The Science Work
Site is for sale:
Category: History

Cancelled projects of the Scottish colonies in America Robert Gordon from Lokhinvar


UDC 94 (411).06



© 2011 of N.V. Laskov

Southern Federal University, Southern Federal University,

B. Sadovaya St., 105/42, Rostov-on-Don, 344006, B. Sadovaya St., 105/42, Rostov-on-Don, 344006,

decanat@hist. sfedu. ru decanat@hist. sfedu. ru

The early history of the Scottish colonization of America is considered. In particular, history of formation and implementation of colonizer projects of sir Robert Gordon from Lokhinvar. The main stages of preparation of creation of the Scottish colony New Galloway on the island of Cape Breton island and colony on the island of Insulam Karoli (island of Charlza) at coast of Brazil in the 20th of the 17th century are traced. The reasons of an unsuccessful result of activity of the Scottish entrepreneur who risked to follow a difficult way of a kolonizatorstvo are allocated.

We consider the early history of Scottish colonization of the Americas. In particular, history of the formation and implementation of the colonialist project of Sir Robert Gordon of Lohinvara. Traced the main stages of the preparation of a Scottish colony of New Galloway on the island of Cape Breton and the colonies on the island Insulam Caroli (Charles Island) off the coast of Brazil in the 20-ies. XVII century. Highlighted the reasons for an unsuccessful outcome of the Scottish entrepreneur dared to embark on a difficult path of colonization.

Reywords: Scotland, Scottish colonization of America, colonies, Nova Scotia, Cape Breton, New Galloway, tract of Lochinvar.

The Scottish kingdom became on the way of colonization of the American continent when Spain and Portugal secured the status of the leading colonial powers and the neighboring England already had transatlantic colonies in Virginia and New England. The beginning of the Scottish colonization of the New World is defined 1621 and connected with a name of sir William Alexander from Menstri, future first count Sterling - the Scot using protection of the king James I [1]. On September 10, 1621 sir William Alexander is a court poet and the knight, the privy councilor of Scotland by then holding also a position of the speaker of applications for Scotland at an English court [2, the ruble 44, 49] - took out the patent for the right of possession of the extensive territory signed by the king James I in North America including not populated lands "between colonies New England and Newfoundland" [3, river 10 - 15]. In the aspiration to express patriotic feelings, with the consent of the king William Alexander called the transatlantic possession of Nova Scotia (in documents and treatises by contemporaries the Latin name Nova Scotia from the name of the original of the royal patent was more often used).

It is no wonder that activities of sir William Alexander for creation of the first Scottish colony in America were not ignored historians. Unfortunately, it did not happen concerning his compatriot, the friend and, one may say, the first closest associate on colonial predpriyati-

holes of sir Robert Gordon from Lokhinvar (1565 - 1627). Meanwhile in only two months after issue of the patent to William Alexander on November 8, 1621 James I Stewart signed the document, similar on style of registration and matter which retold to Gordon and his second son Robert in hereditary possession a part of the territory of Nova Scotia which is earlier assigned to Alexander. Gordonami's creation the Scottish colony New Galloway on the island of Cape Breton island [4, river 16 - 25 was an indispensable condition of this land grant; 5, river 79]. In the history of development and practical implementation this one of early projects of creation of the Scottish transatlantic colony still a lot of things remain not clear.

In spite of the fact that contemporaries considered Lokhin-var "one of the first Scots who participated in foundation of the first Scottish transatlantic colony, making in this business the investments" [6, the ruble 108], perhaps, the only plot which drew attention of foreign experts in the field of colonial history became the treatise by R. Gordon published in 1625 by the publisher J. Reyton in Edinburgh "Encouragement intending to become businessmen in the new colony Cape Breton island now called New Galloway, in America, written by me, Lokhinvar" [7]. At the same time assessment of this work, as a rule, very short also comes down generally to the fact that the treatise supported more thorough in comparison with the previous compositions of a similar genre information on conditions of creation and the prospects of development

the Scottish transatlantic colony, it was addressed to educated people from the upper class and at the beginning of the 20th century represented a big rare book [6, river 108; 8, river 96; 9, river 115]. Also that circumstance that some modern writers consider the brochure of Lokhinvar published in the Scottish capital in line with development of the colonial idea in England [10, river 37 attracts attention; 11, rubles 459], and even mistakenly attribute authorship to his eldest son John [12, river 99].

