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Biggar and the House of Fleming
Chapter XXIV - Historical Sketches of the Fleming Family—Continued


IT was a very common thing for the nobility in former days, to enter into a bond or league with each other for mutual defence, or the attainment of some object. The main plea in justification of this step was the defective administration of the laws. The executive department of government was often powerless; and the consequence was, that the strong oppressed the weak, and rapine, slaughter, and confusion prevailed. On the 10th of February 1465, Robert Lord Fleming entered into a remarkable bond, or 4 Indenture,’ as it was called, with Gilbert Lord Kennedy, and Sir Alexander Boyd of Duchal. The object of it is thus stated: ‘ Ye said lordis ar bundyn and oblisit yaimselfis, yair kyn, friendis and men, to stand in afold kendness, supple, and defencs, ilk an til odir in all yair causis and querrell, leiful and honest, movit and to be movit, for all ye dais of yair liifis, in contrery and aganis al maner of persones yat leiff or dee may.’ Reservation was made with respect to the ‘bands’ which these barons had previously made with other parties; and from this it appears that Lord Fleming had bands with Lord Livingstone and Lord Hamilton. The document goes on to bind Lord Fleming not to give his consent or assent to any proposal to take the King from Lord Kennedy and Sir Alexander Boyd, or the persons whom they might appoint his keepers in their absence; and to use all his power of good counsel to prevail on the King to be kind to them, ‘yair bairnis, and friendis yaiat belong to yaim for ye tym.’ If he did this, he was to have such reward as follows: ‘ Gif yair happynis a large thyng to fall, sic as vard, releiff, marriage, or offes, yat is meit for hym, the said Lord Flemyng sal haff it for a resonable compockm befoir udir.’ It appears that two individuals, ‘Thom of SumerweT and ‘ Wat of Twedy,’ were special friends of Lord Fleming; and therefore Lord Kennedy and Sir Alexander were bound to have them in special maintenance, supply, and defence in all their actions, causes, and quarrels, lawful and honest, for Lord Fleming’s sake, and for services done, or to be done. The document ends with this solemn sanction: ‘ All to be lelily kepit bot fraud and gil, after they have given to each other yair bodily aithis, the hali euangelist tuychit, and set to thair sealis.’

In the records of *The Acts and Proceedings of the Lord Auditors of Causes and Complaints, from 1466 to 149'./ Robert Lord Fleming frequently appears as a party in the lawsuits then carried on. We will briefly refer to one or two of the cases with which he was more especially connected. On the 80th July 1473, an action was raised by Henry Livingstone of Middlebinning against Robert Lord Fleming and John and Thomas Anderson, for their spoliation and withholding of ten oxen and cows and two bulls from the lands of Weltown and Castlecary, belonging to the said Henry, and the improper holding of his lands. The Lords decreed that Lord Fleming had done wrong in taking the said animals, and ordained him to restore them, and, in all time coming, to desist from annoying the said Henry ‘ in the browkin and joysmg* of his lands, as well as to pay him 20s. for his costs and expenses, his three witnesses 15s. for their costs, and, if necessary, to distrain his effects for payment. On the 16th May 1474, Lord Crichton raised an action against Lord Fleming for the payment of L.150, which had been awarded by a decreet of arbitration. The Lords decided against Lord Fleming, and ordered his lands and goods to be distrained. On the 14th October 1479, Lord Fleming appeared in an action against Lord Crichton, for wrongously withholding from him a basin and ewer of silver gilt, valued at L.80, which he had laid in ‘wad’ to the said Lord Crichton for L.20. The Lords continued the case to the 17th of January following, to afford Lord Fleming time to bring forward proof of the value of the basin and ewer, and to Lord Crichton to return them, or give the balance of their value; but the final result is not recorded. On the 12th June 1478, the Lords decreed and delivered that Robert Lord Fleming should content and pay to Patrick Baron, burgess of Edinburgh, the sum of 26 merks, owed by him and his son Robert Fleming, for certain merchandise which he had received, as was proved by Baron's account books, and that letters should be written to distrain his lands and goods for payment. Lord Fleming alleged that his son owed 20 merks of this account; and therefore the Lords continued the case till the 3d of July, to give him time to summon witnesses to prove what he had stated. It appears that his Lordship either had been afflicted with that great evil, a scarcity of money, that he had an avaricious desire to obtain the property of others, or had a natural aversion to discharge his pecuniary liabilities; for his name occupies rather a discreditable place in the record, not less for his violent possession of the effects of others, than for his unwillingness to pay the debts which he had incurred.

Robert Fleming died in 1494. He was twice married, first to Janet, daughter of Lord Douglas, and second to Margaret, daughter of John Lindsay of Covington. By his first wife he had two sons, Malcolm and Robert, and two daughters, Elizabeth and Beatrix; but by his second wife he had no children.

Malcolm, the elder son, was one of the Commissioners appointed to negotiate a marriage between James, Prince of Scotland, to Cecilia, daughter of Edward IV., on the 18th of October 1474. He died before his father, and by his wife Euphemia, daughter of Lord Crichton, had two sons, David and John. David, as the heir-apparent of his grandfather, had a charter of the family estates of Biggar, Thankerton, Cumbernauld, etc., about the year 1480. He died early. His brother John, in 1482, some years previous to his accession to the estates, appeared with the retainers of the family at the Boroughmuir of Edinburgh, on the summons of James HI. to assist in opposing Edward IV. of England, who had raised a force for the purpose of invading Scotland. The Scottish army marched to Lauder; but the barons, dissatisfied with the King, on account of his partiality to tradesmen and persons of low degree, seized one Cochrane, his master-mason, whom he had raised to the peerage by the title of the Earl of Mar, and who had conducted himself in a very supercilious and offensive manner, and hanged him over the bridge of Lauder, disbanded the army, and conveyed the King prisoner to Edinburgh Castle. When the King was restored to liberty by his brother, the Duke of Albany, and the Duke of Gloster, he attempted to take revenge on his rebellious nobles, and, among others, committed John Fleming to prison; but he was soon after released.

Fleming again joined the discontented party—Angus, Hume, Bothwell, and others—who seized ihe young Prince, afterwards James IV., and proclaimed him King, declaring that his father, on several grounds, had forfeited his right to the crown. Both parties mustered their vassals, and an engagement took place on the 18th June 1488 at Sauchieburn, in which the King’s forces were routed. The King fled from the field, and on descending a declivity at Beaton's Mill, near Stirling, he was thrown from his horse, and, being encased in armour, was much hurt. He was conveyed to a bed in the miller’s house, and was there murdered, and his body carried off by a person whose name remains unknown to this day. The rebel lords were unable to obtain any intelligence of the King, and therefore it was supposed that he had gone on board one of the ships of war that had been sailing up and down the Firth of Forth, under the command of Sir Andrew Wood. They therefore requested a conference with Sir Andrew; but he refused to meet with them, unless two noblemen were placed on board as security for his own safety. The noblemen selected for this purpose were Lords Fleming and Seton; and, so soon as they were on board, Sir Andrew landed, and had a lengthened conversation with the Lords, during which he spoke very freely of their rebellious conduct, but, of course, could give no information regarding the King. Pitscottie says, 'The lordis sieing nothing in Captane Wood bot disphyghtfull answeiris and proud speakingis, they war not content thairwith; yitt they durst not put hand in him to doe him any skaith, becaus of the lordis that war pledges for him: ffor if the had done him any skaith, they wold incontinent have hanged the lordis that war pledges for him, quhilk as it was, escaped narrowlie, becaus of the long stay of the said captane. The Lords haisted away the captane to his schipes, and inquyred no moe tydings of him. This being done, the lordis pledges war delyvered and tane on land againe, who war richt flied, and schew the Prince and the lordis, if they had holdin Captane Wood any longer, they had been both hanged'.

