Page images
PDF
EPUB

joined Argyll's forces during Mar's "rising” of 1715, and, as might have been expected, rendered efficient service on the doubtful field of Sheriffmuir. Later in life (1740), and eight years after he had succeeded his father as eighth in succession to the honours of the house, Lord Charles was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the British forces sent out to attack the Spanish dominions in South America. About two months after leaving Spithead he was seized with sudden illness, and died at sea, as already mentioned, being buried on the beach of Prince Rupert's Bay, Dominica, where a monument was erected to the memory of the gallant soldier. By his first marriage with Marion, only daughter and heiress of Sir John Shaw of Greenock, Lord Cathcart had, besides other sons and daughters, Charles, who succeeded as ninth Lord, famous as any of his family for services in the field and as a diplomatist at foreign Courts. Earl Cathcart's second wife, by whom he had no issue, was the Mrs. Sabine, or Malyn, referred to in the opening sentence of this article. The young Earl Charles, for he was only 19 years of age when he succeeded his father, served under Stair at Dettingen, and under Cumberland at Fontenoy, where he was severely wounded, and his only brother, Shaw Cathcart, slain. Present and active on the field of Culloden, his Lordship was next year at Laffeldt, where he was wounded once more; and within a few months passed to the Court of France, where he resided as one of the hostages for the delivery of Cape Breton to Louis XV., under that Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle which concluded the war of the Austrian Succession, waged originally between Marie Theresa and Frederick II. of Prussia, afterwards known as Frederick the Great. On returning home, Lord Cathcart, who was then promoted to the rank of colonel, represented the King for many years in succession as Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly, and in 1763 was invested with the Order of the Thistle, having two years earlier been appointed Governor of Dumbarton Castle. In 1768 at a critical point of the struggle between Russia and Turkey, Lord Cathcart was appointed Ambassador Extraordinary to the Court of St. Petersburg, where he resided for three years. Lord Charles died, August, 1776, aged not more than 56 years; but over thirty of which had been spent in active service at home or abroad, Lady Cathcart was Jane, daughter of Lord Archibald Hamilton of Riccarton and Pardovan, sister of Sir William Hamilton, K.B., eminent as an antiquarian and art collector, who married the beautiful but humble-born Emma Harte, famous afterwards for her connection with Lord Nelson. Lady Cathcart bore a family of nine children-five sons and four daughters-William Shaw becoming tenth lord, and a younger brother, the Hon. Charles Alan, serving with distinction in America and in India, being especially prominent on duty against the French in the trenches at Cuddalore. Charles Alan, like his grandfather, died at sea, being overtaken with a fatal illness in the Straits of Banca, on his way to open up commercial intercourse with China, under instructions from the East India Company. He was then (1783) only 29 years of age. Of the daughters, the eldest, Jane, became Duchess of Athol. The next daughter was that Mary destined to become famous, not only for her beauty and accomplishments, but whose early death; in 1792, led her husband, Thomas Graham of Balgowan, to temper his sharp sorrow, by throwing himself at middle age into that military career in which he became for ever famous as Lord Lynedoch, victor of Barossa, and otherwise one of the ablest of Wellington's lieutenants, as he proved at Victoria, San Sebastian, and the Bidassoa. William Shaw, tenth Lord Cathcart, also won high honour for services in the field, his most prominent achievement being the bombardment of Copenhagen in the summer of 1807, when the Danish fleet, with its wealth of ammunition and stores, was seized and brought to England. Before the year had closed he was elevated to the British peerage as Baron Greenock of Greenock, and Viscount Cathcart of Cathcart, the higher title of Earl following in 1814, after his return from a special mission to St. Petersburg. Full of years and honours—he was 88—yet vigorous, the Earl passed away in June, 1843, being at the time senior General in Her Majesty's service. His eldest son, William, who commenced a naval career under Nelson in the Medusa frigate, died young, from yellow fever, at Jamaica, nearly forty years before his father. The succession thereby passed to the second son, Charles Murray Cathcart, who became eleventh Baron and second Earl. As Lord Greenock, he served with the army in Ireland, the Mediterranean, at Flushing, and through most of the Peninsular war, till Waterloo, where he was present and took part in the action. Soon after succeeding to the Earldom, he was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the forces in Canada, and Colonel of the 3rd Dragoon Guards. Dying in July, 1859, Earl Charles was succeeded by his · son, Alan Frederick, Lord Greenock, the present Earl of Cathcart, born 1828, and married, 1850, Elizabeth Mary, eldest daughter and co-heiress of the late Sir Samuel Crompton, Bart., with issue five sons and five daughters. Frederick, third son of the first Earl, served in the Scots Greys, was present with his father at the surrender of Copenhagen, and brought home the despatches relating thereto. He married Jane, daughter of Quentin Macadam of Craigengillan, Ayrshire, taking thereafter the additional surname of Macadam. The fourth and youngest son of Earl Charles was the well-known Sir George Cathcart, who served with his father in Germany and France, being also present at Quatre-Bras as aide-de-camp to the Duke of Wellington. Sir George commanded at the Cape in 1851, but on the breaking out of the Crimean War became Lieut.-General of Fourth Division of the British army, and, to the regret of all who knew him, fell fighting at Inkermann on a hill which has since borne the name of the brave soldier.

