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The Scottish Nation
Alexander


ALEXANDER I., king of Scotland, surnamed the Fierce, from his vigour and impetuous character, has hitherto been represented as the fifth son of Malcohn III., surnamed Canmore, or great head, by Margaret, daughter of Edward, nephew of Edward the Confessor, king of England, but it is now admitted that Ethelred, who had been believed to be the third, was the youngest son of that marriage, and consequently Alexander was not the fifth but the fourth son of Malcolm and Margaret. It is also placed beyond a doubt that by a previous marriage with Ingibiorge, the widow of Thorfin, a powerful Norwegian earl,—who for thirty years, during the reigns of Alexander’s father Malcolm and his predecessor Macbeth, ruled over all Scotland north of the Grampians, and part of the present county of Forfar,—Malcolm had two sons, Duncan, afterwards king of Scotland, and Malcolm, both of whom were alive at the time of his death, so that Alexander was in reality the sixth of the sons of Malcolm Canmore. (See life of Duncan, king of Scotland, post.) There is no earlier instance in Scottish history of the name of Alexander having been borne by king or noble, although it afterwards became one of the most common and familiar Christian names in Scotland. Lord Hailes has supposed that it was bestowed in honour of Pope Alexander II. If so, it was given to him after the death of that pontiff, which occurred in the year 1073, as no calculation from family or other events can place the birth of Alexander, of which the precise date is unknown, earlier than about the year 1078.

      Alexander was educated with great care, not only in letters but in religious principles, and the solemn injunctions of his excellent mother, on her death-bed, to Turgot, prior of Durham, her confessor and biographer, which have descended to us in his interesting memoir of that good queen, prove how great was her solicitude in the latter respect in regard to all her children. Alexander partook of those vicissitudes of the family, after the death of his father, which are detailed in the lives of his uncle Donald Bane and of his brothers Duncan and Edgar, and which serve to exhibit, in a strong light, the peculiarities of the law of succession to the throne among the Celtic or Pictish races of that age, and they no doubt contributed to form and give a direction to his character and future government, when he became king.

      On the death of his brother Edgar, 8th January 1107, Alexander succeeded to the throne, but not to the enjoyment of the same extent of possessions as his predecessor. For the conquest of the western portion of the ancient principality of Cumbria—a region extending between the Roman walls of Agricola and Antoninus—having sometime previous been effected, by David his younger brother, with an army of Norman chivalry from England, the government of the province was also bestowed upon him, and Edgar, on his death-bed, bequeathed him all those extensive lands in those regions held by him and Malcolm his father which formed the subject of that homage rendered to the Norman conqueror and his son William Rufus so frequently referred to in English history. (Lord Hailes’ Quotations from English contemporary writers, compared with the narrative of the inquisition into the lands of the see of Glasgow, and existing charters of that epoch.) All Scottish historians, from the fourteenth until within the present century, have concurred in stating that the province of Cumbria corresponded exactly in territory with the present English county of Cumberland, but charters, and Saxon as well as earlier Scottish writers, when correctly understood, leave it beyond doubt that the portion of country so called comprehended the district extending from the Clyde to the Solway, and included all the present Scottish counties of Ayr, Galloway, Wigton, Kirkcudbright, and Dumfries, with perhaps part of Cumberland; the district of Lothian, comprising the three counties which still bear that name; and the shires of Renfrew and Lanark, with part of Lennox now Dumbartonshire. Such distributions of the royal possessions amongst the members of their family were not uncommon with the monarchs of that age.

      Whatever were the motives that led to this disjunction from the Scottish crown, it proved a fortunate arrangement for the nation. By the subsequent death of Alexander without issue, and the consequent succession of David to the northern throne, the danger of contention between rival farniiies for these possessions, and of their permanent separation from the ancient kingdom, was averted, and a united kingdom was afterwards formed, able, with more or less success, to withstand the powerful neighbouring southern state; which, if it had continued disjoined, would most probably have fallen to it by piecemeal a comparatively easy prey. While, on the one hand, the happy genius of David for government, and for attracting towards himself the love and affection of all classes of people committed to his care, enabled him to introduce amongst them order and civilization, and to combine Saxon law with Norman refinement, as well as the still higher blessing of religious instruction, and while his amiable qualities and the accident of his birth endeared through him the family of Malcolm to the Saxon race, so that nearly four hundred years afterwards an English writer resident in Scotland thus commemorates one of them:

"Our soverane of Scotland
Quhilk sall be lord and ledar
Oer broad Brettane all quhair
As saint Mergarettes air;"
(Duke of the Howlat, st. xxix, printed for the Bannatyne Club.)

the sterner rule of Alexander was made available to keep under the dissatisfied feelings of the warlike tribes of the north, not less averse to that deviation from the ancient rule of succession by which the descendants of Margaret were placed on the throne, than jealous of the innovations of Saxon law and Saxon settlements. It was not, however, to be expected that to this disposition of lands Alexander would at once quietly accede. On the contrary, he at first disputed its validity, and would willingly have annulled it, had he not found that the powerful barons of the province in question, and of the northern English counties, as Gospatrick, Baliol, Bruce, Lindesay, Areskine, and others, whose descendants afterwards occupied the first rank among the Scottish nobility, and by the aid of whose arms his brother Edgar had been placed and sustained on the throne, were entirely favourable to this arrangement. He therefore prudently desisted from the attempt, and confined himself during the remainder of his reign to the northern portion of the kingdom. (Speech of Walter l’Espec at the battle of the Standard, in AEldred.) It has been inferred by modern writers who have recognised the foregoing as the territorial limits of Cumbria, that David held this government as a fief in subordination to Alexander, but this does not appear to have been the case. David seems to have regulated the affairs of his government as an independent prince. The motto of his seal during his brother’s lifetime bears that he styled himself ‘David, Comites Anglorum Regene Fratris, (contracted into Fris); that is, David the count, brother of the Queen of the English. At right is a representation of David’s seal.

Several of his public instruments, too, after he ascended the throne, when relating to matters affecting the southern districts, are addressed to the "Francis et Anglicis," Normans and English, (Anderson’s Diplomata et Numismata, No. 17, 1 and 2); and at a later period, or when referring to matters of more importance, to the "Francis et Angilcis, et Scottis et Galwensibus," that is, the Normans, English, Scotch, and Galwegians, which latter style was uniformly adopted by his successor and grandson Malcolm IV., (Idem, plates 19, 23, 25,) whilst the public instruments of Alexander are simply addressed to the Scots and English, "Scottis et Anglis" (Idem, page 9), showing that he only ruled over the northern portion of the kingdom in which these nations lived in the proportion of the order in which they are placed.

      It was fortunate both for Alexander and David, and for the tranquillity of the government of the former, that during the entire period of his reign an unbroken peace was maintained with England. The marriage of their sister Matildis in 1100, during the life of their brother Edgar, with Henry  king of England the brother of William Rufus, greatly facilitated this harmony, and it was further cemented by the union of Alexander with Sybilla, natural daughter of that monarch. Such an alliance, says Lord Hailes, was not held dishonourable in those days.

      The people of the north were not reconciled to the sovereignty of the sons of Malcolm. According to their notions of the law of succession to the throne, both the family of Donald Bane, and that of Duncan the eldest son of Malcolm, had a prior right to it. Edgar had bestowed upon his cousin Madach, son of Donald Bane, the maormordom of Athol, erected by him into an earldom, and on his death, towards the end of the reign of David the First, it was obtained by Malcolm, the son of Duncan, the eldest son of Malcolm Canmore, "either," says Skene, "because the exclusion of that family from the throne could not deprive them of the original patrimony of the family, or as a compensation for the loss of the crown," (Skene’s Highlanders, vol. ii. p. 139,) and thus this branch of the rival family were induced to remain in quiet, although various attempts were afterwards made to recover their rights, not only in the reign of Malcolm IV., but for nearly a hundred years after they were excluded from it.

      The descendants of Donald Bane appear to have enjoyed another portion of the hereditary possessions of the family in the person of Ladman his son, and along with them some title which does not appear. Even the descendants of Macbeth seem, in the person of Angus the son of the daughter of Lulach, Macbeth’s nephew, to have got the possessions and ancient maormordom of Moray erected into an earldom of that name. (Skene’s High-landers, vol. ii. p. 162.) According to the Annals of Ulster about 1116, a descendant of Malpedir, maormor of Moern or Garmoran, a district in northern Inverness-shire, one of the supporters of Donald Bane, and who had murdered Duncan, eldest son of Malcolm, in 1095, was in possession of his father’s title and lands, and at the instigation of Ladman, in order probably to revenge his death, he combined with Angus earl of Moray, already referred to as of the family of Macbeth, to make an attempt to seize upon the person of Alexander. At his baptism Alexander had a donation made to him of the lands of Blairgowrie and Liff by his godfather, Donald Bane, then probably maormor of Athol, and in the first year of his reign he began to build a palace or residence in the vicinity; but while engaged on this work the Highlanders of Moern (not Mearns, as commonly supposed) and Moray penetrated stealthily from their northern abodes to Invergowrie, where Alexander was, and surprised him by night. Alexander escaped to the shore, and crossing over the Tay to Fife, collected vassals, and followed them with surprising activity, through the ‘Monthe’ or Grampians, across the Spey and over the "Stockfurd into Ros." Of this passage Wintoun says,

"He tuk and slew thame or he past
Out of that land, that fewe he left
To take on hand swylk purpose eft."

And again he adds,

"Fra that day hys legys all
Oysid hym Alysandyr the Fers to call."

So effectually, indeed, did he succeed in crushing the inhabitants of Moray that they were compelled to put to death Ladman, the son of Donald Bane, who had instigated them to the attempt on his life. (Skene’s Highianders, vol. i. p. 130.) The story that on this occasion the traitors obtained admission to the king’s bed-chamber, and that he slew six of them with his own hand, is an invention of Boece, and like many other of his fables has obtained currency in Scottish history. Sir James Balfour, in his Annals (vol. 1. pp. 6, 7.), has the following passage on this attempt against the king: "The rebells quho besett him in the night had doubtesley killed him, had not Alexander Carrone priuly carried the king save away, and by a small boate saived themselves to Fyffe, and the south pairts of the kingdome, quher he raissed ane armey, and marched against the forsaid rebells, quhome he totally ouerthrew and subdued; for wich grate mercey and preseruatione, in a thankfull retributione to God, he foundit the monastarey of Scone, and too it gaue lies first lands of Liffe and Innergourey, in AE 1114. About this tyme K. Alexander the I. reuardit for hes faithfull seruice Alexander Carrone, with the office of standart bearir of Scotland, to him and hes heirs for euer. He was called Scrimshour, becausse with a drauen suord, in a combat, he had strucke the hand from a courtier; wich surname of Scrinscoure, hes posterity to this day have kept." The name signifies a hardy fighter. See SCRIMGEOUR, surname of; also, DUNDEE, earl of.

During the remainder of the reign of Alexander, the Highlanders acquiesced in his occupation of the throne, he being now, even according to the Celtic laws, the legitimate heir of Malcolm Canmore.

      The principal feature in Alexander’s reign was his successful resistance to the efforts made by the English prelates to assert a supremacy over the church in Scotland. In 1109 when he first had occasion to nominate a bishop to the see of St. Andrews, to which place the primacy had been removed from Dunkeld, Alexander, with the approbation of his clergy and people, named Turgot, the monk of Durham already mentioned as the confessor and biographer of his mother the pious Queen Margaret. The consecration of Turgot was, however, long delayed. The archbishop of York pretended a right of consecrating the bishops of St. Andrews, but at this time Thomas, elected archbishop of York, had not himself received consecration. In consequence of a report that the bishop of Durham, concurring with the Scottish bishops and the bishop of the Orkneys, proposed to consecrate Turgot, in presence of the archbishop elect of York, Anselm, archbishop of Canterbury, in alarm, despatched a letter to the latter, informing him that consecration could not be performed by an archbishop elect or by any one acting under his authority, and requiring him to proceed to Canterbury to receive consecration himself. The Scottish clergy on their part contended that the archbishop of York had no right to interfere in the consecration of a bishop to the see of St. Andrews. While the two archbishops were engaged in mutual altercations concerning canonical order and the privileges of their respective sees, Alexander entered into a negotiation with the English king, and an immediate decision of the controversy was evaded by an ambiguous acknowledgment by all parties, which, confessing the independency of the Scottish church to be at least doubtful, seemed to prepare the way for its complete vindication at a future time. At the request of Alexander, Henry, the English king, enjoined the archbishop of York to consecrate Turgot, bishop of St. Andrews, "saving the authority of either church." In that form Turgot received consecration accordingly.

      In the discharge of his episcopal functions Turgot met with obstacles, which induced him to form a resolution to repair to Rome to obtain the opinion of the pope for regulating his future con duct; a journey which his death soon after pre vented him from carrying into effect. What the nature of these obstacles were, we are not informed, but as he perceived that he had lost that influence which he formerly enjoyed in the time of Queen Margaret, his spirit sunk, and in a desponding mood he asked and obtained permission to retire to his ancient cell at Durham, where he died, 31st August 1115.

A new bishop of St. Andrews was to be appointed, and to avoid any interference on the part of the archbishop of York, Alexander, soon after the death of Turgot, addressed a confidential letter to Ralph archbishop of Canterbury, who had succeeded Anselm, asking his advice and assistance for enabling him to provide a fit successor to Turgot. In this letter he observed, "That the bishops of St. Andrews were wont to be consecrated only by the Pope or by the archbishop of Canterbury." "The expression," says Lord Hailes "is flattering and artful. Alexander meant to relieve his kingdom from the pretensions of the one archbishop without acknowledging the authority of the other. He therefore left the right of consecrating doubtful between the Pope and the archbishop of Canterbury, while, at the same time, he seemed to place them both on a level." Eadmer, a monk of Canterbury, had been fixed upon by Alexander to fill the vacant see, but not receiving any answer to his proposal from the archbishop of Canterbury, the king allowed the see of St. Andrews, the chief bishopric in his kingdom, to remain vacant for many years. At length, in 1120, he despatched a special messenger to the archbishop of Canterbury, with a letter requesting the archbishop ‘to set at liberty’ Eadmer the monk, that he might be placed on the episcopal throne of St. Andrews. The archbishop consented that Eadmer should have liberty to accept the bishopric, and with that view he asked and obtained the approbation of the English king. In a letter to Alexander he said, "I send you the person whom you require altogether free," and concluded thus, "To prevent the inconveniencies which I foresee and dread, I would counsel you immediately to send him back to be consecrated by me." On his arrival in Scotland, Eadmer received the bishopric of St. Andrews on the 29th of June 1120. The election was made by the clergy and people, with the permission of the king; but on this occasion Eadmer neither received the pastoral staff nor the ring from the hands of Alexander, nor did he perform homage. Next day Alexander held a secret conference with him respecting the mode of his consecration, when the king expressed his aversion at his being consecrated by the archbishop of York. Eadmer, on his part, declared that the church of Canterbury had, by ancient right, a pre-eminence over all Britain, and he humbly proposed to receive consecration from that metropolitan see. He found, however, that Alexander was as much opposed to the pretensions of Canterbury as he was to those of York, and that he had determined to free the Scottish church from dependence on any foreign see but that of Rome. At Eadmer’s proposal Alexander is described as having started from his seat with much emotion, and broken off the conference. He commanded the person, one William a monk of St. Edmundsbury, who had presided in the bishopric since the death of Turgot, to resume his functions. At the expiry of a month, the king, at the request of his nobility, sent for Eadmer, and with difficulty obtained his consent to a compromise, by which Eadmer was to receive the ring from Alexander, to take the pastoral staff from off the altar, as if receiving it of the Lord, and then to assume the charge of his diocese. While the king was absent with his army quelling some insurrection in the north, as the Highlanders of the district of Moray, particularly at this time, gave considerable opposition to his government, Eadmer was received into the see of St. Andrews by the queen, clergy, and people.

      Finding, however, that his own sovereign Henry, who was then in Normandy, had, at the solicitation of the archbishop of York, written to the archbishop of Canterbury prohibiting him from consecrating Eadmer, and that Alexander had also received three letters from him requiring him not to permit the consecration, the new bishop of St. Andrews resolved to repair to Canterbury for advice. On hearing of his resolution Alexander sent for him, and said, "I received you altogether free from Canterbury; while I live, I will not permit the bishop of St. Andrews to be subjected to that see." "For your whole kingdom," answered Eadmer, "I would not renounce the dignity of a monk of Canterbury." "Then," replied the king passionately,. "I have done nothing in seeking a bishop out of Canterbury." It seems to have been Alexander’s design by soliciting a bishop from the province of Canterbury, to obtain one who would have no partiality for the see of York, and whom he hoped to win over to support the independency of the Scottish Church; but the zeal of Eadmer for Canterbury disappointed his views. Eadmer himself has given an ample account of the contest between him and Alexander; and Lord Hailes, in his Annals of Scotland, has generally followed his statements. The bishop complains that after the last interview with the king, the latter became rigorous and unjust, and would never afford him a patient hearing. He refused to allow Eadmer permission to visit Canterbury "for the counsel and blessing (meaning no doubt consecration) of the archbishop," contending that the church of Scotland owed no subjection to Canterbury, and that Eadmer himself had been freed from all subjection to it.

      In the anomalous and uncomfortable position in which he found himself, Eadmer was induced to ask the advice of a friend in England, one Nicholas, whom Lord Hailes conjectures to have been an ecclesiastical agent, whose business it was to solicit causes at the court of Rome. This man advised him to obtain consecration from the Pope, under favour of the Scottish monarch, and in the meantime to be generous and hospitable to the Scots, as the best means of rendering them tractable and courteous. He concluded his letter thus:

      "I entreat you to let me have as many of the fairest pearls as you can procure. In particular, I desire four of the largest sort. If you cannot procure them otherwise, ask them in a present from the king, who, I know, has a most abundant store"—a remarkable evidence of the wealth and magnificence of the Scottish monarchs at this time.

      Eadmer, in his perplexity, also asked the advice of John bishop of Glasgow, and of two monks of Canterbury, and the answer which they sent to him seems to have determined him upon resigning the see. It was in these terms: "If, as a son of peace, you desire peace, you must seek it elsewhere than in Scotland. As long as Alexander reigns, it will be vain for you to expect any friendly intercourse with him, or quiet under his government. We are thoroughly acquainted with his dispositions: it is his will to be everything himself in his own kingdom. He is incensed against you, although he knows no reason for his resentment; and he will never be perfectly reconciled to you, although he should see reason for a reconciliation. You must, therefore, either abandon this country, or, by accommodating yourself to its usages, dishonour your character and hazard your salvation. Should you choose to depart from among us, you will be constrained to restore the ring, which you received from the hands of the king, and the pastoral staff which you took from off the altar. Without complying with these conditions you will not be permitted to depart, unless you could make to yourself wings and fly away." Eadmer consented to restore the ring to Alexander, but with regard to the pastoral staff, he declared that he would replace it on the altar, whence he had taken it, ‘and leave it to be bestowed by Christ,’ and that since force had been used against him, he would relinquish the bishopric, and not reclaim it during the reign of Alexander, ‘unless by the advice of the Pope, the convent of Canterbury, and the king of England.’ Having thus, in effect, resigned his see, Eathner was suffered quietly to leave the kingdom. He afterwards addressed a long epistle to Alexander, in which, after setting forth his pretensions to the bishopric, he added, in a tone of submission which would have better become him at an earlier period: "I mean not, in any particular, to derogate from the freedom and independency of the kingdom of Scotland. Should you continue in your former sentiments, Twill desist from my opposition; for, with respect to the king of England, the arch-bishop of Canterbury, and the sacerdotal benediction, I had notions, which, as I have since learned, were erroneous. They will not separate me from the service of God and your favour. In those things I will act according to your inclinations, if you only permit me to enjoy the other rights belonging to the see of St. Andrews." The archbishop of Canterbury, too, wrote Alexander, requiring him to recall Eadmer to Scotland; but Alexander would not listen either to the solicitations, though humbly enough expressed, of the one, or the requisition, however peremptory, of the other. He was resolved to uphold the independence of the Scottish church; and the undaunted spirit with which he maintained it throughout the whole contest, would have been equally displayed, as Lord Hailes justly remarks, in defence of the independence of his kingdom, had England ever attempted to call it in question during his reign.

      In January 1123, about a year before Alexander’s death, the pretensions of the archbishop of York were renewed, on the king procuring an English monk named Robert, who was prior of Scone, to be elected bishop of St. Andrews. The latter, however, was not consecrated till the fourth year of the reign of David I. about five years afterwards, when Thurstin, archbishop of York, performed the ceremony, under reservation of the rights of the Scots church.

      While thus successful in his resistance to the claims of supremacy on the part of the metropolitan sees of York and Canterbury, Alexander, as was usual in those days, evinced his devotion to the church by the ample donations which he made to it. He bestowed upon the see of St. Andrews the famous tract of land called the Cursus Apri, or Boar’s Chase, of which it is not possible now to assign the exact limits; but "so called," says Boece, "from a boar of uncommon size, which, after having made prodigious havoc of men and cattle, and having been frequently attacked by the huntsmen unsuccessfully, and to the imminent peril of their lives, was at last set upon by the whole country up in arms against him, and killed while endeavouring to make his escape across this tract of ground." The historian adds, that there were extant in his time manifest proofs of the existence of this huge beast; its two tusks, each sixteen inches long and four thick, being fixed with iron chains to the great altar of St. Andrews, having been placed there by the above named Bishop Robert, who obtained the grant of the boar chase from Alexander, although not consecrated bishop at the time it was bestowed. The legend that this extensive tract of land was conferred in 370 by Hungus or Hergustus, a Pictish king, who is unknown to history, is a monkish fiction utterly unworthy of attention.

In 1123, having narrowly escaped shipwreck near the island of AEmona, now called Inchcolm, in the Frith of Forth, Alexander built a monastery on that island, of the ruins of which a woodcut is shown below.

      The circumstances are thus related by Fordun:

"About the year 1123, Alexander I. having some business of state which obliged him to cross over at the Queen’s ferry, was overtaken by a terrible tempest blowing from the south-west, which obliged the sailors to make for this island, (AEmo na,) which they reached with the greatest difficulty. Here they found a poor hermit, who lived a religious life according to the rules of St. Columba, and performed service in a small chapel, supporting himself by the milk of one cow, and the shelfish he could pick up on the shore; nevertheless, on these small means he entertained the king and his retinue for three days—the time which they were confined here by the wind. During the storm, and whilst at sea and in the greatest danger, the king made a vow that if St. Columba would bring him safe to that island, he would there found a monastery to his honour, which should be an asylum and relief to navigators. He was, moreover, farther moved to this foundation, by having, from his childhood, entertained a particular veneration and honour for that saint, derived from his parents, who were long married without issue, until imploring the aid of St. Columba, their request was most graciously granted." The monastery thus founded by Alexander was for canons regular of St. Augustine, and was richly endowed by the grateful and pious king its founder and patron. Being dedicated to St. Colm or Columba, the island obtained the name thereafter of Inchcolm, which it still retains. The king had previously brought a colony of canons regular of St. Augustine from the monastery of St. Oswald at Nastley, near Pontefract, in Yorkshire, and established them at Scone, the abbey of which he had founded in 1114, and dedicated to the Holy Trinity and St. Michael. This famous abbey, it is well known, enclosed the celebrated coronation stone which was removed to England by Edward I., and is still used at the coronation of the sovereigns of Great Britain at Westminster.

      The abbey of Scone, also, thus founded by Alexander, witnessed the crowning of the later Scoto-Saxon kings. By a royal charter he conferred upon the monks of this abbey the right of holding their own court, and of giving judgment either by combat, by iron, or by water; together with all privileges pertaining to their court; including the right in all persons resident within their territory, of refusing to answer except in their own proper court. (Cartullary of Scone, p. 16.) This right of exclusive jurisdiction was confirmed by four successive monarchs. In 1122, on the death of his queen, Sybilla, who died suddenly at the castle of Loch Tay, in Perthshire, on the 12th of June of that year, Alexander erected a priory on a small island on Loch Tay, for the repose of his soul and that of his consort. According to Spottiswood, this priory was a cell from the monastery of Scone, and was founded by Queen Sybilla herself, but this is evidently a mistake. Some very inconsiderable ruins of it still remain. Alexander also granted various lands to the monastery of Dunfermline which his father had founded, and is said to have finished the church. His queen Sybilla also conferred lands on it.

      Notwithstanding the rude condition of the inhabitants of Scotland at that remote period, the personal state kept up by Alexander the First is described as having been scarcely, if at all, inferior to that of his brother-monarch of the richer country of England. It is well-known that in the reign of his father, Malcolm Canmore, an unusual splendour was introduced into the Scottish court by his Saxon consort, the good queen Margaret, who not only encouraged the importation and use of rich vestments from foreign countries, setting the example by being magnificent in her own attire, but increased the number of attendants on the person of the king, and caused him to be served at table on plate of gold and silver. (Turgot’s Memoir of Queen Margaret.) Alexander I. seems to have given to his public appearances, as sovereign, a degree of splendour till then unknown in the northern end of the island. In his reign there appears to have been a considerable intercourse between Scotland and the East, as various oriental commodities and articles of Asiatic luxury were imported into this country. It is related of this monarch, that, not content with endowing the church of St. Andrews—which had been founded in his reign by Turgot, its archbishop—with numerous lands, and conferring upon it various immunities, as an additional evidence of his devotion to the blessed apostle St. Andrew, after whom the see was called, he commanded his favourite Arabian horse to be led up to the high altar, his saddle and bridle being splendidly ornamented, while his housings were of a rich cloth of velvet. The king’s body armour, of superb Turkish manufacture, and studded with jewels, with his spear and his shield of silver, were at the same time brought by a squire; and these, along with the horse and his furniture, the king, in the presence of his prelates and barons, solemnly devoted and presented to the church. The housings and arms were shown in the days of the historian who has recorded the event. (Extract from the Register of the Priory of St. Andrews, in Pinkerton’s Dissertation, Appendix, vol. i. p. 464. Winton, vol. i. p. 286. See also Tytler’s History of Scotland, vol. ii. p. 198.)

      The rising commerce of the country in those early times was much aided and advanced by the settlement, in the districts contiguous to the Borders, of numbers of Flemish merchants, who, during the reign of Alexander, gradually spread into Scotland, and at a later period, namely, in the reign of David the First, were found in all the towns along the east coast, and even in the western parts of the kingdom, wherever traffic could be safely and profitably carried on. The money in circulation in Scotland at that period appears to have been of silver only. Indeed, down to the reign of Robert the Second, the gold coinage of England, then current in Scotland, seems to have been the only gold money in use. Of the early silver money of Scotland, the most ancient specimens yet found are the pennies of Alexander the First, which are now extremely rare. They are described as being of the same firmness, weight, and form as the contemporary English coins of the same denomination, and down to the time of Robert the First, the money of Scotland was precisely of the same value and standard as that of England. (See Ruddiman’s Introduction to Anderson’s Diplomata, pp. 54, 55.—Tytler’s history of Scotland, vol. ii.. p. 264.] The annexed engraving of the silver pennies (left) of Alexander I is from Anderson’s Numismata.

