« AnteriorContinuar »
of nativity of John de Menteith, and may his name be struck / ment; because, according to Matthew of Westminster, he was out of the book of life." But John de Menteith was all along considered not as a Scottish subject, but an Englishman. He a zealous favourer of the English interest, and was governor was therefore taken to Dumfries, where he was tried, con. of Dumbarton Castle by commission from Edward the First ; demned, and executed, for the murder of a soldier slain by and therefore, as the accurate Lord Hailes has observed, him. His brother, John de Seton, had the same fate at Newcould not be the friend and confidant of Wallace, as tradition castle; both were considered as accomplices in the slaughter states him to be. The truth seems to be, that Menteith, of Comyn, but in what manner they were particularly accesthoroughly engaged in the English interest, pursued Wallace sary to that deed does not appear. closely, and made him prisoner through the treachery of an The fate of Sir Simon Frazer, or Frizel, ancestor of the faattendant, whom Peter Langtoft calls Jack Short.
mily of Lovat, is dwelt upon at great length, and with savage
exultation, by the English historians. This knight, who was “William Waleis is nomen that master was of theves, renowned for personal gallantry, and high deeds of chivalry,
Tiding to the king is comen that robbery mischeives, was also made prisoner, after a gallant defence, in the battlu Sir John of Menetest sued William so nigh,
of Methven. Some stanzas of a ballad of the times, which, He tok him when he ween'd least, on night, his leman him for the sake of rendering it intelligible, I have translated out by,
of its rude orthography, give minute particulars of liis fate. That was through treason of Jack Short his man,
It was written immediately at the period, for it mentions the He was the encheson that Sir John so him ran,
Earl of Athole as not yet in custody. It was first published Jack's brother had he slain, the Walleis that is said, by the indefatigablo Mr. Ritson, but with so many contracThe more Jack was fain to do William that braid." tions and peculiarities of character, as to render it illegible,
excepting by antiquaries. From this it would appear that the infamy of seizing Wallace, must rest between a degenerate Scottish nobleman, the vas- " This was before Saint Bartholomew's mass, sal of England, and a domestic, the obscure agent of his That Frizel was y-taken, were it more other less, treachery; between Sir John Menteith, son of Waller, Earl of To Sir Thomas of Multon, gentil baron and free, Menteith, and the traitor Jack Short.
And to Sir Johan Jose be-take tho was he
To bringen of Scotland
Where's Nigel Bruce ? and De la Haye,
« Soon thereafter the tiding to the king come,
He sent him to London, with mony armed groom,
For traitour I ween.
“Y-fettered were his legs under his horse's wombe,
Both with iron and with steel mancled were his hond,
So to be brought in hand
When these lines were written, the author was remote from the means of correcting his indistinct recollection concerning the individual fate of Bruce's followers, after the battle of Methven. Hugh de la Haye, and Thomas Somerville of Lintoun and Cowdally, ancestor of Lord Somerville, were both made prisoners at that defeat, but neither was executed.
Sir Nigel Bruco was the younger brother of Robert, to whom he committed the charge of his wife and daughter, Marjorie, and the desence of his strong castle of Kildrummie, near the head of the Don, in Aberdeenshire. Kildrummie long resisted the arms of the Earls of Lancaster and Hereford, until the magazine was treacherously burnt. The garrison was then compelled to surrender at discretion, and Nigel Bruce, a youth remarkable for personal beauty, as well as for gallantry, fell into the hands of the unrelenting Edward. He was tried by a special commission at Berwick, was condemned, and executed.
Christopher Seatoun shared the same unfortunate fate. He also was distinguished by personal valour, and signalized himself in the fatal battle of Methven. Robert Bruce adventured his person in that battle like a knight of romance. He dismounted Aymer de Valence, Earl of Pembroke, but was in his turn dismounted by Sir Philip Mowbray. In this emergence Seatoun came to his aid, and remounted him. Langtoft mentions, that in this battle the Scottish wore white surplices, or shirts, over their armour, that those of rank might not be known. In this manner both Bruce and Seatoun escaped. But the latter was afterwards betrayed to the English, through means, according to Barbour, of one MacNab, "a disciple of Judas," in whom the unfortunate knight reposed entire confidence. There was some peculiarity respecting his punish
3 He was condemned to be drawn.
In a kirtle of burel, a selcouth wise,
was not the life of Athole shed,
To soothe the tyrant's sickened bed.-P. 422.
