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Arthur, a physician in Edinburgh. This Dr Arthur had only of late become a Jacobite; consequently, although his brother's object in informing bim was no doubt to draw him into the scheme, be did not contemplate the enterprise with the same joyful hope which was felt by the rest. On the contrary, during the whole day previous to the appointed evening, he felt his mind depressed ; nor could he conceal that he was suffering under some unusual anxiety. His wife, observing his melancholy, importuned him to disclose its cause ; and he was at length weak enough to gratify her curiosity. She immediately, without his knowledge, despatched an anonymous letter to Sir Adam Cockburn of Ormiston, Lord Justice-Clerk, informing him of the design. Lord Ormiston, than whom a more zealous Whig never lived, lost no time in sending an express, with the same information, to Lieutenant-Colonel Stuart, the Deputygovernor of the Castle. It was ten o'clock at night when Mrs Arthur's letter reached the Lord Justice-Clerk, and eleven ere his Lordship’s express reached the Castle ; but, fortunately for the interests of the House of Hanover, the conspirators were fond, like all good Jacobites, of brandy and claret. They had lingered at a tavern till it was two hours past the time appointed. Ere they reached the bottom of the rock, with their apparatus, the Deputy-Governor had received the information of the Lord Justice-Clerk. Still, perhaps, had they been as expeditious as they ought to have been, their enterprise might have been successful. Colonel Stuart was either so well inclined to their scheme, or was so imperfectly informed by the express, that he fonnd bimself only
called upon to order his officers to double their guards and make diligent rounds ; after which he went to bed. Unfortunately, they lingered so long that, just as the four sentinels were pulling up their ladders, the hour for the change of guard arrived, and one Lieutenant Lindsay, leading out the fresh sentries from the sally-port, came upon them at the very last moment wben they could have been successful. One of the guilty sentinels immediately fired his piece, and called to those below that the whole plot was ruined; bis companions at the same time let go the ropes. The whole assembled band of conspirators instantly dispersed, some of them falling down the precipices in such a way as to be seriously hurt. At that moment, a party of the City guard, which the Lord Justice-Clerk had urged the Lord Provost to get under arms for the purpose, sallied from the West Port of the city, and exerted themselves to seize the fugitives. They only succeeded in taking four persons ; one Captain MacLean, a veteran Cavalier who had fought at Killiecranky; a gentleman of the name of Lesly, who had been page to the notedly Jacobite Dutchess of Gordon; and Messrs Alexander Ramsay and George Boswell, writers in Edinburgh. Thus miserably ended an enterprise, which, if executed with promptitude and care, equal to the skill with which it was projected, might have given a very different turn to the course of this little narrative.
The discovery of this plot gave great alarm to the Government, and caused its members to take still more serious measures than before for the prevention of the insurrection. All suspected persons were now unscrupulously apprehended. At Edinbargh, the Earls of Hume, Wigtoun, and Kinnoul, Lord Deskford, (son of the Earl of Finlater), and Messrs Lockhart of Carnwath and Hume of Whitfield, were committed prisoners to the Castle. Sir Alexander Erskine, Lord Lyon, and Sir Patrick Murray of Auchtertyre, who surrendered themselves in terms of the late act, were also put into prison. General Whitbam, Commander-in-chief of his Majesty's forces in Scotland, was ordered to march with all the regular troops that could be spared, to form a camp in Stirling Park, so as to secure the bridge over the Forth. Immediately after, he was superseded by the Duke of Argyle, who was expected, from his superior acquaintance with the country, and his immense territorial infinence, to be a better commander. That officer arrived in Scotland about the middle of September, and lost no time in putting himself at the head of the little army which Whitham had collected. The Earl of Sutherland, a nobleman zealously attached to the Protestant succession, was, at the same time, despatched to the extreme north of Scotland, with a commission to raise his vassals, as well as all the other clans which might be favourably disposed to the Government, and to employ them as a check upon the disaffected in that quarter.
At the first intelligence of the insurrection in Scotland, the Court of St James's had formed the idea that it was only designed as a stratagem to draw the King's forces northward, so as to permit the English Jacobites to rise and seize the capital and seat of government. They accordingly did not send any troops to Scotland ; they rather sent such regiments as they had to the disaffected districts in the West and South-west of England, where the
symptoms of an intended eruption were most violent. Thus, the whole army which the Duke of Argyle found to command, consisted in four foot regiments, or little more than a thousand men, with about five hundred dragoons. Orders, however, were now issued for reinforcing his Grace by the Earl of Stair's regiment of Scots Grays, and two foot-regiments, which lay in the north of England, as well as by a similar force from Ireland ; in which kingdom there did not appear the least intention of disturbing the new government. To increase the regular forces, a number of loyal burghs and noblemen in the south and west of Scotland now busied themselves zealously in raising little corps of militia.
In the mean time, the Earl of Mar and his friends were by no means inactive. The clan MacIntosh was the first to rise. Under the command of Brigadier MacIntosh of Borlum, uncle to the chief (who was a minor), this very brave clan mustered, early in September, to the number of five hundred, and, marching with banners displayed to Inverness, seized that important post, which was without a garrison. Leaving a strong party there, the Brigadier soon after marched southwards to join the Earl of Mar. About the same time, a party of MacLeans, MacDonalds, and Camerons, made an attempt on Fort William, and succeeded so far as to take two redoubts or spurs, with a considerable number of men in each, though they were obliged to abandon the main design for want of cannon. In the Lowland districts of Angus and Aberdeenshire, various poblemen and gentlemen were exerting themselves in favour of the Chevalier. He was proclaimed at Aberdeen by the Earl Marischal, at Castle Gordon by the Marquis of Huntly, at Brechin by the Earl of Panmure, and at Dundee by Mr Graham of Duntroon, brother to the late Viscount of Dundee.
Mar had succeeded in gathering a considerable number of men before the middle of September ; when he at length thought it necessary to descend into Athole. At Moulinearn, a little village near the Pass of Killiecranky, he proclaimed the Chevalier. Here learning that the Earl of Rothes was advancing with five hundred of his Fife vassals and friends, to seize Perth, he gave orders to Colonel John Hay, brother to the Earl of Kinnoul, to fall into that town with a party of two hundred horse; which enterprise Colonel Hay performed with promptitude and perfect success, on the 14th of September ;' the Earl of Rothes retiring when he learned that the place was prepossessed. The seizure of Perth gave the insurgents much eclat, and laid all Scotland north of the Forth under their control. Mar made Colonel Hay governor of the town, by commission dated September 18th.”
In a letter which the Earl wrote to Hay on the 19th (from Moulinearn), he commands that the town should be defended with the utmost obstinacy, in case of the Duke of Argyle advancing against it from Stirling. He also orders him to tender the oath of allegiance to the people of the town, and to make them renounce all subjection to any other prince or power than James the Eighth. “ Such as refuse to comply with this, " continues the insurgent General, “ you are to turn them out of the town, and immediately after to order a free election of magistrates by poll.” The Governor is, also desired, by this letter, to break open all letters