THE WODROW ANECDOTES OF THE
MARQUIS OF ARGYLL.
AT Edinburgh in 1834 a book
was published for private circulation only, entitled The Argyle Papers; this
work is extremely rare, only fifty copies having been printed, and it
"contains some passages tending to clear the character of the Marquis and
that of his son from some of the calumnies thrown upon them by their
political opponents. From these papers the following extracts are made:-
"May 9, 1701. This day Mr.
Alexander Gordon, who was minister of Inveraray, and the only living member
of the Assembly 1651 told me, that the Marquise of Argyle was very piouse ;
he rose at 5, and was still in privat till 8. That besides family worship
and privat prayer, morning and evening, he still prayed with his lady,
morning and evening, his gentleman and her gentlewoman being present. That
he never went abroad, though but one night, but he took his write-book,
standish, and the English New Bible, and Newman's Concordance, with him.
"November 11. That after King
Charles' Coronation, when he was in Stirling, the Marquise waited long for
ane opportunity to deal freely with the King anent his going contrary to the
Covenant, and favouring of Malignants, and other sins; and Sabbath night
after supper, he went in with him to his closet, and ther used a great deal
of freedom with him; and the King was seemingly sensible; and they came that
length as to pray and mourn together till two or three in the morning, and
when at time he came home to his lady she was surprised, and told him she
never knew him so untimeouse; he said he had never such a sweet night in the
world, and told her all, what liberty they had in prayer, and how much
convinced the King was. She said plainly they were crocodile tears, and that
night would cost him his head, which came to pass; for after his
restoration, he resented it to some, though outward, he still termed the
Marquise father, and caused his son to write for him up to court, which he
did again, but the Marquise would not come; till at last the Earl wrote
partly in threatening, and partly with the strongest assurances, which
prevailed, and he was no sooner come to his lodgings in ane Inn in London,
but he was there seized and carried to the tower, and I think never saw the
King, for all his insinuating hypocrisy and fervent invitations.
"The day on which the
Marquise of Argyle was execute, he was taken up some two hours or thereby in
the forenoon in civil business, clearing and adjusting some accounts, and
subscribing papers, there being a number of persons of quality in the room
with him, and while he was thus employed, there came such a heavenly gale
from the Spirit of God upon his soul, that he could not abstain from
tearing, but least it should be discovered, he turned unto the fire, and
took the tongues in his hand, making a fashion of stirring up the fire in
the chimney, but then he was not able to contain himself, and turning about
and melting down in tears, he burst out in these words, 'I see this will not
doe, I must now declaire what the Lord has done for my soul ; he has just
now at this very instant of time, sealed my chartour in these words, Son, be
of good cheer, thy sins are forgiven thee;' and indeed it seems it was
sealed with another remarkable witness, for at that very instant of time,
Mr. John Carstairs was wrestling with God in prayer in his behalf in a
chamber in the Canongate with his lady, the Marchioness of Argyle, pleading
that the Lord would now seal his Charter, by saying unto him, 'Son, be of
good cheer, thy sins be forgiven thee.' The Marquise hints at this in his
speech. (I had this from my father J. C. Carstairs).
"The Marquise was naturally
of a fearful temper, and recconed he wanted naturall courage, and he prayed
most for it, and was answered. When he went to his execution he said, 'I
would dye as a Roman, but I chuso to dye as a Christian.' When be went out,
he cocked his hatt, and said, 'come away, Sirs, he that goes first goes
cleanly off.' Ther was one of his friends in the prison with him, and after
some silence, the gentleman broke out in tears. 'What's the matter,' said
the Marquise, 'I am in pain,' says he, `for your family, my Lord.' 'No
fear,' said the Marquise, 'it's none of thir things will ruin my family.' 'I
fear their greatness,' says he, `will ruin them.' I wish this prophecy be
not too evidently fulfilled in his posterity."
PARTICULARS RELATIVE TO THE
LANDING OF ARCHIBALD,
EARL OF ARGYLE.
"Edinburgh, June the first,
"Since our last we have an
account that the late Earl of Argyle did, on the twenty-sixth of the last
month, march from Campbeltoun in Kintyre with two troops of horse, (such as
would be had in that country), and seven hundred foot, to Tarbet, and met
three hundred of the Ila men, and two hundred more were expected, when they
were all to muster, the twenty-eight. His three ships came from Campbeltoun
on Tuesday, and the next day went into Tarbet, the greatest carrying
thirty-six guns, the other twelve, and the third six. lie had another small
vessel with him, which he took upon the coast loaden with corn. The
twenty-ninth he loosed from the Tarbet, accompanied with Auchinbreck (who we
have already told you had joyned him) and came into the town of Rosa (Rothesay)
in the Isle of Boot, where he took a night's provision for himself and his
men. The thirtieth, he sailed round the island with his three ships and
twenty small boats, and came again to the town of Rosa, and fired seven guns
at his landing, having with him, as we are informed, in all about two
thousand and five hundred men. He endeavours to persuade and encourage the
people to rise with him by assuring them that there are already great
risings in England, as you will see by a letter, all written and signed by
himself, directed for the laird of Lusse, which is herein sent, and is as
"Campletoun, May 22, 1685.
"LOVING FRIEND,—It hath
pleased God to bring me safe to this place, where several of both nations
doth appear with me for defence of the protestant religion, our lives and
liberties, against popery and arbitrary government, whereof the particulars
are in two declarations emitted by those noblemen, gentlemen and others, and
by me for myself. Your father and I lived in great friendship, and I am glad
to serve you, his son, in the protestant religion, and I will be ready to do
it in your particular when there is occasion. I beseech you let not any, out
of fear or other bad principles, persuade you to neglect your duty to God
and your country, at this time, or to believe that D. York is not a papist,
or that being one, he can be a righteous king. These know that all England
is in arms in three several places, and the Duke of Monmouth appears, at the
same time, upon the same grounds we do, and few places in Scotland but soon
will joyne, and the South and West, wants but till they hear I am landed,
for so we resolved before I left Holland. Now, I beseech you, make no delay
to separate from those abuse you, and are carrying on a popish design, and
come with all the men of your command to assist the cause of religion where
you shall be most welcome.
