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NOTE XV. Ere Douglases, to ruin driven,
In Holy-Rood a Knight he slew.-P. 220. Were exiled from their native heaven.
This was by no means an uncommon
occurrence in the Court of Scotland; nay, the The downfall of the Douglases of the presence of the sovereign himself scarcely house of Angus during the reign of James V
restrained the ferocious and inveterate is the event alluded to in the text. The
feuds which were the perpetual source of Earl of Angus, it will be remembered, had bloodshed among the Scottish nobility. The married the queen dowager, and availed him following instance of the murder of Sir self of the right which he thus acquired, as
William Stuart of Ochiltree, called The well as of his extensive power, to retain
Bloody, by the celebrated Francis, Earl of the king in a sort of tutelage, which ap;
Bothwell, may be produced among many; proached very near to captivity. Several
but as the offence given in the royal court open attempts were made to rescue James will hardly bear a vernacular translation, from this thraldom, with which he was well
I shall leave the story in Johnstone's Latin, known to be deeply disgusted; but the valour
referring for further particulars to the naked of the Douglases and their allies gave them
simplicity of Birrell's Diary, July 30, 1588. the victory in every conflict. At length the Mors improbi hominis non tam ipsa king, while residing at Falkland, contrived immerita, quam pessimo exemplo in publito escape by night out of his own court and cum, faede perpetrata. Gulielmus Stuar. palace, and rode full speed to Stirling Castle, tus Alkiltrius, Arani frater, naturâ ac where the governor, who was of the opposite moribus, cujus saepius memini, vulgo faction, joyfully received him. Being thus propter sitem sanguinissanguinarius dictus, at liberty, James speedily summoned around à Bothvelio, in Sanctae Crucis Regiâ exhiin such peers as he knew to be most in
ardescente irå, mendacii probro lacessitus, imical to the domination of Angus-and laid
obscaenum osculum liberius retorquebat; his complaint before them, says Pitscottie,
Bothvelius hanc contumeliam tacitus tulit, 'with great lamentations; showing to them
sed ingentum irarum molem animo conhow he was holden in subjection, thir years
cepit. Utrinque postridie Edinburgi conbygone, by the Earl of Angus and his kin ventum, totidem numero comitibus armatis, and friends, who oppressed the whole country praesidii causa, et acriter pugnatum est; and spoiled it, under the pretence of justice
caeteris amicis et clientibus metu torpentiand his authority; and had slain many of his bus, aut vi absterritis, ipse Stuartus for; lieges, kinsmen, and friends, because they
tissimè dimicat; tandem excusso gladio à would have had it mended at their hands,
Bothvelio, Scythicâ feritate trans foditur, and put him at liberty, as he ought to have sine cujusquam misericordia; habuit itabeen, at the counsel of his whole lords, and que quem debuit exitum. Dignus erat not have been subjected and corrected with Stuartus qui pateretur; Bothvelius qui no particular men, by the rest of his nobles. faceret. Vulgus sanguinem sanguine praeTherefore, said he, I desire, my lords, that I dicabit, et horum cruore innocuorum mamay be satisfied of the said earl, his kin, and
nibus egregiè parentatum.' - Johnstoni friends ; for I avow that Scotland shall not Historia Rerum Britannicarumn, ab hold us both while[i. e. till] I be revenged on 1572 ad annum 1628. Amstelodami 1665, him and his.
fol., p. 135. 'The lords, hearing the king's complaint and lamentation, and also the great rage, fury, and malice that he bore toward the Earl of Angus, his kin and friends, they concluded
Note XVI. all, and thought it best that he should be summoned to underly the law; if he found The Douglas, like a stricken deer, no caution, nor yet compear himself, that he Disown'd by ever y noble peer.-P. 220. should be put to the horn, with all his kin and friends, so many as were contained in the The exile state of this powerful race is not letters. And farther, the lords ordained, by exaggerated in this and subsequent passages. advice of his majesty, that his brother and The hatred of James against the race of friends should be summoned to find caution Douglas was so inveterate, that numerous to underly the law within a certain day, or as their allies were, and disregarded as the else be put to the horn. But the earl ap regal authority had usually been in similar peared not, nor none for him ; and so he cases, their nearest friends, even in the most was put to the horn, with all his kin and remote parts of Scotland, durst not entertain friends: so inany as were contained in the them, unless under the strictest and closest summons that coinpeared not were banished, disguise. James Douglas, son of the ban. and holden traitors to the king.'
