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The Scottish Nation

DAVID THE FIRST, King of Scots, a monarch who, by his admirable capacity for government, and skill in availing himself of opportunities of aggrandizing his kingdom, may be truly said to be the founder of the monarchy on its modern basis and extended limits, was the eighth son of Malcolm the Third, but the sixth and youngest by his queen, Margaret, sister of Edgar Atheling, the displaced heir of the Saxon line of English princes. None of his brothers by Queen Margaret, (two of whom, Edgar and Alexander, reigned before him,) bor the Christian names of any of the previous kings or nobles of Scotland. They were principally such as were born by Queen margaret’s relatives, and seem to have been chosen by herself; and Lord Hailes conjectures that the youngest son received the name of David, from his having been born at a time when his mother had no hope of ore children, in reference to the youngest son of Jesse. [Dalrymple’s Annals, 4to. edit. 1779, vol. i. p. 43.] After the death of his father, his uncle Donald Bane usurped the throne, and the young princes Edgar, Alexander, and David retired into England, where they were kindly entertained by their maternal uncle, Edgar Atheling. David is said to have afterwards spent some years at the English court, and according to the English historian, William of Malmsbury, “By his early converse with his countrymen his manners were polished from the rust of Scottish barbarity;” but this is doubtful, as the English historians who refer to this matter, speak of him as “living as a count in England,” comite in Anglia. [Odericus Vitalis, in Dalrymple’s Annals. vol. i. p. 100.] Now he was only a count in or of

Cumbria, which was always spoken of by them in that age as part of England. The Scottish historians have supposed that when in England, his residence was at the court of Henry the First, who had married his sister Matilda, overlooking the fact that this marriage did not take place till 1100, two years after his brother Edgar had ascended the throne by the expulsion of Donald Bane, and probably after David had, as the same historians relate, soon after that event, at the head of an army of Norman knights, in the service of William Rufus, proceeded into Scotland from Lothian or Cumbria, to assist in the settlement of his brother’s kingdom. This view of the matter appears the more probable from the circumstance that all these writers describe his residence in England to have extended during and until the close of the reign of his brother Alexander, whereas during the whole of that reign, excepting perhaps occasional visits, he was unquestionably residing and governing as a count or prince in Cumbria. By his marriage with Matilda, daughter of Waltheof, count of Northumberland, David appears to have acquired great possessions in Cumbria (Inquisition) as also the foundation of a claim of some kind to succeed to the government of that province.

      David received from his brother Edgar, on his deathbed in January 1107, the province of Cumbria, (see art. ALEXANDER I.), as a sovereignty independent of the Scottish crown, but held (as it had been by his brother) as a fief under that of England. The writer to whom we owe the knowledge of this circumstance, mentions it under the designation of “a part of England,” portio regni. [Dalrymple, vol. i. page 49.] The extent of this province, which originally included the north-west counties of England, is distinctly stated in the ‘Inquisition’ to have been curtailed, and from the names referred to therein, to have comprised all modern Scotland, south of the firths of Clyde and Forth, with Dumbartonshire on the north of the former river. We have already, in our life of Alexander the First, alluded to Prince David’s happy genius for government, and to his ruling that portion of the country as an independent prince , and we need not dwell farther on either subject here. While still prince or earl of Cumbria, (he appears at this period to have resided at Selkirk,) David appointed several of the older and more influential inhabitants (seniorum hominum et sapientiorum totius Cumbriae) to make an inquisition concerning the lands pertaining to the see of Glasgow. This inquisition, preserved in the Chartulary of Glasgow, is a valuable record of the names of places at that period in the district, and a copy is published in one of the volumes of the Maitland Club. This must have been about 1116, as in the previous year he had appointed a person of great learning and piety named John, who had had the charge of his education, bishop of the see, and he was most anxious that it should possess all the lands which of right belonged to it.

