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Earl of Essex in the field, and overreaching him in a treaty, was the induction to that nobleman's tragedy. Lord Mountjoy succeeded in finally subjugating O'Neale ; but it was not till the succession of James, to whom he made personal submission, and was received with civility at court. 249. But chief arose his victor pride, When that brave Marshal fought and
died. The chief victory which Tyrone obtained over the English was in a battle fought near Blackwater, while he besieged a fort garrisoned by the English, which commanded the passes into his country.
Tyrone is said to have entertained a personal animosity against the knight-marchal, Sir Henry Bagnal, whom he accused of detaining the letters which he sent to Queen Elizabeth, explanatory of his conduct, and offering terms of submission. The river, called by the English Blackwater, is termed in Irish, Avon-Duff, which has the same signification. Both names are mentioned by Spenser in his “ Marriage of the Thames and the Medway." But I understand that his verses relate not to the Blackwater of Ulster, but to a river of the same name in the south of Ireland :“Swift Avon-Duff, which of the Englishmen
Is called Blackwater." 1 249. The Tanist he to great O'Neale.
“Eudox. What is that which you call Tanist and Tanistry ? These be names and terms never heard of nor known to us.
“Iren. It is a custom amongst all the Irish, that presently after the death of one of their chiefe lords or captaines, they dee presently assemble themselves to a place generally appointed and knowne unto them, to choose another in his stead, where they do nominate and elect, for the most part not the eldest sonne, nor any of the children of the lord deceased, but the next to him in blood,—that is, the eldest and worthiest, as commonly the next brother unto him, if he have any, or the next cousin, or so forth, as any is elder in that kindred or sept; and then next to them doe they choose the next of the blood to be Tanist, who shall next succeed him in the said captainry, if he live thereunto.” Spenser's View of the State of Ireland, apud Works, Lond. 1805, 8vo, vol. viii. p. 306.
The Tanist, therefore, of O'Neale was the heir-apparent of his power. This kind of succession appears also to have regulated, in very remote times, the succession to the crown of Scotland. It would have been imprudent, if not impossible, to have asserted a minor's right of succession in those stormy days, when the principles of policy were summed up in my friend Mr. Wordsworth's lines:
- "the good old rule Sufficeth them; the simple plan, That they should take who have the power, And they should keep who can.”
249. With wild majestic port and tone,
Like envoy of some barbarous throne. The Irish chiefs, in their intercourse with the English, and with each other, were wont to assume the language and style of independent royalty.
251. Great Nial of the Pledges Nine.
Neal Naighvallach, or Of the Nine Hostages, · is said to have been Monarch of all Ireland, during the end of the fourth or beginning of the fifth century. He exercised a predatory warfare on the coast of England and of Bretagne, or Armorica ; and from the latter country brought off the celebrated Saint Patrick, a youth of sixteen, among other captives, whom he transported to Ireland. Neal derived his epithet from nine nations, or tribes, whom he held under his subjection, and from whom he took hostages.
251. Shane-Dymas Wild.
This Shane-Dymas, or John the Wanton, held the title and power of O'Neale in the earlier part of Elizabeth's reign, against whom he rebelled repeatedly.
“This chieftain is handed down to us as the most proud and profligate man on earth. He mos. Prouy and propale, han v was immoderately addicted to women and wine.
ar He is said to have had 200 tu'ns of wine at once in his cellar at Dandram, but usquebaugh was his favourite liquor. He spared neither age nor condition of the fa . sex. Altho’so illiterate that he could not write, he was not destitute of address, his understanding was strong, and his courage daring. He had 600 men for his guard ; 4,000 fo-t, 1,000 horse for the field. He claimed superiority over all the lords of Ulster, and called himself king thereof."-Camden's Britannia, by Gough. Lond. 1806, fol. vol. iv. p. 442.
When reduced to extremity by the English, and forsaken by his allies, this Shane-Dymas fled to Clandeboy, then occupied by a colony of Scottish Highlanders of the family of MacDonell. He was at first ceurteously received ; but by degrees they began to quarrel about the slaughter of some of their friends whom ShancDymas had put to death, and advancing from words to deeds, fell upon him with their broadswords, and cut him to pieces. After his death a law was made that none should presume to take the name and title of O'Neale.
