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The Scottish Nation
Achaius, or Achayus, or Eochy


ACHAIUS, or ACHAYUS, or EOCHY, the son of King Ethwin, or Ewen, succeeded to the crown of Scotland in 788, upon the death of Solvatius, or Selvach. Before his accession to the throne, he lived familiarly with the nobles, and was well acquainted with the causes of their mutual feuds. It was, therefore, the first act of his reign to reconcile the chiefs with one another, and check the turbulent spirit which their animosities had engendered. No sooner had he succeeded in thus reconciling his subjects, than he was called upon to take measures to repel an aggression of the predatory Irish. A number of banditti from Ireland, who infested the district of Kintyre, in the west of Scotland, having been completely routed by the inhabitants, the Irish nation was highly exasperated, and resolved to revenge the injury done to them. Achalus despatched an ambassador to soften their rage, but before he had time to return from his fruitless mission, an immense number of Irish plundered and laid waste the island of Isla.

            These depredators were all drowned when returning home with their spoil, and such was the terror which this calamity inspired into the Irish, that they immediately sued for peace, which was generously granted them by the king of Scotland. A short time after the conclusion of this treaty, the emperor Charlemagne sent an ambassador to Achaius, requesting the Scots king to enter into a strict alliance with him against the English, who, in the language of the envoy, "shamefully filled both sea and land with their piracies, and bloody invasions." After much hesitation and debate among the king’s counsellors, the alliance was unanimously agreed to, and Achaius sent his brother William, along with Clement, John Scotus, Raban, and Alcuin, a native of the north of England, four of the most learned men then in Scotland, together with an army of four thousand men, to accompany the French ambassador to Paris, where the alliance was concluded, on terms very favourable to the Scots. In order to perpetuate the remembrance of this event, Achains added to the arms of Scotland a double field sowed with lilies. After assisting Hungus, king of the Picts, to repel an aggression of Athelstane, king of the West Saxons, Achaius spent the rest of his reign in cornplete tranquillity, and died in 819, distinguished for his piety and wisdom.—Brewster’s Edin. Encyc.


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