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deeds, all the titles of that family, is here completely at fault.
The facts I have already narrated, of which the dates shall be here shortly recapitulated, seem to set this question, of a special grant to Dernely, at rest.
1. When that nobleman first sat in Parliament as Earl of Lennox, it was clearly by virtue of succession, and not of special grant. He was served heir to Earl Duncan upon the 23d July 1473. Upon this service he obtained infeftment dated 27th July 1473. In this, however, he is still styled " John Lord Dernely." The infeftment being completed, and expressly including the chief messuage of the earldom, Lord Dernely is forthwith styled Earl. This is proved by the royal charter of the other lands he had resigned into the King's hands in security of Lord Avandale's liferent, which is dated 6th August 1473, and wherein he is for the first time styled " John Earl of Levinax." This manifestly was a mere recognition of the effect of his service and infeftment, for the lands here resigned were the Dernely and not the Lennox estates. After this he took his seat in the very next Parliament as Earl. The fact that he sat entirely upon his claim of succession is further proved by the effect of John Haldane's challenge of his service. The proceedings were instituted against him under the style and title of Dernely. because his service was not admitted. Haldane's technical pleas were brought to a successful issue on the 12th of January 1475-6. Of that date letters reducing Dernely's service pass the privyseal, and there he is styled " John Lord Dernely." In the month immediately prior to that judgment a royal commission had been granted to him, in which he is still styled "Johanni Comiti de Levenax." But on the 1 st July 1476, six months after the decree of reduction, a i noi"'1" **\lf certain that this nobleman resumed a U >s f9" a years after he had thus been compeljje 0e' jt, upon no other footing than a right of led to ff'^d that, too, established upon no other basis siice<sS'0 Ipgervice which had been red uced .* Th ough, tl""'f ' oce t0 tne interval, frequently styled Earl of >° re by historians, he is to be traced in the rolls of /"anient constantly under the minor title of Dernely, t the remainder of the reign of James III. The battle of Sauchie, where that monarch was killed, occurred 0n the 11th of June 1488. Upon the 12th of July thereafter Elizabeth Menteith obtained the decree of obedience to heras proprietrix of one quarter of the Lennox. Jit this council Lord Dernely was present, and it appears from the original roll of that sederunt that he still sat as " Dominus Dernele" and not as Levenax.f Upon the 6th of October following, the first Parliament of the new reign meets, and here Lord Dernely reappears as Earl of Lennox. To quote the words of the historian, who will not be suspected of any partiality against Dernely," It appears that, in the first Parliament of James IV., in the year 1488, John Earl of Lennox was present on the second day of its sitting; and that Lord Lyle was then Justice-General; that Parliament, it is believed, was not attended by those who had supported the cause of the deceased sovereign James III.; it was attended by those who had espoused the cause of the Prince and of the confederate lords. Besides these proofs of his connection with the Prince's party, there were several instances of favour shown to Lennox and his son Mathew in the early part of the reign of James IV.; from all which, it must be confessed, there is too much reason to conclude that John Lord Dernely, Earl of Lennox, was in confidence with the party that deposed James III.; and availed himself of the circumstances of the times to establish his title to the earldom of Lennox, which had been withheld from him since the death of Isabel Countess of Lennox."*
* Andrew Stewart, not being aware of the true history of the matter, can give no coherent account of Dernely's change of style. He says, " in a Parliament of James IV., in October 1488, John Earl of Lennox is mentioned as present on the second day of that Parliament, and classed with the Earls; this may be considered as the first time when John Lord Dernely was legally inserted in the books of Parliament as Earl of Lennox, for though upon one occasion, at a Parliament held 20th November 1475, there is marked as present Comes de Lennox, yet in the very next Parliament, 1st July 1476, he was again described under the title of Lord Dernely, and continued to be so described till the first Parliament of James IV. in October 1488."—P. 175
+ Acta Bom. Con. 12th July 1488.
