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tion, and for opinions also upon the questions suggested and their bearings. Unfortunately for the Earl, the whole matter was conducted by persons and parties hostile to him. This is the summary of what was done and said, at a critical period of the affair :
Six “Propositions concerning the Earldom of Strathern" were accordingly drawn up and submitted to Sir James Skene, Sir Archibald Aicheson, and Sir John Scot. Their opinions were, of course, condemnatory of the pretensions of the Earl of Monteith to the territorial Earldom of Strathern, as well as of his conduct in asserting himself to be heir in blood of Prince David.
These learned persons, in answer to the Propositions, reported that the general service of the Earl of Strathern gave no right to that Earldom, because it was annexed to the Crown by King James the Second; and that, as the Earl had no right to it, his renunciation in favour of the King was of no effect, but, on the contrary, weakened his Majesty's right by accepting a right from him, and “ acknowledging a necessity of renunciation when there was no need;" that his Majesty, by granting the Lordship of Urchat to the Earl, had wronged himself, under the idea that it was part of that Earldom, by giving away that which was his own, and would also wrong those who held under the Crown; that the Earl could not be retoured and infeft in that Earldom as nearest heir of David Earl of Strathern, comformably to the clause in the renunciation, because it was annexed to the Crown.
To the fourth of those Propositions, (which, like the fifth and sixth, was obviously put with the view of alarming the King's jealousy and exciting his displeasure,) "Is it not boldness that the said Earl should have served himself heir of blood to David Earl of Strathern, eldest lawful son of the first marriage to King Robert the Second, whereby he is put in degree of blood equal to his Majesty ?" they replied, " In our judgment the boldness seems too great."
The inference thus sought to be raised was artfully supported by the next Proposition. "It is craved if the Earl of Strathern may serve himself heir to King Robert the Second, seeing he is already served heir to David Earl of Strathern, eldest son of King Robert the Second ?” which was, in other words, almost demanding whether, if the Earl were admitted heir to Earl David, he would not also be heir to the Crown of Scotland ? To this question they discreetly answered, " If the case were among subjects, we see nothing to the contrary."
The last Proposition was dexterously framed with the view of showing the King the presumption of the Earl of Monteith, and the effect of his proceedings on his Majesty's interests. “It is craved whether the King is prejudiced in honour and state by acknowledging the said Earl to be undoubted heir to David Earl of Strathern, and consequently to be in degree of blood equal to his Majesty ?” to which it was no less astutely answered, “That, apparently, if his Majesty had known the consequence of it, for reason of state he would never have done it; and it seems to us his Majesty's honour to be interested in acknowledging any subject to be equal in blood to himself."
It is impossible to attach due weight to those Propositions and to the answers to them, without bearing in mind that the status of King Robert the Second's children by Elizabeth Muir was then a matter of extreme delicacy. The learned triumvirate, by asserting that King Robert's marriage with Euphemia Ross was his first marriage, showed their disbelief of his previous marriage with Elizabeth Muir, and thus threw great doubt on the right by birth of his Majesty's ancestor King Robert the Third to the throne.
The expression “equal in blood” seems to have been used in an equivocal sense; and its true meaning would rather appear to be “superior in blood,” because all the descendants (who were then very numerous) of any child of King Robert the Second, or of the child of any subsequent King of Scotland, were equal in blood” to King Charles the First, though no jealousy was felt respecting their descent from the blood royal.
But it was not thought enough that the results of the investigation and counsellings should be conveyed to Charles; for Sir John Scot proceeded incontinently to London to back the transmitted documents with verbal arguments, fortifying himself in every possible way:
On Scot's arrival at Hampton Court, about the 27th December 1632, he had a long conference with his Majesty, and showed him a remarkable paper which he had caused his brother-in-law, the celebrated William Drummond of Hawthornden, to draw up, deducing from the history of England, Scotland, and Portugal, various precedents in support of the opinions which he, Skene, and Aicheson, had given, respecting the danger of admitting the Earl of Monteith to be heir of David Earl of Strathern. The King instantly commanded this paper to be read in his presence.
