CARSTARES, the Reverend William (1649-1715, chaplain and chief adviser on Scottish affairs to William III). An archive of autograph letters signed ('W.Carstares' and 'W.C.'), and unsigned; letters addressed to him by various correspondents; and correspondence and documents relating to Carstares and members of his family including John Carstares (father), William Dunlop (brother-in-law), Sarah Dunlop (sister), Alexander Carstares (brother), and others, 1650 - 1732, altogether approximately 245 items, various sizes.
Provenance. On William Carstares' death many of his letters and papers were retained by his sister, Sarah Dunlop, who bequeathed them to her son, Alexander. In 1874 the archive was in the possession of his descendant, Graham Dunlop, of Gairbraid (R.H.Story. William Carstares, 1874); it was subsequently sold.
The archive includes:
CARSTARES, the Reverend William. Approximately 93 autograph letters, signed ('W.Carstares' and 'W.C.') and unsigned, most to William Dunlop (his brother-in-law and, from 1690, Principal of Glasgow University) and Sarah Dunlop (his sister), the remainder to his wife and to unidentified correspondents, London, Edinburgh, Rotterdam, Utrecht, Leiden, Namur, and other places, 17 April 1671 - n.d. , approximately 104 pages, 8vo and 4to, address leaves, contemporary and later endorsements, seals (seal tears, splits in folds, tears, duststains); Autograph manuscript of a catechism in defence of presbyterianism, n.d., 48 pages, 8vo; an autograph draft letter on the East India Act and a memorandum on the 'Scottish Councill' and its history and 'inconveniences', 4½ pages, 8vo (1696); 12 documents relating mostly to his imprisonment (1684/5); an autograph fragment and 2 copies (in unidentified hands and incomplete) of his own account of it; a warrant signed by the Earl of Moray for a letter of remission to be issued to Carstares (September 1684);
Other correspondence including:
STUART, James, of Coltness (d.1713). Twenty-one letters, apparently autograph, unsigned, to William Carstares, London, Windsor, Newark, Edinburgh and n.p., 19 January - 9 December 1687 and Edinburgh, 5 August 1699, 9 pages, 4to and 17½ pages, folio, address panels (in 1687 to Carstares at Leiden or to intermediaries at Rotterdam), seals (tears with occasional loss of words, a few small holes, some leaves frayed and discoloured); and approximately twenty-seven letters (most unsigned) to William Carstares by other correspondents, mostly Edinburgh, n.d.  and 23 July - 8 October 1698 (20 letters), partly in cipher, approximately 40 pages, 8vo and 4to;
DUNLOP, the Reverend William (1649? - 1700). Autograph letter signed ('WD') to his wife, Carolina, 30 June 1687, one page, 4to; two licences to perform marriages in Carolina and a letter by his wife; and approximately 15 documents (mostly financial -- accounts, receipts, discharges and similar);
CARSTARES, the Reverend John (d.1686, father of William). Approximately twenty-two letters and documents, some addressed to John Carstares and to his wife (Janet), by members of their family and acquaintances, on ecclesiastical and family matters, approximately 40 pages, all sizes; John Carstares' signed testament (24 April 1664), one page, folio; 7 letters by Alexander Carstares (brother of William) to Sarah Dunlop (his sister), Rotterdam, 1706-1732, 10 pages, 4to; and twenty-four letters by various signatories (mostly unidentified), most to John Carstares, William and Sarah Dunlop, and other relatives including James Mure; a letter by Andrew Kennedy to the Secretary of State (James Johnson), Rotterdam, 1695, giving a dramatic account of the death of the wife of Mr Livingstone of Kilsyth in an accident at Antwerp, together approximately 35 pages, mostly 4to and folio; other items including fragments of letters, copies of memoranda to Their Majesties' Commissioners and the General Assembly in Edinburgh; a few later items including 18th- and 19th-century letters and deeds; a small collection of 19th-century covers; the archive comprising altogether approximately 245 items.