As for directly identity of R. Gordon and definition of its role in development of the colonial enterprises in Scotland, information on that poor and quite often wrong. In the fundamental editions containing a family tree of the Scottish nobility, a sort Gordonov Lokhin-varov it is presented generally by plots about Robert's grandfather - sir James Gordon, the being royal representative in the County of Gellouey in the 30th of the 16th century and the dead in 1547 in fight at Pinki and also about the eldest son sir John Gordon who in 1633 received the viscount's title Kenmur [13, river 268]. The medieval legend of the representative of this sort also found reflection in works of the great Scottish novelist Walter Scott who presented a romantic image of the noble and brave knight in the poem "Lokhinvar":

"Along border Lokhinvar young jumped. All horses the horse fighting was faster than him. The knight went without armor, the knight went without servants, Was at him only a sword, his devoted friend. You in love are noble, in battle - the hero. Who will be compared to you, Lokhinvar young?" [14].

Information on the kolonizatsionny project of R. Gordon from Lokhinvar not always meets even in the special researches devoted to both settling of Cape Breton island [15], and the history of the Scottish colonization in general [16]. Moreover, at historical literature there are wrong instructions on the fact that Robert Gordon Lokhinvar was granted to the first of the Scottish noblemen by a title of the baronet of Nova Scotia in May, 1625 [17, river 112]. Actually Lokhin-var became a baronet only a year later - May 1, 1626. The first this title was received his namesake from other branch of Gordonov - Robert Gordon clan, by the son of count Satterlenda from family Gordonstounov [6, river 120].

In a historiography two options of an explanation of motives of fast voluntary transfer by Alexander of the rights for the island of Cape Breton island to sir Gordon - or "for the unknown reasons" [18, river 46], or thanks to their personal friendship are found [17, river 100]. Most likely, Lokhinvar not accidentally became one of the first partners of the initiator of the Scottish colonization sir Alexander. In the biography of these Scots it is possible to find much general. Both came from well-born families, were among the court Scottish noblemen who had honor to go to London together with the king James VI (I) who united crowns of Scotland and England in 1603. And one, and another entered the next

an environment of the crown prince Henry, up to his early death in 1612. But if the court and political career of Alexander was created thanks to him early to the shown poetic abilities, then R. Gordon Lokhinvar was known at court first of all as one of the best fencers, people physically strong and differing in violent temper [8, river 91; 19, river 599].

At the beginning of the 1620th he became interested in a kolonizatorstvo, having become sir Alexander's partner. By the time of obtaining the royal patent for foundation of transatlantic colony Gordon was already a large landowner. It possessed the estates in Galloway which got by inheritance after the death of the father in 1604 and also granted by James I. At the same time the main part of lands was concentrated within the territory of the county of Kirkcudbright (East Galloway) located in the southwest of Scotland. Apparently, this circumstance in no small measure promoted that at the beginning of the colonizer activity sir Alexander with Gordon decided to share the burden of responsibility for creation of the Scottish colonies in America. Aleksan-deru it was essentially important to send the first expedition to the New World from the territory of Scotland. He noticed: "My project had to begin in the kingdom on which it had a direct bearing where there was more opportunity to convince my compatriots to set off, create necessary positive public opinion" [20, river 32]. Lokhinvar's earth, being located on the southwest coast of Scotland and bordering on the Gulf Solway Firth in the Irish Sea, as well as possible were suitable for this purpose. It explains a situation when almost at once after finding of the rights for lands in Nova Scotia the royal favourite William Alexander agreed to alienation of a part (island of Cape Breton island) in favor of Robert Gordon Lokhinvar and his second son Robert, on condition of creation of the Scottish colony by them. Really at the end of May, 1622 the vessel chartered by Alexander in London for sending to Nova Scotia arrived in the Scottish port of Kirkcudbright for final equipment by provisions and recruitments of colonists [20, river 33].

