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and the date to which it was postponed, that Mathew Stewart is commissioned by his father to go to the kirk of Drymen, and drive a bargain with their pertinacious opponent Haldane. In that same month of July, accordingly, Haldane signs the indenture, which forms a perfect pendant to that agreed to by Elizabeth Menteith and Archibald Napier in the year 1490.
This, then, sets at rest the question of a new creation of the earldom in favour of Dernely in 1488, or indeed at any other period. Had such creation ever occurred, Haldane would have raised a bar in limine of his own pursuit; for, upon the hypothesis of this special grant, Dernely would not have been bound to answer to a summons which did not cite him competently, under the style and title which was his right. It also proves, that when Dernely resigned the Lennox into the King's hands in the year 1490, for a new charter to himself and his son in fee and liferent, he had done so most irregularly and ineptly, for there was nothing feudally in his person to resign. The process of 1492 is directed solely against the service and infeftment of 1475 and its abettors, because upon that basis alone Dernely had resumed the honours. Had any supervening service or titles existed in the person of Lord Dernely, Haldane must have attacked those, or at all events would not have been so absurd as to attack titles made up in 1475, but which had not only been reduced, but superseded by subsequent ones. Andrew Stewart (who was not aware of this process in 1492) expressly states the service of 1473 as the basis of all the Dernely titles to the Lennox ; and never discovered any other among the carefully preserved papers of that family; but he does not record that that service, and all that followed upon it was entirely swept off by reduction in 1475.
KEPLY TO LORD LOUGHBOROUGH'S MEMORIAL FOR GLENEAGLES. STATE OF THE PROCESS BETWEEN DE11NELY AND
A genealogical Case, already alluded to in the progress of this investigation, was printed some time in last century, and entitled "Memorial relative to the succession to the ancient Earls of Levenax." * This compilation, now only known to legal antiquaries, appears to have been intended to aid a contemplated claim in Parliament, on the part of the heir of line of Haldane of Gleneagles, to the earldom of Lennox. The whole argument for Gleneagles is drawn from the proceedings already summarily noticed, by which John Haldane, chiefly in his own name, but also in that of his spouse Agnes Menteith, and their son and heir James Haldane, threw certain obstacles in the way of Lord Dernely's usurpation; and the inference, implied rather than stated, is, that of necessity this opposition was in consequence of the primogeniture of Agnes Menteith in her father's family, no less than of the primogeniture of her grandmother, the Lady Margaret of Lennox, among the daughters of Earl Duncan. The case depends entirely upon a plausible assumption, comprehended in the following sentences of the memorial, in which, it will be observed, the primogeniture of Agnes Menteith is assumed as an undoubted fact, and not a shadow of evidence directed to that important point of the case.
* See Preface.
"Agnes Menteith, married to Sir John Haldane, was without dispute the eldest daughter of Sir Murdac Monteith; and if Margaret her grandmother was truly the second daughter of Earl Duncan, then the said Agnes, being the great-grandchild and eldest heir-portioner of Earl Duncan, after the failure of the Duchess of Albany and her issue, had undoubtedly a just and full right to the dignity, and to the superiorities, &c And her husband was entitled to the same in her right. That at first this matter was not called in question, and that the right of Agnes and her husband was fully understood and publicly acknowledged, can be clearly shown; for, soon after the death of the Duchess of Albany, Sir John Haldane obtained from King James III. a charter of the fourth part of the property of the earldom, and of the whole superiority thereof, to be held of the King, with all the pertinents and privileges consequent thereon; and this charter is expressly granted to him " tanquam primo et principali dicti comitatus," and upon this charter he was publicly infeoffed in April 1473. This charter, flowing directly from the King, the fountain of honour, may be considered either as an explicit acknowledgment of his right by the highest authority, or as an express grant of the superiority and dignity necessarily following from his being designed the first and principal person of the earldom; and in either view certainly vested in Sir John a right which never was or could be recalled, and of course descended to his heirs." * This is a bold plea, and with some readers might pass for unanswerable. Let us examine, however, a little more closely, the foundations upon which it rests. * Memorial, p. 2.
