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THE DOUGLASES.
INTRODUCTION.
page 38


At the encounter between the small body of men accompanying the King and the MacDougals of Lorn, at Dalry in Strathfillan, Douglas was wounded, and Bruce freed himself only by his great personal strength and skill in the use of his weapons from a simultaneous attack made upon him by three of the followers of the Lord of Lorn. It was Douglas who discovered the small leaky boat in which the remnant of Bruce's followers were ferried, two at a time, over Loch Lomond. He spent the subsequent winter with the King on the island of Rachrin. On the approach of spring he made a successful descent on the island of Arran, and succeeded in capturing a large quantity of provisions, clothing, and arms. Shortly after, while Bruce was engaged in an effort to wrest his patrimonial domains in Carrick from the English, Sir James repaired secretly into Douglasdale, which was held by Lord Clifford, surprised the English garrison on Palm Sunday (1306-7), took possession of Douglas Castle, destroyed all the provisions, staved the casks of wine and other liquors, put his prisoners to the sword, flung their dead bodies on the stores which he had heaped up in a huge pile, and then set fire to the castle. This shocking deed, which we may hope has been exaggerated by tradition, was no doubt intended to revenge the atrocious cruelties which Edward had perpetrated on Bruce's brothers and adherents, and especially the death of Douglas's faithful follower, Dickson, who was killed in a conflict in the church. It was long commemorated in the traditions of the country by the name of the 'Douglas larder.' Sir James continued for some time after this exploit to lurk among the fastnesses of Douglasdale, for 'he loved better,' he said, 'to hear the lark sing than the mouse squeak.'


 
THE ANGUS DOUGLASES.
INTRODUCTION.
page 76


GAWAIN DOUGLAS, Bishop of Dunkeld, was the third son of Earl Archibald, and at an early age was presented to the rectory of Hawick. Some time before the year 1509 he was appointed by James IV. Provost of the Collegiate Church of St. Giles, Edinburgh. A few months after the battle of Flodden he was nominated by the Queen-Dowager, Archbishop of St. Andrews, in the room of the King's son, Alexander Stewart, who fell in that disastrous conflict. He was fiercely opposed, however, by Hepburn, Prior of St. Andrews, who had been elected by the canons, and by Forman, Bishop of Moray, who had obtained a grant of the benefice from the Pope, and Douglas withdrew in disgust from the unseemly contest. In the following year he was appointed by the Queen to the See of Dunkeld, and obtained a papal bull in his favour. But he was imprisoned for more than a year, on the charge of having violated the laws of the realm by procuring bulls from Rome. After his release, a rival candidate, the brother of the Earl of Athole, attempted to keep possession of the episcopal palace and cathedral by force of arms. Douglas in the end obtained possession of the See without the effusion of blood, and discharged the duties of the office with most exemplary diligence and fidelity. He was distinguished also for his acts of charity and munificence, and his efforts to preserve the peace of the country. He made a praiseworthy but unavailing attempt to mediate between the rival factions of the Douglases and Hamiltons before the famous skirmish of 'Clear the Causey,' in Edinburgh, 30th April, 1520. At the request of Angus, his nephew, he waited upon Archbishop Beaton, the Chancellor, whose niece Arran, the head of the Hamiltons, had married, and entreated that prelate, both as a churchman and as the official conservator of the laws of the realm, to act as a peacemaker. Beaton, however, had actually prepared for the encounter by putting on a coat of mail under his linen rochet; and in answer to the appeal of Douglas he said, 'Upon my conscience I know nothing of the matter,' at the same time striking his hand upon his breast, which caused the armour to return a rattling sound. 'My lord,' replied Douglas, with merited sarcasm, 'your conscience clatters' (tells tales). After this pointed rebuke he hastened back to his nephew and told him that he must do his best to defend himself with arms. 'For me,' he added, 'I will go to my chamber and pray for you.' 'The conflict terminated in the complete defeat of the Hamiltons, who were the aggressors, and Archbishop Beaton, who took refuge in the church of the Blackfriars' monastery, was assaulted by the victorious party, and would have been slain on the spot but for the prompt interposition of the Bishop of Dunkeld.


 
THE ANGUS DOUGLASES.
INTRODUCTION.
page 81


Angus's policy continued to the end selfish, short-sighted, and unprincipled. He was privy to the nefarious project, devised by a number of the nobles with the approval of Henry VIII., to assassinate Cardinal Beaton; and his brother, Sir George Douglas, informed Sadler in distinct terms that 'if the King would have the Cardinal dead' his wish would be gratified 'if his grace would promise a good reward for the doing thereof.' The Earl commanded the van of the Scottish army at the disastrous battle of Pinkie. He inflicted a sanguinary defeat upon the English Warden, Lord Wharton, who invaded the Western Marches in February, 1548. During the regency of Mary of Guise, as under the rule of Albany and of Arran, Angus's main object was the maintenance of the power of his family and the privileges of his order. The Regent at one time attempted to obtain possession of some of the strong fortresses of the kingdom, in order to garrison them with French troops, and she cast a longing eye on Tantallon, a stronghold of the Douglases. 'They tell us,' says Godscroft, 'also how at another time she desired of him to have his castle of Tantallon to keep warders in, or upon I know not what pretext or for what use. To this he gave no direct answer for a long time, but having a gosehawk on his fist which he was feeding, spake of her saying she was a greedy gled.|R†|r "The devil is in this greedy gled; will she never be full?" But when the Queen insisted, not understanding or not willing to understand his meaning, he told her, "Yes, madam; why not? All is yours, ye shall have it, it is at your service; but, madam, I must be captain and keeper of it. I shall keep it for you as well as any man you shall put into it."'
 
page 82


SIR GEORGE DOUGLAS, of Pittendriech, was an abler man than his brother, the sixth Earl, and had great influence over him. He was thoroughly unprincipled and perfidious, and took a prominent part in the treasonable intrigues of a section of the nobles with the English king. He was master of the royal household and had charge of the young King when the Earl, his brother, hastened to assist Arran in the conflict with Lennox at Almond Bridge. Enraged at the evident reluctance of James to proceed, the brutal baron exclaimed, 'Bide where you are, for if they get hold of you, be it by one of your arms, we will seize a leg and pull you in two pieces rather than part from you;' a threat which the King never forgave. Sir George died before the Earl, leaving two sons: David, who became seventh Earl of Angus on the death of his uncle, and James, Earl of Morton, the celebrated Regent of Scotland.
 
page 83


ARCHIBALD DOUGLAS, eighth Earl of Angus, only son of Earl David, was only two years of age when he succeeded to the titles and estates of the family. His character differed greatly from that of most of his predecessors, for he was styled the 'Good Earl' on account of his virtuous and amiable disposition. He held the office of Warden of the Marches for several years, and discharged its duties with great diligence and fidelity. During the regency of his uncle, the Earl of Morton, who was his guardian, he took part with him in the siege [p.83] of Hamilton Castle and in the overthrow of the Hamilton family. After the execution of Morton in 1581, Angus retired to England, the usual refuge of Scottish exiles. He was honourably received and hospitably entertained by Queen Elizabeth, and during his residence in London contracted a close fellowship with the illustrious Sir Philip Sydney. In 1582, after the Raid of Ruthven, he was permitted to return home, and joined the nobles connected with that enterprise. When the worthless favourite, Stewart, Earl of Arran, regained his ascendancy over the King, Angus retired for safety beyond the Spey. He was privy to the plot of the Earl of Gowrie to seize the person of James in 1584, but its sudden collapse in consequence of the capture of the Earl and the approach of James at the head of a powerful force, caused Angus and his associates a second time to throw themselves on the protection of Elizabeth. At the meeting of Parliament, August 22nd, of that same year, Angus was attainted and his estates forfeited. Though in exile he still continued to exercise great influence in Scottish affairs, and was particularly obnoxious to James and his advisers on account of his opposition to the efforts made by the King to subvert the Presbyterian form of Church government, and a plot was concocted by Arran and Montrose for his assassination. But the apprehension of the person hired to perpetrate this foul deed, who was seen lurking about the neighbourhood of Newcastle, where Angus was living, brought the whole plot to light and prevented its execution. He returned to Scotland in 1585, along with the other banished lords, who expelled Arran from the Court, and obtained a revocation of their forfeiture and the pardon of their offences. Angus, towards the close of his life, was offered, but declined, the office of Chancellor of Scotland. He died in 1588, and leaving no male issue, he was succeeded by—


 
THE RUTHVENS OF GOWRIE.
INTRODUCTION.
page 152


Throckmorton, the English ambassador, mentions that at this time Ruthven was employed by the confederate lords in another commission, because 'he began to show favour to the Queen, and to give her intelligence.' This leaning towards Mary, however, could not have been of long continuance, for he fought on the side of the Regent Moray at the battle of Langside, which ruined the Queen's cause, and he prevented a junction between the retainers of Huntly and the clansmen of Argyll and Arran, and compelled these noblemen to disband their forces. He was rewarded for his services by his appointment for life, in 1571, to the office of Treasurer. He was also appointed Lieutenant of the Borders, in room of the Earl of Angus, and towards the close of the same year he was nominated one of the Extraordinary Lords of Session. But a bitter quarrel now broke out between him and his former friend the Regent Morton, who had taken the part of Lord Oliphant in a deadly feud between that nobleman and the Ruthvens; and in the following year Lord Ruthven was one of the leaders of the party who brought Morton to the scaffold. Titles and estates were liberally conferred on the successful plotters. Lord Maxwell obtained the earldom of the fallen Regent, and Lord Ruthven, as we have mentioned, was created Earl of Gowrie. But the new favourite, Arran, a person of most infamous character, soon made himself so obnoxious that a conspiracy was formed to expel him from the royal councils. In the month of August, 1582, the young King, who had been enjoying his favourite pastime of the chase in Athol, was invited on his homeward journey to Edinburgh to visit the Earl of Gowrie at Ruthven Castle, near Perth. He readily accepted the invitation, but on his arrival found himself a prisoner in the hands of the associated lords, who compelled him to dismiss his minions, and to adopt measures favourable to the Protestant cause. The fate of Rizzio was impending over Arran, when Gowrie interposed and saved his life. James remained for about ten months in the hands of the lords, but in the month of May, 1583, he effected his escape through the assistance of Colonel William Stewart, a brother of Arran, and took refuge in the castle of St. Andrews. The Protestant lords were commanded to retire to their own estates, and to remain there till the King should call them. Gowrie, however, having obtained permission from James, repaired privately to St. Andrews, and, falling on his knees before him, professed his sorrow for his share in the raid and implored forgiveness, which the King readily granted. The Earl, however, retained his self-respect while expressing his penitence. Though there was 'a fault in the form,' he argued that [p.152] the deed itself was not evil, 'in respect of the great danger that both religion and the commonwealth did stand into at that time.' James, overjoyed at regaining his freedom, declared, in the presence of the lords of both parties and of an assemblage of the neighbouring gentry, the chief magistrates of the adjacent towns, and the ministers and the heads of colleges, that he would not impute the seizure of his person to any one as a crime, and that he would henceforth govern all his subjects with strict impartiality and justice. As a proof of his sincerity, he paid a special visit to Ruthven Castle, 'to let the country see that he was entirely reconciled with the Earl of Gowrie.' The Earl entertained his Majesty with great splendour. After dinner he fell on his knees publicly before him, and entreated pardon for the indignity which had been put upon him at his last visit to that 'unhappy house,' assuring the King that the detention of his person was unpremeditated, and had fallen out rather by accident than by deliberate intention. James professed the greatest kindness for the Earl, told him he well knew how blindly he had been involved in the conspiracy by the practices of other persons, and promised never to impute to him his accidental fault. Arran was still a prisoner in the hands of Gowrie, but the King begged so earnestly that his old favourite should be permitted to come and see him 'but once' and then return to his place of detention, that the lords at length consented. As might have been foreseen, the interview was followed by Arran's restoration to the Court and to his former place in the Council. The obnoxious favourite speedily regained his ascendancy over the King, and a proclamation was issued repudiating all the Acts of State and royal promises respecting the pardon granted to the lords who had been engaged in the Raid of Ruthven. That enterprise was declared to be treason, and the royal clemency was to be extended to those who had taken part in it only upon their acknowledging their offence and suing for pardon within a limited time, and submitting to temporary banishment, money payment, or such other punishment as the King, or rather as Arran, might think fit.


