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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. IV


350 OLD AND NEW EDINBURGH. [Hope Park. British House of Lords, would have left the fortress of honours and of property in ruins.?? The decision of the Court of Session in 1767 led to serious disturbances and much acrimony; thus the reversal of it, two years subsequently, was received in Scotland with the greatest demonstrations of joy. Archibald, third marquis, and first Duke of Douglas, created so in 1703, was the representative of that long and illustrious line of warriors whose race and family history are second to none in Europe. His father, the second marquis, had been twice married-first to a daughter of the Earl of Mar, by whom he had the gallant Earl of Angus, who fell at Steinkirk in 1692 ; and secondly, to Lady Mary Kerr, of the house of Lothian, by whom he had Archibald, afterwards Duke of Douglas, his successor, and Lady Jean, or Jane, celebrated, like most of the women of her family, for her remarkable beauty, but still more so for her singularly evil fate. In the first flush of her womanhood she was betrothed to Francis, Earl of Dalkeith, who succeeded his grandmother in the ducal title of Buccleuch ; but the marriage was broken off, and he chose another bride, also a Jane Douglas, cf the house of Queensberry, and for many years after this, the heroine of our story persistently refused all offers that were made for her hand. At length, in the eventful year 1746, when residing at Druinsheugh, when she was in her fortyeighth year, she was secretly married to Colonel John Stewart, brother of Sir George Stewart, Bart., of Grantully, but a somewhat penniless man. Thus the sole income of the newly-wedded pair consisted of only A300 per annum, given rather grudgingly by the Duke of Douglas to his sister. with whom he was on very indifferent terms. For economy the couple repaired to France for -three years, and on returning, brought with them two boys, of whom they alleged Lady Jane had been delivered in Paris. Six months before their return their mamage was only made known, on which the duke, already referred to in our account of the Yotterrow, though childless, at once withdrew the usual allowance, and thus plunged them in the direst distress; and to add thereto, Colonel Stewart?s creditors cast him into prison, while his sons were declared spurious. With womanly heroism Lady Jane bore up against her troubles, and addressed the following letter to hlr. Pelham, the Secretary of State :-?6 Sir,-If I meant to importune you, I should ill deserve the generous compassion which I was .informed, some months ago, you expressed on being acquainted with my distress. I take this as the least troublesome way of thanking you, and desiring you to lay my application before the king in such ix light as your own humanity will suggest. I cannot tell my story without seeming to complain of one of whom E nmey will complain. I am persuaded my brother wishes me well, but from a mistaken resentment, upon a creditor of mine demanding from him a trifling sum, he has stopped the annuity which he has always paid me-my father having left me, his only younger child, in a manner unprovided for. Till the Duke of Douglas is set right-which I am confident he will be--I am destifute. Presumptive heiress to a great estate and family, with two children, I want bread. Your own nobleness of mind will make you feel how much it costs me to beg, though from the king. My birth and the attachment of my family, I flatter myself, His Majesty is not unacquainted with. Should he think me an object of his royal bounty, my heart won?t suffer any bounds to my gratitude ; and, give me leave to say, my spirit won?t suffer me to be burdensome to His Majesty longer than my cruel necessity compels me. I little thought of ever being reduced to petition in this way ; your goodness mill therefore excuse me if I have mistaken the manner or said anything improper. Though personally unknown to you, I rely on your intercession. The consciousness of your own mind in having done so good and charitable a deed will be a better return than the thanks of JANE DOUGLAS-STEWART.? A pension of A300 per annum was the result ot this application ; but, probably from the accumulation of past debts, the couple were still in trouble. The colonel remained in prison, and Lady JBne had to part with her jewels, and even her clothes, to supply him with food, lest he might starve in the King?s Bench. Meanwhile she resided in a humble lodging at Chelsea, and the letters which passed between the pair, many of which were touching in their tenor, and which were afterwards laid before the Court of Session, proved that their two children were never absent from their thoughts, and were the objects of the warmest affection. Accompanied by them, Lady Jane came to Edinburgh, and in the winter of 1752 took up her residence at Hope Park, in the vicinity of her brother?s house. She sought a reconciliation, but the duke sternly refused to grant her even an interview, In a letter dated from there 8th December, 1752, to the minister of Douglas, she complains of the conduct of the Duke of Hamilton in her affairs, and of some mischief which the Marquis of Lothian had done to her cause at Douglas Castle, and adds in a postscript :-
