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entertained by the somewhat eccentric lady, and not permitted to go back to the world beyond the valleys with either his wife or family, till he had fulfilled a promise, given under extreme pressure, of seeing her laid in the grave. Many interesting particulars of this visit, and of the Countess herself, will be found in that author's “Schloss Hainfield; or a Winter in Lower Styria." The uncle of Lord Corehouse, then Captain W. H. Cranstoun, was mysteriously, but, as it turned out, innocently mixed up with the affairs of the notorious Mary Blandy, executed at York for poisoning her father-one of her allegations being that the captain sent her poison from Scotland, after an acquaintanceship made when recruiting with his regiment at Henley.
Stricken with paralysis, and otherwise in poor health, Lord Corehouse retired from the Bench in 1839, but survived in retirement, at his beautiful seat, till 26th June, 1850, when death removed the old Judge, whom it is difficult to over. estimate in his zeal as an advocate, for his impartiality as a judge, or even for his scholarship, so full, ready, and informing. Corehouse fell to be possessed by E. Cranstoun Charles Harris, fourth son of J. Cunningham of Lainshaw, who, in 1869, succeeded his aunt, under the entail. The present possessor of this historic seat is C. E. H. Edmonstoune-Cranstoun, Esq., born 1841, succeeded 1869.
BATTLE OF LANGSIDE.
Early in May, 1568, the news of Queen Mary's escape from Lochleven flashed through Scotland, and across the Borders to England and the Continent. On the evening of the end, through the connivance of a page known as “Little Douglas," the keys of her prison were abstracted from the castellan, and a boat being in readiness she was rowed across the Loch, with one of her young lady attendants, to the lands of Caldon, where she was received by Lord Seaton, John Beaton,
(brother of James, Archbishop of Glasgow), and other friends. Tytler writes of her as then taking horse to ride at full speed south to the Ferry, which she crossed, and held on her gallop, accompanied part of the way by Lord Claud Hamilton with fifty horse, till Niddry Castle was reached, where the royal fugitive passed her first night of freedom. Here a hurried despatch was sent to France, and Hepburn, of Riccarton, instructed to proceed in the first instance to Dunbar for the purpose of demanding delivery of the castle, and then to pass seaward to Denmark, that his master Bothwell might be made aware of her deliverance. Next day a south-western course was taken by way of Mid-Calder and Shotts, till Hamilton was reached, a distance somewhat over thirty miles. Here Mary felt herself in safety, and had hardly halted till plans were being devised for summoning friends to her assistance. The Earls of Argyll, Cassillis, Eglinton, and Rothes, the Lords Somerville, Yester, Livingstone, Herries, Fleming, Ross, Borthwick, and many others, all crowded into the camp at Hamilton with their followers.
Nor were the lesser barons overlooked, the Laird of Nether-Pollok (Sir John Maxwell), among the rest, being written to on the 5th :-"We dowt not bot ye know that God of his gudness has put us at libertie, quhome we thank maist heartlie. Quhairfore desires you wt all possible diligence fail not to be heir at us in Hamylton with all yor folks, friends and seruands bodin in feir of weir, as ye will do us acceptable service and pleasure. Because yor constance. We need not at this put to mak langer Lyr, but will byd you fairweill.—(Signed) Mary, R. Dated off Hamylton, ye v. of May, 1568.” Tradition, generally of a very loose kind, has connected many places with the presence of Mary during her few busy days in and around Hamilton - pre-eminently Castlemilk (Stuart) and Craignethan, then occupied by the infirm Earl of Arran, third of the name, whose reason had become affected by the Queen's refusal to accept him for a husband. Unlike most of the other members of his family, he was in early life actively inclined to favour the Reformers. It is on the whole difficult to see why Mary should for any purpose remove beyond the bounds of the protection afforded by her kinsmen
and supporters at Cadzow or in and around Hamilton proper, where in a very few days about six thousand men mustered in her cause. Mary's letters during her stay are all dated like the above, as from or "off" Hamilton, and it was certainly at Hamilton she held her great Council to declare that consent to the coronation of her son had been extorted by the fear of death. An Act of Council was thereafter passed to make treasonable all the proceedings by which Moray had become Regent, and a Bond drawn up in defence of their Sovereign which, in the enthusiasm of the moment, was signed by nine earls, nine bishops, eighteen lords, twelve abbots and priors, and nearly one hundred barons. Two versions have come down to us of Mary's proceedings at this time. In one she is opposed to civil war, and is said even to have made overtures to the Regent for reconciliation and forgiveness. Another will have it that she was no way averse to the Hamilton policy of striking a decisive blow at the Regent's party, and would certainly make no effort to avoid a conflict.