After adverting to the effect of the restoration in blood by King Henry the Sixth of Richard Duke of York, (who afterwards laid claim to the crown,) and to his descent from King Edward the Third, and allowing his descent and title, the paper observed, that "the like may be alleged in the title of the Earl of Strathern." It then boldly asserted, that “the children of the first marriage by common law are to be preferred in succession to the children of the second; for the marrying of Elizabeth Muir did but legitimate and make her children succeed after the children of the first marriage;" and it was added, "that as for the authority of Parliament, if the authority of Parliament may confer and entail a crown from the lawful heirs thereof to the next apparent heirs, or if any oath given unto a King by man's law should be performed, when as it tended to the suppression of truth and right, which stands by the law of God, then if one Parliament hath power to entail a crown, whether may not another Parliament upon the like considerations restore the same to the righteous heirs ?"
Not satisfied with so audacious an intimation that the King's right to the throne of Scotland might be disputed, Drummond seems even to have suggested that Monteith should be removed by violent means ; for his paper proceeded to suggest, that it was a point for consideration whether, "if Queen Mary of England, who cut off the head of Lady Jane Grey, and Queen Elizabeth, who did the same to Queen Mary of Scotland, her next kinswoman, were living, [they] would have suffered (any one] to enjoy the opinion of being nearer to the claim of their crowns than themselves.'
In the following passage, it was more than insinuated that the Earl of Monteith had served himself heir to the crown, through the oversight or negligence of the King; that he had thereby been guilty of high treason ; and that he and his whole race ought to be extirpated.
“ It is to be considered also, if a subject serving himself heir to a crown, by the oversight of the Prince and negligence indirectly and in craftycoloured terms, notwithstanding of whatsoever protestations of his advocate in the contrary, may be accused of high treason, and whether a Prince may justly keep under the race of such whose aspiring thoughts dare soar so nigh a crown, as they have been kept these two hundred years bygone, for reason of state, unless the Prince exalt them to give them a more deadly blow and extirpate them and their whole race, suborning mercenary flatterers to make them aim above their reach dum nesciunt distinguere inter summa et præcipicia princeps qui persequitur honorat, extollit natu ut lapsu graviore ruat.'
The Earl of Monteith's rashness not only consisted in the act of confiding to the hands of the Lord-Advocate his charters and written claims, but he seems to have been impetuous in his discourse, and giddy in his boastings; for he vaunted that “ he had the reddest blood in Scotland;" and with such like idle words gave deep offence to the lords, while the report of his bragging that the “ King was indebted to him for his crown,"and many similar accusations, could not but touch feelings in the highest quarter; the entire business, however, on both sides, although the Earl's was the weakest in point of intrigue and subtlety,--presenting a pretty sample of Scottish courtiership under the Stuarts, and we suppose of courtly mancuvres at all times and in all cases where the interests are analogous. The consequence was that the Earl was put to the wall, not by merely having the new title of Airth thrust upon him, but by his being driven from all his offices and forfeiting royal favour; the Crown taking to itself the Earldom of Strathern, and the enemies of the defeated aspiring Lord destroying, as it has been supposed, whatever muniments regarding the grants of Strathern and Monteith, as were deemed inconvenient.
In the absence of important documents, and owing also to the dubiety attached to the meaning of the term heirs, which occurs in the charter creating the Earldom of Airth, viz. whether it means heirs of line or heirs-male, a pretty case of complication has arisen for the lawyers; for although Mr. Barclay Allardice's legal claim to the Earldom of Airth as well as to the other two titles may be a matter for litigation and difficult to be decided, yet there appears to be no doubt of his legitimacv and pedigree, through female descent, however, or of his being heir of line of the Earls of Strathern, Monteith, and Airth.
We do not perplex ourselves with the question before the House of Lords, viz. that which the claim to the Earldom of Airth involves; but conclude with a notice and an instance of dilapidated fortune, decay of dignity, and sad reverse, which look like parallels to the destinies of another and more illustrious branch of the Stuart race.
