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Wallace

 

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THE EARLDOM OF MENTEITH.
INTRODUCTION.
page 19

Soon after the new government was established, the national party lost their leader. He died suddenly, without male issue, in 1258, and it was believed that he had been poisoned by his wife, in order that she might be free to marry an English knight, named John Russell. There was no satisfactory evidence adduced to prove her guilt but her marriage to Russell, which took place shortly after, gave colour to the charge. She was in consequence deprived of her earldom, and imprisoned, along with her new husband, and was ultimately expelled the kingdom in disgrace. The Countess appealed to the Pope (Urban IV.) against the injustice which she alleged had been done to her, but the Scottish King and his nobles indignantly repelled the interference of the Roman Pontiff with the affairs of the kingdom. Isabella, daughter of the Countess by Walter Comyn, married her cousin, William Comyn; and after long contention a compromise was effected in the year 1285, and the vast domains of the earldom were divided between the Lady Isabella and the husband of her mother's youngest sister, WALTER STEWART, a son of the High Steward of Scotland, who obtained the title. The new Earl of Menteith, surnamed Bailloch, or 'the Freckled,' was a famous warrior. He joined the disastrous expedition under St. Louis of France, called the Third Crusade, for the recovery of the Holy Sepulchre, and fought with great distinction at the battle of Largs in 1263, at which his elder brother defeated the Norwegians under King Haco. He took a prominent part in the proceedings connected with the contest for the Scottish crown after the death of the 'Maiden of Norway,' and was one of the commissioners nominated by Robert Bruce in his competition with John Baliol. The Earl left two sons, who dropped their paternal surname of Stewart, and assumed that of Menteith. The younger of the two, Sir John Menteith of Ruskie, is the 'false Menteith' who is branded by Scottish tradition and history as the betrayer of the patriot Wallace. Lord Hailes, who sometimes carried his scepticism respecting the statements of the old Scottish historians a great deal too far, discredits the story, which he asserts rests only on tradition and the allegations of Blind Harry. Sheriff Mark Napier, a descendant of Sir John Menteith, has made an elaborate defence of his ancestor from the charge of betraying Wallace; and Mr. Burton designates it as a part of the romance of Wallace's career that he was betrayed by a fellow-countryman and  an old companion in arms. 'Menteith,' he adds, 'held the responsible post of Governor of Dumbarton Castle, and it seems likely that he only performed a duty, whether an agreeable one or not.' 
There is conclusive evidence, however, afforded by documents recently discovered that the charge brought against Menteith is not without foundation. Dr. Fraser, who has discussed this question very fully and impartially in the 'Red Book of Menteith,' and has carefully examined all the documents bearing on the subject, is of opinion that the accusation that Menteith basely betrayed Wallace as his friend rests upon evidence too insufficient to sustain such a charge. But the documents which Dr. Fraser has examined show that Sir John Menteith fought on the patriotic side at the battle of Dunbar in 1296, where he was taken prisoner along with his elder brother; that he afterwards made his peace with Edward I., and supported the claims of that monarch; that he again returned to the patriotic party; that he once more submitted to the English king, and obtained from him the sheriffdom of Dumbarton and the custody of the castle to which Wallace was conveyed after his capture, and that he obtained a share of the reward which Edward had promised to the persons who should be instrumental in delivering the Scottish patriot into the hands of his enemies. It is impossible to speak with certainty as to the extent of friendship that may have existed between Wallace and the vacillating turncoat noble, but there can be no doubt that they must have had 'intercourse and familiarity.' In the 'Relationes Arnaldi Blair,' it is mentioned that in August, 1298, Wallace, Governor of Scotland, with John Graham and John de Menteith, and Alexander Scrymegour, Constable of Dundee and Standard-bearer of Scotland, acted together in an expedition into Galloway against the rebels who adhered to the party of Scotland and the Comyns.
 
