Historical Tales of the Wars
of Scotland And of the Border Raids, Forays and
Conflicts by John Parker Lawson (1839)
THE present Work consists of a series of Historiettes, or
Narratives connected with Scottish History, which, it is hoped, will not be
deemed uninteresting to the experienced reader; while to young persons, and
those of mature age, who have not access to many books, or leisure to peruse
them, it will supply them with much valuable information concerning the
several localities with which they are acquainted. These HISTORICAL TALES
are constructed on the same principle as Sir Walter Scott's "TALES OF A
GRANDFATHER," differing only in this circumstance, that, as every Narrative
is complete, no chronological arrangement is followed. This may be alleged
as injudicious by some readers, but the plan was adopted to combine variety
with agreeable information. The Work pretends to nothing new, nor does it
interfere with any of the existing Histories of Scotland ; and as it is
designed for general use, the great object is to condense the substance of
many large and valuable volumes in a convenient compass, the whole being
carefully selected and compiled from the most authentic Histories,
Chronicles, Diaries, and original MSS. preserved in the public Libraries and
in private Collections. These Narratives are designated HISTORICAL TALES,
for the same reason that Sir Walter Scott calls his History of Scotland, for
such it is on a small scale, TALES OF A GRANDFATHER. There is neither
fiction nor romance introduced, and the Authorities are laid before the
reader at the commencement of each Narrative.
Although the leading subject of the Work is Tales of the
Scotish Wars, and of those on the Continent under the great Gustavus
Adolphus, King of Sweden, and other Sovereigns, in which Scotsmen were
engaged, numerous individual anecdotes, private encounters, and biographical
sketches, are introduced. While the wars with the English, the battles of
Wallace and of Bruce, and the exploits of the great Montrose, are
prominently brought forward, the Border Raids, Forays, and Conflicts, the
chivalrous inroads into the Lowlands of the indomitable Highland Clans, and
their mutual battles, encounters, and attacks, are not omitted. On the
whole, it is humbly hoped that the Work will be received with favour by the
Public, as much on account of its cheapness as of any merits it may possess.
Documentary on the History of War in Scotland
John Parker Lawson who was
born in England in 1807, and died in Edinburgh in 1852, was an ordained
minister in the Episcopal Church of Scotland and the author of the books
listed below. For some time he was also a chaplain in the British Army.
Later in his short life, he lived in Edinburgh.
His works include:
The Life of George Wishart of
Pitarrow, Edinburgh, 1827.
Life and Times of William Laud, … Archbishop of Canterbury, 2 vols., London,
The History of Remarkable Conspiracies connected with English History during
the Fifteenth, Sixteenth, and Seventeenth Centuries, 2 vols., Edinburgh,
1829. This was issued in Constable's Miscellany.
The Roman Catholic Church in Scotland, Edinburgh, 1836.
Gazetteer of the Old and New Testaments, with Introductory Essay by William
Fleming, 2 vols., Edinburgh, 1838.
Historical Tales of the Wars of Scotland, 2 vols., Edinburgh, 1839.
History of the Scottish Episcopal Church from the Revolution to the Present
Time, Edinburgh, 1843.
The Episcopal Church of Scotland from the Reformation to the Revolution,
Lawson also edited in 1844
the first two volumes of Robert Keith's History of the Affairs of Church and
State in Scotland for the Spottiswoode Society, and wrote the letterpress
for Clarkson Stanfield and James Duffield Harding's Scotland Delineated,
The following appeared in 'The Spectator' for 4 JUNE 1836, Page 17
There is also a list of his
publications at the
Internet Archive including this four volume work, that will be
serialised here on ES.