      Annexed (at right) is a seal of Alexander I in which he is represented fully cased in the armour of that period.

      Here we find the scaled mail-coat composed of mascles, or lozenged pieces of steel, sewed upon a tunic of leather, and reaching only to the mid thigh. The hood is of one piece with the tunic, and covers the head, which is protected with a conical steel cap, and a nasal; the sleeves are loose, so as to show the linen tunic worn next the skin, and again appearing in graceful folds above the knee; the lower leg and foot are protected by a short boot, armed with a spur. The king holds in his right hand a spear, to which a pennoncelle, or small flag, is attached, exactly similar to that worn by Henry the First; the saddle is peaked before and behind; and the horse on which he rides is ornamented by a rich fringe round the chest, but altogether unarmed. (Seal in the Diplomata Scotice, plate 7. Tytler’s History of Scotland vol. ii. p. 360.)

      Alexander the First died at Stirling on the 27th of April 1124, in the seventeenth year of his reign, and leaving no issue was succeeded by his youngest brother, David. He was interred before the high altar at Dunfermline, near to his father. During his reign, as during that of his brother and predecessor Edgar, the laws, institutions, and forms of government, except in the Gaelic portion of the kingdom, were purely Saxon; and to this particular epoch in our nation’s history, may be traced the earliest existence in Scotland of some of the great officers of state, who after that period discharged some of the more important functions of the government, as the chancellor, the constable, &c. The former was the most intimate counsellor of the king, and generally the witness to his charters, letters, and proclamations, and the latter, an office of undoubted Norman origin, was the leader of the whole military power of the kingdom. The first appearance in Scotland of the now ancient office of sheriff is also referred to this reign, although the division of the country into regular sheriffdoms did not take place till a much later period. "During the reigns of Edgar and Alexander I.," says Skene, "the whole of Scotland, with the exception of what had formed the kingdom of Thorfinn (during the Norwegian conquest consisting of the Orkneys, the Hebrides, and a large portion of the Highlands), exhibited the exact counterpart of Saxon England, with its earls, thanes, and sheriffs, while the rest of the country remained in the possession of the Gaelic Maormors, who yielded so far to Saxon influence as to assume the Saxon title of earl." (History of the Highianders, vol. i. p. 128.) The personal character of Alexander was bold and energetic, and his disposition fiery and impetuous. Strenu ous in maintaining his authority, he had, early in his reign, applied himself to repressing the disorders and insurrections which were continually breaking out in the Celtic portion of his dominions, and his ardent temper and daring spirit contributed not a little to his success in overawing the turbulent inhabitants of the north, and reducing them to submission. The boldest chieftains are said to have trembled in his presence, and the epithet of ‘Fierce’ attached to his name seems to have arisen from the energy which he at all times displayed, and which was necessary for reclaiming the Scots from that savage barbarism into which they had relapsed under Donald Bane. Although terrible to the rest of his people, Alexander is described by Aidred, as being humble and courteous to the clergy, "not ignorant of letters," liberal even to profusion, and kind and benevolent to the poor.—Hailes’ Annals of Scotland, vol. i., and the authorities quoted in the preceding article.

ALEXANDER II., king of Scotland, the fourth in succession from the subject of the foregoing memoir, to whom he stands in the relation of great grand-nephew, was born at Haddington 24 Aug., 1198. He was the only legitimate son of William surnamed the Lion, his predecessor on the throne. His mother, Ermangarde, was daughter of Richard Viscount de Beaumont, a descendant from Henry I. of England, through his mother, a natural daughter of that monarch. He succeeded his father December 4, 1214, being then only sixteen years of age, and was crowned at Scone on the 20th of the same month.

      Some years before the death of William his father, that monarch had been engaged in warlike demonstrations against England, followed, (in 1209,) by a treaty of a singular character, of which the provisions have not yet been clearly ascertained. It appears that during the troubles in which John—the monarch who then sat upon the English throne—was involved, (in consequence of disputes with the head of the church and the dissatisfaction of his barons, which finally resulted in the concession by him of Magna Charta,) William—conceiving the opportunity to be favourable—took occasion to demand that the counties of Northumberland, Cumberland, and Westmoreland, (which until about the middle of the reign of Henry II. had constituted the county or province of Northumbria, and under that designation had been held during the latter part of the reign of his grandfather David I., by the eldest son of that monarch, the father of William, as a fief of the English crown, but on the death of that monarch had been resumed by Henry II.,) should be restored to the Scottish nation. How far that claim—one of the vexed questions of Scottish history—was founded in right, does not properly fall to be considered in this biography, but will be treated of in that of Malcolm IV., the brother of William, on whose accession these counties were restored to Henry, and to which therefore we refer. We may, however, remark,—unwilling as we are to yield to any one in the assertion of the just rights of Scotland,— that there does not appear in the circumstances any warrant for assuming—as William then did, and as Scottish writers have hitherto done—that the intrusting of the government of these counties by Stephen in February 1139 to Prince Henry, son of David—as an individual lordship for which he rendered homage—can be construed into permanent cession of their possession from the English to the Scottish crown. It may more probably be inferred as done in guarantee of the fulfilment of the solemn engagement then entered into with David by Stephen, that the crown of England—usurped by him—should at his death descend to Henry, grand-nephew of David,—son of the empress Matilda his sister’s daughter the rightful heiress,—on whose behalf alone it was that that wise and righteous prince had professed to take up arms. The retention in his own hands by the English king, during the entire period of their government by the heir to the Scottish throne, of the commanding strengths of Bamborough, Norham, and Newcastle on Tyne, (the two former situated near the Scottish border,) and the omission of all reference to the circumstance of the supposed cession on the part of English historians, gives additional probability to this aspect of the transaction. Its resumption, therefore, on the fulfilment of that stipulation towards the close of the reign of David, may in this view of the matter have involved no injustice on the part of the English monarch, and appears to have been peacefully acquiesced in by Malcolm, the then reigning king. In the history of the two kingdoms of that period, however, it will frequently be found  that the occasion of distraction or civil contest on the part of the one was frequently embraced, to press to an issue assumed or disputed claims on the part of the other, and the fearful state of matters which then obtained in England—placed as it was under a papal interdict, the public services of religion suspended, the rites of interment withheld, the prelates banished, and the nobles insulted—presented an opportunity too tempting to be withstood by William, for making a demand which, if yielded to, would at once aggrandize his kingdom, and avenge his long captivity. Nor is there wanting, in the earlier history of that monarch himself, more than one incident to illustrate the truth of the foregoing remark.

      In order to understand the position of the parties, however, on the occasion of the conclusion of this treaty, it is proper to observe that, according to the English historians, John,—notwithstanding the dangerous situation in which he stood, and the loss of reputation he had sustained by acquiescing in the conquest of the English provinces in France,—appears, on becoming aware of the military preparations of William, to have manifested a degree of energy unusual to him, and to have resolved to do some act that would give a lustre to his government. He is represented by them as having been successful in his military enterprises in Scotland, as also in others which he undertook against the Irish and Welsh. It was in these circumstances, therefore, that by the treaty in question, the king of Scotland bound himself to pay to John fifteen thousand merks (supposed to be equivalent to one hundred and fifty thousand pounds sterling of our present money) in two years, by four equal payments, "for procuring his good will (benevolentia), and for fulfilling certain conventions between them," contained in a charter which has not been preserved. For the performance of this treaty William gave John hostages. He likewise delivered his two daughters, Margaret and Isabella, to the king of England to be educated at his court, and "that they might be provided by him in suitable matches," but not to be considered as hostages. About thirty years thereafter it was stated in the English parliament that the conditions of the charter referred to were that the two Scottish princesses should be married to king John’s two sons, and that the money, together with a renunciation of his claim to the northern counties, was given by William as their marriage portion. Hubert de Burgh, the justiciary of England, who married the princess Margaret, positively denied, however, all knowledge of any such condition as the former; while some Scottish writers subsequently founded on its non-fulfilment a supposed claim for the restitution of the latter. [See Life of William the Lion, post.]

      Shortly after Alexander came to the throne affairs in England became involved in a still greater degree of confusion than before. John, perfidious and perjured as tyrannical, had violated the provisions of Magna Charta, set his barons at defiance, and threatened alike to crush the liberties of the country and their power. In this emergency, they decided to renounce their allegiance to him, and sent a deputation to offer the crown of England to Louis, son of the king of France. At the same time such of them as held possessions in the northern counties applied to Alexander, and offered to put him in possession of these districts as the consideration for his aiding them against their oppressor. Although so young, Alexander was not unwilling to avail himself of the proposal, and an agreement was accordingly entered into to that effect. In accordance with this agreement, Alexander with an army marched into Northumberland, and on the 18th of October 1215, he received the homage of the barons of that county at Felton castle. The castle of Norham was besieged by him for forty days, during which time Eustace de Vesci,—one of the principal barons of the northern counties, who had made himself conspicuous by his opposition to John,—gave him investiture of the county of Northumberland by livery and sasine. The intelligence of these negotiations, however, again stirred up John to unwonted activity, and he resolved to crush the northern invasion before Louis should arrive in England. Accordingly, immediately after Christmas, whilst a deep fall of snow lay on the ground, at the head of a large force, consisting principally of foreign mercenaries, he advanced into Yorkshire and Northumberland, devastating the estates of the confederated barons, and burning and slaying wherever he came. All the castles and towns they could take were given to the flames, King John himself setting the example, as he fired with his own hands in the morning the house in which he had rested the preceding night.

On the approach northward of John, Alexander raised the siege of Norham, and retired within his own dominions. The English barons accompanied him, and those of the northern counties did homage to Alexander at the abbey of Melrose on the 15th January 1216. (Chonicle of Melrose, p. 190.] John with his mixed and savage host of foreign soldiery followed, burning, in their march, the towns of Werk, Morpeth, Alnwick, Mitford, and Roxburgh. After storming Berwick they entered Scotland, torturing, plundering, and massacring the inhabitants in their way. The towns of Dunbar and Haddington were likewise burnt to the ground. John was determined to have vengeance on Alexander for the assistance which he had given to the patriotic barons who had taken up arms against him. "We will smoke," he said, "the little red fox out of his covert." From this laconic description of him we may infer that Alexander the Second was both diminutive in stature and ruddy in complexion. John pursued his devastating course as far as Edinburgh, but was soon obliged to withdraw from a country which his troops had ravaged so completely that it no longer afforded them subsistence. In his retreat, his forces burnt the priory of Coldingham, which had been founded in the year 1098 by Edgar king of Scotland, and the town of Berwick; John himself, as was his usual practice, giving the example to his brutal soldiery by setting fire to the house in which he had lodged.

      For the priory of Coldingham thus ruthlessly consumed by John’s savage followers, Alexander, like all the rest of the Scottish kings since the time of Edgar its founder, had a great veneration. He had not only confirmed the charters which his predecessors had granted to it, but exempted the prior and his monks from a sum of twenty merks that they had been in the custom of paying yearly to his exchequer, under the name of wattinga,—a tax which appears to have been levied from the landholders in Scotland for the purpose of erecting and maintaining in repair the government fortresses. He also issued a writ to Robert de Bernham, the mayor, and to the bailiffs of Berwick, enjoining them to allow free passage to foreign merchants, when on their way to the priory to purchase the wool and other commodities belonging to the monks, and prohibiting every one from seizing any property, moveable or unmoveable, belonging to the convent, within the barony or lordship of Coldingham, for debt on forfeiture. Besides these immunities, he released "the twelfth village of Coldinghamshire, or that in which the church is founded," from the aids and military service which had formerly been exacted. It was not likely therefore that he would allow John’s destructive march to pass without taking dreadful reprisals.

      Accordingly, in the month of February following this inroad, Alexander in his turn wasted the western marches with fire and sword and penetrated into Cumberland. Some of the undisciplined Scots, by which name the monkish historians distinguish the Highlanders in his army, plundered and burnt the abbey of Holmcultram, in revenge for the destruction of the priory of Coldingham by the English. These reverend chroniclers relate with apparent delight that two thousand of the Scots, on their way home with their booty, were drowned in the flooded current of the river Eden, as a judgment for their sacrilegious violation of a holy house. After a temporary retreat into his own territories, Alexander invaded Cumberland a second time, in the month of July, with all his army, except the Highlanders, whom he had chastised and dismissed (Chron. Mel., p. 191), and on the 8th of August, he took possession of the city of Carlisle. The castle, however, held out against him. He then marched southwards quite through England to Dover, to join Louis, the son of the king of France, who by this time had arrived in England. In his progress Alexander assaulted Bernard castle, the seat of the Baliol family, then held by a garrison for John. Eustace de Vesci, who had given him investiture of Northumberland at Norham castle, was slain there. On arriving at Dover he found Louis besieging the castle, and as the English barons had done, he did homage to that prince for all his lands in England, and particularly for the counties of Northumberland, Cumberland, and Westmoreland, which were then granted to him by charter. (Rymer’s Foedera, tom. ii. p. 217.) This he might very well do, for the French prince Louis had not only been offered and had accepted the crown of England, but actually had a claim to it in right of his wife. On this occasion Louis, on his part, swore that he would not conclude a separate peace, an oath which he was soon compelled to violate. On his return homeward Alexander met with some obstruction in passing the Trent, the bridge at Newark having been broken down by the army of King John, who expired at the castle of Newark, 19th Oct. 1216.

      Some time before this (May 15, 1213) John had been reduced to the unworthy expedient of surrendering his dominions into the hands of the Pope, and of consenting to hold them henceforward only as his vassal, as a means of escaping from the consequences of the papal interdict, and threatened excommunication. When compelled by his barons and clergy (June 19, 1215) to sign the Great Charter, inwardly resolving to violate its provisions, he, as one means of effecting this, laid a statement of the matter, with a complaint of the violence imposed upon him, before his feudal lord, the supreme pontiff, who issued a bull, absolving him from his oath, annulling the charter, and prohibiting the barons from exacting the observance of it, on pain of excommunication. Strange to say, the English primate refused to obey the pope in publishing the sentence, and though suspended on account of this proceeding, and a new and particular sentence of excommunication was issued by name against the principal barons,—including not only the French prince Louis, but Alexander and his whole army, and the entire realm of Scotland,—the nobility and people, and even the clergy, of both kingdoms adhered to the combination against him, and so little zeal in the matter was manifested by the clergy of Scotland, that nearly a twelvemonth elapsed before it was published there. (Chron. Melrose, 192. Fordun, ix. 31.)

      Although Alexander, as already stated, had taken the town of Carlisle, the castle held out, and was besieged by him unsuccessfully. While engaged in this siege, a portion of the army of Prince Louis was entirely defeated in the streets of Lincoln, 19th May 1217, the count de Perche, its commander-in-chief, being killed, and many of the chief commanders taken prisoners. On the news of this defeat, Prince Louis, who was still occupied with the siege of Dover, proceeded to London, where he learned the further defeat of a fleet bringing him reinforcements from France, and the general defection of the barons, as they had by this time become suspicious of his intention. In the general turn which men’s dispositions had taken, the excommunication denounced by the legate failed not now to produce a mighty effect on them, and they were easily persuaded to consider a cause as impious, which had hitherto been unfortunate, and for which they had already entertained an insurmountable aversion. Seeing his cause to be desperate, Louis now began to be anxious for the safety of his person, and entered into a negotiation with the earl of Pembroke, protector of the realm of England,—Henry the Third, the son and successor of King John, being then a minor,—and a peace was concluded, Louis stipulating for a full indemnity to the English of his party—with a restitution of their honours and fortunes, together with the free and equal enjoyment of those liberties which that wise noble had guaranteed in the name of the prince to the rest of the nation—and formally renouncing his pretensions to the crown of England. That Louis might be reconciled to the holy see, he did penance by walking barefooted to the legate’s tent, in presence of both armies. He then departed with all his foreign forces to France.

      On receiving intelligence of these events, Alexander, who was then on his march into England, made overtures of peace to the young king Henry III., and after some time spent in negotiation, a treaty was concluded between them. He then yielded up the town of Carlisle to the English, and in an interview which he had with King Henry at Northampton, he did homage to him,—but for his English possessions only, as Scottish writers allege,—and returned into Scotland. (Chron. Mel. 192, 194, 195. Fordun ix. 31.)

      Alexander now sought to be reconciled to the Pope, and having procured a safe conduct from England, he proceeded to Tweedmouth, on the English side of the Border, and there met the archbishop of York and the bishop of Durham who had been delegated by the Pope’s legate for the purpose, and received absolution from their hands, 1st December 1217, without being called upon to perform the ignominious penance which generally preceded absolution. Some days thereafter the delegates also removed the ban of excommunication from Alexander’s mother, queen Ermengarde. The sentence was also removed from the whole body of the Scottish nation, except the prelates and the clergy, who had become obnoxious by reason of their reluctance to publish the bull.

      In the spring of 1218, William, prior of Durham, and Waiter de Wisbech, archdeacon of York, traversed Scotland, "from Berwick to Aberdeen," for the purpose of absolving the Scottish clergy from the sentence of excommunication. While upon this tour, on arriving at a town they summoned the clergy to attend them, and having required them to swear allegiance to the papal legate, and to make a candid confession of all matters concerning which they were asked, they absolved them, standing barefoot before the doors of their churches and abbeys. The commissioners were very sumptuously entertained, and their favour was courted by large bribes of money, and many presents. (Ridpath’s Border History, p. 127.) On their return south they halted at the abbey of Lindores, where the prior of Durham was nearly suffocated with smoke, a fire having broken out in the chamber where he slept, through the carelessness and rioting of those who had the charge of the wine, "his chamberman," as Balfour pithily says, "being verey drunke." He died at Coldingham priory, which appears to have been partially restored after its burning by King John in 1216. The woodcut at right is of the ruins of this celebrated priory.

      Against these proceedings the king appealed to Rome, while the clergy themselves sent a deputation of three bishops to the Pope. A judgment was obtained in their favour, which declared that the legate had exceeded his powers, and not only was absolution granted by Pope Honorius, but the liberties and privileges of the Scottish church were confirmed (Fordun a Goodal, vol. ii. pp. 40, 42.) For this favour one of the causes mentioned is the respect and obedience which Alexander had manifested to the papal see. This concession on his part in a few years thereafter (in 1225) led to one of still greater importance. The Scottish clergy having represented to the Pope, that from the want of a metropolitan they could not hold a provincial council, he authorized them to hold a general council of their own authority. Of this permission they were not slow to take advantage, and having assembled under its sanction, they drew up a distinct form of proceeding, by which the Scottish provincial councils were in future to be held; instituted the office of Conservator Statutorum, and continued to assemble frequent provincial councils, unfettered by the intervention of any foreign superior.

      By one article of the treaty of peace concluded in 1217 between Alexander and Henry, it was stipulated that the king of Scotland should marry the princess Joan, the eldest sister of the king of England; and their nuptials, after some delays, occasioned by the detention of the princess in France, were celebrated on the 25th of June 1221. The princess Joan, on her marriage, was secured in a jointure of one thousand pounds of land rent. (Faedera, tom. ii. p. 252.) Lord Hailes says, "The jointure lands were Jedworth, Lessudden, Kinghorn, and Crail. Any deficiencies were to be made good out of the castles and castellanys of Ayr, Rutherglen, Lanark, and the rents of Clydesdale, Kinghorn and Crail were, at that time, part of the jointure lands of the queen-dowager."

      The peace with England and the marriage of Alexander to the English king’s sister put a stop to all hostilities between the two nations for several years, and introduced a friendly intercourse between the two royal families, now so nearly related, which for a long time continued uninterrupted. The king and queen of Scotland made frequent visits to the court of England; where they were nobly entertained, and received many valuable proofs of friendship from King Henry. The alliance with England was still farther strengthened by the marriage of Alexander’s two sisters, the princesses Margaret and Isabella, who had been sent to England in the preceding reign, to English barons of great power and influence, namely, Margaret, soon after her brother’s marriage in 1221, to the celebrated Hubert de Burgh, justiciary of England, and Isabella, in 1225, to Roger Bigot, eldest son of Hugh, Earl Bigot. (Fordun, ix. 32, 33. Faedera, i. 227, 228, 374. Matth. Paris, 216.) For providing portions for his sisters, Alexander, in 1224, levied an aid of ten thousand pounds upon the nation. This grant is stated by some of our Scottish writers, in the loose manner in which they are accustomed to write of events which took place at that remote period, to have been authorized by Alexander’s parliament; while, on the contrary, it was imposed by the simple order of the king himself, without the slightest appearance of a meeting of the three estates, or even of the council of the king. Such a thing as a parliament was then unknown in Scotland. The first meeting, indeed, of what may be termed one did not take place till 1289, fully sixty-five years later, when, after the death of Alexander III., the estates of the kingdom, that is, the five guardians or regents, ten bishops, twelve earls, twenty-three abbots, eleven priors, and forty-eight barons, calling themselves the community of Scotland, although no representatives of the burghs or of the people were among them, met at Brigham, now Birgham, an obscure village in Berwickshire, to take into consideration the proposal for a marriage between the prince of Wales, the son of Edward the First of England, and the young queen Margaret of Scotland, called "the Maiden of Norway." When Fordun (vol. ii. p. 34) asserts that Alexander the Second, immediately after his coronation, held his parliament in Edinburgh, in which he confirmed to the chancellor, constable, and chamberlain the same high offices which they had filled at his father’s death, the word parliament so used may be held only to mean an assembly of the court, or the council of his nobles and great officers of the crown, and not a parliament, or even convention of estates, in the modern meaning of the word. (See Tytler’s History of Scotland, vol. ii. sect. 3.)

      Anciently the barons of the realm, with the crown vassals and higher clergy, constituted the communitas regni, which formed the parliament, as Mr. Skene terms it, of all Teutonic nations. To this body, composed of Celtic, Norman, and Saxon dignitaries and landholders, belonged the duty of counselling the monarch, and expressing the wants and wishes of the nation, without the great mass of the people having either a voice or a will in the matter, the principle of elective representation being altogether unknown to them. But there was another and even a higher body in the state, independent of the communitas, whose peculiar privileges were only exercised on great and rare occasions, namely, when there was a vacancy in the throne. This was the Septem Comites .Regni Scoticae, "the seven earls of Scotland." Until very recently, the existence of such a corporate body in the state seems to have been entirely unknown. To Sir Francis Palgrave belongs the merit of having made the discovery of a fact of so much importance to the right understanding of the history of Scotland. It is proved, he says in his ‘Treasury Documents illustrative of Scottish History,’ published in 1837, that "there existed in the ancient kingdom of Scotland, a known and established constitutional body denominated ‘the seven earls of Scotland,’ possessing privileges of singular importance as a distinct estate in the realm, severed equally from the other earls, and from the body of the baronage." These seven earls as a body derived their functions from the old Celtic constitution of the country, ancient Albania, or Scotland, north of the friths of Forth and Clyde, being divided into seven great provinces or governments. The Pictish names of these provinces were Flv, Cait, Fotla, Fortrein, Circui, Ce, and Fidach, corresponding with, according to Geraldus Cambrensis, Fife, Caithness, Atholl and Garmorin, Stratherne and Menteth, Angus and Mearns, Moray and Ross, and Marr and Buchan. Three of these were provinces of the Southern Picts, namely, Fife, Stratherne and Menteth, and Angus and Mearns; the other four belonged to the northern Picts. These seven provinces formed the kingdom of the Picts or Scotland proper, previous to the ninth century. The Scottish conquest, in 843, having added to it Dalriada, which afterwards became Argyle, and Caithness having towards the end of the same century fallen into the hands of the Norwegians, the former was after that period substituted for the latter, and the earl of Argyle instead of the earl of Caithness was numbered among "the seven earls." The Pictish nation consisted of a confederacy of fourteen tribes spread over the seven provinces named, in each of which one of the seven superior chiefs ruled under the Celtic name of maormor. In the reign of Edgar they assumed the Saxon title of earl, and their territories were exactly the same with the earldoms into which the north of Scotland was afterwards divided.

      In the appendix to the first volume of Mr. Skene’s valuable ‘History of the Highlanders,’ will be found a clear account of the ‘seven ancient provinces of Scotland,’ over which the seven earls presided. It was the privilege of these seven superior chiefs, by immemorial custom, as a peculiar estate in the realm, to appoint a king, whenever there was a vacancy, and to invest him with the royal authority, a right which they appear to have exercised after the Pictish kingdom had ceased to exist. Among the other documents preserved in the Treasury, illustrative of Scottish history, which the researches of Sir Francis Palgrave have brought to light, is a roll containing the appeal of the seven earls in 1290 to the authority and protection of Edward I. and the English crown, against William Fraser, Bishop of St. Andrews, and John Comyn, Lord of Badenoch, the Scottish regents, during the interregnum that succeeded the death of the Maid of Norway, on the ground that the regents were infringing or intending to infringe this their constitutional franchise; which appeal, it is now understood, led to the famous summons of the English monarch that the Scottish nobility and clergy should meet him at Norham in the English territories, on the 10th of May 1291, to decide upon the claims of the various competitors to the Scottish crown. Having given this explanation, which will form a key to much of what would be otherwise unintelligible or obscure in the early history of Scotland, we resume the regular narrative.

      The external tranquillity which Scotland enjoyed after the peace with England and the marriage of Alexander to the sister of the English king, allowed Alexander leisure to suppress some dangerous insurrections that had broken out at home. In 1221, Somerled, a grandson of the celebrated lord of the Isles of that name, possessed the whole district of Argyle, which was then much more extensive than the modern Argyleshire, and having that year risen in rebellion, the king collected an army in Lothian and Galloway, and sailed for Argyle, intending to disembark his force, and penetrate into the interior of the country, but his ships were driven back by a tempest, and forced to take refuge in the Clyde. Alexander, however, was not discouraged, but resolved to proceed into Argyle by land. With a large army, which he had summoned from every quarter of his dominions, he made himself master of the whole of the insurgent district, and compelled Somerled to flee to the Isles, where, about eight years afterwards, he met a violent death. Winton says,

"De king that yhere Argyle wan
Dat rebell wes till hym befor than
For wythe hys Ost thare in wes he
And Athe’ tuk of thare Fewte,
Wythe thare serwys and their Homage
Dat of hym wald hald thare Herytage,
But of the Ethchetys of the lave
To the Lordies of that land he gave."