Your loving friend to serve
"P.S.—Let this serve young
Loigie, Skipnage and Charles M'Eachan."
THE BURYING PLACE OF THE
ARGYLL FAMILY AT KILMUN.
Hugh Macdonald in his Days at
the Coast gives the following information regarding the place where the
Argyll family have so long been interred.
"The first authentic notice
that we have of Kilmun is in a charter, dated 4th August, 1442, whereby Sir
Colin Campbell of Lochaweside—ancestor of the Argyll family, engages to
found a collegiate church at Kilmun. This establishment, which was duly
erected for the `soul's health' of the donor and his family, accommodated a
provost and six prebendries, and must have formed a handsome addition to the
previously existing institution. The charter of the foundation was confirmed
at Perth by James II., on the 12th of May, 1450. Nor was this the only grant
of the Argyll family to the Abbey of Kilmun. From the chartulary of Paisley
Abbey (with which the institution was ecclesiastically associated) we learn
that Kilmun obtained from time to time a variety of valuable gifts from the
family, and that ultimately it became a place of considerable importance.
The plan, the size, and the architectural style of the church are lost. Only
one crumbling fragment remains. This is the church tower, a dreary looking
structure of a quadrangular form, immediately adjacent to the modern place
of worship, which was erected so recently as 1816. From an early period the
church of Kilmun has been the burial place of the now ducal family of
Argyll. When yet the Lamonts were lords of Cowal, and the Campbells were
simply lairds of Lochaweside, the first of the race was as a matter of
favour, permitted a resting place at this spot. From an old Gaelic rhyme, it
appears that a scion of the Lochawe family having died in the low country
was, at the request of his sire, allowed the privilege of a grave in the
churchyard. According to the composition alluded to 'the great Lamont of all
Cowal,' in consideration of present necessity—a snow storm prevailing at the
time, and preventing the transport of the body to its native
district—conceded the boon desired by the knight of Lochawe. Afterwards,
when the Campbells became lords of Dunoon, Kilmun became the family place of
sepulture. The place of interment was for centuries within the ancient
church, and the only access to it was through the body of the edifice. At
length, in 1793 or 1794, the present vault—a plain, unostentatious
structure, adjacent to the modern church—was erected. This has ever since
continued to be the favourite repository of the ducal dust. The entrance to
the vault is by a doorway entering from the churchyard, on either side of
which there is a small Gothic window. The place has a weary and woe-begone
look, and at the time of our visit, it is securely boarded up. in former
times the prying stranger was occasionally permitted a peep into the
interior, but this is now strictly forbidden. The place has been described,
however, by one who was privileged to enter the mansion of the mighty dead.
lie says—' On entering, there appears on either hand a broad dais, covered
with large stone slabs, and about three feet in height, which extends the
whole length of the sepulture, and on which are laid the coffins, five in
number, and containing the ashes of four dukes, and one duchess. Upon a
lower and narrower dais, formed by a niche in the wall, that runs across
between the church and the sepulture, repose side by side, the statues of a
knight and a lady. The warrior lies cap-a-pie, with a huge sword by his
side, while above him is a boar's head (the armorial emblem of the family)
divided into two parts, and also a number of pieces of rusty armour, such as
iron beavers, war gloves, swords, etc.' Such is the interior of the last
home of the proud dukes of Argyll."
From lhodrow's Analecta.
Notice of Neil Campbell, minister of Rosneath, afterwards Principal of
"1727, Novr. 8. Mr.
Campbell's patent carne to Edinburgh. We see now that the two brothers (Duke
of Argyll and Earl of Isla) carry all before them. Mr. Dunlop and the
masters on that side are not pleased, and the other side are dissatisfied,
so that I think Mr. Campbell's exchange will be neither as much for his
outward emolument or inward comfort. . . . Mr. C. has the advantage that on
a change of Court he will not be turned out, as the chaplains probably will
be." (The Principal had been translated from Rosneath to Renfrew about
"1728, February 8. Upon the
8th of February Mr. N. Campbell had his inaugurall oration, and was admitted
Principal at Glasgow. He was transported by our Presbytery Jany. 17. No
appearance was made for his continuance at Renfrew. Vide letters about that
time. There is a very foolish advertisement given of this in the Edinburgh
Newspaper, as if ther had been a generall concurrence of ministers and many
present. There were but two of the town ministers present, Mr. M'Laurin and
Mr. Wishart. The satisfaction of the audience, they say, was not what was
then spoken of, and his own friends say but little of the discourse. Be
these things as they will he is like to have a pretty uneasy life for some
"1728, May 9. Mr. Neil
Campbell our new principal made a very poor appearance this Assembly. He was
pushed and required to protest in strong terms against the power of the
General Assembly to judge members of Universitys. However he softened it and
put it in the form which is in my letters. Now and then be spoke some few
words and voted slump. But I am informed he committed a very gross scrape
and blunder when he brought in his protest to the Assembly, though he
pretended it was in favour of the Crown. He had not the consideration to
acquaint the Commissioner with it before hand. Yea, I find he threatened Mr.
Colin Campbell, brother to Aberuchle, with the displeasure of the D. of A.
if he continoued to vote as he had votted."
"1729, September. The
principal carryes all in the Faculty as he pleases, and now begins to make
those who differ from him know what they may expect. I believe I notticed
Mr. Wishart's being continoued Dean of Faculty, and Mr. Wood made sole
factor. This step is much wondered at in a minister to choice a man, a
professed and knouen Jacobite, and one who hears no Presbiterian minister
and doubts of the validity of our ministrations to be factor to the
Col-ledge of Glasgow."
"1730. "As to Glasgow vacancy
it is said that Pr. C. is received to the Laigh Church, and the Provost
would be for him but the town oppose it becaust it wd. bring a burden on
them still to make Principal ministers in the town when a vacancy falls
"1731. Principal C. proposed
in Faculty whether he should teach or not. Masters not disposed to help him.