Since a day or two before Mary's escape on the 2nd May, the Regent had been in Glasgow with a small following administering justice and holding courts of various kinds. Anxious to attack at once before either Huntly or Ogilvy, with their northern followers, could join the royal forces, but wishful at the same time for a breathing space to gather men, Moray issued a proclamation declaring his determination to support the King's Government. Mar thereupon despatched reinforcements and cannon from Stirling. Grange took command of the horse; Hume, after foiling Hepburn in his attempt to seize Dunbar, joined the Regent with six hundred ; Edinburgh sent a small force of hagbutters; and important as any, Andrew, chief of Arrochar, marched in from Lochlomondside, followed by six hundred of “the wild Macfarlane's plaided clan.” It thus came about that between Sunday, 2nd May, the day of Mary's escape from Lochleven, and Thursday, 13th May, an army, irregular it is true, but full of enthusiasm, and numbering at least four thousand, had gathered round the Regent. Thursday was the day fixed by the Queen to advance towards Dumbarton Castle, kept all along in her interest by John, fifth Lord Fleming. Their design, if one can gather it from
dubious authorities, was to avoid the City of Glasgow, where they well knew the Regent lay encamped with his men, and cross the Clyde lower down, probably at Renfrew or Dunglass, the river then being easily crossed at these points during low water. With roads hardly existing in the sense now understood, it is not known what route the Queen and her army took on leaving Hamilton, but from what followed it may be presumed to have been by way of Blantyre and Cambuslang, where a westward movement was effected in the direction of Langside. At anyrate the Regent was fully informed that through the village of Langside the Queen's forces must pass. Had it been sincerely intended to avoid a contest, a safer road to the Clyde, south of Cathcart, might have been found.
Early in the morning, Grange had examined Langside and neighbourhood, while the Regent was mustering his men on the Burgh Muir, off the Gallowgate. Informed of the intention of the Queen's party to march along the left or south bank of the Clyde, he returned in haste to the muster-ground, mounted a hagbutter behind each horseman, and having rapidly forded the Clyde, a little above the frail old bridge, he placed them advantageously among the cottages, hedges, and gardens skirting each side of the narrow rising lane up which the Queen's troops must defile (“Melvill's Memoirs,” pp. 200-201.) Moray with the main body, and Morton with the advance, crossed Clyde by the bridge, and, ascending Camphill and Langside Hill from their western slopes, out of view of their opponents, arrived on the ground just in time to meet the Queen's forces. The vanguard, two thousand strong, was commanded by Lord Claud Hamilton, but the disposal of the troops generally was in the hands of Mary's brother-in-law, Archibald, fifth Earl of Argyll, whose commission as Lieutenant of Scotland had been signed at Hamilton early in the morning. The writer of the “Diurnal of Occurrents” mentions that the advance of Hamilton got involved within narrow passages, or "fauld dykes,” when rushing to attain the crest of the hill, and being fired on in this disorganised state, they “gaif bakis and fled." Others in the rear sought to push on, and so far succeeded, but were nearly exhausted when they found themselves face to face with the
Regent's advance, well rested and in firm order. Tytler, relying on Melvill, describes this portion of the force as composed of the choicest Border pikeman, led by Hume, Kerr of Cessford, and other barons of the Merse, who all fought on foot. Obeying Grange's command to keep pikes shouldered till the enemy had levelled theirs and then push on, the most severe struggle of the day now took place for possession of the hill-side. Melvill (the Queen's secretary), who was present, describes the long pikes as so closely crossed and interlaced that, when the soldiers behind discharged their pistols and threw them on the staves of their shattered weapons in the face of their enemies, they never reached the ground, but remained lying on the spears. Reinforcing the Barons of Renfrewshire, with the followers of Lindsay and Balfour, a sharp united attack on the Queen's party was made by Moray and Grange, with disastrous results to their opponents. They wavered, broke up, cast aside their weapons, and fled. The route was completed by a charge on the part of the Macfarlane men, with the leaps and yells peculiar to their mode of fighting. Even the Hamilton cavalry, greatly superior as it was to anything on the side of the Regent, became mixed up in the confusion, and when relieved, could do little but turn and disperse, although every incitement to renewed effort was given by the presence of the Queen, who witnessed the scene with sorrow from an eminence adjoining Cathcart Castle. About 300 were set down as being slain on the Queen's side, and many distinguished leaders captured-among them Lords Seaton and Ross, the eldest sons of the Earls of Eglinton and Cassillisand the Sheriff of Linlithgow, a Hamilton, who bore the royal standard in the , vanguard. The Regent's loss was trifling-not more, it is thought, than halfa-dozen, but three of his trusty supporters-Hume, Ochiltree, and Andrew Car of Faudonside, were severely wounded.
With much humanity, the Regent checked his followers in pursuit, and even liberated certain of the captives condemned to death. One so released was that John Hamilton of Bothwellhaugh, destined within two years to cause the death of his deliverer by shooting him when passing in triumph through the streets of