« PreviousContinue »
profession, he passed advocate in 1816, but made an appearance in Court only on rare occasions. Even during the legal studies necessary to qualify for the Bar, Lockhart showed such a strong leaning towards literature, that after forming the acquaintance of Scott in 1818, little persuasion was needed to make authorship his chief reliance, his first work being issued the following year in the form of "Peter's Letters to his Kinsfolk." Known as the “Scorpion" of the Chaldee MS. inserted in an early number of “Blackwood,” Lockhart may be said to have been from the commencement of that magazine the leader of that mischievous band of young Tories who furnished its most biting and brilliant papers. His connection with the periodical, of which he was erroneously reputed to be editor, led, in 1821, to a hostile correspondence with John Scott, of the “London Magazine," the quarrel ending in a duel, in which Scott fell mortally wounded by Lockhart's "friend,” Mr. Christie, who had got himself involved in the unhappy quarrel when negotiating for an apology. After “Valerius,” Lockhart's first novel, sent out 1821, “ Adam Blair,” “Reginald Dalton,” and “Matthew Wald” followed in quick succession; till in 1826 he succeeded Gifford as editor of the .“Quarterly Review,” which he was spared to conduct, with rare ability, for the long period of twenty-eight years. Proud in spirit, and rather cynical and disdainful in his manner, Lockhart's domestic life was severely tried by affliction, first through the death of his favourite son, the “Hugh Littlejohn" of Scott's “Tales of a Grandfather;" then of his wife Sophia, Scott's eldest daughter, in 1837; and finally of his only surviving son, a cornet in the 16th Lancers, who, after ruining a fine constitution, died unmarried, January 10, 1853, at the early age of twenty-seven. Mr. Lockhart's only surviving child, Charlotte, named after her grandmother, Lady Scott, became the wife of J. R. Hope, Q.C., who assumed the name of Scott, and had an only child, Mary-Monica, who became wife of the Hon. J. Constable-Maxwell (now Scott) of the Herries family, present proprietor of Abbotsford through his wife, great-grand-daughter of Sir Walter. Of this marriage there is issue several sons and daughters.
In addition to the writings above referred to, Lockhart translated a collection of “Ancient Spanish Ballads,” about the accuracy of which critics differ, although none dispute the flowing rhyme or animated descriptive power. He also wrote a few pieces of a patriotic and humorous character—the best known being “The Broadswords of Old Scotland,” the inimitable “Captain Paton,” and, probably, “The Great Glasgow Gander" in the “Noctes.” One or two other occasional pieces in the form of “Epitaphs" on friends may also be mentioned. That on the accomplished but unfortunate Dr. Maginn has been much admired for its neatness. It is dated simply
WALTON-ON-THAMES, AUG., 1842.
Here, early to bed, lies kind William Maginn,
A companion epitaph on Theodore Hook is less known, but those familiar with it think it not quite so genial, while one or two lines make the piece less suitable for publication. Broken, as has been said, in spirit, and shattered in health, Lockhart laid aside the cares of the “Quarterly" in 1853, and, like Maginn, turned his back on “Babylon's din,” proceeding northward in the summer of next year, with the view of recovering some measure of physical vigour, and, it may be, of recalling the early delightful days spent with his wife, her father, and her father's friends at Chiefswood. Halting for a short rest with his relative at MiltonLockhart, the invalid passed on to Abbotsford, but, so far from recruiting amid scenes full of agreeable associations, he gradually became weaker, and died there, 25th November, 1854. The remains of J. G. Lockhart were laid within the ruins of Dryburgh Abbey, beside those of his father-in-law, Sir Walter, and with much appropriateness, for it is not too much to say that the Memoir of the one from the pen of the other will live as long as “Waverley" novels are read. The memoir appeared in 1837–38.
The present proprietor of Milton-Lockhart is David Blair Lockhart, also of Wicketshaw, a Lieutenant-Colonel in the 107th Foot, eldest son of Rev. Lawrence Lockhart, D.D. He represents two other old families—the Cleghorn branch in the male line, and in the female line the Somervilles of Cam'nethan. Allan Eliot Lockhart of Cleghorn, Lanarkshire, and Borthwickbrae, Selkirkshire, son of William Eliot, was descended from another Allan Lockhart, said to have witnessed charters in the reign of James II. (1437–60). The later Allan studied for the bar, passed advocate 1824, and sat as member of Parliament for Selkirk county from 1846 till 1861, when he accepted the Chiltern Hundreds, and was succeeded in the representation by Lord Henry John Scott, after a contest with the Hon. W. Napier.
