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History of the Burgh of Dumfries
Chapter XVI


PEACE WITH ENGLAND – RISE OF THE ANGUS BRANCH OF THE DOUGLASSES – THE BARONS TAKE UP ARMS AGAINST JAMES III. – BATTLE OF SAUCHIEBURN, AND THE PART TAKEN IN IT BY THE DUMFRIESSHIRE BORDERERS – MURDER OF THE KING – HIS SUCCESSOR, JAMES IV., HOLDS A CRIMINAL COURT AT DUMFRIES – HIS TRAIN OF MINSTRELS – HIS GAY, PLEASURE-LOVING CHARACTER – INSTANCES OF HIS JUDICIAL RIGOUR AGAINST THIEVES, OUTLAWS, AND REBELS – HIS PILGRIMAGE TO THE LADY CHAPEL AT DUMFRIES – DEADLY FEUD BETWEEN LORD MAXWELL AND LORD SANQUHAR – DEFEAT OF THE SCOTS, AND SLAUGHTER OF THE KING, AT FLODDEN – THE COUNTY DEVASTED BY LORD DACRE.

SCARCELY had the reign of James III. commenced, than Warwick (known in England as “the king maker”) is said to have come to Dumfries, and obtained an interview there, in 1462, with Mary of Gueldres, for the purpose of soliciting her consent to a marriage with his royal master, Edward IV. So it is stated by Wyrcestre, a contemporary annalist. The match, if ever projected, did not take place; and the very next year Warwick appeared in the County, not as a peaceful matrimonial agent, but as a destructive soldier – the venerable town of Lochmaben suffering especially from his visit. Hostilities were not long continued; and on the 1st of June, 1464, they were followed by a truce, the terms of which were arranged by Warwick and the Scottish Commissioners, at Lochmaben Stane, which frequently figured in these times as a place of rendezvous and treaty. [Lochmaben Stane stands on the farm of Old Gretna, in the parish of Gretna. It measures eight feet in height, and twenty-one in circumference. It was formerly neighboured by a number of smaller stones, enclosing, in oval form, half an acre of ground – the remains, probably, of a Druidical temple. The Stane, which still remains, is specifically referred to in many old charters and other deeds, and doubtless derived its name from the circumstance that it was situated within the barony of Lochmaben. The following are extracts from Pitcairn’s Criminal Trials, vol. i., part i., p. 398: - “May 12, 1557.- Roger Kirkpatrick of Closeburn, William Kirkpatrick of Kirkmichaell, and Thomas Kirkpatrick of Freirkerse, got remission from the Queen for abiding from the army ordained to convene at Lochmaben Stane on February 16 last, to meet the Warden before sunrise, to push forwardt with him to the day of trew, for meeting of the Wardone of England.” “May 14. – Alexander Stewart of Garleise, John Dunbar of Mochrame, John Gordoune of Barskeoche, John M’Culloch of Torhouse, John Jardine of Apilgerth, Robert Moffet (senior and junior) of Grantoune, Thomas Moffet of Knok, Robert Johnnestoune of Coittis, and John Creychtoune, tutour of Sauchare, found caution to underly the law at the next aire of Dumfreis, for abiding from the Queen’s army ordained to convene at Lochmaben Stane.”]

