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Dernely," It appears that, in the first Parliament of James IV., in the year 1488, John Earl of Lennox was present on the second day of its sitting; and that Lord Lyle was then Justice-General; that Parliament, it is believed, was not attended by those who had supported the cause of the deceased sovereign James III.; it was attended by those who had espoused the cause of the Prince and of the confederate lords. Besides these proofs of his connection with the Prince's party, there were several instances of favour shown to Lennox and his son Mathew in the early part of the reign of James IV.; from all which, it must be confessed, there is too much reason to conclude that John Lord Dernely, Earl of Lennox, was in confidence with the party that deposed James III.; and availed himself of the circumstances of the times to establish his title to the earldom of Lennox, which had been withheld from him since the death of Isabel Countess of Lennox."*
But who, it may be asked, had withheld the earldom of Lennox from John Lord Dernely? or how had he so suddenly, in the course of a few months of civil commotions and war—" circumstances of the times" most unfavourable for a deliberate and legal assertion of right —established his title to that earldom ? Most unquestionably he had resumed the honours upon this occasion without having taken any legal steps whatever, as is sufficiently proved by the dates of the transactions we have reviewed ; and he now sat as Earl of Lennox, without having renewed the titles that had been reduced. "The patent or charter," says his historian, " creating John Stuart Lord Dernely, Earl of Lennox, has not been discovered, therefore nothing positive can be asserted with regard to the terms of it, or the destination of that * Andrew Stewart, p. 190.
title :"* but, he adds, " it is clear that the question about the peerage of Lennox must have been settled and acknowledged before the year 1490." There is, however, a process to which I shall now call attention, the tenor of which not only contradicts this assumption, but appears to me to place beyond question the fact, that Dernely never obtained "a new constitution of the dignity," f and that there never was any "renunciation andregrant of the honours before the Darnelys assumed them.":):
John Haldane's last attack upon the service, and subsequent steps accomplished by Dernely to the prejudice of his letters of protection, during his absence abroad, has already been noticed. It is remarkable that the date of this summons of reduction has hitherto, in all modern considerations of the matter, been entirely misapprehended. In Lord Loughborough's case for Gleneagles, it is particularly noticed and founded upon as of date 1475, and as if part of the original proceedings against Dernely in that year. Various transcripts of the same deed, which I have seen among the Gleneagles papers, have also assigned this erroneous date, 6th February 1475. The original, however, leads to a very different conclusion. It is a summons of reduction under the great seal obviously of James IV., for it is dated 6th February and Jifih year of our reign. Now 1475 is in the reign of James III., but certainly not the fifth year of that reign. The deed refers to Haldane's embassy, in 1473, as having occurred in the previous reign; the date of the deed, therefore, must be the fifth year of the reign of James IV. Haldane's lady, Agnes Menteith, was certainly alive in the year 1477 ; but this deed mentions her as being now dead. James Shaw of Sauchie, Sheriff of Stirling, is also therein named as dead ; and it is well known that
* P. 187. t Mr. Riddell. % Quarterly Review.
he did not die until the year 1479, having been killed in May of that year at the siege of Dunbar Castle,^by the same cannon shot that cut off Sir John Colquhoun of Luss and Sir Adam Wallace of Craigie. Unquestionably the date of this summons of reduction is 6th February 1492, being the fifth year of the reign of James IV.*
Let us now attend to the tenor of this summons. It is raised by John Haldane in his own name and in that of his son James, against the very service which had been cassed and annulled by letters under the privy-seal of James III. in 1475. But it is of a more comprehensive nature, including a claim of damages against the inquest who sat upon that service, and proceed- . ing, however, upon the very pleas of irregularity and partiality which Haldane had formerly used with success. It is raised not against the Earl of Lennox but against John Lord Dernely, who is specially summoned under that minor title. The case is called in court upon the 15th June 1492 ; but it is noted on the process that, of that date, "The present cause between Lord Dernely and his son, and the laird of Gleneagles and his son, is continued of consent of parties to the 8th of October following." The link afforded by the accurate date of this process completes the history of the settlement of the fief, per Jits aut nefas, in the person of John Lord Dernely; for it will be observed that it was in the intermediate July, between the calling of this cause,
* "Datum sub testimonio magni sigilli nostri apud Edinburgh, sexto die mensis Februarii anno regni noslro quinto." On the back are indorsed the executions. It is served upon Dernely under that minor title, and not as Earl of Lennox, Below is written; "xv. Junii, presens causa inter Dominum Dernely et suumjilium, et Dominum de Gleneagles et suum Jllium, de eorum consensu continuutur ad viii. Octobris proximo futuri," Sfc. But the contract of excambion dated in the interval settled the matter.
and the date to which it was postponed, that Mathew
Stewart is commissioned by his father to go to the kirk of Drymen, and drive a bargain with their pertinacious opponent Haldane. In that same month of July, accordingly, Haldane signs the indenture, which forms a perfect pendant to that agreed to by Elizabeth Menteith and Archibald Napier in the year 1490.
This, then, sets at rest the question of a new creation of the earldom in favour of Dernely in 1488, or indeed at any other period. Had such creation ever occurred, Haldane would have raised a bar in limine of his own pursuit; for, upon the hypothesis of this special grant, Dernely would not have been bound to answer to a summons which did not cite him competently, under the style and title which was his right. It also proves, that when Dernely resigned the Lennox into the King's hands in the year 1490, for a new charter to himself and his son in fee and liferent, he had done so most irregularly and ineptly, for there was nothing feudally in his person to resign. The process of 1492 is directed solely against the service and infeftment of 1475 and its abettors, because upon that basis alone Dernely had resumed the honours. Had any supervening service or titles existed in the person of Lord Dernely, Haldane must have attacked those, or at all events would not have been so absurd as to attack titles made up in 1475, but which had not only been reduced, but superseded by subsequent ones. Andrew Stewart (who was not aware of this process in 1492) expressly states the service of 1473 as the basis of all the Dernely titles to the Lennox ; and never discovered any other among the carefully preserved papers of that family; but he does not record that that service, and all that followed upon it was entirely swept off by reduction in 1475.
REPLY TO LORD LOUGHBOROUGH'S MEMORIAL FOR GLENEAGLES. STATE OF THE PROCESS BETWEEN DERNELY AND
A genealogical Case, already alluded to in the progress of this investigation, was printed some time in last century, and entitled "Memorial relative to the succession to the ancient Earls of Levenax." * This compilation, now only known to legal antiquaries, appears to have been intended to aid a contemplated claim in Parliament, on the part of the heir of line of Haldane of Gleneagles, to the earldom of Lennox. The whole argument for Gleneagles is drawn from the proceedings already summarily noticed, by which John Haldane, chiefly in his own name, but also in that of his spouse Agnes Menteith, and their son and heir James Haldane, threw certain obstacles in the way of Lord Dernely's usurpation; and the inference, implied rather than stated, is, that of necessity this opposition was in conse. quence of the primogeniture of Agnes Menteith in her father's family, no less than of the primogeniture of her grandmother, the Lady Margaret of Lennox, among the daughters of Earl Duncan. The case depends entirely upon a plausible assumption, comprehended in the following sentences of the memorial, in which, it will be observed, the primogeniture of Agnes Menteith is as
* See Preface.