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A curious mistake,
Curious anecdote of Lord Stairs,
Wallace; a poem,
Literary Companion. .
Various; that the mind
The following Memoirs appeared in that able and widely circulated periodical work, the London Monthly Magazine for Feb. 1815. We read it with great feeling at the tine, and do not recollect having seen a narrative so full of interesting incident, with a close so fatal. The motive of the writer was with us a principal inducewzent to its publication now, and we conceive it will be sufficient apology for making our readers acquainted with the fate of so vear a descendant of the royal house of Stuart.
To some of our readers it is perhaps necessary to state, that the Duke of Monmouth was a natural son of King Charles II. by Miss Lucie Walters of Haversfoord, born at Rotterdain 1649, and bore the name of Croffts. In 1662 he came to England, and was created Duke of Orkney in Scotland; and, upon the 14th Feb. 1663, Baron of Findale, Earl of Doncaster, and Duke of Monmouth, and was elected a Knight's Companion of the most noble order of the garter. In 1668, he was made captain of the king's horse lifeguards, and soon af. ter captain general of his majesty's forces, and lord lieutenant of the east riding of York. In the latter end of the reign of King Charles, falling out with the court, he retired to Holland, and resided at the Hague till the king's death. On the accession of King James to the throne, he invaded England in an hostile manuer, and proclaimed himVOL. II.
self king. Ilis army, consisting of about 5000 horse and foot, was routed by the king's troops, under the command of the Earl of Favershain. The Duke was apprehended, conveyed under a strong guarel to London, committed to the tower, and beheaded the 15th July 1685.
Memoirs of Ferdinand Smyth Stuart, M.D. Major in
the British Army, and Grandson of the Duke of Monmouth.
It is in vain that philosophy affects to despise all prejudices. Her inost devoted disciples must entertain many from habit or inadvertency, cherish others for their own sake, and for the pleasure they afford. Thus it is, in regard to illustrious descent. We may despise the ostentatious display of the pride of ancestry, and we may not admit this species of distinction as a substitute for virtue, or an apology for vice; yet there exists in the descendants of famous ancestors, a charm which fascinates, which commands respect, and which always excites the warmest sympathy when they are assailed by any of the calamities of ordinary life.
The public at large, and the sternest lover of republicanism, will therefore participate in one common feeling, on hearing the recent unhappy fate of one of the nearest descendants of the royal house of Stuart; and the occasion will justify a revival of certain historical partịculars which have either been forgotten, or till now have been buried in the records of the family.
Dr. Ferdinand Smyth Stuart, the immediate object of this biography, met his death on the 20th of December last, in Bloomsbury-square, by the unfortunate cireumstance of the carriage of a Mrs. Kelly, daughter of Mr. Bolland, in St. Paul's Church Yard, suddenly turning the corner of Southampton-street; when, being unable to escape in time, he was knocked down-by the pole, and trampled on by the horses. He was carried aliveto his residence, in Vernon Place, adjoining; but, in spite of every case, he expired on the 28th, leaving an amiable, but destitute, widow, two sons and a daughter.
No event could have been more ill-timed in the fate of this family. After buffeting with fortune in every part of the world, Dr. S. Stuart fiad determined, in this his 67th year, to avail himself of his experience and connexions, by attempting to establish himself as a physician in the metropolis; and, so lately as the latter part of the previous Novem. ber, had entered on his establishment in Vernon Place: just as he was beginning to be recognised by his friends, he met his death by this dismal catastrophe
He was the only surviving son of Colonel Wentworth Smyth, who was the son of James Duke of Monmouth, by Henrietta Maria
Wentworth, Baroness of Nettlested, and grand-daughter of Thomas Earl of Cleveland. All our historians agree, that, before his execution, the Duke of Monmouth was refused the sacrameat, by Drs. Tennison and Hooper, unless he confessed the sin and adultery in which he live ed with lady Wentworth,--his wife, the Countess of Buccleugh, being still alive. Dr. Smyth Stuart's papers inform us, that the Duke alledged that his first marriage was forced on him by his father, at the age of fifteen, before he was capable of making a proper choice; and that, having been married to Lady Wentworth, in his mature age, he considered her as his lawful wife before God and man. Be this as it may, Lady Wentworth, after the Duke's execution, retired to her country seat, where she pined for nine months; and, dying of a broken heart, was buried at Teddington, in Bedfordshire.
Her infant son, then but two years old, and, as illegitimate, deprived of all inheritance, was conveyed to Paris by Colonel Smyth, an ad. herent of the Duke of Monmouth, who educated hiin, and left him his fortune. He afterwards engaged in the cause of the Stuart family, in 1715; and, concealing himself in the Highlands, continued to reside in Scotland. But engaging in the second attempt, in 1745, he was, a few years afterwards, being then in his 72d year, way-laid ona bridge, by three men of the royal army, in the hope of reward; when, in the struggle, he and two of them fell over the battleinents into the river, and were all drowned!
His son, Ferdinand, the subject of this biography, was then only in bis sixth year, and an orphan; his mother, a great grand-daughter of the same Duke of Monmouth, by Eleanor, daughter of Sir Robert Needham, having died three years before. This double affinity to the Stuart race, was probably the cause of the striking likeness which the late Dr. S. Stuart bore to all the portraits of Charles II. which indeed he might have adopted for his own. Nor will it diminish the interest of this narrative, when it is remarked, that his daughter, now in her seventeenth year, bears an exact similitude to all the portraits of Mary Queen of Scots, when of the same age. His eldest son, now in his ninth year, is like tllat portrait of Charles II. where he is painted with a Newfoundland dog of his own height; and, dous tless, as he grows, his resemblance to the characteristic of his family will increase.
The subject of this memoir received, however, amid the Grampian hills, a liberal education, and learnt English as a foreign tongue, with Latin and French, in a country where four-fifths of the inhabitants speak Gaelic or Erse, and call the tongue of the Lowlands, Sassnach or Saxon. In due time, he was removed to Aberdeen; and, having entered on the profession of a physician, he attended the lectures of Dr. Gregory, whom he always described “as a blessing scnt from Heaven to serve mankind, and as an honour to human nature!”. His first experiment in this profession was as surgeon to a Greenland-man;