On the table was lying a curious but gloomy collection of the prints of his trial and execution. 1 Boswell's rest was troubled by the thoughts of this unhappy nobleman. He had been kept awake by the blazing of his fire, the roaring of the sea, and the smell of his pillows, which were made of the feathers of some sea-fowl. " I saw in imagination," he writes, " Lord Errol's father, Lord Kil- marnock, who was beheaded on Tower Hill in 1746, and I was somewhat dreary."
In the drawing-room was hanging that fine whole-length picture of Lord Errol, which led Johnson to talk of his friend, the great painter, and "to conclude his panegyric by saying, 'Sir Joshua Reynolds, sir, is the most invulnerable man I know ; the man with whom if you should quarrel, you would find the most difficulty how to abuse.' "
In the rebellion of 1/45, Lord Errol, following a plan not un- known among the Scotch nobility, had served on the opposite side from his father. At Culloden he had seen him brought in prisoner. " The Earl of Kilmarnock had lost his hat, and his long hair was flying over his face. The son stepped out of the ranks, and taking off his own hat placed it over his father's disordered and wind- beaten locks." 1 The young man in his loyalty to George II., did not follow the example of his forefathers, for he was descended from at least three lines of rebels. " He united in his person the four earldoms of Errol, Kilmarnock, Linlithgow, and Callander." As we gaze at the haughty-looking man whom Reynolds has so finely painted in the robes of a peer, we call to mind the corona- tion of George III., where he played his part as High Constable of Scotland " the noblest figure I ever saw," wrote Horace Wai- At the coronation banquet in Westminster Hall, Walpole thought, as well he might, on that " most melancholy scene " which he had witnessed less than fifteen years before in that same hall, when the earl's father, " tall and slender, his behaviour a most just mix-
1 Bound up with them were some interesting 3 Chambers's History of the Rebellion, ed.
and unpublished autograph letters and documents 1869, p. 309.
connected with many generations of the earls of 3 Forbes's Life of Bcntlie, Appendix I). At Errol. It is greatly to be desired that the pre- the time of the rebellion of 1745 the Errol title- sent earl, to whose courtesy I am much indebted, was held by a woman, would have them edited. ' Walpole's Letters, iii. 438. 5 Forbes's Life of Beattie, Appendix D.