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his own side. But I must here state very generally the legal steps instantly taken by hin> on his return from his embassy, reserving a more particular view of the state of his process for the chapter which affords a reply to the modern case founded for Gleneagles upon the proceedings in question.
Upon his return in 1475, he protested against Lord Dernely's assumption of the honours of Lennox, but laid no express claim to those honours, either for himself or spouse. He complained to the King, that his royal letters of protection from all pleas, &c. had been treated with contempt, and broken by the proceedings of Dernely in his, Haldane's, absence,—that he had an interest as well as his spouse, Agnes Menteith, to have been specially called and heard in any process affecting an appropriation of the Lennox; and in evidence of this plea he produced his own charter to a pro indiviso quarter of that fief, upon which he had been infeft before his departure. He also urged, as a secondary plea, the prior riyht of his wife Agnes Menteith, over Dernely, to the superiorities, of the fief, and asserted, that Dernely had frequently offered Agnes contentation for these superiorities. But he made no allusion in this complaint to the rights of Elizabeth Menteith, or to the fact, that Dernely offered in like manner to that lady, contentation for her right to the superiorities of the Lennox. The King remitted this complaint to the Lords of his Council, and certain other Barons, who found, that Royal letters of protection in favour of his Majesty's ambassador had been infringed and broken by the proceedings of Lord Dernely; and upon this deliverance letters passed the privy-seal, reducing and annulling all the proceedings founded upon that nobleman's brieves of inquest, and placing matters
precisely in statu quo by expressly reserving all rights to all parties.
Haldane's protest, with which he commenced his attack upon the service of Dernely, is dated 26th April
1475. * A Parliament was held on the 20th November following, in which Dernely still sat as " Comes de Levenax." On the 4th of December following, the King granted a commission of lieutenancy, " Johanni Comiti de Levenax."f On the 12th of January following, (that is still in the year 1475, according to the Scottish calendar of that period,) the letters of reduction referred to above pass the privy seal, and in these letters he is only styled " John Lord Dernely." On the first of July
1476, six months after this decree of reduction, and seven after the date of the commission of lieutenancy, a new Parliament was held, and the first person named as taking his seat, after the Comites and among the Domini, is " Dernele."|
For thirteen years thereafter, a fact not attended to by the historians of Scotland, in every public record of that nobleman's name extant, he is styled Lord Dernely, and not Earl of Lennox, until the first Parliament of the succeeding reign in 1488, when he reappears under the higher dignity, after a progress of events which, as we shall see, was favourable to his usurpation. During the interval, some private and fruitless attempts to compromise matters with Haldane of Gleneagles occurred, of a very confused and irregular nature, to be noticed in the sequel.
* Gleneagles Papers.
t "Rex dedit literam locum tenentis Johanni Comiti de Levenax infra bondas-et vie. de Renfrew, Are, Wigtoune, Sfc—Mag. Sig. vii. 353.
X See the Records of the Scottish Parliament of the periods.
Thus between the period of the death of Duchess Isabella about the year 1460, being that in which James II. was killed, and the period of the death of James III. iii 1488, the rights and pretensions to this Comitatus remain in the following extraordinary position:
1. It is not annexed to the Crown, either by forfeiture or usurpation, but is left to be taken up by the heirs-general of Earl Duncan, in terms of the remainder stipulated in the marriage-contract of his eldest daughter, and confirmed by the charter of Robert III.
2. In the year 1460, probably shortly after the death of the Duchess Isabella, Lord Dernely attempts to obtain brieves of inquest to be served to his share of the Lennox, but is obstructed in this legal claim by the chancellor himself, the illegitimate grandson of the Duchess.
3. The Lennox remains in non-entry; and at length, in the year 1471, the chancellor obtains a Royal grant (the King being a minor) of a liferent possession of the whole fief.
4. In the year 1472, the chancellor obtains letters of legitimation under the Great Seal,—a process which materially improved his hereditary status, but could not confer a right to inherit honours.
5. In April 1473, John Haldane obtains infeftment upon his special charter to a fourth part of the Lennox, pro indiviso, and departs on his embassy.
6. In July 1473, Lord Dernely is retoured in the principal messuage and one-half of the Lennox, in the irregular manner narrated, and assumes the title.
7. In November 1473, Elizabeth Menteith obtains her retour in a pro indiviso quarter of the fief, as an heirgeneral of Earl Duncan through his younger daughter, the truth and perfect regularity of which process is never questioned at any period.
8. Agnes Menteith remains in non-entry; but in 1475 her husband returns from his embassy and reduces Lord Dernely's service, still, however, without assuming the title of Earl of Lennox, either in virtue of his own charter, or in right of his wife,
9. For thirteen years thereafter, being the remainder of the reign of James III., no Earl of Lennox appears upon record. But the Chancellor Avandale continued to enjoy possession of the lands so long as he lived, which was until the year 1488.
HISTORY OF JOHN LORD DERNELY's SECOND USURPATION OF THE HONOURS OF LENNOX—HIS CONTRACTS OF EXCAMB10N WITH THE OTHER COHEIRS—FINAL PARTITION AND SETTLEMENT OF THE FIEF.
The last ten years of the reign of James III. are turbid with civil broils, increasing to the deadliest pitch of civil war, and'concluding in 1488 with the battle of Sauchieburn, on his flight from which the monarch was murdered. Of this turbulent period the prominent features are, the slaughter of the King's favourites by the disaffected nobles at the bridge of Lauder,—the temporary usurpation of the crown of Scotland by Alexander, Duke of Albany, the King's brother,—and lastly, an insurrection whose crisis, at the battle above-mentioned, brought a young Prince under the standard of rebellion against his own father, and construed loyalty to the old monarch as treason to the new.
Amid these stirring events, neither the chancellor Avandale, nor Lord Dernely, were idle; and the power of the latter seems to have increased as that of the former was on the wane. Upon the 11th of April 1481, Dernely was appointed to the high and important office of warden of the west march,* while the Earl
* Mr Tytler, in his History, Vol. iv. p. 265, and under the year 1481, says, " The wardenry of the east marches was committed to the Earl of Angus, that of the west to Lord Cathcart." But I have followed the Parliamentary records of the period, which bear, " Item,