A war having been proclaimed between France and England, James IV. of Scotland, about the year 1511, was urged by the King of France to invade England. He refused to do so, on the ground that a bond of alliance existed between the English King and himself; but he promised to send a reinforcement to the assistance of the French. He accordingly fitted out a fleet of considerable size, appointed Lord Hamilton Admiral, and Lord Fleming Vice-Admiral, and placed under their command a body of 10,000 men. The ship in which Fleming sailed was called the ‘ Margaret,’ and the Admiral’s ship was the 'Micheall,’ which was built by James, and was the largest vessel in Scotland, being 240 feet long, and 46 feet over alL She carried 1400 men, and cost upwards of L.40,000. This armament set sail; but instead of directing its course to France, it approached the coast of Ireland, burnt the town of Carrickfergus and some of the neighbouring villages, and then returned to Scotland. The Admiral and his men landed at the town of Ayr, where they ‘played thamselves, and reposed be the space of fourtie dayes.’ The King, when he heard of their conduct, was in a terrible rage, and sent Sir Andrew Wood and several heralds to order Lord Hamilton to give up his command; but his Lordship disregarded the King’s authority, and having put his men on board, he again set sail The expedition was a complete failure, and apparently was one of the causes which induced James to muster a land army and march into England, where he lost his life on the disastrous field of Flodden.

At the death of James IV., in 1513, his son James was only two years of age, and therefore his Queen, Margaret, was appointed Regent of the kingdom. During the year following, Lord Fleming, and James Ogilvie, Rector of Kinkell, and afterwards Abbot of Dryburgh, were sent on an embassy to France, and acquitted themselves with so much fidelity and success, that Fleming, on his return, was chosen a member of the Queen’s Privy Council He was shortly afterwards entrusted with another embassy to France, and brought back a considerable quantity of arms and ammunition, and 10,000 francs, to assist the Scots in defending themselves against the English. The Queen, in consequence of entering into a marriage with the Earl of Angus, was called on to resign her office of Regent; and was so incensed at the idea of being deprived of power, that she requested assistance from her brother, Henry VIII. of England, to enable her to retain possession of her office. It appears that Lord Fleming had by this time deserted her party, and incurred her resentment; for in the letter in which she requested this assistance, she says, 'It is told me that the Lord adversaries are prepared to siege me in the Castle of Stirling. I would, therefore, that Lord Chamberlain Fleming be held waking in the meantime with the Borderers. I trow I shall defend me well enough from the others till the coming of the English army.’ The passion of the Queen having been thoroughly roused, she appears to have stickled at nothing by which she might blacken the character of Lord Fleming, and fire the indignation of her brother against him. In one of her letters, she accuses him of having been guilty of a most atrocious crime. ‘ For evil will/ says she, ‘ that he had to his wife Euphemia Drummond, caused poison three sisters, one of them his wife; and that is known as truth throughout all Scotland. And if he be good to put about the King, my son, God knoweth.’ The sudden death of Lord Drummond’s three daughters, Margaret, Euphemia, and Sybilla, by poison, is a historical fact; but, so far as we know, not a shadow of proof remains to implicate Lord Fleming in a tragedy so foul and unnatural. During his subsequent career, no one ever publicly charged him with being either an accessory or a principal party in the perpetration of this crime, which would not very likely have been the case had it been supposed that he was guilty. James Stewart, then Duke of Rothesay, and afterwards James IV., was passionately attached to Margaret, one of the daughters who was poisoned. Many historians assert that he had actually married her privately, and that, as the union was within the prohibited degrees, he was only waiting for a dispensation from the Pope to have it legally solemnized. Three parties in the state were violently opposed to this marriage—first, the clergy, because it was within the degrees prohibited by the Church; second, a portion of the nobles, because they wished the Prince to ally himself in marriage with the royal family of England; and third, the Kennedys, because the Prince had carried on a love intrigue with Lord Kennedy’s daughter Jane, whom it was expected he would marry. It was, no doubt, by some of these parties that the deed was committed, and not by Fleming, who apparently had no motive in murdering not only his own wife, but the wife or mistress of the young Prince, and her sister. Had James IV. really believed him to be the murderer, he would, considering his passionate attachment to Margaret Drummond, and his grief at her untimely death, very quickly have brought him to the ignominious doom that he would, in that case, have so justly deserved.

The Queen was succeeded in the regency by the Duke of Albany, grandson of James II., who had previously lived in France. Lord Fleming, by his zeal and abilities, very soon secured the favour and countenance of the new Regent, who appointed him to the office of Lord Chamberlain in 1516, on the execution of Lord Chamberlain Home, for the cowardly and unpatriotic part which he had played at the Battle of Flodden. The office of Lord Chamberlain, or Treasurer, which remained in the family of Fleming for several generations, was one of great trust and dignity. It required the person who held it to be constantly resident at court, to have charge of the household of the sovereign, and to disburse all sums that were necessary for the maintenance of the royal establishment. The accounts of the Treasurers of Scotland have been preserved from a remote period, and are extremely interesting, as well as useful in illustrating the movements of the court, and the manners and customs of the times. Lord Fleming, so far as we know, first signed himself ‘Camerarius Scotue,’ in a letter of date 7th October 1517, which was sent by the Regent and Parliament to Henry VIII. of England, regarding a suspension of hostilities between the two kingdoms.

The Duke of Albany soon found his position as Regent beset with so many difficulties and troubles, that he longed to return to the calm privacy which he had formerly enjoyed in France. He therefore departed to that country, holding out as the cause, that he wished to enter into a personal negotiation with the French King regarding the assistance which he would render in the event of the English invading Scotland; but he remained so long absent, that Lord Chamberlain Fleming was despatched to France to urge his return. A copy of the instructions which he received on this occasion is preserved in the charter chest of the family; and from this document it is made to appear that the Regent was detained in France by the influence of the French King, and that the Council of Scotland threatened, if he was not very soon sent back, they would enter into an alliance with England, break off all connection with France, and declare the office of Regent vacant. As a specimen of this document, we quote the ‘Item' in which the threat is held out of an alliance with England:—‘That the Conseil of Scotland is aduisit that gyf thai have na sickyr tydingis of my lord gouemour be Monsyeur de Flemyng, or the said Vitsonday, thai wil tak pece witht Ingland as is offerit thame, straytar than the auld and alluterly agains France; quharfor thai have ellis send for ane sauf conduct to Ingland for thair ambassadouris to tret the sammyn.’ Lord Fleming was, however, successful in gaining the object of this mission; and he returned to Scotland in the retinue of the Regent in November 1521.

