Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Maitland, John (1616-1682)
MAITLAND, JOHN, second Earl and first Duke of Lauderdale, born at Lethington 24 May 1616, was the eldest surviving son of John, second lord Maitland of Thirlestane, who was created first Earl of Lauderdale in 1624, and died in 1645; and was thus grandson of Sir John Maitland [q. v.] and grand-nephew of William Maitland of Lethington [q. v.] , the minister of Mary Queen of Scots. His mother was Isabel Seton, second daughter of Alexander, earl of Dunfermline, high chancellor of Scotland. She died in 1638, having given birth to fifteen children, of whom one daughter, Sophia, and three sons, John, Robert (d 1658), and Charles, third earl of Lauderdale [q. v.], alone survived her.
On 30 March 1622 John received a charter of the lands and baronies belonging to the abbacy of Haddington, with the barony of Haddington (Douglas, Peerage of Scotland). With the greater part of the Scottish nobility he embraced the covenant, the only means whereby he could take part in public life. In March 1641 he was in London with the Scottish commissioners, but whether or no in any official capacity is uncertain (Baillie, Letters and Journals, i. 473). At the great Scottish parliament of this year he, with others, was refused the right, which for some time had been granted to the eldest sons of peers, of being present, though without a vote, at the deliberations (ib. p. 379; Burton, Hist. Scotl. vii. 137). He was soon regarded as one of the rising hopes of the ultra-covenanting party. In July 1643 he was an elder in the assembly at St. Andrews. On 8 Aug. he was named by the assembly one of the commissioners for the Solemn League and Covenant, and on 17 Aug. was ordered to carry it to the two houses at Westminster. He was also sent as a lay elder, with John Kennedy, sixth earl of Cassillis [q. v.], and Archibald Johnston, lord Warriston [q. v.], the two most uncompromising covenanters, to attend the Westminster Assembly which was to meet on 5 Nov. He there earned the complete confidence of Henderson, Baillie, and his other colleagues. Henderson speaks especially of his skill in dealing with the peers, while Baillie thought ‘no livinge man fitter to doe Scotland service against the plotting independent party’ (Baillie, ii. 45–485, passim). In February 1644 he was a member of the committee of both kingdoms, and according to Mackenzie (Memoirs, p. 9) was president; but there is no trace in their records of the appointment of a president. On 20 Nov. he was named one of the Scottish commissioners to take the propositions of peace to Charles at Uxbridge. Here he endeavoured, with Loudoun, in the spring of 1645, to induce Charles to accept presbyterianism (Gardiner, Great Civil War, ii. 66). He returned home in May, ‘much missed’ (Baillie, ii. 241, 279, 505). In February 1646 Lauderdale was again in London as commissioner, and was spokesman to the common council for his colleagues, where he expressed their resolve to uphold the covenant (ib. p. 352). He was in communication with the king, as well as corresponding officially with Scotland, and advised Charles not to close with the offers of the independents (Burnet, Lives of the Hamiltons, p. 288). In October he argued vehemently in the committee of both kingdoms against the proposed vote of the two houses to dispose of the king's person without reference to Scotland (Baillie, ii. 403). He returned to Scotland before the end of the year (Hamilton Papers, Camden Soc., p. 140). His conduct regarding the surrender of the king to the English by the Scots, January 1647, is obscure. Burnet describes him (Hamiltons, p. 312) as working in the king's interest. It was afterwards definitely stated, though actual proof was wanting, that in letters both to Scotland and England he had advised the surrender (Mackenzie, p. 49; Lauderdale Papers, Camden Soc., i. 125, 128). But Burnet's statement that in this year he turned decisively to the king's interest seems borne out. In April he was sent to London to urge upon the English parliament a settlement with Charles without further conditions, and to obtain permission for Hamilton and Charles Seton, second earl of Dunfermline, to serve in the royal bedchamber, but the mission was fruitless (Burnet, Hamiltons, p. 314). He protested against the Holmby House abduction, and demanded liberty for the king to come to London (ib. p. 315). In June it was rumoured that he was entrusted with a letter from Charles to the Prince of Wales to urge him to come to Scotland with an army (Gardiner, Great Civil War, iii. 120; Clarke Papers, Camden Soc., i. 136), and on 19 June and 22 July important interviews took place