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Fletcher, Andrew

Fletcher, Andrew (1655–1716). Politician. Fletcher of Saltoun was taught by Gilbert Burnet, minister of his parish, who later described him as ‘a most violent republican and extremely passionate’. He represented East Lothian at the convention of estates and in the Scottish Parliament and was in strong opposition to Lauderdale and James, duke of York (later James II). From 1682 he was in exile in Holland, a supporter of Monmouth. He accompanied Monmouth in 1685 but left the expedition after shooting one of his own side in a brawl. After the Glorious Revolution he returned to Scotland but was soon in opposition to William III, arguing for limitations on the crown. Returned to Parliament again in 1703, he became a prominent opposition speaker, advocating a Scottish national militia and annual meetings of the Scottish Parliament. He was violently opposed to the Act of Union, proposing a separation of the crowns instead. An effective speaker and vigorous pamphleteer, Fletcher was hot-headed and uncompromising. Macaulay wrote that he was ‘distinguished by courage, disinterestedness and public spirit, but of an irritable and impracticable temper’.

J. A. Cannon

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Fletcher, Andrew

Andrew Fletcher, 1655–1716, Scottish politician, known as Fletcher of Saltoun. An opponent of the policies of the duke of Lauderdale and the duke of York (later James II) in Scotland, he fled to Holland in 1682. He joined the rebellion (1685) of the duke of Monmouth but abandoned it as a result of a private quarrel. Returning to Scotland at the time of the Glorious Revolution (1688), Fletcher and others formed a party to work for greater independence for Scotland. They were responsible for the Act of Security (1704), which provided that at the death of Queen Anne the Scottish Parliament would nominate a separate monarch unless Scotland's civil and religious liberties were guaranteed. After the passage of the Act of Union (1707), which he vehemently opposed, Fletcher devoted himself to agricultural experiments and to writing on Scottish affairs.

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