AN IMPORTANT SOURCE FOR THE STUDY OF THE LIFE AND INFLUENCE OF WILLIAM III'S CHAPLAIN AND MOST TRUSTED ADVISER ON SCOTTISH AFFAIRS
'It may be at last in providence I may have some door opened [whereby] I may be in a capacitie to doe some little service in my generation [and] not always be insignificant in my station' (William Carstares to his sister, Sarah, 17 April 1677).
'My Lo[rd] Advoc[ate] was with me this day showing me that Mr Sp[ence] after long endurng of torture did at last decypher some letters of Arg[yll] by which it did appear that I was deeplie concerned in this affair so long talkt of, as to raising money for a rebellion and therefore had begged leave of the Councill that he might first speake to me haveing a kindnesse for me, and therefore attested me to be ingenuous as I loved myselfe, for that torture had made Mr Sp[ence] doe at last what he had so long refused to doe and would make me doe it too ... I told him I knew nothing and I did not know what I might say in torture .... Farewell my poor afflicted wife, thine in true affection W.C.' (to Elizabeth Carstares, 1684).
'It may indeed well be thought that Rom[an] catholicks wish all protestant persuasion to be ruined but I have told you that they certainly now despaire of that work in England and would compone for liberty' (James Stuart, of Coltness, to Carstares, 29 July 1687)
'I had your surprising letter which his Ma[jes]tie hath considered and looks upon it as a businesse of moment ... He is willing to give a full indemnitie to particular persons, but is not as yet so clear as to a generall one; you have done good service to your countrey and ... he is sensible that the presbiterians of that kingdom are his best friends and will I doubt not treat them as such ... I am in a manner his Ma[jes]tie's domestick servant and therefor in different circumstances from what the rest of the brethren of the Presbyterie are' (William Carstares to William Dunlop, 14 May 1690).
'I am sure if I should meddle in all affairs recommended by friends I should soon incapacitate myself to doe any service at all' (to William Dunlop, 2 February 1693).
The archive includes a small number of letters and documents from William Carstares' youth, when, in 1669, he first joined the other Scottish protestant refugees in Holland, and was introduced to the Prince of Orange. The letters and documents from 1684/85 refer to his implication in the Rye House plot, when he was arrested on suspicion of involvement, and named by one of his associates under torture, to which Carstares himself was then subjected in the Tollbooth. On his release and return to Holland, he was appointed chaplain to William of Orange, and was never to leave his service again. At Leiden he received the series of over 20 letters from James Stuart of Coltness, a fellow-protestant and former refugee, recommended to James II by William Penn. Stuart engaged in a long but fruitless correspondence with Carstares, to persuade the Scottish refugees to accept James II's Declaration of Indulgence, even begging him to come over 'incognito and appoint me a meeting were it but for an hour ... You say the want of an indemnity makes the Scots liberty suspect but I assure you his Majesty is most free to it'. A year later Carstares conducted the thanksgiving service on the shore at Torbay when William of Orange's force landed. The establishment of the Scottish presbyterian church after the revolution was largely the result of his advice in the settlement. He accompanied William on campaign to Ireland, and on the Continent (one letter announces the ending of the siege of Namur, 'one of the greatest enterprises of the age'), and was the chief channel of communication between the King and the leading members of the Scottish assembly. The letters to Dunlop refer often to appointments in which patronage was skilfully deployed to strengthen William's position, as well as reporting on events at court and mentioning family matters. The partly-enciphered letters addressed to Carstares from Edinburgh in 1697/98 refer to appointments and political activity in Scotland.
William Dunlop, a Covenanter, married William Carstares' favourite sister, Sarah, in 1681. Charged with having prayed for the success of the protestant rebels, he emigrated to Carolina in 1684, to join Lord Cardross's presbyterian colony, returning only after 1689. Partly by Carstares' influence, he was appointed Principal of the University of Glasgow. His correspondence in the archive is chiefly upon family matters, but refers also to public and theological matters.
'Carstares came to wield greater power than any Scottish officer of State because he could be trusted to wield it for William' (A.I. Dunlop. William Carstares. The Kirk by law established, 1967).