      On the death of his brother, Alexander the First, on the 27th April 1124, David succeeded to the throne of Scotland. His right to it was not disputed at the time, and on his accession he for the first time introduced the Norman or feudal system into the northern portion of his kingdom, which gradually displaced the institutions that till then had prevailed. After this period he does not seem to have resided much at Selkirk. The larger part of Scotland proper was also now under his sway, and as he was on the most friendly terms with his brother-in-law, Henry the First of England, whose court he frequently visited, several years of peace ensued, and the nation, under his mild and beneficent rule, made rapid progress in prosperity and civilization.

      One of David’s characteristics was the founding and endowment of religious houses. In the same year that he founded the monastery of Kelso (1128) he also erected that of Holyrood, styled by Fordun “Monasterium Sanctae Crucis de Crag,” and liberally endowed it. For the canons of Holyrood and the use of the inhabitants, he built a mill at the place which afterwards became the village of Canonmills. In the charter of foundation he granted liberty to these canons to erect a burgh between the abbey and the town of Edinburgh; hence the origin of the burgh of Canongate, afterwards the seat of royalty and the residence of the Scottish nobility while Scotland remained an independent kingdom. The legend of the circumstances which are said to have led to the foundation of this abbey, although adopted by modern writers on antiquities, is quite unworthy of serious attention. He likewise afterwards founded the abbeys of Melrose, Newbattle, Cambuskenneth, Dryburgh, Kinloss, and Jedburgh, as well as the priory of Lesmahago and the Cistertian convent of Berwick, all or nearly all in that portion of the country where he himself had formerly resided. In founding these institutions he acted with profound policy as well as piety. the inhabitants were rude and ignorant, and no mode of instructing or of civilizing them presented itself in that age so simple and effective as was the establishment of religious houses, which were then more industrial and educational than in later ages, when they became seats of luxury and idleness; and, by attaching a powerful body to the interests of his crown, he laid the foundation of that deep attachment to the monarchy which eventually promoted its entire independence of England. Besides, most of the lands with which he endowed them had originally belonged to the church, and many of the substantial grants were at the same time made by his nobles.

      On the death of Henry the First of England in 1135, his nephew, Stephen earl of Boulogne, usurped the throne, and David immediately assembled an army to support the right of his niece, Henry’s daughter, the empress Matilda, which, as a vassal of the English monarchy, he had, as the first noble in that kingdom, sworn to maintain. Entering England, he took Carlisle and Newcastle, and overran the counties of Cumberland and Northumberland, compelling the northern barons to swear fealty to Matilda, and to give hostages for the performance of their oath. To arrest his progress, Stephen, at the head of a large force, marched to Durham, and the king of Scots, finding himself deserted by the English barons who had joined him and had sworn to maintain the claims of Matilda to the throne, entered into a negociation with Stephen, which terminated in a treaty of peace, by which he restored all the towns and castles he had recently occupied, and Stephen, on his part, ceded the castle of Carlisle to Henry the son of the Scottish king, with the Honour of Huntingdon, and lands in Doncaster, for which the latter did homage. Stephen is also said to have promised not to make any grant of the earldom of Northumberland until he had examined the pretensions of Prince Henry, who claimed it as grandson and heir of Waltheof the last Anglo-Saxon earl, although the elder son of his mother by a former marriage was then living. The peace, however, was a hollow one, for in the same year, during the absence of King Stephen in Normandy, David invaded Northumberland, availing himself of the occasion to press the doubtful claim of his son Prince Henry to that county. On this occasion Thurstin, the aged archbishop of York, who some years before had consecrated Robert prior of Scone bishop of St. Andrews, (see life of ALEXANDER I.), repaired to Scotland, and prevailed upon King David to consent to a truce until Stephen’s return to England. When the latter came back, however, he haughtily rejected the demands of the Scottish king, and in the beginning of the following year David again invaded Northumberland. Exasperated at not being able to take the castle of Wark, which he had assaulted, the Scottish army committed the most cruel ravages, burning all the towns, villages, and churches, and sparing neither men, women, nor children. On being apprised of these devastations, King Stephen marched to the north at the head of a large force, and pursued the Scots as far as Roxburgh, and, crossing the Tweed, wasted the Scottish borders. On his retreat soon afterwards, David again invaded Northumberland, where, in spite of every effort to restrain them, his fierce soldiery committed the most frightful excesses. At the report of the approach of an English army they retired hastily, but their retrograde march was stayed by David, who, laying siege to Norham castle, captured and destroyed it; while another division of the Scottish army, under the leadership of the king’s nephew, William the son of Duncan, penetrated through Craven in Lancashire, and routed with great slaughter, at Clitheroe, upon the confines of Yorkshire, the English troops that had assembled to oppose its passage across the Ribble. From Norham King David marched southwards to join the victorious army of his nephew. The English, unable to content against their superior force, attempted in vain to negociate a peace. The battle that ensued, known in history as that of “the Standard,” was fought on Cutton Moor near Northallerton on August 21, 1138. The Scots were defeated with considerable loss, and the attendants of the king, seeing the day irretrievably lost, hurried him from the field. With his shattered army, he reached Carlisle, where he was joined by his son Prince Henry, who had escaped with difficulty.

