Check all the Clans that have DNA Projects. If your Clan is not in the list there's a way for it to be listed. Electric Scotland's Classified Directory An amazing collection of unique holiday cottages, castles and apartments, all over Scotland in truly amazing locations.

History of the Burgh of Dumfries
Chapter XXX


THE EARL OF NITHSDALE FORTIFIES HIS CASTLES IN THE INTERESTS OF THE KING-DESCRIPTION OF CARLAVEROCK AS RECONSTRUCTED, AND THRIEVE -BOTH OF THE CASTLES SURRENDER TO LIEUTENANT-GENERAL HOME, WITH CONSENT OF THE KING-TERMS OF THEIR CAPITULATION- THE "PLENISHING" OF CARLAVEROCK: ITS RICH FURNISHINGS AND EXTENSIVE LIBRARY-BOTH STRONGHOLDS PARTIALLY DEMOLISHED-PROVOST CORSANE SUSPECTED OF INTRIGUING WITH THE ROYALISTS-METEORIC CAREER OF MONTROSE - HE OCCUPIES DUMFRIES-CALLENDAR APPEARS IN THE VICINITY OF THE TOWN WITH A COVENANTING FORCE, AND MONTROSE RETIRES INTO NORTHUMBERLAND- HE COMPLAINS OF HAVING BEEN DECEIVED BY HARTFELL AND OTHER DUMFRIESSHIRE BARONS-HIS BRILLIANT ACHIEVEMENTS IN THE HIGHLANDS - HIS BRIEF DICTATORSHIP, AND UTTER OVERTHROW AT PHILIPHAUGH-DEATH OF CROMWELL, AND RESTORATION OF CHARLES II.

MEANWHILE, as we have said, the Earl of Nithsdale was fortifying his strongholds, and preparing to make a bold stand in the district on behalf of King Charles. He could do nothing for the royal cause in Dumfries, as the inhabitants were opposed to it; and its places of strength, even if they had been held by him, were of little value in a military sense. The Castle, though partially repaired, still bore evidence of the rough handling given to it by Lord Scrope in 1570. Thirteen years afterwards, a second fortress, on a small scale, was built eastward of the ancient Market Cross, and north of the present Queensberry Monument. In contrast to the old decayed Castle, it was called the New Wark. It was a dull, heavy pile, composed of two stories above the street level, with a bartizan running along the top to protect the garrison, and strong vaults underground, in which the movable property of the inhabitants was stowed away in periods of danger. The New Wark was often of good service when raiding moss-troopers from the Border paid hostile visits to the Burgh; but a party of Covenanters, armed with cannon, would have made short work with its defences.

Carlaverock and Thrieve, however, were still strong; and into each of these castles Lord Nithsdale threw a portion of his retainers, with sufficient warlike stores and provisions to fit them for a lengthened siege. When Cambden, in 1607, saw Carlaverock, it was, lie tells us, "a weak house of the Maxwells," Lords Sussex and Scrope having all but ruined it. In the course of a few years it rose into a state of greater magnificence than ever; the first Earl of Nithsdale employing the best architectural and engineering skill to make it at once a palatial residence and a first-class fortress. The triangular form, with a round tower at each corner, was retained. The moats were deepened, so as to make the Solway waters, near which it stood, more available for defensive purposes. A massive gateway, pierced by a narrow curtain, and having a tower on each side, formed a colossal front, Over the arch of the gate was sculptured the Nithsdale crest-a stag attired proper, lodged before a holly-bush, with a shield resting on its fore legs, bearing the Maxwell saltier, and the motto below, "I bid ye fair." This escutcheon was surrounded by other heraldic decorations: the well-known double-headed eagle of the Maxwells occupied the sinister chief corner; in the dexter corner was displayed the royal arms of Scotland; a band between six crosslets in the dexter corner of the base marked the relationship which subsisted between the Maxwells and Douglas, Earl of Mar; and the sinister corner of the base told their connection with the Stewarts of Dalswinton, a daughter of whose house was mother of the first Lord Maxwell.

Entered by the gateway was a spacious triangular court, the east side of which, three stories high, constituted the family residence; and so florid was its outside, and so rich its furnishings, that it might have become the abode of royalty. On the pediments of the lower story were engraved the Nithsdale arms, with the initials of Robert, the first Earl, and his wife Elizabeth. A heart-shaped shield, with the plain Maxwell saltier, was carved above the first window; a shield, with the two-headed eagle, charged with a smaller shield and saltier, surmounted by a coronet, rose above the second staircase window: the third window was similarly adorned, excepting that it wanted the supporters; and the fourth bore the familiar holly-bush, with its usual occupant the stag. Above the first court door a huge eagle, defensive-like, spread its wings, having below it a shield, and on each side a rose. Two guardian cherubs supported a shield over the first window of the second story, the shield displaying a double-headed eagle, charged as before, and having under it the mask of a human head, with hands drawing the jaws apart in such a way as to give a most grotesque expression to the face. A tree, carved above the right-hand side of the second window of the second story, bore, as emblematic fruit, a tiny shield, with the Maxwell saltier and coronet, their owner being indicated by the initials R.E.N. cut below. From a second tree, on the other side of the window, hung similar fruitage, only that the initials were E. C. N., those of the noble Countess of Nithsdale. The lavish ornamentation of this part of the castle was crowned by a series of classical groups, placed over the three third-story windows, the subjects of which were taken from "Ovid's Metamorphoses."

Such was the strong and beautiful house which constituted the forlorn hope of royalty in Nithsdale: not strong enough to resist the war-engines which were soon arrayed against it; too beautiful to be marred by the baptism of their relentless fire.

The Estates in Edinburgh were duly apprised of Maxwell's hostile preparations; and as the South Regiment, under Lord Kirkcudbright, was yet in an undisciplined condition, they sent down a body of troops under an experienced officer - Lieutenant-Colonel John Home - to lay siege to both Carlaverock and Thrieve, so as to keep them from becoming rallying points for the royalists. Colonel Home's contingent formed a portion of the Scottish army sent southward under General Leslie in the autumn of 1640; and whilst Leslie passed with his "blue bonnets over the Border," to co-operate with the Parliamentary forces in England, Home invested Thrieve and Carlaverock, and thus took one of the initiatory steps of the great civil war which convulsed the island for eleven years.

Thrieve, as has been already shown, was the chief castle of the Douglasses in Galloway. On their downfall, it became the property of the Crown; and by a royal grant, dated September 9th, 1524, this fortress, and that of Lochmaben, with all their perquisites and appendages, and all the King's lands at Duncow, Dumfriesshire, and the office of Steward of Kirkcudbright, were given to Robert, Lord Maxwell, and the longest survivor of his sons, for a period of nineteen years. The Maxwells continued to be keepers of Thrieve till the forfeiture of the last Earl of Nithsdale, in 1715.

When Colonel Home laid siege to Thrieve, it consisted of a colossal square tower, buttressed by round turrets at each corner, the whole surrounded by a stout envelope, with curtains for cannon, and occupying an islet of sixteen Scotch acres in the river Dee. Its surviving relics still attest its ancient stability and importance. The garrison consisted of eighty men, and that of Carlaverock of a hundred, besides officers. Nithsdale held both castles bravely for thirteen weeks; but finding that he was hard pressed, and likely to be overcome, he sent a communication from Carlaverock, apprising the King of the straits to which he was reduced, and of the alternative which awaited him of accepting certain terms offered by the besiegers, or being soon forced to surrender at discretion, if not relieved. His Majesty, in reply, sent a letter suitably addressed, which ran thus:

"CHARLES R. - Right trusty and right well beloved cosen and councellor, we greet you well. Whereas you have represented unto us by your letter of the 12th of September, that those who have besieged you so long in the Castle of Carlaverock have now offered you honourable conditions to come out; and forasmuch as our affairs permit not to relieve you so soon as we had determined, and as seemss your necessities require, and being withal most willing to free your person from further danger, and to ease you of the trouble and toyle you have sustained by so long a siege, we do hereby (graciously condescending unto your humble request) give you leave to embrace and accept the aforesaid conditions, for the safety and preservation of your person and estate, having withal a regard to our honour, so far as the necessity of your present condition will permit; and we shall still, as we have done hithertoo, continue our gracious esteem of you. Given at our Court at York, this 15th day of September, in the sixteenth year of our reign, 1640."

This royal epistle was followed by another, addressed as before, and written later on the same day, in these terms:" CHARLES R.-Right trusty and well beloved cousen and counsellor, we greet you well. Understanding by this bearer, that altho you were agreed with those that have beleaguered you in Carlaverock upon honourable terms, for your coming forth, and rendering thereof, yet that those conditions are not valid untill such time that they be ratified by those that have made themselves members of the great Committee in Edinburgh, and fearing that your enemies there will not give way to your coming forth on such good terms, we are therefore graciously pleased, and by these presents do permit and give you leave to take such conditions as you can get, whereby the lives and liberties of yourself, your family, and those that are with you, may be preserved: and in case they should urge the surrending of our Castle of Thrieve, which hitherto you have so well defended (and we wish you were able to do so still), our gracious pleasure is that you do rather quit the same unto them; which, if so the necessity require you, to do so on the best and most honourable terms you can, rather than hazard the safety of your own person, and those with you; and in such case this shall be your warrant and discharge. Given at our Court at York, the 15th day of September, in the sixteenth year of our reign, 1640."

In accordance with the permission thus granted, both fortresses were surrendered to the Covenanting officer, after the annexed form of capitulation had been signed by him and Nithsdale:

"At Dumfries, the 1st day of October, 1640: The qlk day pns. of the Committee of Nithsdale, residing at Dumfries, compeared Lieutenant-Colonel Home, and gave in and produced the articles of capitulation past betwixt Robert, Earl of Nithsdale, and the said Lieutenant-Colonel at the Castle of Carlaverock, the 26th day of September last by past, and desired the said articles to be insert and registrate in the bukes of the said committee, and that the extract throf might be patent to any party havand interest, and the principal articles redilevered to him, qlk the said committee thought reasonable; of the qlk articles the tenor follows, viz.: - Articles condescended upon betwixt the Earl of Nithsdale and Lieutenant-Colonel Home, the 26th day of September, 1640, at the Castle of Carlaverock. For the first article, it is condescended on that for my Lord, his friends and followers, that there shall no other course be taken with him and them in their religions than with others of his or their professions. Whereas it is desired be my Lord that he, his friends and followers, be no farther troubled in their persons, houses, and estates, house-guides therein, then according to the common course of the kingdom; it is agreed unto, that no other course shall be taken with him and his foresaids, then with others of his and their professions. Whereas, it is desired he and they may sorte out with bag and baggage, trunks, household stuff, belonging, on their honour and credit, to his Lordship and them, wt. safe conduct to the Langholm, or any other place within Nithsdale, is granted. Whereas it is desired be my Lord that guides intromitt with belonging to his Lordship's friends and followers, restitution thereof be made; it is agreed to what course shall be taken with others of his and thr condition shall be taken with him and them. It is condescended upon be my Lord, takend the burden on him for himself, his friends and followers, that he nor they sall not, in any time coming, tack arms in prejudice of this kingdom, nor shall have any intelligence with any prejudice thereof, upon their honour and credit. It is condescended on be my Lord and his friends and followers, that they sall contribute and do every thing lying incumbent on them, according to the general course of the kingdom. Lastly, it is condescended on be my Lord, his friends and followers, that he and they sall deliver up the house and fortalice of Carlaverock to Lieutenant-Colonel Home, wt the cannon, superplus of ammunition, and other provisions; and that he shall remove himself, officers, and whole garrison and followers; out of the said castle and fortalice; and this his Lordship obleist himself and his to perform, upon his honour and credit, betwixt this and the 29th day of September instant, 1640. Sic subscribitur: Nithsdale.- JON HOME."

The "bag and baggage, trunks and household stuff," "left in the house of Carlaverock at my Lord's departure," were worth bargaining about. Fortunately the list of them made at the time, and duly attested by witnesses, has been preserved, as it affords us a singularly interesting peep into a seventeenth-century nobleman's household. The Earl of Nithsdale was addicted to literary and scientific pursuits, and on this account was popularly called "The Philosopher:" that a large stock of books should therefore figure in the catalogue, is less surprising. There were lavish furnishings for the mind, as well as sumptuous upholstery, luxurious apparel, and rich dainties for the palate. The library is stated to have "stood my Lord two hundred pound sterling," an immense sum (equal to a thousand pounds of our present money) to be spent on books at that period. In one cellar were four barrels of the wine which Falstaff favoured; in another, three hogsheads of claret. We read that in my lord's chamber there was " a bed furnished with damask, and laid over with gold lace;" that there was in my lady's chamber "a burd and a falling bed." Musical instruments and pictures enter into the list: but all else of a material kind was cast into the shade by the number and magnificence of the "household plenishings," which included five beds, two of silk and three of cloth, every bed supplied with five coverings, massive silk fringes of half a quarter deep, "and ane counterpoint of the same stuff, all laid with braid silk lace and a small fringe about; with chairs and stools answerable, laid with lace and fringe; with feather bed and bolster, blankets and rug, pillars and bedsteads of timber answerable; every bed estimate to be worth an hundred and ten pounds sterling." Then, we read of ten smaller beds, value fifteen pounds sterling; of " seventy other beds for servants, consisting of feather bed, bolster, rug, blankets, and estimate to be seven pound sterling a-piece;" of two open trunks, "full of Hollond shirts and phillabers, ... damask table-cloths, and gallons of towels;" forty pair of sheets or thereby, and " seventy stand of neprey" - every pair of sheets consisting of seven ells of cloth, at six shillings per ell, and amounting to five pounds two shillings sterling per pair. Among the weapons mentioned were twenty-two pikes, thirteen lances, twenty-eight muskets, twenty-eight bandoleers, and a pair of two-handed swords. [The complete list is given by Grose.]

Nithsdale became bound, as we have seen, that neither he nor his friends and followers should, for the time to come, take up arms "in prejudice of this kingdom," which phraseology, though loose, was doubtless designed to prevent them from fighting against the Covenant in future; but it had no such effect; and when the Earl afterwards complained that Colonel Home "had suffered his followers to spoil me ane coach, the furniture of quhilk stood me fifty pound sterling," and had in many other respects broken the articles of capitulation, Home could plead as his reason that his lordship and party had, in the first instance, broken their parole, by once more identifying themselves with King Charles. The Committee of Estates, on learning Nithsdale's conduct, caused the chief fortress of the inveterate "malignant" to be partially demolished; and the injury thus done to its ancient walls has never been repaired, though, even in its present ruined state, it presents the choicest existing specimen of castellated architecture in Scotland. [The siege and dismantlement of Carlaverock at this time are popularly attributed to Cromwell; but neither he nor a Puritan force ever attacked the castle.]

"The howse of the Thrieve," as it is termed in the documents of the period, was similarly dealt with. At a meeting of the Stewartry War Committee, held within its ancient walls on the 19th of October, 1640, it was resolved, in accordance with a warrant from Edinburgh, "that the sklait roofe of the hows and batlement thairof be taken downe, with the lofting thairof, dores and windowes of the samen, and to stop the vault of the said hows." This destructive duty was assigned to the Laird of Balmaghie, who was also empowered to dispose of the timber, stones, and iron work removed from the fortress for the use of the public; "his necessar charges and expenses" being deducted from the proceeds of the sale. [Minute-book of the War Committee. p. 67] On this subject, the captor of the castle addressed the following note to Ensign Gibb, whom he had left in charge of it:-" I did heir, at the Committie at Edinburgh, that they had written to the Committie of Galloway, answering to their letter, that they had fund the Thrieve to be unprofeitable, giving orderes that they should flight [dismantle] the samen. If they have deseyerit you to cum 'out that they might flight the samen, seing the warrand, and taking the coppie thairof, signed under thrie or foure of thair hands. In doing heirof, cum out with your gareson. Thir presents shall be to you sufficient warand. - HOME. At Dumfries, the 17 October, 1640." And so the castle was given up to the Committee, and "flighted" by their orders; William M'Clellan, of Barscoib, who had " use for certaine friestane for building," being, it seems, the chief purchaser of the spoils. A few days after the date of the above letter, orders were received by Home from the Estates "to march up with the South Raigement to the army with all convenient dilligence."

At this period John Corsane of Meikleknox was Provost of the Burgh. On the 3rd of December, 1640, he appeared before the Kirkcudbright War Committee, and presented a commission from Colonel Home to the following effect:-" These are to give full power, commissione, and warrand to Mr. John Corsane, provest of Drumfries, to resaive from the commissares or collectores of the tenth and twentieth pennies and rentes of our friends and bischopes within Galloway, all such soumes of money as they have in readiness for the use of the South Regement; with power to him to give acceptances and discharges of his receipt thairof, quhilk shall be as valid and sufficient to the foirsaid collectores as I had given thame discharges myself; and whereanent I obleis me to renew thame discharges myselfe, upon sight of the Provest's discharge, be thir presents, wrytten be me, Mr. Cuthbert Cunnynghame, and subscribed with my hand at Drumfries, the last November, Jm VIc and fourtie yeires, befoir thir witnesses, Roger Kirkpatrick, bailie of Drumfries, and the said Mr. Cuthbert Cunynghame. - HOME." Provost Corsane did much to promote the popular movement. He was a decided Covenanter, but was anxious at the same time to get a reconciliation effected between the contending parties. The nephew of Lord Nithsdale, and allied by marriage with another branch of the Maxwell family,* he was naturally averse to the prolongation of the war; and, on account of some pacific overtures made by him, and other acts disapproved of by the uncompromising Parliament which sat in 1644, he was fined in ten thousand merks.

The Burgh was represented in this Parliament by George Johnstone, and the County by Sir Robert Grierson of Lag and James Douglas of Mouswald. On the 2nd of July (to quote from the proceedings), "the House ordained commissions and letters of intercomuning to be directed against them that are fugitives, and were cited to the Committee of Drumfreis in the rebellione of the South." On the 22nd of July, the House took up the case of " Robert, Earl of Nidisdaill, and his deputies, who are Steuarts of Kirkcudbright;" and inasmuch as the Earl was found to have been guilty of "rebellione," he was deprived of his stewardship, and the office was conferred on Lord Kirkcudbright.

The Scottish Covenanters were now in full alliance with the English Puritans under Cromwell. A bond of civil as well as of religious union between the three kingdoms-the Solemn League and Covenant-was signed on the 26th of September, 1643, in St. Margaret's Church, Westminster. As a result of this alliance, Leslie, Earl of Leven, on entering England, joined his forces to the Parliamentary army at York. The organization effected by means of the War Committees was enlarged in order to meet the increased demands made upon Scotland by the widening battle-field. As illustrative of the extent to which the landed interest of Dumfriesshire was identified with the Covenanting cause, we may quote the list of the Committee for Nithsdale and Annandale in 1644:- "The Earl of Queensberry; the Earl of Annandale; the Earl of Hartfell; Lord Dalyell; the Laird of Lag; the Laird of Closeburn; the Laird of Amisfield; Maister John Douglas of Penziere; James Douglas of Morton ; Thomas Fergusone of Caitloch; John Crichton of Crawfurdston; John Laurie of Maxwellton; John Wilson of Craigleme; John Hunter of Ballagan; John Douglas of Stanehouse; James Grierson of Dalgonar; Archibald Johnstone of Clochrie; the Laird of Tindell; John Dalrymple of Waterside; the Laird of Applegirth ; the Laird of Mouswald; James Johnstone of Corheid; Andrew Johnstone of Lockerbie; Archibald Douglas of Dornok; the Laird of Wamfra; Francis Scot of Cairtertown; Mathew Wilson in Greenhill; John Kennedy of Halleithis; Robert Johnstone of Newtoun; the Laird of Drumerieffe [Murray]; George Johnstone of Poldean; and John Johnstone, called Viccarland." In the preceding year, Corsane of Meikleknox was not only on the Committee for the Burgh, but he was the convener or chairman of the whole body; but his name, for an obvious reason, does not appear in the list in 1644, the Burgh members being given in it as follows:" John Irwin, late Provost of Dumfries; Roger Kirkpatrick, bailie there; John Johnstone, bailie there; Robert Richardson, there; John Maccleane, there" - Bailie Johnstone, convener. [Acts of Scot. Parl., vol, vi., p. 132.]

At the period now reached, James Graham, fifth Earl and first Marquis of Montrose, comes prominently upon the stage. He is seen first as a devoted champion of the Covenant. When Leslie's troops entered England, Montrose was the first man to cross the Tweed; and encountering the vanguard of the English army, he put it to the rout at Newburn on the Tyne. Soon afterwards, his jealousy of Argyle extinguished his devotedness to the Covenant; and the outbreak of the civil war found him opposed to his old colleagues, and fighting in defence of the monarchy. The Marquis of Hamilton, the King's minister for Scotland, having fallen into disgrace, Graham was called to occupy his place as lieutenant-general of the kingdom. In an interview with his Majesty at Oxford, he divulged a daring scheme that he had planned on behalf of the royal cause : it was to do battle against the Leaguers in Scotland, with the view of crushing the Covenant in the land of its birth, leaving Rupert and his cavaliers to cope with Cromwell in England. In this manner, he argued, the force of the Covenanting arms would be drawn away from the King upon himself. "But the garrisons and passes of Scotland were in the possession of the Covenanters. He requested, therefore, an order upon the Marquis of Newcastle-now opposed to Leven in the north of England-for a detachment of his troops, or at least a sufficient escort force to enable him to cross the Borders. Even with these slender resources, he undertook to reach the Highlands of Scotland, and to make such head there as would ere long encourage the loyalists of that kingdom to rally round the standard." [Napier's Life and Times of Montrosc, vol, ii., p. 386,] Charles having sanctioned the bold design, Montrose proceeded northwards, bearing instructions from his royal master, by which he hoped to obtain the nucleus of an army.

He was accompanied by the Earl of Nithsdale, and also, however strange it may appear, by James Johnstone, Earl of Hartfell (son of the knight slaughtered by Nithsdale's brother), and by James Murray, Earl of Annandale, both of whom were at the very period members of the Dumfriesshire War Committee; and afterwards another recreant, Sir John Charteris of Amisfield, joined the royal army with a contingent of followers.

Montrose obtained only a small, ill-disciplined force from the Marquis of Newcastle; but, putting himself at its head, he pushed into Cumberland, crossed the Western Border, and on the 14th of April, 1644, startled the Covenanting lieges of Dumfries by entering the town with the royal banner displayed -no one attempting to arrest his progress. When the South Regiment left the district, it was comparatively undefended, and the War Committee had been weakened by defections; but for which circumstances, the champion of despotic rule could not have found such a ready entrance into Dumfries. A zealous Royalist, too - Sir James Maxwell - was Provost: [Spalding, vol. ii., p. 221.] a fact which in itself proves that a reaction had taken place to some extent against the Covenant in the Burgh. The inhabitants generally were still steadfast in their adherence to it. They could give no effective opposition to the King's troops; but they received them coldly, and, indeed, so discouragingly, that Montrose profited nothing by his march across the Border.

Right or wrong, he attributed his failure to bad faith on the part of professed friends, rather than to the opposition of open enemies. If he had received the support which he anticipated, he would have made Dumfries a starting point for his meditated expedition into the Highlands; but in a disappointed mood he resolved on retiring to Carlisle - a determination that he carried into effect all the more hurriedly, on learning that the Earl of Callendar, from whom he expected assistance, had gone over to the other side, and was advancing against him at the head of seven thousand men. Before Montrose was many miles out of Dumfries, the blue banner of the Covenant took the place lately occupied by the royal flag, and was doubtless hailed with enthusiasm by the inhabitants. Callendar's troops continued for some time in the town, whilst those of Montrose ravaged Northumberland and Durham, and eventually captured Morpeth Castle, in spite of a stout resistance offered by its garrison, under Captain M'Culloch.

That officer, in afterwards giving an account of the affair to a Parliamentary committee in Edinburgh, repeated the views expressed to him by Montrose as to the double-dealing of Lord Hartfell. When parleying with Montrose, before submitting to him, M'Culloch inquired " the reason of his incoming to Dumfries, and invasion of this kingdom:" upon which the Marquis "declared to the deponer that he had assurance from the Earl of Hartfell of his assistance, and raising of the country in his favour; but the said Hartfell deceived him, having promised, from day to day, to draw up his men, and yet did nothing but proved the traitor; and further, he said he thong ht to have betrayed him by drawing him to his house." When, some time afterwards, Lord Ogilvie was captured by the Covenanters, certain documents were found upon him which he had received from Montrose for presentation to the King. In one of these he used the following strong language with reference to his treatment by the Border barons:- "You are to inform his Majesty," he says, "of all the particulars that stumbled his service-as of the carriage of Hartfell, Annandale, Roxburgh, and Traquair, who refused his Majesty's commission, and debauched our officers, doing all that in them lay to discountenance the service, and all who were engaged in it. Your Lordship is seriously to represent the notable miscarriage of the Earls of Crawford and Nithsdale; how often they crossed the business, and went about to abuse us who had undertaken it, to the great scandal and prejudice of the service." A curious game would seem to have been played, by Hartfell and Annandale identifying themselves with the Leaguers, and at the same time professing loyalty to the Crown. They appear to have been false to both; but Nithsdale had given such evidence of his devotedness to the King as should have placed him above suspicion.

Montrose, after reducing Morpeth Castle, was required to unite his forces with those of Prince Rupert. Before he could do so, however, the battle of Marston Moor was won by the valour of Cromwell and the skill of Leslie. The royal cause was thus overthrown in England, and the plans formed by Montrose on its behalf were hopelessly shattered. Disguised as a groom, and accompanied by only two friends, the hero, brooding over new schemes, hastened to the Highlands, there to give them birth and development. By sheer military genius, he, before many weeks elapsed, raised the fortunes of his royal master from the dust of abasement to the summit of a splendid, but short-lived, success. But at the very period when he was vanquishing the Covenanters at Tippermuir and the Bridge of Dee, the anti-Royalists were carrying all before them in the north of England. Callendar, now that the enemy he had been sent to waylay was out of the road, left Dumfries, effected a junction with the Earl of Leven; and to their united forces Newcastle capitulated in October. Among the prisoners were the Earl of Crawford, its commander, and Lord Maxwell, the Earl of Nithsdale's eldest son, who were carried to Edinburgh, and incarcerated in its tolbooth, where they and other captives lay till they were liberated by the irresistible Montrose, who, following up five previous victories, routed the Covenanters at Kilsyth, and became not only master of the capital, but virtually dictator of the kingdom. The dictatorship, however, was so brief that it must have seemed to Montrose himself, in retrospect, but a dazzling dream. On the 12th of September he experienced the stern reality of a defeat, at Philiphaugh, by the Earl of Leven, which all but annihilated his followers, and destroyed the vision of a restored monarchy, which he had built up on the basis of his six great triumphs. Not a few Nithsdale and Galloway men fought under Leslie on this famous field, and, among others, a regiment of infantry raised at his own expense by Lord Kirkcudbright, and headed by that jealous anti-Royalist. Some Dumfriesians were also present on the other side, under the Earl of Hartfell, who, though at first mistrusted by Montrose, proved his devotedness to Charles at. Philiphaugh. When the royal troops were dispersed, the Earl, in company With other fugitives, lost his way, was seized by the country people of the neighbourhood, sent to Edinburgh, and sentenced to death by the Scottish Parliament, but had his life spared through the interposition of the Marquis of Argyle.

Montrose himself escaped to the Highlands, then took refuge in Hamburg; and, returning to Scotland in 1650, for the purpose of renewing the war, fell into an ambuscade, was captured, and executed in Edinburgh on the 21st of May, about sixteen months after the beheading of the King, whom he had served with incomparable gallantry and devotedness.

Then followed the ineffectual attempts of the late King's son, Charles IL, to restore the monarchy which Cromwell had set aside. The Scots, aggrieved by its abrogation, and deeply resenting the execution of the King, though he had treated them shamefully, proclaimed Charles a few days after that dread event; and he having subscribed the National Covenant and the Solemn League and Covenant, a Scottish army, under General David Leslie, prepared to do battle for his cause. Its defeat at Dunbar, and again at Worcester, left Cromwell "master of the situation," and the Commonwealth without an open enemy. On the death of the Protector, in 1658, he was succeeded by his son Richard, whose feeble rule only continued for a few months; and in 1660 Charles was recalled from his exile-he having first, with his usual facility for promise-making, made the "Declaration of Breda," in which he offered indemnity for the past, and liberty of conscience for the future.


Return to Book Index