Andrew Fletcher

Scottish politician and noble

Andrew Fletcher of Saltoun (1653 – September 1716) was a Scottish writer, politician and patriot. He was a Commissioner of the old Parliament of Scotland and opposed the 1707 Act of Union between Scotland and England.

Andrew Fletcher

Quotes edit

  • The Prince he called together all of the [Scottish] noblemen and gentlemen here present which are very numerous, though there be a great many more upon the road. The first have met these three days bygone and proceeded to things upon the matter much like what the English have done, only we find great difficulty as to the regulation of the elections for burghs in the desired Convention. For my own part I think we can never come to any true settlement but by uniting with England in Parliaments and Trade, for as for our worship and particular laws we certainly can never be united in these.
    • Letter to Russell (8 January 1689), quoted in T. C. Smout, 'The Road to Union', in Geoffrey Holmes (ed.), Britain after the Glorious Revolution 1689–1714 (1969), pp. 183-184
  • I said I knew a very wise man so much of Sir Christopher's sentiment, that he believed if a man were permitted to make all the ballads he need not care who should make the laws of a nation, and we find that most of the ancient legislators thought that they could not well reform the manners of any city without the help of a lyric, and sometimes of a dramatic poet.
    • 'An ACCOUNT of A CONVERSATION concerning A RIGHT REGULATION of GOVERNMENTS For the common Good of Mankind: In A LETTER to the Marquiss of Montrose , the Earls of Rothes, Roxburg and Haddington , From London the first of December, 1703'. Later variants express the sentiment in the first person, e.g.:
      • Let me make the songs of a nation, and I care not who makes its laws.
      • Give me the making of a people's songs, and I care not who makes its laws.
    • They may also substitute equivalent words, such as "songs" for "ballads" or "country" for "nation". The sentiment is sometimes attributed to Plato, but does not appear in his works. Austin Matzko has discovered that the mistaken attribution probably originated in an ambiguous sentence in Donald J. Grout's A History of Western Music (1973, p. 8).

A Discourse of Government relating to Militias edit

  • For this reason I shall examine, by what has passed of late years in these nations, whether experience have convinced us, that officers bred in foreign wars be so far preferable to others who have been under no other discipline than that of an ordinary and ill-regulated militia; and if the commonality of both kingdoms, at their first entrance upon service, be not as capable of a resolute military action, as any standing forces. p. 44-45 [1]
  • I cannot see, why arms should be denied to any man who is not a slave, since they are the only true badges of liberty; and ought never, but in times of utmost necessity, to be put into the hands of mercenaries or slaves: neither can I understand, why any man that has arms, should not be taught the use of them. p. 50 [2]
  • The possession of arms is the distinction of a freeman from a slave. He who has nothing, and belongs to another, must be defended by him, and needs no arms: but he who thinks he is his own master, and has any thing he may call his own, ought to have arms to defend himself and what he possesses, or else he lives precariously and at discretion. p. 307 [3]
  • We also know that a good and well regulated militia is of so great importance to a nation, as to be the principal part of the constitution of any free government. p. 346 [4]

External links edit