Fletcher Places & People

Clan Fletcher People

Andrew Fletcher of Saltoun (1653 – 1716)

Andrew Fletcher

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. He was born at Saltoun in Haddingtonshire

Fletcher was elected, as the Commissioner for Haddingtonshire, to the Scottish Parliament in 1678. He was a member of the opposition Country Party in the Scottish Parliament, where he resolutely opposed any arbitrary actions on the part of the Church or state. In 1683, after being charged with sedition and being acquitted, he fled Scotland to join with English opponents of King Charles in Holland. He later joined with William of Orange however he realised William would not favour Scotland and his support faded.

In 1703, Queen Anne was on the throne, and there was a campaign to join England and Scotland in a parliamentary union. The failure of the Darien expedition had aroused a strong feeling of resentment against England, and Fletcher and the Country party seized the opportunity to obtain a greater degree of independence for their country. One of his most famous contributions were his “twelve limitations,” intended to limit the power of the crown and English ministers in Scottish politics.

In 1707, the Act of Union was approved by the Scottish Parliament, officially uniting Scotland with England to form the Kingdom of Great Britain. Fletcher turned from politics in despair and devoted the rest of his life to farming and agricultural development in Scotland. He died unmarried in London in September 1716. His last words were ‘Lord have mercy on my poor country that is so barbarously oppressed.’