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male, gotten or for to be gotten lawfully of his body; whom failing, to the said Sir Murthow and Isabella, and to the longest liver of them, and to the heirs lawfully to be gotten between them, whom failing, to the nearest and lawful heirs of the foresaid Earl of the Levenaa.. And to the fulfilling of this tailzie, the foresaid Earl of Fife shall purchase the King's assent and Walter Allownson's,” father to the said Earl of the Levenax. “Item, it is accorded that, in case the said Earl of the Levenax shall happen to have heirs-male of his body, or if he chance to take a wife to himself (or thrugh aventur hym selvyn happyn to be to mary) and the said Earl of Fife happen to have a marriageable daughter, the said Earl of the Levenax, or his heir-male, shall have to wife that daughter; and if the said Earl of Fife happens to have no daughter to marry, the said Earl of the Levenax, or his heir-male, shall have to wife a ‘ nest cosyng of the said Earl of Fife at his assignation, or the said Sir Murdow's, without disparagement to the said Earl of the Levenax, or his heir-male. “Item, it is accorded that the said Earl of the Levenax and his heir-male (if he any get, as is before said,) shall pay to the said Earl of Fife, or Sir Murthow his son, for the marriage of the said Isabella his daughter, two thousand marks Sterling, proportionally, at reasonable times, as the time happens; of the which two thousand marks, the foresaid Earl of Fife, or Sir Murthow his son, shall allow to the said Earl of the Levenax, for the marriage of his heir-male, or of himself if it happen in manner before said, a thousand marks Sterling.
* Walter de Fasselane was the son of Aulay or Allan de Fasselane, (an extensive tract of country on the Gairloch, forming the patrimony of this branch,) who was the son of Aulay, fourth son of Alwyn, second Earl of Lennox.
"Item, it is accorded that the said Earl of the Levenax shall be substitute and depute to the said Earl of Fife, of the justiciaries of the sheriffdoms of Stirling and Dunbarton, of as much as pertains to the Lordship of the Levenax, as long as the Earl of Fife has no justiciaries. And the said Earl of the Levenax shall have the third part of the profit of all that the said Earl of Fife has, and may have, of the justiciaries of the Lordships of the Levenax foresaid.
"Item, it is accorded that the saids Earl of Fife and Sir Murthow, his son, shall be leal helpers, counsellors, supporters, promoters, and furtherers to the said Earl of the Levenax in all his actions, causes, quarrels him touching, or that may touch, as their own proper causes, for the time of their lives, he living by them and their counsel, and discretion of his own counsel.
"Item, it is accorded that the said Earl of Fife shall give in marriage one of the daughters of the said Earl of the Levenax, Elizabeth or Margaret, at his own costs, in convenable place, without disparaging of her. And the saids Earl of the Levenax, and Sir Murthow, shall give in marriage the other of his daughters, at their costs.
"Item, it is accorded that the foresaid Earl of Fife, or Sir Murthow his son, shall make over to the heirs-male to be gotten between the said Sir Murthow and Isabella as much land heritably as the said Earl of the Levenax has now in property in demayn.
"The which things above-written leally to keep and to fulfil, without fraud or guile, the foresaids Earls and Sir Murthow have sworn upon the holy Evangel, And to this indenture have set interchangingly their seals, day, year, and place before said."*
* This contract, in its ancient orthography, is printed in the case for Woodhead. Mr Hamilton observes, " The original deed is not
Upon the 8th of November 1392, King Robert III. granted a charter under the Great Seal to Earl Duncan of the whole earldom of Levenax, proceeding upon his resignation in terms of the above contract, and containing the limitations then agreed to, which became the ruling investiture.*
About the period of these settlements all the daughters of Earl Duncan were married, and certainly without disparagement to any of them. Isabella, to Sir Murdoch Stewart, the King's nephew; Margaret, to Sir Robert Menteith of Rusky ;f and Elizabeth, to Sir John Stewart of Dernely. |
Under this new investiture Earl Duncan possessed until his death in 1425. He formed no second alliance, nor had he any heir-male of his body who might fulfil the condition of a marriage with the Regent's daughter. The
preserved, but a notarial transcript of it, taken by order of John Lord Dernely, on the 21st of January 1460, is in possession of the Duke of Montrose." P. 9. It will be observed that, in this transcript, made by order of John Lord Dernely, Elizabeth, that nobleman's ancestrix, is put before her sister Margaret, the ancestrix of Rusky.