ished Earl of Angus, afterwards well known by the title of Earl of Morton, lurked, during the exile of his family, in the north of Scotland,
under the assumed name of James Innes, Roxburgh Castle, that it was called the Foul otherwise James the Grieve (i. e. Reve or Raid, or disgraceful expedition. His ill-forBailiff). And as he bore the name,' says tune left him indeed at the battle of Beaugé, Godscroft, 'so did he also execute the office in France; but it was only to return with of a grieve or overseer of the lands and rents, double emphasis at the subsequent action of the corn and cattle of him with whom he Vernoil, the last and most unlucky of his lived.' From the habits of frugality and encounters, in which he fell, with the flower observation which he acquired in his humble of the Scottish chivalry, then serving as situation, the historian traces that intimate auxiliaries in France, and about two thousand acquaintance with popular character which common soldiers, A.D. 1424. enabled him to rise so high in the state, and that honourable economy by which he repaired and established the shattered estates of Angus and Morton.-History of the House
NOTE XX. of Douglas, Edinburgh, 1743, vol. ii. p. 160.
Did, self-unscabbarded, foreshow
The footstep of a secret foe.-P. 221. Note XVII.
The ancient warriors, whose hope and con
fidence rested chiefly in their blades, were Maronnan's cell.-P. 221.
accustomed to deduce omens from them,
especially from such as were supposed to The parish of Kilmaronock, at the eastern have been fabricated by enchanted skill, of extremity of Loch Lomond, derives its name which we have various instances in the from a cell or chapel, dedicated to Saint romances and legends of the time. The Maronock, or Marnock, or Maronnan, about wondersul sword ŠKOFNUNG, wielded by the whose sanctity very little is now remembered. celebrated Hrolf Kraka, was of this descrip. There is a fountain devoted to him in the tion. It was deposited in the tomb of the same parish; but its virtues, like the merits monarch at his death, and taken from thence of its patron, have fallen into oblivion.
by Skeggo, a celebrated pirate, who bestowed it upon his son-in-law, Kormak, with the following curious directions :-""The manner
of using it will appear strange to you. NOTE XVIII.
A small bag is attached to it, which take
heed not to violate. Let not the rays of the Bracklinn's thundering wave.-P. 221. sun touch the upper part of the handle, nor
unsheathe it, unless thou art ready for battle. This is a beautiful cascade made by a moun But when thou comest to the place of fight, tain stream called the Keltie, at a place called go aside from the rest, grasp and extend the the Bridge of Bracklinn, about a mile from sword, and breathe upon it. Then a small the village of Callender in Menteith. Above worm will creep out of the handle; lower the a chasm, where the brook precipitates itself handle, that he may more easily return into from a height of at least fifty feet, there is it." Kormak, after having received the thrown, for the convenience of the neighbour. sword, returned home to his mother. He hood, a rustic footbridge, of about three feet showed the sword, and attempted to draw it, in breadth, and without ledges, which is as unnecessarily as ineffectually, for he could scarcely to be crossed by a stranger without not pluck it out of the sheath. His mother, awe and apprehension.
Dalla, exclaimed, "Do not despise the counsel given to thee, my son." Kormak, however, repeating his efforts, pressed down
the handle with his feet, and tore off the bag, NOTE XIX. .
when Skofnung emitted a hollow groan: but
still he could not unsheathe the sword. KorFor Tine-man forged by fairy lore.-P. 221.
inak then went out with Bessus, whom he
had challenged to fight with him, and drew Archibald, the third Earl of Douglas, was apart at the place of combat. He sat down so unfortunate in all his enterprises, that he upon the ground, and ungirding the sword, acquired the epithet of TINE-MAN, because he which he bore above his vestments, did not tined, or lost, his followers in every battle remember to shield the hilt from the rays which he fought. He was vanquished, as of the sun. In vain he endeavoured to draw every reader must remember, in the bloody it, till he placed his foot against the hilt; battle of Homildon-hill, near Wooler, where then the worm issued from it. But Kormak he himself lost an eye, and was inade prisoner did not rightly handle the weapon, in conby Hotspur. He was no less unfortunate sequence whereof good fortune deserted it. when allied with Percy, being wounded and As he unsheathed Skofnung, it emitted taken at the battle of Shrewsbury. He was a hollow murmur.'--Bartholini de Causis so unsuccessful in an attempt to besiege Contemptae a Danis adhuc Gentilibus
rhythm is so irregular, and its notes, espe, cially in the quick movement, so mixed and huddled together, that a stranger finds it impossible to reconcile his ear to it, so as to perceive its modulation. Some of these pibrochs, being, intended to represent a battle, begin with a grave motion resembling a march; then gradually quicken into the onset; run off with noisy confusion, and turbulent rapidity, to imitate the conflict and pursuit; then swell into a few flourishes of triumphant joy; and perhaps close with the wild and slow wailings of a funeral procession.'—Essayon Laughter and Ludicrous Composition, chap. iii. Note.
