst his tenants were of an age to relish diversions, such and servants. as balls, masquerades, parties by water,
In his own house, he was easy, civil, music, and such like, my mother and he kind, and hospitable to all, and observing, were always in all our parties ; neither to the greatest trifle what was wanting choosing to deprive us of them, nor let us and necessary for every one, but more par. go alone ; and so far from being a restraint ticularly if any of the company was of in upon any of the company, that not one in ferior rank, or modest or backward ; those it thought there could be any party with. he always took most care and notice of, out them, and they generally were calcu. and was greatly offended if he saw any lated at the times most convenient for my belonging to him neglect them. father.
proofs of this kind I could instance, but In all companies I ever saw him in, of shall only name oné.
Two of the poor any quality or dignity, he was always, by Episcopal Ciergy in Scotland came to ask them all, considered and respected as the charity for themselves and their brethren, first in it; yet was he the furthest from without the expectation of seeing him. He pride, or assuming any thing to himself, received them kindly, kept them to dinand at all times was at pains to curb any ner with him, contributed to their neces. appearance of pride or vanity in my sister sities, and shewed great displeasure at bis or me ; and the more, that perhaps he servants for not having taken proper care thought in some measure he might con. of their horses, nor bringing them so reatribute to it, from the desire he had of dily as they would have done to those frem having us inferior to none we kept com. whom they expected a reward. pany with.
He never thonght there was too much Formerly, when he went to London to entertain his friends in his own house, every year to the Parliament, and we in and always complained and was uneasy at Scotland, he would restrain himself in ne. superfluity in any other body's. He could cessary expenses, to bring all of us some- not bear putting any body to expense, thing he thought we would like, and was though he never grudged any himself that useful to us ; and would have his trunk was reasonable ; but had no pleasure in opened to give us them, before he took any thing that others did not share with time to rest himself, and showed a plea him in. sure in doing it I can never forget.
He had no ambition but to be free of Though the affairs of the public he was debt ; yet so great trust and confidence employed in took up much of his thoughts, did he put in my mother, and so abso. so as often to deprive him of his night's lutely free of all jealousy and suspicion, rest, yet his family was never out of his that he left the management of his affairs mind, in all the times he was absent from entirely to her, without scarce asking a them ; which was at London, before the question about them; except sometimes Union, whenever he or his friends thought would say to her, “ Is my debt paid yet?", his being there necessary for
nough often did she apply to him for dihis country; and after the Union, con- rection and advice ; since he knew enough stantly went every winter, and staid as of the law for the management of his own long as the Parliament sat, till the year affairs, when he would take the time or 1714, that he carried up his whole fa- trouble, or to prevent his being imposed mily. He strictly observed his attendance upon by others. in Parliament, and blamed those who As to his public transactions, they are
well known ; nor am I capable of making and tenderness made him unable to stand a judgment of them. I know, by all his out against the tears of any one he loved, party and friends, his opinion and advice upon my answering him only with tears, was constantly sought after, and very he said, “Dear child, I cannot see you seldom he erred in his judgment; which cry; you must do what pleases yourself ; nothing deterred him from giving freely, I give my consent, since you cannot folthough by it he ran the risk of disobliging low my opinion." And when it turned those he had a dependence upon.
out to be the most unfortunate choice I In the vear 1715, he gave strong proof could have made, which gave him a great of this, though then in the Treasury, deal of uneasiness and trouble, he never which might have made him silent in give once upbraided me with having brought ing an opinion against the measures of the it upon myself ; nor shewed less tenderCourt; but he publicly declared himself ness, in all my distress, than if it had been for mercy to the poor unhappy sufferers a thing entirely approved of by him. by the rebellion ; and, amongst many ar- A strong instance of his tenderness, and guments for it, in a long speech he made compliance with his family, was the jour. in Parliament, which he begun by saying ney he made to Naples on account of he had been bred in the school of afflic. Lord Binning's health, (whom indeed he tion, which had instructed him in both was deservedly as fond of as he could be the reasonableness and necessity of show- of any child of his own), at the time of ing mercy to others in the like circum- life he had devoted for retirement. He stanes ; and concluded by intreating pressed Lord Binning extremely to go them to take the advice which the pro- with some friend to take care of hiin : but phet Elisha gave the king of Israel, in the he absolutely refusing unless we went all 2d Book of Kings, 6th chapter, and 22d together, he yielded to what was both and 230 verses :-“ And he answered, disagrecable and inconvenient to himself; Thoa shalt not smite them: wouldst thou but after he took the resolution, he did it snite those whom thou hast taken cap- with great cheerfulness, never once comtive with thy sword and with thy bow? plained of the difficulties or hardships of Set bread and water before them, that the journey, and scemed to like it very they may eat and drink, and go to their well. At Naples, where we were in a master. And he prepared great provision manner settled for sixteen months, he for them: and when they had eaten and spent his time much in retirement, and drunk, he sent them away, and they went to his own liking; though he always came to their master. So the bands of Syria into the society we had in an evening, and caine no more into the land of Israel." diverted himself, generally kept them to
His private behaviour was no less sin. supper, and showed a heartiness and hosgular. His house was open to the wives, pitality not customary in that place, and mothers, sisters, and other relations and gained the hearts and admiration of all ; friends of the poor prisoners; where they of which he had strong proofs in our great inet with all the advice, assistance, and distress, when Lord Binning died, by their kind reception that could be given them. being most useful and serviceable to us.
When the two lords suffered, he stir- Indeed their affection and tenderness for rod not out of his room, nor dressed him- Lord Binning, and admiration of him self for some days; and sent the rest of in his sufferings, which he bore with the his family to assist and comfort the near utmost patience, resignation, and even relations of those that suffered. In their cheerfulness and good humour, was molast extremity, since it was not in his tive enough to engage their attention to power to serve them more materially, he every one of us; which they exercised with was thinking in wbat he could be useful the greatest friendship and humanity, and to them; and considered, that concern and ought ever to be remembered with grati. other things might have hindered Lord tude by this family. There were Italians, Kenmore's friends to get an order to re- who were Roman Catholics, as well as ceive his body : and just so it was. He English, who were constantly with us ; immediately sent and obtained it, and sent and when my father was praying by Lord it by Mr Robert Pringle (who was then Binning, in his last hours, they all joined under-secretary) to Tower Hill; where he with us; which was a great proof of their found his body actually in the surgeons' affection and condescension. My father's hands.
affliction was very heavy upon him, and He was the most just and sagacious he expressed it more strongly than ever I observer of mankind that was possible, had heard him. Lord Binning committed and was seldom deceived in his opinion of and recommended to his care, the educathen. This made him press me, with tion of his children, and said he needed many arguments, to marry one he pre- give no directions about it, since he was ferred to Mr Murray ; but as his affection to do it : what he wished most earnestly