 
THE RUTHVENS OF GOWRIE.
INTRODUCTION.
page 154


The tyranny of the wicked and ruthless favourite at length became intolerable. Like Cataline, he was covetous of other men's money and prodigal of his own. His boundless extravagance was naturally connected with an insatiable rapacity, which was gratified by utter disregard of law and justice. He cast a covetous eye upon Gowrie's extensive lands, and, as it was justly said, no man who had an estate [p.153] was safe if Arran set his heart upon his possessions. Day by day some new device was tried to obtain forfeitures and escheats, land or benefices. Angus, Mar, and Glamis, the real leaders in the Ruthven Raid, were banished, the first of them to the north of Scotland and the two others to Ireland. Gowrie, whose submission had pacified the King, was allowed to remain at Court, but he was annoyed and insulted to such an extent by the favourite that he felt it necessary to return to his residence at Perth. The King, who seems really to have liked him, sent Melville to entreat the Earl to return. He complied with the request, and James attempted to reconcile him with Arran, but in vain. The haughty and insolent upstart subjected the Earl to constant mortifications. 'He was vexed and put out,' says Melville, 'in every imaginable way. Arran hated his person but loved his lands,' and was bent upon obtaining them. His wife was still more eager to possess the great estates of the Ruthvens. Arran's wife had previously been married to the Earl of March, the King's uncle-in-law, who had received the royal favourite as a friend. He repaid him by seducing his wife. When far gone with child she petitioned for a divorce for a reason which, Principal Robertson declares, no modest woman will now plead. The corrupt judges pronounced the desired sentence, and public decency was outraged by the pomp and splendour of her marriage to Arran—a precedent, it has been remarked, for a similar case which afterwards occurred to another of the King's favourites in England.* Gowrie had probably some secret apprehension of danger from his powerful and unscrupulous enemy, and he asked and obtained from the King permission to retire to France. Dundee was a convenient seaport for his embarkation, and he repaired thither for that purpose. At this juncture, however, he received information of a plot on the part of Angus, Mar, and Glamis for the expulsion of Arran from the King's council, and was urged to join it. He hesitated for some time, but at length consented, and held himself in readiness to take part with his former associates in the Raid when the time for action arrived. At this stage, however, the plot was betrayed to Arran. Gowrie had received a royal command to set sail within fifteen days, but he still lingered. 'He was timorous of nature,' says a contemporary and friend. He evidently believed, no doubt with good reason, that if he quitted the country some pretence would be found for the forfeiture of his estates. This feeling was expressed in characteristic terms to a friend who visited him at his mansion in Perth, which he had recently enlarged and was furnishing with princely splendour. 'Impius hæc tam culta novalia miles habebit? Barbarus has segetes.' Some difficulties had arisen  about the vessel which he had chartered, and the Countess, who had been recently confined, was lying very ill. The Earl of Athole, his son-in-law, went to the King at Edinburgh and besought an extension of the period limited for Gowrie's embarkation. It was peremptorily refused, and Athole was not even allowed to return to Dundee and speak to his father-in-law before his departure.
 
page 157


On the 13th of April Colonel Stewart was sent to Dundee by sea with a hundred men, bearing a royal warrant, written by the hand of Arran himself, to arrest Gowrie and bring him to Edinburgh. Gowrie was at the harbour when the vessel which bore Stewart arrived. As soon as he saw the brother of his deadly foe step forth upon the shore he retired hastily to his lodgings, which were in the house of one of the citizens, and summoning his servants, barricaded the doors, and set Stewart at defiance. He made good his defence for several hours, but was at length compelled to surrender, and was conveyed a prisoner to Edinburgh. About the end of April he was removed to Stirling to take his trial, or rather to be put to death, for his fate was already determined. But as the Earl had been captured before Angus, Mar, and Glamis had taken up arms, it was difficult for his enemies to prove that he had been a party to the conspiracy. Arran, therefore, devised a scheme every way worthy of him to entrap the Earl into a confession. Accompanied by two of his brothers, and also by the Earl of Montrose, Sir John Maitland of Lethington, and Sir Robert Melville, Arran waited upon Gowrie, in Edinburgh, under the guise of a friend deeply concerned for his welfare. They informed him that the King was highly incensed against him for the part he had taken in the expulsion of the Duke of Lennox, and recommended him to make a full confession of all that he knew of a design against his Majesty's person, and to offer to reveal the particulars if admitted to an interview. In this way he might vindicate his innocence and explain the whole affair to the King. Gowrie refused to follow this 'perilous' advice. They came to him again and again, and urged him to adopt this course. 'Nay,' said Gowrie, 'that shall I never do, for so I should promise the thing which I could not discharge myself of. I should confess an untruth, and put myself in a far worse case than I am in. I will rather trust in the simplicity of mine honest cause and upright meaning, and take my hazard as it shall please God to dispone upon me.' Arran and his accomplices continued still to reason with him as to the propriety and safety of  the course which they recommended. 'That policie is very perilous,' said Gowrie, 'for I know myself so clear of all crimes against his Highness, I should by that means make mine own dittay [indictment], and, not being sure of my life, nor how the King will accept mine excuse, incur the danger of forfeiture for confessing treason to the tynsell (loss) of my life and the defamation and utter ruin of my house.' His treacherous counsellors assured him that his life was safe if he followed their counsel, but his death was determined on if he did not confess that he had a foreknowledge of the conspiracy of the Protestant lords. Gowrie still hesitated unless he had an assured promise of his life. They alleged that it stood not with his Majesty's honour to capitulate with his subject by writing. The Earl, however, still held out. They came again, and 'swore upon their honours and faith that the King sware to them that he would grant him his life if he would disclose those things whereof he should be asked.' 'I will willingly pledge my honour,' Arran declared, 'that your life shall be in no danger if you will do so.' 'I did yield upon this promise,' said Gowrie, 'and did write those things whereof I am accused.' But instead of receiving the answer he had been led to expect, he was immediately placed upon trial. He pleaded, among other things, the solemn promise that had been made to him of his life. 'You must remember,' he said, looking to Arran, who was one of the jury, and his coadjutors, 'how I at first refused, and how you sware to me upon your honour that the King would grant me my life if I made my confession.' To this pointed appeal no answer was returned; but the Lord Advocate interposed and said that the lords had no power to make such a promise. The Earl then appealed to Arran and his associates whether his statement was not true, but they denied upon oath that any such promise had been made. Gowrie made a final appeal to Arran as he was about to accompany the other jurymen to the inner chamber to deliberate, and asked him to remember the good deed he did to him last year in his house. The heartless villain replied, that it was not lawful, 'for, my lord, you are accused of treason, and I was no traitor; besides, my life was safe.' Gowrie, who now perceived the snare that had been laid for him, convinced that he had no mercy to expect, smiled, and with great composure called for a cup of wine and drank to his friends around him. He then desired one of them to commend him to his wife, and to conceal his death from her, and put her in good hope of his life till she was stronger in body, for she was even at this instant weakened through the delivery of his child. The jury soon returned into court with a verdict of guilty, which he heard without changing his countenance; and being about to address the court, he was interrupted by the judge, who informed him that the King had sent down the warrant for his execution. 'Well, my lords,' he remarked, 'since it is the King's contentment that I lose my life, I am as willing to part with it as I was before to spend it in his service; and the noblemen who have been upon my jury will know the matter better hereafter. And yet in condemning me to die, they have hazarded their own souls, for I had their promise. God grant that my blood be not upon the King's head. My Lord Judge, since there are but small oversights whereupon I am condemned, I pray you not to make the matter so heinous as to punish it by the penalty of forfeitrie. My sons are in my lands many years since, and have all their rights confirmed by the King, and failing the eldest, the second is to succeed, A formal deed had been prepared some years before and completed, authorising a surrender to the King of the land and baronies of Ruthven anal Dirleton, in order that a new settlement of them might be made in favour of the eldest son of the Earl and his heirs, reserving only a life interest to himself and his wife.* and is assigned to all my causes.' He was informed by the judge that this request could not be granted; for the penalty of treason, of which he had been found guilty, necessarily included that of forfeiture, and he proceeded to pronounce the usual sentence. 'I pray God,' said the Earl, 'that my blood may satiate and extinguish the bloody rage and ire of the courtiers and bring this country to quietness.' He bade farewell to those around him, and then retired for a short space with a minister to a chamber to his private prayers. He was then conveyed to the scaffold in the marketplace of the town, from which he briefly addressed the people who had assembled to witness the scene. 'Brethren,' he said, 'this spectacle is more common than pleasant to you. I am to die this night, for so it is the King's pleasure; but I shall never ask mercy for anything that I ever thought against him; and the Lord is witness that I was more careful of his welfare than I was of my own and my wife and children.' Then, after praying, he said, 'I have forgotten something which I purposed to speak.' It was broached that he had spoken against many noblemen, and had been their accuser. He indignantly repudiated this charge as utterly false. He accused none, he said; he knew of none but such as had taken the fault upon  themselves. He then, with great composure, loosed his buttons, tied the handkerchief over his eyes with his own hands, then with a smile kneeled down and laid his neck upon the block, and his head was severed from his body by a single blow.
 
page 158


Arran lost no time in securing the spoils of his murdered victim. Gowrie was executed on the 4th of May, 1584. On the 6th of the following month an order was made by the Scottish Privy Council 'to inbring and deliver the escheat guidis of William, sumtym Earl of Gowrie, to the Earl of Arran.' And on the 10th Davison, who was at that time envoy from the English Court, mentions that the King's favourite was already in possession of 'Dirleton, Courland, and Newton, all sometime belonging to Gowrie.' There can be no doubt that the Earl's wealth was the main cause of his destruction. Arran had set his heart on Gowrie's lands, and his profligate and shameless wife was believed, Jezebel-like, to have encouraged him in his rapacity. It is a striking fact that the fate of the royal favourite closely resembled that of the idolatrous queen of Israel. He was put to death by Douglas of Torthorwald in revenge for the prominent part he took in bringing the Earl of Morton to the scaffold, and his body, left on the highway, was devoured by dogs and swine.
 
page 159


The treatment which Arran and his associates, with at least the tacit permission of the King, gave to the widowed Countess of Gowrie and her children, filled up the measure of their cruelty. When the Earl was conveyed from Dundee to Edinburgh, his wife, a Stewart of Methven, set out immediately after his departure, with the intention of interceding with the King on his behalf, but she was so unwell as to be obliged to travel by short stages, and at the slowest pace. Her purpose became known, and a royal mandate was issued forbidding her to come within twenty miles of the King's person. After her husband's execution, Davison says, she was treated 'with the greatest inhumanity that may be,' and Hume of Godscroft declares that she was 'basely and beastly used.' Having come to Edinburgh to entreat for herself and her children while the Parliament was sitting, and 'having fallen down upon her knees before the King, she was trodden under foot and left lying in a swoon.' Even the mediation of Queen Elizabeth in behalf of the Countess and her children was unavailing. She addressed a letter to James reminding him that the deceased Earl was one of the chief instruments in putting the crown upon his head, and that in defence of his Majesty's rights against the murderers of his father, that of his grandfather Lennox and those of his uncle, Regent Moray, Gowrie had lost many relatives and members of his clan, and had subjected his own life and estate to the greatest hazard. She earnestly solicited James's compassion towards the Earl's 'poor wife and thirteen fatherless children.' She reminded him of their innocency and their youth. She begged that by their restoration to their father's lands some monument of that ancient house might abide to posterity, and their names be not rooted out from the face of the earth, through the private craft and malice of adversaries whose eyes could not be satiated otherwise than by the Earl's death. Finally, Elizabeth appealed to James on the score of natural affection to his own, the Gowries, as she states, being 'tied so near by kindred and consanguinity' to himself. Bannatyne, Miscellany, pp. 1—106; Papers relating to William, First Earl of Gowrie, &c., pp. 53, 54.* No attention was paid, however, to these appeals. It need create no surprise that such cruel treatment engendered revengeful feelings in the minds of Gowrie's sons.
 