Albany, after his return, wished to get possession of the person of James V., then resident with his mother and his brother, the Earl of Ross, in the Castle of Stirling, and for this purpose levied an army of 7000 men, and invested the Castle. The garrison, ere long, was induced to surrender; and Queen Margaret, seeking an interview with the Regent, caused the young King to place the keys of the Castle in his hands. The Regent then committed the King to the guardianship of the Earl Marischall and Lords Fleming and Borthwick, in whose fidelity he placed entire confidence; and this proceeding was ratified by public instrument in November 1528.

The Regent Albany, at the instigation of the King of France, involved Scotland in a war with England; but he conducted it in a way that reflected little credit on his energy and skill, and entailed many calamities on the country over which he ruled. Born and brought up in France, he never had any warm attachment to Scotland, and seemed always well pleased to escape from its plots, its turmoil, and miseries. He left it in May 1524, and never again set foot on its soil. After his departure, the country was placed, if possible, in a still more disordered state than ever. The young King, who was only thirteen years of age, was incompetent to take on his shoulders the cares of government; and he had no person around him of sufficient power and energy to grasp the reins of administration, and keep the country in proper awe and subjection. His mother had obtained a legal separation from her second husband, the Earl of Angus, and had entered into a new matrimonial connexion with Henry Stewart, a younger son of Lord Evandale, and had thus lost all political influence. Her late husband, the Earl of Angus, now rose into power; but was opposed by a faction, who wished to place the King, young as he was, at the helm of public affairs. In the unsettled state of the country many disorders arose, and many barbarities were perpetrated. One of the most remarkable of these was the murder of Lord Fleming, on the 1st of November 1524, by the Tweedies of Drummelzier and a band of accomplices.

The Tweedies, who long occupied a considerable portion of the wild and mountainous region in the upper part of Tweeddale, were a numerous dan, distinguished for their arrogance, turbulence, and ferocity. Outrages committed by them are found repeatedly recorded in the annals of the criminal oourts of Scotland. For instance, at a Justice Aire held at Peebles by Lord Drummond, on the 15th Nov. 1498, John Tweedie of Drummelzier, and five others, came in the King’s will, and were each fined five merges, for art and part in an act of oppression committed on Oswald Porteous, and his wife Janet Fleming, in ejecting them from their holding in Upper Kingledoors. In the reign of James IV., Gilbert Tweedie, John Beres, and Andrew Chancellor, were arraigned for the slaughter of Edward Hunter of Polmood; and on the 4th Feb. 1502, John Tweedie of Drummelzier, Walter Tweedie of Hawmyre, and William Tweedie, became sureties (or the appearance of the said Gilbert Tweedie at the next Justice Aire at Peebles, tinder the penalty of 100 merks. On the 26th January 1565-6, 4 Adam Twedy of Drawey was dilatit of (the crime of) cutting Robert Raimagis luggis, and demembring him.’ A feud broke out in the upper part of Tweeddale in 1590; and as it affords a good illustration of the turbulent character of the Tweedies, we quote the account, somewhat abridged, which has been given of it by Mr Robert Chambers in his (Domestic Annals.’ * The fact from which it took its rise,’ he says, ‘ was the slaughter of Patrick Veitch, son of William Veitch of Dawick (now New Posso), by or through James Tweedie of Drumelzier, Adam Tweedie of Dreva, William Tweedie of the Wrae, John Crichton of Quarter, Andrew Crichton in Cardon, and Thomas Porteous of Glenkirk. These persons were in prison in Edinburgh for the fact in July of this year; but the case was deferred to the aire of Peebles. Meanwhile, on the 20th of the month just mentioned, two relatives of the slain youth—James Veitch, younger, of North Synton, and Andrew Veitch, brother of the Laird of Tourhope—set upon John Tweedie, tutor of Drumelzier and burgess of Edinburgh, as he walked the streets of the capital, and killed him. Thus were the alleged murderers punished through a near relative, probably uncle, of the principal party. Six days after, the two Veitches were “dilated ” for the fact; and we find Veitch of Dawick taking their part in true Scottish style, by joining in surety for their appearance at trial to the extent of ten thousand merks. After some further procedure, the King was pleased to interfere with an order for the liberation of the Veitches. It would appear that, within a short space of time, the Tweedies of Drumelzier took revenge to a considerable extent on the Veitches: in particular, they effected the slaughter of James Geddes of Glenhegden, who seems to have been brother-in-law to a principal gentleman of that family. The recital of James Geddes’s death in the Privy Council Record, affords by its minuteness a curious insight into the manner of a daylight street-murder of that time. ‘ James,’ it is stated, being in Edinburgh the space of aught days together, haunting and repairing to and fra openly and pubKcly, met almaist daily with the Laird [of Drumelzier] upon the Hie Street. The said laird, fearing to set upon him, albeit James was ever single and alane, had espies and moyeners [retainers] lying await for him about his lodging and other parts where he re-pairit. Upon the 29th day of December [1592], James being in the Cowgate, at David Lindsay’s buith, shoeing his horse, being altogether careless of his awn surety, seeing there was naething intendit again him by the said laird divers times before when they met upon the Hie Gait; the said laird, being advertised by his espies and moyeners, divided his haill friends and servants in twa companies, and directit John and Robert Tweedie, his brothers-german, Patrick Porteous of Hawkshaw, John Crichton of Quarter, Charles Tweedie, household servant to the said James, and Hob Jardine, to Cow’s Close, being directly opposite to David Lindsay’s buith, and he himself, being accompanied with John and Adam Tweedie, sons to the Guidman of Dreva, passed to the Kirk Wynd, a little bewest the said buith, to await that the said James sould not have escaped; and baith the companies, being convenit at the foot of the said close, finding the said James standing at the buith door with his back to them, they rushit out of the said close, and with shots of pistolets slew him behind his back.” The guilty parties were summoned, and, not appearing, were denounced as rebels. In June 1593, we find James Tweedie of Drumelzier released from Edinburgh Castle, under surety that he should presently enter himself in ward in the Sheriffdom of Fife. We next hear of the two belligerent parties in January 1600, when they were commanded to come and subscribe letters of assurance “ for the feid and inimitie standing betwixt them.”’