      The estates of those who fled were bestowed on the principal men of the king’s army as a reward for their having joined the expedition; but wherever the former vassals of Somerled submitted and were received into favour, they became crown vassals, and held their lands in chief of the crown. The district in which the forfeited estates were, was farther brought under the direct jurisdiction of the government, by being, according to the invariable policy of Alexander II., erected into a sheriffdom by the name of Argyle, the first sheriffdom bearing that name, while the ancestor of the Campbells was made hereditary sheriff of the new sheriffdom. (Skene’s History of the Highlanders, vol. ii. p. 46.) The whole of the then northern Argyle, now part of Inverness-shire, was bestowed on the earl of Ross, as a reward for the assistance which he had rendered to the king on this and a former occasion.

      Besides suppressing this insurrection in Argyle, Alexander was about the same time called upon to punish some disturbances of an alarming kind which had broken out in Caithness. In 1222, Adam bishop of Caithness was cruelly burnt to death in his own palace. He had proved himself extremely rigorous in enforcing the demand for tithes, leading the poor people’s corn, as Balfour says, "too avariciously," and when the people of his diocese had assembled to consider what was to be done under the circumstances, one of them exclaimed, "short rede, good rede, slay we the bishop," meaning, "Few words are best, let us kill the bishop." The persons assembled unfortunately were too excited to pause or reflect—they followed the cruel advice, thus rashly given, but too literally. Rushing with eagerness to the bishop’s house, they furiously assaulted it, set it on fire, and burnt the unhappy prelate in the flames of his own palace, with a monk who attended him, named Serlo. Some of the bishop’s servants applied to the earl of Orkney and Caithness to protect their master from the fury of the mob; he answered that if the bishop came to him he would be sure of protection, but did not offer to go to his assistance. Alexander received intelligence of this cruel action when he was upon a journey towards England. He immediately turned back, marched into Caithness with an army, and put to death four hundred of those who had been concerned in the murder of the bishop. The earl of Orkney who might have prevented the catastrophe but did not, was believed to have favoured the conspiracy, but him the king pardoned, as he had no actual hand in the crime. He had to pay, however, a large sum of motley, and give up the third part of his estate. Balfour says that in the following year, while Alexander was keeping his birth-day at Forfar, the earl of Orkney with a good sum of ready money redeemed the third part of his estate from the king, but on his return home he was murdered in his own castle, which was afterwards burnt, in imitation and revenge of the, bishop’s fate. This event, however, according to the chronicle of Melrose (p. 201) quoted by Lord Hailes, did not take place till 1231.

      In the life of Alexander I. allusion has been made to the peculiar law of succession which prevailed amongst the Pictish, or Gaelic tribes. (See p. 54, ante.) This law of Tanistry, as it was called, provided that on the death of a chief, the brother, or "he of the blood who was nearest," succeeded to the chiefship, to the exclusion of females and even sons, the brother being considered one degree nearer the original founder or patriarch of the race than the son, and if the person who ought to succeed was under fourteen years of age,—the ancient Highland period of majority,—his nearest male relation became chief, and continued so during his life, the proper heir inheriting the chiefship only at his death. (Skene’s History of the Highlanders, vol. i. pp. 160, 161.) The establishment of such a law originated primarily, there cannot be a doubt, in the natural anxiety to avoid minorities in a tribe or cIan, so that it might always have a competent leader in war, a principle which, however much opposed to the feudal notions of later times, flowed naturally from the patriarchal constitution of society in the Highlands, being peculiarly adapted to the circumstances of a people whose warlike habits and love of military enterprise, as well as addiction to armed predatory expeditions, demanded at all times a chief of full age and every way qualified to act as their leader and commander.

As, however, the Highlanders adhered strictly to succession in the male line and according to the lineal descent from the common ancestor, or founder of the tribe, any infraction of this rule was often productive of the most serious outbreaks and insurrections. This was remarkably the case in the old rnaormordom or province of Moray, which, at the period when Alexander the Second ascended the throne, included not only what now forms the counties of Elgin and Nairn, but a considerable part of Banffshire and nearly the half of Inverness-shire. This was always one of the most re bellious portions of the kingdom; and although the tribes of Moray, in common with the rest of the Highlanders, recognised in Alexander I. and his successor David I. the legitimate heirs of Malcolm Canmore, they were never without a pretext for disturbing the country. After the suppression of their attempt at insurrection early in the reign of the former, when Angus referred to (p. 54) as of the family of Macbeth,—whom Skene with reason supposes to be the same with Head or Heth, whose name with Comes attached to it appears as witness in numerous charters of David I. Head or Heth being the surname of the family,—was in in possession of the earldom, they remained quiet till 1130, Alexander’s successor David I. being then on the throne. In that year, an Angus earl of Moray,—either the individual referred to above, who escaped confiscation by causing his accomplice Ladman, younger son of Donald Bane, to be put to death, or a descendant of the same name,—taking advantage of David’s absence at the English court, broke out into rebellion, and after having obtained possession of the northern districts of Scotland, advanced at the head of a numerous army, into Forfarshire; but Edward, son of Siward, earl of Northumberland, led an army into Scotland, with which he defeated and slew the earl at Strickathrow. Twelve years thereafter one Wimund, an English monk, who had risen to be bishop of Man, claiming to be the son of Angus, asserted his right to the earldom, and assumed the name of Malcolm Macheth. He was assisted by Somerled, thane of Argyle, whose daughter he married, and many of the northern chiefs. After having for several years sustained a struggle with David, he was at length betrayed by his own adherents, who put out his eyes and delivered him up to the Scottish king. He was sent a prisoner to the castle of Roxburgh, but after a tedious captivity, was pardoned, when he retired to the abbey of Biland in Yorkshire, where lie died. (See Life of David I. post.)

      On the death of David I. in 1153, the Tanistic law of succession would have conferred the right to the throne on Malcolm son of Duncan, the eldest son of Malcolm Canmore, but being then in possession of the earldom of Athol (p. 54), he does not appear to have brought it forward, preferring probably the certainty of possession under the feudal law to the risk of a hopeless conflict. On his death however, some years afterwards, it would appear that the law of Tanistry again came into conflict with the established system, not only as respects the succession to the crown but in reference also to the family possessions of the earldom of Athol, and we find the celebrated Boy of Egremont, in the person of William, son of William Fitz-Duncan, a younger son of Duncan, appearing as a claimant of both, in opposition to Malcolm IV., the reigning monarch, and to his cousin Henry, son of Malcolm his father’s brother, then earl of Athol. The people of the Highlands, ever prepared to avail themselves of an occasion to thrust out the race that governed them according to the Saxon laws, were the more encouraged to support the claim of this individual in the absence of Malcolm IV., then rendering military service to Henry II. in France, by the general dissatisfaction professed to be entertained on account of that servitude. Six of the seven great earls of Scotland, who governed the districts into which the ancient Pictish provinces of Scotland were divided—and in whose hands the nomination of the crown was vested (see p. 67)—sent a message to Malcolm, then at Toulouse, expressing their disapprobation of his proceedings, and indicating a withdrawal of their allegiance. On his return from France, he met the chiefs at Perth; and whilst by the intervention of his clergy he endeavoured to pacify them and regain their confidence, he was in 1160 attacked by a portion of the confederacy, but they were repulsed, and many of their followers slain. (See life of Malcolm IV. post.) Donald Bane, another son of William Fitz-Duncan, and grandson of Duncan, afterwards took up the claim, and supported by the northern chiefs, he for seven years held out the provinces of Moray and Ross against William the Lion, but in 1187, while his army lay at Inverness, a marauding party commanded by Roland of Galloway accidentally encountering him, when attended by few of his followers, attacked and slew him. In 1211 his son Guthred landed from Ireland and wasted the province of Ross. Notwithstanding that the king (William the Lion) went against him in person at the head of an army, he kept possession of the north of Scotland for some time, but was at last betrayed into the hands of William Comyn, by whom he was beheaded.

      On the accession of Alexander II. to the throne, Donald Bane, or MacWilliam, the brother of Guthred, and the son of that Donald who was slain in 1187, prepared to assert his own pretensions to the crown, and in conjunction with Kenneth Macbeth, who after an unsuccessful attempt to obtain the earldom of Moray in the reign of Malcolm IV. had taken refuge in Ireland, invaded Scotland at the head of a numerous body of Irish followers. They made an inroad into Moray, but were met by Ferchard, earl of Ross, an ally of the government, who defeated and slew them. Balfour in his annals says: "In the zeire 1215, Donald Bane, the sone of Mack-William, and Keneth Mack-Acht, with the son of a pittey king of Irland, and a good armey, invadit the heighe lands. Against quhom Machentagar leweys ane armey, and with them feights a werey bloodiey and creuell batell, quhom he totally ouerthrowes, the 17 day of Julay, and solemly presents the rebells heads to the king; for wich so gude seruice the king solemley knights Machentagar, and gives him a zeirly pensione during his lyffe." (Vol. i. p. 38.) Lord Hailes transcribed the same names, with a slight difference in the spelling, from the Chronicle of Melrose. "The author," he says, "being a Saxon, has corrupted the Gaelic names; Kenaukmacaht and M’Kentagar are unintelligible words." From the above retrospect, which was necessary to render the narrative clear, the reader will not be at a loss to understand that by Donald Bane is meant Donald M’William the grandson of William, and great-grandson of Duncan king of Scotland, and by Machentagar, Ferchard Macantagart, earl of Ross, who conquered and slew him and Kenneth Mack-Act, or Macheth, as already narrated.

      The rebellion of Somerled in 1221, of which an account has been given in pages 66, 67, is the last of those persevering efforts made to replace the family of Duncan on the throne of his father Malcolm. By an intermarriage of their families at an earlier period Somerled had become closely related to the race of Duncan. The language of the old chronicler Winton, already quoted,

"Dat rebell wes till hym befor than,"

would imply that he with the forces of Argyle had aided in the previous one of 1215. The death, therefore, of the last of the heirs of the direct line seems to have opened the way to a claim to the throne in his own right. In reading of these continuous struggles, and of the aid so frequently rendered by the Irish and Scottish branches of the Celtic family to the assertion of the old Pictish law, we see another proof of the tenacity with which under all discouragements they held to it. In the frequent interference also of the Irish in these internal struggles,—made too, it is worthy of being noted, generally on occasions when the occupant of the throne was embarrassed by other questions,—we seem to read over again the series of contests—brought to light by Skene and others— whereby the Irish Dalriadic tribe, not having then the Norman arms to encounter, at an earlier period of the national history more successfully submerged the existing government, and gave the name of Scotland, and race of monarchs—the true heirs according to their theory—to that country.

      Although the family of Angus had become extinct by the death of Kenneth, yet by the Celtic law of succession, the claims of the family were transmitted to the next branch of the clan, and in 1228 the tranquillity of the same district was again disturbed by one Gillespic, claiming to be the chief of the province. This warrior, after burning some wooden castles, surprising and slaying a baron who had been sent against him, called Thomas of Thirlstane, to whom Malcolm IV. had given the district of Abertarff, set fire to the town of Inverness, and spoiled and wasted the crown lands in that neighbourhood. The king went against him in person, but for a while he eluded his pursuit. He was at last encountered and slain, by William Comyn earl of Buchan, the justiciary of the kingdom. As a reward for suppressing this insurrection Comyn got a grant from the king of the districts of Badenoch and Lochaber. In accordance with his usual policy, Alexander erected that portion of the extensive earldom of Moray, which was not then under the rule of the Bissets, the Comyns, and other Norman barons, into the separate sheriffdoms of Elgin and Nairn. "The authority of government," says Skene, "was thus so effectually established that the Moravians did not again attempt any resistance; and thus ended with the death of Gillespie, the last of that series of persevering efforts which the earls of Moray had made for upwards of one hundred years to preserve their native inheritance." (Highlanders of Scotland, vol. ii. p. 170.)

      In 1233 the most serious insurrection which Alexander had yet to contend with occurred in Galloway, arising out of a similar principle to that which produced the disturbances in Moray; the adherence, namely, of the inhabitants to the ancient law of tanistry, as evidenced in their unwillingness to submit to female succession. The people of that extensive district, which forms the south-western angle of Scotland, were chiefly of a Celtic race. Besides offshoots from the Scots of Kintyre, large bodies of colonists from Ireland formed, at various times, settlements there, during the ninth, tenth, and eleventh centuries, and from the frequent incursions of these and other settlers, the district obtained its name; either, as is most likely, from the word Gall, which originally signified stranger or wanderer, and in this sense was applied to the pirates who, in those days, infested the western coasts of Scotland,—hence the term used by the Irish annalists, in reference to them, namely the Gallgael, meaning Gaelic pirates or rovers,—or, as is generally supposed, from the Gaelic origin of the inhabitants. Although the name is now confined to the shire of Wig-ton and the stewartry of Kirkcudbright, it anciently had a more extensive application, as it comprehended the entire peninsula between the Solway and the Clyde, including Annandale in the south-east, and most of Ayrshire in the northwest, and was governed by its native chieftains, styled the lords of Galloway, who acknowledged a feudatory dependence on the Scottish crown. In the twelfth century, Fergus, one of the most potent of these, who was the son-in-law of Henry I. of England, endeavoured to throw off his allegiance to Malcolm IV., and raised a formidable insurrection in Galloway. Enraged at his daring, Malcolm marched into his territory, and though twice repulsed, he succeeded in a third effort, in the year 1160, in overcoming him. Fergus, after suing for peace, resigned his lordship and possessions to his two sons, Gilbert and Uchtred, and retired to the abbey of Holyrood, where he died in the following year. His two sons attended, as feudatories, William the Lion, in 1174, on his unfortunate expedition into England; but they no sooner saw him taken captive than, at the head of their savage followers, they returned to their native wilds, attacked and demolished the royal castles, and murdered many subjects of William who were settled in Galloway. To protect them against the vengeance of their own sovereign, they besought Henry, the English king, to receive their homage. In the meantime, before receiving an answer to their request, Uchtred was cruelly murdered by his brother Gilbert for his share of the inheritance. Gilbert renewed the negotiation with Henry in his own name, and offered to pay him a yearly tribute of two thousand marks of silver, five hundred cows, and five hundred swine. To mark his detestation of the treacherous murder of Uchtred, Henry refused both the homage and the tribute. On regaining his liberty, King William invaded Galloway with an army, but instead of punishing Gilbert as he deserved, he accepted from him a pecuniary satisfaction. In the following year (1176) Gilbert accompanied William to York, where he was received into the favour of Henry, and did homage to him; the crown vassals as well as the kingdom of Scotland being then, in terms of the treaty which restored William to freedom, placed under feudal subordination to England. (See life of William the Lion, post.) From this Gilbert, who died in 1185, sprang, afterwards, in the third generation, Marjory countess of Carrick in her own right, the mother of Robert the Bruce. Meantime Roland, the son of the murdered Uchtred, seized the favourable moment of the death of his uncle Gilbert, to attack and disperse his faction, and to claim possession of all Galloway as his own inheritance, in which he was favoured by his own sovereign, William. Henry II., however, the English king, opposed his claims, and assembling a large army at Carlisle, prepared to invade Galloway. Roland resolved upon a desperate resistance, but the dispute was ultimately adjusted by Roland, after swearing fealty to Henry, being confirmed in the lordship of Galloway, on condition of surrendering the territory of Carrick to his cousin Duncan, the son of Gilbert. He is the Roland of Galloway who, in 1187, encountered and killed the pretender, Donald Bane, at Inverness, p. 69. On the restoration of the national independence, Roland obtained the office of constable of Scotland. He died in December 1200.

      Alan, the eldest son of Roland, and the last male-heir of the line of the ancient ‘lords of Galloway,’ died in 1233. He succeeded as constable of Scotland, and was a personage of considerable importance in Scottish history. He had been twice married. By his first wife he had a daughter Helen, or Elena, married to Roger de Quincy, earl of Winchester. By his second wife, Margaret, the eldest of the three daughters, and eventual heiresses of David, earl of Huntingdon, the brother of William the Lion, he had two daughters; his eldest daughter by his second marriage, Devorgull becoming the wife of John de Balliol, lord of Bernard castle, transmitted to their son John Balliol, the competitor, afterwards king, the lineal right of sucèession to the throne. Devorguil’s younger sister Christian, was the wife of William des Forts, son of the earl of Albemarle. Unwilling to have their country partitioned among the husbands of Alan’s three daughters, the people of Galloway offered the lordship to Alexander, whose sense of justice prevented him from depriving the legitimate heirs of their right. They then requested that an illegitimate son of Alan, named Thomas, should be appointed their lord. To this application Alexander also refused to accede, on which the Galwegians broke out into open rebellion, having at their head the bastard Thomas, aided by an Irish chieftain named Gilrodh, who joined him with a large force from Ireland. To suppress this formidable outbreak, Alexander led an expedition against the rebellious Galwegians, who did not wait to be attacked by him, but rushed forth from their mountains and fastnesses with Celtic fury and proceeded to ravage the adjacent country. They even contrived to surround Alexander, when he had got entangled among morasses, and he was in imminent danger till Ferchard, earl of Ross, came to his assistance, and assaulting the rebels in the rear, routed them with great slaughter. Galloway was restored to Alan’s heiresses, and the inhabitants compelled to receive as their superior Roger de Quincey the husband of Elena. Thomas and his Irish ally escaped to Ireland, but in the following year they returned with a fresh force, and attempted to renew the rebellion. Gilrodh, on landing, burnt his vessels, as if resolved to conquer or die. The insurgents were, however, again defeated, and Gilrodh surrendered himself to the earl of March without resistance. He was sent bound to Edinburgh castle, but both he and Thomas were pardoned. Their Irish followers, crowding towards the Clyde, in the hope of being able to find a passage to their own country, fell into the hands of a band of the citizens of Glasgow, who are said to have beheaded them all except two, whom Balfour calls two of their chief commanders, and these they sent to Edinburgh, to be hanged and quartered there. The king’s enforcing the rights of Alan’s daughters, and at the head of an army breaking down the spirit of insurrection, was the introduction to the epoch of granting charters for the holding of lands, and of landholders giving leases to tenants, as well as of the security of property and the cultivation of the arts of husbandry in Galloway.

      Notwithstanding the terms of amity in which Henry and Alexander lived, there were still several subjects of dispute between them, which now and then occasioned some disquiet, and afforded matter for discussion and negotiation; although their own pacific dispositions prevented an open rupture. Henry showed at times an inclination to extend the incidents of the homage of the king of Scotland to an unreasonable limit; and in 1234 he went so far as to solicit the Pope to exhort Alexander to acknowledge the superiority of England over Scotland, an exhortation which Alexander, when he received it, paid no attention to. Alexander, on his part, always insisted either on restitution being made to him of the three northern counties of England, or on the repayment of the fifteen thousand merks paid by his father to King John. The vacillating character of Henry III. exposed the peace between the two countries to the risk of constant interruption, but sometimes he would conciliate his brother-in-law’s favour by gifts, concessions, and the warmest professions of friendship. An instance of this occurred in 1230, when Henry invited Alexander to York, where he celebrated Christmas, and entertained him with great state, and after loading him with presents, sent him home. In 1236, after an interview between the two monarchs at Newcastle, where they royally feasted each other, Henry bestowed the manor of Driffield on his sister, the queen of Scots, for life, and at a subsequent period he conferred on the same princess the manor of Staunton. (Chron. Melr. 203. Foedera, i. 370, 379.) At length in September 1237, the matters in dispute between Henry and Alexander were heard at York, before Otho, or Eudes le Blanc l’Aleran, a cardinal deacon and the papal legate to England. The conference lasted for fifteen clays, and twenty-four councillors of the two kings were present. The negociations terminated by a compromise. Henry, in full of all claims, consented to grant to Alexander lands in Northumberland and Cumberland, of the yearly value of two hundred pounds. Alexander agreed to accept of these as an equivalent, and did homage to Henry in general terms. Malcolm Macduff, earl of Fife, Walter Comyn, earl of Menteith, and others of the principal Scottish barons, bound themselves by oath to maintain this agreement on their monarch's part. (Foedera, i. p. 374, 400. Fordun, i. 370. Hailes' Annals of Scotland, vol. i. p. 153.)

      On this occasion the papal legate took an opportunity of intimating to Alexander his intention of soon visiting Scotland, in order, as he pretended, to inquire into the ecclesiastical affairs of his kingdom. Alexander, however, was fully aware of the true motive of this visit, namely, the exac tion of money, and he had no desire to gratify the legate in the matter. The avarice of the court of Rome had, about this period, risen to such an exorbitant height as to be the subject of general complaint in all the nations of Christendom. The enormous amount of power which the Pope and his ministers universally possessed was used for purposes of extortion in every kingdom subject to their control. The venality of the popedom was so great that it guided all its dealings with princes and people everywhere abroad, and pervaded its tribunals at home. Simony was openly practised; neither favours, nor even justice could be obtained without a bribe, and he who paid the highest price was sure to obtain his suit. In 1226 Pope Honorius, under pretence that the poverty of the see of Rome was the source of all the grievances that existed, that they might be remedied, demanded from every cathedral in the Christian world two of the best prebends, and from every convent two monks’ portions, to be set apart as a perpetual and fixed revenue of the papal see. This demand was felt to be so unreasonable that it was unanimously rejected, but about three years later he claimed and obtained the tenth of all ecclesiastical revenues, which he levied in the most oppressive manner rapacious and insolent collectors of the tithes being sent into the different parishes, in many cases before the clergy had even drawn their own rents. Of all this Alexander was not ignorant, and he had not forgotten the conduct of the two deputies of the papal legate when, in 1218, they visited Scotland and grievously harassed the Scottish clergy. For a long period previous to his reign, Scotland had submitted, although reluctantly and impatiently, to the repeated visits of a papal legate who, under the pretext of watching over the interests, and reforming the abuses of the church, assembled councils, and levied large sums of money in the country, but now that the Scottish church had obtained from the Pope the right, however ambiguously and loosely worded the bull granting it might be, to hold provincial councils of herself, the presence of a papal legate in Scotland for any such purpose as that pretended by Otho was altogether unnecessary. Alexander, therefore, peremptorily declared that he would not allow any such visit. "I have never," he said, "seen a legate in my dominions, and as long as I live, I will not permit such an innovation. We require no such visitation now, nor have we ever required it in times past." He added a. hint that should Otho venture to disregard his prohibition and enter Scotland, he could not answer for his life, owing to the ferocious habits of his subjects. The legate prudently abandoned all idea of the expedition then, but, as shall presently be seen, he carried his intention into effect a few years thereafter. (Matth. Paris, p. 377.)

      Alexander’s queen, Joan, had for some time been in declining health, and according to the superstition of the times, she sought relief at the shrine of Thomas a Becket at Canterbury, but in vain. She died on the 4th of March, 1238, in the presence of her two brothers, King Henry and Richard duke of Cornwall. She had no children.

      About this time it would appear that despairing of heirs of his own body, Alexander publicly acknowledged, in presence and with consent of his barons, Robert Bruce, known in Scottish history as Bruce the Competitor, the grandfather of the hero of Bannockburn, as the nearest heir in blood to the crown. The birth of a son by Alex ander’s second wife, in 1241, put an end to his expectations of the throne at the time; and on the competition for the crown which took place after the death of the Maid of Norway, more than fifty years afterwards, he urged this as one of his strongest pleas. (See life of Robert the Bruce, post.)

In the year 1239 Alexander had married at Roxburgh, Lady Mary de Couci, daughter of Ingelram or Enguerrand de Couci, a lord of Picardy, Count de Dreux, in France. His family affected a rank and state scarcely inferior to that of a sovereign. The motto of the new queen’s father is said to have been

Je ne suis Roy, ni Prince aussi.
Je suis le Seigneur de Couci.

      The provision of Mary de Couci, on her marriage, was a third of the royal revenues, amounting to upwards of 4,000 merks. (Matth. Paris, p. 555.) Soon after this marriage, Alexander, being in England, met the papal legate Otho on his way to Scotland, and strenuously remonstrated with him on his intended visit. Through his earnest entreaty, however, but with extreme reluctance, and only at the joint request of the nobility of both kingdoms, the king at length consented to admit him within his dominions, and even permitted him to hold a provincial council at Edinburgh, but he insisted upon and obtained a written declaration from the legate, given under his seal, that this permission to enter the kingdom should not be drawn into a precedent. Not choosing, however, to countenance by his presence what he affirmed to be an unnecessary innovation, Alexander retired into the interior of his kingdom, nor would he suffer the legate to extend his pecuniary exactions beyond the Forth. (Matth. Paris, p. 422.) Under such circumstances the papal emissary tarried no longer than to collect those spoils which both clergy and laity, eager to get rid of him, poured into his rapacious hands. Secretly, and without leave asked, he then departed from Scotland. He had previously in this same year (1240), plundered the prelates and convents of England of large sums of money, partly by intrigues, and partly by menaces, and on his departure is said to have carried more money out of the kingdom than he left in it.IN 1241, the queen gave birth to a son at Roxburgh, whom the king called Alexander after himself. He succeeded him on the throne under the name of Alexander III.

      Although the ties of relationship which had bound together Henry and Alexander, were now severed, yet so good a mutual understanding still subsisted between the two kings, that in 1242, when Henry prepared to visit his dominions on the continent, after he had declared war against Louis IX. of France, he committed to Alexander the care of the northern frontiers of his kingdom. He probably distrusted his own barons, who, discontented with his patronage of foreigners, were then preparing that confederacy against him which under Simon de Montfort, a few years later, virtually wrested all his regal authority from him. The king of Scotland, in the absence of the English sovereign, was the most likely person to have seized the opportunity of disturbing the borders; but the trust thus so honourably confided to him was as faithfully and honourably discharged. Alexander II. was not a prince to violate his faith, and he amply proved himself worthy of the confidence which the English monarch had reposed in him. (Chr. Melr. 203, 204. Matth. Paris, 395.)

      In that age the great pastime of the nobles and knights was the tournament. At one of these feats of arms held in 1242, at Haddington, an incident occurred which led to important consequences. Between the noble house of Athole and the Bissets, an English family who held large possessions in the north of Scotland, a feud had long existed. At the tournament referred to, Walter de Bisset was foiled and overthrown by Patrick, earl of Athole, a young nobleman of great promise. It has been already stated (life of Alexander I. p. 54, ante), that the earldom of Athole was, towards the end of the reign of David I. obtained by Malcolm, the son of Duncan, the eldest son of Malcolm Canmore. Malcolm was succeeded as earl by his son of the same name. He left a son, Henry, who also enjoyed the earldom. The latter died in the beginning of the thirteenth century. By a son who predeceased him he had two granddaughters, Isabel arid Fernelith. Isabel, the elder, married Thomas of Galloway, a younger son of Roland, and brother of Alan, lord of Galloway. Fernelith, the younger, married David de Hastings, an Anglo-Norman knight. This Patrick, earl of Athole, was the only child of the former, and the representative by the female line of the eldest branch of the family of Duncan. In a short time after, the earl of Athole was murdered at Haddington, and the house in which he lodged set on fire by the assassins. Suspicion at once pointed to the defeated Bisset as the instigator, if not the actual perpetrator of the crime. The nobility, headed by the earl of March, immediately raised an armed force, and, excited to vengeance by David de Hastings, who had married Fernelith, the aunt and heiress of Patrick, and now earl of Athole, they demanded the life of both Walter and his uncle William Bisset, the chief of the family. The latter offered to maintain his innocence by single combat; and urged that, at the time of the murder, he was at Forfar, seventy miles distant. By the exertions of the king he was saved from death, but he was banished and his estates were forfeited. All his kindred were involved in his ruin. As his enemies secretly sought his life, the king took him under his protection and concealed him from their fury for three months. Escaping after that period first to Ireland and afterwards to England, Bisset found his way to the court of King Henry, to whom, as an English subject, he seems to have appealed against the judgment that had stripped him of all his possessions and exiled him from Scotland, on the plea "that Alexander, being the vassal of Henry, had no right to inflict such punishments on his nobles without the permission of his liege lord. " So deep was his desire of vengeance for the injuries which he had sustained, that, forgetful of all feelings of gratitude to Alexander, to whose generous interposition on his behalf, he owed his life, he endeavoured, by the most insidious representations, to incite Henry to take up arms against him. He declared that the king of Scots was in league with France, and that he gave shelter and protection to traitors from England who had taken refuge in his dominions.