page 20
There is abundant contemporary evidence to prove that Sir John Menteith was the chief agent in the capture of Wallace. In the 'Chronicle of Lancaster,' written in the thirteenth century, it is stated that 'William Wallace was taken by a Scotsman, namely, Sir John Menteith, and carried to London, where he was drawn, hanged, and beheaded.' In the account of the capture and execution of Wallace contained in the Arundel manuscript, written about the year 1320, it is stated that 'William Wallace was seized in the house of Ralph Rae by Sir John Menteith, and carried to London by Sir John de Segrave, where he was judged.' Fordun, who lived [p.20] in the reign of King Robert Bruce, when the memory of the exploits of Wallace must have been quite fresh, says: 'The noble William Wallace was, by Sir John Menteith, at Glasgow, while suspecting no evil, fraudulently betrayed and seized, delivered to the King of England, dismembered at London, and his quarters hung up in the towns of the most public places in England and Scotland, in opprobium of the Scots.' Wyntoun, whose 'Metrical Chronicle' was written in 1418, says—
The English chronicler, Langtoft, states that Menteith discovered the retreat of Wallace through the treacherous information of Jack Short, his servant, and that he came undercover of night and seized him in bed. A passage in the 'Scala Chronica,' quoted by Leland, says, 'William Walleys was taken of the Counte of Menteith, about Glasgow, and sent to King Edward, and after was hanged, drawn, and quartered at London.' But the most conclusive evidence of all that Menteith took a prominent part in the betrayal and capture of Wallace is afforded by the fact that while very liberal rewards were given to all the persons concerned in this infamous affair, by far the largest share fell to Menteith: he received land to the value of one hundred pounds.
 
page 33
'…Of a race renowned of old
Whose war-cry oft has waked the battle swell,
Since first distinguished in the onset bold;
Wild-sounding when the Roman rampart fell,
By Wallace' side it rung the Southron's knell,'
 
THE KEITHS.
INTRODUCTION.
page 100

SIR ROBERT DE KEITH, the fourth in descent from Philip, the Great Marischal, was one of the most celebrated knights of his day. In the year 1300 he was appointed Justiciary of the country beyond the Forth, and in 1305 was chosen one of the representatives of the barons, to consult respecting the government of the kingdom after the death of Wallace. Three years later he repaired to the standard of Bruce, and distinguished himself at the battle of Inverury, where Comyn of Badenoch, the deadly enemy of the patriot King, was defeated. As a reward for his signal services in this conflict, Sir Robert received a grant of several estates in Aberdeenshire, along with a royal residence called Hall Forest—a donation which led, as in the case of the Gordons and Frasers, to the removal of the family to the north, where they ultimately had their chief seat and estates. Sir Robert de Keith rendered important service to the patriotic cause throughout the War of Independence, and contributed not a little to the crowning victory of Bannockburn. He was despatched by Bruce along with Sir James Douglas to reconnoitre the English army on their march, and to bring him confidential information respecting their numbers and equipments; and to him was entrusted the important duty of attacking and dispersing the English archers, whose deadly clothyard shafts so often overwhelmed the Scottish spearmen. At the head of a small body of cavalry, Sir Robert, making a circuit to the right, assailed the formidable bowmen in flank, cut them down in great numbers, and drove them off the field. The effect of this manoeuvre is portrayed in spirited terms by Sir Walter Scott in his 'Lord of the Isles.' After describing the position of the Scottish army, and the manner in which Bruce had drawn up the different [p.100] divisions, with the right wing under Edward Bruce, protected by the broken bank and deep ravine of the Bannock on their flank, the poet goes on to say—
 
