JOHNSTON, William (1664-1721)

JOHNSTON, William (1664–1721)

suc. fa. 17 July 1672 (a minor) as 2nd earl of Annandale and Hartfell [S]; cr. 24 June 1701 mq. of ANNANDALE [S]

RP [S] 1709–13, 1715–d.

First sat 3 Feb. 1709; last sat 22 Dec. 1720

b. 17 Feb. 1664, 2nd but 1st surv. s. of James Johnston, 2nd earl of Hartfell [S] and 1st earl of Annandale and Hartfell, and Henrietta, da. of William Douglas, 1st mq. of Douglas [S]. educ. Glasgow g.s. 1674; Glasgow Univ. 1677; m. (1) 2 Jan. 1682, Sophia (d.1716), da. and h. of John Fairholm of Craigiehall, Linlithgow, 3s. (1 d.v.p.) 2da. (1 d.v.p.); (2) 20 Nov. 1718, Charlotte van Lore (d.1762), da. of John Vanden Bempde of Hackness Hall, nr. Scarborough, Yorks. and Pall Mall, Westminster, 2s. KT 1704. d. 14 Jan. 1721;1 will pr. 21 Aug. 1721.2

Commr. conventicles [S] 1684, auditing treasury accts. [S] 1695, 1696; treasury [S] 1696–aft. Feb. 1705, visitation of univs. [S] 1697, trade [S] 1698, auditing adm. accts. [S] 1698, union with Eng. 1702; PC [S] 1688, 1689–July 1690, aft. Dec. 1690–1708. extraordinary ld. of session 1693–d.; ld. pres. of council [S] 1693–5, 1702–4, 1705–6; pres. of parl. [S] 1695; ld. high commr. Gen. Assembly Ch. of Scotland 1701, 1705, 1711; kpr. privy seal [S] May–Dec. 1702, 1715–d.; jt. sec. of state [S] Mar.–Sept. 1705; PC 1711–d.; kpr. great seal [S] 1714–16.3

Capt., Visct. Dundee’s horse Oct.–Nov. 1688, indep. tp. of horse [S], 1689.

Stewart (hered.) Annandale 1672-d.; burgess, Edinburgh 1693; constable and gov. Lochmaben castle by 1701; provost, Annan by 1701; ld. lt. Dumfries, Kirkcudbright and Peebles. 1715.4

Associated with: Craigiehall, Linlithgow; Lochwood Castle, Lochmaben, Dumfries.

Likenesses: mezzotint by J. Smith, aft. Sir G. Kneller, 1703, British Museum P,8.71.

‘Faction and division’: Annandale before 1705

Although Annandale never tired of asserting that devotion to the Presbyterian Church, the Glorious Revolution and the Protestant succession were his guiding stars, these protestations were belied by the switchback course he followed in politics, which often seemed to privilege egotism over principle. Intense ambition, shading into a self-righteous sense of entitlement, gave rise to fits of ill temper and long-sustained grudges. It was by no means uncommon for him, in pursuit of advantage or of a vendetta, to reverse his position on major issues. In consequence, contemporaries as diverse as Gilbert Burnet, bishop of Salisbury, and the Jacobite George Lockhart regarded him as not only untrustworthy but dangerous. Burnet observed that Annandale was ‘extremely carried away by his private interest’, and although making ‘a fine figure in the Parliament house’, was ‘not much to be trusted’.5 According to Lockhart, he was ‘a man ... framed for business, extremely capable and assiduous’ but possessed of ‘a proud, aspiring temper, and, when his affairs and politics went right, haughty to a great degree’. Annandale ‘had gone backwards and forwards so often, and been guilty of such mean, ungentlemanly compliances to procure the favour of that party which he designed to engage, that no man whatsoever placed any trust in him. Even those of the Revolution party only employed him as the Indians worship the devil, out of fear.’6

