Fletcher, Andrew

, an eminent Scotch politician, and ranked among the patriots of that country, was the son of sir Robert Fletcher of Saltown, in Scotland, and was born in 16S3. Being left fatherless while he was a child, he was placed under the tuition of Dr. Gilbert Bunu-t, then rector of Saltown, from whom he is supposed to have imbibed some of those political principles which he afterwards carried to a high degree of enthusiasm. He then spent some years of his youth in foreign travel, and first appeared as a public character in the station of a commissioner for East Lothian in the Scotch parliament, but his | opposition to the arbitrary measures of the court, rendered it necessary to withdraw to Holland; and upon being cited to appear by a summons from the lords of the council, which it was known he could not obey, he was outlawed, and his estate confiscated. In 1683 he came over to England to assist, with his friend Mr. Baillie of Jerviswood, in the consultations held among the friends of liberty in England and Scotland, to concert measures for their common security; and by his prudence and address he avoided giving any pretext to the ministry for his apprehension. He returned to the continent, and in 1685 engaged in the enterprise of the duke of Monmouth. He landed in the west of England, but was obliged to quit the country again on account of a dispute which he had with a man who insulted him, and whom he shot dead, his temper being at all times most irascible. From England he went to Spain, and afterwards passed into Hungary, where he engaged in the war with the Turks, and distinguished himself by his valour and skill. The interest which he took in the fate of his country soon brought him back to join in the conferences which were held among the Scotch refugees in Holland, for the purpose of effecting a revolution; and upon that event taking place, he returned to Scotland, and resumed the possession of his estate. He was a member of the convention for the settlement of the new government in Scotland, and in all his political conduct he shewed himself the zealous asserter of the liberties of the people, without any regard to party distinction, and free from all views of his own interest. In 1698 he printed “A Discourse of Government with relation to Militias.” Also “Two Discourses concerning the Affairs of Scotland.” In one of these he suggests a plan for providing for the poor by domestic slavery, a most preposterous plan to be proposed by a friend to liberty. When a bill was brought into the parliament of Scotland for a supply to the crowq, in 1703, he moved that, previously to this, or to any other business, the house should consider what acts were necessary to secure their religion and liberties in case of the queen’s death, and he proposed various limitations of the prerogative, which were received in the “Act of Security,” passed through his exertions into a law, but rendered ineffectual by the subsequent union, to which he was a determined enemy. He died at London in 1716. His publications, and some of his speeches, were collected in one | volume octavo, entitled, “The Political Works of Andrew Fletcher, Ksquire,” and his Life was lately published by the earl of Burhan, with a very high panegyric on his political virtues. Another very high character of him may be seen in our authority. 1


Life by Lord Buchan. Laing’s Hist, of Scotland.