The Pr. said he expected the College would consider his additional trouble
in teaching, especially as some of the masters had received money for
extraordinary teaching. They refused, and said he should consider if it was
not his duty as Principal Primarius professor of Divinity to teach. The
meetings of students of Theology were but form. Principal only hears
discourses. Has not this session above two or three prelections, does not
explain almost anything but only hears discourses, none present but bursars
and few Glasgow lads and few from neighbourhood."
THE CELEBRATED SILVER FIRS AND
YEW TREE AVENUE AT ROSNEATH.
THE author has been favoured
with the following particulars of the above from Sir Joseph D. Hooker,
K.C.S.I., the eminent botanist, and formerly Director of Kew Gardens ; they
occur in a letter dated 24th June, 1896.
"I took the opportunity of
going to the Kew Library and consulting Loudon's Arboretum, where I knew
that these trees are described, in the hope that I might find something that
would interest you. There I find that there is a drawing of the finest of
the Campsail trees, published by Strutt in his Sylvia Britannica (fig.
2239), made in 1829, when the tree was 90 feet high and 7 ft. 7 in. in
diameter 1 foot from the ground. Also that Mr. Loudon was informed by Lord
Frederick Campbell in 1835 that the tree was then 200 years old.
"The really interesting point
to ascertain is the date of planting; as to which there appears to be no
information. Such statements as 200 years are really worthless, except if
substantiated. I think it may however be assumed that they were planted by
the great Duke who filled Whitton Park, Middlesex, with a magnificent
collection of rare trees and shrubs—rivalling Kew. Now Loudon states that
there is in Whitton Park a silver fir planted about 1720, which, in 1837,
was 97 feet high and 3 feet 9 in. in diameter. Assuming that the Campsail
trees were planted about the same time, they would now be 176 years old.
With regard to the miserable diameter of the Whitton tree, I should tell you
that the soil and climate of the environs of London are totally unsuitable
for the growth of silver firs, and that at Kew I found it impossible to keep
a single specimen, so ragged and ill-favoured they became, losing all
character after the first few years.
"According to Loudon the
average height of a full grown silver fir is 100 to 150 feet, and diameter
of trunk 5 to 7 feet. This may refer to the tree in its native forests. As
may the following table of the average date of growth as shown by diameter
"Loudon also mentions a
silver fir at Harefield Park, Middlesex, as one of the first planted in
England (in 1603), which was seen by Evelyn, and described by him, in 1679,
as being 81 feet high, but forked at the top, and 13 feet in diameter a
little above the ground.
"As to the yews, they are
more likely to have dated from the days of the monastery. The yew is a very
slow growing tree and attains an immense age. Lastly, as regards the report
that had reached me of the downward progress of the two silver firs, it is
what I should expect, that they are past their prime; but on this point you
really should get the opinion of an expert if your work is to have value as
to the history of these noble specimens."
THE TAKING OF ROSNEATH CASTLE.
The following is "Blind
Harry's" account of the taking of Rosneath Castle by Wallace, referred to in
the description given of the castle and grounds. It is from "Schir William
Wallace, Knicht of Ellerslie, by Henry the Minstrel." Edited by James Moir.
Scottish Text Society. 1889. Bk. 9, p. 281, line 1470.
"Quhen nycht was cummyn, in
all the haist thai mocht,
Towart Rosneth full ernystfully thai gang;
For Inglismen was in that castell strang.
On the Garlouch thai purpost thaim to bid,
Betwix the kyrk, that ner was thar besyd;
And to the castell full prewaly thai draw.
Wndyr a bray thai buschyt thaim richt law,
Lang the wattyr, quhar comoun oyss had thai,
The castellis stuff, on to the kyrk ilk day.
A maryage als that day was to begyn.
All wschyt owt, and left na man with in,
At fens`mycht mak, hot serNvandis in that place;
Thus to that tryst thai passyt wpon cace.
Wallace and his drew thaim full prewaly
Nerhaud the place, quhen thai war passyt by,
With in the hauld; and thocht to kep that steid
Fra Sotheroun men, or ellys tharfor be deid.
Compleit was maid the manage in to playn;
On to Rosneth thai returnyt agayn.
Four scor and ma was in that cumpany,
But nocht arayit as was our chewalry;
To the castell thai weynd to pass but let.
The worthy Scottis so hardly on thaim set,
Xlty at anys derflly to ground thai bar;
The ramaynand affrayit was so sayr,
Langar in feild thai had no mycht to bid,
Bot fersly fled fra thaim on aither sid.
The Scottis thar has weyll the entre woun.
And slew the layff that in that hous was foun
Syn on the flearis folowid wondyr fast,
Na Inglisman thar fra thaim with lyff at past.
The wemen sone thai seysyt in to hand,
Kepyt thaim clos, for warnyng off the land.
The dede bodyes all out of sycht thai kest,
Than a gud es thai maid thaim for to rest.
Off purwians vii dayis thai lugyt thar
At rud costis, to spend thai wald nocht spar.
Quhat Sotheroun come, thai tuk all gladly in,
Bot owt agayn thai leit nane off that kyn.
Quha tithandis send to the captane off that steid,
Thai seruitouris the Scottis put to ded,
Spulzeid the place, and left na gudis thar,
Brak wallis doun, and maid that byggyng bar.
Quhen thai had spilt off stayne werk at thai mocht,
Syn kendillyt fyr, and fra Rosneth thai socht."
