Letter from Earl of Sutherland to Earl of Leven. Earl Sutherland was a Scottish nobleman, army officer and a privy councilor to Queen Anne in 1703. Earl Leven was appointed as one of the Commissioners for the Union of England and Scotland, and a strong supporter of William of Orange and his invasion in 1688. The letter suggests that the ‘Old Pretender’, Charles Francis Edward is getting ready for an invasion with men and ships, but the English are prepared. 9 March 1708 (SP 54/3 f.8).
Whitehall, March 9th 1708
Your Lordship will receive by this Express the Warrants [orders] of the Council of Great Britain [advisers to the crown] for the seizing 31 persons, of those her Majesty has most reasons to suspect. They are address’d to your Lordship not only as Comander in Chief in the part of Britain; but as one in whom Her Majesty has a particular confidence, and who she is satisfied will execute them with the greatest zeal and diligence [care] as for the particular maner of [doingst] you will be so fully instructed [aware] by the Earl Of Marr’s letter to your Lordship by the Queen’s Order that I will not trouble you with anything if that, but begg leave to referr
you to the Order and instructions you will receive from him. The letters that are come in, since you left London, confirm the arrival of the Pretended Prince [“Old Pretender”] at Dunkirk with some 12 or 15 Battalions of French and Irish, and yesterday we had an account of 5 Men of War [warships] and 6 Privateers [privately owned ships used to fight] being got to Gravelines from Brest and San Malo’s, however we have so great a strength at sea; and Major Generall Cadogan has got our troops in such readyness for embarking, that I hope the Enemies will not venture out but we must not rely upon that but take the best precautions we can
To secure our selves, and disarm our enemies at home. I have nothing more
to trouble your lordship with, but to wish you good success in all you
should undertake. I am with great respect
Your Lordship’s most obedient humble servant, Sutherland
I send Instructions to your Lordship by another Messenger that goes by the way of Kelsey for fear this by any accident miscarry. [He is sending this letter with another messenger by another route to be on the safe side].