THE HAMILTONS.
INTRODUCTION.
page 210

The heads of the Hamilton family continued faithful in their adherence to the heir of Robert Bruce and the Stewarts. The immediate successors of Walter fought at the disastrous battles of Halidon Hill and Durham, and took some part, though by no means a very prominent one, in the affairs of the kingdom and court. The member of the family to whom their greatness is mainly owing was SIR JAMES HAMILTON, the fifth knight and first baron, who was raised to the peerage in 1445 under the title of Lord Hamilton of Cadzow (pronounced Cadyow). He was noted both for his energy and his sagacity, which gave great weight to his opinion in the national council and among his brother barons. The vicinity of his estates to the principal seat of the Douglases, as well as kinsmanship with that family, probably led him at first to enrol himself in the ranks of their followers. He accompanied the Earl of Douglas in his celebrated visit to Rome in 1450; and, in the following year, went with him on a pilgrimage to the tomb of Thomas à Becket at Canterbury. As might have been expected, Hamilton joined the confederacy which Douglas formed with the Earls of Crawford and Ross against the Crown, and narrowly escaped the fate of the formidable chief of the league when he was assassinated by the King (James II.) in Stirling Castle. When Sir James Douglas, the successor of the murdered baron and the last of the old stock, took the field against his sovereign at the head of forty thousand men, Lord Hamilton was one of his most powerful and trusted supporters. The insurgents encamped on the south bank of the Carron, about three miles from the Torwood, so famous in the history of Sir William Wallace. James, who was well aware of his danger, advanced from Stirling to meet this formidable array with an army considerably inferior in numbers, but with 'the King's name  as a tower of strength, which they upon the adverse faction lacked.' A battle seemed imminent, which should decide whether the house of Stewart or of Douglas was henceforth to reign in Scotland. But at this critical juncture, art did more than arms for the royal cause. Acting under the advice of the patriotic and sagacious Bishop Kennedy, James made overtures to Lord Hamilton and other allies of the Earl of Douglas, representing the danger which threatened not only the independence of the Crown, but the welfare of the country and their own interests, from the ambition and overgrown power of the Douglas family, and making liberal promises if, in this hour of extremity, they would abandon the cause of the insurgent baron. These representations produced a deep impression on the mind of Lord Hamilton, and taking advantage of the contemptuous reply made by the Earl to his remonstrances against the proposal to postpone till next day an attack on the royal army— 'If you are afraid or tired, you may depart when you please'—the politic noble took Douglas at his word, and that very night passed over to the King with all his retainers. The other insurgent leaders, who had a high opinion of Lord Hamilton's prudence and sagacity, so generally followed his example that, before morning, the rebel camp was almost deserted. The complete overthrow of the formidable house of Douglas speedily followed: their vast estates were distributed among the supporters of the royal cause; and Lord Hamilton, whose timely desertion of the 'Black Douglases' had mainly contributed to their destruction, was rewarded with a large share of their forfeited possessions. He became thenceforth one of the most trusted councillors of his grateful sovereign, was frequently employed by him on important embassies to England, and, in 1474, he obtained the hand of the Princess Mary, the King's sister, through whom his descendants became next heirs to the crown after the Stewarts. Besides his legitimate offspring, Lord Hamilton left several natural sons, one of whom, SIR JAMES HAMILTON, of Kincavel, became the father of Patrick Hamilton, the protomartyr of the Scottish Protestant Church, and was himself killed in the celebrated fight between the Douglases and the Hamiltons in the High Street of Edinburgh, in 1520.
 
THE CAMPBELLS OF LOUDOUN.
INTRODUCTION.
page 257

The barony in Ayrshire, from which they derive their title, was originally the possession of the Loudouns of Loudoun, one of the oldest families in Scotland. Margaret of Loudoun, the heiress of the estate, married Sir Reginald Crawford, High Sheriff of Ayr, and was the grandmother of Sir William Wallace, the illustrious Scottish patriot. The barony passed to the Campbells in the reign of Robert Bruce by the marriage of Sir Duncan, son of Donald Campbell, to Susanne Crawford, heiress of Loudoun, and fifth in descent from Sir Reginald Crawford. Sir Hugh Campbell, Sheriff of Ayr, was created a Lord of Parliament by the title of Lord Campbell of Loudoun, by James VI., in 1601. His granddaughter, Margaret Campbell, who inherited his title and estates, married Sir John Campbell of Lawers, a scion of the Glenorchy or Breadalbane family. He was created—
 