The Angus branch of the Douglasses now began to flourish. When the turbulent nobles of the kingdom rebelled against their weak sovereign, Archibald, fifth Earl of Angus, agreed, in the words of the well-known parable of the rats and mice, propounded by his confederate, Lord Grey, to “bell the cat;” that is, seize the King’s powerful favourite, Cochrane, who, from being an architect, had been created Earl of Mar. How the cat’s prototype was entrapped and hanged, and the King himself was for a while imprisoned by the rebel chiefs, we need not describe in detail. Other six years filled up the measure of the King’s reign, which “reason, malice domestic, foreign levy” continued to embitter. When the final crisis came, and the barons, in open rebellion against their sovereign, gave him battle at Sauchieburn, Liddisdale, Annandale, and Galloway furnished a large proportion of their force; and when the royal army broke up, utterly undone, its defeat was chiefly due to the long spears from the Western Border. Thrown from his horse as he galloped off the field, the monarch, maimed and bleeding, was borne into a neighbouring cottage. On being asked his name by its female tenant, he answered, incautiously, “I was your king this morning;” adding, “ let me have a priest to shrive the suffering King.” The woman went out, calling wildly for a priest to shrive the suffering King.  “I am a priest; lead me to him,” said a straggler who presented himself. Whether he was so or not has never been properly determined. According to Buchanan, the stranger was actually a priest named Borthwick, who had joined the rebel army; and certainly not one of the vengeful barons arrayed against the sovereign could have acted towards him with more felonious hate. The ruffian, on finding that the illustrious sufferer’s bruises were not likely to prove fatal, exclaimed, in reply to his request for absolution, “This shall presently absolve thee!” and plunged a poniard repeatedly into the King’s heart.

The dreadful dagger scene in which the royal victim’s father was the actor, and William, Earl of Douglas, the sufferer, twenty-six years before, in the same neighbourhood, rises up to memory as we read, horror-stricken, of this parallel atrocity. The murderer of King James III. never came forward to ask from the rebellious lords a reward for his black deed: he slunk away into the congenial shadows, as if overcome by remorse – his identity and motive remaining an unravelled mystery.

It must not be supposed, because many Annandale and Liddisdale men fought against the King at the battle of Sauchie, that the County generally sympathized with the rebels. John, fourth Lord Maxwell, who was rapidly becoming the leading nobleman in Nithsdale, supported his sovereign on that fatal field; yet, after the death of James, he managed to make good terms with the victorious barons, in virtue of which he was appointed to rule Dumfriesshire jointly with the Earl of Angus, till the young King, James IV., now aged fifteen years and seven months, should reach his majority in 1494. This arrangement was made by act of Parliament. It was a tribute to the rising influence of Lord Maxwell; and, as further proof of consideration shown to him by the Government, we learn from the royal treasurer’s accounts, that being in arrear, as Steward of Annandale, the sum of £3745, he obtained, in 1508, a full discharge from the King on paying £1000.

As James increased in years, he exhibited a rare combination of energy and prudence, that, together with his captivating manners, enabled him to control in some degree, without irritating, the powerful and jealous nobles who had placed him upon the throne. Scotland began to feel that the septre was swayed by a real, not a nominal, king; and as, by his marriage, in 1503, with Margaret, daughter of Henry VII. of England, the country was blessed with peace for a series of years, it enjoyed a measure of prosperity to which it had long been a stranger. In the year after this seemingly happy nuptial alliance, the young sovereign paid a visit to Dumfries, for the purpose of holding an ayre, or criminal court, in accordance with an act passed by his first Parliament, which bore this striking preamble: “It is avisit and concludit, anent the furthputting of justice, throw all the Realme, that our Soverane Lord sal ride in proper persoune about to all his aieris.” [Acta Parl., cap. ix., p. 1488.] Though the King came on a grave mission, it was not in the nature of the man to be morose or stern, even at such a period. In his train were harpers and pipers, as well as dempsters and executioners; and music, feasting, and revelry ruled the hours which the serious duties of the court left free. During his stay, the old Burgh would luxuriate in the radiant atmosphere of the royal presence – dreading neither Border banditti nor Southern marauders, so long as it remained. If ever “the divinity that doth hedge a king” is enhanced by mental grace and manly beauty, it must have been so in the case of our Fourth James, the most lovable, and, spite of his faults, the best, of all the Stewart line.

                                                “The monarch’s form was middle size;
                                                 For feat of strength or exercise,
                                                            Shaped in proportion fair;
                                                 And hazel was his eagle eye,
                                                 And auburn of the darkest dye
                                                            His short curled beard and hair.
                                                 Light was his footstep in the dance,
                                                            And firm his stirrup in the lists;
                                                 And, oh! he had that merry glance
                                                            That seldom lady’s heart resists.”
                                                                                    [Scott’s Marmion.]

