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declaration of her wrongs, which could be used in a court of law. She did not live, however, to take any part in the subsequent proceedings which her relations set on foot; for her health and spirits had been completely broken, and having been removed to Glasgow, she died there on the 4th of October 1751. Her husband, Robert Oig, made several attempts to see her, but was not admitted.
It is probable that, if she had lived, the matter would have been allowed to drop; but after her death, her relations redoubled their efforts to bring the culprits to justice. James Macgregor was apprehended at Stirling on the 19th of May 1752, and brought up before the Court of Justiciary at Edinburgh on the 13th of July. The indictment was drawn up against James Macgregor, alias Drummond, alias James More, and charged him with the crimes of hamesuclun and forcible abduction. The case went to trial on the 4th of August, and witnesses were examined on both sides. The fact of forcible abduction was clearly proved by the testimony of a great many persons; but, in opposition to this, the prisoner set up the plea that Jean Key was herself privy and consenting to the outrage. Several witnesses, principally of the Macgregor clan, swore that, having seen her after she had been carried away from Edinbelly, she seemed to be "very content;" "in verv good-humour, no way displeased, and very merry;" so that they understood, from her conduct^ that violence had been used merely for form's sake, her relations being averse to the match, and her former husband being bat six weeks dead.
The verdict returned by the jury was one finding the forcible abduction of Jean Key from her own house proved, but the charge of subsequent violence and compulsory marriage not proved; and this verdict was accompanied by an expression of the anxiety of the jury that the case should be taken out of the class of capital offences. This occasioned a gTeat deal of arguing and consultation among the judges and lawyers of Edinburgh; and in the meantime the prisoner was sent back to his Slace of confinement in the castle. About two months and a alf had elapsed, and the lawyers were still employed in clearing up this difficult case, when one morning, before breakfast, the news ran through the town that James Macgregor had made his escape. The affair is detailed in the Scots Magazine for November 1752. "James Macgregor, alias Drummond," runs the paragraph, "under trial for carrying off Jean Key of Edinbelly, made his escape from Edinburgh castle on the 16th. That evening he dressed himself in an old tattered big-coat, put over his own clothes, an old nightcap, an old leathern apron, and old dirty shoes and stockings, so as to personate a cobbler. When he was thus equipped, h"is daughter, a servant-maid who assisted, and who was the only person with him in the room, except two of his young children, scolded the cobbler for having done his work carelessly, and this with such an audible voice, as to be heard by the sentinels without the room door. About seven o'clock, while she was scolding, the pretended cobbler opened the room door, and went out with a pair of old shoes in his hand, muttering his discontent for the harsh usage he had received. He passed the guards unsuspected; but was soon missed, and a strict search made in the castle, and also in the city, the gates of -which were shut; but all in vain." In the number of the same magazine for the following month, we are informed that, in consequence of an order from London, "the two lieutenants who commanded the guard the night Drummond escaped are broke; the sergeant who had the charge of locking up the prisoner is reduced to a private man; the porter has been whipped; and all the rest are released." On escaping from Edinburgh, James Macgregor had made direct for England; thence he made his way to the Isle of Man; and from that he escaped to France.
The affair, however, was not yet at an end. On the 15th of January 1753, Duncan Macgregor was brought to trial for his share in the crime of carrying away Jean Key. As Duncan was not so deeply implicated as lis brothers, he was acquitted, and dismissed. Robert Macgregor, alias Campbell, alias Drummond, alias Robert Oig, was apprehended shortly after, and brought to trial on the 24th of December 1753; and his fate was not so happy as that of his brothers. The evidence adduced was pretty much the same as on the trial of James; but a distinct verdict of guilty having been returned, "the court decerned and adjudged the prisoner to be carried from the bar back to the Tolbooth of Edinburgh, there to remain till Wednesday the 16th day of February next to come, and upon the said day, to be taken from the said Tolbooth to the Grassmarket of Edinburgh, and there, betwixt the hours of two and four o'clock of the said day, to be hanged by the neck by the common hangman, upon a gibbet, until he be dead." This sentence was duly carried into effect. The prisoner, on the day of execution, says a contemporary Edinburgh newspaper, "was very genteelly dressed, and read a volume of Gother's works from the prison to the execution, and for a considerable time on the scaffold." He died professing the Roman Catholic faith, and expressing a hope that his fate would satisfy justice, and stay further proceedings against his. brother James. His body was given to his friends, put into a coffin, and conveyed away to the Highlands. The justice of the punishment inflicted, on him was generally acknowledged; but there were some who persisted in believing, that if the culprit had been anybody else than a Macgregor, he would have been less severely dealt with.
The remainder of James Macgregor's story is very melancholy; for, as Sir Walter Scott says, "It is melancholy to look on the dying struggles even of a wolf or tiger." He lived in Paris in a state of extreme misery and destitution. A letter has been published which he wrote on the 2oth of September 1754 to his chief, Macgregor of Bohaldie. "All that I have carried here," he says, " is about thirteen livres; and I have taken a room at my old quarters in Hotel St Pierre, Rue de Cordier. All I want," he adds, "is, if it was possible, you could contrive how I could be employed without going to entire beggary. This, probably, is a difficult point, yet you might think nothing of it, as your longhead can bring about matters of much more difficulty and consequence than this. If you'd disclose this matter to your friend Mr Butler, it's possible he might have some employ wherein I could be of use, as I pretend to know as much of breeding and riding of horses as any in France. You may judge my reduction, as I propose the meanest things to lend a turn till better cast up." The postscript to the letter is extremely affecting:—" If you'd send your pipes by the bearer," says the poor exile, "and all the other little trinkims belonging to it, I would put them in order, and play some melancholy tunes, which I may now do with safety and real truth." He died about a week after writing this letter.