4,000 fo-t, 1.0. He had 600 mestrong; and his
-Geraldine. The O'Neales were closely allied with this powerful and warlike family, for Henry Owen O'Neale married the daughter of Thomas, Earl of Kildare, and their son Con-More married his cousin-german, a daughter of Gerald, Earl of Kildare. This Con-More cursed any of his posterity who should learn the English language, sow corn, or build houses, so as to invite the English to settle in their country. Others ascribe this anathema to his son Con-Bacco.-See Walker's Irish Bards, p. 140.
251. — his page—the next degree,
In that old time, to chivalry. Originally the order of chivalry embraced three ranks:-1. The Page ; 2. The Squire ; 3. The Knight ;-a gradation which seems to have been imitated in the mystery of freemasonry. But, before the reign of Charles I., the custom of serving as a squire had fallen into disuse, though the order of the page was still, to a certain degree, in observance. This state of servitude was so far from inferring anything degrading, that it was considered as the regular school for acquiring every quality necessary for future distinction.
rank, but all were held in the highest venera-
259. Marwood-chase and Toller Hill.
Marwood-chase is the old park extending along the Durhamn side of the Tees, attached to Barnard Castle. Toller Hill is an eminence on the Yorkshire side of the river, commanding a superb view of the ruins.
256. Seem'd half abandon'd to decay.
The ancient Castle of Rokeby stood exactly upon the site of the present mansion, by which a part of its walls is enclosed. It is surrounded by a profusion of fine wood, and the park in which it stands is adorned by the junction of the Greta and of the Tees. The title of Baron Rokeby of Armagh was, in 1777, conferred on the Right Reverend Richard Robinson, Primate of Ireland, descended of the Robinsons, formerly of Rokeby, in Yorkshire.
258. The Filea of O'Neale was he.
The Filea, or Ollamh Re Dan, was the proper bard, or, as the name literally implies, poet. Each chieftain of distinction had one or more in his service, whose office was usually hereditary. There were itinerant bards of less elevated
26. The ancient English mirstrei's dress.
Among the entertainments presented to Elizabeth at Kenilworth Castle, was the introduction of a person designed to represent a travelling minstrel, who entertained her with a solemn story out of the Acts of King Arthur. Of this person's dress and appearance Mr. Laneham has given us a very accurate account, transferred by Bishop Percy to the preliminary Dissertation on Minstrels, prefixed to his Reliques of Ancient Poetry, vol. 1.
NOTES TO THE LORD OF THE ISLES. 284. Thy rugged halls, Artornish! rung. 284. Rude Heiskar's seal, through surges
dark, The ruins of the Castle of Artornish are situated upon a promontory, on the Morven, or
Will long pursue the minstrel's bark. mainland side of the Sound of Mull-a name The seal displays a taste for music, which given to the deep arm of the sea which divides could scarcely be expected from his habits and that island from the continent. The situation local predilections. They will long follow a is wild and romantic in the highest degree, boat in which any musical instrument is played, having on the one hand a high and precipitous and even a tune simply whistled has attractions chain of rocks overhanging the sea, and on the for them. The Dean of the Isles says of Heisother the narrow entrance to the beautiful salt kar, a small uninhabited rock, about twelve water lake, called Loch Alline, which is in many (Scottish) miles from the Isle of Uist, that an places finely fringed with copsewood. The ruins infinite slaughter of seals takes place there. of Artornish are not now very considerable, and consist chiefly of the remains of an old keep,
a turret's airy head, or tower, with fragments of outward defences.
Slender and steep, and battled round, But, in former days, it was a place of great
O'erlook'd, dark Mull! thy mighty consequence, being one of the principal strong
Sound. holds which the Lords of the Isles, during the The Sound of Mull, which divides that island period of their stormy independence, possessed from the continent of Scotland, is one of the upon the mainland of Argyleshire.
most striking scenes which the Hebrides afford It is almost opposite to the Bay of Aros, in to the traveller. Sailing from Oban to Aros, or the Island of Mull, where there was another Tobermory, through a narrow channel, yet castle, the occasional residence of the Lords of deep enough to bear vessels of the largest the Isles.
burden, he has on his left the bold and moun
nous shores of Mull; on the right, those of at district of Argyleshire called Morven, or orvern, successively indented by deep saltiter lochs, running up many miles inland. ) the south-eastward arise a prodigious range mountains, among which Cruachan-Ben is e-eminent. And to the north-east is the no ss huge and picturesque range of the Adnaurchan hills. Many ruinous castles, situated nerally upon cliffs, overhanging the ocean, Id interest to the scene.