THE MAULES.
INTRODUCTION.
page 322

Several centuries before the extinction of the male line of the family in Normandy, a junior branch of the Maules had taken root in Scotland. A son of Peter, the first Lord Maule of that name, accompanied William the Conqueror into England, and received from him a part of the lordship of Hatton de Cleveland, in Yorkshire, and other extensive estates. ROBERT DE MAULE, one of his sons, became attached to David, Earl of Huntingdon, afterwards David I. of Scotland, and obtained from him a grant of lands in Midlothian. His eldest son, WILLIAM DE MAULE, was with King David at the Battle of the Standard, A.D. 1138, and received from that monarch a gift of the lands of Fowlis, in the Carse of Gowrie. He died without male issue, and the line of succession was carried on through ROGER MAULE, his younger brother—the progenitor of the Maules of Panmure. His grandson, SIR PETER MAULE, married Christian, only child and heiress of William de Valoniis, the representative of a great Norman family whose immediate ancestor settled in Scotland at the end of the reign of Malcolm IV., and was appointed by William the Lion High Chamberlain about 1180. Sir Peter obtained [p.322] with her the baronies of Panmure and Benvie in Forfarshire, and other estates both in England and Scotland, thus uniting the fortunes of two ancient and influential houses. He had two sons, WILLIAM—by whom he was succeeded—and SIR THOMAS, who was a soldier of distinguished valour and 'a most audacious knight in mind and body.' His character has been oftener than once reproduced in the family. He was governor of Brechin Castle, the only fortress in the north which shut its gates against Edward I. in his progress through the country in 1303. 'Trusting to the strength of the walls, the governor made no account of the war machines brought against them. The King of England's men incessantly threw stones against the walls without effect. Sir Thomas held the castle for twenty days against the assaults of the English army, and was so confident of its strength that he stood on the ramparts and contemptuously wiped off with a towel the dust and rubbish raised by the stones thrown from the English battering engines.' Wallace Papers, p. 21.* But he was at last mortally wounded by a splinter broken from the wall by the force of a stone missile. 'While he lay expiring on the ground, being asked if the castle should now be surrendered, he cursed the men as cowards who made the suggestion.'|R†|r The garrison, however, capitulated next day. Henry de Maule of Panmure, the nephew of this gallant soldier, fought on the patriotic side in the War of Independence, and was knighted for his services by King Robert Bruce. Sir Thomas Maule, the head of the family at the commencement of the fifteenth century, fought under the banner of the Earl of Mar at the sanguinary battle of Harlaw, in August, 1411, along with the chivalry of Angus and Mearns, and was among the slain. As the old ballad says—
 
page 331
The Government of the Commonwealth imposed on the Earl the exorbitant fine of £10,000 sterling for himself and of £2,500 for his son Henry, who commanded a regiment in the army of 'the Engagement' for the rescue of Charles and also at the battle of Dunbar. But the Earl's fine was ultimately restricted to £4,000, and that of his son to £1,000. Lord Panmure, who was now advanced in years, took no active part in the cause of Charles II. when he came to [p.331] Scotland, but he sent £2,000 to the royal coffers, and his eldest son, Lord Brechin, fought for Charles both at Dunbar and at Inverkeithing, where he was wounded. The aged peer survived to witness the Restoration, and died in December, 1661. He left a manuscript history of the patriot Wallace, 'whose deeds of unselfish devotion and lofty daring,' says Dr. Stuart, 'he himself aspired to emulate throughout his whole course.' He was three times married, but left surviving offspring—four daughters and two sons—only by his first wife, a daughter of Sir Edward Stanhope of Grimstone, in Yorkshire. His eldest son, GEORGE, LORD BRECHIN, became second Earl of Panmure on his father's death, and carried out his predecessor's intention of building a new house at Panmure. He married the eldest daughter of John Campbell, Earl of Loudon, Lord High Chancellor, who bore him nine children, of whom four sons and one daughter died young. This close connection with one of the leaders of the Covenanting party does not appear to have had any influence on the politics of the Panmure family. The eldest surviving son, GEORGE, third Earl, was a Privy Councillor to Charles II. and James VII. He was succeeded in his titles and estates by his brother, JAMES MAULE of Ballumbie, a staunch Royalist and a Privy Councillor to James VII., but who was 'laid aside' from the Council on account of his opposition to the abrogation of the penal laws against Popery. This treatment, however, did not prevent him from advocating the cause of King James at the Convention of Estates in 1689, and when it was agreed to settle the crown on William and Mary, the Earl, along with his brother, Harry Maule, of Kelly, left the assembly and never again attended a meeting of the Scottish Estates.
 
page 335
The Commissioners at last succeeded in getting the sequestrations set aside, but a new device was immediately tried to baffle their efforts to obtain possession of the forfeited estates. It was contended that the lands did not really belong to the late ostensible owners, and claimants for them sprang up in all quarters. 'The Court of Session was by no means. unwilling to lend its aid to the promotion of this scheme, and paid little regard to consistency in the judgments which it pronounced. Seaforth's estates were by one decree declared to belong in full and absolute right to Kenneth Mackenzie of Assynt, by another to William Martin of Harwood, by a third to Hugh Wallace of Inglestone. The estates of the Earl of Mar, the leader of the rebellion, were successively awarded [p.335] to four of these pretended owners, and Viscount Kenmure's to five. Even when the Commissioners were put in possession, they discovered to their disappointment and annoyance that their difficulties seemed as great as ever. The tenants on many of the estates, who were as staunch Jacobites as their masters, refused to recognize in any form the authority of the Act of Parliament in the factors appointed by the Commissioners, and continued to pay their rents to the late, and as they believed, the proper proprietors. The clansmen of Seaforth regularly transmitted their rents to their chief during his exile in France, and successfully resented the attempts of the Government agent, supported by a detachment of soldiers, to force his way into their territory. The tenants on the Panmure estates were induced by the Countess and her factor, Mr. George Maule, to subscribe blank bills for all arrears, and also a blank bond for two years from 24th June, 1715, nearly four months before the battle of Sheriffmuir.
 
