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brother, John de Seton, had the same fate at Newcastle ; both were considered as accomplices in the slaughter of Comyn, but in what manner they were particularly accessary to that deed does not appear.
The fate of Sir Simon Fraser, or Frizel, ancestor of the family of Lovat, is dwelt upon at great length, and with savage exultation, by the English historians. This knight, who was renowned for personal gallantry and high deeds of chivalry, was also made prisoner, after a gallant defence, in the battle of Methven. Some stanzas of a ballad of the times, which, for the sake of rendering it intelligible, I have translated out of its rude orthography, give minute particulars of his fate. It was written immediately at the period, for it mentions the Earl of Athole as not yet in custody. It was first published by the indefatigable Mr Ritson, but with so many contractions and peculiarities of character, as to render it illegible, excepting by antiquaries.
This was before Saint Bartholomew's mass,
To bringen to Scotland.
Soon after the tiding to the king come,
For he should be y-know
For the traitour I ween.
Y-fettered were his legs under his horses wombe,
So to be brought in hand.
This was upon our lady's even, forsooth I understand,
And Sir John Abel,
Yę know sooth well.
With fetters and with gins* y-hot he was to draw
Thitherward can leap.
Though he cam to the gallows first he was on hung,
Thus, little to stand. I
* He was condemned to be drawn.
† Burned. # Meaning, at one time he little thought to stand thus.
He rideth through the city, as I tell may,
And said, alas !
So fair man he was.t
Now standeth the heved above the tu-brigge,
To play on the green, &c.
The preceding stanzas contain probably as minute an account as can be found of the trial and execution of state cri. minals of the period. Superstition mingled its horrors with those of a ferocious state policy, as appears from the following singular narrative.
« The Friday next, before the assumption of Our Lady, King Edward met Robert the Bruce at Saint Johnstoune, in Scotland, and with his company, of which company King Ed. ward quelde seven thousand. When Robert the Bruce saw this mischief, and gan to flee, and hov'd him that men might not him find ; but S. Simond Frisell pursued was so sore, so that he turned again and abode bataille, for he was a worthy knight and a bolde of bodye, and the Englishmen pursuede him sore on every side, and quelde the steed that Sir Simon Frisell rode upon, and then toke him and led him to the host. And S. Symond began for to flatter and speke fair, and saide, Lordys, I shall give you four thousand markes of silver, and myne horse and harness, and all my armoure and income. Tho' answered Thobaude of Pevenes, that was the kinges archer, Now, God me so helpe, it is for nought that thou speakest, for all the gold of England I would not let thee go without commandment of King Edward. And tho' he was led to the king, and the king would not see him, but commanded to lead him away to his doom in London, on Our Lady's even nativity. And he was hung and drawn, and his head smitten off, and hanged again with chains of iron upon the gallows, and his head was set at London-bridge upon a spear, and against Christmas the body was burnt, for encheson (reason) that the men that keeped the body saw many devils ramping with iron crooks, running upon the gallows, and horribly tormenting the body. And many that them saw, anon thereafter died for dread, or waxen mad, or sore sickness they had.”-MS. Chronicle in the British Museum, quoted by Rit.
* viz. Saith Lack-a-day.
† The gallant knight, like others in the same situation, was pitied by the female spectators as “ a proper young man.”