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and her brother, there is a remarkable illustration afforded by a transaction regarding, I presume, the same estate of which the dominium utile was granted by Sir William Graham to Donald of the Levenax. Upon the 25 th of August 1423, just two years subsequent to the date of the charter in which Donald is called " son laffwell," and ov\yfive days prior to the charter of Ballegrochyr from Sir William Graham " Donaldo de Levenax filio legittime"—Isabella ratifies a charter by Earl Duncan* to this same Sir William, including, among other lands of the Lennox, those of Bargrochane, and she is therein styled " Isabellam Stewart, Ducissam Albania, Cotnitissam de Fyfe et de Menteth, ac heredem Comitatus de Lenax." So at the time when Sir William Graham is transacting with Donald as his vassal, and as the "Jilius legittime" of Earl Duncan, he is also transacting with the Earl and his daughter Isabella as his feudal superiors in the very lands he grants to Donald. This distinctly proves that the phrase legittime applied to Donald in the charter from Sir William, could jiot be meant to indicate that he was heir of the earldom, since at the very same time, the same parties acknowledge Isabella to be heiress of the earldom.
* "Apud Edynburghe, August 28,1430.—Rex confirmavit cartam cortfirmacionis et ratificationis tallieper lsobellam Stewart Ducissam Albanie, Comitissam de Fyf et de Menteth, ac heredem Comitatus de Lenax, Jactam super quondam cartam talliatam per quondam Duncanum comitem de Lenax patrem ejus, Willelmo de Grahame, militi, concessam," &c. dated at Falkland, August 25, 1423. Abbrevatio Registri Magni Sigilli, Domini Jacobi Primi.
The above I took from a printed abbreviate in the RegisterHouse. Mr Riddell in his statement quotes the same charter, and the previous one of Earl Duncan therein confirmed, from Reg. Mag. Sig. lib. iii. 84. The charter by Earl Duncan to Sir William Graham is dated 10th August 1423, and bears to be " cum consensu Jilie sue domine Isabelle Duchisse Albanie, ac cum consensu et bona voluntate nepotit sui Valteri Senescalli etjilii et heredis prefati Ducts Albanie,"—but not a word of Donald, " my son laffwel."
Armorial bearings of the period furnish valuable adminicles of evidence in all genealogical questions, and the seal of Donald of the Levenax has accordingly been pressed into the argument for Woodhead, and is engraved for the case drawn up by Mr Hamilton. The learned author was anxious to establish that Donald carried the pure Lennox shield, which, as he conceived, bore a saltier engrailed, cantoned with four roses. He was a little disconcerted, however, in this part of his argument by the fact, that the original seal of Donald, appended to a deed dated in the year 1441, (sixteen years after the death of Earl Duncan,) carries a plain saltier, cantoned with the roses, but having the awkward addition of a mullet or star placed upon the centre. The case for Woodhead thus treats this delicate point: " The only difference (between the seal of the earldom and Donald's) is, that on the seal of Donald in 1441, there appears to be a mullet at the crossing of the saltier. But this is no mark of illegitimacy,* nor did any distinction of that kind ever appear upon the arms of this family or of any of its branches. The correct arms, as described by Mackenzie, were long preserved, though now lost, in the House of Woodhead, carved uponawindow shutter, bearing the date 1426, and hence supposed to have originally belonged to the mansion of Ballcorrach. These are also free of any degrading distinction." *
* Mr Riddell, in allusion to this seal, observes, " Neither is his armorial bearing important, for he only used that of Lennox, with a common mark of cadency, a difference which was imparted to spurious children."—Statement, p. 3. But the seal is not unimportant in the question of Donald's legitimacy. Unquestionably that person was Earl Duncan's son. Had he been son and heir, a label of three points would have marked that condition, instead of a star in the centre. But the date of this seal happens to be sixteen years after the death of Earl Duncan, therefore, unless it also be said that Donald was a younger son, the star can only be accounted for as a mark of illegitimacy.
In support of this slender argument the following armorial bearings are engraved with the genealogical tree which accompanies the case.