John de Strath bogie, Earl of Athole, had attempted to escape Though he cam to the gallows first he was on hung, out of the kingdom, but a storin cast him upon the coast, when All quick beheaded that himn thought long;
he was taken, sent to London, and executed, with circum Then he was y-opened, his bowels y-brend,'
stances of great barbarity, being first half strangled, then let The beved to London-bridge was send
down from the gallows while yet alive, barbarously dismem To shende.
bered, and his body burnt. It may surprise the reader to So evermore mote I the,
learn, that this was a mitigated punishment; for in respect Some while weened be
that his mother was a grand-daughter of King John, by hig Thus little to stand.9
natural son Richard, he was not drawn on a sledge to execu
tion, “that point was forgiven," and he made the passage on “ He rideth through the city, as I tell may,
horseback. Matthew of Westminster tells us that King EdWith gamen and with soiace that was their play, ward, then extremely ill, received great ease froin the news To London-bridyc he took the way,
that his relative was apprehended. Quo audito, Rex An Mony was the wives child that thereon lacketh a day,3 gliæ, etsi gravissimo morbo tunc langueret, levius tamen tulii
And said, alas!
dolorem." To this singular expression the text alludes. That he was y-born And so vilely forelorn,
So fair man he was, 4
« Now standeth the heved above the tu-brigge,
And must his word, till dying day,
Be nought but quarter, hang, and slay.-P.422.
of the vindictive spirit of Edward I. The prisoners taken at The preceding stanzas contain probably as minute an ac- the castle of Kildrummie had surrendered upon condition count as can be found of the trial and execution of state cri- that they should be at King Edward's disposal. “* But his minals of the period. Superstition mingled its horrors with will,” says Barbour, " was always evil towards Scottishmen." those of a ferocious state policy, as appears from the following the news of the surrender of Kildrummie arrived when he singular parrative.
was in his mortal sickness at Burgh-upon-Sands. “ The Friday next, before the assumption of Our Lady, King Edward met Robert the Bruce at Saint Johnstoune, in Scot
" And when he to the death was near, land, and with his company, of which company King Edward
The folk that at Kyldromy wer quelde seven thousand. When Robert the Bruce saw this
Come with prisoners that they had tane, mischief, and gan to flee, and how'd him that men might not
And syne to the king are gane. him find; but S. Simond Frisell pursued was so sore, so that
And for to comfort him they tauld he turned again and abode bataille, for he was a worthy
How they the castell to them yauld; knight and a bolde of bodye, and the Englishmen pursuede
And how they till his will were brought, him sore on every side, and quelde the steed that Sir Simon
To do off that whatever he thought;
And ask'd what men should off them do.
Then look'd he angryly them to,
He said, grinning,'HANGS AND DRAWS.' myne horse and harness, and all my armoure and income.
That was wonder of sic saws. Tho' answered Thobaude of Pevenes, that was the kinges
Tha: he, that to the death was near, archer, Now, God me so helpe, it is for nought that thou speak
Should answer upon sic maner, est, for all the gold of England I would not let thee go without
Forouten moaning and mercy; cominandment of King Edward. And tho' he was led to the How might he trust on him to cry, King, and the King would not see him, but commanded to That sooth.fastly dooms all thing lead him away to his doom in London, on Our Lady's even
To have mercy for his crying, nativity. And he was hung and drawn, and his head smitten
Off him that, throw his felony, off, and hanged again with chains of iron upon the gallows,
Into sic point had no mercy ?" and his head was set at Loudon-bridge upon a spear, and against Christmas the body was burnt, for encheson (reason) There was much truth in the Leonine couplet, with which that the men that keeped the body saw many devils ramping Matthew of Westminster concludes his encomium on the first with iron crooks, running upon the gallows, and horribly tor
Edward : menting the body. And many that them saw, anon thereafter died for dread, or waxen mad, or sore sickness they had."- “Scotos Edwardus, dum vixit, suppeditavit, JS. Chronicle in the British Museum, quoted by Ritson.