      Henry, believing on good grounds that a strong anti-English feeling had begun to prevail in Scotland, and suspicious of the friendly correspondence which Alexander had, since his marriage to Mary de Couci, cultivated with France, gave but too ready an ear to these artful statements and insinuations. The personal intimacy of the two kings had now for some time ceased, and as national jealousies began to revive, the weak-minded English monarch was the more easily influenced against his former friend and brother-in-law. He complained to Alexander that he had violated the duty which he was bound to yield to him as his lord paramount, and Alexander is said to have replied that he owed no homage to England for any part of his dominions, and would perform none. Henry on this being reported to him, determined on an immediate invasion of Scotland. As one of his pretexts for preparing for hostilities, he alleged that "Walter Comyn, earl of Menteth, had given umbrage to England, by erecting two castles, the one in Galloway, the other in Lothian." (Hailes, vol. i. p. 159.) The Comyns were remarkable at this period for their championship of Scottish independence, and as the Walter Comyn mentioned was one of the principal noblemen in Scotland, Henry naturally enough looked upon him as representing the feeling against England prevalent amongst the Scottish nobility at the time. There was another pretext, "that Alexander had leagued himself with France, and had afforded an asylum to Geoffrey de Marais, and other English offenders." In 1242, as has been already stated, Henry declared war against Louis IX. of France, and made an expedition into Guienne, his stepfather, the count de la Marche, having promised to join him with all his forces. He was unsuccessful, however, in all his attempts against the French king. He was worsted at Taillebourg, was deserted by his allies, lost what remained to him of Poitou, and was obliged to return with loss of honour to England. This disgrace rankled in his breast, and Bisset’s charge that Alexander was in league with France, touching him on the point where he was most sensitive, incensed him against Alexander. He secretly applied to the earl of Flanders for succours, and instigated no fewer than twenty-two Irish chiefs to make a descent on the Scottish coast. Having arranged all his plans, he proclaimed war against Alexander in 1244, and assembled a numerous and well-appointed army at Newcastle, prepared to cross the borders into Scotland. Some troops which had been sent to the assistance of Alexander by his brother-in-law, John de Couci, were intercepted by Henry.

       The English monarch at this period was not on good terms with his nobles, most of whom were personally intimate with Alexander, and remembered their old association in arms with him against the tyrant, King John. From some one or other of them he doubtless obtained information of Henry’s intentions, in time to send notice to his brother-in-law in Picardy for what aid he could furnish him with. He then determined upon a vigorous resistance, and was warmly seconded by his nobility. Measures were taken to strengthen the frontier fortresses of the kingdom; and at the head of a gallant army Alexander marched southward, resolved to be beforehand with Henry, and encounter his foes on English ground. From the description which the contemporary English historian, Matthew Paris, has given of the force under Alexander on this occasion it appears to have been a formidable one. "His army," he says, "was numerous and brave; he had a thousand horsemen tolerably mounted, though not indeed on Spanish or Italian horses, His infantry approached to a hundred thousand, all unanimous, all animated by the exhortations of their clergy, and by confession, courageously to fight and resolutely to die in the just defence of their native land." The horsemen were clothed in armour of iron network. Henry had a larger body of cavalry than the Scottish king, and his army included a force of five thousand men at arms, splendidly accoutred. (Matth. Paris, p. 645. Chr. Melr. p. 156.) The rival armies came in sight of each other at a place called Ponteland in Northumberland. No battle ensued, however. The English nobles held in high respect the character of the Scottish king, who, according to Matthew Paris, was justly beloved by all the English nation, no less than by his own subjects, and they did not fully approve of the rash enterprise of their own sovereign. While the Scottish army, undismayed by the superior array of their opponents, were prepared and eager for battle, the leaders of the English, on the other hand, were only anxious to avert hostilities. Henry soon saw that it would be dangerous to push matters to extremities. Through the mediation of Richard earl of Cornwall, the brother of the king of England, and the archbishop of York, a treaty of peace was concluded at Newcastle on the13th of August, the terms of which were honourable to both sovereigns, and that without a sword being drawn, a bow bent, or a lance put in rest. Henry did not insist on an express act of homage from Alexander for the kingdom of Scotland, while Alexander, on his side, agreed always to bear good faith and affection to Henry as his liege lord, and not to enter into any alliance with the enemies of England, unless the English did him some wrong. (Foedera, tom. 1. p. 429.) The terms of the treaty have by Scottish writers been represented as favourable to Scotland, as in their opinion Henry by it undoubtedly conceded the point in dispute between them. Dr. Lingard, however, an acute and impartial investigator, describes it as "an arrangement by which, though Alexander eluded the express recognition of feudal dependence, he seems to have conceded to Henry the substance of his demand." This much is certain, that although the matter was not pressed to extremities, the claim of Henry was both revived and in part exercised early in the following reign (Life of Alexander IlI.) It was also one of the stipulations of the treaty, that a proposal made in 1242, the year after a son was born to Alexander, of a marriage between Margaret the daughter of the king of England and the young prince of Scotland, should be carried into effect, as it subsequently was in 1251, when Alexander III. was only ten years old. Alan Durward, at that time considered the most accomplished knight and the best military leader in Scotland, Henry de Baliol, and David de Lindesay, with other knights and prelates, swore on the soul of their lord the king, that the treaty should be kept inviolate by him and his heirs.

      In 1247 Alexander was again called to suppress an insurrection which had broken out in Galloway. Exasperated by the oppressions of their liege lord Roger de Quincy, earl of Winchester, the husband of Elena the eldest daughter of the deceased Alan, lord of Galloway, the people of that district suddenly rose against him, and besieged him in his own castle. In a sally which he made he was successful in cutting a passage through his rebellious vassals, and instantly sought redress from the king. Alexander chastised and subdued the insurgents, and reinstated de Quincy in his superiority.

      The last expedition in which Alexander was engaged was undertaken in order to compel various of the chiefs in the western islands and in the north of Scotland who were at that time the vassals of Norway, to renounce their allegiance to that power, and to reduce the entire country under his own dominion. On setting out he declared " that he would not desist till he had set his standard upon the cliffs of Thurso, and subdued all that the king of Norway possessed to the westward of the German Ocean." (Matth. Paris, p. 550.) The principal of these chiefs was Ewen, great-grandson of the first Somerled, lord of the Isles, and grandson of his eldest son Dugall, who held certain of the western islands under the king of Norway. Ewen being the vassal of both sovereigns for different parts of his possessions, was placed in an awkward position between them, for if he consented to the demand of Alexander, he would only expose himself to the hostility of the Norwegian king, while if he refused it, he was sure to incur the vengeance of the king of Scots. Ewen seems to have considered it the better policy to remain true to the king of Norway. Alexander collected a great fleet and sailed for the western Islands, determined upon making every effort to obtain possession of them. It appears that so great was the attention which was paid to the building of ships in those days, that not only was Alexander possessed of a considerable naval force, but even the Hebridean chiefs, whose principal business was piracy, then esteemed an honourable profession, had formidable fleets. It is stated also that in 1231 Alan, lord of Galloway, who has been already mentioned, was able to fit out a fleet of a hundred and fifty ships, from his own territories, with which he drove Olave the Black, king of Man, from his dominions. This may help to furnish some idea of the extent of the naval strength of Alexander the Second, when he set forth to the western Isles to bring them under his sway.

      Deeming it of the greatest consequence to gain over Ewen to his interest, he besought him to give up Kerneburgh, and other three castles, together with the lands which he held of Haco king of Norway, promising him that if he would come under his allegiance, he would reward him with many greater estates in Scotland, and take him into his confidence and favour. All Ewen’s relations and friends advised him to yield to the king of Scotland and relinquish his fealty to the Norwegian monarch, but the Island chief remained steadfast to his allegiance, and declared that he would not break his oath to King Haco. (Skene’s History of the Highlanders, vol. ii. p. 51.) Although, however, he is said to have refused all offers of compromise, he appears to have agreed to pay to Alexander an annual tribute of three hundred and twenty marks, (Ayloff’s Calendars of Ancient Charters, p. 336), doubtless for such portion of his possessions as was under the actual government of the king of Scots. All our historians style this Ewen, Angus of Argyle, but this is evidently erroneous.

      Alexander was not destined to see the end of his expedition. The subjection of the western Isles to the Scottish crown was reserved for his son and successor, Alexander III. When preparing to invade these islands, and so far on his progress as the Sound of Mull, this brave and prudent monarch was attacked with a fever, of which he died July 8, 1249, at Kerrara, a small island lying off the bay of Oban; being at the time of his death in the 51st year of his age, and 31st of his reign. A legend full of the superstitious feeling of the times, yet not without a certain degree of poetical interest, states that as Alexander lay in his bed there appeared to him three men; one of them dressed in royal garments, with a red face, squinting eyes, and a terrible aspect; the second was very young and beautiful with a costly dress, and the third was of larger stature than either, and of a still fiercer countenance than the first. The last personage demanded of him whether he meant to subdue the islands, and on his answering in the affirmative he advised him to return home; a warning to which he paid no attention. The three persons, says the tale, were supposed to be St. Olave, St. Magnus, and St. Columba. The latter certainly showed a most forgiving disposition in taking part with the two Norwegian saints, as the piratical invaders from Norway had always been bitter enemies of his monastery of Iona.

      All historians agree in giving Alexander the Second the character of a wise, prudent, and magnanimous prince. Brave, and not unsuccessful in war, he was yet disposed to cultivate the blessings of peace. His ride was firm and strict, and under his sway Scotland advanced in prosperity and civilization; so that at his death he left it a more powerful nation than it had ever been in any previous period of its history. Though prompt and severe in the administration of justice, he was impartial and just, and his personal qualities were of that generous and popular nature which rendered him beloved equally by his nobility and people. Twenty-five statutes of Alexander II. were added to the code of Scottish laws; several of which, says Lord Hailes, require a commentary. His body was buried before the altar of the abbey of Melrose.

      The burghs of Dumbarton and Dingwall are the only two which received charters from this monarch. The former town had been resigned by Maldwin, earl of Lennox, into his hands, and in 1222 he erected it into a free royal burgh, with extensive privileges. The latter was made a royal burgh by Alexander in 1227. To the church he was a generous benefactor, as he founded no fewer than eight monasteries for the mendicant friars of the order of St. Dominic, called the Black Friars, namely, at Aberdeen, Ayr, Berwick, Edinburgh, Elgin, Inverness, Stirling, and Perth. Boece, with his usual ingenuity, supposes that Alexander saw Dominic in France about the year 1217; but that was the year when he was deserted by the French prince Louis, and when Alexander was anxious to be reconciled to the Pope and to make peace with England. There is no evidence that Alexander ever was in France. Lord Hailes thus remarks on this conjecture of the inventive Boece: "The sight of a living saint may have made an impression on his young mind: but perhaps he considered the mendicant friars as the cheapest ecclesiastics. His revenues could not supply the costly institution of Cistercians and canons regular in which his great-grandfather, David I., took delight." Some idea may be formed of the value of land in Scotland in Alexander the Second’s reign, from the circumstance that the monks of Melrose purchased from Richard Barnard, a meadow at Farningdun, consisting of eight acres, at thirty-five marks.

      At right is the seal of Alexander II., taken from Anderson’s Diplomata et Numismata, plate 31. Alexander is here represented clothed in a complete coat of mascled mail, protected by plates at the elbows. The surcoat also first worn in England by King John, is thrown over his armour, another proof, as Tytler remarks, of the progress of military fashions from England into Scotland at that period. His shield is hoIlowed, so as to fit the body, and completely defend it. The shield then in use in Scotland was the kite-shaped shield of the Normans, and previous to Alexander’s time, it was plain and unornamented. The emblazonment of the lion rampant, which had been chosen as his armorial bearing by his father William, surnamed the Lion, and which ever after formed the arms of Scotland, appeared on Alexander’s shield for the first time. In this he followed the example of Richard Coeur de Lion, who was the first to introduce into England heraldic emblazonments on the shield. In the above seal, Alexander’s horse has no defensive armour, but is ornamented with a fringed and tasselled border across the chest, and an embroidered saddlecloth, on which the lion rampant again appears. The unicorns as supporters of the royal shield were added by the Stewarts to the arms of Scotland.

ALEXANDER III., king of Scotland, the only son of the preceding and of his queen Mary de Couci, was born at Roxburgh castle, on the 4th of September 1241. He succeeded to the throne on the death of his father, 8th July 1249, being then in the ninth year of his age, and was crowned at Scone on the 13th of the same month. This precipitancy was owing to the apprehension entertained by that portion of the Scottish nobles who were opposed to the English claim of supremacy over Scotland, that the English king Henry III., who esteemed himself the feudal superior of the Scottish sovereigns, would interfere in the arrangements preliminary to the young monarch's inauguration. In this proceeding they not only flattered the popular sentiment but were actuated by a regard to the interest of their order, as the privileges of the Scottish barons and clergy, and especially that of independent heritable jurisdiction within their lands, was not only not enjoyed in England, but proved a serious check upon the royal authority and power, and any assimilation of the two countries in this respect was calculated to place their continued enjoyment of them in danger. Of this party Walter Comyn, earl of Menteith, was the head. Indeed, all the power of the kingdom was, at this time, chiefly in the hands of the Comyns, a family descended from Robert Comyn, a Norman knight from Northumberland, who came into Scotland in the time of David the First. During the first years of Alexander’s reign, (when, to use the words of Buchanan, "this family governed rather than obeyed him,") their influence in the administration of the country was characterized by a spirit of nationality and opposition to English interference in every shape that was or might be exhibited.

      On the day of the coronation, the bishops of St. Andrews and Duukeld, with the abbot of Scone, attended to officiate, when some of the counsellors, and among the rest, Alan Durward, the high justiciary, or lord chief justice, of Scotland, called also Ostiarius, and in the French l’Huissier, from his office as keeper of the palace gate or of the door of the king’s chamber, objected to the young king being crowned so soon after his accession, on the grounds that "the day appointed for the ceremony was unlucky, and that the king, previous to his coronation, ought to receive the order of knighthood." Durward doubtless expected that, from his being at the head of the Scottish chivalry, as well as from having married a natural sister of the young king, the honour of knighting Alexander would devolve upon himself; but in this he was disappointed, as the earl of Menteith proposed that the bishop of St. Andrews should both knight the king and place the crown on his head, citing the instance of William Rufus as having been knighted by Lanfranc archbishop of Canterbury. (Fordun, b. x. c. i.) He also urged time danger of delay, as the English king, in a letter to the Pope, had solicited a mandate from his holiness to the young monarch of Scotland, that "being Henry's liegeman, he should not be anointed or crowned without his permission." He, therefore, strongly advised that the ceremony should be over before the Pope’s answer could arrive. Henry, it would appear, had also requested a grant of the tenth of the ecclesiastical revenues of Scotland. Both requests were, however, rejected by the Pope, Innocent IV., the first as derogatory to the honour of a sovereign prince, and the second as without example. (Foadera, vol. i. p. 163.) It is extremely likely that, chagrined and disappointed at not getting the full extent of his claim as feudal superior recognised by the treaty of Newcastle in 1244, Henry had made this application to Rome before the death of Alexander the Second, to be prepared to assert it effectually when his successor came to the throne; as there could be no time to have done so in the short period, only five days, that elapsed between the accession and the coronation of Alexander the Third.

      The advice of the earl of Menteith was followed. Without waiting for the result of Henry’s applicatIon to the Pope, the Scottish nobles and prelates seated the young Alexander in the regal chair or sacred stone at Scone, which stood before the cross at the eastern end of the church, and invested him with the crown and sceptre and the other insignia of royalty. The barons, in token of their homage, cast their mantles at the feet of their young sovereign, who previous to the ceremony had been by David Bernham, bishop of St. Andrews, begirt with the belt of knighthood. The coronation oath was read in Latin, and then explained in French, that being then the language of the court, clergy, nobility, and barons of Scotland as well as of England, and the various countries more immediately connected with France. During the ceremonial an impressive incident occurred. While the king sat upon the inaugural stone, the crown on his head and the sceptre in his hand, a white-haired Highland sennachy or bard, of great age, and clothed in a scarlet mantle, advanced from the crowd, and bending before the king, repeated in the Gaelic tongue, the genealogy of the youthful monarch, deducing his descent from the fabulous Gathelus, who, according to legendary lore, married Scota, the daughter of Pharaoh, and was the contemporary of Moses! Alexander, though he did not comprehend a word of this singular recitation, is said to have liberally rewarded the venerable genealogist, who thus unexpectedly introduced this Celtic usage at the coronation of a Scoto-Saxon monarch.

      The first act of the new reign, after the coronation of Alexander, was of a religious character, yet held at that period as of no less importance than the coronation itself. The virtues of the pious queen Margaret, the wife of Malcolm Canmore, having become the subject of universal belief as well as of monastic biography, according to the superstition of that age her remains were believed to have the faculty of working miracles, and an application was made to the Pope in 1246, by Alexander II., to admit her into the calendar of the saints. As the general reader is well aware, the evidence required to establish such a claim required to be full and distinct; and in the present instance, after a commission, consisting of the bishops of St. Andrews, Dunkeld, and Dunblane had made a favourable report, it was found invalid, because it had not incorporated the evidence of the witnesses, and a new commission was issued. If we can only get over the difficulty as to whether the class of miracles on which such claims are founded are to be admitted as proveable by any human testimony whatever, the most sceptical must admit that the evidence generally, such as it might be, was both abundant and strict. In consequence of these delays, it was not till 1249 that Queen Margaret became, as a canonized saint, the object of ecclesiastical dedication, and the abbey of Dunfermline, called after her name, had her bones "transferred" from the place were they were originally deposited "in the rude altar of the kirk of Dunfermline" to the choir of the abbey church. The young king Alexander III. with his mother, and a large assembly of nobles and clergy, were present at the ceremony. Robert de Keldelicht, the abbot, raised to the dignity of the mitre in 1244 in a bull, the terms of which are preserved in the registry, granted at the special request of Alexander II., saw the reward of his ambition and donations to the legate. The remains were placed in a silver sarcophagus, which the chroniclers state was adorned with precious stones. So interesting a scene could not take place without a miracle. The body of the wife refused to be translated until that of her husband had been first lifted to the intended spot, then

"Syne in fayre manere
Her corse thai tuk up and bare ben,
And thame enterydd togyddyr, then
Swa trowyed thai all, that gadryd thare
Quhat honoure til hyr lord scho bare."
Wynton, b. 7, c. 10.

The next proceeding of the new government was to change the stamp of the Scottish coin, the cross, which previously was confined to the inner circle being now extended to the circumference. This took place in 1250. The coins of this reign were pennies and half-pennies of silver, but though these only were issued, other denominations of money were named in accounting, as the shilling, the merk, and the pound, while foreign coins, which were from time to time imported by the merchants, were allowed to be current in the kingdom. To give some idea of the value of the Scottish silver penny, it may be stated that ten of them were equal to half a crown of our present money. Five pence was the yearly rent paid to the king by the burgesses of every royal burgh, for each rood of land possessed under burgh privileges. The vassal of a thane, or of any other subject, was fined in fifteen ewes, or six shillings, for disobeying the king’s summons to join the royal army. Money was common only in the burghs, at markets and fairs, and through the more populous and cultivated parts of the kingdom. In secluded districts, cattle were more frequently referred to, as a common measure of value. (Anderson’s Diplomata Scotiae, with Ruddirnan’s Introduction.)

      In 1251 some measures appear to have been employed by those at the head of affairs in Scotland for circumscribing, or at least for defining the limits of the power of the clergy, as the Pope directed a bull to the bishops of Lincoln, Worcester, and Litchfield in England, requiring them to examine into the abuses said to prevail in Scotland, and on these delegates he conferred ample powers of excommunication. (Chartulary of Moray, i. 30.) Lord Hailes, who has printed this bull in full in the appendix to the first volume of his Annals of Scotland, thinks it probable that it was never transmitted to the English bishops, no historian having made any mention of it.

      The state of the kingdom at this time was unfavourable to the continuance of that peace and prosperity in which the firm and prudent administration of Alexander the Second had left it at his death. The king was a minor, and exposed to the continual demands of the sovereign of England for a recognition of his claim of feudal superiority, while the nobles, instead of joining together and acting in unison for the common welfare, were engaged against each other in a factious struggle for power. They were divided into two great parties. The one, composed of the potent family of the Comyns and their adherents, among whom was John de Baliol, lord of Galloway, were masters of the government. The chiefs of the other party were Patrick Cospatrick, earl of March and Dun-bar, Malise, earl of Stratherne, Niel or Nigel, earl of Carrick, Alexander, the steward of Scotland, Robert Bruce, lord of Annandale, and Alan Durward, the high justiciary. The latter party acted all along in alliance with Henry III. of England, who, by the marriage of his daughter to Alexander, soon obtained a fair pretext for interfering in the affairs of Scotland.

      As stated in the life of Alexander the Second, (ante, p. 77,) the young prince his son had been betrothed when only a year old to Henry’s eldest daughter, Margaret, who was about the same age, and their nuptials, although neither of them had reached their eleventh year, were solemnized at York, 26th December 1251, amidst circumstances of extraordinary spl endour. Besides the bride’s father and mother, King Henry and his queen, the mother of the young bridegroom, Mary de Couci, the queen—dowager of Scotland, with a train worthy of her high station, was present at the nuptials, (Rymer, vol. i. edition 1816, p. 278.) having come for the purpose from France, whither she appears to have retired soon after the death of Alexander the Second. There were also present the nobility and the dignified clergy of both countries, and in their suite a numerous assemblage of vassals. According to Matthew Paris, a thousand knights, in robes of silk, waited upon the princess at her bridal, and the primate of York contributed six hundred oxen, as part of the marriage feast, which, says the matter-of-fact chronicler, "were all spent upon the first course." With the hand of his daughter Henry gave the promise of a dowry of 5,000 merks, (Foedera 1. 467,) which, however, was not paid till several years afterwards.

      In the midst of the marriage festivities, Alex-ander, according to custom, did homage to Henry the lands which he held in England, but on his father—in-law requiring him to render fealty for his kingdom of’ Scotland, "according to the usage recorded in many chronicles," Alexander, by the advice of his council, returned this prudent answer: "I have been invited to York to marry the princess of England, not to treat of affairs of state, and I cannot take a step of so much importance without the knowledge and approbation of my parliament." (Matth. Paris, p. 829.) This famous reply, there cannot be a question, was dictated by the Comyns, whose policy at that period was strictly national, and against the claims of England. The word parliament as here used must be taken with the limitation of meaning pointed out in the life of Alexander the Second (ante, p. 66). It signifies no more than the states of the kingdom, that is a meeting of the regents and counsellors of the king, with the nobles, crown vassals, and superior clergy. Under the feudal system all vassals of the crown, holding their possessions and privileges by the tenure of fixed and certain services, were entitled to receive the royal summons to sit in parliament, as it would now be called, whenever the necessities of the kingdom compelled the king to demand their advice and assistance for his direction and support in providing for the common welfare of the realm.

      While the young king remained at York, Alan Durward, the high justiciary of Scotland, who had accompanied him, and who by virtue of his office was one of his chief counsellors, was accused by Henry himself (Hailes’ Annals, vol. i. p. 164) of a design against the Scottish crown, "for that he and his associates had sent messengers, accompanied with presents, to the Pope, soliciting the legitimation of his daughters by the king’s sister; whereby, in the event of the king’s death, they might succeed as lawful heirs of the kingdom of Scotland." Balfour in his Annals, (vol. 1. p. 59,) says that "as conscious to this plot were accused likewise Walter Comyn, earl of Menteith, William Comyn, earl of Mar, and Robert, abbot of Dunfermline, chancellor of Scotland, who was accused that he had passed a legitimation under the great seal to the king’s base sister, the wife of Alan, earl of Athole, great justiciary of Scotland." The story is taken from the Chronicle of Melrose. Whether there was any foundation for the accusation or not, it is certain that the chancellor hastily left the English court, where he had been with the young king, and returning to Scotland, resigned the seals, quitted his abbey, and assumed the habit of a monk at Newbottle, in Mid Lothian, (Chr. Melr. 219,) and that Henry, on the return of Alexander and his queen into Scotland, sent with them Geoffrey de Langley, keeper of the royal forests, to act in concert with the Scottish nobles, as guardian of the young king, but he proved so insolent and rapacious that he was soon dismissed. (Matth. Paris, 571.) Tytler says, but without giving any authority, that the accusers of Durward were the earls of Menteith and Mar, and that Henry placed these noblemen at the head of the new appointment of guardians to the young king, which he made at this time. (Hist. of Scotland, vol. i. p. 9.) It is not improbable that Henry’s object in bringing this accusation against the popular and potent Alan Durward was as much to remove so dangerous a rival from about the person of the queen, as to obtain the services of so accomplished a soldier and so expert a leader, in his wars in Guienne, which he was conscious he had no means of securing otherwise than by driving him into a sort of banishment from his country, under a charge of meditated treason, not easily repelled. Two years after these transactions, the Pope, having induced Henry to embark in a project for the conquest of Naples, or as it was called, Sicily on this side the Fare, levied a tenth on all ecclesiastical benefices in England for three years, and in 1254 granted to Henry a twentieth of the ecclesiastical revenues of Scotland for the same term, which grant was renewed in 1255 for one year more, to be employed by the English king, as asserted by the chroniclers of the period, in the expenses of an expedition to the Holy Land. (Chr. Melr. i. 30. Foedera, vol. i. 467.) We rather think, however, that while this was the pretext, the money thus received from Scotland for four years was by Henry intended to be applied, and was in fact expended, in a fruitless endeavour to secure the crown of Sicily for his second son Edmond, which had been promised him by the Pope. (Foedera, vol. i. p. 502, 512, 530.)

      At this time the Comyn party appear to have been in full possession of the government. Robert de Ros and John de Baliol, two of their friends, had the name of regents. In 1254 Simon de Montfort, the great earl of Leicester, the same powerful nobleman who, four years afterwards, attempted to wrest the sceptre from Henry’s hand, was sent into Scotland, charged with a secret mission from Henry (Foedera, vol. i. p. 523); the precise nature or object of which can only be conjectured from subsequent events. In the following year complaints were sent from the young queen to the English court, that she was confined in the solitary castle of Edinburgh, "a place without verdure, and owing to its vicinity to the sea unwholesome," that she was not permitted to make excursions through the kingdom or to choose her female attendants, and that, although both she and Alexander had completed their fourteenth year, she was still secluded from the society of her husband. Henry had all along been in communication with the discontented nobles who were opposed to the Comyn party having possession of the government, and there can be no doubt that while he professed to interfere only for the good of his daughter, he fanned their mutual jealousies and animosities, and gave his countenance and support to their proceedings. He declared that he would protect them against the enemies of the king and the gainsayers of Queen Margaret, and promised to make no attempt to seize the person or impair the dignity of the king, and that he would never consent to the dissolution of his marriage with the queen. (Foedera, vol. i. p. 559.) The particular causes of such a declaration are said by our historians to be unknown (Hailes’ Annals, V. 1. p. 165), and to be involved in much obscurity (Tytler’s History of Scotland, vol. 1. p. 11); but there can be no doubt that when Henry engaged to support the interests of the party favourable to his claim as feudal superior over Scotland, and was preparing to interfere actively in the overthrow of those ministers who were opposed to it, he had found it necessary to make some declaration of the kind to satisfy them that his interference in Scottish affairs was meant to go no farther than a mere change in the party administering the government.

      Alan Durward, who was serving with the English army in Guienne, had gained, by his military talents and address, the favour of the fickle monarch of England, and by his advice Henry sent Richard de Clare earl of Gloucester, and John Maunsell, his chief secretary, to Scotland, ostensibly to relieve the young queen from the real or pretended durance of which she complained, but in reality to assist the discontented nobles in their efforts to overturn the Comyns, and place the government in their own hands. While the regents and their protectors the earls of Menteith and Mar were engaged in preparations for holding a meeting of the estates at Stirling, Gloucester, in concert with the earls of Carrick, March, and Stratherne, surprised the castle of Edinburgh, restored the king and queen to liberty, and allowed them free conjugal intercourse. (Chr. Melr. p.220. Matth. Paris, p. 908.) To aid this enterprise, Henry assembled a numerous army, and as he led it towards the borders, he issued from Newcastle, August 25, 1255, a proclamation declaring that in this progress to visit his dear son Alexander, he did not design anything prejudicial to the rights of the king, or the liberties of Scotland. (Foedera, vol. i. pp. 560, 561.] The young king and queen were immediately conveyed to the north of England, and had an interview with Henry at Werk castle in Northumberland. Their safe conduct bore, "that they and their retinue should not tarry in England, unless with the general approbation of the Scottish nobility." (Foedera, vol. i. p. 562). Henry, soon after, visited Alexander at Roxburgh, within his own territories.

      At the abbey of Kelso, whither the two kings had repaired with great pomp, a new regency was appointed, 20th September 1255. This proceeding was said to be by the advice of the English king, but there can be no doubt that these entire transactions were under his express direction or rather control and management throughout. The party of the Comyns were removed from the king’s council and all their employments in the state. Those among them who were particularly named were Gamelin, chancellor of Scotland and bishopelect of St. Andrews, William de Bondington, bishop of Glasgow, Clement, bishop of Dunblane, Walter Comyn, earl of Menteith, Alexander Comyn, earl of Buchan, William de Mar, earl of Mar, John de Balliol, Robert de Ros, John Comyn, and William Wisbart, archdeacon of St. Andrews, of which see he was afterwards bishop. (Foedera, vol. i. pp. 565, 567. Chr. Melr. p. 221.) The English faction, as the earl of March and his friends were accounted, to the number of fifteen, were appointed regents of the kingdom and guardians of the king and queen. (Foedera, vol. i. p. 566.) The following are their names: Richard Inverkeithen, bishop of Dunkeld; Peter de Ramsay, bishop of Aberdeen; Malcolm Macduff, earl of Fife; Patrick Cospatrick, earl of March and Dunbar; Malise, earl of Stratherne; Nigel, earl of Carrick; Alexander, the steward of Scotland; Robert de Brus; Alan Durward; Walter de Moray; David de Lindsay; William de Brechin; Robert de Meyners: Gilbert de Hay; Hugh Gifford de Yester. The government thus new modelled was to subsist for seven years, that is, till Alexander should have attained the age of twenty-one, and vacancies in the regency were to be supplied by the surviving regents. Alexander declared that he would not restore the Comyn party to favour until they had atoned for their offences against the king of England as well as against himself; except in the event of Scotland’s being invaded by a foreign enemy, when they might be again taken into favour. To Henry he promised that he would treat his daughter with conjugal affection and all due honour; and to the regents that he would ratify all their public acts and reasonable grants. Patrick, earl of March and Dun-bar, swore upon the king’s soul, a customary form of oath in those days, that these engagements should be fulfilled, and Alexander subjected himself to the papal censures should he fail in performance. The instrument drawn up on the occasion was deposited in the hands of the English king (Foedera, vol. i. p. 567.) It was considered by the Scottish party in general as derogatory to the dignity of the kingdom, and Bondington, bishop of Glasgow, Gamelin, bishop elect of St. Andrews, and the earl of Menteith, indignantly refused to affix their seals to a deed which, as they asserted, compromised the liberties of the country, and was prejudicial to the honour of the king. (Chr. Melr. p. 221.) Winton (book vii. chap. x.) says of it:

"Thare wes made swylk ordynans,
That wee gret grefe and displesans
Till of Scotland ye thre statis,
Burgens, Barownys, and Prelatis."

Before returning to England, Henry, with the view of raising money, proceeded to take cognizance of the offences of the late regents John de Baliol and Robert de Ros. As they both possessed estates in England, he held them to be amenable to his courts, even on a vague charge of disrespect and disloyalty to Alexander and his queen. John de Baliol obtained his pardon by the payment of a large fine, but Robert de Ros, to whom the castle of Werk belonged, not appearing to his summons, was deprived of his lands in England, which were confiscated by Henry. (Matth. Paris, p. 611.)

      The tranquillity of the kingdom being thus, in the meantime, in some degree restored, the young king and queen, attended by a retinue of three hundred horse, visited the court of England in August 1256, and were royally entertained at London, Woodstock, and Oxford. On the second of September of that year Alexander was invested by his father-in-law in the earldom of Hunting-don as a fief held by his ancestors. (Matth. Paris, p. 626.) As a farther mark of his affection, Henry issued orders to all his military tenants in the five northern counties to assist the king of Scotland with all their forces. (Foedera, vol. i. p. 605.) He farther declared that the grant which he himself had obtained, from the Pope of a twentieth of the ecclesiastical revenues of Scotland should never be urged as a precedent to the hurt of the nation.

      The late settlement of the government having been brought about by English influence, was generally unpopular in Scotland, and did not last longer than about two years. "The greater part," says Buchanan, (vol. vii. p. 60,) "of the nobility and the ecclesiastical order, their power being curtailed by the new ordinances, stigmatized them as an English thraldom and a commencement of slavery." The Comyns, taking advantage of this feeling, and working upon the sensitive national jealousy of England, now endeavoured to regain their former position in the government. That party was still powerful, there being at this time in the kingdom three earls and thirty-three barons of the name, (see COMYN, surname of); and the number of their retainers, assisted by the forces of the other patriotic nobles, backed by the influence of Gamelin, late chancellor and bishop elect of St. Andrews, enabled the Comyns to present a formidable opposition to the regency. Gamelin had, towards the close of 1255, procured himself to be consecrated by William de Bondington, bishop of Glasgow, in direct opposition to an injunction of the regents. For this act of disobedience he was outlawed, and the revenues of his see were seized. (Chron. Melr. p. 221.) Gamelin immediately hastened to Rome and appealed to the Pope, who espoused his cause, declared him worthy of his bishopric, and excommunicated his accusers, ordering the sentence to be solemnly published in Scotland by Clement bishop of Dunblane and the abbots of Melrose and Jedburgh. (Ibid.) Enraged at the bold opposition of Gamelin, Henry, to whom the Pope had addressed an imperious letter, on his behalf, prohibited his return, and issued orders for his arrest, if he attempted to land in England. (foedera, vol. i. p. 652.)

      In the meantime the Comyns received a powerful accession to their cause in the support given to them by Mary de Couci, the mother of the young king, who in 1257 returned to Scotland. That princess had, during her residence in France, taken for her second husband John de Brienne, the son of Guy of Lusignan, the titular king of Jerusalem. After the male line of Godfrey of Bouillon had become extinct, the sceptre of Jerusalem was held by Sybilla the daughter of Baldwin and granddaughter of Fulk, count of Anjou, grandfather of Henry the Second of England. Having such an adversary as Saladin the Great to contend with, Queen Sybilla, to strengthen her hands, found it necessary to marry one of the bravest of the knights then engaged in her service, and the husband she made choice of was Guy de Lusignan, the father of John de Brienne, a prince of a handsome person but of no very honourable renown. Although he lost his kingdom by the invasion of Saladin in 1187, he was still acknowledged by all the Christians as king of Jerusalem.

      The queen-dowager was accompanied to Scotland by her second husband, and supported by their influence the Comyns and their party acquired strength enough to effect a counter-revolution in the government. It was now considered a favourable time to publish the sentence of excommunication which had been procured from the pope against the enemies of bishop Gamelin. The awful ceremony was performed by the bishop of Dunblane and the abbots of Jedburgh and Melrose, the delegates of the Pope, in the abbey church of Cambuskenneth, and repeated ‘by bell and candle’ in every chapel in the kingdom. (Chr. Melr. p. 182.) The Comyns hereupon declared that the king was now in the hands of persons accursed, and that the kingdom was in immediate danger of papal interdiction, and under the pretext of rescuing the king from such a state of things, and relieving him from the control of foreigners who, they said, filled all the highest offices of the state, they assembled in great strength, and headed by the earl of Menteith, they during the night attacked the court at Kinross, seized the person of the king while in bed, and carried him and the queen before morning to Stirling. They obtained at the same time possession of the great seal of the kingdom. The king and queen were kept separate till the party of the regents were dispersed. (Matth. Paris, p. 64.) The charge they brought against the young queen was that "she had incited her father, the king of England, to come against them with an army in a hostile manner, and make a miserable havoc" in the country. (Ibid. p. 821.) To strengthen their interest, the Comyns concluded an alliance with Lewellyn prince of Wales, who was then (1257) at war with England whither Alan Durward had precipitately fled. Taking the young king with them, the forces of the Comyns marched southward to the borders, where it would appear the adherents of the late government had rallied and collected their strength. A negotiation was set on foot which led to a compromise between the rival factions at Roxburgh; the leaders of the defeated party agreeing to refer all disputes to a conference to be held at Forfar. This, however, was only an expedient to gain time, as the latter retired into England, and the earls of Albemarle and Hereford, with John de Baliol, were soon after sent by Henry to Melrose, where Alexander held his court for the time. Although their avowed object was to mediate between the two factions, their real intention was to seize, if possible, the person of the king, and carry him to England. Past experience, however, had led the Comyns to distrust their professions, and the person of Alexander was removed from the abbey of Melrose to the forest of Jedburgh, where the greater part of the Scottish forces had already assembled.

      The king of England, obliged to suppress for the present his bitter - opposition to bishop Gamelin, and to be silent regarding the obnoxious treaty of Roxburgh, was thus constrained to accede to the appointment of a new regency, consisting of ten persons, six of them being of the Comyn faction, with four of the former regents. This took place in 1258. At the head of the new regency, - which may be said to have governed the country till the king came of age, were placed the queen-dowager and her husband. The regents were, Mary the queen-dowager; John of Brienne, her husband; Gamelin, bishop of St. Andrews; Walter Comyn, earl of Menteith; Alexander Comyn, earl of Buchan; and William, earl of Mar. Their colleagues were, Alexander, the stew-. ard of Scotland; Robert de Meyners; Gilbert de Hay; and Alan Durward. (Matth. Paris, p. 644. Foedera, vol. i. p. 670.) Soon after, Walter earl of Menteith, one of the regents and the soul of the national party, died suddenly. In England it was reported that his death was occasioned by a fall from his horse. In Scotland it was believed that he had been poisoned by his wife, countess in her own right, that she might be free to indulge a guilty passion for one John Russel, an English knight, called by Boece an obscure Englishman, whom, disregarding the addresses of the Scottish nobles, she somewhat precipitately married. The suspicion of her guilt, perhaps groundlessly excited by the slighted suitors, was employed as a pretext for depriving her and her second husband of the earldom, driving them in disgrace from the kingdom, and at last dividing the inheritance between her heirs and those of her younger sister. The latter had married Walter Stewart, called Bailloch or "the freckled," a younger brother of the steward of Scotland, who laid claim to the earldom of Menteith in right of his wife, and by the favour of those in power obtained and kept it. (Fordun, x. 11. Foedera, ii. p. 1082.)

      It was the policy of the court of Rome in that age, when it asserted a right over all kingdoms and grasped at power wherever it could be claimed, to secure all ecclesiastical patronages to itself; and scarcely was the dispute relative to the regency settled when Alexander found himself likely to be involved in a difference with the Roman pontiff. The bishopric of Glasgow becoming vacant by the death of William de Bondington, Alexander in 1259 bestowed it upon Nicholas Moffat, archdeacon of Teviotdale, one of his own subjects. Disregarding the king’s appointment, the Pope, Alexander IV., gave the vacant see to his chaplain, John de Cheyam, an Englishman, and archdeacon of Bath. Sensible, however, that this step would prove disagreeable to the young Scottish monarch, he requested the king of England to use his good offices with his son-in-law, to receive Cheyam, and put him in possession of his temporalities. "Although he is my subject," said Henry to the king of Scots, "I would not solicit you in his behalf, could any benefit arise to you from your opposition to a man on whom the Pope has already bestowed ecclesiastical jurisdiction." Alexander thought fit prudently to acquiesce in the Pope’s nomination, but though Cheyam was kindly enough received at the Scottish court, the bishop himself knew that he was obnoxious to the government, and he took the first opportunity of leaving the kingdom, and enjoying the revenues of his see abroad. (Foedera, vol. i. p. 683. Chr. Meir. p. 222.) Satisfied with Alexander’s apparent submission to his wishes, the Pope recalled certain angry mandates which he had issued against him and his kingdom.

      In 1260, Alexander, who had then attained his twentieth year, was invited by his father- in-law to visit him with his queen at London. Whatever may have been the motive of this invitation, the manner in which it was conveyed filled the regents and nobility of Scotland with suspicion as to the ulterior intentions of Henry. It appears that he sent to Alexander for the purpose a monk of St. Albans, who arrived at a time when the king and his nobles were assembled in council, to whom he declined to impart the special objects for which the meeting was desired by the English monarch, farther than that it was to treat of matters of great importance. Two of the regents, Alexander Comyn, earl of Buchan, and Alan Durward the justiciary, with William Wishart, chancellor of the kingdom, were despatched on a secret mission into England, to exact pledges from Henry as to his behaviour towards the young king while at his court. The conditions on which Alexander and his queen consented to visit England on this occasion were, that during his residence at the English court neither the king nor his attendants should be required to treat of state affairs, and that if the queen of Scotland became pregnant, or if she gave birth to a child during her stay with her father, neither she nor her infant were to be detained in England. To the latter stipulation particularly Henry gave his solemn oath. (Foedera, vol. i. pp. 713, 714.)

      Thus secured, Alexander, attended by a large concourse of the nobility, proceeded, in October 1260, to the court of England. The young queen followed him by slow stages, and on her approach to St. Albans, she was met by her younger brother Edmond, then a mere youth, who with a splendid retinue conducted her to London. Their reception was unusually magnificent, but Alexander, young as he was, did not allow the festivities which marked the occasion to divert his mind from two objects which had been strong inducements with him to comply with King Henry’s invitation. He wished to exercise his rights over the earldom of Huntingdon, which he held of the English crown, as well as to obtain payment of his wife’s marriage portion, which had been too long delayed. In this last matter, however, he was disappointed. The authority of the English monarch had been now for nearly two years usurped by the twenty-four barons, at the head of whom was Simon de Montfort, earl of Leicester, and Henry's exchequer was in too impoverished a state to allow him to discharge the debt at this time.

      It was agreed that the queen should remain in England until she gave birth to the child of which she was then pregnant, and Henry entered into a solemn engagement that, in the event of the death of Alexander, he would deliver up the child to the following Scottish bishops and nobles to be conveved to Scotland, namely, the bishops of St. Andrews, Aberdeen, Dunblane, and Galloway, and to Malcolm, earl of Fife, Alexander Comyn, earl of Buchan, Malise, earl of Stratherne, Patrick, earl of March and Dunbar, William, earl of Mar, John Comyn, Alexander, the steward of Scotland, Alan Durward, and Hugh de Abernethy, or to any three of them. This list would seem to indicate that the two rival factions into which the nation had been so long divided had at last united to resist English interference in the domestic affairs of Scotland. Alexander now returned to his own kingdom, and in the succeeding February (1261) the young queen was delivered at Windsor of a daughter named Margaret, afterwards married to Eric king of Norway. (Foedera, vol.. 1. p. 713. Chr. Melr. p. 223.) With regard to the dowry promised with the queen it may be stated that in 1262 Alexander sent the steward of Scotland to England to demand payment of it from Henry. He paid an instalment of five hundred marks, which drained his treasury; and promised to make payment of the remainder at Michaelmas 1263 and Easter 1264. "I appoint such distant terms," he said, "because I mean to be punctual, and not to disappoint you any more." The marriage portion of the princess of England was in fact not all paid till some time after this, and only in small partial payments. (Ibid.)

      Alexander having now (1262) arrived at full age, took the reins of government into his own hands, and in the administration of affairs he showed both prudence and courage. Combining the zeal, but tempered with discretion, for national independence which had characterized the Comyns, with something of the friendly disposition towards England which had been the most marked feature in the poliéy of their opponents, this strong-willed monarch was able at once to shake himself loose from the tutelage of either party, and to conduct the government in his own person, according to his own views and judgment. His first important undertaking after he came of age, was to accomplish the subjection to his sway of the chiefs of the western islands, an object which death had prevented his father, Alexander the Second, from effecting, although as related (ante, p. 78), he had prepared an expedition for the purpose. The king of Norway, at this time, held unquestioned possession of the Orkneys and the Shetland Isles, and claimed also to rule over the Hebrides. In 1255 the possessions of Angus Macdonald, lord of Islay, the descendant of Reginald, a son of Somerled, lord of the Isles, were ravaged by Alexander, because he would not consent to renounce his fealty to the king of Norway, and he was thus compelled to become a vassal of Scotland. In 1262, Henry, the English king, interposed his good offices to prevent a rupture between Haco, king of Norway and Alexander, as to the possession of the Islands (Foedera, vol. i. p. 753], which were remarkable at that period for their prosperous condition, their crowded population, and their advanced state of civilization. Haco returned an evasive answer, and after an unsuccessful embassy to the Norwegian court, Alexander determined upon at once endeavouring to bring the Islands under his sovereignty. For this purpose he instigated William, earl of Ross, at that time, says Skene, the most powerful nobleman in Scotland, and whose great possessions extended over the mainland opposite to the northern isles, to commence hostilities against them. This William was the son of Ferchard who acted such a prominent part in the reign of Alexander the Second (see pp. 70 and 72). Ferchard was surnamed Gilleanrias, "the priest’s son,"—whence Anrias or Ross, the family name,—descended from a noble who figured amongst the earls that besieged Malcolm IV. in Perth in the year 1160. (See Ross, Earldom of.) Being joined by the Mathiesons, and other powerful dependents, the earl suddenly crossed over to the Isle of Skye, where he ravaged the country, burned villages and churches, and put great numbers, both of men and women, to the sword. (Skene’s Highianders of Scotland, vol. ii. p. 52.) The Norse Chronicles relate, that in their wanton fury his soldiers raised little children on the points of their spears, and shook them till they fell down to their hands. The complaints of the island chiefs of the atrocities committed by their savage invaders determined Haco to fit out an expedition to revenge the injuries offered to his vassals.

      He accordingly repaired to Bergen to superintend in person the preparations of this armament. These were so vast and so threatening as to spread alarm, as to its destination and objects, even upon the coasts of England. When all was complete, he sailed from Herlover, on July 7, 1263. His own ship, described as having been entirely of oak, was of larger size than the rest, having twenty-seven banks of oars, that is, twenty-seven seats for the rowers. It is also said to have been ornamented with richly carved dragons, overlaid with gold. (Norse Account of the Expedition, with Johnstone’s Notes, p. 25.) The Norwegian fleet reached the Slietland Isles within two days, whence steering for the Orkneys, Haco proposed to despatch a squadron of light vessels to ravage the south-eastern coasts of Scotland, but the principal nobles and knights on board his fleet declined to proceed unless he himself went with them, and he was constrained to bear up for Ronaldsvoe, now Ronaldshay, the most southern of the Orcadian group, situated about six miles from Duncansby head, on the coast of Caithness, and near to the mouth of the Pentland frith. Here he remained at anchor for some weeks, during which he levied contributions upon, and exacted tribute from, the inhabitants both of the neighbouring islands and of the opposite mainland of Caithness, a district which appears to have been reduced under the Scottish sway in the interval between the death of Alexander the Second and the arrival of Haco. It is recorded in the Norse Chronicle of the expedition that, while the fleet lay at Ronaldsvoe, "a great darkness drew over the sun, so that only a little ring was bright round his orb," which precisely fixes the date of this great invasion, as the remarkable phenomenon of an annular eclipse has been ascertained to have been seen at Ronaldsvoe on the 5th of August 1263.

      Haco now sailed to the south. Crossing the Pentland frith, his galleys proceeded by the Lewes to Skye, where he was joined by the squadron of Magnus king of Man. Holding on his course to the Sound of Mull, Dugal of Lorn, the son of Ronald, the son of Reginald MacSomerled, and other Hebridean chiefs, united their forces to his, so that he soon found himself at the head of a fleet of above a hundred sail, most of them vessels of considerable size. Though far from being of the dimensions of the vessels of war of our day, these craft of Norway and the island chiefs were very formidable in piratical excursions. Dividing his force, he sent one powerful squadron, under Magnus and Dugal, to ravage the Mull of Kintyre, and lay waste the estates of those chiefs who had submitted to Alexander, while another was despatched to reduce the isles of Arran and Bute, in the frith of Clyde. The comprehensive name of the Hebrides comprised in those days not only the numerous islands and islets extending along nearly all the west coast of Scotland, but also the peninsula of Kintyre, the islands of the Clyde, and even for some time the Isle of Man. With the remainder of his fleet Haco cast anchor at Gigha, a little island between the coast of Kintyre and Islay. While he lay here he was met by the island chief Ewen, mentioned in the life of Alexander the Second (page 77), as having refused to withdraw his allegiance from Norway, when that monarch in 1249 set out on his expedition against the western islands. Since then he seems to have reflected on the hazard of holding out against the king of Scotland, as he subsequently, although at what period does not appear, swore fealty to his successor, and on Haco’s desiring him to follow his banner, he excused himself, on the ground that he had sworn an oath to the Scottish king, and that he had more lands of him than of the Norwegian monarch. He therefore entreated King Haco to dispose of all those estates which he had conferred upon him. Haco was satisfied with his reasoning, and after bestowing presents on him dismissed him honourably. The reguli or petty chiefs of the Hebrides were in those remote times called kings, and accordingly Ewen is called King John by Tytler, who evidently assumed that Ewen is the Celtic name of John, (History of Scotland, vol. i. p. 25), and King Ewen by Skene (History of the Highlanders, vol. ii. p. 52.)

      The politic example of Ewen was not followed by the other island chiefs who had owned allegiance to Alexander, for Haco was soon after joined by Angus lord of Islay and South Kintyre, who had submitted to Alexander only eight years before (p. 88), giving his infant son as a hostage, and agreeing, by a formal instrument, that his whole territories should be forfeited, if he ever deserted; and even by Murchard, a vassal of the earl of Menteith in North Kintyre, who had obtained this district from the baron to whom it had been granted by Alexander the Second. (Skene’s Highlanders, vol. ii. p. 53.) Roderic, the Norwegian leader, who had been despatched to reduce Bute, took the strong castle of Rothesay, its garrison having capitulated, part of whom he savagely murdered. He then laid waste the island, and carried fire and sword throughout the adjoining districts of Scotland. After sending a force under Sigurd, a Hebridean chief, to the assistance of the Ostmen, or descendants of the Danes settled on the eastern coasts of Ireland, who were anxious to throw off the English yoke, Haco, with his fleet, the greater part of which had now rejoined him, sailed round the point of Kintyre, and enter— ing the frith of Clyde, anchored in the Sound of Kilbrannan, which lies between the island of Ar-ran and the mainland.

      By this time the Norwegian fleet had increased to a hundred and sixty sail, and the danger of a descent on the Scottish coasts became imminent. In this emergency Alexander despatched a deputation of Barefooted friars with overtures of peace to Haco; in consequence of which five Norwegian commissioners were sent to the Scottish court to arrange the preliminaries, when a truce was agreed upon. The defenceless state of the western and south-western portions of Scotland made the gaining of time a matter of the first importance to Alexander until an army could be collected sufficiently strong to repel the invaders. Alexander offered to resign to Haco the sovereignty of all the western or Hebridean isles, claiming as belonging to Scotland only those of Arran, Bute, and the two Cumbrays, in the frith of Clyde. (Norse Account of the Expedition, p. 71.) These moderate terms of the king of Scotland were refused by Haco, who carried his fleet across the frith to Millport Bay. Although the coast of Ayrshire was now open to a descent from his fleet, Haco, in consideration of the existing truce, restrained his followers from plunder, but provisions becoming scarce, the officers of the expedition earnestly entreated him for permission to land, that they might obtain by seizure supplies for the ships. Thus pressed, Haco despatched a last envoy to Alexander, of the name of Kolbein Rich, with the following chivalric proposal: "That the sovereigns should meet amicably at the head of their armies, and treat regarding a peace, which if, by the grace of God, it took place, it was well; but if the attempt at negotiation failed, the ambassador was to throw down the gauntlet from Norway, to challenge the Scottish monarch to debate the matter with his army in the field, and let God, in his pleasure, determine the victory." Alexander was too wary to accept the challenge, although, says the Norse Chronicle, he "seemed in no respect unwilling to fight," and the truce was declared at an end. (Norse Account of the Expedition, p. 75.)