The principal residence of the chief of the clan Tweedie, was situated on the banks of the Tweed at Drummelzier. It was a building of great size and strength, but its situation was ill chosen either for assault or defence. To compensate for this disadvantage, they erected a fort on a neighbouring eminence, which was called the Thane's Castle, but more commonly, by the country people, Tennis Castle. It is a tradition that it was a custom of the Tweedies to demand an act of homage from every person that passed these strongholds, and to inflict severe punishment in case of refusal. This imperious conduct brought them at times into collision with the Scottish kings, who made them feel the full weight of the royal displeasure. An instance of this is still related by the peasantry of Tweeddale and Clydesdale, and is more or less detailed in several publications. It is to the following effect:—One of the Jameses having heard of the overbearing and tyrannical conduct of the Tweedies, resolved to visit Drummelzier tncognitoy and witness, in person, the treatment which they bestowed on strangers. He went, as was a very common practise with our Scottish monarchs, to hunt the fallow deer in the wilds of Tweedsmuir and the Forest of Ettrick, attended by a considerable retinue. Having made some of his courtiers privy to his design, and enjoined them to keep themselves concealed among the hills, but to remain within hail, he disguised himself, and as a solitary traveller descended the Yale of Tweed. At a place not far distant from the Castle of Kittlehall, the ancient seat of the Geddeses of Rachan, he came up to an old man, a cobbler to trade, tending a cow, and entertaining himself with a spring on the bagpipes. This man, whose name was Bertram, and who occupied a small hut in the neighbourhood, readily entered into conversation with the traveller, and at last invited him to his humble dwelling to partake of refreshments. The King at once complied, and having been regaled by the homely fare set before him, resumed the conversation, and made minute inquiries regarding the conduct of the neighbouring barons. Time flew rapidly by, and evening coming on, the King being greatly delighted with the kindness and intelligence of the cobbler and his wife, readily consented to take the shelter of their cot during the night Next morning, to the great astonishment and even consternation of his host, he disclosed his rank and condition, and his design of passing the Castle of Drummelzier, and requested Bertram to act as his guide. The King and Bertram immediately set out, and on coming to the Castle of Sir James Tweedie, not only offered no act of homage, but took pains to manifest their contempt, and then pursued their journey. The indignation of the Tweedies was roused. Sixteen of them mounted their steeds, and following the refractory couple with all speed, had almost overtaken them at a spot, called Glenwhappen, when the King blew a loud blast on his bugle, and immediately a party of horsemen appeared in sight. So great was the insolence and audacity of the Tweedies, that they nevertheless threatened to inflict corporal chastisement on the fugitives for the affront which they had offered them. The King instantly stript off his disguise, and ordered the Tweedies to be seized and disarmed. Sir James, finding himself caught in a snare from which he could not escape, fell on his knees and begged the King’s pardon. The King with some reluctance granted his request, on condition that in future he and his retainers would refrain from all aggressions on travellers. Bertram was highly honoured, and rewarded with a grant of sixteen acres of land adjoining his dwelling, with the right to pasture a mate, and a foal, and a sow, and nine pigs, on a piece of ground at the foot of Holmes Water. The descendants of Bertram long held this possession, which was called Dukepool, and acknowledged no superior, and paid no tax or assessment. In course of time it was much curtailed by the disposal of portions of it to the neighbouring proprietors, and such of it as remained, fell some time ago into the female line, and is now the property of James Tweedie Esq. of Quarter.

Between the Tweedies and Lord Fleming a feud had arisen. The cause is not very accurately known, but it seems to have been regarding the disposal or marriage of Catherine Frizzel, heiress of Fruid in Tweedsmuir. Catherine was a descendant of the old family of Frizzel or Fraser, who held large possessions in the upper part of Tweeddale in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. By the marriage of Patrick Fleming of Biggar with one of the heiresses of Sir Simon Frizzel, the Flemings, along with the Hays of Yester, whose ancestor married another of the heiresses, acquired some control or superiority over the lands of Fruid. We have a proof of this in 1445, when Lord Fleming’s bailie and Hay of Yester granted a sasine of the lands of Fruid to William Fraser. John Lord Fleming, it appears, was anxious that Catherine of Fruid would marry one of his sons, whose name was Malcolm,—not his legitimate son and heir of that name, but another, most likely illegitimate. On the other hand, the Tweedies were determined that she should wed no other than James Tweedie, eldest son and heir of John Tweedie of Drummelzier. From casual expressions in some of the old documents on the subject, it would seem that she had actually been married to Malcolm Fleming, as she styles him her husband. This, no doubt, fired the indignation of the Tweedies. Having got notice that Lord Fleming was to enjoy the sport of hawking over his lands in Kilbucho, Glenholm, and Drummelzier, they assembled to the number evidently of not fewer than forty or fifty men, and waylaid his Lordship and his small retinue among the hills. When the parties met, a hot altercation ensued, and in the course of it young Tweedie of Drummelzier drew his sword and slew Lord Fleming on the spot. Miss Agnes Strickland, in her ‘ Lives of the Queens of Scotland,’ says that it was Douglas, ‘ Lord of Drommellar,’ who attacked and murdered Lord Fleming, and that this was done on the threshold of St Giles’s Church, Edinburgh. She does not cite her authority for these statements; but they are not borne out by the records of Justiciary, the documents in the Wigton charter chest, or the assertions of our old historians. Not a word is said in any of these authorities, so far as we have seen, that in any way implicates the Douglases in this transaction; and Lindsay of Pitscotde expressly says, that Lord Fleming was slain when enjoying the sport of hawking.

The party in attendance on Lord Fleming was small, consisting merely of his son and a few domestics. After the slaughter of his Lordship, the Tweedies plundered his servants and carried off young Fleming, and kept him in confinement in the Place of Drummelzier. While this young nobleman was in their custody, they extorted a promise from him that he would confer on them the ward and marriage of Fruid—that is, a sum equivalent to two or three years1 rent that the heir of a vassal was bound to pay to the superior on his marriage and accession to the estates; and it is likely, also, that he consented that Catherine Frizzel should give up her engagement to his brother, and should marry young Tweedie. In order to obtain his liberty, and as a pledge that he would fulfil the agreement which he had made, he put into the custody of the Tweedies Malcolm Fleming his brother, Robert Stewart of Minto, and William Fleming of Boghall ; and these persons were for some time kept in confinement in the Place of Drummelzier.

Malcolm Lord Fleming, on regaining his liberty, wished to resile from this engagement; but being afraid of the vindictive character of the Tweedies, he signed an instrument to show that he sent Catherine Frizzel, with the writs and evidents of her lands, to the Place of Drummelzier, solely for the purpose of obtaining the liberation of his friends, and from a dread of the disastrous consequences that might otherwise ensue. Several other legal instruments, still preserved, also show that Catherine had been compelled to go to Drummelzier Place against her inclination, and that her object was to set her husband, Malcolm Fleming, and the other gentlemen held in custody, at liberty, and further, to testify that whatever she might say or do on that occasion, could not legally be used to the prejudice of her, her estates, or marriage. These documents are dated the 17th and 25th of November 1524.

The civil authorities lost no great time in making efforts to bring the Tweedies and their accomplices to justice. In the course of fourteen days after the murder was committed, it appears that a number of them had been seized or bound down 1 to thole an assize;’ for at that time a respite for one year was granted to James Tweedie, son and apparent heir to John Tweedie of Drummelzier, and other persons, for the cruel slaughter of ‘ye vmquile John Lord Fleming, and treasonable taking and presonyng of Malcolme, Maister of Fleming, his sone and are, ye king’s fre man, in priuate presone; and for reif of certain gudis fra yame and yare seruandis ye samyn tyme.’