Annandale’s mercurial character was well illustrated by the political gymnastics he perpetrated before, during and after the Revolution. According to the Jacobite Colin Lindsay, 3rd earl of Balcarres [S], ‘When the Presbyterians got their indulgence, he declared himself of their party, but soon tired of them’ and approached King James’s administration in Edinburgh in 1688, saying that ‘it was his youth only had misled him’.7 He was named to James II’s Scottish Privy Council, and in October 1688 was commissioned in the cavalry regiment commanded by James Graham of Claverhouse. However, he then left Scotland for London, where, according to Balcarres, he pledged loyalty to both sides.8 Once William’s invasion had succeeded, he became a staunch Williamite, took a military commission from the new regime and was named to William’s Scottish Privy Council. But he did not consider himself to have been sufficiently rewarded, complaining of ‘the usage [he] had met with from the prince of Orange’, and joined the radical Whig ‘Club’ in the Scottish Parliament headed by his brother-in-law, Sir James Montgomerie. James Douglas, styled earl of Drumlanrig, and later 2nd duke of Queensberry [S], whose family were Annandale’s principal local rivals, and who knew him well, was exasperated: Annandale, he wrote on 14 Apr. 1690, ‘is now arrived to that height, that it’s impossible to be in any judicature or society with him. He is absolutely given up to faction and division; and, I believe, by his hot humour, he must think to atone for his other faults.’9 In December 1689, after the king had given short shrift to the Club’s proposals for constitutional reform, Annandale followed Montgomerie into Jacobite conspiracy. Balcarres considered that Annandale himself had been the prime mover in the Montgomerie plot, ‘as he was always the most forward in whatever party he took himself to’10. When the plot was exposed, Annandale at first ‘hid himself, distrusting his own courage’, until fellow-conspirators surrendered, upon which he made a full confession in return for a pardon.11 He was then restored to the Privy Council, and with surprising speed completed his political rehabilitation in 1693 when after urgent solicitation on his part he was made an extraordinary lord of session, and then, through his friendship with James ‘Secretary’ Johnston (another survivor of the Montgomerie plot), secured high office in the Scottish ministerial reconstruction of 1693–5 which advanced Whiggish interests. 12

The replacement of Johnston’s party by a succession of magnates in the mid-1690s frustrated Annandale’s advancement. His splenetic mood was deepened by the rise of the 2nd duke of Queensberry (as Drumlanrig had become in 1695) to leadership of the ‘court party’. His relationship with Queensberry had always been uneasy; now they became bitter rivals, both locally and nationally, even when ostensibly co-operating in government. 13 For a time Annandale flirted with the ‘country party’ headed by James Hamilton, 4th duke of Hamilton [S]. However, even after he had returned to his responsibilities he remained a disturbing presence in the ministry. The loss of the £1,000 he had invested in the Darien scheme added to his discontents, although throughout his career he was never short of money, unlike almost all his contemporaries in the Scottish peerage.14

Despite Lockhart’s opinion that, as long as he was ‘kindly dealt with’ Annandale would ‘go along with the prevailing party’, his behaviour in Parliament after 1702 was marked by a degree of unpredictability, as far as the court (and in particular Queensberry) was concerned, and a tendency to play to the gallery on popular issues relating to the security of the Presbyterian Church or the rights of the subject.15 When John Hay, 2nd marquess of Tweeddale [S], and his allies, the so-called ‘New Party’, replaced Queensberry in 1704 they at first pushed for the removal of Annandale as a potential trouble-maker, but their wish was not granted and he does seem to have been prepared to work with them, while at the same time anxious to preserve his reputation as an advocate of constitutional liberty and the Protestant succession, which prompted him to protest against a clause in the act of security which he claimed would prove an obstacle to settling the succession.16 This was not particularly helpful to Tweeddale, but lord treasurer Sidney Godolphin, Baron (later earl of) Godolphin reassured Annandale that the queen was ‘entirely satisfied of your Lordship’s conduct in relation to her measure, tho’ it has not had the success she hoped and desired, and which she believes it might have had if her other servants would have all concurred in it as your lordship has done’.17 This was probably the zenith of Annandale’s career: he was said to exercise a dominating influence in government, ‘hectoring’ Tweeddale, the nominal chief minister, and was freely tipped for promotion to lord chancellor.18 He was so full of self-confidence that he boasted to the lords of session that the next meeting of Parliament would last no more than eight days, since all that would be proposed would be a treaty of union and the grant of taxes, both requests which ‘he was sure no Scotsman would refuse’.19 He was admitted to the Order of the Thistle; and in March 1705, in the ministerial reconstruction which brought in John Campbell, 2nd duke of Argyll [S] as parliamentary commissioner, secured the post once held by his mentor James Johnston as secretary. At Argyll’s insistence, he was also named as commissioner to the General Assembly of the Kirk, having previously occupied that position in 1701.20