Picturesque: Historical: Descriptive
THERE arc few countries whose historical and other
associations present greater interest than Scotland. Only three centuries
ago it was, as a nation, almost in the same category as was England in the
days of the Saxons. Rival chiefs or clans were constantly promoting civil
war, or fighting among themselves. The reign of the unfortunate Queen Mary
affords some of the most painful incidents that can be found in the history
of any nation. In the course of events, however, at the commencement of the
last century, the Union between England and Scotland was effected, and from
that date the progress of North Britain in commerce, the arts and sciences,
and manufactures has been unparalleled. Scotland, in fact, at the present
day, by the enterprise, perseverance, and energy of her inhabitants, stands
foremost in civilised life. Perhaps the truth is not exceeded if we remark,
that there is not a spot where civilisation has taken root throughout the
world, that a Scotchman may not be found exercising his peculiarper-fervidumin
promoting general progress.
Until very recently the tourist knew little of the beauties
of the country, and still less of its historical associations. To describe
these and other objects of interest is the purpose of the following pages.
Fifty years ago, a journey to Edinburgh was, in every respect, as serious an
undertaking as one to Egypt is at the present day. Put the extension of the
railway system to theUltima
and the example set by her Majesty, have led tourists of all classes to
acquaint themselves with the romantic scenery of Scotland, in place of a
resort to Germany and Switzerland, as was formerly the case.
Scotland may be practically considered as consisting of three
principal regions. In a line south of Edinburgh, drawn to Dumfries, and near
Carlisle, the scenery partakes much of the character of the North of
England. The Cheviot Hills introduce to the higher system of mountain ranges
in the north. In this portion, agriculture, the rearing of sheep and cattle,
arc the chief occupation of the inhabitants. Within the central zone the
leading historical incidents of Scotland have occurred, the capital,
Edinburgh, having been their centre. This also includes Stirling, Glasgow,
and here coal, lead, and iron mining, textile and chemical manufactures,
have attained the highest position. The Clyde and the Forth, connected by a
canal, become the veins or arteries of immense commercial activity.
North of this the great mountain ranges commence, with the
magnificent lochs of sea and fresh water, that indent the whole of the
western portion of Scotland. In the Grampian range is Hen Nevis, having a
height of 4,370 feet, and Ben Macdhui, said to be 4,390 feet high. In some
of these mountains there arc ravines from 1,000 to 1,500 feet in
perpendicular depth. Still further north is a range extending from the
Atlantic to the German Ocean, one of the highest hills being Ben Wyvis,
3,720 feet. In the West Highlands, the scenery from the mouth of the Clyde
is of the most romantic description, the Isle of Arran affording a kind of
microcosm of their topography and geology. The inland lakes or lochs, such
as Lomond, Katrine, Awe, Ness, Leven, &c., afford every variety of scenery,
while those running in from the sea arc scarcely inferior in beauty; as, for
example, Lochs Fyne and Long. In these districts we need scarcely remind our
readers that shooting and fishing are carried on, and afford some of the
strongest inducements for the visit of the tourist. Deer-stalking is
reserved for the more northerly districts, as Sutherlandshirc and
Scotland is rich in its archaeology. Edinburgh Castle and
Holyrood Palace still remain as monuments of history. The same may be said
of Stirling Castle, and the ruins of Linlithgow and other palaces. As
regards cathedrals, those of Glasgow and Elgin are magnificent specimens of
ecclesiastical architecture. Among abbeys, those of Melrose, Dryburgh,
Kelso, and Roslin Chapel are too well known to require further than the mere
mention. The style of these, and their ornamentation, present some curious
features of study, in an ethnological point of view, when we contrast them
with the character of the Celts, little emerged from a state of barbarism at
the period of the erection of such buildings. It is singular, indeed, that
the soft, flowing lines of Scott, and the tender, or at times forciblepoetryof
Bums, should have emanated from a people which even now retain, in some
places, traces of the feudal system.
Such arc some outlines of various interesting matters
described in minute detail in this Work. With respect to the Illustrations,
they afford lively pictures of what the intended tourist may expect to
realise on visiting Scotland. On the other hand, those who arc familiar with
that country will be enabled to reproduce in the mind a constantly-recurring
sense of pleasure.
This comment system requires
you to be logged in through either a Disqus account or an
account you already have with Google, Twitter, Facebook or
Yahoo. In the event you don't have an account with any of these
companies then you can create an account with Disqus. All
comments are moderated so they won't display until the moderator
has approved your comment.