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"James, be the grace of God, King of Scottis, till our Stewarte'of Menteth and his deputis greting; Forsamekle as it is hevily menit and complenzeit til us be our lovettis, Johnne Naper of Merchamstoune ande Jonete lady Edmondestoune his sister, that quhar be vertew of our lettres direct to you qfbefor, ye enterit thaim and thar tennendis and gudis in a berne and byr perteining to thaim, oute of the quhilkis Johnne of Haldane of Glenegas and James Haldane his sone, with thar complicis, had qfbefor, with force and violence, at thar awin handis castande furth the corne and oxin pertening to the said Johnne Napar and Jonete, and syne withheld and occupiit the saidis berne and byr; nevertheles the sadis Johnne of Haldane and James, and thar complices, now again has cummyn to the samyn, and masterfully has tain and occupiis thaim, and has of new castin furth thar gudis, corne and catall, but ony resoune, as is allegit, in great lichtlying, contempt, and dissobeying of our autorite, lettres, mandmentis, and charges. Our will is herfor, and we charge you straitly, and commandis you %it as qfbefor that ye incontinent, efter the sicht of thir our lettres, enter the said Johnne Napar and Jonete, thar tennandis and gudis, againe to the said berne and byre; and that ye keip, maiuteine, supple, and defende thaim therin, unvexit and undistrublit be the sadis persounis, and al utheris thar complices perteining to thaim, under the pain of deprivatioune qfyoufra your office, and al uther panys and chargis that efter may folow; and that ye suffir thaim nocht to be distrublit unto the decision of the action of summondis betwix the sadis partiis befor us and the lordis of our consale, under the pain forsaid. Delivering our lettres, be you dewly execute and indorsit, again to the berar. Gevin under our Signet at Edinburgh the first day of October and of our Regne the xxii zere. Per S. D. N~. Regis.
This is evidence of very violent tand illegal conduct, repeated against the King's authority, and in usurpation of the lawful possession of John Napier and his sister; and it occurs in the year 1482, just three years prior to the alleged contract in 1485 ex facie of which there appears so much assumption on the part of Sir John Haldane of Gleneagles.
2. But there is also among the Merchiston papers a long Latin protest, dated only a few months after the alleged contract, and in reference to the very subject of the division of the Rusky estates and the appropriation of the principal messuages, which places beyond question the fact of Haldane's inclination, and earnest endeavour to deal unjustly and illegally by the correlative rights of Merchiston.
This original instrument narrates, that upon the 4th of October 1485, Elizabeth Menteith personally, and John Napier, chaplain, as procurator for her husband John Napier of Merchamstoun, appeared at the Down in Menteith, and there in presence of William Edmonstone of Duntreath, sheriff of Menteith, and various other witnesses, specially called for the purpose, protested under the following circumstances, and for the following reasons. It was then and there publicly declared by the parties protesting, that " certain procuratorial letters produced by Robert Cunygam, procurator for John Haldane of Glenegas, for the division of the lands of Rusky and Lanerky, and the appropriation of the principal messuages of the said lands,* were of no avail, invalid, and in themselves null and void. First reason. There was no mention whatever made, in these procuratorial letters, of James Haldane, neither was there any compearance made for him, personally or by procuratory, for entering into or concluding the said process of division of the said lands, though he was in the fee of the said lands, and heir of the same, and that no division could be legitimately effected or entertained without his presence or procuratorial authority. Second reason. John Haldane's own procuratorial letters were by no means in accordance with the legal form and tenor requisite, in so far as the saM John Haldane conferred upon his procurator, Robert Cunygam, the power of taking possession of and receiving in his name the principal mansions, that is to say, the messuages of Rusky and Lanerky, without making the slightest mention of delivering, viewing, or measuring the said principal mansions or messuages, in behalf of the said John Napier and Elizabeth his spouse.f Third reason. The said letters of procuratory contained no particular date of indurance, as by law they ought, and the said John Haldane of himself conferred power upon the said Robert, of taking possession of, but not of delivering on his part, the divisions of the lands themselves, and of the principal mansions, and this the said John Haldane conferred in his procuratorial letters, singly and separately, without any mention whatever of James Haldane; and that the said John was not in the fee, nor had any right of inheritance in the said lands of Rusky and Lanerky; and further, the said Elizabeth Menteith having demanded a copy, at her own expence, of John Haldane's procuratorial letters, the said Robert Cunygam publicly refused to give her a copy."
* "Pro divisione terrarum de Rusky et Lanerky, ac le chemeses capcione earund."
t " Eo quod potestatem sepedictus Johannes Haudane dido Roberto suo procuratori dedit et exhibuit capiendi et recipiendi suo nomine mansiones principales le chemeses de Rusky et Lanerky, et ad dand. vidend. seu mensurand. mansiones principales le chemeses in dictisterrisde Rusky et Lanerky pro dictis Johanne Naper, et Elizabetht ejus sponsa, minimc mencionemjecit."
For all these reasons, Elizabeth Menteith in her own name, and the chaplain in name of her husband, "protested that they were ready and willing to act upon, take out, fulfil, and record a decree and ordination of the Lords of Council, in terms of an award, according as they should be fortified before-hand by the preliminary security of an honourable man William Edmonstone of Dentreath, and sheriff of Menteith, by his letters-patent."* They further protested " that the said procuratory for division of the lands of Rusky and Lanerky, and the taking possession of the principal mansions, was null by default of the said John Haldane and James his son, and not of John Napier and Elizabeth; and, therefore, they protested for remede of law, and for other reasons regarding the said procuratorial letters as would more fully appear before the competent judge," &c.
* " Pro lit premunitij'uerint premunicione honorablis viri Vilielmi Edmonstoun de Duntreatk ac senescalli de Menteth per suas literas patentes."
This is a curious and important document in reference to the fragment of an alleged contract, so imposingly illustrated by Mr Riddell for the purpose of doing justice to the house of Gleneagles. If upon the 3d of August 1485 a contract was concluded between the Haldanes and the Napiers, in which the former were admitted to be the elder portioners, and entitled to the "first chimmeis of Rusky, the place within the loche of Rusky, and for the place of the landis of Lanerik the place and bigging of Lanerik," while the latter were to have inferior dwellings ;—if this contract was actually (as the act of transference in 1562 says was allegit,) "insert and registrat in the bukis of consale to have and havand the strength of ane decreit of the Lords thereof,"—if, in short, all went so smoothly for Gleneagles " as eldest portioner," how comes it that before the 4th of October 1485, he had been attempting to divide the lands and appropriate the messuages in the extraordinary and illegal manner, against which John Napier and Elizabeth Menteith of that date successfully protested? Is it possible thatatthe verytime when, as alleged, this contract, which bears " that the said John Haldane consentis,grantis, and admittis that the said Johne Naper, sall depert, devoid, and deile the saidis landis this wise" &c. had obtained the consent of parties and the force of a decree, the same John Haldane should have been attempting another process of a totally different description, and so illegal as to have no chance of success against any party not inclined to yield their rights without a murmur. Upon the assumption that such a contract was actually framed of the date alleged in the act of transference, it can be reconciled with the narrative of the above protest, only upon the supposition that it was an abortive attempt on