Against the Union, 1705-7

Under this new dispensation things did not work out as well for Annandale as he might have expected, partly through his own fault. Behind the scenes, he tried to use his influence with Godolphin to push through more changes, entirely eliminating the New Party (soon to be known as the Squadrone) from government, but without success.21 He also turned on Argyll, who, he told Godolphin, ‘is so much in people’s hands that are for measures which I do not understand to be the queen’s, that what may be the consequence I hope shall not be imputed to me’.22 Annandale was opposed to the policy of prioritizing a union treaty, and was determined that the succession should be settled without compromising Scottish sovereignty. He put this point of view to Godolphin, and persuaded the English ministry to recommend a two-pronged strategy involving both union and provision for the succession.23 However, when the queen’s letter to this effect was read to the Parliament, Annandale (on 6 July 1705) proposed that members consider ‘such limitations and conditions of government, as shall be judged proper for the next successor in the Protestant line’. No mention having been made of a union it was left to others to propose it.24 During the ensuing debate Annandale (or so he told Godolphin) ‘used my best endeavours to advance the treaty’, but he also felt himself obliged, in order to preserve his character as a patriot, to indulge in rhetorical flourishes, on one occasion declaring that, ‘if England could not be brought to reasonable terms, he would go sword in hand into the field and force them to it’.25

After the passage of the act naming treaty commissioners, it was announced in September 1705 that John Erskine, 22nd earl of Mar [S], was to replace Annandale as secretary of state as part of arrangements made for the re-entry into government of Queensberry and his ‘old court party’. In compensation, Annandale was offered the presidency of the council. The explanation was that the queen ‘feared the misunderstanding between the commissioner [Argyll] and your lordship might obstruct business and occasion divisions amongst her servants’.26 He at first declared that he would not accept the presidency until he had seen the queen himself. He was reported to be ‘very angry’, and intent on ‘vindicat[ing] himself, and to know of the queen a reason why he was so summarily transported’. 27 On 6 Oct., not long before his departure, Annandale made a preliminary approach to George Baillie, one of the leaders of the Squadrone, explaining that ‘I am as much my own master now, and at my own disposal, as you are, which I assure is not a little agreeable to me, considering the set I was yoked with, and the measures they were prosecuting.’28 After his royal audience in October Annandale told Baillie that ‘I have seen the queen ... and gave up fairly’. He also suggested the possibility of co-operation with the Squadrone, but understanding that his motives might be questioned, pledged that whatever ‘condition or capacity I am in, I shall be true to the Revolution interest, the Protestant succession, and a faithful friend and servant to yourself’.29 Baillie was sceptical, telling John Ker, 5th earl (later duke) of Roxburghe [S] on 24 Jan. 1706: ‘I ... could guess that he designs to be in again, and is not without hopes of succeeding. This must be done by Queensberry’s assistance’.30 These suspicions had some foundation, for Annandale was still in contact with Queensberry’s lieutenants, though he made it clear that he would not ‘give my concurrence and assistance to a set of men who have treated both the queen’s interest and me as they have done, unless I have as good a share in the government, and upon as honourable terms as I had formerly’.31 Queensberry, however, was adamant that he would have to accept the presidency or nothing. When the protracted negotiations threatened to put a stop to all public business, the queen sent a messenger to Annandale in March to ‘tell him she had kept the place she had offered him all this time vacant to give him time to consider of it, but now she thought it fit that that place should be filled, therefore had sent him to get his last and positive answer’. Annandale demurred, leaving Mar to comment, ‘so there’s an end of the affair, and my lord says he is now going home’.32 Annandale did not return to Scotland, however. Instead he went to Bath, visiting James Johnston on the way and fuelling rumours of more conspiracies.33 By July, with the treaty negotiations well under way, there was talk in Edinburgh that ‘the queen had sent for Annandale ... and told him she would have him and her servants good friends before they went to the Parliament’.34 There was some truth in this, as Mar reported ‘secret negotiations’ on the part of the lord justice clerk (Adam Cockburn, Lord Ormiston). Annandale’s ‘pretensions’ were evidently ‘to the Guards, which he is not likely to succeed in’. He finally returned to Scotland in Sept., in the process causing considerable commotion in unionist circles by visits to English Tories, who were hostile to the idea of a union.35

