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the fact, that the Lennox was subsequently transmitted through this very Margaret, and her younger sister Elizabeth, as coheiresses.
But, the reader may ask, who were Murdoch, Arthur, and Robert Stewarts, witnessing this deed, and therein designed of Albany? They were three of seven illegitimate sons of James Stewart of Albany, whose mother is said to have been a lady of the family of Macdonald in Ireland, with whom the exiled nobleman had there formed a connection. These youths were probably adopted by the Duchess, after the death of their father, to bear her company in the melancholy halls of Inchmuryne. They are all well known to history, and some of them reached the highest distinctions in the state, as I shall afterwards have occasion to notice.
The Duchess was alive in 1456, as appears from the chamberlain accounts already quoted. But in the same rolls, and in an account ending in 1460, an entry is found bearing that the chamberlain does not debit himself with the revenue derived from the earldom of Lennox, because the King had assigned the same for building the Castle of Stirling. Isabella died, in all probability, on or shortly before the year 1460, when the King seems to have taken advantage of his feudal casualty of non-entry; and in this year we shall find it was that John Lord Dernely first attempted to obtain his service as one of the heirs-general of Earl Duncan.*
* In the account running between 9th July 1459, and 25th June 1460, the chamberlain " non onerat se dejirmis Comitatus de Levenax, eo quod Dominus Rex assignavit dictas Jirmas ad fabricandum castrum de Strivelyne."
OF THE HEIRS OF THE INVESTITURE AFTER THE DEMISE OF
ISABELLA OF LENNOX REFUTATION OF THE HISTORIANS
WHO HAVE RECORDED THAT THE EARLDOM OF LENNOX WAS FORFEITED IN 1425.
Margaret of Lennox, the second of Earl Duncan's three daughters, was married, as the charter of mortification by the Duchess states, to Sir Robert Menteith of Rusky; an alliance arranged at the period of Isabella's marriage to the son of the Earl of Fife and Menteith. Sir Robert Menteith was the son of Sir Alexander, who was the son of Sir Walter, who was the son of " Sir John de Menteith," head of the family of Rusky, and generally reputed to have been son of Walter Earl of Menteith, who was third son of Walter, High Steward of Scotland.* From the charter of mortification it also appears that Lady Margaret's husband, Sir Robert, was dead before the year 1451. Sir Murdoch Menteith, the eldest son of that marriage, (who is said to have been killed by his own servant near Dunblane,f) married Christian, daughter of Sir David Murray of Tullibardine, ancestor of the Dukes of Athol. They had an only son, Patrick Menteith, whose early demise, very soon after his father's, and before the year 1455, left the great succession of his house, which combined one-half of the Comitatus of Lennox, with goodly baronies in the Menteith, to be shared between his^two sisters, Elizabeth and Agnes.* These young ladies were minors when they succeeded to their brother Patrick, and their persons and estates had consequently fallen, by feudal incident then in full force, under the guardianship of their sovereign James II. By a royal deed, dated at Edinburgh 26th March 1455, and still preserved among the Merchiston papers, that monarch bestowed the maritagium of Elizabeth Menteith upon John Napier of Merchiston, who married the young lady about that period.f
* See Addenda for reply to Mr Riddell's observations upon the descent of Menteith of Rusky.
t Macfarlane's MS., Advocates' Library.
The other coheiress, Agnes Menteith, married, about the year 1460, \ John Haldane of Gleneagles, the heir of a very ancient baronial family. Thus before the death of the Duchess Isabella, her sister Margaret had representatives in these young coheiresses of Lennox and Rusky, her grand-daughters.
Elizabeth of Lennox, the youngest sister of the Duchess, was married, about the period of Isabella's contract, to Sir John Stewart, son and heir of Sir Alexander Stewart of Dernely, from whom he inherited great estates in different parts of Scotland. Sir Alexander died about the year 1408, and his son Sir John went to France in the year 1420, to the assistance of Charles VII., then Dauphin. In those foreign wars he became the most distinguished warrior of his age, acquired the splendid titles of Seigneur d'Aubigny, and Comte d'Evreux, and was killed at the siege of Orleans, where he brought defeat upon his party by the excess of his valour. Sir Alan Stewart succeeded him, being the eldest son of the marriage with Elizabeth of Lennox. In the year 1439, Sir Alan was treacherously slain by Sir Thomas Boyd of Kilmarnock, and was succeeded by his eldest son, the celebrated Sir John Stewart created Lord Dernely, and who afterwards usurped the earldom of Lennox. John Lord Dernely was married in 1438, the year before his father's death, to Margaret, daughter of Sir Alexander Montgomery of Ardrossan, and he was created Lord Dernely in 1460 or 1461.* Consequently, long before the death of the Duchess Isabella, her youngest sister Elizabeth had a representative in Dernely, her grandson, who was a married man in 1438.
* Merchiston papers.
t This was not John of the Logarithms, time-honoured Merchiston, but his lineal male ancestor, in the fifth generation. John of Rusky was the eldest son of Sir Alexander Napier, who at the date of this gift of marriage was comptroller of the household to James II. and was afterwards master of household to James III.—See Memoirs of Merchiston.
X Memorial for Gleneagles.
Thus there were various parties entitled to the character of heirs-general of Earl Duncan, when the fief opened to that remainder by the death of Isabella. In that character her two sisters were coheiresses of Earl Duncan, and had they survived Isabella, which they appear not to have done, would have divided the fief. The share of Margaret was taken up by her coheiresses of Rusky, who divided that share. Elizabeth was represented without division by John Lord Dernely.
But while the territory was thus split into three portions, of which Dernely's was equal to the other two, the honours of the Comitatus,—the right to the chief messuages, &c. and the title of Earl,—were, by the acknowledged law of Scotland, impartible rights, and fell to the eldest coheiress of Lennox, and her eldest representative. So, according to the order in which I have arranged the heirs-general of Earl Duncan, the accuracy of which appears to be verified in the sequel, Elizabeth Menteithof Rusky, spouse of Napier of Merchiston, upon the demise of her grand-aunt the Duchess Isabella, had right to the honours of Lennox, and a fourth of the territory. And the remaining heirs-general were entitled to enter upon their respective shares.
* See Andrew Stewart's History of the Stewarts.
But it is well known that, de facto, John Lord Dernely became Earl of Lennox, and transmitted that title through a lineal succession of distinguished earls to James VI. of Scotland. The period, however, when he first assumed the dignity, is not so generally known, and genealogical historians of the house of Stewart have also been quite at a loss to say whether he did so as his inheritance, or in consequence of a new creation in his favour, either by James III. or IV. The historians of Scotland have only added to the doubts and confusion regarding the history of the Lennox, by asserting that it was forfeited in the person of Earl Duncan,—a most extraordinary assertion, considering the many facts and records that disprove it. Dr Robertson tells us, that Earl Duncan, beheaded by James I., was forfeited, and his possessions annexed to the Crown. Mr Tytler, in his excellent History of Scotland, still in course of publication, has adopted the error of Dr Robertson. "These executions," says he, " were followed by the forfeiture to the crown of the immense estates belonging to the family of Albany and to the Earl of Lennox; a seasonable supply of revenue," &c.* No authority is quoted by our historians in support of their assertion, and at a subsequent period they suddenly introduce an Earl
* Tytler's History of Scotland, Vol. iii. p. 227