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does the correspondence of the family from 1534 downwards. It is divided into three sections, the first being royal letters and warrants, of which there are thirteen in all, dating from 1534 to 1715, but which have no special value. The second section is made up of fifty-three state and official letters, 1569-1746, and is decidedly of more importance. But the great mass of the volume is formed by the third section, which embraces the family letters from 1573 onwards. These are of much interest and value, especially for the seventeenth and eighteenth century history, and include many letters that cannot fail to afford substantial help to the historians of the future. The Lovat letters are themselves a mine of historical and biographical wealth, and will form a splendid mass of information to any future biographer who may attempt to repeat anew the story of that singular man.
It is not necessary in the space at our command to attempt to give anything like an adequate review of the material thus made available for historical and genealogical purposes; but there is one document, perhaps the most curious and important within the three volumes, which it is impossible to pass over in silence. This is an instrument preserved at Castle Grant, in which an account is officially given of the election of a minister of a parish in pre-Reformation times, and which bears so pointedly upon the fact that the sheep even in those times chose their shepherd, that, but for the different forms of worship, it might almost be supposed to belong to the second quarter of the present century instead of the first half of the sixteenth. The parish in which the election took place was that of Duthie, and the date of the transaction was January 13, 1547.
'The parishioners (whose names are given in detail) assembled in the church, and the applicant for the vacant clerkship, Mr. Andrew Grant, appeared before them requesting their suffrages. The parishioners unanimously gave him their support, and during the celebration of high mass, which followed, he proceeded to the altar-step, and in a loud voice requested the parishioners who consented to his election to stand up. Upon this, says the notary who recorded the proceedings, everyone in the church rose, so that I saw no one sitting, and all with one voice exclaimed, We choose Mr. Andrew Grant to be our parish clerk of Duthie, and no other, unless we are compelled to the contrary by James, Laird of Grant, and if we should be so compelled by the said James to elect another, we will that last election to be null and void to anyone accepting it, inasmuch as it could not be called election, but compulsion.'
Then follows the formal sanction given by the Dean of Moray to the election, the parishioners being admonished by
him, 'under pain of excommunication, to pay the dues and 'rights of the clerkship to Mr. Andrew Grant, and to no "other.'
That declaration- inasmuch as it could not be called "election, but compulsion'-has the true Disruption ring. What a flutter it would have occasioned could such a precedent have been flung into the hostile camps of Moderates and Evangelicals fifty years ago! Had Mr. Fraser but discovered it half a century sooner, it may be safely affirmed that, if his name did not appear almost as a household word in Buchanan's Ten Years' Conflict,' it would otherwise have been, like that of Hugh Miller, only rendered conspicuous by its absence.
In the course of his labours among the Grant muniments, Mr. Fraser has been able to collect some valuable information regarding the systems under which lands were anciently held in the Highlands, and which information is of especial interest at present when the waters of public opinion are being so strongly moved on the matter. Referring to the fact that recent writers have asserted that chiefs of clans took advantage of their tenants and vassals and reduced them 'from being with their chiefs co-proprietors of the soil to the 'position of mere landless men,' Mr. Fraser says :
'The historical possessions of the Grant family, far from having been taken by force from their dependants, were acquired by purchase, or by gifts from the Crown in return for services rendered to the State. On the other hand, the clan, composed of the younger descendants of the family, and, it may be also, natives of the soil who assumed the name of Grant, had never any other claim to the Grant estates than what was conferred by the nature of the tenures under which they held their respective possessions from successive lairds. These tenures were chiefly wadsets and leases.'
In the matter of wadsets, we gather from Mr. Fraser that this mode of holding, on the Grant estates at least, appeared to have been inaugurated by John, fifth laird of Freuchie, who succeeded to the estates before 1586. Extensive purchase of estates required money, and when the laird wished to raise money for that and other purposes, the wadset offered a convenient form of doing so. The wadset was, indeed, of the nature of a mortgage, but it provided that the lands disponed should be held by the holder of the wadset and his descendants until the laird or his successors repaid the sums advanced and thereby redeemed the territory. The amount of money lent on wadset was commonly no more than a sum of which the annual interest would equal the valued rental of
the land. This served a twofold object: no rent required to be paid on the one hand, and no interest on the other.