THE HAMILTONS.
INTRODUCTION.
page 211


SIR JAMES HAMILTON, the son of Lord Hamilton and the Princess Mary, was created EARL OF ARRAN, in 1503, by his cousin, James IV., and obtained at the same time a grant of the island which still  forms a part of the extensive estates of the family. He was also created a privy councillor, and was one of the nobles employed to negotiate a marriage between the King and the Princess Margaret of England. In the following year he was appointed to the command of the auxiliary force of ten thousand men, which James sent to assist the King of Denmark in his hostilities with the Norwegians and Swedes. He was subsequently sent as ambassador to France, and was also placed at the head of the force despatched to the assistance of Louis XII. of France, who, in return for the valuable aid thus rendered him, settled a pension on the Earl for life. After the death of the Scottish King on the fatal field of Flodden, Arran was an unsuccessful candidate for the office of regent, which was conferred upon the Duke of Albany, and he revenged himself for his disappointment by thwarting the Government at every turn, and fomenting dissensions among the nobles. On the departure of the Regent for France, in 1517, and again in 1524, after Albany's final retirement to the Continent, Arran was appointed Lieutenant-General of the kingdom, and had the chief direction of public affairs. But he was utterly destitute of the energy and wisdom of his father, and proved himself a weak, facile, and factious ruler. He was constantly at feud with the Douglases, now represented by the Earl of Angus, the second husband of Queen Margaret; and in the famous skirmish of 'Clear the Causeway,' which took place in the High Street of Edinburgh, in 1520, the Hamiltons, who provoked the contest, were completely defeated. Several of their chiefs and seventy of their men were killed, and Arran himself, along with his natural son, Sir James Hamilton of Finnart, the principal instigator of the quarrel, with difficulty made their escape through the North Loch on a coal-horse, from which they threw its load.
 
page 213


JAMES HAMILTON, the second Earl of Arran and Duke of Chatelherault, was unanimously chosen regent of the kingdom on the death of James V, in right of his proximity of blood to the infant Queen, and was declared heir-presumptive to the Crown. He was in every way a poor creature, the very essence of weakness and pusillanimity, facile in character and conduct, blown about by every wind of public opinion and feeling, 'everything by turns, and nothing long;' changing from Romanism to Protestantism and from Protestantism to Romanism; alternately the tool of Lord Burleigh and of Cardinal Beaton; and, by his combined feebleness and fickleness, he brought great misery on the country. At the outset of his career he professed himself friendly to the Reformed faith, and authorised the translation of the Bible into the language of the common people. He entered into an alliance with Henry VIII. of England, promised to support the schemes of that monarch, and concluded a treaty with him for a marriage between Prince Edward, Henry's son, and the infant Queen of the Scots. In a short time, however, he was gained over by Cardinal Beaton to the Roman Catholic party and faith, and was induced by that astute prelate to renounce the friendship of England and to enter into a league with France. The consequence of this vacillating policy was the invasion of Scotland by an English army under the Earl of Hertford, the sanguinary defeat of the  Scottish army at Pinkie, which was entirely owing to the mismanagement and unskilful generalship of the governor, and the devastation of the whole of Scotland south of the Forth. Arran was rewarded for his services to the French king by the title of Duke of Chatelherault and a liberal pension; but he was compelled, in 1554, to resign the regency of the kingdom, which was conferred by the Parliament on Mary of Guise, the Queen's mother. A few years afterwards the fickle nobleman joined the Lords of the Congregation, and employed all his influence in support of the Reformed faith. He opposed the marriage of Queen Mary with Darnley, and was, in consequence, obliged to leave the kingdom. After the murder of that ill-fated Prince, and the abdication of Mary, the Duke made a fresh attempt to regain the supreme rule of affairs, but was compelled to submit to the authority of the Regent Moray, who committed him and Lord Herries—a zealous partisan of the Queen—prisoners to the Castle of Edinburgh, and they did not obtain their release till after the murder of the 'Good Regent.'
 
 page 214


The Regent Moray was the great obstacle to the accomplishment of their dark designs. and must be put out of the way. His assassination [p.214] was planned by them, and was executed by a member of the family, who fired the fatal shot from a house belonging to the Archbishop of St. Andrews, an illegitimate son of the first Earl of Arran, who was afterwards most deservedly hanged on the Bridge of Stirling for his complicity in this execrable murder. This foul deed was as useless to its projectors as it was mischievous in its immediate consequences to the country. It did not open a road to the throne to the Hamiltons, but it gave over Scotland to three years of anarchy and bloodshed, for which they were mainly responsible.
As James, the third Earl of Arran, who succeeded his father in 1575, had become insane, the real head of the family at this critical period was LORD JOHN HAMILTON, commendator of the rich Abbey of Arbroath, who was a candidate for the hand of Queen Mary, and was deep in the councils of the Queen's party during the civil war between them and the 'King's men,' and an accomplice in all their worst deeds. Condign punishment at length overtook him and the other members of the family. They were attainted and driven into exile in 1579 by the Earl of Morton, and their estates were confiscated and conferred, along with the title of Earl of Arran, on the infamous Captain James Stewart ('A notorious scoundrel,' says Froude), who was a descendant in the female line of the first Earl. The honours and estates of the family were, however, restored in 1585, and Lord John became a great favourite of King James, by whom he was created MARQUIS OF HAMILTON in 1599. Like his predecessors, he left a numerous progeny, illegitimate as well as legitimate. His son JAMES HAMILTON, the second Marquis of Hamilton and Earl of Cambridge in the English peerage, died at Whitehall in his thirty-sixth year, a few days before King James, and was popularly believed to have been poisoned by the Duke of Buckingham.


 
THE HAMILTON-DOUGLASES.
INTRODUCTION.
page 218


JAMES, fourth Duke of Hamilton, was born in 1658. After completing his education at the University of Glasgow, he made a tour on the Continent, and on his return, in 1679, he was appointed one of the Gentlemen of the Bedchamber by Charles II., with whom he was a favourite on account of his humour and wit. In 1683 he was nominated Ambassador Extraordinary to France, and served in two campaigns as aide-de-camp to the French King Louis XIV. On leaving France, after the death of Charles II. in 1685, he was warmly recommended to his successor by Louis himself. The Earl of Arran, as he was then called, received from King James the office of Master of the Wardrobe, in addition to his former post, the command of the Royal Regiment of Horse, and a part of the forfeited estates of the Stewarts of Coltness, who were stripped of their property on account of their adherence to the Presbyterian Church.
 
page 219


When the Revolution took place, Arran adhered to the cause of the exiled monarch, while his father, the Duke, according to a course of policy common at that period, supported the claims of King William, so that whatever might be the result, the family titles and estates were safe. Arran was deeply implicated in Montgomery's plot for the restoration of the Stewart family, and was twice confined to the Tower on suspicion of treason. On regaining his liberty, he returned to Scotland and spent several years there in retirement. The death of his father, in 1694, brought him no accession of title or estate, as both were possessed by his mother, who survived till 1717. But, in 1698, the Duchess resigned the family dignities into the hands of King William, who immediately conferred them on her son, to the no small surprise and disappointment  of the friends of the Government, as the disaffection of Arran was notorious. During the excitement connected with the failure of the Darien expedition, the Duke acquired great popularity by heading the opposition to the ministry, and strenuously supporting the claims of the African Company. On the accession of Queen Anne, he protested against the legality of the meeting of the Convention Parliament, affirming that it ought to have been dissolved on the death of the King, and withdrew from the House, followed by seventy-nine of the members, a step which was warmly resented by the Queen. His Grace took an active part in the discussions respecting the union of the two kingdoms, and was regarded as the leader of the opposition to that measure. But he suddenly abandoned his party at a critical moment—through treachery, it was alleged, but more probably through fickleness and timidity—and, by his desertion, completely paralysed their movements. He continued to keep up a correspondence with the exiled monarch; but his attachment to James was not sufficiently strong to induce him to run much risk for his sake, for, on learning that a descent was about to be made on Scotland, the Duke retired to his estates in Staffordshire, and on the appearance of the French fleet on the coast, he was taken into custody and carried up to London. On the overthrow of the Whig ministry, in 1710, various offices and honours were bestowed upon the cautious and time-serving nobleman, and he was, in the following year, created a British peer by the titles of Duke of Brandon and Baron Dutton. But a considerable number of the members of the Upper House offered violent resistance to this step; and after a long and keen debate, it was decided that no Scottish peer who was created a British peer since the Union had a right to a seat in the House of Lords. This resolution, though quite illegal, was not rescinded till 1782, when Douglas, eighth Duke of Hamilton, was permitted to take his seat in the House of Lords as Duke of Brandon. In 1712 Duke James was appointed Master-General of the Ordnance, and received the Order of the Garter in addition to that of the Thistle, which had been conferred on him by King James. His Grace was shortly after nominated Ambassador Extraordinary to France, but before he could set out for the French Court, he lost his life in a duel (November, 1712) with Lord Mohun, an odious villain already stained with several murders.
 
page 221


WILLIAM ALEXANDER ANTHONY ARCHIBALD, eleventh Duke of Hamilton and eighth Duke of Brandon, married, in 1845, the Princess Marie of Baden, cousin-german of the French Emperor, Napoleon III., from whom he succeeded in obtaining a recognition of his right to the title of Duke of Chatelherault, conferred on the Regent Arran, in 1548, which was also claimed by the Marquis of Abercorn, as the representative in the male line of the Hamilton family. Duke William lost his life by falling down the stairs in a hotel in Paris, in 1863, in the fifty-second year of his age, and was succeeded by his elder son—
 
page 225


It is, unfortunately, only too well known to the whole country how grievously these hopes have been disappointed. The Duke, who is now forty-three years of age, married in 1873 the eldest daughter of the seventh Duke of Manchester, but he still persists in neglecting his duties both as a legislator and a landlord. He is a stranger m his ancestral halls, and his neighbours, his tenants and retainers, are not known to him even by sight. In no part of his Grace's conduct is his habitual disregard of the claims, alike of his own dependents and of the public at large, more conspicuous than in the mode in which he employs his power as the proprietor of a large portion of Arran. That beautiful island is apparently regarded by him as a hunting-park or preserve for the exclusive use of himself and a few congenial companions, from which visitors are, as far as possible, to be excluded, and where even the natives are allowed to remain only on sufferance. The Duke scarcely ever sets foot in Arran, or sees the face of a tenant or crofter there, except for a few weeks in the shooting season. And yet, in order that his privacy during this brief visit may not be intruded on, or his game run the risk of being disturbed, he does everything in his power to entirely exclude his countrymen of all classes from the island. Arran is well known to be the finest of all the watering-places on the west coast of Scotland, whether the beauty and variety of its scenery is considered, or its bracing air and unrivalled facilities for sea-bathing. It is a favourite resort of the geologist and the botanist, as well as of the tourist and the invalid in search of health. But one and all are regarded as a nuisance by its lordly proprietor; and since they cannot be forcibly expelled, every expedient is tried to make their residence in the island uncomfortable and even dangerous. For the purpose of preventing the erection of new and commodious houses, feu charters are peremptorily refused, and sites can be obtained only on a yearly lease, so that the owner is always liable to ejection. The result is that thousands of the citizens of Glasgow, of all classes, who year after year repair to Arran to enjoy its splendid scenery and to recruit their health, are compelled to take up their residence in overcrowded little dens of houses, most unhealthy as well as uncomfortable. Even at Lamlash, which is a good many miles distant from Brodick Castle, and is one of the most popular watering places on the Clyde, permission cannot be obtained even to erect a pier for the accommodation of the crowds of visitors who frequent it, and who are consequently compelled at low tide to land  in small boats, always inconvenient and not unfrequently dangerous. And when they do reach the shore, visitors have no resource but to take up their quarters in what is significantly called 'The Colliers' Row,' or in some miserable low-roofed, smoky little croft-house on the hill-side or in a narrow glen. Such treatment of the citizens of Glasgow is peculiarly unworthy in the representative of a house whose chiefs in former days used to manifest a warm interest in the prosperity of that great commercial emporium, and were proud of their connection with it. It is no less ungrateful than unwise, for surely the owner of estates, whose value has been enormously increased through the trade and commerce of the large towns, is under peculiar obligations to do all in his power to promote the health and comfort of their teeming, toil-worn population. Such an abuse of the rights of property as the Duke persists in perpetrating in this case is fraught with imminent peril to his order, and he and landowners of his class would do well, for their own sakes, to desist from such a high-handed use of their proprietary rights as will raise the delicate and dangerous question whether the Legislature is not bound, from a regard to the public welfare, to interfere with their management, and to restrict their power over their estates.