Robert Gordon in return showed not smaller activity. Believing that "the main advantage consists in operation", he almost at once after finding of the royal patent for the territory of the island of Cape Breton island "decided to work and follow the example of those heroes pioneers whose bright gloss of glory is worthy imitations and the memory of whose acts will remain for ever" [7, B2]. In the summer of 1622 Lokhinvar was engaged in equipment of two vessels for sending on their board of the Scots ready to become the first settlers of colony which already had the Scottish name, but which still should be based. The base for sending this expedition chose the seaport of Bumaris on the coast of Wales. At the same time Alexander on dogovorenno-

st with Gordon was engaged in equipment of the ship and recruitment of colonists in Kirkcudbright. However if to Alexander with great difficulty, but nevertheless at the end of June, 1622 it was succeeded to send the first expedition to coast of Nova Scotia, then his partner could not make it [20, river 33; 21, river 122 - 123]. 1622 - 1623 were not the best time for such serious undertaking. Just during this period in Scotland the strongest hunger burst, and the same Gordon Lokhinvar, acting in the Scottish Privy Council, urged to organize collecting donations for the aid to the poor. Food prices during a season of 1622 - 1623 sharply increased, thereby having caused additional expenses on acquisition of provisions for colonists [20, river 33].

On the other hand, Scots not only did not show enthusiasm and desire to follow to novel lands, but in general showed mistrust and scepticism concerning the arriving offers from organizers of colony. The habitual European direction of emigration which by 17th century became already traditional a nayemnichestvo in armies of Poland, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands and even to more remote Russia was much more popular among natives of Scotland. Considering that circumstance that from the beginning of Thirty years' war and resumption of the military conflict between Spain and Holland demand for "soldiers of fate" increased in Europe, there is obvious a reason of so steady "mistrust" of Scots to new kolonizatsionny projects. Besides, Lokhinvar Sr. combined preparation of an expedition to Cape Breton island with the vigorous political activity demanding his frequent presence in Edinburgh. And just during 1622 - 1623 he several times as the representative from Galloway was invited in Privy Council of Scotland for participation in discussion of a question of export of the Scottish wool to England. In July, 1623 Lokhinvar was included in the structure of the special commission created, according to the royal decree, for the organization in Scotland of shersteobrabatyvayushchy manufactories. As a result the first attempt to create colony during 1622 - 1623 was unsuccessful for Gordon.

Nevertheless he did not refuse realization of the idea and decided to test the literary abilities for advertizing of colony on the island of Cape Breton island. As envisioned by the author, the publication in 1625 of its treatise [7] had to cause more expressed response of the public, than the inertness shown in 1622 - 1623. However it did not occur. From a crown of auxiliary financing of the first kolonizatsionny actions it was not carried out. Public opinion could not be changed considerably in two years. The accommodation terms offered by Lokhinvar could hardly interest the wealthy land owners or people who had steady financial position in the homeland in new colony. The Scottish tenants, as well as workmen people, could not count that they will become even if far from the homeland, sobstven-

earth nicknames. So the edition of the treatise did not conceive the positive result expected by Gordon.