From an indenture made at Edinburgh 23d November 1524, and still preserved, it appears that by some influence or other, it was ‘appoyntit, aggriet, and finalie concordit,’ between Malcolm Lord Fleming and James, son and apparent heir of John Tweedie of Drummelzier, that a reconciliation should take place and all previous wrongs forgiven. This document intimates that James Tweedie and his accomplices went1to ye mercat croce of Peblis in their lynning claithes, viz., sark alane, and yair thai haif offerit yr naykit suords to ye said Malcolm, his kyn and friendis,’ that they bound themselves to be his servants 4 all ye dayis of- yr livis,’ and gave him a band of manrent thereupon. Lord Fleming, on the part of himself and his friends, received James Tweedie and his accomplices ‘in faithful troth and afald kindness,* and forgave them the rancour which they had shown, and the injury which they had inflicted; and in token of his sincerity, extended to them the right hand of fellowship at the Market Cross of Peebles, at the time the foresaid sword was delivered, and agreed to support and defend them in all their actions honest and lawful, 4 bot fraud or gyle.’ Tweedie and his accomplices engaged 4 to gang, or gar gang,’ the three head pilgrimages of Scotland, viz., St Ninian’s in Galloway, St Duthus in Ross, and St Andrews in Fife, and at all of these places to make offerings and catuse masses to be said for the welfare of Lord Fleming’s soul; and they were to infeft a chaplain to say mass at the high altar of Biggar Kirk for the same purpose. It was finally agreed that the son and heir of Tweedie should be married to one of Lord Fleming’s sisters, that an honest and competent livelihood should, at the sight of friends, be bestowed on the young couple by Tweedie, and that Tweedie wad to receive the ward and marriage of the heir of Fruid. It appears from several documents still extant, that the terms of this agreement were not strictly adhered to, and that the vengeance of the law still pursued the TVeedies and their accomplices.

On the 6th of June of the following year, a respite was granted for nineteen years to James Tweedy, Drummelzier, John Veitch of King-side, James Tweedy of Kirkhall, David Newton of Mitchelhill, William Porteous of Glenkirk, and twelve others, for the crime of murdering Lord Fleming. On the 18th of August 1525, a petition, in connexion with this foul transaction, wag presented to the Lords of Council by George Geddes of Kittlehall, near Rachan. As it is curious, we will give it in the original words:—'My Lordis of Counsal and Auditoris of Chekker, vnto zour huimlie menis and shewis I, zour seruitor, George Geddes of Cuthilhall: That quhare Williame Tuedy, ane scolar, wes delatit of airt and pairt of ye slauchter of vmquhile John Lord Fleming, and is innocent yairof, considering ye tyme of ye com-mitting of ye samin, he wea at ye scule in Edinburghe: And becaus I duell amang his frendis, yai sollist and listit (enticed) me to be souerte for him, for his entre to ye law: And becaus he durst nooht compier, he being innocent, for feir of his parti, I am vnlawit for his nonentre befor ye Justice; howbeit as I traist, I suld nocht have bene ressauit souerte, nor suld have bene vnlawit, considering I wes and is of less-age within xv yeiris, and may nocht nor suld nocht be souerte, of ye law. Heirfor I besek your 1, to have consideratioune herof, and gif command to ye Justise Clerk to draw me out of Adiomal, sua yat I be nocht poinded for ye said vnlaw. According to justice and zour ansuer I beseik.’ The Lords ordained that, as the complainant at the time of his signing the document was in his minority, he should be relieved from his engagement, and his name erased from the books of adjournal

On the 22d October 1528, the Tweedies were declared to be fugitives from the law, and were put to the horn, and their goods forfeited and conferred as a gift, under the Privy Seal, on Malcolm Lord Fleming. In the spring of 1529, the case was still unsettled; but it appears that at that time some impetus was given to the tardy wheels of justice, for we find that John Tweedie of Drummelzier, John Tweedie dwelling with him, Thomas Tweedie of Oliver Castle, James Tweedie of Kilbucho, and James Tweedie of Wrae, were compelled to find security to appear at the Justice Aire of Peebles, and underly the law for art and part in the cruel slaughter of John Lord Fleming; and as these parties had been previously put to the horn, John Hay of Yester was taken as security for their appearance, by warrant of the Privy Council, and with consent of Malcolm Lord Fleming. James Tweedie, younger of Drummelzier, John Veitch of Kingside, David Newton of Mitchellhill, and eight others, were also summoned to appear at the same time, and offered Sir Walter Scott of Branx-holm as their cautioner, to answer at the same time and place for the above crime. On the 18th September of the year mentioned, Champnay, messenger-at-arms, was despatched with the King’s writings, to summon a ‘ condign’ assize, to convene at Peebles the 13th day of October, betwixt the Laird of Drummelzier and Lord Fleming of Biggar.

This assize did not give a deliverance on the merits of the slaughter and disputes, but referred the whole case for arbitration to the Lords of Council Their Lordships, on the 4th of March 1530, pronounced a decreet-arbitral, by which it was decerned that John Tweedie of Drummelzier should found a chaplainarie in the Church of Biggar and endow it with a yearly stipend of L.40 out of his lands and heritages, to pray for the soul of the umquhile John Lord Fleming, and the Lords Fleming to have the patronage. It was further ordained that James Tweedie, heir-apparent of Drummelzier, and the other persons guilty of the slaughter of Lord Fleming, should go out of the kingdoms of Scotland and England within three months, and should remain for three years, or during his Majesty’s pleasure; and that the parties in the dispute should, in presence of the King and Council, take each other by the hand, and bind themselves for the orderly behaviour of their respective kin and followers. In regard to the marriage of Catherine Frizzel to James Tweedie, a thing which was claimed by Malcolm, Lord Fleming’s brother, it was decided that the Tweedies should cause Lady Fruid infeft heritably and irredeemably the said Malcolm and his assignees in the L.4,10s. land of old extent of Mossfennan, in the 40s. land of old extent of Smallhopes and the mill thereof, and in the 40s. land called Urisland, etc. All this was to be done without prejudice to the concord made between Lord Fleming and the Lairds of Glenkirk and Polmood; and the penalty of failure was to be 10,000 merks. This decreet was confirmed by James V. on the 22d of March 1531.

Malcolm, the eldest son of John Lord Fleming, who was murdered by the Tweedies, was bora in 1494. He was educated, as became his rank, in all the learning of the time; and on arriving at manhood, was distinguished for his abilities, acquirements, and upright character. His merits were highly appreciated by James V., who conferred on him many favours. On the death of his father in 1524, he was appointed to the vacant office of Lord Chamberlain, and received charters of the lands of Drummelzier, Hopcastle, Halmyre, Cardrona, Rachan, Glencotho, Covington, Kilbucho, Over Kingledoors, Over Menzion, Oliver Castle, Auchtermony, Kerse, Lenzie, Cumbernauld, Boghall,'Thankerton, Biggar, and many others. On the 26th Feb. 1524-5, he obtained a dispensation from Pope Clement VII. to marry Joahanna or Janet Stewart, a natural daughter of James IV., as she was related to him in the third degree.