between him and the king. At the second meeting they talked over a plan for bringing the Scottish army into England, and Charles offered to write a letter to Edinburgh to this purpose (Gardiner, iii. 125, 164). At this time also Lauderdale was combining with the eleven members whose exclusion from parliament had been demanded by the army. On 30 July he went to Woburn to see Charles, evidently to get the letter for Edinburgh. But the soldiers got wind of the affair, broke into his lodgings, forced him to rise and dress, and turned him away, though he begged for time to say his prayers (Burnet, Hamiltons, p. 319). At Hampton Court he surprised Charles by joining in the presentation of the parliamentary propositions on 7 Sept. (Gardiner, iii. p. 190). He had previously received not only an offer from Captain Batten to bring the twenty-two ships under his command to declare for the Scots, but Cromwell's assurance that he was ready to comply with their wishes if they would refrain from sending an army to help the king. On 22 Oct., with John Campbell, first earl of Loudoun [q. v.] , and the Duke of Hamilton's brother, William Hamilton, earl of Lanark, he visited Charles at Hampton Court, and left with the king a declaration that Scotland would help him, after privately assuring him that the covenant would not be pressed. Burnet states further that he came to the king, while hunting at Hampton Court, with fifty armed men, prepared to rescue him, but that the king refused to accept their aid (ib. p. 230). When Charles was hesitating whether to try to escape to Scotland or to go to London, Lauderdale urged him not to do the first unless prepared to give full satisfaction on the point of religion, nor the latter, since London was in the power of the army; but to go to Berwick, whence he could make his own terms (Burnet, Hamiltons, p. 324). On 9 Nov., just before the king's flight to the Isle of Wight, he warned him that without fresh concessions on the point of presbyterianism the Scots would not help. On 8 Dec. he told the king that he was about to be made close prisoner (ib. p. 330). From Carisbrooke, whither he went as one of the commissioners, he returned (26 Dec.) with the famous ‘Engagement,’ and with a further and most important document signed by Charles agreeing to the employment of Scottish nobility in England, and promising the frequent residence of the king and the Prince of Wales in Scotland (Burnet, Own Time, i. 64, Clarendon Press edit.; Lauderdale Papers, i. 2). He, with the other commissioners, protested against the vote of non-addresses, 17 Jan. 1648, and the rest of the month was spent in London establishing a good understanding with the king's friends; the English leaders, such as Marmaduke Langdale [q. v.], being instructed by Charles to take their orders from Lanark or Lauderdale (Burnet, Hamiltons). Lauderdale left London on the 24th, and on 15 Feb., in order to rouse the Scots against the English, declared that the latter would endure neither the covenant, presbytery, monarchical government, nor the Scots; while a little later he was urging Charles to make greater concessions to Scottish opinion on the subject of religion (Gardiner, iii. 328, 330).
In the contest which followed the publication of the ‘Engagement’ in Scotland, Lauderdale, though he sought to convince his old friends that he had been forced into compliance (Baillie, iii. 45), was prominent in Hamilton's party [see Hamilton, James, third Marquis and first Duke]. From April to June he was in constant correspondence with royalists in England (Hamilton Papers, pp. 180–206). The doubt as to his fidelity to the covenant is seen in the fact that he was this year left out of the list of commissioners who were appointed to arrange uniformity of worship with England; and Baillie records his strong expression of opinion against the violent methods of the covenanters (Baillie, iii. 64). ‘More than any other man in Scotland he represented the insurrection of the lay feeling against clerical predominance’ (Gardiner, iii. 417). On 1 May he joined in a letter to the queen and the prince, inviting the latter to Scotland (Burnet, Hamiltons, p. 346), and he urged upon his brother-engagers the immediate invasion of England. He was probably the author of the Scots manifesto against toleration of the sects or of those who used the prayer-book, though it did not really represent his feelings. The invasion took place in July, and was crushed by Cromwell and Lambert at Preston on 17 Aug. Lauderdale was not with the expedition, as he had been appointed on 19 July to carry the invitation of the committee of estates to the prince to come to Scotland upon comparatively easy conditions (Gardiner, iii. 422), but he was at the time in correspondence with the queen, Lord Holland, and Lady Carlisle (Bodl. Libr. Mus. 203, p. 50). On 5 Aug. he was at Yarmouth Roads, and he joined the prince in the Downs on the 10th. He carried with him letters also from the estates to the Prince of Orange and the king and queen of France. The negotiations were conducted on board the fleet, but upon the arrival of the news of Hamilton's defeat, 20 Aug. (Burnet, Hamiltons, pp. 366, 367), the prince sailed to Holland. Lauderdale accomplished his mission with dexterity and success (Hamilton Papers, pp. 232–50), the prince accepting all his terms on the 16th; and it was no doubt at this time that he laid the foundation of his great influence with Charles II. His movements are now obscure. Burnet, however (Hamiltons, p. 377), states that he came back to Scotland at the end of January 1649, but that, warned by Balmerino, whom he had converted to royalism, and who supplied him with money (ib. p. 342), that the jealousy of Argyll would expose himself and Lanark to danger, he at once returned to Holland (Mackenzie, p. 38; see also the Moderate Intelligencer, 1–8 Feb. in Brit. Mus. E. 591. 27). Moreover, the ‘Engagement’ was condemned by the Scottish parliament. It is certain that Lauderdale was with Charles II to the end of April 1649, and that he was instrumental in inducing him to reject the proposals of Ormonde and Montrose, and to accept the parliament's invitation to Scotland in spite of the hard conditions imposed by the dominant Argyll faction (Baillie, iii. 73).
Lauderdale accompanied Charles to Scotland, but was debarred by the ‘protesters’ from his presence and councils, and ordered into banishment until he made public repentance in Largo Church on 26 Dec. 1650 for his participation in the Engagement. He continued, however, under suspicion, and it was now that he began to conceal his identity in correspondence under the pseudonym of ‘John Reid’ or ‘Red.’ In 1651 he followed Charles to Worcester, and was there taken prisoner. At the time he was on terms of close personal friendship with Charles. On 17 Sept. his trial was ordered (Whitelocke), and he was kept prisoner, first in the Tower and then at Windsor (Thurloe, vi. 238) and Portland, until Monck's entry into London in March 1660. He had been excepted from Cromwell's Indemnity Act, 1654 (Burton, vii. 301), and his estates confiscated, a provision of 300l. a year only being given out of his estates to his wife and family (Baillie, Lauderdale Papers; MS. Corresp. of Sir R. Moray). On 23 March 1660 Thurloe notes that he was busily dealing with the presbyterians.
Immediately upon his release Lauderdale joined with Crawfurd and Sinclair in a letter to their friends in Scotland, urging unanimity in rallying the old ‘Engagement’ party; and he himself wrote to the prince at Brussels, receiving a reply in April signed ‘Your most affectionate friend.’ Poverty at first prevented him from going over in person, but he sent further letters through James Sharp, and on being furnished with funds by John Leslie, seventh earl of Rothes [q. v.] , he went with the fleet in May to Breda (Lauderdale Papers; Pepys, Diary, 10 May). There he recommenced the close connection with Charles, Lauderdale and Sharp ‘having very much of the king's ear.’ He was perhaps already planning the re-establishment of episcopacy (Lauderdale Papers, i. 29), although, to maintain his influence in Scotland, he kept the design very secret. A sharp contest for power in Scottish affairs now ensued between the old cavalier, ‘malignant’ party, of whom John Middleton, first earl of Middleton [q. v.], William Cunningham, ninth earl of Glencairn [q. v.], and Sir Archibald Primrose [q. v.] were the chiefs, and that section of the nobles who, while bending to the presbyterian domination, had brought about the ‘Engagement.’ The three above named became high commissioner, chancellor, and clerk register respectively; but Lord Rothes became president of the council, and John Lindsay, seventeenth earl of Crawford [q. v.], another devoted friend of Lauderdale, and a staunch presbyterian, was made treasurer. The great fight was regarding the secretaryship, upon which, as giving him constant access to the king's ear, Lauderdale had fixed his ambition. Opposed though he was by the whole influence of Monck, Clarendon, and the bishops, who favoured the claims of Newburgh, and who wished to make Lauderdale chancellor to keep him away from London, he won the day. When Clarendon urged his presbyterianism, he pointed to his services and his long imprisonment, and Charles's personal pleasure in his society doubtless had much to do with the choice.