285. The heir of mighty Somerled. Somerled was Thane of Argyle and Lord of e Isles, about the middle of the twelfth ntury. He seems to have exercised his Ithority in both capacities, independent of le crown of Scotland, against which he often ood in hostility. He made various incursions pon the western lowlands during the reign of talcolm IV., and seems to have made peace ith him upon the terms of an independent rince, about the year 1157. In 1164 he reimed the war against Malcolm, and invaded cotland with a large but probably tumultuary rmy, collected in the isles in the mainland of rgyleshire, and in the neighbouring provinces f Ireland. He was defeated and slain in an ngagement with a very inferior force, near Lenfrew.
the vessel, or pursuing her wake through the darkness.
291. That keen knight, De Argentine.
Sir Egidius, or Giles De Argentine, was one of the most accomplished knights of the period. He had served in the wars of Henry of Luxembourg with such high reputation, that he was, in popular estimation, the third worthy of the age. Those to whom fanie assigned precedence over him were, Henry of Luxembourg himself, and Robert Bruce. Argentine had warred in Palestine, encountered thrice with the Saracens, and had slain two antagonists in each engagement :-an easy matter, he said, for one Christian knight to slay two Pagan dogs. 291. “Fill me the mighty cup!” he said,
“Erst own'd by royal Somerled." A Hebridean drinking cup, of the most ancient and curious workmanship, has been long preserved in the castle of Dunvegan, in Skye, the romantic seat of Mac-Leod of MacLeod, the chief of that ancient and powerful clan. The horn of Rorie More, preserved in the same family, and recorded by Dr. Johnson, is not to be compared with this piece of antiquity, which is one of the greatest curiosities in Scotland.
their adsteatestown, Rond asserer, he have read
285. Lord of the Isles. The representative of this independent prina ipality- for such it seems to have been, though cknowledging occasionally the pre-eminence f the Scottish crown-was, at the period of the oeni, Angus, called Angus Og ; but the name as been, euphoniæ gratiâ, exchanged for that f Ronald, which frequently occurs in the enealogy. Angus was a protector of Robert Bruce, whoin he received in his Castle of Dunlaverty, during the time of his greatest distress.
286. — The House of Lorn.
The House of Lorn was, like the Lord of he Isles, descended from a son of Somerled, lain at Renfrew, in 1164. This son obtained he succession of his mainland territories, comprehending the greater part of the three listricts of Lorn, in Argyleshire, and of course night rather be considered as petty princes han feudal barons. They assumed the patroTymic appellation of Mac-Dougal, by which hey are distinguished in the history of the niddle ages. 288. Awaked before the rushing prow, The mimic fires of ocean glow,
Those lightnings of the wave. The phenomenon called by sailors Sea-fire, s one of the most beautiful and interesting which is witnessed in the Hebrides. At times the ocean appears entirely illuminated around the vessel, and a long train of lambent coruscations are perpetually bursting upon the sides of
the rebellious Scottish crew, Who to Rath-Erin's shelter drew,
With Carrick's outlaw'd Chief? It must be remembered by all who have read the Scottish history, that after he had slain Comyn at Dumfries, and asserted his right to the Scottish crown, Robert Bruce was reduced to the greatest extremity by the English and their adherents. He was crowned at Scone by the general consent of the Scottish barons, but his authority endured but a short time. According to the phrase said to have been used by his wife, he was for that year. “a summer king, but not a winter one."
292. The Broach of Lorn.
It has been generally mentioned in the preceding notes, that Robert Bruce, after his defeat at Methven, being hard pressed by the English, endeavoured, with the dispirited remnant of his followers, to escape from Breadalbane and the mountains of Perthshire into the Argyleshire Highlands. But he was encountered and repulsed, after a very severe engagement, by the Lord of Lorn. Bruce's personal strength and courage were never displayed to greater advantage than in this conflict. There is a tradition in the family of the Mac-Dougals of Lorn, that their chieftain engaged in personal battle with Bruce himself. while the latter was employed in protecting the retreat of his men ; that Mac-Dougal was struck down by the king, whose strength of body was equal to his vigour of mind, and would have been slain on the spot had not two of Lorn's vassals, a father and son, whom tradition terms Mac-Keoch, rescued him, by seizing the mantle of the monarch, and dragging him from above his adversary. Bruce rid himself of these foes by two blows of his redoubted battle-axe, but was so closely pressed by the other followers of Lorn, that he was forced to abandon the mantle, and brooch which fastened it, clasped in the dying grasp of the Mac-Keochs. A studded brooch, said to have been that which King Robert lost upon this occasion, was long preserved in the family of Mac-Dougal, and was lost in a fire which consumed their temporary residence.