Probably, having finally been disappointed in a possibility of implementation of this project, it returned all rights for Cape Breton island to the first owner. Unfortunately, information on under what circumstances and on what conditions it occurred, is not present. However the document confirming alienation by "the royal lieutenant of Nova Scotia" sir William Alexander of the territory of this island in favor of the new owner remained. On March 17, 1625 in the presence of several witnesses the contract according to which provost Inverness Duncan Forbz and his successors for 3000 Scottish worlds (166 English pounds of 13 shillings and 4 pence) acquired at Alexander the right for possession and management of lands in Nova Scotia which part the island of Cape Breton island was was made [23, river 73 - 75]. At the description of the territory given by Alexander which had to be called, probably, at the request of the next owner New Inverness from now on only two geographical names - the Bay of Shibo and the Gulph of Canada were specified in the contract. Possibly therefore the transaction did not draw attention of the historians somehow mentioning Lokhinvar's grant. Nevertheless name Shibo or fr. Ci-boux, Gran Sibou belongs to Cape Breton island [23, river 74; 24]. Now in the western part of this island which is a part of the so-called Seaside provinces of Canada the city of Inverness is located. Thus, in the contract signed by William Alexander and Duncan Forbz in 1625 it is about the territory which from 1621 to 1625 under the name New Galloway was the purpose of colonial activity of sir Robert Gordon from Lokhinvar.

Having left an invention with New Galloway, this, the Scot who kept energy and optimism to old age nevertheless did not lose interest in colonial business. On May 1, 1626 he received the title of the baronet of Nova Scotia assuming allocation of a baroniya of 6000 acres in the territory of the peninsula which owner on behalf of the Scottish crown was sir William Alexander [6, river 121]. Formally carriers of this title were allocated with estates and feudal powers over the ocean, however at the same time their obligatory departure from Scotland was not provided. Thus, from now on Lokhinvar's communication with the region Nova Scotia was limited only to the bought title.

In literal sense at the same time it switched the attention to South America - on May 1, 1626 Robert Gordon became the owner of the royal patent for the territory of the island of Insulam Caroli (Charles Island) which was in the Southern hemisphere at coast of Brazil [5, river 387; 8, river 100]. In only four days - on May 5, 1626 he obtained the license for equipment and the further free admission of the ship which intended "to send to the south from the equator" [6, river 35]. During preparation of this expedition Gordon tried to obtain receiving marque svidetelst-

va (Letter of Marque). In the written address to "the kind friend and the clerk of Privy Council" James Primroz dated on August 20, 1626 he reminded of the application and, probably, having been sure of the positive decision, Letter of Marque with his courier asked to send "made proper", specifying at the same time that his ship is ready to set off in the nearest future [25, river 678].

However it did not happen. Soon after finding of marque powers Lokhinvar was responsible for the scandal which received a wide resonance. At the beginning of spring of 1627 the team of the ship operated by the skippers William Weir and Andrew Martin employed by Gordon and been "illegible in the diligence" at coast of Ireland carried out hijacking of the Dutch merchant ship and brought it into the Scottish port of Kirkcudbright [25, river 581, 601, 632 - 633]. Arrest and disarmament of the Lokhin-vara ship and followed after this judicial proceedings in Edinburgh became a consequence of this aggression against "allies and friends" the king. In the summer of 1627 after scandal was settled, Lokhinvar was engaged in the colonial project again. On July 12, 1627 Charles I confirmed his powers on creation of colony on Insule Caroli [5, river 387]. And, despite of a recent incident with hijacking of the Dutch ship, for the sake of "expansion of royal dominions" and "distribution of Christianity" the Privy Council with the consent of the king authorized delivery to Gordon of the written certificate granting the right "to it and to his representatives" to use force against the Spanish ships and also vessels, the states following under the flag of hostile to its Majesty [26, river 13 - 15]. In the same day "sir Robert Gordon from Lokhinvar, the knight, in the presence of lords of Privy Council" said that according to the powers conferred to it "to work against the king's enemies", he "agrees on condition that all production captured by him or the people acting from his name, will be presented for assessment of its cost to the Admiral of Scotland then the put part will be transferred to treasury of his Majesty and also in favor of the Admiralty" [26, river 12]. Considering that circumstance that Charles Island had to become base for privateers, income from which activity was considered as a part of royal taxation, this colony had quite good prospects for development. However this time Lokhinvar's death in the fall of 1627 [8, river 103] became an obstacle.