 
THE CAMPBELLS OF ARGYLL.
INTRODUCTION.
page 227


The most ancient cadet of the house of Hamilton is the family of Hamilton of Preston and Fingalton, represented by Colonel Sir William Hamilton, son of the late Professor of Logic and Metaphysics in the University of Edinburgh, one of the most eminent metaphysicians in Europe. But the DUKE OF ABERCORN is the head of the most influential branch of the ducal family. Its founder, LORD CLAUD HAMILTON, was the fourth son of the second Earl of Arran and Duke of Chatelherault. He was created a peer by James VI., and received from that monarch a grant of the barony of Paisley, from which he derived his title of Baron Paisley. This donation was followed by the gift of the rich Abbey of Paisley, which was sold by one of his descendants; but the Duke still retains 662 acres in Renfrewshire, a remnant of these grants. JAMES HAMILTON, eldest son of Lord Paisley, was created by King James EARL OF ABERCORN, a place with which the Hamiltons had no connection; it seemed to have been chosen for his title because there the founder of the house deserted the Earl of Douglas, and thus greatly contributed to the downfall of the Douglas family. Lord Abercorn was one of the Scotsmen who followed James to England, and profited so largely by the liberality of the British Solomon that he obtained no less than 51,919 acres in Tyrone and 15,860 in Donegal out of the forfeited estates of the old Irish chieftains. Claud, a younger brother of this Earl, obtained a grant of 400 acres in Longford, and 2,000 acres in the barony of Strabane. In 1634 he was created by Charles I. LORD HAMILTON, and BARON OF STRABANE, in the peerage of Ireland. On the resignation of these honours by his elder brother, Sir George, Count of France (another fortunate younger son of Lord Abercorn, who  married Frances Jennings, sister of the famous Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough), he obtained grants of land in Tyrone and Tipperary, and after the Restoration, in 1660, he received other donations of lands in Cork, besides which several lucrative offices were conferred upon him. The eldest son of Sir George Hamilton, who was one of the favourites of Charles II., obtained the grant of an estate in Meath, and £900 a year out of the first-fruits and tenths of the dioceses of St. David's, Hereford, Oxford, and Worcester. His eldest son, James Hamilton, who was one of the Privy Councillors of James VII., and enjoyed his confidence, abandoned the cause of that wrongheaded and ill-fated monarch in the hour of his utmost need, went over to the side of the Prince of Orange, and took a prominent part in raising the siege of Londonderry. CLAUD HAMILTON, fourth Earl of Abercorn, unlike his self-seeking and politic kinsman, adhered firmly to the cause of James after the Revolution of 1688, accompanied him when he came from France to Ireland, and upon his arrival in Dublin was sworn a member of the Privy Council. After the defeat of James at the battle of the Boyne, the Earl embarked with him to return to France, but lost his life during the voyage. He was attainted, and his estates were forfeited for his adherence to the Jacobite cause; but his brother, Charles, who succeeded him in his earldom, obtained a reversal of the attainder. On his death, without issue, the titles and estates devolved upon the Captain James Hamilton who abandoned the cause of King James when it became evident that it was the losing side. Services so well timed as his were sure to meet with a liberal reward. He was created BARON MOUNTCASTLE and VISCOUNT STRABANE, and lucrative offices—civil, military, and ecclesiastical—were bestowed upon his family. His grandson, the eighth Earl, about the year 1745, purchased the estate of Duddingstone, near Edinburgh, which had passed by marriage from the Lauderdale to the Argyll family, and erected on it a mansion that cost £30,000. He was created a British peer in 1786 by the title of VISCOUNT HAMILTON. His nephew, the ninth Earl, was made a marquis in 1790, and was succeeded by his grandson, who held the office of Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland in 1866-68, and again in 1874-76, and was created DUKE OF ABERCORN in 1868. His Grace died in October, 1885, in his seventy-fifth year. The family estates comprise 69,949 acres, with a rent-roll of £45,954.
 
page 232


For several successive generations, though nothing worthy of special notice occurred, the chiefs of the Campbell clan continued steadily to extend their territorial possessions and to augment their power. Kilmun—the last resting-place of the family—the barony of Milport, and extensive estates in Cowal, Knapdale, and Arran fell into their hands in the early part of the fourteenth century. The first of the family who received the title of Argyll was SIR DUNCAN, the great-grandson of Sir Colin and nephew of Annabella Drummond, the Queen of Robert III. He was accounted one of the wealthiest barons in Scotland, and in 1424 was one of the hostages for the payment of the expense of the maintenance of James I. during his long imprisonment in England. At this date Sir Duncan's annual revenue was set down as 1,500 merks—a larger income than that of any of the other hostages, except Lord Douglas of Dalkeith, whose  estates were valued at the same amount. He was made a Lord of Parliament in 1445, under the title of LORD CAMPBELL. He was the founder of the collegiate church of Kilmun, where he was buried in 1453. His first wife was Marjory or Mariotta Stewart, daughter of Robert, Duke of Albany, brother of King Robert III., and Regent of the kingdom during the imprisonment of his nephew, James I., in England. One of the charters which Duncan, Lord Campbell, received from his father-in-law was witnessed, amongst others, by Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland, the eldest son of the renowned Hotspur, who was at that time a refugee at the Scottish court.* This was the second intermarriage of the House of Argyll with the royal family of Scotland. Lord Campbell's youngest son by this royal lady is the ancestor of the Campbells of Breadalbane.
 
page 236


ARCHIBALD, fifth Earl of Argyll, though a zealous Protestant, supported at first the Government of the Queen-Regent; but on her perfidious violation of the Treaty of Perth, which he helped to negotiate, he joined the Lords of the Congregation, became the faithful friend and champion of John Knox, and, along with Lord James Stewart—the one, as Douglas remarks, the most powerful, the other the most popular, leader of the Protestant party—aided in the expulsion of the French troops from the country, and in all the measures which led to the overthrow of the Romish system and the establishment of the Reformed faith in Scotland. The Earl's name appears third on the list of the nobility who subscribed the First Book of Discipline, and he was appointed by the Lords of the Congregation, along with the Earls of Glencairn and Arran, to destroy the 'remaining monuments of idolatry in the West.' On the return of Queen Mary from France in 1561, Argyll was immediately appointed a Privy Councillor, and appears to have stood high in the royal favour. In 1565, however, the English ambassador reports that 'The Queen hateth my Lord of Argyll.' He was strongly opposed to her marriage with Darnley, and united with the Earls of Moray and Glencairn and the Duke of Chatelherault, in an attempt to prevent this ill-fated match by force of arms. When the other Protestant lords were compelled to take refuge in England, Argyll retired to his own country. It was 'a far cry to Lochaw,' and he well knew that his enemies durst not attempt to follow him into the fastnesses of Argyllshire.
 
page 238


COLIN, sixth Earl of Argyll, soon after his accession to the earldom had a quarrel with Morton, arising out of his claim of jurisdiction as hereditary Justice-General of Scotland, and his alienation from the Regent was confirmed by his demanding the restitution of the valuable crown jewels which the Earl had obtained either from his sister-in-law, or more probably through his second wife, who was the widow of the Regent Moray. Athole and Argyll, who had quarrelled about their jurisdiction, and were on the eve of settling the matter by trial of battle, learning that the Regent intended to prosecute them for treason, united in a confederacy against him, and resolved to effect his overthrow. On the 4th of March, 1578, Argyll proceeded to Stirling, and complained loudly to the King of the oppressive and tyrannical proceedings of the Regent, and recommended James to take the government into his own hands, which was accordingly done, and Argyll was placed at the head of the Council of Twelve, appointed to assist the King, who was only twelve years of age, in the management of public affairs. The crafty ex-Regent, however, overreached his opponents, and in the course of a few weeks contrived to obtain possession of the King's person, and to regain his former supremacy. Argyll and Athole mustered their clansmen, and at the head of 7,000 men marched towards Stirling to rescue the King, but by the mediation of Bowes, the English ambassador, a compromise was effected between the hostile factions. Argyll and Lindsay agreed to enter the new council, of which Morton was the head, and on the 10th of August following, the former, on the death of Athole, was appointed Lord High Chancellor of the kingdom. But though the Earl was apparently reconciled to Morton, he cooperated with Esme Stewart, afterwards Duke of Lennox, the royal favourite, and James Stewart, who was subsequently created Earl of Arran, in undermining the influence of the ex-Regent, and was one of the jury at his trial, in June, 1581. Afterwards, however, having discovered the ulterior designs of the French faction against the Protestant faith and the independence of the kingdom, he confessed to the Ministers that he had been mistaken or misled, and joined in the bond against Lennox which led to the Raid of Ruthven and the restoration of the Protestant party to power. But, strange to say, he was soon afterwards found in the ranks of the nobles who assisted James to escape from the hands of Gowrie, Mar, and Angus, the leaders of the English faction (June, 1583). His career was now, however, near an end. He died after a long illness, in October of the following year.


 
THE LAUDERDALE MAlTLANDS.
INTRODUCTION.
page 350


The 'Maitland Club,' which was established in Glasgow after the model of the Bannatyne Club, derived its name from Sir Richard, and published his own poems, along with his 'Cronicle and Historic of the House and Sirname of Seaton.' He was employed in various public affairs by James V., and also by the Regent Arran and Mary of Guise. Though he had the misfortune to lose his sight in 1560, when he was in his sixty-fourth year, his blindness did not incapacitate him from business. He held successively the offices of a Lord of Session and of Lord Privy Seal. He resigned his seat on the bench in 1584, having been more than seventy years in the public service. The close of his life was saddened by the death of two of his sons, William, the Secretary, and Thomas, a youth of great promise, who died in Italy. Sir Richard died, full of years and honours, in 1586, in the ninetieth year of his age. His wife, to whom he had been united for sixty years, died on his funeral day. On the retirement of the veteran judge from the bench, King James sent a letter to the Court of Session, in which he states that Sir Richard 'hes deulie and faithfully servit our grandshir, gude sir, gude dame, mother, and ourself, being oftentymes employit in public charges, quhereof he deutifullie and honestlie acquit himself, and being ane of your ordinar number this mony yeiris has diligentlie, with all sincerity and integrity, servit therein, and now being of werry great age, and altho' in spirit and judgment able anon to serve as appertenes, by the great age, and being unwell, is sa debilitat that he is not able to make sic continual residens as he wald give, and being movit in conscience that by his absence for lack of number, justice may be retardit and parties frustrat, [p.350] has willingly demittit his office,' &c. The veteran judge obtained the unusual privilege of nominating his successor.
 
page 356


JOHN MAITLAND, younger brother of the Secretary, and Prior of Coldingham, an accomplished lawyer and statesman, who was successively Lord Privy Seal, Secretary of State, Vice-Chancellor, and Lord High Chancellor of Scotland. He was born in 1545, and was carefully trained in the knowledge of the law, both at home and on the Continent. On his return he obtained the Abbey of Kelso in commendam, which he shortly afterwards exchanged for the Priory of Coldingham. On the resignation of his father, in 1567, he was appointed Lord Privy Seal by Regent Moray, and a few months later he was nominated a Lord of Session. Like his brother, he was at first inclined towards the Lords of the Congregation, but after the assassination of the Regent he joined the Queen's party, and was in consequence deprived both of his office and his benefice, and was obliged, like the Secretary, to take refuge in the castle of Edinburgh. On the surrender of that fortress he was placed in confinement, from which he was not released till the fall of Morton in 1581, when he was set at liberty by an order of the Privy Council. His abilities and his character commended him to the attention of the young King, who conferred on him the honour of knighthood, and appointed him to the office of Secretary of State, which had been so long held by his brother. In 1586 he was nominated Vice-Chancellor of the kingdom, and in the following year, on the downfall of the infamous royal favourite, Captain Stewart, sometime Earl of Arran, Maitland was raised to the office of Lord High Chancellor. From the time of his admission to the court down to near the close of his career he was virtually the minister for Scotland, and the King seems to have placed implicit reliance in his judgment and fidelity. It was to his credit that he incurred the bitter enmity both of Stewart, Earl of Arran, and of Francis Stewart, the notorious Earl of [p.356] Bothwell, who repeatedly sought his life. He accompanied James in his voyage to Norway in 1589 to bring home his bride, and at Copenhagen, where the royal party spent the winter, he became intimately acquainted with Tycho Brahe, the celebrated Danish astronomer, to whom he addressed some complimentary verses. On his return home, in May, 1590, he was created a peer at the coronation of the Queen, by the title cf LORD MAITLAND OF THIRLESTANE. Finding that his retention of two such important offices as Privy Seal and Chancellor had excited the envy of the courtiers, he resigned the former in 1591. His influence with the King was, however, in no degree diminished, and in the following year he persuaded James to pass the important statute by which the jurisdiction and discipline of the Church were finally legalised and confirmed. He shared in the unpopularity, and indeed odium, which the King incurred in consequence of the general suspicion that he was previously aware of Huntly's design to assassinate 'the bonnie Earl of Moray,' and he never regained the position which he had previously held in public esteem. 