      After restoring order among his soldiers, and binding their leaders by a solemn oath “never to desert him in war,” he led his troops to besiege the castle of Wark, which he reduced by famine, and razed to the ground. In the beginning of the following year, by the mediation of Queen Maude, the wife of Stephen and also a niece of King David, who had an interview with her uncle at Durham, a peace was at length concluded to the satisfaction of all parties, and the earldom of Northumberland granted to Henry prince of Scotland.

      The dislike with which a portion of the original races of th north had regarded the introduction of hereditary succession in the family of Malcolm the Third, by his second marriage, into the ancient kingdom of Scotland, to the exclusion of their ancient custom of Tanistry, however checked and overawed it might be for a time by the chastisements inflicted on their chiefs during the reign of his brother Alexander, did not prevent attempts being made by them, when favourable occasions presented themselves, to return to that rule of government, although the notices of these outbreaks that have come down to us in the national chronicles are vague and brief. It appears that in 1130, when David was absent in England, Angus earl of Moray, a descendant of Lulach, or of one of the family of Macbeth, invaded the adjacent county of Forfar with an army of 5,000 men, and was slain at Strickathrow with many of his people, and his territory overrun and subdued. In this attempt he is said by an English historian to have been aided by Malcolm, said to have been a bastard son of Alexander the first, but supposed with more probability to have been a son of Malcolm the Third, younger brother of Duncan by the first marriage of that king with the widow of the earl of Orkney, and an elder brother of David himself by the father’s side, whose name appears in a charter of Duncan to the monastery of Durham. [Dalrymple’s Annals, vol. i. pp. 45, 67.]

      In 1141 one Wimond, and English monk who possessed some address and genius, and had obtained a precarious living by copying old writings at Furness abbey in Lancashire, having proceeded to the Isle of Man in connexion with a religious house there founded, so pleased the natives that they obtained him for their bishop. Whether he there heard of the affection of the people of Scotland for their ancient chiefs, and sought to avail himself of that feeling for his own aggrandizement, or whether he had in reality some ground for his pretensions, cannot now be even conjectured, but he declared himself to be the son of Angus earl of Moray, above referred to, and professed his intention to vindicate his rights. The Isle of Man, at that time governed by Olive, A Norwegian chief, as king, had subjected to it various of the islands of the Hebrides. Repairing to these, joined by many bold men of desperate fortunes, and gathering strength by making piratical excursions, he obtained for wife a daughter of Somerled, the chief or thane of Argyle, who supported his pretensions, and invading the Scottish coasts, pillaged the country and slew its inhabitants. He eluded various forces sent against him, and becoming formidable, although defeated on one occasion by a bishop of those parts, David was at length obliged to make terms of accommodation with him by bestowing on him some lands with the superiority of a monastery of his own order. On account of his overbearing conduct, however, a conspiracy being formed against him, he was mutilated by his own followers, had his eyes put out, and in this condition was delivered into the hands of David, who, after imprisoning him for some time in the castle of Roxburgh, at length suffered him to retire to the abbey of Byland in Yorkshire, where he died.