THE MARCHMONT HUMES.
INTRODUCTION.
page 398

In the following year (1685) Sir Patrick Hume accompanied the Earl of Argyll in the disastrous expedition which cost that unfortunate nobleman his head. The ruin of the enterprise, which from the outset was evidently doomed to failure, was mainly brought about by the mutual jealousies and contentions of the leaders. More fortunate than his chief and Sir John Cochrane, the other second in command, Sir Patrick, after lying in concealment for some weeks in Ayrshire, a second time made his escape to the Continent, in a vessel which conveyed him from the west coast, first to Ireland and then to Bordeaux, whence he proceeded to Geneva, and finally to Holland. At Bordeaux he gave himself out for a surgeon, as he had done during his former exile, and as he always carried lancets, and could let blood, he had no difficulty in passing for a medical man. He travelled on foot across France to Holland. where he was joined by his wife and children. Under the designation of Dr. Wallace, Sir Patrick settled in Utrecht, where he spent three years and a half in great privation, as his estate had been confiscated, and his income was both small and precarious. His poverty prevented him from keeping a servant, and he was frequently compelled to pawn his plate to provide for the necessities of his family. One of Sir Patrick's younger children, named Juliana, had been left behind in Scotland, on account of ill-health, and her eldest sister Grizel was sent back to bring her over to Holland. She was entrusted at the same time with the management of some business of her [p.398] father's, and was commissioned to collect what she could of the money that was due to him. All this she performed with her usual discretion and success.
 
THE DRUMMONDS.
page 96

The succession fell to the descendants of the Earl of Melfort, younger brother of the Chancellor, and Secretary of State for Scotland under James VII. He too, as we have seen, became a pervert to the Romish Church, and in his zeal for his new faith obtained from the King the exclusion of his family by his first wife from the right to inherit his estates and titles, because their mother's relations had frustrated his attempts to convert them to Romanism. At the Revolution he fled to France, and was attainted by Act of Parliament in 1695. He was created Duke de Melfort in 1701, and for a number of years had the chief administration of the affairs of the exiled monarch. He died in 1714. His second wife, daughter of Sir Thomas Wallace of Craigie, lived to be above ninety years of age, and in her latter years supported herself by keeping a faro-table. His descendants remained in their adopted country, and identified themselves with its faith, its interests, and its manners. Most of them embraced the military profession and attained high rank in the French, German, and Polish services. Some of them entered the Church, and one was elevated to the rank of cardinal. GEORGE, Sixth Duke of Melfort, renounced the Romish faith, conformed to the Protestant Church, entered the British army, and became a captain in the 98th Highlanders. Having petitioned the Queen for the restoration of the Scottish attainted honours, he proved his descent, in 1848, before the Committee for Privileges of the House of Lords, was restored in blood by an Act of Parliament in 1853, and was reinstated in the earldom of Perth and the other Scottish honours of his illustrious house.
 
THE ERSKINES OF BUCHAN AND CARDROSS.
page 126
Lord Cardross was present at his father's death, and figured prominently at his obsequies, which were performed with great solemnity, and elaborate ceremony. Lady Huntingdon's party took a great interest in the well-being of the young Earl, and Fletcher, Henry Venn, and the eccentric Berridge were at once appointed his chaplains. The name of John Wesley was subsequently added to the list, much to his own satisfaction. In 1771, Lord Buchan took up his residence on his Linlithgowshire estate, and set himself to effect, by precept and example, much-needed improvements in husbandry. He also made vigorous efforts to induce his brother nobles to act an independent part in the election of their sixteen representatives in Parliament, and to discontinue the degrading practice of voting for the list sent down by the Government of the day, and he succeeded ultimately, almost single-handed, in putting it down. He was the founder of the Society of Antiquaries in Edinburgh, in 1780, and contributed a number of papers to the first volume of their Transactions. He was able, in 1786, to buy back the small estate of Dryburgh, which had of old belonged to his ancestors, with the ruined abbey and mansion-house, where he took up his residence for half a century, and performed many curious and eccentric feats. He had a restless propensity for getting up public fêtes, one of which was an annual festival in commemoration of Thomson, the author of 'The Seasons,' at Ednam, the poet's native place. He erected, in his [p.126] grounds at Dryburgh, an Ionic temple, with a statue of Apollo in the interior, and a bust of thebard surmounting the dome. Burns wrote a poetical address for its inauguration. He also raised a colossal statue of Sir William Wallace, on the summit of a steep and thickly planted bank above the river Tweed. It was installed with great ceremony. A huge curtain was drawn before the statue, which dropped at the discharge of a cannon, and then the Knight of Ellerslie was discovered with a large German tobacco-pipe in his mouth, which some wicked wag had placed there—to the unspeakable consternation of the peer, and amusement of the company. Sir Walter Scott used to say that when a revolution should take place, his first act would be to procure a cannon, and batter down this monstrosity.
 