      A fleet of sixty vessels, under the command of Magnus king of Man, and with him four Hebridean chiefs and two principal Norwegian officers, was now despatched by Haco, across the Clyde to Loch Long, where they took to their boats, and dragging them across the neck of land between Arrochar on the west and Tarbet on the east, which separates the salt and the fresh water lochs, they carried havoc and destruction through the numerous islands on Loch Lomond. Sturlas, a Norwegian poet, thus celebrates this exploit:

      "The persevering shielded warriors of the thrower of the whizzing spear drew their boats across the broad isthmus. Our fearless troops, the exactors of contribution, with flaming brands, wasted the populous islands in the lake and the mansions around its winding bays." A devastating expedition into Stirlingshire followed under another leader, who returned to the ships loaded with booty. Haco had now to contend with the storms and tempests of the end of autumn, which had been counted upon by the Scots as likely to bring wreck and disaster to the invaders. Ten of their best ships were lost by a storm in Loch Long, and on the first of October, while the main fleet of Haco lay at anchor in the capacious and usually well-sheltered bay between the island of Cumbray and the mainland of Ayrshire, it was overtaken by a tempest of so severe and protracted a character, the wind blowing right up the frith and sound upon his fleet, that the superstitious Norwegians ascribed its extreme violence to the powers of enchantment. (Norse Account of the Expedition, pp. 81, 87.) The galley of the king was in imminent peril, and several vessels were stranded. The storm increasing, Haco rowed to one of the Cumbray islands, and caused mass to be channted amid the roaring of the elements, in the hope that the dreaded powers of magic might be neutralized by the services of religion. Still the tempest continued, and his own ship, with five other galleys, was cast ashore, while those of the fleet that still rode out the gale, though mostly dismasted or otherwise disabled, were driveu violently up the channel towards Largs. (Ibid. p. 85.)

      The Scots collected on the surrounding heights watched with intense interest the dispersion of the invading armament, and crowding to the beach, immediately attacked with fury the crews of the Norwegian ships as they were successively driven ashore. The Norwegians defended themselves with great intrepidity, and Haco, taking advantage of a lull in the storm, succeeded in sending in boats with reinforcements to their relief, when the Scots deemed it expedient to retire, but only to return again at night to plunder the stranded vessels, among which were two transports. At daydawn next morning Haco landed with a large force, and ordered the transports to be lightened and towed to sea, with those vessels which had not been totally wrecked. The rays of the rising sun now shone upon the Scots army mustered on the heights above the village of Largs, and as it descended from the high grounds towards the beach it had truly a formidable appearance. It was led by the king in person, along with Alexander the steward of Scotland, the grandfather of the first sovereign of the name of Stuart who occupied the Scottish throne ; and consisted of a numerous body of foot-soldiers, well accoutred and armed for the most part with bows and spears, with a force of fifteen hundred horsemen, chiefly knights and barons, many of them with their Spanish steeds sheathed in complete armour. All the horses had breastplates. The Norwegians on shore numbered little more than nine hundred men, commanded by three principal leaders. Two hundred of them, under Ogmund Krakidauts, occupied a rising ground in advance of the main body, which were posted on the beach. With the former was Haco, who, on the approach of the Scottish army, was anxiously entreated by his chiefs to row out to the fleet and send them reinforcements. The king insisted on remaining on shore, but they would not consent to his exposing his life unnecessarily, and he returned in his barge to his fleet at the Cumbrays. The Norwegians on the hill, being attacked with great fury by the Scots, who greatly outnumbered them, and pressed them on both flanks, became apprehensive of being surrounded, and began to retire in scattered parties towards the sea. Their retreat soon changed into a flight, and the divisions drawn up on the beach supposing they had been routed, broke their ranks, and while many of the Norsemen threw themselves into their boats and attempted to regain their ships, the rest were driven along the shore amid showers of arrows, stones, and other missiles, to a place a little below Kelburne. In the meantime another violent storm had come on, which not only prevented Haco from sending ashore in time the expected reinforcements, but completed the ruin of the Norwegian fleet, already much shattered by the previous gales. The Norwegians on land, thus left to themselves, gallantly maintained the unequal contest, and repeatedly rallying, made an obstinate stand wherever the nature of the ground favoured their movements. Gathering round their stranded galleys they defended themselves with all their accustomed bravery, and kept their pursuers for some time in check. (Ibid. p. 97.) A young Scottish knight named Sir Piers de Curry was here slain. According to the Norse Chronicle, his helmet and coat of mail were plated with gold, and the former was set with precious stones. In the true spirit of chivalry he galloped frequently along the Norwegian line, endeavouring to provoke some one to single combat. Andrew Nicolson, one of Haco’s chiefs who conducted the retreat, answered his defiance, and after a brief encounter, killed him with a blow which severed his thigh from his body, the sword cutting through his armour, and penetrating to the saddle. The Norwegians stripped him of his rich armour; but while doing so they were attacked furiously by the Scots, and many fell on both sides. (Ibid. p. 99.) The Norwegians would have been cut to pieces to a man, had not a reinforcement reached them towards evening from the fleet, the boats being pushed through a tremendous surf to the shore. These fresh troops instantly attacked the Scots upon two points, and their arrival gave new courage to the Norwegians, who began to form themselves anew. The contest was protracted till night, when, according to the Norse account, the Norwegians, uniting in a last grand effort, made a desperate charge against their assailants, who were posted on the heights overhanging the shore, and succeeded in beating them back, after a short and furious resistance. The survivors then re-embarked in their boats, and though the storm continued to rage, got on board their shattered vessels in safety. (Ibid. p. 103). Among the Norwegians of note who fell were Haco of Steine and Thorgisi Eloppa, both of King Haco’s household, with many more of the principal Norwegian leaders. Sir Piers de Curry is the only name of mark mentioned as having fallen on the Scottish side.

      Next morning the strand was seen covered with dead bodies and strewed with the wreck of the best appointed fleet which Norway had ever sent out. Alexander granted a truce to Haco, to enable him to bury his dead, and to raise above their bodies those rude memorials which to this day mark the site of the field of battle. The chief scene of the contest is supposed to have been a large plain southward of the village of Largs, still presenting a recumbent stone ten feet long, which once stood upright, and is believed to have been placed over the grave of a chieftain, and vestiges are found of cairns and tumuli formed, as is said, over pits into which the bodies of the slain were thrown.

      Such was the battle of the Largs, famed in story, song, and tradition, and the most memorable event in the reign of Alexander the Third. The loss sustained by the Norwegians is thus feelingly alluded to in Lady Wardlaw’s celebrated ballad of Hardyknute:—

"In thraws of death, with wallert cheik,
All panting on the plain,
The fainting corps of warriours lay,
Neir to aryse again:
Neir to return to native land;
Nae mair, wi’ blythsome sounds,
To boist the glories of the day,
And shaw their shynand wounds.

On Norway’s coast, the widow’d dame
May wash the rock with teirs,
May lang luik ower the shiples seis,
Before hir mate appeirs.
Ceise, Emma, ceise to hope in vain;
Thy lord lyes in the clay;
The valiant Scots nae reivers thole
To carry lyfe away."

After the stranded vessels had been burnt by his order, King Haco weighed anchor with the small remnant of his fleet that remained to him under the Cumbrays, and, being joined by the squadron which had been sent up Loch Long, he steered to the bay of Lamlash in the Island of Arran, and across the frith of Clyde, a few miles from the scene of his disasters and defeat. In Lamlash bay he met Sigurd, whom he had sent to inquire into the situation of the Ostmen of Ireland, and was assured by him that they would willingly receive his aid against the rule of England. The aged but heroic monarch, anxious to wipe out the disgrace of his repulse at Largs, was eager for the enterprise, but a council of his officers opposed the expedition, and it was accordingly abandoned. (Norse Account, p. 109.) He afterwards sailed past Sand, Gigha, the Calf of Mull, Rum, and Cape Wrath, to the Orkneys, where he arrived on the 29th October, abandoned by the island chiefs who had joined him, and even by many of his own followers, and with the loss of another vessel in the Pentland Frith. At Kirkwall a mortal illness, brought on by anxiety and disappointment as much as by overfatigue, seized upon Haco, under which he lingered for some weeks, and at last expired on the 15th December (1263). Thus ended the last great attempt of the Scandinavian monarchs to secure to themselves the possession of the Western Isles.

      The tidings of the death of Haco and of the birth of an heir to the throne were received by Alexander on the same day, the queen having, on the 21st of January, been delivered at Jedburgh, of a son, who was named Alexander. (Chr. Melr. p. 225.)

      To follow up the advantages which he had already gained, and complete the reduction of the isles, were now the chief objects of Alexander. With the intention of invading the Isle of Man, he raised an army, and compelled the island chiefs to furnish a fleet for the transport of his troops. Dreading his vengeance, and despairing of assistance from Norway, Magnus, king of Man, son of Olave the Black, who had been subdued by Alan lord of Galloway in 1231, sent envoys with offers of submission, and hastened himself to meet the Scottish king, which he did at Dumfries on his way to subdue the Isle of Man, where he swore fealty to the crown of Scotland, and became bound to furnish to his lord paramount, when required, ten war-galleys, five with twenty-four oars and five with twelve. (Fordun, b. 10. c. 18.) This Magnus, king of Man, died in 1265. A military force, under the earl of Mar, was next sent against those chiefs of the Western Isles who had joined or had favoured the invasion of Haco. Some of them were executed, and the rest reduced. After negotiations which lasted for nearly three years, a treaty of peace was at last, in 1266, concluded with Magnus, king of Norway, the successor of Haco, whereby the Hebrides and the Isle of Man, and all other islands in the western and southern seas, of which the Norwegians might have hitherto held, or claimed the dominion, were made over in full sovereignty to Scotland. The Shetland and Orkney islands remained in the possession of Norway. One of the articles of this important treaty provided that four thousand merks sterling of the Roman standard, in four yearly payments, and a perpetual quitrent of one hundred merks annually should be paid by Scotland to Norway, in consideration of the latter yielding up all claim to the isles. Another declared that such of the subjects of Norway as were inclined to quit the Hebrides should have full liberty to do so, with all their effects, whilst those who preferred remaining, were to become subjects of Scotland. To this latter class, the king of Norway, in fulfilment of his part of the treaty, addressed a mandate, enjoining them henceforth to serve and obey the king of Scotland as their liege lord ; and it was further arranged that none of the islanders were to be punished for their former adherence to the Norwegians. (Gregory’s Highlands and Isles of Scotland, p. 22.) To the treaty, which is dated the 20th of July, 1266, was added the penalty of a fine of ten thousand merks, to be exacted by the Pope from the party breaking it. The patronage of the bishopric of Sodor and Man was expressly ceded to Alexander, while the ecclesiastical jurisdiction was reserved in favour of the archbishop of Drontheim in Norway. (Tytler’s Hist. of Scotland. vol. i. p. 41, note.)

      After the treaty of cession, Alexander appears to have acted in a liberal spirit towards the island chiefs. Ewen of Lorn, (already referred to as a grandson of Dugall, eldest son of the first Somerled by his second wife, daughter of Olave the red, Norwegian king of the Isles,) was of course restored to the lands in that portion of the Hebrides termed by the Norwegians the Sudreys, which he had resigned into the hands of Haco (ante, p. 89), and which he had formerly held of Norway, and was further rewarded for his services and fidelity. By his death, however, without male issue, this branch of the descendants of Somerled, chief of the Macdonalds, became extinct. Angus Moir, of South Kintyre and Islay, grandson of Reginald the second son of the elder Somerled by the same marriage, the ancestor of the second race of the lords of the Isles, who had on its arrival joined the Norwegian expedition (ante, p. 89), having determined to remain in the isles, became, according to the treaty, a vassal of the king of Scotland, for his lands there, and was allowed to retain, under one king, all that he had formerly held under both. His son Alexander having subsequently married one of the daughters arid co-heiresses of Ewen of Lorn, became the lineal representative of the elder branch of the race of Somerled. The isles of Skye and Lewis were conferred upon the earl of Ross, no part of these islands, or of Man, Arran, and Bute, being granted on this occasion by Alexander the Third to any of the descendants of Somerled, to whom they had formerly belonged. The former, however, viz, the isles of Skye and Lewis, afterwards reverted to that family, when on the utter ruin of the Albany family, accomplished by the revenge of James I., the Macdonalds, lords of the Isles, quietly succeeded to the earldom of Ross, through their descent from the last heiress of that line.

      While thus fortunate in securing peace at home, Alexander had been able, in 1264, to allow a large body of Scottish auxiliaries under John Baliol, lord of Galloway, Robert de Brus, lord of Annandale, and John Comyn, to be sent to the assistance of his father-in-law, Henry III., who with his son Edward prince of England, afterwards Edward I., was in arms against his revolted barons, led by Simon de Montfort, earl of Leicester. Northampton was stormed by the royalists, but at the battle of Lewes, 14th May, Henry was defeated and made prisoner, as were also two of the Scottish leaders, John Comyn and Robert de Brus. In this battle great slaughter was made of the Scottish auxiliaries, who behaved with all their accustothed bravery. (Matth. Paris, p. 669. Hemingford, p. 581. Knyghton, p. 2447.) The battle of Evesham, 4th August, 1265, where Simon de Montfort was discomfited and slain, retrieved the fortunes of Henry, and the Scottish barons soon obtained their liberty. (Chr. Melr. p. 226.)

      The long minority of Alexander, from the constant feuds and contentions among the nobles, and the anarchy which generally prevailed, had struck deep at the roots of the prosperity of his kingdom; but his wise, firm, and judicious rule after he came of age, was well calculated to heal the wounds that had been inflicted, and to restore confidence and tranquillity to his people, by whom he was universally beloved. After the Norse invasion and the reduction of the isles, the kingdom was not again, during Alexander’s life, assailed by a foreign enemy, while its internal peace seems to have been no longer disturbed by the turbulence of its domestic factions. For three years after, Alexander was engaged in maintaining the independence of the national church against the exactions of the court of Rome, at the same time, with equal spirit and prudence, keeping in check the domineering spirit of his clergy. In the year 1266, Cardinal Ottobon de Fieschi, the legate of the Pope in England, demanded six merks from every cathedral in Scotland, and four merks from each parish church, for the expenses of his visitation. This demand the king firmly resisted, and appealed to the pontiff. To defray the expenses of the appeal, the clergy supplied him with two thousand merks. (Fordun, b. 10. ch. 21.)

      Soon after (in 1267) a dispute between the king and the bishop of St. Andrews arose from the excommunication of a certain knight named Sir John de Dunmore, for offences committed against the prior and convent of St. Andrews. The king required Gamelin, the bishop, to absolve him, without satisfaction. The latter refused, and not only ratified the sentence, but excommunicated all the adherents of Dunmore, the royal family only excepted. Irritated at his zeal, Alexander allowed the legate to levy part of the disputed contributions, and the contention between the king and the bishop threatened to rise very high, when, to put an end to it, Dunmore, of his own accord, with creditable good sense, asked forgiveness of the church, made reparation, and was absolved; on which the king and the bishop were reconciled. The papal legate now demanded admittance into Scotland, but the king, having examined his commission, and consulted with his clergy, sent him a peremptory refusal. (Ibid. c. 23.) Foiled in this scheme, the legate, in 1268, summoned the Scottish prelates to attend him in England, at whatever place he should think fit to hold a council. He also required the Scottish clergy to send two representatives, who should be heads of monasteries. The Scottish bishops deputed two of their number, and the other clergy two; but though they acceded thus far, it was not to assist the council, but to watch its proceedings, as the cardinal-legate soon found; for when he had procured several canons to be enacted relative to Scotland, the Scottish clergy at once disclaimed obedience to them. Seeing them so resolute, the Pope, Clement IV., took up different ground, and in the course of the same year claimed from the clergy of Scotland a tenth of their revenues to be paid to Henry of England, as an aid for an intended crusade, an object which he thought they could have no excuse in declining to subscribe to. Here again, however, he was baffled, as both king and clergy united in a decided refusal to the requisition, Alexander declaring that Scotland was ready to equip a competent body of knights to proceed to the Holy Land. Accordingly David earl of Athole, Adam earl of Carrick, William Lord Douglas, John Steward, Alexander Comyn, Robert Keith, George Durward, John de Quincy, and William Gordon, all connected with the first families in Scotland, assumed the cross, and sailed for Palestine, whence few of them ever returned. The earl of Carrick here mentioned was Adam de Kilconath, the husband of the lady Marjory, only daughter of Nigel earl of Carrick, whose recent death in the Holy wars had left her heiress in her own right of the whole lands and earldom of Carrick. Her husband, Adam de Kilconath, who became earl of Carrick in her right, having also been slain in Palestine in 1270, she afterwards became the wife of Robert de Brus, the father of the restorer of the Scottish monarchy.

      In the meantime, founding upon the papal grant, the king of England, in 1269, attempted to levy the tenth of the ecclesiastical revenues in Scot land, for the Crusades. The attempt was spiritedly met by the Scottish clergy, who, not content with appealing to Rome, to show their independence both of the papal legate and the English king, assembled in a provincial council at Perth, under the authority of the bull of Pope Honorius IV., granted in the year 1225, during the reign of Alexander the Second. (See ante, p. 66.) At this council, over which one of their own bishops presided, they passed various canons for the regulation of the Scottish church, which remained in force till the Reformation, and with those of the council of 1242, are preserved in the Chartulary of Aberdeen. The first of them appointed a council of the national clergy of Scotland to be held annually, and the second decreed that each of the bishops should, in rotation, be " conservator statutorum," or protector of the statutes, and during the interval between each council he should enforce obedience to the canons, under pain of ecclesiastical censures. (Fordun, b. 10. c. 23, 24, 26. Chr. Melr. pp. 241, 242.) In 1270, Alexander’s queen gave birth to a second son, who was named David, but who died in his eleventh year. The country at this period enjoyed both peace and plenty, and few events of a domestic nature seem to have occurred of sufficient importance to deserve a place in history. The friendly relations which had been for some time maintained with England were not impaired by the death of Henry III., which took place November 16, 1272. At the coronation of Henry's son and successor, Edward I., at Westininster, 19 August. 1274, Alexander and his queen, Margaret, Edward’s sister, were present, with a splendid train of his nobility. Before proceeding to London, Alexander took care to obtain from his royal brother-in-law a letter declaring that his friendly visit to him, on this occasion, should not be construed into anything prejudicial to the independence of Scotland. In those feudal times such a precaution was customary, and we find Edward himself, when twenty years afterwards he sent some ships to the assistance of the king of France, his feudal superior for the duchy of Normandy, requiring from that monarch a similar declaration. About six months after she had attended her brother's coronation, Alexander lost his queen, who died 26th February 1275, in the prime of her age.

      In 1275, a tenth of the church revenues of Scotland was again required by the Pope, for the relief of the Holy Land. Benemund de Vicci, corrupted into Bagimont, was sent to collect this contribution, which was paid by all the clergy, except the regulars of the Cistertian order; that order having compounded with the Pope, by granting a general aid of fifty thousand merks; and thus the amount of their annual revenues throughout Europe remained unknown. Bagimont was prevailed upon by the Scottish clergy to apply to Rome on their behalf for an abatement of the tax; but the Pope, remembering no doubt their former resistance to his demands, refused to grant any commutation, and it was rigidly exacted. The rent-roll by which this tax was levied is known in history by the name of "Bagimont’s roll," the estimate being made not according to "the ancient extent, but the true value." (Fordun, b. 10. c. 35.) Two years thereafter, Alexander was involved in a dispute with the bishop of Durham, who accused him of encroachments on the English marches. The king of Scots sent five ambassadors to the court of Edward, with the declaration that he had only maintained the marches according to ancient usage, that is, "to the floodmark towards the south," (Foedera, vol. ii. p. 84,) and bearing a proposal that commissioners should be appointed by both crowns to adjust the matter. This dispute, which Lord Hailes thinks, and with good reason, related only to a salmon fishing at the mouth of the Tweed, was, soon after, amicably settled.

      In 1278 Alexander attended the English parliament at Westminster on Michaelmas day, when he took the general and traditional oath of fealty to Edward in the following terms: "I, Alexander, king of Scotland, do acknowledge myself the liege-man of my lord Edward king of England, against all deadly." This Edward accepted, "saving the claim of homage for the kingdom of Scotland, whenever he or his heirs should think proper to make it." (Foedera, vol. ii. p. 126.) On this occasion Robert de Brus, eldest son of the lord of Annandale, and who was, by marriage, earl of Carrick, — having seven years before espoused Martha or Marjory, countess of Carrick in her own right, the widow of his old companion in arms, and fellow-crusader, Adam de Kilconath,— by the command of Alexander and with the approbation of Edward, performed the accompanying ceremony of homage, in these words: "I, Robert earl of Carrick, according to the authority given to me by my lord the king of Scotland, in presence of the king of England, and other prelates and barons, by which the power of swearing upon the soul of the king of Scotland was conferred upon me, have, in presence of the king of Scotland, and commissioned thereto by his special precept, sworn fealty to Lord Edward king of England in these words: ‘I, Alexander king of Scotland, shall bear faith to my lord Edward king of England and his heirs, with my life and members, and worldly substance; and I shall faithfully perform the services, used and wont, for the lands and tenements which I hold of the said king." This having been sworn by the earl of Carrick, was confirmed and ratified by the king of Scotland. (ibid.) Both kings were then and always amicably disposed towards each other, and the time had not yet come for Edward to advance those claims of supremacy over the kingdom of Scotland which, whether well or ill founded, had so often created disquiet between the two kingdoms, and were only finally got rid of on the field of Bannockburn. It is remarkable that the ceremony of homage, under the reservation on Edward’s part of the claim of fealty for the kingdom of Scotland, should have been on this occasion performed by the father of that Bruce who, after the long struggle for independence, should have at last succeeded in rescuing the kingdom from the claim for ever.

      The portrait of Alexander III is from a print of the parliament of Edward I. in which the above ceremony was performed, published in Pinkerton’s portraits of illustrious persons of Scotland, taken from a copy, in the collection of the earl of Buchan, from an ancient limning formerly in the College of Arms, London.

      In 1281 the treaty which, in 1266, had been concluded with Norway, was farther cemented by the marriage of Margaret, the only daughter of Alexander, who was then twenty-one years old, to Eric king of Norway, then in his fourteenth year. A dowry of fourteen thousand merks was given with the princess, who was accompanied to the Norwegian court by Walter Bailloch earl of Menteith and his countess, the abbot of Balmerino, Sir Bernard Montalto, and other knights and barons. The alliance thus happily formed between the two countries was calculated to put an end to those troubles which the restless chieftains of the western islands so frequently occasioned by their turbulence and ambition, and the wavering fealty of whom even the late treaty of peace had failed to secure for any length of time to Scotland. It appears that notwithstanding the submission of King Magnus, Alexander had been compelled in 1275 to lead an armed force against the Isle of Man, and in 1282, the very year following the marriage of the princess Margaret, Alexander Comyn earl of Buchan and constable of Scotland, proceeded with an army to suppress some disturbances in the lately ceded islands. (Foedera, vol. ii. p. 205.)

      Soon after the marriage of his sister, Alexander the prince of Scotland, then in his nineteenth year, was united, in 1282, to Margaret, the daughter of Guy earl of Flanders. The ceremony took place at Roxburgh, and the rejoicings lasted for fifteen days. The king himself was, at this time, only in his forty-first year, and might reasonably have expected a lengthened reign, while the marriages of his son and daughter, thus so auspiciously formed, gave an almost certain hope that his sceptre would be transmitted to descendants of his own line. But a singular train of calamities following each other in rapid succession, soon destroyed all such hopes and expectations. The queen of Norway died about the end of 1283, leaving an only child, known in Scottish history as "the Maiden of Norway ;" and very soon after, on the 28th of January 1284, the prince of Scotland, who had always been of a weak constitution, also died, at the abbey of Lindores in Fife, leaving no issue. Prince David, the youngest son of Alexander, had, as already stated (p. 95), died in 1281, the year of his sister’s marriage. Both princes were interred at Dunfermline.

      Being thus bereaved of his children, the first care of Alexander was to take the necessary measures for the settlement of the succession. On the 5th of February, 1284, the estates of the kingdom assembled at Scone, when the prelates and barons became bound to acknowledge Margaret, princess of Norway, as their sovereign, "failing any chil dren whom Alexander might have, and failing the issue of the prince of Scotland, deceased ;" it not being then known whether his widow was pregnant. (Foedera, vol. ii. p. 266.)

      In the following year, being earnestly entreated by the lords of his council and the estates of the realm, Alexander deemed it prudent to contract a second marriage, and accordingly sent Thomas Tartar, the lord chancellor, with Sir Patrick Grahame, Sir William St. Chair, and Sir John de Soulis, knights, as ambassadors to France, to choose for his bride Joletta, the beautiful and accomplished daughter of the count de Dreux. This lady accompanied them to Scotland, and their nuptials took place at Jedburgh, ApriI 15, 1285. In the midst of the marriage rejoicings, an incident occurred which, in that superstitious age, dismayed and distressed the guests who had thronged to the royal festivities. Amidst the masques and pastimes usually produced on such occasions, and when the enjoyment of the scene was at its height, a spectral image of death glided with fearful gestures among the revellers, and after striking terror into all present, vanished suddenly. The thing was nothing more than a well-acted piece of mummery, or clever pantomimic representation by a person expert in such performances, which were not unusual in the "Moralities" and "Mysteries" as enacted in those days by the monks, but it was held as if foreshadowing those misfortunes which so soon after befell Scotland, beginning with the sudden and violent death of the king himself. (Fordun, b. 10. c. 11.) To the north of the burgh of Kinghorn, on the sea-coast of Fife, and northern shore of. the Frith of Forth, there stood in Alexander’s time a castle, bearing the name of the burgh, which was often the residence of the Scottish kings, but of which no vestige now remains. This castle and the domains attached to it, were frequently pledged, along with others, in security for the jointure of their queens. The young queen Joletta appears to have been residing here on the 16th March 1286, when Alexander the Third, who had been enjoying the chase towards Burntisland and Inverkeithing, turned his horse’s head, in the dusk of the evening, towards Kinghorn. The road then wound along the top of the rocks which overhang the sea, and as it was dangerous to proceed in the dark, his attendants strongly urged him to remain at Inverkeithing till the morning. Disregarding their remonstrances the king galloped forward, and when little more than a mile west from Kinghorn, his horse stumbled, and he was thrown over a lofty and rugged precipice, and killed on the spot. The place is still familiarly known in the traditions of the district as the King’s Wood-End. The accompanying cut represents the scene of this unhappy catastrophe. This event, the greatest national calamity that Scotland ever sustained, took place when Alexander was in the 45th year of his age, and 37th of his reign. His corpse, after being embalmed, was solemnly interred at Dunfermline, among the kings of Scotland.