Mortis, Libri Tres. Hofniae, 1689, 4to, P. 574.
To the history of this sentient and prescient weapon, I beg leave to add, from inemory, the following legend, for which I cannot produce any better authority. A young nobleman, of high hopes and fortune, chanced to lose his way in the town which he inhabited, the capital, if I mistake not, of a German province. He had accidentally involved himself among, the narrow and winding streets of a suburb, inhabited by the lowest order of the people, and an approaching thunder-shower deterinined him to ask a short refuge in the most decent habitation that was near him. He knocked at the door, which was opened by a tall man, of a grisly and ferocious aspect, and sordid dress. The stranger was readily ushered to a chamber, where swords, scourges, and machines, which seemed to be implements of torture, were suspended on the wall. One of these swords dropped from its scabbard, as the nobleman, after a moment's hesitation, crossed the threshold. His host immediately stared at him with such a marked expression, that the young man could not help demanding his name and business, and the meaning of his looking at him so fixedly. 'I am,' answered the inan, 'the public executioner of this city; and the incident you have observed is a sure augury that I shall, in discharge of my duty, one day cut off your head with the weapon which has just now spontaneously unsheathed it. self. The nobleman lost nó time in leaving his place of refuge; but, engaging in some of the plots of the period, was shortly after decapitated by that very man and instrument.
Lord Lovat is said, by the author of the Letters from Scotland, to have affirmed, that a number of swords that hung up in the hall of the mansion-house, leaped of themselves out of the scabbard at the instant he was born. The story passed current among his clan, but, like that of the story I have just quoted, proved an unfortunate omen.---Letters from Scotland, vol. ii. p. 214.
Besides his ordinary name and surname, which were chiefly used in the intercourse with the Lowlands, every Highland chief had an epithet expressive of his patriarchal dignity as head of the clan, and which was common to all his predecessors and successors, as Pharaoh to the kings of Egypt, or Arsaces to those of Parthia. This name was usually a patronymic, expressive of his descent from the founder of the family. Thus the Duke of Argyle is called MacCallum More, or the son of Colin the Great. Sometimes, however, it is derived from armorial distinctions, or the memory of some great feat; thus Lord Seaforth, as chief of the Mackenzies, or Clan Kennet, bears the epithet of Caber-fae, or Buck's Head, as representative of Colin Fitzgerald, founder of the family, who saved the Scottish king when endangered by a stag. But besides this title, which belonged to his office and dignity, the chieftain had usually another peculiar to himself, which distinguished him from the chieftains of the same race. This was sometimes derived from complexion, as dhu or roy; sometimes from size, as beg or more; at other times from some peculiar exploit, or from some peculiarity of habit or appearance. The line of the text therefore signifies,
* Black Roderick, the descendant of Alpine.' The song
itself is intended as an imitation of the jorrams, or boat songs, of the Highlanders, which were usually composed in honour of a favourite chief. They are so adapted as to keep time with the sweep of the oars, and it is easy to distinguish between those intended to be sung to the oass of a galley, where the stroke is lengthened and doubled, as it were, and those which were timed to the rowers of an ordinary boat.
Those thrilling sounds, that call the might Of old Clan-Alpine to the fight.-P. 222.
The connoisseurs in pipe-music affect to discover in a well-composed pibroch, the imitative sounds of march, conflict, fight; pursuit, and all the current of a lieady fight. To this opinion Dr. Beattie has given his suffrage, in the following elegant passage:A pibroch is a species of tune, peculiar, I think, to the Highlands and Western Isles of Scotland. It is performed on a bagpipe, and differs totally from all other music. Its
of his own clan and their followers, and The best of Loch Lomond lie dead on her side.