Tenuit, afflixit, depressit, dilaniavit."
1 Burned.-2 Meaning, at one time he little thought to stand others in the same situation, was pitied by the female specta thus. --3 viz Saith Lack-a-day.-4 The gallant knight, like tors as "a proper young man."
NOTE 2 A.
his good fortune as he left the island of Rachrin, but sent hez
“ Then in schort time men mycht thaim so
Schute all thair galayis to the se,
And ber to se baith ayr and ster, Bruce uniformly professed, and probably felt, compunction
And othyr thingis that mystir) wer. for having violated the sanctuary of the church by the
And as the king apon the sand slaughter of Comyn ; and finally, in his last hours, in testi
Wes gangnnd wp and doun, bidand 2 mony of his faith, penite ice, and zeal, he reques:cd James
Till that his menye redy war, Lord Douglas to carry his heart to Jerusalem, to be there de
His ost come richt till him thar. posited in the Holy Sepulchre.
And quhen that scho him halyst had,
Bot our all speceally
A wyttring her I sall yow ma,
Quhat end that your purposs sall ta.
For in this land is nane trewly
Wate thingis to cum sa wcill as I.
Ye pass now furth on your wiage, So soon as the notice of Comyn's slaughter reached Rome,
To wenge the harme, and the owirag, Bruce and his adherents were excommunicated. It was pub
That Ingliss men lias to row done; lished first by the Archbishop of York, and renewed at diffe
Bot ye wat nocht quhatkyne forton rent times, particularly by Lambyrton, Bishop of St. Andrews,
Ye mon drev in your werraring. in 1308 ; but it does not appear to have answered the purpose
Bot wrt ye weill, with outsn lesing, which the English monarch expected. Indeed, for reasons
That fra ye now haiff takyn land, which it may be difficult to trace, the thunders of Rome de
Nane sa mgclty, na sa strenth thi of hand, scended upon the Scottish mountains with less effect than in
Sall ger yow pass owt of your countré more fertile countries. Probably the comparative poverty of
Till all to yow abandownyt be. the benefices occasioned that fewer foreign clergy settled in
With in schort iyme ye sall be king, Scotland; and the interest of the native churchmen were
And haiff the land at your liking, linked with that of their country. Many of the Scottish pre
And oureum your fayis all. lates, Lambyrton the primate particularly, declared for Bruce,
Bot fcle anovis thole ye sall, while he was yet under the ban of the church, although he
Or that your purposs end haiff tane: afterwards again changed sides.
Bot ye sall thaim ourdryve ilkauc.
Quhen yo ar heyit to yowr mycht.""
BARBOUR's Bruce, Bouk iii., v. 856
power that will not be repress'd.-P. 423.
Bruce, like other heroes, observed omens, and onc is recorded by tradition. After he had retreated to one of the miserable places of shelter, in which he could venture to take some repose after his disasters, he lay stretched upon a handful of
Note 2 D. straw, and abandoned himself to his mclancholy meditations, He had now been defeated four times, and was upon the point of resolving to abandon all hopes of further opposition to his
A huntel wanderer on the wild, fate, and to go to the Holy Land. It chanced, his eye, while
On foreign shores a inan cxilid.-P. 124. he was thus pondering, was attracted by the exertions of a spider, who, in order to fix his web, endeavoured to swing lum- This is not metaphorical. The echocs of Scotland did acself from one beam to another above his head. Involuntarily | tually he became interested in the pertinacity with which the insect rencwed his exertions, after failing six times; and it occurred With the bloodhounds that bayed for her fugitive king." to him that he would decido his own course according to the success or failure of the spider. At the seventh effort the in- A very curious and romantic tale is told by Barbour upon this sect gained his object; and Bruce, in like manner, persevered subject, which may be abridged as follows: and carried his own. Hence it has been held unlucky or un- When Bruce had again got footing in Scotland in the spring grateful, or both, in one of the name of Bruce to kill a spider. of 1306, he continued to be in a very weak and precarious con
The Archdeacon of Aberdeen, instead of the abbot of this dition, gaining, indeed, occasional adrantages, but obliged to tale, introduces an Irish Pythoness, who not only predicted Ay before his cnemics whenever they assembled in force. Upon
one occasion, while he was lying with a small party in the wilds
Quhen the chasseris relyit war, of Campock, in Ayrshire, Aymer de Valence, Earl of Pem
And Jhon of Lorn had met thaim that, broke, with his inveterate foc John of Lorn, camc against him
He tauld Schyr Aymer all the cass suddenly with eight hundred Highlanders, besides a large body
How that the king euchapyt wass; of men-at-arms. They brought with them a slough-dog, or
And how that he his five men slew, bloodhound, which, some say, had been once a favourite with
And syne to the wode him drew. the Bruce himself, and therefore was lcast likely to lose the
Qulien Schyr Aymer herd this, in hy trace.