289. When Comyn fell beneath the knife
Of that fell homicide The Bruce. 293. Vain Kirkpatrick's bloody dirk,
Making sure of murder's work. Every reader must recollect that the proximate cause of Bruce's asserting his right to the crown of Scotland, was the death of John, called the Red Comyn. The causes of this act of violence, equally extraordinary from the high rank both of the perpetrator and sufferer, and from the place where the slaughter was committed, are variously related by the Scottish and English historians, and cannot now be ascertained. The fact that they met at the high altar of the Minorites, or Greyfriars' Church in Dumfries, that their difference broke out into high and insulting language, and that Bruce drew his dagger and stabbed Comyn, is certain. Rushing to the door of the church, Bruce met two powerful barons, Kirkpatrick of Closeburn and James de Lindsay, who asked him, what tidings? “Bad tidings,” answered Bruce; “I doubt I have slain Comyn.” -“ Doubtest thou?" said Kirkpatrick; “I make sicker," (i. e. sure.) With these words, he and Lindsay rushed into the church, and despatched the wounded Comyn. The Kirkpatricks of Closeburn assumed, in memory of this deed, a hand holding a dagger, with the memorable words, “ I make sicker.”
himself of this licence to send back to Dunvegan a sister, or daughter of the latter. MacLeod, resenting the indignity, observed, that since there was no wedding bonfire, there should be one to solemnize the divorce. Accordingly, he burned and laid waste the territories of Mac-Donald, who retaliated, and a deadly feud, with all its accompaniments, took place in form. . 296. Since Matchless Wallace first had been In mock'ry crown'd with wreaths of
green. There is something singularly doubtful about the mode in which Wallace was taken. That he was betrayed to the English is indubitable; and popular fame charges Sir John Menteith with the indelible infamy. "Accursed," says Arnold Blair, “be the day of nativity of John de Menteith, and may his name be struck out of the book of life.” But John de Menteith was all along a zealous favourer of the English interest, and was governor of Dumbarton Castle by commission from Edward the First ; and therefore, as the accurate Lord Hailes has observed, could not be the friend and confidant of Wallace, as tradition states him to be. The truth seems to be, that Menteith, thoroughly engaged in the English interest, pursued Wallace closely, and made him prisoner through the treachery of an attendant, whom Peter Langtoft calls Jack Short.
The infamy of seizing Wallace must, therefore, rest between a degenerate Scottish nobleman, the vassal of England, and a domestic, the obscure agent of his treachery ; between Sir John Menteith, son of Walter, Earl of Men teith, and the traitor Jack Short.
293. Barendou'n fled fast away,
Fled the fiery De La Haye. These knights are enumerated by Barbour among the small number of Bruce's adherents, who remained in arms with him after the battle of Methven.
296. Was not the life of Athole shed,
To soothe the tyrant's sicken'd bed? John de Strathbogie, Earl of Athole, had attempted to escape out of the kingdom, but a storm cast him upon the coast, when he was taken, sent to London, and executed, with circumstances of great barbarity, being first half strangled, then let down from the gallows while yet alive, barbarously dismembered, and his body burnt. Matthew of Westminster tells us that King Edward, then extremely ill, received great ease from the news that his relative was apprehended-“ Quo audito, Rer Anglia, etsi gravissimo morbo tunc langueret, levius tamen tulit dolorem.” To this singular ex pression the text alludes. 297. While I the blessed cross advance,
And expiate this unhappy chance
In Palestine, with sword and lance. Bruce uniformly professed, and probably felt, compunction for having violated the sanctuary of the church by the slaughter of Comyn; and finally, in his last hours, in testimony of his faith, penitence, and zeal, he requested James, Lord Douglas, to carry his heart to Jerusalem, to be there deposited in the Holy Sepulchre.