ARDGOWAN: THE STEWARTS AND SHAW-STEWARTS.
ARDGOWAN: THE STEWARTS AND
IF what was once a chief fortalice of those early Stewarts descended from Robert III. is now the ruined, grim, and roofless tower at Blackhall, close on Paisley, the splendour of the new residence at Ardgowan gives not only manifest tokens of more peaceable times, but suggests much otherwise concerning the Royal race from which the lairds, knights, and baronets of the old castle sprung. It should also be kept in mind that while Ardgowan has long been the principal mansion of the family, the property, with its own old fortress, now forsaken like Blackhall, was amongst the earliest of their possessions in Renfrewshire. Certain antiquaries make mention of it as the first property granted by King Robert to his son John Stewart; but more exact inquiry would fix the charters as passing the Great Seal in the following order :-Auchingown, 1390 ; Blackhall, 1395; Ardgowan, 1403, or three years before the King died in Rothesay Castle, partly, it is thought, through grief at the capture on the high seas by the English of his only surviving legitimate son, Prince James, while being conveyed to France for safety. The Greenock and other acquisitions of the Blackhall Stewarts will be noticed below in connection with the Shaw family. Situated on a fine natural terrace on the left or south bank, about two miles below the Cloch Lighthouse, and therefore beyond the point where Clyde bends from its westward course southward to the Firth, Ardgowan commands magnificent views along both shores of the estuary, and as far down as the rugged peaks of Arran. The present mansion, designed by Cairncross, was built early in last century by the then Sir John Shaw-Stewart, fourth baronet, and fifteenth in direct male descent from John, son of Robert III., and founder of the house. Blackhall then (1710) became the farm-house of that property. Sir John also enclosed the beautiful grounds amid which the mansion-house stands, and planned the gardens, walks, and plantations. Unlike Blackhall Tower, now little more than an unseemly encumbrance within an ordinary farm-yard, the old and only remnant of the first family residence at Ardgowan has been so far cared for as to impart interest to the landscape. Mouldering and ivy-clad, the ruin yet carries the mind back even beyond the days of that James Stewart who, in 1576, obtained from James VI. a charter creating the three properties mentioned above into a barony. John Stewart had by Margaret, daughter of Stewart of Castlemilk, one son, Archibald, of Blackhall, who sat in Parliament as Commissioner for the shire of Renfrew. He was also chosen as a Privy Councillor by Charles I., and advanced to the dignity of knighthood. By his first wife, a daughter of Bryce Blair of Blair, Sir Archibald had issue three sons and two daughters—(1) John, who predeceased his father, but left by his wife Mary, daughter of the house of Keir, among other sons, Archibald, who succeeded to the family honours in 1658; (2) Archibald, who obtained the lands of Scotston through his wife Margaret, daughter and heiress of John Hutcheson ; (3) Walter, who married Elizabeth, daughter and heiress of Robert Stewart, and succeeded thereby to the lands of Pardovan, leaving issue one son, Walter, prominent in the Church Courts of his day as a debater, and frequently in correspondence with Woodrow. of the two daughters of Sir Archibald Stewart, Annabel married Sir George Maxwell of Pollock, while Margaret married Sir David Boswell of Auchinleck. Sir Archibald, first knight, was succeeded, as mentioned above, by his grandson, also Archibald, who was created a baronet of Nova Scotia. Married to Anne, eldest daughter of Sir John Crawford of Kilbirnie, the second Sir Archibald had, with other issue, a son, John, father of Archibald, second baronet, and of Michael, third baronet, who succeeded to the title and estates on the death of his elder brother, without issue, in 1724. It is now necessary to turn to the Ardgowan connection with the family of Shaw, of Greenock, through the marriage of the Sir Michael just mentioned as third baronet, with Helenor, eldest daughter of Sir John Houstoun, third Baronet of Houstoun, and Margaret Shaw, his wife, daughter of Sir John Shaw, second baronet of Greenock, and Eleanor, eldest daughter and co-heir of Sir Thomas Nicolson, Bart., of Carnock.