But who, it may be asked, had withheld the earldom of Lennox from John Lord Dernely? or how had he so suddenly, in the course of a few months of civil commotions and war—" circumstances of the times" most unfavourable for a deliberate and legal assertion of right —established his title to that earldom ? Most unquestionably he had resumed the honours upon this occasion without having taken any legal steps whatever, as is sufficiently proved by the dates of the transactions we have reviewed ; and he now sat as Earl of Lennox, without having renewed the titles that had been reduced. "The patent or charter," says his historian, " creating John Stuart Lord Dernely, Earl of Lennox, has not been discovered, therefore nothing positive can be asserted with regard to the terms of it, or the destination of that title :"* but, he adds, " it is clear that the question about the peerage of Lennox must have been settled and acknowledged before the year 1490." There is, however, a process to which I shall now call attention, the tenor of which not only contradicts this assumption, but appears to me to place beyond question the fact, that Dernely never obtained "a new constitution of the dignity," f and that there never was any "renunciation andregrant of the honours before the Darnelys assumed them.":):
* Andrew Stewart, p. 190.
John Haldane's last attack upon the service, and subsequent steps accomplished by Dernely to the prejudice of his letters of protection, during his absence abroad, has already been noticed. It is remarkable that the date of this summons of reduction has hitherto, in all modern considerations of the matter, been entirely misapprehended. In Lord Loughborough's case for Gleneagles, it is particularly noticed and founded upon as of date 1475, and as if part of the original proceedings against Dernely in that year. Various transcripts of the same deed, which I have seen among the Gleneagles papers, have also assigned this erroneous date, 6th February 1475. The original, however, leads to a very different conclusion. It is a summons of reduction under the great seal obviously of James IV., for it is dated 6th February and fifth year of our reign. Now 1475 is in the reign of James III., but certainly not the fifth year of that reign. The deed refers to Haldane's embassy, in 147S, as having occurred in the previous reign; the date of the deed, therefore, must be the fifth year of the reign of James IV. Haldane's lady, Agnes Menteith, was certainly alive in the year 1477 ; but this deed mentions her as being now dead. James Shaw of Sauchie, Sheriff of Stirling, is also therein named as dead ; and it is well known that he did not die until the year 1479, having been killed in May of that year at the siege of Dunbar Castle, by the same cannon shot that cut off Sir John Colquhoun of Luss and Sir Adam Wallace of Craigie. Unquestionably the date of this summons of reduction is 6th February 1492, being the fifth year of the reign of James IV.*
* P. 187. t Mr. Riddell. % Quarterly Review.
Let us now attend to the tenor of this summons. It is raised by John Haldane in his own name and in that of his son James, against the very service which had been cassed and annulled by letters under the privy-seal of James III. in 1475. But it is of a more comprehensive nature, including a claim of damages against the inquest who sat upon that service, and proceeding, however, upon the very pleas of irregularity and partiality which Haldane had formerly used with success. It is raised not against the Earl of Lennox but against John Lord Dernely, who is specially summoned under that minor title. The case is called in court upon the 15th June 1492 ; but it is noted on the process that, of that date, "The present cause between Lord Dernely and his son, and the laird of Gleneagles and his son, is continued of consent of parties to the 8th of October following." The link afforded by the accurate date of this process completes the history of the settlement of the fief, per Jus aut nefas, in the person of John Lord Dernely; for it will be observed that it was in the intermediate July, between the calling of this cause,
* '* Datum sub testimonio magni sigilli nostri apud Edinburgh, sexto die mensis Februarii anno regni nostro quinto." On the back are indorsed the executions. It is served upon Dernely under that minor title, and not as Earl of Lennox. Below is written; "xv. Jnnii, presens causa inter Dominum Dernely et suumjllium, et Dominum de Gleneagles et suumjllium, de eorum consensu continuatur ad Viii. Octobris proximo futuri," Sfc. But the contract of excambion dated in the interval settled the matter.