Page:A biographical dictionary of eminent Scotsmen, vol 6.djvu/112

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482 GEORGE LOCKHART.


Sweden as the hire or the reward for his setting the Pretender upon the British throne. Of all the attempts made by the party in its despair, this was certainly the most singular ; yet he seems to hare embarked in it with that ardour which marked his character, and he contrived to obtain, from the earl of Kglinton, the oiler of three thousand guineas towards its accomplishment. It was soon, however, found to be a project which could not be carried into effect. He nar- rowly escaped being involved in the affair of Glenshiel, and when the Spanish battalion was brought to Edinburgh, he supplied the commander, Don Nicolas, with what money he wanted till he could be supplied with bills from the Span- ish ambassador in Holland, telling him, at the same time, that " it was unkind in him to allow himself to be straightened, when he knew the king, for whoso cause he suffered, had so many friends in town that would cheerfully assist him."

In 1718, the Pretender commenced a correspondence with Mr Lockhart, which continued with little interruption till 1727, when it fell into the hands of the government, by what means has never been fully explained, though most probably it was in consequence of a dispute Mr Lockhart had got into with the episcopal college, respecting the election of a bishop of the name of Gillon, whose ordination was keenly opposed by a number of the presbyters, who ob- jected to the nomination that had been made of him by the Pretender, as unduly influenced by Lockhart, who, for a number of years, had been the only channel through which they communicated with their exiled prince. Many meetings were held, and much rancour displayed on the subject, by the enraged presbyters, who threatened the consequences of the rebellion, in which most of the parties were implicated, if the consecration was persisted in. The bitterness of the disputants made it impossible for them to be secret : the whole came before the public, and the government being masters of the channel of communication, the earliest packet transmitted to Lockhart was waited for, and sent to London. Orders were immediately sent to seize Strahan, a merchant in Leith, to whom the packet had been directed, and, under a strong guard of dragoons, to send him to London. Before setting out, however, he was well instructed how to con- duct himself, supplied with money by Lockhart, and the earls of Kincardine and Uundonald, with the assurance, that if he behaved with firmness, nothing could be brought legally home to him, while his family, in the mean time, should be carefully seen to, and he himself would gain honour by the incident. Warrants were at the same time issued for the apprehension of Mr Lockhart and Mr Corsar, one of his friends. The latter was apprehended at Glammis, but the former, taking the alarm, effected his escape into Durham, where he remained in the house of a friend till the 8th of April, when he sailed for Dort, where he arrived in safety. He immediately wrote to the Pretender, through lord Inver- ness, stating the circumstances into which he had fallen, and that he was wait- ing his master's commands before finally resolving how to dispose of himself. In the mean time, he met lord North and Grey at Brussels, who had also been under the necessity of leaving his native country for dabbling in the affairs of the Pretender, and was thus far on his way to the court of that personage, where he hoped to be trusted with the management of his affairs, which, in the hands of colonel Hay and James Murray, (created lords Inverness and Dunham) were generally supposed to have fallen into disorder, pressing at the same time that Mr Lockhart should accompany him, and take charge of the affairs of Scotland, while he attended to those of England. Lockhart, however, would not ap- proach the court of the Pretender without his orders, shrewdly suspecting that James was too fond of the lady Inverness, who was lord Dunbar's sister, to part permanently with either of the three. The lord North and Grey proceeded to