      The loss of a sovereign so deservedly beloved—although at the time they could not have foreseen the premature death of his granddaughter the princess of Norway, much less the contest for the succession to the crown, the overweening claims of the king of England, or the subsequent intestine war and the struggle for independence which embittered it, in which the best blood of Scotland was shed and many noble families rained and cast into exile— yet the many amiable qualities of the deceased monarch the series of domestic disappointments by which his government had been preceded, and those presentiments of coming calamities which so often cast their shadows before them, tended to overwhelm the people of Scotland with grief and dismay, and the misfortunes and miseries which followed, caused it to be long and deeply deplored. "Neuer," says honest Balfour, "was ther more lamentatione and sorrow for a king in Scotland than for him; for the nobility, clergie, and above all, the gentrey and comons, bedoued hes coffin for 17 dayes space with riuoletts of teares." (Annals of Scotland, vol. i. p. 77.) The oldest specimen of the Scottish language known to he in existence is a sort of monody, written on the death of Alexander, which has been preserved by Winton:

"Quhen Alysandyr, oure kvng, wes dede,
That Scotland led in luwe and le,
Away wes Sons of ale and brede,
Of wyne and wax, of gamyn and gie.
Oure gold wes changyd into lede.—
Christ, born in-to virgynyte,
Succour Scotland, and rernede,
That stad is in perplexyte."
Winton, vol. i. p. 401.

      The death of Alexander, so disastrous to Scotland, is said to have been foretold, the day previous, to the earl of March, who was one of the chiefs of the English faction during Alexander’s minority, at his castle of Dunbar, by Thomas of Ercildon, commonly called Thomas the Rhymer. On the night preceding the king’s death, Thomas having arrived at the castle, was jocularly asked by the earl if the next day would produce any remarkable event ; to which the bard replied, "Alas! for to-morrow, a day of calamity and misery! Before the twelfth hour shall be heard a blast so vehement that it shall exceed those of every former period, a blast which shall strike the nations with amazement, shall humble what is proud, and what is fierce shall level with the ground! The sorest wind and tempest that ever was heard of in Scotland!" Next morning, discovering no unusual appearance in the weather which indicated a storm, the day on the contrary being remarkably clear and mild, the earl and those who were with him began to doubt the powers of the prophet, as Thomas was esteemed, and having ordered him into their presence, they upbraided him as an impostor, and hastened to enjoy their wonted repast. But his lordship had scarcely seated himself at table, and the shadow of the dial fallen on the hour of noon, when an express, his horse covered with foam, appeared at the castle-gate, and demanded an audience. On being asked what news he brought, he exclaimed: "I do indeed bring news, but of a lamentable kind, to be deplored by the whole realm of Scotland! Alas, our renowned king has ended his fair life at Kinghorn !" "This," cried Thomas, gathering himself up in the consciousness that his prediction had been fulfilled, "This is the scaithful wind and dreadful tempest which shall blow such a calamity and trouble to the whole realm of Scotland!" Whether "the sunset of life had given mystical lore" to this singular personage, or he had uttered his prediction in the usual mystical language of soothsayers, leaving its fulfilment to accident or the weather, as chance might determine, it is certain that the story has been generally credited from that time till the present, and it would be very difficult now to shake the universal belief in it. As indicating at least the impression which seems to have prevailed, that the death of Alexander foreboded greater disaster and woe to Scotland, than any former event in our annals, it is not without a certain degree of historical interest, and could not well be omitted in any narrative of Alexander’s life.

      The appearance and manners of Alexander the Third were in the highest degree noble and dignified, and such as befitted a king. Though tall and large-boned, his limbs were well-formed and strongly knit. His figure was majestic, and his countenance handsome and expressive. His sincerity of character and excellent understanding were such as to command the respect while they won the attachment of his people. He is described as having been affable in demeanour, easy of access, firm of purpose, and of a just yet generous disposition. His kingdom he governed with wisdom and energy. With England he maintained constant peace and amity, yet, as Lord Hailes justly remarks, never submitted to any concessions which might injure the independence or impair the liberties of the realm or the church of Scotland. In the administration of the laws he was diligent and impartial, and his inflexible love of justice, and patience in hearing disputes, were amongst the qualities which endeared him to his subjects. For the punishment of offenders and the redress of wrongs, he divided Scotland into four great districts, and made an annual progress through each, attended by his justiciary and his principal nobles. In passing from one county to another he required the attendance of the sheriff with the whole force of the shire; and the train of retainers of the nobles who accompanied him being, while travelling, limited by law, the people were thus relieved of the charge of supporting the royal retinue. He greatly contributed to diminish the burdens of the feudal system, and to restrain fhe license and oppressions of the nobility; keeping them in quiet subjection to his authority, and obliging each to act peaceably in his own allotted sphere. In his private life, Alexander was upright, temperate and pious, and in all his domestic relations kind and affectionate. During his reign, according to For-dun, "the church flourished, its ministers were treated with reverence, vice was openly discouraged, cunning and treachery were repressed, injury ceased, and the reign of truth and justice maintained throughout the land." (Fordun, b. 10, ch. xii.)

      In Alexander’s reign the little trade that was in the country became so flourishing that foreign merchants were attracted to Scotland in numbers, from the maritime and commercial cities of Italy, France, Germany, and the Low countries, who were allowed to traffic with the burgesses, and had free and safe access to markets in every burgh town. The imports were chiefly wine, cloth and rich stuffs, armour and other commodities, while the staple exports of the kingdom consisted almost solely of fish, wool, and hides. The exportation of Scottish merchandise was, however, prohibited by Alexander under severe laws, owing to the frequent losses of valuable cargoes, by pirates, wrecks, and unforeseen arrestments. Notwithstanding this restriction, which showed very narrow ideas on the subject of trade, Scotland, we are told, speedily became rich in every kind of wealth, and in the production of the arts and manufactures. Agriculture, too, had made great progress in Alexander’s peaceful reign, and, besides the produce of the ground, flocks and herds abounded everywhere According to Winton:

Yowmen, pewere karl, or knawe
That wes of mycht an ox til hawe,
He gert that man hawe part in pluche;
Swa wes corn in his land enwche;
Swa than begouth, and efter lang
Of land wes mesure, ane ox-gang.
Mychty men that had ma
Oxyn, he gert in pluchys ga.
Be that vertu all his land
Of corn he gert be abowndaud.’
Vol. i. p. 400

Indeed, Scotland at that period presented such a field for commercial enterprise that a number of Lombard merchants, who were in that age the most active traders in Europe, and then filled every mart in England, arrived in the kingdom, and offered to establish manufacturing and mercantile settlements in various parts, specifying particularly an island near Cramond, and the mount above Queensferry. All they asked in return was to be allowed certain spiritual immunities. Their proposal was, however, opposed by some of the most powerful of the nobility, though Alexander himself is said to have been desirous of encouraging them; and their negotiations on the subject were defeated only by his sudden and premature death. (Fordun, b. 10. ch. xli. xlii.)

      In the period of two hundred and thirty years, which elapsed from the accession of Malcolm Can-more to the death of Alexander the Third, that is, from the middle of the eleventh to near the close of the thirteenth century, a great change had taken place on Scotland as a nation. The vast moral revolution which the Saxon connexion and influence of Malcolm’s queen, Margaret., at first remotely worked upon the country had, during that time, extended its effects more and more throughout all its relations, to the great improvement of the people, and their steady advance in civilization. But a sad reverse was now to take place in their destinies. The line of Scotland’s ancient kings terminated with Alexander the Third, and the continuous train of miseries and wasting calamities in which the kingdom was involved for more than a generation after his unhappy death, from the long and fierce struggle that ensued for the succession to the throne, in which the national liberty and independence were frequently at stake, marks a peculiar era in the history of Scotland, and caused the memory of so good a king to be long held in affectionate remembrance by the Scottish people.

      During the interval from what is usually called in Scottish annals "the Saxon Conquest,"—when by the aid of a Northumbrian Saxon army, Malcolm Canmore was enabled, first to drive Macbeth beyond the Forth, and four years afterwards to defeat and slay him at the battle of Lumphanan in Aberdeenshire,—to the death of Alexander the Third, the last of Malcolm’s dynasty, the advance made in civilization, in the useful arts, and in the habits of social life among the people of Scotland was most remarkable. This was chiefly owing in the first instance, to the settlement of the Anglo-Saxon nobles and leaders in the Lothians and lowlands, and, in the second place, to the introduction of the feudal system by the Norman adventurers who followed them. The revolution that in the course of these changes took place in the laws and customs and forms of government was strikingly favourable to the progressive improvement of the country. The Saxon and Norman colonization of the southern and midland districts exercised a far more direct and beneficial influence on the national character than ever was, or could be, derived from the Celtic race; much of what is peculiar and distinctive in its formation being mainly ascribable to this important accession to the population; and from this period the Saxon domination may be said to have been firmly and securely established in Scotland. In the reign of Edgar one of its principal effects was to confine the Celtic portion of the community to the mountainous districts, while the more enlarged and comprehensive policy of Alexander led him to extend the Saxon institutions to those portions of the country which he may be said to have conquered, and, as we have seen, by the erection of separate sheriffdoms, to bring them more immediately under the operation and subjection of the laws and government.

      The changes which took place on the Scottish church and clergy were among the most important of the effects produced by the Saxon conquest, and in this respect it may be truly said, as Mr. Daniel Wilson has remarked, to have been "even more an ecclesiastical than a civil revolution." (Archaeology and Prehistoric Annals of Scotland, p. 604.) By the marriage of Malcolm Canmore with the Saxon princess Margaret, the sister of Edgar Atheling, much of elegance and refinement were introduced into the Scottish court. By her influence, joined to that of the Saxon refugees, not only were several of the more gross and bar-barous customs of the Scots abolished, and various wise and beneficial laws adopted from the system of the Anglo-Saxon jurisprudence, but the whole form and fabric of religion was reformed, and the Scottish church assimilated as much as possible to the English, and to that of Rome; so that, as Mr. Wilson says, ." in the period which intervened between the landing of the fugitive Saxon princess at St. Margaret’s Hope and the death of her younger son David, nearly all the Scottish sees were founded or restored, many of the principal monasteries were instituted, their chapels and other dependencies erected, and the elder order of Cal-dee fraternities with their missionary bishops for the first time superseded by a complete parochial system." (Ibid.) The change to the better on the ecclesiastical architecture of Scotland that followed was proportionately great. The Scottish clergy, although not so wealthy as their English brethren, appear to have been equally anxious to improve the splendour of their churches, and the commodiousness of their dwellings. Even before the reign of Malcolm Canmore there were at Dunkeld, Brechin, Abernethy, and St. Andrews, religious edifices, as grand and suitable in their way as the state of the arts and manners of .those times would admit; but the attention paid to religious matters by his pious queen Margaret, and the encouragement given by her to foreign clergymen to resort to this kingdom, to whom new establishments required to be assigned, fixed a new era in the style and character of the ecclesiastical buildings in Scotland. The Anglo-Saxon and Norman nobles who were driven into this country by the oppressions of William of Normandy, historically styled the Conqueror, also gave an impetus, by their advice and benefactions, to the changes and improvements which took place in the ecclesiastical architecture of the people amongst whom they had found a home. Previous to this period, the churches had been in form, square or oblong, generally built of timber or baked clay, and covered with lead, thatching, or tiles. In imitation of the only parts of the military architecture of the period that could be, in any degree, accommodated to religious purposes, beside some of these square churches, round towers had been erected, either as ornamental, or as secure repositories for valuable things in times of danger. In many instances these round towers may have served as belfries, and in others as places for conveying signals; while in some, it is not unlikely, they were used as prisons. In the ecclesiastical architecture introduced at this period, the nave and the aisles, the chancel and the choir, were distinct parts of the same structure. The relative positions of the nave and the aisles were arranged by the practice of building these sacred edifices in the form of a cross. The native style of ecclesiastical architecture which had been in use was, in the progress of the reformation in the church, entirely superseded by the mode prevalent in England, as its ecclesiastical system had also been. What immediately succeeded appears to have been what is called the early or older Norman, to which Mr. Wilson gives the name of the Romanesque style. Of this the oldest and one of the most interesting specimens now remaining in Scotland is the nave of the church founded and endowed by Queen Margaret at Dunfermline, where her nuptials with Malcolm took place in 1070, which she dedicated to the Holy Trinity, and which was the origin of, and partly incorporated into, the Benedictine abbey of Dunfermline. The erection of the little chapel of St. Margaret in the castle of Edinburgh is assigned to the same period. This has been supposed, on good grounds, to have been erected over the place used for her devotions by Queen Margaret during her residence in the castle till her death in 1093. "It is in the same style," says Mr. Wilson, "though of a plainer character, as the earliest portions of Holyrood abbey, begun in the year 1128; and it is worthy of remark, that the era of Norman architecture is one in which many of the most interesting ecclesiastical edifices in the neighbourhood of Edinburgh were founded, including Holyrood abbey, St. Giles’ church, and the parish churches of Duddingston, Ratho, Kirkliston, and Dalmeny." (Memorials of Edinburgh, vol. i. p. 129.) As specimens of the early Norman the following may also be mentioned, namely, the parish churches of Leuchars, in Fifeshire; Borthwick, in Mid Lothian; Gulane, in East Lothian; Uphall, and Abercorn, in West Lothian; St. Helen’s, Cockburnspath, in Berwickshire ; Mortlack and Monymusk, in Aberdeenshire; St. Columba’s, Southend, Kilchonchan, Campbeltown; and "the beautiful little ruined church of St. Blane, on the island of Bute, with its Norman chancel arch and graceful First - pointed chancel; besides various others more or less perfect still remainIng in Argyleshire—all presenting interesting features illustrative of the development of the Romanesque style in Scotland, and furnishing evidence of the great impetus given to church building at the period." (Wilson’s Archaeology, p. 614.) We learn from the work just quoted that the portions which remain of the original Norman structure of Alexander the First’s foundation on Inchcolm, (of which the cut given in p. 58 will illustrate our remarks,) erected about 1123, are characterized by the same unornate simplicity that marks the little chapel of St. Margaret in the castle of Edinburgh, which has already been referred to, and that it was not till the reign of David the First that any certain examples were furnished of the highly decorated late Norman work. The architecture of Kelso abbey, founded in 1128 by David the First, (in the same year with Holyrood abbey,) and the singularly rich details of which have made it one of the most celebrated remains of the middle ages in Scotland, is Saxon or early Norman, with the exception of four magnificent central arches, which are decidedly Gothic; and is a beautiful specimen of this particular style, being regular and uniform in its structure. Though built under the same auspices, and nearly about the same period as the abbeys of Melrose and Jedburgh, it totally differs from them in form and character, being in the shape of a Greek cross. Melrose abbey, founded in 1136, was partially consumed by fire in 1322, and what now remains of the re-edified structure exhibits a style of architecture of the richest Gothic, which has been ascertained to belong to a later age than that of David. The well-known masterly description of it by Sir Walter Scott in the ‘Lay of the Last Minstrel,’ may, however, not unfitly be applied to the richer portions of the early Scottish Gothic style, which were constructed at the close of this period.

"The darkened roof rose high aloof
On pillars lofty and light and small;
The keystone that locked each ribbed aisle
Was a fleur-de-lys or a quatre-feuille;
The corbells were carved grotesqne and grim;
And the pillars, with cluster’d shafts so trim,
With base and with capital flourish’d around,
Seem’d bundles of lances which garlands had bound."

The chief object of architectural interest in Jedburgh abbey is the Norman door, which, for the elegance of its workmanship, and the symmetry of its proportions is unrivalled in Scotland.

      Although not strictly pertaining till a later period to Scotland, perhaps the most interesting specimen of later Norman work is the cathedral of St. Magnus at Kirkwall in Orkney, the most perfectly preserved cathedral of that epoch, the foundation of which was laid in the year 1138, by Rognwald or Ronald, Norwegian earl or count of Orkney, the nephew of the sainted Magnus. Like St. Mungo’s in Glasgow, it boasts of being a complete cross church, with all its essential parts entire, and these are the only two cathedral edifices now existing in Scotland, to which this description applies. A remarkably curious and indeed unique example of the architecture of the period is the little church and tower of St. Rule, at St. Andrews. The Norman prevailed about a hundred years, during which period the ecclesiastical architecture of England and Scotland was much the same in character as well as details. The next style that was introduced was the First-pointed or early English, which was adopted about 1170, and was used till about 1242—a period of seventy years. Of this, which is considered an improvement on the later Norman, the crypt and choir of Glasgow cathedral, built between 1188 and 1197, the nave of Dunblane cathedral, Kilwinning abbey, the ruined abbey of Dryburgh, and the chancel of St. Blanc’s, Bute, already mentioned, are fine examples. Subsequently the ecclesiastical architecture of Scotland assumed a somewhat different style from that of England, and became more distinctive and peculiar in its character. The magnificent abbey of Aberbrothwick, which was founded by William the Lion in 1178, and which furnishes a most interesting specimen of the early Scottish Gothic, is thought to mark the historic epoch in which the native styles had their rise. (Wilson’s Archaeology, p. 618.) As an illustration of the progressive character of Scottish architecture, and the slow rate at which ecclesiastical structures in that age were erected, the view at right is of "The North Aisle of the Nave of Dunfermline Abbey, looking west."

      The architectural distinctions which are here observable indicate a difference of ages in the styles adopted as well as in the periods of erection. The nave is the only portion of the original abbey church which remains. At the time of the removal of the relics of the sainted queen Margaret, in the beginning of the reign of Alexander the Third, as already related (see p. 81) the choir was remodelled according to the prevailing first pointed style of the thirteenth century, and on this occasion the nave also must have undergone some modifications. The interior of the nave is thus referred to in ‘Billings’ Baronial and Ecclesiastical Antiquities of Scotland,’ article Dunfermline: "Towards the western extremity the clustered pillar supports the deeply moulded pointed arch," —this later style probably indicating the period when the new church was rebuilt,—" while further on," viz. towards the front of the engraving, "the supporting pillars are circular with the stunted hard Norman capital, and the arches are semicircular. The cylindrical shafts of the easternmost arch on either side are adorned by large zigzags," indicating the varieties of the early Norman. In the middle ages the most skilful architects were generally monks or secular clergymen, who were at once the patrons and chief practitioners of the highest branches of the art; hence the peculiarly rich and splendid style of their architectural work, and as a guild of lay masons was generally organized wherever any great ecclesiastical erection was going on, hence, too, that singular progressive unity of purpose traceable throughout the various styles of the ecclesiastical architecture of that period.

      During the reigns of Alexander the Second and Alexander the Third, Scotland began for the first time to assume that position among the nations of Europe which it continued to sustain while it remained an independent kingdom. Its geographical and political isolation, and smallness of extent and power in proportion to the neighbouring realm of England, as well as its intestine wars, and as has been remarked, "very partial share in the great movements of mediaeval Europe, including the crusades," had hitherto prevented its importance from being acknowledged; but its growing influence and gradual development of strength under the monarchs of the period included within what is called "the Saxon Conquest," could not fail to be, in course of time, duly recognised by the other powers; and the marriages of the second Alexander, first to Joan, the sister of John king of England, the daughter of a French lady and educated in France, and afterwards to Mary de Couci; of Alexander, prince of Scotland, the son of Alexander the Third; and latterly of Alexander himself, to other illustrious ladies connected with that kingdom, could not fail to mark the consideration in which Scotland was at this period beginning to be held. It may here be stated that Enguerrand de Couci, the father of Mary de Couci, the mother of Alexander the Third, was one of the most accomplished knights of the age in which he lived, and conspicuous above his contemporaries for his virtues and abilities. He stood so high in the estimation of his brother knights and nobles that they at one period seem to have entertained a project of placing him on the throne of France. Win-ton (vol. ii. p. 482), says that on account of his brave actions, his possessions, and three marriages with ladies of royal and illustrious families, he was surnamed Le Grand. He was also one of those famous romantic poets of chivalry, who in the middle ages were known by the name of Troubadours, as were also many of his family. His grandfather, Raoul I., lord of Couci, accompanied Philip Augustus in the earlier crusades, to Palestine. His nephew Renaud, Castellan de Couci, with whom Raoul is sometimes confounded, is the hero of the old French ballad of ‘The Knight of Curtesy and the Lady of Faguel.’ Having gone to the Holy Land with Richard Coeur de Lion, he was mortally wounded in defending a castle in 1191, and desired his squire, after his death to carry his heart to his mistress Gabrielle de Vergy, wife of the lord of Fayel. The squire was intercepted by the husband, and the heart of the unfortunate Castellan was by his orders dressed for supper and eaten by his wife, who, on being informed of the horrible fact, refused all sustenance, and died of voluntary starvation. The fame of the father of his future consort as a votary " of the gay science," and one of the most esteemed Provençal poets, as well as one of the most gallant knights of the age, must have been well known to the Scottish king, and no doubt had its effect, with the attractions of the daughter, in directing the affections of Alexander II. towards her, on the death of Queen Joan.

      The de Coucis were long an illustrious family in France, and in the reign of Charles the Sixth, the then lord de Couci, one of the greatest warriors of his age, married the daughter of the duke de Lorraine. Our historians have universally contented themselves with mentioning the name of the mother of Alexander the Third, without giving any account of her lineage or her father’s illustrious qualities both as a poet and a knight. The propensity to verse, song, and the dance, was one of the characteristics of the Norman chivalry, and through the means of the Norman settlers in Scotland, a similar taste must have been gradually encouraged at the Scottish court. Of this fondness for mirth and the gay poetry of the troubadours, which appears to have prevailed to some extent at the Scottish court during the reigns of Alexander the Second and Third, a valuable proof seems to be furnished by the celebrated chesspiece, of which a woodcut is given. This chesspiece is Adair, geographer for Scotland, in 1682, somewhere in the north, while engaged in making a survey of the kingdom. The piece consists in all of seven figures, and is supposed, although not we think on very sufficient grounds, to be of Scottish manufacture.

      In this curious and ingenious piece of art, a representation and description of which is given in ‘Wilson’s Archaeology and Prehistoric Annals of Scotland,’ page 579, (where it is supposed to belong to the fourteenth century), the queen, probably intended for Queen Mary de Couci, is represented crowned and seated on her throne, with a lapdog on her knee, and what is apparently a book, perhaps of troubadour poetry, in her right hand. On her left stands a knight in full armour, with drawn sword and shield, who appears to be reciting verses, while a trouvere or minstrel on her left seems to be accompanying him on the crowde, a musical instrument then in use which somewhat resembled the violin. The four female figures behind have hold of each other by the hand, while the one next the minstrel bears a palm-branch. The whole seems intended to embody some display before the queen of the joyous science, in which the troubadours took so much delight.

ALEXANDER, a surname in Scotland, probably derived originally from the first king of that name, but chiefly borne by the earls of Stirling and their descendants. The family of Alexander, earls of Stirling, is traced from a remote period by genealogists, who derive it from a branch of the Macdonalds. Somerled, king of the Isles, who lived in the reign of Malcolm the Fourth, and was slain in battle about 1164, had by his second wife Effrica, daughter of Olave the Red, king of Man, three sons, Dugall, Reginald, and Angus. After Somerled’s death, the Isles, with the exception of Arran and Bute, which had come to him with his wife, descended to Dugall, his eldest son by his second marriage. Dugall also possessed the district of Lorn. On his death the Isles did not immediately pass into the possession of his children, but appear, according to the Highland law of succession, to have been acquired by his brother Reginald, who, in consequence, assumed the title of king of the Isles. (Skene’s History of the Highlanders, vol. ii. p. 49.) The portion of property which fell to Reginald’s share on his father’s death consisted of Islay among the Isles, with Kintyre and part of Lorn. The genealogists of the noble family of Stirling have confounded this Reginald with his cousin Reginald the Norwegian, king of Man and the Isles, who was contemporary with him, and who was the son of Godred the Black, king of Man, the brother of Effrica, Somerled’s second wife. Reginald, lord of Islay and South Kintyre and king of the Isles, was the father of Donald, the progenitor of the clan Donald, who had three sons, Roderick, Angus, and Alexander, Roderick’s male descendants became extinct in the third generation. The second son, Angus, lord of Islay, the Angus Mohr of the Sennachies, and the first of his race who acknowledged himself a subject of the King of Scotland, was ancestor of the earls of Ross, lords of the Isles, of the lords Macdonald, and of the earls of Antrim in Ireland. His grandson, John, lord of the Isles, took for his second wife, the princess Margaret, daughter of Robert II, and his third son by her, Alexander, Lord of Lochaber, forfeited in 1431, had two sons, Angus, ancestor of the Macalisters of Loup, Argyleshire, and Alexander Macalister, who obtained the lands of Menstrie, Clackmannanshire, in feu from the family of Argyle, and was ancestor of the earls of Stirling. His posterity took the surname of Alexander from his Christian name. He had a son, Thomas, 2d baron of Menstrie, who is mentioned as an arbiter in a dispute between the abbot of Cambuskenneth and Sir David Bruce of Clackmannan, 6th March 1505. Thomas’ son, Andrew, 3d baron, was father of Alexander, Alexander, 4th baron, who had a son, Andrew, 5th baron. This gentleman was father of another Alexander Alexander, 6th baron of Menstrie, who died in 1594, leaving an only son, Sir William Alexander, 7th baron of Menstrie and first earl of Stirling, a Memoir of whom is subjoined in larger type.

      Sir William Alexander, the first earl of Stirling, married Janet, daughter and heiress of Sir William Erskine, titular archbishop of Glasgow, parson of Campsie, chancellor of the cathedral of Glasgow, and commendator of Paisley, a younger son of Erskine of Balgony, and cousin of the regent earl of Mar. By her he had seven sons and three daughters.

      The earl’s eldest son, William, Viscount Canada and Lord Alexander, was appointed an extraordinary lord of session in Scotland, in room of his father, 27th January 1635. He spent a winter in Nova Scotia as deputy-lieutenant, but the hardships he endured while there injured his constitution. He died at London in 1638, during the lifetime of his father. By his wife, Lady Mary Douglas, daughter of William, first marquis of Douglas, he had a son William, the second earl of Stirling, who died within six months after succeeding to the title, under eight years of age.

      Earl William was succeeded by his uncle Henry, who was the third son of the first earl,—the second son, Anthony, who had been knighted, and was master of works in Scotland, having, like his eldest brother Alexander, died before his father.

      The third earl died in 1644, leaving an only son, also named Henry, who became the fourth earl. He died in 1691, leaving issue four sons, whereof Henry the eldest succeeded as fifth earl, but died without issue 4th December 1739. His three younger brothers having also died without issue in his lifetime, the title became dormant.

      The first earl of Stirling's fourth son, John, married the daughter and heiress of John Graham of Gartmore, of which estate the earl obtained a charter 23d January 1636. By this lady the Hon. John Alexander had a daughter but no sons; and in 1644, he sold Gartmore to Graham of Donnans, progenitor of the baronets of Gartmore, and the Grahams of Gallangad.