THE GRAHAMS.
page 143

The second Sir David de Graham, who held the office of sheriff of the county of Berwick, was one of thenational, or Comyn, party during the minority of Alexander II., and resolutely opposed the intrigues ofthe English faction. He obtained from Malise, the powerful Earl of Strathern, the lands of Kincardine, in Perthshire, where the chief residence of the family was henceforth fixed. His second son, the patriotic Sir John de Graham of Dundaft, may be regarded as the first eminent member of the family. He is stillfondly remembered as the bosom friend of the illustrious Scottish patriot Wallace. He was killed at thebattle of Falkirk, July 22, 1298, fighting gallantly against the English invaders under Edward I., and was buried in the churchyard of that town. His tombstone, which has been thrice renewed, bears in the centre his coat-of-arms; at the upper part, round an architectural device, is the motto, 'Vivit post funere virtus,' and at the lower part the following inscription:—
 
THE FRASERS OF LOVAT.
page 270

THE Frasers, like most of the other great Scottish houses, were of Norman descent. Their original designation was Frissell, which occurs in the roll of Battle Abbey, and is still given to them in various parts of the country. As is the case with most of the old Scottish families, a fabulous origin is ascribed to the Frasers, whose ancestor, it is pretended, came to Scotland in the reign of Charlemagne, along with the French ambassadors whom that great monarch is said to have sent to form a league with King Achaius. In reality the first of the name settled in Scotland in the reign of Malcolm Canmore, and appears to have obtained from that monarch a grant of lands in East Lothian. In the reign of David I., Malcolm's youngest son, SIR SIMON FRASER, possessed half of the lands of Keith, in East Lothian, called from him Keith Simon. Hervey, the ancestor of the Keiths, Earls Marischal, who married Simon's grand-daughter, was proprietor of the other half, named from him Keith Hervie. Another member of the Fraser family, a SIR GILBERT, obtained the lands of North Hailes, and also a large estate in Tweeddale. Oliver Castle, acelebrated stronghold of the Frasers, of which a few fragments still remain, was built by OLIVER FRASER, eldest son of Sir Gilbert. But the most illustrious of the heads of this famous house was SIR SIMON FRASER, the renowned warrior and patriot, and the bosom friend of Sir William Wallace. His father, who bore the same name, held the office of High Sheriff of Tweeddale, and was one of the Scottish magnates who took part in the discussions respecting the pretensions of the various claimants to the Scottish crown, and supported the rights of Baliol. He died in 1291. The great Sir Simon, like his father, adhered faithfully to the cause of Baliol till that weak and wavering  personage betrayed his own cause, and surrendered the crown to Edward I.
 
page 270
Sir Simon had evidently been regarded by the English monarch as unfriendly to his claims, for when he invaded Scotland, in 1296, he carried the chief of the Frasers with him to England, and kept him there a close prisoner for eight months. In June, 1297, Sir Simon and his cousin, Sir Richard Fraser, received permission to pay a visit to Scotland, on giving their pledge to return, and accompany Edward on his projected expedition to France. The Frasers, however, like most of the nobles of that day, and even the clergy of the highest rank, seem to have regarded promises extorted by force or threats as not binding; and when Sir William Wallace, after the battle of Falkirk, resigned his double office as Guardian of the Kingdom, and General of the Army, Sir Simon was chosen to succeed him as commander of the Scottish forces, while Sir John Comyn of Badenoch was appointed Guardian. In 1303, an English army of thirty thousand men, in violation, it was alleged, of a truce which had been agreed upon between the Scots and English, invaded Scotland, and advanced to Roslin, a few miles from Edinburgh. They were divided into three bodies, encamped at a considerable distance from each other. The Scottish leaders, Sir Simon Fraser and Sir John Comyn, hearing of these hostile movements, made a rapid night march from Biggar at the head of ten thousand men, and next day (February 25th) attacked and defeated these three divisions insuccession in one day.
 
