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La: B


With a portrait.

HENRY ERSKINE lord Cardross was the great grandson of John earl of Mar, lord high treasurer of Scotland, of whom an account has been given in this miscellany *.

Vol. vii. p. I. VOL. Xvii,

He was the son of David lord Cardrofs, by Anne Hope, daughter of Sir Thomas Hope of Craighall, lord advocate of Scotland.

His father was one of the seven Scotti lords who' bravely and honourably protested against the deli

very of king Charles the first to the army of the English parliament, at Newcastle, in the year 1646; and he educated his son in the same principle of hơnour and fidelity to the laws and personal engagements, without which no character can be respeċtable.

The subject of this fhort memoir was born at Cardross in Perthshire, the family seat, antiently the rural residence of the abbots of Inchme-homoe. The elementary part of his education was conducted at Edinburgh; and from thence he was sent to study at Leyden under the most eminent professors. Afterwards he travelled for some time on the continent, but more with a view to acquire useful knowledge, than to admire the splendour of courts, or partake of fashionable amusements.

On his coming of age in the year 1671, he returned home, and soon after married Katherine Stewart, daughter of Sir James, and grand daughter of Sir Lewis Stewart, Iord justice general of Scotland. The same year his father died, and from the politi cal complexion of the times, he was forced to take a part in the opposition to the arbitrary measures of the Lauderdale administration. On this account the share he had of the illegal and cruel opprefsion of the times, are fully set forth in Wodrow and Cruikshanks, their narratives of those unhappy disputes; and are unnecefsary to be repeated in this place. It is sufficient to mention that for the baptism of his son (afterwards earl of Buchan,) by a clergyman of the prefbyterian communion, he was forced to pay a fine of great amount, and for suffer

ing the famous Mr Hugh Mackail and other preachers to officiate in his chapel at Cardross, he was confiscated, and forced to pay another fine of a thousand pounds sterling.

His whole estate of Cardrofs was wasted, and his house occupied by a garrison for eight years together, during the life time of his father; and now in the year 1679, it was again garrisoned, and himself committed a close prisoner to the castle of Edinburgh, until he should pay a fine of three thousand pounds, immoderately laid beyond his power of present performance, that his person might be secured.

In June of this year the king's forces, on their march to the west, (the day before the duke of Monmouth came to them,) wheeled, and went out of their route, that they might quarter upon lord Cardrofs's estate of Strathbroke, where they plundered and destroyed the corns and cattle of his tenants, and made as great havock as the time would permit.

After this, lord Cardrofs finding it impofsible for him to live with safety or honour in his own country, compounded for his fines, and engaged with those who settled on Charlestown neck in South Carolina, where he established a plantation. From thence a few years afterwards he and his people were driven by the Spaniards, many of the colonists being killed, and almost all their effects destroyed.

Forced to return again to Europe, he took up his abode at the Hague, with his persecuted coun

trymen, and obtained a command in the army of the states general of Holland; from whence he came in the year 1688 with William prince of Orange, his son David Erskine attending him and commanding a company of foot.

Lord Cardross raised a regiment of cavalry for the service of the state, soon after his arrival in England, to the command of which he was appointed!; and he acquitted himself bravely and honourably under the command of general Mackay in Scotland, to perfect the good work of establishing the throne of king William on the basis of rational law and parliamentary election.

But lord Cardiofs's health, which had been impaired by his close imprisonment, and the fatigues of his American plantation, sunk under the effects of his military duties in Scotland, and he died at Edinburgh in the year 1693, having only completed his forty-third year.

The chief intent of this slight notice concerning lord Cardross, is to suggest the reflection that ought to arise from the comparison of times that appear troublesome and hazardous, with those that have been truly dangerous and afflicting in former ages; and to set forth the example of a virtuous man, who rather than disturb the tranquility of his country, and endanger that of his relations and friends, chose the hard alternative of seeking an asylum on the other side of the Atlantic.

There are times when it is impofsible for a wise man to operate with succefs in reclaiming his countrymen from inveterate prejudices; and in such times

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for a man of a philosophical turn of mind, and of strict and delicate virtue, the simile of Plato ought to be well considered.

"If one, says he, fhall observe a great company run out into the rain every day, and delight to be wet in it, and if he judges that it will be to little purpose for him to go and persuade them to come into their houses and avoid the rain, so that all that can be expected from his going to speak to them, will be that he fhall be wet with them; would it not be much better for him to keep within doors, and preserve himself, since he cannot correct the folly of others?"


ON THE VALUE AND USES OF THE LARCH TREE. IF a traveller fhould come from a strange country, and report that he had there found a tree whose wood was nearly incorruptible; who fhould say, that under ground it would remain for centuries firm, and at length acquire almost a metallic hardiefs; that above ground, though exposed to the weather, it could scarcely be said ever to rot: that if cut into plank after being thoroughly dried, it was neither apt to shrink nor warp in any way that no kind of worm was known to make any imprefsion on it for ages, if made into furniture; and that even the sea worm in tropical regions, so destructive to most other kinds of wood, did not affect it: that it resisted fire, so as scarcely ever to be put into a flame; and only consumed slowly in circumstances that

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