He may also have met the Junto lord Charles Spencer, 3rd earl of Sunderland, the secretary of state with responsibility for Scottish affairs, but his prime purpose seems to have been to stir up opposition to union among English politicians, and by the time he reached Scotland there was little prospect that he would be able to work with the Squadrone, though he continued to make them promises of goodwill.36

Annandale had still not publicly announced his view of the treaty, and had supposedly been making ‘great court’ to the Squadrone, who supported it, but when the Scottish Parliament met in October 1706 the signs were not encouraging. 37 He was one of the three lords who refused to sup with the commissioner, Queensberry, as was customary at the beginning of the session, prompting Mar to observe that he ‘appears yet to be very cross, and unless he see us very strong will, I believe, be against us’.38 When the treaty was laid before parliament for the first time, Annandale ‘laughed at every article ... as it was read’.39 Some were still prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt, and Mar wrote on 13 Oct. that Annandale, ‘has not yet declar’d his opinion as to the grand affair, tho’ he has spoke against it to several in private’.40 In fact, he had sent Sunderland a message promising to support the Union, giving an assurance that he ‘acted from a principle, and ... would continue to be for the measure whether he was obliged by the court or not’.41 When the 15th article was read on 23 Oct., relating to the compensation to be paid to the Company of Scotland, he ‘said that it was not then a very proper time to insist on it, but he thought that company should not be dissolved at the passing of the act in the Parliament of England for the money of the equivalent as is agreed in the treaty, and that we could not forfeit that company without citing every member’. This was precisely the type of delaying tactic that opponents of the treaty were employing.42 Then, at the reading of the 18th article on 28 Oct. he ‘averr’d very strenuously’ that an incorporating union was inconsistent with the Claim of Right, an intervention which convinced Mar that Annandale had committed himself against the treaty.43 When it came to approving the first article, he made a long speech against on 2 November.44 He did vote for the second article on 15 Nov., concerning the succession, although with the reservation that including the nomination of the house of Hanover in a clause of the act was in effect to ‘put a slur on’ the successor.45 And over the third article he entered a protest on 18 Nov. that an ‘incorporating union is contrary to the honour, interest, fundamental laws and constitution of this kingdom’, as opposed to a federal arrangement or ‘the succession with limitations’.46 He was now joining the opposition to the Union on every vote, though protesting his determination to see the succession safeguarded, and grounding his arguments, wherever possible, on his concern for the Kirk, and the rights of the subject.47 Mar was of opinion that Annandale had ‘now pulled off the mask entirely ... His only company is the Jacobites of the opposing party’.48

After the Union, 1707-8

Not surprisingly, given his unqualified opposition to the Union, Annandale was not chosen to sit in the first Parliament of Great Britain, and during the 1707–8 session he continued to snipe at the Union, deploring the measures promoted by the Squadrone in relation to the Scottish Privy Council and the militia, which he publicly declared, with heavy irony, to be the inevitable consequences of ‘the happy Union’.49 In the peers’ election of 1708, however, his candidacy was much stronger, thanks to the alliance which had been conjured up in the meantime between Hamilton and the Squadrone. He was, it seems, happy to forget the Squadrone’s recent transgressions for the greater good of a combined front against Queensberry. Annandale was present at the election on 17 June, where he polled for his confederates on the Hamilton-Squadrone list but did not receive enough votes himself to secure election.50 He entered protestations against proxies presented by George Gordon, earl of Aberdeen [S], and the Queensberryite David Boyle, earl of Glasgow [S]. The Squadrone drew up a memorial of the various protests arising from the election, including Annandale’s, which was sent for comment to the Junto. 51 On 3 July Sunderland wrote to Annandale to congratulate him on the part he had acted ‘in this late struggle ... in Scotland’. Sunderland acknowledged that he and Annandale had differed over the Union, but was sure ‘we shall agree in making it as complete as possible, and as happy to the whole united kingdom. And tho’ your lordship is not return’d one of the 16 I don’t doubt but upon the protestations we shall do you right by bringing you into the House.’ He hoped that Annandale and his friends would come to London ‘that we may be appris’d of the whole state of this affair ... among you, and of the irregularities committed by the subaltern ministry there and their dependants, which if made out, as I hope they will be, will effectually rid you of that tyranny’.52