      After King Stephen’s defeat and capture at Lincoln in February 1140, and the temporary acknowledgment of the empress Matilda as queen, David repaired to London, to give her his advice and assistance. He was with her in the castle of Winchester, in the following August, when it was invested by Stephen’s brother, the bishop of winchester, and it was with great difficulty that he succeeded in escaping with his niece. A young Scots soldier, named Oliphant, in the army of Stephen, to whom David had been godfather, concealed him from a very strict search, and conveyed him in safety to Scotland. In the last years of Stephen, David’s son, Prince Henry, (and after his death his grandson Malcolm), remained in the quiet possession of Northumberland, (with the exception of the fortresses of Newcastle and Bambrough,) as also of Carlisle and a portion of modern Cumberland, connected therewith, and the possession of the former was promised to the Scottish crown by his grand-nephew, Prince Henry Plantagenet, the son of the empress Matilda, afterwards Henry the Second of England, when he received the honour of knighthood from him at Carlisle, May 22, 1149, should he succeed to the throne.

      In his old age, King David lost his only son, Henry, one of the most virtuous and accomplished princes of that age, who died suddenly on June 12, 1152. By the Lady Ada, a daughter of the earl of Warrene and surrey, whom he had married in 1139, Prince Henry had three sons, Malcolm and William, successively kings of Scotland, David, earl of Huntingdon, and three daughters. The aged monarch took immediate measures to have the rights of his grandsons established, and he had no sooner done so than his health, which had been long declining, gave way, and he was found dead in his bed at Carlisle, in an attitude of prayer, May 24, 1153.

      The character of this pious and patriotic monarch stands out in history as that of one of the wisest and best of the kings of Scotland. Under his beneficent sway, the country was contented and happy. The endowments which he bestowed upon the church produced immediate and beneficial effects upon the nation, for to the influence of the clergy may be mainly attributed not only the promotion of knowledge and of the arts of industry among the people, but the loyalty and love of order of the barons, at that time for the most part a simpler race, new to their dignities, and more under the persuasive influence of the clergy than in later periods of Scottish history, when, their families having multiplied and become powerful, they vexed the kingdom by their ambition and rivalries. Besides Edinburgh and St. Andrews, the towns of Brechin, Montrose, Haddington, Linlithgow, Jedburgh, and Rutherglen owe their charters of burghal rights to the wisdom of David the first. His seal as count of Cumbria has been already given. In one of the charters of his grandson Malcolm, who succeeded him as king, is a representation of an old and young man, generally supposed to represent these two monarchs from which the preceding as his portrait has been taken.

[seal of David I]

      In a work upon Scottish biography the circumstance of the settlement in Scotland of the ancestors of most of the families who, even to modern times, are reckoned of note in that country, having occurred during the reign of this great prince, must not be omitted. to enumerate even the names of the principal of these would exceed our present limits. Originally located, for by far the greatest part, on lands in his principality of Cumbria, (the modern Lothians, and Ayrshire,) which their prowess had probably contributed to conquer, these chiefs, for the most part of Norman descent, gradually extended themselves by marriage, or by confiscation of the native possessions, into an over the northern portion of the kingdom; and holding them by tenures which necessarily called forth and strengthened their military spirit, and with regalities and rights more ample than could be obtained from the neighbouring monarchy of England, they became the firm advocates of the integrity of the kingdom, whilst their descendants in subsequent ages having greatly multiplied, and forming the majority of the inhabitants of these regions, gradually gave an entirely new aspect to the social character of the population.