GAELIC PLACE-NAMES IN THE
THE author has been kindly
allowed by Mr. Donald Maclean, Postmaster, Helensburgh, to give extracts
from a most interesting address given in April 1896 to the members of the
Helensburgh Naturalist and Antiquarian Society. So many of the names of the
parishes have Gaelic derivations that it is of importance to consider their
signification. Mr. Maclean says, "what we now call Rosneath village was
known as Clachan—still its local name—Rosneath being regarded as the parish
name; and Clynder could scarcely be said to enjoy a separate corporate
existence, even on a small scale, its extent being limited to a few thatched
From this I conclude that
very probably Clynder is Cil'e an tir [Or, An tir chili—the left
shore—shortened and transposed to Cli 'n tir, would appropriately describe
the position as approached from the south.] —church on the shore—or perhaps,
church of the district, tir standing sometimes for the one word and
sometimes for the other, just as we appositely find a place further down the
same coast named Kilcreggan—"Cille-na-creige," denoting a church by, or
beside, the rocks there; while Rosneath—in Gaelic, "Ros 'n fhe," the point
of the marsh, or swamp—corresponds well, if we accept tradition, with the
natural aspects of this place in earlier times.
The little I can learn
regarding Kilcreggan is contained, along with other items of interest, in an
obliging note from Mr. Bain, our sub-postmaster at Cove, which you will
doubtless wish me to read:-
"Peaton.—By itself, and in
compounded names, was written early in the 18th century Peitoun—[Gaelic 'Bidean'
(?)—a point, tip, or pinnacle.] `Blarnachtra'—the 'plain or dale of
cultivation' —which you suggest, reminds me that in the `forties' that farm
was wrought by three or four farmers on the rig-about system, and was the
only farm so wrought in the parish, no doubt the survival of a remote
practice. Its sheltered crofts facing the south were likely turned over ages
before the bleak knowes of the adjoining farms. Craigrownie is a modern
compound, the `rowan tree on the rock.' My mother remembers its origination
sometime about 1830. Cursnoch—['Coire 's cnoc,'] `corrie on brow, or side of
hill,' describes the situation fairly. Letter.—Peaton estate consists of two
farms of which Letter is one, so that ' half' [as suggested] is correct."
ADDENDA, 15th May, 1896, on
questions brought forward during discussion of the paper, and one or two
others not then dealt with:-
Rosneath, formerly Rosneth,
now appearing in official lists as Roseneath :—The interpolated "a" is,
unfortunately, by usage too firmly established to be now discarded, but,
although the intrusive "e" is said to have first appeared in the word nearly
fifty years ago, there is no certainty yet of its finding there a "fixed
tenure," the noble proprietor of Rosneath estate, and many others, I
understand, continuing to write the name without this vowel.
Row, barely recognisable in
this shape as the Gaelic Rudha—point or promontory,—may have been at first,
when it was the practice to represent our present "u" by "v," written Rvy;
but in course of time these sharp "u's" would be replaced by the compound
"w," and then the round vowel would come to be used, thus completely
disguising and disfiguring a name which, even in its simplest form, Ru, is
at once seen to be alike interesting and appropriate.
(Gaelic)—meaning in contradistinction, no doubt, to those on either side of
it, the "short loch." These—Loch Long and Loch Lomond—are both, probably,
from Ion (Gaelic)—a marsh or morass—terms applicable at one time, it is
believed, to the inlet of the sea loch, as well as to the outlet of the
other loch. Formerly a like condition may also have been present in the
lower portions of the Endrick Valley, whence, perhaps, the plural form
observed in the Gaelic equivalent of Loch Lomond—Loch lonean.
Other place names are given
by Mr. Maclean, as Camsail, Camis aille, or "beautiful bay;" Duchlaye is for
Achlais, "hollow or armpit." "In Bun-a-chara, as the name ought to be spelt
and pronounced, we meet with a purely physiographical term, "foot of the
turn," the turn here referred to—right opposite the old castle—being made by
the river Fruin, which almost doubles itself at the spot indicated. As to
the name Glenfruin, Mr. Maclean observes, to quote from Dr. Murray's
admirable monograph on "Old Cardross,"—page 10—"From the chartulary of the
great earldom of Lennox we learn that about the middle of the thirteenth
century Maldouen, the third earl, granted to Donald Macynel a land in
Glenfreone (Glenfruin) called Kilbride." This disposes effectually of the
current myth that the glen takes its name from the comparatively recent
encounter (1603) between the clans Gregor and Colquhoun, leaving us,
however, with three possible sources whence the name may have been derived.
These are—"Fraon" (Gaelic), shelter in a hill; "Freumhean" (Gaelic), roots;
and "Fodh shron" (Gaelic), below the ridge, or "nose." The last appears to
satisfy all requisite conditions, and, as a combination, fitting
physiographically, may, I think, be accepted without hesitation. The "sron"
is unmistakably there, and sufficiently prominent to claim attention as an
outstanding feature in the landscape.
The author is also kindly
favoured by Mr. Archibald Stewart, Porthill, a Perthshire Highlander, with a
few jottings as to the Gaelic topography of some places in Rosnekth. Tom-nan-Sionnach,
on the upper bank of the Clachan burn, near the moor, might be rendered the
"knoll of the fox," Dhualt burn, "Black burn," beyond Knockderry. The hill
above Strouel known as Clach Mackenny, "Mackenzie's Stone." The stream below
Barbour Farm, Sughedh burn, or "Pleasant burn." The Camloch burn, near
Peatoun, that is, "Crooked burn." The farm of Duchlaye, or "Dark gorge " or
"hollow." A height on the moor above Barbour Farm known as Creayan I3reac,
the "spotted" or "speckled knoll." The bare rocky point beyond Coulport pier
is known as Carrich ll7haol. The old ferry on Loch Long side between
CouIport and Portincaple, Port-anLoehan. Mhaol, a "promontory;" 11am, as in
Mamore and Mambeg, a "low hill."