296. Was't not enough, to Ronald's bower
I brought thee, like a paramour ? It was anciently customary in the Highlands to bring the bride to the house of the husband. Nay, in some cases the complaisance was stretched so far, that she remained there upon trial for a twelvemonth ; and the bridegroom, even after this period of cohabitation, retained an option of refusing to fulfil his engagement. It is said that a desperate feud ensued between the clans of Mac-Donald of Sleate and MacLeod, owing to the former chief having availed
e97. De Bruce! I rose with purpose dread
To speak my curse upon thy head. So soon as the notice of Comyn's slaughter reached Rome, Bruce and his adherents were excommunicated. It was published first by the Archbishop of York, and renewed at different times, particularly by Lambyrton, Bishop of St. Andrews, in 1308 ; but it does not appear to have answered the purpose which the English monarch expected. Indeed, for reasons which it may be difficult to trace, the thunders of Rome descended upon the Scottish mountains with less effect than in more fertile countries. Probably the comparative poverty of the benefices occasioned that fewer foreign clergy settled in Scotland; and the interests of the native churchmen were linked with that of their country. Many of the Scottish prelates, Lambyrton the primate particularly, declared for Bruce, while he was yet under the ban of the church, although he afterwards again changed sides. 297. A hunted wanderer on the wild,
On foreign shores a man exiled. This is not metaphorical. The echoes of Scotland did actually
-“ ring With the bloodhounds that bayed for her fugi
tive king.” A very curious and romantic tale is told by Barbour upon this subject, which may be abridged as follows:
When Bruce had again got footing in Scotland in the spring of 1306, he continued to be in a very weak and precarious condition, gaining, indeed, occasional advantages, but obliged to fly before his enemies whenever they assembled in force. Upon one occasion, while he was lying with a small party in the wilds of Cumnock, in Ayrshire, Aymer de Valence, Earl of Pembroke, with his inveterate foe John of Lorn, came against him suddenly with eight hundred Highlanders, besides a large body of men-at-arms. They brought with them a slough-dog, or bloodhound, which, sonie say, had been once a favourite with the Bruce himself, and therefore was least likely to lose the trace.
Bruce, whose force was under four hundred men, continued to make head against the cavalry, till the men of Lorn had nearly cut off his retreat. Perceiving the danger of his situation, he acted as the celebrated and illrequited Mina is said to have done in similar circumstances. He divided his force into three parts, appointed a place of rendezvous, and commanded them to retreat by different routes. But when John of Lorn arrived at the spot where they divided, he caused the hound to be put upon the trace, which immediately directed him to the pursuit of that party which Bruce headed. This, therefore, Lorn pursued with his whole force, paying no attention to the others. The king again subdivided his small body into three parts, and with the same result,
for the pursuers attached themselves exclusively to that which he led in person. He then caused his followers to disperse, and retained only his foster-brother in his company. The slough-dog followed the trace, and, neglecting the others, attached himself and his attendants to the pursuit of the king. Lorn became convinced that his enemy was nearly in his power, and detached five of his most active attendants to follow him, and interrupt his flight. They did so with all the agility of mountaineers. “What aid wilt thou make?” said Bruce to his single attendant, when he saw the five men gain ground on him. “The best I can,” replied his foster-brother. “Then," said Bruce, “here I make my stand.” The five pursuers came up fast. The king took three to himself, leaving the other two to his foster-brother. He slew the first who encountered him ; but observing his foster-brother hard pressed, he sprung to his assistance, and despatched one of his assailants. Leaving him to deal with the survivor, he returned upon the other two, both of whom he slew before his foster-brother had despatched his single antagonist. When this hard encounter was over, with a courtesy which in the whole work marks Bruce's character, he thanked his foster-brother for his aid. “It likes you to say so," answered his follower; “but you yourself slew four of the five."-" True," said the king, “but only because I had better opportunity than you. They were not apprehensive of me when they saw me encounter three, so I had a moment's time to spring to thy aid, and to return equally unexpectedly upon my own opponents.”
In the meanwhile Lorn's party approached rapidly, and the king and his foster-brother betook themselves to a neighbouring wood. Here they sat down, for Bruce was exhausted by fatigue, until the cry of the slough-hound came so near that his foster-brother entreated Bruce to provide for his safety by retreating further. “I have heard," answered the king, “that whosoever will wade a bowshot length down a running stream, shall make the slough-hound lose scent. Let us try the experiment; for were yon devilish hound silenced, I should care little for the rest.”
Lorn in the meanwhile advanced, and found the bodies of his slain vassals, over whom he made his moan, and threatened the most deadly vengeance. Then he followed the hound to the side of the brook, down which the king had waded a great way. Here the hound was at fault, and John of Lorn, after long attempting in vain to recover Bruce's trace, relinquished the pursuit.
“Others,” says Barbour, “affirm, that upon this occasion the king's life was saved by an excellent archer who accompanied him, and who, perceiving they would be finally taken by means of the bloodhound, hid himself in a thicket, and shot him with an arrow. In which way,” adds the metrical biographer, “this escape happened, I am uncertain, but at that brook the king escaped from his pursuers."