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Pickle the Spy; Or, the Incognito of Prince Charles   By: (1844-1912)

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PICKLE THE SPY or The Incognito of Prince Charles

'I knew the Master: on many secret steps of his career I have an authentic memoir in my hand.' THE MASTER OF BALLANTRAE


This woful History began in my study of the Pelham Papers in the Additional Manuscripts of the British Museum. These include the letters of Pickle the Spy and of JAMES MOHR MACGREGOR. Transcripts of them were sent by me to Mr. ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON, for use in a novel, which he did not live to finish. The character of Pickle, indeed, like that of the Master of Ballantrae, is alluring to writers of historical romance. Resisting the temptation to use Pickle as the villain of fiction, I have tried to tell his story with fidelity. The secret, so long kept, of Prince Charles's incognito, is divulged no less by his own correspondence in the Stuart MSS. than by the letters of Pickle.

For Her Majesty's gracious permission to read the Stuart Papers in the library of Windsor Castle, and to engrave a miniature of Prince Charles in the Royal collection, I have respectfully to express my sincerest gratitude.

To Mr. HOLMES, Her Majesty's librarian, I owe much kind and valuable aid.

The Pickle Papers, and many despatches in the State Papers, were examined and copied for me by Miss E. A. IBBS.

In studying the Stuart Papers, I owe much to the aid of Miss VIOLET SIMPSON, who has also assisted me by verifying references from many sources.

It would not be easy to mention the numerous correspondents who have helped me, but it were ungrateful to omit acknowledgment of the kindness of Mr. HORATIO F. BROWN and of Mr. GEORGE T. OMOND.

I have to thank Mr. ALEXANDER PELHAM TROTTER for permission to cite the MS. Letter Book of the exiled Chevalier's secretary, ANDREW LUMISDEN, in Mr. TROTTER'S possession.

Miss MACPHERSON of Cluny kindly gave me a copy of a privately printed Memorial of her celebrated ancestor, and, by CLUNY'S kind permission, I have been allowed to see some letters from his charter chest. Apparently, the more important secret papers have perished in the years of turmoil and exile.

This opportunity may be taken for disclaiming any belief in the imputations against CLUNY conjecturally hazarded by 'NEWTON,' or KENNEDY, in the following pages. The Chief's destitution in France, after a long period of suffering in Scotland, refutes these suspicions, bred in an atmosphere of jealousy and distrust. Among the relics of the family are none of the objects which CHARLES, in 1766 1767, found it difficult to obtain from CLUNY'S representatives for lack of a proper messenger.

To Sir ARTHUR HALKETT, Bart., of Pitfirrane, I am obliged for a view of BALHALDIE'S correspondence with his agent in Scotland.

The Directors of the French Foreign Office Archives courteously permitted Monsieur LEON PAJOT to examine, and copy for me, some of the documents in their charge. These, it will be seen, add but little to our information during the years 1749 1766.

I have remarked, in the proper place, that Mr. MURRAY ROSE has already printed some of Pickle's letters in a newspaper. As Mr. MURRAY ROSE assigned them to JAMES MOHR MACGREGOR, I await with interest his arguments in favour of this opinion in his promised volume of Essays.

The ornament on the cover of this work is a copy of that with which the volumes of Prince CHARLES'S own library were impressed. I owe the stamp to the kindness of Miss WARRENDER of Bruntsfield.

Among printed books, the most serviceable have been Mr. EWALD'S work on Prince Charles, Lord STANHOPE'S History, and Dr. BROWNE'S 'History of the Highlands and Clans.' Had Mr. EWALD explored the Stuart Papers and the Memoirs of d'Argenson, Grimm, de Luynes, Barbier, and the Letters of Madame du Deffand (edited by M. DE LESCURE), with the 'Political Correspondence of Frederick the Great,' little would have been left for gleaners in his track.

I must not forget to thank Mr... Continue reading book >>

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