Annandale responded enthusiastically, assuring Sunderland that ‘no man living will make it more his business to make this present union and settlement happy to this nation then I shall’. He added, ‘when we were in a separate state I was very well satisfied our happiness depended entirely upon your lordship and our other friends in conjunction with you, and then you had all my assistance’. Now, he was certain ‘we have no other resource, and whatever I am able to do in this part of the nation shall be directed that way ... when I have the honour to be in the House of peers, you shall find me entirely and heartily in your measures’.53 Annandale felt that the Squadrone, and Patrick Hume, earl of Marchmont [S] in particular, were not acting with sufficient urgency in preparing their case, and took matters into his own hands in late July 1708 when he tried to obtain the necessary supporting documents from the office of the lord clerk register (Glasgow), only to encounter prevarication and delay.54 Eventually, Marchmont reported the Junto’s views on the protestations, which were a mixture of encouragement and caution.55 In particular it was noted that a ‘dispute touching the validity of elections being entirely a new thing in the House of Lords, it is hard to say what will be the method taken’, so it was important that ‘everything that relates to the question of elections ought to be ready’ by the opening of the Parliament. The best way to proceed would be that the ‘lords who suppose themselves concerned immediately upon the consequence of the judgment of the peers touching the protestations, may petition the House’, because ‘every petitioner might have authentic copies of the whole proceedings annexed to his petition’. It was also essential ‘to the honour of the House of peers, and the public good’, that measures be taken to prevent similar action in future by providing ‘proof of any endeavours by threats, promises, force or other undue contrivances, to take away or elude the freedom of elections’.56

On 18 Nov. 1708 two days after Parliament assembled, Hamilton presented to the Lords a petition from Annandale, John Sutherland, 16th earl of Sutherland [S], Marchmont and William Ross, 12th Lord Ross [S], arguing that ‘at the election of the sixteen peers ... your petitioners were duly elected, by a greater number of legal votes than’ William Kerr, 2nd marquess of Lothian [S], David Wemyss, 4th earl of Wemyss [S], Hugh Campbell, 3rd earl of Loudoun [S], and Glasgow. They had protested against these irregularities at the election but were unable to secure redress, and, furthermore, had been refused copies of the documents necessary to prove their charges, ‘contrary to the known laws and usage of all the courts and public assemblies in Scotland; which laws are, by the Treaty of Union, reserved’. It was also objected that Queensberry himself had not been eligible to vote in the election, because by that time he had been made a British peer (as duke of Dover).57 Successive delays in the proceedings culminated in an adjournment until after the Christmas recess, so that the examination of the case only began on 10 Jan. 1709 when a committee was appointed to consider the petition. The report was delivered on 17 Jan. and considered five days later. On 28 Jan. Annandale’s objection against Aberdeen’s proxy was dismissed, a decision which surprised Roxburghe, who noted that the petitioners had ‘both Whig and Tories ... of their side.’58 In a subsequent debate, on a related issue, the Whig Junto appeared to resurrect the arguments Annandale had made. The Queensberryites were nonplussed that Whigs should have opened the door to such a man: as Mar wrote, ‘Anna[ndale] having promised to both parties but deepest to the Tories they went all into it, even those who had formerly been with us and the Junto Whigs would not seem to differ amongst themselves, tho’ several of them were sorry for it’; indeed the Junto were, he thought, ‘ashamed of the end of this great struggle they had occasioned and at the end only to turn out a man that had always been firm to the Revolution interest and bring in a man [Annandale] of whose uncertainty everybody is apprised of’. Queensberry’s followers tried to pull back the lost ground when the House went into committee on 1 Feb., but though the Junto still ‘pretended to be sorry for Annandale’s coming in ... they would not join with us in this, all the Tories would have been for Annan[dale] and none of our Whigs would join us either so we were forced to let it alone’. The committee had been instructed to recalculate the votes in the election in accordance with the Lords’ resolutions of 29 Jan., so although Annandale’s total fell by two to 44 it was now one vote higher than Lothian’s. Mar concluded that ‘the Junto have done themselves a world of disreputation’, and predicted that both Whigs and Tories ‘will be disappointed of their new man, else I’m deceived, for he will make his first offers to the court, if he has not done it already’. 59

