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the first June, Graham came up with a considerable number of the men of the Covenant, exceedingly well posted on the marshy lands on the farm of Drumclog. South and north the ground sloped gently down to a soft, boggy hollow, through which ran a slow stream fringed with stunted alder bushes. At the foot of the southern slope, and with the burn between them and the enemy, the Covenanters, to the number of a thousand men, were artfully drawn up. Those who had fire-arms were nearest the stream, and these were backed by a line of pikemen. The pikemen were again backed by a line bearing various kinds of improvised weapons. At the extremities of their line were two small bodies of horse. Graham had under his command about 500 infantry and cavalry. The attack commenced with a skirmish of musketry. Hamilton, seeing his men were no match for the marksmen of Graham's Foot, ordered them to the attack. Graham was precipitate, and poured down his troopers on the foe. In the swampy ground his horsemen were of little account and got badly cut up. Claverhouse fought personally with the most desperate valour.
"The leader rode among them
On his war horse black as night;
With his own hand he recaptured one of his standards. But his individual prowess was vain. The Covenanters, led as they were never led after, fought with a valour equal to his own. Unable to manoeuvre, the cavalry of Claverhouse broke and fled, and the day was theirs. Graham narrowly escaped being taken. The victors lost but three men, whilst thirty-six dragoons were killed. When the broken rabble streamed past the knoll, on which John King, a perfervid Covenanting preacher, was loudly chanting a psalm, he stopped in his singing, and with an audacity worthy of Gabriel Kettledrummle, bawled at the pitch of his voice to Claverhouse an invitation "to stay the afternoon sermon." Three weeks later, at Bothwell Bridge, the Covenanters had a splendid opportunity of showing the stuff of which they were made; but, torn by internal jealousies, and disputing amongst themselves when they should have been fighting, their victory at Drumclog was more than revenged. At Bothwell Bridge Claverhouse was present, but was not called upon to come into action.
The veerings of love are frequently curious, often unaccountably capricious and extraordinary. When it was whispered that Claverhouse had set his affections on Jean Cochrane, people wondered, and with more reason than is often displayed in such cases, how of all ladies in the world he had thought of her. Jean was the youngest of a family of seven, a daughter of William, Lord Cochrane of Dundonald. She thus belonged to as strong and staunch a Presbyterian family as could be found in Scotland. The Edinburgh people said the country was to have the spectacle presented to them of the strong Royalist Samson getting his locks shorn in the lap of the Whiggish Delilah! Lady Catherine Cochrane, Jean's mother, when she heard that her daughter was going to marry John Graham of Claverhouse, was beside herself with rage. When Dundee's mother was made acquainted with the proposed match, her moral sense was also terribly shocked. When she heard of the consummation of her son's nuptials, it is said that she knelt and fervently prayed to God that "should He see fit to permit the unworthy couple to go out of the world without some terrible token of His indignation, He would be pleased to make her some special revelation, to prevent her from utterly disbelieving in His providence and justice." The Marquis of Hamilton tried to get the King to countermand the marriage. The latter action touched Claverhouse in a tender place, and stirred his blood. "I will, in despite of them," he said, "let the world see that it is not in the power of love, nor any other folly, to alter my loyalty. ... As for the young lady herself, I shall answer for her. Had she not been right principled, she would never, in spite of her mother and relations, made choice of a persecutor, such as they call me." And Jean stood unflinchingly by her lover whilst he fought out the Killiecrankie fight of his affections to a better than a Killiecrankii issue. Claverhouse settled on Jean ^270 a year, and the marriage was pushed forward. On the 10th June, 1684, at Paisley, John Graham, a handsome bachelor of 41, led to the altar the young Jean Cochrane. A poet of the day wrote of her :—
"She while she lived, each woman did excel
Although the mothers did not attend the marriage, it went on as all marriages do in the circumstances—well enough without them. But Claverhouse's marriage had a close which few marriages have. Whilst the ceremony was proceeding, news reached the church that the Whigs were up. The blessing had scarcely died on the clergyman's lips, and the congregation had hardly realised the situation, when the groom had sprung to the stirrup and was off. His horse's hoofs clattering away in the distance was witness enough that it was not yet in the power of love or any other folly to alter his devoted loyalty. Not till the beginning of August was he able to join his wife in the retirement of Dudhope; and in the few stormy years that were yet spared to him there is evidence that the young wife must have enjoyed but little of her husband's society.
The connection of Claverhouse with the drowning of the Wigtown martyrs—Margaret Maclachlan and Margaret Wilson—has not been sufficiently established. Apart from that sad affair, the darkest deed, and one for which he was undoubtedly responsible, was the murder of John Brown of Priesthill. Wodrow says, that when tears and entreaties could not prevail, and Claverhouse had shot him dead, the widow said to him, "Well, sir, you must give an account of what you have done." Claverhouse answered, "To men I can be answerable, and as for God, I will take Him into my own hand." Patrick Walker, the pedlar, who says he received his version of the story from Brown's widow, avers that Claverhouse did not shoot this worthy and pious man with his own hand, but that it was done by six of his soldiers. Claverhouse's own account of this affair has now been unearthed, and is as follows :—" On Friday last, amongst the hills betwixt Douglas and the Ploughlands, we pursued two fellows a great way through the mosses, and in end seized them. They had no arms about them, and denied they had any. But being asked if they would take the abjuration, the eldest of the two, called John Brown, refused it; nor would he swear not to use arms against the King, but said he knew no King. Upon which—and there being found bullets and match in his house, and treasonable papers—I caused shoot him dead, which he suffered very unconcernedly."
The case of Andrew Hislop is full of pathos. He was the son of a poor widow, and a Covenanter having died in her house, he was traitorously brought before Claverhouse and Westerhall, by one Johnstone, an apostate Presbyterian. Westerhall voted for the young man's instant death. Claverhouse resisted and pled for his life. Westerhall stood firm; and at last Claverhouse yielded, saying—"The blood of this poor man be upon you, Westerhall, I am free of it." That the masterful Claverhouse should not have stood firm in this case is wholly unaccountable. I fear the greatest admirer of Claverhouse must conclude that the blood of this widow's son is also spilt at his door. These are the two chief deeds of this kind which have rendered Dundee's name infamous.
After the landing of the Prince of Orange, Dundee, in November, 1688, visited King James VII. in London. He urged upon that faint-hearted monarch the propriety of taking immediate action. He undertook to raise 10,000 troops and drive William out of the country. But what could be made of a King who, in a serious crisis of his fortunes, took more interest in fighting a main of cocks than in defending and holding his crown. James fled to France, and Dundee rode northward at the head of sixty faithful troopers. He attended the Convention at Edinburgh, but believing his life was not safe, he retired to Dudhope. The Convention ordered his return. He refused, and pushed northward to rally the clans. The Government offered ,£30,000 for his head, and sent after him in pursuit General Hugh Mackay, with a well-equipped army. In a short space Dundee performed marvels of generalship and tactical ability. In the swiftness and dexterity of his movements he completely out-manoeuvred Mackay. Both generals being