We now draw to a conclusion the history of this remarkable clan. For five hundred years the Macgregors had been exposed to a succession of dire misfortunes, deprived of their lands, threatened with extirpation, constantly at,war with their neighbours, often on the verge of starvation, accustomed to see more of their number die annually by violent means than by disease or old age, and denied even the use of their name; and yet they survived, and, like the goaded beast of the chase, made themselves objects of terror to their persecutors. Lamenting their errors, it is equally impossible to restrain our pity for their misfortunes, or admiration for their courage and power of endurance. This power was at length rewarded with a cessation of persecution; and yet, to the discredit of the British legislature, how tardy was this act of justice and mercy! It cannot but appear a curious revelation of a bygone state of things to mention, that not until 1774 were the laws proscribing the Macgregors repealed. When in that year their disabilities were legally removed, hundreds of persons east off their assumed names of Gregory, Graham, Campbell, Murray, Buchanan, Drummond, &c. and gloried once more in the name of their royally-descended ancestors. To complete the reorganisation of the clan, eight hundred and twenty-six persons of the name of Macgregor signed a deed calling upon John Murray of Lanrick, afterwards Sir John Macgregor, the descendant of the principal chieftain-family then remaining, to assume the title and honours of the chief of the clan. In the present day, and in an entirely altered state of society, who could be named as more loyal" or peaceful subjects than the descendants of the once-persecuted race of Macgregor?
A TALE OF LIFE-ASSURANCE, BY MRS S. C. HALL.*
J DO not tell you whether the village of Repton, where the two brothers John and Charles Adams originally \ resided, is near or far from London: it is a pretty [ village to this day; and when John Adams, some five-and-thirty years ago, stood on the top of Repton Hill, and looked down upon the houses—the little church, whose 'simple gate was flanked by two noble yew-trees, beneath whose branches he had often sat—the murmuring river, in which he had often fished—the cherry orchards, where the ripe fruit hung like balls of coral; when he looked down upon all these dear domestic sights—for so every native of Repton considered them—John Adams might have been supposed to question if he had acted wisely in selling to his brother Charles the share of the well-cultivated farm, which had been equally divided at their father's death. It extended to the left of the spot on which he was standing, almost within a ring fence; the meadows fresh shorn of their produce, and fragrant with the perfume of new hay; the crops full of promise; and the lazy cattle laving themselves in the standing pond of the abundant farm-yard. In a
* This interesting little story appeared originally in Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, for which it was written by the amiable, and gifted authoress. It has been issued in the present convenient form, for the purpose of universal distribution by all who are anxious to promote that most desirable practice—the insuring of lives for the benefit of surviving families.
No. 118. 1
paddock, set apart for his especial use, was the old blind horse his father had bestrode during the last fifteen years of his life: it leant its sightless head upon the gate, half upturned, he fancied, towards where he stood. It is wonderful what small things will sometimes stir up the hearts of strong men, ay, and, what is still more difficult, even of ambitious men. Yet he did not feel at that moment a regret for the fair acres he had parted with; he was full of the importance which the possession of a considerable sum of money gives a young man, who has been fagging almost unsuccessfully in an arduous profession, and one which requires a certain appearance of success to command success—for John Adams even then placed M.D. after his plain name; yet still, despite the absence of sorrow, and the consciousness of increased power, he continued to look at poor old Ball until his eyes swam in tears.
With the presence of his father, which the sight of the old horse had conjured up, came the remembrance of his peculiarities, his habits, his expressions; and he wondered, as they passed in review before him, how he could ever have thought the dear old man testy or tedious. Even his frequent quotations from "Poor Richard" appeared to him, for the first time, the results of common prudence; and his rude but wise rhyme, when, in the joy of his heart, he told his father he had absolutely received five guineas as one fee from an ancient dame who had three middleaged daughters (he had not, however, acquainted his father with that fact), came more forcibly to his memory than it had ever done to his ear—
"For want and age save while you may;
He repeated the last line over and over again, as his father had done; but as his " morning sun" was at that moment shining, it is not matter of astonishment that the remembrance was evanescent, and that it did not make the impression upon him his father had desired long before.
A young, unmarried, handsome physician, with about three thousand pounds in his pocket, and "good expectations," might be excused for building " des chateaux en Espagne." Avery wise old lady once said to me, "Those who have none on earth, may be forgiven for building them in the air; but those who have them on earth should be content therewith." Not so, however, was John Adams; he built and built, and then by degrees descended to the realities of his position. What power would not that three thousand pounds give him! He wondered if Dr Lee would turn, his back upon him now, when they met in consultation; and||]\ir Chubb, the county apothecary, would he laugh, and ask him if he could read his own prescriptions? Then he recurred to a dream—for it was so vague at that time as to be little more—whether it would not be better to abandon altogether