 
THE HOMES.
INTRODUCTION.
page 377


Six months after the battle of Flodden, Lord Home was nominated one of the standing councillors of Queen Margaret, who had been chosen Regent, and was also appointed Chief Justice of all the country south of the Forth. He was deeply implicated in all the intrigues of that turbulent and factious period of Scottish history, and was alternately on the side of the Queen Dowager and of Albany, who succeeded her as Regent after her marriage to the Earl of Angus. He protected Margaret in her flight into England in 1516, and concocted with Lord Dacre measures to overthrow the Government of the Regent. In revenge for these proceedings Albany marched into the Merse at the head of a powerful army, overran and ravaged Home's estates, captured Home Castle, his principal stronghold, and razed Fast Castle, another of his fortalices, to the ground. Under pretence of granting him an amnesty and a pardon, Albany induced Home to meet him at Dunglass, where he was treacherously arrested and committed a prisoner to the castle of Edinburgh, then under the charge of the Earl of Arran, his brother-in-law. He contrived, however, to prevail on Arran, not only to let him escape from prison, but to accompany him in his flight into England. A few months later Home made his peace with the Regent and was restored to his estates on condition that if ever he rebelled again he should be brought to trial for his old offences. But, unmindful of the warning he had received, and disregarding his promise, he speedily renewed his treasonable intrigues with Lord Dacre, the English Warden, who hired Home's retainers to plunder and lay waste the country, so that, as Dacre himself admits, the Eastern Marches were a prey to constant robberies, fire-raisings, and murders. Incensed at this behaviour, Albany resolved that he would no longer show forbearance to this factious and turbulent baron, and having by fair promises induced him and his brother William to visit Holyrood, in September, 1516, he caused them both to be arrested, by the advice of the Council, tried on an accusation of treason, condemned and executed. Their heads were exposed above the Tolbooth and their estates confiscated. Buchanan mentions that one of the charges brought against the Chamberlain was that he was accessory to the defeat at Flodden and the death of the King, which shows at what an early period this unfounded report was prevalent. The historian adds that the accusation, though strongly expressed, being feebly supported by proof, was withdrawn. Another brother, David Home, 'Prior of Coldingham, was shortly after assassinated by the Hepburns. The execution of Lord Home was keenly resented by his vassals and retainers. Among the fierce Border race the exaction of blood for blood was regarded as a sacred duty. Albany himself retired to France and thus escaped their vengeance, but they determined to revenge the death of their chief by slaying the Regent's friend, the Sieur de la Bastie, a gallant and accomplished French knight, whom he had appointed Warden of the Eastern Marches in the room of Lord Home. For this purpose, David Home of Wedderburn and some other friends of the late noble pretended to lay siege to the tower of Langton, in the Merse of Berwickshire, which belonged to their allies and accomplices, the Cockburns. On receiving intelligence of this outrage, the Warden, who was residing at Dunbar, hastened to the spot accompanied by a slender train (19th September, 1517). He was immediately surrounded and assailed by the Homes, and, perceiving that his life was menaced, he attempted to save himself by flight. His ignorance of the country, however, unfortunately led him into a morass near the town of Dunse, where he was over-taken and cruelly butchered by John and Patrick Home, younger brothers of the laird of Wedderburn. That ferocious chief himself cut off the head of the Warden, knitted it in savage triumph to his saddlebow by its long flowing locks, which are said to be still preserved in the charter-chest of the family, and galloping into Dunse, he affixed the ghastly trophy of his vengeance to the market cross. The Parliament, which assembled at Edinburgh on the 19th of February, 1518, passed sentence of forfeiture against David Home of Wedderburn, his three brothers, and their accomplices in this murder. The Earl of Arran, a member of the Council of Regency, assembled a powerful army and marched towards the Borders for the purpose of enforcing the sentence. The Homes, finding resistance hopeless, submitted to his authority. The keys of Home Castle were delivered to Arran, and the Border towers of Wedderburn and Langton were also surrendered to him. The actual perpetrators of the murder, however, made their escape into England, and it is a striking proof of the  weakness and remissness of the Government at that time that none of them were ever brought to trial or punishment for their foul crime. It was Earl James who, when the Covenanters held a Communion in the open air at East Nisbet, on the banks of the Whitadder, was said to have 'intended to assault the meeting with his men and militia, and profanely threatened to make their horses drink the Communion wine, and trample the sacred elements under foot.' To protect the assembled multitude, amounting to at least four thousand persons, from molestation, pickets were appointed to reconnoitre the places from which danger was apprehended and a body of horse was drawn round the place of meeting, but no attempt was made to disturb them.*


 
THE MAXWELLS.
page 4


Though the chiefs of the Maxwells were by no means consistent in their course, or steady in their allegiance during the reign of David II., they contrived in the end to be on the winning side, and honours, offices, and estates continued to accumulate in the family. They were Wardens of the West Marches, Stewards of Kirkcudbright, Stewards of Annandale, ambassadors to England, and Provosts of Edinburgh. They were created Lords of Parliament, with the titles of Baron Maxwell, Baron Herries, Baron Eskdale, and Baron Carlyle, Earl of Morton, and Earl of Nithsdale. They intermarried with the Stewarts, Douglases, Setons, Crichtons, Hamiltons, Herrieses, and other powerful families, and spread out their branches on all sides. If the Maxwells had succeeded, like the heads of the great houses of Hamilton, Douglas, and Scott, in retaining possession of the estates which belonged to them in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, they would have been among the three or four most extensive landowners in Scotland at the present time. SIR HERBERT MAXWELL, of Carlaverock, was knighted at the coronation of James I., March 16th, 1441, and some years afterwards he was created a Lord of Parliament, on the forfeiture of the Douglases in 1455. ROBERT, the second Lord Maxwell, obtained agrant of Eskdale, which remained for nearly two centuries in the possession of the family, but is now the property of the Duke of Buccleuch. JOHN, fourth Lord Maxwell, fell at Flodden, along with three of his brothers. ROBERT, his eldest son and successor, was one of the most powerful nobles in the kingdom, and took a prominent part in public affairs during the reign of James V. and the Regency of Arran. He was appointed Warden of the Western Marches, Lord Provost of Edinburgh, and a member of the Secret Council, when King James was declared of age to assume the government of the realm. He accompanied that monarch in his celebrated raid to the Borders which proved fatal to Johnnie Armstrong and a number of other Border reivers. According to the tradition of the district, this catastrophe was mainly due to the treachery of Lord Maxwell, who seized the Armstrongs on their journey from Eskdale to pay their homage to the King, and pretended to James that these stalwart freebooters had no  intention of coming voluntarily into his presence, but had been forcibly brought to him for the purpose of receiving the punishment which they deserved for their offences. This allegation receives some corroboration from the fact that Maxwell obtained from the King a gift of the forfeited lands of the Armstrongs, which are declared in the charter to have been bestowed upon him for his services in bringing John Armstrong to justice. If so, the curse which accompanies ill-gotten gear seems to haverested on the gift.
 
page 5


Lord Maxwell was taken prisoner at the disgraceful rout of Solway Moss, in 1542. He was on foot, endeavouring to restore some degree of order in the confused and panic-stricken ranks of the Scottish forces, and was urged to mount his horse and fly. He replied, 'Nay, I will rather abide here the chance that it shall please God to send me, than go home and be hanged.' He received his liberty in 1543, along with the other nobles, on subscribing a bond to acknowledge Henry as lord superior of the kingdom of Scotland, to do their utmost to put the government of the country and its fortresses into the hands of the English King, and to have the infant princess delivered to him and brought up in England, with the intention of ultimately marrying her to his son Prince Edward. They were also pledged to return to their captivity in England if they failed to carry this project into effect. Lord Maxwell was the only one of the whole number who was faithful to his pledge, and was sent to the Tower by King Henry in return for his honourable conduct. The Master of Maxwell, the Earl's eldest son, also fell into the hands of the English in 1545, and every effort was made to induce them to agree to give up all their strongholds to the English King. Maxwell's offer to prove himself a true Englishman by serving tinder Hertford against  Scotland was not satisfactory to Henry, and he at last succeeded in extorting from the Baron the strong castle of Carlaverock as the price of his liberty, 'quhilk was a great discomfort to the counttie.'The Regent Arran, however, succeeded in recovering this important fortress, and in capturing the other two castles, Lochmaben and Thrieve, belonging to Maxwell, whom he put in prison at Dumfries. After the murder of Cardinal Beaton, Maxwell was set at liberty, and having made a public and solemn protestation that it was from 'fear and danger' of his life that he had given up Carlaverock to the English, his castle of Lochmaben was restored to him, and he was appointed Warden of the West Marches.
 It appears that during his captivity in England, Lord Maxwell had become favourable to the doctrines of the Reformed Church, though there is no evidence that he had joined its communion. It was he who introduced into the first Parliament of Queen Mary— 1542-43—a Bill to secure the people liberty topossess and to read the sacred Scriptures in the vernacular tongue, but under the restriction that 'na man despute or hold opinions under the pains contenit in the Acts of Parliament.' The measure was approved by the Regent Arran, and passed into a law. 'So,' says John Knox, 'by Act of Parliament it was maid free to all men and women to reid the Scriptures in their awen toung, or in the English toung: and so was all actes maid on the contrait abolished…Then mycht have been seen the Byble lying almaist upoun evrie gentlemanis table. The New Testament was borne about in many manis handes. We grant that some(alace) prophaned that blessed wourd; for some that, perchance, had never it maist common in thare hand; thei would chope thare familiares on the cheak with it, and say, "This has lyne hyd under my bedfeitt these ten years." Others wold glorie, "O how oft have I bein in danger for this booke: how secreatlie have I stollen fra my wyff at mydnicht to reid upoun it."'
 
page 10


Lord Maxwell became closely associated with the royal favourites, Esme Stewart, Lord d'Aubigny, andthe profligate and unprincipled Captain James Stewart, afterwards Earl of Arran, the bitter enemies of Regent Morton, by whom he was brought to the block. After Morton's forfeiture and execution Maxwell obtained from King James, no doubt through their influence, a grant both of the title and of the lands of the earldom of Morton. The success of the conspiracy known as the 'Raid of Ruthven,' however, expelled from the Court the worthless favourites of the young King, and placed Maxwell in opposition to the dominant party. Complaints, no doubt well founded, were made regarding the disturbed state of the Borders under his Wardenship, and it appeared that his 'household men, servants, or tenants, dwelling upon his lands, or within the jurisdiction of his Wardenry, many of them being of the name of Armstrong, accompanied by some of the Grahams, Englishmen, and others, their accomplices, common thieves, to the number of nine score persons, went, on 30th October, 1582, under silence, to the lands of Easter Montberengier, and carried off eighteen score of sheep, with plenishing estimated at the value of 290 merks. Immediately thereafter, or on the same night, they proceeded to the lands of Dewchar, from which they stole twenty-two score of sheep, twenty-four kye and oxen, and plenishing worth 100 merks; and the lands of Whitehope they despoiled of two hundred sheep and oxen, and three horses, with plenishing worth 100 merks.' To crown all, they seized upon Thomas Dalgleish and Adam Scott, two of the persons whom they had ruthlessly plundered, and 'forcibly carried them into Annandale, in which, and sometimes in England and in other parts, they kept them in strait prison in irons, and shamefully bound the said [p.10] Thomas to a tree with fetters, intending to compel them to pay an exorbitant ransom.' The same course is followed at the present day by the banditti in Greece and in some parts of Italy.
 
page 11


The escape of the King from the Ruthven lords, and the consequent return of Arran to power, produced an immediate change in Morton's relations to the Court. The nobles who had taken part in the Raid mustered their forces and took possession of Stirling Castle. On the other hand James, with the assistance of Morton, assembled an army of twelve thousand men to vindicate his authority, and on his approach to Stirling the insurgents disbanded their forces and fled into England. But the friendly feeling between the royal favourite and the Earl of Morton was not of long continuance. Arran had obtained a grant of the barony of Kinneil through the forfeiture of the Hamiltons, and he endeavoured to prevail upon Morton to accept this estate in exchange for his barony of Mearns and the lands of Maxwellheugh. Morton naturally refused to barter the ancient inheritance of his family for lands which a revolution at Court would almost certainly restore to their rightful owners. The worthless favourite was greatly incensed at this refusal, and speedily made Morton feel the weight of his resentment. He set himself to revive the old feud between the Maxwells and the Johnstones. The Earl was denounced as a rebel by the Council, on the plea that he had failed to present before their lordships two persons of the name of Armstrong, whom it was alleged he had protected in their depredations. He was ordered to enter his person within six days in ward in the castle of Blackness, and to deliver up the castles of Carlaverock and Thrieve, and his other strongholds within twenty-four hours, under the penalty of treason. It was also ordered that  the Earl's friends on the West Borders should appear personally before the Laird of Johnstone,who was now again Warden of the West Marches, upon a certain day, to give security for their due obedience to the King, under the pain of rebellion. To crown all, a commission was given to the Warden to pursue and seize Morton; and two companies of hired soldiers were dispatched by Arran to assist Johnstone in executing these decrees.
 