partly of the Buchanans, his neighbours, and resolved to cut off Macgregor and his party to
a inan, in case the issue of the conference did The Lennox, as the district is called, which not answer his inclination. But matters fell encirclesthe lower extremity of Loch Lomond, otherwise than he expected; and though was peculiarly exposed to the incursions of the Macgregor had previous information of his mountaineers, who inhabited the inaccessible insidious design, yet dissembling his resentfastnesses at the upper end of the lake, and ment, he kept the appointment, and parted the neighbouring district of Loch Katrine. good friends in appearance. These were often marked by circumstances
"No sooner was he gone, than Luss, of great ferocity, of which the noted conflict thinking to surprise him and his party in full of Glen-fruin is a celebrated instance. This security, and without any dread or apprehenwas a clan-battle, in which the Macgregors, sion of his treachery, followed with all speed, headed by Allaster Macgregor, chief of the and came up with him at a place called clan, encountered the sept of Colquhouns, Glenfroon. Macgregor, upon the alarm, dicommanded by Sir Humphry Colquhoun of vided his men into two parties, the greatest Luss. It is on all hands allowed that the part whereof he commanded himself, and the action was desperately fought, and that the other he committed to the care of his brother Colquhouns were defeated with great slaugh- John, who, by his orders, led them about ter, leaving two hundred of their name another way, and attacked the Colquhouns dead upon the field. But popular tradition in flank. Here it was fought with great has added other horrors to the tale. It is bravery on both sides for a considerable time; said
, that Sir Humphry Colquhoun, who and, notwithstanding the vast disproportion was on horseback, escaped to the castle of of numbers, Macgregor, in the end, obtained Benechra, or Banochar, and was next day an absolute victory. So great was the rout, dragged out and murdered by the victorious that 200 of the Colquhouns were left dead Macgregors in cold blood. Buchanan of upon the spot, most of the leading men were Auchmar, however, speaks of his slaughter killed, and a multitude of prisoners taken. But as a subsequent event, and as perpetrated by what seemed most surprising and incredible the Macfarlanes. Again, it is reported that in this defeat, was, that none of the Macthe Macgregors murdered a number of gregors were missing, except John, the laird's youths, whom report of the intended battle þrother, and one common fellow,, though had brought to be spectators, and whom
of them were wounded.'--- ProColquhouns, anxious for their safety, had fessor Ross's History of the Family of shut
up in a barn to be out of danger. One Sutherland, 1631. account of the Macgregors denies this cir The consequences of the battle of Glencumstance entirely : another ascribes it to fruin were very calamitous to the family of the savage and bloodthirsty disposition of a Macgregor, who had already been considered single individual, the bastard brother of the as an unruly clan. The widows of the slain Laird of Macgregor, who amused himself Colquhouns, sixty, it is said, in number, with this second massacre of the innocents, appeared in doleful procession before the in express disobedience to the chief, by whom king at Stirling, each siding upon a white he was left their guardian during the pursuit palfrey, and bearing in her hand the bloody of the Colquhouns. It is added, that Mac shirt of her husband displayed upon a pike. gregor bitterly lamented this atrocious action, James VI was so much moved by the comand prophesied the ruin which it must bring plaints of this 'choir of mourning dames,' upon their ancient clan. The following
that he let loose his vengeance against account of the conflict, which is indeed the Macgregors, without either bounds or drawn up by a friend of the Clan-Gregor, moderation. The very name of the clan was is altogether silent on the murder of proscribed, and those by whom it had been the youths. 'In the spring of the year borne were given up to sword and fire, and 1602, there happened great dissensions and absolutely hunted down by bloodhounds troubles between the laird of Luss, chief of
like wild beasts. Argyle and the Campbells, the Colquhouns, and Alexander, laird of on the one hand, Montrose, with the Gra. Macgregor. The original of these quarrels hames and Buchanans, on the other, are said proceeded from injuries and provocations
to have been the chief instruments in supmutually given and received, not long before. pressing this devoted clan. The Laird of Macgregor, however, wanting to have them Macgregor surrendered to the former, on ended in friendly conferences, marched at the condition that he would take him out of head of two hundred of his clan to Leyen, Scottish ground. But, to use Birrel's expreswhich borders on Luss, his country, with
sion, he kept a Highlandman's promise'; a view of settling matters by the mediation and, although he fulfilled his word to the of friends: but Luss had no such intentions, letter, by carrying him as far as Berwick, he and projected his measures with a different
afterwards brought him back to Edinburgh, view, for he privately drew together a body
where he was executed with eighteen of his 300 horse and scó foot, composed partly
clan.- BIRREL's Diary, Oct. 2, 1603. The
Clan-Gregor being thus driven to utter Isles, and there held justice courts, and despair, seem to have renounced the laws punished both thief and traitor according to from the benefit of which they were excluded, their demerit. And also he caused great and their depredations produced new acts men to show their holdings, wherethrough he of council, confirming the severity of their found many of the said lands in non-entry; proscription, which had only the effect of the which he confiscate and brought home to rendering them still more united and des his own use, and afterwards annexed them perate. It is a most extraordinary proof of to the crown, as ye shall hear. Syne brought the ardent and invincible spirit of clanship, many of the great men of the Isles captive that, notwithstanding the repeated proscrip with him, such as Mudyart, M'Connel, tions providently ordained by the legislature M'Loyd of the Lewes, M'Neil, M'Lane, 'for the ti meous preventing the disorders M’Intosh, John Mudyart, M'Kay, M'Kenzie, and oppression that may fall
out by the said with many other that I cannot rehearse at name and clan of Macgregors, and their this time. Some of them he put in ward and followers,' they were in 1715 and 1745 a po some in court, and some he took pledges for tent clan, and continue to subsist as a distinct good rule in time coming. So he brought and numerous race.