      Charles, the first earl’s fifth son, had an only son Charles, who died without issue. Ludovick the sixth son died in infancy, and James the youngest died without issue male.

      In 1830, a gentleman of the name of Mr. Alexander Humphrys, or Alexander, came forward, and claimed the titles and honours as descended from a younger branch of the family by the female side, his mother Hannah the wife of William Humphrys, Esq. of the Larches, Warwickshire, assuming to be countess of Stirling in her own right. She died in September 1814, and in April 1825 be began to style himself earl of Stirling and Dovan, but was in 1839, tried before the High Court of Justiciary, Edinburgh, on a charge of forging certain documents on which he founded his claim. The jury declared the documents forgeries; but found the charge against Humphrys of having forged them not proven. The result of the trial was to put an end to his pretensions to the earl— dom. Another supposed descendant, Major—general Alexander, of the United States service, generally styled Lord Stirling, distinguished himself during the revolutionary war in North America, and died in 1783. See STIRLING, earl of.

      The noble family of Alexander, earls of Caledon in Ireland, is descended from a junior branch of the house of Stirling.

ALEXANDER, SIR WILLIAM, first earl of Stirling, an eminent poet and statesman, styled by Drummond of Hawthornden, "that most excellent spirit and earliest gem of our north," was the son of Alexander Alexander of Menstrie, in Stirlingshire, and was born, about 1580, in Menstrie House, which is celebrated also as the birthplace of Sir Ralph Abercromby, and of which a wood-cut is given at page 5. All his patrimony was the small estate of Menstrie, of which he was the seventh proprietor, but he acquired both fortune and rank for himself. After completing his education, he accompanied the seventh earl of Argyle to the continent as his travelling tutor and companion. On his return to Scotland, he lived for some time in retirement, employing himself in composing amatory verses. His first poetical effusions were inspired by a passion which he entertained for a lady, whom he fancifully calls "Aurora." His suit was unsuccessful. The lady of his love married a much older person, and like another Petrarch he continued to address her in lachrymatory sonnets. These, a hundred in number, were published in London in 1604, under the title of ‘Aurora, containing the First Fancies of the Author’s Youth.’ He subsequently married Janet, daughter and heiress of Sir William Erskine, cousin of the regent earl of Mar, as stated above. He next turned his attention to grave and moral subjects, with a view to the direction of princes and rulers, in a series of tragedies, formed upon the Greek and Roman models, at least in their chorusses between the acts. One of these, founded upon the story of Darius, was published in Edinburgh in 1603. He had been early introduced to the royal notice, as his residence was near the castle of Stirling, where James the Sixth often held his court, and shortly after that monarch, with whom he had ingratiated himself by his poetry, had removed to England, in the year stated (1603), Alexander followed him to London. At court he distinguished himself by his genius and accomplishments, and soon obtained the place of gentleman of the privy chamber to Prince Henry, the eldest son of King James. To this youthful and amiable prince he addressed his ‘Paraenesis, or Exhortation to Government,’ a poem containing important and useful lessons to an heir of royalty. After Prince Henry’s death he published it, re-addressed to the new heir-apparent, Prince Charles. From this poem we may quote one short specimen:

"O heavenly knowledge! which the best sort loves,
Life of the soul! reformer of the will!
Clear light! which from the mind each cloud removes,
Pure spring of vertue, physick for each ill!
Which, in prosperity, a bridle proves,
And, in adversity, a pillar still.
Of thee the more men get, the more they crave,
And think, the more they get, the lesse they have."

In 1607 the tragedy of Darius, above referred to, was republished with three others, namely, Croesus, The Alexandraean, and Julius Caesar, under the title of ‘Monarchic Tragedies.’ They had another title, ‘Elegiac Dialogues for the Instruction of the Great,’ and were dedicated to the king. None of them were adapted to the stage. The point of these moral ‘Monarchic Tragedies’ was to illustrate the superiority of merit to dignity. Thus, in Croesus, we have the following lines:

"More than a crown true worth should be esteemed.
One Fortune gives, the other is our own;
By which the mind from anguish is redeemed,
When Fortune’s goods are by herself o’erthrown"
And in Darius there is the following sentiment:
"Who would the title of true worth were his,
Must vanquish vice, and no base thoughts conceive.
The bravest trophy ever man obtained
Is that which o’er himself himself hath gained."

We are afraid, however, that the tragedies were monarchic in more senses than one. Instead of such moral truisms, had he checked the intemperate spirit of kingcraft and selfish policy of James, or pointed out, as soon as they began to display themselves in his son Charles, the folly and danger of that love of the prerogative and fatal duplicity which afterwards led him to the block, he would have rendered a benefit to these monarchs, and done good service to humanity. One of these plays, called ‘The Alexandraean,’ gave rise to the following Latin epigram by Arthur Johnston, editor of his ‘Whole Works.'

"Confer Alexandros; Macedo victricibus armis
Magnus erat, Scotus carmine Major uter ?

Prince Henry died in 1612, and in 1613 Alexander was appointed one of the gentlemen ushers of the presence to Prince Charles, afterwards Charles I. In the same year he published a ‘Supplement,’ to complete the third part of Sir Philip Sydney’s romance of ‘Arcadia,’ which had been written some years before. In 1614 he received the honour of knighthood from king James, who used to call him his "philosophic poet," and was made Master of Requests. The same year he published at Edinburgh his largest work, a sacred poem entitled ‘Doomsday, or the Great Day of Judgement,’ of which there have been several editions. It is supposed that Milton has copied from this in some parts of his Paradise Lost, or at least derived some of his suggestions from it. At this period he commenced his political career. The object which first attracted his attention was the settlement of a colony in North America, in a part of the Council of New England’s patent from King James, which they were desirous of surrendering. Of this great tract of country he had a royal grant, dated at Windsor the 10th September 1621, by which the said extensive territory was then given to him to hold hereditarily, with the office of hereditary lieutenant, and was thenceforth to be called Nova Scotia. The following sketch of this proposed settlement is abridged from Bancroft’s History of the Colonization of America. Sir Frederick Gorges, governor of Plymouth in New England, a man of energy of character, and zeal for discovery, having a few months previous, November 8, 1620, obtained from James a patent for the famous association, which has but one parallel in the history of the world, whereby forty English subjects, incorporated as "The Council established at Plymouth for the planting, ruling, and governing New England in America," obtained an exclusive right to possess and rule over territory extending from the fortieth to the forty-eighth degree of north latitude, and from the Atlantic to the Pacific, that company, under a grant from whom the Pilgrim fathers about the same time obtained the privilege of a settlement, being unwilling to witness the Roman Catholic religion and the French monarch in possession of the eastern coast of North America, sought to secure the safety of the northern frontier of the region assigned to them (now the present state of Maine), by inviting the Scottish nation to become the guardians of its frontier, and Sir William Alexander, as a man of influence with King James, and already animated with the ambition, so common to the courtiers of that age, of engaging in colonial adventure, was persuaded to second a design which promised to establish his personal dignity and advance his interest. Accordingly, without difficulty a patent was obtained by him, as already stated, on the 10th September 1621, for all the territory lying east of the St. Croix, and south of the St. Lawrence. Immediate attempts were made to effect a Scottish settlement. A ship was sent out in 1622, but it only came in sight of the shore; and those on board, declining the perils of colonization, returned to the permanent fishing station at Newfoundland. In the following spring a second ship arrived, but the two vessels in company hardly possessed courage to do more than survey the coast. After making a partial survey of the harbours, and the adjacent lands, they postponed the formation of a colony, and returned with a brilliant account of the soil, climate, and productions of Nova Scotia, which is still to be read in Purchas and other authors.

      The territory thus ceded, however, and designated Nova Scotia, had already been included in the French province of Acadia and New France, which, with a better title on the ground of discovery, had been granted by Henry the Fourth of France, in 1603, and had been immediately occupied by his subjects, and it was not to be supposed that the reigning French monarch would esteem his rights to his rising colonies invalidated by a parchment under the Scottish seal, or prove himself so forgetful of his kingly duty and honour as to withdraw his protection from the emigrants who had settled in America on the faith of the crown. (Bancroft's History of the United States, edition 1843, p. 134) The accession of Charles the First in 1625, and his marriage with Henrietta Maria, the daughter of the French king, might have been expected to lead, to some adjustment between the rival claimants of the wilds of Acadia, but England would not recognise the rights of France; and King Charles, by a charter dated at Oatlands, July 12, 1625, confirmed Sir William Alexander, and his heirs, in the office of lieutenant of Nova Scotia, with all the prerogatives with which he had been so lavishly invested by King James, and the right of creating an order of baronets of Nova Scotia. All who paid a hundred and fifty pounds for six thousand acres were to receive the honour of a knight baronetcy, and his majesty, by letter to his privy council of Scotland, dated 19th July 1625, fixed the quantity of land that Sir William might grant to the baronets created by him as the qualification and to sustain the title, to be "thrie myles in breadth, and six in lenth, of landis within New Scotland, for their several proportions." The difficulty of infefting the new-made baronets in their remote possessions was overcome by a royal mandate, converting the soil of the Castle Hill of Edinburgh, for the time being, into that of Nova Scotia, and they were accordingly invested with their honours on this spot. Sir William Alexander was to have the precedence of all the baronets. He had the same year (1625) published a pamphlet entitled ‘An Encouragement to Colonies,’ the object of which was to show the advantages which were likely to accrue to the nation from the prosecution of the scheme. The grants of such title of baronet, though bestowed, in the first instance, in consequence of the voluntary surrender of Sir William, before or after he became earl of Stirling, were afterwards held of the crown, by charter of Novodamus to the respective parties. No baronet, however, obtained such grant from the king, without having previously obtained the portion of lands for its qualification, from Sir William Alexander, the lord proprietor of the country. Sir William was also invested with the privilege of coining small copper money. The sale of lands proved to the poet a lucrative traffic, and he forthwith planted and began to settle a colony at Port Royal, where he built a fort.

      The version of the Psalms of David into Scottish verse, prepared by King James, had been committed to Sir William Alexander by his majesty for revisal; but from the following extract of a letter to his friend Drummond of Hawthorn-den, of date 28th April 1620, it would appear that the pedantic monarch, with ‘characteristic vanity, thought his own translation of one of the psalms better than those of the two first poets of his time. "Brother," says Alexander, "I received your last letter, with the Psalm you sent, which I think very well done. I had done the same long before it came; but he, (meaning King James) prefers his own to all else; though, perchance, when you see it, you will think it the worst of the three. No man must meddle with that subject, and there fore I advise you to take no more pains therein." On the 28th of December 1627 he received a license from Charles I. to print the late king’s version of the Psalms, with the exclusive copyright for thirty-one years. The first edition was accordingly published at Oxford in 1631, but the earl derived little benefit from the privilege thus conferred upon him, as King James’ translations of the Psalms, although the use of them was attempted to be enforced by King Charles throughout his dominions, were rejected by the Scottish church and people, and not encouraged by the English, and in the civil war that followed they were lost sight of altogether.

      In 1626 Sir William Alexander was appointed principal secretary of state for Scotland. On the 2d of February, 1628, he had another charter, under the great seal of Scotland, in which he was described as the king’s hereditary lieutenant of Nova Scotia, and had a grant of certain islands and territories, the bounds of which were most extensive; and the whole were erected into an entire and free lordship, then, and at all times thereafter, to be called and designated the "Lordship of Canada," from the great river then bearing that name, on both sides of which lay the territories granted. This colony, as well as that of Nova Scotia, was founded and established at the sole private expense of Sir William Alexander, the grantee; and both grants were confirmed to him by the parliament of Scotland in 1633.

      On the 4th of September, 1630, he was created Lord Alexander of Tullibody, and Viscount Stirling in the Scottish peerage. Charles the First had, in 1627, entered into a war with France, in support of the Huguenots of that kingdom, which contin— ued until April 1629, when it was terminated by articles of peace, concluded at Susa in Piedmont. During this war, Sir David Kertk of Dieppe, a Calvinist, called Kirk by the English and American historians, and his two brothers, Louis and Thomas, having received the command of three English ships, sailed in 1628 on an expedition against Quebec, then in the hands of the French, which they summoned to surrender. The garrison, though destitute alike of provisions and military stores, returned a proud defiance; but after the Kertks had defeated a squadron sent to its relief, and reduced the garrison to extreme suffering and the verge of famine, Quebec capitulated 19th July, 1629. "Thus," says Bancroft, "did England, one hundred and thirty years before the enterprise of Wolfe, make the conquest of the capital of New France." Before, however, this conquest had been achieved, peace had been proclaimed betwixt England and France, and an article in the treaty already mentioned promised the restitution of all acquisitions made in America subsequent to its date, April 14, 1629.

      In consequence of a letter from his majesty, Charles the First, to the lords of the privy council in Scotland, on the subject of the dispute betwixt the English and French concerning the title of lands in America and particularly New Scotland, their lordships, with the other estates of the realm, being assembled in convention, 31st July 1630, unanimously agreed that his majesty should "be petitioned to maintain his right of New Scotland, and to protect his subjects, undertakers of the said plantation, in the peaceable possession of the same, as being a purpose highlie concerning his majestie’s honour, and the good and credit of this his ancient kingdom." The removal of the colony planted at Port Royal was nevertheless commanded by his majesty, together with the destruction of the fort built for its protection, and the evacuation of Port Royal itself, by a letter to Sir William Alexander, then Viscount Stirling, dated Greenwich, 10th July 1631. This fort it seems was one which had been erected by Lord Stirling’s son, Sir William

      Alexander, "on the site of the French cornfields, previous to the treaty of St. Germains (afterwards referred to). The remains of this fort may be traced with great ease; the old parade, the embankment and ditch have not been disturbed, and preserve their original form." (Haliburton’s History of Nova Scotia. Halifax, 1829, vol. ii. page 156.) The removal of the colony from Port Royal, although it was declared to have been only for a time, occasioned a great private loss to Lord Stirling, and operated as a discouragement to the planting and settling of Nova Scotia. At the same time King Charles wrote to the lords of the council, 12th July, 1631, "We will be verie careful to maintain all our good subjects who do plant themselves there ;" and granted letters patent, 28th of the same month, wherein he declared, that he agreed to give up the fort and place of Port Royal, without prejudice nevertheless to his right or title, or that of his subjects, for ever; and even held out the prospect of its garrison, colonies, and inhabitants being allowed to return in consequence of approbation to that effect being obtained from the French king. To their lordships he also wrote, under date 19th February, 1632, with a warrant in Lord Stirling’s favour for £10,000 sterling, "in no ways for quitting the title, right, or possession of New Scotland, or of any part thereof, but only for satisfaction of the losses that the said viscount hath, by giving order for removing of his colonie at our express command, for performing of an article of the treatie betwixt the French and us." This is doubtless what Sir Thomas Urquhart, in his ‘Discovery of a most Exquisite Jewel,’ &c., (8vo, 1652,) refers to, when he charges Lord Stirling with having sold the colony to the French "for a matter of five or six thousand pounds English money ;" but it so happens that this sum of ten thousand pounds was never paid either to Lord Stirling or any of his heirs.

      That fanciful knight speaks very slightingly of Lord Stirling’s plans of colonization, and especially of his project of raising money by the creation and sale of baronetcies in what he calls "that kingdom of Nova Scotia," and says that "the ancient gentry of Scotland esteemed such a whimsical dignity to be a disparagement, rather than any addition to their former honour." Their descendants, however, are of a different opinion. The order of baronets of Scotland and Nova Scotia is considered highly honourable. From the beginning of the reign of Charles the First, when it was first instituted, to the end of the reign of Queen Anne, when the last member was created, upwards of two hundred and eighty baronets of this order were made in all; and of these creations about one hundred and seventy exist at present. The badge of the order is a medal bearing the arms of Nova Scotia, encircled by the motto, "Fax mentis honestoe gloria," suspended from the neck by an orange tawny riband.

      Owing to the capture of Quebec by Sir David Kertk, the king of France detained four hundred thousand crowns, part of his sister the queen of England’s portion. This brought about a treaty with King Charles, who empowered his ambassador, Sir Isaac Wake, to conclude the dispute 29th June 1631, but it was not till 29th March 1632 that the treaty was signed, by which King Charles agreed to make his subjects withdraw from all the places occupied by them; and for that effect gave orders to those who commanded in Fort Royal, the fort of Quebec, and Cape Breton, to render up these places and fort into the hands of such persons as the French king should please to appoint; which put an end to all differences, and the remaining half of the queen’s portion was paid by the French king. (Prince’s Annals of New England.) This treaty is known in history as the treaty of St. Germains. Although by this treaty Nova Scotia was not ceded at all, but only Port Royal commanded to be given up, the French from Quebec and the surrounding district thereafter suddenly broke into the country of Nova Scotia, on the unsupported pretence of a rIght to the possession of it, by the treaty just referred to. The troubles in England, in which King Charles was involved, prevented his breaking with the French court, and the French availed themselves of the opportunity of the convulsed state of Britain to take possession of Nova Scotia, and keep it for a long time, without being molested, or any effectual remonstrances being made against their aggression.

      In June 1633 the patents or grants to Sir William Alexander, viscount of Stirling, were solemnly ratified by the Scottish parliament, and at the coronation of King Charles at Holyrood on the 14th of the same month, with a view to perpetuate the name of the lordship of Canada in his family, the king, by other letters patent, created him viscount of Canada, and earl of Stirling. His salary as secretary of state for Scotland was only one hundred pounds sterling, but the privilege which, as already stated, he had received from the king, of issuing small coins, as well as his sale of baronetcies, added much to his fortune. As, however, the intrinsic value of these coins was inferior to their nominal, this monopoly was unpopular. They were called "turners," from the French town Tournois, where this money was first coined, and which, being a mixture of copper and brass termed billon, was known by the name of "turners" from this circumstance, as also "bilious" from the mixture of which they were composed. Thus the poet Beattie, in the only known composition of his in the Scottish language, referring to the disposition which prevailed on the part of the Scots to look to English to the neglect of native literature, after the death of Allan Ramsay, thus uses the word:

"Since Allan’s death, nae body car’d
For anes to speer how Scotia far’d;
Nor plack nor thristled turner war’d
To quench her drouth;
For, frae the cottar to the laird
We a’ run south."

It was called the thristled, that is, thistled turner, to distinguish it from the French coin, which, owing to the friendship subsisting between the Scots and the French, circulated in Scotland even so late as the reign of Louis the Fourteenth. The Scottish turner, or tournois, bore the national emblem of the thistle. It was sometimes called a bodle, or black farthing, value two pennies Scotch; being half a plack, value fourpence Scotch, or onethird of a penny English. The motto of the earl of Stirling was "Per Mare, per Terras," which, with his armorial bearings, he caused to be placed in front of a spacious mansion he had erected at Stirling. His motto, in allusion to his poetry and his coinage, was thus parodied by the sarcastic Scott of Scotstarvet, "per metres. per turners," which became current among the people. The house remains, but has been long known by the name of Argyle’s lodging; the arms of the Alexanders having after his death in 1640, when it passed into that family, been removed to make way for those of Argyle. "This baronial edifice is a very excellent specimen," says Billings, in his ‘Baronial Architecture of Scotland,’ "of that French style which predominated in the north in the early part of the seventeenth century. Its characteristic features are, round towers or turrets, whether at the exterior or interior angles, with conical summits, rows of richly ornamented dormer windows, and a profuse distribution of semi-classic mouldings and other decorations." The woodcut (right) represents it as originally constructed, and before the cone-topped tower was substituted by the polygonal one erected in 1674. It is taken from the highly interesting work above referred to. The original portion bears the date of 1632. After the additions made to it in 1674, James VII., when duke of York, became its inmate as guest of Argyle, "an incident," says Billings, " noticed in connection with the circumstance, that the guest was subsequently instrumental in putting his host to death." It was here the great Duke John held his council of war, when suppressing the rebellion of 1715. The building subsequently came into possession of the Crown, and is now used as a military hospital for the garrison. (Nimmo’s Stirlingshire, p. 342.) Besides being secretary of state, an office which he is said to have held with no small degree of reputation till his death, his lordship was by Charles the First appointed a member of the privy council, keeper of the signet in Scotland, commissioner of exchequer, and an extraordinary lord ot session; a plurality of offices doubtless sufficient for one man.

      In 1637, by a privy seal precept dated 30th July, the earl was created earl of Dovan in Scotland, with precedency from June 1633. He continued to procure the creation of baronets of those persons respectively who concurred with him in the great enterprise of fully planting Nova Scotia, and he made up their territorial qualifications for receiving the dignity, by surrender of portions of the lands in their favour. This, we are told, he did down to 31st July 1637, at which time he ceased to make them, intelligence having reached him that the French had overrun the country and held it in possession. Thus, twelve years after the commencement of this great undertaking,— when one hundred and eleven baronets having fulfilled the stipulated conditions of the institution, had each received grants of sixteen thousand acres, which were erected into free baronies of regality, and two parliaments of Scotland, in 1630 and 1633, had ratified and confirmed all the privileges of the order,—it fell to the ground.

      In 1638 Lord Stirling’s eldest son and heir, William, lord Alexander, died, when his lordship made a surrender of all his honours and estates into the hands of King Charles, who, by a charter of Novodamus, under the great seal of Scotland, dated the 7th of December 1639, regranted them to the earl, to hold to himself and the heirs male of his body, whom failing to the eldest heirs female. Shortly after this, Lord Stirling died at London, on the 12th of September 1640, and was interred at Stirling on the 12th of April thereafter. His corpse was deposited in a leaden coffin in the family aisle in the church of Stirling, aboveground, and remained entire for a hundred years. He never relinquished any of the rights vested in him under his patents, and an assignment of them in trust was executed by him only two weeks before his death. The portrait of his lordship (left) is taken from one given in Walpole’s Royal and Noble authors.

      The province of Nova Scotia finally came under the undisputed possession of Great Britain in 1763. By the fourth article of the treaty of Paris, of 10th February of that year, the French king renounced all pretensions to Nova Scotia in all its parts, and thus, with Canada, its sovereignty was re-acquired by Great Britain, in whose possession it now remains. The baronets of Scotland and Nova Scotia in the year 1836, held a meeting at Edinburgh for the purpose of reviving the objects for which their order was created, and a "Case, showing their rights and privileges, dignitorial and territorial," was shortly thereafter published by Richard Broun, Esq., the secretary of the order, afterwards Sir Richard Broun, baronet, of Colstoun, Dumfries-shire; but there is very little likelihood now of their ever regaining the lands in Nova Scotia which were originally granted with their titles. Since Queen Anne’s time no new Nova Scotia baronets have been made. Those created are styled baronets of Great Britain, and no payment of money can now purchase the title, although of course expenses attend the passage of a patent, on the title being conferred.—By his countess, as already stated in the preliminary notice, the earl of Stirling had seven sons and three daughters, but only three sons and two daughters survived him.

      [Lord Stirling] A complete edition of Lord Stirling’s works, revised by himself, was published in 1637, in one volume folio, under the title of ‘Recreations with the Muses.’ This work contained his four ‘Monarchick Tragedies,’ his ‘Doomsday,’ the ‘Paraenesis to Prince Henry,’ and the first book of an intended heroic poem, entitled ‘Jonathan.’ His poems are generally of a grave and moralizing character, and possess considerable merit. Mr. George Chalmers has remarked, that he must be allowed to have sentiments that sparkle, though not "words that burn," (Apology for the Believers, &c., p. 420); and Mr. Alexander Chalmers adds to this remark that " his versification is, in general, much superior to that of his contemporaries, and approaches nearer to the elegance of modern times than could have been expected from one who wrote so much." His works were highly praised by writers of his own day. The opinion of Drummond of Hawthornden has been already quoted. Michael Drayton, who commended Lord Stirling’s poems highly, expresses a wish to be known as the friend of a writer "whose muse was like his mind ;" and John Davies of Hereford, in a book of epigrams, published about the year 1611, praises the tragedies of his lordship, and says that "Alexander the Great had not gained more glory with his sword than this Alexander had gained by his pen." Higher approbation even than this, as coming from a higher authority in matters of literature, is afforded in the verdict of Addison, who said of Lord Stirling’s "whole works," that "he had read them over with the greatest satisfaction." Dr. Carrie, in his Life of Burns, says, "Lord Stirling and Drummond of Hawthornden studied the language of England, and composed in it with precision and elegance. They were, however, the last of their countrymen who deserved to be considered as poets in that century." Dean Swift, in one of his poems, has brought their names together as

"Scottish bards of highest fame,
Wise Hawthornden and Stirling’s lord."

His plays appear to be mere dramatic poems, more fitted for perusal in the closet than representation on the stage, and accordingly none of them seem ever to have been acted. Three poems by his lordship and a few of his letters, with ‘Anacrisis, or a Censure of Poets,’ occur in the folio edition of Drummond’s works. The latter of these productions is considered very creditable to his lordship’s talents as a critic. As a proof of the unpopularity of Lord Stirling in his native country on account of his small copper money, it is stated by Burnet, in his Memoirs of the Dukes of Hamilton, that he durst not come to Scotland to attend to the king’s affairs as secretary of state. His productions are as follows:

Darius: a Tragedy. Edin. 1603, 4to. Reprinted with the Tragedy of Croesus and a Paraenesis to the Prince, 1604, and still further augmented with the Alexandrian Tragedy and Julius Caesar. Lond. 1607, 4to.

Aurora; containing the first Fancies of the Author’s youth. Inscribed to the Lady Agnes (Anne) Douglas, (afterwards Countess of Argyle). Lond. 1604, 4to.

The Monarchicke Tragedies. Lond. 1604, 1607, 4to. 3d edition. Lond. 1616, small 8vo.

An Elegie on the Death of Prince Henrie. Edin. 1612, 4to. Including an Address ‘To his Majestic,’ and ‘A Short Viewe of the State of Man.’

Doomesday, or the Great Day of the Lord’s Judgement. Edin. 1614, 4to.

A Supplement of a Defect in the third part of Sidney’s Arcadia. Dublin, 1621. fol.

An Encouragement to Colonies. Lond. 1625, 4to.

A Map and Description of New England, with a Discourse of Plantation and the Colonies, &c. Lond. 1630, 4to.

Recreations with the Muses, being his whole works, with the exception of Aurora, and including Jonathan, an Unfinished Poem. Lond. 1637, fol.

ALEXANDER, JOHN, a painter of some eminence during the earlier half of the eighteenth century. Neither the place of his birth nor the date is recorded, but he was a descendant of the more celebrated George Jamesone, through his lawful daughter, Mary Jamesone. He studied his art chiefly at Florence. On his return in 1720, to Scotland, he resided at Gordon castle, having found a liberal patroness in the duchess of Gordon, a daughter of the earl of Peterborough. He painted poetical, allegorical, and ornamental pieces; also portraits and historical landscapes. Many of the portraits of Queen Mary are by Alexander. He had begun, it is stated, a picture of Mary’s escape from Lochleven castle, which he did not live to finish.


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