Memorial of the Scots Lords to the French King, May 7, 1707
The following memorial was presented to Louis XIV of France by Colonel Nathaniel Hooke in May 1707. It was signed by:
A printed version of the text can be found on pages 104 - 109 of The Chevalier de St. George and the Jacobite Movements in His Favour, 1701-1720, edited by Charles Sanford Terry (London: David Nutt, 1901).
His Most Christian Majesty having been pleased to offer his protection to the Kingdom of Scotland, in order to restore its lawful king, and to secure to this nation its liberty, privileges, and independence, and His Majesty having sent the honourable Colonel Hooke (who besides his past services, has now again given fresh and signal proofs of his capacity, zeal, and fidelity for the service of the Most Christian King, and of His Britannic Majesty) to confer with the peers and other nobility of this nation touching the measures that may be most conducive to so just and glorious an end:
We the underwritten peers and chiefs, having seen the full powers given by His Most Christian Majesty to the said colonel, do in our own names, and in the name of the greatest part of this nation, whose dispositions are well known unto us, accept the protection and assistance of His Most Christian Majesty with the utmost gratitude; and we take the liberty most humbly to lay before His said Majesty the following representation of the present state of this nation, and of the things we stand in need of.
The greatest part of Scotland has always been well-disposed for the service of its lawful king ever since the revolution, as His Most Christian Majesty has often been informed by some among us. But this good disposition is now become universal. The shires of the west, which used to be the most disaffected, are now very zealous for the service of their lawful king. We have desired Colonel Hooke to inform His Most Christian Majesty of the motives of this happy change.
To reap the benefit of so favourable a disposition and of so happy a conjuncture, the presence of the King our sovereign will be absolutely necessary, the people being unwilling to take arms without being sure of having him at their head. We have desired Colonel Hooke to represent to His Majesty the reasons of this demand.
The whole nation will rise upon the arrival of its king; he will become master of Scotland without any opposition, and the present government will be entirely abolished.
Out of the numbers that will rise we will draw 25,000 foot, and 5000 horse and dragoons; and with this army we will march straight into England. We, and the other peers and chiefs, will assemble all our men, each in his respective shire.
The general rendezvous of the troops on the north of the River Tay shall be at Perth. Those of the western shires shall assemble at Stirling, and those of the south and east at Dumfries and at Duns.
Those that shall be nearest the place where the King of England shall land shall repair to him.
We have computed the number of men which will be furnished by each of the shires that we are best acquainted with; and we have desired Colonel Hooke to inform His Most Christian Majesty thereof.
For the subsistence of these troops there will be found in our granaries the harvests of two years, so that a crown will purchase as much flour as will keep a man two months. There will be commissaries in each shire, to lay up the corn in the magazines in such places as shall be thought most proper, and commissaries-general, who will take care to supply the army with provisions wherever it shall march.
The same commissaries will furnish it with meat, beer, and brandy, of which there is great plenty all over the kingdom.
There is woolen cloth enough in the country to clothe a great number of troops, and the peers and other chiefs will take care to furnish it.
There is a great quantity of linen, shoes, and bonnets for the soldiers. They will be furnished in the same manner as the woolen clothes. Of hats there are but few.
The same commissaries will furnish carriages for the provisions, of which the country abounds.
The inclinations of all these shires (excepting those of the west) for the King of England have been so well known and so public at all times since the revolution that the government has taken care to disarm them frequently, so that we are in great want of arms and ammunition.
The Highlanders are pretty well armed after their manner.
The shires of the west are pretty well armed.
The peers and the nobility have some arms.
There is no great plenty of belts and pouches, but there are materials enough to make them.
The few cannons, mortars, bombs, grenades, etc., that are in the kingdom, are in the hands of the government.
No great plenty will be found of hatchets, pick-axes, and other instruments for throwing up the earth, but there are materials for making them.
Commissaries will be appointed to furnish cattle for the conveyance of the provisions, artillery, and carriages, the country being plentifully provided therewith.
