Military Governors and Imperial Frontiers c. 1600-1800: A Study of Scotland and Empires

By A. Mackillop; Steve Murdoch | Go to book overview

CHAPTER FOUR
AN IRISH GOVERNOR OF SCOTLAND:
LORD BROGHILL, 1655–16561
Patrick Little

When Roger Boyle, Lord Broghill, travelled south from Scotland in August 1656, he left a lasting impression on the Scottish people. Robert Baillie called him 'a man exceeding wise and moderat… [who] hes gained more on the affections of the people than all the English that ever were among us'.2 John Nicoll believed him 'ane very worthy nobleman of great judgement, and weill beloved of all our Scottish natioun'.3 Alexander Brodie even suspected that Broghill 'was to be cald to London from his charge, for his inclination to the people of this nation'.4 Such plaudits reflected the success of Broghill's year-long service as president of Cromwell's Scottish Council. His tenure had seen improvements in the efficiency and fairness of the financial and judicial systems, and a far-sighted attempt to reconcile the Scottish people (and above all the ministers of the Presbyterian church) to the protectoral regime. In many of these areas Broghill was able to build on the policies of his immediate predecessors, the English military governors Robert Lilburne and George Monck; but he also brought something distinctive—in terms of the style of his government and his attitude towards the Scots— which set him apart from the other rulers, and contributed to the success, and popularity, of his schemes. In this chapter I shall argue that this distinctiveness can be traced to Broghill's own background,

____________________
1
In this chapter 'Irish' is used in its geographical, rather than ethnic, sense. For the distinctiveness of the Irish Protestant community as a social and political group see P. Little, 'The First Unionists? Irish Protestant attitudes to union with England, 1654–1659', Irish Historical Studies 32 (2000), 44–58; also P. Little, 'The Irish Independents and Viscount Lisle's lieutenancy of Ireland', Historical Journal 44,4 (2001), 941–61.
2
D. Laing, ed., The Letters and Journals of Robert Baillie (3 vols, Edinburgh: 1841–2), 3, 315.
3
D. Laing, ed., A Diary of Public Transactions … by John Nicoll (Edinburgh: 1836), 183.
4
D. Laing, ed., The Diary of Alexander Brodie of Brodie (Aberdeen: 1863), 187.

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