For maintaining his hold upon the king, and for overcoming the many difficulties which the jealousy of his rivals in Scotland, the antagonism of Clarendon, and his own poverty brought upon him, Lauderdale was well fitted by a character which had hitherto had no fair play. To great knowledge of affairs and of character he joined fertility of resource, a strong will, coolness and courage, extreme selfishness, readiness to strike at the right moment, keen discernment in choosing his tools, and utter unscrupulousness. Without gratitude or integrity, he succeeded in retaining the willing services of high-minded men, while, in his own phrase, he knew ‘how to make use of a knave as well as another.’ He was a bold and unabashed liar, hating ‘damned insipid lies.’ Deeply read in divinity and foreign languages, he soon proved himself as well the rival in debauchery, so far as embarrassed means would allow, of the most licentious of Charles's courtiers. His face and figure were unattractive; his wit was coarse but, like the whole nature of the man, robust. By dexterity and industry he soon made himself indispensable to Charles. It was noticed that he was ‘never from the king's ear,’ and was ‘a very cunning fellow’ (Pepys, 2 March 1664; Quarterly Review, April 1884, p. 415). He was lodged in Whitehall, on the northern side of the stone gallery south of the Privy Gardens (English Illustr. Magazine, i. 79).
Lauderdale's principal object was to keep Scottish affairs in Scottish hands. He strongly opposed Clarendon's arrangement, which placed Englishmen on the Scottish privy council, and as soon as he became supreme overthrew it. He induced Charles to permit the committee of estates to meet, and to order the English garrisons to be removed from Ayr, Leith, Inverness, and Perth, securing for himself in May 1662 a grant of the ground upon which the Leith fortifications stood. This he afterwards sold to the council of Edinburgh for 5,000l. (Mackenzie, Memoirs, p. 24). He had already received charters of the lordship and regality of Musselburgh, the barony of Cranschawis, the barony and regality of Thirlestane, the lands of Rodgerslaw, &c., on 15 May 1661, and to these was added the forest of Lauder, 13 Oct. 1664 (Douglas). Both to the Rescinding Act of Middleton's ‘drunken administration’ and to the grant of an annual subsidy of 40,000l. he offered the strongest opposition (Mackenzie, Memoirs, p. 31). At the trial of Archibald Campbell, Marquis of Argyll [q. v.], he appears first to have tried to save him, for which purpose he obtained an order from Charles giving indemnity for all acts committed before 1651; but afterwards, under pressure from Rothes, to have yielded to his old enmity for him, and to have withdrawn his aid (ib. p. 38).
There is no reason to think that Lauderdale aided in the restoration of episcopacy; indeed, Burnet says that he privately opposed it, and Mackenzie adds that he urged Charles to submit the question to a general assembly or to the provincial assemblies (ib. p. 54). From all open opposition, however, he carefully forbore. Meanwhile he was at pains to acquire support in Scotland. Rothes secured for him powerful influence; his brother, Charles Maitland, gained over William Bellenden, lord Bellenden [q. v.]; his private agent, William Sharp, brother of James Sharp, now primate of Scotland, was indefatigable. The ablest of his opponents, Primrose, was won over in 1662–3; and by espousing the interest of the Marquis of Argyll's son [see Campbell, Archibald, ninth Earl of Argyll] he secured a useful friend. To gain popularity, and to lessen Middleton's control of the purse, he induced Charles, 23 Jan. 1663, to remit half the fines levied upon those who were excepted from the Act of Indemnity; and Middleton's recall of this remission by private warrant was a proximate cause of the latter's fall.
The direct struggle between Lauderdale and the Middleton faction now began. Middleton's friends first passed an act imposing upon all persons in the public employment an oath abjuring both the national covenant and the solemn league and covenant. This they hoped would turn out Lauderdale, who had been a prominent upholder of both. It did actually turn out the conscientious Lord Crawford from the treasurership; but Lauderdale at once declared his readiness to take a cartload of oaths (ib. p. 65), and to turn Turk to keep his place (Lauderdale Papers). Middleton then attached to the Indemnity Act a clause by which twelve persons, to be selected by ballot, should be excepted from public service, and by unsparing corruption Middleton succeeded in placing Lauderdale, Sir Robert Moray [q. v.], and Crawford among the twelve. The blundering trickery of the plot, the attempt to secure secrecy and its failure, and Lauderdale's exposure of the conspiracy to the king at the critical moment, may be read in Burnet (i. 269–72), and in the ‘Lauderdale Papers’ (i. 105, 117). Lauderdale's enemies next sought to ruin him by asserting that they had proofs of his double dealing regarding the surrender of Charles I to the English; but this also proved only a scare, as the papers were not originals (ib. pp. 127, 128). Lauderdale now struck his blow. He called for a full investigation, and on 7 Sept. 1663 exposed Middleton's action in so masterly an harangue before the Scottish privy council that by the end of May the commissioner was forced to resign. Rothes succeeded him as Lauderdale's tool, and Lauderdale himself went to Scotland in May 1663 to take vengeance on the conspirators, leaving Moray as his deputy in London.
Henceforward all Scottish business was conducted by Charles, Lauderdale, and Moray, the English ministers being excluded. Lauderdale's chief business in Scotland was to make the crown absolute both in state and church. The lords of the articles were replaced upon the footing of 1633, which made the crown practically supreme over parliament. Strong acts were passed against the covenanters, which secured his reputation as a friend of the church, while his National Synod Act placed her in complete subservience to the crown. In October he returned to Whitehall, with greatly augmented credit, leaving Scotland under Rothes and James Sharp. The result of their misgovernment was the premature covenanting rising of 1666, and a design on the part of his own friends Rothes, Sharp, Hamilton, Dalyel, and Archbishop Burnet of Glasgow to consolidate a party resting on the support of the troops, and strong enough to throw off Lauderdale's domination. Lauderdale displayed the greatest skill in breaking up this new cabal. By January 1667 Rothes had returned to his old allegiance, and Sharp was disgraced. Lauderdale was, too, greatly strengthened by the wane of Clarendon's influence and of that of the strong church party. In June 1667 he sent Moray to report on the state of the country, and by the end of the year had forced Rothes to resign the commissionership and the treasury, which was placed in commission of Lauderdale's friends. He then carried out the disbanding of the troops, replacing them by a militia of twenty-two thousand men, secured Sharp's service against his former confederates, applied a policy of toleration to the covenanters, and effected the disgrace of Archbishop Burnet of Glasgow, who opposed it. In October 1669 he went again as high commissioner, with instruction to deal with the union, the militia, forfeitures, and conciliation. With a high hand he carried, in a carefully packed parliament, an act allowing Charles to use the militia when and where he pleased, and the Act of Supremacy, which still further enslaved the church. An immediate result of the last act was the resignation of Burnet. So drastic were these measures that he could justly say, ‘The king is now master here in all causes and over all persons.’ The negotiations for the union—a measure to which he was very hostile—proved abortive, and were postponed, 13 Nov. 1669 (ib. ii. 159). His last act before returning to the court at the end of the year was the annexation to the crown of the Orkneys and Shetlands, which had been formerly granted to the predecessors of the Earl of Morton, who was thus persecuted because he was a son-in-law of Middleton (Mackenzie, p. 175). On his reappearance in Scotland in July 1670 acts were passed empowering commissioners for the union to confer with the English, suppressing conventicles, quartering the militia upon the disaffected, raising troops of horse, foot, and dragoons, and giving toleration to submissive ministers (Lauderdale Papers, ii. 184–7). In the same year Lauderdale, along with other protestant ministers, was duped by the king in the matter of the sham treaty of Dover.
In 1671 Lauderdale's first wife died at Paris. She was Anne, second daughter of Alexander Home, first earl of Home [q. v.], by the daughter of Edward Sutton, baron Dudley. By her Lauderdale had a daughter, who was married at Highgate before the court, on 11 Dec. 1666, to John Hay, lord Yester [q. v.], afterwards marquis of Tweeddale (Douglas, Peerage of Scotland). According to Burnet (i. 546) his first wife was an imperious and ill-tempered woman, and she appears to have been neglected and ill-treated. On 17 Feb. 1672 he married his second wife, Elizabeth (d. 1698), eldest daughter of William Murray [q. v.], whipping-boy to Charles I, created Earl of Dysart. She was widow of Sir Lionel Tollemache, and after her father's death took the title of Countess of Dysart. For many years the connection between her and Lauderdale had been very close, and had embittered his relations with his first countess (Burnet, i. 449). Under this new influence he seems rapidly to have deteriorated, and to have thrown over all the friends, Robert Moray, Tweeddale, and, later, Kincardine, whose help and advice had been of the utmost service to him.
Lauderdale was now at the height of insolence and power. His influence over Charles was complete. Scotland was at his feet; all places were filled by himself and his friends; Rothes had been compelled to give up even the presidency of the council; and there was absolutely no opposition to his will. He was more like the vizier of an oriental sovereign than the servant of a constitutional king. In private life he was the type of all that was worst in Charles's court. Before 1672 he received a letter from Richard Baxter, reproving him in the most outspoken way for profligacy of the worst kind.
Lauderdale is spoken of as one of the ‘cabal’ of 1667, along with Lords Clifford, Arlington, Buckingham, and Ashley; but he was not so in the sense in which the English ministers were. He was the intime of Charles, with little care for or participation in English politics; irresponsible to the English parliament, but ready to support the king in any course he might choose to take. Thus in 1676, when Charles made a money treaty with Louis XIV, with which Danby refused to be associated, Lauderdale alone was trusted by the king (Dalrymple, p. 103). On 2 May 1672 he was made Duke of Lauderdale and Marquis of March (as descended from the Dunbars, Earls of March) in the Scottish peerage, by patent to him and his heirs male, and on 3 June knight of the Garter. In May he again came to Scotland. The ‘cabal’ was then in the thick of its work. The Declaration of Indulgence had been issued, and it is significant that, along with instructions to put an end to the conventicle difficulty either by indulgence or severity, he was to see that the militia was ready to march, and to purge it of all discontented men.
The Test Act of 1673 dispersed the cabal, and, upon James's resignation of his post of lord high admiral, Lauderdale was placed upon the commission for the admiralty. His position was not otherwise affected, except that, as the act put an end to indulgence in England, it left him without any interest in indulgence in Scotland. In October 1673 he went north to raise money for the Dutch war, and to persecute the conventiclers, to embody more troops, quarter garrisons upon disaffected persons, and to impose bonds by which landlords and tenants became mutual pledges for each other's good behaviour (Lauderdale Papers, ii. 234). He now met with opposition for the first time. Shaftesbury in England was active in aiding it, and the fall of the cabal created the belief that his own influence was waning. The opposition—the ‘party,’ as it was called—was led by William Douglas, third duke of Hamilton [q. v.]; but it was disconcerted by the dismissal of Shaftesbury, and by the steady support which Lauderdale received from Charles and James. On 13 Jan. 1674 the first attack was made upon him in the House of Commons. The two great grievances were that he had suggested the Militia Act of 1669, and that he had declared in council that ‘the king's edicts were equal with the laws.’ It was unanimously voted that an address should be presented praying for his removal from all his employments and from the king's presence and councils. The sudden prorogation of 24 Feb., however, put an end to the matter (Parl. Hist. iv. 625–66). It illustrates Lauderdale's position that he pointed out to Charles that he was simply his private servant, in no way amenable to the English parliament; while his deputy, Alexander Bruce, second earl of Kincardine [q. v.], refused to answer questions from a committee of the house (Lauderdale Papers, iii. 26, 32). From both Charles and James he received letters of 13 and 14 Jan., promising him that whatever happened their favour was secure (ib.) Meanwhile Lauderdale had gone to Scotland. Charles would not yield to his suggestion that the leaders of the ‘party’ should be ostracised; but the deputation which had gone to complain of him had to return defeated, and General Drummond was imprisoned at his instance upon a baseless charge. His violence now alienated the Earl of Kincardine, one of the ablest as well as the most moderate of his supporters.
The Scottish parliament was then also prorogued. On 25 June 1674 Lauderdale received further honours. He was made a peer of England as Earl of Guilford and Baron Petersham, with descent to his heirs male, and he was placed on the privy council (Douglas, Peerage). The English title was perhaps to give him security against parliamentary attack as an English commoner (Burnet, Own Time, ii. 49, note). In April 1675 the commons again fell upon him, when Burnet was examined as a hostile witness. Three separate addresses were made to the king for his removal, but Charles declared that no special charge was made out, and refused to agree to them (Parl. Hist. iv. 684–99). According to Wodrow (ii. 298, ed. 1829), it was Lauderdale who in this year suggested the Test Bill, with its oath against endeavouring any alteration in the government of church and state. Throughout Danby's rule he was on terms of intimate confidence with that minister.
Conventicles meanwhile were again rapidly increasing, and the savage laws which had been enacted at Lauderdale's bidding had roused such resistance on all sides that he found himself deserted by the lowland landlords. He called to his aid, therefore, the broken highland nobles, and in the winter of 1677, with the active concurrence of the bishops, he let loose eight thousand highlanders upon the west country. This crime brought complaints once more to a head, and in 1678, in defiance of a proclamation which he had induced Charles to issue, forbidding the discontented nobles to leave Scotland, a large number, with Hamilton again at their head, and under the patronage of Monmouth, appeared in London, and formed a close connection with the country party. It was one phase of the great contest in which the Monmouth, Shaftesbury, and anti-catholic party, backed by Louis XIV, was opposed to Charles, James, Danby, and Lauderdale. After a two months' duel Charles, who could not then afford disturbance, sent orders that the highlanders were to be dismissed, in spite of the ‘Narrative’ which Lauderdale presented in defence of his conduct. On 23 April the king summoned the Scottish council. But personal attachment to Charles and James prevailed, and Charles's orders were approved. In May the commons at Westminster voted that an address should be prepared demanding Lauderdale's removal. The address was prepared, but by an unsparing use of court influence was thrown out by a single vote (Lauderdale Papers, iii. 135). Lauderdale, leaving Alexander Stuart, fourth earl of Murray, as his deputy, at once went to Scotland to preside at a convention of estates summoned to vote the money rendered necessary by Charles's difficulties; the old opposition was renewed, but was met with a high hand, and on 19 and 24 July 1678 he received the personal congratulations of Charles and James.
The feeling of the English parliament again found voice on 8 May 1679, in an address to the king for Lauderdale's removal from his councils and presence, and from all offices of trust, on account of his arbitrary and destructive counsels, and as contriving to raise jealousies between England and Scotland. It is clear, however, from the language of the address, that it was as the personal friend of James that the Shaftesbury party attacked him. Once more he was saved by the dissolution of parliament on 26 May (Parl. Hist. iv. 1130–50). At the same time, and in agreement with the Shaftesbury party, a fresh attack was made upon Lauderdale by the Scottish nobles who followed Hamilton. They laid before Charles their grievances in a paper called ‘Matters of Fact.’ On 8 July a conference was held between the party lords and the king's advocate before Charles. The result was another triumph for Lauderdale (Wodrow, Church Hist. iii. 158–173, ed. 1829). In 1679 took place the last rising of the covenanters, who were crushed at Bothwell Brigg on 22 June. As secretary Lauderdale was responsible for the very limited indemnity issued by Charles on 27 July. But he did not, as represented in ‘Old Mortality,’ preside at the judicial cruelties which followed, for he appears never to have left Whitehall.In 1680 Lauderdale's health began to give way. In April of that year he had a fit of apoplexy, and in June he went to Bath. At the end of October he resigned the secretaryship to the Earl of Murray. On 29 Nov. he voted for the condemnation of the catholic Earl of Stafford, and, according to Douglas, thus lost the favour of James. James succeeded him as commissioner in June 1681, and Douglas records that in 1682 he was deprived of all his other offices, except that of extraordinary lord of session, which he held for life, and of all pensions to himself and his duchess. The remainder of his life he lingered out at Tunbridge Wells, worn out with debauchery and the toils of his earlier days, and on 20 Aug. (or 24?) 1682 he died there. He was buried, with magnificent ceremony, at Haddington, on 5 April 1683 (Lauderdale Papers, iii. 230), being succeeded in his father's Scottish earldom by his brother Charles, but leaving no heir to his dukedom or English peerage. The only two authentic portraits are the picture by Lely and the miniature by Cooper in the royal collection at Windsor.
[The chief authorities for Lauderdale's life are Baillie's Letters and Journals; Burnet's Lives of the Dukes of Hamilton, and Hist. of his own Time; Mackenzie's Memoirs; Wodrow's Hist. of the Sufferings of the Church of Scotland; the Hamilton Papers, published by the Camden Society; and especially the vast collection of the Lauderdale Papers in the manuscripts room at the British Museum, three volumes of selections from which have also been issued by the Camden Society.]