He sangt him for the ferly: Bruce, whose force was under four hundred men, continued
And said ; 'He is gretly to pryss; to make head against the cavalry, till the men of Lorn bad
For I knaw nane that liffand is, nearly cut off his retreat. Perceiving the danger of liis situa
That at myscheyff gan help him swa. tion, he acted as the celebrated and ill-requited Mina is said
I trow he suld be hard to sla, to have done in similar circumstances. He divided his force
And he war bodyn dewynly.' into three parts, appointed a place of rendezvous, and com
On this wiss spak Schyr Aymery." manded them to retreat by different routes. But when John
BARBOUR's Bruce, Book v., v. 391. of Lomn arrived at the spot where they divided, he caused the hound to be put upon the trace, which immediately directed The English historians agree with Barbour as to the mode him to the pursuit of that party which Bruce headed. This, in which the English pursued Bruce and his followers, and therefore, Lorn pursued with his whole force, paying no at the dexterity with which he evaded them. The following is tention to the others. The king again subdivided his small the testimony of Harding, a great enemy to the Scottish Dan body into three parts, and with the same result, for the pur- tion :suers attached themselves exclusively to that which he led in person. He then caused his followers to disperse, and retained “ The King Edward with hoost ngin sought full sore, only his foster-brother in his company. The slough dog fol- But as he fled into woodes and strayte forest, lowed the trace, and, neglecting the others, attached himself And slewe his men at staytes and daungers thore, and his attendants to the pursuit of the king. Lorn became And at marreys and mires was ay full prest convinced that his enemy was ncarly in his power, and de- Englyshmen to kyll withoutyn any rest; tached five of his most active attendants to follow him, and In the mountaynes and cragges he slew ay where, interrupt his fight. They did so with all the agility of moun- And in the nught his foes hic frayod full sere : tainecrs. “What aid wilt thou make?" said Bruce to his single attendant, when he saw tho five men gain ground on “ The King Edward with hornes and houndes him soght, him. “ The best I can," replied his foster-brother. “ Then," With menne on fote, through marris, mosse, and myre, said Bruce," here I make my stand." The five pursuers Through woles also, and mountens (wher thei fought, / came up fast. The king took three to himself, leaving the And euer the Kyng Edward higlit men greate hyre. other two to his foster-brother. He slew the first who en- Hym for to take and by myght conquere ; countered him ; but observing his foster-brother hard pressed, But thei might hym not gette by force ne by train, he sprung to his assistance, and despatched one of his assail- Ho satte by the fyre when thei went in the rain." ants. Leaving him to deal with the survivor, he returned
HARDYNG's Chronicle, p. 30.3-4. upon the other two, both of whom he slew before his fosterbrother had despatched his single antagonist. When this hard Peter Langtoft has also a passage concerning the extremiencounter was over, with a courtesy, which in the whole work ties to which King Robert was reduced, which he entitles marks Bruce's character, he thanked his foster-brother for his aid. “ It likes you to say so," answered liis follower; “ but
De Roberto Brus el fuga circum circa fii. For yourself slew four of the five."-" Truc," said the king, “ And wele I understode that the Kyng Robyn "but only because I had better opportunity than you. They Has drunken of that blode the drink of Dan Waryn. were not apprehensive of me when they saw mo encounter Dan Waryn he les tounes that he held, thrce, so I had a moment's time to spring to thy aid, and to With wrong he mad a res, and misberyng of scheld, return equally unexpectedly upon my own opponents."