DAVID THE SECOND, king of Scots, son of Robert te Bruce, succeeded his father, 7th June 1329, when little more than five years old, having been born at Dunfermline, 5th march 1323-4. On the 14th November 1331, he was crowned at Scone, with his consort, Johanna, daughter of Edward the Second, whom, child as he was, he had married at Berwick, on 12th July 1328, in virtue of the treaty of Northampton, which had restored peace between Scotland and England. After the success of Edward Baliol and the disinherited barons, on their invasion of Scotland in September 1332, the disgraceful surprise of Dupplin, and the more fatal battle of Halidon Hill in 1333, David and his infant queen were, for greater security, sent to France, where they remained till Baliol had been driven out of Scotland, and his adherents dispersed. In 1340, the young king of Scots was with the french army under Philip of Valois, in Flanders, when Edward of England was unsuccessfully besieging Tournay. On 4th May 1341 he landed, with his consort, at Inverbervie in Kincardineshire, being then in his nineteenth year. Rash and impetuous, like his uncle Edward Bruce, he had no sooner returned than he showed himself anxious for a rupture with England, and in the following February he accompanied the earl of Moray as a volunteer, when he invaded the western marches, wasted the English borders, and plundered Penrith. In the summer of 1342, after creating a numerous body of knights, he himself led a large force into Northumberland, but was obliged to make an inglorious retreat. A third invasion, soon after, met with no better success.

      In 1346, when Edward the Third was occupied with his wars in France, David, at the instigation of the French king, resolved to invade England, and having mustered a large army at Perth, commenced his march. After storming the fortress of Liddel on the borders, and beheading Walter Selby, its governor, disregarding the advice of Douglas, the knight of Liddesdale, he continued his advance, eastward and southward, marking the progress of his army through Northumberland and towards Durham, by all the wasting ravages of war. He was defeated, however, after a great battle, and taken prisoner, at Neville’s Cross, near Durham, October 17th of the same year. According to Rymer and Froissart, though he had two spears hanging in his body, his leg desperately wounded, and his sword beated out of his hand, he disdained captivity, and provoked the English by opprobrious language to kill him. When John Copeland, a gentleman of Northumberland and governor of Roxburgh castle, advised him to yield, he struck him on the face with his gauntleted hand so fiercely that he knocked out two of his teach. He was conveyed to the Tower of London, being, it is said, conducted to that celebrated fortress under an escort of twenty thousand men, accompanied by the different companies of the city in their proper dresses. In 1351, after several negociations, in consequence of an agreement between Edward and the commissioners from Scotland, David was allowed to visit his kingdom, on giving hostages and making oath to return to captivity, when required. His confinement had been very strict, and it is believed that to obtain his liberty he had entered into a secret treaty with Edward, unfavourable to the independence of Scotland. Having failed in his attempts to procure its confirmation he returned to the Tower in 1352. After long conferences a treaty for his liberation and a truce of nine years was concluded at Newcastle, 13th July 1354, and duly ratified, but it was prevented from being carried into effect, in consequence of the intrigues of the king of France, who, by sending a body of soldiers and a sum of money into Scotland, prevailed upon the Scots to continue the war against England. In 1357, however, a treaty was finally entered into, whereby the ransom of the king was fixed at one hundred thousand marks, to be paid in ten years, and David returned to Scotland, October 3d of that year. His long residence in England had led him to admire the superiority of English policy and manners. His captivity, in the castle of Odiham in Hampshire, was alleviated by the similar fate of John the French monarch, and was gradually enlarged. Gold medals of David were struck in England, (Pinkerton’s Essay on Medals, vol. ii., plate 2,) and he returned to Scotland impressed with the most favourable sentiments of that country and its sovereign, notwithstanding the defeats, disorders, and miseries to which his subjects had been reduced by the English monarch. He afterwards paid frequent visits to England, and was engaged in certain secret intrigues with the English king to prevent the succession of his nephew Robert the Steward, who had been regent during his captivity. In 1363, after his return from one of these visits, he made a proposal to the parliament at Scone, that if he died without issue, Lionel duke of Clarence, second son of Edward the Third, should be chosen king, a proposition which the parliament indignantly rejected, and the Steward and others of the nobility entered into an association to maintain the legal succession to the crown. David, after issuing an energetic proclamation, had recourse to arms, on which the insurgents submitted, and a general amnesty was granted. In the same year, however, he again repaired to London, and was present, with Edward the Third, at a conference, held 23d November, at which it was agreed that in the event of David dying without issue, the king of England was to become sovereign of Scotland; but, in the then temper of the Scots nation, he did not venture to bring such a project forward, and it was not known till published in the sixth volume of Rymer’s ‘Foedera,’ after the union of the two kingdoms.