* There is no question or dispute as to the ruling investiture and limitations of the Levenax and its honours. The royal charter " Duncano Comiti de Levenax," is recorded -Reg. Mag. Sig. Rot. Rob. iii. No. 45, and the words of limitation are, " Dicto Duncano et heredibus suis masculis de corpore suo legittime procreatis seu procreandis; quibusforte dejtcientibus, Murdacho Seneschallo consanguineo nostro carissmo, et Isabelle Jilie dicti comitis, et eorum diutius viventi, ac heredibus inter ipsos legittime procreandis; quibus forte deficientibus, veris legittimis et propinquioribus heredibus dicti Duncani quibuscunque." It was solely in virtue of this limitation that Lord Dernely assumed the honours in the following century.
t Margaret was married to Sir Murdoch Menteith in 1392. The Gleneagles Case quotes " Sasine in her favour by her husband penes Ducem de Montrose."
t See History of the Stewarts, by Andrew Stewart, Esq. M. P.
marriage of Murdoch and Isabella, however, promised to answer all the purposes of that compact, and for ever to unite in one family the earldoms of Lennox, Fife, and Menteith. This lady bestowed upon Murdoch of Albany four sons, Robert, (who died early.) Walter, James, and Alexander, some of whom grew up into such beauty of manhood as to be the admiration of Scotland. In the meanwhile the aggrandizement of Earl Robert had been greatly accelerated by the weakness of his brother, who still suffered him to govern the kingdom, and, at the same time that he created Prince David Duke of Rothsay, bestowed upon the ambitious governor the title of Duke of Albany, these being the first dukedoms erected in Scotland. The captivity of James, only remaining son of Robert III. and the consequent heart-broken death of that aged monarch, quickly followed the supposed murder of the Duke of Rothsay, and left Albany in undisputed possession of the regency, which he maintained for fifteen years thereafter, and even transmitted to his son, the husband of Isabella of the Levenax. But the dark hour approached when the long restrained vengeance of an injured prince was to burst upon this devoted house. If there be any truth in the surmise that the lingering death of the Prince of Scotland was the deliberate act of his uncle, Duke Robert, and that the subsequent exile and protracted captivity of James, to whom the succession had thus opened, was owing to the interested and powerful intrigues of the same nobleman, the rigour of that monarch to his uncle's family is accounted for. But even without admitting the absolute certainty of the more atrocious charges, there were exasperating circumstances. For many years the late Regent had excited the indignation of the country, oppressed the people with a vicious government, and
cast the royalty of Scotland into shade. Nor was it to be supposed that the crown lands would not suffer from one so determined to acquire, at all hands and all hazards, resources to sustain the enormous aggrandizement of his family.
Jamesl.wasrestoredtohis kingdomin 1423,*through the intervention, it is said, of his cousin, the Regent Murdoch, whose gentleness appears to have deserved a better fate than to expiate the offences of his race. The monarch was crowned, with his queen, at Scone on the 21st May 1424. Duke Robert, whose energetic regency inspired awe if it did not command respect, had been removed by a natural death in 1420,f and the country was now in great disorder. But the restored King was not long of commencing those rigorous measures which ended in the total destruction of the fortunes and family of the Regent. The first victim was Walter Stewart, now the eldest son of Duke Murdoch, also called W alter of theLevenax, from being heir of that earldom through his mother Isabella. James I. before his coronation, had ordered him to be arrested in the Castle of Edinburgh, and carried to the island of the Bass where he was closely confined. Several other per
* Scotichronicon, Vol. ii. pp. 474 and 481. Mr Tytler places his return under the year 1424, Vol. iii. p. 199.
t Every historian of Scotland has recorded that the Regent Robert died 3d September 1419. I find, however, in the Register of the Great Seal a charter of confirmation by James I., dated at Edinburgh August 29, 1430, of a charter "avunculi sui Robertis Ducis Albania," which charter of Duke Robert is dated " apud Falkland, August 4, 1420, an. gu,b. 15." This clears up a difficulty started by Pinkerton, that, in the records, the year 1423 is called an. gub. 3, of Duke Murdoch. Pinkerton attempts to explain this by the inference that, although Duke Robert died in 1419, his son Murdoch was not recognized as Regent until 1420.