In the Lords, 1709-13

Annandale took his seat on 3 Feb. 1709. He only missed two sittings of the House before Parliament was prorogued on 21 Apr. (attending 61 per cent of the total number of sittings in the session, 97 per cent of sittings after his arrival). Together with other Scots, he opposed the bill which changed the law of treason in Scotland to bring it in line with that of England, acting as a teller in one division and entering a protest on 28 March.60 Surprisingly, he was not recorded as having attended the House during the following session, though a letter to Hamilton suggests that he may have been dealing with family problems, as he referred to his ‘mad wife and a rebellious, obstinate and disobedient son prompted by his mother to the last degree of foolery and madness’.61 Annandale and his eldest son had been at daggers drawn for some time, for in 1708 James Johnston, styled lord Johnston (later 2nd marquess of Annandale [S]) had appealed to Argyll to intercede on his behalf, on the grounds that his father’s ‘humour increases to such a degree against me as makes it worse than death to think of living any longer with him’.62 In addition, the absence of any tangible reward from either the Junto or the Squadrone had alienated Annandale from both groups, and so he shifted his political alliances once again.63

Re-elected in 1710 on a ministerial ticket (through his connection with Hamilton), he was described as ‘Episc[opal] Tory, rather court’ in the list of peers and Members prepared by the duchess of Buccleuch’s Episcopalian chaplain.64 This was a reference to his current political rather than religious persuasion. He had spent a good deal of time in canvassing peers of a ‘cavalier’ persuasion, and during the election campaign he was described by one Scottish Tory as ‘as right as one could wish’.65 Another analsysis drawn up after the election had him as ‘for the succession, against the Union’. He first attended on 27 Nov. 1710 for the queen’s address from the throne. In the Lords he aligned himself with Scottish Tories and in January 1711 joined the attack on the previous ministry over the conduct of the war in Spain.66 He also helped to prevent delay in considering the petition of the Scottish Episcopalian minister James Greenshields. He was nevertheless appointed again as commissioner to the General Assembly, a responsibility which meant that he did not attend the House after 20 Apr., having until then only missed two sittings. Despite his absence, he still managed to have attended 68 per cent of the whole session. He reassured William Carstares, the influential Presbyterian minister and principal of Edinburgh University, that he would not have undertaken this responsibility had he not been convinced of the ministry’s goodwill towards the Kirk, and in his correspondence with the queen and her chief minister, Robert Harley, earl of Oxford, he emphasized both the loyalty of Presbyterians, and, of course, his own contribution to maintaining that loyalty and dispelling anxieties that political enemies had ‘industriously dispersed’ among the ministers and elders. This was also an argument for preferment, if only to ‘fortify his authority’. 67

In July 1711 Annandale was reported to be ‘out of humour with the ... ministry’, a state of affairs that continued into the autumn: Oxford was informed in October that ‘there are three things, any one of them will coop [sic] his distemper ... either the castle [the constableship of Edinburgh Castle] or register [lord clerk register] will do, but he does not like the privy seal so well’.68 There was also the vacant stewartry of Kirkcudbright, which he had requested during the summer.69 Instead, all he was offered was a place on the new commission of chamberlainry and trade (albeit first place in the commission), but he considered this to be below his dignity. 70 He reminded Oxford that

I had the misfortune the very year before the Union to be so summarily turned out from being secretary for Scotland, and of being ill used by the late ministry, that I was put under a necessity of refusing to accept of the president of the council’s post, because then I could not be serviceable, and therefore, I must beg leave to say that unless the queen have commands for me in some settled and fixed post in her service, I cannot see how I can propose to be useful to her interest and service.71

Nonetheless, he continued to collect the salary till a replacement was found and even petitioned in May 1712 for it to be increased.72