Sithen into the forest he yede naked and wode, In the meanwhile Lorn's party approached rapidly, and the Als a wild beast, cte of the gras that stode, king and his foster-brother betook theniselves to a neighbour- Thus of Dan Waryn in his boke men rede, ing wood. Here they sat down, for Bruce was exhausted by God gyf the King Robyn, that alle his kynde so srede, fatigue, until the cry of the slough-hound came so near, that Sir Robynet the Brus hc durst noure abide, his foster-brother entreated Bruce to provide for his safety by That thei mad him restus, both in more and wod-side, retreating further. “I have heard," answered the king, “that To while he mad this train, and did um while outrage," &c. whosoever will wade a bow-shot length down a running stream,
PETER LANGTOFT's Chronicle, vol. ii. p. 335, shall make the slough-hound lose scent.-Let us try the expe
8vo, London, 1810. riment, for were yon devilish hound silenced, I should care little for the rest."
Lorn in the mean while advanced, and found the bodies of his slain vassals, over whom he made his moan, and threatened the most deadly vengeance. Then he followed the hound to the side of the brook, down which the king had waded a
NOTE 2 E. great way. Here the hound was at fault, and John of Lorn, after long attempting in vain to recover Bruce's trace, relin
For, giad of each pretext for spoil, quished the pursuit.
A pirate sworn was Cormac Doil.-P. 425. "Others," says Barbour, "affirm, that upon this occasion the king's life was saved by an excellent archer who accompa- A sort of persons common in the isles, as may be easily benied him, and who perceiving they would be finally taken by lieved, until the introduction of civil polity. Witness the means of the blood-hound, hid himself in a thicket, and shot Dean of the Isles' account of Ronay. “At the porth end of hiin with an arrow. In which way,” adds the metrical biographer, “this escape happened I am uncertain, but at that brook the king escaped from his pursuers."
Raarsay, be half myle of sea frae it, layes ane ile callit Ronay, try, which is thereabouts divided from the estate of Mr. Mao maire then a myle in lengthe, full of wood and heddir, with calister of Strath-Aird, called Strathnardill by the Dean of ane havcin for heiland galeys in the middis of it, and the same the Isles. The following account of it is extracted from a havein is guid for fostering of theires, ruggairs, and reivairs, till journall kept during a tour through the Scottish islands :a nail, upon the peilling and spulzeing of poor pepill. This “ The western coast of Sky is highly romantic, and at the ile perteins to M Gillychallan of Raarsay by force, and to the same time displays a richness of vegetation in the lower bishope of the iles be heritage."-Sir Donald Mon Ro's De- grounds to which we have hitherto been strangers. We passed scription of the Western Islands of Scotland, Edinburgh, 1805, three salt-water lochs, or deep embayments, called Loch Bra
cadale, Loch Einort, and Loch —, and about 11 o'clock opened Loch Slavig. We were now under the western termination of the high ridge of mountains called Cuillen, or Quillin, or Coolin, whose weather-beaten and serrated peaks we
had admired at a distance from Dunvegan. They sunk here Note 2 F.
upon the sea, but with the same bold and peremptory aspect
which their distant appearance indicated. They appeared to “ Alas! dear youth, the unhappy time,"
consist of precipitous sheets of naked rock, down which the Answer'd the Bruce, “ must bear the crime,
torrents were leaping in a hundred lines of foam. The tops Since, guiltier far than you,
of the ridge, apparently inaccessible to human foot, were rent Even I"-he paused; for Falkirk's vroes
and split into the most tremendous pinnacles. Towards the Upon his conscious soul arose.-P. 426.
base of these bare and precipitous crags, the ground, enriched
by the soil washed down from them, is comparatively verdant I have followed the vulgar and inaccurate tradition, that and productive. Where we passed within the small isle of Bruce fought against Wallace, and the array of Scotland, at Soa, we entered Loch Slavig, under the shoulder of one of the fatal battle of Falkirk. The story, which seems to have these grisly mountains, and observed that the opposite side of no better authority than that of Blind Harry, bears, that hav- the loch was of a milder character, the mountains being sofing made much slaughter during the engagement, he sat down tened down into steed green declivities. From the bottom of to dine with the conquerors without washing the filthy witness the bay advanced a headland of high rocks, which divided its from his hands.
depth into two recesses, from each of which a brook issued.