About the lands of Cathcart, it may be thought proper to say a word or two. The parish itself, as arranged in modern times, makes up portions of two counties, Renfrewshire east, Lanarkshire west, and includes the pleasant districts, suburban to Glasgow, of Langside, already referred to, Mount Florida, Crossmyloof, New Cathcart, and Prospect Hill. The territory originally formed part of the extensive estates conferred by David I. on Walter, founder of the house of Stewart, before the middle of the twelfth century. The church with all its pertinents passed to the Monastery of Paisley, and remained under the control of that richly-endowed religious house till the Reformation, when the monastic possessions were broken up, with the exception of that portion sold about 1546 by Alan, third Lord Cathcart, to his wife's kinsman, Gabriel Sempill of Ladymuir. In this branch of the Sempills, the lands then known as Cathcart, although shorn of their original extent, continued till about 1720, when they were sold to John Maxwell of

Williamwood. Towards the close of the century the old family possessions were still further broken up, the castle and principal messuage being acquired by James Hill, from whom in 1801 they appropriately passed by purchase to the first Earl Charles, who afterwards added the property of Symshill, another portion of the original Cathcart estate. Regarding the date when the old castle was reared on the steep height above the Cart nothing is known, and conjecture therefore useless. For probably 500 years at least, we may repeat, the original square tower frowned over the valley below, and afforded protection not only to its inmates, but to the fruitful gardens round about, of which mention is made by various writers. So strong and thick were the walls, that the systematic attempt made to demolish it about the middle of last century had to be abandoned in despair. Not far from the castle stands Cathcart Cottage, the modern residence of the family, and where some sixty years since there was built into the front wall a sculptured stone, removed from Sundrum, showing the arms of Cathcart quartered with those of Stair, indicating the marriage connection already referred to between Alan, seventh Lord, and Elizabeth Dalrymple, daughter of Viscount Stair. Dull and polluted as the White Cart now is in many of its reaches, it flows through Cathcart parish amid scenes of natural beauty, well fitted to suggest pleasant memories to poets like Grahame, of “The Sabbath," and Thomas Campbell, who had each played on its banks. The poet of "Hope" almost becomes the poet of “Memory” when he recalled those

“Scenes of my childhood, so dear to my heart,

Ye green waving woods by the margin of Cart;
How blest in the morning of life have I strayed,
By the stream of the vale, and the grass-covered glade.

But hush'd be the sigh that untimely complains,
While Friendship and all its enchantment remains,
While it blooms like the flower of a winterless clime,
Untainted by chance, unabated by time.”

THE STEUARTS OF COLTNESS AND

ALLANTON.

Few properties in the upper Ward of Lanarkshire, or, indeed, few properties in any part of the county, have continued to present in our own time so much of their early sylvan amenity as Coltness, and this, although surrounded in every direction with coal and iron works, sending out continuously suggestive if not attractive evidence of the mineral wealth being wrought beneath the surface. Within Cam'nethan parish, but on its extreme northern limit, where the winding South Calder divides it from Shotts, Coltness passed through the Somervilles to the Logans of Restalrig, and from them to the Steuarts, at a time when coal and iron were in but little use, and not dreamt of in the way of a national industry, as the term is now understood. The Jacobite Laird of the family, too gracious with the Prince at Holyrood, returned from an eighteen years' exile in 1763 to cultivate his favourite science of political economy in the pleasant shades of Coltness—a harmless pursuit varied frequently by a personal superintendence of improvements made in his time on the paternal acres and the pleasant mansion they still surround. His son, General Sir James, educated for the most part abroad during the period of exile, was guilty of two serious errors during his long life- an expensive intimacy with George IV. and the Duke of York, and a zeal surpassing even the zeal of his father for agricultural improvements.

Between the constant hospitality of a great countryhouse and the usual results of gentleman-farming on a wide scale, Sir James contrived to dissipate the whole of the goodly inheritance that had devolved on him. He died a landless man at Cheltenham; but it is recorded he appeared unconscious of what had occurred as to his worldly fortunes, and might be seen now and then marking trees in the Long Walk of the Old Spa, as if he were still at Coltness.—“Qr. Rev.," vol. 70, p. 372.) This Sir James, the last in the

« PreviousContinue »