Annandale was included by Oxford on a list of probable supporters in December 1711, but still did not come to Parliament until 14 Jan. 1712 despite the ministry’s best efforts. On his arrival, he reacted with particular vehemence against the Lords’ ruling that Hamilton did not have the right to sit by virtue of his British peerage as duke of Brandon. 73 At a meeting of Scottish peers on 17 Jan. Annandale was ‘very warm and singular in his opinion’. In respect of the proposed Scottish boycott of the House of Lords he said that he himself ‘did not incline to go the House till he saw some things effectually done to repair us by the ministry’, but since there had been ‘very earnest and positive assurances from them’ he thought ‘we were bound to assist in the meantime and enable those from whom only we could expect relief both to perfect our redress and the queen’s just measures about the peace’.74 A week later, however, he announced that ‘he sees no good is to be done and therefore he will not return’, a position to which he adhered when the other Scottish peers gave way, stating his view that ‘the court was trifling with us’.75 He maintained resistance single-handed, staying away from the House for the rest of the session, and attending less than five per cent of sittings.76 In addition to the national grievance over the Hamilton case, and what must have been acute disappointment at not receiving high office while enemies like Mar prospered, he may also have felt that the legislative measures taken that winter to benefit Scottish Episcopalians had betrayed promises he had given to the General Assembly the previous year. So when Oxford optimistically proposed that he might return as commissioner in 1712, he

used the freedom to tell the queen, that he would very willingly serve her majesty in that capacity, but when he had the honour to represent her majesty last year, by her allowance, he had given such assurances to the ministers of their absolute security as to their constitution, that he was ashamed to look them again in the face, considering what encroachments had since fallen out upon them.77

Not only did Annandale stay away from Parliament for the remainder of this session, he embarked upon an extensive European tour, which in April 1712 took him to visit the peace negotiators at Utrecht, and thence to Italy, France, Germany and Switzerland, and kept him away from Parliament for the next session as well.78 He did not stand for re-election in 1713, still being abroad; indeed, he only returned to Britain in September 1714, when he reaped the benefit of his recent cultivation of the favour of the Hanoverian court with appointment to national and local office. 79 He was then re-elected as a representative peer. The remainder of his parliamentary career will be dealt with in the second part of this work.

Annandale died at Bath on14 Jan. 1721, after a short illness, leaving his second wife six months’ pregnant, and was buried at Johnstone, Dumfriesshire.80