Spelling of Rosneath. Some
curious particulars are gathered from a scarce book by William Robertson,
one of the Deputies of the Lord Clerk-Register for keeping the Records of
Scotland, published at the desire of the Right Honourable Lord Frederick
Campbell, Lord Clerk-Register of Scotland: Edinburgh, MDCCXCVIII. The volume
is entitled An Index, drawn up about the year 1629, of many Records of
Charters granted by the different Sovereigns of Scotland between the years
1309 and 1413, most of which Records have been long missing. On page 134,
giving index of charters by King Robert II., there occurs, "3, Carta
confirming a grant by Mary Countess of Monteith to John de Drommond, of the
lands of Rosenethe, in the Earldom of Lennox, disposed by said John de
Drommond to Alexander do Meneteth." As Robert II. began to reign in 1370, it
would look as if the e after Ros had been interpolated by scriveners in
legal documents from an early period.
THE BATTLE OF GLENFRUIN.
The following account of the
battle was given by the Marquis of Lorne recently at a meeting of the
Greenock Philosophical Society. The details were furnished him by a friend
who had gathered them from original Geolic sources and traditions more than
thirty years ago:-
"The hostility between the
Colquhouns and the Macgregors resulted on one occasion in the slaughter of
two sons of the widow of a Macgregor residing at Trelach. The lads were
hanged and their heads placed on stakes, one on each side of Rossdhu. Their
mother carried home the beads on two pieces of cloth and showed them to the
chief of the clan, who knowing and loving the lads, was greatly enraged with
Sir Humphrey Colquhoun, and resolved to encounter him. The arrangement was
that a meeting should take place with one hundred men on each side, but the
Macgregors had a reserve of a hundred to act in case of treachery, these
being in command of a brother of the chief. On the other side, Colquhoun
collected a force of four hundred men, marching forward with a hundred, and
having the remainder of his retainers in reserve. At the place of conference
a parley was held, apparently without result. The Macgregors turned to march
homewards by a different way, and were then pursued by the Colquhouns, who
called up their reserves. The clans met in battle array by the banks of a
burn, the Macgregors securing the advantage in point of position, although
they were fewer in number. The Colquhouns tried to rush the ford but failed,
and the Macgregor reserves, emerging from their place of concealment, plied
their bows sharply, completely routing the lowlanders with heavy slaughter,
many onlookers falling in the pursuit—amongst them an unfortunate minister,
who was a preacher at the seminary of Dunbarton. At the head of Glenfruin
the Colgnhouns did make a temporary rally, but being again hard pressed,
turned and fled.
"When the rout reached the
middle of the glen the victors, who were slaying as they went, overtook the
principal of the seminary, who, with nearly forty of his students, was
shewing every sign of terror. They were conducted to Macgregor, who ordered
them to be confined for safety in a barn guarded by a man named Black Hugh.
After the cessation of hostilities, Sir Humphrey's people becoming widely
scattered, the chief of the Macgregors enquired of Black Hugh as to his
charge. "What have you done with the young lads whom I entrusted to you?"
Hugh, drawing a dirk from his belt and shaking it above his head, said, "Ask
that dirk and God's mercy what has become of them." "May God look on us,"
said Macgregor. "If you have killed the lads no mention shall be made of a
Macgregor henceforth." He hurried to the barn, and there were all the youths
lying where they had been butchered, cold in their blood. The chief turned
angrily and called Black Hugh, saying, "Why have you done this I" Hugh
answered—"After the youths had been for a time in the barn, they became
turbulent, I do not know why. But they spoke a great deal of English, and I
could not understand a word of English, but I shook the dirk at them, and
told them to keep quiet, but they would not, and attempted to get out in
spite of me. It seemed to me that I might just as well lose my own life as
let a prisoner escape, and as they came forward one by one to get out, I
killed them as quickly as they got within reach. I do not know what it
means, but every one as he was pierced with the dirk seemed to me to cry out
a sound like 'God's mercy." "It was not to hurt or keep them prisoners, but
to protect them from harm that I sent you to the barn," sternly replied
Macgregor. It was only then that Hugh perceived that he had blundered. All
the Macgregors were sorrowful at the event, and the chief himself greatly
distressed. They continued their march in gloom, taking home with them the
body of their chief's brother, whom they found where he had fallen on the
hillside. The fight, although named after the glen, really began about four
miles from the glen, the pursuit continuing in its direction. A much larger
number of the Colquhouns were slain on the lands of Finnart than at the head
of the glen. After the battle the lowland party became enraged. They went
and buried the dead, and kept their bloody shirts that they might be shown
to the King ; and Sir Humphrey and his friends got 220 women to ride to
Edinburgh, each woman carrying on a spear as a banner a bloodstained shirt,
which she said belonged to a man massacred by the Macgregors. The youths who
had been killed by Hugh were of good parentage, and the indignation caused
by their death was not allowed to sleep by their kinsfolk and tutors. The
King was greatly enraged against the Macgregors, having had a hatred against
them on account of old strifes. He appointed a day for a Court of Justice,
and Macgregor was summoned, but durst not appear. Neither was there any one
to speak for him, and in his absence he and his clan were sentenced to lose
their lands and name."
THE TRIUMPHANT BOAT SONG
GREETING RODERICK DHU IN THE "LADY OF THE LAKE."
Proudly our pibroch has
thrilled in Glenfruin
And Bannaehar's groans to our slogan replied
Glen Luss and Itossdhu, they are smoking in ruin
And the best of Loch Lomond lie dead on her side.
Widow and Saxon maid
Long shall lament our raid,
Think of Clan Alpine with fear and with woe
Lennox and Leven glen
Shake when they hear again
—Lady of Lake.
EARLY FEUS AT ROW AND SHANDON.
