THE following adventure is said to
have befallen Sir Simon Lockhart, whilst fighting against the Saracens in
the Holy Land. He made prisoner in battle an Emir of wealth and note. The
aged mother of his captive came to the Christian camp to redeem her son
from his captivity. Lockhart fixed the price at which his prisoner should
ransom himself; and the lady, pulling out a large embroidered purse,
proceeded to tell down the amount. In this operation, a pebble inserted in
a coin, some say of the lower empire, fell out of the purse, and the
Saracen matron testified so much haste to recover it as to give the
Scottish knight a high idea of its value. "I will not consent," he said,
"to grant your son’s liberty unless the amulet be added to the ransom."
The lady not only consented to this, but explained to Sir Simon the mode
in which the talisman was to be used. The water in which it was dipped
operated either as a styptic, or as a febrifuge, and the amulet besides
possessed several other properties as a medical talisman.
Sir Simon Lockhart, after much
experience of the wonders which it wrought, brought it to his own country,
and left it to his heirs, by whom, and by Clyde-side in general, it was,
and is still, distinguished by the name of the Lee Penny, from the name of
his native seat of Lee.
The virtues were brought into
operation by dropping the stone into water given to the diseased to drink,
washing at the same time the part affected. No words were used in dipping
the stone, or money permitted to be taken by the servants of Lee. People
came from all parts of Scotland, and many places in England, to carry away
water to give to their cattle.
The amulet is a stone of a deep red
colour and triangular shape—each side being about half an inch in
length—set in a piece of silver coin.