page 12


Morton, thus forced to the wall, adopted prompt and vigorous measures for his defence. The defeat of the mercenaries on Crawford Moor by Robert Maxwell—a natural brother of the Earl—the destruction of the house of Lochwood, and the capture of Johnstone himself, when he was lying in ambush to attack Robert Maxwell, speedily followed. On the other hand, the King, with advice of his Council, revoked and annulled the grant which he had made to Lord Maxwell of the lands and earldom of Morton. So formidable did the Earl appear to the Government, that £20,000 was granted by the Convention of the Estates to levy soldiers for the suppression of his rebellion, and all the men on the south of the Forth capable of bearing arms were commanded to be in readiness to attend the King in an expedition against the powerful and refractory baron, of whom it was justly said that 'few noblemen in Scotland could surpass him in military power and experience.' But the projected raid into Dumfriesshire was deferred for some months, and ultimately abandoned. Even Arran himself was so much impressed by the indomitable energy and power of resistance which Morton had displayed, that he made an unsuccessful attempt to be reconciled to him. The downfall of the profligate and unprincipled favourite was, however, at hand. The banished lords entered Scotland in October, 1585, at the head of a small body of troops, and were joined by Bothwell, Home, Yester, Cessford, Drumlanrig, and other powerful barons. Maxwell brought to their aid 1,300 foot and 700 horse, while the forces of all the other lords scarcely equalled that number. The insurgents marched to Stirling, where the King and his worthless favourite lay, and without difficulty obtained possession both of the town and the castle. Hume of Godscroft mentions, with great indignation, the conduct of the Annandale Borderers under Maxwell. True to their predatory character, they carried off the gentlemen's horses, which had been committed to the care of their valets, respecting neither friend nor foe; and what was worse, they robbed the sick in the pest-lodges that were in the fields about Stirling, and  carried away the clothes of the infected. Arran fled for his life, accompanied only by a single attendant; the banished lords, along with Morton, were pardoned and received into favour, their estates were restored, and an indemnity was shortly after granted to them by Parliament for all their unlawful doings within the kingdom.
Emboldened by his victory over Arran, Morton, who was a zealous Roman Catholic, assembled a number of his retainers and supporters of the old Church at Dumfries, and marched in procession at their head to the Collegiate Church of Lincluden, in which he caused mass to be openly celebrated. As stringent laws had been enacted by the Estates against the celebration of mass, this conduct excited general indignation. Morton was summoned to appear before the Privy Council, and was imprisoned by order of the King in the castle of Edinburgh. Shortly after, the forfeiture of Regent Morton was rescinded, and it was declared that Archibald, Earl of Angus, as his nearest heir of line, should succeed to the lands and dignities of the earldom. Lord Maxwell, however, was not deprived of the title of Earl of Morton, which was subsequently given to him in royal charters and commissions, and which he continued to use till his death.
 
page 13


Next day the King summoned the castles of Lochmaben, Langholm, Thrieve, and Carlaverock, to surrender. They all obeyed except Lochmaben, which was commanded by David Maxwell, brother to the Laird of Cowhill, who imagined that he would be able to hold the castle against the royal forces inconsequence of their want of artillery. The King himself accompanied his troops to Lochmaben, andhaving 'borrowed a sieging train from the English Warden at Carlisle,' battered the fortress so effectually that the garrison were constrained to capitulate. They surrendered to Sir William Stewart, brother of Arran, on the written assurance that their lives should be spared. This pledge, however, was shamefully violated by the King, who ordered the captain and four of the chief men of the garrison to be hanged before the castle gate, on the ground that they had refused to surrender when first summoned.
 
page 48


SIR JOHN MAXWELL, fourth Lord Herries of Terregles, was one of the most prominent and active politicians during the troublous times of Queen Mary and James VI. He was born about the year 1512. As he was for a time heir-presumptive to his brother, and then to two of his nephews, who were minors, he was frequently designated Master of Maxwell. His position as tutor to his nephews, and possessor of a great part of the Herries estates, made him one of the most powerful barons in the south of Scotland and gave him great influence at Court. He subsequently acquired from the sisters of his wife their shares of their father's property, and thus the whole of the extensive Herries estates were vested in him. The Regent, Arran, had intended to marry Agnes, Lady Herries, to whom he was tutor, to his own son, John Hamilton, but he resigned the lady to John Maxwell, in order to detach him from the Earl of Lennox and the English faction. The ostensible reasons for this step were the good service which Sir John had rendered in drawing a great part of the inhabitants of the West Borders from the assurance of the English to the obedience of 'our sovereign lady' and the Regent, his rescuing from the 'auld enemies' of Scotland the houses of Torthorwald and Cockpule and divers other strengths, and his expelling the English from those parts of the kingdom. But in addition mention is made of a much more cogent reason—the payment of 'divers great sums of money' to Arran 'and profits for his advantage.'
 
page 51


After the death of his brother, Robert, sixth Lord Maxwell, in  September, 1562, the Master of Maxwell was appointed Warden of the West Marches, but he resigned it in the following year, on the ground that he was at deadly feud with most of the clans of that district, and the office was temporarily conferred upon his uncle, Sir James Douglas of Drumlanrig. Maxwell exerted himself with characteristic energy to restore and maintain peace on the Borders, but he encountered many difficulties, especially from the remissness both of the great proprietors and of the yeomen, in accompanying him on days of truce, and also from the reluctance of Lord Dacre, the English Warden, to redress the Border grievances of which he complained. When dissensions arose between Queen Mary and many of her nobles on account of her marriage with Darnley, Sir John Maxwell laboured to obtain redress for the Protestant lords, and entertained them most honourably at Dumfries. He, in consequence, incurred the displeasure of the Queen, which was not, however, followed by any injurious consequences. When Mary and Darnley came to Dumfries with all their forces, in pursuit of the Earl of Moray and the other nobles engaged in the 'Roundabout Raid,' they sent Sir John Maxwell to intercede for them with the Queen, as he had taken no action against her, though he professed to belong to the confederate lords. His intercession, if it was really made, was of no avail. But he made his own peace with Mary, and returning to Dumfries told the lords that he could not help them, and advised them to flee into England. All his past offences were forgiven him by the Queen and her husband, and on January 1st, 1565-6, they declared that after an investigation by the Lords of the Secret Council, they believed all the charges against him 'to be perfectly untrue and founded upon particular malice;' and as to some of the charges, 'they understood right perfectly the plain contrary. He has been and is our true servant and our good justiciar, and in execution of our service has taken great travails and pains, bearing a weighty charge in the common service of this our realm many years by-past, and executed the laws upon the many and notable offenders, defending our good subjects from such enormities and oppressions as is laid to his charge; nor has received no augmentation or any reversion, as is unjustly alleged, nor no gold from England; neither has nor will discover our secrets to them nor others, to the hurt of us his sovereign, this our realm, nor subjects.' Her majesty also faithfully promised that if Sir John, who, in the execution of justice on malefactors, had fallen under the deadly feud of the principal clans and broken men of the  West Marches, should be slain or die during the time of his exercise of the office of Warden, his wife and eldest son should have the ward of all his lands and heritable possessions which by his decease should fall into the hands of the Crown, with the marriage of his son and heir for the time. A short time afterwards his holding of his lands and baronies was changed from ward and relief to free blench in consideration of his 'good, faithful, and gratuitous services in the exercise of the offices of warden and justiciar for the space of twenty-two years or thereby past; by whom, with vast solicitude and sustained effort, and by the execution of justice upon a great number of perverse men, chief factions, and malefactors, dwelling in the said West Marches, who formerly could be restrained by no means from theft, slaughter, and depredation, the country was reduced to due and lawful obedience; for which service rendered and justice administered the said John remained trader the mortal hatred of a great number of factions and perverse men within the said bounds, and in that service he had spent a great part of his life and had incurred great expense.' Book of Carlaverock, i. pp. 513-14.*ar Sir John Maxwell became Lord Herries in the end of the year 1566, and was thenceforth known by that designation throughout the momentous affairs in which he took a prominent part. When Bothwell was brought to trial for the murder of Darnley, Lord Herries was one of the assize who acquitted him, on the ground of an error, which was no doubt designed, respecting the day on which the crime was committed; but Sir James Melville asserts that when a rumour went abroad that Mary was about to marry the murderer of her husband, Lord Herries came expressly to Edinburgh to entreat her, on his knees, not to take that fatal step, and that the Queen recommended him to leave the city at once, in order to avoid Bothwell's resentment. It has been argued that this statement is scarcely reconcilable with the fact that Lord Herries sat on Bothwell's assize; that he signed the bond recommending Bothwell as a suitable husband to the Queen (the most disgraceful and cowardly of all the base transactions of the Scottish nobility of that age), and that he was one of the witnesses to the marriage contract subscribed by them on the 14th of May, 1567, the day before the marriage took place. But these proceedings are quite in keeping with the portrait drawn of him at this juncture by Throckmorton, the English ambassador, in a letter to Sir William Cecil.  'The Lord Herryes,' he writes, 'ys the connynge horse leache, and the wysest of the whollefaction; but as the Quene of Scotland sayethe of hym, there ys no bodye can be sure of hym; he takethe pleasure to beare all the worlde in hande; we have good occasyon to be well ware of hym. Sir, you remember how he handled us when he delyvered Dumfryse, Carlaverocke, and the Hermytage into our handes. He made us beleave all should be ours to the Fyrthe; and when wee trusted hym, but how hehelped to chase us awaye, I am sure you have not forgotten. Heere amongst hys owne countrymen he ysnoted to be the most cautelous man of hys natyon. It may lyke you to remember he suffered hys ownehostages, the hostages of the Lord of Loughanon and Garles, hys nexte neighbour is and frendis, to be hanged for promesse broken by hym. Thys muche I speeke of hym because he ys the lykelyest and most dangerous man to enchaunte you.' The event referred to occurred in 1547. Maxwell had promised to support the Earl of Lennox in an attempt to recover by force his estates in Scotland, on condition that he would abandon the Englishinterest, and had arranged to meet with a strong body of horse, at Dumfries, the Earl of Lennox, and Lord Wharton, the English Warden. He delivered to Lord Wharton certain gentlemen as pledges for the performance of his promise. The Regent Arran, however, induced Maxwell to break his word; and when Lennox came to Dumfries he found no troops there for his assistance. A detachment of horse, which he sent out to reconnoitre the district, encountered and defeated a body of the Borderers commanded by the Laird of Drumlanrig. The Master of Maxwell, who was present, narrowly escaped with his life. Lord Wharton retreated into England, and by the orders of the English Council he hanged at Carlisle Maxwell's pledges, one of whom was the Warden of the Greyfriars in Dumfries, and another the Vicar of Carlaverock.* Lord Herries was one of the nobles who subscribed at Dumbarton, in July, 1567, a bond for supporting Queen Mary against the confederate lords; but on the 14th of October he came to Edinburgh and acknowledged the coronation of the infant King and the authority of the Regent Moray. 'He was minded,' as James Melville said, 'to the present weal and quietness of the State.' He attended the meeting of Parliament in December, 1567, which ratified Mary's resignation of the Crown, confirmed the coronation of the King and the regency of the Earl of Moray, and pronounced the imprisonment of the Queen lawful. The Regent, on the other hand, declared that he forgave Lord Herries and the other nobles who had formed the Queen's party all that they had done on her behalf. All the Acts passed by the Estates in 1561 in favour of the Protestant religion were ratified by this Parliament.


