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The Highlands

The clans had not been disarmed after 1715, moreover 6000 muskets had been brought in during the affair that ended at Glenshiel in 1719. General Wade was commissioned in 1724 to examine and report on the Highlands: Lovat had already sent in a report. He pointed out that Lowlanders paid blackmail for protection to Highland raiders, and that independent companies of Highlanders, paid by Government, had been useful, but were broken up in 1717. What Lovat wanted was a company and pay for himself. Wade represented the force of the clans as about 22,000 claymores, half Whig (the extreme north and the Campbells), half Jacobite. The commandants of forts should have independent companies: cavalry should be quartered between Inverness and Perth, and Quarter Sessions should be held at Fort William and Ruthven in Badenoch. In 1725 Wade disarmed Seaforth’s clan, the Mackenzies, easily, for Seaforth, then in exile, was on bad terms with James, and wished to come home with a pardon. Glengarry, Clanranald, Glencoe, Appin, Lochiel, Clan Vourich, and the Gordons affected submission, but only handed over two thousand rusty weapons of every sort. Lovat did obtain an independent company, later withdrawn, with results. The clans were by no means disarmed, but Wade did, from 1725 to 1736, construct his famous military roads and bridges, interconnecting the forts.

The death of George I. (June 11, 1727) induced James to hurry to Lorraine and communicate with Lockhart. But there was nothing to be done. Clementina had discredited her husband, even in Scotland, much more in England, by her hysterical complaints, and her hatred of every man employed by James inflamed the petty jealousies and feuds among the exiles of his Court. No man whom he could select would have been approved of by the party.

To the bishops of the persecuted Episcopalian remnant, quarrelling over details of ritual called “the Usages,” James vainly recommended “forbearance in love.” Lockhart, disgusted with the clergy, and siding with Clementina against her husband, believed that some of the wrangling churchmen betrayed the channel of his communications with his king (1727). Islay gave Lockhart a hint to disappear, and he sailed from Scotland for Holland on April 8, 1727.

Since James dismissed Bolingbroke, every one of his Ministers was suspected, by one faction or another of the party, as a traitor. Atterbury denounced Mar, Lockhart denounced Hay (titular Earl of Inverness), Clementina told feminine tales for which even the angry Lockhart could find no evidence. James was the butt of every slanderous tongue; but absolutely nothing against his moral character, or his efforts to do his best, or his tolerance and lack of suspiciousness, can be wrung from documents.

By 1734 the elder of James’s two sons, Prince Charles, was old enough to show courage and to thrust himself under fire in the siege of Gaeta, where his cousin, the Duc de Liria, was besieging the Imperialists. He won golden opinions from the army, but was already too strong for his tutors, Murray and Sir Thomas Sheridan. He had both Protestant and Catholic governors; between them he learned to spell execrably in three languages, and sat loose to Catholic doctrines. In January 1735 died his mother, who had found refuge from her troubles in devotion. The grief of James and of the boys was acute.

In 1736 Lovat was looking towards the rising sun of Prince Charles; was accused by a witness of enabling John Roy Stewart, Jacobite and poet, to break prison at Inverness, and of sending by him a message of devotion to James, from whom he expected a dukedom. Lovat therefore lost his sheriffship and his independent company, and tried to attach himself to Argyll, when the affair of the Porteous Riot caused a coldness between Argyll and the English Government (1736-1737).

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