« PoprzedniaDalej »
The Lord's supper is begun to be administered in Lady Glen.
orchy's chapel every second month-Lord Breadalbane's death
- Concluding extract from her Diary-She sells Barnton-Death
THE RIGHT HONOURABLE
WILLIEL M A,
Willielma Maxwell's birth and parentage-Her mother enters into a
second marriageHer sister married to the Earl of SutherlandWillielma marries Lord Glenorchy-Makes the Tour of EuropeReturns to Britain-Enters into the dissipations of the world—Forms resolutions of leading a devout and religious life- Becomes acquainted with the Hawkstone family—Particularly with Miss Hill-Goes to Taymouth— Is there visited by sickness; under wbich, lasting impressions of religion are made on her heart-Letter of Miss Hill to Lady Glenorchy-Happy effects of it on Lady Glenorchy's mind.
William MaxwELL, Esq. of Preston, in the stewartry of Kirkcudbright, a branch of the Nithsdale family, was a medical gentleman, and possessed a large fortune.
In the year 1739 he married Elizabeth Hairstanes of Craig, in the same county. Their family consisted of two daughters. The eldest was Mary, afterwards Countess of Sutherland. The youngest was Willielma, the subject of these Annals, born after her father's death, on the 2d of September 1741.
Mrs Maxwell having lived a widow twelve years, was on the 27th of August 1753 married to the Right Honourable Charles Erskine of Tinewold and Alva, a Senator of the College of Justice, with the title of Lord Alva; in consequence of which, by the courtesy of the times, she enjoyed the title of Lady Alva till her death. She survived her daughter Willielma twenty years. Lord Alva was, soon after his marriage, raised to the high office of Lord Justice Clerk, equivalent in Scotland to that of Lord Chief Justice in England. Under the parental roof of this much respected Judge, the Misses Maxwell spent the last seven years of their unmarried state; and of his Lordship's kindness during that period, Lady Glenorchy always spoke with much reverence and affection.
The Misses Maxwell were in their day celebrated for their beauty, accomplishments, and amiable manners, as well as for their fortune. Their mother, lofty and ambitious, had, from their infancy, destined them, in her own mind, to the attainment, by marriage, of high rank.
She obtained her object; but, alas ! as is often the case in schemes of worldly ambition, it was followed with many bitter consequences.
1761.) Mary, the eldest, was married, with every flattering prospect, on the 14th of April 1761, to William the seventeenth Earl of Sutherland, and premier Earl of Scotland. To the finest person, he united all the dignity and amenity of manners and character which give lustre to greatness, while she was every thing which could be desired by such a husband. But their earthly career was of short duration. “ As for
man, his days are as grass; as a flower of the field so he witbereth."
About the time of Lord and Lady Sutherland's union, a proposal of marriage was made to Willielma by John Lord Viscount Glenorchy, the only son and heir of John the third Earl of Breadalbane; a young man, in every respect, except in rank and fortune, the very opposite of Lord Sutherland. Lord Breadalbane had been bred at Court, and possessed very extensive property and influence. He was proprietor of one of the most magnificent seats in Scotland, where he lived in princely splendour. A suitor placed in the circumstances, and possessing the prospects of Lord Glenorchy, was a temptation, if not too great for Miss Maxwell, yet beyond a doubt too great for her mother to resist. His character must have been at this time in a great degree unknown to them both, as it had not yet been fully developed. Pushed on by mistaken friends, and deceived by the fascinations of grandeur, which had no doubt been increased by the marriage of her sister a few months before, she was, in the twentieth year of her age, on the 26th of September 1761, married to Lord Glenorchy, who on that day was twenty-three years old.
Lady Glenorchy had fine talents, and she had profited much by a very liberal and expensive education. She was esteemed one of the first amateur musicians, and had a charming voice, which, after she became a decided Christian, she seldom used but in the worship of God. She was naturally vivacious, gay, peculiarly formed for hilarity, and commanded a very considerable portion of pleasantry, which she was capable of using with great effect. In short, she seems to have been endowed with every talent calculated to communicate delight to a virtuous and well regulated mind.