Page images
[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

or their “wives, bairns, or servands,” across Lochlong, Lochgoil, or Lochlomond.

In January, 1611, the Council eclipsed all its former encouragements to revenge by enacting that

“Whatsomevir person or persones of the name of McGregour who sall slay ony persone of the same name being of als good ranke and qualitie as him self and sall prove the same slaughter befoir the saidis Lordis That everie suche persone slayar of ane McGregour of the rank and qualitie forsaid sall hai ane free pardoun and remissioun for all his bygane faultis, he finding suirtie to be ansuerable and obedient to the Lawis in tyme comeing; And siclike that whatsomever uther persone or personis will slay ony of the particular personis underwritten Thay are to say Duncan McEwne McGregour now callit the Laird, Robert abroch McGregour, Johne Dowe McAllister McGregour, Callum McGregour of Coull, Duelchay McGregour and McRobert McGregour his bruther or ony utheris of the rest of that race, That everie suche persone slayar of ony of the personis particularlie abone-written orony utheris of that race sall haif ane reward in money presentlie payit and delyverit unto thame according to the qualitie of the persone to be slayde, and the least soume salbe ane hundreth merkis, and for the chiftanes and ringleidaris of thir Mfgregouris ane thousand pundes apiece.” Proclamation of this to be made at the Market Crosses of Dumbarton, Stirling, Doune in Monteith, Glasgow, and Auchterarder. All the inhabitants of the three first-mentioned places between the ages of sixteen and sixty were thereupon summoned:-“That thay and euery one of thame weele bodin in feir of weir for thair awne defence and suirtie convene and mete at the heid of Lochlowmond vpoun the xij day of Februair now approaching and to transport and carye fra the said yle, the haill boitis and birlingis being upoun the same to the said loche of Lochketterine, wherby his Majesties forceis appointed for persute and hunting of the saidis woulffs and thevis may be transportit into the yle within the saide loiche vnder the pane of tinsall of lyffe landis and goodis.” On the 23rd May, 1611, the Lords of Council ordained that “ The haill bairns that are past xij yearis

auld to be sent to Ireland be your lordships warrant to sic Scotchmen as your lordships thinks metest that dwells thair, be whose advyce thair name be changit and maid hindes, and thair to remain under pain of dede.

“As anent those that ar wythin xij yearis auld that they be your lordships warrant be transplanted besouth the waters of Forth and Clyde, conform to his Majesties will to Justices of Peace of these boundis at thair next general meeting whilk is the fyrst Tyesday of Feb.; and be thair advyce to be placed and assigned in tounes and parochinis and thair name changit, and thair to remain vnder pain of dede; with power to the said Justices of Peace to give and allow ane fyne to everi ilk ane of these for the help of thair sustenance; and when they come to xij yearis, that they be transplanted to Ireland.”

Two years later the Chancellor (Alexander Fyvie, Earl of Dunfermline) requires the presence of the Laird of Luss on the occasion of a report being presented as to the proceedings against the Clangregor. About this time several of the unhappy fugitives seem to have fallen into the toils prepared for them by the Council. In a document among the Luss papers, bearing to be “The namis of the Clangregours that ar outlawis, and hes nocht fund cautioun,” there is marked against four of them the expressive memorandum, “hangit the xxij. of June, 1613." Their names were Eune Cowbroche, Allister (bastard son to John Grahame), Duncan M‘Phatrick, and John Dow M‘Condochie. On the last day of November, 1613, the Council arranged that the landlords should not be called upon to pay any contribution, provided they took the Clangregor bairns according to the proportion of their lands, and made them forthcoming when called for until eighteen years of age, when they were to be exhibited to the Privy Council, and their subsequent fate decided upon. If any of these unfortunate captives happened to escape from his keeper and be recaptured, the child so escaping, if under fourteen, was to be scourged and burnt on the cheek for the first attempt, and hanged for the second. If above fourteen, they were to be hanged at once without further ceremony. Seven years later-after Shakespeare, during the life of Lord Bacon, in the country of Buchanan—the Lords of His Majesty's Council

are again engaged in the barbarous work of exterminating the hapless children Clan Alpin :

“Quhairas (it is recorded, August 29, 1621) thair is a new broode and generatioun of this clan rissin up quhilk daylie incressis in nomber and force and ar begun to haif thair meitingis and gois in troupis athorte the cuntrey armed with all offensive weaponis, and some of the ringleaderis of thame who anes gave thair obedyence and fund cautioun ar brokin louse and hes committit sundrie disordouris in the cuntrey, as namelie upoun the Duke of Lennox and Laird of Craigcrosten, That thairfoir the former Act maid aganis suche of the Clangregour as wer at Glenfroone and at the hershippis and burning of the landis pertening to the Lairdis of Glenurquhy and Luss and Coline Campbell of Abirurquhill, That they sould weare no armoure but a pointles knyffe to cutt thair meate, be renewit, with this addition, THAT THE SAID ACT BE EXTENDIT AGANIS THE WHOLE NAME." With enactments of this kind in even partial operation, the existence not