  • 1 Douglas, Scots Peerage, i. 264–5.
  • 2 TNA, PROB 11/582.
  • 3 Douglas, 265; CSP Dom. 1689–90, p. 109; CSP Dom. 1690–1, p. 44; CSP Dom. 1691–2, p. 186; CSP Dom. 1694–5, p. 445; CSP Dom. 1696, pp. 32, 63, 120, 168; CSP Dom. 1697, p. 538; CSP Dom. 1698, pp. 405, 432; CSP Dom. 1702–3, pp. 456, 479, 571; CTB, xxii. 119; HMC Hope-Johnstone, 44; Luttrell, Brief Relation, iii. 223; HMC Hamilton ii. 162; HMC Laing, ii. 101; London Gazette, 19–21 Apr. 1711, 21–25 Sept., 16–19 Oct. 1714.
  • 4 Scot. Rec. Soc. lix. 35; Annandale mss at Raehills, bdle. 822.
  • 5 Macky Mems. 185.
  • 6 Lockhart Pprs. i. 83.
  • 7 Balcarres Mems. 10.
  • 8 Ibid, 11.
  • 9 Carstares SP, 292.
  • 10 Balcarres, Mems. 54–55.
  • 11 CSP Dom. 1690–1, pp. 41, 92–95, 97–98; Dalrymple Mems. iii. 121–9 (pt II, bk 5 app.); HMC Hope-Johnston, 47–48.
  • 12 HMC Hope-Johnstone, 61.
  • 13 P.W.J. Riley, K. Wm. and Scot.Politicians, 108, 112, 118, 128–9.
  • 14 Riley, K. Wm. and Scot. Politicians, 126, 132, 145; Cowper, Diary, 51.
  • 15 Lockhart Pprs. i. 51.
  • 16 P.W.J. Riley, Union, 84; APS, xi. App. 54, 101; HMC Portland, iv. 114.
  • 17 Sir W. Fraser, Annandale Fam. Bk. ii. 217.
  • 18 Lockhart Letters 9–10; CSP Dom. 1704–5, p. 280; Luttrell, Brief Relation, v. 554.
  • 19 Lockhart Letters, 12.
  • 20 Baillie Corresp. 49-50; Carstares SP, 735 .
  • 21 Fraser, ii. 221–2, 226; HMC Laing, ii. 110, 113–14; Add. 28055, ff. 155, 170; Riley, Union, 137.
  • 22 HMC Laing, ii. 113–14.
  • 23 Fraser, ii. 231; HMC Laing, ii. 114.
  • 24 Crossrig Diary, 163; APS, xi. 218.
  • 25 HMC Hope-Johnstone, 122; HMC Portland, iv. 215.
  • 26 Fraser, ii. 236.
  • 27 HMC Mar and Kellie, i. 236–7.
  • 28 Baillie Corresp. 128.
  • 29 Ibid. 132–3.
  • 30 Ibid. 148.
  • 31 Fraser, ii. 236.
  • 32 HMC Mar and Kellie, i. 247–8.
  • 33 Carstares SP, 745, 748.
  • 34 HMC Mar and Kellie, i. 268, 269.
  • 35 HMC Mar and Kellie, i. 271, 277.
  • 36 Ballie Corresp. 161, 158.
  • 37 HMC Mar and Kellie, i. 294.
  • 38 Ibid. 284–5; HMC Portland, viii. 250.
  • 39 HMC Mar and Kellie, i. 288.
  • 40 Ibid. 290; HMC Portland, viii. 255.
  • 41 HMC Mar and Kellie, i. 308, 311.
  • 42 Ibid. 296.
  • 43 Ibid. 304–5.
  • 44 Baillie Corresp. 168.
  • 45 HMC Mar and Kellie, i. 325.
  • 46 APS, xi. 328; HMC Mar and Kellie, i. 327; Seafield Letters, 101–2.
  • 47 HMC Mar and Kellie, i. 313, 318, 323, 365; Seafield Letters, 104–5; Burnet, v. 288.
  • 48 HMC Mar and Kellie, i. 330.
  • 49 HMC Mar and Kellie, i.421.
  • 50 NLS, ms 1026, ff. 14, 28, 39.
  • 51 NLS, ms 1026, ff. 7-10.
  • 52 HMC Hope-Johnstone, 123.
  • 53 Fraser, ii. 238–9.
  • 54 NLS, ms 14415, f. 155; ms 1026, f. 44.
  • 55 NLS, ms 1026, f. 49.
  • 56 Ibid. ff. 50–51.
  • 57 HMC Lords, n.s. viii. 2–7.
  • 58 NLS, ms 14413, f. 163.
  • 59 NAS, GD 124/15/946/4.
  • 60 Nicolson, London Diaries, 494; HMC Lords, n.s. viii. 288.
  • 61 NAS, GD 406/1/5561.
  • 62 Annandale mss, bdle. 603, Ld. Johnston to [Argyll], [c. 1708].
  • 63 HMC Portland, iv. 559.
  • 64 HMC Portland, x. 351; SHR, lx. 62.
  • 65 Kelburn castle, Glasgow mss, 3/C11/6; HMC Portland, iv. 564.
  • 66 Scot. Hist. Soc. Misc. xii. 127, 133.
  • 67 Carstares SP, 789–90; HMC Hope-Johnstone, 124–6; HMC Portland, x. 364.
  • 68 NAS, GD 406/1/5724; HMC Portland, v. 98.
  • 69 HMC Portland, x. 187–9, 460.
  • 70 HMC Portland, v. 116, 122; x. 407, 177–80.
  • 71 HMC Portland, v. 116–17.
  • 72 Ibid. x. 470.
  • 73 HMC Portland, v. 107, 122.
  • 74 Scot. Hist. Soc. Misc. xii. 141.
  • 75 Ibid. 143, 147, 149.
  • 76 Ibid. 104; Wodrow, Analecta, ii. 30.
  • 77 Wodrow, Analecta, ii. 35.
  • 78 HMC Mar and Kellie, i. 498; London Gazette, 3–5 Apr. 1712; Evening Post, 6–8 Nov. 1712.
  • 79 HMC Hope-Johnstone, 126.
  • 80 London Journal, 21 Jan. 1714.