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fallacy in the above deduction. It may require some attention to the terms of her retour, and the feudal customs, to detect that result, but the inference does not appear to be strained. It is impossible to argue, that the ten weeks of the sovereign's feudal possession indicated the whole period since Patrick's death, for it is unquestionably proved that he was dead before the 26th of March (day after New Year's day) 1455. It could not, therefore, haye been the period of ward. If not the period of ward, it must have been the period of nonentry, commencing when the person retoured had completed the fourteenth year. Agnes Menteith, therefore, was precisely fourteen years of age on the 11th of February 1455, that being ten weeks before the 28th of April 1456, the date of her retour. Now it is ten months earlier, namely, 26th March 1455, that the deed of Elizabeth Menteith's maritagium is dated, and, as already observed, this of itself affords very substantial evidence of the primogeniture of Elizabeth.
But evidence, yet more conclusive, can be extracted from this comparison of the dates of the records connected with the circumstance of these young heiresses becoming of age and seized in their property. The date being given when Agnes Menteith had completed her fourteenth year, and the dates being given within which Elizabeth Menteith took out her seisin, it can be demonstrated that the theory for Gleneagles,—namely, that Elizabeth was the second, and not the first born daughter,
cannot be true. For let that theory be adopted. Agnes Menteith completed her fourteenth year on or about the 11th of February 1455. Elizabeth was (say) ten months younger; that is, she had completed her fourteenth year only in December 1456. If there was a longer interval than ten months between the births of the sisters, as is most likely, Elizabeth would have been of age to enter her lands at some corresponding period of a still later date. But this cannot be. Elizabeth Menteith must have been at least fourteen years old complete between the 26th July 1454 and the 21st October 1456, for within those dates she relieved her lands, and took out her precept of seisin.
On the other hand, the theory, that she was the elder sister, harmonizes perfectly with all the facts. The maritagium of Elizabeth is dated on the second day of the year 1455 ; she had probably relieved her lands in the year 1454, and was then past fourteen. Agnes Menteith's retour is dated in the second month of the year 1456, just ten weeks after she had completed her fourteenth year, and, according to the memorial for Gleneagles, she was not married until the year 1460.
Assuming that there is no fallacy in the above test,— and, though it occurred to me some years ago, I have never been able to detect the fallacy,—it demonstrates that Elizabeth Menteith could not have been the daughter of a birth subsequent to Agnes, and so destroys that pretension of Gleneagles.
This test, however, is not exclusive of the theory that these young ladies were twins,—though that has never been surmised, and certainly is not to be assumed without a vestige of proof. But suppose it were so, this would by no means bring the above discussion to what might be termed a drawn game. The right of primogeniture does not vanish in the case of twins, and the particular sequence of the names of the coheiresses of Rusky in the record of relief duties, with the fact of possessing the messuages, would be overwhelming evidence in support of Elizabeth Menteith's claim to be considered the eldest or leading twin.
If the author of the Tracts, or any other antiquary of equal zeal and information, shall completely refute this history, the author of the Memoirs of Merchiston will most cheerfully confess the error of that "Genealogical scheme showing the Philosopher's Representation of Duncan VIII. Earl of Levenax" which was engraved for his work. He cannot help thinking, however,—and will be consoled by, and take credit for the result—that a flight above the elucidation the subject has now received, must determine in some quarter the right to the honours of this ancient and interesting Comitatus,—the Arcadia of Scotland—the romantic land where
Endrick, in wildly lyric mood,
Displays her laurel crown,
Sage Napier earned renown;
* The Endrick issues from Lochlomond, flowing, through Strathendrick, close to Gartness an ancient place belonging to the philosopher, who frequently pursued his studies in that beautiful retreat. If the history I have now recorded be accurate, he was de jure an Earl of that ancient race whom Sir David Lindesay of the mount quaintly calls "the Erles of Lanox of auld"—and in that right he is represented by the present Lord Napier.
ANTIQUITIES OF MERCHISTON AND THIRLESTANE,
IN REPLY TO
"OBSERVATIONS UPON THE REPRESENTATION OF THE RUSKY AND LENNOX FAMILIES, AND OTHER POINTS IN MR NAPIER'S MEMOIRS OF MERCHISTON."