Here it had been intimated to us we would find some roman“ Fasting he was, and had been in great need, tic scenery; but we were uncertain up which inlet we should
Blooded were all his weapons and his weed; proceed in search of it. We chose, against our better judg-
ment, the southerly dip of the bay, where we saw a house And said, Behold yon Seot eats his own blood. which might afford us information. We found, upon in
quiry, that there is a lake adjoining to each branch of the “ Then rued he sore, for reason bad be known, bay; and walked a couple of miles to sce that near the farm. That blood and land alike should be his own;
house, merely because the honest Highlander secmed jealous With them he long was, ere he got away,
of the honour of his own loch, though we were speedily canBut contrair Scots he fought not from that day." vinced it was not that which we were recommended to exa
mine. It had no particular merit, excepting from its neigliThe account given by most of our historians, of the conversa- bourhood to a very high cliff, or precipitous mountain, othertion between Bruce and Wallace over the Carron river, is wise the sheet of water had nothing differing from any ordiequally apocryphal. There is full evidence that Bruce was
nary low-country lake. We returned and re-embarked in not at that time on the English side, nor present at the battle our boat, for our guide shook his head at our proposal to of Falkirk; nay, that he acted as a guardian of Scotland, along climb over the peninsula, or rocky headland which divided with John Comyn, in the name of Baliol, and in opposition to the two lakes. In rowing round the headland, we were surthe English. He was the grandson of the competitor, with prised at the infinite number of sea-fowl, then busy apparently whom he has been sometimes confounded. Lord Hailes has with a shoal of fishı. well described, and in some degree apologized for, the earlier “Arrived at the depth of the bay, we found that the dispart of his life.--" His grandfather, the competitor, had pa- charge from this second lake forms a sort of waterfall, or rather tiently acquiesced in the award of Edward. His father, a rapid stream, which rushes down to the sea with great fury yielding to the times, had served under the English banners. and precipitation. Round this place were assembled hunBut young Bruce had more ambition, and a more restless dreds of trouts and salmon, struggling to get up into the fresh spirit. In his earlier years he acted upon no regular plan. water : with a net we might have had twenty salmon at a By turns the partisan of Edward, and the vicegerent of Ba- haul; and a sailor, with no better hook than a crooked pin, liol, he seems to have forgotten or stifted his pretensions to caught a dish of trouts during our absence. Advancing up the crown. But his character developed itself by degrees, this huddling and riotous brook, we found ourselves in a most and in maturer age became firm and consistent."- Annals of extraordinary scene; we lost sight of the sea almost immeScotland, p. 290 quarto, London, 1776.
diately after we had climbed over a low ridge of crags, and were surrounded by mountains of naked rock, of the boldest and most precipitous character. The ground on which we walked was the margin of a lake, which seemed to have sustained the constant ravage of torrents from these rude neigh
bours. The shores consisted of huge strata of naked granite, NOTE 2 G.
here and there intermixed with bogs, and heaps of gravel and
sand piled in the empty water-courses. Vegetation there was These are the sarage rrilds that lie
little or none; and the mountains rose so perpendicularly North of Strathnardill and Dunskye.-P. 427.
from the water edge, that Borrowdale, or even Glencoe, is a
jest to them. We proceeded a mile and a half up this deep, The extraordinary piece of scenery which I have here at- dark, and solitary lake, which was about two miles long, hall tempted to describc, is, I think, unparalleled in any part of Scotland, at least in any which I have happened to visit. It lies just upon :he frontier of the Laird of Mac-Leod's coun
1 This is the l'o«t's own journal.-ED.