A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature/Fletcher, Andrew

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Fletcher, Andrew (1655-1716). -- Scottish statesman and political writer, s. of Sir Robert F. of Saltoun, East Lothian, to which estate he succeeded at an early age. He was ed. under the care of Bishop Burnet, who was then minister of Saltoun. Being firmly opposed to the arbitrary measures of the Duke of York, afterwards James II., he went to Holland, where he joined Monmouth, whom he accompanied on his ill-starred expedition. Happening to kill, in a quarrel, one Dare, another of the Duke's followers, he fled to the Continent, travelled in Spain and Hungary, and fought against the Turks. After the Revolution he returned to Scotland, and took an active part in political affairs. He opposed the Union, fearing the loss of Scottish independence, and advocated federation rather than incorporation. He introduced various improvements in agriculture. His principal writings are Discourse of Government (1698), Two Discourses concerning the Affairs of Scotland (1698), Conversation concerning a right Regulation of Government for the Common Good of Mankind (1703), in which occurs his well-known saying, "Give me the making of the songs of a nation, and I care not who makes its laws."