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Memoirs of Major Alexander Ramkins (1718)   By: (1661?-1731)

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Majr. Alexander Ramkins ,


Now in Prison at AVIGNON .


An Account of several remarkable Adventures during about Twenty Eight Years Service in Scotland, Germany, Italy, Flanders and Ireland ; exhibiting a very agreeable and instructive Lesson of Human Life, both in a Publick and Private Capacity, in several pleasant Instances of his Amours, Gallantry, Oeconomy, & c.

LONDON : Printed for R. King at the Queen's head, and W. Boreham at the Angel in Pater noster row, 1719.

Price 1s. 6d. Stich'd, and 2s. Bound.


I Think it proper to inform the Reader that these Papers were deliver'd into my Hands by a near Kinsman of the Authors, who lately came from the Southern Parts of France. His Design in imparting these Memoirs to me, was (as I quickly perceiv'd) to know my Sentiments of the Performance. It seems the Gentleman had been sour'd by French Practises, and was willing that the World should be no longer a Stranger to what was the ground of his distast. The Author appears very well qualify d for his Task, and opens a Scene of Politicks which the good natur'd part of Mankind will scarce think human Race capable of. Those that are acquainted with the Person of Major Ramkins, assure me, that the late King fames never had a more active and diligent Servant, and that he was one never wanting in his Station. If I am of a contrary Opinion to the Publick in judging these Remarks worthy of the Press, 'tis what I do not at present find my self convinc'd of. One Benefit at least may be expected from 'em, that they will induce all true Britains to be cautious, and not imbark themselves in a foreign Interest for the future, if not for the sake of their Country, at least for their own Sakes. I will not anticipate the Contents, but only take the freedom to acquaint the Reader in General. That it will be one of the greatest Paradoxes in future Ages to read, that the Court of St. Germains should have been a Sleep, and impos'd upon for Twenty Eight Years successively, unless their being trick'd by the greatest of Politicians, be a Circumstance to take off from the Surprize .


Alexander Ramkins, &c.

I was not above Seventeen Years of Age when the Battle of Gillycranky was fought between the Two Highland Generals, the Lord Viscount Dundee and Mackay . And being then a Stripling at the University of Aberdeen and understanding that several Clans were gathering into a Body in defence of King James III sold my Books and Furniture of my Lodgings, and equipp'd my self to observe the Martial Call, I found my self prompted with. I arriv'd in a few Days near the Field of Battle, and joyn'd my self with a broken Body of Men who were making up towards the Mountains to recover themselves after the Fatigue of Battle. The Noviceship I went through in the Highlands , was no improper Foundation for the course Method of living I have been since engag'd in for above Twenty Seven Years; during which Time, I have run through all those Hardships which are incident to one who seeks a Preferment in Fire and Smoak.

While I strolled about in the Highlands , it was my good Fortune to be under the Tuition of an old Officer, who let me into many of those little Secrets which are not unserviceable to such as Design to make the whole Earth the Theatre of their Life; but what I chiefly valued this old Gentleman's Conversation for, was the Happiness I had to be a Hearer of some of his Politick Lessons, of which he was a great Master, having furnish'd himself by Fifty Years Practice, with the best Idea's of that kind.

Upon a certain Day when our Party were out, some upon Foraging, and others to get Intelligence, I being alone in a Cottage with this old Captain, and being desirous to know his Opinion of the Affairs of Europe in general, as also what was like to be the Issue of that Cause we had undertaken. The old Captain willing to satisfy my Curiosity as far as his Skill would reach, pulled out some Remarks he had made upon the Year 1640... Continue reading book >>

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