 
THE JOHNSTONES OF ANNANDALE.
page 57


The chief seat of the Johnstones in those days of 'tugging and riving' was Lochwood, in the parish of Johnstone, the position of which, in the midst of bogs and morasses, made it a fortalice of great strength, and led to the remark of James VI., in allusion to the purpose which it served as a stronghold of freebooters, that 'the man who built it must have been a thief at heart.' Lochwood, however, was not the only fastness in which the Johnstones stored their booty. A few miles from Moffat there is a remarkable hollow, surrounded by hills on every side except at one narrow point, where a small stream issues from it. 'It looks,' says Pate in Peril, in 'Redgauntlet,' 'as if four hills were laying their heads together to shut out any daylight from the dark hollow space between them. A deep, black, blackguard-looking abyss of a hole it is, and goes straight down from the roadside as perpendicular as it can do to be a heathery brae. At the bottom there is a small bit of a brook that you would think could hardly find its way out from the hills that are so closely jammed round it.' This inaccessible hollow bore the name of the 'Marquis's Beef-stand,' or 'Beef-tub,' because 'the Annandale loons used to put their stolen cattle in there.' The Beef-stand was the scene of a remarkable adventure to a Jacobite gentleman while on the road to Carlisle to stand his trial for his share in the rebellion of 1745. He made his escape from his guards at this spot in the manner which Sir Walter Scott makes Maxwell of Summertrees, who bore the sobriquet of 'Pate in Peril,' describe in graphic terms as an adventure of his own:—
'I found myself on foot,' he said, 'on a misty morning with my hand, just for fear of going astray, linkedinto a handcuff, as they call it, with poor Harry Redgauntlet's fastened into the other; and there we were trudging along with about a score more that had thrust their horns ower deep in the bog, just like ourselves, and a sergeant's guard of redcoats, with two file of dragoons, to keep all quiet and give usheart to the road.…Just when we came on the edge of this Beef-stand of the Johnstones, I slipped out my hand from the handcuff, cried to Harry, "Follow me," whisked under the belly of the dragoon horse, flung my plaidround me with the speed of lightning, threw myself on my side, for there was no keeping my feet, and down the brae hurled I, over heather, and fern, and blackberries, like a barrel down Chalmers' Close in Auld Reekie. I never could help laughing when I think how the scoundrel redcoats must have been bum-hazed; for the mist being, as I said, thick, they had little notion, I take it, that they were on the verge of such a dilemma. I was half-way down—for rowing is faster wark than rinning—ere they could get at their arms; and then it was flash, flash, flash, rap, rap, rap, from the edge of the road; but my head was too jumbled to think anything either of that or of the hard knocks I got among the stones. I kept my senses together, whilk has been thought wonderful by all that ever saw the place; and I helped myself with my hands as gallantly as I could, and to the bottom I came. There I lay for half a moment; but the thought of a gallows is worth all the salts and scent-bottles in the world for bringing a man to himself. Up I sprung like a four-year-old colt. All the hills were spinning round me like so many great big humming-tops. But there was no time to think of that neither, more especially as the mist had risen a little with the firing. I could see the villains like sae many crows on the edge of the brae; and I reckon that they saw me, for some of the loons were beginning to crawl down the hill, but liker auld wives in their red cloaks, coming frae a field-preaching, than such a souple lad as I. Accordingly they soon began to stop and load their pieces. "Good-e'en to you, gentlemen," thought I, "if that is to be the gate of it. If you have any farther word with me you maun come as far as Carriefrawgauns." And so off I set, and never buck went faster ower the braes than I did; and I never stopped till I had put three waters, reasonably deep, as the season was rainy, half-a-dozen mountains, and a few thousand acres of the wurst moss and ling in Scotland betwixt me and my friends the redcoats.'
Sir Walter Scott says he saw in his youth the gentleman to whom the adventure actually happened. The Johnstones, unlike the Armstrongs, Elliots, and Grahams, 'sought the beeves that made their broth' only in Cumberland and Northumberland, though they would probably have had no scruples in making a prey of any outlying cattle belonging to the Maxwells, with whom they had a hereditary feud. Lord Maxwell, the head of this great family, was in the sixteenth century the most powerful man in the south-west of Scotland. But the Johnstones, though inferior in numbers and power, were able, through their valour, and the strong position which they held in the mountainous district of Annandale, to maintain their ground against their formidable rivals. In 1585 Lord Maxwell opposed the profligate government of the worthless royal favourite, James Stewart, Earl of Arran, and was in consequence declared a rebel. According to the common, but most objectionable practice of that period, the Court gave a commission to Johnstone, his enemy, to proceed against him with fire and sword, and to apprehend him; and two bands of hired soldiers, commanded by Captains Cranstoun and Lammie, were despatched to Johnstone's assistance. They were intercepted, however, on Crawford Moor, by Robert Maxwell, of Castlemilk, and after a sharp conflict the mercenary forces were defeated. Lammie and most of his company were killed, and Cranstoun was taken prisoner. In relating this incident Sir Walter Scott says, 'It is devoutly to be wished that this Lammie may have been the miscreant who, in the day of Queen Mary's distress, when she surrendered to the nobles at Carberry Hill, "his ensign being of white taffety, had painted on it the cruel murder of King Henry, and laid down before her Majesty at what time she presented herself as prisoner to the Lords." It was very probably so, as he was then, and continued to be till his death, a hired soldier of the Government. Nine months after the incident in question, the following entry appears in the Lord Treasurer's books, under March 18, 1567-8: "To Captain Andro Lambie, for his expenses passand of Glasgow to Edinburgh to uplift certain men of weir, and to make one Handsenyie of white taffety, £25" [Scots]. He was then acting for the Regent Moray. It seems probable that, having spoiled his ensign by the picture of the king's murder, he was now gratified with a new one at the expense of his employer.'— See Domestic Annals of Scotland, i. p. 156, note, and Border Minstrelsy, ii. p. 134, note.* Maxwell followed up his success by  setting fire to Johnstone's castle of Lochwood, remarking with savage glee that he would give Lady Johnstone light enough by which 'to set her hood.' Unfortunately, besides the 'haill house, bedding,and plenisching,' Johnstone's charter-chest, containing the whole muniments of the family, and many other valuable papers, perished in the flames.


 
THE DRUMMONDS.
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As showing the grandeur of the Drummond family, Mr. Henry Drummond says that they have furnished Dukes of Roxburgh, Perth, and Melfort; a Marquis of Forth; Earls of Mar, Perth, and Ker; Viscounts Strathallan; Barons Drummond, Inchaffray, Madderty, Cromlix, and Stobhall; Knights of the Garter, St. Louis, Golden Fleece, and Thistle; Ambassadors, Queens of Scotland, Duchesses of Albany and Athole; Countesses of Monteith, Montrose, Eglinton, Mar, Rothes, Tullibardine, Dunfermline, Roxburgh, Winton, Sutherland, Balcarres, Crawford, Arran, Errol, Marischal, Kinnoul, Hyndford, Effingham; Macquary in France, and Castle Blanche in Spain; Baronesses Fleming, Elphinstone, Livingstone, Willoughby, Hervey, Oliphant, Rollo, and Kinclaven.


 
THE ERSKINES.
page 107


JOHN, fifth Lord Erskine, though a Protestant, was held in such esteem by Queen Mary that shebestowed on him the long-coveted title of Earl of Mar, which had been withheld from his ancestor a hundred and thirty years earlier. He maintained a neutral position during the protracted struggle between the Lords of the Congregation and the Queen Regent, Mary of Guise; but when she was reduced to great straits, he gave her an asylum in the castle of Edinburgh, where she died in 1560. The young Queen Mary put herself under his protection when about to be delivered of her son, afterwards James VI. The infant prince was immediately committed to the care of the Earl, who conveyed him to the castle of Stirling, and in the following year he baffled all the attempts of Bothwell to obtain possession of the heir to the throne. When James was subsequently crowned, though only thirteen months old, the Parliament imposed upon the Earl of Mar the onerous and responsible duty of keeping and educating the infant sovereign, which he discharged with exemplary fidelity. James seems to have spent his youthful years very happily as well as securely in the household of the Earl, pursuing his studies, and enjoying his sports in the company of Mar's eldest son. Mar's sister was the mother, by James V., of Regent Moray, She afterwards married Sir William Douglas of Loch Leven. In Sir Walter Scott's Abbot, Lady Douglas is represented as a harsh custodian of Queen Mary. She was in reality very friendly to that illustrious Princess, and was not resident in Loch Leven Castle when Mary was imprisoned there.* and the Earl was himself chosen Regent of Scotland in 1571, on the death of the Earl of Lennox; but he sank beneath the burden of anxiety and grief occasioned by the distracted state of the kingdom, and died in the following year. The family attained its highest lustre under the Regent's son, JOHN, second Earl of Mar of the name of Erskine, the famous 'Jock o' the Sclaits' (slates),'|R†|r a name given him by James VI., his playfellow and a pupil along with him and his cousins, sons of Erskine of Gogar, of the learned and severe pedagogue, George Buchanan, under the superintendence of the Countess of Mar. He was one of the nobles who took part in the Raid of Ruthven in 1582, and was, in consequence, deprived of his office of Governor of Stirling Castle—which was conferred on the royal favourite Arran—and was obliged to take refuge in Ireland. An unsuccessful attempt to regain his position in 1584 made it necessary for the Earl to retire into England; but in November of the following year, he and the other banished lords re-entered Scotland, and, at the head of eight thousand men, took possession of Stirling Castle and the person of the King, and expelled Arran from the Court.


 
THE GRAHAMS.
page 145


WILLIAM, second Earl of Montrose, held several offices of trust in connection with the person of the young king, James V., and his daughter, Queen Mary. JOHN, third Earl, was one of the most powerful noblemen in Scotland in his own day, and was deeply involved in the plots and intrigues of the early part of the reign of James VI. He assisted the profligate Earl of Arran in bringing the Regent Morton to the block, which led to a feud between him and the Douglases. He twice held the office of High Treasurer of Scotland, and was appointed Lord Chancellor in 1599. After the accession of James to the throne of England, the Earl was nominated Lord High Commissioner to the Parliament which met at Edinburgh, 10th April, 1604. On resigning the office of Chancellor, a patent was granted to him by the King, in December of that year, appointing him Viceroy of Scotland for life, with a pension of £2,000 Scots. He presided at the meeting of the Estates at Perth, 9th July, 1606, which passed the ecclesiastical enactments termed the Five Articles of Perth, so obnoxious to the Presbyterian party. At his death in 1608, the King thought fit to order that the Earl, in consequence of his high position, should be buried with peculiar pomp and splendour, and promised to give forty thousand merks to cover the expense. But the promises of James in regard to pecuniary matters were not often performed. The money was never paid, and the costly funereal ceremonial imposed a heavy burden on the Earl's son.


 
THE SCOTTS OF BUCCLEUCH.
page 198


The French faction, headed by Cardinal Beaton, the Queen-Dowager, and the Earl of Arran, had nowgained the ascendancy, and repudiated the treaty with Henry VIII. for the marriage of the youthful queen to his son. To punish the Scots for their refusal to fulfil their engagement, a most destructive inroad was made upon the Border districts, and the estates of Buccleuch in particular were laid waste with fire and sword. The 'barmkeyne' at Branxholm Castle was burned, and a very large number of oxen, cows, sheep, and horses were carried away, along with thirty prisoners. Eight of the Scotts were killed. Wharton, the English Warden, shortly after arranged a meeting with Buccleuch, with threescore horse on either side, and strove hard to induce him to embrace the English alliance.  Being asked to state what he wished with them, Buccleuch, with a merry countenance, answered that he would buy horse of them and renew old acquaintance. They said they had no horses to sell to any Scottish men, and for old acquaintance they thought he had some other matter, and advised him to show the same, who answered, 'I ask what ails you, thus to run upon us?' After farther conversation, he 'earnestly therewith said that if my Lord Prince did marry their Queen, he would as truly and dutifully serve the King's Highness and my Lord Prince as any Scottish man did any King of Scotland, and that he would be glad to have the favour of England with his honour; but that he would not be constrained thereto if all Tividale were burnt to the bottom of hell.' He proposed that they should give him protection from inroads for 'one month or twenty days, in which time he would know all his friends' minds.' This appears to have been the main object he had in view in acceding to this interview with Wharton and his associates. 'They answered that they had no commission to grant him any assurance one hour longer than that assurance granted for their meeting, nor to grant any of his demands, whatsoever the same were, but to hear what he had to say.'
 