On the 24th July 1526, Lord Fleming accompanied James V. in an expedition to the border to settle disturbances and punish thieves. After this had been effected, the royal party set out on their march homewards, and had reached the bridge of Melrose on the 29th, when the Laird of Buccleuch presented himself at the head of a thousand horsemen. The King, it appears, had come to be of opinion that he was kept too much in bondage by the persons by whom he was daily surrounded, and had sent a secret message to Buccleuch to raise his clan and come to his rescue. The Earl of Angus, who commanded the King’s troops, demanded to know what Buccleuch’s design was in coming with so great a force. Buccleuch replied that he had come to do the King honour and service, and to show him his retainers and friends. Angus at once ordered him to depart on the pain of treason, and on his refusal, a combat ensued; but Buccleuch in the end was routed, and eighty of his men slain.

The Scots, about this period, warmly resented the interference of Henry VIII. in their national affairs; and the consequence was, that a war ensued between the two kingdoms. The inhabitants of the Biggar district have ever been distinguished for their loyalty to their sovereign, and for their contendings in behalf of their native country; and therefore one is surprised to find that about seventy of them were arraigned for treasonable intercourse, during the war, ‘ with Alexander Forrester, Jonkin Storie, and others their accomplices, Inglisbmen and traitors, dwelling upon levine and reset of them within the realm.’ The names of the principal parties arraigned were, Malcolm Lord Fleming, James Murray of Fawlohill, Gilbert Brown of Threpland, Andrew Brown of Hartree, Richard Brown of Coultermains, Patrick Porteous of Hawkshaw, Walter Hunter of Polmood, James Kincaid, the Laird of Crympcramp, John Murray of Lewinshope, William Murray of Sundhope, William Boyd of Bathenheugh, William Garwood of that Ilk, and William Murray of Rommano. On the 16th of August 1526, a respite was granted them for nineteen years; and it does not appear that they were ever subjected to any further legal proceedings, which is apt to make us believe that the accusations brought against them were false and unfounded.

Lord Fleming, in 1535, accompanied James V. on his matrimonial expedition to France. Ambassadors had, a short time before, concluded a marriage treaty between James and Marie de Bourbon, daughter of the Duke of Vendosme. Henry VIII. of England had by this time quarrelled with the Pope regarding the divorce of his wife, Catherine of Arragon, and had embraced the doctrines of the Reformation. He was consequently anxious to withdraw his nephew James from the matrimonial connection already stated, believing that it would tend to confirm the young King more devotedly in his attachment to the Romish Church. James finding himself opposed by his uncle, resolved to repair secretly to France to see the object of his choice, and complete the marriage. He set sail with a considerable retinue; but the nobles who accompanied him being disposed in favour of the English alliance, embraced an opportunity, when the King was asleep, to reverse the course of the ship, and ere James was aware, he was brought back to the coast of Scotland. James, in a fit of passion, ordered the captain to be hanged; and this would have been done, had not the nobles taken the whole blame on themselves. The King, determined not to be driven from his design, again set sail, attended by many of the nobles, among whom was Lord Fleming, and, in ten days, arrived at Dieppe. Notwithstanding his previous engage* ment to Mary of Vendosme, he fell in love with Magdalene, daughter of the French king, a lady of great beauty, but of weakly constitution, and was married to her in the Church of Notre Dame, Paris, on New Year’s day 1587. In the spring the King returned with his Queen and attendants to Scotland; but the fair and youthful Magdalene sickened and died, forty days after she set foot on the shore of her adopted country.

The misunderstanding between James V. and his uncle Henry VIII. still continued. James refused to wed Henry’s daughter, Mary, and formed a matrimonial union with Mary of Guise, a lady whom Henry himself had shown a disposition to add to the list of his wives. Henry was anxious that a conference should take place between James and himself at York, to discuss various matters of importance to both kingdoms. James was disposed to meet his uncle, and made a promise that he would do so; but, influenced by the remonstrances of the Romish priests, who were apprehensive that James would be drawn from his allegiance to the Church of Rome by the entreaties and reasonings of his uncle, who had become a zealous champion in support of the principles of the Reformation, he failed to keep his appointment. Henry was greatly enraged at the conduct of his nephew, and, in retaliation, caused several rich merchant-vessels belonging to Scotland to be seized and detained. James demanded satisfaction, which was refused; and the result of the whole was, that a war broke out between the two kingdoms. The success, at first, was decidedly on the side of Scotland; and this caused Henry to raise an army of 40,000 met, which he placed under the command of the Duke of Norfolk, and sent to invade Scotland. James, on his side, summoned his subjects to assemble on the Boroughmuir, near Edinburgh, and, in a short time, at the head of a large army, marched to Fala. The Duke of Norfolk, harassed by detachments of the Scots, suffering from the want of provisions, and opposed by a formidable army, in a short time beat a retreat across the border. Now was the time, as James thought, to retaliate with effect on the English; but, to his extreme surprise and mortification, his prindpal barons refused to advance a step farther. Many of them had become dissatisfied with his conduct in annexing estates to the Crown, limiting the power of the nobles, refusing to meet with his uncle Henry, and manifesting a stubborn determination to uphold the prindples and the patrimony of the Church of Rome. It was in vain that James upbraided them, and declared that they no longer possessed the spirit of men and patriots. His words were disregarded; and he had no alternative but to disband an army with which he expected to deal a decisive blow upon England. The alienation of these barons threw the King still more thoroughly into the arms of the Romish priests and their bigoted adherents, who, elated with the confidence reposed in them, strove to gratify the wishes of the King by contributions of men and money. In a short time James saw himself at the head of an army of 10,000 men, whom he despatched, in November 1542, with all haste to the border. He accompanied them himself in person, but being overtaken with indisposition, he halted at Caerlaverock Castle. The army, nevertheless, hastened on their march, and had scarcely disentangled themselves from the dangerous sands and bogs of the Solway, when they were filled with surprise and indignation by a proclamation, that Oliver Sinclair, the King’s gentleman-in-waiting, had been appointed to the chief command. A shout was instantly raised by the army that they would not follow such a leader; and a scene of complete insubordination and disorder immediately ensued. The English wardens, Dacre and Musgrove, with 400 horsemen, happened at this juncture to advance for the purpose of reconnoitring, and, observing the confusion of the Scots, instantly assailed them with levelled lances, and drove them in irretrievable rout from the field. A number of them were slain, and many of them taken prisoners, among the latter of whom were the Earls of Cassillis and Glencaim, and Lords Fleming, Sommerville, Maxwell, Gray, and Oliphant These barons were marched to London, and, on the 19th of December, lodged in the Tower. On the second day after their arrival, they were clothed in gowns of black damask, furred with black rabbit-skins, and coats of black velvet, decorated with the red cross of St Andrew; and in this guise were publicly paraded through the streets of London to Westminster Hall, where Audeley, the Lord Chancellor, reprimanded them for invading the territory of England, and waging war with its sovereign and people. He, however, stated, ‘ that his Majesty meant to return good for evil, and to give a signal instance of the benignity of his most princely nature by releasing them from personal restraint; and that, taking only their word of honour for remaining in England prisoners at large, he would allot them their lodgings with the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Duke of Norfolk, and other persons of high consideration.'

James V., fourteen days after the rout of Solway, died of a broken heart in his palace of Falkland, in the thirty-first year of his age. When his uncle, Henry VIII, heard of his death in circumstances so melancholy and deplorable, he treated the Scottish prisoners with more kindness and forbearance, hoping to make them instrumental in promoting the political designs which this sad event now led him to entertain in regard to Scotland. He invited them to a grand entertainment on the 26th December, and after bestowing on them the most flattering marks of respect, he propounded to them his new scheme of uniting the two kingdoms by a marriage between his only son Edward and the infant Queen of Scots, who was born a few days before her father's death. This design, had its accomplishment been sought by fair and honourable means, had much to commend it, as it held out the prospect of conducing to the peace and prosperity of both nations; but Henry clogged it with conditions that were highly reprehensible. He insisted on receiving the custody of the young Queen, in order that she might be brought up and educated in England, on being declared lord superior of Scotland, and on placing English troops in the principal fortresses of that country. Seven of the prisoners, viz., the Earls of Cassillis and Glencairn, and Lords Fleming, Sommerville, Gray, Maxwell, and Oliphant, signed a bond to use their exertions to carry this design into effect, and were released, on giving hostages that they would return to captivity by a prescribed time, or, failing in this point, to pay the sum of money at which they were valued. Lor& Fleming gave as his hostage his eldest son James, and his ransom was fixed at 1000 merks. The Scottish barons began their journey homewards on the 1st of January 1543, and by the way visited Enfield, where the young heir-apparent of the English throne resided, and were greatly pleased with his intelligence, his fine features, and graceful deportment.

Lord Fleming, for some time after his return to Scotland, continued faithful to his engagement to the English monarch. In the Parliament which met at Edinburgh on the 12th March 1548, he defended the proposal of a marriage between Mary of Scotland and Prince Edward of England, as likely to put an end to the feuds and wars that so often prevailed between the two kingdoms. He was consequently, in opposition to the wishes of Cardinal Beaton and his party, appointed, along with Lords Erskine, Livingstone, and Ruthven, a guardian of the young Queen, who, at that time, was kept in Stirling Castle. Sir Ralph Sadler, the English ambassador, in his state papers, bears testimony to the strict manner in which these barons discharged their duties. They would neither allow the Cardinal to lodge in the Castle, nor above one or two of his accomplices to enter the gates at the same time. In a conversation which Sir Ralph had with Lord Fleming in April of this year, his Lordship attributed the opposition to the matrimonial project of Hemy VlIl. principally to the Regent, the Earl of Arran, and the Douglases; his Lordship stating that the Regent had told him that he would rather take the young Queen and carry her with him into the isles, and dwell there, than consent to carry her into England. His Lordship, as a proof of his own zeal for the English interest, declared that his reply was, that if the Regent should take this step, the English King, for L.10, might get one of the ‘ Irish cettericks’ (banditti) there to bring him the Regent’s head. Sir Ralph says that Lord Fleming and the Douglases were at that time at variance regarding a sheriffship; and he assigns this as the main cause why he spoke so strongly against them, and especially against Arran the Regent. At the same interview, Lord Fleming declared that he would proceed to England before the day appointed for his return, and would lay his opinion regarding public matters before Henry in person, as ‘ he was fully determined to serve his Majesty to the uttermost of his power, according to his promise.’

By the month of August following, a complete change had been produced in Lord Fleming’s mind regarding the English alliance; and hence Sadler, writing on the 10th of that month, says that, by the assistance of one of the spies in his employment, he had discovered that Fleming and other noblemen had secretly signed a bond against the matrimonial connection with England, which had been drawn up by Cardinal Beaton at Linlithgow. He further says, that it had come to his ears that Lord Fleming had declared that he would never go back to England, whatever became of his son; and that he had resolved to pay the sum fixed for his ransom, and thus shake himself free from all obligation to the English king. This, in reality, was the course pursued by his Lordship. He broke off all connection with the English party, paid the 1000 merks for his ransom, and became one of the most zealous and devoted partisans of the Queen Dowager, Cardinal Beaton, and their confederates, all bigoted adherents to the Romish faith and the interests of France. The step which he thus took was so far justified by the decision of the Scottish Parliament, which, on the 11th December 1543, by a solemn act, declared that all negotiations regarding the proposed matrimonial union were at an end. The consequence of this decision was, that war broke out between the two kingdoms with renewed vigour. Henry, greatly incensed at the conduct of the Scots, resolved to chastise them with the greatest severity, and therefore sent invading armies into Scotland that committed every species of havoc, burning towns, villages, and religious houses, and slaughtering and plundering the people. In some of the battles which were at that time fought, Lord Fleming took part He obeyed, for instance, the proclamation which was issued for the lieges of the Queen to assemble at Dunbar on the 29th November 1544, and march to the border. Seven thousand men having mustered, they received several pieces of artillery and other weapons, taken out of the Castle of Dunbar, and then proceeded to Coldingham, which at the time was in possession of the English. They opened their batteries on the town; but their operations were feebly and unsuccessfully conducted. The English made a sortie, broke their ranks, and chased them for miles back into the country.

Malcolm Lord Fleming, to manifest his zeal in the cause of Popery, resolved to erect and endow a Collegiate Church at Biggar. He commenced this work in 1545, and carried it on with vigour so long as he lived. The cares and solicitude consequent upon this erection did not withdraw his attention from the business of the State. He attended a convention of peers, spiritual and temporal, which met at Stirling on the 10th of June 1545. Great efforts were made at this meeting to reconcile and unite the parties who opposed each other, and obstructed the establishment of peace, order, and security within the realm. Lord Fleming, although attached to the French party and the abettors of Popery, was strongly disposed to enter into healing measures; and therefore he approved of the proposal to select twenty peers, four of whom were to remain, alternately for a month, with the Governor, the Earl of Arran, as his secret council. The first four appointed to discharge the duties of this office, were, Lord Fleming; Patrick, Bishop of Orkney; Patrick, Earl of Bothwell; and Gilbert, Earl of Cassillis.

In retaliation of the wrongs inflicted by the English on Scotland, an army was sent into England on the 10th of August 1545, to bum, plunder, and slay in return. Malcolm Lord Fleming, with his retainers, formed a portion of the rear division of this army. It burnt and destroyed a number of villages, and returned laden with booty, without meeting with any decided opposition, or incurring any great loss.

Henry VIII died in 1547, and as his son Edward was only in the ninth year of his age, the Duke of Somerset was appointed Regent of the kingdom. The Regent, unfortunately, resolved to prosecute the same policy in regard to Scotland as his deceased master, and therefore levied an army of 18,000 men, and marched into Scotland, determined still further to punish the Scots, and to carry off the young Scottish Queen. The Scots, on their side, mustered a host almost double in point of numbers; but, as was usual, it laboured under the disadvantage of having no commander adequate to guide and control the various sections of which it was composed. Malcolm Lord Fleming mustered his vassals, and marched to the Scottish camp near Musselburgh. Several of his near relatives had also taken the field with their followers, particularly his two sons-in-law, the Master of Livingstone and the Master of Montrose, both of them destined to meet with the same disastrous fate as himself. The position of the Scots, on the left bank of the Esk, was well chosen; and on Somerset reconnoitring it, he saw that he could not attack it with advantage, and therefore gave orders to withdraw his troops to some distance. This movement made the Scots imagine that the English were retreating to their ships lying in the bay. In opposition to the opinion and remonstrances of the most experienced leaden, the Scots crossed the Esk, and thus gave their opponents the advantage of the rising ground on which they stood. Lord Gray, with the English cavalry, lost no time in rushing down on an advanced body of Scottish infantry, who, drawn up in a firm and close phalanx, with their long spears projecting in every direction, stood the dreadful charge quite wmhakftn, while the southern horsemen were soon sent back reeling in disorder. The want of cavalry oh the part of the Scots prevented them from following up their advantage. Lord Gray refused to renew the conflict, declaring that he might as well charge a castle wall; and, therefore, a body of musketeers and archers was advanced to assail the Scots, whose compact array more fully exposed them to the effects of the destructive shower of missiles that was hurled against them. A change of position became necessary; and this was in the course of being executed in good order, when the Highlanders, who had left their ranks for tbe sake of plunder, supposing that their friends had commenced a retreat, immediately betook themselves to their heels. A panic was, consequently, infused into the whole Scottish army, and in an instant the country round was covered with fugitives. The English cavalry having now rallied, hastened after their foes, and cut them down without mercy. No fewer than 14,000 men were slain in the pursuit, so that dead bodies lay in the fields for five miles, as thick, according to Old Patten, as cattle in a well-stocked pasture. Lord Fleming, and many of his retainers from Biggar and his other estates, were among the slain. This battle was fought on the 10th of September 1547.

Lord Fleming, at his death, was in the fifty-third year of his age, and his body was, no doubt, conveyed to Biggar, and, according to his own directions, interred in the church which he had founded and partially built. He left two sons and five daughters by his wife Janet Stewart, and also several illegitimate children. On the 15th of February of the same year on which he was slain, he executed a testament, in which he left his family under the charge of several executors, and appointed his wife, so lopg as she remained unmarried, to be the principal ‘intromittar’ with all his goods, moveable and immoveable, with the advice of these executors. The inventory of his effects is of great length, and remarkably interesting, particularly as showing the sources from which he drew his income, and the amount and value of the grain, stock, and other produce which were paid to him in the shape of rent. We will quote such parts of it as are applicable to Biggar and its neighbourhood. 'The maills of the hale barony of Biggar, of the Whitsunday’s term of xlvij zere, 106 merks, 4s., 4<L, the said term’s male of Kilboche, L.47, 5s., the said term’s male of the Quarter 50s., the said term’s male of Broghtown L.8, the said term’s male of Burnatland 10 merks, the said term’s male of Smalhoppis L.10, and the said term’s male of Thankertoun L.9, 19s. 6d.’ The sum-total of mails for that term, including those of Lenzie, Kers, Dreppis, Auchtermony, Lour, etc., amounted to L.899, 18s. 4d. The above seems to have been the money part of his rents, but from these places mentioned, and others, he drew besides a large revenue in name of multure meal, farm meal, and teind meal, and also in hens, capons, oxen, bulls, kye, stirks, horses, sheep, etc. The tenants on several parts of his lands, had, it would seem, fallen somewhat into arrears, and therefore we find such statements as follow: ‘ Item rests in Thankertoun of malt of the Martinmas term, the xlvj zeir, and Whitsunday term in the xlvij zeir the said xv day of Februar, iii score xij bolls malt, price of the boll xxx shill.,—sum, lc iij lib, ij sh, ix d. Item rests of male in Thankertoun of the xlvj zeir crop, iiij chalders vj bolls,—price of the boll xx shilL Item rests within the barony of Biggar of malt and bear the said xv day of Feb -ruar, of the Martinmas term in the xlvj zeir, and Whitsunday term in the xlvij zeir, xi chalders, x bolls, i ff, iii p, malt and bear, price of the boll xxx shillings,—sum. xiij score xix lib, ii shil, ix <L Item rests of the former male on Biggar barony of the xlvj zeir crop, vij chalders, xy bolls, i ff, ii p,—price of the boll the forsaid sum,—vj score vij lib, vij shil, vi <L Item rests in Biggar barony, iiij score capons, price of the peice ij shil,—sum viij lib. Item in Louk Wilson’s hands in the Lyndsylands v chalders ats, at the price of the boll x shil,— sum xi lib. Item in Ick Kempis hands, xi kye price of the peice iiij merks, sum is xliiij merks. Item in his hand a bull, price xl shiL Item in his hand iij stirks price of the peice xx shil,—sum iij lib. Item in Jean Paterson elder’s hand xi score vij yois, xiiij Kubbis, iij score v yeld yois, iij tuppis, xi score vij hoges, and v score iiij gym-mers, sum of sheep in Jean Paterson elder’s hand xxxij score viij sheep, price of the peice overheid, viij shils, sum xij score xix lib, iiij shil. In Jean Paterson younger’s hand of schip xxxij score twa schip, price of the peice overheid viij shil,—sum xij score xvj lib, xvj shiL Item in the Boghall, that draws in plough and paddoch, xiij oxin— price of the peice iiij lib, sum Iij lib. Item hele sawin in the Boghall this instant zeir v chalders xiiij bolls ats, estimat to the third grain price of the boll xx shil—sum xlviij lib.’ Among various other tenants mentioned, may be noticed the miller of Killacke (Call-late), whose mail was twenty bolls, and the miller of Glenholm, whose mail was sixteen bolls oats and two bolls of sale bear. The whole sum of the inventory amounted to L.5006, 18s. 4d. Scots.

Among the legacies which he left, were 400 merks to his servants, and L.20 to ‘ the poir househalders within Lenzie and Biggar, that pays me nocht, that are fallen folks, to pray for me.’ To his eldest son James he left the ‘insight,’ that is, the furniture within the Place of Cumbernauld; along with the silver ‘wark, an bason, an cover, twa gilt cups with covers, vi — of silver, vj silver spoons, an dozen of silver trenchers, twa saltfats of silver,’ etc.; and to his second son John, L.1000; and to his daughters, Agnes and Mary, 1000 merks each. To his wife, in addition to the house of Boghall, with the ‘ insight within the same,’ except the artillery, which was to be the properly of James, his son and heir, he bequeathed all the oxen and kye, corn and bear, on the Mains of Boghall.


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