ABOUT the earliest of the
feus, July 1830, taken from the Colquhoun lands of Row was by James Brown,
parish schoolmaster, who took 1 rood and 21 perches of land, part of
Ardenconnell, on which was raised the small one-storey house at corner of
road leading past Row churchyard. Right was reserved to Sir J. Colquhoun to
cut down and carry an ash tree growing on the site. In December 1830 the
ground on which the two-storey house at the head of Row pier stands, 1 acre
imperial, at feu-duty of £10, was taken by Peter M'Auslane, " Change Keeper
at Row." In 1831 the feu known then as Laggarie, consisting of 1 acre
imperial, feu-duty £10, was taken by Alexander Colquhoun, wright,
Helensburgh. This feu, much enlarged, is now occupied by the residence of
Mrs. Heywood Collins, called "Lagarie." In 1831 also Major R. A. Mackay
feued a considerable piece of land on the loch side, on Letrualt farm, viz.,
18 acres, 3 roods, 2 perches, the feu-duty being £140 14s. 4d., or £7 10s.
per imperial acre. In 1833 Miss Hopkirk feued part of Ardenconnell estate,
to extent of 5 acres, 2 roods, 20 perches, and upon a portion of this ground
the villas known as Woodstone and Rowmore were subsequently built. The
first, Woodstone, was but a small plain house, but after it was acquired by
\Villiam Couper, writer, Glasgow, the mansion was entirely rebuilt in its
present form. Isaac Spy, mason, Ardenconnell, took a feu near Rowmore in
1836. At Shandon the feuing began about 1831 when several small houses seem
to have been erected, and subsequently pulled down or rebuilt. In this way
Berriedale came to be built by Major the Hon. James Sinclair, who took a
large feu of over 9 acres, which was subdivided, and other houses erected.
The feuars were taken bound in all these cases to "bring in all grain
growing on lands hereby feued or which shall suffer fire and water in the
houses thereon to the Mill of Milligs and paying such multure as the tenants
of the Barony of Milligs pay for grinding thereof." In almost all cases also
the feus had to be enclosed by stone walls.
EARLY MINISTERS OF CARDROSS.
From the well written account
of the parish of Cardross in the "Sketches of Churches and Clergy," from
which extracts have been given, the following is taken:-
"The first of the parochial
rectors is William de Glendynwyn, a faithful adherent of Robert Bruce, and a
constant companion of James, Lord of Douglas, called the `good Lord James.'
Of his successor, Robert Blackader, 1480, there is much more to be said. He
was a man of affairs, and deeply engaged in state matters, for he was sent
on embassies to England, France, and Spain, and was one of those who
arranged the marriage, the consequences of which were so important to both
countries, between James IV. the victim of Flodden and Margaret eldest
daughter of Henry VII. of England. He died in 1508 while on a journey to the
Holy Land, `going,' as John Knox superciliously remarks, 'in his
superstitious devotioune to Hierusalem.' Of his personal habits we have
several glimpses ; his costly vestments, and luxurious living astonishing
even the wealthy Venetian nobles; and if we look into the Lord High
Treasurer's accounts we find that this dashing ecclesiastic loved high play
and good company, for on New Year's day, 1490, he supped and played cards
with the King, the Earl of Bothwell, the Chamberlain and the Treasurer.
Blackader, we know, paid at least one visit to Cardross, though not in the
line of his priestly functions, for in 1489 he was present with King James
at the surrender of Dunbarton castle.
"The next rector, Jaspar
Cranstoun, did not do even as much as this, for not only did he leave
Cardross unvisited, but be seems to have even been non-resident in Glasgow.
On February, 1501, there was an official visitation of the Chapter of
Glasgow, and from the report it appears that the `Prebendary of Cardross did
not make residence, the Archdeacon and the Bishop's vicar were boys,' while
of another dignitary it is reported that 'he often left the choir during
divine service,' from all which we must infer that discipline was pretty
free and easy at that time in the Cathedral Church of Glasgow.
"We must not pass over a
later rector, Master James Stuart. He is a credit to Cardross, having
attained, on the feast of St. Crispin and St. Crispinian, 1522, to the
dignity of Rector of the University of Glasgow, an honour which was
conferred upon him on more than one subsequent occasion. The rector,
churchman though he was, had a daughter who, in 1536, married one of the
Haliburtons of DTertroun. Their daughter, Agnes, became the wife of
Alexander Erskine, a brother of the laird of Balgoney, and from this
marriage sprang the Erskines of Shielfield, one of these was Ralph Erskine,
the ninth of whose twelve children was the Rev. Henry Erskine, a notable
sufferer during the persecution of the Presbyterians in Scotland, and in
later life minister successively of Whitsome and Chirnside. By his second
wife, Margaret Halcro, he was the father of Ebenezer and Ralph Erskine, the
founders of the Secession Church, now merged in the U.P. Church, which thus
connects itself with James Stuart, the Rector of Cardross.
"The last Rector was Thomas
Archibald. On the eve of the Reformation he feued out the Kirklands and
Rectory to John Smollett, only reserving the Manse, garden and pasture for
two cows, to the Vicar of Cardross in all time to come. He was chamberlain
to James Beaton, the last Archbishop of Glasgow, beloved by all who kn©w
him, who took up his residence in Paris, and acted as ambassador for King
James. After the Reformation Archibald continued to reside in Glasgow, and
corresponded with the Archbishop for many years.
"And now let us see what we
know of these Vicars of Cardross, who up till now seem indeed to us but
shadowy and unreal personages. In 1518, however, both vicar and curate come
before us and speak for themselves. There was at this time a vacancy in the
vicarage, and one Sir Thomas Auld (that is Thomas Auld, Dominus, or Bachelor
of Arts) received from the rector letters of collation as vicar pensioner.
Armed with these, and supported by a notary public, and witnesses, he
proceeded to the church to be put in possession, but in the churchyard was
met by the curate Sir Peter Flemyng, who flatly refused to lot him have the
keys of the church. The discomfited vicar thereupon made a formal complaint,
which has come down to our own time. Sir Peter Flemyng was one of these
cross-grained troublesome ecclesiastics, who are still to be met with, and
who keep every presbytery in hot water. On several occasions, too long to be
here recorded, but sufficiently amusing, he was at cross-purposes with his
brethren, and he seems to have driven Sir Andrew Watson, chaplain of the
Rood Altar, in the parish church of Dunbarton, nearly crazy. The latter
complains that 'Sir Peter Flemyng stole his surplice, and his breviary furth
of the church, and also that the said Sir Peter stole his key furth of his
"And now, having rapidly
glanced over the history of the parish before the Reformation, let us for a
moment try to picture the parochial life of Cardross at the time at which we
have arrived. The parish, we have seen, was ruled by a rector or parson, a
vicar and a curate. The duties of the parson were those of his canonry, and
although in earlier times it was expected that he should devote himself to
the care of his prebend when not in residence, this had long since fallen
into desuetude, and he enjoyed the revenues, without concerning himself
whence they came. To the vicar was entrusted the actual charge. He occupied
the parish manse, and to him belonged the small tithes, but in Cardross
there was a vicar pensioner, who was paid a fixed stipend, and received the
altar dues and offerings of the parishioners, while the vicarage teinds went
to the rector. The curate was the officiating temporary clergyman,
representing the vicar and taking charge of divine service in his absence or
during a vacancy."