“Rob Roy," but of scores, was less a wonder to our ancestors than

Such legislation continued to disgrace constitutional law till the reign of Charles II., when, in consequence of the uniform attachment the Macgregors had exhibited to the cause of a misguided father, his first Parliament passed an Act restoring to them the full use of their family name and all the other privileges of liege subjects. In 1693, however-a year after Glencoe, and a part of the same policy it was thought-the penal Acts against the Macgregors were renewed, without any special reason being assigned; and though put into execution only on rare occasions, they were not finally swept from the statute book till a British Parliament interfered in the reign of George III., 1784.

of one

to us.


[ocr errors]

EARL Home's somewhat sudden death (summer of 1881), naturally directed renewed attention to the relation in which he stood to the successful litigant in the great legal contest of last century, between the houses of Douglas and Hamilton-a contest not only of unsurpassed magnitude so far as the estates in dispute were concerned, but which created an amount of excitement in Scotland, and even on the Continent, altogether unparalleled. Raised in the dry technical form of an action for "reduction of service” the inquiry revealed many features of romantic interest, and engaged for eight years the highest legal talent at both the Scotch and English Bars. Without searching amid the mists of antiquity for matter to illustrate the annals of the renowned house of Douglas, the "Cause" may be briefly mentioned as originating in events connected with the life of William, eleventh Earl of Angus, created Marquis of Douglas by Charles I., June, 1633. As King's Lieutenant on the Borders the Marquis kept up a princely hospitality at Douglas Castle, and during the Civil War supported the cause of the King equally against Cromwell and the Covenanters. He was twice married-first to Margaret Hamilton, sister of the first Earl of Abercorn, and, secondly, to Lady Mary Gordon, daughter of the first Marquis of Huntly, whose descendants came to represent the Hamilton party in the Douglas plea. By his first wife the Marquis had, among other issue, a son, Archibald, Earl of Angus, who died before his father, but lest a son, James, who became second Marquis, and father of Archibald, third Marquis, first and only Duke of Douglas, born in 1694, and Lady Jane Douglas, born in Douglis Castle, 17th March, 1698. With the Duke and his sister this narrative is more immediately concerned. The second Marquis died in 1700, leaving a son and heir, six years, and a daughter, two years old.

In consideration of his illustrious descent and the signal services rendered to the Crown by his ancestors, Archibald, third Marquis, was created a Duke in 1703,

when he was yet a minor, and signalised his adherence to the Hanoverian Government by engaging as a Volunteer at Sheriffmuir, 1715. This, however, was almost the only appearance he ever made in public. An unfortunate and fatal encounter with a distant kinsman of his mother, named Kerr, led to his withdrawing to the Continent, and, after remaining in hiding there for some years, he secretly returned--a morbid, melancholy misanthrope—to shut himself up in gloomy seclusion at Douglas Castle, seeing no one except a few greedy interested dependents. His sister, Lady Jane, by this time grown up to be a handsome accomplished woman, he systematically refused to see, and she was more than once turned ignominiously away from the doors of the castle in which she was born. Disappointed in a matrimonial alliance with Francis, Earl of Dalkeith, afterwards second Duke of Buccleuch, Lady Jane rambled in an unsettled way over the Continent for several years; but in August, 1746, when she had reached the mature age of forty-eight, and was getting considered by society as a somewhat fantastic and faded beauty, privately married Captain John Stewart, younger brother of Sir George of Grandtully, the Captain at the time being a widower of fifty-eight, with a grown-up son. The marriage took place in Edinburgh, and a few days afterwards Lady Jane, accompanied by her companion, Mrs. Hewitt, and two maids, again set out for the Continent, where she was afterwards joined by her husband. In the spring of 1748 the marriage, hitherto kept secret, was communicated to several persons on account of Lady Jane's condition, which, it was said, could no longer be concealed. The family party left Aix-la-Chapelle for Paris, and, always in poverty, moved about from one obscure lodging to another till they landed at the house of one La Brunne, where, on the sixth day after her arrival, and when she was fifty years of age, Lady Jane gave birth, or, as the Hamilton party afterwards pleaded, was alleged to have given birth to twins. Her recovery was certainly rapid, for nine days after her confinement the lodgings were again changed to the Hotel d'Anjou. There may have been no connection between the two circumstances, but the Hamilton executors afterwards established in evidence that about the period in question two male

« PreviousContinue »