John Haldane of Gleneagles, married about the year 1460* to Agnes Menteith, was at that time the heir of an ancient and wealthy family. His father was Sir Bernard Haldane of Gleneagles, and his mother a daughter of William Lord Seaton. In 1473, as already observed, John Haldane was sent upon a mission to the King of Denmark, the father-in-law of James III. Before taking his departure, however, he obtained, under circumstances already narrated, the charter pleaded upon in the memorial. It is dated 28th March 1473 (the fourth day of the new year), and bears that the King, "For gratuitous and faithful services bestowed and to be bestowed upon us by our beloved household squire John Haldane of Rusky," grants the said John a fourth part of the whole and entire earldom of Levenax, " as first and principal of the same." These expressions are repeated in the charter, which is a complete grant to Haldane of the property and superiority of a fourth part of the Comitatus, with all the pertinents and privileges appertaining to " the said fourth part of the Comitatus, as principal of the same." There is no mention whatever of Haldane's spouse or her claims upon the Lennox; and the grand qualification of the grant is the reservation, formerly mentioned, to the Chancellor Avandale of the entire possession of the Comitatus during his life, as enjoyed by the Earls of Lennox.f
* Memorial, p. 2.
t Jacobus, Sfc. Sciatis nos pro gratuitis et fidelibus servitiis per dilectum familiarem armiger nostrum Johannem Haldane de Rusky nobis hactenus impensis et impendendis, dedisse, fyc. dicto Johanni quartam partem totius et integri Comitatus de Levenax cum pertinentibus tanquam primo et principali ejusdem, jacens, fyc. Tenend. et habend. totatn et integrum quartam partem prefati Comitatus de Levenax cum pertinentibits, dicto Johanni tanquam primo et principali dicti Comitatus, et heredibus suis, de nobis, <$-i?. cum tenentibus, tenandriis, fyc. SfC. addictam quartam partem Comitatus tit principali ejusdem pertinentibus, fyc. Reservato et salvo libero tenemento totius dicte quarte partis dicti Comitatus cum omnibus suis pertinentibus, fyc. dilecto consanguineo et Cancellario nostro Andrea Domini Avandale, pro toto tempore vite sue, fyc. Faciendo inde annuatim dictus Johannes Haldane et heredes sui, nobis, heredibus et successoribus nostris, jura et servitia de dicta quarta parte dicti Comitatus debita et consueta, fyc. Apud, Edinburgh 28 die mensis Martii 1473.—Mag. Sig. vii. 229.
It must be admitted by every one conversant with such historical and legal antiquities, that this charter is totally inadequate to sustain the peremptory argument quoted from the memorial. It can never be viewed as an " explicit acknowledgment" on the part of the Crown, of Haldane's right to the earldom by the law of courtesy, since the name of his lady is not mentioned in the charter, nor her rights alluded to. Such explicit acknowledgment would rather have appeared in the shape of a charter granted conjunctly to Agnes Menteith and her spouse. Neither can it be regarded as an "express grant" to Haldane (an alternative view, by the way, indicating that the charter is any thing but explicit,) of the dignity of Lennox, seeing that that gentleman immediately feudalized his right under that charter by taking infeftment upon it,* and yet went abroad upon a royal mission, as plain John Haldane, for as yet he was not even honoured with knighthood. Now, if his right to be Earl of Lennox was, as the memorial says, "fully understood, and publicly acknowledged,"—if, as argued, he possessed this right either by courtesy from
* Upon this charter Haldane took infeftment 2d April 1473. The precept of seisin bears " dedimus et concessimus hereditarie dicto Johanni quartam partem totius et integri Comitatus de Levenax cum pertinentibus tanquam primo et principali ejusdem, fyc. fyc. salvo libere tenemento dicte quarte partis, Sfc." to the Chancellor.