"After the Reformation
'Readers' took the place of the priests of the Roman Catholics. His duty was
simple, extending merely to reading prayers and a portion of Scripture
morning and evening, and teaching the children of the parish. The first
Reader of Cardross, John Cuick, was succeeded by John Fluttisbury, who held
the higher rank of "Exhorter," the name given to a Reader more advanced in
knowledge and able to preach.
CARDROSS KIRK SESSION RECORDS.
These Records seem to contain
but little of general interest. They commence 23rd February, 1727, and end
19th May, 1734. A long interval follows till 15th April, 1810, when the
Records are carried on till the present day. A good deal of consideration
was evidently given to the affairs of Mrs. Dloore's Trust.
EXTRACTS FROM WODROW'S
"March 1703. James Gordon,
minister of Cardross. Licensed in Ireland and preached under license from
King James near Derry, was very acceptable there. His house which the people
built for him destroyed at siege of Derry—he had predicted it would not
stand long. Preached that shortly Ireland would be a desolation. Preached
from curious texts, at the ordination of minister from the text `The
priests' window shall be towards the North.' Preached on occasion of a
monthly fast about 1692, there had been a meeting of Jacobites at
Balamahaugh when King James' health had been drank. Some of them came to
hear him. lie said, ' weel this is a fast day say you, we should mind our
poor abdicated prince. Poor prince, my soul, my soul pities him—weel what
shall we doe for our poor prince.' \Vhen Derry was besieged he went to see
it, took boat from Greenock and got to Derry Lough, went on board one of the
English ships, and remonstrated with Captain Brauny for not going up the
Lough when the city was in such straits. An altercation between the Captain
and Major Kirk who had provisions for taking to the besieged. He abused Kirk
and said he deserved hanging, Kirk threatened to shoot Gordon. Finally Major
Kirk agreed to commission both, Captain B. and Gordon, and they went at the
boom and broke it. Captain B. was killed, and the ship got in and relieved
the garrison. Gordon stayed two days and helped to lay cannon on the walls
and returned to Cardross. Had a presentiment of his death. One day when
meeting of session was at his house, Mr. G. after the sermon walked
pensively up and down his room and said, `Gentlemen, you must think upon
another minister,' said no more but walked up and down. Elders talked about
it, and asked two of them, Ferms and Geilston, should in name of the Session
ask him to-morrow. He was in perfect health, and when spoken to wished to
dismiss the subject gently. They pressed him, when he said he had nothing
against parish or people, or thought of going elsewhere, but at the moment
had a strong impulse moving him to speak as he did. At the end of the week
fell ill of a disease and never preached more." On his deathbed he spoke
seriously to many of the parishioners, and "he also made some of the most
graceless gentlemen in the parish pray beside him, such as old Ardoch and
REPORT OF PROCEEDINGS IN
CONNECTION WITH THE ERECTION OF ROW PARISH AND TRANSPORTATION OF CARDROSS
KIRK TO PRESENT SITE. (SUPPLIED TO THE AUTHOR BY THE REV. WILLIAM MAXWELL OF
IN 1639 the General Assembly
granted authority to the Presbytery to settle both parishes, i.e., Cardross
and Rosneath, "with ease" to the parishioners "to attend the ministry of the
word." In January 1640 this act of the Assembly was presented to the
Presbytery by Walter M'Aulay of Ardencaple and John Napier of Kilmahew. At
the next meeting of Presbytery, 4th February, 1640, my Lord of Argyll
appears by his letter consenting to whatever the Presbytery thought fit to
decide. Mr. M'Aulay again appears " requiring the ease of the ministry to be
given at the Kirk upon the Row of Connell." John Napier of Kilmahew, John
Dennistoun of Dalquhurn, and others appear "requiring the foresaid ease to
be at the Chapell of Kilmahew," and John Dennistoun of Dalquhurn "requires
the Kirke of Cardross to be transported." On the 18th of February there was
a large attendance of parishioners from Rosneath and Car-dross, "and in
special John and Daniel Evens, brother german in Keppoch, requiring ease at
the Chapell of Kilmahew; while "John Semple and Archibald Bounten in
Kirketown within the Parochin of Cardross required they should not be
diseased of the service of the ministrations, but that it might remain still
at the Kirke of Cardross" (i.e., the old site). A committee of the
Presbytery were appointed to meet at the Chapel of Glenfruin and go through
the "haul twa parochins" to find the "most commodious place of service."
At the next meeting of
Presbytery, Mr. Robert Watson, minister of Cardross, along with John Bounten
of Ardocb, Robert Hoill of Fulbar, Younger, and William and Archibald
Bounten in OverKirktoii appears and opposes all that had been done. The
dispute was at last referred to the General Assembly which met at Aberdeen
iu July 1640, and the act of the Assembly was laid on the table of the
Presbytery, but afterwards "the matter of Rosnaith and Car-dross " appears
to have gone to sleep for some time.