Nothing can be more unsuccessful than this heraldic plea. Donald's own seal, attached to an original deed, is here attempted to be redargued by the carving upon a shutter which does not now exist, and the only authority for which is " a drawing of the House of Woodhead by the master of Elphinstone in 1730." But the shape of the shield, and above all the Arabic numerals indicate that this armorial carving must have been more modern than the middle of the fifteenth century, and can never redargue the original looking seal, with which it is so rashly contrasted in the Case for Woodhead. The fact is, that Mr Hamilton had followed Sir George Mackenzie, and those heraldic writers who have erroneously recorded that the old Earls of Lennox carried the saltier engrailed. Now, I am not aware of a single instance to that effect. Napier of Merchiston, indeed, has carried the saltier engrailed since at least the commencement of the fifteenth century, which fact agrees with the tradition of that family that they are cadets of Lennox, for engrailing was unquestionably used as a mark of cadency.* Mr Riddell, however, holds a different opinion with respect to the arms of the Levenax. That learned gentleman remarks, that the seal of Napier of Merchiston, in the fifteenth century, "exhibits nothing but the Lennox arms,thecross being engrailed—which last fact is immaterial, for it was so occasionally carried by the principal representatives of Lennox."t If Mr Riddell here refers to the old Earls, his assertion requires proof, for I have traced those seals through centuries, and from the old race even through many generations of the Hernely race of Lennox, and never could discover a single instance in support of this theory.
* Case for Woodhead, p. 46.
* "Engrailed is said of crooked lines which have their points outward, as those which form the saltier engrailed in the arms of Lennox."—Nisbet's Essay on the ancient and modern use of Armories. Yet in the same work he expressly states, that engrailing was a mode of differencing. "When lines of partition are carried right by principal families, their cadets make them crooked by putting them under accidental forms, such as engrailed, waved, &c. for a distinction." P. 115.
r This bare assertion, contained in Mr Riddell's observations upon the Memoirs of Merchiston, is made in the face of, but without noticing, an engraved plate of the Lenn >x seals, which refutes the theory of the old Earls of Lennox having carried the saltier engrailed. The plate contains seals both of the ancient earldom, and of the Dernely race, and the first appearance of the engrailed saltier is on the seal of Robert Stewart, Bishop of Caithness, (second son of John third Earl of Lennox of the Dernely race,) who was created Earl of Lennox by James VI., 16th June 1578, after the earldom had merged in that monarch. It would have been "highly obliging" if Mr Riddell had supported his assertion by a single instance of the Lennox saltier engrailed as carried either by the old Earls, or even on the surtout of the Dernely race (which is of less consequence to the argument) previous to James VI.—Compare Mr Riddell's Tracts p. 125,mithMemoirsofMerchiston,-p.ll, and explanation oftheplates.
1. The seal and signet of Malcolm fifth Earl of Lennox are preserved in the chapter-house of Westminster, and in both of these the saltier is plain.
2. The seal of Donald sixth Earl of Lennox, is also in the chapter-house, and that too has the saltier plain.
3. There is a minute description of the seal of Walter seventh Earl of Lennox, contained in a notarial transcript dated in 1440, and the saltier is not described as engrailed.
4. There can be little doubt that Duncan, eighth and last Earl of the ancient race, carried the plain saltier, for the seal of John Lord Dernely, who served heir to Earl Duncan, is preserved in the Merchiston charter chest, and in his Lennox surtout, adopted in virtue of that service, the saltier is plain.
Through the Dernely race I have traced the seals of all the generations (in the Merchiston charter chest and elsewhere) in unbroken series, till the earldom merged in James VI., without detecting a single instance of the saltier engrailed. In Henry the Seventh's chapel at Westminster is the tomb of the Stewarts of Lennox, surrounded by their armorial bearings, which, probably, would there be executed with scientific accuracy. Nisbet quotes the tomb in support of his description of the Lennox arms, and describes the saltiers as engrailed. Francis Sandford, who was Lancaster herald in the reign of Charles II., has given engravings of that tomb, with all its emblazoning, in his genealogical history of the Kings of England. In the engravings the saltiers are engrailed, but, if I mistake not, upon the tomb itself they are all plain*
* In the course of a correspondence with the late William Lord