page 272
'Y-fettered were his legs under his horse's wombe,
Both with iron and with steel manacled were his hond,
A garland of pervynk Periwinkle.* set upon his heved;|R†|r
Much was the power that him was bereved
In land,
So God me amend,
Little he ween'd
So to be brought in hand.
'With fetters and with gives y-hot he was to draw He was condemned to be drawn.*
From the Tower of London, that many men might know,
In a kirtle of burel, a selcouth wise,
And a garland on his head of the new guise.
Through Cheape
Many men of England
For to see Symond
Thitherward can leap.
'Though he cam to the gallows first he was on hung,
All quick beheaded that him thought long;
Then he was y-opened, his bowels y-brend,|R†|r
The heved to London-bridge was send
To shende.
So evermore mote I the,
Some while weened he
Thus little to stand.|R‡|r
'Now standeth the heved above the tu-brigge
Fast by Wallace sooth for to segge;
After succour of Scotland long may he pry,
And after help of France what halt it to lie.
I ween,
Better him were in Scotland
With his axe in his hand
To play on the green,' &c.
 
page 272
One of the uncles of this illustrious patriot was the celebrated Bishop Fraser of St. Andrews, Chancellor of Scotland, the counsellor of Sir William Wallace, and one of the earliest defenders of the rights and liberties of the kingdom. He was one of the Lords of the Regency chosen by the States during the minority of the infant Queen Margaret, the 'Maiden of Norway.' After her death he was appointed by King Edward one of the guardians of Scotland, and rendered an enforced homage to that monarch. He took a prominent part in asserting the independence of Scotland against the violation of its rights and liberties by the English king, and was one of the commissioners who concluded a treaty, offensive and defensive, with Philip, King of France.
 
THE GORDONS.
page 338

DUKE ALEXANDER, the fourth possessor of the ducal title, retained it for the long period of seventy-six years. In 1761 he was elected one of the sixteen representative peers of Scotland, and in 1775 was created a Knight of the Order of the Thistle. A regiment had been raised on the Gordon estates in 1759, which became the 89th Highlanders, and his Grace was appointed one of its captains. In 1778, during the American war, he raised the Gordon Fencibles, of which he became colonel; and in 1793 he raised another regiment of fencibles, called the Gordon Highlanders, which was disbanded with the other fencible corps. in 1799. As his Grace was the great-grandson of Lady Elizabeth Howard, daughter of the Earl of Norwich, that extinct title was revived in his favour in 1784, and he was at the same time created Lord Gordon of Huntly. He was also appointed Keeper of the Great Seal of Scotland. The Duke was the author of the excellent humorous song entitled 'Cauld kail in Aberdeen,' but he was best known, and best remembered, as the husband of the celebrated Duchess Jane, one of the leaders of fashionable society in London for nearly half a century, and regarded as one of the cleverest women of her day. Her Grace was the second [p.338] daughter of Sir William Maxwell of Monreith. Her early years were spent in Hyndford's Close, off the High Street of Edinburgh, where she seems to have conducted herself with a freedom of manners which would seem almost incredible in the present day. An old gentleman, who was a relative of the Maxwell family, stated that on the occasion when he first made the acquaintance of Jane Maxwell and her sisters, they had been despatched by their mother, Lady Maxwell, to the 'Fountain Well,' in front of John Knox's house, to fetch 'a kettle' of water, and Miss Jane was seen mounted on the back of a sow, ofwhich she had made capture, while her sister, Miss Betty, afterwards Lady Wallace, lustily thumped it with a stick. 'The two romps used to watch the animals as they were let loose from the yard of PeterRamsay, the stabler, in St. Mary's Wynd, and get on their backs the moment they issued from the Close.' Chambers's Traditions of Edinburgh.
 