On the 20th December, 1642,
the Presbytery again took up the division of the parishes of Rosneath and
Cardross, and the Presbytery forwarded a letter to the Commissioners for the
settlement of kirks, setting forth that "the lands of Glenfrnin within the
Parish of Car-dross and all the bounds upon the Garcloch be annexed to the
new kirk of the Row, and that all the lands within the Parish of Rosnaith,
lyand eastward frae Mivell Kirkmichall might be annexed to the Paroch of
Cardross. And the Paroch Kirk of Cardross to be transported to the most
commodious place." In April following, 1643, Mr. Harry Semple, minister of
Killearn, was appointed by the Presby tery to proceed to Edinburgh to
support before the Commissioners on Kirks the recommendations of the
Presbytery. On the 3rd July, 1643, the Lords of Commission pronounced
Decree, annexing to Car-dross all the lands in Rosneath mentioned in the
Presbytery's letter and ordaining the transportation of the Kirk of Cardross,
leaving the new site to be determined by the Presbytery with advice of the
The Presbytery thereafter
resolved to visit the Parish of Cardross on 12th September, and to summon
the minister and the heritors of that parish to the meeting. "Upon the which
day compeared in the Kirk of Cardross Mr. Andrew Cameron, Moderator, and
divers members of the Presbytery, with the Heritors and Parishioners and
minister of the Kirk of Cardross, for visitatione of the said kirk and
designatione of the stance of the new kirk to be builded. And his visitors,
having taken advyce of the IIeritors and Minister, went upon the same day to
the lands of Wallastoune, accompanied with the Heritors and Minister, and
fand that place, with the consent of the Heritors and Minister, to be the
most commodious place for the stances of the new kirk and of the minister's
manse thairat. And therefore designed ten scoir foots in breed, and ten
scoir foots in length, upon the croft that lies on the north side of the
King's highway at the back of the house and yaird possessed by Patrick Glen,
and designed ane ruid of land for the minister's house and yaird lying
contigue with the kirkyaird, with special advyce and consent of Sir Humphry
Colquhoun of Balvie, being personally present as having full right to the
said lands who mortifies the said bounds for that use in all time coming."
At the next meeting of
.Presbytery the minutes of visitation were approved, and very soon
thereafter the erection of the new kirk was proceeded with, provided with
accommodation for four hundred sitters. It was taken down in the year 1825,
and the present church built, which was opened for public worship on the
last Sunday of April, 1827.
COUNTY AFFAIRS-ACTS OF
COMMISSIONERS OF SUPPLY.
Under the old county
management the roads and bridges were kept in repair, and when the new
bridge over the bruin was ordered to be repaired in June 1748, the
inhabitants of the adjacent country were ordered to work three days in
assisting to fill up the ends of the "new bridge built over the water of
ffrone." Each tenant yoking four horses in a plough, betwixt Arnburn and the
mill burn of Bonnell. And each tenant in Glenfrone on both sides of the
Chappell of Glenfrone, to repair with two horses and work three days of next
week. They are to bring with them carts, such as have them, and "cars,
creels, coups and other proper materials for carrying gravel, sand, etc.,"
to work six hours each day. Constables to attend and take an account of
absent men, and to fine them 20 shillings Scots.
Decree of Justices, 21st
August, 1750. At Tolbooth of Dunbartane no Justice of the Peace is to suffer
himself to be treated or entertained by Excise Officers at Excise Courts, or
by any parties who have suits depending before them.
Decree of Justices, 14th May,
1751. To mend the road leading from ferry of Dunbarton to the kirk of
Cardross, and on account of the difficulty of wheeled machines to go
thereon, the county to be called out to work on said road after they are
done with their bear seed.
Meeting of Justices, 4th
June, 1751. Constables are to summon all persons who are fit for service,
whether man or woman, and are not presently employed in service to appear
before the Justices. They have to give reasons for not being employed in
Meeting of Justices, 2nd
June, 1753. All the roads in the county to be examined, and Justices
appointed in each district for this work, the tenants, cottars, and
labourers to work six days, or to pay fines. Intimation to be made of place
and time of working at the parish church on Sabbath before work to be done,
as prescribed by law. From Clachan of Rosneath to Portindorneck assessors
were Colin Campbell, bailie of Rosneath, Patrick Cuming of Barreman, and
Patrick M'Adam in Mamore.
Meeting 1st November, 1756.
The following were authorised to retail ale and beer and other exciseable
In Row Parish.
John M'Neil in Ferry House of
Malcolm Colquhoun in Tayichladick.
William Cuming in Shandon.
Aitken AL T Arthur at kirk of Row.
Donald Smith, ferrier at Row of Connell.
Aulay M'Aulay at Row.
Alexander Miller at Stuck.
Duncan M'Farlane in Auchinvennel more—
Glenfrone. James M'Neill in Chapel of Glenfrone.
In Rosneath Parish.
Peter Cuming, Ferry house of
Elizabeth Campbell at kirk of Rosneath.
Robert M'Farlane there.
FROM " DEPREDATIONS COMMITTED
ON THE CLAN CAMPBELL."
List of the Goods taken out
of Rosneith, from John Campbell, Captain of Carrick, and his Tennents, yrs,
be Stranaver and his partie; Being directed and led on be Dougal M'Glashan,
servitor to the Laird of Strachurr, in June 1685; after ye Rebellion was
In 1747 the estate seemed to
have belonged to Arthur M'Arthur from an advertisement in the Glasgow
Journal. In 1749 it is thus advertised in that paper as for sale, " the
lands of Arconnel and Lettwalbeg holding feu from the Duke of Montrose £25
17s. 8d. for Arconnel, and £8 5s. 4d. for Lettwalbeg, to be exposed for sale
in Court Hall of Tolbooth of Dunbarton."
Arconnel was said to pay rent
£164 2s. 8d. Scots silver rent, 27 bolls bear, 25 bolls oatmeal, 3 wedders,
21 dozen hens. Lettwalbeg £31 13s. 4d. Scots silver rent, 27 bolls meal, 2
wedders, 2½ dozen hens at 4s. Scots each. The Feu-duties to be deducted, and
£82 14s. 6d. Scots to minister of Row, and Arconnel further pays vicarage
dues, etc. £8 4s. 6d. Scots.