The Scottish historian R. Johnston knowing personally Lokhinvar in popular among contemporaries "Historia Rerum Britannicarum: 1572 - 1728", published in Amsterdam in 1655, estimated its course of life as follows: "Robert Gordon succeeded in development of force of a body and greatness of mind thanks to what he acquired protection of generous prince Henry... In possession of weapon to it was not equal... It built the ships to extend glory about Scotland behind the line of the equator, but, to sozhale-

a niya, his death interrupted this so worthy undertaking of glory..." [9, river 116].

Robert Gordon's sons did not become successors of his undertakings. Younger Robert Gordon, the New Galloway together with the father mentioned in the royal patent for creation of colony, died early, without having left successors. The senior John inherited on January 28, 1624 "the power and all powers" of the father concerning Charles Island [26, river 207 - 208]. However he did not show interest in kolonizatsionny projects, having devoted himself to religious activity. John Gordon and his wife Jean Campbell were active figures of Presbyterian Council in southwest counties [9, river 118]. On May 8, 1633 on the occasion of Charles I's crowning in Scotland John Gordon from Lokhinvar was titled as the viscount Kenmur, lord Lokhinvar [19, river 599]. It occurred one year prior to his early death at the age of 35 years. And still in the biography of the eldest son Robert Gordon the connection with colonizer activity of his father is found. During 1620 - 1621 John lived in France in family of the Protestant priest John Welsh sent from Scotland because of religious beliefs. The last in 1622 addressed to James I the application in which a request for a permission to emigrate to Nova Scotia acted as an alternative to permission to return to Scotland [8, river 93 - 94]. So thanks to correspondence received from the homeland by young John Gordon, data on the new kolonizatsionny project which arose at this time in Scotland reached the French province. The name New Galloway which did not take roots behind the island of Cape Breton island in America in the 30th of the 17th century appeared in Scotland. Royal diplomas of January 15, 1629 notified also on November 19, 1630 on creation on lands John Gordon in the county of Kirkcudbright of the royal city Burgum de Galloway to whom the name New Galloway [5, 458, 556 soon was assigned by river; 9, river 118, 119]. In spite of the fact that in the new city the administration - the mayor, four bal, treasurers and 12 members of city council was created, it did not outgrow the sizes of the mountain small village. So finally it was realized an echo of the ambitious idea of Robert Gordon from Lokhinvar.