THE HAYS OF TWEEDDALE.
page 378

THE Hays of Tweeddale have attained higher rank and have figured more conspicuously in the history of Scotland than any other branch of this ancient family. They are descended from Robert, second son of William de Haya, who held the office of royal butler to Malcolm IV. and William the Lion. SIR JOHNDE HAYA, the grandson of Robert, acquired the lands of Locherworth (now Borthwick) in Midlothian by marriage with the heiress of that estate. His son, Sir William de Haya, in the contest for the Scottish Crown in, 1292, was one of the nominees of Robert Bruce. But like the other Scottish magnates of English descent, he swore fealty to Edward I. in July of that year, and gave in his submission to him in 1297, as his son, SIR GILBERT HAY, had done in the previous year. Sir Gilbert made one of those fortunate marriages for which the Hays were so noted. His wife was one of the daughters and co-heiresses of Sir Simon Fraser, the gallant patriot, and the friend and companion of Wallace, who was executed at London by Edward I., with circumstances of shocking barbarity. By this marriage the Hays obtained the valuable barony of Neidpath, and other lands on Tweedside, which remained in their possession until the year 1686. SIR WILLIAM DE HAYA, Sir Gilbert's grandson, fought under the banner of David II. at the battle of Durham (17th September, 1346), where he was taken prisoner along with that monarch. SIR THOMAS, his son, was one of the hostages for King David's liberation, 3rd October, 1357, and seems to have been detained a good many years in England. In 1385 he received four hundred of the forty thousand francs which were sent by the French king with John de Vienne, to be distributed among the most influential Scottish barons.
 
THE MACLELLANS OF KIRKCUDBRIGHT.
page 410

THE Maclellans are supposed to have come from Ireland at a very early period. They certainly possessedlands in Galloway in the reign of Alexander II., 1217, and were hereditary sheriffs of that province. Maclellan of Bombie, an ancestor of Lord Kirkcudbright, accompanied the Scottish patriot, Wallace, when, after his defeat at Falkirk, in 1298, he sailed from Kirkcudbright for France, in order to entreat the help of Philip, the French king, in his struggle against Edward I., their common enemy. The Maclellans became so numerous and prosperous about the beginning of the fifteenth century, that there were no fewer than fourteen knights of the name at that period living in Galloway. About the middle of the century they unfortunately, through no fault of theirs, came into collision with the formidable house of Douglas. SIR PATRICK MACLELLAN OF BOMBIE, head of the family and Sheriff of Galloway, refused to join the confederacy of the eighth Earl of Douglas with the Earls of Ross and Crawford, against the King. The imperious Earl, enraged at this opposition to his will, besieged and captured Sir Patrick in his stronghold of Raeberry Castle, and carried him a prisoner to his fortress of Thrieve. Sir Patrick Gray, Maclellan's uncle, who held a high office at Court, obtained a letter from the King (James II.) entreating, rather than ordering, Douglas to set his prisoner at liberty, which Gray carried himself. The Earl professed to receive him with all courtesy, but requested that he should partake of some refreshment before entering upon the business which had brought him so long a journey. 'It's ill talking,' he said, 'between a fou man and a fasting.' In the meantime, however, having a shrewd guess as to Gray's errand, he ordered Maclellan to be immediately put to death. When Sir Patrick had finished his repast he presented the royal letter to the  Earl, who, after perusing it, expressed his deep regret that it was not in his power to comply fully with his Majesty's request, and, conducting Gray to the courtyard where Maclellan's body lay, he jeeringly said, 'Yonder, Sir Patrick, lies your sister's son. Unfortunately he wants the head, but you are welcome to do with the body what you please.' 'My lord,' said Gray, suppressing his indignation, 'since you have taken his head, you may dispose of his body as you will.' He then instantly called for his horse. But, after crossing the drawbridge, his indignation could no longer be restrained, and, turning round, he exclaimed to the Earl, who was standing at the gate, 'If I live, you shall bitterly pay for this day's work,' and immediately galloped off. 'To horse to horse' exclaimed Douglas, 'and chase him.'. Gray was closely pursued till near Edinburgh, and if he had not been well mounted, would, without doubt, have shared the fate of his nephew.

 

"In Pursuit of Sir William Wallace"
by Craufuird C. Loudoun

This book has been well researched and details many places that Sir William Wallace was reputed to have been throughout his life. Maps and descriptions have been added for the reader's benefit, so that the trail can be followed to seek out the history. The question of Wallace's birthplace has been answered here, although I'm sure the subject will lead to more controversy. A well written, clear and concise book with all the detail required for a reader new to the subject.

£14.50

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