It was in early autumn that King James arrived. On the 13th of August there was paid from the royal purse, “xiij. s. [13s.] to the pyparis of Dumfrise;” his Majesty employing “local talent” in the musical line, as well as his own staff of minstrels. After remaining in the town a day or two, making arrangements for the assize, he passed on a justiciary tour to the Western Border, taking with him an armed escort, and his customary retinue of bards, singers, and bagpipers, including a reverend personage who figures in the books of the treasury as “the cruikit Vicar of Dumfreis,” who received a largesse of ”xiiij. s.” (14s.) for singing to the King in Lochmaben town. James’s passion for music and sport is illustrated by other entries in these accounts; and they also show that he and his father-in-law stood at that time on the best of terms. The Prior of Carlisle sent a butt of Malvoisie to the Scottish monarch, the two men who carried the welcome present getting a gratuity of “lvj. s.;” “twa wiffis brocht aill to the King fra Sir Johne Musgrave,” for which they were duly rewarded; and the same English knight sent his own huntsmen to beat cover and blow the horn when James indulged in the pleasures of the chase. On the 23rd of August the King played at cards in Bruce’s burgh; and who should be his opponent but Lord Dacre, the doughty English Warden – both well content to enjoy for once a bloodless, friendly contest. James seems to have been worsted in the game, as there is charged against him, in connection with it, the sum of “xlvj. s. viij. d.” (46s. 8d.) Happy would it have been for Scotland and himself had he never played with English warrior in a less peaceful arena for a heavier stake. That his Majesty did not spend all his time on trifles when in Annandale and Eskdale, is sufficiently shown by such dread entries as the following: - “Aug. 17. – To the men hangit the thevis at Hullirbuss, xiij. s. [13s.]; for ain raip to hang thaim in, viij. d. [8d.] Aug. 21. – To the man that hangit the theves in Canonby, be the Kingis command, xiij. s.” (13s.)

On the 24th of the same month, James returned, “furth of Eskdale,” to the County town, remaining there twenty-three days, during the continuance of the court. He lodged with the Cunningham family; and the likelihood is, we think, that he occupied a spacious chamber belonging to them, of which we get an inkling afterwards, under the designation of the Painted Hall. The court, sitting in the Castle, presided over by “Andrea Domino Gray” as justiciar, and, doubtless, often graced by the presence of the King, disposed of the following, among other cases, from the town or district: - “Robert Grersoune, in Dumfreis, produced a remission for art and part of the cruel slaughter of Sir John M’Brair, chaplain in the town of Dumfreis.” Under what circumstances M’Briar, who belonged to a family of distinction, was put to death, is not stated, nor is the result of the trial recorded. “Gilbert Thomesone, convicted of the theftuous taking of merchandise from the merchants of Dumfreis, at the time of the Burning thereof: Item, for art and part of the theftuous taking and concealing xlv. sheep furth of Schellop: Item, of common Theft and common Reset of Theft – Hanged.” Whether the burning here referred to, of which Thomesone took advantage, was accidental or the work of incendiaries, does not appear. “Adam Baty [or Beattie], convicted of art and part with the King’s rebels in Eskdale – Hanged.” “James Monse [This name appears to be the same with that now know as Mounsey. It is a singular coincidence that Dr. Mounsey, who sprang from the lowest origin in the vicinity of Lochmaben, lived to become the proprietor of the estate of Rammerscales, &c., here described. – Note in KINCAID’S Criminal Trials, vol. i., part i., p. 40.], near Lochmabane, came in the King’s will for destroying the woods of Lochmabane, Bukrig, Heichrig, Rammerskalls, and Rowekellpark. Gavin Murray, brother of the Laird of Cockpule, became surety to the King.” “John Pattersoun, in Tasseholme, convicted of fishing salmon in the water of Annand during the prohibited time, was amerciated in v. l.” (£5). “William Jarding, called the Braid-suerd to the King; Robert Dunwedy, son of the Laird of Dunwedy; and Gavin Johnstoune, were admitted to our sovereign lord the King’s composition, for art and part of the stouthrief of four horses, price xl. l. [£40], two candlesticks, one goblet, with sundry other goods, worth xx. l., from Bartholomew Glendumvyne,  in company with the Laird of Johnstoune and his accomplices. – Sir Thomas Kirkpatrick of Closeburne, knight, became surety for the said Robert, and Adam Johnestoune of that Ilk became surety for the said Gavin, to satisfy parties.” Other minutes disclose two bloody deeds, such as were of no rare occurrence in those days of violence – the murder of the Laird of Dunwedy, or Dinwoodie, and of the Laird of Mouswald, by neighbours of their own rank. The Dinwoodies, who had been for a long time previously settled on lands called after them in Applegarth, were at feud with the Jardines, the chief proprietors of that parish. Some time in 1503 a band of armed men made sudden entrance into Dinwoodie Tower, slew Thomas, the chief of the clan, and then disappeared. The mysterious outrage was, naturally enough, attributed to the Jardines, but was never fairly traced home to them. John Jardine, in Sibbald-besyde, and Robert Brig, residing with Alexander Jardine of Applegarth, were specially charged with the crime. As, however, they presented “a remission from the King,” when brought before Lord Grey, at Dumfries, they were set at liberty – their chief engaging to reproduce them, if called upon. [“Only nine years afterwards,” says Anderson, in his Manuscript History, Advocates’ Library, “the Laird Dinwiddie was slayne in Edinburgh by two persons, who eschaped, by taking the Sanctuarie of Holyroodhouse.” Sir James Balfour (Annales, vol. i., p. 235) says that this second act of assassination was committed by the Jardines.] Justice seems to have been also baffled in the other murder case. Thomas Bell, of Curre, or Currie, and Stephen Johnstoune, arraigned for the crime, kept out of the way; as also did their sureties, the Laird of Castlemilk, and William Purdum, portioner in Middlebie; and all that the judge could do in the matter was to “denounce” the accused, at the horn, as rebels, and “amerciate” their sureties. During the sittings of the court the judge was paid forty shillings per day – in all, forty-six pounds. It broke up about the middle of September. On the 13th of that month, James cleared off scores with his landlady, as recorded in the following quaint note of payment: - “To William Cunnynghame’s wif in Drumfreise, for the Kingis bele chere [belly cheer], x. li.” (£10). A few days before, his Majesty gave a dole to the Minorite Brethren in the Vennel, which is thus entered: - “Sep. 8. – To the Freris of Drumfreis, xiiij. s.” (£14s.) The King’s sojourn, so curiously made up of work and play, being now over, he bade farewell to his loyal burgesses of Dumfries, all sorry, we doubt not, that such a sunny episode in the annals had come so soon to an end. [For the proceedings at this justice ayre, and the extracts from the Accounts of the Lord High Treasurer in the reign of James IV., we are indebted to the first volume of that most valuable work to the historian, Pitcairn’s Criminal Trials. Subjoined are a few more entries: - “Aug. 2. – For twa hidis to be jakkis to Thomas Boswell and Watte Trumbull, minstrals, agane the raid of Eskdale, lvj. s. To James Hog, tale-teller, to fee twa hors in Eskdale, with kingis harness, in part payment, xxxiij. s. For foure corse bowis and ane hundredth canyais [arrows], agane the raid of Eskdale, xij. li. [£12]. Aug. 8. – Payit for v. pair spurs to the King, twa paire sterap irnis, xij. riding girthis, xij. housing girthis, iiij. hors collaris, x. hors houses, and for hors schoing, v. li. x. d. To ane man of Sir Alexander Jardinis, that come to the King with thingis [tidings] of the taking of Gib Lindesay and his complicis, xiiij. s. Aug. 13. – In Drumfrese to menstrales to fe thaim horsis to Eskdale, and syne agane to Drumfrese, xlij. s. To twa Inglise women that sang in the Kingis pailzeoune [pavilion], xxiij. s. Aug. 31. – Be the Kingis command, to Sir A. Jardine and his men for the taking of Gib Lindesay and uther twa with him, xxx. li.”]

Truly a gay, genial, pleasure-loving monarch was James IV.; yet, with all his habitual mirthfulness, he was subject to fits of gloom, that usually came upon him in midsummer, and under the influence of which even his outward man sometimes underwent a strange alteration.

                                                “In offices as strict as Lent
                                                 King James’s June was ever spent.”
                                                            [Marmion]

He had, as a boy, taken part with the barons when they joined in warlike array against his father; and, though scarcely a voluntary agent at that time, he wore a macerating iron belt round his waist by way of penance, to which some ounces were added annually, and every recurring anniversary of Sauchieburn found him in a bitterly penitential mood. It was on one of these occasions that the King appeared at the gates of Our Lady’s Chapel in Dumfries, habited as a lowly Franciscan – the royal devotee, in his gown of coarse grey serge, appearing as unlike as possible to the jovial, care-defying prince who, a short while before, held court in Dame Cunningham’s Painted Hall. After making his offerings at the altar, he proceeded, staff in hand, to pay his devotions before the shrine of St. Ninian, at Whithorn, whither he often went to bewail his fancied parricidal guilt, and the unlawful indulgences for which, unlike it, he was truly responsible. [There are some vague traditions in Dumfries regarding the visits paid to it by James IV., and his son, James V.; one of these being that King James (which of them is not specified) slept all night under a huge tree that grew a little to the north-east of the town, near the present English road. The following inscription, taken from a tomb-stone in St. Michael’s churchyard, is adduced in corroboration of the tale: “In memory of John M’Niel, of Royal Oak, near this town, who departed this life, April 30th, 1836; aged 101 years.” The epitaph is curious in itself, as being, we believe, the only one in the same cemetery in memory of a centenarian. That any of the Jameses should have spent a night in the open air, in the vicinity of Dumfries, cannot be credited; but James IV. might, by resting himself, when on his barefooted pilgrimage, below an umbrageous oak, have originated this tradition.

The Rev. Joseph Duncan (now of Torthorwald), who drew up the notice of Dumfries Parish, dated 1833, for the Statistical Account, says (p. 12): “A curious relic of antiquity was some time ago discovered by Mr. Affleck, ironfounder, while employed in selecting some pieces of old metal to throw into the crucible. It is circular, fully two inches in diameter, and about the thickness of a penny. Upon being struck with a hammer, a crust of verdigris came off, and on one side of it was discovered, engraved, a lion rampant, in the midst of a shield bordered with Fleur de lis, and surrounded, in reversed characters, by the legend, “Jacobus Dei Gra. Rex Scotorum;’ after which is a figure nearly similar to the letter S, which we conclude must have been intended to represent the buckle of the belt, on which the inscription is engraved. The seal, for such it is supposed to be, if formed of a compound of copper with some other metals, and is, with some plausibility, supposed to have been the privy seal of one of the kings of Scotland.” Very likely this relic belonged either to Mrs. Cunningham’s royal lodger or his son, James V.; and if to the latter, may have been dropped by him when out on some of his nocturnal revels.]

Four years after King James held his justice ayre at Dumfries, Lord Maxwell, to whom he had been so considerate, showed extreme disrespect to the royal authority, as represented by Robert, second Lord Sanquhar, Sheriff of Nithsdale. The Crichtons, like the Maxwells, had grown greatly in favour since the fall of the Douglasses. There had been long a deadly feud between the two houses, which was at this time intensified by the circumstance that Lord Sanquhar seemed to be extending his influence over Lower Nithsdale, at the expense of Lord Maxwell, who, though Steward of Annandale, did not like to see the neighbouring sheriffdom possessed by his rival. The idea that a district occupied by many of his own adherents should be legally presided over by any other than a Maxwell, was the reverse of pleasant to Lord John; that it should be placed under the sway of a Crichton, was deemed by him intolerable. “We must teach this aspiring chief a lesson – let him see who is the real master of Dumfries, muttered the wrathful Steward. Probably Maxwell gave a readier effect to this menace because he knew that the Sheriff of Nithsdale had a charge of disloyalty hanging over his head.

Lord Sanquhar held a court in the Shire town towards the close of July, 1508. On the 30th of that month no trials were proceeded with – the “dittays” having been deserted – the hall of justice abandoned for the Lower Sand-beds that skirt the Burgh, where the warlike vassals of the noble Sheriff stood drawn up in battle array, prepared in some degree for the threatened onset, of which he had received timely notice. Lord Maxwell, at the head of a considerable force, and accompanied by William Douglas of Drumlanrig, entered the town by the Annandale road from the south, and attacked the Crichton party with a fury that proved irresistible. How long the engagement continued is unknown. Sir James Balfour speaks of it as “a grate feight” [Annuals of Scotland, p. 231.] – that it was a sanguinary one is beyond any doubt. The same annalist records that “Lord Sanquhar was overthrowen, and many of his frindes killed.” [Ibid.] Bishop Lesley, describing the issue of the affray, says: “Lord Creychton was chaissit with his company frae Drumfreis, and the Laird of Dalyell and the young Laird of Cranchlay slain, with divers uthers, quhairof thair appeared greit deidly feid and bludshed.” Thoroughly routed, Lord Sanquhar was chased from the town over which he professed to hold rule in the King’s name – driven for refuge to his castle among the hills; leaving his exulting rival, if not Sheriff of Nithsdale, undisputed chief of its principal Burgh.

Maxwell, however strange it may appear, was allowed to go unpunished. Whether it was that extenuating circumstances were brought forward to palliate the grossness of the outrage, or that its perpetrator was too powerful to be meddled with, he was not proceeded against judicially. “Partley be justice, and partley be agreement, the whole cause [against him] was suddenly quyeted and stanched;” but his chief colleagues in the affray, William Douglas of Drumlanrig, John Fergusson of Craigdarroch, with his son Thomas, and their accomplices, went through the form of a trial on the 30th of September, 1512, at Edinburgh, for the murder of Robert Crichton of Kirkpatrict (one of the Sheriff’s party, and probably a near relative), and were acquitted, on the ground that the deceased Robert Crichton was “our severane lordis rebel, and at his horne,” when the conflict occurred. [The Magna Assisa, or Great Assize, consisting of twenty-one lords and gentlemen, presided over by Archibald, Earl of Angus, in giving a verdict in the case, counselled the King’s Highness “that the said allegit crimes be na ditty; Ant that Lettres be written of Discharge; and Inhibitioun be gevin and direct to Justice and Justice-Clerk, be our Souverane Lorde, and till all utheris officiaris, that nane of thame tak in Dittay, attache, arrest or accuse the said William Douglas, or his complices forsaide, for the saide actioun, and na crime be imput to thairapoun, because it was funde obefore be the said Lordis that the said umquhile Robert, the tyme when he was slane, was our Soverane Lordis rebel, and at his horne, and for uthir resonable cause, moving the said Lordis; except Fergy Fergussoun and Robin Fergussoun, to quham this declaratioun and counsall sall nocht extende, and thaim to be be punist, as is contenit in the decret and deliverance be certaue of the said Lordis thairapoune.” PITCAIRN, vol. i., part i., p. 79.] The still unsettled and unsatisfactory state of Dumfriesshire may be inferred from the circumstance, that the steward of one portion of it could, in this flagitious way, commit a murderous outrage on the sheriff of another with impunity.

If peace had continued, however, and length of days been vouchsafed to the King, he would, there is no doubt, have done much more to strengthen the power of the Crown, and extend the influence of the law, than he was privileged to accomplish. Henry VIII. of England having proclaimed war against France, Scotland, as the ally of the latter, after years of comparative tranquillity, again rang with the sound of hostile preparations – James, actuated by knightly devotion to the French Queen, as well as friendship to her consort, having resolved to cross the Border with an invading army. Her majesty, as the poet tells us,

                                                “Sent him a turquoise ring and glove,
                                                 And charged him, as her knight and love,
                                                            For her to break a lance:
                                                 And strike three strokes with Scottish brand,
                                                 And march three miles on Southern land,
                                                 And bid the banners of his band
                                                            In English breezes dance.”
                                                                                    [Marmion.]

Many Dumfriesshire chiefs, including Lord Maxwell, joined the King’s unfortunate expedition. It is not necessary that we should follow its fortunes, by telling again “red Flodden’s dismal tale,” with which ever reader of British history is familiar. Flodden was indeed a

                                                                        “Fatal field,
                                                Where shivered was fair Scotland’s spear,
                                                            And broken was her shield.”
                                                                                    [Ibid.]

James fell fighting desperately, and reckless of life, on seeing the ruin he had provoked. Among the “chiefs, knights, and nobles, many a one,” slain alongst with him in the disastrous battle, were John, Lord Maxwell, with his four brothers; Robert, Lord Herries, with Andrew his brother; the two sons of the Earl of Angus; two hundred gentlemen of the Douglas name, and numerous other men of note connected with Dumfriesshire and Galloway. In all the Border district, among high and low, there was great lamentation for friends or relatives left lifeless on the field.

This memorable battle was fought on the 9th of September, 1513. Stunning and terrible was the blow which it inflicted on the Scots; but, though thus deprived of their King and chief nobility, they rapidly recovered from its effects, Surrey, the victorious leader of the English, suffered so severely in the conflict that he was unable to enter Scotland and gather in the full harvest of his triumph. At first Margaret, the widowed Queen, was made Regent, but, as she was mistrusted on account of being the sister of the English monarch, and of having hurriedly contracted a marriage with Archibald, sixth Earl of Angus, she was soon deprived of the office, which was then conferred on John, Duke of Albany. As his accession was opposed by Angus, one of the new Regent’s first acts was to banish the Queen and her husband out of the country.

Though no general invasion of Scotland took place, in consequence of the late defeat, the English King let loose large bands of armed men upon the devoted Border territory, which they wasted with fire and sword. One of these marauding parties, headed by Lord Dacre, entered Dumfriesshire in the spring of 1514; his motive being very different from that which drew him to Lochmaben, ten years before, to encounter, in a card-playing tourney, Scotland’s chivalrous King. The leading men of the country, with hundreds of their followers, had been “wede away” in the carnage of the preceding autumn, so that the invaders met with little resistance; and they ravaged the district nearest them in a style of wanton barbarity. Dacre, in writing, on the 17th of May, an account of his destructive achievements to the English Council, says that he had laid waste Ewisdale, in which there were 140 ploughs (plough-lands); that he had almost depopulated Lower Annandale and Eskdale, in which there were more than 400 ploughs; that he had wholly destroyed the town of Annan, and thirty-three other townships. He boasts that all these ploughs and townships “are now clearly wasted, and no man dwelling in any of them at this day, save only in the towns of Annan, Stepel, and Wauchope.” The sanguinary and remorseless Warden concludes his report by intimating that he meant to continue his service “with diligence, from time to time, to the utmost annoyance of the Scots.” Had not the Steward of Annandale been mouldering in his grave, and had not his son Robert, Lord Maxwell, been young, inexperienced, and with few retainers left on his muster-roll, Dacre would not have been in a condition to make such a report.  


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