Literature and notes

1. Insh G. Scottish colonial schemes, 1620 - 1686. Glasgow, 1922; Hill D. The Scots to Canada. L., 1972; Donaldson G. The Scots Overseas. L., 1966; Slafter E. Sir William Alexander and American Colonization. N. Y., 1873.
2. Rogers Ch. Memorials of the Earl of Sterling and of the house of Alexander. Vol.1. Edinburgh, 1877.
3. Carta Domini Willelmi Alexandri equities Dominii et Ba-roniae Novae Scotiae in America. 10 Septembris 1621//Royal letters, charters, and tracts, relating to the colonization of New Scotland, and the institution of the order of knight baronets of Nova Scotia. 1621 - 1638 / Ed. by D. Laing. Edinburgh, 1867.
4. Carta Domini Roberti Gordoun de Lochinvar militis ba-ronie de Galloway in Nova Scotia in America. 8 Novembris 1621//Ibid.
5. Registrum magni sigilli regum Scotorum: The Register of the Great seal of Scotland, A.D. 1620 - 1633. Vol. 8. Edinburgh, 1894.
6. LaingD. Preface//Royal letters, charters and tracts...
7. Lochinvar (Sir Robert Gordon of). Encouragements, for such as shall have intention to bee under-takers in the new plantation of Cape Breton, now New Galloway in America. Edinburgh, 1625//Royal letters, charters, and tracts.
8. Insh G. Op. cit.
9. Paul J. The Scots peerage: founded on Wood&s ed. of Sir Robert Douglas&s Peerage of Scotland; containing an historical and genealogical account of the nobility of that kingdom. Vol.5. Edinburgh, 1908.
10. Armstrong C. Writing North America in the Seventeenth century. English representations in Print and Manuscript. Ash-gate Publ. Ltd. 2007.
11. Jones H. Origins of the colonial idea in England//Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society. Vol. 85. 1948.
12. Chiasson P. The Island of Seven Cities: where the Chinese settled when they discovered America. N. Y., 2007.
13. Lodge E. The Genealogy of the existing British peerage with sketches of the family histories of the nobility. L., 1838.
14. V. Scott V. Betaka Lokhinvar / Lane//SOBR. soch. M.; L., 1965. T. 20.
15. Guide Book to Cape Breton, Royal Province of Nova Scotia or New Scotland, dominion of Canada. London-Halifax, 1883; Bourinot J. Island of Cape Breton and of memorials of the French regime; with Bibliographical, Historical and Critical notes. Montreal, 1892; Gow J. Cape Breton illustrated: historic, picturesque and descriptive. Toronto, 1893; Charles M. Early Scottish Settlers in Cape Breton//Collections of the Nova Scotia Historical Society. Vol. 18. Halifax, 1914.
16. Fry M. The Scottish Empire. Edinburgh, 2001; Devine T. Scotland&s Empire 1600 - 1815. L., 2003; Scotland. A History/Ed. by J. Wormald. Oxford; New York, 2005; in the monograph "Scottish emigration to colonial America 1606 - 1785". Athens;

Came to edition

London, 2004 Scottish historian David Dobson are limited only to a short mention that, "apparently", Robert Gordon Lokhinvar offered Cape Breton island as the place for creation of colony settlement in the treatise published in Edinburgh in 1625 by P. 27.

17. Finnan M. The First Nova Scotian. The story of Sir William Alexander and his lost colony of Charlesfort, Nova Scotia&s first English-speaking settlement. Formac Publishing Company, 1997.
18. Ross P. The Scot in America. N. Y., 1896.
19. Anderson W. The Scottish nation; surnames, families, literature, honors, and biographical history of the people of Scotland. Vol. 2. Edinburgh, 1862.
20. Alexander W. An encouragement to colonies. London, 1624//Royal letters, charters, and tracts.
21. Biggar H., Wrong G. The early trading companies of New France. A contribution to the history of commerce and discovery in North America. Toronto, 1901.
22. Grant J. The Scottish soldiers of fortune; their adventures and achievements in the armies of Europe. L., 1889; Bar-tlettR. Scottish Mercenaries in Europe 1570 - 1640: A Study in Attitudes and Policies//Scottish Tradition. Vol. 13. 1985; N.V. Laskova. Scots in Denmark the 16th century//Historical etudes: sb. nauch. articles on problems of general and national history. Issue 2. Rostov N / D, 1997; It. The Scottish mercenaries in an orbit of the Polish-Swedish rivalry in the 17th century//Britain: history, culture, education: tez. dokl. Mezhdunar. nauch. konf. 28 - On May 29, 2008 Yaroslavl, 2008.
23. Acadiensia Nova (1598-1779): new and unpublished documents and other data relating to Acadia/Ed. by W.I. Morse. Vol.1. L., 1935.
24. Champlains Map of Cape Breton in 1632. URL: http:// (date of the address: 23.03. 2009).
25. The Register of the Privy Council of Scotland. Second Series/Ed. by David Masson. Vol. 1. Edinburgh, 1899.
26. The Register of the Privy Council of Scotland. Second Series/Ed. by P. Hume Brown. Vol. 2. Edinburgh, 1900.

On April 21, 2010

Barbra Alice
Other scientific works: