MONTEATH, or MONTEITH,
a surname, see MENTEITH.
MONTEITH, or MONTETH, ROBERT, an eminent historian, was born at
Salmonet, near Grange, in Stirlingshire, and flourished about the middle
of the seventeenth century. The particulars of his life are involved in
much obscurity. According to tradition, he was obliged to leave
Scotland, being suspected of adultery with the wife of Sir James
Hamilton of Prestonfield. He appears to have been a chaplain of Cardinal
de Retz, who also made him a canon of Notre Dame. Another account states
that having, in consequence of his loyalty, taken refuge in France, he
ingratiated himself with Cardinal Richelieu, and was offered a situation
under government, provided he could show a pedigree. He said he was of
the family of Salmonet in Stirlingshire, and was promoted accordingly.
According to tradition he father had been a salmon fisher in the Borough
meadow of Stirling; and the son had taken his title from the net in
which the salmon were caught. But this is not correct. He was the son of
an old and respectable family, and there was once a place in
Stirlingshire called Salmonet.
He wrote a work in
French, embracing the period of Scottish history from the coronation of
Charles I. to the conclusion of the rebellion; a translation of which,
by James Ogilvie, appeared at London in 1735, under the title of
‘History of the Troubles of Great Britain, containing an Account of the
most remarkable Passages, from 1633 to 1650.’ The date of his death is
unknown. It must have been previous to the publication of the original
work, as in the privilege for printing it, granted September 13, 1660,
to Jacques St. Clair de Roselin, the author is styled “Le defunct St.
Montet.” He must not be confounded with another Robert Monteith, the
compiler of a scarce and valuable collection of all the epitaphs in
Scotland, published under the name of ‘An Theater of Morality,’ in 1704.