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Hope Park.1 LORD- DOUGLAS. 351 ?My dear little ones, Archy and Sholto, are, I bless God, in very good health. I beg your prayers for them and me, which I set a high value on, Mrs. Hewitt (her faithful attendant) sends you her best compliments and good wishes. My address is at Hope Park, near Edinburgh, to the care of Mr. Walter Colville, at his house at the foot of Niddry?s Wynd.? She returned to London in the summer of 1753, leaving the children in the care of their faithful nurse ; but, notwithstanding all the care of the latter, Sholto Thomas Stewart, the younger of the twins, who had always been feeble and sickly, died at Hope Park, ? near the Meadow.? This child was said to be the image of his mother. She hurried to Edinburgh, worn out by ?hardship, fatigue, starvation, and, as Dr. Pringle of the Guards alleged, dying of a broken heart. She expired on the zznd of November, 1753. Four hours before her death she desired Archibald, the future Lord Douglas, to be brought before her, and laying her hands on the weeping boy?s head, she said- ?God bless you, my child ! God make you a good and honest man, for riches I despise.? Then, as the old Douglas spirit glowed within her, she added: ?Take a sword in your hand, and you may one day be as great a hero as some of your ancestors.? Archibald, though barbarously expelled from the carriages at his mother?s funeral, found friends, who educated and supported hiin as befitted his rank ; and his father having succeeded to the baronetcy and estates of Grantully, though he married a daughter of Lord Elibank, executed a bond of provision in his favour for upwards of Az,500, and therein acknowledged him as his son by Lady Jane Douglas. Still the duke, more rancorous than ever, repudiated him as his nephew, and in the hopeof having heirs of his own body, in 1758 he married Miss Douglas of Mains, who, to his increased indignation, became so warm an adherent of the alleged foundling, that His Grace separated from her for a considerable time. In 1761 a fatal illness fell upon tbe duke, and as death came nigh, he repented of all his conduct to his dead sister, and as reparation he executed a deed of entail of his entire estates in favour of the heirs of his father, James, Marquis of Douglas, with remainder to Lord Douglas Hamilton, brother of the Duke of Hamilton, ?and supplemented it by another deed, which set firth that, as in the event of his death without heirs of his body, Archibald Douglas, ahas Stewart, a minor, and son of the deceased Lady Jane Douglas, his sister, would succeed him, he appointed the Duchess of Douglas, the Duke of Queensbeny, and certain others whom he named: the lad?s tutors and guardians.? Thus the penniless waif of Hope Park End became the heir of a peerage and a long yent-roll; but the house of Hamilton repudiated his claims, while his guardians resolved to enforce them. It was suggested by the former that the whole story of the birth of twins was a fabrication, and all Paris was ransacked in support of this allegation, and that the two children had been stolen from their French parents. The Etz?kburgir Advertiser for June, 1764, records the death of Sir John Stewart of Grantully, at Murthly. Prior to! this, he affirmed on oath before competent witnesses, ?as one slip ping into eternity, that the defendant (Archibald Stewart) and his deceased twin-brother were both born of the body of Lady Jane Douglas, his lawful spouse, in the year 1748.? In 1767 the case came before the whole fifteen judges; seven voted for the claimant, and seven ?against him. The Lord President, who had no vote save in such a dilemma, voted for the Hamilton or illegitimacy side, and thus deprived Archibald Douglas-Stewart of fortune and rank; but this decision was reversed in 1769 by the House of Lords, and the son of Lady Jane succeeded to the princely estate of his uncle, the Duke of Douglas, whose name he assumed, and was created a peer of the United Kingdom as Baron Douglas of Douglas Castle, in Lanarkshire, in:^ 790. He died in 1827. ? Another waif of the nobility was resident at Hope Park End in the early years of this century -at least, before 1811. This was Hugh, thirteenth Lord Semple, who had lost his estates and come signally down in the world in many ways. He was born in 1758, and succeeded his father in 1782. He was a lieutenant of the Scots? Guards in 1778, and a captain in 1781, and was said to have been obliged to leave the regiment through having incurred the displeasure of George 111. by his political opinions. He died in very indifferent circumstances in 1830, in his seventy-second year. In ?? The Hermit in Edinburgh,? 1S24, a writer, who sketched with fidelity the real characters of his own time, tells us of a recluse, or mysterious old gentleman, who dwelt at Hope Park End, and was known as ?? the Chevalier.? He was pensive and sweet in manner, and wore a garb of other years, with a foreign military order; his locks were white, but his face was Scottish ; he had the bearing of a soldier, and, like the Baron of Bradwardine, used French phrases. He had lost nearly his all in the French Funds at the Revolution in 1789. His lodgings cansisted of one room in a flat;
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