'While the wadset remained unredeemed the holder of it was practically the proprietor of the lands. He was considered a lesser baron, and he could elect, and be himself elected, to serve in Parliament. He was designated by the name of the lands. He sublet the whole or portions of them to tenants and cottars, who became his servants. They paid their rents and rendered services to him, and were controlled by him without reference to the actual feudal proprietor. This system saved much trouble in dealing with a numerous tenantry. But it had disadvantages which outweighed any supposed benefit. During the progress of the country, and the advance in the value of land, the benefit accrued, not to the real owner, but to the holder of the wadset.' As an instance of the long duration of wadsets, Mr. Fraser mentions that the Grants of Tullochgorm, who in 1614 obtained for 2,000l. Scots a wadset of a portion of land on the banks of the Spey, which bore that name, were designated therefrom the Grants of Tullochgorm, and continued to hold the lands in wadset until the year 1777. By the families holding such wadsets the lands, after long continuance in their hands, came to be regarded as a kind of ancestral possession, and hence it was frequently with the utmost reluctance that they consented to its redemption by the chiefs, preferring rather to pay large annual feu-duties and other burdens which the rise in value of the lands may have fairly demanded, so that they might thereby obtain a prorogation of the redemption of the wadset. In the case of the Grants of Tullochy this was twice done; and the same favour was conceded in other cases also. Sir James Grant towards the end of last century discontinued the practice, and emancipated himself from the gentlemen wadsetters,' as they were called. The system of wadsetting was not confined to Strathspey, but was from early times a recognised form of tenure in different parts of Scotland, and continued down to a later date in Argyleshire and the Isles. When the system. was discontinued, mortgages took the place of wadsets. Feus, in the Highlands, were of later origin.
Next to the wadset, the tack or lease was the other form of land tenure most in vogue in the north of Scotland. Under these leases the lands were let, in one or more forms, to tenants for a stated number of years in return for a fixed annual rent. The rent was rarely, if ever, paid in money only, but generally consisted of part money and part grain, with what were known as the customs paid in kind, such as butter, sheep, hogs, hens, capons, peats, linen, yarn, &c.,
according to the products of the district. In general these 'customs' have now been commuted into a fixed money payment.
Those interested in the subject of land tenure in the Highlands of Scotland will discover in the leases and kindred documents printed in these volumes many important facts bearing upon the question, and throwing light upon the relations that anciently subsisted between the chief and his people; while the student of Scottish history generally will, as we have already indicated, find among the records here drawn together not a little that will strike him as of permanent value for the elucidation of the sixteenth and seventeenth century annals.
ART. IV.-Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, of the Reign of Henry VIII., preserved in the Public Record Office, the British Museum, and elsewhere in England. Arranged and catalogued by JAMES GAIRDNER, Assistant Keeper of the Public Records, under the direction of the Master of the Rolls, and with the sanction of her Majesty's Secretary of State. Vols. VI. and VII. London : 1882-83.
N an article on the Divorce of Catharine of Aragon, published July 1880, in reviewing the first part of the fourth volume of the Spanish Calendar, we gave some account of the state of affairs from May 1529 down to the end of the year 1530. We now take up the thread of the history from that point.
The beginning of the year 1531 was in many respects a critical period in the history of the divorce of Catharine. The death of Margaret of Savoy, the regent of the Netherlands and aunt of the Emperor, December 1, 1530, had removed one of the parties nearly interested in the case. Wolsey had died on the preceding November 29, and we need not now speculate on the influence he might have exerted if his life had been prolonged, or whether he would ever have regained the place in Henry's affections from which he had been ousted by the fascination of Anne Boleyn over the king, and her hatred for himself. His death left the way clear for Cromwell, whose project to make or mar' was. now to begin to operate. Henry had not yet taken the bit between his teeth, but he was determined to show his teeth. He had not yet absolutely resolved to break with Rome, but he meant to show that if he could not get rid of Catharine
with the pope's concurrence, he would find some other means of doing it. The case had already lasted more than three years, but no one would have prophesied that it would still be prolonged for an equal period longer, as we know it was. But as yet there was no open breach with the queen. The year 1530 had been spent in gaining by wholesale bribery the opinions of French and Italian Universities, as well as those of individual jurists and theologians of repute: Croke, Cranmer, Stokesley, and others had been employed in this work, and they had managed to secure seven foreign as well as the two English Universities on Henry's side. It is true, the opinions given had been on the supposition of the consummation of the first marriage, but the king was already quite prepared to perjure himself as regards this point. The virginity of Catharine at the time of her second marriage is abundantly proved from a variety of documents which have lately come to light, and it was an important element in the case. The king had himself admitted it in former days both to the emperor and others, and now he could only defend himself from the charge of having asserted it, by alleging that he was joking, and that a man must not be taken for asserting the exact truth in convivial moments. The opinions of the Universities of Orleans, Paris, Angers, Bruges, Bologna, Padua, and Toulouse, had been printed with a view to the copy being exhibited in Parliament, and the Public Record Office contains numerous treatises on the subject written in the same sense, and intended to fortify these determinations. Amongst these treatises, some of which extend to two or three hundred leaves, is one of a single page in Cranmer's hand, with additions in the king's hand, containing a judgment that the marriage between Prince Arthur and Princess Catharine was consummated.' Of course the Spanish universities are conspicuous by their absence. Perhaps it may be as well to remind the reader that the original object of collecting these opinions was, to fortify the pope in deciding, as it was hoped he would decide, against the validity of the marriage of the king with Catharine. But the use they are now to be put to is to represent the strength of the case against a possible determination of the pope the other way. This was Cromwell's suggestion, not Cranmer's, as has been erroneously supposed. But as yet the king and the pope were coquetting with each other, and Henry was urging the pope to make Ghinucci, Bishop of Worcester, and Casale, Bishop of Belluno, cardinals, to strengthen his influence at the Court of Rome, and was doing