page 199


Lord Wharton soon discovered that there was no hope that Buccleuch would consent to be numbered with the 'assured Scots,' who indeed had no intention of keeping their engagements with him. The victory at Ancrum Moor which followed this conference was largely due to the valour and skill of Buccleuch, and avenged, by the total destruction of the English forces under Sir Ralph Evers and Sir Brian Latoun, their barbarous and ruthless ravages of the Border district. The devastation of the Buccleuch estates was repeatedly carried out by these marauders with merciless severity. It is a significant fact that the Kers took part in this destructive raid, although immediately after the battle of Pinkie, at which Sir Walter Scott fought at the head of a numerous body of his retainers, he and Sir Walter Ker, as representing their respective clans, entered into a bond for the maintenance of the royal authority and the defence of the country. But the Kers, instead of keeping their engagement, joined Lord Grey, the English commander on the Borders, and assisted him in devastating the country. Buccleuch himself was shortly after under the necessity of offering to submit to the English monarch, who was now Edward VI., in order to save his tenants and estates from total ruin. It is a curious example of  the utter untrustworthiness of the Scottish magnates of that period that this step was taken with the concurrence and permission of the Earl of Arran, the Governor of Scotland. A letter, dated 26thSeptember, 1547, and subscribed by Arran under the signet of Queen Mary, empowers Buccleuch to'intercommune with the Protector and Council of England, and sic utheris Inglismen as he pleesses forsaiftie of him, his kin, friendis, and servandis for heirschip and distruction of the Inglismen in tymecoming, and for the commoun well of our realme, als aft as he sall think expedient.' But the Governor makes provision for Buccleuch's renunciation of his engagement with the English as soon as it had served its purpose. The letter ordains that 'quhenevir he beis requirit be us or oure said Governour, he sall incontinent thaireftir renunce and ourgif all bandis, contractis, and wytingis made be him to theInglismen.' Scotts of Buccleuch, i. 111; ii. 185.*
 
page 204


SIR WALTER SCOTT, the first of the family who was elevated to the peerage, was only in the ninth year of his age when his father died. He was a man of strife from his youth upwards, having been born and bred among Border feuds. In 1557, when he was only in his twelfth year, the old quarrel between theScotts and Kers broke out afresh, but was finally set at rest in 1558. Then followed a serious and protracted feud with the Elllots and Armstrongs, in which they were the aggressors, and inflicted great damage on the estates both of Buccleuch and of his mother. The young chief took part in the expedition to Stirling in the year 1585, under the Earl of Angus, in order to expel the worthless favourite, Arran, from the councils of the King, when the notorious Kinmont and the Armstrongs in Buccleuch's army not only made prey of horses and cattle, but even carried off the very gratings of the windows. Johnstoni Historia; Border Minstrelsy, ii. 43.* Sir Walter's raids into England were punished with a short imprisonment in Edinburgh Castle; but his complicity in the lawless proceedings of his stepfather, the turbulent Earl of Bothwell, was a more serious offence, and was visited, in September, 1591, with banishment to France for three years, but he obtained permission to return to Scotland in November, 1592. When the patience of King James with Bothwell's repeated acts of treason and rebellion was at length exhausted, and the honours and estates of the Earl were forfeited to the Crown, his castles and baronies were bestowed upon the royal favourite, the Duke of Lennox. After holding them for three years, the Duke resigned them into the hands of the King, who immediately conferred the Bothwell estates, extending over eight counties, on Sir Walter Scott (1st October, 1594) as a reward for his eminent services 'in pacifying the Borders and middle regions of the Marches, and putting down the insolence and disobedience of our subjects dwelling there, as in sundry other weighty affairs committed to his trust.' It was afterwards arranged by Charles I. that a great portion of the Bothwell estates should be restored to the family of Earl Francis. Liddesdale and Hermitage Castle, however, remained with the Buccleuch family.
 
THE HEPBURNS.
page 252


The Earl returned to Scotland after the death of King James (13th December, 1542), and immediatelybecame one of the prominent supporters of Cardinal Beaton and the Roman Catholic party in the kingdom. He, and the other Popish nobles, demanded that the Cardinal should be set at liberty by the Governor, Arran, and that the ordinance allowing the New Testament to be read in the vulgar tongue  by the people should be rescinded. These demands were refused, and the faction having been charged on pain of treason to return to their allegiance, durst not disobey, but gave in their adherence to the Governor. Bothwell, at the meeting of the Estates in 1543, issued a summons of reduction of the deed of resignation of the lordship of Liddesdale and castle of Hermitage, and succeeded in obtaining the restitution of his estates. Sir Ralph Sadler, who found the Earl in possession of Liddesdale when he visited Scotland in 1543, to negotiate a marriage between the infant Queen Mary and Prince Edward of England, says, 'As to the Earl of Bothwell, who hath the rule of Liddesdale, I think him the most vain and insolent man in the world, full of pride and folly, and here nothing at all esteemed.' Bothwell was prominent and active in all the intrigues and movements of the Roman Catholic party at this juncture, for the purpose of preventing the alliance with England, and in supporting the claims of the Queen-mother, Mary of Guise, to the regency, in the room of Arran. He was the rival of the Earl of Lennox in a suit for her hand, and competed with him in his efforts to gain her favour by the magnificence of his apparel and his skill in the exercises of chivalry. He is described by Pittscottie as at this time 'fair and whitely, something hanging shouldered, and went something forward, with gentle and humane countenance.'
 
THE HEPBURNS.
page 255


JAMES HEPBURN, fourth Earl of Bothwell, whose foul crimes have stamped his memory with infamy, was born about the year 1536. His early years were spent in the castle of Spynie, near Elgin, with his granduncle, Patrick Hepburn, Bishop of Moray, a prelate who was conspicuous, even at that immoral period, for the neglect of the duties of his office, and his gross licentiousness. James Hepburn was only in his nineteenth or twentieth year when his father died, and he succeeded him not only in the family titles and estates, including the strong fortresses of Bothwell, Crichton and Hailes, but also in his hereditary offices of Lord High Admiral of Scotland, Sheriff of the counties of Berwick, Haddington, and Midlothian, and Bailiff of Lauderdale. He was thus the most powerful nobleman in the south of Scotland. This 'glorious, rash, and hazardous young man,' as he is styled by Walsingham, was, from his youth upwards, the cause of strife and discord in the country, and of trouble to the public authorities. Though he professed to be a Protestant, he espoused the cause of the Queen Regent against the Lords of the Congregation, and showed himself utterly unscrupulous in the means he adopted to promote her interests. In 1558, though little more than of age, he was appointed by her Lieutenant-General of the Middle Marches, and keeper of Hermitage Castle, which added largely to his already overgrown power. In October, 1559, having learned that Cockburn of Ormiston had received four thousand crowns from SirRalph Sadler, for the use of the Protestant party, Bothwell waylaid and wounded him, and robbed him of the money. On receiving intelligence of this gross outrage, the Earl of Arran, the Governor, and Lord James Stewart (afterwards Regent Moray) immediately went to Bothwell's house in Haddington, with a body of soldiers, to apprehend the depredator; but, a few minutes before they reached the place, he received intelligence of their approach and fled down the bed of the river Tyne, which is closely adjoining, and took refuge in the house of Cockburn of Sandybed. Entering by the back door, which opened to the river, he changed clothes with the turnspit and performed the duties of that menial. In return for the protection afforded him in this extremity, Bothwell gave to Cockburn and his heirs a perpetual ground annual of four bolls of wheat, four bolls of barley, and fourbolls of oats, to be paid yearly out of the lands of Mainshill, near Haddington. These quantities of grain continued to be paid to Cockburn's heirs till the year 1760, when his estate was sold by his descendant to Mr. Buchan of Lethem; and he shortly after disposed of the ground annual to the Earl of Wemyss, who was then proprietor of Mainshill.
 
THE HEPBURNS.
page 255


Bothwell was one of the nobles who waited upon Queen Mary in France, in the year 1561, and must, even at that time, have been a person of some political importance, for, on his departure from France, Throckmorton wrote to Queen Elizabeth: 'The said Earl is departed suddenly from this realm to return to Scotland by Flanders, and hath made boast that he will do great things, and live in Scotland in despite ofall men. He is glorious, boastful, rash, and hazardous, and therefore it were meet that his adversaries should both give an eye to him, and keep him short.' Darker traits speedily showed themselves in Bothwell's character. He became restless and turbulent, and made violent attacks on other barons, hatched conspiracies against the Government, and was at length imprisoned, and then banished the kingdom, for a conspiracy against the Earl of Moray. He was allowed to return home in 1565; but, on May 2nd of that year, he was proclaimed a rebel and put to the horn for not appearing to answer for an accusation of high treason, in conspiring to seize the person of the young Queen. He was charged with having proposed to the Earl of Arran to carry her off to the castle of Dumbarton, 'and thair keep her surelie, or otherwyse demayne hir person at your plesour, quhill sche aggre to quhatsumevir thing yo shall desyre.' It thus appears that Bothwell's abduction of the Queen at Cramond Bridge, in 1567, was no new project.
 
page 265


From his early years Francis Stewart was noted for his restless and turbulent disposition. He took partagainst the Earl of Arran, the royal favourite, and quarrelled with Sir William Stewart, Arran's brother, whom he killed in a fray which took place in Blackfriars Wynd, in Edinburgh, on the 30th July, 1588. In that same year he assisted the Popish Earls of Huntly, Errol, and Angus, in their rebellion, and was imprisoned in Tantallon Castle; but after a few months' confinement he was released on payment of a fine to the Crown. In 1589, when James went to Denmark in quest of his betrothed bride, he appointed Bothwell one of the administrators of the kingdom during his absence, in the hope of conciliating him by this mark of distinction. But on the return of the King the Earl returned to his former practices. In January, 1591, a number of wretched creatures were brought to trial and burned on a charge of witchcraft, and two of them declared that Bothwell had consulted them in order to know the time of the King's death, and that at his instigation they had raised the storm which had endangered the lives of James and his queen, on their voyage homeward from Denmark. The Earl surrendered himself a prisoner in the castle of Edinburgh, to meet these charges, insisting that 'the devil, wha was a lyer from the beginning, nor yet his sworn witches, ought not to be credited.' But after remaining three weeks in prison he became impatient of restraint, and on the 22nd of June, 1591, he effected his escape from the castle, and fled to the Borders. The King on this proclaimed him a traitor, and forbade, under the penalties of treason, any one to 'reset, supply, show favour, intercommune, or have intelligence with him.' Bothwell, no way intimidated by this procedure, returned secretly to Edinburgh with a body of his retainers, and on the evening of December 27th, furtively obtained admission to the inner court of Holyrood. An alarm was  given, and the King, who was then at supper, rushed down a back-stair leading to one of the turrets, in which he took refuge. Spottiswood lauds the firm deportment of the King when Bothwell was thundering at the door ofthe Queen's apartment. But Birrel describes the King's majesty as 'flying down the backstairs with his breeches in his hand' . 'Such is the difference,' says Sir Walter Scott, 'betwixt the narrative of the courtly archbishop and that of the Presbyterian burgess of Edinburgh.' This scene seems to have been regarded by Sir Walter with great amusement. In the 'Fortunes of Nigel' he represents Richie Moniplies as describing the array of King James when his majesty was about to go out to hunt, or hawk, on Blackheath. 'A bonny grey horse, the saddle, and the stirrups, and the curb, and the bit o' gowd, or silver gilded at least; the King, with all his nobles, dressed out in his hunting-suit of green, doubly laced and laid down with gowd. My certy, lad, thought I,' adds Richie, 'times are changed since ye came fleeing down the backstairs of auld Holyrood House in grit fear, having your breeks in your hand, without time to put them on, and Frank Stewart, the wild Earl of Bothwell, hard at your haunches.'* The attendants barred and barricaded the door of the Queen's apartment, which Bothwell attempted to force open. Meanwhile notice of this attack was sent to the Provost of the city, who hastily collected a band of armed citizens, with whom he entered the palace by a private door leading to the royal chapel, and compelled Bothwell and his followers to take to flight. Nine of them were captured, and without a trial were hanged next morning, on a new gallows erected opposite the palace gate for the purpose.
 
THE HAYS OF ERROL.
page 378


When Dr. Johnson and Boswell visited Slains Castle, in 1773, they found living there the Hon. Charles Boyd, the Earl's brother. After the ruin of the Jacobite cause at Culloden he fled to the island of Arran, the ancient possession of the Boyds, where he lay concealed for a year among its glens and hills. During his residence in Arran he fortunately found a chest of medical books, left by a surgeon there, and he occupied himself in his solitude so diligently in studying them as to acquire considerable knowledge of medicine. He escaped to France, and practised there as a physician for twenty years. He then returned to Scotland, and lived for some time in Slains Castle, where he was often consulted by the poor in the neighbourhood. He died at Edinburgh in 1785.

 

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