the Isles, both north and south, in good rule and peace; wherefore he had great profit,
service, and obedience of people a long time NOTE XXIV.
thereafter; and as long as he had the heads The King's vindictive pride of the country in subjection, they lived in Boasts to have tamed the Border-side. great peace and rest, and there was great
P. 226. riches and policy by the king's justice.'—
PITSCOTTIE, P. 152. In 1529; James V made a convention at Edinburgh for the purpose of considering the best mode of quelling the Border robbers, who, during the license of his minority, and
NOTE XXVI. the troubles which followed, had committed many exorbitances. Accordingly, he assem Rest sa fe till morning; pity 'twere bled a flying, army of ten thousand men, Such cheek should feel the midnight air, consisting of his principal nobility and their
228 followers, who were directed to bring their
Hardihood was in every respect so essential hawks and dogs with them, that the monarch might refresh himself with sport during the
to the character of a Highlander, that the intervals of military execution. With this
reproach of effeminacy was the most bitter
which could be thrown upon him. Yet it array he swept through Ettrick Forest, where he hanged over the gate of his own castle,
was sometimes hazarded on what we might Piers Cockburn of Henderland, who had
presume to think slight grounds. It is reprepared, according to tradition, a feast for
ported of Old Sir Ewen Cameron of Lochiel, his reception. He caused Adam Scott of
when upwards of seventy, that he was surTushielaw also to be executed, who was
prised by night on a hunting, or inilitary distinguished by the title of King of the
expedition. He wrapped him in his plaid, Border. But the most noted victim of justice,
and lay contentedly down upon the snow, during that expedition, was John Armstrong
with which the ground happened to be of Gilnockie, famous in Scottish song, who, preparing to take their rest in the same man
covered. Among his attendants, who were confiding in his own supposed innocence, met the King, with a retinue of thirty-six persons,
ner, he observed that one of his grandsons, all of whom were hanged at Carlenrig, near
for his better accommodation, had rolled the source of the Teviot. The effect of this
a large snowball, and placed it below his
head. The wrath of the ancient chief was severity was such, that, as the vulgar ex. pressed it, 'the rush-bush kept the coiv,' and
awakened by a symptom of what he conceived thereafter was great peace and rest a long
to be degenerate luxury. Out upon thee,' time, wherethrough the King had great profit;
said he, kicking the frozen bolster from the for he had ten thousand sheep going in the
head which it supported; 'art thou so effemEttrick Forest in keeping by Andrew Bell,
inate as to need a pillow?' The officer of who made the King as good count of them
engineers, whose curious letters from the as they had gone in the bounds of Fife.'—
Highlands have been more than once quoted, PITSCOTTIE'S History, p. 153.
tells a similar story of Macdonald of Keppoch, and subjoins the following remarks :- This
and many other stories are romantick; but NOTE XXV.
there is one thing, that at first thought inight What grace for Highland Chiefs, judge ye
seem very romantick, of which I have been By fate of Border chivalry.-P. 226.
credibly assured, that when the Highlanders
are constrained' to lie among the hills, in James was in fact equally attentive to re cold dry windy weather, they sometimes soak strain rapine and feudal oppression in every the plaid in some river or burn (i. e. brook), part of his dominions. "The king past to the and then, holding up a corner of it a little