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HISTORY

PARTITION OF THE LENNOX.

CHAPTER I.

ANTIQUITY OF THE EARLDOM INVESTITURES AND LIMITATIONS FATE OF ALBANY AND LENNOX.

Levenachs, or Levenauchen, a Gaelic term signifying the field of the smooth stream, comprehended the original sheriffdom of Dunbarton, a rich and extensive district of Scotland, which has since suffered various dismemberments in favour of the neighbouring counties. The name has assumed the forms of Levenax, Lenax, and Lennox, which latter is the modern appellation.*

At what precise period this district became erected into an Earldom, or Comitatus, with all the consequent privileges, has not been accurately determined. Lord Hailes, the father of authentic Scottish history, admits the existence of Earls of Lennox so far back as the twelfth century, but is sceptical as to their reputed descent from a Saxon Lord called Arkill, and rejects the theory as belonging to " the ages of conjecture."f Mr Hamilton, in his Case for Woodhead, says," Lord Hailes

* See chartulary of Lennox, edited for the Maitland Club by Mr Denniston, and Chalmers' Caledonia, Vol. iii. Dunbartonshire. t Case for the Counters of Sutherland, c. v. sect. x.

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is, perhaps, too scrupulous. The first notice of Earls of Lennox he recognizes is in 1238, though they are upon certain record forty years at least before that period, and he admits Donald to be the sixth Earl."* But whoever attempts to convict Lord Hailes of a blunder of the kind, is likely to fall into one himself. It is true that the case for the Countess of Sutherland commences, in its notice of Lennox, with a charter of Alexander II. to Earl Maldowen in 1238, but the very extract which Lord Hailes quotes from that charter, records Earl Maldowen's father, Alwyn, as having been Earl of Lennox also; and,moreover,the same author had previously stated, that "the Earls of Lennox are mentioned, in histories and public deeds, so far back as the twelfth century." Mr Hamilton deduces a theory (adopted by Chalmers) that the first Alwyn was created Earl of Lennox, at a very advanced age, by Malcolm IV. betwixt the years 1159 and 1165,—that his son Alwyn succeeded when so young, that David, Earl of Huntingdon, King William's brother, had been put into possession of the Earldom, or had held it in ward, till Alwyn came of age, which happened before the close of the twelfth century. But there are charters extant which materially affect this theory. 1st, A charter, relating to the church of Campsy, from "Alwyn, Comes de Levenax, filius et heres Alwini comitis de Levenax, Maldoweni filio et herede nostro concedente." %d, A charter, relating to the same subject, by " Maldowen, filius et heres comitis Alwini Junioris comitis de Levenax et heredis Alwini Senioris comitis de Levenax." f These charters, which have no dates, prove that Maldowen was the son of Alwyn, who was the son of Alwyn, and that the two Alwyns were both at the same time designed Earl of Lennox, probably because the son was fear of the Comitatus, while the father was liferenter. It would rather appear, then, that the eldest Alwyn was the first Earl of Lennox of his race, but that the district of the Leven had been previously erected into an Earldom in favour of David Earl of Huntingdon, some time between the middle and the close of the twelfth century.

* Page 2.

t The quotations in the text are from a transcript, which I saw in the Register-House, of the Chartulary of Glasgow.

From Alwyn, the Earldom past in lineal male succession as follows:

I. Alwyn. IV. Malcolm.

II. Alwyn. V. Malcolm.

III. Maldowen. VI. Donald.

With Earl Donald the direct male line ceased. He left an only daughter, Margaret, who became Countess of Lennox, and married Walter, son of Allan de Fasselane, her own cousin, and heir-male of her House.*

In consequence of a resignation by Walter and Margaret in 1385, Robert II. granted to their son Duncan, and his heirs, a charter of the whole Comitatus. In accordance with the territorial nature of feudal dignities in those times, Walter de Fasselane had obtained the title of Earl of Lennox in right of his spouse ; f and in like manner, upon the resignation of his parents in his favour, Duncan became eighth Earl of Lennox, in his father's lifetime.

Walter de Fasselane, the husband of Margaret of the Levenax, was recognized and designed in royal charters as Earl, simply because he possessed the Comitatus in right of his wife, there being no limitation of the dignity of this fief to heirs-male. The charter of resignation to their son Duncan is equally general, being Duncano etheredibus suis.* The next and ruling investiture of the earldom arose out of a family contract between Earl Duncan and the Regent. In the year 1390, Robert Stewart Earl of Menteith and Fife, a younger brother of King Robert III. whose reign then commenced, was the most potent nobleman in Scotland, and,through the indolent temper and weakness of the monarch, was suffered to hold the office of governor of the realm. In 1391, the Earl of Lennox, who had been left a widower, without male issue, but with three daughters, Isabella, Margaret, and Elizabeth, became a party, along with the Earl of Fife, to a curious contract of marriage between his eldest daughter, Isabella, and Sir Murdoch Stewart, the Regent's eldest son. The following are the terms of this contract in modern orthography.

* See the Lennox Chartulary, and Mr Denniston's preface. The most distinguished of these Earls was Malcolm V., the friend and comrade of Robert Bruce. He was killed at Halidonhill in 1333.

t Sutherland Case, c. v. p. 40.

"This indenture, made at Incbmoryne the 17th day of February, in the year of grace 1391, bears witness, that it is accorded between noble and mighty Lords, Sir Robert Earl of Fife, on the one part, and Sir Duncan Earl of the Levenax, on the other part, in manner as follows:

"That is to say, that Sir Murthow, son and heir to the foresaid Earl of Fife, shall have to wife, Isabella, the eldest daughter of the said Earl of the Levenax, and shall endow her in the barony of the Redhall, with the appurtenances in tenandry and demayn.

"Item, it is accorded that the said Earl of the Levenax shall resign up in our Lord the King's hand, all his earldom of the Levenax, with the appurtenances, to be infeft again of his said earldom, to him and to his heirs* Chartulary of Lennox.

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