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Alexander Robertson of Strowan collection

 Collection — Folder: S1127
Identifier: S1127

Scope and Contents

This collection includes a photostat letter in two sizes, written by Alexander Robertson of Strowan to Lord Mar (John Erskine, earl of Mar) in Avignon, France on December 15, 1716 concerning their future reunion and speculation on the questionable actions of Apin (Appin). There is also an envelope with notes, and a typed transcription of the letter, which reads:

[Page 1] "Lyons 10br 15, 1716 S N. My Lord, In obedience to your Graces, I am come this length, but the severity of the season obliges me to breath a little in this place; I thought Apin would have been ready as soon as Major Frazier and me, but he complained of an illness the day before we parted from Paris so we missed of that happiness.

[Page 2] Hugh Wallas of Ingleston found us at Shallon four days ago and tells us he and Apin came together the length of Soignies but Apin finding himself uneasy on this journey thought it better to return to Sanse than come on to Avignon till he gets a more pressing order from your Grace than that of coming as soon as he can. This distemper of his occasions various speculations, especially

[Page 3] since some of the King's friends disputed there was some tampering with My Lord Stairs which Apin thought fit to keep up from his Brethren sufferers; Mr. Wallas will inform your Grace more of this matter when he arrives at Avignon; your Grace knows what use to make of this to the best advantage of the Kings interest. I shall have the honor to salute your Grace again Friday or Saturday next and

[Page 4] rejoice with you at the King our Masters recovery. Till then and forever I am My Lord Your Graces most obliged and most obedient humble servant Robertson of Strowan.

[written sideways in the corner] Strowan to Ld Mar December 15th 1716 Rec'd at Avig. 18th


  • 1716


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Biographical Note

Alexander Robertson, 13th baron of Strowan (Struan), chief of clan Robertson, and Jacobite poet was born to parents Alexander and Marion Robertson in Perthshire, Scotland about 1668. He assumed the title and chieftancy of the clan in 1688, following the deaths of his father and half-brother. A supporter of King James II of England and Ireland (James VII of Scotland) and his descendants, Robertson joined the Jacobite rebellion in 1689, the first in a series of fruitless uprisings over the next 70 years. In 1715, he again took up the cause and followed Lord Mar during the Jacobite rising of 1715 (also known as "the Fifteen" or "Lord Mar's Rebellion"). When the rebellion failed, Robertson followed John Erskine, 6th earl of Mar and their candidate for the throne, James Francis Edward Stuart, into exile in France. He returned home to Scotland in 1731 upon receiving a pardon. Four years after the unsuccessful 1745 Jacobite rebellion, a battle he reportedly witnessed as a spectator, Robertson died on April 18, 1749.

John Erskine (1675-1732), 6th earl of Mar (sometimes 23rd earl), was a Scottish noble who lived the remainder of his life in continental Europe following his failed rebellion in 1715. He resided with James Francis Edward Stuart's court-in-exile in France and later Rome, where he was given the title "duke of Mar," until 1723 when he conspired against James.

Known as the "Old Pretender," James Francis Edward Stuart (1688-1766), son of King James II of England and Ireland (James VII of Scotland), attempted to claim the thrones of the British Isles despite his half-sister, Mary II, and her husband, William III, succeeding their deposed father in 1688.


Items in the collection.

Henderson, Thomas Finlayson. "Robertson, Alexander (1670?-1749)." In Dictionary of National Biography, edited by Stephen Leslie, 48: 399-401. New York: Macmillan, 1885.

Pittock, Murray G.H. Poetry and Jacobite Politics in Eighteenth Century Britain and Ireland. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994) 164, 170-173.

"John Erskine, 6th Earl of Mar." Encyclopaedia Britannica Online. Accessed June 30, 2015.

"James Edward, the Old Pretender." Encyclopaedia Britannica Online. Accessed June 30, 2015.

National Library of Scotland. "The 1715 Jacobite Uprising." Game of Crowns: The 1715 Jacobite Uprising exhibition, December 10, 2014-May 10, 2015. Accessed June 30, 2015.


0.01 Cubic Feet (1 folder)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged chronologically.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation from Kate Milner Rabb on 1937/07/05.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2014/11/13 by Nikki Stoddard Schofield. EAD finding aid created 2014/11/13 by Nikki Stoddard Schofield. EAD finding aid revised 2015/06/30 by Brittany Kropf.


Robertson of Strowan, England collection
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
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Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

140 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 U.S.A.