[portrait of David the Second]

      David’s queen, Johanna, had died in England in 1362, and in the following year he married a second time Margaret Logie, a gentlewoman of singular beauty. In 1369, yielding to her suggestions, he imprisoned the Steward and his three sons. The marriage was an unhappy one, and he obtained a divorce from her by the Scottish bishops in 1370. On her disgrace the Steward and his three sons were released from prison. David died in the castle of Edinburgh, in 22d February 1371, in the 47th year of his age, and 42d of his reign. Dying without issue, he was succeeded by his nephew, Robert the Steward, (Robert the Second). Notwithstanding the weakness and degeneracy of character of David the Second, the veneration of the Scots people for the memory of their illustrious deliverer, Robert the Bruce, kept them steady in their attachment to his only son. From a fine portrait of David the Second in Pinkerton’s Scottish Gallery, 2d vol, the preceding woodcut is taken.

DAVID, Earl of Huntingdon, prince of Scotland, was the son of David the First and brother of William the Lion. In early life he seems to have possessed the lands and the earldom of Lennox, a fact hitherto unknown to all our genealogists, but established by the details of an inquest into the property of the lands of Monoch-Kenneran in Dumbartonshire held in the early part of the reign of Alexander the Second, preserved in the Chartulary of Paisley, and published in the appendix to the descriptions of the sheriffdoms of Lanark and Renfrew by the Maitland Club, 1830, p. 275, where Anekol, one of the witnesses, confirmed by three others, viz. Nemiss, Kissin, and Gillemor, swears to these lands having been exempt from aids when demanded by “Comes David frater regis Wilielmi ea tempore que habent comitatum de Levenax et possedit,” as pertaining to the church of Kilpatrick. It would thus appear, as has been supposed by Skene, that these lands of Lennox were originally a royal patrimony, and were first erected into an earldom in his favour either by his grandfather David the First, or by his elder brother Malcolm. The history of this prince is full of romance, and has been made the groundwork, with of course many of the usual inventions of the novelist, of Sir Walter Scott’s brilliant story of the Talisman in the ‘Tales of the Crusaders.’ Soon after his marriage with Matildis, daughter of Ranulph earl of Chester, he departed for the Holy Land, to fight against the Saracens, under the banners of Richard the First of England, surnamed, from his bravery, Coeur de Lion, or the Lion-hearted. On his voyage homeward, he met with some strange adventures. Having been shipwrecked on the coast of Egypt, the prince was made captive, and having lost all his retinue, and his rank being unknown, he was sold as a slave to a Venetian, who carried him to Constantinople. In that city some English merchants accidentally recognising him, redeemed him, and sent him home. After having surmounted various difficulties, he was in imminent hazard of a second shipwreck on the coast of Scotland. He is said to have returned from the Holy Land in the eighth year of King William. In accordance with the superstitious notions of the times, he ascribed his deliverance to the Virgin Mary, and in memory of her efficacious intercession, he founded the monastery of Lindores in Fife, which he dedicated to St. Mary and St. Andrew. Some of the ruins of the abbey, the buildings of which were at one time very extensive, still remain. The monks were of the Benedictine order. They were rich, having twenty-two churches, and large estates in several counties. This earl of Huntingdon possesses an interest in Scottish history beyond that attaching to his mere personal adventures, as being the father of the two princesses, from whom Bruce and Baliol were descended, and on which descent they founded their respective claims to the throne.

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