After the title of Airth had been in abeyance for many years, owing, among other causes, to pecuniary embarrassments, and the fact of several of the representatives being females, we have the following particulars relative to William Graham :
He styled himself Earl of Monteith as early as the year 1744, on the presumption that his great-grandmother, Lady Elizabeth Graham, was the eldest sister of William Earl of Monteith and Airth, and that the Earldom of Monteith stood destined to heirs-general. He voted as “Earl of Monteith” at the election of Peers of Scotland in October 1744, August 1747, March 1749, July 1752, November 1752, and on the 5th May 1761. His assumption of the dignity was, however, prohibited by an order of the House of Lords of the 2nd March 1762, he having failed to appear before the Lords' Committees for Privileges on the 1st of that month, pursuant to an order of the House made on the 27th January preceding, to show by what authority and upon what grounds he took upon himself that title.
Although he was reduced to great distress, he never relinquished the title of Earl of Monteith, and died, without issue, on the 30th June 1783.
The fate of this person exhibits in a striking manner the vicissitudes of fortune. Though undoubtedly one of the heirs of the body of a Prince of the Blood Royal of Scotland, and the immediate descendant of a powerful Peer, whose claim to the honours of that Prince, in the year 1631, was considered dangerous to the rights of the reigning family, he lived in his latter years upon charity, and died a wanderer by the way-side.
Art. V.-England in 1841. By FredERICK VON RAUMER. 2 vols.
London: Lee. A NEW edition of our German littérateur's " England in 1835," was required, it appears, and was the occasion of his paying another visit to this country, when with characteristic facility, and, let us add, authoritative air, he framed a supplement, extending to two volumes more, gathering his materials obviously from the most accessible sources, and persuading himself that he could trace down to 1841, the development of the many questions upon which he had formerly dogmatized, as well as discover and adequately handle the new subjects which had sprung up in the course of the five or six intervening years.
The subjects which he seizes and upon which he pronounces judgment are multiform, and with hardly an exception, hackneyed amongst us to satiety. Some of them may be novel to the German people, and therefore interesting; but we have found little in the volumes that calls for an English dress. The book should be confined to the author's countrymen.
We have said the topics are numerous; and while the groundwork of them has been obtained in newspapers, parliamentary debates, and statistical publications, and in a Whig atmosphere, the commentary has the superficial colouring of a confident book-manufacturer. Von Raumer had the good fortune to be presented to the Queen, and was even invited to the palace. Consequently, we have a highly flattering picture of her Majesty, and of her Majesty's estimable husband; the Whig ministers also receiving an ample dose of admiration. Then, among the subjects which the chapters comprise, may be mentioned Parliamentary Reform, Municipal Laws, the Colonies, Canada, Commerce, Corn Laws, the Poor Law, Education, Criminal Law, Socialism, Chartism, the Voluntary System, the Oxford Tracts, &c. &c. The volumes are eked out by means of a number of private letters, which seem to have little business in the place where they are now found, and for which we should have opined the author had very little need as a make-weight, considering his readiness at constituting commonplace themes, the occasion for common-place dissertation, and a verbose, conceited, and shallow philosophy. There is a great deal in these volumes that is calculated to flatter John Bull. Sometimes, no doubt, the remarks are sagacious, but oftener smart, and rather in expression than in respect of thought. We throw together a few sweet morsels for English palates, beginning with something in the shape of prediction.
Having observed that many people say that England has betrayed itself, and will go to ruin, unless it is saved by a miracle ; while others assert that a government is now established for many years to come, which, Heaven be praised, will do exactly the contrary to what the late ministry did, he thus gives his own views, which contradict both of these opinions :
Should the new ministry persevere in the ancient Tory notions, the opposition out of Parliament, will increase in a dangerous manner; the majority of ninety-one will gradually fall off, and the intellectual spirit of the towns, as well as the power of Scotland and Ireland, will drive the English counties out of the field. If, on the contray, Sir Robert Peel will advance as he has openly declared, in a considerate manner, he will find in the new opposition, the best support against partiality and obstinacy in his own friends. The substance of the recent history of England, is the struggle against monopolies and restrictions of all kind. After a long resistance, the victory was obtained over the rotten boroughs, the opponents of Roman Catholic emancipation, the old poor-laws, and municipal laws, the monopoly of the East India Company, and the tca trade to China.