Mackenzie, George

, viscount Tarbat, and first earl of Cromerty, a person eminent for his learning and for his abilities as a statesman, was descended from a branch of the family of Seaforth. He succeeded to the family estate on the death of his father sir John Mackenzie, and also to his unshaken fealty for Charles II. during whose exile he had a commission to levy what forces he could procure, to promote the restoration. After that event, he was made one of the senators of the college of justice, clerk register of the pri% 7 y council, and justice-general, an office which had been hereditary in the family of Argyle, till it was surrendered in the preceding reign. James II. made him a baron and viscount, but on the abdication of that monarch, whom it woukl appear he had favoured too much, he lost his office of lord-register for some time, until king William III. was pleased to restore it in 1692, being no stranger to his abilities. In queen Anne’s reign, 1702, he was constituted secretary of state, and the following year was advanced to the dignity of earl of Cromerty. He died in 1714, at the age of eighty-three, or, according to another account, eighty-eight.

Douglas describes him as a man of singular endowments, great learning, well versed in the laws and antiquities of his country, and an able statesman. Macky, or rather Davis, adds, that “he had a great deal of wit, and was the | pleasantest companion in the world; had been very handsome in his person; was tall and fair complexioned; much esteemed by the royal society, a great master in philosophy, and well received as a writer by men of letters.Bishop Nicolson notices a copy of the continuation of Fordun’s “Scotichronicon” in the hand-writing of this nobleman, whom he terms “a judicious preserver of the antiquities of his country.” He wrote, 1. “A Vindication of Robert, the third king of Scotland, from the imputation of bastardy, &c.” Edin. 1695, 4to. 2. “Synopsis Apocalyptica; or a short and plain Explication and Application of Daniel’s Prophecy, and St. John’s Revelation, in consent with it, and consequential to it; by G. E. of C. tracing in the steps of the admirable lord Napier of Merchiston,” Edin. 1708. 3. “An historical Account of the Conspiracies, by the earls of Gourie, and Robert Logan of Restalrig, against king James VI. of glorious memory, &c.” Edin. 1713, 8vo. Mr. Gough has pointed out three papers on natural curiosities, by lord Cromerty, in the “Philosophical Transactions” and “A Vindication,” by him, of the reformation of the church of Scotland, with some account of the Records, was printed in the Scots’ Magazine, for August 1802, from a ms. in the possession of Mr. Constable, bookseller, of Edinburgh. 1


Park’s edition of lord Orford’s Royal and No’ule Authors. Douglas’s Peerage, &c.