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Dr. Archibald Cameron's Letters
Written in the Tower of London
June 5-6, 1753

First slip of paper:

Being denied the use of pen, ink, and paper, except in the presence of one or more officers (who always took away the paper from me, when I began to write my complaints), and not even allowed the use of a knife, with which I might cut a poor blunted pencil, that had escaped the dillgence of my searchers, I have notwithstanding, as I could find opportunity, attempted to set down on some slips of paper, in as legible characters as I was able, what I would have my country satisfied of, with regard to myself and the cause in which I am now going to lay down my life.

As to my religion, I thank God I die a member, though unworthy, of that church in whose communion I have always lived, the Episcopal Church of Scotland, as by law established before the most unnatural rebellion bean in 1688, which for the sins of these nations hath continued to this day: and I firmly trust to find, at the most awful and impartial tribunal of the Almighty King of kings, through the merits of my Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, that mercy (though undeserved) to my immortal part which is here denied to my unearthly by an usurper and his factions, though it be well known I have been the instrument in preventing the ruin and destruction of many of my poor deluded countrymen who were in their service, as I shall make appear before I have done, if opportunities of writing fail me not.


Second slip of paper:

In order to convince the world of the uprightness of my intentions while in the Prince of Wales's army, as well as of the cruelty, injustice, and ingratitude of my murderers, I think it my duty in this place to take notice how much better usage I might have expected of my country, if humanity and good-natured were now looked upon with the same eyes as in the times of our brave and generous ancestors; but I'm sorry to observe that our present men in power are so far sunk below the noble spirit of the ancient Britons, as hardly at this day to be distinguished from the very basest of mankind.  Nor could the present possessor of the throne of our injured sovereign, if he looked on himself as the father and natural prince of this country, suffer the life of one to be taken away who has saved the lives and effects of above 300 persons in Scotland, who were firmly attached to him and his party; but it seems it is now made a crime to save the lives of Scotsmen.  As neither the time nor the poor materials I have for writing, will allow me to descend to a particular enumeration of all the services I have done to the friends of the Usurper, I shall therefore only mention a few of the most known and such as can be well attested.  In July, 1745, soon after the setting up of the Royal Standard, before our small army had reached Corayarick, it was moved by some of the chiefs to apply to the Prince for a strong detachment of clans to distress Campbell of Invera's house and tenants in that neighbourhood, which my brother Lochiel and I so successfully opposed, by representing to our generous leader (who was always an enemy to oppression), that such proceeding could be no way useful to his undertaking, that the motion was entirely laid aside, to the no small mortification of the proposer.  My brother and I likewise prevented another such design against Breadalbane, to the great satisfaction of our dear Prince.  And on our return from Glasgow


Third slip of paper:

My brother and I did services to the town of Glasgow, of which the principal gentry in the neighbourhood were then, and are to this day sensible, if they durst own the truth; but that might be construed disaffection to a government founded on and supported by lies and falsehoods.  On our march to Stirling, I myself (though I am like to meet with a Hanoverian reward for it) hindered the whole town of Kirkintullich from being destroyed and all its inhabitants put to the sword by my brother's men, who were justly incensed against it for the inhuman murder of two of Lady Lochiel's servants but two months before.

Here was a sufficient pretense for vengeance, had I been inclined to cruelty, but I thank Go nothing was ever farther from my nature, though I may have been otherwise represented.  Mr. Campbell of Shawfield likewise owes me some favors done to himself and family, which at least deserve some return in my behalf; and Lady Campbell of Lochnell, now in London, can, if she pleases, vouch for the truth of some of the above facts.


Fourth slip of paper:

I thank kind Providence I had the happiness to be early educated in the principals of Christian loyalty, which as I grew in years inspired me with an utter abhorence of rebellion and usurpation, though ever so successful; and when I arrived at man's estate I had the joint testimony of religion and reason to confirm me in the truth of my first principles.  As soon therefore as the royal youth had set up the king his father's standard, I immediately as in duty bound repaired to it, and I had the honour from that time to be always constantly about his person till November, 1748, excepting the short time his Royal Highness was in the Western Isles after the affair of Culloden.  I became more and more captivated with his amiable and princely virtues, which are indeed in every instance so eminently great as I want words to describe.  I can further affirm (and my present situation and that of my dear prince can leave no room to suspect me of flattery), that as I have been his companion in the lowest degrees of adversity ever prince was reduced to, so have I beheld him too, as it were, on the highest pinnacle of glory, amidst the continual applauses, and, I had almost said, adorations of the most brilliant court in Europe, yet he was always the same, ever affable and courteous, giving constant proofs of his great humanity and of his love for his friends and his country.  What great good to these nations might not be expected from such a prince, were he in possession of the throne of his ancestors!  And as to his courage, none that have heard of his glorious attempt in 1745, I should think, can call it in question.  I cannot pass by in silence that most horrid calumny raised by the rebels under the command of the inhuman son of the Elector of Hanover, which served as an excuse for unparalleled butchery, committed by his orders, in cold blood, after the unhappy affair of Culloden, viz.: that we had orders to give no quarter; which if true must have come to my knowledge, who had the honour to serve my ever dear master in the quality of one of his aide-de-camps.  And I hereby declare I never heard of such orders.  The above is truth.

I likewise declare on the word of a dying man, that the last time I had the honour to see his Royal Highness, Charles Prince of Wales, he told me from his own mouth, and bid me assure his friends from him, that he was a member of the Church of England.


Fifth slip of paper:

To cover the cruelty of murdering me at this distance of time from the passing of the unjust Attainder, I am accused of being deeply engaged in a new plot against this government (which if I was, neither the fear of the worst death their malice could invent, nor the blustering and noisy threatenings of the tumultuous council, nor much less their flattering promises could extort any discovery of it from me), yet not so much as one evidence was ever produced to make good the charge.  But it is my business to submit, since God in His all wise providence thinks it fit to suffer it to be so.  And I the more cheerfully resign my life as it is taken away for doing my duty to God, my king, and my country; nor is there anything in this world I could so much wish to have it prolonged for, as to have another opportunity to employ the remainder of it in the same glorious cause.

I thank God I was not in the least daunted at hearing the bloody sentence which my unrighteous judge pronounced with a seeming insensibility till he came to the words, "But not till you are dead," before which he made a pause, and uttering them with a particular emphasis, stared me in the face, to observe, I suppose, if I was as much frightened at them as he perhaps would have been in my place.  As to the guilt he said I had to answer for, as having been instrumental in the loss of so many lives, let him and his constituents see to that; at their hands, not mine, will all the blood that had been shed on that account be required.  God of His infinite mercy grant they may prevent the punishment that hangs over their guilty heads, by a sincere repentance and speedy return to their duty.

I pray God to hasten the restoration of the Royal Family, without which these miserably divided nations can never enjoy peace and happiness, and that it may please Him to preserve the King, the Prince of Wales, and the Duke of York, from the power and malice of their enemies, to prosper and reward all my friends and benefactors, and forgive all my enemies, murderers, and false accusers, from the Elector of Hanover and his bloody son, down to Samuel Cameron the basest of their spies, as I freely do from the bottom of my heart.


I am now ready to be offered; I have fought a good fight, all glory be to God.