There are some experienced officers, but their number is not great.
With respect to money, the state of this nation is very deplorable. Besides that the English have employed all sorts of artifices to draw it out of the kingdom, the expedition to Darien has cost large sums. Besides, our merchants have exported a great deal. We have had five years of famine, during which we were obliged to send our money into England and Ireland to purchase provisions; and the constant residence of our peers and nobility at London has drained us of all the rest. What our nation can contribute towards the war is therefore reduced to these two heads: the public revenue, which amounts to one hundred thousand five hundred pounds Sterling a year, and what the nobility will furnish in provisions, clothes, etc., the quantities and proportions of which will be settled upon the arrival of the King of England. Having thus set forth the state of the nation, we most humbly represent to His Most Christian Majesty as follows:
That it may please His Most Christian Majesty to cause the King our sovereign to be accompanied by such a number of troops as shall be judged sufficient to secure his person against any sudden attempts of the troops now on foot in Scotland, being about two thousand men, which may be joined by three or four English regiments at present quartered upon our frontiers.
It would be presumption in us to specify the number, but we must humbly represent to His Majesty, that the number ought to be regulated according to the place where the King of England shall land. If His Majesty lands north of the River Tay, a small number will suffice for his security, because he will be joined in a few days by considerable numbers of his subjects. He will be covered by the River Tay and the Firth of Forth, and all the shires behind him are faithful to his interests.
But if, on the contrary, His Majesty lands upon the south-west or south-coast, he will want a large body of troops, on account of the proximity of the forces of the English and of their regular troops. We believe that eight thousand men will be sufficient.
But with respect to the number of troops, we readily agree to whatever shall be settled between the two kings, being persuaded that the tenderness of the Most Christian King for the person of our sovereign falls no way short of that of his faithful subjects.
We also beseech His Majesty to honour this nation with a general, to command in chief under our sovereign, of distinguished rank, that the first men of Scotland may be obliged to obey him without difficulty, and to cause him to be accompanied by such general officers as the two kings shall judge proper.
The peers and other lords, with their friends, desire to command the troops they shall raise, in quality of colonels, lieutenant-colonels, captains, and ensigns, but we want majors, lieutenants, and sergeants to discipline them.
And if our enemies withdraw their troops from foreign countries to employ them against us, we hope that His Most Christian Majesty will send some of his over to our assistance.
We likewise beseech His Most Christian Majesty to send with the King our sovereign arms for twenty-five thousand foot and five thousand horse or dragoons, to arm our troops, and to be kept in reserve, together with powder and ball in proportion, and also some pieces of artillery, bombs, grenades, etc., with officers of artillery, engineers, and cannoniers. We submit also in this to whatever shall be settled between the two kings.
We have desired Colonel Hooke to represent to His Most Christian Majesty the time we judge most proper for this expedition, and also the several places of landing, and those for erecting magazines, with our reasons for each. And we most humbly beseech His Majesty to choose that which he shall like best.
And whereas seveal of this nation and a great number of the English have forgot their duty towards their sovereign, we take the liberty to acquaint His Most Christian Majesty, that we have represented to our king what we think is necessary His Majesty should do to pacify the minds of his people, and to oblige the most obstinate to return to their duty, with respect to the security of the Protestant religion, and other things which it will be necessary for him to grant to the Protestants. We most humbly thank His Most Christian Majesty for the hopes he has given us by Colonel Hooke, of having our privileges restored in France, and of seeing our king and this nation included in the future peace. And we beseech Your Majesty to settle this affair witht the King our sovereign.
We have fully informed Colonel Hooke of several other things, which we have desired him to represent to His Most Christian Majesty.
And, in the pursuit of this great design, we are resolved mutually to bind ourselves by the strictest and most sacred ties, to assist one another in this common cause, to forget all family differences, and to concur sincerely and with all our hearts, without jealousy or distrust, like men of honour, in so just and glorious an enterprise. In testimony whereof we have signed these presents, the seventh day of the month of May, of the year one thousand seven hundred and seven.
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